The other breeders were already seated around a long table and were in the middle of their breakfast. Trystum looked up and patted the empty seat next to him. “Are you hungry child?”
Joshua nodded and eyed the table ravenously.
“Help yourself Josh. There are no forbidden foods here.”
The teen eyes widened at the choice available. Stewed fruits and yoghurts sat in big bowls. There was cold cut meats and fresh breads with butter, sweet cereals stood in air tight containers ready to be poured into small bowls and smothered in creamy milk and the sweet smell of hot chocolate filled his nostrils. Tentatively he reached out and took a piece of bread, nibbling at it nervously.
One of the younger men, a tall thin brunette with pale green eyes, spooned a big dollop of strawberry conserve onto Joshua’s plate. “Enjoy the food Josh. Don’t be afraid. No one will judge you on having a sweet tooth.”
Trystum placed a cup of hot chocolate in front of the shy teen. “Byron is right darling. Northern men like to pamper their breeders. We are more than that to them. We are lovers, equals.
“He’s telling you the truth Joshua.” Captain Fatone said as he entered the dining room. “Forgive my intrusion gentlemen. I thought I would partake breakfast with you and inform you of your travel arrangements. The bearded captain sat down opposite Joshua and poured some cereal into a bowl. “I’m sure that Trystum has made you welcome and I’m sure that you are feeling very confused and betrayed. Let me assure you, you will never be mistreated or abused, not by a northern man.”
“I’m not sure that I can believe that,” Joshua said, his shoulders shaking slightly.
“It is something that you will learn to believe.” The captain sipped at his coffee, smacking his lips at the bitterness before continuing. “Gentlemen, in approximately an hour you will board a transport that will take you to Vancouver. Three of my officers will accompany you, Sergeant Kirkpatrick and Privates Davidson and Smith. All three men are up for discharge and for volunteering to transport you, qualify to breeder rights. They are all good men, I’m sure that suitable matches will be made. Trystum you and Joshua will not be going with the rest of them. You will be going to Wisconsin Trystum you will be met by my husband James who will take you to our home.”
“And what of me captain?” Joshua asked his voice tinged with apprehension.
“You will be married before you leave here. One of my officers has been discharged due to family illness. His father is dying and he will be soul inheritor of his father’s munitions manufactory. With his elevated position he is now entitled to a young breeder.” Fatone reached out and snagged an iced bun from a plate.
“But you promised that I would be given a choice!” the teen exclaimed. The older pregnant man sitting beside him squeezed his hand.
“You do have a choice child,” Trystum said softly. “Marry a rich and powerful man or spend your childbearing years imprisoned.”
“That is not a choice!” Joshua cried in anguish.” I won’t do it. I won’t give myself to a stranger.”
The door to the hut burst open and a flustered soldier darted in, saluting quickly and sloppily. “I’m sorry sir, I had trouble getting a truck from supplies. They wanted to know why you wanted it.” Justin’s eyes met Joshua’s.
“Holy Fuck! Where the hell did he come from?”
Fatone sniggered. “Mr. Timberlake, meet your future husband Joshua. Maybe you would remember him more if his face was veiled and he was dressed all in black.”
The young soldier was in shock. “The breeder? My breeder? I expected one of the other ones sir. Surely there are others that have superiority over me?” Justin could hardly contain his excitement; Joshua was more than he could ever hope for.
“Well if you don’t want him I’m sure Kirkpatrick wouldn’t say no to a beautiful young virgin,” Captain Fatone said amused at Justin’s reaction.
“No, I mean yes, I mean sir, I would be honoured sir. It will be my privilege to have such a beautiful husband. That is if he’ll have me.” Justin was flustered under his CO’s scrutiny.
“Good then the marriage will take place at midday. That will give you plenty of time to air your dress uniform and for an alter to be constructed.”
“I haven’t agreed to anything. I don’t want to marry a man I don’t love. I refuse.” The teen folded his arms across his chest stubbornly.
“But you will darling.” Trystum’s hand gently turned Joshua’s face so that he was looking at him. “Justin will make a good husband. He will love you, as you deserve to be loved. Shall we set the wedding for midday?”
Joshua looked into the older mans eyes and then to the tall blonde soldier. He dropped his head and sighed. “But its not you that is being forced.” he wept, his voice shaking.
“I know my darling but I do know what it is to be taken by force, and I know that Captain Fatone would never give you to a violent man. Marry Justin, he will make you very happy, I know hw will.”
“You think that it is for the best.”
Trystum gave a loving sloping smile. “Yes darling, I think it is.”
Joshua nodded his head accepting the marriage.
“Good then it’s settled. Justin you are relieved of duty for the rest of today. Trystum will you prepare Joshua for the ceremony, I believe the honour falls to you, after all you are his bearer.”
Joshua gave a little gasp and clutched his hand over his mouth, total disbelief written over his face. “Is it true? Are you my bearer?”
The pregnant man smiled and stroked his son’s face. “When I was thirty three I was mated with a young officer. He was on the fast track to the top and had been granted breeders rights. I spent nearly three weeks underneath him. He was kind and gentle; no one had ever treated me like that before. He promised he would come back for me, marry me. When they took you from me they told me that he tried to claim me. They told him I died. Then they showed me your beautiful face and told me that you were a breeder and that when you reached eighteen they would enjoy fucking you. When Joey liberated our camp I told him that I knew where he could find an untouched breeder and that if he would rescue you he could have the baby that I was carrying.”
“You sold your baby for me? But I might not be your child,” Joshua said almost silently.
Tears flowed down Trystum’s face. “The officers name was Roy, Roy Chasez, your father.”
Joshua burst into tears, shaking. His whole life had been turned upside down in a few short hours and his emotions were beginning to take control of him.
“You are the only child that I bore that I loved.”
The sobbing teen threw himself at the older man, wrapping his arms around his neck, littering his face with kisses.
Trystum cried unashamedly into Joshua’s brunette curls. “My boy, my beautiful boy. I found you at last.”