Somerset Farm 

                                                                                        by Jamie Haze

 

 Chapter 45



Harm and Spencer were in a daze. They just completed a self guided tour
of Evan's Boeing 747 after he invited them to look around. Both flopped
in comfortable chairs in the main lounge avoiding the more delicate
appearing authentic period pieces of furniture; the chairs, settees and
sofas. "Why didn't you just use reproductions?" Harm wondered
directing his question to Evan when he served them drinks personally as a
nervous host while usurping the nearby hovering steward's duties."

"You never met Grandfather," Evan shrugged, "or you wouldn't ask. It
took longer to decorate the interior than it did Boeing to build the damn
plane."

"Yeah but nobody drills holes in stuff this good to attach everything to
the floor." Harm shook his head in dismay.

Evan misunderstood, "Yeah it is a bummer when you try to move a chair
and just about break your arms. I keep forgetting, but everything has to
be glued down so it doesn't go flying if we hit some turbulence. Even
the whatnot junk in the display cabinets are glued to the shelves." He
giggled, "I always check out the small portable stuff, you know, old
habit even though I wouldn't have ripped off Grandfather and now
there's no point in ripping off myself."

Spencer took Evan's hand suddenly after he was served. He pulled Evan's
thumb straight to study his signet ring, "Damn I wish I had a loop so I
could see the detailing on that stone. I'd sure like to meet the master
craftsman who made it, carved it. It must have taken years to do. That
emerald had to be flawless and maybe eight or ten carats or he would have
ended up with chips and dust." He yanked Evan's arm over to under his
brother's nose so he could see the stone, "Check this out Harm. He must
have sacrificed two carats anyway to get that kind of high relief and
look how much is left."

"Hey," Evan giggled, "you two are worse than I ever was. Do you mind
if I take it off before you pocket it unless you put it in your pants
pocket, a front one of course including my whole hand and still attached
to the rest of me?" His look at Spencer was both suggestive and
hopeful. "I'm sorry I missed the party last night, Douggie and I got
busy in my room talking business and stuff then we celebrated until we
fell asleep." He scratched his head in wonder and grinned at Doug, "You
know we must be getting old already. Did you tell anyone yet?" he asked
cryptically.

"Just Buck and I asked Bucky about stuff. There hasn't been a lot of
time. Should I tell them now?"

Evan shrugged, "If you want to, it's your island." Marc was stretched
out on the carpet rolling and moving spastically taking pictures of
everyone when they were talking and laughing together and ignoring him
and his camera. Evan grinned, "You know you could ban cameras if you
wanted to."

The magic word, cameras, combined with ban got Marc's attention, "Say
what?" He looked from Evan to Doug, "Ban cameras from where?"

Doug ignored the question at first along with the questioner, "Hey you
know I could couldn't I, I'll have to think that over."

"Come on guys what the fuck are you talking about?"

Doug answered that one, "Anton left me Dagger Cay and some money to pay
the bills."

Bucky covered his mouth to hide his laugh at Doug's depreciating the
amount of the fortune Anton actually bequeathed the boy. He alone knew
that Anton also left a short list of individuals he was most concerned
about never ever going broke so he left a huge secret reserve to prevent
that from happening. Doug's name was on that list but Bucky already knew
that Doug's fortune would never require bolstering because he
immediately asked if Bucky would invest his inheritance as he thought
best in any Trenton ventures most likely to yield the highest return with
minimal risk.

Doug grinned evilly down at Marc, "Which means motherfucker, that I can
ban cameras from my island if I want to. Hey, speaking of cheapos, did
you ever pay Spencer his modeling fee?"

Dylan frowned, "If you didn't and we can't use his and Harm's pics
together in the next edition, you're FIRED!" he had to shout the last
word to be sure Marc heard him as he ran down the corridor toward the
back of the plane to find his travel bag and checkbook while everyone
congratulated Doug on his good fortune.

Doug looked sad, "Thanks guys, but I'd rather have old Anton around
still." He looked at his Tag Heuer watch, a gift from Anton, "Actually
I think of him whenever I check the time."

Toby and Terry looked at each other, nodded and stood up walking toward
Harm and Spencer. Each held out a closed fist. "We started giving these
out a while back. Everyone else has one, in the group that is, these are
for you." They spoke in unison after a mental argument about who was
going to be the spokesman went unresolved. The twins opened their hands
revealing a pair of diamond ear studs. Everyone else fingered their ear
lobes and grinned at the Golden brothers' expressions of pleased
surprise.

Spencer couldn't resist studying the stone close up until Harm slapped
his hand, "Damn that is so rude, appraising a gift in front of the giver
and in front of them yet," he scolded with a grin.

Spencer reddened before he retaliated, "Hey you should talk. Like you
never check anything out, I'll bet you a million bucks you know what
kind of china we ate off of last night because you looked." It was
Harm's turn to blush while he enviously watched his brother replace the
simple gold bead he wore in one ear with his diamond. Harm didn't have a
pierced ear. "How's it look?" he asked and extended his hand palm up
continuing the argument. "That's what I thought. Pay up motherfucker."

Evan giggled, "You know you guys better be real careful who you bet big
bucks with around here, if I was betting you and won, you'd have to pay
me in cash, or," he paused to think of an alternative, "you'd pay me
in trade." He stared at the two crotches, "You wanna bet me on
something? I wouldn't mind having one of those on demand for the rest of
my life."

Spencer grabbed himself and giggled, "If you won Spencer the Great
you'd get him one night and you'd owe me money besides."

Doug interrupted by sitting up suddenly looking hopeful at Bucky, "I
know what I said this morning Bucky, but I just thought of something, now
that I can afford it I'm going to buy that big beautiful cat that Josh
is working on. I'll keep it moored at Dagger. Could you free up enough
money?"

A frown descended on Buck's face that could result in terminal
consequences if his father wore it. Bucky was hard pressed to keep from
laughing out loud but he managed by covering his mouth in a thoughtful
manner. Doug looked excited and hopeful. Bucky ignored his son's hateful
stare, "Sure Doug, I told you whatever you need, but isn't that boat
already sold? I thought I heard you say something about that."

Buck nodded slightly but Doug was nonplused by that barrier, his grin was
huge, "It is but I thought maybe I could buy it from whoever is having
it built. You always say money talks; maybe I'll need to do some
shouting."

Bill Henderson leaned toward Bucky, he was still in shock from his son's
announcement and `some money to pay the bills' didn't sound like it
was going to be enough to manage an extensive offshore estate like Dagger
Cay. He whispered his question and Bucky answered in kind. Bill flopped
back in his chair, turned pale and looked like he was having a seizure,
"A HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS?" he gasped.

Doug laughed, "Damn Dad, why not take out a newspaper ad? Don't you
know it's rude to ask how much money someone has and then start
screaming it to the world from thirty thousand feet?" His father began
stuttering an apology, Doug stopped him, "That's okay Dad, I would have
told you anyway when I told you that you can retire now, all expenses
paid."

Bill looked surprised at first, then he saw the incongruity in Doug's
offer and started laughing, "Thank you very much Douggie, I never heard
of a son offering his parents an allowance before. It's such a good
idea, I may just put that in a newspaper, but I think I'll just muddle
along like I have been. After all I have a whole university to build and
that's going to take about five years."

Bucky's eyes widened at that announcement, "FIVE YEARS, whatever
happened to three shifts and portable lights? Hire every contractor in
the state if you need to. I was thinking more like two years tops." He
grinned, "And then you can retire to the President's office."

David came halfway down the circular staircase from the flight deck
lounge that Evan referred to as the bar where the three security
contingents were congregated. He caught Spencer's eye and nodded that he
should join them. Spencer turned serious, "OOPS, I forgot to tell you,
I've got a job and I'm going to the prep school that the guys go to my
senior year. Wait until Dad finds out about this," he told his brother.

"What job?" Harm wondered in surprise.

"That's it, just going to school. I'm the undercover student security
force, later," he said importantly before he stood and followed David up
the staircase.

Evan took Spence's seat, "We're going shopping tonight, want to go
along?"

Harm shrugged, "Sure, what are we shopping for?"

"We're looking for new recruits for the Marine Academy and maybe put
the hurt on some bad guys along the way."

"Huh, how do we find them and what bad guys?" Harm asked.

Evan looked down at Harm's bulge, "You could help us find bad guys. Do
you think you could wear a pair of my shorts?"

"Maybe, they'd be awful tight."

"Yeah, my shorts and a cut off muscle shirt," Evan was thinking out
loud, "a newbie pretty boy like you on a street corner, you'd draw them
like flies even if you are so old." He giggled, "Shit, they'd probably
help us out by killing each other just to add you to their stable." Evan
looked around and snapped his fingers, "I know, we'll put Tommy with
you and give you both big fat backpacks, so you look like you just got
into town and are too stupid or haven't had time to find a place to
crash and stash your stuff, it's the right time of the year. Guys will
be heading south for the warm weather and rich gay tourists."

Doug and Tommy joined Evan and Harm by sitting down on the carpet in
front of them, "Can I be in on this too?" Doug asked. "At night, even
under a street light we'd look like three brothers down on their luck.
They'd really kill to get a threesome."

Evan frowned, "How'd you know what we were talking about?"

"DUH, if I can read Tommy's lips, you figure it out." Tommy giggled
silently and said something to Doug. "Yeah," Doug agreed, "this time I
was interpreting for Tommy. He says we need to look a little dirty and a
lot desperate."

"Wait just a fucking minute!" Harm declared from frustration. "What
are WE talking about here? Are we supposed to pick up guys or what?"

"Man you are a newbie, but you won't be after tonight," Evan giggled
until he started to remember how he spent two years of his life,
"You'll understand after I tell you what its like to live on the
street."

Evan began telling his story from the time he was first molested by his
stepfather, although he admitted, not unwillingly at first. Billy joined
him in adding parts and gradually Doug spoke Tommy's words, his
experiences, some of them. When the seatbelt lights blinked on
accompanied by a chime the pleasant sound was like a claxon in the silent
main cabin, everyone was listening. Patrick wiped his eyes while the
other men, Bucky, John and Bill looked at their sons in the group of
boys, then at each other, then away, embarrassed by their communal
thought; all were glad that it wasn't one of their children telling such
horror stories.

"How many boys can the island hold?" Bucky asked with a grating voice.
All eyes went to him.

Evan shrugged after a moment in thought, "I don't know exactly, with
all the rooms in the house, the old hotel," he smiled briefly, "we are
kind of groupies when it comes to sleeping, a couple of hundred, probably
more."

John nodded and looked to Bucky, "I'll add as much staff as I need to
get them legal as fast as possible if Will can give me some creative
computer help." John's face flushed because he was implying that his
procedures might not be entirely legal.

"I'll have him find you a young geek, a real hacker like Billie."

"What can I do?" Bill asked while he looked at his only son and thanked
God that if it wasn't for Bucky and John's intervention, that Doug
could have easily found his way into the life and possibly death of a
street kid, a hustler selling his body to survive all because of his
prejudice.

Bucky grinned, "You can get started on building us another school."

"Done," Bill nodded emphatically. "Is there a budget?" Bucky rolled
his eyes and smiled. Bill giggled, "Sorry that was a dumb question
wasn't it."

Bucky turned to Evan, "Have you any idea how many street kids there are
in Ft. Lauderdale alone?"

"Nope, there's no place to sign in or out, they, we, come and go. There
are probably always a hundred or so, more starting about now as they
drift in from the north for the winter. I was thinking about flying Kyle
and Mark over from Dagger for the night, they're both older and knew
more guys."

"Good," Bucky looked pleased. "We'll all take a ride just after dark
to scope out the territory,"

"SCOPE?" Buck asked interrupting his father, "Where'd you come up
with that word?"

Bucky grinned, "Hey, chill out, if we're going to be hanging out
together, learning your language is mandatory." Everyone erupted in
laughter as the big jets' wheels touched the runway at Ft. Lauderdale
International Airport.

##

Spencer's cheeks felt stretched from practicing with a Slurppie straw
shooting dummy darts at a living moving target in the flight deck lounge.
The target was one of Vincent's men, young and eager to earn Vincent's
favor and keep his relatively easy job of body guarding the twins but
that wasn't easy. While Vincent looked and talked like a ruthless Mafia
hit man that he once was, he was also intelligent and a perfectionist;
the smallest fuck up would result in summary dismissal. Vincent had
already worked his way through a dozen hopeful trainees for the three
high salaried positions he wanted to fill and the young man had no wish
to become number thirteen especially flying in a private aircraft at
thirty thousand feet and filled with equally ruthless men and apparently
some of the kids. His head was completely swathed in Ace bandage except
for eye slits and space under his nose. He walked the length of the cabin
or sat in a chair or on a bar stool waiting for the kid to fire his darts
from any angle or position except straight at his face. He couldn't feel
the darts that hit the bandage and the three that penetrated his shirt
felt like mosquito bites.

When the seat belt lights blinked Joe ended practice with a pleased
smile, "Okay, I'm satisfied. Spence, you and I will travel together,
I'll do the shooting, and you'll be my backup." Spencer frowned. Joe
was pleased to see the boy's eagerness, "Unless there's more than one
target, these guys have bodyguards of their own, we could get busy," he
added quickly to see Spencer's handsome smile return.

"How does this stuff work?" Spencer asked looking at the small hard
case that lay open on the bar where twenty of the tiny color coded lethal
glass darts rested in foam. Joe shrugged and explained what little he
knew, that the poison was similar to curare, except it worked by
interrupting nervous system functions progressively so that strange
things happened to the circulatory system. Depending on the
concentration, the heart might gradually slow and finally stop over
twenty-four hours, or if one wanted a quick demise, a red dart would
cause near instant massive hemorrhaging in the brain.

Rod and Jon whispered together, "I say Joseph old chap I wonder if we
could obtain a supply of these?" Rod asked. He explained the need,
"We're having a bit of a go with three of the Master's more aggressive
business competitors just now." He didn't need to explain further. Joe
nodded.

Unseen hands pushed the volunteer pincushion into a chair and began to
remove the bandage after carefully pulling the accumulated darts. The
young guard looked back to thank whoever was providing the service, he
was surprised to see Vincent smiling down on him, "Good job, what's
your name again?"

"Thanks, its Jeff."

"Well Jeff that took a pair of balls to let the new kid shoot at ya like
that."

Jeff shrugged, "Someone had to do it, and they were dummy darts." He
was overjoyed with the vocal compliment when a silent nod from Vincent
was normally extremely high praise.

Vincent laughed, "Yeah but you see most of us never seen this stuff work
or ever knew it existed, so you just let us know how you're feelin' as
the day goes by okay?"

Vincent slapped Jeff on the back where one of the darts landed. Jeff
turned pale, "You mean?" he couldn't finish asking his question.

Vincent laughed harder, "Naw, I wouldn't do that to my number one man.
I was just jokin' with ya."

Jeff wiped the sudden sweat from his forehead, "How'd I get to be
number one, just from being a target for blanks?"

"Nope, you already was. Remember last week when the bosses were horsin'
around on the pool deck and ones' elbow connected with the other's
temple?"

"Yeah, Terry got Toby." Jeff supplied the names helpfully.

Vincent blinked, "Say how'd you know who was who?"

Jeff hunched his shoulders, "I just knew Toby was the one I caught, so
it was Terry's elbow."

"Yeah well, he, Toby started to fall back on to the deck and would've
really cracked his head, but you was there in a flash an' caught him.
That was when you got to number one. Now after this morning's work
you're permanent. Those bosses are sure hard on each other."

Jeff agreed, "Yeah they are. You'd think they'd be more careful
especially since they feel each other's pain, shit even I felt that
wallop just holding him up. Then it was strange you know, after I put him
back on his feet he thanked me, or I thought he did but he didn't say
anything and then the three of us just stood there rubbing our temples
where Toby took the shot."

Vincent hoisted an eyebrow, "Are you queer, I mean gay?" he asked
bluntly, he equated telepathy with homosexuality, then without waiting
for a response, "Where'd you come from anyway, I mean where'd I find
you?"

Jeff's face turned an appropriate color to answer the first question. He
rushed an answer to the second, "I worked in uniform for Trenton. I was
at the gate one morning when you were leaving. You stopped, looked me up
and down and gave me your card before you offered me twice what I was
making."

"Oh yeah, I remember now, you talk educated, you a college kid? You look
too young to graduate already." Vincent began looking between Spencer
and Jeff.

"I fucked up my first semester and got tossed."

Vincent pressed the issue, "Fucked up how?"

Jeff sighed "I come from a strict family. I was never allowed to be
myself you know? Like go to a movie or have a beer not to mention
anything worse. They'd never understand about the way I am and they'd
have me praying twenty-four hours a day until I saw the true path,
whatever that is. When I got away from home I had a lot of catching up to
do party wise. I didn't study, I flunked out. When I went home I
discovered that flunking ranks just above being gay, so I split, found a
furnished room and finally found that job with Trenton."

The big jet shuddered when the engines were reversed and Vincent fell
into a seat. He looked surprised, "Damn here we are already." He
shrugged and continued with a frown, "You ain't been eyein' up the
bosses have ya?"

Jeff felt a chill run up his spine and thought the truth would be best,
"No sir, absolutely not, although I think they're certainly good to
look at; I don't believe in shitting in my own nest."

"Good answer," Vincent grinned, "But what if they want you to?"

Jeff shrugged and smiled, "Well, I am human and they are the bosses as
you say."

Vincent got to his feet and pulled Jeff to his, "Stand over there by the
bean shooter kid, I want to see somethin'. Hey Joe look at these two
boys together. The shooter is in school but this kid graduated a year ago
yet they both look the same age. Only mine here," he slammed Jeff on the
shoulder proudly, "don't have to go to no classes so he could drift
around the whole school all day lookin' for trouble AND he can go around
packin'."

Joe nodded, "Okay by me. Do you have a specialty?"

Jeff looked blank, "Huh, I mean what kind of specialty?"

"He means like weapons; guns, the garrote, knives, martial arts, shit
like that," Vincent patted his suit coat in various lumpy places.

Jeff grinned although he tried not to, he couldn't resist, "Yeah, I do,
if the gate doesn't open when I push the button I know how to do it
manually. Actually I did get a license to pack concealed, just don't
expect me to hit anything with it if I had to use it."

Everyone in the lounge laughed while Vincent grinned, "A smart ass, I
got me a wise guy and just five minutes ago I had him convinced we offed
him with a real dart. He wasn't laughin' then was you smart ass? Tell
you what, time is short, when we get to this island don't make no dates
because you're gonna be busy learnin' everything." David and Noah
shook both boys' hands as they filed down the stairs and told them that
they'd be classmates on the island too.

The parade of limos and accompanying SUV's from the plane to the docks
and Sea Song was suitably impressive and so was the welcome they received
from the Sea Songs' crew. Gregor permitted them to line the dockside
rails, proudly dressed in starched whites. Ragged informal cheering broke
out as the boys and men emerged from the line of vehicles and it was
quickly apparent that Gregor strongly influenced their group efforts to
learn English. Harm and Spencer were unsure if they were being welcomed
or cursed and told to fuck off as the crew imitated their Capitan's loud
exuberant welcome.

Gregor stood at the head of the gangway with Meesha at his side,
"FUCKING WELOME TO SEA SONG, FUCKING YES!" Gregor repeatedly boomed
over the docks.

Meesha punched his shoulder, giggled and scolded in English, "No, no,
ignorant dolt, you must stop saying fuck every other word. What if ladies
were present?"

Gregor looked down to the dock; "None are except those who wish to be
this evening!" he called invitingly and laughed. Then laughed harder
when he saw Evan whisper to the closest guys, and then he, Billy, Tommy,
Doug and Buck all turned and bent over wiggling their butts seductively.
"It is a conspiracy to kill me but I accept!" he shouted through cupped
hands.

Harm and Spencer once again suffered a bout of culture shock, Harm spoke
for them both, "Christ Evan, this is a yacht, your yacht? It's a
fucking cruise ship."

Evan giggled and pointed, "Nope, he was Grandfather's now he's theirs.
The only boats I own now are a fleet of super tankers."

"A fleet?" Spence was almost breathless.

Evan nodded, "Yeah about three hundred. I was going to make Gregor my
Commodore after he gets his papers but he and Meesha are having too much
fun with Sea Song, so I'm making Sea Song's real captain the Commodore.
The old one is retiring shortly. Since owners don't need to be licensed
to run their own boat, the Captain is just treading water. He'll be
happier moving oil; Grandfather had him all nervous and jerky by being
around so much."

"Three hundred supertankers?" Harm sounded sick.

"Yes we build them at our yards in Germany. Grandfather used to sell
some of them to competitors, but I can't see helping them out so from
now on we'll just add the new ones to the fleet. Hey, do you want to see
them? I'll show them to you after we get on board."

Harm thought Evan was joking until later when he was showing them through
the ship, he took them to his suite and turned on snoopy and three
hundred twinkling lights appeared on the seas of a world map. "Snoopy
isn't its real name, Billie, not this Billy, the other Billie started
that when he showed Grandfather how he hacked into the system just so he
could take world tours sitting at his computer," he giggled and had them
wave at the ceiling in the infrared mode, "pretty neat huh?" The Golden
brothers nodded silently. "Now watch this," he switched back to the
tankers, "see these three over in the South China Sea? We'll just see
what they're up to so close together." The big screen turned fuzzy then
cleared into roiling gray. Evan sat up suddenly. He backed snoopy out
already back in the infrared mode until the distinctive shape of a well
formed hurricane appeared. "Fuck me; they're just inside a typhoon.
Look at that eye. I wonder why they don't just change course and sail
out of it?" he wondered aloud.

Evan called the Sea Song's real Captain first, then attempted to talk to
the fleet Commodore in Germany and quickly discovered that the man was
away on holiday and couldn't be reached and that there was no second in
command; he'd retired and hadn't been replaced. The Captain arrived
with Meesha to interpret. Evan sat with his little butt on the edge of
his grandfather's big chair. Meesha broke into a sweat dredging up
English words he'd learned but rarely used. Evan appointed the Captain
to Commodore then and there and charged him with the responsibility of
getting the tankers and crews out of harm's way as quickly as possible.
He watched the man's face pale as he talked directly with the first of
the three captains involved. Meesha translated reluctantly; he knew how
Anton, the old Master would have reacted and he could see the same rage
building in Evan, his adopted grandson and the new Master. He whispered
the word, racing, and stepped back.

"RACING," Evan exploded, "MY SHIPS?" He jumped to his feet, and then
took a deep breath to calm down. Meesha flinched at his stare, "Be cool
Meesha it's not your fault. Translate this exactly so he understands.
Relieve those three assholes, promote the first mates and have them get
those boats out of that storm if they have to sail back to Alaska, I
don't care. Then I want them to put their captains in irons, chains or
ropes, whatever. I don't want them hurt, feed them all they can eat and
let them drink whatever they want then just don't let them go to the
head for the rest of the trip. When they do reach port have the assholes
hosed down, boxed and shipped to Germany by air freight. I'll deal with
them personally; I have to go over there anyway."

Meesha cleared his throat after he translated the orders, and the new
Commodore of Ships whispered a question. "Master, the Commodore asks
what should be done with his predecessor. It seems they were racing for a
bonus, the first in port wins. It was a system set up to encourage record
times, transport more oil."

Evan's smile was more of a grimace as he picked up the phone, "Hans,
this is Evan. Hey good English man, yeah loud and clear. Listen I have a
problem, I need you to find someone." After Evan hung up, he returned to
the area screen that showed tiny but distinct boat shapes in the GPS
mode. They watched the three bows in the storm turn ninety degrees on a
northerly course heading for more tranquil waters. He sighed again and
looked at his watch, "Hey its lunchtime guys."

Meesha laughed, "Today we have an American picnic luncheon, hotdogs and
hamburgers a crew favorite."

Evan got between the brothers and put his arms around their waists to
guide them straight down the corridor to the dinning salon. He looked up
at their faces, "Thanks guys, if you weren't aboard and I wasn't
showing off my toys we could have lost those ships. Three crews and a
gigantic oil spill." The brothers noted that Evan didn't seem concerned
with the value of the ships or cargo. "I'm sorry you heard what the
penalties are for fucking up like that, but mine are nothing to what
Grandfather would have done to them."

The dining salon was empty, voices and laughter kept them moving to the
aft deck. Evan giggled at seeing the chef sweating in front of a real
charcoal grill turning burgers and rolling hotdogs in a makeshift kitchen
area off to one side. He did a double take when he saw a crane parked on
the dock opposite the stern. It was lowering a folded catamaran on to the
open boat deck hatch. Everyone was leaning over the rail looking down.
"Hey guys what are we doing?"

Buck answered between giggles, "You bought three catamarans for the
school and they're getting them loaded I guess." He looked skyward as
if he just had a brainstorm, "Hey good idea Evan, now we can have races.
I'll be Doug's crew and you can be Spencer's."

Evan looked puzzled but finally shrugged and elbowed Spencer, "I'm
really getting old I don't remember buying them," he whispered. Then he
saw Buck watching him from the corner of his eye wearing a shit eating
grin, "I get it, I got scammed," his eyes glittered. "Are you a really
good sailor?" he didn't wait for Spence to answer, "You better be
because we're going to win and Buck's going to end up paying for those
boats. As soon as we get to Dagger we need to start practicing. You pick
one out that will be ours. Fix it up any way you want so it's the
fastest. Tell me what you need and I'll fly it in."

"What are you going to do?" Spencer asked naively.

"Remember I told you to be careful about betting with one of us? These
races are going to be for high stakes." Evan saw Spence frown and added
quickly, "Don't worry, I'll bank roll us and we'll split the winnings
fifty-fifty how's that?"

Spencer sighed, "As much as I'd like to, nope. Doug's more experienced
than me and he and I were just going to race for fun. He told me that he
has the one that you have on board already rigged for single handing,"
Evan looked blank, "that means one guy to one boat. Let's rig the new
ones the same way, so you two can race each other for big bucks all by
yourselves. The rest of us, anyone who wants to, can race in heats until
there's just four left and then those four can race for some kind of
prize like a trophy or something."

"Yeah, like the America Cup and we could open it up to all the guys in
the school too!" Jonathon was walking by with a full plate, "Hey Jon is
there any chance of buying the America Cup?"

"Huh, do you mean fixing the next bloody race?" Jon was suitably
shocked.

"No damn it the actual cup, the trophy."

Jon sighed in relief, "I very much doubt it but you could win it if you
sponsored a boat."

Evan rolled his eyes, "I was thinking about sooner, like this week, we
need a prize, a trophy for the winner of the races we're having sailing
these cats."

"Ah, good fun then. May his Lordship and I compete? We've done a bit of
sailing. In fact if I may, you could offer one of these boats as a prize,
I wouldn't mind owning one of these."

Evan giggled, "Think you're pretty good huh? Sure everyone can sign up,
a new boat will be the prize and I'll throw in a Rolex, I'll get it
engraved. You know we could hold these races every year, like start a
tradition."

Doug and Tommy walked out of the lounge wearing speed suits, toweling the
sweat from their bodies and chatting amiably, "That was the last one,"
Doug announced to everyone happily. "Good thing too we couldn't take
the smell of those burgers cooking." They told them about the planned
races and the chosen prizes. "Yeah man, fantastic idea, I'll get a big
silver bowl engraved, how's this sound, The Dagger Cay Multi-Hull
Regatta?" He eyed Evan's Rolex with a grin, "I was going to buy one of
those just to wear for good, but I'd rather win one of yours." Tommy
punched Doug in the gut then thumped his chest. "Sure Tommy sign up,
I'll teach you how." Tommy spoke at length. Doug's eyes lit up. "Oh
wow, okay you're my first mate on the new one." The others looked to
Doug, "Tommy suggested that we have an annual Regatta for the big guys,
like the one I'm buying, cruising boats from all over the world."

"Ain't competition great?" Jon quipped.

Buck chewed his food slowly. He had to find some way to disabuse Doug of
the idea that he could buy the big catamaran that Josh was building from
the ultimate owner since he, Buck, was the temporary owner and Doug would
be at Christmas. "You keep talking about that damn cat as if it was
already yours, what if the guy won't sell at any price?" Buck plunged
on, "If you were having it built would you sell it to someone just
because you could make a huge profit and then have to sit around waiting
until Josh built you another one?"

Doug pursed his lips; it was obvious to everyone within their hearing
that he hadn't thought of that. He sighed, "No Goddamnit, I don't
think I would. If I had three million to blow on a toy, it sure wouldn't
be my last three. A cool million instant profit if someone offered me
four might make me think about it, but I still wouldn't sell it. Damn
it, I guess I'll have to get in line," he frowned then brightened, "as
long as I'm next in line. If I wait I can tickle Josh's plans for this
one and since the molds are already built, building mine won't take as
long as this one."

"Tickle the plans?" Buck's voice squeaked a little in frustration.

"Yeah, you know like I can go through this first one while its still in
the shed and make changes on the same plans for mine so I get it exactly
the way I want it. Want to come along after lunch? I may as well get
started today." Doug grinned happily.

Buck rolled his eyes so Doug couldn't see him, "Sure I'll make notes
and I'll bet Josh will give you a set of plans to mark up too."

"Yeah and I'll give him a big deposit this afternoon so he can start
getting the materials together. Come on Tommy my first mate buddy; let's
grab a quick shower and dress." He stopped in front of David and Noah,
"Whose turn is it in the barrel today?"

When Noah laughed and raised his hand, Spencer asked Doug, "Do you mind
if I tag along? I have got to see what a ninety foot catamaran looks
like."

"Sure, anyone else?" Doug asked the assemblage.

Evan shook his head, "I'm hosting the shopping trip tonight remember so
I better stay here."

"Just remember I want to be in on the action this time," Doug warned.

Charlie Garcia rolled forward, "I would if I wouldn't be too much
trouble," he looked pitifully hopeful. The look turned to one of total
delight when Doug nodded, took the handles of his wheel chair and began
running him through the lounge. Toby, Terry and Diego the three Fair
brothers, soon to be the Del la Varga brothers after their name changes
became final, ran to catch up. Vincent nodded to two of his experienced
guards to follow and ignored Jeff's hopeful look.

If Doug happened to look back he would have seen Buck waving both middle
fingers at him. "Damn Dad, he's unstoppable; now he wants changes, who
knows how many or how complicated. We were on schedule too. He's worse
than mom," Buck moaned. He reached for his phone, "One thing I better
do is call that big mouth Josh and warn him again before we get there."

Bucky shrugged, "Whatever, but if Josh can't get it done without
sacrificing his quality standards, don't push him. If it isn't finished
at Christmas, fly down on Christmas Day and just give it to Doug then."

Buck grinned and parroted his father on the plane earlier, "Not
finished? Whatever happened to portable lights and three shifts?" He
took on a determined look, "It WILL be finished and anchored in the
middle of the lagoon ready to sail on Christmas morning. We're spending
the holidays on the island remember?" When Bucky looked blank, Buck
added, "We are and we always were. Everyone's invited in case you
weren't yet." He turned to Harm, "Would your family be offended if
they were invited to spend Christmas with us? Everyone means everyone and
no families should be separated."

Harm laughed, "Are you kidding? We've celebrated Christmas and Hanukkah
every year since I was about five years old. Just try to explain to a
little Jew kid why Santa Clause doesn't visit his house. My father gave
up trying. Thanks Buck, I'm sure they'll be delighted to accept." He
fingered his ear, "Is there a mall around here? I'd like to get my ear
pierced before I lose this stone."

"Someone will drive you, just go down to the dock and take the next car
in line. I'll find someone to send along with you." Bucky answered and
looked around for a guard.

Vincent elbowed Jeff to his feet, "Here's one Boss, he's done
eatin'." To Jeff with a grin, "Go earn your keep. Bring him back safe
or don't come back, just go straight down to the city morgue and wait on
me."

"Yes Sir!" Jeff saluted, and then bent to whisper, "That threat
wasn't very confidence inspiring Boss, maybe you should work on your
people skills."

Vincent's hand flashed to Jeff's throat, "You just worry about
practicin' your bodyguardin' skills on someone else's kid, wise ass,"
he whispered back wearing a benign smile and squeezed until Jeff's eyes
began to bulge before he pushed him away to accompany Harm.

Buck started running when he heard Doug shouting his name, "Shit, that
shower didn't take long, they must have showered just to get clean. See
you guys later!" he said over his shoulder.

Bucky watched his son until he disappeared before he turned to Evan and
nodded to his right and left to John and Bill, "We want to help
tonight."

###

Harm, Doug and Tommy stood on the sidewalk talking to someone sitting in
the back of a garish purple Bentley parked at the curb when a super
stretched Cadillac limousine pulled up behind the Bentley. Rodney played
the part of chauffer while Jon acted as the footman. Jon approached the
Bentley while he appraised the three boys, "I say are these stunning
creatures in your service? My employer wishes to engage them as escorts
for the balance of the evening and wonders if you've any others of equal
quality, you see he has two business associates with him and wishes to
provide them with something of a unique, ah touring experience." Jon
unzipped a leather clutch purse to show the pimp that it was packed with
currency.

The three boys sighed with relief when the pimp finally opened the door
and climbed out of his car. So were Joe and Spencer who stood in the
shadow of the building behind the trio blatantly making out with each
other. "It's about fucking time," Joe whispered. The boys nodded
imperceptibly and the men in the limo, Bucky, Bill and John agreed
audibly. The Bentley's other three doors opened simultaneously. Three
more men emerged, ignored their employer and went to menace the helpless
boys to be certain they didn't run.

The pimp, a tall black man was dressed in an iridescent suit that matched
his car except for overly wide lapels; they were white fir which matched
the hatband of his purple fedora. The pimp turned with his back to the
boys so they couldn't hear the negotiations for their services directly,
"Yeah man dey mine, dey is brotha's an' mos' hard to fin'. Dey
escort yo' boss an' his fren's real good for a grand."

Jon chose to misunderstand and counted out three thousand dollars without
complaint, "Most reasonable." The pimp snatched the money and recounted
it not quite believing his good fortune at finding such a stupid mark so
late in the normal work day which ended at sunrise. Jon couldn't resist
and lightly brushed the back of his hand down one lapel. "Smashing
suit."

The pimp looked down, "Yeah, dis here fir is genuine arti-ficial
er-mine," he explained, "dey is de mos' hardest to fin' little
animules, dey rare, an' cos' more but dey worth it."

"Jonathon really," Rod hissed in his microphone with a giggle that
joined the others listening to the conversation, "we really should be
getting on."

Jon nodded, barely able to hold his own laughter in check, "Do you have
others available? My master is a most impatient man, you understand."

The pimp suddenly realized where he was. He looked up and down Atlantic
Avenue, "Yeah man I gots mo', yo waits here while I gives de word to
dese t'ree." He scooted to the boys and magnanimously gave each a
hundred dollar bill. "Here yo' go boys, yo jus' go git in that car
an' yo' do whatever de gentlemens wants, when you all done yo meets
Grape right back here an' yo gets another hunert each. How's dat
soun', I tol' yo Grape treats yo right." Tommy studied his bill
carefully wearing a huge delighted smile until Grape snatched it from his
hands, "I keep dis fo' yo'. Yo's in trainin' an' yo might jus'
lose it." If Tommy's look could kill Grape would already be a dead man.

The boys looked suitably astounded by their good fortune and rushed the
limo's rear door after the guards stepped back. One slapped the back of
his head forcefully, "We gots to get out o' dis light, de bugs sho' is
out tonight," he complained. The other two agreed. One scratched at a
bite on his neck and the other tried to reach a spot on his back. All
three ran for their car doors.

A cooperative moth swooped down passed Grape's face as he turned back to
Jon. He swatted at it violently with one hand and nearly broke his
eardrum with the other when he slapped a dart that imbedded itself in the
back of his ear. He dove into the Bentley's rear door and slammed it,
"I hate mothafuckin' bugs," he explained to Jon through a one inch
crack in the window. "Yo' jus cruise de street fo' tweny minutes, I be
back wi' four mo afta I rounds `em up."

The limo's rear door opened again and three backpacks landed on the
sidewalk. Jon looked back, "I say, could you take care of the lads'
luggage? Sorry, such a bother," he shrugged his indifference.

Grape elbowed the man sitting in the back seat with him. The man
obediently got out of the car to retrieve the packs and throw them into
the trunk. He staggered as he slammed the lid and barely had the strength
to return to his seat. The Bentley sped away and turned inland at the
next block, a Suburban parked across the street made a u-turn and
followed slowly. Vincent reported that the tracking device in one of the
packs was working perfectly while his protégé Jeff drove the truck.

The rear of the limo was packed with boys who had no roll to play in the
adventure but wouldn't be left behind. They all congratulated Harm, Doug
and Tommy on their excellent performances. Bucky shushed them when the
men in the Bentley began to talk among themselves.

"Hey man, you sick?" There was no answer.

"O' course he sick, he done pass right out."

"He ain't, his eyes open."

"Turn on the mothafuckin' lights."

"Jus' look at da mothafucka's eyes dey blood red!"

"Da mothathfucka ain't sick, he slap daid!"

"What dat smell, yo fart? Oh man dat purely rank, crank de windows
down."

"Nobody fart, dats dis mothafucka, he done shit his self."

There were some audible thunks, "Beatin' on the motha Grape ain't
gonna make him be takin his shit back, yo' daid, yo daid."

"Fuckin' bugs, he got dat Wes' Nile bug, I heard tell it kill yo'
like dat."

"Question is now, what we gonna do wid his shitty ass?"

"Pull over to dat dumpster. Dats good, nice `n close. Now you two
mothafucka's gets him in fas' like."

Someone balked, "I ain't touchin' `im, I catch that bug too!"

There was a metallic click close to the microphone Jon planted in
Grape's rabbit fur lapel, "If'n yo' don't yo be up an' dyin' o'
lead poisonin' befo' de bug gits yo' chicken ass." Car doors opened;
there were grunts, curses and more circumspect complaints. There was one
louder protest when Grape ordered one of his men to use his shirt to wipe
the leather car seat before the doors were slammed as a final rebellious
statement.

The Suburban followed the Bentley to a nondescript ranch style home with
a two car attached garage. The garage door was automatic. Vincent and
Jeff saw a minivan parked in the garage before the door closed on the
Bentley. The house remained dark.

"Momma, we here!" Grape announced. "You two get the boys into de van
while I be talkin' wid Momma. Day all back? How'd we do?"

"Real good Junior, de young one still out, maybe he pullin' a all
nighter, dat one a goldmine fo' tips."

"Here some more, put it wid the res' after we leave, I gots three mo'
jus' now an' dey already workin'. Some rich honky in a limo wants `em
all so we takin' `im back to de street. I done promised fo, but tree
will have ta do."

"Bes' thing we ever did, to move de factory here afta' de competition
got kilt off. We can sure use some new meat to keep up wit da demand."
There was combined laughter.

"Got one tonight I think you be likin' Momma, `pears he hung like a
brotha, he older too so's he kin take the poundin' you give `im more
better."

Momma giggled, "Dat's jus' grand Junior, dees young one's got no
spunk left fo' Momma after day done workin' an' beaten don't help one
bit. Yo' jus' get him back here fas', I be waitin'," she promised.

Vincent and Jeff were ready when the garage door started to rise and were
crouched in front of the Bentley when it closed. Vincent led the way into
the well lit kitchen. They saw the reason that the house remained dark
from the outside was that plywood covered the windows on the inside.
Vincent stopped in the doorway into the living room. Jeff didn't he was
staring over Vincent's shoulder at a small woman sitting in a battered
upholstered chair leaning over an industrial size duffle bag on the
floor. The bag was open and packed with cash. The woman was busy jamming
the evening's earnings into the bag.

The first inkling she had that she was not alone was when Vincent's hand
found her throat, lifted her to stand, then further until her feet
dangled, "Make one sound unasked and you're a dead bitch, you got
that?" Vincent asked conversationally with a smile. Grape's mother
struggled to shake her head before he dropped her back into the chair.
"You alone?" she nodded again with her hands busy massaging her throat.
"Good," he turned to Jeff. "Lesson one; interrogation, scare them real
bad and real sudden like I just did," he toed the duffle, "then the
subject tells the truth after you promise to off `em. Is this all?"

The terrified woman's eyes flicked at the sofa, a hide-a-bed and
partially open. Avarice won and she nodded. Vincent's fist crashed
against her forehead, snapping her head back painfully. The lesson
continued, "My associate here is goin' to look at that sofa. There best
not be anymore hidden under there if you know what I mean. One more
chance; is there anymore money hidden anywhere else?" Jeff was busy
tugging another duffle from the sofa innards. "OOPS, too late, you
snooze you lose." Vincent's hand found the neck of the woman's baggy
house dress. Buttons popped and material tore. Momma couldn't decide
where to employ her hands; the swelling bump on her forehead, her bruised
neck, her sagging dugs or her exposed crotch.

Jeff dropped the second duffle by the open one, "This is too heavy to be
all cash." Vincent explained that paper money, if properly packed was
indeed heavy. Jeff's attention went to the nearly naked woman with
rapidly moving hands. He wrinkled his nose, "Shit, no wonder you have to
beat them to get them up to fuck you. I wouldn't fuck you with his dick,
I wouldn't fuck you with a baseball bat," he tilted his head, "of
course from just looking you wouldn't even feel it."

Vincent agreed with a smile, "It does look a mite roomy. Tell you what,
we might need to experiment. Look around and see what you can find."
Jeff nodded and disappeared down a hallway, Vincent frowned and clucked
his tongue, "Get your hands away from there, you can't be that modest.
You didn't make all this money off a few boys did you?" He asked after
opening the second duffle. He whistled, "Answer out loud please."

The woman's eyes widened in terror while she watched Vincent pull rubber
gloves on his hands, "Boys is just a sideline," she said quickly and
crossed her legs. "Junior, Grape likes `em, I like `em an' da boys
like `em too after tryin' one the first time."

"AND?" Vincent prodded verbally while took off his suit jacket
revealing a custom made leather harness and the weapons in his personal
arsenal. The obvious included the butts of a nine millimeter
semiautomatic under one arm and a machine pistol in a clip style holster
under the other. Holders for extra clips of ammo were appended to both
weapon holsters along with two pairs of throwing knives. He rolled up one
shirt sleeve first, and then cocked his head like Jeff did earlier,
frowned and rolled the other as well.

"Junior's main business is drugs, but not here, down in Miami, an'
jus' in our hood, the fuckin' spics got the rest of da city sowed up,
`cause dey got da supply." Once Momma Grape started talking she
couldn't stop and by the time Jeff returned she was actually bragging
about her son's success and half smiling.

The woman stopped talking when she saw Jeff's face and what he held; a
stack of Polaroid pictures, a plastic wrapped white brick and an aluminum
baseball bat. "Here man, use this or I will, save the gloves. Look at
these," he handed over the snapshots and the brick. "One bedroom is a
drug lab and there are two more of these duffle bags in the closet, one
is just a bedroom, the floor of the third is covered with mattresses and
there's a pile of the toys like this, you'll see in use in those
pictures." He walked to the woman and backhanded her with a closed fist,
"I never hit a soul in my entire life, do you believe that?" he asked
Vincent while he looked at his hand in wonder.

Vincent caught Jeff's wrist in time to prevent him from damaging the
woman further, he took the bat and then spoke to those listening,
"Someone should make notes on what this bitch has to say between
screams, just ignore them. She's gonna tell us all about Grape's
organization and his contacts. How much time do we have before they start
back here? Fifteen minutes is plenty." He turned to Jeff, "Son you just
occupy yourself with cleanin' out this house, anything that might
identify the boys, and anything personal that might belong to one of
`em. Leave the drugs but get all the cash." Jeff developed a stubborn
look, "Just do it please, this ain't in the bodyguardin' lesson book
and it ain't gonna be, you're a nice kid."

Jeff hurried his chores so that he could at least watch, but each time he
walked through the living room the scene changed like a stop action film.
The woman was moved from the chair to the floor on her face. Her wrists
were secured with an electrical tie like those used by the police for
mass arrests. Then a floor lamp was tipped over and Vincent was busy
stripping the insulation from the lamp cords' cut end. There was a
scream while he collected scattered boys clothing, pack packs and
personal items. He saw the reason when he carried those to the truck; the
ball bat was lying on the floor between the old harridan's legs, the
butt end wasn't visible. Vincent wrapped one side of the shinning newly
exposed copper wire to the bat. He held the other near the woman's face
so she could see it. Jeff couldn't hear Vincent's questions, but each
time he didn't think the woman was entirely forthcoming, he touched her
with the wire. He only touched her twice, the first was a quick
demonstration and the second was when she was slow to answer the first
question. The other screams were when she thought the wire was too close.
Vincent finished and was standing holding the two duffle bags waiting
when Jeff returned from the truck for those bags.

"Shouldn't there be a set of books or a computer somewhere?" Jeff
asked.

Vincent toed the whimpering woman, "This here old sack of shit is the
books. Come on we got to roll." He paused to look around the garage and
grinned at the hot water heater in the corner in front of the Bentley.
"Why this is our lucky day," he handed Jeff the duffle he was carrying,
"here I'll be along shortly, stay out there."

Jeff turned when the big car started. Vincent turned the steering wheel
and stamped the accelerator. The Bentley lurched forward smashing the
water heater. Water under pressure fountained over the car from the
supply pipe and the flexible gas pipe pulled free from the tank. Jeff
watched Vincent climb from the car, reach back to trigger the garage door
and then nimbly jump the electric eye beam as the door began to roll
down.

Vincent settled into the passenger seat with a sigh, "Now what?" Jeff
asked.

Vincent offered him a delighted school boy grin, "Back up a hundred
yards, I like fireworks." He checked the tracking monitor, "Mr. Grape
and his motherfuckin' friends are almost here."

"They won't pull in; they'll see the mess you made."

"Yup but we might still get `em and even if we don't they're all dead
anyway, the darts remember."

Jeff frowned, "How are you going to set off the gas from here?"

Vincent giggled and handed Jeff a small electronic remote, "Here you can
have the honor. One of them backpacks in the trunk of that car is wired
with five pounds of plastic. You wanna make a bet on whether you get `em
or not?"

Jeff took the remote, "A dollar says I do."

"Done." They shook hands.

"What happens to all that cash?" Jeff wondered.

"You want to help yourself to some?" Vincent asked cautiously.

Jeff sounded offended, "Fuck no, but I was just thinking that it would
be nice if the boys in those pictures got it. Maybe set up bank accounts
for them and give it to them when they're eighteen. How much is there do
you think?" He slapped his ear, "Something's wrong with my wire I
didn't hear much of your interrogation," he laughed, "just enough to
hope that you never have questions for me."

A mature gravelly voice crackling in Jeff's ear answered for Vincent,
"Good idea that's what we'll do with the eight million." Then,
"Vincent if you don't give your man a big raise and a bigger bonus, I
will after I steal him from you."

Jeff sounded ill suddenly, "Mr. Trenton? Oh, wow, would you believe I
forgot that the microphone might still be working."

Headlights interrupted them. The van turned into the driveway and the
garage door went up. Three men climbed out in the driveway to look
dumbfounded. "Now," Vincent ordered, "do it now! They'll jump in that
van and get away."

He reached for the remote. Jeff switched hands and giggled, "Not yet,
he's going to go in there for a closer look at his car. He loves that
car. See, there he goes." He waited a moment, "Bye, bye motherfucker."
The explosion shook the heavy truck. The minivan lifted front wheels
first in slow motion. It did a perfect half back flip to land on its
roof. The two men standing in front of it just disappeared to litter the
street in dark pieces. The explosion grew from the garage to engulf the
whole house. The roof jumped straight up, the cement block walls
shattered and flopped on the lawn so the roof fell on the floor of the
house. "HOLY SHIT!" Jeff yelled with a laugh and put out his hand palm
up to receive Vincent's dollar.

Debris began to rain on the truck. Vincent got serious, "Get the fuck
out of here; I think we were too close!" Both men ducked when a chunk of
masonry shattered the windshield. "Oh shit, off the lights and turn
around. Drive real slow so we don't attract attention."

Jeff backed into the next available driveway, shifted to drive and was
about to pull into the street when there was a knock on his window. He
didn't have time to look before Vincent nearly broke Jeff's nose by
pointing his handgun at the face of the knocker. He pushed Vincent's arm
aside a split second later. The muzzle was pointed at the forehead of a
very frightened boy, but not so scared that he couldn't think, "Did you
guys do that? Man I wish I could have; I've dreamed of doing that. Could
you give me a lift, just a couple of blocks before the cops show up?"
Vincent and Jeff were dumbfounded. "Please," the boy begged when they
all heard sirens in the distance. Jeff tossed his thumb toward the
backseat. The boy was seated and slammed the rear door in the blink of an
eye. He looked back when they reached the end of the block, "Too bad
about the others but at least they didn't hurt for long, I kind of wish
I was with them."

"Huh?" Vincent asked then smiled, "Your buds wasn't in there.
They're safe. You must be the one that was workin' late and gets real
good tips."

The boy frowned before he shrugged, "Oh yeah, here," he handed Vincent
a wad of money over the seat back.

Vincent pushed his hand away, "We don't want your money son, you can
join your friends if you want to get out of the hustlin' business or
we'll drop you off wherever you want, but either way you keep what you
earned."

"Yeah right," the boy scoffed, "I also believe in the tooth fairy and
Santa Clause. I know the score you know. You may as well take it now and
cut all the bullshit." A hint of worry entered the boy's voice, "One
thing though, I could kind of use a little pick me upper if you've got
anything handy."

"What's that mean?" Jeff asked naively.

"It means he's hooked on somethin'." Vincent turned and really looked
at the boy for the first time, "What is it son? What do you use?"

The boy shrugged, "Whatever they feel like givin' out after work and we
hand over our take for the night. The more we make, the better the stuff.
Oh I get it, we get to keep everything we make and then you charge us
everything for the junk. Okay here's four hundred bucks." He again
offered Vincent his money.

Vincent grinned, "Yup, we'll get you all happy and out of it as soon as
we catch up with your friends on the boat."

"Boat, that's different. Hey what did the niggers do to upset you guys
enough to fucking bomb them off the world?" The boy asked with a yawn.
Once he was assured that he could get a fix he relaxed, put his head back
and dozed off after Vincent fabricated a vague story about a territorial
dispute.

Joe waited for them on the dock. The trip back took far longer because
they had to use every dark street they could find that went in the
general direction of the port because of the smashed windshield and all
the debris and dust on the trucks' roof, and a quick visit to a car wash
was not an option. Willing hands emptied the truck while Vincent woke the
boy, "We're here son, come on we're leaving as soon as we get on
board."

The boy's reaction to seeing the Sea Song was predictable, "Holy shit,
I wish I'd run into you a couple of years ago!"

Vincent really looked at the boy standing on the brightly lighted dock,
"A couple of years ago? You looked like maybe you're twelve or thirteen
in the truck but now you look a little older."

The boy grinned through a sheen of sweat, a symptom of withdrawal,
"It's hard to tell isn't it. I'm actually eighteen. Since I still
look like a kid I act that way with tricks. They can't believe how good
I am. I play a great virgin if they want one; I do tears and everything.
Say Mister we talked about getting me all fixed up, about now would be a
good time." He again pressed his money into Vincent's hand, "And
after, if you or your buddy wants I'll show you guys a really good time,
whatever you want me to do."

Joe turned away from the conversation and used his microphone, "Get him
on board Vincent, there's a doctor and two nurses. They've already got
the other three in bed and sleeping like babies for the trip. We'll get
them straightened out on the island."

Vincent nodded and looked around quickly for Jeff; he found him three
steps up on the gangway looking down on the kid wearing a kind of wistful
expression and the kid was staring back. He grinned; it was time for Jeff
to have a reward if he wanted one, "Yo Jeff, instead of standin' there
like a statue, how about takin' our friend on board and if you wouldn't
mind, let him bunk in with you for the trip. There's nearly fifty others
going so it'll be crowded. I'll be along with some picker upper."

Jeff grinned and nodded. The boy almost ran to the stairs. Jeff offered
his hand, "Jeff, ah Jefferson Franklin," he shrugged off the boy's
grin, "Before you ask, my parents are patriots and religious fanatics
but not in that order."

"Hey cool Jefferson, mine's Eric," he hesitated, "Eric Slate, that's
my real name if you're interested."

"I don't know why, but actually I am." Jeff shook himself, "Come on
Eric, there's a buffet if you're hungry."

Eric wasn't hungry until he saw the array of food in the dinning salon.
There was a constant stream of boys in and out while they ate. Eric was
impressed, "Damn, you guys have the biggest and best stable in the
world. You must charge up the ass to finance this operation unless
running hustlers is a hobby for the guy that owns this tub."

Jeff giggled, "It's too complicated to explain tonight." He pointed to
the twins, Diego and Charlie piling plates, "I work for them. I'm a
bodyguard."

"Get outta town! No way! Really? Hustlers have bodyguards? Fuck me; they
must do something I haven't thought of to rate personal protection."
Jeff nearly fell off his chair while he laughed.

Later, Jeff sat in a chair watching Eric sleep after Vincent and a nurse
visited their stateroom and the nurse carried an empty syringe away and
enough of Eric's blood he complained, to qualify as a donation. Eric was
still dressed, even his gym shoes and still held his four hundred dollars
in a limp hand while he hugged a fat bed pillow. The faint whine of the
turbines driving the Sea Song at cruising speed was relaxing. Jeff stood
up and undressed slowly. He decided that he'd replace the damn pillow
with his body. He removed Eric's shoes first, he checked the size; size
seven, small feet, but then Eric was only about five feet six or seven
inches tall and he was small boned. He ran his finger tips lightly up
Eric's leg to the knee, the hairs were soft and silky, a light brown,
they stopped at the knee, from there to the hem of his shorts.

Jeff gently removed Eric's money from his hand, smoothed the bills and
put them on the night table where he'd see them when he woke from his
drug induced sleep. Next he pulled the pillow away from the boys'
unresisting arms. "Correction," Jeff thought, "he's not a boy, he's
eighteen, too old for the marine academy and only two years younger than
me. He's a man, but he sure doesn't look like one." He pushed on
Eric's shoulder until he rolled from his side to his back.

Jeff took a deep breath. His religious upbringing castigated his mind for
allowing his hand to travel over the bulge in the material covering
Eric's crotch on its way to the waist button and zipper. He shook off
the guilt and tugged. The shorts resisted until the back was free of
Eric's small butt, they slipped easily down his legs. He tossed them,
already forgotten. He stared at the revealed manhood disguised as boyhood
by being completely shaved baby bald, baby bald and beautiful, baby bald
and entrancing, a magnet. Not big, not small, just average, just right,
probably a mouthful or fulfilling, satisfying elsewhere. "But not
tonight, not while he's out of it and not if he doesn't want to, we'll
just sleep tonight but in the morning? I need to be awake before him,
I'll pretend, see what he does. If he doesn't want to he'll just get
up and dress. God, if there is one, please don't let him do that."

Jeff knelt on the bed and carefully worked Eric's shirt up his chest and
back to his armpits over a long ten minutes. He frowned, he was stumped,
there was no easy way the get the damned shirt off over Eric's head and
arms without waking him. He looked down and blushed. "He's going to
wake up and see me wearing a hard on and just know that I was planning to
fuck him, or suck him or both while he's out of it." He took a deep
breath, "So be it you retard, get it over with; just sit him up and pull
that fucking shirt off. DO IT!" his mind raged at his ingrained sense of
morality.

The shirt came off in seconds. Eric flopped back on the bed without
waking just like a rag doll, a naked boy rag doll. Jeff was torn with
just kneeling there and feasting his eyes or shutting off the lights and
lying down and just moving the unresisting body the way he wanted; to
wrap his arms around warm breathing flesh, male flesh. Looking didn't
cut it. He chose option number two. He shut off the lights and stretched
out. He was about to manhandle Eric into position when Eric sensed his
presence and beat him to it. Eric unconsciously rolled Jeff to his side
and then snuggled up behind him. One arm wormed its way under Jeff's
body and the other crept over his thigh. Eric's hand sought and found
his cock and held it. "That sure took long enough." Eric whispered in
Jeff's hair before he resumed his slow shallow breathing of relaxed
contented sleep.


 

 

 

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