<< Read Part Two
I can feel the sweat pouring down my back as I start thrusting a little faster into the boy. He’s young. Younger than I’d like, to be honest, but he’s what I was given to work with. He’s got his eyes screwed shut, his hands up near his head in tight fists, and he’s grimacing and whimpering every time I go deep—and not in a good way. Then he lets out this pathetic little cry of pain and I just can’t anymore… I stop.
Immediately, the boy opens his eyes and looks up at me with concern. “Uh… you done ‘ready?”
I’m breathing hard and as I shake my head, a few drops of sweat go flying. It’s hot as hell in my tent, but leaving the flap closed only seemed the polite thing to do, considering who my neighbours are.
“So… what fo’ then you wait?” asks the boy, his local pidgin easy enough to decipher.
His asshole squeezes down hard on my cock, and it feels good, but I ask, “Am I actually hurting you?”
“You wanna hurt me, yeah?” This is said with a crooked grin and I feel him waggle his pelvis back and forth a few times, teasingly. “Tha’s my special-ly. Done good fo’ earnin’, don’ you know.” His smile is replaced by a terrified expression and I realize the kid’s a real good actor. “Oh ow ow mis’uh… oh please noooo…” The boy nods, a canny look in his eye. “For extra, I do real big screamin’ and cryin’… you like?”
I’m filled with loathing for my fellow man. Good for business indeed. “No, thank you.”
“Oh.” The boy pushes a blond curl away from his eye, looking thoughtful for a moment. “Well… what you wanna I do?” He seems honestly confused.
My cock’s only getting limper as this goes on, and right then it slips out of him.
“Oh no, long-tooth, don’ worry none! I get it hard up, quick yeah?” he says, reaching for my dick, but I take a step back. I’m sure if I turned off my conscience I could get it up again enough to fuck him, and I’d probably get off in just a few minutes, but truth is I just don’t want to. There’s just something hellishly off-putting about folks paying to rape a kid, act or no. I don’t know, maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I think there should be laws against that sort of thing.
“No, we’re done,” I say, and when I see his eyes widen in real fear, I smile. “Don’t worry. You get paid just the same.”
Relief brings a shy grin to his face and he pops up from my cot, grabbing the shorts I’d yanked off him only a few minutes earlier. From one of the pockets, he pulls out a battered old comms pad, the likes of which I haven’t seen in probably a decade, and I dutifully press my thumb to the scratched sensor.
I might be unfulfilled, but I can’t very well send him off empty-handed, can I? Who knows what his pimp would do to him.
You know, I’m getting downright soft, living alongside the Rimers.
“Thanks,” he says as he’s hopping on one foot to get dressed. “You a handsome fella. Nice big dick. Anytime you want, fo’ sure, ok?”
“I’m not, and it’s not, but thank you,” I say, pulling my own pants back up again.
The kid’s scrawny and he’s got pink scars on his shoulders and cheeks like he’s had too many sunburns—when he turns, I see he’s got two small deed tattoos visible over the waist of his low-slung shorts, right above his left ass cheek, and one of the tattoos is crossed out. So young to have already changed hands once. Poor kid.
“Do you have stash of your own?” I ask, my voice low and gruff. His account’s controlled by the man who owns him but there are a few ways to hide credits, if you know the right people.
The boy looks up at me, curious. “No. Why fo’?”
I stare at him, wishing I had some little token to give him, something he could trade for a vidgame maybe. A kid his age shouldn’t have to spend his days fucking old perverts like me—the longer I think about it, the more I’m disgusted by myself.
I don’t have anything to give the boy, so I send him on his way, silently watching him duck through the tent flap. I sit on the edge of my cot and close my eyes. I’ve lost count of the things I should be ashamed of.
A moment later, the flap lifts again.
“Feeling better?” Pytre’s got a smile on his face, but it doesn’t reach his eyes. He holds out the green bottle I’ve been expecting.
“I think I feel worse.” I grab the bottle from him and pull the cork out. I take a swig of the chartreuse, my eyes already watering before I swallow. It’s awful stuff but it gets the job done. These cultists might frown on fucking, but there’s some wiggle room regarding liquor. The chartreuse is something they manufacture themselves, part of their trade deal with the Argonaus Station in orbit around a neighbouring planet, and they’ve got a whole cellar full of the crap.
Pytre limits me to one bottle every two days and I’m sort of glad—I can’t imagine what state I’d be in after drinking more than that allowance.
“He wasn’t to your tastes?” Pytre asks, sinking down cross-legged in his usual spot on the rug. “I was assured the boy was talented.”
I chuckle to myself before taking another swig. Grimacing, I mutter, “Boy is right.”
“Here I was thinking he might be too old for you,” Pytre replied, folding his hands in his lap. Again, a smile bends Pytre’s lips without touching his eyes. He disapproves, I know, but I can’t help but wonder if some of it is… more personal. “I thought you liked them young.”
I frown. “And why the fuck would you assume that?”
“I’m sorry, I figured the sordid acts you’re always propositioning me with spoke to your preferences, seeing as I am so much your junior, as you like to point out, and that obviously makes me appealing.” He laughs, but I can’t help but notice the pink rising in his cheeks. “Actually, you haven’t yet said anything about what unholy thing you’d like to do to me today. Are you feeling quite well?”
Normally, I would respond with something crude, but I don’t really have it in me right now.
“How old are you anyway?” I ask, shifting the subject. “You know I’ll figure it out one day.” All I know is he’s over twenty, judging by the date he became leader of this particular covey of Rimers.
“How old do I look?” He says in reply, serene smile firmly in place.
“Ten.” It’s a lie, of course. He looked about sixteen the day we met, but the more I get to know him, the older he appears to me. There’s just something in the way he carries himself… or maybe it’s the tone of his voice. “Maaaybe twelve.” I can’t help teasing him, though.
“Hence my earlier confusion over what age you prefer.” There’s a twinkle in Pytre’s eye and I can’t help it—I laugh, and he joins in with his soft chuckle. I have to give it to him, he’s got a quick wit that I appreciate.
Pytre shrugs. “Truthfully, though, about the boy… that’s what’s available around here. And I assure you, like myself, he’s older than he looks.”
Pytre nods. “Really. The whores of Gulchtown ingest something similar to what we Disciples of Rime take for our sacrament.” He narrows his eyes at me, scrutinizing me in a way that starts to make me feel sort of uncomfortable.
“So, you’re a man of scruples after all.”
I snort. “Don’t exaggerate now.” I stop, mid-swig and fix him with a stare. “Was that a test?”
Pytre shrugs again but says nothing. I wonder whether I should point out that the boy’s perceived age wasn’t exactly what stopped me from finishing, initially, but I decide against it.
“Drink with me,” I say, holding out the bottle. I’ve asked him a few times now and he never takes me up on it, but this time he doesn’t decline right away. He looks over his shoulder at the tent flap, a wrinkle creasing his brow. “C’mon, drink with me, padre. You brew the damn stuff, surely you’re allowed to partake.”
“Allowed, yes…” Pytre says slowly and finally relents, taking the bottle from me. He stares at the label for a moment, then takes a big gulp of chartreuse before shaking his head. “Rime, that’s foul.”
I let out a bark of laughter and decide to join Pytre on the rug. I slide off the cot and attempt to sit like the cultist but discover I’m not quite that flexible. I settle on leaning back against the cot with my legs in front of me at a slight angle, ankles crossed and my calf a few inches from Pytre knee. Meanwhile, Pytre’s watching me with an expression I’ve never seen him wear before. He looks a little… nervous?
After taking another deep pull from the bottle, Pytre leans forward to hand it back to me. His grey robes, belted at the waist, hang open, exposing his chest to me for a second. I can’t help but notice that he’s got a set of real perky nipples, the kind you can get a good suck on, and I smile to myself at that thought. I wonder if he knows how pretty he is.
He takes another look at the tent flap as if he’s worried about being caught drinking with me.
“So, tell me the truth, Pytre… if I’m such a holy sinner, lost cause, and all-around bad influence, why do you let me stay here?”
The question seems to take him by surprise. He’s distracted enough that when I hand the bottle back to him, he doesn’t even pretend to waver. Drinking deep, he pulls a face, then he swallows. The way he licks his lips gives my boner another little shove in the right direction, and I decide right then that I really do want him, all jokes and crude overtures aside.
“I see a man who is hiding from his past—a man who needs time to heal, and I’m willing to give that man the place to do it,” he says quietly. “I don’t think you’re a lost cause, Asher.”
It’s the first time in years I’ve heard my name on anyone’s lips. Normally, it would make me angry, but because it’s Pytre, it somehow feels all right. If anything, it tugs at something inside me.
“No? I’ve got you swilling hooch in the middle of the day. How am I not a lost cause?” The combination of my pent-up frustration over what happened earlier, the strong liquor, and the close quarters is getting to me. I can’t stop thinking about sliding my hands inside his robes.
“Ha! Hooch?” Pytre’s brows jump up and he makes as if to examine the label again. “Do you have any idea how much a bottle of this goes for?”
He sounds a bit tipsy, so I decide to seize my chance.
“Here, let me see.” I rise quickly to my knees, reaching for the chartreuse, and cover Pytre’s hand holding the bottle with my own, pulling him roughly towards me until he’s kneeling. We’re face to face, close enough that his breath reaches my lips. His hazel eyes are wide and startled, the pupils huge enough to fall into. I can’t remember the last time I felt anything like this… my dick is so hard I’m in actual pain and it’s like my body’s on fire.
“Let go of me,” he says in a very small voice.
I can feel him trembling and that only stokes whatever the hell has me in its grasp. I curl my other arm around Pytre’s waist, tugging him a bit closer. He doesn’t resist.
“Please,” Pytre whispers. “Please, don’t do this.”
“Why not? It seems to me like you want it.”
He closes his eyes—his breathing is quick and light. A trickle of sweat makes its way down his cheek… or is that a tear? Suddenly, I’m uncertain, but I can’t stop staring at his lips. The bottom one is so plump and pink that my mouth is watering for a taste. My head is swimming with lust yet I feel more awake than I have in decades.
“Asher, don’t do this to me.”
Once again, my name sounds at home on his tongue and this time that… scares me. I lift my eyes and see that his are open and filled with tears. I’ve never seen anything so beautiful and so tragic in my life.
Disconcerted, I drop my arm from his waist and yank the bottle from his hand, sitting back on my heels as he gets to his feet. My heart is beating so hard I can barely draw breath and I turn away from him, confused by the violence of my desire.
“Well? What are you waiting for?” I growl. “Get the fuck out of here.”
When I don’t hear him move, I glance over my shoulder. Pytre’s smile is once again serene and his cheeks are dry. However, there’s no mistaking the red tinge to his eyes.
“Thank you,” he says, his voice calm.
I sneer. “For what? Not raping you? You’re welcome.” I make it ugly because I’m ugly, inside and out.
A hint of uncertainty colours the cultist’s expression and it seems for a moment he’s going to say something else… but instead he turns and ducks through the tent flap, leaving me to my misery and drink. I swallow down a huge gulp of the vile chartreuse and wonder where the cellar full of liquor is—there’s only a hellish hangover down that path but it’s exactly what I deserve.