While other members of the Collection are mired in a messy love triangle, or worrying about the local Hitler Youth, or indulging in slightly strange dom/sub relationships, Miguel – who seems to have been hit over the head with the Lucky Stick at birth – has sailed serenely on, having fun with Andy, learning about sex with Kenji and beginning to form a strong emotional bond with James, and generally avoiding the pitfalls that the others are falling into. So as an antidote to the wall-to-wall gloom at the end of the last chapter, let’s follow Miguel as he heads off for four weeks in Spain with Hamilton in tow…
Miguel wasn’t quite as excited as he usually was at the start of the summer holiday this year: he enjoyed playing with his cousin, and wasn’t sure that Alex Hamilton would really be a good replacement: after all, they hadn’t exactly been friends so far. But when they picked Alex up from his house on the Sunday afternoon it was obvious that he was really looking forward to it, and his enthusiasm was contagious, so that by the time they got to Heathrow Miguel was once again in his usual happy going-on-holiday mood.
It helped that Alex had never flown before – he’d gone to Paris the previous year by boat and train – and his sense of awe and excitement was hard to resist, especially since by now Miguel was a seasoned air-traveller and knew all about flying. He let Alex sit by the window (on the firm understanding that it would be his turn on the flight home) and shared his boiled sweets with him, explaining that it would help to prevent his ears popping if he sucked one.
Alex’s enthusiasm hadn’t dimmed in the least by the time they landed, and all through the taxi journey from the airport to the apartment complex he kept up a stream of comments and questions. He was really impressed with the apartment complex, too, particularly because there were three swimming pools between the various blocks.
There was more room in the apartment than usual this year because Roberto’s parents and sister weren’t there to take up their usual rooms, and this meant that Alex could have taken a room to himself if he had wanted. But when offered his own room he asked if he could share with Miguel instead.
“It’d be more fun if we can share, wouldn’t it?” he said. “I mean… only if you don’t mind, of course.”
“I do not mind. I usually share a room with my cousin, and you are right, it is more fun. So we can share if you want.”
“Brilliant! Which room is ours, then?”
Miguel took him into the room he usually shared with Roberto and let him pick which of the twin beds he wanted. Alex was surprised to see that there were no sheets or blankets, just a light duvet on each bed.
“We do not use blankets in Spain,” Miguel told him. “Unless it is very cold, anyway. The duvet makes it very easy to make the bed in the morning.”
“Gosh, I don’t know if I can get used to that… still, I expect I’ll manage. Which wardrobe should I use?”
They got unpacked, and then Miguel took Alex for a quick walk round the site, showing him where the supermarket and post office were, and then pointing towards the sea.
“Tomorrow I will show you the beach,” he said. “There are three beaches that we can use… and there is a golf course, too. Can you play golf?”
Alex shook his head. “Not unless you count crazy golf,” he said. “I’d quite like to learn, though.”
“I do not play very well,” admitted Miguel. “I only play when we are here. There is a range here, so you can practice before we go on the course.”
They returned to the apartment and found that Miguel’s parents had gone out – they had left a note saying that they had gone to stock up with food.
“Of course, one good thing about coming on holiday with you is that I’ll finally get to find out if you were lying about having a bigger willy than me,” said Alex. “In fact, I think you should show me now.”
“I do not think so. You would have to beat me at cards to find out.”
“No, I wouldn’t. I mean, I’m bigger than you, and stronger, and you haven’t got Shaw here to help you, so I could make you strip bare whenever I wanted.”
“I do not think so.”
“Oh, come on, Miguel: if we fight, I’m bound to win – so why not make it easy on yourself and just strip of your own accord?”
“Because I do not want to.”
“Then I’ll just have to make you, won’t I?” Alex grinned and advanced on him, and Miguel judged his approach: Alex was a little shorter and lighter than Kenji, and if he could throw him, then he ought to be able to throw Alex even more easily. And of course Alex wasn’t expecting it, either.
It went absolutely perfectly: he grabbed Alex’s wrist, threw him onto the floor and followed up with Kenji’s wrist-lock.
“That was not nice,” he remonstrated. “You are my guest: you should not try to attack me. I think you will have to be punished. Maybe I should break your arm?”
He applied the lock a little more firmly, and Alex gasped.
“Don’t, Miguel – I’m sorry,” he said. “I promise I won’t try that again.”
“Do you promise to take your punishment, when I think of one?”
“Aargh! Yes, yes, I swear!”
Miguel got up and helped Alex to his feet. Alex looked at him in amazement.
“Wow, Miguel, where did you learn to fight like that?” he asked. “I mean, I thought… well, I thought I could beat you easily. I’m really sorry, and I meant what I said. I definitely won’t try anything like that again.”
Miguel enjoyed the look of respect on Alex’s face – it wasn’t often that the sportier boys at school looked at him like that.
“Okay,” he said. “But I will still punish you. I expect I will have thought of a good punishment by tomorrow. And do not forget that you promised to do it, or maybe I will have to break your arm.”
“It’s okay, you won’t have to do that. If I promise a friend I will do something, I never break my word.” He paused. “We are still friends, aren’t we?” he added. “I mean, I really am glad you asked me to come with you, and I don’t want to have messed it up.”
“Of course we are still friends – if you do not try to bully me again, that is. Now – come with me. I want to see if my other friends are here this year.”
He led Alex to an apartment in the block opposite theirs and knocked at the door, and a well-tanned blond boy of about their own age opened the door.
“¡Hola, Miguel!” he cried, his face lighting up.
“Hello, Jason. You will have to speak English this year because my cousin is not here. This is Alex, who is a friend at my school.”
“Hello,” said the blond boy. “Have you been to Spain before?”
Alex shook his head.
“You’re going to like it,” Jason promised him. “We have a lot of fun. It’s a pity Roberto isn’t here this year, but I reckon you’ll fit in. I mean, I don’t think Mig would have brought you with him if you weren’t a good friend.”
Alex felt a bit guilty at that, but he didn’t say anything.
“Is Estebán here this year?” Miguel asked.
“Si – I mean, yes,” replied Jason. “So we’ll be able to do all the usual stuff this year, and Jose Luis is here, too, so that’ll keep Darren out of our hair. That’s my kid brother,” he explained to Alex. “Jose Luis is this kid he hangs about with, and if he wasn’t here I’d get stuck with looking after him. But he is, so I won’t, and we can go and do whatever we feel like. It’s going to be a good summer, I can tell. But I’ll have to remember to speak English, unless you can speak Spanish..?”
“I can’t,” said Alex. “We do French and Latin at school, not Spanish, and, like I said, I’ve never been here before.”
“Oh. I’ll try to remember, then. See, we live here all year round, except for a couple of weeks, usually at the end of the summer holidays, when we go back to England to see my gran. My dad runs a bar up the coast, and we’ve been living in Spain for about five years now. Darren speaks better Spanish than he does English, because he’s been here almost all his life. So – what are we going to do tomorrow, Mig?”
“I thought we would go to the beach… in fact, I have had an idea. Perhaps you and Darren could help me with something?” And he broke into rapid Spanish, and Alex didn’t understand a word of it, but it must have been funny, because Jason first grinned and then burst out laughing.
“Right,” he said. “We’ll see you tomorrow morning, then. Oh, and Alex? Don’t forget to bring some sun-tan cream. If you’re not used to the sun you might get burnt.”
And he grinned once more and went back inside.
Miguel and Alex made their way back to their apartment. Alex would really have liked to know what Miguel and Jason had been talking about, but he didn’t like to ask, and by the time they had eaten he had forgotten about it.
As the boys were tired from the journey they went to bed a little earlier than they would normally have done on holiday: Miguel explained that people usually stayed up much later in Spain than they did in England. But tonight he felt ready for bed, so they said goodnight to his parents and went to their room.
“It’s pretty hot,” said Alex, starting to get undressed. “I don’t know if I’ll be able to sleep – it’s not like in England.”
“Do not wear any pyjamas, then,” suggested Miguel.
“What, sleep naked? Really?”
“Why not? My parents do not come into this room, and I have seen you undressed before. And unless I stand very close to you I could not see your so tiny thing anyway.”
“Oi, it’s not that small! So… are you going to sleep naked, too?”
“You still want to see me, I think. Well… okay, tomorrow I will sleep naked, and you can look if you want. But tonight I shall wear my shorts.”
Miguel waited until Alex was naked and then turned on the air conditioning unit. Alex had never seen one before and had assumed it was a heater until cold air started to come out of it. Miguel grinned, went into the bathroom (this room had its own en-suite loo and shower) and came back wearing a pair of shorts.
“Goodnight, then,” he said, and climbed into bed.
Next morning the boys dressed for the beach – shorts over swimming trunks, a thin short-sleeved shirt and sandals – and Miguel led Alex towards the sea.
“I have decided your punishment for attacking me,” he said. “You will have a chance to prove you are sorry for attacking me: if you do your punishment and do not complain, we will be proper friends again and you will share in everything we do. Is that fair?”
“Yes, okay,” agreed Alex at once.
“Good. Now, there are three beaches we can use, and on one of them you do not have to wear swimming trunks. We are going to that beach this morning. I will wear my trunks, but you will not, so everyone will be able to see you.”
“No! Oh, come on, Mig, that’s not fair – you can’t make me go naked! Everyone will laugh at me!”
“They won't. Many people go naked on this beach, and I and Jason and Estebán will not wear our trunks after this morning. So you will be able to see us all if you want. But this morning we will keep our trunks on and you will not, so you learn your lesson.”
“Well… but surely Jason and…the other one won’t want to go about with me if you’ve told them I tried to bully you?”
“I did not tell them that. I told Jason you lost a game of strip cards with me and asked for double or quits, and this is your ‘double’ – you said if you lost again you would go naked on the beach, and when you lost again… well, there is one more thing, but we will tell you that after. But they do not know that you tried to make me undress, and I will not tell them. I told Jason you were a good friend, and that is how they will treat you, if you do not complain about this morning. If you do not argue they will know you are a good sport and they will like you.”
Alex wasn't at all happy about this, but he realised there was little he could do about it: after all, Miguel had already proved that he could beat him in a fight, which meant that if he argued he'd probably be forcibly stripped anyway. And at least if he went along with it the other two boys wouldn't think badly of him, and with the whole stay looming ahead of him it made sense not to upset Miguel's friends.
“Well,” he said, eventually, “ in that case… I suppose I deserve it. But you have to promise to come on the beach yourself naked next time.”
“I promise. Now come on.”
They found Jason and another boy who was almost a clone of Miguel waiting for them at the entrance of the ‘clothing optional’ beach. They introduced Alex and Estebán to each other and then headed into an area of dunes at the nearer end of the beach.
“We play here a lot,” Miguel told Alex. “And this is where we leave our clothes if we go swimming… but today we do not need to leave them here, because Jason’s brother is on the beach and he will look after them for us.”
They stopped and took off their shirts, shorts and sandals, and after a moment Alex removed his trunks, too. Estebán said something in Spanish and the others all laughed, and Alex went red: he was sure they were laughing at the size of his equipment.
“What did he say?” he asked Miguel, but it was Jason who answered.
“He said your bum is so white that if you mooned from the edge of the sea they could see you in Morocco,” he explained. “And he’s right, too. But I bet it won’t be by the time you go home. Did you bring your sun cream?”
Alex nodded, happy to think that they weren’t laughing at his genitals after all, and produced a bottle of high factor sun screen. The others got their own bottles out: Jason and Estebán had a very low factor cream, because they were used to the sun and already had good tans, and Miguel’s was a little higher because although his skin was quite dark he still hadn’t been out in strong sunlight as much as the other two. Alex watched Jason and Estebán rubbing the cream onto each other’s backs and offered to do the same for Miguel, who then did it for him.
“Don’t forget to put some on your cock,” suggested Jason. “You really don’t want a sunburnt knob, I can promise you.”
Once they were all ready they picked up their clothes and walked a little further down the beach, and near the water’s edge they found two much younger boys building a sandcastle. These two were wearing swimming trunks, too, and that made Alex feel even more naked.
“This is my brother Darren and his friend Jose Luis,” said Jason.
The younger boys said hello, and Alex was surprised to discover that the fair-haired one was Jose Luis, while Darren’s hair was mid-brown.
“I bet you didn’t know that Spaniards come in blond too,” said Jason, correctly interpreting his expression. “Well, they do. Anyway, Jose Luis doesn’t speak a lot of English, but Darren can translate for you.”
“Erm… why would he need to?” asked Alex.
“Oh, did I forget to tell you?” replied Miguel. “You are going to stay here and help them to build their castle while we go swimming. And you will do whatever they tell you to, as well. This is your extra punishment for being no good at cards. If you are good and do what they say you will have paid your forfeit. Okay?”
The three older boys dumped their clothes close to the sandcastle and ran off towards the sea, leaving Alex feeling… well, he wasn’t quite sure what he was feeling. But he didn’t get long to think about it, because as soon as the others had gone Darren commanded him imperiously to start digging the moat.
The two younger boys kept him running about for about half an hour, digging, collecting shells to decorate the towers, and running a bucket relay to the edge of the water in order to fill the moat. He did it all without complaining, and actually found himself quite enjoying it after a while: it was quite some time since he had last built a really good sandcastle. And the two boys made no comment at all about his nakedness, either.
The other three came back just as they were putting the finishing touches to the castle.
“Not bad,” said Jason to his brother. “Has he been behaving himself?”
“Yes, he’s fun. And he did everything without arguing – and he found some really good shells, look.”
“Good. Do you want to come in for a swim before we go back, then?”
Darren nodded vigorously and jumped onto his brother’s back, at which Jose Luis said something to Alex.
“He wants a piggy-back,” translated Jason. “Give him one and we’ll race you to the sea.”
So Alex offered his back to the little blond boy, who jumped on, and then they all raced back to the water. They splashed about for about half an hour, and by the time they got out again Alex was really enjoying himself and had virtually forgotten that he was naked.
“We have to go now,” said Miguel as they returned to where they had left their clothes. “You should not be out in the sun for too long on your first day here, or you will burn. And I should be careful, too. So, we will go back to the apartment and stay out of the sun for a while.”
They dressed, said goodbye to the others and went back to the apartment, where they draped their wet towels from the balcony and then retreated to their room.
“Now we are proper friends again,” said Miguel. “And that is good, because the others all said that they like you and want to play with you some more.”
“Great! And nobody even teased me about… you know, being small.”
“Neither of them is really very big,” said Miguel. “They are a little bigger than you, of course, but not too much. And… now I am going to have a shower, so you will see that I am not really very big, either. You had better have one, too, to get rid of the sand.”
“Okay,” said Alex, throwing his clothes off and getting his second towel from the wardrobe.
He stood by the door to the shower room and waited, and when Miguel finally removed his trunks and turned to face him, Alex’s eyes immediately went to his groin. And before he realised it was happening his own little penis started to go stiff.
Miguel noticed and laughed. “You must think that I am sexy,” he commented.
“No! Well… okay, you look nice, but… anyway, let’s go and shower.” And he turned and darted into the shower room, blushing copiously once again.
He had never shared a small, non-school changing room shower before and found that he really liked it: he loved watching Miguel washing himself and enjoyed it when Miguel suggested that they wash each other’s backs, especially when Miguel went a little lower than he had expected and washed his bum for him, too. That made him bold enough to do the same thing when it was his turn, and Miguel didn’t object in the least.
They washed their hair and then just stood in the hot water for a while, barging each other out of the main flow now and again and eventually having a proper wrestling match on the floor while the water fell on them, and Alex thought that felt really amazing: he loved the way Miguel’s slippery body pressed against his. Of course, his erection never went down, but Miguel didn’t tease him about it, so he didn’t really mind.
Eventually they got out of the shower and got dressed, and then Miguel took him over to the golf course and gave him his first lesson in the driving range. As Miguel was no expert it is doubtful how good his instruction was, but by the time they finished Alex was hitting the ball in roughly the right direction.
After lunch they met up with Jason and Estebán again and played a sort of hunting, stalking, fighting and all-out wrestling game with them in among the dunes, followed by another swimming, chasing, splashing and ducking session (and this time none of them wore trunks, and Alex was able to see that Jason and Estebán really were not too much bigger than he was, as Miguel had said). Miguel wouldn’t let him stay out in the sun for too long, however, and took him back to the apartment before he could get burned.
After supper they went round to Jason’s apartment and played Monopoly with him and his brother for a couple of hours, and by the time they got back to their own apartment and were ready for bed Alex was feeling that this was probably the best holiday he had ever been on: he really liked Miguel’s friends, and Miguel himself was proving to have a sense of fun that his school friends rarely saw.
“Miguel,” asked Alex, tentatively, as they got undressed for bed, “do you think we could push the beds together? Only… I had trouble sleeping last night: I’ve never been away from my family before, and I thought… well, now I know I can really trust you, maybe you could… God, this is going to sound really childish…”
“Could you… hold my hand until I’m asleep? And if you tell Jason and Estebán, or worse, the other kids at school, that I asked, I’ll kill you, okay? But… I felt sort of alone last night…”
“Of course I will. And I will not tell. I have never slept away from my family, either, so I do not know what it is like… help me to move the beds.”
So they pushed the beds together and got under the duvets, and Alex reached across and Miguel wriggled close enough to take his hand, and then closer still, close enough to put his arm around the other boy’s shoulders.
“We are friends,” he said. “We will stick together, okay?”
“Okay,” agreed Alex, nervously putting his own arm around Miguel’s waist: he’d never been in this position before, but he thought it felt good to be so close to someone… and soon he fell asleep, and tonight he slept soundly, and woke up next morning feeling fine. He also had an erection, which he knew was often the case when he woke up… and he found himself wondering if the same thing happened to Miguel. Miguel was sleeping on his back right next to him, and he had kept his promise to sleep naked, so it would be easy to check…
Very carefully Alex slid his hand down to Miguel’s groin, and there it encountered a rampant erection. He wondered what it would feel like, so he let it slip through his fingers. Miguel seemed to stir slightly and Alex froze, but Miguel’s breathing kept going as before and so he decided it was safe to explore further. He stroked his friend’s balls and caressed the rigid shaft, thinking how interesting it felt. Like his own, this penis still had a little spare foreskin at the tip even though it was fully erect, and he ran his forefinger across it…
“That tickles,” said Miguel, making Alex jump.
“I do not think I said you could do that,” commented Miguel.
“I’m sorry,” babbled Alex, snatching his hand away. ‘I just… I mean… I only wanted to see if yours gets hard in the morning, like mine does.”
“I think maybe I will have to punish you again,” said Miguel.
“Oh, no… look, I’m sorry, Miguel – but I really want to come out with you and Jason and Estebán this morning. I mean, I like Darren and Jose Luis, but don’t leave me babysitting again – please?”
“I will not. Instead you have to lie on your back and let me do that to you.”
“Okay,” said Alex, with alacrity, rolling onto his back.
Miguel began to stroke his erection, and it felt really good, and he wriggled about, enjoying it.
“You can do it to me at the same time if you want,” invited Miguel after a minute or so.
Alex didn’t need asking twice, and resumed his exploration of Miguel’s body, and for several minutes they felt each other up, until a voice from outside the door told them to get up and have some breakfast.
“I have something to show you later,” said Miguel, rolling out of bed and displaying a rock-solid penis to Alex’s admiring eyes. “When my parents have gone out.”
They couldn’t spend too long at a time outside to start with, of course, because both of them needed to acclimatise to the hot sun, so they would have to spend some time indoors, at least for the first few days. So after Miguel’s parents had gone out they went back into the bedroom and undressed once more.
To start with they just felt each other again, but once they were both fully erect Miguel took hold of Alex’s small shaft and started to rub it the way Kenji had taught him.
“Oh, wow, that feels really good!” said Alex, wriggling.
“Good. So in a minute you can do that to me.”
“Okay.” Alex liked Miguel’s penis, which was about an inch longer than his and so easier to manipulate, and he very quickly got the technique.
“That is really good,” Miguel told him. “Your turn again…”
They took it in turns to do it to each other, but not for more than thirty seconds at a time: Miguel didn’t want either of them to get too excited too quickly. But in the end he just told Alex to keep doing it to him, allowing himself to reach a really good orgasm. Alex didn’t realise what had happened, of course, and had to be told to stop, but then it was his turn and he discovered for himself what it was that had made Miguel writhe and gasp and clench his toes the way he had.
After he had come down a little from his high he stared at Miguel.
“What was that?” he asked.
“That is what sex feels like,” Miguel told him.
“Bloody hell! Then… I definitely want a lot of sex!”
“I am sure we will be able to do that many times,” Miguel assured him.
That set the pattern for the best holiday Alex had ever had – and it was the best that Miguel had ever had, too, because this year he had discovered a bit about sex and he had a willing partner with him to experiment with. During the day they went to the beach or played golf or swam in one of the pools, and Alex had a ride on a horse for the first time in his life (though he said afterwards that it was too uncomfortable for him to want to do it too often), and in the evenings they and Jason and Estebán visited each others’ apartments and played cards and board games, and at night the two of them slept naked and curled up together.
Slowly Alex’s skin began to tan – all over, because they usually spent at least part of the day on the private beach – and he was able to spend more time outdoors. They joined Jason and Estebán as they tried to sneak through the dunes to spy on a couple of sunbathing girls two or three years older than them and ran away laughing when one of the girls spotted them and shouted at them; they hunted each other through the dunes and had wrestling matches in the sand; they chased each other in the sea, trying to duck each other; they played beach cricket with a tennis ball (Estebán had been taught to play by Jason some summers previously); and they helped Darren and Jose Luis to build ever-larger and more complicated sandcastles. Sometimes they had piggy-back fights in the sea, and Alex and Jose Luis formed a really successful partnership, even though they couldn’t understand each other very well.
Around the end of the second week Miguel and Alex had a blazing row that erupted out of nothing, as these things often do, and for half a day they refused to talk to each other. But Estebán worked on Miguel and Jason worked on Alex, and the argument was resolved, and that evening they apologised to each other and spent the following night curled up together as before.
By the fourth week Alex had learned a few words of Spanish, and the others encouraged him by refusing to speak English to him, forcing him to try to communicate in Spanish instead. In the evenings Miguel and his family helped him with a little basic grammar, and then they started to test it by sending him to the supermarket to get food for them all. In fact the staff at the supermarket all spoke reasonable English, but they didn’t let on, allowing him to do his best in Spanish; and as a result he felt extremely pleased with himself when his shopping expedition was (more or less) a success.
Sometimes during the day when they were alone in the apartment they undressed and had fun together, sometimes just wrestling, sometimes masturbating each other, as they had done on that second morning. Miguel considered trying to teach Alex how to use his mouth, but decided against it, at least for now: it still seemed pretty weird to him, no matter how good it felt, and he thought it better to keep it between himself and Kenji for the time being. He also considered getting Jason and Estebán to join in, but he wasn’t quite sure how they might take it, and he didn’t want to risk ruining future summer trips by alienating them, so again he decided against it.
The last week rolled on by. Miguel never enjoyed the last couple of days, particularly if the holiday had gone well, because it meant that he wouldn’t see his cousin or his friends again for a year. In a way this year was better because at least one of his friends would be flying home with him, but of course for Alex it was worse because he didn’t think he’d ever be able to come back: he was pretty sure that his parents couldn’t afford holidays in Spain. Next year Miguel’s cousin would be back and that would mean no place for him – even assuming Miguel would even want him to come again, that is.
“Of course I would want to go on holiday with you again,” Miguel reassured him. “We have had fun this time, haven’t we? And even if you cannot come here with me next summer, I would still like to see you in the other holidays.”
“Thanks. It won’t be like here, of course…God, Mig, this has been a brilliant time – it’s just… I don’t want it to end.”
“My father says it is better not to keep doing something until it bores you, or you will not want to do it again. If we were here always, we would get bored and wish we could go back to England.”
“Do you really think so? I don’t think I could ever get bored with it here – playing golf and mucking about with Jason and Estebán and running about the beach naked, and all the rest of it. And sharing a bed with you – that’s been really brilliant fun, too.”
“We can do that in England.”
“I suppose we can, too… I’ll have to invite you over for the weekend sometimes.”
“And we can play golf in England, too.”
“We can’t run around naked, though.”
“That is true, but I thought you did not like to undress in case people laugh at your small thing.”
“Well… okay, it’s smaller than yours – but the others here didn’t laugh at me, so perhaps my English friends won’t, either.”
“I will make fun of it still – but only when we are alone. I will never tease you in front of anyone else. Except for Andy, of course: every time you lose to us at cards we will tease you to death about it.”
“I don’t mind that too much because I know you’re bigger than me, so you’re allowed to tease me.”
“Everyone is bigger than you. Even Darren and Jose Luis are bigger than you.”
“Well… okay, I admit it. Actually, I think Jose Luis is bigger than you, too – his one is pretty big for a seven-year-old. It’ll be huge when he’s our age.”
“If I am honest I do not think it is important to be big,” said Miguel. “I know that some boys think it is really important, but I do not think so. I think that you and I have found that we can still make each other feel good even though we are not yet grown up.”
“That’s true – I can’t believe the feelings I get when you rub it for me…and I suppose we can keep doing that in England, too.”
“I am sure that we can.”
They spent their last afternoon on the beach, scampering about naked as usual. By now Alex had tanned really well, and he wondered if his parents would have anything to say about it – after all, it was immediately obvious that his tan went all the way down. But he didn’t think they would mind too much, especially when they saw what a good time he’d had…
He said goodbye to Estebán and Jose Luis when they went in for supper (and he did so in Spanish, even though it was a bit wonky). After supper they went to Jason’s apartment for a final game of Monopoly, after which they said goodbye to Jason and Darren.
“It’s been a good laugh,” said Jason. “Next time your stupid cousin can’t come, Mig, make sure you invite this one instead. He’s cool.”
Which, Alex thought, was really nice to hear.
They couldn’t misbehave too much in bed with Miguel’s parents in the flat, and of course the next morning they had to get up and finish packing quite early instead of being able to lie in bed and play with each other as they had been doing most mornings. Alex didn’t really sleep very well: he was feeling down about having to go home, and he’d spent most of the evening trying hard not to let himself start crying in front of anyone. Only when he thought Miguel was asleep did he finally let himself go – only to find, as he had discovered on the second morning, that Miguel wasn’t always asleep when you thought he was.
“What is wrong?” Miguel asked quietly.
“I… I don’t want to go home.”
“I do not want to go home, either. But we will have to go. And… we will still be friends, won’t we?”
“Then we can still have fun together. But now we should try to sleep.” And Miguel hugged him, and Alex hugged him back, and just for a moment Miguel felt the way he had when he and James had held each other… maybe he was starting to really like Alex a lot…
They flew home next day, and by the time they landed Alex was his usual self, joking and laughing about what they had done during the past four weeks. They dropped him off at his house and drove the rest of the way back to Poundford Spa. It had been a really good holiday, Miguel thought. And he wondered if his other friends had been having as much fun as he had…
…that seems extremely unlikely, given what has gone before. But before we follow Jeremy on his annual escape to the States, we’ll spend a while in the unorthodox but still apparently happy world of Sim and Uzzy…
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