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A story written by Pete Brown (Part 21 of 30). (Here you can find all the parts of this story.)


We set off for home with dad urging me to use the whip on Greg as he wanted to get there at a fast pace to be able to greet our guests properly – they were following in a taxi, and I did wonder about this given their very evident wealth. But then they did live opposite the station and worked in the city, so perhaps they could not be bothered with a car and a slave to act as chauffeur.

I ‘encouraged’ Greg as little as I could consistent with dad’s urgings, but even so Reb, who was loping alongside, kept glaring at me. Once home I told Reb to take Greg to the gym and help him recover, and dad and I went in to the house. Mrs Williams had performed her usual magic, and she told dad that fortunately there was stuff in the freezer which could supplement our lunch and that it was anyway fortunate as we had been going to have one of her traditional steak and kidney puddings and she anyway always made two of these and kept one for later as she knew how much we liked them.

Ray and Stu’s taxi turned up at the front door, and dad welcomed them. We went into the huge formal drawing room, and dad told me to go down to the cellar and fetch champagne – I remembered they had served Veuve Clicquot to me. We had Pol Roger, and when I brought it in dad was making small talk and then reminded the two of them that this was very special, being Winston Churchill’s favourite. Mrs Williams had put together some canapés, and I now got to hand these around – dad got irritated when I wanted to sit down and join the three of them and kept telling me to get up and hand the salver around. I was furious and embarrassed at being made to act like a serving slave, and remembered how convenient it had been at Ray and Stu’s to have the slave kneeling with the salver on his back. I did toy with the idea of getting Reb in to do it, but held back: I didn’t want a possible scene if Reb refused; and in any case it probably needed training to balance the salver or something; and finally I remembered how dad treated Greg quite like an equal, and he might object! Fucking typical, I thought to myself as I smiled politely at our guests: dad didn’t mind me acting like a slave, but wouldn’t want Reb to act when he actually was one.

Ray and Stu thought it was delightfully quaint when we led them through into the kitchen for lunch – dad explained that it made for better conversation than in the dining room when we had fewer than twelve guests. And they looked astonished when Reb came in and dad waved him to a seat too – although Ray commented that it was nice to have ‘such a handsome table decoration’ in a rather sarcastic tone.

We had fresh asparagus freighted in from California and I think they were suitably impressed that dad could afford such stuff, freight costs being so high now, and with this Mrs Williams had home made hollandaise sauce and those special tiny fried quail’s eggs as a garnish. Reb was evidently learning, as unlike when he had first eaten with us he had better table manners and watched carefully what we all did, so there was no problem with him

mistaking the finger bowls for a drinking glass (ha ha… I think those stories are probably apocryphal anyway). I had been sent down to the cellar again and we had Pouilly Montrachet, and to save time I carried up a couple of bottles of Chateau D’Angludet to go with the main course – dad was always amused to serve this as so few so-called connoisseurs really knew just how good this estate was (well dad didn’t either, actually, but his wine merchant did!).

The steak and kidney pudding was a huge success – Mrs Williams always turned it out of its basin so it sat there on the table like a big glossy flowerpot, and served it with creamy mashed potatoes and Brussels sprouts as is traditional. She also insisted on putting fiery English mustard on the table, although dad grumbled that this spoiled the wine. Our guests picked nervously at the rather slippery ‘pastry’ of the pudding, but once they had had one taste of it, soaked in the gravy from the steak and kidney, they were hooked! It didn’t even spoil their appetites when they asked what the suet was in the pastry, and I told them about the hard white fat that has to be torn off from around the kidneys and grated to add to the flour.

Dad said that he never served cheese at lunchtime, but Mrs Williams had whipped up a lemon syllabub served with langues de chat, which it was agreed was a deliciously light ending to a meal. Mrs Williams was almost overcome with delight when Ray and Stu said it was one of the best meals they had ever eaten outside of a restaurant in the city, and offered her a job if she ever left dad! “We have a slave chef of course, well, two actually, but they are never as inventive as this”, they added.

After lunch dad clearly wanted to talk business with Stu, and after some desultory attempts to make conversation amongst the four of us, Ray asked me about the slave I’d bought and how I seemed to have ‘tamed’ Reb. When I started to recount how I’d done it, dad ‘suggested’ that I might like to take Ray out to inspect Reb, and I took him out to the gym.

When we went in to the gym complex we surprised Reb and Greg – Reb had been his normal charming self to Mrs Williams, and Greg was now tucking in to a plate of the steak and kidney pudding. I was annoyed at this as it’s got such an amazingly high saturated fat content that it’s easy to put on weight from even a small helping, and I was always concerned about keeping Greg in proper running condition with the hard flat belly and lean musculature that a ‘fancy’ needs.

Ray was laughing, saying that evidently my training of Reb was not all that much of a success, and at first I was annoyed. But then he added “But of course given that you told us the other night about how wild he was, and given his background, it’s pretty remarkable and you should be congratulated. Using him as a kind of ‘major domo’ to look after your other slave is really quite subtle – it plays on his sense of comradeship, and so on.”

I nodded, but then Ray said “Can I inspect him properly? Would you have him strip for me? As you know Stu and I like somewhat younger slaves, but this Reb has impressed me and I’d like to get a better appreciation of exactly what the muscles on a slave like this are like.”

I looked at Reb imploringly. Please don’t make a scene now I prayed. “Unclothe, Reb”, I told him.

Reb stood there, stock still for a few moments, and it was as much as I could do not to shout and scream at him to do as he was told. Then he reached down for the bottom of the sweatshirt with both hands, and in one smooth gesture pulled it over his head and dropped it to the floor, revealing his lovely torso to us. He dropped the sweat pants next and underneath he was wearing a jockstrap – yet another thing he must have plundered from y exercise clothes in my closet!

“Nice ass”, Ray commented to me. “And so sensible to have him wear a jock to emphasise it like that – so many owners don’t appreciate some of these retro things and don’t allow slaves underwear, but I think it adds to the interest.”

He nodded at Reb, and went on “…but of course it does conceal the more interesting bits. Lose it, boy.”

Reb glared at me, but did as he was told, and stood there in front of us totally naked. He made no attempt to conceal his dick, and I suppose it was a bit less embarrassing for him than it might have been as we were in the gym, after all, and it’s not unknown for guys to be naked with other guys still clothed in such places, is it?

I guess Reb was resigned to being inspected – or perhaps he’d had a number of them at S & D before I’d bought him, as he stood there sullenly as Ray ran his hands down his back from his wide shoulders to his narrow waist, and then gripped Reb’s butt and dug his fingers in to gauge their power. He flinched when Ray tweaked his nipples. “A good sign”, Ray said to me. “I guess he’s pretty much of a firecracker in bed as guys with sensitive nips usually are”.

I nodded, noncommittally. I didn’t want to lie to Ray exactly, but equally I didn’t want to give a false impression. Reb hated to have to kneel down then, though, so Ray could more conveniently feel the power in his neck, and have Ray’s finger probing in his mouth to test for defects in his teeth – I could see him really looking angry, and I made frantic gestures at him behind Ray’s back to keep his cool.

“He’s got a good dick”, Ray said to me finally “and those low-hangers go well with his physique generally. Is he fertile? Have you bred from him?”

“I haven’t had time…”, I stammered, worrying that Reb might lose it any moment. “He came with a reputation for being a good cocksman, so I assume he knows what to do with a woman.”

“But you’ve fucked him, of course? A young guy like you needs to exercise tight control over an older slave like this, and I’ve always found that’s a good way to show a slave he’s your property, something for your amusement.”

“Oh yes, I’ve fucked him, of course. Me and Jake – I like to be generous to my buddies.” Well, this was stretching the truth slightly but I was on firmer ground now and was less worried about where the conversation might go.

“I won’t test his ass then – a well set-up guy like you will have stretched him a bit, I assume. And Jake’s a ‘big boy’ too.” I wondered how Ray knew this about Jake, but then Jake did wear tight jeans, so perhaps Ray was surmising this from the sight of Jake’s bulge.

“Mind you it’s a pity you had him branded like that – I think it spoils the look of the upper body. A smaller, more discrete brand, or even a tattoo – we have some of our slaves tattooed inside their butt cracks so it’s not visible when they’re serving food and stuff.”

“Sorry to disagree with you, Ray, but I think a large, prominent brand like that is important – not only does it show my ownership to folks, as unless it’s bitingly cold like today I make Reb wear sleeveless stuff, but it’s a constant reminder to Reb himself that he’s merely owned property: whenever he’s in the shower, for example, he can’t help seeing and feeling it as he soaps himself.”

“Still, Steve, a stunning piece of property. How much do you want for him?”

“He’s not for sale. He’s my personal slave, I’m taking him to college with me…”

“I can see why – a nice meaty ass like that to fuck will keep you safe from some of those gold-digging bitches there: you’ll be a target for them, given your dad’s got so much money. But we could trade – how about three of our house slaves for him? They’re all cute, as you’ve seen, and more fitting for the college scene. And not a lot of other guys will have three slaves to serve them…”

Reb was looking really alarmed now, but I turned and said casually “Reb, before Mr Robertson here gets too inflamed with his offers, stop worrying as I’m not selling you….” I paused, and thought about shaking Reb’s confidence a little, and added “…yet.”

Ray laughed. “So I could go as high as four..”

“No, Ray. Honestly. No deal, not at any price…. Yet.”

“I liked your dad’s pony as well…”

“He’s not dad’s. I know it sounds odd, but dad doesn’t believe in owning slaves as he says the management of them is too distracting, he loses focus on the important things, like business. So we have contractors in to do everything. The pony’s mine – well, Jake’s and mine, as we’ve been training him together.”

“You’ve evidently got a good eye for a slave, Steve. Can I see him properly? That little tunic is positively sexy, but I’m something of a connoisseur of younger slaves and I’d like to see the whole thing.”

“Get naked, Greg”, I commanded, and quick as a flash the expensive leather tunic was off him. He stood there and folded it carefully before placing it on the floor, then stood there in front of us, next to Reb. The contrast was very pleasing: older/younger, taller/shorter, more muscular/lithe, long dick/ ’sticking out’…. Each really complemented the other, emphasised the good points of both of them. I was reminded of how I’d seen them like this before, and how at some level it made me think of dad and me.

Ray was all over Greg, feeling his muscles, fondling his butt, teasing his dick to erection, and so on. When he had finished he turned to me and congratulated me. “A real find. As I said, you certainly do seem to have an ‘eye’ for slaves. Is he properly trained?”

“Oh yes. Not for long distances, of course, but as a ‘fancy’. Ideal for around town, and for putting on a real show. Would you like to see?”

Ray nodded, so we then had Greg run around in the gym showing off his various paces, and in particular the high-stepping ‘prance’ that made his dick wag about so appealingly. I commented to Ray that although personally I preferred a slave with a prominent dick, like Reb’s, one could see how much better it was for a ‘fancy’ to carry his high, as Greg did. I’m sure Ray was fooling when he professed not to understand me, and asked me to demonstrate what I meant – so I ordered Reb and Greg to jog around together, and then to ‘prance’ on the spot in front of us. It was so amusing to see the look on Reb’s face as we commanded the two of them to prance even higher – “Knees right up to your chest” – as I knew he must hate being shown off like this.

I allowed both of them to dress after this, and Ray asked me if he could inspect Greg again. He had Greg stand by the side of him as he sat in one of the pool chairs, then stroked Greg to erection to see the effect of his dick just pushing up the hem of his tunic slightly.

“It’s a pity about the holes in his hands”, Ray commented. “I think it might spoil the slave’s ability to caress his owner’s cock.”

“I hadn’t thought about it – personally I find his mouth performs perfectly adequately.”

Ray smiled. “Yes, and I suspect you’re quite a mouthful! Anyway, what price are you looking for, for the pony? It’s Stu’s birthday soon, and I always have a problem in finding a gift for the man who has everything.”

“Well I hadn’t thought of selling him – well, not immediately. But do you need a pony?”

“We have always put off buying one as there are always taxis. But coming here today and seeing you and your father in such style behind this one has made me change my mind. The ones we’ve looked at before have been built more like Reb and our taste is for younger, slimmer men as you know – it hadn’t occurred to me that a ‘fancy’ would fit the bill. It’s not as if we ever go far, after all: just a few social calls and a little shopping – most of our travel is by train.” A kind of wolfish grin came over Ray’s face as he added “And of course when he’s not serving as a pony, he can be a servant in the penthouse: those thighs of his should make him capable of ‘riding’ a dick for simply hours and hours – Stu and me will really get a lot of use out of him!”

I was a bit worried about this. But I knew Greg liked sex, and when I’d seen Stu and Ray ‘playing’ with the waiter Kenny, and when they’d ‘entertained’ me, they’d seemed nice guys. So perhaps this might be a good thing for Greg. Furthermore I knew how Jake needed the money, and I wasn’t certain that Greg was really enjoying not fulfilling his proper role. So I sent Reb and Greg off so that I could negotiate a price with Ray.

All the stuff I’d absorbed from dad over the years was really useful, as otherwise Ray would have got him at a knockdown price. But afterwards we both congratulated each other on our negotiation skills and Ray told me it was rare to see a young guy like me paying so much attention to business. “There’s one final thing, though”, I added. “There will need to be a clause in the sale contract relating to your subsequent sale or disposal of Greg. When you’ve finished with him, a place has to be found in a slave co-op.”

Ray found that very strange and was most reluctant, as he pointed out that it was an unknown future liability. But I knew Jake would never agree unless Greg’s future was safe, so I had to persist. It took twenty percent off the sale price, and we had a deal.

I tried calling Greg but his phone went straight to messaging, and I didn’t want to lose the sale. So as Ray watched I sat in dad’s study and banged out a sale agreement, and we both signed. I allowed for a four day ‘cooling off’ period, so if Jake was really violently opposed, we had an ‘out’. I laughed then and said I thought I could surely trust Ray to pay the next day as I didn’t expect him to have that much cash on him and we had no facilities for accepting a payment card! We agreed to meet the next night as they got off the train, and walk to the bank to complete the transaction.

We went back to join dad and Stu then, Ray having told me not to spoil the surprise, and after a few minutes Ray told Stu he was being a bore to continue to talk business on a Sunday, and they needed to be going. Dad went to call a taxi, but Ray then gave Stu his birthday present a couple of days early – the sale certificate for Greg – and the two kissed. I saw dad grimace at this.

I went around to the gym and told Greg to take the trap around to the front, and that he should wear his tunic as it was cold. “It’s unfair to make him run to town and back twice in one day”, Reb muttered. “Especially with two men in each time…”

“He won’t be coming back, Reb, so that’s OK.”

Seeing Reb looking startled I said as casually as I could “I’ve sold Greg. Got a good price for him. And he’s going to a good home…”

Reb exploded with anger, and I had to shout at him to shut the fuck up. “What exactly do you thing happens to slaves, Reb? They get bought and sold. They’re property. Yes, I know it’s tough – I’ve got quite attached to Greg – but he’s a trained pony and there’s no life for him around here, you know that: I’m going away to college, and my father’s in the city all day. Do you want Greg to have to take dad to the station in the morning then hang around there all day, regardless of whether it’s freezing cold or broiling in summer so he can bring him home again? So it’s best we sell him now – and I know he’ll like his new place.” I was quite proud of myself for making all that up to calm Reb.

He went to argue some more, and I put my hand on his arm to calm him. “Reb, face reality, will you? Greg’s a slave. A nice young guy. Properly trained. I’ve sold him to good new owners. And that’s all there is to it. What’s done is done, and I’m not backing out of the contract. So if you want to say goodbye to him, stop this silly arguing and get around to the front of the house.”

I went back through the house and dad and I said goodbye to Ray and Stu. It was touching, really, to see Greg and Reb hugging each other, but, interestingly, Greg sort of pushed Reb away as he saw his new owners, as I suppose he wanted to look properly professional.

When we were back inside dad started to tell me how interesting Stu was, and he thought there’d be a lot of new business for him from AGI.

“So you’re not concerned with dealing with a ‘notorious homosexual’ then, dad?”

“Stu is a very smart, very astute businessman, Steve, in charge of one of the world’s most prestigious financial organisation…”

“…and a notorious homosexual. That’s how you described his partner, Ray. It doesn’t seem likely to me that one half of a couple could be a ‘notorious homosexual’ and the other would not be!”

“Steve, Ray is a lawyer. It’s different in the law.”

“But since what they do, how they live, is their own affair, protected by law, there should be no problem… Especially for other lawyers.”

“Theoretically, yes, of course. But circumstances alter cases, and as I’ve explained to you at the top of major firms we tend to be rather conservative. So I have the most enormous respect for Ray Johnson’s professional expertise, but, sadly, he won’t ever be a senior partner.”

“But…”

“Enough, Steve! I’m tired after working all afternoon.”

“You weren’t working, we were entertaining…”

“I was working, Steve! Finding new clients is hard work, and very important work for a senior partner. Now, where’s Reb? There’s a match starting…. And fetch us some beers in, will you?”

Fucking hell! I really did need to speak to dad. It was one thing having to act like a slave to serve the guests, but getting me to serve Reb was going too far.

That evening I tried to contact Jake to tell him about Greg, with no success. And neither was there on Monday, either, so I postponed the meeting with Ray. Still getting no reply on Tuesday I kind of “stalked” him, hanging around outside his apartment and S&D, but I must always have missed him. So on Wednesday I thought ‘fuck it’, and called Ray’s office and agreed to meet on Wednesday evening anyway to complete the sale.

I went to ‘The Towers’ before going to the station, introduced myself as Mr Robertson’s advisor on slaves, and told them to take me to show me the slave quarters, pony stables, and so on. It was amazing – there were at least five basements underneath the building. The first had ‘garage’ space with some owners’ cars lined up, and a few pony traps, too, I noticed – and even some grand carriages intended for four ponies. Underneath that there was a huge gym and feeding facility: I could see from the notices on the walls in there that the slaves were required to present ID and that there was to be ‘positively no argument’ about the food to be dispensed and that ‘slaves must accept what their owners have contracted for’. The slave sleeping quarters were right at the bottom – it was kind of exciting to go in there and see the small cubicles each with a foam sleeping pad on the floor and a blanket neatly folded. Some of them even had a slave asleep in them, and I assumed these were night workers or whatever.

I hadn’t seen Greg, and asked what else there was down there – I wasn’t interested in the laundry, or the kitchens where meals were prepared for owners who did not have their own chefs, or the pool and gymnasium for owners. But finally they showed me to the pony stables.

There was that exciting undercurrent of male pheromones in the air as we entered the area marked “Strictly ponies only”. The place was done up to be reminiscent of an old barn – flagstones under our feet, and a number of ‘stalls’ made of wooden partitions about four feet high running down the side. The stalls did not have sleeping pads, but the floors were covered with straw, and there were the same neatly-folded blankets as we’d seen earlier so the ponies were evidently well looked after. “The straw is properly fireproofed, of course, sir”, the slave told me.

The concierge slave looked embarrassed as there was the sound of sex taking place, and as we walked past the stalls it was soon evident where it was coming from: four big niggas were all crammed into one stall were lustily fucking each other. “They’re a team, for an owner with a large carriage”, the slave explained as we stood there watching them. “And she likes them to ‘bond’ properly, so they are required to sleep together in a single stall….

And of course it’s inevitable with very fit men that this is what will happen.”

“I suppose there’s a lot of sex, then?”

“Not so much in the normal sleeping quarters as many of the slaves are older, specialists. But down here – well, ponies tend to be younger, very fit….”

I nodded, but as I hadn’t seen Greg, I asked to be shown up to the penthouse.

In the elevator I thought it was time I got more mature about these things, and as I had seen others do I stroked the butt of the ‘driver’ as he stood there with his dick in the switch. As I was then shown in to the huge living room, I was surprised to see Greg – well, I suppose I shouldn’t have been, really, as I knew Ray and Stu liked cute young guys! He was sitting in the middle of the couch as Kenny had been that first time, in-between the two of them.

They of course got up to greet me but Greg sat there, and Stu at once apologised as he wasn’t behaving as a slave should, and invited me to go and take a closer look at Greg.

He was looking happy enough, with his dick erect and his arms along the back of the couch as if he was very relaxed. But then I saw why he hadn’t moved: there were bolts through the holes in his hands with ornamental gold nuts on top, holding him there just as I had observed him held on to the shafts of the trap the first time I’d seen him!

“Cute, isn’t he?” Ray asked. “Once I saw the holes in his hands didn’t hurt him, it seemed a pity not to make use of his talents – it was really difficult to find a joiner to come and fit those screws to the couch at short notice, but now it’s really fun. Young Greg has no choice but to go at our pace – the first night here he quite exhausted Stu with the way he threw himself at us…. Did you starve him of sex?”

I smiled. “No! And I know what you mean – Greg is rather ‘vigorous’ in his approach to sex…”

“Quite so! The vigour of a young lad. So now he’s held there nice and snug whilst we play with him. And with those quick-release nuts it’s easy to turn him over if we want to fuck him.”

“But how’s he doing as a pony?”

“Well, Steve, as you know we don’t have a lot of time – but it’s amusing to have him take us to and from the club… And the rest of his day we insist he exercises and swims, so I think he has a good life.”

As we’d been talking I’d heard the apartment door opening and some muffled conversation, but now it seemed we ought to get down to business as I assumed the guys had guests. I explained that I’d been trying to get hold of Jake without success, but thought that I ought to go ahead and complete the transaction anyway.

“Oh, is that what was holding it up. You should have said”, Stu told me. “Jake’s got another job – or, rather, he works at two jobs now so he’s got very little free time.”

“Would you like a drink?”, Ray asked. “Champagne?”

“Well yes, but not champagne – I remember what happened last time….”

They both smiled, and Ray asked “…and you didn’t enjoy it?”

“Well… I suppose I did! But I’ve got to drive home tonight, so I’d better not risk it. Perhaps just an orange juice?”

Ray clapped his hands and shouted an order for a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice and two dry sherries. Then I gasped, as the slave came in carrying them on a silver salver….

Because it wasn’t a slave, it was Jake! But a Jake completely different from when I had last seen him: he was naked, totally naked, naked as a man can only be when he’s had every scrap of hair shorn and shaved from his body. And actually he wasn’t naked – he was nude: to add emphasis to him his skin was shining with some sort of oil, and suspended from a thin chain around his waist was one of those rings, hanging half way along his dick – which was matched by gold rings in his nips!

“What…?” I gasped.

“Jake works for us in the evenings now”, Ray said smoothly. “He gets a very good salary, of course.”

“But…”

“The nudity? When you were here we explained how much more exciting it was to have a man agree to be naked, rather than simply ordering a slave to be so.” He paused, watching me continue to rake Jake’s body with my eyes. “Then of course it’s even more exciting still to have a man agree to shave himself bare. And to wear a ‘costume’ as he carries out his duties.”

“But the tit rings…”

“Steve, it’s none of your business!”, Jake cut in, sounding very angry.

“We were talking to Jake about how exciting his body was now that we could see all of it properly without all the hair, and how it was even more enhanced by having one of the slaves massage him with oil when he reports for work. And I happened to mention that I thought the ultimate thrill would be to have a free man agree to wear steel for me”, Ray interrupted smoothly. “So when Jake agreed to visit the piercer as he knows how much it meant to me, I made him a gift of proper gold rings rather than plain steel.”

“Jake, why…?” I gasped.

Stu stood up, went over to Greg and flipped the nuts on the back of the sofa, releasing him. He stood there with his arm around Greg’s shoulder and then started to guide him out of the room. “Come on, Ray”, he called. “Let’s leave Steve and Jake alone for a few minutes – I think they’ve got some things to talk about.”

As soon as the doors were shut I threw myself down on to one of the couches and just looked at Jake standing there in front of me. “Why…?”

Jake came and sat down beside me. “What’s it to you?”

“Jake, I thought we had something going….”

“You were ashamed of me, Steve. You wouldn’t want your dad to know about me.”

“He’d have come around, I only needed time.”

“Why? You’re a man, or I thought you were. A man has a right to choose his own friends.”

“Yes, but…”

“There you go again, Steve! Always trying to make excuses, exceptions… It’s pretty simple: either we’re buddies and we do stuff together, or we’re not.”

I was angry now. “Well you were quick enough to find a new buddy, someone to fuck…”

“I work all day at S & D, and half the night here! How do you think I can find time to fuck? And anyway I’m so exhausted, it’s hard enough to jerk off let alone start fucking. I haven’t fucked anyone since I was at your place…”

“Liar! I came around that night as I was so upset. I wanted to explain, to make it up… And you looked so fucking desirable in that towel I wanted to rip it off and throw myself at you. And if we’d done that there wouldn’t have been any problem. But you had that guy, lying there, naked, on your bed…”

“So you assumed I must be fucking him? Typical of you, Steve! Steve knows everything, Steve knows what’s going on! Well let me tell you, you know jack shit about a lot of stuff, the stuff that’s really important.”

“I know a naked guy when I see one, and another one about to fuck him…”

“Three things, Steve: One, it’s none of your business whether I fuck another guy or not. Second, I’m a man, a real man, and even if you and I were fucking, there’s no reason for me not to amuse myself with another guy occasionally. All men want a lot of sex – I assume you’ve had Reb since then? And…”

I could bear no more “Sure I’ve had a bit of sex with Reb – he’s a slave. And I was lonely. And…”

“…and as usual what you do is OK. It’s OK for you to fuck Reb, but not OK for me? But you didn’t let me finish.” Jake looked really angry now. “And third, it was my brother! He’s in the marines still, and he had a short leave on his way back from the war in Ireland to his base, and so naturally he stopped in to see his brother. And he was dead tired, absolutely exhausted, so he had a shower, then crashed out…”

“He was naked, on your bed…”

“He’d had a shower so of course he was naked. He’d crashed out. And he’s my brother – we always had to share a bed when we were kids as we never had any money. And how many beds are there in my apartment? It’s not a palace, like the house your dad provides you with – it’s all I can afford. All I could afford, that is.”

Oh shit. I began to feel really bad. “But why this? Shaving yourself, getting pierced?”

Jake looked exasperated. “You don’t understand, Steve. You probably never can. I’ve got no money, Steve. S & D doesn’t pay much. I’ve got to rent an apartment, and the landlord just put the rent up. And I need to save for the future – I don’t want to go on doing a job like at S & D: I want to start my own business…”

“I’d have given you money…”

“And what would that make me, Steve? At least this way I’m earning it! I’m my own man. I’m doing it because I decided to. I’m not a slave, I’m not even Steve’s blue-collar plaything!”

He turned and stalked out of the room, and I could only watch his incredible body, so dignified in spite of everything else.

Ray and Stu came back and saw me sitting there, almost in tears. I managed to make some excuses, and ran out and left.

Back home Reb at once saw I was very upset. He tried to get me to tell him what was the problem. Then I managed to tell him a bit of it.

“You fucked it up again, didn’t you? You can’t understand a guy like Jake…” He went over to my electronic stuff and twiddled around a bit. “I was listening to some real oldies the other day, stuff you can sing along to… We used to do that when we were on route marches in the corps… Listen to this: it’s not the same as you and Jake, but the writer might help you understand. It’s by some group from earlier in the century, and it’s called ‘Common people’.”

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Author’s note: Reb was referring to the song by Pulp. Steve sat there listening intently to…

I took her to a supermarket,

I don’t know why but I had to start it somewhere, so it started there.

I said pretend you’ve got no money, she just laughed and said,

“Oh you’re so funny.” I said “yeah?

Well I can’t see anyone else smiling in here.

Are you sure you want to live like common people, you want to see whatever common people see,

you want to sleep with common people, you want to sleep with common people, like me.”

But she didn’t understand,

she just smiled and held my hand.

Rent a flat above a shop, cut your hair and get a job.

Smoke some fags and play some pool, pretend you never went to school. But still you’ll never get it right,

‘cos when you’re laid in bed at night, watching roaches climb the wall,

if you call your Dad he could stop it all.

You’ll never live like common people, you’ll never do what common people do, you’ll never fail like common people,

you’ll never watch your life slide out of view, and dance and drink and screw,

because there’s nothing else to do…

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