The door closed, at last!
Take your time with each button,
My hand in your jeans.
Steve was sitting on the floor with his back to the wall in a dim, but noisy room. While sipping from a can of lukewarm Foster's he was wondering why on earth he went to these student parties. 'I really don't want to be here!' his mind inwardly cried in desperation. It was his effort to join in, but it was an effort, he didn't enjoy them and he didn't join in. He watched the silhouetted couples jigging away to the almost unbearable disco beat, wishing he could join in, yet not wanting to in reality.
Steve Brentwood was in his first year at university. He enjoyed his studies, but his social life was as yet limited. Sipping his lager, he let his mind drift back over the years he was still at school. Still significant to him was a similar scene that had taken place when he was in the third year of secondary school. It had been on a school holiday to Germany, to Königswinter on the River Rhine to be more precise, and this was the time and place that his love of German was born which had led him on to read the subject at university. The group from his school was one of three staying in the youth hotel and fortunately the boys and girls from each school mixed well and got on with one another, and so there was yet another disco in the cellar. To appear sociable Steve had gone down and joined the company, but also, like tonight, he was playing what was to become a familiar rôle for him, that of a wallflower.
Having had enough of the din and for him the tedium of watching his fellows engaged in a ritual war dance, he decided to go up to the common room and read. As he was making slow but enjoyable progress through a German Asterix book he heard voice say
"Hi, Steve. Not boogying the night away in the cellar?"
"Nah, not my scene, Joe," he said looking up at the new arrival in the common room.
Joe Talbot was a member of the lower sixth German set. Because of a need to boost the adult to pupil ratio he had been recruited by Mr Reynolds, the head of modern languages, to help with the management of the school trip with the built-in opportunity to improve his German.
"Do feel like going out for a drink?" asked the older boy.
"Sounds good to me," answered Steve. They signed themselves out and disappeared into the main thoroughfare of Königswinter. They soon found a quiet Gasthaus and Joe ordered two beers. He knew that providing they weren't silly a small beer each would be acceptable. The two boys chatted away, kept to the one beer each to make sure they could report in at the hotel by ten o'clock. Emboldened by the small amount of alcohol Steve asked Joe why he wasn't at the disco.
"I suppose I'm a misogynist by nature," he answered.
"A misogynist, a man that doesn't like women."
"I thought that was a gay."
"Not necessarily. A lot of gay men get on very well with women. They just don't want to get them into bed."
"I suppose that's what I am," responded Steve.
"Which?" Joe's intellect didn't permit sloppy thinking.
"G... ga..." Steve almost said and then corrected himself. "I mean a misogynist." Joe let that go, but Steve realised he had let the cat out of the bag.
"Don't worry, Steve. You're in good company," and they continued their walk back to the hotel.
Something happened to Steve that evening and he was just beginning to understand what. He found that Joe had a certain attractive quality, but he couldn't define it. Sitting in the pub he had been staring at him and furthermore Joe had been staring back, quite unabashed, and when their eyes met a kind of electrical current flowed through Steve's body.
They were good-looking boys, both sportsmen with the accompanying physique, who regularly played in school teams. Steve had curly black hair with matching jet black eyes in contrast to the white skin of his face. Steve was blond with blue eyes and his face had readily tanned in the sun of the late Easter holidays. As they walked briskly along the street their hands brushed accidentally, but neither drew his away.
When they arrived back at the hotel the disco was still in full swing and would be for another hour, although some of the couples had emerged for a breath of fresh air which they were taking in the garden.
"Do you want to come and hang out in my room till bedtime, Steve?"Joe asked. Steve could not deny, to himself at least, that he was beginning to feel exhilarated - horny would be a more down to earth description, but the word was not really part of the fourteen year old's vocabulary - in a way he had never felt exhilarated before. Joe as 'staff' was privileged to have a room to himself. Steve fetched two cans from the drinks machine and followed Joe upstairs.
"I'm taking an early night, sir," said Joe nonchalantly as he passed Mr Reynolds on the stairs.
"See you at breakfast. Good night, boys."
"Good night, sir," they answered.
Arriving in Joe's room Steve handed him one the cans.
"I hope you don't mind me asking this, but back in the pub were you about to say that you were gay?" Steve blushed. There was no need now for him the answer the question. He nodded shyly. "Don't worry. As I said back there, you're in good company. So am I. It's just that the word misogynist is a good cover, which is more than I can say about my trousers... or yours if it comes to that." They looked at each other's trousers and burst out giggling at the tents in their cargos. Joe took hold of Steve's hands, led him to the bed and finding no resistance laid him down on the duvet and lay beside him. Steve was in ecstasy, but didn't know what to do. He wanted to re-arrange his own trousers, he wanted to touch Joe, he wanted to stroke him, he wanted, horror of horrors, to kiss him, but the older boy was ahead and their lips gently met. Steve had never done anything like this before. Even so, something inside him made him open his mouth and he experienced his first French kiss.
Steve took another sip of his Foster's as his consciousness returned him to the student party. After that school holiday in Germany Joe and Steve had never been intimate again, but during the fifteen months or so left to Joe at school they remained great friends and talked a lot. Joe helped Steve to live with his gayness, enjoy it even, mentored him socially and academically, but after A-levels Joe disappeared to university and their paths never crossed again.
Steve looked up. It was a trick of the light for sure, but as a new arrival strode in, one of the spots caught his trousers and the metal buttons glinted, exposed as they were by the undeniable bulge that stretched the denim cloth. Involuntarily Steve drew in breath. It caught on the back of his throat. For a moment his eyes could not leave this perfection of form while time stood still and when he finally raised his gaze all he could make out in the half light was a silhouette. The silhouette nodded at one or two of the partygoers, acknowledged some with the slight wave of his hand, but that was the limit of his welcome. He looked a round and saw Steve still hunched against the wall.
"Hi! I'm Joe." 'My god,' thought Steve, 'he's just spoken to me.' He had forgotten his musings of five minutes ago and besides he didn't know any Joes at uni.
"H... hi," he stuttered in amazement. "I'm Steve."
"Where do you get a drink in this place?"
"You don't. You're supposed to bring your own. Do you fancy a lager," he said as he passed up a can from his four pack.
The stranger sat down next to Steve.
"Not dancing?" he asked.
"Not my scene really. Nothing out there that takes my fancy. I've never been able to take it seriously, not even as a mating ritual."
"I take it you do something like biology or sociology from that."
Steve laughed. "Wash your mouth out. I'm a modern linguist."
"Linguist - isn't that something to do with tongues?" Steve laughed nervously again.
"Something like that. No, I suppose I'm a bit of a misogynist really," he said thinking back to his daydream. He was beginning to feel horny. Five years on the word was now part of his vocabulary. The very smell of this guy sitting next to him was making his trousers feel tight.
They chatted away. The couples on the dance floor came, interchanged, went, but in his simple ecstasy Steve was oblivious.
"Anyway, do you feel like dancing?" Steve's jaw dropped. He knew his answer was yes.
"We can't do that here. Blokes don't do that sort of thing."
"Don't they?" Joe said as he took Steve's hand and pulled him onto the dance floor. It must have lasted five minutes before they noticed that they were being surrounded by four heavies. One of them spoke over the din.
"Look, ladies. It's not that sort of party. If you want do that, we suggest you go elsewhere." Quite civilised in a way, but firm and certainly not worth an argument, or worse still a thumping.
"Okay, lads, point taken,"said Joe and led Steve out of the flat and into the cool damp street. "Close one," said Joe. "It could have been nasty."
"I've left my beers behind," said Steve in sudden realisation.
"That's all right. I'll buy you one."
They a found a pub a hundred yards down the street. As they stepped into the light, Steve realised that this was the first time he had seen this gorgeous hunk who just had picked him up at a party properly. He absolutely wilted. He liked what he saw, simply dressed in 501s, a white tee shirt and a black leather jacket. He was so good-looking he didn't need any other adornments and he definitely hadn't imagined those glinting metal buttons that were now visibly experiencing difficulty confining his packet. As they got chatting, Steve discovered that Joe was a postgraduate student at the university in the first year of working for his doctorate.
They didn't take long to down their beer. At least it wasn't lukewarm. "How about coming back to my place for a coffee? It's only just round the corner," asked Joe. Steve nodded. If he got lucky, this would be his first time since coming up. They arrived in ten minutes. Steve was amazed how spacious it was. Joe was ready to open up.
"I used to share it with my boyfriend," he said as he put the percolator on.
"You split up?"
"You could call it that. It was about a month ago. I'm on the rebound." They sat down together on the sofa. "It was an odd business all together. I had to attend a session with my tutor Friday evening. I got back about ten and found half the stuff missing. At first I thought we'd been burgled, but there was no sign of forced entry and when I'd calmed down and started to look around, all my stuff was there, but none of Archie's. He'd moved out. I was devastated. I rang his parents' home. Number unattainable. I hardly slept a wink that night. The next morning, Saturday, I motored down to their house. No one there. One of the neighbours said they had moved out earlier in the week, put their furniture in store and were going on holiday until their new house was ready. Where was that? She didn't know. That night I cried myself to sleep. Monday at uni I couldn't concentrate on my work. Tuesday I took a sickie. Then it happened. I got an e-mail from Archie. It was from an internet café in Australia. No further information. He said he had escaped from his parents for a couple of minutes. He was okay, couldn't give a return address, said he was sorry, didn't know how he had fallen for it, but didn't realise until he was on the plane that his parents had planned all this to take him away from me. 'I'll always love you,' it ended."
A tear trickled down Joe's face as Steve pulled him closer and hugged him. Eventually Steve kissed him.
"Come on," said Joe taking Steve's hand and leading him towards the bedroom. He closed the door behind them with his foot and took Steve over to the bed, gently laying him down on top of the duvet and lying down beside him. As they kissed, Steve stroked the inside of Joe's thigh, gradually bringing his hand higher until he reached those glinting metal buttons on his 501s. As the kissing became more intense, he slowly unbuttoned the fly until he could put his hand inside and feel the firmness under the Calvin Klein briefs.
It was just gone eight on Sunday morning when two naked bodies woke under the duvet. They slowly worked each other up into a climax before deciding to get up and face the day. They sat over breakfast staring each other in the eyes as only new-found lovers can. Finally Joe said
"The penny hasn't dropped yet, has it, Steve?"
"What do you mean?"
"Well, last night when we were chatting you called yourself a misogynist, didn't you? You were going to say 'gay' and changed your mind." Steve blushed, although after a night of passion it was too late for that. "What would you say if I were to add the word 'Königswinter'?" continued Joe. Steve nearly choked on his bacon. Recovering from a coughing fit, he replied incredulously
"Joe... Joseph Talbot?"
"I can't believe it. After all these years!" They left their fry-up, stood up, rushed into a hug and two pairs of greasy lips met in a kiss of reunification.
It was eight o'clock in the evening before Steve returned to his digs. At the end of his first term he gave notice to quit and moved into Joe's flat.
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