Chapter 21 Ben and friends p1.
Hi Ben said when he entered the lift, giving Martino an embrace and a good morning kiss on the lips, which was hungrily returned with a bit of tongue.
Ben had met Martino in that same lift, when he had returned from saying goodbye to Pat and New York. They had chatted all the way up to Ben’s floor and then up to Martino’s floor and room, where they had glorious sex.
Martino was the same age as Ben, almost twenty-two. He also looked much younger than his age and he was handsome, although a bit feminine looking but not effeminate in any way, and he was Italian. This morning he was dressed in a padded tank top with black trousers that from the back Ben thought displayed his cute arse to perfection. When the lift arrived at the second floor Ben stepped out. He almost couldn’t believe his eyes for there stood a duplicate version of Martino, although differently dressed. He heard laughing coming from behind him for, apparently, Ben had been kissing Martino’s twin sister, Bettina, in the lift.
Oh my god, Ben thought, he had referred to things he wouldn’t have said, if he had only known.
To Ben’s embarrassment, all through breakfast the twins talked about Ben as if he wasn’t there, even to the extent of how well he kissed. A couple of times they spoke in Italian which, of course, Ben couldn’t understand. But, by the looks they gave him and their laughter, he knew that it was something rude. After breakfast they all kissed and said their goodbyes as Ben was heading for the airport and home, while they were going sightseeing and shopping.
They did however, exchange full names and addresses. They all hoped to meet up again soon, as in a few days’ time the twins would be visiting London.
It was strange to be home again the flat Ben share with Matt who was away in his submarine somewhere under the sea felt so empty. Although he didn’t miss the aircondising of the hotel in New York he did miss having the people working there always around. Okay maybe it was all an illusion but he felt less alone.
Now back home he found himself so busy he almost didn’t have time to sleep let alone have sex. Not only did he have settling back into his old routine of going to and from the studio to take photos of dogs and children all day long with the occasional wedding to shoot, he had to organise the production of the photo pictures he had agreed with Peter and his father, Clive Snow. These were for the shows they intended to put on in a month’s time in their two galleries one, in New York and the other in San Francisco.
Ben arranged for the photos to be printed by the lab, the studio normally used. This was no problem for them, they completed the order of twenty of each photo within a few days. It was Alex, doing the framing that took the time. At least he had got his partner to take time off work to run the stall in Camden Town, while he got down to do the framing full time. It was Saturday and already two weeks since his return and to take his mind off worrying about whether Alex would finish on time, Ben decided to contact Adam the young man who worked in the gay bookshop for some fun and games. He had lost his number, so was forced to go and visit him in person.
The bookshop wasn’t busy. Jimmy the owner, was on the till. He suggested Ben go down to the stock room in the basement, if he wanted to see Adam.
Ben shouted a “Hello,” from the basement doorway. But instead of getting his usual happy greeting back, Adam just ignored him and turned away.
“I’m sorry I haven’t been in touch but I lost your phone number,” Ben called out this time.
Adam responded by approaching Ben and telling him not to worry, as he couldn’t have sex with him unless Ben was tested positive.
That really shocked Ben, He asked, “How long have you known?”
Adam shrugged, “Yesterday, the test came back yesterday. That’s when they told me,” and then he started to cry.
Ben’s instinct was to take the boy in his arms and to comfort him but, instead, he just stood there. Thankful he had waited until now to make contact.