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Making Nico

by c m

Chapter 15

Afterwards, lying in bed with Josh slowly softening inside me, he asks if I've thought any more about the kissing Harry issue.

'If Jase and James' relationship continues to go the way it's going, Jase is soon going to have himself a proper boyfriend – in which case the problem may resolve itself. Maybe we should just wait and see.'

'Agreed. But what if Harry says that, yes, he'll keep his word and how about the kiss? Suppose that happened next week?'

'Hmm. I think I'd tell him that I don't believe him…and I'm not sure I do anyway.'

'Fine. The only losing play is if you have that conversation and Jase doesn't get together with James.'

'True. But if Harry isn't going to keep his word, then we're no worse off. The more I think about it, the more I can see him getting the kiss and then the next time he, Jase and I are in the same room, he'll say something offensive to Jase just to see the look on my face when I realise I've kissed him and it's all been for nothing.'

'If you think he's that much of a shit – and you may be right – then you shouldn't be working for him.'

'I know. I've been thinking about it, and once I've got the money I need, I think I'm going to chuck it in. Doesn't mean I can't work somewhere else if I want to.'

'Have you thought about talking to the owner about how Harry behaves?'

'I might…I guess I need to meet him and see what sort of a person he is. If I thought he'd back Harry, then there'd be no point. It would only make life worse for Jase.'

He bends his head down to my face and kisses me. 'I think you're right. And it's good to have a plan. Now…how about we swap places?'

'Mmm…yes please.'

I don't hear anything from Jase during the week. But we're on the same shift the following Saturday – the last before Christmas. The shift itself is incredibly busy, and all I get from him is a discrete thumbs up when I raise a questioning eyebrow at him. Once the shift is over, I ask him if he's got time for a drink.

'Sure thing, Nick.'

We go to the same bar that we did after my first shift at TDG, and once we've got our drinks and sat down at a quiet table near the back, we finally have a chance to catch up.

'So?' I say.

'Things are so good, Nick. James and I…well, we're a thing.'

'I'm so happy for you Jase. The date went well then?'

'Very. He asked me back to his room for coffee, and we kind of made out for a while and then he asked me if I'd done much with other boys. So I said no, not much. And he said 'so if we went a bit further, it would be all new? And I said 'mostly' and he asked how would I feel about that and I said 'really good' and so…well, anyway, we ended up doing some stuff I hadn't done before and it all just felt so right and so wonderful and then he asked me if I might think about being his boyfriend and I said there was nothing to think about and…when I went back to my room I was floating on air.'

'That's fantastic, Jase.'

'Oh...and I listened to what you said and I've bought know…things for when we…if we….well …not that we've got that far, but if and when we do, I'm ready.'

He's blushing, which is cute. But I'm just happy for him.

I'd love to meet him when you're ready…and if that's Ok…maybe we could all four meet up for a drink, or come round to our place.'

'That would be great. Maybe next term. We're both going home in a few days for the vacation. I'm going to miss him so much.'

'I remember the feeling.'

He finishes his drink. 'Anyway, I got to go, I'm meeting James a bit later…and…just thanks for everything you've done and said…it's made a real difference.'

And he bends down and gives me a kiss.

'Take care and have a great Christmas if I don't see you before…and catch up again next term.'


Christmas comes and goes, and Josh invites me down for New Year after which we move back into our house. We have the place to ourselves for almost ten days, and it gives us a flavour of what living together, just the two of us will be like. We both get a bit of work done, and we both go and spend some time at the food bank, where the regulars are pleased to see us and give us a warm welcome back. It's disappointing that the bank seems busier than ever, but at least it's there to provide help to those who really need it.

I also restart work at TDG. I reckon one more month and I'll have the money I need and I can leave. Returning to work also means that I get to catch up with Jase. The two of us are on opening-up duty, so we get the chance to talk undisturbed.

'Good Christmas?'

'Very good. Brilliant, in fact. James invited me to his parents for New Year. They have a lovely house in Cambridge and he introduced me as his boyfriend which was…amazing…just to hear that word…and his parents are really nice and made me feel very welcome. And it was the first time I'd ever stayed the night in someone else's bed, and I had just the best time…I don't mean in bed…well, not just in bed…but to be surrounded by people who liked and accepted me…and while I was looking for something in the bedroom I found there were condoms and lube in his bedside drawer and he said that he hoped one day we might…you know…but that he was in no hurry, so he feels just the same way about that as I do…and he's a virgin just like me….'

He stops and blushes to his roots.

'Sorry, I…didn't…that is…'

I smile. 'Don't worry. You two obviously get on brilliantly and it's great you can talk about all those sorts of things. And, while it's none of my business, for what it's worth, I'm delighted that you're both virgins; that's a journey that you can take together- whatever he may have done in the past.'

He smiles. 'Yes. It's great, isn't it?

The following week, two important things happen. First, Harry takes me to one side and says he's thought about it and that he'll lay off Jase if I give him that kiss. I tell him that I don't believe him. I thought he'd say 'I knew you didn't mean it' or 'scared are you' or something like that, but in fact he just smiles and says,

'I didn't think you were as stupid as you look. Not that I wouldn't have enjoyed kissing you and then making you look foolish. But fair dos.'

And the second thing is that Jake stops coming in. I learn later that he's been arrested for having under-age sex with a fifteen-year-old. It gives me a little shiver. So much for him being 'harmless'. Even Harry has the good grace to look embarrassed.

And the other good thing is that the next time Harry has a go at Jase for being a 'frustrated little virgin' he replies, 'Not any more. Nothing virginal about me now, Harry.' Which stops Harry dead in his tracks. When I ask Jase later if that means that he and James have taken that step, he just smiles and says 'No…not yet…but Harry's not to know that, is he?' Well, good for him.

A month later and I have the money I need for my new bow. With Harry behaving better and Jake out of the way, I consider staying on, but the issue is that if I want to make the archery squad, I'm going to have to be available on Saturdays, so I hand in my notice. Harry is genuinely surprised, so I explain. Martin and Maeve are sorry to see me go, and it hits Jase particularly hard. Which makes me feel guilty. But not as awkward as when he asked to come and have a chat with me a week later. We meet up at our house. Josh is out so we use our room.

'Nick,' he says, 'Harry told me something...disturbing…last time I was on shift with him. He said that you'd offered to kiss him if he'd get off my back. That isn't true, is it? Harry was just making that up.'

I sigh.

'No, Jase. It's true. It was a while ago. Just after he'd been particularly unkind to you. I asked him to stop and he said 'why? what's in it for me if I do'. I said because I was asking him to, as a decent human being and that what he'd get from it was a warm feeling. He laughed and said 'not good enough' so I asked him what he wanted and he said a kiss from me. A proper kiss. I can't say I liked the idea but it really didn't seem a big price to pay so I said I'd think about it. I talked to Josh about it, and we agreed. We'd both met you by then and we liked you and we both hated the way you were being treated. So, yes. '

'But I'd never, ever have asked you to do a thing like that. Why didn't you tell me?'

'Because you'd never, ever have asked me to do a thing like that and would have stopped me if you'd known.'

'But then, why….?'

'Because you were our friend and because it wouldn't have cost me anything.'

'And you talked to Josh about this?'

'Of course. Much as I wanted to help, it wasn't something I could do without his knowledge and approval.'

'But you didn't actually do it, did you?'

'No…but only because...well, for two reasons; first, I decided that I didn't believe him…I reckoned he'd take the kiss and then still carry on treating you like shit and second, which is much the better reason, is that you found James and that made you much less easy to hurt…particularly after you'd told him that you were no longer a virgin. That was so brilliant.'

'I don't know whether to be angry or pleased, Nick. You shouldn't have even thought of doing such a thing…however much we might have been friends. I think it's beautiful that you did – but also extremely stupid and, if I'm honest, a little assumptive. I didn't ask for your help…and how do you think I'd have felt if something had gone wrong or…or…or…well, I don't know precisely but if you or Josh had ended up getting hurt? I'd have felt that it was MY fault. And you don't have the right to do that to me.'

Part of me wants to say 'you ungrateful little sod' but a bigger part of me realises that he's right. My motivation might have been right, but I should have talked to him – even if I hadn't told him exactly what I had in mind.

'Sorry, 'I say.

He puts his hands on my shoulders.

'I don't mean to be ungrateful Nick. It was an extraordinary thing to be prepared to do and I know you did it out of kindness and love and I'm in awe of how anyone could ever even think of doing such a thing for me but…I need to have a say in my own life, just as a matter of self-respect.'

'I know. I understand. And I'm sorry…truly.'

'Thank you, Nick, thank you for loving me enough to be prepared to go that far for me. You're a wonderful friend and Josh is one amazing guy for being OK with letting you do it.'

And he kisses me. And then we have a big hug. At which point Josh walks in.

'Hah!' he says, 'caught you!' But he has a little smile on his face.

'I was just thanking Nick for being prepared to kiss Harry,' says Jase.

'And telling me off, too. Quite rightly,' I add.


So I explain. Josh nods. 'Then my apologies too,' he says when I've finished.

'Then you better have a hug too,' says Jase. And he embraces Josh.

'Now, why don't we all have a coffee,' suggests Josh.

Downstairs, while Josh makes the coffee, I ask how things are going with James.

'Perfect, Nick. He is so lovely and we are having just the best time together. We're already talking about sharing a place together in our second year.'

'That's great to hear, Jase.'

'And…we've decided that we want to…take the next step and…you know…'

'If you're both ready for it, then that's great.'

'I just wondered if there was anything I should…know…'

'Don't you think that's something maybe you need to speak to James about?'

'Nick…we're both virgins, so…'

'OK. Three things then. Go slow…use lots of lube…and use your fingers first – one then two then three.'

'OK, thanks.'

'Oh, and if anything hurts too much, stop. There are no prizes for being a silent hero about these things. So talk to each other.'

'We will.'

'And when he says lots of lube,' adds Josh, 'he means lots of lube…on your fingers, inside you and on the condoms if you use them.'

' 'K.'

'...and have fun,' I say with a smile.

'I'm sure we will. And thanks. It' have someone to talk to about this sort of thing.'

'Our pleasure.'

Once Jase has left, Josh says to me,

'Do you remember the first time we went all the way?'

'I do. The night before your eighteenth. It was…magical.'

'Yeah…we'd been using dildos to get ourselves ready for the big night hadn't we?'

I smile at the recollection. 'Yeah, we did. I think it must have helped. I know that when you entered me for the first time, it barely hurt at all.'

'I hope it's as good for those two.'

'Me too.'

'Umm…all this talk of sex….I don't suppose….?'

'Yes please,' I say.


I talk to Mikey and Ally about what bow I should invest in. Ally offers to accompany me to a specialist sports shop where I'm able to try out various combinations of riser, limbs and grip. I settle on a combination with a draw weight of just over forty-five pounds that comes in at a touch over £500. Ally says it's an excellent choice, and I look forward to seeing how much difference it makes.

I also realise that I haven't seen Mikey's girlfriend Tash in a while…and he never did bring her back to our house – or not as far as I'm aware. That evening, when we're both in the kitchen preparing something to eat, I ask him about her.

'Oh…yes…well…it didn't really work out. She said she didn't think we were…connecting. '

'That's a shame. She seemed nice.'

'Yeah, well….'

He turns to me.

'Nick…can I ask you something?'


'Have you ever fancied a girl or has it always just been boys?'

'Always just boys. Though there was a brief phase when I was maybe twelve…thirteen…when I tried to like girls because…I guess I was a little scared of the idea that I was gay – until I got my head around it. Why?'

'I…I've never thought of myself as anything but straight, I mean I've had several girlfriends, but…none of them has…worked out and…I find myself looking at…guys sometimes.'

'Looking, as in…feeling attracted to them?'

'I guess. A bit.'

'Sounds like you might be bi. Would that be a problem?'

'I guess not…I mean, look, I'm living in a house with a gay couple and another gay guy so I don't have any problem with the idea, but…I've never thought of myself that way.'

'There are plenty of guys out there who are bi.'

'Mmm. But…well…I've no idea how to approach a guy. Or even if I'm sure I am bi…could it just be because I'm afraid of making a fool of myself with a girl again?'

'If you feel attracted to guys…or a particular guy…I doubt that comes from fear of failure with girls. If that were the case you'd be more likely just to stop dating girls. How long have you been attracted to the occasional guy?'

'A year or so, I guess. Maybe a little more. But I've only…recognised it…since I met you if I'm honest. I know you're off limits, don't worry, but you stirred something inside me….I told myself I was being stupid…that it wasn't real. That I just needed to get myself a girlfriend but…maybe it was…it is…something else.'

'And have you felt the same about anyone else?'

'Yeah. Once or twice since. Like when I saw...Karim was it?...when he came to stay. I thought 'that's one good-looking boy' and then realised what I'd just thought. And then I realised I felt…aroused.'

'Have you…if it's OK to ask…fantasised about doing stuff with one of these boys who stirs feelings inside you?'

He goes to say something, but then just looks down at his feet. I put an arm around his shoulder.

'It's OK if you have, Mikey. If you ARE bi, then…admitting it is the first step.'

'Yeah, but…what if the guy I've fantasised about is…you?'

'Then I'd be flattered,' I say with a smile. 'Have you ever actually done anything with a guy?'


'But you've had sex with a girl?'

'Yes. And everything's always…worked…just fine.'

'Does the idea of having sex with a guy…excite you?'

'Umm…maybe a bit. I'm curious for sure. But it scares me too.'

'Is it the idea of sex that frightens you, or the idea that you might be bi?'

He goes quiet, and then looks at me. 'The second, I guess.'

'I remember when I first realised I was gay, Mikey. It scared me too. But the only way to deal with it is to face up to it and not try to bury it. Being gay is normal. So is being bi. And, right now, if you need to embrace the gay side of the attraction you feel, if you are bi, then maybe that's what you need to do.'

'Yeah. I guess. Thanks.'

He looks thoroughly miserable.

'Would a hug help?' I ask.

He half smiles. 'Maybe.'

I put my arms around him. He embraces me tentatively. Then suddenly he's holding me so tightly that I can barely breathe.

'I don't know what to do, Nick. I feel so…lost.'

I rub a hand up and down his back, and his grip slowly loosens.

'Hey Mikey, it'll be fine. You're in a houseful of friends. We're here to support you.'

His eyes meet mine. 'Thanks, Nick.'

'My pleasure, Mikey. Is it OK if I tell Josh how you're feeling?'

'Yeah…that would be fine. But not Ollie. Not yet. Or Nikki.'

'Of course. Though they'll both be fine with it too, you know. They'll want to support you just as much as I do.'

'I know but…it's something I need to do…when I'm ready. If I'm ever ready,' he says with a half smile.

'I reckon you've just done the hardest part already.'

'Maybe. And thanks, Nick. You're a real friend.'

'No prob. And if there's anything Josh and I can do to help...just let us know.'

'I will.'

He tightens his hug round me before we let go of each other. And I'm left with an unexpectedly warm, tingly feeling.


My new bow makes a difference, and I am now regularly in the top six – just. And so is Mikey. The fact that he's come out as bi doesn't change the way I feel about him, but it does provide an additional bond. And when we're both selected for a match against Edinburgh that involves being away overnight, it's natural for us to be one of the room-share pairings.

Josh is fine with it when I tell him.

'Make sense.' He smiles. 'Maybe he'll want to take the chance to find out what gay sex is all about.'

'I'm not going to sleep with him, Josh.'

'OK. But it would be OK if you did, you know. Up to a point. I've always thought he was quite sexy in his own gentle sort of way, as it happens. Maybe – if he was interested, and in the fullness of time – he'd be someone we'd be happy to invite into our bed with both of us.'

'Are you serious?'

'Don't see why not. It hasn't happened yet, but we've always said it might happen with someone. I'm not saying that's the sort of thing he'd be up for, and certainly not if he finds his special someone…but he hasn't done so yet.'

Which is true.

'But Josh…we've said we wouldn't sleep with other boys on our own. And while he's nice enough…OK, and quite sexy…it's not what we agreed.'

'I know. And I also know you, so before you start worrying that I'm saying this so that I can go off and do the same thing with someone else, I'm not – there's no-one I want to sleep with but you. But Mikey is clearly nervous about the whole sex thing and you'd be doing him a favour to take the mystery and worry out of it. I'm not suggesting you go any further than hands and mouths if you did, but like I say, I'd be OK with it. And you can't tell me that he doesn't fancy you. He told you he did. Said it was you who first made him aware of his attraction to guys. You've probably been his wank fantasy for ages.'

'Maybe…but if I did – and I'm definitely not saying I would - I wouldn't want him thinking that it was a prelude to him and me becoming a thing.'

'He knows that. And you'd just tell him the truth; that this was something you'd like to do for him, with my full knowledge.'

'I don't know Josh. It doesn't feel…quite right. And it probably won't even cross his mind.'

'In which case, nothing lost.'

'Are you sure you're not…wanting to do this with someone else?'

'See? I knew it. No, Nico, absolutely not. I made that mistake once and I'll never make it again. But I like Mikey, and I know you do too and this would be fine…if it happens.'

'But…having sex with another boy…'

' wouldn't be out of attraction, and it would be a one-off. A special dispensation. And it's entirely up to you. Like you say it probably won't happen, but if it does and you find you're OK with the idea when it does, then fine. If you're not OK with it, then that would be fine too. Now, why don't you come here and let me prove that you are, truly, the only boy I want to sleep with.'

And it has to be said that he does a very fine job of proving it.

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