This is Chapter Twelve -- "Reynolds' Boy"
The other stories in the "Wayfarers" series.
Features Brian Kinney, Justin Taylor, William Reynolds, Antoine.
Rated R and contains a warning for sexual violence against a minor.
Summary: In bed and on the river. Pittsburgh, February 1859/The Ohio River, June 1843.
Disclaimer: This is for fun, not profit. Watch Queer As Folk on Showtime, buy the DVDs, videos, and CDs. Read the stories and enjoy.
"Brian," said Justin, as he rolled over onto his stomach. "When are you planning to fuck me?"
"What?" replied the man, disturbed from his drowsy reverie.
Justin moved closer and seized Brian's prick, which was already beginning to recover in full from their previous enjoyment. "You heard me. I've been coming to your room regularly since before Christmas, Brian. Now it's almost March and I'm STILL waiting for that final evil act that will complete my corruption." Justin licked his lips lasciviously. "So, are you going to answer my question?"
Brian sat up in the bed, now fully awake. "First off, that is a vulgar word to be coming out of a young mouth. Fuck." The man grimaced. "See? I hesitate to repeat it myself."
"Oh, but having your large peg IN that same mouth is not the least bit vulgar?" Justin laughed.
But Brian was not joking. "Second off, it isn't humorous to speak about corruption that way. When you ask me to... to fuck you...." Brian shook his head. "You don't know what you are asking, Justin!"
"But I DO know! And I don't understand why you would deny me when we've done everything else together!" Justin took his hand away from Brian's prick, punching at the rumpled pillow petulantly. "Unless you don't love me enough."
"Don't talk like some pouting female, Justin!" Brian admonished. "You know that performing that particular deed has nothing to do with love." And Brian hoped that the exchange would end there. Brian had not yet made any such declaration of love to his companion, no matter what his innermost feelings might be, and he didn't plan on doing so. Brian understood that the boy thought he was in love, but all Justin knew of love was pure fantasy and pretty wishes, not reality.
"I don't know any such thing, Brian!" Justin insisted. "I know you've done it before. You told me so!"
Brian sighed heavily. "Yes, but that doesn't make it right. I didn't care about those other men."
"Oh, that is logical!" Justin mocked. "You only fuck people you do NOT care about! You only make love to people you DON'T love!"
"Fucking isn't all there is to making love, Justin!" Brian retorted. "I thought that's what we HAVE been doing all these weeks -- making love! Isn't it making love when I caress your prick until you moan with pleasure? Or when we rub ourselves against each other until we both spend and collapse in a heap? Or when I kiss you until you fall into a sound slumber? Isn't THAT truly making love? Now you need to be buggered to make it real?"
Justin sat up in the bed. "Yes, Brian! Because I feel that you are holding back from me. That you're denying me. And I don't understand why!"
"Justin, there is more to that act than you imagine," Brian said, trying to think of a way to explain his reservations. "It is not purely pleasure. There is pain, as well. That is always a part of it, the pain." Brian thought of an earlier time when he had been as innocent as this boy and his heart ached. "If I caused you any pain I could not begin to forgive myself."
Justin leaned over and kissed him gently. "I'm not a mewling child, Brian. And I'm not afraid of a little pain, especially not if it leads to untold pleasures. Which I know it will! It must, if I do it with you! I want to experience all of the facets of love with you! Everything! With you and no one else! Because it's you that I love. And THAT is what is real, Brian."
"But there is another reason to forego this step, Justin. Perhaps I don't care to make you into a criminal, too," the man answered, quietly. "There are clear laws in this land against the 'abominable practice of sodomy.' So far what we have done is sinful in the eyes of most so-called decent folk, but not illegal. But you would have me take you across that boundary, willfully, deliberately, even gleefully. I may already be a criminal under the Law, but you are as yet untouched, Justin. Perhaps I don't care to see us BOTH in the penitentiary!"
The boy snorted. "That's ridiculous, Brian, and you know it! Who would ever know?"
Brian looked at the boy and shuddered at his naïvete. "If your father discovered it you would not find it so ridiculous. And since your mother knows that you go away every Friday and do not return until Sunday evening -- or later -- it is only a matter of time before she knows what you have been up to. What WE have been up to! And if you think she won't tell your old man, then you don't understand women, Justin."
Justin rolled up against Brian and began stroking him once more, very slowly and steadily. "My mother will never find out that I'm here. I told her that if she didn't stop plaguing me with questions that I would run away forever and she'd never see my face again as long as she lived! That shut her up quick!"
"It may have shut her up, Justin, but it didn't kill her desire to know, mark my words," Brian warned. "You badly underestimate female curiosity. It is one of the prime forces of Nature. She WILL find you out. And when she does...."
"You think my own mother will have me sent to prison, Brian? You are being ridiculous again!"
But the man only gazed at the boy. Then he pulled Justin into his arms. "There are many other things we can do right now, so why are we wasting time with conversation? Spoken words are a cheap commodity. My prick is much more eloquent."
Justin grinned. "Let me move closer and hear what it has to say, then!"
"They that have the power to hurt and will do none,
That do not do the thing they most do show,
Who, moving others, are themselves as stone,
Unmoved, cold, and to temptation slow;
They rightly do inherit heaven's graces
And husband Nature's riches from expense;
They are the lords and owners of their faces,
Others but stewards of their excellence."
Brian sat at the small desk in William Reynolds' cabin on the sternwheeler 'La Belle Helene,' carefully forming his letters. The Shakespeare poem he was copying sounded pretty, but was full of odd words and strange phrases. The sonnet itself was hard enough to deal with, but Reynolds also wanted Brian to make the letters in a very specific way, following the model cursive alphabet the man had written out for him. Brian had been copying out the same poem for the last three nights and he was getting mighty weary of it.
"Don't fret about doing this quickly, Boy," Reynolds had told him their second night on the river, as he laid out Brian's paper and pen on the desk. "We have all the time in the world. It is more important to form your letters with care and precision. Speed will come with practice."
There was a knock at the cabin door and Brian looked up as the porter, Antoine, stepped into the room. "Hello, Young Sir. I brought that extra pillow Mr. Reynolds asked after."
"I'll take it!" said Brian, jumping up from the desk. He took the pillow from the porter and placed it on the bed, plumping it up and then smoothing down the duvet.
"Don't know what that man wants with another pillow. He sure must like his comforts!" Antoine chuckled.
"He does," bragged Brian. "He likes all the finest things."
"That he does," replied the porter, looking at the beautiful boy. "You been travelin' long with that man, honey?"
"No," Brian answered. "This is my first trip! But after Cincinnati we're going to St. Louis and then to New Orleans! And maybe to England one day! I want to go all over the world and see all of the Seven Wonders!"
"Only seven? I thought there was more wonders than that in the wide world!" The porter smiled at Reynolds' Boy.
"Oh, that's from a book. It's history! The Seven Wonders of the World. Reynolds says that some of those Wonders are gone now, but that there will still be plenty to see." The boy sat back down at the desk. "You must have seen many Wonders, Mr. Antoine, traveling up and down the river!"
Antoine grinned at the boy. "I seen a lot of boats and a lot of docks and a lot of valises and pillows! That's what I see on my travels, Master Brian! I'm a workin' man, not a lookin' man."
Brian halted, unsure of how much to question the porter. "Are you a slave, Mr. Antoine?"
"Well, honey, if I was don't you think I would have lit off this here boat once it touched the Ohio bank?" the man laughed. "I'm a Freedman and been one since I was about your age. I get wages, same as a white man. Well, not the same, exactly, but wages. Ain't no slaves work on this boat. We ply the Northern waters -- the Ohio, Upper Mississippi, and the Missouri. But I was born in New Orleans. That's a town where there are sure a lot of those Wonders you spoke of!"
"I'm anxious to see them, then! Reynolds says New Orleans is a fine place, full of good food, pretty females, and rich marks."
The porter narrowed his eyes. "Honey, I wouldn't put too much stock in a card-playin' man. Do you catch my meanin'?"
The boy frowned. "I don't understand."
"A card-playin' man lives on the luck of the draw. Up one day, down the next. You might be livin' high on the hog right now, but some other times might be pretty lean, and then...." The porter looked at the boy, suddenly fearful for his Fate. New Orleans was a pleasure house, for sure, but it was also the center of the trade in human beings. Yes, and not only servants for the house and workers for the field. It was the center of the Fancy trade, too. Men from all over the South and even the Caribbean Isles came to the city looking to buy a Fancy, either a woman or a boy, for their amusement. And no one would look too closely at the provenance of a Fancy boy just because he was white. Lots of Fancies looked white. "You got kin anywhere upriver, honey?"
Brian shook his head. "I don't think so. My mam's dead and my da left me behind. I don't know what happened to my sister. That's all there was." The boy played with his pen. "But they don't matter anyway. Because now I'm Mr. Reynolds' apprentice! I'm going to learn the sporting ways! Reynolds gave me my own deck of cards to practice with! And I'm going to have me a fine waistcoat covered with all manner of embroidered flowers and birds. And a golden pocket watch that I'll wind every night. It'll be grand!"
The porter hesitated. "Honey, when we get to Cincy, you let me know if there's anybody I could send word to. That is, if you want to leave this... this...." Antoine hesitated again. He could lose his position for trifling with the property of a passenger. "Leave this fella you travelin' with."
Brian tilted his head quizzically. "But why would I want to leave him? We are just getting started!"
And the door of the cabin opened and William Reynolds walked in.
"Excuse me, sir, I brought that pillow," said the porter, backing out.
"Good man. That will be all for tonight." Reynolds shut the door firmly behind the porter and then turned to smile at Brian. "Well, Boy, I am flush and that's no lie!" the gambler said, setting a large bottle on the desk and then taking off his black frock coat.
"Did you clean them out right down to their underdrawers?" cried Brian, reaching up and throwing his arms around the tall man's neck. He rubbed his face against the man's cheek and could feel where the stubble of his beard was beginning to come back in.
"I made a goodly attempt," the man laughed. He could feel Brian's hard prick pressing against him. "And I have a special treat for you, Boy. I won this off that sharp who got on at Portsmouth. I showed HIM what's what about draw poker and THAAT'S no lie, either!" Reynolds pointed to the bottle on the desk. "And since tonight I also finished cleaning out that mark I've been working, I believe it calls for a private celebration."
Brian picked up the bottle. The green glass was weighty and the label was full of foreign words. "What kind of wine is this?"
"Champagne! The King of the Vine." Reynolds took the green bottle away from Brian and broke the seal. Then he put a towel over the neck of the bottle. "Stand back, Boy, because it makes the devil of a racket." The man pressed at the cork with his thumbs, working it.
Brian heard a crack, like the explosion of a pistol, and he jumped back. "What's that drink made of? Gunpowder?" the boy cried.
The gambler laughed. "No, but if you drink enough of it, the next morning you will feel like someone shot you!" Reynolds took two short glasses from the cupboard. "Champagne should be sipped from a fine fluted goblet. Unfortunately, this is all we have." He poured the pale liquid into the glasses and Brian watched it fizz and snap like it was alive. "Don't drink it too fast or it will go right to your head."
Brian took a small sip. He'd never felt anything like this on his tongue. It tasted slightly sweet and filled his mouth with bubbles. He bolted the rest of it down and held out his glass. Madame Heloise had never allowed him to drink spirits and only permitted watered down wine on special occasions. "More!"
"You are a true courtesan, Boy!" said Reynolds, filling the glass. "Already you have a taste for champagne. Next it will be diamond necklaces and golden coaches pulled by white horses!"
"Yes!" cried Brian. "I'd like a white horse! A high-stepper with a long tail that brushes the ground!" Brian began capering about the cabin, prancing like a fancy-gaited horse. "See? I'm dancing!"
Reynolds smiled. "Do you like to dance, Boy?"
"Yes! I like it exceedingly! I can dance better than Mae!" The boy twirled, his long legs and arms like a young colt's, half-awkward and half a thing of grace.
Reynolds caught Brian in his arms and set him on his lap. "When we get to New Orleans, Boy, I shall take you to Monsieur Henri's establishment. There is lots of dancing there and many pretty boys for you to dance with. But none as pretty as you, I think."
Brian blushed and jumped up again, picking up his glass. He drank some more of the champagne. It fizzed up into his nose and made him giggle.
Reynolds sipped his glass more slowly. Then he set it down and stood, pulling off his boots and stripping off his shirt and trousers. The boy made haste to fold the man's clothes and stow them away in a recess in the wall. Reynolds sat back down on the bed and watched Brian. "Have another glass, Boy."
Taking his refilled glass, the boy sat next to Reynolds on the edge of the bed. Brian was wearing his brown britches and a plain cambric shirt, which Reynolds slowly unbuttoned and discarded on the floor. "You can put that away later."
The boy swallowed the rest of the champagne in his glass. "This wine feels like fireworks going off in my head!"
"That is what champagne does best -- makes it feel like Independence Day all through your entire body," the gambler replied. "Do you feel it anywhere else?"
Brian laughed. "In my peg! But I always feel like my peg is on fire when I'm in bed with you!"
The gambler removed the boy's britches and tossed them on the floor on top of the shirt. Then he stroked Brian's prick until it was as hard as iron. It was an amazingly precocious organ for such a slender lad. Reynolds considered Brian's long feet and his long, expressive fingers and knew the boy would be a tall man. Likely taller than Reynolds himself, who topped 6 feet.
But Reynolds was not interested in the boy's prick. At least, not tonight. "I told you I had a special treat for you, Brian," he said, picking up the extra pillow that the porter had obtained. "I mean, besides the champagne. I want you to lie down right here, on your belly." The gambler took away the empty glass and set it on the floor. "I want you to close your eyes and relax. Pretend that you are floating on a fluffy white cloud." He positioned the extra pillow underneath the boy. "I have this oil that I acquired back East. It has a trace of mint in it. Have a smell." The man held a small vial under the boy's nose. "I've been saving it for a special occasion. I'm going to rub you with it."
"That's grand! Rub some on my peg!" The boy wiggled lasciviously and began to roll over.
"Not yet. Perhaps later," said the man, smiling at Brian's eagerness. Once his fire was kindled he was as randy as any grown man. And the boy's guileless lust stirred Reynolds' own again and again to a point that he would not have thought possible even a few months before. Reynolds could hardly now believe that he had wasted so much time on women in recent years. But perhaps it wasn't boys so much as THIS particular boy that stirred him. Yes, this one and no other.
Reynolds rubbed the oil across the boy's pale shoulders until Brian sighed with contentment. His skin felt like an expensive satin garment against Reynolds' expert fingers. Then he trailed his hands down Brian's back and into the dent above his smooth rear end. He poured more of the mint-scented substance over the boy's soft buttocks and massaged them languidly. He could feel Brian gently moving under him, humping his prick against the soft pillow.
"Please!" he moaned. "Rub my peg! Won't you now?"
"Hush! Later, I said," Reynolds whispered.
Brian sighed. The man was touching him in places he'd never even imagined being touched, making him swoon like a girl. The delicate skin inside his legs. The backs of his knees. The place where his balls and his peg met -- THAT Reynolds rubbed again and again until the boy moaned. It seemed that every time he got into bed with Reynolds the man showed him a new part of his body that could be filled with pleasure. With the champagne befuddling his head and the touch of Reynolds' hands on his body, the boy really did feel like he was floating on a fluffy cloud. And now Reynolds kept up the slow motion of his fingers on the cheeks of Brian's ass as he hovered over the boy, gently brushing against and then dipping into his warm crevasse. The gambler drizzled more of the oil into that cleft and the boy writhed, opening himself up to the sensation.
Suddenly Brian experienced a new sensation. A heavy pressure along with the slippery oil and the rubbing. The man slipped his fingers into that opening, first gently, but then more forcefully. And then something else. Something larger and more urgent. Brian lifted his head, trying to turn around. "What are you doing?"
"Don't move now!" Reynolds ordered. "Lie still!" He pushed Brian's knees up underneath him and moved the pillow slightly for a better position.
Brian flinched. Something was definitely wrong now. This was pain and not the delight that he had come to expect. No, this was not a pleasant feeling at all! It was like he was being impaled on an inflexible rod of steel. And in another moment that implement drove deeper inside him and Brian felt he was being split in two. "Stop! What are you doing?" But Reynolds did not stop. He pressed on until the boy cried, "Don't!"
The man paused. "You have to relax," he murmured, encouragingly. "Take a deep breath. And then another one. That will make it easier." But inwardly Reynolds cursed his own stupidity. He should have given Brian another glass of the champagne to loosen him even more. But he had wanted the boy tipsy, not unconscious. Fucking a limp body was worse than fucking an uncooperative one. Reynolds had been certain that once the preliminaries were done with, Brian would settle down and his naturally wanton temperament would come to the fore. But that was not happening, and now the boy was fighting against him in obvious pain. "Just be still a moment longer!" Reynolds coaxed, caressing Brian's silky hair. "I'm fucking you, Boy. Nothing to fear at all."
"But I AM afraid!" Brian begged. "Let me up! Please!"
"It's too late for that now," said Reynolds, impatiently. He thrust himself deeper into the boy and Brian cried out even louder. "You MUST be quiet! Do you want the captain to hear you and throw you overboard?"
Brian only whimpered in reply. This wasn't like the other things they had done together that were so sweet and pleasurable. This was hurtful and terrible. Brian couldn't imagine what he had done to make the man want to murder him this way! He'd been good and done everything Reynolds had asked of him! But Brian had never felt anything like this in all his life, not even when Madame beat him with her leather strap!
Reynolds took the end of the duvet in his hand and twisted it. Then he shoved it into Brian's mouth. "Bite down on this if you feel yourself ready to cry out again."
With the heavy quilting between his teeth, the boy could barely breathe let alone cry out. And it didn't lessen the pain any. Brian buried his face in the pillow as the tears streamed down his soft cheeks, waiting for his ordeal to be over.
When he finally spent inside the boy, Reynolds cursed himself again. He had bungled the job badly from start to finish. He'd been too consumed by lust and too avid to perform the act to worry about what Brian was feeling. And now the boy was crying. Fucking Brian would be a struggle until the boy grew accustomed to the practice.
But perhaps it was unavoidable. Reynolds had no experience at all with virgins, either male or female. His partners had always been very knowing and very willing. But long ago he'd heard another more experienced man warn a young friend who was about to be married that the woman would resist, but that the friend must not hesitate to complete the act and take his pleasure. A woman's lot in life was pain and that was the nature of things. And so it was for the boy, too. This was his lot in life and he would learn to tolerate it well enough -- eventually. Reynolds had even heard lewd tales that young brides ultimately become insatiable, which was why newlyweds always looked so tired! It would be the same with Brian, Reynolds was certain of it. Why, before long he'd be begging Reynolds to fuck him, the harder the better!
But in the meantime the boy was lying with his face in the pillow, hiding from his master. The vial of mint-scented oil had spilled all over the duvet and onto the mattress, leaving a sticky, sickening-sweet stain underneath him. And his insides burned like a raw wound. Brian reached back and touched himself tentatively. "I... I think I'm bleeding," he whispered.
"Nonsense," replied Reynolds, briskly. He poured some water from the pitcher onto a clean cloth and wiped the boy's pale rump as gently as he could. Now Reynolds felt even more culpable. He saw how easily he could have badly injured the boy and truly made him worthless in bed. "That's just the remnants of my spunk. You are quite familiar with THAT, Boy!"
But Brian sat up in the bed and blinked. "Did you spend yourself INSIDE of me?"
"Of course. That's what fucking is! You know that, don't you, Boy?"
Brian's mind was going every which way. "But Madame said NEVER allow a fellow to spend inside you! That was her first rule! Make the gentleman pull himself out or use a sheath -- for 5 cents extra. She told all the girls that! I heard her say it a hundred times!"
The gambler snorted. "I thought you were going to follow MY teachings and not Madame's from now forward?"
The boy's eyes were wide. "But Madame said... she was afraid that...." Brian hesitated. For a girl to get in the family way was a disaster, that's what Madame feared. Then they had to get rid of the thing or else the girl had to go away somewhere. Flora told him that years before a girl had died in the front bedroom of the Paradise Hotel giving birth to a baby because she hadn't listened to Madame's warnings. "What you did hurt me," the boy said, mournfully. "And then you spent inside me! It's a bad thing!"
"Madame's warnings have nothing to do with us, Boy! That's for those silly females," Reynolds scoffed. He took the end of the damp towel and wiped away Brian's tears. "I know it hurt a bit, but that pain will go away. Soon you will feel nothing but pure bliss. You will just have to trust me on that."
Brian nodded slowly. He remembered Mae telling him about the first time she got fucked. Her older brother caught her in their barn when she was 12 and threw her down. That it hurt like a hundred needles thrusting into her and that Mae screamed and screamed and screamed. And that when her mother came and saw the girl in the dirty straw with her dress pulled up and her legs in the air, she called Mae "a wicked spawn of Eve and the Serpent" and banished her from their farm. That's how Mae came to leave her home. And on the road she met a man she thought she was in love with and he brought her to Pittsburgh. That's how she ended up at the Paradise Hotel. Yes, she'd had a painful start of it as well, and none of the other girls liked to fuck as readily as Mae! So perhaps Reynolds was just doing what all men did to their lovers. And perhaps Brian would learn to accept his part in time and then it wouldn't hurt him so.
Seeing the unhappy expression that was still on Brian's beautiful face, the gambler tried to reassure him. He took the boy's chin in his hand. "Come now! Don't I take good care of you? Aren't you my Boy and no one else's? And won't I continue to take care of you, no matter what?"
Brian swallowed. They were only a few days out of Pittsburgh and so far this adventure had been like a wondrous dream. He was sure that Reynolds truly cared for him and the man had pledged to Madame Heloise that he'd see to all of Brian's needs and provide for him always. But now the boy was afraid and his ass ached powerfully. And he did not want to have a baby! He feared THAT really would kill him, like the nameless girl who died in Madame's front bedroom. But if Reynolds continued to use him this way and spend himself inside him, then how could he avoid it? Brian kept repeating to himself that the gambler had promised to take care of him, no matter what.
Reynolds put away the towel and then stretched himself out beside Brian on the bed, pulling the duvet over them both. "In another day we shall be in Cincinnati. If you're a good boy and do as you're told I'll buy you whatever you fancy. Maybe a pretty new jacket. Or a fine silver bracelet. Would you like that?"
Brian shrugged and stuck his finger in his mouth, sucking on it for comfort. The cabin seemed full of shadows all of a sudden and Brian was trapped between the strong body of the gambler and the hull of the steamboat. He could hear the distant swish of the water through the great paddlewheel as 'La Belle Helene' moved through the darkness and away into the night.
"The summer's flower is to summer sweet, William Shakespeare, 'Sonnet 94.'
Though to itself it only live and die;
But if that flower with base infection meet,
The basest weed outbraves his dignity:
For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds;
Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds."
William Shakespeare, 'Sonnet 94.'
©Gaedhal, July 2003.
Posted July 26, 2003.