Well, it finally happened. Someone (you know who you are) sent me a virus - one that can't be fixed. Fortunately, The Hotmail virus checker blocked it, and there is no harm done. The result of this near miss, however, is that, in the future I will just delete any message with an attachment without opening it. Sorry about that folks, but I have a lot of records and correspondence on my machine, and can't take the chance. Backups are automatic and frequent, but the bother (not to mention the time) involved in reinstalling 20 gigabytes of applications and data isn't worth the risk.

I want to thank the rest of you who wrote all those nice things about my efforts. The comments have been noted, and some of them seriously considered. I love the email, but I'm not sure I can keep up with the sheer volume of it, and answer each one individually. I will make an effort to do so, but I have to eat and sleep too.

I claim copyright privileges for this story in its entirety.. It comes from a favorite fantasy of mine, and if you find it enjoyable, let me know with an email to deerstalker79@hotmail.com.

The usual disclaimers apply. If you are under the legal age in your State, please go read something else. If you are offended by this type of subject matter, why are you reading stuff from an erotic gay site?

Eric - Chapter 3

    I returned to the kitchen after first turning on the stereo (piped throughout the house) and loading up Christmas carol CDs. I set two places at the end of the island - each with flatware, a soup bowl, and a small plate for sandwiches. I transferred the hot soup to a preheated tureen, added a ladle, and put that on the granite surface also. I got a couple of napkins from the dining room, and added them to the place settings. I took butter, mayonnaise, mustard, and (shudder) ketchup from the refrigerator, and put them on the island too. Eric entered as I was removing the moist towel from the sliced meat and cheese.

    "Mmmmmm!" he said. "What's that great smell?"

    "Soup," I answered as I removed the lid from the tureen. "I thought you would welcome something hot. Sit there, and help yourself." I indicated one of the stools, and sat on one of the others.

    Eric ladled his bowl full, dipped his spoon into the rich, thick soup, and gently blew on it. He sipped the soup into his mouth and exclaimed, "That's great! What kind of soup is it?"

    "Lentil," I told him as I filled my bowl. "I made it from a traditional German recipe last week. I'm glad you like it.

    "Help yourself to a sandwich too," I said. "There's bread in that basket."

    He quickly put together a huge sandwich, and bit into it. He ate as if he hadn't eaten anything in a week, and, I thought to myself, he likely hadn't. I let him enjoy his second sandwich before I smiled and said,"Slow down, Little One. There is plenty here, and there will be breakfast in the morning, and dinner tomorrow afternoon, and supper tomorrow evening, and snacks whenever you want them. You won't go hungry here, ever."

    He blushed, and stopped chewing for a moment - then resumed until he could swallow what he had in his mouth. "I'm sorry," he whimpered sadly. "I guess I'm making a pig of myself."

    "You're just hungry," I said smiling at him, "and your recent training has taught you to get all you can while it's available. Nobody is going to take this away until you've had enough - not if you want to eat all night. You're welcome to all you want. I'm just trying to point out that there is more food in this house than you could possibly eat in a week, and meals will be served on a regular basis."

    He smiled back at me, and said, "You're the greatest."

    I was amazed that this wisp of a lad finished a second bowl of the rich, filling soup, and a third - though somewhat smaller - sandwich. When he had finally eaten his fill, I allowed him to rest a few minutes while I put the remnants of the snack away. He climbed down from the stool, and carried the dirty dishes to the sink. As he began to fill the sink with hot water, I said, "You don't have to do that."

    "I want to," he said with conviction. "I've got to pull my weight if I'm going to stay here."  

    "That's a wonderful thought," I said, "and I appreciate the gesture, but that's not what I meant." I walked over to where he was standing in front of the sink and said, "You really don't have to wash the dishes." I pulled open the door of the dishwasher and said, "I have a dishwasher that does that, and with far hotter water than human hands can stand."

    "Oh." he said, and reddened. "I guess I should have known you would have one of those.".

    I ruffled his hair with a smile, and proceeded to explain how the dishes should be loaded, then taught him how to use the different settings for different tasks. He was attentive, and I was sure he would not need to review the instructions. He was quite bright, and asked only a few salient questions to be sure he got it right.

    "Are you ready for the grand tour?" I asked.

    "Sure," he said. "Are you going to show me the `Palace' now?" He shot me a smile that lit up my world.

    "Well, everything except the secret passages," I smiled back at him.

    He got a look of consternation on his face until he realized I was joking. He giggled that beautiful tinkling sound, and I felt a lasting love beginning to grow for this wonderful waif.

    I led him to the door to the rooms off the kitchen that had been the cook's quarters for an earlier owner. I had converted the first one into a conference room, and built a large table for it. The inner room had been rewired for my computer and its related equipment, and contained a desk/cabinet combination I had built. I was quite proud of the furnishings, since I had made them from old growth cherry wood with my own hands in the wood-shop on the grounds. I had even taken pictures of the room and sent them to Norm from PBS-TV.

    "This is my private space," I said. "You aren't allowed in here unless you're invited. I keep my records here, and projects I work on from time to time. The rest of the house and grounds are open to you, but I have to insist that you respect the privacy of these two rooms.

    "Your private space is your bedroom," I continued. "I won't go in there unless you invite me - nor will anyone else," I added thinking about Tom and Carl.

    "I understand," he said. "I've never had a `private space' before. My father used to go through all my stuff, and take anything he wanted."

    "That won't happen here," I told him. "In fact, you'll want to make sure you empty your pockets before you put your clothes in the laundry hamper - unless you want it washed and dried." I gave him a big smile.

    He rewarded me another of those marvelous giggles. "OK." he said. "I can handle that."

    "Come on," I said, and led him back into the kitchen. I made a sharp left turn and opened the door to the family room - a huge thirty by sixty foot space with a sixty inch plasma TV at one end and clerestory windows flanking the massive fireplace at the other. There were separate seating areas; one for watching TV, a "conversation pit" arrangement with a large coffee table in front of the fireplace, and a curved sectional by the Hammond Organ to the right as you faced the TV. The shimmering fifteen foot Christmas tree in the rear corner at the opposite end cast its glow over the whole room. I heard Erich gasp. "It's beautiful," he whispered.

    I stood still while he moved slowly toward the tree as if it were magnet. My eyes burned with tears as I watched this beautiful angel glide across the carpet, and come to a halt in front of the towering symbol of plenty. He reached out his hand to touch one of the widest branches as if to convince himself it was real. He was overwhelmed - totally awestruck - and I realized that this might have been too great a culture shock for him. It had been only a few hours since he had been filthy dirty, shivering in a blizzard with an empty belly and no hope. I crossed the room to stand behind him and said quietly, "Merry Christmas, Eric."

    He whirled around to face me with a sob, wrapped his arms around my waist, and buried his face in my chest. I held him, rubbing his back gently. We stood there like that for several minutes while our tears washed away his grief and redeemed my battered soul.

    As his sobs slowly subsided, he lifted his face and said, " I love you Bob. "

    My heart soared. I leaned my head down, kissed his forehead, and said, "I love you too, Eric."

    We hugged each other for a few more minutes, and then I asked him, "Do you want to see the rest of the house?"

    He nodded, smiled, and said "Yeah, but I don't think anything can beat this," indicating the tree. I decided to wait until morning to make him aware of the train beneath it.

    We walked out of the family room to the front foyer, and I opened the door to what had been intended as a formal parlor. I had sold or given away most of the furniture, and moved a pool table and a snooker table (convertible to billiards) into it, and had a wet bar installed - not an easy task in a building constructed of steel and concrete. The entire house was built with masonry construction since the original owner was deathly afraid of fire. The surface of the walls on the inside were covered with wood, but it was treated with fireproofing. He had even gone so far as to have a separate well drilled to supply the sprinkler system on the peak of the roof. This house was not going to burn down any time soon.

    "You have a pool table!" Eric shouted.

    "WE have a pool table," I corrected.

    He was astounded. "Really? You mean it?"

    "I don't say things I don't mean," I told him. "I always tell the truth - at least what I think is the truth at the time. Sometimes I have bad information that might cause me to say something that turns out to be a lie, but I always intend to tell the truth."

    "Isn't that hard? He asked. "I mean you could make yourself look really bad if you told everyone you're gay."

    Yes," I said. "Sometimes it's very hard, but I don't tell everyone everything. Most of the time it's none of their business so I just don't say anything at all. What other people don't know can't hurt us."

    He nodded and asked, "What other great things does the `Palace' have?"

    "Come on," I said, and led him through the dining room to the kitchen where I opened the door to the basement. We went down the stairs, and he looked at the laundry room, the wine cellar, the room with all the "mechanicals" - electrical breaker box, natural gas manifold, water heaters (four of them) - the furnace room, and the exercise room with all the weights and various machines dedicated to keeping one's waistline trim and shoulders broad.

    "Wow. You... er... We have everything, don't we?"

    "Well, pretty much everything we need," I smiled at his correction. This young man learned very quickly.

    I took him upstairs to the second floor, and showed him the master suite - sitting room, bedroom, dressing room, and bathroom with its Jacuzzi hot tub, and sauna - and then showed him the library with its more than 4000 books and computerized file system.

    "Have you read all those books?" he asked.

    "No," I told him, "but I'm working on it slowly."

    "I thought maybe you had `cause you know the right answers to everything."

    "Not nearly," I demurred. "There are a lot of things for which I don't even know the right questions.

    "Well, that about does it," I said, "except for the other guest rooms that are pretty much like your room, and the attic which is empty except for the air conditioning equipment, and the pumps for the sprinklers. When the weather clears a bit, I'll show you the grounds and the other buildings."

    "Other buildings?" he inquired. "How many houses are there?"

    "The only other house where people live is the gatehouse," I said, "but there is a wood-shop, a maintenance shed and garage, a gardener's cottage with a greenhouse, and, of course, the boathouse which will probably have to wait until the snow melts."

    "Boathouse?" he queried excitedly. "We have a boat? Can we go fishing? Can we go skiing? Where is it?" The questions bubbled from his lips like a waterfall.

    "I guess I should have let you discover it for yourself, but there is a lake - about three hundred acres of it - down the hill behind the house. It's big enough to ski on, and there are fish in it. All that will have to wait for spring though, so calm down." I decided not to tell him about the other, smaller lake. He could "discover" that for himself next June or July.

    "Let's go downstairs, and enjoy the fire," I said, and added in a conspiratorial whisper, "If you play your cards right, you might be able to talk me into making some hot chocolate."

    He threw himself against me and hugging my waist said, "Cool. I'd like that."

    We walked down the stairs, his left arm around my waist and my right hand on his shoulder. We settled side by side on the sofa in front of the fireplace with the Christmas music playing softly. It was heaven for me. " Relax for a few minutes," I said getting up.."I'm going to make that hot chocolate."

    I quickly retired to the kitchen, and made a pot of chocolate. I used the genuine Swiss process cocoa and light cream, and put it in an insulated carafe. I didn't have any marshmallows to put on top, but I added some small cookies on a plate to the tray with the cups and chocolate and carried the whole thing back to the coffee table..

    I poured out the chocolate, and Eric lifted the cup, blew on it gently, and then sipped it carefully. "Mmmmmm. That's good."

    We sat quietly for some time enjoying the chocolate, the music, the fire, the tree, and each other's company. It was getting on toward eleven o'clock, and Eric seemed to be winding down a bit. "There are some things I need to tell you before tomorrow morning," I said finally.

    He looked at me, and I saw the tears starting to form. He thought I was going to scold him for something. "It's nothing bad," I said. "It's just information you should have before Tom and Carl get here for dinner tomorrow."

    The clouds quickly cleared from his eyes, and the sun shone once more. He smiled and waited expectantly.

    "The most important thing for you to know is that Tom is a big man. No he's more than big. He's huge, and I don't want you to be frightened when you see him. He's a wonderful man - gentle and kind in every way. He and Carl have lived in the gatehouse for about eight years - long before I arrived on the scene - and he worked for the last owner for a couple of years before that. He probably loves this estate more than I do. After all, he's the one who designed the landscaping, and made it look like it does. You'll appreciate all his work when the snow is gone, and the flowers begin to bloom."

    Eric looked at me intently and asked quietly, "How big is he?"

    "Well over seven feet tall, and he weighs in at a little less than four hundred pounds - and believe me, he is not fat."


    "Wow, indeed. Carl is not a small man. He's a couple of inches shorter than I am, but he looks like a midget next to Tom." I continued, "Carl is a man, but he has a softer temperament than you are used to - and, be warned, he sometimes lets out an excited scream that will scare the pants off you and tear out your eardrums to boot." I smiled and paused in case there were any questions. "He's not really what gay people call `nellie', but he definitely comes down a bit on the feminine side of the gender neutral line. Whatever he is or appears to be though, he loves Tom to distraction, and Tom loves him just as much."

    Eric was thoughtful for a few minutes. Finally he asked, "Do they do stuff together?"

    "What kind of `stuff' do you mean?"

    He blushed, and said, "You know - sex stuff."

    " I really don't know for sure," I said. "They told me they are gay, so I suppose they do something that makes them both happy, but exactly what that something is - that's none of my business. Nor yours either for that matter.

    "You have to realize that love doesn't always have to be sexual. A man can love his brother, but he doesn't have sex with him."

    Eric sighed. "Mine did," he said softly.

     I was shocked by his revelation. " Do you want to tell me about it?" I asked.

    He nodded, and said, "His name is Lars, but everyone calls him Junior. He's the same kind of asshole my father is - big man, always right," he paused in reflection, "and he started sticking his dick up my butt about four years ago. It hurt like hell in the beginning, but after a couple of months I didn't mind it too much. I never really liked it, but letting him do it made him treat me better. He used to tell me he loved me while he was pumping it into me, but he didn't want anyone else to know - `specially Dad."

    "How often did he do it?" I asked.

     "Usually three or four times a week depending on how often Dad went to the bar after work," he said. "He'd come into my room, and say something stupid like, `Look what I've got for you,' and start squeezing my butt, and putting his finger in. He made me play with his dick while he put some kind of slippery goo in my hole, and then he'd do it. Just before he joined the Marines last year, it felt pretty good a couple of times, but it made an awful mess."

    "My God," I interjected.. "What a rotten prick."

    "About a month before he joined up, he came home drunk one night. Dad was out of town, and he wanted to screw me, but he couldn't get it stiff. He told me to put it in my mouth and suck on it to make it hard. I did, and I guess he forgot what he wanted to do `cause he grabbed my head and started pumping his dick into my mouth. I kind of liked it - the taste and the smell and all. After a while, I thought he had peed in my mouth, but it wasn't salty at all. That's when I learned that he was squirting sperm into my butt all those times before. He told me I was going to be a great cocksucker some day."

    I sat there speechless. The thoughts of Lars Junior running through my head were not benevolent ones.

    "After that, he would sit on a chair, or lay on the bed and just have me suck on it. I kind of liked that `cause it didn't hurt, and he would groan and wiggle like he was going crazy." Eric giggled a little at the memory, but it didn't have magic tinkle I had heard before. It was more like a breaking icicle.

    "After he left for basic training, I got lonely and wanted to suck on somebody's dick, so I talked by best friend into letting me do it to him. He liked it, and he let me do it a lot. We had a lot of fun doing other things together too like boarding and playing pretend games, but getting sucked was what he liked best. He wouldn't touch me though. He said he didn't mind that I was a faggot, but he wasn't going to be one," Eric went on ruefully. It seemed like he had kept all this bottled up inside, and once tapped, the dam burst and it was all coming out.

    "We were in the boys' room on the last day of school, and I had his dick clear down my throat when one of the hall monitors caught us. He reported us to the principal, and, as they say, the rest is history. Of course they called my father at work. He took the rest of the day off, and beat the shit out me before he kicked me out of his house. I sneaked back in and got some clothes and what little money I could find the next day while he was at work, but I didn't dare stick around. He told me he'd kill me if I ever showed my face there again and I believed him. None of the guys I hung out with would even talk to me anyway, so I just started walking. I met a couple of guys where I first saw you in front of the market. I hung out with them for a few days, and they taught me a lot about how to survive on the streets, but they must have got picked up for something. They just weren't there one day, and I never saw them again after that."

    I put my arm around his shoulder and pulled him close. He snuggled into my embrace and sighed. He was exhausted. The past six hours had been an emotional roller-coaster for him, and for me as well. I kissed the top of his head, and murmured, "Time for bed, Little One. Those monsters in your memory can't get to you here. Go on up, now. It will soon be Christmas morning. You need to rest up for the big doin's. I'll be up soon and check to see you're OK."

    He kissed me on the cheek, said,"Good night," and headed for the stairs. "I love you."

    "I love you too," I said. "Pleasant dreams."

    He slowly climbed the stairs, and disappeared from view. I sat stupefied as I digested his tale. I had no doubt it was true in every sordid detail. What amazed me was the fact that his tribulations had not affected his belief in himself. He had fought the battles of insecurity over his evident orientation, and come through almost unscathed. He had survived through hunger, and other deprivations, yet he held no grudges, wished no ill for anyone, and had come to terms with what the world thought of him and his kind. He lived in a world of dreams while dealing with reality, and devil take the hindmost. I had no doubt I would hear vignettes of his day to day life during this past year in the near future, but most of those stories would have a thread of humor running through them. His brave stand on his principles had turned this potential victim into a victor. The words of Henley's "Invictus" came unbidden to my mind. The poem described Eric and his eight month long ordeal perfectly:

Out of the night that covers me,    
 Black as the Pit from pole to pole,    
I thank whatever gods may be  
 For my unconquerable soul.  

In the foul clutch of circumstance          
 I have not winced nor cried aloud.    
Under the bludgeonings of chance    
 My head is bloody, but unbowed.  

Beyond this place of wrath and tears    
 Looms but the Horror of the shade,      
And yet the menace of the years    
 Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.    

It matters not how straight the gate,      
 How charged with punishments the scroll,    
I am the master of my fate:    
 I am the captain of my soul.      

   I rose and went to the computer room. Retrieving the watch from my jacket pocket, I set it to the correct time and date, wrapped it in a colorful red metallic paper, and put a tag on it - "To Eric with love from Santa." Returning to the tree, I placed it with care on one of the flat-bed train cars, and secured it with a rubber band. It would suffice to keep it on the car long enough for Eric to find it.

   I climbed the stairs wearily, and peeked in on Eric. He lay in his bed, curled into the fetal position with just his golden hair, button nose, and sleeping eyes poking out . I bent over and kissed his cheek gently, then straightened up and quietly left his room closing the door behind me.

   . Tomorrow was another day. Christmas. 'The brightest part of this Christmas will be Eric's smile,' I thought as I fell onto my bed, and almost immediately slept.


That's all for Christmas Eve.

Chapter four will introduce Tom and Carl into the mix. Please ne patient. It may take a while.

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