15th February 2002: This is quite an underrated story which is a pity because it’s significant. The boy from ‘Student Union’ returns and it turns out his name is Euan. Sebastian acts like he has a bit of a crush on him – he gets flustered in his presence and can’t articulate how he feels. I had plans to bring Euan back and develop things further between him and his ‘straight’ admirer but the story wasn’t popular and I figured maybe I made him too cutesy to become a regular character.

A Different Story

It had started while I was sitting on Helen’s bed, waiting for her get ready to go out to a party. She’d been talking about her legs having cellulite on them and I’d been grunting and nodding at appropriate intervals as she’d delivered her standard monologue on her imagined weight problem. About dimples in her thighs and of rolls of fat that simply weren’t there. At one point, despite my weariness with the circular dialogue she seemed to be having with herself about her legs, I’d tried to comfort her by muttering, “Come on, Hel, they’re not that bad.”

Well, it turned out that that had not been the best thing to say. Helen was usually pretty laid-back, but on comments pertaining to her weight she was analytical to an almost obsessive extent. A middle-aged guy in a sandwich shop once joked that she looked ‘blooming’ and she spent the best part of a weekend discussing it with anyone who’d listen, looking the word up in various dictionaries and eventually ringing her mother about it. So the “not that bad” comment did not go down well.

“Oh, that’s just great,” she hissed through the mirror at me as she painted mascara onto her eyelashes. “That’s just fucking great. My own fucking boyfriend says I’m ‘not that bad’. If that’s supposed to be a compliment, then whoopie-fucking-do.”

“No I meant -” I was drowning. Struggling to surface.

“What? Not as bad as who? Vanessa Feltz? Dawn fucking French?”

“No I just meant – well, you know – you’re not as bad as you think you are…”

“But still not good, huh? Still pretty fucking disgustingly ugly, but at least not as bad as I think I am…”

“No I didn’t mean that, Hel. Anyway, fat isn’t ‘disgustingly ugly’. You know I don’t think that.”

She turned around to glare directly at me. Her face was a snarl. “What?”

“I don’t think fat is disgusting.”

“You cheeky bastard. You are so fucking out of order.”

I realised how she’d interpreted what I’d said. “No I wasn’t referring to your fat… I just meant -”

She got up and walked over to her wardrobe. “So you’re saying I’ve got fat… rolls of fucking fat…”

This went on throughout most of the walk to the party. It kept dying down and then she kept raising another weight-related comment I’d made and beginning an analysis of that. Since most of the time I couldn’t remember the precise wording of what I’d said as well as she seemed to be able to, my attempts to defend myself were generally self-condemning.

When we got to the party, pulsating with noise and audible from three streets away, she disappeared into the crowd, leaving me on my own. The group whose house the party was in were mainly her friends, so I found that I didn’t know very many people. I just stood around, feeling like a prick, alternating between checking out some of the girls who had turned up and contemplating getting out of there and walking home.

Occasionally, Helen would drift into view through the loud throngs of hot bodies. She seemed to be trying to make me feel jealous with puerile displays of affection towards guys she hardly knew. I felt more pissed off that she was trying to annoy me in such a childish and obvious way than by the thought of her being successful with any of them.

I guess I was on my fourth can of beer when this guy I vaguely knew from the gym came over and started trying to be friendly. We raised our voices over the noise of the music and the drone of peoples’ voices to exchange a few lines of uncomfortable smalltalk. I managed to get his name wrong twice in quick succession. Then he started talking about who he knew at the party: the conversation was, to say the least, rather one-sided.

While the guy prattled on, I noticed that another guy over the other side of the room kept looking at me. He turned away quickly when I looked at him, but he was so persistent in peering over, that it didn’t take long for me to see his face. We made eye contact and he raised his eyebrows like I would know him. His face was definitely familiar but I couldn’t think how. He was tall and had dark auburn hair with a long floppy fringe which he kept brushing out of his eyes. His face was warm and friendly, his features soft and delicate, almost feminine.

The gym guy started droning on about how Laura, his girlfriend, knew someone who was a regular in “Casualty.” I made sounds to suggest I was interested while trying to work out how I knew the other guy’s face.

I guess the gym guy noticed that I kept looking over at the other guy because he feigned a puzzled look and said, “Do you know Euan?”

“Sorry. I, ah – actually, I dunno. He seems to know me, but I can’t think how I might know him. Obviously you know him…?”

The gym guy smiled and said, “Yeah, his boyfriend’s a friend of Laura’s.”

Automatically, I corrected him. “His girlfriend, you mean.”

“No his boyfriend. Darren. He’s doing the same course as Laura.”

“Oh yeah. Right.” I felt embarrassingly politically incorrect for having assumed that the guy was heterosexual.

The gym guy continued. “Anyway, this guy Frank told Laura that there’s an opening coming up on ‘Robot Wars.’ He’d heard about it from some producer he knows at the BBC. God I love that programme. That’s exactly the break I need…”

I saw Euan leave the room at the same moment that it dawned on me how I knew him. He’d been cottaging in the toilets in the student union a couple of months earlier. He’d made a pass at me and, despite my preference for girls, my curiosity had got the better of me and I’d allowed him to come into my cubicle. We’d messed around a bit together and – to cut a long story short – he’d bent over the toilet and I’d fucked him. Curiosity pretty much satisfied.

The gym guy kept droning on. At one point he paused as if expecting a response so I said, “Really?”

He nodded enthusiastically. “Yeah. The Assistant Floor Manager’s office is being completely restructured.”

“Nice one. Sorry. Is there a bathroom here?”

Like there wouldn’t be. Like they’d have to go outside and piss in the street.

“Yeah. Up the stairs, third door on the right.”

I left him and navigated my way through all the people to get out of the room. Then I went upstairs. More groups of people seemed to be hanging around at the top of the stairs and on the landing and I had to push past them. A few people were waiting to use the bathroom and Euan was at the back of the queue. I stood behind him, the noise from below still loud and oppressive.

At first he didn’t realise I’d followed him, or if he did he was being coy about it. After a few seconds, I said, “How’re you doing?”

He turned around, recognised me and smiled. His eyes, a striking green colour, were alight with amusement.

He shrugged. “Not bad. You know…” He looked at me intently: eye-to-eye like an interviewer. His face turned more serious. “And how are you?”

I said, “I’m okay, I guess.”

He said, “I don’t think we ever exchanged names.” He pronunciation of vowels was subtly unusual: perhaps he was Northern or Irish.

“I’m Sebastian. Seb.”

“I’m Euan.”

I nodded. I didn’t let him know that I already knew. I thought he might think I’d been deliberately finding out stuff about him.

There was a pause of a couple of seconds and then he asked, smirking, “Are you still straight? Or did I convert you?”

The bathroom door opened and some guy came out with the sounds of the flushing toilet behind him. A girl went in, locked the door and the queue shuffled forwards.

I said, “You had an impact. I thought about – you know – about what we did.”

He smiled. His eyes twinkled. He said, “Well that’s mutual then.”

I couldn’t think of anything to say so I smiled back. Was I chatting this guy up? Were we chatting each other up?

He went on, lowering his voice, “I’d never – you know – been with a straight guy before. There’s a lot of pressure. I worried I might have – well – put you off other guys for life.”

I laughed. “No. You were… let’s just say, I’ve thought about it a lot.”

He looked down, grinning. Then he looked back up at me. He licked his bottom lip almost imperceptibly with his tongue. His face became more serious. “And did you enjoy thinking about it?”

I looked downwards as he had done. I looked at the front of his red and white checked shirt and then further down to the front of his jeans. A slight bulge where his cock was. I wondered if it was mine for the taking; wondered if I really wanted it if it was.

I looked back up at his face; into his eyes. They were such a beautiful shade of green, their vitality intensified by the paleness of his skin and the red shades of his hair. I said, “Yeah. But we just got started…”

He stared at me. I noticed that his chin had a very slight fuzz of stubble covering it. This was a male I was coming onto, I reminded myself. This was another guy; a guy who shaved just as I did; a guy who, for all his beauty and charm, was as male as I was. I felt a slight apprehension: was I leading this guy on; exciting and titillating him into expecting something that I would be unable or unwilling to deliver?

With his right hand, he brushed a lock of hair away from his eye. Then he whispered, “There’s a room in the attic we could go up to. If you want to…”

I swallowed. This was getting serious. I had to say yes or no. I’d flirted with him and now it was payback time.

I looked at his mouth. His lips were pink and wet. I wondered what it would be like to kiss him. I’d thought about kissing other guys before and had always been reassured by the lack of interest it held for me. This time the prospect seemed more intriguing. I was still uncertain about how far I wanted things to develop between the two of us, but I couldn’t deny that this guy was attractive. I said, “Yeah. Okay.”

He smiled and, gesturing me to follow him, walked down the corridor, past the bathroom door and then turned to ascend a narrow set of stairs leading up to the attic. Again I felt a wave of apprehension: if I went after him I’d be committing myself to going through with something I wasn’t sure about. Exploiting an opportunity in a public toilet was one thing and could be accepted as succumbing to a temptation that most straight have experienced at one time or other: but a repeat performance, calculatingly pursued on my part, presented a far greater psychological obstacle.

Euan was undeniably cute, but he was at the same time another guy with a same bits between his legs as I had. What would he expect from me? What would happen if I couldn’t bring myself to touch him? This was unknown territory and, just as at fifteen when I’d contemplated my first girlfriend stripped of clothes but armed with expectations, I was scared to venture into it.

I decided I would go after him and tell him that my girlfriend was downstairs and that, whatever her faults, I was straight and wanted to be with her tonight. I pushed past the queue of people waiting in the corridor and followed him up the stairs. There was a small landing at the top of them and a couple of doors leading from it. One of them was open and, from the light spilling into the room from the landing, I could see it was a bedroom. I walked in and switched the light on.

Euan was in the corner, trying to switch on a small lamp which was on the top of a chest of drawers. I watched him bend over the drawers, probably to try and see if it was plugged in at the wall. He was saying, “This is Phil’s room. He’s an ex of an ex. Sort of. He won’t mind us using his room.”

He looked so hot bending over the desk. I was going to say my piece but seeing him like that reminded me of him bending over the toilet and how much I had enjoyed fucking him like that. How different from straight sex it had felt; how the experience had kept recurring to me for days afterward.

He stood up and looked over at me. Smiling and brushing his long fringe out of his eyes, he said, “Fuck the lamp. I just thought it would be nicer.” His voice was quiet yet intense, his eyes compelling, and I felt myself once again being drawn towards, being seduced by, this member of my own sex.

“What about – ” My voice sounded unsteady. It cracked like I’d just awoken. I cleared my throat and started again. “What about if we get caught?”

He walked towards me and put his hand on my shoulder. He squeezed gently. “No-one will come up here”.

He squeezed more tightly. His hand felt large and strong; totally different from anything I’d experienced with a girl. I whispered, “What about my girlfriend?”

He smiled and then rubbed his fingers through my hair. It felt good. “If she’s the girl you walked in with… she was pretty occupied chatting up my boyfriend last time I saw her…”

I smiled. He smiled more broadly.

Euan leaned forwards and I let him press his lips against mine. He kissed me gently – not trying to enter my mouth, just holding his lips against mine. Then he pulled back. He was still smiling.

He whispered, “You’re shivering, Sebastian.”

I laughed. A forced laugh. “I feel kind of nervous.”

He shook his head almost indiscernibly. “You didn’t in the toilets.”

“Yeah. But this is different. I dunno why – maybe cos I started it this time. I dunno.”

He nodded slowly and then locked his green eyes onto mine again. He asked, “Do you want to close the door?”

I looked at it and then back at him. I reminded myself about my speech but immediately dismissed it. It no longer said anything relevant.

I turned and closed the door of the room, blotting out the noise of people from below and leaving just the regular dull thudding rhythm, pulsing through the floor like a grotesque heartbeat.

As I turned to face him, he said, “I’d forgotten how cute your arse is.”

I smiled. I appreciated that he was trying to help me relax, but I still felt apprehensive about what we were heading towards.

He moved towards me and ran the back of his hand down the front of my shirt. He spoke quietly. “We don’t have to do anything if you don’t want to, Sebastian. We could just sit up here and talk.”

I reached around his hip and put my right hand on the small of his back, just above the waistband of his jeans. I rubbed my hand slowly along his spine, feeling the gentle curve of it sweeping upwards beneath his shirt. I was enjoying the sensation of being with another guy like this, in someone else’s space and with so many people almost literally outside of the door, but the implications about what it meant about me, about why I’d chosen to come up here, were too significant for me to easily dismiss.

I felt the urge to tell him that this was just a drunken grope at a party; something I’d be able to disregard as soon as it was over. I needed to convince him of that so that I could believe it too. I said, “I don’t want to just sit and talk. But this means nothing, okay. It’s just a quickie at a party…”

He put his arm around my shoulders, drawing me closer to him. We looked into each other’s eyes. He whispered, “Okay.”

I moved my hand back down to his arse and felt the firm roundness of one of his buttocks through the material of his jeans. I loved the feel of it but my mind was struggling to justify my enjoyment. I said, “I’m straight Euan. You know that.”

He moved nearer to me so that I could feel his breath against my cheek. He said, “Yeah. Okay.”

I reached around him with my other arm and held his other buttock in my left hand, kneading and massaging his arse with both hands, enjoying how different it felt to a girl’s. I kept thinking of his hole, tight and hot between his cheeks and between my hands. The hole that had tightened around my cock as I’d fucked him, the hole that I’d cum inside.

“Yeah. I’m straight,” I reaffirmed. “This means nothing to me.”

He smiled. “Straight guys like to try gay stuff too, Sebastian. I’m not judging you because of this.”

He was so close that I could feel his hard bulge against my own cock. Mine wasn’t hard: I was enjoying the feel of him being so near to me, enjoying his body and his excitement, but in my unsettled state, arousal would have been impossible.

I said, “I know. I just…” I pulled back from him, banging into the bedside table and knocking the alarm clock onto the floor. I was struggling to think of how we could continue this in a way that would make me feel more comfortable. In a way that I could justify in my own mind. After a moment, I continued, “Look – I just wanna quick fuck. Nothing romantic. I don’t want to kiss and stuff. That’d be too much.”

He kept smiling. Like this had been expected. He said, “Okay. Whatever you want…”

I felt frustrated that I couldn’t articulate what was going on inside my mind. Whenever I thought of some way I could explain myself, the idea of saying it seemed ridiculous: it sounded like the line from some cheap afternoon soap opera. People have sex at parties – I’d done it myself a few times with girls – but to do it with a guy, and at my own volition, was vastly different. No matter how I tried to rationalise it, the nagging remained in my mind.

I said, “I just want you to accept I’m straight from the outset.”

He hesitated, no doubt choosing his words so as not to mess things up even more. After a few seconds, he replied, “If you say you’re straight, then of course I accept that. Your eyes, your mannerisms, your sensitivity – everything else about you is telling me a different story – but if you really believe this is meaningless to you, I’ll go with that.”

Before I could reply, he took out his wallet and pulled a condom from it. He handed me it and continued, “If you just want a fuck, you’d better put this on.” Then he undid his belt, unzipped his fly, and pulled his jeans down to his knees. I just stood there, staring at him, feeling kind of stunned.

He was wearing Hom boxer briefs with a white front and red and blue side panels. His cock was making an impressive mound inside of them: the front was sticking outwards like a pyramid. He pulled them down and it jumped upwards, hard and straight. It looked about seven inches long and was thick and smooth. His foreskin had partially rolled back to reveal the tip of his large, dark purple bell end. He glanced up at me staring at his cock and grinned, his eyes twinkling in the light from the overhead bulb.

He turned around and bent over the bed. Then, supporting himself with one hand, he reached behind himself with the other, and lifted the bottom of his shirt upwards to reveal his pale, almost hairless arse. His cheeks were slightly parted, like he was inviting me in. I felt an unexpected surge of excitement.

He said, matter-of-factly, “There’s lube in the drawer. He always keeps it there.”

His frank manner was surprising but also very appealing. He was being deliberately and provocatively crude, bending over in front of me to receive my cock into his backside, and I really liked it. Perhaps he was trying to shock me – to bring home to me the coarseness of my request for sex without emotion – but if that was his intention then it definitely misfired. I was still very aware of a voice of sobriety in mind telling me that this was wrong, but by now my cock was lengthening in my jeans: the idea of me having sex with this guy in such a cold and functional way, was compelling.

He turned his head to face me. He was still grinning. “Come on then, Sebastian. Fuck me.”

I reached for the drawer of the bedside table and found a tube of KY. I squirted some onto my finger and the tube made a farting sound. I smeared some of it onto my middle finger and then knelt down behind to Euan to work it into his arsehole.

I pushed my finger between his cheeks, about two-thirds of the way down where I thought his hole would be. He gasped and then laughed. “It’s colder than I expected!”

His arse cleft was hairy but the hair was smooth and wispy. It felt hot against my fingertip. I moved my finger downwards in his crack until I found the puckered, slightly coarser skin encircling his hole.

He turned to look at me again, his face more serious. He said, “I’ll do that if you want.”

I shook my head. “No, I’ll do it. I want to.”

I gently rubbed my wet finger around his anus, feeling the heat radiating from it and feeling the gentle beating of his pulse inside the tender skin around it. I kept drawing circles like that, not yet venturing into the bullseye: just going round and round his small, tight opening and feeling my cock throbbing inside my briefs as I anticipated the prospect of penetrating it.

Then I pushed the tip of my finger into him. Slowly at first, teasing him open, pushing into him enough to titillate him and then withdrawing. Easing the wet jelly into him, gently smearing it inside this intensely private area of him, and then pulling out. I could feel his tight ring of muscle responding to my game, trying to draw me in further, becoming impatient with my lightness of touch.

He whispered, “That feels good…”

I was getting immensely turned on playing with Euan’s arse like this: feeling his obvious pleasure at having it fingered just as a girl would if I was teasing her pussy. I kept reminding myself that this was a guy’s backside I was touching – a place I would have previously regarded as disgusting – but his pleasure encouraged me and intensified my own. I pushed my finger deeper into him and he gasped and pushed back against me, spearing his arse onto my hand. I felt his insides, seeming impossibly hot, and gently eased my finger in and out of him, smearing the wet gel onto the smooth skin inside him.

My movements were the same as those I’d have made inside a girl: gentle, coaxing and rhythmic. They seemed to have the same effect on Euan as they would on her: he writhed around, breathless with excitement, pushing himself further onto my finger until it was inside him as far as the knuckle.

I enjoyed seeing him like this and wondered if I would feel the same if it was his finger inside me. The times I’d experimented with fingering my own arse hadn’t been too successful: I thought that perhaps arse-fingering was like massage in that another person’s touch could do things that would otherwise be impossible.

He called out, “I think you’re gonna need more KY.”

I withdrew my finger and he gasped liked I’d hurt him.

I looked at the tube of KY lying on the floor but then had a better idea. An idea I’d had when I’d been with girls but which they had all been reluctant to let me pursue. An idea which, now that I was with another guy, seemed all the more natural and attractive.

I said, “Who needs KY?” Then I pushed my face into his arse, extending my tongue into his crack where his hole was. I heard him say, “Oh yeah,” as I pushed my tongue into his hole.

The sensation of being like this with him, my face pressed into the guy’s backside, was almost overwhelmingly erotic; the smell of his arse – the thick musky scent of his sweat and of his anus – was incredibly exciting; the feel of my tongue inside him and the unique taste of his hot opening almost unbearable in its intensity. I was panting inside his cleft, my nose, my tongue and my hole face consuming his arse. The thought of him as another male heightened my pleasure: the feel of him, the smells and tastes from him seemed almost familiar; I think if I had done this first with a girl it would have seemed more alien, less natural.

My tongue pushed into his hole, wet with my saliva, and I flicked it in and out of him, tasting him and feeling the heat from inside his body. I was overpowered by it – lost inside him, struggling to breathe but not wanting to pull back from him and lose the amazing rush I was getting from his arse. I became aware that his body was shaking in a rapid rhythm and then realised he was masturbating.

After probing his arse as much as I could, I had to withdraw for breath. The air in the room felt cold on my face as I panted and recovered. I looked at his arse in front of my face. The lower part was pink where the roughness of my stubble had rubbed against it. The inside of his cleft was wet with my saliva.

I thought: “I want to fuck this guy so much.”

I stood up and loosened my belt. Euan turned to look at me, still wanking himself but more slowly. He grinned and said, “Go for it.”

I grinned back. “Just try and stop me.”

I pulled down my flies and pushed my jeans down to the tops of my thighs. Then I pulled down my briefs and pushed them below my balls. My cock was hard and throbbing: curving upwards with my bell end looking red and sore from being confined inside my briefs for too long.

I reached for the condom and impatiently tore it from its sachet. I rolled it onto my cock quickly, feeling its cold sliminess quell my erection as it had so many times before. I masturbated myself back to full hardness and then moved forwards to penetrate Euan.

I said, “Push your arse up a bit. So it’s level with me.” His face was side-on to me, pressed into the duvet, and his eyes were closed.

He pushed his arse upwards and I grabbed him by the hips to pull it up further. Then I pushed my cock into his cleft, feeling the tip sliding around in the gully until it found its target. My cock is long – an inch or so longer than Euan’s – but it’s not too thick and the head is rounded so – I’ve been told – it’s pretty ideal for anal sex.

I pulled his hips towards me and pushed my cock into him. His arsehole gave in easily and I slid into him smoothly. He gasped, “Ah – yeah!”

I pushed in as far as I could go and he called out, “Fuck! Jesus!”

Then I slowly withdrew and pushed in again. His arse was tight and the pleasure of it squeezing my cock almost overpowering. I said, grimacing, “This might not last very long…”

He gasped, “Just fuck me, Sebastian…”

I withdrew and pushed again. Then again. And gradually I developed a slow, excruciatingly enjoyable, rhythm. His arse slurped on my cock like it was hungry for it. The sound was vulgar but intensified my pleasure. I started speeding up so I could hear more of it.

The smell of his arse was still thick in my nostrils and I could still taste him in my mouth. I felt my cock sliding in and out of his hole, wet with my saliva, and I pulled his hips towards me even more so that I could push myself fully into him. I looked down at the guy, bending over the bed to receive my cock, groaning with pleasure and beating his own cock off frantically.

Then I bent over him, feeling my orgasm nearing, pressing my chest into his back and wrapping my arms beneath him, holding his body while I fucked his arse as quickly as I could. My face, feeling hot and wet, was pressing into his shoulders and into the back of his neck. I was panting into the collar of his shirt, hearing the squelching of his arse as I hammered myself in and out of it.

He gasped, “Fucking hell. Ah. I’m so fucking close.”

I was dimly aware of another guy entering the room and walking over to the drawers to get something. I kept thrusting into Euan, making rapid strokes, driving the whole length of my cock in and out of him, I was aware that he looked over to the other guy and that the guy laughed and said something like, “I don’t want a damp patch on my duvet, Euan mate.”

I thought: “Jesus this is the guy whose room we’re in…”

But I was too close to stop. So, regardless of him rummaging in the drawers to find whatever he was looking for, I kept fucking Euan, bending over him and holding onto his chest through his shirt. I tried to get even faster, pumping his arse with as much of the length of my cock as I could, revelling in the pleasure I was getting from this other man’s arsehole. Euan was panting and gasping but it was hardly audible over the sounds from my cock slamming in and out of his saliva-moist arse.

I think the other guy stood up and just watched us. He might have said something. Maybe laughed. I don’t know.

I felt the sweat running down my back, under my shirt, and then heard Euan grunting and felt his body spasming. His arse tightened its grip on my cock, squeezing it in convulsions. I kept my arms around him, holding him tightly, while he orgasmed, still thrusting into him and feeling my own orgasm overtake me. I cried out, “Fuck!” as I felt my semen rushing through my cock and out into the condom. Then I involuntarily rose up, away from Euan’s back. Still clinging onto his hips, I pumped my semen into his arse, milking my cock with a faltering rhythm, jerking it in and out of him and gasping for breath.

The other guy must have left the room while I was recovering, still holding onto Euan’s hips and panting like a dog with my eyes closed.

Eventually, after thirty seconds or so, I pulled back from him, hearing the soft rasp of his arse as my cock withdrew from it.

I stood up and pulled off the condom. I pulled a few tissues from the box on the bedside table and wrapped the condom in them. Then I threw the ball I’d made into the wastebasket next to the desk.

Euan stood up and started pulling his boxers and trousers up.

I asked him, standing in front of him with my cock sticking out from my balls, “Who was that guy?”

He said, “That was Phil. He’s okay. He won’t go shouting about what we were doing…”

I pulled up my briefs, stuffing my still half-erect cock into them with difficulty.

Euan tidied himself up and then sat back down on the bed.

When I’d pulled up my trousers and fastened my belt, I walked over to the door. I gripped the handle. It felt cold and metallic.

Euan called out, “Wait…”

I turned to face him. He looked hurt: like he was upset at what we’d done; humiliated that he’d given himself to me on my terms.

I waited for him to speak.

After a few seconds he said, “Look… I – well – I’d like to give you my number.”

I turned the handle but then hesitated. His eyes were imploring.

I said, “Okay. But I don’t want to make any promises.”

He nodded. “If you wanna phone, phone. If not, I won’t be waiting…”

I said, “Okay. Sounds… cool.”

He stood up and walked over to the desk. There were some post-it notes and pen and he scribbled down his name and number on one of them.

He handed it to me and added, “I just want you to be able to call if you fancy a chat. A drink down the pub or something…”

I nodded. “Okay…”

Then he said, “Look. You may feel screwed up now… but -”

I interrupted him, pulling the door open: “I’d better go and find my girlfriend…”

He smiled weakly.

Then I left him and returned to the noise and the people.

Helen was in the kitchen, hanging onto some guy’s neck with both hands like she thought she was drowning. When she saw me she made a lunge at his face. Tried to kiss him. The guy pulled back. I think he was scared.

I walked up to them and smiled.

Helen looked at me with her face at an angle. She looked extremely pissed. She said, theatrically, “Ah, Mr Sebastian Wallace! Of Norwegian fucking descent.”

I smiled more broadly.

She turned back to the guy and said, “This guy… this fucking guy thinks he’s my boyfriend…”

Somebody pushed passed her and she fell into him even more. The guy looked terrified.

I said, “Helen, sweetheart. I think we’d better go.”

She looked at me. Her eyes were unsteady: one minute they were on me, the next they were waning to my left.

She said, “Fucking hell. My lord and master is beckoning…”

I smiled. “Yeah. That’s right. Come on, Hel. I think it’s time to go…”

I put my arm around her and the guy propelled her towards me. While I was helping her out of the kitchen, he disappeared. I think he made a run for it.

We staggered out of the party, Helen holding onto me for support.

When we got to the end of the road she said, “Do you love me, Seb?”

“I fuck you, don’t I?”

She laughed. Cackled like a fishwife. She already knew that joke.

Then we walked back to her house.


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