If people thought it strange that the two men shared rooms at the top of the boarding house then nobody said so out loud. Bob was a little to old to be Ramsey’s elder brother and too young to be an uncle.
Ramsey had recently been released from Lansbury Approved School for young offenders. His career in petty crime had burgeoned until he was considered a threat to society. The headmaster Mr Jossop, a man of Christian principle, rarely had a thick whippy cane out of his fist. Ramsey was no stranger to corporal punishment. Even aged nineteen he found himself resting his forearms on the headmaster’s desk (Jossop’s preferred position) with his back arched and his bottom sticking out to receive eight strokes (the maximum permitted) across the seat of his regulation short trousers.
Bob had an altogether different upbringing. Although he too was no stranger to an ashplant cane. He was a boarder at St Tom’s, a minor public school in the West of England. He was not a success. The word “slacker” might have been invented for him. The headmaster’s ashplant and his father’s razor strop, both administered with excessive vigour across his naked eighteen-year-old buttocks, did not improve his performance. His father removed him from school following an undistinguished set of examination results.
Soon, Bob found himself in the Colonial Service, serving in some godforsaken hole in The Dark Continent that nobody had never heard of. He was quietly asked to return to England following a misunderstanding involving two young African men. So, aged twenty, he was home to receive a further leathering from his father before he was found a position as a clerk in an accountancy business.
That had been six years previously.
Ramsey came into his life by accident. Approved school might have kept the boy off the streets but it did little to prepare him for life. Without a job and often with nowhere to sleep he returned to his life of crime. He did good business in an area of Hampstead Heath where sad lonely men would go for company. Ramsey was a pretty boy and he had endured many humiliations as a result at Lansbury, but he wasn’t prepared to sell his body. Instead, he became a footpad. He robbed at knifepoint.
It was ridiculously easy. They were too scared to resist his blade and none would report him to the police. They would have to explain to the constables why they were walking alone in that part of the Heath after dark. Of course, the police already knew the answer to that.
But one night the tables were turned. Ramsey held his blade to the face of a middle-aged man and was waiting for his wallet to be handed over when he was attacked from behind. His victims had decided to fight back. They left him bloodied and unconscious.
That was how thirty minutes later Bob found him. He knew nothing of the boy’s circumstances. All he saw was a remarkably beautiful body sullied by bruises. Do men have maternal instincts? If so, they were to the fore that night. Bob wiped the blood from Ramsey’s face as gently as a mother washing her new born.
The taxi driver pretended not to notice the boy’s state. He was reassured by Bob’s upper class accent. He knew his fare would be paid and he expected a large tip as well. For he understood the reputation of that area of the Heath and now he also had the home address of one of its users. His discretion would be worth a pound at least.
There was only one bed. They shared it. It was not thought unusual. People of the same sex often did. If the bed was large enough three men could fit in together. At Bob’s school, expensive though the fees were, the juniors had been forced to sleep four-up.
Ramsey knew he was on to a good thing. A regular roof over his head for the first time since he was thrown out of Lansbury. But there was to be a price to pay. He hadn’t thought much about it when he first arrived. It was quite a common thing to see in a home. His own father had one hanging from a nail in the kitchen. It brought back unpleasant memories. Once, when Bob was out the room, Ramsey had taken it down and held it between his hands. An old worn leather razor strop. It even smelt like the one his father had.
But, Bob did not have a cut-throat blade, he used one of the new-fangled ‘safety razors’. How very modern, Ramsey thought. And it saved a fellow from walking around with pieces of damp newspaper stuck to his chin.
It was seven in the evening. Summer was turning to autumn. Ramsey could tell Bob was restless. He paced the room, looking at his watch. Then, he moved to the window, twitched the curtain and peered out into the street below. Then he paced some more.
“What’s the matter,” Ramsey snapped, his nerves jangling. “Are you expecting a rozzer?” He smiled at his own joke. The police, indeed. Could there be anyone in London more honest that Bob?
“I’m waiting for somebody,” Bob rasped. His hands shook as he reached into his trouser pocket for cigarettes.
“Oh,” Ramsey nodded sagely. A woman. He was waiting for a woman. “Do you want me to go for a walk?” he grinned. Bob stood puzzled. “What? No. You must stay.”
In the distance a doorbell rang. Bob darted to the window. “He’s here.” He dashed to the door, turning to Ramsey as he opened it. “Wait here. Don’t move.”
It was some distance from the top room to the street door. Ramsey lay back on the bed, his arms behind his head, waiting. Who was this mysterious visitor? A man, not a woman. Bob never had visitors at the room.
The door creaked open. “Oh yes. Delightful.” It was a man somewhat older than Ramsey, perhaps in his forties. He wore a formal business suit, expensively cut. “My word, yes.” The man beamed. His ruddy complexion shone. Ramsey smelt gin.
Bob closed the door, looked around the room furtively. He locked the door and popped the key in his pocket.
“Wonderful. Oh, yes.” The man ran the tip of his tongue around his lips as if clearing them of salt. “Perfect.”
Ramsey hauled himself off his back and sat with his legs dangling over the edge of the mattress. “Charming.” The man’s cobalt blue eyes bore into the teenager. “Exquisite.”
Bob shuffled from one foot to the other. Unsure. Ramsey sat silently, watching. The man slipped his jacket from his back, held it in his hand and peered around the small room. “Here.” Bob took it and hung it on a nail on the door.
Without taking his eyes off Ramsey, the man unbuttoned the cuff on his shirt sleeve and slowly, neatly, folded it up until his forearm and elbow were bare. Ramsey’s pulse quickened. Who was this man? He returned the man’s blazing stare. He would not be intimidated. Years in the Approved School had taught him; do not show fear.
He did not notice his roommate move to a cupboard, open it, and reach inside.
Satisfied that his shirt was perfectly folded, the man turned to Bob. “Yes, that will do nicely,” he drooled. Alarmed, Ramsey turned in time to see Bob approach. It was all over in seconds. With two of them, it was really quite easy. Ramsey did not know what hit him.
His struggle was in vain. They had him face down. His wrists tied to the iron bedstead. He kicked and wriggled. He hollered.
“The neighbours!” Bob cried.
“Yes, of course.” The man pulled a silk handkerchief from his pocket. Ramsey nearly choked. “It is best if you do not resist.” The man’s voice was dry.
Sweat ran through Ramsey’s hair. The back of his shirt was damp. His temples pulsated. His face was crimson. The man looked across at Bob. His eyes gave the instruction. Together they reached under Ramsey’s body, unbuckled the nineteen-year-old’s belt and tugged his trousers and underwear to his knees.
“All the way,” it was a quiet command. Bob obeyed. He took Ramsey’s trousers and smart white shorts down to the boy’s feet. Avoiding flailing legs, he ripped them from his body. Contemptuously, he threw them onto the floor.
Another look from the man. It told Bob he was ready. Bob glanced toward the hand basin. “Perfect,” the man croaked. He reached forward and took down the razor strop. He weighed it in his hands. “A wonderful specimen.” He swished the heavy leather strap through the air, getting its measure.
“Hold his legs.”
Ramsey was pinned down. There was no escape. His hands bound by rope. His feet held tightly against the mattress. His naked backside exposed. The man could do anything he wished.
The first slash whipped into his buttocks with great speed and strength. Ramsey munched down on the silk handkerchief. His hips gyrated. It was a reflex action. Six cuts fell rapidly. Bang-bang-bang. His once creamy-white buttocks were scarlet, the outline of the razor strop clearly visible across his cheeks.
Ramsey chewed on to the silk handkerchief. He wouldn’t let himself down. He wouldn’t give the bastards the satisfaction. Years in approved school had made him stubborn. He had endured pains and humiliations. That was the curse of the pretty boy.
The man wheezed and gasped as he turned Ramsey’s buttocks and the backs of his legs from white, through fifty shades of pink, to a deep crimson. Exhausted, he dropped the razor strop to the floor. Bob, his own breathing quite calm, stood waiting for the signal. It came. It was no more than a flicker of the eyelids.
Bob moved forward, took the buckle of the man’s belt in his hand. It was undone in seconds. Trousers and underwear tumbled. Bob fell to his knees. He took an almighty deep breath, parted his lips, and made a perfect “O”. He took the throbbing cock in his mouth, gagging as the old man thrust his hips forward and back.
The man in the room below heard the scream of ecstasy.
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More stories from Charles Hamilton II are on the MMSA website
Charles Hamilton the Second