A Royal Achievement
Ezra knew the area where men went… to meet other men.
The streets of Malaga, around the harbour, were raucous, in fact they were down-right riotous.
David had worried about being seen in his officer's uniform. He couldn't leave the ship without it, but he couldn't risk being seen with it. That was why Ezra had brought his kit-bag so that David's blue and gold jacket could be rolled up and stored away. The only sign of David's status was the rather well tailored fit of his white breeches. They were a snug fit on his rounded young bottom. In these streets they attracted a lot of appreciative comments… and pats.
"If I wasn't enjoying this so much it would be embarrassing!" He said.
"Don't worry. I just wish I was attracting half the attention and wolf-whistles you're getting." His companion replied.
David was showing admirable bravado but secretly he was quite shocked by what he saw going on. Men were quite openly… and with men! Admittedly it was after dark, and the streets weren't brightly lit, but still… Men were kissing openly, and at least one pair in the slightest of shadow… one man was on his knees. He stopped looking into the darker corners, afraid of what he might see and uncertain of how he felt about being seen to be interested.
"Why aren't they embarrassed?" David asked. "When they come over to fondle me, don't they mind men knowing that they fancy me… or my bottom at least. Aren't they ashamed that they aren't in bed with a women instead of telling a boy that they'd like some of his arse?"
"Well, it cuts both ways… Why do you enjoy it? Aren't you ashamed to be here? Attracting their attention? Making them forget themselves?" Ezra asked cautiously.
He wanted to make a point that David needed to understand before things went much further, but he didn't want to upset him. For a start he wasn't certain that David could find his own way back to the ship if he stormed off. The worst part of that happening was that the important part of David's uniform, his expensive jacket, was in the bag on Ezra's shoulder, and Ezra didn't want to have to explain that to an officious Marine guard when climbing aboard later.
"Why would I be ashamed? We're just out for a walk… we aren't doing anything wrong… yet."
"We're out on the town, in the area where men go who are looking for sex with other men. If all goes to plan you are either going to bugger someone, or some lucky sod is going to get to bugger you… or both. Let's face it… we shall also probably be drunk as a tick when it happens!"
He paused to collect his thoughts. "If one of the other officers from the James saw you… if he passed us here… wouldn't you be just the tiniest bit ashamed?"
David flinched. "Yes, of course I would!."
"Well you needn't be! If he was here and saw you, us even, then it would be because he was here for the very same reason, and with the same end in mind. He would know about you, but he would know that you knew about him."
He paused while another drunk, clearly an officer, pawed David until David said thanks but no-thanks.
"This part of town, and every town has one, is another world. If you choose to join it… then you just learn another set of rules. You come here, get buggered and return to the ship to boast of the girls you had ashore. Then you and the occasional officer share a smile… and keep each other's secret. If you don't speak of it to him, he won't embarrass you either. "
David was still not looking terribly reassured, and Ezra decided that what his young-gentleman needed was alcohol, probably a lot of it… and some privacy.
He declared that they should loosen-up, as he put it. They needed to sit and drink and get used to their surroundings. David wanted to sit in the street, but Ezra knew better. His friend needed a degree of privacy, if things were to get off to a start. He also needed to get him recklessly drunk, but not so drunk that the drink took his mind off the project in hand, or so drunk that he didn't remember the pleasure he had endured afterwards..
They entered one of the quieter taverns, one where there was no fighting in the doorway. In fact his choice turned out to be quite decorous. Two elderly men, sitting rather closer than necessary, were playing a fife and violin. A pair of sailors, one quite young and his somewhat older companion were quietly drinking and playing dominos.
The music was sad and romantic. It had exactly the right effect on David. The wine they ordered was sweet, and the music sweeter. He cuddled up against Ezra on the bench and enjoyed the atmosphere.
Scattered in darker corners, there were about a dozen men in the bar, and they were clearly enjoying each other's company. A few kissed openly, others simply sat comfortably with an arm round their companion's shoulders. It was a bar made for love rather than lust. Ezra thought it perfect for what he wanted to achieve, while David simply thought that it was perfect… after the grosser lust-driven scenes in the street.
Ezra disentangled himself … "Time I visited the outhouse, better now than later!"
Actually, he didn't have any great need, but he reasoned that if David were left alone he would attract more attention. He thought that his young friend was old enough to be able to handle it, and if he couldn't, well… Ezra didn't plan to be gone long.
When he returned, David was deep in conversation with the young sailor. The sailor's older companion, now left alone, waved to Ezra…
"Come, join me in a drink young man. My young Alfred is boring your young friend with fishy tales of the sea!"
David's partner in conversation made a decidedly rude gesture, and Ezra's new-found friend roared with laughter.
"Joseph!" He said thrusting a gnarled hand to be shaken.
"Pleased to meet you, I'm Ezra."
"I'm a waister on the Clement." Joseph said.
"A topman on the Royal James." Ezra replied with just a little pride.
"My God, the Admiral. Her top-yards are high… You man the mainmast?"
"Yes, that's me." Young David over there, he's a young-gentleman but he still goes all the way to the top too, just for fun!"
"Through the lubbers-hole?"
"No, he's never used it, it's always out and over using the futtock-shrouds into the crows-nest. He goes up there to find some peace and quiet. His father is the… an officer, so he has to be really careful. But, he can be himself in the crows-nest."
"Ah, and you're a topman, handy that. I expect that you like peace and quiet too."
"He's a pretty young thing."
"Yes, he is." Ezra replied, slightly jealous of Alfred, and trying hard to remember why they were there. "He needs to see more of the world, so I brought him here. Is he safe with your friend?"
"Safer than with most… Alfred's gentle, and back in Pompey he has two small sons of his own. Yes, your friend is safe." Then he laughed… "And, Alfred's cock is not exactly likely to do much damage, it's not a mainmast, more of a top-mizzen!"
Alfred raised a derisory pair of fingers, Ezra laughed and David smiled.
"Will your friend be likely to expect much?" Ezra's new companion asked quietly. "We haven't been paid off in ages, and I don't think Alfred's good for more than the price of a couple of beers."
"Oh, if you only knew!" Ezra gasped between bursts of laughter. "Look at the cut of his breeches, and then ask that again."
"Aye… They fit him beautifully, and that cost money." Joseph mused.
Joseph was good company, and David seemed to be getting on well with Alfred. The evening progressed exactly as Ezra had planned and hoped that it would.
Ezra knew that things were progressing well when Alfred's hand came to rest on David's thigh, and David showed every sign of feeling suitably keen. The expensive tailoring left little for Ezra's imagination to fill in. There was little doubt in either Ezra or Joseph's mind that it was time for the group to move on. So, when Joseph headed off towards the outhouse, or the heads as he insisted on calling it, and Alfred went with him, Ezra crossed quickly to David, he would only have a few minutes.
"Well, is Alfred the one?"
"It's all so quick, but if he pops the question… yes, I think so… What do we do from here. I don't fancy the outhouse here or the street outside!"
"Leave it with me. I expect Joseph knows his way around, he's old enough to have been here in Malaga dozens of times. He'll have an idea."
When the two of them returned, they sat for a moment, and then Joseph said…
"Your young friend and Alfred seem to have got on well, Alf is quite smitten."
Ezra agreed. "Lets ask them to join us, then we can work out where to go next. Much more of this sweet wine and I shan't fancy eating."
"Aye, food is so bad on our ship, we really came ashore to eat. Whatever else we do, I want to get back to the ship well-fed. Fed to last a week!"
"Good idea." Ezra agreed. "David seems to be enjoying himself with Alfred… so, why don't we find somewhere to eat? It's what I was planning to do with David anyway. He needs a solid base to his stomach, he's expecting a long evening. We mustn't let it end too quickly…" He winked.
"You think he would?" Joseph asked.
"If Alf plays his cards right, I think he well might."
"Have you and he played these streets before?" Joseph asked.
"I have. One of the mates on the Charles showed me a good time here when it was the Naseby. But… it's David's first time…"
He thought it wise that Alfred take it easy, and Joseph was bound to warn him once he knew.
"First time here, or first time for anything else?" Joseph whispered.
"It's his first time for most things." Ezra confirmed.
"No, he's never. It's not for want of me trying. He says it may hurt and he doesn't want to be hurt by a friend."
"He's soft you mean?"
"No, don't misunderstand. He doesn't fear the pain. It's the upset to the friend who has had to hurt him that he fears."
"He knows it hurts, and still wants to? Has he done it himself then?"
"No, it was my mistake. I told him that it hurts and I might not be able to stop… He'll only really understand how hard it is to stop when he does it for himself. I just told him… that I didn't think I could promise to stop if it was hurting."
"He doesn't fear the pain then?"
"No, he's a tough little bugger. Tell Alfred to watch out for the marks on David's bottom. He'll see for himself if the lad can take pain!"
"The Royal James and before that the Charles you said… My God, is that the Admiral's son?"
Ezra placed a finger alongside his nose, and winked slowly. "But, don't let on… "
Joseph contemplated David for a while.
"Doesn't he bear a grudge? I know I did, when it happened to me."
"That depends on who you think he might blame. The thing is, he doesn't blame the wrong men. He's tough and fair. Some of his best friends among the crew now are the bosun who laid it on, and the Marine who was to hold him down."
"Good God. Best friends you say?"
"Yes. But… he hasn't spoken to his father since, except to say 'aye-aye sir'."
"They say it was his father who…?"
"Yes, it was his father!"
"And he really was spark-out unconscious when they finished with him?"
"Yes, he jokes that he didn't just kiss the gunner's daughter, he slept with her too."
Joseph laughed. That was a part of the story that would be worth repeating.
Ezra went on. "The marine and bosun had to lift him down off the gun and back onto his feet. He never cried out, so they say. It took a week before he was fully fit for duty. But, after visiting the orlop to see how the injured cook was faring, that same day before going below, he spent the rest of the afternoon up on deck, chatting to the men as if nothing had happened."
"They gave three cheers, I hear."
"Aye, they did. I reckon one day he'll lead us into hell, and we'll all follow. Everyone who was on board that day would go with him."
Joseph gazed with disbelief at the gorgeous young man who was in animated conversation with Alfred… "He really doesn't look the sort, there's nothing tough about him. I'd never have guessed it."
"No, that's the thing. He's still the nice, friendly, modest boy that he was before… But inside… since that day he's hard as Toledo steel… tough and dangerous, I reckon."
He might as well lay the whole thing out for Joseph.
"To be blunt. He's here tonight expecting to be hurt. He wants to be able to give it and accept it from his friends. He's planning on doing it here tonight, with a sailor, to avoid distress for the friends he cares about."
"By God, I'd wish to be his friend." Was Joseph's reckoning.
In Joseph, David had another hero-worshipper, not that Ezra would tell him.
Ezra liked to be fair and even-handed… "He wasn't the only one that impressed the crew that day. The Secretary of the Navy Board had his eleven year old nephew with him. He was on his first voyage as a Young-Gentleman. The daft boy insisted on being present when it was done. He insisted on standing as the officer's-friend to witness the punishment. He was there all the way through. His uncle was holding him up by the end. He can't have known what was about to happen but he stuck with it to the bitter end. He never closed his eyes. Tears were running down his cheeks, but his eyes were wide open."
"Now that's what I call a friend… and only eleven years old, you say."
Joseph was impressed. "If I had a son I'd want him to be like that."
Then after some thought. "But, I'd never let him join the Navy."
At that point their conversation was interrupted by Alfred.
"The young fellow says he's hungry!"
"Well so he should be, a lad needs his grub." Joseph was in agreement.
"Let's find a real Spanish meal, line our bellies, something to hold up some more alcohol. Maybe somewhere with a back-room or upstairs where we can have a quiet pint or two." Ezra knew what was needed.
"Time for the heads again. Come on Alf, keep me company."
They disappeared out the back door and took slightly longer to re-appear.
Alfred came in, stood in the doorway and contemplated his drinking companion.
Then he walked slowly towards him, held out his hand, and said…
"Please, shake my hand young man. I had no idea… Admiral Montagu's son! You sir, are the toast of the fleet!"
David took the hand and firmly shook it.
Joseph leapt forward, he too wanted to shake the hand that had shaken those of the bosun and Marine.
David was still slightly mystified as to how the fleet knew of his exploits, or downfall.
"I can't think why the fleet feel that way... I nearly sank the ship, disgraced my father and inconvenienced a lot of people. Distressed a few too!"
"Aye sir, you did that, and that's a fact. But… the fleet think you did it in style!"
"Well, I don't know about that, but I do know I'm hungry and thirsty, and if I read myself aright, randy too. But I'm not a good judge of that yet, I lack the experience needed to be sure." Then he laughed.
He clapped the two on their backs, and glared at his friend. Ezra shrugged his shoulders, he had almost certainly just guaranteed David one hell of a ride, the ride of his life… there and back, if he judged Alf and Joseph aright.
Regardless of how scarred it was, David clearly had the most celebrated arse in the Fleet.
Joseph did indeed know where the best food was to be found.
A plump and jolly Spanish man, with an enormous frying pan that required all his considerable strength, bustled around them. He filled tankards, plumped pillows and settled them into an upstairs room that would have been a boudoir if it had been a brothel. As it wasn't that part of town, Joseph declared it to be a gentleman's dining room.
At that point Alfred guffawed into his tankard.
"Well, one gentleman and three sailors' dining-room certainly!"
Bearing in mind the rough and ready nature of mealtimes onboard ship, the four of them had their meal surprisingly formally, seated at the table. It seemed that the table and chairs were part of the pleasure that the sailors were getting from the food.
When the other pair left the room for a moment, Ezra explained to David that the hands were used to snatching quick meals while sitting on the deck between the guns, or perhaps when sitting against the gunwale if the weather was good. To sit at a table with clean plates and cutlery was itself a luxury. No wonder they were in no great hurry. He was in no hurry either, it was just as special for him too.
By the end of the meal, Alfred had an arm around David and was feeding him choice morsels, while Ezra and Joseph were leaning against each other in a way that was revealing of appetites that stretched well beyond Paella.
Joseph took Ezra's hand discreetly, squeezed it gently to get his attention and nodded meaningfully towards one of two couches in the room. Ezra smiled, nodded and squeezed a reply. He looked across the table to David, who was chatting with Alf, and seemed perfectly happy about the hand that had dropped onto his knee.
Ezra decided that he could leave him, he seemed to be in safe hands.
As soon as Ezra and Joseph moved to the couch, Alfred's hand moved up from David's knee to stroke his inner thigh. David reacted the way a young lad could be expected to, and reached down discreetly to attempt to create more room in his well-tailored breeches… room that a skilled tailor had worked hard to remove.
"Let's get comfortable…" Alf took David to the other couch.
The boys were positioned so that they were facing away from one another, the men had clearly been here before. David took comfort in the knowledge that Ezra was at hand, and out of sight… and relaxed.
Alfred felt that decision being made, and moved his hand to stroke slightly more than David's thigh. Now there was definitely insufficient space, and David struggled a moment to get more comfortable.
"Your dad paid the tailor too much… a growing lad needs more room." Alfred reached for the belt buckle and gently released it.
"Oh, that's better, thank you." David's simple reply told Alfred all he needed to know.
He drew David's head down towards his chest and kissed his forehead. The boy looked up at him, and blew a kiss back. Alfred leaned down, and the kiss was sealed.
Joseph watched the bargain being made. Alfred had offered, David had accepted, and Joseph was going to be interested to see the deal go through. It would be nice if there were to be just a little left over for him.
His hand descended to where Ezra was testing the stitching of his pants.
"Let the dog see the rabbit…" He undid the piece of rope that held Ezra's waist. The waistband billowed and Joseph eased them down.
"Oh my! Perfection. Your nail is hard, and the night is hardly started."
He began a gentle manipulation, and Ezra lay back and sighed… "That's nice, just don't go too fast." Joe slowed and Ezra made an appreciative noise.
Across the room, the extent of progress was less, predictably less. Alfred was taking his time. He was making sure that he excited David beyond his willingness to wait, before he made each move.
Although he couldn't see what was happening with Ezra, David knew that his friend was happy, from the noises he was making. He smiled to himself. The evening was going as well as he could have hoped for… He was hard, Ezra was happy, and they had found two men who seemed perfect for his first time explorations.
Meanwhile Ezra, who felt responsible for David, was listening to the muted conversation between his friend and Alfred. All seemed to be well there too. That the topman was worried for his officer was really rather sweet, though it wouldn't do for anyone other than the two sailors to think so.
It wouldn't harm the story as it spread through the fleet.
'That ship worshipped the boy, the topman who was given the job of getting him laid was so concerned for him, you'd have laughed! '
Yes, it was a story that would become a legend. Maybe not quite "Kiss me Hardy." But you get the idea.
Meanwhile David was no longer getting excited. By this point he already was most definitely excited. Saucy had often patted his bottom but that was almost as much as David had ever permitted. If truth were told, the most that he had allowed Saucy was the twice that he had allowed him to play his flute. In all fairness, what boy could have resisted that?
Jeremy had wanked him off and so had Ezra, but no-one had gone this far… a grown man, a stranger now had his breeches open and his tackle was exposed to the evening air.
He felt so liberated… He had let go. There was no dignity left to lose… He was free.
Just for a few hours he was free to do anything he wanted, to allow or refuse anything that another wanted. If he didn't want this, he could kick the man in the nuts and run for it… Or, if he did like it, he could do whatever, accept whatever, ask for more… and tomorrow?
Tomorrow no-one would be any the wiser. He was wrong about that, but he was young, the fleet would hear and forgive his youthful indiscretions. They could forgive and understand this, in a way that they could never have forgiven him cowardice.
This was a navy, not a nunnery, after all.
It would take a very long time for the story to reach the Royal James. It would travel more slowly the closer it got to him. Only Ezra would know… and he trusted Ezra.
Ezra was one of just four people that he could trust since… well since!
An hour later Ezra too was excited.
Joseph was going to allow him to be the man. It wasn't often that a young topman who was still good-looking would get to play the man. Most sailors seeking a partner preferred to control the younger man, to have him play the softer role.
Joseph was different. He was gentle and impressed to be with the two young men from the Admiral, the Royal James. If Ezra would like to be the man tonight, then Joseph was more than happy to accommodate.
Joseph couldn't bring himself to say it aloud because his best friend Alfred was within earshot, but when Alfred had finished with David, if the young officer wanted to find out what it was to take a man… then Alfred would be more than happy to be his woman too.
The excitement of the evening and the discomfort of lying in one position for an hour had caused a lot of moving about… not a change of partners, but certainly a change of position, so that a numb right leg could recover. For a few minutes there was a lot of semi-naked dancing about as pins and needles subsided.
That was when Joseph had a few minutes to ask Alfred to make sure that David had enough left at the end for him, if the boy wanted to experience the role appropriate to an officer.
What he meant was that he desperately wanted to be fucked by a Young-Gentleman who was the son of their Admiral… who was handsome and prettier than any young officer had any right to be.
There was a moment of hilarity in the middle of the evening, just before they all settled down again for the main act. Joseph declared a wish to see David's scars, to see for himself what a beating he had taken… at the hands of men he had not only forgiven, but didn't even blame. Men that he now held as among his best of friends.
In fact. the sight of his torn up bottom reduced the room to silence.
It took them all by surprise that what had started as a joke, sobered quickly. Joseph became sentimentally weepy, though he blamed that on the third mug of sack.
David watched, folded in Alfred's arms as Ezra took Joseph. He watched the use of a mixture of olive oil and lamb-fat that the men had with them. He watched as Joseph rested his heels on Ezra's shoulders and used his hand to ensure that everything was in the right place. David watched carefully the slight wince on Joseph's face as Ezra pushed past the initial resistance, as Joseph stretched to take him.
He understood all these things because Alfred explained them carefully and gently, pointing to the pleasure that each of the pair was getting. David saw with astonishment the scale of Joseph's climactic moment when Ezra proved that he was indeed the man.
"Can you really do that for me?" David asked.
"Yes, I truly believe you can take it… and if you can't then tell me and I'll stop."
David nodded his agreement to the deal.
"But," Alfred said. "I've seen the mess they made of your bum, nothing I can do, no matter how rough or careless could come anywhere near that amount of pain. If anyone can enjoy this, it's you my young beauty."
Then he whispered quietly… "Joseph has asked me to keep some of you for him. He wants to be your first too. Would you like that. If you don't want to take him… let me know and I'll make sure you finish."
"Oh no, I mean yes please, let's do that! It would be wonderful, to have tried both, and with men I really like too. Much better than coming to the streets again looking for it. Thank you."
It was Ezra's turn to watch, fascinated, as David lay on his back and raised his feet. He might not be playing a dominant role, but he was still in charge, and giving the orders. Alfred, sensitive to his mood, waited until David said… "Right, I'm ready, You can take me now… Take it easy, this really is my maiden-voyage, let's make it something to celebrate!"
Alfred was indeed careful and gentle. David did find need to say ouch, but the Marine would have been proud of him. Alfred had hold of his wrists in a way that reminded him of his Marine. But the piece of cable that this man wielded was only seven inches long rather than twenty… and was being wielded much more gently.
There was a moment's rest while David recovered his poise, and then he said.
"Alright, do your worst, I'm ready now."
Alfred didn't do his worst, he did his best. He reached places that David had never been before and had to stop for a moment when he realised how close to the end David was.
"Do you want me to finish you, I'm ready if you are?"
"No, leave me some for Joe… But finish soon please, I can't hold off much longer."
Alfred brought himself to a conclusion. A conclusion that he assured David was bliss beyond compare… or, to be quite accurate
"The best fucking shag I've had in years!"
David looked rather proud of himself.
"Now go and show Joe a good time, he must be needing it after that."
Joseph got the good time that he deserved. David might not yet be well endowed, but that wasn't what mattered for Joseph. He had an admiral's son in his bottom, a lad who had been flogged until he was unconscious. He was being made love to by the pride of the Barbary Coast Fleet. David sensed what he wanted, and kissed him throughout, calling him my beauty and other gentle things.
They were both, to be blunt, having a fucking good time and the excitement of the moment made up for the lack of calibre in David's broadside.
Joseph came, just as David reached the top, and careered down the other side.
"My God! That was a hell of a ride!" David said.
"That it was!" Joseph replied.
Ezra and Alfred collectively let out a sigh of relief. From what they had seen it had been as successful a maiden voyage as anyone ever had. David really did show promise, he clearly had a sense of adventure.
Ezra wished that the crew could see what he had just seen. Their hero as happy as he had been before. Maybe they did see it occasionally. It was there if they knew what to look for. It was there every time David avoided the lubber's-hole and swung out over the void, and if you realised what you were seeing, it was there when the Marines stepped smartly out of his way, and saluted with a seriousness that they wasted on few other officers.
What they all now saw in David, was not a boy anymore, nor was he his father's son. Now they saw an exceptional young man, of undoubted courage He was his own man in every sense.
He was a man amongst men. Tough men, whose raw appetites he now shared.
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