Naked Prey

by George Gauthier


Chapter 1. The Doldrums of the Pacific, 1828

"Put your backs into it, lads." the third mate called out from his seat in the stern. "Pull on those oars for all you are worth, lest we be trapped in these damnable doldrums till our water casks run dry."

The weary crews in both whaleboats resigned themselves to another day of trying to tow their becalmed ship out of these latitudes where the winds blew only fitfully. Their whaling ship had to cross a region of calms near the Equator to reach the whaling grounds north of the Line. After six days of continual toil in the tropical heat the crews were weary. Each man had worked four shifts of two hours every day at the oars. They had a third boat but not enough men aboard to maintain towing crews in all three at once.

Even Ethan, the ship's boy, slightly built as he was, had been pressed into service, sitting on the last bench just in front of the young officer. The third mate could not fault the sixteen year old for his diminutive size, for he worked with a will to match his shipmates. A good lad, the third mate thought, though entirely too fond of shucking his breeches and going about the ship entirely naked under the tropical sun. It had been weeks since he had stripped off his britches and put them away. About the only thing he wore most days was a sheen of sweat and a darkening tan.

Still if the captain was inclined to indulge the shameless lad, who was he, William Doyle, to say him nay. Barely nineteen himself, he had been lucky to find this berth on their ship the Morning Star, a small two masted schooner of 130 tons with a complement of 28.

Seated on the last bench facing the stern of the whaleboat, just ahead of the officer, all of Ethan's physique was available for the man's interested scrutiny. Ethan's wiry physique was physical poetry, as his slim body moved rhythmically, bending forward at the waist when he lifted the oar out of the water, feathering the blade as his motion carried it toward the bow. He slipped the blade into the water with nary a splash, then leaned back on the oar, legs braced on a rib of the boat, pulling with all the strength of his legs and buttocks and back and shoulders. His rump almost came up off the bench as he put his weight into it.

Doyle could not help admiring Ethan's trim body as he worked his big oar, the starkly defined muscle bundles moving under the smooth skin of arms and shoulders, rippled abdominals heaving with his exertions, the flat belly contained within a V sharply defined by the creases of the Adam's girdle, the long muscles of thigh and calf standing out with the strain, and those pert buttocks of his, rock hard as he braced himself and pulled on the oar.

Doyle obviously had the best view of the naked lad, full frontal, but those on benches also enjoyed watching the boy's rhythmic movements, fascinated by the play of muscles on his back and shoulders, the curve of his torso punctuated by spinal bumps, the chevrons of his rib cage, and his narrow hips.

Ethan Manning was a comely lad though quite small for his age and very slender. He stood just shy of four inches over five feet (162 cm) and weighed only 110 pounds (50 kg). His was a fawn-like physique but with a wiry musculature, toned and taut. What a pleasing face he had too, though entirely too pretty for a boy of course, with animated and intelligent features: a straight nose, high cheekbones, large green eyes topped by a blond thatch, and pouty lips, always ready to part in a smile.

He skin was sleek and smooth, tanned nearly as dark as any of the American Indians in their crew. He had no hair on his body, not even wisps under his arms or at the fork of his legs, a naturally hairless boy, a condition probably related to his failure to reach full height, as was his flawless complexion. It was obvious no razor had ever scraped his cheeks nor had needed to. He was naturally beardless, without even a hint of peach fuzz though five months short of his seventeenth birtday.

From his tiny red nipples to a deeply indented navel, to narrow hips framing a surprisingly ample manhood for one so slight of build, Ethan was real beauty. With so little body fat, his flat belly showed a tracery of veins just under the skin, pointing at his bare groin. The beat of his heart was visible on the left side of his smooth chest.

Farther down, Ethan had a smooth cock with a vein running along the top of the shaft from his belly to where the foreskin hugged his cock head, outlining the ridge of the glans under the skin, leaving just the slit at the tip of the head visible. Cock and balls were reasonably sized but he wouldn't be scaring the horses. It might take both his small hands to cover his erection, but only one when he was soft though it did look larger from the way it sprouted out of a bare groin bearing no more than a suggestion of blond pubes. His gentials hung freely, swaying back and forth with his movements which themselves were choreographed with those of the other rowers, each careful not to entangle his oar with another's.

Doyle approved of the way little Ethan used his strength economically, without wasted motion, flexing forward and back like a bow in the hands of an archer. Maybe he couldn't impart as much impetus to the ship as the bigger males could, but no one could fault the lad for not doing his utmost.

This was one lad who really knew the meaning of hard work and did his best to keep up his end. He finished his shifts at the oar literally trembling with fatigue, muscles sore, too tired to feel real hunger in his belly though his energy was badly depleted. No one could say he did not give everything to his work, yet he never complained except about the blisters on his hands, but then they all did.

Oh he did ask for help that one time he got a couple of wood splinters in his butt, which Doyle was only too happy to remove. The boy's uncle was past the age where his aging eyes could deal with splinters, so it was Doyle's gentle hands that had squeezed the flesh gently, stroked with his fingertips to push the splinters far enough to grasp with tweezers. The boy thanked him for it, though for Doyle his intimate contact with the boy's firm ass cheeks was reward enough.

He worked away at his oar almost unselfconscious about his nudity and glabrous skin, largely oblivious to the reality of his lubricious display of concupiscence and the effect it had on the lusty males in the crew. He did not realize that as he rowed, with sweat pouring off him, his trim physique positively glowed in the sunlight, a shining vision of a male beauty at the peak of his physical powers. With perspiration running in rivulets down his taut body, dripping from nose and chin and elbows and, yes, even from his cock, the scene was just about the most erotic thing they had ever seen short of intercourse.

In their whole lives they had never seen anyone, male or female, so physically desirable as this slender sweaty youth. Far from being indifferent to his perpetual nudity, they lusted for him, wanting nothing more than to grapple with the trim boy, to grab and hold and press his taut body to theirs. They longed to wrestle him into submission as he struggled in their arms, resisting enough to make for a fun conquest, a taming of a shy virgin. They figured they would be doing him a favor. How could a pretty boy like Ethan deliberately run around bare ass like that if it were not in invitation. He really must want to be taken, though he might not realize it himself.

The sailors fantasized about flipping the boy onto his back or rolling him over on his belly, his slender legs flailing helplessly for purchase. They longed to straddle him as he hunkered down on all fours wrestling style, knees spread and braced, rock hard buttocks straining to anchor him in place, unwittingly providing access to his boy hole. Yes, let the lad twist that slim body of his all slick with sweat, gasping and grunting, straining that tight little physique as a big sailor forced his knee between those slender legs. Let the boy whimper as hands fastened on his ankles, spreading him open like a wishbone. Nothing like a little sobbing as thumbs spread his anal ring to give a boy a sense that his virginity, though hopelessly lost, was not given up without a struggle, as was only proper for a well-bred lad like him. Surely the boy must soon realize how pointless it was to maintain his chastity when his own lusts were working against him.

With all that, it was a wonder Ethan was still a virgin with the ship five months out of Nantucket. Despite their own desires, his fellow sailors had had to respect the boy's reticence. As his nephew, Ethan was under the captain's protection and even slept separate from the crew on a rolled out pallet in the captain's cabin. Too bad. If William Doyle had had his wish, the boy would already have become his lover. He had seen the boy looking at him too, taking in his own masculine good looks, and suspected his feeling were reciprocated. Doyle was a tall and lean and well-built, a red-head with brilliant blue eyes and deemed quite attractive to the ladies, as he had been told, though he could never work up an interest in the females. His eye was only for lively lads like young Ethan.

Though the men could not turn Ethan into their bum boy, they had warmed to the boy as a ship's comrade. He was a good shipmate who never traded on his status, always ready to lend another sailor a hand, happy to throw his wiry strength into hauling on a line, shifting cargo, or scrubbing the deck. He had not baulked at clearing the bilges either, even if the onerous task left him filthy and smelly. As he told the bosun:

"I know you picked me because I am small enough to get into all those narrow spaces and do the job right. That's fine. I don't mind getting dirty like that, not really. It wouldn't be the first time. What the hell, naked as I already am, I have no clothes to soil, and I can bathe easier than I can launder stains out of my breeches. And after all what boy ever really minded a little dirt."

"Aye, lad. You have the right of it there, and a willing lad you are, as I have told the captain."

A hardworking humble boy not averse to honest dirt, who could think of him as a captain's pet or an idler. No, he was universally respected as a good lad and an asset to the Morning Star with his quick wit and ready smile. Even his occasional practical jokes were lighthearted, and if they earned him an occasional smack with a tawse on his bare rump, well no hard feelings.

Besides, even if they could not enjoy him carnally, the men loved to watch little Ethan scrambling through the rigging, small muscles bunching under his tanned skin or scrubbing the deck, on his knees, pushing a brush back and forth, a nude sailor boy, taut brown butt cheeks flexing, crinkly whorl visible in between, genitals dangling between his slender thighs, back and shoulder muscles rippling as he thrust forward and back. Almost like get down on all fours to get pronged. If only he would allow it.

The close quarters of the small whaling ship provided plenty of opportunity to get close to the boy too. He sat with his messmates for meals, their bodies pressing him on both sides. Their hands would fall across his narrow shoulders in a comradely fashion, then slide down his back to his rump. Ethan allowed the men their liberties. He rather liked being the center of attention and welcomed the pats on the back or on the ass, the friendly rubbing of his belly, or the playful tweaking of his nipples. The truth is he liked putting himself on display and very much liked to be touched and petted and stroked. All with the understanding that touching his genitals and actual sex were not on the agenda.

The ship's bell announced the end of their shift so the sailors rowed their boats to the side of their ship and switched crews.

"Can I work the kinks out of you again, Ethan," William asked hopefully.

Often after their long shift at the oars, Ethan let the older youth give him a massage to loosen his muscles. After his last tour for the day, the boy nodded and agreed to join Doyle in the wardroom, stretching out on the long table in the center bolted to the deck. Doyle enjoyed this time alone with the beauteous lad. It was his one chance to put his hands everywhere on that trim little body, to squeeze and to stroke and to fondle his delicious flesh as the boy stretched out for him, first on his back, then on his belly.

Will liked him either way. With the lad on his back, Will could lift one of the boy's legs to his shoulder and step in close. He kneaded the tired muscles of calf and thigh while the boy lay spread out before him, sweat beading up on his pectorals, the nubbins of his nipples clearly aroused by Will's touch on his inner thigh and especially when fingertips traced the ridge between his hole and his ballsac. Sometimes the older youth bent forward to lick or nibble those enticing red tits. At first, Ethan had put his hand to Will's forehead as if to push him away, but Will persisted in these attentions. Sighing in surrender at Will's insistence, Ethan allowed the man to lick and taste and kiss his way down his torso, but only so far as his navel.

With the lad on his belly, stretched out prone, his posture emphasized his curvaceous rump. Will was always gratified at how much curvature a slender kid like Ethan could display lying belly down. From the front, the boy looked so, well flat, though nicely corrugated with abs, pecs, ribs, and finely formed muscles, but his fawn-like physique was the very opposite of the bulging muscles of a strong man.

From the rear, the boy was all curves: from the arch of his feet to his calves, his thighs, the taut globes of his buttocks, then up the swale of the lower back, to the slope up to the shoulder blades which formed winglets on his upper back, how appropriate with his angelic looks. And of course the twin spheres and tubular cock lying so enticingly between the fork of the legs. The boy let Will's hands touch him everywhere, kneading, pounding, deep knuckling. The boy moaned in pleasure as the bigger man worked with his trim body, taking charge of it, virtually making love to it with a massage.

Of course Ethan knew of Will's carnal desires and just how far he would like to go with him, but so far he had not allowed actual sex. Brought up in a strict Congregationalist household, Ethan was in denial about his own sexual preferences and urges. He kept hoping that they would pass and that he would wake up one day a normal lad, with an interest in girls. That was one reason he had signed on for the voyage, to give himself a chance to grow out of his boyish infatuation with the male of the species.

The truth is, for all his misgivings about his sexuality, he rather fancied Will Doyle's looks. The third mate was tall and strong but boyishly lean with a smooth virtually hairless chest. Clean-shaven, handsome, intelligent, and well educated, there was a lot to like about the man. The fact that he was less than three years older helped too. Maybe Doyle could explain these strange feelings of his in the presence of a virile young male, the tingle at the fork of his legs, the weakness in the knees, the clutching feeling in his anus.

That is one reason he accepted Doyle's ministrations, why he liked the man's hands on his body even down there. Of course Doyle was careful never to go too far, never poking his questing fingers much less his cock into Ethan's fundament. The only sexual liberties Ethan allowed him was to bring him off with his hands. Will was the only member of the crew whom Ethan allowed to touched his genitals. The fact is that the nightly massage often left Ethan painfully erect. The boy told himself he was only letting the older man correct what his stimulation had unwittingly initiated in his teenage body. Ethan rather liked surrendering his cock to Will's ministrations. It was so much better than when he entertained himself. The man knew just how to excite him there. Will excited himself at the same time, careful to bring them off together, letting his own seed shoot onto the Ethan's belly along with his own.

Still Ethan was uncomfortable with the occasional kiss or lick the older man gave to his manhood. What was that all about? Even stranger was that after Ethan's eruption, the man would often lick the gism right off the boy's belly, whirl it around in his mouth then swallow it. One time he even tried to kiss the lad afterwards. Ethan nearly let it happen, but the strange aroma of his own cum on Will's lips raised Ethan's fears about his sinful ways. So he had turned his head away at the end. Doyle had been keenly disappointed, and Ethan reproached himself for, if not actually leading the man on, for turning him down at the last moment, like some thoughtless tease. Will Doyle deserved better than that from any boy, especially from a friend.

Chapter 2. Whaling

The ship finally pulled itself out of the doldrums. Though the winds were light they moved the ship along readily enough. The sailors' long ordeal at the oars was over. The resumed their normal shipboard routine and cruised for whales.

On the Morning Star, a third mate would have been superfluous except for his command of one of their three whale boats. (Many whales ships carried only two.) With all boats deployed, they needed one officer aboard ship and one in each boat. With a crew of only a score of so hands, relations between officers and seamen were not so formal as on larger ships, especially the warships of the day. Hence no one had ever thought it improper for a third mate to go about the ship shirtless as Doyle usually did. That was why he was nicely tanned above the hips.

The ship lowered boats whenever the lookout sang out with the call of "She blows!". The easy part was approaching the unsuspecting leviathan in the boats. Then came the harpooning followed by the wild ride of the boat crew, towed behind the fleeing whale till it tired and a mate could finish it off with his lance to its heart. Then came the hard labor of towing the carcass to the ship, cutting it apart with flensing knives, and rendering the blubber down for oil. The huge head of the sperm whale is one third its length and yield more whale oil per carcass than any other species.

It was hard, dirty, and smelly work. Ethan worked from inside the carcass, his small naked body pressed on all sides by the beast's blubber and flesh. Ethan's size made him handy for slipping between the bones of the skeleton, into the crevices of the carcass, cutting the choice bits out piece by piece. From the stomach of the sperm whale, the whalers could collect precious ambergris, a waxy substance used to make perfume. Ethan looked a rather strange figure, even a comical one, a small lad naked but for a rubber cap to protect his blond hair, flensing knife in hand, smeared with blood and juices and oils, up to his ass or his chest in whale guts.

It was also dangerous work what with the slashing of razor sharp flensing knives and the no less sharp teeth of the sharks attracted by the bloody carcass. The captain stationed a sailor in the rigging with a couple of rifles to shoot any that came too close.

The flensing crew also collected bones and especially the ivory from the big teeth. These were kept for the sailors to work on in their spare time. The intricate designs they etched in their surfaces were called scrimshaw. These brought good money ashore. Sailors on whaling voyages were not paid wages, working for a share of the profits plus found.

After taking a whale, everyone hoped for a rain squall afterwards to cleanse the ship of the lingering stink. For his part, Ethan scrubbed away with salt water soap till his skin was raw.

As the months went by during their cruise in tropical waters, Ethan skin turned as dark as any of their Indian crew. Naked as he was, he looked like a young savage or a child of nature, hair loose to the wind, totally nude, splashed by the spume and the waves. One day the captain noted in his diary: "Ethan naked now for six months straight, yet the boy is thriving. What would his proper mother say to that!"

One day they chanced upon a pod of sperm whales, possibly a family group. All three whaleboats picked a target and took out after a different animal. Doyle guided his boat till they were within harpooning distance. Manuel, the Portuguese harpooner stood up in the bow gripping the thick wooden handle of the harpoon gauging the right moment. The explosive action of the muscles of his arms shoulders and back propelled the deadly missile across the water. The iron flew true and sank deep into the flesh of the whale, held fast by the long barb at the head. The whale sounded trying to get away from the pain and the threat.

The next half hour was the wildest ride of Ethan's young life as the whale took off dragging the whaleboat along at high speed across the choppy water. As the rope attached to the harpoon unreeled from its wooden tub, the crew let the line pay out whenever the whale dove deep. They did not want the great beast to drag them under. The rope took a single turn around a post that might have burst in flame from simple friction except for the sea water poured over it to cool it down.

If only the whale had turned on them, it might have smashed the fragile whaleboat with its flukes or bitten their craft right in half. That sometimes happened, especially with sperm whales, hunters of giant squid and carnivores that they were. Usually though the whale obeyed its instinct to flee, working its great flukes merely to get away. Eventually it would tire, the crew of the whaleboat would close the distance and finish the great beast off with a lance to the heart. That was Doyle's task. This time though as the boat zipped along an unexpected bump from a wave dumped Ethan into the swell. He floundered and gasped, striking ineffectually at the water. The boy had never learned to swim properly, not in the cold waters around Nantucket.

Doyle called out to Manuel the harpooner to chop the line with the hatchet kept up at the bow for that purpose. Abandoning the chase, the mate dove into the water after the boy, not caring that the blood trail the whale had left in the water and its thrashings might attract sharks. He would not leave little Ethan to drown, lost whale or no. Luckily he got to the boy in time and kept his head above water long enough for the whaleboat to circle back for the two of them. The hands lifted the soaked mate and the bedraggled boy back into the boat. Will bent Ethan over a thwart pounding on his back between the shoulder blades, helping him clear his lungs. Coughing and sputtering, Ethan gradually recovered his wind and his color. He even offered to take up his oar again, but the mate sat him by his side and enfolded him in his arms protectively. No one said anything, but by the look in Ethan's face a line had been crossed.

That evening, as they went to the wardroom for another massage, Ethan looked shyly at the third mate as he started on his ministrations. This time Ethan was fully conscious of the sudden heat in his belly and the way his his heart sped up. With his throat gone dry, and now his manhood plumping up, there was no question he was going into heat. He squeezed his eyes shut in embarrassment.

Will was both smart enough and kind enough to realize that he must be gentle with the boy, to treat him like the nervous colt he so resembled. Will dared not scare him off by coming on too aggressively or counting too much on simple gratitude. The boy had to want him to take him for his own reasons. He leaned over the supine body of the small youth and and put his hands on his small shoulders.

"Don't be shy, Ethan. I won't hurt you, or make you do anything you really don't want to. And you don't have to satisfy me because you think you owe me. Anything but that. I don't want your gratitude. I want your love and to make love to you. For that I need you to give yourself to me freely, because you like what you see and you want to satisfy your own deep desires."

He ran his hands down the trembling boy's flanks to his narrow hips.

"My, my, you are such a handsome lad, with hair nearly down to your shoulders. You are very slender though with a fine musculature on your wiry physique. I am so very glad you put it only display so often, going about the deck entirely naked or climbing the rigging to the crow's nest. Many in our crew are American Indians, but even they wear loincloths if not much else in this heat. So why do you like going around entirely naked? Are you teasing us? That is not the usual habit of a boy brought up in New England."

"Oh, Will. It is my entire upbringing that I am rebelling against. The only boy in a family with six sisters, I always had to cover up for propriety's sake. My shirt had to be buttoned up to the neck, even in summer, at least around the house or at school. I'd get a scolding for splashing around in the pond in the altogether. That is why I never learned to swim very well. A boy just sometimes needs to throw all his clothes off and run around in the woods the way nature made him. I suppose that means that I am a shameless showoff.

"Anyway, aboard ship there are only males, so I can let it all hang out. I like the kiss of the sun on my body too, especially on my ass. It tells me that I really am naked for all to see. Also the tawny color my skin has taken is evidence of my naughty ways. Anyone looking at me can see that I am a shameless boy who likes to prance around without a stitch on. I know that means I am a wanton boy, but there it is."

"I see, and just maybe nudity aboard ship makes you feel sexy? You must have seen how everyone watches you and touches you."

"Yes that is true, but it was safe because my uncle was the captain. I mean safe not from the forced attentions of the crew but safe from my own feelings. I don't know much about sex and desire. I have never really been with anyone, female or male ..." the boy finished miserably.

"Let us change that together, Ethan. Here, let me step a little closer, pretty one. I so very much want to touch you everywhere."

The older male stroked Ethan on his chest and belly and rubbed his nipples, nibbling his ear, cooing and soothing the boy but letting him feel the strength in long arms. His groin pressed against the boy's flank. Ethan whimpered as he felt Will upright manhood press against his hip. He raised no objection when Will reached lower and stroked Ethan's erection, weighing his taut ballsac. The boy's breathing speeded up. He felt lightheaded, flushed and incredibly hot.

His own hands stroked Will forearms uncertainly. He looked up anxiously into the older male's face to ask.

"But isn't this wrong? Man should not lie with man, the Good Book says."

"Does it feel wrong, Ethan? Search your feelings. Isn't this natural for us, these feelings we have, this attraction to each other even though we are of the same gender. Listen to your heart. Isn't this what you have wanted ever since you signed aboard?"

"Honestly ... yes, Will." he admitted.

"I know I have wanted you, ached for you, watching you run around naked for so long, your trim body totally exposed to view. And I have gotten to know you too as a person, to respect you, and to care about you. I think my feelings are largely reciprocated too, otherwise I would not be pressing my suit. Oh, Ethan, can't you see that we would be false to ourselves not to respond to these urges? They well up from the better part of our natures, our capacity for love and tenderness and companionship. Let me teach you to make love to a man."

Abruptly the boy spun around and turned his face up to the older male. "Yes," he gasped passionately. "Please touch me and teach me. I am burning with desires I don't really understand."

Thus began Ethan's education in male love.

Will pulled the boy's ass to the edge of the table and threw Ethan's slender legs over his shoulders, running his hands over the silken skin. My how smooth and clean they felt, these muscular limbs that joined to narrows hips that cupped the boy's belly and his well formed genitals. The boy was so small and beautiful, a delicate flower, in the bloom of youth, just right for picking. His slender physique was utterly alluring, tanned, trim, wiry, with a well corrugated front and a fine round rump in back. His genitals were generous for a boy with such a slight build, the ballsac virtually hairless and pulled tight to the fork of the legs in his excitement.

Will proceded slowly with the boy, showing him how a man can pleasure another man's cock with his mouth, a total surprise to the innocent lad. Ethan couldn't believe how good that felt, to have his rigid manhood surrounded by such warmth and wetness, to feel the flutter of tongue and lips on the head of his cock or the gentle pull of lips on the rim of the glans. Meanwhile the man's fingers played with his balls and stroked the inside of his thighs. It was not long before his lovemaking brought the boy to climax. Ethan moaned inarticulately as the older male inducted him into the age old fraternity of males who take their pleasure with others of their kind, bringing on a shuddering orgasm that made him see stars. After the boy came in his mouth, Will shifted position and kissed him hard, sharing his own male essence with him. The boy thought this was terribly shameful but so very exciting and sexy. Their tongues dueled, thrusting and parrying.

Then, after a brief rest to catch their breath, it was Ethan's turn to apply his lesson, though not lying down on the table. Will stood tall, a tower of strength and masculinity with the boy down on his knees on deck, small and submissive, looking up worshipfully at his new lover. Gently was one thing, but the boy needed to realize who was in charge. The boy readily accepted his subordinate role as one ordained by his youth, his inexperience, and his small nearly hairless physique, so much less manly than the older male's.

Even so Will found himself responding to the boy's goodness and innocence, breaking him in very gently and carefully, not face fucking him like some of the other men might have, but letting the boy proceed at his own pace. Though tentative at first, Ethan was soon lustily applying the lesson he had learned from the older male, pleasuring him in turn, slurping, and licking, and sucking, careful with his teeth, as he had been taught.

He wasn't so good at swallowing Will's member; his gag reflex got in the way. Will did not chide him or try to force himself deeper. No point choking the boy. Will could see the boy was willing, even eager. So what if he was clumsy that first time. He just needed practice.

That first session, Doyle introduced Ethan to the pleasure of sucking cock, but saved the boy's ass for another time. A boy's first penetration could be scary and painful -- even humiliating and shameful, and Will wanted to strengthen the bonds of their affection before introducing the lad to anal intercourse. He never wanted Ethan to feel shame for anything they did together in bed. Nor would he ever play rough with the trusting youth, make him afraid that Will might hurt him. This was a lusty lad who only needed a gentle hand on the reins to bring him around to being mounted.

The next day the youth climbed out on the head and voided himself thoroughly. Ethan knew this was the day he and Will would become lovers for real. For their first time, Ethan would take a man's cock up his ass. Again Doyle laid the boy on his back on the table, rump near the edge, with his heels in the air. The older male's large virile member slid along Ethan's cleavage, from tail bone to perineum, poking, prodding and playing with the anal ring, teasing him before the real fuck. Will fingered his hole, pushing in, lubricating him with a bit of oil, thoughtfully preparing him for his first ever penetration, letting him get used to the idea that another male would penetrate his most intimate orifice.

Ethan felt Will's manhood stretch the anal ring as the head push through the first ring then the next. The shaft slid inside, first just past the head, to give him time to adjust to Doyle's impressive girth, then slid in a bit further. Will was gratified that the boy's tiny orifice with its crinkly folds, could accept his rather impressive girth, letting him gradually slip in up to the hilt. If the boy hissed with pain he stopped and held position, letting Ethan adjust. The boy signaled he was ready for more with a nod and a brave smile. When Will was a deep as he could go with ballsacs touching, he was rewarded with a blissful sigh from his hitherto virgin partner.

Will was pleased not only for himself but because he had brought so much pleasure to a boy who had till now denied his own longings. Will's pumping fell into a rhythm, Ethan raising his rump to meet the descending shaft as it penetrated his ass, using his internal muscles to squeeze the invading penis. Ethan moaned and shuddered as the cock touched his joy spot. The lovers kissed passionately and pressed their sweaty bodies together. Ethan licked some of Will's sweat and found he liked the salty taste, the taste of his man. The young lovers climaxed together. Will shot deep into the boy's innards. Ethan's seed shot out as a long string stretching from the cock to his face, a white stream that fell on face, chest, and belly. Two more spurts followed, nearly as energetic. This was a boy whose pent up sexuality was making up for lost time.

Will fell atop they boy and they lay together, their bellies pasted together by sweat and cum, the older male's cock still in the boy, softening now, while the caught their breath, their pulses slowing, enjoying the afterglow, a smile on Ethan's face. Doyle was gratified that the boy was not suddenly overcome with guilt and shame. He was grinning, almost giddy. They kissed sweetly then lay together quietly, gathering their strength for round two.

For variety, Will took the boy on all fours, on the deck, mounting him doggy style. Ethan giggled as he realized this was the position he had seen so often with farm animals.

"Hold still, little filly, while your stallion addresses your withers."

"My withers?" the boy asked.


Will answered, swatting him playfully on the rump. He eased in, reaching under the boy's belly to toy with his own manhood. Once again, they fell into a rhythm till they came together and collapsed to the deck, though Caleb quickly rolled off to let the boy breathe more easily. They lay side by side, holding hands, gazing at each other, silent, enjoying their intimacy.

Of course, a romance like theirs could not remain secret aboard a small whaling vessel. Doyle soon found himself standing at attention in Captain Manning's cabin required to explain himself.

"You know, Doyle, I promised the boy's mother, my sister Kate, that I would not let anything bad happen to her only son. Yet I have stood by and let you turn him into a sodomite. Do you know why?"

"No sir, and isn't sodomite a harsh way of putting it. Ethan has found love and about time he did. Sir, I deny turning the boy into anything he wasn't already in his heart. I haven't debauched the boy nor harmed him in any way. I simply helped him find himself. Nothing evil has happened to Ethan. Ours is not some casual tryst at sea prompted by long abstinence and mere physical need. Our lovemaking is the physical expression of profound feelings, not of simple lust. We are soulmates, Ethan and I. Ethan is not only my lover, he is the younger brother I never had, and the closest friend I have ever had. I love him with all my heart."

"I fully realize that I am under your authority sir, and you could make my life miserable -- even bring me up on charges. But I will never regret loving your nephew nor making love to him. He has made me a happy man. Whatever happens to me, I know his own life is now set on a better course."

"Bravely said, not to mention unlooked for wisdom in a man not yet twenty years of age. You have the right of it. I have long suspected that my pretty nephew was not intended for domestic bliss in the conventional sense. Too pretty by half, for one thing. It didn't help that he grew up without a father for half his life, surrounded by female relations. That was one reason I tolerated his perpetual nudity aboard the Morning Star. It meant so much to him to be naked around other males, away from womenfolk and their fussy standards of deportment. Besides, many of the others in the crew wore only breechclouts in the warmer latitudes. I did not suspect that you leaned that way, but so be it. At least you are nearly the same age, so this is not a case of some helpless boy falling into the clutches of an older man. You are a pair of teen-age lovers."

"Very well, Will. Carry on as you have. I charge you to treat my Ethan decently. Be discreet. Take care of him, for I love him dearly myself. My wife has given me only daughters, something that runs in the family. Let us both care for Ethan, each in his own way, and look out for his best interests. Do that and you will never feel my wrath for your relationship with one I regard as the finest lad I ever put to sea with, never no mind he is my nephew. And don't spoil him with favoritism. I haven't done so as captain, and you had better not as third mate. Let him do all the dirty jobs that normally come his way. The men respect his willingness to pitch in and get his hands dirty. His rump too for that matter. Do I make myself clear, Doyle?"

"Yes sir. And thank you. You will not find your trust in me misplaced, either as your officer or as Ethan's lover and friend."

Once he took up with Ethan, William started wearing only cut off breeches that did not even reach to mid thigh, baring most of his strong legs to the sun. Only his lower limbs had a light dusting of hair while the thighs were smooth. Still, skimpy though it was, the garment left Doyle with a definite tan line even with stripping for swims as he often did when the ship hove to. Ethan liked to tease him about it.

There were no tan lines on him, that was for sure. He was tawny from neck to ankles. Indeed when off shift he even lay belly down in the sun on a hatch cover, enjoying the kiss of the sun's heat on his round rump. When he shifted to his back, he might lay his cock flat on his belly so that both his balls and the underside of his member could catch the sun's rays. Sometimes Will teased him with his bare foot or his fingers till the head poked out of its sheath to get exposed to the sun too. Sprawled out in an X, hair down to his shoulders, little Ethan looked like a virgin offered on an altar to the sun god.

Chapter 3. Islands

The Morning Star was one of the first ships to hunt the Pacific, working the Line Islands, the Marshalls, and the Gilberts. The inhabitants of the nearby islands allowed them to stop for supplies like fresh fruits and vegetables, and water, as well as to repair any damages sustained to the ship by storms. When the ship put in to one of the island atolls to refill their water casks, Will assigned Ethan to help.

"What about a loincloth to wear ashore, sir. I can see that even the natives are not entirely naked." Ethan had asked the mate.

"Oh, just stay in your regular uniform, Ethan." Will offered casually, then added by way of explanation:

"I am not setting you ashore on liberty, Ethan. Filling water casks is part of your job. While you are on duty, you are to stay in uniform, which in your case is that pretty tanned hide of yours. Now be off with you into the boat, lad."

Ethan looked up to the captain, his uncle, in appeal, but that worthy simply nodded to the third mate. Ethan had made his bed, insisting on perpetual nudity, and now he must sleep in it. Bare-assed and rather embarrassed, Ethan helped row the boat to the shore. As he jumped out of the boat, a friendly slap to his bare rump told him the mate really did expect him to parade around the village in the nude.

Poor Ethan felt rather self conscious carrying or rolling a water cask through a village, while the villagers smiled and pointed appreciatively at his naked body. With the bigger type of cask he had to bend over to roll it along the sandy path giving everyone a fine view of his pert rump, the tiny rosette between his buttocks, and his dangly bits as they swayed with his movements between his slender thighs. Some of the younger villagers, boys and well as girls called out in their native language what could only have been invitations for him to dawdle and to dally with them. Some of the lads looked very attractive though Ethan did not care for the tattoos on the faces of the older males.

Will merely gave him a strong swat on the rump, telling him.

"Some other time, Ethan," he joked. "We have to catch the afternoon tide to get the ship over the reef. Besides, so many partners would only wear you out."

At least Will did everything he could that evening to make it up to the randy lad, to show that he was not neglected but deeply appreciated.

Occasionally they encountered another whaling ship. The ships hove to, and the crew of the homeward bound ship accepted letters from the Morning Star. Depending on good fortune, the cruise of a whaling ship might easily last two years or even three. Most of the crew were illiterate so Ethan acted as their amanuensis, transcribing their words onto paper. Some dictated with the boy in their laps, claiming they wanted to see exactly how he formed his letters. Ethan did not mind a bit of petting or stroking. He took those touches as tactile compliments to his fine form though he was always clear that a sailor should not get too forward feeling up the boy's nude body. Fondling Ethan's genitals was really a bit much and the look on the boy's face conveyed that understanding to any sailor who overstepped himself.

One afternoon after a very long chase that carried them far from the ship, Doyle's crew killed a whale then started on the long haul back to their ship. just visible on the horizon. A head wind came up unexpectedly slowing their progress considerably. With a man injured in the struggle with the whale, their progress was slow. Worse still, a squall spawned by a waterspout struck their ship dead on, wrecking the steering and tearing the rigging on the aft mast. Its funnel even carried a man off into the sky, never to be seen again. The heavy damage to rigging and steering left the Morning Star adrift. As night fell, Doyle could not spot any lights from the Morning Star. They listened for the ship's bell and even the sound of the swivel cannon, but heard nothing.

The next morning, the crew of eight in Doyle's boat scanned the horizon but found no sign of their ship. She seemed to have vanished. They were alone upon the ocean as far as they could see. For provisions, they cut some meat from the whale carcass then turned it loose. Putting up the sail, they steered in what they hoped was the right direction to effect a rendezvous, but nightfall came and then the next morning. Still no Morning Star.

With water running out, they had to find land, anyplace with fresh water. The natives in the Gilberts had occasionally proved hospitable to mariners, though they had been known to enslave shipwrecked sailors too. With no real choice, Doyle put into a likely island looking for help. They were a small people, strangely tattooed on the upper body and even their faces.

The islanders saw little profit in helping this batch of stranded sailors, eight useless mouths to feed. Their hospitality to earlier ships had been based as much on fear of Western firearms and steel blades as on the value of the trade they could conduct with the outlanders. These bedraggled men had nothing of any value to trade with, and they were essentially unarmed. Aside from a harpoon, lance, and hatchet, they had only a few knives among them. Nothing to gain, nothing to fear if they refused assistance. Of course they would let them fill their water casks, as they would for anyone, but nothing more.

Sensing their indifference if not outright hostility, Doyle was wary and watchful as Ethan and another sailors filled their single water cask. Their whaleboat really needed a larger one for long distance sailing plus a store of food, but the natives did not want to trade those for a steel knife or two.

As far as the natives were concerned the sailors had only one thing of value: the little blond beauty whose charms were totally on display. This outlander was unique, pretty as a girl. He was a sexual treasure. They wanted Ethan, wanted him badly. They vowed to have him. They gathered around the boy and touched his hair and jabbered excitedly while running their hands over the boy's rump and belly. Fingers tweaked his nipples and other hands cupped his genitals. Ethan looked anxiously over to Doyle and said.

"I better go with them, at least for now, and let them do what they want with me, Will. Otherwise, they will just kill the rest of you and rape me anyway. Let's hope this does not mean they want me permanently as their slave boy."

It was clear that an unequal fight would only get everyone killed, so Doyle and the others had to watch as little Ethan was lead away to a nearby hut. He would buy their survival with his charms. The sounds of lusty sexual congress that came from the structure during the next hours left no doubt what use they natives were putting the exotic lad to. His hair was the color of the sun and his eyes were the green of growing things. Surely those were signs of the favor of the gods. Some of that favor could transfer to the men of the island through sexual intercourse with the lad. Virtually every male on the island wanted to fuck the newcomer, hopefully more than once. Poor Ethan had to take them two or even three at time. This was quite a trial for a sheltered boy who had previously had only a single gentle lover.

The islanders were by no means deliberately trying to hurt the lad, but with so many men so anxious to have him, their sex play did get rough. To be fair, they had expected Ethan to have more experience than the blond boy really had, assuming everyone in his crew had taken him sexually. They took Ethan two at a time, one male at each orifice, whether on all fours doggy style or on his back, legs over the shoulders of the man addressing his ass. Hands were on him everywhere, as he was grappled with and rolled over, straddled and engulfed by strong male bodies, his own little more than a toy for their lusts.

Even one man taking him at each end wasn't enough for the next clever trio. One man laid down full length on the floor mat with his cock rampant. Ethan sank to his knees and sat down on the massive member, slowly sinking back onto his haunches letting the cock plumb his depths. He rocked back and forth a little, letting it slide in and out of channel. When the man was well seated up his chute, a second native put his hands to Ethan's shoulders and bent him forward. The first man held Ethan's small torso to his chest as the second suitor forced his own cock up the back door into the tight chute already occupied by the first islander.

Initially Ethan thought they would rip him apart. How could his poor hole take two cocks at once? He writhed and twisted in their tight embrace, struggling to free himself. It was too much too soon for the distraught boy. He couldn't help himself as he wailed.

"Please stop. You're splitting me in two. Let me go!"

The islanders quickly bound his hands behind his back, throwing a loop around his neck to keep them up around his shoulder blades. Bound as he was, naked, practically engulfed by male flesh, the boy was helpless as they worked their will with him. As ordered, Ethan used his thigh muscles to lift himself up and down on the twin shafts, pistioning the cocks in his clutch.

Of course, the natives did not let up on the lad. True the boy was in some pain and had tears running down his cheeks. He even leaked a bit of virgin's blood, but that was ever the lot of pretty boys in these parts constrained to share their sexy bodies with older males and each other before reaching the age for courtship. Some pain was unavoidable, but it would ease as he got used to double penetrations, of which this would be only the first. Naturally two at a time made for a tight fit since they were grown men, proportionally endowed, while Ethan was a boy and quite small in the hips and rump. It didn't take long for all the friction and prodding to set both men off, filling the boy with their manly juices. Thereafter at least the extra lubrication made subsequent double penetrations a little easier on him.

In truth the pain in his fundament did ease up though not entirely, no matter how often they used him, not for all the lubricant the used on their poles or in his hole. After a while, pain or no, their strokes into his rump aroused the boy's own lusts. He shuddered time after time as internal orgasms shook his slender frame, ashamed at the response of his body to two cocks up his butt at once, feeling both pleasure and pain. What kind of a slut did that make him? Finally far into the night, they were finished and let the exhausted boy fall asleep.

For their part, the islanders were delighted. These men had never known anything so tight and slick or a boy so very pretty of face and form. After a day's rest he would be ready for another night of frolic. That was the wonder of sex with a boy. They were always receptive and available, no monthly time outs, presenting two moist holes ever ready for pleasuring lovers. Besides who knew more about a man's sexual pleasure than another male, boy though he was.

The next morning, Doyle came for the boy. Ethan smiled weakly at his friend who collected the much used boy in his arms and carried him back to the hut the crew shared. The natives had turned him over to Doyle but only till the evening. The chief was firm that they intended to use Ethan for at least three days running, not just one. The boy would have to surrender himself that very evening and the next.

Back at their hut, Ethan winced as his anal ring was inspected. His orifice leaked a combination of cum and blood. Two of the older women ministered to the boy, cleaning him up, spreading coconut butter over his tortured sphincters. Ethan was beyond embarrassment by this point as they touched him intimately. After a meal Doyle gave Ethan one of his massages and that helped too as did an afternoon swim. In the evening though, the natives sent for Ethan again. It seemed that he would have to entertain men arriving from the outlying villages to share in this sexual novelty.

Ethan tried to put a brave face on it, but his legs actually failed him as the delegation came for him. Doyle could barely restrain himself from leaping to the cringing boy's defense, but Ethan held his hand up to tell him he must stop and allow this. Ethan himself offered no resistance as four men grabbed a limb each and carried the boy away, slung face down, almost like a hunting trophy. They joined the crowd of lusty men and entered the hut where they would disport themselves with their sexy little captive. What a fate to befall an upstanding youngster from New England: serving as a sodomite sex toy for well over a hundred Pacific islanders. And so it went for three days and then two more, despite Doyle's protests. Meanwhile the sailors provisioned their whaleboat with large containers of fresh water and food for their voyage.

They knew they could not stay very much longer. The natives simply would not tolerate eight outlanders among them. The question in Doyle's mind was whether they wanted to keep Ethan with them permanently as their white sex slave. To his considerable relief they finally did let the boy go, telling all the whalers to sail away from their islands. The fully provisioned whaleboat set off traveling westward with the prevailing winds. It took a week before the battered boy felt anything like normal. Will was solicitous, willing to wait for the boy to signal his readiness to resume their sex life. They both recognized that what they shared was a genuine love not the simple lust that had motivated the islanders.

Their party wound up among rocky islands and islets strung like pearls around a large green lagoon, situated in the modern nation of Palau. Some were inhabited. Others were mere coral heads poking high out of the sea, crowned with vegetation. The islands got over a hundred inches of rain per year so even the uninhabited islands had fresh water. The sailors pulled their boat onto a small beach at the base of one of the smaller islands. Native fishermen noted their presence but left them unmolested. The whalers turned their hands to fishing both for their own larder and to have something to trade the natives for food crops and seeds and tools. Who knew how long they might have to stay in these islands. Without charts or instruments to guide them, they could only wait for rescue from a passing ship.

Chapter 4. The Green Lagoon

Relations with neighboring islands around the green lagoon were cordial enough for trade and they soon had crops put in: breadfruit, taro, yams. The sea yielded a bounty of fish and shell fish. It was far from ideal, no matter how much the place might resemble a terrestrial paradise. The fact is that there was a lot of work to do and not a lot of skill at their unaccustomed tasks and few hands for the work.

Ethan seemed to have a talent for tending the gardens, so that became his job. He genuinely liked his chores: planting, seeding, hoeing, weeding, pruning, staking, watering, whatever. It was deeply satisfying to tend to plants, to make things grow, to grub his hands in the soil piling dirt. Many an afternoon would find the blond boy kneeling on the ground, brown cheeks resting on bare feet, lithe torso bent over, ribs and spinal bumps prominent as, trowel in hand, he worked at his mundane task firm muscles playing under the skin. He looked so alive, a fine specimen of the human animal.

Over the next two months they lost two of the Indians to mishaps. One man stepped on the spines of a poison stone fish as it lurked on the bottom in shallow water and later died an agonizing death. Another caught a shark with hook and line but got careless after landing it. He clubbed the head twice before trying to work the hook out of its mouth, but the shark was not quite dead and bit his hand taking off three fingers. They managed to staunch the flow of blood but an infection carried him off more than a week later. That left only six of the men who had sailed on the Morning Star.

In time the natives allowed their Indians to settle among them, but were less welcoming to whites. Trading was one thing, permanent residence another. So Manuel, Will, and Ethan were left alone. The weeks passed into months. By Will's reckoning they had lost the Morning Star more than eight months earlier. Ethan would turn eighteen before very soon. Of the three white men only Manuel bothered with clothing, still wearing his normal loincloth. Will had set aside his cut down breeches and now went about as naked as his young lover. He used his razor sharp knife to stay clean shaven.

The love affair between Will and Ethan blossomed in the isolation they enjoyed on their island paradise. Theirs was a joining of the minds as well as of bodies, conjoined souls as much as conjoined bodies. They talked constantly on any subject that came into their heads. Even without books William taught Ethan everything he knew from geometry and celestial navigation to poetry he had memorized. He loved the Romantic poets. Manuel taught both of them Portuguese. To pass the time they made a game of learning and practicing the language. Manuel also taught sailors knots and harpoon throwing. William taught boxing and wrestling. Ethan was much the youngest and had few unique skills. He did have a fine singing voice and an good ear for lyrics. He sang sea chanties he had picked up, some with rather naughty lyrics.

Manuel was not interested in sex with boys, even one so pretty as Ethan. From time to time he paddled a canoe to the main islands and slaked his lusts with the native women who were ready to oblige. Still he always returned as his main allegiance was to his white friends, the two naked lovers William and Ethan. Indeed, Ethan had finally persuaded William to burn his only garment so they would be lovers living in a state of nature, without a stitch to wear.

Their long residence on on the island gave Will the chance to teach Ethan to swim. At first it was just survival swimming, learning to keep calm if a wave knocked him over while gathering shellfish along the shore. Soon though the boy got the hang of it and started swimming regularly for fun and exercise. They youths often swam together, horsing around as young males will, splashing and wrestling. Ethan would swim between Will's legs or climb on his shoulders and dive into the water. They raced back and forth both atop and under the water. Ethan was grateful to Will for teaching him to swim. Many sailors never learned to swim their whole lives.

After sweaty hours tending the gardens, Ethan liked to plunge from the top of a coral head into the green waters and stroke back and forth in the warm waters of the lagoon. He came to love to swim, to relish the feel of the water sliding past his bare body, to revel in his mastery of this alien element. He liked the way the water touched him everywhere at once, like a lover with a hundred hands.

Afterwards Ethan would swim to shore and lie on the beach, usually with Will by his side, resting, taking in the very smell of the sea. Though some thought it a sour smell, he had always found it intoxicating. Will loved looking at him lying there. The boy looked utterly alluring, stretched out on the white sands, his eyes closed, seeming so vulnerable, small and naked and hairless as he was. His chest rose and fell with his regular breathing, his trim and taut physique relaxed and still, with his angelic features forming the very picture of innocence and goodness.

The natives had traded two sets of the goggles which they used in spear fishing and collecting shell fish for a steel knife belonging to one of the dead Indians. Ethan discovered he was a natural at swimming underwater. He could hold his breath for three minutes and dive to fifty feet. The variety of plants and shellfish he saw below was astonishing. Ethan came to love this underwater realm. The schools of fish that swam around displayed many colors and shapes and markings in bold stripes and mottled spots. He swam past corals that grew in shapes as varied as deer antlers or big flat leaves or round loaves, careful not to scrape his hide on the tough coral. There were starfish and sea anemones which looked liked flowers but were animals that could retract their tentacles in an instant. Eels and octopi lurked in holes and crannies.

Some of the oysters in the lagoon yielded pearls, but the natives did not waste that resource by over-collecting. If a pearl showed up, all well and good, but no one just shucked an oyster and threw the meat away. Nothing was wasted in their economy. The three whites liked oysters too. The occasional pearls they found went into a common pouch, the proceeds to be divided evenly if they ever returned to civilization.

Of course there were dangers under water. Anemones had a poison sting in their tentacles. Poisonous stone fish lurked almost invisible camouflaged on the bottom. Their poison was said to induce the worst pain a man could feel. Scraping one's skin on the rough coral would leave blood in the water that would attract sharks. These seas were the hunting grounds of sea snakes too, all of them poisonous, but they went after smaller prey, fish they could swallow down their throats. They were a threat only if disturbed. The biggest sharks preferred to patrol the deeper waters off the outer rim of the lagoon, but the shallow waters of the lagoon were no deterrent to visits from saltwater crocodiles.

True monsters of the sea, the saltwater crocodile is the largest living reptile; the biggest can reach seven meters in length (23 ft) and weigh in at a ton and a half (1360 kg or 3000 lbs). No wonder little Ethan felt totally vulnerable when one of these creatures was about. He was just a naked boy in an alien world, hopelessly outmatched in size, strength, natural armament, and ferocity. He knew that to a big croc, a slip of a lad like him was no more than a snack, an item of prey, a strange kind of fish equipped with two tails and long bony front flippers. The creature did not respect humanity's place at the top of the food chain. That was the place it reserved for itself. Humans like Ethan were so much naked prey, unusual only in lacking scales and having skeletons with bigger bones compared to its usually finny prey.

Ethan dreaded an encounter with one of the creatures. As he explained to Will:

"Just think, Will, I'm all of five four and 110 pounds soaking wet, a naked human boy. What chance would I have against such a creature. It can swim faster, stay under longer, and has a set of jaws that could tear me apart -- maybe swallow me whole."

"And what good would my knife do me? It couldn't punch through that tough hide of his. I might as well punch it with my bare fists. And supposed I kicked at it to fend it off. Wouldn't that just offer the croc a tasty leg of boy to chomp on?"

Will let the boy vent his fear, understanding how frightened he was of the crocodiles. This was an animal powerful enough to drag a full grown water buffalo into the water and kill it. Little Ethan was but a tempting morsel to one of the big saltwater crocodiles. He could see for himself how scary the crocs were merely lying there in the water, with just their eyes and snout above water, or basking in the sun, waiting for some incautious creature to venture too near. No wonder that to Ethan they were the serpents in paradise.

"I am not even sure we could kill one of the big ones with the lance or the harpoon. Not quickly anyway. They would take a lot of killing. They scare me too, Ethan."

Manuel who had hunted many a monster of the deep nodded his agreement too.

The beasts did not spend too much time hanging around the coral islands of the green lagoon, preferring rivers, estuaries, and mangrove forests as hunting grounds though they will also swim far out to sea if forced to by competition. They would attack on dry land as well as the water and can outrun a man. Ethan was glad that they usually hunted at night. For that reason, he was rarely tempted to swim after nightfall, no matter how beautiful the tropical waters looked in the moonlight or with phosphorescence lighting them up. The hut they constructed on their island was built on piles, so it was inaccessible to the big reptiles.

One time near evening, Ethan caught a fat fish with a hand line and a bit of oyster cut up to bait the hook. He was in water up to this calfs pulling on the cord, trying to bring the fish to land when a big croc lunged out of the gathering gloom, snagged the fish in his jaws, and dragged it to deeper water. Poor Ethan was so surprised and frightened he lost control of his bladder as he back pedaled and ran to climb a rock. Luckily for Ethan the croc did not hang around and wait the boy out. Their slow metabolism allows them to settle in for weeks to out wait any prey that sought refuge up a tree or atop a rock. After he climbed down, he was ashamed saying.

"Look at me Will. I pissed myself! I am such a baby!" then buried his face in the big mate's arms sobbing, still shaking from his fright.

Doyle hugged the boy to him, comforting him with the strength of his arms, stroked his hair all the while cooing at him soothingly, then lifted his chin to look into his eyes and caressed his cheek. He bent forward and placed a kiss as a blessing on the boy's forehead. He was sure Ethan had nothing to be ashamed of. It took courage to fish the waters of the lagoon, to dive its depths looking for shellfish, even to stand in shallow waters with a fish spear or hook and line like so much bait yourself. No, Ethan's was a natural reaction to real danger. Being afraid does not mark a man a coward. It is what a man does with his fear that counts. He told Ethan as much.

The next day, Will was proud to see Ethan take up another hook and line to go fishing again. Will could see from the way the boy bit his lower lip and the anxiety on his face that he was terrified after his close encounter, but they needed him to get to fishing again. Taking a deep breath, the boy waded into the shallows once again and threw his line into the water. Will's heart went out to the brave boy who faced the danger despite his understandable fear. Not yet eighteen, yes, but Ethan was a man in spirit, if not quite in body.

So passed more than two years since the Morning Star. Now it was Ethan who was nineteen, though no taller than before, and Will twenty-two. Their skins were as dark as Manuel's. By now the harpooner too had abandoned clothing, at least on the island, and ran around in the nude. From any distance, only Ethan's long blond locks and Will's red hair marked them as Europeans. They wondered whether a passing vessel would even stop for a trio of naked brown savages. True they had a signal fire ready and a cross carved into the face of the low coral cliff that flanked their beach, but would those be enough? Their hoard of pearls had grown. If they could return to civilization they would be rich men, all of them. Will could buy his own ship or several if he wanted to start a shipping line.

Manuel finally took up Ethan's standing offer and let the beautiful boy give him blow jobs. The harpooner was not interested in anal sex, but he could not deny how exciting it was to have a lovely face like Ethan's pressed to his groin. The boy was pretty as a girl, especially with hair grown nearly to his shoulder blades, and that tongue of his and his pouty lips were far more talented than any female he had been with. He was utterly alluring, so small and delicate, kneeling there submissively between Manuel's legs in acknowledgment of the man's masculinity, with Manuel's big cock sliding down his throat, clutching at it with its moist softness, bringing him to a shuddering orgasm then gratefully swallowing the man's seed. Manuel loved that smile of Ethan's after he had taken a big load. What a shameless scamp he was and what a delightful companion.

Then one day their tropical paradise was invaded by a monster, one of the biggest crocodiles ever to swim those waters. Poor Manuel was paddling his canoe back from his latest tryst on the main island only to encounter the monster. Without his harpoon, he had little chance, beating the paddle ineffectually against the monster's head as it crunched the canoe in its jaws and then the body of Manuel who, before he was killed, at least managed to get his knife into one of the eyes of the croc, blinding it on that side. Alas, that was the limit of what even a brave man might achieve in a hand to hand fight with a monster more than twenty feet long. On the beach, Will and Ethan could only watch in horror as the croc went into its death roll, twisting the dead man's limbs apart for easier eating.

Somehow the monster overlooked the man's detached head which they retrieved from the shore the next day. A funeral pyre marked the end of their companion's life.

"Good bye, Manuel." Ethan said, his voice choking. "Someday, somehow I will kill that monster. I swear it."

Will had never seen his lover so grim and so serious, but then Manuel was the first close friend that Ethan had ever lost. Ethan resumed his practice with their harpoon and lance. Doyle followed suit. Neither could think of a good way to kill the crocodile, but they wanted to perfect their skills for any eventuality. Secretly though, Doyle hoped a ship would come along. Its weapons would allow them to kill the beast with much less risk than two naked young men might unaided.

The monster croc apparently liked their island. He kept returning to it every week or so, but not on a regular schedule. They never knew when to expect his next visit. He went on to kill several of the natives on the main island, even boldly walking onto the land during the night and invading their huts, but their numbers and fires and spears and drums and swarming boats drove him off.

Eventually Will and Ethan devised a plan that just might work. Their plan took advantage of the beast's blindness to his left side and to his vulnerability on land to attack from above. The plan was simple enough, to lure him up onto the shore, to fix him in place with the harpoon and ropes, and to finish him off with the lance, its head coated with the poison of a stone fish. They captured a stone fish with a basket and kept it alive in the water so its poison would be fresh. Their bait would be a pig procured from the natives who donated it to the cause. They wanted the croc dead too, after all. The idea was to stake the pig out in a small defile open to the lagoon but enclosed on three sides by walls of coral rock twelve feet tall.

The youths watched the slow approach of the monster. It recognized that something was fishy about the set up, but the fat pig was too tempting for caution to overrule hunger. The big beast surged out of the water and ran almost on tip toe to where the pig was staked out. Will leaned out from above and used the strength of back and arms to drive the harpoon into the croc's back. A safety rope kept him from falling into the defile. Ethan swarmed down another rope and flipped a coil around the animal's left front leg then to a stake driven deep into the coral. Even approaching from the animal's blind side he barely got away from the monster's lunge climbing up the rock face just in time. The beast was caught by a rope around its front leg and the rope attached to the harpoon in its back. Still that was only two points of control. It might very well work its way loose. This was not some whale that thought only of flight and kept a steady pull on a rope. Their foe was a monster more given to fight than to flight, a animal at home on land, able to lunge this way and that, its clawed feet digging into the ground for purchase.

As luck would have it, just as Ethan swung down with the lance to finish it off, the beast got loose from the harpoon. The slightly built youth found himself standing in a walled enclosure with a furious monster, barely restrained by a single rope. The beast roared its anger and defiance of the human youth, a creature that by rights out to be no more than so much naked prey for an apex predator like the croc. He opened his jaws wide as he charged nearly pulling his leg free. Ethan struck with the lance, not at the eye as he had planned but into the open mouth, plunging the poisoned head of the lance into the soft flesh of the mouth. The beast pulled back with the lance stuck in its mouth.

The venom of the stone fish was so potent it caused immediate and excruciating pain to the beast. It thrashed around so much that it finally did pull loose from the other rope. Ethan could not climb out of the spot where he was trapped against a wall of coral rock, and stood there unarmed now except for his knife, a small naked youth trapped with a mortally wounded but still dangerous monster. Stone fish poison or no crocs take a lot of killing. Fortunately Will had retrieved the harpoon pulling it up to him with the rope. From atop the rock walls he gave a wild yell as he dropped onto the back of the beast, his weight driving the harpoon entirely through the animal. His thrust pierced the lungs, a deathblow even without the poison, just from blood loss.

Still the beast writhed and roared. Taking a terrible risk, Ethan scrambled over to straddle the beast's neck and plunged the blade of his knife into the other eye. The poison that coated its blade went to work fast, reaching the tiny brain in seconds. The monster's thrashings slowed then stopped; the only movements were final reflex actions as the monster died from the poison and the massive internal bleeding caused by the harpoon.

It was over. The monster was dead. They were free from fear, and Manuel was avenged.

The natives were delighted when the two young men paddled over with the news. They invited them to live with them as honored members of the tribe. Will and Ethan were given a hut on the edge of the village for a bit of privacy and enrolled as hunters and fishermen. Ethan no longer had the tedious tasks of growing crops or preparing food. That was the work of the native women who were much better at food preparation of their native foodstuffs than a boy from New England could ever be.

The natives were amused that the young couple chose to remain completely naked as they went about their tasks or joined in the communal celebrations, singing and dancing. And no, they did not want tattoos, thank you. Some of the young men visited Ethan and Will at night, curious to sample the charms of their exotic fellow tribesmen. All in all, the pair had an easier life in the village than trying to do everything for themselves. Though they missed civilization, they were otherwise happy.

After a further two years, a European ship finally showed up in local waters. Will and Ethan swam out to her, their long blond and red locks respectively their passport to her deck. The crew of the Dutch trading ship were surprised to find two Americans had been living as natives on these remote islands for nearly five years. Both were burned brown and were entirely naked. In truth, the pair could barely tolerate the feel of clothing at first, but they could hardly return to civilization in the buff.

In time they arrived in Batavia, the capital of the Dutch East Indies and sent letters home to let their kin know they were alive and well and rather well off too. One of Ethan's letters found Captain Manning in home port at Nantucket. He sent his best wishes, promising to call on them the next time the Morning Star was anywhere in the region and did so the following year. He agreed that it was wise for the young couple to settle in the Indies, away from disapproving New England society. Ethan's mother was long since over the shock of losing her son when they disappeared. So the continued separation worked no special hardship on her. At least she would get his letters.

Will and Ethan used the money their pearls brought to set up a shipping firm. Their schooners operated out of the Dutch Indies sailing to the unclaimed islands of the Pacific while trading for copra and mother of pearl. Ethan found he had a head for business and Will provided the nautical expertise. The young men took to wearing colorful sarongs for business and around town, though at home their servants could expect them to be naked except when receiving visitors. They often went to sea together on business but also for the chance to dive and explore the underwater world. Their crews soon getting used to seeing their owners mostly in the buff. Theirs was partnership in every sense of the word, one that lasted their lifetimes.

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