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Soulbound ‡ waif

by Wes Leigh

Chapter 2

It is only the poor that really give. Personal help and timely relief are the key notes of the charity of the poor. They know exactly the wants of one another and give when needed.

-- From Life And Labour Of The People In London, by Charles Booth

The boys returned home that afternoon, like victorious warriors eager to share their exploits that day. Each of them had four pence stashed in their shoes, leaving another eight pence to share with the family. It was more than enough for two days of meals, and Mum was shocked when she saw it.

"Did you bust open the Royal Exchange, lads?" she asked with wide-eyed wonder.

The teens laughed and shook their heads. "No, Mum," Zavy said with a grin. "Old Man McCoy asked us to help with deliveries, so he paid extra today."

Crawley came out of the bedroom, scratching his naked chest. He saw the three teens chatting with Mum, and he snarled, "What's the bleeding ruckus about?"

Mum held out her hand, filled with copper coins. "Look, Crawley dear. The boys have done right well by themselves this day. Eight pence!"

Crawley quickly snatched the coins from her hand and squinted at them. "What did you boys do? I won't have thieves in me house."

Zavy's face turned bright red. Reggie, recognizing the signs that his cousin was going to blow up, stepped in front of Zavy and boldly said, "We ain't thieves. We work for our keep, and you should be bloody well thanking us."

Crawley growled and took out three pence. He studied the coins, then added a fourth, pocketing the rest. He handed the coins to Reggie and said, "Head down to the Dancing Fool and pick up stew and dumplings. And a quart of bitter. And don't dawdle. Get it and get back. I'm hungry."

Reggie took the coins and turned to face Zavy and Jack. Zavy was still frowning. Jack looked worried, glancing from Zavy to Crawley. They didn't need another blowout between the two, not today, not when they'd done so well and the family would be eating soon.

Jack and Reggie, between the two of them, managed to hustle Zavy out the door and into the hallway, where they squeezed past families living in the halls. On their way out, they stopped by the community latrine to pee, holding their noses at the stench, and then hurried out into the fresh air.

Zavy took a deep breath, then put his arms around the shoulders of the other two teens. "Thanks, lads. I know what you fellows did for me back there, and I appreciate you both."

Reggie squeezed Zavy's shoulder. "He's a right bugger, Crawley is. Can't blame you for getting angry."

"Aye," Jack added. "Crawley's a walking pile of shit, and someday, he'll get what's coming to him."

Zavy turned to look at Jack, surprised by the venom in Jack's voice. Zavy grinned and said, "But not just yet. Not until we do knock over the Royal Exchange and bring home a wagonload of coins to buy Mum her own house over on Regent Street."

Reggie laughed. "We'll all get fancy clothes and rent a carriage to drive right up to Crawley's door. We'll call Crawley out to the street and look out the window of the carriage, but we won't get out. Instead, we'll say, 'Here, here, old man. What's the best eats in these parts? We fancy a bit of roast pork and heard tell they make some of the best in Whitechapel.' "

Jack chortled and added, "And if you'd be so good, give our driver directions. We'll pay you a whole shilling for your time. You'll probably spend it all on beer, you drunken sod, so hurry and show us the way while you can still walk."

Zavy shook his head, chuckling. "A whole shilling? Aren't you the generous lad?"

Jack shrugged. "We Regent Streeters can afford to be generous towards the rabble living down in Whitechapel. The drunks and the whores and all the bloody rest of them."

Zavy studied Jack as they walked. There was deep anger in the boy, which wasn't surprising, considering the family he'd had growing up. Zavy wished there was some way to help Jack, but what could he do?

Changing the subject, Zavy asked, "And what shall we do tonight, lads? After a great day like today, we need to find a way to celebrate."

Reggie grinned mischievously and pointed at a narrow alley between two buildings. "Why wait until tonight? I'll even go first." He pulled Zavy and Jack into the secluded gap after him, then squatted down. "Zavy, you keep a watch out. Come here, Jacko, me lad, and drop your pants real quick."

Zavy laughed and stood at the entrance to the dark alley, watching the street. Glancing back over his shoulder, he saw Jack quickly opening the front of his trousers and sticking his already hard cock out for Reggie to slide into his mouth. "Make it a quick one, lads. Crawley will be expecting us home shortly."

Reggie pulled off Jack's cock with a loud pop. "Crawley can wait until I've had me meal of Jack's pudding."

Jack and Zavy each carried a container of stew, carefully working their way past the people sitting in the hall of the apartment building. Reggie carried two loaves of bread and a bucket of beer. He paused and put the bucket down, then broke off a generous chunk of bread and handed it to a woman sitting with two little girls in her lap.

She smiled gratefully and began tearing off mouthfuls for her children. One of the girls eagerly devoured the bread. The other stared at it, her eyes drooping and lifeless. The woman moved the girl's hand to her mouth, urging her to eat. Finally, she took a bite, chewing listlessly.

Reggie nodded at Zavy and Jack. "If Crawley asks, I was hungry and ate a bite of bread on the way back."

"He'll bash you about," Jack said, frowning.

"Don't care," Reggie replied, picking up the bucket of beer.

Zavy reached over and tore off a second large piece of bread. "I was hungry too." He handed it to the astonished woman and motioned for the other two to follow him.

Entering their apartment, they found their mother setting out plates on the table. Their younger brothers and sisters were already sitting around it, waiting patiently. Mum pointed at the center of the table, motioning for Jack and Zavy to set down the stew. Then she took the bread from Reggie, noticing how one loaf was half gone, but she paused only a moment, then began tearing it into smaller pieces, distributing the bread between the plates on the table. "Put the beer on the counter, love," she said, smiling tiredly at Reggie. "That's a good lad." She looked over her shoulder at the bedroom and called out, "Crawley. Boys are back."

Crawley wandered out of the bedroom, now dressed, and glanced around the room. "Where's me beer?" he asked.

"On the counter," Mum replied, pointing.

Crawley grunted and searched through the glasses on the counter for one less filthy than the rest. Finding one that would do, he scooped beer from the bucket and swallowed half a glass in one drink. He belched and drank the rest. "Good beer at the Dancing Fool. Like their brew, I do," he mumbled.

"Stews on the table," Mum said, filling a bowl and offering it to Crawley. He took the stew and a large chunk of bread, then sat down and began eating without a word of thanks.

Mum bit her lip and motioned for the teens to sit and eat too. There was peace and quiet in the house as everyone ate, cleaning up every drop of stew and every crumb of bread.

"Play us a tune, Zavy, dear," Mum asked. The meal was over and they were all sitting, content and happy.

Rachel and Becky sat next to Mum, cuddling with her. They were Crawley's daughters, but Mum treated them like her own.

Danny and Micah, Zavy's little brothers, wrestled quietly in one corner of the room. They were eight and six, much younger than Zavy. Zavy was Mum's eldest. Danny and Micah were her precious babies, and she was fiercely protective of them.

Originally, there had been six children, but Zavy's little sisters and one brother had died several years back, when pneumonia swept through London. Mum often said God sent Rachel and Becky to be her new daughters and Jack and Reggie to be her new sons, so she'd been blessed like Job with new family to replace what she'd lost. Zavy wasn't exactly sure who Job was, but his mum was often reading from the tattered old Bible she kept in her room, so it was probably one of those old stories she was so fond of reciting to the little ones at night.

Zavy didn't much care for it. He didn't mind that his mum took stock in what the Bible said, but he often wondered what good it did to believe the stories in the book when people were starving and dying all around them, and the priests in their fancy suits watched from Saint Mary's and did nothing. Well … not exactly nothing. There was one thing they did. They made sure the church had a fresh coat of whitewash every year. A beautiful white chapel, the pride of the borough, in the middle of filthy, crowded streets filled with families who starved during the day and shivered in the cold of the night. And died in the winter.

"Zavy, dear. Did you hear me?" Mum asked.

Startled, Zavy looked up. "What? Oh, sorry, mum. What did you want?"

"Play us a tune. Something happy."

Zavy walked to the pallet in the corner where he slept with Reggie and Jack. Searching through his meager belongings, he found his wooden piccolo, his treasure, his comfort. Sitting cross-legged on the pallet, he brought the piccolo to his lips, took a breath, and blew. The melody that came out was sweet and delightful. Danny and Micah stopped wrestling and sat entranced, listening to their big brother's song. Rachel and Becky sat up and clapped. Even Reggie and Jack sat still, enraptured by Zavy's lilting tune.

When he played the piccolo, Zavy forgot where he was. He left the world behind and rose through the clouds, allowing the music to carry him away and take him to a far-off land where there was no pain and suffering, no untimely death of children and fathers, no squalor and filth. Only the music, dancing upon his soul and filling his heart with purest joy.

This particular tune was his own. Something he'd made up one day, filled with trills supporting a lilting melody. It was a song of Spring breezes and flowers blooming, of birds flitting and cavorting in blue skies, of children laughing and playing below. It was an ode to life.

Zavy's fingers skipped across the holes in the piccolo. His lips pursed and his cheeks puffed. His eyes danced and his heart soared. He poured his passion through the piccolo and filled the room with blissful joy, healing his own scars as he played.

When the last notes of the song faded away, Zavy slowly lowered the piccolo and looked up. He saw tears in his mother's eyes.

She smiled at him and whispered, "Thomas Xavier Gibbs, you are my pride and joy."

"Thomas Xavier Gibbs," Jack said with a giggle, "you should be in the House of Lords with a name like that."

Zavy punched Jack's hip. The three teens were stretched out on their sleeping pallet, dressed only in their underpants. The night was warm, with a muggy breeze blowing through the open window. Zavy was in the middle. Reggie, on the other side of Zavy, chuckled. "His mother was fond of saints and thought he'd grow up to be one! An odd combination he is … Doubting Thomas and Saint Xavier the Humble!"

Zavy grimaced. "My destiny is apparently to help those who are downtrodden, but to question my actions each step of the way." Zavy nudged Reggie back. "You have no room to talk, Reginald Gregorio Gibbs."

Jack sat up and laughed. "Reginald Gregorio? What the bloody hell, Reggie!"

Reggie snickered. "Both our mum's had a fondness for fancy names. Someday, I'll be famous and have lots of women begging to be in my bed. No one will call me Reggie or even Reginald. I'll only answer to Gregor, and everyone will think I'm a Russian prince."

Jack giggled. "More like a Russian peasant."

"Just wait and see," Reggie replied, with a haughty tone. "Prince Gregor the Great, they'll call me. And I'll have dozens of beautiful consorts by my side, but I won't share them with Saint Xavier here." Reggie nudged Zavy in the shoulder.

Jack laughed. "He won't want any of your women. He likes me mouth better!"

They all three chuckled at that, knowing how true it was. Zavy turned his head to look at Jack. "And how about you?"

"What?" Jack asked.

"Come on, Jacko. What's your Christian name?" Zavy asked.

"Not saying," Jack replied.

Zavy jumped up and threw himself down on top of Jack, pressing his hard cock into Jack's groin. He thrust himself against Jack, making the smaller boy groan.

"Oof! You're crushing me. Get your bloody body off me."

"Not until you tell us your name," Zavy replied, licking Jack's chin.

"Oy, you disgusting sod," Jack cried.

"Shhh," Reggie whispered. "Keep it down, you two."

Zavy chuckled and licked Jack's cheek. "Tell us." He thrust his hips against Jack, noticing that Jack was also hard underneath him.

Jack pushed up, not putting much effort into getting Zavy off him, but just enough to get Zavy's roaming tongue away from his face. "If I tell you, will you let me roger your arse tonight?"

Zavy grinned. "First you tell."

Jack pushed Zavy hard, rolling him off. "No. First I get your arse. Then I tell you me name."

Zavy reached up and stroked Jack's cheek. "Fine, Jacko. But you have to promise to tell once we're done."

Jack nodded, suddenly horny and eager. It had been several days since Zavy had let him do this. He quickly pulled his underpants down, exposing a pulsing erection. "Get it wet first," Jack whispered.

Zavy bent down and took the younger boy's cock in his mouth, slicking it up with saliva.

Reggie watched. "Are you lads really going to do this? Again?"

Zavy pulled off Jack's cock. "Looks like we are."

Reggie rolled his eyes. "Blowing the bagpipe is one thing. Buggering is another thing altogether. You lads need to find a willing lass and get you some quim."

"Don't like quim," Jack replied, with a grin. "I like Zavy's arse."

Reggie huffed and rolled over to face the wall. "Just keep it quiet," he warned. "Don't want to wake the whole house."

Zavy went back to sucking on Jack's cock, sliding all the way to the base to get the boy thoroughly wet. Then Zavy worked his own underpants halfway down his thighs. Lying back down on his side with his back to Jack, he reached behind him and pulled Jack's wet cock to his puckered hole. Jack was eager and began thrusting right away, but Zavy pushed back and hissed, "Hold up, chuckaboo. Let me get it in first." He moved Jack's spongy head to the entrance of his arse and wiggled it around a bit first, finding the opening. Then he gritted his teeth and pushed back, surprised as always by how big the younger boy's cock felt when it penetrated his hole. He sucked in a breath, held it, and pushed back, forcing the boy's thick cock up inside. "Okay, Jacko. Have at it," he whispered.

Jack began quickly humping Zavy, shoving his cock deeper with each thrust. He loved the way Zavy's arse gripped him, so warm and tight around his hard shaft. The sensations quickly built as he shoved his cock in and out. There was nothing that felt quite like your cock up inside another lad.

Zavy closed his eyes and took the pounding Jack was giving him. It hurt every now and then, especially when Jack thrust too deep, but it also tingled deep inside Zavy's guts. And ever so often, he felt a strange pulsation as Jack's cock pushed against something deep inside. That was the best. Zavy didn't much enjoy the thrusting and poking, but when Jack touched that one spot inside him, his own cock jumped and juices squirted out. It made the whole experience worthwhile for him.

Reggie lifted up and turned to see why Zavy was moaning. His cousin's eyes were tightly closed and his mouth grimacing, so Reggie knew it probably hurt to have Jack's thick cock up there. The lad wasn't long, but he had a hefty shaft on him that made Reggie's jaw sore when he sucked the boy's cock, so Reggie could well imagine what it was doing to Zavy's arse at that moment. Reggie leaned over and tried to get a better look at Jack sliding up inside Zavy. There wasn't much to see. Jack's hips were pressed tight against Zavy's butt cheeks, moving quickly in and out as he thrust up inside.

Reggie was curious, wondering what it felt like to have a cock up your arse, not that he'd ever do that. He'd meant what he said. He liked the occasional suck with the lads, but he'd much prefer a girl's twat around his cock, not that he ever expected to get that until he was old enough to take a wife of his own. Still, he thought perhaps he might ask Zavy to let him try it out next. Not getting his own arse rogered. But him buggering Zavy. Zavy didn't seem to mind Jack doing it, so he might be willing to let Reggie have a turn and find out what all the fuss was about.

Jack moaned softly and stopped thrusting, pulling Zavy back against him and holding him in place.

Reggie smiled. He knew what that meant. The little bugger had filled Zavy with his cream.

Zavy moaned too and shivered. Reggie looked down, shocked to see Zavy's cock spewing out white globs of cum. It must have felt good to Zavy. Why else would he have shot a load out like that?

Reggie dropped back down, suddenly embarrassed though extremely horny. He wanted to try it too, but he couldn't quite make himself go that far. He wasn't a fag. He liked girls. He didn't mind that his cousin and Jack seemed to be more into boys than girls, but buggering a bloke wasn't something Reggie was able to do just yet.

Zavy took a deep breath. That had been the best rogering he'd had yet from Jack. The best. His cock had even shot cum out without him touching it. He was eager to try that again. Maybe even again that night, if Jack was up for it. He turned his head slightly and received a light kiss on the cheek from Jack.

Jack reached around Zavy's chest and hugged him tight. Jack's cock was still buried deep inside Zavy's ass, now slippery inside with Jack's cum. Jack giggled and whispered, "Thomas Xavier Gibbs, your arse is me pride and joy."

Zavy squeezed down on Jack's cock, making the boy groan. "Your cock is me pride and joy, Jacko. Now tell me your name."

Jack snuggled against Zavy's back and whispered, "It's just Jack. Jack Coggins."

Zavy rubbed Jack's arm where it was draped across his chest. "Just Jack, then?"

Jack nodded and sighed deeply, holding his lover in his arms. "I guess me mum wasn't as fond of the saints as yours. Or maybe she knew me too well. Maybe she expected me to come to no good, so she gave me a simple name everyone would forget. That's me. Jack the No Good. Nothing more than a bloody forgettable street rat."

Zavy grunted, but didn't reply. There was no talking to Jack when he got into one of his grumpy moods. All you could do was give him a hug and let him know you loved him, so Zavy pushed back against Jack and wiggled his arse a bit, reminding the younger boy of the fun they'd just had. Jack seemed to snap out of his sour mood quickly, slowly thrusting his cock in and out. He never lost his erection and was eager for a second round.

Zavy let the boy have his way. He was no saint, not by a long shot, but something of the name Xavier must have rubbed off on him, because he often found himself helping those less fortunate than himself. He didn't want anyone to know his full name, preferring to be called simply Zavy, but he did like the idea of helping those in need.

Maybe that would be his future.

Reggie could become Prince Gregor, the intriguing foreign prince who drew women to his side by his charm and good looks.

Jack could become the one no one remembered, fading away into obscurity.

And he would be Xavier, patron saint of the helpless and needy, benefactor of the downtrodden.

Jack thrust a little deeper, making Zavy groan. Tonight, Jacko was the helpless and needy one, and giving the lad his second orgasm was all Zavy wanted to do. He squeezed down, feeling Jack's cum trickle out and slide down his thigh as the other boy thrust in and out.

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