The Fall

IV

By Michael Arram

Corporal Lobowicz soon noticed that the sun did not move in the sky of this strange place to which he had been brought. It had seemed to be late morning when he arrived, and it was still late morning now, though he was sure he'd been on the banks of the stream for some hours.

He was naked, yet he didn't feel cold, or even hungry for that matter. He kept probing at his right leg and abdomen, which seemed whole and undamaged now. He thought of exploring the woods on the further bank, but was cautious. He might not find his way back to the stream, or he might encounter wild animals.

A movement drew his attention. Tobias, who had disappeared some while ago, was back. Feeling more vigorous, Theo decided to address this mysterious entity. 'Can I have some clothes?'

The boy smiled. 'Clothes are irrelevant here, and indeed they get in the way. Come sit by me.'

Unable to resist, Theo took a seat beside the boy on a stream-side boulder. He was taken aback when Tobias promptly straddled him, arms round his neck. The boy's celestially handsome face, now directly in front of Theo's own, mesmerised him with its flawless perfection of skin and teeth. He found the boy's breath fresh and exciting. Theo erected rapidly.

Gazing into Theo's eyes the while, Tobias reached back and manipulated the stiff member beneath him. Then he settled on it, his welcoming anus easily swallowing the head for all its size. With a prolonged exhalation of breath, he sank steadily on to Theo, who raised himself as Tobias sank down his length. The boy scissored his legs in the small of Theo's back as he bottomed out. Theo stood and held the boy close, fucking him upright with increasing excitement.

Between his own thrusting and the boy's squirming on his impaling tool, it did not take long for Theo to volley hard into the heat of the boy's body. He yelled out his orgasm and, as there was no sign of any deflation, fell to his knees and pressed Tobias beneath him into the sand, fucking away till eventually he came again, even harder this time. His sexual control over the slim youth made him somehow feel temporarily more secure. Finally he pulled out, noticing as he did that Tobias had come liberally between them at some time during their coupling, probably more than once judging by the volume.

The boy rolled on his stomach and fingered his own wet and gaping hole. 'Why do I always feel I need something bigger and thicker than what I've just experienced?'

'How the fuck do I know, kid? You ask the craziest questions.'

The boy absently licked at what he had excavated from his rear end with his fingers and observed, 'I'm aware all this makes little sense, but I have to work at it. You see, I think I may be in love - as you might say - and that bothers me more than you can possibly imagine.'

***

Helen Debies sat Yuri on her bed. The archangel smiled up at her, apparently happy enough, though she was monosyllabic.

'Okay, time for a makeover. Just take the boy stuff off .... oh, unless you'd prefer to dress cross-gender.'

Yuri shrugged and lifted off her dark top and then the tee shirt under it. Despite having no breasts worth mentioning, her nipples were certainly large for a boy's. Helen wondered if the body she was looking at was even pubescent, though Yuri had to be at least fourteen in human terms.

Helen sat down next to her and wondered how to do the talk. There were times when she wished she had a sister. 'Yuri, I know you've not been in this body long, but do you know about ... er ... menarche?'

Her guest looked a little puzzled, then brightened and nodded.

'So, do you know if you've actually begun bleeding?' Helen continued cautiously.

Yuri thought about it, and shook her head.

'Okay, Yuri. Just tell me if something happens. Then we can take precautions. That alright?'

The girl grinned and impulsively hugged Helen, who smiled and kissed her on the cheek. 'You're really very pretty, y'know,' Helen confided as she fitted Yuri with a bra she had last used when she was thirteen. 'It's a pity your hair's so short. It's a lovely colour and so thick, just like Lance's. Now, what would you like to wear? Come and have a look in my closet. I've got some leggings and boots that would make you look really great. You've got just the figure for them.'

Yuri seemed quite happy to search through Helen's clothes. She selected a miniskirt, dark tights and black ankle boots to go with a red, embroidered blouse and belt. It seemed she had both opinions and taste. As she dropped her skinny jeans and exposed her very small bottom, she turned to pull on some panties. Helen's breath caught in her throat, for there, in a little nest of dark hair at Yuri's crotch, curled up like a pale snail shell, was the small but unmistakable white shape of a penis.

***

Mike was 'twitchy' again.

Marky watched him pace the bedroom, and finally had enough. 'I need a run,' he stated.

'Run?'

'Great exercise ... want to come along?'

Mike thought about it and agreed. Heart beating hard, Marky stripped and Mike followed suit. Since Mike had no underwear, or - like Lance, it seemed - any sense of personal modesty, Marky got a full frontal show. He did not disguise his interest. Mike's cock was thick and hung low. He could only guess what it would look like erect, but he rather thought it would be quite as challenging to the lucky boy who took it as Barry Hignett's length had been to him.

The rest of Mike's frame was just as awesome: a body-builder's physique, with swelling thighs, pecs and deltoids, though it was still the body of a teenager. Marky's penis reacted accordingly. Mike - despite the blank face and diffidence - was at one level a major turn-on.

Marky threw his guest a spare singlet and shorts across the bed. They were tight on Mike but showed off the boy's magnificent body all the better. The large size of his package was very evident through the taut fabric.

'Oh! You've got no trainers, and mine won't fit you. Damn. You can't run in your boots.'

Mike looked down at his feet and shrugged. 'I won't wear anything.'

'Running barefoot? Can you do that?'

Mike shrugged once more, so his host led the way out of the house past the security checkpoint, resolving to stick to the park rather than have Mike run on tarmac and stone. Marky loped off athletically across the wide lawns of Bila Palacz, Mike pacing him. Marky decided to do several circuits, and both young men ran quietly together along the grassy rides of the great city park. It was companionable enough, as the summer evening turned into night and the lamps lit up in the leafy tunnels under the trees. Whenever they jogged past the few dog-walkers out that late, Marky greeted each one affably in the Rothenian style.

'Your feet alright?' Marky eventually asked his companion.

'I'm fine,' came the laconic reply.

'We're going to have to do something about your clothes. You can't wear the same gear day after day. I have elder brothers taller and broader than me. Although they've left home, I'm pretty sure mother has boxes of discarded clothing she hasn't thrown away. We'll go looking when we get back.'

All he got in reply was a grunt, Mike concentrating on his pace.

They pounded around the park a third time and Marky tried conversation again, this time with another concern which was very much on his mind. 'You said that Armageddon was coming. When will it happen? Is that why you and your brothers were sent?'

There was a long silence and for a moment Marky thought he was going to get no answer. When eventually he did, it was not the one he was hoping for. 'Your name is Marek, yes?'

'Umm, yeah.'

'Why do the others call you Marky?'

'It's a nickname, a sign of acceptance I guess ... friendship even.'

'I see.' Mike brooded a while on that as they jogged. 'Have you mated with any other human?'

Marky reddened and coughed. 'Well, yes ... once. It didn't work out.'

'Work out?'

'We weren't compatible.'

'Compatibility is an issue? I have been told by some it is all about sexual attraction and physical coupling.'

'Not exactly,' Marky replied. 'You can just go looking for sex, of course, but to truly experience it as it's meant to be experienced, I think there must be something more. That's what I'm looking for anyway.' With no success at all, Marky added in his head.

'I had some idea that might be the case. When my brother finally coupled with the Mayer boy the Universe shifted in its course.'

'Wow! Major sex!' Marky blurted.

'Was that a joke?'

'You mean you're serious?'

'I believe so. The Great Council was deeply shaken. The fact that there is an emotional and even physical ... compatibility ... between your people and ours was not expected. That an angel might form a true loving relationship with a human has caused a revolution. It changes our fate. The erelim are outraged and, I believe, fearful. They begin to suspect the Creator of having a new plan for them, one they won't like at all.'

'Lance tells us that the, er ... erelim and angels don't get on.'

'That's not quite true. I have good friends amongst the seraphic choir, but they certainly have different ideas from ours regarding the fate of the Universe.'

'Is there a war in Heaven?'

Mike was warming to the topic and Marky began to realise his guest was not as reticent about the World Beyond as Lance was. 'There is debate and disagreement. In other Universes, that might be interpreted as war, but there can be no violence before God. I suppose, though, that Heaven's discontent may be magnified to warfare and strife on Earth, and Armageddon will be the result here.'

After five circuits, Marky was ready for home and led the way back into the chancellery at a fast sprint. Reaching his bedroom, he whipped off his sweat-soaked top and wiped himself with it before throwing it in the laundry basket.

Mike sniffed. 'You have a pungent odour.'

Marky chuckled. 'It happens. That's why I'm heading for the shower.'

Mike put his nose to his armpit. 'I too, apparently. It's somewhat ... exciting.'

'Really? It may be the hormonal component. Want to go first?'

Mike stripped and was about to leave the room naked when Marky grabbed his arm. 'No, Mikey! There are rules about nudity in human society. Less so here in Rothenia, certainly, but my parents would go nuts if they found you wandering round the house with nothing on. They don't like it that I'm gay, and to have a guy strolling out into the hall starkers would be to cross the line. Wrap this towel round your waist.'

Mike took the towel but simply stood there, an unreadable look on his face.

'Problem?'

'You called me ... Mikey.'

***

With a groan, Lance flipped his handij closed after Helen had finished bending his ear. 'What is wrong with you boys? Can't you tell the difference between a he and a she? Yuri's a boy and I've seen the evidence with my own eyes. Mattie needs counselling! No wonder he can't get off with anyone other than Olga!'

At least Helen had said she'd hold on to his little brother, but then she worried Lance further by adding that she couldn't get Yuri to give up the female clothing, boy or not. More bloody complications.

As he was checking his watch, a car turned into the Atwood drive. It was his dad Henry, returning home at last, and not before time as far as Lance was concerned. This was all getting way out of his control.

He was waiting on the front doorstep when his dad emerged from his car in his new general's undress uniform. Lance enveloped him in a huge hug, lifting Henry off the ground.

'Hey, baby! Watch the gold braid! Mrs Willerby around?'

'Er ... no. I think it's bingo night at St Aloysius. Food's in the fridge, though. Want me to make you something? My omelettes are generally admired.'

Henry immediately took on a suspicious look. Damn, thought Lance, how does he always work it out?

'Okay, what did you do to your car?'

'Nothing, dad, it's fine.'

'What did you break? Is it money again? It can't be a school thing, you've finished there now.'

'Nothing's broken, honest! But there is a sorta ... problem.'

Henry was by now in the lounge. 'What sorta problem?'

'Well ... family.'

'Family? We're your family.'

'No ... er, the other side.'

Henry sat down abruptly. 'Come over here and tell me about it, baby.'

Lance was relieved when Henry took his hand. Henry was focused now, and concerned for his son. A wash of warm affection flooded through the young man. His dad was there for him, and suddenly he felt strangely safe, never mind that the forces of Heaven appeared to be arrayed against him. So he began the story of the past two days.

Henry didn't interrupt. That was another good thing about him. Helistened.

When Lance finally dried up, Henry stood. 'So baby, where are your brothers now?'

'I put Gabe and Rafe in my room. I think they're asleep. I can kip in Luc's room; he's at Bazza's for the night. Yuri's at Helen's and Mike is at the chancellery. They all insist they want to go visit Maxxie tomorrow. It's an angel thing. Can you fix it?'

'There's a lot to fix ... still, I've got some ideas. Ed will be home soon, and I can get him to talk to Harry about a meeting with Maxxie. Oskar can deal with the problem of ID papers; he's got all sorts of contacts.'

'Dad ... er, the lads expect to be Atwoods. They think it's proper in human terms, and well ... Mendamero has quite a reputation where they've just come from. They'd think it an honour to carry our name.'

'Oh my! Our family's growing. Does this mean a bigger house?'

Lance gave a little laugh. 'They are my brothers, and I'm responsible for them.'

Henry came over and kissed his hair. 'I know that, baby. You always make me proud. But how long are they likely to be here? Do I have to arrange school or university? That could get expensive.'

'Mike is the oldest in terms of development. He could pass for seventeen, maybe eighteen, he's so built. The twins are sorta fifteen or sixteen and Yuri ... well, she ... he ... appears fourteen or even a little less, though he should be fifteen.'

'She? He?'

'There's been a problem with the transition. Mattie swears she's a girl, but Helen's seen Yuri's dick. Now Mattie can't be wrong about that, but neither can Helen. My feeling is that Yuri's physically unstable.'

'What? Like a hermaphrodite?'

'A bit. When she's with a male she likes - and she clearly likes Mattie - she lurches toward a female form, and vice versa.'

'Oh my heavens! I'm gonna get a sorta daughter!'

'Only if she stabilises. Helen says Yuri's decided that he wants to dress like a girl, even though currently he's male.'

'Better foster her to Tommy Entwhistle then!'

'Yuri's not a transvestite, dad. Or a transexual. He's both sexes!'

Henry pondered that news for a long moment. 'Guess we'd better keep your brothers in their present quarters till after the weekend. It'll give us time to think things through. In the meantime, I'll go say hello to the Atwood twins ... and who would have thought I'd ever say that?'

Henry went quietly upstairs to Lance's bedroom and listened at the door for a moment before cracking it silently and looking in. The bedside light was on, and Henry's breath caught as he saw the sleeping forms of Rafe and Gabe closely entwined under the duvet. Lance took hold of his shoulder as he too peered in.

'God, Lance, they're really sweet!' Henry whispered. 'Which is which?'

'Rafe is the one on the left with swollen eyes. Poor kid has been crying a lot. Not much improvement there, I'm afraid.'

'And they're in love?'

'Deeply. Beyond imagining. They more or less share a soul, and they have to translate what they're feeling into human terms.'

***

The Chancellor of Rothenia looked up from his copy of the Rotheniske Spegele when the boys came into the breakfast room. Being a civil man, he stood and offered his hand to his English guest, a well-built sporting type with a closely cropped head. 'Good morning and welcome to my house ... Mr ... er ...?' He raised an eyebrow.

'This is Mike, father.' His son also kept to English, going up to the chancellor and exchanging kisses.

'Mike? That is the English Michael - our Mikhel - is that not so?'

The newcomer seemed rather shy. He merely grunted in reply.

The chancellor continued his amiable inquisition as they seated themselves around the table. 'So what part of the United Kingdom do you come from ... er, Mike?'

The boy seemed tongue-tied. The chancellor, however, was well-used to the way his high office overawed people, and did not make any judgement.

'Mike is from London, sir. His name is At-vood.'

'At-vood? The same surname as Lance's father? Is that a coincidence?'

'No, sir. He and his brothers are relations of Lance's.'

'Ah! Have you been to Rothenia before, young man?'

This time there was an oddly-expressed reply, which, since it was pronounced in perfect Rothenian, startled the chancellor more than a little. 'I've not been in this realm before, Marky's father.'

'You speak our language? My heavens! It's rare to find an Anglo-Saxon who has that skill, and such a young man too.'

'I have something of a gift for tongues,' Mike continued in Rothenian, a frown on his face.

Marky breezed in. 'The At-voods have many connections with our country, sir.'

'I suppose they do.' The chancellor laughed. 'I hope you enjoy your stay with us, Mikhel. I'll see you again before you leave, I hope.' He rose and left.

Marky let out a sigh of relief, then directed Mike to the buffet. The boy stacked his plate high with a wide variety of food.

'You're going to eat all that?'

Mike shrugged. 'My internal organs are complaining and I feel empty. I quite enjoyed the pizza foodstuff last night. I intend to explore further options.' He poked at the plate. 'This smells ... succulent.'

'That's bacon, it usually goes with eggs, though, not fruit salad.'

'Can we go on another run ... Marky?'

'Absolutely, Mikey, love to. My brother Rodolf's clothes seem a good fit for you, and we still have his tracksuits and sports gear, including his soccer boots and trainers. You look sorta right in clothes like that.'

Both boys ate heartily, and Marky was delighted to see a smile appearing from time to time on his new friend's face.

Abruptly a handij call from Lance informed him that Henry was now on the case. All the Atwood brothers were to meet up in town and were expected at the Residenz around midday.

'Great!' Marky signed off with a certain relief, then turned back to Mike. Once he'd passed on the news, he returned to the topic of the run. 'We'd better get going then ... what's up?'

Mike looked internal, then anxious. I have a ... sharp pain in my rectum. Am I ill?'

Marky shook his head. 'No, Mikey, it's a consequence of eating. You need to er, defecate.'

'Oh! Horrible!'

'Come on upstairs. I'll show you what to do.'

'Did Lance have to learn this?'

'Must have done. But looks like it's on me to teach you.'

Marky stood outside the loo as Mike carried out instructions. He caught the surprised exclamation and deep groans as Mike's human bodily processes took over.

'That was disgusting,' Mike observed when he reappeared. 'I didn't fully realise that experiencing humanity has to be so undignified. But I do feel better.'

'Did you wash your hands?'

'Yes, with soap. I understand it is important. Now can we run?'

This time the pair pounded the pavement out along Lindenstrasse, through the Parlementplaz and University quarter in the direction of the Spa. It was the end of June, and already the morning was heating up. They stopped at the Westbahnhof to buy bottles of water - or rather Marky did, Mike not having a krone to his name.

As they carried on their run, for some reason Marky felt exhilarated keeping pace silently alongside his new friend. He felt more attuned to Mike than to any other boy he had so far encountered, even though the ex-angel was more than a little off the wall. He was so comfortable, in fact, that he felt no need to talk.

On their return leg, Mike pulled off his sleeveless vest and stuffed it down the side of his tracksuit bottoms. Marky, following behind, was mesmerised by the boy's buttocks as they worked beneath the cloth, and by the sheen of sweat on his broad muscular back. He was not the only person staring. Women and several men gazed with undisguised interest at Mike's remarkably aesthetic body.

When they got home, Mike disappeared into the bathroom, obediently remembering to keep his midriff covered.

Marky was deeply confused by his guest, so powerful and yet so helpless. Was this what women felt about men? The idea of being under that body, surrendering willingly to its thrusts, sent a surge of blood into Markey's dick. It was all he could now think of. He desperately needed to dissipate his raging erection, and had to jerk off twice to regain control of his libido. Regretfully, he concluded it would be in his best interests for Mike to move on as soon as possible.

***

In the meantime, Henry was on the phone to a variety of contacts, when not eyeing up the twin boys silently occupying the opposite side of his breakfast table. They had only just unclasped hands so that Gabe at least could eat some cereal. Rafe was refusing food, which was worrying.

'You're Mendamero?' Gabe finally asked.

'Yes, sunshine.'

'I thought you'd be taller.'

'A thing many people have said before you. Good things come in small packages.'

'Oh! A cliché said with amusing intent. I assume you wouldn't wish me to point out that many things in small packages can be deeply unpleasant ... emetics and suppositories for instance.'

'You assume rightly, Gabriel Atwood.'

The boy stared at Henry as his new name was spoken, as if trying to divine the intent of his remark. 'You are to be my ... our father?'

'Looks like, babes. Someone has to take responsibility for you, and your brother Lance is as truly my son as if I had fathered him in the conventional sense.'

'He loves you and General Cornish very much,' Gabe pronounced with a solemn face.

'I know, and it's mutual,' Henry responded quietly.

Mrs Willerby had in the meantime observed the lack of appetite in the silent twin. She took it as something of a challenge. 'What can I get you, dear? Are you unwell?'

Rafe put his head down and murmured something inarticulate. Mrs Willerby put her hand to his forehead and brushed back his hair. 'The boy doesn't seem well to me, Mr Atwood. He's got a raging temperature.'

Gabe looked startled and then concerned. 'He was very hot and damp in the night.'

'Take these, dear.' Mrs Willerby produced water and paracetamol. It was a struggle to get Rafe to understand what was required and there was a lot of spilled water before he downed the medication.

'He can't go out, Mr Atwood. Looks like flu to me. Best he's back in bed. I'll sit with him.'

'Then I shall stay too,' Gabe announced.

'Sorry, babe. We need you. You're the most articulate of your brothers. If you boys are to meet Maxxie, you in particular must be there when it happens.' He softened. 'Don't worry, Gabe, Mrs Willerby can be trusted with Rafe. She nursed Lance through ever so many colds and a bad case of mumps. He looked like an alien from another planet. The pictures are a hoot.'

Ed Cornish appeared at that point. Henry and Mrs Willerby both asked for his authoritative judgement, he being the oracle on health matters in the house. He confirmed her diagnosis, and despatched Rafe back to bed, then sat Gabe down at the table again. 'Now, Gabriel, I need to talk to you, especially if you're to become a long-term resident here. I've begun to make arrangements, but you have to understand how difficult it is. Unlike Lance, you four have not been backloaded into existence. Lance belongs in this world, but you people are anomalies with no cover stories. We can't convincingly make you members of the Atwood family, welcome though you are.'

The boy responded with a glum look. 'What can you do, General Cornish?'

'We're not going to send you back, don't worry. I'm not sure Lance would do it if we asked. He's pretty excited to have his brothers with him again.'

'He is our prince, and we love him.'

'I know, baby. Come here to me.'

Gabriel cautiously got up and approached Ed, to be caught up in his arms and kissed. 'We want you here, and we'll love and care for all of you.' The boy melted in the man's strong embrace, and looked momentarily happier. 'Now, what I'm doing is this. Oskar von Tarlenheim and I have made a case that you are of importance to the safety of our nation. Our security services will prepare quite convincing British passports, which'll probably persuade anyone, providing you don't go to Britain. They'll also obtain Rothenian naturalisation papers so you can apply for real passports here. There will also be an adoption file naming Henry and me as your legal guardians, which means you can commence a school life in this country. All we need are pictures and a medical, then you'll officially exist. Do you understand this?'

'I think so ... can I call you Ed?'

'Course, baby. You and all your brothers.'

'Where will we live?'

'That's a problem. We already have two teenage residents here, though both Lance and Luc will soon leave to become Rodolfer students. When they move out next month, you can take over their rooms for the time being. I expect you and Rafe will want to double. Yuri and Mike should logically share the other room, but there may be problems with that. In the long term, we'll need more accommodation, so either we'll build on to the present house or look for another. I doubt Lance would like us moving, though; he loves his pool. In the meantime, you and your twin can stay here, and we'll make temporary arrangements for your other brothers.'

'Thank you, Ed. We are very grateful.'

'Good, now go and say goodbye to Rafe. Then we'll drive into town and meet up with Mike and Yuri. You need clothes, and you can't wear Lance's cast-offs. At least we know anything we buy for you will fit Rafe.'

As Gabe stomped up the stairs, Ed caught Henry's quirky look.

'How do we explain all this to Mrs Willerby?'

Ed shook his head. 'That's the big question, isn't it?'

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