Stilton and a glass of port

by Gloria Mundi

Christmas Eve dawned hazy and warm. Dom was sick of California: sick of good weather, fresh fruit, stretch limos and flashing cameras. At least they had a few days off for Christmas, though the break wasn’t long enough for him to be able to get home to Manchester. He decided to sulk in the study instead, where it was gloomy and messy and the sun couldn’t get in. “Nassssty yellow eye,” Dom muttered to himself, swigging orange juice from the carton as he sat down in front of the computer to check his email.

He almost missed the link. The email was headed “Check this out!” and he didn’t recognize the sender’s address. Another bloody virus, probably: but what the hell. He opened the email anyway.

“I saw this and thought of you,” read the message. “Quite safe, honest, even if Lij is watching!”

So the sender was someone who knew him – and who knew about his domestic arrangements. Curiosity piqued, Dom clicked on the web link.

Five minutes later he was on the phone, leafing through his tattered address book for a number he couldn’t ever remember having dialled before now.

The familiar accent was almost enough to choke Dom, but another swig of orange juice helped with that.

“Bean! See you’re working again!” he said cheerfully.

“Dom?” said Sean at the other end of the phone. He sounded … pleased, Dom decided. Pleased that Dom had called him.

“Yeah,” said Dom. “Just saw your ad on the web.” He replayed that sentence in his head and chuckled. “Makes me sound like some old pervert!”

“Ah, the Marks and Sparks thing?” said Sean, laughing.

“Men bearing gifts!” said Dom. “I see you’ve gone up in the world. Marks and Spencer, eh? Beats contact lenses!”

“Well,” said Sean, “it’s easy money. Not like *Macbeth*! And I’ll have you know it’s not the first time I’ve worked for M&S.”


“Nah. Used to cart cheese up to the shop from the cold store, back in Sheffield in the Seventies.”

They both laughed. Dom could imagine Sean as a young porter. Dodgy Seventies haircut – probably a mullet - young and blond and …

He stamped firmly on that line of thought. All very well when they were all in New Zealand, living that weird out-of-this-world life. Now he was in California, and famous, and with Lij. And he wasn’t going to think of Sean like that, because it wasn’t fair.

“That’s another thing about this bloody country,” he said rather gruffly.

“You can’t get decent cheese.”

“What are you on about, Dom?” said Sean affectionately.

“No Cheddar,” said Dom, determined not to think about Sean’s affection or Sean in New Zealand or what Sean might be doing now. He’d never thought that he might be missing Sean. “No Stilton,” he ploughed on gamely. “A couple of fancy specialty shops where you can get Camembert-substitute, but nothing you’d want to put on toast.”

“No Stilton?” Sean sounded dismayed. “I like a nice bit of Stilton.”

“I cannot believe we’re having this conversation.”

“Stilton, and a glass of port, and some fruit –“

Oh no, thought Dom.

“- grapes, or strawberries –“

“You did that on purpose!” Dom accused.

“Did what?” said Sean innocently: then ruined it by laughing out loud.

“Wanker,” said Dom, not very convincingly. Amazing, after all this time, over all this distance: Sean saying ‘strawberries’ still made him hard.
And Sean knew it. Dom could hear him breathing on the other end of the phone line, and maybe it was his imagination, but Sean didn’t sound entirely composed either.

“Are you touching yourself?” Sean murmured eventually.

It was so clichéd that Dom wanted to laugh, except that, after all, he *was* touching himself, hand slipped under the waistband of his sweats, stroking himself, remembering a warm Sunday morning in New Zealand …

“Yes,” he whispered at last. “Are you?”

“Yes. “Sean definitely had the right sort of voice for phone sex, thought Dom: deep, rough, with that accent that made him homesick. “I’m … I’m remembering you, Dom. Remember that day we went to the beach, just us, no one else?”

“Mmmm,” groaned Dom, hand wrapping more tightly around his cock as he remembered the patterns of callouses on Sean’s palm. “And it was so bloody hot we had to swim to cool down …”

“And we just stripped off,” Sean continued. His breath was definitely irregular now. “And you … you grabbed me, in the sea. Your hands on me were so … so hot …”

“I just looked at you,” Dom said, almost gasping, “and I couldn’t wait till we got out of the water. Couldn’t wait to touch you. Wanted to –“

“And you were so hot, so sexy … I’d decided you weren’t interested, and then you turned round and … oh, your hand on me …” Sean made a small, needy noise in the back of his throat. Dom remembered that noise. It made him gulp in air, remembering, and stroke himself hard and fast. He wasn’t going to last …

“And I – I nearly drowned when you kissed me,” Sean said, half-laughing, half-choking. “God, Dommie, it’s been –“

“And I nearly drowned later, up on the beach, when I sucked – oh *God*. Oh fuck. Sean …”

Back in London, he could hear Sean’s orgasm rolling over him like the waves on that New Zealand beach. Dom felt like something the sea had washed up on the shore.

“Fuck,” said Sean eventually, still out of breath. Then, after a moment,
“I’m sorry, Dom. I didn’t –“

“No, don’t apologise.” Dom swallowed. His come was sticky on his hand and his stomach, and he had a sinking feeling that he was going to regret this. But he couldn’t feel sorry just yet.

“I miss you too,” he said at last, very softly. “Wish I was in England for Christmas. Wish I could come and visit.”

Sean chuckled. “Most people over here would kill for the chance to spend Christmas in Hollywood.”

“Fuck Hollywood,” said Dom. “*You* know.”

“Yeah ... miss you too, mate.” And from the warmth in Sean’s voice, Dom knew he meant it.

There was another silence. Dom could have listened to Sean’s breathing for hours: he tried not to think of the nights when he’d lain next to Sean, breathing the same rhythm.
On the other hand, he was sticky and smelly. And there was a car drawing up outside.

“Bean, I’ve got to go,” he said, sighing. “I …”

“I know,” said Sean affectionately. “Merry Christmas, Dom.”

“And you, mate,” said Dom.

Elijah came into the bathroom and perched on the edge of the bath, watching Dom shower. Dom grinned at him. Sure, he wasn’t Sean: it wasn’t the same. But it was still pretty good.

“I called earlier, but the line was busy,” said Elijah. “Ringing home?”

It didn’t count, Dom told himself. It was just a wank. Not like I touched anyone. But he knew he *had* touched someone.

“Oh, I was just chatting to Bean,” he said, striving for calm. “Heard he did a couple of Christmas ads.”

“Yeah? What’d you talk about?”

“Cheese,” said Dom. “British cheese.”