In And Out Of Focus

by Sebastian Wallace

 

I saw him glancing over at me while I was with my wife and daughter in our local Focus DIY store. He was dressed in a tatty-looking polo shirt and a pair of dirty jeans with a navy blue shop assistants' apron hooked around his neck and tied loosely around his waste.  

     He looked about eighteen or nineteen and had short dark brown hair. He was skinny but the thickness of his biceps and build of his chest showed that he could handle hard manual work when he was required to. His plastic name badge, which had probably been used by a succession of his predecessors, had "Darren" scrawled in black marker pen on a white sticker. 

     He looked me up and down with a slightly surly expression. I thought that perhaps Beth, our young daughter, was misbehaving and playing with the merchandise, but when I turned to look over at her, she was standing dutifully next to Melissa, my wife, holding her hand. 

     When I looked back at the young man he'd already gone. So I got on looking at the packets of screws and fastenings I'd been pretending to understand and selected a couple at random to throw into our shopping basket. 

     While Melissa had gone off to look at wallpaper with Beth, I popped into the customer toilets at the back of the store. 

     I'd finished off taking a piss and was washing my hands when the young guy I'd seen in the fixings aisle came into the room. I nodded at him in polite recognition but he just threw me another frosty look and then walked over to the urinals. He hitched the bottom of his apron up, unzipped the fly of his jeans and pulled out his cock to piss. 

     I watched him through the mirror and noticed that he kept glancing over at me, a wary expression on his face, and then back down at his cock. 

     I wondered if I was being cruised. 

     His face said definitely not. The looks he was throwing me were decidedly hostile; as if he suspected that I was checking him out (which I sort of was) and was uncomfortable with it. 

     But why would he follow me into the customer toilets? Surely staff had their own facilities? 

     As I dried my hands I threw him occasional glances, trying to look as casual about it as I could. He was directing his cock at the urinal but he wasn't pissing. I noticed that his cock was limp and thin but quite long. He'd withdrawn his foreskin to reveal his withered, pale-coloured bell-end as a lot of men do when they're taking a piss. 

     Even when my hands were bone dry, I kept pulling more paper towels from the dispenser and continued to pretend to dry them further, intrigued to see what the guy would do. 

     Eventually he called over to me, as my eyes drifted towards his cock for the umpteenth time to scan it for any signs of potential excitement, "Were you looking for anything in particular?" 

     I looked up at his face and he was staring blankly at me. 

     I smirked; I liked his question. It could easily have been an innocent request made by a shop assistant to a customer, but we were both aware of the alternative meanings it concealed. 

     I replied, still smiling, "Well, I've been having a good look, and I like what I've seen..." 

     His mouth betrayed just the faintest flicker of a smile but he struggled to maintain his blank, standoffish expression. 

     He asked, "What were you hoping to do?" His voice was quite deep; if he was gay it wasn't at all evident in his voice or his mannerisms. 

     I chuckled, grabbing another paper towel. "I dunno... I suppose I was hoping I might drill a hole." 

     He chuckled back, unable to stop himself, and stared at the wall in front of him, still holding his limp cock. 

     After a moment or so, he turned back to face me, a half-smile, on his face, and said, "And... er... what size bit does your drill have?" 

     I grinned at him, feeling my cock lengthen in my briefs a little. His wit was quite a turn on; most young guys of his age seem to revel in playing it thick. 

     I said, "Well, I'm no expert, but I've been told it's quite a large one..." 

     He laughed and said, half under his breath, "Yeah yeah yeah..." 

     Abandoning the possibility of taking a piss, he pushed his cock back into jeans, and zipped himself up. Adjusting his apron, he asked, "And this thing you were hoping to drill... would it be high up -- sort of face height -- or lower down...?" 

     We smiled at one another and he walked over to wash his own hands. 

     I said, "A bit of both, actually. I've always thought it was best to start at the top before getting stuck into the bottom..." 

     He laughed, squirting soap into his hand. 

     Then he turned to me, his face more serious, and said, "Are you asking me for... well... what I think you're asking me for...?" 

     I shrugged. "What do you think I'm asking for?" 

     He finished washing his hands and then turned to face me. Still seriously, he said, "Pardon me if I've got it wrong -- you know, the customer's always right and all that -- but are you asking if you can fuck me?" 

     I nodded, appreciating his directness. "Yeah. I suppose I am..." 

     He reached for a paper towel and began drying his hands. He said, "Okay. But it'll cost you..." 

     I must have flinched in surprise. "You want paying?" 

     He laughed at my reaction. "Yeah, of course. It's not like I'd enjoy it, is it?" 

     I shrugged. "I dunno. Have you done it before?" 

     He smirked at me. "Come on, mate. I'm straight, but I've done enough to know that I don't enjoy it. But if you've got fifty quid..." 

     "Fifty quid?" 

     He laughed again. "Yeah. I'm not bending over to get fucked for the price of a fuckin' pint!" 

     I reached for my wallet, knowing full well that I didn't have anything like fifty pounds in it. At first I'd found it a little insulting that he'd asked me to pay him to have sex with him -- although about ten years older than him I'm still able to cruise for gay sex without having to buy it -- but the fact that he was straight but willing to allow a man to fuck him for the right price seemed attractively sordid. It also appealed to my ego that I could buy this young straight guy's arse for an amount that seemed almost insignificant to me. 

     I said, counting up the notes, "I've got twenty... and maybe five in loose change..." 

     He shrugged. "I'll suck you for twenty." 

     I didn't want to get sucked; I really wanted to fuck him. His arse looked really firm and round filling out the back of his jeans and would look even better if it were naked and had my cock sliding in and out of it. 

     I said, trying not to sound too desperate, "I really want to fuck you... I don't suppose the tills give cashback, do they?" 

     "No. And I can't hang around that long. This isn't my designated break..." 

     I thought frantically of ways I could pay him the extra money. "I could buy you thirty pounds worth of Focus gift vouchers... meet you outside the shop afterwards..." 

     He laughed. "Come on, mate. I'm not going to sell my arse for a few poxy gift vouchers... the stuff in here's not worth shit anyway!" 

     He walked into one of the cubicles and gestured me to follow him. "Come on... I'll suck you off for twenty. That'll have to do..." 

     I followed him into the cubicle, feeling angry with myself for not having gone to the cashpoint at the supermarket the previous evening. I'd meant to, but then Beth had started acting up and Melissa had started nagging and it had been pushed to the back of my mind. 

     He said, "It'll have to be quick. I can't slack off for too much longer. I hope you don't take ages to cum..." 

     I unfastened my belt and unzipped myself, hitching my trousers down around my knees. "If you finger my arse it'll be over pretty quickly..." 

     He said, curtly, "You're not paying me to touch your arse. I'm not going anywhere near it." 

     I was a little taken aback by his frankness and said, "I just thought you wanted it to be over quickly..." 

     He snapped, "I do. But you can finger your own arse. I don't want to be smelling some guy's arse on my finger all day for twenty measly quid..." 

     His bluntness wasn't exactly endearing but I suppose you get what you pay for. 

     I pulled my briefs down and my cock, swollen but not erect, flopped out over my balls. 

     He knelt down in front of me and reached up to wank me off. His hands were surprisingly soft and gentle. He looked up at my face and asked, "How big's your dick get?" 

     "Erect?" 

     "Hard, yeah." 

     "I dunno. About eight inches." 

     He looked at it with admiration and said, "Nice one." 

     I asked him, "How big's yours?" 

     He looked up at me again. "Six or seven. Seven with the right tits and pussy in front of it. Know what I mean?" 

     I smiled at his need to reinforce his heterosexuality in what was obviously an awkward situation for him. 

     I said, "Why don't you get yours out? Have a play with it while you suck me?" 

     He shrugged, still gently stroking my cock as it slowly lengthened and began to stand up of its own accord. "It won't get hard, but I will if you want me to." 

     I smiled. "Yeah. It looked pretty nice poking out of your fly at the urinals." 

     He grinned at me. "Yeah?" 

     He pushed his shop apron out of the way and unfastened his jeans. He pulled them down around the tops of his thighs and then followed suit with his baggy grey boxer briefs. His cock flopped between his legs looking totally unimpressed by what was going on. 

     I asked him, "You wouldn't let me suck me you off for an extra fiver would you? You can cum in my mouth..." 

     He shook his head. "I really haven't got the time, mate..." 

     My cock was now half-erect and he gripped my foreskin firmly to withdraw it completely and expose my reddening bell-end. He began licking around my piss slit and drawing circles with his tongue around the helmet of my cock, being thorough despite clearly lacking any genuine interest. 

     I stared ahead of me, half-reading the "Fire Alarm Routine" sign on the back of the toilet door, while receiving my twenty pounds worth of oral ministrations from the shop assistant. 

     My cock was lengthening rapidly and was now arching upwards to thrust gently but insistently at his lips. He took the head of my cock into his mouth and began sucking it, his lips making farcical squeaking and slurping noises. 

     I put my hands around his head and gently caressed his short, rough hair. 

     He pulled back from my cock, now almost at full size, and grinned up at me. "Jesus! It's fucking massive! I don't think my arse could've taken it..." 

     I smiled at him. "We'd have worked something out..." 

     He smirked and then returned to my cock, taking four or so of my thickened eight inch length into him, sucking and slurping on it with an amateurish, but not altogether unpleasant, technique. I helped him by slowly fucking his face, enjoying the feel of my balls thumping against his chin on every thrust. 

     Just then a "ding-dong" sound rang out over the store tannoy and a voice called out, "Darren Perkins to the front desk, Darren Perkins to the front desk. Customer waiting." 

     The lad jumped up and began pulling his underpants and jeans up. "That's me. I've gotta go. Sorry." 

     I asked him, "Can we finish this off later...?" 

     He shook his head. "I can't afford to slack off... if they get wind of what we're doing they'll sack me on the spot..." 

     He fastened his belt and made to leave the cubicle, smoothing down his apron. I grabbed his arm and said, "Look, Darren. We could meet later -- somewhere quiet -- and I'll suck you, then we'll see how you feel about me fucking you..." 

     He shook his head, turning to leave again. 

     I said, "There'll be a hundred pounds in it for you." 

     He turned back to face me, his eyes full of interest. "A hundred? Fair and square?" 

     "A hundred." 

     I tucked my erection into my briefs and fastened my jeans up, following him out of the cubicle. I worried that we'd find someone standing at the urinal, listening to our conversation, but the room was empty. 

     He said, "And if your cock's too big to fuck me?" 

     "Then we'll think of something else." 

     He nodded. "Okay. No tricks, though." 

     I nodded. "I'll pick you up at your house tonight...?" 

     "No. I don't want people askin' questions. Do you know The Nags Head... over in Farnley...?" 

     "Yeah, I think so." I thought I'd driven past it a couple of times. 

     He said, "Meet me there at seven. If anyone asks, I'm buying a bike from you, okay?" 

     I smiled and nodded, and held out the twenty pounds for the interrupted blowjob I'd just received. 

     He refused it, saying, "Treat it as a free sample. Try before you buy or somethin'." He grinned and he left the toilet. 

     I found Melissa and Beth at the shop exit, both of them scowling at me. Melissa snapped, "Where've you been?" It wouldn't have surprised me if the first words Beth had spoken as a baby had been along similar lines. 

     I noticed Darren glancing over at us from the customer services desk as I was unsuccessfully trying to mollify Melissa and then we left the shop to go back to the car. 

     She hissed at me in the car park, "And it was obvious that you had an erection..." 

     I'd done my best to hide it, but the jeans I was wearing had been washed a few too many times and were getting a little too tight for such things to be concealed. 

     I whispered, "I can't help my bodily functions..." 

     She snorted, "We can't go anywhere without you sneaking off for... well... goodness knows what..." 

     I said, "I went to the toilet. I have a bad stomach. What are you suggesting happened in there?" 

     "Probably not as much as you wanted to, judging by the state of your... itemry... on the way out..." 

     Melissa had a variety of words to describe my genitals in the presence of Beth; "itemry" was the latest addition to the list. 

=== 

It was about ten past seven when I picked Darren up from the curb outside the Nags Head. It had taken me a while to convince Melissa that I needed to pop out for additional fastenings for the shelves I was attempting to construct for Beth's bedroom and even longer to find a cashpoint from which to withdraw a couple of hundred pounds (a precaution in case Darren were to offer additional services requiring extra payment). 

     Paying an eighteen or nineteen year old lad for sex would never have occurred to me as an appealing proposition, but now that I was doing it, I found myself quite turned on by the salaciousness of it. My cock was throbbing inside my jeans as I drove from our house to Farnley; I'd resisted the urge to lock myself in the bathroom at home to relive what had happened in Focus using the sound of sink filling with water to conceal what I was doing. 

     Darren was dressed in a blue checked shirt, a pair of tight-fitting black jeans and faded lace-up boots. His hair was gelled back and he looked like he'd just showered. He looked magnificent and I could hardly believe I was about to have him. 

     He climbed into the car and said, "Y'alright?" 

     I smiled and told him he looked stunning. 

     He didn't seem terribly interested in the compliment. He just said, "I thought I better take a shower. Hey, have you brought condoms? I brought a couple but I'd rather save them if you've got your own..." 

     I nodded. "I've a few in my wallet." 

     He asked, mistrustingly, "With the hundred quid?" 

     I turned to him and nodded and then we pulled away from the pub. 

     He asked my name, which I told him, and then he asked who the woman and child I'd met in Focus had been. 

     I said, "The woman is my wife and the little girl is my daughter." 

     "You're married?" 

     I nodded. "Yeah..." 

     "So why do you this?" 

     I shrugged. "I dunno. I just like the sensation of being with another guy from time to time..." 

     He considered what I'd said and then went on, "But... I just don't get it. If you've got a wife as hot as yours... and I mean, she looked pretty nice..." 

     I smiled and said, "Yeah..." 

     "Well, if you can have sex with her when you want to and make it nice and romantic and stuff..." 

     I nodded. "Yeah..." 

     "Well, why the hell would you want to stick your nob up some guy's arse?" 

     I laughed. "I dunno. I just like the feel of it." 

     We were just driving onto the motorway when he asked, "So you do like taking a guy's cock up your own arse too?" 

     I shrugged. "It depends. If I'm in the right mood. Why do you ask -- do you want to do that to me?" 

     He snorted, "I'm not bothered either way, to be honest. If you want me to, we can negotiate a price..." 

     I chuckled. "We'll see how I feel, Darren..." 

     We talked for a while about what he was going to spend the money on, which seemed to be mainly sports clothing, rent money for his mother and a round of drinks for his mates. 

     I said, "Would they have any idea about what you had to do to get the money?" 

     "I dunno... a few of us used to hang around the station in town and charge blokes to wank them off to buy DVDs and stuff, but they probably wouldn't guess that I've let myself get fucked..." 

     "You've done it before, then?" 

     He nodded. "A few times. Not like this. Just spur of the moment... you know..." 

     "In the shop?" 

     He chuckled. "No. I can't say anyone's ever come onto me in the shop before... I still can't believe that you did, actually..." 

     I smiled. "I thought you were cruising me." 

     He laughed. "What? No way! I just needed a piss and those were the nearest loos..." 

     "I didn't see much pissing going on..." 

     He chuckled again. "You were freaking me out, looking over at me." 

     I smiled and we drove for a while in silence. 

     When we'd come off the motorway and were heading for a quiet sheltered layby that I knew of, Darren asked, "I just want to make it clear, Sebastian... this is just a suck and a fuck, okay?" 

     I asked him what he meant. 

     He went on, "It's just... well... I'm not into anything weird. You can't tie me up or piss on me or anything." 

     "I'm not into anything like that. I just want to suck your cock, then play with your arse for a bit, and then fuck you." 

     He queried, "Play with my arse? How do you mean?" 

     "I dunno... just lick it and finger it... maybe stick my tongue up it, if you're comfortable with that..." 

     He laughed. "You're not serious...? You want to stick your tongue up my bum?" 

     "If you'd be happy with that. If not, I'll just kiss it..." 

     "But isn't that... like... totally disgusting?" 

     I smiled, as we pulled onto the secluded side road that was, as I'd hoped, deserted. "No, it's not. I find it quite deeply erotic, actually." 

     "Do you do it to your wife?" 

     I looked at him, a little surprised by the question. "No, as it happens. I've never really felt the urge to. It's something I just enjoy doing with men..." 

     He chortled and said, "Weird..." 

     I shrugged. "Yes. I suppose it is." 

     I pulled in, stopped the car, and said, "Okay then, Mr Perkins. Fancy a walk in the woods?" 

     He glanced around at the small patch of forest alongside the layby and the footpath leading into it. "Is it safe?" 

     "As safe as anywhere else I've found." 

     We got out of the car and he asked, "Do you do this a lot, then?" 

     "Occasionally. I don't usually pay for it, though." 

     The car doors clicked themselves locked and we walked into the woods. The sky was beginning to darken but it would still be light enough to see clearly for half an hour or so. 

     He asked, "So why are you paying <i>me</i> for it?" 

     I shrugged. "I dunno. The idea kind of turns me on." 

     He laughed, "If it turns you on to give me a hundred quid, just hand over the money now and let's be done with it..." 

     I smiled. "Not so fast. There's a bit more to it than that..." 

     He smiled at me. "Well, it was worth a try..." 

     We found a well-concealed spot behind a elderflower bush and stood and faced each other awkwardly. 

     Darren asked, "So what do you want me to do to earn my money then?" 

     I felt a little embarrassed to be having to give him instructions; things normally seem to happen more naturally. 

     After I'd hesitated for a few moments he said, "Do you want me to get on with the blowjob I started in the shop?" 

     I shook my head. "Why don't you pull your trousers and underwear down and let me play with your cock. I'll get us both excited..." 

     He shrugged, unbuckling his belt. "I wouldn't expect me to get too excited, mate. This isn't really my thing, you know..." 

     He hitched his jeans down to his knees and then did the same with the saggy grey briefs which I suspected were the same ones he'd been wearing that afternoon in the shop. 

     He stood facing me with his trousers and underpants around his knees and his cock looking tiny in the evening chill, and he seemed even more uncomfortable with what we were doing. 

     It suddenly felt wrong to be exploiting him like this; he was a young lad who needed some cash and I was making him have sex with me to earn some. He'd given his consent for me to use him like this, but it wasn't his choice to be in this situation. 

     I walked over to him and stood next to him. With a hand on his shoulder, I said, "Look, Darren. I don't want to force you to do this. If it really turns your stomach to have me touch you and you really don't feel any sense of arousal playing with my cock and stuff, let's forget it. I'll give you the money and we'll head back to Leeds." 

     He turned to me with surprise and said, "No. That wouldn't be fair..." 

     "But it's not fair for me to make you have sex with me..." 

     He shook his head. "You're not making me. I mean, it's not like you're raping me..." 

     "You're doing it for the money... I know it sounds stupid, but it suddenly feels wrong for me to use you like this... I'm sorry..." 

     He smiled and, for the first time, looked at me with what may have been traces of affection. "Sebastian, mate. You're a nice bloke... I can see that. I tell you what... have a play with my cock and lick my bum and whatever turns you on, then I'll suck you off. And afterwards, you can take me somewhere for a nice meal, a few drinks, and we'll forget the cash. How's that? It'll be like we're on a date, or something." 

     "That's not really fair on you..." 

     He nodded. "It's my choice. That's what I want. How does that sound?" 

     I leaned forwards and kissed him on the cheek. Smiling, I said, "You're a nice lad." 

     He grinned at me. "Right. Well hurry up and do what you've got to do, because my bollocks are getting cold." 

     I smiled and kneeled down in front of him. I pressed my face into his crotch and inhaled the delicious smell of his pubic hair and his cock. 

     It did feel a lot better to be doing this way. It was strange that the idea of paying him for sex, which had seemed so erotic in the car, had suddenly felt totally unacceptable to me. It felt nice to think we would go out somewhere for a meal and drink together, even though it would look a little odd, and I could find out a little about him. Melissa would wonder where I was but I could always tell her that the car broke down and I didn't have my mobile phone with me. 

     I withdrew his foreskin, enjoying the sharp odour of his exposed bell-end, and licked at the sensitive isthmus of skin beneath his piss slit. Then I took his length, still floppy and shrivelled, into my mouth and gently sucked at it, trying to persuade it to awaken. When that didn't seem to be working, I moved down his balls, which were quite small and very hairy, and took one into mouth, turning it over with my tongue, and then the other. 

     That caused his cock to stir a little and I felt it beginning to harden against my cheek. 

     I called up to him, "Tell me when something feels good, Darren, and I'll keep doing that." 

     "Yeah... I like having my balls played with. That feels nice..." 

     I kept playing with them, enjoying the taste of his pubic sweat, and then moved down to lick the hairy ridge between his legs. That caused his cock to grow rapidly and I soon moved back up to lick it and suck it, bringing it to full size with my mouth. 

     His erection turned out to have a thin shaft with a fattened, mushroom-like head. It was the sort of cock which I didn't mind being fucked with: not so thick as to cause pain, but with a nicely defined head to stimulate my prostate. Perhaps I'd offer to let him fuck me, if things headed in the right direction... 

     I began to suck him in earnest, making sweeping strokes down the length of his erection and licking at his bell-end inside my mouth. He grabbed my head with both hand and began fucking my face roughly, his breathing becoming faster as his excitement mounted. 

     He called out, "Yeah... that's really nice..." 

     For someone who didn't get aroused when he was with another guy, Darren was doing a pretty good impersonation of it. 

     Still sucking his cock, I grabbed his backside with both hands, enjoying the feel of his round, muscular cheeks. I squeezed a finger between them and soon found the hot wet ring of anus. As gently as I could, I coaxed it open and pressed the tip of my finger into the moistness inside. 

     Even if Darren didn't like to smell another man's arse on his finger, I had no such misgivings. 

     I began to slowly finger him, easing the end of my finger into his anus and then withdrawing it. 

     He moaned and said, almost with surprise, "Yeah... I like that..." 

     I pulled away from his cock and said, "Bend over and wank yourself." 

     He bent over, supporting himself against a tree in the gathering dusk, and I quickly moved around to push my face between his hard, round arsecheeks. As I did so, I released my cock, now straining inside my jeans, and began masturbating myself. 

     The smell of his arse was delicious: I could smell the fruity shower gel he must have used when he was cleaning himself up before meeting me, but behind that was the pungeant smell of his arse sweat and the unmistakable, captivating, allure of his anus. 

     I plunged my tongue into him, meeting little resistance, and tasted the raw muskiness of his insides. 

     He called out, "Yeah... that's fucking great..." And I pushed myself as deep as I could into him then withdrew, fucking him with flicks of my tongue. 

     His whole body was moving to the rhythm of his hand frantically beating at his cock, as I penetrated his arse as roughly as I could with my mouth. 

     After a minute or so, I pulled back from him, desperate to attend to my own cock, and stood up behind him. I said, "I really need to fuck you, Darren." 

     He said, still wanking furiously, "Go for it. But hurry up... I'm so fucking close..." 

     I fumbled with a condom and unsheathed it down my length and then moved myself to get into my favourite position: standing behind another man with my cock on the threshold of his bent, exposed, arsehole. 

     I pushed myself into Darren with one swift motion, the glide of my cock lubricated by my spit inside him. To my surprise I was able to get almost my entire eight inches into him on the first push and my balls thumped against his, which were jiggling around as he masturbated his cock. 

     His rectum felt hot and tight around my length and I slowly began to fuck him with the taste of it still in my mouth. 

     I grabbed his chest and pulled him upright, spearing his eager backside with long deliberate thrusts of my erection. 

     I reached around to his crotch and pushed his own hand away from his organ. I gripped it firmly and began masturbating him more slowly than he had been doing to himself, but using a technique I knew he would find far more satisfying. 

     Panting rapidly, he called out, "Aaah... God, yeah..." 

     We didn't last long, standing there in that darkening clearing with me fucking his tight round arse and wanking his cock with slow, sensual strokes. It was perhaps a minute before I felt his orgasm beginning to overtake him and I allowed mine, which I'd been holding off almost since I'd first tasted his arsehole, to rise inside me. 

     He turned to look over his shoulder at me, his mouth wide open and panting, as his cock started spurting, and, pumping my own semen inside his rectum, I gave him a quick, glancing kiss. 

     It took him half a minute or so for his orgasm to subside, and I kept squeezing and jerking at his dick throughout, milking every last drop of semen from it that I could. My own juices were trickling out of the condom, dripping from my balls and running down the insides of his thighs. 

=== 

We cleaned ourselves as best we could in the gloom and then fastened our clothes, almost in silence. 

     I asked him if he was still on for the meal and he smiled and said that he was, and we drove to quiet pub on the outskirts of Leeds which Melissa and I used to visit before evenings out for the two of us became too much like hard work. 

     He told me a little about himself, about his alcoholic mother and abusive older brother, and alluded to some major event which had caused him to leave school early but which I felt it would be too intrusive to question him about. 

     When I dropped him off in Farnley, I stuffed the bundle of notes which I'd prepared as payment into the top pocket of his shirt and told him he was welcome to it "as a friend." 

     He smiled and thanked me. 

     After he'd slammed the car door shut and was walking down the pavement towards the bus stop, I called him back and, perhaps rashly, noted down my mobile phone number on a scrap of paper from the glove compartment. 

     I handed him it and said, "If you want a chat -- no strings or anything -- give me a call." 

     He nodded and stuffed into his pocket alongside the bundle of notes. 

     I drove off as he walked away and went back home to face the music from Melissa.