Once back in the cabin, the Arab slammed the door shut and leaned against it, seething with rage. Only the sight of the boy, waiting for him, calmed him down. He walked to the bed and sat down, reached for the telephone beside it and dialed a number. Waiting for the connection to be made, he leaned over the boy and carried on where he had left off. Slowly his fingers touched something beneath the sheet that grew in size and stiffened; a gasp escaped the boy's lips. The Arab's hand paused, delighting in the rapidly growing treasure he found there. There was nothing between satin and flesh and he traced with exploring fingers the shape of developing maturity. It sprang to life as a voice in his ear said, "La Monte?"
"Did you get it?"
"You should have told me the dogs would be loose. My man was lucky to get away without being torn apart. "
"But the dog was shut in the child's bedroom and the rest were in the pen; I told you that."
"Someone released them; but do not worry, we will try again."
The boy began to writhe slowly at his touch. "Meanwhile, my friend, why not come on board and help me celebrate my return?"
"Did the samples I sent arrive safely?"
"Oh yes, thank you, my friend. I have one of them with me now. You have done well with this new batch of beautiful delights. I hope this means we will be in business again. It is time to put away sad memories and having to hide from the world. That part of my life is over. I have many influential clients who would do anything to shield me from the authorities, if only to protect themselves. They wish to satisfy their yearning for what we have to offer, enough to keep their mouths shut. Now, to business, I suppose you are wondering why I agreed to help you with the film."
"Not really, La Monte, we've been friends for too long for me to question your loyalty."
La Monte smiled to himself, an evil smile. Friendship; yes, he and his friend had known real friendship, loyalty and companionship, but times were changing and La Monte had no need for emotional ties of any kind. Looking back on those early days at an English public school, he had been glad of that friendship; he had been a very lonely son of a Syrian financier. How lucky for him companionship had turned into a very profitable one for them both? A simple fifth form sex racket in the draughty lofts of the school had mushroomed into a venture extending into the town not two miles away to the west and out of bounds to the pupils, and they had stumbled quite by chance on the right formula for success. First and second formers, victims of a racket run by senior pupils, Watling and Mogg, were eager to supplement their funds by whatever means possible. At the same time the two extortionists were just as willing to part with a percentage of their profits in order to avoid being reported to the beak. All La Monte had to do, to make the younger boys provide more of what his clients required was to increase his demands on Watling and Mogg, who in turn put up their own fees to the unhappy little boys. Even when La Monte left college, he and his friend had remained business as well as bed partners, La Monte the brains and the salesman, his friend the tall handsome procurer of likely youngsters, until they had dealt in just about every kind of sexual vice, which made a lot of money for them, and also made La Mont independent from his father's financial control.
La Monte was a multi-millionaire, not from inheriting his father's estates and shipping line, but from his own cunning and the ever-growing demands for what he had to offer. Born Sirus La Monte, he was known as a successful oil magnet, industrial financier of notable fame, living in the seclusion of his floating home; well known for his philanthropic leanings, and well acquainted with Royalty and high-ranking diplomats, including three presidents, and with shares in several banks; this was the man the world saw. The man his few close friends saw, and knew by another name, was very different; a man it was best not to cross, a man who drew a tight imaginary circle around himself, separating those who were close and could be trusted from those who could not hope to reach him. If one was honoured enough to step inside that magical circle, one would find him a most agreeable, generous person, providing a haven where one's sexual fantasies could become reality; until one upset him. If that happened, one would find himself at best outside the circle with a warning; at worst, the occasional body was known to have been found floating in a remote lake or washed up on a deserted beach.
For those who balanced preciously on the edge of the circle, a high enough price could buy what La Monte could provide. It was these people, and those inside the circle, who made sure La Monte's other identity was never revealed. If they did not, they themselves stood to lose their reputations and credibility. No one could afford to be linked with such a man or the vice he sold. There was only one person who was equal to him and was not afraid of him; his friend.
"La Monte, are you still there?"
"Yes, my friend. I was just remembering old times."
"I just want to know, are you really interested in helping me find that film?"
"Of course, but not because of what you say is on the film. I am more interested in the one who has it."
"You mean Diaz?"
"Yes, the former Emilio Gomez. He was the one responsible for all my troubles. But I still love him and I want him back."
"Yes, I know all about that."
"You know? My friend, you surprise me. How?"
"The boy killed his step-father, one of our own couriers, Rico Gomez. There was a trial and the boy got away with it. His past was given an airing and his involvement with you under your other name was brought to light."
The boy under the silk sheet forgotten, La Monte rose to his feet. "I want that boy. I must have him."
"Don't be ridiculous, Diaz is a world famous entertainer with an army of protectors. You'll never get close to him."
"I mean it. I've never forgotten him. Have you ever possessed the one perfect thing in your life, only to lose it? I've searched all over the world for someone like him and have failed. I hate him for the ruin he caused me, but I cannot do without him."
"He isn't the same person anymore."
"I don't care. I've thought of nothing else since I lost him. He tried to kill me several times and in my anger I forgot what he meant to me. After his last attack I had to be flown to a hospital. I was about to order him to be brought to me when the place was raided. Now I've an island retreat in the South Atlantic where no one will find us." He glanced down at his new companion. "If this is a sample of what you are supplying, my plans will be successful. All the boys will be settled on the island and I want Emilio as their prince."
"You will never have him, La Monte. I'm telling you, he's changed, and that accident has left him terribly scarred."
"You think a few scars will deter me?"
"How do you think you are going to catch him?"
"That is where you come in, my friend. He trusts people like you, doesn't he? Who better than to cast the net? He loves his daughter above all else, you told me yourself. Bring her to me and Diaz will follow."
"Oh no, I will not be involved in the kidnapping of a child."
"Why the double standards all of a sudden, my friend? You've been kidnapping children for your family since we we're in school, why should this be any difference?"
"Wrong. All the children who passed through my hands came of their own volition."
"Come, it is only a mere female child."
"You might think that in your country, but here in Europe a female is as precious as a male. I won't kidnap an innocent baby."
"Very well, if you won't help, I shall procure the child by other means. I will go to any lengths to get Diaz, but in the meantime I should look to your own security if I were you. Goodbye, my friend"
"Wait, wait! Don't hang up on me, La Monte. Touché! I could say the same to you. You spill anything on me and I'll take you down with me."
At last La Monte began to lose control. In desperation and anger he snarled into the receiver. "You don't understand."
"Oh yes, I do. I know what he's like in bed, but I didn't have to hurt him to enjoy him. And don't worry about the film, La Monte. I'll find it myself." There was a click in La Monte's ear and he knew his friend had hung up on him. What was he to do now? He replaced the receiver and sat down on the bed. Remembering the boy, he glanced down at him and saw the fear in the boy's eyes as he tried to smile. The boy had heard everything; oh dear. He reached out and the boy shrank from him. La Monte smiled and shook his head. Normally he would step on any boy in danger of leaking information about him, but this one had the same qualities the boy, Emilio had. Surely there must be a way to save him from a swim in shark infested waters on the trip to La Monte's new paradise? The boy was scared, and that made La Monte sad. "Don't be frightened, I won't want to hurt you. What is your name?"
"Wayne, sir," the boy whispered nervously.
"Well, Wayne, you are a very attractive boy. Serve me well and I will treat you like a prince, as long as you promise not to say a word to anyone about the phone conversation I just had. Speak of it and I'm afraid I will have to kill you; and that would be most unfortunate as I think you would suit my plans very well indeed." La Monte slowly drew the sheet down until it just about hid the boy's genitals. "Yes, you certainly are beautiful." He laid a hand on the boy's belly and savoured the baby soft skin. Tears sprang to La Monte's eyes as he remembered Emilio and regretted being so cruel to him. Maybe he was softening in his old age; causing pain had never disturbed him in the past, why did it disturb him now? "I won't force you to have sex with me, Wayne." Oh my precious Allah! What am I saying? This isn't me. "No one will ever again force you to do anything you do not wish to do. But if you will allow me, I would like to make love to you."
The boy's eyes filled with suspicion. "Is there a difference?"
"Oh yes, a big difference; Emilio made me realize that when he was my little prince." He rose from the bed to remove his robe and turned to let Wayne see him in his naked whipcord glory, a bronzed figure of perfection despite his years. He lay down beside the boy and propped himself up on his right elbow while his left hand resumed his exploration of the youth's torso. "To have sex with someone means just that; one brings oneself to the peak of orgasm by whatever means there is to hand and without thought of what one's partner needs or feels, whether it be pain or shame. To make love, one does everything one can to please one's partner, to make him feel very special. The man who sent you here never bothered to make you feel loved, did he?"
Wayne looked away. "No, he only cared about making films of us doing it."
"Did he ever have sex with you?"
"Yes, and it hurt like hell; he was so big."
"Well, Wayne, I promise, I'm not like my friend." La Monte used a gentle finger to lift the boy's chin so he could look into Wayne's eyes. "If you will accept me, I will not hurt you. I wish only to make you feel special."
The suspicion left Wayne's eye as he lay back and accepted his fate. La Monte lay down and pulled the boy close to him, bringing into a gentle embrace while raining soft kisses all over his face.
In La Monte's second suite, the one where Malik normally satisfied his master, the young servant gazed down at the boy sobbing into the silken pillow. That would teach the little bitch! Another fool who, instead of accepting La Monte's advances had tried to fight him off. La Monte would try out all the new boys, weeding out the problem ones such as this one. Malik pulled the torn sheet away and tossed it onto the carpet, then knelt on the bed beside the boy to begin cleaning where the master's nails and teeth, and penis had drawn blood. As he had done with other boys, he would gain his gratitude, and later he would receive his own reward. If he liked the boy enough, he would teach him how to please his master, and beg La Monte to allow the boy to join Malik's own tiny harem in the steerage area, but only if the boy pleased him first, and he was almost as hard to please as his master. Bedding the master's boys was strictly forbidden unless the master had tired of them or wanted them punished for some misdemeanor. This boy looked nice enough to take one or two risks for, but first he would ease away the hurt and dry the boy's eyes, as the master had trained him to do. He would check his ass and bathe away the blood, and apply a soothing balm to his reddened and bruised rosebud, after he had given him a painful enema; Malik loved doing that, it have him a certain amount of control………...
"Listen, I haven't time to talk; things are getting complicated. La Monte has changed, he's mad. Forget the film; I'll deal with that myself. Strip the house of anything incriminating and be ready to run. I've one more job to finish up north, and then I'm flying to the continent. Are your passports in order?"
"Yes, but –."
"If you value your hides, you and Bev will come with me. I'll fly down and pick you up at Haighton's old airstrip. I'll call you when I'm ready. There won't be room for Peter or Brian. Those two fools will have to make their own arrangements; they've done enough damage as it is between them. I don't see why we should risk our necks digging them out of the mud. Peter will keep his mouth shut but I'm not so sure about Brian. You'd better handle him yourself."
"My God! You don't mean -."
"I damn well do. Now get your bones moving!"
"But what will Margaret say?
"To be quite honest, I don't give a toss; they've never really given the Paradise Club much support in the past so I don't see why I should bother about them now. Now do I wait for you or not?"
At four thirty, Barney arrived back at Chilvers after some hectic footwork and found the Diaz family having afternoon tea in the ground floor lounge, with Gypsy sitting in the middle of the lounge floor doing gentle exercises under Ed's supervision while Lorna watched over Erica having tea at an occasional table between the two settees. Manuel looked up from his seat by the fire and waved him into the lounge. Gypsy watched him walk in and stopped what he was doing, his eyes fixed on Barney's face. "You've found something." it was a statement rather than a question.
"Yes." Barney sat down beside Manuel and opened his topcoat. "I've been riding round the city and the southern counties with my brother most of the day and what we've found you're not going to like."
Gypsy let Ed help him to his feet, and sat down on the setter opposite, waiting for him to continue, and Barney sensed he was trying to read his mind. "It must be important or you would have phoned us instead of coming back here yourself. What is it, Barney?"
"I concentrated on Brian and Peter like you asked me to. Brian is clean apart from a couple of shady friends and his connection to the MacCaffrey family. He keeps his nose clean and stays at the Hine place when he's not touring with the band or up at Northwood; and he's not a pusher. He just buys for his own use. The not so nice friends I'm on about are Denny and his girlfriend, and a foreign boy called Malik, all three are pushing drugs and that backs up what we found at the studios. My brother is having Malik tailed at the moment. All we know about his so far is that he works as a cabin boy on a big yacht owned by an Arab multimillionaire called Sirus La Monte. It's anchored a few miles east of London having a refit. Getting back to Brian, he's an ex-public schoolboy expelled for running a protection racket amongst other things. Guess who his partner was."
"Who?" Ed wanted to know.
"Peter Cunliffe Grafton."
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