Elf Boy's Friends - Volume XII

by George Gauthier

Chapter 3

Into the West

The territory of New Varangia ended abruptly at an escarpment which looked out over the flatlands below. The trunk highway descended in a set of switchbacks cut into the steep face. Not so the iron road which need a gentler slope than switchbacks could provide. Instead, far back along its approach to the escarpment the iron road slanted to the Southwest to start its more gradual descent to lower elevation through a deep cut created by an earth wizard. That led to a tunnel blasted through solid rock by a war wizard wielding white fire [subatomic plasma, the stuff that stars are made of]. It was a marvel of modern engineering.

Despite its name the region called the Flatlands did have its ups and downs. Relief features included the ranges of low hills which separated drainage basins and the occasional isolated granite peak or tor, places featured in local legend as the dark lair of scaly monsters. The tops of several of these prominences hosted Army heliograph stations, part of a line leading back to New Varangia and the Commonwealth.

One geological feature had sparked Drew's interest on his first trip out west years earlier. It was a swarm of magmatic dikes two hundred paces wide, a hundred paces high, and nineteen miles long. Created by an ancient intrusion of lava into continental crust and since exposed by erosion which left behind parallel vertical walls of basalt.

The old road ran through a narrow passage blasted a century earlier by a wizard using white fire. It was still used for local travel but the trunk highway and iron road ran through a new cut, far wider than the old.

Pointing out the swarm to his passengers Dahl and Corwin, Drew told them how they had stopped for several days to practice their rock climbing technique. It was after a particularly hard climb that Drew had expressed his frustration that although he could lift the others he could not levitate himself. The telekinetic gift could not move one's own body.

In a moment of inspiration Karel told him to lift his sandals. Since he was standing in them he would rise too. That had been the seed for the development of flight, the very first step. Next came Axel Wilde's idea for flying yokes for short range flight, then Nathan Lathrop's rigid wing for long range scouting, and finally Karl-Eike Thyssen's autogyro.

Their course took them ever westward. They rose high enough to see the former maritime republic of Jenova on the shore of the northernmost lobe of the Great Inland Freshwater Sea. At last they reached the city of Caerdydd, capital of the state of Cymru, and landed at the military airfield which served Army headquarters.

"Now Corwin, just to set you straight" Karel began. "Though the map spells Cymru with a 'u' at the end, the natives pronounce the final vowel as an 'i'. Actually 'K-I-M-R-I' would be more like it. And the name of their capital city ends in two d's though surely one would be enough."

The blond shook his head as he continued:

"Sadly, the orthography of names of places and persons in these benighted regions is anything but phonetic. Centuries ago great minds devised the 42 letters of the alphabet, one letter for each sound in the common tongue, to make it easy to acquire literacy, but these contrarians go and throw it all away."

Jemsen sighed.

"As I have often reminded Karel this world of ours has far more pressing problems than bad spelling."

"It offends my sense of order, that's all I'm saying." Karel explained defensively.

The four for whom this was their second trip to Caerdydd were pleased at the changes they saw all around them, the fruit of the political, social, and economic reforms midwifed by the Commonwealth which had brought genuine peace and prosperity to a region formerly torn by dynastic wars, class warfare, and revolution leading to famine, violence, and general backwardness. The underlying problem was infertile soils which forced rapacious landowners to exact and extract too much from their peasants and serfs periodically provoking famines and peasant uprisings.

In the last fifteen years the warren of narrow streets had been torn down and rebuilt into a modern city. Instead of jumbled passages filled with pedestrians, animals, and wheeled vehicles all thrown together helter-skelter the new streets were wider, and they separated foot traffic from vehicles. The sidewalks even had tree boxes to provide shade.

"This journey out west is a trip down memory lane, isn't it Drew?" Finn asked.

"It sure is. We arrived here as the Young Soldiers Four but left as the Young Peacemakers Four. I am far prouder of our contributions to peace than of anything I have done in war."

"Amen."

The Headquarters of the Western Army was in a quadrangle of two storey edifices built of timber and brick. The Commonwealth flag flew in front of the main building.

Jemsen showed their papers to an orderly who directed them to the duty officer who had them shown to comfortable quarters in the building next door where they dropped their kit, sent their soiled clothes to the laundry, bathed, and generally made themselves presentable.

They had no real business at headquarters, no one to meet or to report to. This stop was an opportunity for a final check of their aerocraft by professional military mechanics and a chance to take stock and make final plans and preparations for their journey into the unknown. Nevertheless the next day a messenger delivered a cryptic note asking them not to leave just yet but providing no explanation.

The next morning all of them except Finn woke up early and went out for a run along the cross-country course which looped out into the fields and woods beyond the installation proper. As always the youths ran in the nude, relishing the kiss of the morning sun on their bare backs and bums.

After the run the youths stretched and flexed and worked on their upper body strength, doing pull-ups and climbing ropes with just their arms. To improve their agility they climbed trees and even scrambled to the roofs of the buildings till they were ordered down by a spoilsport non-commissioned officer who mistook them for newbies.

They complied with his order to descend, but without the guilty looks he expected. Instead they made a game of their descent, a chance to show off their athleticism with fancy moves. When they were finally down, the boys did not line up or stand at attention but just stood easy as if they didn't have a care in the world.

"Talk about raw recruits, you don't even know to line up properly, and what do you boys think you were doing up there atop that roof all bare-ass naked. And didn't you realize that this is officer country? You there, Red, what is your name and unit?"

Drew rolled his eyes. To the twins he said: "History repeats itself, doesn't it."

To the sergeant he simply said.

"We are not recruits at all but reserve officers though currently we are not on active duty so are not assigned to a specific unit."

"Oh really? You claim to be a commissioned officer, you, a bare-assed pretty boy who cannot be more than sixteen or seventeen? Those blond twins look to be maybe eighteen or nineteen so they might possibly be ensigns."

"Nope, its captains all around except for little blondie who is a ranker in the militia and that dark haired elf lord at the end of the line."

"Harrumph. Captains eh, and that raven haired beauty is an elf lord? Think you are being clever, do you? Well, your sergeants will soon knock the impertinence out of you, youngling."

Just then Finn showed up in full uniform including the distinctive white kepi of the Dread Hands which he was willing to wear in garrison. He took in the situation quickly. After all this was their second go around with this particular comedy of errors.

"You know sergeant, you could check with the charge of quarters at the unaccompanied officers' barracks to establish their bona fides. Or you could accept the assurances of a Dread Hand of the Commonwealth."

With that Finn held his hand up and triggered the small magic that made it glow, the unmistakable credentials of a Dread Hand.

Recognizing that these youngsters were far too confident and self-assured to be wayward recruits and that one of the Dread Hands had just vouched for them the sergeant suddenly realized how badly he had overstepped. Changing his tune he told them:

"So you are officers, after all. I wish you had made that clear in the first place."

"Actually, I am pretty sure we did. Isn't that the way you remember it Jemsen?" Karel remarked blandly. "Anyway thank you sergeant for your commendable but misdirected zeal. Dismissed."

The sergeant took off, glad to get away with his stripes still on his sleeve.

Karel shrugged and told the others.

"Not his fault really, the way our enhanced longevity keep us perpetually young and looking even younger than our years. Which goes double for you 'Red' and you too 'Elf Lord,' given your diminutive proportions."

Drew nodded, adding:

"And none of us has a feather on his body, not even at the fork of our legs, thanks to druidic magic which blocks the growth of body hair. This is an old story for me. I know that I fall far short of normal masculine standards in height, muscular development, beard, body hair, and voice register. I'll look sweet sixteen for half a millennium. But being a boy-toy does have its advantages. It sure helps my social life!"

The five walked over to the outdoor showers to wash away the sweat and dust, drying their bodies in the early morning sun. The nude youths drew admiring looks from those of their barracks mates who fancied pretty boys, of whom there were more than a few. Their enhanced hearing let them overhear remarks from onlookers which included descriptors like "walking wet dreams" and "a trio of blond beauties," and "lithe, lissom, and lovely."

Indeed, they were all those things.

Of fully human stock Jemsen and Karel were identical twins, palomino colts whose wiry musculature and strong upper storey evidenced the high level of fitness the boys maintained from archery practice and all the running and swimming they did. The twins were blessed with fine-boned faces, their heads crowned with cornsilk blond hair. They were of medium height, blond, slender, and incredibly cute.

Although young men past their twenties, the twins looked like teenage boys a decade and a half younger thanks to their parentage and to the druidical healing magic that let them live for half a millennium or more and keep them perpetually young. The smooth glabrous bodies of the scrumptious blond beauties practically glowed with vitality. The effect was incredibly sexy.

As for 'Red,' Drew was an impossibly cute twink with spiky auburn hair and narrow sideburns reaching below the ear lobe plus straight eyebrows with almost no curve to them. They framed a fine-boned face with a high forehead, chiseled jawline, and a perky nose slightly turned up at the end. Drew was slight in build, standing only five foot zero and weighing but a hundred pounds, yet his tiny frame was easily twice as strong as it looked, enhanced by the same druidical magic that had lengthened his life and extended his youth.

Corwin was slight of build, clean limbed, and short; he stood only four inches over five feet. He was blessed with the delicate features, high cheekbones, and green eyes which suggested the considerable admixture of elfin blood in his ancestry though his hair was blond rather than dark.

As for Dahlderon, lithe, preternaturally lovely, gracile, or comely were words that hardly did justice to the raven-haired elven beauty. With his delicate features, chiseled jawline, and killer cheekbones shielding green eyes the color of growing things, his was the sort of youthful male beauty that would take your breath away. Though he stood only an inch over five feet and weighed five pounds over a hundred-weight he was nearly four times as strong as he looked thanks to druidical magic.

Among those who looked at them with interest were two young officers in their early twenties, a human and an elf, who looked to have just finished target practice with air guns. They spoke softly but their words carried to the keen ears of the five nonetheless. To his lanky human friend the elf complained:

"It's so unfair that those five beauties seem to have eyes only for each other."

"Don't be so sure, my friend. As an elf, your exotic looks and slender physique not to mention those killer cheekbones of yours make you quite presentable. And, from the way he's been checking you out, that cute little red-head just might be as interested in you as you are in him."

"Shush! He might hear you."

The way Drew suddenly raised his eyebrows and smiled gave it away that he had heard what was said. So the elf's human friend called out:

"Uh, no offense there, 'Red'. I was just dropping a hint to my shy pal here."

That earned him an elbow to the ribs.

"Striking a fellow officer? Tut, tut!"

Drew could see from their easy camaraderie that the young officers were best friends. Grinning, Drew introduced himself and the others.

"Two wizards, two war mages, and a druid. You boys are real heavy hitters. What are you doing out our way?"

"If you think we are heavy hitters, wait till you see my boyfriend, Finn Ragnarson. Perhaps you have heard of him?"

"Who hasn't? They say he is the avatar of a thunder god and is the strongest if not the largest of the Frost Giants. I heard that he stands eight feet tall and masses six hundred pounds of bone and muscle and sinew. I just hope for your sake Daniel that this Finn Ragnarson is not the jealous type."

"Oh very funny!"

"I am Lieutenant Clyde Stilwell and my shy friend here is Lieutenant Daniel Dayton."

"We just finished target practice," Daniel explained, quite needlessly since they both carried air guns, and Daniel had a paper target with him.

"Souvenir," he explained. "I shot my personal best today."

"Congratulations! I see that you shoot carbines. Does that mean you are in the cavalry?"

"Hardly! We are both staff officers, logisticians in fact. The carbine is less cumbersome than the long guns the infantry shoot. A carbine cannot match their range, but if I ever have to shoot for real it means the enemy has got closer than they ever rightly should. If which case, I will need to hit what I aim at."

"Would you care to join us for breakfast?" Clyde Stilwell offered.

"Sure."

A while later, cleaned up and in uniform, all seven of them settled down to eat. Clyde started the table talk:

"I don't know if you newcomers realize this but here in garrison they serve two hot meals a day, with long sitting times to accommodate everyone's schedules. That lets early risers like ourselves chose exercise or training before sitting down to breakfast. So the cooks serve for two hours in the morning and for two and a half in the evening."

Drew nodded. "Thanks but we knew that already. We've been here before."

"Ah, here comes my boyfriend Finn Ragnarson. Hi, Finn; this is Clyde Stilwell. The sexy elf next to him is named Daniel Dayton. He is the latest of my fervent admirers. Now I know that this is a regular part of your schtick, but can we skip the feigned jealousy just this once?"

"Damn!" Finn growled with not entirely mock chagrin. "I have been forestalled."

That evening alone in bed with the young elf officer Drew told him:

"I've had lots of boyfriends," Drew explained to the young officer. "I crave variety in recreational sex. But my bond with Finn is about more than physical attraction and sex. Like the twins, Finn is one of my very best friends, someone I have a history with and plan to stay close to for the rest of a very long life. I trust him and the twins implicitly. Same goes for Corwin. We live together and have marched off to war together and battled deadly foes. So I know they will always have my back just as I will always have theirs."

"In our leisure time, we have a lot of fun together whether playing sports, training and exercising, or just taking meals, talking and socializing. You'll soon see for yourself that the twins are lively chatterboxes, smart, funny, and insatiably inquisitive. Talking to them is both entertaining and educational. Finn is no slouch in the brains department either, make no mistake. Oh he is slower to speak, but when he does, he is definitely worth listening to."

"You are one lucky fellow, Drew Altair, to have made such fine friends. Now enough talk about other lovers. Come here!"

For Drew taking a new boy to bed added the thrill of discovery to the familiar joys of sex. At least that was Drew's stated excuse for being such a social butterfly.

Like all elves Daniel was a really good-looking young male. His hair was dark and wavy, and he was blessed with the fine-boned features and green eyes typical of his race. Standing four fingers taller than the twins, Ian had the willowy physique more typical of the elves than the truncated version of the twins' friend the elf-boy cum druid Dahlderon. With narrow hips and shoulders he was noticeably more slender than the twins though thanks to running and swimming he was quite fit not soft and out of shape as you might expect a staff officer to be.

For Daniel this little auburn-haired beauty was just his type: short and slightly built, impossibly cute, trim and fit, and with a strong streak of exhibitionism. Daniel had no use for clothes horses. Rather he liked a boy who didn't care overly much for clothing, a boy who sought any excuse to take his clothes off, or even better, not to climb into his clothes in the first place. Pretty boys really owed it to the world to share their loveliness with males who appreciated the fine lines on a young colt like Drew.

In bed Daniel was a versatile lover, experienced in both roles, top or bottom, thanks to growing up in a largely human city rather than one of the secluded elven vales where he would have been expected to bottom for older males for decades at least.

Drew was his first lover with the gift of telekinesis, thanks to which sexual partners could assume positions and perform actions which were otherwise physically impossible. Wow, you really felt like a bottom when your body was lifted into the air without any support at all and turned and twisted to make love in ways that defied gravity and in some cases common sense.

In Daniel Drew found an enthusiastic partner whose favorite position was seated facing the other boy whose rump was in his lap. That let the young lovers gaze into each other's eyes, to kiss, and to touch the other boy in all his erogenous zones all the while with his cock slipped up the other boy's quim.

To Daniel's mind, the hard body of a boy was so much sexier than the soft and yielding form of the female. Boys' bodies were all sculpted muscle and bone and sinew, making for physiques that were strong and athletic and acrobatic. A girl was all take and no give, but a boy could give as well as take and even do both at the same time as when they lay head to toe and pleasured each other's cocks.

To hold his own with a boy it took another male. No none but another male could know the male body better, especially the manly parts. That was why boys were ever so much better at oral sex and manual manipulation. Boys knew what to do with a cock and what they wanted done with theirs too.

That evening Daniel and Drew expressed their physical attraction for each other in an energetic, sweaty, and vocal crescendo of eroticism, raging hormones, and spunk.

After three lively bouts of lovemaking the boys settled into post-coital lassitude and talked about themselves and their lives. Alas they had time for only a brief fling. Three days later it was time for the Corps of Discovery to push on.

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