Annika Sturm is German and has been living in England for over 10 years. Aside from working in marketing, she loves running, hanging out with her friends and has very recently started writing just for fun. As she is fascinated by football, she would love to see more open-mindedness towards homosexuality in sports in future.
This is the story of two boys, two friends, two professional footballers. One day they discover they have feelings for each other that go beyond just friendship. Suddenly the boys find themselves having to make difficult decisions with life-changing consequences. Together they embark on a tough journey against prejudice and discrimination. Can their affection for each other survive in the world of football?
This book is a work of fiction and, except in the case of geographic facts and references of football teams and tournaments, any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
For previous instalments (chapters 1 – 8) click here.
Alex was wide awake at about 5 o’clock in the morning. He hadn’t slept well as he had kept sitting up countless number of times during the night to check Tom was alright and still breathing calmly next to him. Alex was contently watching him still fast asleep and kissed his friend before he got dressed and sleepily went downstairs into his living room. He took a look around and realised that it felt like a long time since he was last here. Max’s room was still ready to welcome him with toys and games whenever the time was right. Alex gulped sadly and closed his son’s bedroom door. ‘One step at a time.’ He told himself.
He took a deep breath and got to work. He unpacked his and Tom’s clothes, sorted his friend’s medicine in the kitchen and placed all bandages and wound dressings in the bathroom. By that time it was almost 7 o’clock in the morning and whilst he was trying to make some breakfast for them with the little food he actually had in the house and preparing Tom’s medication at the same time, his mobile rang. ‘Hey Anna,’ Alex said cheerfully, ‘I just thought of you.’ His sister laughed into the phone. ‘Oh yeah, why? What do you need?’ Alex chuckled. ‘Well, I was wondering if you fancied looking after Tommy for a couple of hours today while I’m at training. I don’t want to leave him alone here just yet.’ Alex bit his lip desperately hoping she’d say yes. Anna laughed. ‘Oh I see! Anything else?’ ‘Yeah. Breakfast would be good.’ Alex said and grinned. ‘You are nothing but trouble. I’m on my way.’ ‘Oh I love you!’ Alex cheered as he hung up. He punched his fist in the air and focussed back on Tom’s medication.
‘Do you have a new man already? I swear I’ll beat him up.’ Alex stopped short in shock as he heard Tom joke and breathe hard behind him. ‘Tommy!’, he turned around and saw him in Alex’s dressing gown exhaustedly leaning against the hand rail at the bottom of the staircase, ‘Jesus, are you crazy?,’ he stormed towards him and held him in his arms, ‘what are you doing up by yourself?’ Tom put his arms around his neck and was gratefully leaning onto his friend. ‘I just wanted to see the house. And what you’re up to.’ Tom said and smiled but the exhaustion of his little excursion was already visible in his face. Alex kissed him hectically. ‘Christ, Tommy. You are still weak. You could have fallen down those stairs and break your bloody neck.’ He cursed as he kissed him again. ‘I didn’t though, did I?’ Tom laughed triumphantly. Alex tutted but couldn’t help but smile at him. ‘You want a tour? You can have a tour.’ He picked him up gently and carried him into every room whilst Tom was chuckling with laughter. ‘Put me down, Alex, Jesus! I’m not a girl!’ He protested giggling. Alex gave him a look and kept carrying him around.
The tour ended back upstairs in the bedroom and Tom moaned being put back into bed. ‘I know this room already!’ He complained. Alex was breathing hard from carrying his friend. ‘Moon on a stick, is it?’, Tom laughed and propped himself up on his elbows, ‘right. I’m going to finish preparing your medication downstairs. Alone,’ Alex said and touched his nose gently, ‘then I’ll bring it up to you and we’ll wash you and dress your wound while my heaven-sent sister is bringing us some sort of food. I’m bloody starving.’ Tom smiled shyly. ‘I hope I won’t be too much hard work for you.’ He said nervously. ‘You already are!’ Alex laughed and kissed him passionately.
The first attempt of a wash had both boys in stitches and tears of laughter. Alex carefully washed his friend’s back, arms, neck and hair and Tom was sitting in the bath causing havoc, giggling all the way through. ‘Oh man, I feel like I’m four again!’ ‘That’s because you are behaving like it. Stop making such a fuss! We mustn’t get your wound wet.’ Alex shouted and laughed as he washed the shampoo out of Tom’s hair. He wrapped him in a big towel and supported him as they were slowly walking back towards the bed.
Alex made him lie down on his back as he carefully changed the dressing on his side. The cut was visible as a long red aggressive line on Tom’s pale skin and Alex couldn’t even count the endless amount of stitches that had saved his friend’s life that night. Tom watched Alex concentrate on the task at hand with a smile. ‘How’s it looking?’ He asked him. ‘Check it out,’ Alex nodded at him. Tom inspected it carefully and pulled a face, ‘it’s healing nicely though.’ Alex said and kissed him. He was pleased with himself once Tom was sorted with a clean bandage and dressed in some jeans and a warm jumper.
Alex sat down on the bed with a sigh. ‘I’m exhausted now.’ He said and laughed. Tom smiled at him gratefully. ‘Thank you,’ he whispered, ‘not the sexiest side of me, hey?’ He laughed quietly. Alex took a deep breath and lay down next to him. He stroked his cheek. ‘You’re the sexiest man alive. Nothing will ever change that.’ He grinned and kissed him lovingly as he started stroking his stomach, slowly unbuttoning his jeans again. Tom gasped and held his head smiling at him. ‘Hey, you only just got me dressed.’ He chuckled. As Alex slowly continued and let his hand slip into his friend’s boxer shorts, Tom closed his eyes and started moaning quietly and kissing Alex lustfully.
‘Alex,’ Tom stopped him and gulped, ‘I can’t. This body is too bloody weak still.’ He looked nervous. ‘I know,’ Alex stroked his cheeks, ‘but I can still make you feel good.’ He grinned and slowly pulled Tom’s jeans and boxers down before he kissed his stomach carefully, conscious of the stab wound on his side. He smiled at his friend breathing harder and then lay down on his front, holding on to Tom’s thighs, as he relished going down on him. Finally, after all this time of pain, he could help him feel some pleasure again and when he heard him moan with lust and taste him shortly afterwards, Alex experienced the same moment of excitement. He stifled a moan and shivered kissing the inside of his friend’s thighs gently. ‘Alex,’ Tom grabbed his arms and pulled him up towards him. He kissed him and stroked his hair, ‘that felt so good,’ he whispered breathlessly into his ear, ‘are you okay?’ Alex giggled quietly and nodded. ‘Told you. You drive me crazy.’ He said licking his lips. Tom smiled at him. ‘Perhaps best get changed though before your sis turns up.’ He whispered in his ear again and both boys giggled hugging each other tightly.