THE WIND CAME IN ERRATIC GUSTS, TOSSING the ship unpredictably on the dark, endless sea. The summer stars provided some reassurance in the unfamiliar waters, as did the nearly full moon, swollen and low in the sky like the eye of a watching god.
Kjartan remained awake while the others slept, his eyes continually drawn to the boy who had captured his interest. He was young, of slender build, with a face so beautiful Kjartan had, at first, mistaken him for a girl. His skin was pale, his short brown hair wildly unkempt. Around his neck he wore an unusual amulet pouch, with a glyph Kjartan did not recognize. But most of all it was his eyes—an innocent pale green—that mesmerized the Viking chieftain, who upon first looking into them felt a strange turning within, a warmth he had not felt for many years.
He wasn’t completely sure why he’d chosen to buy him. It would not have been surprising had he made his usual purchase of a female, or perhaps two, to keep him company— at least for the duration of the voyage back to Iceland—but this time he had chosen the boy. Kjartan pondered this decision, trying to understand his own heart.
Unlike many, he was not shamed by his attraction to another male, but he was well aware that others did not feel the same. He could not act out on his sexual attraction to the youth; any discovery of his deviance would result in a disastrous decline in his status and, by loss of his backing, a collapse of his chieftaincy.
The boy would present a serious temptation, one that Kjartan was not completely sure he could resist. Yet he found a peculiar comfort in merely watching him sleep, enjoying how vulnerable he looked, sprawled out and chained on the deck. The boy slept fitfully, tossing and mumbling, the chains between his wrists and ankles clanking against the deck with every move.
Suddenly, almost as if he sensed Kjartan’s gaze, the boy opened his eyes, sitting up and looking around in alarm, his chest rising and falling quickly. After a moment he seemed to remember his situation, relaxing slightly. When Kjartan walked toward him he startled, looking up in fear.
“Are you thirsty?” He held out a jug of water. The boy looked at him blankly at first, then took the offered jug and swallowed greedily.
Kjartan watched him drink, smiling. “What is your name?” The boy stopped drinking and stared at him, eyes wide.
Kjartan tried a few different dialects from Kiev. Polianian, Derevlianian, Krivichian. The boy continued to stare blankly at him, although his brow furrowed as though he almost understood him.
Next he tried Radimichian. The boy’s eyes brightened upon hearing his native tongue. “Meshika,” he answered, in a voice so soft it was hardly audible.
Radimichian. Not a language he knew well. But he knew enough to communicate with the boy, for it was evident that he did not understand the northern tongue at all.
“Meshika, you will answer to me now. You will obey me in all matters. Is that understood?”
“Yes,” Meshika replied, a little sadly. “But, what…is your name?”
“I am Kjartan Thorofsson. But you will call me Master. How old are you?”
Kjartan frowned at this, taking in the boy’s youthful form. “You are certainly younger. Why do you lie?”
“I am sixteen,” Meshika replied, his eyes flashing.
“Then, I will expect you to do a man’s work.”
Now Meshika leaned a little closer, looking imploringly into his eyes. “Please. My sisters? Do you know what happened to them?”
Kjartan paused for a moment, remembering the merchant’s comment that the boy was one of only a handful who had survived the raid on his village, and that those who had survived had been mostly sold somewhere in the east, most likely Bolgar. They were probably already on the silk route to the eastern lands. It was the work of Halfdan The Black, a notorious young warrior from Vik, and no doubt Kjartan would learn the full details of his exploits upon their return to Iceland.
“I don’t know,” he replied. “But they are probably sold.”
“And my brothers?”
The chieftain shook his head. “I know nothing about it.”
“Where are we going?” the boy asked, fearfully.
“Home. To Iceland.”
Meshika looked horrified at this, eliciting a small smile from the great chieftain.
“Is Iceland such a horrible place, to make you pull such a scowl?”
“It’s filled with trolls and ghosts,” the boy whispered. “And nothing but…bloodthirsty Vikings.”
Now the handsome chieftain laughed. “I’ll grant you there are trolls, perhaps, as well as a few troublesome ghosts. But we are not all so eager for blood as you seem to think. It has been at least ten winters since I killed a man. I would again, if put to it; but my view is most matters are better resolved peacefully, through the law.”
Meshika thought about this for a moment. “Then, you have not come from a raid?”
“No. I am a merchant; I travel to Kiev every other summer.”
“What will you have me do?”
“Whatever suits me,” came Kjartan’s cryptic reply. “Tell me. Are you always so free with your tongue, Meshika?”
“How else should I be?”
“As my slave,” now Kjartan let his hand rest lightly on the boy’s manacles, “you ought to wait to be spoken to, before you speak.”
“And what if I don’t?” Meshika replied, challengingly, his eyes sparkling brightly.
“Then,” Kjartan whispered, “I shall have to punish you.”
Meshika fell silent at this, losing courage in the face of Kjartan’s threat.
Kjartan nodded his approval, then continued. “Provided you obey me, Meshika, you will find I will treat you very well. These,” he touched his manacles again, “will be removed once we reach land. You’ll find my hall quite comfortable, and you will never want for food. If you are a hard worker I will reward you with your own house and a plot of land.”
The boy listened to this, suspicious. The chieftain made it sound too good to be true, and he wondered what horrible truth lay concealed behind his words. He had little choice but to wait and see whether Kjartan spoke in lies or truths.
“You truly know nothing of my sisters or brothers?” he repeated.
“What did I just tell you, Meshika? Are you hoping for punishment?” Now Kjartan reached out and took hold of his chin, looking into his eyes. “You will wait to be addressed. If I do not bring up a subject, you will not.”
“But what if you never bring up what I want to talk about?” Meshika wailed.
“Then we’ll never discuss it. Lower your voice; others are trying to sleep.”
The boy quieted and Kjartan released him. Then, deciding that the boy would be better off if he left his past behind, he continued, “but I will answer you this one time. As I said, I know nothing about it, except that many of the villagers were killed. Most likely your sisters are sold and your brothers died fighting.”
Meshika seemed to whither with this news, his eyes filling with tears.
“Are you hungry?” Kjartan asked.
The boy shook his head, looking away.
“Very well.” Kjartan left abruptly, sensing the boy wanted to be left alone. As he did so he could hear Meshika weeping. He tried to ignore this, concentrating on checking the ropes and knots, as he gazed at the stars to ensure they were on course.
Later, when Meshika finally quieted and, at great length, fell asleep again, Kjartan lay down nearby, watching him. Under his blanket, his hand was quietly at work; he unfastened his trousers and began stroking his swollen organ, now aching for release.
He imagined pulling Meshika under the covers with him, naked, spreading him apart and forcing him down onto his cock, holding his hips steady as the boy struggled to break free, straddling him.
He visualized the boy wincing and then crying out, unable to overcome the chieftain’s considerable strength, as he was forced to admit him completely. Then, he orchestrated the cadence of their fuck, rocking Meshika on his cock like a helpless doll, taking pleasure in the boy’s pristine tears, his clenched fists pounding impotently on his chest, his thighs spread wide across his groin.
And then he began another scenario, where he taught Meshika to pleasure him with his mouth, his hands buried in the boy’s soft, tousled hair as he savored his hot tongue exploring his length. He relished the boy’s uncertainty, his hesitant descent as Kjartan guided him to his waiting erection, how Meshika would look up at him, as if not quite sure where to begin; and then, with the chieftain’s coaxing, how he would come to take him entirely into his mouth—though not at first, and not without considerable alarm at his size. Kjartan would have him positioned just so, in a manner that allowed him to watch the boy lap up his sex, his semen sliding down Meshika’s chin as he erupted in unmanageable, copious arcs.
And yes, he would not begrudge the boy pleasure, as well; the chieftain was equally aroused—or nearly so—by the thought of Meshika, eyes shining and breathing deepening, riding the waves of pleasure to the inevitable final port, writhing and moaning in his critical moment.
Silently, he brought himself to the brink, his mouth parted and eyes half-closed; he longed to cry out, but had learned— from years of experience—how to conceal his pleasure. He was spiraling up now, shivers racing the length of his back, his cock nearly ready to burst. With precise, masterful strokes he pumped his semen out, his hot sex dripping down his hand as he struggled not to vocalize his utter ecstasy.
For some moments afterwards he continued to hold himself, his hand still covered with the fruits of his concupiscence, marveling over the intensity of his climax. He’d found his new favorite fantasy, and Kjartan had no doubt he would ravish Meshika over and over in the private terrain of his mind.
The next day, however, Meshika proved disappointingly distant, deliberately avoiding eye contact with the great chieftain and refusing food or drink. For a time Kjartan ignored this, allowing the boy some grieving time. But, by the day’s end, when he still had not accepted even a drink of water, Kjartan grew impatient.
Walking over to him, he nudged the jug with his foot. “Drink,” he commanded.
Meshika did not reply, looking away.
Irritated, Kjartan forced the boy’s attention, grabbing hold of his chin. “Didn’t you hear me? You’ll obey me, Meshika.”
The boy now stared back at him, but still refused to move.
“Throw that one overboard, Kjartan,” Asmund suggested, as he walked by them, grinning.
“Perhaps I shall,” Kjartan replied, then, in the boy’s tongue, added, “either that or cut your throat. I have no patience for a disobedient child.”
“I’m not a child,” Meshika shot back, hotly. “Go ahead, slit my throat. I’m ready to die.”
“Is that so?” Kjartan whipped out his dagger and held it up to the boy’s throat, nicking him slightly. A tiny trickle of blood made its path down his pale throat, but Meshika did not flinch, looking him bravely in the eyes.
“Do it,” he repeated. “I have nothing to live for.”
For some moments they were poised thus, master and slave, each testing out the other’s resolve. Impressed with the boy’s courage, Kjartan returned his dagger to his sheath, smiling.
“You are brave, my Meshika,” he remarked. “But I will not grant you your wish of death. You will drink, however, and you will eat, if I have to force you to do so, which I am perfectly ready to do. I suggest you save us both the trouble and obey me now, before I am forced to punish you.”
At this, Meshika raised his chin defiantly. “Punish me, then. I won’t obey you.”
“Is that so?” Kjartan stood for a moment, regarding him with disbelief. Then he laughed. “Ah. I see. You…are comfortable in your new brave skins. Ready to be punished like a man. Is that it?”
The boy did not reply, but stared back at him proudly. “Unfortunately for you, you appear very much a boy yet to me. So I shall have to punish you like a boy. Over my knee, with your pants down around your knees. A child’s punishment will suffice for the likes of you.”
Mortified at this, Meshika blinked a few times, not quite believing that the great Viking was serious.
Kjartan smiled at his discomfiture, certain that a spanking was as shameful in Radimichian culture as in his own, something reserved strictly for naughty children.
“Or perhaps you would prefer to obey me now, and avoid the humiliation?”
Now Meshika felt torn. He certainly did not want to be spanked like some errant child in front of a shipload of Viking warriors, who were sure to make merry of his punishment. But at the same time, he did not want to stand down to this chieftain—the man who claimed to be his master.
“I see. Then,” Kjartan sat down on one of the bench-chests, pulling Meshika roughly over his knee, and pulling his pants down to his thighs. The boy’s buttocks now bared for all to see, Kjartan proceeded to spank him, eliciting laughter and cheers from his shipmates, who enjoyed a good diversion.
Meshika had never been more humiliated in all his life; but his mortification was soon overshadowed by the pure pain of his punishment. Kjartan’s hand came down impossibly hard, each strike worse than the previous, or so it seemed to the boy, who had not been spanked since early childhood and never, never like this. Much as he tried, he could not prevent a whimper to escape him; then another, then a louder cry, and then, before he even realized what was happening, he was weeping.
Meshika did not plead. But he suffered. He tried his hardest not to scream, tried to rein in his sobs, but never in his life could he ever have imagined such a horrible experience. His bottom burned excruciatingly, and Kjartan kept him firmly over his knee, though Meshika tried to wriggle from his grasp. Amid all the laughter and jeering, and over the sound of his own sobs, Meshika heard the chieftain ask, in a calm, low voice, “Ready to obey me now?”
“Yes,” Meshika gasped, desperately trying to stop crying.
With that, the punishment came to an end, and Kjartan set him on his feet. For a moment, Meshika simply stood, still struggling with his emotions, his pants still down.
Kjartan took this opportunity to get a good look at the boy; the spanking had aroused him fiercely, and the sight of the boy standing there, completely exposed, was too much. He did not know how he would be able to wait until nightfall, when others were asleep, to relieve himself.
“Master,” Meshika whispered. “I…can’t….” The boy motioned to his pants, feeling disinclined to bend over to retrieve them.
Kjartan leaned forward and pulled them up, allowing his hand to slide past the boy’s organ, brushing against it ever so slightly. Meshika did not seem to notice, his head hung low and his cheeks flushed red.
“No one is watching you now,” Kjartan remarked, soothingly. “Now. You will eat, and you will drink, without my having to command you. Is that clear?”
Meshika nodded, feeling completely defeated.
With a sharp nod, Kjartan walked away, hoping to find a quiet corner in the cargo area below where he could attend to his now pressing need. His heart was beating fast, perhaps from the exertion of disciplining Meshika, but also from pure sexual excitement. Having the boy over his knee for a good hard spanking had been one of the most erotic moments of his life, and Kjartan knew he would revisit the episode countless times in the days to come. He almost hoped the boy would misbehave again and give him an excuse to punish him.
Although Kjartan had never enjoyed punishment in this way before, something about Meshika seemed to have awakened a part of him he had not even known existed. Now he wondered about the strange amulet the boy wore around his neck. Perhaps the boy was some sort of runecaster. Then, surely, he was under Meshika’s spell.