Well, I’m just going to disclaim again, to make absolutely sure, right?
Snapshot 2 related the story of how Patrick came be at Hartswood and his initiation into the school’s sex-culture. In Snapshot 3, we find out more about how his life develops as he settles in. Read on and enjoy! Feedback is as welcome as ever; please send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll reply as soon as I can.
HARTSWOOD PRIORY – SNAPSHOT THREE
PATRICK & FRIENDS PART TWO
Four weeks into term and Hartswood Priory was beginning to feel like home. Patrick had been through a difficult few days when the full impact of what had happened had suddenly hit him, but largely thanks to Brian, he’d come through it. He still missed his mum, of course, but mostly his school life kept him so busy that he scarcely had time to think about it. And he’d realised that he had a lot to be thankful for; he had a great group of friends, he was doing well in all his classes and he’d met Brian.
Meeting Brian was the best thing that had ever happened to him, he reflected. Not only was he one of the best looking boys in the whole school, he was charming, funny and gentle. On those occasions when he’d been feeling sad, Brian always knew the right thing to say, asking him what his mum was like and the sort of things they used to do together. He was very sexy too, of course; you couldn’t forget that. There was one thing he didn’t understand; his friends in Eagle Dorm described Brian as ‘rather full of himself’. That certainly wasn’t the Brian he knew.
Patrick watched as the older boy made his way up the stairs that led from the main dorm corridor. He checked to see that nobody was watching then followed him.
“So how are you today?” Brian asked as Patrick reached their appointed hiding place.
“Good, thanks,” Patrick said, returning his older friend’s smile.
They sat on the floor, their backs against the wall, Brian’s arm around the younger boy’s shoulder.
“I don’t want to seem cheeky,” Patrick said, “but d’you mind if I ask you something?”
“No, of course not,” Brian responded, smiling down at his young friend.
“All my friends say, ‘Brian Harper, he’s okay but he’s really full of himself’,” Patrick said. “I don’t understand it; you’re never like that when you’re with me.”
“I’m never like that with Jon either,” Brian said sadly, looking at the floor between his feet. “But with other people, well, I don’t know. You may think I’m really confident, but sometimes I’m as nervous as fuck inside. So I show off. I know I shouldn’t and I know it’s stupid, but I still do it. I guess I worry too much about what people think. I’m not like that when I’m with you because I don’t need to be; I feel safe with you. I don’t have to pretend; I can just be myself.”
“I understand, I think,” Patrick said reassuringly. “Well, I like you just the way you are.”
“Thanks,” Brian said, smiling again. “I love being with you,” he continued. “It feels great just being here, snuggled up chatting, even if we don’t do anything.”
“But we are going to do something, aren’t we?” Patrick asked, looking up imploringly.
“If you want to,” Brian confirmed.
Their mouths met in a wonderful, sensuous kiss, Patrick throwing his arms around Brian’s neck as though he were afraid he might lose him. Kissing Brian felt so right, so natural. He was born to love another boy like this; he just knew he was. For his part, Brian counted his good fortune. Although Patrick was one of the prettiest boys in the school, because he had never been to boarding school before, neither he nor any of his classmates had pursued the lad, expecting him to be shy and far too nervous to do anything. But for that chance meeting in the maths store he might never have discovered how affectionate and eager Patrick was. He had beaten his contemporaries to one of the best prizes available and that felt very good indeed.
They began undressing each other almost without thinking about it. Shoes were discarded, sweaters pulled off, shirts removed, the momentum building towards the inevitable climax. They pulled down each other’s shorts, which were hastily kicked off. They stood facing each other, each of them aware of the other’s erection. Simultaneously they lowered each other’s underpants.
Patrick sucked in his breath. Brian was so beautiful! The broad shoulders and strong muscular thighs, the chest and tummy with the muscle definition just beginning to show, and the uncircumcised penis with the low-hanging balls and little tufts of pubic hair; he was everything he could have wished for.
Brian’s eyes feasted on the slender boy that stood in front of him, the thick, ash-blond hair that covered the boy’s ears and reached down to where his collar had been, the sparkling blue eyes, the perfect nose, the wonderfully open smile, the cute little pointed penis and what he felt certain was the most beautiful bottom on the entire planet, and marvelled that such a boy was really his. But he was. He didn’t have to show off when he was with Patrick. Patrick loved him just the way he was; the boy’s eyes said it all.
They sat down again, arms wrapped around each other. Their lips locked together, Brian’s tongue pushing into his young friend’s mouth. Patrick eagerly returned the favour, sliding his hand between Brian’s legs and fondling the older boy’s penis. The touch of his slender fingers drove Brian almost insane; never in his wildest fantasies had he imagined he would meet a boy as beautiful and sexy as Patrick. They stretched out on the floor, their hands going everywhere. Without even thinking about it Brian snaked around, resting his head on Patrick’s tummy. He devoured the boy’s hard little spike, sucking it right down to the root.
Patrick moaned quietly, the pleasurable sensations that Brian was giving him too wonderful to describe. Just a few short weeks ago he hadn’t known that such feelings were even possible. Instinctively he rolled onto his side, pulling Brian towards him, his lips sliding over the head of the older boy’s penis. He pushed down, taking it all in, working his tongue all over it. He sucked it steadily, savouring its warmth and its texture, silky soft on the surface but as hard as iron beneath. A greasy finger touched his anus and pushed steadily inside, raising the intensity still further. It all seemed so right, so natural, so instinctive; he hardly had to think about it.
The invading finger pushed deeper, touching Patrick’s small, knobbly prostate. His penis twitched wildly in response. A second finger joined the first, the two of them slowly twisting round, opening him up, getting him ready. Patrick knew exactly what they were getting him ready for. Very soon Brian’s penis would be inside him, giving him the best feeling of all, pumping in and out until his bottom was filled with his older friend’s semen.
They untangled themselves without a word being spoken. Patrick got onto all fours, his shoulders almost touching the floor, his bottom pushed right back behind his knees. Brian knelt behind the lad, hardly unable to take in the sight that presented it self to him, Patrick’s slender thighs and small, perfect buttocks seeming almost too beautiful to be real. But they were real, and they were there for him to do as he wanted, what they both wanted, Patrick almost begging Brian to penetrate him.
Brian shuffled in close, lining up his penis against the younger boy’s sphincter. With one determined thrust he pushed it in. Patrick gasped; the brief stab on pain as Brian entered him the necessary prelude to the pleasure to follow. Brian continued to push until Patrick was completely impaled. After a few seconds to compose himself he set to work. He began quite steadily, savouring the tightness of hot little sheath that was gripping his penis. Gradually he built it up, spurred on by Patrick’s quiet moans and whimpers, fucking the boy faster, fucking him deeper, fucking him harder until he was giving it everything he had. He reached down to fondle Patrick’s steel-hard penis, bringing his younger friend to a shuddering climax in a matter of seconds.
The feeling of Patrick’s sphincter closing around his invading penis took Brian right to the brink; a few more thrusts and his whole body was seized by wild convulsions, his sticky juices spurting over and over into Patrick’s tight little bottom. He sank down over the younger lad’s back, feeling so light-headed he scarcely knew where he was. He was ecstatically happy; it had been the perfect release from all the pressures of boarding school life. Sex with Patrick always was.
“Has Jonathan found a younger friend yet?” Patrick asked as they got dressed.
“No,” Brian replied. “Jon’s too shy to approach anyone, and nobody’s approached him.”
“I know someone who’s looking for an older friend,” Patrick informed him. “Only he’s shy too.”
“Really?” Brian said, his attention perked up. “So who’s that?”
“The mad scientist?”
“Deon’s okay when you get to know him,” Patrick said. “And he’s very sexy.”
“Not the cutest; nice little body though,” Brian observed. “I’ll have to ask Jon, so don’t say anything at the moment. Meet us out on the field tomorrow morning break, okay?”
“Okay,” Patrick said. “The thing is, Deon’s a bit worried about getting bummed. He wants to do it but he’s a bit scared, you know, that it’s going to hurt.”
“Well, he’d be all right with Jon,” Brian assured him. “Jon’s really gentle, and he’s not that big in any case.”
“That’s what I thought,” Patrick said, smiling. “See you tomorrow morning then.”
He gave Brian a final kiss and trotted downstairs.
0 o 0 o 0 o 0
Gym classes were a trial to be endured. Patrick consoled himself with the thought that some of the other boys struggled even more than he did, and in any case as long as you tried your best, Mr. Cooper seemed quite happy. He finished changing into his gym kit then trooped through to the gymnasium, sitting on the floor with the rest of the third year boys, waiting for Mr. Cooper to tell them what they would be doing.
“Okay, lads,” Mr. Cooper said, looking round at the twenty nine boys ranged in front of him. “Today we’re going to start by doing some exercises in here. Then we’re going to go out onto the field and you’re going to run a circuit of the field and the woods. It’s all marked out so you can’t get lost. It’s nearly a mile and a half, so around ten minutes running for the better ones among you.”
There was a quiet buzz around the gymnasium; this was something new. Patrick was extremely nervous. Running well over a mile seemed like a very long way; he’d never attempted anything like it before. He looked around, it seemed as though there were several other boys who weren’t looking forward to it either.
The exercises were fairly easy, mainly stretching and loosening. At least that part hadn’t been too bad, Patrick reflected. They made their way out onto the field. Mr Cooper explained the course to them, but as he’d already told them, it was clearly marked; they couldn’t really go wrong. He lined up next to Deon. They’d trot round together, Patrick decided. He wasn’t going to start off too fast and find his lungs burning up; he knew what that felt like from playing with his mates from primary school.
Mr. Cooper blew the whistle and they were away. After a quarter of a mile Deon and Patrick were almost at the back, only a couple of extremely fat boys behind them. To his surprise, Patrick was finding it very easy. In fact, the hardest thing about it was running slowly enough for Deon to keep up with him; his long legs kept wanting to stretch out. “So maybe I could go a bit faster”, he thought. He increased his pace, still not really pushing himself, just letting his legs move more comfortably. As they headed into the woods he began to overtake people. By the time they emerged onto the field again he was in fifteenth place and still running quite easily. There was half a mile to go. Almost all the boys in front of him seemed to be finding it hard. One by one he picked them off. As they turned towards the finish he’d moved up to seventh. He made one final effort, picking up another two places on the run-in. Out of twenty nine boys he’d finished fifth. It was a total surprise, by far his best result in any sporting endeavour.
Evan Williamson had won the race quite easily with a time of nine minutes thirty two seconds, with Chris Barnett second in nine minutes fifty one. Evan seemed to be good at just about any sport they tried, Patrick reflected; he was a good student too. Chris was a boy-god in the making, the tallest in the year, strong, athletic and a star rugby player. Even so, he had only beaten Patrick by fifteen seconds, and having started so slowly, Patrick knew he’d be able to run faster.
Once all the boys had returned they headed back to the changing room to shower and change.
“I would like a word with Patrick Naylor, John Mitchell and Mark Anderson,” Mr. Cooper announced as they were getting dressed. “The rest of you may leave when the bell goes.”
A few minutes later the bell sounded for morning break. The bulk of the group headed outside, leaving Patrick and the other two sitting on the bench, wondering what Mr. Cooper wanted to see them about. He emerged from his room, smiling. At least they weren’t in trouble, Patrick reflected.
“First of all, let me say well done today, all three of you ran very well. The reason that I’ve asked you to stay behind is to tell you that Mr. Thompson is starting a cross-country club, something we haven’t had here before. I would like you three boys to consider joining it. In case you’re wondering, all the boys who beat you are rugby players; I would expect Evan and Christopher to be in the school team next year, the others the year after, so they won’t be involved.”
All three boys looked at one another, nobody wishing to be the first to speak. Patrick was completely taken aback; participating in any sport outside class time was something he’d never even considered, and with his piano practice, guitar practice, spending extra time in the art room and seeing Brian three or four times a week he was already very busy. On the other hand, he knew his dad would be pleased, and he’d just beaten John and Mark so he wouldn’t get shown up. But the real clincher was Mr. Thompson. Mr. Thompson was the best teacher Patrick had ever had; maths had never been Patrick’s strongest subject, but Mr. Thompson made it fun. Maths was easy the way Mr. Thompson taught it. If Mr. Thompson was in charge of the cross-country club, Patrick would be more than happy to join.
“Well?” Mr. Cooper asked. “What d’you think?”
“I’d like to give it a try,” Patrick said nervously.
The other two nodded their agreement.
“Excellent!” Mr. Cooper said, smiling again. “Next Tuesday, come here with your kit as soon as classes finish for the day.”
Patrick made his way out. He spotted Brian and Jonathan sitting near the edge of the playing field and hurried over to them.
“We thought you weren’t coming,” Brian said.
“Oh, Mr Cooper wanted to see me,” Patrick said, grinning. “Mr. Thompson’s starting a cross-country club and he asked me if I’d like to join it.”
“And?” Brian continued.
“I said I’d give it a try. I’ve no idea how I’ll do; I’ve never done anything like that before.”
“You’ll do great,” Brian said, smiling.
“So Deon’s looking for an older friend,” Jon enquired.
“Yeah,” Patrick confirmed.
“So is he okay?” Jon asked. “I thought he was just a little swot; that’s what his brother says.”
“Deon’s really nice,” Patrick said. “He is very clever, of course, and he does work hard, but he’s not big headed about it or anything. And he’s very sexy.”
“Has he got a big cock?” Jon whispered.
“Yeah, why?” Patrick asked.
“Like his brother then,” Jon said, looking at Brian and giggling. “Ashton’s got a monster, hasn’t he, Brian?”
Brian nodded his agreement, giggling too.
“He’d come and watch you play rugby too,” Patrick said. “He feels quite left out because he’s got nobody to go and support.”
“What about Simon?” Brian asked. “Has he found someone then?”
“Yes,” Patrick said. “He’s going with this boy in Lower Fourth, I think his name’s Pascal.”
“Oh, Paz!” Brian said. “That makes sense. Paz is new; probably doesn’t know Simon was with someone last year.”
Patrick didn’t comment; he couldn’t understand why that was considered so important. It might make things difficult for him next year, after Brian had left. But there was nothing to be gained by worrying about it now; he’d cross that bridge when he came to it.
“Well, I’d like to meet your friend Deon,” Jon said. “And tell him he doesn’t have to worry; I’m not going to rush things.”
“Cool,” Patrick said, grinning broadly. “I’ll tell him.”
They finalised the arrangements and went their separate ways.
0 o 0 o 0 o 0
Jonathan waited on the small courtyard between the main building and the new block that housed the older boys. He wasn’t at all certain if Deon would show up. Still, he reflected, it would be disappointing but he wouldn’t have actually lost anything. A moment later the younger boy emerged.
“Hi,” he said, sounding very nervous. “Where are we going?”
“Out in the woods,” Jon said gently. “All the inside places were taken. Is that okay?”
“Okay, follow me until we’re at least halfway across the field,” Jon said. “Just make sure nobody’s watching.”
They set off, Deon following Jon’s instructions to the letter. Halfway across the field he looked around. There was nobody to be seen. He increased his pace, quickly catching the older boy.
“Hi,” Jonathan said, smiling at him. “I’m glad you came; I wasn’t sure you would.”
They entered the woods. The sun was already setting; although still pleasantly warm there was scarcely enough light for them to see where they were going. After taking a few moments for his eyes to adjust to the semi-darkness, Jon guided them into their appointed hiding place. He sat down, motioning for Deon to sit next to him. This was going to be the hard part. He wasn’t much good at small-talk; he guessed Deon probably wasn’t either. He put an arm loosely around Deon’s shoulder, drawing the younger lad towards him.
“So you’re interested in science,” he said.
“Yes,” Deon confirmed.
“I like science,” Jon continued, “especially since Mr. Chandler’s been here. I don’t think I’m as good at it as you are though.”
“Mr. Chandler’s great,” Deon said warmly. “He’s told me that if I work hard I can achieve anything I want. Mr. Thompson’s great too. He gives me special work ‘cause I’m so far ahead of everyone else; Mr. Jones never did that. Maths is important; you have to be really good at maths if you want to do science, especially physics.”
Jon was impressed. He was also feeling very uncomfortable; the conversation had gone up a blind alley; he just couldn’t think of anything to say.
“Of course, science isn’t the only thing I’m interested in,” Deon said, grinning at him.
“So what else?” Jon asked.
“You, of course!” Deon responded, reaching across to put his hand on Jon’s chest.
They began to undress each other; in less than a minute they were down to their underpants.
“Okay, let’s get these off!” Deon said, grinning mischievously.
He pulled Jonathan’s briefs right down to the ground then knelt down. He held the older boy’s penis between thumb and forefinger, gently pulling back the foreskin so he could lick the small shiny head. He paused for a moment, taking a deep breath then closed his lips over Jon’s penis, gradually working his way down until the whole four inches was in his mouth, the head tickling the back of his throat. He settled himself for a moment and began to suck. Jon sighed in contentment, amazed by the sensations Deon was giving him. He could hardly believe his luck; Deon was every bit as sexy as Patrick had said. He gasped for air, his right hand stroking the younger boy’s hair. Deon might not be as cute looking as some of his contemporaries, but the boy was very good; his friends in Upper Fourth didn’t know what they were missing. He felt himself getting close.
“You’d better stop,” he whispered. “I don’t want to cum yet.”
“So how was that?” Deon asked, looking p at him, the mischievous grin back on his face.
“Beautiful!” Jon breathed. “Okay, it’s my turn now.”
Deon got to his feet, allowing Jonathan to remove his briefs. Jon’s eyes were out on stalks; despite the near two-year age difference, Deon’s penis was as long as his own and a fraction thicker. He could scarcely believe it; for a ten year old Deon really did have a big one.
“Nice cock!” he commented.
“You have too,” Deon responded.
“So you and your mates do stuff together then?” Jon asked.
“Yeah, sometimes,” Deon confirmed.
“And what d’you like doing?”
“Sucking, getting sucked,” Deon said. “When Patrick sucks me he sticks his finger up my bum; I love that!”
“Cool!” Jon breathed. “Come on then!”
He lay down on his back.
“Kneel across my chest!” he ordered.
Deon moved into position. Jonathan pushed himself up on his elbows. Deon crawled forward, guiding his penis into Jon’s open mouth, the older boy’s lips closing around it. Jon reached out to retrieve the KY from the pocket of his shorts, quickly lubing up his middle finger. He slipped his hand between Deon’s legs, reaching up to find the boy’s anus. He paused for a second then pushed it in. Deon’s reaction was immediate. He held Jon’s head, eagerly fucking his penis into the older boy’s mouth, while bumming himself on his finger. His orgasm, though dry, was swift and violent, his penis jamming itself repeatedly against the roof of Jon’s mouth till he was totally spent. He eased himself away, sinking back onto Jonathan’s tummy.
“I think you liked that!” Jon commented, grinning.
“Man! That was better than anything!” Deon responded, still gasping for breath, his cheeks glowing.
“Are you going to bum me?”
“Do you want that?” Jon asked gently. “Patrick said you were very nervous about it.”
Deon flopped down next to him.
“I was, only not with you I’m not,” he said. “Can I tell you something? But you’ve got to promise not to say anything.”
“Yeah, course,” John said quietly. “I won’t breathe a word, not even to Brian.”
“You remember Mr. Atkinson?” Deon asked rhetorically. “Well the beginning of last term I wrote this science fiction story. He asked to see me about it, one night straight after supper. Well, when I got to his room he started by telling me how good it was, then he said he’d got something he wanted to show me. He took me to the trunk store. When we were inside he locked the door. Then he got my shorts and pants down and bummed me. He’d got a real big one, man! It hurt like hell! I didn’t know what to do; I thought I might get in trouble if I said anything. I was scared shitless that he was going to do it again, but a couple of weeks later he left, dunno why; he just went.”
“Fuck!” Jon said. “I always thought he was a bit odd; I didn’t know he was into that though. Somebody must have found out, so he had to go.”
“Some of the other masters seem to get away with it,” Deon commented.
“That’s because the boys they go with like it. Leo Johnston loves having sex with Mr. Burman; he can’t get enough of it. But they mustn’t force you to have sex with them.”
“Oh,” Deon said, “I didn’t realise; none of us did.”
“Well I guess he must have tried it with someone else,” Jon speculated. “Whoever it was reported him so he was asked to leave. I’d love to know how he got into the trunk store. If you need to get in there you have to go and see Mr. Halford; the other teachers don’t have the key. Does Patrick know?”
“No,” Deon said, shaking his head. “I didn’t want to freak him out. He’s worried as it is. He thinks next year Mr. Burman’s going to expect him to, you know, do what Leo does.”
“Yeah, well, he’ll probably sound him out, invite him to concerts, that sort of thing. If he doesn’t want to do it, he just has to say no. Burman’s won’t touch him if he doesn’t want him to.”
“Oh,” Deon said absently. “Anyway, that’s why I was worried about getting bummed again, but I want you to do it; you’re okay.”
Jonathan wasn’t sure if Deon meant that he thought he could trust him, or just that his penis was quite small for a boy in Upper Fourth and wouldn’t hurt that much. Either way, it was not an invitation he was going to turn down.
“Cool,” Jon said gently. “But if it’s hurting just say and I’ll stop, okay?”
“Yeah, cool!” Deon said, grinning again.
Jon got Deon onto all fours, a position that Henry had fucked him in more times than he could count. He smeared some KY over his penis and moved in close, guiding it right onto Deon’s sphincter. This was the moment he’d dreamed about. Oh, he’d fucked Patrick in the maths store room, but that was different; Patrick wasn’t really his boy. But Deon was, and that made it very special. He pushed hard. For a couple of seconds the ring of muscle resisted, then all it once it gave way and he was there. Deon gasped audibly.
“Are you okay?” Jon asked softly.
“Yeah, I think so,” Deon responded.
“D’you want me to take it out?”
“No,” Deon insisted. “You’re okay, man!”
Jon knew what to do, holding his position until Deon began to relax.
“Good boy,” he cooed, pushing forward again, his penis hitting Deon’s prostate.
“Oh, yeah!” Deon moaned.
Jon smiled to himself. Deon had got through the pain and the pleasure had taken over; that’s how it had been for him the first time he’d been with Henry. He steadied himself for a moment then set to his task, fucking his young friend with long, even thrusts, listening to Deon moaning and gasping every time he pushed it in. He began to move faster, building it up until he was fucking the boy with all the power he could muster. He reached down, fondling Deon’s genitals. Almost immediately the younger lad shuddered violently, his penis swelling and jerking between Jon’s fingers.
Jon was past the point of no return, his orgasm upon him. But there was something different, the tingling in his penis more intense than he could remember. Then it happened, two watery little jets squirting into Deon’s rectum. Then it was over. He sank down over the younger boy’s back, gasping harder than if he’s sprinted the length of the rugby pitch. He could hardly believe what had happened, his first ever ejaculation. Nothing, he decided, could ever feel better than that.
He slowly withdrew, his penis so sensitive he could hardly bear to touch it.
“Are you okay?” he enquired.
Deon flipped onto his back.
“Yeah!” he said, grinning mischievously. “That was way out! You spunked up my bum!”
“Yeah, I know,” Jon confirmed. “I’ve never cum before.”
“So d’you want me to be your friend then?” Deon enquired.
“Of course I do!” Jon replied, smiling warmly. “You’re amazing!”
0 o 0 o 0 o 0
Patrick made his way to the main changing room and began to strip off. The rugby team were training as well; the place was packed.
“What are you doing here?” one of the rugby players demanded.
“Mr. Thompson’s starting a cross-country club,” Patrick said quietly. “We’re having our first training session.”
“Hmmph!” the older boy responded scornfully, obviously unaware that Mr. Cooper had walked in and was only a few feet behind him. “This is our changing room!”
“James!” Mr. Cooper barked. “These boys are here because I asked them to be here. So you concentrate on getting yourself changed instead of commenting on matters that don’t concern you. I want you out on that field in two minutes! Clear?”
“Sir,” James replied, looking uncomfortable.
A few minutes later the rugby players were trotting out onto the field, leaving Patrick and seven other boys behind. Patrick looked around at them, all now dressed in shorts, gym tops and training shoes. Of the other third year boys, Mark was in most of his classes, although he’d not had much to do with him; he only saw John in gym and games classes where the whole year came together. He didn’t know the boys from the other years at all. One of them did stand out though, a tall, long-legged boy with fair hair just a little shorter than his own. He certainly looked the part, Patrick decided.
A moment later, Mr. Thompson emerged from the masters’ changing room, dressed much the same as they were. Being blond, slightly built and very smooth skinned, he looked even younger than when he was fully dressed. Patrick admired him immensely; not only was he a wonderful teacher, he was very good looking. Mr Thompson looked at his young charges. They weren’t the best athletes in the school; the needs of the rugby team precluded that. Even so, there was potential there; it was up to him to develop it.
“Good afternoon boys,” he said brightly. “Thanks for coming. As Mr. Cooper told you, the school hasn’t had a cross-country team before, so I’m going to start one. I just want to start by explaining what will be happening. This term we’re going to concentrate on training and getting you reasonably fit. Next term we’ll do a few races, nothing too serious, just to give you some experience. What I’m really working towards is next year, when we’ll have a full racing programme right through the autumn and spring terms. Now let me say straight away that cross-country is a tough sport, but you’ve all shown that you have the potential to do well if you’re willing to put the work in, so by next year I’d hope to have a pretty decent team here. Now I know you all, but some of you won’t know each other, so please could you introduce yourselves.”
“Craig Shackleton, Lower Fourth,” the tall, leggy boy said.
Patrick noted the name. The other boys followed in calling out name and year, three from lower fourth, three from third year, and two second year boys. Jamie Barnett, a rather cheeky-looking second year boy, was the only other name that Patrick registered; there was something a bit special about him too.
“You’ll note that we don’t have any boys from Upper Fourth,” Mr. Thompson said. “That’s because I’m looking at this as more of a long term thing. None of them was that keen to do it, apparently, so that’s fine. Next year, once we’ve got ourselves established, I will be hoping to get a few more boys in, especially from what is now second year. Okay, let’s get started. We’re going do a steady run first, have a short break then do a few sprints to finish off with. To begin with I want us all to run together, so don’t start off too fast. I want you to concentrate on breathing right down to the bottom of your lungs; that’s very important.”
They made their way outside and set off, Mr. Thompson making sure that he controlled the pace. They headed around the field and out through the woods, exactly as they’d done during their gym class. Patrick found it easier than he’d expected; he wasn’t running anywhere like as hard as he’d done in the trial race. They emerged from the woods, Mr. Thompson slowly them down to a jog.
“Okay, he announced. “We’re going to do the circuit of the woods again, only this time you can run faster if you want to. Don’t go mad, just run as fast as you feel comfortable with. When you get back here, run around the perimeter of the field, back to the pavilion, the same as you did last week.”
As soon as they set off the pace picked up considerably. Patrick’s suspicions about Craig were confirmed almost immediately; within two hundred yards he’d pulled clear of the group and was running completely on his own. As things settled down Patrick found himself in the following group with Jamie Barnett and a boy from Lower Fourth whose name he couldn’t remember, the other four boys a little way further back. Jamie towed the little group along, trying to break clear. Although Patrick was having to work hard to keep up, he found it surprisingly enjoyable, running as free as a bird in the dappled October sunlight, the breeze ruffling his hair.
They emerged from the woods, the three of them still locked together, Craig now a hundred yards ahead. They had half a mile to run. Jamie made another effort to break away, but Patrick was reluctant to let the younger lad beat him. That surprised him too; it wasn’t sort of thing he’d never bothered about before. He sensed somehow that if he really concentrated he’d be able to hang on. So he concentrated; he was good at that, running as hard as he could, harder than he’d have believed possible. As they turned towards the pavilion, he was still glued to Jamie’s shoulder, the other boy just a metre behind. And finally it was done. Patrick collapsed onto the grass, his lungs bursting. It’d had been the hardest thing he’d ever done, but he felt strangely elated; for the first time ever he’d found a sporting activity that he seemed to be reasonably good at.
A minute later everyone was back, Mr. Thompson shepherding them home.
“Well done, lads!” he said enthusiastically. “That was excellent. Let’s go for a little jog, then in around ten minutes time we’ll do a few sprints to finish off.”
Patrick got to his feet, his breathing starting to get easier again.
“Hi, you’re Jamie, aren’t you?” he said, turning to the younger boy. “I’m Patrick.”
“And I’m Martin,” the third member of the trio chimed in. “Martin Greenhall. Are you really only in second year? If you’re that good I’d have thought Mr. Cooper would have wanted you for the rugby team.”
“My brother’s into rugby but I’m not,” Jamie told them. “I love running but I’m useless at ball games. And when I get tackled the bigger kids squash me! I hate it!”
Well, that seemed to explain it, Patrick reflected, noting that Jamie seemed to dislike rugby even more than he did.
0 o 0 o 0 o 0
The training session finally over, they jogged back to the changing room.
“Okay, lads, strip off and get a quick shower,” Mr. Thompson said. “I’ll see you all again on Thursday.”
They did as they were told, Mr. Thompson watching them as they trotted naked towards the showers. Patrick couldn’t help checking out his new team mates. Craig wasn’t just the best runner; he was the best looking too, his uncut penis a real beauty. Jamie’s boyhood was only slim but quite long for a nine year old and showing definite signs of starting to get hard. Patrick wondered if Jamie had an older friend like he did, but as it wasn’t something he could ask him about he put the thought to one side.
They’d been in the showers for a couple of minutes when the rugby players began to appear. For Patrick it was an unexpected bonus. He’d seen Jonathan’s penis when they’d met in the maths store, but Brian was the only one of these boy-gods that he’d seen completely naked. He was mesmerised, his eyes drawn inexorably to the older boys’ private parts. His attention was drawn to two boys with penises much larger than any of their fellows, Deon’s brother Ashton and team captain Jeremy, Ashton’s penis with just a few short hairs sprouting above it, Jeremy’s already surmounted a crop of thick, dark hair.
Patrick wondered idly what it would feel like to get bummed by one as big as that, but quickly decided that it didn’t matter because he had Brian, and Brian’s suited him perfectly. Even so, he couldn’t help looking around. He was pleased to note that apart from Aston and Jeremy, Brian was as big as any of the other boys, although Pascal, the boy that Simon had hooked up with, and Robert Shearsby were pretty big too. The one slight disappointment was Giles. Although he was tall and very good looking, his penis was somewhat on the small side, not at all the impression that Lee had conveyed, but then Lee’s penis was tiny, which probably explained it.
Patrick felt himself becoming aroused and hurried back to the changing room before anyone noticed. Martin followed him out. They began to get dressed.
“I was surprised to see you here,” Martin said, addressing himself to Craig who was changing right next to them. “You made the final trial for the rugby team.”
“I don’t like rugby that much,” Craig said. “I’m not aggressive enough.”
“Not like Toby then,” Patrick offered. “He’s aggressive, isn’t he?”
“Very,” Craig agreed smiling. “I’d love to be able to hurl myself into tackles the way he does, but I’m too scared of getting hurt. He tackles kids who are much bigger than he is and he’s never got hurt, not once; I don’t know how he does it. Anyway, Mr. Cooper said I’d do far better as a runner than a rugby player, so here I am.”
Patrick had mixed feelings about that. While it was clearly good for the team to have someone as good as Craig, it was rather daunting too. He wasn’t sure if he could ever be as good as Craig was.
0 o 0 o 0 o 0
Patrick’s life at school continued on its increasingly busy course. Since joining the cross-country club he had been doing well in every aspect of it, but the one that stood out was music. Mr. Burman had assumed responsibility for his piano lessons, and like Mr. Thompson, he was an outstanding teacher. Patrick had done always done well in his piano studies, but since Mr. Burman had taken charge he’d mover onto a much higher level, practising harder and making more progress than he ever had before. He felt much more in command of the instrument and had a much better understanding of what it could do. The guitar teacher that came in to work with him was good too, though nowhere like in Mr. Burman’s class. Although he was not neglecting his other creative talents, Patrick already sensed that music was where his future would lie.
He made his way down to the practice room for his evening rehearsal. He was working with Leo, the school’s star trumpeter, providing the accompaniment to the solo that Leo would play at the Christmas concert. This was normally a task that Mr. Burman undertook himself, but he had entrusted it to Patrick. Working with a musician as good as Leo was a privilege and a responsibility; Patrick was determined not to let him down.
After some brief preliminaries, they settled to their task, playing the piece together for the first time.
“That was not bad,” Leo declared, smiling at his young accompanist, “but some of the timing wasn’t quite right. There are a few sections we need to work on.”
Over the next half hour they worked on the three sections that Leo had identified. Patrick listened intently as Leo explained what he wanted; they then played each section through until the older boy was satisfied.
“Okay,” he said finally, “I think we’ve got it now. Let’s take it from the top.”
The played the whole piece again and this time it really flowed. Patrick could feel the difference, the two of them absolutely together.
“Well done!” Leo said as they finished. “That was just about perfect; I don’t think Mr. Burman could play it any better than that.”
Patrick glowed with pride; coming from Leo that was praise of the highest order.
“Leo,” Patrick said nervously. “Is it true that you and Mr. Burman, you know, do stuff together?”
Leo paused, studying the younger boy’s face.
“Yes,” he said finally.
“And do you like that?” Patrick asked.
“Of course I do!” Leo assured him. “I wouldn’t do it otherwise. Mr. Burman’s great; I love being with him. You’re Brian Harper’s younger friend, aren’t you?”
“Yes,” Patrick confirmed.
“And I’m guessing you like that; am I right?”
“Well there you are then,” Leo said smiling. “That’s how I started off, with an older boy. Then when he left, Mr. Burman sort of took over; I’m not even sure how it happened really. It’s been fantastic, much better than going with Anthony was. And when I leave next summer, it’ll be there for you, if you want it. Mr. Burman really likes you; he’s told me.”
Patrick didn’t know what to say. He’d known for weeks that Mr. Burman ‘liked him’, as Leo put it, but he’d tried to ignore it; hearing it spelt out like that was most unsettling.
“Wouldn’t you like that?” Leo enquired.
“He’s older than my dad!” Patrick protested.
“Well, he’s not older than my dad,” Leo informed him. “My dad doesn’t give a shit about me, he never has. Oh, he pays for me to come here and pays for all my music lessons, but that’s just to get me out of the way; he doesn’t care really. He never comes to hear me play. But Mr. Burman cares; that’s why I like him so much.”
Patrick was dumbstruck. He’d never heard anyone talk like that before. And that was the difference; his dad did care, he cared a lot. They’d never been close, but since his mum had died his dad had done everything he could to make sure he was happy and settled; it was what dads did, wasn’t it?
0 o 0 o 0 o 0
Autumn term was finally over. Grandad Munro collected Patrick from school. Patrick would spend a few days with his mum’s parents before going home for ten days over Christmas and New Year. He would then return to his grandparents who would deliver him back to school at the start of the spring term.
“Patrick!” the man exclaimed, giving the boy a hug. “I’ve not seen you in your uniform before; it looks really well on you.”
They set off for the journey back to High Wycombe. As the car bowled along Patrick responded politely but guardedly to his grandad’s questions. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to talk, but so much had happened over the months he’d been away, it was difficult to know where to start. If he wasn’t careful, it would sound like he was boasting; he didn’t want that. And of course there was one thing he couldn’t talk about; that was his secret and would have to stay that way.
The car crunched to a halt on the gravel drive. As they took Patrick’s things from the car, Grandma Munro opened the front door.
“Who’s this handsome young man you’ve brought me?” she demanded, giving Patrick a hug and a kiss. “Come inside; lunch is almost ready.”
Patrick took his things up to his bedroom. He loved this house; it was so cosy and welcoming, that’s the way his grandparents made it. He felt just as much at home here as he did back in Guildford, maybe even more so now his mum wasn’t there any more. After lunch they went into the lounge room. Patrick sat on the sofa, trying to relax.
“Patrick,” his grandad said, “your dad said we could see you’re school report, if that’s okay.”
Patrick collected the document from his bedroom and handed it over. The two adults took turns to read it.
“I thought you were doing better than you were letting on, young man!” his grandad said finally. “This is excellent stuff. I didn’t know you were a runner.”
“Neither did I,” Patrick said. “I’ve never done it before. I’m okay at it, I guess. We haven’t had any races yet so I don’t know really.”
“Patrick, I’m so pleased,” his grandma said, sitting down next to him and putting an arm around his shoulder. “Your mum would be so proud of you.”
A tear escaped from Patrick’s eye and rolled down his cheek. His mum would be proud of him. But would she? Would she be proud of him if she knew what he was doing with Brian? He didn’t know; he really didn’t.
He spent the next few days reading, practising both piano and guitar and relaxing. He went into town to buy a Christmas present for his dad. A couple of times he went out running just like Mr. Thompson had said they should, even though he had to do it on his own. All in all he kept himself occupied.
0 o 0 o 0 o 0
The Jaguar drew to a halt outside the house. Tom was apprehensive. He’d been abroad on business during half term week; he hadn’t been able to see Patrick then. The reports from Catherine’s parents had been encouraging but gave few details. Patrick had sent a couple of letters, but they’d been much the same. So how well had things really gone? He didn’t know.
He was concerned on another score too. Patrick had been so much into all the things Catherine was good at that he’d let the two of them get on with it, being as supportive as he could without really getting involved. He hardly knew the real Patrick at all. During the summer holidays he’d done what he could, but so soon after Catherine’s death it had been difficult for both of them. It had been more than three months since he’d seen the boy. He’s planned to spend the next ten days trying to build their relationship, but maybe Patrick would have grown even further away from him; he might not be interested. That would make things very difficult.
He locked the car and rang the bell. A moment later there he was. The rosy cheeks, sparkling blue eyes and welcoming smile said it all; his son was well, happy and pleased to see him. They embraced each other in the biggest hug they’d had since Patrick was no more than three years old.
“I’ve missed you,” Tom said softly.
“I’ve missed you too, dad,” Patrick responded.
They went through to the lounge room.
“I guess I’d better find out how well you’ve been doing,” Tom said, taking a seat on the sofa.
Grandma Munro handed him Patrick’s school report. He read through it carefully, reading some passages a second time just to make sure. It was the best school report he’d ever seen, far better than anything he’d ever managed, ‘A’ grades for effort in every class, top marks in the year for English, art and music, close to the top in everything else. He’d done very well in maths which he’d never excelled at before; even the comment for games and physical education was positive.
He moved onto the section for out of class activities. Patrick seemed to be making great progress, especially on the piano, but there was more. He read through it once, and promptly read it again, convinced he must have got it wrong, but he hadn’t; it said exactly what he thought it said. He read it a third time just to make sure. Patrick had joined the cross-country club; he was training well and showing the potential to develop into a useful distance runner. Tom could hardly believe it. Cross-country wasn’t a sport he’d have picked, but for Patrick to voluntarily involve himself in any sport was a major breakthrough.
He finished by scanning through Mr. Halford’s summary, saying how pleased he was with the way that Patrick had settled in and the progress he’d made. The report surpassed his expectations by some margin. It was a huge weight off his shoulders; sending Patrick to Hartswood was working out better than he’d dared to hope.
“You’re in the cross-country team,” he said, looking up, a broad smile on his face.
“Yeah,” Patrick said. “That’s Mr. Thompson, the new maths teacher; he just started it up this term. He’s the best! Maths is so easy to understand the way he teaches it. Anyway, we had this trial race during out gym class; I did okay so Mr. Cooper asked me if I’d like to join so I said yes. Actually there are lots of kids better than me, but they’re rugby players so they’re not allowed to join.”
“But you’re doing okay,” Tom continued.
“Yeah,” Patrick said diffidently. “There’s a boy called Craig Shackleton; he’s the best. He’s in Lower Fourth, that’s a year older than me. Then there’s me, Martin Greenhall who’s in Lower Fourth and Jamie Barnett who’s in second year; we’re all about the same. Jamie’s really skinny; he’s very good though, considering he’s only nine. But we haven’t had any races yet, so we don’t really know how good we are.”
“And you played at the Christmas concert.”
“Why didn’t you tell me? I’d love to have come.”
“I thought you’d be too busy; I was only accompanying Leo in any case. He’s brilliant; plays the trumpet.”
“Well, if you’re doing anything special like that, please let me know,” Tom said gently. “I’ll always be there if I can.”
“Sorry dad,” Patrick mumbled, giving his dad a wry smile.
0 o 0 o 0 o 0
After lunch, the journey home to Guildford was quiet and uneventful. It wasn’t the time to talk in greater depth about how the term had gone, Tom decided. By four o’clock they were back at home.
“Just leave your stuff in your room for now,” Tom said quietly. “Then come down to the lounge room; I want to have a chat, just the two of us.”
Five minutes later they were seated facing each other, Tom in the armchair he always favoured, Patrick on the sofa.
“So, it seems to have gone very well,” Tom said quietly. “So fill me in on the details a bit.”
“I don’t know where to start, really,” Patrick responded.
“Well, you seem to be doing much better at maths than you have before,” Tom ventured. “Tell me about that.”
“Oh, that’s because of Mr. Thompson,” Patrick told him, his voice full of enthusiasm. “He’s great. He’s only just come to the school; he’s only young, well, younger than most of the teachers anyway. He just makes it so easy to understand. It’s fun too; everybody likes him.”
“And it was Mr. Thompson who persuaded you to join the cross-country club?” Tom asked.
“Well, sort of,” Patrick explained. “I mean he didn’t ask me; Mr. Cooper the games master did. But when he told us that Mr. Thompson would be in charge, I knew I wanted to give it a try.”
“Right,” his dad said softly. “But the rugby players aren’t allowed to join.”
“No,” Patrick confirmed. “The rugby team is fantastic. “They’ve played nine matches this term and only lost twice. The teams that beat us were both boys’ grammar schools; they’ve got almost as many boys in one year as we’ve got in the whole school.”
“You seem to know a lot about it,” Tom commented.
“Well, I always go and watch when we play at home,” Patrick said. “You remember Lee, the boy who looked after me when we first arrived?”
“Yes,” Tom said, pleased at the way the conversation was developing.
“Well, we always go and watch together. Lee’s good at rugby; he might get in the team next year.”
“And you seem to be doing well on the piano,” Tom said, changing the subject slightly.
“Really well,” Patrick said, smiling warmly. “I said Mr. Thompson was the best; well Mr. Burman’s great too. He’s a bit older than you, I think. He dresses really old fashioned and he talks posh, but he’s a fantastic teacher. He usually accompanies Leo when we put on a concert, but he said I was good enough so he asked me to do it.”
“Excellent,” Tom said. “So how old’s Leo?”
“Nearly thirteen,” Patrick said. “He’s in Upper Fourth. He’s already passed grade eight trumpet. He’s helped me a lot too. He lets me listen to his records; most of it’s stuff I’ve never heard before. Some of it’s classical, but a lot of it’s jazz. He says for the big concert in the summer there are a couple of jazz pieces he wants to play if Mr. Burman will let him.”
“Great, Tom said warmly, wondering if Leo might be ‘the one’; the way Patrick had talked about him it certainly sounded like he could be. “Well, give me the date for that as soon as you have it and I’ll make sure I’m there.”
Patrick nodded his assent.
“So tell me about your other friends,” Tom said.
“Well apart from Lee there are two other boys in our dorm that I hang out with, Simon and Deon. Deon’s really clever! In maths Mr. Thompson gives him special work to do because he’s so far ahead of everyone else. He wants to be a nuclear physicist. Some of the older boys call him the mad scientist, but he’s not; he’s really nice when you get to know him. I hang out with him a lot. Then there’s Jamie at the cross-country club. He’s a year younger than me but Martin and I can only just keep up with him. He’s great.”
Tom swallowed hard. He wasn’t sure about this next bit, but he wanted things out in the open so he didn’t have much choice.
“So have you found yourself a special friend?” he enquired.
“I don’t know what you mean,” Patrick said defensively, the hair rising on the back of his neck.
“I was thinking maybe one of the older boys, someone like Russell,” Tom explained.
Patrick was distraught, panic stricken. He knew! His dad knew what he’d been doing! But how? It didn’t matter. It had all been going so well; now everything was ruined, the whole lot of it.
“Patrick, calm down,” Tom said gently. “It’s okay.”
Okay? How could it be okay? It didn’t seem to make sense.
“You’re not angry with me?” he said nervously. “But how did you know?”
“Well, I’d wondered for quite a while,” Tom said quietly, “but you were still so young it didn’t seem to matter. You remember the day we visited Hartswood? We were sitting in Mr. Halford’s office and he called Russell into the room. I saw the way you looked at him; that was when I knew. I never went to boarding school, as you know, but I had a very close friend at university who did. He told me all about it, so I’ve got a pretty good idea of the sort of thing that goes on.”
“But you still let me go there?” Patrick asked, hardly able to take everything in.
“I didn’t have too many choices, did I?” Tom said, smiling. “I didn’t want you to stay at Woodthorn, drifting along and getting bullied; that wasn’t an option in any case. “So if it wasn’t Hartswood, it would have had to be another boarding school and maybe that one wouldn’t have been as nice.” He paused for a moment. “Russell was just the sort of friend you needed; I could see that. I just thought to myself if you could find an older friend as nice as him, well, that wouldn’t be too bad.”
“So don’t you mind?” Patrick said.
“Not much point in minding,” Tom said. “You’re just being you; it’s part of who you are. I just want you to understand this; you’re my son and I’ll love you no matter what.” He went across and sat next to Patrick, putting his arm around the boy’s shoulder. “I want to say something else too,” he continued. “You’re the only bit of your mum that I’ve got left. After her death I made a promise that I’d do whatever I needed to do to help you get through it and achieve what you’re capable of. If you having an older friend is part of that, that’s how it is. So have you found someone like that?”
“Yes,” Patrick whispered. “His name’s Brian; he plays in the rugby team.”
“And is he nice like Russell was?” Tom asked.
“Yes,” Patrick confirmed. “Some of my friends say he’s a bit of a show-off, but not when he’s with me he isn’t; he’s great.”
“So he hasn’t pushed you to do anything you didn’t want to do?” Tom asked.
“Not at all,” Patrick confirmed. He omitted to add that it wouldn’t have been necessary as he’d wanted Brian to do everything right from their first meeting, but his dad didn’t need to know that.
“And is he good looking like Russell?”
“Yes,” Patrick said, smiling.
“I thought he might be,” Tom replied, giving Patrick’s shoulder a squeeze. “Well that’s cool then. I just wanted you to know it’s okay, that’s all.”
“Thanks, dad, you’re the greatest,” Patrick croaked, scarcely able to believe what had just happened.