Once in the bar, Rick found himself having every possible measurement taken. He was not actually introduced but gathered Mr. Silversteen was a retired tailor who would alter the suit. Mrs Smith was a retired seamstress who would adjust a shirt while Mr. Wright was a retired businessman. Once the measurements were taken, they all sat around a table with Rick at the head.
"You are correct by thinking you will feel more confident if you are suitably dressed. If someone scares you a little, it's harder to take them seriously if you try to imagine them in their underwear, so you are at a disadvantage on two counts. How do you want to conduct this demonstration?" Mr. Wright began.
"Er, I don't know. I wasn't expecting anything like it."
"What does your cousin Robin want to discuss?"
"Taking over the island."
"How is he going to open the discussion? What ammunition does he have?"
"Sebastian's bad health."
"How are you going to counteract it?"
"I'm the Earl."
"Now I suggest we print out an agenda. Heading: The Family Meeting and add today's date.
Item 1 should be the minutes of the previous meeting. Do you have a secretary to take the minutes of today's?"
"Mrs Wilson." Rick replied, "Is all this really necessary?"
"No." Mr. Wright replied, "It's a prop. You might want to crawl into a corner and hide, but you've got to speak confidently. Your cousin Robin will want to take the initiative, but you've got to get in first. Ask for the minutes of any previous meeting. That should confuse everyone."
Rick smiled but Mr. Wright continued, "Item 2 should be the order of precedence; pecking order if you like. Can you present your case for becoming Earl?"
"I can print out copies of the documents for Robin."
"Print out copies for everyone, including yourself. Are you familiar with them? Always call him Cousin Robin and remember he will try you catch you out. You should also say Cousin Sebastian. It's OK if you forget a lot of what I'm saying but sound confident."
Rick nodded, and again Mr. Wright spoke, "Item 3 should be how you wish to be addressed. Perhaps you would tell us."
"I still prefer Rick with my friends. I'll save 'My Lord' for when it's formal I suppose, and I've been called sir a few times. I don't mind if someone is uncomfortable calling me Rick."
"That was confident enough. Item 4, Cousin Sebastian's health. How are you going to deal with it?"
"Learn the business and take more over. Mrs Wilson knows her stuff and Jeff the chief guide knows the history. I've got a feeling the business would give a real businessman a heart attack, but it works here."
"I'd say it works because it relies on local knowledge. Your cousin Sebastian knows what he's doing. Item 5, Keeping pleasure boats from using the head of the pontoon ."
"Hang on. What's this got to do with Cousin Robin trying to take over?"
"Nothing. It's your meeting so deal with matters that come up during your first day."
Rick nodded, and the session went on for about an hour. He hurried upstairs to dress back into shorts and T-shirt before he and Paul strolled to the castle.
"Can we hold hands?" Rick asked.
"I'd love to." Paul replied, "There's a load of tourists around, and they might cause trouble."
Rick reluctantly agreed. They were just two more tourists visiting the castle and ignored by everyone else.
"Hi Jeff. When's the next tour?"
"About fifteen minutes, sir. I'll find someone to show you around personally if you like."
"No. The tour's fine. They can ask the questions I don't think of."
Jeff himself took the tour, and he knew his stuff as Paul had said. Rick could imagine the original wooden fort fending off the Vikings, and t he d'Arbrevilles building the stone fort before going off to the Crusades. Like the rest of the tourists, Rick waited as Jeff described how the next family, the Arbuthnotts, gunpowder manufacturers, went bust. It wasn't an explosion, just dynamite replacing it.
"I'm sorry to interrupt," a tourist asked at one point, "The portraits are very interesting, but you've skipped that one. Isn't it the current Earl?"
Jeff glanced at Rick, uncertain how to answer.
"Be positive, Mr Wright had said." Rick muttered to Paul as he stepped forward.
"Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. You are about to share in a little castle history. Feel free to video and record it because I wish to make my first public announcement as Richard Blatcherfield, the twelfth Earl of Westmark. I won't go into all the details, but the eleventh Earl had an uncle who everyone thought had died. He actually served gallantly in the army, married and had my father. It's all coming to light at a time when Cousin Sebastian has health problems. It's my duty to take over but so far as I'm concerned, Cousin Sebastian is still the Earl. Forgive Jeff for skipping that portrait because it's been a confused couple of days for everyone."
Cameras were flashing so Rick stood patiently.
"Are you saying it all happened yesterday?" one asked.
"I found out who my grandfather was yesterday. There's a family meeting later today to approve the changes."
"Aren't you too young to take over?"
"Yes." Rick replied, "Cousin Sebastian has an excellent staff and hopefully I can take some of the strain from his heart, so he'll be the adult in charge for some time. Jeff, I was interested in those portraits as well, but it set me thinking. How do I get mine done?"
As he hoped, the question raised a few chuckles especially when Jeff replied, "I'm sorry, My Lord. It's the first time I've been asked."
No-one seemed concerned as Rick and Paul slipped away. It was time to dress for the meeting. As Mr. Silversteen and Mrs Smith fussed over him, Rick asked, "Should I warn Sebastian I've got an agenda."
"I've already done it." Paul replied, "I've emailed an advance copy to him. I did it while I was printing off the documents. I'm not that good. Mr. Wright helped me."
"I wondered where you were. How do I look?"
"Not bad." Paul replied, "I'll put the papers in my school bag and carry it until you go in."
"How about we both go in, and you hand me stuff as I need it?"
"If I'm allowed."
"You will be. I'll have you. Sebastian will have Mrs Wilson, so I suppose we can allow Cousin Robin his wife."
"I'll phone Sebastian then fetch a car." Paul said.
When Rick arrived, he found the others in a small dining room. Sebastian, Robin and his wife were standing, drinks in hand but Rick noticed a briefcase at the head of the table.
As he moved the briefcase and sat down, he said, "Fetch us a coke each would you please, Paul, and Mrs Wilson, please pour yourself something."
Robin's glare seemed to switch between angry and astonished, as he looked at Rick. It occurred to Rick that it had been rude not to greet the adults, but he was sure Sebastian would understand. Paul had duly placed copies of the agenda at each place and fetched the drinks.
"You're the yob who assaulted my son. What the fucking hell are you doing here?" Robin suddenly shouted.
"Shall we sit down and find out?" Sebastian said quietly, "Carry on, Richard. Before we come to the agenda, perhaps you would introduce yourself."
"I am Richard Blatcherfield, 12 th Earl of Westmark. I'm not sure how things work, so I don't know if there are any previous minutes. Mrs Wilson, will you take the minutes for this meeting, please?"
"Certainly, My Lord."
"Thank you. For the record: when Cousin Sebastian is present, please address him as My Lord and me as sir."
"A pleasure, sir." Mrs Wilson replied.
Rick watched his Cousin Robin getting steadily more angry. With everyone else polite and following procedure, he was finding it difficult to bluster his way to what he wanted. He was convinced Sebastian was playing some game to stall, but why? The bottom line was, he was too ill to continue the business side, but he would remain Earl until he died, and it finally passed to him, Robin. So what was this file he had to go through. As he listened to the other brat sitting at the table, it slowly began to sink in what was going on? Richard Blatcherfield. The line of the old est brother. It was wrong, he would contest it.
"Both Aunt Sybil and I are satisfied Cousin Richard here is the rightful head of the family. It seems Cousin Robin, we are both intruders in the castle." Sebastian said.
"That yobbo assaulted my son. He ripped his shorts and underwear off and assaulted him. I'll have him arrested."
"The statements the local community support officers have, suggests Shane was abusive to our guests on the island. Shane was fully dressed when he fell into the mud. Unfortunately by the time he had calmed down enough to accept help, he had sunk waste deep, and it was as he was pulled out his clothes stuck to the mud. You'll have to contact the police on the mainland if you wish to file a complaint. Shall we get back to the agenda?"
"I'm not sitting through this farce." Robin yelled, "We're leaving, and I'll be contacting my solicitors. That yob is not the Earl."
"According to Shane, you intend taking over and evicting all the residents." Sebastian replied, "You won't have any support from the island or Aunt Sybil."
"That stupid cow." Robin snarled standing up.
"Before you go, Cousin Robin," Rick said, "We should look at item 5. You see, in compliance with the harbour bye-laws your boat has been moved from the pontoon. It's moored to a buoy, and you'll need a boat to get to it. The last ferry is gone, so the harbour is likely to be deserted."
"Then do something, find me a boat, you fucking idiot."
"Are you asking me to exercise my powers as Earl. That means you recognise my claim as valid."
"No, I'm not, you fucking toerag. Sebastian do something."
"I can't. I signed in the bye-law as chairman of the h arbour committee."
Paul was awed by the proceedings. Rick was the Earl, not because of the paperwork but because of his manner. A thought occurred to him. He did not know much about life in blocks of flats or street gangs but did Rick need the same air of confidence while he was growing up? Rick's knuckles had turned white once or twice as he tried to control his temper and that was Mr. Wright's coaching: if you lose your temper, you lose the castle. Paul watched as Robin lost his temper and any credibility. When Mrs Wilson glanced at Paul, she gave a little nod and a smile.
"Sebastian, you'll have to put me up for the night. We'll sort it all out tomorrow."
"It's not up to me." Sebastian replied, "You must ask the Earl."
"I have to say no." Rick replied, "I don't like being accused of assaulting a boy, and I certainly don't think he should stay here overnight."
As Robin stepped towards Rick raising his fist so Rick leapt up.
"Do you want to find out just how much of a yobbo I am?" he said quietly.
Robin faltered. All his threats and bluster w ere being turned against him but how? How could some no-hoper street lout take away everything he had worked for? Where Sebastian was a quiet, cautious businessman when it came to investments, Robin was a gambler, and he had borrowed heavily on the prospect of inheriting the island. He slumped down, beaten.
"Can I at least get to my boat? For my children, they need somewhere to stay." he asked quietly.
"Paul, I don't have anyone's number, so can the jungle telegraph find Jimmy?"
"It's pool night, and they're playing away. That means a boat trip about six thirty." Paul replied, before turning to Robin. "If you're at the pub and ask, they'll drop you off. You'll have to hurry."
It was a humiliating and undignified rush but it was the youngest boy, Ryan who surprised them. He slipped into the room and hugged Rick.
"Thanks Uncle Richard. Shane's been much nicer today. I wish I could stay with you."
Ryan hurried off, running to catch his family up.
"Well, that was unexpected." Sebastian said but looked in alarm as Rick lost all his colour, trembling as he staggered. The episode quickly passed but everyone looked on concerned.
"I'm OK, I just felt so weak. It's never happened before." Rick said.
"Reaction." Sebastian replied, "You've done better than I'd have thought possible, but you're only fifteen, and it's all taking its toll. Paul, can you stay the night? I don't care if it's outrageous sex or just th e terrible music youngsters like, just do what teenagers do and not what crusty old businessmen do."
Rick managed a grin and a nod, certain that Paul was not interested in terrible music. He was right. Once they were in his room, Paul said something about businessmen's clothes and began undressing him. For Rick, it was the start of a series of incredible sensations as Paul kissed whatever part of the body he exposed. Those feelings congregated in his groin as Paul licked his nipples and nerves there connected to his cock. When he was naked Paul's hand stroked his body then they hugged and the greatest sensation of all, being so close to another body almost made him giddy again. Paul guided him onto the bed and knelt across him, gently fondling his balls and stroking his cock. Rick began to feel an urgency he had never felt before, and he was getting so close. He was shocked and deflated a little as Paul guided his manhood up into himself, but the thrill took over, and he allowed his cock to grow and harden in the warm, moist, welcoming opening.
Suddenly, Rick bucked, his hips spasming as he tried to squirt every drop of seed deep into Paul. Even as he thought he was spent, Paul's body squeezed him, pumping even more out of him until he collapsed, completely spent. As he came down from his high, so he felt a stickiness on his chest and face, pleased that Paul had come too, but it was some time before he could open his eyes to see Paul smiling.
"I love you, Paul." Rick gasped.
"I could love you too, but you're my lord and master, and I'm a serf you picked for your first time." Paul paused looking at Rick, "No, don't looked so shocked because it's what I want. Can I explain? You pay for my school fees and you're going to pay my university expenses. At least, Sebastian was going to. You're paying me to move away from you and hopefully work for NASA. What are you going to do when I'm at school on Monday. Ignore all the boys on the island, stay clear of visitors? What am I going to do, ignore a couple of guys I like at school? What about the autumn when I'm away for three months?"
"OK! Go on." Rick said.
"I want to be your friend, but your love-life is going to get very complicated. Maybe you will find a boyfriend who will fit in, but you've also got to think about the thirteenth earl."
"For fuck's sake, we've just had sex, and you've brought all this shit up. Why?"
"Honestly? It's Mum's idea of safe sex. It's not only about condoms; it's about not hurting each other emotionally. She talked to me this morning."
"Safe sex? You're saying we both sleep around."
"Rick, are you going to abandon the island to follow me to America?"
"I doubt it."
"Do you expect me to stay home and be a dutiful boyfriend?"
"No, of course not."
"Then let's be friends. Let's enjoy what we can but understand what we have."
"I visit my cousin and end up an earl. I get a boyfriend who turns sex into a science lesson. I don't think I can take much more."
"No? I can think of something I can take." Paul grinned.
He slid down Rick's legs, so he could take Rick's manhood into his mouth. Rick felt a moments revulsion thinking where else his cock had been, felt an ache as it stirred far too soon after it's last activity then relaxed enjoying another warm, moist but soothing arousal.
His mind was going over what Paul had said, and he found it increasingly exciting. He could see his new position added to his good looks to make him even more attractive. Rick had gone from wanting to be straight to hide in the crowd, to being openly gay and happy with the idea in the space of a day. He placed his hands on either side of Paul's head and pulled until they could kiss.
"You're wrong. I still love you but you're right. I love you as my best friend, not my lover. When we hang out, we'll have sex instead of playing computer games. If it's what you want, you can tell me about the island boys."
"That' ll turned me on." Paul chuckled, "Comparing notes."
They say fifteen-year old boys have just two things on their mind. The first was satisfied for a moment, so they dealt with the second. Getting dressed, they headed for the café. Although the day trippers were gone, there were still visitors from the holiday park and guest houses, and the café was crowded. However along one wall were a row of tables with reserved signs on them. Slightly larger and decorated with flowers the sign above it said: Reserved for his Lordship . Maybe Rick did look like a street kid with cut-off sweat pants and T-shirt, especially since Paul was little better dressed, but an angry silence fell as customers waited for two louts to get their comeuppance. The angry silence became a bemused one as a waitress took their orders. Rick looked around guessing what was wrong.
"Sorry folks. The kitchens are catering for you and did you see the dining rooms on the tour?" Rick called out, "Can you imagine me demanding a meal while you're waiting for your tea and muffins? Anyway, you get to see something that's not in the guide. What an earl looks like when he's off duty."
A chuckle rippled around the room, and a man who managed to seemed pompous in a Hawaiian shirt and shorts said, "I'd heard rumours, but you're so young."
"I'll grow out of it, but will you grow out of that shirt?" Rick retorted, "I'm sorry. I've spent all day doing adult stuff, so it should be nice when someone remembers my age."
"And maybe I sounded as if I was putting you down, so I'm sorry too. You must have quite a story to tell."
"I do, but I've had enough, today. I'm afraid you'll have to wait until the film comes out."
"I'll wait with bated breath. Thank you, My Lord."
"Dressed like this? Rick will do."
"Richard, if you don't mind. Somehow, I can still picture you in ermine robes."
"I'm happy with that. Sorry but I'm going for a swim later, I don't think the ermine robes will work." As their meals arrived Rick added, "I might get very earl-like if anyone makes my burger get cold."
The man smiled as he turned away.
"You're good." Paul whispered, "Have you ever been on stage?"
"I've done school stuff." Rick replied, "I enjoyed it, but it was all scripted. I talked my way out of trouble a few times. I was a bit rude wasn't I?"
"He was rude first, so the rest loved it. Is it going to happen every time you sit down?"
Rick quietly beckoned the waitress over, "If Jeff's still around, will you ask him to join us, please."
They had finished their burgers and coke before Jeff arrived and sat down. Rick outlined what had happened.
"Could you add something to the tour? Make a joke of it or something. I don't care."
"Yes of course. The way you interrupted the tour worked well. I got bigger than average tips, but you can't keep doing it." Jeff paused thoughtfully, "I have an idea, could I take your picture. "
Curious, Rick allowed himself to be seated on the edge of the table, licking an ice-cream.
"When we get to the picture gallery, and say something like it's proving difficult to get you to pose properly. We'll hand these around."
"Shouldn't I be all dignified or something?"
"If you were over thirty. We'll add a formal picture to the brochures and guide books. We should update the website as well and if we're careful we'll use both and play up your sense of fun. It'll attract younger visitors."
"Yeah, but won't they be expecting all night raves or something?"
"Like I say, we'll be careful."
"OK, but Paul and me have got some video games to play." Rick said.
As they headed to Rick's bedroom, he said, "I'll have to phone Jimmy tomorrow. Have you got his number?"
"Go and see him. It's what islanders do, and he'll be worth the trip if it's as hot as everyone says it's going to be." Paul said.
Rick looked suitably puzzled so Paul continued, "He'll only be wearing cut-offs and that hi-vis jacket. Go between ferries because he'll have a crowd of girls hanging around when it arrives. He's hot."
"But into girls." Rick said.
"There will be a few local boys hanging around hoping. I tried it last year, and he's even hotter when he drops those shorts." Paul chuckled.
"So he isn't into girls." Rick said.
"At night he is. If they have a room then he gets an all-nighter. During the day, it's a quickie when he can slip away. He reckons most boy tourists think the way you did, and they'll get beaten up by the locals if they come on to anyone." Paul paused, "I got a few one-nighters as well."
Rick stopped and stared, "You were a rent boy?"
"Last summer. I wanted a new laptop."
"On this island? I'd have thought your parents would have found out pretty damned quick."
"Of course they did. I told them."
They had reached their bedroom, so Paul added, "Let's get undressed then we'll talk."
Soon they were nestled up together on the bed, gently feeling and exploring as Paul asked, "Ready for a history lesson?"
"The castle started out as a wooden fort defending the mainland from the Vikings. It didn't work too well because they simply sailed around us, but an alarm system developed where the soldiers knew just where to go to meet the invaders. The whole thing developed through wars with Europe and even into the First World War. The army claimed that radio and telephones were better and ignored us after that, but they could never understand how the civilians seemed to know more than them. Nowadays, we've got medics and a couple of retired doctors on the island. If it's Saturday night, it's no good calling one of the medics because he'll be in the pub falling down drunk. During the day we know which doctor is out on his boat, fishing. We're too small for a regular fire brigade, coastguard and everything else they have on the mainland. 999 calls go to our small automatic exchange, beamed to the mainland then get dealt with by someone who needs a map to find the island then send out text messages to all volunteers on call."
Rick groaned as Paul's hand stroked his thigh, and his manhood stirred.
"Keep talking dirty." Rick said, "This sure is a turn on."
Paul chuckled and continued, "If someone has a heart attack, all he needs to do is phone someone, anyone. They'll phone the nearest medic, and he'll be on his way. It's adapted to phones and the Internet but it works. The downside is no-one has any secrets, here, and it could be nasty. The island is big enough to avoid inbreeding and until recently we could go for up to a year without outsiders visiting. We needed the alarm system to survive, but it could destroy the community by malicious gossip, so we've had our own 'don't ask, don't tell' policy for nearly a thousand years. Well we tell, but we don't judge in case someone judges our own little secret."
"Yes, but that doesn't explain why your parents let you go hustling."
"I'm sure the rector is preparing a sermon, just for you. He'll explain more."
"Church? I don't go to church." Rick exclaimed.
Paul grinned, "You're our Lord and Master, so you go to church every Sunday. You've got no choice."
"That sounds weird … Oh God! That feels great."
Paul's finger was exploring between his legs and finding its way inside.
Waiting until Rick calmed down, Paul continued, "Strangers have a choice, fit in with island ways or get squeezed out. If your Cousin Robin had taken over, he would have found lawyers poring over every document and every action. We might not have stopped him, but we would have sent him bankrupt trying. You've made a good start so everyone will bow and curtsey like good serfs should. Go down to the pontoon tomorrow, you'll see, but you're going to church first."
Rick was sensible enough to realise he had a lot to learn and Paul was worth listening to, but his common sense was fighting a battle with his feelings — and losing, but for once, they were not being directed to his lower regions. He wriggled around so that he could pull Paul into a hug then kissed him full on the mouth, delighted when Paul enthusiastically responded and Rick found their tongues touching, exploring each other in a whole new wonderful way. It had been a long emotionally draining day for a fifteen-year old. He fell asleep still holding Paul tightly and still kissing.
He woke up to another new sensation. Paul's mouth wrapped around his engorging manhood. He also felt guilt. He gently pulled Paul's head up.
"It feels great but shouldn't I do you sometimes?"
"No." Paul replied before dropping his head.
Rick gave up and contented himself with stroking Paul's back. Soon his muscles were tensing and all his thoughts were directed to his cock. He convulsed, his hips bucked and and he pumped. He panicked, thinking Paul was not ready, but he could not stop because Paul was sucking, trying to swallow every last drop.
As the moment passed and Rick recovered, Paul said softly, "I felt you try to pull back. You really are new to all this, aren't you?"
Rick nodded. It was pointless to seem streetwise and experienced in front of Paul.
"Lay back and let me show you. Then you can start practising."
Paul straddled Rick's chest and stroked himself. Rick watched Pauls muscles as the flexed and moved, especially Paul's stomach muscles. He watched as Paul tensed waiting and to Rick's surprise, Paul cupped his hand and pumped his seed into it. As he came down, he offered his hand to Rick.
"Are you ready to taste it?" he asked.
Rick was too humiliated by his inexperience and did not want to demonstrate it more. He cautiously dabbed his finger and licked. Surprised, he scooped some more.
"It's salty but not bad." he said.
"So your first lesson was a success." Paul smiled, "Erm, I'm hungry. Let's get you dressed, so we can get some breakfast."
"I can dress myself, you know."
"Not for your first public appearance. You go and shower while I polish your shoes."
"Please, Paul. I don't want you doing that sort of thing."
"Why not? I'm a friend helping you get ready for a big performance."
Rick reluctantly complied, but he had to admit, he did look the part when he greeted Sebastian.
"Paul's filled you in, I take it. As you've probably guessed from Cousin Robin, as a business, island resources are woefully underused: farms would b e far more profitable as a golf course, that sort of thing. Residents need two things: to know that you're on their side, and you've made a good start there. The other is to know that you're in control. You thoroughly trounced Cousin Robin, so today you have to show it wasn't a spat between relatives, but you're a business man able to take anyone on."
"I still think it's all too snobby for me, but I'm getting the idea. It's my job, just as it's Jimmy's job to run the pontoon."
"Oh, it's not democratic, it's slavery, it's back to the Middle Ages, it's all that's wrong with the aristocracy, we shouldn't have all that power just because we've got money. You'll hear all that, but here's a question. In the last thousand years, do you suppose there have been no bad owners at all?"
"No, I suppose not."
"They won't get murdered any more, at least I don't think they will. Instead, imagine what would happen if the sewage, power, all the services failed. Imagine trying to get away if you can't leave the castle. Even the helipad is outside the walls."
"Yes but Cousin Robin just wanted to sell up." Rick said.
"Again, do you think he's the first to try?"
"Unless the earl is resident for at least half of the year, trusteeship falls to the Wardens of the Watch."
"It's a 700-year-old committee which organises lookout duties in time of war. It has a charter from Edward III which empowers them to take control in the Lord of the Manor 's absence."
"So Cousin Robin would have been stopped anyway. I thought I had achieved something."
"You ended a war quickly with an overwhelming broadside. The alternative would been a long, tedious series of skirmishes which would have ground both sides down. I see Paul's company has given you quite an appetite."
They had eaten while they talked but now it was time to go. It was another jolt for Rick when he saw the transport — an open carriage pulled by a pair of horses.
"I suppose I'm lucky it's not top-hat and tails." Rick pouted.
"I managed to change the dress code." Sebastian said, "No, Last in, so you make your goodbyes. First out, so you can be greeted by your host."
"Where's Paul?" Rick asked.
"He's travelling with Mrs Wilson."
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