Christopher, Craig & Co.
Part 53: What Makes Andrew Run?
It was Saturday night again and you know what that meant. That’s right: I was expected to put in an appearance at Leatherman’s Club. There were several problems with that. The first, of course, was that I was still recovering from my recent injuries and didn’t feel much like going out. The second was that Scott was working at Kampas tonight and I really didn’t have much interest in going out without him. And finally, Daniel was bringing David there to discuss some modifications to his basic training and I still had a host of reservations about that.
All in all nothing I really wanted to be doing tonight. When the doorbell rang I was surprised to find Andrew standing outside. Noticing the shoebox under his arm triggered my memory of telling him to bring running shoes here this weekend.
“Hey, Andrew, what are you up to tonight?” I asked.
“Probably nothing. Wade’s working late.” He stopped and grinned, flashing his dimples. “You already knew that.”
I nodded, leading the way into the den. “I have to go over to Leatherman’s for awhile. You up for it?”
He shrugged. “I’ve got nothing better to do. But can you dance at all with your side?”
“Maybe one or two.”
Andrew sat on the couch and set the shoebox beside him.
“Shine your shoes,” I told him.
His chin dropped forward.
“Andrew, how do you like your life now that you’ve been wearing your skater shoes?”
“It’s cool,” he said.
“I admit this doesn’t seem like a bad fit for you. I’m just not sure we’re quite there yet. What type of shoes did you bring today?”
I knew that, but we had a basic routine for these changes that worked and there was no reason to try to reinvent the wheel with Andrew. “Andrew, you may open your eyes and stay in this deep state of relaxation. I’d like you to remove your skater shoes.”
He opened his eyes and quickly pulled off the sneakers.
“Andrew, you will stop wearing your skater shoes for the time being. You will add them to the others at the back of your closet. You are going to begin wearing your new running shoes. Do you know why I asked you to get running shoes?”
“We’ve been working a lot on your personality and behavior this year. Unfortunately with some of these changes your studies and work habits have begun to fall off. You bought running shoes because you need to run your life a bit more efficiently. Andrew, the running shoes you bought today are very special shoes. When you wear them you will find that you become very ambitious. You will strive to do your best in your classes since you are nearing your degree. You will work hard at the shoe store to be the best salesman you can be. Your ambition will rise to the surface to help you succeed at anything you attempt. Do you understand?”
“Good. Now, put on your new shoes.”
He opened the box and pulled out a pair of navy blue Nikes. He quickly and fluidly laced them, then stepped into them, tying the laces before sitting up.
“Andrew, as always you will treat Wade with respect and you will incorporate some of the knowledge you’ve gained about yourself as a skater into your personality. 1…2…3.”
Andrew smiled at me. I was never completely sure if he understood how his transformations worked. I suspected on some level he knew each time he’d been hypnotized. The thing about my work with him was that I was only bringing his own traits to the surface—I had never really added much to Andrew. Hypnotizing Andrew was something he had asked for, with a nonspecific goal of changing his life. I liked Andrew; in another life I may have even developed a relationship with him, but in this set of circumstance we had become friends and I didn’t want to tamper too much with his basic make-up.
He stooped over and boxed up the skater shoes.
“You still interested in going to the Club?” I asked.
I went upstairs and changed my shirt, checked my hair and grabbed a coat before following Andrew out to his car. I think he was still worried about my health, though I was feeling better.
The parking lot was already filling at the Club when we got pulled in. Andrew and I got right into the Club—being a friend of the owner’s had its perks. The thump-a-thump-a seemed more deafening than usual tonight. Andrew had to shout directly into my ear, “What do you want to drink?”
I handed him a twenty and told him to get a soda for me and whatever he wanted.
There was quite a bit of flesh on display that night at the Club. Sweating shirtless guys were grinding each other on the dance floor. I sighed. None of them looked as good as Scott.
Andrew returned with the drinks. He offered me the change, but I held up a hand. He made a lot less than I did.
The song changed, though the beat didn’t. Andrew shouted into my ear, “I love this song!”
I pointed to the dance floor. He grinned and we maneuvered out into the crowd of undulating bodies. Andrew was a remarkably good dancer. I did my best to keep up with him. We stayed on the floor for a couple of songs then I gestured that I needed to sit one out. “Do you want to stay out here?” I asked directly into his ear.
“Do you mind?”
“Not at all. I’ll find you in a bit.”
Andrew smiled and began dancing with a buffed blond guy.
I strode purposefully toward the management office. Leatherman looked up from pouring a drink at his private bar when I entered.
“I saw you on the monitors,” he said. “You didn’t use my private entrance.”
“I’m here with a friend.”
“I saw him. He looks cuddly. Is he your new Craig?”
“There is no new Craig. He’s also not my slave, if that’s what you’re asking.” I turned and surveyed the monitors. From here Leatherman really could see anything that went on in his Club. I found Andrew on the dance floor and watched him move his lithe body. It seemed several guys were vying for his attention. The grin on his face told me he was enjoying his position.
Another screen drew my eye. This was the camera pointed at the entrance. Richard King sauntered into the Club, dressed head to toe in black. He appraised the room before ambling toward the bar.
“What the hell is he doing here?”
Leatherman joined me. “Who?”
I pointed to Richard.
“Oh, you know Richard?”
I turned to Leatherman wide-eyed. “How do you know Richard?”
“He’s been coming in for several weeks. He and I share some ideas on the need for a good boy. Actually I’ve been considering mentioning him to you as a potential Master for one of your trained slaves. He seems to have a ready supply of cash. And from our talks I gather he is in the market for a boy.”
I was starting to feel lightheaded. The absurdity of this conversation was lost on Leatherman. He had no way of knowing that Richard had been my Master or that Richard could hypnotize his own boys. And that he was very likely was scoping out the Club tonight to find a boy to victimize.
“I want nothing to do with him. You even mention me to Richard and our friendship is over, Leatherman.”
Leatherman gave me the fisheye. “What’s your problem?”
“I knew Richard a long time ago. It is not an acquaintanceship I intend to ever resurrect. Am I making myself clear?”
“Crystal. I think you need a drink, Christopher.” He returned to his bar.
“I’m not drinking tonight. Where is Daniel?”
There was a sharp knock at the door.
“How’s that for timing?” Leatherman asked, shaking a cocktail. “Would you mind getting that? Bootboy is indisposed.”
I strode to the private entrance and opened it, wondering what new brand of torture Bootboy was experiencing. Daniel and David entered and removed their coats. David draped them both over the stair railing.
Daniel offered his hand, which I shook. David looked up at me with his brown eyes. “Hello, sir.”
I looked him over. He wore jeans, sneakers, and a tight T-shirt. His hair was neatly-combed, he smelled of soap, and he looked well-fed. “How are you, David?”
Leatherman greeted Daniel and offered drinks around. We all sat on the leather couches. David and I declined, but Daniel took scotch.
I leaned back on the couch. “How are things working out, Daniel?”
“I think David is adjusting well to his new home. We have many interests in common. I had never considered having a Spanish boy, but David is something special.”
David sat watching Daniel.
“David, how do you like your new home?”
“I like it very much, sir. Master is very nice to me.”
Daniel seemed to flinch.
“Is there a problem, Daniel?”
His face went through a series of contortions. “It’s this Master business. Being addressed as sir is one thing—a boy with manners should use polite addresses. But I don’t want David calling me Master.”
“How would you like to be addressed?”
Daniel glanced at David.
“We can speak freely with David here,” I said.
“As Daniel. The occasional sirs are all well and good—I was in the army for many years. But I don’t know that I want a lover calling me that all the time.”
Leatherman returned to the bar and topped off his glass.
“Okay, any other things you need tweaked?”
“Not so far.”
I nodded. I had thought this would be too soon to do much for David. He and Daniel were still in the honeymoon phase. They were learning about each others’ moods, habits, and routines. They hadn’t spent enough time together to start to annoy one another.
“Would you and Leatherman excuse us while I make those adjustments?”
Leatherman took the hint. “Come on, Daniel. Let’s see what new and interesting young men have found their way to my Club tonight.”
I watched them exit into the Club proper, then glanced at the monitors. Andrew was still dancing his heart out. He had his shirt off and tucked into the back of his jeans. His naked chest glistened under the lights even on the small monitors. He looked happy.
I returned my attention to David. “Closet Cop.”
His eyes slid shut and he slumped into the couch.
“How are you, David?”
“How is Daniel treating you?”
“Good, sir,” he repeated.
“Has he hurt you?”
“You have enough to eat and a nice place to sleep?”
Good. This was doing much to soothe my conscience. I still wasn’t comfortable with this enslave and loan out program Leatherman wanted me to get on board with. “Is there anything about living with Daniel that is making you unhappy or uncomfortable that you’d like me to know about?”
I watched Andrew on the monitor. The subtle differences I suggested for him were easy—he always took them and ran (no pun intended). Since I had never had a clear focus for David he had been conditioned and reconditioned with conflicting instructions. How was I going to fulfill Daniel’s request without confusing David? “David, I know that the last time we talked I told you that Daniel is your Master and that you should always call him either ‘Master’ or ‘sir’. Do you remember that?”
“Well, your Master would like you to call him by his given name. So you will no longer call Daniel ‘Master’. You will address him as ‘Daniel’. Do you understand?”
“What will you call your Master?”
“Good boy, David. You may still call him ‘sir’, but Daniel would prefer that you call him Daniel. Do you understand?”
“What does Daniel expect you to do at home?”
“Does he let you wear clothes?”
“Yes, sir. He bought me some new ones and lets me wear my clothes, too.”
“Does he make you serve him naked?”
“Where do you sleep?”
“In his bed.”
“Are you comfortable there?”
“Yes, sir. It’s a big bed.”
I smiled. “And he lets you eat?”
“Yes, sir. He is teaching me to cook.”
“You don’t know how to cook?”
“I can make some things.”
“It sounds like you have a good living situation. We will talk again soon. Remember your instruction that if Daniel hurts you or makes you do something that you feel very uncomfortable doing, you are to tell him you must call me immediately. Do you understand?”
Before handing David over to Daniel I had put in that little fail-safe in order to protect David. I wasn’t even sure if it was necessary anymore. Daniel really did seem to be responsible and trustworthy in his treatment of the boy. “Okay, David, when I count to three you will awaken fully refreshed and happy, and excited to see your Master. 1…2…3.”
David opened his eyes and smiled.
“Let’s go find your Master.”
David followed me out into the Club. I had one eye scanning the room for Leatherman and Daniel and the other watching warily for Richard’s location.
We soon found Leatherman and Daniel seated on stools at a small table. David approached Daniel and stood beside him.
“Everything okay?” Daniel shouted.
I nodded and leaned across the table toward him. “I would expect one or two more sessions to finalize everything.”
Daniel turned to his boy. “Would you like something to drink, David?”
“Yes, thank you, Daniel.”
Daniel looked at me brightly.
Leatherman was watching the dance floor. I wondered if Andrew was still out there. I turned around to see.
I had a sudden tight feeling in my chest as I saw Richard dancing very near to Andrew. It looked as though Andrew were too preoccupied with the other boys to notice Richard. Yet.
“Excuse me,” I shouted to Daniel and Leatherman. I stalked out onto the floor, amid the throng of gyrating half-dressed boys. Andrew waved at me, spun around, and began to dance with me. Richard, who had been dancing directly behind him saw my approach and his face twisted into a mask that almost approximated delight.
I stepped right between him and Andrew. “I told you to stay away from my family.”
“I was not aware that included this boy here. Perhaps you should make a list for me.”
“Perhaps you should stop whatever this is that you’re doing in town.”
“I’ve no idea why you’re so suspicious of me, Christopher. After all, you learned your methods from me.”
“But I never learned how to be such a heartless bastard!”
Even with the thundering bass and the dim lighting we were beginning to draw attention from nearby dancers.
Andrew stepped up beside me. I saw the recognition on his face.
“Did he do anything to you?” I asked.
Andrew shook his head. “What do you mean? No. I didn’t even see him.”
“He saw you,” I stated. I looked Richard deep in the eyes. “Keep pushing me, Richard. You’ll see just how much I’ve learned since we parted ways.”
“These threats of yours sound hollow, Christopher. Why are you so frightened of me?”
I took a deep breath to calm myself. “I’m not afraid of you. I can handle you. And I will protect the people I care about from you.”
“You can’t guard everyone.”
“Andrew, it’s time we leave.”
He nodded and pulled his shirt on over his head.
“I’ve tried dealing rationally with you, Richard. Stay away from me.”
“I think perhaps you’ve become a bit unstable since I knew you, Christopher. Your family may not be safe from you.”
I whipped back around and put my finger in his face. I practically growled, “Don’t fuck with me, Dick.”
I stormed out the door, closely followed by Andrew.