Well, things are better for David than they were a few months ago, but he’s still faced with losing two very significant parts of his anatomy before the New Year arrives, and we’re already in the second half of November. In this chapter we’ll see him trying to come to terms with that, while at the same time trying to persuade Madjid that, for him at least, there could be a life beyond slavery…
For a couple of days after their session in the punishment room Ali treated David rather coldly, but when he realised that David was still treating him with proper deference and that there was no sign that any of the other slaves knew what had happened, he thawed a little. There was still no question that it was a master-slave relationship, and he got David to suck him under his robes in the day-room on a couple of occasions, but he treated David fairly, which was all David really asked.
The twins had never been anything other than fair. Again, he was still clearly their slave, and on a couple of occasions when he was a bit slipshod about cleaning their room they had no hesitation in whipping him (but always in their own room, and never too harshly). And they went on fucking him regularly, though they did it much more gently than they had in the early days, taking care not to hurt him if it could be avoided. The downside of that was that it often made him go hard, and once or twice it had brought him to the brink of orgasm. But he reasoned that as he had no future sex life to worry about there was no reason to worry about this, either: in another six weeks at the most it would be a thing of the past. So maybe it was better to draw as much pleasure out of sex as he could while he was still capable of sexual pleasure.
For that reason he never refused when Djamel suggested sucking him. He didn’t want to make his friend do this unless he really wanted to, so he never made the suggestion himself, but neither did he begrudge doing it for Djamel after Djamel had done it for him. And he sometimes thought that the best part of the whole thing was lying next to his friend afterwards, just feeling his closeness. Sometimes it made him think about Michael and they way they had lain close to each other in bed, but he found that thinking of Michael just made him unhappy: he knew he would never see him again, and so he tried to put the red-haired boy out of his thoughts, but he wasn’t always able to do this.
He still felt homesick sometimes, usually when he was in his closet at night. Even now that he had real friends among the other slaves he still found himself missing Michael, or Joe, or the rest of the cubs… he wondered if Madjid felt the same, if there were friends he’d been forced to leave behind, and if he lay awake on his pallet at night crying. He swore to himself that if there was any way to connect properly with Madjid, he’d find it.
Often now his work sessions with the other slaves were spent talking to them and finding out about them. He’d work really hard to get the job done as quickly as possible, and then he would sit with the slave he was helping and talk to them, both as a way of improving his Arabic (though by this time he was getting fairly fluent, even if his vocabulary was a little limited at times) and in order to find out what his colleagues were like. Sometimes he took them to the storeroom, so that they could talk uninterrupted, and sometimes – particularly with the gardeners and the two stable-slaves – he would walk in the garden or sit under a tree with them. Some were more talkative than others, but all of them were friendly and treated him as an equal.
If it hadn’t been for the spectre of castration hanging over him he thought he would have been willing just to settle down and live as a slave, perhaps dreaming like Mohamed of being raised to the status of servant one day. And he supposed that when it was done he’d still be free to do that, though he was scared that it would somehow change his personality as well as his body. The other slaves never mentioned the subject at all, of course, though they all knew by now that it was going to happen.
The predictable exception was Madjid, who taunted David about his coming emasculation whenever they were together. David couldn’t have done anything to stop him even if he had wanted to, but it suited his purpose to let Madjid crow over him: at least that way he was talking to him.
“It’s going to be bad working with you afterwards,” he said. “I think most of the others won’t mention it at all, but I know you will. I can already see you, staring at where my balls used to be and touching me there, and then flaunting your own balls in my face so I can see what I’ve lost. I bet you never shut up about it.”
“I won’t,” said Madjid, grinning. “I’m going to stare at your scar all the time, so you feel ashamed at not being a boy any more. I’ll have to find a good name for you, too, something really girly… I’m going to enjoy this so much.”
“Well, if we can get finished here quickly we can spend the rest of the afternoon in the storeroom, and then I’ll show you something else you’ll enjoy a lot.”
Madjid liked that idea, and worked harder than he usually did in order to get as much free time afterwards as possible, and David did his best to keep up with him, because he felt that the more time he could spend with Madjid, the more chance there was of being able to get through to him. And as soon as they were finished Madjid marched him off to the storeroom, closed the door and removed his robe.
“Kiss my balls,” he said, and David dropped to his knees and began to do just that.
“They’re nice, aren’t they?” said Madjid. “If you’re really good I’ll let you feel and kiss them every day, and then you can suck me so you get to taste what comes out of them. After all, if we’ve only got one pair between us I think I ought to share them with you. I’d hate you to forget what a normal boy looks like.”
“If I can. Maybe I can persuade the twins to let you stay in our quarters, and then I could make you come to the storeroom with me every evening after we finish eating. That would be nice, wouldn’t it?”
“Not really. And I don’t think the twins would allow it – they like to fuck me before they go to sleep.”
“Wow, do they really? I never knew that… are they big?”
“Really big – bigger than any of the slaves, except maybe Rachid. They’re about this big,” and he indicated the size of the twins’ penises by holding his two index fingers about five and a half inches apart.
“Bloody hell! Does it hurt?”
“Not so much now, because I’m used to it, I suppose, and because the twins take it a bit more gently. The first few times it was really painful, though.”
“I wish I could watch – I’d like to see you getting fucked by a couple of massive black cocks.”
“I could ask if they’ll let you, if you want me to.”
Madjid stared at him. “Would you really? I bet you wouldn’t.”
“I might. Now lie down and let me start to get you feeling nice.”
“I can’t imagine being fucked,” said Madjid, lying down on the mattress. “I can’t think of anything more shameful, though. It must make you feel like shit.”
“It did at first,” said David, lying down beside him and starting to caress his chest gently. “But I suppose you can get used to almost anything if it happens often enough.”
“I wish I could fuck you. I’d make sure you never forgot it.”
“I’m not allowed to be fucked by anyone except the twins. Of course, if you were able to buy me from them you could do whatever you wanted to me…”
“Fat chance of that. I’m never going to have money now, am I?”
“I don’t know... Mohamed told me that sometimes slaves can be promoted to servant, if they work really hard and can do something useful.”
“Yeah, right. Maybe he can dream of that, because he is good with horses, but the rest of us just spend our lives scrubbing floors and shit. Anybody can do that, so we’re never going to get promoted, are we?”
“You might, one day. Can you read and write?”
“Of course I can!”
“Most of the slaves can’t. Some of them can recite the Qur’an, or part of it, from memory, but they can’t actually read it – and why would slaves need to be able to read and write? But Ali will need a new personal servant soon, because Rafik is nearly sixteen. It’s probably too soon for you now, but maybe in a couple of years’ time, if you work hard, you might have a chance. You could ask the imam to teach you a bit more, or you could even ask Ali if you could come to some of his lessons, like Rafik and the other servants do sometimes. As you can read and write already, you wouldn’t be wasting the teacher’s time.”
Madjid looked at him. “You know damned well Ali wouldn’t want me as his servant,” he said. “He’d be far more likely to take you, if he was going to promote a slave at all, because you can speak other languages.”
“Madjid, I won’t even be a boy any longer when Rafik moves. Ali isn’t going to want a joke as his personal servant, is he?”
Madjid sniggered. “I suppose not,” he agreed. “So that means neither of us will get the job. Why aren’t you sucking me yet?”
“I will, but we’ve got plenty of time. First I want to tell you about how I got here. It’s something I haven’t told any of the others, because to be honest I’m ashamed of it, but since your opinion of me isn’t going to get any worse I don’t mind telling you.
“I used to live in England. My family was rich, and my father’s family was noble – so I suppose you’d say I was one of the ruling class. And I knew it, too, and went around thinking I was better than everyone else. I looked down on people from the lower social classes, and tried not to mix with them more than I had to. I knew I was better than them, you see. I was a complete bastard, looking back on it, and treated people like shit just because of where they lived. And Ali’s cousin went to my school and I detested the thought of having coloured kids at the same school as me, and I tried hard to get him thrown out of the school just because he wasn’t white.
“So I don’t blame Brahim for dumping me here, because I was a horrible person and I deserved to be punished. I mean, I’ve learned different now: I don’t like being a slave, but I couldn’t ask for better masters than the twins. They’re fair – they beat me when I deserve it, and they fuck me a lot, but then that’s my job, so they have the right. But they treat me right and don’t hurt me unless I deserve it, and being with them has totally changed the way I think about black people. And some of the other slaves are really good friends now, and I’ve stopped thinking about colour completely: I reckon most of the slaves here are better people than me, or at least, better than the person I used to be.”
He wriggled down between Madjid’s legs and started kissing his balls again, and the tip of his penis, and his little black pubes.
“So basically I’m a bad person, even though I’m learning to be a better one now,” he went on, between kisses. “So I deserve to have you making fun of me and hurting me and making me suck you, and I’ll even deserve it when you make fun of me after I’ve had my balls cut off. See, Madjid, at first I thought you and me were the same, that we weren’t supposed to be slaves… but now I know I was wrong. I should be a slave, to punish me for being such a bastard, but you’re different: it’s not your fault that you’re here, and you haven’t done anything to deserve it. So I want you to tell me what happened and how come you ended up here… and while you do that I’ll see how nice I can make you feel.”
“I don’t want to talk about it.”
“We had a deal, remember? Look, Madjid, you can trust me: I swear I’ll never tell anyone what you tell me, not even Ali. Tell me about yourself, and in return I’ll give you some really good feelings, and I’ll tell you all the stuff I’ve done that I’m most ashamed of, too: having someone who hates me knowing all my worst secrets will make me feel bad, and you’ll be able to throw it all back at me whenever you want to make me feel worse.”
“Why? Why do you keep doing stuff like this?”
“Because I deserve it, and you’re the only one left who still wants to punish me for all the bad stuff I did before I got here. We need each other, Madjid: I need someone to get me back for being a bastard, and you need someone to hurt so that you can let out some of the bad feelings you have.”
“That's an interesting idea. And I admit whipping you that time made me feel really good. It's just a pity I can't whip you as hard as you really deserve.”
“One day that might change. So tell me how you got here, Madjid. All I know is what Samir told me, that you father was unlucky in business, or something like that.”
“My father was a fucking moron,” Madjid said, bitterly. “He thought he'd get rich if he could build up a horse-breeding business, so he stuck all our money into it, borrowed loads more to get in some breeding-stock, but didn't bother getting the horses properly injected against illness – and then some fucking disease wiped out all the stock. And the money-lenders wanted their money back, but there wasn't any... and I was the younger son. Never mind that I did far more work than my lazy arsehole of a brother – he was the heir, and I was expendable. Fucking shit family...”
Madjid began to cry. David didn't really know what to do, because he was pretty certain that Madjid didn't want his sympathy. But the younger boy's erection had wilted away, so he was no use where he was at the moment. So he moved up and lay down beside Madjid, but not saying anything.
“Why did you have to make me think about all that again?” sobbed Madjid. “You just want to see me cry, I suppose. Satisfied now, are you?”
“No. But it proves what I said: you don't deserve to be here the way I do.”
“Too fucking right!”
“But you can work you way out of this. I can't – I'm going to be here for ever. But you work hard – you said so yourself, and I know it's true. And so does Ali – do you think he'd give you charge of his day-room if he didn't know you'd do a good job? If he thought you were no good you'd be shovelling horse-shit like Cherif or cleaning the toilets like Karim. And Samir and Rachid are both fifteen now, and who's going to be senior slave when they move to the main palace? Cherif's the only other one who's older than you, and he's a nice kid, but he's basically stupid. And the next one after you is Karim, and he's not senior slave material, either. And Mohamed won't want to leave the stables, and Farid likes working in the garden, so it has to be you, Madjid. You're bound to be senior slave in a year or so.”
“No, I won't. Ali doesn't like me.”
“Then change his mind! Work hard, be useful, show him what you can do – and make sure he knows you can read and write, and that you want to improve your education. And make sure he knows you only want to do it so you can serve him better.”
“I'm not a suck-up, Cockroach.”
“You don't have to be! Look, Ali isn't stupid: he knows you're worth any three of the rest of us. A hard-working slave who can read and write and add up – he'd be insane not to make use of your talents.”
“Maybe you're right. But maybe I'm happy just getting on with what I have to do and keeping my head down.”
“And if you do that, once you're sixteen you'll be sent next door as just another dumb slave, and then what'll happen to you? Whereas if you work hard and impress Ali, not only do you get to be senior slave – which would let you deal with any junior who didn't respect you – but I seriously think you've got a good chance of becoming a servant. And then, if you put your money away and work hard, one day you'll be able to walk away from here and start a proper life.”
“So why do you care so much?”
”Isn't it obvious? If you earn your way out of the household I'll be safe! All the time you're still here I'm likely to get whipped and punished, and I know I said I still think I deserve it now, but in a year or so's time I reckon I'll think I've paid my dues. But I bet if you're still here I'll still get punished every day.”
David thought his argument just about hung together. Obviously he didn't really want to be punished – he'd learned his lesson, and no further punishment would teach him anything new. But if he could persuade Madjid to look to the future, he thought maybe the other boy might start to change for the better.
“I suppose that makes sense... but I'll bet the other slaves do their best to make sure I never get made senior. They pretty much all hate me.”
“Yes, but you can do something about that. I mean, look at me: they hated me far worse than they hated you – I bet you never had to eat your supper sitting on a shit hole and being pissed on, did you? But now they reckon I'm okay. And I was a total bastard to start with, whereas you were just an ordinary, decent kid who shouldn't be here. It's no wonder you found it hard to handle – a lot of kids I know would have gone mad or killed themselves, but you were strong enough not to do that.
“Thing is, you're here, and you have to accept it, the way I had to. But I'm here for life, but you don't have to be. All you have to do is concentrate on a future away from this place and then do whatever it takes to get you there. If being senior slave is a stage along that road, then you have to make sure you get the job, and if that means getting the other slaves to accept you, then that's what you have to do.”
“And how am I supposed to do that?”
“Talk to them. If one of them has got too much work, help them out. If you finish cleaning the day-room early, go and see if any of the others needs a hand. If you really want to impress them, go and help Karim, and make him promise not to tell the others about it. Don't worry, word will get out, and when it does and they ask why, you just have to act all annoyed that they found out about it and say you don't want to talk about it and they should stop going on about it. I can pretty much guarantee it'll work. But really all you have to do is treat them decently, talk to them at meal-times, stuff like that. By the time the senior job comes up they'll be happy for you to take it.
“And if you get made up to servant, anything is possible. Imagine for a moment that Ali puts you in charge of supplies. I know there's a town somewhere a couple of miles away outside the walls – well, imagine if Ali bought a small place in town, just a couple of rooms, and got you to live there so that you could go to all the shops and stores for him and buy the stuff the palace needs... you'd be pretty much independent.”
“That really would be good,” said Madjid. “Don't think it would happen, but it's a nice dream.”
“If you want to make it even nicer, now imagine that Ali appoints a slave to live with you to do all the work.”
“Yes! I'd get him to send you – then I could do absolutely anything I wanted to you, over and over again, all day long... “
“Right. Now you've got something to dream about. Next time we do this I want you to tell me exactly what you'd do to me – and I can see you're already thinking about it. Okay, let's see what I can do about it...”
The erection was back, and so over the next half hour or so David concentrated on giving Madjid another brilliant, drawn-out sexual experience, that finally resulted in another very productive orgasm.
“I'll tell you one thing,” said Madjid, pulling his robe back on, “if I ever do buy my way out of here, I'm going to buy you, too. I really like the idea of you doing that to me every day for the rest of my life.”
And he went out, and David lay back thinking that just maybe he had sown the seed that would enable Madjid to deal with his situation. And he wanted to encourage Madjid some more, and so on the morning of his next session with him he spoke to the twins.
“Are you certain, Kikem?” asked Yeyne. “Why would you want another slave to witness your shame?”
“And that one in particular,” added Kuyo. “He is a low creature, Kikem. He is a rat.”
“Rats can be saved, Master,” he said. “Even that one. I was a rat once, and you helped save me, so now I wish to save him.”
“But why like this? We spoke to Ali many weeks ago and asked if our fuckings could be kept private, and he agreed. You do not need anyone to know of it, except for us.”
“I know, and I'm grateful. But I am sure I can use it to help him.”
“We have told you before, Kikem, you are too generous to the other slaves, who treated you as dirt when you arrived,” said Yeyne. “You owe them nothing.”
“I know. But they have changed the way they view me, as have you.”
“Then, if you truly wish to do this, we will allow it.”
“Thank you, Master!” said David, gratefully. And so when he reported to Madjid that afternoon he told him that he had made arrangements for them both after supper.
“When we've eaten and our work is over, you can come back to my room with me,” he said. “The twins have agreed to let you watch them fuck me, and afterwards you can stay with me overnight, so that you can make me suck you again. If you want to, that is.”
“Fuck yes! But... okay, what's going on? Is this some trick? I know, once I'm safely in the twins' room they're going to beat me up, or maybe fuck me in front of you. I bet that's it, isn't it?”
“No, it isn't! Look, Madjid, you're senior to me – if I did something like that to you, you'd be justified in whipping the shit out of me afterwards. And I told you why last time – I want you to know all the bad stuff about me, so you can give me a hard time about it whenever I have to work with you. I swear nobody will do anything to you if you come.”
“Well... okay, then. But you're in real shit if you're lying. Now get those tables out of the way so you can start cleaning the floor.”
But as the afternoon went by Madjid's doubts seemed to disappear, and he was wriggling with impatience all the way through supper. Eventually David led him up to the twins' room.
“Cockroach has explained that you are to be permitted to witness what happens to him this evening,” Kuyo told him – his Arabic was getting better, but there was still an obvious accent. “He says it is a punishment for him for not showing you sufficient respect, so you can take up a position that allows you to see closely what is happening.”
“Great!” said Madjid, enthusiastically. “Thanks for letting me watch... so what happens, exactly?”
“First he has to be beaten,” Kuyo told him. “If he has failed us in any way he is whipped before we fuck him, to increase his discomfort.”
That was completely untrue – on the very rare occasions that David did merit a whipping from the twins it was always done straight after the offence. But David had persuaded the twins to give Madjid a good show, and they had reluctantly agreed.
“Brilliant!” approved Madjid, his eyes shining.
“It was only a small fault this time, so he is only getting three strokes,” Kuyo told him. “But it will be enough to cause him pain.”
The real reason was that David didn't want Madjid to see him get hard through being fucked, which was now happening almost every time. He hoped that if his bottom was hurting that wouldn't happen this time.
So the twins positioned him across the table as usual, today without putting the folded blanket on the table first, as they usually did to make it less uncomfortable for him. David gripped the table and Kuyo took the whip from its hook behind the door, took aim and delivered a good cut, not by any means at full strength, but hard enough to hurt, all the same. And David gave a loud gasp that wasn't in any way put on. Yeyne took the whip and gave him another, and he cried out, writhing.
“As he has disrespected you, you may take the third blow,” Yeyne said, handing the whip to Madjid, who grabbed it before the black boy could change his mind.
“Oh, brilliant,” he said, taking aim.
“Do not make him bleed,” cautioned Kuyo. “We do not want his blood on us as we fuck him.”
So Madjid reined it in a little, but still delivered a very painful blow, and David arched his back and yelled in pain.
“And now we fuck him,” said Yeyne, removing his kilt.
“Fucking hell,” exclaimed Madjid, staring at Yeyne's erection, “that's massive! I bet that hurts like hell! How do you get that into him?”
“Watch,” said Yeyne. He smeared a little cream around David's hole, lined up and pushed steadily, and gradually the large organ disappeared inside. Madjid watched open-mouthed, and David gasped and uttered little cries of distress, mostly for his benefit: by now he was used to this and had learned how to push out and then relax so as to accommodate the twins without too much pain.
Once it was all the way in Yeyne started to fuck steadily, and David wriggled and gasped and yelped, doing his best to suggest to Madjid that this was really hurting. Of course, having the other boy watching this was still embarrassing, but that was a price he thought worth paying.
“Why have you stopped?” asked Madjid, when Yeyne paused in mid-fuck.
“We do not wish this to be over too soon,” Kuyo explained. “We stop many times, so as to prolong our pleasure. He would prefer us to finish quickly, but he is a slave, and so his wishes mean nothing.”
“Oh, wow – I have to remember that,” said Madjid. “So how does it feel, Cockroach?”
“How do you think it feels? It hurts!”
“Be polite to me, Cockroach, or I'll whip you some more before the other one has his go.”
“I'm sorry, Madjid. But it does hurt, and it's hard to concentrate on anything else while it's happening.”
Yeyne drew it out the way he usually did – the twins had offered to do it fast tonight, but David had asked them to do it as usual – before eventually thrusting hard a couple more times as he climaxed. Madjid stared: the boy's entire length, which must have been close to six inches, was completely inside, and the noises David was making suggested (inaccurately) that it was really hurting him. Eventually Yeyne withdrew, and Madjid stared excitedly at David's hole, which stayed wide open for a few seconds before slowly contracting again.
Kuyo took his brother's place and Madjid was treated to a repeat performance that lasted at least twenty minutes, before finally Kuyo ejaculated into David's hole. He pulled out slowly, and David relaxed a little, but didn't let go of the table or stand up.
“We are going to clean ourselves,” Kuyo told Madjid. “He is not permitted to move until we return – but you are not permitted to hurt him while we are away.”
The twins went off to the servants' wash-room, as they did every time they fucked David; and he remained lying across the table, breathing deeply and hoping that Madjid did not realise that the few small drops of ejaculate on the floor beneath his groin were his and not Kuyo's – for, despite the whipping, he had been unable to prevent himself from climaxing as Kuyo fucked him.
But Madjid didn't seem to notice it at all – first he watched as David's distended anus slowly closed again, and then he came round to the other end of the table so that he could look at David's face.
“God, Cockroach, that must be agony – and you have to put up with it every night? It's a surprise you can actually walk after that.”
“It doesn't happen every night, just two or three times a week. Actually every night might be better, because then I might get used to it, but this way I have time to recover before it happens again.”
“It was fun to watch, though. I just wish I could do it to you, too, even though I'm nothing like as big as those two. Maybe in a year or so – just in time for me to be Ali's purchasing agent in town, if your plan works out!”
The twins came back and told David he was free to move, and he stood up, holding his bottom gingerly. Kuyo told him to go and use the toilet if he needed to, and he hobbled out of the room, putting on rather more of a limp than was strictly necessary. Madjid came with him, grinning as David squatted over one of the holes.
“I'd piss on you, except I'm going to have to share your mattress tonight and I don't want you stinking the place out,” he said, pissing into one of the other holes instead.
David wiped himself with his hand, as he had learned to do by now, went through to the wash-room to wash his hands and then led Madjid back up to the twins' room.
“Normally once he is in his cupboard we lock the door,” said Kuyo, untruthfully. “But since you will be in there tonight we will leave the door unlocked. He is not to come out, but you may if you need to.”
So David and Madjid went into David's closet and the door was closed, leaving them in the dark.
“You're not allowed any light, either?” said Madjid. “Wow, those two really do know how to deal with a bad slave, don't they? I'm going to remember all this for when you come and work for me in town. Okay, it'll never really happen, but it's fun thinking about it.”
He removed his robe and sandals and lay down on his back.
“Come on, then, get me excited,” he ordered. “But slowly – we can make this last all night if I want.”
So David lay down next to him and began to caress his upper body.
“So, what's going to happen at your place in town?” he asked.
“Well, you're going to be kept in a cupboard smaller than this, for a start, and I won't waste a mattress on you, either. I won't let you use the toilet – that'll just be for me – so you'll have to piss and shit in your cupboard and then sleep in it every night. I'm going to get a frame and we'll use one room as a punishment room, and when you're not actually working you'll stay strapped to the frame so I can whip you and fuck you whenever I want.
“You'll only be allowed one bowl of rice a day, too – I'm not wasting food on you – and the only water you'll get to drink will be my piss. How do you like it so far?”
“Not much,” admitted David, taking hold of Madjid's erection and caressing it slowly.
“Of course, it's all crap,” said Madjid, in a different tone of voice. “You'd die if I treated you like that, and then I'd have nobody to work for me. No, if it ever did happen I'd probably treat you pretty much like I do now, or maybe like the twins do: I'd only beat you when you deserved it, but I'd use you for sex a lot. So forget this rubbish for a moment and tell me why you invited me to watch you getting fucked tonight.”
“Because I knew you'd enjoy it.”
“Obviously I enjoyed it, but that's no reason. Look, Cockroach, you know perfectly well you don't owe me anything, and I don't believe all that stuff about you wanting someone to go on punishing you for all the bad stuff you did before, either. So what's the real reason?”
“Well, that reason isn't completely untrue, and I do think I need someone to know the truth about me, otherwise I'll start believing it when Djamel or someone says I'm really nice. I know better. But... look, Madjid, you don't like being here, and I've got the impression that you don't like any of the other slaves much – so why would it be me in your fantasy place in town? Why not any of the others? Do you really hate me more than them?”
“Oh, so you want the truth now, do you? Well... the reason I like hurting you is because I can. You're the only one I can get at, so you're the one I take stuff out on. Actually, I ought to hate you less than any of the others except Nacer, Hocine and Abdelkader, because they weren't here when I arrived, and neither were you. The rest of them were in my face all the time about being a slave when I used to be free, and I hated it – and if I could whip and fuck them, I would. But I can't, so you have to do. And I don't give a fuck if you think that's unfair or not, because it's going to happen anyway, okay?”
“That's okay. Like I said to you before, we need each other, at least until you can work you way out of here. Until then if you get angry or frustrated or just fed-up with everything, I'll be here for you to hit, or to suck you until you feel better.”
“You know what? You're completely insane! You're volunteering to be my punch-bag? Why? Do you like getting hurt, or something?”
“God, no! If I did, this place would be like Paradise! No, Madjid, it's just that you're the only one of us who really has a serious chance to get out. I fucked up my own life by being a bastard to everyone, so if I can keep you on the rails by letting you be a bastard to me, at least I'll have repaid the debt a bit.”
“God, you mean it, don't you?”
“Yes, I do. Work hard and get yourself out of here, and I'll think I've at least done one thing in my life that was worthwhile. So, here's the deal: start talking to the others, be part of the household, help then out if they need it. That way they won't object to you becoming senior. At the same time, be a good slave and work really hard – I'll help you whenever I can, but you'll have to do most of it yourself. Ask the imam if he'll help you to develop your reading, writing and maths skills, and tell Ali you want to take some lessons to make yourself better able to serve him.
“If you do all of that I'm convinced you'll get a chance as a servant sooner or later, and then you can start putting some money away – so even if you never get to be Ali's representative in town you'll still have a chance of making a fresh start on your own one day. And in return I'll help you relax by giving you the best sex feelings I possibly can, and if it helps you can push me about and call me names – that's why I wanted you to have lots of ammunition, so, it'll mean something when you do. And if I mess up you can whip me, and maybe even if I don't mess up if you need it enough. So, what do you think – do we have a deal?”
“So, what you're saying is, I have to do what's in my own interest by working my way out of this place, and in return you'll be my personal slave to do what I want with?”
“Well, not completely – after all, the twins are my real masters, and that means you can't beat me till I bleed, or fuck me. But I'll serve you as much as I can, anyway.”
“Seems like a good deal for me, but I can't see what you get out of it.”
“I get to see you lift yourself out of here. I can't do that myself, but seeing any slave making a life for himself will feel good. And, even though your being here isn't your fault, you do remind me of how I was when I first got into trouble back in England: I couldn't handle it, either, and it took me ages to accept things. If I'd had someone to help me then it would have been a lot easier. So maybe I can help you that way.”
“Well, I can't see any reason not to accept. But if you think this means I'm going to give you an easy ride, you're completely wrong.”
“I know. Thanks, Madjid – I won't let you down. Now, let's start with this...”
'This' was Madjid's penis, which had subsided during their discussion, but which quickly returned to life when David started licking it. And for the next half hour or so he worked away at it, teasing and tantalising but not letting Madjid climax until he was absolutely desperate for it. And afterwards, once Madjid had been for a pee and come back; David wrapped his blanket round them both and Madjid snuggled up to him.
“You realise I could make you sleep off the mattress and without the blanket?” Madjid pointed out. “But I suppose you've earned a good night's sleep.”
“Thanks, Madjid – Master, I mean.”
“And don't you forget it,” said Madjid. “We've got a deal, remember, slave?”
”I know you won't let me forget,” said David, and he settled down, content, thinking that if he could help Madjid to become independent – and, on the way, improve his relations with the other slaves - it would be an achievement he could be proud of.
Time kept rolling on, and November became December. David tried to keep doing his duties as well as he could and did his best not to let his anxiety show in front of his friends, but he was facing a deeply traumatising event that kept getting closer and closer, and there was nothing he could do about it except to keep working hard and hope against hope that Ali would put his slave's hard work ahead of his obligations to his cousin. And that didn't seem remotely likely.
He'd repeated the bondage game with Ali a couple of times, beating him hard enough to leave marks and making him wear the slave collar on the last occasion, and Ali had clearly loved every second of it, but as soon as they left the punishment room they were back to their standard master-slave relationship.
The other slaves were aware of his position and tried to comfort him as best they could, and on one occasion after Djamel had sucked him the younger boy had burst into tears at the thought of not being able to do this with David much longer and had needed comforting himself. Madjid kept teasing him about it, though even he didn't seem to be getting as much enjoyment out of it as he had a couple of weeks earlier.
In fact, watching Madjid trying to follow his advice was one of the things that kept David going. It had taken a bit of effort to start connecting with the other slaves – after all, he'd kept himself aloof from them for a long time. But David spoke up for him, and gradually the walls between Madjid and the others were coming down.
It was hard to think of this as mid-December – the temperature was still in the mid-twenties much of the time, and only at night did it feel a bit colder. But the weather was as bright and sunny as it had been since David's arrival back in the summer, and Ali had started sitting out in the garden when he had free time, something which would have been far less comfortable when the temperature was above thirty, as it had been at the height of the summer.
One afternoon Nacer came to get David from the twins' room even before he'd had time to take their bowls back to the servery.
“The Master wants to see you in the garden,” Nacer reported. “Straight away – I can take those bowls back downstairs for you.”
So David went downstairs and along the corridor to the door that led into the garden, the twins at his heels, and they caught up with Ali just outside the door.
“It's a nice afternoon, and I have an hour before my lessons,” Ali told him, “so you're going to pleasure me out here. It'll be nice to have it happen outdoors for a change.” And he strode straight to the pile of cushions that had been there since his morning rest and plonked himself down on them, hoisting his robe up to his waist, though leaving it covering his genitals at the front, as he usually did when David did this in the sight of other slaves or servants: the twins were coming this way, and no doubt Rafik and Nacer would be along shortly, and the gardeners were probably around somewhere, too. So David dropped to his knees between Ali's ankles and prepared to put his head under the robe to find his target – and as he leaned forward there was a movement at the corner of his eye: there was a snake in amongst the cushions, level with Ali's thigh.
“Master, don't move!” cried David, but it was too late: the snake was already drawing back its head ready to strike.
David didn't even stop to think: he shot out a hand and grabbed the snake just behind the head, the way he did it when playing the stick game with Tahnu and the other young shepherds. He was still fairly sharp because the twins used it to improve their reflexes, too, and often he played it with them.
“Kuyo!” he yelled, struggling to hold on as the snake thrashed around. “Your knife – quick!”
Kuyo dashed forward, drew his knife and sliced the snake's head off, and blood spurted out over Ali's robe. Ali was trembling in fright, but gradually it turned to anger.
“You've failed me!” he shouted at the twins. “You are supposed to protect me, and if it hadn't been for a slave – the least of my slaves – I would be dead. If I had died my father would have had you whipped and then garrotted, back to back with the same wire. No bodyguard may outlive his master. And that I am still alive is no thanks to you – so I think you should suffer the same fate. You will be killed.”
“Master, no!” cried David, who was still holding the body of the snake in his right hand. “You can’t blame them for this! You gave them no opportunity to check the cushions – you were already sitting down before they got here!”
“Do you defy me?” shouted Ali.
“Master, you are fair – all your slaves know this. I don’t want your servants to think that you are unjust.”
“My bodyguards failed. To execute them for such a failure would not be unjust. You need not fear that you will die with them, as happens in some households when the master dies. I’ll gladly accept you back as a household slave. Their fate does not concern you now.”
Be quiet, Cockroach. I’ve already told you that it’s not your business. But what you did was really brave, and you should be rewarded. So, what would you ask of me?”
“Don't punish the twins,” said David, at once. “If you are to reward me, let it be like that.”
“Wouldn’t you rather ask for something on your own account? For example, why don’t you ask me if you could be allowed to keep your manhood intact?"
David stared at him. “But... but I thought you'd promised Brahim...”
“This is my household, and I can decide to change my mind if I want. I think he’d understand that saving my life changes things a bit. So, which is it to be, Cockroach – do you want to save the twins, or your own balls?”
Oh, God, thought David. How can I make a decision like that? To be able to remain a normal boy, to experience puberty, to grow up normally, to get taller and stronger and be, well, ordinary – how could he not choose that? And yet, if it hadn't been for the twins and the way they had cared for him and protected him when the other slaves hated him, he might well have killed himself by now. But still, they had beaten him and fucked him... but they had the right to do that, of course...
“Decide,” said Ali.
David looked at the twins, who were on their knees, trying their hardest to look brave. But he could see that they were trembling, and there was a tear trickling from the corner of Kuyo's right eye, and after all they were only twelve years old... but still, his own body was in the balance, and possibly his own sanity, because God only knew how he would cope, if he could cope at all, with being half a boy...
He took a deep breath. “The twins,” he said. “I choose the twins, Master. Please don't punish them.”
Ali stared at him. “Are you sure?” he said. “They're just a couple of black farm-boys – I can find plenty of others to replace them easily enough.”
“You couldn't replace them,” said David. “They are good and kind, and loyal to you, and you know there was nothing they could have done about the snake. Take my balls – that was going to happen anyway, so I'm no worse off than I was this morning, and you won't have to break your word to Brahim – but spare the twins. They love you, Master – don't punish them for something that they could not have prevented.”
“Come inside,” said Ali, getting to his feet. “All of you. Come to my office. Oh, and Cockroach – put the snake down first.”
He took them up to his office, led them inside, closed the door and sat down at his desk.
“Cockroach, you are an amazing boy,” he said. “I don't think I would really have executed the twins – I was just angry, but I'd have seen that you were right once I recovered. As you say, I gave them no chance to check the cushions – though I'm not sure that they would have done if I had given them the chance. Still, that isn't the point. I don't suppose you know this, but in the past two weeks I've had every slave in the palace, and the twins, and most of the servants, come to me to ask me to spare you from castration. They like you, Cockroach – you'd be embarrassed to hear some of the things they said about you. Djamel offered to let me castrate him instead, and Samir said... well, it doesn't matter what they said. The message is that they care about you.”
“You said every slave, Master,” said David. “Even Madjid?”
“That was interesting – he crept up to me very early in the morning, before any of the other slaves were around, and he begged me not to tell anyone that he'd spoken to me – and then he pleaded for you even more eloquently than Samir, and he was eloquent enough.”
“Wow!” said David. “I'd better not tell him I found out, though, or he'll be angry. So... does that mean you might let me keep my balls after all?”
“What, you think I'd let slaves tell me how to behave? Well... this time I will, because they're right. You're nothing like the way Brahim described you to me, so I see no reason not to change my mind. You will not be castrated.”
“Oh, God, thank you, Master,” said David, dropping to his knees in relief. “But... you're not going to hurt the twins, are you?”
“No. But in future they'll know to check my cushions for snakes, I think.”
“I'd never have thought to,” said David. “I thought snakes hibernated?”
“Only in cold climates. Here some snakes sleep in the summer to avoid the heat. So now you'll know better, too. Now, go – you're free until I send for you again, which will probably be just before the evening meal. You, too, Kuyo and Yeyne – you probably need to recover, too. Rafik and Nacer will guard me this afternoon.”
So David and the twins went back to their room, and David turned round to thank the twins for speaking up for him – and found them on their knees.
“Our lives are yours,” Kuyo said. “You put our lives above your own manhood. You are truly a man, and we can no longer see you as our slave.”
“What? No, Kuyo, that’s rubbish! You heard Ali – he said he’d have changed his mind anyway, so your lives were never in danger.”
“You did not know that.”
“Well… look, that’s not the point. Anyway, how could I put your lives lower than something that was going to happen to me anyway? You are my masters, and… and I love you, okay? You’ve been so good to me – I couldn’t just stand there and not try to speak up for you.”
“We re not worthy to be your masters.”
“You’re my friends, Kuyo. I want to be your slave – you’re fair and decent to me, and I don’t want to be just another palace slave. I want to stay and serve you. Now please stand up, or I’ll have to kneel too, and then we’ll look silly.”
The twins stood up and David drew them into a three-way hug.
“Please say I can still be your slave,” he begged. “I just want us to go on as we were. I don’t want to leave you.”
“We do not deserve you,” said Yeyne. “But we would be happy if you want to stay with us.”
“Of course I do! You are my masters. And where could you find another slave who will not scream and split in two when you stab him with your huge black spears?”
They grinned at him. “Kikem, if you do not wish to be stabbed again, we will not force it upon you,” said Kuyo.
“It is my duty to give you pleasure – and if you do not fuck me, I would have to suck you instead.”
“You could rub us by hand if you prefer.”
“I’ll do all three,” promised David. “I like to see you have good feelings – and when you fuck me, it sometimes gives me good feelings, too. I would like that to keep happening. As I said, I do not want things to change between us. If I mess up, you must still beat me, and when you want pleasure, you must tell me. That is how things should be between us.”
And when David thought about it he knew that was true: he had started to enjoy sex with the twins, although of course until half an hour ago he had expected to be unable to enjoy sex ever again after his operation, and so had determined to accept any sexual experience he could get in the meantime, even though there was still occasionally a little voice nagging away in his head that said that sex with other boys was perverted. But even though he was now going to keep his balls, it didn’t seem likely that he would be in a position to think about girls for several years yet: even if he did manage to become a servant, it would be a long time before he was able to live independently. And if being fucked by the twins made him have orgasms, why shouldn’t he keep doing it? Nobody else was going to find out about it, after all.
It was weird: when he had first arrived he had thought being fucked by a black boy would be about the worst thing that could possibly happen to him, but in the last few weeks it had been one of the best things instead. By now he trusted the twins completely, and really liked them, too, and somehow that made what should have been a shameful experience into a pleasant one, one that he didn’t want to stop. And as for sucking them, well, he’d been sucking the other slaves for a long time now and had become inured to it, and he was good at it, too – everyone said so. So why shouldn’t he use it to make his friends feel good? The taste of spunk didn’t bother him the way it once had – now he could even suck Samir and Rachid without it making him want to throw up, and sucking the younger boys like Djamel and Abdelkader, who had no spunk yet, was no hardship at all – in fact he quite enjoyed making them feel good.
He’d managed to shut that little voice in his head up by telling it that being a pervert was part of his job: he had no choice in the matter, so he might as well do the job as efficiently as possible. And because he had to do it, it was good that it no longer bothered him or made him feel physically sick, wasn’t it? And now he saw no reason why he shouldn’t volunteer to do it for the twins, who were his friends – he’d volunteered with them before, after all. And the little voice didn’t seem to have any answer to that.
“We’ve got all afternoon off,” he said to the twins. “So, would you like to put your spears to good use?”
“That would be good. But today we will do it differently: today you will share our pleasure,” said Kuyo, pushing the two mattresses together. “Lie down, Kikem.”
So David lay on his back and the twins removed their kilts and lay down on either side of him, and then, working together, they wanked him, slowly and stopping often. He was not entirely surprised to discover they both knew how to do this, as he was fairly sure that they had done it for each other in the past. He was happy to lie back and enjoy it. And eventually they brought him to a really good climax, and his sperm, still almost colourless, spurted out in three or four pulses and landed on his stomach and groin.
“Kikem is a man indeed,” said Yeyne. “Your seed has begun to grow. Of course, we have far more than you, but we are warriors, and not a humble cockroach.” And he grinned to show that he was joking, and so David rolled over and began to suck him.
“I bet I do not even taste a single drop,” he said, but he was wrong about that: he got two or three good spurts in his mouth, and this time he swallowed them fearlessly – he’d swallowed accidentally in the past and it had done him no harm.
“See, there is nothing,” he said, displaying his empty mouth and then grinning.
“You have swallowed my seed. Perhaps it will make you a mighty warrior, and not a small, feeble slave-boy,” said Yeyne, grinning back.
So David repeated his efforts for Kuyo, swallowing once more, and then, after they had all rested for a while, the twins both fucked him, drawing it out for over an hour and making David come twice more in the process, though the second time nothing came out of his penis.
“That is how we should spend our rest days in future,” said Yeyne, withdrawing from David’s hole. “Do you not agree, Kikem?”
“I do. That was fun,” he said. “Of course, your spears are too small to touch the sides of my hole, but maybe you will grow one day.”
“I like it better that you can laugh with us,” said Yeyne. “Perhaps it is possible for us to be friends as well as masters and slave.”
“But if you are too cheeky we will whip you,” said Kuyo. “Admit that we have large spears, or we will think you are mocking us.”
“Master, your spears are magnificent, the largest in the palace. Perhaps one day you will learn to use them as you should.”
So they grabbed him and tickled him, which was a lot more fun than being whipped, and they were still at it when Nacer arrived to summon David back to Ali’s office.
“Sit,” ordered Ali, indicating the second chair in the room. “You gave me a problem, Cockroach: what you did for me today was incredibly brave – if the viper had bitten you, you would be dead. So I have been to talk to my father, and to the imam, to ask what I should do with you, and they gave me the same answer that Rafik had already given me when I asked him – and in fact it turned out to be the same answer I had already considered before I spoke to any of them. Cockroach, today you saved my life, and you put the lives of your masters ahead of your own happiness, and that’s something that is not easily repaid. So I have decided that you should no longer be a slave.”
David stared at him. “You mean… you mean, I can be a servant – have a proper, paid position in your household? Oh, wow, Master – thank you! I swear I’ll never let you down…”
“No, you idiot! I mean, you’re free. You can go home. My father is making the arrangements now, and it should be possible for you to leave on Saturday. I’ll never be able to replace you, but I can’t possibly keep you here after what you did for me. You’re going home, Cockroach.”
So there’s a bolt from the blue – David had completely abandoned any hope of rescue or escape, and now he gets it dropped into his lap. Not that he doesn’t deserve it, of course – he’s come a long way since he stitched up Ian Osterley for a crime he didn’t commit. Mind you, it might not be easy for him to just walk away from the palace: he fits in far better here than he ever did at KEV, and he’s got a lot of friends here, too. And in the next chapter we’ll see how he handles this enormous change in his fortunes…
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Well, I know I have French-speaking readers out there – some of them have written to me already, so it seems only fair to acknowledge it. Though obviously I'm still equally delighted to get mail from non-French-speakers, too.
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