Homeward Bound Ch. 07

Amateur

Happily Trudeau was not completely serious when he told me there would be more sex than work on my book in his home. He was fully professional in the art of creating first-class novels. What was true, though, was that my work was taken completely apart and put back together again. And, although he was blunt with his critiques and was a hard task master, Trudeau beat two books out of me over the next eight months that each was far better than the one I had originally written.

I say two books, because soon after he started looking more deeply into what I had written, he saw the possibility of a payoff for both a literary fiction that could be published in the American market straightaway and then a more sexually explicit one that could follow the path he had originally set. And he suggested that I have a pen name for that one.

“I had no idea that the earlier material—what you write about your mother’s boarding house—could stand alone so well as less erotic character vignettes and a look into a certain segment of society in a southern city in this time frame. I must admit that my attention went directly to your writings in the second boarding house, where we get a much darker, but heavily sensual view of the same setting.”

“What are you saying?” I asked. “Do I have to delete one slice of it?”

“Oh no, dear boy, it means we have two books and far greater possibilities of making your name in publishing. I believe we can publish the first part, with augmented material and a central theme—the resilience of a mother such as yours, perhaps, under dire circumstances. And we must do something with your shadowy father. This we publish under your name and openly in the American market. And then the second, sensual one, centering on a young man losing his virginity and learning to gain control through the use of his body. This one would begin, of course, with your initial experiences in your mother’s boarding house, but you would establish a separation between the two segments. And this one would be launched through a French translation under a pen name. We’ll call the first one The Boarding House, as you have named it—and the second one, perhaps, The Gentlemen Lodgers.”

“I don’t see why—”

“You will write it cleverly—I will see that you do—so that the books aren’t easily discerned as a matched set by the general reader—one even who later read an English version of The Gentlemen Lodgers. What will be delicious in the literary field, however, is that one will be able to be seen as flowing into the other by discriminating readers who receive the hint that you are the author of the second one as well. It will cause a sensation in the more elite literary circles. They love to know something that the great unwashed general readership does not. That’s how they love to learn of new books to read and recommend, which will help sell the book. And you will, of course, be all the more celebrated for it.”

I was confused by the whole proposition and started to voice my doubts, which brought out the authoritarian in him. I learned fairly quickly that his sessions of cruel sex were brought on by his need to be believed and obeyed without question.

“You need not understand it, Charles. It is quite enough that I do. And I hardly think it is your place to doubt me. Now, please come over here and I will unpeel you and fuck you to the core.”

Undressed, I was pushed down onto the floor on my back, and Max grabbed my legs and rolled me up onto my shoulders. He straddled my waving buttocks, my legs in the air. Although his cock was small, his fist was not, and I was writhing and crying before he gave me the relief of only his cock pumping down into me. The “punishment for questioning” illegal bahis fucks were always the cruelest ones.

Trudeau didn’t engage me in sex as often as I thought he might. But when he did, it was a total, exhausting experience. He was a master of what he termed as edging—something the men in the boarding houses certainly never had the patience for and something that Stanford Dane couldn’t control his own urges enough to practice as Trudeau did, although he did sometimes bring me to a level of begging for release. Trudeau not only brought me to that edge, but did so repeatedly in a session, until my balls ached with the need for flow, and I was whimpering for release.

And although some men in the boarding house had been physically cruel to me during sex, Trudeau was the first to use crops, the flat of his hand, his fist—and his various toys—to abuse me in carefully orchestrated and highly controlled ways.

Beyond that, during the time we were recasting my books and his “new author” focus was on me alone, he always wanted to parade me as his latest protégé. This would have been fine, but he was careful to demean me in public to make clear that I was his and that anything I ever produced would only be a success because of what he had done for me—and he wasn’t averse to announcing to his colleagues in crowded theater lobbies exactly what arrangements we lived together under. It was almost as if he was baiting me.

But I later decided that it was his own inferiority complex that caused it. He was an editor—the best of editors—but he was not an author. I became ever the more convinced that his public establishing of my place under his thumb was his attempt—possibly unconscious—to establish in the minds of his colleagues and acquaintances that the success of his authors was secondary to—and subservient to—his own as the book editor. In this, he was largely successful, as the New York publishing scene bowed and scraped to him—and said nothing derogatory when he declared in a loud voice that he had just come from fucking this young, blond angel who was standing two paces to his rear.

Only once did I try to counter this in public. This was when Trudeau took me to see a new play on the street of stage theaters beginning to form on the city’s Broadway Street. Fortuitously, the play was one that I had written with Stanford Dane. I seriously doubt Trudeau realized that when he took me there.

He was telling a circle of men I knew of by reputation and who he was an admired colleague of that “This is Charles, the young man who I am making a famous author out of and who came to me as a male prostitute who would do anything for anyone—and now does it for me. I do plan to make him his name in literature, however. His work can be salvaged.”

“Ah, but I already have a name in literature,” I spoke up boldly. “You gentlemen are watching a play tonight that I cowrote.”

Trudeau’s complexion went to scarlet, and he looked hard at the playbill we were standing by. “This play was written by Stanford Dane. I, of course, know him, and you, young man, are no Stanford Dane.”

“Look at the other name,” I said in defiance.

But Trudeau was too quick and too smart for me. “Oh the name in the smaller print? That could not be you, Charles. You spell your name with two Rs, don’t you?”

I drew up to the billboard and scrutinized it carefully. And sure, enough, Bairr was spelled with only one R and I was only given the initial “C.” Now I was reddening up and Trudeau had regained his composure. I didn’t care about him at that moment, though, as I was too busy seething. I was sure that Dane had done this on purpose.

I should have given more thought to Trudeau, though, because illegal bahis siteleri when we reached home, he spread-eagled me, face down, on the bed, tied off my wrists and ankles at the four corner posts, and flogged me until I cried. And then he mounted me and rode me mercilessly for nearly an hour—doubly, a long dildo working inside me in addition to the attention to my prostate the bulb of his short cock could manage.

I was not to try to upstage him in public ever again. Both the message and consequences were clear.

But not long after that, the bulk of the rewriting on my manuscripts was done—and Trudeau grew bored with me. He continued forming and publishing my work, just as he had planned—and to the very same result he had predicted and was reaching for. But he brought a new “new author” protégé into the house and relegated me to an attic room and to listening to him working the channel of the “new boy” as he had formerly worked mine.

Getting the hint, I sought to move on myself. At first I thought I would return to Alec Cotton, but in the year since I’d left him, he’d found a new young man to help him coax his muse out of hiding—which, unfortunately, I only learned about by reentering Alec’s Village apartment with the key I still had and finding that Alec was working out a particularly bad stoppage on a key passage of a manuscript inside the channel of a hot Latin youth who obviously could pump his hips much faster than I ever could. Until that moment, I hadn’t realized that time had marched on and I wasn’t the sweet young blond angel anymore. As with Dane, Alec’s unabashed offer for me to join them was what propelled me out of the room.

After that I drifted for several months, busy reading proofs and then attending initial signings and launch programs.

And then, as Trudeau had more declared than predicted, I was a smash success with The Boarding House. The Gentlemen Lodgers had not yet been launched in Paris in the French edition, but I had no doubts Trudeau was right about that too.

Immediately, I started receiving invitations to join the faculties of university writing programs either on a trial basis or as a writer in residence—even Oberlin College extended an offer to me, which I found amusing, as it would be the same position Stanford Dane had occupied until recently, when he and the college had had a parting of ways, based, rumor had it, on some of his unorthodox ways and his harvesting and ruining of promising young men students.

I now had choices on where to go—a luxury I’d never had before. And, most particularly, I had options that didn’t include a dominating mentor I would be at the mercy of. Or at least that’s what I told myself, never having been able to break those bonds for any length of time before.

As I was mulling the position offers, though, I received a telephone call that trumped all else.

“Charles? Charles Bairr?”

“Yes. Who is this?”

“You don’t know how difficult it was for me to find you. I almost gave up. But one really can’t give up with these things.”

“Excuse me. Who is this?”

“Abraham Jackson.”

I couldn’t speak. It had seemed like a hundred years ago that I had last heard his voice, last moaned to his ebony cock working wonders inside me—and yet it also seemed like it all was just yesterday. My ass started twitching at the mere memory of him—and of that black cock.

“Abraham Jackson. We used to—”

“Yes, I know who you are,” I managed in a weak voice. I had been standing to answer the telephone, the box of which was hanging on the wall. My knees started to buckle, and I slid down the wall into a heap on the floor, still holding the receiver to my ear.

“I canlı bahis siteleri wrote, Charlie. Again and again. From Howard. And you never answered. Oh, shit, I’m sorry. That’s not why I called. This is business. I told myself I would stick to business. Sorry.”

“I never received any letters from you, Abe,” I whispered into the telephone. “I thought it was just a fling—that you found others in Washington. Didn’t need anything from me anymore.”

“I did write.”

“Yes, I’m sure you did. I found that Mrs. Childress had been holding other mail back from me. I’m sure yours—”

“Time is cruel, isn’t it, Charlie?”

“Yes, it is,” I agreed.

“I’ve heard you have a blockbuster novel out. All of the residents of Asheville are rushing to the bookshops for a copy—checking to see if they’re in it—especially the men, some of whose knees are knocking at the possibility they are in it.”

“They have to go to Paris and know how to speak French for that edition,” I quipped weakly.

“I don’t understand.”

“Perhaps you will someday. You are a whole chapter, and I would hope you would be happy with what was written. You won’t have a problem finding that chapter. The pages will be smoking.”

“I still don’t understand, but perhaps you can tell me about it in person.”

“Now I don’t understand.”

“You aren’t the only one who has moved on and up, Charlie. I got a law degree from Howard and I have my own firm already in Asheville. I even have some clients who aren’t black—my athletic contributions to the city’s history apparently have given me some cachet here. Apparently also money talks ever louder as time goes by. My father made some very good investments in Asheville. And, of course, we still have the dairy.”

“That sounds terrific, Abe. I’m happy for you.”

“One of my white clients is why I called. How do you know a Stephen Bander?”

“To my knowledge, I don’t.”

“Well, he’s left you a house. Here in Asheville. It’s a very nice house. Small, but very private. On the slopes overlooking the city. It’s set back from the street it’s on with a thick stand of bamboo screening it from the street and the neighbors. A two-story framed wood cottage in excellent shape. Charming arts and crafts décor. A room off to one side that’s all windows with great views down into the city too. I think it would be a good place to write.”

“I don’t understand. You lost me at Stephen Bander. Why would he give me a house? I don’t know a Stephen Bander.”

“The papers he left with me indicate the house was bought for him by a man. A man with your father’s name. And in a note Bander said he was just returning to you what was really yours. I don’t understand, either, Charlie. But it’s all in order legally, the house is yours. And as I said, it is very, very private. And it has an ideal place for writing.”

I was beginning to understand about the house. I think there were times my father even tried to tell me about his life—and why I was an only child. And worse, that I wasn’t really his child. And I now understood why he and my mother didn’t sleep in the same bedroom—or spend that much time in each other’s company, for that matter. And why he was gone on “business” so much up until the day he died.

But that was all something to think about later. Now there was even more than that I was finding confusing in what Abe was telling me.

“I’ll work out the Bander connection later, Abe. Why are you repeating what you are about the house.”

“I don’t know—just my imagination running wild ever since I knew you had inherited a house here and I saw it. I’ve never married, Charlie. And after you, I’ve never managed a serious relationship with another man, either. Charlie, I’m saying what I am about the house here because it’s someplace a white man and a black man could live together comfortably and still have separate lives in the city and no one in Asheville would be the wiser for it.”

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