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Making Nico

by c m

Chapter 9

The next day, I take Josh down to the lake. To my surprise, Karim is already there, swimming with an easy grace out across the water.

'Shall we join him?' I ask.

'Sounds good.'

We dive in off the platform, and the sound makes Karim turn round.

'Hi, guys. This is a nice surprise,' he says as we surface close to him.

'For us too,' I say, 'you should have told us you were coming down here.'

'I didn't know you'd planned to come. I like it down here. The water's cooler - and no taste of chlorine. And sometimes it's nice to have some time on your own.'

'Sorry if we've spoiled that.'

'Oh no, no…I didn't mean that. Sorry. It's a lovely surprise. How could I not enjoy being with the two sexiest boys I know? Are you up for swimming the length of this lake? Just gently…no race.'

I look at Josh. He nods. And we set off, all using breast-stroke, for the far end. The lake isn't huge, perhaps seven or eight hundred metres in all, but it's still further than I've swum in a while, and Josh and Karim are already out and sitting beside each other on the grass in the shadow of a couple of olive trees by the time I make it to the far end. I go and sit beside them.

'Whew! I'm a bit out of practice.'

'Karim was just asking me what flavour of cake I thought he was.'

'Cake? Oh…of course…and?'

'I said something slightly exotic…maybe a rum baba. What do you think?'

'I think perhaps…a ginger cake. Sweet, spicy and moist - almost sticky - with a lovely warmth that leaves you feeling very satisfied but just wanting a little bit more.'

'Fuck yeah, Nico. Yeah. Forget the rum baba. Ginger cake. What do you reckon, Karim?'

'I would be very happy to be a ginger cake. And you can have as much of me as you want…provided you don't mind getting sticky.' He gives us a huge grin. 'And what about you two…I wonder what cake you are? Let me see…yes…something quintessentially British…a Victoria sponge, I think, beautiful to look at, sweet, and filled with the most delicious cream.'

We both laugh. 'That's perfect, Karim.'

'I don't suppose I might have some of that cream right now, might I?' he says, with a sparkle in his eyes.

'Help yourself,' says Josh, laying back beside me.

'Now…which piece of cake should I have,' Karim says, looking from one of us to the other.

It's no surprise that the answer, it rapidly becomes clear, is 'both'.

'Mmm,' Karim says afterwards, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. 'Perfect cake. Perfect cream.'

The least Josh and I can do is give him the relief he so clearly now craves – so we give him our joint attention. It doesn't take long.

'Omigod. Two of you on me at once. Another first. That was…wonderful.' He sits up and puts an arm round each of our shoulders. 'I would like to ask you something – and it's fine to say 'no'…but how would you feel about doing more like that…the three of us together…'

I look at Josh, and he looks at me.

'Could Josh and I talk about that?' I say. 'It's not a no, but…'

Josh nods.

'It sounds like fun, Karim, but Nico and I do need to have a chat…is that OK?'

'But of course. I expected nothing less.'

I don't know whether the sex we've just had has energised me, but the swim back seems easier than the one out. Karim has borrowed a bike to get down to the lake, but we manage to attach it loosely to the buggy and all travel back together. It's a bit of a tight squeeze, but being pressed up against Karim's naked body is no hardship at all. We park the buggy, and Josh and I head up to our room for a shower.

We stand together under the showerhead. 'How do you feel about a threesome with Karim?' I ask.

'I think I'd be up for it, but you said the one you had with him and Piers was a bit of a let-down.'

'I think it would be different with you and him. The chemistry's different. I mean, I don't know how you felt when we were both blowing him earlier…'

He smiles. 'Yeah…that was good. Unexpectedly so. I loved catching your tongue from time to time was quite a turn-on.'

'For me too.'

'So, we say 'yes' then….?'

'Why not? But maybe not tonight? I think I want you all to myself tonight.'

He smiles. 'Perfect. Have we time for a little advance fun first?'


He nods.

'I think I could be persuaded…'

Afterwards, we go downstairs and tell Karim what we've decided. He's all smiles.

'I can't wait,' he says, and gives us both a kiss.

As Josh and I lie in bed that night having satisfied our seemingly endless lust for each other – well, for the time being anyway – I find myself thinking about what Karim said and what Josh said all over again.

'Josh, I've been thinking,' I say.

'Oh lord, you know I've warned you about that…'

'Oh shush,' I say giving his bottom a smack, 'no, seriously. About us having sex with other boys. What Karim said has made me think. And the more I think about it, the more I think that I'm actually more comfortable with the idea of having a threesome with you and Karim than with me going off and having sex with him or Piers - or anyone else for that matter - on my own in future.'

'Really? How so?'

'Well, it's just if we choose, both of us together, to invite someone else into our bed as a bit of fun, that feels like a properly consensual decision that doesn't in any way compromise what we have with each other. I mean, I know that when either of us goes off with another boy under villa rules, it's because we are both OK with it and we both know about it but…it does always leave me feeling a bit disloyal…you know, to you…oh, I don't know…am I being stupid?'

He strokes my hair. 'You really have been thinking about it, haven't you? I understand what you're saying, but I'm genuinely OK with you going with Piers or Karim or Zak on your own in this special place. I think having a threesome with Karim will be nice…I'm looking forward to it and to seeing how it leaves me feeling afterwards. Maybe it'll change my mind about us going off individually. I confess that I feel the occasional twinge of jealousy when I know that you're with Piers, but that's because I'm being stupid and because I know that while you're not in love with him or anything, you two do have feelings for each other that go beyond just sex. Which ought to make me feel good if I was being logical.'


'Because if it was just sex, it would be because you wanted more than you are getting from having sex with me. But if it's more than sex, then it's because it's an expression of how you feel about each other and nothing to do with what you and I have. It's the same with Karim. I like that he's bright and funny and challenging and not just some pretty boy with a long tongue…'

He looks at me and, despite the serious nature of our conversation, we both crack up. Once we've finished laughing, he props himself up on one elbow and runs a hand over my chest.

'But how would you feel about me going off to have sex with Zak or Karim on my own?'

I hesitate.

'I'm…OK with it because it's only fair. And it's villa rules.'

'But do you wish I wouldn't…deep down inside?'

'I…I didn't feel that way until Karim said what he said. And until I realised I was more comfortable with the idea of us both going with Karim together. You know…both of us being involved if we go with someone else. Not that I want threesomes rather than just you. That doesn't mean I think it would be wrong for us to go with him on our own, or for you to go with Zak on your own, but…I don't…that is…oh, I just feel…confused. Not about the principle but about my feelings. It's not remotely logical, is it?'

'I think it's something to think about. Let me ask you a different question. When we're back at Bristol, suppose we become friends with someone we both like - and who's gay, obviously - would it be alright for us to invite him into our bed with both of us if that's what he and we both wanted? Purely hypothetically.'

'If it's what we all wanted, I suppose so.'

'OK. And would it be alright after we've done that for either of us to go and have sex with him on our own if we told the other that that's what we were doing?'

'It's not logical, I know, but the answer is that I think I'd be uncomfortable with that.'

'OK. Interesting. And what if when we're back home and Karim is up at Oxford, he calls and invites both of us up and visit him in Oxford for the weekend, but only one of us can go? Would that be OK?'

I think about it.

'I guess.'

'And what if, instead of inviting both of us, he'd just invited one of us?'

'I don't think he'd do that.'


'I'd want to know why.'

'OK…his room's too small to accommodate both of us.'

'OK. If it were me he'd asked, I'd want…need…your express permission.'

'Which I'd grant.'

'I'd feel very awkward.'

'But would you go?'

'Yes…no…I don't know…'

'But what's different about that from what we do with him here?'

'Villa rules. And the fact that we'll have had a threesome with him by then which we haven't so far. That feels like another bridge that we won't be able to uncross - and one which changes things.'

'OK. And what if it was just me he'd invited?'

'Would you go?'

'I'd ask your express permission.'

'I…I…I want to say I'd grant it but…I don't know if I would…or rather, of course I would, I love you and trust you…but I think I'd be left feeling a little hollow inside.'

'Which is very honest of you. And if I knew that's how you were feeling, of course I wouldn't go.'

'But that would just be me being a bit…dog in the manger.'

'We're all made differently, Nico. Love is about accepting those differences. About celebrating them as part of what makes a relationship work. It would give me far greater pleasure to know that I was making you happy than going off for what?....a weekend with a friend and some sex that would leave me feeling like shit afterwards knowing that you were wishing I hadn't gone.'

'But you said you'd be fine with me going off and doing that.'

'Because we're different. It doesn't mean I don't love you as much as you love me, or that you get jealous and I don't, it's just the way our brains handle those things. Our relationship is perfectly balanced, but it's not identical on both sides. That's why we're so bloody good together. Why I would never, ever want anyone else but you as my boyfriend, lover and partner. We share ALL the same values, Nico; we don't sleep around, we are totally honest with each other, we don't have secrets from each other, we care about other people, we both believe in kindness and generosity, we make each other laugh and we are bloody amazing in bed together. We just know that we're made for each other and everything else is…nothing. I love you and you love me. That's all that matters.'

He slowly lowers his face to mine and we kiss. And then I'm holding him to me. And then, for some reason, I'm crying.

'What are the tears for, gorgeous?'

'I…you…we…it's just…'

He holds me tight and rocks me. And when the tears stop, he brushes the last ones away from my eyes with his thumbs.

'We good?' he asks.

'We good.'

'Lots to think about…but we've all the time in the world – and we'll work it out together.'

Our night with Karim is very different from the threesome he and I had with Piers. It's hard to explain why, because we do most of the things Karim and I did with Piers. But it isn't the same. Being with Josh, and both of us enjoying Karim together, and then being pleasured by him at the same time adds a new dimension to anything we've done before. And when we've done with sex, Karim curls up between us and goes to sleep. The three of us spending the night together seems the most natural thing in the world. And in the morning we go again before showering together. Once we've dried off, Karim wriggles into the pair of shorts he was wearing the previous evening and then gives us both a kiss.

'Thank you for the best night of my life,' he says, 'it was….extraordinary.'

After he's gone, Josh and I look at each other. And then we both break into huge smiles.

'That was…some night, wasn't it,' he says.

'That's an understatement.'

'I take it you enjoyed it as much as I did, then?'

'Oh, yes, you can safely say I enjoyed it.'

'Better than your threesome with him and Piers?'

'Chalk and cheese. Don't know why. Just was.' I pause. 'Actually, I do know. It was because you were there too. You and me together. Both of us, with Karim. It was what we were talking about yesterday. You being there with me changed everything.'

'I was thinking that as well. Karim seemed to enjoy himself too.'

'I think he thought he'd died and gone to heaven.'

'Not too sore?'

'Surprisingly not – given that between you, you ravaged me three times if you include this morning.'

'Your fault for having such a cute bottom.'

'And Karim was pretty enthusiastic about each of us topping him.'

'I probably shouldn't admit it, but watching you top him was a real turn-on.'

'Always knew you had a kinky side, Josh.'

'Nothing kinky about it. You gave him the time of his life, judging from all the noises he was making.'

I laugh. 'Yeah. And he was the same with you…he's certainly not the quiet, silent type.'

'You can say that again. Umm…would you do it again…you know…a threesome with him?'

'Would you?'

'I asked first,' he says.

'OK. Yes, I would…provided it was with you as well. But not if you weren't one of the three.'

'Cool. I feel the same. Would you have a threesome with Piers and me?'

'I don't know. Do you want a threesome with Piers?' I ask.

'I'd rather stick with Karim.'

'Me too. I think the fact that Piers is in a relationship with Zak makes a difference.' I pause. 'And does this change how you'd feel about either of us going off and having sex with Karim individually?'

Josh pauses.

'If the other one of us wasn't around…like the first two weeks of this holiday, for instance…then no, I'd be fine with you sleeping with him. If we were both around – like it is now – I'd…I'd…I'm not sure. I guess…last night has changed things a bit. In my head. I need to think about it.'

'What does your gut say?'

'That I love you.'

'Don't change the subject.'

'I'm not. I love you and I'd be happy with whatever choice you make. How do you feel about it?'

'Nice pass of the buck.'


'And…I think I might be about to…apply…some double standards.'

'How so?'

'If we were both here with Karim, I think I'd be very happy to have a threesome, but not so happy about either of us going off with him alone.'

'…OK…so what's the double standards bit?'

'Because if we were to talk about Piers rather than Karim, I think I'd be more comfortable with going with him individually than having a threesome with him and you. If I was going to go with Piers at all.'


'I don't know. Perhaps because he's in a relationship with Zak. Or maybe because I know you don't have a connection with Piers the way I do - and in the way that we both have a connection with Karim. It seems to me that for three to work, everyone has to be equally comfortable and connected…excited even…about each other. Which we both are with Karim, but not with Piers. But that's wrong, because that means – in terms of one-with-ones - I'm working on an individual case basis and not via principle.'

'Maybe the principle is that you have to work on a case-by-case basis?' he says with a smile.

'OK, smarty-pants…what's your take on the Piers vs Karim situation?'

'Well, first, I'm fine with you going with Piers…just the two of you. If you want to. And second, I agree with you about the connection thing. But I also agree with Karim that in a one-with-one situation, the sex you and I have is better than the sex we have with anyone else.'

'Then why would it be OK for me to go off on my own with Piers?'

'Because you want to. Or he wants to. And because, to use the language we're using, that's a bridge that's already been crossed.'

'But we crossed it out of curiosity. Now that that curiosity has been satisfied, to carry on is just being disloyal, isn't it?'

'Do you feel disloyal when you have sex with him, then?'

My answer is instinctive. My gut beats my brain to the punch.


There. I've said it. Maybe I knew all along, but never admitted it.

'Even if I wasn't here?'

'Yes.' My voice is little more than a whisper.

'Wow. OK. Then why would you do it?'

'Because it feels good. Because I like him. Because we…you and I…have agreed that it's alright. But it isn't, is it?'

I can feel myself getting tearful. Josh hugs me to him.

'Right and wrong are difficult concepts in this context, Nico. It isn't wrong of itself. And the only person you'd potentially be wronging is me. And you're not. The truth, Nico, is that this isn't about right and wrong at all…it's about you and me. About where the lines are that we don't cross. And, inconveniently, lines are not always black and white. You and I agree that casually sleeping around is a line we don't cross. But we've also agreed that where 'villa rules' apply, we can have sex with other boys who are also subject to villa rules. But these rules are not immutable. If we want to change them, we can. And if having 1-to-1 sex with other boys is something we now want to put outside the rules, we can do that. Whilst still keeping threesomes involving both of us within them if we so wish. What matters is that we are honest with each other about how we're feeling and come up with a solution we both agree on. OK so far?'

I nod.

'Good. So going back to the fact that you think we're at risk of applying double standards rather than principles, we're not. The principle we are applying is that what we do has to lie within 'villa rules', but that we can change those rules if we want. They are our rules, Nico, not some form of ten commandments from on high. Experience changes us, and changes what we want. If you – we - now want to put 1-to-1 sex with Piers, Zak and Karim outside villa rules, then - provided we both agree - then that's fine. Job done.'

'But what about you? Do YOU want to put one-on-ones outside the rules?'

'If that's what you want, then I want it too.'

'But that's not fair, Josh. If the only reason you want to is because I want to, and that left to your own devices you wouldn't, then that isn't agreement, it's sacrifice.'

'Do you think there is any world in which seeing you unhappy would be something I could live with?'

'This is an equal relationship, Josh.'

'Yes, it is. It's one of the many reasons why it works. I may not feel quite as strongly about the issue as you do, but I don't disagree with you. So going with what you want makes perfect sense. And if it means that you're the only boy I'm going to have one-on-one sex with from now on, then that's scarcely a hardship…in fact, it leaves me as the luckiest guy in the world. And you know what? If it comes down to sacrifice, I think you might just find that you're the one making it; I think you'll miss sex with Piers more than I'll ever miss sex with Zak. And I'm more than happy for sex with Karim to be something the three of us do…and only do…together. Assuming he would be too.'

'That sounds perfect, Josh. Thank you for…explaining it so well. And I'm not sure you're right about the Piers thing. You truly are the only boy I want to have sex with. The only boy I love.'

'I know. And I feel the same. So, we put one-on-one sex with anyone - Piers and Zak and Karim included - outside villa rules from now on?'

'Yes…yes please.'

I feel as though a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. A weight that I hadn't really known was there.

'Good. But you're going to have to tell Piers. I hope he understands.'

'I'm sure he will.'

'And Nico….'


'If he wants a last fling…I'm OK with that…it would be a kind thing to do.'

'We'll see…but thanks, Josh. Will you talk to Zak?'


'And…same thing as you said to me…a final fling would be fine. And we'll tell Karim together?'


He pulls me close to him.

'The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of having you all to myself again.'

'Same here.'

I tell Piers that afternoon. He's disappointed but philosophical.

'I suppose I sort of knew it might happen. I mean, the more I see of you two together, the more I wonder why you'd want to have sex with anyone else. Josh is lovely and sweet and gorgeous and you're both hopelessly in love. I'll miss it…not so much the pure sex – there's no shortage of that between Zak and me – but just being intimate with you. You have something…indefinable…that transforms the physical side of what we do into something more. You're a very special guy, Nick.'

'Thanks, Piers, that's very kind of you. And thanks for understanding. Sex with you has always been more than just a release for me too.'

'Has it? Has it really?'

I nod.

'Then that makes me very happy. Very happy indeed.'

I hold out my arms and we hug. We're both only wearing shorts, and as I run my hand up and down his back, I can feel him becoming aroused.

'Sorry,' he says, 'touching you…holding you close…always has this effect on me.'

'We can do something about it if you want.'

'Really? You last time for luck?'

'Something like that…if you'd like to.'

'Of course I'd like to…if you're sure.'


'Then that would be wonderful.'

We use the same room Piers slept in while Zak had Covid. I tell him that I'm a bit too sore to have him inside me.

'That's fine, Nick. What I'd most like is to have you inside me anyway. You know me…that's what I prefer deep down. And that's the memory I want to have of sleeping with you. The feel of you speared deep inside me.'

'Hard or gentle?'

'Hard, please, Nick. As hard as you can. So hard you make my teeth rattle if possible.'

He grins and I grin back.

'Right. One dentalwork special coming up.'

And that's what we do. Or at least I do my best. This is for Piers - and I want him to have the time of his life. From the sheer amount of noise he makes, I assume it's all good from his end. It certainly feels good from mine. He comes to an almighty climax seconds before I do. We are both dripping with sweat by the end.

'Omigod, Nick. Talk about saving the best 'til last.'

'Teeth fully rattled?' I ask

He giggles. 'Fuck, yeah.'

I roll off him and we lie side by side.

'We will still be friends, won't we?' he asks.

'Of course, Piers…you are, and always will be, one of my most special friends. And Josh's. We're just sort of going back to how things were before we invented 'villa rules' last year.'

'But with one or two additional treasured memories.'

'Very treasured.'

'So, from the fact that you're sore, I imagine that means that you, Josh and Karim had an energetic night last night?'


'I suppose that was a final hurrah too, then…for the three of you.'

'Umm…well, no, not necessarily.'

'How so?'

'What Josh and I have agreed is that whilst we'll only sleep with each other, if the two of us want to invite someone else into our bed with us both, that's fine. It's going off on our own with someone else that we won't do.'

'So…you two could have a threesome with me, then?'

'Much as it might be fun, where would that leave Zak?'

'Oh…oh yes, of course. I understand.'

'And Josh and I have no interest at all in group know…more than three. And I don't suppose even three will happen very often…maybe never. Even with Karim. He'll find someone at Oxford I have no doubt and then that will be the end of that with him.'

'What if Zak were happy for me to have a threesome with you and Josh?'

'Might he not, then, expect you to allow him the same freedom?'

'If he'd allowed me, then I'd allow him.'

'And what if Josh and I didn't want to have a threesome with him? How would he feel if you'd slept with both of us together but he hadn't?'

'Wouldn't you want to?'

'That's not the point. You wouldn't want to put us under an obligation to do so though, would you?'

'No…no, of course not.'

'It's simpler if any extra partner Josh and I might agree to invite into our bed is not already in a relationship with someone else. In fact, it's probably a necessary condition.'

'You're right…and I'd never put Zak – or you – in that position. I love him. What you and I have had this past year is an unexpected bonus, but I don't need sex with anyone but Zak. Although talking of that, is Josh having – or going to have – the same conversation with Zak that we've just had?'

'Yes. He may be having it now.'

'And will he….will they…you know…'

'Have a final fling? Maybe, maybe not. But it's fine if they do…just like it was fine for us.'

Piers turns onto his side and runs a hand over my chest.

'Do you ever wonder how things might have turned out if I'd been at Sunnybanks the week before Josh rather than the one after?'

'No…I can't say I've ever thought about it. Why, have you?'

'Yes. From time to time. Although mostly before I met Zak. Do you think we'd have ended up together?'

I think about it, and I'm absolutely certain of my answer.

'No…no I don't. I'm sure we'd have had sex…although how far we'd have gone I don't know…but you had a boyfriend and whilst I found you physically attractive – I still do – I didn't like your values and the way you behaved. I suspect that at the end of the week we would never have seen each other again. Would I have ended up with Josh? I think so…I hope so. And remember, if you and I had never seen each other again, you'd never have met Zak and we wouldn't be here in this wonderful place and we wouldn't be friends and we certainly would never have had the properly good, loving sex we've had. So I think we should both be equally grateful for the order in which the weeks occurred.'

It takes a moment for Piers to absorb what I've said.

'I've never….thought about it like that. And you're right of course. Thank you.'

He gives me a kiss.

'I love you, Piers. Not in the way I love Josh, but I do love you. And I think we've both ended up with the best of both worlds.'

'I love you too, Nick. And Josh. You will tell him that, won't you?'

'He already knows. And you're as special to him as you are to me. Well, almost.'

A smile spreads over both our faces and I hug him to me.

This has been a good way to put things back the way they were.

When I catch up with Josh later, his conversation with Zak has gone along equally positive lines.

'Truth told, I think he's quite relieved. He's still not properly recovered from Covid…in fact, I'm a little worried about him. He's very low on energy – not at all like the Zak we knew a year ago. He adores Piers, and just being able to relax with him is what he wants and needs right now. We had a hug and a kiss, but nothing more. I assume your conversation with Piers ended up a little more… energetically…given the noises coming from the bedroom as I went past.'

'You could say that. But he's happy with things too, and we're in a good place.'


'I feel so much happier, Josh.'

'Not going to miss sleeping with Piers even a little?'

'No. Genuinely. He's fun in bed, but why would I want him when I've got you? Piers and I like each other a lot, and not having occasional sex with him won't change that. It was an interesting experiment but he and I are both OK with going back to how things were.'

'I'm looking forward to it too.'


'Of course. How could the prospect of having even more sex with you be anything other than wonderful?'

'Hah! I knew you only wanted me for my body.'

'Not just your body…but your body is not without its attractions, it must be said.'

'Any parts in particular?'

'You have nice fingers.'

'Fingers, huh?'

'And quite a cute nose.'


'Good skin too.'

I look at him.

'And armpits,' he adds.


He starts to laugh and that sets me off and we end up mock-tussling.

'Fingers, nose, skin and armpits??' I say.

'Well, let's face it, all those interesting bits below your waistline are pretty much out of commission what with last night and your session with Piers this afternoon aren't they?'


'But as soon as they are back in commission….'


'I shall give them the full attention that they deserve.'

'I might not let you.'

He raises a sardonic eyebrow.

'I might,' I continue, 'make you concentrate on my fingers and armpits.'

'Don't forget your nose.'

'OOOH, you…you…'

And then we're laughing again, and then we're embracing and then we're kissing. Proper, full-on, tongue-twisting kissing.

'Get a room, you two,' says Karim with a laugh as he walks past.

We both make a point of catching up with him later and telling him what we've told Piers and Zak. We explain that we've taken the step largely on the back of the conversation he had with us, and the challenge he gave us. He is both a little crestfallen and a little proud of himself too. A mixture of emotions that I can entirely identify with.

The fact that we also say that a threesome with him is still something we'd consider makes the blow fall more softly,

That night is definitely a no-sex night, but Josh and I enjoy just holding each other close. He also makes a point of kissing each of my fingers, my nose and my armpits before running his fingers all over my skin. It makes me shiver with pleasure. And it makes me smile. I love him so much.

The next day is Piers' 21 st birthday. He's delaying his party proper until September when everyone will be back from their summer holidays, but that doesn't stop the five of us from having a celebration to mark the occasion.

There's a lot of champagne, a lot of music, a lot of naked dancing and a lot of splashing around in the pool. Everyone has a lot to drink, and I'm vaguely aware of Zak and Piers having sex on the grass at one point.

It's a very warm night, and Josh and I end up end up taking the padded covers off the loungers and sleeping outside on them under the stars. I'm not aware of Karim joining us, but he must have done at some point as when I wake up he's snoring beside me.

My head hurts and I make my way to the kitchen for a large glass of water and then some strong coffee. I'm on my second cup, sitting at the kitchen table, when Josh comes in. He looks as shitty as I feel.

'Is that coffee?' he mumbles.

'Yes. Want one?'

'About a gallon.'

'Sit down and I'll make you one.'

'Those might be the nicest words you've ever spoken to me.'

I smile and get him a glass of water before making us both more coffee. I also go and find us both some paracetamol.

Karim is still asleep outside, so I go and move a sunshade over him to stop him from getting sunburnt. He's lying face up, so I also put a towel over his dangly bits for added protection. He finally comes to an hour or so later. Josh and I are sitting in the shade feeling a lot better by then – unlike Karim who just moans slightly.

'Coffee, Karim?' I ask.

'Yes. And water. Please.'

Josh pulls up another chair and when I return with Karim's drinks, he's sitting beside Josh with his head in his hands.

'God, why did I drink so much? I know I don't have a head for it, I really should know better by now.' He drains the glass of water. 'Thanks.'


'Yes please.'

This time I come back with a bottle.

Zak and Piers don't make an appearance until after lunch, when they wordlessly each drink pint after pint of water before acknowledging our presence with a little wave.

'Thanks for a great mini-party, Piers,' I say.

'I don't remember much about it. Did I behave?' he says.

'Pretty much.'

'Good. Did you two sleep outside?'


'Saw your bed hadn't been slept in. How about you, Karim? Sleep well?'

'I slept outside too.'

'Oh…nice little threesome?'

'No chance. None of us was sober enough to do more than crash out.'

'Makes sense.'

Josh and I are feeling a lot better, and we leave the other three and take a buggy down to the lake. We both feel in need of some time on our own, and the idea of a swim in the cool water of the lake is appealing. We swim the length of the lake and end up in the shade of the same olive trees where we'd been with Karim. I lay my head on Josh's shoulder and enjoy the feeling of him running his fingers gently through my hair. His body is now perfectly tanned from head to toe, and the light covering of hairs on his arms and legs have bleached to gold. I can't resist running my hands over every inch of his flesh. He stirs at my touch - a sensation that never fails to thrill me, even after all the time we've been together.

'Don't stop,' he murmurs.

So I don't, and afterwards, once I've licked him clean, we swim back to the buggy and make our way back to the villa.

For our last night before we fly back to Bristol, we ask Karim if he'd like to join us. He says 'yes'. Well, actually he says 'Fucking hell, oh my god, yes, you bet…yes, yes, yes…' which was encouragingly enthusiastic. An enthusiasm he thoroughly proceeds to live up to. I'm still a little sore, so Josh is the one on the receiving end – more than once. Not that he seems to mind. And Karim is more vocal when Josh and I are inside him than he's ever been before, so everyone has a very good time indeed.

'Promise me you'll come and visit me when I'm in Oxford,' Karim says in the morning as we towel ourselves dry after showering.

'For sure…or you can come and visit us,' I say.

'That would be wonderful. And thank you both for making this holiday here so very, very special. When Piers told me that you'd be here, Nick - and particularly after what he told me about you - I confess I was excited, but I had no idea that it would turn out like this. I'm so pleased you came too, Josh.'

'And meeting you has been a real pleasure – in every sense,' Josh says.

We have a leisurely breakfast with Piers and Zak before packing our bags. Just before midday, Antonio appears with the car and we say our goodbyes. There are hugs and kisses all round, and Karim makes sure we have his email and WhatsApp details. I give Piers an especially warm hug and then we're off.

The flight is uneventful, and Josh's Dad picks us up from the airport. We are back at his parents' house just before 8 that evening.

'My word, you boys look well! Look at the tans on you!' says his Mum.

'We had a great time, Mum.'

'I expect you're hungry. I've cooked a fish pie. It will be ready in about thirty minutes, so you've plenty of time for a shower and a change of clothes. Why don't you take a glass of wine upstairs with you?'

She goes to the fridge and takes out a bottle of Soave.

'I thought this would be appropriate as you've just come back from Italy.'

She pours us each a glass, and one for herself as well.

'Thanks, Mum.'

Josh and I make our way upstairs. We dump our bags on the floor of Josh's room before stripping off and heading into the shower room. Although I've seen Josh naked every day for the past week, the golden all-over tan he has still takes my breath away.

'You are so beautiful, Josh.'

He puts his arms round my neck.

'And you are perfect, Nico.'

We manage to keep our hands off each other in the shower, and then dress in clean polo shirts and shorts. Josh gives me a spray of his cologne.

'You look and smell good enough to eat,' he says.

'Later,' I say with a smile.

We kiss and then make our way back downstairs.

'Mmm…you two smell nice,' his Mum says as we pass her on the way through to the table at the other end of the kitchen.

Four places have been laid, and another bottle of wine opened. Henry comes in from the lounge bearing the remains of a G&T and sits down with us. Tamara brings over a dish that's topped with mashed potato that's been put under the grill to brown it. She uses a serving spoon to cut into the fish pie and puts a fantastic-smelling spoonful on each plate.

'Help yourself to peas' she says.

Josh and I tuck in. It's wonderful.

'This so good, Mum.'

'It's fantastic,' I add.

We both go for second helpings.

'Anyone would think you boys hadn't eaten while you've been away.'

'The food was excellent, but I guess with all the walking and swimming we burnt off pretty much everything we ate, Tamara,' I say.

I feel Josh nudge me with his leg under the table. We exchange grins. Well, I'm, hardly going to tell his parents that wall-to-wall sex was probably a large part of it as well. Although from the little smile on Henry's face, he may have read my thoughts.

After our threesome the night before, it's another no-sex night – but our libidos have become sufficiently insistent by the time morning comes for us to have some very satisfying 'we're home' oral sex together. Like we need an excuse.

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