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Finding Nico

by c m

Chapter 7

It's now August 14th. Three more days until I go to stay with Josh. We Facetime each other every day, but I can't wait to be there with him in the flesh.

But the next day he isn't feeling very well – and the next day, when he does a Covid test, it comes back positive.

'I can't believe it,' I say when he calls to tell me.

'Nor me, Nico…I mean, I don't feel terrible, just a bit off-colour, but I have to isolate for ten days. Maybe we can re-arrange?'

'I think we're meant to be going to see my grandparents for a couple of days just about as you come out of isolation…so I need to check. I really hope that we can get together, though. God, Josh, I was looking forward to seeing you so much.'

'Me too Nico…I want to hold you close so badly...touch you…taste you…just be with you. And I think my balls are about to burst…I've been saving myself for you for a week.'

'I've been dreaming about draining you dry - and I've been walking about with a near-permanent stiffy just thinking about you.'

'Just have to be patient, Nico. Just think what it'll be like when we DO get together…'

'I suppose. Look you just get well fast and I'll check out dates at this end, OK?'

'Will do. Love you, Nico.'

'Love you too, Josh.'

My parents are very sympathetic – they know how much I've been looking forward to seeing Josh again, but the dates are not promising.

'He's off-limits until the 26th, then we're visiting your grandparents two days after that for a long weekend…and then you're due back to school three days after that. I'm sorry, darling, but I don't see how we can make it work.'

I am in the pits of despair.

'Maybe during half-term?' my mother says. 'That's only about another six weeks away, Nick…I know it must seem like an age but….?'

I just shake my head. I'm on the verge of tears.

I call Josh that evening.

'Hi gorgeous, and how's the wounded soldier today?' I ask.

'The wounded soldier is bored out of his mind and frustrated beyond measure that he can't be with his wonderful, sexy boyfriend.'

'That was quick work…who is he?'

Josh laughs.

'No-one's ever going to replace you, Nico. Any joy with rearranging?'

'No…we 're going to see my grandparents as I suspected and by the time we get home, it's only three days until term starts.'

'Well, I know it's not what we had planned, but could we meet up on one of those days? Maybe each take a train and meet in the middle? Or better still, you could come here and stay the night and go back on the train the next day? Would at least give us a day together…and a night.'

'I guess that would be better than nothing. Let me see what I can sort out.'


'And how's the problem with the potentially exploding balls?'

He laughs.

'You mean these?'

He moves his camera until it's focused on his groin.

'There appears to be a problem with your cock as well as your balls…' I say.

'Yes…it's gone all hard…I have no idea why.'

'It's obviously catching, though…look…'

I move my Ipad to give him a close up of my full-on arousal.

'Is there any treatment that you know of?' he says.

'Well, I've heard that massage is effective….'

'I suppose anything's worth a try….'

And so that's what we do.

I talk to Mum about spending one of the days before term starts with Josh.

'It's not ideal, love, but…yes, alright…it's do-able. '

'Thank you!'

I call Josh to give him the good news.

The next week seems to crawl by. Then, with two more days to go until Josh is back in circulation, the blow falls. Josh calls – and I can tell he's upset.

'I don't believe this, Nico…but Dad's just tested positive today. So he's in isolation for ten days…which means you can't come here on the date we organised.'

'NO! No, no, no…' I do some quick thinking. 'But you've had it, right, so it would be OK for me to see you?'


'Then why don't you come to me instead? I'm sure we can collect you from the station.'

'Good thinking; let me check.'

He disappears for a couple of minutes.

'Mum has to isolate as well…but as we're in a bubble she reckons it would be OK for her to drop me at the station this end.'

'Cool. I just need to double-check with Mum, but it sounds like a runner.'

'I so hope so. I'm going crazy here.'

I run it past Mum later on and she says she just needs to confirm a couple of things with Josh's Mum. An hour or so later, she puts her head around my door.

'I've sorted the arrangements out with Josh's mother, and that all looks fine.'

'Great. Thanks, Mum.'

The day before we're due to go and visit my grandparents, Mum asks me if I can watch the house for an hour or so while she pops out to do last-minute errands before we go away. Dad's at work and Jules has gone to see a friend.

'Sure thing, Mum.'

I go back to the video game I'm playing until I hear the crunching of the gravel that indicates Mum's return. I go downstairs to open the door. And get the surprise of my life.

'JOSH! What the hell are you doing here?'

'Well, that's a nice way to greet your boyfriend.'

'Oh my God…I can't believe it…but what…how…?'

'Explanations later – right now I need a hug.'

I fling my arms round him and then we're kissing.

There's a gentle cough from my mother.

'Oh…sorry, Mum…'

'It's OK…but inside would be better I think.'

'Of course, but how come Josh is here?'

'Well, your father and I knew how disappointed you were about your planned week together, and so we had a word with your grandparents – told them you'd found this lovely boy on holiday and all about him getting Covid so you couldn't meet up, and they agreed that it would be far more interesting for you to have the weekend with him here than go to see them. So that's what's happening. We're going to go and see them and you're going to stay here with Josh. I arranged it all with his parents.'

Josh is wreathed in smiles. But something occurs to me.

'You must have known about this days ago, you bastard…and you didn't say anything?'

'Are you saying it's not a nice surprise?'

'It's a bloody amazing surprise, but….'

'Then no buts. And God, it's so good to see you.'

'You too.'

And we're hugging and kissing all over again.

'Err, Nick,' says my mother, why don't you show Josh to your room, and I'll make us some coffee.'

'What?…oh…yes…right. Come on, this way…'

I virtually drag Josh up the stairs to my room. Once inside he pushes me up against the door and slips his tongue inside my mouth. I can feel him pressing his groin into mine. We both seem to be packing iron rods in our nether regions. What follows is not very elegant – and it ends up with me having to go and get a wet flannel from my shower room to clean up the mess we make all over the floor. By a happy coincidence, however, it takes precisely as long as it takes my mother to make coffee.

'Coffee's ready, boys,' she calls up the stairs.

We zip ourselves up and make our way downstairs.

The coffee is freshly-ground and delicious. As we sit there drinking it, another thought occurs to me.

'Mum, if you told Gran and Grandpa that I'd met a nice boy on holiday, I guess that means you told them I was gay?'

'Yes, darling. I hope you don't mind given that it was in a good cause.'

'No…of course not…and how did they react?'

'I think your grandmother said something like 'how very modern' and your grandfather just asked if he was a nice boy. When I said he was, he just said 'then I suppose that's all that matters. At least that means Nick knows who and what he is. It's these gender fluids I don't understand'. To be honest, I was surprised he even knew what gender fluidity was. No, darling, they just sent their love and said that they'll look forward to meeting both of you some time.'

'Wow, they sound amazing,' says Josh.

'Do your grandparents know that you're gay?' I ask.

'Question doesn't arise; they're all gone. The last one died when I was eleven so there was nothing - and no-one - to tell.'

'Oh, Josh, I'm sorry.'

'It may be just as well. My father's parents were very old-school; I doubt they'd have approved of their grandson being what my father says they'd have called 'a fairy'. My mother's parents might have been OK about it – guess we'll never know.'

'But your parents were obviously fine with it, Josh,' says my mother.

'Oh yes. No problem there. They made it easy for me. They were very open about the fact that if I was gay they wouldn't have any problem with it. It sounds as if you were the same?'

'Well, perhaps not quite as open about it, but we certainly didn't mind. People are what they are; you can no more choose to be gay or straight than you can choose to have blue or brown eyes. Loving someone is far more important than whether they're the same sex or not. Now, I expect you boys have a lot to catch up on, so I'll leave you to your own devices. I shall be out for the afternoon. Jules is due back about six, and we normally eat at about seven-thirty. And it's lovely to have you here, Josh.'

'Thank you so much for fixing everything so that I could be.'

'Not at all.'

Josh and I go back upstairs.

'I like your Mum a lot.'

'Yeah, she's OK. And good of her to tell us we've got the place to ourselves for…what time is it now?…midday…'

I do a quick calculation.

'…six hours.'

'Six hours, huh?'

'Six hours for the moment…then they'll be on their way to my grandparents earlyish tomorrow, and not back until late Monday. That gives us…hmm…if they are gone by 11…about eighty hours…'

'Any particular plans?

'Other than spending quite a lot of those hours with you without any clothes on…no.'

'Starting now?'


Two minutes later we are naked and entwined on the bed. Despite our quickie earlier, we're still hungry for one another, and we waste no time in satisfying our craving for the taste of each other. Our immediate needs sated, we lie side by side and relax. He runs his fingers over my chest. It brings back the memory of him doing the same thing when we were lying like this after doing something similar on the bed at Sunnybanks.

'You haven't really told me much about the week you had at the hotel after I left. Meet anyone nice?'

'Guy called Piers. He'd stayed there before. We became friends. I think you'd like him…in fact, I suggested you and I should meet up with him and his boyfriend maybe sometime around Christmas – if you'd like to.'

'Boyfriend? He was gay too?'

I nod.

'Wow…and was his boyfriend there as well?'


'Hope you two behaved yourselves together.'

He says it with a laugh in his voice. But I feel a little uncomfortable.

'We didn't have sex, if that's what you mean.'

'God no!…I wasn't suggesting…sorry, Nico…'

'That's OK. And he was pretty good-looking, and I confess I enjoyed the sight of him in the swimming pool changing room. But that's pretty much it.'

'Good body, then?'


'Nice bits?' he says with a smile.

'Nice bits. Bigger – well longer - than you and me. And circumcised.'

'How old?'

'He had his eighteenth birthday that week while he was there.'

'Did he have a party?'

'Not really…he had a bit of a celebration with his family – and I had a few drinks with him that evening.'


I'm now in torment. I don't know whether I should tell him what happened or not. He can see that I'm distracted.

'Nico? What's up?'

'Oh, nothing…just thinking about that evening.'

He turns on his side and faces me. I can't meet his eyes.

'Umm…you didn't…maybe…have a bit of a drunken kiss and a cuddle?'

I nod miserably.

'Yes. And I'm so sorry.'

'That's OK. I didn't go further than that, did it?'

I meet his gaze.

'Nearly. But it didn't. I thought of you and stopped things before anything…happened. I'm sorry I even let it get that far, though.'

'That's OK,' he says, 'good looking boys, teenage hormones and alcohol are a dangerous mix.'

'Sorry I let you down.'

'But you didn't. And anyway…good-looking boys, teenage hormones and alcohol were not entirely uninvolved in how we…got together…were they?'

I half-smile.

'No. But we DID get together, and I love you to bits so why did I even…oh, God, Josh…I need to be honest with you. He propositioned me that evening about having a wank together…no more than that, I promise you…and he dropped his trousers and there it was, all hard…and I touched him, Josh…but then I realised what I was doing…and I couldn't carry on…and he realised I didn't want to carry on…and we stopped…and that's it. But I touched him, Josh. I'm so, so sorry. Please, please forgive me?'

He looks at me. And I wait for the words I deserve. That I'm little better than a tart. That I have no self-control. That he doesn't want me anywhere near him.

But all he does is smile.

'Look, Nico, if it's confession time, I have something to confess to you too.'

'You do?'

'Yes. When I got home from our holiday, I was horny as hell. I missed you like you wouldn't believe. Anyway, I went to Rugby training down at the club and….do you remember I told you that one of the boys I'd done stuff with was from the Rugby club?'

I nod.

'Well, he was there. We still like each other even if…the physical side of things…is long past. But he approached me after the game and asked if I fancied a bj with him…for old times' sake. And I'm not making excuses, Nico, but I was so fucking horny I didn't do what I should have done and told him I now had a wonderful boyfriend, I sort of shrugged. We were in the bar, and he just said 'meet me upstairs in five'…and I went. It was only when he'd got his trousers round his knees and I was about to kneel in front of him that my brain kicked in. I thought 'what the fuck am I doing?' and I just told him I couldn't and left him there. So you're not the only one who nearly made a mistake. But neither of us actually did. And the fact that we both stopped when we did says something about the strength of what we feel for each other. We may not have passed our tests with flying colours, Nico, but we did pass.'

He strokes my hair.

'Can we just forgive each other for what we nearly did, and put it in the box marked 'lessons' and get on with loving each other…because I do love you, Nico. Very much.'

'I so don't deserve you, Josh.'


'Forgiven…if you forgive me.'

'Already done. Now…come here…'

They say that 'kiss and make up' sex is the best – and based on what follows, I think they might be right. It also makes us both hungry.

'I can either make you a sandwich, or we can go out and get something.'

'I vote for the sandwich, Nico. Less far to go to get back to bed….'

'You have a one-track mind.'

'You complaining?'


And I kiss him.

'Right…sandwiches it is.'

We both put our clothes back on – well, most of them – and go down to the kitchen. I look in the fridge.

'OK. We have cheese, or ham, or there's some cold chicken - or there's a tin of tuna in the cupboard.'

'Chicken sounds good.'

'Good choice. Chicken sandwiches for two coming up.'

I get a loaf of Granary bread out, and cut four decent-sized slices off it. I spread two of them with butter and the other two with mayo, then put one of each together around a generous filling of sliced chicken with a grind of black pepper. I cut them in half, put them on plates, and add a couple of cherry tomatoes on the side.

'We have coke, OJ or water to drink.'

'Coke for me, please.'

I pour myself a glass of orange juice and we sit at the kitchen table while we eat.

'Good sandwich, Nico.'

'One of my favourites. The mayo makes all the difference.'


As we eat, Josh says;

'What happened between you and Piers…or rather didn't…' he says with a smile, 'is water under the bridge, but didn't Piers feel guilty about trying to get into your pants behind his boyfriend's back?'

'No…he said that they have a relationship where they don't screw around but that if they're apart it's OK for them to...what did he call it...'have some fun' with other boys. I couldn't do that Josh.'

'Me either. But I suppose if that's how you are…'

'And Jarrod, that's his boyfriend is older than he is…twenty-five I think. Piers said Jarrod has problems with commitment, but that that was OK because he wasn't looking for that right now. But at the end of the holiday he said something to me that made me think he maybe wasn't quite as happy with that as he said.'


'Something about it meaning that he'd never get a boyfriend like me…not me personally, Josh, but someone who has our type of committed relationship.'


'I know that after what he did…tried to do…it might seem odd that I still like him, but I do. I think he's fundamentally a nice guy. He apologised for what he did…and stopped the moment he saw that I wanted to. I'm sure it was the alcohol talking as much for him as for me, Josh – not that that excuses what I did.…and he was funny and good company…'

He nods.

'I'm not sure I like the sound of Jarrod very much, though.'

'I know. I hope Piers…isn't being taken advantage of.'

'Me too.'

'How would you feel about meeting him, though, Josh?'

'Piers? Why not? And like you said, if we could combine it with some Christmas shopping, that might be a neat way of doing it.'

'Want another sandwich?'

'No…I'm good thanks. Any chance of a bit of dessert, though?'


'Something with fresh cream…'

'Fresh cream?'

'Mmhmm…fresh, warm, salty-type cream…'

'OoohhH…you mean….?'

He nods vigorously and we head back upstairs.

As the afternoon drifts by, neither of us feels any compulsion to get out of bed. We just enjoy being naked with one another, occasionally touching or stroking or kissing. It is enough simply to be with each other again. At about 5, I suggest we ought to shower and get dressed before Jules returns.

'There's not a lot of room in the shower. Why don't you go first,' I say.

'When I used the loo, it looked to me like two could squeeze into the shower if we tried…'

'Guess we'll never know unless we give it a go…'

And it proves, indeed, to be quite a tight fit – but there's just enough room for us each to turn round if we're careful. And plenty of shower gel makes sure we're nice and slippery, which helps. It turns out the best way for both of us to get a share of the water to rinse all the soap off is for us to embrace one another under the centre of the showerhead. And that's no hardship at all.

By the time Jules gets back, we're both downstairs watching television.

'Hey Josh! Great to see you,' she says, coming over and giving him a kiss.

'Good to see you too, Jules. All good with you, I hope.'

'Yep, all good here. And I imagine that all is VERY good with you boys now you're together again?'

Josh and I look at each other.

'Yeah…I think you could definitely say that,' Josh says with a smile.

'And no need to ask how you two have been spending the afternoon.'

'Well, he was tired after the journey - weren't you Josh - only reasonable that he should have had a rest and a lie-down.'

'Oh yeah? I bet there wasn't much rest involved…'

'We have no idea what she's talking about, do we Josh?'

'Absolutely none at all.'

'Hmmm…well, all I can say is that I hope you've already…done it…enough times to mean that I won't be disturbed by your moans and groans of ecstasy all night long. Remember, I'm in the room next door.'

'Moans and groans?' I say.

'You know exactly what I mean.'

'I don't think we moan and groan do we, Josh?'

'I think she must be thinking of the noises Alex made…'


'Yes...when he was…you know…with…'

'Alright! Alright! Enough…' Jules says.

'And talking of Alex,' says Josh, 'he sends his love.'

'That's kind. Give him mine in return.'

'Will do. You DO know he's got it bad for you, don't you Jules?'

'We message each other from time to time.'

'He'd love to see you again, you know.'

'So he tells me.'


'And what? He lives miles away. It's not practical. He's a lovely guy and I'm pleased I met him. But we need to be realistic about these things. We both agreed that.'

'I think he might just have changed his mind.'

'Well, if he can magic away the hundred miles between us it might be different – but he can't.'

'But if he could?'

'He can't. So anything else is just wishful thinking.'

And she rushes out of the room.

Josh and I exchange glances.

'Sorry, Josh, would you excuse me for a moment.'

I go upstairs and knock on Jules' door.

There's no answer. I knock again.

'Go away!'

'Please, Jules?'

Nothing happens, and I turn to go back downstairs, but then the door opens a crack.

'What do you want?'

I can see that she's a bit tearful.

'Let me in, Jules. I know you're upset.'

She opens the door and goes and sits on the bed. I shut the door and sit beside her. I put an arm around her shoulders.

'Alex isn't the only one who's got it bad, is he?'

'NO! God! Fuck! It wasn't meant to bloody well be like this. It was just a sodding holiday romance. But I've bloody well fallen for the bloody boy and he's a hundred bloody miles away and it's all bloody impossible.'

I hug her to me - and feel a few soft tears fall on my shoulder.

'And seeing you and bloody Josh so bloody happy together makes it all a hundred times bloody worse.'

'I'm sorry, sis.'

'Don't be. I like seeing you happy. I like seeing you two together. You were made for each other. But it makes me…'

'Bloody jealous?' I say with a smile.

She can't help but laugh. But it's no more than a bark, really.

'Yes. And I'm sorry, Nico. It's not your fault. I just…'

'Maybe Alex could come and visit, like Josh? I'm guessing the only reason you haven't asked him already is because you agreed to be…realistic?'

She nods gently.

'Well, it seems to me that the 'realistic' situation is that instead of it being a holiday romance, you've fallen for each other…and that the realistic thing to do is acknowledge it and see each other.'

'It's not fair.'

'What isn't?'

'I'm meant to be the wise one who gives advice.'

'Oh…so you think I'm wise, huh?'

'Fuck off Nico….'

But there's a smile in her voice as she says it. Then she sits up, shakes her head and stands up.

'Right. Plan B it is.'

'Plan B?'

'I tell him that, against all logic and despite our agreement, it seems that I still quite like the stupid idiot and I want to see him.'

'Go Jules!'

'And thank you, Nico.'

'My pleasure, sis.'

And I kiss her.

Back downstairs, I give Josh a quick resume of what happened.

'Well, I have to say I think that's great. Alex has been like a bear with a sore head since we came home. Let's hope they find a way to work things out.'


A few minutes later, my mother gets back, and a few minutes after that, my father. By the time we've all made the reintroductions, it's nearly time for dinner. I'm about to go and lay the table when my phone rings. It's Will.

'Hey, Nick...just wanted to say I hope that you'll enjoy your weekend with your grandparents. Any chance we could catch up when you're back on Monday?'

'Actually, there's been a change of plan. I'm going to be here for the weekend.'

'Really? Great. Wanna meet up tomorrow?'

'Sure, but the reason there's been a change of plan is that…you know I said I'd met this wonderful guy on holiday?'

'Yeah…Josh, right?'

'And you know I was due to go and stay with him and then he got Covid?'

'Uh huh.'

'Well…he's here for the weekend. Mum set it up with him and his parents - as a surprise.'

'Josh is with you now?'


'Oh…OK…I'm sure you'd rather spend the weekend with him…I don't want to get in the way. You guys must have stuff to catch up on.'

Josh has wandered over. He cocks an eyebrow.

'It's my best friend Will. He wants to know if he could come over tomorrow?'

'Why not? I'd love to meet your friends, and,' he adds in a whisper, 'we can't spend all weekend in bed.'

Will can obviously see and hear that I'm talking to someone else.

'Is that Josh you're talking to?'

'Yes…hold on…'

I turn my phone so that Josh's face fills the screen.

'Hey, hi Josh!'

'Hi Will, nice to meet you.'

'You too. Look, I'd love to meet you but I don't want to be like a third wheel.'

'You won't be…and I'd like to meet you too if you can sort something out with Nico.'

I move the phone back so I can see Will.

'I thought Jules was the only one who called you Nico?'

'Yeah, well…Josh is allowed to as well. And look, come on over tomorrow – but not too early. My parents will be leaving to see my grandparents at about 11…so maybe 1, 2...something like that?'

'Sounds great. See you tomorrow.'

The line clicks out.

'He seems nice,' says Josh.

'Will? He's been my best friend forever. One of the two people at school I've come out to. The first after I told my parents.'

'Not bad looking either.'

'I know. He's quite a babe magnet at school. But he doesn't go chasing after them. Which makes them even keener to get together with him. He could have shagged pretty much every good-looking girl in the school by now if he wanted.'

'But he doesn't?'

'Not seemingly. He's just polite to them all, and he's funny and he flirts very gently with all of them – but without choosing any of them for any more than that. It drives them wild.'

'So he hasn't shagged any of them?'

'Says he's a virgin. Must be something in the water round here. Not that I've asked recently. But we don't really have any secrets. If he'd done it, I'm sure he'd have told me.'

'And you're sure he's straight?'

'As sure as I can be. I suppose anything's possible, but given that I've been open about my sexuality with him, I can't imagine that he'd be hiding anything from me on that score. Maybe he's asexual – or maybe he just genuinely feels he hasn't met anyone he likes enough to go to bed with. You'll meet him tomorrow – see what you think.'

'How intriguing - I'm looking forward to meeting him even more, now.'

'Right…well, Will may not have got laid, but this table needs to be. Come on.'

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