It took Justin and Chris four hours to discover that there was no where for the three breeders and newborn to go, every single spare room had been taken up by displaced and bombed out refugees. Faced with the situation of making Joshua, Trystum and Ben stay in the shelter or send them away Justin and Chris decided it would be for the best that they sent them away.
They couldn’t discuss Caleb with James as he had disappeared two days previously with out a word. Trystum had fretted thinking that he had been caught in one of the raids and killed but Justin and Chris shared secret glances that told that they suspected that the green eyed southerner had been assigned to another convert mission.
Chris brought his jeep to the front of the ruins of the Bass-Fatone residence and Justin carried Joshua, despite his protests that he could and would walk, and placed him in the back seat, leaving Trystum, Chris and Ben to struggle with the essentials for the new born baby.
Although he was relieved to be leaving the devastation of the city Joshua chewed his nails nervously. The last time he and Justin went on a road trip it ended up in disaster. Justin got in the front of the jeep along side Chris and with out a word they started for the city boarders.
“Where are you taking us?” Joshua eventually asked.
Justin kept his eyes on the road. “Somewhere safe,” he replied.
“That’s it? That’s all you are going to tell us, somewhere safe?”
“Joshua don’t argue with me okay!” Justin snapped. “And don’t get yourself uptight, it’s bad for the baby.”
“Joshua is just voicing what we were all thinking Justin,” Trystum said softly ever the voice of reason.
“I’m sorry Josh, I’m just a little spooked by all the raids.” He twisted in his seat and took Joshua's hand in his bringing it to his lips and kissing it. “Chris’ family own a farmhouse thirty kilometres from here. You will be safe there.”
“You’ll be safe? Justin you are staying with us aren’t you?” Joshua asked his eyes wide and liquid.
Justin sighed he knew this was going to be difficult but actually having to look in Joshua's eyes as he told him he was going back to Madison was more than that; it was painful.
“I have to go back sweetheart.”
“NO,” Joshua cried, tears beginning to spill from his blue eyes.
“Baby something bad is about to happen, I can feel it, Chris can feel it too. The raids shouldn’t be getting through; we should be able to stop them. Madison hasn’t been hit like this in over thirty years.”
“I don’t want to lose you Justin,” Joshua wasn’t even attempting to hide his grief now and Caleb began to whimper picking up on the negative vibes emanating from his older brother.
Justin pressed his lips to the palm of Joshua's hand, holding them there for ages before breaking the contact. “There is no discussion Joshua, you will stay at the farm house with the others. I need to know that you are safe and I have to go back.” Justin kissed the open palm of his husband’s hand once more. “Please understand,” he breathed.
Joshua nodded his acceptance and then turned his face into his fathers shoulder and sobbed silently for the rest of the journey.
The farm house was a brick built building standing in a cobbled courtyard, surrounded by fields and sheltered from clear view by a canopy of foliage. It was dusty and had long been abandoned.
“I thought Ben had been staying here?” Trystum said as he drew a long line in the gathered dust.
“Not here,” Chris clarified. “I have a brother that lives about two kilometres outside of Madison; he looked after Ben for me. This is the old family home; no one has lived here since the southern invasion seventy years ago.”
“And we will be safe here?” Trystum asked.
“Perfectly, we are well within the Union border and close enough that we can get to you if there was an emergency.”
Joshua stood red-eyed off to the side with his arms wrapped around himself looking around with distaste. He gave Justin a sad smile then went off to explore.
“Joshua, don’t wear yourself out; you are still on bed rest remember.” Trystum shouted after him.
“I’ll go and make sure he is alright,” Justin said and followed his husband out into the gardens.
Joshua was sitting on an old rickety porch swing. “I’ll fix that for you before I go,” Justin said, reaching out and taking Joshua's slender fingers in his much thicker ones.
“Thanks, I used to love swinging on the porch back home.”
“Are you terribly homesick?”
Joshua looked up at his husband, squinting against the sun. “Sometimes; a little. I miss my father. Despite all that I have learned about the southern breeding camps I still cannot believe he would knowingly do that to me.”
“Come here,” Justin held out his arms for his teenage husband and hugged his thin body to him. “You have a good heart Joshua, that’s why I love you so much.” The two kissed, Justin leading the embrace and deepening the kiss. They broke apart with a smack of lips then pecked quickly at one another again.
“Chris and I will stay for a few days until the house is ready for you. I don’t want you trying to clean.”
“I’m pregnant Justin, not invalided.”
Justin smacked his husband’s bottom lightly. “Do you ever do as you are told?” he asked.
“No,” Joshua joked back.
Joshua was given the chore of looking after Caleb while the rest of the small group busied themselves with making the large farmhouse liveable. The ground floor of the house had three big living rooms a small office, a kitchen and a small toilet room with pan and washbasin. Upstairs sported three big bedrooms and a small nursery. The bathroom was spacious and just in need of a good clean. Another flight of stairs led to a huge room that had at sometime been used as an artist’s studio/bedroom. On further investigation and the removal of countless dust covered sheets that made poor Ben sneeze mercilessly, revealed dozens of canvases all decorated with someone’s once treasured art.
“My great, great, great, great grandmother was an artist,” Chris explained. “I think that’s enough greats anyway.”
“Surely these should be in a museum or at least somewhere where they could be appreciated,” Justin said as he held up a painting of a particularly pretty little girl with long dark curls and bright blue eyes. Just for a moment he fancied that Joshua must have looked pretty much like that when he was a child. “A female artist, do you have any idea how rare these would be? So much of our art was destroyed in the raids over the years.”
“That’s why we left it here,” Chris said covering over the painting of the little girl. “Told you that this place was safe didn’t I?”
Justin eyed the covered canvas and wondered if Chris would let him have it. “We had better see how the others are getting on.”
“Sure you go do that I wanna just check out the fuse box and make sure they have electricity then we can start the freezers going, it won’t do that meat any good sitting on the kitchen counter like that for too long.”
Trystum and Ben had each taken a bedroom and cleaned and polished until they had positively shone. Then Trystum had started on the nursery while Ben got stuck into what would be Joshua's room.
“Need a hand?” Justin asked from the doorway making the frail southern breeder jump with shock. “I’m sorry I didn’t mean to scare you.” Justin came all the way into the room and Ben backed away nervously.
“I’m not going to hurt you,” Justin said reassuringly when he noticed the breeder cowering away as far as he could. “I guess you were really hurt bad.”
Ben watched Justin with round dark eyes, torn between trusting his lovers friend and not. “They raped me,” he said quietly, never taking his eyes off the tall blond northerner.
“I know,” Justin said sitting on the side of the newly made bed. “I spent a lot of time with Trystum, Joshua's maternal daddy. He told me what went on in the farms, but I knew a lot anyway. I have been party to liberating a lot of breeders, young and old.” Justin paused, thinking about his next question before asking. “You have never been molested by a northern officer have you?”
“No, never,” was the quick reply.
“Would you tell me even if you had?” Justin asked.
Ben nodded and gave him a tiny smile showing that he was beginning to relax. “I wouldn’t have to, I would have already have told Chris.”
Justin smiled back “Good,” he said. “He loves you, you know.”
Ben blushed and it reminded Justin of his own sweet love that was confined to the couch in the living room. “I love him too,” Ben confided. “But please don’t tell him, he’s already big headed enough.”
Joshua had almost forgotten that Justin planned to leave him soon as he curled up in the big brass bed that sat against the centre of the bedroom wall. It had been a long day although in relative terms it was still early it was now dark outside and even though he could still hear the dull blasts that were raining down over Madison he felt safe.
He focused on Justin as he came into the room naked except for the thin cotton towel that was wound around his waist. His hair was still wet from the shower he had just taken and gleamed as it caught the light of the glass chandelier that hung from the ceiling.
He licked his lips as Justin dropped the towel and began to rub himself dry, bending over slightly and giving Joshua a fabulous view of his ass. Instinctively Justin knew Joshua wasn’t asleep and was watching him. He turned slowly so he was facing his young husband and slowly and deliberately started to rub at his cock, lifting and drying beneath it before pulling it over and over in the pretence of drying it.
Joshua's breath hitched in his throat and he watched wide eyed as Justin started to work on drying his balls, rolling them gently in the fuzzy towel, dividing them and drying between them methodically. Unconsciously he licked his lips, his eyes feasting on the symbol of manhood standing now erect between Justin's thighs. Joshua crawled to the end of the bed his gaze never wandering; he licked his lips again and looked up with lust filled eyes, waiting almost pleading for permission to taste.
“Go ahead,” Justin purred seductively. “Taste it.”
In a heartbeat Joshua's mouth was wrapped around Justin's solid erection and he groaned with pleasure as the first drops of pre-cum hit his tongue. He rolled his tongue around the tip and teased the leaking slit. In one quick moment of bravery Joshua deep throated, he gagged and Justin attempted to pull back only to have Joshua try once more, determined to give his husband as much pleasure as he could.
“Joshua you don’t have to,” Justin said softly.
The teenager pulled off his husband and looked up, his eyes misty with desire. “I know,” he said. “I want to.”