Having settled his father's mistress, when all the succession steps were over, Roland took his father's business in hand. It now all belonged to him, and he was trying to carry on in the best way he could. He was feeling somewhat inadequate, even though he had knowledge of all the family business, as he knew he didn't have the nose and the skill of his father. Anyway he tried to do his best.
One day in May, Serge came home from school and, after they had supper all together and the twins had gone to bed, he said to Roland, "These last days in school they told us about all the boys who became orphans because of the war... There are a lot of them, really a lot... We after all have been lucky, as we have you. But many others, instead..."
"Yes, Serge, you are right. Unhappily there is another thing that upsets me even more - how many of those children are orphans because my father and many others like him, be it here in France or in other countries, made weapons? And my father... he was not a bad man, but... but he became rich also because he made those weapons... those weapons that are responsible for so many people's death... those weapons that made orphans of so many children..."
"If your father didn't do it... others would have done it at his place." Serge said.
"This is not a good excuse. If nobody did it... Hervé would still be alive and plenty of children like you would still have their parents."
"It's true. But now this is reality. And at my school they said that the orphanages are full... and that those children are living in... poor conditions... Not like we three... Then it would be necessary to build many new orphanages, I say... and give them a house, a family..."
"Orphanages give you a shelter, not a family..."
"But one can make an orphanage that... something different, I mean... don't you think so, Roland?"
The young man looked at him, curiously, "You have something in mind, Serge, I'm sure. Why don't you explain it to me?"
"Well, I was thinking... don't get angry, it's just an idea, but I was thinking..."
"Come on, spit it out." Roland encouraged him with a smile.
"The Charterhouse... why not, instead of making it into a hotel for rich people... why don't you make it a house for these boys, with also a school and all that can be useful? A place where they can grow up happy, really cared for and loved, and not simply shut in a place to eat little and bad food, to sleep thirty in each dorm, and just wait to be old enough to be thrown out?"
Roland looked at him with interest - he liked that boy more and more. And all summed up, that idea... of course it had to be worked out thoroughly, but...
Serge went on, "When I saw the little monks houses... each of them can host a few boys and so..."
"For how long did you think about it?" Roland asked more and more curious.
"For some while... when they talked to us about the orphans... the teachers said - bring us old clothes, old books to help them... But one doesn't really help people just giving them charity... Then I thought again about it when you took us up to the Charterhouse, and when I saw the maps in your office... and so..."
"Making something like many small families, you mean?"
"Yes, sure. And not calling it an orphanage... calling it a house or something similar..."
"But who would take care of them? A Dad... cannot be an employed person, a salaried worker... Affection is not bought with a salary."
"The older boys can take care of the younger ones, and the adults of the older boys... something like in any family, right?"
"There is just one problem... they say that the orphanages always have little money... who would pay for all that? I mean, not only to restore the Charterhouse, but then also to buy food, clothing, books, to pay the teachers... I think it would need a heap of money... and I really don't know what to do to find that much..."
"Yes, you are right, this is a big problem... and then?"
"If I was already of age, I would even work there for free, getting just food and a bed in exchange... because I know what it means no longer having a father and a mother, even though I am more than lucky having you. Just think, then, to those who don't even have somebody like you... It would be possible to find some volunteers to work there, who knows?"
"Yes... and what more?"
"And possibly the boys, besides their studies... at least the older ones... could also manufacture something, work, build, what can I say, and so sell what they do to earn some money. If they do it to support themselves, you see, they possibly will do it willingly..."
Roland was more and more ecstatic hearing the ideas that Serge elaborated about the problem. And he thought that if a boy just fourteen years old reflected so deeply... he too had to seriously think about it. Yes, he owed it to all the children that were deprived of everything... the war that made his father richer, and that now in consequence made him so rich...
"Serge... I like your idea very much. I don't know if we will be able to realize it, but I think we should seriously think about it, very seriously. What do you think if, as soon as school is over, I prepare an office near mine for you, and give you some assistants to write down a serious project and verify if and what we can do?"
"You really would do it?" Serge asked with shining eyes.
"Surely, you and I. But I have to care for plenty of other things, therefore it would be mainly you. I will just be one of your consultants. Is that all right?"
Serge joyfully embraced Roland and said, "I knew that you are great! If we work together to do it, I am sure we will find a solution!"
Roland hugged him, "Yes, but without fooling ourselves - we should have our feet well on the ground, all right? If your father was here, he would not only be very proud of you, but he would also give us a hand..."
"But Dad is here with us, and he certainly will give us a hand!" the boy said with a wide smile.
In June Roland had an office made ready for Serge, attached to his own, and on the door there was a plate "Serge Laforest-Brout - Montsabot Coordination".
The boy really busied himself and Josiane was incredibly busy assisting him to single out all the technicians and the experts that Serge wanted to contact. In a short time the shelves of his office were filled with dossiers. At times Roland, in the evening, had to order him to stop working, so big the boy's enthusiasm was.
In August Laforest Industries closed for two weeks for the summer vacations. Roland decided to take the three boys to the seaside in the Côte d'Azur, where he booked three rooms in an hotel.
Roland and Serge were sitting under a beach umbrella and watching the twins who were building a sand castle on the strand with other boys.
"Tell me, Serge."
"I am not like all the other boys, do you know?"
"Oh, really? And how are you?" he asked, looking at him with a smile, amused by that statement.
"I absolutely don't dig girls. I like boys."
"Well, up to a certain age it's natural to fit better with other boys... but you will see that soon things will change and you will start to be more interested in girls... quite soon."
"No... I talked about it with Mum... before she died... and she told me that... that it happens that somebody, even growing older, is interested more in other boys, or even just in boys."
"Well... yes, it's true, it happens..." Roland said, now slightly embarrassed.
"She said that I could be like Dad... or possibly, instead... like you." Serge said looking in his eyes, then added, "And I believe I am exactly like you, and not like Dad."
"In... in what meaning?" Roland hesitantly asked.
"Yes... come one, you understood. Then, last week at home... I searched in Mum's things and... she hinted it to me and I, don't get angry with me, but... before talking about it with you I wanted to understand a little better and so... I read all the letters that Dad sent you and you to Dad... and in them was written exactly all I feel inside me, do you see?"
"Hervé was in love with your Mum, Serge." Roland said hesitantly, fearing that the boy could judge his father badly.
"Yes, I know, I know. But he was also in love with you... and you with him, isn't it so? Come on, Roland, you can tell me, because I really love Dad and you too... and because... because if we talk about it clearly, you can help me..."
"Help you..." Roland said almost in an echo.
"Yes, of course. With whom can I talk of it but with you? I heard, do you know, how the others talk about it... my school mates, my teachers... Only Mum talked about it without contempt, but now she is no longer with us, therefore... now I have nobody but you."
Roland gave a deep sigh. He was not at all prepared to face such a subject and he was asking himself which would be the best way to talk about it.
"Roland... are you hurt because I searched and read yours and Dad's letters?"
"No... certainly not."
"Moreover... with you I can also talk about some matters that I could possibly feel ashamed to discuss with Mum."
"Well... for instance... you see... my thing at times becomes hard..."
"Use the right term, Serge. The penis..."
"Yes, the penis. My penis at times becomes hard..."
"It happens frequently, and especially at your age, as your body is awakening to sexuality... But often in the morning we men get a hard-on simply because we need to go to the toilet..."
"Yes, but my mates say that they get a hard-on just by looking at some girls, or if they think to do some things with them. Not for me; absolutely not. But when I look at some of the other boys... or if I think to do certain things with them, I get a hard-on, do you see?"
"Thinking to do certain things... what things? Do you feel like explaining it to me?"
"Touching them or let them touch me; kissing them and also... and also to..." Serge said and blushed.
Roland smiled, as even though the boy blushed and was not able to clearly say what were "certain things", he didn't divert his eyes and was looking at him in the eyes with a serious and trustful expression.
Then Serge resumed to say, "Also to do things that I think you and Dad did."
With a gentle tone, Roland asked, "What can you know about what Hervé and I did? It doesn't seem to me that we wrote about it in our letters..."
"No, that's true. But my mates, even though with contempt, talk a lot about what two men can do together, therefore it has been easy for me to read between the lines and understand that also Dad and you should have done those things... and I would like to do them, with a boy or with a man, can you see?"
"You still have done nothing of this with anybody, have you?"
"No, never. Because I think that I should do it with somebody I love, and not so, just to do it."
"And... alone? Did you ever masturbate yourself?"
"Masturbate? What means? Ah, perhaps, if it's something one does alone, you mean to beat one's meat... one's penis? It is called masturbate?"
"Yes, correct. Do you do it?"
"Yes... and I close my eyes and imagine that another boy does it to me and I to him... Even though they say that... I mean, my mates say that it's fun, the adults say it is not to be done... and the priest says it is a mortal sin..."
"But you, what do you think about it?"
"I feel confused, that's why I would like to talk with you about it... if you feel like."
"We are already talking about it."
"So, then... possibly when we are alone like now, we can talk of it without being overheard or disturbed... Can we talk again about it?"
"Any time you like, Serge."
"Thank you, Roland." the boy said with a satisfied smile.
Back home, having resumed their activities, one day Serge went to Roland's office with a sheaf of papers.
"Look, I have the calculations of how much it could cost each year to support a hundred orphans. Of course if there are less, the cost per person would be a little higher, and if there are more, a little lower; but just to have an idea, I asked to calculate it for one hundred boys whose age is between one and nineteen years... It isn't a small amount of money..."
Roland looked at him with admiration, "Let me see..." he said and started to read the papers.
>From time to time he nodded. He then looked at Serge and asked him to have a seat.
"Listen, Serge, you did a very good job. Meanwhile I thought a lot about it. I too did something, do you know? I spoke with our administrative office, with our attorneys, with financial advisors... I studied the laws that could concern it, that could be useful... and I came to a conclusion. A conclusion that in some ways your research confirms."
"That it's not possible to do it, right?" the boy asked with a resigned expression.
"That the present state of affairs won't allow us to do it. But that... if I sold everything, both the industries and the villa, as well as the real properties and estates I own in Paris... and if I invested all the capital so obtained in a Foundation, each year we would get a sum sufficient to support about five hundred boys."
"Yes, but selling everything..." the boy murmured.
"Would mean that we too would have to go and live in the Charterhouse... What do you think?"
Serge widened his eyes. "What? You mean that you would be ready..."
"I told you that all this wealth that is in a big part the fruit of the war profits doesn't suit me so much. Didn't I? It would thus be a way to put it right, don't you think?"
"So, you really want..."
"We have to just think about it some more, considering better and more deeply all the aspect of the project, and understand how to find the right personnel... And we also have to consider that money will have less and less value and that in consequence, if today's money is enough to support five hundred boys, one day it could not suffice anymore; so we need to find also other sources of revenue, do you see? Finance is something quite complicated..."
"But you are ready to do it?"
"Of course, with you."
So, after more studies, and having cleared several problems, Roland called the architect and asked him to make a new project, in order to transform the Charterhouse into a centre to assist war orphans. Then he summoned all his administrative staff and ordered them to put on sale all the assets of the Laforest Industries, trying to get as much funds as possible. Finally, with the help of his attorneys, he studied the best way to give life to the Laforest-Brout Foundation for the orphans' assistance, a foundation that would be the owner of Montsabot Charterhouse and all its land, and whose president would be Roland.
So the big project of transformation was started.
Meanwhile 1923 came. The Laforest-Brout Foundation was born and the capital from the sales was streaming into its coffers. The architect prepared the new plans that he discussed with both Serge and Roland, as the latter wanted the boy, his school engagements permitting, always at his side.
Also the newspapers spoke about the "Laforests' Conversion" and a wave of approval welcomed the project - many people in fact were ready to support the good deeds performed by the others, because this appeases their conscience without them needing to do something concrete personally. Anyway the support was not exclusively moral; also some useful contributions at times were given.
For instance the old Saint Albain countess sent as a gift to the Foundation all the family library - crates and crates of books, and amongst them also some rare items about the arts, literature, sciences and the Great Universal Encyclopaedia. Or also, in an unofficial way, the Ministry of War, in the person of General Duquesne-Mérinville who decided to transfer to the Foundation the rolls of the various cloth for uniforms, as the army, after the war, decided to change the colour and style of the uniforms, so that the stocks on hand had become useless...
Roland asked the architect to complete as soon as possible the restoration of the Abbott's tower at the left of the church, as he intended to move there with the three boys in order to free and sell also the villa.
Serge was at that point fifteen and was growing handsome and strong and resembled Hervé more and more. Roland became aware he was feeling a growing attraction towards the boy, but tried not to show it, as he would have felt almost to take advantage of Serge if he let the boy understand what he was feeling for him.
The fact was that also the boy was falling for Roland...
One afternoon, they were under the great alder up on the higher part of the park behind the villa, exactly where Hervé and Roland for the first time became aware of the mutual attraction and then also that they were in love with each other, when Serge sat on one of the stone benches at Roland's side.
"Tell me, Serge."
"Isn't it right here that you and Dad... realised for the first time what there was between you?"
"Yes, it was here."
"And you... you were more or less my same age, weren't you?"
"Yes, right..." Roland cautiously said, as he was afraid he could guess where Serge was aiming with these questions.
In fact the boy said, "I, Roland, would like you to be my first man... my only man... Would you teach me to make love?"
The funny fact was that it wasn't the boy who blushed saying these words, but it was Roland who blushed hearing them. He didn't answer at once.
Then in a low voice, slowly, said, "I thank you Serge, but... you see... I am thirty-four and you just fifteen... Wouldn't it be better you chose somebody closer to your age?"
"Also Dad vas older than you, wasn't he?"
"He was nineteen, our age wasn't so apart like for you and I."
"Is the difference of age so important? Don't you think that one can fall in love also if fifteen... whatever is the other one's age? And don't tell me that in your times it was different, as the adults always say to us boys... In these things there aren't old or present times, these things are the same always and everywhere."
"Serge... yes, one can fall in love also when he is fifteen, but..."
"Don't you like me? And yet you always tell me that I resemble my Dad more and more... both physically and as for the character... and you liked Dad, didn't you?"
Roland was troubled, "Of course I like you... but..."
"And you do feel attracted to me, don't you? At least... I feel it is so..." the boy said in a low voice taking Roland's hand and caressing it.
"Serge... you are embarrassing me... I am a mature man, you just a boy... Your Dad and I, instead, were almost of the same age..."
"But you are attracted to me, aren't you?" Serge insisted.
"Yes... good Lord, yes... but I acted like a father for you... how can I..."
"Also my Dad, in a way, acted like a father for you, as your father was never present in your life... I read it in your letters. And anyway, you aren't my father. And anyway you desire me, and I... I desire you to die for... Please, Roland... please..."
The young man was terribly torn. Of course he desired Serge... and the boy was offering himself to him in an explicit and conscious way... And yet something was still restraining him.
"Serge, I like you very much, and not only because you remind me of my Hervé... But... if I now accepted your offer... I would feel like I was taking advantage of you, can't you understand?"
"No. No, I can't understand. Would you rather I did it with who knows who? Perhaps with a stranger, one of those men who when I leave my school walk near me and make me some weird smiles and undress me with their eyes? Why not with you who really care for me? I... I really think I fell in love with you, Roland. And possibly, if you accepted me... possibly besides the desire, you too could fall in love with me, can't you? Also between you and my Dad, love was the result of desire, it seems to me to have understood from your letters..."
"Or possibly our desire was the result of a love that was already there even though it didn't yet manifest itself..."
"And it can't also be so between you and me?"
"Serge, my boy, these aren't matters one can decide so... talking of them like one talks about what to have for lunch or where to go on vacations, do you understand?"
"Oh, Roland... but in one way or another there should be a way to... to tell each other, to start... So then, why beat about the bush, isn't it better to talk about it frankly and honestly? Didn't you always tell me that honesty is the base of all things?"
"And I am in love with you, Roland. I can't help it, I can't really help it! And I'm tired of... of masturbating dreaming you are there with me and we're making love... I would like doing it for real, love, for real, with you!"
"But, Serge, my boy... do you know what it means, loving someone?"
"I think I know... and even if I didn't, the letters that Dad and you wrote, helped me to understand. This is why I understood I am in love with you!"
"What does it mean to love, in your opinion?" Roland asked, trying to gain time.
"It means that to me you are the most important person in the world."
"Also your mother was so for you... Also your father..."
"But in another way! It means that for you I would be ready to do anything and everything to make you happy. It means that all my life has a new flavour, and will get a fantastic flavour if you will allow me to give you my love. It means that I need to give you my love with all my body..."
"And from me... what do you want from me?"
"From you? What you are already giving me plus... plus that you show it also with all your body. Roland... oh my Roland, please... what makes you so unsure, so reluctant? Because I am fifteen? You too were fifteen. And anyway I will grow older, won't I? Why won't you allow me to grow older with you also in this way, also making love?"
"Growing older you could realize that... that you are wrong, that I'm not the right person for you, don't you think?"
"It could be, even if I don't think so. But you one day told me that who doesn't do anything out of fear of being wrong... is already wrong. Of course, if you don't feel anything for me, I can't ask you to try, but I know... or at least I think I know, that you too have feelings for me... somehow. My Mum told me this exactly."
"Your Mum? What did your Mum tell you?"
"To wait to be sure about my feelings and to try to understand what your feelings are... And I waited, but now... now that's enough. I am sure about me."
"You mean that you talked with Mum? About you and me?" Roland asked, strongly surprised.
"Yes, of course. Well, possibly not as clearly as I am talking now with you, but she understood. And she told me that if I was like Dad, or else like you... even if people cannot understand, or even they condemn it, I had to try to live my life. She told me to wait to be older to get enough time to understand better how I am, and my feelings... And now two years have elapsed, and you at my age understood... and you decided... and so... here I am!"
"Serge... You caught me totally unawares... I surely feel desire towards you, and also a very strong affection, and friendship... and I feel very happy with you... and you are beautiful... and you remind me so much of Hervé... It is certainly so. But... if you really think you love me... do this for me... give me time to reflect."
"Time to reflect... of course, if you tell me you need it, I will wait some more but... but please, try to get rid of all the prejudices that our society imposes on us... be honest with yourself and with me... If you think you can give me your love... give it to me! Agreed?"
"Good. So, then, for now... let's change the subject..." Serge said with a smile.
Roland reflected very much on it, he almost didn't think about anything else for days and days. More he was thinking and more he was feeling attracted to Serge, more he felt he loved him, and yet he still was not able to decide to accept, to return the boy's proposal.
Until one night he woke up feeling prey to weird sensations... and he became aware that in the dark of the night, there in his bed, naked against him, there was Serge who was brushing himself against him and caressing him. And he was aware that they both were strongly aroused...
"Serge... what are you doing here?" he asked moved and alarmed.
"Don't send me away, Roland, please. I need you..." the boy whispered pressing himself against him.
"I asked you to give me time, to wait..." the young man answered by staying still, almost still, trying to control himself.
"I waited, I gave you time... Now... now I want to be yours... Take me, Roland, please... make me yours... Don't refuse me, don't send me away... make love with me, teach me to show you all my love with all my body... I really, really need it, believe me. I can't resist any more, I want to be yours, totally yours..."
"But..." Roland tried again to object.
"Please... please... please..." the boy beseeched him and Roland became aware that he was crying.
Then the young man said "No, no, don't cry..." and in a fit of tenderness embraced him and started to almost cuddle him.
What his mind was hesitant to do, his body, feeling the strong excitation of the boy and his own, pushed him to accept. He kissed the boy on his eyes, then on his cheeks and finally on his lips. Serge opened them and gave access into his mouth to Roland's tongue and sucked it, and brushed his body against him, and his hands caressed him slipping under his undershirt, then into his cotton underpants, until they leaned on the strong, erect and hard member of the man he loved.
Roland emitted a low moan and trembled from head to toe and, finally, let himself go. With desire filled with tenderness, he lead the boy in his first steps along the road of physical love and Serge followed him, joyous and enthusiastic. The boy took off the underwear of "his" man and when Roland, after kissing and caressing him all over his body, went down to take in his mouth his young and strong member, at once Serge turned to give to Roland the same pleasure. They parted and again kissed in the mouth with increasing pleasure.
Then Serge murmured, filled with desire, "Take me... make me yours!"
"No, wait... I don't want to hurt you... the first time it could..."
"I already put a cream there, for you... you will see, you will enter inside me without problems... I want you there!"
"A cream? Which cream?" the young man asked him smiling, moved at the thought that the boy thought even to that detail.
"That cream that Mum used when she had to give us an enema... if it was good to make the syringe enter, I thought..."
"But the syringe is thin, my penis instead..."
"It is of the right size, I'm sure. I want it all inside me, Roland... don't refuse me this... Please..." the boy murmured turning on a side and pushing his small, tender, smooth and firm arse against the warm and hard pole of his man.
Roland embraced him and with both hands teased his nipples and caressed his belly while starting to move his pelvis forward. Serge pushed back a hand to lead the strong member to the goal. He felt it brush against his virgin hole and shuddered. Serge then pushed his pelvis back with determination...
And finally felt it starting to dilate his flesh bud, to make it open and he emitted a low moan of pleasure - what for a long time he had dreamed, desired, wanted, was about to happen...
Roland stopped, "Am I hurting you?" asked worriedly.
"No... I like it... push, don't worry... make me finally yours... make me feel all your desire... All your love..." the boy murmured and resumed pushing back against Roland's groin.
After an initial, slight resistance, almost suddenly, the young man's glans overcame the first unavoidable tightness of the flesh ring of the boy, Roland again stopped, trying to control the instinct that urged him to push more.
"How are you, Serge?" he asked, his voice broken for the emotion.
"Well... very well... it's really good... go on... don't stop... I want you totally inside..."
"Yes..." Roland sighed and finally, with a vigorous but controlled push, slowly sank inside him.
Serge felt it, majestic, warm, vigorous, hard and yet pleasurably soft at the same time, gradually filling him and felt like being in heaven - he never felt such strong, such beautiful, such enthralling feelings... It didn't hurt him and neither bother him, that strong and virile presence inside him, all the contrary... it was giving him an intense warmth full of pleasure.
Both, in that moment, thought of Hervé... "Dad... finally the boy you loved is mine, now!" the boy thought... "Hervé... I have you again with me, now, thanks to your boy..." Roland thought, and both felt incredibly happy.
When he was totally inside him and the small buttocks of the boy brushed against his pubic hair, Roland stopped again for a while, to let Serge get used to that unusual presence, going on to caress his chest and belly and massaging his hard and throbbing member which betrayed the intensity of the pleasure that Serge was experiencing.
The boy wiggled his pelvis gently as to better settle the strong flesh pole in his sheath... Then finally Roland started to move his pelvis gently back and forth, slipping out almost completely and sinking again in the warm and tender love channel.
"You like it, Roland? Are you happy?" the boy asked in a whisper full of emotion and of pleasure.
"Yes, terribly... And you?"
"I didn't think it would be so good! I love you! I love you so much!"