The iron was heavy and cumbersome, JC had to release a catch to bend his leg so he could sit down but he wore it because Justin wanted him to. The tall blond man had spent a lot of time with him teaching him how to act and how to speak and even though they had both gotten frustrated at one time or another and Justin had yelled at him, he found himself liking the tall blond curly haired man. When Justin had stood close behind him showing him the correct cutlery to use all he could concentrate on was the warm breath on the back of his neck, the slave owner had to explain three times which spoon to use for the soup, and when he closed his hand over his showing him how to hold the knife and fork correctly JC felt his heart leap.
He hauled himself up into the seat beside Chris, nerves beginning to show. His palms sweated and his pulse raced. The stocky bearded brunette beside him patted his leg and smiled reassuringly. “You ready?” He asked.
JC took three deep breaths to steady himself. “As I’ll ever be.” He replied.
Chris shook the reigns and started the buggy moving. JC swallowed convulsively his mouth unable to stop watering, his panic increased the closer they got to the Randall plantation. His eyes were drawn to the slaves working in the fields, working from dawn till dusk picking cotton, yes the Randall slaves were dressed better than most, some even had cast off boots on but they were still slaves. JC’s mind began to work over time. What was he doing, he was putting his life in the hands of these men who held no loyalty to him what so ever.
Chris noticed his demeanour had changed and followed his line of sight. “I hate it too JC, its so wrong in so many ways.”
The pony-tailed brunette licked his lips and still staring at the downtrodden people asked, “Why, why do so many have to suffer? I don’t understand what makes one colour skin better than the other.”
“Joshua there are good people in both our races just as there is bad. It must have been really hard for you, not considered white and yet not black, things will get better. There is a edict being put to parliament now to abolish slavery altogether.”
JC turned to look at the man driving “Will it be passed?”
“Yes I think it will.”
JC looked back out to the slaves working so hard in the harsh sunshine. “What if the south won’t accept it?”
“Then I guess the government will consider that when it happens.”
“They will fight to preserve their way of life, to keep the people enslaved.”
“Joshua, we are nearly to the gates.”
JC took another deep breath pushing all his feelings and fears to the back of his mind and prayed.
Justin took the steps to the house two at a time sweeping JC up in his arms and swinging him round as if it had been days rather than hours since they had last spoken. Lance and Joey joined in the celebration slapping him on the back and making jokes about his gammy leg.
Mrs Randall came out of the homestead to greet her new guest. She smiled sweetly as JC was introduced to her.
“Momma, this is Mr Chasez, Jace this is my momma Miss Lynn.”
JC bowed, “It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance Ma’am.”
“My you are a handsome one aren’t you, call me Miss Lynn everyone does.” She scrutinised the new arrival and Justin giggled nervously.
“Shall we go inside and have refreshments before we attend church.” Lynn went to offer her arm to JC only to have it snatched up by Joey.
“I do believe it is my turn to escort you today Miss Lynn, Jace gets more than his fair share of the fairer sex.”
Lynn blushed. “Well I declare are you flirting with me Mr Fatone?”
“Joey grinned “Why of course.”
The service went without incident; Joshua played his part to perfection his southern accent tainted with the Cajun French just for good measure. He had proved very adept at mimicking and was now proving that point to the countless young women that had descended upon him.
Justin whispered to Lance. “Should we rescue him?”
Lance Thought about it for a second then whispered back. “No, we need to know if he can pull this off, if he cant fool these floozies then he will never fool any slaver that stops us.”
JC looked round looking for Justin. Catching sight of him he gave a brief smile and received one in return. He turned his attention back to the voluptuous brunette that had grasped hold of his arm and was demanding to hear more of his plantation. Very politely he disentangled himself from her hold and excused himself and walked stiff legged using his cane to where the four WestPoint cadets were waiting patiently for Mrs Randall to finish talking to the minister. She turned and smiled when she saw that JC had joined them.
“I think it is time for us to go. Thank you sir for a lovely service.”
The minister tipped his hat “My pleasure Miss Lynn.”
She allowed Joey and Chris to help her up into the buggy, waiting for JC to be helped up into the back while Justin climbed in besides her. “I do hope you have an appetite Mr Chasez, momma Fee can get quite ratty when her food isn’t eaten.”
“I am sure I can manage a few mouthfuls ma’am.” Justin yelled the horses into motion and the buggy leaped forward closely followed by the others on horseback.
“Mr Chasez escort me into dinner.” Mrs Randall waited expectantly for him to offer her his arm; she didn’t miss the look the young man threw at her son or the slight nod he got in return. JC offered his arm and they walked side by side into the dinning room. JC leaning heavily on his cane not really having to act, as he really couldn’t move his leg while it was encased in the leg iron. He held out her chair for her then sat in the seat that she indicated to next to her.
She waited till the other gentlemen were seated then rang a small silver bell. The dining room doors opened and four well dressed slaves carried in terrines full of soup. JC waited, his hands resting in his lap as the liquid was ladled in his bowl, his eyes darted quickly towards Justin checking what spoon to use then he picked up the utensil and slowly ate the broth.
“So Mr Chasez, How did you receive so nasty a scar?” Lynn started the conversation.
“Please Miss Lynn call me JC.”
She smiled “JC then.”
“It was I’m afraid gotten in a spurt of youthful tomfoolery, A young lady, and I do use the term loosely, accused me of attacking her virtue, her father felt it necessary to challenge me to a dual, I received the scar as a reminder to be more careful of whom I dallied with in future.”
“Well my JC haven’t you lead the colourful life, and your leg sir?”
“A riding accident last year, unfortunately the beast fell on my leg and it was only to the skill of Joseph’s father that I did not loose it.”
“So you will not be returning to WestPoint?” she asked.
“No madam I will not.”
Lynn took a sip of her wine and smiled at her son. “It is such a pleasure to dine with five fine young men, so much more enjoyable than dinning alone as I fear I will be doing when you all return to the academy. Lance how is my dear sister?”
Lance smiled his green eyes sparkling at the mention of his mother. “She is well Miss Lynn, she is hoping that when Justin and I return north you will pay her a visit.”
Lynn smiled back. “I’m sure I will. Ah the main course.” She waited till the dinner had been served then she dismissed the slaves. “Now gentlemen shall we begin?” She cut into the thick steak on her plate and then put down her knife and fork. “What should we talk about now gentlemen? I know, you could explain to me why you see the need to sit a slave down at my table.”
The silence hung thick in the air and was broken by JC as he pushed his chair back in a panic forgetting the cumbersome leg iron, he stumbled back loosing his balance and falling to the floor. In an instance Justin was by his side. The slave buried his face in Justin’s chest, shaking, it was over, and he’d surely be handed over to his former masters now.
Lance calmly cut a piece of meat and popped it in his mouth chewing it slowly and swallowing. Joey and Chris had gone pale and Justin held Joshua tight trying to sooth his fears. “Miss Lynn.” Lance said, “We never intended to insult your intellect, you are the most astute person we know that we knew we would be able to trust. If we could put him past you we knew he stood a chance of making it north.”
Mrs Randall drew herself up to her full height “You seem to forget the slave assaulted a young lady, I am assuming the scar is where the brand used to be.”
Justin spoke from where he sat on the floor stroking JC’s hair. “Momma he never assaulted that girl, look at him. He’s as white as you and me, Ashley forced herself upon him.”
“He could have refused.”
“Miss Lynn, now you know that wasn’t an option, he was born a slave, if he had refused her she would have had him flayed.” Lance interrupted.
“Momma he had no choice, you trust my judgement don’t you? Momma he’s suffered so much.”
Lynn studied the young man crying on the floor her heart softening. “Joshua I will ask you one question and I will know if you lie to Me.” she stood up her skirts swishing round her ankles and stood over the distraught man. “Did you lay uninvited hands on Miss Ashley?”
“No ma’am, I never dun nothin I weren’t told to, don’t give Joshua back to Mas’er McLean, please Miss Lynn, They kill me.” JC slipped back into the broken English that he was used to, he was back on his knees it seemed appropriate.
“Well I don’t know.” She turned to face the young men still sitting dumbfounded at the table. “You boys surely put me into a situation. For goodness sakes Joshua get up off the floor and come back to the table someone may see you.” she sat back in her seat and began to eat her dinner as Justin help JC to his feet. The slave hesitated as he was led back to the table, unwilling to sit back down. He his head hung low afraid to look the woman in the eye. He had failed; he would soon be back in rags and on his knees where he belonged.
“Sit at the table please JC.” Lance pointed to the empty chair with his knife. As soon as Justin had managed to persuade the slave he wasn’t committing some unspeakable sin he asked, “What gave him away Miss Lynn?”
Lynn wiped her mouth on her napkin. “He was extremely good, I almost believed in him, but it was Justin that gave him away.”
“Honey the boy looks to you for everything, he wouldn’t take my arm until you nodded him to do so, you didn’t think I missed that did you?”
She turned to Joshua who still had his head hung low and was staring at his hands. She reached out and covered them with her own. “I believe you.” She sighed. “Now if we can only break you of your habit of looking to Justin for reassurance.”
Joshua looked up with cobalt liquid blue eyes. “You not gonna give Joshua to Mas’er McLean?”
“No honey I’m not, although if you insist on speaking like that I just may have to.”
Justin smiled and leaped up to hug the older woman. “He’s scared momma, he’ll stop it right now won’t you Jace?”
The slave nodded, “I’m sorry Miss Lynn, I didn’t want to lie to you but I had no choice. They will kill me if they find me.”
“I understand, now sweetie you eat your dinner before it gets cold. And Justin you will please sit down also. Now where were we? Ah yes pleasant dinner conversation. “ Justin’s mother smiled sweetly at the five young men at her table. “Tell me which of you fine young men are courting?”
The rest of dinner went with out incident; JC picked fretfully at his food and was unable to look anyone of the other diners in the eye. Mrs Randall drew him into the conversation at every opportunity listening intently as he softly explained that white folk didn’t want to hear a slave speak with a southern accent especially one of his kind.
“And what exactly is your kind JC?” she asked.
“A black pretending to be white, I had to speak that way, I was beaten many time cus I didn’t, it was something else I had to learn when Alexander threw me out.” JC sighed sadly. “He took everything.” His voice got smaller and smaller the five people sitting round the table strained to hear. “He said he loved me, that he would always protect me.” A single tear rolled down his face following the course of the scar. “But he didn’t. He knew what would happen to me, that I would be an outcaste from both races. And he didn’t care.”
He looked up at the sombre faces surrounding him and tried to smile. “That’s my sort Miss Lynn, I’m unworthy of your help.” He paused swallowing back the sob that was trying hard to escape. “I’ll leave, tonight. All I ask is that you grant me a head start before you call McLean, give me a chance to live.”
Lynn folded her napkin and placed it on her plate. She stood up slowly and walked to where JC was sitting. She hugged him close and kissed his forehead. “Justin I trust you have a room for Mr Chasez to stay in tonight.”
A wide grin spread across the curly haired mans face. “I thought I’d put him in the blue room momma, it gets the early morning sun.”
“Then I bid you gentlemen goodnight.” She kissed Justin and left.
“Does that mean she won’t give us away?” Joey asked.
“I knew she wouldn’t.” Lance said confidently “She’s like my momma, stubborn but good.”
Justin opened the door to the bedchamber. “You will sleep here.”
JC looked around him at the luxurious room. “Alone?” He asked. Justin sighed and came all the way into the room. He closed the door and helped him out of the leg iron before wrapping his arms round the uncertain man.
“This is your room now, well until we can take you north.”
“When will that be?”
“One month time.”
JC nodded accepting the long time span, he had no right to argue. “I thought it was over at dinner.” He began to cry staggering against the younger man. “I was so scared.”
Justin laced his fingers through the chocolate curls and pulled JC’s head down to his shoulder. “Hush now, hush,” he breathed kissing the top of the brown silky strands. He lifted JC’s chin tilting his face upwards and kissed away the tears. “So beautiful Jace,” He closed his mouth over the soft pouting lips of the slender man in his arms, deepening the kiss when he found no resistance. He walked JC back their mouths still attached and lowered him onto the bed. JC groaned as Justin’s hard cock rubbed against his own and he let his legs fall open so the man on top of him could grind harder and closer. “So beautiful JC. So very beautiful.” Justin reached down and fumbled with the buttons of JC’s pants, finally getting them undone he thrust the velvet down to his knees. His hand found the hardness he was looking for and he stroked it, using his fingers from the base of the heavy full balls to the purplish leaking head. He broke the never-ending kiss and gazed down into his soon to be lovers’ eyes. “You don’t have to do this Joshua.” All the time he prayed that JC wouldn’t back down. “You are not a slave anymore, I won’t force you.”
JC chewed on his lip tears springing to his eyes once more.
“I think I love you Jace, let me love you.”
The thin young man trembled as he breathed, “I love you.”
Justin attacked the already kiss bruised lips once more as he fumbled to release his own hardness. JC undid Justin’s shirt sliding it off his shoulders as he swallowed the probing tongue that pushed relentlessly into his mouth. He opened his legs wide having kicked off his pants and Justin slid between them. The pre-cum slicked cock prodded against JC’s opening, throbbing on the tight orifice before Justin pushed hard sliding inside the snug searing hot chamber. JC cried out as the pain hit him, quickly it turned to pleasure as the solid muscle sliding in and out of him stroked his prostate over and over. Their sweat slickend bodies gyrated to unheard music, gathering in pace and desperation as the two men neared their climax.
JC threw back his head and howled as he came, squirting globs of white creamy sperm over his and Justin’s stomachs, his ass tightened and convulsed sending Justin over the edge into oblivion. The new lovers lay on the bed too exhausted to move, tangled together, their sweat already cooling. JC shivered and Justin drew the blanket over them both.
He kissed the sweat drenched brown curls feeling the older man succumb to sleep. “I love you Joshua, no one will ever hurt you again as long as I draw breath.” Drawing the slender man closer into his arms he closed his eyes and joined him in peaceful slumber.