Tommy was delighted and surprised Lord Hunter Morton would write. It was a long letter and Tommy saw a side to him never seen by anyone before.
He wrote of his sadness that he and Cornwallis had no more contact. "Tommy I made a great mistake and I would do anything to be able to reconcile with him. I know he is in the Army, but even I, his father, cannot find out where he is or what he is doing. I can only assume he is still alive as surely I would have been notified if anything happened to him? Tommy I have no idea what you are up to either, but if you do get leave you know you will always be welcome to stay at the Manor as my guest and if you have a friend, do bring him as well." He went on some more about the farms and gardens. He even mentioned that Simon had gone elsewhere, but did not know anything more.
Tommy wrote back and among other things said he would love to visit whenever the Army allowed him leave. He did not mention any thing about a friend coming.
"Fancy going into town tonight Lee?"
"Well if you go I have to, so yes but I’m broke." Tommy had only spent 10 shillings that Lord H M had given him, so he was loaded not that he would tell anyone.
"I can buy you a lemonade Lee, that's about as strong as you can take anyway." Tommy was told to fuck off which was expected and they went for a shower and got into parade uniform and went to catch the 3 tonner which did regular runs into town Saturdays and Sundays.
They drank a pint in two pubs then went to the third for another one before thinking of going back to camp. They were sort of enjoying it, but Lee more than Tommy. He was not used to drinking and was only out to break the monotony of camp life. The town was crowded and most were Army including dozens of Americans. The difference in uniforms was huge. The Brits in their surge uniforms, thick and not that comfortable and the Americans in smart gabardine. The comparison was there to see. It was also obvious who the women preferred, the gabardine and dollars! Surge and pounds, or rather lack of them, had no chance! Thank God I’m queer he thought.
"Fucking country. Lousy weather, lousy food, lousy beer and lousy fucking women. Why the fuck are we in this dump?" A guy on the next table was expressing his cultural opinion of Great Britain and the English. Here we go, thought Tommy and forgot Lee was with him.
"Fuck off then and take that lot with you. Piss off, we won’t miss you."
"Thanks Lee you prick, just let him have his say. It's all coming from his beer glass anyway." Too late, he was having none of it.
"Look you fucking midget. We are here to dig you shits out of trouble again so shut your mouth or I will." He looked at Tommy. "Who are you looking at Limey? Take your boyfriend back and fuck him, at least that's something you cunts won’t get wrong." There were four of them and without realising it Tommy was already working the guy out. He was big and looked quite fit. He looked at him and held the look.
"Mitch, shut up we don't want trouble, you know what the orders are." Mitch sneered at the guy. "Shut the fuck up Harding, I say what the fuck I want and you or no Limey tells me different." He turned back to Tommy and Lee. "If you cunts got a problem, make my day." Tommy looked at Mitch and smiled at him knowing it would wind him up even more.
"Come outside, I'm going to beat the shit out of you." Tommy stood up and left the pub. Behind him he could hear Mitch laughing his socks off as he and most of the pub followed him.
Tommy waited for Mitch and at the same time remembered what his father had said about someone getting into range and all the training Simon had given him. Poor Mitch was in for a very bad time unless Tommy could convince him to shake hands and forget, but at the same time he wanted to show this prick it would be best to learn about the many months of war Britain and the Empire were fighting long before he and the many more untrained GI's got to England and keep his mouth shut.
Mitch arrived shouting his mouth off which was the first place Tommy hit. For the next ten minutes Tommy worked him over and as each punch landed so the weaker Mitch became. One of his "buddies" tried to stop it and got a fist in his mouth as well. By now Tommy was in no mood to compromise and would have taken the whole pub on if anyone tried it, but it had to finish and now that Mitch was more than out of fight, Tommy reluctantly stopped punching him. He held him up by one hand and held him close. "Don't you EVER insult our beer again!" He let go and Mitch fell to the pavement. Tommy turned to Mitch's mates.
"Anyone else?" No one moved or said anything.
"Pity, I was just getting warmed up. There is one thing you now know I'm a very good boxer and all thanks to one of the nicest blokes I ever met, an American and a credit to the army. You should try it sometime, but if you don't, you will get more of this."
"Tommy that was..."
"Shut up and drink up we are going back."
"Ok, you’re surrounded, I will let off evil farts at you unless you two surrender, but if you do I will buy the drinks." Tommy was looking at the guy who tried to shut Mitch up.
"We surrender and a drink would be good, thanks." He went off to the bar.
"My name is Paul Harding, just want to say sorry about all that and..." Tommy stopped him and introduced himself and Lee.
"Look Paul this twat sitting next to me has a bigger mouth than that bloke and if he had not opened his fucking gob, this would not have happened, well not with me anyway." Tommy looked at Lee and just could not help himself smile at him.
Tommy changed the subject and they chatted about homes, work, families, all the usual things strangers break the ice with.
Tommy gave Lee money to get another round which gave Paul the opportunity to say that he was homosexual "as well" which surprised Tommy no end and wondered where this was going.
"Don't be angry Tommy and I am not trying to come on to you. I noticed you two as soon as you came in, you look great together. It's just great to see guys the same as me. How long have you been together?"
"Why do you think I am the same as you?"
"Experience of being homosexual and meeting many who are. I know the signs Tommy, the body language, the looks, you can’t hide it, well not from someone who has been around the block too many times! You even smiled at Lee when you were telling him off!"
"Well, you are right, but I don't know about Lee. We are only together because we were told we will be permanently together as a team with our Company. Other than that, nothing between us."
"Oh, ok Tommy. I know you are a nice guy and don't think you will be offended, but I KNOW both of you wish there was more, particularly Lee. I now know for some reason you are trying to fight it though."
"Fuck, I hate you Yanks, wanna come outside!?"
"Only for a hug, nothing more ok?" Lee came back and wondered what the laughing was all about.
"Paul just wondered if a guy as small as you had a 4 inch cock."
"You did tell him its 10 inches didn't you?" Without thinking as Tommy sometimes did, said.
They said goodbye to their new friend and got the last lorry back to camp. There was quite a long walk through the lines of billets before they got to theirs.
"Do I what?"
"Wish I had a 10 inch cock?"
"I could not care less what you got, but I know what size you are, I have seen it enough times now."
"And you like what you see?"
"Shut up homo hater. Unless all that shit you said when you first came to the billet was all crap, it's about time you came clean. You know about me, it's about time I knew about you. We are a team remember." There was silence until they were a short distance from their billet. Lee stopped and Tommy had to stop as well.
"I am homo and have known it for a couple of years, my mate showed me I was when he came to stay a few times. All we did was wank because we were horny, but when I tried to kiss him he would not even wank me off anymore. He said only homo's kissed and we became ex mates. That's the only thing I have ever done with a bloke and never met anyone I wanted to do it with anyway, until I met you." Tommy was stuck for words, but thought about what Paul had said to him.
"So all that gobbing off was to cover up?"
"In a nut shell, yes."
"Well, put your nuts in a shell and keep them there, it's late we have to get to bed." Lee as always had the last word, it was his turn to say.
"I wish!" And Tommy thought about what Paul had said again. He was glad he had met him.
At exactly 21 30 on Monday, twelve of them stood outside on the parade ground and then marched to a hut near the main gate and told to go in.
"Right listen up. All of you strip to your pants and fold everything up and come back here." They did as instructed and for once neither Tommy nor Lee took any notice of the lovely guy standing next to him. Lee was feeling sick anyway and wished he was not there.
"There is a rack of clothes there," he pointed at it. "It's full of German uniforms, each of you in turn go to the rack and find your size and get into it." Half hour later they stood in line looking very German and not at all happy. Lee could not find one that was small enough and had to settle for a uniform two sizes too big. He looked comical and at least gave them all something to laugh at, but not Tommy, he knew it must be a pain for Lee.
"Right, from here you are going to the cook house where you will be given a meal and my advice is to eat as much as you can. You will only have half an hour. You will be picked up and taken on a ride to somewhere in England." The Sergeant allowed himself a laugh. "When you reach you’re dropping off point you will get off and you will make your way back here and report to the guard room when you do. They have been told to expect you, so you should not get shot. How you get back is up to you, but you will know what this is all about and so I will not bother telling you. The first team back will get a 48 hour pass, the last, a day cleaning shit houses. Line up outside." (The Army DID tend to have very clean "shit houses!")
"I can’t eat Tommy, I feel like crap."
"Get something down Lee with this gear on we are not going to be very welcome in any café are we."
They boarded the truck and tried to get comfortable. Tommy did not have his watch so he would have to guess the time, but more important the direction they were going in. They were blacked out and could not see out.
"Don't say fuck all Lee I need to concentrate."
The journey went on and on and Tommy knew they were on side roads because of the twists and turns that kept coming, but he was sure there were more right hand turns then left. They were being taken in a big circle, he was sure of it. Almost as soon as he thought that the truck was turned onto a dirt track and the thing bounced all over the place at no more than 5mph. Tommy knew it would not be long, but knew there was a big problem as soon as they got off, it was pouring with rain.
"Tommy, I’m going to be sick!"
"Hang on Lee, we will be off soon. Don't talk."
When it slowed to take a very sharp turn he prayed they would stop soon. Lee was hoping they would for completely different reasons, his meal was about to come back up. Just two minutes after the sharp bend the lorry stopped. They were there, where ever "there" was.
"Just stay with me Lee and do as I say ok?"
"Ok Tommy, but I still feel like shit. I'm going to throw up soon anyway and need to get out."
"We have arrived you lucky people." They all scrambled out and one good thing was their eyes were already accustomed to the dark. Tommy looked around him and knew where that corner was and also noted that it would take time for the lorry to turn round assuming of course it was not going on. He looked in that direction and realised they had come to a dead end, the lorry would have to be turned round.
"Right, listen out, you will all go to the bottom of the field when I say and then split up with your team mate. NOBODY goes with anyone else understood?" Tommy looked down the field and thought they would only be in sight for half of it. His plan was complete, all he had to do was drag Lee with him.
"Stay close to me and do as your told ok?" He whispered to Lee. Lee threw up and the Sergeant saw it.
"I often throw up when i'm excited as well Thompson! Right, fuck off all of you!" It was bucketing down and every one of them were already wet through.
Tommy grabbed hold of Lee and ran as fast as he could drag him, the poor lad did not have a clue what the hell was going on.
Half way down the field and having put distance from the others he changed course and again pulled Lee towards the last corner the lorry had gone round. He stopped and could hear the engine revving and was sure they were still turning round.
"Come on Lee, we are going to get back on the lorry." All Lee could do was go where Tommy pulled him.
They arrived at the bend and Tommy tried to judge where the truck would be at its slowest to get round it. They would have to stay hidden until it had almost past them then get to the back and hope the canvas flap was not too tight for him to get it free for them to have space to get in.
It arrived and when almost past them Tommy told Lee to stay with him. He got to the back and swore. It was too secure. All he could do was struggle with the cord which by now was wet and therefore even tighter. The lorry was now half way round the bend, but at last Tommy managed to loosen the cord and got a couple of feet of it free. He jumped on the back and then manage to climb into the truck. Lee was about six feet away running after the truck, but slowing up and at any moment the lorry would be clear of the bend.
"COME ON LEE! RUN!" Tommy shouted as loud as he could without telling the whole world they were there. By now Tommy was thinking he would have to get out again as Lee was struggling.
Lee knew he was running out of steam, but knew he had to get on board and all he had left was his own fitness that would get him to Tommy's out stretched arm. He put everything he had left and just managed to get his arm to Tommy's. Tommy grabbed his arm and lifted Lee off the ground and got him through the narrow gap in the flap. They were on board, but Lee was in trouble.
One of the requirements when on these trips was a number of blankets had to be carried and this was a God send for both of them. Tommy told Lee to strip off and showed him how by getting naked himself while hanging on for dear life as they were being thrown all over the place. They were wet through and by the feel of him Lee was running a high temperature and very hot. Lee just did as he was told and with Tommy's help got naked himself. Tommy left him like that as he got blankets and laid two still folded on the floor and sat Lee on them. He then got two more, spread them out and wrapped them round their bodies. Lee was shivering, but boiling at the same time. Tommy was now very worried.
"Look Lee I don't think we are that far from camp. They have taken us on "B" roads and tracks and my guess is we will soon be on "A" roads. I'm sure we went north but after an hour we seemed to be going in all sorts of directions, but my guess is they were turning round in a wide circle towards camp. Come on mate it won’t be long and I can get you to sick bay. Lee was going in and out of consciousness.
"Hang on Lee we will be back soon. Don't worry every things ok." Even Tommy did not believe that, but Lee did not hear him anyway.
At last they pulled onto a main road and Tommy knew he was right and was sure this would not take long. That's what he was praying for anyway. He was now really frightened for Lee. Fuck, why NOW?"
He spent the whole time talking to Lee trying to encourage him to stay positive. As he spoke he became aware for the first time that they were naked and with him sitting behind Lee with his arms around his body this was the first time like this since William had been there. Despite his worry about Lee he could not help love the feel of the body he had his arms around.
Lee came too and spoke. "Fucking hell Tommy I..." then fell back unconscious. He drifted in and out and remain as hot as ever or maybe even hotter? Tommy was not sure, but thought he had better open the blankets otherwise Lee would combust! It was a good move. Tommy told himself if they were not back within 15 minutes he would bang on the cab and tell them that Lee was in a bad way and needed either to get back to camp or a hospital.
As if on script the truck slowed and Tommy knew they were back, it had only taken three quarters of an hour and guessed they had been put off no more than 5 miles away from camp. "Cleaver shits." He thought. Lee was still out of it so he did not have to tell him to be quiet and just sat there listening to the Sergeant and the driver go off.
"Bet those cunts don't know how near they are to us Freddy!" They went off, "bet two of them do, well one does!"
It was impossible to get Lee dressed, he was a dead weight. So his only choice was to wrap him in a blanket and carry him to sick bay. That of course was on the other side of camp, it would be. So, with Lee over his shoulder wrapped in a blanket looking like a corpse and Tommy in a German uniform it looked like a scene from a Zombie "B" movie. Luck was on Tommy's side when a military police jeep pulled up and the MP took them the rest of the way. Sergeant Brown of the Military Police was great and knocked up the sleeping medic on duty. He was not best pleased until he saw Sgt. Brown.
"Get this lad inside and call the M.O. NOW!" The orderly shot off and rang the duty Medical Officer. Tommy still holding Lee put him on a bed and waited for the guy to come back. When he did he told Tommy to go back to his billet.
"No, I’m not leaving him."
"Why not, you suddenly a doctor now?"
"No, we are a team and we have to stay together. I'm not going anywhere." The orderly shrugged. "Your choice, but he is going to be here some time mate."
"Fine by me." He left Lee and went into the waiting room where Sgt. Brown was.
"You on "teams" then Private? Sergeant Brown asked.
"Yes Sarge, just got back from the night walk."
"So I see, the Jerry uniform gave me a clue. You did well to get back so soon. It normally takes them a day or more to get back." Tommy told him how they did and impressed the Sergeant.
"Bloody hell you crafty bugger. Well done lad, well fucking done!"
Sergeant Brown stayed with Tommy. Tommy was lucky that it was Brown who came along, most MP's were out of the same place called "Cuntsville" and very unpopular with the rest of the military.
"Right young man, you have done well to get Thompson back here when you did, if you hadn't he could have been in serious trouble. He has pneumonia and will be out of action for a couple of weeks. It is not as serious as it could be, but only because you got him here so soon."
"It was not so much me sir as an idea of mine. I planned what we would do long before I realised Lee was sick." Sergeant Brown told the MO what Tommy had done and someone else was impressed.
"Ok, you might as well go now Torrent, Thompson will be fine." Once again Tommy had to explain.
"I can’t leave him sir, that's our orders, besides I don't want too."
"What if I release you of those orders?"
"Only "Smif…" Col. Smithers can sir." That wasn't exactly true, but Tommy really did not want to leave Lee.
"Ok Torrent, go find a bed and get some shut eye. Nice uniform by the way and you need to get out of it, it's wet through!"
Sgt Brown promised Tommy he would book both he and Lee in at the time he picked them up and have someone to get their uniforms.
"You just got yourselves a 48 hour pass son. Good for you."
It soon got round the Company what had happened and even Col. Smithers almost smiled. He went to the sick bay to look at Lee and talk to Tommy.
"So you cheating bugger, when did you come up with that idea?"
"As soon as we were told what was happening sir. I like walking, but prefer not to be in Nazi shit."
"Ok and I suppose I had better say well done, but you had better not try that on again understand?"
"I will try very hard sir." Col. Smithers liked this private, not that he would be one for much longer if he passed the course on Salisbury Plain. He told Tommy he was relieved of the "team" until Lee was discharged and then a big surprise.
"You have both got a 48 hour pass, but I am sending you home for a week's leave as soon as Thompson is discharged." Col. Smithers could have no idea there were no homes to go to.
Tommy went to see Lee before he left the sick bay the following morning. He was still fast asleep and Tommy stood there looking down at the smallest soldier in the British Army and once again thought about what Paul had said to him in the pub. He went to his billet and wrote to Lord Hunter Morton.
Tommy held his breath as he opened the letter from his Lordship and smiled at what was written, "I will be delighted to have you stay Tommy and your friend. My word the Army giving you a whole week? Has the war finished then? I will have Jefferies meet you at the station." Tommy read and reread it many times, not just the content, but the ending. He signed in his own name, Edward. In his other two letters it had been EHM.
"Now behave and don't let me down. Always call his Lordship, "My Lord" or "Your Lordship," DONT fucking swear and eat off the fork not the blade of the knife. Got it?"
"Yes Tommy, got it. What do I call you then? Your Cuntship?"
"Yes your Cuntship."
"REALLY? Your Cuntship?"
"How simply fascinating your Cuntship."
"Would your Cuntship like to suck my dick, again?"
"How's that Tommy, good enough?" Tommy could not say anything he was creased up. They were back on "team" and were pleased to be there. Tommy had been lost for the two weeks Lee was in sick bay.
They were sitting on the grass not far from their billet having a break from the chore they had been assigned, sweeping the paths leading to the billets. War is SO fucking boring at times.
"I have never sucked your dick, so why say "again?"
"I know you haven't, but you know I would not stop you either. Tommy you have William in your head still and I don't have a problem that you are still in love with him. You two were in love and I can only guess at what you are going through since he died. I have never been in love so I don't have a clue what it's like, but i'm going to say one thing Tommy. All I am trying to do is not for you to think all I want is sex with you. I would never do that, but what I want is IF you want us to get more serious I am prepared to wait until you sort your head out and see me for what I am and not just a replacement. I will NEVER try to do anything with you, or us until you are ready and if nothing happens? That's because it was not meant to be in the first place." For Lee that was a full blown speech and Tommy loved to hear it.
"Thanks Lee. Maybe what's holding me back is that William and my whole family were killed because of this fucking war and if the same happened to you? I fucking well know I could not coup with another loss. I know it Lee." Lee was spot on again of course and cheered and Tommy up.
"Yes your Cuntship!"