Spring Term dragged on. Wednesday and Saturday afternoons were the worst times of the week. I remained relegated to the rugby set two years below me so had to play with boys hardly more than half my height but who had sarcasm in abundance. How they loved to humiliate me by mocking my total ignorance of the rules of the game and how they loved to tackle me to the ground, pull my shorts down and smack me with their tough little hands. One afternoon my thick, itchy rugby shorts ended up in tatters and still I was forced to play on. When the final whistle went I ran almost naked to the changing rooms to the sound of jeers and screams of laughter. Why we weren't allowed underwear when playing sports I'll never know. I had to spend the rest of the term playing rugby in my PE shorts which were the flimsiest things ever invented. I might as well have gone onto the pitch in nothing but shirt and boots.
Needless to say, the ridicule I suffered doing compulsory sports, whether rugby on the field or PE in the gym, destroyed what little remained of my self-confidence and enhanced my image as the stupid, gangly Third-former who was hopeless at anything and wore the shortest grey shorts of any boy in his year. Life was awful - it hadn't improved since that rotten Christmas over two months earlier. Yet I still had to write cheerful letters to my parents extolling the wonders of boarding school education and praising the excellence of our sports teams. When alone, especially in bed, my thoughts inevitably turned to Peter, the most beautiful individual I'd ever set eyes upon and the kindest.
There was just one lovely thing about those last six weeks of the Spring Term and it was the letters I received from Peter. He told me about the music he was learning, the concerts he'd been to and some fun-filled things he'd done at school but he wasn't gloating - he knew how much I hated my school - no, he was saying how much he looked forward to seeing me at Easter, either side of his family holiday in France. 'Brothers in arms' he'd described us at half term; now he was saying we were 'brothers in shorts;' he still had to wear those wickedly short trousers every time he went out with his parents and he needed to have me alongside 'to show solidarity.'
At last it was end of term and I went to London for the Easter holidays. At school I hadn't been using the braces Grandmother had given me but before the train arrived at Waterloo I fitted the wretched things to my grey shorts so as not to anger her when she met me on the platform. I should have guessed she'd find something wrong for hardly had I stepped off the train when she whacked me with her cane and tightened the braces until my shorts were higher than ever and my groin was in moderate agony. A man who'd been eyeing me up since Winchester paused to watch.
Once she was satisfied she'd asserted her authority she led me to the taxi rank and we went to Knightsbridge. "Tomorrow, Timothy, you've been invited for tea at the Browns and then to a concert to see the daughter playing. I am going out of town for a dinner so you can stay at the Browns and return next day. I want to hear you have behaved well; you know what to expect if I hear you haven't."
Next afternoon, carrying my little attaché case with pyjamas and washing kit inside, I walked in a sprightly fashion - having loosened my braces - to the Browns' house, arriving on the stroke of five, as directed. Mrs Brown opened the door to me and kissed me in her delightful way, showering me with felicitations and taking me into the drawing room where tea was laid out. Nicole was apparently already at her concert venue but Peter would be down in a minute.
I was tingling with anticipation at the thought of seeing him again and had to stop myself dancing a little jig on the carpet when Mrs Brown asked me if I'd mind sharing Peter's room for the night. She thought it would be nicer for me than having one of the spare bedrooms.
"Now, where is my little boy?" she said, looking expectantly at the door.
On cue, Peter entered and gave me his delicious smile. He was wearing shirt and tie and long dark trousers. He looked fantastic. After greeting me warmly, he turned to his mother.
"Maman, I've made up the camp bed in my room, for Tim." He turned to me and gave what I thought was a rather sexy wink.
We sat down to tea and his mother asked me all about my time at school. I tried to make it sound less grim than it really was, which wasn't easy. Peter said very little but I saw he hardly took his eyes off me. Soon, it was time for him to take me upstairs and to change into one of his French suits. He had the fourth floor all to himself, Nicole having the third floor and Mr and Mrs Brown the second. In his bedroom there was a camp bed made up on the floor beside his bed. How cosy it all looked. Roll on bedtime! Peter sat on his bed. He looked unusually pale.
"Are you OK, Peter?" I asked. "Only you've been very quiet and your face is white. You look as though you've seen a ghost."
"It's you, Tim. You seem different."
"In what way? My voice is breaking and my legs are darker but that's three months constant exposure to the weather. To the wind, mostly."
"No, it's not your legs, it's your face - I'd forgotten how, um, nice it is."
"Nobody's ever said my face is nice, not ever."
"Well, everyone else is stupid then. Oh God, now I'm blushing! Why don't you sit down?" He patted the bed beside him.
I sat down, looking at my knees and wondering what he was going to say next.
"I've spent the last six weeks thinking about you at your horrible school, being bullied and humiliated, with nobody to confide in, nobody to laugh with and having to wear those stupid little shorts every day - I've felt terribly sorry for you but I'd forgotten your face, your sad but noble face ... and I feel awful. I've wondered how you coped with such things but I never pictured your face and now I can see it and it's so ... so ... beautiful!"
I didn't know what to say. Nobody had ever called me beautiful and now this is how Peter, himself the very essence of perfection, was describing me. With tears in my eyes, I looked up to see he was looking intently at me and there were tears in his eyes, too.
"What can we do?" I asked, wiping a tear from my cheek.
"We can be best friends!"
"I'd love that," said I.
Peter put his hand on my bare thigh. It felt lovely. Then he looked at his watch. "Crikey! I'd better get changed - we're leaving in ten minutes!"
He quickly stripped to his briefs and went into his bathroom to wash. When he returned he was in different briefs, much smaller ones, sort of like the lower part of a bikini, which left his bottom almost entirely bare. What a sight! In no time I found myself with an erection. Then he put on a clean shirt and some ankle socks. He took the light grey suit from his wardrobe and turning away from me, put on the shorts. When he pulled the braces over his shoulders his shorts rose high enough for me to see the crease where his bottom began.
"Damned things are far too tight!" he said, loosening the braces and allowing his shorts to fall about an inch. "Housekeeper pressed this suit today and she always tightens the bloody braces."
"Can't take her long to iron those little shorts," I said.
"About ten seconds, I should think," said Peter, looking at me with a frown. The frown quickly turned into a smile. "You've got a hard-on, Tim!"
"Oh hell, sorry!" I stood up and buttoned my jacket, hoping it might hide the bulge in my shorts.
"I'll take it as a compliment then," said Peter, still smiling.
At the concert I sat between Peter and his mother, his father sitting on Peter's other side. Pretending to read the programme I examined Peter's thighs in detail. Still no sign of even the tiniest hair and skin smooth as polished marble. I so wanted to touch them. Thankfully the concert began and I could curb my desires - a little. Nicole seemed to perform extremely well, looking fantastic as she sat playing her cello and receiving huge applause when she was singled out at the end. I can't remember what the music was because I had thoughts for only one thing - Peter.
After the concert we waited in the foyer for Nicole. People came to talk to Peter and I assumed he was in demand because of his extraordinarily gorgeous appearance but it was probably because he was well known amongst all these musical people.
Then a young man in a dark suit made for us from behind and gave Peter a friendly slap over the head, loudly exclaiming "Hey, Peter, I thought it was you! I didn't know it was fancy dress tonight! What are you dressed as?
Peter turned quickly, blushed deeply and said "Oh, hello Rupert, I didn't know you'd be here. This is Tim Mannion, a family friend. Tim, this is Rupert Curzon, he goes to my school. Didn't you think Nicole was marvellous, Rupert?"
"She certainly was, yeah, I want to catch her before you go but don't change the subject. What are you wearing?" Rupert stood back and studied Peter from head to toe.
Peter shoved his hands in his pockets and pushed down on his shorts, while looking pointedly at the ground. "My mother's French, as you know. This is how she likes me, but it won't be for much longer."
"Bloody amazing!" said Rupert, blatantly ogling Peter's fabulous legs. "Bare all the way to the top! Bloody fantastic!"
Back at Eaton Square, Peter lit some candles and we all ate a late supper. Sitting next to Nicole, who looked glamorous in a long, silken dress, Peter looked about four years younger than her. What a pretty picture they both made! We had some wine with our supper and I began to feel a bit squiffy. I wondered what time they all went to bed. I didn't have to wait long. At eleven o'clock, Mrs Brown ushered us out of the drawing room and wished us goodnight. We were all kissed and hugged. Peter and I undressed in his bedroom, Peter hurling his little shorts into the wardrobe in disgust.
I asked Peter about Rupert Curzon and he said he was a senior boy, a prefect in fact. "Curzon's all right; he's got a crush on me. I don't think he'll say too much to the other boys but he'll tease me like hell in private."
Now Peter took off those tiny briefs and put on his pyjamas. I asked him why he wore such tiny underpants.
"It's bad enough having to wear those really short shorts, Tim, but it's even worse if your underpants show, especially when you're standing. You look like a little five year old. So I wear these little French underpants with short trousers. It saves a lot of embarrassment. I also have to remember to sit with my knees together, like a woman. Maman taught me that. Otherwise people can look up my shorts and see what they shouldn't. Or else you can sit with one leg crossed over the other which is more comfortable but a bit tricky to do in a concert hall. Anyway, how about a trip to the Zoo tomorrow? We could look at those apes with the colourful rude bits."
"You're trying to change the subject!" I said. "Who wants to see apes when we can see each other's rude bits?"
I panicked. Had I gone too far? Was Peter offended?
"I reckon if I made you wear one of my suits you'd have a very hard job hiding your rude bits!" he said, smiling sexily. "Tell you what. We're going to France on Sunday but we'll be home before you have to go back to boarding school so how about you come over and spend another night here?"
"I'd absolutely love it," said I. "Even if I have to wear your blue suit."
"What a brilliant idea!" said Peter, chuckling suggestively. "Could you turn out the light, please? I don't think I can get out of bed without embarrassing myself."
I stood to reach for the light switch and Peter started to giggle. I guessed why - he'd spotted my erection.
"We're not good for each other, Tim, if we get hard-ons every time we're together!" he said, with another saucy chuckle.
Was this an invitation to naughtiness? Apparently not, for once I was tucked up in the camp bed he said "Goodnight, sleepyhead. See you in the morning."
In the morning, Peter dressed in casual shirt and trousers but I had to put on my school uniform.
"Tim, get that uniform off and put on some of my clothes. Not shorts, I promise."
He lent me casual clothes like his and for the first time for three months I felt normal. In cord trousers and sweater I looked like any other normal teenager. I didn't feel like a normal teenager for I was in awe of Peter's kindness and beauty. Even in long trousers he looked incredibly sexy.
We spent the day at London Zoo. It was my first visit, a zoo not being Grandmother's idea of high culture and Peter and I went by bus, which was not Grandmother's first choice of transport. It was all very exciting and I felt grown up going out on the town with my friend. He was very generous and paid for all the tickets and bought me lunch. We giggled at some of the animals and also at some of the people looking at the animals. It was a marvellous day and by the end I worshipped Peter as I had never worshipped anyone in my life. He made me feel important and, unlike everyone else, actually listened to what I had to say.
Sadly, I had to return to Grandmother's in the early evening and, after tea at Eaton Square and back in my school uniform, with braces tightened, I made ready to go. I knew it wouldn't be possible to see Peter again for a fortnight. The farewell was as sad as the one I'd had with David at that rotten Christmas but this time I knew I'd be seeing Peter again and in only a fortnight.
Back in Knightsbridge Grandmother's attitude had changed. "Timothy, you seem so much brighter. No longer do you remind me of a wet weekend in Broadstairs. Your father was always so morose but you seem to have broken free. Would this be anything to do with getting to know the Brown twins?"
"I think so, Grandmother, the twins are so much nicer than the boys at school and they take a real interest in me."
"Especially the boy," said Grandmother, making me blush. "Quite a prodigy, is Peter. And, like his sister, utterly charming."
I could only agree. The fortnight with Grandmother was unexpectedly pleasant. She took me to Harrods for some casual clothing so I only had to wear school uniform for her formal dinner parties and visits to galleries and museums. I think she whacked me with her walking cane only three or four times. At last it was time for Peter and his family to return from France and I was invited to spend the last day (and night) of my holiday at their house.
I walked to Eaton Square in my lovely new casual clothes and in my attaché case were, as usual, my pyjamas and washing kit with the addition of a clean shirt and a jazzy tie Grandmother had bought me. I was nervous in case Peter had transferred his affections to a French boy he'd met on holiday but we greeted each other like two old friends who hadn't seen each other for years.
"You look fantastic, Tim," said Peter when were in his bedroom. I noticed the camp bed was in position. "But your face - no longer sad but still wonderfully noble. I love it. Give me a hug!"
It was a different sort of hug this time. Peter pulled me to him with his arms but with his hands on my bottom. I thought I'd better reciprocate so placed my hands on his scrumptious little bottom and drew him closer. I'd never touched his buttocks before and they were firm and beautifully rounded.
"I've missed you, Tim. What a pity we've only got till tomorrow morning."
"Yeah, back to bloody school tomorrow" I said, feeling a knot form in my tummy.
"We mustn't waste any time, then." said Peter. "I've got to do some clarinet practice but you can watch and give me comments and this evening we're all going out to dinner. Nicole and I'll be sixteen next Tuesday but we want to include you in the celebrations so tonight we're going to Le Caprice.
"What's that?" I asked.
"Oh it's a lovely little restaurant just behind The Ritz. You'll like it."
Let's fast forward to the evening. Dinner at Le Caprice meant wearing a suit and I could have nipped back to Grandmother's for mine but Peter insisted I wore his dark blue suit, the one I'd joked about wearing a fortnight earlier. As I've said, his short trousers were even shorter than mine so in his suit with the braces slung over my shoulders my thighs were entirely bare, like his. I wore a pair of his tiny briefs as my own would have been visible below the hems of his dark blue shorts. Tingling with nerves I went downstairs with Peter to be told by Nicole that we looked like Heavenly Twins. Mrs Brown said we were 'such sweet little boys.' Peter and I both blushed.
Just before we left Eaton Square Peter took me aside. "I can't tell you how glad I am not to be the only one in shorts tonight and we could both me in luck. At Le Caprice there's this young waiter who just loves boys with bare legs. The more flesh he can see the more he comes round to top up your wine. He's going to love you, Tim - believe me."
And so it was. The pretty young waiter seated us and made a meal of arranging a starched linen napkin over my lap, his fingers exploring my thighs as far as the hems of the little blue shorts. He then made sure our glasses were kept well-filled. It was a fabulous meal, the party consisting of Peter and Nicole, their parents, a nice couple who were Nicole's godparents and funny old me. I was more than squiffy when we went back to Eaton Square and much relieved when Peter took me upstairs.
"I need the loo," I said. "Never had so much to drink before."
"And then come back and stand in front of me, Tim. I want to admire you. Tonight we've been brothers in shorts - in every sense. I wish you were at my school instead of yours - we'd have so much fun!
I still found it difficult to think that anyone could find me worth admiring but Peter certainly seemed to. "No need for pyjamas tonight," he said when it was time for bed. "And that camp bed isn't very nice so I'll make room for you beside me in my bed and then we can get to grips with each other."
"You mean you want me to grip you? Sounds a marvellous idea!"
I found this hilarious and a moment later we were both giggling like little kids. Peter grabbed me and we collapsed onto his bed and began gripping each other. Off came his tiny briefs and I hugged his lovely body, holding it hard to mine. This was the start of a night of passion. Sorry to disappoint you but not much more happened but for me it was the most exciting night I'd ever spent, lying with another person of about my age for the first time, cuddling and caressing. The fact that it was a boy and the most wonderful boy I'd ever met was an enormous bonus. I was ecstatic. Before the wine eased us into slumber, we cuddled a lot and even kissed each other, another first for me. Until then David had been the only boy to kiss me.
Next morning I said goodbye to Peter until my next weekend away from school at the end of May and trudged back to Grandmother's. To my surprise she gave me ten pounds and a tub of toffees, plus some sandwiches for the train. It was almost worth having my braces as tight as possible just to see one of her rare smiles. At Waterloo she saw me onto the train but just before I stepped into the carriage gave me a whack on the thighs with her cane. Startled, I turned to look at her and she was smiling.
"That was one for luck, Timothy. You seemed to be turning out to be a very nice boy. Goodbye, dear." And then she actually kissed me.
I'd been back at school only a fortnight when I received some shattering news. Grandmother had died, suddenly and unexpectedly. My father flew back from Singapore for the funeral which was not in London but in the seaside town of Broadstairs in Kent. I joined him for the ceremony and then went back to school. I was sad that just as Grandmother was changing into a kind old lady she was taken from us. Just how kind I was to discover a month later. To my utter astonishment she'd left almost her entire estate to me. She must have changed her will soon after seeing me off at Waterloo. Most of the money would remain in trust until I was twenty-one but there was plenty of it in the meantime to ensure I had the best education possible. The upshot was that in September I transferred to Peter's school in London and lived in Eaton Square, occupying the spare bedroom adjacent to Peter's. You might think that by living with him the magic would wear off but our love became ever stronger. He had to wear short trousers when out on the town with his parents until he was eighteen and naturally, I did the same, albeit in slightly longer shorts, to show solidarity with the boy I still thought of as my younger brother, despite his being nearly two years older.
At Christmastide, dear reader, it's good to read a story that ends with the heroes living happily ever after. Well, we did. It's strange to think that my new and wonderful life began with that truly rotten Christmas!
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