The Hidden Slave

CHAPTER ONE

The man stood in a cone of bright light, tall and broad shouldered, his hard muscles gleaming like marble. He wore a leather jock strap and a wide studded band on his left bicep. A black leather mask covered his entire head. Dark eyes glittered through the slits as he looked down at Lonny, crouched naked at his booted feet. The boy could hear his own heavy breathing beating against his ears like waves in the utter silence. He could smell his own sweat and fear; feel the gnawing hunger to taste the man in front of him, ingest him, feel the heat of that strong hand on his body. His wrists were tied behind his back but he leaned forward, straining to lick the man's muscled thigh.

"Not so fast, boy." The voice cracked like a whip in the air above his head. "You haven't earned it."

Lonny started violently, lost his balance and fell heavily to the concrete floor. He swallowed his scream as his cock bent under his weight. A heavy boot landed on his back, pressing him to the floor. Dampness, laced with the hot smell of sex and highly polished leather clogged his nostrils.

"Please," he gasped. "Please."

The boot pushed harder. It forced the breath out of him, grinding his cheek bone against the unyielding cement. Just as he thought he would pass out, the boot pulled away, then shoved his hip so that he rolled over on his back. Light blazed in his eyes, blinding him. The great dark man bent down and grasped Lonny's cock in his huge hand, squeezing, squeezing until the boy cried out with pain, his eyes clamped tight against the light. And still his cock throbbed hard and hurting, straining to spurt its load into the hand that gripped it so mercilessly.

The toe of the boot forced its way into Lonny's mouth, tasting of dirt and polish and the faint hint of urine. Lonny's eyes sprang open, but all he could see was the glistening leather, the rows of eyelets, the black laces cris- crossed up the ankle and a ridge of grey wool sock hanging over the top. Tears slid down his cheeks, spilling onto the boot, sliding in a crooked path to the floor. And still his cock remained hard.

Let me come, he prayed, his eyes pleading, as he tried to see the faceless man who towered above him. And then he focused his attention on the leather shoe, letting his tongue caress the pitted worn surface. As the man slowly withdrew his boot from Lonny's mouth, the boy's tongue followed it, laving the small surface he could reach to a high gloss.

He wasn't thinking any more. Deep inside the heat was gathering, exploding like a fist in the gut....

Lonny sprang up in the bed with a cry. He was naked, the twisted bedclothes sticky with cum. He stared around him in the darkness of the spacious room as if expecting to see the oiled splendor of his fantasy man. The shadows were silent and still. Gradually his breathing evened out. He raked back his sweat-soaked hair with a shaking hand and fell back on the pillows, exhausted from the dream.

The man in the cone of light. The faceless man with the voice like thunder and hands that hurt and healed at the same time. The man in the photograph he had found all those years ago, hidden away in his uncle's carved camphor wood chest with the brass corners. For years the picture of the man had haunted his dreams. Then it had disappeared, swallowed up by the more present images of boys in the gym, naked young bodies slick with water from the showers, gym shorts tightly packed with engorged cocks. Now the man was back, eerily resurrected by his uncle's death and his own inheritance of the locked chest, with that cryptic note inside addressed to him.

Lonny pulled himself abruptly to his feet. He switched on the bedside light. The dream filled him with a nervous energy, scattering his thoughts, making his pulse race. He padded to the bathroom, his bare feet noiseless against the plush rugs. In the shower, he let the scalding water pour over him, plastering his hair to his scalp and soothing the tension in his body. He felt like a tuning fork, just after it has been struck, the vibrations quivering along each nerve- ending under the skin. The smell of leather. Eyes glittering through slits in the mask. The deep yearning to belong to the man in the cone of light. When had it started?

It was the surroundings, he told himself sternly. Living in his uncle's condo was bringing back these adolescent fantasies. Although he had been here almost a month, he was still not settled in. He had hung new pictures on the walls, arranged his collection of wind up toys and music cds on the shelves of one bookcase, put his books with the others. A lot of the nick knacks and objets d'art had been sent away to collectors or friends named in the will. And still he felt like an intruder in the place, surrounded by the heavy antique furniture and the glowing oriental rugs. From time to time he would look up, almost certain there was someone in the room, a dark lively presence quite unlike his uncle. He could almost hear soft laughter. Sometimes, late at night, he thought he could smell his uncle's cologne.

The strange messages he had been receiving on the answering machine the last few weeks didn't help matters. No one ever said anything. There was only music, the first few bars of some piece he never recognized played over and over again. It was eerie.

And then there was the chest.

It stood where it had always stood, at the foot of the big brass bed, and he still felt a faint tinge of guilt when he looked at it. When he was fifteen years old, he had spent two weeks with his Uncle Martin before school started. It was an unusually long period to stay with his bachelor uncle. Up to this time, the longest they had been alone together, apart from family holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving and the occasional visit to the cottage in the summer, was a weekend, and neither the man nor the boy had any idea what to do with each other. Bored one day when his uncle was at work, Lonny had wandered around the apartment, looking for something to interest him. The chest caught his attention. Perhaps if it hadn't been locked, he would never have developed the fascination with it that drove him to file his way through the thin hasp of the lock and throw back the top. At first he was bitterly disappointed. There appeared to be nothing inside but old clothes, old army uniforms, shirts, two embroidered dresser scarves and a finely stitched quilt. Why the lock, he wondered.

And then he found the wide studded belt and the black leather vest. He remembered the feel of the soft-as- butter vest, the faint smell of the leather, the creak of the belt as he twisted it in his hands. He was intrigued, but he still had no idea of the meaning of what he had found. Somehow he sensed there was meaning, though, and he kept looking, turning over the boxes of letters and old photo albums until he found it. The pictures were in a cigar box, right at the bottom, and the heady scent of Cuban tobacco still clung to them. They were black and white, done by a master of lighting, whose lens lingered on each male body with adoration. Some were classic nudes, male shapes entwined like Greek statues, their faces without expression. These had a cold beauty that didn't move him. But under these, was a group of men in leather. There weren't many, but each one was sharp and hard, an image that struck straight to his soul and made him tremble for an unnamed knowledge. They stared at the camera, sure of their maleness and strength, even when their hands were bound behind their backs and their mouths stretched with a gag.

The man in the cone of light was the last one in the box. For some reason, his was the image that returned in Lonny's wet dreams, the man whose touch he craved even as he tumbled the photos back in their box and hid it once again under the old clothes. With trembling hands, he fitted the lock back together, so it looked undamaged and he left the bedroom, grabbing his windbreaker from the front closet and rushing out to roam the streets, the same restlessness driving him then as now. But now he had an inkling of what it meant. His uncle had never said a word to him about the broken lock. The next time he had checked out the chest, the lock was gone. So were the pictures. After all these years, they were back in his dreams.