School started as the routine he expected except he seemed sharper. He focussed on the lessons a little more, and teachers noticed his questions were more incisive, leaving nothing open to question. His classmates noticed too but nothing happened until they were changing for sport.
"So which teacher you got the hots for?" Craig Felton called across the changing room. Everyone turned to Gene waiting for him blush bright red and stammer some denial.
"I wouldn't embarrass him." Gene replied, creating a startled gasp.
"So you are a fag. I knew it. You'd better clear off, no-one's wants you perving on them."
"Did you say no-one would want to perv on you?"
Craig did not like the chuckles it raised. They were nervous and subdued because no-one would dare laugh at him, at least not openly. He rushed towards Gene only to slow as Gene shifted position, adopting a fighting stance.
"Yeah, you've been sucking up to them all week, now we know why. What do you think, one of them is going save you now?"
"No, because you've got it wrong. I'm just happy because I spent the weekend with my boyfriend."
Normally teachers keep clear of near naked boys, but the sports master realised something was wrong. Craig usually contented himself with embarrassing a classmate, making him feel bad. This time the victim was refusing to be bullied and that spelt trouble. He watched from a distance just able to hear the conversation. His first instinct was to break it up and get them to the lesson, but he hesitated. There was too much tension, and he did not want it spilling over into the class. It was a mistake because Craig realised he had lost control of the argument. Suddenly he lunged, but Gene was ready. He stepped a little to one side and punched his fist into Craig's midriff. Craig collapsed to the ground and stayed there as Gene stepped back.
"All of you, step back." The teacher yelled, "Anyone not in the gym in five minutes is on detention."
Although it made sense to get some control, the teacher was too late. Craig was driven by trying to avoid another beating from his father and a fear of his poofter feelings. School was a refuge from his father, but he had received too many warnings for his violence. Getting expelled would please his dad because he would have to do a proper job, but being beaten by a queer would be too much. He managed to stumble to his clothes reaching for his sports shirt, but his hand shifted to his jeans lying on the bench. Suddenly, there was a knife in his hand. It was a flick knife, easily hidden but now it seemed to be the only way of redeeming himself in front of his father.
"Look out." someone yelled, but everyone froze. Not even the teacher knew how to handle a knife-man.
He tried, "Craig, you're only getting yourself into more trouble. Put it down, lad."
It was no use, Craig only saw Gene, the guy who had got him another beating for not being a man.
Gene only had a week or so's training, but he knew Craig had none. He had learned to spot Craig's tense muscles, and sense Craig's terror. He had learned balance was important, and he had a good idea how Craig would attack. Gene was slower changing, wrapping a towel round his waist while he chatted to a friend, and as Craig approached, he let the towel fall, though many wondered why. Some noticed his hairless body and faded tan lines while others sensed that he was a force to be reckoned with. Malcolm had mentioned Yousif's years of experience but here, a week's training would be the decider.
Again the teacher should have ordered the boys out, but again he hesitated, not wanting to startle Craig and contented himself with waving Gene back. Craig took one large stride forwards thrusting with the knife. It was the simple obvious attack Gene was expecting, and he almost breathed a sigh of relief as he shifted his stance to avoid it and grab Craig's arm.
He pulled slightly and Craig, off balance, fell past Gene, twisting round as he fell. Without thinking Gene stamped on his shoulder, twisting his arm, so he dropped the knife with a scream of pain. Gene let go of Craig's arm, but the heel of his foot pressed against Craig's throat.
"I'll kill you if I have to." Gene said quietly, "Had enough?"
To his surprise, Craig burst into tears. Gene stepped back, picking up the knife and closing it before handing it to the teacher.
"Do you mind if I skip class, sir. I've had enough exercise for now."
It was not intended as a joke, but it broke the tension, and the class burst into laughter.
"All of you, get dressed." The teacher snapped. A boy had been injured in gym and at least he knew how to cope with that.
It was a major incident. A boy had been injured in a knife fight, and the police had to be called. Craig was in serious trouble, he had initiated two assaults one with a weapon. Gene was the problem. He was the victim of two assaults and had stepped back after disabling his attacker. It was his threat to kill Craig that was taken so seriously. Nowadays, phones record everything, and video appeared on-line.
What was worse for his parents, he had admitted to being gay in public and then attracted a lot of publicity, and on some media sites, his maleness could be shown in all its glory.
The following day both boys stood in front of the head teacher.
"We do not tolerate fighting under any circumstances. Felton, you are expelled. Sullivan, you are suspended until the end of term. We accept you had to defend yourself but your response and your threats were excessive."
"Like I had time to plan what I was doing." Gene snapped, "If I had been excessive, Craig would be dead, and I'd still be claiming self-defence."
"Gene, show some manners." His mother said, "This is a serious matter. Fighting, showing yourself off like that, saying you're homosexual. It's so very embarrassing. It'll be far better if we send you to a special school while you sort yourself out."
"Where're your folks, Craig?" Gene asked
"Dad doesn't want to know me. You know what I did, after you threatened me."
"I don't blame him. You're nothing but a hooligan." Gene's mother interjected.
Gene looked at Craig and suddenly felt sorry for him. There was despair, loneliness and unhappiness about him, and he looked so lost.
"Come on, Craig. You're coming with me." Gene snapped.
"You stay where you are. I haven't finished with you yet." The head teacher snapped.
"Yes, you have. Craig's expelled, and I'm suspended. We shouldn't be on school grounds. Craig, come on."
Gene strode to the door and stood waiting for Craig who hesitated, shrugged and followed him.
"How come you can stand up to the oldies like that?" Craig asked.
"The same way I learnt to fight. Do you want to see?"
"Is it true your dad knocks you around?" Gene asked, "If you're coming with me, I need to know."
"My friends. They'll look after you if they know."
"Yeah, I stayed at a friend's house last night. He's waiting for me to get home."
"OK! Get in."
They had reached the car-park by then and Craig got into Gene's car. He sat back and closed his eyes, wanting to blot the world out. Gene drove off and as they turned out of the car-park, the torch transported them. Craig opened his eyes, looking in amazement at the change in scenery.
"Where are we? I don't like the look of those men. They've all got swords and bows and arrows. Is it a theme park?"
"It's my army, and I'm their general. That naked boy running over to meet us is my slave. Does that answer your questions?"
"No." Craig grinned, but watched as Malcolm flung open the door and kissed Gene on the lips as he usually did.
"Hi. Malcolm. Did you miss me?"
"Well! I fucked Trey a couple of times, but it wasn't the same."
"I want you to find a couple of boys to look after Craig. He's another wizard and my guest so treat him well. He's also my first victory in battle. I'll explain it all to Ivgee, but the battle is done, and we both have shared problems."
"Yes Master. I knew you were a great warrior." Malcolm replied, "You treat vanquished foes with great courtesy."
"Go and find those boys."
When they were alone, Gene asked, "Have you started your nervous breakdown yet? In case you're wondering, I don't know where we are or when we are."
Craig just stared, "What's going on?"
"Somehow I can travel. There's enough sci-fi on TV to understand that. What's weird for me, is Malcolm is my slave and refuses to be my friend or be freed. He refuses not me, his master, and I'm the one who doesn't like the set up."
"Is Malcolm the boyfriend you mentioned?"
"Yep. I had to miss bits out though."
"Yeah, but what about all the soldiers. How do you hide it from them?"
"This is a different world. They're away from their wives, we've already taken prisoners, but most have got their own friends, so they'll have done it as well."
"You mean it's allowed."
"No, I mean, it's encouraged. If you're in a battle, you fight harder if you're protecting your boyfriend. At least, that's what I've been told."
"Wow! You must be in heaven. Sorry."
"It's true though. You heard my mother. Here's Malcolm and the boys. He's got my sarong, so I suppose he expects me to change. Just like Mum, I have to dress right for her parties."
Craig managed a grin, "It's all too weird. Aren't those kids underage?"
"Not here. There's no such thing. Listen, they've come from a bad place. They need to be looked after and given a bit of confidence. In return, they'll belong to you, and you can use them. I've seen a bit of their last place. They had to offer their arses for scraps."
Malcolm and the boys interrupted their conversation. Gene was right and Malcolm expected him to change before he went into camp. Craig watched fascinated as Gene stripped naked and put on the sarong, blushing when Gene caught him looking but Gene just smiled.
"OK, Malcolm. I've got some chanting to do."
"I'll take your guest to your tent, Master. Does it mean we won't be sleeping alone?"
"Just do as you're told." Gene replied, "That is what slaves are supposed to do, isn't it?"
"Yes Master, but you don't want ordinary slaves."
The two younger slaves watched Malcolm awestruck, unable to believe he could be so insolent, but Craig grinned.
"Don't worry, Craig. Malcolm and I will share a sleeping bag. You'll be in another one, but Malcolm's worried we might disturb you."
Malcolm seemed relieved, happy at the sleeping arrangements while the two boys guided Craig to the tent.
Gene touched the torch.
"You knew Craig would attack me. Why didn't you warn me properly."
We did not know the details. Your future had many possibilities which seemed to end in disaster. Think of reincarnation. We cannot interfere in your life, but we can offer alternative when it is about to end. Whether you stayed there and died, or you stay here, your lifeline in that place is terminated. Outcome is unexpected. Both you and Craig have new futures to consider.
"Mum, wants me to go to a school that will turn me into a good little robot that does as it's told. Craig'll end up doing dead end jobs."
Your mother will succeed, and your potential will be suppressed. Nothing will change for Craig. He will work for his father and spend most of his life, in and out of prison. His first sentence would have been for killing or seriously injuring you. You defeated him in battle. You may treat him as a guest while he recovers, but you must either send him home or keep him as a slave. Why did you bring him here?
"I'd heard rumours about his dad, and he always seemed a bit lost. I don't know. I always thought there was something behind his gay bashing. When he burst into tears, everybody laughed because he was scared, but he wasn't. I'm sure he turned his head, so I'd have a better target. Then, in the head's office, Mum was at least planning something for me but Craig didn't have anyone. He didn't have to come with me, but he did, because I told him to, and no-one else was offering anything."
Two criteria for selecting you. Crisis in your destiny, and your understanding.
"Thanks, I think. What now?"
It is your future. Craig, Malcolm, Trey and the others are your slaves. Their future is in your hands. You still have war to win.
"How can I forget. It's so ordinary. Just like taking the rubbish out."
Beware Yousif. Remember, you were appointed general to take the blame for failure. The city father's son is here to gain glory for family. Publicly, you must acknowledge it. Privately, many understand your part.
"I get it."
You may continue to travel but remember limitations. Good luck!
Gene headed for his tent where he found Trey bent over grabbing his ankles while Malcolm energetically fucked him. Craig was looking on, fascinated, bemused and seemingly unconcerned while a slave boy tried to figure the fastenings on his trousers. Malcolm faltered as he saw Gene, for once looking nervous.
"I remembered how you felt about sex when you first arrived." Malcolm said, "I thought I'd show him it was all right. It is day, and my arse is still yours."
By answer, Gene undid his sarong letting it fall while calling the other boy over. The boy was frightened to approach Gene but as Gene guided him down onto his cock, so he relaxed, doing something he understood.
"God, you're all at it." Craig exclaimed.
"Yep, and this boy might be a better cocksucker than Malcolm."
"You wait until tonight, Master. I'll show you."
"How about it, Craig? Are you gay or straight?" Gene asked.
"You knew, didn't you? What do they call it? Gaydar?"
"No. It was my dad. He goes along with Mum all the time, but he's not so daft. He says the more someone shouts at others, the more they're hiding. So what were you hiding with all your insults?"
"Just as well it was you who worked it out."
"Do you think I'm the only one? James Cookby fancied you, but couldn't get close."
"If you're straight, say so. If you're gay, put Milo out of his misery and show him how pop-buttons and zips work."
"Can you be a bit of each?"
"Ask all them soldiers, fucking each other and dreaming of going home to their wives."
"I know, I'm being a woose, but I've got to go back sometime."
"I've beaten you in battle, you are my prisoner, so I've got two options. The first is to graciously release you and allow you to go home. The second is to keep you as my slave. I know, it's not a career option you've ever thought about, but I've got a job for you. Introduce reading and writing and figuring ways of sending fast messages. Think about it while your shoulder gets better."
Gene expected Craig to protest, but he obligingly opened his jeans, then gasped as Milo's hands explored. He shuddered, leaning back onto the cushions he was resting on, leaving Milo to work out how to undo shirt buttons, but too much was happening: relief he had escaped his father, relief at being able to admit who he was, and Milo's expert ministrations.
He came almost before he was freed from his boxers. Not only that, he shot well over his head, and as he struggled, so he seemed to spray his load everywhere. Gene gently eased Slago away as his own eagerness dissolved into fits of laughter, Malcolm pumped harder as a look of ecstasy crossed his face, and he also giggled.
"Wizards just can't hold back, can they?" he said.
Craig was mortified, embarrassed at his lack of control.
"Sorry Trey, you're on cleaning duties." Malcolm said, "Clean dry cushions for the master, then clean up the rest. If it's any comfort Master, I'm impressed. I've never seen so much in one go."
"I don't think you're helping, Malcolm," but Gene was still chuckling, "It was impressive, Craig."
"Yeah, but I'm sorry about the mess."
"Malcolm's got it organised. I take it you want Milo as a regular bed slave."
"I'm not gay …" Craig trailed off, "Sorry, I've got to get used to stuff."
Ivgee entered the tent, and looking around smiled.
"You might have invited me." he said, "There's a shepherd outside. He reckons he can cross to the pirates city. He's older than me, so he won't keep up with you lot, or are you done?"
"Bring him in. Trey, go and ask Yousif to join us."
Craig groaned as his cock stiffened again. The shepherd was in his thirties and wore a cloak but nothing underneath. He was fit and healthy, and definitely good-looking. He looked around uncertainly, and since Craig was the only one dressed, tried to kneel before him.
"No, over here." Gene chuckled, "A reasonable mistake but I'm in charge, and no, don't kneel."
The shepherd grinned, "I did not mean to be disrespectful, My Lord."
"My slave can give you lessons in disrespect. While we're waiting for Yousif, he can show you how to read a map."
The shepherd quickly got the idea so that by the time Yousif arrived, he was pointing out details and describing them.
"Boys in my village are encouraged to explore, My Lord. Sheep do stray, and we need to find them in the mountains. Villagers on the other side are punished if they try to escape, so they avoid the mountains. That's why we know of the tunnel, and they don't."
"Tunnel?" Gene exclaimed.
"We call it a tunnel, but it was probably an ancient mine. I don't know what they were looking for, but when they dug through the mountain they abandoned it."
Gene saw Craig frown, and he agreed. It sounded wrong, but he could not think of a better explanation.
"Do you trade or make any contact with the pirates?"
"We've found the odd slave trying to escape, and most were already dead, but we've bought a couple back."
"So the pirates don't even know there's a way."
"No, My Lord."
"You think we should forget the raid to keep it secret." Yousif said, "I agree."
"No, I don't. I mean no disrespect to our friend here, but I don't believe no local will ever be tempted to sell what he knows to the pirates. What do you say?"
"The pirates are more likely to torture him than pay him. Either way, it's possible."
"I want three parties." Gene said, "One to go through and set up a well-supplied camp, at least half a day from the tunnel. Their job will be to distract the pirates and draw them away. I figure if the pirates do come after us, they'll be in a rush and less well-prepared. The second party will sneak in and raid villages, but we'll do it quietly. The pirates just find villages deserted for no reason. No bodies from fights, no burning, nothing except everyone vanished. The third party will build a fort around the entrance on our side, and we'll have to keep it garrisoned."
"It'll look like wizardry, and they'll know we've got a powerful wizard helping us." Yousif said, "If it works well we won't need the diversion, but it's there, in case. Fortifying the tunnel makes sense. Let's make our plans, and I'll see we follow your wishes."
"I'm coming with you. I'll bring a drone and scout."
Yousif looked pointedly at Craig, "No! You may have won your first fight, but you're no warrior. Besides, I would kill you rather than let you fall into the pirate's hands. You'll make up a fourth party and stay near the tunnel. I'll accept your help, but we must be able to cope when you leave us."
"I am thinking of staying and making a life here, but you're right. I'm no soldier and maybe you'll get the battle you want."
"I'm learning to like victories better. I'll work out the details with my advisors, but I'll keep you informed."
Gene never seemed to be alone any more. Malcolm was always nearby while Trey was always there, trying to be invisible but ready to serve. Now Craig was there, lying on cushions but propped up.
"Trey, take Milo and Slago outside. I don't want to be disturbed for a while."
When just Malcolm and Craig were left, Gene started, "It's all getting too much. I don't know why I'm telling soldiers what to do because I'm no commander. I keep thinking about Mum sending me to a special school, and I bet it'll try to brainwash me into being straight. If I stay, I'll need to be doing something useful, so I can set myself up. Malcolm, am I helping? Be honest."
"Master, the pirate captain is recovering, when he should be dead. The surgeon agrees he can do more if the patient is numbed by your needles, so he wants more magic. He had an assistant whipped because he forgot to wash his hands. He keeps asking me about antibiotics and all I can say is it'll take years before we can make our own. He says you should get on with it."
Malcolm paused, "General Blyne is impressed he learnt of our victories within minutes of them being won, so he's experimenting with the handsets you sent him. He wants to know how else we can speed up messages."
Again, Malcolm paused, "Master, we all know your magic will weaken if you stay, but you bring new ideas. As long as you try to bring them to life, you will be a great wizard."
"Thank you, Malcolm. Craig, You know enough to help if you stay, but you can still go home if you want."
"I don't like the idea of being a slave though. You could just sell me."
"I'd get a good price because you're a wizard and know some of my secrets, but it doesn't seem to work like that. Malcolm?"
"As you say, Master. You would be a fool to sell him, and I think you need him." He fingered his cock ring, "I am Wizard Gene's slave, that makes me important, and this ring tells the world."
"You sound proud of it." Craig said.
"I am. Everyone knows how close I am to an important wizard, and he could choose anyone he wants. Everyone honours it, even Yousif. People would respect you as well."
"I don't think I'd want a cock ring though."
"That's good, because I'd still be number one slave. You'd be number two."
"OK, I don't want to be rude, but doesn't that just mean you sleep with him."
"No. Master Gene can have whoever he likes in his bed, or anywhere else. I'm glad I'm not his friend because I'd be upset if he chose you, another wizard."
"Come here, Malcolm." Gene said softly. As Malcolm obeyed, Gene took him in a hug saying, "I never thought Craig and I would be friends, but it's possible now, and I know what you think of masters and slaves trying to be friends. The thing is, I love you but do you know what, you're right. You will obey me, and I will look after you. I'll try to look after all my slaves, but I'll try a bit harder with you. Craig and I come from the same place, and that's special as well, but it's a different kind of special. We'll share things you can't, but it'll still be you I love. God, how did my life get so complicated?"
Ever since the knife attack, Craig knew his life was spiralling out of control. His father had a couple of dodgy cars that needed shifting, and it would have been his first job, even if he was too young to drive. It didn't matter. Craig's father had a way of entrapping people, and it was Craig's turn. He had been going on about how jail time would settle Craig down, meaning Craig would be unable to get a job and would have to work for him. The school knew what his father was like, and Craig suspected it was waiting for him to prove he was as bad. He was right, and his lashing out in frustration and unhappiness was the proof they wanted. When he had stood in the head teacher's room, he was alone, surrounded by people who sneered at him.
The only person to offer any comfort had been Gene, and suddenly everything he thought he knew had been turned upside down. He was lying with trousers and underwear around his knees, his shirt undone, and a boy three years his junior beside him fondling his genitals, yet no-one cared, and he was too overwhelmed by events to even feel embarrassed. If Craig had just found himself in Gene's bedroom, he would have reacted angrily if Gene's hand had brushed him, but the lost, helpless feeling in the head teacher's room had left him vulnerable. Shock after shock had smashed his defences completely so talking about becoming a slave, just did not sound as unreasonable as it would have been a few hours before. Watching Malcolm, Trey and even Milo, all of whom seemed happy, even made it seem attractive.
"Master. If Craig does become your slave, you'll have to have him in your bed as soon as possible."
"So I can fuck him next day. He's got a great body."
Craig guessed Malcolm was talking to him, rather than Gene. Malcolm was warning him he would have no say, and just be expected to obey. Again the idea would have horrified him a few hours ago, but now, he was checking out both Gene and Malcolm and liking what he saw. They had both noticed but did not seem to care. Neither was he being pressured into making a decision. Gene was far too busy to worry about him. No. That was not exactly true, Gene was looking after him, but he had other problems.
"Am I allowed out?" Craig asked.
"Yeah, Sure. I thought you understood." Gene replied, "Er, you'll stand out a bit in those clothes. I'd take them off."
"Can I keep my boxers on, please?"
"Craig, you're not a prisoner. Do whatever's comfortable. Just remember everyone will stare at them because they've not seen them before."
"How do you fit in so well?"
"Being a general and not a slave helps. OK! I don't want you to be free here because I don't want you going back to hassling me, and I have enough of that from Malcolm."
"Can I take Milo, please, if he wants to come."
Gene frowned a little, "Milo, you're to look after Craig. Even if he becomes a slave himself, you're to stay as his servant until I say differently."
"Yes, Master. Thank you." Milo replied.
As the tent emptied, Malcolm said, "You're learning. How do you like owning slaves now, Master?"
Gene shrugged, "It's growing on me. I guess the real test is when I have to punish someone. You're long overdue."
"Probably, Master, but I think you understand. No-one knows what strange punishments a wizard like you can give, so we either please you and have a good life, or risk your anger."
"Did you enjoy yourself with Trey?"
"Yes, thank you, Master. He's scared of you, and he'll be terrified if you want him. It's strange, because he was so different when he was a beggar. Could it have been an act to make him seem more attractive?"
"I don't know. You probably know better than me. I'm sorry, I still wonder how much of an act you put on for me."
Malcolm leaned forwards and grabbed Gen's balls to gently roll them in his hand.
"Every time I do something like this, I wonder if I'm going too far. No slave would ever do this to his master without being ordered. I think I only have the courage because I want to please the boy I love."
Gene pulled Malcolm forward and kissed him.
Authors deserve your feedback. It's the only payment they get. If you go to the top of the page you will find the author's name. Click that and you can email the author easily.* Please take a few moments, if you liked the story, to say so.
[For those who use webmail, or whose regular email client opens when they want to use webmail instead: Please right click the author's name. A menu will open in which you can copy the email address (it goes directly to your clipboard without having the courtesy of mentioning that to you) to paste into your webmail system (Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo etc). Each browser is subtly different, each Webmail system is different, or we'd give fuller instructions here. We trust you to know how to use your own system. Note: If the email address pastes or arrives with %40 in the middle, replace that weird set of characters with an @ sign.]
* Some browsers may require a right click instead