“You’re not really going to go through with this, are you Sage?” Nicolas asked as the carriage bounced along the road, leading us towards the edge of the main city.
“You doubt me?” I asked with an arched brow.
All he could manage in reply was an eye roll and shake of the head. I had to admit that I wasn’t as sure of this as I was putting on. But I was determined to go through with it—for many reasons.
As the carriage jerked to a stop, I reached for the door handle. “Well, this is where I get off.” I winked at Nicolas’ huff and stepped out.
When Nicolas followed me out, I blinked up at him.
“You’re not considering…?”
“No,” he grumbled, paying the driver and sending him off. “But I’m not going to let you go to the Jewel House on your own.”
“Going with me means you’ll be on your own heading back home after I go in.”
“That’s if I can’t convince you not to do this.”
I huffed as he pushed me ahead of him down the street. “Don’t gawk,” he admonished.
Honestly, as much as I tried, it was damn hard not to. I’d only been to Gaylord Street once before and it had just been to pick something up at a shop. During the day. It was at night that the area really came alive—I knew that, but seeing it was something different.
Vendors, musicians, penny dancers and more all swirled down the crowded street. Even the street gutters looked alive with color. Blinking, I looked up to see that the streetlamps were surrounded by stained glass of red or yellow or orange. What an extravagance in this part of the city! But the colors gave even the rag-tag children and worn-down hustlers a surreal glow.
Nicolas put a hand to my shoulder and steered me away from a circle of people bent over a board and tossing dice. “Gamblers,” he muttered.
It was new for me to see him like this, and here. Nicolas was Benzarian like myself, and unmarried Benzarian men didn’t frequent anywhere outside the family compound, let alone places like Gaylord Street. Or at least that was what we were supposed to do. Even when we’d been young (well, younger), we’d found ways around the strict rules of ours houses. But Nicolas wasn’t familiar with Gaylord because he was a troublemaker or thrill-seeker, it was because his family had put him to work scouring for overlooked antiques in the hawker’s shops along the lanes that bordered Gaylord and the affluent parts of the city. It wasn’t proper and Benzarian Society would’ve shunned the entire family for it—if they’d known.
Nicolas was good at keeping a low profile. And it helped that he had lighter hair than was typical for a Benzarian.
“I think it’s this way,” I said, sighting the Jewel House’s green dome down the street to our right.
“So it is,” Nicolas said sourly.
“Did you think you could get me lost so I’d miss it?” I chuckled. His lack of reply made me laugh all the harder.
“Hope springs eternal,” he muttered, glowering at my heels as I increased my pace.
Once we reached the ostentatious front gates, I took a moment and allowed myself a bit of gawking. It really was a beautiful building, if a bit ostentatious. Tall ivory walls of stone and impressive columns framed the gilded doors and numerous leaf-green cut glass glittered in the dome roof above.
It was quite the sight, but inside would be better. Tearing my eyes away, I veered around and slipped down the side alley.
“You’re bold for never having been here before,” Nicolas said at my back.
“The recruits always gather at the back of the building, or so I was told.”
“What if someone we know sees you?” Nicolas hissed, glancing nervously as we made our way down the alley.
“Then they’d have to admit they were there too then, wouldn’t they?”
“I suppose so…”
“Stop worrying and just decide to join me already!”
“Not on your life!”
The alley opened and I grinned at the crowd gathered by the Jewel House backdoor. “Ah-ha! I was right!”
Nicolas groaned but I moved forward, trying to get a better look at any signs on the building that might give some information. All the while, my heart raced like a giddy schoolboy skipping his lessons. Just sneaking out at night was a huge risk—not only because the entire area could be very dangerous, but also because I could ruin my own and my family’s reputation if word got out. But I’d always enjoyed being naughty, and tonight was going to be the cream on top of the cake!
“I’m glad there’s not that many men here—maybe twenty?—I’ll have a better chance at being chosen.”
Nicolas rolled his eyes. “With your looks you hardly need to worry. What you should be considering is what it will mean to actually get through that door.”
“Lust, excitement, fulfillment,” I rubbed his hands together and grinned, “in short, heaven!”
“You’re crazy!” Nicolas threw back, but mingled with his annoyance I could see amusement too. I could be charming when I wanted to be, and Nicolas always did have a hard time staying angry with me—even if this was the most idiotic idea I’d ever had.
“You’re putting yourself up for sale, you know,” he said, biting the inside of his cheek. It was a nervous gesture for him and I frowned.
“You’re totally missing the point!”
I ran his hands through my loose, dark locks, hoping they were behaving. I had to look my best. “That it’s a <i>pleasure</i> house. Everyone gets what they want.”
“Elite snobs pay you to do whatever they want with your body, that’s what happens.”
“You know that’s not true. Those on offer get to decide exactly what they’re up for. They put the limits on everything. That’s the way it’s always worked.”
“How do you know so much?”
At his wary look, I told him, “Because Anthony came last week and was chosen.”
“He did not!” The shock on Nicolas’s face was priceless.
“He did indeed. Why do you think he was buying rounds for everyone this past week?”
Nicolas started to argue, but the back door opened and the crowd pressed forward. It looked as if several others had joined since we’d been standing there.
“I’ve got to get to the front,” I muttered. A tall, stately man with a clipboard and no hair on his shiny head stepped out, motioning the press of men back.
“Newcomers on my left, returns on my right please!” he called.
The crowd shifted and we nudged our way closer—Nicolas muttering his disapproval all the while.
It was all I could do to keep from flailing my arms out and yelling ‘Pick me! Pick me!’, but somehow I managed to stand still as I edged near the front of the pack.
The tonsured man with the clipboard was taking his time. He nodded to several men in the group to his right, and then took more time to look over to us new recruits.
“You,” he said, pointing to a raven-haired perky and pretty young man. “And you.” Another young man with a slim build.
I held back a frown. If they were looking for the delicate type tonight, I’d be out of luck. Not that I was huge, but I had lean muscle and more masculine features.
Come on! I pleaded silently, following the man’s eyes as he looked us over. He paused, then continued looking; paused, moved on.
Then his eyes brushed passed me. And stopped.
“Me?” I hardly dared breathe.
“Yes, don’t make me say it twice!”
“Yes, sir!” Beaming, I turned to wave back as I stepped forward.
“You’ll tell me everything tomorrow!” I heard Nicolas call just before I stepped through the door. It shut behind me with finality.
I was inside. I’d done it!
And oh, I was going to soak in every detail, because—knowing Nicolas—he’d turn bright red when I related it all. It was going to be delightful. Not as much as tonight, however. My mind spun with possibilities.
“Newcomers, this way!” the bald man said. He motioned us into a door on the left side of the hallway, took our names, and briskly told us to wait there.
Sitting in a polished wood chair, I looked around the room. The walls were a simple, whitewashed brick and the floor bare grey cement, but as this was the back of operation, it wouldn’t make sense to be lavish.
It was difficult to stay still, but I kept myself from fidgeting. There was still a chance I might be rejected if I was too nervous or jittery—or so Anthony had told me. There was another door opposite the one from the hall and after a few minutes an older man in a white smock called one of our names. Of course, I was called last. The other men didn’t return after they went through the door, so I had no chance to ask what they were doing. Anthony hadn’t gone into that many details of what was involved beforehand. Finally, my name was called and I made my way into the other room, which turned out to be a small medical room.
“Undress,” said the man in the white smock. A doctor, I presumed.
The older man looked up at me through his spectacles. “I have to examine you. Undress.”
With a frown, I pulled my clothing off. The staff so far was rather abrupt. Then again, they did this every night.
The room felt chilly without clothes and I grimaced as my cock shrank back against the cold. I’d had dreams of being erect and impressive upon any appraisal.
Some heat returned as the exam began, though. Certainly my cheeks burned as the doctor squatted before me and began examining my genitals for… defects, I supposed. Swabs were put in places they should never go, and I breathed a sigh of relief when the doctor finally pronounced us finished.
“You won’t need those,” he said as I reached for my clothes. “Put them in the box under the exam table. They’ll be returned to you afterward.”
“Oh.” Modesty was a bit silly considering the situation, but I admit it didn’t help my confidence any as I was ushered naked into yet another new room. This one was larger, had soft lighting and salmon colored curtains covering one wall and boxes and clothing racks strewn about. It appeared to be some sort of large wardrobe. Two men stepped in from around the curtain and smiled.
“Woo, now what do we have here?” cooed a broad, heavy-set man in some sort of silk robe. “I’m Fredrick, and this is my assistant, Pinky,” he said, gesturing to the short and very slender young man at his side.
The assistant handed me a clipboard and ink stylus.
“Fill out the forms,” said Fredrick. “We’ll try to figure out the best way to present you while you finish and we get confirmation that your results cleared.”
“Medical results, sweetie.”
Ah, of course. I gave a nod. It was all very pragmatic, but I couldn’t help feeling odd as I stood there, nude, scribbling my sexual preferences while Fredrick and Pinky looked (and touched) me up and down for…whatever reason.
“Yes, I think I have just the thing for you,” Fredrick said finally. He rummaged through a row of stacked boxes, then disappeared back around the curtain. I focused again on the paperwork and ignored Pinky. Anthony had warned me about the papers at least. I had to decide what I preferred to do or be done to me—and the list was…thorough.
As a first-timer, penetration—giving or receiving—wasn’t an option. But there were certainly many others. Did I want to limit my partners to one, or allow more? ‘Performance’ only or contact permitted? Bring others to completion preferred, or be brought to orgasm? Both?
My arousal stirred as I considered all the delicious possibilities.
“All cleared!” Fredrick announced as he reappeared, a pile of shimmery cloths draped over his arms. “Now we can dress you. Are you done with that yet?”
With a nod, I handed the clipboard to Pinky, who gave me a grin as he looked it over. “Adventurous for a newcomer, hmm?”
“Concentrate, Pinky! We have to make him look his best! This is his first impression on the House!”
I stood patiently (I hoped) as I was fussed over and prodded like a prize stallion going to auction. Several fragile garments were attempted and then discarded when they proved too small. I tried not to frown. I didn’t have a broad frame, but my muscles were honed from years of riding and helping to break in my father’s horses. Thinking of the horses made me smirk. Did any of the stallions we sold ever feel as I did now? In both cases, we were being primed for rutting. I chuckled.
The other men took no notice, too busy trying out this and that look.
“Yes, the gold I think. It brings out his hair and his deeper skin tones.” I stifled a sigh and let them work without comment.
After what felt like hours, but must’ve been minutes, Fredrick and his assistant stepped back to evaluate their efforts.
“Turn around, would you?” Fredrick asked.
Madding a circle, I paused when I caught myself in a nearby mirror. A tight gold-mesh top came up to my throat, down to my navel, and stopped at my elbows. A gold chain hung about my hips. And nothing else.
How could it take them so long to decide on my clothing when I was wearing so little?
“And the finishing touch,” Fredrick said when I faced them again, “a sapphire, wouldn’t you say?”
Pinky nodded, and I waited for them to reveal bracelets or necklaces or other such finery. Instead, Fredrick produced a teardrop sapphire hanging on a short length of gold ribbon. My brow wrinkled as Fredrick nodded to his assistant—who promptly dropped to his knees before me.
“Wha—” was all I could get out before the young man took my cock in hand and began suckling it. “Gah—!”
“We said we have to have you looking your best, didn’t we?” Fredrick purred. “How neglectful would we be if your most important asset wasn’t presented in its full glory?”
And Pinky knew exactly how to bring a man to full mast within minutes—fingers caressed my sack and his skilled mouth nursed my cockhead. And just when I thought I might come and spoil the entire evening, Pinky pulled back. He plucked ribbon from his pocket and within seconds had it fastened snuggly about the base of my erection. The gold ribbon with the jewel was then deftly wound about my cockhead, so that the sapphire hung like a crystalized drop of precum beneath.
“There! Prefect!” Fredrick said happily, pulling Pinky up and granting him a kiss on the cheek. He grinned at me. “You’re ready to be presented!”
Fredrick led me out into the hallway and we passed into a new section of the House. The brick walls gave way to wood paneling and velvet wallpaper until the hall opened into what appeared to be a large sitting room.
“You’ll wait here until you’re all called to the stage,” Fredrick told him. Then he leaned up to kiss my cheek as well. “Have fun and come visit us again handsome!”
With a wink and a flutter of silk, he was gone.