Chapter Six

Published 13th March 2015

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Tom

Walking from the bathroom, wrapping the towel around my body, I start to prepare myself mentally to reveal my untold story. Deep within me, hidden behind doors, down secret passages and locked in chains, is what I have buried so deep. I hid it here for good reason, never to allow myself to have to live through the crap again.

Am I ready to drag up the crap again?

Relive the horror of my childhood.

For years I have built up my persona, the Tom I allow people to know, to fall over themselves to get to. In the ten years since that fateful day, I have never revealed the true him; the real Tom Parks.

My body is a shell that holds darkness deep within and covers up the ugly that I have disguised for so long.

I work out at the gym to perfect my exterior and dress it in the most expensive clothing, accentuating all I have to offer. I check myself in every mirror, never missing an opportunity to see my hard work, what I have built around the pain. I am never disappointed with what I see, and I know the men I dance for every week love it.

My body screams sex; I am the perfect Adonis, if I do say so myself.

Yet now, things are changing. Small cracks are appearing all over my body, telling me that I need to show him what I really am. Austin needs to see through that which I hide myself behind.

Doors slamming open!

Chains breaking!

Hidden corridors revealed!

My real essence is making its way out from me!

I feel numb, weighed down with pain, yet I don’t want to push him away.

I used to discard men like rubbish, leave them covered in my sex, hungry for more as I walked out of their lives reveling in their pain and longing. I was all about the chase, hunting my men down and having my way, my self satisfaction, before saying the gay term for ‘get out’: good morning!

I don’t want this with him, with the guy still naked in my bathroom, trying to follow me and waiting with bated breath for me to tell him my crap.

I want him to see, need him to see, the real man who broke for him tonight.

I reach my sofa and sit down and prepare myself to begin. For the first time since I moved in, I feel uncomfortable in my flat, my small haven.

As he walks over, I feel my mouth go dry and the words hitch in my throat.

I can’t do this!

It’s too hard!

Too painful!

He won’t stay!

When he learns about how I became who I aspire to be, he will run and I won’t blame him.

He sits next to me, not touching me, not forcing my words.

I close my eyes and think of that night, that fateful night.

I breathe in deeply and as I exhale, I allow a silent prayer to be carried from my lips.

Please stay. Don’t look at me differently…please!

I can do this.

I lie to myself, trick my mind into believing it will be okay, so that I can find the right words.

So, I begin.

 

Austin

I steal one of his t-shirts off the bathroom floor to wear over my boxers, my own discarded clothing still bedded with the glitter of the night and I don’t want to get it on me again. I don’t want a reminder of my small experimentation.

His top hangs over me, far too large for my smaller frame compared to his large, muscular body. I run my hands over the cashmere material that is draped over me, and I can feel the expense of it, the delicate quality, something I would never normally wear. It smells of him, a mix of his perspiration and aftershave. I allow my thoughts to run away from me, pulling me into naked thoughts of his sweaty body thrusting into my arse. My tongue licking the salty moisture from his chest, his cock, his sweaty balls. I inhale deeply through my nose as I allow his essence to fill my lungs.

Think unsexy thoughts, think unsexy thoughts.

The last thing I need is for my erection to stand to attention. I can’t walk up to him with my love muscle on show.

I find myself smiling as I make my way towards his sofa, where he is sat awaiting my arrival, and I remember why I am following him. I am not making my way towards him to steal kisses, taste his sex, have him again like I really want. He is perched on his sofa, looking uncomfortable for a reason and it isn’t what my dirty mind is wanting.

Fuck sake, Austin, calm down! I shout inside my head, pulling my thoughts away from my dirty desires.

Tom is waiting to divulge something about his past to me, something I feel he may never have told another soul and he wants to tell me!

I fall into place next to him, watching him closely as he readies himself. Is he even aware of my presence beside him? He gives no indication to noticing my arrival and I just settle in place, waiting for him to begin.

I patiently watch him, seeing how he struggles to form the words, as his lip tremors. Evidently he is still far from speech, lost in his own rambled thoughts. How long has he held this mental entanglement, that is whatever he wishes to tell me? Are these memories in knots and such disarray that he is having that much trouble to unravel them?

I stare at his head, trying to break past beautiful hair, skin, bone, brain, until I find the thoughts that trouble him so, trying to help him somehow to find what it is that is causing this pained look that is diminishing his perfect face.

Oh, Tom.

I want to take my hands to his face, stretch his worrying lips into the perfect smile he has, to push my fingers back into his cheeks and re create the mouth watering dimples.

Is it so wrong I want to do this?

I refrain from grabbing his face, but I want to reach out and hold his hand reassuringly, to let him know I am here for him. I want to give him some of my strength, some of the confidence that tonight’s actions embedded within me. I want my touch to be the guiding light that will allow the words to flow from his lips, like a lighthouse calling the stray ship to the safety of shore.

I don’t.

A childish fear bubbles within me, one of reawakening the old, angry Tom, the guy I saw tonight. With that in mind, I fight the urge to allow my hands to even move a millimeter. This calm, new guy is the one I want, not the dancer; not the sex crazed beast.

At the thought, my cock twitches, reminding me that maybe I do…want the sex crazed beast.

Is that really so wrong, so selfish?

I dig my nails into my leg to chase the thoughts away. Now is not the time to allow desire to take its hold on me.

I find a small, soft voice and allow tiny words to flow from my lips, over to where he is sitting, pulling out the right words within his head that will tell me of his past.

It occurs to me that maybe he is doing this for me, doing something he doesn’t actually want to do and I relax my shoulders slightly as I watch him.

“Tom… you don’t need to tell me,” I say graciously.

I really don’t want to push him into something that he isn’t ready for, but can it really be all that bad?

Can what he has to tell me be so terrible that he cannot find the words?

I start to worry that I am about to be told a secret that may be illegal, some act of crime he is running from. I bite my tongue, trying to prevent myself from pleading with him to talk to me, tell me his woes.

I am panicking as I watch him. The longer he takes to tell me his story, the more I want to shake the words from him.

Watching his struggles is devastating. It pulls at my heart as I start to feel that awful dread.

Slowly, he turns his head to me, small remnants of water still making its way from his dark hair, down his face and falling to his muscular chest. Tentatively, I reach out to stop one in its tracks and by the shudder that runs through us both, I know he felt the same spark I just did upon meeting his skin.

He grabs my hand and holds it in his, looking at my fingers for what seems like an eternity, before his pain-fueled words begin to leave his beautiful lips and hover around me. Words that somehow appear in front of me like an auto reel, moving in time with his lips.

I watch the words move in time to his no longer confident voice; he is breaking before me.

“I am used to people hating me, calling me a dick, calling me everything.” I watch as the words in front of my eyes dissipate in time to his speech. How could people think this about him? ”Only a few get to see a small part of me, but even then they don’t know…who I am.”

He pauses, stroking my hand nervously, feeling each of my fingers in turn. Such delicate touches that are tingling up my arm, running to my brain.

His story is starting to unfold.

“Are you really sure you want to hear? Want to get this close?”

I lightly nod my head, causing him to take my hand and kiss it. A small tear rolls down his chin, followed by another and another, until they all break from him.

I feel sick for him as he starts to open up about something that is clearly tormenting him, that has ruled his life for so long.

“I was twelve…”

Here it comes, here is how I find out about Tom Parks. Already I can feel the need to cry rising within me.

 

Tom Aged 12 

“Tom!!!”

I groan, turning over, trying to ignore whatever it is that is wanting to coax me from sleep.

I want to return to the dream I was having, the one where I am weightless as I float through the clouds and sapphire sky. The one where I feel free as a bird, untouchable to the people below that reach up to me. I am safe in my dream, free to do what I want, to go where I please. I was floating over America, looking down on the large landscapes below, the huge cities of people who will never be able to get to me.

My happy dream.

My safe dream.

“Tom… baby… please wake up… !!!”

I drag my heavy eyelids open, looking into the pitch black of my bedroom.

It takes my eyes a few seconds to focus, for my brain to settle on the image of my mother before me. She is smiling down at me, but I know it is that smile she wears to cover her anxiety. It is her happy, perfect mask. I can see right through it. Always could.

Oh no!

I sit up, panicking at the sign of angst in her eyes.

“Wa… sss… uuppp?” I ask groggily.

My eyes may be awake, but my body is far from alert, still pulling me back towards my dream state.

Let’s go back, Tom, back to where he doesn’t exist! My subconscious pleads.

I want to… I really want to!

“Baby, get up, we have to go, NOW!” She says, pulling the covers from my bed with a little too much aggression to her actions. “Quick, before he catches us!”

Ah… now I see!

Shit!

Fear slaps me in the face, shocking me awake. It’s just what I need to pull my body to consciousness; a reaction to my mother’s pained words. She pulls me from my bed, forcing me to stand up and become alert to the moment.

He!

My Father!

My protector!

No!

My mother’s abuser!

Just a glorified sperm donor.

He, the man I have to call father, never once showed me love. I only ever associated him to pain, terror, and intimidation; never love, never anything warm.

No father-son bonding in my house!

Ever since I can remember, he has shown my mother love with his fists, beating her for anything from talking to the neighbours to not having all the canned food in the cupboards facing the right way. Even when the city had a power outage, he blamed her and beat her black and blue to match the evening sky. He kept my mother and me living in fear, completely unaware when his fist will strike next.

Good morning… smack!

We ran out of bread… kick!

It’s raining… punch!

Anything could set my father off!

We could go for weeks without a sign of Mr. Hyde, some indication of a possible happy family emerging from all the crap, a small ray of light in our darkness. Then as suddenly as it was gone, it came back tenfold. Out of the blue, he would snap.

Hello Mr. Darkside!

Dark glasses, heavy makeup and long sleeved clothes became my mother’s signature look as she tried to disguise what she called her shame!

It’s okay baby, mummy was just a bit silly and daddy needed to teach her a lesson.

Always the same, she always tried to cover up what he inflicted upon her, always blaming herself.

He loves me and I just made him mad!

I believed her, that it was her fault and used to beg her to try harder, not to upset him, to make him happy.

Then, with time, I learned it was all crap!

Yet, until I was twelve, who was I to argue with what he did? To me, this was normality, what I assumed all husbands did to their wives.

I learned to stay silent, never complain, never cry, never not do as I am told. To break any of these rules would be just another reason for my father to release his anger out on her.

He would never hit me directly when I was the one in the wrong. He would always take it out on my mother, beating her while I had to stand there watching, pretending not to care.

“Cry and I will fucking hit her harder.” He would tell his five year old son, who spilled his milk at dinner. “This is what you made daddy do!”

I never spilled my milk again, transfixed over what my small error had resulted upon.

My mother took all of what he should have done to me!

She didn’t deserve it, yet like any loving mother, she took the pain before her child had to suffer.

Whenever I had to watch the beatings, I would always keep my eyes on her, my punishment for what she had to incur.

I learned from a young age to control my emotions, hide them deep inside, as I watched the man that could paralyze me with fear beat my mother. Only when he would leave the house, let her clean up her mistake, as he called it, would I go to my mother and release my broken heart. I spent my childhood apologising to the woman who was my human shield, the woman who would lay down and take every beating as she told me it was okay, that it didn’t really hurt, as she swallowed her screams.

“Hurry, honey. We don’t have long.” I could sense the urgency in her tone as she started shoving items in my bag while I got dressed, shaking in cold sweat, fearing that he would find us.

My hands were fumbling over my simple act of dressing as I lost myself to panic.

“Where… is he, mum?” I whispered in such a low tone, too scared to speak any louder.

She turned towards me, moving closely to hug me tightly and I smell her rose scent, a smell that will never smell as sweet again. She released me, kissing my forehead before finishing getting everything together to make our escape.

“Asleep on the sofa, passed out from the whiskey.” Like mine, her voice is but a whisper. She tries to remain strong, for me. “Quick baby, that’s all we need. Let’s go.”

We slowly make our way from my room, exiting onto the landing, as my mother grabs her bag near her bedroom that she already pre-packed. Like the bag she had for me, she has packed light, only grabbing the essentials. I have no toys to take. I never had many long enough anyway before my father would destroy them before my eyes, or use them as an implement to beat the woman he is supposed to love. Neither of us would want any keepsakes, reminders of this so-called life we go through the motions of living.

I knew she planned to leave, a dream she had told me many times as I would watch her wash blood from her body and cover bruises with makeup. I just never thought this would come to fruition, that we would never find ourselves to be running into the night.

Hope was trying to ignite within me at the thought that we could finally be happy, be away from the monster, and try to live a life so many of children my age had.

No longer would we have to walk on the mental egg shells, to live such an authoritarian existence.

He the master and we his slaves; his to control.

We slowly descended the stairs as if we were walking on glass, terrified to make any such noise that may wake him and draw his attention to us. We don’t need this. We need to creep out into the night and allow it to blanket us as we make our escape.

Please don’t wake.

Please let us go.

Please let us live.

I feel sick as we make our way to the bottom of the stairs and delicately step towards our goal, the front door.

Is this the right thing to do?

Suddenly, I want to go back. Back to my bed and get used to the life I have to live, to watch my mother become the human punch bag forever more.

If he catches us…

No…

This is the right thing to do, I know this, for us to finally live in peace.

We creep through the darkened hall and as we pass the living room door, I hold my breath, not wanting any sound to be our downfall. I can tell my mother is doing the same, even hoping our heartbeats won’t wake him. Each beat feels harder within my chest, pounding within me, and I can hear them thump in my ears, like it is getting ever louder.

Will he hear it?

Will my heart be what rouses him?

I can see the front door. The door that will lead to our salvation, beckoning us to it, to our freedom. I have to control the urge I have to want to grab my mother’s hand and run.

I can see the door, mummy!

Faster, mummy!

Run, mummy!

We are so close, mummy!

The words fester in my head, wanting to scream from my lips to alarm her to the urgency, the need to get gone from this house.

“Not far now, hun,” she says, so low I struggle to hear her as she takes my hand gently in hers. I can feel her clammy palm with mine, aware that we are both equally terrified.

The door draws closer and closer with each tender step we take. A small light seems to be appearing around it, filling the darkened hall as it’s light fills me with hope.

There is our goal, our way out!

So close, mummy.

I go to speak, reassure her we will be okay, that we are just inches away from our new life, but the words get stuck in my throat as I hear the ever familiar voice of my misery.

No, mummy. No… no… no… no!

We were so close!

 

Austin

His head has fallen to rest on my knee as he tells me his tale and I hang on his every heart wrenching word.

I allow my fingertips to gently weave through his short, dark hair, fearing that anything heavier will break him and make him stop telling me the story that causes him so much pain.

Oh, Tom.

Already, I am fearing his next words as I listen to his younger self re-living his terrible biography.

“It’s okay… if it is too hard… you don’t need to go on,” my small voice falls from my trembling lips.

He pauses for a moment, his chest rising and falling on my knee, his warm breath washing over my naked skin.

“No… I need to… so you know…” he says.

I prepare myself for more.

Secretly, I want to fast forward to the end, to stop the retelling before the disastrous climax.

 

Tom Age 12

We almost had it, a chance to get away! Yet now, my eyes see the light beyond the door fading away.

I’m sorry, mummy!

“Going somewhere?” My so-called father bellows behind us.

I start to shake at the sound of his voice. My mother stops dead in her tracks, causing me to bump into her.

So close. Almost free…

My mother turns sharply around, forcing me behind her, shielding me from him even though she knows he won’t strike me.

You never know with my father, though. Maybe tonight will be the night. Maybe tonight he will let me take the beating…maybe I can help her.

I cling onto her waist, trying to hold her to me.

“We… erm!” Are the last words I hear for the next few minutes.

I still can’t see my father, my vision of him shielded by my mother’s body, but that is until I see her almost fly away from me, pulled from my childish weak grip by my father.

I watch in shock at the scene unfolding. My father pulling my mother by her hair, pushing her head straight down into the knee he is forcing up to meet her face. Ignoring her screams of pain, he repeats the motion and the first of my tears burn from my eyes

For the moment, I have lost control of my body, unable to turn away, to run and help her. I stand motionless as I watch my mother get punished for trying to lead her child to love.

“Mu… um… !” It took me moments to realise the voice making the words was mine.

I am still unable to move as I watch my mother fall to the floor in front of me at his feet and his voice pulls my eyes to his horrid face.

“STAY THE FUCK BACK, YOU SHIT!” He yells at me, pointing his hateful finger my way.

For the first time in my life, I find my body ignoring my fear as I make my way forwards to help my mother. My love is leading me to her, pulling me to her aid and I am almost at her, reaching my hands to her, but his hands reach me first.

No!

He grabs my hair, punching me in the stomach, giving me the same blows he would bestow upon my mother. I scream out at the pain, buckling forward before he pulls my hair back so I am looking into his eyes and I can see a glint in his as he licks his lips.

So now it is my turn?

To feel what he gives to her?

Finally.

For my mother!

“So you think you’re the big fucking man now, do you?! Think you can stop me hitting my wife?” He spat his words into my terrified face.

I try to remain strong, but I can feel myself caving into the black hole that is expanding in my heart.

He pulls his face close to mine and I can taste the whiskey on his breath. My eyes widen as his fist pulls back, taking aim at my face.

This is it!

I start at the gigantic knuckle sandwich that is preparing itself just for me.

I close my eyes and brace myself.

“NO! Please no…!” He hesitates at my mother’s voice, turning his head to look down at her. “Don’t hurt my baby, please! It was my idea, not his! Take it out…on me!”

I look down at my mother’s pleading eyes, watching her beg my father not to hurt her child.

No!

He pushes me off him, forcing me harshly against the wall and I try to ignore the pain in my back, now screaming up my body.

He leans down, grabbing her hair again, before turning his attention back to me.

“Interrupt again and I will fucking kill her!” He smiles at me. Yes, a smile stretches across his drunken face.

Mummy!

“It’s okay, baby! Mummy will… be… okay.. !” She is trying to reassure me, calm the pain in my heart.

I watch for as long as I can as my father resumes his work on her, punching, kicking, and laughing; all the time laughing.

“Don’t… look… baby… !” She tells me through her beatings, forever trying to protect me.

I fall to the floor and back into the wall, pulling my knees into me, as I rest my head down. I can’t and don’t look up as I listen to her cries, repeating her apologies to my father and her demands that she is okay to her son.

I never look up. I just stare through my folded arms, looking through my legs as my tears soak my shirt they fall upon. I don’t look up again, not even when I hear the final blow, one that causes a loud cracking noise and air escaping.

Silence.

No noise.

I still don’t look up.

I hear feet running away, leaving the house as the door slams, making me jump.

Did she leave me?

Is he still here?

I don’t look up, too terrified to move, afraid to settle my eyes upon what may lay ahead.

I don’t raise my eyes again. Not when men enter my house, trying to pull my eyes to them, asking what happened.

When I eventually look up slightly, I look past the policeman before me, through the legs of paramedics as I see the long, dark hair of my mother that is thick with blood. Her eyes stare lifelessly at me.

They pierce through me.

I force my head back to my hands as I sob, knowing she is gone. I don’t raise my head when they tell me she is dead, the result of a broken neck. I forever keep my head down as they lead me from the house, silence keeping hold of me as they take me away from my hell…alone.

No mother walking with me.

They tell me they will find him, that he will be prosecuted, that I will go into care.

They tell me I will be safe!

How can I be safe when I am now forever alone?

It was then that I made the decision. I made a choice before I was even a teenager,  never to love another again. Never to allow hurt to fill me like this again!

Never!

Never will I suffer those words to leave my lips!

Never allow that bittersweet feeling to fill my heart again.

In one night, I grew up, realised how stupid this thing called love was, and I was damned if I would feel it again!

The only person I loved was her and look what happened!

I stood there and allowed my father to kill my mother; stood and watched as she took my beating.

It was all my fault!

So no!

I won’t love again!

I stayed in care for a year, being told what to do, where to go, when to be home, what to eat, and when to sleep.

That was the moment I went from being the weak little Tom to the man I grew to be.

Tom Parks.

I took control of my life. I ran into the night like we should have done a year ago. I ran away from people trying to control me.

I knew that London was the perfect place to get lost in. I ran from my Oxford care home, stealing money to get there, to the place I could call my new home. As I arrived onto the streets of London, I felt it run through me. The feeling of self control.

Finally, I was doing what I wanted.

London was my play area as I lost myself within the human ant hill: sleeping in parks, stealing food for the next few years, before I realised how to make money without stealing it.

I knew I liked men; always had that desire setting up home within me. So, when I stumbled upon a twink getting paid for sucking dick, I stood there and watched.

Easy money!

As I watched this dark skinned boy, not much older then me, sucking this guy’s cock and getting a crisp £20 for doing something I fantasised doing for free, I felt my cock twitch. I knew this was something I could do.

So I did.

I spent most of my childhood in fear, yet on the streets I felt alive. I learned to use my body to excite men, to get what I want, and payment as well.

I learned to trust only me.

I learned to forget this stupid thing people call ‘love’.

I learned to grow up fast.

Above all, I learned to become the man everyone hates.

And fuck, I was fine with that.

 

Austin

Silence fills the room. The awkward kind that is too uncomfortable to break.

I don’t realise until he touches my cheek that I am crying. His face that hung in despair as he told his story now rests in my vision. I wasn’t even aware he was sitting up again, lost in his narration as the images of what he went through appeared in my head, like I was a spectator to his tale.

He cups my face in his hands and I see the tears from his own eyes falling, but not pulling away from me, not pushing me away like I expected the old Tom to do.

He pulls hair from my brow, looking over my face and I watch his eyes moving around my plain features, as he takes everything in.

I take the liberty to copy him, making a mental image of the new side to the man that is somehow managing to link my heart further to his. I want to find the key to the lock and throw it away so we can never be pulled apart.

He looks into my eyes again and I lose myself in his sparkling, aquamarine gems.

“See now… why it’s so hard to say the words?” His breath pushes the words into me and I catch myself inhaling his oxygen.

I suck his warm exhale into my lungs, to stay deep within me, tasting him as it goes down.

I nod.

I do see, but I am afraid to pull him into me like I want to.

I’m afraid that maybe he would react badly and turn me away.

Love hurt him to such a degree that he allowed his too young heart to break, to a point he thought he would never return and here I am, wanting to heal him, but too afraid to help.

How did he even live through all he went through, all he had to endure?

By twelve years old, he had gone from a terrified child to a slightly older one living rough in London, giving his body to perverts before he was barely of legal age.

Part of me is glad he skated over the details and didn’t tell me what he did to earn his bread. There are some things about his painful past that I am not sure I am ready to hear, not sure he is even ready to tell.

While he was going through this ordeal that was the life thrown to him, I was just meeting Samara, starting a friendship with a girl I would become more with, following a road that would lead me to where I am now.

He has gone through so much and here I am, worrying about telling my family about being true to myself.

He takes my hand in his again, pulls it to his face, and brushes it against his cheek.

“I want to… say it,” he says, looking at me, his face still on my hand.

I pause.

All this new information about him I have absorbed, yet when he tells me he has more he wants to say I feel like I have missed something, some important part of his story he is testing me on and I failed to absorb.

Oh shit!

What was it?

I try to find words to say, but somehow I only manage “Say… what?”

His lips move many times and no sound ever escapes, like he wants to say something, but changes his mind and goes down another direction but changes his mind on that again.

Eventually, he speaks so soft that I don’t catch what he says.

“Sorry?” I ask, leaning into him to hear better.

He tightens his grip on my hand and pulls it to rest on his knee. I follow it with my gaze and can see the parting of his white towel leading up his thick thighs, the smallest amount of pubic hair on show. I want to lean out and take the towel away, to reveal its hidden treat, but his words shock me back to his eyes.

“I… think I might… love you,” he says, looking past me and breaking the eye contact.

Did I hear him correctly?

Is this some illusion that is taking over?

No!

He said it; the words I somehow longed to hear without even realising.

I pull his head into me as I allow our lips to lock and we kiss. Our first love-filled kiss. His slow, gentle kisses turn into passion filled ones, but I can still feel the love radiating from him into me.

He pulls back from me.

Oh no!

I moved too fast!

He smiles, moving his hand over my face.

“Why… are you… crying, Austin?” I didn’t even know I was!

These are not the tears I am used to shedding: painful tears, heartbreaking tears.

No!

The ones that leave my eyes are tears of joy, love, and fulfillment. Butterflies fill my chest as these beautiful tears wash my face with happiness.

“I… am just… so happy… ” is all I can say.

I lay back on the sofa, pulling Tom down into another kiss and forcing him to climb on top of me, still kissing before he stops and simply stokes my face, brushing the hair from my eyes.

He grins at me. “Well…?”

Well?

What did he want me to do?

What is he waiting for?

“Well?” I repeat his question and he laughs for the first time all evening.

I am still confused.

He kisses me, stroking my face, smiling out his words. “It’s customary to say the words back…” A small glimmer of hope fills his eyes.

Like I really need to say it.

“I love you, too.” I do.

He kisses me again, not the sex filled kisses that are the norm with him, but gentle, soft kisses. His lips mould over mine, but he doesn’t force the kiss into anything rougher.

He pulls from me and I feel my head rising, wanting to meet those soft lips again, but fall back against the sofa and smile at him.

“I promise to try and not hurt you.” He tells me. “I just have never done this before.”

I see the small boy behind his eyes and I pull his head down, so it rests on my shoulder and I just hold him, feeling him breathe beside me. I don’t want to move, but his words break from my shoulder where he still lays.

“Austin. I am sorry… for fucking you.”

I never expected that and don’t know how to reply.

I tighten my arms around his body, lean my face into him and kiss him gently as I run fingers through his hair.

“You did nothing I didn’t already want.” And it’s true. I wanted him even before I realised I did.

“Can we start again? Can we try and… make love?”

I feel nervous as I try to form the words, but give in and allow my hands to talk, moving over his body as I rest them on his perfect butt. He gets the message as he gets up off me and reaches out his hand, which I take in mine. I allow him to guide me the small distance to his large bed.

Suddenly, I am more nervous than I was before.

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