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Saturday, 6 June 2015


Picture from here.  Read the blog post. It's wise.

“Will you miss him a lot?” asked Eleanor.

“Yes, such a dear little boy he was, his voice piping and so intelligent and always seeing things he shouldn’t quite Continental really but so endearing I always did wonder what would happened to him so different so much more sensitive than his father though I loved him too but somehow it’s different with grandchildren you’ve learnt how to be a better parent if you know what I mean sometimes I do get muddled.”

“Quite.  I mean, not that you get muddled but that you learn.  After Bart killed himself, I wondered whether I would keep going.  I wanted to kill myself too, you know.”

“Oh, my dear!”  For once Lucasta was brief, her eyes fixed on the other woman’s face.

“Yes, it would have been such a waste.  But for a long time, I was so depressed.  And grieving.  And then your dear boy came to my door, quite by chance, if these things are by chance—I gave up on God after Bart died—but now … well, I wonder.”

“Oh, my dear, God is such a comfort to me I believe I will see Harold again though I haven’t worked out quite how the secretary and there was an actress too how they’ll fit in in Heaven you know.  When I asked Canon Green he was quite startled poor dear man and upset too like thingummy in the Bible my dear my mind just isn’t what it was but I do believe in God who watches us all the time and loves us.”

“I wish he’d warned me about Brent.  No, that’s unfair.  He speaks in our hearts and I knew and I should have done something and I didn’t and now … ah well.”  

Friday, 5 June 2015


After Cody and Luigi had left them, Keith and Esmé and Jason had ordered another bottle of champagne and proceeded to get tipsy.

Jason looked at the other two and then kissed them each on the cheek, Esmé first and Keith afterwards, leaning across the table to reach him.  With a catch in his voice, he said, “Thank you for being you, you two.  I’m so glad I met you.”

“I’m glad you walked in through that door all those months ago.”  Keith was a little teary too, the news that Jason was going to stay combined with the champagne, making him emotional.  In his life he’d encountered so many arseholes, so many selfish, narcissistic, cruel people, men who’d hurt him during sex and had thought it their right to do so.  They’d paid for it, hadn’t they?  And here was Jason, a wealthy lord, the son of a fucking duke for Chrissake, who loved him for him.  For him.  Not because he was handsome, or rich, or sexy.  Just because.  He knew that Jason wasn’t in love with him, but that didn’t matter.  He was a true friend.  Somebody he knew he could rely on.  Somebody who wouldn’t judge him or betray him.

Esmé felt again how likable Jason was, and how fond she had become of him since she had met him that first day.  Some dam of sorrow broke in her, and she felt its waters flow out of her into the ether, leaving her feeling oddly drained but happy, not weighed down by the past, by her father’s rapes and her mother’s cowardice and fear.  She was she; she had friends, and they were here.  It didn’t matter that she was in love with Keith and that he didn’t feel the same love for her.  What mattered was that they were as fond of her as she was of them.

She took Jason’s hand in hers.  His hands were big and strong, with nice proportions and (she was glad to note) clean fingernails.  Keith wasn’t exactly grubby—well, just a bit—but his fingernails weren’t always pristine.  Jason started to stroke her hand with his, and she felt the connection between them spark a current which seemed to run straight from her heart to her fingers and back again.

“Have you got to work tonight?” he asked her, his finger tracing lines across her palm, again and again, in a rhythm which hypnotized her with a dreamy mixture of lust and affection. 

“Yes.  Well, I should.  I have essays due.  And stuff.”

He squeezed her hand then let it go.  “Pity.” His grin was like that of a naughty boy, caught out in some prank; his blue eyes mischievous, electric, and alive. 

She smiled at him.  Keith was watching this interaction, his brown eyes knowing but kindly and warm, a small smile tickling his lips.  He’d been through too much to judge, or mock.  He was willing to share.  She lay her head on Jason’s shoulder, and sighed, and he slipped his arm round her.  “Tous pour un, un pour tous,” he said.  “For ever.” 

D’accord!” replied Esmé.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015


“You’d look ace in bellbottoms.  The kind which are skintight over your bum and cock, and flare from the knees.”  Cody was trying hard.  But he still felt resentment towards Jason.  Even though he knew in his heart that he was being unreasonable.

“The new fashion is skintight all the way down.  So tight, your arse squeaks when you walk.”  Luigi grinned at him.  “Or meggings.”

“Meggings?”  Cody was quite at sea.

“Men’s leggings.  Like tights for everyday.  I have to tell you, everything is visible.  I prefer to hint and tease, not have all the shop’s goods in the shop window.”

“I dunno.  You’d look good in tights.  And this—“ Cody squeezed the other man’s package “—these are very satisfactory shop goods.”

“And at your service!”  Luigi smiled and kissed Cody, his arms still around the other man.

“That’s the ticket!” said Cody, his mouth smiling but his eyes haunted.

In the end, they watched the rest of the Star Wars DVD and had hot chocolate before bed, and then slept spooned up against each other, at peace, for now.

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Monday, 1 June 2015


“I don’t like him!” Cody said bitterly to Luigi later.

“Jason? Why?”  Luigi was astonished.

“He has everything.  He’s rich and handsome and even has a fucking title.”

“Things will get better, love.  It’s still early days.  And you have me!”  addressing what he rightly suspected was the true cause of Cody’s anger.  He waved his arms around then bowed.  “Luigi diPietro at your service”

Cody wanted to laugh but grumped instead, “Huh.  It’s all very well, but …”

Luigi looked at him, his eyes dark and solemn.  “He lost the guy he loved most in the world, through his own selfishness and arrogance.  How do you think that feels?”

“I was nearly killed.  How do you think that feels?”

“I . . . . I can’t imagine, truly.  I never will really understand it.  But … Cody …. Your life has started again.  You have to think of it like that.  Through luck or the Virgin Mary . . . . my nonna thinks God has no time for us, because he’s too busy running the universe, but Mary has time for all of us.  And frankly, I don’t like God much, making me what I am.  He can get fucked.”

“Lou!” Cody was shocked.

“Yeah, well, he can.  I had an utterly miserable childhood and teens.  Fucking horrible.  Day after day.  Being beaten up.  And in the end, being beaten by my dad, so badly it took me days to recover.  And you know fucking what?”  He was shouting by now.

Cody shook his head, mute, startled at Luigi’s vehemence.

“I went through fucking hell. I was incredibly depressed and to tell the truth … suicidal.”  He went on in a quieter tone, “My nonna was very worried about me.  And then one day, I decided to—someone talked to me—I decided to live again, that the rest of my life was ahead of me and I could either waste it or I could make an effort to live again, to be—well, happy may be too strong … well, the wrong word.  Content. ‘Today is the first day of the rest of your life.’”

“That is so seventies!” gulped Cody, his eyes brimming.

“I’ve always wanted to wear bell-bottoms and platform shoes,” said Luigi, enfolding him in his arms.  “But seriously, love, Jason is a lovely bloke.  And you saw how embarrassed he is with his title.  You saw it.  He was afraid we wouldn’t be his friends any longer.”       

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