Elf Boy's Friends - V

by George Gauthier

Chapter 16

Axel

The cute copper topped youngster paced another youth, a pretty blond boy taller by a hand, as they ran along the cross-country trail at the army proving grounds. Unusually for youths of the Commonwealth they were not entirely in the nude but only bared to the waist or rather the hips, dressed as they were in the trews of their Army greens with thick-soled moccasins on their feet.

Their legs scissored metronomically propelling their slender bodies along the deserted trail at a pace of a mile a minute, much faster than should have been humanly possible, which was why they were also wearing the same goggles flyers wore. These two were humans whose vitality had been enhanced by druidic healing magic, a gift that gave them double the strength, stamina, and reflexes of ordinary humans, not to mention longevity, prolonged youth, and superior powers of resistance to disease and recuperation from injuries.

The brush to either side of the narrow trail shook as they ran past —- not from the turbulence of their wake but from the jet of air that pushed them along much as a sail propels a ship. Thanks to the boy with the close cropped blond hair who was the air wizard Karel, the pair literally ran like the wind. Karel and Axel were practicing running shoulder to shoulder. It took coordination to keep a single narrow jet of air pushing at the backs of both runners as they practically flew along with five yard strides.

Short, fair, with hair the color of copper, extremely boyish looking, the boy with the heart-melting dimples and the boy with corn silk blond hair were friends, lovers, neighbors, and sometime soldiers and comrades in arms. They were training for the day they would again be called to the colors, most likely to fight the genocidal trolls in Amazonia. Karel held a reserve commission as a captain the Army of the Commonwealth while Axel was in the active Army with the rank of warrant officer in his capacity as aide to the war wizard Sir Willet Hanford at the Institute for Wizardry and Magic in the capital.

Sir Willet stood atop a watch tower at one end of the straightaway at the end of the trail timing them with a pendulum. He found that the runners had indeed maintained a speed of a mile a minute or sixty miles in an hour for a half hour. Even as they crossed the finished line and trotted past to cool off, they were not obviously winded, but gave every sign that they might have run for some time yet.

"Congratulations you two. You have proved your point Karel, that runners don't necessarily need the psychic link you have with your twin to keep coordinated. It can be done by anyone with a druidically enhanced constitution. You should put your heads together and write this up for Drew's journal 'Magic'. It's about time someone else around here got a byline."

"You are so right, sir!" Axel enthused. "Let's show our auburn-haired journalist friend that he is not the only one who can string words together into cogent sentences."

"What about asking Corwin for help? He does write for a living" Karel asked, but Axel shook his head.

"Much as I love the guy, we don't need a ghost writer."

"Only one thing, Sir Willet," Karel started to say, a mischievous twinkle in his eye, "you too should try pacing me the way Axel has. As one of the magically enhanced yourself, you should be able to maintain the pace, despite the fact that you were already a man of middle years when the druids changed you."

"Young man, I'll have you know that I don't need the help of a jet of wind to keep up with the likes of you. You forget that as a fetcher I can fly faster than you can run, wind or no wind."

"But doesn't soaring into the air make you a target not only for arrows which you might fend off with your Missile Shield, but for hostile magic?"

"Who says I have to fly high and make myself a target? Haven't you heard of the nap-of-the-earth technique where a flyer stays low to the ground and flies around terrain features instead of over them? Why I could easily fly down that trail no higher off the ground than you were, only twice as fast and without working up a sweat. Not bad for a man of middle years, is it my young friend?"

Karel conceded the point with a nod and a rueful smile. He had really walked into that one.

He should have remembered that Sir Willet could engage his telekinetic powers to push on the short wooden yoke built into his leather armor to let him fly as freely as a bird. He could even take Axel along with him, with his feet in the drop-down stirrups attached to the armor.

Jemsen was also at the proving ground that day, honing his skills with earth magic, in particular creating defenses against cavalry attack. Gopher holes were notorious for breaking the legs of horses, so a belt of artificial ones could easily disrupt a charge, tripping the horses and throwing their riders, who might break their necks or be crushed by the weight of their downed horses or kicked by the mount following close behind.

Jemsen had asked the older wizard for suggestions in camouflaging the gopher holes, but Sir Willet had countered with a suggestion that he should forget about camouflage and create holes on the fly, while the enemy was actually charging at the friendlies.

"Devise a standard pattern of holes in a rectangle of convenient size. Target the first zone then repeat as needed to cover the entire area in front of and even under the hoofs of the enemy cavalry. They won't see anything amiss since the holes won't be there till they are too!"

"Clever!"

"Here's another trick, Jemsen. From your classes in tactics you know about a feigned retreat, which is when your own forces pretend to flee in order to lure the enemy into an incautious pursuit. Once our own forces ride past an agreed upon line, dig a trench six yards wide and at least half as deep just in front of the enemy charge. The front ranks will fall into it and break the horses' legs and hopefully their riders' necks."

"With all the dust thrown up by our false retreat and by the front ranks of the enemy, many of those riding behind won't see the danger till it is too late and will fall in and pile onto the first bunch. Maybe half will rein in, but that is a good thing too, depriving their charge of the impetus that makes it effective. Meanwhile our own cavalry will have swung wide around the ends of the trench to hit the enemy from both sides at once while they are milling around in confusion."

"Fiendish!"

"More positively, trenches could help the civil authorities deal with floods. You could create channels to divert or drain flood waters or to redirect a meandering river back to its original channel."

That was more like it. Sure Jemsen was a part-time soldier, but he had also embraced his roles as a Young Peacemaker and as a relief worker. So he was always on the lookout for ways to use his new powers constructively.

"As Jemsen joined the group Axel asked "Speaking of channels, why don't we go for a swim in that brook over there. It looks so inviting."

"Gentlemen, this is an army proving ground, not a public park."

"So?" Karel asked. "What is un-military about three army officers practicing survival swimming at a proving ground? Come on you two. Race you over."

Karel took off, running with the wind at his back, leaving his brother and Axel to catch up the old fashioned way. Axel shouted after him.

"Hey! No powers!"

Karel just waved him off. Jemsen was no help either; he just shrugged.

Sir Willet wouldn't have minded a swim himself, but he figured those three would want to be alone. They probably had something more on their minds than just swimming.

Oh the boys did strip off and swim for a while at a wide spot in the brook. The water was invitingly cool thanks to the inflow from a spring. Soon though straight-forward swimming gave way to the grab ass games nude youths were all too prone to engage in while ostensibly swimming, which lead to foreplay, which lead to more intimate forms of interaction.

Their hard tanned bodies intertwined in all the ways randy youths were capable of when consummating their physical passions. First the twins paired off with Axel one at a time. After a pause they double-teamed him, plugging him at both ends. Axel was in heaven, impaled on the cocks of two of the boys he loved most in the world. Their enhanced vitality conferred on them a degree of sexual potency beyond the norm. It was a long time before they were spent and lapsed into a pleasant post-coital lassitude.

But with them lovemaking was not just recreational sex, it also a physical reaffirmation of the romantic love they all felt for each other. And it was not only those three. Ever since Liam and Drew had brought them into their circle of friends, Axel had come out of his shell. The twins had taken a shine to the engaging wizard's aide. Smart, cute, and a truly gentle person, there was a lot to like about him, including his physical beauty.

And now young Corwin Klarendes had joined their circle. Corwin now spent almost as many nights in Axel's bed chamber as he did at the Klarendes townhouse. And of course he was Drew's colleague at the Capital Intelligencer.

All of them could look forward to centuries of youth and heath and vigor, whether from druidical life magic or the admixture of elven blood in their heritage. Thanks to druidic magic Axel would always be an extremely boyish-looking eighteen year old, whatever the count of years marked by the calendar. Similarly the twins were nineteen and would stay so for the next five centuries. Same for Drew who hardly looked seventeen going on eighteen. As a Klarendes, Corwin was nearly half elf and looked much the same.

The passing years would give all of them valuable life experience, but no evidence of it would show in their faces or bodies. Druidical healing magic was a gift that kept on giving.

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