It was mildly interesting that Cade would voluntarily make an appearance in the training room without being summoned. He was a pretty boy, in the best years for his beauty with light brown hair that just barely curled at the nape.
Hadley gestured for him to kneel in the middle of the room rather than sit. He needed to observe what type of skill, if any, the youngest of his group of charges had. And very nearly winced as knobby knees crashed against the tile.
“I’m-m-m-m s-s-sorry, Sir,” Cade’s voice trembled, a pain-filled expression ghosting across his face before he dutifully tucked his chin to his chest.
Hadley gave him time to settle, from fidgeting, buttocks unable to find balance on his heels, arms moving from the open position on his thighs, to cross behind his back. Hadley wanted to sigh in exasperation, little over a month and no evident training to be seen.
“Stay.” Even though his tone was not sharp, soft even, Cade jerked as if struck. He drew a cup of water from the loo, twist of the tap screeching. He did not want the boy to keel over in a matter of minutes. Something to do with the hands and a little water to dry the throat would help.
It had been years since he handled someone so new to being a slave, untrained beside. Anticipation curled seductively at the chance to mold the young man into a slave that Barkley would be proud of having at his feet.
Returning, he sat the cup on a low table. Choosing a thin rattan cane, he moved into Cade’s line of sight. As expected, the boy let out a wheezing breath of fear, his face bleaching white.
Cade braced his hands on the floor and pushed himself upward clumsily. Hadley encouraged him to take a sip of water and gave him a moment to collect his wits. He put the cup aside.
“Look at me,” Cade had soft blue gray eyes that emphasized his vulnerability, wide and afraid.
“You think that I am going to use this to hurt you.” Hadley said matter-of-factly. With a sharp practiced swing, the cane whispered as it whipped through the air and Cade threw his arms up rashly to protect himself from a blow that never came.
“Arms to your sides.” Hadley commanded sternly and circled Cade, noting how those wary eyes tried to keep track of him, head whipping around, trying to anticipate what Hadley might do to him. “You have observed in a matter of days what kind of pain you think can be levied, no doubt your first experience with it here.
Though,” Hadley placed the cane tip beneath Cade’s chin, keeping his motions very slow and deliberate, even as the ripple of fear made limbs tremble as the boy lifted his head, “I have a theory you have observed all manners of pain, punishment and seduction, on the rare occasions the master has taken you from here.” The cane tip slowly traced down throat, over the bobbing apple as Cade swallowed, traveling over collar bones, easily tapping erect nipples pushing at thin cotton, downward across belly and navel, the faintest brush over cock and sac to the hem of the tunic. “Cries of pain, of ecstasy, slaves begging for more, to take more. Given more attention from their masters, petting, kissing, fucking.”
The nervous breath had changed, became shallower, panting.
“I can make even the simplest things hurt you if I wish.” Sliding the cane between Cade’s thighs, lifting the heavy balls ever so slightly, Cade’s knees shook. “Or not.” The cane returned to Hadley’s side.
“Fear can work quite effectively on some slaves, breaking them a part to a huddling helpless mess of torn skin and bruised bones. And you are thinking, that is what happened…With Cameron, with Daniel?” Hadley pressed against the boy’s back, the small tight buttocks easily fitting against the cradle his groin. “And yet, I made the girl, Mia, come with just my fingers?”
Again he pressed the cane tip just beneath Cade’s chin, “Why? How can that be?” Abruptly Hadley stepped away and the boy swayed before regaining his composure. “For you, everything you are thinking, feeling, is written on your face, your body language. And that’s what we have to work with.” Pacing slowly, he knew he had piqued Cade’s interest. “For a slave, you must simply be, accept what is done to you, and give as your masters take, and take what your masters give, pain or pleasure. Do not think, do not rationalize, and do not let your emotions take over.”
The cane strike was not hard, mid thigh, and yet Cade cried out in startled panic. Not even a red streak to deserve such a response.
“Over thinking.” Hadley admonished blandly. He laid three even blows in the same area, a guttural yelp from Cade, three straight welts rose.
“It can hurt, if you over think, if you try to anticipate, if you believe that you are somehow in control of what is going to happen to you.” Setting the cane aside, he drew Cade in his arms, gentle sweeps along the knobby backbone until the boy relaxed against his chest head on his shoulders, a trusting pliancy incongruent to the rash actions Cade demonstrated up to a point.
There was the skill, just beneath the surface, that Hadley needed to draw out and train. Sad, that it took just a modicum of gentleness, responsiveness in being given a soft touch, the boy was starved for affection. Even though he has his master’s attention, even though he has drawn out the protectiveness of Barkley’s other slaves. Cade still needed. And that was a starting place.
“We will start with kneeling.” He pushed Cade back, giving a indulgent stroke to the nape of his neck where silky hair curled. “You are going to bruise your knees and bring embarrassment to your master with such a showing.” Gesturing to the floor, Hadley nodded. “Again.”
Cade seemed confused as he tried to slow his descent only to drop unceremoniously at the end. He hissed with discomfort as his thighs came into contact with his calves. Hadley helped him to his feet once more. “Standing up will be a lesson for a later time. We have to protect those knees, you will spend quite some time on them.” Glancing at Cade’s features, “You have a pretty mouth.”
Red stained Cade’s cheekbones as he tried three more times to kneel without much improvement. Growling in frustration, Hadley realized the boy probably had not had much of a model to draw from and a Handler did not kneel. Just a hint of relaxation of control before his charges was no better than fresh blood in the water.
“Stay.” He ordered the boy again. In the slave hall, Daniel lay on his belly, his rugged features drawn sullenly. Mia and Cameron spoke quietly, sitting on her cot with their backs against the wall. Her head tipped ever so slightly, resting on Cameron’s wide shoulder. His hand cupped Mia’s knee.
Hadley could call Mia. The dynamics would be appropriate, the relationship that she seemed to have with the young boy. But the scent of her was still in his nose and Hadley stiffened his own resolve. Better that Cade’s example be another male. An exercise in control that Cameron would need as well, he decided.
“Cameron.” His voice was not sharp, more conversational. Cameron’s head snapped up and Mia drew up and away from his side. “Come here.”
Cameron was cautious, no doubt wondering if further inquisition would be required. His shoulders relaxed a fraction when Cade came into view, the boy’s arms wrapped around himself, his features a frustrated frown.
“Has anyone shown Cade how to kneel?”
Cameron seemed surprised. “The master never made such request of any of us and Smithers, Sir, he was already retired when the master brought Cade to the hall.” The information was readily given without calculation. No doubt Cameron felt as though he were on safer ground than the earlier discussion about Daniel.
“Demonstrate,” Hadley gestured to his feet. To Cade, he commanded, “Observe.”
Cameron was the embodiment of feline grace, from the way his hips rolled over powerful thighs, the demure bow to his head, the tease of a quickly licked bottom lip. And what Hadley wanted Cade to see, the careful inhale as Cameron dropped downward, silky smooth, one knee, then the next settling on the floor, palms open and relaxed on exposed thigh where the tunic had rucked upward. Buttocks evenly balanced on heels, head lowered, and back straight.
And such a performance producing a distracting curl of heat in Hadley’s groin, “Good boy.” He muttered and swore there was a fleeting grin on that sinful mouth before it disappeared.
To Cade, “Try again.” Before the boy could try to emulate the older slave’s posture, Hadley stilled him with a hand to his bicep. Cade bit his lip, looking to Hadley, soft eyelashes a fluttering shadow across youthful skin.
Damn his job and too pretty boys. So different than the palace, there was a genuineness to both Cameron and Cade that Hadley had thought he had hardened to, cynicism a safe respite among the revolving rotation of harem pets at the mercy of the King’s capricious nature.
“This time,” Hadley’s touch gentled, “Breathe in slowly, it will help.”
And for the final attempt that Hadley would allow, the descent had a fledgling grace, and knees arrived on tile, gently, with a natural seductiveness that Cade possessed, when he relaxed and gave thought to what he was trying to do, rather than diving in haphazardly with fear.
Having them both kneeling at his feet, Cade’s lighter head bowed compared to Cameron’s dark, Hadley’s own arousal increased. How the boy would look, slender limbs wrapped around Cameron’s hips, Hadley exhaled sharply, ignoring the need to adjust the pressure of his cock trapped within his trousers.
“Stand,” he told Cade briskly, “Remove your tunic.” One sharp look with lifted brow kept Cameron on his knees. Returning to the cane. Cade flinched, almost imperceptibly, gaining some control of his reaction.
“This hurt you?” Hadley said rhetorically. “You fear it.” Cade sucked in a breath as the cane tip scratched softly across the bare canvas of his skin, the points of his nipples, the well of his navel. He shifted his weight on his feet as Hadley drew the tip to the crease of each thigh where leg met groin. The dusky pink cock had swollen. “Turn and cross your arms above your head.”
Wide youthful shoulders, tapered narrow waist, small tight curve of buttocks, and slender legs. Barkley had found a treasure where it was notorious to buy the equivalent of a pig in poke.
He let the cane roll loosely down Cade’s back to halt just above the swell of his ass. With gentle taps, he demonstrated where the cane would land, the safe places on the back, firmer taps on the meat of buttocks, the sweet tender spot where buttock met thigh. Cade squirmed and Hadley waited until he regained his composure once more and became still.
Slowly increasing the pressure, taps became swats that made welts rise. Cade was panting, leaning forward ever so slightly, ass pushing outward, asking for more. When the last blow created a welt parallel to the floor, Cade moaned.
“Keep you hands where they are,” Hadley ordered, voice low and husky, “and turn to face me.”
The boy’s penis was fully engorged with a clear pearl evident in the slit. Hadley wanted to taste, just as he had with Mia. Instead, he glanced at Cameron, the aroused flush from chest to neck to ear. Cameron had obeyed somewhat in their earlier conversation and being obedient in front of Cade. There was a lesson to be had as well.
Moving to Cameron, he squeezed his nape firmly. “He’s got a pretty cock, doesn’t he? Almost as pretty as his mouth. If you had a choice,” Cameron peered up at Hadley from beneath his dark lashes, “Which would you choose?” Cameron licked his lips, seemingly unaware of the action. “Good boy. Enjoy yourself.”
If you obey and do not try to challenge the power balance, you could earn a generous reward.
Cameron froze as understanding slowly dawned; he crawled to Cade’s feet, another example of seductive grace. Gentle hands went to the boy’s hips and a look passed between them, one slave to another. Hadley drew closer as well, watching as Cameron nuzzled the hard length, the soft nest of curls, lips rubbing over the tight sac. “You are to wait,” Hadley whispered against Cade’s nape, watching as the cock disappeared within Cameron’s mouth. “Your pleasure does not belong to you.”
Cameron tightened his grip on the boney hips as Cade tried to thrust deeper into his mouth, to seek more friction, to chase his desire.
“Your pleasure belongs to your master, you come when you are told to. That is my job. To train you, to tell you what to do, so that you can learn.” Hadley gave into temptation and pressed his lips against Cade’s straining shoulders.
The boy tried, his eyes screwed shut, sweat dripping from his forehead, curling the soft light brown hair at his nape, his hands were fisted tightly. Cade’s expression was one of agony. Instead of begging piteously, his teeth were dug into his bottom lip. Only the slightest whine escaped.
“Good boy,” Hadley praised. Pressing the last welt delivered to the Cade’s ass, he snapped out, “Come.”
Cade did cry out as his body locked in the painful pleasure of orgasm. Hadley kept him balanced with the boy’s back to his chest and Cameron held him by his hips.
As Cade panted, Hadley cupped his chin and regarded him, “Was it the pain or the pleasure?”
Blinking owlishly, Cade licked his swollen bottom lip, thinking. Finally, he frowned. “I am not sure, Sir.”
Hadley stepped back and gestured to the discarded tunic. “Then you are learning. Return to the hall.”
Cameron waited on his knees, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. That calculated look had returned in his dark eyes. Frustrated and aroused, Hadley frowned down at him. “What?”
“You confuse me, Sir.” Cameron responded and seemed surprised at his own honesty.
“Stand and strip, I need to check you over.” Hadley returned snappishly. Cameron stood gracefully, no doubt pins and needles cramping his legs as the blood flow returned to but gave no indication of pain. He swept the tunic over his head and turned his back for Hadley to examine.
Curiosity getting the better of him, Hadley bit out, “Confused how?” Not that it really mattered, but he had never felt as challenged by a slave as he did by Cameron.
“You did not get what you wanted from me this morning.” Hadley paused; the bruising was starting to turn yellow blue. He wondered if Cameron would continue. “About Daniel.”
“And who says that I am finished?” Cameron flinched and then forced himself to settle. “I will know what I need to know eventually.” He turned Cameron to face him once more. Face to face with the swollen eye and confused frown. “Is there more?”
“You could have beaten me, again.” The last word was tacked on in a tacit challenge.
“I could have,” Hadley agreed, crossing his arms and waiting out the slave.
“But you did not.” Cameron’s face darkened, “If I were to ask why, would you tell me?”
“Not that it is any of your concern to begin with,” Hadley admonished, “but no I would not.”
Cameron seemed to relax at that, a behavior that was expected from a free man, a handler, he ascertained. “You did not hurt Mia, or Cade for that matter. You could have done much worse with the cane.”
“You are fucking with all of us, aren’t you?” Clearly frustration won over as Cameron growled.
Hadley cupped the back of his neck and drew him close. “I actually rewarded you. Giving you permission to suck that gorgeous cock rather than furtively taking your pleasure in the whispered dark under covers.”
Cameron’s jaw rippled with tension.
“As to fucking you?” Hadley stepped away deliberately miss repeating Cameron’s words. He could hear the midday rattle of the trolley Cook used to deliver meals. “That is part of the job.”