A Trip To Suddene
by David Heulfryn


The morning air was crisp and made James feel alive with each breath. He was walking towards Max’s house, having got off the first bus from Suddene.

As he turned to walk up the driveway, James saw the familiar figure of a young man sitting on the doorstep.

“You’re early,” James said to Neil, “haven’t you knocked?”

“No, I didn’t want to wake them. Max’s Dad never seems happy when I knock.”

James chuckled, “It’s not just you. He’s not exactly friendly when I knock this early on a Saturday.” James paused. “How are you feeling after…”

“Much better, thanks. It’s been two weeks, and most of the bruising has gone. And as you can see, I can sit down comfortably now.” Neil stood and brushed any dirt that may have stuck to the seat of his trousers.

“How’s school been? Have you been teased much?”

“Not at all. They all know it happens here; it could be them next time. But Stu and Kev have been weird around me ever since. I think it was humiliating for them, too, after what The Punisher made them do. It was the Punisher’s apprentice, but The Punisher was at the side watching.”

“Why on earth would your friends be ashamed?”

Neil coughed, “I’d rather not say.”

“No probs, Mate.” James gave Neil a friendly tap on his upper arm. It was a gesture of friendship, or at least showing that he was no longer hostile to him, that made him smile.

“Are you going to knock?” Neil asked. “I’ll wait behind you. Max’s Dad would welcome you more than me.”

“No need.” James grinned and fished a key out of his pocket. “Max gave me a key.” James quietly unlocked the door and stepped inside.

Neil looked up the stairs and went into the living room. James sensed something was wrong and followed him.

“Is everything alright?” James sat down on the sofa next to Neil, who remained silent. “How do you feel about today?”

“Shit scared!” Neil forced a laugh. “My guts are churning. I got no sleep last night, so I’m here so early. I’m just so anxious. My mind kept going through every possible scenario. What if he doesn’t turn up? What if he hates me?”

James placed a hand on Neil’s leg to stop him from running away with his thoughts.

“Did your mind go through the good scenarios? What if he’s pleased to see you? What if he’s proud of you?”

“No.” Neil sniffed, holding back a tear.

“Look, Neil. He wouldn’t have agreed to meet if he didn’t want to see you. He must know what courage it took to get in touch.”

“Suppose,” Neil mumbled.

“It’s going to be fine, Neil.”

Neil leant against James, resting his head on his shoulder. James wrapped his arm around the nervous boy and held him. Neil felt vulnerable, and James was making him feel safe.

Upstairs, they heard the toilet flush. Neil sat up, and James removed his arm.

They went to the foot of the stairs and saw Owen walk back to his bedroom. He was naked as usual, and his cock was half hard.

James nudged Neil with his elbow, “Max takes after his Dad, you know.”

“You horny bastard,” Neil said louder than he hoped.

“Who’s there!” A booming voice came from above, and Owen emerged to the top of the stairs, looking down at the two boys. “How did you two get in?” He seemed unhappy.

“M… Max gave me a key.” James suddenly felt nervous.

“Did he now? I’ll have to have words with that boy.”

“Please don’t be mad, Mr Fletcher. He just doesn’t want me to wake you up in the morning. He knows you need a lie-in on Saturdays.”

Owen smiled. “Just be quiet, boys. I’m going back to bed.” He absent-mindedly gave his cock a tug and disappeared back into his bedroom to snuggle up to Lily.

“I’m going up to see Max,” James told Neil.

“I’ll wait down here,” Neil mumbled and slinked away.

For a moment, James felt guilty leaving Neil alone. But he wanted to see Max; he’d not seen him all week.

James crept into Max’s bedroom and wasn’t surprised to see Finn sleeping in Max’s bed. Max was spooning his brother, and both looked serene in their sleep. He hated waking them up, so he sat on Finn’s bed and watched. James pulled back the curtain a few inches to allow more light into the room so he could see their faces better. He was disturbed by Neil creeping into the room.

Neil sat next to James and, along with James, looked at the brothers. “They look so cute,” Neil whispered.

James chuckled and covered his mouth so he wouldn’t disturb the brothers. “Cute!” James smiled at Neil, “Two months ago, you would never have used that word, let alone used it to describe Max.” James pulled Neil closer to him in a hug.

“Gerroff!” Neil squirmed and blushed.

“You’ve changed, Neil,” James commented.

“I know. And it’s scary. And today, I feel more vulnerable than I have in my entire life.”

“If you’re not scared of losing something, then you don’t deserve to have it. I feel that way about Max. Not a day goes by without me thinking what I’d do if I lost him, and it makes me appreciate him more. Even his moods. He is so cute when he’s in a grumpy mood.”

“I think most of that was because of me.” Neil sounded apologetic.

“That was the old you. That punishment changed you.”

“It didn’t.” Neil looked James in the eyes. “The punishment was what I deserved. It was Max who changed me. It took me so long to realise he was trying to help me despite what I did to him.”

“He’s forgiven you, you know,” James said.

“I know, but his Mum and Dad haven’t. Especially his Mum.”

“That’s mothers for you. They get very defensive and want to protect their little chicks. She’ll come round eventually.”

Neil and James jumped as they heard a loud knocking on the door. Neil shot up and ran downstairs, “I’ll get it.” He called out to stop Owen from getting up again. Neil could tell who it was from the blurred ginger head shimmering through the tiny pane of frosted glass at the top of the door.

“They’re still asleep,” Neil said to Adam as he opened the door. “James and I are in their room.”

“How are you feeling?” Adam asked.

“Fine. But I’ll be crapping myself later. I’ll be so nervous.”

“It’ll be fine.” Adam smiled, and they went back upstairs.

The three boys sat on Finn’s bed, looking at the brothers.

“Did you order three sexy boys to be delivered this morning, Min?” Max whispered in his brother’s ear.

“No, I only ordered a cute ginger boy. The other two must be for you.”

“As long as they don’t mind sharing me,” Max whispered.

“Shut up, you pair of wise-asses and get up.” James chuckled.

Finn exaggeratedly wiggled his arse. “Max is already up.”

“Oy, Finn! Leave that alone. It’s mine.” James laughed.

“I’m allowed to tease him. He’s my brother. Besides, I have to listen to him whine about missing you all week.”

Max slapped Finn on his bare shoulder. “I don’t whine!”

“Ouch! Finn yelped.

“Pack it in, you two.” Adam sounded serious. “Get up and get ready. We have a busy day ahead and must be on the bus at ten. But we’ve got to walk to the bus stop first, so we need to leave at nine-thirty at the latest.”

Finn groaned and got out of bed. He stood in front of the three boys, naked. His cock as hard as Max’s is in the morning. He grabbed Adam by the hand and pulled him to his feet. “Come and talk to me while I shower.”

“I don’t think he’ll be saying much with that thing in his mouth.” Max laughed.

“Don’t be disgusting, Max,” Finn called back.

Five boys left the house; four were excited, but one was nervous. Adam and Finn took the lead and walked at a fast pace, leaving the other three behind. Neil was nervous and walked with Max, with James a few metres in front.

Max held Neil’s hand and sometimes had to pull him along as he tended to be anxiously sluggish. Neil stayed silent most of the way and listened to the others’ excited chatter. On the bus, Max sat with Neil.

“How do you want to do this?” Max asked. “We could wait down the road or find another coffee shop to wait in?”

“I didn’t expect you all to come with me.” Neil sighed. “I’d not really thought about it.”

“Sorry, Neil. Didn’t you want us with you to help?”

“No. Yes. I didn’t think you’d all come. I always thought I’d have to do this alone.”

Max surreptitiously took Neil’s hand and squeezed. They were leaving Cockaigne and had to be discreet and not draw attention to themselves.

“I’m glad you’re with me, Max.”

Max smiled and let go of Neil’s hand. “We’ll all take our cue from you.”

“I very rarely get out of Cockaigne,” Neil admitted. “I know the rest of the world is different, and we can’t just get naked when we feel like it.”

“It’s not so bad once you get used to it. And it’s not really that different.” Max smiled.

“Mum always told me some awful stories about it. She would scare me when I was younger. According to her, Cockaigne was always the best place in the world.”

“Well, different doesn’t mean worse.”

The bus entered the centre of Suddene and pulled into the bus station. Finn and Adam virtually had their faces against the window as they watched the small shops in the central bus station come into view.

“Look, you can get a burger at the bus station.” Adam grinned.

Finn jabbed his boyfriend in the ribs. “You can. But they aren’t the best. They taste like rubber.”

Adam turned his head and kissed Finn. “Then you can show me the best place to grab a burger.”

Some lads were sitting on the steel benches outside the burger place. They saw Finn and Adam kiss and started jeering and shouting obscenities at the kissing boys. Finn heard them, showed them the middle finger and kissed Adam again. This time passionately and with tongues.

“Pack it in, Finn!” Max broke the boys apart. “You’re only going to wind them up.”

Finn looked disapproving at Max, “There is nothing wrong with kissing your boyfriend in public. Now if I were sucking his cock, that would be a different.”

“Don’t be crude, Finn.” Adam smiled.

The passengers filed off the bus. As the five boys got off, they heard verbal abuse from the local boys.

“Fuck off back to that perverted town, you fucking queers.” The ringleader approached.

Max could see the anger rising on Neil’s face. “Ignore them.” Max was almost dragging him away from a confrontation with the boys.

“Looks like your boyfriend is up for a fight.” The ringleader grinned.

“Shut it, you fucking bastard!” Neil was about to face the teenager, but Max dragged him away.

“Stop it, Neil. They’re not worth it, and this isn’t you anymore.”

“Those fuckers wouldn’t last ten minutes in Cockaigne,” Neil said as he walked away. The sound of the laughing from the group of lads continued to taunt him.

They arrived at the coffee shop an hour early.

“I’ve been thinking,” Neil spoke up. “I want to do this alone.” He looked apologetically at Max and the others. “I don’t want to turn up to meet my Dad with all of you. He might feel overwhelmed.”

“What do you want us to do, Neil? We could wait down the road.” Max suggested.

“No, I want you all waiting in the coffee shop. You guys go in, and I’ll wait. If he turns up, text me, and I’ll come.”

“Of course, he’ll come,” Max said.

“I’m starving,” Finn butted in, “We’ll go in and get something to eat while you two decide what’s going on.”

“You go ahead.” Max looked at Finn and James. “I’ll talk to Neil for a bit and meet you in there.”

Neil found an unoccupied bench and sat down, his right leg jiggling with nerves. Max joined him.

“I can’t imagine what you must be feeling, Neil. There must be so many things whirling around your head.” Max softly said.

“There is. I just hate the waiting. I want it to be over with. If my Mum found out what I was doing, she would kill me. She hates my Dad.” Neil paused a moment. “I’m scared, Max. I could have my Dad back in an hour, or my life could fall apart.”

“I think you’ll get your Dad back. It may not be perfect, and you may have to keep it secret from your Mum, but you will have a great time getting to know him again.”

Neil sniffed. He was determined not to cry. He had to be strong and not the gibbering wreck he felt. He reached over and briefly held Max’s hand, giving it a light squeeze. “Thanks, Max. I’m glad you’re here. But I need some time by myself. Work out what I’m going to say.”

“Okay, Neil. I’ll join the others and wait. I’ll text you when he arrives. He shouldn’t be hard to spot as he’ll be alone.”

“Thanks, Max,” Neil said again.

Max laughed, “Stop thanking me. I want to do this and help you. The others do, too. Although I suspect Finn is just excited to go on a field trip outside the town.”

“His constant positivity can be a little annoying,” Neil confessed.

Max bumped shoulders with Neil, “And infectious.”

Neil smiled, “Yes, I wish I could be more like Finn. He seems to see the positive in everything.”

“He does tend to. But he is also very sensitive. It’s why I love him so much. He brings the best out of me. I wouldn’t be who I am without Finn. And I see he’s had some effect on you.”

“He has. He could get away with anything with just his cheeky smile.”

“Trust me, it doesn’t always work. I think Mum is becoming immune from his charms.” Max took a deep breath, “I’ll leave you alone now. If you want me, text me, and I’ll come back.”

“Thanks, Max.” Neil turned to smile at him.

Max watched as a lone man entered the coffee shop. He pulled out his mobile phone and wrote, ‘He’s arrived’. Max didn’t send it yet. He waited and watched the man go to the counter and get a drink. He tried to listen but could not hear properly. The man found a table and sat down, facing the door.

The man looked nervous. Max decided that the man was Neil’s father and sent the text message to Neil.

Max was nervous for Neil as he waited. He looked through the window and saw him walking towards the coffee shop.

The man stood as Neil opened the door. For an instant, both of them were motionless. Then the man went over and hugged Neil.

“Hello, Dad,” Neil said as they held each other tightly.

“Come and sit down.” They sat opposite each other. “I’ve missed you so much, Neil.”

“I’ve missed you, too, Dad.”

Max could overhear their conversation and wiped away a tear. He was so glad things were going well.

“You seem to have some very good friends willing to support you.” He nodded his head to the table of four boys.

“How could you tell?” Neil asked.

“This is not the sort of place teenage boys would choose to meet. Plus, a couple of them kept looking over at me. I’m glad you have friends that care about you.”

Neil wiped away a tear, “Friends. I suppose they are my friends. I couldn’t ask for better friends.”


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