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Bruises that Won't Heal

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Introduction

“Get Jensen for me.” Jeff sighed as he reclined on his bed. The silky coverings felt good against his skin and the warm desert breeze coming through the window filled the air with the scent of Jasmine. The warmth and the distant drone of insects made Jeff feel drowsy.

Jeff closed his eyes, just for a moment. Or so he thought, but when he reopened them, Jensen was kneeling beside the bed. His position was perfect. The quality of light had changed, so Jeff cast a look at the clock and saw that he had been asleep for two hours.

“Come here sweetheart,” he grumbled. Jensen’s whole body must have been stiff. Jeff would bet his whole fortune that Jensen hadn’t fidgeted at all during the time he was waiting. Jensen unfolded himself, his expression was completely neutral. Since Jensen had come into Jeff’s possession, he had rarely shown any emotion. Jeff could understand why; the boy had suffered. Suffered beyond anything Jeff had ever seen before. In fact, he was suffering still.

Jensen’s movements were smooth, though, and well practiced as he moved sinuously onto the bed and into Jeff’s arms. They were the movements of a seasoned concubine. Jeff chased that thought away. He didn’t want to think about Jensen’s life before. Jeff pulled him close and Jensen came without complaint, allowing himself to be molded against Jeff’s body. The scent of Jensen, clean and musky, and the solid warmth of him in Jeff’s arms was almost everything Jeff could wish for. But Jensen was damaged, and although Jeff hated to admit it, he suspected that he was damaged beyond fixing.

He could feel Jensen’s breath against his chest, the moist warmth of it penetrating his silk tunic. It made him wish he’d taken his clothes off. Then that breath would be tickling his chest hair. The thought made him smile as he pressed a kiss to Jensen’s head.

Having his boy here in his arms was both a comfort and a torture. He was beautiful, his body lithe, golden, and sprinkled with freckles. Jeff wondered where Christian had managed to obtain the lad. He didn’t doubt that it was through nefarious means. Jensen’s pale skin meant he clearly wasn’t native to the area, and he either couldn’t or wouldn’t talk. Jared had made some vague insinuations but wouldn’t elaborate on them. In fact, Jared had been quite hostile recently. Jeff made a mental note to talk to him about his attitude. Jeff had checked Jensen over and the boy still had his tongue, which was a blessing. With all the modification that Chris had done, it wouldn’t have surprised him if it had been removed. Sighing, Jeff squeezed him tighter. He would give anything to fix this boy mentally, and maybe then he wouldn’t feel so bad about lusting after him, wanting him. But he knew Jensen was in no state to agree to a relationship. Although Jeff was within his rights to demand one, he had never forced himself on anyone, coerced a few times, but never forced.

He ran his hand over Jensen’s hip and heard the boy inhale sharply, then watched as Jensen got himself back under control, evening out his breathing. Jeff sighed. Was there any way to fix this? Would Jensen ever have the ability to consent? More to the point, would he ever want to? Jeff knew he was being selfish taking the boy for his own ,but from the moment he had seen him, bruised, beaten, and broken, he had wanted him.

He slipped his hand down the front of Jensen’s silky pants, encountering only smooth skin. Chris permanently depilated all his harem. That, of course, was the least of the modifications. Jeff moved his hand lower feeling his chest twinge. Where there should have been a penis there was a small nodule, and where Jensen’s testicles should be was a small raised surgical incision.

Jeff could feel dampness through his shirt. Pulling away, he used his hand to raise Jensen’s face until he was looking him in the eye. Green eyes overflowed with tears silently.

“Sweetheart,” Jeff said, his heart breaking, “I wish I could fix this for you.”

Pulling Jensen close again, Jeff swore that he would do everything in his power to make Jensen happy and he would spend the rest of his days searching for the criminal Christian and make his life a living hell.

 

 

Sometimes when he lay comfortable in Jeff’s arms, it was like the past had never happened. Jeff’s warmth seeped into him, heating him through to his marrow. It was like he had been frozen forever and then Jeff came with his wry smile and broad chest, and the sun started to peep from behind the steel grey clouds.

But then when sleep took him, he couldn’t control his dreams, and the insidious fear would creep in like a thief and throw icy tendrils around his heart. Master would be there and his cold blue eyes would look straight through Jensen. The terror would be so strong that more than once he had actually pissed himself. Just like a child.

Waking, wet, and shivering he would hold his breath waiting for Jeff to punish him. But he never would—he would just pull Jensen closer, ignoring the stench of urine and the discomfort of the damp sheets. He would hold him close until Jensen stopped shivering.

“It’s okay, sweetheart,” he would say. “Shhh, you’re safe here, no one can hurt you now. I’ll protect you”

And Jensen so wanted to believe it, he did. But in his experience Masters lied.

Chapter 1

Jensen lay in the huge bed, the cotton sheets were cool and crisp against his body. They were some sort of excessive thread count and probably cost an arm and a leg, but they were so worth it. Dani lay curled against him, her warm, soft body a lovely counterpoint to the sheets. He could hear the water lapping against the yacht and feel the gentle sway of the boat. It was such a wonderful honeymoon.

Their wedding should have been the cause célèbre of all the trashy magazines. Multibillionaire Jensen Ackles marrying his fashion model bride. But they had eloped and married in secret with just her parents, siblings, and a friend or two. It had been perfect, and now he had the perfect bride. Even better now he had a family. He had lost his parents in his last year of college. Their private plane had crashed on descent into San Diego airport and he had been left an orphan. It had been an awful time, and he wouldn't have survived without Dani there to care for him. Now, though, he couldn’t be happier. Snuggling down, he let sleep take him, lulled by the gentle motion of the boat.

Later, he was drawn from sleep. Not sure why, he cracked an eye open. He couldn’t see anything out of place, but something was wrong, he could feel it. Slowly and quietly, Jensen sat up, his heart beating overtime as he tried to steady his breathing. Dani, oblivious, slept on. There was a sound off towards the bridge, quiet but out of place.

Jensen shook Dani, shushing her when she went to talk. He could see fear in her eyes; he could see the whites all the way round her irises. Getting out of bed, he gestured for her to follow then directed her to hide under the bed. He could hear furtive footsteps now moving towards the stateroom. Jensen had always been anti-gun, had protested on that very issue. But if someone had handed him a weapon right at that moment he would have taken it gratefully and used it to protect his wife and himself without a second thought. He was too scared to consider what that made him.

His eyes skittered over the room looking for something, anything, that could be used as a weapon. There was nothing obvious, no well-placed baseball bat or heavy paperweight. Finally, in desperation, Jensen grabbed the glass of water he had taken to bed with him. Taking a look towards the bed, he was slightly reassured that he couldn’t see Dani, as he took his place behind the door. Whatever happened, he was going to go down fighting.

He could hear the covert movements come closer to the door. Jensen’s hand shook, spilling some of the water, but he took a deep but quiet breath and tried to steady himself. He was still half-hoping that David or James would rush through the door laughing and joking about frightening him half to death. But in his heart, he knew it was something far more sinister than that.

Jensen concentrated on keeping his breathing slow and quiet, and as he did, a preternatural calm descended over him.

Three men rushed into the bedroom and it was as if everything was in slow motion. Jensen threw the water over the first man, a tall rangy man with straggly shoulder length hair. The water didn’t hurt him, but it distracted him enough for Jensen to hit him square in the face with the glass. The glass was tough, thick and heavy so it didn’t break, but the crunch it made on impact made Jensen think that it had possibly broken the man’s nose. He shrieked and his hands went to his face. That was when Jensen noticed the gun in his hand, even as the second man leveled his own weapon at Jensen.

“Enough,” a gruff voice said and Jensen knew the game was up. All the tension rushed out of him in a whoosh and he raised his hands dropping the glass. The owner of the voice was a short, stocky, hirsute man. He looked like he should play a dwarf in the Lord of the Rings films, Jensen thought abstractly. He realized that his teeth were chattering, and Jensen knew he was going into shock.

“Come,” the dwarfish man—Gimli—said, and Jensen complied without complaint. He wanted to get out of there before they found Dani.

The third man of the group grabbed Jensen unnecessarily by the shoulder and manhandled him out onto the deck. Jensen wanted to look back over his shoulder and have one last look at Dani, but he knew that could mean the end for her and so he straightened his spine and walked out onto the deck. He would remember his wife sleeping peacefully against him. He would remember her laughter, her scent, and her smile. And nothing these animals did to him would make him forget her.

They herded him to an old jeep, dusty and rusty, and hustled him into the back with the third man. Jensen managed to get a look at him properly for the first time. Where the leader was short and stocky, and the man Jensen had managed to hit had been lanky, the third man was somewhere between the two. He was about five foot eleven, sallow skinned and stocky like Gimli. There was a hardness to his eyes that frightened Jensen. He grabbed Jensen’s wrists and handcuffed him to the door handle, his eyes never leaving Jensen. His gaze travelled down Jensen’s body and he started to smile, approval in his eyes. Nodding, he said something in a foreign language to the other two in the front of the jeep. The language was harsh and guttural, and Jensen thought perhaps the three men were arguing.

“You behave,” said his captor as he ran a hand up Jensen’s thigh. Tensing, Jensen could feel sweat gather at his hairline and trickle down into his eyes. The tension made the muscle in his thigh twitch, amusing the man, and he laughed as he snatched his hand away.

The jeep moved through the town quickly. Jensen and Dani hadn’t even known the name of the town when they’d berthed here for the night. They had sailed aimlessly and now Jensen could kick himself for it. He was pretty sure they were in Turkey, but where?

Once they were out of the town, they drove down winding roads that eventually became dusty lanes. There were not many towns or villages, and Jensen thought perhaps they were avoiding civilization.

The men rarely addressed him, only speaking when they stopped for him to use the restroom, which involved squatting on the side of the road. And wasn’t that dignified? They fed him mainly prepackaged food and bottled water. Eventually, the rumble of the truck and the bumping of the road lulled him into uneasy sleep.

They had been on the road for two days when they came upon a small wooden building in the middle of nowhere. Stopping, they urged Jensen out of the truck, leaving him handcuffed to the open door as they went inside the shack.

Jensen felt the sun beaming down on him, and although he had probably only stood outside for a matter of maybe twenty minutes, he could feel the prickle of the sun burning his forehead. He had no sunscreen on, and that was going to hurt like a bastard. Not to mention that his freckles would come out in full force. He almost laughed at the absurdity of his thought processes.

Then, with a bang of the door, the men reappeared. They had another man in tow, much younger than the others. Practically a boy, Jensen looked at him. He was as tall as a man but all arms and legs. A few more years and he would grow into his height. The boy looked at him with undisguised curiosity and maybe a little lust. Jensen just looked straight back at him, refusing to look away. Gimli backhanded him for his trouble, and Jensen ended up on the dirt floor hanging from the door handle.

There was a brief discussion in whatever language they spoke, and then Jensen was unlocked, pulled to his feet, and dragged towards the wooden structure. Instead of going inside, he was taken around the edge of the building. At the rear, there was a corral of sorts containing several short, stocky horses. Some of the horses were already laden down by packs. Others had saddles on, so Jensen had a pretty good idea of what the next mode of transport was going to be.

He was pushed towards the horses and urged to get on one of them. Gimli got on behind, holding Jensen tightly around the middle.

“A few more days and you will meet your master, virgin boy,” Gimli said, as one hand grabbed Jensen’s groin, causing him to squeak and pull back. Unfortunately, that only pushed him more firmly against Gimli’s groin. He could feel Gimli’s erection prodding him in the ass. Between that and what Gimli had just said, Jensen’s stomach swooped. “It’s a shame he wants your ass virgin, because we could have such fun,” Gimli said as he thrust his erection against Jensen.

Jensen wondered at the words. How could the know he was a virgin in that way. Had they followed him? Had he been chosen for this? Whatever this was?

This couldn’t be happening. Jensen had thought he had been kidnapped for profit. After all, he was a billionaire many times over. But this was a slaver, for fuck’s sake.

“Whatever he’s paying you, I can double it, triple it!” Jensen blurted out. “I’m rich, filthy rich.” He would do anything to get free.

Gimli just laughed. “I cannot go against Christian. He is too powerful. He would hunt me down. He is a warrior. Now, be quiet, before I shove something in your mouth to shut you up.” He finished his sentence with another obscene thrust, and Jensen lost all hope. Closing his eyes, he concentrated on the warmth of the air, the smell of the dust, the movement of the horse—anything apart from the man at his back, who was taking so much pleasure from his discomfort.

“I’m going to get top dollar for you,” he whispered, breaking Jensen’s concentration. “Christian is going to have a field day. He likes pretty boys. He’ll like you.” The man’s hand caressed the skin of Jensen’s cheek. He had a couple of days of stubble and a fairly nasty sunburn, so he was pretty sure he wasn’t ‘pretty’ anymore. “He’s going to enjoy breaking you.” The man sniggered and Jensen’s stomach dropped. He could tell himself all he liked that he would escape from this, that these people only wanted his money. But it sounded like he was being sold into slavery. Into sexual slavery, and Jensen, well, he wasn’t gay. That wasn’t important; rape was rape regardless of your sexual preference. But, suddenly the fact that he’d never been with a man, never experimented, not even in college, seemed very significant.

He’d been inquisitive. He’d snuck a peek at one of his roommates while he was dressing. But that was just normal, right? It wasn’t as if he had done anything about his curiosity. Besides, he liked girls. He loved his wife, dammit.

"We saw you in port two days ago," the man continued. "You are just his type, pretty." His fingers caressed Jensen's face, sending a shudder down his spine and making acid come up his throat. Two days ago, they had been in Bandirma. How had these men followed him? They must have really wanted him if they’d followed him for two days. And they must have known about Dani, but had no interest in her. It didn't make any sense, but Jensen knew one thing: He had to get away. His breath was coming in quick pants and he knew he was hyperventilating. With extreme effort, he was able to slow his breathing down. Maybe this part of the journey, he thought, offered the best chance of escape.

"I asked in port about you. They say you are famous," Gimli continued. "I looked you up on the internet," he said, a pleased look on his face "They say you have only been with women. Is that true?" Gimli took his face and pulled him round until he could look into Gimli's eyes "Are you a virgin?"

"No," Jensen said and Gimli laughed

"Yes, you are. You lie badly. That is good. Christian will like you a lot." Gimli let his face go. "I give you one piece of advice: be good," he said cryptically.

Only Gimli and the lanky man had made this part of the journey. The other man had stayed behind. Jensen knew he had to make his move soon. They were in a wilderness, bleak and barren and he wasn’t sure how to get back to civilization. They stopped as the sun hung low in the sky. Once the horses were tied to a few stumpy trees, the men handed Jensen some water and jerky.

He wasn’t tied up, but he was aware of the fact that both men had guns on their belts so he bided his time, eating slowly as the men drank something that looked a lot like moonshine. Hell, Jensen hoped it was. If they got good and drunk, it would be so much easier to get away.

Night fell and the two men became rowdier. It certainly looked like they were getting drunk. Jensen could feel his heart beat a little faster as he watched them and their eyes finally started to droop. Once they started snoring, Jensen waited a long while. It was interminable. He counted the seconds so that he wouldn’t fall asleep himself. Finally, he felt he had given them enough time—two thousand five hundred seconds—so he carefully and oh-so-quietly got up and tiptoed to the horses. They huffed and snickered, but didn’t make too much noise as he untied one of them and led it away from camp. He dared not look back, just kept moving in the general direction from which they came.

Finally he felt that he had put enough distance between his captors and himself. He mounted the horse and urged her onward as quickly as her stumpy legs could carry them. Onward they galloped, until she ran out of steam. They trotted as the sun started to come up. First the pale orange light crept across the rocky landscape, finally turning to bright red as the sun breached the horizon.

Jensen was exhausted, and he suspected his horse was too, but he felt the imperative to run so they rested as little as possible. Later that morning, before the sun reached it’s apex, Jensen saw a billow of dust behind him. To his horror it was gaining on him. It could only be his captors.

Urging the horse onward, he was devastated to see that they continued to make ground. His horse was tired; he had no water to give her. He hadn’t planned his escape out too well. But she was a plucky little thing and kept going—trying her hardest. Jensen felt his blood thundering in his veins as adrenaline coursed around his body. It was to no avail sadly, and eventually Gimli caught up gun raised and ready. Jensen briefly considered going down in a blaze of glory,letting Gimli shoot him, but he was worried that a stray bullet might hit the horse and she was an innocent in all this.

Gimli hit Jensen, hard across the face. His lip split and his head hummed as his brain shook in his skull. He was thrown across the horse so that he was lying across the saddle. All he could see was the bumpy ground whizzing by. It made him feel nauseous, so he closed his eyes. He kept hoping for another chance to escape. He was down, but not out. But it was all for nought. Once they were in the desert it was all over.

Jensen noticed they had started climbing, and finally Gimli let him sit astride the horse so Jensen could see the imposing mountain range. They traveled up into the mountains, the temperature becoming colder and colder as they did. The men gave Jensen warmer clothes, hand-knitted jumpers and a coat of rough material. Finally, they reached a small road hewn between two mountains. Once through the pass, the descent was quick and Jensen could see in the distance a city seemingly made of tents. It was huge and brightly colored, and seemed like a permanent fixture, not the sort of camp that was packed up and moved on.

They arrived at the encampment and Jensen felt his heart lurch. He had not seen any sign of civilization since they came through the mountains. His stomach and chest were bruised and battered from being laid over the saddle for so long and his nerves were making his palms sweat.

“Nearly time for you to meet your master.” Gimli smirked, and Jensen felt cold sweat trickle down his spine.

They were met by a contingent of men, who looked at Jensen with disdain as they saw to the horses. Gimli and the other man had a brief conversation, and then Gimli grabbed Jensen by the arm and dragged him in the direction of the largest and most beautiful tent. It was huge, almost akin to a circus tent. Two guards opened the outer flap, and Gimli dragged Jensen in. Despite his nerves Jensen couldn’t help but be enthralled by the beauty and decadence around him. The ornate materials on the outside gave way to a more sumptuous interior. The inside was furnished as if it were a house, with wooded furniture and ornaments. Jensen’s eyes took in the sights, even as his heart beat a discordant rhythm.

“Behave for your master,” Gimli hissed, “I say this because he will kill you if you don’t.” The man almost looked concerned, and that more than anything made Jensen’s stomach plummet. He could feel his breathing accelerate. This was all too real. This moment, he had thought it would never come. He would be dead, or he would have escaped. But now the time was upon him, he was going to meet the man that would own him.

Silence fell on the great room when a man entered. He was short of stature but stocky of build. Long blond hair hung to his shoulder and piercing blue eyes were the most noticeable feature of his face. He looked cruel, there was no other word for it. He looked like the sort of person who kicked dogs, and Jensen’s knees gave way.

Gimli did not hold him up, but instead let him sink to his knees. Christian walked over and put a hand under Jensen’s chin, and lifted it so that he was looking into those icy eyes. He did not seem to be of the same nationality as the others, and when he spoke, he had a strange accent. Like he was American, but had lived outside of the country for a long time.

“I like this one. He knows his place.” He nodded to Gimli. “On his knees” He ran a hand through Jensen’s hair, his touch gentle and at odds with his words.

“Take him and clean him.” Christian’s words were directed at some female servants, who then urged Jensen through the tent. There were various hanging tapestries that served to make corridors and rooms. He was directed through these, until he reached a large room containing several baths and basins. It was a proper bathroom. The women mimed getting undressed and Jensen didn’t have the energy to argue. It was actually quite nice to get out of the soiled clothing.

His skin was caked in dirt, and his face ached both from the sun and Gimli’s blows. On direction from the two women, Jensen got into one of the baths, sighing as his body hit the hot water. It was almost too hot, but with a moment’s pause, he was able to sink into it and he could feel his tension seep away. The women, who looked so alike they could be twins, grabbed brushes and cloths and, much to Jensen’s consternation, started scrubbing him down. The brushes caused a deep tingling sensation, and once Jensen was used to this it started to feel good. Eventually, the water became opaque with dirt, and he was hustled out of the bath and into another. This one was scented and blossoms floated lazily atop the water. One of the women started to wash his hair, her fingers working sensuously through the greasy strands. It felt wonderful. The other woman took his hand and started working on his nails. Jensen let himself drift as the scent of flowers and the warmth of the water lulled him to sleep.

He was awoken with a start as one of the women poked his shoulder with her finger. She gestured for him to get out of the bath and then dried him briskly with a towel. Jensen looked down at his skin. It glowed healthy and clean. Then one of the women gently anointed his sunburned skin with a balm that immediately reduced the pain. Jensen smiled his thanks, but the woman’s face remained as neutral as ever. Then the other woman lifted first one arm then the other, and applied a paste that stung. Finally she applied the paste around his genitals. Jensen was too shocked to do anything but let her.

“No hair,” she said, nodding, and after a few minutes they gestured him into a shallow bath and poured water over him to rinse the concoction off. Jensen was left feeling more naked than ever. His body hair was gone. All that was left was smooth skin. It felt strange, and it looked odd; his penis seemed huge now that there was no hair nestling the base.

Pointing at a pile of clothing, the women left the room. Jensen pulled on the tunic and trousers, marveling at the softness of the fabric against his skin and was pleased that he wouldn’t be expected to stay naked. Once dressed, he wandered to the side of the room and tried to move the hangings that made up the wall, but it was secured on both the sides and bottom. Not only that, but the cloth was thick, and try as he might Jensen could not rip it. He needed a knife.

Two guards entered the room, and on seeing that Jensen was examining the walls, they grabbed him and forced him into another room. This room was as opulent as the others, although its main focus was a huge bed, laden down with many silk covers and pillows. Jensen felt his stomach churn. A cold sweat traveled down his body as he looked at the bed. Before it had all been academic; now suddenly it was reality. That man was going to rape him, probably continue to do so for the rest of his life. Jensen’s heart was beating too fast, his fingers were cold, and a grayness started to invade his vision. Just as he thought his legs could hold him no longer, Christian came up behind him and put his arms around him, pulling Jensen into his embrace, back to chest. His breathing ratcheted up a level, and if Christian hadn’t been holding him, he would have been face first on the floor by now.

“Hello, my little virgin,” he whispered. “Calm down, nothing will happen tonight.”

Well that statement calmed him slightly; there was a reprieve. But the unspoken sentiment was that soon something happen. Jensen had always been good at compartmentalizing, so he put that thought away to worry about later.

Christian led him to the bed. “This is my bed,” he said, “While it pleases me you shall sleep here too, and when I tire of you, you shall sleep in the harem.” He said it as though it should mean something, but Jensen couldn’t comprehend it. Harem. What sort of person even had a harem? Christian gestured for Jensen to sit on the bed, and, purely because his legs wouldn’t hold him anymore, Jensen complied.

“Tonight, we will learn each other’s bodies, but we will not have intercourse. I am saving that for a special night.” His eyes glinted mischievously. Jensen felt sick. He thought he might throw up, but he hadn’t eaten for hours, so all he managed to do was dry-heave.

Christian did not look happy. “None of that. You will love it here. Your every need will be attended to, and all you have to worry about is pleasing me. Isn’t that better than your life before?” No, no, it wasn’t ,but Jensen could see the gleam of madness in this man’s eyes and self preservation led him to nod his agreement, even as every molecule in his body shouted ‘no’.

Jensen wanted to scream and beg, he wanted to bargain with Christian, offer him money if he would just let him go, but his mouth was desert dry and try as he might he couldn't get the words out.

“First, we must adorn you,” he said, as he reached over and picked up a thick gold collar. Jensen flinched. Was he going to collar him like a puppy? The answer to that appeared to be yes, as Christian fixed the collar around his neck. It was cool and unyielding, and felt far heavier than it should. It felt like the loss of freedom.

“Undress me,” he said and Jensen didn’t allow himself time to think, he quickly reached down and pulled Christian’s tunic over his head. The man was short but there wasn’t an ounce of fat on him. He was lean and muscular. His torso was golden brown and hair free. Jensen reached for his trousers and started to pull them down too. “You are keen.” Christian chuckled his approval and Jensen swallowed his bile. As he pulled the trousers down over Christian’s hips, his cock sprang free, already erect and dribbling precome. Christian lifted one leg, and then the other, and stood proud in his nakedness.

“Now remove your clothes.”

Jensen looked up at Christian from his place at the man’s feet. Slowly, he rose and removed his tunic, afraid to meet Christian’s eyes because he was scared of what he might see there. Then he removed his trousers. His penis was shriveled and small, his testicles were attempting to crawl back into his body. Finally, he looked up at Christian, who was looking back with undisguised lust.

“Very nice,” he said as he walked around Jensen, running a finger over his abs. “Very nice indeed. Just a couple of alterations and you will be perfect.” Jensen didn’t want to think what those alterations would be. Hopefully, he was just a little too fat, or tanned, or something innocuous like that. Hopefully, he wouldn’t be pierced or anything painful.

“Come,” he said and held out a hand. Not knowing what to do Jensen took it allowed himself to be ushered to the bed. Climbing into the huge four-poster, Jensen had never felt so small or vulnerable in his life.

Christian followed and pulled Jensen into his arms, cradling him against his chest with one arm and petting his hair with another. Jensen was sure that this behavior was supposed to be relaxing, but he felt like a spring pulled to breaking point. Every sense was on high alert, ready for attack. Christian, however, didn’t seem to realize this, or if he did then he didn’t care. He kept at his ministrations until Jensen heard his breathing slow, and finally he began to snore. Only then did Jensen allow his muscles to relax slightly. He felt a cramp in his leg, but bit his tongue lest he wake Christian. He lay still, barely moving until Christian awoke the following day.

The next day, Christian took Jensen to the bathing room and they got into the bath together.

“Wash me,” he directed and Jensen soaped up a cloth and rubbed it over Christian’s chest. He didn’t think about what he was doing, simply reacted to the direction. Christian was almost purring his pleasure as Jensen soaped down his arms, taking each finger at a time then rubbing up to his shoulders. Eventually, he realized he would have to go below the waterline. Taking a deep breath, he re-soaped the cloth, and starting at Christian’s stomach, he slid the cloth below the water in the direction of Chris’ groin. He could feel the cut of his hipbones then the wiry pubic hair through the thin muslin cloth. Lower he moved, until he came in contact with Christian’s very interested cock. He heard a groan from above but ignored it concentrating instead on the delicate herbal aroma emanating from the steaming water. With a cleansing breath, he wrapped his hand round Christian’s length and washed it thoroughly. As he went to move on further, Chris’ hand grabbed his.

“Finish me,” he grunted, so Jensen started to pump the distended organ, trying hard to keep the distaste from showing on his face. He had never done this to another man, but he knew the mechanics from pleasuring himself. He pretended he was masturbating and added a twist to the end of his pull—he knew that he enjoyed that. Anything to end this as quickly as possible. He sped up his movements, and Christian groaned long and hard. Jensen couldn’t resist looking up at him. His eyes were closed and his head thrown back. Sweat trickled down his face. He appeared to be in ecstasy. It turned Jensen’s stomach to know that he was doing that to his captor, that he was providing him with pleasure. But, in a way, he was relieved that he only had to pleasure him manually, and not any other way. Jensen couldn’t help the shudder than ran down his whole body. He knew it would only be a matter of time before that happened. Suddenly, Christian stiffened, and Jensen felt his cock enlarge before he ejaculated into the cooling bath water. Jensen’s stomach completed a slow roll. He hadn’t eaten for nearly twenty-four hours, but what little was in there threatened to make a return.

“Very good. You will soon learn what pleases me,” Christian drawled. “Now I shall clean you” .

Five words had never sounded so sinister before as Christian reached for the soap. He rubbed it vigorously in his hand to lather it up then started to caress Jensen’s body. He didn’t use the cloth, so it was flesh on flesh. Jensen sat stone still, afraid to move a muscle. The only movement seemed to be the fluttering of his own heart against his ribs. He only realized that he wasn’t breathing when his vision started to grey.

“Mmmm,” Christian said contentedly as his hands roamed over Jensen’s body. “Very nice, very smooth. Stand,” he ordered and Jensen’s body complied before his brain could step in. Christian’s hands wound their way around his body, grasping and caressing his buttocks, and zeroing in on his anus. “This will need to be very clean. I will get Michael to teach you,” he said, and with no ceremony, he pushed his finger in. No one had ever done that to him before. He hadn’t even had a proctology exam, so the shock was instant, and Jensen squeezed everything as tightly as possible, causing Christian to laugh, “Tight.” He removed his finger and nodded, a smug look on his face. “I will enjoy you soon.” Jensen shuddered, and that made Christian laugh all the more. “I hope that you will learn to enjoy our liaisons, but either way, I will have you. It will be better for you if you learn your place quickly. Michael will help you.”

So many thoughts ran around Jensen’s mind, the main one being his absolute fear of rape. He didn’t want to be penetrated. He didn’t even indulge in it during sex with Dani. He knew that some of his friends enjoyed a little prostate stimulation during sex, and Dani had suggested it once but Jensen had turned it down out of hand. Now, he would have to endure it. There was no choice. How he wished he had let Dani slip a finger into him one night when they were making love. It was all too late.

When would Christian rape him, would it be tonight, tomorrow? Would he leave him a week, a month? Jensen’s heart hadn’t slowed to normal pace since he had been at the camp, and with these thoughts racing around his head, he was pretty sure that it wouldn’t be slowing anytime soon. He had read somewhere that you only had a finite number of heart beats; the way his was racing, he would be dead before the week was out. And at the moment, he would consider that to be a blessing.

Christian picked up a fresh muslin cloth and gestured to Jensen to sit again. He wet the cloth and gently dabbed the corner of Jensen’s mouth where his lip had split when Gimli had hit him.

‘He shouldn’t have damaged you. I have a mind to cut off his hands,” he said as he gently tended to him. “Or maybe his balls.” He laughed again and Jensen felt the sinking in his stomach. This man was mad, in the true sense of the word. Fucking psycho and Jensen was his sex slave. Jensen started to laugh, and Christian met his eye and slapped him on the back. “We will have much fun!” Jensen doubled over he was laughing so hard. The tears started to fall, but he couldn’t stop them. When had his life become so fucked up?

 

Surprisingly, Christian had pampered Jensen, tending his wounds personally for the first couple of days. He had been gentle; his caresses and tender touches had felt almost welcome after the week of abuse. Jensen had slowly relaxed around Christian, particularly as he had not demanded more than a hand job in the first few days. Then, Christian introduced him to the rest of the harem. The first thing Jensen noticed about the others was that not one of them smiled. Most of the young men’s eyes were dead, others were calculating. It was those that Jensen feared the most. Michael was head concubine and it was his duty to train Jensen. And so it began.

Michael was older than Jensen, but about the same height and build, although he had started to go a little soft around the middle. He has a bald head and incredibly attractive eyes. But he was stern and unyielding, and he never smiled. The first thing he taught Jensen was how to clean himself. When Christian had said that he would need to clean his ass, he had imagined a good rub there with a cloth. But no, Jensen discovered that it meant he had to shove a pipe up his ass and fill his colon with water several times until he was squeaky clean. Michael taught him how to do this, his manner practical so Jensen at least didn’t feel embarrassed. But it was unpleasant, and bordered on painful when he was full of water. But Christian wanted him clean, and Christian was his master. But the reason Christian wanted him clean made Jensen’s stomach tumble over itself.

Michael didn’t indulge in small talk. Jensen tried to engage him, mainly to pass the time, but also to see if he had any information that would help Jensen escape this hellhole. But Michael just ignored Jensen’s attempts, much as he would an annoying fly. Which was a shame because Jensen really needed a friend.

“Christian likes boys to be compliant,” Michael said one day. Jensen was too tired to argue that he’s not a boy dammit, he’s a man. “You would do well to remember that. If you displease him in anyway, and believe me you will, prostrate yourself on the floor. He likes that and it may distract him long enough for him to forget why he’s upset with you. You do not want him upset with you,” Michael said the last bit in an ominous monotone, which made Jensen’s gaze flick to meet Michael’s. He looked sad, like he genuinely wanted to spare Jensen the pain. Jensen resolved to remember his tip.

One night about a week into his stay, Christian called him to bed. He had been sleeping with Christian every night, so this wasn’t unusual. But once there, Christian pulled him into his arms; again this wasn’t unusual. What was different though was when Christian gently kissed him, his lips barely brushing Jensen’s. The kiss was quite sweet, closed mouth, and Jensen let himself respond almost against his will. It was then that he realized he had become comfortable with his master, dependent even. The strange days of training and the nights of lying in Christian’s bed had lured him into a false sense of security that was so tentative any false move on Jensen’s part would break it.

Weeks passed, and although Christian hadn’t had sex with him, he started pushing for more and more. Gentle kisses became passionate, innocent caresses became erotic. Jensen even found himself responding. When Christian touched his penis, he became erect. His stomach still lurched every time Christian touched him; in fact, Jensen wouldn’t have been surprised if he had a huge ulcer from all the acid churning around in there. But Christian persisted, so slowly and carefully that it seemed almost organic. Then things changed.

“No hold that position,” Michael said as he moved Jensen’s back until the stretch was bordering on painful. Each time Jensen broke position, Michael would cane his feet. “If you don’t get this right, Master will take the whip to you, and I promise you don’t want that to happen,” Michael said his voice apologetic, but full of warning.

Christian had never taken the whip to Jensen, never flogged or caned him. But Jensen had seen him do it to the other boys. He had seen their skin hanging off, seen their bodies ruined. Seen Christian rub their blood all over his body, until all you could see were the whites of his eyes and his teeth glinting in his mouth, like a scary halloween mask. But the reality of it was far more terrifying than any rubber novelty mask.

So sometimes negative reinforcement works, because Jensen could hold that position for hours now, and he wouldn’t dream of fidgeting.

Chapter 2

So even when he sleeps safely in Jeff’s arms ,maybe sometimes the horrors of his past sneak into his head. Jensen tries to outrun them ,but Christian with his canes and whips pursues him relentlessly until he awakes screaming.

Jensen doesn’t talk anymore. He knows Jeff wants him to speak and Jensen really wants to make Jeff happy. But when he tries, no sounds come out. His mouth makes the shapes and his tongue moves in the right way, but the only sound that he makes is small huffs of air.

It’s Christian’s fault; he trained Jensen not to speak, with cruelty and ingenuity and threats. And after the first few times Jensen made a noise, he knew those weren’t really threats they were promises.

Christian promised to cut out his tongue. And after all, he’d already cut off...

Jensen looked at Jeff, sleeping peacefully. He never woke sweating with palpitations. He hadn’t been mutilated. Yes, Jensen tried to speak to please his new master but years of abuse had made him mute. The fear of losing his tongue, of losing another part of his body, was still so strong in him that it was palpable.

The memories of that awful day are burned into his brain, branded there for all eternity. Christian had smiled at him that day, caressed him and had given him nice food for a change, a veritable feast. This, of course, put Jensen on edge. He had started to relax with Christian but now.... He was wound tightly, and any little aberration was going to cause a breakdown. He was waiting for Christian to lose his temper, and beat or whip him like the other boys but he didn’t. Christian was relaxed, happy, and that was almost scarier than when he was angry. Jensen tried to relax, he really did, but each time Christian smiled at him, Jensen’s breathing ratcheted up a level. Christian seemed amused by this and handed Jensen a glass of wine. He didn’t normally allow Jensen to drink but today was different in so many ways. Jensen drank the wine quickly in the hope that it would calm his nerves.

Almost immediately, Jensen felt dizzy. Maybe it was because he hadn’t eaten properly, he thought. Although Christian had provided a delicious looking meal, Jensen’s nerves had meant he was unable to partake of it. The room was spinning and Jensen looked to Chris for help. Chris’s face looked wrong, like he was melting. The only thing that looked normal were his cruel, ice blue eyes. Then, Jensen felt like he was falling, and for a moment, there was sweet oblivion.

Jensen lurched awake in fits and starts. First, he could hear Chris laughing, a high pitched, maniacal laugh that chilled Jensen to his core. Then he could open his eyes, although they were heavy and he couldn’t focus well. He could see the roof of the tent. The cloth used was vibrantly colored and the pattern intricate and beautiful. It blurred in and out of focus. Finally he could feel the air on his body. He was naked, and someone was touching his genitals. Panicked, he tried to sit up but his limbs were too heavy. His breath was coming in pants and he could feel sweat dripping down his face but he couldn’t lift his arm to rub it off.

Suddenly, there was white hot pain. Pain like he had never felt before. Pain so intense that he couldn’t scream, couldn’t move or breathe. But he could still hear and what he heard was Chris’s laughter gurgling like a sewer. That laugh would haunt him until the end of his days, and it was the last thing he heard as he again slipped into blissful unconsciousness.

 

Memories are traumatic for Jensen, whether he’s remembering his time before Chris or, even worse, the horrors of the time spent with Chris. The worst memory of all, though, is of the day after the incident.

Jensen sometimes thinks that it’s funny that he considers the day after as more traumatic than the actual event. But he knows why. He was drugged that night, for the most part, and although the drugs didn’t relieve the pain at all, they removed him from the scene, so that it was almost like it was happening to someone else. That, and the fact that the pain caused him to pass out, so he missed the main event.

The day after, though, that was a new exercise in torture. Chris, of course, loved it. He watched Jensen’s every expression, every twinge, every gasp of pain with glee. But, the piece de resistance was when he showed Jensen his groin.

Chris smirked as he called a couple of his harem boys and they brought the large ornate mirror to Jensen who was lying on the bed, shivering with pain.

“How are you, darlin’?” he asked, a smile as fake as costume jewelry adorning his face.

Jensen couldn’t have answered if he wanted to. His tongue felt too big for his mouth and the shivering was so intense that his teeth felt like they were loose. Chris didn’t look angry; in fact, he smiled again and patted Jensen on the arm and then tilted the mirror just so.

“Look, darlin’.” The hand not helping direct the angle of the mirror caressed his groin, sending spikes of pain shooting throughout his body and causing a small groan of pain to escape. “You’re perfect now," he crooned, "You’re exactly how I want you.” Jensen tried to look in the mirror, his eyesight blurred, but even so, he could see that something was wrong. Forcing himself to focus, he looked with horror. Where once there had been a good sized penis and a healthy set of balls, there was a nub and an inflamed red scar that disappeared between his legs. Crude stitching leaked blood.

I must be dreaming he thought, this must be a nightmare. He looked at Chris, who just beamed. His expression was nothing but pleasure.

“You’re not a man anymore.” He nodded. “You’re mine.” He ran a possessive hand down the scar. The pain was too real to be a dream. Jensen looked back in the mirror.

“Why?” he rasped.

“Because you’re mine, and I can do what I want. You’re so pretty now, just like a girl.” Chris’ eyes darkened with lust. “Shame you have to heal.” He ran his finger down the scar again. “So what do you think?”

Jensen couldn’t think. He wasn’t a man anymore. No one would ever want him again. He would never be able to have sex again. He may as well be dead. And this mad man was going to abuse him until he died. Jensen laughed, the sound like old leaves. Chris looked at him bemused, but Jensen laughed until his voice went, he laughed until tears streamed down his face. Then he screamed, barely a squeak came from his chapped and bleeding lips. But that didn’t stop him, he screamed until Chris pressed on his neck, pushing just so until Jensen lost consciousness.

 

The days following his castration were a blur. Not even a blur really. There were moments of lucidity, sure, but more than that Jensen lived in a twilight world of pain and despair. Mostly his world was grey, with peaks of red hot pain or white exquisite agony. During the moments when he could actually string a series of coherent thoughts together, Jensen prayed for death to a God that had already forsaken him.

Sometimes, he thought he was at home with his fiancee planning the wedding. It seemed so real. Dani looked so beautiful. She was practically glowing as she chose the invitations. She was his angel.

“You look a little flushed. Are you feeling okay?” Her voice was like a salve, calming him. She reached out and her cool hand touched his burning forehead. Jensen sighed with relief.

“When we marry,” she continued in that musical voice. “We’ll honeymoon on the yacht. We can sunbathe naked on deck.” She chuckled, a dirty sound from someone so delicate and cultured. “And we’ll make love at night under the stars.”

Suddenly, she was receding, her cool hand was gone, and in its place was the heavy pressure of one much larger. Grey invaded his vision as she withdrew, until she was a tiny pinprick and then she was gone. He could hear a voice, but it wasn’t hers, it was rasping and loud and hurt his head.

“You’re mine.” The voice would say, over and over again. Which was nonsense because the voice was male and Jensen wasn’t gay. And, at the end of the day, he was Dani’s ‘til the end of time. That’s what his wedding vow had said and he had meant every word. He had cried as he said them and so had Dani.

She’d looked beautiful that day, her white dress was a simple shift. Her hair had been woven with flowers and she had been barefoot. She had always wanted to be a flower child and her wedding day was the perfect culmination of all her dreams. Barefoot, they both pledged to be faithful and loving. Jensen felt a tear run down his face. He’d already failed her and they had only been married a month.

He wondered whether the kidnappers had taken her too. He hoped not. She hadn’t been with him and his abusers on the journey to Chris’s encampment, but that didn’t mean she hadn’t been taken elsewhere.

When Jensen had heard the men board the boat that night, he had made Dani hide under the bed. He didn’t know whether the men had checked there or not. He held onto the hope that they hadn’t, and that Dani was home now back in their house. Maybe she was curled up in the family room, reading a book, the sun crawling across the floor as she sat petting Icarus, their little dog.

Jensen let out a breath he didn’t realize he had been holding, and prayed with all his heart that Dani was safe. They could do what they liked to him as long as she was safe.

 

Finally, the pain was dwindling to a dull ache. The ache in his heart was far worse. Was he even a man anymore? Did it even matter? Jensen couldn’t see any way out of this, so nothing mattered anymore.

Chris had left him alone for a while. Jensen had no concept of time so it could have been days, weeks, or months since he’d seen him. Two women came in and cleaned him regularly, and they took special care with his wound, helping him to the toilet when necessary. He was horrified that he had to pee sitting down like a woman. The first time he did it he actually cried. They never spoke, the two caretakers, and Jensen wondered on his more lucid days whether Chris had taken their tongues.

His brief respite ended on a bright morning. Christian arrived instead of the women, and he was smiling. Jensen felt his stomach clench with fear. A happy Christian was a dangerous one.

“Hello pretty.” He beamed. “Did you miss me?”

Jensen couldn’t talk; his tongue was stuck to the roof of his mouth. He knew Chris didn’t really want an answer anyway. He felt Chris touch his leg, just below the knee. Jensen tried his best not to flinch but his muscles twitched of their own accord. Luckily, Chris just laughed and caressed his way up Jensen’s leg. Finally, he reached Jensen’s groin. He smoothed his hand over the place where Jensen had once sported full genitalia. Jensen could hear his purr of pleasure.

“Not quite a man anymore, eh baby?” Chris said, his tone cruel. “Turn over.”

Jensen tried but he had been laying on his back for so long and the movement hurt his scars. Annoyed, Chris pushed then maneuvered his body until he was happy with the position. The pain was a white hot burst of sensation, and then Jensen felt Chris’ fingers at his hole and automatically tensed.

“Please,” he rasped, his voice thin and ragged from disuse. “Please don’t.. I’ve never..” Jensen felt a tear slip down his cheek at his admission.

Chris’ cruel laugh took away any hope, and before he was ready, he felt Chris’ huge dick prodding at his anus.

“I know you’ve never done this before, baby. That’s why I paid so much for you.” The ‘you’ turned into a grunt, as Chris forced his way into Jensen’s virginal ass. The pain seared through Jensen—burning, exquisite pain. Almost as bad as the initial castration, but different somehow. This pain was on the inside breaking him apart. Molecule by molecule, he was torn asunder.

Jensen’s breath was knocked out of him by the initial penetration. He could feel tearing in his back passage, then slight relief as blood smoothed the way somewhat. Chris held nothing back; he fucked Jensen ruthlessly. Grabbing his hips and holding him steady, he pummeled in and out in a jagged rhythm. Jensen panted, trying to distance himself from the pain and degradation. He wouldn’t think of Dani. He didn’t want to sully her memory. But he thought of sunny days and country lanes, pushing the reality of each painful intrusion away to the darkest recesses of his mind. Finally, Chris grunted and warmth spilled within Jensen, as salty tears ran down his cheeks.

 

Jensen’s days were a landscape of pain and humiliation. Michael still spent time training him. Learning how to give the perfect blow job was a nightmare. Jensen’s vision blurred as his oxygen levels fell. The large marble cock cut off his airway. He hoped that this was the end. It would be an end to his pain and suffering. But just as sparks started to go off in his eyes, Michael pulled the dildo back, and automatically Jensen gasped in a lungful of air. Then Michael thrust it back in. This is my life, Jensen thought, and a tear slipped from his eye down his cheek.

The other harem boys were not friendly at all. Some vied for Christian’s attention, while others tried to avoid it. One of the boys, a man really, called Chad explained it to Jensen once.

“They want to be with him, but on their terms. He likes to see us eager, but he also likes to see us unwilling. It’s a fine balancing act. The man is mad,” Chad whispered the last word. Jensen had known within five minutes of meeting Chris that the man had parted company with reality a long time ago. So Jensen did his bit, tried to please Christian as well as he could. He put a part of himself in a box, locked it tight, and threw away the key. He didn’t want Chris to have access to that part. He didn’t want Chris to destroy it.

The night Jensen got his first whipping started oddly. Christian was in a bad mood; he yelled and shouted as he entered the harem. He knocked over ornaments as he made his way to Jensen, grabbing him by the arm and dragging him to his bedroom. Jensen felt his heart jack-hammering in his chest. This was not good.

Grabbing silk ropes, Chris maneuvered Jensen to one of the posts of the bed and tied him there. Jensen knew better than to struggle. Even if he could, he felt like his legs had turned to custard. Christian tied the ropes tightly and, Jensen’s hands felt cold and tingly as the circulation slowed to a sluggish crawl.

Christian ripped his tunic down his back, then yanked at his trousers. So Jensen stood there shivering, naked apart from the ripped clothing hanging from his body.

Christian didn’t say anything, but he grunted, the sound inhuman, making Jensen’s body hair stand on end. He couldn’t see what was going on but he heard rustling behind him and then preternatural silence. All Jensen could hear was his own breathing, uneven and raspy before a high-pitched sound and the worst pain he had ever endured burned in a strip across his back. Jensen’s world receded until it was just his back and the burning and the pain. White and red.

After, Jensen could see no reason for the whipping, but then Christian never needed a reason to be cruel. The whipping calmed Christian, and so once Michael and Chad had helped Jensen down from the ropes, a sort of calm descended over the tent. Michael tended Jensen’s scars with a light healing balm that took the sting away, but not the bone deep ache. Jensen vowed to do anything in his power to prevent Christian ever taking the whip to him again.

 

As time passed, Jensen was given a little more freedom. Chris still visited him regularly, and these visits often meant that Jensen would be incapacitated for a number of days. If his anus wasn’t torn, then he would be bloodied and bruised from beatings or whippings. Sometimes, though, Chris would leave him alone and Jensen could wander among the tents. Most people at the encampment would ignore him. Some would sneer and make comments in a language he could not understand. However the gestures and tone left nothing to the imagination. They mocked his genitals, but surprisingly it didn’t bother Jensen. He had endured far worse.

One day while Jensen was wandering around the camp, he came upon a small tent, shabby in appearance, located on the outskirts of the tented village. Jensen looked at the tent. It was so out of place among the larger, more opulent tents. They were made of richly colored materials; this one looked like rags thrown over misshapen rods. But there was something about this tent, something that made Jensen breathe slightly easier. There was no reason to it, but Jensen made his way to that tent as often as he could.

It was his third or fourth visit before he saw the owner. He was sat outside mending some of the coverings and that was why Jensen noticed his hands first. The needle, which was a large one probably originally made for use in leather-craft, looked tiny in the man’s massive hand. From his hands, Jensen’s gaze moved up the man’s body. Tight ropes of muscle wound up his forearms to his biceps, then on to his shoulders. Those shoulders were wide and strong. Long, dark hair grazed them and the same hair practically covered the man’s face as he continued with his work. Jensen watched from the shade of one of the larger tents, mapping the play of muscles as the man continued stitching. Jensen felt the tension bleed from his body and couldn’t quite understand why.

After that, Jensen visited as often as he could, hoping to cast a glance at the huge man who made Jensen feel safe. It was while he was making his way back to the tent, that he came across the man in the market square. The market, if you could call it that, was a few tables laid out with food and other wares. It was located in a dusty square in the center of the tented village. Jensen spied the giant just as he grabbed an apple. The trader gave chase as he headed in Jensen’s direction. The panicked look on the man’s face made Jensen’s mind up for him, and he gestured him into the narrow walkway between the tents. The man managed to pick his way nimbly among the fly lines and Jensen waited until the trader followed the larger man through the gap, and then stuck his foot out to trip him. The stall holder turned to Jensen, his face red and hands gripped in tight fists. But when he saw who had tripped him, his anger seemed to fade. He looked Jensen up and down with distaste on his face.

“Oh, it’s you. The Sheik’s whore.” Despite everything, Jensen felt his face heat. The trader looked pointedly at Jensen’s crotch. “What are you now?” He smirked. “A man or a pussy?” He reached out, but thought better of it. Jensen knew Christian would kill any man that touched him. “Well, you’re certainly not a man anymore.” The marketer sneered, and with one last look of disdain, he turned and marched back to his stall.

Jensen rasped out the breath he didn’t realize he was holding and followed in the direction of the giant. For the first time in a while, he became aware of the lack of something between his legs. There was no heaviness there, no gentle bounce as he walked, just smooth emptiness. And Jensen mourned the loss of flesh. Sadly, it was that flesh that defined him as a person, as a gender, as a man. Now he was nothing. He turned a corner in the narrow alley between the tents, and walked face first into a warm wall of skin.

Jensen looked up at the mountain of a man. He was grubby and unkempt, but his hazel eyes held a warmth that had been missing from Jensen’s life for too long. Then the man smiled, and his whole face beamed. Jensen couldn’t help but return the smile.

“Jared,” the man said, pointing to himself.

“Jensen,” Jensen replied, his voice rusty with disuse.

“Come with me,” the man said. His English was good but he had an accent Jensen couldn’t place. Jared grabbed his arm and dragged him through the city of tents back to his humble abode.

“The people here, they do not like me. I cannot get honest work so I steal my food,” he explained with a shrug, and offered Jensen a bite of his apple. Jensen shook his head.

“Why don’t they like you?”

“I was a slave here. Taken long ago.” He looked off over the camp wistfully. “I was a bodyguard before, but here...” He shook his head as if to rid himself of the bad memories. Jensen wondered whether Jared had been mutilated in the same manner he had. But he cast a glance at Jared’s groin and there certainly still seemed to be genitalia present, if the size of the mound was anything to go by. “Anyway, I worked for Christian, the commander, and one day there was an attempt on his life. I don’t know why I did it, it was pure instinct. I saved his life and he freed me. But he is not well liked, and so I am punished for it daily.”

It didn’t surprise him that Christian was not well liked by his people. He was a harsh, cruel man. Jensen suspected he was probably a sociopath. But it seemed a little harsh to blame a man for saving his life.

“Why do you stay?”

“I don’t know anymore.” Jared turned to look at Jensen. “I was trying to get some food and water together to cross the desert but it’s hard.”

“What about you Jensen? Do you think of escape?”

Jensen looked out across the desert. “Somedays I think I’ll just start walking until I drop dead of dehydration. It can’t be any worse than living here.”

Jared took his hand. “I know Jensen. Christian... he is a hard man. A mad man, some say. Hopefully, one day, he will push his guard too far and then we will be free of him. The only concern then will be whether whoever comes next will be just as bad.”

They both stood there, side by side, looking out over the desolate yet beautiful vista. The desert here wasn’t sandy dunes stretching for miles. No it was harsh rocky scrubland and sandy stretches that stretched interminably into the distance. When Jensen had been transported here he hadn’t realized that it was a desert. But that was how the men referred to it, so he did too. The climate was how he imagined a desert would be. Harsh hot days and bone cold nights. There was little vegetation out there, but there was some. Didn’t that mean there must be water? Jensen wondered whether one day he would get so desperate that he would take the plunge and just start walking. He looked toward Jared, and hoped that if that time came, Jared would be at his side. His strength and soothing manner made Jensen feel safe.

Jensen awoke the next day in the harem. His life here was so different than Jared’s. The harem was opulent, the food was adequate, but the payoff was terrible. They had to service Christian. Jensen would rather starve if he was given the option. Michael was fussing with some of the younger concubines, dusting them with powder and perfume. Jensen dragged himself out of bed and wandered to the bathroom. It wasn’t a bathroom in the western sense of the word, being as it was housed in a tent. Large wooden baths were filled with piping hot water by the slaves. No comfort was spared. Jensen sank into the perfumed water and let it relax his aching muscles. Chris had been particularly rough last night. Jensen’s body was a roadmap of bruises, from the finger marks on his hips, to the welts on his ass from the caning he had received for being late. That was the least of the pain though. Chris had taken him three times, and his rectum had been ripped apart. Chris liked to fuck dry, he liked to hear his partners scream. Jensen knew the man enjoyed the pain of others. He could feel the blood and semen trickling from his abused anus. The perfumed water stung his intimate areas, but he let the warmth sooth him and he lay his head back on the edge and closed his eyes. His mind drifted, taking him away from the hell his life had become, back to his honeymoon. He could almost smell the salty sea water and hear the gulls flying overhead. He wished he could feel Dani’s touch just one more time.

“Jensen!” An abrupt voice dragged him from his reverie. Reluctantly, he opened his eyes and saw Mike looking at him appraisingly, his eyes taking in every bruise, hickey and bite mark. “These are the new boys,” he said, not bothering to introduce them. It wasn’t worth getting attached. Some boys only lasted one night with Christian. Jensen had helped Mike dispose of more than one broken, bleeding body after Christian had had his way. Jensen looked at them and nodded, forcing a smile onto his face. He felt an awful twist in his stomach as he felt both glad that they would take Christian’s attentions away from him and sorry that they would both suffer terribly. More than once, Jensen had considered the fact that he was probably living in hell.

One of the boys, a small pretty blonde, broke down and cried hysterically. The other, a taller brunette with piercing blue eyes, looked at him uncomfortably. There was a whole conversation in that look. Is it going to hurt that much? Am I going to live through this, and am I going to want to? Jensen had no words of comfort to offer.

“Now, now,” Mike said brusquely. “That’s not going to help any and you’ve ruined your makeup.”

“Give them some laudanum for God’s sake, Mike. Don’t make them suffer, please,” Jensen said and Mike nodded, a sad look on his face. Jensen had once thought that Mike was a sadist, reveling in the pain of others, but as time had passed Jensen realized that Mike just feared for his own life. He was the eldest in the harem, and well past the age that Christian normally dispensed with his body slaves, but Mike had managed to make a niche for himself. He prepared the new slaves and disposed of the old.

Jensen’s first night with Christian hadn’t been awful. That, of course, had just been callousness on Christian’s part. He had lured him into believing that everything would be okay, and then later unleashed the full power of his sadism. At other times though, Christian had taken new boys with a cruelty which was surely unsurpassed. Maybe Christian would take a shine to these boys, maybe he wouldn’t make them suffer. Jensen hoped with all his heart that Christian wouldn’t take their genitals, but it seemed likely. There were no men in the harem that were unchanged.

Mike gave the boys a dose of laudanum, and they settled down in a drug haze. Jensen looked at them, so young and innocent, and inside he wept, for surely tonight they would be violated and changed forever.

“So,” Mike said, pulling off his robe and getting into the bath next to Jensen. “You’ve been spending a lot of time out and about.”

“Mmmm,” Jensen said, relaxing again now that the blonde had stopped crying and was dozing on the couch. “I like to walk.”

“You’re not thinking of escaping, are you?”

Jensen cracked an eye open and looked at Mike. “There’s nowhere to go. I have no food, water...”

“So you have thought about it then.”

“I’ve thought about just walking until I drop. It can’t be worse than this.” He gestured. Mike nodded.

“Don’t do it, Jensen, not unless you’re sure you can make it. Other boys have tried and failed and...” He trailed off as he reached over and grabbed Jensen’s hand. “They didn’t die, at least not straight away. But I think they wished that they did.”

Jensen knew that Christian’s cruelty knew no bounds. He couldn’t bear to think of how that man would have punished those boys. Whatever it was it would have been terrible. Jensen shuddered, even though he was still submerged in the decadently warm water.

“Mike, how long have you been here?”

Mike looked up, and the years seemed to fall from his face. Suddenly, he looked like a teenager, young and innocent,

“I was fifteen when they brought me here and I’m thirty now. So nearly half my life has been spent in this hell hole.” He looked down at his mutilated groin “I never got to experience manhood. All I’ve known is pain and humiliation. Both mine and the other boys. Some days, I don’t know which is worse.” He sighed. “I pray that Christian won’t ask for me, but then I have to hear the screams of the boys he takes. I have to clean them up after, tend their wounds.” He looked down. “I hate it here. I hate him,” he hissed and then looked around guiltily. “But there’s no way out.” His shoulders slumped, and suddenly every harsh thing that had happened to him was etched onto his face, and Jensen knew if he stayed here any longer he would die. If not physically, then mentally and emotionally. He had to get away from Christian. He needed a plan.

Later, he wandered out to see Jared. Christian was otherwise engaged. He had taken both boys to his bed, Jensen couldn’t help feel sorry for them. Meandering between the tents, Jensen forced away thoughts of the boys and wondered whether there was any way he could get his hands on a map or find someone who had travelled from their camp out to civilization. But even if he found someone they were unlikely to talk to him. The whole harem was looked down on, treated as less than men, less than human. A lot of it was jealousy, they wanted what Christian had. Jensen saw men’s covetous glances and watched them adjust their erections when they looked at him, not that they would ever admit it.

The harsh desert heat scoured at Jensen’s skin and he took care to cover himself. Once, he had allowed himself to burn and Christian had been displeased. That had not been a fun time. Jensen still bore the scars on his back. The bull whip was definitely the worst implement that Christian had used on him. He didn’t want to feel that again. Suppressing a shudder despite the temperature, Jensen came upon Jared’s tent. It seemed to be empty. Normally, Jared would be sat outside mending or making items to sell but today all was quiet. Jensen didn’t want to go back to the chief’s tents so he sat down then lay back looking at the sky. It was a deep azure blue with a few wispy clouds. The weather here was nothing if not predictable. There had been no rain in all the time Jensen had lived here. The only variation had been a couple of intense wind storms, one of which had become a sandstormI t had been really freaky, the day had turned into night. The tents had ripped, the animals had gone wild, and when it had passed, the whole encampment had been turned yellow.

The weather had affected Christian’s mood too, and not for the better. He had been incredibly cruel that night. His laughter had frightened Jensen more than his actions. There had been a sheen of sweat on his brow and a freakish luster to his eyes. Jensen had not been the focus of his attentions. That bad luck had fallen to Mike, but Chris had wanted everyone present as he had tortured and raped his slave, giggling all the while. The very worst thing, Jensen thought, was when he touched Mike as he raped him, forcing him to completion even as he cried inconsolably. One thing Jensen had learned that night was that even after castration, with enough attention you could still orgasm. But if it was Christian who was paying that attention, then Jensen knew he didn’t want it.

Jensen hoped there would be no more storms.

He must have dozed off, lying there in the sun, because the next thing he knew was a warm hand on his shoulder. With his heart beating wildly, he sat up and saw Jared moving away his hands up in surrender. Steadying his breathing, Jensen said, “Sorry I’m not used to being touched.” It was true. Only Christian was allowed to touch him. Mike occasionally gave him a soft pat or a squeeze of the hand, but apart from that, it was all Christian. And none of his touches were welcome.

“Sorry,” the big man murmured as he looked at his feet.

“It’s okay. You just shocked me,” Jensen said with a smile, trying to reassure Jared. “Where have you been?”

Jared perked up, and then looked around to make sure they were alone. He said, “I’ve been scoping out the camp, trying to see if there’s anyway we can get away from here.”

It was almost as if Jared had read his mind.

“Well?” he asked

“It’s not looking good, to be honest. But if we stole a couple of horses... well Jeff’s home is three, maybe four days to the south. I was pretty out of it when they brought me here, but there must be water along the way.” Jensen found himself nodding, getting drawn into the fantasy that they would escape together. Maybe he would find Dani and they would live happily ever after. But then he felt like a bucket of freezing water had been poured over him. He was no longer the man that Dani had married. He wasn’t even really a man. If she was alive and still waiting for him, he couldn’t possibly tie her down. She had wanted children. Hell, he’d wanted children. There was no chance of that now. There was no chance of any sort of sexual relationship. He put his head in his hands as he felt tears prickle his eyes. Then he felt that firm hand on his shoulder, and turned to see Jared’s worried eyes. Digging deep down inside, he managed to smile. It probably looked fake as all hell, but Jared returned it. His smile was broad and all encompassing. His smile made Jensen feel like smiling himself, for the first time in forever. Without really thinking about what he was doing, Jensen reached across and kissed Jared on that wide, smiling mouth.

“Thanks, Jared. I don’t know what I would do without you.”

Jared blushed and put a finger to his mouth. It was such a sweet, innocent gesture that Jensen felt his heart twinge.

“I was just thinking about my life before here,” he admitted. “About my wife, about how she wouldn’t want to be burdened with a freak like me.” He gestured to his groin.

“What are you talking about? If she loves you, then she would want you no matter what. Did she love you?”

Jensen thought back to long days of making love, of talking and joking and just being together. “Yes she loved me, but I’m not a man anymore and...”

“Shut up. She’s probably been going out of her mind with worry. She would want you back.” Jared nodded and then said quietly, “I know I would.”

Jensen reached over and took his hand. “Thanks Jared. But what’s important to me now is getting out of here. I’m more interested in running away than I am in running to something. Just get me out of here, please.”

“I will make a plan,” he said, his jaw clenched in determination.

 

Jensen was kept away from Jared for over a week. During that time, he got to know one of the new boys. His name was Misha; he was the dark haired one. His mischievous blue eyes dimmed somewhat after his first night with Christian, but didn’t totally die. Christian hadn’t castrated either boy yet and Jensen was grateful. The other boy, Charlie, cried when he saw Jensen’s scars, and didn’t that make Jensen feel great.

Misha was awesome, quirky and funny despite the awful circumstances.

“I guess you can tell where he was last night,” Misha said brightly as he nodded towards David, who came limping into the main harem tent. David just scowled at Misha’s grin and flung himself onto a bed with a groan. Jensen didn’t know what to say. He didn’t want to upset David. He was second only to Mike and had a bit of a temper. He was also renowned for trying to get the other boys into trouble. Jensen gave Misha a look, trying to tell him without words to temper himself. Misha just chuckled. His own body still showed the scars and bruises from his own night with Christian. Jensen didn’t know how he did it, managing to laugh after experiencing hell.

“He can only rape your body, Jensen,” he said unexpectedly, “You have to give him permission to rape your mind.” And Jensen remembered those words for many years to come. They became like a mantra to him, in the dark nights when memories were more enemy than friend.

Christian spent the next two nights in a row with Jensen. After the second night Jensen could barely walk. So he frittered away the morning in the baths ignoring the sting from both his rectum and the welts. Then he limped to his bed and lay face down. He really wanted to visit Jared but he didn’t want the man to see him in this state. Despite Jared’s height and broad chest, he was quite sensitive, and Jensen knew he would be upset by Jensen’s injuries.

Eventually, the bruising and tearing had healed enough for Jensen to venture out. The people of the camp mocked him in their native language, laughing and pointing at him as he limped by. Jensen no longer took any notice of them. His skin was thicker now, and he had more important things to think about; trying to keep out of Christian’s way and planning his escape were paramount.

Jensen rounded one of the larger tents and saw Jared working outside of his tent. He was on his haunches working some leather armor. A gruff mountain of a man was watching him intently and Jensen could see the pair were talking. Jensen held back and watched from the shadows. He had thought that Jared was huge, but he looked positively tiny in comparison to his companion. The man was immense, a huge, hairy bear of a man. Muscle was turning to fat around his middle, but he still looked incredibly powerful. He had a few inches on Jared in height too. Jensen was fascinated; he had never seen anyone taller. Jared laughed, a raucous, unexpected sound, and then he heard the large man bellow a laugh too. Then, the huge man looked up and caught Jensen’s eye. He looked briefly confused then whispered something to Jared. Jensen just stood there, his feet seeming to have lost the power to move. Jared looked up, and on seeing Jensen, smiled and beckoned him over.

“Jen, this is Adrian, a friend from when I was a guard with my previous master.”

“Hello,” Jensen said, looking at Adrian briefly then quickly looking at the ground.

“Pretty,” Adrian said, his voice was big and booming. Jensen felt fingertips graze his face and he moved back so quickly that he tumbled over his own feet and ended up on his ass. Christian would kill any man who touched him, didn’t this beast of a man know that? As Jensen fell his tunic, already short and barely covering his groin, rode up displaying his mutilated genitals. Both Jared and Adrian flinched. Jensen felt the blood rush to his face as shame overwhelmed him. He knew he had no reason to feel shame. None of this was his doing. But he had to live with it. The knowing looks, both sympathetic and cruel. The whispers and insults. The foot placed just so making sure Jensen tripped on it. Why these people thought he had a good life was beyond him. Didn’t they see what had been taken? Both the obvious and physical, along with his freedom and self-determination.

He felt rather than saw the big beefy hand reach down to help him up. Jensen didn’t hesitate, just took it and got to his feet rearranging his tunic to cover his embarrassment.

“Jen, I’m so sorry I didn’t realize. Well, I knew that Christian had a penchant for castrating his boys. But you were so much older when you came I thought perhaps… and when you said you weren't a man anymore I thought you were talking about Christian fucking you...” Jared trailed off, a flush rising up his neck. Jensen felt a similar burn on his face. No one ever addressed his castration outside of Christian’s bedroom. It was the permanent elephant in the room.

“Well I guess he likes his partners like this.” Jensen gestured towards his groin. Horrified, he realized that his eyes were brimming with tears, and angrily he swiped them away.

“Do you see why we need to get out of here?” Jared said but he wasn’t speaking to Jensen. He was looking at Adrian, who couldn’t seem to stop looking at Jensen. His eyes were full of concern and he nodded.

“Jeff sent me here on a peace mission but he wants you back. Jared, you must come with me.”

“I cannot leave Jensen here. I just can’t.”

Adrian nodded. “I can see the attraction but we must get you home. Christian nearly caused a war taking you.” Adrian scratched his dark beard. “He seems like a nice boy and he is in trouble. I know you and your strays.” He smiled his eyes going hazy as if he was remembering something pleasant, like summers days or crisp winter mornings. “If you come with me, you can probably get Jeff to come back for him.”

Jared looked at Jensen. It was true he was an exceptional looking man, and Jared had always favored the male form. But since he had met Jensen, their relationship had been purely platonic. Jensen was damaged in both ways you could see and those you couldn’t. Until he was healed, Jared had no intention of trying to seduce him. But he knew one thing, and that was he that couldn’t leave this man alone. He didn’t need to be told that he was the one good thing in Jensen’s life. He could tell by the fact that the man had befriended an outcast, had visited him without ever judging him, had become as good a friend as Jared had ever known. He would never betray him by leaving him alone here. Never.

“No. He needs me and I need him. If I go with you, then there is no guarantee that Jeff will come back, and that just isn’t acceptable.”

“If you have the chance, Jared you should go,” Jensen blurted out. His brain had no input into that sentence. He really wanted Jared to stay. He depended on the quiet times with him to counteract the awful times with Christian. But he couldn’t ask the man to give up his one chance of freedom. He wouldn’t do that.

Jared shook his head. “If I stay, then Jeff will come for me.”

“Your master will come for you?” Jensen asked, confused.

“He’s more than my master. He is my father,” Jared admitted. “Well not my real father. I’m one of the bastards, born to a kitchen maid and as a child he took an interest in me. Not like that,” he snapped. “He liked children, always wanted some of his own... he sort of adopted me. He allowed me to become a guard, and although he wasn’t my real father, we have become close.”

“Why hasn’t he come for you yet then? You’ve been here years”

“Two years, yes.” Jared looked up at Adrian. “Jeff doesn’t want Christian to know what I mean to him. He also doesn’t want to start outright warfare between the clans. But if I do not go back, and if Adrian tells how badly I have been treated, then I think he will come. No, I know he will come.”

Jensen moved forward, and without thinking, grabbed both of Jared’s huge hands “Jared, you must go. I can’t be the reason you stay, please. Don’t put that onto me. My conscience wouldn’t be able to take it.”

Jared looked at Jensen his glance appraising, taking in the bruises and the dark shadows under Jensen’s eyes. “You cannot take much more of this Jensen.”

It was true Jensen was living on his last nerve, always awaiting the next call to go to Christian’s bed. Enduring his attentions, his torture, and still having to listen to him laugh and enjoy the pain he was inflicting. And it was getting worse.

The bell for evening meal tolled across the encampment and Jensen scurried from Jared’s hold, rushing towards Christian’s tents. He was late and that was never a good thing. His mind was reeling with thoughts of Jared and his father, of escape and safety. Then he saw Christian waiting at the entrance to the main tent, his arms crossed and his face dark with anger. Jensen’s stomach plummeted, sweat gathering at his brow as he rushed forward and dropped to his knees in perfect position.

“You’re late,” Christian spat as he grabbed Jensen’s hair and pulled him towards his bed area. Jensen knew better than to scream but he couldn’t help a squeak that slipped out from between his lips. Christian slapped him across the cheek. Hard.

Christian tied Jensen to the whipping post. Unfortunately, Jensen had become quite familiar with it. He could trace the grain of the wood with his mind, each whorl and pattern was engraved there. The wood was seasoned with his sweat and blood, and that of the other boys. He waited, sometimes he thought the waiting was the worst thing, until he heard the crack and felt the pain microseconds later. No, the pain was definitely the worst thing. The sharp keenness of it he could feel down to his bones. He lost count of the blows after counting five. Christian was holding nothing back today. Jensen could feel the skin split, feel the blood trickling down his back. The beating went on and on. Jensen’s whole body became a throbbing mass of pain. He screamed until his voice broke, until he could taste blood in his mouth, until no further sound came out. He screamed until the world turned grey and the pain receded with the light.

He moaned as he came to, and then felt a firm hand on his torn back.

“I don’t want to hear your voice again. Ever! If I ever hear you talk, whisper or even snore, I will cut out your tongue. I have been far too lenient with you. You were my favorite but you have taken liberties,” Christian said, his face getting closer and closer to Jensen’s, until he could feel the fine spray of saliva as he spat out the last word.

Jensen shuddered, although the motion caused him pain. The thought of losing yet another part of his body was too much to bear. Christian was stripping away everything that made him Jensen; now he was even taking his voice. Jensen wanted to scream, but fear stopped him, and from then on Jensen only screamed in his head. He never made a sound again.

Jensen lay in the harem, not thinking about anything at all. The cover was soft on his stomach. His back lay bare to the air. Michael had put ointment on the worst of the welts, but some of the skin had split, and although Michael had tried to stick the edges together, it had only been partly successful. He was going to have some outstanding scars. Jensen’s breathing was slow and relaxed. He wasn’t worried about anything. He knew subjectively that his mood was caused by laudanum, but he didn’t care. In fact, he wished he could have it every day. It would make his life more bearable.

Christian left Jensen alone for a while after that, but what little respite he got was marred by the screams of others. Jensen knew this would be a short lull. Christian always came back to him, and sometimes the waiting and the imagining were almost as bad as actually being with him.

Jensen was no longer allowed out to wander under his own devices. He was only allowed out as long as he had a guard with him. But as he didn’t want them to know about Jared, so he stayed in, waiting to be called. He knew that escape was no longer an option, and that thought weighed heavily upon him.

He spent a lot of time in bed, looking at the intricate ceiling, but not really seeing it. Michael would have to drag him to the baths once a day to make sure he was ready for Christian if he was called. Jensen didn’t care and although he didn’t pray for death or actively seek it, he knew in his heart of hearts that he would welcome it if it came.

“You’ve got to snap out of this, Jensen,” Michael said as he trimmed Jensen’s hair. “Christian likes you because you have some fight left. If you give up now, he will kill you.” Jensen looked up into Michael’s eyes, an enigmatic smile on his face “Please, Jensen, think of the others. Once he gets pissed and kills a boy, he takes it out on the others for days.”

That was true. The last time Chris had accidentally killed one of the boys, he had been a raging demon for a week after. Jensen rubbed his left wrist. Chris had cut him there with a huge, curved knife. The blood had run down his fingertips and pooled on the floor. There had been so much blood he had felt for sure that he was going to die. He had started to feel weak. His legs had started to shake and everything seemed to recede into the distance. From a long way away, he had heard Chris call for Michael, who had bound the wound and saved his life. Misha had ended up being whipped bloody and Chad had been branded. Jensen had been unconscious by the time that had happened but Michael had said that the smell was awful, and that Chad had whimpered like an injured animal. Jensen didn’t want his actions to cause more pain and suffering to his fellow brothers, but he didn’t know how much more he could take. But he nodded at Michael and resolved to do his best.

Jensen wondered, as he lay in the bath, what Jared was doing. He hoped that he had escaped. He hadn’t heard anything on the grapevine, and the guards were notorious gossips. Maybe no one would miss Jared. He wasn’t popular; in fact he was pretty much shunned. Jensen said a quiet prayer to a God that had long ago deserted him asking that Jared be kept safe.

Jensen had lost count of the days. He knew he had been with Christian for years now, but time became redundant. There was pain, there was recovery from injury, rewind and start again. The little pleasure Jensen used to get from being with Jared was long gone. Then one day, it all changed again.

 

Chapter 3

Jensen was awoken early by a disturbance outside the tent. He was going to turn over and ignore it. Sometimes the men got rowdy. But Michael came into the tent and grabbed him.

“The tent is being raided. They say it’s Jeff’s men. Christian has gone, run off. We must go before we are taken by the invaders.”

Jeff. That was Jared’s father. Jensen got up and dressed quickly. Maybe Jared had asked his father to save Jensen, maybe that was why they were here. It was just as likely, though, that they were just raiding the camp and would take anything that they wanted, bed slaves included. Michael was right. They needed to get away.

Michael took his hand. Jensen wanted to ask where the other boys were, but he couldn’t talk. Christian was gone but still he couldn’t allow sound to come from his mouth.

The camp was pandemonium. Men on horses were attacking the camp dwellers, guards and soldiers. Sneaking between the tents, Michael led Jensen to the outskirts. Christian had escaped with some of the royal guard and they had taken all the horses so Michael and Jensen had only one option and that was to leave on foot.

They started walking, heading towards the rising sun and the forbidding mountains. They hadn’t walked more than about an hour when they heard the distant thunder of hooves. There was nowhere to hide, so they kept walking until Jeff’s men caught up with them.

“Looks like we found two of the Mad Man’s concubines,” one of the men said.

“Wait a minute,” a gruff voice said. “That one’s Jensen. He’s Jared’s friend.”

Jensen looked up. It was Adrian. They had come for him. He couldn’t find his voice, but he gave the huge man a tentative smile. Adrian gestured and grabbed Jensen’s arm and hoisted him up onto the horse.

Sitting behind that huge mountain of a man, he felt safe for the first time in since Jared left. Another man helped Michael onto a horse, and then they were off.

The journey to Jeff’s home was long, dusty, and dry. The soldiers didn’t seem to mind though. They told raucous tales, drank wine, and several of them tried to court Michael, much to his amusement.

“They don’t seem to realize.” Michael gestured towards his groin, then looked furtively around to see if anyone noticed. “They think I’m normal.” Jensen wanted to tell his friend that he was normal, that anyone of these soldiers would be lucky to have him. But it was like his vocal cords had been cut. He couldn’t utter so much as a sound. But with crude hand signals and facial expressions, he got his point across. Michael leant forward and wrapped his arms around Jensen. “One day you will be happy, I promise you.” He kissed Jensen on the cheek and went to join an older grizzled man named Jim. Jensen watched as Jim lay a blanket down for Michael to sit on and then helped him to sit down. Jensen couldn’t help but smile at the display. It looked like Michael had made his choice. Jensen thought about his friends parting words. Would he be happy one day? Was that even possible now?

 

After living in the tented city for over two years it was strange to come upon actual buildings. Jeff, it seemed, lived in a city of low buildings made from white and cream brick. The weather here was more temperate, trees and plants grew all around. Jensen was fascinated by the vivid vegetation as they entered the city and proceeded to the largest residence. It was more of castle really, tall and imposing among the single story dwellings that surrounded it. The ornate building rose several stories high, was built of a light shiny stone with a pinkish tinge and was extravagantly carved with scenes depicting warfare. Jensen looked at it in awe.

“New home,” Adrian said with a big smile.

Jensen nodded, and with Adrian’s help, he dismounted from the horse.

“Jensen!” came a cry and then Jensen was hoisted off the ground and spun around by a huge beast of a man. Jared looked wonderful. He had always been a large man but many months of good, plentiful food had filled him out. Pronounced muscles moved and flexed as he put Jensen down and looked at him with a beaming smile. “I’m so glad you’re alright. I was so worried about you.” He pulled him in for a hug. “Jeff sent men. I knew he would.” Jared looked around at an older man, tall and well built, with greying hair and a grizzled beard. He looked like he should be someone’s older, black-sheep-of-the-family-uncle. He had kind sparkling eyes that looked at Jared with undisguised affection.

“Jared, give the boy some space,” Jeff said and moved forward to look at Jensen himself. He put a hand under Jensen’s chin and raised his face, until they were looking in each others eyes. Jensen could see desire in those eyes and his stomach tumbled. Not again.

“I can see what he saw in you,” Jeff said, almost to himself. “You are very pretty. I like these freckles.” He rubbed a thumb over Jensen’s cheek. “I would like to move you into my harem. Do you object?” Jensen looked at Jeff, horrified. Saved from one man’s bed to be taken to another’s? He tried to speak, to say no, to ask for his freedom. But no words would come from his mouth, so he looked at Jared, who looked similarly shaken.

“Show him to his room,” Jeff said, and a beautiful woman, tall, lean and blonde, took his hand and, with a smile, ushered him into the building. As they walked up the steps Jensen could hear Jim asking Jeff if he could hand-fast with Michael. With a sigh, Jensen was grateful at least one of them would be happy.

“My name is Hilarie,” said the beautiful girl. “I am chief concubine and hand-fasted to Jeff.” Jensen gave her a quizzical look. "Hand-fasted,” she repeated, “It's like married, but more permanent. At least that's what Jeff says." She looked at him appraisingly. “He sometimes likes pretty boys, and you sure are pretty. Maybe one day, we shall all play together.” Jensen felt a blush rising on his face and Hilarie laughed. “You’re a quiet one. Mind you, from what I hear about Christian, I don’t blame you. You must have seen some sights?” She paused, clearly expecting Jensen to tell her of his time with Chris. But she didn’t realize that Chris had taken his tongue as surely as if he had ripped it out.

Jensen put his hand over his mouth and shook his head

“Oh, you’re mute. Well okay. It’s a good thing I like to talk then. Jeff says I never shut up—even during sex.” She said the last bit in a stage whisper and then giggled. Jensen smiled back at her. She seemed really nice and didn’t seem too bothered that Jeff clearly wanted to fuck him.

The corridors within the residence were wide, cool, and dark in comparison with the brightness outside. It was a welcome respite. Hilarie led him down corridors, taking turns seemingly at random. Jensen would never learn his way around this place.

They came upon a large wooden door intricately carved with a pornographic montage.

“Ta da,” Hilarie said as she opened it with a flourish. “Your room can be over here, next to mine.” She took him to a large, airy room. The bed was huge and covered with bright throws and pillows. It was beautiful, and all he had to do for it was what he had already been doing for the last few years. Jensen’s stomach clenched painfully. Was there to be no end to his suffering?

“There are only two other concubines, Sophia and Gen. You’re the only boy, lucky you. We’ll look after you, though. Jeff is a nice man, nothing like you’re old master. Don’t go worrying about that. Hmm.. you’re looking pretty dirty. Do you want to bathe?” She certainly did talk a lot, barely pausing for breath, he thought, then looked down at his travel stained robes and his grimy body and nodded.

“It’s just over here,” Hilarie said and opened the door to an opulent room. It was huge and contained many baths of varying temperatures, a massage table, showers and a pool at the far end. It was tiled in many shades of blue, giving it a restful atmosphere. “Go on,” Hilarie urged. “Get undressed and I’ll get rid of those clothes and get you some nicer ones.”

Without thinking, Jensen hitched his tunic over his head and pulled off his trousers handing them to Hilarie. She was looking at him, aghast. Oh.
“What did he do to you?” She reached out, almost as if to touch his groin, but at the last minute pulled her hand back, a flush creeping up her face. “Oh, I’m so sorry. I...” She grabbed the clothes and rushed from the room. Jensen was powerless to call her back and he didn’t want to make chase in the nude, so with a sigh, he got into the hottest bath and let the heat soak away the pain and humiliation.

Using the sponges and soaps provided, Jensen scrubbed the dirt of the desert from his body until he glowed. Then he tackled his hair. It was gross and matted with dust and sand, so he dragged himself from the warmth of the bath across to the showers. The bath water was filthy so he emptied the tub and was about to scrub it, when two servants came in and waved him away. So he stood under the shower for a long time, shampooing and conditioning his hair, which was now longer than his shoulders. He had never had long hair in his life, not even when he went through his rebellious phase in college. His rebellion had been getting his ears pierced. His dad hadn’t like that and had called him a ‘fairy’. He had let the holes heal over but his relationship with his father had never entirely recovered. Even as his dad died, he could feel the distance between them. His father was a notorious homophobe and, as Jensen stood under the beating water he wondered, whether his father had seen something in him. After all men seemed to like him, sexually. That was a question that Jensen would never be able to answer, so he turned off the water and grabbed one of the huge towels.

Hilarie still hadn’t come back, so Jensen wrapped himself in the thick towel and sat on one of the benches. The air was dense with sweet smelling steam. The oils and soaps giving it a clean, summery smell. Jensen leaned back against the cool tile wall, a nice counterpoint to the heat in the room, and let his mind wander.

Hilarie had been distressed by his groin, and Jensen realized that he would have to get used to people seeing him there for the first time again. He would have to get used to their displeasure, their whispers, and their pity. He didn’t know whether he was ready for that. He didn’t know whether he would ever be ready for it.

Leaning forward, he rested his elbows on his knees and put his head in his hands. Would this ever stop? Would he ever have respite?

He was so lost in his own thoughts that he didn’t realize that Hilarie had entered the room, until she put her hand on his shoulder, making him jump.
Gasping, he opened his eyes to see her concerned ones looking back.

“Sorry about earlier,” she said looking ashamed. “I wasn’t expecting...” She gestured at his groin. “I mean, we knew he was mad, but I guess none of us knew quite how bad it was.” She sat down next to him. “Jeff wants you to see a doctor.” Jensen just looked at her. What was the point of that? It wasn’t like he’d be able to give him back his cock and balls. But at the end of the day, Jensen didn’t have a choice so he just nodded.

Hilarie gave him a robe, thick and luxurious. Jensen shucked it on and followed Hilarie to a room set out as a surgery. A small squat man welcomed him and indicated that he should lie on the couch. Hilarie left the room promising to return with some ‘proper clothes’ and Jensen lay back on the bed.

The doctor’s hands were cool and impersonal as he completed his examination.

“Hmmm... Well I’ve seen worse, I suppose. The stitching is poor, but well healed and the scarring isn’t too bad. The penis removal, though, seems to have been completed by an expert.” He hummed as he moved in for a closer look. “Have you been taking testosterone?”

Jensen shook his head numbly.

“No? Well you should. I will make some available. Testosterone will stop your bones weakening and keep you from getting fat.” He prodded Jensen’s stomach. “Well that doesn’t seem to be too much of a problem. “ He looked up into Jensen’s eyes as he pulled the robe back round him. “Look, you’re probably aware there is nothing I can do to reverse what has been done. Maybe in America there may be some specialized operations. I don’t know. But you have healed well, no infection. And you can still achieve sexual satisfaction.” He saw Jensen’s look of distaste. “Well you may feel like that now, but once you start taking your testosterone, your libido will return.”

One good reason for not taking it then, thought Jensen.

“Open your mouth.” Jensen complied and the doctor checked inside using a small flashlight. “Hmm... all seems in order. Hilarie says you don’t talk.” Jensen shook his head. “Don’t or won’t?” asked the doctor. Jensen shrugged—that wasn’t an easy question to answer. The doctor looked at Jensen with questioning eyes, then seemed to come to a decision. “Turn over.” Jensen did as asked and was further prodded and poked as the doctor examined his scars. “The scarring is pretty bad,” he murmured. “There’s some plastic surgery that can be done that will reduce the appearance of these, but I don’t know if Jeff will want to put you through more pain.” Jensen took a deep breath. It always came down to what his master wanted. His wishes were never taken into account anymore. For his part he didn’t actually care whether the scars were there or not. It was too late; he had experienced the pain. It wasn’t like he could see his back, so there wasn’t a constant reminder of what had been done to him. Not like when he looked down.

The doctor dismissed him once the exam was complete, and Hilarie took him back to his room where she had hung a selection of tunics and trousers.

“Come on. Get dressed and you can go meet Gen and Sophia.” Just what he wanted, more people to look at him with that awful mixture of pity and interest.

Gen and Sophia, as it turns out, were two lovely girls. Both tiny, dark-haired, and gorgeous. They both hugged Jensen and he was surprised by the fact that tears welled in his eyes. It had been so long since anyone apart from Christian and Michael had touched him. The simple act of kindness was almost too much.

“You’ll like it here,” Sophia said. “Jeff’s awesome.” she smiled dreamily.

Hilarie laughed. “Sophia is in love,” she mocked but then her face softened. “Jeff’s real easy to love. You’ll find out soon enough.”

Jensen doubted he would fall in love with Jeff. Ignoring the fact that he was married, he didn’t understand how you could love someone that owned you.

His musing was interrupted by shrieks and laughs as a whirlwind of arms and legs entered the courtyard.

“Calm down,” Hilarie said in a stern voice. Jensen raised an eyebrow and she winked at him. “Come here boys and meet Jensen. Jensen, this monster is Jamie.” She pulled a giggling blond boy of about three into her arms.

“And this devil,” said Sophia, “is Cody.” She swooped down and picked up a cute dark haired child of a similar age. “Cody is mine and Jamie is Hilarie’s. And Gen is expecting too.”

Both of Jensen’s eyebrows hit his hairline. Wow, Jeff certainly liked to breed.

“We’re hoping for a girl,” Gen said quietly.

“Yeah, we want to dress her up in pretty clothes. These monsters don’t let us do that.” The giggling boys wriggled free and charged around the courtyard before disappearing into the cool shade of the main house.

Jensen closed his eyes and enjoyed the weak evening sun, letting the background hum of the chatting girls lull him into a light sleep.

He was woken later by Hilarie prodding him. “Come on, you have to get ready. I’m pretty sure Jeff’s gonna want you tonight.”

Great. Jensen stretched and groaned internally. Then he was dragged to the bathing area to ‘prepare’ himself.

Thankfully, the girls left so Jensen bathed quickly, found an enema and used it, then spent some time stretching and lubing himself. At least Jeff shouldn’t be able to do too much damage.

Hilarie took Jensen to Jeff’s bedchamber, entering without knocking. The room was huge and lavish. Tapestries and fine art adorned the walls, the bed was resplendent with a deep maroon bedspread. The small windows kept the room cool. It looked like a peaceful, restful room. But Jensen’s heart started beating erratically. He knew why he was here and he would rather be almost anywhere else. Well, except with Christian of course.

“You should get undressed and get into bed. Jeff likes us ready and waiting.” Hilarie chuckled, a dirty sound in such a sweet girl. She patted him on the rump and left him there. Like a lamb to the slaughter.

Trying to empty his mind, Jensen slipped out of his clothes and climbed into the huge bed, and waited. It seemed like forever before the door opened and Jeff entered the room.

“What a lovely surprise,” he crooned and Jensen couldn’t even smile. He was damn sure it wasn’t a surprise. Jeff had asked for him and therefore here he was. He returned Jeff’s gaze blankly and Jeff looked surprised.

Stripping off his clothes, he walked to the bed. He was a fine looking man, even Jensen could appreciate that. All dense muscle and dark body hair. He climbed between the sheets and pulled Jensen into his arms. Jensen, of course, went willingly, his body as compliant as a lover’s.

Jeff pulled him close, his arms cradling him against his hairy chest. Then, using one hand, he tilted Jensen’s face until they were eye to eye. His eye was distracted by Jensen's collar, and he scowled and reached behind to unhook it. Christian hadn't soldered it on, but none of his slaves would have ever dared to remove the collar. He kept them on by fear alone. When Jeff removed it, Jensen felt more naked than he had for a long time, but he also felt lighter, freer.

“You’re very beautiful,” he said as he leant forward and kissed Jensen softly on the mouth. Jensen allowed his mouth to be taken, opening under pressure from Jeff’s tongue. But he didn’t actively reciprocate and eventually Jeff pulled back, confusion in his eyes.

“Don’t you want this, sweetheart?” Jensen didn’t know how to say no. He didn’t know whether he was allowed. Would Jeff beat him, whip him, or kill him? Jensen, however, was at the end of his rope. He had endured all of those things and more. He had been raped and abused for years and Jeff had asked him a straight question and that deserved a straight answer so Jensen shook his head.

Jeff looked at him confusion and sadness in his eyes but he didn’t act in any of the ways Jensen thought he would. Instead he just pulled him forward and held him close. Jensen could feel the soft play of his lips against Jensen’s hair.

“That’s okay, sweetheart. We’ll wait until you’re ready.”

Jensen wished he could talk, so he could tell Jeff that he would never be ready and that he didn’t want Jeff wasting his time.

“Jensen,” Jeff said, his voice thick with sleepiness, “Is it because of the...” His hand skimmed Jensen’s groin and Jensen flinched away instinctively. “Sorry” Jeff murmured, “but is that why you don’t want sex? The doctor said it may damage your sex drive.” Jensen felt himself stiffen. Why was it so difficult to see? He wasn’t gay. He had no interest in Jeff sexually. It was nothing to do with losing his genitals, though that probably didn’t help. Why did Jeff just expect him to find him attractive, roll over, and spread his legs? Was he really that self centered? Jensen really wished he could talk. He suddenly found he had a whole lot he wanted to say.

Of course, it wasn’t to be, so Jensen spent an all too uncomfortable night in Jeff’s arms.

Jensen expected that the morning would be awkward, but it was surprisingly comfortable. During the night, Jeff had loosened his hold so Jensen felt a little less stifled and more relaxed. He could feel Jeff awakening, his body starting to move, his breathing less regular. Jensen froze, trying to keep every muscle in his body still. Jeff chuckled, an exceptionally dirty sound and pulled Jensen back into his tight hold. Jensen could feel Jeff’s erection prodding at his ass, but Jeff made no move to sexualize the moment. He merely kissed Jensen’s hair and rolled away.

“So what are you going to do today?” Jeff said as he sat up, his broad muscular back flexing as he did. Jeff turned and looked over his shoulder. “You have the run of the place you know? The girls will show you around. If there’s anything you want you can just ask.” He looked down pensively “Or write it down. You can write can’t you? We can all read English. Hell, I am American.” Jeff looked at Jensen, who raised a quizzical eyebrow. “Long story. One day I’ll tell you about it. About Christian too if you want to know.” He saw Jensen flinch at the mention of Christian’s name and reached over and patted him on the shoulder. “Maybe not that then. Now, I have a city to run. Stay in bed as long as you like and I’ll call for you soon.” He reached over, kissed Jensen’s cheek, and left the room.

Jensen lay there looking at the carved ceiling, pondering the words that Jeff had said. Jeff and Christian were American. He had suspected as much. They both had pseudo-American accents warped by their time in this country, wherever it was. Jensen had never found out, and had never really been inquisitive enough to wonder.

The door flew open and three girls blew into the room like a desert storm. All waving hair and smiling mouths.

“Did you have a good time?” Sophia asked as she flung herself on the bed closely followed by Hilarie and Gen. Jensen was kind of glad he couldn’t talk as he didn’t want to try and explain last night to the girls. Well he couldn’t actually explain it to himself.

As he lay here on Jeff’s huge bed, he could almost see this becoming his life. The girls were inclusive and welcoming. There seemed to be no jealousy between them, or indeed with regard to Jensen entering their little family. And family it was, with wives and children and a husband who lusted for them all. If Jeff kept his word and didn’t force sexual relations upon Jensen, then he could live like this. It was after all such an incredible change from before.

Just as things settled down, Jared became a huge complication.

Jensen hadn’t seen him for a few weeks, during which time he had spent time with Sophia, Gen, Hilarie, and their respective children. He loved playing with Cody and Jamie. The thing with the children was that they accepted that he couldn’t talk. They didn’t spend time trying to get him to talk. They just loved him for himself.

The girls still tried to get the inside story on what went on in the bedroom when Jeff called on him. Jensen knew they would be disappointed if they knew that they just slept together. Jeff had made no further demands. He hugged and cuddled Jensen, kissed him on the cheek. But there were no wandering hands or anything that could be construed as pressure. Jensen found that with time he didn’t mind sleeping in the big man’s arms. He found comfort in those arms when he had dreams of Christian and his terrible punishments. He had been mortified the first time he had awoken and found that he had wet the bed like a child. Jeff had not said anything, just held him as he shook, comforting him and never once chastising him. Jensen had thought after that first, awful accident Jeff wouldn't call him again. After all who wants to sleep with someone who wets the bed? Who wants to awaken to the stench of urine? However, Jeff had still called for him on occasion, as if there had never been a problem.

Life continued within the palace. Jensen spent time with the girls and their children. Things settled into a sort of routine, and then one day Jensen was in the courtyard sunning himself, when he heard a familiar voice. He cracked an eye and saw Jared bouncing over, a pleased grin on his face.

“Wow, Jensen, I’ve missed you so much. Jeff wouldn’t let me see you,” He grumbled “I was a bit pissed off that he took you for his own, I was hoping that he would let you come and live with me,” he said, a faraway look in his eyes. Jensen tensed. He didn’t want Jared thinking he could own him too. Jared ,realizing how that sounded, continued “As friends!” He grabbed Jensen’s hand. “We’ve been through so much together. I think we make great friends.” Jensen’s heart swelled. If his recalcitrant tongue would work he would have agreed—yes, he and Jared made excellent friends. He smiled at Jared and gave a happy nod. Jared and he were friends almost from the moment they’d met in that dusty hellhole. Thrown together by happenstance, their personalities just worked together. Jared's good humor even in the face of adversity, his positivity, had kept Jensen alive and fed him hope when everything seemed bleak. Yeah, Jared was his best friend. Lying there in the sun with Jared's hand in his, warm and sure, he felt a tingle which almost felt like happiness. The sun beat down, making him feel drowsy, so he let himself drift.

 

Somewhere distant, he could hear voices murmuring like water over rocks on a hot day. He couldn’t make out all they were saying but the odd sentence stood out.

“Have you ever seen him so happy?”

“No,” a gruff voice replied. “He’s never smiled at me like that.”

“Do you think perhaps you’re being selfish?”

“Hilarie! You shouldn’t talk to me like that.”

Jensen turned his head to see who was talking. Putting his hand up to shade his eyes, he wasn’t really surprised to see Jeff and Hilarie. Jeff gave him a sad look, a look of loss. So, not knowing what to do, Jensen smiled at him and Jeff returned it, but his smile was as sad as a frown.

Jeff called him to his bed that evening, and when Jensen arrived, Jeff was sleeping so Jensen waited patiently on his knees. He knew his form was perfect—he had practiced it so often. When Jeff stirred and awoke, he dragged Jensen into bed and held him close, held him fiercely as if he never wanted to let him go.

Chapter 4

The next day Jensen noticed a lot of commotion throughout the house. There were soldiers going to and fro. Jensen wondered what was afoot. There was an air of expectation running through the house. When Jensen had raised a questioning brow at Gen, she had just shrugged. She was as in the dark as he was.

Jensen walked into the main living area of the harem, and saw Hilarie and Sophia at the window, engrossed in whatever they were watching. Jensen tapped Hilarie on the shoulder and she jumped.

“Oh my, you just about gave me a heart attack! Come.” She waved him over “Look, the soldiers are ready to move out. I can’t get anything out of Jeff.” She looked at Jensen, confusion written on her face. “Normally, he tells me everything. I don’t understand why it’s such a big secret.” She pouted but then went back to watching the men march out of the grounds and into the city beyond.

Jensen wondered what could be happening. He had only been here for a couple of months, or maybe longer. Time had lost it's meaning years ago, but he had gotten used to the rhythm of the house. It was normally a gentle waltz of a rhythm, slow but classy. Today it was more of a Paso Doble, firm and feisty. It upset him in ways he wouldn’t have been able to vocalize—even if he could talk.

Jeff had been in an odd mood last night. There had been a sadness about him. Jensen liked Jeff. He was always gentle and had kept his promises. He had not tried to seduce Jensen since the first night. Some nights, Jensen had wished that he could just give in. Give in and give Jeff what he wanted. But something stopped him. He wasn’t even sure what.

Jensen left Gen and went looking for Jared. He made his way to the soldiers’ quarters but they were fairly decimated. Empty, but for a few of the older soldiers and the royal guard who had been left to protect the harem. There was no sight of Jared, but one of the older soldiers, Jim, told him Jared had gone with Jeff.

Jensen tried to raise a questioning eyebrow at Jim, but the man just shrugged.

“I don’t know where they’ve gone, boy.” He looked a bit pissed but then he smiled. “While Jeff’s away, you should come and have dinner with me and Michael.”

That sounded good. He hadn’t seen his friend since he had taken up residence in the palace, and Michael was God knows where with his fancy man. Jensen knew his thinking was a little cruel, but all the upheaval at the palace had put him on edge. He didn’t want things to change. He was just getting used to the status quo, and now his stomach felt like it was full of insects skittering around. It was almost worse than when he had been with Christian. At least then, he’d known what to expect. Cruelty and sadism had been Christian’s currency. But here, Jeff was an unknown quantity, with his pretty girls and children, with his kind eyes and his lack of force. It was all too confusing.

Jim welcomed him to his house, which was a small squat building constructed of sandstone. Michael was there behind him, almost bouncing with excitement. He dragged Jensen into his arms and promptly burst into tears. Jensen, for his part, felt a heaviness in his stomach ease. He was being held by his friend, a man who had no agenda, but loved him all the same.

“Come on, put the boy down and let’s eat.” Jim said gruffly.

Smiling, Michael took Jensen’s hand and led him into the house. It was small and cool. The small windows letting in enough light but keeping it at a manageable temperature. Jensen could smell the spicy aroma of their meal in the air. Rich and redolent.

“We’re having spiced lamb,” Michael said, almost as if he could read Jensen’s mind. “I bet you didn’t know I could cook.” Jensen shook his head. “Well I couldn’t.” He laughed. “Jim and his sister taught me and now I’m not half bad.”

He led Jensen to the table and sat him down. Jim and Michael taking seats at each end of the table. Michael, being the perfect host, served Jensen and Jim, the rich meaty concoction, with rice and vegetables. When Jensen tasted it, he almost moaned, the flavor was deep and piquant. Pungent herbs mixed with exotic spices danced on his tongue giving him the equivalent of an oral orgasm. Reaching out, he touched Michael’s hand and nodded, a huge smile on his face.

“Yeah, I’m pretty good,” he admitted, with a contented smile.

Later over drinks, Michael started to tell Jensen the story of how Christian and Jeff had come to this country.

“Arkazan.” Michael nodded. “Apparently it’s a small country somewhere near Turkey. I never was any good at geography. They came here as mercenaries years ago to help the king. When they sorted out his guerrilla problem, he gave them some land of their own. Christian and Jeff had some sort of falling out.” Jensen heard Jim grunt.

“Yeah, that Christian always was a bit of a psychopath, so Jeff split and took some of the men with him. I came with Jeff. Those who liked a little more—excess—they stayed with Chris.” Jensen could totally see that. The men that surrounded Christian liked hurting and causing pain a little too much.

“Anyway,” Michael continued, giving Jim a hard stare that turned into an affectionate look. “I just can’t stay mad at him,” he muttered to Jensen, but Jim clearly heard if the big grin on his face was anything to go by. “Anyway,” he repeated, “So Jeff built this city, he looks after his people and allows no cruelty. A lot of the residents are the old soldiers and other indigent people have moved to town too.” Jensen mulled that over in his head. Yeah Jeff seemed nice, but he had taken him as a slave. That really wasn’t acceptable behavior. Okay, so he hadn’t raped him, but he wasn’t here of his own free will. Maybe he was a little more like Christian than he wanted to admit. Or than his people wanted to admit.

“I know what you’re thinking,” Michael said, squeezing Jensen’s hand. “But he would never hurt you. I mean what do you want to do. Do you want to go home like this?” Michael gestured to Jensen’s groin and Jensen felt the hot whip of shame hit his body. No, he didn’t want anyone who knew him before
to see him like this. But on the other hand he wanted so desperately to go home it was a physical yearning. Some mornings he would awaken and think he could smell the jasmine on the air, as he used to be able to from his bedroom. Or he would imagine that he could taste the salt of the sea or hear it lapping at the beach beyond his balcony. Then he would awake fully and all he could hear would be the desert birds, and sadness would seep into his bones again. He looked up at Michael with a face so full of sorrow that he could see Michael’s mood break as he drew Jensen into his arms. “It will be alright. You’ll see. You will find happiness.” Michael kissed Jensen’s head, a warm caring gesture that nearly broke Jensen all over again. Strangely, he found himself yearning for Jared. Jared was his best friend, even better than Michael. Jared with his warmth. Jared, who never made him feel mute or less than a man. Jared, who despite his imposing size never frightened Jensen, never demanded of him and who had kept his promise and rescued Jensen. Yeah, thought Jensen, Jared, more than Jeff or Michael, was his bedrock. And now Jared was off who-knows-where fighting who-knows-who and Jensen was here alone, not knowing if he would ever see him again. Jensen wished he had tried harder to speak to Jared, he wished he had kissed him again, just a small kiss of affection. A slight smile lit his face as he remembered their first and only kiss. It had been perfect, not a prelude to sex, just a confirmation of their friendship. Of course, it didn’t hurt that the man was stunning. Jensen chased that thought away. What good was sexual attraction when he couldn’t do anything about it?

“Hey, what’s going on in that head of yours? You were miles away. And you seemed happy.” Jensen just shook his head and reached over and kissed Michael’s cheek.

“Hey I have some more news. Misha, Chad, and Charlie are here,” Michael beamed. “The soldiers built them a small house and they live there together. They seem happy.” That was good news, so Jensen beamed at Michael to show his happiness. “I don’t know about David though, he seems to have disappeared.” Jensen held no love for David, but he didn’t wish the man any harm, so he said a silent prayer that he was safe somewhere.

 

Later, back at the shiny, white palace, Jensen lay down on his bed and imagined that Jared was holding him close. His sun warmed skin would penetrate the cold that had settled in Jensen’s bones. His sunny smile would chase away Jensen’s sadness, and maybe then his life would amount to more than just existing.

 

The whole atmosphere at the palace was different without Jeff around. The girls were moody, and the children fractious. Jensen tried to improve their moods but offering a smile, a hug, and an ear didn’t really help much.

“Jeff’s never left without telling me why before,” Hilarie said as she snuggled down on Jensen’s bed.

“He tells me everything, for God’s sake. I’m practically his wife. Do you think he’s tired of me?” She looked at Jensen, her eyes, he noticed, were red and she looked tired

“He’s been different since you came along,” she sighed and rolled over.

“It was just the two of us to start off with but then he got Sophia and I had no say, so it was either accept her or make all of our lives miserable. Some days I wish I had let him know how awful that time was for me. It made me feel as if I wasn’t good enough for him.” Jensen lay down beside her and pulled her into his arms. You are good enough for him, he wanted to say, you’re too good for him.

“Then, of course, Gen came along and it was even worse. But I like them, I do.” She seemed to be trying to persuade herself, but then a wicked smile crossed her face

“And the sex is fabulous. Even when Jeff isn’t there.” She giggled.

“But you, Jensen, you’ve hit him differently. He always had an eye for a pretty boy. He’s brought a few of the young guards to bed. And, boy, was that fun.”

Jensen felt his face begin to burn. Hilarie was a bit more open about sexual matters than he was used to. And he used to be a sex slave.

“But he has a thing for you, Jen.” She blew out a breath between pursed lips. “And you don’t have a thing for him. He’s not used to this unrequited malarkey. Anyway, I’ll tell you about this one time Jeff, Sophia, and I had Adam. You know, that tall blond guard. My goodness, that was hell of a night.”

Jensen closed his ears to Hilarie’s description of a night of pure debauchery—after all he had lived through many similar nights, none of which had brought him any pleasure.

The girls and Jensen spent their time as they always did: indolently. Jensen thought he could get used to the massages and the pampering, whiling away the days indulgently, the scent of oils and perfume in the air.

Without Jeff in the palace, Jensen began to relax. Although he had always gone out of his way to make sure Jensen didn’t feel pressured sexually, Jensen couldn’t help but be aware of what Jeff wanted, and therefore feel lacking almost. It felt good to be his own man again. No expectations, no one to disappoint, and only himself to please. He almost felt autonomous and he liked it. While the girls were busy waiting for Jeff to return, Jensen was almost hoping he wouldn’t. He did miss Jared though.

He felt a smile break over his face. Jared always made him feel better. He missed his voice. Jared could talk for hours, and never made Jensen feel bad for not contributing to the conversation. Yeah, he couldn’t wait ‘til Jared got back.

That night, a storm blew across the land. Jensen lay in bed and listened to the torrential rain. It had been such a long time since he had seen rain. The weather here was more temperate. He should have known that a storm was brewing; the weather during the day had been unbearable. Humid and close; his clothing had stuck to him and he had felt as if he couldn’t get air into his lungs. Then, as dusk fell, the air crackled with electricity as rain fell from the heavens and lightning lit the sky. At least the oppressive heat was gone, replaced by cooler air and a light breeze.

The thunder masked the sound of the palace doors being thrown open and Jensen jumped when his bedroom door flew open.

“Jensen,” a familiar voice said and Jensen reached over to turn up the light. Jeff stood in his doorway. He was soaked. His hair dripped rivulets down his face. His clothing clung to his body and he left a puddle on the marble floors. “Get dressed and come to the great hall.”

Jensen tried to get his heart rate under control as he quickly dressed and rushed through the corridors to the hall. The hall was crowded with soldiers, men, and palace residents. Jensen pushed his way through, and there at the front was Jeff, sitting regally on his throne. He didn’t like to call it a throne, but it truly was one. Jeff had said it was just a symbol of his authority, that it made people feel safe. It was large and ornate, carved from some beautiful blond wood, polished to a high shine that showed off the grain to it’s finest.

Jensen felt his breath stutter when he noticed a man in chains at the foot of Jeff’s throne. It was Christian.

“I have called you here today to decide what to do with the criminal Christian Kane,” Jeff intoned as a hush fell over the hall. “He has shown no respect for human life. He has disfigured, raped, and abused young men for years.” Jeff looked up at Jensen, sadness in his eyes. “I feel that the only sentence fit for the crimes is death. Does anyone here wish to speak on Christian’s behalf?”

The hall remained silent. Jensen watched, horrified. There, in front of him, was the source of all his nightmares. That small, bleeding man had caused him more pain and suffering than anyone or anything had the right to. Christian turned his head and saw Jensen, a cruel smile twitched on his face.

“Jensen.” He smirked. “You were always my favorite.” Then he cast a glance at Jeff. “I bet you’re his favorite too. He always liked my pretty boys” Chris bent over coughing, then spat blood on the floor. “You can kill me Jeff, but know this, you are just like me.”

“I’m nothing like you.” Jeff retorted

Christian just laughed, a cruel, cackling laugh that only emphasized that he had long left sanity behind. That laugh sent tendrils of ice down Jensen’s back, even as sweat followed the same route. The man who had made his life a living hell for years, crouched in front of him. He looked to Jeff in askance, and his master just gave him a small smile.

“Does anyone have anything to say on Christian’s behalf?” Jeff said.

Jensen didn’t want Christian killed. He didn’t want that on his conscience, but neither did he want to speak up on his behalf. How could he? What could he possibly say? Did he want these men to maul someone to death? Did he want them to cut off his penis? His balls? Would that balance out what he had done to Jensen? Of course it wouldn’t. Jensen felt his body slump. After all of it, he just felt tired.

Jensen just looked at Christian kneeling there.

“You see,” Christian drawled “My boy doesn’t want you to kill me. Come here boy, we can be happy again.” Christian reached out his arm but the soldier on his right backhanded him, and he hit the floor and giggled. It was such a strange sound, disparate in the circumstances. Jensen looked at the soldier and realized it was Jared. He looked different, sadder, and Jensen wanted to run over and bury himself in Jared’s arms. This was like a nightmare, and Jared was the faint approach of morning, all soft, yellow light and warmth.

“You’ll always remember me, Jensen,” Christian said, looking up. He was on all fours, blood dripping from his face, and Jensen could see a tremble in his arms. “I have marked you in so many ways, you and the rest of my boys. You bear my legacy.” His eyes looked at Jensen’s groin and he laughed again.

“Hold his head up,” Jeff said and he approached the madman, unsheathing his sword. “Christian,” he said sadly, “We were friends once, but your cruelty can no longer be allowed to continue.”

It was then that Jensen noticed a gleam of light on metal and saw that Christian had secreted a knife about his body. He pulled it out, and was about to attack Jared, when Jensen yelled.

“He has a knife! Jared, he has a knife!” His voice was rusty with disuse, but was strong enough to elicit a response, even as Jensen rushed to Jared.

Jared pulled Christian up by his hair and Jeff brandished his sword, and with a searing stroke, cut Christian’s head from his neck. Then it was all over as Jensen wiped the thick, warm blood from his face.

The man who had controlled Jensen’s life, who had abused him, raped him, and ruined him was gone. All that was left was a body pumping it’s lifeblood onto the tiles of the great room. His head was in Jared’s hand, hanging by his stringy hair. Jensen turned and lost his lunch, as the silence in the room was broken by Jeff.

“Are you alright, sweetheart?” he said, as he put a hand on the base of Jensen’s spine.

No, Jensen wasn’t alright. He hadn’t been alright since he had been taken from his boat that awful night all those years ago. He was about as far from alright as it was possible to be. But he knew better than to say anything—even if his traitorous body would allow him—so he just nodded.

“You spoke,” Jeff said, but it seemed to make him sad. “You spoke and saved Jared’s life.”

“I didn’t want to be the cause of any of this,” Jensen said, his voice rusty with disuse.

“Come,” Jeff said, and lead him to the baths where he let Jensen wash Christian’s blood from his face and body. It was amazing how far blood could spray. He had been at least six feet from Christian when the killing blow had been struck, yet he had been covered in it.

After, when the bath was rank and coppery, reminiscent of a charnel house, they moved to another tub, sweet smelling and tempered with oils. Jeff ran his hands through Jensen’s hair.

“I thought it would make you happy,” he said then pulled Jensen close. “I thought you would be able to sleep at night knowing he was gone.”

“Thank you,” Jensen replied. It was after all a kind thought. Jeff had been there when he had those nightmares, the ones that were so real it took hours for his heart rate to return to normal after. The ones that made him incontinent. Maybe Jeff was right. Maybe he wouldn’t have them anymore. Somehow, though, Jensen doubted it.

 

Chapter 5

Life went back to normal after Jeff’s return. The girls were beside themselves with excitement and Jeff ended up in bed with the three of them for several days much to Jensen’s relief.

While Jeff was shacked up, Jensen walked the corridors, trying to make sense of what had happened and why. His first stop was the great hall. Several slaves were scrubbing the detritus of Christian from the floors, and Jensen felt his stomach turn again. Since Jeff had returned from his mission, Jensen’s stomach had been a churning maelstrom of acid and bile. Nothing seemed to settle it. He had tried various milky drinks proffered by the girls, but still it felt like the content of his stomach was trying to eat its way from the inside out. He suspected he was getting an ulcer and was unsurprised. After all the stress he had been under for the last several years, he should have expected it.

He seemed to wander aimlessly, but really there was a method to it. He wanted to see Jared but he didn’t know where he lived. He was pretty sure he wouldn’t be able to visit even if he did. Jeff was very possessive. Jared used to visit regularly before, but Jensen hadn’t seen him since the great hall. He needed to see him. He wanted to talk to him.

Since he had broken his silence, Jensen had been economical with his words. He didn’t talk frivolously, much to Hilarie’s disgust. He had spent so long being silent, using his body as a tool of conversation, that words seemed clumsy. His voice sounded harsh. He wanted to save it for important things for special chats. He wanted to save it for Jared.

Jensen wondered whether Jeff had gone after Christian for him. Because that’s what it seemed like. He felt the weight of Chris’ death on him, wearing him down, making every step an exhausting effort, like walking through tar. It was odd because when he had lived under Christian’s mastery, there had been times where if he had managed to get his hands on a knife, he would have happily done the job himself. So why was it so difficult to accept? There was another thing that prickled at the back of Jensen’s mind. What was Jeff’s agenda? Did he even have an agenda? He didn’t need to do this for Jensen. He owned Jensen, for fuck’s sake. Even though he said Jensen didn’t have to do anything that made him uncomfortable, it was obvious what Jeff’s endgame was. He wanted Jensen as a sexual partner. But surely Jeff wouldn’t think that killing his torturer meant he would find Jensen in bed, legs akimbo waiting to thank him. God, sometimes life was so complicated.

Jensen wandered out into the main courtyard. It was a square bounded on four sides by the palace. Marble tiles, raised gardens and a golden fountain decorated it. There were nooks shaded by olive trees and the scent of jasmine hung heavy in the air. It was Jensen’s favorite place. He sat on one of the reclining chairs and looked down at his body. It had changed from when he lived with Christian. He was larger now, more muscular, and he had a golden tan. Jeff didn’t mind if he sat in the sun. He didn’t require him to be pale. Closing his eyes, he tried to make sense of it all, of his life.

He had been a man once, but that was long ago. Now he wasn’t sure what he was. He was genderless, meaningless… he wondered whether he even existed anymore. His gender had defined him in so many ways: son, brother, husband and now he was nothin—what would they call him? It? Jensen lost himself in his sad reverie. When Chris had taken his manhood, Jensen had wanted to die. The pain and humiliation was too much for him to bear, but he had lived on. His existence was full of further pain, excruciating suffering both physical and mental, and yet he fought to survive. Now he lived in relative safety, with a man who wanted to protect him, with a man who wanted him full stop. But it wasn’t enough. He wanted to go home. He wanted to go back to his life, sleep in his bed, cook in his kitchen, but the twinge he felt in his chest was purely because he had already accepted that he would never have those things again. He would spend the rest of his days as a rich man’s toy. It didn’t matter to him that the rich man was kind and loving. It was still a prison and he wanted to be free.

During the days that the girls and Jeff were sequestered, Jensen’s meanderings always seemed to lead him to his favorite courtyard. One evening he came there and the sun was low in the sky and so half of it was in shadow. Jensen made his way to the sunny side and sat down. Although his mind was racing, he felt a wave of sadness descend over him. He had managed to cope with so much and now it was like this was the one thing that tipped him over the edge. The straw that broke the camel’s back.

Laying back, he closed his eyes and let the warmth of the evening sun lull him to sleep.

He awoke to a cool hand on his forehead. Opening his eyes was a chore. They were so heavy, but finally he managed it. His vision was sleep-blurred but even through the haze he could recognize Jared, and a smile broke on his face. Immediately, he felt happier than he had in days.

“Hey,” he rasped, his voice still rough from years of disuse.

“Hey yourself,” Jared said, moving forward and kissing his forehead. “It’s good to finally hear your voice again.” Jared smiled, and it was like the sun coming out on a wire-wool grey day. Jensen felt his stomach tumble.

Jared pushed Jensen over on the sun-bed and lay down next to him, their bodies touching from shoulder to thigh. The warmth of Jared’s body seeped into Jensen’s body, warming him in places that had been frigid with neglect. Jared touched him and Jensen reacted. It was almost sexual, and Jensen’s thoughts went back to that day years ago when they had kissed. It had been almost chaste, just the touch of lips, but conversely it had been the most sensual thing that had happened to Jensen in the last many years. He lay there wishing Jared would kiss him again.

Jared fidgeted and then maneuvered them so that he could wriggle his arm under Jensen’s neck, so Jensen took the opportunity to snuggle into Jared. It was perfect, if only the rest of his life could be like this.

They lay there in a comfortable silence. Jared seemed to realize that Jensen wasn’t ready to talk about important issues and that he didn’t want to waste his new voice on inanities. So the couple lay in the waning sun, enjoying the last few golden beams as evening fell.

“We had to take him,” Jared finally said. “We couldn’t let him carry on raping and murdering people.” Jared sighed, and Jensen craned his neck so he could look at his face. Jared was looking up into the sky; it was rapidly turning to a dark velvet blue speckled with bright stars. “Jeff felt responsible because they used to be friends, but even back then he recognized something dark in him. He told me he should have done it sooner.” Jared turned to look at Jensen, his eyes were sorrowful. “He said it would have saved you a lot of pain and suffering.” Jensen felt a twinge in his groin, an incompleteness there that colored his everyday life and nodded.

“I know why he did it. I just wish it hadn’t been because of me, that’s all.” He tucked his head into the crook of Jared’s neck. He could feel his pulse there and took comfort in the vitality of the man holding him in his arms.

“He didn’t do it just for you.”

“Yes he did,” Jensen said sadly and he felt Jared tense. “He wanted to give me something, a present.” Jensen choked a small bitter laugh. “He hoped to stop my nightmares. Instead he’s given me a whole new crop of them.”

Jared’s arm tightened on his shoulder, pulling him closer.

“He did it for the right reasons. Don’t blame him, Jen.”

Jensen smiled at the use of his nickname. It sounded right coming from Jared’s lips.

“I don’t hate him for it,” Jensen replied, and although it wasn’t the same thing, it was the best he could do.

“Damn,” Jared cursed. “I have guard duty in fifteen minutes. He carefully extricated himself. “I’ll see you later?” Jensen nodded and Jared reached down and kissed him on the lips, leaving him with a smile.

Jensen’ lips tingled with the memory of the kiss, so fleeting and perfect, and his body felt so cold, bereft of the warm mountain of a man who had been there so recently.

Later, Jensen sat alone in one of the huge baths when a gaggle of giggling girls descended on him. They all looked a bit too smug for his liking. Their faces were flushed, and each wore a necklace of love bites. They disrobed and got into the bath with him.

“Eww, can’t you get in one of the others,” he grumbled.

“No, we want to share our love juices with you.” Sophia smirked as she snuggled up to him.

“Gross.” Jensen shuddered and pushed her away. “Well, you’re all looking happier,” he noticed as he looked at them one by one. There was no two ways about it: they all looked freshly fucked.

“It’s good to have our man back.” Gen said, rubbing her belly unconsciously.

“He seemed pretty needy,” Hilarie said pensively looking at Jensen “He still wants you, you know.” She swirled the water and Jensen felt guilt churn in his stomach. “You don’t want him though, do you?” She deserved the truth so Jensen shook his head. “Hmmm... I like you Jensen but I wish he’d never brought you here. You just made him unhappy.” Jensen felt the burning of bile in his throat. He didn’t want to make Jeff unhappy. The man had gone out of his way to make life as easy as possible for him. “It’s not your fault sweetie,“ she continued when she saw Jensen’s face. “We can’t help who we love.” And that was the truth.

Jensen had loved Dani since they had met as teenagers in the college coffee shop. He had thought she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen when he saw her sitting at the back reading and sipping coffee. She hadn’t given him the time of day when he tried to talk to her, so he had persevered until she gave in and granted him a date. They had been inseparable from that day until he was kidnapped. At first, Dani had filled his every waking thought, but in recent months he found himself thinking less of long coltish legs and small firm breasts, and more of broad, muscular shoulders and sparkling hazel eyes. He was so fucked.

“I don’t want Jeff to be unhappy,” Jensen said, chasing away thoughts of Jared “Do you think I should...” Jensen trailed off. He really didn’t want to sleep with Jeff, but he was starting to think maybe he should. Jeff was kind, he loved the girls, and they loved him and each other. They were an odd family, but it seemed to work. The only fly in the ointment was Jensen, and if he could just let Jeff fuck him, then maybe they could all make it work. But God, Jensen would so need to be drunk for that to happen.

“Jeff would hate for you to just do it for him,” Sophia said. “He wants you to want him.”

“I don’t though.” And Jensen was horrified to feel tears prickle at his eyes.

“I know,” Hilarie said, and took his hand. “He knows too. Don’t worry, Jensen. Things will sort themselves out.” She leaned over and kissed his cheek. Sitting here with these women, Jensen thought it was a lot like having three sisters, and he quite liked it. He didn’t feel any sexual attraction to them and this surprised him; they were all beautiful, with lovely curvy figures. The doctor had said that now he was taking testosterone he would start to feel sexual desire again. But the only time he had felt aroused was when he was laying in Jared’s arms. He knew that if he had still been intact he would have had an erection. It was funny, but the thought that he might be gay didn’t even bother him, even though he had never had any attraction to men prior to being taken. He still thought of Dani sometimes, and she was always like a comfort blanket to him, soothing and gentle. He hoped she had escaped and was living somewhere safe and sound. He hoped she had found a new love and wasn’t waiting patiently for him. He knew that if he ever got to go home, things had changed too much for them ever to be together, and not just his physical changes either.

He still loved her and he always would, but he was destined to be alone. He didn’t like to be touched. He had to endure it with Jeff but otherwise he preferred not to be. Except Jared.

Everything kept coming back to Jared, with his chocolate wavy hair, big smile and bigger muscles. He made Jensen want to be touched, held even. It was a conundrum. He wondered if it was purely the fact that Jared made him feel safe. He shook his head because he knew that wasn’t true. He was in love with Jared. Fuck.

“Well, we girls have got to go and make ourselves beautiful for our man.” Sophia winked, then stage-whispered, “He’s insatiable.”

“Too much information,” he said as he shooed them away.

“It’s a real shame you don’t want to join in,” Gen said, then blushed prettily “The bed is big enough, you know, if you want to.”

All sorts of permutations ran through Jensen’s head, limbs and bodies entwined, not knowing where one started and the other began. It was erotic for sure, but Jensen didn’t know what his role was supposed to be. He couldn’t fuck any of the girls. He would just be there as set decoration or as a receptacle for Jeff, and much as he liked the man, he wasn’t ready for that. He didn’t think he’d ever be. Not after Chris. He shuddered and Gen looked pained.

“It was only an offer,” she said, her voice clipped and hurt. “I didn’t know we repulsed you so much.”

“It’s not you,” he admitted. “It’s just that sex, any sex, brings back such bad memories for me. You’re very beautiful.” He reached out and stroked her stomach, feeling the flutter of new life within. “Wow.”

Gen giggled. “It’s amazing isn’t it? I can’t wait to meet him or her.”

“Her!” Both the others shouted .

“Now come on,” said Hilarie. “Let’s leave grumpy to his bath.”

Off they trotted, giggling and whispering. They were just like teenage girls, innocent despite their circumstances.

Jensen lay his head back and thanked the gods for the heating elements under the bath that kept the water warm, and for the the fact that it cleverly circulated so he wasn’t lying in his own muck, and worse, that of the girls. His fingers were starting to prune but he didn’t care; he felt relaxed and at ease. He chose not to think about Jeff or Jared, or the fact that he was still a slave in all but name. No, he was just going to enjoy the warm water soaking away his worries. There was always tomorrow, after all.

Squeaky clean and more relaxed than he’d been in a long time, Jensen walked back to his room. The tiled floor was cool against his feet and a nice contrast to the humid air. He walked into the main living area and saw Jared sprawled across the multi-colored cushions that were used as seating.

“Hey.” He got up and pulled Jensen into a hug. It felt good being held against that broad chest. The scent of Jared, musky and warm, was soothing too. In fact, everything about the man was just comforting.

“Hey yourself. What are you doing here?”

“Came to see you.” He dragged Jensen down onto the pile of cushions; the silk felt cool against his skin as he sank into them. “So Jensen, if you could have anything you wanted what would it be?”

“I want to go home,” Jensen said. He didn’t need to think about it. “I want to sleep in my own bed. I don’t want to worry about who is going to fuck me or whip me or torture me. I don’t want to feel guilty that I don’t want to fuck Jeff. He seems nice and all, but I don’t want him like that. I just want to be me again. I want to go to work, read books, go to the gym. I want my life back.”

Jared looked at him sadly, but before he could respond there was a sound behind Jensen. When he turned, Jeff was there looking at him, an inscrutable look in his eye. Jensen felt the blood rush to his face. He didn’t want to hurt the guy, but he was asked an honest question and he had given an honest answer.

“I think we need to talk.” Jeff said and, with a tilt of his head, started walking away. Jensen threw a glance at Jared and then followed Jeff to his office.

Jensen hadn’t been in there before, but it was much like the rest of the palace: marble floors and small windows to help keep it cool. A large desk and several chairs furnished it. Jeff nodded to one of the chairs and Jensen sat down. He felt sweat prickle on his palms and wiped them surreptitiously on his trousers. Jeff sat down on the other side of the desk and rubbed his chin with his hand.

“Jensen,” he said, “when I brought you here all those months ago I hoped we would...” He waved his hand around in an all encompassing gesture. “I guess I hoped we would have a relationship. I knew Christian had treated you cruelly, but I had hoped with care and love you would heal and be open to my love. But I never gave you the choice and that was wrong. I know you want to go home.”

Jensen went to object, but Jeff just waved him off—he rubbed at his jaw again, then looked at Jensen his eyes were full of sadness. “I was selfish Jensen, even at the time I realized that but…” He looked towards the window and sighed. “I wanted you. There I said it. I wanted you, and since I’ve been the leader here whatever I want, I get. I wanted a pretty girl, then she was mine. I wanted another then I took her. I fooled myself that because I seduced them, didn’t force myself on them, that they were here by choice. Of course they weren’t. Yeah—” he put his head in his hands “—I saw on Hilarie’s face the pain when I took Sophia and again when I took Gen. She smiled and pretended, but it was there as clear as day.”

“If you’ve done one thing for me, Jensen, you’ve made me reevaluate my life. It’s like a house built on shifting sands. There’s no stability here. I don’t know what’s true anymore. I don’t know whether I have a family.’’

Jensen didn’t know what to say. What Jeff said was true. He had taken choice away from Hilarie, Sophia, and Gen, but he suspected that if Jeff asked the question—would you like to stay with me—then their answers would be a resounding yes.

“I need to have a talk to my girls, my wives.” He smiled, a small proud smile that showed the depth of his love for those women. “You, Jensen, you are a conundrum. I know you’ve been damaged, physically and mentally, but you have such inner strength.” Jensen’s eyes shot up. Did Jeff really believe that? “Yes, strength. Do you really think a lesser man could have taken the abuse you did? I can tell you now, most men would have taken a blade to their veins. You are an inspiration. My soldiers are in awe of you.” Jensen felt heat surge up his body. He had never taken praise well “I think it’s time that I let you go.”

“Jeff!” Jensen gasped,

“I will make travel arrangements. Jared can travel with you to the coast.” Jeff looked at Jensen with knowing eyes. “If he wants, he can go with you...if that’s what you want too.”

“We’re friends,” Jensen sputtered. He had always hated the phrase ‘just friends’ because it devalued the act of friendship. Friends were one of the most important things in the world to Jensen. He didn’t want his relationship with Jared defined as ‘just’ anything.

“I know. But there is potential there?” Jeff smiled sadly. “I don’t begrudge my son happiness with you. I don’t deny you happiness with him. Do you want him to go with you Jensen?”

Jensen couldn’t speak. His throat felt thick, so he nodded.

“If he wants to go with you, then I’ll release him from my service.”

Jensen could feel tears prickling in his eyes as he moved around the table and kissed Jeff gently on the mouth. Jeff reached up and touched his lips with his fingers.

“Thank you,” Jensen said wrapped his arms around Jeff’s neck in a hug. “Thank you.”

“Enough of that,” he said gruffly. “Let’s go and find that son of mine and see if he’s up for a trip.”

Jensen’s head was spinning—could it be true? Was he going home?

Chapter 6

Jensen had packed and repacked. Jeff had been generous with clothing when he had arrived at the palace and insisted that Jensen take as much as he wanted with him on his departure. Most of the clothing were tunics and trousers in cottons, silks and linens, but there was also thicker clothing for the colder nights in brightly woven wools.

Jeff had given him a fine horse to ride and a contingent of soldiers to make sure that the journey was safe. They were to ride across the desert and meet with some men on the other side of the pass who would take them the rest of the way by car. It was a bit like the first journey but in reverse. Jensen’s stomach fluttered uncontrollably as the day of departure approached. He was torn between his excitement at going home and his sadness at leaving. He had grown to love Hilarie and her outspoken ways, Sophia and her filthy mouth, and Gen, sweet Gen, with her swollen belly. Jensen wished he could stay and meet the baby. It wasn’t to be though. Jeff explained that they had to get through the pass before the snows fell or he would be stuck there for another six months, Jensen was surprised that he found that thought vaguely alluring, but the thought of going home made his breath come a little quicker and filled his nights with dreams of the beach house and the steady, calming lapping of the tide.

Jared ambled into his room and made himself comfortable on the bed.

“Not long now,” he said wryly. “And you’ll be back to what you know.”

“Hmm...” Jensen hummed and sat down next to him, insinuating himself into Jared’s arms. The bigger man chuckled.

“I don’t know, Jen, how will I fit in over there? I’m a guard, a soldier.”

“You can be whatever you like. I have guards at my business if you want to work there. Or you don’t have to work. I’m wealthy, or at least I was. I don’t know whether I want to spend my time working now.” He said pensively. “Life’s too short.”

Jared pulled him closer, and Jensen thought back to the time when Jeff had told Jared that he was free to go with Jensen if he wished. The play of emotions on Jared’s face had been intense. Clearly, he had been conflicted; he had looked first from Jeff to Jensen and then back again, a war raging behind his eyes.

“Jeff,” he said confused.

“Jared,” Jeff said kindly. “It’s up to you boy. You’ve been like a son to me. Hell, you have been a son to me. I had hoped you would stay and help the boys grow into men, fine men like you.” Jeff looked Jared up and down, pride shone on his face. “But I see the way you look at Jensen and the way he looks at you. You love each other.” Jensen gasped, he wasn’t even sure of his own feelings, but for Jeff to put that out there... he felt naked under Jared’s gaze. And who was to say Jared even felt the same way? “I’ve seen the way you are with each other. You’re good for Jensen. I see the way he relaxes with you. He let’s his guard down, he’s never done that with me,” he said ruefully, “I went about this all wrong.” Jeff scrubbed his stubbled jaw. “If I had my time over, I would do this all differently.” He threw Jensen a wry smile that chased the years away, and made him look boyish and a little naughty. “I would court you and seduce you and you wouldn’t have been able to refuse me.” Jeff’s voice was all gravelly and his eyes were intense it made Jensen’s knees go weak and he could see now why the girls loved him and were willing to share him. “It would have worked, wouldn’t it?” He winked and Jensen felt his face heat as he nodded. Jeff smiled again but it was tinged with sadness. “Don’t think I’m not grateful for what I’ve got. I am. But you’ll always be the one that got away.”

Jared looked at Jensen, his eyes softened. “I want to go with Jensen, but I don’t know any other life than this.” He made a gesture with his hand.

“You can learn,” Jensen blurted out. “We can learn together. After all, it’s been years since I was home too.” Jensen didn’t want to seem too desperate but he wanted Jared to go with him. He couldn’t imagine his life without Jared’s large presence in it. From the first moment he came upon him in the sea of tents, to yesterday when they had lain side by side in the sun, Jared had become the most important thing in the world to him. They had started as friends, and really they still were. Just a few stolen kisses blurred the line between friends and lovers. Jensen knew they were so much more than friends. He didn’t know whether it was because their friendship had progressed so slowly, or whether it was the circumstances, but he loved Jared with an intensity that was both wonderful and incredibly scary. “Please say you’ll come.”

Jared looked at him with those exotic eyes and nodded. “How could I let you leave without me? Impossible.” And then his lips were on Jensen’s and the world contracted until it was just him and Jared, their lips moist against each other, their breaths in sync. Jensen was pulled from his reverie by a cough. He looked up at Jeff, who looked pained.

“Sorry,” Jensen said, flustered.

Jeff waved him off. “Don’t ever apologize for loving someone, Jensen. I’ll leave you to your.... packing,” he said with a wry smile, and he gave Jensen a peck on the cheek as he left the room.

Now, Jared looks at Jensen. “So we’re really doing this then?” Jensen nods. He’s at once both excited and nauseous. He doesn’t doubt that it’s going to be a hell of a ride though. He doesn’t know what awaits him at home. Would Dani be there, or was she dead, and if she was there, then how does he explain Jared? Hell, he can’t even explain it to himself. He loves Jared, he wants him, but can he even have a sexual relationship with anyone now? Is it a mistake to take Jared with him? Will he get bored of Jensen if their relationship remains platonic? So many questions. Jensen sits down and puts his head in his hands. He can feel his heart beating fast and the room starts to spin. Then a cool hand touches his neck.

“Hey,” Jared says, and sits down next to him. “What brought that on?”

“I’m scared,” Jensen admits, looking up into Jared’s eyes. “I love you. I don’t know how that happened but it just did. You’re the one good thing that’s happened to me since I was taken. I want you to come with me, but what if I’m never able to have a proper relationship with you?”

“Proper?” Jared looked confused.

“You know,” Jensen said and gestured towards his groin.

“Oh, you mean sex.” Jared grinned widely, showing his straight, white teeth

“Yes, sex,” Jensen mumbled. He’d been a sex slave for years but he was still ridiculously embarrassed talking about it. “I don’t have any genitals, in case you haven’t noticed.” Jensen’s face burned. “I suppose I could let you fuck me but...” He trailed off.

“I love you too, Jensen. I love you, do you understand? I don’t lust after you and want to ravish you. I love you. I want to make you happy. I want to spend time with you. I want to cuddle you, and have you cuddle me, and if in the future our relationship progresses sexually, then it will be when we are both ready and not before. I know you don’t have any genitals and I wish you did.” Jensen balked, his face pale. “No! Don’t get me wrong. I wish you had genitals because you wish you had them. I want you to be happy. You are the most important person in the world to me. If I could turn back time and save you from Christian’s knife, then I would in an instant.”

Jensen was horrified to feel tears trickling down his face. He hadn’t cried in such a long time. Instead of trying to stop himself, he let himself mourn the man he’d once been, all the while trying to embrace the person he was now. He couldn’t quite call himself a man, but he hoped one day, with Jared’s help, he would be able to.

He looked up at the man he loved through bleary eyes and climbed into his lap, straddling him. He was surprised at how well they fit together. He heard Jared huff a breath, and felt the warmth of it against his ear. This was right, this was perfect.

The packing was done. His room was bereft of any trace of him. He looked around. It was just as it had been when he first arrived. Opulent, comfortable but ultimately sterile. Sighing, Jensen knew he had just one more task before the long journey home, and it wasn’t one he was looking forward to. He felt just a little heavier as he made his way to Hilarie’s room. He knew that all the girls were in there. He could hear them chatting, and the low buzz of their voices relaxed him. He was going to miss them terribly.

He knocked on their door and waited for the call to come in before opening it and entering. The three of them were on the huge bed, Sophia had been crying, her face swollen and blotchy. Gen and Hilarie looked at him, and immediately their eyes filled. Jensen felt his heart hit the floor.

“I’m so sorry,” he said as he flung himself on the bed and ended up suffocated by female flesh. “You almost make me want to stay. You’ve been so kind to me.”

“Yes, and you didn’t deserve it!” Sophia sobbed.

Hilarie hit her. “Don’t be so cruel, Jensen wants to go home and there’s nothing wrong with that.” He was pulled in to the pile again, and what with the warmth of the cuddles and the gentle scents of the girls he felt drowsy. He let himself drift and the next thing he knew he awoke to hushed voices. He lay there feeling warm and loved. These girls—young women really—had taken him into their family with no jealousy or ulterior motives. They had loved him and wanted him to stay. They were willing to share their man with him, they had been more than willing to share their bodies with him. Even knowing what he had lost physically, they had still wanted him. In a way, Jensen thought, he loved them too. Opening his eyes, he looked at them. Sophia and Gen, both small, brunette and pretty, but miles of difference in their personalities. Gen was quiet and considering, Sophia was brash with no filters. Then there was Hilarie, blond and leggy, confident and smart. Somehow, they all complimented each other. They were like the sisters he never had and he would miss them beyond words.

“You’ve gotta talk Jeff into getting the internet in here,” he grumbled. “Then we can keep in touch, Skype and email each other,”

“I have no idea what you just said,” Sophia said, “But if it means we don’t lose contact with you, then we’ll just have to tag team Jeff until he gives in.”

“Mind you,” said Hilarie thoughtfully, “we were planning on doing that anyway.” She winked salaciously.

The day Jared and Jensen left was hot and sticky, surprisingly so for the time of year. It was getting close to what passed for winter in Arkazan and in a few short weeks the snows would come to the mountains, making the pass impassable. Jim and Michael were there to see him off, and Jensen and Michael hugged for what seemed like forever.

Jensen looked at his friend. He seemed so happy with Jim and the way the rugged old soldier looked at Michael was with nothing short of adoration. Jensen wanted to ask Michael about his sex life but couldn’t bring himself to; it was private after all. But he couldn’t help but wonder whether their sex lives were happy. He hoped they were. After all, Michael had been through the same hell he had, and if he could get over it, then maybe there was hope for Jensen too.

“When Jeff finally gets an internet connection, I’ll email you,” Jensen said, his voice thick with emotion. Jeff had decided to get a satellite internet connection and finally join the twenty-first century. It was a weight off Jensen’s mind to know that he would be able to reconnect with these people that had become such an important part of his life. Michael didn’t reply just held on tighter, his tears dampening Jensen’s shoulder.

 

By the time they had set off, Jensen felt rung out and dehydrated. Saying goodbye to Sophia, Gen, and Hilarie had been awful. His throat ached with unshed tears. Then Jeff had pulled him into a bear hug, and Jensen had just let go. Yes, Jeff had taken him as a slave, but he had never really treated him as one. He had tried to help him with the best medical care, got him testosterone, had never forced himself on Jensen, had held him through nightmares and even bed wetting. He had never judged Jensen, and all in all he was a fine man. Under any other circumstances they would have been best of friends.

“I’ll miss you.” Jeff said, his voice gruff, but his eyes brimming with emotion.

“I’ll miss you too,” Jensen said, tears spilling from his eyes. “Once you get the satellite in, then we can talk on Skype.”

Finally, he was able to drag himself away and they rode off towards the mountains. Jensen didn’t look back. He didn’t think he could bear it.

The trip back didn’t seem as long as the one that had brought him to this strange cruel land, although it took the same amount of days. Jensen presumed it was because he was yearning to see the sea again, whereas before he had just been shit-scared.

The horses picked their way agilely up the mountain. They were like goats, there was never a wrong step. Which was just as well, because the mountain path looked treacherous. It was small and narrow, and every now and again, parts of it would disappear in mini rock slides down the sheer cliff. Jensen held on with sweaty palms as his horse, Rocket, climbed ever onwards to the pass. The higher they climbed, the cooler it got, until it was positively frigid and the wind whipped through their layers of clothing. Finally, they reached the pass and then it was all downhill.

Jensen bided his time thinking about what he would do once he was somewhere with proper communications. He needed to phone his lawyer or business manager and get tickets to travel home. He cast a glance at Jared. He had documentation now courtesy of Jeff’s best counterfeiter. The passports looked real to Jensen’s untrained eye. He could feel a headache brewing behind his eyes as they started the final trek towards the farmhouse.

Although the journey brought back some bad memories, Jensen was so focused on the outcome that he didn’t have time to get lost in those terrible times. Jared, who had never been out of the valley, was excited by every new plant or animal he spied.

“What is that called?” he asked as a small rodent scooted from the undergrowth took one look at the party and scurried on it’s way.

“Not sure, but it looks a bit like a guinea pig,” Jensen said helpfully. He had never really had an interest in flora and fauna, but seeing how excited Jared was by it all, he wished he had paid more attention at school.

They reached the farmhouse on the third day. Even from a distance the place still looked the same, dilapidated and dusty. Jensen was aching and tired. Nights spent on rocky ground weren’t conducive to a good night’s sleep, Jared, however, was excited, if the way he bounced around and couldn’t stop talking was anything to go by.

“I can’t wait to try your foreign food. The meat sandwiches sound… mmmm...” Jared’s eyes rolled back in his head. Jensen chuckled.

“Do you mean burgers?” They had discussed food before on the long journey, mainly to pass the time, but now the thought of a big juicy burger made Jensen’s stomach rumble.

“And to travel in motorized vehicles will be a treat.” Jared had in fact been in several jeeps during his service to Jeff, but most travel had been completed using horses.

“Are the cars really all different colors and shapes?”

“Yes, I have several myself. You can drive them if you like.”

Jared’s breath hitched. “You’d let me drive?”

“Of course.” There had been a time in Jensen’s life when the trappings of wealth had seemed so important. He had the best cars, whatever model took his fancy, the finest clothes and jewelry. Looking back, he realized he had been entitled and snobbish, and he felt his ears burn with shame. He had mocked people for their clothes and shoes, as if that was even important. Now, they could have the last laugh. He was hardly a man anymore and designer clothes was bottom of the list of what was important in life.
Top of the list, well, that was riding at his side, eyes filled with wonder as he looked around. Jensen knew then and there that whatever happened in the future, this was his happily ever after.

The jeep ride to the port was at first bumpy, but then they hit paved roads and it was somewhat smoother. In fact, both Jared and Jensen managed to finally get some quality sleep, leaning against each other, Jensen’s head lolling on Jared’s shoulder. He awoke with his face against damp material, and to his horror, realized he had been drooling.

“Sorry,” he croaked as he sat up and looked around. They were already in the outskirts of a town. Jared used a thumb to clean around Jensen’s mouth and chuckled as Jensen’s face reddened.

“Look! That must be the sea! It goes on forever,” he said, Jared had never seen the sea except in books, and his excitement was contagious. Jensen looked at the vista. They were still in the foothill and the outskirts of the town. Sporadic housing dotted the hillsides which rose in a natural amphitheater from the harbor. The blue sea looked calm from up here but it could just as easily be choppy. The road wended it’s way down the hillside in a series of snaky turns which looked treacherous but their driver was well trained and before long they arrived at the harbor, and all of a sudden, Jensen was at a loss.

Jeff had provided money and documentation so Jensen could feasibly call someone in the states, but he didn’t know whether he could do that. What would he say? “Hi, guess who?” Rubbing his temples he looked at Jared who was so busy taking it all in, wonder on his face, that he didn’t notice Jensen’s mini-breakdown.

The driver, a man who Jensen didn’t know the name of, gestured for them to stay and went to talk to the captain of a large sailing boat, then came back smiling.

“The captain will take you to Antalaya and from there you can go to the airport.”

Jared looked at Jensen. “I’m not sure about flying,” he admitted, looking a little sheepish.

“It’ll be fine.” Jensen said, trying to look reassuring. The end was in sight and Jensen felt like a swarm of locusts had set up home in his stomach. The driver handed Jensen a phone and for a moment his head went blank then he remembered his business manager’s number and dialed it. As it rang in his ear, his palms sweated, making the phone almost slip from his grasp.

“Spacey,” came the gruff voice from the other end of the line. It was both the best and the worst thing Jensen had ever heard in his life. Gulping and trying to catch his breath, Jensen said, “Kevin, it’s Jensen.” There was silence from the other end of the line and, for a moment, Jensen thought Kevin would hang up.

Finally—“Jensen.” The word was more of a gasp than actual vocalization. Jensen could hear Kevin flop into a chair. He imagined it now: his huge black leather office chair, set behind his enormous marble topped desk.

“Yes, it’s me.” Jensen didn’t know what to say. He didn’t want to explain where he had been and what he had been through. It was too painful to put into words. “I’m on my way to Antalaya airport. I need a ticket home for myself and Jared Padalecki.”

“Jensen, where the fuck have you been? It’s been seven years, man. We had a funeral for you. Where the fuck have you been?” He sounded defeated.

Seven years, fuck. Jensen didn't realize it had been that long. Hell, that meant he had been with Christian for at least six years. “I’ve...” Jensen stuttered, “I was kidnapped and and only recently got away and that is really all I want to say about that.” Grabbing all his courage, he asked, “Is Dani still alive?” He knew he should have asked that firs,t and felt incredibly guilty.

“Yes...” He heard Kevin sigh. “Jen, I don’t know how to tell you this...” He paused and Jensen could hear his harsh breath down the phone. Finally, he continued, “But she’s remarried. She had you declared dead.”

Jensen couldn’t lie, it hurt. He felt a twinge in his chest and was surprised to feel his eyes filling up. But mostly he was grateful that she hadn’t been taken, that she hadn’t had to go through the terrors he had. He still loved her, but his desire for her had waned over the years, so he was glad she was happy now.

“That’s okay, she couldn’t be expected to wait forever.”

“There may be issues with your money,” Kevin said awkwardly “I mean, Dani inherited it all...we may have to go to court to get it back.” Jensen could hear a pen scratching on paper as he spoke.”

“Can we worry about that later? I just want to get home. Is Dani in my beach house? Do I still own it?” He had a small house down on the water’s edge. It was his favorite place in all the world. She could have everything if he could have this one thing.

“No, she’s living in town and the beach house is empty. You don’t exactly own it as you’re legally dead, but I’ll get it prepared so you can stay there ‘til we can sort this mess out.” Kevin sighed “Jen, I’m glad you’re alive.”

Jensen smiled. “I’m glad I’m alive too.” And he surprised himself by meaning it.

“Get to the airport and there’ll be two tickets waiting for you to get home.”

“Thanks Kevin. Is there anyone who can tell Dani? I would do it myself, but if I turn up at the house, well... I’m scared she’d have a heart attack. Tell her I understand why she declared me dead and I hold no bad will.”

“Yeah, don’t worry, Jen. You’re right, you turning up out of the blue would be an incredible shock. Hell, talking to you on the phone has raised my heart rate so much I’m pretty sure I won’t need to do cardio for a week.”

Jensen smiled and hung up. He noticed Jared was scuffing his feet and looking generally uncomfortable.

“Hey it’s all sorted,” Jensen said and insinuated himself into Jared’s arms, feeling the tension slip from his body.

“I heard you talk of Dani. She is your wife, isn’t she?” Jared looked everywhere but Jensen’s eyes, so Jensen gently took his face and turned it so they were looking at each other.

“Yes. She was my wife, but I’ve just been told that she has remarried.” He paused. “Jared, seven years is a long time, and although I still feel love for her, I’m no longer in love with her. Do you understand? I love you, you idiot.”
Jared’s eyes softened, and he moved closer until their lips barely touched. He was the king of gentle kisses. Soft, butterfly wing kisses, that somehow seemed far more erotic that mouth crushing, possessive kisses.

 

Jensen was surprised to feel a stirring in his groin, as if his missing penis was hardening. It felt both wonderful and frightening. Could he possibly get to a stage where he felt sexual pleasure again? He knew it was possible to ejaculate; Chris had cruelly inflicted that on most of his slaves, but actual pleasure, wanting someone else and them wanting you. Wouldn’t that be something. The kiss ended and they looked at each other, a million words held in one glance.

“I love you too,” Jared said and then shrugged. “This isn’t going to be easy,” he sighed.

“Jared,” Jensen snorted. “Nothing’s been easy for me for the last seven years. I have you, you have me, we’ll face the rest of it together. Come on.”

He grabbed Jared’s hand and pulled him to the boat.

It was lovely being on the sea again. The wind whipped through his hair, which was longer than it had been when he was first kidnapped. He couldn’t wait to have it cut. Jared had at first been fascinated by the sea, but soon enough he ended up bent over the railing losing his dinner. Jensen rubbed his back and whispered words of comfort, but he didn’t recover until they hit dry land.

“I guess we won’t be doing a lot of sailing then?” he said to a rather green-looking Jared, who just shot him a withering glance.

The airport positively bustled with life, people of all races and religions rushing back and forth. There was color and vibrancy all around. His senses were attacked by aromas of all types. From the pungent scent of local faire all spicy and rich, to the mouthwatering aroma of Burger King that reminded him so much of his mis-spent youth.

“You want that meat sandwich or are you too unwell?” Jensen asked. Jared positively perked up at the idea of something to eat, so Jensen treated him to a cheeseburger.

“That was good,” Jared said, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. Jensen thrust a serviette in his direction. “Nice,” he said, reaching into the bag of fries. “I’m going to like American cuisine.”

“You just like food, you big oaf.”

“I’m big. I need a lot of sustenance.” He sulked, but he had that wicked sparkle in his eye that made Jensen melt.

 

 

Chapter 7

Jensen had never previously enjoyed flying, it had always just been a means to an end, boring and fraught at the same time. This time, however, he watched the wonder in Jared’s eyes as they took off, and then his excitement at the in-flight movie—hell, he was even impressed by the food. It gave Jensen a warm feeling inside. Jensen felt a contentment seep into his bones, into his very being. There was something about this man that had soothed him right from the very beginning. It hadn’t been sexual, or even instant love. It had been a rightness, and he knew then that he was going to spend the rest of his life making Jared happy.

Arriving at the airport and getting through customs was a hassle, but Jensen and Jared’s counterfeit passport’s stood up to security without any problems. It did make Jensen briefly question the safety of the country, but then he dismissed it as unimportant in the grand scheme of things. Grabbing a taxi, they made their way to Manhattan Beach and Jensen’s fabulous property. As they pulled up outside Jensen felt like he was finally home. The three story, contemporary building was just as he remembered it, clean lines, uncluttered but still managing to be homey.

“You live here?” Jared said, his voice hushed with awe.

“One of my homes,” Jensen said proudly. “Come on, Jared, you used to live in a palace. This is just a house.”

“It’s beautiful.” He caressed the wooden banister as they walked up to the main living area. The glass wall overlooking the sea gave a panoramic view. “I could stand here all day looking at that view,” he sighed

“Me too,” Jensen admitted, gazing off into the distance. He had missed the sea so badly, and now he could feel it’s energy revitalizing him. The smell of the salt and the ozone was amazing. ”Let’s order some food, then we can eat it on the balcony.”

Later, as evening fell, they sat on the balcony and enjoyed their evening meal of pizza.

“I definitely like American food,” Jared announced as he rested his head on Jensen’s shoulder and watched the sun disappear. Jensen chuckled. He was pretty sure that he could keep Jared happy by taking him on a fast food marathon.

When it was time to go to bed, Jensen suddenly felt awkward. Should he show Jared to his own room? He had hoped that they would sleep together, not necessarily in a sexual way, although he wouldn’t rule it out completely. After all, his body seemed to respond to Jared. Or should he lead him to the main bedroom in the hope that he could spend the night in Jared’s arms? They had never had the opportunity to spend the night together before and Jensen knew that with Jared he would feel safe.

Jared cast a glance over, his exotic eyes twinkling with reflected light. Reaching out, he took Jensen’s hand,

“Shall we go to bed?” The question was innocent without any flirtatious undertone, and Jensen was relieved. Maybe he wasn’t exactly ready for a sexual relationship. “You’re thinking too much Jensen,” Jared murmured, and kissed Jensen’s neck sending bolts of arousal down to his groin. “I’m tired, it’s been a long day. You must be tired too. Where’s the bedroom?”

They walked hand-in-hand to the master bedroom. Again, it had huge windows offering a panoramic view of the night sea. The large bed was positioned so that you could watch the sun rise in the mornings.

“Do you want to shower with me?” Jared asked, and Jensen nodded, although he felt his face burn. So many people had seen him naked, both before and after Chris’ enhancements, yet, this here now with Jared felt intimate. Suddenly he felt shy, embarrassed by his body, by his lack of manhood.

Jared looked at him with longing, and Jensen felt his bones turn to marshmallow. He only stayed upright because Jared was holding him.

Then he felt Jared’s hands insinuate themselves under his t-shirt, warm hands kneading the soft skin of his lower back and sending shivers up and down his spine. Jared’s mouth moved to his neck, breath warm and moist, sending a wave of gooseflesh down his shoulder and an inadvertent moan from his mouth. Jared’s lips touched his neck, not even really a kiss, just a touch of lips against flesh, and Jensen felt like his senses were in overload. He had been mauled and groped, fucked and violated, and yet the sensations had never been like this, so wonderful and exquisite. He felt like his whole body was an erogenous zone, that the next small touch would make him ejaculate—hell it almost felt like he had an erection.

Damn. That one small word entering his brain made the arousal flea as quickly as the knife had removed his penis. Jared recognized the change immediately and just pulled Jensen into a tight hug.

“Come on. Let’s wash the day off ourselves,” he murmured into Jensen’s hair and then dragged him into the bathroom. He switched on the water and started pulling off his clothes, revealing his perfect body. Jensen knew he was staring, but couldn’t look away. Acres of tanned skin covered perfectly toned muscles. Reaching out, Jensen gently touched Jared’s pec. The skin was smooth and warm. His body, though huge, never caused Jensen any fear. In fact, it was calming as he felt protected, loved even. He looked up and saw Jared watching him, his eyes were inscrutable. When he caught Jensen’s eye, he smiled that innocent, joyful smile that always made Jensen feel better.

“So, are you planning on showering in your clothes?” he asked, raising one eyebrow.

The bathroom was filling with steam so Jensen didn’t feel so exposed as he removed his clothing, hesitating when he came to his boxers. It seemed so real all of a sudden. He had been castrated probably well over six years ago, but he had sleep-walked his way through the time following his mutilation. He had rarely considered having to show someone he loved his body. He had always thought he would be a slave, and therefore have no choice in the matter. Or if he were freed, he had assumed he would live the rest of his life alone. Yet ,here he was with a man he had fallen in love with, having to bare himself for the first time. As he peeled off his boxer briefs, he felt like he was baring more than his body: he was baring himself body and soul. When he was finally naked in front of Jared, it was both a relief and a curse. He waited. Would Jared see his scars, his missing bits, and want to run and leave him? What sort of a man wants to be with someone like him, someone who can’t even pee without sitting down like a woman? Tears sprung into his eyes and he looked at the floor as if the meaning of life was written there.

“Hey, hey,” Jared said, running a hand up Jensen’s arm to his neck and then under his chin. He lifted his head until they could look in one another’s eyes.

“You’re beautiful.” He cast a glance down Jensen’s body. “I wish you still had your penis and testicles,” he said as he ran a finger over the scars in his groin, “But only because it is what you wish. I love you like this, but I would love you if you were intact. What I am trying to say, but badly, is that I love you. It doesn’t matter to me if you have genitals, but I wish you were happy. Let me make you happy, Jensen.”

Jensen was properly crying now, Jared’s kind words added to his feeling of loss. He guessed he was mourning his cock and balls and that thought brought a wry grin to his face, although tears still wended their way down his face. How could you mourn such a small amount of missing flesh?

“I think I’m going mad,” he snorted, and Jared pulled him into his body as he laugh-cried in the steamy bathroom.

“We’re all a little mad. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. After all, being normal is boring and who wants to be boring?” Jared smiled as he let go and got under the shower, beckoning Jensen to follow. Jensen couldn’t help but think that boring might be nice for a little while, but he followed Jared under the spray of water. Because what he wanted more than boring, was Jared.

The warm water beat down on their bodies, relaxing and massaging away the tension of the days of travel as well as washing off the filth. Jensen soaped Jared’s body up with scented shower gel. He couldn’t lie. He enjoyed the sensual experience. The exotic, fruity scent of the gel and the feeling of warm, soapy skin under his hands. He didn’t find it arousing this time, but he enjoyed it none the less. He didn’t even cringe when he washed Jared’s groin

“You don’t have to do that, you know” Jared said, his voice sounded strained.

“I want to,” Jensen replied. He washed Jared’s cock, watching how it hardened in response to his ministrations, how it slid in and out of his fist. It was erotic. He remembered when he had a penis, and each morning in the shower he had touched himself in that way. Enjoying a bit of solo time, not leaving the shower until he had orgasmed. He felt a twinge of sorrow, knowing that he would never be able to do that again, but then he concentrated on Jared. His cock was impressive, long and broad. Jensen knew if he had seen Jared before his castration, either in the changing rooms of a gym or perhaps caught a glimpse at a urinal, he would have felt inadequate. Now, however, that was irrelevant and he could just enjoy looking and touching.

Taking a firm grip, just like he used to enjoy, Jensen pulled firmly. The feel of smooth, soft skin was in counterpoint to the firmness of the erection, Jared gasped and threw his head back. Jensen jacked him all the while watching his face and the play of emotions as they moved across it. Jared’s eyes were dark, his pupils huge, and the exotic golden iris merely a small line around them.

His breath was coming in short sharp pants, and Jensen could see his muscles quivering below the skin.

“Jensen,” he gasped. “You don’t have to do this,” he repeated, his voice was breathy and Jensen nodded. He knew he didn’t have to and was surprised to realize he actually did want to do this. He wanted to give Jared pleasure. He couldn’t participate any more than this yet. He looked at Jared’s cock, full and erect, a bead of precome on the end. He almost wanted to lick it, taste Jared, but too many memories invaded his brain. Chris fucking his mouth so violently that he couldn’t talk the next day. Chris forcing his cock down Jensen’s throat and holding it there so long Jensen thought he would suffocate. Just the memory of it made his throat close over and his breath catch. He felt a prickle of sweat on the back of his neck as he shook his head almost as if he could shake the memories away.

Jared’s eyes were on him, and even in the throes of ecstasy, he seemed to know something was wrong. He pulled Jensen into his body so their naked chests slid wetly against each other, and tilted Jensen’s face up so that he could kiss him. Their lips met, soft and gentle. Jared always had the perfect kiss for each occasion, Jensen thought mutely, as his lips responded to Jared’s gentle probing. His hand still jacked Jared as their lips danced against each other. Jensen was starting to love these soft kisses, the fact that there was no sexual agenda involved. They didn’t intensify or become consuming, but that didn’t mean they weren’t the most sensual experience of his life. Jared used his lips like an artist, painting with sensation and pleasure instead of oils, a highlight of gooseflesh, an accent of warm breath, and Jensen felt all tension leave his body. Chris and his pain and humiliation were a million miles away lost in the fog of a memory. All that was real was Jared, and his warmth and solidity, his love and protection.

He felt Jared’s hands start to wash him. He hadn’t noticed him get the shower gel, and then he became aware that he had let go of Jared’s cock. He went to reach for it, but Jared batted his hand away and continued with lathering Jensen up. Soap trickled down his back in eddies and whorls, their journey leaving a chill in their wake even in the humid bathroom. Jensen’s life receded to the feeling of Jared’s huge hands caressing his body, running down his back and under his arms making him squirm and giggle.

“Ticklish?” Jared’s voice came from far away, but Jensen nodded,

His hands continued the journey down his body, missing his buttocks and groin, slipping over his hips and down his thighs, firmly massaging muscle on the way down to his feet. Jared urged him to lift one foot and then another, as he washed each, using a firm touch now that he knew Jensen was ticklish. Then he took one of Jensen’s hands and washed each finger individually. Jensen never knew his hands could be such an erogenous zone. He could feel the tingles of pleasure as Jared pulled on each finger, and all tension whooshed out of his body. It was almost like an orgasm.

Jared soaped his hand again then reached around and lathered Jensen’s buttocks with vigorous strokes which Jensen could feel in his missing penis. God, he wanted to part his legs and let Jared in. He had never yearned for that before. Jared slipped his finger into the crevasse between his buttocks. Jensen’s vision whited for a moment and a moan escaped from his mouth. Jensen’s body was just a mass of nerve endings, each one firing off sending sensations both awful and awesome all over. He felt like he was about to pass out from over-stimulation when Jared started to circle his anus, and that was it. Jensen tried to talk but all that came from his mouth was a sound both garbled and unintelligible. He felt rather than saw Jared smile; his lips were against Jensen’s forehead. Then Jared penetrated him, not roughly, nor even very far, and Jensen’s knees gave way. He would have collapsed to the floor if Jared’s huge arm hadn’t held him up. The only experience Jensen had of anal penetrations had been rape. This cautious penetration was like nothing Jensen had ever felt. He liked it, and that thought itself made his head spin. Jared didn’t tarry there, though. He removed his finger and continued bathing Jensen with careful considered strokes.

Then Jared’s hands wound their way around to his front, and to where his genitals would have been had they not been severed to please a mad man. Jensen couldn’t help it; he flinched when Jared’s hand rubbed over the scar where his testicles had been removed, the thin white line a cruel reminder of what had once been. Jared gentled him with a kiss as he gently traced the line with his fingers before moving on to the remnants of Jensen’s penis. All that was left was a small nub, not even a centimeter long, but as Jared touched it, Jensen could have sworn it grew ever so slightly. He hadn’t considered it a sexual organ since it was sliced off, had avoided ever touching it, but now with Jared touching it so sweetly, it felt like a penis again. He felt aroused.

His breath was coming in pants as he tilted his face up to Jared and sought out his lips. Then they were kissing. There was nothing tentative or gentle about it, Jared devoured him, his tongue demanding entrance. Jensen had never been so thoroughly kissed ever. He couldn’t catch his breath. The onslaught of sensation was at once too much and not enough.

Moaning around Jared’s tongue, Jensen’s hands moved everywhere, up Jared’s sides, down over the mounds of his buttocks then up over his chest. Jensen had noticed men in the past in an abstract way. He had looked at photo’s in Men’s Health and appreciated a well muscled body, but it had never been anything sexual. None of those gym-short clad men had anything on Jared. His was the body of a warrior, bronzed and well-built, broad-shouldered and wide-chested leading to planed stomach and slender hips. His thighs were broad and powerful, lightly haired, but it was his buttocks that took most of Jensen’s attention, smooth and firm. He had never considered himself to be an ass man. Certainly, he had never snuck a glance at another man’s ass. But now caressing Jared’s ass, he knew that he could lose hours just touching it. It was perfection. He briefly wondered whether Jared would pose for a sculptor. But then why have cold marble when he could touch the real thing any time he wanted?

Jared was playing with what was left of Jensen’s cock. He couldn’t jack Jensen off, there wasn’t enough flesh left, but he was rubbing and circling and it felt amazing. Since Jensen had started taking testosterone, his sex drive had increased slightly. Which meant he actually thought about sex occasionally, whereas before, when he was with Christian, the thought never entered his head, except when it was forced upon him. Now Jensen felt that familiar tingle at his spine. His phantom balls pulled tight and with a gasp he could have sworn he ejaculated. Was there even some fluid released? His knees gave as he tried to catch his breath. He looked up at a smug looking Jared, who smiled a sweet smile and kissed him softly on the lips.

Jensen’s mind couldn’t quite grasp what had happened. Had he orgasmed or was it just wishful thinking? At this moment in time, he didn’t care. What he had just experienced was wonderful and he hoped to experience it again and again. It didn’t have the intensity of some of the orgasms he’d previously experienced, but that didn’t matter. There had been a time not that long ago when he’d thought he would never experience sexual pleasure again. Now, in Jared’s arms, with the warmth of flesh on flesh, he was starting to feel like a man again.

Suddenly, he felt the tap of Jared’s erection against his hip. Mortified, he reached for it. How could he be so selfish as to not consider Jared’s pleasur?. He felt Jared try to push him away, but not this time. Without thinking, he fell to his knees and came level with Jared’s impressive erection. The shaft was long and broad, swelling to an impressive plum head which was beaded with precome. Tentatively, Jensen reached forward and licked the end. The taste wasn’t as bitter as that of Christian and altogether more pleasant. He teased the slit, encouraging more of the slightly bitter liquid to release. He could see Jared’s stomach muscles flutter just below the skin as he took the head into his mouth. He could deep throat—he had been trained after all, hours of having a cock thrust down his throat ‘til he could barely speak after—but he didn’t want to do that now. He was in control. He knew Jared would never force him; he was too gentle a soul. But he wasn’t taking any chances. He grasped Jared’s hips and held him firmly. It was the only way he could do this. Jared seemed to understand and let him take the lead. Slowly, he took more and more of Jared’s length into his mouth, then down his throat. He could feel the tension in Jared’s body as he tried to stop himself from thrusting. Jared’s skin was warm and slightly salty in his mouth, and oh-so-smooth. It was like silk, and he smelt like a man should. Musky and dark. Jensen worked his way up and down Jared’s penis, taking pleasure in the sounds that the man was making as Jensen pleasured him. The only sounds in the bathroom were the beating of the water and the rasping of the breaths of the two men, Jared’s becoming more and more irregular. Jensen moved one hand from Jared’s hip to his balls, cupping and teasing them as his tongue and lips continued to work his cock. He could tell when Jared was close. He could feel his balls tighten and his cock expand, and then his mouth was full of bitter release. Although in the past, this act had caused him nothing but distress, he swallowed without a second thought. This was Jared and he loved him. This was an act of love, not one of hate meant to humiliate and hurt him.

“Jensen,” Jared gasped, his hand tangling in Jensen’s hair. Jensen looked up at Jared, and his face was so full of love and adoration that it made Jensen feel dizzy. Jared helped Jensen up then claimed his mouth again in a kiss borne of possession. Ending the kiss, he swept Jensen up in his arms and carried him to the bed, depositing him there with little fanfare.

“Jared,” Jensen protested, “We’re all wet.”

“We’ll dry,” Jared grumbled, his voice deep with arousal. It was true they would dry; the night was warm and they hadn’t turned on the air conditioning since they were so used to a warm climate.

Jared climbed onto the bed next to Jensen and took his hand. The night air was hot, so they didn’t cuddle but lay side by side, their only point of contact their joined hands. Jensen spread his legs a little as the night air dried him quickly and sweat replaced the shower water. He felt content and happy for the first time in forever. He had no one to please but himself, no hidden agendas that he had to follow, no second-guessing what his master wanted. Jensen was truly free and oddly all he wanted to do was please Jared—a smirk crossed his face—and have Jared please him too. The thought made him happy. At least he hadn’t been so indoctrinated into the slave mindset that he didn’t yearn for his own pleasure and happiness.

The next day dawned with a beautiful sunrise that swept reds and oranges across the sea. Jensen raised his head and propped his pillows up so he could lay there and watch it. Sometime in the night, Jared had attached himself to Jensen like a leach, and the whole of Jensen’s right side was sweaty and gross. He didn’t have the heart to push him away, and besides, he liked the feeling of waking up in his lover’s arms.

As he lay there admiring the view and the feeling of freedom, of being his own man again, he knew that he would have to visit Dani. He would have to do it sooner rather than later or he would lose his nerve. He cast a glance at his lover. He slept so peacefully, his face relaxed and his body still for once. Jensen reached out and touched Jared’s face. His chin was stubbly. Jensen had rarely seen him as anything other than clean shaven. It felt nice and he nuzzled his face against it, feeling the rasp of it against his cheek. Kissing a guy was so different from kissing a girl. Girls were all soft skin and pretty scents; men were rough hands and muskiness. Jensen was surprised even now that the thought of kissing a man, of kissing Jared, was so much more arousing than kissing a pretty girl. Which, of course, brought his thoughts back to Dani. With a sigh, he rolled onto his back and firming his shoulders he made a decision. He would have to visit her alone. Much as he would appreciate the support of Jared, and he knew that Jared would be more than willing to go with him, this was something he needed to do alone.

When Jared finally awoke, they breakfasted on fresh fruit and coffee, and then Jensen called a taxi to take him to Dani’s. It was the weekend, so hopefully she would be at home. He didn’t want to call first,He knew Kevin had visited her and told her that Jensen was still alive. Kevin had said that she had been shocked and upset, and that he had left her to process the information. Jared had wanted to go with Jensen, both to support him, and also, Jensen suspected, to see what Dani was like and to judge whether Jensen still had feelings for her. He had finally agreed that it was probably better for Jensen to go alone.

The taxi ride to the main house was torture, almost worse than the seconds spent waiting for the kiss of the bullwhip. The seconds before the whip made contact, the sweat running down your back... Yes, this was almost as bad, he thought, as he rubbed his damp hands on his trousers. He hoped that the meeting would be less painful than a whipping, but he wasn’t sure it would be.

Arriving at the house, the taxi let him out in front of the gates and he paid before letting the taxi go. If they weren’t in, then he would walk down the hill and pick a taxi up somewhere along the route. The gates were as he remembered: black, cast iron intricately woven into a complex design. They were seven foot high, casting an illusion of security. Jensen pushed the buzzer and waited, wiping his sweaty palms on his shirt this time.

“Yes?” Came a disembodied voice. It was male, so clearly not Dani.

“Is Dani there?”

“Who is this?” said the voice, suspicion coming through in every syllable.

“Jensen,” he answered, the word caught in his throat as his mouth was so dry. He could swear he heard a gasp from the speaker then just static. He thought for a moment that whoever was on the other end was going to ignore him, but then there was a whir of electricity and the gate started to open.

With his heart situated somewhere just under his jaw, he wiped his hands one more time and, with a deep breath, started walking up the once familiar drive. The sides were abutted by azalea plants in every color; the scent was heady and reminiscent of days gone by. Days when he and Dani would sit out in the garden and enjoy the sun while looking down into the valley. Each step nearer to the front door made Jensen’s heart rate increase, until he was sure he would have a heart attack before he had chance to make things right with Dani, and then the front door swung open.

There she was, not looking a day older, still beautiful and lithe. A small strained smile rose on her face just as tears overflowed her eyes then she launched herself at him, and he ended up with an armful of beautiful redhead.

“You’’re alive,” she gasped. “It’s really true, you’re alive.” She pulled back, but stayed in his arms as she examined him closely. “You’re too thin.”

Jensen burst out laughing, feeling the tension fall from his body. She was just the same and he pulled her in for a hug, whispering, “It’s alright. I understand.” And then she was sobbing uncontrollably.

“I thought...” She wiped her nose on his shoulder. “They said...” She couldn’t make an intelligible sentence, so Jensen let her weep. He looked up and saw a tall dark-haired man watching him from the doorway. He looked at Jensen with such hatred that it felt like someone had thrown a glass of iced-water over him.

“Dani,” he whispered as he held her. He noticed that she no longer felt right in his arms. She didn’t fit anymore. It was strange but not at all distressing. She wasn’t his. He looked up at the dark haired man who had crossed his arms, his whole body was stiff with anger. Dani, he suspected, belonged to him.

Eventually, her crying subsided to little sobbing gulps and Jensen pulled back to look at her. She didn’t look her best; her eyes were red and swollen and her face blotchy and tear stained, but she was still one of the most beautiful things he had ever seen. She was alive, and happy. Well, she had been until Jensen had forced his way back into her life.

“Are you going to introduce me to your husband?”

Her face balked. “Oh Jensen,” she sighed but he just smiled.

“It’s okay. I’m glad you’re happy.” She gave him a look of disbelief. “Truly,” he added. She didn’t look convinced, but took what he said at face value and led him up the drive towards the man.

“This is Tom,” she said. “I never would have married him if I thought you were still alive,” she blurted out and then started to cry again.

“I know,” he said placatingly. “Nice to meet you, Tom. You’ve got a good woman here. And don’t think for one minute that I won’t kick your ass if you hurt her.” He held out his hand. Tom took it and smiled, although it didn’t quite meet his eyes.

“I know how lucky I am,” he admitted. “And I intend on working every day to continue making her happy.” Dani smiled a watery smile.

“God, I don’t know what to say. I feel so guilty,” she said as she sagged against Tom.

“Hell, Dani, don’t feel guilty. Seven years, that’s a lifetime.” Jensen thought that was an understatement. The hell he’d been through was like several lifetimes. “Just know this, I’m happy that you’re happy. I wouldn’t have expected you to wait for me. Hell, I’m lucky to have got back here at all.” Jensen rubbed his chin and looked off down the valley, the green vegetation so different to what he was now used to. “I have someone in my life too, so don’t feel bad.”

Dani looked relieved at his words. “You’ll have to bring her round sometime,” she said and then seemed to realize that it was all too soon. “Sorry.”

“Maybe eventually we can do something like that,” Jensen agreed

Tom walked towards the door. “Come in, Jensen. I’m sure you and Dani have a lot to talk about.”

They sat in the cool back room on low couches and Tom served iced-tea in tall glasses. Jensen traced the condensation down the edge of the glass as he tried to decide what to say.

“I still have all your money,” Dani blurted out. “Tom is wealthy.” She smiled at her husband. “So you know, you can have it back, and the house if you want it.” She gasped a breath and took a quick mouthful of tea.

“Thanks, Dani. It’ll be a relief not having to worry about money, but I don’t want the house. I bought it for you after all.” He smiled as he remembered them picking it out. She had wanted to live in Laurel Canyon like some sixties rock star, so he had found her the perfect house, pretty and eclectic just like her. “I’ve always loved the beach house,” he said, and maybe he sounded a little wistful. Maybe now, looking back with the benefit of hindsight, he could see that their relationship wasn’t as perfect as he held it to be. They had fought and made up, there had been ground given and taken. Like all relationships, it had been complicated, and now in the cool of a house he once owned, he knew it was finally over. Complex feelings remained—love couldn’t be turned off like a faucet—but he could love her and want the best for her, and still be in love with Jared.

Jared. His mind wandered back to his lover. He was a warrior and Jensen couldn’t imagine him being anything else. He wouldn’t want to live the life of the idle rich. It would kill his spirit. He needed some reason other than his love for Jensen.

“Hey, you’re miles away there.” Dani laughed as she clicked her fingers in front of his face.

“Sorry, it’s a lot to take in.” And it was. Jensen had to give himself kudos for managing so well. “I’m going to go now. Could you call me a taxi?”

Dani tried to protest that she would drive him, but Jensen waved her off, and with kisses and hugs he left his old life with Dani behind forever.

On the ride back to the beach house, Jensen made a decision. He no longer wanted to be the hard-bitten businessman he had been before he was taken. No more ten plus hour workdays, no more boardroom shenanigans. No, he was going to let the board make the decisions—after all they had managed perfectly fine for seven years. It was time for Jensen to be the indolent rich guy; he had made the money and now he was going to enjoy it. Jared, Jared was a different matter. Jensen was an incredibly rich man, and therefore he needed a bodyguard. And who better to guard his body than his own desert warrior? Jared was more than capable of using a bladed weapon. He was sure he had probably also used a gun. Maybe a few lessons were in order… Jensen could do with some himself. He was adamant that he would never feel vulnerable again.

Jared looked up as he entered the beach house and his smile was like the sun breaking the clouds on a stormy day.

“You’re back,” he sighed.

“Was there ever any doubt?” Jensen asked, genuinely inquisitive.

“I thought you might see her, Dani, and realize you had made a huge mistake.” He looked down at his hands and Jensen noticed his rough nails. Had this big warrior been so worried that he had bitten his nails?

“You’re it for me,” Jensen said as he knelt down in front of Jared. “You’re all I want.”

Jared pulled him up into his arms, and Jensen ended up astride Jared’s lap. Surprisingly, it felt good. Jared’s arms around him and his breath tickling the short hairs at the nape of his neck.

 

That night Jensen showered alone; Jared had discovered the television and Jensen was a little disgruntled that the competition for his affections was a plasma screen. When he got into bed and snuggled up to Jared, though, all his frustrations disappeared. Jared turned the television off and hauled Jensen down onto the bed, although he came more than willingly.

“I used your computer today,” Jared said. “I was reading about castration.” He froze and looked at Jensen.

“It’s okay. That’s what was done to me. I was castrated.” It was the first time Jensen had put words to what had happened. The words were cruel and reminiscent of what happened to farm animals, not young men. He couldn’t help but shudder when he thought of the cold steel knife cutting through his flesh without the benefit of any anesthetic or painkiller.

“Anyway,” Jared continued, “The pages I read said you could still enjoy sexual pleasure.”

“Of course I can. Were you not there with me last night in the shower?” Jensen smiled, but felt his face heat. He had never been bashful about sex before. It felt strangely liberating. “Jared, I think I had an orgasm,” he whispered.

“You think?” Jared asked, confused.

“Well it wasn’t like before... but it was wonderful.” Jensen sighed, “Wonderful.”

“Wonderful, hmmm? Wonderful. I like that.” And Jared twisted round and kissed Jensen. The kiss started slow and sweet as Jared’s kisses always did. He was a maestro of lip action, weaving stories and symphonies from just the touch of lip upon lip. The kisses that started as small butterfly pecks increased in intensity until they were breath-stealing possessive kisses, all lips and teeth and tongue. Jared’s hands roamed over Jensen’s body, mapping crevasses and muscle. Jensen’s hands returned the favor, slipping over Jared’s warm skin, tickling the soft hair in his armpits, and roaming down his sides over ridges of ribs to his muscular buttocks.

Their breath was coming in sharp pants as Jared tore his mouth away from Jensen’s and started to mouth down his collarbone, and on down to his stomach, taking time to suckle on each nipple. Jensen’s heart was beating an irregular tattoo as Jared continued downward, his tongue finding the nub of Jensen’s penis. He licked and teased it, before sucking it as he would a full penis, giving it his every attention. He tongued the small hole, and smiled as he heard Jensen gasp. Jensen had never felt anything like this before. It felt nothing like a blow-job, but that was the closest sensation he could compare it to. Moaning, he thrust his hips up, knowing that he wouldn’t choke his partner, which threw ice-water over his arousal. Jared seemed to realize, and instead of persevering he made his way further down, pushing one of Jensen’s legs aside and placing the other on his shoulder. He tongued the scar where Jensen’s testicles had once been. Jensen thought perhaps he should be embarrassed by the fact that he found the attention there incredibly arousing, but somehow he wasn’t. The rasp of Jared’s tongue where his balls should be made him ache in wonderful ways. Then, as if that wasn’t enough, Jared continued further down, using his hands he parted Jensen’s buttocks and blew a cool breath over his entrance.

“Jared,” he gasped as he felt that cool air then the tentative touch of a tongue. No one had ever done that to him before, and perhaps a hundred years ago before he was taken he would have thought this was gross, but now—oh God now—it was beyond perfect. It was as if every erogenous zone was attached to his anus, and Jared’s tongue was stimulating each and every one. If he had been able to get hard, he knew his penis would be like a steel rod. Hell, he could come from this alone. He felt his anus twitch and then Jared’s tongue was in him and desire overcame him.

“Jared, I need you,” he moaned. Turning to the bedside table, he didn’t even know if they had any lube, but his body demanded that Jared get inside him as quickly as possible. He had never thought that he would want to have sex again, certainly not penetrative sex, but now it seemed like it was an imperative. Jared’s hand joined his ransacking the drawer and they found some lotion.

“That’ll do,” Jensen panted and slathered it on Jared’s fingers. He threw his head back as Jared penetrated him first with one, and then two fingers. The feeling of fullness felt right, but he needed more and he moaned in ecstasy.
Jared removed his fingers and coated his cock before positioning himself at Jensen’s entrance.

“Jensen,” he said, and Jensen looked at him in the dim room. His eyes were dark with arousal. “Do you want this?”

“God yes!” Jensen could barely think beyond knowing that he wanted Jared right the fuck now. Jared started to push in, and all was right with the world. He could feel his body welcoming Jared, all his molecules aligning so that he and Jared could become one.

Jared was gentle with him; his thrusts were slow and sure as Jensen looked up at him. Jared’s hair hung in sweaty clumps over his glistening forehead, his dark exotic eyes looked into Jensen’s, as if the answers to the all the questions of the universe were held there. Jared angled his thrusts just so until he hit Jensen’s prostate, and although Christian had done that in the past, Jensen forced the thought of him from his mind. He would not spoil what he had now with Jared. Besides, this felt different; Jared wasn’t trying to milk him, to prove he could make him come from his own rape. No, Jared was trying to offer him pleasure. Jared was loving him with his body, worshipping him even. Jared pressed soft kisses to Jensen’s face, to everywhere he could reach as his thrusts increased in intensity. Jensen could feel him everywhere: above him, inside him, and surrounding him. The intermittent pressure on his prostate, and the thrill of having Jared inside him sent waves of pleasure throughout his body. He could hear Jared’s breath hitch as his thrusts became irregular, and almost at the same time he felt Jared come deep within him, his own body tensed in its new version of an orgasm. He cried out with pleasure, and Jared claimed his mouth in a possessive kiss. Later, when his breathing slowed and his heart rate returned to normal, Jensen turned and looked at his lover.

“You make me feel like I’m still a man,” he said because it was true. Jared had given him something back, something that he thought he had lost long ago in the desert to a mad man.

“You are a man,” Jared said, kissing his neck. “You’re more of a man than most of the soldiers at the palace. Not many men could have survived what you went through. And if you think that a missing pound of flesh makes you any less of a man then you are mistaken.”

“Oi, it was at least two pounds of flesh,” Jensen said as he reveled in the warm glow in his heart.

 

 

Epilogue

The day was warm and redolent with the tang of salt and suntan lotion. A soft breeze blew in across the deep blue ocean that was lapping at the white sandy beach. Jensen had once thought if he ever saw sand again, it would be too soon. But in these circumstances, he could just about put up with it. He picked up his cocktail, a bizarrely colored fruity concoction, and took a sip. Looking out towards the sea, he saw Jared walking in, shaking the water from his hair. He was like a bronzed god, and even now, ten years after they met, he could still take Jensen’s breath away. His blue shorts hung low on his hips ,enticing Jensen’s gaze lower, following the treasure trail down. He really was a fine figure of a man, drawing glances both covetous and envious. He had eyes for no one but Jensen, and when he caught sight of him, a smile crept across his face, the special smile he kept only for him.

“You do look fine in those speedos,” he said, throwing himself onto the towel next to Jensen. Jensen’s scars had raised a few eyebrows, and even caused the odd shocked gasp. But he wasn’t going to hide—if they didn’t like it they could look away.

“It’s amazing what a bit of padding can do,” Jensen said wryly. Jared swatted him and pulled him down onto the towel with him.

It was true enough though. Jensen’s trunks were padded out with a top of the range penis and testicle prosthetic. It felt good to feel like a man again. To not be embarrassed by your own body.

He had seen several plastic surgeons since his return, and surgery was a possibility but Jensen was weighing the chance of losing what feeling he had at the moment with the possibility of having more normal looking genitalia.

Jared for his part said the decision was Jensen’s and he was happy with whatever Jensen decided. Jared thought he was beautiful, and in the end, that was all that really mattered. After all the awful things that had happened in Jensen’s life, Jared and his big, ready smile, his huge hands and broad chest, made Jensen feel safe. Safe and happy.

End