A story written by Pete Brown (Part 30 of 30). (Here you can find all the parts of this story.)
It was hectic that day. So much rushing around to do, that I was glad that the pony Russ wasn’t in use and we went back to ‘The Towers’ and harnessed him.
I’d seen an old gym out on the North Road with a big ‘for sale’ sign on it as of course most young guys now are so busy working – or have been enslaved – that there’s not a lot of call for them. Amazing what a lot of cash can do, as I got the realtor to show it to us and sign a contract all that same day. Jake was nervous, but I pointed out it was an excellent base for us – the gym itself could be lined with bunks to house the slaves we rescued and the ‘free men’ acting like slaves, and there were ready made showers and stuff. There was an office to run the business from, upstairs some rooms for Jake, Reb, Karl and me to live, and even a small kitchen where ‘treats’ could be heated up as an occasional break from slave chow.
We needed to buy bunks, towels and stuff, uniforms for the ‘slaves’…. And, I admit, as a symbol of my success in getting started on the road to recovery, I bought myself a new communicator. Well not a new one, exactly: I felt it was a symbol of my maturity that instead of wanting ‘the latest’ irrespective of price, I selected the one most ‘fit for purpose’ at the ‘best’ price.
The tricky part was going back to the cop shop, though: I needed to talk to the four army guys who’d been arrested with Karl and Reb, and then to bribe the cops again – potentially very risky for me. But the first part proved surprisingly easy – I asked to see them and the cops agreed as I said my dad was a lawyer and might be able to help them (more half-truths which might perhaps prove difficult!). The four guys laughed at first when I told them they needed to act as my slaves, but then Reb took over and explained the realities of life out of the service to them. I saw him showing them his brand, and his ‘skinned dick, and clearly none of them seemed to want that! And they then, very reluctantly, said they would give it a try.
“OK, strip off, and let me have a good look at you.” I told them, and when they protested I went back and said quietly “This is your only chance, you know that. And you’ve got to agree to act like slaves to save yourselves. And slaves do as their owner says, and if he says ‘strip’, they do. So if you guys won’t get naked now, I take it you won’t act like slaves, so the deal’s off.”
It was actually pretty arousing to see four men all stripping naked in the rather small cell, then they all stood there facing me. “Now jerk off. I need to be convinced!”
They all stood there, and it was Reb who said “Come on, guys – we’re all men together here. We all know we jerk off. You’ve all done it in your bunks in the barracks…”, but
even so I don’t think they’d have complied if he hadn’t pulled down his shorts and stood there jerking off in front of them.
Bribing the cops wasn’t all that hard, actually, as I said I wanted to make another donation, and that surely they didn’t want to see ‘our valiant fighting men’ enslaved. The two cops looked at each other and I added, menacingly, “Come on, guys, it’s only the same donation as I gave you this morning, which I’m so proud of I’m thinking of posting to the ‘net”, and that was it.
It took a couple of days to get the gym tidied up, bunks bought and assembled, and stuff like that. Then using Mrs Farrar as an introduction, I started what was effectively door-to-door canvassing of the members of the A A S S to hire the ‘ethical slaves’ out. Jake managed to secure a poor broken-down slave at almost no cost from the ‘remnants cage’ at S & D – he’d fallen badly in his owner’s gym and they’d reset the leg improperly so he limped, ruining him for use as a work-out companion. I agreed with them selling him off as a ‘remnant’ actually, as he wasn’t any use as a common labourer either. And the number of men who’d want a ‘pleasure slave’ with a gammy limb was really very limited! But Jake said he was a trained masseur, too, and his technique and powerful body meant he was very good at it, and after he’d recovered his health we soon found a spa who was willing to rent him from us.
I went to see Ray and Stu with the agreement about our new company, and Stu was still very worried about Ray and his being passed over. “I still think it would be best to start your own practice…”, I told them.
“And I’ve told you I’m not interested in anything other than litigation”. Ray sounded very angry as he said this, and Stu was making frantic gestures at me to ‘cool it’.
“And I’ve suggested using my dad to do everything else. He’s coming up for auction early next week…”
“Can’t you get it into your skull that he can’t? A slave isn’t allowed to execute legal instruments…”
“Ray, listen… Dad can be the guy who has all the ideas, who does all the work…. And I could be the ‘front’, executing the deeds, etc.”
Ray was almost shouting now. “But you’re not a certified lawyer, admitted to the bar. Only they can do some of it. And it takes five years of training to get there. And we don’t have five years!”
“If we could do it in three months, then would you do it?”
“Ray, will you, or won’t you? Answer the question!”.
Ray shrugged. “Yes, if you get admitted to the New York bar within three months then I will partner with you, with your dad doing all the boring stuff…”
“So can I borrow some more cash, please, Stu, so I can buy my dad next week?”
Stu roared with laughter. “You never give up, do you, Steve? But sure – another thousand? Be careful, mind, if it all doesn’t work out I’ll requisition you as a slave to offset the debt…
And you know we always like young guys like you around here… But you can’t actually buy your own father, so it will need to be our company that does it.”
“I’ll risk becoming your slave, OK? And, Ray, one of the advantages of being technologically literate like me is that I’ve found out that there are fantastic remote presence classes in law from the University Of Lima. And under the ‘fair Americas act’ the State Of New York accepts as valid law degrees from the University of Lima as ground for admittance to the bar.”
“And how exactly does that help?”
“Normally they’re five year courses. But with the ‘distance presence’ I can go to most of the lectures on a very compressed time scale. And dad’s a whizz at law and can write all the term papers, answer all the questions in the exams… We can easily compress the time to three months.”
It was funny going to the auction to see dad being sold off. He looked a lot leaner and fitter than he had a few months before, as a result of his mandatory initial training. And fortunately he was not displayed nude as he was in the ‘older slaves’ category; and neither had his excellence at law been recognised, as he was catalogued as a ‘general labourer’. We did see one middle-aged woman have dad taken off to a private viewing room, though, and when he came back to the general display area he looked very red, and there seemed to be some sort of stains on the front of his display shorts – afterwards dad told Reb, but wouldn’t discuss it with me, how humiliating it was to have to strip for some bitch who was thinking of taking an older slave as a ‘bed toy’, and then having to jerk off in front of her so she could assess his suitability, with the guard threatening him with the prod if he refused.
After that, life was a bit of a blur for three months as I put all my efforts into ‘attending’ a minimum number of lectures whilst dad worked on my term papers and exams, but I did graduate at the end of it. And a month later I was admitted to the bar, and Masters and Johnson started business as Ray resigned from his old firm.
It was all working out quite well – our four ‘slaves’ were used to do up the offices we hired. I told Ray it was no time to skimp on appearances, so we hired a whole floor of a plush skyscraper even though we really needed only two offices, then had the slaves pretend to be associates and so on whenever a new client came calling – as indeed they did, as Ray’s fame was well known, and as Stu ‘suggested’ to companies in whom his fund invested that Masters and Johnson was a good corporate law firm to use. Dad was kept excessively busy doing all the legal stuff, which I then signed and so on.
Somehow, in all this activity, with all our efforts engaged on our businesses, Jake and I started to drift apart. He had no real interest in the ‘false slaves’ but wanted us to divert all our efforts and resources into rescuing more of the poor unfortunate creatures from S & D’s scrap bin. I pointed out we could afford to do only a limited number of these, and then the blow fell – congress refused to amend the constitution to allow ‘warrior’ slaves to be armed, so the Pentagon had to cut back on its plans for a mass dismissal of soldiers and marines, so we had no new ready source of ‘false slaves’. And without a supply of ‘false slaves’ to hire out, we had no capital to invest in acquiring and ‘restoring’ those from the scrap heap.
I was making good money by now as Ray’s partner and told Jake we were giving up slave trading all together so we could spend more time together and have more fun. I even found and played for him that fantastic ska number:
Enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think
Enjoy yourself, while you’re still in the pink
The years go by, as quickly as you wink
Enjoy yourself, enjoy yourself,
It’s later than you think
“You don’t take my rescuing slaves seriously, do you, Steve?”
“Yes, of course I do. But you don’t need to. I’m making more than enough money….”
“There you are! You don’t understand – I DO need to! It’s tragic to see all these poor guys on the scrap heap, when with a bit of care and attention they…”
“…they’d still be slaves.”
“But slave with a proper role, slaves who can live a noble life….”
“Oh please! You’ll be saying they’re just like us soon….”
“They are, Steve, they are just like us… They’re men….”
“No, Jake. They’re slaves. They gave up the right to be men when they were enslaved.”
And so it went on. At some point I stormed out and went to work, and when I came back twelve hours later – we were growing the business rapidly at that point, and there was a potentially tricky situation with a new client that I had to deal with – there was no Jake.
It was so fucking stupid. I was so busy, and I was in the right, anyway. So why should I apologise to him and make up a stupid quarrel? He needed to make the first move.
Of course I bitterly regretted that later, when it was too late. But it taught me a very valuable lesson that it doesn’t matter who’s right or who’s wrong – if you want to make a deal, you need to compromise and someone has to make the first move. That’s one of the reasons why I think I’m such an ace lawyer and excellent negotiator.
Somehow the pain of not seeing Jake, not having him in my bed, was eased by the excessively long hours I worked at that time, and of course there was always Reb when I really needed to fuck – not that it was all that often, as I was so totally exhausted most of the time. But Masters and Johnson grew, and grew, and grew as I had a real talent – inherited from dad, I suppose – for cutting a good deal for our clients, and if it ever did go wrong, Ray could argue us out of it.
Our story is one of continuous expansion, which has continued to this day, as we shall hear.
AUTHOR’S AFTERWORD from Steve Masters.
When I wrote the above work it was intended to be the first part of my autobiography. The second part would have focussed on my continuing rise to power and my success, telling how Masters And Johnson became the largest corporate law firm in the country, and how we were poised for overseas expansion using as our base our offices in London, Paris, Frankfurt, Stockholm, Madrid and Brussels.
But I now know that I shall never write a ‘part two’, and I think I owe it to my readers to briefly summarise ‘what happened next’.
It was one night in August about twenty years after the events described above took place. I was annoyed to see that I was to attend some sort of corporate dinner as a fundraiser for the A A S S and was angry at my personal assistant for having accepted the invitation. “It’s because we are a corporate sponsor, sir, and they are in their usual difficulty for finding sufficient funds and so we agreed that you would be the keynote speaker: there are going to be several CEOs of major corporations there – some of whom are not yet clients – and you emphasised at the recent partners’ meeting how important it was to ‘be seen’ and to miss no opportunity to widen our influence… Under the circumstances we could hardly refuse, and of course Mr Johnson never does these kind of things…” I sighed, as of course he was right. It’s one of the penalties of being Managing Partner – I need to uphold the standards I set for the firm, and I knew there was never any chance of getting Ray to go instead of me as part of our ‘deal’ struck all those years ago was that he would keep his rhetoric for the courtroom, as he wanted to do nothing else other than lead the litigation team. I could see that my assistant was looking anxious, though, and I reassured him that it was not such a burden and that someone on the staff should write a suitable short speech for me – he handed it to me immediately, and I smiled: he’s being groomed for a junior partner’s position, and acting as my assistant is valuable training for him, and I had no doubt he’d spent an hour or so the previous night writing it. That’s one of the advantages of using free men as assistants rather than slaves – their ambition can make them work extraordinarily long and hard, far more than you can achieve by threats of whipping and punishment with a slave. And of course when we go to meetings with clients it is particularly impressive to be able to take several of them as a subtle hint of my own status and power.
The meeting was at one of those enormous hotels downtown and so it wasn’t particularly arduous after all – my own penthouse is on Central Park West, so it’s not a long journey and I had plenty of time for several important phone calls as my slaves helped me into my immaculately cut Italian styles tuxedo made out of silk and cashmere: I’ve always retained a vague interest in fashion and style, and my personal tailor well understands my tastes and the importance I attach to perfection. It’s not so very difficult to be immaculately turned out when you have several slaves to look after your clothes, and I do think that my position demands a certain show and elegance – although only last week I had to order one of the slaves to be caned when he put the incorrect cufflinks into that morning’s shirt.
The fundraiser was being hosted by one of those ‘society hostesses’ who do this sort of thing as a career, and she immediately focussed all her attention on me as I arrived as she knew where the money was that night. She’d been speaking to someone else, and as she turned, to my astonishment I saw it was Jake!
“Mr Masters, do you know….”
“Yes, we are old… Old friends…” I paused and stuck out my hand “Hullo, Jake,… It’s been a long time….”
“It surely has, Steve….”
We had no chance to say more as the wretched woman whirled me away to meet many other people, and I remembered what my purpose was in being there and spent the next forty five minutes generally ‘working the room’ and renewing and making important contacts.
Jake and I were on the top table of course as he was to give some sort of speech on behalf of the A A S S, but I had no opportunity to speak to him as the hostess sat in-between us and constantly made a stream of small talk as only women in that position can. Finally Jake got to make his speech – and very rousing it was, following the usual patter: a ‘real life’ incident recounting the life of some wretched slave or other, how the A A S S rescued him, and how the slave was now leading a fulfilled life; followed by a plea for corporate support for their good work.
It was my turn then, and I glanced at my prepared speech and screwed it into a ball and threw it down. “Ladies and Gentlemen”, I began. “It has been many years since I had personal experience of the tremendous work that Jake and the A A S S does for slaves. And I say ‘personal’ in the true sense of the word: Jake and I worked together in those halcyon days of our youth to rescue several poor creatures, and I think it was this experience that led Jake to throw his energy and his life into this vital work. I admire him enormously for it, as I know it involved many, many personal sacrifices.” I looked at him with a ‘significant’ look as I said the last few words.
“As Jake was doing this I was building Masters And Johnson into today’s pre-eminent corporate law firm, and our careers have both taken so much time that we had little time for personal contact. It is therefore a particular pleasure to share this platform with him tonight, and to be able to pay tribute to him in front of so many important officers of our country’s greatest corporations. We should never forget that all of us in this room owe our prosperity and success to the system of slavery that keeps our society safe and which enriches us – it is, after all, not so very long ago that at an evening such of this we would have been concerned with rising tides of violence in our cities, and of the erosion of our prosperity as other countries undercut our manufacturing. Slavery fixed both of these issues – who now commits violent crime? And who can compete with a robust manufacturing base with almost zero labour costs?”
I paused to let the applause and cries of “Quite right” die down. “At the same time, though, we all know of instances where slaves are not treated well. Those of us here will of course understand that this is foolish – it is the mis-use of assets, as an ill-used slave cannot function
properly, and will have his capital value reduced. But there are others in society who are not as sensible and as concerned for the bottom line as we all are, and who wilfully mistreat slaves. And this is where Jake’s valuable organisation the A A S S comes in: by rescuing these poor creatures he not only contributes to the economic success of our society, but he makes us all feel better: that as free men we can value slaves for what they are.”
There was a lot more applause now, and I had to wait a few seconds before continuing. “In coming here tonight I had planned to harangue you all to increase your corporate donations to the A A S S – remembering, obviously, that these are completely tax deductible…” There was gentle laughter around the room.
“But in seeing Jake tonight I am minded to do something more tangible. So I am pleased to announce that Masters And Johnson will be donating an additional one million new dollars to the A A S S – and I emphasise that this is additional, new money, to enable them to further enhance their valuable work.”
Cheering went around the room now, and I held up my hand for silence. “So in conclusion, I urge each and every one of you here to do the same. And, of course, to bring your corporate legal business to us, so that we can afford it!”
I sat down to a veritable storm of applause and cheering.
Any of you who has ever done any of this sort of stuff will know that there’s a lot that then has to be done. My assistant first of all whispered “Are you sure, sir? Doesn’t corporate charitable donation require the approval of the partners’ meeting?” to which I replied “Yes, formally it does. But you should remember that Mr Johnson and I still own eighty percent of the partnership equity, as other partners receive only one share each on appointment.
And Mr Johnson and I will be in complete agreement on this.”
There were then the inevitable press interviews as this was a very sizeable donation, as you will understand, and finally the morning news TV show wanted to record a brief ‘insert’ where Jake and I shook hands and I handed over a symbolic ‘cheque’ (it’s funny how that usage has persisted, even though actual cheques disappeared long, long ago).
Those TV idiots can never make anything simple, though, and it requires endless amounts of time to ‘set up’ and then several attempts to ‘get it right’. Jake and I had to stand there shaking hands and smiling at each other for ages. And, as we did so, I felt the pressure of Jake’s hand on mine and the touch of his skin, I saw the twinkle in his eyes and the way the corners of his mouth turned up as he smiled, and I was dragged back to those happy days when we had meant so much to each other. I felt tears welling in my eyes and had to make a heroic effort to keep my own smile fixed rigidly on my face.
We had no time to speak to each other as our staffs whisked each of us away at the end, and I went back to my apartment and stood there almost in a dream as my slave helped me to bed. Sleep eluded me, though, and I reached for my personal communicator: it felt so comfortable in my hands and I’ve had it all these years as it’s almost like a good luck charm for me, not that I believe in rubbish like that, of course. But it was the first thing I truly bought for myself as I started upwards after all the disaster of dad’s enslavement, and I have clung to it. My assistants carry around the ‘real’ one, for business, of course so that they can filter calls and so on, and this one therefore almost never gets used as there are so few ‘personal’ things that I ever do. I lay there looking at it, then muttered ‘Call Jake’.
Surely it couldn’t work after all these years, I thought – I’m being silly. He must have changed his number and so on. But I guess technology fixes these things, as the display indicated that the call was connecting.
“Steve?” Jake’s voice was its usual calm assured self.
“I wasn’t sure I could still contact you this way. And your communicator still knows it’s me….”
“Do you think I’d erase you, ever?”
“I wasn’t sure… It’s been a long time.” I paused. “And we didn’t part on the best of terms…”
I heard the amusement on Jake’s voice, as I had so often before. “You always had a way with words, Steve, and I see it hasn’t left you.”
“Yes. It makes me a lot of money.”
“You didn’t need to buy me with all that money tonight, you know.”
“Jake, you know that’s stupid. Do you think I’d think that money would influence you? It never did in the past, and I don’t suppose you’ve changed.”
“The question is ‘why not’? It doesn’t mean anything to me as I’ve got more than I can ever spend. So if it helps you… But look, this is stupid. Our last conversation was all about money, as I recall. Can we have another one, about things that really matter?”
“Oh, you have changed, Steve… Things that really matter other than money….”
“Jake, please don’t. And, yes, perhaps I have changed. But this is a terrible way for old friends… lovers… to deal with each other. Can we meet?”
“Jake, stop fucking around. I know you felt it too – when we shook hands….”
The silence went on for what seemed for ever. But I knew that if I said anything the spell would somehow be broken. So I held myself in check, hardly daring to breathe. Finally I heard “Well I’m very busy, and I know you must be, too…”
“Cancel it. Cancel everything. I will.”
“Steve, I can’t do that. You may have armies of people who can take over, but me…”
“I’m sorry, Jake. But we have to meet. How about Sunday? I don’t suppose those ladies who support the A A S S need you to work on Sundays…. Come out to Scarsdale….”
“Where, what time?”
“It doesn’t matter where. Any train – I’ll have a pony waiting….”
“Steve, you do remember what I’ remembering now, don’t you?” I heard the laughter in his voice again.
“Of course I do! And the pony will be wearing a neat tunic and shorts – although if it’s a hot day that does seem a bit cruel and he won’t welcome it – I do remember you being angry at me as my pony didn’t have a blanket in the winter – so perhaps you won’t mind if he’s only in a pony pouch in the summer?”
Jake laughed again. Said “Sunday, then, in the morning”, and the communicator went dead.
I actually went to Scarsdale on the last train on Saturday night as I was determined hat everything should go well for Jake’s visit. I don’t live there permanently as pressure of business makes it so much more convenient to have my penthouse in the city, but I had persuaded Ray and Stu to move out of ‘The Towers’ and buy dad’s old place, and then in the fullness of time I’d had a new wing built that was effectively ‘mine’.
Ray and Stu were laughing almost all morning as I fussed around commanding the slaves to make everything perfect, and continued to chide me as I paced up and down scanning the drive for a pony and trap – indeed I was so distracted that I was even quite sharp with my
assistant when he called to ask me if I wanted to speak with some Arab clients who were of course working as it was Sunday.
Finally, at about eleven, Jake did arrive. I met him at the front door and explained about Ray and Stu, and led him through the house and out to the pool where they were sitting with the morning papers and coffee. It was all very convivial then and having the two of them there as they had been at several of our earlier meetings did help to get us talking again. But I saw Jake’s eyes open with astonishment as Reb came out of the gym complex and loped towards us.
He’s still in fantastic shape as he spends so much time exercising and he’s always had a healthy diet – and, I guess, he’s had no real worries. I sometimes think it’s stress that makes you feel old, and as slave Reb had none of the pressures that I was under every day. He’s a bit vain, though – I know that the flat, ridged belly above the tiny shorts leads down to now totally shaved pubes: once he started to go grey he no longer simply clipped them neatly but extended the shaving of his balls to take in the whole area. And I suspect he ‘touches us’ the hair on his chest so that it’s still slickly black.
He and Jake embraced, and I felt a real pang of jealousy as the two men were in such intimate contact with each other, and I wanted it to be my hands on Jake’s shirt, my crotch pressing in to his.
“I though you’d have sold Reb long ago!”, Jake started.
“How could I do that? He’s the first thing I ever owned, the first thing I ever bought with my own money rather than dad’s, the first slave I ever caned, the first guy I ever had sex with….”
“The first guy you ever raped!”, Reb added, laughing. We’d long ago got over that.
“He keeps me fit…. Or tries to…”, I added. “And…”
At that moment a lithe bronzed naked boy ran out of the gym complex and executed a perfect dive in to the pool. “I see you still prefer young slaves…”, Jake remarked to Stu.
“Well, actually, yes. But none of them have ever really lived up to the example set by you and Steve”. Stu winked at me as he said this, and we all smiled. “But that’s not a slave…”
With that totally unselfconscious ease that only really young slim guys can pull off, the boy in the pool hauled himself up on to the side and in the same liquid movement raised himself to his feet and stretched luxuriantly. Then, scratching absentmindedly at his armpit he strode over towards us, his dick bouncing up and down.
“Dad! When you’re here you’re never around at this time, you’re always on the phone…”
I hugged him, oblivious of the fact that my silk shirt was getting spoiled by the water on his body. Then I turned. “Jake, this is Stevie… My son. And Stevie, this is Jake – an old friend. A very old friend.”
Stevie stuck his hand out, and I watched as Jake took it, astonished. “How do you do, sir?”, Stevie asked, and then turned to me “Dad, why didn’t you say you knew the Chairman of A A S S – you know how I admire their work, how much I want to work for them….”
“Steve, I didn’t know….”, Jake began. “But look at him…. He’s just like you…”
“Just like I was at his age, you mean, Jake. Well, actually Stevie’s only sixteen, so he’s younger than when we met. But he’s growing into a fine man…”
I turned and added “And, Stevie, I’ve told you before – after college you’re going to be a lawyer, not work for a charity. And I think you ought to put some shorts on! If you continue to prance around like that you’ll make Ray and Stu envious and get them thinking they ought to go off and buy another young slave….”
Jake was still standing there looking totally amazed. “I think you need a beer…”, I told him.
So we went into the house. “How… Why….”? He managed to ask.
“Well Ray and Stu got tired of ‘The Towers’, and it is past its best now. And our old place came up for sale so they moved here… And I felt nostalgic, and Ray’s my business partner, so we all agreed I could build the new wing. And it seemed good to let Reb look after the grounds and stuff – I hadn’t got the heart to sell him – and it’s pretty good, isn’t it? He’s magnificent, for an older guy…”
“No, Steve! Your son…. How did you get a son?”
“The usual way, Jake. I fucked a woman….”
“You know I was always close to my dad. And it really hurt when he died. So I wanted a son. And it’s not hard to find a woman of breeding who’s short of money… She had to be a free woman of course, as I wanted no suggestion that Stevie should be a slave. So I found someone, we married, I fucked her, she got pregnant, we aborted a girl, I fucked her again…
And then there was Stevie, and I divorced her. Simple, really. She got paid – very well paid – and I got a son. There was a messy bit where she sued me, but I am a hotshot lawyer, you know, and the pre-nup was watertight. And Stevie’s turning out pretty well, as you can see – very athletic: that’s Reb’s influence – and a top performer at school. And I’ve already started making huge donation to dad’s old college so that when he’s ready to got to college he’ll be assured of a place, and at dad’s old frat….”
“Fuck me, Steve! You’re trying to re-create history – this is where I came in, with you wanting to buy a slave to take to the frat…”
“And I never did go, did I? But I’ve still got the slave. And I met you, but I lost you…”
Jake looked at me, and I looked at him. “It was stupid, wasn’t it? To quarrel over slavery?”
“There’s an important point of principle at stake, Steve….”
“Jake, please…. Not after all this time.” I had to stop as I could feel tears welling up inside me. “It was stupid, Jake. We could both hold our own points of view, and when we did quarrel we should have settled it, but we’re both too headstrong. And we’ve wasted all these years. Are we going to go on like that?”
The silence seemed endless. And I’ve told you before how I’ve trained myself not to re-start saying things in situations like this until I’ve had the other person’s reaction.
I thought I’d lost it, as Jake said nothing and began to move. But it was to move towards me. Then he threw his arms around me and kissed me, and it was like the first time. No, it was so much better than the first time, as we both knew exactly what to do. And within seconds we were tearing the clothes off each other, desperate to feel even more of our bodies pressed against each other. We stumbled into my bedroom and I pushed Jake backwards on to my bed – it seemed only fair, as that first time it was him who pushed me onto his bed….
We never got our lunch. And Ray and Stu were sensible enough not to come looking for us. And some time mid-afternoon after I’d fucked him so slowly and yet so passionately, I gently pinched the skin on Jake’s belly. “It’s as well we didn’t eat lunch – you’ll need to get rid of this if you’re going to be my lover.”
“It’s OK for you, Steve – a huge gym here, and Reb…”
“I don’t normally live here, as I said. My penthouse is on Central Park, so it’s quick to get to the office… It’s all down to my iron will – running every morning…”
“But your son’s here?”
“Of course. It’s a good school, and a boy needs space….”
“But who looks after him…”
“Reb, of course! Always has. He’s got a way with controlling younger guys – comes from that background of his in the marines…”
“So Stevie’s not really your son…”
“Don’t be stupid! Of course he is! I told you, I made the supreme sacrifice, and fucked a bitch. And I had this wing built….”
“But Reb’s brought him up…”
“Jake, I’ve been working ! You don’t get to be head of the largest corporate law firm, starting from scratch, and then try to bring up a kid in your none-existent spare time… And, in any case, Reb’s mine, remember? So I tell him what to do, and he does it. It’s just the same as doing it myself, only better.”
“Does Stevie think that? Or would he rather have had a dad who was around…?”
“What a stupid question. Look at what I’ve been able to give him. Look at what he’s going to get. And it never did me any harm – dad was always in the city…”
“Didn’t it, Steve? Never did you any harm?”
“Jake, that’s the problem with you. You’re never prepared to accept the best option – in this world a guy needs a good education and money, and that’s what Stevie will have. And it’s not as if he hasn’t been well looked after, well brought up: in fact he’s got a bonus as he’s got a father who loves him, and Reb.”
“You should have spent more time with him, Steve…”
“Stop moralising, will you! And perhaps if you’d stayed with me things might have been different….”
“It wasn’t me who left, Steve…”
We lay there, side by side. Now angry. But I’d learned my lesson. This time I leaned over and kissed Jake again, deeply. When we broke off I whispered “Shall we always do this? Kiss properly when we’ve been quarrelling, and not march away….”
After we’d talked some more, and showered, we went back out to the pool. When we announced we were together again Ray and Stu ordered the slaves to bring champagne. Then Stevie came and put his arm around me. “Dad, it’s OK to love another guy then, is it?”
“Of course it is! Look at Ray and Stu…”
“So I’ve been thinking, dad…. You keep on about going to college, but I want to do something more exciting. There’s this guy at school I really like and he’s got a great idea for going into buying and selling slaves, and I think it would be more exciting to be a slave dealer than a lawyer…”
I couldn’t see why Reb and Jake found it so funny when I started to say that I wanted him to have a respectable profession.
Later that night Jake took my old communicator. “You really are sentimental, aren’t you, Steve, underneath that hard exterior you put up. Keeping Reb, keeping this…”
“They’re the only things I started with, you know that, after dad’s stupidity…”
“So what are we going to do now, Steve? Once you’re resigned as managing partner…”
“…and you’ve resigned as chairman of the A A S S?”
Jake fiddled with my communicator, and then there came out of it that song we used to play
in those early turbulent times….
It’s good to be wise when you’re young ‘Cos you can only be young but the once Enjoy yourself and have lots of fun
So glad and live life longer than you’ve ever done
Enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think
Enjoy yourself, while you’re still in the pink
The years go by, as quickly as you wink
Enjoy yourself, enjoy yourself,
It’s later than you think
“Sounds good to me!”, Jake said. And for once I didn’t argue with him.
Pete Brown. The Alps, London, Copenhagen and Brussels. January and February 2012