Tony was at the reception desk on the ward he had been visiting some of his patience and where Alan was told he would be. They looked at one another and the pleasure of seeing one another again was obvious. Being in such a busy area stopped Tony going to Alan and cuddle him. Alan had planned it that way.
"I was hoping to get a letter from you Alan, still it’s lovely to see you again."
"It’s great to see you too, look I am staying at the Grange Hotel for a couple of days and need to talk to you. Can we go for a cup of tea now?"
"Course we can and I am sure I can get tomorrow off and we can meet up if you would like to." Tony finished his paper work and led the way to the staff canteen and got the teas.
"So when did you get back?"
"Last week, I am posted to St Georges and will be there a year and then I'm leaving the Army and carry on at Georges as a civilian, I have got a teaching post there."
"You didn't think to write then?"
"No, Tony I am only here because I need to talk face to face and it will take some time. Do you think you could come to the hotel tomorrow some time?" Tony was a little confused about this, it was as though he was being called to attend a meeting instead of friends getting together.
"Ok, that will be fine."
"Have you called Simon yet?"
"If I did talk to him it would only be me telling I know about him and that bloke."
"Do you still love him?" Tony looked down at his cup and did not reply for a long time. Alan waited, he already knew the answer and he watched as Tony became more emotional.
"Yes I do, I just wish I didn't. Why can’t I fall out of love with him? He went with some other bloke and he would not be even thinking about me, before during or after the whole fucking thing...! But I do still love him Alan." Tony looked back up with tears running down his face.
"Thank you for being honest. If you had said no, I would have walked out. Tony, I could have written, but it would take two pads, that's why I’m here. Go and see if you can get tomorrow off."
"I didn't take leave when I got here so having a couple of days off should not be a problem. Hang on let me go and ask." He was back in five minutes smiling.
"Got seven days off."
"Well that's good, you will have time to think about what I am going to tell you tomorrow and then when you hear all I am going to say... Well, that's up to you what you do with it." Tony was taken by surprise when Alan stood up and said goodbye. He had no choice but to go back to the wards wondering why Alan had left so suddenly.
Tony got to Alan's hotel the following day and waited while the receptionist rang his room.
"Will you wait in the lounge sir, the Captain will be down shortly. Tony made his way to the lounge and waited.
Alan came in and sat down and after the waiter laid the tea tray down he got down to the reason why he was there.
"There is a lot to say, butt in any time you want. You will know what I am going to tell you is the truth, just listen, I need to start from when you left the village." Tony stirred his tea and waited.
"Have you still got Axel's letter?"
"Yes. I don't know why, but I do."
"And you remember all he wrote about?"
"Too bloody sure, it still hurts when I think about it. How COULD Simon go with him? We promised we would be faithful and not look at another man in that way and as you know nothing happened like that between you and me and if it had not been for our promise, who knows."
"There is no question he and Axel did have a sort of sex, but what would you say when I tell you if they didn't, Simon, Axel and his 12 year old sister would have been shot? Not only that, even if they had gone along with it for as many times as he was told to, Simon would have been murdered anyway and become the fifth British serviceman to be shot which has since been proved that's exactly what happened to those poor men." Tony looked at Alan in utter amazement.
"WHAAAAT! Ok I'm listening."
For the next hour Alan told Tony what had happened from the time Simon was captured. He went on to tell Tony about meeting the sick Albrecht for the first time and taken to Lowifontaine, being forced to have sex with Axel and how they over powered him and took the village back and how Simon lead them for the rest of the war.
"He deserves a fucking medal for what he did and not dumped by you. Alex told me how worried Simon was about your reaction because he did not want to hide anything from you and would have told you everything that happened anyway, but he was beside himself with worry thinking you would reject him."
Alan had stood outside his tent and watched as Tony drove away. He was going to miss him, but having read that letter he knew there was more to what Tony had read in it. He was not thinking that the letter had been written to someone who would know what it all meant to that person and someone else reading it could get a very different picture, as Tony had.
In the letter there was only one reference to them having sex. Simon was in the village over six months and would surely have written about ALL the times they had had sex? There was also no reference of them sleeping together even though Simon was staying in Axel's home and given his bedroom while Axel slept on the couch in the living room for weeks.
Alan had been told that he would remain in Lowifontaine and take in German wounded and when they had treated the last of them the whole unit would pack up and go home. All he hoped for was that Axel would return before he had to go and he could get to the bottom of all this. A week later Axel came back full of smiles and with his grandparents. There was quite a celebration in Axel's home that night which included Alan and the rest of the medical team.
"Axel I need to talk to you, it’s very important and you could help not only me, but Simon and his friend Tony who I am sure you know is much more than just a friend?"
They met the following day and spent hours together while Axel told Alan what had happened from the first time he and Simon met until he was shot. As he spoke the more Alan understood and as Axel went on he began to see light at the end of Tony's dark tunnel.
"So, apart from being forced to "perform" for that shit do you think there would have been anything sexual between you two anyway?"
"Absolutely not even though I did try so hard to change his mind! I have pointed out to you the other men who would also have liked something to happen between them and Simon, but Simon would never allow it to happen and all because of his love for Tony. All that you and Tony read in the letter was my feelings towards him and what I wished had happened. I was writing about a situation that could not happen, it was all in my head and pretended there could be more between us. It was not meant to be read by anyone else and I know for certain if Simon was not so ill, he would have laughed at it then thrown it away."
"Are you still in love with Simon?" Axel looked from Alan to the floor and back again.
"Not any more. I had no chance with Simon because of his love for Tony" He smiled at Alan. "Simon told me once that there were plenty of men much better than him and that's the only thing he ever got wrong. Anyway what about Simon and Tony? You say that Tony thinks there is something more serious between me and Simon and he will not see him again, what can we do to get them back together?"
"I will go and talk to Tony when I get back home and explain everything to him. You fell in love with Simon and I fell in love with Tony and neither of us had a chance with either of them and that's the way it should be. Between us we will get them back together, we owe it to both of them, agree?"
"Too bloody sure I do and thank you so much Alan. So, we didn't have a chance with the men we were in love with, that makes us both free then?"
Alan's time at Lowifontiane was extended due to many more German wounded needing medical care and during that time they met and talked for hours, both men began to think of the other in a similar way to what they had thought about Simon and Tony.
After a month they ended up in Axel's bed where they made love for the first time. It was to get even better when Alan got a teaching post at St George’s hospital and Axel got his students placement there. Teacher and student would certainly have lots of one on one time.
Alan looked at Tony and saw a man who had just lost a massive burden. Still, there is a little way to go though, Simon was completely unaware of what was going on and trying to come to terms with life without Tony, Tony had not been in touch and he began to think he had been killed. He was fairly sure he hadn't as he was Tony's next of kin and had not been informed of his death. That only left one thing, Tony and Alan were together and Tony could not bring himself to tell him.
"I was right all the time I guess. It was so easy to fall in love with him, now some fucker show me how to fall out of love."
"Tony, what will you do about it?"
"I shall be as nervous as fuck, but obviously ring Simon and hope he still feels the same as I do. Bloody hell Alan what will I do if he doesn't want me anymore?"
"He will understand, eventually. He has no idea what all this is about, he doesn't even know about the letter! But Tony he will definitely be thinking you and I are together, don't forget I am the reason why you two had that row last year. Get to the phone and beg him to take you back!"
"Oi he has to say sorry as well after all he assumed you and I were messing around when he found out you had taken me to Brighton and he got that very wrong."
"AHH Brighton! What happy memories, I think I will write a letter to you about that weekend and post it to Simon."
"Fuck off you prat." Tony was getting back to normal, if fact only a firing squad could wipe the massive smile off his face.
They spent a happy day together walking around the town and having a few drinks at the Crimea pub and then back around town window shopping. Tony looked in a men's outfitters and took Alan in, he had seen something he wanted to look at, pyjamas. Clothes rationing would be in force for some time to come, but a new line had just come in from France and Tony liked what he saw and asked to look at them. They were light blue fine cotton pyjamas and one pair would take half his ration and most of his money. They were quite different to any other pyjamas he had seen before. They had long sleeves and there was a deeper cut down to the top button which would show a lot more chest, they were also collarless.
The waist was not cord tied, but a wide elastic band to keep them up and the cock hole had two buttons to keep things in place. Tony envisaged one yank and they would be down around the ankles in seconds.
"I want two pairs, but I don't want to pay two prices." He said to the sales assistant and smiled at him.
"Well sir they will certainly fit you, but too small for your friend here." He nodded at Alan.
"He is a friend, but not quite in the same way as the friend I want to buy the other pair for." This bloke likes blokes, Tony and Alan thought at the same time. Tony was about to milk this as much as he could.
"I know they will fit him perfectly, we are the same height and build, the only difference between us is he is much better looking than me. He doesn't think so though, naturally."
"No he isn't stupid, Simon is at least two inches taller than you and you are only the same build because he was shot and has lost a lot of weight, but you are right about him being more handsome."
"Ok, he may be a bit taller, but I can always cut the bottoms and make shorts out of them."
"How far up?"
"To the crutch?"
"Just buy the tops then." The salesman was beginning to lose control as he imagined Tony standing there in just the pyjama top and had to cough a lot and discreetly adjust the front of his trousers. Tony could see he was struggling and went for the kill.
"Do you do alterations?"
"Yes, but I have never altered pyjamas."
"Would you do that...for me?" Tony smiled at the poor sod and he melted.
"Of course where would you like me! I mean what would you..." He trailed off and now pushed himself hard against the counter, his hard on was sticking out full stretch.
"I want all the sleeves cut off as far as the elbows and all the legs cut up to the knees." The salesman now had an image of the lovely Tony standing there in the altered pyjamas with the low cut front exposing his chest, his lovely slim legs and the thought of his cock straining against the shorts and..."Oh fuck!"
Tony went for the final request that would take the poor sole over the edge.
"And could you remove the fly buttons, they will only get in the way!?"
"YESSSS!" He shouted and told Tony he could have both pairs for the price of one! This was the first time in the British retail business when a customer was invited to, "buy one and get one free!"
"Will you be staying at the hotel tomorrow now Alan?" They were having a meal and because of the generosity of the salesman it was on Tony.
"Nope, I'm going back to the hotel to write a letter and pack to go back to London early in the morning. I want to tell you something before go. I am falling in love with Axel and I THINK he is falling in love with me. I am trying to get back to see him next month for two weeks and if I can, by the time I come back we will know one way or another." That certainly took Tony's mind off of Simon for two seconds and wished them both all the best.
"You never know Alan, we may all meet up one day. Good luck to both of you and thank you for being such a good friend and all you have done for me."
"Shut up and go and ring Simon...and thank YOU dear Tony." They parted at the bus stop and went about their own lives.
Andrew had made many trips from home to London and back again, but this one would be the last, he was going to take Simon back home. Trevor drove him and both of them much more excited than two older men should have allow themselves to be. Meanwhile Simon had been fully checked over and a new dressing placed over the wound which was healing beautifully after the three operations to get his insides back to something like normal.
"Those stitches come out in two weeks at the cottage hospital Commander Walsh. You are not to exercise at all or soak in hot water for a month. You are not to go out on long walks or go to a public house, but may go to church and thank the almighty that the cunt who shot you was short sighted otherwise he would have got you in head!"
Simon was creased up as his friend, Mike Goodyear mimicked the Matron. Mike was an Ordinary Seaman and had made Simon's recovery as quick as any of the medical provision had with his wit and zany sense of humour. The Commander and the Ordinary Seaman had become good friends.
"Thanks Mike, thanks for everything. You have no idea how you have helped me."
"Thank you Simon, we helped one another and good luck with Tony. Hope you two get back together. Come here for a last cuddle you fuckin homo!"
Simon went to Mike and both men embraced. Mike ran his hands over Simon's face for one last time. Simon kissed Mike's forehead and went out with tears pouring down his face. He wished Mike was able to see him and hoped his dreadfully disfigured face would become much better after the long treatments he would have to go through.
Simon lent against his father and just stared at the cottage.
"Bloody hell dad, you sure this is the right one? It looks fantastic!" They went inside and the surprises continued and Simon looked open mouthed at the transformation. It was still one large open planned room with the living area at the same end, but with a new kitchen and dining area at the other. The oak spiral stair case was a lovely piece of work.
Andrew took him into the linney and showed Simon the new bath and the shower head above it and all the new cupboards, the toilet was as modern as you could get and now there would be no need to shiver in the crapper outside.
There was much more to look at, but Simon was getting tired and they went to the lounge and sat while Andrew poured the rum out. "Not allowed to drink dad, cheers." They raised their glasses and threw the lot down. Andrew refilled them and sat next to his son.
"Have you heard from Tony dad?" Andrew knew that question was not far away.
"No Simon, not a word and I guess you haven't either?" Simon shrugged and dismissed thinking about Tony.
"No. Maybe I will get to know one day, until that happens, how's the yard going?" Andrew knew damn well Simon was hurting and could be forgiven for being angry with Tony. They both knew he must still be alive otherwise Simon would have been informed that he was either dead or missing by now.
On the same day as Alan was talking to Tony about Simon's experiences, Simon was getting into his father’s car, he had been home almost a month and felt a lot stronger thanks to his dads careful attention and the lovely district nurse, Brenda, who popped in three times a week to check him over and change the dressings.
"You are fine my handsome man and it won’t be long before all you can see is a dent in your tummy where the bullet buggered things up. Get yourself to the swimming pool and the girls will be lining up to get your trunks off!" She giggled all the way out of the cottage.
"Ok to take the car dad?"
"Course it is, sure you will be ok?"
"Yes, just going to the old hut we used to go to."
Four senior military officers sat around a table in the Ministry for War. An Admiral, a Royal Naval Captain, a General and an Air Vice Marshal. With them were four senior politicians who ran the Ministry and one of whom was the Minister himself. Being the top man, he was chairing the meeting. However, there was one more politician from Belgium who had been invited to attend because of the nature of the meeting.
"Right gentlemen, have we all read the reports?" There was a combined mumble around the table indicating that they all had indeed read the reports, or they were choking on the crap corned beef sandwiches.
"Seems like this young man," the Minister checked the name, "Commander Walsh, even though so young seems to have done some really fine work, both with the Royal Navy, but also as a prisoner of war. He has already been awarded the DSC and in his absence has been awarded the DSO. Now we meet to discuss a further decoration, the poor lad won’t be able to stand up!"
The Belgium politician spoke. "Commander Walsh is seen and will forever be seen as a hero and without his timely intervention in the village of Lowifontaine there is absolute proof the whole population would have been executed to cover up what that bastard had already done to five of the villagers and of course to your four British lads. He led the villagers and members of the resistant movements to carry out sabotage attacks on the enemy and Commander Walsh will be invited to take the Belgium Medal of Honour and when he is well enough to travel, he will also be granted honorary citizenship of the village."
"We are here to discuss our award as well gentlemen, he deserves any award we can give." Another mumble around the table and this time no confusion about agreement or corned beef sandwiches.
"However, we all know there is a problem don't we. That SS swine was involved in sexual exploitation as well as murder, but charges have not been made yet and I strongly recommend the sex stuff is dropped, the devil already has a date with the hangman, but we all know if the sex stuff gets out the tabloids will have a field day with it and Commander Walsh's life could become unbearable. They could even imply he was party to it and even the murdered lads would be written about which would cause even more upset for their families, you know what those buggers are like. What think you gentlemen?"
"Drop the sex stuff, get Albrecht charged with murder and war crimes, hang him and award Commander Walsh the George Cross." The RN Captain sat back and looked at the others. Masses of mumbles shot out of every throat which bought the meeting to a close and the final words came from the Belgium politician. He reached down to his brief case and bought out a huge jar. "Gentlemen thank you for your hospitality, but I have to say your corned beef sandwiches are crap. Belgium pate anyone?"
Simon stopped outside the hut and sat there as the memories came back. He went back over the years and imagined him, Spike and then Tony and all that they had enjoyed when they were little more than kids. He shook his head as he thought that the only thing he knew for sure, Spike was dead and thinking Tony was now with Alan. If he knew at least he could start to move on. Not knowing stopped that happening and only time would help him try to forget. He began to think of life on his own because at this time he could not even think of looking much further than this day let alone what tomorrow would bring.
He got out and went inside and smiled to himself, it looked exactly the same as when Tony and he were there last. He sat down where Tony would sit most of the time and lost himself in his memories. He was there for ages...
"Come back Tony, please come back." He tried to shake himself out of his depression and got up. He stood there staring at the wood burner and thinking about the number of times they had lit it and the meals they had cooked and the love they made together before, during or after eating. His shook his head and found he was back in real time and felt completely drained and the next thought that came into his head was his father’s revolver and the ten bullets.
"It would be quick and at least I would no longer have to suffer, without Tony I have no life." He stood there and lost all sense of time, but then as he continued to think his dad came into his mind and Mike Goodyear.
He screamed at himself, ran out of the Hut and got into the car.
He drove the short distance home still very angry with himself, livid in fact. He stopped the car and yanked the hand break up and got out and went indoors, the phone was ringing but he ignored it, instead he went to his father’s desk and got all ten bullets out. The phone stopped ringing. He went out to the now disused well and threw the bullets into it. Even doing that did not make it much better and his mood was crappier than any corned beef sandwich was. Again the phone rang, he pulled it off the hook.
"Simon... It’s Tony... Simon?"
"Operator, what number please?"
Tony gave her Simon's number and held his breath