Chapter Twenty-five

Lakota had spoken to Thomas about changing Kevin and Dallas’ work assignments as Dallas would have to take things slow until he regained his strength. Frequent breaks would also be necessary for a while. They had originally been expected to help with rock removal but that would be too strenuous for Dallas as would the supplying of fresh drinking water to all the men working outdoors. Being as able-bodied men were badly needed, it was decided that Kevin would be responsible for planting the potato acreage while Dallas prepared the seed. At least they had been allocated tasks that would allow them to work outdoors in the fresh air and still be together, enabling Kevin to keep an eye on the still recovering man.

It was during one of their rest periods that Kevin went in search of Yancey. Something had been praying on his mind and he wanted someone’s opinion on his thoughts. So he took advantage of Dallas falling sleep in the shade of a towering oak tree.

“Yancey, can I talk to you for a few minutes?” Kevin requested of the man he had been looking for. “I need your advice.”

“Of course, Kevin. I’ve plenty of time now that the physicals have all been completed.” The nurse put aside the paperwork he’d been alphabetising and invited the young man to take a seat. “What’s on your mind?”
“I feel uncomfortable about this, but you were here the day Aiden disciplined Spyke right?” Kevin blushed.

“Yes, I remember the occasion,” Yancey responded quietly. He wondered what this conversation could be in aid of and scrutinised the other man’s face seeking a clue. But all he read was confusion and what he thought was doubt or guilt.

“Well, what Aiden did appeared effective and I thought Dallas might benefit from a similar type of relationship. It’s not something I’ve done before or know very much about. I admit I probably shouldn’t have dived in like this because I’ve come to realise I am unsure of what I’m doing and I think I may have mishandled this latest situation.”

The nurse was touched by Kevin’s candour. “And that would be Dallas’ going through my belongings, is that right?” Yancey gently probed. At Kevin’s uncomfortable nod of admittance, he requested further information. “Have you and Dallas discussed what you see as the advantages of having a discipline relationship? Do both of you understand, accept and agree upon the areas to be improved upon?”

“We did have a discussion,” Kevin said slowly. “We talked about his drug use, thieving, lying, and swearing. I thought we came to an understanding that if he stepped over the line, I would help him.”

“You mean punish him?” Yancey softly interrupted.

“Yeah, that’s what we agreed on. We discussed the consequences for doing so, but I feel I may have been a little hasty by going straight to the harshest punishment at the first infraction without thinking things through.” Kevin paused to give his next words some thought.

“When I think about it though, Dallas is a good enough thief not to have made such a basic mistake as getting caught. I wonder if subconsciously he wanted to see if I’d follow through. But I still think I may have over-reacted somewhat. Although I do remember that we agreed thievery was a non-negotiable, spanking offence.” Kevin grew silent. 

“Then where do you feel the problem lies?”

“I can’t help but believe my punishing of him over the attempted stealing could have almost been the end of our relationship. After all, he hadn’t actually stolen anything at the time. He had merely been searching through your satchel,” Kevin said, his voice cracking as he remembered. “The spanking I gave him was purely instinct. I had not taken the time to think things out and talk it over with him. I had no real idea what I was doing. I was just so mad when I caught him. But now I’m worried I may have gone too far. I fear I’ve abused him and given him just cause to distrust me. I truly love him very much and he seems so lost.” Kevin paused and the slight shudder running through his body did not go unnoticed. “He may even have thought I hated him because I didn’t comfort him afterwards. Have you got any ideas or experience with this sort of thing?”

“I’d never pretend to be an expert in this field. I have never been in a relationship which uses disciplines either, although I sense quite a number of our group here do. But I know enough to recognise that you both have a lot of work ahead of you. I would imagine this type of alliance requires a great deal of openness. It would not fall into place over night but rather slowly grow over a period of time, years even.” Yancey gently smiled as an expression of dismay crossed Kevin’s face. It was closely followed by a sigh of impending failure.

“Years?” Kevin repeated in a state of trepidation. “Well, I guess we’ve got plenty of time here.”

“I would suggest your next move would be to talk to Dallas, explain your uncertainty along with your deep desire to love and care for him, let him know you both have a lot to give each other and that this is just the beginning of a life-long learning experience. Assure him that although you are far from perfect, you will always try to be the best you can possibly be for him.”

“I know I want my relationship with Dallas to be for life. I’m just not sure if he feels the same way. I don’t want to push him as he’s already insecure enough.” Kevin looked straight at whom he considered a more experienced man, his blue eyes brimming. “God, I want so badly for this to work!” Kevin swallowed hard once and managed to get a hold of his emotions. “I guess I need to go and think about this. Thank you for all your help, Yancey, I really appreciate it.” 

“I’m here if you should wish to continue this conversation, Kevin. I would imagine we are all going to need a confidant at one time or another.” Yancey wished the slightly younger man goodbye and saw him out of the infirmary.

Seth lay on his stomach, staring at the paper in front of him and gnawing on the end of his pencil. He had to write lines; one hundred of them, and it was going to take almost until bedtime as he’d have to stop for supper. At least Preston had allowed him to drag his pallet out behind the tent. Here in the shade beneath a big maple tree, a breeze was softly blowing over him and providing some relief from the late afternoon sun.

“It’s not fair!” he groused to himself. “He already walloped my bare butt.” He reached behind to tentatively rub at the tenderness in his hindquarters and grimaced at the recollection of being face-down over Preston’s knees while a hard hand pummelled his rear-end until its owner felt the lesson had been learned. “Shit, who have thought he’d take it so far? Okay, I know he warned me that my chore-gambling days were over, but I had to push it and see if he meant what he said.”

Seth also remembered the comforting that followed the spanking and the unexpected contentment of knowing he had been forgiven. “There’s something to be said for starting with a clean slate,” he acknowledged to himself.

“Hmm, wonder if Raythe got into any trouble?” Seth shuddered as he recalled how much bigger Brock was than Preston. “Too bad Thomas noticed Raythe working instead of me.” He continued muttering his one-side conversation as he contemplated the results of his having enticed yet another young man into a game of chance. “Surely to God, I’m not the only one on this god-forsaken island to get punished this way.” His eyes widened as the light dawned. “Shit! Bet that’s why a couple of the guys seemed to be finding it hard to sit comfortably at supper a while back.”

He smirked mean-spiritedly as he pictured Galen over Thomas’ knee. ‘Would serve the little cretin right!’ he thought and turned his attention back to his writing assignment. ‘I am not allowed to gamble in order to get out of doing my chores. As a member of this community, I am responsible for doing my fair share.’

Dark brown eyes filled with uncertainty gazed into stern grey ones as Raythe waited for Brock to pronounce sentence. He watched the bigger man’s appearance softened as understanding surfaced

Brock stared at the young man in front of him. ‘God, he’s beautiful! Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would someday be blessed the way I have. Just a year ago I would have been executed for the so-called crime I am guilty of. Instead, not only do I continue doing what I enjoy most; hunting, trapping and tanning, I have also taken on the responsibility of providing meat for this diverse group of men I find myself living amongst. But the greatest gift I’ve been given stands before me. How did this emotionally bruised and battered soul make his way here and into my care?’

‘He’s expecting me to be angry with him, yet he has neither whined nor argued his defence.’ The big mountain man lifted his hand and gently caressed Raythe’s cheek. ‘Better set his mind at rest,’ he quickly decided.

“I will never reprimand you for something we have not discussed beforehand, boy. But heed this warning, you can play any game of cards you want but you are not to gamble away something you can’t afford to lose or what isn’t yours to begin with.”

Seeing the look of bewilderment on the younger man’s face, Brock explained further. “Thomas assigned you specific tasks for a reason. He saw how good you were with animals and also realised the advantages of having someone your size working with the two smaller lads.” Brock didn’t mention that the leader of the council had also recognised Raythe’s inability to contend with more than one or two people at a time. Although off-times painfully shy, Raythe tried desperately to keep a facade in place. After several days of doing chores with Galen and Kelby, the three young men had gotten comfortable with each other and were forming close friendships.

“What do you think would happen if you had to do Seth’s work in the fields for a week? How would you feel if the council gave your responsibilities with the livestock to another?”

“I-I think my being somewhere else might put an extra burden on Kelby and Galen,” Raythe quietly answered. He wasn’t used to being part of a team or of having any importance placed on his involvement in the scheme of things. He hung his head and murmured. “I don’t really want to do anything but what I’m already doing. I don’t wanna lose my job, Brock.”

“Then there will be no more gambling, right?”

“Right!” Raythe shyly smiled up at the big mountain man, grateful for getting off so easily but instinctively realising it was a one-time occurrence.

“Come, boy! We need fresh meat for tomorrow’s dinner table.” With that, Brock walked further into the forest, fully expecting Raythe to follow.

Nearing the spot where Aiden had once shot a boar, Brock spotted what he assumed was the other creature’s mate. Taking aim, he whistled to attract the wild animal’s attention. As the huge male boar turned and pawed the ground, Brock fired before the beast had a chance to charge. Death was instantaneous as the bullet lodged deep in the boar’s brain.

With Raythe’s reluctant assistance, Brock hung his kill to bleed out. The younger man knew his partner only killed as needed but it still unsettled him to see an animal die.

“This is going to take some time,” Brock informed the other man. “I want to share a secret with you while we wait.” He took Raythe’s hand and gently tugged him towards the nearby waterfalls. “Actually, I guess it is more Galen’s secret. He found this place the day he ran away.” Brock stepped in behind the cascading water, Raythe right on his heels.

“Wow!” Raythe exclaimed, eyes wide with wonder as he unhurriedly turned in a full circle. “This is great. How come it’s so clean?”

“Guess the lad swept it out when he planned to live here on his own.”

“It would never have worked!” Raythe muttered as he slowly shook his head. “He’s afraid of the dark.”

“How would you know something like that?” Brock glanced questioningly at the man in front of him.

“When we were on board the ship, I never saw the man in the next cell but I sure heard him a lot. I spent as much time on deck as I was allowed ‘cause I got fed up with listening to the poor guy puking his guts out. I once overheard him asking the guard to leave the lamp lit, but the miserable son-of-a-bitch wouldn’t do it. I was often awakened during the night by him kicking the wall and moaning in his sleep. Sounded like he was having nightmares or something, and I am pretty sure I sometimes heard him crying. He was the last one taken out of the hold and put on a lifeboat. It was Galen.”

Raythe’s sadness was evident as he conjured up a mental picture of the filthy, bedraggled boy being half-carried from below deck and lifted into the waiting boat. He breathed deeply to rid himself of the image and commented in a slightly happier frame of mind. “The kid’s doing so much better now that he’s got someone watching out for him.”

“Yes, and he’s not the only one benefiting from the guidance offered by someone with more experience.” Brock pulled Raythe into his arms and hugged him. He was pleasantly surprised when the younger man didn’t attempt to pull away.

Beautiful brown eyes asked a question; knowing grey ones answered. Not another word was spoken as Brock gently pushed Raythe against the wall and ran his hands up and down the other man’s body before stopping at his waist to undo his trousers. Getting down on one knee, Brock freed Raythe’s hardening penis and genitals. He pursed his lips and softly blew on Raythe’s hairless balls, eliciting a sharp intake of breath. Reaching up under Raythe’s shirt with one hand to tease his nipples, Brock took the young man’s erection into his mouth, sucking hard and fast until a crashing climax rolled over him.

Raythe was still trying to catch his breath when large hands gently tucked him back into his pants and buttoned them. He opened his eyes to find himself gazing into the self-satisfied smile of his lover. “When-when I get my strength back, can I return the favour?” he barely managed to wheeze out.

“I’m counting on it, boy.”

Standing to stretch his aching back, Lakota placed another bundle into his bag. He could not believe this island was such a treasure trove of medicinal herbs. He could produce many healing medicines from what he’d found today. Feeling satisfied with his efforts, he began to make his way back to the campsite.

With all of the physical exams completed and his one admitted patient discharged from the infirmary, Lakota had a bit more time to work on his herbal remedies and equally importantly, he had more time to work on his relationship with Gille. Never before had he felt so stirred to arousal by the mere thought of another. The younger man had quickly entered his normally reserved heart and filled it with his presence. The doctor was looking forward to spending the evening alone with Gille; when he could take his time and make long slow love to this beauty who had entered his life. They would once again have the infirmary to themselves after dinner.    

As he approached the camp, he spotted the object of his desires at the washstand outside of the mess tent. 

Gille had stripped off his new shirt and was trying to wash away a day’s worth of sweat and grime. The young man marvelled that in this place of exile, he had far more than when he’d been living in so-called civilisation. Here he was given good food, decent clothing, satisfying work and someone who actually cared about him and for whom he could care. His feet were more comfortable than they had ever been. It amazed him that such boots existed, and that Walker could be as generous and kind as to just give them to him. It was most fortunate his feet were only slightly smaller than the rich ex-magistrate’s and that a thick pair of socks made the fit just about perfect. That was another thing to marvel at; thick warm socks to cushion his feet, a real luxury. 

Lakota had been horrified at the condition of his feet, but the heavy cracked calluses and battered nails where just normal to Gille. The good doctor had insisted he soak his feet for a long time in hot soapy water, after which the older man spent the better part of an hour cutting and cleaning the toe-nails as well as rubbing a strange-looking stone over the calluses until they were worn down some. Next he rubbed a soothing salve all over Gille’s feet, massaging them until the young man thought he’d died and gone to heaven. Well, at least it would have felt like heaven if the massage hadn’t been accompanied by a mini-lecture on foot-care.

Gille’s mother had raised him to know a poor man did not have to be a dirty one, so he always kept himself as clean as possible. But such luxuries as proper foot-care, nice haircuts and new clothes; well, they were just idle dreams until now. He was just about to put his shirt back on when he felt a large hand on the nape of his neck.  

“I’d much rather see you without it, or without any clothing at all for that matter.” A warm sultry voice whispered in his ear. How a voice with such heat could send shivers up his spine he did not know, but Gille only hoped it continued to do so for a long time to come. 

“Let’s go then,” he suggested as he spun around and took the larger man by the hand. “I’m sure we can find a spot to be alone.”

Lakota laughed but held his place. “I did not mean this moment, Tehila, but later this evening. I am hungry and would like to eat and after working all day, you need to eat as well.”

Sighing at the loss of spontaneity, Gille fixed his lover with a look. “What if I’m not in the mood later?”

“Then we’ll both suffer, won’t we?” Lakota responded. “Now let me wash up so we can go in for supper.”

Knowing he’d been out manoeuvred, Gille gave in and put on his shirt as he waited while the doctor washed up for their meal, then followed him into the mess hall to join the others already in line. 

The repast was delicious and they both ate ravenously, anxious to get on with their evening plans.

Preston’s chest swelled with pride when he saw Seth, of his own volition, approach Raythe and apologise for any trouble he may have caused him earlier. Preston knew Seth had been pushing to see if the promises would be kept. The younger man no longer harboured any doubts in that area of their relationship.

Having found out that Seth had played poker again in order to get out of his chores, Preston had dealt with the disobedience firmly and swiftly. He was confided that should a member of the council want to discuss the problem; he would be able to assure them it was a thing of the past.

The lumberjack leaned back against the log he was sitting beside, smiled contentedly and listened in on his partner’s conversation.

“So everything’s okay, Raythe? You didn’t get in shit?” Seth insistently sought reassurance.

“No. I only got warned not to do it again,” Raythe mumbled, not at all comfortable with the conversation. The novelty of the experience had him unsure of how to respond to someone apologising to him.

“Well I can tell you that Preston was royally irate, so I can’t see me repeating that particular stunt anytime in the near future.” Seth grimaced and sifted to take some weight off his still tender backside.

“Ah, I’m allowed to play other card games though.” Raythe hesitantly offered this piece of information. He was leery of getting close to anyone, with the exception of Brock that is, and Galen who he had found to be non-threatening. Of course, he worked with that particular young man on a daily basis and of all the men, Galen was nearest his own age.

“Really? Got anything in mind?”

Raythe shrugged. “I’d kinda like to see how The Gambler’s Rose is made. I used to like to hang round the medicine shows when they came to town, but I never got close enough to learn much. Have you ever seen it done?”

“Sure! I’ve done it myself hundreds of times. Come on, I’ll teach ya.” Seth grinned. He felt exonerated by this unexpected opportunity to make amends for any wrongdoing on his part.

Dallas, we need to talk!”

It was after supper and Dallas was watching some of the others gathering firewood and almost wishing he had the energy to help them. He looked up, surprised at Kevin’s words and a little bit worried.

“No, you’re not in any trouble,” Kevin assured him. “I just think we need to talk about us.”

“Want to walk down the beach a little way?” Dallas suggested. He sensed his companion was worried about something.

The two of them walked down to the shore and Kevin made sure they didn’t go near the spot where he’d punished Dallas earlier. They sat down on the sand together and watch the sun beginning its slow descent.

“What do you want to talk about?” Dallas inquired after a few minutes of silence. He was intensely curious as he thought they’d already talked over the principles their relationship would be built on.

Kevin shifted uneasily. “About what happened this morning. I feel I abused you. I gave you a choice of be spanked or lose me and that is definitely not acceptable.”

“But we’d discussed this, and I knew stealing would not be tolerated, just as drugs and fighting won’t be. I’ve been thinking about it and realise I might have deliberately misled you. If I had wanted to steal from Yancey’s things, I could do it and nobody would catch me.” Dallas was aware he was boasting and coloured slightly at Kevin’s quizzical look. “Well I could!” he exclaimed. “I was very good at what I did. This was the first time I ever got caught. I think I wanted to see if you’d follow through.” He shifted, still slightly uncomfortable sitting. “But I don’t think you abused me. It’s not as though you used a switch or belt. We agreed to a hand spanking and that’s exactly what you did.”

“I still think I punished you in anger,” Kevin explained. “I thought we’d agreed to a warning first and then a punishment, but I went straight to spanking.”

“Yeah, maybe you did punish in anger but then again, I pushed really hard.” Dallas grinned impishly. “If you’d spanked me first off for swearing or something like that, we might have a problem. But I really don’t think you abused me. Punished me yes, abused me no! I understand the difference.” Dallas said the last softly. “If I really felt you were being unfair or abusive, I’d tell you.”

Kevin understood Dallas was happier with this situation than he was. It made Kevin feel better in a strange sort of way. Apparently, he hadn’t blundered as badly as he feared.

“Dallas, I just want you to know I do love you!” The kiss that followed that statement was earth shattering.

“I think I just might love you, too” Dallas whispered, then grinned at Kevin’s laughter before grabbing his hand as they both headed back to camp.

 “Would ye care to be spending some time with me, Sypke?” Aiden leaned closer to the young man and whispered his invitation, his soft burr sending shivers of anticipation down Spyke’s spine. “Or maybe ye’d rather be attending the fireside and listening to Thomas read more of the story.”

“No, I wanna to be alone with you, ‘cause it’s my turn.” Spyke’s azure eyes gazed dreamily into the big man’s indigo ones.

“Aye, ’tis so." Aiden smiled in understanding at the other man’s declaration. “We’ll leave as soon as ye’ve done with yer evening chores, laddie.”

“I’m finished now, Aiden.” Spyke hung up the wet dish towel. It had been his turn to help with the cleaning up after supper. He looked at Aiden expectantly and wasn’t disappointed when a large hand engulfed his smaller one and he was led from the mess hall.

The two men leisurely strolled along the sandy beach as the sun gradually sank and the moon took its place in the evening sky. They murmured brief words of greeting as they passed by Kevin and Dallas who were on their way back to camp.

Aiden spread out the blanket he had been carrying and after lying down, held out his arms and invited his youngest partner to join him. He laughed when Spyke tore off his clothing in record time and enthusiastically threw himself on top of him.

“Why do I get a feeling yer used to making love hard and fast, laddie?” Aiden asked, turning on his side and settling a naked Spyke on his back beside him. He gazed tenderly into sparkling blue eyes as he slowly brushed his fingertips over the smaller man’s bare chest and stomach.

“I-I don’t know if I’ve ever made love, Aiden. The fat bastard is the only one I’ve ever been with,” Spyke whispered, his breath catching as his body responded to his lover’s touch. “And although he took care never to harm me, you guessed it, the sex was rough and satisfying, but never romantic,” he explained further in a hushed tone, then let the past fade from his mind as new sensations overwhelmed him.

Aiden took his time gently caressing every inch of skin; sometimes using only the tips of his fingers, other times his whole hand, eventually bringing his mouth and tongue into play by first kissing Spyke’s lips, then beginning the slow erotic exploration of his whole body.

Aiden said very little while Spyke repeatedly whispered words of contented approval. He was babbling incoherently long before the Scotsman was done. The momentary brush of cool air as Aiden stripped off his own clothes didn’t even breach Spyke’s dazed state. He only became aware of his lover’s nudity when he felt the big man spooning around him. He whimpered in pleasure as a large well-lubed finger penetrated him.

By now, Spyke was so relaxed it only took a couple of minutes for Aiden to prepare his lover. The older, more experienced man little by little entered the other one’s body. About a third of the way in, Aiden felt Spyke stiffen.

’Tis alright, love, just breathe deeply,” he lovingly instructed. Pulling back slightly, he waited a few moments to give the sphincter time to relax and open. The second unhurried attempt ended with Aiden’s huge member fully embedded in his beautiful lover.

Kissing and nibbling on Spyke’s neck and shoulders further relaxed the younger man, as did the leisurely pulling on his engorged penis. Aiden set the pace, his rhythmic motion causing a soft mewling sound to escape from deep inside Spyke’s throat.

“Aye, sing for me, my bonnie love,” Aiden cooed as he brought them both to sexual fulfilment.

“I think I’ve fucking died and gone to heaven,” Spyke murmured when he finally regained his senses. He rolled over, threw his arms around Aiden’s neck and kissed him. “I’m falling in love with you, big guy!” he softly avowed before falling asleep.

“’Tis grand then, as I love ye already, wee rascal o’mine.” The big man smiled and kissed the sweaty curls on his lover’s head. Looking into the angelic face, he chuckled to himself. “Ach! Serves me right for teasing Thomas, to find I now have me own hands full. Not that I’m complaining, mind.” He got to his feet and after cleaning himself and his sleeping partner, quickly donned his kilt, gathered up the remaining clothes scattered on the sand, lovingly wrapped a still naked Spyke in the blanket and carried him back to their tent.


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