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Luck cover
 

Luck by Nemo Euler

ISBN: 978-1477673287   EAN: 1477673288   © 2012 Nemo Euler

Chapter 4

TON AND BOY had spent their first Yearend Holidays at Boy’s home, an impressive estate in the capital, Longwater, by The Bay of Repose.

Boy’s circumstances, the wealth of his family that was apparent everywhere, had come as a huge shock to Ton, because Boy – always modest and sober – had never told him about any of it, and now he understood that Boy might very well be the heir to the largest fortune on the planet! Ton still hadn’t quite figured out how to deal with that piece of information.

During the last days of their vacation, Ton had decided he could wait no longer... that he would declare his heart to Boy on the day they first flew Steel Hornets together, that he would no longer keep his desire and love for his Ridemate suppressed and hidden – it was driving him quietly crazy! He would have to take his chances and when the chips were down he would see!

Having returned to the Academy after the holidays, the old drab stone fortress somehow felt welcoming and familiar. Cadets and staff were arriving, singly or in groups, by boat or road, some were even flown in by Hornets. The halls and grounds again rang with young voices and barked commands. The Parade Ground was smooth and finely raked, not a weed in sight anywhere. The lawns were freshly mown and the tall Tucas pruned, relieved of the random branches that sprouted from their boles. Inside, the wooden floors and staircases, although worn, were now shiny – the intense smell of varnish permeating every room and hall. The myriad window panes had been polished and the wooden tables and benches in the refectory scrubbed and bleached with lime to immaculate whiteness.

Boy and Ton had arrived on the same boat; Boy embarking in Longwater, Ton coming onboard during the stopover in Newdock. They had talked animatedly at first, then, as they had run out of topics, they had just sat comfortably on deck, side by side under the awning, enjoying the three-day sea voyage which passed in a glow of brilliant sunshine and warm gentle breezes.

Having settled back in – now in their new home, the second-year dorm – they had had a period of concentrated training, and were now ready for their first training-flight with real, live Steel Hornets! During the intensified training they had had a good deal of experience in meshing with the minds of various Maschinecles of increasingly high order, and had even trained with Steel Hornets on the ground.

Flight training with Cadets was a favoured task among un-bonded Hornets. It gave them the opportunity to mesh with a number of fresh young minds, each eager to be shaped and educated, and to evaluate the pool of Cadets for prospective partners. At the same time it included the Maschinecle equivalent of what Humans called ‘pleasure’, so a number of un-bonded Hornets were always on standby for any temporary mindmesh that might show up.

Now – finally, after over a year of hard training – it was time for their first flight!

Standing next to Ton on one of the smaller training fields, dressed in his flight leathers, helmet in hand, goggles curled inside the helmet’s padding, Boy waited for their instructor to arrive. He and Ton were standing at what felt like a safe distance from two awesome Steel Hornets, their six legs firmly planted on the gravel. The Steel Hornets were no danger to the two young men, on the contrary, but they were so large and intimidating that a Human would instinctively keep a distance. It was true that a single bolt of searing light from a facet of a Hornet’s eye would be sufficient to reduce a Cadet to a cloud of incandescent gas and ashes, but an action like that could only be initiated by the perverted mentality of a rogue Hornet. It would cause the Hornet to self-destruct, or – if the Hornet’s mentality had gone completely awry and it had become insane – to be hunted down by other Hornets and obliterated. Similarly, the torch from a Hornet’s sting, or its stab, could kill – but so could its mandibles, the swat of an antenna, the sharp edge of a scything steel wing, the swing of the huge striped abdomen, and countless other chance movements by one of the immense steel Maschinecles. These things did not happen, however, simply because they were not supposed to happen. The Hornets’ enormous think capacity controlled their movements to within a hair’s breadth, and the love and care for their chosen men, embedded at the core of their metallic mentalities, prevented any such thing from taking place – unless the Hornet was rogue of course; but the rogue Hornets had nearly all been destroyed during The Century of Order, and now only a few remained, living in hiding or on the moons, Moman and Bis, or on the remote planets of the Luck system.

Boy and Ton gave themselves a last-minute briefing, quizzing each other on essential rules of flight.

Ton drilled Boy in details about safety speeds and heights, and while Boy ticked off the answers he noticed that Ton was watching him intently, hanging on every word that emerged from his lips as if they were precious gems. This was somehow a ‘new’ way for Ton to look at him – at least, Boy had not noticed it before – he was not used to such intense scrutiny from his mate. Boy finished his recital and looked up questioningly. Ton caught his eye and Boy looked away – as if there was something in Ton’s searching gaze he couldn’t quite meet. Ton’s eyes sparkled and a slightly feral smile curled his lips. Boy looked back again, then away – and blushed… what in Bis!

Boy became fidgety. He put his helmet on the ground and began adjusting his flight leathers. Ton’s eyes followed his hands as they nervously fitted the jacket over his pectorals and abdomen, tightened the breeches around his slim waist and adjusted the legging’s over his firm thighs, smoothing them over his calves and down into the soft boots. Ton followed Boy’s every move, his eyes glinting, lingering, as Boy’s hands moved over his body. Ton again looked at him, now with an open question in his eyes. Whaat… something was going on and he didn’t have a clue – or did he?

Boy nervously shuffled his feet, looking this way and that, fiddling with his leathers, wishing the instructor would get his act together and show up!

Boy bent down and picked up his helmet. He sensed that his mate was trying to draw him out, was making a move on him. Ton was always the forward one, the brave one, the one who unflinchingly stared life in the face and took on its challenges. Boy was more timid and in most ways less experienced; but, although he had on the whole led a sheltered life with his family, he was by no means naive or fearful, not afraid of life or change. He understood that Ton’s behaviour held a deliberate message, a physical message – a message of the body. It made him feel both uneasy and excited. In a flash he realised that the excitement was attraction, attraction to Ton… Suddenly – like a bolt from the blue – the intimate way Ton looked at him, looked at his body with frank desire, had looked at his bum when he bent to pick up the helmet, created a matching awareness of Ton and his body. The sudden rush of attraction and adrenalin had triggered his blush – he was completely taken aback! An image surfaced unbidden in his mind: Ton floating in the shallows during their recent holiday together; naked, lithe and strong, brown as a nut, dark hair sprinkled over his chest in perfect whorls, extending in a fuzzy line down the cleft of his body to envelop his heavy member, to spread in a caress over his sinewy, sculpted thighs and calves, his eyes closed, a dreamy look on his handsome face as he floated, gently carried in the embrace of the sun-streaked waters.

Boy’s blush deepened and he hoped Ton wouldn’t notice – but there wasn’t much chance of that, was there. And Ton had noticed, as was easily confirmed by his happy, knowing look and by the hand he stretched out to gently squeeze Boy’s upper arm. Boy had no idea what to do with this new and unexpected turn of events. A flood of conflicting thoughts and emotions coursed through his mind and body. His heartbeat rocketed, igniting him, breaking him into a sweat. He wanted to run and keep running until it all went away, and at the same time he wanted to take Ton in his arms and crush him to his body. Boy dared not raise his eyes to look at Ton; he stared fixedly at the gravel and sprouting weeds at his feet, while Ton patiently waited, his warm hand still on Boy’s bicep, sending what felt like an electric current through the leather of the sleeve, up his arm and down his spine.

The only certain knowledge Boy’s battling mind and heart left him with, was that he could not move on with this right here and now – he needed time: time to absorb and come to terms with this very sudden shift in his perception of Ton – the man and Ridemate who the Academy intended to be his for life, who could very well end up being exactly that!

Then the instructor arrived, finally… to supervise the temporary mindmesh with the two Hornets that had agreed to fly in training with Boy and Ton; and for the time being the instructor’s arrival saved Boy from further revelations and from acting upon the one he had already had!

The instructor assigned Boy and Ton to their respective Steel Hornets waiting motionless on the gravel, sun glinting on their metallic bodies and wings, on their abdomens, alternately striped in gold and black steel, and in their multi-faceted eyes. The instructor then bade Boy and Ton enter the mild trance-like state necessary for a Human to ‘mind’ – to think – at a Maschinecle, and to make man receptive to the thoughts projected at him.

Boy focused on a facet of one of his Steel Hornet’s eyes and prepared his mind, the way he had been taught in countless meditation sessions, and… the Steel Hornet was there!

It was an enormous thrill every time contact was established with a high-order Maschinecle – especially with a Hornet! It was as if shutters around Boy’s mind were thrust aside and a plethora of mental vistas poured in on him. And in the foreground was the Steel Hornet’s name! It was not what you would ordinarily call a name, it couldn’t be verbalised – it was too complex to be put into words. It was more like a gestalt imprinted on Boy’s mind – a large, complex image of a mighty entity, an image that was unique to each Hornet and easily recognised once experienced.

Boy had not been in mindmesh with this Hornet before – had not experienced its name.

Unexpectedly, the immense landscape of the Steel Hornet’s mind opened up to Boy and his mental horizon zoomed to infinity. The enormity of it was close to overwhelming him, his legs nearly buckling, his body feeling far away and its functions remote and insignificant. Control over his swaying torso and faltering legs returned – it was as if a hand reached out from a far distance, from the Hornet’s mind, steadying him and holding him up like a loosely-jointed puppet. No mindmesh he had ever been in before had come even close to the magnitude of what he now experienced. He saw kaleidoscopic images shimmering and darting through his mind: vistas and towns seen from an immense height, a globe covered in verdure and bands and patches of glittering blue; red Moman and blue Bis in a stately dance as he moved between them – he recognised the moons, even though he had never been this close to them. He saw fleeting images of battles between swarms of Steel Hornets, some Riderless, some with Riders, while dense weaves of red, white and blue light-beams seared among the Hornets and plunged some from the sky. He saw the flare of a sting-torch whipping through the thin, reinforced connection between a thorax and an abdomen, the two sections of the severed Hornet spinning apart and plummeting towards the ground far below.

The Hornet sensed that Boy was becoming nauseous, caused by the onslaught of images and thoughts, and guided his mind towards having better control over his perceptions. The fragmentary, dizzying mental display stabilised, and the Hornet’s support of Boy’s enhanced mastery of his mind made it possible for him to isolate and select single streams of consciousness. Among the things he now ‘saw’ or ‘knew’ – distinctions between the concepts of ‘seeing’ and ‘knowing’ were now meaningless as they merged into one another and became an integral part of his perceiving mind – was that the Hornet had existed for a very long time. He sensed how the span of ages had given it vast experience and knowledge. As Boy minded at the Hornet, he sensed how the complex of his own mentality was being gauged and understood, how the Hornet’s mentality shifted accordingly, and he sensed the Hornet’s satisfaction with his natural disposition and unshaped mind. It filled him with awe and intense joy, making him feel very much alive and wanting to fling the boundless energies of his youth into a bond with this Steel Hornet – to be at one with its vast mentality, to be guided by it, to be its partner for life!

“Cadet Gabriall!” he faintly heard the instructor’s shout through the haze of his mindmesh with the Hornet. “Cadet Gabriall!” The instructor grabbed Boy’s shoulders and shook him. “Pull back… this is not a bonding ceremony!”

“Let the boy go!” the instructor yelled angrily, turning to the Steel Hornet. “This is supposed to be a training flight! Behave yourself!”

The immersive mindmesh faded, only a tenuous thread remaining, but sufficient for the training flight. As the overwhelming contact faded, Boy saw the Hornet’s mental gestalt shift and express what Boy sensed as humour, and just before the intimate part of the mesh broke completely, he perceived the thoughts: wait… soon…

* * *

Boy and Ton were in the sky on the mighty Hornets. Helmeted and begoggled, they were strapped down in their respective rider-seats, integrated at the front of the thorax, behind the juncture of the head and just in front of the wing joints, enabling a 360˚ view. The wings were movable, but were not applied during normal flight – they would cause a gale of vortices around the Rider, along with a thunderous roar, and would partly obscure the view to the sides and back.

It was the realisation of their wildest dreams, and they were both half out of their minds with nervous energy and joy. They revelled in the freedom of swooping and cavorting through the air on real live Steel Hornets! Via the dizzying four-way mindmesh – Boy and Ton minding at their Hornets, the Hornets minding at each other, and each Hornet minding back at its Cadet – each was aware of the other’s intentions as they navigated the sky. They manoeuvred so as to fly in parallel, grinning at each other like idiots, each shaking a fist over his head in exultation. They were heady with the power of the flight and the elation of partially sharing their minds through the link between the Hornets.

Suddenly, without warning, Boy’s head smacked hard into the headrest as a violent jolt went through his Hornet. A loud clanging sound of something hard meeting something metallic rang in Boy’s ears. Boy and his Hornet streaked off, away from Ton, and began falling, plummeting through the air like a stone!

Boy’s untrained mind was thrown out of mesh with the Hornet’s and he fought to concentrate, as he had been taught, fought to get back into the right mind-state, regardless of the tremendous stress he was under. As they fell, Boy was flung to the side and only the seat belts saved him from being thrown off. The wind battered his face, howled around his goggles and helmet as he struggled to hang onto the hand-holds and fought to get back into contact with his Hornet while they plunged towards the ground, rushing towards them with the inevitability of certain destruction. Abruptly, just as Boy was convinced they were going to drill a hole into the surface and die, the Steel Hornet levelled off and Boy managed a wavering mesh with its mind. He minded furiously at the Hornet, but all he got back was a confused jumble of dim mental images, nothing coherent. The Hornet was out of control. Boy assumed the autonomous emergency organ in the Hornet’s thorax had taken over and prevented the crash, had broken the fall and levelled off when the minimum safety distance to the ground had been reached.

The Hornet sped up, and within seconds they were over the sea, going faster and faster. The protective rider-guard slammed into place with a loud clang, and Boy was pressed brutally back in his seat by the violent acceleration, feeling an unbearable weight settle on his chest as darkness overcame him and blood began dripping from his nose.

The unconscious Cadet and his Steel Hornet broke the sound barrier, the shockwave of a sonic boom rippling through the atmosphere behind them.

Ton saw a fiery ball streak right out of the blue sky from nowhere, whistle over his head and hit Boy’s Steel Hornet in the abdomen-rings. Boy’s Hornet veered off and began falling towards the ground far below, dropping like the bulk of heavy metals it actually was, its Liftheart seemingly malfunctioning. Ton and his Hornet chased after them, and he saw Boy’s Hornet go into level flight just before it would have crashed, then it took off towards the sea. Ton’s Hornet followed as Boy’s Hornet picked up speed, but when Ton heard the sonic boom he knew his Hornet would not allow him to follow any further, as they would have to exceed the maximum safe-speed limit in order to keep up.

Ton was in shock and deeply disturbed by what had just happened. As his Steel Hornet set course back to the Academy, he went into a black funk, his body shaking, his teeth grinding, rigid fingers gripping the hand-holds as if he was going to crush them in his bare fists. He was mortally afraid for Boy’s life! Tears trickled from his eyes and pooled inside the goggles pressed to his face by the strong wind. Images of Boy and their life together flashed through his mind. Seemingly insignificant episodes and small details bubbled to the surface and his heart was in great pain; he screamed out in despair, the wind throwing the scream back into his throat. Ton was distraught and felt utterly powerless – he was unable to do anything to help and protect Boy, his Ridemate, the young man he hoped to some day join in mateship! The realisation of his lack of power and his inability to come to Boy’s aid nearly drove him over the edge!

The day of their triumph had turned to disaster. Boy was lost and Ton was spiralling into darkness.

* * *

As Boy slowly regained consciousness, he became aware of sun and warmth, of the cries of Möws, of the sound of surf against rocks and of wavelets gently lapping on a beach.

Boy felt like he had been passed through a meat grinder – even his eyes hurt as he slowly opened them. He wiped his nose and his hand came away bloody. His lips and the skin of his lower face felt tight with caked, dried blood.

He was in the seat of a Steel Hornet, tightly strapped in. The Hornet lay inert, its legs folded underneath, on a sandy beach, not far from the water’s edge. Apart from Boy and the Steel Hornet and the circling, crying Möws, the beach seemed deserted and there were no signs of Human life or habitation – the sand was untouched and virginal.

Memory slowly returned to Boy and he recalled the training flight, that the Steel Hornet had initialised bonding and that they had seemingly been shot down. He remembered the immense weight pressing on him, the abrupt increase in speed crushing him back into the seat, the roar of blood in his ears and the darkness spreading behind his eyes. He realized that he must have passed out and that the Hornet had somehow made it to the beach before it finally crashed.

The Hornet’s body creaked faintly and Boy sensed dim, disconnected half-thoughts, a muddle of kaleidoscopic impressions that made no sense – the Maschinecle was obviously very badly damaged. Boy tried to mind at the Hornet, but there was no response. He tried again, both in words and thought, and asked the Hornet to lift its heavy metal head from the sand where it lay pitifully; but to no avail – either the Hornet couldn’t hear him or it was unable to respond.

For a while Boy stayed put in the rider-seat, deep in thought, assessing the situation; then he heaved a heartfelt sigh, released the belts and climbed out onto the step alongside the wing joint. He was going to examine the Steel Hornet, root around in its insides if necessary, to see what he could find. He climbed down to the beach by the indentations in the Hornet’s thorax, there for the purpose.

The air was balmy, a slight wind stirring, and the sun hot. Uncomfortable and beginning to sweat, he took off his heavy riding gear and dropped it onto the sand, only leaving on his underpants. The light wind played in his coppery curls and his body delighted in the breeze and the warmth of the sun on his skin.

Boy was not optimistic about what he might find or what he could do about it. All Maschinecles were incredibly complex structures, and what made them live, what was their life-force, was a mystery – much the same as it was for Humans. Sometimes part of a Maschinecle just stopped working, or the Maschinecle stopped altogether and was lifeless – again much the same as with a Human.

Boy was downcast and bewildered by the failure of his Steel Hornet. He sat on the warm sand, folding his right foot under him as was his want. His state of mind was not improved by his feeling of being amputated – all mental contact with the Hornet cut off. He felt very unlucky too! Maschinecles lived for many, many generations of Humankind – some lived forever it was said – and now the very one that had joined him for his first training flight, the one that had initiated bonding, lay inert on a deserted beach – and as he had no idea where he was, he had no idea if any help would be on its way either…


excerpt from
Chapter 5

WHEN BOY BEGAN checking his immobile Steel Hornet, it became immediately clear that it was indeed badly damaged! An object had hit the third abdomen-ring, one of the gold-clad rings that alternated with the nearly black rings. At high velocity, the object had torn the ring out of shape and left a jagged blackened edge around the impact zone. The object had continued through the Hornet’s insides, playing havoc with organs and connective paths on its way, and had then exited, leaving another jagged blackened edge at the opposite side of the ring.

The damage was by far beyond anything Boy could deal with, could even contemplate touching. Nothing in his basic spares kit could even remotely replace any of the sophisticated and complex organs and pathways that had been smashed or melted by whatever had hit them – even if he had known how to perform such a complex operation.

He stretched out on the sand in the Hornet’s shadow, fearing it would never fly again. The Steel Hornet that he had begun to think of as ‘his’ was already lost to him – the Hornet that had chosen him, him, Boy; the Hornet that had dipped into his mind as if it was initiating bonding; the Hornet that had told him to wait for the day their minds would unite and thus begin a lifelong partnership.

Overwhelmed by shock and unhappiness, Boy drifted off, watching puff clouds in their stately procession across the deep blue sky, and eventually he fell asleep alongside his motionless Hornet.

Boy woke up with a throbbing erection in his underpants. It was still day, but the sun was low and blue Bis was faintly visible in the sky.

Not now, by Bis – not now… Boy thought while his hand crept over the ridges and valleys of his stomach towards his need. I must be in control of this – at least sometimes…

He abruptly turned onto his stomach and ground his hardness into the beach, his back itching from its coating of sweat and sand. He cleaned away the crumbs of sleep nestled in the corners of his eyes, images of lust and despair running in parallel through his mind. He was ashamed of his need at a moment like this, when his Steel Hornet was lying dead on the beach next to him! He tried to control his thoughts, but moments later they drifted back anyway, unbidden – back to newfangled fantasies conjured up by his mind, to sensual images that had not been there before, images of Ton. Ton’s lithe body in his riding gear – as Boy had last seen him: the heaviness at the front of Ton’s green leathers, his serious face and amber eyes gazing into Boy with an intimate message, with a question too, balls and heart, exciting and disturbing – images developed by what had happened while they waited for the training flight.

In Boy’s world – where minds were shared through Maschinecles – it was a known and accepted fact that some men were born to love men, that some women were born to love women, and that a lot of men and women were somewhere in between. As Boy had once heard his father say: “Your desire will tell you who you are, you can’t reason with a boner – it’s as simple as that!”

Boy was not ashamed of his fledgling sexual attraction to Ton – to him it was simply natural – but, like most virile young men of his age, he sometimes struggled with the strong sexual needs that surfaced at the slightest stimulation, and always when he awoke from sleep.

I’m not giving in… not this time, he thought, as he got up from the sand. He untied the drawstring and shed his underpants, dropped them on the beach and ran naked into the sea. He crouched in the lapping waves, brushed sand from his hair, then dipped his hands in the water and washed the blood and grime from his face. He rose and splashed through the shallows – arms swinging, legs pumping, spray in the air and over his body – and plunged in when the water reached his navel, having chilled his balls and erection. Boy took a long swim, tiring himself out, cooling down; back and forth, back and forth between the steep rock outcroppings that enclosed the cove like arms, specks of crystal and silver in the cliffs glinting in the sun.

Back on the warm sand, he shook the water from his curls and wiped most of the droplets from his pale body with his underpants to prevent the seawater salt from drying into his sensitive skin. Damp underpants in one hand, he walked along the beach, rooted around in the shells, seaweed and flotsam in the washed-up ribbon near the water’s edge. He found flattish stones and skipped them over the low rollers, some flying in flat arches, sun shimmering in the skips, others just going ‘plop’ and sinking like the stones they were. His mind shifted between the joy of fooling around in the warm rays of the setting sun, his naked body glowing in the breeze, and the vulnerability of his situation – it would soon be dark. He sent the last, nicely flat stone flying across the water, then pulled himself together – I must think of something!

Boy climbed back onto the step by the Hornet’s wing, hung his underpants to dry on the corner of the windscreen – they would be crusty with salt – and settled in the rider-seat. He grabbed his foot, pulled it under his naked butt, his face a study in youthful anxiety.

What now? He was both hungry and thirsty. There were no emergency rations onboard the Hornet – it was just supposed to have been a short training flight. He was stranded on a deserted beach and nobody from the search party – which would surely have been sent out – had shown up yet. He must be far from any populated areas and his Hornet must be incapable of summoning help by mindmesh, otherwise somebody would already have come to his rescue.

The night would be chilly and he had no means of making a fire. He had to start exploring his surroundings right away, to look for signs of habitation – and find some drinking water!

While in the rider-seat, pondering his situation, Boy heard a faint ‘whoosh’. Turning towards the sound, he got the surprise of his life when he saw a spectre miraculously descend from the sky. It hovered for a moment, gazing at him with penetrating eyes, then settled on the step by the Steel Hornet’s wing. Boy had never seen anything like the apparition standing next to him, staring at him, at his nakedness, the shadow of a smile curling its mouth. At the Academy, Boy had recently heard rumours of ‘Sky Lords’, is this a Sky Lord? he wondered – the stranger definitely looked outlandish enough!

The man – for a man it was and not a spectre, Boy was now certain of that – was dressed most strangely! His garments were shiny and clung to his body like a second skin; Boy had never seen fabric remotely like that before. He could even see every muscle of the young man’s magnificent body rippling under his clothes as he shifted slightly where he stood.

Suddenly it struck Boy… it darkened behind his eyes and his sense of reality reeled for a moment: the stranger had flown… the stranger had flown – just like a Steel Hornet! Gaping in disbelief, trying to take it in, Boy stared at the man standing next to him on the step.

Boy guessed he was in his mid-twenties, with thick blond and unruly hair, a lock hanging over his smooth brow, just above a very piercing blue eye.

Boy had never seen anything or anybody as impressive and beautiful as this man – somehow he was even more impressive than a Steel Hornet – and he flew too!

“I have come for you, Cadet!” the man said, taking a smooth step forward and resting one suited foot on the edge of the rider-seat.

“Do not worry about the Steel Hornet, it will be well again! The damage shall be rectified and you will bond – the Hornet wants you for its partner.”

Motionless, mouth open, gaping at the stranger, Boy barely registered what had just been said; but somewhere inside him a spring uncoiled and he stopped being afraid for his Hornet’s life.

“I would recommend closing your mouth, Cadet, lest you choke on a fly!”

Although the man had spoken gently, teasing, and not with mockery, Boy felt embarrassed and foolish. He blushed furiously and snapped his mouth shut, swallowed hard, and began kneading and pulling his left index finger, popping the joints – a sure sign he was utterly out of his depth.

Even the stranger’s voice and his unusual intonation, as if he was unfamiliar with the language, were beautiful and attractive. He smelt wonderful too, a faint scent Boy couldn’t identify – something new, fresh and clean, something exciting. Boy blushed deeper, like his head was going to explode, as his unruly member began to stir between his thighs – the pheromones and the presence of this awesome young man had their effect on Boy’s body, beyond his conscious control. The reality standing in front of him somehow intermingled with his need and the erotic fantasies awakened a little earlier, before his swim.

“I see you are in need, Cadet!” the stranger said; bending, he reached out and took Boy’s head between his hands. He gently stroked Boy’s blushing cheeks with the thumbs, then bent over further and briefly touched his lips to Boy’s. The caress and the fleeting kiss, light as a Summerflier’s wing, the unexpected intimacy, had an immediate effect on Boy’s erection and his entire body sang from the touch, like a bell tapped.

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