This is a work of gay fiction and will contain some sex. If you are offended by such material or if you are not allowed access to it under the laws where you live, please exit now. This work is copyrighted by the author and may not be copied or distributed in any form without the written permission of the author, who may be contacted at:

I will also apologise for the fact that I seem to go from what I think they call the 3rd and the 1st person when writing, I hope this does not cause to much confusion.

Part 5 and things have altered in the first few lines so please do read from here.

Sorry for the spelling mistakes but I don't think my spell checker is up to much.

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Can I thank everyone who has commented, I have even started to reply to some of you ... THANKS, it nice to know that you like the story.

I made a mistake earlier when describing Zachire the layout in fact goes from the rear doors down 3 steps to 2 single beds one each side of the gangway, freezer and washing machine under one bed, cupboards under the other. Next the gangway moves to the left side and on the right is the shower, wash basin and toilet. Next comes the double bed room with various cupboards, draws and shelves. There are sliding doors that separate these 3 rooms if needed. Next is the kinchin then the dining area and last of all is the living room. Couch, TV, cupboards shelves etc and then double doors that open out onto the front area.

Love of and on the Canal

Part 5

I think Scruffy gave it away, we were early and just coming into the bank to moor when I heard a shriek from the bridge ahead of us. Scruffy was straight off the roof and onto the tow path Zac was behind him, James was not to far behind them and I could see this kid, it had to be Dan running off the bridge towards us. Scruffy was nearly crushed inbtween the two boys as the two meet, I saw James lift his brother, who was not much smaller than himself in to a hug then his ribs must have hurt because he nearly fell. I had just finished with the mooring rope when I saw James stagger his brother looked horrified. I was by his side and helping him to stand again, I could see the pain on James face.

'Dan meet Chas, Chas meet Dan' he said through gritted teeth. I put my arm round him and headed back to Zachire.

'Hi Dan' I turned and offered my hand which he shook 'you want to join us' I asked. I saw him glance over his shoulder and up at another boy on the bridge, 'you want to invite him as well' I finished.

Dan waved at the boy. I got James below and seated, Scruffy was at his feet and I got some cokes out of the fridge. Well James said his apologies and the two brother shed a couple of tears.

'I love you, why didn't you tell me' Dan asked James. 'after you left you didn't even phone'

'I am so, so sorry .... but I just didn't know' James shook his head and took a deep breath, 'I didn't know how you would feel about having a gay brother' He hugged Dan for a minute or two.
Dan looked at the door where his mate sat on the step just holding his can of coke. Dan then gestured for the boy to come closer, he got up and came and knelt in front of Dan and took the offered hand. The kid looked scared, lonely and all most lost.

'Peter this is my brother James, James this is my boyfriend Peter' With that he gentle kissed the hand he was holding.

I made dinner at about six and we talked for sometime about anything and everything, Dan wanted to stay and run away with his brother, I put my adult head on and said no and also explained that James was not running away but he was in my care which brought a serious note to the proceedings.

Dan agreed in the end and then Peter said that they had to go as they was under orders to be home by 8, it seems they had been playing truant from school and his parents had put them on a curfew. I looked at them, Peter looked a little scared, I raised my eyebrows asking the question, he knew he was trapped, he had said they were under curfew.

'I'm sorry Dan' then he looked at me 'Dan's dad threw him out, he is staying with us'

It seems that Dan had rowed with his dad about James then to cap it all he had admitted to being gay as well. His dad had thrown him out and he had gone straight to Peters house and he had be staying there for the last two weeks. Brian, Peters dad was the leader at the local youth club.

We locked Zachire up and walked with them through the park to the main entrance once more the dogs were out in front sniffing everything or chasing each other.

'Look how about you two coming down tomorrow and staying over night, we could take Zachire up to Hemel and back' I asked. They all agreed. 'I'll have to talk to your dad' I said looking at Peter. Well they left us and we walked back to the boat, I phoned Jim and updated him on events and gave him James surname and address and explained about Dan. If we took the boat up to Hemel he would come down for a visit but at the moment he was happy with things and he needed to talk to James parents before he did anything else. As soon as I hung up my phone went.

'Hello is that Charles'

'Hi and yes' I replied

'Oh great, I'm Brian ... Peters dad'

'Oh right the got home safe then'

'Yes and they are saying about going on a trip with you'

'Yeah just a couple of days and only after we have meet .... er do you know Jim in social services in Hemel' I asked.

'Dam yes' and after a pause 'you must be the Charles then'

'The Charles' I queried.
He went on to explained that him and Jim were old friends and he had often talked about me, I could feel my self blushing. Brian was a bit annoyed that he had not realised when they had talked a couple of days ago about me looking after James and the connection with Dan and his missing brother. I could here Peter in Dan in the back ground interrupting, asking if they could go.

'Are you sure you want to take them' he asked

'Yes, I think it would be good for James'

'Oh you don't want them, er ok thats all right I am sure I can keep them at home .... well yea as they have been missing school some extra work would do them good'
I smiled, I could imagine the face on the kids at the other end, I liked this guy. It had gone quite and then I heard a yell, he must have nodded at them.

James had just sat watching me all the time I was on the phone, I reached across and took hold of his hand and smiled at him. Dan and Peter were so excited, I could hear them in the back ground. We arranged that they would come down about 7.30, Brian laughed and mentioned that they were all ready packing and expected it to be an early 7.30. I then told him to make sure that the understood that they would have to turn there phones off for the weekend and no electronic games, I went to to tell him about the holidays I hoped to give other kids and I was going to use the weekend as a try out.

When I hung up I realised that I was still holding James hand and it felt so good, I looked up at him and he blushed making me do the same. His hand was so soft but firm and warm a lovely sort of warm.

'What holidays' he asked. I told him about the trips I had discussed with Jim he thought it was a great.

Now don't ask me why but I could not stop holding his hand and looking at him, I think I was falling in love. Then to my surprise he lent across the table and kissed me gentle but quickly on the lips. It was like nothing that I had ever experienced so fast so delicate so out of this world. He blushed and I could feel myself doing the same.

'We have a busy day tomorrow I think we need to get some sleep' I said

'Yeah my brother will be here early' he gave a small laugh 'even if he has to walk' We both stood and looked at each other again and this time I moved in and kissed him, it was longer, softer and and well it was fantastic. His cuddled me and I could feel my cock come to life and then I could feel his as well and soon we were both naked and on my bed exploring each other.

We showered together in the morning it was just a little after 6.30 when I headed out for a run with the dogs, J as I had started to call him, James was to long, was getting breakfast ready and was changing the bedding, we mad left a bit of a mess during the night and as his ribs were still hurting a bit he did not want to join me. I needed to run it had been a long time without any serious exercise.

J was right they were early, 7.20, Brian told us that they had both been up since 5 waiting to go. It was a terrific weekend end we went a bit further that we had first planned, Brian had agreed to pick the boys up from Hemel and I was now moored up and plugged into the mains. On the Sunday night I had cooked a dinner for all of us includin Brian and his wife. J was staying with me tonight and he would cycle into Watford along the canal in the morning for school then he would stay either at Brian's or with me, the choice was his. For the first few night he was staying in Watford to catch up with school.

Two weeks later

J had just left to go back to Watford we had spent the weekend lazing around .... well we had been out running, cycling and swimming, if you can call that lazing around. Over the last couple of weeks I had got back into my karate training and I was even helping instruct and two nights a week I helped at Brian's youth club.

I was just making some coffee when I felt the boat rock, Zac went to the door and barked just as someone knocked, it was Jim. He wanted some help .....

We sat down and he pulled out a file and we talked and ......

His name was Simon and he was 15, his parents had died 2 months ago in a car crash, they left him nothing. They had lived in a council house and had had very few belongings, his parents had been registered drug users. He had now run away from 3 foster /council homes, he was very independent and intelligent. All his grades at school were exceptional all though they were falling now. He had been a loner at school but had been liked my most teachers, he had been into maths, art, computers and sports.

Now came the crunch .... he had been in 4 or 5 fights at school recently and had been caught stealing from a couple of shops and he had let him self go ..... his nickname was now Stinker

Jim was not his main social worker but had been come involved yesterday when at an area meeting Simon's case had come up. Tony, Simons worker was sure all that was needed was someone that would be firm but fair, someone with some tlc to give but who would set some very firm ground rules. Jim had suggested me for two reasons.

It seems that when Simon ran away he all ways ended up being found around the canal, once he had managed to hide in the Stoke Bruerne waterways museum and had set off the alarms when he had needed to go to the loo in the middle of the night. The other reason was, Tony thought he might be gay.


J had just left for his ride back to Watford and school, it funny but its quicker by bike along the canal towpath than by narrow boat. We had discussed Simon and as he was meant to be arriving today he was going to stay with Brian tonight. Jim had been right about Simon and his independence, Tony had offered to run him down but he had refused the offer but had accepted the money for a train ticket. Simon was from Berkhampstead and as yet only new that he was staying in Hemel and that I was meeting him at the station.

I was sat on the railing out the front, Zac had laid down. Simon walked through the doors and looked round, he was about 5'6" scruffy brown hair with average build and he really did look unkept. He had two rucksacks on large and a smaller one, the type you take to school. He put the bags down and got his mobile out of his pocket, I got up and walked across to him.

'Hi I am Charles but most people just call me Chas' I said holding out my hand for him to shake, he looked at me and nodded, I kept my hand out, looked him in the eye then down at my hand. He got the idea and briefly shook my hand. Zac stood waging his tail. 'this is Zac, I hope you like dogs .... and you are' I prompted.

'Simon and yes I like dogs' he said and smiled a little as he bent and stroked Zac.

'Come on then its not far' I picked up his big rucksack and started across the station forecourt.

It was not far to the canal and you could see Zachire from the road bridge, I stopped and looked. Simon put his small bag down.

'So what do you think' I said as he rested his hands on the bridge parpet and looked at the canal and then to Zachire. When I had looked in his eyes at the station I had seen something there. I beleave the eyes give far to much away, they say what you mean, what you think not what you want others to see and think. In that brief look a few minutes ago I had seen hope, love, longing, loneliness, kindness and fear but fear of what I didn't know. He just stood looking so I moved off, crossed the road and down the side of the bridge and onto the tow path.

Zac ran on in front and was doing his usual thing of exploring and sniffing, Simon had got in front and I saw him glance at Zachire as he walked by. I of course got on the back and unlocked the door.

'Where are you going' I asked as he had not noticed. He stopped and looked back. 'Well you want to come and look round your new home' Was that a smile I saw come to his face .....

He followed me down the steps and I put his rucksack on one of the beds he did the same with the smaller one he had been carrying. I gestured for him to sit at the table and I sat opposite.

'Ok now for some ground rules and a get to know each other chat' I said and looked to see if he was going to respond but all though our eyes meet briefly he said nothing. 'Well this is going to be your home for a little while and as you can see its not quite like a house but it is your home for as long as you stay here. I will expect you to help keep it clean and tidy, you will go to school and I will set a curfew and a bed time' I saw him give me a quick look at that 'You will do any home work when you get in, you will not lie to me and you will behave and be respectful to my friends' once more he looked up 'Zac likes lots of exercise and I hope you will help with that. I will wash your clothes if I am doing my own but if you need something in a hurry you will have to ask and if I haven't got the time you will have to do it yourself. I have read your file and I know you have been in trouble for stealing, if you steal again you will go back to a home, if you steal from me I will kick your butt hard then send you back to a home' this got a different reaction, he nearly said something but after looking at my expression, at my eyes he looked back down. He saw that what I had just said I meant. 'I enjoy to cook but I hope you'll help and if you need a snack just ask theres all ways plenty there but don't forget to clean up and wash up' I paused and waited till he looked at me 'do you accept the rules' I asked.

'Yeah what ever' he replied.

'No not what ever' I had raised my voice 'do you accept them and anymore that we make or do you want to get a train back to Berkhampstead' I think I frightened him a bit, I could see it in his expression but I emphasized the we bit in the last sentence and I saw him nod as I said it.

'Yes, I accept them' he then said and the way he sounded he meant it. This time when I offered him my hand to shake on the agreement he took it without hesitation and it was a stronger grip, I was pleased.

'OK good so far now a couple more things you should know, I am gay and I have a boy friend' I just said it and waited for a reaction, he looked at me and just nodded, he blushed a bit. 'He stays here with me some nights and I hope you like him he's good company' I now showed him round Zachire, I showed him how the different areas closed off for privacy and I let him choose which bed he wanted and then I showed him his cupboards.

I let him put his clothes away as I put the kettle on and he wandered back down to the kitchen area.

'Now I don't want to be to rude but' he looked at me 'but I am sorry but you smell a bit' and he did. It was sweat and ... well just an unclean smell. I walked up to the big draws under my bed and got out 2 bath towels.

'You can use my stuff until we get yours, theres shampoo and shower gel and for afterwards theres some antiperspirant and talc on the shelf .... you want to change your clothes and I'll wash the ones you have on afterwards' I gave him the bath towel and pointed towards the shower. I followed him and as he went into the shower area I slid the door closed behind him and went back to the kitchen to finish off the shopping list I had started earlier in the day.

About 15 minutes later he came out, he had a smile on his face and he certainly looked clean.

'Feel better' I asked and he nodded, Zac came up and started to lick his feet as he hadn't put on any socks, he laughed and then looked up at me.

'Thanks' he paused and then stepped closer and suddenly he put his hands round my waste and cuddled me and I could hear him crying. I held him tight and just let him cry and after a while he broke away.

'Oh shit, sorry' he said.

'That's ok ..... don't worry you needed it' I looked at him and smiled.

I made 2 mugs of tea as he wandered back to the shower and without having to be asked he cleared it up and then came back with the dirty clothes and towels. I showed him how to load the washing machine and how to check the labels in his clothes for how to set the machine.

We went back and sat at the table and I asked him about his food likes and dislikes, thank goodness he didn't have many dislikes. He was going to stay at the same school in Berkhampstead so would need to find out bus and train times.

'You know that if we decide to move Zachire you may need to cycle some of the way as well' I asked.

'I don't have a bike, never had a bike of my own' he replied

'Have you ever rode one'

'Yep my mate Terry had two we often went out riding' he blushed a bit I didn't ask why.

We went up to Sainsburys and did the shopping getting some personal item for him and we headed back to the boat. I got a snack together for lunch and he cleared his plate, I wondered if he had had any breakfast. Then along with Zac we headed up to the town for a look around.

'You want to get a hair cut' I asked, he nodded so I gave him a tenner much to his surprise and told him I would meet him back here. I went up to the cycle shop and had a look at the 2nd hand mountain bikes. There was a cheap but good one so I bought it along with a lock. He walked out of the hairdressers as I rode round the corner, well you didn't expect me to walk did you!

'It's yours and its yours for as long as you are living with me' I told him as he looked at me 'look after it' Well he just stood looking from me to the bike as I also produced a two keys. 'this one is for the bike lock, the other is the door to Zachire .... ask before you bring friends home if I am not in' I tossed him the keys. He caught them. 'We'll you want to ride back and make me a cup of tea then'

He just stood then he thanked me and then he thanked me again and then to my surprise right there in the town centre he cuddled me.

I got back to the boat to find not only a cup of tea waiting but some biscuits on a small plate by the side.

J phoned and we chatted for a bit. Simon sat watching TV.

'What do I call you, who shall I say you are if we meet any of my friends' Simon suddenly asked.

'Well you call me Charles or Chas .... tell them the truth, tell them your are living with me' I said

'Can I ride to school'

'Yes but make sure you lock your bike up and lock it to something'

'Yeah I will there are some racks in the school grounds'

'Good ... what time do you finish, could I ride up and meet you and we'll ride back together'

'Fucking yes ... would you, yes please ... er I get done about 3.45' Well I had not expected that. I had thought he would have wanted to keep up his appearance of independence.

I had to wake him in the morning, he was not an early morning person. To my surprise he willing had a shower and ate some breakfast.

I had a lazy ride to Berkhampstead I left early and stopped for lunch at a pub and when I arrived I had a look around the town. He was at the gates right on time, I was sat on a bench on the green and he rode straight across and bent to make a fuss of Zac. Some of the kids looked at us as we talked.

'Simon' someone shouted and we both looked it was a kid about Simons age with what could have been his dad. They came across.

'Hi I am Mr, John Baker Terry's dad and a teacher here' He held out his hand and I shook it.

'Hello sir this is Charles I am living with him for now' Simon said and he sounded proud and I was so pleased.

'Well as Simon says I am Charles but most people call me Chas and I am official his foster home for a few weeks or years, that depends on how we get on' I wanted to let John know it was official.

'Good he deserves a break he's not been himself recently' Simon became very embarrassed.

'Boys why don't you take Zac down to the canal for a minute' I suggested, John nodded at his son.

We had a chat, it seemed that John had been concerned about Simon, he and his son had been good friends but recently they had slit up, Terry had told his dad that he thought Simon was having problems at his last couple of foster homes. I told him that I had the case history and that I was hoping to improve his lot. He gave me his phone numbers and e-mail address, I invited Terry down for the weekend but said I would ask Simon so he could ask Terry, John agreed and said it would do both the boys good.

I made the dinner while Simon topped up the water tank and cleaned up around the boat then he headed across to the field with Zac and played ball for a while. That dog had just run back from Berkhampstead and he was still ready for a game, he had so much energy.

As we sat eating I asked how school had been and then I asked if he wanted to invite Simon down for Friday, Saturday nights.

'Here to stay with us'

'Yes, you have a spare bed up your end'

'WOW yes, fucking ace .... can I phone him now please'

'Does he know that you are on a narrow boat'

'Yeah' Simon said than he was quite for a minute before he went on 'we ain't been talking much, we fell out but today I apologised .... well were mates again ... its brill he's great' I am sure I could see a tear forming but I wasn't sure.

Another chapter and still more to come... what's going to happen over the weekend and will J be staying as well.