Paulie opens the curtains in his bedsit to sunshine. And blue skies! He basks in it for a full minute, feeling the heat on his naked body. Fuck, yeah!
He drags his slumbering lover from sleep, although with this being the first sunny day of spring six weeks past its due, Draco needs little persuading. Soon they are out on the street, relishing a city transformed. All of London seems to have shed its winter cover and from under the dark, hooded coats emerge the bright hues of its spring plumage.
By the time they reach the common, the E they dropped is starting to kick in, making everything even brighter and more vivid. It makes Draco chatty and impulsive; Paulie just grins and allows himself to be dragged along by the beautiful boy he barely knows. The park is alive: there are people everywhere. Kites, balls, games, picnics…London has been stockpiling this stuff all winter and has dropped all other plans to grasp the opportunity to bring it out into the long-awaited sun.
Draco cartwheels across the grass, scaring a puffed up pigeon trying to persuade its mate to make hay while the sun shines. Paulie watches with lustful awe for the boy’s youthful athleticism and does a forward roll, making the younger man laugh.
They head for the highest point in the the common, feasting on the sights and sounds of the London that appears like magic on a sunny day. A group of young Asian girls, some in head scarves, are playing Lady Gaga loudly, so Draco shows off the dance moves that first caught Paulie’s eye in the club. The girls mainly giggle; one shyly joins in and squeals with delight when Draco picks her up and swings her. Paulie’s grinning from ear to ear as they move off and he pulls Draco into a long, passionate kiss the minute they have a semblance of privacy.
They settle on a spot with a good view and strip off their shirts to catch the sun. As the E rolls through them, the ripe energy of spring is alive in every cell in their body. Breezes harden their nipples, while the heat caresses them lazily, a lover with a feather’s touch.
An ice-cream van tinkles into view. Paulie joins the throng drawn to its siren call, smiling beatifically at strangers and delighting in the oh-so-rare-in-London pleasure of having them smile back. The crowd at the van is a microcosm of London’s melting pot: every race, creed and colour queuing in the way only the English know how. Even babies of four and five are issuing instructions, “That’s not the queue, you know!”
Paulie takes his purchase back towards the spot where Draco’s muscular body lies in the sun. He catches the eye of a small nappy-headed boy whose also carrying ice cream and smiles, shifting his gaze to the woman with him.
“What are you looking at?” she snarls, her face reddening beneath bleached hair and walks past leaving Paulie, recovering from the blow, in her wake.