The Boy With the Golden Eyes

by London Lampy

Chapter 16

"She's gone, you can come out now." Jack called softly across the classroom. Dana wriggled out from underneath the teacher's desk that she had hidden under to avoid being seen by Sister Oakley on one of her periodic visits to check up on him and Exit. She jumped up onto the desk in front of the two of them and sat swinging her legs.

"I'm really worried about Jane, we have to stop her from keep visiting Father Frederick. He suggested to her that she should consider becoming a nun, and she actually thought it was a good idea." Dana said the last bit with a shocked intensity to her voice. "Not to know...all that hell business." She glanced toward Exit.

"He knows about that, I told him." Jack said.

"And I already had that lecture from Mother Hardigan a few months ago." The smaller boy added. "I guess me and Jack are going to hell together." He looked up at Jack, who stroked his leg under the desk.

"So are you two like boyfriends now?" Dana asked, seemingly distracted from her worries about her younger sister.

"Yeah, I guess." Jack said, unable to keep the smile off his face. In fact he'd been grinning all day, unable to stop thinking about what they had done last night. Sister Mackintosh had even asked him if he was feeling all right when she caught him humming to himself loudly as he swept the yard in the rain at lunch.

The only problem he had encountered was with Ward, who had apparently seen them sneaking back into the dorm in the early hours of the morning, and had accused Jack of being up to no good in the kitchens. Jack managed to persuade the large eared boy that he hadn't been anywhere near his little kingdom, and a search of the kitchen had convinced Ward that he they hadn't been stealing food, or anything else, but the boy still remained suspicious, especially as Jack flatly refused to tell him what the two of them had actually been doing. Jack had even resorted to a bit of light intimidation, standing close to Ward and glaring down at him in the hopes he would keep his mouth shut about what he had seen.

"You know, I don't think it's that weird." Dana mused, looking at the pair of them. "I don't see any reason why two boys can't go together, or two girls I suppose. Do girls ever do that?"

Jack shrugged, it wasn't something he'd ever thought about before.

"Yes." Exit replied. "Last year a couple of the girls were found in one of the bathrooms, the rumour was they were naked and kissing. I don't really know what happened but the nuns tried to keep them apart after that, in the end they ran away together."

"What happens to runaways?" Dana asked thoughtfully.

"Sometimes they get brought back, the nuns tell us if we runaway we'll never get jobs and we'll end up poor, or in prison, because no one will employ us without their recommendation." Exit said quietly.

"Don't even think about trying it." Jack fixed his sister with a hard stare, while under the desk his hand was stroking the other boy's inner thigh.

"If Jane does decide to become a nun I might just. What with the two of you all gooey together, where does that leave me?"

"She's not going to become a nun." Jack laughed. "She'd hate to have to keep her head covered all the time, you know how much she loves her hair, and she wants to marry a prince and live happily ever after, remember?"

"I know, but at the moment she's acting like Father Frederick's her fairytale prince, and seeing as she can't marry him she might just decide that becoming a nun is the next best thing."

Jane didn't really want to become a nun, she'd just told Dana she did to annoy her because she was sick of her older sister constantly telling her that she was wrong and that she didn't know what she was talking about. Once again she had sought refuge with Father Frederick, and today she was helping him tidy his office. He was sorting through his desk while she had been put to work dusting his bookshelves, feeling proud that he trusted her enough to include her in his chores. She was standing on a small set of wooden steps waving a feather duster around while trying very hard not to sneeze.

"Urg, I really should do this more often, I don't know where it all comes from, I could swear imps get in during the night and sprinkle extra paperwork around the place." He sighed rubbing his face, his hand rasping over his short beard.

"Achoo!" Jane sneezed loudly.

"Bless you." He exclaimed, looking up at her from his desk. "You know Jane, you really do have a very attractive figure."

"No, I don't, I'm fat. Everyone says so." Although she had recently noticed that the hated grey dresses that used to be tight around her waist weren't any more.

"Nonsense, you have fine curves, just like a woman should." Jane turned pink and was very glad he couldn't see her face from where was sitting. She finished the section she was working on and moved the steps along and started to dust again. She was still very concerned about Jack and the fact that he couldn't seem to understand just how much danger he was getting himself into. However Dana had threatened her with everything under the sun if she breathed one word about him and Exit to Father Frederick, the worst of which was a promise that if she did neither herself or Jack would ever speak to, or even acknowledge her, again. Jane was left in no doubt that Dana would carry out her threat, although she wasn't quite so sure about Jack, but the thought of even one of her siblings ignoring her was enough to keep her mouth shut, for now at least.

"Achoo!" She sneezed again, sending dust motes skittering around the room.

"I think that's enough for one night." Father Frederick said laughing. "Why don't you come down?"

She descended the steps and went to sit in her usual chair in front of the priest's desk.

"Come and sit round here, you can help me sort through some of this." He held up a handful of papers. She started to drag the chair around to the other side of the desk to join him.

"Don't bother with that." He looked at her, his mouth curved into a small smile. "You can share my seat with me, come on." He pushed himself back from the desk and patted his robed lap.

"So is it that you don't like girls at all, or do you like both boys and girls? 'Cos I know you kissed Marni, she never shut up about it." Dana asked Jack. With her hands resting on her knees she was leaning forward looking at him with bright eyed intensity.

Jack rather wished his sister would go away. It wasn't so much her interrogation of him on the subject of his preferences that was bothering him, awkward as that was, but more the fact that he wanted to alone with Exit right now. Unbeknownst to Dana his hand had found its way between the other boy's legs and he was now fondling his hardening cock with his fingertips. They only had a limited amount of time before Sister Oakley would be putting in an appearance again and he'd much prefer to be spending it kissing the other boy than being quizzed by her.

"Um...I think it's just boys." Jack answered, trying not to think too much about the possibility of making good his promise of giving the echoback boy a blow job that night.

"What about you?" She turned her gaze onto Exit.

"The same." He replied, and Jack felt him wriggle a little under his touch.

"What about you?" Jack turned the question around, hoping intruding on her privacy might get her to go away.

"I've never kissed anyone, unless you count that time Jono the goat herding boy jumped on me and licked my face, and I'm not sure I want to. If I did I guess I would kiss a boy, I can't imagine wanting to kiss another girl." She said, frowning in thought. "But I'm not going to be kissing any boys anyway, because kissing leads to other stuff, and then you end up having babies, and I know I don't want any of them."

"I think there are things you can do to avoid making babies." Jack said vaguely, he thought there was, but he wasn't quite sure of the mechanics.

"Yeah." Laughed Dana. "Never let a boy get too close to you." She jumped off the desk with a clatter. "I'm going, I don't want to have to hide from that bloody nun again, and I suppose I'd better see if Jane has finished having her head filled with crap by Father Frederick."

"I thought she'd never leave." Jack muttered as the door shut, reaching over and pulling Exit in for a deep kiss, which was passionately returned.

Much as she liked the priest Jane felt deeply unsettled at being sat on his lap, and she looked longingly at the empty chair, wanting to return to it but feeling too shy to ask if she could. Having been raised by Nanny alone she had spent very little time around adult men, and she simply had no idea if this situation was normal or not. Father Frederick certainly seemed to be acting as if it were, he was still sorting through his papers, occasionally pointing out something to her, most of which she didn't understand. She recalled seeing Mr Harper sitting on a bale of hay at the spring festival with at least three of his children vying for space on his lap, but they were all much younger than she was, and Mr Harper was their actual father, and somehow that was very different to this, although if asked she wouldn't have been able to explain quite why. The priest had one arm wrapped around her waist, his hand sitting on her hip. Although it was only resting very lightly there she felt extremely aware of it and it just added to her discomfort, it somehow seemed to be burning through the thin material of her dress, and she fancied that she could feel each individual finger bone searing into her flesh.

"Look at that." He shook his head sadly at a letter. "One of our ex pupils has been killed in the fighting in the Boswell Islands. Did you know we were at war with Surosa?" He asked, squeezing her hip.

"I think so." She remembered Miss Osram telling them about it, although as the whole thing was taking place thousands of miles away from Dovedale it wasn't something that had any impact on their lives.

"It's almost over now though, thank the gods. Those backward stubborn idiots thought that they could defeat our army with a handful of fishermen and farmers led by a bunch of vainglorious nobles." He let out a snort of derision, pulling her further onto his lap as he did so until she was pressed against his chest.

Jane stiffened in his embrace, sitting awkwardly but not wanting to move to make herself more comfortable either. She could feel the bristles of his beard against her scalp, and the vibrations of his voice through his chest as spoke.

"Poor lad, gunned down in his youth, he was only seventeen. I'll say a prayer for him at morning chapel." He sighed.

Something was poking her in the back of her thigh, she decided that it had to be an item in the pocket of his robe, she only vaguely understood that it could possibly be anything else, and she didn't even want to think about that. Jane knew what a naked boy looked like, she'd helped Nanny bathe the smaller children ever since she didn't need help bathing herself, and she had caught Jack dressing on a few occasions, which caused a great deal of embarrassment to the pair of them, and a certain amount of curiosity on her part at how much larger her older brother's equipment seemed to be compared to that of the younger ones. But apart from once seeing Nanny's goat being mated with the billy that belonged to one of the local farmers she didn't really know much about how the male body behaved, although instinctively whatever was pressing into her leg was making her even more unsettled.

"I think I should go." She said in a small voice. "Dana will be waiting for me."

"I thought you'd had a falling out with her." The priest said lightly.

"Yes, kind of, but she's still my sister, and she worries about me."

"She shouldn't, surely she knows you're safe with me." He put his letter to one side and moved his hand to her thigh as if to hold her in place.

"Yes...but it'll be lights out soon too."

He glanced at the clock. "So it will, I suppose you had better go." He patted her on the leg. "But you'll be back tomorrow won't you? Your visits are a little ray of sunshine in my day."

Jane scanned the yard looking for Dana, normally the older girl's insistence on keeping tabs on her was a source of great irritation, however right now she desperately wanted to see her, but for once Dana wasn't waiting under the tree. She walked slowly, unsure if she should wait or head back to the dorm. A movement from across the cobbles caught her eye and she was relived to see Dana letting herself out of the door by the classrooms.

"Not a nun yet then?" Dana joked as they met up in the middle of the yard.

"No." Jane replied, in no mood to be teased.

"What's wrong?" The dark haired girl immediately asked, picking up on her tone. "Has that bloody man been telling you stupid stuff about Jack again?"

"No." Jane said again, twirling her hair as they entered the main building. "Where were you?"

"Thought you'd be glad not to see me." Dana glanced at her. "I was in the classroom talking to Jack and Exit. I don't know how you can be such an idiot as to think that they're going to hell for what they're doing. They just really like each other, how can that be wrong?"

"Shut up Dana!" Jane suddenly shouted, running off down the hallway, leaving her sister to chase after her.

Dana caught up with her easily enough and dragged a now pink faced and sobbing Jane into the girl's toilet. "Tell me, what's wrong?" She asked, the concern in her voice making Jane sob all the harder.

Jane simply shook her head, unable to explain why she was so upset. She liked Father Frederick very much, he had been kind to her and treated almost like an adult, whereas everyone else still treated her like a little girl, even though she was almost fourteen. He had once again told her to keep the physical contact between them "our little secret", and she wasn't about to tell that secret to anyone, and even if she wasn't sworn to secrecy she wouldn't have told Dana. Getting upset over sitting on someone's lap seemed so stupid, and she was afraid that the older girl would laugh at her and tell her that she was being a big baby.

"I just want to go home." She sobbed instead, and as she said it she realised how true it was. She longed for Nanny and their safe, cosy farm house.

"Oh Jane." Dana put her arm around her distraught sister to comfort her. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to make you cry."

"It's all right." She sniffed. "I'm being a baby, as usual."

"You're not a baby." Dana stroked her hair. "I want to go home too, I feel like crying myself half the time."

"You do?" Jane stared at her, scrubbing her hand across her nose. "But you never cry, when you shut your hand in the outhouse door, you didn't even cry then. You just said a whole lot of bad words."

"I remember that." Dana smiled. "I was the one with the squashed hand, and you couldn't stop crying, Nanny didn't know which one of us to go to first. See, that's the thing, I think you do all the crying for both of us. You might not see me with a face full of snot and tears, but that doesn't mean I don't get upset. Keep that to yourself though." She grinned, and this was enough to make Jane start to smile too.

"I'm being over dramatic again aren't I?" She sniffled.

"A bit." Dana said. "But if you weren't you wouldn't be you. Come on, we'd better get to bed before lights out." She took Jane's hand and they left the bathroom together.

As they walked up to the dorm Jane felt slightly better. She had been overacting she decided, the priest was only a nice man who needed a hug, that's all. His job was hard and she made him feel better when things got on top of him, Jane rationalised. When Dana or Jack hugged her she felt better, and it was the same with him, and it was nothing to worry about or get upset about, and by the time they got back to the dorm she had almost convinced herself of this.

Jack sat down on his bed, which as usual creaked loudly, and looked over at the occupant of the bed next to him. Exit was asleep, curled into a tight ball under his blankets, not much of him visible apart from a shock of blue black hair and his eyes, which were closed, framed by long lashes that matched his hair.

He decided not to wake him, Exit had been yawning all day and Jack had to nudge him awake during morning prayers. They had slept very little the night before, and while he felt slightly tired he would have been more than happy to visit the attic again tonight, and Exit had thought this an excellent idea earlier too, but he had obviously fallen asleep while Jack was in the wash room.

He could wait, his frustration level had dropped considerably now that they had actually had sex, although sitting and looking at the object of his desire while thinking about last night was getting him hard again so he climbed under his own blankets. It wasn't as if either of them was going anywhere, they had plenty of time. He rolled onto his side and watched the other boy, wishing that he could push their beds together and curl himself around his sleeping form. One day, he thought to himself as the lights suddenly snapped out, just a few more months until he could leave, then a few more after that and Exit would be free too, then no one could stop them from being together.

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