THE HUNTING SEASON
By Pink Panther
Hi guys! I've actually managed to get a chapter finished in time for me to post it two weeks after the previous one. There's a major plot development in this chapter, so read on and enjoy!
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For Alex, Saturday began with an under-12 football match. Away to one of the weaker teams in the area, Woodchurch turned in a commanding performance to win by four goals to nil. The defence, with Wade and Okikiolu at the heart of it, were magnificent, snuffing out every attack that their opponents tried to mount. Even better, playing out from defence, Okikiolu picked out Bradshaw from thirty yards away – an outstanding pass for a twelve-year old – to set them on their way for their first goal.
Alex returned to the flat feeling on top of the world. He spent the afternoon with Whitney, Mr Brown and Jessop. It was all most enjoyable. They hadn't seen the recently turned twelve-year old since before Christmas, and possibly in response to competition from Long, the lad seemed more eager than ever to take it up his bottom.
Whitney, who appeared to be back to his usual self, fucked him senseless. Twenty minutes later, Alex administered the coup de grace. Turning Jessop onto his stomach, a pillow beneath the boy's hips, he gave the youngster a quite ferocious pounding.
The following day, he had another delightful one-on-one with Bradshaw. Although he knew that there would be challenges ahead, right at that moment, his life was everything he could have wanted.
0 o 0 o 0 o 0
Returning to school, the theme continued. The boys responded to him even better than before. Even fourth year boys Dodd and Townley were working hard and producing good results. Alex almost felt as though he was flying.
He had just completed Tuesday morning registration. "Okay boys!" he announced. "Stand up quietly and make your way to assembly. Carver, may I have a word please!"
As the other boys filed out, Carver approached his form master's desk.
"Would you come and see me at break, please," Alex said. "I'd like to have a chat. Don't worry, you're not in trouble."
"Yes sir," the lad responded.
0 o 0 o 0 o 0
Within a minute of the bell sounding for morning break, Carver reappeared in his form master's classroom.
"Come and sit down," Alex said warmly, indicating the chair close to his desk "So how are things going?"
"Very well, thank you sir."
"So you're getting on okay with Newton and Whitney?"
"Yes sir, Newton especially. He's really clever, isn't he sir? I couldn't believe the books he'd read. I've always read a lot, but it was all children's books. He suggested that I should read Moby Dick and lent me his copy. I really enjoyed it. Since then, I've read Lord of the Flies and now I'm reading To Kill a Mockingbird. He lent me those too."
"I've been to his house a couple of times. It's a bit crazy. I like it though. They all get on really well, and Mr Newton asks me lots if interesting questions. Newton came to my house last Saturday. Daddy said he was really pleased that I'd made friends with boys like him and Grainger."
"Yes, so am I. It was definitely what you needed to do."
"It was quite hard at first. I know Hartnett and Longton-Walker are a bit stupid, but I've been friends with them since I was five. Mummy's friends with their parents. Daddy doesn't like them. He says they're spoilt. I guess they are really."
"So you don't see them now?"
"No. Mummy and Daddy had an argument about it, but Daddy put his foot down."
"I see. So how d'you get on with Whitney?"
"Oh, he's okay. We don't talk that much, but he's not nasty to me like he was before."
"Fair enough," Alex said, smiling. "Thanks for being so honest with me. I'd better let you go."
As Carver left the room, Alex glowed inwardly. Since his intervention, the change had been remarkable, and with friends like Grainger and Newton, the lad would go from strength to strength.
0 o 0 o 0 o 0
The only hiccup occurred on Thursday afternoon. Five minutes after the bell that signalled the end of classes for the day, Alex was working in his classroom when Whitney arrived for their usual assignation.
"So how are things with you and Newton?" Alex asked as the lad sat down by his desk.
"Okay, I think," Michael responded, his voice betraying a lack of conviction.
"But you're not sure?"
"Well, not really. Chris is usually very talkative when he comes over to mine, but when he came over on Tuesday, it was like his mind was elsewhere. I asked him what was wrong. He just batted it off. I never really got an answer."
It did not look good, Alex concluded. But there was nothing either he or Whitney could do; it was too late for that. They'd simply have to wait to see how things played out. In the meantime, they would carry on as usual.
0 o 0 o 0 o 0
On Saturday morning, the Woodchurch under-12 football team had a home match against Welham Grange, who had lost to Northridge home and away, but were otherwise unbeaten. Before Christmas, the Woodchurch team had lost the away fixture by three goals to two. This match would be the perfect test of how much they'd improved since then.
The Woodchurch boys dominated the game from the very first whistle. The defence, once so shaky, proved impenetrable, whilst their forward players caused havoc around their opponents' penalty area. The result was never in doubt, Woodchurch running out 3–0 winners.
Back in the changing room, he addressed the players.
"Well done today," he said quietly. "I'm proud of every one of you. I'm sure you remember how hard it was at first, but you stuck with it and worked hard to learn how to play as a team. Now you're reaping the rewards."
"On behalf of the boys, sir," team-captain Wade responded. "I'd like to thank you for all the work you've done. We wouldn't have done it if anyone else had been coaching us."
Alex could feel a lump in his throat. After a difficult beginning, the boys were now completely behind him, but in allocating teams for next season, he feared that Richard Needham would give this group to someone else. It didn't matter, he told himself. He'd turned them from a disorganised rabble into a highly effective team. Nobody could take that away from him.
0 o 0 o 0 o 0
At half past one, Alex collected Whitney from outside the Kings Head for the drive to Mr Smith's house.
"Did you see Newton yesterday afternoon?" Alex enquired.
"He was much the same, sir. Don't worry; he'll get over it."
Alex was much less sure, but saw no point in saying anything.
"Who will we be seeing today, sir?" Michael enquired.
"Who did we see last time?" Alex asked.
"So who are you expecting to see this time?"
"Van Kerkstraat, sir."
"Oh, that's super, sir! He's gorgeous, and he's so sexy, even if he does only have a little cock."
"I couldn't agree more," Alex said, grinning. "Of course, he's had a great deal more experience since the last time we saw him."
"So how are you going to have him, sir?"
"To be honest, I haven't really thought about it."
"I thought you might have him lying on his tummy," Michael suggested. "I'd love to watch you do that."
"It's a possibility," Alex conceded. "He's been taking Mr Smith's on a fairly regular basis, so he should be able to handle it. We'll have to see how it goes. What about you?"
"I was thinking of having him on his back with his legs lifted up."
"Has Holdsworth fucked him like that?"
"Yes sir, but not very often. He usually has to do him from behind because they're doing it in the toilets or the music storeroom. They can only do it like that when they're at Mr Smith's house."
"Of course," Alex agreed, images of his own prep school days flashing though his brain. "You won't be able to kiss him at the same time though. The height difference is too big."
"Oh, that's okay. He'll be able to watch me fucking him."
"Yes, that would be nice. He may not have done that before."
0 o 0 o 0 o 0
When they arrived at the house, Mr Smith showed them through to the lounge. Alex inhaled sharply, his cock quickly rising to full mast. Van Kerkstraat was sitting on the sofa, looking even more alluring than he had when they'd met him before. The boy stood up, smiling.
"Good afternoon sir," he said, extending a hand. "Good to see you again."
"Good to see you too," Alex responded, accepting the handshake.
"Hello, Whitney!" the youngster continued, turning to Michael. "Are you looking forward to having some fun? I know I am!"
"Definitely!" Michael said, grinning broadly.
After drinking welcome cups of tea, Van Kerkstraat led the way up to the bedroom, Whitney hot on his heels. As Alex and Gordon settled into their chairs, the boys began to undress each other, Alex impressed by the skill and confidence with which the cute blond boy removed the teenager's clothes.
Very soon, both boys were down to their underwear. Without a moment's hesitation, Van Kerstraat knelt on the floor, reaching up to pull down Whitney's briefs.
"Mmmmm!" he purred, running his tongue up the length of the teenager's penis. "You've got the nicest thingy I've ever seen!"
"Thanks," Michael said appreciatively. "You know where it's going, don't you?"
"Yes, of course," the younger lad confirmed. "But it's got to go somewhere else first."
Leaning forwards, his lips closed over the head of Whitney's cock. Very skilfully, he sucked his way down until his cute little nose was pressed tight against the older boy's pubic bone, the lad's hard pole right down his throat.
"Oh, yeah!" Michael moaned, gently ruffling the youngster's hair. "Oh, that is super! Oh, be careful! I don't want to cum yet!"
Van Kerkstraat allowed the teen cock to slide smoothly out of his mouth, a remarkably accomplished performance for a boy with only a few months experience.
"Was that good?" he enquired, sitting back on his heels to smirk at the tall thirteen-year old.
"Incredible!" Whitney responded, sitting down on the side of the bed. "Come on," he urged stretching out a hand to help the lad to his feet. "You've still got your underpants on."
Reaching out, he quickly skinned them down the younger boy's legs, exposing the lad's pencil-slim 2˝-inch uncut penis. Moments later, they were snuggled up on the bed, Whitney's arms wrapped around his younger friend's back, his right hand sensuously massaging the youngster's bottom.
"We haven't seen you for ages," Van Kerkstraat commented. "Holdsworth said you were busy getting Mr Brown's boy Long ready to meet Mr Smith."
"Yes, that's right," Michael acknowledged.
"He's smaller than me, isn't he?"
"Hmmm! You're about the same height, but he's really scrawny. Are you eleven yet?"
"Yes, I was eleven last month."
"You're a few months older then. Long won't be eleven till May."
"Holdsworth reckons his thingy's bigger than mine."
"Yeah, about half an inch longer and quite a bit thicker."
"I wish mine would grow a bit."
"I wouldn't worry about it," Michael said, nuzzling the lad's ear. "It'll grow soon enough."
If the truth be told, he had little interest in the eleven-year old's penis. However, the youngster's bum was a different matter. Delightfully soft to the touch, it was wonderfully pliable and accommodating, the boy's skin porcelain white with just a tinge of pink. It was perfection!
Michael knew that in a few short minutes, he would have his cock right inside it. With the lad properly prepared, penetration would be easy. But once he was in there, the lad's tunnel would be tight, warm and as soft as velvet. He couldn't imagine anything better.
But there was no rush. They moved into a sixty-nine. Michael's index finger, liberally coated in KY, pushed insistently into the eleven-year old's bottom. As soon as it was in as far as it would go, Michael began to finger-fuck. After a good two minutes, he allowed the digit to slide out.
"Get onto all fours," Michael instructed.
With the lad in position. He knelt down behind, extending his tongue to lap at the youngster's delightfully pink boy-hole. Once again, his fingers explored the lad's buttocks, kneading them, caressing them, revelling in their delightful softness.
Van Kerkstraat sighed contentedly. Few of his other sex partners had even attempted to do this. Whitney and Mr White, on the other hand, were experts.
"Ooooh!" he gasped. "Oh, that is super! Ooooh!"
"Are you ready?" Michael demanded.
"Yes," Van Kerkstraat confirmed. "How d'you want me?"
"On your back! Turn over!"
As the lad rolled over, Michael slathered K-Y over his penis. He then lifted the youngster's legs, steadily pushing them right back. Realising what was about to happen, Van Kerkstraat, placed his hands behind his knees to hold himself in place.
Moving in close, Michael guided his cock onto the eleven-year old's boy-hole. He pushed steadily, the boy's anal ring opening up to accommodate him. As he continued to push, he looked directly into the younger lad's eyes, which were fixed on the rampant prong slowly disappearing into his bottom. Finally, Michael bottomed out.
"Are you going to kiss me?" Van Kerkstraat asked. "Holdsworth always does."
"I can't, sorry," Michael answered. "I'm too tall. We wouldn't fit."
He set to work, fucking the lad with long, deliberate strokes, the squidgy tightness of the younger lad's tunnel spurring him on.
Gradually, the pace increased, Van Kerkstraat's eyes still focused on the thirteen-year old's penis. The youngster's face was a picture, with little grimaces as his anus was remorselessly stretched, and looks of sheer ecstasy as the teenager's near six-inch cock thrust over his sex-button.
Unable to contain himself any longer, Van Kerkstraat reached down, wrapping his fingers around his throbbing prick. Within a few seconds, his breathing became harsh and ragged.
"Ohh! Ohh! Ohh!" he gasped.
He shuddered from head to toe, his fingers grabbing at the bed. As the muscle spasms subsided, his little penis swelled and pulsed in his hand. The youngster's anal contractions took Whitney beyond the point of no return. Thrusting in as hard as he could, his cock jerked into action, several volleys of teen spunk spurting into the eleven-year old's bum.
After a suitable pause, Michael carefully pulled out. He was elated, triumphant. Over the past year or so, he'd had some wonderful fucks. This one was up there with the best of them. Put quite simply, Van Kerkstraat had the most delightful bottom he'd ever encountered.
Getting off the bed, he strolled over to Mr Smith. This was pay-back time, not that he minded. He enjoyed servicing his form master's mentor. He appreciated the man's warmth and gentleness, and understood perfectly how he'd been able to seduce a whole succession of boys.
Alex smoothly took Michael's place.
"I think you enjoyed having Whitney's cock in your bottom," he whispered, nuzzling Van Kerkstraat's ear.
"Oh yes, sir! It was super! I love his thingy!"
"Wonderful! What about mine?"
"Oh, I like yours too, sir."
"Excellent! But there's no hurry. You'll be getting it soon enough. Let's relax for a while."
"Are you going to fill my bum, sir, like you did the last time?"
"I'm going to fill your bottom and then some," Alex said, grinning. "I haven't cum for two days."
0 o 0 o 0 o 0
Several minutes later, Michael lowered himself onto Mr Smith's cock. Mr Smith, he reflected, seemed to be almost as much a creature of habit as his uncle was. Although he occasionally penetrated boys in other positions, this was how he usually did it.
As soon as he was sitting in the choirmaster's lap, the man began to thrust his hips upwards, driving his large penis deeper into the thirteen-year old's rectum. Michael didn't mind at all. He actually found the steady rhythm quite soothing. On it went, five minutes becoming ten.
"I'm very close now," Mr Smith said quietly, right into Whitney's ear. "It won't be long."
He continued for around fifteen seconds, his thrusting becoming harder and more insistent.
"Oh yes!" he groaned. "Mmmmmm!"
And with that it was over. After waiting for the music director's penis to soften a little, Michael lifted himself clear. Although his bum was a little messy, he had no urgent need to go to the bathroom. He'd deal with that when his form master had finished.
0 o 0 o 0 o 0
"Okay," Alex said, smiling at the blond eleven-year old. "Our turn now."
Van Kerkstraat allowed the man's penis to slip from his throat and out of his mouth.
"Are you going to lick my bum, sir?"
"Yes. You like that, don't you?"
"Yes sir," the lad responded, getting onto all-fours, his head and shoulders right down on the mattress.
Moving around behind, Alex examined the youngster's recently violated hole, which was red and a little puffy. He swiped his tongue over it.
"Ooooh sir!" the boy groaned, his pleasure all too obvious.
Alex homed right in, lapping at the youngster's anal ring. It twitched invitingly. He pushed in.
"Oh yes!" the lad moaned excitedly.
"Mmmm!" Alex growled. "You're bottom's full of Whitney's spunk!"
"Not quite full, sir, but it will be soon, won't it?"
"Yes. Like I told you, I'm going to fill you up with some to spare."
"Will Whitney lick it up again?"
"I'm sure he will. He usually does."
"I bet you're going to fuck me really hard, aren't you sir?"
"Is that what you want?"
As green lights go, it could hardly have been clearer.
"Okay," Alex said, placing a pillow directly below the eleven-year old's hips. "Lie down for me, there's a good boy!"
As Van Kerkstraat stretched himself out, Alex quickly coated his penis with lube. He admired his prize. The youngster's bottom was perfectly proportioned, his buttocks soft and round, his rear entrance wonderfully fuckable. He spread the boy's legs a little wider, the lad's rosebud twitching provocatively.
Holding his cock, he lowered himself onto it. With one well-practised thrust, he was in.
"Oh sir!" the boy gasped.
"You wanted it hard," Alex growled, casually reaming the youngster's fuck-tube. "And that's what you're going to get!"
With the lad pinned to the bed, he set to work.
Sitting on the chair where his form master had been, Michael licked his lips, his penis throbbing insistently. In front of him, Mr White was pounding the eleven-year old's perfect bottom, fucking the kid like there was no tomorrow. Van Kerkstraat groaned and whimpered, the indescribable mixture of pain and pleasure written all over his face. It was exactly what Michael had wanted to see.
"Go on, sir!" he urged.
Suddenly, Van Kerkstraat began to shake, his feet flailing wildly.
"Oh, you are so sexy!" Alex rasped. "Now I'm going to fill your bottom!"
"Oh yes sir!" the youngster moaned. "Give me your spunk!"
Alex thrust in hard, his balls churning into action. Semen barrelled through his cock, shooting over and over into the helpless boy's rectum, feeling as though it might never stop. Finally, it was done. He sank down onto Van Kerkstraat's back, his heart thumping against the boy's spine. He was totally drained. The best fuck ever? He wasn't sure, but he couldn't recall a better one.
Recovering his composure, he gently withdrew, his penis exiting the boy's body with an audible slurp. Very gingerly, Van Kerkstraat pushed up onto all fours, the man's spunk running down his legs. As his form master moved out of the way, Michael took his place, eagerly licking the creamy fluid from the eleven-year old's thighs and bottom.
"Okay boys!" Mr Smith announced. "Off you go!"
"Shall I give him a bath, sir?" Michael asked.
"Yes, that would probably be best," Mr Smith responded.
He and Alex watched as the boys left the room.
"Well," Gordon said. "You didn't hold back, did you?"
"It was what he asked for," Alex countered.
"Oh yes, I heard him say it. I always knew he'd like it, but I hadn't expected him to be quite such a horny little slut."
"Oh, he's gorgeous! They don't come any cuter than him. And his bottom's absolutely perfect!"
"I can't disagree there," Mr Smith admitted. "Are you doing anything tomorrow?"
"Martin's bringing Arrowsmith over. What about you?"
"John Franklyn will be here. His latest acquisition's a sweet little thing. Nothing much between the ears, unfortunately. Most of John's boys are like that."
"I thought Pickford was supposed to be quite bright?" Alex queried.
"Yes, but he was very much the exception. Of course, he looked down on John's other boys; treated them appallingly."
"Is that what you meant about `Mr Green' being rather old school?"
"Yes. Apart from Pickford, who was an obnoxious little brat, the boys he goes for are the waifs and strays, boys that find it hard to fit in. They perform poorly in class and are useless at sport. Boarding school can be a miserable place for boys like that. So in return for certain services, he makes sure the other lads don't pick on them, straightens things out when the get into trouble, that sort of thing."
"It sounds like the devil's bargain," Alex opined. "I don't think it's the way I'd want to operate."
"Indeed not," Gordon agreed. "But it's his funeral. I think some of the boys are grateful just to have someone take an interest in them, this latest one being a case in point. But Holdsworth and I enjoy fucking his little bottom, and he seems happy enough to let us, so there it is. I know we probably shouldn't, but John Franklyn and I go back a long way."
"As far back as me?"
"Oh, yes. I think you'd have met him."
"I don't remember," Alex said, smiling. "Anyway, that was different. I liked it!"
0 o 0 o 0 o 0
Half an hour later, Alex and Whitney were on their way home.
"I think that went rather well," Alex said smiling. "You certainly seemed to enjoy yourself."
"Yes sir" Michael enthused. "Van Kerkstraat's gorgeous, isn't he? And so sexy! I could hardly believe the way he was sucking my cock. And he's got the nicest bum I've ever seen. It's perfect!"
"It certainly is! Quite exceptional. And he seems to feel the same way about your cock, so I'm sure he'll want to see us again. Did you have a nice time with him in the bathroom?"
"Yes sir. He asked me if I wanted to fuck him again. Well, he'd just had a bath and I'd just washed my dick, so I thought that was a bit silly. In any case, his bum was still a bit sore, so he just sucked me off. He's so good at that! When I warned him I was going to cum, he pulled back so that I came in his mouth. He said it was so that he could taste it before he swallowed."
"That's remarkable. Mr Smith's very lucky to have found a boy like him. Not that I'm complaining, you understand!"
"I loved watching you fuck him, sir. You gave it to him really hard. I'd love to do him like that!"
"Well, there's no reason why you shouldn't. You should try it next time."
0 o 0 o 0 o 0
After spending Sunday afternoon, Alex returned to school feeling ready for whatever challenges the week ahead might bring. At morning break, he was surprised when Neil Fleming strolled into his classroom.
"I just wanted a quick word," Neil said, smiling. "In September, how would you fancy taking the fourth- year top set?"
"I thought you'd be taking them," Alex said. "As I understood it, you and George take them alternately."
"We do," Neil confirmed. "It's a tough job if you're going to make a success of it. First of all, it's a big class. Second, you need the ability to explain things well enough for the boys to get it first time. Third, in order to get through the syllabus, the boys need to work far harder than they've been used to, so you have to be able to crack the whip. That's vital! And finally, you have one hell of a lot of work to mark. Previously, I haven't had anyone else that I could trust to do it. This year, it was George's turn, and I wasn't going to alter that. Teaching the really bright ones is what he comes to work for. But I'm not bothered about taking them. I've got all the teaching experience I need. If I were to get another promotion, it would be to a deputy headship, where they'd be looking for other things, one of which would be my record in developing the staff who've worked for me. So given that I'm confident you can do the job, it's in my interests to give you the opportunity. And looking ahead, it will be another useful thing for you to have on your CV."
[CV is short for curriculum vitae, known in the US and elsewhere as a resumé.]
"Thanks!" Alex said, surprised by Neil's offer. "I'd love to take them!"
"Excellent!" Neil said firmly. "I'll brief you properly once the public exams have finished."
He strode out of the room. Alex feel like he was floating on a cloud. He'd just been given another huge vote of confidence.
0 o 0 o 0 o 0
On Tuesday afternoon, Michael was in his bedroom, waiting for Chris to arrive. The doorbell rang. As always, he bounded down stairs to answer it. As soon as he opened the door, the look on Chris's face told him that something wasn't right.
"Come in," he said anxiously, ushering the boy inside. "Is something wrong?"
"We need to talk," Chris said, clearly not relishing the idea. "Not in your bedroom, down here somewhere."
Michael led the into the kitchen, sitting down at the table. Chris sat facing him.
"I don't know how to say this," he began. "I've met someone else."
In an instant, Michael felt his world fall to pieces. He knew he should have seen it coming; Mr Faulkner had warned him often enough. Holdsworth had warned him too. But he'd ignored them, convinced somehow that it wouldn't happen.
"No, Chris!" he wailed, his heart thumping so hard he thought it might burst. "You can't! Please, won't you give me another chance? I'll be better, I promise! I'll stop going with other people if that's what you want."
"I'm sorry," Chris replied calmly. "It's too late. When we first got together, I really thought it could be something special. But it just hasn't been. I'm sorry, but the magic's gone. And now I've met someone else. I like him a lot. He seems to like me a lot, so he's the person I want to be with. I thought I should tell you to your face. You deserve that much."
"So who is he?" Michael asked rather huffily.
"I'd rather not say."
"It's someone you've met at the cross-country club?"
"It's not someone in our year, is it?"
"So why don't you want to tell me?" Michael demanded, his lips quivering. "I'm not going to go and beat him up, am I? I won't go putting it around school either."
"But you'll tell Mr Faulkner, I know you will. I don't want him knowing about it."
"He's going to know we've split up."
Michael took a deep breath, trying to calm himself, desperate not to look as wretched as he was feeling.
"I promise I won't tell him who it is," he said, as evenly as he could manage. "Honestly, I won't breathe a word."
Chris looked at him long and hard, as though trying to decide whether he could trust him.
"Okay," he said finally. "His name's Mark Ferris. He's in third year. The day of the cross-country race, he lent me a pair of spikes to run in. That's how it started."
"It's all my fault," Michael croaked, looking down at the table, no longer able to look at the boy who'd just become his ex. "I should have looked after you better."
"Maybe," Chris conceded, "but I'm not sure how much difference it would have made. I fancied Mark from the moment he first spoke to me, even more when I saw him in his running kit. After we'd raced, he came to congratulate me, told me how well I'd run and how he hoped I'd come and train with them. It started me wondering if he felt the same way about me that I felt about him. It turns out he did."
"Oh, I see," Michael said bleakly, his last hope extinguished.
"But we can still be friends," Chris encouraged. "I hope we'll still be friends, you know, go around school together and that. But we won't be boyfriends. I'm sorry, but it's over. I thought it was best to be honest with you."
"Yeah, I guess," Michael responded, hardly able to speak.
"Well, I'd better be going," Chris said, getting to his feet.
Michael showed him out as though on automatic pilot. As Chris pedalled away, he closed the front door, went up to his bedroom and burst into tears.
0 o 0 o 0 o 0
As the boys of 2-Green filed into his classroom for morning registration, Alex noticed immediately. Whitney looked distraught, not his usual self at all. He strode across to the boy's desk.
"Come and see me at morning break," he said quietly, crouching down to bring himself to Whitney's level. "Don't forget!"
When the bell sounded for the end of third period, Alex dismissed his fifth-year class and waited. A couple of minutes later, Whitney appeared. Instead of going straight to the master's desk as he normally did, he hung back by the classroom door.
"You asked to see me, sir," he said bleakly.
"Yes, come and sit down," Alex ordered.
Michael walked to his usual place like a condemned man heading for the scaffold.
"This morning," Alex said firmly, "when you came into registration, I could see you were upset. So what's happened?"
"Whitney," Alex said quietly. "I need to know. So tell me."
"Newton's dumped me. He's met someone else."
"Hmmm! I thought it might be something like that."
"He came round yesterday afternoon," Michael went on. "It's my own fault. You warned me not to take him for granted."
"Well, there's no point in dwelling on that now. It's happened and you'll have to deal with it. My first priority is to make sure that your schoolwork doesn't suffer. I'm sorry to hear that you and Newton have split up. I know it sounds harsh, but one of the best ways for you to get over it will be for you to put your head down and focus on your studies."
"Newton says he still wants us to be friends."
"I know it won't be easy," Alex said gently, "but you should definitely try to do that. Being friends with Newton has been very good for you. Not least, he's set a standard for you to aim at, and you've worked extremely hard to try to reach it. You need to keep doing that."
"Yes sir. I'll do my best. I mean, it's not his fault. It was me that messed it up."
"Put it down to experience," Alex advised. "There are always lessons to be learned, and if we're sensible, we learn far more from the things that go wrong than from the ones that go right."
"So does this usurper have a name?"
"Yes, but Newton made me promise that I wouldn't tell you."
"I can imagine that," Alex said, smiling. "There are no flies on him, are there? He's sharp as a razor! Well, I'd better let you go. Remember what I've said. And if you're feeling a bit down and you need someone to talk to, I am here for you."
0 o 0 o 0 o 0
As soon as the bell signaled the end of morning break, Alex got back into his usual routine. He could not have done otherwise. But at odd moments, when he wasn't busy with other things, the question returned, relentlessly gnawing away at him. Just who was it that Newton had taken up with? He was almost certain that it would be a boy that he'd met while training with the cross-country team. Beyond that, he had no idea.
0 o 0 o 0 o 0
The following afternoon, Michael made his way to his form master's classroom. As expected, Mr Faulkner was marking books. Without waiting to be asked, Michael sat down on the chair near by the teacher's desk.
"So how are things?" Alex asked, looking up.
"Okay, I guess sir," Michael answered. "I've tried to do what you said, put my head down and get on with it."
"So are you and Newton still on speaking terms?"
"Yes sir. We still go around together at break and that. Hawkes and Lambert would start asking questions if I wasn't there. I wouldn't want that."
"No, of course not, but well done anyway."
"So do you still want to . . . you know? You don't have to."
"I want to, sir," Michael responded. "At the moment, I really need it."
"Yes, I can understand that," Alex conceded. "What about Saturday? Mr Brown is bringing Long over. Are you sure you'll be in the right frame of mind?"
"Oh yes, sir," Michael assured him. "I wouldn't want to miss that. That'd be cutting off my nose to spite my face, that's what Mum calls it."
"Fair enough, but I don't want you taking your frustrations out on Long. D'you understand?"
"Yes sir, I wouldn't do that. I mean, it's not his fault, is it?"
"No it's not, so I expect you to be as nice to him as you usually are. So are you ready then?"
"Of course, sir. I'm always ready."
0 o 0 o 0 o 0
On Friday morning, Alex's thoughts returned to the question of finding out who Newton's new boyfriend was. He could have simply summoned Newton to see him and asked the question directly, but given that the lad had instructed Whitney not to divulge his new flame's identity, that course of action seemed certain to fail.
A second possibility was for him to speak to Locke, the other boy from 2-Green that was a member of the cross-country team. He didn't fancy that idea either. Locke might not come up with the information he was looking for, and Newton was almost bound to find out that he'd been asking questions.
Having decided on a more subtle approach, at morning break he headed to the staffroom. He sat down next to Glyn Daniels.
"So how's Newton getting on?" he asked casually.
"Oh, he's fitted in really well," Glyn said airily. "It's like he's always been there. Actually, he's been doing more than I've asked. From what I've been told, on the last two Sundays he's cycled over to Ferris's house so they could run together."
"This is Ferris in third year?" Alex queried.
"Yes, that's right. D'you know him?"
"Yes, he's in 3-Red, who are my third-year class. I hadn't realised he was one of your runners, though I have to admit he does look the part."
"He's a good lad and very keen," Glyn enthused.
And he's Newton's new boyfriend, Alex concluded. It all fitted. Ferris was around the same height as Whitney, but slimmer and far more boyish looking. Although the older of the two by several months, he actually looked younger than Whitney did.
Eighteen months earlier, Ferris, then twelve years old and very cute, had been one of the boys whom Alex had subjected to the `hand-on-shoulder' routine. The first few times, Ferris's reaction had been mildly encouraging, but when Alex had tried it for a fifth or maybe a sixth time, the boy had squirmed away from him. In the light of these latest developments, even that made sense.
Alex allowed himself a smile. Answering his question had proved easier than he'd expected.
0 o 0 o 0 o 0
Having stayed in school to complete his marking, Alex returned to the flat at around half past five. He was in the middle of preparing dinner when the telephone rang. Heading out into the hall, he picked it up.
"Gordon here," the voice said. "I'm afraid we have a problem."
"Not a serious one, I hope," Alex responded.
"Holdsworth and I are due to visit you on Sunday," Gordon continued. "Unfortunately, Holdsworth has gone down with a heavy cold and is currently confined to the sick-bay. I think it most unlikely that he will be well enough to travel."
"Oh, that's a shame!" Alex said warmly. "He and Bradshaw got on splendidly when they met. Please pass on our best wishes."
"Certainly!" Gordon said. "As an alternative, I could bring Southcott. As you noted on your last visit, he can cum properly now."
"I'm sure that will be okay. Obviously, Bradshaw will be disappointed not to be seeing Holdsworth again, but he's an intelligent lad; he'll understand. And he can get on with anybody. He's not crazy like Southcott is, but he's very bright, as you know, and he's as tough as old boots. I think they'll get on really well. Tell me, since we were last at your establishment, has Southcott been expanding his horizons a little?"
"Oh yes, he couldn't wait! As soon as I gave him permission, there was no stopping him. He's been with Van Kerkstraat several times, and last Saturday he made Long's acquaintance. That went very well!"
"Well, if he wants to do that to Bradshaw, he'll have to ask. They're pretty much the same age, so I'm not going to tell Bradshaw he has to say yes; it'll be up to him. They may end up just sucking each other off."
"So is Bradshaw not able to cum yet?"
"He's about where Southcott was a few weeks ago. He's producing a few drops, but not actually squirting. He's very keen to do it, though. I think he'll be ready sometime after Easter."
"Well, if he accommodates Southcott this time, I'll certainly look favourably on introducing him to Van Kerkstraat as soon as he can properly do the deed."
"Thanks for the offer," Alex responded. "But Bradshaw and Southcott are both bright lads. I think we should let them sort it out."