FEASTING WITH PANTHERS

IV—Duncan’s story

Like all my stories, this is sheer fiction. I was never a Boy Scout, and this is probably evident to any reader who ever was!

Love and kisses, Jules.

One of the most popular Scout songs is The Quartermaster’s Store. Sooner or later it will be sung at any and every Scout gathering, and round this particular camp fire it went on for ages, as we invented more and more verses, often getting personal about one another. After each verse came the refrain:

My eyes are dim, I cannot see,

I have not got my specs with me,

I have no-ot got my-y specs with me.

Everybody looked pointedly at Malcolm, my Patrol Leader, who had arrived that evening wearing glasses; he took them off with a slightly sheepish grin and squinted round the group. Malcolm was my hero; he was kind and efficient as a PL. He was also a very handsome boy, and I had the crush to end all adolescent crushes on him, so the specs came as a shock to me: how awful for him to have to wear them! Sooner him than me, I thought—but I’d much rather it hadn’t been him. I thought back to my move up from the Cubs. My father had been a member of the same group, and he took me on one side a few days before and said, “Look, Duncan, you’ll be moving up to the Scouts next week. I just want you to know there are things go on that you won’t read about in Scouting for Boys; it’s all part of growing up; you’re not a little boy any more. But it’s a boys’ thing; I wouldn’t worry your mother with it.” I discovered what he meant when my Cub leader took me to the Scout Hut; Malcolm met us, and we were introduced. “Malcolm, this is Duncan. I think you’re expecting him. He was twelve last week.” “Good!” said Malcolm. You’re going to be in my patrol, so let me show you around.” I was eager to be a Scout, and Malcolm seemed really kind, and eased me into the various activities. I was definitely going to enjoy this.

Just before finishing time Malcolm said, “Just one thing before you go: come into the shower room a minute.” I followed obediently. Once we were inside he bolted the door and said, “Now, Duncan, will you just drop your pants…and now bend down?” “The sensation of a hard cock inside me was strange. It hurt a lot, but as he thrust and thrust again my own little member sprang to life as never before; and as he exploded into me I produced my own little dribble. “Right!” said Malcolm. “You’re a big boy now; welcome to the patrol. Better go to the toilet before you go home.” I sat down, blew a great fart, and discharged Malcolm’s seed into the pan. I was in a bit of pain, but above all I was excited by my new experience; if this was growing up I was all for it. I wondered whether it would happen again. The answer was that it didn’t. It was an unwritten and all but unspoken law of the group (certainly not in Scouting for Boys!) that you didn’t belong till you’d been fucked by your Patrol Leader, but it was definitely a one-off. I noticed that each time a new boy joined, his PL took him off somewhere private for a while; I could guess what was going on, and I envied the new boy, especially if he was in Malcolm’s patrol. I was longing for him to do it to me again, but I didn’t know how to suggest it. It was something that just happened, once; we didn’t talk about it, much—and I didn’t want to be labelled a poof!

Shyly, I approached Malcolm at the end of the evening. “I say, Malcolm, I’m ever so sorry you’ve got to wear glasses.” “ARE you? Actually I’ve had glasses for a couple of years, only I always seemed to see OK without them. But the other day I found I couldn’t read a street name from the other side of the road and realized my eyes were getting worse. I went for a test and got stronger lenses and now I can see really well, so I’m happy with them. Besides, I think they look quite good on me. Do you really not like them?” The question floored me; not wanting to hurt his feelings, I said half-heartedly, “Well, I suppose I could get used to them.” It had never occurred to me that anyone could like wearing specs, and I looked thoughtfully up at his eyes, half-closing my eyes because I could see better that way. The eyes were grey; so were the frames (I think they call them gunmetal); oval in shape, and as I looked past him through a lens things in the background looked smaller. “Oh Duncan,” he said, “I really cannot stand it when you look at me like that! Come and help me put the equipment away.” I sprang into action, hoping...

When the job was finished Malcolm led me to the shower room, bolted the door and said, “Now, will you take your pants right off and lie down?” By the time I’d done that his pants were off and he was playing with his cock, which was stiff and ready for action. He knelt in front of me and lifted my feet so that they rested on his shoulders. Then he took his specs off and said, “Will you wear these for me? Please?” A strange thing to ask, and I wasn’t keen, but I couldn’t think of any reason to refuse. He entered me. This was the second time, three years almost to the day after the first. It hurt, but the pain was nothing to the ecstasy as he exploded into me. While he was still inside he leaned over and kissed me on the lips, tenderly and then passionately. I was in an adolescent seventh heaven. He withdrew gently, and then leaned over and whispered, “Duncan, would you like to do it to me?” I hesitated, and he said, “OK, if you’re not ready for that, but you’ll probably be a PL soon, and then you’ll have to, you know, look after your new recruits.” With that he took my cock in his mouth and began to lick, and suck, and lick again, and suck again—and it was my turn to explode.

I went home that night happy but perplexed. Happy because of what Malcolm and I had done together. Perplexed by how clear everything looked through his glasses. Perplexed, too, by the bit about reading street names from across the road. Nobody could do that, could they?

The happiness lasted longer than the perplexity. Again I longed for more, but again there was nothing doing. I remembered the perplexity a few months later when we had a school ‘medical’: when it came to the vision test I failed dismally: I could read the third line of the chart with difficulty, and nothing below it. The usual letter was sent home, and within a week I was wearing glasses and yes, I mean wearing. I’d chosen round wire frames and I didn’t think they looked too bad. I’d had no idea there was anything wrong with my eyesight; squinting to see was just part of life, and I thought it was what everyone did. The moment I put my new glasses on for the first time was an instant conversion: I liked what I saw, forgot my hesitations about them, and kept them on, full time, enjoying clear vision for the first time in—how long, I wondered.

The next Tuesday I happened to arrive at the Scout Hut quite early; when Malcolm arrived a bit later, he did a double take and then gave me a reassuring grin, and all evening I kept catching him looking at me as if he couldn’t take his eyes off me, but we didn’t get to speak till quite late on. “You’ve joined the club then?” he said. I just grinned. “I’m not surprised,” he went on. “The way you’ve been squinting—well, for ages really—I could tell your eyes weren’t very good. But I’m sorry you’ve got to wear glasses ’cause I know you don’t like them.” “Oh, don’t worry about that,” I said. “I changed my mind when I discovered how much better I could see. Specs are OK by me now.” “I’m glad to hear that; it’s just as well to enjoy the clear vision—and they really suit you. Now, let me be the first to tell you but don’t let on I did. You’re joining another club: you’re taking charge of Bill’s patrol next month when he goes off to university. Congratulations.” Not knowing what to say I stammered a bit, and Malcolm grinned. “Just one thing,” he went on; “you know of course what you’ll have to do for your new recruits.” “Yes?” “You happy about that? I mean you won’t have any problems?” “Uh, I don’t know.” “Only, if you want some practice—well, I’ll help you out.” “Oh Malcolm!” “I think we might both enjoy it; I certainly shall. Only, we need somewhere really private.”

It was one of the happiest times I remember, my apprenticeship in the noble art of sodomy. Sometimes Malcolm asked me to swap glasses—and we were surprised to discover that this first pair of mine was stronger than his second. Soon I was confident about coping with the new recruits, but we had plenty of practice, and for sheer enjoyment we did just about everything in the book. We were both under age, and when Malcolm turned 18 he became technically a child abuser, which shows how absurd the law can be. The fact was, we were in love, and we were making love.

When my promotion was announced, my Dad said, “Well done, Duncan. I know I can trust you not to be too hard on the new boys.” He gave a reminiscent kind of smile as he said this, and I said, “Were you a PL, Dad?” “Yes, I was.” So I knew he knew—part of the story anyway. I wouldn’t have liked him to know how much sex Malcolm and I were having over and above the call of duty; I didn’t think that was part of the tradition he had so obliquely referred to.

I think I was quite kind and competent as a PL; I took care not to hurt the new recruits more than Malcolm had hurt me at my initiation. No problems there; my equipment was adequate, but not huge. I never had any problem performing; on the odd occasion when a new recruit wore glasses I found that an added attraction, and noticed to my amusement that Malcolm was as keen on the speccy kids as I was.

About a year into our affaire Malcolm mentioned that he had a Saturday job at a busy optical practice, and there was a vacancy for a second weekend assistant. Did I want to apply? The fringe benefits included a healthy discount on new glasses, contact lenses and optical accessories in general—and a discreet staff cloakroom for ‘recreation’. What with that, and the fact that I already needed a stronger prescription (Malcolm had just got new glasses—funky frames in black carbon fibre) I applied and, with Malcolm’s recommendation, I got the job. The next few months were idyllic: I was spending my Saturdays with Malcolm and there were always opportunities for, er, ‘displays of affection’. I had an eye test and, sure enough, an increased prescription (-3.25 in each eye and a bit of cylinder). I wanted frames like Malcolm’s new ones—until I tried them on. We both agreed they weren’t ‘me’ and I chose something even more Harry Potterish than my first pair.

It was a lot less fun when Malcolm went off to college; He had got quite fascinated—well, we both had—with vision and its correction, and went to study optometry. In Dublin! I missed him a lot; visits would have been a lot easier if he’d gone to Birmingham or, better still, one of the schools here in London. I began to lose interest in scouting, and eventually gave up. I wanted to be an optometrist too, but my A-level results just weren’t good enough. When I left school, however, I was taken on full time at the optical practice, with day release at college and the prospect of qualifying as a dispensing optician. With the job came a bedsit over the shop, and the responsibility for opening up and locking up at night. Missing Malcolm in so many ways, but needing sexual relief, I explored the gay scene and had plenty of encounters in pubs and clubs; but found sex without love a sad combination. Glasses were apparently a no-no, so I struggled to function without them—and as my eyes got steadily worse the struggle got harder. I was a textbook case of galloping myopia, needing a new prescription every eight or nine months, and I gradually discovered other frame styles that looked good on me. It didn’t occur to me at first to try contact lenses, and when I did I found I couldn’t tolerate them; so I couldn’t really see what a guy looked like till we were groping each other (or whatever) and although I was getting plenty of sex the whole visual dimension was maimed. I was relieving my genital itch, and that was all.

Once in a blue moon there was an encounter at work, and this was far more enjoyable. For one thing the other guy was usually wearing glasses, which was a turn-on; for another I always was, so I could see him. But one of these encounters was my downfall.

I remembered Stephen from school, where he had reached the sixth form, a solidly built lad with short black hair and now the beginnings of stubble on his chin. He was also a member of the Scout Group, not of my patrol but of the one Malcolm had had. His doctor had recommended an eye test because of persistent headaches; and of course the test revealed that he was long-sighted, very long-sighted in fact. His first prescription was +3, with the promise of an increase when he adapted to the correction. Rather disconsolately he chose black plastic frames. Fitting and adjusting the glasses when they were ready and left the shop, I thought they really did something for him, but he put them in the case and left with them in his pocket. When he was recalled after six months, he arrived wearing his glasses. His new Rx was +4.75, and he chose another black frame, with a bit more style than the first one. (I had advised him to keep his old glasses as a spare.) When he put on his new glasses and looked in the mirror, there was a small explosion: “For Christ’s sake, what do I look like? I thought I only needed specs for reading, but now I can’t see anything without them—and now look at these, they’re thicker than ever!” He was close to tears, so I prescribed the usual remedy of a cup of tea or coffee in the staff cloakroom. There, in private, he began to sob in earnest, and I put my arm round him. Before I knew what was happening, both his arms were round me, and he was crying on my shoulder. I could feel his erection, and presumably he could feel mine; I swear he opened my fly before I opened his, but in any case we jerked each other off over the washbasin. He dried his tears; I assured him that he looked good in his glasses, but then I would, wouldn’t I? He seemed satisfied, and went off.

The next morning the boss called me in. “Duncan, I’ve had a call from Mrs Colebrook, complaining that you seduced Stephen yesterday.” I was almost speechless with indignation. “He seduced me, more like!” “Look here, who seduced who is not the point. The point is that you got yourself into a sexual situation with a patient. I had an idea that you and Malcolm had something going on, but you were both staff, and I could turn a blind eye. But there’s such a thing as infamous conduct in a professional respect, and that I can’t have. Here’s a month’s wages in lieu of notice, and can you vacate your room by the weekend please?” “But—“ “I’m sorry, but I have the reputation of my practice to think of; just be thankful the boy’s turned eighteen, or his mother would have been pressing charges.” “How about a reference?” “I think you’re better off without than with the one I’d have to write.”

So I was jobless and homeless. My dad had taken early retirement and my parents had moved to the country, and I didn’t like the idea of exposing my lifestyle to them. Dad would understand, only too well, and wouldn’t care for the idea of my getting so deep into what he had—twice—reassured me about; while as for Mum, it didn’t bear thinking about, especially as her health, her mental health, was failing. So I was alone in London. My college fees were paid for the year, and there were showers and washbasins in college, so I could keep clean. I had got new glasses a few weeks before (-6.75-0.75 now) and had updated the lenses in the old ones so that I had a spare. If I ate only once a day I’d slim down, and that would make me more attractive. The big problem was where to sleep—and without an address I couldn’t claim benefit. If I could pick up a guy who’d take me home for the night, and maybe let me take a shower—but that hardly ever happened. I couldn’t afford clubs, and even one drink in a gay pub strained my resources. Making one drink last all night, trying to look desirable to guys I couldn’t see, squinting very rarely—for one thing I reckoned it would be a turn-off and for another it didn’t help any more—wasn’t much fun. Cottaging was cheaper, but even less fun, and there was even less prospect of a whole night with a trick; but there was a reasonable chance of a bit of animal sex.

College term came to an end, and I had no prospect of continuing my training, and less chance than ever of keeping clean. I was getting desperate for money if I was to keep body and soul together, and I began to think seriously of a desperate measure. I had heard that there was good money to be made on the ’Dilly, but I still had some scruples. Finally I gritted my teeth, spent my last few pounds on a shower and a session at the laundrette, and took up my position in the subway at Piccadilly Circus, standing in as provocative a position as I could, and smiling at each blurred figure that approached. If only glasses weren’t taboo… if only I could wear contacts… I remembered the lady who pleaded ‘not guilty’ to soliciting saying she was so short-sighted she could only see a man when he was right on top of her. I could sympathize: I was as blind as a bat without my glasses, and as my myopia galloped on they just weren’t strong enough any more, but there was no way I could afford a new pair.

Once again, it wasn’t much fun—and I very quickly found that a successful prostitute needs a place to take clients; men who come to the ’Dilly looking for sex can’t, or at any rate won’t, take you home. Then there was the danger; I might pick up a sadist or worse; I might proposition an undercover policeman; I might pick up an infection. At least none of these things happened, because one night before I’d been on the game very long a familiar voice said, “Duncan!” I squinted into the blur—as if I might recognize anyone. “Oh, for pity’s sake!” the voice went on. “How do you expect to see anything without your glasses?” I fumbled and put them on; the blur became manageable, I squinted again and—“MALCOLM!” “Malcolm it is.” “What are you doing here?” “Looking for you. Come on, let’s go.” I was only too glad to. Malcolm hailed a taxi and gave the driver an address.

“Malcolm, how did you know where to look for me?” “Well, that was the lucky thing. I met Stephen in the Champion the night before last, and he said he’d seen you peddling your wares down there; he knew you couldn’t recognize him without your glasses, and in any case he didn’t think you’d want to speak to him.” “I should bloody well think not!” “Well, be fair to Stephen, it was his mother who got you sacked, not him. She found stains on his clothes, put two and two together, and got twenty-two. He feels terrible about it, ’cause he said you were really kind to him when he was upset about his glasses.”

“Where are we going now?” “I’m taking you home—to my home. I’ve got a job and a flat that goes with it. I’ve qualified as an optometrist and I’m just starting my probationary year at Shakespeare’s” “Shakespeare’s?” “Yes; London’s first all-gay optical practice. To get a job there you have to be gay and reasonably good-looking; but above all you have to be competent. I’m hoping they’ll give you a job and let you finish your training. But first we have to get you cleaned up, and in the morning you’d better have a check-up at the clap clinic.”

We didn’t sleep together that night (or for a few nights after, till my test results came back clear) but it was great to be with Malcolm; what life lacked in sexual excitement it made up in warmth and affection. Of course an early priority was an eye test and a new prescription, which turned out to be –8.5-1.5. Having my eyes tested by the love of my life was the most erotic experience imaginable, even though there was no hanky-panky; and the new specs (with clear plastic frames) gave me the best vision in ages and brought all sorts of things into focus. Within a few minutes of putting them on I said, “Malcolm, what’s that in your ear?” “Good grief, hadn’t you noticed my hearing aids?” “I didn’t know your hearing was bad.” “Neither did I till I went to Dublin. I never had any problems at school, but the lecture halls over there were a lot bigger, and the sound systems were pretty poor, so I was struggling. I have 25% hearing loss in one ear and 15% in the other; but the in-ear models aren’t exactly conspicuous, are they?” “Well, no. I can see them now, but I couldn’t before.”

Malcolm, I found, took his glasses off as he got into bed. This was fine for him (his vision seemed to have stabilized at -4.5-2.25) but with my myopia twice his and still increasing, bareyed sex was out of the question for me. There were certain very intimate things I couldn’t see to do, either with my glasses or without them. Malcolm suggested wearing my old pair for sex, and in due course put me into bifocals.

The job at Shakespeare’s materialized: it turned out Will Shakespeare had known my old boss at school, and was able to remind him that his own teens hadn’t been a time of unsullied virtue: anyway he conceded that it would be safe enough for me to work with Malcolm in view of our ‘friendship’ and gave me a decent reference.

Malcolm and I have decided that when I qualify (and it does seem to be ‘when’ rather than ‘if’) we’ll go into a civil partnership. I went to break the news to my Dad (Mum has advanced Alzheimer’s and has completely lost touch with what’s going on).

He took the news philosophically and opened a bottle of Wine Society claret. As we were savouring the wine he said, “Malcolm. Is this the same Malcolm who was your Patrol Leader?” “Yes Dad.” “So you’ve known him a good while.” There was a long silence and then he said, very diffidently, “You know, if that option had been there when I was your age I might have wanted to take it. Do you realize that if I had you would never have been born? That would have been awful.” He wiped away a tear. So did I.

My finals are next month, and we have a provisional date for the ceremony and the reception. Dad says he’ll come.

 

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