Seek Him What Made Them Seven Stars
By Waddie Greywolf

Chapter 69

"Novelists have, on the average, about the same IQs as the cosmetic consultants at Bloomingdale’s department store. Our power is patience. We have discovered that writing allows even a stupid person to seem halfway intelligent, if only that person will write the same thought over and over again, improving it just a little bit each time. It is a lot like inflating a blimp with a bicycle pump. Anybody can do it. All it takes is time." ~ Kurt Vonnegut

The next morning, Clara Mae awoke looking into the sad, but patiently loving eyes of her new friend. “Good morning, Miss Clara,” Molly said softly, “It's a beautiful new day, and you are whole again,” Molly said.

Clara instinctively reached to pet Molly and caressed her lovingly. She thought Master Billy was right. She was denying herself and some other wonderful little entity like Molly to share her life. She never was much interested in close human relationships and was pretty much independent and self-sufficient unto herself as long as she had the support of good friends and companions through her music. The Daniels family opened a completely new door through which she walked and embraced the Daniels experience without reservation. Clara Mae found a new home for her soul. It was growing and about to blossom.

“How long have you been awake, Dear-Heart?” she asked Molly.

“Not long. When your breathing is regular, it's like a relaxing thing for me. It lulls me into a comfortable, quiet, dreamless sleep, but the minute you struggle, it quickly brings me around to reality, and I check on you. Your breathing begins to be less soft and deep and picks up a more even, greater pace just before you come out of REM sleep and begin to awaken. Sleep for us is a wonderful thing. It's where we go and can be ourselves without interruption. Sleep makes us grow in strength to help us give up fear and hatred and learn to live and love. Sleep and the awakening from its mysterious depths is the only true resurrection of our souls,” Molly said.

Clara was stunned. How could this tiny, beautiful little creature be so knowledgeable and understanding? The word 'sentient' came to her mind. Molly was highly aware and finely sensitive to her perceptions, her feelings about life, and her place in the cosmos. “I never thought of it quite that way, Molly, but I understand the concept. It makes sense to me. Beyond smart, you are so beautiful, Molly, and I hope we grow to be good friends,” Clara said.

“We will. We were meant to become friends, Miss Clara, and I think you are a beautiful person, too,” Molly replied.

“I'll get up, and we can go down to the kitchen to see if we can help with breakfast,” Clara said, and she sat on the side of the bed, yawned, stretched, and was certain she felt twenty years younger. It wasn't until she went to the bathroom and looked into her mirror did her feelings of renewed strength flood into her brain. The Clara Mae Bastiaen looking back at her was a much younger, more radiantly beautiful woman than the one who walked through the gate to come to the ranch the previous morning. She began to weep uncontrollably and fell to her knees. Molly came to her and placed her small paw on Clara's knee.

“Hosanna?” Molly asked.

“Absolutely, Molly, Hosanna in the highest!” Clara replied, “Now I know why those cowboys say it with such meaning,” she added.

“See, I was right. You are beautiful. You are without flaw. You have been reborn, Miss Clara,” Molly said.

“And I was honored to have the sweetest Angel watch over me during my transition. Thank, you, Molly,” Clara said.

“It's the least I can do for someone as talented as you, Miss Clara,” Molly replied.  
Clara showered and got herself together. She found six different dresses she could choose from lain out on the large Victorian couch in her room. The Daniels ladies thought of everything. After one last hug and a stolen kiss from her companion, Clara Mae walked down to the kitchen carrying Molly in her arms and stopped at the door to look around. The ladies stopped their work and stood silently looking at her in all her radiance. Zelma dropped her hot pad and started applauding. The rest of the ladies followed suit until they gave Clara a nice welcome.

“You look lovely, Clara,” Kate came to her, and gave her a kiss, “And so do you, Dear,” she said to Molly and gave her a kiss, too.

“I don't know what to say,” Clara said.

“You don't have to say anything, Dear,” Zelma assured her, "As them cowboys are wont to say, you's family now,” she added and laughed.

“I couldn't be more pleased,” Clara said.

When Clara asked if she could help with breakfast, Kate assured her she ran an equal opportunity kitchen. She gave Clara a good sharp knife and showed her how she wanted the potatoes cut for cowboy fries. Kate explained she always made cowboy fries for breakfast on Sundays. The immediate family drifted in and Billy and his small family transported into the hallway and came into the kitchen. He went from lady to lady for a morning hug, a quick peck on the cheek, and came to Clara Mae last. She was dutifully cutting up potatoes and smiled at him.

“She's darn good at cut'n up them potatoes, Grandma. We gonna' let her just-up an go back to Houston?” Billy teased.

“That's up to Clara Mae, Son,” Kate said.

Clara stopped what she was doing and threw her arms around Billy's neck. She gave him a kiss on his cheek. “Thank you, Maestro, for everything. I looked at myself in the mirror, and fell to my knees in tears. Molly was so concerned for me she came to me and asked if I was all right. Then we shared a “Hosanna” between us,” Clara said.

“Feeling better?” Billy asked.

“Like I was twenty years younger and just had a heavy burden lifted from me,” Clara replied.

“It's enough thanks for me to know you're better,” Billy said, “And, I will keep my promise. I will show you some wonderful things most folks don't get to see and then we will take you with us to a great chapel we just discovered with my recently enhanced musicians to play a brief concert for the Star-people you saw join us last evening. It's time we met them in person,” Billy added.

As they ate breakfast, Billy filled in some of the blanks Clara didn't know about. He explained how his family worked with the gathering of the Fallen Angels under one control to rescue those placed in stasis by a wrathful alien. An alien who claimed he was a god and had more power than brains; very similar to the one percent who runs their country, arm in arm, with the Jesuits and fundamentalist Christianist; who act in concert together, trying mightily to return the ninety-nine percent unto the dark ages using fear, ignorance, myths, superstition, double-speak propaganda, and austerity programs to bleed the middle class dry. All the tools are in place to keep them in control.

After breakfast Billy and his men took Clara Mae and Tommy's uncles on a tour of the ranch to show them the progress of the new city. The land for the basement floors was removed and the constructions were in place. Billy showed them a line of individual practice rooms for those who wished to play musical instruments without disturbing the tranquility of the country side, and driving their co-workers crazy. Several would contain upright pianos and some would have baby grands for practice and accompaniment. Rather than buy an instrument for each person who wished to learn to play, Billy's planning team suggested a collection of instruments which could be checked out for practice periods and returned after their time so someone else might have a chance to practice. A sharing system would serve more people than just those who owned them. Later on, the more serious could purchase their own instruments if they chose. The attendants would be responsible for maintenance, cleaning, and upkeep of the instruments. Those jobs would require specialist in their own right.

Later in the morning they took them onto Captain Nick's ship and showed them where the more exotic species of their family live in harmony together, from the smallest Sun Bears to the giants. They were shown the two Shedus and told of their near miraculous powers. They were introduced to Beauford, but Billy didn't care to disturb Madame Spartza. They were taken on a tour of the model of the Sapphire City they were building and shrunk them down to ride the monorail. They were impressed and had many questions about how and why Billy was doing this. He carefully explained it was to show the world how a group of people and sentient others can live, love, and work together in an open socialistic-humanist society where everyone is treated equally and no one was above anyone else.

Someone mentioned the word 'Utopian' and said the Socialist and Communist at the beginning of the last century tried to establish but failed. Billy responded by explaining Soviet Russia came about by a power grab of Stalin. The true Socialist were swallowed up and silenced by jack-boot Communism and took a bad rap. Stalin created a dictatorship which tried to operate as a repressive capitalistic state but couldn't sustain it because it became top heavy with corrupt bureaucrats. It collapsed under its own weight. It is still struggling today, but the three great powers have become massive corporate structures run and ruled by a handful of elite from each country. The Russian people of today are only a little better off than they were under the communist regime.  

After a light lunch prepared for them by the village people, they were joined by the ladies of the Daniels family to make the trip to visit the Star-people. Since Cloog and Gog cleared a path, it was an easier trip back into the foreboding dark forest and through the thickets than it was the previous time; however, Cloog and Gog carried huge swords to clean up some parts which might be hazardous for the ladies to pass. The Griffin men were flabbergasted. They never spent such a day. They found themselves on board a spaceship with aliens. They visited a castle and a village with even more strange but wonderful people. Now, here they were with their nephew between them leading them into an ominous forest to some huge stone building which looked like a long forgotten cathedral; yet, it was in perfect shape. The two mature cowboys felt like they mentally regressed in time to when they were young boys and roamed the woods of East Texas together.

Billy told his musicians to bring their instruments, just in case. He had Roz and Aunt Helen gather music he might want to try out in the chapel. Several they never played together, but he had faith in their enhancements they could sight-read it as easy as reading 'Dick and Jane.' The smaller instruments were easy to carry, but the bull-fiddles created a bit of a problem; however, when you have several giants who didn't want to be left behind, there was no problem. They made rather nice pack animals. When the new Aangels got wind of the expedition they asked to be included. Billy agreed, winked at Zeke, and whispered for him and Cloog to bring their baroque trumpets.

“It would do me old soul good, Master Billy,” Zeke said.

“Somehow, I thought it might, Brother,” Billy agreed, and they shared a laugh.

Of course, the dogs went with them, but one of the cowboys carried Miss Molly, and of the larger dogs, only one of Zeke's companions got a thorn in her paw. Billy quickly removed it and healed her immediately. Billy became Pancake's hero and didn't leave his side for the rest of the trip. Among Billy's group of representatives, was Captain Nick and several of the town's officials to encourage and assure the Star-people they had no problem with them settling on the ship and even creating their on town. Then, if they wished, they would be free to explore other options. They wanted to extend a welcome and a hand of friendship to them.

They arrived at the entrance, Billy inserted the key and everyone filed into the huge cathedral. It didn't seem to have the same atmosphere as a Christian church. There were no crosses or symbols of Christianity with the exception of one large stained glass window behind the altar with a beautiful rosette of ruby colored glass and in the middle was a white dove descending. Randy brought to Billy's attention the bellows to the organ began to fill when they walked inside, but they were mechanically operated. “Have you played it yet, Bossman,” Billy asked.

“Yes, I played Bach's Chorale Prelude on Sleeper's Awake, and his little Prelude and Fugue in 'g' minor,” Randy replied.

“Humm, Sleeper's Awake seems rather apropos. You want to start and wow your mom and grandma?” Billy asked.

“They ain't never heard me play an organ before, Brother,” Randy replied.

“Go for it, Tiger, and I'll announce what you will play,” Billy urged him.

Randy took off for the organ and Billy announced, "Bossman Randy Rutherford, Ramrod of the Rutherford ranch will play Bach's Chorale on Sleeper's Awake and Bach's little Prelude and Fugue in 'g' minor."

Randy set his stops and began playing almost immediately after Billy sat down. His mother and grandmother never heard him play the organ before, but they were impressed beyond belief. Randy didn't share with them meeting the Star-people and being further enhanced, but Karla did and told them the great blue giants enhanced her, too. The gathering of the Daniels family and those from the castle and village sat together in a group off to one side. They couldn't believe the beauty of the chapel which was there without their knowledge. Slowly, the Star-people began to gather, but this time they drifted over the seats, and as they appeared to everyone, they were already sitting. The great Commander and his family were sitting in the long pews directly behind the organ as if those seats were reserved for them. Billy was glad and proud his family had the good common sense and manners not to take the choice pews. The commander nodded his head in acknowledgement of their guests then turned his attention to Randy's playing like he didn't want to miss a note.

Randy played brilliantly. Vox was sitting next to Billy, leaned into his his ear and whispered, “You really think there's any further need for my services teaching him? I don't remember ever playing that piece as well as he's playing right now,” Vox said.

“Of course, but maybe like master classes. Granted he's a cracker-jack, but he needs a firm hand to lead him. His technique needs shaping until he's the best in the world,” Billy replied, “Are you going to play for us, or will your sister?” Billy asked.

“I played for church this morning, and I'm played out. I'm not tired or nothing. We feel great, it's just I don't want to play anymore today. We would have morphed before we came, but she's paranoid about snakes and bugs. She told me, if I got us out here, she would play, and she didn't mind wearing my clothes,” Vox replied, and they shared a laugh.     

“How's it working out for you with the Bull?” Billy asked.

“Why? You seen a frown on his face lately?” Vox asked.

Billy laughed, and he got Vox laughing too. Kate leaned forward from the pew directly behind them, “If you two kids don't behave, I'm gonna' have to take you outside and find me a switch,” she whispered between them. Kate got them laughing again, but they pulled it together.

“Sorry, Grandma. We'll be good,” Billy whispered.

<< You in the dog house, Son? >> Nick asked.

<< Damn near, Pa, >> Billy returned and smiled at Nick.

<< That damn kid is a heart-breaker, ain't he? >> Nick asked.

<< There ain't a day goes by he don't do something what rocks me on my boot-heels, Pa. Just listen to that playing. The little shit can barely reach them pedals, >> Billy replied.

When Randy finished, the Daniels family went crazy applauding, and the Star-people joined them with equal enthusiasm. When Randy returned, he bowed to his family, turned, and bowed to the Star-people. The giant blue commander, Hunk, opened his arms and Randy ran to them. The giant lifted Randy up and gave him a big hug and a kiss on his cheek and said softly, “Thank you, Bossman, for your talent and leaving a mental channel open for us. It was most considerate of you.”

Randy followed suit and gave him a kiss on his cheek. “You're very welcome. You and your people are welcome among us. All people who love music and the arts share a common bond,” Randy replied. Hunk put the boy down, and Randy bowed politely to Hunk's wife. She offered her hand, Randy fell to one knee, and gently kissed the back and let go. He stood and bowed again to her. She motioned for everyone to make room, and she offered Randy a seat between her and her husband. Randy got a big grin on his face and sat between them. Hunk took one hand and his wife took the other. They were ready for the next piece.

<< Add ambassador to the list of surprises, Pa, >> Billy sent and heard Nick laugh in his head.

<< He just makes our job easier, Son, >> Nick replied.

Billy stood to announce the next performer. “Now, I'd like to introduce to you the organist of our local church in our small town, Mr. Vox Humana,” Billy said and Vox stood and took a bow, “But Vox won't be performing for us today. He already played for church services this morning and decided to let his sister Roxanne Humana play for you. Vox and Roxanne are chimeras. They are conjoined inside one body. I have taught them to morph back and forth, and they have become comfortable living together in the same body. Vox will now morph into his sister Roxanne, and she will tell you what she plans to play for you,” Billy said and stood next to Vox. The Star-people were amazed to see Vox change right before them. Billy sat down and left Roxanne to speak.

“Thank you Master Billy, and I'd like to thank my dear brother for giving me this opportunity to come forth and play for you wonderful people. The first piece I will play is called 'Nimrod' from the Enigma Variations by Edward Elgar, and the second piece will be a Fugue in 'G' Major in the form of a Gigue by J. S. Bach.  A gigue or a jig is a fast stepping dance done with wild abandon. I think you saw our cowboys dance a jig during the Hoedown portion of the Barnyard Concert yesterday,” Roxanne finished, turned, walked to the organ, sat down, set her stops, and began to play. The Elgar piece is so lush and beautiful several of the Star-people were heard to sigh deeply at its beauty. When she finished, everyone applauded. Roxanne waited until they finished to launch into the difficult Bach fugue. She played it masterfully, and got some of the Star-people tapping their feet. When Roxanne finished the piece, her family members were on their feet applauding, and the Star-people joined them. Her playing was flawless and beautiful.

Billy then asked Aunt Helen if she would like to play for them, but she graciously declined. Helen said she would wait for the organ to be installed in the new auditorium within the City of Glass and then she would play the organ part in the Saint-Saens third symphony with the orchestra.

“I think it's a wonderful idea, and I plan to hold you to your promise, Dear Lady,” Billy said and bowed to her. He continued, “Since I'm the last to perform for this visit, I will play for you Charles Widor's Organ Symphony Number Five in 'F' minor, Opus 42, Number one. It is a late romantic period work, full of lush melodies, exciting rhythms, and bombastic chord changes. It's in five movements, but you will recognize the last movement called a 'toccata' which means a 'touch piece' meant to be played fast and as cleanly as possible. Let's see if I can do it,” Billy said, grinned, and headed to the organ. Billy played like he was inspired. He milked every subtle nuance from the grand piece, and the final movement was another musical moment which transcended the common. Billy played it like a demon on a mission and his pedal work was fantastic. When he finished, he got a huge round of applause. When he bowed to the commander and his wife the Star-people showed their approval, and the commander returned his bow.

The audience quieted down, and Billy took the opportunity to invite the Commander and a some of of his high-ranking warriors to talk. Hunk graciously agreed the time had come to make some decisions for his people. “We noticed you brought other instruments with you. Did you plan to play more for us?” Hunk asked.

“We didn't know what to expect other than what our young explorers told us, but we came prepared. After entering this beautiful cathedral and discovering the fine pipe organ we decided to use it to entertain you; however, if you would like to hear more, we would be happy to accommodate you. While we haven't had time to practice, our people are quite good at reading new music they ain't seen or heard before,” Billy explained.

“We don't mean to presume. We are more starved in our souls than our bodies having remained in self-imposed stasis these many centuries, Master Daniels,” Hunk said, “Anything you and your musicians wish to share with us will be greatly appreciated, he added.

“Fine. We could take a break and while we discuss you and your people's future, our musicians can have a chance to set up and remove their instruments from their cases. Is there a room where we may speak more privately?” Billy asked.

“Yes, certainly, sir, in the basement. If you will follow me and my staff and bring yours, we will adjourn to the meeting hall below,” Hunk said.

“Lead the way, Commander,” Billy said.

They went to the great meeting hall beneath the cathedral. It was a basement, but you would never know. It was completely lined with beautiful panels of wood and there was a great deal of work and fine craftsmanship went into its design and execution. It wasn't dark or damp like most basements. It was warm and inviting. Billy took Boomer, Captain Nick, Randy, Balthazar, Clyde, Cowboy Andy, Zeke, Elmer Breedlove, Tom McMartin, Enoch, Moss, Nathan, Tron, Buster Tate, Bubba, Jack, Gower, Gog, Cloog, Mack, and Garth. Oh, yes, and Slipweasel and Rumdun. They sat around a huge table with comfortable chairs.

Billy motioned for the commander to begin. He smiled and nodded. “We appreciate your coming to us today. As you know, Captain Nick, we've been your unwitting passengers aboard your ship well before it was given to you by the Grigori. We had no contact with the pirates who claimed the vessel before you. We did keep track of their actions and got them out of a couple of jams which, according to our best calculations, would have terminated us along with the ship. Likewise, we have been playing a hopefully benign role aboard your ship and only stepped in at the very last minute to save the ship or those on-board. There were times we thought you surely must have imagined your salvation from the hands of death was a little more than chance?” Hunk asked.

“There were several instances I remembered, but the last one getting everyone on board in stasis when no one could remember ever having been told to go to the chambers or getting into them was a bit of a conundrum. That includes my great protector bull. He swears he has no idea how he found his way there. Since we learned of you, I've gone back over the years, and I can recall time after time some extra force saved our collective butts. If you were responsible for those, you have my most humble gratitude. Since I am already a slave, with my master's permission, I can only offer my humble services and beg him to welcome and accept you as his own,” Nick said graciously. Billy was in awe of his old man and smiled to himself. Nick passed the conversation to his young master.

“While I accepted Captain Nick as my slave, and according to universal law, I own everything which he brought with him, he is still captain of this ship, and when I'm on his ship, I'm just another passenger. That may seem a bit convoluted to some, but it works for us. I have also excepted him as my surrogate father and one of my protectors. He's a comfortable part of my immediate family. For the curious, and for the sake of complete honesty, Captain Nick also shares my bed most of the time when I'm not with my husband. For you see, I am married to this fine looking 'watcher' standing behind me, and I share him with the two halfling twins you saw play music with our family yesterday and are with us today. My husband and I created a bairn together on our wedding night several months ago, and Billy Daniels Junior is being carried by Roz Cucumber who plays viola so beautifully in our family group. My husband is next in line for the throne of Retikki Prime, and one day, I will be his consort,” Billy said.

There was a stunned silence at the table with the commander's men looking to each other and then to him for clarification. “Forgive us, Sire, we had no idea we were in the presence of royalty,” Hunk said sincerely, and bowed his head. Randy giggled.

“Hesh up, Little Brother. Remember your manners and show compassion for your new champion. The Commander had no way of knowing. He is an innocent bystander,” Billy gently chastised Randy.

Randy got out of his chair, walked around the table, crawled up into Hunk's lap, threw his little arms around his massive neck, and gently kissed him on his cheek. “Master Billy and my brother Boomer are only royalty on Retikki Prime, Commander. Here, he's master of the Daniels Ranch and my big brother. As my new champion and protector, you are my brother. Any brother of mine is automatically a brother of my master,” Randy said with all the love in his heart.

The giant blue man hugged Randy back, and stole a kiss. That simple act seemed to immediately lower the social defcon level from major faux pas to a micro-mini oopsie. Hunk's warrior-protectors breathed a sigh of relief.

“Why have you not attempted to come forward before now, Commander?” Billy asked.

“The fear of entropy, the seduction of maintaining the status quo, and refusal to evolve at the same rate as the rest of the universe, Sire. We thought we found our bliss and have perpetuated the same for thousands of your years. We surface from time to time to maintain our outward appearance of home. Thanks to Captain Nick's ship, we've had many occasions to test the social climate and progress of the societies on worlds he visited, and until we were exposed to you and your family, we never gained a consensus from our people for communication or further investigation,” Commander Hunk explained, “The irony is, we're back on the same planet we originally chose for our home,” he added.

“I don't know if we should feel like saviors or corruptors,” Billy said musing to himself.

“Neither, would be applicable, Sire. I didn't mean to imply either. We've analyzed our position and come to some moving conclusions. Perhaps the key was Bossman Randy's unwitting call for us sleepers to awake. Of course, we were unaware of the symbolism embedded within the name of the tune until we reached out and tapped his brain; then, the mystery of the metaphor, no matter its original context, was staggering to us. What are the chances? There came a flood of interest we have not felt for centuries which grew into a unanimous consensus for us to awaken and investigate the source. It was not a klaxon of warning, we or the ship were in any danger. Was the universe sending us a more subtle message? It is written in many ancient religious texts, the innocence and wisdom of a child will lead the many from their personal purgatories into the paradise of a new world. We didn't know quite what to make of the young human, but we fell in love with him and his diverse group of followers he brought with him whom he referred to as his 'posse,'” Commander Hunk said.     

“We must agree with you, our little brother is full of surprises,” Billy said and smiled.

“We were very much taken with his talent and his refreshing, fearless audacity. Randy's total commitment to his talents and his friends impressed us beyond measure. We couldn't let such mutual devotion and desire for greatness go unrewarded. We enhanced the lot of them, including the quadrupeds, so they might be able to realize a great leap in their understanding and awareness of their innate talents. We were even more stunned and appreciative when Ramrod Randy left a channel open in his mind for us to tune in and experience through his eyes, his life with his extended family. Needless to say, we were so enthralled, no one got any sleep – in the greater sense,” the Commander said and smiled. Several of Billy's posse laughed at the duality of his comment.

“And, what you observed through our Bossman's eyes, did it bring about a decision or a consensus to leave your world of dreams and join us in the land of the living?” Billy asked.

“It did, indeed, Master Billy, if there is room for us. We are a peaceful race of agrarians and artisans. We were farmers, sheep herders, creators of fine silver jewelry and handcrafted musical instruments. We built this chapel to cover our chambers and the organ inside to make us aware of visitors. I understand you and Captain Nick are creating a tropical rain forest on board his ship for greater water and oxygen supply. We can help you. We can create massive pasture lands and food producing areas. We don't understand the technology of how you managed to get so much land volume into a spaceship, but we are aware of the advantages,” Commander Hunk said.

“You and your people are certainly welcome to join us and may begin immediately to rebuild your society here on the ship. The science behind a tesseract is new to me, as well, but it is basically creating an greater interior in a smaller defined space. Having been in stasis and isolation all these years, what has your birth rate been?” Billy asked.

Hunk hung his head, and a tear dropped from his eye. “Not a single new life has been created, Sire. The biology for creating a baby does not lend itself well to remaining in stasis,” Hunk painfully admitted, “It was one of the largest factors which made us decide to leave our beds. We want to have children to insure our race survives. After all, that was the reason we created all this to begin with,” Commander Hunk said, and Billy could see his words echoed in the faces of his warrior-protectors. “We never meant to spend such a long time in stasis. We don't even know if we are still capable of having children, Sire,” he lamented.

“You didn't evolve as a blue race. You were not a 'blue' race of humanoids to begin with, were you?” Billy asked.

The commander looked surprised, and his men looked from one to the other. “No, we were a white race like you and Bossman Randy, Sire. How did you know?” Hunk asked.

“I have enhanced olfactory nerves in my nose I gave myself when I saved several of our four legged canine critters and sampled their blood. I can smell the silver in your bodies. Part of your preservation was the elimination of invasive bacterial onslaughts and aggressive viral infections on your bodies by ingesting silver into your bodies creating a medical condition we call Argyria. However, you must know in larger doses, it is a poison to most humanoids, but perhaps you found some means to buffer it with no ill side effects,” Billy said.

“That's amazing, sir. You're right, but we didn't ingest it. We absorbed it from the clothing, armor, and jewelry we wear. We developed a tolerance to silver over the years but haven't had a chance to expunge our systems. I don't know if we can. We also worry it may have made us sterile, or our ladies barren,” Commander Hunk confided.
“That's not a problem with us. We can help you with it. Captain Nick has two protectors who are descendants of a race of naturally evolved blue giants. I carry their genetic DNA information inside me. You can either choose to rid yourselves of the silver, and I can restore your bodies to their natural state; or, if you prefer your blue color, I can gift you with our blue giant's DNA to convert you to a more pure blue race,” Billy said as a matter of fact.

The commander looked stunned. “You have the power to do that, Sire?” he asked in awe.

“He does, Commander Hunk. I seen him and his band of cowboy-angels do some pretty remarkable things. When I first met Master Billy, I was dying of a terrible wasting disease and only had months to go, when he called to me one afternoon in a parking lot at a Walmart store. I used all my remaining strength to get to his big cowboy arms, he grabbed me up, kissed me, captured my DNA information by licking away my tears, and healed me right there,” Randy related for what seemed like the fiftieth time.

“You're an Angel, Master Billy?” Commander Hunk asked in awe.

Billy smiled, took off his shirt, handed it to his pa, and winked at him. He disappeared and reappeared in a great flash of light fully fledged in his great golden wings. The commander had Randy stand. He arose from his chair and motioned for his men to do the same. Hunk fell to his knees before Billy, and his men did the same. “Forgive us again, Sire. We had no idea we were in the presence of Angels either, but it makes perfect sense. Are all of your men angels?” he asked.

“Pretty much – including my little brother you have taken on to champion,” Billy said, “Arise, my good Commander, and you brave and faithful warriors, also. Take your seats and we will continue,” Billy commanded gently.

Commander Hunk grabbed Randy again and asked where his wings were.

“I ain't old enough, Commander. I won't grow wings until I reach puberty around eleven or twelve years of age. Several of my brothers is in the same boat. We got most of the powers, but we's limited in our healing abilities because we can't gather the proper energy and life-forces necessary for such without a pair of wings,” Randy woefully explained.

“Then are you an angel, too, Captain Nick?” Hunk asked.

“Billy and some of his family are enhanced humans. I'm not. Neither is Balthazar, Clyde, Mack, Cowboy Andy, Slipweasel, or Rumdum. We are fabricants. We were created in a laboratory. We are only a part of the so-called Fallen Angels of ancient history. We have been sent to become Master Billy's Cowboy-Angels Warrior-Slaves to help him rescue our bothers who have remained in stasis like you for thousands of years,” Nick said.

“It's hard for me to believe this meeting has come about as a coincidence,” Hunk said quietly.

“I share your disbelief, Commander. I think it's been planned down to the nat's ass, but not by mythological gods. We're being carefully guided by ancient races who, fortunately, have our best interest at heart. We are gaining more power daily and now have a pair of the great Shedus who reside on this ship with you,” Billy said.

“We can help you with the rescue of your brothers, Captain Nick,” the commander said.

“We would gratefully accept your help, Commander,” Billy said.

“Hosanna!” Randy shouted.

“Hosanna, in the highest!” Billy's men responded and smiles came to the faces of the Star-men.

“So we have decided and mutually agree you and your people will immediately vacate your stasis chambers and begin to live in real-time on the surface of our ship in this area?” Billy asked.

The commander looked to his men, and they nodded their heads in approval. “We accept your gracious offer, Master Billy and Captain Nick,” Commander Hunk said.

Billy stood, “Every man and Angel present, place your open right-hand flat on the table before you,” Billy commanded and placed his own hand on the table before him. The rest of the men, including Bossman Randy, placed their hand on the table. “From this day forth, let it be agreed, we will work together to form a greater society for both families until the two become one. Let it be understood, the Star-people, known as the Essengurda, will not be slaves to me or any other authority, but will be an autonomous family answerable only to Commander Hunnikagruden, or Commander Hunk as he's known to us, and he in turn, will be answerable to Captain Nick and myself. If everyone agrees, on the count of three, everyone will  proclaim: I so swear,” Billy said firmly. He counted to three and everyone around the table said loudly, “I so swear!” Billy made a fist and pounded it on the table. The other men followed suit. The bond was made and sealed. There followed handshakes, hugs, and pats on the back. Randy was an equal opportunity congratulator.   

The men returned to the auditorium in a jovial mood. During the time of the organ recital and the period spent in the meeting room, a number of the village people overcame their superstitions and fears about the dark forest and made the trip out to the cathedral to listen to the wonderful music drifting down into their village. They were standing around in bunches. The commander motioned for Billy to invite them in to be seated in the pews behind the Daniels family. Billy went out and brought them inside. They were in awe of the great building and entered silently with great reverence for the age and awesome beauty of the building. After they were seated, the rest of the audience took their seats. Billy was pleased to see the music stands were up and filled with music. The musicians had their instruments at the ready. A couple managed to transport back to the instrument room in the castle and returned with the the fine harpsichord Kate played the night of the Brandenburg caper in the tower. They were ready to play. Billy smiled and winked at Zeke and Cloog.

“The first piece we will play for you is a concerto for two trumpets in C by Antonio Vivaldi,” Billy announced and sat down at the harpsichord. He gave a downbeat and they were off. Zeke and Cloog were as brilliant as they were in the Barnyard Concert. They didn't miss a note, and it was a grand performance. Billy was proud of this musicians. There wasn't a bad one among them. When they finished everyone went crazy applauding. Billy was surprised to see Gabriel contributing his fair share of applause and smiling from ear to ear. He seemed as impressed as the others.

The last piece we have time for today is Johann Sebastian Bach's Fourth Brandenburg Concerto in three movements. Our three soloist will be Bossman Randy Rutherford on violin, his sister, Kayla, will play one of the wood flutes, and Pard Andreeson will play the other. Billy was almost as impressed with his small family of musicians as the audience was when they finished. They played flawlessly and the Star-people were ready to kidnap and carry away Randy, Kayla, and Pard. The village people who dared make the journey out to the chapel were duly impressed. They took the opportunity of meeting many of the Essengurda people and welcomed them warmly into the family of the ship.

* * * * * * *
As Billy and his family were going back through the castle to transport back to the ranch, they stopped in the dining hall where the workers were busy getting Sunday supper together for those dwelling in the castle. Wilbur had not yet taken up his new position as an assistant to Marcus and was trying to make himself as valuable as possible to pay his way at the ranch. He was working under the chefs and doing any minor job they assigned him. When Billy and his posse came into the great dining hall, Wilbur helped serve them coffee and Hosanna Cakes as a late afternoon pick-me-up. The men were in good spirits and warmly greeted Wilbur. The young man took Bubba aside and asked if he might speak with him in private sometime soon.

“What about this afternoon? It's still early, and I don't have to be up to the big house for several hours. Would that be enough time, Little Brother?” Bubba asked concerned.

“I'm sure, Master Bubba, but what I have to discuss probably won't take long. I don't want to take up too much of your time, sir,” Wilbur said.

“You'n me, we's brothers, Wilbur. If you need to talk about anything, and I mean anything, Son, I'm yore' man,” Bubba said firmly. Bubba was already notified by Billy, Wilbur might approach him and ask to talk with him in private. Billy didn't say what he might want to talk about, but he told Bubba he couldn't think of a better cowboy to give the young man advice. After Bubba drank a cup of coffee and ate his cake, he took Wilbur by the hand and told him to follow him. Wilbur looked toward the kitchen like he wanted to tell the cook he would be gone for a while.

“Don't worry, Son, I'll tell cook I gave you my permission,” Billy said and waved him on.

Bubba led the young man to the dungeon and into one of the cells. They were fixed up pretty nice and each cell contained a comfortable bed. They sat down together on one of the beds. “What's on your mind, Young'un?” Bubba asked.

“As you know, I'm pretty much taken with Marcus, and I want to become his partner, you know...” Wilbur didn't complete his sentence like he was too shy to say the words.

“Yes, I do know, but I want to hear you say them words. If I'm to be honest and clear with you, I expect the same from you, Son. This is no time to be coy with yore' big brother what loves you,” Bubba said firmly.

“You're right, Master Bubba. I ain't never had me a relationship with nobody, sir, male or female, but when I saw Master Marcus for the first time, something deep down in my gut cramped and began to hurt like I just swallowed my soul, and my body was chewing it up inside of me trying to digest every feeling. I could only think of one thing, lying next to the huge man making sweet love to him and having him return my love in kind; then, I dreamed of him taking me for his own. At that very moment, I knew I would never want no other but him. It was so strong I was afraid. Now, I'm happy to say, it may be coming true, but Marcus don't want what I imagine a – a regular kind of relationship ought to be. I was going to say 'normal,' but I think I crossed that threshold a long time ago. I couldn't really tell you what I think a 'regular' relationship with another man might be like. I just don't know. I don't have the experience, nor have I been exposed to anyone who has,” Wilbur said and paused for a moment.

“Relationships can be as varied as the number of stars in the night sky. Lemme' guess, Marcus wants you for his slave boy. He wants you to become his obedient son,” Bubba said, not as a question, but a fact.

“Marcus said you'd understand, Master Bubba,” Wilbur said.

“I most certainly do understand,” Bubba said and grinned. He pulled Wilbur into his big arms and held him close, “Kiss me, Wilbur, and I will be happy to explain to Marcus why I ordered you to do so,” Bubba demanded, and the young cowboy kissed his big cowboy brother. While they were kissing Bubba was feeling Marcus' harness Wilbur was wearing under his cloths. His hand went down to the boy's butt, and he could feel his plug. Bubba didn't go so far as to cause Wilbur to ejaculate. He found out what he wanted to know and broke it off. “That kiss was to seal a bond between us, so's you may always feel free to come to me anytime with any problem you might have, great or small, hemorrhoids to haircuts, and I will give you my honest opinion,” Bubba said.
“Would ever' body think less of me if I was to become Marcus' slave, Master Bubba?” Wilbur asked.

“Not the people what matter, Son. Certainly not in my sight. Just look around you, Wilbur. Everybody in Master Billy's family is a slave to somebody else. It ain't talked about much, but everyone knows who belongs to whom and how. Some actually use the term; others don't, but it all boils down to the same gotdamn thing,” Bubba said strongly, “If you're walking by the side of a man what means the most to you in this world, and you're lucky enough to have him call you his slave, why would you give a fly'n rat's ass what some wanker thinks what probably ain't never had the opportunity nor the nerve to experience such an intense relationship. In the name of some unknown god, carefully think this one through for yourself, Wilbur, but carry my words wiff' you and use them as a guide; or as a sword and a shield for your protection. You know what I feel this very moment, Son?” Bubba asked looking Wilbur right in his eyes.

“No, sir, what, Master Bubba?” Wilbur asked in reply.

“I's eat'n up by the green-eyed monster of envy for you, Son!” Bubba exclaimed, then he grinned and stole another kiss from Wilbur. “You's one gotdamn lucky young buckaroo to have a man as experienced and compassionate as that big Tuscan Bull to be interested enough in you to go through the difficult, sometimes frustrating work of training you to become his slave-boy,” Bubba raged, “I would have given anything to have an older, mature man with a goodly dollop of horse sense take an interest in me when I was your age and kept me on a short leash. I wouldn't have had to go through some of the bad things I did because I was too damn dumb to realize you got to live with your past as well as your present and future. And believe me, them ghosts from the past can be some bitches, Son,” Bubba added. “A good master knows your needs even before you do, and he will provide them for you without you having to ask,” Bubba said like his words were the gold standard of advice.

“I'm not sure I understand, Master Bubba. Ever' body knows you're a fine master, and you're good at what you do. I would never suspect you ever held any fantasies about becoming the slave of another man,” Wilbur said sincerely.

“I'll make it easy for you, Son. I wanted and needed direction back when I was a young man. I would have welcomed a relationship like you's being offered with open arms and would have wanted it to continue as long as there was a need on both me and my master's part. I weren't as lucky as you. It didn't happen for me. I grew up with a buddy, Master Billy's punishment slave, Earl Hickson, and took care of him like a brother up until the time my uncle died. I finally woke up to an uncomfortable reality and realized, I was being taken for a fool. I laid my cards on the table with Earl. I told him I wanted to make him my slave and sex toy. Hell, I was already taking care of him and his mother. What I didn't realized at the time was, he used his passive-aggressive personality syndrome to make a slave out of me without me even realizing his subtle power over me. He ignored my druthers, and when I wouldn't respond no more, he stole from me.

"Earl turned his back on me, and ended up being Master Billy's slave. When he got into trouble, I could have bought him for my slave, I had the money, but there was too much water under the bridge between us. He's where he should be, and eventually, I hope he makes some good cowboy a fine slave he can trust. Then Orville Higginbothem come along, and I jumped at the chance to become his master and work with him. Now, I look back on the experience, it was as maturing and educational for me as it was for old Orville. I learned what it means to have complete control of another human and Orville learned how to let someone else control him. I learned I could never be happy being some other man's slave, but h'it don't mean I can't remember my youthful cravings for control or the ecstasy the fantasy can bring,” Bubba said.

“Then you think I should give myself to Marcus and become his Slave-boy?” Wilbur asked.

“If you asked me that question six months ago, I would have told you I don't know. You should make up your own mind about something as important as a commitment like 'at, but not any more. I'm sitting here next to you and telling you in the most honest way I know how: if you think you need guidance, direction, a purposeful incentive, or motivation, then you need a mentor; a master; someone who will yank you up by yore' short-hairs, demand your best, what won't take second best, who will not take 'no' for an answer; a strong-willed man what will remake you into the son, partner, or companion he needs and wants you to become; someone who will teach you to stand strong and be proud of yourself, and will love you like no other. If's you's lucky enough to find a man like that, then you'd be a gall-durn fool not to accept his offer,” Bubba said strongly.

“Thank you for your honesty and candor, Master Bubba. I will consider your words of advice. I also wanted to ask your permission to speak with your slave,” Wilbur said.

“Certainly, you have my permission. I was going to suggest it before you asked. Would you feel embarrassed talking to our three punishment slaves together?” Bubba asked.

“No, sir, the more information I gather the better decision I can make,” Wilbur said.

“Fine. I agree. I will arrange it, but just remember, you won't be a punishment slave, Son. Them three slaves ain't got no choice in the matter. You will become another man's love slave. There's a difference. Only you can make that choice. You might even think on it as a marriage, because you both have to swear to each other: I do and I will, whether it be in private or a public statement of your union,” Bubba said.

“Should I ask Marcus to marry me, Master Bubba?” Wilbur asked innocently.

“I would certainly talk with him about it if it would make you feel more secure, but knowing Marcus, you'll still end-up being his slave. At least, you and he will agree on it. Many straight marriages end-up that way without the woman ever realizing because she's trying to live her life as a good Christian lady whose husband becomes her lord and master. On the other hand, it ain't unheard of for a strong women to make a slave of her husband, and he don't have to be no Harvey Milquetoast neither.
I seen men my size or bigger being led around by a women like he was her little boy. J'ever hear the term 'pussy-whipped,' Son?” Bubba asked and grinned. Wilbur blushed bright red and nodded to affirm Bubba's question. Bubba continued, “They's so many variations and shades of relationships, it staggers the mind. The most important thing for you to remember is what kind of relationship you want. If you have the slightest doubt in your mind about becoming Marcus' slave, don't do it. It's as simple as that,” Bubba said.     

“I guess I've taken up enough of your time, Master Bubba, and I really appreciate you being so open and honest with me. I didn't expect such a passionate response from you, but I can understand your feelings. Your words can be raw, but also, honestly compelling. Would you consider putting a bug in my master's ear or ask him if he considered asking me to marry him?” Wilbur asked.

“I can do that. I'll be happy to present the option to him, but let me leave you with one parting shot, Little Brother. If I was Marcus, I would simply tell you I love you so much I could never let you out of my life, and if it meant making you my slave, I would move heaven and Earth to make you mine, including marrying you if it made you feel more secure,” Bubba said.

“Then why didn't you do it with Earl Hickson, sir?” Wilbur asked innocently.

“'At's a fair question, Son. Shows me you been pay'n attention. The difference is, Earl never grew up like your attempting to do by weighing your options, gathering information, ideas, and gleaning personal experiences from men you trust. Even now, Earl Hickson is still living in his late teens. He's never progressed any further. He will remain there until some man grabs him by his balls, works to train him as a good slave, and demands he grows up. You's light-years past Earl in your maturity and outlook on life. You developed the light of reason. You ain't afraid to face your fears and ask yourself tough questions, and if you don't feel confident with your answers, you seek others you trust and admire for their opinions and advice to help you arrive at a decision with which you can be comfortable. I ain't worried about you none. You will pick the right path for yourself, I just know it,” Bubba complimented the young cowboy to boost his self-confidence.

“And that would be to say 'yes' to become Marcus' slave,” Wilbur said and smiled.

“You ain't fool'n me none, Wilbur. I can see it in your eyes, Son. It's what you want. You just need a little encouragement. You need to hear someone tell you you's doing the right thing. I ain't the least concerned about you. You will make Marcus one Hell of a fine slave, but I insist you must hold out for one perk,” Bubba said.

“What's that, Master Bubba?” Wilbur asked.

“If your master ever has an occasion, when he must leave you with another master while he's away for any amount of time, he must promise to leave you with me under my care and protection,” Bubba said with a big smile.

“I would be honored to serve you, Master Bubba,” Wilbur said and smiled.

“You're doing the right thing, Little Brother. Go for it! Reach out and catch that gold ring on life's Merry-go-round, bring it home, give it to your master, and ask him to put it through your nose to wear so's you can show the world you belong to him, him alone, and no other,” Bubba said, “Be proud of who and what you are, Son, and once't you make your decision, never look back. When you make up your mind, I never want to enter that dining hall and see you wearing clothes over you master's harness like you's ashamed for anyone to know you are his slave and his property. I want to see you wearing only yore' boots and slave harness with pride to announce to the rest of the world you belong to a good man, and Marcus is your master,” Bubba added.

“I promise, Master Bubba, you will be the first to know,” Wilbur said and grinned.

“Now gimme' another one a them big-old wet sloppy buckaroo kisses to let me know you ain't gonna' fret none about all this,” Bubba demanded, and he got his kiss.

“I suppose I should make a statement, shouldn't I, Master Bubba?” Wilbur asked.

“That's entirely up to you, but since you asked me to be your consulting Master, I would highly recommend it. Couldn't hurt none; besides, how you gonna' learn to swim unless you jump in and test the water?” Bubba asked.

“You're right,” Wilbur said and sighed deeply.

“Here, I'll help you wiff' your boots, Son,” Bubba said, stood before the young man, and helped him off with his boots. Wilbur quickly removed his western shirt, stood, shucked off his Wranglers, set them aside, sat down, and pulled his boots back on. He stood before the big cowboy like a nervous initiate seeking entrance into a sacred order. Wilbur was a bit uneasy with the idea, but knew it was something he must do. Bubba took him into his arms again and kissed Wilbur tenderly on his forehead. “You make a handsome young slave, Wilbur Peterson. Any man would be proud to call you his own,” Bubba said softly.

“Thanks, Master Bubba, I appreciate your advice and your faith in me. I won't let you down, sir,” Wilbur said.

“Ain't no doubt in my mind, Son,” Bubba said.

They found a large plastic bag for Wilbur's clothes, then they walked arm in arm back to the dining hall. Billy and his posse were still in the dining room when Bubba and Wilbur returned. Tom and Clyde took the young ones up to the big house to get ready to depart for the day, but Tree Griffin and his husband Tank were still with them. They wanted to see more of the ship. Marcus joined them while Wilbur was away talking with Bubba. The men were stunned to see Wilbur wearing only his boots and slave harness. Everyone stood to get a better look and out of deference for the young cowboy. Every man there respected and admired him for the statement he was making for one man sitting among them. Wilbur was stunning. Bubba got a big grin on his face at the men's reaction like a cat what just ate the canary. Balthazar began to slowly clap his hands and one by one the other men joined him until everyone in the hall was applauding for Wilbur. The young cowboy blushed like a new bride.

Wilbur walked over to Marcus and handed him his bag of clothing. Marcus took them and set them in a chair next to his. “I won't need these any more until I make a firm decision, Master. Master Bubba opened my eyes to respect and honor, sir, and helped me gain my balance. Master Bubba said he will make arrangements for me to talk with Master Billy's three punishment slaves, and I have yet to talk with Master Billy and Captain Nick, but until then, I ain't ashamed to wear your harness, sir. I'm honored and proud you think enough of me to ask me to become your slave,” Wilbur said firmly and stiffened his back as he stood before the big man.

“Hear! Hear!” exclaimed Tron Garrett, “Well said, Young Man, with an attitude like that may you live a long and happy life,” the handsome cowboy said.

“I couldn't agree more, Master Garrett,” Billy said, “I swear, Bubba, you's a silver tongued devil if'n I ever done seen me one,” he added and the men laughed. (Sometimes common English just don't have the ambiance or subtlety a cowboy is trying to convey.)

Marcus took Wilbur into his massive arms and held him tight. “Take all the time you need, Son. I want you to be sure,” Marcus said and bussed a kiss behind Wilbur's ear.

“Would you like some coffee and cakes, Master?” Wilbur asked.

“I'd love some. Thanks, Son,” Marcus replied.

“You, Master Bubba?” Wilbur asked.

“I'll have one more cake and a bit more coffee, Wilbur. Thank you, Son,” Bubba replied.

Wilbur went off to the kitchen and soon returned with with a tray. He served Bubba first. Then he went to Marcus and served his master. He brought his master some coffee and a couple of Hosanna Cakes. Marcus thanked Wilbur, called him 'Son' and lovingly patted him on his bare bum. Wilbur returned to the kitchen to finish his work. He went about his work in the kitchen like his appearance was nothing unusual with an air of pride so evident no one dared question him. They could only look and admire.

“I don't know what you told him, Master Bubba, but you got my attention. I'm impressed. I'm also humbled and very grateful, sir,” Marcus said.

“I'm not at liberty to discuss what we talked about, Master Marcus, not because Wilbur swore me to secrecy, but because of my own sense of brotherhood. I look on Wilbur as my little brother. We done shared many a conversation since Wilbur's come to the ranch and this e'nin we formed a greater bond. I told him he had my permission to come to me anytime he was concerned about something no matter how large or small, and I would make time for him. I told him I would tell you I ordered him to seal our bond with a goodly kiss, and he obeyed. I took the opportunity to see if my suspicion was correct, and I discovered he was wearing your harness beneath his clothes. I didn't beat around the bush with him and try to feel him out. I simply told him exactly the choice I would make if I was his age and you asked me to become your slave,” Bubba said without elaboration, “As soon as I finish here, with Master Billy's permission, I plan to round up our three-P slaves, and take them to the dungeon to talk with Wilbur. I will leave him alone with them so my presence won't have any influence over what they discuss.

“They don't need me to moderate noways, and believe-thee-me, Wilbur don't need nobody to prompt him for questions. He grilled me like a well-done chicken-fried steak at any truck stop in Texas. Howsomever, sir, I ain't no fatalist neither, but as brother to brother and based on disappointments you and me talked about in our lives, I strongly urge you not to count chore' chickens afore they hatch,” Bubba said firmly.

“I couldn't ask for more, Master Bubba,” Marcus said, “Thank you for caring about my boy,” he added.

“After he gets through talking with them three-P slaves – I like that name, Bubba – my pa and I will talk with him,” Billy said.

“May I ask you a question, sir?” Bubba asked Marcus.

“Certainly,” Marcus replied.

“Have you considered asking Wilbur to marry you?” Bubba asked.

Marcus looked stunned. It was obvious he wasn't expecting the question. “To be honest, it never entered my mind, Master Bubba. I don't know why. I suppose it comes from so many years in prison no one thinks in those terms,” Marcus replied.

“Maybe it's time you did, Master Marcus, you're no longer in prison,” Billy spoke up, “I married my slave. I made a dad out of my other slave, and I made brothers out of my two halflings slaves who share my watcher husband with me. Boomer is very much a husband to them, too. So far, it's worked out pert-dang well for us. We know you got a bit more control in mind for Wilbur, but nobody here is trying to fault you for it. Hell, the military has been doing it to young men Wilbur's age for centuries. I think we agree it would be the best damn thing what could happen to the boy. Personally, I admire you for wanting to take on such a big responsibility, but I ain't got a doubt in my mind you will make it work for you and Wilbur. If it's what you really want and require in a relationship with him, I'm almost certain he would have no problem with it if you offered to marry him. It would be a goodly concession on your part,” Billy concluded.
“I doubt Master Marcus has any greater need for control over Wilbur than my husband demands of me,” Tree Griffin spoke up. “When I married Tank, I fully understood I would become his slave for life. Our family don't know we have a different relationship than the usual male/male bonding, but it works for us. We's cowboys and what goes on out to the ranch ain't nobody's business but our'n. Once't we exchanged vows in a private family ceremony, Master Tank wasted no time making me his slave. He carried me on the back of his Harley to the nearest piercing parlor to get me ringed up like a proper slave except for ma' nose, and I ain't never looked back; nor have I regretted a day calling Tank my master,” he said firmly; "however, I have to say, there is considerable comfort knowing he's my husband as well as my master,” Tree said.

“Well said, my good slave,” Tank said quietly, grabbed his mate's leg with his big hand, and squeezed it affectionately.

“I agree with Tree and Tank, it ain't nobody's gall-durn business how they live their lives as long as they's happy with the outcome; no pun intended,” Nathan said.

“Are you considering a harness for your slave, Master Tank?” Marcus asked.

“We got one ordered from Master Billy's leather-crafters. We done already paid for it. We take delivery next weekend, sir,” Tank shot back and every man laughed at the look on Marcus' face.

“Would you marry us, Captain Nick?” Marcus asked.

“Faster'n a hog-auction figure-caller can get them numbers out, sir,” Nick replied and got everybody laughing.

“Maybe you men are right. Maybe I should reconsider my position,” Marcus said like he was unsure of himself. “I need to talk with my prison mates,” he added.

“They already asked to get married, but I put them in a holding pattern for a year after living together as bonded mates. The same would have to apply for you and Wilbur. Still, by the end of the year, you both should know if you want to take the final step. I will bring up that point when me and my pa talk with him, but if it's something you want to consider, you should also throw that carrot in the stew pot,” Billy said and got a couple of laughs, “It just might be the right ingredient what makes young Wilbur decide you're serious about a long term relationship with him,” Billy added.

“Where will I get rings?” Marcus asked.

“Don't you worry none about it. We got fine Silversmiths on board the ship. If you decide to pop the question, let us know, and we'll have the rings made up for you as a love offering from a unique group of brothers who want to see you men succeed. Ain't a man sitting around this table or those of the greater Daniels family what ain't present who don't love and respect you and Wilbur. You only need two rings; one for each. You exchange rings, and when your year of engagement is up, your engagement rings become your wedding rings,” Nick said.

There was a brief silence after Nick spoke.

Enoch spoke up, “Seems to me like that boy done already one-uped you, Master Marcus. What he just done, walking in here in front of his family in your slave-harness, was a bold, strong-willed, and honest statement he's man enough, and loves you enough, to meet you more than halfway. I don't know's I could a done what he just did. The young man managed to grab me by my balls and made my guts do a major flip-flop. If'n I hadn't already met and fallen hopelessly in love with the love of my life, I would surely challenge you to an old fashioned fist-fight for his hand; the last man standing wins. I'm so stoved up, I'm about to embarrass myself to tears just talk'n about it. Let it be known among my family, I'm downright proud and honored to call Wilbur Peterson my brother,” Enoch Redbone said firmly.

“Hosanna!” Tron Garrett exclaimed in agreement like a whispered prayer.

“Hosanna, in the highest!” the men around the table answered in the same reverent manner.

Marcus started laughing, and the men looked at him like he was crazy. “Forgive me, Gentlemen” he said, “I feel like a lecherous old man asking for the hand of the youngest brother of a large family who love him very much; they want to do their best to protect him and insure his happiness. It's heartwarming in a way, but in another it's intimidating as Hell,” he explained and laughed again.

“You're right, Master Marcus, you should feel that way, but not the lecherous part. We'll compromise with 'dirty old man,'” Billy said and everyone roared with laughter, including Marcus. Billy continued, “We all come to love Wilbur, and we want the best for him. I told you when you come to me to seek my opinion and blessing about asking Wilbur to become your slave-boy, I originally decided I wouldn't allow one of my salves to own another man as his slave, but I had time to thing about it, and changed my mind. My slaves Thor and Zeus are the exceptions what made me reconsider. They were married on Retikki Prime, but for all practical purposes, Thor's son Zeus is his slave as well. Again we have a situation of different relationships working outside the box.

"You and Wilbur ain't my slaves. Wilbur is one of my brothers, and since you were falsely accused, I set you free to become your own agent. You have no further debt to society other than what personal sense of responsibility you feel you might owe me for having rescued you from the jaws of death. Remember, we exchanged a three hundred pound wild boar for you, and wild boars don't come cheap; however, I'm pretty sure we done got the best end of the deal,” Billy said, and everyone laughed again. Captain Nick gave himself to me to become my slave after I saved his life because universal law requires it, but I ain't held you to it. However, you're pretty much stuck with us because you know if you set one foot outside that front gate without our family, you run the risk of being discovered. Here you're safe. I still think your request to make Wilbur your slave is a good idea, for you and for him,” Billy said.

“I may be a hard-headed old Tuscan bull, but by god, I finally got the message. If I were to agree to marry Wilbur, would I gain you gentlemens' approval and blessing?” Marcus asked.

“Yes!” came a resounding exclamation in unison from the men around the table.   

“I swear on the name of some unknown god, I will do it. You get me them rings, and I'll do it as soon as I can, after he's talked with everyone he feels he needs to consult, assuming his answer to my proposal is a 'yes.' Thank you Brother Enoch for your impassioned comments. I deserved the challenge. I can't run the risk of losing a treasure like Wilbur I may never find again by being a hard-nose and gambling on doing it my way. I ain't willing to do that. It ain't very often a dirty old man gets a second chance to have an Angel love him. Besides, our wings are the same color. I think that's important. Somebody out there wants us to be together,” Marcus said and laughed again.

“Oh, yes, and there's one more thing, Master Marcus. You must ask for Wilbur's hand before his family of brothers, as we will be providing the rings to bind your spirits. They will be forged in the fires of the great mountain of Mordor, and once given and accepted, they cannot be removed without stopping the heart of him who wears them,” Bubba said ominously rifting on a Tolkien theme. Everyone laughed at his nonsense.

“Fair enough,” Marcus replied and laughed.

* * * * * * *
Bubba left the group and transported to the slave quarters near the big house. He gathered Orville, Harley-Buck, and Earl and told them an overview of what was going on. They already knew. Gossip travels fast over the slave-net. Bubba told them they could be as honest as they wanted to be with Wilbur, and they would neither be corrected nor punished for anything they discussed. They were eager to help, and Bubba transported them back to the dungeon on board Captain Nick's ship. The slaves waited in the general area until Bubba fetched Wilbur and brought him back with him. When Bubba returned with Wilbur, the three slaves were sitting on the leather padded tables. Harley-Buck and Earl were sitting on one and Orville was sitting on the other. They stood when Bubba came into the dungeon with Wilbur wearing only his boots and his slave-harness. He looked  like he belonged among them.

Like everyone else who saw Wilbur that afternoon, they were stunned by the young man's raw masculine beauty. They quietly commented to each other, the young cowboy looked like he belonged in his harness; like he was born to wear it. Being slaves themselves, they looked upon their thoughts as a compliment. Orville, being the oldest and senior slave, got to Wilbur first, gave him a big hug, and stole a kiss. Harley-Buck, proudly wearing his horns, was next and made over Wilbur like the young cowboy-slave was the tastiest morsel he ever saw, and cursed him in the next breath for making his big cock cramp in its cage. Earl was last and while he wasn't as dramatic or overwhelming as the other two, he warmly welcomed Wilbur among them. Bubba could see from the reception, Wilbur had nothing to fear, and he was in good hands. Bubba excused himself and told them to come get him in the dining hall when they finished their conversations.

“Congratulation, Son,” Orville said.

“I second that,” Harley-Buck agreed.

“I'm not one for compliments, Wilbur, but my companion slaves are right, you look like you were born to wear a slave harness, Little Brother,” Earl said sincerely, “Wear it with pride, Son. Now, how may us humble slaves be of help?” he asked.

“Thank you men for your warm welcome among you. We've met and worked together, but we ain't never had much time to chat. We's always too damn busy around this place,” Wilbur said and grinned, “I just wanted to get your input about slavery in general, and even though you're considered punishment slaves, I see very little actual punishment going on with you men. I ain't never seen no marks on your bodies where you been strung up and lashed. I ain't never heard me no screaming or yelling in pain. Do they do that away from everybody so's no one will know what you have to go through?” Wilbur asked naively.

“Ain't he sweet,” Orville said to his companions, and the slaves shared a laugh.

“He sure is, Brother. I'd drink his sweet cream in my coffee, and it would be all the calories I need for a week,” Harley-Buck agree adding his cowboy hyperbole, and got everyone laughing.  

“The truth is, Little Brother, we ain't never been threatened, pushed, shoved, slapped around, hit, whipped, spanked, starved, denied anything, or tortured. Sometimes we feel a little bad when the Barnyard Concerts comes to an end on Saturdays, but we know they'll be another to look forward to next Saturday. The closest we come to anything resembling real punishment is a little discomfort wearing our butt plugs or ass stretchers when they go up in size to acclimate our sphincters, our assholes, to accommodate a big cowboy's cock. It takes a day or two to adjust, but after that, you get so used to it, you forget it's there. I think my brothers will agree, we look on it as training rather than punishment. We look on our keepers as our trainers, but we also consider them our friends. They's our first line of defense against anyone prejudiced against punishment slaves. I'm afraid what chu' see before you is what you gets. Our lives ain't dull by no means, but they's pretty much routine,” Earl explained.

Orville and Harley-Buck looked at Earl in awe. In the month they were together they never heard him open up to anyone the way he did with Wilbur.

“What do you want to know about us, Son?” Orville asked.

“General things, I guess. Your overall impression of being a slave, what you've learned, and how it's affected your life,” Wilbur replied.

“For me it's been a life changing event,” Orville said.

“I'll second that!” Harley-Buck exclaimed.

“Hear! Hear! Don't leave me out!" Earl exclaimed, "It's forced me to start on the long road to grow'n up; a journey I ain't never bothered to undertake before. I ain't even out of sight of my past yet, but ever' damn day takes me further away from the ignorance and bullheadedness of my misspent youth,” Earl added more quietly, "If I had it to do over again, would I done it different? Bet chore' sweet young ass I would! I should have jumped at the chance to become Bubba Kirkendall's slave when he offered. I thought I was all man and much too independent to have to answer to another man. I was fearful of what others might think of me. Hindsight can be a terrible thing or it can be a great motivator to learn to accept change and make the best of it," he added.

Orville continued, “I'm the only lifer-slave on the ranch. I tried to kill Enoch Redbone, but I didn't know at the time how powerful Master Billy was. He and his cowboy-angels prevented me from doing it, but the accident I arranged damn-near cut his leg off anyway. Long story short: them cowboy-angels healed him up pert-damn quick, but they had cameras around the ranch what caught me discussing with my number two man my plans to do away with Enoch and make it look like an accident. They got me dead to rights, found me guilty of attempted murder, and I got life. I really didn't know what to expect when they brought me to the Daniels ranch. I was angry and hostile, and I weren't gonna' cooperate with them for one gotdamn minute. I thought they'd just slap me in a cell and work me to death. Boy, was I in for a surprise... and a good one, I have to admit.

Master Billy put me to sleep, and when I woke up, I was completely transformed into how he wanted me to look. I had a ring through my nose, rings through my tits, and a big one wielded shut through the head of my cock. My body was completely bald, and I felt like I'd lost fifty pounds; however, I was still out of shape. He told me what and how he planned to remake me into a decent man like it weren't no secret, but in my mind I was laughing at him. They outfitted me with a harness and locked my cock away in a cage. I was only allowed the same outfit you's wearing and we's wear'n. I began a schedule of working with my keepers and their work crew. Days went by, and it didn't seem so bad except I didn't have any sexual release.

"I was older, and it didn't matter so much to me as you younger bucks. I knew I was going to be butt-fucked sooner or later, but it was like they weren't in no hurry for my 'grand opening' as they come to joke about it. I was working every day while being supervised by my keepers. It wasn't hard or difficult work, but it was steady. In the evenings they would take me to a make-shift gym, and we would workout with weights. Once in a while, they would add a new weight machine they would bring in and set up. Since then, it's grown, and now the gym area is really nice. They kept me on a strict diet of nothing but slave chow and a biscuit for three meals a day. I was burning fat daily and replacing it with honest muscle you see today.

“My keepers were absolute saints with me. They put up with my moaning, groaning, complaining, and bitching. They kept reminding me I didn't have it as bad as being locked away in a damn cell every day for the rest of my life. They asked me if I didn't like them? They told me they would ask Master Billy to replace them with others I might like better. That simple act of compassion on their part astounded me. I remember waking up one morning after being at the ranch several weeks and asked myself what the Hell was wrong with me? That morning something snapped inside me, and I decided I didn't have it so bad after all. I started to change my attitude and decided to make the best of it. I stopped my bitching and tried to become more pleasant and considerate of my keeper's feelings. I found out, what I gave, came back to me ten fold, and then I met Bubba Kirkendall.

“Bubba is twenty or more years younger than me, but there's something about him that tripped my switch. I wasn't allowed to ejaculate for weeks, and I shot the hardest load I ever did in my miserable life in his big arms as he kissed me long, hard, and deep. He never asked me to love him; he demanded it! I gave him full control, and it was the single smartest damn thing I ever done in my miserable life, Son. I'm glad I done it, and I ain't never looked back. Well, sir, that was the beginning of the death of the old Orville Higginbothem. I decided, with Master Bubba in my life, things weren't so miserable after-all,” Orville stopped for a breather.

“Were you a straight man before you became Master Billy and Bubba's slave, sir?” Wilbur asked.

“I thought I was, but the truth, as I see it now, is not the same as it was before I came to the ranch. I was terrible to women. I used them for my own gratification, and if they got theirs, fine; if not, it was their fault, not mine. In all my years, I never fucked the same woman twice. I never wanted to form a relationship with a woman. They were only so much meat to dump my baby-batter into, and then it was so-long it's been good to snow ya.'” Orville said.

“Is that how Master Bubba came to be your main training master, Mr. Higginbothem,” Wilbur asked.

“Call me 'Orville,' Son. A good man like you should never call somebody like me 'mister,' but I appreciate your manners, sir,” Orville replied, “To answer you question, yes, Master Billy assigned Master Bubba to work with me and get me ready for my grand opening. The only sex I was allowed to have was with Master Bubba, or Master Billy, but after a while he turned me over to Bubba completely. That big hunk of cowboy took me places I never knew existed. Sexual ecstasies and erotic highs I could never imagine, until he had me so well trained, I never wanted anyone but him to bring me the pleasure he freely shared with me. Bubba is strong, powerful, determined, and demanding, but he can also be warm, compassionate, and complimentary when I please him. I know I probably sound like an old temple whore from biblical times, but there just ain't no words to explain to you the gut wrenching sexual release that man demanded from me and would make me repeat over and over until I responded exactly the way he demanded. I became wet clay in his hands, and like an expert potter, he molded me into a willing hungry vessel to receive his cowboy gizz. I apologize to his brother, Earl here, to talk about someone he cared about in such a sexual way, but you asked what I learned,” Orville said quietly.
“Yes, it's uncomfortable, Orville, but I know you're telling Master Wilbur what he needs to know, and you're being honest. That's why we come here is to tell him our experiences. I don't think you're over-exaggerating your feelings. I see the way you melt when Bubba comes around, but h'it ain't your fault. I had my chance with him, and I blew it. Now I come to realize, it was the worst gotdamn mistake of my life. Bubba was brutally honest with me. He told me he loved me, but he was tired of supporting me and my mother and not getting so much as a back-rub out of me. He was right. I took advantage of his friendship. Bubba laid his cards on the table and told me he wanted to make me his love slave, but in exchange he would take care of me. All I had to do was be his partner, his slave, and take care of his sexual needs. I weren't as grow'd up then as I become after coming to the Daniels Ranch. I still got a long way to go. Now I got Cowboy Andy for a mentor and trainer. I go through the motions, but there ain't much feeling between us. I get the idea he's doing a job, and he expect me to do my part. I try but he knows my heart ain't in it.

“We didn't click like you and Bubba, Orville, but I certainly don't begrudge either one of you. Maybe it's just me,” Earl lamented, “Maybe there ain't nobody for me. To be honest with you, I'm more jealous of young Wilbur here than I am of you, Brother. Wilbur never had no dad and mine was either not there or drunk most of the time. There ain't no two-ways about it, after Master Billy got through restoring that big Tuscan Bull, as they call him, he made one fine looking chunk of cowboy meat; Grade-A prime beef on the hoof. He will make Wilbur a fine daddy and a good master. I only wish I'd know'd about these things before now,” Earl lamented.

“What about you, Mr. Johnson?” Wilbur asked politely.

“I'm like Orville, Son, I'm just a slave; call me Harley-Buck. If'n you's gonna' be my baby brother-slave there ain't no 'mister' between us,” Harley-Buck insisted and grinned at Wilbur. “I never had me no daddy neither when I's grow'n up. Of the three of us, I probably relate more to your needs than either one a them. I'm the same as our buddy Earl here, I wish't I'd know'd about these things years ago, and it probably would have saved me a lot of lonely days and nights, helped me grow up, and kept me out of trouble. I craved male companionship all my life and never got what I so badly needed. I got married to a pretty little woman, but after the new wore off and the thrill of doing 'grown-up' stuff was gone; I'm sorry to say, I lost interest in her. What I'm coming to realize is, I damn near married my own mother. Suzy was a lot like my mom; only, not so crazy. I like women, and when I wanted to be, I could be good with them, but there's a little boy inside me what's never grow'd up; sort of like that fairy guy in the Disney movie Peter Pan.

“Suzy played off on me, had sex with the preacher man I tried to kill, made me a cuckold, and I kicked her out. If I really loved her to begin with, I would have tried to work it out with her, but I used her infidelity as an excuse to get rid of her. I tossed her aside like an old come-rag you'd throw in the trash rather than wash it and use again. Now, here I am, in the land of lost boys, and I still ain't got me no daddy to help me grow up neither. During my trial for shooting the preacher, my real dad come forward and recognized me as his own. Master Billy assigned him as my training master. I love him 'cause he's ma' dad, but he ain't got what I need, and I think we both come to realize it. After you get settled in real good, and you's comfortable with your master, do you think you could asked him right-nice-like for me and ma' brother Earl here, to take on two more lost boys for his slaves?” Harley-Buck asked, winked at Wilbur, and broke into laughter. The men shared a laugh with him.

“Are you kidding? Look at that boy. There's enough love sit'n on that bench to satisfy the biggest bull on this ranch,” Orville said and grinned at Wilbur.

“Then you men think I'm doing the right thing if I agree to become Master Marcus' slave-boy?” Wilbur asked.

“Absolutely, Son, you'd be crazy not to!” Harley-Buck exclaimed loudly.
“Without a doubt!” exclaimed Orville.

“Do it! Don't even think about it! Go for it, Wilbur! A good-hearted kid like you deserves the best, and from everything we hear about your master, 'ere ain't no doubt, he's definitely the daddy for you. Run to them big arms of his and never look back at us lost boys what would change places with you in a cow-town minute if given the chance,” Earl said from the bottom of his gut. His two slave-brothers looked at each other and shook their heads. They were wondering when Earl might come around, if ever. They knew the first step in growing or recovering from a great disappointment in life is to admit there is a problem and then trying to figure out how to do something about it. There was something in Wilbur that tripped Earl's empathy switch, and he meant what he told the boy.     

Wilbur thought he pretty well traveled this avenue of his investigation. He felt great empathy for each of the three men, and did, indeed, feel like he could come to think upon them as his brothers. “I can't thank you gentlemen enough for your honesty and warm feelings. You have become an invaluable resource for me, and I hope I may call upon you again many times in the future, if not for shop talk, just to get together and enjoy each other's company,” Wilbur said sincerely.

Each slave had to have a hug and a kiss from him, and Wilbur was gracious and giving. Harley-Buck reached down to feel Wilbur's plug, and the young cowboy let him. “Just as I thought, it's the same size they started me and Earl off with; I suppose Orville, too. Don't be shy, Son, put your hand back there and feel mine,” Harley-Buck invited. Wilbur did and felt a huge leather plug in the big-horned cowboy's ass.

“My god in heaven, it's huge!” Wilbur exclaimed.

“Naw, I'm used to it. The next one I get will be the big one, but I'm ready for it; you, Earl?” he asked his bunk-mate.

“Yeah, I don't even think about the one we got in us now. It's better for us when we know we got a new challenge. We'll wear the new one and get comfortable with it before we get our grand opening,” Earl said and laughed.

The four slaves walked slowly back to the dining hall talking like they were old friends. Everyone sitting at the big table stood as they came into the hall. Wilbur noticed Marcus wasn't with them, but there were a couple of more men who joined them.

“The four best looking slaves on this planet,” said Nathan Daniels.

“Hear! Hear!” said his mate Tron Garrett in agreement.

“C'ain't gainsay that, Uncle Nate. You men finished?” Billy asked.

“No, we just stopped for now. I don't plan to ever stop my conversation with these men. They have a lot to teach me. I can learn a lot from them, and I just might be able to help them in some small way,” Wilbur said firmly.

“Good answer, Young Man. Your family is rooting for you,” Enoch said.

“Where is my good master, sir?” Wilbur asked.

“I sent him away on an important errand with Bubba, Balthazar, Clyde, and Mack. He said he would meet you in your room in time for you to come down for supper together. In the meantime, invite your friends to join us for coffee and cakes. You may serve them,” Billy said.

Wilbur seated his guests and asked if they would like coffee and a couple of Hosanna Cakes. They answered to the affirmative. Wilbur went off to the kitchen to fill a tray.

“How did it go, Gentlemen?” Billy asked.

“Three strong thumbs up for him to go for it, Master Billy,” Orville replied.

“Good, did your decisions come from your hearts or from how you thought we might like for you influence him?” Billy asked.

To everyone's surprise Earl spoke up, “Master Bubba told us to be honest with Wilbur and we were, sir. Orville was long winded and brilliant, but in his defense he's got the longest story. Harley-Buck was his usual rawhide, plain and gutsy, but he set up the nail, and with one swift stroke of his hammer, drove it home. They both impressed the shit out of me. I'm afraid I was the weak-sister and didn't explain much, but I think I did pull out ahead in the homestretch and finished strong when I told Wilbur how jealous of him I was,” Earl said. Everyone looked at each other. Orville and Harley-Buck broke up laughing.

“That was a fine report, Mr. Hickson. I believe you,” Billy said and everyone laughed, “Good to see you're coming out of your shell, Slave,” Billy added and Earl grinned.

Wilbur returned, served his companions, and asked if anyone else needed anything. No one did. Wilbur excused himself to return to the kitchen to help, but he said he would be back to check on them.

“Where has my master really gone, Master Billy?” Orville asked.

“You wise old turkey, I jes' done told you I sent him off on an errand with Marcus, Balthazar, Clyde, and Mack, but you're right, I didn't say where. I sent them to the new Star-people family to pick out engagement rings for Marcus and Wilbur. They took Marcus with them to choose what he wanted. Their engagement rings will double for their wedding rings after they been together for a year,” Billy said.

“We didn't think about marriage, but in their case, it makes perfect sense,” Orville said.

“I think that will be the straw what broke the camel's back with Wilbur's decision,” Harley-Buck said.

“I think it's a great idea,” Earl added.

“Since you three slaves played a big part in this, would you men like to join us in the tubs this evening? Marcus is going to propose to Wilbur before his family,” Billy invited them.   
“Are you kidding, Master? We'd love to be there. We accept your gracious offer,” Orville said enthusiastically.

“Thanks, Master Billy, that would be a great treat for the end of the week,” Harley-Buck said.

“Me, too, Master Billy – what they said,” Earl declared and got a laugh out of Billy.

“Now we know you can express yourself, don't go back to pulling the caboose, Earl,” Billy said.

“No, sir, Master Billy, I wont, sir,” Earl replied and laughed.

“I'll send Bubba for you men after you eat your supper and you can gate wiff' us to the dungeon,” Billy said. “No harnesses, but you may wear your plug if you like,” Billy said and smiled.

“I wouldn't feel comfortable without mine,” Earl said.

“Me neither, Brother,” Harley-Buck agreed.

“It's unanimous, Master Billy. Plugs it is,” Orville brought up the rear. (no pun intended)

“There ain't no need to send Master Bubba to gather us, Master Billy, our keepers and slave brothers invited him, Master Jack, and Master Grover to have supper with us, and they accepted. We will be with them men most of the early evening, sir,” Harley-Buck said.

“Good, then I'll leave you men to grab a ride with them,” Billy said and smiled.

Billy also invited Tree Griffin and his master, Tank, to stay for supper, and they could gate back in the morning. Griff, his wife, and Tommy already left for home. Griff had to be up early to open the station and café. They did a good business in the mornings. The Bossman left with his family to go back to his job of being Ramrod of the Rutherford ranch. He confided in Billy he was getting a little home sick to see his Straw-boss again. There were a couple hours left before the dining room started serving supper for the residents on the ship. Billy told Wilbur to knock-off work and come with him and his pa to their suite of rooms in their apartment in the tower. It was on the next level up from the rest of the occupied apartments. Wilbur was impressed the place was comfortable and well furnished with old but serviceable furniture. It wasn't opulent, but it was warm and comfortable. They sat down at an old table. Billy asked if Wilbur wanted anything, but he declined.

“This has been a big day for you, Little Brother,” Billy said, “You damn near blew me away when you walked back into the dining hall wearing just your boots and harness. You made a big impression on a number of men, including your old man. I hear you want to talk with me and my pa, Son,” Billy added.

“Yes, sir. I trust Marcus. I don't think he would lie to me, but I just wanted to hear you tell me what you told him,” Wilbur said.

“I'll be glad to if it will help you make a decision. I told Marcus I think it would be the best thing for both of you. I told him you need a broader experience in life, and I thought he would be the perfect teacher for you. You're just starting out in life, and I think you need the control and direction of a mature man like Marcus. If you men plan to share a bed, which don't take no genius to figure out the way you look at each other, you need to be carefully and patiently taught the pleasures of male sex,” Billy said recalling his conversation with the big Tuscan bull.

“That's almost word for word what Marcus told me. Okay, that's fine, I'm comfortable with it, Master Billy. Is there anything else I should know. sir? Feel free to jump right in, Captain Nick, I'd like to hear your thoughts, sir,” Wilbur said.

“You don't want to know my thoughts I was just think'n right then, Son. If I told you, you'd run for the door,” Nick said and laughed, “Do you have any idea how sexy you are in that damn harness, Boy?” Nick asked, and he got Billy laughing.

“Down Tonto! Steady, Big Fellow!” Billy jokingly chastised him.

“The whole damn family loves you, Wilbur, and we want the best for you. We just happen to think you and Marcus are meant to be together. The master/slave thing is not really much to fret about. Marcus ain't never gonna' take you no further than he thinks you can handle. He's a lumbering giant of a man; the cognomen Tuscan Bull fits him perfectly. He will probably frustrate the crap out of you because you'll want him to speed up his act, but if you're patient and give him the control he wants and needs, you will be richly rewarded, I guarantee you.

“Being another man's love slave ain't a mark of shame, Son. In Marcus' case, it's his strength; his strong suit. I'm Billy's slave, but when we's home alone and comfortable, he's my son and I'm his pa. We don't sit around dwelling on master/slave protocol, nor am I ashamed to tell any man, Angel, or critter Billy Daniels is my master. No matter what form relationships take, if they're to succeed, they must find a balance. Trust me, it will happen for you and Marcus,” Nick said.   

“That was pert-damn good for a hard-nose, disillusioned, grumpy old fart of a fallen angel, Pa,” Billy said, slapped his knee, and laughed. He even got a laugh out of Wilbur.

“See, Son, that's just what I's talk'n about; a prime example of balance before I smother him to death with his own pillow tonight!” Nick exclaimed coldly, and they shared another laugh.

They talked some more and Wilbur discussed with Billy and Nick his impressions of Orville, Harley-Buck, and Earl. He told Billy, Harley-Buck and Earl were not really comfortable with their mentors and both expressed deep envy for Wilbur and his possible bonding with Marcus. “They want what Orville has with Bubba, sir, only with another master,” Wilbur said, “I hope I ain't spoke out of line, or betrayed my brothers by telling you this,” he added.

“No, you done the right thing by telling me, Son. Ya' ain't betraying them none. If they ain't happy and comfortable with their mentors, I should know about it. I ain't been following them as closely as I should, but I noticed a couple of things what should have sent-up a red flag, but I overlooked them. I promise, I'll look into it. It ain't good news, but it's better to know about it sooner, when we can make a correction, than later,” Billy said, “If I can't find somebody to take over their training, I just might have to import someone. One way or another, we'll look into it,” Billy said.

It was getting late and Billy decided they should probably end their conversation and take Wilbur to his and Marcus' apartment. They were getting ready to leave and Wilbur looked Billy in the eye and then looked away. “Out with it, Little Brother. Don't never hold nothing back from me. What's on your mind, Son?” Billy asked in a demanding tone.

“I'm embarrassed to impose upon your generosity, sir, but there's one last favor I need to ask of you,” Wilbur said with a shaky voice like it was really important to him.

Wilbur leaned in close and whispered in Billy's ear. Billy laughed. “Are you sure?” he asked.

“Yes, sir. If I'm gonna' do this I'd feel more comfortable if got all my ducks in a row, and I'd like to have all the 'apps' available you'd allow me, sir, just in case,” Wilbur replied.

“No argument here. I think it's a great idea. You plan to rip that old Tuscan bull a new asshole, and I think it's wonderful, Son. You's think'n outside the box for damn sure. It will take him down a notch or two and round off his rough edges. You'll lead that old bull around by his nose. Hell, we got time. Pa help the slave-boy off with his harness,” Billy said, and Nick went to work. “Oh, and by the way, Pa, just for the record, I take back all them bad things I done said about you,” Billy said.

“Worried?” Nick asked.

“Naw, just cover'n my ass, Pa. I don't want you cut'n me off,” Billy said, and they shared a laugh.

* * * * * * *
After Billy and Nick delivered Wilbur to his apartment, they transported back to the big house for supper. There weren't as many of Billy's extended family around the table as usual. The Breedloves were invited to take supper on the ship in the dining hall, but they promised they would join the family in the dungeon for a soak in the tubs. Likewise with Tree and Tank, they were invited to have supper with the giants. They loved the giants, Thor and Zeus, and came to be quite fond of Wilbur and Marcus. They were staying the night. They planned to gate back to the Griffin's the following morning and drive home from there.

Conversation was interesting around the Daniels' table. The ladies were interested in Wilbur. They loved his mother, and they thought young Wilbur was a hunk. He made an authentic looking West Texas Cowboy. They were happy for him and Marcus, and wished them well. Cowboy Andy was having supper with them. “How are things going with you and Earl Hickson, Andy?” Billy asked.

“Not real good, I'm afraid, Master Billy. I done my best, but other than doing what I require of him, he just don't respond to me, sir. I was going to wait until tomorrow and ask if I could be relieved of that duty. I think Earl Hickson has painted himself into a corner,” Andy replied.

“Would you like to explain, Cowboy?” Billy asked.

“Earl's in love with Harley-Buck Johnson, but old Harley ain't got no clue. Besides, him being a slave brother with Earl, he can't do nothing about it noways,” Andy explained.

“Oh, I see. That does sort of throw a monkey wrench in the works. I tell you what, keep working with Earl for the next week. I'll get you reassigned as soon as possible. It's gonna' take me a little time to come up with a better solution for both of them. I need to talk with Harley-Buck's dad,” Billy said.

“It's the same with them. Harley loves and idolizes his dad, but I don't think Harlen Johnson is into the more kinky aspects of slave training. He ain't no Bubba. Harlen likes the idea, but he ain't no nuts-and-bolts man. He can't seem to grasp what we're trying to accomplish. I'll admit I'm guilty of calling the kettle black when I've failed miserably with Earl. I'll give Harlen credit, he tries hard, but he just ain't a strong enough personality or basic animal enough to hold Harley-Buck's attention. Harley-Buck needs a bigger, stronger animal to tame his animal, and as you know, his is pert-damn big. The way I see it, Harlen needs as much herding as Harley, but he's got his with his main man Jessie Jones. J'ever hear the term, the power behind the throne?” Andy asked.

“I could a told you that,” Zelma spoke up, “If Jessie Jones were to leave Harlen's employ, that man would fall apart,” she added. Everyone laughed. “I'm serious,” said Zelma, “that's why he pays Jessie them big bucks. Jessie is a brother, a mother, and a strong father-figure for Harlen, but he's subtle and don't draw attention to himself. That's why performing here on the ranch is so important to him. He's becoming his own man. I wondered if it might bother Harlen, but so far, it's only strengthened their bond,” she said.

Andy continued, “I think it's gonna' be difficult to find a match for Earl Hickson, sir. He's still grieving his heart out over the way he treated his brother when he see's the strong bond what passes between Bubba and Orville, and when Harley-Buck wears them horns, his keepers tell me Earl comes to them on the sly and asks them to unlock his cage so's he can clean his'self,” Andy said, laughed, and slapped his knee. He got everybody around the table laughing.

“Hell, Earl ain't the only one with that problem. Me and my mate's guilty of the same damn thing,” Moss Garrett said, “I swear that cowboy was born to wear them horns,” he added.

“Maybe I should rethink that gift,” Billy mused to himself.

“Don't chu' dare!” Enoch exclaimed and everyone around the table fell-out laughing.

“Hear! Hear!” shouted Tron and Nathan, and they laughed again.

* * * * * * *
After Billy and Nick left Wilbur with Marcus in their apartment, Marcus went to Wilbur and gently took him into his arms, held the boy's head close to his well-defined naked breast with his huge ham of a hand, and tenderly kissed him on top of his head. “You made me so proud of you today, Son, I damn near ripped my shirt and Wranglers I swelled with such pride. My old hoss stayed hard all afternoon, and I'm embarrassed to tell you I soiled my pants. I hope you're as proud of yourself as me and them other men what were drooling over you,” Marcus said.

“Not proud of myself, but proud for myself for having the good fortune to have such a big, strong, handsome master who thinks enough of me to become the object of his affections. For me, I'm happy and pleased with myself to be comfortably resigned, Master,” Wilbur replied.

“Then, am I to understand your talks with them men helped, Son?” Marcus asked.

“Tremendously, sir. They not only dashed my reservations to pieces, they also cast asunder the last shred of fear I might have entertained, and as an extra added bonus, I gained a new champion and three new brothers,” Wilbur replied.

“You are also expressing yourself with a clarity not usually found in one so young, my love,” Marcus said and stole a kiss, “Have you reached a comfortable conclusion?” Marcus asked.

“I have, sir. It is without fear or trepidation, I'm incredibly pleased and thrilled to tell you, I am humbly honored to accept your gracious offer to become your slave-boy and to call you my master for however long you need me, Master Marcus,” Wilbur replied.

They stood together and Marcus held Wilbur even tighter to him. The young cowboy felt his large master give forth with one big sob. Wilbur waited for a moment for Marcus to get himself together. “I'm a very fortunate man to have found you, and there are no words to tell you how happy you made me, Wilbur,” Marcus said.

“There is one caveat or consideration I need for you to agree and swear to before it becomes final and my heart can rest in the knowledge I made the right decision, Master Marcus,” Wilbur said.

“And that would be...?” Marcus asked ominously, expecting the worst.

“Should you have occasion to be apart from me for a period of more than one day, you must agree to leave me, your property, under the care and protection of Master Bubba Kirkendall. If, for some reason, Master Kirkendall is unavailable, then you must agree to leave me under the care of Master Billy Daniels and his family,” Wilbur replied.

“Is that it? That's all you ask?” Marcus asked like he was amazed.

“You were expecting worse?” Wilbur asked.

“I'll admit I braced myself for something much more complicated, but your caveat is so minor, I almost, but not totally, consider it moot. I have empathy for your concern, Son, and you have a right as my slave, and property, to choose your champions in my absence; those with whom you would feel safe and be most comfortable. I so swear by the fair deeds of those of my ancient ancestors who were good, kind, and loving, and the names of every unknown god, I promise I will adhere to your wishes about this matter without fail,” Marcus swore.

“Your oath and promise is acceptable to me, sir. From this moment on, I am proud and pleased to think upon myself as your property and your humble slave, Master Marco Obbligatto. May I have permission to pay homage to my master's boots, sir?” Wilbur asked.

“You have my permission, Slave,” Marcus replied. The big man's heart turned into a bowl full of warm jello, combined with his tears, ran down into stomach, and rent his gut asunder like an old fashioned butter churn, as he watched his handsome young slave pay homage to his boots. When Marcus was satisfied Wilbur paid sufficient homage to him, he ordered him to stand and share his love with his master. It was a strong and sacred moment between them the two men would remember the rest of their lives.

* * * * * * *
The men gathered in the dungeon and removed their clothes, but no one got into the tubs. They stood around in the dungeon area naked, awaiting the arrival of the giants with Marcus and Wilbur. They were chatting and laughing like it was the most natural thing in the world for them to be doing. Tree and Tank exhibited no embarrassment joining in the conversation. They felt more at home in the Daniels world than their own. Billy arranged it with Marcus and the giants they would be the last to arrive. Finally they came down the back steps and hailed the men. They came down the stairs naked so they wouldn't have to bother with clothes. The only man among them who didn't have a clue what was going on was Wilbur. He walked proudly on his master's arm with his small training plug firmly implanted up his ass, but he wore no harness. Marcus walked with his massive chest puffed out like a Frigate bird in mating season.

“And how is our Sir Knight-Errant, Lord and Master Bull Puffchester, who so proudly and gallantly escorts his young handsome slave, young Sir Wilbur Galahad the brave, pure, and chaste, unto our presence,” Billy asked and bowed deeply to the two men. Everyone laughed at Billy's nonsense.

“More proud and happy than any man or Knight has a right to be, Sir Knight Regent. Sire!” Marcus played along, snapped to attention, and returned Billy's bow. Wilbur followed his master's lead and bowed with him. Everyone applauded and whistled their approval.

“And you, handsome young slave, do you join us with a goodly temperament and a full heart?” Billy asked Wilbur.

“I do, Sire. I have cast off the heavy burdens of fear and doubt. I stand before you as a new slave belonging to none other than my handsome, strong, and fearless master, Sir Lord Marcus the Bold and Brave,” Wilbur replied getting into the spirit of the moment. Again the men went bananas applauding and cheering for Wilbur.

“Perhaps you're wondering why us men are standing around in our birthday-suits awaiting your arrival?” Billy asked Wilbur.

“On the contrary, not at all, Sire. Whatever your reason, I'm sure it's good. I'm not one to question. My appointed mission is to stand by my master's side at the ready, sir,” Wilbur replied.

“Excellent reply, Slave. Then I will leave it to your Bold Sir Knight who seeks to own you to explain this gathering,” Billy proclaimed, “Master Marcus...” Billy referred to the big Tuscan bull.

“Thank you, Sire,” Marcus said, turned to Wilbur, took his hands in his, and spoke, “My handsome young knight, I know you've been through a lot today and fought a thousand battles pro and con with yourself agonizing over your decision to accept my offer to become my slave. Fortunately, for me, you found it in your big heart to accept my offer; however, I wanted to take this moment to declare in front of our master and brothers, I will honor your caveat to leave you with Master Bubba Kirkendall as your first choice of champions, should I have occasion to be away from you for more than a twenty-four hour period, and if Master Bubba isn't available, I will leave you with Master Billy and the Daniels family.

“To chase away any lingering fears or doubts about my sincerity to become your master, I have one burning question for you,” Marcus said and dropped to his knees before Wilbur, “Enjoy the moment, Slave, it's probably the only time you'll ever see your master on his knees before you,” Marcus said and got a laugh from everyone but Wilbur. The young man looked befuddled, befret, and bewildered. (not to be confused with be-watched, bothered, and be-mildred) Marcus held Wilbur's hands tightly and spoke the words which have brought fear to men's hearts for centuries, but not our Bold Sir Knight-Errant Marco Del Obbligatto, “Wilbur Peterson, my handsome slave-boy, will you marry me?” Marcus asked.

Wilbur threw his arms around Marcus' thick neck. The young man cried and stole kiss after kiss from his master. There were many 'oohs' and 'aahs' from the men. “Of course I will marry you, Master. I never thought you might consider marriage, but you're right, it will bring me great peace of mind and a solid trust in you, sir,” Wilbur replied and again the gathered family applauded and whistled.

“Ring please?” Marcus asked, and Captain Nick dropped a beautiful, unique silver ring in Marcus' hand. It was broader than most bands, but it boasted an inlaid ring of lapis lazuli in the center of the ring. It was remarkably beautiful, and it fit Wilbur's ring finger perfectly. “With this ring, I pledge my betrothal to marry you, my good slave, after one year of us living together in sin,” Marcus said and got a few laughs. “I would have married you sooner, Son, but them's Master Billy's rules I agreed to,” Marcus said.

“But, I have no ring to give you, Master,” Wilbur lamented. Magically, a much larger ring appeared before him between the fingers of Captain Nick. Wilbur took it from Captain Nick, threw his arms around his neck, and stole a kiss. “Thank you, sir. I shall forever be in your debt,” Wilbur said. He took the ring and slipped it onto Marcus' ring finger. “This ring is a symbol of my love for my master and my betrothal to him to become his good husband and slave for as long as he has need of me,” Wilbur said. A big cheer went up. Marcus and Wilbur hugged and shared a long and passionate kiss.
* * * * * *
Everyone came around and offered their congratulations. There was some choice comments and innocent joking with the newly betrothed. Wilbur's new slave brothers were all over him and even shed a couple of tears. Orville hugged and kissed Wilbur. So did Harley-Buck, and Wilbur took great delight in feeling his big horns – on his head. Earl whispered he was so jealous he could bite clean through a ten-penny nail and grinned. He got Wilbur laughing. Wilbur cried in Bubba's arms and couldn't thank him enough for his raw-boned, gut-level, supportive conversation. He promised he would never forget Bubba's words. He was especially grateful to Master Billy and Captain Nick, and they responded in kind. Everyone had to see their new rings and were wowed by them.

“How come we never got rings, Master Tank?” Tree Griffin asked.

“Hell, when we started ranching we's poor as church mice. You and me damn near starved to death that first year. If's it t'weren't for our guns and fresh road kill we would have. We couldn't afford no rings except them stainless ones for your tits and cock, and they damn near broke us. We're better off today. We got us a goodly bit of money in the Rancher's Credit Union. You want a ring? If my slave wants a ring, gotdamn it, I'll buy him a ring. Ya'ont one for your finger or your nose?” Tank asked and grinned.

“I'll leave that up to my master,” Tree replied.

“Smart slave!” Captain Nick exclaimed.

“But since you offered, could I have both, sir,” Tree asked, and everyone laughed.

The men got in the tubs. They were in a merry but randy mood. There were no young ones present, so they felt free to talk about any and everything they could think about. There was a lot of razing for the new couple, but they took it in stride. The warm water and the relaxing Texas Tea soon made everybody mellow. Marcus and Wilbur were whispering back and forth like two horny doves looking for a limb to make a nest. Wilbur sat between Marcus' huge legs and leaned back on his enormous body like he was sitting in an overstuffed recliner. Marcus held Wilbur with his left arm around the young cowboy's slim waste, and he was playing with his slave's butt plug with his other hand. He was about to drive Wilbur up a fuzzy tree.

“You had enough soaking, Son?” Marcus asked his slave.
“I think so if my master would like to return to our room,” Wilbur replied.

“I think it would be a wonderful idea, and I could have you all to myself,” Marcus said lecherously.

“Sounds good to me. I'm yours to command, sir,” Wilbur said, and they kissed another gentle kiss. The other men didn't miss it. They hollered and whistled. The men stood, and Marcus announced if they soaked any longer they would look like stewed prunes in the morning.

"What do you mean in the morning?” Bubba asked, “You look like them California prunes in that TV add right now,” he joked, and everyone laughed.

“You men be careful going up them stairs. Dry your feet good before you leave,” Billy admonished them like a mother hen, “Oh, yes, and Wilbur, you be gentle with your master. It's his first time in a long while, and he ain't no young man, Son. So take it slow and easy. You don't want to have to call for me to come jump-start his heart on your engagement night,” Billy chastised the young man and broke into laughter. He got everyone around the pool laughing.

Marcus and Wilbur said their farewells with more thanks, and a few hugs and kisses to wish them well. They took their time and slowly climbed the stairs, arm in arm, to their floor and apartment. Marcus almost made a ritual of closing and locking the door behind them like he was making sure they wouldn't be disturbed for the rest of the night. Wilbur stood, watched, and grinned at him. “You think we should pile furniture up against the door so's no one can possibly break through and steal you away from me?” Wilbur asked.
“I'd be more afraid of them stealing you away from me. I ain't never seen a group of men express more dedication to one of their younger members than them men displayed for you, Son. Ain't a one of them men or slaves what don't love you. I knew I found a treasure in you, but until today I didn't realize just how lucky I am. I guess I better get this right. Come, join me on the bed and let your old man make sweet love to his handsome slave boy,” Marcus said extending his hand to Wilbur who took it and followed his master to their bed.

“Do you wish to control my every movement in our physical relationship or will there be room for me to take an initiative to pleasure my master?” Wilbur asked.

“No, I'm an equal opportunity lover. If you have something you wanna' try, we can discuss it. Since we been sharing a bed together, we ain't done much but hold each other, cuddle, and make a little love. I ain't complaining none. That's fine for me right now; it's enough. Just to feel you in bed next to me knowing I can reach out, touch you, gather you unto me, and hold you close is more valuable to me than all the gold in the world, Son. You have no idea what the loneliness of isolation and the deprivation of even the smallest affection can do to a man. I ain't experienced the touch of another human of either sex for years. I think I've been taking it slow for the sake of enjoying the learning experience with you like it was just happening to us, together, for the first time. My body became so overwhelmed by you a couple of times, I was embarrassed because I couldn't control my shotgun. I emptied my balls, and my gizz flew all over you,” Marcus lamented.

“I wasn't surprised or shocked,” Wilbur said, “It seemed like a perfectly natural occurrence to me. I was rather flattered you responded to me in that manner. When you lie close to someone you're attracted to and you have special feelings for, sometimes your body involuntarily reacts without planning for it. I consider it the ultimate in a sensual animalistic response. To tell you the truth, I was very much pleased the animal part of my master's psyche found me stimulating. In a way, it's an exceptionally honest compliment. I didn't tell you, but while you went to find a towel to clean me, I ate several finger's full to see what it would taste like. I found your semen, or baby-batter as I've often heard it called, quite to my liking. It was strong, hardy, beefy, and tasted like it should come from your body, and it finished off on the back of my tongue as a nice tart sensation with a hint of acidic sweetness like an echo of lemon or the scamel-berries I used to pick in the summer in the woods of Oregon. I'd much rather enjoy your creamy ejaculate than tapioca pudding; yuck! Vile stuff. We used to call it frog-eye'd puddin,'” Wilbur said and smiled.
Marcus lay there for a minute looking directly at Wilbur's face but could see neither a hint of cowboy hyperbole nor a dollop of bullshit in the young man's words. He was amazed. “I never been around a kid what has the gift of words like you do, Son. That was amazing. Several things you said earlier, I've mulled over in my mind and wondered if it was a speech you prepared or you just made it up at the moment. Your logic and reason goes well beyond the abilities of most young men your age. Did you do well in high school?” Marcus asked.

“I never went to school, Master. My mother didn't like the conservative school system which was so corrupted by religious superstition they taught the book of Genesis as a science course. She told them she would home school me, but she only went to the sixth grade herself. After six weeks she threw up her hands, said I was just like my dad, hopelessly dumb, and I couldn't learn nothing. She did teach me about money; enough to make change, and she taught me how to cheat at poker,” Wilbur said and laughed at his own story.

“Then where did you learn these things?” Marcus asked.

“On the Internet. It became my resource for learning any and everything. I spent hours each day surfing the Net learning new things. It became my teacher, and I could find sites which would teach me to read and write. I took the high school GED test last year. My mom told me she didn't want me to take it because it would be a big embarrassment for me when I failed. I took it anyway and made a perfect score. So I got the equivalent of a high school diploma, sir,” Wilbur said.

“Jesus, that's remarkable. Now back to tasting my come. What did you have in mind, Son?” Marcus asked.

“I'd love to suck you off, Master. I've seen it done on porn sites I visited, and I think I'd like to try it. They call the man what gets sucked the 'pitcher' and the man what sucks him off the 'catcher.' I want to catch for you, Sir Knight,” Wilbur said sincerely.

“I don't know, Son, that's awfully ambitious for your first time. Look how big I am, and I ain't even erect. I don't want you to hurt yourself and ruin the experience what might turn you off to sucking cock altogether. It's something I will eventually require of you, but we have months and years ahead of us for me to teach you how to suck a man's cock, how I like it, and slowly build up to where you can take me with ease,” Marcus said.

“Let the little boy dance, Master,” Wilbur said.

“I don't get the connection, Son. You must remember, I been locked away in prison for damn near twenty years,” Marcus said.

“It's a metaphor, Master. There's a popular song what talks about a young boy who wants to dance with the big guys, but they won't let him because they never saw him dance before and they just assume he ain't no good. One of the older men speaks up for him and tells the other guys, let the boy dance. Let him try. He wants to see what the boy can do. They let him dance and the boy is a great dancer,” Wilbur said.  

“All right, if you're sure, but don't hurt yourself. I may be a master, and I plan to train you up the way I want you to respond to me, but I ain't no sadist, and I ain't out to hurt you none, Son,” Marcus strongly assured Wilbur.

“If I can't do it, I won't, but I'd like to try, Master,” Wilbur said.

Without any more conversation, Wilbur requested his master sit on the edge of the bed, and he would kneel before him. Marcus had serious doubts but hesitantly agreed to go along with Wilbur's need to serve him. Marcus saw a strong will to please in both the young men he carefully trained to be his slaves, but it didn't occur until they were a couple of years into their relationship. Once they got past a certain point in their training, something clicked in their psyches, and they became the most giving, loving, and devoted companions Marcus could ever hope for. He had a gut feeling Wilbur was the same way, another gem in the rough, but to show these traits this early-on in a relationship seemed astounding to Marcus. It was like Wilbur was a great prize from some higher power for all those years he slowly rotted away in prison for something he didn't do; only because he knew too much and might become a threat to the government in power at the time.

Naturally he was a bit paranoid about moving too fast with the young man. A young man with a new car will take unwarranted chances. An older man with a new car will drive with care. Marcus pulled on his big, heavy cowboy boots and sat on the side of the bed. Wilbur got on his knees before him. The young man took Marcus' manhood into his hands and began to play with him. He marveled at the size and heft of the big man's penis, and as he raised it to inspect its beauty, he gently cradled Marcus' testicles in his right hand. Wilbur considered it was possible he was holding in his hands his own personal prize for the past years of neglect and disappointment; perhaps, as a prize for his diligence to learn on his own, or his genuine attempts to be a good person.

In sleeping with Marcus for a week or more, he became used to his healthy masculine odor. It was clean, wholesome, and stimulating for him. Marcus' strong masculine fragrance moved Wilbur to the bottom of his soul and made him want to commit, what he heard a fundamentalist pulpit-pounder call, crimes against nature on his master's body. Marcus didn't smoke and was rather religious about keeping the temple of his soul clean and healthy. It developed as a part of his bodybuilding philosophy.

Wilbur pushed back Marcus' considerable foreskin and breathed in the light essence of a small amount of collected smegma. It was like he was breathing in the nectar of a god; a continual gathering of lubricating fat cells under the foreskin of mature male's uncircumsized penis which allows the foreskin to move back to expose the head and easily return to its normal position. In a kneeling position Wilbur made a mental analogy and compared the experience to one of religious proportions. Marcus' hefty shank of meat and balls were the sacred vessels which contain the holy milk of his god; which, may only be released to a faithful acolyte after the proper prayers and the artful laying on of a talented tongue and soft lips. An image he watched on YouTube of a Jew praying at the wailing wall in Jerusalem came to him. As he watched the man bob up and down, it looked very much like he was bobbing for apples or he was performing an act of mental fellatio with the hope of having his god come unto him. It seemed to reflect Wilbur's own need to pray for the release of his own god's blessing. He felt sorry for the Jew. At least Wilbur knew, if he prayed passionately enough, his prayers would be answered and his god would reward him.

Wilbur kissed, licked, and made love to every inch of Marcus' penis, skinned him back again and paid great attention to the exposed head. The flavors of Marcus penis burst within his mouth and lit the fires of passion to his sensibilities. He knew he had to have all of Marcus inside his body. Wilbur deftly passed his right hand over his mouth as his head lowered about to make his first attempt to take his master's huge cock. His teeth disappeared, and he was amazed by the extra-added room in his mouth and began to take Marcus' cock like Titanoboa might gobble up a succulent prehistoric pig for a mid-afternoon snack. Wilbur canceled his gag reflex and slowly, but surely began to take Marcus down his throat. The big man's eyes opened wide at the sensual feeling of having his cock slowly swallowed. Marcus watched Wilbur's throat expand to obscene proportions to accommodate the girth of his love muscle.

“Oh, Son! Oh, Sweet Baby, that feels so good!” the big ex-con exclaimed in ecstasy. “Take it easy baby and don't hurt yourself. Oh, my god! That is so good; so sweet. How can you do that?” he asked. Neither of his two previous boys he lost could come close to taking as much as Wilbur had down his throat at that moment, and he only had about a third of Marcus' enormous cock in his throat.

However, with Master Billy's enhancements he asked for and received, Wilbur was gaining greater confidence in himself every moment. Wilbur didn't answer Marcus' plea to go slow. There would be time for explanations after he got his prize. He was hoping he could time it perfectly to have his master come in his mouth so he might enjoy his flavor, but he didn't care. It was the cowboy's first time out-of-the-chute. There would be plenty of other opportunities. His master's pleasure was more important than his needs or wishes. Wilbur smiled to himself mentally, he was beginning to think like a slave. A benign, almost sweet comfort came over him, and the thought, this was where he was born to be, worshiping at the feet of his master. Wilbur didn't stop until he consumed all of Marcus' length and girth of his cock down his throat.

Marcus looked down and through the tears forming in his eyes he barely could see Wilbur's lips pressed tight into the pubic hairs of his groin. The big man gently caressed his boy's face and spoke quietly, “That's the most remarkable feeling I've ever experienced, Son. Thank you, Wilbur,” but Wilbur wasn't through. He made several moves to fuck Marcus' cock with his face and the more he did, the easier it became to take him until he was working up a pretty good head of steam. The harder he fucked his face, the look on Marcus' face turned from one of awe to one of astonished pleasure and the poor man could only mumble a jumble of words of ecstasy and encouragement for his slave boy. After fucking his face with Marcus' cock for a good while, Wilbur pulled off, looked up and spoke, “Reach down with your hand, pull back you foreskin, and hold it, my good master, your slave will do the rest, sir,” he said.   

Marcus didn't question the young cowboy, he quickly did what the boy told him, and once again Wilbur thrust Marcus' huge meat-sword down his throat. It only took Wilbur five heroic strokes, and he could feel Marcus' gizz rushing up the length of his cock and began to empty into his slave gut. Marcus shot so hard and long he almost passed out. He threw back his handsome head and let out a roar to rival a wounded Mountain Lion. He never experienced such a hard and draining orgasm before in his life. It was almost biblical in proportion. His shot would have doused the fire in the burning bush. He felt everything in his body try to break loose of their moorings and rush out of his cock into the hungry maw of his beloved slave boy. He was almost certain several things in his body, which weren't lashed down tight with strong bindings, joined the escape with his baby batter and rush out and into his beloved's gut.

Wilbur didn't pull right off. He held his master deep in his flexible maw and lovingly massaged his rock-hard stomach and moved up to feel his well-defined massive pecks. Marcus was babbling incoherently a string of words which didn't make much sense, but weren't really intended to do so. The big master and his smaller slave lay hooked together for several minutes, until Wilbur began to slowly pull off. He quickly ran his forefinger over his gums, and his perfect set of teeth Master Billy gave him when he enhanced him the first time returned. Marcus took Wilbur's head into his big ham-hock hands and pulled Wilbur's face up to his. He kissed the boy gently and thanked him sincerely. Then Marcus locked the boy in an embrace, kissed him passionately, and began to fuck his ass with his plug.

Wilbur kept putting his ass up higher for Marcus to work him deeper and harder until finally Wilbur ejaculated onto Marcus' abdomen and chest. Marcus held his slave, kissed him, and complimented Wilbur over and over on his blowjob. “Best I ever had, Son! Hell, it was the best blowjob any man ever got! It was of Olympic games proportion. You done brought home the gold for cocksucking, Slave Boy,” Marcus insisted.

Wilbur excused himself and went off to the bathroom to gather a warm damp towel to clean himself and and his master. When he got back Marcus was still lying there with his eyes glassy like he was suffering from Rosemary Kabibbi syndrome: the lights were on, but nobody was home. Wilbur chuckled to himself as he began to gently and thoroughly clean his gizz from his master's rock hard body. Wilbur had to admit, he just got engaged to a walking man-mountain of physical beauty and perfect proportions. Master Bubba's assessment of Wilbur's master was correct, Marcus was an imposing figure of a man by anyone's standards or definition.

“Are you okay, Master?” Wilbur whispered and bussed a quick kiss on Marcus' cheek.

“No, I'm comfortably drained. Give me a minute. I don't want to rush the moment. I'm still holding on to the experience. Lay in my arms and let me hold you. Let me whisper sweet words about how much I love you. Tell your old master how good he tasted, promise me you will never leave your dad,” Marcus said quietly.

“Never, Pa. You need me a good devoted son, a boy you can call your own to take care of you. I need you to help me grow and make me into the slave you will be proud to call your son. I love you so much, Pa, my gut ached for you every time I would catch a glimpse of you while working in the kitchen this afternoon. Your masculine beauty stood out and shined brighter than them other men, but I love each one as a brother. I'm so proud to call you my master. I promise I will work hard to be the slave-boy you want and need me to be,” Wilbur pledged his troth to Marcus.

“Oh, Sweet Baby, I will build you into man of steel. A perfectly sculpted god which will make them Cowboy-Angels cry when you walk by. I will make you into my vessel to receive my love and I will feast on yours like a great king who comes home hungry from a great battle and needs comfort and sustenance. You will become the food and drink of my soul. I'm so proud and honored you decided to become my slave even before I asked you to marry me. I had some reservations about it for us, but not anymore. We're doing the right thing,” Marcus said firmly.

“Then, may I take it you enjoyed act one?” Wilbur asked.

“Act one? You mean there's more? I don't understand, Son. Sometimes, I swear you can be mysterious,” Marcus said and smiled.

“Ain't it the job of your slave boy to take care of his master?” Wilbur asked and grinned.

“It is, but...” Marcus started but didn't get to finish.

“What kind of slave boy would I be if I only brought one talent to lay at my Master's feet? Wilbur asked.

“A damn good one if every blowjob is as intense and gut-wrenching as that one!” Marcus exclaimed.

“That was just a warm up, Master. I wanted to drain you for selfish purposes. There is method in your slave's madness, Sir Knight-Errant,” Wilbur said mysteriously, “I planned this evening and how I wanted it to play out for you long before you asked me to marry you. I wanted to prove to you the sincerity of my intent to bring all my talents and lay them at your handsome boots,” Wilbur said.   
“Damnation, Son! Who's the master here, and who's the slave?” Marcus asked loudly with the biggest grin.

“Oh, I assure you, you are the master of my soul, Sir Knight. I'm merely your lowly stable boy who will clean you body, your armor, receive your seed, groom and feed your horse. I will lay my body down before the threshold for you to wipe your muddy boots on. Is it not in my best interest to use my talents to work hard and please my Master, sir?” Wilbur asked playing with Marcus.

“I c'ain't gainsay that, Slave. You're building up to something, ain't chu,' boy?” Marcus asked.

“Act two. I need you to sleep inside me tonight, Master,” Wilbur said and Marcus got a stunned look on his face.

“We're months away, maybe half a year, from that, Son. I would hurt you, and I can't have that on my conscience,” Marcus said.

Wilbur laughed. No, I don't mean that door. I have other talents. Would you like to see?” Wilbur teased.

“Of course, but I don't understand, Son,” Marcus said like he was befuddled.

Wilbur got up on his knees in the bed and knelt no-more than three feet from Marcus' face.

“Watch!” Wilbur said and waved his hand over his groin. Immediately his large, well-proportioned penis began to shrink and little by little it grew smaller until it was but a small tit of a thing, then Wilbur's front began to morph and created a cavity in the process. It didn't stop until Marcus' was staring at the prettiest little hairless cunt he ever saw.

“Sweet Jesus, did I ever hit the jackpot when I decided to ask you to be my slave-boy, Darlin,'” Marcus said and grinned like a Cheshire cat. “Do you know how long it's been since I seen me a cunt up-close and personal, Son?” Marcus asked.

“No, sir, but knowing you were in prison over twenty years, I would say it was before I was born,” Wilbur replied. “It's my engagement present to you, Sir Knight. As cunts go, I think it's a pretty one. Do you like it?” Wilbur asked proudly.

“You did this for me?” Marcus asked quietly like the answer to a secret prayer.

“Of course! I want to be the best slave-boy you ever done had love you, Master Marcus,” Wilbur said.  

Marcus move up in the bed, propped himself up with four large pillows and motioned for Wilbur to come to him. “Come up here, Boy, and straddle me. Shove that pretty little thing in my face and let me get a goodly taste of it. I ain't et me no pussy in over a quarter of a century. Don't rush me none neither, because I plan to eat my fill. Feed it to me, Son, like you would a starving beggar,” Marcus growled.

“It's yours to use however you want, Sir Knight,” Wilbur said and straddled the huge man. Marcus went to licking, tasting, and fucking Wilbur's little cunt with his tongue, as deep as he could dive into it. He grabbed both of Wilbur's butt cheeks and pulled him in tight; effectively, locking him onto his big handsome face. He must have eaten Wilbur's pussy for thirty minutes or more when he reached back with his right hand and started fucking Wilbur's ass again with his plug. Wilbur told him he still had his prostate, and his master might want to reconsider playing with it.

“I wouldn't be doing it if'n I didn't know what was gonna' happen, Son,” Marcus growled and went back to some good eat'n at Wilbur's 'Y.'

Sure enough, Wilbur felt himself building up inside, threw back his head and groaned, “Oh, Master, I can't hold it much longer,” he wailed.

“Lemme' have it, Boy! I accept your gift. It's my pussy, and I want it all. Don't hold nothing back from your master, Son,” Marcus growled again, and just the sound of his rough masculine voice tripped Wilbur's switch, he relaxed, and let nature take its course. He flooded Marcus' face with his fluids. Marcus didn't even slow down. It was like throwing gas on a human bonfire. Marcus doubled his efforts. He fucked, teased, lapped, and swallowed. The big man didn't stop until he was satisfied he ate his fill. “Yum! Thanks, Son! That was an unexpected treat. Best damn pussy I ever et!” he proclaimed.

Wilbur excused himself and took their towel to rinse it out and returned with it. He gently cleaned his master's handsome face and stole several kisses. Marcus had a silly grin on his face like he was just about the happiest buckaroo at the rodeo. When Wilbur returned with the damp towel he brought along a tube of vaginal jell for a lubricant.

“You thought of everything,” Marcus said looking at the tube.

“Naw, sir, I'm a greenhorn. I ain't never seen me no pussy until Master Billy taught me to morph one. Captain Nick and Master Billy gimme' the lube-tube and told me to tell you I'm a virgin; also, something about you ain't gotta' break my hymen. With enough lubrication and a little patience you should be able to stretch me open and not make me bleed,” Wilbur said.

“I promise, as large as I am, I won't make you bleed, Son,” Marcus pledged.

“I'm one gizz-shot ahead of you, Master. This one's for you, sir,” Wilbur said and gently kissed the head of Marcus' cock.

“Is this why you got me off first? You wanted a good, long fuck'n?” Marcus asked and grinned.

“Yes, sir, it should be a perfect fit for bow'fus. Like a hand in a comfortable kid-glove, it was designed special and made for your magnificent cock, sir," Wilbur bragged.

"How is that possible, Son?" Marcus asked.

"Master Billy's got both our DNA on file in his body. He just applied the size of your cock to my cunt, sir," Wilbur explained, "If you find me a comfortable fit and to your liking, you're invited to stay the night, Sir Marcus," he added and grinned.

“You want me to sleep inside you?” Marcus asked and smiled.

“It's my hope, sir, so's I may keep my master warm, and in the morning, you won't have to go looking for your sword, Sir Knight,” Wilbur said and smiled.

Marcus took Wilbur gently until he was stretched and felt comfortable with his master's size. Then Marcus set about to get his second nut for the evening. A quarter of a century passed since Marcus felt his cock in a cunt, but it's like riding a bicycle or a horse; once you get the hang of it, you never forget. They fucked for a couple of hours or more; starting, stopping to rest, and chat for a while; starting again, sharing tears of ecstasy from the roller-coaster of their shared passion, until the big man couldn't hold back anymore. As he filled Wilbur with his baby-batter, Marcus felt extra moisture and smiled to himself. He knew he made his slave-boy climax with him. Marcus felt like a man again. No! Better than that, he felt like he became his slave-boy's Knight-Errant; his Knight in shining armor; Wilbur's strong and Bold Sir Marcus. Whatever forces in the universe brought them together, Marcus whispered a prayer of thanksgiving to the ethos. He made a vow, he would fulfill his mission he promised the blue angel so many years ago. The angel kept his word to Marcus, and the big man swore he would keep his word to him. Marcus and Wilbur held each other close, whispered their love for one another, swore their prenuptial vows again, and slept conjoined throughout the night. Marcus never let Wilbur go.

When the dawn came, Marcus awoke his slave-boy by growing strong inside him. The antique clock-radio came on with Bill Gable singing 'Who's the master, who's the slave' from his album 'High Trapeze' playing softly in the background. Marcus took Wilbur again slowly and tenderly until they reached climax together. Morning fucks are the best. It sets two lover's hearts in sync for the day.

End of Chapter 69 ~ Seek Him What Made Them Seven Stars
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