by Flaulus

Chapter 9

Rick and Will enjoyed the next week, and even dealing with island business was interesting though the afternoons were better when they found their friends on the beach. Of course, there was always sex between other activities and islanders treated them like a couple.

One thing bothered Rick.

"How can we afford my helicopter flights?" he asked Sebastian, one day.

"It's all a matter of scale." Sebastian replied, "If your mother wanted her front door painted, it might cost £100. If we wanted it done, it would need a survey, specialised varnishes that didn't affect ancient oak, insurance in case someone was hurt by the work going on and would end up nearer £10,000. I made the numbers and problems up but the principle is sound."

Rick frowned, then smiled, "I get it. My rail fares would be a big chunk of the rent on the flat, but here, a helicopter is cheaper than getting the windows cleaned. I've got to tell Mum about Will and I'm not looking forward to it."

Rick was getting used to his helicopter flights. A police car crew always seemed to be having a tea break when he landed, and it seemed right to have a quick chat with them before the drive to the hospital where his mother seemed so much stronger and alert.

"I've had a visit from another of your cousins, Robin." Rick's mother said as they settled down to chat, "What's this nonsense you've concocted with Sebastian. Apparently the poor man is senile and you're taking advantage of him. I've also heard about you making yourself a laughingstock with this gay nonsense. What's got into you?"

"I tried to explain a bit last time." Rick replied, "I'm the Earl of Westmark and I own the castle. I have to live there for most of the year because of some ancient charter, but we'll find you somewhere to live. The first thing I'd like to do is move you to a hospital nearer to Bovaline, so I can visit more often."

"No! Robin explained it all to me. He's a businessman and knows what's best. He's very kindly offered us his villa in Italy and will even pay for our tickets. He feels badly at how he's allowed things to get so bad and wants to make it up to us. We're going, and if I have to, I'll get a court order to get you away from there. "

"I own the island and I'm learning how to run it. Granddad was the Earl, but he split with the family, and they thought he had died, so Sebastian became the Earl, but it was really Granddad, then Dad now me. I've got papers from Granddad, and they're being checked in London. Ask Aunt Sybil."

"She's as bad as Sebastian. Can't you see? When people get older they can lose their faculties, and they've got this romantic dream about a fairytale island."

"You can't trust Robin so you need to visit to see for yourself. Oh, and I am gay and Will is my boyfriend. I've learnt a bit about child protection and I've already been investigated because of Will. You can't force me to leave Bovaline and I've got a future there."

Rick paused, shocked by his Mother's reaction, and she replied, "We'll get you help with this gay thing. You're too young to understand and you've been confused by perverts. I still love you and wish I'd asked for Cousin Robin's help in the first place. I just didn't know he existed. I'm sorry."

"I need to go." Rick said, "I love you too, Mum, but I'm not leaving the island."

They kissed goodbye and Rick headed for the nurses station.

"She's been upset for a few days now, ever since that other relative visited. She's more or less saying you're being groomed by a paedophile ring. It puts us in a difficult position because she may be confused, or should we notify someone."

"I'm not sure which office covers Bovaline, but Mrs Burnaby works in Child Services and has visited. It was to do with Will, not me, but she knows the setup."

"And you are the Earl."

"Everyone thinks so except Cousin Robin, and that's because he thought he was going to be, and he needs the money."

"Yes, I see. It's difficult stopping visitors, but your mother shouldn't be in the middle of a family dispute."

"How about I find Mrs Burnaby's phone number for you. I'm sure Sebastian's got it somewhere."

"I'll speak to the doctor. We can't get involved in a family dispute, but we can do something if something is adversely affecting the patient."

"How is she?" Rick asked, "I feel bad now because I was more worried about Robin."

"We're still concerned, and she may need further treatment. Perhaps there's an adult who can come with you, next time."

"You want to talk about her dying." Rick said, "I know it might happen, but it's me that's got to deal with it. I'm her only family."

"It's early days but you may want to find out about hospices where you live and there may be a point where we have to decide whether we automatically try to resuscitate her. It might not come to that, but we like family to be prepared."

Rick nodded, "Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. I get it. Thank you."

Someone else was trying to get the nurse's attention, but were quietly chatting, but Rick could not help overhearing.

"She's determined to hang on for her telegram from the Queen. Why she reads that court circular nonsense I don't know. I don't know how we can cheer her up."

"Would a visit from an Earl help?" Rick asked.

"It would make her day. She started off in service, and she still remembers serving the Duke of Windsor when he visited. It was a strange question, young man."

Rick smiled as he handed over a card.

"Oh, I see!" The woman glanced at the nurse who was smiling.

"Well, if you have time. Mum would really like it."

"Sorry!" Rick said to the nurse, "You'll have to surrender this week's supply of cheese."

"That's all right. We all love Mrs Caulson." the nurse chuckled, "Go ahead."

Rick was prepared to meet a frail bedridden old woman barely able to open her eyes. Instead she was sitting in a chair beside bed, confidently using a tablet. She stared in surprise at Rick, then bobbed her head.

"My Lord?" she asked and when Rick nodded asked, "How's your mother?"

"She's getting over the operation, but what about you? I'm surprised you recognise me."

"Just because I can't stand, everyone thinks I'm past it. It's got one advantage; everyone talks as if I'm not there, so I hear all the gossip and a young noble visiting his mother is the best kind of gossip. I heard you were visiting today and so, I'm looking at the latest news from the castle."

"From our website? I didn't think they published that sort of stuff."

"Oh no. From your fan site."

"What fan site? I didn't know I had one."

"You're young, handsome when dressed and sexy on the beach, and you've got a fairytale story. You've got a boyfriend, but everyone assumes you need an heir, so everyone has got a chance with you."

"Mum, please. You shouldn't be talking like this. It's not right."

"I thought I was the Royalist." Janet Caulsden snapped.

"You'll have to come visit." Rick said, "I'll make sure you're looked after."

"That's kind of you, but I've only got a few days left. I'm only in a cancer ward while they find a bed in a geriatric one and don't look so shocked. I've had a good run, and while this lot think I'm just dwelling in the past I'm telling my stories on different sites. I don't suppose we could do a selfie for me to post to your fan site, could we?"

"Why not? You're so different to my Aunt Sybil. She's old but you never know what she's talking about. If she had a train to catch, she'd miss it because she was looking for her favourite umbrella."

When Rick crouched down beside Mrs Caulsden, he was surprised a couple of other patients, nurses and a doctor with their phones out.

Rick held up his hand before pulling the cheese from his bag.

"Bovaline Cheese." he said, "Have some on your birthday."

She gripped the cheese but didn't take it. Instead, she turned to the cameras and smiled. The photographers took the hint and clicked away.

"The days when I could take anything by mouth are gone." She said, "It was a nice thought though. What do you normally do with it, give it to your mother?"

"No she can't eat properly yet. I give it to the staff."

"Excellent, but you'll have to excuse me now."

"You're tired. I'll help you into bed." Janet's daughter said.

"No I'm not tired. I've a got an article to write for His Lordship's fan site. If I go to sleep now, I'll forget half of it."

"Thank you so much." Janet's daughter said once they were in the corridor, "I didn't realise she was still so sharp. I thought she was just looking at pictures, you know reliving the past. I suppose I just assumed her mind was going when she ignored me, but she was too busy writing."

"I don't understand what's wrong with her." Rick said.

"It was cancer down in her lower regions, but she also has a weak heart. Keeping her sedated would help, but she refuses, so it's only a matter of time now."

That evening, Rick settled by lying on the turret, naked and enjoying the last of the sun as it set. Charles was lying between Paul and Ryan as Ryan played with Charles's near adult cock. Steve was content to sit astride Jimmy, feeling the older boy's cock grow between his thighs. Will was leaning back against Rick, dozing. Paul, never did anything without thinking it out, and he had suggested two rules. The younger boy was in charge, and they went to bed with their partner. Everyone assumed Rick and Will were in love and did everything together, but the rest accepted that things would change when the holiday ended. Rick was still winding down from his trip to see his mother, Jimmy was thinking about his future as was Steve, so they were content to talk.

"Sebastian is a bit worried about my gay fans descending on the island. They'll be welcome of course, but he reckons I'm just a fad, and they'll move on again." Rick said, "Our steadiest visitors are families wanting a family atmosphere but what about a gay pride week in October. Kids are in school, families are gone, so it's dead anyway and it would be extra income."

"You mean keep gay stuff hidden away." Ryan retorted, "Don't gays work?"

"Not really … well … it may sound like that." Rick conceded, "I'm thinking of the commercial side and boosting income. Hang on, I'm thinking separating family events and adult events when things can definitely get X-rated. Gay pride weekends then."

"You've turned Charles off with this talk. He's not getting hard." Ryan said.

"Give me time." Charles chuckled, "I'm getting there but Dad phoned today and asked if I was behaving myself. Do I say: 'No because I can't get it up fast enough to please His Lordship's cousin? I did say I was thinking about applying for a job, His Lordship was creating, and postponing uni for a year."

"I didn't know I was creating a job." Rick said.

"I know it's all speculation, but Paul mentioned Jimmy needing a secretary. If I applied, I could also help on the pontoon more than some middle-aged woman or is that sexist?"

"Probably, but trained secretaries don't expect to be hauling on ropes in the pouring rain." Will replied.

"You'll have to move out of the pub, though." Paul said, "Dad won't allow a stream of island boys sleeping in our room."

"I thought we'd stay together." Charles said.

"We will but I've still got friends at school, even if you've left. Ryan wants to ride your cock, and I bet Seb's in the queue. You look at them on weekends and I'll cut your balls off." Paul said but then glanced at Ryan who was suddenly a little nervous and added, "Unless I tell you to, that is."

"OK." Rick exclaimed, "This is as sexy as washing dishes, but let's deal with it. Jimmy, what do you think?"

"Now we've got a plan, Mr. Forbes can't move out fast enough." Jimmy said, "Charles could move in with me. I mean separate rooms unless …"

"Careful, Jimmy. You'll make Seb jealous."

Rick's arms were wrapped around Will with his hand dropping to Will's cock. Ryan stared at Charles' manhood before bobbing down to take it into his mouth. Steve looked alarmed as Jimmy lifted him slightly, and his cock was now probing Steve's cherry. Plans looked promising, the boys felt happier so the sexual tension was increasing. Rick's cock was sandwiched between Will's back and his stomach. Will felt Rick tense then a warm sticky feeling on his back. It was enough and Rick's hand finished its work so his own cream landed on his stomach.

Later, Sebastian was talking to Mrs Wilson who asked, "Finding a warehouse manager has been a real headache. Yet Rick managed to solve it together with the harbourmaster problem in less than a month. How come?"

"Islanders have their prejudices like everyone else. We might welcome holidaymakers, but we don't socialise with them. Rick does and found solutions from outside. There was luck in that the first family he spoke to fitted the bill so well, but he's mixed with so many, he was bound to find someone. As for Charles, I was thinking in terms of a college student struggling to find a job, but hadn't got around to dealing with the mainland. Paul found him, and I wouldn't be surprised if it was his plan all along."

"I don't follow." Mrs Wilson said.

"Paul knew how unhappy Charles was and brought him to the island. I wonder who gave Rick the idea of the harbourmaster and secretary combination?"

"Do you think so? Aren't you saying Rick is easily manipulated?"

"It was Will who suggested it needed more than just 'Keep Out' signs when holidaymakers broke fences. I think Rick's skill is in his choice of friends, and I suggested Paul teach him about the island. It's the same as the signs on the pontoon. We islanders know what to do and don't need to be told. Rick did need it explained and now it's explained to visitors. Islanders understand now, but it comes back to our Them and Us attitude. Seb's brains are considerably lower down his body than his head, and they didn't hit it off, so no, I don't think Rick is manipulated because he chooses good advisers."

"He's got enough to deal with. Let's hope there aren't any more problems." Mrs Wilson said.

Mrs Wilson had her wish for a couple more days until the Thursday when Mrs Burnaby decided to take a day off, and Jimmy welcomed her back to the island.

"Hi!" He said, "They're at the activity centre. You must be Justin."

Justin was surprised at being known but smiled a greeting while Mrs Burnaby snapped, "How do you know about my son?"

"You're investigating the island, so it's only fair we investigate you. Quite a few islanders like tracing their family histories, so social media is easy for them."

Mrs Burnaby grinned, "I should have known. I've come to see Rick this time."

Jimmy beckoned a youngster over, "Tim, will you sort a train for Mrs Burnaby and Justin, please?"

Tim nodded and guided them to the station where he manhandled a couple of trolleys ready to go onto the mainline. Justin looked puzzled as Tim beckoned him into the cab of the front trolley.

"The controls are simple and our routes are entered." Tim said, "The signalling is simple, so I'll come as far as West 1 to show you then come back. You just carry onto the end of the line."

"You want me to drive." Justin gasped.

"Why not? It's simple enough."

Justin leapt for the driver's seat before anyone could object, and impatiently waited for his mother to take her seat. Tim knelt on the flatbed behind, so he could give instructions though first, he took Justin's phone and installed an app before demonstrating it to Justin.

"It's simple enough, If you run into problems press the red button. If you run a red light, either the brakes will come on, or you'll get a call. Ready?"

Under Tim's directions, Justin started the engine, and they were off. Justin had forgotten his suspicions that his mother was manoeuvring him into something, while in her turn his mother relaxed. She had been tempted to ask why Tim was on the pontoon, but her report would mention his cheerful, outgoing manner and his lack of the indicators an abused child had. Besides, Justin was her main case for today.

She was surprised Rick and Will were not waiting for them but a youth stepped forward asking, "Mrs Burnaby?"

As she nodded, he continued, "They're kayaking at the moment. I'll take you to their cruiser."

"Cruiser?" Mrs Burnaby asked.

"It's more like a yacht. They've been working on it."

"I see. I dare say there's some strange story about it."

"Not really. When the activity centre started the idea was to use it for teaching seamanship. Kayaking and small boats were more popular, the courses were cheaper and a lot more youngsters could afford their own, so it was laid up."

"Kayaking?" Justin asked, "I'd like to try that."

"No problem. I'll take you to the pool and you can get your swimming permit."

"Swimming permit?" Mrs Burnaby asked.

"Bovaline is well out to sea. Once they leave the dock area, they could be in the middle of the ocean. There's just too much paperwork when someone drowns."

Mrs Burnaby grinned, "I have that problem. Is there somewhere I can get a cup of tea while Justin goes with you."

It was an activity centre near the sea which specialised in water sports. Most youngsters put on shirts and shorts if only out of habit but here, Mrs Burnaby could appreciate a variety of scarcely decent youths while bikini clad girls joined her in enjoying the view. She guessed that the island's reputation for sexual tolerance worked here and not many would be sleeping alone, but her trained eye saw more. There were shy youngsters and the others seemed to be looking after them. It was a while before Will and Rick joined her, smiling in greeting.

"Dan's taken Justin out in a kayak." Rick said, "It can't be a business visit if you've brought your son."

"Yes and No." Mrs Burnaby replied, "We've had a letter from a Robin Blatcherfield, your cousin I believe. He claims your mother is worried that you have been corrupted, he's repeating Will's father claim he's being denied medical help and generally your Guardian is pimping rent boys who wait for clients on the pontoon."

"I only know of one cousin Robin, and he's allowing his twelve-year old son to stay with us for the summer." Rick said, "How worried is he?"

"I broke confidentially when I gave you Robin's name and I could be fired if it got out, but the department cannot ignore two abuse complaints and a suspicion of male prostitution yet it knows it's getting caught in some power struggle. Again it's against procedure, but I'm here as a day tripper while just nosing around. What was that boy Tim doing on the pontoon?"

"Waiting for one of his uncles." Rick replied.

"And I'm supposed to believe that?" Mrs Burnaby asked.

"No, but imagine another world. On that world, hustling is an OK holiday job, but visitors get warned, if they hurt the kid, they won't get off alive and this year, a couple of terrified visitors won't be coming back."

"It's still highly illegal and abuse." Mrs Burnaby said.

"You've met Tim. Will he make a good witness?"

"Good point." Mrs Burnaby conceded, "You see the problem though. Imagine if a newspaper reporter wanted a scandal piece."

"We don't hire hitmen any more though Cousin Sebastian would add, at least, I don't think we do." Rick chuckled, "In a thousand years, he won't be the first spy, so the island will deal with it."

"And with me, presumably."

"It already is. I'm warning you off."

Mrs Burnaby also laughed, "It also bothers us the complaints come to us and not the police."

"Cousin Robin knows they won't get past Jimmy." Rick said, "And probably they do as well. For a start, we own the ferry, so we know who's booking tickets. The way it's been explained to me is, islanders don't offer information to mainland authorities. We agree Tim would make a bad witness, but they all would. So, while the police worry about making a case, you have a duty of care to investigate, and you can do the police's job for them."

"But you're admitting it happens."

"Not unless you're claiming it's not happening everywhere."

"Good point. Boys on the pontoon could be offering to carry visitor's luggage and drive them to their accommodation."

"They do that as well but the tips aren't as good." Rick replied.

"OK, you've convinced me. I won't be able to substantiate the rumours and you're a happy and well-adjusted young earl. Like I said, we know we're being dragged into a family dispute, and we don't like it."

"It's not a problem." Rick said, "Cousin Sebastian describes it as a skirmish testing our defences. It won't get Robin control, but I'm getting pressure from Mum and I don't want to upset her. In Robin's eyes, all gays are highly strung drama queens who panic at the first sign of trouble. I'm only just out, so I'm not ready to get into movements, but I'm going to teach him, stereotyping is a mistake."

"And I wish you luck. I wonder how Justin is doing?"

"I doubt he's been raped by too many horny queers yet." Rick replied, but Mrs Burnaby saw the twinkle in his eyes.

"Another stereotype, but I was more worried about him drowning."

"Is he the real reason you visited? Is there a problem?" Rick asked.

"Answering that is a step too far. I can't discuss my private affairs with a client." Mrs Burnaby replied.

"It doesn't matter. Why don't you go, do your job snooping around the pontoon. We'll bring him back when he's ready."

"Do you have any idea when the next train is?"

"Do you mean you weren't watching every move Justin made when he drove here?" Rick said, "I'm sure you'll manage."

Mrs Burnaby was sure she was being out-manoeuvred in some way, and it wasn't only by Rick. He was too slick and confident for a boy his age, but he was right. She stood no chance against such well-organised resistance. Rick was a son any mother could be proud of: confident, well-mannered and cheerful. Rumours of what went on had been confirmed, but there was no proof, and she did not expect to find any, though she could watch activities on the pontoon for a while and add it to her report.

Rick and Will were content to sit eating a leisurely snack. Despite their training, taking the cruiser round to the harbour was their first voyage without an instructor. Not a long journey, the weather was ideal so not much could go wrong, but they wanted to arrive about high tide. They could tie up alongside the walkway to the pontoon and allow it to settle on the mud as the tide went out. It was not that important, but it showed he was willing to keep the 'T' of the pontoon itself clear according to the regulations.

While they were waiting, Justin arrived, ushered to their table.

"Hi," he said, "Do you work here? I'd like a job here next summer."

"No, we've been working on our boat."

"Yeah, I've seen the boatyard. I'm supposed to be waiting for some Lord. He's at the yard as well. You didn't see him, did you?"

"It's me." Rick replied, "I'm Rick and this is my boyfriend, Will."

Justin blinked, then smiled, "Mum said you were OK, but I didn't believe her. How do you keep being gay secret if you tell everyone."

"We don't keep it secret." Rick replied, "Your Mum's got it all in her notes. My guardian knows because we sleep together."

"Oh!" Justin gasped, "You said guardian. Did your parents kick you out?"

"No, my dad's dead and Mum's in hospital. Will can tell you about his. Besides, I can kick my family out because I own the place."

"Yeah! You're a Lord. It's all right for you."

"OK! My Dad beat me up because I was gay." Will said, "Now why do I get the feeling we're being set up?"

"How do you mean?" Justin asked.

"Your Mum. She said something about bringing clients, but she brought you, and she seemed too eager to leave you here with us. She wouldn't admit it, but she's got something on her mind."

"Yeah! I've got into a bit of trouble since Dad left, and it's my fault. He wants a normal son, so he needs another woman."

"Eh! Are you saying he left because your mother couldn't give him a straight son?"

Justin nodded.

"He's a scumbag." Will exclaimed, "I bet his new girlfriend is a lot younger."

Justin nodded again, "I was an excuse?"

"Haven't you spoken to anyone else about it?" Rick asked.

"What? Tell people I'm gay?" Justin faltered, tears in his eyes, "Yeah, he said I shouldn't embarrass her any more than I already have."

"And she brings you to a couple of clients she knows are gay." Rick said, "What a coincidence. It's useful though."

"How?" Justin asked.

"She can't write a bad report about us if she's leaving you with us, and she can't complain if you want to stay for a few days."

Justin grinned, "I'd like to, but where? I thought it was fully booked here."

"We'll figure something. Like I said, it'll help us."

"So you're just using me." Justin snapped angrily.

"Yes, we are, and we're telling you. Do you want to use us and stay for a while?"

Justin relaxed and smiled, "If I stay, Mum will guess I'm gay … she brought me here to meet you, so she knows, doesn't she? I didn't think she believed Dad."

"How about: she's wondering and wondering if you're wondering so giving you a chance to find out?"

Justin nodded thoughtfully

"There's a problem, though." he said as he raised his jeans' leg to reveal a monitor, "I had to get permission to come here because I might be late for curfew."

"Your mother will know what to do." Will said, "I bet she knows loads of kids with one. I wondered why you weren't wearing shorts."

"I'm going to call my probation officer." Justin said, but returned, handing the phone to Rick.

"I'm Mr. Roberts. Technically it needs the court's permission to change his residency. I'll warn the monitoring service he has permission to be away from home, but someone will phone him each night on a landline during the curfew period. I'll need his address, and the responsible adult."

"His address will be The Castle, Bovaline. His guardian will be Sebastian Blatcherfield, but he's my guest and I'm Richard Blatcherfield, Earl of Westmark. You can check our identities on the Castle Bovaline website."

"Just a moment." There was a pause before Mr. Roberts came back on the line, "I've got it. It's certainly an interesting story. I'm also looking at Justin's notes. He's supposed to keep away from certain areas and from certain people. Those conditions are met if he stays on the island. It's late, so I'll sort out the details tomorrow."

"OK, but I'm learning about legal technicalities. Does sailing with us round the island and kayaking in the sea count as staying on the island?"

"I'll say no more than halfway to the mainland. Does that work?"

"Yes, it does. Thank you." Rick said.

"It's no problem. A lot of our work centres around breaking patterns of behaviour. This fits the bill so the only problem is the speed. Courts don't like being rushed, but I see the sense in grabbing the opportunity."

"I hope it doesn't give you too much hassle though."

"Believe it or not, I'll enjoy it. Usually calls about curfew breaches are about someone getting themselves back in court and ending up in prison. It's good to end today on a high note."

"In that case, could you do one more thing. Email me, so we've got something in writing."

"Will do. Goodbye."

"Come on!" Rick said, "Let's sail our boat round to the harbour."

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