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I want to thank all of you who have written with
comments on this story. They are greatly appreciated. Here is another chapter of this historical story.
As it says in the Good Book, "And the child grew, and waxed strong, filled with
knowledge..." And later, "And he advanced in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God
and man." So it was with Byron. There were many days when he didn't think that he would make it through another moment.
But with Charles and Jeffrey, dear Flora, and soon after his tutor, Mister Prescott, to guide him
he found that he could survive and go on living no longer as a slave boy, but as the nephew of
the white master. Both Charles and Jeffrey grew more and more fond of him each day, and he with them.
Even the two aunts, though they didn't see him that often, seemed to accept him as
one of them. It was more difficult for some others to accept him, however. It was those he'd grown up
with, who still rejected him, even more than they had when they were just children. He had
thought that they disliked him because he was so different, but he was wrong, they envied him
and wished that they were more like him. And now they had even more reason to hate him
because he was their master. Only time would tell if he could overcome these
rejections as well.
As it says in the Good Book, "And the child grew, and waxed strong, filled with knowledge..." And later, "And he advanced in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man." So it was with Byron.
There were many days when he didn't think that he would make it through another moment. But with Charles and Jeffrey, dear Flora, and soon after his tutor, Mister Prescott, to guide him he found that he could survive and go on living no longer as a slave boy, but as the nephew of the white master.
Both Charles and Jeffrey grew more and more fond of him each day, and he with them. Even the two aunts, though they didn't see him that often, seemed to accept him as one of them.
It was more difficult for some others to accept him, however. It was those he'd grown up with, who still rejected him, even more than they had when they were just children. He had thought that they disliked him because he was so different, but he was wrong, they envied him and wished that they were more like him. And now they had even more reason to hate him because he was their master. Only time would tell if he could overcome these rejections as well.
Shortly after Byron had moved to the Big House Jeffrey hired one Daniel P. Prescott to tutor him. At first Daniel was disinclined to take the position, he disliked children as young as Byron. He soon discovered that Byron was more precocious than the average ten year old. Not at all what he expected and he soon fell in love with him. Probably love is too strong a word, and lust isn't exactly the right word either.
Jeffrey gave Prescott, Mister Precscott, as Byron was to call him, free rein over Byron. Soon they became constant companions. They went everywhere together, did everything together. Prescott even had a bed in Byron's room, not as large and comfortable as Byron's, but nicer than he was used to from his previous positions.
Byron learned to ride shortly after Prescott arrived and was given his own mount, a gentle creature, that had become pregnant almost as soon as she was given to Byron. Horse back riding quickly became one of Byron's most favorite pastimes. Riding could be done virtually year around. Since Byron was quite light and just learning to ride, it was no problem for her to carry on with him riding her, even though she was with foal as Bryon was taught to say. Bryon was intrigued with the whole process, especially when it came time for her to give birth.
Jeffrey saw no reason that Byron should not know everything about her condition and the process, he was allowed to watch her give birth. While Prescott was almost made sick watching, Byron knelt nearby watching everything in great detail.
Since Queeny, the mare was his, the colt was his too. He gave the colt the name Prince shortly after its birth. Everyone was happy with Byron's interest in the horses. Soon the two, Prescott and Byron, and the three horses could be seen everywhere on the plantation.
By the end of the summer Prince had grown into a fine looking colt, black with white markings on its legs and a star-like mark on its forehead. It quickly learned that Byron was its master and came to expect the small treats that Byron brought to it daily.
Prescott also found Byron to be lovable beyond his expectations. He was growing fast and was a handsome lad, strong and intelligent.
One night as they were sleeping Byron woke thrashing about the bed whimpering in his sleep.
Prescott slid from his own bed and went and sat on the edge of Byron's bed.
"What is it?" he asked, putting his arm around the boy.
Byron whispered still sobbing, "I guess I was having a bad dream."
"Do you want me to sleep with you for a while?"
"Yes, please," Byron said softly. Prescott slid in beside him and held him gently.
Soon Byron was asleep again, nestled comfortably next to him. Byron's butt was pressed tightly against him giving him an unexpected sensation. Prescott knew that he should return to his own bed, but everytime he moved a little ways away, Byron snuggled back even tighter.
With each movement, Prescott's night shirt moved higher about him, finally exposing his painful erection. With some trepidation Prescott's hand moved down across Byron's body, lower and lower with each passing moment. Finally it came to rest on the boy's crotch. It was warm and soft. Without intending to, Prescott's fingers moved lightly, awakening the sleeping boy.
Byron didn't move. He knew what he was feeling at his backside, and also knew what he was feeling in his groin. He had wanted for a long time to explore his teacher's body. He remembered the first night with Charles, and was now experiencing the same thing with Prescott. He wasn't certain how to proceed, and not certain if Prescott was asleep. Slowly but deliberately he turned so that he was lying on his back. As he turned his one hand slid down to the hardness that he had felt on his butt. It moved as he touched it. His heart almost stopped as he felt it press against his hand. His fingers tightened slowly around the shaft.
Prescott moaned softly as Byron's fingers moved from their position along the shaft out toward the end. Eventually the small fingers reached the bulbous end still enclosed in his ample foreskin. Involuntarily he pressed himself closer to Byron's body. Byron halted his investigation fearing that he would wake his friend.
Hearing only the slow, regular breathing, he felt safe in exploring further. Eventurally he slipped his small finger tip inside the fold of skin at the end and found a wetness that he had not experienced with himself. As he continued to move his fingers through the slippery fluid he felt Prescott clutch at his body, thrusting his hips tightly against him. Again fearing that he had wakened him, he stopped his movements.
"Don't stop," Prescott whispered. The sound of his whispered startled Byron who quickly moved away from him.
"What?" Byron asked in his soft voice trying to sound as if he had just awakened.
"Move your fingers like this," Prescott said demonstrating with Byron's hard cock.
Byron moaned softly at the feeling it gave him.
"See how good it feels?" Prescott asked. Byron quickly returned his fingers to the man's dick and began to slid the foreskin back and forth along the large cock head and shaft.
"Oh yes!" Prescott moaned. He thrust his hips tightly against Byron's soft body, and soon eploded in orgasm flooding the area with his cum.
"Oh you peed!" Byron whispered loudly and moved away from Prescott's body.
"Oh no," Prescott whispered, "It's not that." He reached out and lightly grasp Byron's hand and brought it to Byron's mouth. "Taste your fingers," he said. Byron did as he was told.
"Ummm," Byron sighed, "It's different."
"Yes, and it's good for you too." Prescott explained, "It makes you grow into a man more quickly."
"Will I be able to do that sometime soon?"
"I'm not sure when, but yes, you'll be able to do it too."
"How will I know?"
"Let me feel you again," Prescott asked. His hand reached out and lightly grasp Byron's young cock which was still hard. Slowly and deliberately he moved Byron's foreskin back and forth. Byron groaned as he felt the pleasure increase in his body. Soon he was thrusting against Prescott as the man continued to masturbate him. "Feels good, doesn't it?"
"Ohhh!" Byron cooed. All of a sudden Byron's body froze as he was raised to his first orgasm. He cock flexed and shot out a small dribble of clear liquid.
Prescott's fingers felt the liquid on them. He brought them up to Byron's lips, "Taste," he said.
Bryon opened his lips and Prescott slipped one inside. Byron instinctively sucked on it.
"See? You can shoot already," he said, and added, "only a little, but some."
"Let me taste," Prescott asked. He removed his finger from Byron's mouth and returned it to Byron's cock which pulsed as the finger touched the end. He moved it around inside the foreskin collecting what was left of the small ejaculation. Then he brought it up to his own mouth and tasted. "Ummm," he sighed.
"It's different than yours," Byron commented.
"Yes, but so good. You're just a boy that's why."
"May I taste some more of yours?" Byron asked.
"Yes," the man answered. He threw the sheet back and felt Byron's fingers move to the end of his softening cock.
"Ummm," Byron sighed as he collected more of the liquid on his fingers and brough it to his mouth.
Prescott moved his head down to Byron's cock and took it into his mouth. It flexed, still hard despite his recent orgasm.
"Ohhh!" Byron cooed.
"Ummm," Prescott sighed as he once again tasted the youthful cum.
"How come I'm still hard, and you're soft?" Byron asked. Once again Byron's fingers went to Prescott's cock.
"Because boys recover so much more quickly." He lifted his head from Byron's cock and kissed Byron's lips. He was surprised as Byron moved his head down and took his still sensitive cock. Byron slid the foreskin back and covered the large head with his mouth.
"Careful with your teeth," Prescott warned him, "Cover your teeth with your lips." Bryon did as he was directed. As Byron flicked his tongue inside Prescott's skin, his cock began to stiffen once again in response. He groaned as his tender organ hardened. It was far too sensitive to continue.
"Please Byron stop!" He moaned.
"Am I hurting you?" Byron asked.
"No, not hurting," he responded, "But it is too tender."
"I'm sorry," Byron said softly.
"Don't be sorry," Prescott said, "It's just me, not you."
"Let's sleep awhile longer." He pulled the boy closer to himself, and soon the two were fast asleep.
Nearly seven years had passed since that first day that he'd come to live in the Big House on Harper's Valley. He knew everything about it now, where everything was, how to get from one room to another without getting lost, as he had done constantly the first two months he lived in it.
The tutoring by Prescott had been completed and was judged a success. But he was let go now that his job was completed. Byron was sad to see him go. They had become friends and lovers of sorts.
Byron knew how to read, to write and to compute, and knew all about how the plantation work was done. He understood a good deal of how the business end of the plantation operated, how the slaves were bought and sold, how they were punished when they were bad, Jeffrey was a good teacher, but Byron was even a better student.
But he had not forgotten. He never forgot that he too had been one of them. Many times as he was growing up, he begged his uncle Jeffrey not to whip them. And as he grew older, he was given the task of administering punishment to some. He could not bare to see them beaten for the most trivial of offenses. He knew the reasons, but he still only beat them, when it was serious. Mostly he talked to them, talked to them of the need to be upright in their behavior, so that it was not necessary for them to be punished.
They too began to know him, and to understand that he had not forgotten where he came from. Gradually they came to accept him, and his ways. The necessity for punishment grew less and less. Jeffrey was pleased with the effect Byron had on them, and had turned over the responsibility of discipline completely to him.
At seventeen, Byron had grown to six feet in height and weighed nearly one hundred seventy pounds. To say that he was handsome, was to admit that a rose was a flower.
Even the proper ladies of Charlotte who knew who he was, were not discouraged from encouraging their daughters to pursue him. Many wished that they were younger so that they might have him for themselves.
He was now the most popular of young men in the county. And considering how well Harper's Valley was doing now, under Jeffrey's expert management, Byron was also one of the most eligible of bachelors too, aside from Jeffrey, who were still unmarried.
Most had given up hopes of ever snaring Jeffrey, who eluded every attempt to get him to court them. His interest seemed only in running the plantation.
It was not true, however, as Byron had quickly learned. He enjoyed the sensations of the warm body next to him, the moist lips on his body. The affection and attention Jeffrey gave to him, relieved the ache in his heart with which Prescott's departure had left him.
It was Charles who explained to Byron that it was not Jeffrey's way to hurt him, and that Jeffrey truly cared for him. It was Charles who shared the secret with Byron, that Jeffrey only liked to be with boys, and other men when boys were not available.
The secret which they shared, had never come to light, Charles knew that he must keep it secure. He did whatever it took to keep anyone from finding out. His very life depended upon it. Oh, he knew that it was not uncommon for the White masters to occasionally take up with a Black male slave. It generally was kept quiet, in spite of the snickering of those Blacks who knew, and they knew better than to talk of it, even among themselves.
But with Jeffrey Charles knew it was different. He'd grown up with Jeffrey, and knew the terrible temper Jeffrey had when riled. He'd seen Jeffrey beat a slave to death for having resisted his advances when Jeffrey was only sixteen. It wasn't that the man objected to having sex with him, but he had laughed and said that he wasn't going to have sex with someone with such a small piece of equipment.
Jeffrey, who had not yet fully developed, was furious. Charles had been the only witness to this brutality, and had covered up for Jeffrey with his father who had been away at the time. Luckily for Jeffrey, the man was not married and was a new slave, and had not been well liked by the other Blacks on Harper's Valley. Ever since that day, Charles, though he loved him, feared him as well.
It was true that Jeffrey was different that way, but he was not unkind to anyone, save that one time. He was discrete in his attentions to Byron, and to Charles whom he dearly loved. Charles had, at first, been jealous of the attention that Byron received from Jeffrey, but since he loved both Jeffrey and Byron, he was wise enough to learn to share.
Charles was sensible enough not to seek Byron's attentions for himself, although he watched as often as he could discreetly from a distance, unseen by either. Jeffrey and Byron shared many wonderful nights together, Byron slipping into Jeffrey's bedroom after everyone had gone to bed for the night. At first it had been the other way around. But now Jeffrey wanted him to come to his room.
Byron loved his uncle, not just in the physical sense, but in every other too. They were quite alike physically, save the now quite obvious difference. Byron was quite abundantly endowed, a feature which Jeffrey had come to enjoy even more as the years passed. Byron never thought much about the difference tin their sizes, never having experienced only Jeffrey and Prescott, and he had no desire or inclination to do so. In fact, he often found his own largeness to be a hindrance to their enjoyment, as both Prescott and Jeffrey experienced considerable pain at times.
It was the spring of 1833, and Jeffrey and Byron had just finished dinner in the small family dining-room adjacent to the kitchen, between it and the formal dining-room.
"I think it's time to think about where you want to go away to school," Jeffrey said as they were sipping coffee.
"Do I have to go away to school?" Byron asked.
"I think you should, it'll broaden your outlook on the world," Jeffrey insisted.
"Who cares about the rest of the world? I only care about here, and now."
"But you'll get to meet some interesting people, learn more about the business world, how things are done."
"But I want to stay here," Byron resisted, "With you. Besides, where could I go?"
"Well, they have fine schools in the North, in Boston, New York, Philadelphia."
"But they're so far away. And I hear it's cold up there, too. You know how I hate the cold weather."
"Well," Jeffrey said, "How about Savannah or Atlanta, then?"
"When do I have to decide?" Byron knew that Jeffrey would never give in on this.
"I tell you what," Jeffrey said, "Let's take a trip and visit those two cities, and see which one you like better."
"Which one's closer?"
"Savannah, I guess," Jeffrey said, "But not much."
"Well, if you really think I should, I guess it won't hurt to have a look at them." Byron gave in. Byron always gave in, not because he had to, but because he knew that everything that Jeffrey did or want him to do, was for his own good. He often wondered why he knew that, he'd never heard Jeffrey say it. Perhaps it was something that his Mama had instilled in him from the very beginning, before he even had memories of it.
"Good. I'll tell Charles to make the arrangements, and we'll be off by week's end."
It was set. Charles had already known what Jeffrey was planning, since they had discussed it vaguely, but he didn't know where. When he heard he was delighted, he didn't like the cold weather either, and he knew that Jeffrey was not going to let Byron go away to school without someone to go with him.
Arrangements and preparations were made. They would be riding horseback since it was late spring, and warm enough to travel easily that way. An extra horse would carry the luggage they needed for the trip.
James, Cynthia's husband, would watch over Harper's Valley while they were gone. He would only have to check with Jake a couple of times, to see if they needed anything, or if there were an emergency. The spring planting was in full swing now that the rains had ceased, at least for a while.
The day of departure came. Byron had actually come to look forward to the trip, a fact which surprised even him. It was bright and sunny, an ideal day for riding. Charles had supervised the packing and the loading, and was waiting with the horses at the drive when Jeffrey and Byron came down the front steps dressed in their traveling clothes.
He was still constantly amazed at how much they looked alike now that Byron had grown so much. He could see Flora peeking from behind the front door as they walked down the front walk.
The three of them mounted up, and started off. Charles saw Byron look around and wave back toward the house. A quick flick of her hanky was all that Charles saw as the door closed behind her. He smiled, Dear Flora, how she loves that boy.
The roads were dry, if a little dusty, and they made good time that first day taking the road which followed roughly the course of the Catawaba River, arriving in Columbia, South Carolina just before dark. The small inn had room, for which they were grateful. Not having had time to send someone ahead to make arrangement for them, they were going to have take their chances on places to stay. They had brought the things they needed to sleep on the ground, but no one, save perhaps Byron, was inclined to want to do that. Luckily for Jeffrey and Charles they never had to sleep out, and arrived two days later in Savannah.
Sitting on the coast, it was a bustling port, bringing in goods from the North and from England and France. Ships were arriving almost daily now that the weather had turned fair again. Wagons loaded with everything imaginable were on the streets making their way toward Augusta, Macon, Atlanta, and points West.
Something which none of the three were prepared for was the sight of a slave ship, and the unloading of its gruesome cargo. In chains they came down from the ship, barely able to stand from their long voyage in cramped quarters below deck. Hundreds of them, men and women, and children even, though mostly in their early teens, looking sickly and starved, in tattered rags, they huddled together.
Men with whips stood nearby shouting orders to them which none of them understood. Shortly a Black slave dressed moderately well, and accompanied by a White man, perhaps his master, went up to the group. He spoke to the chained masses in their own language, or some variation of it which they seemed to understand.
The group moved off in the direction indicated, toward the place that was designated at the auction area. A sort of platform with a short stairway leading up to it had become a permanent fixture in the town square a short distance from the dock area.
There they would be sold to the highest bidder. Many people had gathered just to watch, if not to buy. Jeffrey, never having seen this before was interested. Byron and especially Charles were more reluctant.
They followed as the group moved along the dusty street, some falling and being pulled on by those more able to stand, before regaining their footing. When at last they reached the square, the man with the key, unlocked their shackles and they mounted the stairs. Several other men stood with rifles guarding them.
When they were all assembled the sale began. One had to understand the particulars of the sale language to be able to participate, but it was easy to observe the procedure. The auctioneer would walk down the row of slaves and describe the unfortunate to the crowd, using a description which offended even Jeffrey.
"Let's get away from here," Jeffrey said after the first man was dragged away. "This is awful!"
And awful it was indeed. After enduring the hardships of an ocean voyage chained together in a space where they could barely move, in filth which grew steadily worse as the voyage progressed, they finally arrived and were sold. Then often as not, a worse fate lay in store for them as they were dragged off, separated from their families and friends, to be civilized, if possible and worked until they died.
Jeffrey led the way and the three of them rode through the street until they arrived at the hotel where he said he'd planned on staying, at least part of the time they were there. There were friends and relatives with whom they could have stayed, but he was not fond of staying in other people's homes because it lacked the privacy he required.
The hotel had a dining-room and they, that is Jeffrey and Byron, ate there the first day while they rested up from the trip. Then, Jeffrey decided it was time to investigate the possibilities of places for Byron to go to school. Byron still thought that he might get out of it, by some miracle or other.
For the next three days they traveled about, just Jeffrey and Byron looking and visiting. Charles stayed at the hotel in his room, which did adjoin the main suite in which Jeffrey and Byron slept.
Byron kept his observations about the two schools that they looked at to himself. Neither pleased him, but he said nothing. They next traveled to Atlanta, following along the Savannah River some of the way.
Atlanta was more what Byron thought he would like. It had a lot of activity and was quite relaxed. The schools were finer, and since Jeffrey was so insistent on his going, he decided to make the best of it. Even in Atlanta, the Harper family was well known and respected. Jeffrey had no trouble in getting Byron enrolled, once Byron let it be known that here was where he wanted to go to school. They sought out lodging for him to stay. It had to be a place where Charles could stay too. Jeffrey was not going to let Byron stay there by himself. The chance of him getting into trouble was too great.
"What kind of trouble?" Byron asked.
"You know very well, what I mean." Jeffrey said, the issue was resolved. Charles would be his man while he was away at school. Jeffrey would just have to do without him until he got home.
There was always Michael, Jeffrey thought, He was up and coming and needed the training anyway.
They returned the next week to Charlotte, and to their home. Flora had known the purpose of their trip and was anxious to know all about it. Charles filled her in on the details as much as he could.
So it was in the fall of 1833 that Byron found himself enrolled in the Chase Business College in Atlanta, and staying with a prosperous family named Johnson who lived a short distance away from the school.
Charles accompanied him and took care of his personal needs. The Johnsons had no children living at home now, although occasionally one of them would visit. The only time that they would all come home at once was at Christmas, so there was plenty of room in the large red brick house for Byron and Charles.
The first several weeks Byron was busy getting acquainted with the other students, the teachers, and the rigors of the class work. By the end of the sixth week he was already bored with it.
He found his classmates dull, they were prideful and lazy. Most had no interest in their studies. Many had no aptitude for them either. But their families had the money, and that was what the school was interested in. It was a small school, just getting started, so they needed students, students who could afford to pay for classes. With that goal, the school accepted anyone who could pay, and kept them in enrolled as long as they kept paying.
Byron had no problem with his studies, as he was not only bright but had a natural aptitude for business. Between Prescott and Jeffrey they had taught him well nearly all that there was to know about running the business at home, and so there was little he did not already know. Perhaps later, he thought, they'll begin teaching things I don't know about.
From his classmates whose families were plantation owners, or farmers, as was his, he learned of the problems which most had with their slaves. It seemed that no matter whether they treated them well or badly they could not get the kind of work they required of them. As a result their crops were poor, and profits were low.
Some found it was best to keep them poorly fed and beaten to get the most work from them. Others found that this only made them more surly. They recommended keeping them well fed and clothed, while the first group found that they become insolent and lazy when treated in this fashion.
Byron having lived with his Mama as a slave had seen only a hint of either condition on Harper's Valley. Perhaps, he thought, It had something to do with the attitude which the owners had toward their workers. As he recalled from Jeffrey's recounting of the history of his family, the original Harper land was a small plot. Their were few slaves, and they were well treated. As the slaves numbers grew, both by breeding and by purchasing of slaves from other land owners, never from the slave traders directly, the Harpers increased their land holdings as well. They kept the additions small both in land and in slaves. For a hundred years the Harpers had owned land, and four generations of slaves had lived with the family, until now they were part of the family. They knew no other life, neither slave nor master.
Only a few of the slaves now thought of striking out against their masters. The new slaves found that they were treated better by the Harpers than their former masters. The slaves who'd grown up there, heard stories from the new ones which gave them the opinion that they were better off them many others were.
The original Harper family had been deeply religious. Not in just the formal sense, but in the way they did business, the way they treated their fellow man. Their slaves were instructed in the religious ways of the family. Their Christian precepts were taught, along with the formal beliefs. Although some of the old ways, as his Mama had called them were kept by some of the slave families, they had changed over the years and were far from the original in both belief and in actions.
Byron, now that he lived with Jeffrey, had drifted away from the practices which his Mama had taught him, but the way he lived had changed little.
Byron associated with few of his fellow students, preferring to keep to himself. On the few occasions when he visited with the other students, and especially those who lived permanently in Atlanta, he found them boisterous and prone to drinking too much. He rarely drank alcohol except with food, and only with the evening meal. The taste of it he found unpleasant. And since he didn't like the way it tasted, not he never found out for himself what it was like to drink too much. He saw the effects that it had on those who did, and couldn't imagine what anyone would want to act so foolishly.
One such night a month or so after he'd arrived, after much protesting on Charles part, Byron did go with several of his new acquaintances to a party, or so it was called. There were four young men, in addition to himself. They arrived at the home of a young man, whose parents had gone to Charleston to visit some relatives. The young man, Paul Mason, had dismissed most of the servants for the evening, so that the house was empty save for his own man, who was the most reliable of persons.
Byron, his four colleagues: Jason Evers, John Pillar, Billy Paxton, and Joel Johnson, no relative to the Johnsons where Byron was staying, arrived just after dark at the Mason home.
Paul, who evidently had been drinking even before his guests arrived, made certain that there was plenty for everyone to drink. Byron, took a glass of the light golden liquid to be polite. One sip convinced him that he would not be drinking it, or at least, not a substantial amount.
Conversation was coarse, and surrounded tales of exploits with various women of questionable virtue. The stories became more explicit as the alcohol made its effect apparent. Byron, while he was certain that they were boasting, and making the events up, was intrigued by them.
There happened to be an umbrella stand in the corner of the library where the party was being held. It was quite convenient for Byron, for as the glasses of his friends became empty, so did his, into the bottom of the stand. He was careful with his dumping and affected the appearance of being slightly drunk.
He was, in fact, becoming aroused somewhat by the stories he was hearing. He was not alone in this, but with the exception of Joel, it was not evident. Joel was tall and thin, and his trousers fitted a little too closely to conceal his now rising manhood. Having observed this, Byron soon found himself in the same condition, with much more to conceal than anyone else, and so he selected a comfortable chair where his coat covered his embarrassment.
Billy, a short rather stocky young man, had the floor.
"I'll tell you," he said proudly, "I really pounded into her that night, popping off three times before even taking a break!"
Laughter filled the room. While it was entirely possible that a feat of that nature could occur, it was more likely that it was something that Billy wished might have happen.
Billy was seated on the sofa across from Byron, as were Paul and Jason. John was still standing, but with only a hint of a bulge in his trousers. Joel had chosen to sit on the arm of the chair in which Byron sat.
With the sudden out burst of laughter from the group, Joel slipped into Byron's lap, which caused some considerable laughter itself, since he spilled part of his drink onto Byron's coat. Although Joel gave no outward indication of his contact with Byron's nearly hard cock under the coat, that look in his eye as he apologized to Byron for spilling his drink on him, gave Byron cause to wonder.
"It's nothing really," Byron said, "I'll have Charles sponge it when I get home."
"No," Joel insisted, "I think we should take care of it right away." Joel went to Paul and whispered something which Byron couldn't hear and then returned.
"I asked Paul if we could use his room to take care of that," he said with a wink.
Byron looked at Paul. He nodded. Byron shrugged and took off his coat before standing up. He followed Joel up the richly carpeted staircase to Paul's room.
Once inside with the door closed, and as Byron heard a familiar sound, it locked from the inside, Joel took Byron's coat and laid it on the bed.
Before Byron could prevent it, Joel grabbed him and began kissing him. One of Joel's hands quickly found the object which he had discovered in his slide into Byron's lap. Although it had subsided in the climb to the second floor, it was still sumptuously enlarged.
Byron's response to Joel's action was quick, but gentle. With both hands he held Joel at arms length which succeeded in removing the groping hand.
"Please, Joel!" Byron said firmly, but softly.
"Oh, Byron," Joel swooned smiling. "You know you like it."
"I'm not sure what you had in mind," Byron said, knowing exactly what Joel had in mind, "But I don't think either one of us is ready for that!"
"I," Joel said suddenly fearing that he might have blundered, "I guess I must be drunk."
"Perhaps," Byron said, "We've all had a bit too much to drink, and too many erotic stories."
"Really," Joel said, "I didn't tell Paul what I was going to do." He blushed and added, "Although I could have, and he would have approved, probably suspects anyway."
Byron looked surprised, "Really?"
"Oh yes, Paul and I have," he paused, "You know."
"And the others?" Byron asked in disbelief.
"At one time or another, yes," Joel said smiling, "They all do too."
"I don't believe it!" He was shocked. How could such a thing have happened? He had no idea that these men who talked so openly of carousing with women were actually desirous of other men. He had thought that this preference so unusual that is was very rare. He had no chance to know this, but he had always assumed it to be uncommon. And now to find out that most of the men he knew were akin to him sent his mind reeling.
He walked over to the window and looked out.
"Why did you pick me?" Byron asked.
"I suppose," Joel said calmly, "Because you're so, so large."
"Is that so important?" Byron asked turning around.
"Not really," Joel's eyes sparkled, "But it sure is nice when it is."
Byron had never thought about it that way. He'd never been with anyone except Prescott who was about 7 inches, and Jeffrey who wasn't large, perhaps six inches or so. He'd always enjoyed sex with them.
Joel seeing that Byron was just shocked by his forwardness, and not by his intentions, said, "Are you sure you don't want to?"
"Oh yes," Byron said without even thinking about it, "I'm sure I don't." He wanted to make it clear as to what he meant.
"All right," Joel sighed, and walked to the bed, "Then I suppose we might as well take care of your jacket." Byron watched with suspicion as Joel took the jacket into the bathroom and poured some water on the stain.
He watched curiously. Perhaps he had been too hasty in his rejection. His loins burned more fiercely than ever as he watched Joel bending over the basin with the towel, drying his jacket gently, but firmly.
His pants fitted him as intimately in the rear as in the front, and with the very short tight fitting jacket revealed his well shaped buttocks and muscular back.
"Here you are," Joel said handing Byron his jacket. "I'm really sorry about the drink," he paused, "And for surprising you like that."
"It's all right," Byron smied.
"You are very handsome, you know," Joel looked into his eyes deeply, "Much more than words can describe. Much more than I ever remembered you being. Perhaps," he almost whispered, "Another time." Then he leaned forward quickly and kissed Byron on the lips.
Byron was silent, but the way that his lips responded, puckering outward without his thinking of it, gave lie to his refusal moments before.
Joel turned to leave, "Coming?" he asked looking around with a faint smile on his lips.
"Oh," Byron said, "In a moment. I really must use the commode."
"I'll wait then," Joel said. Byron hurried off to the bathroom. Forgetting to close the door and about the strategically placed mirrors, gave Joel a preview of what he hoped he would someday experience with delight. Byron now had relaxed sufficiently so that he showed only the slightest of bulge as they walked down the stairs to rejoin the group.
All eyes turned as Joel preceded him, talking excitedly about some trivial subject which Byron didn't even hear. The way that they all looked at him, he was certain that they all knew, at least thought they knew what had happened. Raised eyebrows and hints of a smile on moist lips, gave evidence of what Joel had told him, was true.
Byron made it no less damning by saying that he would have to be leaving, as he was tired. Knowing nods and glances, and overly friendly handshakes, caused him to be even more embarrassed. He hurried out to the street and rode quickly through the darkness, back to his lodgings.
It was warm in his room at the back of the house. He had opened the window, which looked out over a large yard planted in a variety of flowering plants. Byron lay on the bed naked, as he often did. The room was dark except for the faint glow of the moon. Now and again a wisp of air moved and flowed across his body. It was late and Charles had gone to bed before he returned. The house was quiet and Byron lay half asleep listening to the night sounds. He missed the closeness which he shared with Jeffrey.
He felt, more than heard, someone come into his room.
Since he'd heard no door, it had to be Charles moving about. He closed his eyes. Did he dare to tell Charles what had happened at the party?
"Master Byron," Charles soft voice called in a whisper.
Byron opened his eyes slightly. Charles was standing beside him.
"You are awake," Charles said, "I thought you were. Surely is quiet tonight."
"Yes," Byron answered.
"You miss being with Master Jeffrey, don't you?" Charles touched his soft hair with his large hand.
"Yes," Byron said, "Most of all I miss Jeffrey at night." He looked up at Charles strong muscular body standing beside him. It was the first time that he could recall, since he was a boy, that he'd seen Charles completely naked. His body was shining in the half-light of the moon.
"Charles?" Byron asked, "You miss him too?"
"Yes." Charles' voice trailed off slowly. Indeed Charles did miss the passionate late night visits to Jeffrey's bed when Byron had gone back to his own. He had never slept with Byron, and had often wondered what it would be like. It had never occurred to him that Byron might want him to.
"Come, Charles," Byron said softly, "Come lie with me."
Charles had no reason to delay, and required no second invitation. Charles lay down beside him on the soft bed, much softer than his own. He dared not make the first move. He could feel his blood coursing through his body, the longing and lust burned in his loins.
"Touch me." Byron whispered, "Make love to me like you do with Jeffrey." Byron knew that Jeffrey and Charles often slept together when he had retired to his own bed. He'd watched often when he first came to the Big House. Until now he hadn't wanted to have Charles touch him. He really hadn't had the opportunity, nor the desire. Jeffrey had always filled his every need, his every desire. But now his body ached with a craving he'd never experienced before. He need someone to hold him, to kiss him, to touch him, to fill his body with their own.
Charles sat up on the bed and looked down at the expectant face. He leaned closed and placed his full lips on the mouth which parted as his approached. A flame ignited in their bodies, consuming them with its intensity. The two bodies became as one, giving and receiving the joys of their passion.
Charles body was strong and eager, his cock firm and thick. Byron made no comparison with Jeffrey's lesser equipment which was smaller by half than Charles both in length and thickness. His subtle body opened to receive Charles easily, and rejoiced in the sensations it gave him. He in turned responded to Charles' desires and plunged himself deeply into Charles' waiting, burning, ass, quickly bringing them both to ecstasy again and again.
When at last with their passions had cooled, they lay quietly on the perspiration soaked bed, each retreated within themselves.
From a long while neither spoke. Byron at last broke the silence, telling Charles of the events of the evening, and of how he felt about it.
"You were right," Charles said, "in leaving it be. You can't miss the cake you never tasted."
In the nights that followed, Charles often came to his bed. They never spoke of it during the day, but at night each desired the other, and both shared equally in all the pleasures they took.
Byron and Charles, as the holiday season approached, had begun shopping for gifts to take back with them. One Saturday while they were on their way back from the shopping trip to the downtown stores, they arrived on a scene of chaos along one of the many narrow streets.
It was nearly dark, and flames were coming for two buildings that nearly touched in the middle of the row of homes and stores which adjoined the downtown area. People were screaming and yelling from the street to those inside. A woman was hysterical and lay on the dirt street beating the ground. Byron quickly climbed down from his mount and went to her to see what was the matter.
"My baby!" she screamed pointing, "My baby's inside!"
Byron looked at the building to which she pointed. Smoke and flames were pouring from the windows on the first floor, and smoke was beginning to rise from the roof, two floors above.
"Is there a back stairs?" he asked her, shouting in her ear to be heard above the noise.
"Yes!" she screamed.
"You stay with her. See that she doesn't go inside," he said to Charles who now knelt beside him. Then he ran around the back of the building. From the light of the flames licking around the front of the building, he could see the wooden stairway up the back side of the structure. He raced up the stairway and tried the door at the top. It was locked. He leaned against hard several times, but it would not give. Quickly he ran to the nearest window.
He took off his coat and with his arm wrapped in the coat he smashed through the glass. With his boot he broke off the pointed shards which remained and then climbed in.
Smoke was beginning to fill the room and he found himself in darkness. The crackling of the wood as the building burned could be heard. He coughed as the smoke burned into his lungs.
He listened hoping to hear the voice of the child. But he heard nothing but the occasion crash of glass breaking and snapping sound of wood burning. He went to the door of the room he was in and peered into the hallway. Byron could then see the light from flames in the front part of the house.
Again he listened. In the distance somewhere, he heard the cries of child. His chest hurt from the smoke. He fell to the floor and began crawling toward the cries. The air at the floor was somewhat more breathable. He had to stop periodically and lie flat to breath. At last he was near to the cries. A closed doorway block his path. He reached up and felt the door, it was not any hotter than the floor.
He once again heard the crying and coughing of the child. Slowly he turned the doorknob and inched open the door.
"Baby!" He yelled, his throat raw from the acrid smoke. The child began crying louder now. A window in the room gave more light now, and he worked his way toward the sounds. "Baby!" He cried again.
He reached the wall with the window. He peered out, he was still near the stairway in the back. He stood up and ran back to the doorway. Quickly he pushed in closed and rushed back to the window. He lifted on the frame, but it wouldn't yield. Once again he broke out the glass. The fresh air brought relief to his burning throat. It also cleared some of the smoke and he looked around for the child. He felt around on the floor. The child cried out again and he located it hiding behind a chest in the corner.
Byron grabbed the child up in his arms and hurried back to the window. Carefully he climbed out onto the stairway. The child still coughed and was screaming now. He made his way back down the stairs. He rushed around to the front side of the building carrying the child.
Everyone had moved back from the front of the building now, as there was danger of the front falling away from the burning structure. Charles saw him and called to him. The woman looked, and screamed when she saw Byron coming carrying the child.
"My Baby!" she cried again and again. Byron laid the crying child into her arms.
The fire fighters had finally arrived with the pumper wagons and were beginning to have some effect on quelling the flames. Charles suggested that they leave. Byron agreed since his lungs still hurt from the smoke.
Charles led Byron to where their horses were tied, and helped him up. They eased their way through the crowd and finally onto another street and slowly made their way back to the Johnsons.
It wasn't until they got up to their rooms that Byron realized what he looked like. His face and hair were blackened from the smoke as were his clothes. His coat was gone.
"You look a sight!" Charles said.
"I feel that way too," Byron answered. "I must have a bath."
Byron slept late the next day, resting. His ached lungs and his throat still burned from the smoke. Charles wanted to have a doctor called in to look at him. But Byron persuaded him to wait. Another night of rest, and he was feeling better and coughing less. He stayed away from classes on Monday, but went back on Tuesday.
It was the last week before the holiday recess began, gatherings and parties abounded. Byron, though reluctant at first, finally accepted the invitation of Jason Evers, one of the young men at the first party he attended.
The night of the party arrived and Byron felt in a rare mood. The Johnson's had insisted that he dine with them, and had served a delicate imported white wine. Not accustomed to drinking Byron quickly felt the effects, even though he had eaten. When he returned to his room after dinner, Charles gave him a quizzical look.
"Are you all right?"
"I'm fine," Byron smiled, "I may be a little late, so you needn't wait up." He put on this heavy long coat against the cold damp rain. Jason had sent a carriage for Byron, and it had just arrived.
"You be careful," Charles admonished him, "remember you've already had wine." But it wasn't the wine that Charles was thinking of.
It was true, Byron's reluctance, at first, to accept the invitation was due in large part to the fact the Joel was going to be at the party. But now that the evening had arrived, he was glad that he had decided to go. As he rode in the carriage, he wondered whether Joel was going to behave. The stirring in his loins told him that he wasn't going to say, No, a second time.
The Evers' home was a gracefully sculptured building, much like the Harpers' Big House, but on a much smaller scale. There were many guests already dancing in the dining-room which had been cleared of furniture for the evening. It was a mixed crowd, that is both men and women were in attendance, and it was not all students.
Byron was both relieved and disappointed when he did not see Joel among the guests. He stood watching the dancing, something which he had barely mastered, and didn't really enjoy doing, although he did enjoy watching. He held a tall glass with champagne which he sipped occasionally as he watched.
"How come you aren't out there promenading about, Mister Harper?" the voice behind him startled him. He turned around. It was Joel's voice.
"Good evening, Mister Johnson," Byron smiled as he returned the formal greeting, "I don't dance very well I'm afraid."
Joel looked him up and down and smiled, "Well, I don't care if you would step on my foot a time or two, I'd love to dance with you!" Byron was shocked and it showed.
"I'm just teasing, Byron!" Joel whispered, "Although I really would."
Byron regained his sober appearance. "How come you're not dancing, Joel?" he asked.
"I hate dancing," Joel scowled, adding, "I'm so clumsy, I just fall all over the place."
Byron laughed, and couldn't resist saying, "I know, I remember."
"You're terrible, Byron. You really are!" Joel feigned distress.
"I'm sorry, Joel," Byron said, "I just couldn't resist."
A waiter came by and refilled their glasses. Byron and Joel continued talking on the edge of the dancing crowd.
"Do you know where the facilities are?" Byron asked after another glass of the bubbling wine.
"Yes," Joel said, "Just follow me." Joel led Byron up the stairs and down the hallway to the bathroom. They entered from the hallway. It was the bath used by those in master bedroom, but tonight that door was locked.
They continued talking as they used the commode, one at a time. Joel was being very proper tonight, Byron thought.
When they finished washing their hands, they started back down to the party below.
"Do you really want to stay here at the party, Byron?" Joel asked.
"I'm not staying too late," Byron asked.
"I for one," Joel said, "would like to get away now. I've talked to Jason and his parents, so I don't have to stay any longer."
"I haven't met them yet, I'm afraid, I got so interested in watching the dancing that I've failed to seek them out."
"Well," Joel said. "Let's get that over with, and then leave."
"And go where?" Byron asked.
"To my place, silly."
"I don't know," Byron paused and looked at Joel.
"I know you want to," Joel said, "You wanted to the last time."
Byron said nothing, and they walked down the stairs. At the landing they met Jason and his parents who were saying good night to a couple just leaving. Byron waited until they were finished speaking and then went over to them.
"Good evening, Jason," he said.
"Good evening, Byron," Jason smiled broadly. "Mommy, Daddy," he said, "This is Byron Harper. He's in classes with me, he's from Charlotte," then turning to Byron, "Byron, this is my mother and father."
"I'm delighted, Missus Evers, Mister Evers," Byron said taking Missus Evers hand gently as she offered it to him.
"Oh, Mister Harper," she crooned, "Jason has told me so many good things about you."
"It's a pleasure, Mister Harper," Mister Evers smiled. He was a pleasant looking man, with graying hair and mustache. They shook hands. "I believe that I knew your Grandfather." A strange twinkle came into his eyes. "He was such a fine gentleman."
"Oh," cooed Missus Evers, "I didn't know that you knew the Harpers."
Evers looked distressed, "It was a long time ago, even before I knew you, my dear."
Byron recalled the portrait which hung in the library of the dashing young James Arthur Harper in the uniform of the Revolutionary Army. He was a handsome man, though the portrait was rather stern looking.
"Is your father still running the farm?" Evers asked.
"No, Sir. He passed away some time ago, and my mother a short time later."
"Oh," he said, "I'm sorry to hear that."
Joel interrupted the conversation, saying, "Jason," he said, "Byron and I were just leaving. I want thank you all for inviting me, I had a simply delightful time."
"You're quite welcome, Joel."
"It was nice meeting you."
"It was nice meeting you, Byron."
"It was delightful."
Joel and Byron collected their coats and waited at the door until Joel's carriage was brought around.
"Formal parties bore me," Joel said as they went out into the rain. They climbed in and Joel drove off. Joel's family was from Charleston, and he was staying with his mother's aunt, and so had virtually all the conveniences of home. Since she was an elderly woman, not nearly crippled with arthritis, she enjoyed having Joel staying with her. She fawned over him, and he over her.
The carriage was only partially covered, so the rain soaked them as the wind was particularly gusty. A servant took the carriage when they pulled up in front of the house.
"Do come in and dry off," Joel said. He led Byron to the library where a warm fire burned brightly.
They hung their wet coats on the rack by the door. Byron warmed his hands at the fire, nervous about having come here with the man he knew was trying to seduce him. Was it wrong? he asked himself, To allow him to do this?
"Still trying to decide?" Joel asked seeing his expression.
"Oh," Byron said, "I want to all right, but, . . ."
"There's always a 'but'," Joel smiled.
"I don't understand," Byron looked at him, "Why I do."
"You're just like me," Joel said, "You see someone or something that you like and you want to possess it, touch it, have it. There's nothing wrong with that. As long as you don't hurt anyone, or take from someone."
Byron was tired of talking about it. He walked over to Joel and pulled him to him. Their lips met in a fiery kiss, and parted as they explored with flaming tongues.
Joel pulled back a little, "Let's go to my room." They climbed the stairs and closed the door on the world. Quickly they undressed and soon lay across the bed, their bodies entwined in passionate embrace.
Joel bit his lips to prevent himself from crying out as Byron's massive cock invaded him, sending flames of pain throughout his body. Byron paused, allowing Joel to relax, then began the dance which both knew the movements for, and for which both had longed since their first meeting.
It was indeed late when Byron returned, and climbed into his own bed. He found that it was already warmed. But Charles had returned to his own bed, when he heard Byron come in. Byron slept alone, feeling shame that he had allowed himself to become so carried away. He slept fitfully not rising until late the next day.
That weekend Byron and Charles returned home for a visit. As they made their way back to Charlotte Byron asked Charles if he was going to tell Jeffrey about what had happened.
"He won't know from me," Charles said. "And if you chose to tell him, there will be no problem. He asked me to help you, if you got lonely."
"Then," Byron said, "There is no need for me to tell him. He knows my needs, and gave you to me to see to them. And the other thing, it just happened. He will understand just, as we both know that Michael will have been sharing his bed while we were away. I'm just sorry that I hurt you the other night with what I did with Joel."
"I know," Charles said, "I heard you come in, and I knew that you were sad. I heard you cry out in your sleep. You called my name. And I was glad." The matter was closed. They would never speak of it again.
Charles knew only too well, that what Byron said was true. Jeffrey's appetite was unceasing, and he could easily have found ten men in the time that they were gone.
At first it had bothered Charles that Jeffrey was that way. But Jeffrey always chose Charles, when he was there, even often over Byron, he accepted whatever happened. He was not jealous, as Jeffrey would have been. And he was faithful to Jeffrey, save with Byron, even if Jeffrey was not.
Knowing all that they did, neither was surprised to see that Michael had risen in the household ranks while they were gone. Someone had to fill Charles position while he was away. And since Charles was to return with Byron when he went back to school, it was only natural that Michael should continue, even while Charles was at home.
Jeffrey, and the whole household were glad to see them when they arrived. A great party was planned for the return of Byron home. Charles was not forgotten and the staff had their own celebration.
Jeffrey's sisters and their families arrived to spend the holidays, and several other guests, relatives of whom Byron knew little, having seen them only once or twice, were staying as well.
Neighbors came to call, many of the mothers hoping to have a chance to show off their eligible daughters for Byron's benefit. The daughters, some of them with shocking forwardness, were as anxious as their mothers were that Byron notice them. Much cheek rouge went to waste during his visit. Jeffrey had taught Byron all the right things to say and do, and had seen the parts played often enough, so that he was able to handle them well, without becoming entangled with any of them, and all this without hurting anyone's feelings.
Jeffrey and Byron shared beds as they had done in the past, and fire which burned between them never failed to awaken. They never spoke of what happened while Byron was away. The only difference was that now Michael crept into Jeffrey's room when Byron left for his own, and Charles into Byron's when he returned. Michael was ten years younger than Charles, and he kept Jeffrey well satisfied.
To be continued ---
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