When Charlie wakes up alone and remembers arguing with his boyfriend the night before, it seems like nothing will resolve the situation. Josh wants them to move, but Charlie is too attached to the house. It’s not just all the work he’s put into it, though, it’s all the memories. One memory in particular, of standing hidden halfway up the stairs, watching and wanting…
The pub was awkward, as Josh talked about the reading list novels I hadn’t yet opened, while I mulled over all the questions I wanted to ask him but couldn’t quite force past my lips. Had he always known? Ever had a boyfriend? Ever fucked a man? I told myself it was none of my business, but something inside me protested that I needed to know.
The impasse was broken by an influx of noisy third-year lads I knew vaguely, and Josh made his excuses and left. I weaved my way back a couple of pints later, bored by the trivial chatter about girls, drugs and music. Climbing the steep front steps I stumbled, tipsy, but still together enough to enter the house fairly quietly and climb the stairs to my room. The air was humid and I stripped down to my shorts before collapsing on the bed. I’d left the door open to try and create some kind of through breeze, and I could hear noises from above. It was Josh’s TV, much louder than usual. He must have left his door open too. I’d have to go and ask him to turn it down.
I’d reached the bottom of the dark flight of stairs when I heard a man’s voice.
“Oh yeah! Fuck me big boy!”
I froze. How on earth had Josh managed to pick someone up so quickly? My stomach churned, and I found myself in serious danger of needing to rush to the bathroom to empty it.
But then the cheesy music cut in and I recognised it for a porn soundtrack. Relief cascaded through me as I leant back against the wall. He was on his own. The guy was on the telly. Guys, I should say – I could hear their frenzied grunting – but there was another sound too. A soft moaning that made my pulse race. It was Josh. It had to be. I crept up the stairs, needing to know. When I reached the bend and stepped on the first creaky board it protested loudly. I froze again, certain I’d been heard. Goosebumps raised up on my arms despite the heat, but I was now far enough up the stairs to see through the open door so I stayed where I was, leaning back against the wall and drinking in the sight.
Lit only by the flickering screen that was out of my line of vision, Josh reclined on his bed, sprawled naked against a heap of pillows. My eyes travelled over the languid length of his body, but kept snagging on his cock, rising tall and proud from the shock of dark hair at his groin. His legs were splayed open, giving me a view of his balls too, jiggling with the motion of his hand stroking his dick. The other hand was also busy, circling over one of his dark nipples and occasionally pinching and kneading the sensitive flesh. His glasses reflected the light of the screen so I couldn’t see his eyes, but he seemed to be absorbed in his film. I felt a frisson of danger, the shivers running down my spine. Watching. Wanting.