Okay, back to the Rat. In this chapter he finds himself sharing his mattress in the attic in rather unexpected circumstances and he makes a decision about what to do regarding his relationship with Michael. And then something else happens that completely changes the way he views his future – if he still has one…
It was Friday June 24th, and the end of term was almost in sight: another three and a half weeks, and school would be over. David didn’t know what he would be doing during the summer holidays, of course: he supposed it would depend on what the Devlins had planned. But he imagined that they would be going away on holiday at some point, and since Mrs Devlin couldn’t leave him at home on his own she would have to make some arrangements for him.
That might mean sending him to London to stay with his mother for a week or two, he thought. That might be okay – he was sure his mother would be too busy to spend a lot of time with him, but it would be nice to be able to ride round the London Underground on his own for a couple of weeks, visiting the tourist attractions and generally doing whatever he felt like. And it would also give him a chance to tell his mother how he had been treated since she left.
He thought about that. He didn’t think he’d complain quite so much as he would have done at Easter, because to be honest his situation at home was a lot better than it had been then: now he had a bed to sleep in, and Tim allowed him to watch TV once his homework was finished, and he’d got used to sharing in the household duties. But, still… maybe Mrs Devlin would prefer to keep him away from his mother, just in case he started talking out of turn.
So, what were the alternatives? Maybe they would make him go on holiday with them. He thought he could probably cope with that: he was getting on fairly well with Tim, Molly didn’t tease him half as much now when she was bathing him, and Joe… Joe had almost become a friend. No, that was stretching it: not a friend, more like a real brother whom you get on okay with most of the time but occasionally get into fights and arguments with. But he thought going on holiday with them might not be too bad.
Or… maybe he could ask if he could stay with Michael while the Devlins were away. He was sure the Devlin boys would have no objection to that, and he thought he would quite enjoy spending a week or two with Michael – as long as Michael didn’t try to make him do anything he shouldn’t. Except maybe even that wouldn’t be so bad…
“Stop that!” he told himself. He had to face it: even though his punishments were now over (unless Dhif decided to do something after all, which was looking less and less likely as the term went by), he was still looking at Michael in a way that a decent, well-brought up, normal boy wouldn’t. It was getting harder and harder not to succumb to his perverted feelings. Perhaps being with Michael every day for two weeks wouldn’t be such a good idea after all…
After school he walked round to the Devlins’ house to get ready for cubs, and once he and Joe were changed they walked round to the school as usual. Since the half-term camp things had been different: the whole pack was now friendly, treating him like a proper member (which, of course, he now was, in their eyes at least). Jason, Tommy and Pete always came and said hello when he arrived, and nobody teased him or laughed at him at all. He actually looked forward to the meetings.
And the Red Six gatherings at the Devlins’ house afterwards had gone well, too: since the camp he hadn’t been made to strip, or to suck, and nobody had wanted to fuck him. They’d had a few rough-and-tumble fights, which of course he always lost, but although he’d been teased for that it was always in a friendly way: the boys’ initial hostility had almost disappeared. Only Roger still tried to needle him about his immaturity, but even he was okay most of the time.
But this evening turned out to be a little different. Once they got back to the house he was ordered to go and get undressed and then wait in the bedroom, and once he’d been sitting there naked for a couple of minutes Joe came in and used David’s neckerchief to blindfold him. Then he led him carefully back downstairs.
David was feeling nervous by the time they got back into the living room: he was afraid the “old” Reds were about to reappear and subject him to another night of sex and beatings. But when Joe took off his blindfold he saw the rest of his six grinning at him, and on the table in front of them were some cakes and buns, a couple of bottles of Coke – and a birthday cake.
“Happy birthday, Gerbil,” said Benedict. “Okay, I know it isn’t your birthday until tomorrow, but we thought we’d have a little party for you tonight.”
David stared at him.
“How did you know it’s my birthday tomorrow?” he asked.
“You told us, remember? That first evening after we stripped you off for the first time, Joe made you admit to us that you were nearly fifteen, and then he asked you when your birthday was. And you said June 25th. So we got you a cake.”
“There is one little snag,” said Joe. “We haven’t made you do any sex stuff with us since camp, because we reckoned you’d deserved some time off. But tonight we want to feel nice to help you celebrate, so you’re going to have to give us that nice feeling. You won’t be allowed any cake until you’ve done that.
“You don’t have to do anything for me or Roger, but the other four need to feel nice. So it’s up to you: you can suck them all, or let them fuck you, or you can do two at a time, which will mean you get to the cake that much faster. So, you decide: how do you want to do it?”
“I don’t want to do it at all, to be honest.”
“Well, obviously you don’t. You’re not a pervert, Gerbil, we know that. But if you do it tonight we won’t make you do it again at all – at least, not until we go on the summer camp. For the rest of term you’ll be a proper member of the six, and we won’t even make you undress again. That seems fair to me, especially considering what you were like when you started here.”
“Well… I suppose if it’s up to me I’d prefer to suck to… having the other thing done.”
“Okay. So – this time we’ll do it in alphabetical order. You can start with Benny, then George…”
“F comes before G,” protested Philip.
“Yes, but your real name is Philip, not Flip. So, Benny, George, Mike, Philip. Off you go, Gerbil: the sooner you start, the sooner you get to the cake. We’re going to start the party without you, but I promise we’ll leave you plenty. And we won’t touch the birthday cake until you’re ready to blow out the candles.”
So Benedict undressed and David knelt in front of the armchair and got on with it. He was getting used to this by now: it no longer filled him with quite the same level of disgust as it had at first, though of course it helped that none of these boys had any sperm yet.
Benny finished quite quickly, and George took his place, taunting him and pulling his hair to make him do it properly. Mike just sat there and let him get on with it, and Flip actually held his head gently and stroked his hair while it was happening to him, which almost felt nice – at least, compared to the treatment George had given him, it did.
When he had finished with Flip he stood up – and was promptly grabbed by the entire six, who gave him the bumps, fifteen of them, followed by one for luck. At least they did it on the rug, so it wasn’t quite as painful as it would have been on the wooden floor.
“That’s it,” said Joe. “Now come and blow your candles out.”
Roger lit the little candles on the cake with a pocket lighter and David took a deep breath and blew them all out in one go.
“Now you can make a wish,” Benedict told him.
“But if you wish anything nasty about us it won’t work,” added Roger. “We bought the cake, so it can’t be used against us.”
David wasn’t really sure what to wish for. He’d have liked to have his old life back, but that didn’t seem likely. And he needed to sort out his thinking about… well, things. Michael, mostly. But he didn’t think that was likely while he was stuck here, seeing him every day – every time he thought he was getting his head back together Michael would smile at him again and his thinking would collapse into chaos again. What he really needed…
“I wish,” he said, under his breath, “for a nice long holiday away from all this, away from Michael, away from the Devlins, and away from Cheltenham. Maybe then I’ll get a chance to think straight and get rid of all these disgusting thoughts. Somewhere warm and sunny would be nice.”
“Okay,” he said. “Now I suppose I should cut the cake.”
So he did, and everyone took a slice, and David grabbed a couple of buns that hadn’t yet been claimed, and a glass of Coke, and sat on the sofa next to Benedict and Mike and started to eat.
“You can go and get dressed if you want,” Joe told him.
“There’s not much point: you lot all know what I look like by now. And if I leave the room, Roger will probably steal my piece of the cake.”
“I could do that anyway if I wanted,” Roger reminded him. “We know I can make you submit inside five seconds.”
“That’s true,” David admitted. “Besides, there’s still some cake left, so you don’t need to steal my bit. But somehow I don’t care about you lot looking at me so much now.”
“We can’t see it properly without magnifying glasses, anyway,” said Joe.
“That’s true, but you’d better make the most of laughing at me: now I’m fifteen it’s sure to start growing soon. By this time next year I’ll probably be bigger than all of you – except Benny, of course, but he’s just a freak.”
“Jealous!” said Benedict, elbowing him in the ribs and making him spill his Coke in his lap.
“See, it’s a good thing I didn’t get dressed,” said David, standing up to stop it dripping onto the sofa.
One by one the boys said goodnight and went home, until just Joe, Roger and David were left.
“Roger’s coming home to spend the night,” said Joe, answering David’s unspoken question. “That’s why you didn’t have to suck him earlier: you can do it when we get home.”
“Oh,” said David, unenthusiastically: if he had been able to choose which of the six to spend an evening with, Roger’s name would have been at the bottom of the list.
They tidied up, and then David got dressed and Joe got changed back into his school uniform and they went to catch the bus home. Roger hadn’t seen David’s house before, of course, and it was obvious that he was impressed.
“Bloody hell, Joe, I never thought you’d get to live in a huge place like this,” he said. “I bet you’ve got your own bedroom here, too.”
“No, actually I share one with Gerbil, as long as he behaves. If he doesn’t I can make him go back to the attic again.”
“Yes, we’ll show you later.”
They went to the kitchen, where Mrs Devlin had some supper for them (and of course none of them told her about the birthday party and the food they had already eaten) and then went and watched TV until it was Joe’s bedtime. Then the three of them went up to Joe’s room. Molly was watching TV and as they left the room she said, “I’ll be up in a minute, Gerbil, okay?”
“What’s she talking about?” Roger asked.
“Oh, Molly’s in charge of Gerbil’s wardrobe, and she has to make sure he has a proper wash and brushes his teeth. He can’t be trusted to do it on his own. You’ll see what I mean in a minute.”
They reached Joe’s room.
“That’s my bed,” said Joe, pointing, “and that’s Gerbil’s.”
“So where am I going to sleep?” asked Roger.
“Well, you could sleep on the floor. But it would be better if we send Gerbil back up to his attic,” and Joe indicated the ladder in the corner.
Roger climbed it far enough to stick his head into the attic.
“What, you mean he had to sleep up there?”
“Yes. Once he was up there we turned his light out so that he had to go straight to sleep, and we bolted the hatch and took the ladder away, too, so that he couldn’t get out.”
“Wow! What if he needed a pee in the night?”
“There’s a potty up there just in case. Of course, he’d have had to find it by touch, but he’d have managed, because if he peed on the floor by mistake we’d have whipped him for it.”
“Blimey… you know, I think it would be sort of exciting to sleep up there.”
“Maybe for an odd night, if the light was available and the hatch wasn’t bolted,” said David. “But when you’re up there in the dark and you know you can’t get out it really isn’t fun at all.”
“Well, that’s where you’re going tonight,” said Joe. “Though… maybe if we pushed the beds together we could all sleep in them.”
“That’d be fun,” said Roger. “Then we could take it in turns to fuck him all night long.”
Molly put her head round the door. “Come on, Gerbil,” she said. “Let’s get you ready for bed.”
“Come and watch this,” said Joe to Roger. “This is what happens to Gerbil every night. And we’ll put him in the attic afterwards, so you can see how he had to go to bed when we first moved in.”
David followed Molly through to her room with Joe and Roger following. He undressed, handing her all his clothes, and she put his school uniform away in the wardrobe and then took him to the bathroom, dropping his shirt, socks and pants in the laundry basket on the way past.
“You’d better make sure he washes his balls,” Joe advised his sister. “He spilled Coke in his lap earlier.”
“Okay. So, do you need the toilet, Gerbil?”
David nodded and went to the toilet. Molly stayed by the washbasin, as she usually did these days, but Joe and Roger came and stood each side of him, staring at him and giggling as he urinated. Then they watched as Molly supervised his washing, including a proper application of a soapy flannel to his groin area.
“You’d better have a bath in the morning,” she said. “We don’t want your little wee-wee getting all sticky, do we?”
David didn’t answer that. Instead he finished washing, brushed his teeth and led the two boys back to Joe’s bedroom. Joe closed the door behind them.
“Oh, my God, how embarrassing!” gasped Roger, as soon as the door was closed. “You mean, he has to strip naked in front of your sister every single day – and even pee in front of her? I’d die of shame if a girl saw me doing that.”
“I think Gerbil nearly did the first couple of times,” said Joe. “Now let’s put him to bed, so you can see how it used to work before I let him come and sleep down here. Up you go, Gerbil.”
So David climbed up the ladder to the attic and lay down on the mattress.
“Doesn’t he get any pyjamas?” asked Roger.
“Of course not! He’s got nothing worth hiding, so he doesn’t need any. Now we’ll go and shut the hatch, so Roger can see what it feels like from my point of view. We’ll come and let you out in a couple of minutes – if we decide we’re all going to sleep down in my room, of course.”
He turned and went back to the hatch.
“Hang on,” said Roger. “What does he need a table for?”
“Oh, that’s for when we whip him,” said Joe. “We tie him to it and beat him with the riding crop. He has to be tied down because it hurts really badly. We usually take the table down into the bedroom for that – we just keep it up here so it’s out of the way.”
Joe and Roger went back down the ladder, Joe stopping to bolt the hatch on the way. Then he took away the ladder and laid it on the floor beside David's bed. Finally he went to the wall socket where the lead from the attic light was plugged in and switched it off.
“Now his light doesn't work, so he's stuck in the dark until I go and wake him up in the morning,” he explained. “I always used to make him come straight down here as soon as he woke up, because most mornings he wakes up with an erection, and he looks really funny – it's hardly any bigger than it is normally, and he gets all embarrassed about it. I don't do that now that he sleeps down here, though.”
“And did you really tie him to that table and whip him?”
“We only did it a couple of times when he was really stroppy, soon after we moved in. He's been pretty well-behaved since. But I've still got the whip, just in case.” And Joe went to his wardrobe and produced the riding-crop.
Roger didn’t say anything, so Joe went and switched the attic light back on, and then put the ladder back into position, climbed up it and opened the hatch.
“Okay, Gerbil, you can come down,” he said.
David climbed back down the ladder.
“So, are we going to push the beds together, or is one of you going to sleep on the floor?” asked Joe.
“No,” said Roger. “I still think it might be sort of fun to sleep in the attic. I’d like to find out what it was like for Gerbil. Let’s pretend that I’m Gerbil’s brother, or something, and that I’ve been behaving badly, too. So you have to punish me and make me sleep up there in the dark. Of course, he’ll have to sleep up there with me, so I can make him suck all night if I want…”
David didn’t like that idea at all: he wasn’t worried about having to sleep with Roger as long as Joe was with them, because by now he was sure he could trust Joe to keep his friend in check. But being locked into the attic with him was a completely different situation.
“I don’t think that’s fair,” he said. “I’ve been really good lately, and I shouldn’t be punished just because he’s been bad – even if he is pretending to be my brother.”
“I don’t know, I reckon it could be sort of funny, having two bad boys to punish,” said Joe. “Okay, Roger: what exactly do you think I should do to you?”
“You should treat me just like Gerbil – except that I’m not stripping off in front of your sister, or letting her watch me using the toilet. But apart from that you should treat me the way you did him when he was bad. Maybe you should even beat me – I’d sort of like to know what that feels like.”
“No you wouldn’t,” David told him. “It hurts like mad. You’d hate it.”
“I can take it,” said Roger. “I’m not a wimp like you.”
“Okay,” said Joe, who thought this might be entertaining. “From now on you’re Gerbil’s naughty brother. Gerbil, go up to the attic and bring the table down. Roger, get your clothes off.”
So David went and brought the table down into the bedroom, with a bit of help from Joe, and Roger took everything off and piled his clothes on the chest of drawers.
“Right, then,” said Joe. “First you need to go to the bathroom and clean your teeth. Gerbil, pop outside and make sure Molly’s gone back downstairs.”
David checked and found that Molly was nowhere in sight, so he went and reported this to Joe.
“Gerbil can wait here,” said Roger. “I don’t want him staring at me.”
“No, the whole point about this is that it’s supposed to make you a bit embarrassed,” said Joe. “That’s why Molly does it for him. It won’t embarrass you if I come, because I’ve seen you naked loads of times, but if Gerbil watches you it’ll make you feel a bit like he does with Molly. So he’s coming.”
So David went and stood beside Roger while he was urinating, and he was glad to see that Roger obviously wasn’t happy about being watched. Now you know how I feel, thought David.
Roger cleaned his teeth and they went back to the bedroom, where Roger lay down over the table.
“Are you sure about this?” asked Joe, getting out the short lengths of rope they had used to tie David down.
“Yes, I want you to do it properly. It won’t bother me: I’m not a little baby, like some people we know.” And he grinned at David.
So Joe tied him down firmly and picked up the riding crop.
“How many are you getting?” he asked.
“How many did you give Gerbil?”
“Then that’s what I’m having.”
“Fair enough,” said Joe, and he handed the riding crop to David. “You can go first, Gerbil. Give him six good ones, as hard as you can.”
Brilliant, thought David, looking at Roger’s fat bum. He’s been riding me since I joined the cubs, so now it’s payback time. And he drew his arm back… and paused.
“Go on,” said Joe. “This is your chance.”
A month ago David wouldn’t have hesitated for a moment: he’d have lashed Roger’s arse as hard as he could. But he knew what it felt like, and Roger had absolutely no idea of what he had laid himself open to – and, however much Roger had teased him and taunted him, it wasn’t enough to deserve this.
“I can’t,” he said, lowering the whip.
“Why not?” asked Joe.
“Because I know what it feels like, and this is only a game. He hasn’t done anything to deserve this.”
“Oh, come on! He bullies you all the time at cubs!”
“No, he doesn’t, not really. He teases me, yes, and occasionally he pushes me about, but it doesn’t deserve a proper whipping.”
“Give me the riding crop, then,” said Joe.
“Look, Roger, you don’t have to do this,” said David. “It’s going to hurt – you have no idea how much. Just tell him to forget it and untie you.”
“I told you, I can take it,” said Roger. “Go on, Joe – and do it properly, like you did to Gerbil.”
“Okay, but once I start I’m not going to stop until you’ve had all six of mine. And if Gerbil still doesn’t want his turn then I’ll have to give you his six myself, too.”
“Yes, okay, just get on with it.”
So Joe drew back his arm and delivered a full-strength blow, and Roger shrieked and convulsed: nothing had prepared him for this. He had expected it to feel like a light swat on the buttocks, but this felt like a red-hot wire biting into him.
Joe hit him again, and Roger began to beg him to stop, but Joe just delivered a third blow. Roger’s pleas increased in volume.
“Come on, Joe, now he knows what it’s like you can stop,” said David. He felt strange: he’d expected to enjoy watching Roger suffering, but instead it made him feel uncomfortable, in the same way that thinking about what had happened to Osterley made him feel uneasy now. He had no reason to like Roger, but watching another boy suffering what he had gone through himself just made him feel sorry for the victim.
But Joe was having fun, even though Roger was his friend – perhaps, David thought, Roger sometimes pushed Joe about when they were alone together. But, whatever the reason, Joe delivered two more stinging blows, and Roger’s howls got even louder.
“This was your idea, remember,” said Joe, drawing back his arm yet again. “We both offered you a chance to change your mind, but no, you wanted to show us how hard you are. So, how hard do you feel now?” And he landed a sixth blow, as hard as he could manage.
“That’s enough,” said David, grabbing his arm. “Come on, Joe, this isn’t right. It’s only a game. And you’re not a bully – when you whipped me it was because I deserved it. Roger doesn’t.”
“He whipped you for the film, remember?”
“Yes, but… look, that doesn’t matter. Come on, Joe, let him go – please?”
Joe looked at him and seemed to come to his senses. “Okay, Gerbil – you’re right, he doesn’t deserve it. But… when you’ve got someone helpless like this and there’s a whip in your hand you sort of lose control a bit, I think.”
He put down the whip and untied Roger’s wrists and ankles, but he still wanted to carry on with the game.
“Now get yourselves up into the attic, both of you,” he said. “The light goes out in one minute, and if you’re still making a noise after that you’ll both get beaten in the morning.”
David wasn’t sure if he meant that or not, but he went straight up the ladder just in case, and helped Roger, who was having trouble moving, up into the attic after him. The hatch closed behind them and David heard the bolt slide into place.
“Come on,” he said, helping Roger as far as the mattress. “Lie down on your side – it’ll hurt if you try lying on your back.”
He lay down beside the sobbing boy and pulled the sleeping bag over them, and a few seconds later the light went out and they were plunged into darkness. Gradually Roger’s sobs subsided.
“I bet you wish you’d never suggested this now,” said David.
Roger still seemed unable to speak. David still felt really sympathetic, remembering how he had felt lying here on his own in the dark after being beaten, so he wriggled a bit closer and put his arm round Roger’s shoulders.
“It’ll be okay,” he said. “It stops hurting soon, I promise.”
Roger put his own arm round David’s waist and sobbed against his shoulder for a couple of minutes, and then he sniffed.
“Thanks,” he said. “For trying to warn me, I mean. I should have listened. But I don’t understand why you didn’t beat me yourself. I’d have thought you’d have enjoyed doing that.”
“Not really. I might have spanked you, I suppose, to make up for you pushing me about at cubs, but a proper whipping like that would have been too much. I’ve sort of found out lately that doing stuff to people who don’t deserve it makes you feel bad in the end.”
“Well… okay, thanks. And I’m sorry I pushed you about. I won’t do it any more.”
“Does that mean you’re not going to make me suck all night, then?”
“I did say that, didn’t I? Well… not right away, anyway. I don’t feel like it.”
“Good. Then let’s try going to sleep instead.”
He woke up next morning to find Roger asleep beside him and Joe standing over them: he had just pulled the sleeping bag away.
“Come on, it’s time to get up,” said Joe. “Look at you, you dirty boys – you’re both stiff. I’ll have to punish you for that. Get down to the bedroom.”
David didn’t argue: he just went straight down to the bedroom and waited. Roger and Joe followed a minute or so later, and Joe was right: Roger did have an erection.
“Look, Joe, can we stop playing this game now?” Roger asked.
“In about half an hour,” said Joe. “You have to see what Gerbil’s Saturday mornings are like first. How’s your bum? It’s got some interesting patterns on, hasn’t it, Gerbil?”
David looked at the red lines across Roger’s buttocks. He knew from experience that it wouldn’t be hurting anything like so much now, but that if he was beaten again in the next day or so it would feel ten times worse than it had the first time.
“It’s okay,” said Roger, trying to hold his hands over his groin. “Can I get dressed now?”
“Not yet. First I think Gerbil needs a nice Saturday morning fuck. Go and kneel beside my bed.”
David did so unenthusiastically, and Joe picked up his jar of hand cream, applied some to himself and pushed his way inside. He took it fairly slowly, though, and when David saw the clock beside the bed he understood why: it was only half-past six. Nobody else in the house would be up for another hour or so.
Roger came and sat down gingerly on the bed beside them so that he could watch, and slowly Joe went on thrusting against David’s bum – and once again it was starting to have an effect: David’s erection, which had gone down once he was properly awake, was back, and he was starting to feel a pleasurable warmth in his groin. Fortunately Joe reached his orgasm before David could suffer the ultimate disgrace of being brought to climax through being fucked by a boy who still wasn’t yet ten years old, but he was sure that if it had gone on for another thirty seconds or so it would have happened to him again. And the worst of it was, he felt disappointed: he’d actually wanted an orgasm, even like this.
“My turn,” said Roger, as Joe withdrew and reached for the tissues.
“No, it isn’t,” said Joe. “You’re still being punished. And, besides, your cock’s too small.”
“No, it isn’t!”
“Yes, it is. You’ve got the smallest one in the six, apart from Gerbil. Isn’t that true, Gerbil?”
“I’m bigger than Flip!” protested Roger.
“Well… I don’t think you are, to be honest,” said David. “You’re about the same length, but his is thicker than yours.”
“See?” said Joe. “You’ve got a little one, Roger, just like Gerbil, even though you are the oldest boy in the six after Benny.”
“You’ve got big balls, though,” said David. “They’re even bigger than Benny’s.”
“Big balls and tiny cock,” said Joe, grinning at him. “So you can’t fuck Gerbil.”
“Okay, then he can suck me!”
“Not today, he can’t. Today I should make you suck him.”
“Fuck, no!” shouted Roger. “I’m not a queer, Joe – I’m not doing that. I’m not playing this game any more.”
“Gerbil’s not a queer, either, but we make him suck all the time. Being forced to do something doesn’t mean you like doing it. But I wouldn’t make you do that really. That would be even worse than whipping you. Okay, we can stop playing this game now if you want. So, you’re not Gerbil’s brother any more.”
“In that case he can suck me, can’t he?”
“I suppose so. But do you think you should make him, seeing the way he stuck up for you last night?”
“Well… I suppose not,” admitted Roger.
“Good. In that case… it’s still a bit too early to get up, so we might as well go back to bed for a bit. Roger, you can have Gerbil’s bed; Gerbil, you can share with me.”
So they got into bed and Joe turned the light out. After a few minutes Roger seemed to go back to sleep, to judge from the steady breathing that wasn’t quite a snore.
“Are you okay?” asked Joe. “He didn’t do anything to you up there, did he?”
“Good. I thought he’d be too sore… see, Gerbil, it just proves what I keep saying about how much you’ve changed. You’d never have stuck up for Roger when you first joined the cubs.”
“I suppose you’re right. So, do you like the changed me more than the old one?”
“Of course I do. The old you was horrible – you were a nasty, rude, stuck-up little bastard who only thought about yourself. I like the new you a lot. You’re much nicer now.”
“Liking me doesn’t stop you fucking me, though.”
“Well, of course not – that feels brilliant, and I don’t want to give that up. But I do it gently now, don’t I? I was being careful not to hurt you just now. And I won’t do it too often, just at the weekends, perhaps – and if you really, really hate it and don’t want me to…. Well, perhaps I’ll just let you suck it instead.”
David didn’t answer that, because he knew that actually being fucked was starting to feel better than having to suck. But he thought he couldn’t possibly admit it without sounding like a total pervert, so he said nothing.
Joe reached down and took hold of David’s little penis, caressing it until it was stiff.
“I’m going to make you feel good,” he said, starting to rub it slowly. “I know you said you didn’t want me to do this, but I think you deserve a nice feeling this morning – it is your birthday, after all. And if you close your eyes you can pretend it’s someone else doing it instead – a girl, maybe.”
David didn’t think arguing would do any good, so he let Joe get on with it. But he was unable to imagine a girl doing this to him – in fact, when he tried to think about someone other than Joe touching him like this, the first person who came to mind was Michael. And he knew it was disgusting to imagine being wanked by a boy, but he couldn’t shake the image off. And as Joe continued to rub him steadily he kept imagining Michael doing it instead: he could almost see Michael’s smiling face, with its liberal splash of freckles across his nose and that shining red hair, leaning across as he played with David’s hard little cock… and David bucked and gasped in orgasm, desperately trying to wrench himself free of a horrible, twisted, irredeemably queer vision of Michael actually kissing him as he climaxed.
“Nice?” asked Joe, bringing him back to earth.
“Yes,” he managed to say. “Thanks, Joe.”
Joe let go and settled down to sleep, while David lay awake next to him wondering what was happening to him: how could he possibly imagine letting Michael masturbate him – and as for kissing him… My God, he thought, that idea really is sick. But somehow he couldn’t shake it off…
He almost told Michael he wouldn’t be able to go home with him after school on Monday, but in the end he succumbed to temptation and went. After all, he told himself, there’s no danger of him really wanting to wank me – or kiss me, come to that. They did their homework together as usual – there wasn’t much, now that the end of the summer term was only three weeks away – and then sat down to watch television together as usual. But David found himself constantly wanting to look at his friend, and when they went up to bed he couldn’t take his eyes off Michael’s body while his friend was changing into his shorts.
Michael didn’t seem to notice, just getting into bed beside him and turning the light off as usual, but tonight David wriggled close to him and put his arm round him.
“Thanks,” he said. “For being a good friend, I mean. You’ve been brilliant about letting me keep coming round here, even though sharing the bed with me must be difficult.”
“I don’t mind there not being a lot of room,” said Michael. “As long as we both manage to sleep, that’s all that really matters.”
“I didn’t just mean that. I know how much you liked it when we… when … you know, when we… had sex that time, and I know you’ve wanted to do it again. But you’ve never tried to talk me into it or anything like that: every night you just say ‘Goodnight’ and go to sleep, even though it must be frustrating for you to be lying right beside me.”
“Well… okay, if I’m honest, that’s true. Sometimes just having you so close has given me erections, and I’ve wanted to try doing it again… but I know you don’t really want to. And I don’t mind, honestly: it would be nice if we could do it again, sure, but I’m happy with us just being friends. I’d never make you do something you didn’t want, you know that.”
“I know. But… well…”
David had been thinking about this since Saturday morning, when he’d caught himself fantasising about Michael while Joe was wanking him, and he’d decided that the best thing to do would be to try to get this perverted idea out of his system once and for all. He thought the best way to do that would be to try it again, because he was sure that only then would he truly realise how sick the whole concept was: once it had happened again he’d realise that he hadn’t actually enjoyed it the first time at all, it had simply been his brain playing tricks on him. Once he’d had a proper chance to experience how disgusting it was, he was sure he’d be able to forget about it completely and just settle back into a nice, normal, straight existence.
“I’ve been thinking,” he went on. “Maybe we should do it one more time, so we can be sure we realise what’s happening to us. So, if you still want to, perhaps we can do it again next time I’m here, on Wednesday. What do you think?”
“Bloody hell, yes! But… are you sure, David? I mean, I’d love to be able to do that with you again, but only if you’re sure it’s what you want.”
“I want to do it again. Just once more, just… to be sure…”
“Wow, thanks, David!” said Michael, hugging him fiercely. “I swear I’ll be really gentle: I want you to enjoy it as much as you can, too…”
“Okay,” said David, who sincerely hoped he wouldn’t enjoy it at all, since then he would know he was finally free of these awful, filthy feelings. “We’ll do it on Wednesday, then.”
He wondered if he was fooling himself: after all, lying close to Michael like this with their arms round each other felt really nice, despite him knowing in his head that boys shouldn’t do this sort of thing together. He wondered if being fucked again would really get it out of his system, or if instead it might confuse him even more: he didn’t know what he would do if he found that he actually enjoyed it. But he felt that he simply had to try, as otherwise his head seemed likely to remain messed up for ever.
After school on Tuesday David headed for the bus stop as usual, not thinking about anything in particular: now that he’d decided to have sex again with Michael the following night he’d just put the whole concept of sex out of his head for the time being: he’d worry about it after tomorrow night, he thought. He still hadn’t talked about the summer holidays with Mrs Devlin, but he thought that maybe if he could get Michael properly out of his system the following evening he would ask her if he could go on holiday with her and the children this year. The idea of a holiday with Joe – and even with Tim and Molly – was starting to look quite attractive.
He was still thinking idly about this when a car pulled into the kerb a few yards ahead of him and Brahim Dhif got out of the back door.
“Come here, Rat,” said Dhif. “It’s time.”
“Huh?” said David, shaken out of his reverie. “Time for what?”
“Your punishment. Get in the car so I can talk to you in private.”
He hadn’t been expecting any punishment at this late stage… but perhaps Dhif just wanted to explain that there wasn’t going to be a punishment. So David got into the car, and found himself sitting next to a tall, light-brown skinned individual. He knew it wasn’t Dhif’s father, because he had met him, and he wondered who it was – and there was another man behind the steering wheel, so this wasn’t exactly his idea of ‘in private’.
“It’s okay,” said Dhif, getting in beside him and closing the door. “They don’t speak English.” He said something in a foreign language, which David thought was probably Arabic – it certainly wasn’t any European language he had ever heard – and the driver put the car in gear and drove off.
“Take off your blazer,” said Dhif.
“Just do it. You’re supposed to do what I tell you, remember?”
Shrugging, David removed his blazer – and Dhif grabbed him and said something else in Arabic, and the man next to him grabbed his right arm, pulled the sleeve up, ripping the button off in the process, and then produced a hypodermic syringe.
“What the hell…” began David, but that was as far as he got before whatever was in the syringe did its job and he passed out.
Jordan had been a short distance behind David when the car had pulled up – in fact he’d been trying to catch up. He hadn’t had a chance to speak to David lately and he wanted to see if everything was okay with him. He recognised Dhif, of course, since he’d been there during David’s abortive attempt to get Dhif expelled for bringing alcohol into the school (not to mention during – and after – the end of term prefects’ meal), and he knew that Blackman had allowed Dhif to issue his own punishment for being set up. He supposed that Dhif had decided to take David home with him so as to be able to beat him, or whatever he had decided to do, undisturbed. Jordan decided to ask David what had happened next day.
But David wasn’t in school the following day, or the day after that. On the Thursday Julian Stagg, whom he knew vaguely, came up and asked him if he knew where David was.
“Not really, no. Why?” replied Jordan.
“Well, I know you were friends with him a while back and so I wondered if you knew where he was. Only my brother’s worried about him.”
“Yes, he’s in Villiers-Gore’s form, and they’re friends, sort of – and Villiers-Gore was supposed to be coming round to stay over last night, but he didn’t turn up, and Mikey says he hasn’t been at school since Tuesday. And when he wasn’t there yesterday he got Mark Sherwood – he’s in my form, and he knows the people Villiers-Gore lives with – to phone them up to see if he’s ill, or something, and they said he never came home on Tuesday and they haven’t seen him since.”
“Oh. Well, when I last saw him on Tuesday night he was talking to a second-year kid called Dhif. Maybe we should ask him if he knows anything.”
But when they went to 2B’s form room they found out that Dhif hadn’t been in school since Tuesday, either, though in his case it was expected: he’d said something about going to visit some relative or other for a few days, and the school had given permission for him to be away until the following week. Jordan and Julian decided they’d just have to wait until Dhif came back, and if David hadn’t reappeared in the meantime they’d go and demand to know what had happened.
David had absolutely no idea how long he had been unconscious, or where he was when he woke up. He had a splitting headache and his mouth felt dry, and a bright sun was shining in through the window and doing his headache no favours at all. He looked at his wrist and saw that his watch had disappeared, and when he checked his trouser pockets he found them empty. His blazer and tie had disappeared, but otherwise he was still in school uniform.
He pulled himself to his feet and looked around. He was in a small, unfurnished room with a stone floor and plain white walls, and the only window was a narrow, arched, unglazed one high up on one wall. The door was wooden and looked very solid, and when he tried the handle he found that it was locked. He banged on it a couple of times, but that didn’t seem to have any effect, so he went and sat on the floor opposite the door. It was hot in the room and he felt extremely thirsty, and his head was throbbing…
A short while later the door opened and Brahim Dhif came in, carrying a jug and a plastic mug.
“Good, you’re awake,” he said. “Have some water – but not too much, or it’ll make you puke up. And here are a couple of headache pills, too. Take them and you’ll feel a bit better.”
“Where am I?” asked David.
“Later. Pills, and water, a bit at a time, okay? I’ll come back in an hour or so.”
So David took the pills and drank a little water, and gradually the headache seemed to fade. And when Dhif came back he was feeling a lot livelier and also a lot angrier.
“What the hell’s going on, Dhif?” he demanded when the second-year boy returned. “Where am I?”
“A long way from home,” Dhif told him, grinning. “My uncle owns this place, but actually this part of the palace is my cousin’s. You’d better come and meet him, and then I can tell you what’s going to happen to you. But I can tell you now that you’re going to be sorry you ever tried to get me into trouble. You’re going to have a long time to think about it, too – the rest of your life, in fact.”
“WHAT! What the hell are you talking about, Dhif? I hardly did anything to you!”
“That’s what you think, is it? You stupid bastard, you ruined my life, and now you’re going to pay for it!”
“I ruined your life?? How? You didn’t get expelled – all that happened was that Garrett beat you three times.”
“I’m not talking about that – I’m talking about what happened after the prefects’ meal.”
“What, so you got a first-former’s cock up the arse. How has that ruined your life?”
“That wasn’t it, either. Up to then I’d been a normal, decent Muslim boy. But then you made me abase myself with Paul Southgate: you forced me to act like a prostitute with him, and you made us do filthy, unnatural things together. And…”
“And… and I liked it. I liked holding him, and even kissing him, and having him handle my manhood… and I’ve wanted to do it again… and every time he looks at me I want to be naked with him and to do those things again. And it’s foul, and filthy… and forbidden. Because of you I won’t see Paradise. And that’s why you have to be punished.”
“But… look, surely just thinking about it won’t stop you getting to… whatever you people call Heaven? Okay, if you actually do things like that, maybe, but…”
“But I am going to do things like that. I can’t help it. I’ve tried so hard not to think about it, but I can’t stop myself. And I even dream about him and about doing disgraceful things with him. There’s nothing I can do to stop it, so I’ve decided there’s no point in fighting it: when I get back to England I’m going to ask Paul to come round for the weekend, and we’re going to do everything he wants. And… and everything I want, too. I know I’ll hate myself afterwards, and I might even end up killing myself – though that’s forbidden, too… but I just can’t hold out any longer. So my life is destroyed, and that’s why yours has to be, too, because if you hadn’t made me do those things in the first place I would never have thought about doing them.”
“But that’s not… hang on – you said ‘when you get back to England’? Where the hell are we?”
“In North Africa. My uncle is a rich man – he deals in various items, but especially in weapons. That brings in lots of money – and it’s legal, too. Mostly. Anyway, he owns this place outright – well, he has an arrangement with the national government, but they don’t take a lot of notice of what goes on out here, so really my uncle is virtually king of his own kingdom. Which I suppose makes me a prince of some sort, at least while I’m here.
“Anyway, you were flown out here in one of his small aircraft. It’s easy enough at the English end – there aren’t a lot of custom checks on small private aircraft flights leaving the country, and of course there are none at all at this end. He likes me, for some reason, so when I asked him for help he arranged everything, including supplying the plane, the pilot and the two men in the car. My father doesn’t even know about it – he’d want to know why, and I don’t want to tell him what his son has become, thanks to you. Right now my father thinks I'm away on a school trip. My uncle didn’t ask why, he just asked when. So here you are, and here you’re going to stay. Come on.”
He left the room and David ran after him. In the corridor two young black boys, who were wearing only a sort of linen kilt and each carrying a short spear, fell in behind them and followed them along the corridor. David barely glanced at them.
“But… fucking hell, Dhif! If you’re going back to England, why aren’t I coming with you?”
“You think I want to look at your disgusting face? Once I leave here I never want to see you again. No, it’s going to be my cousin that has the pleasure of dealing with you. See, my uncle has the idea that the best way to train his son into running a business and controlling people is to give him absolute authority to run his own household. This part of the palace is completely separate from the rest, and my cousin is entirely responsible for what happens here. My uncle hardly ever comes here, nor do any other adults, except on very rare occasions. My cousin has his own servants and slaves, and they do all the work. He’s a bit of a perfectionist, though: if his orders aren’t obeyed exactly and promptly he tends to be a bit heavy with the punishments. Of course, slaves are cheap, so if he has a couple killed there are always plenty of replacements available.”
“Killed?” said David, screeching to a halt. He was sure Dhif was only winding him up, but even so, he didn’t like the sound of any of this.
“Yes, obviously - you don’t keep wasting food and shelter on those who don’t merit it.” He added something else in what David supposed was Arabic, and one of the black boys jabbed the butt of his spear against David’s back, forcing him to start walking again.
“So, you’re going to spend the rest of your life as my cousin’s slave… well, not his, exactly, though I expect he’ll find a use for you himself from time to time. Ah, here we are. How good’s your French, by the way?”
“Well… not too bad, I suppose,” David told him as they entered a larger room.
“Good. Of course, you’ll have to learn Arabic before too long, but my cousin speaks French – most educated boys in North Africa do – so to start with he’ll probably use it to give you your orders. Here he is.”
Reclining on a pile of cushions in the middle of the room and reading a comic book was a young boy who looked not unlike Dhif: same light brown skin, same curly black hair, though this boy was a little younger and a little heavier, though he was by no means fat. Dhif spoke to him in Arabic, and the boy looked at David and grinned, replying in the same language.
“I’ve told him how much you dislike non-white people,” Dhif said. “He thinks that’s pretty funny, because you’ll probably never see a white person again. And I’ve also told him how disgusting you think sex is, and that’s pretty funny, too, because you’ll spend most of your time being used for sex from now on. And because you dislike coloured people so much, Ali – that’s my cousin, though you’d better to remember to call him ‘Master’ or ‘Lord’ unless you want to be whipped – has decided to give you as a present to the twins.”
“Who are the twins?”
“They are,” said Dhif, indicating the two coal-black boys who had escorted them here. David looked at them properly for the first time, and saw that they were identical – at least, he thought so, but then he thought all black people looked the same – and about twelve years old. They were quite tall, and slim, and they had good muscle definition for boys of that age.
“They’re Ali’s personal bodyguard…. well, they will be when he gets a bit older. For now they’re more or less in training. And they don’t speak French, and their Arabic is still a bit ropey, too, so I suppose you’re going to have to try learning their tribal language, because that’s what you’ll get most of your orders in.
“Once you’ve been here for a while you’ll discover that there are other slaves here, but because none of them are white you’ll be the lowest slave in the place, and that means that absolutely everyone you meet is senior to you, even the smallest stable-boys or kitchen-slaves, and you’ll have to do whatever they tell you. Absolutely anything they want, in fact. They’re going to love having a snooty white kid to boss about. So that’s the rest of your life, Rat: you’re going to be a plaything to a pair of black boys, and a slave to all the other slaves.”
David stared at him, convinced that this was just an elaborate joke. But Dhif wasn’t laughing, and in fact he looked deadly serious.
“But… Christ, Dhif, you can’t be serious!” he cried. “It’s ridiculous – people will come looking for me – you’ll get into so much trouble…”
“Do you really think anyone back in England cares about you? Everyone hates you – they’ll just be glad you’ve disappeared. Nobody cares about you enough to look for you. Besides, nobody knows where you are, and even if there was anyone who cared they’d never think to look for you two thousand miles away. No, Rat, you’re here for life.”
David saw that he meant it, and with a cry of fury he hurled himself at his tormentor. And five seconds later he was pinned down under the combined weight of the twins, one of whom said something in heavily accented Arabic.
“He says you’ll be whipped for that later,” Dhif translated. “And when he says ‘whipped’, he means it, not just a little slap. You’ll bleed. Quite a lot, probably. Okay, that’s probably about all you need to know for now. I’ll be around for a few more days, just to watch you settle in, and I’ll help to interpret for you until your Arabic gets off the ground, but you’d better be a quick learner, because not understanding the order is no excuse for disobedience.”
The twins pulled David to his feet, and Ali gave them a sharp order in Arabic. And one of the twins pulled a long knife from his belt and started cutting away at David’s clothes, until he was wearing only his pants and the rest of his clothing was in shreds round his feet. He was pushed over so that his shoes and socks could be removed and then dragged to his feet again. Ali gave a one-word order and the twin with the knife cut David’s pants off; and everyone in the room – Ali, the twins and four or five other boys who were presumably servants or slaves - took one look and fell about laughing. David blushed deeply, and was at least grateful that he couldn’t understand the filthy comments that were flying about the room. Finally Ali clapped his hands and the room fell silent once more.
Ali started to speak, and Dhif translated for him.
“You will never wear clothing again,” he said. “You will remain naked for the rest of your life, so that every boy in the palace can see you and laugh at your pathetic body. You will obey everyone in the palace instantly, whatever they tell you to do. If there is a conflict of orders, you will obey first Ali, your owner, then the twins, your masters, then servants by age, then slaves by age. Disobedience will be punished by beating, and if it continues by more painful and damaging punishments. My cousin enjoys using scorpions,” Dhif added. “Their sting can be really painful, especially in, well, tender places.
“When the first signs of puberty appear on your body – that is, when your hair starts to grow – or on your sixteenth birthday, which might come first, looking at what you’ve got, you will be castrated. Publicly, without anaesthetic, one ball at a time. You are never to be allowed to experience the pleasures of sex. You will also have to be circumcised, because this is an Islamic household. That will probably be done when the twins reach their own manhood ceremony, which I believe is in a month or so. Again, in public, without anaesthetic, and very, very slowly. So that’s something for you to look forward to.
“Right, now you have to kneel, kiss my cousin’s feet and pledge obedience to him. You’d better do it in French, so that he can understand you. And for God’s sake take this seriously, Rat: you have absolutely no idea how badly you will be hurt if you don’t obey, instantly, any order you are given. You’re a slave now, and if Ali decides to have you killed, nobody is going to argue with him. Now kneel.”
David was in a state of shock at this horrifying explanation of his future, and Dhif had to shove him forwards to get him moving. In a semi-trance he fell to his knees, mumbled a promise to obey in his schoolboy French and then kissed Ali’s slippers.
Ali said something and the twins pulled David to his feet and pushed him towards the door.
“Go with them,” Dhif said. “They’ll show you where you’re going to live from now on. And you’d better make a start at trying to learn their language – if they think you’re trying, they’ll go easy on you for a couple of days at least. I’ll come by and see you in an hour or so, so if you have any questions they can wait until then. But there’s no need for questions, really: all you have to know is that you have to do what you’re told, at once. Nothing else matters. See you later.”
The twins marched David out of the room and along a corridor, up some stairs, along another corridor and then into a much smaller room. There were a couple of thin mattresses on the floor, and some cupboards and other furniture, and a number of spears, knives and a pair of light oval-shaped shields on one side of the room; David guessed that this was the twins’ own room. But they marched him straight across the room to another door on the far side, which led to a small, windowless closet about six feet deep by four feet wide. There was nothing in it except another thin mattress.
The twins pushed him inside and closed the door, and he heard a lock turning: once more he was left alone in a darkened room with no furniture but a mattress. But his situation here, and the future Dhif had described to him, made the attic at home seem like a lost Paradise.
Now David is really and truly in deep, deep trouble: there seems no way out of this, and all he has to look forward to is circumcision, castration and a lifetime of being used as a sex toy by the sort of boys he considers to be racially inferior to him. Is there any hope at all for him? It seems unlikely that Dhif is going to change his mind on this and escape seems impossible: he doesn’t even know where he is, just that it’s a very long way from home. So where does the Rat go from here?
And just when he was turning into a halfway decent kid, too... so, I'm guessing you'll have some opinions about how this chapter has ended. If so, you know what to do: get them down in an email and send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
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