The Sea Song docked in Ft. Lauderdale in mid-afternoon. Crewmen immediately started hauling luggage to the dock. Buck and Evan stayed close to Doug; sitting in his wheel chair. They grinned at the other guys and traded abuses with them near the boarding ramp. The friendly insults were because they were staying in Ft. Lauderdale one night longer, the rest were leaving with the adults. David and Noah, their new bodyguards were nearby talking to Joe about a training exercise scheduled for that evening on the streets of Ft. Lauderdale. No one knew what they were talking about except Evan.
On the short fast cruise back from Dagger Cay, David reminded Evan of his promise to pay a visit to a pimp who had been attempting to add Evan to his string of prostitutes after getting him hooked on drugs. All runaways, boys and girls were fair game to the low life predator, who profited from the use of their bodies until they ran away once again successfully, were caught by authorities, put in rehab, then returned to their homes, or simply died from an overdose. The pimp became the evening's exercise to start with, then since Evan mentioned that there were others who would quickly move to claim his living inventory and territory, the scope of the operation was expanded.
Evan and Buck went to pack small overnight bags for Doug and themselves after the small parade of cars left the dock. They were all going to spend the night on Will and Joe's new boat so they could move freely from the boat to the city without notice. Joe sat down by Doug. He slowly led Doug through the events in the house the night of the invasion. Doug was proud that he had been able to play a major part in defeating the plan to murder Anton, by shooting the assassin from his wheelchair.
Joe watched Doug's eyes carefully when he got around to asking some important questions: Did you hesitate before you pulled the trigger the first time? Were you shooting to kill? Were you aiming at the asshole's kneecap? Would you have actually blasted the guy's cock off if he hadn't answered your questions?
"Nope, he was going to cut Billy's throat. He wasn't watching me; he was bent over with his side to me. His ass was the biggest easiest target. If I missed the first time I think I would have emptied the gun at him, some would have connected and there wasn't time for a lot of aiming or thinking. Fucking right I was. I wanted to mess him up good without killing him yet because we needed to know what they were going to do and his kneecap seemed like the way to go at the time. I knew if I shot at his cock I would have killed him, because he was a rosebud, I couldn't even see it, so I was aiming low. The bullet would have plowed through his guts first before it came out his crotch, if it didn't hit a bone and get deflected." Doug met Joe's eyes and held them. "He was going to snuff me, he told me. He was grinning. He even asked if there was a video camera around. He was going to kill me while he fucked me and that pissed me off big time," he looked down embarrassed, "he also scared the shit out of me, if you want the truth."
"Would you kill to protect Buck?" Joe asked quietly.
Doug nodded without hesitation, "In a second," then grinned and patted the right side pocket on his wheelchair. He asked a question of his own. "You ever hear of the iron rule? I read about it somewhere. It's for bad asses I guess, and I think that's what I am after all this shit," he didn't wait for Joe to answer before he quoted; "Do unto others BEFORE they do unto you." He pulled the pouch's Velcro closure and lifted a small semi-automatic Baretta twenty-five caliber, equipped with a silencer on its muzzle. "I had to return the nine-millimeter they gave me, but no one asked about the ass hole's weapon," he grinned and offered it butt first after making sure the safety was on. "I keep one in the chamber," he shrugged when Joe frowned at that. "Who has time to work the slide if I had to use it?" He asked defensively. Joe agreed with a nod and returned the weapon after admiring the quality of the silencer, it looked superior to Government Issue.
"What did you plan to do with it after you get out of the chair?" Joe asked watching Doug return it to the pouch.
"Actually I was going to tell you about it. I was thinking that you'd find me a neat holster like yours, only smaller. I can't carry it around school, but I could when we were out in public. Doug sighed, "You might think this is kid's stuff, but guys I don't know, and never did anything to, two of them in two weeks have wanted to kill me. Two close calls changed me, no more Mister Nice Guy." He grinned, "No one would dream that a sixteen year old was packing,"
"Fifteen." Joe corrected Doug.
"Almost." Doug giggled. He looked up when he heard Evan and Buck laughing, they were racing each other down the spiral staircase. "Buck wants one too and when Evan finds out we have them," he left the sentence unfinished.
The two look alike boys tackled Gregor as he stepped from the elevator carrying two large black nylon carryall bags as if they were heavy. He was defenseless until he dropped the bags. When he got to his feet he carried one of them in each hand by the waistbands of their shorts as if they were luggage. He tossed them to a sofa then retrieved the two bags all the while talking and laughing. His Russian generously sprinkled with inappropriate English words, with 'fuck' predominating. He was to accompany Evan everywhere until Anton rejoined them, wherever Evan might go.
Joe nodded, "I'll have to talk to Bucky AND your father first. Its up to Anton about Evan," he answered softly amid the hubbub. He eyed the two heavy bags and asked Gregor about their contents.
"The Master, I mean Anton, asked me to assemble these as a gift for you to celebrate the purchase of your new yacht. He thought these might be appropriate considering your line of work." Gregor bent and unzipped the lumpy bags then pulled them open. "I asked Herman's advice before they left. If there's anything else you think might be useful and we don't have it aboard, please let me know and they will bring it when they return. Herman mentioned that Anton is a substantial arms dealer, if he approves of the buyer, so anything, he emphasized the word, can be had. He also said to tell you that everything is clean," he frowned, "of course they're clean. Who would give dirty weapons?"
Joe patted Gregor on the back, "He meant they're untraceable."
Doug wheeled himself closer to peek into the open bags with Joe. "Holy shit! Where will you ever hide all this shit?" The luggage contained a sampling of every weapon on the Sea Song, except for the heavy caliber Gatling guns, which fitted into as yet unused brackets, welded in the best defensive positions on the ship. The devastating weapons were computer controlled and guided by the combined signals of Anton's snoopy and the International Ground Positioning Satellite System.
Joe grinned. "We're having the back of a closet modified. We planned to bring a few things down our next trip, but now I guess we don't have to." He pawed through the bags and grinned at Doug when he held three silencers identical to the one on Doug's weapon.
Josh, met the limo when it parked at the end of an alley that led to the big open shed he leased from a large yacht service and overhaul company. He'd moved Will and Joe's boat back to where it was born to finish the interiors, add additional electronics and to actually outfit it; hundreds of things, like equipping the galley, bed linens and towels, tools, charts, emergency equipment and so forth. "I got it all done I think. Everything you needed or wanted on her to start with."
"Him!" Everyone except Gregor said at the same time. He was two seconds late and wondered what they were talking about. Joe explained what was said as Gregor hoisted Doug to his shoulders for the walk through the shed to the new yacht. Then he explained to Josh that Gregor was Russian and learning English, mostly from the boys since there hadn't been much time to use the language software.
"Fuck yes! HIM!" Gregor shouted in the cavernous shed so his voice echoed.
Doug stopped laughing and stopped Gregor by turning his head when he realized what was under construction in the shed. Buck attempted to hurry Gregor since he was acting as Doug's legs, but Gregor was as interested as his rider. "Hey this is the cat you mentioned." Doug was talking to Josh.
Gregor understood that 'cat' was catamaran. "Fuck big cat!" He threw his arms out expansively releasing Doug's legs suddenly, so Doug had to grab his head to keep from toppling over backward.
"Damn Gregor, you better warn me if you let go or I'll have you snatched bald." Doug complained. "Come on let's look around. Can we Josh?"
"Sure, just be careful." Josh forgot they were to go aboard the finished boat tied to the dock on the canal side of the construction shed. The shed swarmed with workmen. Molds for the two hulls bracketed the one-piece superstructure and decks that would eventually join them together. "We've been working two shifts to hit a December completion date." Josh volunteered. Buck's face congealed into a classic Trenton frown. Josh lumbered on proudly, "I've redesigned the rigging, the sail plan, mechanics and electronics so she can be single-handed."
"No way!" Doug giggled, "How would one person ever get away from a dock?"
It was Josh's turn to giggle. "There aren't many docks that could hold her because of her beam. I'm working on a quick connect for a mooring. Disconnecting isn't a problem," he shrugged, "I'll use something like a remote controlled lobster claw snap and ring arrangement. Hooking back up again is the challenge. I'll think up something by the time she hits the water."
Doug looked off into space. "Maybe you could fix up something like a telescoping boom, like a whisker pole that could be extended and lowered to the water's surface, the end could float or maybe a water ski thing. The catch claw would be floating downwind from the mooring buoy. You'd approach from downwind under power, and snap," he snapped his fingers, "you're moored. You kill power and drift back."
Josh grinned, "Want a job? Let's sit down and put it on paper to see how it looks."
"Yeah! Boy I wish. I think I'd love navel architecture, but the family business is construction, civil engineering. If I was out of school and working, I'd by this guy in a minute." Doug looked at the pieces of catamaran wistfully.
"Too late, this one's already sold. That's why I'm scrambling to get it finished by Christmas. God I love no budget commissions and huge advance payments."
Buck interrupted. "Enough bullshit about sailboats. Come on let's get underway here. We've got to take this new bitch back to Pier 66," he tugged at Gregor's arm and tried to keep his voice normal, but there was an undertone of rocks being crushed as his frown was directed at Josh.
Joe was getting good at translating and used his voice as bait to lure Gregor to the dock by just walking away from him. Gregor hurried to catch up. When he heard the word, bitch, he shouted again, "HIM!"
Joe stopped and grinned, looking at the blank stern of the new yacht. "Gregor, you're a fucking genius."
Gregor giggled, "I already know that Joe, why tell me now?"
"We've been trying to think up a name for him, and it was there all the time, HIM! That's his name, HIM! All capitals and an exclamation point. I'll run it by Will whenever he calls, but it sure feels right." After Joe switched to English for Doug, still perched on Gregor's shoulders, he started to giggle and nod, looking around for Buck to see what he thought.
Buck was busy chewing on Josh's ass, "You almost gave it away," he hissed. "It's not a Christmas gift if he knows about it in July! You sailboat guys get too carried away with your bullshit. He better not find out before it's finished and floating," he warned, "or I'll find someone else to build the next one."
Josh's eyes widened, "The next one? You want another one like this?"
Buck nodded, pleased that Josh took the bait. "Yeah, I was thinking about it. Doug took me out on one of these, a little one, maybe twenty feet. Are all catamarans fast, even one with big engines and no sails, like a power catamaran?" He suddenly warmed to the concept, "Is there such a thing? I'd want jet drives like the Sea Song, in fact, I want jets on this. No props, we have some dolphin friends and we don't want them hurt."
Josh's mind switched gears he looked into space as he slipped into the design mode. "There's a few around, I've seen ads for them," he said after a moment. "How big?"
Buck looked at Evan and grinned, "Big, unique, how about the biggest ever built, like the Sea Song is, that kind of unique. It wouldn't need to be as long probably because it would be wider."
"He means beam," Evan volunteered while they started walking to the dock.
Josh looked down at Evan looking puzzled, "Haven't I seen you around the docks?"
Evan hesitated, then shrugged, "Maybe, I like to look at boats," he answered evasively, unprepared for the question, because he didn't think anyone ever noticed him.
Buck covered for him by giggling. "Yeah, right. He likes looking at boats that might fit inside his grandfather's, he owns the Sea Song, Josh, this is Evan Falconburg."
Evan puffed out his chest proud to be introduced as a Falconburg for the first time to a stranger. When he shook hands with Josh he saw that Josh still frowned at him, trying to remember. He saw Gregor jump from the dock to HIM!'s dive platform without warning Doug, who wasn't holding on and fell backward down Gregor's back. He was saved by Gregor's hold on his legs. "The big Russian dude is the Sea Song's captain, or he will be in a few months as soon as he gets his Master's papers."
Josh was impressed, "Wow what a job. Is there any chance I could go aboard her to look around?"
Evan grinned, "Sure, anytime. But Sea Song is a him too." They watched Doug use his gut muscles to right himself, his indignant screams and laughter only slightly muffled by the over-size Hawaiian shirt that slipped down to cover his head exposing his swimmer's body under stress. Evan watched Josh's eyes widen when he lowered his head to look over the top of his sunglasses. The irises in his gray eyes closed to pin points in the bright afternoon sun. Gregor reached back with one hand to help. His fingers closed on the loose waistband of Doug's shorts. When he pulled, the snap closure popped and the zipper skittered down. Gregor's fingers moved to Doug's suddenly exposed cock, he pulled that, but gently, playfully, evoking near hysterical giggles from Doug as he hastened to right himself.
"That's why." Evan said and waited for Josh to close his mouth.
"Why what, why?" Josh asked absently watching while Doug's shirt dropped back in place covering his body again along with Gregor's hand at the back of his neck and Doug's rippled gut when he folded himself forward over Gregor's head, locking Gregor's hand in place. Joe helped speed Gregor up the steps and through the opening in the transom by goosing him all the way to the stern deck. Gregor squatted and duck walked, disappearing into the salon to get away from Joe's hand and save Doug's head from getting bonged on the overhead.
"We're all gay, all guys and we decided our boats should be too." Evan explained simply. "Is your gaydar busted, or what's the story?" he asked when Josh pulled his sunglasses off to let them hang on their lanyard around his neck. He stared down at Evan wide eyed as color suffused his tan. Evan blinked and giggled, "You can't be an old man already in your twenties and still be a virgin, but I think you are. Holy shit!"
Buck watched and listened to the brief exchange. The actor in him couldn't resist the temptation to put on Billy's queenly persona. He cocked his hips to the side and rubbed against Josh's leg. He batted his eyes when he got Josh's attention. "Say big old guy, did anyone ever tell you, you have beautiful eyes? I'd like to see them closer sometime soon when you're in the prone position on top of me."
"Hey! No fair cock sucker, I saw him first!" Evan protested with a playful grin, then began smoothing imaginary wrinkles from the front of Josh's shorts. "How'd you get so wrinkled?" He giggled, then, "Look Buck these shorts are cool, the wrinkles are disappearing all by themselves." Smoothing became caressing the growing bulge and the material became taught.
"I see that. It's also nice to see that he's not too old to get it up." Buck put his hand on Josh's ass. Josh batted Evan's hand away before he scooted forward. He jumped to the swim platform and bounded up the steps into the yacht. Buck cupped his hands around his mouth, "Nice ass too!" He shouted. Both boys started running and laughing.
"VIRGIN INCOMING!" Evan screamed then quickly amended, "BUT I SAW HIM FIRST!"
"I call seconds!" Buck shouted.
When they reached the deck and could see into the salon, Josh was sprawled amid the luggage including to the black tote bags. Neither moved because of their weight. He rubbed one shin and attempted to get his feet under himself again while his attention was fixed on Gregor and Doug. Gregor had dropped Doug on a curving sofa and was happily depantsing him with one hand and tickling him to keep his hands away from his shorts. Doug wasn't fighting very ambitiously; he was laughing too hard. Josh's eyes were glued to Doug's partially exposed body including his erection.
"Gregor goddamn it, stop messing around with Doug or Noah will put you to sleep." Joe warned in Russian, then in English for the others. Noah flexed his fingers and grinned at the big young Russian.
"But Joe," Gregor protested giggling, "it is too early in the afternoon to enjoy two wimpy Americans, it will take at least three of you to tire me out enough, but if you insist, who will be the third?"
Joe translated, then nodded at Noah. "I think a quick demonstration is in order, but just a quick nap, and don't hurt him."
Noah's diminutive size and round wire rimmed glasses combined to make him appear to be the classic ninety-eight pound weakling nerd. Gregor was busy pulling Doug's shorts carefully over his feet. Noah grinned and stepped behind his kneeling form. He reached out and caressed the back of Gregor's neck, then pressed an area with his fingertips. Gregor's lean powerful body tensed, then his eyes closed and he wilted to slump on Doug and the carpet. "One catnap, as ordered Sir." Noah straightened and grinned. "Anyone else?"
Joe looked around and grinned, "Somehow I don't think so. Come on Josh, let's go up and get the engines cranked. You, Doug, get dressed and stay that way. He looked down at Evan and Buck, "You two, prepare to cast off when we're ready." The three boys were suitably bug-eyed. They looked at Gregor then Noah before they scurried to obey Joe's orders.
Doug got his shorts up, zipped and snapped in record time while he kept his eye on Noah. Gregor appeared to be really enjoying his nap. "Will you teach me that move?" he asked. "That would come in really handy. When will he wake up?"
Noah smiled, "Well it depends on how tired he is. He'll wake up normally or you can wake him, and no, I won't show you how it's done, its dangerous, definitely not a party joke."
Doug bent and shook Gregor's shoulder just as the engines started. Gregor jumped, shook the cobwebs out of his head and looked around. "Joe?" He asked Doug. Doug giggled and pointed up, then made steering motions and engine sounds. Gregor nodded and got to his feet with his eyes on Noah. Noah smiled up at him and offered Gregor his hand. Gregor grinned and shook it to show that there were no hard feelings, just very great respect.
Josh left them after dinner at Shula's; he remained quiet and subdued, and while he looked at all of them differently after the revelation that they were all gay, he spent most of his time looking at Doug. They sat at a round table for eight, with seven chairs and one open space for Doug's chair. Josh sat next to Doug, and while they talked about boats and sports, Josh shivered visibly each time Doug touched him. Doug and the others pretended not to notice, but it was obvious that Doug was Josh's choice among them. Doug was more than willing, but like Buck and Evan, made no overtures or even mentioned sex. Joe warned the three of them, business first and fun later. The penalty for any disobedience was to be put to sleep until morning. It was no accident that Noah sat between Buck and Evan.
"When can we get together to build a computer model of the mooring?" Josh asked Doug just before the limo was to take him home.
Doug smiled, thinking that there were moorings and moorings, "If you aren't doing anything important in the next couple of days, why not come home with us?" He looked at Joe, "What time are we leaving tomorrow?"
Joe shrugged, "Whenever we get on the plane, about noon?"
Doug nodded, "Throw some stuff in a bag and be here about eleven. Is that okay?"
Josh left them wearing a huge grin. Evan and Buck burst into belly laughs as soon as the limo disappeared. "Goddamn, what a cock magnet! Good thing I'm not the jealous type," Buck punched Doug playfully, "or you lover boy would find your ass in dad's meat grinder. I call seconds!"
"Thirds!" Evan shouted.
"Okay guys, later." Joe ordered. "Time for some business. Evan, how many pimps are there in Ft. Lauderdale?"
Evan's eyes widened, "Three or four I can think of. Are you going to whack them all?"
Joe shrugged, "If we get set up to visit the one who was after you, it's no trouble to look up any of the others while we're out if we can find them."
"Find them? Are you kidding? You can see them coming from a mile away, most of them dress like assholes and wear tons of jewelry," Evan giggled. "Then of course there's their wheels, find the wheels, you find the asshole owner."
"Won't the law notice?" Doug asked, "If all the pimps in town suddenly die on the same night?"
David looked at Evan, grinned and imitated him, "I call firsties! This was my idea."
"We'll make a list," Joe suggested. "The pimp hood business must have some risks attached, like organized crime, professional rivalries, anything else?"
"Drug overdose, ill health, poor driving, just plain mugged and robbed, stuff like that? Is that what you mean?" Buck asked.
Doug whistled and laughed, clearly impressed, "There sits a chip off the old block. That should take care of them. If not, we can always start at the top of the list again."
"What are we doing?" Gregor asked Joe since Joe forgot to translate. After Joe explained, he looked at Evan with tears in his eyes. "I didn't know any of this. We should collect them all, take them out on the Sea Song and feed the sharks. I know the Master would approve. The Sea Song can put to sea with only one half hour's notice." He pulled Evan into his lap and hugged him protectively. "I will borrow tools from Hans and Herman's cabin. Your former life will be erased; your grandfather will certainly approve of that. I have access to unlimited funds we could use to tempt them aboard." He concluded with an eager look at Joe.
Joe's smile broadened as he translated that for the others then switched to Russian to explain Anton's plans for Evan's stepfather after Anton returned from Europe, and that the evening could be used as a trial run. Gregor nodded enthusiastically. In English again, he explained, "We'll take the longest limo, Gregor will be a rich European who wants to have a party on his unnamed yacht for say a week at sea. We'll invite the pimps to go along to keep order. I'll ride in the back with him as his interperter. We'll flash a suitcase full of cash, and offer, say five thousand dollars per boy; all the kids that each pimp has in his stable, we'll give them five in advance in good faith, then come back in an hour to load up. Noah can put the pimp to sleep and we're off to Sea Song. Comments? Suggestions?" He asked.
"YEAH! Evan shouted. "We can run back over to Dagger Cay, the guys can stay there. Maybe Grandfather can find a doctor and stuff to clean them up, then maybe help each one somehow so they don't have to go back on the streets, BUT," he emphasized, "no kid has to go. I'll go along when we pick them up, I'll explain, then they can just walk away if they want to." He snapped his fingers excitedly, "I know, while you guys are doing the rounds the first time, I'll go find guys that I know, independents like me. There's guys out there who ain't, I mean aren't into hustling yet and lots I don't know. I'll just ask around, word will spread. Ask Gregor if I can have some money to hand out to the dopes who don't want to go."
"What about Customs?" Quiet Noah asked. "We can go for a quick cruise, but they'll track us and we'll have some explaining to do in both countries if we head straight to Dagger Cay."
When Gregor understood the problem he shrugged at Joe. "We will make a speed run to test an engine modification. Additional adjustments will be needed, emergency repairs. We will crawl for the last half-hour and radio the problem and the need to dock at the owner's island for only one hour, perhaps two. They could send a Customs agent if they wish." He grinned, "Billy could call his grateful father, the Minister could use his authority to see to it that none are sent. When we return to port here we will summon Customs for a normal though unanticipated inspection. Should I dress for my roll? I think I should speak in harsh tones to you, you peasant American interpreter. I will enjoy acting as the Master himself," he giggled and again extracted Evan's hand from his open fly.
"Billy's in Europe." Joe reminded Gregor.
Gregor fished a tiny cellphone from his pocket and was about to speed dial, "A call from his son in Europe will add importance. This is the Master's personal number, Meesha will answer," he said as Buck's cellphone trilled a tune from his pocket.
Joe's cellphone buzzed he frowned at the interruption. Buck answered his, then grinned, "Hi Dad!" Buck's face changed, he paled under his deep tropical tan. He looked at Joe. It appeared to the others that Buck and Joe were both listening to Bucky. Buck lowered his phone and looked vacantly at Doug, "This is a conference call, Will's on the line too. Don Thomas had a heart attack on the flight to California. They landed in St. Louis, but it was too late." Joe snapped his fingers several times to get Buck to return his phone to his ear. They talked quietly with Bucky for several minutes more before they disconnected.
"What about Toby and Terry?" Doug asked.
Buck shrugged, "Dad sent Patrick to St. Louis, he'll go with them to San Diego and Don Thomas too, his body, you know what I mean." He shook his body to clear his head. "The Challenger will be here tonight to get us. We'll go out non-stop. Dad's chartering something, everyone will join us a day or so later."
"Am I supposed to stay here, or what?" Evan asked quietly while Joe explained what happened to Gregor.
Joe answered, "You'll come with us, your grandfather will be at the funeral."
"Okay. I guess my street friends will have to wait until we get back. We will still do this like we planned sometime won't we?" Evan looked hopeful at Joe.
Joe looked at his watch. "We can still do something, just not as complicated. We'll use HIM! not Sea Song and we'll leave our targets behind. Do you think you can dig the kids up and sell them on the idea of running away with you? There won't be time for us to wait for the pimps to collect them."
Evan nodded, "Sure if I can find one, he'll know where the others are. There won't be many anyway, two maybe five at most will be working for any one pimp, but what if they're busy, like with a trick?"
"I'll go with you and put them to sleep, temporarily, or permanently depending on their tastes in how they get their jollies." Noah volunteered.
Evan grinned, "Good deal. Give me a limo and a wad of cash and we can get started anytime. Daylight is even better, the word will spread and in an hour some will be looking for us."
"What are we supposed to do?" Buck asked. "I know how my father thinks. If we go with you and David, you're putting us in danger unnecessarily and if we stay here alone, then we're unprotected. Either way he would not be a happy camper when he found out, no matter how much he likes you."
Evan giggled, "If you think you can act like two street punks. You can ride with us. If you want more bodyguards Gregor can fill a bus from the crew."
"I can pilot HIM! To the island but this would be a maiden voyage, a shake down. Could the navel architect join us as engineer? Going dead in the water due to a minor mechanical problem with a load of boys without papers." Gregor didn't need to finish his thought.
Joe nodded and explained to Buck and Doug, then asked them to call Josh. "Tell him the minimum, need to know only."
Doug watched Buck speed dial a number before he was chatting with Josh. He frowned, wondering why Buck would keep Josh's number in his speed dialer. "He's on his way back over here." Buck reported with a grin.
An hour later, an overly stretched limo cruised north slowly on Atlantic Avenue. Evan had the window down and kept his eyes on the sea wall. "Stop by those three guys sitting on the wall together. I know one of them." He instructed the driver before he turned to Buck, Doug and Noah, "you guys look out the window, let them see you. Look happy like you just got paid in advance. I'll pay them to round up some others."
Evan jumped out of the car before Gregor could grab him. They could hear him clearly without the radios they wore. "Hey guys! How's it goin'? I got me a Russian sugar daddy, a young one for a change. Want to disappear for a couple of weeks or forever? Live the good life and get your shit together? Daddy's got an island in the Bahamas, a whole fuckin' island you'll never have to turn another trick except for fun. Here, here's five hundred each, spread the word as fast as you can, Daddy's yacht leaves in a couple of hours an' he wants to fill the fuckin' boat with young guys. I'll pay you a hundred more each for every guy you bring with you." Evan counted twenty-dollar bills as he talked, "Remember there ain't no strings except no drugs. Just tell the guys that if they stay on the street, they'll be dead before they hit twenty-one."
One kid snatched his money and vaulted over the seawall. He disappeared behind it, then reappeared with a small duffel bag. He looked like he was fourteen or fifteen, except for his eyes, they looked far older. "This might be a scam, but I'll take my chances. Can I go with you now?" He looked in the car and smiled slightly, before he looked at Evan, "I've seen you around, but not them others, but they look innocent enough, especially the nerd wearing glasses I like his looks." He climbed in the car and made himself comfortable next to the innocent nerd. He held out his hand, "Kyle."
"You ain't been around long, I would've seen you."
"Nope," Noah admitted, "Not long, I came from up north and went straight out to the island," he tossed a thumb at Gregor, Buck and Doug sitting on the back seat grinning at them. "I met these guys out there. They're cool. The big guy's the Russian, Gregor, he don't speak much English."
Gregor grinned at Kyle, "Fuck yes!"
Noah shrugged, "That's about it."
Evan had the car stopped three more times along the seawall. Kyle got helpful; more than he was aware of, because most of the other street kids Evan talked to knew of Kyle, or recognized him so his presence provided additional credibility. Kyle frowned as they passed one small hotel and gave the building the finger as they drove by. "Mother fucker," he mumbled.
"What?" Evan asked, "Bad experience?"
"Yeah, there's an asshole that works there, an assistant manager he says, but he owns the place and lives there. The little cocksucker keeps a couple of guys in his room, locked up, no drugs, he beats on 'em to keep 'em in line. He had me a year ago, until a trick sneaked me out to buy me a meal, or I'd still be there."
"Yeah," Evan agreed, "I heard about that place, all rough trade. I stayed way far away from there."
Noah looked into space listening to Joe. He nodded. "You want to get him Kyle? Want to take him out?"
"Yeah, I wouldn't mind." Kyle looked Noah up and down and chuckled, "How you gonna do it wimp, just walk in there and beat the bastard to death?"
Noah shrugged, "Yeah, something like that."
Noah explained some of what they were doing and why. The boys joined him. Evan was the most convincing when he abruptly opened the magnesium suitcase filled with small bills, then held up his wrist to Kyle's eyes to show off his Rolex watch. "It ain't no knock off either." Evan assured Kyle. Kyle grinned.
Gregor walked in the hotel fifteen minutes later holding Kyle by the arm and pushing an apparently reluctant Noah in front of him. "Want room and more boys now!" Gregor demanded imperiously flashing a roll of bills. "Party time!" He sang. Gregor was repeating whatever he heard in his earpiece from Joe, sitting in the Suburban somewhere close by.
Kyle struggled to get away; "Please let me go!" He begged. That was the signal that the clerk behind the desk was the one they wanted.
The man's eyes glittered, torn between Kyle and Gregor's money. "Welcome back you little asshole. Just wait until he's finished with you, I'll make you into a big asshole for running away." The man promised with a smile while he looked at Gregor, then held up five fingers. Gregor tossed the man five hundred dollars.
The man abandoned the reception desk to lead Gregor to a room on the third floor. Gregor looked around and demanded, "More boys now!"
The man smiled and bowed, "Keep your shirt on buddy, I've got three, but one is busy down the hall, so two will have to do." The man kept his eyes on Gregor and started giving Kyle orders. "I've got this room equipped with cameras now so be sure you and your little friend put on a good show and just maybe I won't be too hard on you afterward, providing this foreign bastard is of course." He bowed again and ran out the open door.
The man returned towing two boys. Both had nipple rings with a light chain attached, they were leashes. The man held the chains loosely and offered them to Gregor after a quick demonstration of their effectiveness, by tugging on both, then ordering, "Strip!" The boys, one about fifteen and one perhaps thirteen, pushed their shorts down while stepping forward to lessen the pull on their nipples. "Just like baby bulls. They'll do anything you want."
Gregor's anger flared, he forgot he was acting. He emitted a low growl and started for the man with his fists up. Noah's leg flashed up, his foot connected with the man's crotch. The man dropped to his knees with a low moan holding his ruptured testicles before he passed out, looking very puzzled.
Kyle hugged the older boy, "Man I can't believe you're still here."
"After you got away he put in these titty rings, which are kinda sexy, but he also installed cameras in the rooms he uses so the johns can't sneak us out."
Noah interrupted, "Chat later, get dressed and go get your stuff. Where's the third kid?"
"Two doors down in the torture chamber. The guy's a regular. Charlie's getting the shit beat out of him before he gets fucked."
"Where's the recorder."
"In his room next to ours. Come on." Kyle and his friend ran ahead. The younger boy limped after them until Gregor scooped him up and carried him. He smiled his thanks and meekly offered Gregor his leash, which infuriated Gregor further. He hugged the boy close and told him in Russian that he was safe.
The room where the boys were kept was bare except for mattresses interspersed with empty carry out food containers and fast food trash. The man's room through a connecting door was palatial and the video recording system was professional quality. There were two monitors, both were on. One showed the bed in the room they just left. A corner of the screen pictured the man curled into a fetal position, rocking his whole body.
Noah grinned, "He's not going anywhere, it's hard to walk with crushed nuts." His grin disappeared at a glance at the second screen. He spun on his heel and ran out the hall door. Gregor turned pale, handed the boy in his arms to Kyle and followed.
The three boys gathered around the monitor. The third boy, Charlie had a thick rope around his neck, tied in a hangman's noose that hung from the unseen ceiling. The boy's hands had a desperate grip above the knot. The rope was loose enough so that he could spread his legs, which weren't tied apart. A man stood in front of him wearing leather chaps and a full-face mask and was flailing the boy's genitals and crotch with a riding crop by using an underhand swing. It appeared he was trying to make the boy lose his delicate balance so his neck would feel the weight of his body.
The boys and the man heard the sound of splintering wood as the door crashed open below the camera. The torturer had the time to turn his head before Noah held it in both hands. The head continued to turn until it was facing backward. His lifeless hand dropped the quirt, it hit the floor and the body covered it. Noah lifted Charlie while Gregor removed the noose. They helped him walk on unsteady legs to rejoin his friends. They all looked at Noah in awe.
The boy Gregor carried earlier limped to him and surrounded his waist with his thin arms. Gregor picked him up again, "Gregor," he pronounced slowly and looked at the boy to say his name.
"He don't talk, never has, but he can write real good. His name's Tommy Thomas, Tom-tom, we call him." Kyle's friend, Mark, explained.
Noah and Gregor listened to Joe's instructions. Gregor argued briefly. Noah grinned and bowed to Gregor as he returned Tom-tom to his feet, reached under his shirt to the small of his back and produced and bone handled hunting knife before he left them. The boys looked puzzled until Noah pointed to the monitors. Gregor walked into the room he rented. He kicked the man curled on the floor until he straightened his body to defend himself. Gregor grabbed an ankle and started dragging the man. They could hear the man scream in pain. Gregor shut him up by stomping his ruined balls. Gregor returned to view in the torture chamber where he propped the man's head on his dead customer's body then slapped him into consciousness. The man and boys watched dumbfounded as Gregor used Anton's knife to cut the man's shorts and Jockeys open. The terrified man opened his mouth to scream and Gregor filled it with his severed cock. He closed the mouth by lifting the chin with one hand and very slowly drawing the knife across the man's throat. The body twitched and bled out while Gregor went to the bathroom to wash his hands and the knife thoroughly.
Noah had the boys searching the room by the time Gregor returned. They loaded fifty homemade video- tapes into pillowcases after a brief look at one. "Get anything that would connect any of you to this man," he instructed the boys. He grinned, "And anything small, portable and valuable."
Tom-tom went to a closet and pulled a suitcase out then dragged it to where Gregor and Noah were attempting to access a laptop computer. He tugged at Gregor's arm, then opened the case. It was nearly full of loose currency. The boys stopped their search to ogle the money and congratulate Tom-tom. He pointed at the case then at Gregor and Noah and looked hopefully at his friends.
"Fuckin' right Tom-tom, they earned it!" Mark declared, then grinned, "Of course it's theirs anyway after what we just saw. What are you goin' to do with us? Maybe we could have like a hundred or so, maybe each, so we can lay up for a while on the street?"
Noah laughed, "Nope, you guys can have it all. You can split it up on the boat on the way to the island." He looked around, "Let's get out of here."
"Boat? Island?" Mark asked.
Kyle explained while they ran down the stairs. Gregor once again carried Tom-tom who again offered the end of his leash to him. Tears formed in Ton-tom's eyes when he was rebuffed. Gregor smiled, shrugged mentally and accepted the end of the chain. Tom-tom smiled back then rested his head on Gregor's shoulder, content with his new owner.
Buck, Evan and Doug looked at Noah wearing sour expressions after Kyle introduced them to Mark, Charlie and Tom-tom. Evan's anger erupted, "Man being a rich kid's no fun if we can't have any. We stayed here safe and sound like we promised now let's go find my pimp. I'm the bait. Noah can stay with me. When we find him, we let him see us then run, just not too fast, straight to David, then bap," he slapped his forehead, "right between the eyes. I just want him to know that I set him up. Remember Joe, the dumb fucker doesn't want to hurt me, he just wants to catch me. This one will be the mob hit, okay?"
Everyone wearing a radio earpiece could hear Joe giggling when Gregor announced proudly that 'it' was done, "What shall we list this one as Buck, a lovers' quarrel?"
Buck laughed, "How about a double, 'slipped and fell while shaving'?
"Or, 'a public service by a vacationing Russian', if we had some kiddy porn to leave behind the cops wouldn't look too hard for the alleged perpetrator." Doug suggested.
Noah laughed, "Are you kidding, that guy had a ton of stuff, the cops will figure it out."
"You guys stop trying to change the fucking subject." Evan persisted.
"Okay, okay Evan," Joe agreed, "as soon as we locate him, or one of them. Remember we don't know what he looks like."
"Who you lookin' for?" Kyle interrupted.
"The asshole pimp, Bubba. You seen him today on the street?" Evan asked hopefully.
Kyle nodded, "Yeah, his car was parked three blocks north on a side street. In front of an entrance to a hotel lounge, he's been hanging there for a week. I think he keeps his ladies in there with him to show 'em off to customers. He's got two young guys too, but he keeps them in the back of his fuckin' car. His fuckin' driver stays with 'em to make sure they don't go anywhere since they're more valuable."
Half an hour later, Joe, posing as Gregor's interpreter, stood with the pimp on the street side of his car, looking in the open back door. The limo was double-parked, blocking it in. Gregor looked on disdainfully with Tom-tom sitting on his lap, and Buck and Doug alongside him; he nodded, then looked up and pointed to Evan, Noah and Kyle hurrying by on the sidewalk. He spoke to Joe excitedly.
Joe rolled his eyes to show the pimp Bubba how hard he worked to satisfy his young wealthy employer. "Fuck me," he complained. "He said he'll take your two, but he'll pay you five big ones each if you can get him those three as well." Gregor waved a thick bundle of cash from the car.
Bubba nodded to his driver to transfer his human merchandise to the limo as he eyed the money in Gregor's hand. He ran to the door into the lounge and shouted. Two more overdressed blacks appeared. He eyed Joe; "Yo' looks fast fo' a white man. Yo' hep us get 'em, I pays yo' a grand on the side."
Joe started running after them, delighted to be of help. The limo paced them, then stopped in front of an alley entrance where the boys and Noah ran and David waited behind a trash dumpster. The threesome stopped at the end with their backs against a blank wall fifty feet beyond. Bubba and his friends stopped and spread out. They all frowned when they were confronted with smiles instead of fear, just before David and Joe touched the barrels of their silenced weapons to the backs of Bubba's and his driver's heads.
"Kneel please mother fuckers," David ordered quietly. One of the men from the lounge reached inside his jacket. David shot him in the temple. The man fell sideways. "Okay lay down if you're tired." The remaining three fell to their knees. David pressed the muzzle of his weapon against Bubba's forehead. Bubba flinched. "Too hot? Sorry, I did say please."
Evan pressed his body against David's side, he grinned at Bubba, "Okay, you caught me, now what're you gonna do with me?" David didn't notice that Evan kept his hand under his shirt.
Joe questioned Bubba about other boys in his stable, and where he might find his stash of cash and drugs. Greed overwhelmed caution, Bubba hesitated before he answered, until his driver fell over backward on what remained of the back of his head wearing a surprised expression and a new nine millimeter hole in his forehead.
"OOPS!" David shrugged, "This silencer is a really cool tool. Help wanted, new driver for a scumbag."
Bubba decided that it was the wrong time to demonstrate his frugality, by answering questions Joe hadn't thought of including the names and general locations of two business associates in Miami. Joe nodded to David, but before David could move his eyes back to Bubba, he keeled over backward to join his driver after the sound of a soft pop. David snatched a small semi-automatic from Evan's hand.
"You little idiot!" Joe said harshly.
Evan wiped his hands on his shorts and adjusted his erection. "I had to know if I could do it. I thought I could and I can." He turned and retraced his steps to the car and didn't hear the fourth soft pop.
Joe relinquished the wheel to Gregor when HIM! was a mile from the outer reef protecting Dagger Cay. He piloted the yacht with his eyes glued to the sonar screen, looking around Tom-tom's lolling head while he slept on Gregor's lap. HIM! deposited fourteen wide-eyed boys, ages thirteen through seventeen into Dieter's care. Gregor handed Tom-tom into Dieter's arms without waking him after they carefully removed the nipple ring and chain while he slept. Gregor dictated a note to Joe, for Tom-tom ordering him to remain patiently with Dieter, until Gregor returned.
The sun was about to rise when they tiredly boarded the Challenger for the flight to California. Doug was just dozing off when a somewhat familiar voice greeted him with a nudge. He opened his eyes. The doctor who provided him with the waterproof booties smiled down on him. "Mr. Trenton asked me to surprise you after takeoff. Want to get rid of those staples now?"