Soulbound ‡ waif

by Wes Leigh

Chapter 1

This is a work of fiction (or is it?) intended solely for the entertainment of my readers. It includes references to historical people and places, in particular, the London borough of Whitechapel and its streets. I also wish to make a special acknowledgement of Bram Stoker's ground-breaking novel Dracula, which spawned a new genre of literature, the Gothic horror tale, and led to countless movies and novels that inspired and horrified generations of fans. This story includes several (not so subtle) references to Mr. Stoker and his novel, by which I intend no disrespect, but rather acknowledge his inspiration of my foray into the realm of vampires.

This story is the property of the author and is protected by copyright laws. The author retains all rights. No reproductions are allowed without the author's consent.

Note to readers: Soulbound ‡ Waif is a prequel in the Soulbound Anthology. If you haven't read the original Soulbound, I recommend you read it first before reading Soulbound ‡ Waif.

"Not a day goes by I'm not hearing about some type of ruckus. Like as not it'll be Wentworth lads mafficking with boys from Hanbury street. Folks always asking me why I don't do something about it. And what the hell am I supposed to do? It'd take a bloody army to maintain order round here."

-- Constable Dobbin, Whitechapel Station

London, England. Whitechapel District. Early Fall, 1888.

"Zavy! Oy, mate! What's the rush?"

Zavy stopped and turned to look behind him. His raven black hair blew into his eyes, also dark and piercing. He was a handsome lad, fifteen years old and eager to get the day started. He pushed his hair aside impatiently and motioned for the other two boys to follow him. Reggie, the one who had called out for Zavy to slow down, had black hair like his own and similarly handsome features, as you would expect since they were cousins. The other boy, Jack, was shorter and fair, with blonde hair and freckles. They were both running after Zavy, pulling their coats on as they ran.

Zavy shook his head and waved for the other two to hurry. "Wanna get there before a bunch of Worthies show their ugly arses. So move YOUR arses, me lads!"

Jack struggled to get his arm inside his coat. "Bloody hell, Zavy. We ain't even had a chance to grab a bite. There's a bit of bread and broth left over from last night. What's the bloody hurry?"

Reggie patted Jack on the back affectionately and laughed. "Zavy's mad as hops today, Jacko. There's no stopping him when he gets like this."

Zavy shook his head impatiently. "Stop talking and start running. If we make a few pence at the stables, we can eat at the Gray Fox later and still have something to show for our morning. Otherwise, you know how Crawley will be."

Reggie and Jack looked at each other, frowning. They did indeed know how Crawley could be, especially when the boys didn't return home with a few pence each. The reminder of Crawley's heavy fist was all they needed to forget about a missed breakfast and run all the faster after Zavy, who had already turned and started sprinting up the street. He was right. Getting to the stables early meant they could make enough to buy a late meal and still have something to hand over to the greedy bastard they lived with.

The stable was two streets over, on Wentworth Street. It was a risk, because the lads who lived there were aggressive bullies who liked nothing better than picking a fight with boys from other streets who made the mistake of wandering onto what they considered their territory. Street brawls were all too common, and the constables didn't even try to stop them, so Zavy knew he was taking a gamble working at the stables. But a few bruises were worth it! Old Man McCoy ran the place, and he was a decent enough chap. He paid fair wages to the boys, knowing they'd work the harder for it and be grateful for the chance.

McCoy was just opening up the main doors when the boys ran up and waited politely for him to push the heavy doors aside. He glanced at the three teens, nodded, and pointed at shovels and rakes. "Aye. Figured the three of you would be here early and eager. Back stalls need mucking out and fresh straw. Get with it, lads."

Zavy nodded and grabbed a rake, heading for the back of the stables. Reggie and Jack followed his example, trotting inside. They'd been working only half an hour when another group of boys strolled up and saw them hard at work.

Jack looked over and whispered, "Worthies are here."

"Ignore them," Zavy whispered back. "They're too bloody late, so they can just fuck off."

Reggie chuckled. "Kinda hard to ignore them. Smell like the Thames and look like walking piles of shit."

Jack laughed and picked up a pile of horse manure. "Oy, look what I found. A Worthie under some straw!"

Reggie tried to shush Jack, but apparently his indiscrete comment had been loud enough for the other boys to hear. They wandered over and blocked the entrance to the stall where Zavy, Reggie, and Jack were working. The tallest, a red-headed boy with angry green eyes, squinted and said, "What have we here, lads? Three little quims from Hanbury street. I think they're lost. Got confused and thought they could leave their shitholes to come to our street."

Jack stopped working and glared. "Ain't your street, Flanders. And we ain't quims."

Flanders, the red-haired boy laughed. "Now listen to that, lads. A Hanbury quim with a mouth. Maybe I should stuff me pego in and see if he can still talk with his mouth full." To emphasize his point, Flanders grabbed his crotch and squeezed.

Jack sneered. "Wouldn't be much of a mouthful, from what I can see."

Zavy stepped forward and put his hand on Jack's shoulder. "Let's get back to work, Jacko." Turning to Flanders, Zavy said, "Don't know what you Wentworth lads want, but you ain't gonna find it here."

Flanders looked around the stables and said with a snarl. "Don't suppose you boys noticed, but these stables are on Wentworth Street. That means it belongs to Worthies. You fellows are a few streets away from home, and the way I figure it, you'd best stop coming over here, unless you like getting your skulls busted."

Zavy leaned his shovel against the stall wall and crossed his arms. "We know where we are, Flanders. We know who you are and that you think you run things over here on Wentworth Street, but we see things a bit different on Hanbury. The way we see it is like this. We go where we want. We do what we want. And no one tells us otherwise."

Flanders stepped up until his nose was inches from Zavy's. They were almost the same height, so Zavy didn't back away. "Get your arses home to Hanbury," Flanders said with a growl. "Last warning."

Zavy looked down at Flanders' feet and smiled. "Over on Hanbury, they teach us to get up early and to work hard. Guess that's why we're mucking the stables and you're just standing in muck."

Flanders looked down and saw he was indeed standing in fresh horse shit. He moved back, only to have a large glob of manure and straw land on his foot. He looked up, furious, and saw Reggie smiling wickedly with a now-empty shovel in his hand. "Sorry about that, mate," Reggie said with a sneer. "Didn't see you standing there."

The Wentworth boys snarled and began to move forward as one, but Old Man McCoy came around the corner just then and saw everything. "Ach! What are you lads up to? Don't you be starting trouble around here."

"Not wanting any trouble," Flanders said. "Just looking for work."

"Don't need anyone else today," McCoy replied. "Keep looking." He pointed at the door of the stable and waited until the four Wentworth teens walked away. Looking back at Zavy, Reggie, and Jack, he gave them a searching look, but said nothing, returning to his own morning routine.

The three were relieved. They weren't afraid to fight, but four on three wasn't exactly fair, and they did need to make a few pence that day. They went back to work, shoveling manure and spreading out new straw.

Old Man McCoy checked on them an hour later. He looked around at the clean stalls and grunted. "Good work, lads. About as I've come to expect from you lot." He pointed at the ladder leading to the loft. "Bring down fresh straw for empty stalls in the back. Got a few horses coming over from Spitafields that'll need bedding." McCoy stomped off, nodding his head with satisfaction at the work of the Hanbury boys. They seemed to do a much better job than the lads on Wentworth Street, who tended to mess around a bit too much instead of working.

"I'll get the straw," Jack said, climbing the ladder into the loft.

"I'll help," Zavy said with a smile. "You'll keep a watch for us, Reg?"

Reggie nodded his head. He knew what that meant, but he didn't mind so much. The lads were always nipping off to have a bit of play. There was no privacy in their housing, so you had to grab your fun when you could.

Jack and Zavy hurried up the ladder into the loft. Moments later, a bale of straw tumbled down and landed on the ground, busting apart. Reggie began carrying it into the stalls and spreading it out. From above his head, he heard giggles and rustling. Grinning, he slowly climbed the ladder and peeked into the loft.

Zavy's trousers were around his ankles and Jack was kneeling in front of him, bobbing up and down on Zavy's cock. Reggie watched for a moment, feeling his own cock begin to swell up in his pants. He reached down and pulled on the fabric, making more room.

Zavy glanced over and smiled at Reggie. "You want a bit of this next?"

Reggie nodded.

Jack looked over and frowned. "Wait below, Reg. Don't want McCoy catching us, now do we? I'll give you a bagpipe next, and then one of you can do me."

Reggie nodded and slid down the ladder to the stable floor. Gathering armfuls of straw, he quickly scattered it around the stalls.

In the loft, Zavy gently stroked Jack's cheek as the younger boy sucked on his cock. Jack was fourteen, a year younger, and as dear to Zavy as his cousin Reggie. The three of them were like brothers. Even considered themselves such, and acted like it too, spending every moment together, working to provide food for the family, consoling one another when Crawley's fist bruised their backs, holding each other in the night to stay warm.

The three of them had been together for years. Reggie had lived with Zavy from an early age, when both of Reggie's parents died of pneumonia. Then when the two of them turned ten, diptheria took Zavy's father, and his mother moved in with Crawley, who grudgingly accepted the boys living there as long as they kept providing money every day for their lodging. That was five years ago, and it had been a tough road since.

Jack had joined them a few years back. He'd been friends with Reggie and Zavy for some time, moving in with them when he couldn't take living with his own family any longer. As Jack explained it, his father watched every bite Jack ate, grumbling that the boy never brought in as much as he stuffed down his throat. One day, Jack couldn't find work, and the man kicked him out, saying he was old enough to find his own place. Jack hadn't minded. His dad was a lazy lout and his mom a whore, so moving out was a move up as far as Jack was concerned.

Zavy's mom had taken the boy in and told him he could sleep on the pallet with Reggie and Zavy in the corner of the main room, but the three of them would have to work even harder from then on to provide food for the family. Zavy had assured her they would, and they had. The three of them worked very hard, never enough for Crawley, but nothing ever satisfied that bastard.

It was a tough life, but no harder than what most folks endured in Whitechapel. And there were good times to be had, especially for horny teen boys who could find work at a stable with a nice, secluded hay loft where Jack's talented mouth made Zavy's body quiver. The boy somehow managed to swallow all six inches of Zavy's cock, gulping to keep from gagging. Zavy stroked Jack's cheek again, making the blonde look up and smile as he bobbed up and down.

Jack reached underneath Zavy's cock to play with his balls, knowing his older friend loved that too. It always seemed that Jack was the first to kneel down and take Zavy or Reggie into his mouth, but that was fine by Jack. He knew he'd be getting his own cock sucked in a bit, and he didn't mind going first. He actually liked the taste of Zavy. A little bitter, but sweeter than Reggie's. He could swallow what Reggie put out only by pushing the thick shaft to the back of his mouth and holding it there when it began to shoot out his stuff. Zavy was different. Jack actually liked to pull off enough so that Zavy's cum landed on his tongue where he could taste it.

Zavy was getting close. Jack could tell by the way the dark-haired lad kept standing on his toes, pushing his cock deeper into Jack's throat. Jack squeezed Zavy's balls a little harder and stroked the insides of Zavy's thighs.

Zavy moaned and whispered, "Oh, bloody hell, chuckaboo. Keep doing that. Just like that."

Down below, Reggie kept working. By the time he'd distributed all the straw, he heard a loud moan above him, a grunt, and a sigh. Smiling, he looked up and shouted, "I'm ready for another bale, if you two are about finished."

Jack's head appeared at the opening to the loft. He was smiling and licking his lips. "Zavy's done. Come on up and help me with this." Jack made motions of pulling a cock in and out of his mouth, grinning down at Reggie.

Reggie felt his own cock beginning to stir again. Working at the stables was the best thing Zavy had ever suggested, even if it did mean running into Wentworth fucks from time to time.

Jack stared at the money in Zavy's hand with eyes wide in wonder. "I can't believe me eyes. Old Man McCoy is a class fellow."

Zavy nodded. "He did right well by us. Ten pence for a morning's work. Not bad, lads. Not bad at all."

"What are we gonna do with it?" asked Reggie.

Zavy grinned and handed two pence to Reggie. "That's for a couple of meals at the Gray Fox. We'll split it between us and eat like kings!"

Zavy handed two pence to Jack. "Stash that away. That's a good lad. That will be for our breakfast tomorrow."

Jack nodded and slid the pennies into his shoe.

Zavy held up the last six pence. "This we give to Crawley. Ought to get him off our back for the day, don't ya' think?"

Reggie and Jack nodded in agreement, smiling. It would indeed. Six pence would feed the rest of the family well enough for that day. Crawley would probably send them out to buy food and a quart of bitter to wash it down with, so the three teens were looking forward to eating again that night. Two meals in one day! Who'd have imagined the day would go so well?

They headed down the street, laughing and slapping each other on the shoulders, heading for the Gray Fox tavern where they served the best meat pies in the borough. Turning a corner, the three stopped suddenly. Standing before them was a gang of Wentworth Worthies. Eight of them.

Zavy looked at Reggie and Jack. Both curled their hands into fists. Zavy nodded and turned to face the Worthies. "Well then. No need to mess about. Let's do this."

It was all gone. All ten pence. The Worthie fucks had even found the two pence Jack had stashed in his shoe. The three Hanbury lads had nothing to show for their morning, except black eyes, bloody noses, and bruised ribs.

Holding each other up, they stumbled back to their home where their mother shook her head sadly and Crawley yelled at them, calling them lazy fucks who wasted their day and then got their arses handed to them in a street brawl.

Zavy tried to explain what had happened, but Crawley would hear none of it.

"Get out of me house!" he yelled. "You lot ain't sleeping under me roof until you pay your share of living here."

It was cold that night, sleeping on the stairs leading up to their building. But where else could they go? They huddled together, shivering and doing their best to keep each other warm. Early in the morning hours, Jack began to cough. Zavy took off his coat and wrapped it around the smaller boy, doing what he could to keep the lad warm. Jack whispered his gratitude and snuggled in closer to Zavy's body.

The sky began to turn a lighter shade of gray when Zavy woke the others up and suggested they head down to McCoy's stable. Having nothing better to do, they agreed and stretched their aching bodies and stumbled after Zavy up the street.

When Old Man McCoy came out of his cottage to open the stables the next morning, he saw the three disheveled teens standing in the street, shifting from foot to foot and shivering. He studied the boys carefully, noting the fresh bruises on their faces. "Get started on the front stalls, lads," he grunted, turning and walking back into his house. He returned moments later with a jug of milk and a loaf of day-old bread. He handed it to Zavy and said, "It's not much, but it's what I have in the house."

The boys thanked the old man and quickly devoured the bread and guzzled the milk, before getting back to work.

McCoy paid them twenty pence for their work that day, though Zavy protested that it was far too much. McCoy simply shook his head and said, "I've a delivery to make over on Petham Road. You lads'll be going with me in me wagon, helping me unload and all. Then I'll drop you off on Hanbury afore I head back here."

An hour later, the three boys sat in the back of McCoy's wagon as it pulled down Wentworth Street. Standing on a corner, watching as they drove by, were the Wentworth lads from the day before. They snarled when they saw the Hanbury boys riding in the back of the wagon, but there was nothing they could do.

Reggie tipped his head at the Worthies as they rolled past.

Jack held up his hand with his middle finger out.

Zavy laughed and pulled Jack into a hug. They'd probably have trouble later for it, but it was a good day to be alive. The morning sun was warm in Whitechapel, and he and his brothers would eat well soon. Life couldn't get any better.

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