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Finding Nico

by c m

Chapter 10

Half-term arrives. Josh and I have been Facetiming each other pretty regularly, but we can't wait to be with one another in the flesh again. As planned, Alex is coming to stay with Jules while I'm away, but the agreement is that he'll stay for just two days this first time to make sure that a more long-lasting relationship is what they want.

As my mother said: 'We know that you and Josh are already a couple – indeed, it was already more than a holiday romance before we left Sunnybanks. But that's not how things were left between Jules and Alex, and they need to be sure that they aren't just missing one another a bit rather than it being more than that.'

Jules and Alex reluctantly see the sense in this and agree that this is how it should be. I have no idea if my parents will let them share a room or not – but doubtless Jules will tell me all about that when I get back.

Mum drops me at the station, and I settle into the one-and-a-half-hour journey to Bristol. I have to change trains at Reading where there's a twenty-minute wait. But as I'm crossing the concourse to the platform I need, I recognise someone.

'Alex! Alex…over here…'

He turns around.

'NICK!...what a coincidence…good to see you…'

He comes over, puts his case down, and gives me a huge hug.

'Maybe not a total coincidence given that I'm going to Bristol and you're going to Oxford. Sis can't wait to see you again, by the way.'

'The feeling is entirely mutual. And Josh is out of control with excitement about seeing you again.'

'That's mutual too.'

'OK. I need to run, Nick…my train goes in five minutes.'

'Right. Have fun.'

'You too.'

We hug again. He heads for Platform 12, while I make my way to Platform 4.

As the train pulls slowly into Bristol Temple Meads, I am already hanging out of the window looking for Josh. I can't see him. The train finally pulls to a complete halt, and the automatic locks on the doors release. I jump down with my bag and follow the signs to the exit. And there, on the other side of the automatic barriers, is my Josh.

In my excitement, I fumble with my ticket and drop it. More haste and less speed. I retrieve the ticket, put it into the slot and the barrier opens. I've barely taken a step beyond it before he's there, wrapping his arms around me.

'Oh, Nico...I've missed you so much.'

And he kisses me. I hug him to me. There's a polite cough from his mother.

'I understand you're happy to see each other but could we…maybe…'

'Yes, yes, of course, Mum...sorry…come on Nico, this way.'

He grabs my bag and I follow him out into the station car park. He leads me to a very smart Tesla.

'Wow. Nice.'

'Yeah…this is Mum's. It's cool.'

He puts my bag in the boot.

'You boys sit in the back together,' says his mother, sliding into the driver's seat.

It's the first time I've been in an all-electric car, and the near-total silence is amazing. Josh takes my hand and squeezes it.

Their house is in a part of Bristol called Clifton. It's up on the hill above the city centre, and it's clearly the smart part of town. His mother pulls into a driveway that leads up to a very imposing-looking Georgian house.

'Welcome to our home, Nick,' his mother says as she steps out of the car. 'Josh, why don't you show him to your room and then come down and have a coffee – I'm sure Nick could do with one.'

'Will do, Mum,'

The house is grand; there's no other word for it.

'This is amazing, Josh.'

'I guess so. It's just…home, to me.'

'Have you always lived here?'

'Yes…pretty much. I think my parents bought it when I was about three, so it's the only home I've ever really known.'

I know from our conversations that Josh's father is a Partner in quite a high-powered firm of solicitors – with a correspondingly large salary. But this place is way smarter and bigger than I'd anticipated. Josh leads me up the wide, sweeping staircase.

'We've got several guest rooms, but my parents are happy for you to share my room if you'd like.'

'And where else would I want to be?'

'I told them that's what you'd say.'

Josh's room is big. Maybe twice as big as mine. There's a large bed off to one side – not quite as big as the one at Sunnybanks, but a whole lot bigger than mine – and to the other side is a door that leads into a proper bathroom– not just a shower room like I have. There are floor-to-ceiling fitted wardrobes and a whole area devoted to a computer, games console, hifi set-up and desk. Behind the desk is a leather swivel chair.

His room looks out over the garden. It's not huge, but it's mature, with a variety of trees, shrubs and flowerbeds. I can't see any other houses. Josh comes and stands behind me, his arms around my waist.

'Looks beautifully private,' I say.

'Yes…no-one overlooks us. If the weather was like it was when we were on holiday, you could even sunbathe nude if you wanted.'

'Do you?'

He laughs.

'No. Though I might if it was just you and me. But talking of nude…'

He slides his hands down over my groin.

'I want you so badly, Nick.'

'And I you.'

He goes to undo my belt, but as he's doing so, his mother's voice calls up the stairs,

'Coffee's ready boys.'

I laugh.

'Guess we'll just have to be patient.'

'It's not coffee I want in my mouth.'

'I know. And I feel the same. But we've got plenty of time.'

'I suppose. But I've got a full-on stiffy.'

'You and me both.'

He giggles.

'Let's hope Mum doesn't notice.'


We make our way back down the staircase and into the kitchen. Which is another large, but well-proportioned room. It's not just a kitchen, it's an open-plan kitchen-cum-dining room. The units and the work surfaces are colour-coordinated in a sort of steely blue, with pendant lights hanging down over a free-standing island. The coffee has been made in an impressive, Italian coffee-maker that sits on top of one of the worksurfaces. I sit on one of the comfortable stools that surround the island and take a sip from the cup Josh hands me.

'Great coffee, Mrs. Brimacombe.'

'Thank you…and please call me Tamara.'

'My mother sends you her best wishes.'

'How very kind. Be sure to give mine to her when you get home. Oh, and Josh, Rupert called to ask if you'd be able to help at the Foodbank as usual tomorrow?'

'I thought I'd told him I had a guest staying, I'll call him and tell him that I can't…'

But I cut him off.

'No, don't do that, Josh. I'm sure they could do with your help. And I'd be happy to come with you if that was OK?'

'You sure? We'd be there for pretty much the whole afternoon.'


'That's very kind of you, Nick. But you shouldn't feel obliged,' says his mother. 'You boys only have a few days here, and I know how much you've been looking forward to spending time together.'

'That's alright, Tamara…sounds like a good cause.'

'It is. We're lucky to live in a very privileged part of the city, but there's a lot of poverty in some areas. The foodbank is a lifeline for a lot of people. Far too many, really.'

'Then I'm definitely up for helping.'

'Well, thank you. That's very kind. I don't think any of your other friends would be offering to help, Josh.'

'That's because none of them is Nico.'

And he leans over and gives me a kiss.

His mother just smiles.

Coffee finished, we go back upstairs.

'Now…where were we?' says Josh.

'You sure it's OK? Your Mum's downstairs.'

'She won't come up. And she probably has a pretty fair idea of what we're going to be doing. And I can't wait any longer anyway.'

He unbuckles, unzips and unpops me, before kneeling down and taking me in his mouth.

'Oh my God, Nico…I've missed this so much.'

I am so ready and so close that it seems only seconds later that I am grabbing handfuls of his hair as I am overwhelmed by my climax. He sucks every last drop from me.

'God you taste so good,' he says, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand.

I proceed to do for him what he has just done for me. And when he explodes in my mouth, it's all I can do to keep up with the torrent of seed that he pulses into me. Finished, he sits down on the floor beside me.

'You just get better and better, Nico.…and I really needed that.'

'Not half, Josh…how long had you been holding that lot back?'

'About a week.'

'Hope there's plenty more where that came from.'

He grins.

'You better believe it.'

A phone rings somewhere downstairs.

'How come you're involved with the food bank, Josh?'

'Oh, well…the first time was part of a school project. We have a sort of community outreach programme that you can do instead of playing soldiers with the CCF. That never really appealed to me, but the community thing did. It was a complete eye-opener. I got to know Rupert – he's one of the guys who runs the foodbank – and when our project was over, he asked if anyone would like to volunteer to continue to help out – so I said yes. I usually do either an afternoon a week or a half-day at weekends – like tomorrow.'

'Do you remember you said to me - when you visited - that I had hidden depths?'

He nods. The memory brings a smile to both our faces.

'Well…I think you're the one with the hidden depths. Volunteering like that's wonderful.'

'It's little enough, Nico. My family is wealthy; I'm privileged – and most people aren't either of those things. If you can't care about people who don't even have enough to eat, what does that make you?'

'You're amazing, Josh.'

'No. I'm not. And what about you? You heard my mother – and she was right – my friends who I'm with all the time wouldn't have volunteered to help me, yet you, who only have a limited time with me, say you'll help without so much as a second thought.'

He looks at me.

'It's yet more proof – if any were needed – of why we're meant for each other.'

He reaches for me, but before we can embrace, there's a tap on the door.

'Just a mo,' Josh says.

We hurriedly pull up our trousers and zip them up before Josh goes and opens the door.

'Hi, Mum…what's up?'

'I need to go out. The phone call was from the hospital. They need a volunteer driver to pick up an elderly lady and take her home. I shouldn't be out too long.'

'OK...see you later.'

She shuts the door, and shortly afterwards we can hear the sound of her footsteps going down the stairs.

'So your mother's a volunteer too?'

He nods.

'Maybe that's where I get it from. But both my parents are keen on supporting the local community in practical ways where they can. My father has always said that there is no virtue in money for itself – it's what it lets you do with it that counts.'

'They're good people, aren't they?'

'I guess so. Mostly. But right now, seeing as how we have at least an hour or two to ourselves, whilst they may be good, I fancy being bad with you. Very bad. Positively wicked, in fact.'

'You do?'

'Uh huh.'

'Naked wicked?'


Seconds later we're in bed.

We get up and get dressed an hour or so later. It's safe to say that we've taken the edge off our lust for the time being. Until tonight at any rate. Josh shows me around the rest of the house. Upstairs, along with Josh's room and his parents' bedroom, there are three other bedrooms each with an ensuite of varying sizes – two with a shower and toilet, the third with a full bathroom like Josh's. All of these go off a galleried landing. Downstairs, as well as the kitchen-diner, there's a big lounge with an open fire; a family room which has a TV and home cinema set up in it; a study lined with shelves full of books, along with what is clearly Josh's father's desk; a utility room with a washing machine, tumble dryer and bits of laundry equipment; and a cloakroom and toilet. These are all set around a big, open hall.

The garden will have to keep for another day as it has started to rain, but Josh says that, to one side of it, there's a small sauna room with a plunge pool. I'm excited about giving that a try. We're in the kitchen making another cup of coffee, when Josh's mother returns about twenty minutes later.

'Hi, boys…everything OK?'

'Yes thanks, Mum.'

'Great. I was going to do simple steak and chips tonight if that suits you, but I've just realised I don't have any tomatoes for a tomato and onion salad. I don't suppose you fancy walking down to the shops and getting me some – once it's stopped raining?'

'We can do that,' says Josh.

'Oh, and maybe pick up some mushrooms too?'

'Will do.'

By the time we've finished our coffee, the shower has passed, but we both put on waterproof jackets before setting out for the shops.

'How far is it?' I ask Josh.

'Oh, not far…maybe half a mile or so.'

It's a pleasant walk. The road is lined with trees and when we turn left at the end of it, we are clearly near the centre of Clifton. It has a real village feel to it; there's a deli, a speciality bread shop, a butcher, various cafés and restaurants and, just beyond them, the greengrocer we are looking for. Actually, it's more than a greengrocer, it's a wholefood shop. The whole place smells wonderful. The display of fruit and veg is impressive, and Josh selects half a dozen tomatoes from a pile of firm, ripe fruits, and then fills a bag with chestnut mushrooms from a wider range of varieties than I've ever seen in one place. The assistant puts the tomatoes in a paper bag at the checkout – and we're done. Just as we're leaving, Josh's phone rings.

'Hi, Duggie. Yes…yes, he is. NO!...don't be vulgar…sure…no, not tomorrow, we're helping at the foodbank….are you?….OK…no, that sounds OK…Monday – but not early….god, you have a one-track mind….no, pizza sounds cool. See you there. 'K…bye.'

He turns to me.

'That was my friend Duggie…he's keen to meet you –and actually I'd like you to meet him. He's sort of my version of Will. He wanted to meet up tomorrow, but I said we couldn't, then he's having lunch with his grandparents on Sunday, so we agreed we'd get together on Monday if that's OK with you…maybe have a pizza at Pizza Express together?'

'Sounds great. I'd like to meet your friends. What was that about him being vulgar?'

'Oh, that. He asked if you'd arrived yet – and when I said yes, he asked if we'd had sex yet.'

'Sounds like he knows you – us – pretty well.'

'Yes, well, maybe. But that's none of his business. And he's only jealous. I mean he's straight but he's been trying to get into his girlfriend's pants for about six months now, and she's not having any of it. Nice girl. So the fact that I've got a lovely boyfriend who is more than happy to sleep with me is driving him potty.'

'Where does he live?'

'Couple of miles away. He'll probably come over on his scooter – he's got a provisional licence. I must do something about learning to drive, actually…how about you?'

'It's on the list. Mum and Dad have offered to pay for lessons once A levels are out of the way.'

'Ah, OK.'

We walk back along the pavement which is now dry from the rain. I ask Josh about the sauna.

'Do you want to try it?'

'I'd love to. Only ever had one but I really enjoyed it.'

'OK...don't see why we shouldn't. I do use it from time to time. I'll ask Mum when we get back.'

Five minutes later, we're back at Josh's house. He gives his mother the tomatoes and the mushrooms.

'Thanks, darling…mmm…they look lovely. Your Dad phoned to say he'll be back about 7 tonight, so we'll eat at 7.30.'

'Great. Is it OK if Nick and I use the sauna while he's here?'

'Of course. Help yourself. You know it takes about an hour to get properly hot, don't you?'

'Yes. I didn't mean right now but maybe tomorrow or Monday?'

'That's fine.'

'Why don't I show it to you anyway, Nico? Come on.'

He leads the way through the sliding doors that run the whole length of the room. In the summer, with them folded back, it would be as if you were virtually in the garden. The wooden hut containing the sauna is about ten yards or so away from the house, butting up against the left-hand garden wall. Josh opens the outer door to reveal a plunge pool in the form of a kind of large barrel off to one side, and beyond it the door to the sauna itself. It's a bit tardis-like – bigger on the inside than it looks from the outside.

'Actually, Duggie really enjoys a sauna…maybe we could use it, the three of us, after we've had pizza together on Monday?'

'Sounds good to me.'

I dip a finger in the plunge pool. It's cold.

'Blimey…that must be a shock to the system after all the heat.'

'That's the point. Well – if we were in Sweden, we'd go outside and roll in the snow and then beat each other with birch twigs to get the circulation going.'

'I could beat you with birch twigs if you wanted.'

'Thanks for the offer. Fortunately, we don't have any birch twigs handy.'


He grins.

Josh's Dad gets back a few minutes before 7. He gives Tamara a kiss.

'Hi, Nick. How nice to see you. I hope you had a good journey?'

'Very good, thanks.'

'And I hope Josh has been looking after you.'

'In every way,' I say.

I catch Josh's eye. He's doing his best to suppress a smile.

'Pleased to hear it. Now, I'm going to have a G&T…what would everyone else like?'

'Can I have a beer, Dad?'

'Of course, and for you, Nick?'

'Is a vodka and tonic possible?'


He goes into the kitchen and I can hear bottles being rattled.

'How can you drink that, Nico?' Josh says as we follow his Dad, 'I find tonic water so bitter'

'It's just a grown-up taste, Josh. You'll get there eventually.'

His father hears this and laughs.

'Quite right, Nick. Here you go.'

He hands me a glass that's full of ice with a slice of lime in it – and what looks like a very large measure of vodka.

'Tonic's in the fridge if you could get him a can, Josh. And you can help yourself to a beer at the same time.'

Josh hands me a small can of tonic and opens a bottle of Peroni for himself. Meanwhile, his father has poured his mother a glass of white wine.

'Well, cheers everyone – and here's to you two boys enjoying your time together.'

Just before half-past seven, Tamara asks us how I'd like my steak cooked.

'Rare for me, please, Tamara.'

She smiles.

'I suppose I should have guessed you'd be the same as Josh.'

'Guess we have quite a lot in common.'

'Indeed you do.'

Dinner is excellent. It's everything I like; great quality ingredients treated simply, but well. My steak is perfectly cooked and the chips perfectly crisp. The mushrooms are very good too.

'That was excellent. Thank you so much.'

'My pleasure. Now, we have the last of the fresh autumn raspberries from the garden or would you prefer some cheese?'

'Raspberries for me, please.'

'And me,' says Josh.

These are equally good, served with just a splash of cream and a grating of dark chocolate. I've not had raspberries and chocolate together before, but the combination turns out to be sensational.

'Wow…this tastes amazing.'

'Raspberries and chocolate are a combination made in heaven. I'm pleased you like it. Now, if you want coffee, you're welcome to have it here with us – or take it up to Josh's room if you prefer.'

'We'll take it upstairs, Mum, if that's OK. How would you like it, Nico?'

I look across at the machine.

'Large espresso please.'

'I find that too bitter. Like tonic I suppose. I'm definitely a cappuccino man. What would you like Mum, Dad?'

'Just a long black…Americano is it?…for me, and I'm sure your mother will have a cappuccino like you.'

'Sure, Dad.'

Josh makes the coffees and we take ours upstairs.

'Your Mum's a great cook, Josh.'

'I know. I really appreciate it.'

'And I'm impressed with your coffee-making skills.'

'Oh, once you've mastered the intricacies of the machine it's pretty much foolproof.'

'Nice espresso too.'

'Not very much of it, though, is there?'

'I suppose that's the point; a quick, strong hit.'

'I like the creamy taste of what I've got.'

'Yes, well, we all know how you feel about cream….'

Josh grins. A thought occurs to me.

'I guess I ought to let my mother know I'm here…I forgot to do that earlier.'


And I realise that I've left my phone downstairs in the kitchen.

'Won't be a mo,' I say.

I'm almost at the kitchen when I hear Josh's parents talking. I know I shouldn't, but I stop and listen.

'He's such a lovely boy, Henry. When he discovered Josh was wanted at the foodbank he immediately offered to help. And he's so polite. I can't tell you how relieved I am that Josh has found someone like him.'

'Good-looking boy too. They make a lovely couple.'

'Do you think they'll stay together?'

'Who knows? First love and all that. And the distance they live apart.'

'They do genuinely seem to love each other.'

'There's certainly no shortage of passion…'

I hear Josh's Mum laugh.

'Well, they're teenage boys they can probably keep going all night.'

'I don't think we were so different at their age – from memory…'

'Oh shush, Henry.'

'And you do realise it's almost certainly what they're doing up there right now.'

'Well good for them.'

And then they're both laughing.

'It's just lovely to see Josh so happy, Henry. And I'd be more than happy to have Nick as my son-in-law if things turn out that way.'

'Indeed. The boy clearly has great values as well as being bright – not to mention being the love of our son's life. But that's all some way away. Lots of water to flow under the bridge until we get there – if we get there.'

'Well, fingers crossed as far as I'm concerned.'

'Me too.'

With the conversation over, I resume my way into the kitchen.

'Sorry…I think I left my phone in here…ah yes, there it is.'

I pick it up from beside the coffee machine and make my way back upstairs.

'Have trouble finding it?'

'No, it's just…your parents were talking so I stopped and listened. I shouldn't have…I'm sorry.'

'That's fine. I do it all the time. What were they saying?'

'That they think we make a great couple…and that we're probably having sex all the time.'


'Let me see…yes…'They can probably keep going all night and I expect that's what they're doing up there right now.'

'They said that?'

'More or less. And your Dad said something about that not being so different from him and your Mum at our age.'

Josh roars with laughter.

'Did he really say that? What did Mum say?'

'She told him to shush.'

'Oh, man…well…they're not so wrong, are they?'

'I think we owe it to them to live up to their expectations.'

'Yes, yes indeed.'

'Not that you need any encouragement on that score.'

''Well that's rich coming from you.'

'I know. I can't help it,' I say.

And I go over and kiss him.

'You better phone your Mum before I start doing things to you that you wouldn't want her to hear over the phone,' he says.

'Promises, promises…'

I dial home. It's answered by Jules.

'Oh hi, Jules…is Mum there?' OHH…don't do that, Josh.'

'Yes, she is…and what's going on?'

'You don't want to know.'

'I think I can guess…hold on…'

The line goes silent for a few seconds.

'Hello darling?'

Hi Mum…just to say I arrived safely and…OOOH…Mrs. Brimacombe sends her love.'

'How kind of her. And I'm pleased you're safe.'

'Could I have a…OH GOD…word with Jules?'

'Are you OK? I'll just go and find her. I think she's with Alex.'

'In that case don't disturb them. I'll catch her later.'

'OK, darling. Well, thanks for calling.'

'Night Mum.'

'Night dear.'

It's been hard to focus on the conversation as Josh has unzipped my trousers and been busy using his mouth on me for the past minute.

'Josh, not that what you're doing isn't wonderful, but it makes it bloody difficult to have a phone conversation.'

'You're not on the phone anymore. Want me to stop?'

'Don't you think we should save it for later?'

'Why? Won't there be more later?'


'Then I'd like to keep going.'

So he does.

Some time later, we take our coffee cups back downstairs and put them in the dishwasher. Josh's parents are in the family room, and we put our heads round the door to wish them goodnight.

'Saturday tomorrow, so no rush up in the morning,' says his mother. 'If you're awake and feel like walking down to the bakery and picking up some croissants and a couple of baguettes, feel free – but don't feel obliged.'

'No, see what sort of a night you have. You may need a lie-in,' says his father, with a smile.

'OK, will do. See you in the morning.'

'Night Josh, night Nick.'


We watch some TV for a bit, sprawled on the bed, but our attention soon turns to each other.

'It's so good to be here with you, Josh.'

'It's so good to have you here, Nico.'

He kisses me – and the kiss turns into an embrace. We can feel each other's arousal.



We strip and then shower together. As we dry off afterwards, I notice there's a bidet in the bathroom.

'Do you ever use that?'

'Not really…it's just part of the bathroom suite they installed – though it would probably simplify getting nice inside if we wanted to experiment a bit further. How do you feel about that?'

'I wouldn't mind trying again, sometime…but right now I just want to go to bed with you and do what we already enjoy.'


And that's what we do.

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