Written by Cinder
Based on some situations originated by James Cameron.
Rated NC-17 for Content
Warning: This story contains slash. If this makes you uncomfortable, please don’t read it.
"I never loved her, you know. You did? That's so pathetic." Gingerly, Cal picked up the boy's arm and rubbed it, trying to coax more circulation like the doctor had told him to, his words completely at odds with his actions. "You almost died, you know. She did die. How does that make you feel?"
Jack moaned softly.
"No one wanted to heal a little poor boy. They were going to let you die on the deck until I stepped in. I own you now."
"No, please..." Jack finally gasped out. "Cal..."
With a smile, he covered the young man's mouth, stilling any further words. "You will call me Master. Do you understand, boy? You will not contradict me again or I will throw you back into the sea. It's still cold down there. You remember?" A small nod. "I've saved you, boy. Aren't you grateful?" There was no response. "Do you want to die, boy? I can arrange that." Violent shake of the head. "You should show your gratitude, then." Very slowly, Cal pulled his hand away from Jack's cracked, bloody lips and turned it over. There was a long pause before Jack finally kissed it. "Good boy." And he ruffled Jack's hair, frowning as the generous blond locks splintered and cracked. The doctor had promised a full recovery. He had better not be wrong.
The next few days of the voyage into New York, Cal oversaw Jack's recovery personally. It was amazing what decent food and rest could do for the boy. Brittle bones were mending and cloudy eyes were clearing...and temper was flaring. Obnoxious brat.
Only One Morning Later
"I won't be anyone's slave, Cal!" He spit at the proffered hand.
Wrapping his fingers tightly around the boy's neck, he leaned in until his warm breath invaded the choking throat. "You'll do what I say or you'll die. Choose. I'm growing tired of this game of yours."
"Master," Jack croaked out, his limbs too weak to fight back, his neck dangerously close to cracking. But that was hardly the end of it. As the boy got stronger, the testing happened more and more often.
"Why?" he blurted out one day. "Why me?"
Ah…finally, the question. "As I've said to you before, I never cared for Rose. Sit down, boy. I won't talk to you unless you're on the floor where you belong." Jack didn't move. "Don't make me chain you down. You won't like that." Very slowly, with unconscious sensuous grace, Jack sank to the rich carpet, cross-legged. Cal made a mental note to train the boy to kneel. "I never cared for Rose. I never cared much for women in general, but realistically it was a good marriage. Her family is very well-respected, if no longer rich, a very good match for a man with lots of money but no name. You, little imp, crashed into the proceedings with the kind of fire that garners people's interest. Surely you realized that Rose was not the only person's attention you had attracted?"
"I don't usually consider a fairy lisper important."
Cal lifted his boot to kick the boy, smiling at the automatic cringing it caused. He kicked hard to the jaw. Jack didn't so much as whimper. "Pick yourself back up and say you're sorry to your Master." Very slowly, Jack pushed himself upright. Cal kicked him to the floor again. "On your knees this time." There was going to be a very nice mark for some time. Jack pulled himself to his knees.
"Now, kiss my boots."
There was a very long pause. Cal thought he was going to have to kick the boy again, but slowly he bent to his master's boots and kissed them. At least for tonight, the boy had been cowed.
"As to your question, and I must say that I have been waiting for a long time for you to ask it, you attracted attention, lots of people's attention, mine in no small amount. You don't know how beautiful you are, mores the pity. I intend to use you to my satisfaction...after I break you, of course. We'll be in New York tomorrow. You'll be staying with me."
"And if I choose death?"
"You rejected that choice long ago." Cal chuckled. "Don't be silly, boy. I can give you a lifestyle you've never dreamed of before. All you have to do is obey me."
"I would rather be dead than a slave!"
Grabbing Jack by the back of his hair, he rose to his feet and balanced the boy on his toes. "You choice is now pain or no pain. Death is no longer an option. I can make it hurt for as long as I like. Be sensible and give in."
"I was hoping you would say that." Whipping him around by the back of his head, Cal threw Jack over the luxurious silk and lace bed. Jack tried to scramble away, but Cal held the boy firmly with a simple hand to the small of his back. "I think this would be a good time for me to prove exactly how much your master I am, boy." With a yank, he pulled down the light cotton leggings, exposing the chalky skin beneath.
"No!" Jack thrashed, kicking wildly, catching Cal in the jaw, a mark to match his own.
"Bitch!" Cal shoved him away. "This is the way you want to play it? I will break you if you make me."
"Never!" Jack spit, curling in on himself against the pillows, trying to hide his nudity.
Cal grabbed his arm and dragged him off the bed. With a silk sash, he tied Jack's hands behind his back. "Despite current appearances, I enjoy docility."
"Then find somebody else! This is sick! You pansy lisper!"
Jack's body, still frail from his recovery from hypothermia, was no match for the larger man. With ease, he threw Jack over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes. "I’m going to open the door now." He patted Jack's wiggling, naked ass for effect. "Keep struggling and you'll draw attention to yourself. Is that what you want?" The boy suddenly froze.
"Where are you taking me?"
"You'll see." Striding down the corridors, Cal tipped his hat to all the ladies, using the turn of his body to partially conceal his bundle. But the men…he let them look. They smiled; knowing it was that troublemaker Jack. Of course, it was perfectly acceptable for Hockley to punish the boy, even kill him. Pretty little poor boys were more than a nuisance. They were a threat. Jack had sufficiently proven that, hadn't he?
As Cal descended into the bowels of the ship, he stopped tipping his hat or making any move to hide his bundle whatsoever. Rough hands reached out lewdly to pinch and prod Jack's pretty white ass, splotched with red where the pinches had been fierce. The boy could only moan and shudder, knowing that anymore than that would draw attention to himself. He did not relish being thrown down in the hallway and kicked into bloody submission.
Heat on his back was the only indication he had that they had entered the boiler room.
"Gentlemen!" Cal boomed. "I have, for you all, a special treat today. My boy here has some fire in him. I can think of no one better to bank that fire." Jack suddenly realized what Cal meant to do and began struggling, not caring what the men saw. Cal simply dropped him to the floor.
"No! You can't do this! You can't!"
"Does anyone have a gag?"
Just a few seconds and one of the men stepped forward with a grimy bandanna, stuffing it into the youth's mouth. The boy was muffled, but not still, rolling wildly on the floor and kicking out at his would-be attackers.
"Gentlemen, I'd prefer that he lived. You all want him to visit you again, don't you? I'm going to go have lunch, and after I'm finished, I'll return for him." He knelt and brushed Jack's cheek with his fingers. "We wouldn't have to do this if you would just obey me." Standing, he turned on his heel and went in search of his noonday repast.
Lunch was delightful. Sitting out on the foredeck, he munched happily on lobster with cream, butter, and mandarin oranges. Thoughtfully, he felt, he pocketed a crust of bread for his young slave. There was always a chance the boy wouldn’t be dead when he went back.
Jack was a bloody heap. Casually, Cal checked his pulse. Stubborn boy. He just wouldn't die. Obviously, he had been used and abused by the coal slingers. There was blood slowly leaking from his lips and ass, blood and other things. His skin was crusted with grime and he reeked of urine.
"You there," Cal called out to one of the passing men, "carry him back to my room and you can have another turn."
"Yes, Master," the man replied eagerly, hoisting the battered body over his shoulders.
Instead of following, Cal searched out a stewardess and ordered a bath immediately. By the time he got to his stateroom, the coal slinger had almost finished with the boy. Jack was conscious again and struggling, a token struggle because he didn’t want to be hit again. Purple bruises were popping up all over his body. The coal slinger was beautifully built, if dirty. Rivers of grime rolled off with his sweat, staining the boy's alabaster skin. Obviously, the man had taken a turn before, because he was taking his time now, pistoning his hips. He finished with a grunt and shoved the boy back to the floor. Cal stood aside to let the man leave. Jack curled up into a ball on the floor and sobbed.
Covering Jack with a light sheet, he stood aside so that the stewardess could draw a bath and then dismissed her. Lifting the boy, cuddling the frail body against his chest, he lowered him into the bath and then began to gently wash him. "You were effervescent when I first met you on that ship. We whispered to each other of your beauty. You're still beautiful. I will see that you are unrivaled very soon. Would you like that?" Jack could only sob hollowly into his chest. "You must trust me. I will care for you, protect you; all you have to do is obey me. Is that so hard?" Jack moaned softly. "I won't let them hurt you anymore. You'll sleep in a soft bed. You'll eat rich food and wear expensive clothes. Don't you want that?" Jack continued to sob. "Do you want to go back to the boiler room so much?" The reaction was immediate. He seized up and grabbed hold of Cal's collar.
"Please, no! Never that! I'll be good! I promise I'll be good!"
"Then show me that you're grateful."
A small kiss to his chin. "Thank you, Master."
Cal lifted the boy out of the tub, dimly noting that he was getting heavier, but was still painfully thin. He was rubbed dry with a thick Turkish towel and then fed dinner by hand. Jack kissed Cal's hand whenever it was offered. That night they slept together in the silk and lace bed, Jack curled up tightly against Cal's side, whimpering softly in his sleep.
In the morning, Cal woke to soft blue eyes evaluating him. "What?"
"I don't know what to do." He licked his lips, once, twice, a third time.
"You should make me happy."
"How do I do that?"
"Kiss me good morning." A chaste kiss to the corner of his mouth appeared. Cal shook his head and laughed. Wrapping his long fingers around Jack's cheeks, he pulled him up for another kiss. "You'll have to do better than that." Then he ravished Jack's mouth. The boy was chastely obliging. "How do you feel today?"
"I bet. Lie here and I'll get us some breakfast." Cal stood and stretched, showing off his well-built body.
"Why are you being so nice to me?"
"Because you're being good, silly." He ruffled the boy's hair. "Get some more sleep. You'll need it. We'll be in New York this afternoon, and you have to walk off the boat."
Jack blushed. "I don't have any clothes."
"I'll provide everything you need from now on." Cal called for breakfast. Rich was not a good enough word for what the stewardess brought. Bananas swam in cream, thick bread with butter and jelly, and fat sausages. He fed his boy by hand, then shushed him back to sleep again.
They docked around two, and Cal finally woke Jack. "Hey, sleepyhead. Time to get up. We're almost ready to leave."
Cal waggled his finger over the boy's nose. "None of that. I don't want to have to punish you. Now, out of bed and show some respect." Jack was out of the bed faster than was probably good for him, considering the way he was swaying. Purple bruises still coated his skin. Cal indicated the clothes lying over a chair and Jack fumbled into them in no time flat. They were obviously Cal's. The shirtsleeves had to be rolled four times just to clear his hands and the pants made him feel like a child. They weren’t much too long, but the waist had to be cinched with rope. The suspenders just weren’t short enough. Cal nodded slowly, hiding his inner enjoyment at the boy’s discomfort. "I don't know what I expected. You're just so small. We'll have to buy you a new wardrobe as soon as we get home."
"Do you mean that...Master?"
"Of course I do." He rose slowly from where he had been lounging on the bed. "Come on, then. Our bags have already preceded us." He led the way.
Jack's jaw dropped open in awe at the sheer wealth surrounding him. The townhouse was magnificent. Situated across from Washington Square Park, it faced the fountain through the two front windows, framed in thick red damask. Around him, the carpet was plush between his toes. The huge, wooden bed stood tall in the corner and other furniture fanned out from it. Jack shuddered, contemplating the satin and goose down folds. How much of his body was this going to cost him? How much of his soul?
He'd thrown away those huge clothes as soon as he’d gotten into the room. They made him feel so small. Wrapped up in Cal's sleeping jacket wasn't much better, but it had to do. The fire was roaring, nearly overheating the room. He moved closer to the windows, attempting to get cooler. He certainly did not want to remove his robe, although that was what he feared his master intended.
Master. How had that term so easily worked itself into his vocabulary? With a shudder, he remembered that it hadn't been so easy. That was not going to happen to him again. All he had to do was to be good, right? He could be good. And Cal...the larger man was so nice to him when he was good.
He stared down at his feet in disgust. How could he be thinking this way about the man who had allowed him to be raped? Ordered! Let's get things straight here. But it remained true that no one had ever treated him as nicely as Cal was now. Was this all too much to ask, this master thing? Maybe he brought these things on himself.
The door opened behind him and he whirled around to face it. Cal strutted into the room with a young fop following him.
"Come here, boy. This is Kyp. He's going to make your new clothes." He snapped his fingers and pointed to a spot on the floor in front of him. Jack rushed to fill it. "Take the robe off." Blushing, but more afraid of Cal than his own embarrassment, he slipped the robe off and let it fall slowly to the ground. Kyp wasn't helping.
"My, my, my, he is so pretty." Kyp slowly circled him, pursing his pink lips. "I definitely see it. Don't worry, darling. We'll make you into the prettiest belle of the season. You just trust Kyp." The measuring tape was whipped out.
Cal settled into a nearby chair to watch. "Hold still."
Jack froze, never taking his eyes off Cal. It was like he could concentrate on his master to the exclusion of everything else. Eventually, the little redhead finished.
"Can I touch him, Cal? Please?"
Jack shivered and shut his eyes tight. He'd been good. He'd been so good. His master would never let that happen to a good boy, being touched by a stranger. He'd been so good.
"Do you want to make him come?"
Jack's eyes snapped open.
"Oh, yes. Can I? He's got such a pretty cock. I want to suck him off." Those small, white hands were already rubbing him. Jack wanted to be sick even as he grew hard. Traitorous body!
"Yes, you may. Turn him a little so I can see his cock in your mouth."
Jack balled his fists and shut his eyes tight.
"Don't worry, darling. I won't hurt you." Blue eyes slitted open to meet Kyp's green ones. "You'll love this. And you'll love me. Trust me." A few tentative licks and then he was being sucked between those pink lips, swallowed into the back of that pretty throat. It felt so good. He wanted to thrust into that welcoming heat, but the hands on his hips held him steady and he was afraid of offending his master's friend. Behind him, he felt Cal approach. Big hands appeared on his hips, threading through Kyp's.
"Hold back, little one," Cal lisped in his ear. "Don't come until I tell you to. You're being so good." Jack moaned softly, letting his head fall back into the crook of his master's neck, taking solace in the larger man's strength. "It's hard, isn't it, pet? Kyp has such a delightful mouth." Another moan greeted that. "Watch." Jack barely moved his head, slitting his eyes open. His master wrapped his fingers in the back of Kyp's mouth and fucked his face onto Jack's shaft. "Beautiful, isn't it?"
Very softly. "Yes, Master."
"Would you like to come, pet?"
"Yes, please, Master."
Pulling Kyp's head back to the tip, he allowed the young man to suckle and jerked his boy off into those pink lips. "Go ahead."
Jack came with a little, low cry, more a mewling groan than anything else. He tried to thrust forward into that beautiful mouth, but his hips were in steel grips. It reminded him of Rose's lips, when he'd come in her mouth the first time in the back of the car. Rose. It all came crashing down.
Biting his lips, he feigned languor. His felt his body laid back on a fainting couch and after a smacking noise, which could have been a kiss, Kyp left. He slit his eyes in time to see Cal bearing down on him. "Pet?" He jerked away from the fingers in his hair.
Cal sighed. "What is it?"
"Rose," he croaked, squeezing his eyes shut hard against the tears.
The pain seared through his cheek, the force of the blow knocking him to the ground. He was up in a second, fists flying, but Cal just knocked him down again. This time he kept Jack down with a foot to the chest.
"You know, I don't get you, boy. Things are getting wonderful, just great for you. Why destroy it? Or do you crave the punishment? Is that it? Do you want pain? Do you want to be violated?"
"I think you do. You wouldn't act up if you didn't want it. Up!" He stepped back and pointed to the bed.
Cal sighed and rang the bell. Before Jack could fully struggle to his feet, the manservant appeared. "Sam, put the boy on the bed. Chain him down on his chest."
Jack found himself pressed hard into the down comforter, his wrists and ankles manacled to the four posts.
"Sam," he heard Cal's voice behind him, "why don't you lay out his back with this." Cal knelt beside his head, speaking softly. "It's a birch cane. It will sting and you'll bleed. Sam is very good with it." He gently petted the blond hair. "This isn't a punishment, pet. It's a cleansing. The pain will make the memories go away. When he's done, you won't be able to think of anything other than breathing."
"No," Jack moaned pitifully.
"I'm your master. I know what's best for you. Sam, lay out his back." Cal stood back and crossed his arms as the beating began. For a long time, Jack didn't scream. He just stared bloody murder at his captor. Cal stared back until Jack's eyes glazed over. His mouth slackened and suddenly, he screamed. Cal let him scream for a long time, until he passed out.
Jack woke to more pain, this time a towel swathing his back. "Master?"
"I'm here, pet. How do you feel?"
"Good. I told you it would help. You must always trust your master." A hand appeared in front of Jack's face and he kissed it without hesitation. "Very good, pet." His wrists were released and a soft linen shirt was slipped over his head. Gently, he was gathered into Cal's arms. "Now, thank me." He kissed Cal's lush lips as though he were a lover. "Very, very good, pet. Now, to sleep with you. Kyp will bring by clothes tomorrow and then we will go to the opera. You have a big day ahead of you." Jack had fallen asleep even before Cal quite finished talking.
Kyp appeared again the next afternoon. After a morning of lolling about in bed, drowsing on and off, Jack was in as good a mood as could possibly be achieved. Cal had gone out after feeding him breakfast. Kyp came bouncing in with all the enthusiasm of a rubber ball.
"How are we today, Beauty?" Jack only smiled back. "You can talk to me if Cal isn't around...respectfully, of course."
"I'm all right."
"Good. Good." He pursed his lips. "We're going to have to work on your voice. You're going to be so pretty. First, let's get you dressed and walking." Unwrapping some packages, he pulled out a red velvet corset and black garter belt with stockings. "Ready?"
"Those are women's clothes."
"Yes, they are. You're going to the opera tonight...as Cal's date. Have you ever been to the opera before?"
Feeling shaky, Jack stared down at the clothes being laid out on the bed. "I won't do it."
"Now, Beauty." Kyp cupped his face tenderly. "You've done this before, haven't you?"
"No?" Kyp shoved everything aside and plopped down next to the trembling young man. "Tell me."
"Tell you what?"
"How did Cal seduce you?"
"He didn't seduce me. He threatened me." Kyp gasped, but Jack wouldn't let it go so soon. "He saved my life, so he says he owns me now. Oh, God, a week ago I had a girl, Kyp. I had everything. I...I...the ship went down and Cal fished me out. Now I'm just a thing!" Curling up on his side, Jack tried to get his breathing under control.
Kyp curled up opposite him, carefully non-aggressive. "What happened to the girl?"
Tenderly, he ran his fingers through Jack’s hair. "So did Cal's fiancée. Perhaps you two together..."
"Same girl. She left him for me."
"Oh." Kyp sat up again. "I think I understand now. Who is going to come looking for you?"
"No one. I don't have anyone."
"She left Cal for a poor boy?"
Jack snorted and looked away.
"Sorry. It's true, though. So, no one else wants you, but Cal is willing to take you in, dress you in silks and satins, feed you gourmet food, sleep in a down and lace bed...I guess I don't see the problem."
"To make me his faggot whore!"
Suddenly, Kyp was standing again. "I had no idea you felt that way. Well, then...I just..." There were tears in his eyes as he turned away. "Of course, of course. We're unnatural. Right. Of course."
"Oh, no, Kyp. I didn't mean you." Without thinking about it, Jack found himself reaching out, dragging the smaller man into his arms.
"What did you mean, then?"
"All this...for me...I've only ever been with women. Don't you understand? This isn't what I am."
The redhead cocked his head to the side and smiled. "This is very much what you are, Beauty, but it's not what you were taught to be." He traced pale skin with a lightly freckled hand. "I've never seen anyone bow so quickly under Cal's will. I've never seen anyone bloom so beautifully from simple pampering. Oh, you've got a long way to go, but you're going to be absolutely breathtaking when he’s done. Isn't that what you really want, Beauty, to be stunning?"
"My name is Jack."
"Your name was Jack." Standing again, he picked up the corset. "You ready?"
"I don't have a choice, do I?"
"If you think about it, you don’t really want a choice, but, no, you don't have one, either." Pushing him forward, he slipped the corset around the young man's waist. "If it makes you feel any better, you won't be wearing heels. Take it from a short person. Heels are the absolute bane of existence."
"One white snowflake in a sea of yellow snow."
"How crass." Turning Beauty's head, Kyp kissed him soundly. "Now, be good. Take in a deep breath and then let it all out." Beauty did, and as soon as it was gone, Kyp pulled. Beauty screamed. "Shh. Everything's all right. It always feels like this. Gives you new respect for women, doesn't it?"
"I can't breathe."
"That's normal. Take short little breaths. Be demure. Dizzy?" He helped Beauty to lie back.
"I can't...can't...I can't breathe."
"Shh. Stop trying so hard. That's right. Just calm down. You're lucky you're so thin. I won't have to tighten it much at all."
"Shh. Shh," Kyp soothed, softly stroking Beauty's hair. "It just hurts at first. You'll get used to it. Soon you won't think twice about putting one of these on." Beauty collapsed into a fetal position again, shaking hard. Kyp sighed and slapped his ass. "That's not going to keep working. You're impossibly beautiful, but I know a trick when I see one." Beauty's head snapped up. "Don't go getting the idea that you can manipulate me."
"None of this is fair. I used to be free."
"You were at the mercy of the world, of the fates, of time; how much different is this?" Lifting a foot, Kyp patiently clipped the nails. "You're going to love the way the stockings feel. Other foot." Obediently, Beauty did so. "He's going to introduce you to others tonight as Bella, his mistress. Most people know his kinks, but he's got enough money to just be called eccentric."
"Has he ever taken you out?"
"If you like him so much, why aren't you going instead of me?"
"Cal and I don't quite click that way. Anyway, I've got a situation right now. My uncle is out of town, which is why I have time to spend with you." He grinned. "He's not really my uncle, of course, but they never are." Rolling up a stocking, he slowly pulled it up Beauty's leg. "Feels wonderful, doesn't it?" He fastened the belt and then attached the stocking, stopping to stroke it slowly before putting on the second one. "You look absolutely ravishing."
"I can't do this, Kyp."
"Sure you can. Just take a deep breath and remember that you're Bella now. You're a whole new person. Jack is dead and you've just been born. Here, put these slippers on. I'm going to teach you how to walk."
"Good. Let's keep you on your toes for now. Come on. Stand up." Gently, he helped Beauty to his feet and held his ground until the young man stopped swaying. "Women don't stride. They step shorter, a little farther back on the foot to make up for the extra weight up front. Step heel to toe. Now, just a bit of hips. Find your balance all around instead of in the forward step. When you get nervous tonight, just think about this. Concentrate on this like you would breathing."
"Still can't breathe."
"You're doing wonderfully." Slowly, they paced the room, Kyp leading slowly. "Now, step back onto the ball of your foot."
"This is strange."
"Of course it is, silly. You're not a man anymore. And don't you dare crumple on me. I'm not putting up with it anymore." The steel in Kyp's voice kept Beauty upright. He had no doubt that Kyp could and would have him just as thoroughly whipped as his master had the night before. "Now, sit here. Legs together, knee to knee, ankle to ankle, just bent to the side."
"You do this voluntarily?"
Kyp laughed at that, but didn’t reply. "Now, I'll do your makeup and hair and then we'll put on the dress." Armed with an ivory-handled brush, he slowly started work on the blond locks that had grown soft again. "Let's work on your voice."
"Do you want everyone to realize that you're a man?"
"I thought you said that they knew Cal's perversions."
"Certainly, but no one wants them pushed in anyone's face. Repeat after me," he assumed a breathy whisper, just a little sweeter than his own voice, but no higher. "The hart, he loves the high wood. The hare, she loves the hill. The knight, he loves his bright sword. The lady loves her will." Over and over they repeated it, practicing until Beauty could recite it from memory in his new voice, until he said everything in his new voice. He noticed that it made it easier for him to breathe. "Look in the mirror, Beauty." There was a girl staring back at him, not even a woman, but a fresh, young girl. Curls settled around his ears and chin, augmented by fake hair that Kyp had brought with him. Lips painted red in a bow, cheekbones high and rosy, neck long and supple. He forgot himself.
"Stunning, isn't it?" Kyp whispered. Beauty could only nod.
"He should wear red."
Jack jumped at Cal's voice.
"You don't want him to be called a whore on his first night out," Kyp soothed, his voice melting over the consonants. "I've brought blue. Come, Beauty, it's almost time to go out."
Oh-so-much more swiftly than the rest of it, he was pulled into the dress. His master was here now. Everything was going to be all right. His master always knew what was best. Inside, somewhere, he was screaming, but he squelched it.
With a barely suppressed smirk, Cal draped a fur over his shoulders. "Are you ready, then?"
"Outside of these walls, you will refer to me as Mr. Hockley."
"Kyp, you're welcome to stay. I'm sure that we can use your help when we get back."
"Be glad to. I'll just read until you return...and find something to eat. I'm starving." Scampering off, he flashed Beauty one last smile. "You'll be wonderful tonight. Just keep your mouth shut."
Leading Jack out the door, Cal leaned close to his ear. "That's wonderful advice." Jack nodded in reply.
Outside, the breeze swirled about his ankles, reminding him of the impending evening of horrors. Concentrating on walking, he managed to ignore the smirking footman who helped him into the carriage.
"How are you feeling today?" Cal asked once they were settled.
"I'm a little dizzy, but I'll survive, Mr. Hockley."
"Good. Did you enjoy your afternoon with Kyp?"
"I always enjoy spending time with Kyp, Mr. Hockley."
"Wonderful. We'll have to arrange some more for you, then. Have you ever been to the opera before?" Jack shook his head. "Rigoletto is the story of a jester who is cursed by a nobleman named Montrone. He declares that Rigoletto will lose that thing which is dearest to his heart. Having come into disfavor with the local aristocracy, he is the target of their ire. They convince the Duke of Mantua to seduce his supposed mistress. It is actually his daughter. The two fall in love. Later, some people attempt to kidnap Gilda, Rigoletto's daughter. They blindfold Rigoletto and trick him into helping them succeed, and then they carry Gilda away to the Duke's bedroom. Rigoletto discovers the deception and vows to avenge his daughter's honor. He hires an assassin to kill the Duke, but the assassin is paid off. He agrees to let the Duke live if another body can be found. Gilda volunteers. Thus Rigoletto kills his own daughter and the curse is fulfilled."
"Do you intend to educate me as well, Mr. Hockley?"
"A body is a fragile thing, pet. A beautiful mind will last long into our old age."
Suddenly, all the air was gone. His master wanted him forever. Cal wanted to make him a slave forever. In. Out. Breathe slowly. Breathe shallow.
"We're here. Try to act like a lady."
The steps at the front of the Met were the worst, as he tried to emulate the other ladies climbing them. Again he was able to ignore the snide grins flashed in his direction because of his preoccupation. Cal held his head higher, if that was possible, confidence radiating through his skin.
Cal took him straight to their box, content to simply be seen rather than mingle. Jack was grateful. The opera was more beautiful than he could have ever imagined. Indeed, if this was culture, was Cal’s price so very high? Seeing this would have been impossible for him as a simple street waif. Now he was beautiful. But Jack wasn't dead, couldn't be dead, and he knew that. A little strangled, he clapped when Cal did, stood slowly, took the larger man's arm, and then walked down the steps. Everything became mechanical. He could do this. He could do it well, and that surprised him. There was, in him, the capacity to make Cal very happy. And Cal had promised to reward him richly for such a thing.
And then there was Jack...
"Did you enjoy the opera?"
"It was beautiful."
"You looked wonderful tonight. Blue suits you. Kyp was right." He smiled. "Would you like to go again?"
"Then come over here and thank me."
Suddenly, Jack found himself in Cal's arms, such big arms. Illness and near death had left little of what had been the sturdy boy. He could only admire Cal's strength. A warm hand pushed up his dress, stroking his thigh. They kissed for a long time.
"I will take you tonight, make you mine. You'll wear my mark and no one else will ever touch you without my permission again."
Beauty nodded. Jack screamed.
If Cal could see the inner torment, he gave no sign of it. Instead, he pulled the boy into his lap and cuddled him close, liberally coating him with affection. Such warm affection.
Stepping out of the carriage, Jack grabbed back control. He bolted, hiking up his skirt so he could run. Even before he had taken two steps he was out of breath, the damned corset wreaking havoc on his lungs. Before he had taken ten, Cal tackled him to the dirt. Flipping him over, Cal pinned his struggling hands and kicking legs easily.
"You've ruined your dress," was all he said. Then he knocked Jack out with the back of his hand.
Kyp shook his head disdainfully. "It shouldn't have come to this."
"What would you suggest?"
The redhead only shook his head. In front of them, Jack was chained to the wall on his knees. A manacle encircled his throat, pulling him upright, his hands were free, but his ankles were chained a foot off the ground, putting all his weight on his knees. Cal used a bucket of water to wake the aggravating child.
"Pet?" There was only a groan in response. Cal stepped forward until his crotch was pressed tight against Jack's face. "Are you sorry, Pet?"
"That wasn't the question. Are you sorry? Show me how sorry you are. Show me how much you want me."
Jack looked away and moaned, his palms scrabbling against the wall for purchase, trying to hold himself upright.
"We'll see how you feel in the morning." Turning on his heel, he led Kyp out into the hall, slamming the thick door behind them. "Spend the night?"
"Sounds delightful." Hooking his arm through the other man's, he smiled sweetly. "You know that I love you, don't you?"
"Mr. Barrington is only the bread and butter." Sighing sadly. "I wish all the time that we clicked better."
"My pet will be good for us as soon as I gentle him. You like him, don't you?"
"He has a quick mind and he's very beautiful. I like teaching him. I suppose I never viewed what I do as a learnable skill." He chuckled. "Imagine me teaching classes. Now, today, students, we will learn all about spanking." Giggling, he ran ahead to the bedroom.
Entering, Cal found him already laid out like a banquet. "Anxious?"
Stroking himself, he whispered, "It's been a long time." Then he spread his legs. Cal very slowly stripped out of his suit and joined him on the bed.
Morning found them wrapped around one another, murmuring softly.
"Of course I am, silly. You've nearly got him. This had to happen. He had to know there was no escape. After this, he will be much more docile. I think he'll be ready to suck you off this morning."
"I'm starting to think it's all a lost cause."
"Nonsense. Worthwhile things are rarely easy. That little beauty will make you very happy soon. Don't abandon him yet. If you let him go at this point, I couldn't guarantee he wouldn't come running back anyway, and you know how annoying you would find that. Then he'd feel like he could come and go as he pleased. You understand the problem."
"He'd be uncontrollable, like you."
Kyp sniffed at his bed partner. "I'm controllable. You just never wanted to put the money into me that I require. Barrington couldn't care less how much I spend." Grinning, he bounced a little. "Beauty will never be like that, not your Bella. He'll fret over every penny, worrying what you'll think."
"Yes, he will be quite something someday, won't he?"
"Yes, he will. Shall we go down and see him? I think he'll be ready for you after a night on his knees."
Cal smiled softly. "I hope so."
Downstairs, Jack was suffocating. No longer able to hold himself up, all of his weight fell on the manacle around his neck, pulling inexorably on his windpipe.
"Pet? Can you hear me, Pet?" Cal stepped close enough to prop Beauty's shoulders up with his thighs. "Pet? Are you ready to apologize?" Tattered hands spidered up his thighs, pulled loose the tie to his sleep pants and pushed them down. "Go ahead, pet. I'm waiting." Dry lips kissed softly, widening to encompass. Cal pushed him back. "That's enough." Lifting Pet's chin, he kissed the boy thoroughly. "Sam, release him and take him upstairs to the bath. See that his bruises are cleaned." Cal waited until Pet's neck was released before leaving with Kyp. "Stay for a while?"
"Of course. You'd better bandage him yourself. He's only going to trust you. I'll wait for you two in the bedroom."
Cal nodded and headed to the bathroom. Pet rested in the tub, unconscious again. He dismissed Sam and knelt down, tenderly washing away the blood. Bloody knees were only the beginning. His palms had taken the worst brunt of it, scrabbling against the wall to hold himself up. As he was being dried and bandaged, he came around.
"I'm here, Pet."
"I'm sorry, Master. I'm so sorry."
"Shh." Tenderly, he kissed Beauty’s forehead. "Everything will be all right. You just have to trust me. I will always protect you."
Cal lifted Beauty into his arms and was rewarded with a whispery kiss. Inside the bedroom, Kyp was snuggled deep in the bed. He accepted Beauty into his arms with a soft coo.
"Shh, baby, everything is going to be all right," he whispered. Beauty whimpered into his neck. "We love you. You know that, Beauty, right?" Kyp was thoroughly kissed in reply. "Get down here, Cal. Beauty wants to kiss you, too."
"Does he really?" Laying down on the other side, he easily rolled Beauty into his arms. Whimpering kisses peppered his lips. "Calm down, little one. You'll prove how much you love me by obeying me every day. Rest now so I can properly ravish you later." With another lavish kiss, Pet snuggled down and drowsed off. "He'll have to be marked tonight. Do you think he's ready?"
"I hope so. I designed something just for you." Kyp laced his fingers through the ones Cal had left resting on Beauty's hip. "You'll love it—the angel of death."
"How appropriate. You think he'll be good from now on?"
"I think he'll keep you on your toes, but you'll be pleased." Tenderly, he stroked Pet’s flank. "He's such a beauty." Snuggling down, Kyp, too, drifted off, leaving Cal to watch silent vigil over the two of them.
Hours later, they woke to a dinner of rich stew and bread. Beauty sat back, content to be pampered, as Kyp fed him bit by bit. He drank beer from Cal's glass.
"Now, Beauty." Kyp sat up and straddled him. "You're going to be marked tonight. It'll hurt, but you're not being punished. You know that, right?"
"It's an honor to be marked by your master."
Kyp smiled and sat back, letting Sam close in. "Now, just hold still."
"Where's my master?" Beauty looked around frantically. Suddenly, Cal was there, stroking his hair, baring his neck, holding him still. No matter how much it must have hurt, Pet held very still, his face buried in his master's lap, such a good boy. A small tattoo below and behind the left ear and another one, larger, on his left ass cheek.
"You're beautiful," Cal whispered to him. "You're so beautiful. You trust me, don't you?"
"I'm going to take you tonight. You want that, don't you?"
The grin he got back bordered on feral. "Yes, Master."
"Everyone else out." With a long, wet kiss to Kyp. "You can watch later."
"I'm counting on it." He passed that kiss on to Pet. "I'll be back, darling. Show him how much you love him." Then he backed out and locked the door.
Jack watched with trepidation, but Beauty ignored him. He was alone with his master now, and that was what was important. He squashed Jack into a deep closet in his brain, shut the door, and swallowed the key. Cal crawled on top of him, smothering him in passionate kisses.
"Spread your legs."
Beauty did it with ease, lifting his knees to rub against Cal’s flanks, spreading his heels wide, flat-footed on the bed.
"You're so very good."
Two months later, Pet strode confidently down the street next to Kyp. He had been told he wasn't required to wear a dress unless he was Cal's date. However, he found that Kyp had been right. He rather enjoyed them. Not the corsets, of course. He shuddered just thinking about them, but the silk and satins. They were much finer than the things that men wore.
And Kyp was pure delight. The young man had become his closest friend, as well as mentor. The lessons continued daily. Today Kyp was intent on teaching him how to spend loads of money on jewels. Bella knew he would bypass the chance when it came in favor of watching Kyp spend Barrington's money. Later, they planned to double-team the old man into a heart attack.
"Come on! There's Christmas shopping to do!" He dragged a laughing Bella behind him. "What are you going to get for Cal?"
"I don't know yet. What do you get for the man who can have anything he wants?"
"A little leather outfit and a bare ass?" Kyp whispered in his ear. Bella chuckled, but neglected to reply. Kyp stopped to buy an apple. A hand grabbed his arm.
"What?" Bella asked, spinning around.
"Jack?" The hood pulled back to reveal the angelic face of his long-fevered dreams. Bella said nothing. "Jack, it's me, Rose. You were dead. I swear you were dead. But...but..." Slowly, Bella backed away. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see Kyp watching him like a hawk. "Jack? Jack?" She tried to throw her arms around him, but he pushed her away.
"Ma'am, you must be mistaken. Jack Dawson died." Turning, he linked his arm through Kyp's and pushed off through the crowd, intent on the flashy jewelry store they had spoken of earlier.