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When the Cat’s Away

By Graeme

Simon Petersen grinned as he took one last look in the mirror. He had spent a lot of time picking out the right T-shirt to highlight his upper-body muscle definition. It was going to be a special day, and he wanted everything to be perfect. The sea green of the shirt brought out the colour in his eyes, which Darren MacArthur, his boyfriend, regarded as one of his best features. Simon’s grin broadened as he recalled the other features Darren liked.

After looking around to confirm that his door was shut, Simon opened the drawer on his bedside table and reached to the back to retrieve an unopened box of condoms and a tube of K-Y jelly. He had bought them earlier in the week in anticipation of the special day. He pushed them to the bottom of his backpack and headed out.

“Mum, I’m off to Darren’s place!”

Simon’s mother’s voice drifted out of the lounge room. “Okay, dear. Are you going to be home for dinner?”

“Nah. Darren and I were thinking of getting a pizza or something. I’ll be home late.”

“As long as you’re back before curfew. Have fun!”

“I will. Bye!” Simon smirked as he thought about the fun he and Darren had planned. He was sure it wasn’t what his mother might think they would be doing.

Darren’s parents were going to a wedding, and children weren’t invited. They had suggested that Darren, at sixteen, was close enough to being an adult that he could go, but he had convinced them to let him stay home. As soon as they had agreed, Darren had contacted Simon and they had started making plans. They would have the house to themselves all afternoon and most of the evening. Darren’s parents weren’t expected back until close to midnight.

Almost everyone thought that Simon and Darren were merely best friends. They were careful to make sure that their parents, in particular, didn’t learn the truth.

Large raindrops started to fall just as Simon stepped outside. He looked up at the sky and realised that it was probably going to rain long and hard.

“Oh, shit.” He considered going back inside to get a jacket, but decided against it. It was only a ten minute walk to Darren’s, and he could jog there in five. A smirk appeared as he wondered if Darren might like the wet T-shirt look. If he didn’t, Simon would just have to take it off. He grinned as he thought he would probably have to take his jeans off, too. He wouldn’t want to catch a cold, he told himself. Of course, wet jeans are hard to get off, so he’d probably need Darren’s help....

Simon was soaked to the skin when he arrived at Darren’s house. Whistling happily, he checked to make sure that the car was gone, and then waltzed up to the front door and rang the bell. While he waited for Darren to appear, he leant against the nearest verandah post and tried to put on his sexiest smile.

“G’day,” Simon drawled as soon as he saw his boyfriend.

He didn’t get the reaction he expected. Darren glanced back nervously. “Hi, Simon. There’s been... umm... a change of plans. Come on in.”

Simon dropped the pose and entered. “What’s wrong?”

Before Darren could answer, a young girl carrying a rag doll appeared from around the corner. “Hi, I’m Katie and I’m four.”

Simon stared at her and then at Darren. “What’s going on?”

“You’re supposed to say hello.” Katie stamped a foot.

“Oh, hello, Katie. I’m Simon.” He raised an eyebrow at Darren.

“Pleased to meet you.” Katie smiled and then turned away.

Darren ran a hand through his auburn hair while pulling a face. “Katie’s big sister, Helen, has a cold, and her parents decided she shouldn’t baby sit. Mum and Dad volunteered me to do it, but I only found out when the Donaldsons showed up, just before my parents left.”

“Why didn’t you call me?”

“I did! You’ve got your phone off!”

“Oops. Sorry.” Simon started to back away toward the door. “Maybe I should go.”

Darren grabbed him. “Don’t you dare! We may not be able to...” he glanced at Katie Donaldson, who was rocking her doll in her arms “... do everything we had intended, but we can still spend time together.”

Simon sighed and then smiled. “Okay. Another time, then. If I’m staying, I’m going to have to get changed, though. I’m soaked through.”

“Have you got some spare clothes in your backpack?”

Simon raised his eyebrows and just stared.

“Oh, yeah. Of course you don’t. Why don’t you go to my room and try to find something that fits you. I’ll put your clothes in the drier for when you head home.”

“Doesn’t the wedding reception finish close to midnight?” Simon asked.

“Yeah, that’s right.”

Simon grinned. “And what time does Katie go to bed?”

A smile crept across Darren’s face. “I was told she normally goes to bed around seven.”

Simon checked his watch. “Looking after a four-year-old shouldn’t be that hard. If we wait out the next five hours, we then get...” He winked.

Darren smirked. “Sounds like a good idea to me. After she’s gone to bed, then things get hard. Now, go change into something dry – I don’t want you sneezing all over me, later tonight.”

Simon dropped his backpack in the corner and headed down to Darren’s room, stopping off along the way to grab a towel from the bathroom.

* * *

Simon fell face first onto Darren’s bed. He didn’t want to move. When he heard a noise at the door, he turned his head just enough to watch his boyfriend enter the room.

“That’s it. She’s watching a Wiggles video – her mum had some in that bag she left. We should have half an hour.” Darren sat down next to Simon. “You look exhausted.”

“I am exhausted. She’s worse than my coach!”

Darren snickered. “You were the one who suggested horsey rides, because ‘a kid that age shouldn’t watch too much TV.’ I take it you’ve changed your mind?”

“I thought it would be for five minutes, not thirty!” Simon glared at Darren. “And you didn’t need to ride, too.”

Darren tried to look angelic. “But, she wanted to share her ‘horsey’ with me! It would have been mean to say no.”

“You could’ve said you were too big for this horsey.”

“Too big? I didn’t know you felt that way.” Darren looked hurt, but then he smiled. “Would it make you feel better if I let you ride me later? After she’s gone to bed?”

Simon tried to grin, but it was a struggle. “The way I’m feeling at the moment, I don’t think I’d be up to it.”

“We can’t have that. Let me strip off your shirt and I’ll give you a nice, long, slow massage. That might help you get it up.” Darren winked.

Simon was too tired to respond to the innuendo. “It’s your shirt, but thanks. You’ll have to take it off because I don’t think I could lift my arms.”

A few minutes later, a topless Darren was sitting on Simon’s bum, caressing his back with long, slow strokes. Simon felt like purring and was beginning to feel more alive. “Hmm... that’s so nice.”

Darren lent forward and kissed the back of Simon’s neck. “The least I can do. Consider it a down payment with more to come later.”

“Watcha doing?”

Both boys started at the voice behind them. Darren jerked upright and Simon twisted his head. They saw Katie standing in the doorway, her rag doll swinging from her left hand.

“Uh, nothing.” Darren said. “What’s wrong? The video hasn’t finished yet, has it?” He quickly climbed off Simon.

Simon checked the bedside clock – it had only been ten minutes since Darren had left Katie watching TV.

“I’m hungry.”

“What would you like to eat?” Darren asked as he put his shirt back on.

Katie frowned and tilted her head to one side.

“Biscuits? Some fruit? We might have some muesli bars in the cupboard.”

Katie stamped a foot. “I’m thinking.”

Simon sat up and rolled his shoulders. He saw Darren ask him a silent question. “I’m okay, but no more rides – at least for a while.”

“Pancakes,” Katie announced.

“Pancakes? I don’t know how to make them.” Darren looked at Simon.

“I do. Let’s go and check if you’ve got everything we need.” Simon was feeling more charitable to Katie than he had been a minute earlier, so he smiled at the little girl. “Would you like to help me make them?”

Katie grinned. “I know what to do. Mummy lets me help her when she makes them.”

They headed to the kitchen. Before they got there, Darren grabbed Simon by the arm and pulled him back. “What do we do if she says anything to someone else about what we were just doing?” he whispered.

Simon flicked a glance at Katie. “We tell the truth – you were giving me a massage because she wore me out riding me around the living room.”

Darren looked relieved. “Okay, yeah – that’ll work.”

Simon got busy making pancakes. He had Katie crack the eggs, and then he fished out most of the shell fragments.

“Would you like to start beating the eggs?” Simon asked Katie.

She nodded. “What do I do?”

He showed her how to use the whisk and then started to sift the flour. Katie immediately stopped what she was doing and put the bowl down. Darren rescued it before it fell off the bench.

“I can do that! Mummy lets me do it all the time.”

Simon was having doubts about what Katie’s mother really allowed her to do, but he let the young girl use the sifter. Darren whisked the eggs while Simon helped Katie.

It wasn’t long before they had made a large bowl of pancake batter.

“That’s it. We let that sit for thirty minutes and then we can start cooking,” Simon said.

Katie pouted. “What about the shaking?”

Simon was puzzled. “What shaking?”

“Mummy lets me shake the bottle after she’s put the water in.”

“Ah... Now I know what you’re talking about. I’m sorry, Katie, but we don’t have any pancake mix here. We’re making them the old fashioned way.”

Katie crossed her arms. “I want to make pancakes!”

“That’s what we’re doing. We’re just doing it differently.”

“No we’re not! I want real pancakes.”

Simon didn’t know how to respond to the adamant demand. He gave Darren his most beseeching stare, asking to be rescued.

Darren grinned. “I’m sure these will be yummy, Katie. After all, you helped make them. Do you want the first one?”

Katie beamed. “Yes, please!”

“We can start cooking them in half an hour, after we’ve let the batter settle,” Simon said.

“But I want one now!

Simon rolled his eyes. “Okay, okay. We can start cooking now, but they won’t be as good as if we waited.” He looked at Darren. “You need to keep her occupied while I cook. I don’t want her near the hot stove.”

“Okay. Come on, Katie. Why don’t you show me what videos you’ve got?”

“I don’t want to watch videos. I want a pancake!”

“I know you do, but while Simon cooks one for you, can you show me what you’ve got?”

It took some more encouraging, but Darren managed to get Katie out of the kitchen while Simon cooked. When Simon emerged from the kitchen, he found Darren and Katie on the floor, pretending to be frogs.

“Here’s your pancake, Katie.” Simon put the plate down, along with a knife and fork.

“Goody!” She jumped up from the floor and sat at the table. “Where’s the maple syrup?”

Darren appeared uncertain. “I’ll have to look, but I don’t think we have any.” He headed off to check in the pantry.

“Why don’t you try it without, first?” Simon suggested. “I’m sure you’ll like it.”

Katie pouted. “I want maple syrup.”

Simon glanced at where Darren was frantically searching. “We’re looking, Katie. Just wait here and we’ll see what we can find.” He joined Darren. “Any luck?”

“Nope. I’m pretty sure we don’t have any.” He reached in and brought out a squeeze bottle of golden syrup. “This is the closest I can find.”

“I don’t think she’ll go for that.”

“Neither do I, but I don’t see what else we’ve got that’s even close.” Darren was close to panicking.

Simon rested his head against the pantry door in despair. “Let’s give it a go and see what we can do. We can take some jam or honey, too – maybe she’ll try one of those.”

They went back to Katie.

“Where’s my maple syrup?”

“We couldn’t find any. This is close, though. Would you like to try it?” Darren asked hopefully.

Katie stared suspiciously at the bottle. She pointed at the label. “What’s that say?”

“Golden syrup.”

“Don’t want it. I want maple syrup!”

“We don’t have any, Katie. I’m sorry, but we don’t. We’ve got jam or honey, if you’d like to try that instead.” Darren glanced up at Simon. “Why don’t you make a couple more pancakes and we’ll have them with her. Maybe she’ll eat them when she sees us eating?”

“Worth a try...”

A few minutes later, Katie was still refusing to eat, even though both boys had shown obvious delight in eating their pancakes.

“See, yummy,” Simon said, exaggerating the way he chewed his food.

Katie’s forehead wrinkled. “You’re not supposed to talk with your mouth full.”

Simon stopped with his mouth open in surprise, and then quickly shut it before she said anything else about his bad habits. He dropped his head onto the table in defeat.

“How about ice cream?” Darren asked. “Would you like ice cream on your pancake?”

Katie considered the suggestion. “Okay...” she replied hesitantly.

Simon lifted his head, but he was too jaded to expect it to work. He watched as Darren came back with a tub of Neapolitan ice cream.

“Would you like pink, white or chocolate ice cream?”


Darren scooped out some strawberry ice cream and put it on Katie’s pancake.

“You got some white on it!”

“No problem. I’ll just take that bit off,” Darren said.

Simon thought his boyfriend was wonderful for managing to say that without snapping.

“I need a spoon,” Katie announced.

“I’ll be back in a jiffy with one,” Darren said before racing back to the kitchen. He was back seconds later. “Here you are.”

Both boys watched anxiously as Katie tried first the ice cream and then the pancake.


Darren pumped his first. “Yes!”

“But the pancake’s cold. Can you heat it up again?”

Simon was ready to throttle her. Some of his anger must have appeared on his face, because Darren looked alarmed. “We’ll make you another one, won’t we, Simon? Please?”

“Fine,” Simon said through gritted teeth. “I’ll make another one.” He stormed back to the kitchen.

* * *

The two boys were lying on Darren’s bed, staring at the ceiling.

“What’s the time?” Simon was weary.

“Five o’clock.” Darren didn’t sound any better.

“How long has she been watching TV this time?”

“Five minutes.”

“That means she should be in here any minute now.”


“I’m willing to admit defeat.”

“Me, too.”

“Do you think her sister got sick deliberately?”

“I wouldn’t be surprised.”

“What do we do now?”

“We need to get someone who knows what they’re doing.”

“Agreed.” Simon pushed himself up and dug in his pocket for his phone. “Let’s get started. I’ll try Yvonne.”

Darren slid off the bed. “I’ll try Rachel.” He headed out and returned with the house phone.

Darren was leaving a message for Andrea, and Simon was about to ring Penny when Katie appeared at the door.

“What does this say?” Katie asked, as she walked into the room. “C...O...N...D...”

Simon snatched the small box out of her hand. “Where did you get this?”

“I found it.” Katie started to sob as Simon’s harsh tone frightened her. “I didn’t steal it or anything.”

Simon knelt down. “It’s okay, Katie.” He pulled her into a hug. She resisted for a second and then collapsed against his shoulder. He caressed her hair. “It’s just that it’s for grown-ups only, and not for little girls. Do you understand?”

Her face still against his body, she nodded.

“Did you find anything else where you got this box?”

She shook her head.

“Good girl. Now, how about you go back and watch the TV again. What is it that you’re watching?”

“The Big Red Car.” She sniffed and then smiled at Simon. “Will you watch it with me?”

“Sure. I’ll be out in a sec. You go ahead and I’ll be there, soon.”

She disappeared and Simon tossed the box of condoms to Darren. “Here, put this somewhere safe.”

“Do you think she’ll tell anyone what she found?”

Simon shook his head. “That wasn’t what scared me. There was a tube of K-Y with it. What if she read the word ‘jelly’ and thought it was something she could eat?” Simon shuddered. “You keep ringing, and I’ll go sit with her.”

Katie was sitting on Simon’s lap, snuggling against his chest, when Darren went into the living room. One look at Darren’s long face told Simon that he hadn’t found anyone to help them.

“No luck. Sorry,” Darren said as he sat down next to Simon on the couch.

“Shush! I can’t hear the TV.” Katie gave Darren an angry glare.

Darren gave her a wry smile and then rolled his eyes at Simon once she had returned her attention to the TV.

Simon smiled. Katie was a high-maintenance little girl, but while she was cuddled up against him, he felt very relaxed. He didn’t feel like letting her go.

A couple of minutes later, Katie started to squirm.

“What’s wrong?” Simon asked her.

“I’ve got to go.”

“Go? Go where?”

“I need to do poo.”

“Oh.” Simon slipped Katie off his lap. “Off you go.”

She stared at him while she put her hands between her legs. “Where?”

“Oops, sorry.” Simon stood up. He saw Darren’s smirk but ignored it. “Come on, Katie. I’ll show you.”

He led her down the hallway to the toilet. “Here you are.” He turned to head back to the living room.

“Can you stay?”

“What?” Simon wasn’t sure what she meant. He began to get nervous.

“I need someone to wipe my bum for me.”

Simon’s eyes started to dart from side to side. “Umm... I’ll get Darren to do that for you.”

“Will you do it?”

“I’m sure Darren will love to do it. You get started and I’ll go get him.”

Simon rushed off before Katie could respond.

* * *

Simon was staring blankly through the window at the rain. Darren stood next to him.

“Don’t you ever do that to me again,” Darren said.

“Where is she?”

“I left her with a basin full of water in the bathroom. She was having fun splashing and generally making a mess.”

Simon raised an eyebrow at Darren. “In your mum’s clean bathroom?”

Darren sighed and rested his head on Simon’s shoulder. “I don’t really care, anymore. All Mum can do is kill me. Katie’s going to drive me crazy.”

Simon understood. “There’s one more option left, but you’ll owe me big time if it comes off.”

“What do you mean?”

“I can ring Melanie and ask her to help out.”

“Why the ...” Darren paused. A sound made him look behind him and he saw Katie approaching. He lowered his voice. “Why the hell didn’t you ring her earlier?”

“Because she’ll want a favour in exchange.”


“So, have you any idea what the favour is likely to be?”

“No, but how bad can it be?”

“Can someone sing the fishy song with me?” Katie asked.

The boys turned. “What’s the fishy song?” Simon asked.

“You know – the fishy song! Everyone knows the fishy song.”

Simon looked at Darren, who shrugged. “I’m sorry, Katie. We don’t know it. How does it go?”

Katie started to sing. “One, two, three, four, five. Once I caught a fish alive.” She stopped and looked expectantly at the boys.

“Sorry, Katie,” Darren said. He glanced around wildly and saw the morning’s newspaper. With a flash of inspiration, he grabbed the front sheet. “I’ve got an idea, though. Can you wait a moment?” He quickly folded the paper several times and made a crude boat. “Here you are. Why don’t you put this in the water and see if you can use it to catch some fish?”

“Good idea!” Katie grabbed the boat and headed back to the bathroom.

Both boys sighed.

“You were telling me why you hadn’t already rung Melanie,” Darren said.

“You know she’s been taking those art courses at the TAFE, and her parents have a private art tutor for her, don’t you?”

Darren nodded. “Yeah. She’s been doing the artwork for the school play posters. I’ve seen some of the early drafts – she’s really good.”

“Well, she’s been at me for the last couple of months to model for her.”

Darren snickered. “That’s right – you did that a few months ago. I’ve still got a copy of that drawing. You looked so sexy in those tight footy shorts.”

“And that’s why I’ve been telling her no. I got a lot of ribbing for those pictures that she showed everyone. If I ever find out who copied them for her, I’ll break their necks.” Simon suspected it was Darren, but he had made the decision a long time before that he wasn’t going to ask.

“Come on, it won’t be that bad. Just tell her she can’t show anyone at school.”

Simon rolled his eyes. “And you know how likely that is. Like I said, if I ring her, you’ll owe me big time.”

Darren glanced back to make sure Katie was still in the bathroom. He then leant over and gave Simon a light kiss on the lips. “I’ll make it up to you tonight after Katie’s asleep – promise.”

Simon grumbled to himself as he pulled out his phone. “G’day, Melanie.”

“Simon! What a pleasant surprise. What’s up?”

“I need a little favour.”

“Oh? After all the ‘little favours’ that I’ve asked of you and you’ve turned me down? Why should I?”

Simon saw Katie coming back into the living room, holding a soggy piece of paper. Darren’s boat hadn’t been successful. “I know, I know. If you do this for me, yes, I’ll model for you.”

“I’ve got five pictures I have to do. Three charcoal drawings and two in watercolour. Are you promising to do all of them?”

Simon snarled at Darren. “Okay. Five pictures.”

Darren smiled and threw a kiss at Simon. He went and intercepted Katie, but she ignored him and started playing with her toy ponies.

“Great. Now what’s this favour you want from me?”

“Darren and I have been left to baby sit a little girl, and we’re out of our depth. Can you come around to his place and take over? Please?”

“I think I can do that. Sounds easy enough. I should be there in five.”

“Thanks, Melanie. Oh, and about those pictures – you won’t show them to the guys at school, will you? I got a lot of snide remarks last time.”

Melanie laughed. “Don’t worry about that. I don’t think these will be the sort to take to school.”

Simon froze in the act of hanging up. “What do you mean?”

“I’m studying nudes – I was having trouble working out who to ask.”

“NUDES! I’m not posing naked!”

Katie turned her head to look at him. “Who’s naked?”

“Well, if you don’t really need any help looking after that kid...” Melanie let her voice drift off.

Darren dropped onto his knees and took up a begging pose. His eyes were wide and pleading.

It was at that moment that Simon realised how much he cared for Darren. He was willing to allow himself to be embarrassed and possibly humiliated, just to help out his boyfriend. He wasn’t happy about stripping, but he would do what he had to do.

“Okay, I’ll do it. But no one is to see them!”

“Except for my tutor, of course.”

“All right. Just come over, please. We really need the help.”

“See you soon!” Melanie was whistling happily when she hung up.

Simon glared at Darren. “You owe me so much you’ll be paying this off for years to come.”

Katie moved over and tugged on Simon’s shirt. “Who’s naked?”

* * *

Melanie and Katie were lying on the floor, a picture book in front of them.

“That was our problem,” Darren whispered to Simon. “We didn’t have the right stuff to keep her occupied.”

“Probably, but I’m just happy that Melanie’s here to take over. It’s been fifteen minutes and I haven’t felt like choking Katie once! What do you think we should do?”

Darren frowned as he thought. “We can’t really leave, but we could go my room and play games on the computer until Katie’s asleep. Not quite what we had in mind, but it’ll still be fun.”

“Sounds good to me. We may need to help get Katie something to eat soon, though. It’s almost six.”

They heard a car pull into the driveway. The two boys looked at each other in surprise and then headed to a window.

“It’s Mum and Dad, and Katie’s parents! What are they doing back here?”

“Beats me, but we’re about to find out.” Simon headed to the front door and opened it as the adults approached.

“G’day, Simon. Did Darren ask you to help him baby sit?” Mr. MacArthur asked as he and his wife entered. They were followed by a couple that Simon didn’t recognise.

“Mummy!” Katie jumped up and rushed to hug the strange woman.

“Hello, sweetie. Have you been having fun?” Mrs. Donaldson picked up Katie and gave her a cuddle.

“It’s been lots and lots and lots of fun!”

“Hello, Mr. MacArthur. Yeah, since I didn’t have any special plans, I thought I’d help Darren out.”

Darren’s dad glanced at Melanie.

She smiled. “I’ve just arrived with some extra stuff for Katie to play with. The boys have been looking after her.” She stood up. “It was time I was going.” She paused as she walked by Simon. “Remember, five,” she whispered.

Simon grabbed her by the arm. “You can’t mean it. You were only here for fifteen minutes,” he whispered.

“A deal’s a deal. I’ll see you tomorrow afternoon, sexy, for the first drawing. I’m looking forward to it.” She smiled sweetly, winked, and walked out.

Simon’s shoulders slumped. He had made a promise and he would keep it, but it galled him that he had to do it in return for a measly fifteen minutes of help.

Darren stepped forward. “Hi, Mum, Dad. You’ve back early.”

“I know – it’s been a day of one disaster after another.” Darren’s dad shook his head in disgust.

“Has Katie been good?” Katie’s mum asked the boys.

“She’s been fine,” Darren said.

Simon just nodded. He didn’t think telling the truth would be very diplomatic.

“What happened?” Darren asked his dad.

Mr. MacArthur rolled his eyes. “First, it was an outdoor wedding and it started to bucket down just before the ceremony started. We had to crowd into this small pavilion while we waited for the bride to arrive. She was almost an hour late – it turned out the wedding car had broken down and they had to get it towed away. They showed up in a cab, and then she slipped in the mud as they raced to where we were waiting, completely ruining her wedding dress. You should have heard some of the language... not from her, of course, but from her mother! We managed to get through the rest of the ceremony without a problem, but I don’t think the wedding photos are going to be much – the bride looked an absolute mess. But the worst was yet to come.”

“Tell me about it.” Mrs. MacArthur said as she dropped onto the sofa. “I still can’t believe it. I suppose it’s a case of the best laid plans of mice and men...”

“Greg, can you take Katie? I want to ring to see how Helen is doing.”

Mr. Donaldson shook his head as he took Katie from his wife. “I don’t know how the reception place could make such a mistake. They tried to blame it on some temporary staff and a new computer system, but really... how can you double book a reception hall?”

“They did what?” Darren asked.

“We showed up at the reception hall and found another wedding party already in there. The reception manager was very apologetic, but we had nowhere to go. After spending an hour trying to find somewhere else – have you any idea how hard it is to organise a wedding reception at no notice? -- it was decided to just call the night off. That’s why we’re back early.”

“I want to get down!”

Mr. Donaldson smiled and put Katie back on the floor. “Don’t forget to say thank you to Darren and his friend.”

“At least they were able to reschedule it for tomorrow morning.” Mrs. MacArthur glanced at Darren. “You don’t mind being left behind again, do you? You can come if you want to.”

“No, that’s okay.” Darren grinned at Simon. “Simon and I will probably play some games on the computer.”

Simon agreed with the playing games part, but he didn’t think the computer would be involved.

Katie walked over and looked up at Darren. “Thank you.”

Darren smiled. “You’re welcome.”

Katie’s mum came back. “Thanks for looking after my little girl. She seems to have really enjoyed it.”

“That’s okay,” Darren said. “Any time.”

“How’s Helen doing?” Mrs. MacArthur asked.

“She’s still not well. I think we’ll have to miss tomorrow.”

“Don’t be silly. Darren’s just said he’d look after Katie any time and that he doesn’t have any plans. You can drop her off here and pick her up at lunchtime. How does that sound?” She looked at Darren and Mrs. Donaldson.

“Goody!” Katie grinned and tugged at Simon’s shirt. “Can we play horsey again, tomorrow?”

Copyright Notice - Copyright © July 2007 by Graeme.

The author copyrights this story and retains all rights. This work may not be duplicated in any form –  physical, electronic, audio, or otherwise – without the author's expressed permission. All applicable copyright laws apply.

Disclaimer: All individuals depicted are fictional, and any resemblance to real persons is purely coincidental.

This story first appeared as part of the Gay Authors’ 2007 Summer Anthology.

I would like to thank Rain from The Mail Crew for editing this story for me. I can thoroughly recommend their website to all teenagers who are gay, lesbian, bi or not sure.

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