Subject: The Hunters, epilogue The Hunters – Epilogue Disclaimer: The following is a work of fiction which features sexual activity between teenage boys, as well as between teenage boys and adults. If you do not want to read such a story, or it is illegal for you to do so because of your age or where you live, then I recommend you go read something else instead. Feedback is very welcome. So, if you are enjoying this story, please do drop me an email at hoo If you can, please support Nifty with a financial donation – whatever you can afford – so that this archive of stories can remain free and available. Just go to fty/ *** Late June, four years later. Warwickshire. Leamington Spa was a pretty spa town divided by the River Leam running east to west. On this particular Saturday afternoon, the town was hosting a market and dozens of people wandered around the rows of stalls, examining the items on sale and enjoying the summer sun. “What do you think?” Will asked, holding up a print of Stirling Moss. Ben grimaced. “Well I like it,” the blonde haired young man said. “It’ll look great in the living room.” “I was thinking more of the bathroom,” Ben joked. Will laughed, before lightly punching Ben’s arm. “Are you two students?” the stall-holder asked. “Yes,” Will confirmed. “I’ve just finished my second year. My boyfriend’s just graduated,” he added, gesturing towards Ben. “What are you studying?” the man asked. “Automotive engineering.” “Hence the Stirling Moss print,” the stall-holder chuckled. “Yeah,” Will replied. “So what are you planning on doing now you’ve graduated?” the man asked, turning his attention towards Ben. “I’ve got a job in Warwick with the County Council,” Ben told him. “Looking at environmental issues and climate change.” “Sounds like an interesting job, and very worthwhile.” “Yeah,” Ben responded. “Hopefully I can make a difference.” The stall-holder turned around as another customer required his attention. “So are you getting it?” Ben asked his boyfriend, gesturing to the print. “Of course,” Will replied. kütahya escort “I despair of you.” “I know. But you love me anyway.” Laughing, Ben went to look at another stall. Will paid for the print. “You’re a lucky guy,” the stall-holder told him. He nodded, knowing it was true. His life was good. It was complete. There was nothing missing. Except… He still thought about Josh constantly. It was rare that a day passed when he wouldn’t feel a sudden impulse to phone his brother and share some funny incident, only to remember they would never share anything again. Over time, the intense pain had eased, but a profound sense of loss still remained. He turned around, looking over towards a stall where Ben was browsing jars of homemade jam. As he did so, he spotted something out of the corner of his eye. He almost couldn’t believe it. It was Jonathan, buying two ice cream cones from a stall at the end of the opposite row, one of which he passed to a boy of about three who sat perched upon his shoulders. They turned around, disappearing from Will’s view. Without knowing why he was doing it, he hurried after them. In the background, he could hear the stall-holder calling, but he just kept going. He reached the end of the row and looked about him. The area was thick with people. For a moment, he feared he had lost them. Then he saw them standing with Mike, who was holding a buggy in which a dark-haired girl of about two lay sleeping. Quickly, he moved closer. “Why did you have to get him that?” Mike was demanding. “He won’t eat his tea now.” “It’s only an ice cream,” Jon replied. “You could try saying no. Honestly Jon, you’re too soft with him.” The little boy started to laugh. Jon did the same. Mike’s face broke into a smile. “I don’t know which one of you is the bigger kid.” Will cleared his throat. They turned towards him. Jon and Mike looked startled. The little boy smiled. “Hi,” Will said. “Hi,” Jon replied. “What are you doing here?” Mike asked. “We’re shopping.” “We?” “Ben and me. lara escort I don’t know whether you’d heard from Olivia, but we’re both at Warwick Uni, and we’re together again.” “Yes, we did,” Mike said. “We’re very pleased for you both.” “So what about you two?” Will asked. “What brings you down here? I thought you were still living near Stockport.” “We are,” Jon replied. “We’re down here on holiday.” “Oh, cool.” “These two aren’t ours, before you ask,” Mike said, gesturing to the two young children. “Well actually, they sort of are,” Jon added. “I’ve recently became a foster carer. Danny and Millie are living with us at the moment.” “That’s amazing,” Will told him. “So, are you both doing that?” “No. Mike’s still working for social services.” “Oh, cool,” Will responded. “Thanks for your letter,” Jon said suddenly. “It meant a great deal to me. I wanted to write back, but at the time I didn’t really know what to say.” Silence. Will told himself he should leave, while realising he wanted to stay. “I heard what you did to Nick,” Jon continued. “I wish I’d seen it.” “So do I,” Mike added. “My pleasure,” Will replied. Then, suddenly, he started to laugh. Jon and Mike followed suit. It felt natural; good, in fact. Millie woke up, saw Danny’s ice cream, and screamed for one of her own. Jon gave her the remains of his cone which she promptly dropped down her dress. Groaning, Mike pulled out a tissue and began to clean her up. “The joys of being a foster parent,” Jon said with a grin. “So when do these two have their birthdays?” Will asked. “Not too near Christmas, I hope.” “No, thank God,” Jon replied. “Millie’s just had hers, and Danny’s is in early October.” Will grinned. “Phew! I remember all the people who used to give Josh and me a combined birthday and Christmas present. They’d always say it was an extra special gift, but it never was.” “I know,” Jon agreed. “There’d always try and make it look special by wrapping it in expensive paper, but I was never fooled.” “Neither were lara eve gelen escort we. In fact they just went straight to the top of our hate list.” “Mine too. By the time I was nine, that list went on forever.” Again, they both laughed. Danny tugged Jon’s ear. “Uncle Jon, when are we going?” “Soon, kiddo,” Jon told him. “I mustn’t keep you,” Will said quickly. “It’s not fair on the kids.” “Why don’t we meet up later?” Mike suggested. “Go out for dinner together.” “I don’t know,” Will replied. “We were meant to be meeting up with some friends…” “Oh, okay,” Jon said. Will paused for a moment. “No. Sod it. We can go for a drink with our friends any time.” “That’s great,” Jon told him. “Bring Ben. We’d love to meet him.” “Yes, you must,” Mike said firmly. “And just so you know, Danny likes toy trains and Millie likes anything cuddly that looks like a rabbit.” Jon looked embarrassed. “Mike, he doesn’t have to bring presents.” “Yes, he does.” Mike turned to Will. “That’s what uncles do, isn’t it?” Will didn’t answer. In his head was an image of a nine year old Josh sitting in a row boat on the river, laughing uproariously as a flock of swans attacked. For a moment, he felt the familiar sense of loss. Then suddenly it was gone, replaced by the sense of something precious having been found. *** Ben stood holding the print and apologising to the stall-holder. “I don’t know where he’s gone. I’m really sorry.” “No need to apologise,” the seller said. “He’s already paid.” Ben saw his boyfriend approaching and prepared to quiz him on his whereabouts. However, as Will got nearer, all Ben could do was stare. “What’s happened to you?” Ben asked. “What do you mean?” “Your face,” Ben said. “It’s… I don’t know… glowing.” Will didn’t answer, just gazed at his boyfriend, looking almost as happy as he had when Ben had agreed to go out with him again. “Tell me!” Ben insisted. “You’ll find out this evening,” Will said, before kissing him. *** Authors note: And so we leave Will, Ben, Jon and Mike. I hope you’ve enjoyed this story. If you have, I’d love to hear from you – hoo I have already started work on my next story, which I am hoping to start posting in a few weeks time. It will be called “Everything’s Different in the Country” and will be in the `Young friends’ category.

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