This story was written for the 2004 "Friends of Garett" Moonridge Charity Auction to benefit the animals of Moonridge Animal Park. My most sincere gratitude goes to ChelleToo for her donation in purchasing the original version of this story, and to Terry Kadie for her request and donation that motivated me to add this "missing scene."
Disclaimer: Pet Fly and Paramount own the copyright to The Sentinel and its characters. This piece of fan fiction was written solely for the love of the characters and to share freely with other fans. No profit is being made from the posting of this story.
Acknowledgments: I would very much like to thank Mary, who always does a terrific beta job for me, and she-who-will-not-be-named for suggestions that improved the added scene. And, of course, to AngstPuppy for her artistic talents that she so generously donated.
Category: AU: While this is not the case in Real Life, in this AU the buying and selling of slaves in an open market is a regular and acceptable practice in Brazil. Please take this under advisement. Blair is a university professor of Anthropology at Rainier, working closely with the Cascade PD. His partner at the PD is Joel Taggert. He lives in the loft at 852 Prospect, #307. Rescued from Peru, Jim Ellison finds his heightened senses too much to handle in the bustle of the city and sells all he owns to move to a quiet plantation in Brazil a couple hours' drive outside of Rio. This is the story of how Jim and Blair meet under these unusual circumstances.
Rating: NC-17; J/B, B/m
Author's Notes: Elements of this story were inspired by Jayd's "Ravaged."
WARNINGS: Graphic rape and torture in the scenes where Blair is owned by Juarez. You have been warned. If you are reading this, I don't want to hear a single bad word about what you encounter, unless it is constructive criticism on technical merit. You know what you're about to get into, so you have only yourself to blame if you proceed and then don't like it.
Summary: Blair is kidnapped by white slavers and taken to South America to be sold. The owner of a small plantation, Jim Ellison, sees the young slave at the market and purchases him. This is an unusual love story with my usual happy ending.
Portuguese: menino = boy (male child); o pequeno = little one; pressa = hurry; minha alma = my soul; Eu te amo com todo meu coração = I love you with all my heart. "Priscila" is the Brazilian spelling of the more common "Priscilla."
Comments welcome and appreciated at email@example.com!
Jim Ellison let his eyes stray around the vast foyer of Montego Juarez's plantation home, but his real attention was on the beautiful young man who was obviously Juarez's concubine. The porcelain skin of his back was scarred with many lashes, but long curls of chestnut brown hair fell over his shoulders to cover some of the wounds. Blue eyes and full, red lips were the only points of color in the pale face. The man was naked, collared and on a golden leash. Jim found the custom abhorrent, but he was a guest in Juarez's home, and it was not for him to speak out. The slave followed his master dutifully as Juarez led Ellison through the house to the holding pens.
Jim had come looking for more help for his own plantation. Failing to find men willing to work for the wages he could afford to pay, Ellison found the slave auction a viable, if less savory, alternative. He had crops that needed tending and harvesting. Without the help, he would quickly lose all he had worked so hard to build up. But his mind was not on the merchandise. Instead, his gaze continued to slip to the ample cock and heavy balls of the concubine.
Juarez was a shrewd businessman, and had not built his empire by being oblivious to what went on around him. He led Jim back into his home, steering him toward the veranda overlooking his fields where his house slaves had prepared a light evening meal for the two men.
"So, did you find any of the men to your liking?" Juarez settled in a chair, while his concubine knelt next to him. He let his hand stroke the silky strands of hair as he fed the young man a morsel from his plate. He watched Jim staring at the beauty and noted the marked tenting of the man's linen slacks.
Realizing he had been asked a question, Jim snapped his attention back to the slave dealer. "There were some that looked like possibilities." He smiled at his host.
"It was a long trip for you to visit here," Juarez noted. "Why don't you accept my hospitality and spend the night? You can sleep on it and tell me in the morning which slaves interest you."
Jim nodded, relieved by the idea of getting away from Juarez and the tempting slave at his side. "I appreciate the offer. I am a bit weary from the trip." He pushed back his chair and stood. Almost immediately an older woman appeared at his elbow.
"Priscila will show you to your sleeping quarters," Juarez said, indicating the housekeeper. As Jim turned to follow the woman, Juarez spoke again. "I saw you admiring my concubine. You may have him for the night." He grinned at the shocked look on his guest's face. "Do not worry; he is free of disease, and he will treat you well."
Blair stood as his master presented the leash to his guest, but was baffled by the man's reaction. Jim shook his head, pushing Juarez's hand away. "No, thank you. I-I'd rather sleep alone."
"As you wish." Juarez jerked the leash, and Blair knelt obediently beside his master once more. "But he is available if you should change your mind."
Jim turned his back on his host and followed Priscila to his room. Once alone, he unzipped his pants and pulled out his aching cock. Sitting on the edge of the bed, he closed his eyes as he stroked the organ, his mind filled with pictures of the incredible young man at Juarez's side. Not since Carolyn had he even considered a slave for his sexual services, but there was something about this one. In his presence, Jim's world came into sharper focus. It was as though he saw colors more brightly, heard things more clearly ... felt things more deeply....
His orgasm swept through him, leaving him feeling more alone than before. He cleaned up and crawled between the crisp, fresh sheets. As he drifted off to sleep, Jim found his dreams occupied with fantasies of silken curls and wide, blue eyes.
Three months earlier:
Blair Sandburg, anthropology doctoral candidate, looked out the window of his office at the bright spring morning. In three days, he would be defending his dissertation on closed societies—specifically, the Cascade Police Department where he was an observer and worked as an unpaid consultant. He was pumped. The culmination of nearly eight years of study was about to come to fruition.
His eyes drifted over to the book display stand where his copy of The Sentinels of Paraguay rested. A small sigh escaped at the thought of his abandoned thesis project. He hadn't been able to find a person with five heightened senses to study. Maybe they just didn't exist anymore. He stood, shrugging away the melancholy thought, and gathered up his jacket and backpack. Captain Simon Banks was expecting him down at the station.
He ran down the stairs of Hargrove Hall, hurried past the fountain and made his way to the parking lot where his beloved Corvair was parked. He was fiddling with the lock when a strong arm wrapped around his chest and a cloth saturated with ether was pressed against his nose and mouth. He struggled, but the drug acted quickly, and his world spun into blackness.
Simon Banks glanced up at the clock on the wall. Sandburg had said he'd be in by 11:00, and it was now after 2:00. It wasn't unusual for the impulsive anthropologist to be late, but he was rarely this tardy without calling in and explaining why. He picked up the phone and dialed Blair's office. When that failed to yield results, he tried Blair's home, followed by all his usual haunts. When nothing panned out, he went to the door of his office bellowing, "Taggert! Can you come in here for a minute, please?"
Joel Taggert, ex-captain of the bomb squad and Sandburg's unofficial partner, stepped into the private office. "Yeah, Simon? What's up?"
"Have you heard from Sandburg today? He was supposed to come in three hours ago."
Taggert shook his head. "No, Sir. I could try calling—"
"Already tried that," Simon said as he sighed and pulled out a cigar. "I couldn't find him at any of the usual places."
"I can take a spin over to the university and see if I can find him. You know Sandburg, Simon," Joel said with a smile. "He probably just got sidetracked somewhere."
"By some blonde, blue-eyed co-ed, no doubt," Simon grumbled.
Taggert laughed. "I'll go check." Thirty minutes later, he radioed in to the station. "Uh, Simon ... I'm in the parking lot of the university. Blair's Corvair is still here, but there's no sign of him anywhere."
"Have you asked around?" the captain inquired.
"Yes, Sir. I have reports of him leaving Hargrove around 10:45 this morning, but after that it seems that no one has seen him." Taggert's voice held an edge of worry. "This isn't like Blair, Simon. He can get sidetracked, but he doesn't just disappear." A glint of light off a metallic object caught his eye and he bent down to pick it up. In the palm of his hand a small silver ankh sparkled in the spring sun, the broken chain dangling through his fingers.
"Joel? Are you still there?"
"Yeah, Simon. I found Blair's ankh on the pavement next to the car. The chain is broken."
There was a slight pause before Simon's voice crackled back through the radio. "Any other sign of foul play?"
Taggert searched the area around the abandoned car. "No, Sir. Nothing readily apparent."
"Damn," the captain swore softly. "I'll put out an APB," he decided. "Joel, the case is yours. Find your partner."
"You bet, Simon." Joel put the radio away and turned a full three-sixty in hopes of spotting his missing partner.
Blair woke up in the dark, sitting on the floor with his back against a packing crate. The creak of timbers and a gentle rocking motion beneath him gave a clue to his whereabouts, if not an explanation. The air was stuffy and smelled of sweat, as well as a sharp tang of salt. The murmurs of other people began to reach his ears as he blinked and looked around. His ankles were chained together as were his hands. He tested the strength of the links, dropping his arms to his knees in defeat when they proved as strong as they looked.
"Hey, anybody know what's going on?" he asked hopefully. "Where are we being taken?" He struggled to his feet, looking around at the men and women who sat quietly around him. "Come on. Somebody has to know something!"
A guard detached himself from the shadows, gun raised. "Sit down and be quiet," he ordered.
"Not until I know where you're taking us," Blair said, boldly defying the armed man.
"I said," the man repeated, walking up to Blair and raising the hand that held the gun, "be quiet!" The hand came down, striking hard against the anthropologist's skull. Blair sank to the floor, unconscious.
Joel Taggert sat in his captain's office, trying not to explode at the red tape the bureaucracy had thrown in their faces. "Blair fits the profile of the type the white slavery ring was snatching," he insisted, his voice anxious.
"Unfortunately," Simon sighed, "we don't have any evidence that Blair was taken by the slavers. All we know is that we have a broken chain and a missing man."
"And that he fits the profile!" Joel repeated, exasperated by yet another roadblock to his investigation.
"Look, Joel. I'm as upset about Blair going missing as you are, but the FBI wants us off their case and out of their hair. We have enough to continue our missing person investigation, but not enough to go nosing in on the Feds' territory."
"You're not going to give in to them that easily, are you?" Joel asked, appalled that he was being asked to stop investigating a valuable lead in the case. "This is Blair we're talking about—my partner! He wouldn't disappear, leaving his car, and not call in."
Taking the part of the devil's advocate, Simon shrugged. "Maybe some girl made him an offer he couldn't refuse, and he went with her."
"For six days? No, Simon. I don't care what the stationhouse rumors are regarding Sandburg's love life. He wouldn't just disappear for this long without contacting me." Joel's shoulders slumped. "I'm worried about him."
The captain sighed and snubbed out the cigar he'd been smoking. "I know you are, Joel, so am I. But I've talked to the FBI about the case, and they won't give up any of their information. They've got an undercover operation going, and they don't want to take the chance of our investigation blowing it up in their faces."
"So you're going to drop a valuable lead? It was the only direction in the case that made any sense!" Joel argued, anger coloring his voice. "It's not like you to give up so easily, Simon."
"I'm not giving up," the captain said, sighing. He raised a hand to forestall further protest from his detective. "All I'm saying is that we're going to have to conduct our investigation quietly, under the radar. I've never taken to the idea of letting the Feds commandeer one of our cases. Official or not, Blair is one of us. We're going to continue to look; we just have to keep it low-key. Got that?"
"Yes, Sir!" Joel said, smiling as he stood. At least Simon had left him an opening. So long as Blair was missing, he refused to give up his search. He left the captain's office and headed back to his desk, confident he would succeed.
Blair was unsure how much time had passed. Endless hours in the dark hold with no food and only a single liter of water per day had weakened him. Six empty bottles rattled across the floor nearby. He sat quietly; reserving what strength he had left, listening to the moans and crying of his fellow prisoners. At regular intervals, he noticed a quiet descend and guessed that it was night. He slept restlessly and counted the cycles, estimating that he had been aboard the ship for close to a week.
Without warning, a square patch of light appeared above them, showing the unbroken blue of the sky. A ramp was lowered, and all the captives were herded up onto the deck and off the ship to the dock. Men and women were separated and forced into the back of large transport vehicles. At their destination, the men Blair was with were marched across a dusty street and led into a rundown building where they were detained in a locked room.
The anthropologist's mind was spinning. His brief glimpse of the outside world had given him little to go on. The area appeared to be a rundown section of a fairly large port city, but where? The air was hot and humid; the sun was higher in the sky, indicating that they had traveled a significant distance south. Mexico? South America?
A woman dressed in a white nurse's uniform interrupted his thoughts. "Come." She took his arm and led him into an examination room. A guard standing just inside the door unlocked the fetters that had bound him since he woke up on board the ship. "Now strip," the nurse ordered.
With a rather impressive automatic weapon aimed at him, Blair complied, leaving his clothing in a pile on the floor. "Hey, what gives here?" he protested, as two more men lifted him onto the exam table. He struggled, but in his weakened condition he was no match for his captors. He was strapped to the table and gagged.
"You will remain quiet!" A man dressed like a doctor entered the room, snapping on a pair of latex gloves. His English was spoken with a heavy Portuguese accent.
Blair squirmed on the table as he was physically examined. The invasive assessment was painful and demeaning. He cursed through the gag and struggled against the restraints, to no avail.
"I told you to be quiet!" the doctor snarled, adding another finger to his exam. Blair gasped at the pain that exploded through his ass, nearly choking on his own spittle. The doctor smiled up at his nurse, ignoring his patient's reaction. "I believe we have ourselves a virgin," he said with smug satisfaction. "This one will bring a high price."
When the doctor was finally finished, the restraints were released and the chains returned to Blair's ankles and wrists, the gag still firmly in place. He was led naked from the room into another holding area. He looked around at the other men—some standing, some sitting on the floor—all looking miserable and defeated. A door in the far wall opened, and a man with two armed guards entered. In his hand was a bundle of tags in different colors, each with a number imprinted upon it. He made his way slowly across the room, attaching a tag to each man's penis by a small, tight rubber band. When he approached Blair, the young man backed away, unwilling to allow himself to be tagged.
The two armed guards shouldered their weapons and each grabbed an elbow, holding Blair in place while a white tag was attached to his cock. Briefly, he wondered what the colored tags indicated, and why his was white instead of green, yellow or brown; and then the doctor's comments about his virgin status flitted through his memory. The thought made him fight harder against the restraint, his curses passing the gag only as muffled noise.
The prisoners were then sorted by the color of their tags and led from the room in groups. At the next staging area, Blair was separated out first, being the known troublemaker. He was again strapped to a table where his identifying tag was removed. As his penis was moved out of the way and a tattoo needle pricked at his scrotum, Blair's struggles began in earnest. Many hands appeared out of nowhere to clamp down on his torso and legs, holding him still.
"You do not want to fight us now," the man with the needle spoke. "It will only hurt all the more." He continued to quickly copy the number from the tag onto the delicate skin covering Blair's balls.
When the job was finished, the bindings were released. The aching between his legs was enough to make Blair stumble, his eyes filling with tears of pain. Two men supported him, dragging him to yet another holding area. Sinking to the floor, Blair curled up to protect himself, his mind still locked on the burning question—why?
The answer became clear a few days later as a well-dressed man entered the room where Blair and his fellow captives were being held. The man, Señor Juarez Blair heard the guards call him, circulated among the prisoners, picking out the choicest few. He approached Blair with an apprising look, reaching up to finger the matted strands of curls that hung limply at his shoulders. Blair jerked his head in defiance, but found it caught in a strong grip, fingers digging painfully into his jaw.
"A fighter," Juarez said approvingly, reaching down to grasp Blair's penis and give it a squeeze. "Yes, I will take this one as well," he told his escorts. "Careful! Do not harm him. He will be my own personal slave." The lustful grin he turned on his prey made Blair physically ill.
Blair was singled out when he arrived at the plantation home of his new owner and taken to a lavish bedroom—sleeping quarters fit more for a prince than a slave. A matronly woman followed him in, fussing all the way.
"We must get you ready for Señor Juarez. He will be coming soon to examine his prize."
"I'm nobody's 'prize'," Blair spat back, twisting away from the woman's grasp.
"My name is Priscila, and I will be caring for you. You must not speak. Not ever," she instructed. "To speak will get you the whip. If you disobey or are slow to respond, you will also be whipped. You must learn to do as you're told, without question and promptly, or the punishment will be severe. Señor Juarez is not a patient man."
"I don't give a damn about Señor Juarez! Get me some clothes; I'm getting out of here."
"Shh, shh," Priscila scolded. "You must bathe and prepare yourself. Señor Juarez will not waste time with the niceties of lubing or stretching you. You are a virgin to sex with a man?" Blair nodded, suddenly feeling weak and sick to his stomach. "Then you will not want to be taken unprepared. Go ... shower; and when you are through, I will help you with the rest."
Blair turned in the direction Priscila indicated. He reluctantly had to admit that a shower would be very welcome, but the reason for it made his heart thunder in his chest. He turned on the water and adjusted the temperature. Stepping into the spray, he braced himself against the tiles to hold his tired body up. Slowly, the water rejuvenated him and Blair picked up the soap and a cloth and began to bathe. When he finished and stepped out of the shower, he found Priscila waiting.
"Dry yourself quickly," she said, handing Blair a thick terrycloth towel. "We do not have much time."
Blair dried himself, toweling out as much moisture from his long curls as he could manage before Priscila dragged him back into the bedroom and handed him an ornate bottle of scented oil with a glass stopper.
"Señor Juarez likes his slaves to oil their bodies," Priscila told him. "Go on, now. Time is short."
Blair looked at the oil and shook his head. "I'm not doing anything to please that bastard!" He forced the bottle back into Priscila's hands. "I don't care what he does to me! I'm not giving him the pleasure of making this easy. If he thinks I'm just going to lie down and let him fuck me, he'd better think again!"
Priscila poured some of the sweet oil into her palm and began rubbing it across Blair's chest. He knocked her hand away. "No!"
"But you are so beautiful," said the housekeeper, tears welling in her eyes. "I do not wish to see this unblemished skin marked with the welts from Señor Juarez's whip. And you need to prepare, or you may be hurt."
The woman's concern touched something inside Blair, and he wondered if she would be punished if he didn't cooperate. From what he'd already heard of his new master, it was entirely possible. He stood still and let her finish oiling his body. When she was done, Priscila took Blair's left hand and turned it palm up, pouring some of the oil into it. "Now you must prepare yourself," she said, stepping away from the new slave.
Blair shook his head, as much in bewilderment as reluctance. "I-I don't know how—" His voice trailed off and he looked at the oil in his palm.
"Coat your fingers, and then put them inside you," Priscilla said, gesturing to the slave. "Spread your legs and squat; it will give you easier access."
Blair did as he was instructed, squatting and coating the fingers of his right hand with the scented oil. Reaching between his legs, he tried to insert his fingers but found that he just couldn't do it. "I can't." He looked at Priscila beseechingly.
"I don't wish to see you hurt your first day here," Priscila said. "Lie down on the bed—on your side, and pull up your knees." Blair did as he was asked, and the woman sat down behind him. "You will have to learn to do this yourself," she told him, "if you wish to survive here."
As the first oiled finger breeched the tight sphincter of his anus, Blair grunted and stiffened. "You must relax," Priscila scolded, "or it will hurt all the more." She pushed the finger fully inside, following quickly with a second.
"Oh, God...!" Blair cried out, trying to pull away from the intimate invasion of his body. He felt a hand grip his hip, holding him still as a third finger joined the others. "It hurts!" He tried to turn his head to see Priscila, but it was too much of a contortion with his lower body pinned to the mattress.
"Señor Juarez's cock will hurt you more if you do not relax and allow me to help," Priscila scolded. She continued to thrust into the tight opening with three fingers; spreading them briefly each time she withdrew to stretch the muscle. Blair's moans and choked cries ended with a sigh when the woman's fingers finally slipped out. Priscila patted an oiled hip. "Remember to remain quiet," she reminded. "The punishment you will receive if you do not is not worth the satisfaction of speaking out.
"Rest now. Señor Juarez will arrive soon." Priscila stood and took one last look at the beautiful captive. What a waste, to see such innocence spoiled, she thought as she turned to leave the room.
Blair wasn't aware of how much time had passed when a vise-like grip wrapped around his wrist and pulled him to his feet, waking him from a light doze. Juarez smiled widely at his captive, pulling Blair in close and crushing his lips with a bruising kiss. Blair struggled, but found himself held firmly in place by two burly guards. Juarez stepped back and eyed his prize from head to toe, nodding his approval. "Good. I like a little fight in my slaves," he said, a feral grin on his deeply tanned face. He produced a hinged, gold collar and snapped it around Blair's neck, locking it tight.
Blair opened his mouth; an epithet equal to his loathing of this man poised on his tongue, and then snapped it shut, remembering Priscila's warning. He watched as Juarez unzipped his pants and pulled out his erect cock. The guards restraining Blair pushed him to his knees in front of the weeping erection, and Juarez guided the cock to Blair's mouth.
When the slave resolutely pressed his lips closed against the organ, Juarez shook his head and chuckled. "And stubborn, as well—" He stroked a hand down Blair's cheek. "But you need to learn your lessons, O Pequeno. You must obey, at all times." His face softened in a mockery of sympathy. "You must be getting very hungry; nearly a week without food will do that to even the most hardy of men. Your punishment then, will be thus: you will continue to receive a water ration, but your only source of nutrition for the next week will be the come that you suck from my cock."
Blair shuddered at the words, his stomach churning until he began to feel ill. Reluctantly, he parted his lips and leaned in toward his only source of sustenance, determined to do what had to be done in order to survive.
Juarez stepped back, his cock bobbing just beyond Blair's reach. "Ah-ah ... not this time." He motioned to the guards with a wave of his hand toward the bed. As the men dragged Blair to his feet and over to the pristinely white sheets, Juarez unbuckled his belt and stepped out of his slacks.
The guards manhandled the squirming slave onto the bed, binding Blair's wrists tightly to the headboard. The mattress dipped as Juarez climbed on behind his bound captive. Blair was positioned on his knees, his arms pulled out in front of him, and his face pressed into the sheets. Juarez kneed Blair's legs apart, kneeling between them and admiring the firm, pink pucker that guarded the entrance to his slave's body.
Blair couldn't suppress the yelp of pain and the spasmodic jerk of his body as his new owner thrust his large cock into Blair's opening. The small part of his mind still able to reason past the rape and humiliation thanked Priscila for the gentle preparation that had lubed and stretched his passage enough to accommodate the invading cock.
Juarez thrust deeply and hard, urged on by the muffled grunts of his virgin concubine. The tight passage squeezed at his swollen penis, milking him nearer and nearer to his climax. With one final thrust, so deep that he pinned his slave to the mattress, Juarez came in hot spurts of pleasure. Finished for the time being, the slave dealer backed off the bed, dressed and walked out of the room, leaving the guards at the door.
Blair lay sprawled on the bed, his ass throbbing in pain to the wild beating of his heart. Everything hurt, and it took over twenty minutes before he even had the strength to pull himself up the bed and flop over onto his side. He pulled at the restraints holding his wrists to the headboard, but he was tied too tightly to find any hope of freedom. Exhausted, sleep claimed him in an uneasy rest.
Blair awoke to an acute discomfort. Cramps claimed his abdominal muscles and he cried out, unable to find relief. A gentle hand began stroking his stomach as a familiar voice crooned softly in his ear.
"Relax, Menino; I am almost finished." Priscila pulled the enema tube out and caught the gush of dirtied cleansing solution with a thick towel. She then reached over with nimble fingers and untied the ropes that had bound the slave to the bed.
Blair curled into a fetal position and waited for the last of the cramps to recede. "Uuuunnnhhhh...." he groaned, as a finger coated thickly with a medicinal ointment was carefully thrust inside. He felt the finger stroke the walls of his rectum, coating the passage with the healing balm.
Priscila pulled her finger out, wiping it on one of the used towels before walking around the bed to face the slave. Blair moaned and resisted as strong fingers gripped his wrists and began pulling him up. "You must come," insisted Priscila. "Señor Juarez wishes your presence at his dinner table." She snapped a gold leash onto the collar and tugged until Blair stood and began to shuffle along behind her. "You will kneel on the floor next to the master's chair," the kindly housekeeper instructed. "If you are good, perhaps you will be given a morsel from the master's plate. Keep silent; obey any commands."
"I'm not some animal, like the household mutt!" Blair spat softly, offended at the demeaning posture he was expected to take while at his master's table. Wasn't it bad enough that he was kept naked and on display for the pleasure of perverted men?
"Hush!" commanded Priscila. "Speak no more; the guards will hear and you will be punished."
Blair paused at the door, unwilling to be led through the public hallways of the mansion. "What if I don't care?" he asked. "Maybe a whipping is better than being humiliated!"
Priscila gasped as the leash was jerked from her hand by one of the guards at the door. "You will do as the master says!" the guard ordered, literally dragging Blair by the leash across the polished wood floor.
"Go to hell!" swore Blair, both hands wrapped around the gold chain to prevent him from being choked as he was dragged along.
"Señor Juarez, here is your concubine," the head guard said, pushing Blair over to his master once they had reached the dining room. "He spoke out of turn, cursing us for bringing him here."
"Ah ... that is too bad," Juarez sighed, letting his fingers ghost down the unblemished skin of Blair's back. "What did he say?"
"He told us to 'go to hell'," the guard replied.
"Then we shall have some entertainment before the meal begins," Juarez said, clapping his hands together. He grinned and nodded at his guests—buyers who had come to examine the slaves the dealer had for sale. "Fifteen lashes for his insubordination."
The guards dragged Blair over to where a sturdy frame of hardwood stood in one corner of the room. His wrists and ankles were bound to the frame, so that he stood spread eagle with his back to Juarez. The dealer gave a nod, and the first lash scored the smooth, pale skin. Blair cried out, unable to restrain his outburst. The second and third lashes fell, striping his hip and buttock. He jerked, his body spasming with the pain as a fourth, and then a fifth whiplash drew blood from his back and shoulders.
Tears were streaming down Blair's face and he questioned his wisdom in defying the guards. Priscila had been right; this was far worse than the humiliation of sitting at his master's side. His howls of anguish filled the room as he sagged in his bonds, unable to support his own weight as the whip continued its relentless duty.
He was barely aware when the final lash fell and he was released from his bonds. He sagged between the two guards, sinking down at the feet of his master as he was deposited next to the chair.
"Next time perhaps you will remember to hold your tongue," Juarez said, speaking softly as he stroked the matted strands of Blair's hair.
The young slave hung his head, biting his lip to keep from groaning as the excruciating fire in his back screamed for attention. Juarez patted his head before turning back to his meal and the conversation with his guests.
After dessert had been served, Juarez pushed back his chair and spread his knees. Without concern for his dinner companions, he pulled his erect penis from his open fly and motioned for Blair to take up his position. He turned his head over his shoulder to speak with the buyers, informing them with a chuckle, "It is time to feed my slave." He held his cock and waited.
Blair had crawled between the man's legs, his face nearly in Juarez's crotch. Trying to ignore the pain in his back, he opened his mouth to take in the length of the hardened cock. His lips tentatively touched the glans and his tongue stretched out to lick around the contours of the swollen head. Juarez moaned his pleasure, relaxing back into his chair.
The smell sickened Blair, who gagged as he felt Juarez's hand against the back of his head, pushing him forward, making him take more of the thick cock into his mouth. He choked and tried to back off, but Juarez began a gentle thrusting, holding Blair's head in place as he repeatedly drove his penis deeper down his slave's throat.
It was too much for the abused concubine. Blair could feel the bile rising and was helpless to stop the vomiting that erupted, coating Juarez's lap. The reaction he got was not at all what he expected. Juarez laughed.
"My poor little virgin! But you will learn, O Pequeno; you will learn." Juarez continued to hold Blair's head to his groin with a gentle pressure. "Lick me clean, and then finish what you started."
Blair was trembling, his stomach still doing flip-flops as he leaned forward to lick the vomit away. He continued to gag, but his empty stomach had nothing more to give. He couldn't stop his body's reactions to the vile smell, but despite his continued dry heaves, he took the cock into his mouth and began to suck. His mind roiled with fear and pain; thoughts of his degradation flitting through his consciousness. How much lower could he be brought? From college professor to a naked slave forced to suck cock for his only nourishment.... He blocked the hideous thoughts, making his mind a blank as he concentrated on only one thing—ending this torment as quickly as possible. He held his ground as the cock began to move, thrust down his throat again as its owner's orgasm neared.
With a grunt of satisfaction, Juarez climaxed, filling his slave's mouth with his come. Blair swallowed as quickly as he could, but the volume and speed of the ejaculation was more than he could compensate for. Semen leaked from the corners of his mouth as he licked the softened penis clean and let it slide from between his lips. He sat, bowed, in front of his master, totally spent. His back throbbed with pain, his stomach fought against rejecting its only nourishment.
Juarez nodded to the two guards who had escorted the slave to the dinner table. They came and lifted Blair by his arms, dragging him back to the bedroom and dropping him just inside the door.
Blair collapsed on the hardwood floor, in too much agony to move. Priscila found him where the guards had left him and clucked her displeasure. "Oh, Menino! Tsk, tsk—" She knelt beside the crumpled body. "Didn't I warn you not to speak?" Her hands fluttered over the tattered skin of Blair's back. "We must get you cleaned up and get your wounds treated before they become infected," she said, tugging on one of Blair's arms.
Stiffly, Blair rose from the floor and limped after his caretaker. He sank onto the toilet seat as Priscila ran the water for his bath.
The tepid water soothed his aches as Blair lowered himself into the tub. He sat quietly, letting Priscila do the work of bathing his lacerated back, moaning softly as the clean water touched the still-delicate wounds, cleansing away the blood and dirt. When she was satisfied, Priscila helped Blair up and toweled away the water, taking special care to softly pat the whiplashes dry, and led Blair over to the bed.
Blair sank down on the soft mattress, grateful for a small amount of comfort. "Oh, God!" he cried out, rising up off the sheets as Priscila's hands began to massage an antibiotic ointment into his wounds.
"Shhh ... relax, Menino," Priscila crooned. "I must treat you so that your back heals cleanly. You do not wish for the scars that would come with infection."
Blair buried his face in the pillows and let the goose down muffle his cries as the housekeeper rubbed the salve over his back. Pain enveloped him like a cloud, and he was barely aware when Priscila stopped her ministrations and leaned down to press a kiss against his temple. "Rest if you can, Little One. Señor Juarez will undoubtedly require your services again tonight."
The sun angled down past the horizon and the brightest of the early stars dotted the velvet canopy of the sky before Blair awoke again. A dark shadow blocked the waning light from the window, and as he turned his head to look up, Blair saw his new master standing over him, the white of his smile glinting in the last rays of the sun.
"Let's see if you've learned your lesson for the day. On your knees, Slave!" Juarez growled as his lips continued their leering grin.
Trembling with shock and fear, Blair complied, coming up onto his hands and knees facing the head of the bed. A cold sweat had him shivering despite the warmth of the room. Closing his eyes, he waited for the rape to begin. The mattress dipped behind him and Blair tensed; an involuntary cry escaped as the hard cock entered him with brutal swiftness. Strong hands gripped his ass, holding him up as Juarez pounded into him repeatedly. Blair let his head drop onto his folded arms, his body slowly collapsing under the assault until even Juarez's brute strength couldn't hold him up any longer. It felt to Blair as though his insides were being torn, cut, punctured ... until he didn't really care that he was being fucked to death. Death might be preferable to the dual ache of his back and his ass. Hot come flooded his damaged rectum, burning like molten fire.
Juarez pulled out and slapped one cheek of the bruised buttocks, laughing. "You are a good fuck, O Pequeno. Sleep well; I will see you in the morning."
With that, Blair found himself alone. The fog of pain was so great that he didn't even register a while later when Priscila's gentle hand administered a cleansing enema. He groaned and tried to squirm away as she applied some of the soothing antibiotic gel to the ravaged walls of his rectum.
"Hold still, Menino. This is for your own good. You will feel better, child; trust me." Priscilla finished applying the medicine and then brushed the sweaty strands of hair off Blair's forehead. She shook her head at the drawn look on the young face. "So young; too young and innocent for such a man as Señor Juarez. Be strong, Menino. Do as you are told, and you might just survive."
The gentle words were the last thing Blair heard as he drifted into an unsettled sleep.
The morning light was a soft glow in the room as Juarez entered. "Get up," he ordered, backing into the center of the room. Blair squinted against the light as he pushed up with his arms, twisting his bruised and battered body to see his torturer. "Pressa, pressa! Hurry," Juarez said impatiently.
Aching and stiff from his treatment of the day before, Blair did his best to comply with the command, dropping to his knees in front of his owner, his head bowed.
"I have a new lesson for you this morning, Menino." Blair glanced up, and his stomach turned over at the lewd look in the man's eyes. "You like talking so much.... Perhaps I should indulge you." Juarez stroked the mass of chestnut curls as though the man kneeling at his feet were a beloved pet. "When you are hungry, you may bow before me; on your knees, with your head to the floor." He gently pushed Blair into the desired position. "You will then wait for me to acknowledge your presence with a touch." At this, he lightly tapped Blair's shoulder. "Then you may look up and ask, 'Master, may I please suck your cock?'." Juarez waited patiently until Blair took the hint.
"Master, may I please suck your cock?"
Juarez smiled and nodded. "Very good. As you seem to have learned this lesson so quickly, I will reward you." He unzipped his pants and pulled out his penis, which was beginning to soften as his morning arousal faded.
Blair swallowed hard and looked at the disgusting sight. He had had nothing to eat for over a week, and his master's semen was to be his only source of strength for the foreseeable future. Reluctantly, he leaned forward and took the limp cock into his mouth, sucking and licking with muted enthusiasm.
Juarez groaned and let his head fall back as he basked in the attention of his slave. Blair felt the cock begin to swell and he sucked harder, letting his tongue swirl around the mushrooming glans, one hand coming up to stroke the penis at its base and fondle the heavy balls. He froze, startled, as a hand tangled in his hair, pulling until it hurt. A moan escaped his lips as Juarez's hips began to undulate, driving the cock deep into Blair's throat. Resisting the urge to gag, the young slave struggled to keep sucking, creating a near-constant suction on the thrusting organ.
The slave dealer pushed deeper, burying his cock in the throat of his concubine. Blair could feel the throbbing pulses of the cock as his master's orgasm swept through him, shooting the come in spurts down Blair's throat. Blair swallowed as quickly as he could, pleased that only a small amount of the precious nourishment had leaked from the corners of his mouth. He sucked the cock clean and let it slide from his lips before looking up at his master.
"Very good!" praised Juarez, tucking himself back into his pants and pulling up the zipper. He jerked Blair to his feet, attached the leash, and led the concubine out of the bedroom.
The weeks passed for Blair in a blur of humiliation and pain. He grew accustomed to squatting next to his master's chair at the dinner table as the man entertained buyers who had come looking for slaves.
On one particular night, Juarez had finished his meal and sat gazing across the table at his guest from Buenos Aires. He chatted amicably with the man, while passing tidbits of food from his plate to Blair's mouth. Blair had long ago shrugged off the ignominy of begging for food at his master's table; without it, he would have starved.
Juarez finished his meal and pushed back his chair, letting his legs relax, knees spread. Blair obediently moved into position and bowed his head, waiting for Juarez's acknowledgment of his presence. The slave dealer grinned at his guest and tapped his concubine on the shoulder.
Blair looked up, hopeful his request would be honored. "Master, may I please suck your cock?" The words flowed smoothly from his lips; Blair could barely remember when begging for his master's cock had made him physically ill. These days it was a survival mechanism. He had lost considerable weight since arriving in South America, and any opportunity for nourishment that was turned down was a fool's decision.
Juarez unzipped his pants and pulled out his penis, nodding to his concubine to continue. Blair leaned forward, sucking the limp organ into his mouth. His tongue twirled around the glans, teasing the small slit before advancing on the shaft. As he applied suction, the cock began to slowly harden, becoming a ramrod down his throat.
Juarez turned to his amazed guest. "So you see, Señor Artigas, what a well-trained sex slave can do. My concubine has learned to become most expert in sucking cock over the past month. It is hard to believe he was a virgin when he came to me, is it not?"
Señor Artigas eyed the naked beauty with his mouth full of Juarez's cock and felt his own erection begin to strain at his pants. "Is this one for sale?" he asked hopefully.
"Sadly, not," replied Juarez. "This one is my personal slave. I have developed a certain fondness for him." The dealer reached down to stroke Blair's hair, petting his concubine as he gently pushed Blair's head closer to his groin.
Obediently, Blair relaxed his throat, taking the length of his master's cock with relative ease. Soon this would end, and his belly would be a little more full.
"But you have others like him?" asked Artigas, licking his lips as he watched the slave swallow the ejaculate as his host climaxed with a groan.
"There are many from which to choose," Juarez assured him. As Blair backed off, sitting on his haunches between his master's knees, Juarez grinned. "Would you like a small sample of what it can be like?"
"What is it that you're offering?" Artigas inquired, wistfully stroking his erection through his linen slacks.
A slight jerk on the leash had Blair on his feet immediately. Juarez handed the leash across the table to his guest. "For tonight, he is yours," said Juarez magnanimously.
Artigas took the leash and tugged until Blair stepped around the table and knelt at his feet, head bowed to the floor. As he had seen his host do, Artigas tapped Blair's shoulder. The slave looked up, cold blue eyes belying the softness of his words. "Master, may I please suck your cock?" Artigas grinned and unzipped his pants, allowing his cock to spring free. He gasped as Blair's lips and tongue expertly massaged the hard length of the shaft; moaned as the suction started and the slave opened his throat. The sensation was not unlike fucking a willing whore, and Artigas found himself thrusting into the warm cavern until his climax washed through him and the slave sucked him dry. By the time his limp cock left the warm mouth, it had been licked clean. Artigas smiled again. "I could get used to this."
Juarez chuckled. "I hope that you do. Take him! Take him! He is yours for the night. And if he pleases you, we will deal in the morning."
The buyer nodded and rose, tugging on the leash to bring the slave to his feet. A house servant guided his master's guest to a luxurious bedroom suite. Once the bedroom door was shut, Artigas turned to the slave. "You are quite the beauty." He approached Blair until they were almost touching, and then used a finger to tip Blair's chin up so that he could get a better look.
Anger was building inside Blair. It was bad enough to be Juarez's concubine, but now he was being loaned out like a common whore. When Artigas's left hand began to fondle his penis, Blair's pent-up resentment of his treatment erupted. So swiftly that he didn't even have time to think about what he was doing, or the consequences, Blair kneed the Argentinean hard in the crotch.
Artigas howled in pain, collapsing to the floor. Stunned, Blair stood over the writhing man as the guards burst in and grabbed him, dragging him from the room.
Juarez was summoned, and he quickly assessed the damage. His concubine had likely cost him a considerable sale in human flesh, and would pay an appropriate price for his impudence. Blair was dragged away and bound, spread eagle, to the whipping frame in the dining room while Juarez saw to the comfort of his guest.
"I cannot apologize enough, my friend," Juarez assured the injured man. "The slave will receive a punishment fitting his crime. In the meantime, I will see you have the best of care. Please, rest and accept my hospitality."
Señor Artigas was helped over to his bed and given an ice pack wrapped in a heavy towel to apply to his bruised genitals. "Your slave should be castrated for what he did to me!" grumbled the Argentinean. "I wish to be there to see his punishment."
"Oh, you shall," Juarez assured him. "In fact, if you wish, you may administer it."
"I will rip off his balls with my bare hands," Artigas growled.
Blair was left bound to the whipping frame overnight. Naked and vulnerable in his spread position, he shivered as the night air caressed his skin. Oh God, what have I done? he thought. The fact that he was tied to the frame and left there boded ill for his punishment. Montego Juarez was capable of anything, and Blair's imagination was vivid.
As the morning sun rose to shine through the windows of the mansion, Blair trembled. His muscles, stretched to the limit of their endurance, were starting to cramp, and he shook uncontrollably. Fear knotted his stomach as he watched Juarez and Artigas enter the room. The two men strolled over to the breakfast table, completely ignoring the bound slave. As they sat for a leisurely meal, they chatted softly, below the threshold of Blair's hearing.
Blair's heart thundered in his chest and he wondered what it might be like to be castrated without the benefit of any kind of anesthesia. He trembled at the thought and his breathing became labored as he recalled the time he had witnessed just such a punishment. Juarez had gathered the household slaves to witness the retribution as a form of deterrent. The other slave's screams had been bloodcurdling. When he had been released from his bonds, the slave had fought those assigned to tend to him. The pain had apparently driven him mad; he had bled to death before they could staunch the wound. Blair felt lightheaded, and prayed for the escape of unconsciousness.
When breakfast ended, Juarez pushed his chair back and approached his concubine. Blair watched his every move, intent on keeping an eye on his master. Juarez stepped in close, letting his hand drift down his slave's chest, caressing the taut nipples and trailing down the flat abdomen until his fingertips brushed the limp penis. "Why did you do it, O Pequeno? You must have known the punishment would be severe." His hand cupped Blair's scrotum, rolling the testicles between his fingers. "You are too fine a specimen to disfigure, but you must be disciplined for your behavior." Juarez stepped away from whipping frame and reached into his pocket, handing a small, black device to Señor Artigas. "I cannot allow you to castrate my concubine, but you may use this up to five times in any way that you choose."
Artigas looked at the stun gun with a predatory smile, and then held it out in front of him as he approached the helpless slave.
Blair's eyes widened and he began to shake his head in denial. "No ... please, no...." he whispered.
The Argentinean stepped in close and jammed the stun gun at the base of Blair's scrotum. "I don't remember you giving me the option," he snarled as he released one hundred thousand volts of electricity through Blair's balls.
A scream was ripped from Blair's throat and agony washed through his entire body in the instant before he lost consciousness.
Juarez stepped up and laid a hand on Artigas's arm. "Wait for him to come around before you use it again," he suggested. Pulling a bottle of smelling salts from his pocket, he waved the vial under Blair's nose until the slave began to stir, jerking his head back from the strong smell.
Blair opened his eyes and blinked back the tears from the pain that thrummed through his groin. He watched as Artigas approached again, this time positioning the glans of Blair's penis between the electrodes. "No! Nonononono ... please ... noOOOOO!" Blair begged, shaking his head as tears tracked their way down his cheeks. His final plea ended in a howl of agony as the electricity shot through his body a second time.
Juarez stepped forward immediately, running the bottle of smelling salts beneath Blair's nose. It took longer the second time to rouse the tortured concubine, but the look of terror in his eyes when they opened satisfied the two slave dealers.
"Do you wish to beg some more, Menino?" asked Artigas, waving the stun gun in Blair's face.
Blue eyes went wide and Blair struggled in his bonds, helpless to break free, but desperate to pull away, to protect his exposed privates. "Mercy, please; have mercy. I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" Blair whimpered, hoping to appease his torturer.
"Not as sorry as I was when you kneed my testicles," Artigas informed the slave. "For that, you will pay the full measure of your punishment." The stun gun jabbed the delicate skin on the shaft of Blair's penis as a blue-white arc of light glowed in the dim corner of the room, causing Blair's body to spasm in its bonds and another gurgling cry to rip from his throat.
"Let him rest," Juarez suggested to his guest as he gazed at the limp body hanging from the whipping frame. "He is too far gone to appreciate his punishment at the moment. Come, let me show you what I have to sell, and we can complete the arrangements over lunch."
"Yes; that is good," Artigas agreed, wrapping an arm around Juarez's waist in an amicable fashion. "Show me the slaves." The two men walked from the room, backs turned from the captive.
Blair awoke to a fire burning through his genitals. He moaned, unconsciously trying to shift to cover and protect the injury, only to find himself bound fast to the sturdy frame. Memory flooded back and his heart pounded. Juarez and his guest would return for their noon meal, and the torture would proceed. His breathing was labored and he felt lightheaded. A new burning sensation developed in the head of his penis, and Blair realized with chagrin that he was urinating on the floor, helpless to stop the flow. A blush crept up his body as the stench reached his nose, coloring his torso and face a deep pink. Humiliation topped upon pain; how much worse could it get, he wondered?
Eventually, the soft chatter of voices could be heard coming through the hallway to the dining veranda. Blair's heart rate soared as he saw his master returning with the Argentinean slave buyer.
The two men entered the room, completely ignoring the bound slave in the corner. They sat at the table and talked while the house servants set lunch before them.
"You have a fine selection," Artigas was commenting. "With proper training, I should be able to sell at least a dozen to the local brothels."
"Then we have a deal?" Juarez asked, pushing some paperwork toward his guest.
"I will sign after lunch," Artigas informed his host. "After I have had my dessert." He pulled the stun gun from his pocket and laid it on the table next to his plate. Juarez smiled and nodded, and the two men proceeded to eat.
Blair fought to blank his mind. The pain in his groin still thrummed through his entire body, and fear of more punishment was making him lightheaded. Perhaps it would be better to pass out, he thought. But he knew that wouldn't stop the inevitable. Juarez would simply bring him around with the smelling salts, and the torture would continue as scheduled.
Finally, the waiting ended. Artigas pushed back his chair, picked up the stun gun, and approached the naked man. "So, Menino, an eye for an eye, as the Bible says...? Or in this case, a testicle for a testicle?"
Blair pursed his lips and shook his head. "I'm sorry," he whispered. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to injure you. I-I-I...." Blair stopped to swallow around the lump in his throat. "I was just protecting myself. I didn't mean it. Please ... I didn't mean it!"
"That is too bad for you, Menino," Artigas said with a feral grin, "because I mean this!" He placed the stun gun against Blair's right testicle and let loose the staggering jolt of electricity. The smell of burned flesh coiled up to the nostrils of the two dealers, while their victim hung unconscious in his bonds.
"I think you have received your retribution," Juarez commented, looking at the freshest of the electrical burns. "Are you satisfied?"
"I still have one left to go," Artigas reminded his host. "Bring him around. I wish to be done with this."
Juarez waved the smelling salts beneath Blair's nose until the slave began to sputter and wake up. When the blue eyes were able to focus, Artigas walked around the frame to the back. "One last reminder, Menino. This you will not forget."
Blair jerked in the frame, trying desperately to pull away as he felt his ass cheeks parted and the stun gun shoved up against his anus. "Oh, God! Please don't do this! I'm sorry, goddammit, I'm sorry! Why won't you listen?" Blair's fear transmuted to anger as he begged Artigas for mercy.
"God has nothing to do with this," Artigas reminded him. "This is my retribution." He released the trigger and held it open, allowing the electricity to flow a few seconds longer. Blair's muscles spasmed and rigor set in, holding him helpless until he was released.
When the electricity ceased to flow, Blair hung limp and unconscious. Artigas nodded with satisfaction and handed the stun gun back to his host. "I am avenged. Gracias, Señor Juarez."
"You are most welcome," Juarez replied, motioning to his guards to untie Blair from the frame. "Now we will finish our business."
Blair was only vaguely aware of being released from the frame and dragged through the hallways to his room. Priscila waited for him, fussing as the two guards lifted Blair and placed him on the cool sheets. The slave curled around his injuries, resolutely refusing to allow his caretaker to treat him.
"You poor child," clucked Priscila. She bathed Blair's face with a cool cloth, and then proceeded to wipe down the exposed areas of his body. She noticed a trickle of blood winding down Blair's right buttock and wiped it away. Parting his ass, she gasped at the raw burn around the slave's anus. Gently, she dabbed at the weeping sore, cleaning away the blood. Blair whimpered and cried out, but was without any strength to fight off the older woman. "This is for your own good, Little One. You will feel better; trust Priscila." When she finished, she pulled a cool sheet over the exposed body, brushed an errant lock of hair from Blair's forehead, and then left him to sleep off the worst of his pain.
That night, Juarez entered the room and began to strip. Priscila hurried over and clasped his arm. "Master, you cannot tonight. Please. The menino, he is hurt ... bleeding."
"And I haven't had him for nearly twenty-four hours," Juarez informed her. "You forget. He is not a person nor a pet; he is an object—an ass for fucking. That is all."
"He is young, ignorant," Priscilla defended. "If you wish him to last, you will treat him better than the one who came before."
"He is attractive," Juarez admitted. "But he is a slave, and slaves are plentiful. Be gone! You can check on him in the morning."
Priscila backed out and Juarez proceeded to strip down, climbing into bed with his concubine. Blair's first awareness of his master was a piercing pain, skewering through his ass and into his gut. He froze, his mind numb with the realization that although he was badly injured and in tremendous pain, his master was still going to have sex with him that night. As the pounding began, Blair could muster no more than a mewling cry against a pain so profound it was beyond description. When the hot pulse of his master's come filled him, Blair finally blacked out.
Juarez curled around the unresponsive body, content to fall asleep buried inside his unwilling slave.
Priscila fussed over Blair the next morning, coaxing him into a cool bath that soothed the twin fires in his groin and ass. When it was finally time to dry off, he moved stiffly, letting Priscila do most of the work.
Juarez entered the room, stopping in the middle to command Priscila, "Bring him to me." The housekeeper helped Blair limp over to his master, where the slave stood, head bowed. "On your knees!" ordered Juarez. Blair dropped obediently to his knees, keeping his head down. "Your actions of the past thirty-six hours nearly cost me a considerable sale, not to mention the good will of a wealthy man. It is my decision to continue your punishment. For the next seven days, you will suck cock for your meals; do you understand?"
Blair nodded, his head still bowed, hot tears dripping on the marble tiles of the floor. A jerk on the leash, and Blair came to feet, shuffling as quickly as his injured groin allowed, to keep up with his master as they headed out to the veranda for breakfast.
Kneeling at his master's side, Blair waited as the delicious scents of eggs, sausage, toast, and coffee drifted down to him, making his stomach growl. He had not eaten for more than a day, and the smells had a dizzying effect on his starving body.
Juarez reached over, occasionally, to pet the man beside him, but the action was automatic and in no way indicated any kind of love or concern for the slave. When he finished, he pushed his plate away and spread his legs. Almost eagerly, the slave scuttled into position, bowing to the floor in a request to be recognized. Juarez reached out and tapped a thin shoulder.
Blair looked up, hopeful. "Master, may I please suck your cock?"
Juarez pretended to think about the request, considering the possibility of refusing; but his slave was quite proficient and Juarez was a glutton for pleasure. He nodded and pulled out his penis, waiting for the fun to begin.
Blair leaned forward, teasing the limp organ with his tongue and lips before sucking it into his mouth. He was so hungry that he didn't care much for the finesse of foreplay. He began sucking in earnest, pleased as the cock swelled to fill his throat. He teased it just enough to topple his master over the brink of orgasm quickly, drinking down the rich, copious early morning ejaculation. Blair knew that as the day wore on, he'd get less and less for his trouble, so he milked every drop, wishing there was more.
Juarez tucked himself away and rose, pulling on the leash to make Blair stand. As he made his way across the room, he was frustrated by the slow, shuffling gait of his slave. He turned to see Blair bent in pain over the electrical burns that scarred his genitals. With a sigh, he turned toward the bedroom. "I can see that you will be no use to me today. You will stay in your room until I call for you."
Blair stumbled inside, grateful to be left alone. He made his way over to the bed and crawled on top, in too much pain to bother pulling the sheets over his body. Despite his discomfort, he dozed in a fitful sleep. His rest was disturbed a short time later by the opening of the door to his room and a shadow falling across the bed. Opening bleary eyes, Blair concentrated on the muscular guard who loomed over him.
"Get up, Slave," the guard ordered. When Blair didn't respond as quickly as expected, the guard grabbed his arm and tugged Blair onto the floor. "Are you hungry?" Blair's eyes widened and he became more alert. He nodded, licking his lips in anticipation. "I have something for you, but you have to do something for me, first." The guard tugged a leaking erection from his pants and shoved it in Blair's face. "I want the full treatment; no rush job, if you want your reward."
Blair swallowed and looked at the huge cock. The promise of food was tempting, but even if the guard were lying to be sucked off, at least Blair would have the benefit of the guard's come in his stomach. His tongue darted out, cleaning the droplet of liquid from the tip of the glans, and then began teasing the hole and slit. Blair closed his lips around the swollen head and sucked gently before opening his mouth to take the shaft into his throat. The guard groaned and curled his fingers tightly into the long strands of Blair's hair. Blair grimaced in pain, but was careful not to bite down in response. He backed off, licking the shaft, twirling his tongue up and down its length before he stooped to suck a testicle into his mouth. He rolled the ball around on his tongue before releasing the morsel and sucking on its twin. The grip in his hair became tighter as the guard fought to hold off his climax and prolong the exquisite experience.
Blair returned his attention to the throbbing cock, taking it into his mouth and thrusting gently, encouraging the guard to take up a rhythm. Soon, the man was pumping enthusiastically, shoving his long member down the willing throat. As his climax built to its peak, he froze, allowing Blair to resume the gentle suction that toppled him over the edge. With a cry, he shot his come down Blair's throat, thrusting shallowly as he emptied his load. The slave swallowed quickly, not allowing a single drop of semen to escape his mouth. When he was finished, he sat back expectantly.
The guard smiled, a look of complete satisfaction on his face. "I see now why you are such a favorite of Señor Juarez." He pulled an unwrapped granola bar from his pocket and handed it to the eager slave. "If you get caught with this, I will say that you stole it and the punishment will fall solely to you. But if you cooperate, there is more where that came from."
Nodding his thanks, Blair bit into the crunchy-sweet bar, his eyes closing as he savored the taste and texture. Perhaps he could survive this week after all. The guard turned to leave, locking the door against Blair's escape.
When he finished his reward, Blair crawled back into bed, his stomach content. Despite the throbbing in his groin, he found sleep claimed him easily.
Daily visits from the guard made Blair's life more tolerable, and he found the time passing quickly. As each day went by, the fire in his groin lessened until he was able to walk again without hunching over.
One evening three weeks later, a client joined Juarez for dinner. The two men discussed business throughout the meal, with Juarez passing tidbits of food to his docile slave. The buyer eyed the naked beauty with open lust. Deciding to see if his concubine had learned his lesson, Juarez handed the buyer the gold leash.
"He is yours for the night, if you wish it," offered the dealer. "A taste of what to expect when you buy from Montego Juarez."
"A generous offer," the buyer agreed. "I will take you up on it. Mucho gracias, Señor Juarez."
"De nada," the dealer answered in the man's native Spanish. "Do with him as you please, and report to me if he is not performing to your satisfaction."
The buyer stood and jerked on the leash. With a quick glance over his shoulder at Juarez, Blair followed the client to a guest room. His last indiscretion was still a dull ache in his groin and he determined that he would do nothing that might impact on his survival. Life meant hope; and Blair never stopped hoping for an end to his daily humiliation.
Once the door closed behind them, the man came on to Blair, kissing him with an open mouth, tongue probing and tasting while his hands felt every inch of Blair's exposed skin that they could reach. Thumbs brushed Blair's nipples, rubbing over the small nubs with increasing pressure until the delicate tissue began to ache. As Blair moaned his discomfort into the man's mouth, the roaming hands slid down his sides to his hips, one hand reaching between their pressed bodies to fondle his penis.
Blair broke the kiss, panting against the pain of the rough caress. The man chuckled at what he saw as arousal in the slave, and pushed Blair down onto the bed. Still fully clothed, the man blanketed Blair's naked body, his lips ravaging Blair's: seeking, tasting, dominating the union of their mouths.
Satisfied that the slave would perform as promised, the buyer pushed away, standing and stripping off his clothes to reveal his aroused cock. He pulled Blair up, dragging him around to the foot of the bed and pushing him down to bend over the heavy wooden footboard.
Blair bit his lip against the epithets that formed in his mind. He could not afford more punishment if he were to survive here. He drew blood from his lip and grunted as the hard cock penetrated with no lubrication or warning. As the man pounded into his ass, Blair's stomach was repeatedly bruised against the sturdy footboard of the bed. He tried to control his breathing in order to control the pain, taking in slow, deep breaths through his nose and exhaling through his open mouth.
The pounding became more insistent as the man's climax neared. Blair's controlled exhales became hisses of pain that mutated into a howl as the driving force of the slave buyer's orgasm flattened Blair's genitals into the carved ornamentation of the bed.
It was over as quickly as it had begun. Blair's torturer pulled out of his ass, allowing Blair to sink to the floor like an abandoned rag doll. The man climbed into the bed, leaving the slave where he had fallen. Grateful simply to be left alone, Blair curled on the floor and nursed his aches, eventually falling into a fitful sleep.
The following morning, Blair followed the buyer out to the veranda and went to kneel next to his master. Juarez reached out to pet the silken curls of his slave as he addressed his guest. "Did he perform adequately for you?"
"Si. He was most cooperative," the man informed his host.
The two men ate their breakfasts and finalized the sale of a half dozen slaves. Blair sat meekly through the dealings, wondering if Juarez would remember to feed him, or if he'd be reduced to sucking cock for his morning's nourishment. His question was soon answered. Juarez rose to shake his guest's hand, and as the man left the veranda, Juarez clapped his hands. The house servant hurried over with a second full plate of food. Juarez took it, and set it on the floor in front of his concubine. "Eat up; for today you will need your strength." He watched as Blair picked up the plate, shoveling the food into his mouth with his fingers. "Today you will accompany me to the auction house in the city."
Startled by the comment, Blair looked up, almost choking on the scrambled eggs.
"Take these." Juarez thrust out his arm, uncurling his fist to reveal three small, blue, triangularly shaped pills. When Blair hesitated, Juarez insisted. "Take them!"
Blair took the pills, downing them with a sip of water before continuing his breakfast.
"I have not seen you hard since you arrived here over ten weeks ago," commented Juarez. "If I am to take you out into the public eye, I wish to show you off."
Blair felt a tingling of arousal in his groin, and knew the pills he had been given must be the cause. Juarez clapped his hands again, and called for a female slave. "Clarita! Come; help me with my concubine." He reached down to take away the plate of food and pulled Blair to his feet.
A beautiful young woman, no more than a girl, hurried in and knelt in front of Blair. She began caressing his penis and balls, until he felt his cock begin to swell with the first erection he'd had since his kidnapping. The blood rushed to the starved organ, lengthening and stretching it to its full capacity, continuing until Blair groaned with the throbbing ache.
Juarez reached into a pocket and pulled out a gold ring with a weighted leather strap attached. "Do you know what this is, O Pequeno? It is a device to keep you hard, until I release you." He slipped the ring over Blair's penis, pushing it down the swollen organ to its base. He then clamped it shut, earning a loud groan of agony as it tightened around the already-painful erection. "But that is not all," Juarez continued with a leering grin. "It is also a balls stretcher." Blair's knees almost buckled as his owner grabbed his scrotum, pulling down hard, and snapping the two-inch leather strap into place above the bulging testicles. Six stainless steel balls on miniature chains weighted the contraption so that Blair's erection pointed straight out, parallel to the ground. "There, that is good," said Juarez approvingly. "Just one last thing."
Blair wasn't certain there was more that could be done to add to his humiliation and pain as he stood obediently in front of his master; but he was wrong.
Juarez produced two clamps, with a gold chain connecting them and golden silk tassels hanging from each. The slaver pinched and rolled Blair's left nipple until it stood out as a sturdy peak of flesh. He opened one of the clamps and fastened it to the nub, drawing some blood as he made sure the clamp was tight. Tears pooled in Blair's eyes as the other clamp was attached to his right nipple, chaining together the two points on his chest and decorating his nipples with the tassels.
The only thing that could make Blair's humiliation worse was if Juarez had chosen to shove something up his ass as well. Fortunately, the slave dealer didn't go that far. Blair blinked back his tears, not wanting to let his master know the level of pain he had inflicted on his concubine.
Juarez pulled the gold leash from his pocket and clipped it to the collar around Blair's neck. "Come."
Blair meekly followed behind his owner as he was led through the house. Juarez opened the large front door and a warm breeze brushed across Blair's exposed skin. He balked at the doorway, uncomfortable with his nudity outside the familiarity of the mansion. Juarez jerked on the leash, causing Blair to stumble out onto the porch. A limousine was waiting for the slave dealer and his concubine. Juarez pushed Blair inside, climbing in beside him.
The ride into town took nearly two hours. During that time, Juarez absently stroked the hard column of flesh beside him, rubbing his thumb through the droplets of pre-come that wetted the head of the engorged cock. Blair whimpered softly, restraining the urge to touch himself, to bring on the orgasm that throbbed through his groin; to do so would only get him punished.
The limousine pulled to a stop in the shade of a busy marketplace. The driver got out and opened for the door for Señor Juarez, who got out and then held out a hand to help Blair from the car. Blair scooted across the seat, took one look out at the heavily populated sidewalks and streets and pulled back.
Juarez looked startled, and then angry. "What do you mean, 'no'? You cannot refuse, Menino. You will come with me."
"No!" Blair said again, shaking his head and staying put inside the vehicle. "I'm not going out naked into a crowd of people. I won't!" He trembled with tension, knowing his words meant punishment, and yet being unable to expose himself to the lurid stares of myriad strangers in the open market.
"We'll see about that," Juarez said, backing off and signaling his guards.
Two burly men bent through the door of the limo, each grabbing an arm of the squirming slave and pulling him out onto the street.
"Lemme go, you bastards! Let go!" Blair fought the ever-tightening grip of the guards, spitting in their faces.
Juarez approached his concubine, a frown marring his otherwise handsome features. "I thought you had learned better by now," he said sorrowfully. "But your refusal to cooperate has won you another punishment. This one will be public and severe." He turned, heading into the marketplace, followed by the guards dragging the struggling slave. He approached the auction block, where a punishment frame had been erected for just such a purpose as Juarez intended to use it. With a wave of his hand, he signaled the guards to fasten Blair into the frame, arms and legs stretched to their limits as they were bound to the four corners of the wooden structure.
A crowd had begun to gather to witness the public flogging. Punishment of a slave was considered the height of entertainment during the auctions, and the punishment of the naked sex slave brought a particularly large gathering.
A ball gag had been thrust into Blair's mouth to stifle any epithets he might choose to fling at his tormentors. Bound and helpless, he flushed with the public humiliation, his heart pounding into his throat with fear.
Juarez stepped in front of the condemned man. "You will be given fifteen lashes to your back and left here until the sun rises tomorrow morning. The crowd is free to do with you as they please during that time. If you survive the punishment, you will be freed and will accompany me during the auction. If at any time in the future you disobey me again, your life will be forfeit. Do you understand?"
All the color drained from Blair's face and he nodded meekly, wishing he could beg for leniency, but knowing that even without the gag, he would not be heard by Montego Juarez.
The slave dealer stepped to one side, nodding to the man with the whip. "Fifteen lashes to his backside ... begin."
Blair cried out as the first whiplash fell, his scream muffled by the jaw-cracking ball shoved between his teeth. A second and third fell, scoring his back deeply as his body lurched in its bonds. Blood began to drizzle down his buttocks and legs to drip onto the hot cobblestones of the street. Blair lost count as the agony mounted, score upon score, until one bite of the whip blended into the next and his throat was raw from screaming.
He wasn't even aware when the torture stopped. His world had grayed toward unconsciousness until the sharp tang of the smelling salts brought him back to the pain.
"Until tomorrow morning, O Pequeno," crooned Juarez sweetly, enjoying the anguish written into the lines of his concubine's face. "If you still live, I will see you then."
The hot Brazilian sun beat down on the injured man, bound in the whipping frame. Blair's consciousness faded in and out, and he was barely aware of his surroundings. A tentative touch on his oversensitive erection brought his eyes open. A small girl, no more than six or seven, had approached, and was now looking up at him as she touched the swollen, purple shaft. A crowd of children behind her laughed and coaxed her on, until she wrapped small fingers around the organ and squeezed lightly. Blair moaned; even the slight pressure causing great pain. The girl's boldness empowered her companions, and soon the children were busy taking turns squeezing or pulling on the exposed penis. One of the boys even boldly fisted the bulging testicles, wringing a shattering cry from the gagged prisoner.
Temporarily satisfied, the children left, leaving Blair drinking in great draughts of the hot air as he fought to control the tears of pain coursing down his cheeks.
As the sun continued to rise, Blair's unprotected skin began to redden. Flies appeared, swarming over the fresh blood and raw flesh of his back. There was nothing he could do to rid himself of the biting menace, and so he continued to endure his punishment.
He was brought back to consciousness later that afternoon by a hard cock penetrating his exposed anus. Rough hands gripped his sunburned hips as the cock pounded into him painfully. Rough laughter was heard as he felt himself filled with hot come, and then the rapist left, only to be replaced by another and another.
By the time the sun had begun to set over the ocean, Blair's ass was bleeding from the multiple rapes. Other biting bugs had replaced the flies, and he was weak from lack of food and water. He had begun to believe that it was possible he might not survive the night. He could no longer feel his penis, which had been a constant source of torment throughout the day; the strangled blood supply still keeping the organ stiff and straight, and his skin was a brilliant red, the pain rivaled only by the bloody flesh of his back.
Blair hung limply in his bonds, blessed oblivion taking him as darkness fell.
The next morning, smelling salts aroused Blair once more. He came awake to a nightmare of agony, opening bleary eyes and trying to focus on the face in front of him.
"You are stronger than you look," Juarez complimented his slave. "You have survived until the dawn, and now you will join me."
Blair was cut down from his bonds, a wave of faintness making his knees buckle. Juarez came to stand in front of him, as two guards bolstered him up at either side. "You will stand beside me at the market this morning. After that, you will be fed and your wounds treated. Come."
With the help of the two guards, Blair stumbled after his master and stood with him throughout the morning's auctions. When the church bells rang at noon, Juarez spoke to the men who had supported the slave, and Blair was taken to a local hospital.
Put on IV lines for feeding and hydration, a doctor treated the scored flesh on Blair's back, cleaning and debriding the wounds before covering the area with a thin layer of gauze. It wasn't until he finished with Blair's back that the doctor noticed the heavy, swollen cock.
The gold cock ring had been all but obscured by the swelling of the flesh around it. The doctor probed gently, trying to find the release mechanism, but his patient howled in agony, curling up around the sensitive organ.
Shaking his head, the doctor turned to his nurse, speaking softly and rapidly in Portuguese. The nurse left briefly, returning within a few minutes with a syringe. With his nurse's aid, the doctor was able to uncurl his patient enough to insert the thin needle into the head of the aching cock and inject the local anesthetic. After a few minutes, the tight muscles relaxed, and the doctor was able to examine the entrapped genitals. He began by unsnapping the leather balls stretcher and cutting it from the cock ring. Blair's scrotum swelled when released from the tight bonds, but remained elongated and misshapen.
The doctor pushed the testicles out of the way as he explored the cock ring, finally finding the release. He eased the expanded ring off the tortured cock and then began his examination of the damage.
"Well, Doctor?" Juarez's voice came from behind the physician.
The doctor turned, eyeing the slave dealer. "He will recover, but he will be scarred. He should retain the use of his penis after the swelling goes down, but you may have ensured that he will never father a child."
"Is that all?"
"No. He still needs some stitches internally, and I will have to apply compresses to his genitals to bring down the swelling," replied the doctor.
"When can he be released? I have business in the city yet today, and then I wish to return to the plantation."
"He should stay here several days, at least," the doctor informed Juarez. "He is badly sunburned, and dehydrated, as well. It will take some time before we know that his injuries have been stabilized and that he will not become infected."
"I have a private physician at home," Juarez informed the doctor. "I want him ready to leave by tomorrow morning, at the latest."
"Oh, Menino...." Priscila watched with a heavy heart as Blair was carried into the bedroom and laid out on the clean, white sheets. She bustled over to stroke a hand through his hair and lay a reassuring palm against his cheek.
"Tend to him," ordered Juarez. "Call me if he needs the services of a physician. As soon as he is strong enough to stand, I want to take him back to the city."
"Si, Señor Juarez," Priscila answered. After the master of the house had left, the housekeeper pulled the crisp, white sheet over the sun-ravaged body. "Is there anything I can get for you?" she asked softly.
Blair opened his eyes to look at his benefactor. "Water, please." His voice was gravelly and soft, his throat still raw from screaming.
Priscila hurried over to the bureau where a pitcher of ice water sat in an ornate bowl. She poured a glass and approached the bed. "You will have to sit up a bit," she instructed, placing a hand behind Blair's head and helping to lift him enough to drink. After a few sips, she lowered him back to the pillows. "Not too much, too fast. You may have more in a little while. I will tell the guards to order you a meal."
"Not hungry," Blair croaked.
"You must eat," Priscilla insisted. She rightly concluded that the young man was reluctant because of his very sore throat. "I will order cream of wheat with honey," she said. "That will be easy for you to swallow."
Blair nodded, giving Priscila a small smile. "Thank you."
"I have medicines," Priscila informed her patient. "Are you in pain?" A brief nod was all that was needed to send the housekeeper to the bathroom medicine cabinet. "There is Valium here," she said, bringing out a tablet. "It will help you relax and sleep, as well. When you wake up, I will have the cream of wheat ready for you."
Blair swallowed the pill, grateful for more cool water. Closing his eyes, he drifted; half awake, half asleep. He was aware of Priscilla placing a cool compress against his swollen genitals, and felt relief flood through him. Comfortable and pain free, he allowed himself the escape of sleep.
It was two weeks before Blair was healed enough to get out of bed. The sunburn had faded and he was already regaining his pale complexion. His back had mended, all except for the deepest of the cuts, and the stitches in his rectum had dissolved. His bruised and battered penis had finally resumed its original size and shape, fading to a pale pink after the effects of the sunburn had disappeared. With a sigh of relief, his feet touched the floor and he stood.
Priscila was immediately at his side, to balance and stabilize her patient. Blair paused, waiting for his sense of balance to kick in, and then took a cautious step. The housekeeper let go, and watched like a proud mother as the young man made a slow circuit of the room.
"Now you shall have a proper bath," Priscila insisted, guiding Blair to the bathroom where the water had already been drawn in the tub. He sank down in the deep tub, up to his neck in the warm, scented water. His mouth curled in a smile and he closed his eyes while Priscila's gentle ministrations cleansed his body.
When she was done, Priscila helped Blair to step out onto the cool tiles and carefully wiped him down with a soft towel. Blair leaned over to press a kiss against the woman's forehead. Priscila blushed, her hand going to the spot to touch it in disbelief. "You are beautiful and kind," Blair told her. "I love you."
"I love you, too, Menino," Priscila said. Then, letting her soft tone turn more business-like, she told Blair her orders for the day. "I am to take you out to the veranda. Señor Juarez is expecting a guest later today, and he wants you by his side."
Blair nodded and submitted to the leash, following Priscilla out of the bedchamber and through the halls to the veranda where Juarez waited. He was not surprised to see that it was late afternoon, and Juarez was just finishing a light snack of tea and crackers. Anxious to prove he intended to behave as a proper slave, Blair dropped to his knees, bowing deeply before his owner. Juarez tapped a shoulder and Blair looked up. "Master, may I please suck your cock?"
"Perhaps later, O Pequeno. Right now, I am expecting a buyer." He stood and walked through the halls as the door chimes rang, echoing through the house. He approached the man dressed in a white suit and held out his hand. "Señor Ellison, I presume? How very good to meet you."
"Señor Juarez," Ellison greeted with a formal nod and a handshake, his eyes roaming the vast foyer of the home and settling for a short time on the beauty of the naked man at Juarez's side—obviously the man's concubine.
Blair blushed under the scrutiny of that brief gaze, finding himself oddly attracted to the stranger. He almost hoped that Juarez would offer him to the man for the night. He was eager to prove himself; both to Juarez, and to this uncommon stranger.
"You have come to see what I have to sell," Juarez said, leading Ellison through the hallways of his home to the pens out back where the slaves were held until they could be sold directly or at the auction.
"I need a few strong men to help me work the plantation," Ellison told him. "It is almost time to harvest the crops, and cheap labor is hard to find these days."
"Yes," Juarez commiserated. "It falls to us to use slave labor just to stay in business; a sad thing...."
They arrived at the holding pens and began to slowly work their way down the row. Ellison's icy blue eyes kept straying to the naked beauty at the end of Juarez's leash instead of tending to the matter of selecting the slaves he needed. The man's substantial penis and heavy balls were arousing the buyer, and Ellison found he was having a particularly hard time keeping his mind on his business.
Juarez noted the hungry looks that Ellison was giving his concubine. A shrewd businessman, he knew what needed to be done to win the buyer's approval. "Let us discuss your needs over dinner," he suggested, leading Ellison back into the house and onto the veranda.
Once they arrived, Juarez settled into a chair, while his concubine knelt next to him. Turning to his guest, he asked, "So, did you find any of the men to your liking?" He let his hand stroke the silky strands of his concubine's hair as he fed the young man a morsel from his plate. He watched Jim staring at the beauty and noted the marked tenting of the man's linen slacks.
Realizing he had been asked a question, Jim snapped his attention back to the slave dealer. "There were some that looked like possibilities." He smiled at his host.
"It was a long trip for you to visit here," Juarez noted. "Why don't you accept my hospitality and spend the night? You can sleep on it and tell me in the morning which slaves interest you."
Jim nodded, relieved by the idea of getting away from Juarez and the tempting slave at his side. "I appreciate the offer. I am a bit weary from the trip." He pushed back his chair and stood. Almost immediately an older woman appeared at his elbow.
"Priscila will show you to your sleeping quarters," Juarez said, indicating the housekeeper. As Jim turned to follow the woman, Juarez spoke again. "I saw you admiring my concubine. You may have him for the night." He grinned at the shocked look on his guest's face. "Do not worry; he is free of disease, and he will treat you well."
Blair stood as his master presented the leash to his guest, but was baffled by the man's reaction. Jim shook his head, pushing Juarez's hand away. "No, thank you. I-I'd rather sleep alone."
"As you wish." Juarez jerked the leash, and Blair knelt obediently beside his master once more. "But he is available if you should change your mind."
Blair watched as the man turned his back to follow Priscila down the hall, feeling a sinking sensation in his gut as though something rare and precious had just been offered and then taken away.
Juarez relaxed and spread his legs wide. "Now, O Pequeno, you may suck my cock."
It was with a sense of great relief that Blair crawled into his bed that night. While he had only been up a few hours, the activities of the afternoon and evening had drained his small reserve of strength. His head nestled in the soft down of the pillow, and he fell asleep almost immediately.
He awoke to a pale moon shining through the window and a dip of the mattress as Juarez joined him several hours later. Hands roughly caressed his body as a warm mouth latched onto his shoulder biting and marking him.
Blair groaned and tried to roll over, but was held in place by powerful arms. Juarez continued to nip and bite at his neck and shoulder, while an arm wrapped around his chest and fingers clamped down on a nipple, rolling the flesh to a painful peak. He could feel the hard cock nudging at his ass, indelicately seeking the entrance to his body. An inchoate moan escaped his lips as Blair bit back his response to the violation. He struggled to lie still as the cock penetrated deeply, bruising the recently healed rectal walls.
"Oh, Menino, my lover. You are mine," whispered Juarez as he nibbled at an earlobe. "I have missed our nightly lovemaking."
Lovemaking my ass! This is rape, you bastard! I'm not your lover; I'm your slave. My heart belongs to no man! The thoughts flitted through Blair's rebellious mind as he cut short another cry of distress. Juarez was pounding into him, filling him with hard flesh and agony. The pace of the thrusting increased, tearing at the delicate tissue, lubricating the pumping cock with blood. Searing pain tore through him as Juarez's orgasm filled him with hot come.
"There, there, O Pequeno," crooned Juarez, petting the matted tangle of chestnut curls. "We are done, for now. You did well, my love. In the morning we will go to the city again, to the auction, and you will stand by my side."
Jim had finished his dealing with Juarez earlier in the morning, purchasing three slaves to take back to his plantation. He sent the men on ahead with his foreman, deciding to stay a while longer and drive into town to peruse the auctions. If he were being honest with himself, he admitted silently, he had truly stayed for one last look at the enchanting concubine.
Blair stood behind his master at the auction house, naked except for the golden collar around his neck to which was attached a matching leash. He watched as his fellow prisoners were led one by one to the block and sold for physical labor or the sex trade. One man in the bidding pit in particular caught his attention. Although deeply tanned, the man was Caucasian, not Latino, with short-cropped brown hair and light blue eyes that shone like brilliant jewels. This was the same man who had spent the night in his master's house and had turned down the use of Blair's services.
The man turned those startling eyes on Blair several times during the bidding; it was not the first time a man other than his master had wanted him. Señor Juarez was generous with his slave, giving Blair for the night to his highest paying customers. Blair watched as the man's wistful glances changed to a determined stare.
After the auction was finished, the man approached Señor Juarez and they had a brief, heated conversation in Portuguese. Blair, who spoke some Spanish, could understand only bits of the exchange. Apparently, the blue-eyed man was offering to buy him from his master. Juarez was quite fond of his pretty slave and was reluctant to let him go, but the man offered a large sum—from what Blair could understand, at least five times what the average slave had gone for that day. Finally, greed overcame his reluctance, and Juarez nodded. The blue-eyed man handed over a fistful of Brazilian reais and Juarez handed Blair's leash to his new owner.
The man led Blair over to an old Ford Ranger pickup and opened the passenger door of the truck, indicating that Blair should get in. Once both men were settled in the truck, the man reached over to unsnap the leash and release the latch on the collar. Blair rubbed his neck gratefully, giving the man a small smile—the first he had bestowed on anyone since his abduction.
"Do you speak English?" the man asked. At Blair's nod, he continued. "My name's Jim. What's yours?" As he spoke, he reached behind the seat and grabbed a blanket, draping it across the shoulders of the naked man.
Blair clutched the blanket around him, grateful for the small kindness shown him by his new owner, but he remained silent. To speak might mean the whip, and his back had the scars to prove that he had defied his previous master more than once. But now, now he didn't know what to make of this man. Was the question a trap? Would he be hit, or worse, if he answered? Would he be punished if he didn't answer? Cautiously, he shook his head.
"Look," Jim said, reaching over to part the blanket and lift Blair's penis so that he could read the number tattooed on his scrotum. "I can't just keep calling you 'D69524', can I? What's your real name?" He started the truck's engine and pulled out onto a well-used highway as he waited for a reply.
Blair's heart thundered in his chest. The man had asked him a direct question, but hard lessons had taught the young slave never to speak. Never. His new owner kept glancing his way, as though expecting him to say something. So, finally, not knowing if he was doing the right thing, he answered, his voice shaking from fear and disuse. "Blair." The word was spoken so softly that an ordinary man wouldn't have understood what he said over the noise of the engine and the pot-holed road.
"Blair, huh?" Jim said, smiling. "It fits you. Where are you from?"
Blair hesitated, confused by his master's propensity for conversation. "I was the property of Montego Juarez," he said, continuing to speak softly.
"No, no ... before that. Before you became a slave," Jim coaxed.
Blair hung his head, unwilling to remember that time in his life, the time before he was stripped of his future and his identity, as well as all his worldly possessions; the time before he had become the sexual toy to rich and spoiled men.
Jim heard the increased heart rate of his companion and knew he had struck a nerve. "It's okay," he reassured. "You don't have to talk about it, if you don't want to."
They continued the long drive out to the Ellison plantation, a relatively small acreage devoted to rich coffee beans and profitable rubber plants. Jim ushered Blair inside the mansion.
"Ah, Mattie," Jim addressed his black house servant. "Take care of young Blair here, and send him to my suite when he's ready."
"Yes, Sir." Mattie complied with her master's request, taking Blair by the arm and leading him back to a suite of comfortable rooms. She drew a warm bath and helped ease the young man down into the water.
"I can wash myself," Blair protested as the woman began a thorough scrubbing, including his hair.
"Master Ellison wishes for me to take care of you," she insisted, finishing her cleansing despite Blair's frustrated attempts to do it himself. She helped him out of the tub and wrapped a thick terry towel around him. "Follow me." She turned and walked out of the bathroom.
Blair hesitated and then followed her out into a spacious bedroom.
"Right here, Menino," Mattie said, patting the bed that had been covered by a soft blanket. She held out a razor and a cup filled with shaving foam. "Master has sensitive skin," she explained. "Lie down." When Blair shook his head, she frowned. "Do not force me to have you tied to the bed," she threatened. Three well-built men entered the room at her words, and Blair glanced nervously at them. "Lie down," she repeated.
Blair climbed onto the bed and stretched out on the blanket. Taking a shaving brush, Mattie began to cover his face with the foam. Gently, she shaved away the growth of beard that Juarez had prized. When his face was soft and smooth, she began lathering Blair's chest.
"Hey, wait a doggone minute here!" Blair exclaimed, pushing up on his elbows. "You're not going to shave my chest!"
"I am going to shave all of you," Mattie informed him. "Master's skin is too sensitive for all this hair."
"Well, then, 'Master' can just go take a flying leap!" Blair struggled to sit up, but was pushed down by four sets of hands.
"My orders are to prepare you for the master," Mattie insisted.
Blair found himself being tied hand and foot to the bed, bound by soft cloth fetters, but held tightly. Mattie returned to spreading the lather on Blair's chest, and then began the careful process of scraping away the unwanted hair. She was particularly careful around the peaked nipples, for which Blair was grateful. But as she continued down his body, he began to squirm. She stopped when she reached his pubic area, moving instead to his arms, and then his legs.
The intimate attention had Blair quivering with tension. He tugged at the bindings, but couldn't free himself. Mattie turned her concentration to his genitals, lathering the pubic hair and then very carefully scraping it away. She finished by shaving the delicate sac of his scrotum.
Wiped clean and released from his bonds, Blair let his hands glide over his chest. He felt more naked now than he had before, his skin as smooth and soft as a baby's butt. His voice was hesitant as he spoke softly, "The master...?"
"You wish to ask a question?" Mattie inquired, smiling at the young slave.
"Y-You said his skin was sensitive—" Blair continued to explore his shaved body, stroking a hand down a bare arm. "Too sensitive for all the hair on my body—"
"Yes," his caretaker replied.
"What did you mean? How sensitive is he?"
"Master's skin is easily irritated." Mattie explained. "We must use all natural cleaners for everything in the house—no chemicals, dyes, or scents. His clothing and bed sheets must all be of the finest linen, silk, or satin." She turned away, walking toward the door with her retinue of guards behind her. "Enough questions for now. You will wait here for Master's return," she instructed, locking the door to the suite as she exited.
Mattie's words stirred memories in Blair's mind. He thought of the drive to the plantation, and how Ellison had been able to hear him clearly over the noise of the road and the truck's engine. And now he also knew his owner possessed an extraordinary sense of touch. It made him wonder what else there might be about the man that he didn't yet know.
Blair sighed. He wanted to get out of the bed and explore his plush prison, but his ass throbbed from the brutal fucking he had received that morning from Juarez. Suddenly tired beyond all reckoning, he closed his eyes and let himself drift into sleep.
"How is he?" Jim asked the maid.
Mattie sighed. "He is prepared and ready for you," she told him. "But, master, I saw blood around his opening, and he moves like one in pain."
Jim nodded. "I thought I smelled blood on him. I just assumed it was from the whippings." He sighed. "Perhaps I should call in Doctor Mendonça and have him checked." He walked over to the phone and picked up the receiver, dialing the number from memory. "Yes," he said, nodding as the phone was picked up at the other end. "Could you please tell Doctor Mendonça that I have an injured slave that needs to be attended?" He listened before speaking again. "I believe there's a possibility of tearing of the rectum," he informed the nurse taking the information. "Would you please tell him to hurry? Thank you." He hung up the phone and headed for the bedroom suite.
Opening the door, his breath was taken away by the figure on the bed. Naked and shaved, Blair had rolled to his side, his back toward the door. The round globes of his ass were a tempting sight. His hair, freshly washed, fanned out on the pillow like a dark cloud, highlighted with a halo of red. His back, scarred with lashings, sloped up to broad shoulders that disappeared beneath the chestnut curls.
Jim perched carefully on the edge of the mattress, not wanting to disturb the sleeping man, but drawn by him just the same. He reached out, letting his feather-light touch brush across the scars, old and new. He frowned, thinking what a shame it was for one so young and beautiful to be carrying such an ugly legacy.
Blair flinched slightly at the touch and rolled onto his back, turning his gaze on his new master.
"How are you feeling?" Jim asked. When Blair scooted closer to the far end of the mattress he reached out, covering one of Blair's hands with his own. "It's okay. You can speak; I won't hurt you." His newest slave continued to eye him suspiciously. "I called a doctor to come check you out. Mattie seemed to think you might be hurt."
Still distrustful of his new master's kindness, Blair answered, his voice barely above a whisper, "I'm fine."
"We'll let the doctor determine that." Jim eyed the young man, taking in the beauty of the pale skin, so soft and smooth. He felt a familiar stirring in his groin at the sight and pushed it down, firmly denying himself the pleasure until he was sure he wouldn't be adding to Blair's burden of pain.
"I said I'm fine," Blair growled back, his voice stronger this time. "Why don't you just get on with it? You bought me to fuck, didn't you? That's all I've been since I got to this godforsaken place: an ass to fuck. What are you waiting for?" He suddenly shut up, his eyes sparkling with fear as he realized what he'd said. Juarez would have given him twenty lashings for the remarks he had just flung so cavalierly at his new master. His heart hammered in his chest and he prayed for the ability to take back the hateful words as he waited for the inevitable punishment, which never came.
Jim sat, stunned, for a few seconds, gathering his thoughts. Yes, he had purchased Blair with the thought in mind that he'd like to have sex with the young man, but he had unaccountably discovered deeper feelings for his beautiful captive. "Do you believe in love at first sight?"
It was Blair's turn to be surprised. Swallowing the lump in his throat, he spoke up. "Well, as an anthropologist, I can say that love at first sight does occasionally happen, but it's an awfully rare phenomenon." He took a deep breath, gathering his courage, emboldened by the fact that his new master seemed to tolerate his outbursts. "You weren't in love, you were in lust. I could see it in your eyes," he said scornfully.
"No," Jim protested. "Well, yes, maybe," he finally confessed. "I don't know. When I was at Juarez's, there was something ... I can't really explain it. I was drawn by your looks, but it was more than that." He struggled to put the strange feelings into words. "When I was near you, colors seemed brighter, the air more crisp. My skin tingled, and I ... I—" He stuttered to a stop, a slight blush coloring his cheeks. "It was like I had to have you. Just being near you aroused me to the point of setting my teeth on edge."
The revelation stunned Blair. The description Ellison had just given him sounded very much like the research he'd done on pheromones in human sexuality. But no one in the studies had ever been able to describe their reactions in such detail. Most only knew they were attracted to the pheromone-laced bait, but not the how or why of it. Ellison was describing sight, touch ... senses gone wild at the presence of the unseen molecules.
Their conversation was interrupted by the arrival of Doctor Mendonça.
"Ah, Doctor, thank you for coming so quickly," Jim rose from his place on the bed and walked over to greet the physician.
"This is the slave you wish me to check?" asked Mendonça. At Jim's nod, the doctor approached the bed. Blair shied away from yet another man touching him. "It is all right, Menino. I'm not going to hurt you," he spoke in broken English. Pulling a stethoscope from around his neck, he listened to Blair's heart and lungs. Next, he looked in both ears and then forced Blair's jaw open to look into his throat. Turning to Jim, the doctor indicated the welts and scars on Blair's back. "I can reduce the scarring for you, Señor Ellison." The doctor pulled a tube of ointment from his medical bag. "Rub a thin coat of this on the wounds twice daily. It will help the welts to heal and will lessen the severity of the scarring."
Jim accepted the medication. "Thank you, Doctor, but what really concerns me now is the possibility of tearing in the rectum."
The doctor nodded, removing a long, slender metallic object from his bag. "This instrument is like a speculum," Mendonça told his patient. "I will insert it through your anus into your rectum and use it to spread you open enough for the exam."
"No!" Blair protested, sitting up and pulling the sheets around his naked body. "I'm fine. I told Señor Ellison that I was fine."
"Blair, do it," Jim ordered softly. "You're hurt. The doctor only wants to help."
"No!" Blair repeated, pulling himself into a tight ball, his arms wrapped around his knees. "I've had enough stuff shoved up my ass. Do you have any idea what it's like to be naked every minute of every day? To be ogled and stared at? To be fondled and fucked at your master's whim? I'm tired of it! I just want to be left alone!"
Doctor Mendonça glanced from the slave to his master, questioning what Ellison wanted to do. Making up his mind, Jim walked over to the bed, stroking a soothing hand down the rumpled mane of curls. "It's going to be all right, Blair. Just wait here." He turned to the doctor. "Just wait here," he repeated. "Don't do anything until I return."
Blair drew the sheets more tightly around his body as he watched Jim walk out of the room, leaving him alone with the doctor. He turned suspicious eyes on Mendonça, unsure of what to expect now that his owner had left.
The doctor and his reluctant patient continued the standoff until Jim returned a few minutes later carrying a white cotton shirt. He walked over to the bed, holding out the clothing. "Here, Blair, put this on," he said, aiding the young man as he slipped one arm through a sleeve, and then the other. The long sleeves were full-cut with cuffs, which Blair left unfastened. The cuffs covered his hands, making him look like a small boy trying on his father's shirt. The sight was enough to stir Jim's libido, and he had to fight to keep from coming in his jeans. "Don't button it, please," he asked.
Blair was already busy fumbling with the buttons, covering up as much as he was able. The shirttails hung below his waist, but didn't quite conceal his ass or genitals. Still, it was more covering than he'd had in over three months. He glanced up at the man who had given him the gift. "Thank you."
"You're welcome," Jim replied, sitting down next to Blair on the bed. "But now you have to let the doctor do his exam. You need to heal, and Doctor Mendonça needs to know the extent of the injury."
"But I'm fi...." Blair began, before Jim shushed him with a finger pressed against his lips.
"You're not fine. We have to do this; let us help you." Jim stroked a hand over his concubine's shoulder.
"We will have to start with an enema," the doctor stated, pulling a portable enema kit from his medical bag. He handed the reservoir to Mattie with the instructions, "Fill this with warm water and bring plenty of towels."
Mattie was gone for a few minutes, returning with the requested items. She assisted Mendonça in placing the thick folded towels under Blair's hips and on the mattress behind him. The doctor lubed the tubing and began inserting it through Blair's anus. Blair's hands curled into fists at the discomfort, but he bit his lip and kept from making a sound. When the warm water filled him, he couldn't help but moan as cramps seized his muscles.
"Please stop. God, please stop," Blair whimpered softly.
"It won't be much longer," Jim soothed the agitated man. "It has to be done, so that the doctor can make his examination," he explained.
Mendonça removed the tubing after the reservoir had been emptied. Water and feces flooded the towels, finally slowing to a trickle. "You may help him to the bathroom, so that he can void the rest of the water," the doctor instructed.
Jim helped Blair off the bed and supported him as he walked to the bathroom. The cramps continued to make it difficult to move, and Blair sank with relief onto the toilet. Jim rubbed soothing circles in the small of his back until Blair was able to relax enough to finish emptying his bowels.
Mattie had cleared the towels by the time Jim had led Blair back to the bed. The doctor began his preparations, lubing the cold steel speculum liberally. "This is going to be a bit uncomfortable," he warned.
Blair's eyes widened at the sight of the instrument and he tried to pull away. "More uncomfortable than the enema? No way," he said, his voice shaking.
"Blair...." Jim warned his slave. "You will submit to this, for your own good." He stretched out on the bed next to his concubine, pulling him into his arms and cradling Blair's head on his shoulder.
As the doctor inserted the speculum, Blair tensed, burrowing into the protection of Jim's arms. "You need to relax. It will hurt less if you can relax," Mendonça instructed.
"It's okay. You're going to be okay," Jim soothed, petting the chestnut curls and peppering small kisses on Blair's face. "Just relax. You can do it." He slipped a hand up the shirt and brushed his fingers lightly across the peaked nipples.
Blair moaned, distracted by the touch long enough to let the doctor finish inserting the speculum. A small cry escaped his lips as the doctor spread the instrument, opening Blair for his examination.
"I know it's uncomfortable," Jim continued to prattle softly, "but it will be over soon. Just hang on." He continued to do his best to distract his slave from the invasive exam.
Doctor Mendonça finally looked up. "There is a lot of tearing and scarring internally," he told Jim. "Some of the lesions need to be stitched." He reached into his bag to remove the suture materials and a hypodermic filled with a local anesthetic. "This will sting," the doctor warned before inserting the needle deep in the perineum near the anus and injecting the lidocaine.
"Oh, God!" Blair cried, grabbing at Jim's shirt with both fists, pulling him closer. "Hurts."
"It's all right," Jim soothed, stroking the chestnut curls as he pulled the smaller man closer to his chest. "It's going to be fine, just hang on."
"The worst is over," the doctor assured him. "We'll wait a few minutes for the area to become numb, and then I'll do the stitches."
Jim kissed the perspiration-soaked forehead, murmuring soft words of comfort to the man trembling in his arms. "It's almost done, Menino. Be brave."
Blair lay stiffly in Jim's arms as the doctor proceeded to stitch up the worst of the internal tearing. When he was done, Mendonça produced another tube of antibiotic ointment from his bag and handed it to Jim. "The stitches will dissolve on their own in about two weeks. Meanwhile, you will need to spread this ointment internally over the stitches and lesions twice a day to prevent infection." He began packing his bag, giving his patient one last quick examination before pulling the sheet over his body and walking toward the door. "I will return to check on Blair in two weeks," he told Jim. "In the meantime, no anal intercourse. The healing takes time."
Jim nodded, but didn't move from the bed where he still held Blair in the circle of his arms. "Thank you, Doctor. We'll see you in two weeks." After they were alone, he turned to his concubine, kissing the tip of his nose. "Relax, Minha Alma. Your heart is racing like a rabbit's. The doctor's gone; I won't let anyone hurt you."
Blair pushed back so that he could see the pale blue eyes of his master. "Why? Why are you being so kind? I'm nothing more than a slave. Why are you treating me so well?"
"Because I love you," Jim told him bluntly. "I knew I had to have you the first time I set eyes on you. I want you to love me, too." The last was spoken softly, with a wistful air.
"I appreciate what you've done for me—the doctor, this shirt—" He picked at the thin material. "But I can't love you. Loving requires the freedom to choose, and I'm not free. You own me; my very continued existence depends on your generosity. I'm sorry—"
"But if I free you, you'll leave." Jim's voice was soft, full of the fear of loss.
"That is what love risks," Blair told him. "And if you truly loved me, you'd take that risk, and do what you know is right."
Jim shook his head, leaning down to capture the full lips in a brief kiss of regret. "I can't. I can't let you go. Please forgive me." He got off the bed and backed away, closing and locking the door behind him.
Blair watched him go, and a feeling of great melancholy came over him. His old life was gone, never to be returned to him. This was the hand fate had dealt him, and he was going to have to make do the best that he could.
Later that evening, Jim returned, fetching the ointments from the medicine cabinet in the bathroom. He approached the bed where Blair appeared to be sleeping. Perching on the edge of the mattress, he reached out to gently shake his concubine's shoulder. "Blair?" When the younger man opened his eyes, Jim smiled gently. "It's time for your medications."
Blair sat up silently and slipped out of the shirt that had become his sole security in this strange, new place, turning his back on his master. Jim smoothed a thin layer of ointment over Blair's shoulders and down his spine, carefully rubbing it across the torn flesh. Blair flinched slightly as he treated the fresher whip marks, but relaxed with a sigh of contentment as Jim massaged the muscles beneath the older scars. When he was finished, Jim draped the shirt back over Blair's shoulders and let him shrug into the garment.
Jim picked up the second tube and squeezed some of the ointment onto his fingers. "I think this might be easier if you were to lie on your side and pull up your knees," he suggested.
"Do we have to do that?" Blair asked, his eyes wide, the beautiful blue of his irises almost totally obscured by the inky blackness of his dilated pupils.
"You don't want an infection in there, do you?" Jim asked in a matter-of-fact tone. Blair shook his head, his eyes still fearful. "We need to do this so that you'll heal faster. I won't hurt you," he promised.
Blair lay down, curling up to expose his opening to his master. He tensed as a finger lubed with the ointment breached the tight muscle, reaching deep inside to spread the medicine over the walls of his rectum, coating the stitches and the smaller, open lesions.
Jim rubbed his free hand over the exposed hip as he pushed deeper with the ointment. "Just try to relax, Blair. Please, it's easier if you can relax." He kept up a constant murmur of assurance, smiling when he felt the tightness around his finger loosen ever so minutely. "That's it. Good. Good. Almost done." Finally, he eased out, using a tissue to wipe the excess ointment from Blair's anus and his finger. "That's it, Chief." He pulled the blanket up over the recumbent form. "Good night, sweet dreams." He kissed Blair's temple and then stood to exit the room, leaving Blair to the privacy of his own thoughts.
"Good night, Jim." Blair's soft voice echoed as the door clicked shut.
The following morning, Blair woke up to the sound of Mattie's voice. He found himself alone in the bed and shivered, despite the heat. "It is time for your bath, Menino," she said gently as she set a large bowl of warm water on the stand next to the bed and dropped her load of towels and soap. "The doctor said you should have a sponge bath until the stitches have been absorbed." She helped Blair out of his shirt, and began a careful bathing of his entire body. Just like the day before, after the bath Blair submitted to another full-body shave. Devoid of all hair, except for that on his head, Blair found that his skin seemed super-sensitized. Even the slightest touch made him tremble and harden.
After Mattie had left, he was free to roam around the room, but walking was uncomfortable with the fresh stitches in his rectum, so he soon returned to the bed. The door opened and Jim stepped in, carrying a small wooden jewelry box. He approached the bed and opened the box for Blair to see. "Which is your favorite?" he asked.
The box was filled with colorful jewels, all the hues of the rainbow. Each was cut like a teardrop of about two carats and set in an 18K gold slide mounting. Blair looked at the gems, finally deciding on a striking blue one that matched the color of Jim's eyes. "This one," he said, picking it out of the box.
Jim nodded. "Good choice." He slipped the jewel on a gold ring. "This will look exquisite on you." His fingers fumbled with the small, silver hoop in Blair's pierced left nipple, removing it and replacing it with the bejeweled gold ring.
"Why are you doing this?" Blair asked, fingering the gem.
Smiling, Jim brushed Blair's hand away so that he could tug lightly on the decoration, watching in amusement as the action shot straight to the young man's cock, making him half hard. "I wanted to give you a gift," he answered simply, pointedly looking away from his concubine's arousal.
Getting up, Jim walked over to the bureau, where he put down the box of jewels and picked up the tubes of ointment the doctor had given him the day before. He sat on the bed behind the younger man and began applying a thin coat to his back, rubbing it into the wounds. Blair hissed at the slight burning sensation, but bit his lip and didn't complain. When Jim was finished with his back, Blair lay down without objection, anxious to be done with the medications.
Lubing his finger, Jim entered his concubine as he had the night before. As the muscles of Blair's ass tightened around his invading finger, Jim imagined his cock sheathed in the velvety warmth and felt himself growing hard at the thought. Shoving his feelings down, he finished the job and withdrew.
"All done," he said, patting Blair's hip and handing him back the white shirt.
Blair sat up and slipped into the clothing, his fingers quickly buttoning the garment closed. Jim's hand covered his, halting his progress.
"Please don't. You'll cover up my gift."
"We both know it's there," Blair countered, pushing the hand away. "This is the only shred of dignity I have," he said, finishing the buttoning.
Jim conceded with a sigh. "What is it that I have to do to win your trust?" he asked.
"You know the answer to that," Blair said softly. "Give me my freedom. It's the only gift I truly desire."
Two weeks later:
Doctor Mendonça removed the speculum and patted Blair's ass. "Everything looks fine. There is still some slight scarring, but the tears have healed. You may resume having sex with your slave."
"Thank you, Doctor," said Jim, ushering the physician out of the bedroom. He came back to the bed and sat down. "Blair...." He waited, but when he got no response, he continued anyway. "I have some clients coming by later this afternoon. These are important men—the ones who determine my profit margin for the year. I wish for you to be with me when I meet with them."
Blair rolled over and glared at his master. "As your trophy whore?" he spat, his voice full of resentment.
"As my companion," Jim corrected gently. "You can relax until then. I'll come to get you when it's time."
After lunch, Jim arrived back in the suite. "The men will be here within half an hour ... come." He took Blair's hand and led him toward the door that opened out into the main rooms of the mansion.
Blair balked, shying away at the door. "I'm not going out there," he said, pulling back. "Not with my dick wagging in the wind." The white shirt he wore did nothing to cover his genitals, and while he hadn't complained so long as he was confined to the suite, he was unwilling to expose himself in public.
"Well, it's either that, or the traditional slave garb—a loincloth and the collar," Jim explained. "The clients expect a little show. If I give them what they want, they buy more."
"Anything is better than walking around naked," declared Blair. "Close the door. I'm not going out."
"Have it your way," Jim said, shrugging. He went to the intercom and pressed the button. "Mattie, bring the loincloth." Turning back to Blair he explained, "You'll have to give up the shirt and wear the collar." He indicated the gold collar that Blair had worn when Jim purchased him. "I won't make you walk on the leash, though."
"That's very kind of you," Blair said sarcastically.
Mattie showed up with the requested item—two deep blue squares of silk, edged with gold and joined together by a thin, gold chain. Jim wrapped the loincloth around Blair's waist, fastening the chain. Each square covered adequately, but no more than was necessary. About three inches of the gold chain rested on either hip, joining the two pieces of silk together. Jim peeled off the shirt, revealing the smooth, pale chest and the new jewel that sparkled in the puckered nipple. Lastly, he took the collar from the bureau and snapped it shut around Blair's neck.
Blair put a finger between the collar and his throat, tugging at the gold. "I forgot how damn uncomfortable this is," he complained.
"You will walk behind me, but you may stay as close to me as you wish," Jim said, leading the way out into the corridor. "Don't speak, unless spoken to first, and do everything I tell you."
"Like a good slave," Blair grumbled. Despite his nervousness, he was curious. This was the first time he'd left the suite since his arrival here two weeks ago. The mansion was not as spacious as the one Juarez inhabited, but it was well appointed and quite beautiful. Blair was impressed, despite his reservations.
Jim led him through a maze of rooms until they finally arrived at a veranda overlooking the front of the house. Two guests were already seated in the comfortable, upholstered chairs, each with a drink in hand. They rose as Jim approached, shaking his hand.
"Mr. Carson, Mr. Menendez," Jim greeted them. "Good to see you again. I trust you're comfortable?"
"Very," answered Carson. "Thank you."
"If you need anything, just let me know," Jim said.
The men eyed Blair who stayed glued to Jim, as close as a second shadow. "You have a new concubine," Menendez noted with a leering grin. "He is very attractive. Come here, Slave." Blair hesitated, not wanting to leave the security of Jim's presence. "He is a shy one," the man said with a chuckle.
"He's following my orders," Jim answered curtly. "Gentlemen, we have business." Jim approached the two men, Blair pressed against his back.
Menendez' eyes followed the attractive slave, and when Blair happened to move a little too close, he reached out to grab a handful of the half-exposed genitals. Blair yelped and tried to pull back, only to find himself trapped in a vise-like grip.
Jim whirled, barking at his client. "Release him! Now!"
Startled, Menendez let go and Blair backed way, limping slightly as he moved to safety behind his master.
"Blair is my personal concubine," Jim told the man, his voice steely. "He is strictly off limits."
Menendez's and Carson's eyes went wide. "You gave your slave a name?" Carson asked. "Isn't that a bit unusual?"
"Blair is a bit unusual," Jim said tersely. "Now, gentlemen, shall we bargain or shall I escort you off the premises?"
It was a long afternoon, with Blair having to endure the lewd gazes from the two buyers. Menendez in particular looked as though he'd like to cop another feel, if not a full-fledged fuck. Jim finished with the men and sent them on their way before retiring with Blair back to their private suite.
Blair was quick to wrap the shirt around his bare chest, keeping the loincloth for the additional protection.
"Let me check you out," Jim said, approaching the bed. "Lie back." He pushed gently against Blair's chest.
"I'm fine," Blair insisted, using his oft-repeated litany.
"It looked to me like Menendez was a bit rough with his groping," Jim said, pushing Blair down and lifting the loincloth. Blair's penis and balls were mottled red and pink. Jim could see the finger marks where his client had squeezed until it hurt. He could still see the fingerprints—the whorls and ridges imprinted on the flesh. Burst capillaries drew his sight, blood cells spreading beneath the skin to leave the first faint signs of a bruise....
Blair sat up, startled by his master's sudden immobility. Jim was as still as a statue, staring at the place on the mattress where Blair's penis had recently rested. "Jim?" He reached out, touching Jim's arm. When he got no response, he started to get worried.
All his suspicions came together in a rush:
Mattie had to shave his entire body because Master had sensitive touch.
Jim had heard his racing heart, as accurately as a lie detector.
At the market, Jim had been attracted to him by sensing his pheromones.
And now, Jim had zoned on the sight of his injured penis.
Jim had zoned.... His new master was one of the fabled sentinels that he had studied about so diligently. He had suspected earlier, but this zoning confirmed his theory. Blair wracked his memory for a description of how the Guides of old brought their Sentinels out of the sensory fugue. Documented evidence of Sentinels was rare, and he had only a monograph by Sir Richard Burton on which to base his decision. He began rubbing Jim's arm, giving his master another sensory input to focus on. "Jim, listen to me." Blair's voice dropped half an octave, becoming lower and more compelling. "You have to come back. Follow my voice, feel my hand on your arm. Come on, man, you can do it. Come back, please, Jim." He kept up the repetitive petition until he got a reaction.
Jim blinked, and then shook his head, as though coming out of a daze. "What happened?"
"You zoned!" Blair told him. "You were so focused on my injuries, that you blocked out all your other senses and went into a sort of trance. Has this ever happened before?"
"You mean the blackouts? Yeah," Jim admitted. "Mattie says they scare the shit out of her."
"Do you remember what you were doing when you 'blacked out'?" Blair asked.
Jim shook his head. "I don't know. It seems to happen when I concentrate on something—usually when I look at something or listen for something."
"Wow. That is so classic!" Blair shook his head as he smiled. "You know, Jim, I think you're a Sentinel."
"A what?" Jim did a double take, giving Blair a confused look.
"A Sentinel," Blair repeated. "You see, according to Sir Richard Burton—the explorer, not the actor—all primitive tribal cultures had a guardian they called a Sentinel. These guardians had a genetic advantage—five heightened senses. It was their job to track game, keep an eye on the neighboring tribes, predict the weather.... They were scouts, hunters—the protectors and providers for their tribe." He stopped to take a breath, but not long enough for Jim to interrupt. "But these Sentinels had a weakness, what Burton called the 'zone-out factor'. When the Sentinel was doing his shtick, he would sometimes go into this trance-like state. His heart rate and breathing would slow down, and in some cases, the Sentinel even died. That's why most of them had a partner, a Guide to help them focus their senses without getting lost in the void. And if the Sentinel did zone, it was the Guide's job to bring him back. It was also rumored that Sentinels and Guides often mated. It didn't seem to matter whether the couple was male-female, or the same gender. Apparently, the act of copulation strengthened the bond between the pair."
"Where did you learn all this?" Jim asked, incredulous.
"Well, you see," Blair began, "back a few years ago, after I got my master's degree, I found this book by Sir Richard Burton, The Sentinels of Paraguay. It was so fascinating, that I chose Sentinels to be the subject of my doctoral thesis paper. I read everything I could get my hands on, did research and studies. I found hundreds of documented cases of people with one or two heightened senses—particularly taste and smell. You know, people who work as coffee tasters or in perfumeries? But," he continued, rattling on at an incredible pace, "I couldn't find anyone with all five senses heightened." He sighed. "So I had to drop the project and switch subjects. I ended up writing a paper on closed societies, in particular, those of the modern urban police departments. I worked closely with the local Major Crime Unit as an observer and consultant. I was just three days away from defending my thesis when I was shanghaied."
"You're a doctor?" Jim's eyes were wide with amazement.
Blair shook his head. "Ph.D. candidate," he corrected. "The 'doctor' part comes after I defend my paper—which looks like never, now."
"I'm sorry, Chief," Jim said, reaching out to stroke the long curls. "I had no idea."
"Not your fault, man," Blair sighed. "I just figure I must be building some super good karma from all this suffering. Someday, I'll be rewarded. Meantime, maybe I can come up with some tests, some exercises, to help you get better control of your senses. When did you first know about them?"
Jim thought back. "I remember having them as a kid, but my father always punished me if he found out I'd been using them. He didn't want me to appear to be a freak. Appearances were everything to him—his kids came in a distant second." He sighed. "I suppressed them and forgot about them until I was in the army."
"You were in the army?" Blair asked, surprised. "What country?"
"The US Army," Jim clarified. "Ranger, special forces, covert ops. My team was dropped in Peru, but the helicopter was shot down and all my men died. I was taken in by a local tribe, the Chopec, and taught how to survive. It was while I was with them that my senses returned."
Blair nodded. "Yes. That's typical," he mused. "The senses were often sharpened by time spent in isolation. The tribes would send their Sentinels out on annual retreats into the jungle to revitalize their gift."
"Well, it was hell," Jim grunted. "I was fine in the rainforest, but after I was rescued, I found the sights and sounds of the city to be too much for me. I couldn't take all the sensory input, so I sold everything I had, took my military pension, and bought this plantation."
"Wow. That pretty much explains it, then. I wondered about how a man like you became a plantation owner," mused Blair. "I don't suppose you'd like to talk more about it? About how you reacted when you came back to the city?"
"Not really." Jim frowned at his slave.
Blair shifted on the bed, sitting up and pulling the sheets over his lap. "This is exactly the sort of stuff I needed to finish my original thesis," he explained. "If only I'd known you back then ... I might have been able to help. I still can help, but I need to know how you reacted." He stopped talking to look intently at the man sitting beside him.
"Well...." said Jim, thinking back to the days when he'd first returned to the city. "I remember the fluorescent lights really hurt my eyes; gave me migraines. And the smog really bothered my breathing—it never bothered me before."
"Anything else?" Blair probed, hoping for more details. "What about hearing, taste, and touch?"
"I took to wearing earplugs outside," Jim admitted. "Sudden, loud noises, like car horns or sirens, would bring on the migraines, too."
"I'm not surprised," Blair reflected. "You couldn't control what you were experiencing, and the sensations were off the charts. Did you ever go to a doctor?"
"I tried that once," Jim scoffed. "But the doctor couldn't find anything wrong. He offered to try and treat the symptoms, but he suggested I go see a psychiatrist."
"Are you kidding?" Jim gave the young man an incredulous look. "What was happening was real; it wasn't all in my head. What good would a shrink do?"
"That's true, but I'd think you would have been desperate enough to try anything at that point," Blair said softly.
"I was. Why do you think I came here? I gave up everything I knew: the city, my possessions, my career, my family, just to get away from these damn senses."
"But you didn't get away from them," Blair said, pointing out the obvious. "You still have problems."
"It's not so bad here. Things are quieter, slower. I can manage without overloading—most of the time.
"Look, enough about me." Jim paused, uncomfortable with talking about himself. He reached up to unfasten the gold collar. "It's been a long day. Let's go to bed."
Blair rubbed at his neck once the collar was off. "Thanks. I hate that thing. It makes me feel like I can't breathe."
"I'm sorry," Jim apologized. "I won't make you wear it again." He removed the loincloth and then slipped off the shirt. "Lie down," he said softly. "I need to rub the ointment into your back."
"How are the scars?" Blair asked. "They don't hurt anymore."
Jim squeezed some of the medicinal ointment on his fingers and began a gentle massage across Blair's shoulders and down his back. "They're healing nicely. The freshest ones are still a little red, but the older ones are fading."
"That's nice." The pillow muffled Blair's voice, but his tone was one of pure contentment.
Jim finished rubbing in the ointment and stripped off his own clothing. The sight of Blair naked and vulnerable, plus the recent intimate contact, had stirred Jim's arousal. He spooned up behind Blair, his erection pressing against his concubine's backside.
"Are you going to fuck me tonight?" Blair asked, his voice still muffled, but no longer as content. His body had reflexively tensed when the hard cock touched his ass.
"Do you want me to?" Jim asked, gathering the hair that had fallen over Blair's shoulder and brushing it back to bare his neck. He leaned down, kissing the pale flesh and nibbling on an earlobe.
"No, I don't, but I didn't think I had a choice, you know?" Blair said, twisting his neck to get a glimpse of his owner.
"Of course you have a choice," Jim told him. "I'm not going to take you against your will; I won't rape you."
"No, Jim. I don't have a choice," Blair corrected. "I'm not a free man, I'm a slave bought and sold. So long as you own me, there is no choosing."
"How do you figure that?" Jim asked, puzzled by his concubine's argument.
"If I say yes, how can I ever know it's because I truly love you and not because I feel it's what is expected of me, or that I'll be punished if I don't?"
"I'd never hurt you!" Jim exclaimed, tightening his hold on his reluctant lover.
"How do I know that? Just because you haven't yet?" Blair countered. "And when I say no, you can choose to accept that. But if you don't, you'll have sex with me anyway. So where is my choice? Only a free man can make that kind of decision. Until and unless that day comes, you can touch me all you like, but you won't fuck me unless you take me by force."
"Blair, I love you," Jim said desperately. "I hope that someday you'll love me, too."
"You can't hold tightly to something you love," Blair told him. "You have to let go; let the loved one choose."
Jim shook his head sadly. "But if I let you go, you'll leave!"
"Possibly," Blair agreed. "But that's what you risk when you love; you risk your heart. Until you make that decision—until I'm allowed to make that decision—how can you call it love?"
"I'm not ready." Jim's voice shook with emotion. "I'm not ready to take that chance. I can't lose you; I can't watch you go. I don't know what it is, if it isn't love, but I don't think I could live without you anymore." He resumed his kissing, letting his hand dust across Blair's nipples, tugging lightly on the gold ring.
Blair found the attention to his tit ignited a nerve that went straight to his cock. Groaning, he felt his bruised organ growing hard despite the discomfort. He hadn't yet sorted out his feelings toward his new master. He was grateful, certainly, for the kindness and the medical attention he had needed. He was perplexed, but warmed, by the man's refusal to rape him. This was his Sentinel, and by default he was the Guide. Perhaps love was inevitable? He felt Jim's hand on his cock, stroking gently until he was fully hard and leaking. His master began to rock his hips, rubbing his own huge cock along the crack of Blair's ass. His hand massaged Blair's erection, pushing the young man toward the brink of orgasm. With a cry mixed of pain and blessed relief, he came, pumping jet after jet of milky semen over his stomach and chest. Jim's rocking motion picked up speed until a moist heat spread between their bodies and Jim cried out his name.
The next morning after his ritual bath and shaving, Jim presented Blair with a small wardrobe that consisted of three pairs of slacks, half a dozen shirts and a pair of sandals.
"What's all this?" Blair asked, looking in amazement at the clothing.
"A gift for you," Jim explained. "I want you to come to the city with me."
"And you're allowing me to go clothed?" As Blair had come to understand the concept of the concubine slave in this area, that went against the norm.
"I want you to feel comfortable. Get dressed." He swept a hand in the direction of the clothing on the bed.
Blair picked a pair of khaki linen pants and a blue shirt and slipped into them. His hair, which had never been cut since his abduction, flowed over his shoulders. Jim gathered it back, tying it with a leather thong.
"You look beautiful," Jim said, eyeing his slave from head to toe. "Are you ready to experience Rio?"
"Do you have business in town?" Blair asked, worried that they might be going to visit with Menendez and Carson again.
"Nope. This is purely a recreational trip." Jim gestured toward the door of the suite and Blair followed.
A limousine waited for them outside the front gate.
"Whoa. This is some serious car," Blair said, sliding in as the chauffeur held the door. "How come we're not taking your truck?"
"I only use the truck for hauling provisions. For other business, I prefer the limo," Jim explained. "Would you like a drink?"
"Do you have beer?" Blair asked, suddenly thirsty for a cold bottle.
"A man after my own tastes," Jim said, smiling, as he retrieved two beers from the small refrigerator in the car. They settled back for the long drive into the city. "Tell me about yourself," Jim asked. "I'd like to know more about your background. You're a college student?"
"I'm a grad student, working on my Ph.D.," Blair corrected. "I'm an only child. My mom, Naomi, is a bit of a free spirit—one of the original hippies, you could say. We traveled a lot when I was a kid, which is probably why I got interested in anthropology in the first place. I met lots of different people with diverse backgrounds."
"That must have been hard, moving all the time," Jim commented. "What did your father do for a living?"
"Don't know," Blair said, taking a sip of his beer. "I never knew who my father was. Naomi never said. And the moving didn't bother me all that much. I was pretty adaptable. The one thing I always was, above all else, was free." He gave Jim a pointed look. "I had a life back in Cascade, Jim. I had a job, a purpose, a future. I had people who cared for me. I had family and friends. I had a lovely loft apartment and offers of a full professorship and a paid consulting gig with the police. All that ended the day the slavers took me." Barely stopping to draw breath, he continued. "Every man and woman taken had a life before. Each one has a mother and father, many have a spouse or significant other, and some have children. They have jobs, mortgages, friends—people who miss them and wonder whatever became of them. Jim, these are human beings. Human beings with lives that are never going to be realized." He fell silent then, temporarily out of steam.
"When I moved here," Jim began softly, "I needed laborers for the plantation. I tried hiring men in the city, but nobody wanted to work for the wages I could afford to pay at the time. The slave trade offered me cheap labor. Without the slaves, I never would have had a product to bring to market. I would have gone bankrupt in a year."
"So you bought men, without even thinking about where they came from, or what they'd given up?" Blair asked softly.
"I treat my people well," Jim said defensively. "I give them clothing, homes and food, and I pay a fair wage."
"But they're not free," Blair pointed out. "You still own them."
"It's just a technicality," Jim continued to argue. "Most are happy here and wouldn't leave if they could."
"Are you so sure of that?" Blair challenged.
Jim shook his head. "I'm not sure of anything since you came into my life." He sighed. "There was this one slave, a woman. Her name was Carolyn. She had a feisty spirit, not unlike yours," he said, a small grin creasing his mouth. "We fell in love, and I took her for my wife."
"What happened to her?" Blair asked when Jim fell silent.
The plantation owner took a deep breath. "She died of pneumonia."
"Aw, geez, I'm sorry, Jim." He could see in Jim's face that the man had cared for his wife very much.
"There wasn't anything the doctor could do," Jim explained. "The antibiotics weren't working and she passed in her sleep one night. I swore off taking lovers after that."
"Until you saw me?" Blair asked softly.
"I don't know what it was," Jim said. "When I saw you, everything seemed to come into sharper focus; colors seemed brighter, smells more pungent, sounds more strident. My skin tingled. It was like the air was full of static electricity. It's always like that when I'm around you."
"Pheromones," Blair said softly. "Pretty powerful stuff. You know, we all have these chemical receptors in our noses. When someone says that they have 'chemistry' with another person, they really do. And because your senses are all enhanced anyway, the effect goes off the chart where you're concerned."
"It's not unpleasant," Jim replied, smiling. He took the empty beer bottle from Blair's hand and leaned over to press a kiss against the full lips.
The rest of the day was spent walking the white sands of the Ipanema beach, and having lunch and dinner at intimate restaurants with a view of the water. As the moon began to lower in the night sky, Jim led Blair into the lobby of a five-star hotel. Walking up to the desk, Blair was shocked when the concierge handed Jim a key without question.
"Jim?" Blair looked at his master with a hint of awe.
"I keep the room for out-of-town clients," Jim explained. "Come on, you're going to love this."
They took a private elevator to the twenty-fifth floor. When the doors opened, they opened directly into a suite of rooms to rival the luxury of Jim's mansion. Blair hurried across the main room to the balcony that overlooked the beach and the water. The last of the moon glinted on the inky blackness of the waves.
"This is beautiful!" Blair breathed, aroused by the ambiance of the room and the nearness of the man who embodied his Holy Grail.
"I thought you might appreciate it," Jim said. "It's a long drive home for so late at night."
Blair turned to find Jim standing immediately behind him, almost touching. A hand reached out to pull the thong from his hair, freeing the locks to cascade over his shoulders. Long fingers unbuttoned his shirt, pushing it down his arms so that what was left of the moonlight glittered in the blue jewel dangling from his nipple. With no belt and no underwear, he was soon standing naked on the balcony, limned with the pale light from the moon and the stars and glow of the city far below. Jim took his hand and led him into the bedroom where a hostess had already turned the bed down for them.
Climbing onto the mattress, Blair watched as Jim undressed, carefully lowering his slacks so as to clear his weeping erection. Desire shot through him, despite his misgivings. This man, this Sentinel, was magnificent, the embodiment of everything he'd ever dreamed. Crawling to the edge of the bed, he made his decision. "You have done so much for me," he whispered. "And I have yet to return the favor. Let me do something for you."
Jim watched in amazement as his ethereal concubine slid to the floor, coming to kneel between his legs. His hair fanned out, obscuring his face as he leaned toward the rigid cock. Jim quivered with tension that ended in an explosive "Ahhhhhhh!" as the moist warmth of Blair's mouth engulfed him.
So near, so near.... Jim's senses were fully open to experiencing what his lover had to offer. Blair's tongue slid around the crown of his penis, teasing the slit, lapping up the leaking pre-come. It was all he could do to hold back, to not thrust his hips, burying his considerable length in his concubine's throat.
Slowly, Blair took him in as deeply as he was able, opening his throat with a practiced ease. In the back of his mind, he thanked Juarez for teaching him well. Now his lessons were to be put to a more pleasant task. The fingers of one hand wrapped around the base of the thick cock, while the other hand rolled the testicles wrapped in the fur-covered sac. Above him, Jim moaned, struggling to hold still.
Blair pulled back, swirling his tongue around the head once more before plunging back down to swallow most of Jim's length. He repeated the action, with his hand pumping and squeezing at the base of Jim's penis until the older man cried out and his cock pulsed, shooting come down Blair's throat as fast as he could swallow. When Jim's climax had run its course, Blair continued to suckle the softening cock until it finally slipped from his mouth.
With what little strength remained to him, Jim pulled Blair up on the bed, kissing him and tasting himself in the kiss. It was a sensory loop that almost put him into another zone-out except for the low hum of Blair's voice, centering and anchoring him. He gathered Blair into his arms and they slept until the sun rose.
The next week saw Blair becoming a familiar picture around the plantation. Dressed in thin, loose clothing that revealed his assets when the sun shone through the fabric, Blair followed Jim around the house and through the fields, becoming familiar with the grounds. As they walked, he devised tests for Jim's senses.
"Look, Jim," Blair pointed toward the road, a hundred yards away. "Roses. Now concentrate. You can do it. It's a smell that should be easily recognizable." He waited as Jim closed his eyes and took a deep breath.
Soon, Jim's eyes opened and he smiled. "Yeah!"
"You could smell them?" Blair asked, surprised despite his expectations.
"Yeah, yeah, I could, and the cedar bark dust the gardener uses as a mulch," Jim confirmed.
"Great! That's great!" Blair was excited. "Now try this.... Over there," he pointed, "two workers are talking. Can you hear what they're saying?"
"They're arguing over whether or not the coffee beans are ripe enough to harvest," Jim reported. Just then, a jet plane flew low over the fields, making its approach to the Rio airport. Jim covered his ears and bent low, trying to escape the noise.
"Jim! Jim!" Blair cried, trying to pry the man's hands from his battered ears. "Picture something you can control—a dial. Turn the dial down, Jim. Turn it down!" Blair used his own hands to cover Jim's ears as the Sentinel braced his hands on his knees and tried to concentrate on the new instructions. Slowly the tension drained from his body and he looked up.
"Thanks, Blair. God, that hurt!"
"But you dialed it down. You controlled it," Blair reminded him. "Just remember those dials the next time you're bombarded with input like that.
"Can we go inside now?" Jim asked, guiding Blair with one hand pressed to the small of his back.
Dinner was set on the table when they arrived. Jim held Blair's chair until the young man was seated, then rounded the table to sit opposite him. "Tell me more about this police department where you used to work," Jim said over a cup of coffee and the appetizer.
Blair sighed, where to start? "Well, when I changed the subject of my thesis, I approached the police and was assigned to the Major Crime Unit. The captain there is Simon Banks. He towers over me at, like, six-four or so." Jim snorted, imagining his short, feisty concubine going up against the bigger man. He had no doubt Blair could take him on, if it was a contest of wits. "He likes to smoke cigars." Blair crinkled his nose in disgust. "But he does like to fish, so he gets credit there. It was Simon who taught me to fly fish."
"Not much fly fishing here, unless you're interested in piranha," Jim quipped.
Blair actually laughed. "Oh, give me a break, Jim. There's more out there than the piranha. What about the arapaimas? They're one of the largest freshwater fish in the world. Or the red-tailed catfish, the arowanas, or the black pacus? Not fly fishing material, granted, but not ankle-biters, either."
"How do you know so much about the South American fish?" Jim asked, impressed at the seemingly endless supply of trivial facts his companion could spout.
Blair waved him off. "I'm an anthropologist, remember? I know the people, and I know what they eat. Simon, however, prefers trout and salmon."
"Ah, salmon—" Jim got a wistful look on his face. "It's been a long time since I had a good salmon steak." He shook himself out of his reverie. "Whom else did you work with?"
"Well, there's an inspector there on an officer exchange program. She's from Australia—Megan Connor." Blair blushed and concentrated on his meal.
"What? Hey, Chief, is there something you aren't telling me?" Jim asked, chuckling at Blair's discomfiture.
"I had a bit of a crush on her," Blair admitted softly.
Jim squelched a stab of jealousy, raising an eyebrow and speculating, "But she blew you off?"
"No, not exactly. More like she thought of me as her little brother."
"Worse," Jim commiserated.
Blair nodded. "Way worse," he agreed. "Then there was the guy I partnered up with, Joel Taggert. He used to be captain of the bomb squad, until a near miss rattled him. He took a demotion to detective in Major Crime. He's a big teddy bear; always protected me, made sure I was safe, like an old mother hen ... but you couldn't find a nicer guy." Blair sighed. The reminiscences were making him homesick.
"Look, Blair, if this is too much for you, just say so," Jim said softly, noticing that Blair had stopped eating.
"Jim ... would you mind if I just went to bed?" Blair asked. "I'm not feeling all that well right now."
Jim nodded, watching as Blair folded his napkin and left it next to his plate as he rose. "Good night, Chief. Sweet dreams."
"Good night, Jim." Blair turned and walked away, headed for their private suite.
Mattie brought the main course to the table and set a plate in front of her master. "Where is Blair?"
"He wasn't feeling well," Jim said, glumly. "Mattie, I think he's homesick."
"Can you blame him, Sir? Ripped from all he knew and brought here to be sold as a concubine to wealthy men?" Mattie picked up the appetizer plates, stacking them on top of Blair's dinner plate that she still held.
"I've tried to be good to him," Jim told her. "I love him."
"I know, Sir," Mattie said sympathetically. "But it's not the same as the boy's friends and family."
Jim nodded and went back to picking at his meal. He hadn't intended to go looking for love when he visited Montego Juarez's plantation such a short time ago; he hadn't even considered buying a sex slave—he was there to find workers. But Blair's beauty had drawn him, and he found he had to have the slave. Right away he knew ... he knew he couldn't just take this young man home and fuck him; he needed to woo him, to make Blair love him ... and that had been his undoing.
Blair had said it: love meant letting go. The thought terrified him. What if he gave Blair his freedom, and the young man chose to go home? How could he live with that? Blair had lost everything: his career, his identity, his freedom. He had become a slave, doomed to the whims of his master. Now it was that very master's turn to decide his fate.
Jim set down his fork and stared out at the darkening plantation. Blair wouldn't give him what he truly wanted so long as Jim held his papers, his freedom, but Jim couldn't stand the thought of hearing Blair say that he wanted to leave. There was another alternative—one that would give Blair his freedom, while still allowing Jim to make the decision.
With a heavy heart, Jim pushed back his chair and stood. "Thank you, Mattie. I think you've just helped me make up my mind. I've lost my appetite. I think I'll go to bed."
"Yes, Master. Sleep well, Sir."
Jim hurried to the suite, opening the door quietly so as not to disturb Blair if he was sleeping. The young man lay on the bed, naked, with his back to the door. Jim sighed. The sight left him breathless, as it did every night. Quickly he stripped, climbing in bed and spooning up behind the pliant body. He wrapped an arm around the slender waist, his fingers teasing the nubs of Blair's nipples. He tugged lightly on the bejeweled nipple ring, smiling as he watched Blair's penis begin to blossom. Blair turned his head and opened his eyes, smiling up at Jim. Tonight was a night to pleasure his lover. Tonight was a night to express his love, and say good-bye.
Megan Connor walked over and rested a hand on the stooped shoulders of her colleague. "It's been over four months, Joel," she said gently. "I miss him, too, but don't you think it's about time you stop chasing ghosts? Sandy isn't coming home."
Joel looked up at his new partner with tired eyes. "I can't give up yet, Megan. I've got this feeling—" He tapped his fist against his gut. "Blair's still alive, and he needs our help."
"Why don't you let me take you out to lunch? You need a break," offered the Aussie inspector.
"Want to join us?" Rafe asked as he and Henri walked past Joel's desk. "We're heading to Andes, that Chilean place, remember?"
"That sounds super!" Megan said with a smile. "C'mon Joel, up and at 'em!"
Joel pushed his way out of the chair with the moves of a man exhausted by extra hours of work. Grabbing his suit coat, he followed his fellow detectives out of the bullpen.
The restaurant was crowded and noisy as the four detectives settled around a table with beers in hand.
"Any new leads on Blair's case?" Rafe asked. The handsome young detective had taken an immediate liking to the shaggy anthropologist and had done his share of legwork on the case.
"We're just going over the same old ground," Joel said with a sigh. "Nothing but the broken ankh and the abandoned Corvair to go on. No fingerprints. No one saw Blair leave or saw anyone suspicious."
"Still no breaks in the white slavery ring case?" Henri asked. "That always seemed the most promising. They wanted young, good-looking men—long hair a plus. Isn't that what you were told?"
"That's what the FBI said, yeah," Joel agreed. "It seemed at the time that Blair was an ideal target. The fact that he disappeared with no clues and no body has ever turned up, makes a strong case for a slavery abduction, if you ask me."
"But the FBI still won't let you in on their case?" Megan asked.
Joel shook his head. "Worst part is, Simon has washed his hands of the case, too. He won't even listen to me if I try and bring it up."
"He's hurting, too, Love," Megan sympathized. "The captain likes to put on the tough guy act, but he has a real soft spot for Sandy. I don't think he likes the situation any better than you do, but his hands are tied."
Joel's cell phone chose that moment to ring, and he pulled it from his coat pocket, putting it to his ear. "Simon?" His voice had an incredulous ring. "We'll be right in, Sir. Give us ten minutes." Standing, he tossed two twenties on the table and grabbed Megan's arm.
"But the food hasn't been served yet," she complained.
"Doesn't matter," Joel said excitedly. "The FBI broke the slavery ring and the some of the men cut a deal—information for leniency. Simon says that the agents are in his office right now, telling him what they know."
"All right!" Megan crowed. "This is the break we've been waiting for!"
"Hey, wait for us!" Henri shouted, chasing after his colleagues.
Rafe and Brown squeezed into the back seat of Joel's car, while Taggert gunned the engine, putting out his portable flashing light and turning on the siren. They made it back to the station in record time.
Simon and two FBI agents were waiting when they arrived. "Gentlemen, inspector ... I'd like you to meet Special Agent Manning and Special Agent Chandler. They've got some information you might be interested in," Simon began.
The detectives gathered around, waiting. Manning spoke first. "During the interviews with the suspects, we were able to ascertain that several young men and women were taken from the Rainier campus around the time of the disappearance of your Mr. Sandburg."
"Did any of them recognize Blair?" Megan asked.
"Going by the description you gave to the FBI," answered Chandler, "there is a good possibility that Mr. Sandburg was among the abductees. One of the suspects described a man, mid-twenties, with blue eyes and long, curling brown hair. He said this guy was perfect fodder for the sex slave trade in South America—his words, not mine."
Megan gasped. "Sandy! Oh my God!"
"Did they say where in South America?" interrupted Rafe.
Manning shook his head. "They had several ports, but the ship manifests for around the time of Mr. Sandburg's disappearance showed a destination of Rio de Janeiro."
Joel opened his mouth to speak, but Simon silenced him. "There's no extradition from Brazil," he informed his detectives. "And there's nothing in our budget for a trip of that magnitude."
"So we just leave him there?" Joel asked, stunned.
"There's no proof positive that the man described is your Mr. Sandburg," Chandler reminded them. "We've got the men responsible in custody. We'll let you know if we find out anything more."
"That will be all," Simon said, shooing his detectives from the room.
Joel stepped out into the bullpen, barely managing to keep quiet until the office door was closed. "I can't believe they're not going to do anything! They're just going to leave Blair there? Who knows what sort of hell he's gone through?"
"Or even if he's still alive," Henri added softly.
"I'm not going to leave him on his own down there," Joel said, ignoring Brown's comment. "If I have to, I'll come up with the money on my own ... but I'm going, and I'll find Blair and bring him home."
"If you need company, I'll come with you," Megan offered. "Sandy has become too important to this department for us to just abandon him. I'd like to help."
"Thanks, Megan," Joel said, genuinely relieved that he wouldn't have to go alone. "I'll call the airline and book our tickets."
"I'll let Captain Banks know we're taking time off," Megan said, heading back toward Simon's office. She knocked on the door and poked her head through. "Captain, could I have a word with you?"
Simon opened his mouth to reply when the phone rang. Signaling Megan to wait, he picked up the receiver. "Captain Banks," he barked into the mouthpiece. "Blair?" he asked a moment later. "Where are you? Okay, don't worry. Just stay put—I'll be right down to straighten it out."
When he had hung up the phone, Megan pounced. "Where is Sandy? Is he all right?"
"He's at the airport," Simon said, heading through the bullpen at a breakneck pace, the FBI agents left behind in the rush.
"Wait for us," Megan called after him, snagging Joel's arm on the way out.
Jim had risen with the morning sun, and now he watched as shafts of light peeked in through the curtains, lighting Blair's face with an angelic glow. He let his hand drift down the bare arm, coming to rest on a slender hip. He let out a sigh, wondering if he'd be able to go through with his plan.
Blair blinked as the sun shone in his eyes, waking him. Turning onto his back, he smiled up at Jim. "'Morning," he mumbled, wiping the sleep from his eyes.
Tearing his eyes from Blair's semi-hard morning erection, he let his hand dust across the rosy nipples as he leaned down to claim a kiss. Pulling back, he sighed heavily, giving his luscious possession one last, long look.
"Something the matter?" Blair asked, his brow wrinkling as he studied the man sitting beside him.
"Get dressed," Jim ordered, turning away from temptation.
"Jim?" Blair sat up and rested a hand on the sagging shoulders.
Shrugging him off, Jim stood, his back to the bed. "Just get dressed—now."
Blair got up and went to his closet, digging through his meager collection of clothing. Finally, he decided on a pair of cream linen slacks and the white shirt that had been his first possession as a slave. He quickly slipped into the clothes, finishing with a pair of sandals.
"Okay, Jim, I'm dressed," he said, approaching the brooding Sentinel. "Now, what gives?"
"I have something for you," Jim said, turning around to look at the man he loved. He pulled an envelope from his breast pocket and held it out toward Blair.
"What's this?" Blair asked, accepting the envelope.
Blair ran a finger under the flap, breaking the seal, and pulled out the paper inside. He quickly scanned the contents, and then read through it a second time. "Jim, what is this?" he asked again, looking up in wonder.
"Just what it says," Jim answered, his voice flat and lifeless. "Those are your walking papers. You're a free man."
"Free?" Blair glanced at the paper, then back up at Jim. "Free to go where? I've got nothing but the clothes on my back. How am I supposed to leave?"
In reply, Jim ushered him out of the bedroom and through the house to the foyer. Opening the front door, he indicated the limousine that waited in the driveway. "Your carriage awaits, Cinderella." He made a sweeping gesture with his arm.
"But...." Blair looked confused, glancing between his former owner and the limo. "You can't send me away now," he said, his eyes misting at the thought. "We're just getting started on your senses. You need me."
"Don't forget this," Jim said coldly, shoving another envelope into Blair's hand. He knew if he didn't do this now, he would never be able to try again.
"What's this...?" Blair looked over his shoulder as Jim pushed him through the door, toward the waiting chauffeur.
"You can check it out when you're on your way," Jim said. "Please, Blair, don't make this any harder than it already is."
"What...?" Blair's mouth was agape as he glanced at the envelope, seeing a plane ticket tucked inside. The chauffeur opened the door of the limo as Jim continued to gently shove Blair inside. His eyes were still wide with shock and confusion as the door began to close.
"Good-bye, Blair," Jim said, leaning in for one last kiss. "I love you. Remember that." He slammed the door shut and signaled to the driver to leave. As the limousine drove off down the driveway and out onto the road, he watched—using his enhanced sight until even he could no longer see the dust.
Blair settled into the seat and pulled out the ticket—a first class, one-way flight back to Cascade, Washington. He sighed. This is what he had wanted for so long. Jim had given him his life back, had sent him home again. He should be happy, ecstatic. So why did he feel an emptiness in the pit of his stomach?
The flight home was long, but uneventful. As they landed in Cascade nearly twenty-two hours later, Blair realized he would have to go through US Customs, and he didn't have a passport or any kind of ID.
"May I see your passport, please?" the Customs agent asked as Blair approached.
"I-I don't have one. I lost it," Blair stammered.
Blair shook his head.
"Security ID? Any kind of photo ID?" When Blair continued to shake his head, the agent frowned. "I'm sorry. We'll have to detain you until we have some form of identification."
"Do I get a phone call?" Blair asked as he was ushered into a small office.
"Just one, but make it short," the agent said, waiting while Blair picked up the phone and dialed.
"Simon?" Blair asked when the phone was answered. "I'm stuck here in Customs at the airport," he explained. "Can you bring some kind of ID to get me out of here?"
"Blair! Oh my God, man, I thought I'd never see you again!" Joel wrapped his partner in a huge bear hug after Simon had managed to extricate him from the red tape of the Customs officials.
Laughing and gasping for air, Blair hugged back, patting the large shoulders reassuringly. "Never thought I'd be back," he agreed. "God, it's great to see you!" He looked around as Joel loosened his hold, including Megan and Simon in the heartfelt greeting.
"Welcome home, Sandy." Megan approached and kissed him on the cheek. "I can't believe it. Can you believe it?" she asked, turning to Simon. "You're back! Where were you all this time? Are you all right?"
"I'm fine," Blair assured her. "It's a long story; would you mind if I caught my breath first?"
A roar went up as Blair walked into the Major Crime bullpen, followed by Simon Banks, Joel Taggert and Megan Connor. Friends and fellow co-workers immediately surrounded him, pounding him on the back.
"Where were you?" Rafe asked. "You had us worried sick."
"You okay, Hairboy?" Brown interrupted, taking in the dark circles under Blair's eyes.
"I'm fine," Blair assured his audience. "Just a little overwhelmed at the moment." He smiled almost shyly, ducking his head and allowing Simon to herd him toward the office.
"Taggert, Connor, Rafe, Brown—my office, now," Simon said, gesturing to the detectives. "As for the rest of you, you'll get the story as soon as we get Sandburg debriefed. Now get back to work." With that, he closed the door and relative peace descended.
Blair looked up gratefully. "Thanks, Simon. That was getting to be a bit much," he said softly, his voice reflecting his exhaustion.
"Sit down, son. Can you tell us what happened, where you were all this time?" Simon asked, settling in a chair next to the observer.
"It's a long story," Blair said, hesitating. "I'm really tired, and a little confused. Could I, um ... could I do this some other time?"
"We need the bare bones, Blair," Simon insisted. "The FBI is going to want to know. You'll probably have to interview with them eventually. For now, just an outline will do, then you can go home."
Blair took a deep breath. "I was attacked outside Hargrove Hall," he began. "I was going to my car, when a guy came up behind me and knocked me out—ether, I think. I woke up in the hold of a ship headed for Brazil. When we got there, all of us were sold into slavery."
Rafe rested a reassuring hand on Blair's shoulder. "God, that must have been hell," he commented softly.
Suddenly overcome with the day's events and his momentous return home, Blair simply nodded, his head bowed. Memories of his months with Juarez flashed through his mind, making him tremble. "Look, I really don't want to talk about this now. It's all still a little bit fresh, you know?"
"How did you escape? How did you get home?" Henri asked, squatting beside the chair and looking up at Blair with round, brown eyes.
"My master, Jim ... h-he gave me my freedom," Blair said, digging in his pocket for the emancipation document, which he handed to Simon. "And he gave me a ticket to get home."
"Why?" Megan asked, intrigued by the story.
"He loved me, and he knew I wasn't happy," Blair said softly. "He gave me what I wanted. He gave me back my life."
Megan studied the young face lined with tension. "Did he? Are you sure this is what you wanted?" she wondered.
"Yes! Of course! Who wouldn't want their freedom; to get their lives back?" Blair's anger flared, his eyes suddenly flashing with passion. Just as suddenly, the fire was banked and he lowered his gaze. "I-I don't know ... I don't know what I want right now. I-I'm just so tired."
"Let's get you home," Simon said, helping Blair to his feet. "Joel, would you drive him, and make sure that he's settled with anything that he needs?"
"Sure thing, Simon. Come on, Blair, let's go home." Joel wrapped an arm around Blair's waist and guided him out of the office as Simon fended off the rest of the bullpen.
As they entered the elevator, Simon approached. "I'm going to make you an appointment to see the department shrink," he told Blair.
Blair nodded, too tired to say more. The doors closed and the elevator descended to the basement parking garage where Joel led him to his car and helped him to get in.
"Long day, huh, Kid?" Joel asked, sliding behind the wheel.
"Yeah," Blair sighed. "Can you just take me home? I'm sorry, Joel, but I really don't feel much like talking right now."
As they drove through the early afternoon traffic, Blair stared out the window drinking in the familiar sights and sounds of home. His breath fogged the glass as he looked, unable to believe he was really back in Cascade.
Joel pulled into the parking lot of a small market and killed the engine. "You're going to need some food and stuff. Would you like to come in with me?"
Blair shook his head. "Just get me a few things," he said. "I'll pay you back."
Joel came out of the market fifteen minutes later with two large shopping bags that he piled in the back seat. Getting back behind the wheel, he drove to Blair's apartment building.
The third floor loft was large and airy, and hadn't changed in the intervening months, except for a thick layer of dust on the furniture. Joel went into the kitchen to clean out the refrigerator and put in the fresh groceries. When he was finished, he grabbed two beers and headed over to the couch where Blair sat, thumbing through the TV channels with the remote control.
"Thought you might enjoy a cold one," he said, handing the beer to his friend. Knowing that Blair was uncomfortable talking about his ordeal, Joel decided to try a different tack. "Now that you're back, do you plan to reschedule the defense of your dissertation?"
Blair took a sip of beer from the cold bottle before answering. "Yeah. Yeah, I'll probably do that," he agreed. "I'll read through the paper again, refresh my mind. Now that I'm back, I suppose that's the number one thing I need to do toward getting my life back on track."
"You don't have to rush anything, Blair," Joel counseled. "I don't know what all you went through, but I'm sure you have some issues you need to work through, some adjusting to being home again."
Blair stared at the TV, but he wasn't focused on it. His mind was roiling with images and memories. He leaned back against the couch cushions and took a few more sips of beer. Finally, the dam burst, and a single tear slid down his cheek. "It was a nightmare," he said, his voice shaking and barely above a whisper. "W-We were herded off that ship and stripped, examined and tattooed before being sold...." Joel reached over to let a reassuring hand rest on Blair's thigh, but he kept quiet, not wanting to interrupt. "The man who bought me, Montego Juarez, was a cruel man. He kept me naked, and he—he r-raped me daily, usually m-more than once. He whipped me when I was slow to respond or spoke out. There—there was one time—" Blair hesitated, pulling his knees up and wrapping his arms around them; he wiped at the nuisance tear with his sleeve before continuing. "There was this one time that he gave me to a client for the night and I kneed the bastard in his crotch. M-My punishment was a stun gun to my b-balls." Another tear quietly followed the track of the first down his cheek. "God, Joel, it was hell. I wasn't even a person anymore, just a pretty ass to fuck, a reward to be given whenever and to whomever my master pleased. And I was supposed to take it without complaint." His shoulders began to shake as he cried silently for the lost months of his life and, more, for the loss of his innocence.
Taggert wrapped an arm around Blair and pulled him close. The anthropologist let his head rest against the security of Joel's broad chest and sighed. "You're home now; you're safe," Joel assured him. "Nobody is going to hurt you anymore."
Blair was silent for a time. When he spoke again, his voice was soft and congested from his tears. "Now I'm supposed to p-pick up my life and go on like none of that ever happened. I'm expected to just put it all behind me and f-forget." He tipped his head up to look at his protector. "But I can't forget it. It's a part of me now. I don't want to forget all of it."
"You don't have to, Blair. You're going to need help integrating this all back into your life, but nobody's going to force you to forget—"
"Jim." The name dropped softly from Blair's lips.
"Jim?" Joel looked down into the twin pools of Blair's eyes. "The one who freed you? What about him?"
"He was kind, gentle—" Blair explained.
"Did he rape you like the others?" Joel wanted to know; angry at the thought of anyone owning the free spirit that was his partner.
"No." Blair shook his head. "No. He loved me, touched me, kissed me, but he never ... he never—" He stopped to swallow the lump that had formed in his throat. "He only wanted me if I was willing, and I-I ... I turned him down, Joel. I wouldn't give him the pleasure."
"Good for you!" Joel exclaimed gently. "Any man that would buy another human being doesn't deserve—"
"But he was special," Blair whispered. "He was my Sentinel, my Holy Grail, my Blessed Protector."
"Sentinel?" Joel perked up at the term. "Wasn't your first diss paper on tribal sentinels?"
"Yeah," Blair said, sighing. "But I had to abandon the project because I never could find a subject to study. Not that I regret working with you and the rest of Major Crime," he added quickly.
A light came on in Joel's mind and he asked, "Did you love him? Did you love this Jim person?"
Blair was silent for a few moments, processing his feelings. Finally he shook his head. "I don't know. He was good to me, kind. He gave me medical attention when I needed it, he gave me clothes. He was never anything but gentle, and he saved my ass from one of his lecherous clients. He protected me, sheltered me. I-I don't know. Maybe I did love him ... do love him. Maybe that's why I don't feel as happy as I should to be home."
"Sounds like a classic case of Stockholm Syndrome to me," Joel concluded. "A captive identifying with or falling in love with his captor."
"Oh no," Blair said, sitting up again and wiping the moisture from his face. "It wasn't like that at all. The Stockholm Syndrome is a coping mechanism for captives who fear for their lives. When I was with Juarez, I didn't know from one day to the next if I would live through it. I just did my best to survive, but I never attached to him. Every day I prayed to be free. I couldn't love him. I was relieved when Jim bought me; even though I didn't know what new situation I was headed into. Jim never tried to hurt me. He never threatened me. He—he was kind, Joel."
"You'll get over it," Joel assured him. "It just takes time. Are you hungry? I could fix you a sandwich."
"No, that's okay, but thanks. I-I think I'd just like to be left alone for a bit, if you don't mind," Blair said, gathering up the empty beer bottles and taking them to the recycling bin under the sink in the kitchen.
"Are you sure?" Joel asked, standing. "I could stay longer, if you need someone to talk to."
Blair pasted on a smile as he walked back over to the large, black detective who had become his best friend and working partner. "Go home to your wife, Joel. I'll be fine. Honest."
Joel cocked an eyebrow, still uncertain about leaving. "You know where to call if you need anything—anything," he repeated.
"I know," Blair said, still smiling. "Thanks for everything—for the groceries, the beer, for coddling me through my pity party. I'm going to be okay; you can leave me alone." One hand on Joel's shoulder helped to guide the detective to his front door. "I'm going to be taking a few days off, getting settled again, you know; but I'll be back soon."
"Call me," Joel stressed once more as he headed out the door.
Blair smiled and waved, then closed the door and leaned against it with a sigh.
After several hours of puttering around the loft cleaning up, eating a light supper and settling down in front of the TV, Blair had fallen asleep on the couch. A knock on the door startled him awake.
"Just a minute!" he called to his visitor, as he brushed himself off and ran a hand through his wild hair. Dashing over to the door, he pulled it open. "Megan!"
"Hi, Sandy. Did I come at a bad time?" She eyed the still slightly rumpled man. "I can come back another day." She started to turn to leave.
"No. No, that's okay," Blair answered, grabbing her forearm and pulling her inside. "I fell asleep on the couch is all."
"If you're tired ... I mean, I know it's your first day back...." Megan hesitated.
"Not a problem," Blair said, leading her over to the couch. "Can I get you something? Coffee?"
"Coffee sounds good," Megan answered, settling on the couch.
Blair went into the kitchen and busied himself with the coffeemaker. He returned to the couch with a plate of raspberry scones. "The coffee will be ready in a few more minutes," he told his guest. "You're looking good."
Megan chuckled. "That was supposed to be my line, Mate!" she teased. "You really do look good, considering what you've been through."
"What I've been through?" Blair glanced at her as he offered the plate of scones.
Megan blushed. "I hope you won't be angry with Joel," she began, "but he told me a little bit about what happened to you in Brazil."
"Joel?" Blair was stunned. He'd spoken in confidence, certain that his friend and partner would understand and keep the secret.
"Please don't be upset with him," Megan repeated. "He knows about my experience, and he thought that maybe I could help."
"Your experience?" Blair echoed, thoroughly confused. The coffeemaker beeped, just as Megan opened her mouth to explain. "Excuse me." Blair bounced up and came back with two steaming mugs. Settling back on the couch, he eyed Megan suspiciously. "Just what did Joel tell you?"
Megan took a sip of her coffee before replying. "When I first made inspector, the department didn't quite know what to do with me," she began. "At the time, they didn't have many females on staff, so I was the one who got all the rape cases to investigate."
"That must have been hard," Blair commented softly, his head bowed over his coffee, not looking at his friend.
"Yeah, it was," agreed Megan. "I saw firsthand how the crime devastated lives, broke up families, and left ruin in its wake. It was never about the sex, you know. It was about having power over another person." She paused, watching the young man beside her. "And then it got personal."
Blair's head came up. "Y-You...?"
"No, not me," Megan replied, shaking her head. "My current flatmate at the time. She'd had a date with a new guy she'd met at some bar. He drugged and raped her, then left her in a back alley. She was hospitalized for her injuries, and when she came home ... well, things were never quite the same again."
"God, Megan," Blair said, finally looking up, "that's awful! I'm so sorry." He scooted down the cushions to be closer to the inspector and reached out to circle her waist with his arm. "I can't imagine how horrible that must have been."
Megan turned to look at Blair, her warm eyes meeting his. "I think that you do," she said softly. "That's why Joel thought it might be a good idea that we talked, you and I."
"It's not the same," Blair protested, sliding back toward the end of the couch, putting as much distance between himself and his guest as he could. "I'm fine now. It's over."
"It's never really over," Megan said. "You'll always be a rape survivor. My friend endured a vicious attack. After her hospitalization, she was in therapy for years. She never did quite recover. You were a hostage for over four months."
"I was Juarez's whore," Blair spat the words softly. "I didn't have a choice."
"Neither did Peggy," Megan reminded him. "She was really mixed up for a long time. Because of her experience, I decided to volunteer some of my time to a local rape hotline. Between what I could do as an inspector and what I did as a volunteer, I think I made a difference; possibly saved a life."
"Probably more than one," agreed Blair.
"The thing is, Sandy," Megan said, bringing the subject back in line. "The thing is that you need to talk about this, work it through. You can't just go macho and try to suppress it. If you do, it's going to come back and bite you in the ass when you least expect it."
"I-I don't know...." Blair stuttered, his heart suddenly beating a syncopated rhythm.
"Aw, Love.... You don't have to talk about it right now, or even to me—but I'm here if you need me," Megan offered. "Sometimes it helps to talk to someone who understands. If you're uncomfortable talking about it with me, maybe you could call the rape hotline and talk to a volunteer. It really can make a difference."
"I will, Megan. I promise," Blair told her. "Simon is setting up an appointment for me with the department shrink. Maybe I can talk to her about it."
"Whatever is the most comfortable for you," Megan agreed. "And please don't be angry with Joel. He only had your best interests at heart."
"I know," Blair said. "I promise, I won't rip his head off the next time I see him." He yawned widely, trying to hide it behind his hand. "Sorry."
Megan rose from her seat, taking her coffee mug and the plate of scones back into the kitchen. "Don't be. It's been a long day, and you must be exhausted."
Glancing at the clock, Blair nodded. "I think I'll head for bed, if you don't mind."
Megan walked over and kissed his cheek. "Call me if you need to talk," she said. "Good night."
"'Night, Megan." Blair shut the door behind her and made sure all the locks were engaged. He walked into the kitchen, taking out the plastic wrap to cover the plate of scones, and then putting it in the refrigerator. Making the rounds of his office and the balcony doors, he made sure all the windows and doors were secure before heading to the bathroom for a shower.
Hot water sluiced down his naked body, a fine stubble of hair covering his chest and groin. His mind raced back to yesterday morning, when Jim had told him to get up and dressed. Mattie hadn't had a chance to shave him. He soaped himself quickly and rinsed, then washed his hair. Toweling himself dry, he pulled the tattered terry robe from the back of the door and wrapped himself tightly in the familiar warmth.
He padded barefoot up the stairs, pausing at the top to stare at the king-size bed with its view of the apartment below. Shedding the robe, he crawled naked onto the sheets. He pulled the blanket up and tried to get comfortable ... but something was missing. As he closed his eyes and tried to sleep, another pair of blue eyes floated through his memory; warm eyes, full of love and longing. He let his hand dust across his nipples, pinching and rolling them. His fingers tugged at the jewel threaded through the left nipple, making his back arch and his cock stiffen with anticipation. "Jiiiim!" Blair groaned. He reached down to his cock, circling the hardening organ with strong fingers. He pulled repeatedly on it until he was hard and leaking. Eyes still closed, he imagined it was Jim's hand teasing him; Jim's hand pumping slickly on his cock; Jim's hand wringing his orgasm from his deliciously tortured body. Collapsing in utter exhaustion and satiation, Blair slept.
He lay sprawled on the white sheets; freshly shaved, naked, and achingly hard. He watched as his lover approached the bed, huge cock bobbing in time with his steps.
Jim crawled across the mattress, gathering Blair in his arms and covering every inch of flesh with warm, wet kisses. "Love you, Minha Alma. Love you forever."
"Eu te amo com todo meu coração." Blair responded in kind. He gasped as Jim's mouth engulfed his cock, his tongue licking the shaft and curling around the flared head. Blair grabbed great fistfuls of the sheets in an effort to keep his orgasm at bay. His body was strung tighter than a bowstring and he trembled at the soft touches against his skin. The suction on his cock became unbearable and he let go, crying out his release as Jim drank the nectar of his body. He collapsed in a boneless heap, not protesting when Jim rolled him onto his stomach.
Blair felt Jim reach across his body, but didn't bother to open his eyes. He moaned as a slick finger teased at his opening, easing inside with great care. He humped weakly, trying to push the finger deeper. Jim's throaty chuckle warmed him. "Patience, Love. I want this to be good for you, the best you've ever had." A second finger joined the first, stretching him further. His anus burned with the fullness, but he purred as Jim's fingers massaged his passage, gently stretching him. He cried out briefly when the fingers were withdrawn, whimpering at the loss.
"Roll over," Jim commanded, helping his lover turn from his stomach to his back. Lifting Blair's legs to his shoulders, Jim aligned his cock and began to push inside. Blair's face briefly tensed with the pain of the stretching, and Jim leaned down to kiss away the lines of stress. "Relax, Sweetheart," he whispered, easing deeper into his lover's body. Finally, his balls came in contact with the soft globes of Blair's ass and he stopped, studying the blissful look on Blair's face.
"I love you," Blair whispered, smiling up at the warm blue eyes watching him. The words acted as a catalyst, and soon Jim was thrusting hard and deep into the willing body.
Blair cried out Jim's name, his voice strangled, as his lover's strokes put pressure against the sensitive prostate gland. He could feel himself growing hard for a second time and groaned as he felt Jim's hand wrap around his cock, pumping in time with his internal thrusts.
Jim could feel the heat of his orgasm building within and held off as long as possible, wanting to bring Blair with him. His young lover had his eyes closed, the look on his face one of pure bliss. "Come for me, Minha Alma. Come for me now," Jim whispered. A shudder racked the smaller body from toe to head as Blair's orgasm swept through him, coating his chest and Jim's hand with creamy come. Jim followed him over the cliff, tumbling down from the height of his climax to the valley that included Blair's arms wrapped around him. The couple remained joined as sleep claimed them both.
Blair awoke with a start, his body sticky with fresh semen. Sunlight streamed in from the skylight and he looked at the clock—11 A.M. Grumbling, he climbed out of bed and went downstairs to shower. He was just settling in for his first cup of coffee when the phone rang.
"Sandburg residence," he answered. "Oh, hi, Simon!"
"Sorry to disturb you on your day off," the captain began, "but I got you an appointment with Dr. Cunningham for this afternoon at 2:30. Can you make it?"
"Oh man—" Blair groaned. "I don't know if I'm ready for the shrink yet," he admitted.
"I can reschedule, but her calendar is pretty full. If you can't come in today, it will probably be a couple weeks before she can fit you in again," Simon told him.
"That's okay, Simon," Blair said with a sigh. "I can make it. I need to schedule a time to talk with Dr. Hamiker, too."
"The Dean of Humanities at Rainier?" Simon had heard Blair mention the name before, as he had excitedly talked about defending his thesis.
"I need to get my defense rescheduled."
"Don't try and do too much," Simon warned.
"I'll take it easy, don't worry," Blair assured him. "Good-bye, Simon." After hanging up the phone, he went back to his coffee.
Taking the steaming mug with him, he went to stand out on the balcony overlooking the waters of the bay. He was going to have to make a decision, and either way it wasn't going to be an easy one. He was in love with Jim Ellison, and he wanted to go back. But he had a life for himself here. As soon as he had his Ph.D. in hand, he would become a full professor of Anthropology at the university. Was he willing to give up all he had dreamed about for love?
His lover was warm and pliant, willing and eager to please. Jim let his hand drift down the smooth body to the firm shaft of Blair's erection, stroking the organ lightly and watching its quivering dance. Blair moaned, begging to be touched, to be taken, to be loved. Wrapping his fingers firmly around the thick cock, he began to pump his fist, lubricating his movements with the pre-come leaking liberally from the crown. As his hand worked to bring his lover to climax, Jim leaned down to press soft kisses along Blair's shoulder, brushing the long hair out of the way so that he could nuzzle behind an ear, nibble on the lobe.
Blair turned his head, offering up his lips. Jim devoured them, his tongue delving deeply into the moist cavern of Blair's mouth, tasting his Guide's essence. He swallowed his lover's cry as Blair's orgasm washed through him, coating his chest and Jim's hand with semen. Jim released the spent organ and moved his hand to teasing and lubing Blair's opening. Using the young man's own come, Jim coated his aching erection and pushed inside, reveling in the long, low moan of pleasure the action elicited from his lover.
Jim dialed up touch and felt a thrill shoot up his spine as every nerve ending in his penis registered the tight, moist heat of his concubine. The sweet friction as he began his slow thrusts nearly toppled him over the precipice, but he held on, milking the exquisite sensation for all it was worth. Blair moved beneath him, his hips rocking in counterpoint to Jim's powerful thrusts, burying the invading cock deep within his body. Jim's hand worked the burgeoning new erection, determined to bring his lover with him as they tumbled over the cliff of their mutual climax.
Sated and weary, both men lay basking in the afterglow of their lovemaking. Still buried deep within his willing slave's body, Jim closed his eyes, visions of his lover claiming him even in sleep.
Jim Ellison paced the veranda, looking out over his property. The day Blair left, he had decided to free all his slaves. His paramour had a point—all these men and women had lives of their own. Many had left, but a few had stayed as paid employees of the plantation. He was going to have to go into the city and look for more willing workers, or the crops would not be harvested before the rains set in. But he found it hard to motivate himself to do anything.
It had been nearly a week, and each morning he had awakened alone, the bed damp from his nightly orgasms. The dreams plagued him when he slept, while thoughts of Blair barely left his conscious mind during the day. It was hard to focus, to do what needed to be done. He knew he had done the right thing, but the action had torn out his heart.
Blair stood on the podium, basking in the applause. He had opted for an open defense of his dissertation, and many of the detectives from Major Crime had taken the time to come and support him. The questions had been grueling, but he answered each with fluid grace, the facts readily at his fingertips. Finally, it was done. All he needed to do now was to wait for the decision of the committee.
"That was great!" Joel said, thumping the anthropologist on the back. "How long before you know? Not that I have any doubts," he added, grinning.
"Could be a few hours to a few days," Blair told him. "It all depends on the committee. It's kind of like a jury," he said, using an analogy the detective would understand. "If they're all in agreement, I'll find out quickly. If they have to deliberate, it could take much longer."
Dr. Hamiker approached the two men. "Welcome to the faculty, Dr. Sandburg." He held out a hand.
Blair reached out for the handshake automatically, his mind dumbfounded by the dean's words. Finally, he found his voice. "Thank you. Thank you, Dr. Hamiker!" He continued to pump the man's hand enthusiastically.
"There wasn't any doubt after that presentation," Hamiker declared. "The committee was in complete agreement. You can start in your new position at the beginning of next term."
"That's just three weeks away!" Blair said in amazement.
The dean nodded. "That should be enough time to get your things moved into your new office and to get yourself settled."
"Thank you!" Blair repeated, still at a loss for more eloquent words.
"You're most welcome, Dr. Sandburg." With that, he walked away, leaving Blair to be surrounded by his friends and colleagues.
The celebration party at O'Callahan's Pub was crowded and noisy. Blair made the rounds, talking with students, fellow professors, and a large contingent of detectives from Major Crime. But his mind wasn't on the festivities. He had finally achieved his life-long dream—to have his Ph.D. and a guaranteed job that would see him comfortably well off. But surrounded by so many friends, why did he feel so alone? He closed his eyes briefly and saw another set of blue eyes swim across his inner vision. The one person he wanted to be here, wasn't.
His daydream was interrupted by a friendly slap on the shoulder. "Well, Dr. Sandburg, now that you have that fancy piece of paper to hang on your wall, do you plan to come back to work with us lowly minions of the law?" Joel chuckled at the startled look on his partner's face.
"You know I do, Joel," the new Doctor of Anthropology answered. "Of course, I'll have to work my consulting in between my class schedule and office hours—"
"So what else is new?" Simon asked, coming up behind the pair. "We never could count on regular hours from you."
"It feels a little strange, you know?" Blair spoke softly. "The idea of getting paid to do what I've been doing for years for free."
"You've earned it, Sandy," said Megan, coming up to join the small group. "And now you're one of us."
"Well, not really," Blair protested, smiling and shaking his head. "I still don't—"
"Have a badge?" Simon finished for him. "Since Inspector Connor brought it up, I figure this is as good a time as any for my little announcement." He turned toward the crowd gathered in the pub. "May I have everyone's attention for a moment, please? Thank you," he said when the noise quieted. "For those of you who don't know me, I'm Captain Simon Banks of the Metro PD, Major Crime Unit. It's my pleasure this afternoon to congratulate Dr. Sandburg on achieving his degree, and to offer him an official place in our department." He held out a leather wallet toward Blair. The young man took it cautiously, his eyes never leaving Simon's face. "Well, open it!" Simon encouraged when Blair hesitated.
Blair stared a moment longer at the captain, and then turned his attention to the wallet in his hand. He flipped it open to show a gold shield and an ID card. "Simon...." Blair paused, glancing up at the captain, then back down at the detective's badge. "I-I don't have time for the Academy now—"
"You don't need to," Simon assured him. "Between time served in the field with Detective Taggert and your new degree, you've earned the shield. However, if you choose to carry a gun, you will have to pass the firearms proficiency test."
"I've already accepted a teaching position at Rainier," Blair added. "There's no way I can do police work full time."
"We don't expect you to," Simon told him. "I've had some discussions with Police Chief Warren and Chancellor Edwards, and it was decided that you'd be given time off from your duties at Rainier whenever the police department had need of you in an official capacity—as a paid consultant, of course."
"Wow, you mean it?" Blair asked, stunned that all this had been arranged without his knowledge.
"If you agree to the terms, it's all worked out," said Simon.
Blair stared at the badge, still shaking his head in wonder. "Are you kidding? Of course I agree!"
"Welcome to Major Crime, Partner!" Joel slapped his friend on the back, then wrapped an arm around his shoulders and steered him back toward the table, sitting him down and handing him a beer.
"Master?" Mattie walked up to the tall, gaunt man, carrying a tray with a glass of iced tea.
Jim turned and took the cold drink gratefully. "Thanks, Mattie." He fell silent again, looking out over his fields.
"You are thinking about the young concubine again," she noted astutely. "You should not have sent him away."
"I had to." Jim sighed, sinking down into an upholstered chair on the veranda. "I loved him."
"It should have been his decision to stay or to go," Mattie insisted. "He loved you, too; I know it. He might have chosen to stay."
"Or he might not have. I couldn't take that chance," Jim admitted. "I was afraid—afraid that he'd want to leave, that he'd reject me and go home."
"So, instead of letting him hurt you, you hurt yourself by sending him away."
"It was easier this way." Jim set down the drink and looked at his housekeeper. "He's gone, Mattie. I have to learn to live with it."
"You made a big mistake." Mattie shook her head and turned to go back into the mansion.
Had he made a big mistake? Jim wondered. If he had left the decision up to Blair, would the young man have stayed? It had been nearly a month now, and not a day went by that he didn't think of his lost love. Not a night passed that he didn't lie in his large, empty bed and touch himself, missing the warmth of the pliant body next to him. He no longer went into town, checking out the slave vendors. He rarely left the house—days blending into nights merging into endless days; his life empty and without direction; his senses shut down and dull—useless.
Blair took off his glasses and sank down at his desk in his office at Rainier University. He rubbed his eyes before digging in a drawer for something to take for his pounding headache. He wondered, not for the first time, why he had wanted this position so badly. Hours of classroom lecture, followed by more hours of paperwork, topped with time spent consulting with students who either didn't have a clue, or didn't care. He'd forgotten what sleep felt like. If he wasn't here, he was in the bullpen with Joel and the other detectives at the PD. He hadn't seen the inside of his loft apartment for a week.
The jangling of the phone snapped him out of his stupor. "Yeah, hey, Joel. Sure, I can be there," Blair assured the detective. "No, I wasn't busy. Just finished with a class.... That's all right; no problem. I'm fine. I'll be right there." He hung up and pushed his chair back, reaching for his coat as he walked out of the room.
Ten minutes later, he was at the waterfront. He pulled over next to Taggert's car and got out, climbing into the passenger seat next to the detective. "Hi, Joel! What's up?"
"Geez, kid, you look like shit!" Taggert greeted him. "You forget to sleep again?"
"Sleep is for wimps," said Blair, waving off the comment. "I'll be fine; don't worry."
"You really need to take better care of yourself," Joel scolded. "You're going to collapse one of these days from sheer exhaustion."
"I've gotta keep busy," Blair mumbled, staring off down the docks.
"To keep your mind off of him?" asked Joel, his look softening as he saw the despair in Blair's eyes.
"Does it show?" the young man asked. When Taggert nodded, he sighed. "I love him, Joel. I want to be there with him. I want to be here: working at Rainier; working with you. It's hard—" Blair turned his eyes to his friend, and then dropped them to his lap. "I can't sleep nights. I close my eyes, but sleep doesn't come. My mind is too full of thoughts, of decisions that I have to make, but can't."
"You know I'm here for you," Joel said, patting Blair's thigh. "Anytime you need to talk about anything—"
"Thanks; I know you are." Blair smiled weakly, turning his eyes back to the pier. "So, why are we here?"
Joel gave his partner one last stern look before turning his attention to a warehouse further down the dock. "We got word there's going to be a shipment of illegal arms coming in this afternoon, and the Japanese mafia is involved."
"The Yakuza?" Blair's interested was piqued and his exhaustion melted away. "That's big, Joel."
"You bet it is," the detective answered. "The rumor is that they plan to sell the guns to local terrorist groups."
"Like the Sunrise Patriots?" Blair shivered. "After they blew up that building downtown last year, I've had a really bad feeling about those guys."
"No kidding; you and ninety-nine percent of Cascade! Shhh!" Joel waved a hand and pointed to the activity happening further down the dock.
"Maybe we should try and get closer?" Blair suggested, wishing he had Jim and the man's sentinel senses right about now. To be able to hear from this distance would be invaluable.
Joel looked around at the afternoon crowd of people—folks out enjoying one of the few sunny days left before winter set in with endless days of rain. He nodded to his partner. "Just try and remain casual; look like one of the crowd."
"Hungry?" Blair asked as they passed the Mr. Tube Steak vendor. He stopped and ordered a couple of hotdogs, handing one to Joel before continuing to stroll down the pier toward the suspicious activity. "I haven't eaten since breakfast."
"Why doesn't that surprise me?" Joel asked with a chuckle. He made quick work of his dog, dusting his hands against his slacks to clean them. "Thanks, that was good."
"No problem," Blair said, shrugging off the compliment. "Look!" He pointed down the pier at large crates being unloaded from a ship. "Think that's our weapons?"
"Could be," Joel said, studying the activity. Suddenly, one of the men unloading the crates noticed the two plainclothes detectives. "Damn, I think we've been made! Get down!" Joel pushed Blair to one side, raising his weapon just as shots rang out.
Women screamed, grabbing their children and running to find cover. The crowd on the pier became a panicked mob, allowing the men unloading the ship to get a final crate in the back of a transport vehicle and take off.
Joel turned toward Blair, to find his partner on the ground, blood flowing out beneath his hand from a wound through his shoulder. "It's going to be all right, Blair," he soothed. "You just hang on. Help will be here soon." He made a dash for his car, radioing in an officer down before returning to take care of his partner.
"The bullet went straight through," the doctor informed Taggert and Captain Banks. "It missed the major blood vessels and bone, passing through soft tissue only. But," he continued, stopping the two men who had turned to each other in relief. "Mr. Sandburg did lose a lot of blood at the scene; he's in shock. I'd like to keep him overnight for observation. He should be able to go home in the morning."
"Can we see him now?" Joel asked.
"It would be better if just one of you visited," the doctor replied. "Mr. Sandburg is lightly sedated at the moment and is resting. Keep it short."
Simon turned to his detective. "I'm turning this investigation over to Brown and Rafe. You take care of your partner."
"No buts, Joel. Blair needs you right now. You can help out on the case once he's out of the hospital and back on the mend," the captain said, brooking no argument.
Joel nodded. "Yeah, okay. Thanks."
Simon patted the big man's shoulder. "He's going to be just fine."
"I know." Joel gave his captain a weak smile and headed off toward Blair's room. He pushed open the door and walked into the dimness, coming to sit next to the bed. Blair looked pale and worn in the feeble blue light coming from above his bed. There were lines of stress and pain on a face too young to be so marked. His shoulder was heavily bandaged, his arm in a sling. "Kid, you don't belong here," Joel whispered. "You belong where you can be safe, where you can be happy—with the man you love." It took a lot for Joel to admit that. A part of him hated Jim Ellison for dealing in the slave trade, for buying and selling human beings. But another part of him recognized what Blair saw—a good man, despite his flaws; a man that had freed his lover. Blair would be safe with Ellison—safer than he was here in Cascade.
With a sigh, Joel settled in for his nightlong vigil against the doctor's orders. He wouldn't leave his partner alone and unprotected.
Blair opened his eyes and blinked at the bright morning sunlight streaming in through the window of his hospital room. Next to the bed, Joel dozed in the comfortable upholstered chair a nurse had brought to him the night before. Blair shifted, and felt a stab of pain shoot through his injured shoulder. His surprised yelp of pain woke his partner.
"Sorry, Joel. I didn't mean to wake you," Blair apologized.
Taggert rubbed the sleep from his eyes and smiled at his friend. "So, you finally woke up! How are you feeling?"
"Fine, if I don't move," Blair answered tersely. "Shoulder hurts like hell if I even twitch. Did it hurt this much the time you got shot?"
Joel started to shake his head, to deny the pain he'd been in, but then thought better of it. "Yeah, it hurt a lot," he admitted. "But you have to work through the pain. You get used to it, and eventually it fades."
"It can take a few weeks," Joel answered carefully. "Sometimes, when the injury is to a joint, you'll feel twinges the rest of your life. Probably not in your case, though," he hastened to add. "The bullet went through soft tissue—an in-and-out—and didn't do any damage to the joint."
Blair nodded, sighing. "So, how soon until I get my walking papers?"
"The doc said this morning," Joel told him.
"Someone mention me?" Dr. Mercer strode through the door, smiling at his patient. "How's the shoulder this morning?"
"You're kidding, right?" Blair said with a grimace. "It hurts."
"That's to be expected," Mercer commented, peeling back the bandage to examine the wound. "It's looking good; no infection." He replaced the gauze pads and wrapped Blair's shoulder. "You should change the bandage twice a day," he instructed. "If you see any signs of infection, or if the pain gets worse, call right away."
"Okay. I can do that," Blair replied.
"In that case, I'll have the nurse bring in your paperwork and we'll get you on your way."
"Thanks, Dr. Mercer." Blair watched as the doctor left the room. "Time to go, Joel," he said as he slipped off the bed.
Joel was immediately at his side. "You sit here. I'll get your clothes." He lowered the anthropologist into the chair next to the bed and went to the small closet. When he returned, he helped Blair dress and they waited for the nurse to arrive with the papers.
Once they had taken care of the checkout, Blair was wheeled to the pick-up area and Joel made a dash to get the car, bringing it around to where his partner waited. Blair settled into the passenger seat and Joel took off toward 852 Prospect.
At the loft, Joel made sure Blair was comfortable before heading into the kitchen to fix some sandwiches for a light lunch. "You look like you could use a little nourishment," he said, walking out to where Blair rested on the couch, handing him a plate and a glass of milk.
"Thanks, but I'm not really hungry," said Blair, setting the milk on the coffee table and staring at his sandwich. He took a deep breath and turned to his very best friend. "Joel, I don't think I can do this anymore."
"Blair? You're scaring me here, man. What do you mean?" Joel asked, suddenly losing interest in his own lunch.
"I've been thinking about it for weeks, now; trying to decide what to do. I've got a lot going for me here—a full professorship at Rainier, a paying consulting job with the police—but I don't have what I really want."
Joel studied the tired face of his friend and came to a conclusion. "Jim?" When Blair nodded, the detective continued. "I hate to admit this," he began, "but I was thinking along the same lines while you were in the hospital. You'd be safe in South America with Ellison; out of harm's way. No more getting shot at."
"Or having to deal with wise-ass students," Blair added with a watery smile.
"So, have you decided to leave?" Joel asked, knowing what was right, but not wanting to lose the young man who had become such a close friend.
"I'll give it some time," Blair answered carefully. "Until my arm is better. But, yeah, I think there's a good chance I'll go."
"We'll all miss you, you know," said Joel unnecessarily.
"Yeah, man, I know. I'll miss you, too," Blair assured him.
Three weeks later, with his arm free of the sling, Blair put the last of his personal belongings in a box and looked around his office at Rainier. Eight years it had taken him to get here. Eight years of sweat and hard work. He was proud of his accomplishments, proud that he was able to achieve his degree. He hadn't wanted to start a relationship with Jim before completing this milestone in his life. If he had fought to stay on the plantation, or had turned around and gone right back, he knew he would have always fostered resentment for what could have been. Now, with a clear mind, he was ready to move on—ready to embrace his future—ready to embrace Jim.
"We can't change your mind?" Simon asked as he, Joel and Megan stood in the airport lobby with Blair, waiting for the final boarding call.
"I love you guys," Blair replied, spreading his arms wide to encompass all three, "but this is something I just have to do."
Megan moved in and wrapped her arms around the young professor. "We know that, Sandy, and we're happy for you—really we are. We're just going to miss you like crazy."
Joel took his turn, wiping a tear from his eye before hugging Blair tightly. "Don't be a stranger. Write, call, come visit us."
"Don't worry," Blair promised him. "I'll keep in touch."
The boarding call came for Flight 161 to Miami, connecting to Rio de Janeiro, and Blair took off, waving a final farewell to his friends.
The nearly daylong flight seemed interminable. Blair fidgeted nervously as he waited his turn to disembark at the terminal. Once he was free of the crowds, he picked up his one suitcase and went out to the curb to hail a cab.
The airport was busy, and it took a while to find an empty taxi. He gave the driver the address, and settled back to wait out the long drive to the plantation.
Jim sat out on the veranda, as he did every evening, sipping a cold beer and staring out at the long road that wound its way through the tropical jungle, joining his plantation with the city. There was very little traffic this far out, unless he was expecting a buyer, which he was not.
A spot of dust in the distance caught his attention and he perked up, turning eyes and ears on the vehicle that slowly made its way past the fields and toward the house. The taxi came to a stop and the driver got out, opening the door for his passenger. Jim's heart leapt to his throat at the sight that greeted him as the young man exited the cab. He couldn't believe his eyes, and yet his senses never lied. Heart pounding, he ran through the mansion to the front door, flinging it open just as Blair prepared to ring the bell.
Blair's eyes lit up when he saw Jim, and he threw himself into his Sentinel's arms. His words were music to Jim's ears. "I'm back."