The voice was loud and familiar and calling my name and I turned to see Simon running down the corridor towards me. I stopped in my tracks, allowing him to catch up.
"Jesus, Paul, I've been yelling for five minutes, you deaf, or something?"
"Sorry, must have been miles away. What's so urgent, anyway?"
"What? Oh, yeah, I just wondered if you'd seen it?"
"The magazine, or, to be more precise, the photographs in it. I mean, they're pretty awesome, even if I do say so myself, much better than I imagined they would be, did you see them?"
I must have looked completely blank, because he stood there in front of me shaking his head.
"I can't believe you didn't see them!" he exclaimed, as though I had committed some cardinal crime against humanity.
I hadn't seen them, I couldn't lie, but his excitement about them told me that I should have done and I wanted too, but why hadn't I? What photographs? What was he talking about, I didn't have a clue what magazine, or where I could see them.
Before I could ask him, Simon was running again, back down the corridor and yelling:
"I gotta go to practice, but I'll call round after school and bring the magazine, you'll be amazed, I know I was, I never knew I looked that good without a shirt on," he was laughing.
Without a shirt on! He had said, "without a shirt on", what kind of photographs were these? Why was he not wearing a shirt? What the hell was this magazine and why didn't I know anything about it? I mean, this was Simon, blue eyed, blonde haired and beautiful Simon, my best friend, how come I didn't know anything about these photographs and this magazine?
"Hey, Carter, you seen Taylor?" Another voice – a different voice, but also recognisable. Kevin Bradshaw stood beside me and was asking the question.
"Yeah, he was just here a moment ago."
"Great photographs, huh? Guess he's pretty pumped up right about now."
How did Kevin Bradshaw know about the photographs? Why would Simon be "pretty pumped up", who else knew about them?
"I guess he is," I mumbled, as Kevin Bradshaw walked away.
It wasn't fair. Simon never told me about any photographs, but maybe he told Kevin Bradshaw. Why would he tell him and not me? I was his best friend, not Bradshaw.
"Hey, Paul, if you see Simon before I do, tell him I think he looks cute in those magazine photos, real sexy, strong legs and an arse to die for."
Susie Miller and her friends, Melanie Atkinson and Dona Simpson, walked past me. My God, Susie Miller had seen them, too; and probably her friends. "An arse to die for," she said. Simon had an arse to die for. That was nothing I didn't already know. It was true, he had, but how would Susie Miller know that? And strong legs! She also said he had strong legs. What on earth were these photographs? What was this magazine?
I headed to my last lesson of the afternoon, but there was no way I could concentrate properly. All I could think about was Simon shirtless in some photographs in a magazine with strong legs and an arse to die for. I had to see this magazine, but I still didn't know what it was. All I could do was wait until school ended and for Simon to come round to show me. I missed most of what Mrs Hunter, our English teacher, was saying and didn't even care that Melvyn Patterson was flicking the ears of John Harrison and Tony Wilkinson in an attempt to get them into trouble for yelling out, which they did, on more than one occasion, much to the delight of school bully Patterson and the annoyance of Mrs Hunter.
As soon as the bell rang for the end of the lesson and, indeed, the end of the day, I raced home as fast as I could. I desperately needed to freshen myself up with a shower. Thinking about Simon shirtless, with strong legs and an arse to die for the last hour had taken its toll on me and it was all I could do to stop myself from making an excuse to leave the class and head to the nearest toilet to get rid of the tension that had built up. Damn Simon Taylor, why did he have to have this affect on me? I'd known him since we were eight years old. He was gorgeous, a god, and my best friend, but in recent times he'd been my fantasy, too. Damn him, I was getting hard again, that shower was gonna have to be a cold one!
My mother was in the kitchen when I got home and I yelled that I was there and that Simon would be coming round and then I headed towards the stairs to seek sanctuary in my room before hitting the shower.
"Hi, mum, how are you? How was your day?"
I was stopped in my tracks.
"Well, most normal people would at least greet their mother with a cheery smile and a hello, but no, not my son. My son just announces his arrival, tells me he has a friend coming over and heads off straight upstairs to his room."
"Oh! Is that the best you can do?"
"Sorry, mum," I offered. "How are you, what kind of day did you have?"
"Oh, you know, the usual – busy. Shopping, cleaning, washing, ironing, cooking…"
"That's great. Look I got homework and Simon's coming over."
She shook her head.
"Go," she said. "And there's a letter for you on the table in the hall."
A letter? A letter for me? Who was writing to me?
My mother headed back to the kitchen from which she had emerged and I headed to the staircase that would take me to my room, grateful that she hadn't kept me too long, as I desperately needed to do some serious relief work. I picked up the envelope from the hall table as I passed.
It was a large envelope, quite heavy and definitely more than a letter, but it was mine, it quite clearly had my name on the front of it. Paul Carter. My address, too, so it was definitely for me. I was curious. The return address was a post office box number in London, so that gave me no clue.
I reached my room and, as curious as I was, I just threw the envelope on my bed, dropped my bag on the floor and quickly stripped out of my school uniform. The letter, or whatever it was, would have to wait, as I desperately needed that shower.
Simon was there, in my room, sitting on my bed, grinning at me, as I re-entered the room, a towel wrapped around my waist. That had been the best shower I'd ever taken.
"Hey! Your mum said to come up, seemed she knew I was coming over."
"Oh, right, great. Yeah, I told her you were coming over. I just had a quick shower, felt a bit hot and sticky after school, "
I wasn't lying, I was just explaining why I was wet and had a towel wrapped around me.
"I guess I should have called first."
"No, that's okay, I just wasn't expecting you so soon."
I grabbed a t-shirt and a pair of jeans from the floor and quickly rummaged in the drawer for a pair of underpants and some socks.
"I'll just go get dressed, I'll be back in a minute."
"That can wait, you just gotta see these photographs. I'm telling you, I never looked so good."
"Yeah, Susie Miller said so."
"Yeah, said something about strong legs and an arse to die for. Even Kevin Bradshaw made some admiring noises."
Simon laughed. He had a beautiful laugh and his eyes lit up and I felt myself blushing, which must have been one hell of a sight considering all I was wearing was a towel wrapped around my waist.
"So, I guess you didn't see it yet?"
"The magazine, it came this morning, didn't you get yours?"
"The post arrived after I left this morning," I said. "I just picked that up when I got home," I indicated towards the envelope on the bed, as I pulled the t-shirt over my head. Being wrapped in just a towel with a sex god sitting on my bed was not a good idea. Apart from the amount of blushing I was doing, I was beginning to tent that towel and any minute now I felt sure he would notice.
Simon turned to where I had indicated and reached out for the envelope I had thrown idly onto my bed.
"Great, this will be it, you gonna open it?"
Simon held out the envelope and as I had taken the opportunity to quickly pull on my underwear whilst his back was turned, I finished the job by pulling on my jeans before taking it from him.
"I'm on page five. Actually, I'm on pages five and six."
Simon looked at me eagerly, as I tore open the envelope and began to extract the contents. It was a magazine. It was a magazine I recognised instantly. I felt myself beginning to blush again. Simon didn't notice he was to excited at what I would find on pages five and six to care about me blushing.
It was a gay magazine, a gay pornographic magazine that I had sent for online through the Internet. I don't what had come over me; I had never done anything like that before and I had forgotten all about it, but as soon as pulled it from the envelope and saw the title, We Could Do That! I remembered; and now Simon was telling me he had a copy, too and so, apparently did Kevin Bradshaw, but what the hell was Susie Miller doing with one, unless she already knew Simon was going to be in it.
"Pages five and six," I heard Simon repeating and I nervously turned the pages.
Wow! There he was, Simon, shirtless, with strong legs and an arse to die for. Susie Miller had been right. So was Kevin Bradshaw, they were great photographs.
"Well, what do you think?"
"Awesome," I replied and blushed again.
"Yeah, I'm pleased at how they came out. Mike McKenzie will be so envious, he was hoping to get his picture in there, too."
"What? Mike McKenzie wanted to appear in this magazine?"
"Yeah, he thought he'd be able to pull a few girls with it."
"What's so funny?"
"Mike McKenzie thinking he could pull a few girls by appearing in this magazine?"
I turned to see Simon Taylor looking down at me, as I lay on my bed.
"What's so funny?" he asked.
"You were laughing and muttering, I never saw anybody laugh or mutter in their sleep before. Anyway, sleepy, your mum said to come up, seems she knew I was coming, didn't expect to find you half naked and asleep, though."
I sat up, a towel draped around my waist.
" I guess I just lay down after my shower and fell asleep."
"Well, wake up and take a look. Here it is."
He held out a magazine.
"Pages five and six, right?"
"What are you talking about, the pictures are on the back page, like in any magazine. The sports are always on the back."
"Paul, are you alright?"
"Still half asleep, I guess. Well come on take a look, they got some great shots of me diving off the high board. It's great being captain of the swim team and everyone will see the school magazine by the end of the week."
Authors deserve your feedback. It's the only payment they get. If you go to the top of the page you will find the author's name. Click that and you can email the author easily.* Please take a few moments, if you liked the story, to say so.
[For those who use webmail, or whose regular email client opens when they want to use webmail instead: Please right click the author's name. A menu will open in which you can copy the email address (it goes directly to your clipboard without having the courtesy of mentioning that to you) to paste into your webmail system (Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo etc). Each browser is subtly different, each Webmail system is different, or we'd give fuller instructions here. We trust you to know how to use your own system. Note: If the email address pastes or arrives with %40 in the middle, replace that weird set of characters with an @ sign.]
* Some browsers may require a right click instead