Elf Boy's Friends - Volume XIV

by George Gauthier

Chapter 1


Moonlight filtered through the wooden latticework over the windows to cast a pearly effulgence on the recumbent forms of Axel Wilde and Drew Altair as the two youths lay spooned together in bed. The moonlight highlighted their exquisite bodies in an artistic display of chiaroscuro, that is of light and dark. Axel nuzzled the nape of his lover's neck enjoying the close contact with the petite hard body he knew so well. Sure Drew was a little guy, but as he himself always said his physique was more about quality than about quantity. Axel agreed wholeheartedly with that sentiment which applied to him as well, a slightly built lad standing only a hand span over five feet. Both boys were proof that sometimes good things did come in small packages.

Cooled air played across their bare bodies. Wind catchers on the roof of their residential hotel channeled the air through underground aqueducts where it gave up much of its heat to the water flowing in them. Unlike many of the other comforts of modern civilization on Planet Haven no magic was involved — simply clever technology.

Besides chilled air the residential hotel in which they lived offered hot and cold running water, indoor water closets, and even dumbwaiters, which were small hand-powered elevators for lifting supplies and laundry from ground level up to the third floor floor where they lived in a huge apartment with their friends and lovers.

The nine young males in their circle of friends shared rooms (and beds) in what had originally been four separate suites with a total of sixteen rooms, long since partitioned off as a conjoined suite on the top floor of their building with a single entryway which gave onto their common living room, library, den. Another amenity was the shaded balcony out back.

Fully rested himself after a good night's sleep Axel did not try to wake his friend, knowing what a slugabed the pretty redhead was. Instead he got up early and padded naked and barefoot over to their sitting room, turned on a reading lamp, and picked up the novel which was his current read. Soon he was engrossed in a tale of high adventure, derring-do, and boy-on-boy romance, getting so engrossed in the graphic love scenes that his manhood stirred.

The reading lamp Axel had used was yet another benefit of the modern age, one Axel himself was largely responsible for, an outgrowth of his original street lighting business, which was the origin of his first fortune. With street lights, lamplighter dwarves made their rounds every evening stopping at lampposts lining the streets of the capital and invoked their magical gift of Calling light. Cool blue-white globes of light popped into existence confined within netting which kept them from drifting off with the wind. Lasting all night and renewed daily the bright globes made the streets not only safer but more conducive to the exuberant night life for which the capital had become famous or perhaps notorious, depending on one's point of view.

It had long been thought that the size of light globes was fixed at about a yard across. Those with the gift of Calling Light could control placement of the globe, but the size never varied. That made light globes awkward for indoor use even in rooms with high ceilings.

Axel had changed all that. Working with the mental techniques pioneered by Angus McFarden to increase the telekinetic powers which powered the freight trains running on the rails of iron roads, Axel found a way to shrink globes of light down to the size of a fist and thus convenient indoors. Not only that, the shrinkage made the lights shine much longer, for over a week rather than merely overnight.

This breakthrough was the seed from which a hugely successful indoor lighting business had grown. Lamplighters of all races now worked full-time making weekly rounds to the homes of hundreds of thousands of subscribers in the capital alone plus even more in the other four major cities where Axel's lighting company currently operated. The householders brought their lamps and ceiling fixtures to the thresholds of their dwellings for the weekly recharge. That practice preserved their privacy and sped the lamplighters on to their next client. His firm also offered a full line of sensibly priced floor and table lamps in different styles from plain and utilitarian to some which qualified as works of art.

Those with the gift of Calling Light themselves might not need to subscribe to the lamp lighting service but they did buy table and floor lamps and ceiling fixtures for which they paid full-price, unlike subscribers who got one-third off. Even with the discount, the fixtures business turned a tidy profit. So when Axel turned on the reading lamp he had merely dropped the opaque shade surrounding what everyone was calling the "bulb" for its shape.

In manufactories and workshops bright indoor lighting had extended the work day and boosted productivity. It also let people shop and socialize and play well into the evening. Inside spaces were no longer only dimly lit by candles or lamps which burned olive oil or an extract of rock oil, fire hazards both, not to mention the smoke they generated. The small light bulbs were also much used in mining and in the interior spaces of naval and cargo ships, applications from which Axel drew no revenue whatsoever, not that Axel minded, glad that his lights made ships and mines safer.

Axel's business agent, the wily dwarf Lennart had applied for a patent for Axel's innovative technique hoping, indeed intending, that the examiners would reject the application on the grounds that what Axel had invented was neither a device nor a process, but just a way of thinking about the particular magic behind Calling Light, a magical gift which was the common property of the sapients of the planet, not any one individual. That adverse ruling was exactly what Axel and Lennart had hoped for, a definitive finding which ensured that no opportunist could patent Axel's breakthrough or any derivative of it.

Axel's home indoor lighting business had prospered without the advantage of either a legal monopoly or of trade secrets. As the innovator and market leader its brand alone was a guarantee of quality and reliability. The technical details of Axel's technique were now in the public domain having been laid out in Axel's patent application. Axel had also published a how-to-do-it-yourself article in Drew's professional journal 'Magic'.

Axel was glad when Drew finally woke up and was in the mood for lovemaking in the special gravity-defying ways which only those gifted with telekinesis could achieve. A bottom boy by preference, Axel submitted wholeheartedly as his lover manipulated his body into erotic positions which defied gravity and sometimes common sense. So far at least Drew had not dropped him on his head.

After morning ablutions the pair of lovers and the other boys in the suite went out their front door heading for the restaurant on the ground floor where they habitually took their meals since the residences in the hotel lacked kitchens. As Axel and Drew were leaving, they found Jayden, their regular chamber boy, waiting just outside, poised to start his chores: cleaning, dusting, scrubbing, mopping, watering the plants, polishing, taking out the laundry, and generally straightening up, with special attention to the hygiene of the tiled water closets and showers.

Only this day there was something different about the boy: his manner of dress or rather undress. Instead of a breechclout the cute blond twink was dressed, if you could call it that, in a minimal genital pouch, a tan colored squared off cylinder of elastic fabric which just managed to contain the boy's manhood. Indeed a bit of the join to the abdomen showed at the very top since, like all the chamber boys Jayden was fashionably glabrous, without even a hint of body hair, even down there at the fork of his legs.

Before Axel could ask, Jayden supplied the answer to his unspoken question.

"It's my new work uniform sir, such as it is. All of us chamber boys wear this elastic pouch now instead of a breechclout. Our work gets us very sweaty and wet, and this cache-sex, as it is called, is an accommodation to our working conditions while still preserving a bit of decorum in the hotel. It's practical and discreet despite being almost totally revealing. I mean from behind you cannot really tell that I am not totally naked. It makes me feel so titillatingly naughty. Gosh, does that make me a shameless exhibitionist?"

"Yes it does, which is very much to your credit, Jayden. To my way of thinking, a boy as pretty as you are practically has an obligation to share his beauty and sex appeal with the world at large. I can hardly wait to come upon you scrubbing the floor on your knees, all bent over, your delightful rump presented as if for service."

"Please! Don't get me going, or this tiny pouch won't be able to contain me, if you take my meaning."

Axel chuckled and gave the chamber boy a friendly pat on the rump, then went downstairs.

"I hope you were just being friendly with Jayden." Drew told him. "This hotel has a non-fraternization policy under which the help is strictly off-limits. That policy protects the boys from importunate guests or any temptation on their part to moonlight as rent boys. The policy also safeguards the hotel's sterling reputation as an upmarket residence for persons of means, rather than some downmarket, low rent, no-tell-hotel cum boy brothel."

"Don't worry. Jayden and I like to flirt, but we both know it is not going anywhere. Not that I don't appreciate his fine lines, that lithe build, corrugated belly, and pert rump. That said, Jayden has a good head on his shoulders and has his eye on the main chance. He is brushing up on the maths we all learned in school but most folks haven't used much since: geometry, trigonometry, and logarithms. He will need good math skills to enroll in a technical school for training surveyors, a career which will capitalize on his gift of Unerring Direction."

Technical schools had sprung up in recent decades to train workers in vocations and professions not addressed by traditional apprenticeship programs like smithing and weaving and pottery making. The burgeoning economy of the Commonwealth of the Long River needed huge numbers of workers for all the new jobs generated by the ongoing industrial revolution and technical innovations: fabricators, welders, mechanics, autogyro and bicycle repair, printers, surveyors, civil and mechanical engineers, metallurgists, tool and die makers, etc. These technical schools were not financed by taxes; they were competitive private businesses which charged tuition.

"Good. I am glad that Jayden is ambitious enough not to be content with what is, after all, a dead end job, one really suitable only for youngsters just starting out. You shouldn't want to make it your life's work."

"All the chambers boys are working toward careers in other fields. The hotel wouldn't have it any other way. The management encourages ambition in the boys and even arranges their hours so they can train part-time. That promotes turnover so that fresh twinks replace the older boys as they age out. Management likes their staff to be young and pretty and perky. It attracts custom. After all, cute serving boys was one of the reasons we all took rooms here."

Passing along the buffet line, the friends made their selections from the cornucopia of comestibles on offer or ordered a bespoke omelet from a cook. Axel asked for a cheddar omelet with bacon garnished with strawberries, while Drew chose a Swiss cheese and mushroom omelet with sausage links and rye toast. The twins didn't bother to order but just piled their plates from the buffet line with scrambled eggs, hash browns, sausage patties, bacon, and a blueberry muffin. Corwin and Eike didn't go in for eggs at all but chose small ham steaks and shoestring potatoes garnished with crunchy crudité.

Trying to fend off extra pounds from a stretch of sedentary office work, Finn Ragnarson had selected the weight watchers' special: a breakfast plate made with bananas, slices of honeydew and cantaloupe, hard boiled eggs, cheese cubes, charcuterie, and mixed fresh fruit: pineapple chunks, strawberries, and blackberries. Later, he watched enviously as the twins went back for kaffay and pastries. Between all the running they did and their magically enhanced constitutions which kept their bodies in a state of homeostasis the twins had no worries about gaining weight. It didn't help that Axel treated himself to a mouthwatering boysenberry fruit tart. The boysenberry was Finn's all-time favorite berry.

After breakfast the friends went their separate ways, Drew and Corwin to the editorial offices of the Capital Intelligencer, Eike to the naval shipyards, and Finn to the headquarters of the Dread Hands of the Commonwealth, while the twins went over to the library of the Honorable Guild of Cartographers to work on maps of the regions they had explored in the Southern Ocean as members of the most recent Corps of Discovery.

At the end of the day when the boys got home, they gathered on the balcony overlooking the woodsy area out back. From there they had a view not only of the pool area reserved for guests but also the other pool upstream in the much smaller recreational yard reserved for the staff. Opening onto that area on the ground floor were the modest but comfortable quarters for junior staff which meant chamber boys, laundry boys, and junior gardeners. The junior staff lived on site, three to a room, and ate in the employee dining room on the other side of the kitchens. It was a toss-up whose job was sweatier, the chamber boys or the garden boys, but the latter worked outdoors and did not have to bother with the new "uniform" but went about sky-clad as always except at meals.

Jayden was down there minus his cache-sex, letting the rays of the late afternoon sun touch him everywhere. Bronzed evenly all over and with hair the color of straw, like the twins Jayden was another palomino colt who practically glowed with good health and sex appeal. He sometimes wished he had the Green Thumb of a garden boy and could work outdoors entirely in the nude and take in fresh air and bask in the sun as they did. The work of garden boys was nurturing and creative, and when they finished they had a thing of beauty to point to. What could a chamber boy point to but a shining floor or gleaming tiles and fixtures in the water closet?

The pretty blond chamber boy was poetry in motion as he and his comrades tossed around the Gemini Zinger. The sport could have been invented to display the male form to advantage as the boys ran and jumped and stretched and slid and sometimes took a tumble on the grass, Not just a sport, it was an athletic style of foreplay. Now since there was no non-fraternization rule among the staff themselves, one thing might very well lead to another, and for a boy as pretty as Jayden it often did.

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