In this chapter Miguel and Andy get their operation under way, and Jeremy and his friends start making serious plans for his disappearance. And we'll also be dropping in on the travellers to see how life is treating them at their new place of residence – one of them, at least, might be starting to wonder if he should have stayed where he was...
Jeremy had been thinking about running away for a while, but now that he had actually mentioned it to his friends, it felt to him as if it was moving from a vague idea to being a concrete plan. So when he got home from school on Monday, before his mother and step-father got back from work, he went to the spare room, moved the mattress to one side, and used Adolf’s tools to lever up one of the floorboards. This gave him a nice hiding-place, into which he placed a complete set of clothes and an old rucksack.
When he had finished he loosened the nails, so that he could get the board up again without any tools except a corkscrew – he had one on his penknife, which he was confident he could smuggle into the spare room inside his underpants – and put the mattress back on top of it. He only needed one more thing, and then his escape kit would be complete, and the following evening he got it, visiting a hardware shop after school and buying a length of rope. When he got home he added this to his cache under the floorboard, confident that the next time he was locked in he would be able to escape.
Of course, he didn’t have to wait until he was locked up again, but he thought it would make the point a little more forcibly if he did, and he also thought it would make Adolf look bad if he had to admit to the police that he often locked his step-son up in the spare room.
He made sure he was on his absolute best behaviour for the next few days: he didn’t want to have to run until he had somewhere to run to, and so far he hadn’t managed to think of anywhere. He hoped that his friends might come up with some ideas…
“Sorry, Uzzy, but I don’t think so,” said Timmy.
He had dropped in to visit his friends in Sim and Uzzy’s form, as he did from time to time, and Uzzy had taken the opportunity to ask if he thought Jeremy could hide out with the travellers for a bit.
“I mean, Owen’s right, and they’re not too far away,” he went on. “But they’re on a proper, official site now, and everything’s organised. It’d be hard to sneak an extra kid in without someone noticing and asking questions. It’d probably be okay for an odd night or two – the way Stephen spent last weekend with Tom, for instance – but not for any length of time. And it wouldn’t really be fair to ask them, either: they haven’t got a lot of spare space, and they probably can’t afford to feed an extra person, even though they’d never admit it. I mean, I can ask if you like – I’m going to see Christy on Saturday – but I don’t think it’s really on. You’ll probably have to think of something else. Sorry…”
“I suppose he could stay with one of us,” suggested Matt. “After all, we don’t go to his school, and his parents will never have heard of us, so we wouldn’t be on any list of people they’d try calling.”
“I don’t think that would work,” replied Timmy. “I bet your parents wouldn’t let you have someone to stay for more than an odd night, and even then they’d want to talk to the other boy’s parents to make sure everything is okay. I know my parents wouldn’t.”
“No, you’re probably right,” agreed Matt. “It was just a thought, that’s all.”
“Has anyone got a tent he could borrow?” asked Uzzy. “He already asked his other friends, but nobody’s got one.”
“Well, I’ve got one,” Timmy told him. “It’s not all that good, and it might leak if it rains hard, but I suppose he could borrow it…”
“No, wait a moment,” interrupted Colin. “He doesn’t need a tent. What about the garage?”
“What garage?” asked Uzzy.
“No, that’s right,” said Owen. “The garage would be perfect… see, Uzzy, the traveller boys found this abandoned house on the lane that goes down towards the Britannia Forest. The house is all boarded up, but there’s a garage you can get into. The traveller kids used it as their base – there’s even an old mattress there… If you like I’ll take you there after school and show you.”
“I don’t have time to do anything before my bus goes,” said Uzzy. “But Sim can go – can’t you, Sim?”
“OK,” agreed Sim, who lived not far from the school. “And if it’th… it’s okay, I can tell Jeremy at the weekend.”
“It’s okay,” said Timmy. “I spent a fair bit if time there. The roof doesn’t leak and the windows aren’t broken or anything, so if the weather’s bad you stay nice and dry. I played there with the travellers when it was raining, and it was fine. And nobody else ever goes there – all the time the travellers were there, we never saw any adults about at all.”
“That sounds great,” said Uzzy. “If he hasn’t found anything better anywhere else, of course…”
One person who hadn’t spent a lot of time trying to think of a hideout for Jeremy was Miguel, not because he didn’t care, but because he was sure the other boys, who had lived in the area a lot longer than he had, would have a much wider knowledge of places to go. In fact he did care, very much: Jeremy and his friends had made him welcome from the moment he had met them, and had gone further by flatly refusing to indulge in any of the Fawlty Towers-derived stupid Spaniard jokes he had to put up with at school. And because he cared he had decided to put a little of his pocket money aside every week in case Jeremy needed it.
However, it would be fair to say that he had dedicated much more of his spare time to working on Andy’s plan to make his form-mates lose their clothes – especially, Miguel had decided, the ones who called him ‘Manuel’ all the time. It was two weeks now since his first visit to Andy’s house, and he had been back a couple of times since, learning how to play poker. Obviously, Andy had said, they had to practise playing strip poker, too, and that had resulted in a couple more naked wrestling matches, which both of them had enjoyed immensely.
But now Andy reckoned that Miguel’s poker skills were up to scratch, and so he had decided that they should take on their first live victim, to see if they could work together in the way he wanted. They’d agreed on their first target, one of the more vocal of the Miguel-teasers, a boy called Hamilton who was better at sport than he was in the classroom.
Laying the snare had been easy: Andy had caught him on his own at the end of the lunch break the previous day.
“How would you like a chance to have some fun with Àlvarez?” he asked.
“Yeah, okay. What sort of fun?”
“Well, I’ve been teaching him some English card games, but he’s not very good yet. I thought we could invite him round to my house after school and talk him into playing Strip Poker. It could be funny making him run about in the nude, don’t you think?”
Hamilton’s face lit up. “Yeah! That’d be a really good laugh. And maybe we can get him to do some bad forfeits before we give him his clothes back, too. I’ll think some up tonight. Except… do you reckon he’d come round to your house? Won’t he be suspicious?”
Andy and Miguel had kept their friendship fairly quiet: they hadn’t started sitting next to each other in class, or spending time together at break, and when Miguel had gone home with Andy after school they’d left separately and met outside Andy’s house. They were confident that this would prevent any of their targets having any idea that the two of them were working together. Which made this a good question.
“Oh, I think I can talk him into it. It’s not like he has a lot of friends, is it? I bet he’d be only too happy to take a chance to make friends with you and me.”
“Yeah, you’re probably right… great! Tomorrow night, you said?”
The next morning Hamilton had caught Andy on his own. “I’ve told my mum I’m going to be late home tonight, so I can stay at your house for a bit after school. And I’ve thought of some good stuff we can do to him before we let him get dressed again….” He showed Andy a piece of paper.
“These are a bit bad,” said Andy, stifling a giggle. “Do you really think he’ll let us do this stuff?”
“He’ll have to, if he wants his clothes back,” said Hamilton.
“OK,” said Andy, tucking the piece of paper away. “I’d better hang on to this.”
So after the school the three of them walked round to Andy’s house together. Miguel played his part perfectly, commenting on how close Andy’s house was to the school and how nice his room was as if he’d never been there before.
Andy went and brought a couple of chairs up from the dining room to add to the one that was already in his room, and they sat down around the small table he used for doing his homework and watched him shuffling the pack.
“OK,” he said. “Three changes, whoever ends up with the lowest hand has to take something off. But, before we start… there’s no chickening out, okay? Once we’ve started, we have to keep going until someone is bare – and if whoever loses refuses to take his pants off, the other two can gang up on him and strip him by force. Agreed?”
“Agreed,” the other two said, and Andy started to deal.
Miguel and Andy had spent almost as long working on their secret signals as they had on the actual playing on the game, so throughout the game they knew pretty much what each other was holding. The idea was that if one of them was losing too quickly the other could deliberately lose a hand or two in order to balance things up. Of course, it wasn’t foolproof: if Hamilton kept getting good cards he would still beat one or both of them, but this arrangement meant that all Miguel and Andy had to do was to avoid losing nineteen times between them before Hamilton had lost ten times.
Miguel actually lost the first two hands, and that was enough to get Hamilton going.
“Manuel’s gonna be naked, Manuel’s gonna be naked,” he sang, happily. “I suppose when you come from Barcelona cards are too difficult for you. I expect you just normally look at them, say ‘¿Que?’ and give up…”
Miguel didn’t bother launching into his usual statement, that he’d never been to Barcelona in his life and that his name wasn’t Manuel, either; instead he just smiled and indicated to Andy that he was holding three of a kind and so probably didn’t need any help this round.
The game went on, and after another few hands Hamilton’s teasing had stopped: he’d lost more than half his clothes, while the other two were about level, but both a couple of items better off than he was. Eventually he was in his underpants, while Miguel still had three things on and Andy four.
To give him his due, he didn’t try to wriggle out of it, and when he lost the next hand he simply stood up and pulled his pants off, though he then sat down again and covered his groin with his hands.
“Let’s play again,” he suggested. “I bet we can get Manuel naked next time.”
“We can’t play again, we haven’t finished this game yet,” Andy pointed out. “If we start another game now you’ll be starting starkers. You’ll need to get your clothes back, and if you want them there are a couple of things you’ll need to do first. I’ve got them written down somewhere…” And he pulled Hamilton’s list of things he wanted to do to Miguel out of his blazer pocket.
“Oh, no, come on, Shaw,” protested Hamilton, going pale. “I mean, you can’t… those were just for… well… you know.”
“We have to play fair,” said Andy, managing to say this with a straight face. “So… have a look at these, Miguel – what should we do to him first?”
Miguel took the sheet and read aloud, “’One: He has to let us both examine him all over for ten minutes. Two: he has to do gym exercises (whatever we choose) for ten minutes. Three: he has to bend over so we can spank him.’ Well, let’s do it in that order – let’s examine him first.”
“Okay,” said Andy. “Stand up, Hamilton.”
Slowly Hamilton stood up and moved his hands away from his groin, his head bowed. He didn’t have much worth hiding: his balls were tiny, and Miguel was sure that Hamilton’s willy was smaller than his.
“Spread your legs a bit,” ordered Shaw. “Come on, Miguel, let’s have a proper look at him.”
They started to run their hands over Hamilton’s body, staying away from his groin to start with, just getting him to try to flex his arm muscles and checking the results, feeling his leg muscles and stroking his chest and back. But then Andy took hold of the tip of Hamilton’s foreskin and lifted the tiny penis up and away from his balls.
“What do you think, Miguel?” he asked, looking at it critically. “It’s not very big, is it?”
“Nor are these,” said Miguel, squeezing the little balls gently. Hamilton blushed a little but kept his mouth shut as the two boys handled his genitals, and of course as they played with him the inevitable happened.
“Oh, look, it’s starting to get bigger,” observed Andy, stroking it. “Go and get the ruler, Miguel.”
Miguel went and collected the ruler, but in fact the organ in question didn’t seem to have got a lot bigger, just harder: it now stuck out horizontally, twitching a little. Miguel held the ruler against it, taking hold of the tip of the foreskin to keep the erection from twitching away from the ruler.
“It is just about two inches,” he reported.
“That really is little, isn’t it?” commented Andy, grinning at their victim. Hamilton decided not to answer him.
“Okay,” said Andy. “Now let’s see you do some exercises. You can start with twenty press-ups.”
Hamilton dropped to the floor, and for the next ten minutes they had a lot of fun making him do stride jumps and ordering him to run on the spot, so that his little penis jiggled about comically. By the time he had finished he was sweating a bit and breathing heavily, and his erection had completely subsided.
To finish they made him touch his toes and took it in turns to slap his bum, though not particularly hard.
“Okay, I suppose you can get dressed now,” said Andy, delivering the last smack. “I can’t wait to see everyone’s faces when we tell them about this in class tomorrow…”
“Oh, God, you’re not going to tell them, are you?” cried Hamilton, staring at him.
“Why? Don’t you want the other boys in our form to know how tiny your little winkle is?”
“No! Look, come on, Shaw; please…”
“I do not think we should tell,” said Miguel, surprising them both.
“Why not?” asked Andy.
“Because… this is a private game, just for us. It would not be fair to tell the other boys. And it is not funny when everyone laughs at you all the time – maybe Hamilton does not deserve that.”
“I bet he’d have told everyone if you had lost – wouldn’t you, Hamilton?” asked Andy.
“No, I… well… okay, if I’m going to be honest, yes, I probably would,” admitted Hamilton, who was still standing holding his underpants – he hadn’t moved since Andy had said this was going to be made public. “But… please don’t, Shaw…”
“If you stop from calling me ‘Manuel’ and saying that I am from Barcelona, I will tell nobody about you. Is that fair?” asked Miguel.
“Yes, okay! I promise… but it’s only a joke, Man… I mean, Àlvarez. I don’t really think you’re stupid, you know.”
“It is a boring joke,” Miguel told him. “It is not funny any more.”
“Okay, then I promise I won’t make it any more.”
“And if you do, Miguel and I will have to start mentioning the size of that,” said Andy, pointing at Hamilton’s small organ.
Hurriedly Hamilton pulled his pants on. “Okay… but if I forget, you will give me a chance, won’t you?” he said.
“You’d better not forget,” growled Andy.
“I’ll try not to… honestly, I swear!” added Hamilton, seeing the look on Andy’s face.
“Good, then that’s settled. Do either of you want a drink? I’ve got some Coke in the kitchen.”
“Okay, then,” said Hamilton.
“And for me,” said Miguel, glancing at his watch. “But I cannot stay for too long.”
“Are you sure you’ve got to go?” asked Hamilton, once Andy had left the room. “I thought we might play again.”
“Do you want to show us your little thing again?” asked Miguel, grinning at him.
“No, I want you to show me yours – and I want to make fun of it and make you jump about, like I had to. I bet I looked really stupid doing that.”
“You looked funny. And you cannot make fun of mine, because it is bigger than yours.”
“That’s what you say. Bet you’re lying, though.”
“I am not. But I cannot stay to play again today, so you will not find out.”
“Pity. But we’re definitely going to have to play again sometime.”
Andy came back with the Cokes, and they sat and drank them, and then Miguel got up and said he ought to be going.
“Me, too,” said Hamilton. “Just you wait, though, Shaw: maybe next time it’ll be you that has to jump about in the nude.”
“Oh, you want to play again? Obviously you like making a fool of yourself,” said Andy, following them downstairs. “I’m sure we can arrange another game, if you’re sure.”
Miguel and Hamilton walked back to the main road together, but before Hamilton crossed it to his bus stop – he lived in the opposite direction – he said, “You promise you won’t tell anyone, don’t you? I mean, okay, it’s not very big, and I really don’t want people laughing at me...”
“If you remember my name, I will say nothing. I promise,” said Miguel, offering his hand. Hamilton shook it and crossed the road, and Miguel walked the short distance to his own bus stop with a big smile on his face. He wondered who he and Andy could make undress next…
On the Thursday evening Sim was surprised to get a phone call from Awais: until now none of the Collection had called him – he always found out what they were doing from Uzzy.
“Hi, Simmy,” said Awais, cheerfully. “It’s my birthday on Sunday, and I want to invite you to my party.”
“Okay. Are you inviting all the Collection?”
“No, just you. See, all my friends are going to be there, so I thought we could play a game of Pass the Simmy. It’s like Pass the Parcel: we pass you round the circle, and whoever’s got you when the music stops takes off one of your clothes. And whoever gets to take your pants off is allowed to spank you in front of everyone. Isn’t that a brilliant idea for a game?”
“No,” said Sim, firmly. “And I don’t want to come if that… that’s what you want to do.”
“Don’t be silly, Simmy…” Sim heard a snort of laughter at the other end of the line. “Silly Simmy – that’s a really good name…anyway, obviously we’re not really going to do that – I mean, my mum and dad will be there. No, I’d just like you to come, that’s all.”
“Oh. Okay, then, I’ll come.”
“Great! Actually, most of the others will probably be there – I’ve told Kam he can ask them if he wants, so he’s got some people to talk to. But I wanted to ask you myself.”
“Because you’re fun, Simmy. I like playing with you. If you like you can do a poetry test in front of all my friends, too – they can all take it in turns to stick the pin in your bum. We can do it a bit like a game of ‘Pin the tail on the donkey’…”
“No, they can’t. And ne… next time I read to you, you won’t need to ssstick the pin in me, either.”
“Bet I do. Anyway, it’s Sunday at half past two – and I’m only teasing, I won’t really let my friends watch you reading.”
“I knew that. Thankth for a… asking me, Awais.”
“Wow, you even got my name right! You really must have been practising… see you on Sunday, then.” And Awais hung up.
Jeremy had successfully kept out of trouble right through the week, mainly by spending as little time in the same room as Adolf as possible, and by doing his best to stop listening whenever his step-father opened his mouth. Consequently when Sunday afternoon came around he was able to go to Kam’s house with everyone else (Kam had indeed made sure that the whole Collection was invited). So while Awais and his school-friends were playing party games downstairs, the remainder of the Collection – including Neil, who was by now at least an honorary member – sat in the boys’ bedroom and discussed Jeremy’s problem.
Sim told him about the garage, which Owen had taken him to see earlier in the week.
“It’s dry, and there’th a mattresss there, too,” he reported. “And a table, and a couple of chairs. But it’ll be a bit boring there on your own – there’th no electrith… no power, ssso you can’t have a light or anything.”
“I can read a book, I expect,” said Jeremy, “and listen to my transistor, if I can get it out of the house. Maybe I can bring it, and a few other things, to school next week, so one of you two can look after them for me.”
“Okay,” said Bilal, and Tony nodded.
“The problem is that it’s out in Shortham,” said Uzzy. “Okay, in one way that’s good, because they probably won’t be looking for you there, but in another it’s a nuisance, because Sim’s the only one of us who lives there. I might be able to come and see you after school for a bit if I tell my parents I’m going to be late home, but nobody else will be able to help much.”
“That’s okay,” said Jeremy. “As long as I’ve got somewhere to sleep I’ll be fine. Is there a shop in the village where I can buy food?”
“Yes, but it might not be safe to use it if they start looking for you,” said Uzzy. “It’d be a lot safer if you just stayed in the garage, especially during school time, otherwise someone will think you’re bunking off from school and call the police, or something. It’d be best to let me and Sim get your food for you.”
“I don’t want you two to have to spend ages doing stuff for me. That wouldn’t be fair.”
“Well, we’ve got friends in our form who could help,” suggested Sim. “They already know a bit about it ‘coth we were athking… asking about you staying with the travellers, and thtu… stuff. We know they won’t tell anyone about you.”
“Well… if you’re sure you can trust them,” said Jeremy, looking doubtful.
“We can,” Sim assured him.
“Then you’ve got to be able to get to Shortham,” said Tony. “Will you be able to get your bike out of the shed? You can borrow mine if not.”
“Thanks,” said Jeremy, gratefully. “I could catch the bus, though.”
“Better not,” said Kam. “It’s like Uzzy said: if they start looking for you seriously, they’ll ask all the bus drivers if they saw you. On a bike you probably wouldn’t be noticed.”
By the time they were called down to have some tea they had a basic plan agreed: Bilal would be in charge of the initial stages – transport and initial supplies (Bilal had offered because he knew that Adolf would never ask his parents for help or information) – and Sim would be in charge of the Shortham end of the operation, simply because he lived there.
The younger boys hadn’t managed to eat all the food, but by the time the rest of the Collection had got stuck in there were only crumbs left. After tea the party broke up – most of Awais’s friends were collected by parents, and Jeremy’s friends began to leave as well. But when Sim went to get his bike from the back of the house he found Awais there waiting for him with another boy of about the same age, an inch or so taller and a bit heavier, a white boy with light brown hair and eyes that were an unusual grey colour.
“Hi, Simmy,” said Awais. “I wanted you to meet my best friend Robin before you go. He lives next door and he goes to my school. Robin, this is my big friend Silly Simmy.”
Robin spluttered with laughter. “What a stupid name!” he commented.
“Well, he’s not really called ‘Silly’ – that’s just what I call him,” admitted Awais. “And his real name is Simeon.”
“That’s still a stupid name,” insisted Robin.
“It’th better than Robin,” retorted Sim. “Unleth you think Awaith ith Batman.”
“Doesn’t he talk funny?” said Robin. “Can’t he speak English?”
“Usually,” said Awais. “But sometimes he messes up his ‘s’s. He’s trying to get better, though, and I help him sometimes.”
Awais looked at Sim, who hesitated but then gave a tiny nod: he really liked Awais, and it was his birthday, after all – making him look good in front of his friend by admitting what happened at their poetry sessions didn’t seem too much to ask.
“Well, he reads to me, and if he makes a mistake with an ‘s’ sound I stick a pin in his bum.”
“Bet you don’t! He’d never let you do that – he’s loads bigger than you. Don’t lie, Awais!”
“He’s not lying,” said Sim, carefully. “I let him do it beca… because I trutht him. He’th my friend. And I really want to get better, ssso s… someone ha…has to help me.”
Robin burst out laughing. “Wow, Awais – you get to stick pins in a big kid’s bum! That must be so much fun… does he squeal?”
“Sometimes,” said Awais, grinning. “And if he really messes up I spank him as well. That really makes him yell.”
“What, you let him spank you, too? Why? You must be mad,” said Robin, staring at Sim.
Sim shrugged. “If he helps me get better, I don’t mind,” he said. “He deth… deserveth it.”
“Oh, wow! I wish I could see that…”
Sim didn’t say anything: it was one thing for Awais’s best friend to know about it, but another matter entirely to actually let him watch. And Awais obviously didn’t want to push it, either: instead he just said goodbye and watched Sim push his bike out to the road. But he wondered if perhaps he would be able to get Sim to let Robin come and watch – maybe he could offer it as an alternative to getting spanked next time Sim made a mess of the reading…
That same weekend Owen took the bus to the travellers’ new site to the north of Poundford, and Paul McAllen went with him. As he had told Paul, Owen had been meaning for some time to go and find out how Danny was getting on at his new site, and Paul had persuaded him to make the journey this weekend: he wanted to talk to Danny himself and find out about their game from the other person’s perspective.
Timmy was on the bus, too – had had already arranged to go and visit his friend Christy, and it was this which had persuaded Owen to make the journey this week instead of putting it off: Timmy knew where the site was and had already been there, and most of the travellers and their families already knew him. Owen had never been to the old encampment in Shortham, and hadn’t wanted to walk into a traveller site on his own – at least, not for his first visit.
They got off the bus and walked down the lane to the site, and once inside – and once the inevitable dogs had been gently rebuffed – Timmy took them to Christy’s caravan and asked him where Danny was likely to be.
“That’s his van,” said Christy, pointing. “If he’s not there, try Tom’s – it’s two further on.”
“I’d better go with them,” said Timmy. “Just in case… I’ll be back in a minute, though. Are your parents in?”
“No,” Christy told him, with a big grin. “They’ve gone shopping. There’s just me here at the moment.”
“What a pity,” said Timmy, grinning back. “In that case I’ll definitely be back in a minute!”
He led Owen and Paul to the caravan Christy had indicated and knocked on the door. Danny’s brother Michael opened it, his face breaking into a big smile when he saw who was there.
“Hello, Timmy! You okay? Great… Christy’s probably at home, if you’re looking for him…”
“I’ve already seen him. No, it’s Danny we’re looking for – well, these two are, anyway. Is he in?”
“No, he’ll be off in the woods, I expect. I don’t know where he goes, exactly. Was he expecting you?”
“No,” said Owen. “I mean, I can’t exactly phone him and tell him I’m coming, can I?”
“You could write – we’ve got a proper address now. Try asking Tom – I’m pretty sure he’s at home – he’s having to baby-sit. He probably won’t be in a very good mood…”
“Okay,” said Timmy. “By the way, are you still going out with Mary?”
Michael nodded, a big smile on his face.
“Crikey, she must be desperate,” commented Timmy. “Wonder what she sees in you?”
“I’ve got a lot to offer a girl,” replied Michael, twitching his groin suggestively. “You know that.”
“Well, I suppose if you put a paper bag over your head… just kidding! Seriously, Mikey, that’s brilliant. Just make sure you don’t mess up…”
“I never mess up… well, not very often. Happy hunting!”
And Michael went back into his caravan and closed the door. Timmy led the other two on to Tom’s caravan and knocked the door, and Tom opened it straight away.
“Hey, it’s Tiny!” he said, grinning.
“Hello, Tom. We’re looking for Danny, and Michael said you probably know where he is.”
“Yeah, we’ve got this hide-out in the woods – I’d be there now if I didn’t have to stay here and look after Bridie. I expect he’s having fun beating up Alan, as usual.”
“Can you tell these two how to get there?”
“Well… not really, it’s hard to describe. And I’m not sure I ought to tell dodgy townies where our place is – especially when I don’t know them.” And he looked meaningfully at Paul.
“He’s okay,” said Owen. “This is my friend Paul. Paul, this is Tom.”
“Is he okay?” Paul asked Timmy. “I’ll believe it if you say so.”
“Because if you lie to me I know I can find you and beat you up afterwards. Or I could set Stephen on you – you’d come out in little bits, even smaller than the little bits you’ve already got.” And he pointed at Timmy’s groin and smirked at him.
“Or I could set Christy on you, and I bet you’d be the one that came out in bits if I did,” replied Timmy. “And Christy is just over there, and Stephen’s miles away. Okay? Anyway, yes, I reckon Paul’s all right. As townies go, anyway.”
“Okay, then, I’ll show them the way. Come on, Bridie, we’re going for a little walk.”
“Only if I can have a piggy-back,” answered his little sister, folding her arms and staring at him.
Tom sighed. “Come on, then,” he said, bending forward so that the little girl could climb onto his back.
Timmy wished them good luck and went back to Christy’s caravan. Christy led him inside, locked the door and then enveloped him in a hug, which Timmy returned enthusiastically.
“How long have we got?” he asked.
“At least an hour.”
“Brilliant!” said Timmy, taking off his jacket and sitting down to untie his shoes. Christy went round the caravan closing the curtains and then moved the table and pushed the two bench seats together to make up the double bed he had used when Timmy had stayed with him in the past. By the time the bed was ready, Timmy was standing beside it wearing nothing but a big smile, so Christy quickly threw off his own clothes and climbed into bed beside him. They cuddled up together and began to tell each other what they had been doing since the last time they had met…
Meanwhile, Tom led Owen and Paul down a path to the far end of the site, where there was a wooden fence with a hole in it. He climbed through this, picked up his sister again and strode off towards some trees on the far side of a field.
Once inside the wood he slowed down, counting, and after a bit he turned off the path and walked away into the trees. There was no visible track, but Tom seemed to know where he was going, so Owen and Paul simply kept quiet and followed him.
After a couple of minutes Tom bent down and allowed Bridie to dismount and, telling her to wait with the two boys, he ran off further into the wood. He came back five minutes later and picked up his sister once more.
“Keep going straight ahead – he’s expecting you,” he said. “You’ll have to find your own way back, but expect even a couple of thickie townies can manage that.” And he grinned at them and went back the way they had come.
Owen and Paul looked at each other and headed off the way Tom had shown them, and a couple of minutes later they found Danny leaning against a tree and waiting for them.
“Hello, One-Eye,” he greeted Owen. “I knew you couldn’t stay away – you must miss the taste of me. Who’s your friend?”
“This is Paul,” Owen told him. “He’s… well, he’s sort of in charge of me now, and when I told him about you he said I had to bring him to meet you. He wants you to tell him the best way to deal with me.”
“Brilliant! I’m glad someone’s going to be keeping you under control… I’m just wondering if I should let you keep your clothes on while you’re here, though – I seem to remember we had a rule about slaves and clothes when we used to play in the garage, didn’t we?”
“Well, yes… but that was indoors,” said Owen, a little nervously. “It’s not safe out here – anyone could come past…”
“No, they won’t, but if they did it’d just be too bad,” said Danny. “What do you think, Paul? Should I let him keep his clothes on?”
Paul looked at Owen. He was new to this game and wasn’t really sure how Owen might feel about this – certainly he didn’t look too enthusiastic.
“Well… let’s make his strip to his pants for now,” he said. “He’ll look pretty silly walking about in his underwear, but at least if anyone comes by he won’t be totally naked.”
“Okay, but you shouldn’t be soft on your slaves,” said Danny. “Slaves don’t have any rights, and you should always be strict with them, or they’ll start to think they can get away with stuff. Come with me and I’ll tell you all about it. As for you, Taffy, get your clothes off except your undies – oh, and you can put your shoes back on, seeing as how there are thorns about – then leave your clothes here and go a little way in that direction. You’ll find Alan there. He can tell you all about being a proper slave, ‘cos I don’t let him off easy the way I used to with you. Come on, then, Paul, and I’ll tell you all about it.” And he led Paul off into the wood.
Looking about nervously, Owen stripped to his underpants, put his shoes back on, piled his clothes under a tree and headed off in the direction Danny had indicated. He felt strange walking through a wood wearing only a little pair of white briefs, but when he found Alan a minute or so later he discovered that things could be a lot worse.
Alan was stark naked and tied with his back to a tree. His clothes were nowhere in sight, so even if he had been able to get free he couldn’t have gone anywhere; but as he was securely bound to the tree this seemed an unnecessary precaution. He looked up when he saw Owen coming and blushed, but with his hands tied behind the tree he could do nothing to cover his nakedness.
They’d met, very briefly, on the day the travellers had moved away from Shortham, but they hadn’t been introduced, which made this a little awkward for both of them. Eventually Owen said, “Hello, I’m Owen. I used to… to play with Danny when he lived in Shortham.”
“I’m Alan. I’m… well... I’m sort of Danny’s slave. I have to do whatever he tells me.”
“How come? You look older than he is, and I’d have thought you’re probably stronger, too.”
“I am older – I’m thirteen, so Danny’s just over two years younger than me. And I suppose I could probably beat him in a fight, too, although maybe not: he’s quite strong, and I’m a bit of a weed, to be honest. But I have to do what he says because he knows stuff about me, and I really don’t want him spreading it around, which he will if I don’t obey him. And, besides…”
“Well… I sort of enjoy playing this game with him… if it is a game – sometimes I’m not sure, and I don’t think he’d let me stop playing even if I wanted to. Which I don’t, really – it’s fun, somehow.”
“What, it’s fun being stripped naked and tied to a tree?”
“Yes, in a mad sort of way. And he whips me, too, and even that’s sort of fun, even if it really hurts. I know it sounds stupid, but I even like it when he tortures my cock, which he does if I annoy him. I like him touching it, even when he’s doing bad things to it.”
Owen looked at Alan’s penis, which had several little black bruises on, and some small scabs that suggested bramble scratches. And being looked at like that was enough to get Alan excited: steadily his penis grew hard, until it was sticking straight out. Now the bruises and scratches looked even more painful, but Alan didn’t seem to be feeling anything.
“And does he make you do… you know… sex stuff?” asked Owen.
“Oh, yes, all the time. I usually have to suck it for him every day, though sometimes…”
“Well… sometimes he… look, you won’t tell anyone, will you?”
Owen shook his head.
“Well… okay, sometimes he fucks me instead.”
Owen stared at him. “What, he puts it up your bum? Gosh, I bet that hurts!”
“It does, a bit. And it’s really embarrassing, too, especially when he lets his mate Tom watch. I’ve had to suck Tom, too, but at least he hasn’t wanted to fuck me. But there’s not much I can do: if I argue or don’t obey quickly enough I get whipped – you should see the bruises on my bum.”
“And you still say you like doing this?”
Alan shrugged. “I can’t tell you why, but it’s exciting, somehow. Even getting whipped sometimes makes my cock go stiff. The only thing I don’t really like is when he ties me up, either like this or staked out on the ground, and then goes off and leaves me for a long time. Sometimes he brings me out here in the morning, makes me do sex stuff with him, and then ties me up and leaves me here while he goes home for something to eat. A couple of times I’ve been stuck here on my own for three or four hours. That gets really boring, and it can be scary, too – the first time he did it he was gone for so long I thought he’d had an accident, or something. I got really scared – I couldn’t get free, and I thought that if nobody knew I was here I could starve or freeze. When he came back I was angry and shouted at him, but he just said it was up to him how long I had to wait, and if I didn’t stop complaining he’d leave me here all night. I don’t think he really would, but it did scare me into keeping quiet. But apart from that it’s okay… Of course, he could easily decide to do even worse stuff to me, which I might not enjoy at all, but so far it's been fine.”
Owen stared at him, thinking that this was way beyond anything he’d be prepared to put up with. But he supposed that if Alan was happy with the arrangement it was none of his business what Danny did to him… unless, of course, Danny was at this very moment telling Paul all about it and advising him to do the same stuff to Owen….
Shortly afterwards Danny and Paul arrived. Paul took one look at Alan and burst out laughing.
“Blimey, I thought you were making it up!” he exclaimed. “And he really has to do absolutely everything you tell him?”
Danny nodded happily. “And he has to obey the rules, too,” he said, looking at his prisoner. “And one of those rules is that he isn’t allowed to get stiff without permission. I’m afraid it’s going to have to be punished, slave boy. But first you can show Paul here the main reason for having a slave.”
He untied Alan’s ankles and loosened the ropes round his arms without untying his wrists, and this allowed Alan to slide down the tree into a kneeling position. Danny then lowered his trousers and flourished his erection in Danny’s face.
“Go on, then: show Taffy how it should be done,” he ordered, and Alan obligingly started to suck.
Owen found this really exciting, which was unfortunate, because his pants were unable to hide the effect it was having on him: they tented out in a really obvious way. But Paul was obviously having the same problem, because he was standing half hunched over with his hands in his pockets in order to hide his erection.
“Take your pants off,” Danny suddenly snapped to Owen. “It’s obvious you’ve gone hard – let your master see it.”
Owen was by now excited enough not to worry about being outdoors, so he slipped his pants off and let Paul and Danny look at him.
“You shouldn’t let him get hard without permission,” Danny advised Paul. “And you certainly mustn’t let him touch himself unless you say he can – Alan knows he’ll get a hundred whips if he ever does that. Oh, and when he gets a bit older and starts getting hair, you’ll have to make him shave it all off: slaves aren’t allowed hair. Alan used to have some, but he hasn’t got any any longer, and he won’t be allowed to grow any more, either.”
They watched as Alan sucked Danny until he reached orgasm, accompanied by the usual outpouring of swearing that Danny generally produced as he came, and then Danny stepped back, pulled up his trousers, and got Alan back into his previous position, firmly tied to the tree and virtually unable to move.
“Now you stay there like a good boy,” said Danny. “I’m just going to show our guests the way back to the site. Taffy, you’d better get dressed first – it would be really embarrassing if we met anyone otherwise, wouldn’t it?”
“His name’s not ‘Taffy’,” said Paul, who was feeling a lot more relaxed now that he’d been with Danny for a while. “It’s Twiggy’ – look at that little twig above his balls and you can see why.”
Danny liked that and laughed loudly, and even Alan was trying unsuccessfully to muffle a snort of laughter. Owen blushed copiously and pulled his pants back on as fast as he could. Then he went back to where he had left the rest of his clothes and finished dressing, and when he was ready Danny guided them to the edge of the wood, pointed out where the site was and left them, going back to his entertainment. Owen and Paul walked slowly back towards the site.
“You would never believe the stuff he was telling me,” Paul said. “You’d go mad if I treated you like that. Of course, I could if I wanted – you’ve promised to do whatever I tell you, haven’t you?”
“Well, yes, I suppose so… but I don’t want you to do anything too bad. I don’t want to end up like Alan.”
“Then you’d better be really nice to me, hadn’t you?” said Paul, grinning at him.
Owen said nothing: he was thinking it might have been a bad mistake to let Paul within a mile of Danny…
Things are moving along... next time we'll see whether Jeremy's plan is going to work in practice.
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