The Saturday before Christmas had been chosen for the Christmas/Housewarming
party and despite my dread of having to socialise with so many people, for
Dad's sake I approached the event with as good grace as I could muster.
I was pleased that Tony had been able to accept my invitation and not quite
so pleased that Gran and Auntie Kath would also be there. The Crawfords
would of course attend, together with Chris and his mum, and Brian had asked
if he could bring a girlfriend. Dad had invited a handful of people
from the village as well as a couple of dozen people from work, most of whom
would be bringing spouses or partners.
Overall, about seventy people were expected, so it was fortunate that Mrs
Crawford and her sons had offered to help with preparations. Tony had
arranged to arrive on the Friday evening, just a few hours after Gran and
Auntie Kath, so there were plenty of people around on Saturday to help get
the house ready. However, from the Saturday afternoon chaos it seemed
to be more a case of 'too many cooks spoiling the broth' rather than 'many
hands making light work'. Fortunately, Dad had arranged for food to
be provided by caterers from Alnwick.
Auntie Kath had appointed herself to be in charge of putting up festive decorations
and had conscripted Brian and Tony to do the actual work, with me and Tom
as 'gophers'. By mid afternoon most of the decorating was done and
Auntie Kath was ordering final tweaks when Brian spoke up.
"Wait a minute," he said, "There's something missing."
"What's missing?" Auntie Kath asked, irritated at an apparent criticism of
"There's no mistletoe," Brian said, "There has to be mistletoe at a Christmas
"I don't think it's supposed to be that sort of party," Auntie Kath said
"Anyway," I added, amazing myself by agreeing with my aunt, "it's more of
a housewarming party."
"Then why have all these Christmas decorations?" Brian asked, scoring a point.
"Yeah, with Christmas decorations we should have mistletoe," Tony chipped
in, his eyes twinkling, then he turned to Brian and in a stage whisper he
added, "Your girlfriend will be bringing a couple of cute friends won't she?"
"I'm sure that can be arranged!" Brian laughed.
Auntie Kath shook her head in mock disgust, but she couldn't completely hide
"In that case I'll go and get the mistletoe," Tom said with a big grin, then
he turned to me and added, "C'mon Mark, I know where there's some good plants
in the woods."
Although I wasn't enthusiastic about the mistletoe, I was glad to have an
excuse to be alone with Tom and there was also the added bonus of getting
some time away from Auntie Kath. The weather was cold and cloudy but
it was dry and there wasn't much wind so I enjoyed the walk down to the woods.
"Brian loves mistletoe," Tom said jovially as we crossed the stream, "Last
Christmas he didn't have a girlfriend and at the party in the village hall
he used the mistletoe as an excuse to snog half the girls there."
"Yeuch!" I commented without thinking.
"What's the matter," he joked, "don't you like the idea of kissing girls?"
"Not really. At least not if you mean snogging."
I didn't add that I didn't like the idea of kissing at all. As far
as I was concerned a kiss with closed lips was okay even on the mouth, and
in fact the kiss that Tom had given me in that way was great. However,
I found Tony's descriptions of snogging girls with 'tongues down throats'
quite unpleasant and his use of the term 'swapping spit' made me queasy.
"It's not really so bad, you know!" Tom said, laughing.
"You've snogged girls, then?" I asked, a little surprised.
"A couple of times, but not since last year's Christmas party."
"Under the mistletoe?"
"Yep," he nodded, "I must admit I was a bit merry... well, quite drunk, actually."
"And before that?"
"When I was twelve... trying to decide if I was gay or not."
"And boys?" I asked, unable to hide a pang of jealousy, "How many boys have
"Just one," he said, detecting my mood and becoming more serious, "and just
a couple of times."
Paradoxically, I wanted to ask who but I also didn't want to know the answer.
As Tony often said, I'm weird.
"It was only Chris," Tom volunteered into the silence, "and it was a couple
of years ago."
"And I suppose it was much more fun than the girls?" I couldn't help asking.
"A bit better," he admitted, "but it felt odd... a bit like kissing a brother."
By this time we'd reached a tree with a large growth of mistletoe and I would
have been happy to let the topic drop, but Tom had other ideas.
"How about you then," he asked, "How many girls and boys have you snogged?"
"What, neither, ever?" he asked as if he didn't quite believe me, "But you're
"Neither. Never," I said firmly, making it clear that the subject was
Considering that I generally dislike parties, that I always hate being in
large crowds and that this was the biggest party I'd ever attended, my evening
was more pleasant than I'd expected. Tom, Tony and I spent much of
the time together while Brian spent most of the time with his girlfriend.
Chris and his mum arrived early but left after only about an hour and before
leaving he came to say goodbye but didn't offer any explanation for their
early departure. Gran and Auntie Kath appeared to be getting on well
with Mr and Mrs Crawford and I briefly pondered the fact that Auntie Kath
was always so charming with adults but so bossy and critical with kids, especially
me. Although she didn't seem to actually dislike children she often
appeared to be uncomfortable when she had to interact with them, and I wondered
why she was like that.
Most of the night I kept as close to Tom as I could without being indiscreet,
though several times I noticed Mrs Crawford looking at us with a knowing
expression. Although I tried to keep on the edges of the party, Dad
kept finding me and introducing me to his work colleagues, whose names I
would immediately forget. During the course of the evening I developed
a taste for a rose wine that seemed to be in plentiful supply, so by midnight,
when Gran came over to our little group, I was quite merry.
"I'm off to bed now," she said, "at my age late-night parties can be a bit
of a strain."
Although I knew she was sixty-something, I wasn't sure exactly how old she
was. In any case she was very fit for her age and I resisted the temptation
to point out that I too found parties a bit of a strain.
"Oh, and I've got some good news for you, Tony," she added, "You'll be able
to have an extra hour in bed on Tuesday. As she's got the week off,
Mrs Crawford has invited me and Kath to go with her to the Metro Centre for
some last-minute Christmas shopping and she said she can give you a lift
into Newcastle on the way."
Tony was going home on the Tuesday morning and Dad had previously arranged
to give him a lift to Newcastle railway station. However, Dad had a
meeting at work that morning so it would have meant that Tony would have
to leave the house early and wait for almost two hours at the station.
"That's great, Gran," Tony said with a semi-drunken grin.
Although she obviously wasn't Tony's gran, he'd started calling her that
soon after he met her and as she didn't seem to mind he'd continued to do
so ever since. Maybe it was something to do with the fact that both
of his grandmothers had died when he was still only a baby.
Soon after midnight I noticed that the party was thinning out and that Brian
was having a prolonged session with his girlfriend under the mistletoe.
By two o'clock the only people left in the house were those of us staying
there and Tom
Having cleared away the leftover food, we were all in the kitchen when Dad
decided we should get some sleep before doing the remainder of the cleaning
up. He then asked if anyone wanted a liqueur coffee, but Auntie Kath
was the only one to take up his offer. Tony, who was more than a little
inebriated, announced that he was going to bed and went upstairs. That
was Tom's cue to say goodnight, and I was just about to offer to escort him
to the door when he made a point of asking me to do so.
As we climbed up the stairs from the kitchen Tom took hold of my hand and
I anxiously looked behind me to make sure we were out of sight of Dad and
Auntie Kath. When we got up to the hallway, instead of making his way
to the cloakroom Tom led me toward the larger 'reception room', which had
remained unused until the party.
"Where are you going?" I asked, my voice barely more than a whisper.
"C'mon. You'll see," he replied, gently tugging me through the doorway.
The lights in that room had already been switched off so it was illuminated
only by the light from the hallway and the faint starlight coming through
the large French windows at the far end of the room. At that point
I guessed that he had taken me there for a private word or maybe a discreet
goodnight hug, but when he continued to pull me gently across the room I
began to doubt the accuracy of my guess. We came to a halt in front
of the French windows and he gently turned me around so that I was facing
him with my back almost touching the glass.
"Close your eyes," he said.
As soon as he said that I remembered that above our heads, invisible in the
darkness, was the mistletoe.
"Why?" I asked nervously, stalling for time.
Maybe if I'd been perfectly sober I might have made up some excuse or found
a way to wriggle out of the situation without hurting Tom's feelings.
As it was, my only choice was to trust him and do as he asked or risk hurting
his feelings. So realising that I had no real choice at all, I closed
Tom released my hand and stepped closer so that the I could feel his chest
"Relax," he whispered, sensing my tension.
I felt his lips touch mine and when his tongue brushed against my lips a
shiver ran down my spine. Then he put his arms around me, holding me
gently but firmly, and his tongue began to probe between my lips. Again
I had a choice that was not really a choice at all, and I offered no resistance
when his tongue pushed forward. When his tongue touched mine an electric
charge seemed to pass from my mouth through my whole body until I could feel
my fingertips tingle. My body shook and he removed his lips from mine
while continuing to hold me in his arms.
"Want me to stop?" he asked, concerned.
"N-no," I said, the pounding of my heart causing my voice to tremble, "But..."
"B-but I don't know what to do."
"Just do what feels right for you," he said, then resumed his kiss.
After a few seconds I started to get the hang of things and began to return
the kiss by copying his actions. His hands were rubbing and kneading
my back and I realised that I'd been keeping my own arms stiffly at my sides,
so I reached out and hugged him tightly. That's when I felt the hardness
in his crotch and noticed that I too was as hard as I'd ever been in my life.
Yes, I know that to most people it probably sounds odd that a modern-day
boy should be sixteen when he first learns to kiss, but I've never denied
that I may be a bit weird. All I can say in my own defence is that
I was a quick learner and that my efforts seemed to have been appreciated
by Tom, who began to produce occasional low moans of pleasure. I came
to the conclusion that 'swapping spit' wasn't as disgusting as it sounded
and in fact with the right person it was extremely exciting. Time stood
still for me as we kissed and gently ground our crotches together.
Then I heard footsteps in the hallway and froze.
Opening my eyes I saw my dad silhouetted against the light from the hallway.
Quickly, I reached the conclusion that the risk of being detected by movement
was greater than the risk of staying still, even in that compromising position.
Therefore, I hugged Tom even more tightly and pressed my lips harder against
his. He too had heard the sounds behind him and wisely deciding to
follow my lead, he stood perfectly still. Then I heard my aunt's voice
speaking quietly in the hallway.
"Is something the matter, Martin?"
"No," Dad replied, moving away from the doorway, "I just thought I heard
a noise, but there's nothing there."
"That's the trouble with these old houses," Auntie Kath commented with a
slightly drunken giggle, "there's always something going creak in the night."
"Yes," Dad responded with good humour, "but we get used to it. Anyway,
you go off to bed and I'll check that everything is locked up down here."
"Okay, see you in the morning. Sleep tight."
On hearing this, I became aware of some physical discomfort caused by the
fact that since I'd heard the footsteps in the hallway my muscles had been
rigid and my joints locked. However, I still didn't allow myself to
relax until I heard a second person going upstairs and saw that the hallway
lights went off. Tom then disconnected his lips from mine, which by
that time were feeling rather numb.
"Phew!" he whispered.
"You can say that again!" I responded, equally quietly.
"Phew!" he said and giggled.
"Shhhh!" I hissed.
"I'd better be going."
Although I agreed that he ought to be going home, I was reluctant to cease
our embrace and didn't want to be the first to disengage. Apparently
he felt the same because he too remained with his arms around me and his
chin resting on my shoulder. Eventually, with a sigh, I let my arms
drop to my side and almost immediately he released me.
Fortunately the room was relatively bare, so we managed to make our way to
the hallway without bumping into anything. After retrieving his coat
I opened the front door for him, taking great care to minimise any sound.
"I'll see you tomorrow when I come over to help with the rest of the clearing
up," he whispered as he stepped across the threshold.
"Great," I whispered back, "but not too early, though!"
"Okay," he said with a grin, then he kissed me on the cheek and added, "And
"I think I should be thanking you."
"Maybe," he replied, "but what I meant was thanks for trusting me."
He turned and walked down the drive, quickly disappearing into the darkness.
I carefully closed and locked the door and as quietly as possible went to
up to bed. As I made my way up the stairs, however, a thought occurred
to me: if Dad had thought he'd heard a noise in the large reception room,
why hadn't he turned on the light?
Because three of the six bedrooms were occupied by guests I was relegated
to a fold-away bed in the bare bedroom adjacent to the 'old' guest room where
Tony was now sleeping. As on their previous visit, Gran was in my room
and Auntie Kath was in the 'new' guest room. Even before I undressed
for bed I could feel the cold dampness in my briefs where pre-cum had been
leaking during my kissing session, but when I stripped off my briefs I was
surprised to see just how large and soggy the wet patch was.
My dick, still half hard from our kissing, now became fully erect, and as
soon as I lay down on the bed I started wanking. Within just a couple
of minutes a large volume of ejaculate was spread from my belly button to
my chin, and after a quick clean-up I immediately fell asleep. Then
the nightmare began.
This nightmare was completely different from all the earlier ones.
There was no deep sadness, no difficulty breathing, no tapping, and I was
not alone. I was curled up in a foetal position on a bed with a tall
figure standing over me and beating me with a cane. Although I was
too busy protecting my head with my arms to try to identify this man, I knew
that I hated him with all my heart and that this hatred was based on something
apart from the beating.
Strangely, I didn't actually feel any direct pain from the vicious blows,
a fact for which in retrospect I'm profoundly grateful. However, I
did feel the distress that was produced by the presumed pain, especially
when I thought I heard a rib crack under the onslaught. The man didn't
say a word, but I heard him grunt with the effort he put behind the blows
and I knew that he wanted to make me cry and beg for mercy. Thus, the
only way I could defeat him was to refuse to cry and the only way I could
do that was to channel the pain into my hatred of him.
I've no idea how long the nightmare lasted but subjectively it was a very,
very long time. Thankfully, though, I fell into a deep unconsciousness
that lasted until I woke up to the mid-morning daylight. As soon as
I tried to move I was frozen by stabs of very real pain that appeared to
be spread over my arms, back and sides. Recalling the nightmare, I
briefly wondered if I had indeed been beaten during the night. However,
examination of my arms and sides showed no signs of bruising or marks of
any sort, and later in the bathroom mirror I confirmed a lack of any marks
on my sore back.
While I dressed I gave considerable thought to the nightmare and its possible
significance, especially as it was so different from my previous nightmares
at Prospect House. The emotional after-effects of this latest experience
were even greater than the others, and remembering it made me shiver.
This was not only because of the degree of physical violence involved but
also because I would never have believed I could hate anyone with the intensity
of hatred I'd felt toward the man in the dream.
Perhaps I was picking up something from Edward's experience or maybe the
nightmare was based upon what Tom had told me when he showed me his 'box
of treasures'. In either case, the question arose as to why this particular
nightmare occurred now, months after my arrival at Prospect House and weeks
after Tom told me about Edward. I wondered if the timing of this horrible
dream was related to my snogging session with Tom and my fear of the consequences
if Dad had caught us.
By the time Tom and Brian came over to help with clearing up, my back and
sides were much less painful and stiff, although they were still somewhat
tender and very sensitive to even the lightest touch. As Tom appeared
to be happy and healthy I assumed that he'd not had any nightmares the previous
night. However, with post-party cleaning and three house guests to
look after I didn't get a chance to be alone with him that day.
That afternoon, while Tony, Brian, Tom and myself were in the kitchen taking
a break from our labours, Tony announced that he really needed to do some
Christmas shopping before he went home. His tone and the look he gave
me were very apologetic as he knew that two of my greatest aversions were
Christmas and shopping, so he realised that the combination of both of them
would be an abomination to me.
"I s'pose we could go into Newcastle tomorrow," I said without enthusiasm.
"You don't have to go," Tony said sympathetically, "I'm sure I can manage
on my own."
Before I could protest that I couldn't let him wander around a strange city
on his own, Brian spoke up.
"Tell you what," he said, "I'll go to Newcastle with you... I want to get
a couple of things anyway, so I can make sure you don't get lost."
As Monday was the last full day of Tony's visit and I had been looking forward
to spending it with him, I was horrified at the thought that he and Brian
would go into the city and leave me here.
"No, that's okay," I said a little too defensively, "I can go with Tony."
"Why don't we both go with him?" Brian suggested reasonably, "After all,
you're new here and I know Newcastle like the back of my hand."
There was no way I could argue with that, so I nodded my agreement even though
I would have preferred to have had Tony to myself for the day.
"I'll come too!" Tom added enthusiastically, then after a quick look at his
brother he added in a more subdued tone, "If that's okay?"
The fact that Tom had volunteered to go anywhere with his brother took both
Brian and me by surprise, and while we recovered Tony spoke up for all of
"Yes," he said, matching Tom's initial enthusiasm, "That would be great!"
Everyone except Tony was very tired that night, still recovering from the
party, and so Gran, Dad and Auntie Kath had all gone to bed before eleven
o'clock. However, Tony wanted to stay up and watch a movie on TV so
I, as a good host, kept him company. Although my back was much better,
it was still sore and in an attempt to get comfortable I kept rearranging
the cushions behind me.
"What's the matter, Mr Fidgety?" Tony asked.
"Nothing really. My back's just a bit sore, that's all."
"Well it can't be from working too hard!" Tony laughed, "Cos the Great Dictator
had me and Brian doing the heavy stuff."
The image of Auntie Kath dressed in military uniform and jack boots made
"That's a disadvantage of being big and muscular," I joked.
"So what's the problem with your back?" he asked, becoming a little more
serious, "You seemed to be okay last night."
"Like I said, it's just a bit sore. Maybe I just slept in a bad position
on that little fold-away."
Well, I thought to myself, there was a chance that may not have been a lie.
After all, maybe the uncomfortable bed had triggered the nightmare.
"Maybe we should swap beds tonight," he suggested.
"Thanks for the offer, but if the bed's too cramped for me it would cripple
"Still nothing," I interrupted, "it's only for two more nights and anyway
I'm not even sure it's the bed's fault."
For just a couple of minutes he watched the movie on TV then turned back
toward me with a slight frown.
"You've not been having more nightmares have you?" he asked.
This startled me because unless he'd been reading my mind it seemed unrelated
to the previous conversation.
"Eh?" I sputtered, "Oh... well, just a couple."
"Did you talk to your dad about them, like I said you should?"
From his expression and tone it was clear that he expected my answer to be
negative, so it gave me a small childish pleasure to prove him wrong.
"Actually I did," I said with a slightly smug smile, then went on to tell
him about my discussion with Dad, though I didn't mention the broken window.
"You've not had any since then?" he asked.
I hesitated before answering, and because he knew me so well he could tell
that no matter what I actually said, the true answer was 'yes'.
"You have, haven't you?" he said, almost as an accusation.
"Welllll...." I prevaricated, "It wasn't the same sort of nightmare, just
a one-off bad dream. And before you ask, no, I haven't told my dad
cos it was totally different from the others and anyway, I've not had a chance
"Maybe," I replied, knowing that I wouldn't.
Again his attention appeared to return to the TV for just a couple of minutes
before he spoke again, but this time his eyes remained on the screen.
The fact that since we'd sat down he'd not spent much time looking at the
TV made me suspect that there had been an ulterior motive to his original
idea of watching the movie.
"You and Tom seem to be getting on very well nowadays," he said in neutral
"Well, once you get to know him he's easy to get on with."
He gave me an enquiring look, clearly wanting me to go into more detail,
but I wasn't yet ready for that. However, rather than risk hurting
his feelings by just ignoring his curiosity, I decided to try and make light
"Don't worry," I said, "You're still my best friend."
That seemed to keep him happy and we returned to watching the movie.
Of the day spent shopping in the crowded city I will say only this: it would
not have been out of place if it were added as an extra circle to Dante's
Hell. I can't imagine making such a sacrifice for anyone other than
Tony or Tom. That night I was exhausted and made irritable by Tony's
imminent departure, so I was not in the best of moods when Dad came to my
room just after I'd got into bed.
"Mark," he said, "remember I told you that with my new job I'd have to go
to the company's head office occasionally?"
In fact, I didn't remember at all, but I was happy to take his word for it,
so I nodded.
"Well, I have to go for a meeting early in January... just about three weeks
I just looked at him blankly, wondering why he had come to my bedroom to
tell me this and indeed why he was bothering to tell me at all. When
I didn't respond, Dad spoke again.
"The meeting is in New York state," he said patiently, as if explaining something
to a child, "You know, in the USA?"
"Yes, I knew that," I said irritably, "But you've been to meetings abroad
lots of times. What's so special about this?"
"But in the past," he said and sighed, possibly beginning to realise he'd
chosen a bad time, "Elaine used to look after you while I was away.
She can't do that now."
"Daaad!" I whined in protest, "I'm sixteen now and quite capable of looking
after myself... and anyway, Mrs Crawford will be in every day."
"Yes, under normal circumstances I'd agree with you, but with these nightmares
you've been having... well, I don't want you to be left alone at night, and
I was thinking of asking your gran or Auntie Kath to stay here while I was
For a couple of seconds I was made speechless by the horrific prospect of
being 'looked after' for a week by Auntie Kath. Dad, probably expecting
my reaction, took a half-step backward and gave me a look which mingled concern
with ill-concealed amusement.
"No way!" I said eventually, "I'd rather take my chances with the nightmares!"
"I'm sure you would," he replied with a wry grin, then with a more serious
expression he added, "but I'm not sure I want to take a chance. That's
why I'm here now, because if I'm going to ask your gran or Auntie Kath then
it would be best to ask them while they're here."
Trying to calm my racing mind, I attempted to think of a suggestion that
would placate Dad without involving my aunt or my gran. Only one possibility
came to me, but I doubted Dad would accept it. Still, the alternative
was too awful to contemplate, so it was worth a try.
"How about if Tom stays here while you're away?"
"But he's even younger than you are!" Dad protested.
"Only by a few months. And I thought you agreed that it wasn't my age
but the nightmares that you were worried about?" I said, trying not
to sound as if I were attempting to score a point, "He could sleep
in the old guest room so he would be even closer to me than you are when
Dad started to say something, presumably to argue against my suggestion,
then he seemed to have second thoughts and was quiet for a couple of seconds.
"Okay," he said eventually, "I'll think about it and maybe discuss it with
Mrs Crawford, then I'll make a decision in the next few days."
Realising that was the best concession I would get from him that night and
that I had a few days yet to work on him, I nodded my acceptance.
The next morning, when Mrs Crawford had driven off with Tony, Gran and Auntie
Kath, I was left alone in the house. Although I don't usually give
in to sentimentality and in the past I'd enjoyed being alone, I was sad that
Tony had gone and I spent an hour moping around until the doorbell rang.
It was Tom.
"Hi," he said, greeting me with a smile, "I thought you might like some company.
Fancy a walk?"
With the mood I was in, if it had been anyone else but Tom I would have politely
declined, but there was no way I could turn down such a considerate invitation.
Furthermore, it occurred to me that as soon as possible, and certainly before
Dad talked to Mrs Crawford, I should ask Tom if he would go along my idea
that he stay in Prospect House while Dad was away.
Although the sky was clear, the low winter sun gave no warmth to our backs
as we went down the slope to the woods. Tom's presence lifted my mood
a little, but neither of us spoke much, content just to walk along in companionable
silence. When we crossed the stream and went among the trees we were
ankle-deep in fallen leaves and seeing the few isolated leaves left on the
branches increased my melancholy.
While we were walking I didn't feel like asking him about staying over, probably
because although I was pretty sure he would agree, I was scared he might
say no. We'd only been out for about an hour when a bitterly cold north
wind began to blow and even in the relative shelter of the trees it became
too cold for me. Tom, as usual, seemed oblivious to the elements, but
he agreed with my suggestion that we go back to the house for a warm drink.
"You're very quiet today," Tom commented as we sat at the kitchen table,
he with a hot chocolate and I with my tea, "Are you missing Tony already?"
"I s'pose," I admitted.
"That's okay," he said sympathetically, "After all he's your best friend...
I'll be sad too when Chris moves away."
"Is he moving away, then?" I asked, surprised.
"Oh, not immediately," he responded, smiling at my reaction, "but when he
finishes school this summer he's determined not to go to the sixth form college
in Moreton. He'll probably go to Newcastle, then when he gets his A-levels
he'll be off to some bigger city like London."
Up until then, every time I'd seen his amazing eyes they'd been twinkling
with humour, sparking with anger or otherwise full of life, but now for the
first time I saw the brightness dimmed a little by sadness. I had an
urge to reach out and grasp his hand and maybe even give him a quick kiss,
but I resisted. He took a sip of his drink and I remembered something
I'd been meaning to tell him.
"I had a nightmare on Saturday night," I said, "but it was different from
Then, in response to his questioning look, I went on to give him all the
details I could remember.
"That's horrible," he said when I finished, "Do you think that's what happened
"Maybe," I replied, "or maybe it was just an ordinary bad dream based on
what I learned about him."
"But it's weeks since I told you about him, and bad dreams don't usually
leave people physically sore the next day."
"I s'pose not."
"But you're okay now?" he asked with a concerned frown, "Fully recovered?"
"Still, with the nightmares and your best friend going home, it's no wonder
you're a bit glum."
Having said that, he placed his mug on the table, moved closer, put his arm
across my shoulders and gave me a gentle squeeze. At first I tensed
up, then I relaxed, leaned against him and rested my head on his shoulder.
"Anyway," I said without moving my head, "I have a favour to ask."
Then I told him about Dad's trip to the USA, his reluctance to leave me alone
in case I had more nightmares and his idea of asking Gran or Auntie Kath
to keep an eye on me.
"So," I concluded, "I wondered if maybe you could stay here and keep me company
while Dad was away?"
"Of course I will! I'd love to!" he said eagerly, "Anything to save
you from having to spend a week under the control of the Great Dictator...
but will your dad agree?"
"He said he'd think about it."
"You asked him already?"
"Well, yes, sorry," I said guiltily, "I know I should have asked you first
but he took me by surprise and I was desperate."
"Yeah, I understand," he said sympathetically.
"What about your mum and dad?" I asked, "will they be okay with it?"
"I'm pretty sure Mum will and that she'll probably be able to persuade Dad.
After all, I'll only be a couple of minutes walk away if they want to check
up on me."
There was a brief comfortable silence, then a thought occurred to me.
At first, because it was something I regarded as being very private and personal,
I was going to keep it to myself, but then I reconsidered. Maybe Tom
could find a clue to what was going on, and if I couldn't trust him then
I couldn't trust anyone.
"I just realised that I may have something else in common with Edward," I
said, lifting my head from his shoulder so that I could look at him, "Ya
know I told you that in the dream he wouldn't cry, no matter how much he
hurt? Well, I can't cry..."
"You can't cry?" he interrupted, disbelievingly.
"No... well, obviously some things, physical things like pain, a cold wind
and stuff can bring tears to my eyes But not emotional things, no matter
how sad I am."
"Not even when your mum died?" he asked incredulously.
"Oh yes, I cried a lot then, almost non-stop for months, but not since then...
maybe I just used up all my lifetime supply."
"Or maybe," he said pensively, "compared with losing your mum nothing else
has been important enough to cry about."
Unable and perhaps unwilling to pursue that suggestion, I switched topics
"At least you've not had any of your nightmares when I had the last two,
so they don't seem to be linked. At least not any more... have you
had any nightmares at all?"
"No, not even any ordinary bad dreams, at least none that I could remember
when I woke up. Not since that time you had the sore throat."
"That's good," I said, then half jokingly I added, "Now if only we could
work out what stopped your nightmares, maybe we can stop mine."
Then it occurred to me that maybe my little quip was an idea worth pursuing
"Can you think of anything in your life that's changed since your last nightmare?"
"No," he said after a few seconds thought, "Maybe lots of little things,
but I can't remember anything special..."
"I think that you'd remember something that was important enough to stop
the nightmares," I said, a little disappointed.
"Maybe they haven't really stopped," he suggested, "maybe it's just a long
gap between nightmares."
Something about his tone of voice and the slight tension in his body made
me feel that maybe he was holding something back. If there was a way
to stop my nightmares I desperately wanted to find it, so like a predator
who catches scent of his prey, I couldn't resist pursuing the matter.
However, in retrospect perhaps it would have been wiser to have restrained
"Still," I said, "it seems to me that since I arrived at Prospect House you
had nightmares on all the same nights as me except for the last two times.
Surely it can't be coincidence. Surely something must have changed.
Can't you think of anything? If there's anything at all, please tell
I gazed pleadingly into his eyes and, unusually for Tom, he looked away.
Then, blushing, he removed his arm from my shoulders.
"I don't know," he said unhappily.
For a moment I thought he was about to stand up and flee, so I reached out
and put my hand on his arm.
"Hey," I said soothingly, "don't worry about it. I'm sure that you'll
tell me if you think of something later."
He still looked unhappy and his eyes were still fixed on the table top, but
at least now he didn't seem to be on the point of running away. While
I was trying to think of another topic of conversation that might alleviate
the uncomfortable atmosphere, he raised his eyes and took a deep breath.
"There's only one thing I can think of," he said nervously, "It's important,
at least to me, but it may not be related to the nightmares... but maybe
His voice trailed off and I had the impression that he was uncertain how
or even if to continue. I just sat quietly and patiently, hoping he
would go on and wondering what it was that appeared to be so hard for him
to talk about.
"The thing is," he continued, looking back down at the table top, "Since
my last nightmare I realised something... I realised that I loved you...
That I'm in love with you."
There I sat, absorbing the fact that a gorgeous, intelligent, caring, interesting
young man had declared his love for me. I'm not sure what an average
person would feel or what appropriate response they would give, but my first
emotion was fear, followed swiftly by confusion. Clearly, the ideal
response would be to say I felt the same about him, but I wasn't sure if
I even wanted to be in love.
Admitting to myself that I loved someone would be hard enough, but saying
the words out loud would be much more difficult. It would imply taking
on commitments and responsibilities that I wasn't ready for. It would
risk people finding out I was gay and maybe treating me like Chris.
I couldn't give Tom the response he obviously desired but on the other hand
I couldn't hurt him by saying something trite or stupid. However, I
had to give him some response and I couldn't delay much longer.
"In that case," I said, taking hold of his shoulders and pulling him toward
me, "give me a kiss."
Before he could say anything I placed my mouth over his and let my lips and
tongue communicate directly with his, hoping that he would receive and understand
the message I could not transmit in words. Fortunately, he accepted
my gesture and eagerly returned my kiss, which rapidly evolved into an enthusiastic
When I went to bed that night I was a little fearful that if the nightmare
involving being beaten was related to my first ever snog, then perhaps there
would be another similar experience. It took a long time for me to
fall asleep, but when I eventually did the dream I had was very different
from the one I'd feared and in fact was the very opposite of a nightmare.
Unfortunately, when I woke up I could remember very little about it.
I do remember that in the dream I was with my mum and that I felt loved,
safe and secure. There is no memory of what, if anything, we said and
did but I do remember I was very, very happy. In fact, I was so happy
that tears of joy were streaming down my cheeks, and when I woke up, still
in the middle of the night, my pillow was wet with those tears. Immediately
I recalled the dream and wanted to return to it, but of course, I couldn't,
and then I felt such a deep sorrow at the loss of that happiness that I cried.
It was only after that sorrow had abated a little that the realisation struck
me - I was crying for the first time in almost nine years.
Christmas came and went, and during the remainder of the holiday period there
were no more memorable dreams or nightmares. Gran and Auntie Kath returned
home to Scotland for the New Year celebrations, and Dad was just as relieved
as I was when we drove them to the railway station. Having had to entertain
visitors for more than a week it was good to get the house back to ourselves
and even better that I could return to my own bed.
Because of the Christmas festivities, family commitments and visitors, I
hadn't seen much of Tom since the day that he'd said he loved me, and even
when we had managed to get together we had very little privacy. During
that time I waged a successful campaign to persuade Dad to let Tom keep me
company while he was away in the USA. As Tom had predicted, his mum
was happy with the idea and she managed to convince her husband to agree.
Brian, according to Tom, wasn't so happy about the arrangement but he didn't
say anything directly to me.
For the first week after the holidays life went on as it had before Christmas,
with Tom coming to my house after school three times, ostensibly to do homework
but really just to have some private time together. We had another
snogging session which included what I believe could be described as 'petting',
but there was no further mention of love. I suspected that Tom was
content to leave such things until Dad went on his trip, which he did on
the Sunday preceding our second week back at school.
As had been agreed by our parents, Tom joined Dad and me for a light Sunday
lunch, during which Dad lectured us both about behaving ourselves, not burning
the house down, and suchlike. Then immediately after lunch Dad set
off to the airport, leaving us to our own devices, but we were alone for
less than two hours before Mrs Crawford arrived 'to make sure Tom was settling
in'. Intriguingly, although she had her own key to the house, she rang
the doorbell and waited for us to let her in.
Mrs Crawford stayed just long enough for us all to have some tea and cake
before she left us alone again, whereupon Tom and I snuggled together on
the sofa and watched one of the DVDs I'd got for Christmas. Although
we'd both been looking forward to this time together, there was a slight
tension between us. For me, I think the tension was a result of a combination
of anticipation and nervousness about any developments in our sexual interactions.
I was also anxious and uncertain about how I would respond if he repeated
his declaration of love.
As things turned out, nothing much happened of a sexual nature, and although
we kissed briefly a couple of times it didn't progress to real snogging.
When we'd had enough of watching DVDs we decided to go to bed relatively
early as we had to be up early for school the next day. It was important
to both of us to be on time and so prove to our parents that we could be
trusted without adult supervision. Having made sure that Tom had everything
he needed and was comfortable in the bedroom next to mine, I went to bed.
Unusually for me, almost as soon as my head touched the pillow, I fell asleep.
Well, perhaps falling asleep isn't the most accurate way to describe it.
Certainly I wasn't fully awake and neither was it my normal sleep, but instead
it was a sort of drifting somewhere between those states. There were
no dreams but I had a series of my 'mini-visions', all apparently unrelated.
This was the first time I'd experienced them since moving into Prospect House.
In my semi-detached state of mind there was no accurate sense of time, so
I don't know how long it was before a tapping sound began to intrude into
my mini-visions. At first it was just a background noise but the volume
gradually built up until it drove out everything else and there was just
the tapping and absolute darkness. I knew I was on my bed but I couldn't
move and I couldn't tell if I was dreaming or not because the experience
seemed so real.
Strangely, at that point I wasn't afraid or even curious, but instead there
was just a detached indifference. Then the tapping stopped and I felt
the deep sadness and loss that had been a feature of previous nightmares,
and that's when I began to feel an apprehension that quickly grew to become
fear. As a weight began to crush my chest that fear escalated, and
it became sheer terror when something wrapped around my throat and began
to choke me.
A bright light dazzled me and I thought I heard a voice, but the throbbing
in my ears prevented me from identifying any words. I was still being
choked and now in addition something was hurting my thumbs.
"Mark!" a voice pierced the buzzing throb, "Mark, let go! You'll hurt
My eyes began to focus, the throbbing in my ears faded and I noticed that
my breathing became easier but the pain in my thumbs increased.
"Mark! Wake up!"
It was Tom's voice, but pitched higher than usual in a tone of barely
controlling panic, and as my eyes began to function properly I saw his face
bending over me. Then I realised that he was the one bending back my
thumbs and that my hands were gripping my own throat. Suddenly, I went
limp, and as I ceased resisting him, Tom almost fell backwards.
"You were trying to choke yourself," he said, his voice breaking up and tears
in his eyes, "Was it another nightmare?"
Although I could now breathe freely, my answer came out as a croaking sound,
so I just nodded my head. I was still having problems focusing my eyes,
but my vision was good enough to see an expression of relief on his face.
Now that I was no longer choking, my terror was evaporating, to be replaced
by a deep weariness. Tom asked me a couple of questions but my mind
was too tired to grasp them, and seconds later I was overwhelmed by an irresistible
wave of sleep.
When I slowly returned to consciousness it was dark and I was still tired.
I was lying on my back and, noticing a weight on my chest, became afraid
that the nightmare was returning. However, this weight was more localised
and less heavy than in my nightmares and I had no trouble breathing.
Relieved to find that I was able to move, I cautiously lifted my hand to
investigate and found a naked arm draped across my chest.
At first there was a brief stab of fear before I realised that the arm must
belong to Tom. There was an extra warmth along the right side of my
body and a gentle, regular touch of warm air on the right side of my neck.
By this time I was fully awake and alert, so although it was too dark to
see more than vague shapes I guessed from his stillness and regular breathing
that he was asleep.
Then I noticed something gently pulsing on my thigh and realised with a delicious
shock that it must be Tom's dick. At that point I became aware of my
own stiff dick resting on my stomach and realised that for the first time
in my life, certainly since my earliest memories, I was naked in bed with
another person. I tried to remember if Tom had been wearing anything
when he'd interrupted my nightmare, but the memory was very vague.
I seemed to recall that from the waist up he was naked, but I didn't remember
seeing the lower half of his body.
Tentatively, I moved my arm down until the side of my hand just touched his
body at about waist level, and there I found a boundary between skin and
cloth. Clearly he was wearing something, and yet the pulsing on my
thigh felt like direct skin to skin contact. Gently and slowly I moved
my right hand further down what felt like boxer shorts and found that his
dick was protruding from the fly.
For several seconds, perhaps even a couple of minutes, I froze with the tips
of my fingers just touching the shaft of his dick. Tom was the only
person I'd ever touched so intimately, and that was just a couple of times
during snogging sessions. On those occasions we had stroked one
another, but we were fully clothed so that the touching was through layers
of cloth. This was the first time I had skin to skin contact with another
person's dick and I was so excited that I was breathless and trembling.
I remained frozen, afraid of waking him, trying to suppress the shaking of
my body, and trying to decide what to do next. I desperately wanted
to explore and the urge to grasp his shaft was almost overwhelming.
However, I was afraid of how he might react if he woke to find me molesting
him, and even if he didn't wake, maybe it would be wrong of me to take advantage
of him while he was asleep.
Eventually, my desire and curiosity overcame my concerns about consequences
and ethics, and I convinced myself that if I was very gentle he wouldn't
wake and even if he did then he wouldn't be too annoyed. Slowly and
softly I wrapped my fingers around his shaft, then gradually allowed them
to explore up and down the silky hardness. Knowing the feel of my own
dick so well, I could tell just by touch that he was maybe an inch longer
than my six inches, but that we were about the same thickness.
With my left hand I began to manipulate my own cock which by now was leaking
onto my stomach and was aching for attention. As his breathing was
still regular and he lay absolutely still, I grew more bold and explored
further, down to his scrotum. Even though my fingertip caress of his
soft skin was extremely gentle, I could still discern the weight of his testicles
as they rested on his inner thigh. Then, brushing along the shaft,
my hand moved up to his foreskin, out of which the head of his dick just
At this point I squeezed my dick, but without my intention this action was
mirrored by my other hand. I heard a quiet moan and froze, though I
wasn't sure if the sound came from me or from Tom. Holding myself immobile,
I held my breath, wondering what to do and concerned that any movement, even
just removing my hand from him, might wake him.
"Don't stop," he whispered.
Though his words were barely audible, I was in such a nervous state that
they made my whole body jerk. However, I kept my fingers wrapped around
the head of his dick.
"I'm sorry," I whispered hoarsely.
I wasn't sure how to answer him. Although I felt genuine regret, I'm
not sure what exactly I regretted. Perhaps I should have been apologising
for betraying his trust by molesting him in his sleep and touching
him so intimately without permission.
"Anyway," he continued when I didn't respond, "Don't stop. It's nice."
As he clearly wasn't annoyed with me taking advantage of him in his sleep
and as he had now given me permission, I continued stroking, this time more
firmly, pulling the foreskin back and forth over the head of his dick.
After a few seconds of this he spoke again.
"Just a sec," he said, prising my fingers from his shaft.
Disappointed, I wondered if he didn't like the way I'd been wanking him.
He turned on his back, threw back the duvet, raised his hips, and removed
his boxers. Then he moved as close to me he could, so we were touching
almost completely from shoulders to ankles.
"That's better," he said, taking my hand and placing it on his dick, "You
can carry on now."
"Was I doing it okay?" I asked as I returned to my task.
"Wonderfully," he replied and sighed.
As I continued what was a combination of wanking him and exploring his cock
and balls, he reached over, pushed my hand away from my own dick, and began
doing to me what I was doing to him. It didn't take long before the
heads of both our dicks were slick with pre-cum, and I noticed that I produced
more than he did. Not long after that I moaned and sprayed several
shots of cum, the first two of which reached as far as my chin and cheek.
"Aahh!," I said as he continued manipulating my cock, "Stop. Please, stop!"
He instantly obeyed my request and gave a little laugh.
"What's so funny?" I asked.
"It seems you're just like me," he said, "As soon as I've cum it gets very
"Yeah," I agreed.
While I lay there, relaxing in the afterglow of my orgasm, Tom sat up and
started gently wiping the cum off me with his boxers. When he'd cleaned
everything but my cock, he dropped the boxers on my crotch.
"As your dick's so sensitive," he said playfully, "I'd better let you
do it yourself."
I began gently wiping myself but got distracted from my task when he leaned
over and kissed me deeply. As he did this I felt his rock-hard dick
prodding my hip and remembered that he still hadn't cum, so I gently broke
off our kissing.
"Your turn," I said.
"I was hoping you'd say that!" he replied happily.
As he lay on his back, I sat up and this time my right hand explored his
body from shoulders to thighs while I slowly wanked him with my left hand.
As I'm right-handed, this meant that the stimulation of his cock wasn't quite
so co-ordinated, but that was my intention. For both our sakes, I wanted
this, our first real sexual experience together, to last as long as possible.
He might have been getting the physical pleasure, but I was enjoying the
freedom to touch him so intimately. My former fears and concerns were
evaporated by the reality of what I was doing. I basked in this sharing
of ourselves and I relished the trust he showed in letting me have such access
to his most private places. Although I was wanking him and no one was
touching my cock, I believe that at that moment my mental pleasure matched
his physical pleasure.
After a couple of minutes playing with his nipples, which made him moan softly,
I switched hands on his cock so that my left hand played with his ball-sac
while my right hand pulled his foreskin up and down. Then, surprising
myself with my adventurousness, I propped myself up with my left hand between
his thighs and began to lick up and down his dick. He moaned again
and I felt his muscles tense when I pulled back the foreskin and ran my tongue
over and around the head.
The slightly salty taste wasn't at all unpleasant so I put the whole head
of his cock headin my mouth and massaged it with my tongue. Squeezing
the shaft with my lips I took as much as I could, about half of its length,
into my mouth, then slowly moved my head up and down. Tom rubbed his
fingers through my hair and began to writhe.
"Mark," he groaned, "let me cum. Please let me cum."
I toyed with the idea of letting him cum in my mouth, but I think that my
quota of adventurousness had been used up for the day. While continuing
to manipulate his dick, I lay down on my side next to him and started kissing
him. Then I started wanking him in earnest while our tongues played
together. Within a couple of minutes his body tensed, he moaned into
my mouth and immediately I felt his cock swell and throb.
The side of my face and my chest was sprayed with hot cum and, remembering
what he'd said about sensitivity, after the last spurt I stopped my manipulations,
allowing my hand to rest lightly on his cock. We stopped kissing so
that he could regain his breath, and I rested the side of my head on his
chest. Unfortunately, I hadn't considered the large pool of cum that
was already there. However, after the initial shock of wetness it wasn't
too unpleasant, so rather than disturb him, I kept my head were it was.
After a few minutes, though, my position became uncomfortable, so I retrieved
his boxers, intending to wipe the cum off us both. However, the material
was already so sodden that they were useless for that purpose, so I threw
them onto the floor and grabbed a handful of my bedside tissues to do the
job. As I carried out the clean-up operations I was amazed at how much
cum Tom had produced.
"Do you usually produce so much?" I asked him as I reached for more tissues.
"Never quite so much," he said and laughed tiredly, "But then I've never
had such a great orgasm before... I thought I'd gone to heaven."
Feeling proud that I'd been able to give him such pleasure, I kissed him
softly and briefly on the lips, then finished my wipe-up task..
"I don't know about you," I said, pulling the duvet back over us and lying
down next to him, "but I'm knackered."
"Me too," he said, snuggling up to me and resting his head on my shoulder.
Within seconds, I was in a deep and dreamless sleep.
When I was awakened by the beeping of the alarm clock I was still very tired
and felt as if I'd just fallen asleep. It took me so long to wake up
that Tom had to lean over me to switch off the annoying noise, and still
I didn't move. This was not only because I was so tired but also because
I hate getting up in the dark, and at that time of year it wouldn't be light
for another hour or so. As if reading my thoughts, Tom switched on
the bedside light, dazzling me.
"You stink," he said amiably.
At first I was offended, then I sniffed and realised that we both stank of
cum and sweat.
"So do you," I responded gruffly.
"Yeah, but it's all your fault," he retorted with a grin, "Cos you started
"Well, I wouldn't have if you hadn't been in my bed," I pointed out, feeling
that I'd scored the winning point.
"But I wouldn't have been in your bed if you hadn't woken me up with your
Given more time I was sure that I could find holes in his argument and certainly
there was a lot to discuss on that topic, but instead I pointed at the clock.
"Better hurry up or we'll miss the school bus," I said grumpily, throwing
back the duvet.
As we were getting out of bed I couldn't help staring at his beautiful body
and wondering how I could have been so lucky. Meanwhile, he looked
at me and frowned.
"You look awful," he said.
"Thanks," I said, using sarcasm to try to hide my hurt feelings, "But we
can't all be gorgeous like you."
"No!," he said hastily, "I didn't mean it like that. Normally, you
look... well, really nice, but at the moment your eyes look awful and you've
got bruises on your neck."
"Oh," I said, somewhat placated.
To save time Tom used Dad's shower while I used mine, with the agreement
that whoever got down to the kitchen first should put the kettle on.
When I got to my bathroom I immediately looked in the mirror and saw that
Tom was right. My eyes looked sunken and were surrounded by dark rings
and on my throat there were red marks that were beginning to turn blue.
After my shower my eyes didn't seem quite so bad and I decided that if I
wore a shirt with a collar it would hide most of the marks on my neck.
On returning to my room and getting dressed I sprayed air freshener around,
then took the covers off the bed and took them downstairs with me.
As I passed by the kitchen door on my way to the utility room I saw Tom rinsing
out the tea pot.
"It's a good job Dad and I do our own laundry," I called out to him, "At
least your mum won't be suspicious of me putting these in the washing machine
before I go to school."
"I don't think she would be too surprised," he responded quietly and somewhat
Had we not been in such a hurry I might have asked him to explain the remark,
and indeed there were several other things I wanted to discuss with him.
However, we were short of time and I didn't want to risk missing the bus,
so I just rushed on to the utility room.
Tom and I didn't get a chance to talk privately until we got home from school,
and even then I waited until we'd had time to relax and unwind before I brought
up any of the topics that had been on my mind for most of the day.
For his part, Tom seemed to sense my mood and appeared content to just chat
casually and wait for me to initiate any heavier conversation. Thus
we'd been home for almost two hours and had just finished a ten minute snog
on the sofa before I felt ready to discuss the previous night.
"What made you come to my room last night?" I asked, "Did you know I was
having a nightmare?"
"I didn't know for sure about the nightmare until I saw you trying to strangle
yourself," he said, " but I did begin to think something might be happening
when I heard the tapping..."
"You really heard it?" I interrupted, happy that it no longer appeared to
be a figment of my imagination.
"Well, I'm pretty sure I heard the sort of tapping you'd told me about, but
I was just dropping off to sleep so I can't be totally sure."
"Oh," I said, a little disappointed, "so that's not why you came to my room,
"No, that's just what stopped me falling asleep. Then I heard banging
on the wall and I thought I heard you calling for me, but..."
He paused and frowning, but just as I was about to urge him on, he continued.
"But you were calling out 'Tommy' not 'Tom' and your voice sounded odd...
sort of distorted... Anyway, I thought there was something wrong so
I went to your room, banged on the door and called your name. Then
when you didn't answer I went in, turned on the light and saw you choking
yourself... that really, really scared me!"
From his eyes and the tone of his voice as spoke the last few words, it seemed
he was still scared, so I put my arm round his shoulders and gave a little
"Yes," I said soothingly, "but thanks to you everything's okay now, isn't
To be honest, I wasn't particularly confident that everything would be okay,
but he looked so distressed that I had to say something to try to make him
feel better. However, he didn't appear to be reassured.
"Is it?" he said, still concerned, "Suppose it happens again? What
if I'm not here?"
"I don't think we should be too worried about it," I said, trying to hide
my own concern, "After all, it's impossible to strangle yourself cos as soon
as you lose consciousness your hands would relax."
He didn't seem to be convinced by my argument and continued to look worried.
"We have to find a way to stop your nightmares."
"I can't argue with that," I said with a wry smile, "But how?"
"Mine seem to have stopped..." he paused, unable to answer my question, then
continued, "I don't know how, but we have to."
By nine o'clock that night I was so tired that I decided to go to bed early.
Tom didn't appear to be as sleepy as I was but when I told him I was going
to get ready for bed he said he'd do the same. Although I pointed out
to Tom that he was welcome to stay up as long as he wanted, he nevertheless
accompanied me upstairs. After finishing in the bathroom I put on my
dressing gown and was just leaving my room on my way to say goodnight to
Tom when I almost bumped into him . He was wearing just boxer shorts
and I couldn't help pausing to admire his body.
"Great minds think alike," I said.
"What?" he asked with a puzzled frown.
"I was just coming to say goodnight," I explained, "and I guess you were
doing the same."
For a moment his expression made me think of a puppy that had just been put
out in the yard, then his face took on a more resolute appearance.
"Actually, I was coming to sleep with you," he said.
Because I'd been tired since I woke up, my brain hadn't been functioning
well all day, and I'd not thought about how the previous night's events might
affect future sleeping arrangements. Even if I had thought about it,
I would probably have assumed that sleeping together the previous night had
just been a one-off occurrence resulting from my nightmare.
"Oh," I said uncertainly, "I'm very tired..."
My voice trailed of because although I was indeed tired and probably too
fatigued to mess around, the sight of his half-naked body made me wonder
if I might perhaps be able to find a small reserve of energy. As often
happened, Tom seemed to read my mind.
"I wasn't thinking of that," he said, then with a smile he added,"Well, not
much anyway. Mostly I was worried what might happen if you were alone
and had a nightmare."
"I'm sure I'll be okay," I said, feeling embarrassed and a little disappointed.
"Look," he said determinedly, "I can see you're tired and I promise I won't
molest you, but I really would sleep better knowing I was there for you if
you need me."
Although I hadn't considered our sleeping arrangements earlier, I now gave
it some thought. Some people might wonder why on earth I might need
time to think about sharing a bed with a gorgeous young man. However,
until the previous night I'd not slept with anyone since I was a small child
and my night with Tom had been under unusual circumstances. After a
several seconds, during which he waited patiently, I decided that although
I might be uncomfortable with anyone else, I could relax and sleep with Tom
in my bed.
"Okay," I said, nodding my agreement, "Thanks."
Tom got into bed first and, bearing in mind the intimacies I'd shared with
him less than twenty four hours earlier, it may seem strange that I felt
rather self-conscious taking off my dressing gown and getting into bed with
him. Perhaps that was partly because he was still wearing his boxers
and I was naked. When I joined him under the duvet he gave me a chaste
kiss and then I turned off the light and curled up on my side with my back
As soon as I stopped moving, he wriggled closer to me and cuddled up against
my back with his left arm hugging my chest. He gave a contented sigh
and I had the impression that if he were a cat then he'd be purring.
Although I was certainly very tired, his closeness, the feeling of his body
against mine and the light touch of his breath on my neck prevented me from
falling asleep immediately. However, I was feeling very comfortable
and relaxed so I didn't complain. For some minutes I drifted in a state
of half-sleep then Tom whispered something so softly that I could just make
out his words which, I found out later, he hadn't expected me to hear because
he thought I was asleep.
"I love you, Mark," he said.
Just a couple of days before I'd been dreading those words and had been worried
about how I'd respond. However, a lot had happened in those two days
and as I lay there with him I felt so safe and relaxed that I whispered my
reply without thinking.
"I love you, too."
Surprised that I was awake and had heard him, he gave a slight start and
hugged me a little tighter. Then he planted a few kisses on the back
of my neck, sending shivers down my spine. I too was surprised, mainly
by the ease with which those words had escaped my lips, but I realised that
they were undoubtedly true. Of course, my previous concerns hadn't
totally disappeared, but compared to the basic truth of my feelings they
didn't seem so important any more.
Basking in the glow of my emotions, I didn't become aware of the tiny background
sound until I felt Tom's body tense.
"Do you hear that?" he whispered.
My only response was a low moan of dread as the tapping from the window grew
a little louder.
"Don't worry," he said, hugging me more tightly, "You're not asleep so you
can't have a nightmare."
We lay there huddled like frightened children for a few minutes as the tapping
became louder and more insistent, then a sudden change washed over me and
for no apparent reason my dread was replaced by an overwhelming eroticism.
A similar transformation must have taken place in Tom because I felt him
start humping against me with his erection pushing along my buttocks and
into the small of my back.
I turned to face him and our lips met in a passionate kiss while our dicks
pushed against one another. The tapping was no longer threatening but
had become a throbbing pulse encouraging and magnifying our sexual desires.
Yet, despite the strength of my erotic feelings and the intensity of my physical
pleasure, a part of me was set aside, not a participant but a spectator watching
from the sidelines.
Between us, Tom and I wrestled off his boxers, threw off the duvet
and began groping one another as we rolled around in a frenzy of lust.
Then, as suddenly as switching on a light, the sexual lust was paradoxically
both calmed and augmented by an overpowering love, and at the same time the
tapping became slower and quieter.
He rolled me onto my back and lay on top of me, twirling his tongue around
mine and grinding his dick against my thigh. Then he raised himself
up, supporting himself with a hand on either side of my chest and began rubbing
his dick against mine in long slow strokes. His pace and the speed
of the tapping increased together, but if it was a case of cause and effect
I couldn't tell which led the other.
Our dicks and stomachs were slippery with sweat and large amounts of pre-cum
but amazingly he still managed to maintain contact between our dicks throughout
most of the range of his movement. Even in the darkness I could see
and almost feel his bright eyes burning down at me. As the speed and
pressure of his thrusts increased, the stimulation was pushing me nearer
to orgasm and from his breathing and the tension in his body I could tell
that he too was close.
By this time the throbbing of my pulse, Tom's thrusts and the tapping seemed
to have fused together so that they were all part of a single sensory experience.
Then I felt the first jet of his cum spray onto my dick and this triggered
my own orgasm so that my stomach and chest were flooded with our combined
emissions. As my orgasm peaked it was accompanied by a jolt of dislocation
and disorientation, as if the room and everything in it had suddenly tilted.
Tom fell on top of me with a squelch, displacing yet more of our cum onto
the bed sheet. Oddly, despite his body pressing down on me, I felt
much lighter, as if a weight had been lifted not just from me but from the
room as well. This sense of euphoria gradually faded to a feeling of
general happiness and then I began to feel uncomfortable with Tom's weight
and the sticky wetness between our bodies.
"Tom," I whispered into his ear, "Tom, are you okay?"
He mumbled something into my shoulder but apart from his breathing he remained
motionless, so I decided to make the first move.
"We should get cleaned up now," I said, rolling to extricate myself from
"What?" he said, sounding dazed.
"We need to clean up," I repeated.
Apparently recovering from his stupor, he rolled onto his back.
"Sorry," he said.
Though I was tired, I was still happy and couldn't think of anything he should
"Why?" I asked light-heartedly, "Half the mess is mine... well, maybe not
"I'm sorry I did stuff when I promised not to," he replied seriously, obviously
not picking up my little witticism.
"It takes two to tango!" I joked.
As I reached out to grab a handful of tissues, a less frivolous thought occurred
"Anyway," I said as I wiped my torso, "I'm not sure that it was you... or
"What?" he said, clearly still a little dazed.
Instead of answering immediately I switched on the bedside light, grabbed
another handful of tissues and attempted to clean him, but by that time most
of the cum had dried.
"Aaaaahh! That tickles!" he yelped and wriggled, indicating a return to his
usual lively self.
"You're going to have to have a shower to wash that off," I commented.
"Yeah, I know..." he said running his fingers down his chest, "But what did
you mean about it not being me?"
Before taking the risk of looking foolish by answering immediately, I decided
to get more information. However, as I was beginning to feel chilled,
I first got the duvet and pulled it over us.
"Tell me," I said, "when you had your orgasm, did you experience anything
"Erm, yeah... the tapping and then a loud bang and that flash of light...
but you did too, didn't you?"
"I heard the tapping, but no bang and no light."
"Oh!" he said, as if he'd had a revelation, "Bang and light... I s'pose it
was a bit like my nightmares... but in the nightmares the noise and light
were terrible, but just now they were quite... well, not unpleasant, anyway."
Then I told him about me feeling like a spectator and how the room had seemed
"So I think maybe what happened tonight wasn't us," I added, "I think it
might have been Edward and Tommy."
An expression of horror spread over his face, then he shook his head.
"No!" he said firmly, "I don't believe it! And I certainly wasn't possessed."
"I don't think we were possessed either," I said, reaching out and squeezing
his shoulder, "I think maybe they just prodded us and then went along for
"Like we're horses?" he said doubtfully.
"Yeah, a bit like that," I said and laughed at the mental image of two horses,
one with my head and one with Tom's.
"It's not funny," he said unhappily, "If that's what really happened it's
spooky... not as horrible as possession, but still not nice, especially if
it happens again... I can't see why you seem so happy about it."
"I'm not happy that it happened," I said after a brief pause for thought,
"I'm happy because I have a strong feeling it won't happen again."
"A feeling," he said, "so you're not sure?"
"Not absolutely sure yet," I said, "We'll just have to wait and see."
He was clearly still unconvinced and not very happy, so I decided it was
time to divert his thoughts.
"Anyway," I continued, "it's late and I'm knackered. We need to shower
and then get some sleep."
In the six months or so since that incident neither of us has had any nightmares
and there has been no more of the tapping. Of course there have been
many erotic experiences as we became more sexually adventurous, but all of
those were of the usual sort, driven by our own desires and totally unrelated
to any possible external influence.
That week and many times afterward we discussed our experiences, but never
reached any firm conclusions. We debated several hypotheses, even including
the possibility that my mental state or some emotional problems had caused
my nightmares, but we couldn't see how that could also explain Tom's nightmares
or the experiences he'd shared with me.
Eventually, we agreed that two of the possibilities were more plausible than
any others we could think of. First, maybe there were restless spirits
somehow placated and laid to rest by our actions and second, perhaps there
was an imprint of old unhappiness in that room, and our happiness wiped it
clean. Of the two, Tom favoured the former and I preferred the latter.
However, we both agreed that the real explanation didn't matter as long as
the nightmares stayed away and no weirdness interfered with our future lovemaking.
Sometimes our discussions became quite philosophical and occasionally they
were humorous, but one in particular sticks in my mind. This took place
while we were in bed together just a couple of days before Dad returned from
his trip to the USA.
"I can't believe it's all just coincidence," Tom mused as we snuggled together.
"Coincidences do happen," I pointed out.
"But not so many all at once. Just think about it... At the same time
I'm living here and looking like Tommy you move up here, choose this house
and even this room, and it turns out you could somehow pick up vibes from
Edward. You even have the same birthday as he did. Besides all
that you're gay, I'm gay and we fall in love. That's a lot of coincidences!"
"Maybe," I conceded reluctantly after a long pause for thought, "But I prefer
that to the alternative."
"That it was all somehow predetermined or imposed on us. I like to
believe I have some free will and control of my own destiny."
"Perhaps for a short while things were meant to happen how they did," he
said pensively, "but now we're back in control. And anyway, I've got
you, so I think things turned out very well..."
He paused to squeeze me gently in his arms and kiss my forehead, then continued.
"And if you had been in total control, how would you have arranged things
I couldn't answer his question then and I still can't answer it now.
What I do know, though, is that Tommy and Edward were in the past, but the
present belongs to Tom and me. As for the future, I have no idea, but
then who does?