Eighteen-year-old Londoner Josh feels all at sea, holidaying with his family on the Isle of Wight. He’d rather be living it up in Ibiza, dancing until all hours, and maybe finding out what it’s like to be with another man. What chance does he have of getting lucky with his newly-single mum and little sisters in tow?
Cambridge student Rupe is making the most of his summer job at the boating lake, charming customers with his good looks and theatrical manner. Life looks even sunnier when he meets the cute, inexperienced Josh and asks him out for a date on a boat. But there are dark clouds in Rupe’s life, and even love on an island isn’t always plain sailing.
As I was wondering what the bloody hell I was doing in a place this posh, an old man walked into the hall. He was tall and upright, and dressed in a brown suit that looked like it might have fitted him when he'd been younger. Now, though, the jacket hung from his bony shoulders. Underneath it, he had on a checked shirt and a tweedy-looking tie.
"Father!" Rupe called out cheerfully. "This is --"
The old man rounded on us, his face reddened with fury, and I took a step backward without meaning to. "You boys! What the devil do you think you're doing, dressed like that? You're a disgrace!"
I just gaped at him. When Rupe said his dad was senile, I'd just imagined ... I don't know what I'd imagined. Some harmless old buffer with his trousers on inside out, probably.
"Sorry, Headmaster," Rupe said in a hearty, soothing voice that nearly broke my heart. "We had an exeat, and we're on our way to change back into uniform. Come on, Josh, let's go up to the dorm."
I followed him up the stairs, glancing back at the scary old bloke down below. He was watching us all the way, his hands twisting like he was wishing he had a cane on him. I sighed in relief as Rupe's bedroom door shut behind us.
"I'm so sorry about that," Rupe said, looking down at the carpet.
He looked lost, and finally I had the courage to do what I'd wanted to do all afternoon. I stepped forward, and slid my arms around his waist. Rupe sort of sighed and nuzzled into my neck. Warmth flooded through me. "It's all right," I said lamely, because obviously it wasn't and it never would be. I'd been pissed off about my dad leaving, but God, this had to be so much worse.
I couldn't find the words to tell Rupe how I felt, and I wasn't sure he'd want to hear it anyway, so I did the only thing I could think of. I took his face in my hands and kissed him gently on the lips. Our bodies melted together, heat tingling between us. I hoped Rupe wasn't offended I was getting a stiffie while he was all upset about his dad -- and then I knew he wasn't, because his erection was digging into my stomach.
All of a sudden the kiss wasn't gentle any more. He felt wonderful against me, all hard, lean muscle, but the layers of clothes between us were driving me crazy. I pushed up his t-shirt and ran my hands over his torso. It wasn't enough. I had to taste as well as touch, so I bent down and got my mouth on his bare, tanned skin. He tasted of salt and sunshine, and his breath came in short gasps as his body trembled beneath my lips.