Solstice

A story by Bard Boy [bard_boy(at)protonmail(dot)com]

Disclaimer: The following is a work of fiction about an inappropriate relationship between a man and a preteen boy. One of the boundaries crossed in this relationship is engagement in sexual activity between the man and the boy. If you do not want to read such a story, or it is illegal for you to do so because of your age or where you live, you should stop reading now and go do something else instead. The fictional depiction of an inappropriate relationship between a man and a boy is by no means encouragement to any man who would seek to forge such a relationship for real. This story is not set in the present day, so rest assured every aspect is fictional.

This story is the property of the author. Do not repost it elsewhere without their prior consent.

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The dry disclaiming out of the way, I hope you enjoy reading the story (in which ever way suits you best). Feel free to contact me on the email above.

NB: This is a work of fiction and takes certain artistic license. Do not give a real eleven-year-old an expectorant. It could kill them.

Seven: Medicine Man

I'm making a pot from clay.

Nell's here. And Ross. It's some sort of arts thing put on by the college, an activity thing from the student arts budget. We're in the third year of our degrees. They've just started dating.

I'm hopeless at getting my clay going. Ross can just about do it. Nell ever the artist has managed to get hers going well, and she steps over to help me. She gets the clay going, starts growing it into shape. It's looking like a pot. I take back over and realise I can do it. It's moving where I want it to; growing in my hands.

Then, all of a sudden, it starts going wrong. No matter what I do, the clay seems to have taken on a life of its own. It bubbles and grows out in unexpected directions. It's not behaving how I wanted it to.

I double down on what I had been doing, but it only makes matters worse.

How about if I sleep a little bit longer and forget all this nonsense?


**


I was woken by something wet on my nose.

I opened my eyes to see two pale blue eyes millimetres from my own.

"What are you doing, James?"

"I was trying to think of a fun way to wake you up, so I thought I'd lick your nose and see what happened."

I screwed up my eyes and wrapped my arms around him, squeezing him so tight to me I ran the risk of winding him.

"You've been finding a lot of fun ways to surprise me lately."

I released him and he coughed a very chesty cough. I could feel his chest vibrating on mine. I held his face in the palms of my hands and gave him a serious look.

"Are you sure you're feeling better?"

"Sure," said James. "Just can't get rid of this stupid cough."

"Well, let's see if we can run a hot bath to help," I said. "All that snow and rain should have given us plenty of water if our rain catcher has worked."

I was slightly surprised when opening the warm bath tap that a healthy flow of warm water came out. Evidently the problem with the solar heating had been lack of supply more than anything.

James and I looked at each other and grinned.

We shared a deep, hot bath, for the first time ever. I lay full length, my legs apart. James lay between them, his head rested on my belly, his back pushing down on my cock and balls. When I got hard, he turned over and rubbed his chest against my boner. Then he rested his forearms on my thighs and gave me a watery blowjob until I came.

That was my cue to haul him up, so we were chest to chest, face to face. I kissed him deeply, tasting my semen on his impish tongue, all while massaging shower gel into his back, buttocks, and crack. He grunted into my mouth as I forced my middle finger into his hole. Then he bit my lower lip and pushed his hips back for more. I gave him a steady middle finger fuck until he was desperately pounding my stomach with his stiffy. I pulled my finger free and he gave a little whine.

I roughly flipped him over and pushed him downwards so that his soapy-slick crack was riding my dick. I was rock hard again. With my thumb, fore-, and middle fingers I wanked him off, my hand splashing in the water and my bottom two fingers flicking at his drawn-up balls with every downstroke. We ground against each other. He panted and squeaked all the way to a crashing orgasm, me drowning a second load in the bathwater as I felt his three-incher spasm wildly in my hand.

He threw his head back with such force he almost headbutted my chin.


**


When bath time was over, I sorted out an old electric clipper I'd originally bought for my beard as a young man. I thought we could both stand to be less shaggy.

James usually hated haircuts probably because I usually did the whole thing with kitchen scissors and wasn't a particularly talented or patient barber so I was pleasantly surprised to have him sat happily and calmly, in the nude on the dining room table, in front of a long wall mirror, chatting away as I buzzed his back and sides. The regular trim of the clippers gave me a guideline for the length of the top and fringe, taking a lot of pressure off my cutting and saving a hell of a lot of time. His cowlick, when shorter, gave him a natural vertically spiked fringe on one side, and I found him some ancient hair wax to make a matching style all along the front. It was a bit like a hair palisade; the whole fringe spiked directly upwards. It framed his pale face quite nicely. His full forehead made his eyes all the more expressive.

Doing myself was a bit more difficult, and enlisting James as a helper came with its risks. He helped buzz the back of my head where I couldn't see or reach, and I held the lengths of hair on top in place for him to cut with the scissors, hoping that he wouldn't catch my fingers. I needn't have worried. A sudden onset of coughing, and his pointless bracing of the side of my head with his left hand, meant it was the side of his own finger out of which he ended up taking a nick of skin. He howled, and it bled quite a bit. He had tears in his eyes but didn't cry. I told him to suck on it, led him to the kitchen, rinsed the cut with cold water and salted it to try to stem the bleeding (he howled again). I found a plaster for him to wrap around himself and we went back to business with the rest of my hair. James sat watching and bending his index finger back and forth in its plaster.

"We really should do something about your cough," I said, running my fingertips through my hair to release any strays.

"Can I have a picture on the wall like you and your brother?"

"I guess so, but it'll need a lot of different electric things to work, which haven't been used in a long time," I said. "What about your cough, though?"

"Picture first. Cough later."

I shook my head and went to find an old digital camera or smartphone. I found my phone and turned it on. No signal, no messages, almost no juice. I set it to charge for a while and checked over the old desktop computer in the corner of the dining room.

My dad used to get through computers like most men go through socks. He seemed to have an inverse Midas touch that made all his technology slow down to the point of uselessness and then break altogether. I wasn't holding high hopes for the hunk of junk he'd left behind here. I made sure everything was connected especially the printer and turned it on. It booted slowly.

James was watching with interest.

"What do we need that for?" he asked.

"I'm going to take a photo with the camera on my phone," I explained. "To print the photo onto paper and put it on the wall, I need to use this printing machine here. It only connects to this computer, not to my phone."

"So how do you get the picture from the phone to the computer?"

"I can either attach it with a cable or send it through the air as radio waves between the phone and the computer."

"Oh. What do radio waves look like?"

"They're invisible."

"How can a picture be invisible?"

"Because the picture itself is just data. Numbers written down by my phone from its camera, which are then sent to the computer, which sends them to the printer. The printer and computer both understand the numbers in the same way as the phone, so they produce the same picture."

"I think I understand," said James. "Technology is complicated, isn't it?"

The computer finally booted up. It had given my phone the chance to gain a little charge at least enough to take a couple of photos.

"Sit on the sofa," I instructed. "I'll take the picture."

"You're going to take my picture while I'm naked?"

"You can put something on if you like," I said. "I'm only going to take your head and shoulders."

He scuttled off towards the bedroom.

"Bring me something, too," I called after him.

James came back wearing just the old blue football shirt. He threw me a grey woolly jumper I'd had for about fifteen years.

"How come you put that back on?" I asked.

"I dunno," he said, plopping himself on the sofa. The shirt rode up and fully exposed his boy bits. He looked at me expectantly and smiled. "I thought you liked me wearing this. Are you going to take a picture now?"

I got a good picture of him sat smiling on the settee, wearing the blue football shirt. Then, quickly, for posterity's sake, I took a quick one of his naked crotch. He wouldn't be eleven forever.

I put on my jumper and sat down next to him.

"Now one together," I said, pulling him into a cuddle on the sofa. I took a selfie, us smiling down the lens, dressed only halfway down for the camera.

I bluetoothed them to the computer and searched through the drawers of the computer desk. I knew my parents used to keep all sorts of crap they never used on their computers, so it didn't take too long to find some photo paper. I bunged it in the printer, turned all the quality settings right up, and hit print on the two photographs, hoping that there was ink in the printer. A slow while later, we had two decent-looking photographs ready for display.

James had a coughing fit of excitement.

"We can put these up later," I said. "Right now, I'm thinking we should go and find you some medicine for your chest."

"It doesn't hurt," said James. "It's just that my chest feels all... sticky. And coughing won't get rid of the stickiness."

"That's what I mean," I said. "We can get you something that might take some of that stickiness off your chest."

"Where from?"

"How would you like to go and see the big buildings in the city centre?"

James' face lit up.

"Cool! Do you think there will be other children there?"

"Maybe," I said, toeing the line between raising his hopes and dashing them. "But mainly there will be a lot of massive buildings to explore."

"Will it be like the big city in Lord of the Rings?"

"You'll have to wait and see. It's going to be a bit of a walk though, so go get yourself ready as quick as you can."

James bolted up the stairs.


**


I realised the most efficient way to take us to the middle of the city was along the train lines. James was excited about the possibility of seeing trains, no matter how much I told him there hadn't been any trains in years.

We marched along the snowy railway tracks, us staying level while the height of the landscape changed around us. We went from high on an embankment, overlooking the canal, into deep cuttings, where the snow built up in drifts on either side. It was one of those overcast English winter days, where the sky is monochrome grey with cloud, and the presence of the sun is only implied by a bright spot buried somewhere in the heavens beyond. Around us, the red brick of the city was stained white by the snow, resting lazily on every half-possible surface.

We were emerging from the valley of a cutting, into a more open, flat stretch, and approaching a station. I was holding James' hand as he balanced along a snow-buried rail, and staring at the endless sky, when something on the bridge ahead caught my eye.

Staring down at us, watching our every step, was a man.

An Asian man, I realised as we got closer. An Asian man with oddly familiar features.

"Look!" said James, pointing. "There's someone watching us."

"Don't look," I told him. "Keep walking." I now regretted not having had him bring his bow out with him.

The man watched us walk under the bridge. He couldn't see us on the other side as we passed through the station. James spotted something else and pointed again.

"Hey, isn't that the place we went before? Where we saw the cat?"

"Come on," I said. "We should speed up a bit to make sure we have enough time in the centre before it gets dark."

"Wait!" said James, jogging a few steps ahead. "Look, Jake! Are those trains?"

I furrowed my brow and marched after him. It was only when I caught up and could see where he was pointing that I realised he was right. I had forgotten we'd be passing an old depot.

"They are!" I said, pulling down the hood of James' coat and ruffling his newly-styled hair. "Want to have a look?"


**


After a quick detour looking at trains from the outside but not being able to get into them, we continued on our way along the rails. Soon we were approaching the city centre from high on a viaduct. James was practically running from side to side of the high train bridge, pointing out landmark after landmark. The big blue stadium that matched his shirt. Huge derelict factories. The rooftops of Victorian pubs that we could practically reach out and touch. Over to the west, the huge, kneeling floodlights of the cricket ground, bent as if in praise to a god they had wretchedly outlived. To the east, a branch of the viaduct that went nowhere, abruptly stopping at a crossroads with a canal bridge and a pub on the corner. A Victorian white elephant that had been a curiosity of city geography ever since.

We were nearing our final stop.

"Look at that building!" cried out James, with no less enthusiasm than the first time. "That one's the weirdest yet!"

It was a department store building, bulbous and rounded like a multi-chambered peanut, cladded outlandishly with enormous silver discs.

"It looks like that weird ball I saw at the sports place," said James.

"The golf ball?" I suggested.

"Yeah, the weird ball."

I led him through the station concourse. The next part of the line was a tunnel under the city, so we could have gone no further even if we'd have wanted to. The ticket barriers sat yawning open, looking forlorn. Some panes of glass from the roof had fallen to the floor and shattered, allowing snow to gather in little rectangular patches on the paved floor.

I could have taken us straight into the vast shopping centre via the golf ball-peanut department store, but the walk had taken a couple of hours or more and I was keen for us to sit and have lunch somewhere more exciting before getting down to business. We crossed an empty road from the train station and went up a long set of steps between buildings. The city had been built on a high ridge, above one bank of a piddling little river where, before industry, a tiny market town had coalesced slowly over a millennium, on the site where a certain Beorma and his followers had set down their sleepy hamlet.

At the top of the stair, seven ways met. To our left and ahead of us, two towering entrances to the top floor of the shopping centre, all glass, some of it fracturing. Between those two was an opening onto an incline, leading down to entrances to the middle floor of the mall. Beyond that, a church spire. To the right of the main towering entrance to the shopping centre, with its bronze bull statue, was another incline, leading eventually down to the mirror clad central train station, its great mounted circular video screen making it look like a dormant monster from War Of The Worlds. Then there were two streets leading off at different angles to our right. Both pedestrianised main shopping streets. Above us climbed a large, cylindrical tower block.

I led James past broken down shop fronts with beaten-down doors and smashed windows. The elegant city architecture stared us down blankly. In the distance, a dog sniffed around, spotted us, and trotted away quickly. There was nobody else around.

I took us down a side alley between a ransacked glass-fronted urban supermarket and a row of old buildings in immaculately-sculpted red tiling and smooth brick. There was not a lot to see; just back doors. But we were climbing uphill again. It brought us out into a large, green square. More elegantly derelict buildings. In the middle, an understated, eighteenth-century baroque cathedral stood, quietly confident, casting shame on its surroundings with its unnerving completeness.

"That's a cool church," said James. "Did we come up here just to look at it?"

"We could do," I said. "Or, we could go and eat lunch inside. What do you think?"

James grinned and wandered off ahead.

The church door creaked mournfully as we pushed our way in. It was warm inside. Nobody was around. James breathed in sharply and gazed down the aisle in awe at the large stained-glass windows. He fingered the marble columns and the worn-down backs of the wooden pews. I gazed at a floor plaque commemorating the Lunar Society, and wondered what James might have become, in another life.

I joined James on a pew and took out lunch from my bag. Nothing fancy. Just some of the dried fruits and some crisps from the treat stash. They were stale.

"What are churches for?" asked James, munching on a crisp.

"People built them because they believed in God and Jesus. They came here to listen to stories, and pray, and get married and stuff like that."

"Did my parents get married in a church?"

"It was more like a chapel, I suppose a small church in a big house."

"So you were there?"

"All of your mom and dad's friends were there. And your grandparents. And your uncles and aunty."

"I wish I'd been there."

"You couldn't have been there, James. It was a long time before you were born."

"Hmm." James sat and thought for a moment. He crunched through another crisp. "Do you believe in God, Jake?"

"No," I said. "I've never been religious. My parents weren't religious. My grandmothers were a bit, and so was school a little bit, so I sort of followed along with that when I was really little. As soon as I was old enough to think twice about it, I wasn't religious at all."

"Were my parents religious?"

"I think they both were, a little bit, in different ways," I said. "You tell me. Do you think your mom was religious?"

"I don't know," said James. He sat on the pew and thought for a while, kicking his legs as they dangled just above the stone floor. "I think she was just my mom."


**


It's amazing how dark shopping centres are inside with the lights off.

With the glass roof covered in snow, there was a dingy feel to the place as we entered via the bull. Coming in on the top floor into the main atrium, it seemed as if the cavernous building had been carved out of the earth, deep and empty as its tiers reached downward into the hillside, a gaping hole through the middle from rooftop to ground floor.

We needed to get downstairs to reach the pharmacy, but James was loving being in such a huge space. He called out and heard his voice echo, and ran around the empty floors until he had to bend double coughing. It was like the vast space was supercharging his batteries. I thought, in a strangely parental way, that I would have a sleepy boy on my hands tonight.

Eventually I had to round him up and get us downstairs. I didn't trust the long-dormant escalators, so I had us take the side stairs. James went running off ahead. He was a flight of stairs ahead of me, so I couldn't see exactly where he was. I just heard him yelp.

I trotted after him and turned the corner, finally able to see down the next flight of stairs. I could see James, and I could see what had startled him. Lying on the floor ahead of us was a body. It was partially clothed, but mainly just a skeleton. When I caught up with James, he wrapped his arms around my waist and clung to me, side on.

"Is that a person?" he asked, his voice shaking.

I put my hand under his hood and started stroking his hair.

"They were a person," I said. "It's just bones now."

The dogs had probably seen to that years ago.

James whimpered and buried his face into my chest.

"I know it's not nice to see," I said, still gently stroking his head. "It can't hurt us, though. We should walk respectfully around and carry on."

James let go of my waist but insisted on holding my hand as we walked on.

"I thought we might see people and children here," he said. "But not like that."


**


The pharmacy was also very dark and messy. There didn't seem to be much left of use. My instinct was to check the stores in the back anyway, where they would have kept the prescription meds.

James left my side to go and search amongst one set of shelves for anything chest-related, while I took another aisle and searched there. I thought I could hear him running around.

"Ow!" he said. He sounded like he landed with a bump.

"Oh man! Sorry!"

Another voice. A boy's voice.

I walked around the shelves to where James was. An unkempt looking boy with a shaggy afro was offering a hand to help him from the ground.

"Are you okay, James?" I asked.

"Uh, yeah, I think so," he said, looking wide-eyed at the boy, who hauled James up from the ground. They were roughly the same size, though I guessed the other boy was probably a touch younger than James.

"Hi, my name's Manny," he said. "Sorry for bumping into you. I got scared when I saw other people here."

"I'm James," said James quietly, blushing slightly.

"Cool. Is this your dad?"

"Erm... Jake is a friend who takes care of me."

"Oh, so like an uncle, then?"

"Jake," said James, "my finger's bleeding again."

"Not to worry," I said. "We are in a pharmacy after all. Nice to meet you, Manny."

I fumbled around on the shelves for an antiseptic spray.

"Take that plaster off, James, and hold your finger out for me."

I sprayed him with the antiseptic spray.

"Ow!"

"Is it stinging? That means it's working. Hold your finger still."

The spray quickly dried into a transparent seal over James' cut.

"See, much better now."

"I got a cut like that on my knee before," said Manny, jovially. "My nan sprayed some stuff on it and then she put a plaster on top as well."

"That's great," I said. "Is your nan around?"

"No, she has to stay in bed," said Manny. "I come here to get her medicine."

"We're looking for medicine too," said James.

I was still browsing the shelves while we chatted.

"Yep," I said. "Medicine like this."

I found what I was looking for on the shelf.

"Expectorant. That means it makes your body clear out the gunk from your chest. The last one, too. Looks like somebody has been hitting this stuff pretty hard."

"Aw, man!" said Manny. "That's what I needed too."

I gave Manny a sideways look in the dark of the storeroom.

"Are you sure?" I asked.

Manny nodded and gave a toothy smile.

"We can share it," suggested James.

"Do you live near here, Manny?" I asked.

"Yeah, I live just up there!" he pointed in a vague direction behind us that meant nothing while we were inside in the dark.

"Could you take us to see your nan?"

"Suppose so," he said, shrugging. "Follow me."


**


"Do you live around here?" Manny asked James, "Cos you sound kind of weird."

"I live on a farm a long way away," said James. "But now we live here in the winter."

"No way!" said Manny. "Do you have animals?"

"There are some chickens, and then these birds called pheasants live in the woods around us. So do badgers and foxes and animals like that," said James. "And we have a goat. She's called Mrs Williams. She sort of wanders around by herself most of the time and eats everything. She's probably doing that right now."

"Nahhh, that's proper cool," said Manny, clapping James on the back. "I wish I lived on a farm, man. That would be swee-eet."

I walked a little way behind them and left them to it. James was a funny boy, awkward in a lot of different ways. But give him a chance, and he'd do just fine.

He started giving Manny a lowdown on all the different vegetables we grew and how they worked.


**


It turned out that Manny and his granny lived in the circular tower block just above where we had been. He took us up a couple of flights of stairs and then into what must once have been a chic apartment. Now it was a mess, and a little cold.

"Nana?" Manny called out as we entered.

"Emmanuel?" came a croaked response from inside. "You back boy? Did you get your nana her medicine?"

She sounded old, and frail, and had the trace of a West African accent when she spoke. The way she enunciated the name: E-mman-u-el.

"I got the medicine nana, but it was the last one and some other people want it too."

He brought us into the main living area of the apartment, where his nana was cocooned in blankets on a bed to one side of the room.

"Oh, heavens! Forgive me!" croaked the old lady, "My name is Elizabeth Addo. Welcome to our home. I apologise for the mess; Emmanuel is a good boy, but he can't do everything."

Manny, stood at the foot of the bed, grinned.

"That's no problem," I said. "When Manny said he needed the medicine for his sick grandmother, we wanted to come over and see how you were doing."

"I'm fine," Elizabeth said, between heavy breaths. "But I've seen better days." She smiled just like Manny.

James tried to stifle a cough, but couldn't manage it. Elizabeth looked around.

"What's that horrible coughing? Do you need medicine too, child?" Elizabeth held out her arm. "Come closer, boy. I can't see you properly from there."

James shuffled over so he was stood in front of Elizabeth's head, propped up by pillows on the bed. She pushed back his hood and pulled his face towards her with two hands.

"Such a handsome boy, you should make sure you look after yourself."

James blushed and tried to look away, but Elizabeth was holding his head in place.

"Have confidence, boy!"

"Do you want the medicine?" asked James, quietly. "I think you need it more than I do."

"Nonsense, boy!" said Elizabeth, and coughed her own heavy cough. "I'm old and very ill. You're young and full of life. You take it."

"Come on, James," I said. "We should go."

"No!" said James, stamping his foot. "I don't need medicine. What about Manny?"

"It's alright, man," Manny said. "I can go to try and find more somewhere else."

"But we have it here and your nana needs it!" James exhorted, getting red in the face and stretching his eyes wide.

"James, can I speak to you outside for a minute?" I said.

I took James out into the hallway.

"Hey, mister," I said. "We have what we need. Manny's nan wants you to take it. We should go and leave them in peace."

"No!" he whined, red-faced and not looking at me. "You're being horrible. She's ill and she needs medicine."

"James, we'll probably never see them again. Besides, she has, like, emphysema or something. Do you know what that means? This medicine isn't going to help her."

"No, I don't know what that means!" he screeched. "You keep talking about things I don't know and telling me what to do, but you never tell me what it means!"

He began to sob.

"Oh, are you going to cry now, is that it?" I snapped.

"I hate you," said James between sobs, furrowing his brow and staring me down.

"Please don't say things like that if you don't mean them," I said.

James sobbed harder. I squatted down to his level and touched his arm.

"James," I said. "Jamey..."

I pulled him into a hug. He rested his head on my shoulder and I felt his tears against my neck.

"I don't want to be coughing forever," he said. "But Manny's nan is really sick, and I don't want to take her medicine from her. What if she turns into just bones too? What happens to Manny then?"

"Oh, matey," I said. "Is that what this is about? You're still upset about what we saw?"

"I thought if there were other children and other people, they'd be happy and everything would be okay," he said, "But it's not okay, is it? Nobody is happy. Manny will be all on his own if he loses his nana. Everyone is all on their own."

"Hey, hey, hey," I said, holding him close. "We still have each other, don't we? We're not on our own."

He made a noise and rubbed his nose against my neck, spreading damp all over.

"How about this," I said. "We'll share half of the tablets with Elizabeth. You won't need them all anyway. They're meant for adults. And I'll do something to make sure Manny is safe. Okay?"

"Okay," said James, with a wobbly voice, talking into my neck.

"Right," I said, standing him up away from me and wiping the last of his tears from his cheeks with my thumbs. I opened the pack of pills and gave one of the two trays to James. "You take these to Manny's nana. I'll have a talk with the little man himself."

James walked over to Elizabeth with the tray of pills, giving her a watery smile.

"Ohhh, that handsome face been crying," she said, holding his face in her hands again. "It's okay, boy. Strong men fight for what they believe in."

"Manny," I said, holding the boy by the shoulder, "Do you have any road maps around here anywhere?"

Manny's eyes lit up.

"Yeah, I love looking at maps!"

I followed him to what must have been his bedroom. It smelt of damp and unwashed boy.

"Here they are!"

He pulled out his collection of maps. There were a few fold-out maps, mainly of national parks for hiking, an atlas of the world, and, thankfully, a road atlas of the city.

"Okay," I said. "Go and get me a pen or pencil please, Manny."

Manny obediently grabbed a felt pen from his desk. I sat with him on his bed.

"We're here right now," I said, and marked the point on the map with an `M'. "If anything happens and you need help, this is where you need to go to find us."

I started drawing a line on the map. I drew it along the railway racks, flicked over the page and continued, then over the page again until it reached my local station. Then I continued the line through the streets until it reached the right one. I marked our house on the map by its number.

"That's what you need to do. Understand that, Manny?"

"Course I do," he said. "I just need to walk along the railway tracks then you're only a few roads away."

"Perfect!" I said.

I collected James to leave. He was sat on the bed with Elizabeth.

"I was just telling James," she said, "what a brave boy he is. It's never easy to argue with the ones you love."

"Tell me about it," I said, giving James an apologetic look. "Get well soon, Elizabeth."

"Hah!" she coughed. "You just look after your boy. Make him well again!"

I waved a hand at her and ushered James through the door. Babe, they call me the medicine man. But my old spells don't work anymore.


**


The journey home was quiet. James didn't want to look around or ask about landmarks anymore.

We passed the train depot again.

"Life is hard, isn't it?" said James, breaking the silence as we trudged through the snow.

"You're right there," I said. "We have to make difficult choices sometimes."

"I wish there was someone to tell us the right answer," he said.

We walked along a little further without saying anything more.

"You were right, by the way," I said. "I was being horrible. I knew you wouldn't need all those pills straight away, but I wanted to keep them for you because I care about you, even though I knew it might not be the right thing to do."

"That's okay," said James. "I know you love me."

We continued walking, passing under the bridge where we had been watched, and entering the deep railway cutting.

"I still think you're a good person," said James.

"I think you're a good person too," I said, taking hold of his hand. "You've really surprised and impressed me since we've been down here in the city. I'm proud of how grown-up you are."

He leaned into me and we walked a while with my arm around his shoulders.


**


The sun had set by the time we got back through the front door. James looked shattered, as I'd predicted. I was quite tired myself.

"Dinner and then bed?" I suggested.

"I'm not really hungry," James yawned. "Just tired."

I made him have half a pill with some water and looked forward to a night of him coughing sputum all over the place.

We sat on the bed.

"Want to do anything fun before sleeping?" I asked.

"Could you just hold me? I kind of want just to feel close to you."

"No problem," I said. I had half-meant maybe reading or something, rather than just sex. Though, of course, I had mainly meant sex.

I cuddled him to me under the covers in the dark of the bedroom. We both lay facing to the right, the opposite of how we normally slept, allowing me to cradle him tightly with my stronger arm. We lay in silence for a long time. I nuzzled my mouth into James' freshly-cut hair and listened to him breathing.

"Jake?" he whispered.

"Yes James?"

"Would you... you know, lick my bum and play with my willy for a bit?" he asked, still whispering. "I like it when you do that."

I lowered my arm from his chest and shoulder to his crotch. His little dick was bone stiff.

"I know you do," I said. "That's why I'm always happy to do it."

I shuffled down the bed to get myself into position behind his milky-white arse.

"Do you want me to put a finger in too?" I asked.

"Hmm... maybe," he said. "I'll tell you when I'm ready."

I pushed my nose into his crack and breathed in deeply.

Boy did he smell good.


----

More thoughtful James than sexy James this time. Email complaints for lack of sexy James, or appreciation of thoughtful James to: bard_boy(at)protonmail(dot)com.