Michael Arram








  Nathan and Justin sketched out their plans while they worked through the afternoon.  There could be no delay.  Tomorrow would be the big breakout, and Nathan had a lot of instructions to memorise.  He was a little awed at Justin’s grasp of detail and decisive planning.


 ‘Iss me criminal mind, Nate.’  He gave an impish and insinuating smirk that Nathan found a trifle unsettling.


  Before Mr Anderson came to get them, they checked the cellar window, finding it hidden by a bush from the direct sight of anyone in the converted garage.  Justin was sure he could easily get into the garden from a dark outside lane by swarming over the wall surrounding the house.  The only danger would come during his dash across the lawn, exposed to view from both house and garage.


  On Friday, they worked their last day together, digging out a patio in East Finchley.  When Mr Anderson arrived he called Justin over and put his hand kindly on the boy’s shoulder.  ‘I just want you to know, lad, that I’m really pleased with what you’ve done.’  He handed over a manila envelope.  ‘Here’s your proper wage, same rate as Nathan’s.  Cash.  You’ve earned it.  I hope things turn out for you.’  He extended his hand to Justin, who stifled his resentment long enough to be civil in return.


  The two boys managed a brief kiss goodbye in the van while Anderson was outside.  ‘See you tonight, Justy,’ Nathan whispered.


  Justin winked and left.








  Dressed in a dark leather jacket and black jeans – an attention to detail he’d thought up all on his own – Nathan paced up and down outside the wall of the secure centre.  It was ten-thirty, curfew hour.  He could see the house’s lights through the swaying branches of trees in the grounds.  He was carrying a backpack stuffed full of his parents’ unused holiday camping gear, which he had found forgotten under a tarpaulin in the garage.


  Time passed.  Nathan hung round a bus stop, acting the part of a queue.  He faded into the shadows whenever a bus approached.


  A gasp and a thud made him spin round.  Justin had come over the spiked wall.  ‘Jeez, couldn’ave done that a month ago.  All my hard work in the garden paid off, dinnit?’


  Nathan was curious.  ‘How did you get out, Justy?’


  ‘Oh, made a fuss about taking an early night, fixed up a false Justin out of pillows and black sacks, and sneaked across into the wardens’ wing.  I slipped out their private door while they did the bedtime check.  The CCTV probably caught me, but it won’t help them cos they won’t find out I’m gone till tomorrer.  When’s the next bus?’


  ‘That’ll be the N22 night bus in ten minutes.’


  ‘How ‘bout you, big boy?  Where do your parents think you are?’


  ‘Me?  I’m on a sleepover with my old friend Chaz in Ilford.  They’re not expecting me back till Sunday night.  We got two days together, lover.  How many times do you think you can get it up in forty-eight hours?’


  ‘How’s your pretty butt, babe?’


  ‘Doesn’t hurt too much.  I put some fingers up it before I came out.  It’s definitely ready for another poke from Justin.’




  A bus arrived and they were off.  Alighting at Highgate tube station, they threaded through the empty streets and cautiously slipped into the side lane running past Matt White’s house.  Nathan had left a pile of bags full of rubble at the point where they needed to get in.  They swarmed up and over like commandos.


  Squatting down in the shelter of the border on the other side, breathing hard, they checked the house.  It was quite dark.  Although a light was flashing on the alarm box to indicate the system was live, they knew their entry window was not wired.  The movement sensor only scanned the basement stairs, not the cellars.  A light was on in the upstairs garage flat at the other end of the garden, but the curtains were drawn.


  Nathan took off the backpack and held it.  He felt a small kiss on his cheek and, grasping Justin’s warm hand, raced silently across the lawn to the window. Justin pushed it open to slide down into the dark.  Nathan followed, dragging the pack after him.  Turning as he dropped to the floor, he swung the window closed behind him, then pulled a wadded piece of black cloth out of his pocket and held it over the pane.


  Justin detached the camping lamp from the pack and turned it on.  Taking a handful of tacks and a small hammer from an outside pocket, he fastened the cloth in place as a blackout curtain.


  Nathan gazed at his lover with a conspiratorial grin.  ‘We've done it!  Let’s set up camp.’


  Justin was grinning back.  He hefted the pack; ‘Christ that’s heavy!’ he exclaimed in awe.  ‘It’s amazing you managed to get over the wall with that weight on your back!  Gives me ideas.’




  ‘Dirty ones.  Tell you later, stud.’


  Nathan neatly laid out their supplies: a camp stove, pan and utensils; a stack of food and drink; spare clothing; bedding, an inflatable mattress and double sleeping bag.  There were also plenty of spare batteries and a small radio.  It was chilly outside but the heating pipes warmed the cellar, so it was comfortable to undress.  The pair were soon naked in each other’s arms on top of the bag.


  Nathan fondled his lover’s instant erection and his tight, fully loaded balls.  ‘This is really cool, Justy.  Did I ever tell you how beautiful you are?’


  Justin looked surprised.  ‘Not a word anyone has ever used about me, Nate.’


  ‘But you are!  Your hair’s nice – when it doesn’t smell of tobacco smoke – now that it's grown reasonably long so you don’t look like the convict you did when I first saw you.  You’ve gotten less scrawny, too, and picked up a bit of tone.’  He stroked his lover’s nipples and swelling pecs.  ‘Your eyes are such a dark blue; they’re really lovely when you smile.’


  ‘Anything else?’


  ‘Your dick’s unbelievable.’


  ‘It’s not as long as yours.’


  ‘But it’s thick, permanently erect and those heavy balls of yours just pump out boy juice nonstop.  I bet you can wank off two or three times in one go.’


  ‘Er … s’true, I can.’


  ‘You gotta show me.’


  ‘What, now?’


  ‘I’ll help.’  Nathan closed on Justin’s dick and suckled him to ejaculation, greedily drinking down the result as his lover arched under his ministrations.  Giving a last lick to the twitching and highly sensitive head, which caused Justin to squirm nicely, he began squeezing the still erect cock.  ‘That’s one,’ he murmured.


  The next time he used his hand and sent up a fountain of sperm over Justin’s chest after five minutes’ pumping.  ‘Two!’ he exclaimed, grinning at Justin before licking the white gobbets from his chest.


  Then Nathan searched in his backpack for some lube to oil up the still erect dick.  ‘Now the big one.’  Sitting behind his lover, he made Justin lay his shoulders back in his lap and his head on his belly.  Justin’s smooth skin was warm on top of him.  ‘Okay, Justy, get going … this I gotta see.  Can you do it?’


  ‘I think so, babe.’  He began to stroke, shifting and squirming as he built up speed.  Once more it only took five minutes of frantic beating until he groaned out, ‘It’s coming!’  He lifted off the ground and three large spurts shot straight up and back down on his hand.  He lay back gasping, while Nathan cleaned him off again with his tongue.


  ‘Mmm, love the Justy-juice!  Christ, what a show.  You made me feel inadequate.’


  ‘Sorry, Nate.  But you dared me.  Too bad I’m finally running on empty and can’t fuck you.  So you gotta fuck me.’


  ‘Any particular way?’


  ‘Yeah, hunk.  I want you to do me as if you were doing press ups.  I’ll get on my back, like this, and push my bum out, and you get on all fours over me, stick your cock in and go at it like the athlete you are.’


  ‘I’ll give it a try, Justy.’  It was hard going, but Nathan finally came.  It felt weird with only his sheathed penis in contact with his lover, panting below him, yet somehow it focussed the orgasm tightly on his cock and made it very intense.  He collapsed on Justin and, once the sweat had dried, they snuggled together in the bag.  Nathan flicked the light out and they slept.








  Dim sunlight was filtering into the cellar when they woke.  Nathan found his watch at their bedside: seven o’clock.  He turned to smile in Justin’s face, which was looking soppily at his.  They kissed, ignoring the morning breath in each other’s mouth and the sweaty stench from the previous night’s gymnastics.


  ‘Do you shave much?’ Nathan asked.


  ‘Just once a week.  How ‘bout you?’


  ‘Hardly even that much.  Odd, cos my pubes are quite bushy.’


  Nathan got up and squatted naked in front of the camp stove to get the blue flames alight.  Filling a kettle from the tap, he set it to boil.  ‘Gotta pee.’


  ‘Me too.’


  They stood side by side on the cold, dusty concrete floor, grinning as they urinated into the sink and sluiced the result down the drain.  They took turns at washing their pits and bits, gasping at the coldness of the water.  Then they kissed again until the bubbling kettle reminded them of its existence.  They sat on the bed together, cradling the steaming instant coffee.


  ‘I wouldn’t mind waking up like this every day, Nate me mate.’


  ‘That’s sweet, but I think we’ll do better than this one day.’




  ‘I’m staying with you, my … my Justin, maybe not now, but one day.  I don’t want to leave you.  This is where I should be.  You’re the reason I’m living now.’  All of a sudden, an overwhelming need to be with this boy almost stifled him with its power.  There were tears in his eyes.


  ‘Jeez, Nate.  That’s … awesome.  We’ll work something out and get together one day.  I know we will.  But you can’t give up your family, not now when your future depends on your work and your studies.  I’m the crazy man, not you.  Besides, at the moment I need you as my agent on the outside.  I’m on the run, remember?’


  ‘Okay, but one day, lover … one day, and soon, too.’


  Nathan had packed small boxes of cereal and some plastic bowls.  After they munched down their breakfast, Nathan washed up, still naked.  They finally dressed.


  ‘Do you think you’ll get on the news?’ Nathan asked.


  ‘No.  One more runaway kid in London – who cares about people like me?  The police’ll keep an eye on me mum’s flat, me mates and me usual haunts.  But I won’t go back there.  Although they won’t forget I exist, they’ll play the long-term game with me.’


  ‘Have you got a plan?’


  ‘Sort of.  How much money have we got?’


  ‘There’s your pay packet from Mr Anderson – very generous, considering what an arse you were for the first fortnight – plus the money from my building society I took out.  It’s four hundred pounds.’


  ‘You’re giving me all your cash?’


  ‘Why not?’


  ‘Wow!  I could give you half a dozen reasons.’


  ‘You’re my Justin and I love you.  All I have is yours …’  He smirked.  ‘… especially my cock.’  Then he laughed happily, scaring Justin a little with the depth of commitment of this decent and sexy lover he had acquired.


  ‘Okay … that’s more kindness than anyone’s ever shown me.  My plan is to use what we got to get a bedsit, and then a job to survive in it.’


  ‘Good plan.  And I’ll help.  With both our wages, you can be comfortable while we shag all night long in your bed.’


  Now tears were standing in Justin’s eyes, for the first time since he was a small boy.  ‘Why are you doing this for me, Nate?  You know what I am.’


  ‘You’re my Justin, and I love you,’ Nathan repeated, with utter conviction in his blue eyes.  It gave Justin a shiver.


  They dressed, Justin in his usual cap and trakkies, worn now for the second day.  Nathan put on blue jeans, white tee and overshirt.  He looked really good out of overalls and work gear, Justin thought, and the clothes were clearly expensive.  Having never seen Nathan in casuals before, Justin wondered about his lover’s background.


  ‘We doan’ match, Nate.  You look like a million quid, while I look like shit.  We’ll be suspicious together, like I wuz your dealer or something.’


  Nathan grinned.  ‘I was waiting for you to say that.’  Out of the backpack he pulled a bag containing a selection of folded clothes.  ‘This is some of my stuff from when I was younger, which should fit you.  Strip off, handsome.’


  Nathan selected cargo pants, neat coloured cotton socks, a foreign tee-shirt and an Oxford University hoodie.  After removing the baseball cap with a grimace, he was satisfied at the result.  ‘You’re no longer a chav, Justy.  You look like a native of the prosperous suburbs … really.  You could be a Highgate kid and the cops won’t look at you twice.  Wish we had a mirror.  Thank God you didn’t get tattooed and pierced.’


  ‘I did.  I got nipple rings and a belly piercing.  I’d taken them out when the cops grabbed me and I couldn’t put ‘em back in.  But I will one day, juss for you.  Take a look next time you’re sucking my nips.  But I never got tattoos, cos I’m squeamish.  S’true.  You hear stories.’


  Nathan continued looking at him critically. ‘It’s your hair that does it.  It’s thick, curly and dark, now it’s growing.  Makes you look like a nice boy.’


  ‘I am a nice boy … deep down.  At least I always thought so.  It was everyone else who was a shit.’


  ‘Put these on,’ Nathan ordered, producing a wooden-bead necklace and a leather bracelet.  ‘They’re mine, but I want you to have them, Justy.’




  ‘Cos it brings you closer to me, like we were engaged or something.’


  Justin smiled at him and put them on.  They completed the picture of an average, middle-class, teenage boy.


  Peeking out the window, they found the garden empty in the early morning sunlight, the lawn dusted with a grey dew.  There was no sign of life from the garage, and the house above them was silent.  The two boys swarmed out the window, closing it silently and carefully behind them.  They cautiously crept round the garden and shot over the wall, Nathan boosting Justin before vaulting athletically over himself.


  ‘Hang on, mate,’ Justin said as he lit his first cigarette of the day and took a long drag.  ‘I need this.’


  They idled back up the lane and out into the morning streets.  Justin looked round.  ‘Where’ll we go then?’  He finished his fag and flicked the butt back down the lane.


  Nathan did his best not to wince.  ‘Coffee would be nice.’


  Justin followed him through the streets into the village.  Finding a Starbucks already open, they ordered large cups.  They occupied two soft chairs and cradled their drinks.  Nathan, who had found a Guardian and was looking over the sports page, winced again as Justin put his feet on the table.  ‘Justy … please don’t do that.’




  ‘Your feet.’


  Justin grimaced.  The Ritalin was wearing off and his careless urge to confront the world was resurfacing.  For the first time in his life, however, he stood outside the urge.  His grimace becoming a grin, he muttered a little sheepishly, ‘I gotta be a nice boy for you, aven’ I, Nate?’


  Nathan answered his grin.  ‘It’ll fool the cops.’


  They passed an hour loafing in the coffee shop, then got a bus into town where they had a good time laughing and joking along Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Street.  Lunch was at McDonald’s, as Justin had dug his heels in when Nathan suggested a proper pizza parlour.


  ‘You never been in a place with a menu?’


  ‘McDonald’s has got a menu,’ Justin asserted.


  ‘Yeah … on the wall.  Okay, we do it your way for now.’


  ‘You’re scaring me, Nate.  You got ambitions to change me, ain’chya?’


  ‘You’re changing me too, Justy.  Maybe we both need each other.’


  How much Justin was changing him became clearer to Nathan when they got back to Highgate village.  It was early evening, and the café bars were opening.  Justin led them into a big one where they took a window table.  A waiter came by and gave them a once-over, but since they looked respectable and ordered soft drinks he wasn’t able to say anything.


  ‘We don’t look eighteen, do we, Just?’


  ‘No … but there’s ways and means if yuh really want a drink.’  He cast his eyes round the bar.  Not far away were two guys sitting close together, one of them covertly watching them.  Justin gave a little smile and winked at the man, who whispered to his mate.  They approached.


  ‘What are you doing?’ hissed Nathan, alarmed.


  ‘Watch, babe.’


  The men were tall and denim clad, maybe in their late twenties.  Even to Nathan, it was obvious from their movements and glances that they were gay and very interested in the boys..


  Justin gave them a look that could only be described as coquettish.  ‘Hey, guys.’


  ‘Hey,’ said the bigger of the two.  ‘You and your mate looking to meet someone?’


  ‘Maybe … we’re also looking to get a proper drink.’


  ‘Let us take care of that, boys.’  He nodded at his friend, who soon returned with two lagers.  They pulled up chairs and sat down.


  ‘Thanks,’ said Justin.  ‘I’m Mark and my boyfriend is Tom.’


  ‘So how long have you two been together, Mark.’


  ‘Couple of months.  We go to Highgate School.  Tom’s captain of rugby, so if it ever got round we were gay, he’d be mincemeat.  But you won’t tell, will you?’


  ‘No, we won’t tell.  My name’s Clive and this is Frank.  We’re from out of town, so there’s no chance it’d get back from us.  You boys interested in a bit of fun?’


  Justin gave a smirk that would have shamed a satyr.  ‘Depends what you mean by … fun.’


  ‘Oh nothing bad, believe me, chickens.  We’re going on to a club we know down in Camden.  If you’ve got some time and don’t need to be anywhere, you can come with us.’


  ‘Sure, but we’d like another drink first.’  Justin grinned again.


  As one of the guys went to get the second round of drinks and the other went to the loo, Nathan hissed at Justin, ‘What’re you playing at?’


  ‘Getting a couple of free drinks for us.’


  ‘And then what … Mark?  These guys want to be in our pants, and speaking for myself, I don’t want so-called Frank even close to them.’


  ‘Stop being a wuss, Nate.’


  ‘Have you laid it out for a bloke before?’


  ‘Nope.  But I can look after us.  Don’t you want to see the inside of a gay club?’


  Nathan stared at his lover, fearless and dangerous to know.  ‘You’re going to do this, aren’t you, whatever I say?’


  ‘We gotta try it, Nate.  See if we like it.  They can’t do anything to us unless we let ‘em, can they?  Just stick wiv me.’


  After half an hour’s banal chitchat, the two boys and the increasingly eager men went outside.  Nathan fended off a hand on his bum, but managed to do it with a smile, while Justin allowed a tongue to probe inside his mouth.


  A taxi took them down to a more than usually seedy part of Camden Town to a pub with club attached.  At the door, some dragged-up boys looked them over through their mascaraas they went in.  Clive and Frank paid, then ushered them – hands on their arms – to a table.  The noise was deafening.  Lights and music were pulsing around the floor, where a lot of bare flesh was on display.  The smell of sweat and substances was alarming.  More drinks appeared, and it was getting to Nathan.  Justin, meanwhile, was confidently sparring with Clive over the remorseless beat of the music.


  Frank didn’t say a lot, although he made some comments about the scene.  A boy as young as Nathan drifted by in makeup and a cut-off tee-shirt, navel exposed, hanging on to an older man.  They disappeared into the crowd around a side door.


  Nathan was by now ready to leave, but Justin – too obviously into the masquerade – was looking round greedily.


  Nathan kept sipping his drink, and soon was feeling a lot better.  From somewhere within him welled up a sense of euphoria – the beer, he decided.  He began talking animatedly to Frank, who grinned back.  When Frank closed in to kiss him, he found he didn’t care, but savoured the man’s lips on his and licked in behind them.  He broke off and laughed.


  Unnoticed, Justin had apparently disappeared with Clive.  Frank took Nathan’s hand, pulled him up and began leading him through the crowd.  Oddly, it seemed to Nathan that everyone was moving strangely slowly, and somehow, though he knew he was walking in a straight line, he seemed to be curving off to the right. He leaned up against a door and stared indifferently into a dim room full of guys doing sexual stuff.  His dick was unaccountably rigid.  He stumbled and knelt down just within the door.


  ‘You okay?’ asked Frank.


  ‘Fine,’ Nathan said, his voice seeming to come from a distance.  ‘You know, I have an odd feeling that my hands are going through this wall.  But they can’t be, can they?’


  ‘No, ’course not,’ Frank cooed in his ear.  Nathan suddenly felt free air on his buttocks while his shirt was being pulled up to his armpits.  A slippery coolness invaded his anus.  ‘What you doing?’ he asked dreamily.


 ‘Something nice.  I got a condom on.  Just relax, sweetheart.  Your arse is to die for, and I just gotta have some of it.  I never screwed anything like this in my life.  You won’t mind if a couple of the other lads have a taste, will you?’


  ‘No … I,’ Nathan began, but his head bumped forward into the wall as a man’s cock pushed hard against his anus.  At that moment there came a thud, a crack and a grunt.  A body fell heavily against his back and then off him on to the floor.  Arms – Justin’s, he realised – pulled him upright, dragged his jeans up to his waist, and led him back inside the dance room.  Justin steered him through the crowd, sending people spinning out of his way, cursing.  An instant later they were out the door in the cold night air.


  A bouncer looked them over and decided to be helpful.  ‘Taxi’s by there, kids.  Hang on, I’ll close the door to give you a few minutes.  You got money?’


  ‘Yeah,’ answered Justin breathlessly, ‘and thanks.’


  ‘Be more careful who you go out with, lads.  You get some pretty queer folk here, even for queers.’


  Justin shoved Nathan into the taxi and gave directions.  He leant back with relief on to the seat, propping up his still dazed lover, who said inconsequentially, ‘D’you know, my feet don’t seem to quite reach to the floor, hard as I try to put them down.’








  They huddled together in the side lane by the rubble bags.  ‘You any better?’ Justin whispered.


  ‘I think so, though I feel a little sick.  What happened?’


  ‘Frank slipped some ketamine powder into your drink, I’d guess.  When I realised Clive was distracting me, I gave him the slip and found Frank in that side room, about to stuff you.  So I ’it ’im with a bottle.  It didn’t break, I only cracked him a glancing blow, which was just as well.  Then we were out of there.’


  ‘Justy, what were we doing at that club in the first place?’


  ‘Having a bit of fun, learning about life, freeloading.  I had four drinks without paying for one of them.’


  ‘But the guy tried to date-rape me.’


  ‘Yeah, well, that was the risk.  Sorry.  But you’ll be more careful next time, won’t you?’


  ‘Me careful?  Next time?’