Michael Arram







  Will’s alarm clock woke him at seven-thirty the next morning, alone in bed.  Harry Baxter had gone home at one to his own small house in Lower Whatton, where his parents lived in Whatton Manor.  But Will knew that what they had started the night before was not over.


  Principally, he felt smug.  He had sexually satisfied another gay man, in the process losing his inconvenient virginity at long, long last.  The embarrassment was over.  He had loved the sensation of being filled by another man, too.  Some part of him had been realised, and he was no longer what he had been.


  He moved and stretched, then his face spasmed in alarm.  He suddenly was aware that what he and Harry had done was not going to be without serious consequences.  He gingerly felt between his buttocks, disturbed to find painful swelling.  He looked at his fingers, almost expecting them to be covered with blood, but they weren’t.  He got out of bed, wincing as he sat before standing.  The worst thing was that he was desperate for a crap.  He would have to go.  The muffled cursing from his bathroom was plaintive, and was faintly heard in the newsagents downstairs.


  He sat in a bath, which helped a bit to ease the soreness, although he still moved stiffly when he left his flat.  Rather than walking to school as he usually did, he decided to take the bus.


  While he was standing in line for it, his mobile bleeped.  ‘Morning, Will babe,’ said an amused and warm voice.


  ‘Oh, hi!’


  ‘Can’t talk?  Where are you?’


  ‘Bus queue outside the Co-op.’


  Harry laughed.  ‘Well, I just wanted to tell you that you are the hottest babe in Whithampsted.’


  ‘Not a huge compliment, that,’ chuckled Will.


  ‘I also wanted to apologise for the state of your arse this morning.  Is it bad?  Red-hot poker sensation?’


  ‘I can’t tell you.’


  ‘It’ll get better, kid.  Practice, some proper lubricants and maybe some chemical assistance, and it’ll never be as bad again.  It’ll have eased by tonight.’




  ‘You don’t think last night was the end of the affair, do you?  I’ll be round at eight, okay?’


  ‘More than okay.’


  ‘I’m so glad.  Happy educating.  Bye, my babe.’


  It was a good day.  His happiness and cheeriness were contagious, the kids responding well to all his ideas.  He was inspired and inspiring.  He got back home exhausted but fully content with himself and the universe in general.  His arse had also stopped holding what he had done to it against him, though it was still sore.  He did not think he could take anal sex again that night, but maybe Harry would let him have a turn.




* * *




  Harry arrived on time, a grin all over his face, holding a bottle of expensive red wine in one hand and a carrier bag in the other.  Will’s heart pulsed at the sight of him.  They kissed lingeringly in the downstairs hall behind the closed outside door.  Harry went to go up, but Will coyly stopped him by blocking the stairs with an arm.


  ‘What are you doing?’


  ‘You can’t go up there without paying toll.’




  ‘I need to see you naked.  Leave your clothes here.’


  Harry laughed and was out of his clothes in a moment, as was Will.  Hand in hand they climbed upstairs, where a prolonged necking session on the sofa turned into a marathon of fellatio.  Harry got a little carried away at one point, and attempted to enter his lover with a finger.  Will yelped and sat up.


  Harry looked concerned.  ‘Still hurting?’


  ‘Yeah.  I think we’ll have to leave it a bit before I have you in me again … but believe me, I can hardly wait.’


  Harry smiled with a certain amount of satisfaction.  ‘You’ll be my best bottom boy ever.’


  ‘Bottom boy?’


  ‘You’re the sort of gay who likes to be underneath, that’s all.’


  ‘How do you know?’


  ‘You can just tell.’


  Will wasn’t going to argue, because he recognised that he really did like being penetrated.  Still, he was also sure he’d like to try it the other way round, though Harry clearly wasn’t going to offer.  In the meantime, however, there was oral sex, in which Harry was coaching him to become an accomplished cocksucker.  It was mutually very enjoyable.  For the first time, Will tasted cum.  He’d never tried his own, so he gagged a little at the first seeping into his mouth of the sweet fluid from his lover.


  Harry grabbed at the bag as they got up from the sofa.


  ‘What you got there, Hairy?’




  ‘Well you are a bit … so I’ll call you Hairy from now on.’


  Harry was amused.  He emptied the bag, and Will picked through the contents.  There was a rubber dildo, which caused Will to raise an eyebrow and Harry to smirk.  There were also two large tubes of lubricant and two boxes of extra-strength condoms.  Finally, from the bottom he triumphantly pulled out three DVDs.  ‘For your collection, lover.’


  ‘Wow, this is a weird one,’ commented Will.  ‘Men being screwed by machines and hung up in chains?’


  ‘It’s arousing, believe me.  But I think you’ll prefer these.’


  Will examined the other two boxes, giving a little gasp of excitement when he discovered Rothenian Boys 9 and 10.  He searched for the beautiful face and body of his lust-object, but Marc Bennett only seemed to have a bit part in 10.


  Harry was grinning at him.  ‘Let’s put this one on,’ he suggested, fatefully selecting Rothenian Boys 10.


  They returned to their oral sex, both keeping their eyes on the screen.  It was very stimulating, as boy after shameless boy offered himself to the camera.  But Will dropped Harry’s cock out of his mouth when Marc Bennett started his set.  Another handsome lad was inserting a large training dildo in Marc’s arse, and he was taking it with a deeply preoccupied expression on his face.


  Harry noticed Will’s distraction.  Sitting up with a smile he said, ‘That’s a very pretty boy-whore, isn’t it?’


  ‘He’s amazing.’


  ‘It’s all gay for pay, Will.’




  ‘They’re straight guys who lay it out for money.  Central Europe is full of them, struggling to make ends meet in poor economies where the average monthly wage for a professional is 300 pounds.  You can pick and choose any sort of guy for peanuts in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Rothenia, and they’ll thank you.  One porno film means that, just by bending over, they don’t have to work at some boring job in the tractor factory for a whole year.  All the boys have to do military service, and straight or not, they get a lot of experience with anal sex in the barracks.  After that, it’s not too difficult to persuade them to lie down in front of the cameras and get screwed for cash.’


  Harry had no idea of the impact his little lecture in economic reality was having on his new lover.  Will was appalled.  Somehow he had kidded himself that Marc Bennett was as gay as he was, maybe a bit of an exhibitionist, but a bright and funny lad, the sort he’d desperately have liked to meet in the flesh.  His fantasies flamed into ash.


  Harry was not so insensitive as to fail to notice a mood change, but he put it down to Will’s frustration with his inability to have anal sex at the moment.  He cuddled into Will.  ‘S’okay babe, you’ll be better tomorrow.  Then we can start exploring your bum again.’


  ‘Yeah sure,’ Will said gloomily.  Finally he rallied and stood up.  ‘Let’s get this bottle opened, eh?  I could do with a drink.’


  ‘Sure babe.  Let’s do that.’


  Harry left him just after midnight, dressing coyly in the downstairs hall.  Will didn’t bother to put his clothes back on.  He morosely returned to his lounge and picked up Rothenian Boys 7, looking achingly at the magnificent body and smile of Marc Bennett – or whatever his name was.  Just another deprived, abused Central European kid, victim of a ruthless porn industry.


  Maybe it was the wine, but he sat in his chair and began crying, mourning his lost fantasy, genuinely grieving for the sort of boy that he supposed Marc Bennett had been forced to be.




* * *




  At that precise moment, nearly a thousand miles away, on a boulevard opening off the Rodolferplaz in the ancient and beautiful city of Strelzen, the power went down again.  Oskar Prinz walked hard into a tree and fell back on his butt.  He swore and his three friends laughed, a little cruelly he thought.


  ‘How many times is that this week?’ he cursed.  ‘It was better under Communism.’


  ‘How would you know, Oskar?’ mocked Tomas.  ‘We were only little kids in the May Rising.  And you lived in Husbrau anyway, where no one even noticed.  Out there, they still think Stalin is in power.  Have you heard the one about the Husbrauener water-polo team?  It drowned five horses.’


 They all laughed, apart from Oskar, who was irritated by reference to his rural origins.  His friends were ‘Strelzen und Zenden’, as people called them, sophisticated boys from the capital and from the industrial city of Zenden.  Still, they were fun and kept him from feeling lonely in the big city.


  In the pale moonlight they found him and helped him up.  Rodolf switched on a torch while they checked him over for damage.  ‘Your main asset’s safe, Oskar,’ he reported with a smirk.


  Tomas snickered.  ‘What, you can see his dick?’


  Oskar gave a low laugh.  ‘He means my face, asshole.’


  ‘Yeah, I know what he meant.’


  They ignored the triggered alarms ringing out in the shops and shut-up cafés all down the street.  With the help of the torch and passing headlights, they picked their way across the cobbles and tramlines of the Lindenstrasse to Oskar’s apartment block, a tall, nineteenth-century, Second Empire-style building boasting impressive double-valved doors at the entrance and a moody concierge within.  There they said goodnight and shook hands like the polite boys they were, for Rothenia is a very formal society.


  Oskar climbed the winding, balustraded stairs, grumbling because the ramshackle lift was out of action.  The lights came on again while he was fumbling to get his key in the lock.  That was irony for you.


  As he opened the door, he blocked Marietta’s attempt to get out.  His little terrier leapt up at him enthusiastically.  ‘Yeah, missed you too, baby.  Ooh!  You get so excited, don’t you?’


  In the living room he checked his answerphone.  Three messages.  His English lesson the next day was cancelled, which was annoying.  However, his sister said she was going to be in town at the same time, so he would have had to miss the lesson in any case.  This way it cost him nothing.


  The PA from Falkefilm was after him too.  Good.  Modelling work at last, for which he was very grateful as expenses were mounting up and he was getting rather short.  He looked in the tall mirror he had inherited with the apartment, gave a broad grin and flicked his heavy blond fringe out of his eyes.




* * *




  Saturday was a bit of a disaster for Will Vincent.  Harry rang up regretfully to call off the day they had planned to spend together, saying he had to drive his father to a hospital appointment.  In anticipation of their day, Will hadn’t brought home any schoolwork, which meant the weekend had been unnecessarily wasted.


  Will was a conscientious-enough teacher to be seriously bothered by this.  So he slept in and, by way of punishment, woke late in the morning with an appalling migraine.  He threw up twice in the loo.  The pain was terrible, as if his head was being slowly and methodically impaled through the temples by a spike.  At least it distracted him from the pain in his arse, although that had lessened considerably from what it had been on Friday.


  He was just recovering his humanity when Harry pressed the downstairs doorbell.  ‘Christ, Will, what happened?  You look like a corpse!’


  ‘Migraine.  I’ve had them since I was seventeen.  They’re killers.’


  ‘You poor baby, what can I do?’


  ‘Stroke my head and be nice to me.’  Will was happy in the circumstances to adopt the role of the needy invalid.


  ‘Baby, I’m so sorry, I was just coming round to tell you the parents need me tonight and I can’t get out of it.’


  Will sniffled.  ‘S’okay, Hairy.  I’ll see you in church tomorrow, won’t I?’


  ‘Yes, of course.  Oh God, you look pathetic.  I feel like a bastard.’


  ‘No, go.  It’s not your fault.  See you in the morning.  Kiss?’


  They snogged out of sight of the street, then reluctantly separated.


  Sunday was better.  Will woke up refreshed and mildly euphoric, which was the not uncommon side effect of a serious migraine.  He sang beautifully.  The summer day was marvellous, sun streaming in through the medieval windows of the big church.  Harry was alongside him, nudging and smiling in a dangerously obvious way that Will hoped no one noticed.  When they left, the bushes and trees in the churchyard were full of rich greenery, and the fresh smell of growth floated in the warm air.


  Harry and Will walked across to the Feathers to enjoy its renowned Sunday lunch.  When several regulars stopped by and sat with them, Will reluctantly said goodbye to the intimate meal he would have liked.  He had to get real.  It was the best he could expect until the world changed, because neither he nor Harry seemed to have any intention of coming out locally..  It was nice enough just to be sitting alongside his secret lover and laughing at his jokes and stories.


  ‘So what happened in Greece?’ he asked when they were briefly alone.  ‘You were going to tell me.’


  ‘Oh.’  Harry grinned to himself.  ‘Well, in March I was on a gay cruise … I mean literally, it was a boat trip through the Greek islands, with calls at Mykonos and Lesbos.’




  ‘Oh yeah, I’d been on one before.  It’s the best way if you’re on your own and thirty-something, because if you’re fit-looking, you won’t be alone for long.  I fell in with a party of Germans and got sort of intimate with all of them the night we anchored off Mykonos.  A couple of them were rugged and I wasn’t interested in cooperating with what they had in mind.  But they had me anyway and there was a ripped condom in my arse after two of them took me at once.’


  ‘Jesus … is that possible?’


  ‘Difficult but possible.  I didn’t want it, but I got it.’


  ‘They raped you.’


  ‘Uh … well, technically no.  I was after all naked with them of my own volition in one of their cabins.  But they went further than I wanted.  The line’s hard to draw sometimes, and these were big men with big dicks.  So I got myself tested a couple of months after I got back … I was negative, fortunately.’




  ‘Yeah … but you can see why I might be a sucker for a gentle and submissive bottom boy at the moment.’


  Will was astounded at that description.  Gentle?  Submissive?  Was that how he appeared to Harry?  His Year 11 class on Friday afternoon would have been surprised to hear those particular adjectives applied to him.  Harry too would discover his error soon enough, for Will was in fact a stubborn man as well as a quiet one.  His temper and tongue sometimes ran away with him, which was how Year 11 had learned to be cautious when he was in a mood.


  By nature he was not a forward type, preferring to take a back seat socially, yet that did not mean he did not have strong opinions and ideas of his own.  He would follow his leader for the most part, until sooner or later there would come a moment of reckoning when people found out that he was not at all submissive, but steadfast and strong.  It sometimes came as a shock to those who had misread him.  Harry had made the same mistake that better men than he had done.


  They left the Feathers at three and found their way to Will’s flat, where they kissed longingly on his sofa.


  ‘How’s the bum?’


  ‘Ready and eager.’


  ‘Fantastic!  Let’s get these unnecessary clothes off, then.’


  They moved to Will’s double bed, where he relaxed under the very thorough rimming Harry administered to him.  He was glowing with contentment.


  ‘Sniff this,’ Harry ordered, holding a small brown bottle open under his nose.  It had a fetid, chemical smell.


  Will breathed it in.  His nose closed down and his eyes watered.  ‘What the hell was that?’


  ‘Popper.  Amyl nitrate.’


  ‘What does it do?  I feel odd, ooh, dizzy and … fuck … oh so randy.’


  ‘And relaxed.’


  ‘Uh … no.  Blood’s pounding.  I … ooh, that’s weird.  What did you just do?’


  ‘Shoved my fingers up your arse.  You just let me.’


  ‘It didn’t hurt.’


  Harry disappeared and came back holding the dildo, glistening with lubricant.  He pushed it steadily up Will’s rear, which allowed it to slide in without any protest.






  ‘You’re way open back there, babe, and your hole is pulsing with excitement.’


  ‘Then fuck me, Hairy.’  Harry lubed up and obliged with interest.  The buzz from the popper had by now disappeared, but Will still felt good, if a little muzzy in the head.


  Later they were lying together on his bed hand in hand, basking in their afterglow.  Harry asked, ‘When’s summer holidays for you guys?’


  ‘It’s in a fortnight; we get seven weeks.  Why do you ask?’


  ‘I’m owed more holiday, and I’d like to go someplace with you where we can be a gay couple.’


  ‘Fantastic.  Where?’


  ‘I’ll think about it, but we’ll head off for a week, how about that?’


  ‘Er … problem.  I’m utterly broke.’


  ‘Not a problem, kid.  It’s on me, a token of my appreciation for making me happier than I’ve been for years.’


  Will looked across at the older man’s smiling face, thought about it, and grinned.  ‘Then, thank you.’