The acrid stench of gunpowder and blood hung in the air as the soldiers fought their way into the grand house. They had an idea of where the hidden entrance to the vast cellars was and they knew for sure that was where the breeders were being kept in semi darkness, denied the sunshine and penned like animals.
Justin took out a rebel that had Lance pinned down from the top of the staircase and the blond southerner signalled his thanks. Justin gave him the finger and moved away. He still hadn’t forgiven him and his husband Joey for placing his lover in jeopardy.
“Keep your fucking head down,” Chris hissed at him as a bullet whistled past his ear. The northerner inhaled sharply. That was close. His concern for Joshua was making him clumsy.
They moved steadily through the lower levels of the house, dividing into pre-arranged groups. Two thirds of their number advanced to the upper levels led by Captain Fatone while the rest of them took the lower floors.
“Timberlake, Kirkpatrick,” Lance barked. “Take the dining room. Jenkins, take Kirk and Taylor and take the lounge. Bryan you are with me.”
“I’m going into the lower chambers with you,” Justin insisted. “Joshua is down there.”
“That is why you are taking the dining room soldier. You will be too busy trying to find him instead of doing your job.”
Chris grabbed Justin's arm. “You know he’s right JT.”
Justin glared at his superior officer then backed down. “Yes sir,” he snapped and he and Chris headed in the direction of twin carved doors.
Lance headed for the kitchen and felt around the walls till he tripped the hidden latch. The hidden door clicked open just enough to get hold of it and pull it open the rest of the way. He peered in cautiously and dropped a flare down the stairwell. Lance put his foot on the top step and beckoned to the soldier that was accompanying him and then proceeded carefully downwards. The bottom door was open and Lance hung back, the last thing he needed was to get shot by one of his own men.
“Lonnie?” he called and pressed back against the wall, just in case.
“I’m coming in.” Lance edged along the wall and peaked into the room staying just long enough to take a quick look.
“Come in lieutenant the room is secure.”
Lance went all the way into the room beckoning his underling to follow him. “Where are the breeders? Did we loose any?”
Lonnie stood to attention and saluted. “All breeders accounted for sir. I have them stashed in the back room that they used to use to impregnate them.”
“Frightened but untouched. Part of handing him over was that I got the first chance to impregnate him. I managed to keep everyone away from him until they tested him. Luckily Justin had gotten there first.” Lonnie grinned as the meaning of his words sunk in.
Lance gave a short sharp laugh. “That horny little git!”
“YOU’RE DEAD FUCKER!” Lance was spun aside as a shorn-headed demon flashed past him. Justin rushed at the African bodyguard with his knife held above his head his intention to kill the man that had abducted his husband.
Lance leaped into action knocking Justin sideways and in an instance Chris had raced down the stairs and seized him from behind, wrestling him back with Bryan helping him to hold Justin at bay.
Lance composed himself. “At ease soldier,” he commanded.
Justin redoubled his efforts to reach Lonnie. “I’ll kill you,” he screamed. “You traitorous bastard.”
“Timberlake enough: calm down or I’ll have you put under charge.”
Unperturbed Justin tried to lunge at the big man again.
Lance rolled his eyes. He turned to Taylor whom had just reached the cellar having heard the commotion. “Get him in irons until he calms down.”
Without blinking Taylor produced a pair of manacles from his utility belt and snapped them closed around Justin's wrists. Restrained the soldier had no choice but to kneel when Chris and Bryan pushed him to the floor.
A few minutes later Joey joined them. The bearded captain glared at the manacled young lieutenant. “Is he under charge?” he asked his husband.
Lance shook his head. “No not yet,” he said grinning. “Actually I thought he would have cracked sooner.”
Justin scowled up at them both. “Fuck you,” he spat. “Where is my husband?”
“Taylor if you and Bryan would retrieve the breeders for me.” The soldiers saluted Joey and marched off into the semi-darkness. There was a yelp and then a lot of loud cussing; Taylor returned with Joshua under one arm. The breeder was scratching and biting at him as he struggled to hold on to him in one hand and a heavy chair leg in the other. Behind him the others breeders followed Bryan docilely.
“Let go of me you ape” Joshua howled.
Taylor stood before his captain. “Permission to drop the breeder sir.”
Joey, Lance and Chris sniggered. “Permission granted soldier,” Joey replied as he tried not to laugh out loud. Taylor, who was sporting a massive bruise to his right forearm where Joshua had caught him hard with the wooden chair leg, dropped Joshua and the young breeder gasped as the wind was knocked out of him.
Joshua's eyes blazed like fire as he turned to spit venom at his captors then softened as they came to rest on Justin. The breeder squealed with joy and threw himself at his husband, knocking him over and covering his face with kisses.
“I missed you,” he sobbed. “I missed you so much.” Joshua then punched Justin on the shoulder forcefully. “Don’t you ever, ever leave me again.”
Before Justin could respond he covered Justin's mouth with his own and made him surrender to a long passion filled kiss.
“Release me,” Justin demanded.
“Are you going to try and kill Lonnie again?” Lance asked seriously.
Justin shook his head, too busy licking Joshua's mouth to speak. Lance nodded at Taylor who undid the preoccupied soldier’s cuffs. As soon as his hands were free Justin wrapped his arms around his husband. He attacked Joshua's mouth and ran his fingers over his head. They broke apart and Joshua bent his head down to Justin's chest in shame. He tried to pull away but Justin held him tighter.
“Don’t hide from me Joshua. It isn’t your hair that I am in love with.”
“But I’m ugly.”
Justin placed a finger under Joshua's chin and lifted his face so that he could look into his eyes. “You my angel could never be ugly. You are the most beautiful man that ever lived. Your hair only added to your beauty.”
Tears started to form in the young breeders eyes. “They took my hair Justin.”
The soldier crushed his husband to him and kissed his shaven head. “You are so beautiful. I love you.”
Joshua met his eyes once more. “I’m having a baby.”
Justin went quiet, his mind going into overdrive as he held Joshua close. He was too late; his beautiful boy had already been violated by a stranger. Rage soared through him and he shook from the effort of not letting Joshua see how badly his news affected him.
“It will be alright baby,” Justin said reassuringly. “There are plenty of couples that would be willing to adopt.”
The breeder began to cry and Justin tried to sooth him. “What is it? Do you want to keep the baby yourself? Honey I’m not sure how I’d feel about bringing up a child that was born from rape.”
Joshua blinked back tears and looked his husband in the eye. “It’s your baby. I wasn’t touched, Lonnie made sure of that.”
With a relieved cry Justin crushed his husband to his chest once more and covered him with kisses.
A young private came running down the stairs and paused in front of the small group and saluted. “Sir the helicopters have returned.”
“Let’s get out of here,” Joey shouted.
A young breeder with bright blue eyes stepped forward wringing his hands with anxiety. “Please sir,” he stammered. “In the house …. Was there …. I mean did you … “the boy rubbed the tears away that were beginning to fall.
“Spit it out son, what are you trying to ask me? Joey asked kindly.
The young breeder rubbed the heels of his hands in his eyes. He took a deep breath and the words rushed out of his mouth. “Did you find any babies in the house? My baby is only three or four days old, I think he had dark hair. Did you find him?”
Another breeder stepped to his side. “My baby too, they took him before I could see him. Please sir did you find my baby?”
The two boys looked at Joey hopefully almost pleadingly. “I’m sorry we haven’t yet but we will be going over the house with a fine toothed comb. Every file will be examined and every child tracked down, I promise you.”
The two boys began to cry again, hugging each other for comfort.
“Lonnie,” Joey barked and the big man stepped forward.
“Take the breeders to the helicopters and make sure they are safe. I want you to accompany them back to Madison.”
The former bodyguard cast a glance at Joshua. “Joshua as well sir?” he asked.
Justin's head shot up. “No, you don’t get within a hundred feet of him ever again. Joshua stays with me.”
He gripped the hand of his shaven headed husband tightly and pulled him behind him protectively.
That’s not an option JT. We still have work to do here. The choppers are for the breeders not us.” Joey addressed Lonnie once more. “All the breeders Lonnie even Joshua. We will follow when we have finished here.”
“NO!” Justin yelled. “My husband goes nowhere with him.”
“Lonnie take him now.”
“Over my dead body,” Justin hissed and drew his knife once more and waved it threateningly at the black man.
“Do you really want to be put under charge Justin? Because I will,” Lance snapped. “Joshua has to go back to Madison and you have to stay here. Now drop the blade and behave like the professional that you are supposed to be.”
The soldier seethed but lowered his blade. He pulled Joshua around him and into his embrace.
“I love you.” Justin caressed his husband’s face and kissed his lips tenderly. He took off his jacket and wrapped it around Joshua's naked body. “I will be back as soon as I can.” He turned to Lonnie. “This isn’t over between you and me. If Joshua isn’t waiting for me safely at home when I get there I will hunt you down and kill you.”
The big bodyguard pursed his lips and let out a low whistle of breath. “If anything happens to Joshua you won’t have to hunt me down I will be waiting for you to come and get me.” Lonnie took Joshua by his arm and the young breeder squeaked with reluctance to leave his husband once again. “Regardless of what you think I would never endanger Joshua. I would give my life for him.”
Justin grunted unconvinced but allowed Lonnie to take Joshua up to the waiting helicopters. As his breeder husband was bundled in with the rest of the liberated breeders Justin chewed the inside of his cheek nervously. He closed his eyes and said a silent prayer as the choppers lifted off. Chris came up behind him and stood with his chin rested on his shoulder until the helicopter was out of sight.
“You know if I was in Lonnie’s position I would probably have taken the price too and I think that you would have too.”
Justin opened his mouth to deny what Chris had just suggested but snapped it shut knowing that if he had been denied breeding rights he would probably have taken the sweetener.
“But I wasn’t Chris, and look at what Joshua has been put through. They shaved his head for god’s sake, his hair, his beautiful hair.” Justin leaned back as Chris wrapped his arms around him and kissed his neck lovingly.
“Two days Justin and then you will be back with him.”
Justin sighed and turned in his arms and rested his head on his shoulder. “I love him so much Chris.”
“I’m going to be a daddy again.”
Justin pushed away and lifted his head, looking Chris in the eye. “I’m a really lucky guy aren’t I?”
Chris grinned. “I know,” he agreed again.