Jeff and Eric were about to take seats at the first table with vacant chairs until beefy hands found the back of their necks to steer them to a table where the twins sat with Diego and Charlie. After they were seated, Vincent held Jeff in place with both hands on his shoulders, "This is the five hundred dollar man I told you about," he announced to his charges proudly.
Jeff's sunglow deepened to scarlet, "VINCENT," he whined and squirmed trying to break Vincent's hold, "I told you not to tell anyone, didn't I? This morning was a fluke, a special circumstance, I got carried away." He looked to Eric for support. A simple nod would have been helpful to mute the cheering and bragging between tables, as Jeff discovered that he was an instant member of the Del la Varga team whatever that meant although he took some pride in the 'Superman' accolade he was accorded.
Eric leaned into Charlie, his seatmate, "Actually it was six hundred, my man Jeffery put some back after he got done, well, you know. He's an animal with his tongue," he giggled as Jeff gave him a quick totally embarrassed finger. "Where I come from that finger has meaning. Okay, after lunch. I wonder what we're having anyway, I'm starved." His eyes widened when a waiter offered him an oversized printed menu.
"Why couldn't you be a shy retiring introvert?" Jeff groused at Eric with a shy smile.
The twins and Diego nodded together once, "Let us pray," Diego intoned with an impious smirk. The boys quickly clasped hands around the table. Only Jeff and Eric bowed their heads and closed their eyes, the rest of their teammates studied them eagerly to gauge their reactions, if any; to the combined mental feeler they sent.
Jeff then Eric lifted their heads and their eyes opened wide in amazement simultaneously, "HOLY FUCK!" they said together while they tried to control their bobbing napkin covered erections.
"AFTER LUNCH!" was the unified laughing response.
Vincent found a chair next to Patrick, "Just look at them Paddy, we can't get better security than to have two guards in bed with 'em every night."
Patrick frowned at Eric, "That lad's not but twelve if he's a day. How's he come to be a guard? Though 'tis a sure thing he's accepted as one o' the mob."
"He looks a tall skinny twelve but he's really eighteen and even if he let his pubes grow he'd only look the little boss' age if he was naked. Wearin' clothes he'll still look to be twelve. Now all I got to do is pound some skills in 'em before school starts. Nether ain't got enough beef on 'em to carry many weapons without lookin' lumpy so I'm gonna fix up a pair of book bags with small twenty-two caliber stuff, I figure to use hollow point ammo to make up for punch. Then I got Noah who's gonna teach 'em some killer moves, you know, the kind that puts the bad guy down with one swipe but no blood or anything so if it was a mistake the boys could always say the dude fell or passed out." Patrick blanched and studied his menu. "Say Patrick, where you been hidin'? The boss' kind of look at you as a combo father and grandfather. They actually like it when you order them around and you ain't been doin' that much. They're gonna get wild if you don't put your foot down some."
Patrick's answer was interrupted by a cross table conversation about passports between Evan, Billie and Will. They laughed when Evan threw a roll at Billie and he returned it more successfully and Bucky shouted an order to end the food fight before it got properly started. Vincent put his hand up near Patrick's head suddenly, unconsciously demonstrating his reflexes and then placed a roll on Patrick's plate. Patrick grinned behind his hand without looking for the source of the unasked for bread, "The scamps, I be seein' what you mean," he stood up, "if you'll be excusin' me a moment."
Vincent watched Patrick lean down between the twins to hold a whispered conversation. He left the Del la Varga brothers and Charlie frowning silently while Jeff and Eric sputtered their innocence audibly. All watched Patrick hold a second conversation with Bucky, who laughed, looked in their direction and agreed to have the whole group join him at his table for dinner that evening.
Patrick explained before Vincent could ask, "Tonight an' until further notice the lads will be wearin' jackets an' neckties to table, Bucky's table. We'll see how they like standin' out in a sea o' skin for a day or two."
Vincent laughed and slapped Patrick on the back hard enough to jiggle the table, "Good man Paddy! Hey did you specify pants and shirts? If you didn't you won't see 'em."
"Nope, I thought to allow the lot some right to protest me decree."
Vincent hoisted a bushy eyebrow at the eight handsome heads as they leaned into the center of the table to plan exactly that. "I'll just add pants and shirts to my two. I want to see how they look as proper preppies anyway. Now you just tell me where you been keepin' yourself."
"I been lookin' at papers an' computer screens until I be bleary eyed an' makin' decisions that I ought not be makin'. I've no head fer the job an' Pepe out at the Rancho does so I been encouragin' him to take charge more an' more." Patrick's tale of woe and overwork continued through lunch until the boys melted away to the beach and the catamarans and Vincent was sorry he asked.
Doug and Josh were in their element when sailing lessons were about to begin spontaneously. Doug was going to take out one of the new cats to begin teaching the basics to three representatives from the school; Kyle, Mark and the newest cottage commander, little Charlie when he saw the twins carry Charlie Garcia wearing flippers, and swim goggles from his cart to the water's edge and then join him in swimming or attempting to, using Doug's dolphin stroke or kick. Doug recalled his promise, "I'll be right back guys, come on Tommy we need to see if we can get a dolphin instructor in the lagoon to teach Charlie how to swim the way they do. Maybe if we try all together, we can call them and explain the problem with pictures. They waded out to where the twins, Diego, Charlie and their attentive guards, Jeff and Eric were congregated in waist deep water.
Charlie smiled with relief when Doug joined them, "Thanks Doug, these assholes mean well but they can't teach me what they don't know how to do themselves, but at least the saltwater buoyancy sure feels good."
Doug explained what he wanted them to do. They formed a rough circle including Charlie and joined hands. "Now just think of a dolphin teaching a baby to swim and substitute Charlie in the picture." He looked at Charlie and hedged, "I don't know if they'll understand, but the pod must be close by and maybe they'll get curious enough to come in. Is everyone ready?"
Thirty seconds later everyone in the circle received an answer; pictures of a human, a Swimmer in distress with other Swimmers watching helplessly because they didn't know how to swim properly by dolphin standards. The image fuzzed to be replaced with another of the entire pod changing course, and racing at speed for the pinchers and the lagoon. All eyes went to the opening in the coral bluff. Jeff and Eric's eyes were wide with amazement.
Charlie twisted his body to sit in the shallows, he looked scared, "Are they all coming in here to help? They'll finish what you guys started," he moaned.
"That's the whole idea," Doug reminded him with a giggle.
"I meant drown my ass." Charlie pointed, "Holy shit LOOK, here they come!" He looked vacant for a few seconds, "There's one with a scar on her head, her baby was killed and she's gonna help me, the rest want to play with the other Swimmers for a while."
There was a unified, "HUH?" from the boys surrounding Charlie.
"I think." Charlie qualified his impression of aid and motherly love.
The entire pod was racing each other and the finish line seemed to be the stern of the Sea Song because they slowed and circled there, lifting their heads from the water to chatter, possibly laughing at the slow pokes. The whole school of boys moved toward the water. Doug stopped them before they got further than knee deep, "Hold it a second, they want to be friends but they're a little shy. You guys let them pick you, don't you chase one of them. They may give you rides, but when they want you to let loose, you damn well better let go. If anyone hurts one of them I'll know who you are in a flash and you won't see the sunset on this island I promise you," he warned.
One of the new boys laughed, "You mean you'd throw us off this rock for messin' with one of them big smelly fish?" Doug didn't have time to search faces for the questioner because he was hidden by three boys with flailing arms.
Kyle, Mark and Charlie stood over the boy as he lay on the sand holding his bleeding nose. Little Charlie rubbed his knuckles, "He didn't say anything about you leavin' here asshole, he meant you won't see sunset ever again. Too bad you can't go in the water bleedin' like that, you better just lay there and get some sun, you look kinda pale." The boy agreed with a silent nod. Backed up by Kyle and Mark, Cottage Commander Charlie raised his changing voice, "Has everyone got that?"
The boys lined up in chest deep water waiting, hoping to be chosen by a dolphin as the intelligent mammals glided by eyeing them, perhaps attempting to contact each telepathically. Gradually, eighteen adult dolphin chose one or two excited boys and the shallows near the forgotten catamarans became a watery playground. Hesitant touches and nudges gave way to hugs and playful gooses and some of the bolder mammals presented their new human friends their dorsal fins for rides.
Rocket and Comet and the other two males greeted Doug, Tommy and the gang they were familiar with by goosing them, and then playfully herded them into deeper water until the boys began swimming with them. The dolphin glided over or under their bodies to briefly maximize sensual contact so clearer picture messages were exchanged but all the images of intimate contact took place in moonlight meaning that nothing was going to happen during the day. The boys nodded that they understood while Doug motioned Harm, Spencer and the others out to meet their finny friends
Diego, Jeff and Eric stayed near Charlie while he attempted to imitate a dolphin swimming with his stiff knees still bent as if he was sitting in a chair so his flippered feet were all but useless. His struggles ended when he suddenly rose out of the water to find himself lying on a dolphin's back with its dorsal fin knifing his crotch. He instinctively wrapped his arms around the sleek body and looked down to see a healed diagonal scar above one intelligent eye. "Wow! Hi, I'm Charlie. Are you going to teach me to swim? Can I call you Momma, will that work?" he asked excitedly. Images flashed between them. Charlie giggled with crossed eyes while newly named Momma chattered and bobbed her head. "I think she's telling me that one of the four out there with the guys is her grown up son." He looked sad suddenly, "I'm sorry about that." He explained, "Her baby, I guess about four feet long got caught in some old fishing net and drowned."
Momma sank and took Charlie with her until he released his grip and bobbed to the surface while she circled him slowly before nudging Diego. Diego touched Momma's head hesitantly. She paused and rolled slightly to look at him. He nodded and began explaining what happened to Charlie's legs conversationally.
Jeff stood up and walked to Charlie in chest deep water, "I'm going to straighten out your legs if it won't hurt you." He whispered, "She pictured you with straight legs like us. I think that's what she was asking Diego to do."
Charlie laughed, "Yeah it was, Doctor Diego knows more about my case than I do." He called to his friend, "Cool it Dago, she's probably not interested in looking at my x-rays. Come on Momma, what do you want me to do next?"
A hundred yards further out in the lagoon, Rocket eyed Harm and Spence after Doug, Buck and Tommy pictured them as lovers with their Golden cocks at full mast. Rocket sank and then Harm yelped in embarrassed surprise before Spencer began giggling, "He's feeling me up with his nose," he explained needlessly and to no one since they all ducked under to watch.
Rocket surfaced with a leap, dove shallowly, glided among the boys' legs and then stood on his tail flukes to chatter excitedly at his three companions while the image of a pair of whales entered everyone's mind. "WHALE COCKS!" Doug screamed and laughed before Comet ducked him by swimming over his head to get to the brothers to see for himself. Comet surfaced whistling his agreement with a rapidly nodding head. Doug surfaced spitting water, "Congratulations guys, you two are the first to be named something other than Swimmer! Maybe they'll give you real rides like they do us. Float with your legs spread." The brothers looked at each other, hesitating. "If they give you a ride they'll also get you off before they bring you back," Doug promised, "and it will be an experience that you won't ever forget." He winked at Tommy, "It's wasteful but worth it."
Tommy tapped Doug so he would look at his answer, "Not all waste," he swallowed dramatically and pointed to Comet's sleek fast moving form under water. "They watch us suck and swallow so okay for them. Tonight I will try him." Tommy licked his lips in anticipation.
Doug reached out to slide his hand down Tommy's body. He grinned, "And I think I'll try you right now little bro." He took a deep breath and disappeared holding Tommy's body with both hands and treading water so the smaller boy's head remained above water.
Buck watched from nearby and spun to face Toby. Terry's head had disappeared. Toby pointed straight down, "Terry says he's ready when you are if you don't mind going a little deeper." Buck sank with a grin.
Harm and Spencer barely had time to stretch out on their faces before Rocket and Comet zoomed in under them from behind. Two hard dorsal fins slammed into the brothers' crotches. The boy's struggled briefly to hook their heels under the dolphin's pectorals as Doug described the position earlier just in case. They were being forced through the warm clear water at amazing speed from the start. Spencer quickly caught up to Harm in leaning and twisting his body and using his hands to steer or at least suggesting a direction since the dolphin were in complete control and had well developed senses of humor and competition. The dolphin weren't above bumping each other or using the brothers to push at each other when they raced and once after diving to the bottom plowing furrows in the soft coral dust mucky sand using the brothers' heads as the plows. The dolphin also knew when the brothers were on the verge of exploding; they planed over the surface at maximum speed so their big cocks were buffeted both by water resistance and by friction between sensitized nerves and cool smooth dolphin skin.
Rocket and Comet shook free of the brothers to allow them time for the usual post climax deep breathing exercises. The boys found themselves treading water out near the pinchers. The dolphin stayed in close body contact with them by gilding around them and crossing their bodies so they rubbed together. Both brothers received identical boy-dolphin mating suggestion images at the same time reinforced by hard bills snuggled firmly in their cracks and then powerful jaws opened very slightly to spread their muscled cheeks. Two shining gray heads surfaced to wait for an answer that wasn't long in coming with nods and nervous giggles. The images became instructional when Rocket overpowered Comet's picture of small Tommy clasping the smaller dolphin with both arms and locked ankles to replace it with Doug's body. The boys floated on their backs a moment before they were pushed down and covered.
Doug witnessed the union by shading his eyes with his hands. He saw four heads during the brief unique conference and then from the distance the dolphin seemed to grow human tanned legs and arms separated by dorsal fins. "Sonofabitch," he pointed, "they're getting it on together already!" Tommy laughed silently and nudged Doug to say something. Doug nodded and agreed, "Goddamn right Tommy, tonight the Golden bros go to the back of the line."
Diego shouted to get their attention. Momma had Charlie in chest deep water paralleling to beach. Charlie was trying to swim using his arms to keep his head above water and ignoring his useless legs. Mamma seemed to know when he inhaled and then she ducked him by crossing over his body to stop and push down on his little bubble butt until both disappeared. She held him down with her body using subtle fin movements until he struggled with the imperative to breathe. They watched him arch his body frantically, unconsciously using his hips to move his legs and the fins on his feet to forcefully squirt forward to slip from under her body and kick for the surface. Momma allowed her patient another breath before she repeated her movement. The three brothers and their guards, Jeff and Eric stayed close enough so they could watch the underwater phenomena, just not close enough for Charlie to grab a leg to pull his body up using one of theirs. Momma was merciless but each time she took Charlie under he seemed to escape faster as his hip movements gained force.
The swimming lesson ended suddenly when Momma charged the beach. She swung to the side when half her body thickness was exposed and raced along the shallows churning sand. She turned again and actually beached her entire body length, the distance required to gobble up three twelve inch fish that she forced on to the shore in their haste to escape becoming her dinner. The guys were about to help her back into the water after congratulating her on her fishing skills, but she was just as skilled at the flopping contortions necessary to return to her environment without assistance.
Mamma and the boys were fifty yards from where they abandoned Charlie. "Man that was neat!" Charlie called to them from fifty feet out. Everyone turned in time to see his flippers slap the surface when he dove. They watched his shape glide along for ten feet with his arms at his sides, propelled by leg power before his body arched and he kicked to regain the surface. Diego was the first to visualize Charlie's body after a few weeks of exercise, "Man is he going to have washboard abs or what's the story? He'll be a killer in bed, but what a way to go!"
Everyone in the group was back aboard Sea Song and on the open stern door waiting for the dolphin that had left them at dinner time to go out to the reef to feed themselves. Charlie and Diego lay quietly on towels which Diego spread for them at the corner of the swim platform where they could watch the action around them in the boat deck red night lights and in the water if the boy-dolphin couples stayed close by. They were just entering foreplay prior to making love to each other. Since Charlie couldn't hope to move his legs well enough to lock them around a dolphin body, Diego planned on satisfying Charlie first. Over time they'd adopted a simple give and give system. That night Charlie lay on his side and used his mouth on Diego, and then Diego pushed his lover to his back, straddled him and impaled himself.
A scared head appeared beside them chattering and directing images at Charlie and allowing Diego to 'overhear'. Charlie turned red while Diego began giggling softly so as not to draw attention to themselves. "Goddamn Dago she wants some nookie and I'm supposed to give it to her, and if you don't stop laughing I'm gonna bust you in the mouth, Del la Varga brother or not," Charlie warned with a fist under Diego's nose, "Since Jeff isn't here to protect your pretty ass. Hey where is the six hundred dollar man and his tight ass partner anyway?"
Diego ignored the threat and Charlie's question, "Don't try to change the subject. She just wants payback. You can move your hips a little now and you couldn't this morning. That should be worth a couple of pokes. Here let me help you into the water." Diego rolled his flabbergasted lover once. Charlie landed with a soft splash muted by the other dolphin splashes and excited chattering.
"You rotten motherfucker," Charlie surfaced sputtering while trying hard not to laugh. He held on to the edge of the platform and Diego leaned down and kissed him. He developed a strange quizzical expression, "She's using her nose on me, wow, that's different." Both boys laughed. Charlie released his grip to be gently pushed away from the yacht with a determined hard nose in his gut before Momma presented her dorsal fin to him for a ride to wherever she was taking him. "Later Dago!" he called from the darkness.
"If he's so good at digging holes why isn't he the one doing the digging?" Eric grumped to Jeff after Vincent drove by Grape's bombed out home for the seventh time on his way around the block going for lap eight and complaining each time he passed the empty lot.
"I heard that," Vincent growled in the boys' ear buds, "shut up and dig. Remember kid a quarter of what you find is yours."
There were two factors that increased the degree of difficulty in finding the spot where Grape buried something behind his house; the house was blown away and someone had already cleaned up the resulting mess. Not even the slab remained. All that was there was a giant front end loader tractor parked on the remaining concrete driveway, so Eric had to use his imagination, guessing where the bedroom window he watched from was just twenty-four hours earlier. "Keep your pants on Boss," Eric giggled with Jeff at the innuendo when they heard Vincent sputter wordlessly. "We got three out and one more to go. Next time, stop up close to the tractor and pop the back of the truck open for us." Eric looked at Jeff shyly, "What do we do with our share?" he asked.
Jeff pulled the last duffle bag from the sand, "Our share? You mean your share. Good question though. What are you going to do with maybe four million bucks?"
"I had it right, it's ours. We're partners aren't we? I mean I hope, that is I thought, after this morning, well you weren't just another trick. I was making love to you and it sure seemed like you were loving me right back, not just fucking a hustler." Eric paused when he saw Jeff freeze in place as he stated his occupation.
Jeff dropped the two bags he carried and pulled Eric into his arms, "Stop saying that word. I never thought you were one and I can't think that you ever were. The first time I saw you looking in the truck window with those big innocent brown eyes and wearing that cute little hopeful pixy smile I knew you were the one guy I've been looking for since forever. If you were straight I'd have put the make on you and I don't even know how to do that," he interjected, "until I got you into a bed so I could show you how much I loved you already. I'm nuts huh? Sorry, I can't help it, just put it down to my puritan upbringing. I love you fool, I've loved you my whole life and it's a miracle that I found you." He gulped air, "There, I said it. You can laugh now but making love with you this morning was just my way of showing you how much I loved you, that is, love you," he corrected quickly.
Eric pulled Jeff's head down to his. They kissed each other as if it was the first either experienced and just in case it was also to be their last. Hands dropped to grope each other's erections trapped inside the tight skin hugging black Spandex suits Vincent insisted they wear. The sound of the truck engine interrupted them, "So I ask again, what are WE going to do with OUR share PARTNER?" Eric emphasized the important words by squeezing and bending Jeff's cock painfully through the stretchy material.
"Will you two love birds get a move on?" Vincent hissed through the boys' ear pieces. "And next time you wear bugs and I'm around, shut off the mics before you get mushy," he added with a chuckle.
The runway and taxiway lights blinked off as the big plane rolled to a stop in front of a hanger built large enough to accommodate its length and wingspan easily in the middle of ten such large clear span structures. Curiously, except for brief flashes of lights from attendant ground vehicles that swarmed the jet the entire area remained in darkness. Buck and Doug began questioning Evan about his ability to pay the electric bill. The passengers stood at the foot of the rolling stairs looking lost until a pair of Black Hawk helicopters approached from across the runway. One stopped to hover motionless five hundred feet over them while the other landed close enough for them all to feel the violent downdraft until its power was reduced to idle and the rotors turned more slowly. Someone jumped from the helicopter and ran toward them.
Evan frowned at first, then giggled his recognition, "Hans, you've got hair!" He had time to exclaim before Hans picked him up and hugged him fiercely with one arm while his other collared Billy. Both Hans and Herman loved Billy because he willingly helped Meesha as Anton's body servant during the time they spent at Trenton Hall and he always seemed to be around, silent and efficient when the old Master needed help of any kind.
"Master, most welcome home with friends!" Hans returned Evan the new Master, no longer the young Master, to the tarmac and shook everyone's hand until he got to Harm and Spencer. He recognized them as friends with equally hearty handshakes after Dieter introduced them in German. Hans switched languages, "Would you continue to interpret? I'm afraid our English is still too shitty to be understood. Since we're back we've been taking the easy road and haven't been around too many Americans or Brits enough to practice."
"Sure, the first thing we need to know is why the lights are off and where the hell are we?" Dieter asked and repeated himself in English for the guys.
"We are about one hundred eighty air miles from Castle Falconburg I think, is that right, almost three hundred kilometers?" Hans asked scratching his head. "Anyway, this is an old East German airbase the Master purchased from the unified government. Now it is the Falconburg air hub in Europe, our main operations headquarters and the base for the snoopy system. Yesterday we discovered we were compromised with video cameras equipped with transmitters, just pictures, no sound." He reached in his jacket pocket and showed everyone a Coke can while Dieter translated. Evan's eyebrows knitted while he weighed the can and squinted at the pop top end that was covered with electrical tape. "The lens is wide angle but isn't equipped for night vision, just ambient light. This one was found on the dashboard of the mobile stairs," he pointed, "those mobile stairs. It is still functioning until we can locate the ultimate receiver. Whoever is interested would have been able to identify each landing or departing aircraft that carried passengers and of course know the schedule."
"Plural, you said cameras?" Evan asked.
"Yes Master, six so far. All are strategically placed and still functioning, just not very well in the dark and nothing very exciting will happen in daylight either until we've put them out of business."
"Very clever," Jonathon observed, "certainly there are empty and forgotten food and drink containers all over the place considering the amount of labor wandering about."
"Just so," Rodney agreed, "and since Jonathon and I are here we'd be delighted to interview the rascals responsible as soon as you catch the nosey buggers."
Hans nodded, "Meanwhile let's get you safe at home."
Everyone ran to the idling helicopter. The interior was fitted out for troop transport, a squad, there were Spartan seats for eleven and with Hans aboard they numbered fourteen. Tommy, Evan and Buck didn't mind using any lap closest to a window until they relocated when the view improved on the opposite side of the aircraft. No one thought about making out or bothered attempting to talk after the first shouts when it became obvious that the Black Hawk was designed to transport personnel from point 'A' to 'B' with a modicum of safety and fairly rapidly but offered passengers very little in the way of comfort including soundproofing. Tommy was first to see a bright blue glow on the right and forward.
He elbowed Harmon, his temporary lap seat and with their excitement the word spread that they were about to pass something unusual two thousand feet below them on the sporadically lighted ground. The glow grew and took on definition; it was a fanciful medieval story book castle and the right side windows became prime seats. They didn't pass the Disneyesque structure; they circled it once in a spiral as they descended rapidly until suddenly the watch towers and massive round conical slate roof of the keep were above the chopper and their view was of windows, battlements and solid walls of stone. The second chopper settled in beside their craft impossibly close so it appeared that the flashing rotors overlapped and were somehow synchronized; they laughed in the silence after the engines died, they estimated that there was all of five feet between blade tips.
The second Black Hawk bristled with weaponry. There were two short heavy wings that held air to air missiles suspended beneath them and then a pair of boxy rocket launchers mounted lower down on the fuselage, each loaded with a full compliment of the deadly projectiles as well as twin barrels of machine guns protruding from a turret under the craft. The boys waved to the pilot, appreciating his skill in dropping the chopper precisely on the white 'X' painted on the courtyard cobblestones.
Dieter inadvertently stole Hans' thunder by announcing, "This is Castle Falconburg! DUH, I never connected the name before; it's in all the guide books. I've been here a couple of times, of course not inside," he hastened to add. "Only as close as any tourist can get; the public lookout on a ridge across a ravine on land or looking up from a barge tour on the Rhine, sonofabitch, small world," Dieter concluded with a giggle. Hans was content to laugh and nod.
Herman jumped from the second helicopter and ran at Evan and Billy. His arms embraced both boys; he picked them up and danced them around as he welcomed them in German before switching to halting English. "Welcome home Master and friend Billy and all other friends! Come, come inside we have refreshments, everything ready."
Evan rifled his fingers through Herman's blond hair and giggled, "Damn Herman you've grown hair too! You and Hans look like hot studs now, you know less scary and sexier." Both men turned scarlet at the praise.
Later, when they were to be shown their rooms, Hans grinned at Evan before looking at Dieter, "The Master kept five suites here for safety," he began enumerating them and pointing at the great hall's walls and rafters to indicate their general location. He stomped his foot on the stone floor when he got to the fifth suite of rooms.
Evan ticked them off on his fingers and pointed down after Dieter finished, "That's the one we want, the safest. Grandfather wouldn't risk keeping much of value in the other safes. In fact the others are empty, except for the big surprise the guy that tried to crack one would get." Hans and Herman looked around nervously. "Relax guys we're all friends." His eyes twinkled as they traveled over the group to see one empty chair between Doug and Spencer's. They were sitting around one end of a massive refectory table positioned on a low dais at the head of the great hall. "HARMON," Evan shouted. Doug and Spencer both pointed down and giggled. They heard a dull thunk when Harm bumped his head on the underside of the table. Harm reappeared slowly as if he was growing from the seat of his chair while he sheepishly rubbed the back of his head. "Haven't I told you to just check out the small portable stuff? It would take twenty men to budge this table and then you couldn't sell it for firewood." Evan scolded. He didn't give Harm a chance to apologize, "Come on, if you're so interested in history, I'll show you history AND enough portable stuff to blow your mind." He winked at Spencer, "You too Spence, your father and uncle sure were blown away. How do we get there?" he asked the Dobermans.
Evan didn't have to invite anyone a second time. The fifth master suite was three floors below the great hall and although windowless it was sumptuous. The sitting room was totally contemporary and had a lived in look. Hans volunteered that nothing had been changed or even moved except for Anton's wardrobe. Billie and Dieter split from the group in the sitting room without the need to ask. They went directly to the dark computer. Billie activated the networked unit and then snoopy after entering Anton's revised password. The others left him and Dieter there to methodically sift through the Falconburg Empire of companies, ventures and projects in the form of e-mails that were already prioritized by importance and urgency, with extreme danger alerts if any, heading the list.
Dieter surprised himself with his business acumen and was quickly able to grasp the hundreds of strands that radiated out from the center of the corporate spider web. Anton spun the web and held the strands easily while he lived and now Dieter held them with increasing confidence in Evan, the adopted grandson's name. Billie's fingers flew over the keyboard easily keeping up with Dieter's dictated response's to the surprising volume of messages that arrived during the relatively short time they traveled from the big jet and its computers to the castle and paused for a light supper.
Evan looked back at them working together as a team so very efficiently. They were so engrossed they didn't see him grin and throw them a jaunty salute. The bedroom was medievally Spartan and the few furnishings were pronounced authentic by Harmon after a cursory inspection. He looked relieved after finding modern bedding hidden under a pile of animal skin robes which all but covered the low carved bed frame and even were used as throw rugs surrounding the bed. Harm blushed to think about the reason for his interest in the bed. He still considered him and his brother to be newcomers so they were unlikely to be invited to join Evan under those covers but still the possibility was an exciting thought.
Evan frowned at the fireplace, "Shit, I forgot about the fire. We need to light the fire; it won't open unless the mechanism is hot."
"So we'll light it up, has anyone got a match?" Buck said and began feeling over Doug's body paying particular attention to his crotch. Doug giggled at being tickled and promptly wrestled Buck to the furs on the floor.
Doug bounced on Buck's chest while he unzipped his fly, "You were looking for a match right? You found it," he straightened his erection so it banged his small lover's chin, "wherever you want it is a match, or," he wriggled backward until he felt his crotch mashing Buck's erection. This way is a match too."
Buck snuggled down, enjoying the feel of fir and Doug, "We call dibs on this spot tonight," he announced.
Evan's attention was diverted from his mission when sleeping arrangements were mentioned. "Hey yeah we can all sleep in here tonight there's plenty of these furry rugs and it's already too hot in here for covers." He smacked his forehead, "AFTER we get the fucking vault open. Has anyone got a real match?" Hans looked away from Doug and Buck eagerly stripping each other, found his Zippo and lit the dry kindling under the logs that were already in place.
The bedroom was already unusually warm when they walked in and the roaring blaze quickly raised the temperature further. The guys took their lead from Buck and Doug, who by then were happily nude and equally unhappy about carefully not touching each other while they waited to discover the reason for the lightening trip from Dagger Cay to Germany. Evan's reason was hidden in the safe.
Hans and Herman slowly backed away from the group of handsome very male and always horny young people as they shed each other's clothing. Both men enjoyed watching the boys, and enjoyed sharing a willing young crewman on Sea Song or a guard occasionally, but this was the first time that they'd been invited to participate in what they correctly assumed would be an orgy of wreathing, panting excited boy flesh soon after the vault was opened. There was no doubt that Evan included them because he looked at them and winked while he invited everyone to stay. The men, both in their thirties blinked nervously when they saw the Golden brothers, naked, sporting startling erections and then of course there was Billie's magnificent cock which adopted son Tommy was working to expose ignoring his parents' giggling half-hearted protests. The brothers settled on the edge of the bed facing the fire with bodies glistening wetly while their eyes remained fixed on each other first before they bulged at seeing sleek Billie's nakedness.
The men's attention swung back to Evan who was wielding a heavy fire poker and pushing at a particular stone behind the fire. They rushed to his sweating side when he beckoned to them. They'd seen the vault in this room open before, they'd carried cases in and out under Anton's watchful eye, but neither was ever in the room while it was being opened or closed. They were fully aware of what would happen if the safe was opened improperly though because they set the massive charges that would reduce the beautiful fortress that was their home to piles of rubble at the foot of the escarpment along the river and they knew of the transmitter that would send a signal around the world via snoopy that would end the Falconburg Empire seconds before the snoopy system itself ceased to exist like hundreds of fireflies equipped to wink at earth one time only before fragments disappeared in the vacuum of space.
"You guys need to know how to open this fucker since it's yours," Evan explained. "First you light the fire and then push the one square stone. See, the rest are rectangular." A section of wall on the left of the hearth sank in and rolled to the side to reveal the vault door with its slow blinking red light. Evan winked at Hans conspiratorially and then said in a low voice, "We need more light in here. Would you please turn on ALL the lights using the wall switches by the door?"
"Is there certain order?" Hans whispered.
"Nope, just don't miss any."
Hans threw the switches as if he was setting a time fuse. Herman looked over his shoulder nervously. Restored tapestries around the room glowed with renewed colors to tell their stories like sunny windows into the dark past. Electronic ignitions set gas torches blazing in wall sconces and the bed was brightly lit so Anton could easily read his morning mail while he enjoyed his breakfast. Everyone was busy looking around the room except Evan. He sighed in relief when the red light changed to green and the vault opened. Adult hands squeezed his bare shoulders as Hans and Herman grinned at each other and nudged him forward, wary of additional surprises inside the room-sized brightly lighted vault that even contained a small desk and a comfortable chair along with a row of filing cabinets on the back wall. Evan's eyes immediately went to the steel side wall racks, whose shelves were spaced to hold and were nearly filled with the overnight suitcase sized titanium cases.
Dieter and Billie joined Evan, Hans and Herman while the other guys were content to merely look in from the bedroom. Dieter opened a file drawer randomly and laughed, "I'll bet these are full of all the paper work no one could find."
Billie boldly pulled a case from the racks and opened it on the desk. He nodded in agreement with Dieter, "And these cases must be full of all the more recent cash transactions." He hoisted an eyebrow in Evan's direction, "You know Master, it's bloody embarrassing to have a Chinese chap call around wanting to take possession of HIS new supertanker and poor Dieter knows absolutely nothing about it. These are the bearer bonds the irate gentleman claimed he forked over in advance to dear Anton personally."
Billie's sarcasm was lost on Evan as he squatted to pull out the first two cases on the floor closest to the door. He ignored the first case after hefting it to judge its weight. The second case was lighter. He held it up to his ear and shook it. He grinned, "This is the one I want." Evan turned his back on his young scolding managers; he glanced back at Billie and Dieter, "So sue me. I didn't know about all this other shit. Get it all packed up and loaded on the plane. We can stop at Grand Cayman and make a deposit and bring all the paper work back to Dagger. We probably need to build an office building there now somewhere. Lease some land from Douggie and get it done. Forget the rest of this for now, come on and take a look at this," he invited.
Evan put the case he was interested in on the bed, and pulled Harm and Spence close before he unlatched the case full of gems. He eyed their matching half hard cocks and giggled, "Before I forget, I call bottom with you two tonight. You can draw straws to see who goes first, but right now this is the main event." He opened the case after dropping to his knees so everyone could see the top layer, the largest and/or the most valuable stones nestled in dark gray foam.
There was one unified intake of breath and then total silence for a minute before everyone began talking at once, questions mostly. Spencer boldly picked up the single huge star sapphire and squinted up at it holding in front of an overhead halogen reading lamp, "This one would be impossible to appraise accurately, you'd have to put it up for auction, but I'd put a reserve on it in the millions."
Evan took the stone from Spencer and tossed it up in the air in Harmon's direction. Harm caught it before it could hit the firs. His knuckles turned white holding it. Evan giggled at his shocked expression, "That stone has a history. Your father said that these biggies are probably even named. It would be interesting to track down the family that owned it; there might be someone, a relative, who escaped the Holocaust. If you can find someone we'll give it back," he slowly lifted the tray from the case, "but there's no hope of finding the families that owned these unfortunately so your father and I are going into business to make these into jewelry, sell it and then give that money back to all the Jews and anyone else who needs a hand in the world by building clinics and schools and giving out scholarships, shit like that." Evan continued, telling them everything he knew about his grandfather and how the hoard came to be in his possession. He concluded that once he had them he didn't know what to do with them so he stashed them after dividing them among five suitcases.
The room went silent except for one voice. Jonathon slowly wormed his way to the side of the bed to stir the bulk hoard with an index finger, "There are four more cases such as this?"
Hans and Herman stood at the back of the group. They looked at each other. Jonathon, a man they recruited forgot to use the appellation, Master, appended to his question.
Evan didn't seem to notice the lapse, "Yup, one was on Sea Song. I left that one with Mister Golden and after the damn robbery; it's in a safe deposit box at their bank. Tomorrow we'll go get the other three."
"I'm rather afraid that won't be possible," Rodney announced from the vault doorway. Everyone turned to the direction of his voice and was shocked to see him holding a handgun in each hand and both were pointed nervously at them. David and Noah looked at their discarded clothing together. Their holsters were empty. The third weapon was tucked in Rodney's waistband. Hans took a step toward Rodney and was clubbed viciously from behind with Jonathon's weapon. Jonathon swung a second time and Herman dropped to the floor to join his partner in unconsciousness. Jonathon disarmed both men and then searched them for additional weapons since they were the only others in the room who were still dressed.
David and Noah were made to pick up the two unconscious men and carry them to the back of the vault and then lie on their faces while Jonathan placed Hans and Herman across their bodies to immobilize them. He laughed while he warned them that if one so much as twitched he would regretfully cut all four throats. Jonathon sat on the top of the desk while Rodney remained in the bedroom. The boys were pushed into a rough line to hand the cases out from the vault to the bedroom. Rodney replaced one handgun with a knife as the number of cases grew. His success made him talkative. He grinned at Evan, positioned at the bedroom end of the chain, "You asked us the first night what our price was. I'm afraid you caught us by surprise and we rashly agreed to a share of fifty percent of some amorphous number, perhaps a share of a mere hundred million? Jonathan and I discussed this at length and we thought perhaps if we bided our time and we carefully gained your trust, that just such an evening as this might occur, and here we are. How much do you think our revised price is Evan, you dear boy, half a billion, a billion in cash, negotiable securities and of course the gems?" Rodney's jeering laughter bordered on maniacal. "I must say I very nearly aborted the mission when you happily announced to one and all that there are three more of these collections hidden elsewhere, however, a bird in the hand as we opportunists say."
Evan dropped the last case near Rodney's feet. He continued to study the carpet subserviently, "If you wanted a billion you should have said so, I wouldn't have missed it just like I won't miss any of this," he mumbled.
Rodney laughed again, "Ah, but you will dear Evan you will. You'll miss this and everything else you possess. We were planning to simply shoot everyone around you once we achieved the upper hand and our rewards, but echoing gunshots might raise questions immediately. I then decided to simply cut your throats but that option is so messy and there would be the problem of disposing of your wonderful bodies and of course explaining to the troops above stairs how we came to survive the slaughter. No my boy, I think the solution to this dilemma is to simply lock you in the vault. You will all disappear to suffocate or if Jonathon and I are lucky you may attempt to escape and set off your grandfather's safeguards in which case you and this beautiful impregnable fortress will cease to exist. Now off you go, all of you, in you go." He prodded Evan with the butt of his knife to push the others in the line into the vault and then stood guard at the door while Jonathan scampered to the light switches.
There was a faint thunk from the door when the bolts surrounding it slammed into matching ports. Evan sighed and grinned, "Man I thought we were dead meat there for a minute." He helped pull Hans and Herman from Noah and David and laughed when he saw that they were regaining consciousness. The others looked at Evan like he'd gone nuts.
David was the only one to grin, "You're way too happy. Anton left a bolt hole in here somewhere just in case didn't he?"
Evan broke into a back slapping laugh while he nodded. Hans and Herman sat up with groans which grew louder when they reached to each other's head to gauge the damage. "Are you guys alright?" After assurances he continued, "Remember this was Grandfather's favorite home. Did you notice how fast the vault could be opened? When he was in the room he probably kept a fire going all the time." A nod from Hans confirmed Evan's supposition. "In the event of trouble he could get in here in a flash and close the door and wall with a push plate behind that rack, this was his safe room." Everyone looked at the obvious switch which would normally be concealed behind one of the titanium cases. "We can open the door with that switch too, except right now we don't know what those two greedy motherfuckers are up to so we can't get out that way. BUT there's a back door behind the filing cabinets according to the notes Grandfather gave me."
David held his palm over the square pressure plate on one side of a low door sized rectangle whose top sill had been concealed by the four drawer cabinets in the otherwise seamless steel wall. "Will anything nasty happen if I open it?"
Evan grinned, "What's the most that could happen. If we blow ourselves up those two fuckers go with us." He pushed the back of David's hand. The seal on the secret door popped audibly like a cork leaving a Champaign bottle. The door swung out and up hydraulically and the prisoners were greeted with a whoosh of hot damp air.
Hans and Herman broke into a babble of laughing German. Everyone looked at Dieter impatiently, he just looked surprised, "Baths?"
"BATHS, why you dirty old men, you want to stop and take a bath at a time like this?" Evan giggled, "Well okay, if that's what it will take to get you out of those clothes."
"No," Dieter corrected with a giggle, "Herman said that this must open behind the baths."
"Ya, Roman baths," Herman managed before lapsing into his first language while he ducked his head to lead the way into the dark tunnel behind the vault, Anton's escape route.
Dieter's voice began to echo hollowly when he translated. "He said this site was originally a fortified Roman Villa and while the slaves were cutting the foundation out of the living rock up higher they hit a hot spring, so of course the Romans tunneled down and built themselves a bath. He says the succeeding builders over the centuries kept the baths intact and everyone used the hot water to heat whatever they built on top of it. Castle Falconburg is heated the same way. He says he knows where we are now." Dieter added as the constant whine of a big electric motor grew louder in the total darkness as they walked down a constant incline.
Hans and Herman stopped suddenly near the motor, no one else stopped. Harm had worked his way forward by feel and apologies for groping the other guys to just behind Herman so he could listen to Dieter translating the history lesson. He crashed into Herman's back, grabbed him and carried them both to the stone floor. Everyone behind them followed like dominos. Hans found the light switch they stopped to grope for and suddenly the laughing tangle of arms, legs and bodies was illuminated by a line of fluorescent tubes stretching back along the way they came and forward to out of sight around a bend in the tunnel. The tunnel had been enlarged where they stood, when they finally stood. They looked over a railing at the spring and the big electric pump. Hans indicated silence a little further on before he opened a metal door that led into the actual original Roman baths. Harm watched the door close to become part of the intricate mosaic tile patterned wall after Herman walked away to find the light switch.
The domed ceiling was marred by discrete track lighting. The pool was oval and large. Doug dipped a toe to test the water, grinned at Harm and they both slipped in silently to disturb the placid surface with a few ripples. Buck rolled his eyes and giggled, "Here we are; two greedy motherfuckers can't decide whether to shoot us or cut our throats, so they compromise by locking us in an airtight vault to suffocate OR blow the top off the fucking mountain, we escape, we have no weapons, the bad guys are just up those stairs over there and you just have to stop to take a fucking swim."
Doug looked up at Buck mock innocently, "Well, you certainly didn't expect me to walk by this pool did you? I, we," he corrected when Harm surfaced at his side, "just can't resist." He stood up, the water was waist deep, and "Besides the overpowering temptation we were just checking the depth to be sure it wasn't too deep for you little guys."
Buck tried to look offended, "That settles it, you're on the bottom tonight, I'll show you little," Tommy thumped his chest, "for Tommy too."
"Me too you tall skinny prick," Evan added.
Doug made a face at Evan, "Pussy mouth."
"Cum breath!" Evan retorted.
"Jealous!" Doug shot back.
David understood everyone's euphoria and silliness, he was just as happy to be alive and free of the vault, "Will you guys shut the fuck up?" he ended the verbal joust. "And get out of there, this isn't over yet."
Evan shrugged, "Almost, they have to use the chopper we came in on because the other one is already maxed out with armament. After they take off we'll blow the fucks out of the sky."
Herman joined the conversation in English, "Not, they will disable. They are disloyal and steal from Master," he grinned, "not stupid, just, what is word, ignorant? WE will deal with problem, yes?" He and Hans nodded together a single time. "Come we make Master and friends safe, then we capture for long lesson," he grinned and rubbed his hands together in eager anticipation before offering them to Doug and Harm to pull them from the pool.
"Ouch," Evan agreed with a grinning nod. He thought of something else, "Say guys, did you receive three crates from Asia? I'm expecting three of my Captains to arrive for a meeting kind of like what you plan for Jon and Rod only quicker."
Hans nodded, "Ya Master, they are below," he held his nose, "very stinky yes?"
"Sorry about that I was teaching them that they really are big assholes. Did you find the Commodore?"
"Yes Master he died from a broken neck in a bathtub fall after filling his lungs with water." Dieter flinched in translating that.
"You drowned him and then broke his neck? Isn't that kind of overkill?"
"No Master, we call it a very thorough accident."
Evan rethought his plans for the three captains, "You know, by now they should be pretty scared shitless," he laughed. "I think I'll just let them go free, I'll beach them, blackball them and pull their pensions. They'll serve as living lessons to the other captains about what I think of drag racing my boats.
Hans and Herman both grinned and nodded, "Good plan Master, living lessons remembered longer than dead." Herman agreed. "Come, no more fun and talk." The Doberman's led them from the baths by another staircase up until they were once again within the original castle foundations, below the keep, into a brightly lit room that was obviously the control room. Three men sat at built-in desks and watched a dozen monitors each. None more than glanced up briefly at their unexpected visitors before their attention returned to their bank of screens.
Dieter translated the brief status report from the man in the middle, "The materials are being moved from the Master's suite and loaded on the helicopter as you ordered." This man used snoopy on his largest screen to track five infrared dots as they moved from the great hall through a labyrinth of passageways to the courtyard where the choppers were parked. Three walked single file and carried a warmed case in each hand while the two following each carried one and walked abreast.
Hans and Herman grinned, "They each have one hand free to draw weapons, and are untrusting and stay at the rear so we can isolate them easily." Hans explained happily to everyone before asking if they were provided with communications. The man sitting at the middle desk nodded wearing a sickly expression; unsure who would be blamed for this security breach, but very sure that the unprecedented lapse would not be tolerated. "Key those to switch to the emergency frequency after they've loaded their cases and their hands are free." He pointed to the two supervising figures, Jonathon and Rodney walking behind the three guards they'd dragooned to help carry the cases. "We want these two stopped in the long hall leading to the great hall." He looked at another bank of screens, "Bring up the four cameras in that hall."
The control room supervisor waited until the eight glowing cases jointed the others already in the helicopter. He keyed his microphone on and off sporadically before holding it open to warn that whoever was playing with his mic switch should stop. The boys watched the three guards in the courtyard casually reach to wherever they kept their radios to change channels while Jon and Rod laughed at the warning. Someone in any guard force always played around during their shifts out of boredom, to get just such a warning response from the control room.
Herman took possession of the desk microphone, "Close up together by the time you reach the great room. The hallway will be sealed so do not linger in the doorway and get out of the line of fire. Do not return fire. Those two are to be taken alive," he barked. Everyone held their breath while they watched the three guards continue to talk quietly among themselves as they walked down the hall. As soon as they passed through the great room doorway they dove together to one side as instructed as a one ton grilled portcullis dropped in free fall from the arched opening behind them. Rod and Jonathon reacted instantly by drawing their weapons and turning back toward the courtyard in time to see the portcullis at that end of the hall seal off any hope of escape. Everyone in the castle complex heard the twin crashing thuds and felt the stone vibrate from the impacts. Congratulations in the control room stopped as soon as they began when they saw Jon and Rod kneel, facing each other. Rod fumbled in a pocket for something out of any camera view. They saw Jon nod and shrug his acceptance of their easy defeat. The two men embraced and kissed standing on their knees. Each placed a hand at the back of the other's head as they kissed passionately.
Hans and Herman swore together as they ran out the door followed by the boys and their guards, David and Noah. Dieter announced the problem, "Those assholes just took poison, at least that's what they think."
By the time they reached the great room, the three guards were holstering their weapons as they peered through the portcullis grillwork. Rod and Jon had toppled to their sides. They still held each other while their lips barely touched in rictus. The grill was raised. An eyeglass case lay open near Rod's unused handgun and two of the tiny glass darts were missing from the case. The vacant depressions in the foam were red, the fastest acting poison in the deadly little arsenal.
Hans and Herman fell to their knees in front of Evan. Herman offered the boy Rod's weapon butt first, "We fail you Master. We are ready," he said as tears formed in his eyes. Hans' head was already bowed; his broad shoulders shook with total remorse for the unforgivable.
Evan accepted the weapon, removed the clip, emptied the chamber and tossed it to a guard, one of twenty that appeared from nowhere. Hans and Herman didn't see his smile, "Would you guys consider coming out of retirement? I seem to have two vacancies. Right now you need to lead us back to that great big bath tub," he yawned noisily, "we need to get cleaned up so we can get to bed."