Artwork (c) 2003 by Vitaly
I stood on the doorstep and looked around at our village. A dozen houses all clustered tightly together, they all bore a single identity that ours lacked. They were empty, the people inside them fled to the forest beyond the fields, as they did every year. My family, my mother and myself, were the only ones left.
In this year of 1250 in western England, this was the way of the time of the tax man. If you couldn't pay your taxes, you would flee into the countryside when the tax man came, taking with you everything of value you owned. When the tax man had passed (and he would within a day or so), they could return and resume their lives. But for now, I lived in a ghost town.
Mother did not leave, and the reason for that was simple, she had an...arrangement...with the tax man. When he arrived, I would be sent to live in one of the other homes for the time he was there. Mother would bring me food from time to time and when the tax man was gone, Mother would not only have a written notice that her taxes were paid, but usually had money to spare for the two of us. The other people in town talked about her, but their tones were one of envy more than scandal. I don't doubt that if one of them could take the tax man to bed (as I knew my mother, a fine-looking woman not yet thirty years of age, was doing), they would do so as well in her place. As a child of not yet eight years' age, I overheard many conversations I was not supposed to understand.
I did not like the tax man myself, nor any of his men, for no man carrying money dared to travel the roads without a guard sufficient to ward his strongbox from any robbers. During the time they were there, the guards would camp out in the village common, and their loud, rough talk would waft over to me in the night. I didn't dare let any of them see that I was in the village, for fear they would do me ill. The tax man was a man in his late fifties, more gray than white, his body corpulent and blotched, his face rough and mean and heartless. He and his men would move about the village during the day, seeking the places where someone had hidden their treasure. Now and then, they would find such a place, and when they did, they would take every penny of it. The tax man would then write out a bill for the money, charging it against the entire village's taxes, and listing the individuals by name and amounts to prove his right to take the money. Upon his return, the hapless victim of such a unilateral collection of his life savings would usually try to collect from his neighbors, usually with very poor success. If the villagers had money, they wouldn't have run into the countryside.
On the last day, the men would clean the houses of anything they felt they could sell to pay the taxes owed. Clothing, linens, furniture, it was gathered up and ferried away down the road toward the next town in line. I would venture out into the common to look after them on the road, and my mother would come out, beaming and looking tired, and together we would go back into our homes, and there await the return of our neighbors.
I was in the house of the neighbors next door, peering out between the curtains over the window to see the tax man as he arrived. He would be riding in a carriage, I knew, like he was lord of the lands rather than a mere agent. There came the rattling of the hooves of the horses over the cobblestones, and the sounds of wagon wheels, and I looked. Saw the guards, those who came first. Saw the wagons, the first held the strongbox and those behind carried goods of earlier villages, with the last three empty, to be filled by our village and the three more down this road. But no carriage.
My mother was standing on our doorstep in her finest gown, looking as beautiful as she could, as she always did, and the men of the guard leered at her. She was looking about for the carriage, the same as I did.
"Good afternoon, good woman." said one of the guards. "And how are you this evening?" As the sun was but an hour from setting, the term wasn't too far afield.
"I am well, and I thank you." Mother curtsied rather awkwardly. Then, "I was wondering where His Honor is. Has his carriage been delayed?"
"If you seek Sir Wentfield, I fear the delay will be a long one." one of the riders said. "He fell ill from a fever during the snows of winter and has gone to collect taxes from the angels in Heaven."
Mother's face fell considerably. "Oh, dear! I was so counting on seeing my dear friend again!"
"I am sure you were." the man said. "I have been appointed to fill his post this year."
"Oh." said Mother again and made a visible adjustment to her composure, from vixen awaiting her lover to a fawn after new prey. "His Honor always would bide with me during his stay in this village. I have his room readied. Won't you come in and take your rest there in his place." Mother gave a twitch to her hips that might have been fetching in a lass of less than a score of years, but in her more mature frame, it came across as desperate.
The men, including the new tax man, laughed and it wasn't a kindly laugh. "I told you that this job of yours had some unusual benefits, Stefan." one of the guards told the tax man. "In this village, she's the benefit!" The guards laughed again.
The tax man did again, too, but it was smaller and then he said, "I shall be honored to take supper with you, Goodwoman, but I shall seek my lodging elsewhere. It would not be meet for me to stay with a person from whom I shall need to access a tax."
Mother blanched at that. "I always paid part of my tax with my accommodations, but you may come in and we shall discuss it." she told me.
The man got off his horse, turned it over to one of the guards, and followed my mother inside our home.
I closed the curtain and sat, wondering. If Mother had to raise the tax we owed, there would be trouble for certain. The tax man could order her arrested, or seize our belongings. Mother had accumulated a great deal of luxuries from her long association with the former tax man, and now she stood to loose most or all of it.
Well, my few pitiful belongings, now stored in our cellar, would not attract much notice from such a man. Mother had more than enough baubles of jewelry, silver and gold and small precious stones, that she could survive this, and next year, we could join the other villagers in their camp in the deep forest. I had never seen this camp, but the other children talked much of the games they played in those days, with a nostalgia that made me know I was missing a marvelous time with them.
I heard noises from next door, my mother's voice in a tone of pleading, and I dared another peek out of the curtains. To find myself looking at the face of the tax man, looking out our window at this house!
When first our eyes met, I froze. I should have ducked back inside, I guess but I was enthralled by him. This was no overweight, old lecherous man, this was a young warrior in the very prime of his life. He was wearing a simple blue jerkin over his white shirt, which showed his muscles to their best advantage, for it pressed the loose shirt tightly over his well-formed chest but left his arms free to flex within the loose arms of the shirt sleeves. His face was strong, handsome, reliable. No wonder my mother was so quick to attempt to switch lovers from that old fat man to this young stallion!
The man at the window, this new tax man, smiled at me and that broke my frozen position, and I gave a quick smile back and ducked behind the curtains.
"Who is that lad next door?" I heard the tax man ask my mother. "I thought this the only house inhabited in this village?"
"That's...that's my son, born of my dear late departed husband. The two of us are now alone in this world, with little means of sustenance aside from our small income from...." Mother must have turned around at that moment and her voice, no longer aimed in my direction, became blurred and inaudible, a noise rather than a sound. So did the tax man's and I dared another peek out of the curtains. He was gone from the window.
I went to the bed, the big bed of the man and woman, who now were hidden in the forest, of course. It was mine until they returned, though I might have to find another room after the tax man and his guard went through this house, they might take such a fine bed. But I was safe in it tonight at least.
Or so I thought. I was sound asleep but came awake at the sounds of someone entering the lower floor of the house. One of the guards, I thought, out to find and steal a bit of something before the tax man could find it. The guards were rough men, as I have told you, and as much left the village in their pockets without recompense as left on the carts as legitimate tax collection. I tiptoed to the door of the bedroom and looked down the staircase.
Coming up the stairs was the tax man. Bearing a light before him, an oil lantern, as easily and as rightfully as if he belonged here. "There you are!" He said to me. "I was looking for you!"
"Looking for me?" I asked.
"You're Benedict, the son of your mother next door, are you not?" he climbed ever closer to me, but he didn't seem to be unfriendly. Quite the opposite, he gave the demeanor of a man who was looking for a friend and hoped I'd be one.
"I am, Your Honor." I said.
"You may call me Stefan. Your mother told me as the last thing she said before I left her home that I could sleep wherever I wished." he told me. "That included sleeping with someone if I wanted. That was said as I walked out the door. I came right over here."
"You want to sleep here with me?" I asked him.
"Yes." he agreed easily. "Is there a problem with that?"
With beds costing as they do, and money in short supply, sharing a bed was more the rule than the exception. It was odd that he'd choose to come to sleep with me rather than with my mother or one of the other many empty beds in the village, but the bed was large enough for two or more.
"Of course not, Your Honor." I told him and led him to the bed. He placed the lantern on the tableside, and said, "Now get undressed and we'll get in the bed."
I had been sleeping in my clothing, of course, but with the tax man as my bedmate, I could get comfortable. Sleeping naked was the norm, it didn't mean anything, and the bed would let us keep covers between us without any problem. I undressed and said, "I'll keep the lowest quilt below me so you can have them all, the nights are still rather cold."
"No, you take them all." he said to me. No reason to be cold tonight of all nights. We'll keep each other warmer that way."
He was right, and I undressed with my stomach fluttering. Looked over to see that he had not removed any clothing himself, but had simply stood watching me. Continued watching me as I clambered into the bed and pulled the covers up over me. I expected him to put out the lantern, but he left it burning by the bedside as he undressed.
I knew he was a strong, handsome man, but now I could see all of him. He doffed his jerkin and the shirt turned out to not be fastened in any wise beneath, but gaped apart without the jerkin to hold it together. I saw the cleft between his breasts as a visible line, his pectorals were so large. Below that was the faint line of hair reaching to his navel and below. Then he sat down to take off his boots (he wore leather pants and leather boots that came up halfway to his knees) and I was behind him, watching his back muscles rippling under the shirt as he struggled with the tight-fitting footwear. Once he'd fought them off, he stood and his hands stripped his trousers down his legs and I nearly swooned as I saw his buttocks, still encased in a light cotton undergarment, but showing clearly enough their taut, smooth form just the same.
Stefan then turned around looked at me, smiling broadly as he slipped the shirt from his shoulders. I was so dazzled by the muscles that showed to me (the pectorals I mentioned, of course, in all their squarish splendor, the powerful biceps, the lesser muscles beneath in their elongated ovals, the abs like paired jewels beneath his ribcage) that I hardly noticed when he lowered his underpants as well and stood before me totally naked. He stood still, though, and let me look upon him my full, and I saw after a time that he had exposed to me his magnificent manhood, long and fertile and glorious. When I had looked all I would, and my eyes returned to his, he smiled again and said, "Now I shall join you in the bed."
He got into the bed and I said, "You forgot to put out the light." as he scooted over and our bodies touched.
"I forgot nothing." He said to me and took me in his arms. As they enveloped me, they pulled and now we were more than touching...we were one, almost, for our bodies were compressed together.
His upper arm went down to my buttocks and probed at the space between them and I gasped as he found the entrance to my lower body there. "Your Honor!"
"Call me Stefan." he told me again. "For here and now, I am but a man and you are in my bed and I would be as a man with you here and now."
"Stefan, I...." My further words of protest were broken off as he kissed me. There was something more than usual in that kiss, like those my mother gave me, or those I'd gotten from other people at times. Those had been a mere pressing of the flesh. This kiss, though...it was like he was kissing my very soul! Like I was never going to be the same after he stopped, when he stopped...if he stopped. The kiss went on and on and the longer it went on, the less I wanted it to ever end.
He finally stopped kissing my lips, but he moved on to my cheek, to my ear, to my neck. And each kiss dove deeper into my psyche than the one before. By the time he began to kiss on my chest, tonguing my nipples, I was deaf to any idea of protest...I wanted this to go on and on and oh, God, on!
"Stefan, oh, oh, Stefan!" I panted, for my breath was leaving my body somehow without my using it. "What are you doing?"
"I am doing with you what your mother wanted me to do with her." he told me. "I prefer young boys to old, worn-out women. So I will take your mother at her word that I could sleep with anyone here I wanted. I chose you, because I want you. Do you want me, too?"
His kisses went back to nestling themselves on my nipples, and I breathed, "Yes, oh, oh, yes, Stefan, please! Please, yes!" I didn't know just what he wanted, but I knew that if his kisses felt this good, whatever he wanted to do would have to feel even better!
His finger returned to my bottom, and this time I didn't try to stop him, for his fingertip was a shaft of fire on my skin, and when he probed it into me, I only moaned in pleasure. I squirmed and realized that his manhood was erect and rubbing my leg, something my kiss-besotted mind hadn't registered before, the warmth and motion only a part of all that was going on. His finger dug into my anus deeper and I moaned and suddenly I understood what he wanted to do. "You...you want to put your tool into my behind?" I asked him, to be certain.
"You will only feel a little pain." he said to me in lieu of a bald "yes." "I shall be as gentle as I can. Once I am inside you, there will be pleasure for you as well as myself." And his kisses again allayed all my objections in the warm deluge of passion stirring my soul's juices into a maelstrom.
So I made no protest as he drove his finger in deeper still until it was buried to the hand. He wriggled it about some, and then pulled it out, only to resume with a second finger and I was stretched out further. This went on for a long time and I had to admit even to myself that the pain was small and easily forgotten in that warm bed and in his warm arms.
There came after an unknown time that he rolled me over on the bed to place me underneath him and I looked up into his eyes, his face. The countenance upon it was that of an angel bestowing the gift of immortality upon a hapless human soul. Beatifically happy and generous. His hands pulled my legs up to wrap around his waist and I held onto his broad chest and he looked into my eyes and smiled as his cock touched my anus. I gasped and he paused, then pushed it into me as kindly as a cat washes its kit with its tongue. As he had predicted, I felt only the smallest amount of pain as his cock pushed its heavy girth into me, but he had stretched me expertly, and I was beyond the worst of the misery that this could have gained for me.
As he sunk his fat bulk of turgid manhood into me, he gave a groan of low, satisfied relief. "And now I am inside you." he told me. "I'll let you get used to it and then I'll show you a world of delight of which you have never before dreamed, and one which you will crave unceasingly hereafter."
With the warmth of his dong inside me, I didn't doubt that for a minute. Just its presence inside me gave me such a tremendous feeling of...belonging. Not so much that I was his slave, but that I was a part of his very body, an extension of him. I moaned and I guess that was the sign he was waiting for.
He began to move upon me, small lifts and thrusts of his hips that sent his powerful organ in and out of me, and as it did, I found my body discovering a delight that was borne from deep inside me. He groaned in his pleasure as he worked his magic upon me, and I groaned myself from the power of his body's motions. I moved myself, and my buttocks clenched upon his cock and milked at it,
"Oh, oh, ah, ah, Benedict, your body welcomes me." Stefan gasped. "I thought to give you the gift of this discovery, but it is you who are surprising me!"
"I, oh, oh, I am surprised!" I told him. "My body, it is giving me such pleasure to have you within me like this! I never knew such a thing could exist!"
He laughed, an easy, comfortable sound in the quiet room. "It exists, my young lover. And as I said, you will wish it could go on forever!"
"I do, I do!" I moaned. "Give it to me forever, please!"
"I cannot give forever. But I will give you tonight."
"Yes, tonight, all tonight!" I groaned and held him tighter. "Give me all of tonight!"
And he began to thrust himself into me in earnest then. No longer the gentle giant, he was the powerful man taking me, a mere boy now elevated to the position of his lover, and he owned me completely now, I clung to him and cried out in my passion and shook with my orgasm, as much as a child such as myself could have one.
And he felt my joy and he grinned, and then his face changed, both flared and softened at the same time, and he moaned, "Oh, oh, I'm coming, child, I'm coming, here it comes, oh, AH-HAH-HAH-AHHHHHHH!" The power of his ejaculation shook both of us, for he was convulsing in my arms and I felt my nether regions filling with the hot salty-stinging sperm of his body. I realized that he was pumping a part of his very self into me, and making me a part of him by doing this, and I knew then that I would belong to him for as long as he wanted me. I understood now why my mother would wait so patiently each year for the former tax man to come to her, for when you belong to someone, they can come claim you as they will.
"Oh, oh, oh, oh!" Stefan was gasping as he finished unloading his salty essence into me. His face was as open and vulnerable as I have ever seen upon a man, much less a powerful, strong man such as Stefan. He held onto me and his cock stayed inside me and he rolled us over so that he was on the bottom and I was lying atop him, the two of us still joined under the covers, still a part of each other.
We lay like that for a time, he and I, and then said, "Well, Benedict, now I have made love to you. How are you feeling about it, now that we are done?"
"It was terrific!" I told him earnestly, and he laughed and then kissed me again, and again this was unlike any kiss I'd ever gotten before, but not like before. Before, he was claiming me, now, it was like the seal one places upon a completed document to certify it as genuine, and that was what he was doing to me, declaring to me that the love he had given me was genuine and just because we were done with doing this act did not mean that he was done loving me.
"Now we can sleep a time, but I may want to wake you in the night and do it again, if I may." He said.
"You may, now and always." I told him as earnestly as before.
"So sleep." He told me. He did not push me from off top of his body, so I stayed where I was and I did sleep, my head resting upon his chest and it lifted and fell as he breathed, and rocked me to sleep.
He did wake me in the night as he said to make love to me again, and then again as the dawn was barely beginning. Done with that, there were the sounds of the men of the guard awakening and he sighed and said, "And now I must attend to my duties, collecting the taxes by raiding the houses of the village. Would that I did not have to do this, but it is my duty and I shall persevere, for the Duke and the King must have funds if they are to care for the land as they must."
I had never heard the tax described in this way, and it gave me a certain sympathy for him and his work. I watched him dress, and then go downstairs.
Mother brought me over food after a time and I spent the days as I normally did when the tax man was in the village. But at nights, Stefan would return to me in the bed and we would make love as before.
Four days and nights beyond that first night, that was what I had with Stefan. I think he drew out the time, for the former tax man only remained for three days, but he could not stay of course, and he dressed, and before he left, he drew from his jerkin a paper and said, "Give this to your mother."
The tax man left and I could again walk the streets safely. The villagers would be back before sundown, for they'd be watching for the men to ride down the road beyond the village.
I gave the paper to Mother and she opened it and read and cried out for joy.
"What does it say, Mother?" I could not read or write.
"The tax man." she declared. "He has written our tax this year as paid in full."
"So we won't hide in the forest next year?" I dared to ask.
"No need, as long as he doesn't decide to make us pay the tax except in our services." Mother said to me.
And when she said that, I knew full well that she had known of Stefan's visits. But I didn't care, for now I could be the one waiting each year for this time, when the villagers would again flee into the forest, and I would again have the tax man with me again.
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