There were four boys sitting on individual cheap wooden, fold-up chairs. They stared down at the heavily scuffed plastic floor tiles beneath their feet. That was when they were not training their eyes at the door with its peeling white paint two metres in front of them. They pretended to one another they were unconcerned by the muffled voices and the unmistakable sounds on the other side of that door.
The boys did not speak. They had hardly acknowledged each other’s presence from the moment they arrived. Leon who sat at one end of the row could scarcely believe he was there at all. Sneakily, he observed his companions. He recognised one of them. He was one year ahead of him at the university. You couldn’t miss the fellow. When he stood he towered over six feet four. He was thin and wiry but it was his bright blue Mohican haircut that distinguished him. A twenty-something punk rocker born thirty years too late.
The other two had little about them worthy of comment. Leon supposed it was their very ordinariness that made them valuable. They could have been the boy next door. Young, dressed smart-casual. The junior in the accounts department at work on his night off. Clean. Mohican Boy was restless. He rolled from one skinny buttock to the other, unable to get comfortable on the chair. A sound like a pistol crack from behind the door froze Mohican Boy. Leon watched him closely, trying to read his mind. It wasn’t difficult. Second thoughts. Mohican Boy was having doubts. Why was he here? Did he need this?
The white door with the peeling paint edged open. Mohican Boy’s eyes widened. The horror. He stumbled from his chair, knocking it over on to its back in his haste to get to the stairs and escape. Leon watched him go. The other two boys stared down at their feet. Another young man emerged from the room. If Leon had to give him a score, he would place him half way between the Boys Next Door and Mohican Boy. He wore his ripped blue jeans a little too snugly. The t-shirt was tight, leaving nothing to the imagination; it made him look like a rent boy.
The new boy smiled weakly in the general direction of his three companions, but did not speak before he too headed for the stairs. The door remained open. Seconds later the greying head of a middle-aged man looked out. “Leon Brown?” He said it like he was asking a question, not stating a fact. Leon’s mouth dried suddenly so he could only croak “Here” by way of response. He felt like a small boy answering the class register at school. The man smiled. It was a genuine, warm smile. “You’re next. Please come in,” then addressing the Boys Next Door, he added, equally as warmly, “We won’t keep you waiting much longer. I promise.”
The smell of sour beer hit Leon when he entered the room. He could see beat-up tables stacked against one wall. Wooden chairs were piled against another. At the far end there was a bar with crates of empty bottles on its top. It was the club room of the Three Fishers pub. The man took a chair behind a trestle table alongside a slightly older man. It was that man who spoke. “Sit down, please. Thank you for coming.” Leon had been told it would be a formal interview. The sort you would have for any job. Afterall, he had been told, that’s what this was really. Just a job like any other.
Leon sat, but the fold-up chair was not comfortable. He wriggled a little. The man waited until Leon was settled and then spoke. “My name’s Mr Hennessey.” Leon could hear the inverted commas being inserted around the name. “Is your name really Leon Brown?” he asked and before Leon had a chance to answer, he went on, “People use aliases all the time. That’s fine. In fact many of our clients like to give the boys names. You’ll be surprised how popular that kid from The Dudes pop group is.”
Leon blustered, confirmed his name. Mr Hennessey smiled, it seemed a genuine smile too. It put Leon at ease. “We run a legitimate business here, we need national insurance numbers. Good?”
Mr Hennessey didn’t wait for an answer. “You were recommended by one of my boys.” He stated. Leon knew this. It was Timothy, his friend at the university. He had been remarkably candid. The money was fantastic, he said. It took a month at the pizza house to earn what Mr Hennessey paid in a night. What if the job was a bit unusual. Hadn’t he gone to university so he could have new experiences? There’s nothing to be ashamed about. But, best not brag about it. Not everyone will understand.
Mr Hennessey had a business to run. There were other boys besides Leon to interview. He pressed on with his questions. “Have you ever done anything like this before?” Timothy had prepped Leon well. He knew how to answer. Be honest. Leon cleared his throat and replied, “No.” Mr Hennessey listened carefully to each of Leon’s answers but at no point did he write down a note. “Have you ever been spanked?” Again the answer was negative. “Not even in fun: by a girlfriend?”
“No.” Timothy had already told him that most of Mr Hennessey’s boys were straight. This wasn’t a “gay thing.” This was strictly business. Timothy had giggled over the word “strictly”. None of the boys, he knew did this for kicks.
Mr Hennessey didn’t have many questions. He reckoned he was a good judge of boys. He wanted sensible, reliable types. That’s why he took so many from Brocklehurst University. They were kids with futures, they weren’t trying to finance drug habits.
“Well, Leon,” Mr Hennessey’s bright blue eyes transfixed on Leon. There’s only one last thing we need to do.” He stood up from the table, took hold of his chair and carried it forward. He put it down in the middle of the room and sat on it. “I can’t employ time-wasters, you do understand that, don’t you Leon?” Leon felt his face flush. He was a boy who easily embarrassed. His face was glowing scarlet.
“I have to be certain that you can deliver the goods,” Mr Hennessey spoke calmly. He was a professional, he had done this dozens of times before. “I can’t send you to a client and have you let them down at the last moment. Now can I?” he smiled. “So, Let me test you out. I need you to come over here, take down your trousers and bend yourself across my knee.” He slapped his hand across his own thigh to emphasise the point.
Leon’s heart thumped against his rib cage. Timothy had told him this would happen. He had to pass an audition before he was good to go. Leon rose unsteadily from his chair. Mr Hennessey spread his legs a little, creating a platform for Leon to bend across. Leon paused, for a second the absurdity of the situation hit him. Here he was an eighteen-year-old university student about to take down his trousers and offer up his bum to a middle-aged stranger so that he could spank it. And, if Leon performed his part of the bargain well, he would be doing something similar – and much more besides – every week of the year probably until he graduated from university. Madness, he admonished himself gently. You couldn’t make it up.
He stood a short distance from Mr Hennessey’s right thigh. He daren’t catch his eye, he was terrified he might burst out laughing. Leon fumbled with his belt and the waistband of his trousers. His brain was good to go, but it didn’t seem able to persuade his fingers to get with the plan. At last the trousers were at his shins.
Leon hadn’t told Mr Hennessey the strict truth earlier. He had been spanked before. Timothy had taken him through a trial run. A kind of mock examination ahead of the real thing. Leon sucked on his bottom lip, counted to five silently in his head and fell forward across Mr Hennessey’s knee. He placed the palms of his hands into scratched plastic floor tiles with his nose centimetres from the ground. Behind him his knees were bent and his toes hovered in mid-air. He couldn’t see but his bottom was presented at an angle over Mr Hennessey’s right thigh. Leon tried without success to stem his beating heart.
Mr Hennessey was a businessman, he knew boys’ bums came in all shapes and sizes. Beauty was in the eye of the beholder. Fat-bottomed boys could make him as much money as the thin, pert guys. He cupped his left hand and gently caressed Leon’s right cheek. It fitted perfectly into his palm. This was something special. “Keep perfectly still,” he whispered. Leon tensed. It was a natural reaction by his body; there was nothing he could do about it. “Relax, son,” Mr Hennessey cooed as he continued patting and preening Leon’s cheeks.
Slap!. Leon didn’t expect the intensity of the sting. Within seconds Mr Hennessey had covered the whole of his bottom with sharp, biting spanks. Then he went for Leon’s naked thighs. Timothy had never spanked him like this. Leon’s legs kicked and his shoulders heaved. It was like he was trying to swim off Mr Hennessey’s lap. He wriggled his waist this way and that, but Mr Hennessey wrapped his arm around Leon’s waist and gripped him tightly. The eighteen-year-old was going nowhere – not until his master said so.
Mr Hennessey toasted every square centimetre of Leon’s bum. It felt like he had pressed a facecloth of boiling water into the cheeks. At last Mr Hennessey halted his assault. Leon lay face down gasping, taking deep gulps of air. He was like a beached dolphin. He felt Mr Hennessey release his grip around his waist. “Thank God! That’s over,” Leon thought silently.
Suddenly, Mr Hennessey gripped the elasticated waistband of Leon’s pants. The boy wriggled in defiance. It did him no good. With three tugs Mr Hennessey had bared the buttocks and left the pants snagged around Leon’s knees. “NO!!!” Leon wailed, kicking his legs ferociously. Seconds passed. Leon stopped kicking and Mr Hennessey once more caressed the boy’s (now naked) bottom. “Are you certain you want me to stop Leon?” Mr Hennessey spoke gently. It was Leon’s call. Mr Hennessey knew that with his beautiful bum Leon would be a star. Clients would pay a premium for him. But, if Leon could not deliver the goods, he was no good to Mr Hennessey. There was nothing to be gained by forcing him.
“Let me up. Please,” Leon pleaded. Mr Hennessey immediately released his grip and Leon staggered to his feet. “Sorry, sorry, sorry,” he wailed, as he pulled his pants up. “Sorry.” It was all he could think to say. He had let Mr Hennessey down. He could not deliver. He thought he could, but he couldn’t.
“That’s quite all right, Leon,” Mr Hennessey picked up the chair and replaced it behind the table. “This type of work doesn’t suit everybody. Thank you so much for coming.” The other man rose and led Leon to the door.
As he passed the Boys Next Door Leon whispered, “Good luck,” and headed down the stairs. What a day it had been. His humiliation was total. What a wimp. Eighteen years old and couldn’t even take a bare-bottomed spanking. How could he ever face Timothy again?
Picture Credit: Sting Pictures
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