SON OF THE CHAV PRINCE
‘No news?’ Nathan asked a pensive Justin over the breakfast table at Haddesley Cottage.
‘News about the boys or about Damien Macavoy?’
‘Either or both.’
‘The police actually pushed the boat out on Danny and Gus’s disappearance, since Gus’s dad’s a member of the police authority. They tracked them to Ipswich station, where they bought tickets to York. But the transport police at York drew a blank. They may not even have gone that far, but ducked off at Peterborough or Newark. There’s a missing-persons alert on both of the little buggers, but since no one knows where they might be, it’s basically pointless. No, they’re gone. You were right when you said Danny boy is pretty damn resourceful. I doubt he and Gus will be back until they’re good and ready – or maybe never.’
‘And what about your son?’
‘No news there either. The guys in Leeds are being methodical though. They are checking all the social-services departments on either side of the Pennines. Staying legal for the moment, but they’re gonna try the effects of bribes to access databases if routine enquiries don’t turn anything up. Problem is that there are so many cities between Liverpool and Hull. This search is doing me geography a whole lot of good. I never knew there wuz so much to the North of England. Jade couldn’ave done better if she’d been trying to hide, deliberate like.’
Nathan held his mug and peered over the top of it at Justin. ‘Look, chavvy babe, just saying you actually find the lad, what do you think’s going to happen? You can’t be absolutely sure he’s yours to begin with. Jade seems to have put it about a bit. And if he is yours, what do you expect? Visiting rights? Weekend sleepovers? I don’t mind, honest, but there’s a level of commitment you have to make, and with your job it won’t be easy. You can disappear for a month or two and who’ll take care of the little tyke?’
Justin looked somewhat guilty. ‘I dunno, Nate. I juss wanna find my boy first. I wanna know he’s okay. We’ll see how it goes from there, yeah?’
Nathan softened. He reached out and took Justin’s hand. ‘Babe, I will be there for you whatever, OK? Understand? And if it comes to that, I will look after the lad while you’re away’
Justin looked startled, then impressed. ‘I hope you know what it is you’re offering there, me mate.’
They kissed over the toast and Cheerios.
Danny got a job at his first try, and ended up on the tills of a local supermarket. Gus too quickly found work as waiter at a seaside café, which he lost almost as quickly when he tipped a teapot into the lap of a local councillor. It was bad luck really, Danny thought. Gus might have been quite good at the job given time. But it had to be said that the customers couldn’t understand him, and he couldn’t cope with their accents.
Danny made sure Gus’s second attempt at a job kept him away from the general public, and he was currently surviving as a forecourt dogsbody in a big suburban garage. Between them they were making £260 a week, which was far more than Danny had expected. Gus was paid in cash, too, because the owner wished to avoid his contributions to national insurance. This was fine by the boys. They wanted to escape official notice.
They began a building-society account in Danny’s name to avoid having too much money round their flat. No 17 Ireton Terrace was not in a savoury neighbourhood. Their third day, they found the outside door forced and a bike kept in the hall by the guy in Flat 1 stolen. After that, Danny felt safer with their hard-earned cash in a bank.
The other inhabitants of the building kept to themselves. The bloke on the ground floor was a recent divorcé who had a contract job on oil rigs. The old guy in number 2, who didn’t seem to have any family, was a bit sad, and the boys soon learned to dodge past him or get subjected to interminable monologues.
It took a while before they had any clue who was immediately below them, although the discarded floating toys in the bathroom were one indication. It turned out in the end to be a single mother with two children. One was not much more than a baby, and had a particularly feeble and irritating wail when it was upset and peevish. It was not until their second week in Walbrough that they met the other kid.
Danny was coming home at tea time and clumping up the stairs as he did, when he found a boy sitting at the bottom of their flight. Danny paused before this small apparition with a dirty face and big blue eyes, who glared at him and snarled, ‘Stop the fookin’ noise, yer cunt!’ in a thick local accent.
‘What!’ yelped a stunned Danny.
‘You fookin deaf an’ all?’
‘How old are you, kid?’
‘Whass it to yer, arse breath?’
‘Just being polite, which is a bit beyond your range, I’d guess.’
‘Shut the fook up, then. Me mam’s tryin’ ter sleep, an’ you make a lot of noise on the stairs.’
‘Oh, OK then.’ The apparition gave him a disdainful look and retreated into Flat 3, whose door had been on the latch, as it appeared.
Strangely, Danny had an idea that the child had been trying to be polite. ‘Have you seen the kid below us?’ he asked after reaching their floor and thoroughly kissing Gus.
‘No. Is it a boy or a girl?’
‘It’s a boy, five going on fifteen, I’d guess.’
‘I saw the mother yesterday. She’s a pale, thin woman. She was with the baby in a pushchair, heading into town. I suppose the boy may have been in nursery care.’
‘More likely on day release from a young offender’s institution, I’d say.’
‘Oh, nothing. Gus, let’s go into town and get us a TV set.’
‘Yes. Let’s splash out.’
‘I’m not sure about that, Danny. TV’s are expensive, and then there’s the licence fee.’
‘We can go and look round the second-hand shops and the pawnbrokers. We might get something cheap and decent which’ll work for a few months at least.’
‘And the licence fee?’
‘Yes. We’re criminals.’
Gus thought about that for a moment. ‘I have some serious objections to your plan, Danny. The licence fee is important. It subsidises the high-quality broadcasting which makes the BBC the most effective public-service network in the world. Now it may be the case that the police are interested in finding us, but we are not in fact criminals, though we would be if we failed to pay the fee.’
‘Have you any better suggestions.’
Gus thought again. ‘I believe I do. We’ll get a TV with a DVD player and only use it to watch DVDs. We can rent or buy second hand. That way we will have the benefit of a home-entertainment unit without breaking any law or paying the licence fee.’
‘Will that make you more comfortable, my Gus?’
‘Yes, I think it will.’
‘Then we’ll do it your way.’
So the next Saturday they trawled the junk shops on the smaller commercial streets. They found one which seemed to specialise in electrical goods, and were able to pick up a reasonably current TV with a built in player for only £50. For good measure, they selected some DVD sets from a sale box. Gus took a pile of documentaries about dinosaurs and ancient creatures, while Danny got Lord of the Rings and all the Star Treks he could find. Gus stoutly carried the heavy weight of the TV to the nearest taxi rank, which quite impressed Danny. Gus was blessed with a very powerful frame, rather like his cousin Nathan.
In the afternoon they went to the gym at the local sports centre for a couple of hours. Afterwards, they got a bought-in pizza and settled down in front of their new acquisition, which Danny had already wired up.
‘It’s really quite homely sitting here,’ Gus observed with a smile. ‘What a good idea, Danny.’
‘Why thank you, Gus. We’ll start with the Fellowship of the Ring and then you can choose one of your documentaries.’
They lay together on the floor in a nest of cushions and pillows wearing just briefs, as it was a sunny day and their top-floor flat got the worst of the heat. Gus talked away through the Fellowship of the Ring. He was unfortunately gifted with a perfect recall of the book, and felt obliged to point out gaps in the screenplay. But Danny didn’t mind, as long as he could snuggle into his lover’s larger body and kiss him on the mouth when he wanted him to shut up.
‘Woohoo! This is one raunchy video,’ Danny laughed as the dinosaur documentary went into a CGI reconstruction of T-rexes mating. ‘Look at the size of his thing! I wonder what it’s like to have something like that up you.’
He had his hands in Gus’s briefs at the time, with the inevitable result. It occurred to Danny that up till then he had not reciprocated and offered himself to Gus, partly because he was nervous of the size of what Gus had between his legs. ‘Er … Gus, maybe it’s time now you, er … did what that T-rex just did to his missus.’
‘Really?’ Gus looked interested. ‘I must say I’ve been wanting to ask you, although I was happy enough with your being on top of me. But yes, let’s do it.’
Gus and Danny smiled briefly in each other’s face, the smile not entirely concealing Danny’s nerves. His doubts were not out of place, and he needed all his patience and not a little endurance before he found himself in that joyous position in which he had put Gus so often in recent days, willingly receiving the essence of a male body.
They knelt together, Gus nuzzling the nape of Danny’s neck. Despite being a cerebral sort of person, Gus lost himself entirely in sex. Danny had already realised that he might have gone years before finding such a passionate and gentle lover as this boy who had literally wandered into his life.
Gus began gentle thrusts which built up eventually into an awesome hammering. Danny was head down, his cheek on the stale-smelling upholstery, gripping the chair with his hands, his rear in the air. He could see his own flaccid member flapping between his legs with each thrust from his lover. Gus was deeply into it, panting and groaning – no, Danny realised with part of his mind, the groans he was hearing were actually his own. The sensation he felt was amazing.
The end came too soon for Danny. As Gus kissed his cheek he whispered, ‘You’re a god, Gussie baby. A total god!’ Gus licked his ear and laughed. They hugged and drifted off into a post-coital doze.
Both boys woke up at the same time. There was still quite a bit of light outside, though it was by then late evening, but that was not what disturbed them. Rather, they were roused by a loud if muffled male voice in full flood coming from the flat below them. A smashing sound caused Danny to sit up. ‘What’s going on?’ Gus wondered, reaching for his discarded briefs.
‘There’s a fight happening downstairs. Maybe we ought to get the police.’
‘The police? That would be dangerous in our present circumstances. But we must do something.’
Danny was standing now, pulling on his jeans and tee shirt. ‘I’d better go pound on the door.’ It never occurred to either boy that they should keep their heads down and do nothing.
Danny padded barefoot down the stairs, not wanting to waste time putting his shoes on. The door to Flat 3 was closed, but he could hear faint pleading coming from just behind it. He banged on the panels with the underside of his fist, which brought an abrupt silence from inside. Danny banged again. There was a click and the door jerked open.
‘What the fuck you want?’ A mixed-race bloke was standing there, bare-chested and formidably muscled, a little taller than Danny. A woman and a baby could be heard crying inside.
Danny was at a loss what to say, but he was not by nature a boy who backed down. ‘What’s going on in there?’
‘Nothing the fuck to do with you, piss-head kid. Now take your junkie butt up them stairs while you can still walk.’ His tone was softly aggressive and scary. His eyes burned into Danny’s, and Danny began to realise he was getting in way over his head.
‘You bin down here fucking with her, have you? Had your tiny dick in my woman, have you?’ He moved closer, forcing Danny back against the wall. ‘I see you down here again, piss-boy, I fuck you with a razor, got it? Now disappear, while you still can.’
A shadow loomed behind the man’s head. There came a thud and the head snapped forward into Danny’s. The man went down to his knees before sliding flat on to the floor, his glazed eyes looking puzzled. Gus was standing behind him, hefting a broom handle.
Danny stared at Gus. ‘Why did you do that?’
‘I thought he was going to hurt you, Danny.’
Danny shook his head. ‘Let’s see if the others are okay.’