Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Price Of Pleasure

The Price Of Pleasure

T-minus 4 hours, 30 minutes

Ron surveyed the carnage before him. The two broken bodies lay unmoving on the floor of the dimly-lit basement. It hardly seemed possible that there could be any life left in either of them, but just to be sure, Keller moved in with his knife. Two slashes across two throats guaranteed that neither would stir again, although the lack of response from the victims when the blade made contact hinted at how unnecessary this final step was.

Ron's hand strayed to his crotch. In truth, the blood-soaked corpses did not turn him on at all, and besides, he had shot a lot of loads over the last two weeks, the last only some 45 minutes ago. Still, it seemed a shame not to take advantage of this final opportunity, and so he took hold and started working.

Necrophilia wasn't really his thing - there's that beating-a-dead-horse metaphor again, he thought, only a bit more literal this time - and so he allowed his vision to glaze over and his imagination to stray back to his favorite scenes from the past two weeks. There were a great many to choose from, and his mind flicked rapidly from one image of bound and tortured man-flesh to another, reliving the sight of red-lit muscles straining against chains and the sounds of deep-throated screams.

He took his time, and Keller didn't try to rush him. Eventually, the end came as it always did, the pumping fist, the wet slapping sound of skin against skin, the clenching buildup, and then the gasping, surging release that sent him briefly out of his mind and back.

When his vision returned, he saw that his climax had left only light, clear droplets sprinkled over the gory bodies on the floor in front of him - his balls were drained nearly dry. Two weeks ago, even that tiny amount would have repulsed the owners of those bodies. Now, neither of them would ever care again about the indignity of being a straight man touched by a gay man's sperm. A pity, that, but damn, it had been good while it lasted.

Keller scuffed his feet, shuffling over to stand beside him. He knew he should be the one to say something, to retain what control he could, but he allowed himself to be deluded that this moment might stretch on forever. The silence dragged on, growing increasingly uncomfortable, until Keller at last broke it. "I believe we have one more job to attend to."

"I know," said Ron, turning away from the scene. "I guess I'm ready. I think you're going to have to tie me up, though."

Keller twisted his mouth into a tight-lipped half-smile, bowed, and gestured him over to the metal frame that had recently held one of the two bodies on the floor. Ron obligingly held his hands up high so that Keller could affix the chains to his wrists. More chains at his ankles, and he was firmly trapped.

There was fear, certainly, but it was the fear of pain rather than the fear of death. Keller certainly could kill him, and no one would ever know, but Ron was almost certain - almost - that that would not happen. Spending the last two weeks in Keller's company had not made him an expert on how the man's mind worked - not that anyone ever could be - but it had given him some insight, enough to be pretty sure that Keller would be satisfied collecting only what they had agreed to. No more, no less.

Still, it couldn't hurt to probe the topic, however obliquely.

"You remember I'm a total sadist, right?" he asked, only the faintest quaver in his voice betraying his state of mind. "I'm not like you, able to take it as well as dish it out."

"I know," Keller replied, planting his palm flat against Ron's bare chest. "That's exactly what makes it so hot for me."

Keller turned to the equipment table to pick up the first of the implements.

T-minus 10 years, 3 months

Ron lived in a tidy little condominium development in suburban Scranton, Pennsylvania. Rows of nearly-indistinguishable homes lined the outer edge of Quaker Circle, leaving the interior of the circle occupied by a grassy expanse. When Ron first moved in, there was a playground for the kids in that central space. Now it was gone, torn down because the homeowner's association didn't want to pay for the insurance they needed to protect themselves from some parent playing the lawsuit lottery when their child got injured by insufficiently soft mulch or a sun-warmed slide.

Ron didn't much care either way. He had no kids, and wasn't likely ever to: the kind of sex he enjoyed didn't tend to lead to pregnancies.

Not that he got much of a chance to indulge in the really good stuff. He would bring occasional fuck-buddies home, but the walls were thin and the neighbors were nosy and it was frustrating to have to keep the sounds of carnal pleasure to a minimum. Particularly frustrating was the lack of opportunity to tie guys up and explore other, more intense, forms of carnal pleasure, the kind that walked the thin edge between pleasure and pain. Only occasionally, when the thirst grew strong, would he venture out to slake it.

Scranton had a couple of gay bars, which offered a limited but sometimes appealing selection. None of the local watering holes were leather-themed, though. For that kind of scene, he had to travel to New York, far enough away that he could only make the trip once or twice a year. Infrequent as they were, those trips were the highlight of Ron's sex life - dimly-lit spaces filled with sweaty, anonymous men, men who were happy to let him tie them up and hurt them, though of course he always had to remember to hold himself in check, to keep the hurt consensual, to not let the darker leanings of his mind swirl to the forefront and carry him past the point beyond which he could not return...

Best not to dwell too much on that which can never be. All in all, Quaker Circle was a nice enough place to live: close to work, close to parks and a good bike trail, close to the mountains where he liked to go fishing, and close enough... and yet far enough... from his parents and sister in Hazleton. He was perfectly content living his double life - chatting idly with friends and co-workers over drinks or dinner while simultaneously imagining how the waiter would look suspended naked by his wrists. There was no need to jeopardize his comfortable suburban existence just to satisfy his lust.

As for the dark stuff, well, thank God and Al Gore for the internet.

T-minus 3 years, 9 months

SadistNEPA: 5'10", brown hair / eyes, pretty good build here. you?

sk512ym0: 6', likewise brown, above-average looks but no movie star. I'd rather hear about your mind, though. What sort of things do you enjoy?

SadistNEPA: the rougher the better! woof!

sk512ym0: Yeah? I think I might like talking to you. I take it the "NEPA" in your name is "northeast Pennsylvania"?

SadistNEPA: m-hm. you?

sk512ym0: I travel a lot. I could plan a trip your way if it seems we're compatible. Do you get much chance to play?

SadistNEPA: not as much as id like - no space. ive got a basement, but the neighbors are close and have big ears.

sk512ym0: Yeah, that would be a problem. You want to be some place where the victim can really scream...

SadistNEPA: fuck yeah!

sk512ym0: So let's explore some possibilities, here... let's say I present you with a hot guy, all tied up, gagged, and hooded. What do you do with him?

T-minus 9 years, 6 months

Joe lived on Quaker Circle, too, about a third of the way around from Ron's place. If Ron's condo were assigned the 6:00 position on an imaginary clock, then Joe's would be at 10, so that Ron, standing on his tiny front porch, could look out and slightly left to see the corresponding equally tiny porch of Joe's home.

Joe and his wife moved into their condo a few months after Ron bought his. Ron happened to glance out his bedroom window the day they moved in, and his jaw nearly dropped to the floor when he saw how unbelievably good-looking the guy carrying boxes into the empty unit was. He immediately darkened the room and pulled out his binoculars, the better to see this incredible specimen of manhood.

Damn, he was gorgeous. Blond hair, so pale as to be almost invisible. Blue eyes. Clearly very well-built, although Ron couldn't see much detail at the time - it was October, and the cool fall weather had arrived early that year. He figured he would have to wait until next summer to really get a good look at him, when the sun's warmth might persuade this new hunk to shed some of his excess clothing.

Ron didn't even know the new neighbor's name until the following spring, at the Memorial Day neighborhood pool party. He seldom mingled much with the Quaker Circle circle, limiting his interactions with them mostly to "hello" and "sure is wet out today". He wasn't anti-social, by any means; he just preferred to do his socializing with people of his own choosing, not random strangers whose only connection to him was an accident of geography. The pool party was always worth going to, though. There were always two or three men there who were easy enough on the eye to make it worth tolerating the yammering housewives and the shrieking, running children.

That year, he made a point of striking up a conversation with Shirley, a friendly, attractive woman brimming with Southern charm who turned out - what a coincidence! - to be Joe's wife. Joe was swimming in the pool, and Ron made a show of not knowing which of the splashing bodies she was trying to point out. They had a nice, long chat, during which Ron learned all sorts of things about his neighbor.

It turned out that Joe was 32 years old, ex-military, a former Army Ranger who flew helicopters over the DMZ in Korea during his stint. He met Shirley in Mississippi; they got married, and she followed him up north when he left the service. He now worked doing purchasing for Billington's, a local auto parts chain. Oh, and he liked to lift weights, play baseball, and occasionally run marathons.

Joe arrived at one point, dripping wet, and Shirley made the introductions. Ron had had many years' experience at acting straight, but this encounter pushed his capabilities to their limits. Perhaps ten percent of his mind was occupied with making pleasant chit-chat; the rest was entirely focused on checking out Joe's magnificent body at close range.

His handsome face was long and thin, almost elfin-looking. Blond hair cropped close, cheeks and chin shaved smooth. His twin dimples and ever-so-slightly crooked teeth when he smiled made him look almost boyish, though that was definitely not a boy's six-foot-two physique his head sat atop. His body was incredibly sculpted, with broad shoulders, ripped abs, a powerful back, and pecs so well-built that they jutted out far enough to actually cast shadows on his belly.

His chest was covered in blond fur, so pale and fine that it was only visible because it was soaking wet. He had these enormous nipples, too, easily the size of half-dollars. Ordinarily, Ron liked guys with small nipples, tight and perky. Big tits just struck him as flabby and feminine. Not on Joe, though. On him, those massive, half-dollar sized tits were firm and tight, as perfectly sculpted as the rest of him, tiny mountains poking up dead center in each.

"... so what do you do, Ron?" Joe asked.

"Ah, engineering. Electrical and mechanical, mostly," Ron replied. He named one of the big coal companies with local mining operations.

"Oh, yeah? So do you actually work in the mines?"

"No, all of what I do is topside, fortunately. Every once in a while I have to go underground, but I never get used to it. Uff da, those are some tight spaces..."

Shirley perked up. "Are you Norwegian? Joe's grandmother says that all the time, 'uff da'. She can't ever explain what it means."

The three of them chatted for a while longer about Norwegian ancestors (which explains the blond hair, thought the ninety percent of Ron's mind that was not thinking about the conversation) and about various other things, then were interrupted by another neighbor come to compare notes with Shirley on which perennials in her front garden plot might best match her kitchen curtains. Ron discreetly bowed out and went to help himself to a burger, trying not to think about how much self-control it had taken to not bend over and lick the chlorinated water off of Joe's taut, jutting tits.

The years went by. Aside from the annual pool party, Ron seldom spoke to either Joe or Shirley. In the hot months, Joe could often be seen outside, planting or weeding the garden plot or washing his car or going out for a run. Ron would take advantage of the opportunity to spy on him with his binoculars when he was able, enjoying the sight of Joe's massive muscles bulging and flowing under his skin. Every so often, he would imagine how those muscles would look if they were bound and helpless, how they would strain against the ropes that held them, all their power rendered helpless and impotent and under his control... knowing all the while that such a fantasy could never possibly come to life.

T-minus 2 years, 11 months

SadistNEPA: he was out in his garden again this afternoon.

sk512ym0: Yeah? Wearing his usual?

SadistNEPA: yep - thin red shorts, socks, sneakers and nothin else! the damn gardens only 8 x12 feet - how many weeds can there be? but hes out there all the same, an hour an a half.

sk512ym0: Sweet. Bet you had your binoculars out!

SadistNEPA: fuckin a!

sk512ym0: Must have been a nice view.

SadistNEPA: oh yeah

sk512ym0: But I also bet watching is all you did. Come on, man, you gotta get out there, talk to him! There's lots of straight guys who like it on the down low. You'll never know unless you try.

SadistNEPA: what can i say? im a chicken. ;-)

sk512ym0: Dude, you've got to get over that. You've got all these hot ideas rolling around in your head, but you never get to do any of them. Isn't that frustrating?

<long pause>

SadistNEPA: yeah. if im honest with myself, it is

T-minus 1 year, 10 months

Greg lived further around the circle: 1:00.

Ron missed his move-in day early one June, but made up for lost time when he first saw Greg washing his car. Binoculars in hand, he massaged his groin through his pants until he finally had to stop lest he stain his shorts, for Greg was, if anything, even hotter than Joe. Joe, after all, was forty-ish now, and this guy, from the looks of him, might possibly be old enough to drink legally. Maybe.

His color was slightly darker than Joe's, but he still qualified as "blond", though in a gritty, sandy kind of way. It was hard to tell from such a distance, but he seemed to be shorter than Joe, maybe 5'10" or 5'11". He was powerfully muscled, like a wrestler or a body builder, but not too much so. Some of those guys Ron would see in body building competitions just looked freakish. Not Greg - he was perfectly proportioned, with not an ounce of fat on his body. His shoulders and back and arms all bulged in exactly the right ways. His legs were toned and firm. His abs were textbook examples of washboard-flat: even when he bent over to scrub his hubcaps, his belly remained taut and firm.

Discreet inquiries turned up his name and a fascinating connection: he was Joe's cousin, the son of Joe's mother's brother's daughter or some such. Ron didn't follow the details - phrases like "once removed" tended to make his eyes glaze over. The significant thing was that Greg was also army, just out of basic training and stationed at the nearby base. Home was in Connecticut, but when he learned he was getting a two-year posting to Scranton, he asked Joe to suggest some housing options since he wasn't all that keen about living on base. Joe, it seems, was able to find his cousin a nice rental unit just down the street from him - very convenient.

To Ron's delight, Greg was obsessed with his car, which got more cleanings and waxings in that one summer than Ron's eight-year-old Celica had seen in its entire life. And his shirts seemed to be particularly sensitive to gravity - they fell down at the slightest provocation. Ron knew the type: guys who knew they were hot and were perfectly happy to flaunt their assets for the ladies.

He was very obviously straight, though seemingly not the committing kind - Ron watched a succession of different female faces enter and leave the condo throughout the summer and fall. Even though he had never spoken with the guy, had only watched him surreptitiously from his bedroom window, Ron was sure he had Greg pegged: the classic hot straight guy who knows he's attractive and uses his good looks to get what he wants. He walked with a proud, arrogant strut, taking every opportunity he could to show off his impressive physique, and never forming lasting relationships with the opposite sex.

Summer faded away. Winter came, snow squalls boiling up over the mountains and dumping piles of the white stuff all over the city. The gardening and the car washings stopped, leaving Ron to spend more time with the internet and his imagination, with only occasional glimpses of his two favorite pieces of eye candy.

T-minus 1 year, 2 months

sk512ym0: Hey, pal. What's new in Scranton?

SadistNEPA: they were both out today. joe went out for a run, all bundled up but still lookin mighty fine. and greg came out right at the same time... wearing shorts! 40 degrees out and he's got shorts and a t-shirt on.

sk512ym0: ? What did he do? Make snow angels?

SadistNEPA: no... just got in his car and drove off. maybe i could have done that when i was his age, but now id freeze my balls off!

sk512ym0: Heh, heh. Well, if he wants to freeze his nuts, that's his business... as long as it makes a nice show for you!

SadistNEPA: uh-huh. i still cant believe ive got two of them to ogle... this part of pa is coal country. the settlers all came from eastern europe, so all the men around here look like lech walesa - not exactly my idea of hot! some serious good luck to have not one but two hunks living just across the street

sk512ym0: I hear you. Hey, I really liked that last fantasy you sent me. I wonder how much pain it would actually take to get a straight man to voluntarily take your cock in his mouth? You'd have to beat him down to the point where you could be absolutely certain he wouldn't bite.

SadistNEPA: thanks. im cautious, though - better to make sure he CAN'T bite!

sk512ym0: Seriously, you have such great ideas. You sure ought to try them out for real sometime.

SadistNEPA: yeah, yeah, yeah. you know me... im a coward. ive got my two lives going - one real, one fantasy. they dont overlap

sk512ym0: They could.

<long pause>

SadistNEPA: maybe one of these days.

sk512ym0: Now you're talking!

SadistNEPA: i said maybe!

T-minus 14 days, 10 hours

Ron grew increasingly uncomfortable as the roads he traveled grew ever more narrow and winding. North-central Pennsylvania was rural country, a giant swath of Appalachia plunked down incongruously in the same state as cosmopolitan Philadelphia. He could hear banjo music in his head as he passed hunting clubs, ramshackle taverns, and weather-beaten storefronts in the tiny towns - if "town" was the right word - that he passed through.

The final climb, up almost to the top of a ridge, was on a dirt track that went on for more miles than seemed possible. Had he somehow traveled all the way to Canada by mistake? The maples and oaks had no leaves on them yet this early in April, but their branches and those of the pines hung close and thick to the road, blocking any view he might have had of the surrounding land. Even the slate-grey sky was hidden. It was like driving through a coal shaft, only grey-brown instead of grey-black.

His destination, when he reached it, was a cabin that looked halfway to falling down. The only reason he was sure it was the right place was the shiny rented car parked in front: Keller's. He parked behind it and slowly walked to the house. The front door opened as he climbed up the three rotting wooden steps that led to it. "Come on in," Keller said, his voice low, tinged with barely-contained excitement.

Ron hesitated, but only for a second, then walked inside. Keller closed the door behind him.

"Nice to meet you at last," Keller said, shaking Ron's hand while Ron's eyes adjusted to the dim interior. The words gushed forth, manic. "I'm so glad you came, I was worried a couple of times that you would bail on me, but I kept telling myself no, he'll be here. And here you are!"

"Yeah, I made it," Ron said. "You sure didn't give me much to go on..." it was half-statement, half-question.

"No, I'm sorry about that, but truly, it's better if you see it first-hand. Oh, man, I'm so glad... here, I don't want to keep you waiting any longer. We'll have to hide the cars, of course, but we can do that later. Put this on and I'll show you." He was practically bouncing on his toes.

He handed Ron a shapeless lump of black leather, which turned out to be an executioner-style hood, the kind that covered just the top half of one's head. Ron gingerly put it on, adjusting the fit so that he could see through the two eyeholes. Keller put a second one on himself; the effect was transformative, turning him from a nondescript, slightly wild-eyed, average joe into something much more sinister. Ron guessed his own appearance was similarly altered.

"You have to promise me one thing, though," Keller continued. "Don't say a word while we're downstairs, OK? Not a word. It'll ruin the effect. Promise me?"

Ron mimed pulling a zipper across his lips. Satisfied, Keller pulled open a trapdoor to reveal a surprisingly long staircase leading down. They descended.

At the bottom of the stairs was a small landing, barely large enough for the two of them to stand together. In front of them was a thick, heavy door, its solid construction looking very out of place compared to the disrepair of the rest of the cabin. Next to it was a switch, which Keller flipped. Nothing happened.

"Remember, not one word," Keller said. Ron nodded, and Keller opened the door. They walked through and Keller sealed it behind them.

Inside was a large space, much larger than the structure upstairs. The underground excavation must have extended well past the walls of the cabin. It was lit by a few bare bulbs at various places on the ceiling - controlled by the switch outside, Ron realized. The light revealed a plethora of dungeon-themed structures and implements scattered in various places around the room, so much that Ron could scarcely take it all in at once. Keller didn't pause, but led the way across the room to where two metal frames stood.

Attached to the metal frames were two men, clothed, each standing with his arms stretched up over his head, chained in place at wrists and ankles. They wore cloth bags over their heads. From their squirming motions, it was clear they knew they had company in their prison, but neither one spoke. Keller placed his hands on the bags and lifted them off with one smooth motion. The chained men stood, blinking and squinting in the sudden glare and, with not nearly as much surprise as he thought he ought to feel, Ron recognized them: Joe and Greg.

"What the fuck?!?" Greg shouted. Keller and Ron ignored him. Joe didn't say anything, just took in his surroundings as best he could while his eyes adapted to the light.

Ron glanced over at Keller, who gestured him forward with a "go ahead" motion. Ron stepped up to stand in front of Joe, staring into his eyes while Greg continued to spout useless exclamations: "What's going on?", "Who the hell are you?", "Goddamn you, answer me!". Joe stared back - it was obvious there was no recognition there. Emboldened, Ron lifted his finger and touched it gently to Joe's lips. Joe shook it off with a toss of his head, but Ron immediately replaced it on the side of his face, gently stroking the cheek of the man he never thought to have in such a position. Joe tolerated the touch for a while, then shook his head again and said shortly "What do you want?"

Joe must have been scared, but he was hiding it well. Ron found himself aroused at the thought - he had all the time in the world to shake Joe loose from his self-control, and planned to enjoy every second of his coming destruction. So much more enjoyable than the willing masochists he hooked up with on his trips to New York. Where was the fun of hurting a man if he just said "thank you, Sir!" and asked for more? This, an unwilling and helpless victim, filled with fear and dread, was so much better, so much more arousing...

Ron allowed his finger to trail downward, tracing its way across Joe's jaw and down onto his shirt. He was dressed in a T-shirt, a sweatshirt, and shorts - his cool-weather running clothes. Keller must have grabbed him - somehow - during one of his runs. Ron began to massage his firm pec through the fabric of the two shirts. Joe clearly didn't like it, but he was chained hand and foot, not going anywhere. Ron could put his hands wherever he felt like putting them, and Joe was helpless to stop him.

He squeezed and rubbed, staring into Joe's blue eyes all the while. Joe tried to hold his gaze in return, but kept looking away. Inevitably, though, his eyes kept coming back over and over again, giving Ron the impression that Joe thought he might get some glimpse of his future from reading Ron's masked face. Or perhaps he was like the rat, helplessly compelled to stare at the cobra that has cornered it. He was still masking his reactions well, but Ron could tell he was frightened and worried. Ron's cock stiffened even further.

Ron turned his attention to Greg, getting a good look at him close up for the first time. He wasn't quite as handsome as Joe, but what he lacked in his face, he more than made up for with his body. His stunning musculature was obvious even through his army fatigues, and Ron was thrilled with the idea of unwrapping this man like a Christmas present, slowly revealing all that masculine perfection bit by bit. He reached up to touch Greg as he had touched Joe, but Greg snarled "Bring that fuckin' finger near me an' I'll fuckin' bite it off!"

Ron paused with his hand held just beyond the reach of Greg's snapping teeth, then shoved his other hand into Greg's crotch, grabbed what he found there, and squeezed. Greg fought to keep the expression on his face one of rage, but Ron could read subtle signs there that he, too, was frightened, and merely covering up his fear with aggression.

Keller tapped him on the shoulder. Ron turned, not releasing his grip, and Keller gestured back toward the door they had come in by. Ron gave a parting squeeze and let go, and the two of them went back upstairs. The moment they closed the door, Greg's shouts died completely away, muffled by the soundproof room.

T-minus 4 hours

Keller turned around holding a rope. He tied it around the base of Ron's balls, trapping them in their sac. Ron itched to pull his arms down to protect himself, resenting Keller's touch at his groin and a bit surprised at the power of the emotion washing through him. Was this how it had felt for Joe and Greg? How very uncomfortable to be on the receiving end!

As a top, it felt perfectly natural for him to touch his victim's body any way that he chose. He knew on an intellectual level that the victim would resent it, and in fact part of the enjoyment for him was how the victim was dehumanized by the dismissal of his feelings as irrelevant. Ron was the master; the victim existed only to satisfy his master's needs, not to have any wishes or desires of his own. Now that the tables were turned, he was not expecting such a deep feeling of violation, reflexively resenting the arrogant presumption of a man daring to touch him in such a manner without permission.

And yet, he had given his permission, had even asked, despite his top-only nature, to be restrained for this coming ordeal. He knew himself well enough to understand his own weaknesses. Before the pain, he would have every intention of carrying through with his obligation, but once the pain started, he would not have the strength of will to endure. Allowing himself to be put in a position where he could not back out was the only way through.

He was committed now. Adrenaline surged through his blood, causing his face to flush and his muscles to quiver in their chains. He fought to keep himself under control - nothing had even happened yet! - and found he couldn't stop shaking.

Keller turned back to the supply table and returned with the same C-clamp that Ron had used a few short hours earlier. He took his time positioning it, making the tiniest of adjustments over and over. Ron knew he was hoping for a reaction, and finally could not stop himself from delivering one. "Just get on with it, would you?"

Keller smiled that thin, twisted smile again. His manic face was gone, only the ice-cold sadist remained. "Oh, no. I'm going to take my sweet time with this. You knew that going in."

Ron swallowed. Of course he did.

"But don't worry," Keller continued. "I won't take anything more than we agreed to."

At last Keller was satisfied with the placement and began to crank the shaft. The jaws of the clamp began to close around Ron's left nut, slowly narrowing the gap with Ron's ball trapped between them. Ron felt the pressure begin to build. His ball wanted to slip out to one side or another, but the concave shape of the two cups held it in place. Ron felt a mild discomfort as the distance continued to shrink, then all of a sudden, the sensation shot straight from discomfort to outright pain, and then grew worse with each turn of the screw.

His ball was being crushed. He had to pull his arms down and release the pressure, but his arms stubbornly remained stuck uselessly over his head. The pain was overwhelming - he could feel it not only in his nut, but in his lower back, as well. It was as if he was being punched in the kidneys over and over again.

Through his torment, he could hear Keller's voice saying "Now that's what I like to see!" He turned and began to walk away.

Ron panicked. He couldn't just leave him here, could he? Not with this clamp squashing his left nut. Oh, God, it hurt so bad! Ron thrashed and flailed, but carefully, because every shake of the clamp reverberated through his groin. His eyes clenched shut, he couldn't see, couldn't hear, couldn't notice anything except the horrible, blinding pain emanating from his groin.

Ron had no idea how much time passed, but as the hours (minutes?) dragged by, he noticed the pain easing up a bit. Well, not easing up, exactly, but somehow he grew used to it and was able, for short times, to focus on things other than his flattened ball. He watched sporadically as Keller methodically cleaned up the blood and bits of gore that their fortnight-long orgy had left behind. Once, though, Keller caught him watching and tightened the C-clamp another quarter turn. That was enough to keep Ron's mind occupied on other things for a good long time.

T-minus 14 days, 9 hours

"So what do you say?" Keller asked, back upstairs, quivering on his toes as the skittered around the room. "Do we have a deal? You did offer, after all."

Ron was torn. It was the stuff of his perfect fantasy - two incredibly hot men, one of whom he had lusted after for years, bound and at his mercy in a soundproof cellar, underground beneath an abandoned-looking cabin deep in the Pennsylvania woods. Keller had assured him that no one would find them here at this remote place. If it were fall, things would be different - there would be hunters out everywhere doing their part to reduce the state's glut of whitetail deer. In the winter there would be cross-country skiers tracing the trails through the mountains. Summer would bring campers and vacationers. But now, in grey, soggy April, there was no one around. If Keller's word could be trusted, no one would ever trace the two men here, nor would there ever be any connection to Ron. Here, at this time and place, he could indulge his deepest, darkest fantasies with no restraint.

But the price...

"They're all yours if you want 'em." Keller was bouncing around again, manic with glee. "You checked into the campground like I told you, right? Then your alibi's covered - you're out on a two-week camping trip. No one saw me grab the two guys, no one knows about this place. You've got carte blanche, baby, you call the shots, you write the rules."

It was a powerfully tempting offer, but Ron wasn't the kind to leap before looking.

"What are we going to do with them when two weeks is up?" Ron asked.

Keller shrugged elaborately, deflecting the question back to Ron.

"We're not going to... kill them, are we?" Again the shrug.

"I mean, fantasizing about this is one thing, but actually snuffing a guy? I don't know if I can do it. I know these guys, well, Joe at least, I know his wife, his kids... how could I do that do him, to them?"

"Hey, if you don't want to end it that way, then don't. Like I said, you're calling the shots here. If you want to let 'em go afterward, hey, let 'em go! That's why the hood. If they don't see you and don't hear your voice, they won't know it's you. You can have your way with them for two weeks, then let 'em go free and say 'hi-dee-ho, neighbor!' next time you see them at your pool party. They don't ever need to know it was you."

Ron mulled the idea over. Taking Joe and Greg away from their regular lives and using them for his pleasure for two weeks was a lot easier to swallow than the alternative. If he kept himself anonymous, neither of them would ever know he was involved. They could simply go back to their homes and families after Ron was finished using them with no permanent harm done.

Of course, that would still mean he would have to hold himself back, like he had to do with those New York masochists. Given what this would be costing him, was it worth it? Wouldn't it make more sense to go all the way?

"Tell you what," said Keller, seemingly reading Ron's mind. "I'll make a slight change to the deal. A little wager. You don't think you'd have the stomach for snuffing them? I'll bet you this: they'll snuff each other. I bet you that after two weeks, I can make them hate each other so much that when the time is up and we cut them loose, they'll attack each other in a fight to the death. Even though they would have the chance to run away, or to turn on us and get their revenge, they won't - they'll go after each other instead."

"Are you serious?"

"Absolutely. I'm so sure of it that I'll even agree to this: we'll cut them loose when we're done, and if one of them kills the other, then we'll snuff the one who's left and go ahead with the deal as planned. But if I'm wrong, then we'll switch places, yeah? I'll pay you."

"And we just let them go, then?"

"If that's what you want."

"And if I decide to snuff them myself? Or let them go without giving them a chance to attack each other?"

"Then our original arrangement stands."

Ron hesitated for only a moment, then stuck out his hand. "Deal."

"Super," said Keller, shaking. "So, what do you want to do first?"

T-minus 14 days, 8 hours, 30 minutes


Greg was shouting again.† His voice was deep and full of all the rage a testosterone-saturated young buck could produce.† It was obvious that he hated - despised - loathed - the sensation of Ron's rough, male hands caressing his clothing.† He desperately wanted to shake them off somehow.† But he couldn't.† All he could do was bellow his frustration.

The sound, though, came out muffled.† All the sound-proofing material on the walls and ceiling damped out the noises he produced and sucked all the life out of his protests.† He ended up sounding feeble and weak, not at all the raging stallion he no doubt imagined himself to be.

And Ron's hands were still all over him. Keller was working Joe over the same way, rubbing and massaging him through his clothes. Ron's erection strained at the fabric of his pants, aching to break free. The feel of Greg's taut muscles under his fingers was incredible, made all the more so by the fact that for once, the target of his touch wanted nothing more in the world than to beat Ron to a pulp. And he could do it, too, if he ever got the chance. The heavy chains at his wrists and ankles were all that kept Ron safe and in control. The eroticism was electric.

He felt a touch at his shoulder. Keller handed him a pair of scissors, according to the script they had worked out upstairs. A knife would have worked as well, but scissors were so much less threatening... at this early stage, at least. Ron moved over to Joe and the two tops worked on him together. The fabric of Joe's clothes parted easily between the paired blades, leaving both sweatshirt and T-shirt hanging open. Ron loved the way his chest peeked tantalizingly out from the dangling shreds.

Joe wore no expression on his face, enduring his treatment with a stoic silence that was a sharp contrast to Greg's unending stream of obscenities. Ron imagined he was falling back on his SERE training, twenty years in the past though it had been, to try to endure what cannot be avoided. He was trying to shut down his reactions, to keep control of his situation as best he could. Perhaps he thought he could deny his captors their pleasure by not showing any response.

Ron smiled, pleased to let him imagine that he could maintain his composure. There was all the time in the world to disabuse him of that notion. His transformation into a broken wreck was a question of "when", not "if".

Keller began to use the scissors on the sleeves of Joe's shirt. He was like a completely different person down here, all the mania gone, only clinical calm left behind. He worked with laser-tight focus on his task. Ron helped the cloth slide around until there was nothing left to hold it up and it dropped into a shapeless heap on the floor. Joe stood shirtless in the cool basement air, nipples beginning to contract from the sudden chill. Ron brushed a finger across the left one, admiring its perfectly-shaped peak and giving it a gentle squeeze.

"Aw, you fuckin' fairy!" Greg rattled his chains uselessly with every outburst. Ron and Keller turned their attention to him and began to divest him of his superfluous clothing. The camo top came off slowly, with the sounds of Greg's shouts providing the background music for his involuntary strip-tease. The tight white T-shirt was next - the fabric was already straining itself trying to cover his bulging biceps and practically sprang apart at the touch of the scissors' blades. Soon Greg's powerful physique was masked only by swishing ribbons of cotton, which fell away quickly when Keller made the final cut through the shirt's neckline.

Ron couldn't keep his hands off of Greg's chest, kneading the thick muscles with his fingers. Greg nearly exploded with rage. Ron reached over to grab Joe's meaty pec as well, rubbing both his victims at the same time. Joe continued his stoic endurance; Greg realized he had one weapon he could use: spit. Keller saw him preparing a large gob and rammed the heel of his hand up under Greg's chin.

"You will shut up now," he said, the first words either top had spoken to their captives.

Greg, of course, did not shut up, but continued thrashing and spewing invective. Keller turned away and came back with a large gag. It was a flat piece of leather with an inflatable mouthpiece. It took both Ron and Keller working together to force the rubber balloon between Greg's teeth, but they did it. Keller buckled the strap behind Greg's head while Ron pumped the bulb to inflate the mouth piece until it could hold no more air, then sealed it off. Greg's voice was reduced to a muffled grunt; no intelligible words could escape past the obstruction. The entire lower half of his face was hidden behind the leather.

Working in a much quieter environment, Ron and Keller finished removing their captives' clothes. Joe's shoes, socks, and running shorts came away easily, leaving him dressed only in a pair of "tighty-whities", which he filled out very well indeed. Greg's boots and camo pants took more work - he managed to slip a leg free before they could tighten the chain down on his newly-bare ankle, but there was nowhere he could go, and they got him fastened back in place soon enough. Greg turned out to be wearing a pair of boxers under his fatigues.

When they were finished, the two tops stood back to take a look at their prizes. Keller went to change the lighting, turning off the bright overheads and switching on a set of dim, reddish bulbs strewn around the room. The cellar was transformed into a dungeon. Despite the cool air, Greg was flushed and gleamed with sweat from his exertions. He had stopped grunting, but was still breathing heavily through his nose. His eyes shone wildly over the thick leather gag. Joe merely stood at an uncomfortable arms-up parade rest, eyes watching warily, waiting for whatever would happen next.

The moment held for a long few seconds, then, with an almost visible snap, Keller's personality shifted. In an instant, he changed from a brusque, no-nonsense sadist to the manic self he had shown Ron upstairs.

"OK, guys, here we are!" he said. He sounded like a game show host or a late-night informercial salesman, full of jovial good humor. "My buddy and I are so happy you've joined us, and we're looking forward to a lot of good times together. Now, I know you've both probably got a ton of questions, and that's all fine, but really, the thing is, most of them are just irrelevant if you think about it. I mean, you're gonna ask something like 'where are we?', and what could I say that would be useful to you?" He dropped his voice, sounding like a World War II radio announcer. "'Well, pal, you're at 41.6385 north latitude, 76.6673 west longitude at an elevation of 1,766 feet above mean sea level.' I mean, come on, does where you are really matter?

"Likewise you're gonna want to ask 'who are you?' but again, does it really matter? You already know that we're the guys who have taken you captive, and that's really all you need to know, isn't it?"

Joe broke in. "What are you going to do with us?"

Keller put his finger on the tip of his nose. "Bingo! Give the man a prize! 'Cause that's the one question that matters, isn't it? And you jumped right to it, smart man that you are. Well, Joey, I will tell you the answer to that question, since you nailed it right on the head. The answer to that question is: we're going to hurt you."

Greg began to buck and kick again at these words, but Keller continued talking over him. "Now don't get yourselves too worked up about it. I mean, you've obviously figured out that my friend and I like men, and I can tell you that we especially like strong, well-built, straight men such as the two of you. We like to fuck such men, and play other sexual games with such men, and most of all we like to hurt such men BUT! If you play your cards right, the hurt will be minimal, nothing serious, and we'll release you and you can get right back to your regular lives real soon, 'K?"

"How can we be sure you'll let us go?" Joe asked.

Keller's entire body slumped in an exaggerated gesture of defeat. "Aw, now you had to go and ruin your streak. You were battin' a thousand up till then, Jo-Jo, but think about it... how can I answer that question? You wouldn't trust me no matter what I said, would you? There's no guarantee I can offer you that would prove beyond doubt that I was telling you true. You'd just have to either believe me or not. So what's the point of asking?"

Joe didn't answer. Keller looked from one to the other for a moment, then perked himself up and clapped his hands briskly. "So! On to our first game! I'm so excited. This is a little contest we've dreamed up. See, we both feel that your bodies - which are very attractive, of course, that's why we chose you - but we thought you could use a little more decoration. Not to overlook that tattoo, Greg, which is real nice... what is that, anyway, some kind of dinosaur?" Keller squinted elaborately at Greg's shoulder. "A dragon, maybe? Well, whatever it is, it's real pretty. But we're thinking that what you guys need is some jewelry to really help accentuate your good looks."

Ron came forward while he was speaking, as they had planned upstairs, carrying some bits of metal on a tray which he set down to one side. Both pairs of the victims' eyes were drawn to it. Keller picked up one of the metal bits and held it up for them to see. It was a ring, perhaps the size of a quarter, made of thick-gauge wire.

"We've got this great pair of nipple rings," he said, "but the problem is, we've only got one set, and we can't decide which of you should get to wear them. So we've decided that you two should choose for us. Would either of you like to volunteer?"

He paused only a second before continuing. "I didn't think so. Tits, after all, are a notoriously painful part of the body to pierce. Nothing you two tough guys couldn't handle, of course, but still, I can understand why you're not champing at the bit to get it done.† So we've devised a little competition."

While Keller spoke, Ron rotated the metal frames that the captives were chained to, spinning them so that the two men were facing each other.† Then he used the scissors to start cutting away their underwear.† Joe's briefs came off first, exposing a big, meaty set of balls covered in pale, downy fluff and hanging at about mid-height.† His cock was prodigiously sized, but shriveled up from cold and fear.† He turned next to Greg and sliced his boxers apart.† Greg's endowment was equally impressive, but he was likewise flaccid. His balls, coated in a layer of dark blond fur, were tucked up tightly against his crotch.

"It's an endurance test," Keller was saying.† "We're going to connect your nuts together and then hang weights from the cord until one of you asks us to stop.† Whoever calls it quits first gets to wear the tit rings.† Simple!"

He paused just long enough to let them work out the implications of what he said.

"Only we don't want the contest to end too soon.† So here's the twist: if the loser cries uncle before we get twenty pounds on the wire, he'll wear both rings.† If he calls it quits after twenty pounds but before fifty, he only gets one piercing.† And if you both make it all the way to fifty pounds, then you win, and no one gets pierced at all."

It didn't take a linguistics expert to translate Greg's muffled "HHHNNG-hng HHHHHNNNGGG?" to "Fifty pounds?!?".† A small smile flickered across Ron's face as he watched Greg unconsciously try to pull his hands down to protect his crotch. A thin line of drool had started to seep out from underneath the thick gag, dripping in spider-silk strands from his chin down to the floor.

"Oh, come off it, you crybaby," said Keller.† "Remember, there are two of you supporting the weight, so it's really only twenty-five pounds each."

Ron and Keller each picked up a steel split-ring collar and started fastening them in place.† They were big, an inch and a half long.† Ron took Joe.† His balls were already hanging fairly low, but even so, he needed to stretch them out a bit to get the collar on.† He tied a rope around the base, then another one further down, and started stretching.† Joe clearly didn't like having his delicate parts handled in such a manner and his breathing became ragged as Ron worked.

Eventually, the collar was secured in place, with no skin trapped painfully between the two halves.† Ron let it slip from his grasp - it weighed about a pound and a half and dragged Joe's nuts downward.† Joe shifted around, trying to get used to the not-quite-uncomfortable-but-definitely-noticeable sensation. Ron savored the sight for a moment, then went over to check on Keller.

It was taking him a bit longer to get Greg's collar on.† Greg's balls were so drawn so tightly up against his body that Keller had to knead them and work them to get them down far enough to wrap some rope around the base.† Greg did his best to resist, bucking and squirming to the limits of his mobility. With Keller's fist wrapped around his balls, though, his resistance was merely a gesture. By the time Ron came over, Keller had the ropes in places and was working the tender orbs southward, accompanied by the grunting music the owner of the orbs kept making.

At last there was enough room to fit the two halves of the collar together with Greg's scrotum between them.† Keller started cranking them together with the allen wrench.† Ron noticed a lack of concern on Keller's part about trapped skin, a lack which he suspected was deliberate. His suspicion was confirmed when Greg's voice jumped up an octave as a tiny fold was pinched between the steel jaws.

"Oops," Keller said, unconvincingly. "Sorry about that, buddy."

When the two collars were firmly in place, Ron screwed an eyebolt into the side of each one and attached a cable to both.† The two men stood about four feet apart with the cable sagging down between them, pulling their weighted balls slightly toward the center.† Ron hooked a bucket on a pulley from the center of the cable.† The pulley was to ensure that the bucket could slide back and forth, always finding the lowest point as the two ends jostled up and down and around, keeping the pull on each contestant scrupulously fair.

"I'm going to take that gag out now," Keller told Greg. "Feel free to start shouting again, if you want. My buddy and I don't mind at all." He let the air out with a hiss, unbuckled the strap, and worked the bit out from between Greg's perfect teeth. Greg stretched his jaw a few times but did not say anything.

"So here we go!" Keller said cheerfully as Ron gently lowered a 1-pound weight into the bucket.† "Each minute we'll add another pound.† If at any point you feel you can't take any more, all you have to do is say 'stop'."

Joe didn't speak. Greg muttered token protests - "You fuckin' pinheads are dead when I get you. You're dead." - and so on, which Ron and Keller ignored.

Time ticked by.

With each minute that passed, Ron added another weight to the bucket. Their ball sacs began to stretch more and more toward the center.

For the first ten minutes or so, the two victims were not in all that much discomfort.† Judging by their faces, they didn't much like supporting the ever-increasing weight with their nuts, but it wasn't hurting them too badly.† Keller tried to engage them in some jocular banter every so often - "hangin' in there, buddy?" - but they weren't much inclined toward conversation. Joe endured stoically. Greg sporadically sputtered out increasingly implausible threats, at least until later when the sensations radiating from his groin began to take up more and more of his attention and the intervals between his rants grew steadily longer.

Ron and Keller enjoyed the show, watching their two prisoners trying and failing to find comfortable positions as the weight kept growing.† Ron couldn't decide which he liked watching better - Joe's attempts to not react to the to physical stimuli he was experiencing, or Greg's almost comical attempts to find a little more comfort. He kept sagging downward into the weight on his balls, believing perhaps that if he yielded to the pressure, it would somehow decrease the amount of pull.† Of course, the physics of the situation didn't work that way.† When he dropped lower, the bucket simply rolled toward him and found a new minimum-energy point, and the pull on Greg's trapped nuts was exactly the same as it was before.† Only now, his arms were stretched a little tighter and his legs were bent a little more, and he would find that he had a hard time holding that position.† Eventually, with a visible effort, he would lift himself back up, sending the bucket rolling back toward Joe and leaving the pull once again exactly the same as it was, and the cycle would start all over again.

Joe was a little more stoic, but even he couldn't help moving around.† Between the two of them, they kept the bucket dancing on the wire.† Their nuts turned a bright red, then, later, a dark purple. Ron occasionally reached out a hand to touch and cup the fragile organs, delicately caressing the taut skin and tickling the stretched surface.

"OK, men," Keller said at one point.† "Congratulations.† This is twenty pounds right here.† Once the next weight goes in, whoever calls it quits only has to get one nipple pierced.† You guys gonna go for fifty?"

Ron lowered the weight into the bucket.† Joe immediately said "Stop.† I quit.† Take it off."

Ron exchanged a quick, knowing glance with Keller.† This was one of the possibilities they had anticipated upstairs, and they both know how the script would go from here.

"You're sure you want to stop now?" Keller asked.

"Yeah.† I quit."

Ron stole a peek at Greg, whose emotions were written all over his face: disappointment that Joe gave up, thus letting the captors "win" the contest, but also guilty relief that it wouldn't be him getting pierced.† I wonder if he knows exactly how transparent his thoughts are?

"OK, then" Keller says.† "Joe, you get your wish.† Although I have to say, Greg, if I were in your position, I'd be a little pissed off right now."


"Well, it was mighty nice of him to do that for you.† I mean, it's pretty obvious that he could have taken a lot more weight.† So it's kind of demeaning, don't you think?† Him treating you like a little kid, deliberately throwing the contest to protect you..."

"No!" Joe nearly shouted.† "That's not it!"

"Yeah, sure, buddy, if you say so.† Personally, I think it was a very noble thing, sacrificing yourself for him.† Very well done, too, waiting until you'd only have to take one needle.† You're a smart guy, Jo-seppy."

Any response Joe might have made was cut short by Keller's use of the pet name, "Giuseppi", that only his wife ever called him.† Greg's consternation was clearly etched in his features.† He was only a few short years into adulthood, and upstairs Keller had predicted that any insinuation - well, more than an insinuation, because Greg did not seem to be one to pick up on subtleties - that his "Uncle Joe" thought he needed to be sheltered would rankle him.† No matter how Joe might protest, Greg would now be hair-trigger sensitive to any implication that he was not man enough to take whatever Ron and Keller could dish out.

I may be the engineering expert, Ron thought, but Keller sure knows his psychology.

Ron slipped a pair of latex gloves on and began to swab Joe's left nipple with alcohol.

"Wait, what about the weights?"

"What about them?" Keller asked.

"You said you'd take them off!"

"Ummm... no.† No, I didn't.† You may have assumed that, but I am absolutely certain I did not say it.† No, first we're going to get this ring in.† Then we'll talk about taking the weights off."

Joe sputtered, but there was nothing he could do.† Ron picked up the needle.† It was fat, 12-gauge, with a point so fine as to be nearly invisible.† He made sure Joe could see it as he maneuvered it into place, taking his time to allow Joe plenty of opportunity to anticipate what was coming.

There's something about needles that can make even the toughest man sweat.† Joe didn't look like he was about to pass out, but he was clearly not looking forward to what was coming.† Ron positioned the needle against the side of his tit and began to push.† It didn't work too well, though - the tit just squeezed away from it.† A tiny drop of blood oozed out as Ron pulled the needle away.† He picked up some clothespins and clamped them carefully over the nipple, one above the point and one below.† Between them, they held the skin taut and positioned correctly for the insertion.

Ron painstakingly repositioned the needle and pressed again, harder this time.† Slowly, very slowly, the needle sliced its way through Joe's nipple, carving titmeat apart as it went. Joe let out a grunt, then another, gritting his teeth and sucking air through them.† He tried to pull his chest into himself, every movement yanking on the weighted cable that connected his balls to Greg's.

"Nipples are such sensitive little buggers," Keller said, watching. "So many nerve endings packed into such a tiny space..."

Ron kept pushing, slowly and firmly.† The needle began to raise a little bulge on the far side, lifting the skin up until at last it poked free with an audible pop.† Ron let go of the needle and left it stuck sideways through Joe's chest.† He picked up one of the rings; the little detachable segment had already been removed.† He pressed the back end of the needle with the edge of the ring, sliding it right through Joe's tit until the needle fell out and only the ring remained lodged in the flesh.

Getting the little segment back into place turned out to be very difficult to do. The thick-gauge wire of the ring would not deform easily. It eventually took both Ron and Keller working together to get the two pieces assembled, one using a pair of pliers to expand the ring enough that the other could slide the missing segment in.† The process yanked Joe's tit uncomfortably several times before they were finally finished. Ron mopped up the few traces of blood with a cloth.

When they were at last done, Ron stepped back to admire Joe's new adornment. The titanium ring through his tit gleamed in the light, its weight pulling the tip downward, giving a pleasing, asymmetrical look to his chest.

"Nice," said Keller. "Real nice. OK, NOW we can talk about that ball weight. What'll you offer me to take it off?"

The two captives stood confused, mulling over Keller's words. Eventually Greg said "The fuck you talking about?"

"I mean, what will you do for us in exchange for us taking the weights out of the bucket?"

Joe gave no response, sliding back into "grey man" mode.† Greg sputtered angrily "Yeah, fuck that, asshole!† Just take it off!"

"Ooh, wrong answer.† See you later."

Keller and Ron walked to the door and went upstairs, leaving their captives stuck as they were, chained hand and foot facing each other with a weighted cable connecting their nuts together, Joe with a fresh trickle of blood running down the left side of his chest.

"Check this out," said Keller when they were back up in the main part of the cabin. He went to a sound system, turned a dial, and Joe and Greg's voices became audible. "Microphones in the ceiling," he explained with a wink. He and Ron listened in on the discussion taking place below their feet.

"Fuck, no, they can't do this!"† The clanking of rattling chains.

"Stand still, will you?† You may not care about your own junk, but you're tugging on mine, too!"

"Shit!† This can't be happening!"

"Come on, Greg. It IS happening." A long pause, then "Look, bitching about how unfair it is won't get us out of here.† We have to be smart, OK?† Hey, I want to tear those fuckers' faces off as much as you do, but we can't until we get free.† Right now, we have to figure out how to survive this, and then worry about revenge later."

Another long pause.

"Aw, FUCK!"

Occasional outbursts from Greg continued until fifteen minutes later, when Keller turned off the speaker and the two sadists filed down the stairs again.

"Well, men, ready to start negotiating?" Keller said brightly.

"What do you want?† Money?" replied Joe.

"Please.† Don't insult me."

"What then, drugs?" said Greg.† "I don't have any, but I can get you some."

Ron glanced over at Keller, trying to say "Not a very bright boy, is he?" with his eyes.† Keller seemed to have the same thought, because he started trying to steer him to the right conclusion.

"No, Greg, we don't want drugs.† Think.† You and Joe are standing there, totally naked, with no possessions at all.† What is the one thing you have to offer that might be of value to us?"† A long pause.† "... to two gay men?"

Greg's eyes revealed his comprehension.

"Oh, no.† No way.† No fuckin' way. I ain't no faggot."

Keller paused for a long moment, then explained patiently, as though to a particularly slow student, "Yes, Greg, we know you 'ain't no faggot'.† Remember? That's exactly why we chose you."

He glanced over to Joe, questioning. Joe again refused to respond.

"Suit yourself."† He and Ron turned to leave again.† At the door, he turned to say "Just realize this: your balls aren't getting a whole lot of circulation like that.† They can take it for a while, but if it goes on too long, you might not be very happy with the result.† I told you that if you play your cards right, you'd walk out of here unharmed.† You can free your balls from those weights any time you want. Or you can leave them like that till they rot. Really, your fate is in your own hands."

This time, Keller and Ron stayed upstairs for twenty minutes, listening to their captives talk.† At the start, Greg was disgusted by the whole idea, and Joe wanted to continue his policy of non-interaction, refusing to cooperate at all in his own torture. They mostly talked of how they might escape from their bonds and what they would like to do when they could get their revenge. After a while, though, the discussion turned to whether their captors really would leave them like this until permanent damage was done to their balls.

"I might have made a mistake here," said Keller. "We should have made it clear up front that we're willing to hurt them for real. I've been playing it too light; they're not taking us seriously enough."

"I dunno," mused Ron. "We shoved a needle through his tit, didn't we?"

"Yeah, but that's nothing. I'm sure he knows it takes months to heal a piercing. If he takes that ring out any time in the next few weeks it'll heal up just fine. No, we need to do something irreversible to one of them, something that will show them we mean business. Let's think about what that might be, OK?"

A little later, though, Joe started to crack. "Aw, shit, I think my nuts are going numb," he said to Greg.

"Fuck, I wish mine would!" Greg retorted.

"No, I'm serious. I can't feel them any more. I mean, I feel the stretch, but I can't feel the nuts themselves."

Ron and Keller smiled as he slowly talked himself and eventually, Greg, into being open to bargaining with their captors.

"No co-operating with the enemy," snarled Greg at one point.

"I'm not co-operating with them, I'm saving my balls!" Joe replied. "Think about it: they call all the shots. I don't know if they'd really leave us here long enough to do some real damage, but I don't want to find out. Not if there's a way to avoid it."

Ron and Keller listened to them as they debated what their opening offer would be and how far they might be willing to go after that. The sadists listened in until the discussion finally tapered off, then returned to the basement.

"So guys, any thoughts?" Keller said brightly.

"Yeah, I've got an offer for you," Joe said, as he and Greg had rehearsed.† "I'll let you suck my dick."

"Oh, yeah?" Keller chirped. He walked over to where Joe was tethered, bent down, and took his limp dick in his mouth, giving it a few perfunctory sucks before releasing it.† "It's a nice offer, pal, but I'm afraid I've already got that."

That deflated Joe. They both had hoped this would be enough to satisfy their abductors. It had been clear from their discussion they felt that allowing another man's lips to touch their dicks was a major sacrifice. Having his offer dismissed as trivial took all the wind out of Joe's sails.

Silence lingered for a long, increasingly uncomfortable time, until Keller looked around, eyebrows raised in exaggerated questioning. "That's all you've got?"

No replies.

"'Cause I'm getting tired from traipsing up and down these stairs. The next time I go up, I might just decide to take a nap for a few hours. So I'll ask you one more time: what'll you offer us to take the weights off?"

"I'll get it hard for you," Joe blurted.

"Hmm..." Keller pretended to think it over.† "Now that's a little more tempting.† I'll tell you what: you and Greg both get it up at the same time, and we'll take five pounds out of the bucket.† After that, we'll talk more.† Deal?"

Joe and Greg looked at each other.† Greg shook his head, not sure if he'd be able to perform, perhaps, but Joe said "Take ten pounds out."


"OK. Deal."

Ron waited, watching the two of them in their bonds.† They both closed their eyes, trying, no doubt, to fantasize themselves away from where they were, to imagine breasts or pussies or whatever else straight men use to get their juices flowing.† It took a long while, but Joe's dick eventually started to firm up, rising like a snake above the steel collar around his nearly-black balls.† Greg's took much longer, to the point that Joe's erection began to flag before Greg could get his up.† At last, though, both poles stood at attention, perhaps not quite fully hard, but certainly close enough. Ron brushed his fingers and lips over each of them, inhaling the musky scent of male animal mixed with aggression and fear.

"Well done!" Keller called, clapping his hands.† He pulled five of the one-pound weights out of the bucket, easing the strain a bit, but really not all that much.† Ron took a ruler and measured the two cocks: eight inches for Joe, seven and three quarters for Greg.

"Now," Keller said, "let's talk about what we can do to get the rest of those weights out of there.† Joe, you mentioned a blow job, I believe?"

"Yeah," he said, his voice a choked-off gargle.

"I like that idea.† Only I don't want to blow you."

Oh, I sure do, thought Ron, rubbing his thumb in circles on the head of Greg's dick while Greg stewed in livid frustration.

Joe stalled, seeming to be trying figure out what Keller meant, but there was really only one possible conclusion he could reach.

"You want me to suck you, then?" he finally asked.

"That would be hot, but frankly, I don't trust you.† You might bite.† So I can't let you blow my friend, here, either."

"Then..." his voice trailed off.† He looked at Greg.

Keller smiled.† "Exactly.† You agree to suck Greg's dick.† Or he can suck yours, I don't really care.† One of you blows the other to the best of your abilities until he shoots his load in your mouth, and then you swallow every drop.† You agree to do that, and I'll take the bucket off right now.† If not, you can stand here for another hour while my friend and I go have a beer. And if you fail, the bucket goes back on with all twenty pounds and we'll talk again in the morning."

"I ain't no faggot," Greg said again. Keller walked over with a slight smile on his face and slapped Greg gently a few times on his cheek.

"Dear boy," he said. "That's exactly what makes it so hot for us."

After that, neither one of them said anything for a long time, until Keller turned as if to leave.

"Wait!" Joe called.† "I'll do it.† Just take the weights off first."

"You got it."

Ron lifted the bucket off the cable, then disconnected the cable from the two collars. He groped around Joe's balls, manipulating them so they were stretched a little less snugly in their sac - the weight had really yanked the collar tightly down. He then did the same for Greg. Neither man seemed as grateful for his kindness as Ron thought they should be, but he was still remaining mute lest they recognize his voice. He reminded himself that he had all the time in the world to make up for the slight.

Keller released Joe's hands and lowered them down behind his back, cuffing his wrists behind him. Ron folded up a towel and laid it on the floor in front of where Greg stood in his chains - yet another kindness that he suspected would go unnoticed. Keller hooked Joe's ankles together with a short chain, then released them from the metal frame. Joe stumbled forward a few hobbled steps and carefully lowered his knees to the towel. He was very clearly not looking forward to what he had committed himself to. His face betrayed his disgust, and he stalled for long enough that Ron had to prod him with his foot to encourage him to get moving.

He opened his lips and moved his head forward to take Greg's cock, now limp again, into his mouth. He closed his eyes, no doubt wishing himself far away from this place and time. He sealed his lips around the flaccid shaft and began stroking it awkwardly with his tongue. His cheeks bulged as he shifted the unwanted presence around inside his mouth, obviously having no idea what he should be doing. Watching him, Ron saw that with the stimulation he was providing, Greg was not going to even get it up again, much less make it all the way to orgasm. He shot a glance to Keller.

"Oh, this is pathetic," Keller said, taking the cue. "Suck it, goddamn you! Is this so difficult to comprehend? You suck it! Lick the head with your tongue until it gets hard, then SUCK IT!"

The circumstances were not ideal for Greg, but he tried hard to will himself erect again. Whether it was his mental image of a Playboy bunny or Joe finally finding a technique that worked, he eventually was able to stiffen back up again. Joe started sliding his mouth up and down along the shaft, developing a rhythm. Keller did not let up the abuse, though.

"What is the problem with you straight guys? Seriously, is that the kind of blow job your wives and girlfriends give you? Do they even blow you at all? You're doing what bad straight actors in gay porn do, whirling around like crazy on the head but never taking it in deep where it might actually give the blowee some enjoyment."

He showed Joe how to provide better service to Greg, how to open his mouth and pull the dick all the way in, how to resist the urge to gag so as to caress every inch of the shaft with his tongue and throat. Joe's body responded to the instruction, but Ron could see his mind was elsewhere, his body performing the motions while his eyes stared vacantly ahead. The only time he showed any life was when Keller reminded him that if he didn't get this right, he'd find himself supporting twenty pounds from his balls again. The fear of that turned out to be a powerful motivator.

Eventually, he got it. Greg, for his part, tried to bring himself to come as quickly as possible. Joe alternated between sucking industriously, his technique steadily improving, and choking and gagging, whether from the physical sensation of a hard object ramming the back of his throat or the mental image of what he was doing, Ron couldn't tell.

Keller finally stopped heaping abuse on the now-adequately-performing straight man. The room was filled with only the sounds of bound male-on-male intercourse, the wet slurping noises Joe was making counterpointed by the metallic clanks of Greg shifting around in his chains. Ron found himself unbelievably turned on by the sight of what was happening. His two hot, straight neighbors, naked, chained, and in the throes of heavy gay sex.

Greg's torso glistened with sweat in the dim, reddish light, the muscles in his arms and legs bulging and straining. He was trying to bring the session to as early an end as possible, but orgasm was proving elusive. You'd think that at the age of twenty he could come at the drop of a hat, Ron thought. Perhaps the discomfort was a factor; his arms had been held over his head for several hours now, and his balls were bouncing around with a pound and a half of weight on them. Some guys Ron had met would get off on that kind of thing; Greg was clearly not one of them. The thought made Ron even harder.

Joe, meanwhile, looked just as hot down on his knees, his arms and legs shackled, his mouth stuffed full with Greg's dick. Ron couldn't count the number of times he had wished to have this man in exactly the position he was in now. The broad back that he had drooled about so often was now bent to the task of providing another man with sexual pleasure. In a little while, Ron thought, it will be me on the receiving end of his attentions. For now it was enough to enjoy the sight of Joe applying his unwilling efforts to an equally unwilling recipient. Ron took his own dick out and started stroking it, not too much lest he spoil the moment. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Keller do the same.

It took a long time. Despite Joe's best efforts, which actually turned out to be pretty good, Greg just couldn't get into the action. It probably didn't help that Ron couldn't keep his hands off him, stroking his muscles, caressing his armpits, bending to nibble on his nipples and incidentally scraping his chest with a rough, unshaven, obviously male chin. No doubt it messed up Greg's mental picture of a top-heavy buxom blonde.

Joe, for his part, seemed like he was tiring. Not being able to use his hands made it hard for him to keep his balance while he worked, and even an experienced cocksucker can tucker out after twenty minutes of sustained effort in that position. Still, he kept at his labors. Perhaps the consequences of failure spurred him to persist. "If he ever actually comes," Keller growled at one point into Joe's ear, "remember to swallow every last drop."

At long last, Greg screwed up his face and it became clear that he was getting close. Keller and Ron moved to either side of Joe's head, who, eyes shut and intent on his efforts, didn't notice. Ron tried to time his impending orgasm to match Greg's and saw Keller aiming to do the same.

Finally, it happened. Greg went over the edge with a series of grunting sounds, filling Joe's mouth with hot, creamy goo. As Greg let out his first grunt, Ron began to come as well, along with Keller, splattering either side of Joe's face with their loads. Joe jumped at the first contact, opening his eyes and nearly letting go of Greg's dick as the streams hit his cheeks one after the other, but he kept control of himself and hung on tight with his lips as Greg filled him up, cock pumping out shot after shot.

Ron soared briefly away, pumping his dick with his fist to spray jet after jet onto Joe's face. When the pulsing started to give way to aftershocks, he looked down in time to see the effort it was costing Joe to force the muscles of his throat to swallow down the revolting substance in his mouth. He needed three tries to get it all down, looking briefly like he was going spew it all back up again. Excess semen, not Greg's, dripped off his cheeks to splatter on the floor, but plenty more clung to his face where it would slowly dry and harden on his skin. Joe looked miserable, clearly as disgusted by the sticky fluid all over his face as he was by the stuff coating his tongue.

At last he let go and sat down on his ankles, panting for breath and holding his mouth slightly open, as if breathing through his mouth could somehow remove the taste of Greg's sperm from his tongue.

Keller pointed to a single drop that had oozed out from the slit of Greg's dick. "One more," he said. Joe bucked up and licked it off, grimacing.

"Not bad for a beginner," said Keller, clapping Joe on the shoulder. "What'd you think, Greg? He do alright?" Greg didn't answer.

"We done for now?" Keller asked Ron, who nodded in reply, tucking his cock away. "All right, let's get these guys squared away for the night."

"Wait!" protested Joe as Keller helps him get to his feet. "You said you'd let us go!"

"Already? Did you think that was it, we're done? Oh, my friend, we're just getting started."

Joe looked deflated, so much so that Keller added "Aww, don't worry, my man. We'll let you go real soon. Just not quite yet."

"At least take the ball weights off," said Greg.

"I already did," replied Keller, exaggeratedly feigning ignorance. "Oh, are you talking about the collars? No those are staying on. My friend and I like the way they look on you guys, and they won't do you any harm. Jeez, the thing only weighs 24 ounces, you big sissy. Man up. If you're whining this much now, I can only imagine what you're going to be like tomorrow."

Ron and Keller worked together to assemble the rigging, manipulating ropes and sheets of clingy plastic into place around sweaty skin, overpowering the captives' helpless struggles and ignoring their useless protests. When they were finished, Joe and Greg were standing face to face. Greg was up on a riser because he was so much shorter than Joe and their faces needed to be at the same level to accommodate the gag they shared. The gag was a dual device made of two rubber phalluses joined at their bases, with straps leading around the sides to secure each to a head. Joe and Greg stood with their noses touching, joined at the lips, each with a thick latex dick jammed in his mouth.

Their bodies were similarly joined together. Their arms were wrapped in plastic, Joe's right to Greg's left and vice versa, encasing their arms from the shoulder down, with extra wrapping around the hands to keep idle fingers from picking away at the restraints. There were ropes around their wrists, too, which Ron thought was a probably unnecessary extra precaution but one which it certainly didn't hurt to have. Their torsos were similarly wrapped, and their legs as well, in pairs rather than all four together, with one's right fixed to the other's left from groin down to Joe's mid-calf, where Greg's ankles were. A rope extended down from the ceiling, around and through their chests and under their arms, and returned upward, secured to the rafters so the captives would be forced to remain in a standing position.

The two men were pressed together along the entire lengths of their bodies, naked skin against naked skin, each breathing the exhalations of the other. Their cocks and weighted balls dangled between them, bumping and rubbing against each other every time the men shifted. Joe's hung a bit lower than Greg's, so when the inevitable moment came during the night when bladders must be released, Greg would probably escape being soaked by Joe's stream and only get splashes on his feet, but there was no way Joe would avoid being thoroughly drenched by Greg.

With no other words spoken, Keller and Ron turned out the lights and headed upstairs, leaving their toys in the utter blackness of the windowless basement room.

T-minus 14 days

"Not bad for day one."

Keller and Ron were enjoying sandwiches and beers by lantern light upstairs. The windows were blacked over with tar paper - there may have been no one around to see them, but there was no point in broadcasting their presence with a glowing beacon. The cars had been moved a short ways into the woods and covered with tarps, then leaves. The cabin had a gas-powered generator, which they would use as needed - the lights in the basement, for instance - but for now, the outside air was cool enough to keep their food fresh and there was no need for any other electricity.

"Mmm..." Ron agreed. "Satisfying indeed. I loved the expression on Joe's face, dripping with our cum while he tried to choke down Greg's load. Sweet..."

"Yep," Keller nodded. "Very hot, indeed."

They chewed in companionable silence for a while. When the sandwiches were gone, Keller looked at his watch. "They've been alone for an hour now. Want to fire up the generator and listen in on them?"

"Tempting," Ron hedged, "but no, not really. It's enough to know they're suffering. I don't need to witness it first-hand."

"Yeah, that was one difference I noticed about us when we were IM-ing," said Keller. "You're very hands-off. Me, I like to get in there and get messy. All those fantasies you would spin, though... they always involved the sadist setting up some contraption, starting it going, and then not doing anything else."

"Yeah. That kind of thing really turns me on. I just like the idea of a guy tied up and hurting while the man responsible for his pain goes off and does something else... at least until his victim is good and softened up!"

"I remember that one you sent me about the guy chained to the wall by his balls so he had to stand up, with his hands and neck in a pranger and alligator clips all over him - nose and ears and lips and tits, between his fingers..."

"... mmm, yeah. Then I go off to a restaurant with some friends. I don't know why, but that is a major turn-on for me. The victim's whole world - his entire universe - is wrapped up in his suffering. The pain consumes his entire attention; he can't think of anything else. But his pain is, for me, just an amusing diversion to think about between my salad and my entree. Then, after I've lingered over a nice meal with my friends, I return home and... well, that's where the details go fuzzy. I fuck him? Set him free? It doesn't matter. The hot part is that I've made him suffer the worst pain he's ever felt and the cost to me is so trivial as to be meaningless. Look at me, I'm all hard now just thinking about it!"

"Hey, if you want to do something with that erection, there's two holes downstairs just waiting to be filled..."

"Nah. Tomorrow's soon enough."

They puttered around a bit, setting up mats and sleeping bags on the floor. They climbed in and spent the next half hour or so plotting their activities for the next day, then went to sleep.

T-minus 13 days, 15 hours

The stench of stale urine hit Ron's nose when he and Keller stormed into the basement the next morning. The two captives were standing exactly as they had been, looking - and smelling - somewhat worse for wear. Only the dim, red lights were on, so Joe and Greg were not dazzled by sudden brightness after their long night. Ron had to suppress a chuckle at the sight of them both trying to turn their heads toward the door at the same time, strapped together at the mouth as they were. They couldn't seem to stop trying, each afraid to not be able to see their newly-returned tormenters, and the result was a steady wiggling of their joined heads as first one, then the other predominated.

Ron and Keller did not speak, and Joe and Greg couldn't, so the only noises in the dim room were the sounds of plastic being sliced off of sweaty bodies and the grunts made by the owners of stiffened muscles now moving for the first time in hours. Ron and Keller unwrapped their twin packages, leaving their faces locked together and cuffing their hands behind them. They maneuvered them over to a table and bent them over it, one on each end, spreading their ankles and tying them each to a corner. The resulting position was an uncomfortable one: their necks were bent severely backward by the gag they shared. They couldn't rest their chests on the table, but had to either support their weight in that awkward, half-bent position or lean on the other's lips for support.

Keller lined up behind Joe; Ron took Greg. They lubed up their dicks, already hard with anticipation, and with no fanfare, drove them home. Ron caught a glimpse of Joe's eyes around Greg's head from where he was standing. They widened in a most satisfactory way. Both men let out delicious grunting noises as Ron began to piston back and forth inside Greg's ass, mirrored by Keller delivering the same treatment to Joe.

Ron tried to be gentle - it was Greg's first time, after all - but it was hard to hold himself back. Soon, all consideration for Greg's well-being fled from Ron's mind and he was thrusting away with abandon, vaguely aware of Keller doing the same. The pounding was made all the sweeter by the grunts and muffled screams coming from his captives' throats. Their breath whistled in and out through their noses, and they unconsciously wrestled with each other, each trying to make himself a tiny bit more comfortable, not knowing, or perhaps not caring, that his increased comfort came at the cost of the other's. Every time one of them straightened out his own neck, he forced the other's that much farther back. Every time one leaned a bit of his own weight down, it was the other that had to take up the difference.

It didn't last too long, for the sadists, at least. Soon enough, Ron could hear Keller pumping Joe's ass full of his seed. It took Ron another minute or two and then he was shooting as well, savoring the sensation of Greg's tight young ass involuntarily gripping the shaft of his cock.

He enjoyed the afterglow for a bit, then slid his softening dick out from its warm nest. Greg was whimpering like a puppy. Could those actually be tears in his eyes? Even Joe looked wiped out, not nearly as stoic as he had acted the day before. Ron wiped himself off, then went upstairs to get the food they had prepared for their captives.

By the time he returned to the basement, Keller had undone the straps of the gags, allowing the two men to stand. Their hands were still cuffed behind them and their ankles remained spread, tied to the table legs. Coming through the door, he heard Greg's pleading voice.

"Look, man, please. I can't take this, I have to..."

"Shut up," said Keller.

"... get out of here. No, man, I'm serious, I... AAAAH!" His voice trailed off in a shout as Keller slapped him hard across the side of his face. Keller grabbed Greg by the jaw and brought his masked face in close.

"Shut. Up. Or the gag goes back in. Your choice."

Greg calmed down.

Keller started to stalk around the table, circling the two men attached to it. He said nothing for the first three laps, then spoke, his voice low and ominous like distant thunder. Ron marvelled at the difference between yesterday's Keller and today's - the man seemed to be able to turn personalities on and off at a whim, one moment playful and talkative, the next all brutal business.

"Today we are going to hurt you some more. You will need your strength, so we're going to feed you first and clean you up a bit. Eat everything we give you." He nodded to Ron, who set two bowls down at the center of the table, along with two bottles of water with straws. The smell was heavenly - scrambled eggs and sausage, a high-protein feast to fuel their bodies for the suffering to come - but Joe and Greg nevertheless hesitated.

"You continue to fail to think things through," Keller growled. "I will explain this once. After this, if you fail to follow through on one of our commands, there will be consequences.

"Now, think: is there any reason why you should not eat? If you're worried that we're going to poison you or something, why would we do that? Why would we waste two perfectly good victims we went to great trouble to get? That would be stupid. Perhaps you feel you can show resistance by going on some kind of hunger strike? That's not how I would see it. My view would be: we abducted two strong male specimens, and we will not allow you to deprive us of what is ours by deliberately making yourselves weak. Believe me, I will not hesitate to shove a tube down your throat, run that bowl of food through a blender, and pour it directly into your stomach."

He stopped pacing, seized Greg's chin again in his hands, and pulled their faces close together. "And even from your own pathetic, meaningless point of view, what good does it do you to starve yourself? Making yourself weaker only makes you less able to take advantage of the mistake you're hoping we'll make that will allow you to get free. So why do it?"

He released Greg's chin and turned away, seeming not to care whether Joe and Greg got his message. "That is good, solid, nutritious food that we actually went to the trouble of cooking for you. I suggest you eat it."

Joe ducked his head down first, followed a second later by Greg. It was a messy process, and both ended up with their lower faces smeared with bits of egg and meat, but they got the bulk of it down.

Next they stood the men up and chained them together at the neck, back to back, cuffing all four hands together.

Ron guided them over toward the drain hole at the lowest point of the floor. "Squat down over that hole," Keller directed, "and empty your bowels."

It was awkward, but Joe and Greg complied, pressing their backs together and slowly bending their knees until they were low down. Urine splattered the floor, some puddling around their ankles but most working its way down the drain. Getting their bowels to move took more time and effort. Each man started with a moist, liquidy, whitish mush fairly easily, but getting anything else to come proved difficult for them. They both eventually produced a result, though, and Keller allowed them to stand.

"Now you're going to wash each other," he said as Ron uncuffed Joe's hands. "Joe, you start."

They lengthened the neck chain connecting the two men to give Joe room to maneuver, and then Ron sprayed Greg with the hose. The cold water ran over Greg's body, dripping onto the floor and into the drain hole, carrying with it the urine and fecal matter they had produced.

"Soap him up," ordered Keller. "Head to toe. Make sure you get his ass."

Joe was clearly uncomfortable with his task, but bent himself to it. After a rinse, they switched roles, Joe getting his hands re-cuffed behind him while Greg's were released. Ron enjoyed watching him try to soap up Joe's crotch without actually touching it, which was of course impossible to do. Keller's rebuke was scathingly humiliating.

When both men were clean, they were moved to separate tables for the rest of the day's work, spread out with all four limbs attached to different corners and stretched tight. Ron started off with Joe; Keller took Greg.

It was such a delight to have this man totally under his control, with all the time in the world to play his body like a violin. Ron spent hours exploring the things that made Joe react, squeezing and pinching and stroking, slapping and striking and whipping, shocking and abrading and burning. Joe tried to keep up his stoic facade at first, but after the first hour or so, he was shouting and shrieking freely, matched by Greg on the neighboring table.

Ron was enraptured with the intimacy he and his victim shared. He spent long minutes carefully placing sharp-toothed devices on sensitive bits of Joe's body, then with exquisite slowness tightening them down with his face inches away from Joe's so as to overwhelm his senses with the sight and sound of Joe's responses.

When he tired of the clamps, he spent over an hour keeping Joe in a nearly constant state of oxygen deprivation. By turns he sealed a rebreather bag over his nose and mouth or blocked his breath completely or wrapped his fists around Joe's muscular neck and slowly, steadily squeezed, waiting until Joe's eyes were completely filled with panic before releasing him to seize a few quick, ragged breaths and then doing it all over again. Joe thrashed and bucked, but the ropes held firm.

Still later, Ron amused himself by playing "The Pit And The Pendulum" with an electrified chain, an idea he had gotten from a web site somewhere. One wire was connected to Joe's toe; the other to a chain that dangled over his belly. Ron, of course, could touch the chain with impunity, but if the chain made contact with Joe's skin, the circuit was completed and the current would flow. Ron would set the chain to swinging in broad arcs back and forth across Joe's rock-solid abs; Joe would have to suck in his gut to keep the chain from brushing against him. Ron would slowly, steadily, lower the chain until at last Joe could retract his stomach no further. Contact was made; convulsions and screams ensued. Lift and repeat.

Ron maintained his silence despite all of Joe's pleas and threats, which had an unexpected effect for him. In has fantasies, he never imagined himself not talking to his victim. It just hadn't occurred to him. But he could see that his refusal to speak was having an insidious effect on Joe beyond the physical pain. By totally ignoring his words, Ron turned Joe into non-entity, telling him very clearly that only his body mattered; his mind was superfluous. And as the hours wore on, this attitude began to rub off on Joe.

After a particularly satisfying series of screams had died away, Keller suggested to Ron that they take a break. They moved upstairs, leaving their victims on the tables, and pulled a quick lunch together before returning downstairs to switch partners for the afternoon.

Ron tried many of the same games on Greg but found that he blew through them more quickly the second time around. Been there, done that, I guess. He decided to focus on Greg's genitals, instead. He started by shaving off all his pubic hair, removing and then replacing the heavy ball collar to reach the hairs underneath it. Then he rubbed Icy Hot all over the freshly-shaved skin. The menthol-based lotion was powerful enough to cause tears to leak from the corners of Greg's tightly-shut eyes. The reaction it produced was so satisfying that Ron decided to use the Icy Hot as a lubricant when he inserted a metal sound inside Greg's dick.

This was clearly not something Greg had ever contemplated before. The commentary he provided while Ron was working made it clear that in his mind this was an even worse violation than getting fucked. Anal intercourse, while not something he had ever wanted to participate in, was at least something he had heard of. But it had never occurred to him that, just as his back-side "out-only" hole could have foreign objects shoved the wrong way into it, the hole on his front side could be abused in the same way.

There was something deeply wrong with the way a cock looked with a steel rod jammed up it, like some kind of cyborg fusion of metal and flesh. The rod protruded from his piss slit, whose lips had to stretch wide to accommodate the shaft. Ron could trace its position all the way down the underside of Greg's dick to the hilt, holding Greg's cock artificially straight despite its totally flaccid condition. It was hard to tell from Greg's shouting whether it was the rod itself or the menthol lubricant that he hated most. Perhaps it was a combination of the two.

After he removed the sound, Ron amused himself with heat, drizzling hot wax from a candle onto Greg's cock and balls. This produced satisfying results at first, but nothing like the penile invasion, and so he couldn't help upping the stakes by bringing the bare flame increasingly closer to the tender skin, close enough that if there had been any hair left it would have singed and crisped. Greg was in total panic, frantic to escape but pinned in place.

Finally, Ron could hold himself back no longer, and held the flame so that it licked directly onto the head of Greg's cock. Greg nearly exploded in his desperate attempts to break free, and Ron at last set the candle down to attend to his achingly hard erection. It sure would be nice to have him suck me off, he thought, but it's just too risky.

Then, inspired, he realized that there was a way, after all, to get his dick into Greg's mouth without danger. He rummaged around to find the necessary supplies while Greg panted and heaved on the table.

Ron adjusted Greg's bindings, lowering his arms to his sides and re-fastening them with a rope that ran under the table. Then he loosened the ankle ropes enough to slide Greg's body until his head hung off the edge. With no support underneath, Greg had to either work his neck muscles to hold his head up or just let it dangle. Ron moved in then with a needle, just like the one he had used to pierce Joe's tit. This one went into Greg's chin, straight through the skin and meat and out the underside. Greg fought, but Ron clamped his head between his thighs, holding it still enough to complete the procedure. Ron worked a ring through in place of the needle, this one with a screw-type closing, which he sealed shut.

Next came a pair of fishhooks. One went into each nostril, not puncturing anything but threatening to do so if Greg did not hold absolutely still. They were tied to a string that Ron tied to a cinderblock beneath Greg's head. Now the only way for him to lift his head up was to hoist the block up by the hooks in his nose. A string tied from his cock to the ring in his chin completed the assembly. The position of his head already made it difficult for Greg to close his mouth, but the extra string ensured that if he tried it, he would tighten the already-taut connection to his dick. Greg was left with his head hanging backwards over the edge of the table, his mouth forced wide open at the perfect height for Ron's entry.

So enter Ron did. The sensation of his cock sliding into Greg's wide-open mouth was exhilarating. It would have felt better, of course, if Greg had been able to seal his lips around the shaft and could have been compelled to actively participate in the blow job. But from a humiliation and abuse standpoint, it just didn't get any hotter. He shoved his cock deeper until he met the resistance of Greg's throat, then kept on shoving. Greg choked and gagged on the fat lump of flesh in his mouth. Tears and snot began to flow from his eyes and nose as his body fought to expel the invader, but the invader was not to be moved.

Ron eased off a bit, just long enough to give Greg a chance to gasp a quick breath, then shoved it home again. He continued to release and press, release and press, until at last he could feel himself easing past the restriction and a warm smoothness engulfed his shaft. Greg's choking noises stopped, his throat completely stuffed, and Ron held the position just long enough to bring Greg to the edge of panic. After that, each successive insertion got easier, to the point that Ron had to remind himself to pull out every now and then so that Greg could continue to get air.

The sexual tension he had built up over the long day of torturing his straight neighbors meant that he quickly reached the peak. A few more sharp thrusts and he then he could feel himself spurting gobs of cum into Greg's warm gullet. He pulled out enough to ensure that Greg's tongue and teeth got slathered as well, then rammed himself home one more time, enjoying the sensations that the pulses of Greg's convulsing throat produced in his cock.

Spent at last, he pulled out, to find Keller staring at him, open-mouthed.

"Holy shit," he breathed. "Did you plan that beforehand?"

Ron almost answered, then remembered to simply shake his head instead. Greg was a broken wreck, coughing and shaking and sobbing, with the juices of Ron's orgasm running down out of his mouth and into his nostrils and eyes. Joe, a few feet away, was turned to the side, watching with a look of horror on his face.

"Just came up with it on the spur of the moment?"

Ron nodded, puzzled. What was the big deal?

"Damn, man, that's why I love your imagination!" Keller shifted into his manic mode with his customary abruptness. "See, now, if I wanted to get a blow job from this guy, I would have had no idea how to do it safely. I probably would have just given up. Maybe, just maybe, it might have occurred to me to use some kind of a spreader gag, you know? The kind with an open ring or something?"

He bent down to inspect Ron's setup at close range. Greg watched him with wild eyes, desperately afraid more abuse was on the way. But Keller simply traced the connection points with his fingers. "But you, man, look at this, you shoved hooks up his fucking nose and you pierced his fucking chin and tied it to his dick! Holy shit, that's gotta hurt! Does that hurt there, buddy?"

Keller twanged the string linking Greg's dick to his jaw, strumming it like a guitar string. Greg jumped with each pull but was unable to answer with anything but vowel sounds.

"Jeez, I bet that hurts a lot. And then you shoved your dick down his throat and blew a load all over his face. And this is something you just came up with on the spur of the moment? This is one of your throwaway ideas? See, I just don't have that kind of imagination. I'm all full of same-old, same-old stuff like 'hey, let's whip this guy!' and 'ooh, ball weights!'. That's why you've got to call the shots, my friend. You are the man, you are in charge of deciding what we do to these sacks of shit. I say we go upstairs and you set your mind to work coming up with what we should do to them next, yeah? We'll let these guys catch a nap, get them something to eat, then start up again. Sound good to you?"

Ron nodded.

"Yeah, great. Only I gotta get a load off first. Which one of you is gonna take care of me? Greg, you up for another round?"

Thrashing and groaning, Greg signaled his thoughts on the matter.

"'K, then, Joe, how about you? You up for giving another blow job?"

Joe didn't even hesitate. "Yeah, I'll do it."

"Sweet. You want me to do you up like Greg here, or do you think you can be a good boy and not bite me?"

"I won't bite. I swear."

"Not a single tooth, now. If I feel even one rough edge on my dick, you'll be getting the hook treatment just like your buddy, understand?"

Ron and Keller retied Joe so his head was hanging off the edge of his table, and Keller slipped his stiff shaft between Joe's lips.

"Aww, yeah... that's it... aw, yeah, work it with your tongue. Take it in, take it all in, suck that dick..."

It took Keller maybe ten minutes or so, during which time Ron amused himself by playing with Joe's cock and balls. He was actually able to stroke Joe to an erection, and happily started sucking Joe's cock while Joe was busy servicing Keller. The thought of Greg, still hooked in place on the other table, was constantly in the back of his mind as he worked his mouth up and down Joe's shaft, and even though he had shot a load just minutes before, he found his own cock stirring to life again.

Keller came with an explosive gasp, pumping Joe's mouth full. Ron waited until Keller had withdrawn, gave Joe's dick a last pull with his lips, then released it to bob free, jutting up like a flagpole from its owner's bound body. They worked together to release Greg from the hooks, untying the cock rope but leaving the chin ring in place. Greg gibbered and pleaded that they let him go, that he couldn't take anything more, but they ignored him. They untied both men from the tables and cuffed their wrists together, Joe's left to Greg's right, then, after a piss break over the hole in the floor, locked the connecting chain to a ring set into the concrete floor.

"Sleep tight, guys," called Keller from the door, just before turning out the lights. "We'll see you later!"

T-minus 4 months

SadistNEPA: hey stranger, how's life?

sk512ym0: Always excellent, my friend! OK, here's what I've been thinking about lately.

SadistNEPA: yeah?

sk512ym0: Picture a hypothetical situation where you've got two captives. The goal is this: I want those two to loathe each other in two weeks' time.

sk512ym0: I want them to despise the very ground the other pollutes with his presence.

SadistNEPA: thats a tough one. wouldnt they hate there captor instead?

sk512ym0: They'd start out that way, sure. But the captor's aim is to redirect that hatred and turn it, making them hate each other, instead.

SadistNEPA: i dont know... it doesnt seem like it would work.

sk512ym0: I'm thinking there's two components to making that happen. One is to set things up so they have to hurt each other, know what I'm saying? Make each one responsible for the other's pain.

SadistNEPA: are we talking about dumb straight guys here? cause if not id think they would see right through that. theyd know the captor is still ultimately the one responsible.

sk512ym0: Sure, at the beginning they would. But that's where the second part comes in: lack of sleep. You ever thought much about sleep? Not many people do, unless they're not getting enough.

sk512ym0: National Geographic did a nice little article on sleep a while back. Great read. It talked of experiments done on rats. Some researchers figured they'd keep some rats awake to see what happened to them.

sk512ym0: They put these rats on discs that were balanced on top of spires suspended over water. The rats were fine as long as they stayed awake. But if they fell asleep, they would lose their balance, fall into the water, and wake up.

SadistNEPA: so what happened?

sk512ym0: After two weeks, every single rat was dead, but the funny thing was, there was no obvious cause of death. All their internal organs were fine - they just dropped dead of exhaustion.

SadistNEPA: so these hypothteical captives dont get any sleep?

sk512ym0: Right. Not much, at least. They get nowhere near what they need, maybe an average of an hour or two a day. Some days more; other days none at all.

sk512ym0: You know how you feel when you're tired, right? A little fuzzy-headed, you're not quite up to your A-game? Well, keep that up long enough, and a man starts to lose his grip on reality. He starts to hallucinate, seeing and hearing things that aren't there.

sk512ym0: Sure, at the beginning the vics would see through whatever setup we come up with. But after a week? Ten days? Their brains are going to start shutting down. They won't be able to put two thoughts together without getting distracted.

sk512ym0: So there's your assignment for the next fantasy you spin, my friend. Figure out a way to keep two men awake in such a way that they constantly keep hurting each other.

SadistNEPA: i like this already. my minds already churning, thinkiing of things that might fit the bill.

sk512ym0: Excellent. Send me what you come up with.

T-minus 13 days, 4 hours

"Rise and shine, assholes!"

Keller flipped the bright overhead lights on. It had been three hours - long enough for the two men to get into deep REM sleep. Joe woke up immediately, blinking and starting to try to rise before being stopped by the bracelet around his wrist that connected him to the floor; Greg continued to snore until Keller kicked him in the ribs. He bolted awake, looking near to panic at the sight of his surroundings.

"Chow time, gents," Keller announced. Ron laid the bowls of stew on the floor next to Joe and Greg's heads. When they didn't start eating immediately, Keller gave an exaggerated grimace of despair. "Oh, we're not going to go through this again, are we? I remind you: either eat or I will do it for you."

They ate, messily, since Ron had not bothered to provide spoons.

"We need to drink, too" Joe said.

"Ah, right you are!" bubbled Keller. "Silly of me to forget." He went back upstairs and returned soon with two bulbs of water. They were novelty cups; the only way to extract liquid from them was to suck on a thick straw that emerged from the base, which happened to be shaped like a large, erect penis.

"I know it's kind of ham-handed humor, making you drink from these. But it's still funny, all the same. And who knows, maybe the practice will do you some good!"

While they ate and drank, Ron busied himself over at a workbench, preparing equipment. When the food was gone, Keller tossed them a towel, saying: "Wipe your faces. You look like pigs."

Greg looked like he wanted to speak, perhaps to protest about the injustice of the insult, but Joe caught his eye and he backed down.

"Look," said Joe. "We can't take much more of this. You promised you'd let us go unharmed, but at the rate you're going, that's not going to be possible. Please, I'm begging you..."

"Shut up, please," said Keller lightly. "You're boring me."

Joe continued to plead his case; Keller ignored him while Ron bustled about, fetching and assembling the things he needed. It took a while - he had to modify the electrical system that he had used on Joe earlier, and he worked carefully to ensure that the revised model wouldn't experience any unexpected breakdowns. He ran a couple of tests on his hand and was pleased with the result. And the thing's powered by a car battery he thought with satisfaction at having come up with an efficient, economical design. No need to run the generator.

At last everything was ready. "All right, men," Keller called out. "You're going back up on the tables."

Remembering what had happened the last time they had been strapped to the tables, Greg began to buck and shout and Joe redoubled his pleas for release. Ron and Keller implacably shifted them, one at a time, from floor to table, maintaining firm control over their victims all through the transfer.

"Sheesh, I don't know what you're bitching about," Keller said when both victims had been tied in place, arms at their sides, ankles spread, with sheets of plastic wrapped around both torso and table for extra security. "We gave you pillows and blankets! Jeez, what ingrates!"

Ron smiled and handed Joe a metal device.

"What's this?" Joe asked.

"Squeeze it," said Keller. Joe did. It wasn't hard to do, but there was a bit of resistance. If he relaxed his grip, it would uncompress itself. Ron taped it to his hand, tightly enough that he couldn't let go of it but not so tightly as to hold it squeezed shut. He did the same to Greg with a second object, though Greg did not bother to test his out.

"Now, the last step..." Keller and Ron began hooking up wires, taping them to the men's exposed ball sacs. One wire went onto the heavy steel collar, the other was splayed out across the bottom of the sac and fixed in place with tape. Greg's went on first. He was clearly nervous, expecting a jolt of some sort, but nothing happened.

Joe, on the other hand, began to scream and buck as soon as the second wire made contact. "Oh, jeez! Aaaah! Oh, shit, make it stop!" He continued shouting while Keller said "Greg, I told you to squeeze that thing. I suggest you do it now."

Greg obeyed, and as soon as he did, Joe calmed down. "Shit, what the fuck was that?" he gasped.

"That," said Keller, "was a taste of how this little setup works. We'll leave you guys to work out the implications. See you in the morning!"

T-minus 13 days, 1 hour

As Ron trooped up the stairs behind Keller, he couldn't help smiling at the thought of how his captives would be spending the night. Each one had his balls wired to a "dead-man" switch in the other's hand. Whenever one of them stopped squeezing the switch, the other would get a painful jolt to the nuts.

He pictured in his mind how the night would go. The two men were lying down in a dark room. They had not slept at all the night before, and had only had a brief nap a short while earlier. Inevitably, one of them would tire. He would begin to doze off. His grip on his switch would relax, and then...

...lightning would shoot through the balls of the other. Presumably, the shouting would wake him up and he would re-tighten his grip on the switch. Perhaps he would be able to stay awake a while longer; perhaps he would doze off again after only a few minutes - after all, it wasn't his system that had gotten the adrenaline jolt from the blast of pain. Whatever the case, he would never be able to sleep for long. Neither of them would.

Best of all, the process was inherently lopsided. One would inevitably get shocked more than the other. Ron wondered how long it would take before the one who had suffered more shocks began to "accidentally" loosen his grip on his own switch. Perhaps it truly would happen by accident the first time - once one's balls started lighting up like a Christmas tree, who could be expected to remember to maintain one's grip on a metal object in one's hand? But the realization would no doubt come that an effective way to wake up the man whose slumber caused your pain was to cause an equivalent pain in return.

After that, who knew how low things might go? Possibly not on this first night, but certainly some later night, Ron could see electrical wars breaking out, perhaps even getting to the point where the two men were lying in agony, each desperate to end the pain but refusing to be the first to give the other relief...

No, that was too much to hope for. As he settled into his sleep sack, he contented himself with the knowledge that just beneath him, two men were going to spend a long, painful, sleepless night for no other reason than because he wanted them to. And this was just one of the many ideas he had e-mailed to Keller in response to his inquiry a few months back. There were still plenty more to try out after this, and plenty of time to try them in until this idyll ended in some twelve days time.

But how, exactly, is that end going to come? Ron mused. It was a question that had kept cropping up in his mind throughout the past two days.

There really were only two possibilities: kill the men when they were through with them, or let them go. Ordinarily, Ron would have ruled out the first option straightaway. He considered himself to be, all in all, a moral person - the current circumstances were the exception, not the rule. He held doors for strangers, gave up his seat to others when there weren't enough to go around, didn't cheat or steal. He could - just barely - rationalize ripping Joe and Greg from their normal lives to satiate his appetite because (a) they were gorgeous hunks and (b) they would be returned none the worse for wear when he was through with them. They may not like what he was doing, but yet as long as he didn't truly damage them, where was the harm?

All he had to do to walk away with a clean conscience was continue to ensure that neither victim ever saw his face or heard his voice, and refrain from causing any permanent injuries. In two weeks' time, they would no doubt be in pretty bad shape and would need to spend some time recovering, but after that, they'd be as good as new. Physically, at least; the mental scars might last somewhat longer.

But on the other hand, this was his one and only opportunity to indulge his deepest, darkest appetites. All those times in New York, his one regret had been the need to hold himself back, to always stay enough in control of himself that he didn't slip over the edge and do something that would get him arrested. It wasn't necessarily that he wanted to kill his partner; snuff was not his thing. It was more that he didn't want to have to take the trouble to ensure that his partner remained unharmed. The freedom from worry was what he sought.

He imagined what it would be like to stuff his cock down an unwilling throat and hold it there until his orgasm came, not having to keep a count of the seconds so that the owner of the throat wouldn't run out of air and choke and die from it. To hang a man from the rafters and not care about the ropes cutting off the circulation in his hands. To find out exactly what would happen if he continued adding weights to a bucket between two men's nuts until something at last gave way. Oh, how tempting, how tantalizing the thought of just letting himself go...

Complicating the decision, of course, was his arrangement with Keller. If he did decide to take things all the way, using Joe and Greg up until their broken bodies could no longer function, then he was guaranteed to pay the price for his pleasure. The price was steep, but what it bought him - two solid weeks of torture and sex with the two hottest straight men he'd ever personally met - was not something he could ever have had any other way.

Or he could take the gamble that Keller proposed. It would mean that he would have to hold himself back like before, never allowing himself to fully abandon all self-control and truly experience the moment. True, there were plenty of ways to hurt a man without destroying him. But wouldn't that defeat the point of abducting him to a soundproof basement under a remote cabin in the woods?

Ah, well. There was still plenty of time to decide. He turned his thoughts to the two men in the darkness beneath him, wondering if either of them had yet dozed off and triggered an electric blast through the other's balls. Turning that image over and over in his mind, he eventually drifted off to sleep.

T-minus 12 days, 16 hours

The next day dawned grey and rainy again, common enough for a Pennsylvania spring. Not that the weather mattered inside the cabin... or underneath it.

There was no counter system in place, no log file that they could check to see how much current had been applied to each set of balls, but Ron could tell, on walking into the basement, that the two men had suffered severely overnight. Their eyes were sunken and hollow, their movements slower than they had been the day before. The pain and lack of sleep were taking their toll.

Keller was in brutal-sadist mode again. He ripped the taped wires off of each set of nuts, then tore the switches out of the victims' hands. Ron inspected Joe's crotch while Keller was working on Greg. He rolled the balls around in his fingers, taking in the feel of them trapped under the heavy collar. The skin was an angry red from where the tape had been ripped off, but they otherwise appeared unharmed. The beauty of electricity, Ron mused. Secret police all over the world love the way it hurts like hell but leaves no marks. Joe was on edge, expecting some sort of pain, but Ron merely let his fingers wander.

"I want your ass today," Keller growled at Greg. The fucking that ensued was brutal and intense. He left Greg's arms and chest strapped to the table with the plastic wrap and lifted his ankles above his head, tying them to the table legs. Then he climbed up onto the table, knelt in front of Greg's open, exposed ass, and rammed his dick home. Greg shouted once, then gritted his teeth, trying to endure the relentless pounding Keller was dishing out.

Ron contented himself with playing with Joe's tit ring. The skin was swollen, but blood no longer seeped out from the edges of the wound. Ron tugged at the metal, enjoying the look and feel of the skin deforming under the pressure.

"Please," Joe whispered to him. "Stop this."

Ron decided to risk a whisper in return. He had barely ever spoken to Joe, after all. Surely Joe wouldn't recognize his whispered voice, and Ron was getting tired of being the silent partner in all the activities. He reached over to squeeze Joe's unpierced right nipple.

"I think we'll do this one today." And maybe he would. Or maybe not. The best thing about making plans is throwing them out and ad-libbing.

Ron left Joe to listen to the sounds of the rape going on at the next table while he went to one of the workbenches to prepare materials for the day's tortures. Greg cried and shouted, begging for Keller to take his dick out of his ass, claiming that he couldn't stand the pain, that he couldn't take any more, that it was killing him. Keller continued fucking him without a word. Ron bent to his task, which was tedious, but not overly complicated. Just pound some nails into some wood, over and over.

Keller came with no visible sign other than slightly quickened breath. His thrusts slowed, then stopped, and he pulled out of Greg's ass with a slurping noise. He looked down at himself. "That's disgusting," he snarled. "You got your shit all over my dick."

Greg looked stunned, utterly at a loss how to reply. Then his face showed alarm as it dawned on him how he might be compelled to make restitution.

Keller laughed. "Relax, moron," he said. "I won't make you lick it off. This time." He wet a towel and wiped himself with it. "But you guys need to take a dump. You can't hold shit in like that - it's not good for you." A tiny flicker of the manic Keller flashed through, then he was back to all business.

Keller had the men repeat the washup process from the previous day, fed them, and by the time he had finished, Ron was ready, too. This time, it was ropes. They tied each victim's arms together behind his back, wrapping loops of rope around their biceps and then pulling them together. The process was long and slow - it took a lot of force to tighten the connecting rope between the arms, since shoulders were not designed to flex in that direction. Ron wound up having to plant his foot between Greg's shoulder blades, pulling with all his might on the connecting rope to force Greg's elbows closer and closer together. Then he would tie the rope off and go to work on Joe. While he was giving Joe the same treatment, Greg's ligaments would gradually and painfully stretch to a new equilibrium point, and then Ron could go back to Greg and squeeze a few extra millimeters more out of him.

"This is what the Vietnamese did to our guys back in the 70s, wasn't it?" Keller asked. Ron nodded, straining hard to pull Joe's arms fractionally closer together.

At last both pairs of biceps were tied in place. Joe and Greg were lying in severe discomfort on the floor. Neither could breathe well - the position prevented them from expanding their lungs fully, so they were forced to take frequent shallow breaths. Greg kept up a constant chant of "no... no... no...", his voice soft and whimpery.

"Is that it?" Keller asked.

Ron smiled cruelly in reply. "Get up," he whispered to the captives. Neither even tried, so Ron beckoned to Keller, who bent down with him, seized Joe by his upper arms, and forced him to stand. Joe grunted with pain as he was lifted. Greg started to try to rise on his own, but was not quick enough, and so was hoisted to his feet with the same treatment.

There were two boxes on the floor, each about a foot tall. "Stand on those," Ron whispered. "No... no... no..." came Greg's constant refrain, but both he and Joe stepped up onto the boxes. There was a rope hanging down, threaded through the rafters so that one end dangled down over each of them. Ron walked behind them and began tying the ceiling rope to the connecting ropes between each pair of arms. He made it tight so that each man's arms were lifted just a bit.

Next, he went over to one of the workbenches and brought back the results of his labors; two boards, each about 12 inches square and covered with a carpet of nails. "Get the boxes," he whispered to Keller. Keller did, pulling the boxes out from under the legs of the bound men. Because of their compressed lungs, their screams were little more than yelps as their weight was taken up almost entirely by their bound arms, but Ron could tell the shouts were heartfelt for all their lack of volume. The men's toes barely brushed the floor and their shoulders bulged out grotesquely from the sides of their bodies. Their heads and necks were bent forward by the upward pull of the ropes behind them

Working quickly, he nailed each board to a box, then nailed the boxes to a longer baseboard to give them stability. He slid the baseboard back under the two men, who were so desperate to ease the pull in their arms that they gladly scrabbled to place their bare feet on the nail-covered boxes and stand up.

"And now, we watch," Ron whispered.

The men put on an erotic yet horrifying show. At first, they both stood with their feet on the nails without too much difficulty. But within a few minutes, they needed to move them around, trying to shift the pressure points to different places on the soles of their feet. After a few shifts, though, they ran out of pain-free positions. Joe was the first to have to step down. He eased himself off the box and down to the floor, which, because of the connecting rope between him and Greg, increased the pull on not only his arms, but on Greg's as well. Greg followed soon after, but the strain of hanging by bound elbows was simply too much to endure, and so Joe climbed back up onto the nail-covered box to ease the pain.

And so it went. Joe and Greg tried to fight the pain, but it overwhelmed them like a tidal wave blasting a shoreline. Up and down, on and off the boxes, balancing precariously on their toes, reaching upward to try to extract every millimeter they could to ease the pain in their arms. They quickly gave up any pretense of caring about the other's torment, focusing solely on whether they wanted their feet or their arms to hurt more at any given moment. Ron was content just watching, but Keller liked to get in and touch the men as they hung there, flicking tits and squeezing balls and stroking faces. They alternated between fury and despair, sometimes spitting and swearing and other times pleading and begging for release. Either was music to Ron's ears. He stroked his erection in full sight of the suffering men.

"Hey," Keller called, having wandered around behind the victims after they had been hanging for almost an hour. "Is this normal?" Ron got up and looked, to see that all four arms had turned nearly black. His erection deflated immediately as all the eroticism of the moment vanished and the real world came crashing back in. He shook his head, alarmed at the idea that he might have caused permanent damage, which would render all his dithering about whether to go all the way with these men moot. How could he release Joe to go home and provide for his family if gangrene consumed his arms? He'd be helpless, a cripple. And Greg would be equally useless. No, if Ron was going to destroy these men's ability to provide for themselves and their families, he might as well finish the job. This whole episode was costing him enough, after all.

He realized that, while he had never consciously made the decision, he had thought he was leaning toward going all the way. This was, after all, going to be the one and only opportunity he would ever have to not have to hold himself back. But the visceral fear he felt when he saw their blackened, withering arms... the thought that he may have done his victims lasting harm made him realize that his subconscious must have been assuming all along that when all the fun was over, the toys would be set free to resume their normal lives. An in order to do that, he would have to make sure they were well enough to release. Even if it meant holding himself back yet again.

Best to get them down, he thought. I can always choose to snuff them later, but if I don't cut them down now, the decision will be made for me... He moved to get a knife to cut the rope that linked the men together.

Keller saw what he was about to do and grabbed his arm. "Hang on," he said low so the grunting, heaving captives wouldn't hear. "We'll get them down, but let's use this first."

He walked around in front of the captives. "Who wants down?" he asked gruffly.

"Me," said Greg, followed almost instantly by Joe's "Yeah."

"How bad do you want it?"

Joe sobbed in despair, knowing that whatever happened next, it would only involve more pain.

"Wha y'mean?" gasped Greg, his voice barely intelligible.

"I mean I'll cut you down, take off the arm ropes, and let you get some rest. All you have to do is tell me what you want me to do. To the other guy."

"Fug," murmured Joe. "No. Greh, don' play this game."

Greg ignored him. "Jus' cut us dow'. P'ease."

"Nope. I'm enjoying this too much to want it to end. You'll have to offer me something at least as good."

"Don', Greg," Joe muttered again.

Keller paced around the men's tortured bodies, giving them time to consider. Greg panted, dithering in indecision. Keller paused when he was behind of them again. "I've got all day," he said.

"Fuck him," Greg said. Ron thought at first it was just another in his unending string of profanities, but then Keller looked at him with a satisfied grin on his face and he realized that the F-word in this context was an imperative, not an expletive. Keller wiped his face clean of emotion and walked back to face Greg.

"Excuse me?" he said. "Would you repeat that a little more clearly, please?"

"I said fuck him."

"And by that, you mean that my friend and I should each fuck Joe?"

Joe was shaking his head silently.


"Stick our dicks up his ass?"


"Just so I'm absolutely clear on this, you're saying that you would buy your freedom from pain by selling Joe for us to use for our sexual pleasure?"


"Well, that would be good enough for me. Say it, then."


"Say it."

"Say wha'?"

Keller slapped him hard across the face, knocking him off the box, causing him to lose his balance and jerk hard on the connecting rope. Both he and Joe shouted from the fresh waves of pain. Greg floundered for a moment until he regained his footing, then climbed gingerly up onto the nails again. Keller shouted into his face all the while.

"Goddammit, are you a fucking moron? An imbecile? I asked you to speak in something other than the monosyllabic grunts that have so far been the only noises you've been able to eject from your puling mouth. You are fucking betraying your uncle, here, or your cousin or whatever the hell he is to you. He is family, and you are throwing him to the wolves. So I want to hear it from your own stinking, traitorous lips, you wretched coward. I want to hear you man up and say it so that everyone in this room knows what a pathetic, weak little toad you are. Say it!" He swooped in close, hissing. "Say it."

Greg was visibly torn. Ron watched, mesmerized, as his emotions played out across his sweating, tear-stained face: the desire to prove himself a man pitted against the overwhelming pain. It took nearly half a minute, but the pain won.

"Fuck Joe. Fuck him up the ass, God help me, just let me down."

Keller turned to Joe. "You heard the man. Any counter-offer?" Joe did not respond, already resigned to his fate.

"Going once... going twice... sold."

Ron sliced through the connecting rope and the two men collapsed to the ground. The knots in the ropes around Greg's biceps were too tight to untie, so Ron cut through those, too, carefully avoiding the swollen skin around them.

The ropes snapped free as the last strand was severed, and Greg's arms popped forward, causing him to gasp. His gasps quickly turned to screams: with circulation restored, the long-starved nerves in his arms began to wake up again, driving Greg wild as they did. Keller manhandled him, helplessly screaming, into a wooden box in one corner of the cellar. "Get some rest," he called as he closed and locked the door. Greg continued to scream that his arms were on fire for a long while afterward.

Joe, meanwhile, was suffering the same fiery pain and shouting just as loudly, only Ron was locking him into a pillory while his arms were still useless lumps. Joe's neck and wrists were held in place by the heavy wooden yoke; his ankles were similarly held, spread about three feet apart. He had to stand on his bruised, tender feet, bent forward at the waist with his body parallel to the floor.

Ron couldn't tell whether Joe's arms would recover or not - he didn't have a medical background and had no idea how to tell. He studied Joe's fingers while he was locking them into the pillory, trying not to be too obvious about it, and eventually decided that the fact that he could move them and that the ugly black color was slowly fading to merely an angry red were good signs. Joe's shouts subsided into wheezy grunting noises.

Keller returned from imprisoning Greg. "I already shot a load not too long ago," he said to Ron, clapping Joe on the shoulder, "so it might take me a while. Why don't you go first?" He headed up the stairs.

Ron got some lube from the workbench and stood in front of Joe's face while he slowly rubbed grease up and down his rock-hard dick, making sure Joe got a good view of what he was doing. Then he took up position behind Joe and lined himself up. He made himself take it slow, savoring the sensation as he teased Joe's anal ring with the head of his cock, steadily pressing harder and harder, forcing his way in a fraction at a time. At last the resistance gave way completely and he plunged in to the hilt, unencumbered by any further obstruction. Joe barely reacted - he was so far gone with pain that being raped barely registered.

Ron didn't mind. He listened to the slowly-softening screams coming from Greg's box while he watched Joe's arms gradually lose that horrifying black color, returning part of the way toward their normal tone. Joe's broad back flexed and bent as Ron rammed into him. A few times, his knees buckled, causing Ron's dick to slip out. After the third occurrence, Ron paused to rig up rope slings hanging down from the rafters to support Joe's chest and pelvis. Once they were in place, it didn't matter if Joe's legs couldn't take the strain. He could even pass out and it wouldn't make any difference - his ass would still be held in the proper position.

Of course, Ron thought as he was just getting back into the groove of pistoning Joe's hole, if he passes out, then the weight of his head will crush his windpipe against the wood and he'll choke to death. Sheesh, yet another thing to worry about, once again holding him back from fully enjoying the moment... Ron would have to either keep a close eye on Joe's condition or rig up some other way to support the weight of his head. Best to take another break and do it now so he didn't get interrupted later when he was really getting into it.

Greg's screams had faded away to silence. Ron slipped out and walked around to the front of the pillory, anticipating the delectable sight of gritted teeth and clenched eyes and fists. To his surprise, though, Joe's face showed no reaction to the fucking he had been receiving. Instead, his head hung slackly in the pillory. Ron checked to see whether Joe's neck had perhaps already been crushed against the wood; it hadn't, which meant Joe had at least enough presence of mind to keep himself breathing. But beyond that, there was no one there behind the half-shut eyes. Ron snapped his fingers in front of Joe's face. Joe didn't even blink. He had at last found someplace else to be.

Ron pondered for a moment. This was not something he had anticipated, and he found, somewhat to his surprise, that Joe's mental absence took some of the pleasure out of fucking his ass. Not enough to make it not worth doing, of course, but it revealed something about Ron that he had never thought much about before: the pleasure of hurting a man came not so much from the act of Ron hurting him, but from the response of the victim to being hurt.

It wasn't an easy distinction to make, and indeed, he had never paid much attention to the difference before, but looking at Joe's vacant body made it crystal clear. Here was a man he had lusted after for nigh on ten years, who Ron had tortured with his own hand and who was now held bound in wood and metal and rope, his ass open and waiting for Ron's dick. It should have been the absolute pinnacle of erotic perfection, and yet it wasn't. Something was lacking: Joe's undivided attention.

The old saw about beating a dead horse came into his mind. He had always taken it for its most common meaning: the usual reason for beating a horse was to make it work harder, and no amount of beating could make a dead horse work at all. But what if the reason for beating the horse was because you happened to be the type of guy who got off on beating horses? The intent may be different, but the cliche still applied: the point of the beating was to cause pain, and the dead feel no pain.

It suddenly cast the whole episode in a new light. Here he had been having trouble deciding whether or not to kill these men, trying to talk himself into it because to do otherwise was to "hold himself back". But what would be the point of killing them? He would get no additional joy from it. What turned him on was not death but the infliction of pain, and - he now realized - the victim's response to the pain. Holding himself back? That wasn't it at all. No, what he had been thinking of as "holding himself back" was actually the best way to spend as much time as possible in the fun part of the session - the infliction of and response to pain - without pushing the victim past the point where it wasn't fun any more.

He returned to his position behind Joe, slipped his cock into the warm and waiting hole, and began to pump again. It would have been better if Joe had been aware of what he was doing, but that wasn't possible now. With a little rest and recovery time, Joe's mind would come back, but for now, this was the best Ron had available to him. Not that it was a bad situation, not at all... Fucking a straight guy who had been tortured into oblivion was less hot than fucking one who hadn't been tortured all the way there yet, but not all that much so. It's like eating a snickerdoodle, he thought as he pumped. Chocolate chip cookies are my favorite, but if there aren't any, I'll gladly wolf down a snickerdoodle instead.

He ran his hands over Joe's muscular back and shoulders, tracing the sinews whose power was so thoroughly ineffectualized by the wood and the ropes that held them trapped. He cupped Joe's collared balls with his fingers, then dropped them to let them pendulum back and forth in time with his thrusts. He reached under to feel the nipple that he had pierced, to tug gently on the metal that his own hands had driven through Joe's living flesh.

And with a tiny percentage of his concentration, he kept an eye on Joe's neck, making sure that the airway remained open. It didn't feel like "holding himself back". Rather, it was a choice he was consciously making. He was choosing to keep himself at the point of maximum enjoyment, and if that meant sparing a slight bit of his attention to make sure his toy remained in suitable condition to play with, then it was effort well spent.

Perhaps ten minutes in, Ron's orgasm came with explosive shudders, and he continued to thrust long after the waves of pleasure had finished coursing through his body. He finally stepped away, allowing Keller - who had returned at some point without Ron noticing - to take his place with barely a break for Joe. Keller kept up the pounding for at least another half an hour. At one point, Ron wandered over to the box that held Greg, and heard barely-audible snoring noises coming out. He had fallen asleep to the sounds of Joe's rape.

Ron went back to check on Joe from the front. He still stared slackly from empty eyes, aware enough of his situation to keep his neck off the wood, but otherwise totally detached from what was happening to his body. That was OK - a little down time would have him aware and responsive again, and Ron would find new ways to elicit reactions from him.

Keller climaxed at last, growling low in his throat as he pumped his juice in to join Ron's. He pulled out, leaving a sticky, red-tinged trail to dribble out of Joe's overstretched hole. He headed for the stairs again, seemingly perfectly willing to leave Joe in the stocks, but Ron caught his eye and gestured for him to return. Keller raised his eyebrows, then shrugged and helped Ron get Joe out of the stocks. They opened up the box that Greg was in, shoved Joe inside, and closed and locked the door.

T-minus 12 days, 7 hours

"What the hell was that all about?" Keller demanded, back upstairs. "Are you going soft on me?"

"That's not the reason." Ron sat cross-legged on the floor, a little disturbed at Keller's anger. It seemed out of character for him, and yet perhaps it wasn't; Ron reminded himself that, despite their long online acquaintance, he really had only met the man three days ago and had no idea what his "natural" personality might be like. In the past three days, he had watched Keller change personas as if they were clothes, flitting from breezy to brutal and back in the space of a few minutes. The man had one of the most unpredictable temperaments Ron had ever encountered.

"Well, what is the reason, then?" Keller stomped his disgust all over the cabin's small space.

"Couldn't you see him?" Ron asked. "He was dead to the world, man, he was not there any more. Not only was there nobody home, the lights weren't even on."

"So? Isn't that exactly what we're trying to accomplish?"

"Maybe that's what you're aiming for, but I'm not. At least, not so quickly."


Ron tried to share the realization he had had downstairs, but it was hard to put it into words. After a few false starts, he eventually said "I can only speak for myself, obviously, but for me, the joy is in the breaking, not the broken result. If I'm raping a straight guy, I want to hear him object to it. I want to see him clench his fists and hear him shout at me and listen to all his helpless threats to get back at me. Like these guys have been doing up until today. But Joe was way past that point. He had stopped doing that. He was gone, man."

Keller had stopped stomping and was looking at Ron with his brow furrowed. Ron pressed his point. "We weren't fucking a straight guy down there, we were fucking a rag doll. An inflatable toy. There was no mind to go with the body, and that just doesn't do it for me."

Keller sat down across from Ron. "Really," he drawled. "I'm intrigued. So you like hurting guys, but you don't like that they get hurt. Isn't that a contradiction?"

"Well, sure, if you word it that way, but I see it more like this: I like hurting guys, but once they lose the ability to respond to what I do to them, they no longer interest me. It's the process that I find interesting, not the end result. The joy is in the journey, not the destination." The words sounded trite as he said them, like something you would read in a new age self-help book. And yet, for all their triteness, they were nevertheless true.

He twiddled his thumbs for a few moments, contemplating, then continued. "I'm enjoying what we're doing to these guys, but let's face it - this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and we're only on day three. I'm never going to get another chance to do this, and we only have two victims to work with. If we burn them up now, that's it, game over, and the rest of the time here is going to be really, really dull. If that happens, I might as well go fishing like my cover story says."

"So what's your recommendation, then?"

"Give them a break. Let them regain their strength for a little while."

"And then?"

Ron smiled slowly. "Break them down all over again."

T-minus 8 days, 11 hours

"All right, gentlemen, our top prize today is: a needle under the thumbnail! Let the bidding begin!"

The game they were playing worked very well with Keller's personality. When he was in his manic phase, it was as if he was the host of a game show in hell. He would describe what he was going to do to the two men, then offer them the chance to bid against each other for something they could offer him instead. Whoever won the bidding "paid" by performing the action of the winning bid; the other got the initially-proposed torture. If neither one played the game, the initial torture went to both of them.

Ron loved all the ramifications of this variant on the "prisoner's dilemma" game, at least in its ideal form. When he had first imagined it, back when the game was a mere hypothetical possibility, he had expected that the two victims would both feel compelled to play because the alternative was so terrible: if both refused to play, they both suffered. If one played and the other didn't, he won the bidding cheaply, perhaps escaping a flogging of a hundred lashes by bidding just one. And once one of them made a bid, the other would feel compelled to do so, and they would each keep outdoing the other until finally one of them reached a point where the originally-proposed torture became the most attractive of all the options available to him. It was downright devilish.

In reality, it hadn't worked out that way. In fact, their first few rounds of the game were not very successful at all. Joe and Greg stuck to their "no co-operating with the enemy" strategy, both enduring whatever Keller and Ron dished out. Regrouping upstairs, Keller suggested that he try to guide them toward a more practical point of view. The next time they played, he deftly pointed out that there was no reason why both of them should suffer when a simple word from either of them would reduce their total suffering by half. Greg could, for instance, bid a literal slap on the wrist, and then only Joe would have to take Keller's fist up his ass. They could then switch off the next time the game was played, letting Joe skip out on the punishment the next time.

He planted the suggestion with finesse; Joe and Greg began taking alternating punishments. But that, of course, got them in the habit of taking part in the game, and from then on, they were headed down a slippery slope. Next Keller modified the bidding process so that neither knew what - or whether - the other was bidding, confusing the victims in their attempt to keep a running "score". Then he began to vary the intensity of the punishments they were forced to bid on, further throwing them off - was a thirty-lash flogging worth more or less than thirty minutes with an alligator clip on one's tongue? Was a second nipple piercing worth more or less than a first one, or were they both the same? As time passed and the stress of their situation wore on them, they became less and less willing to take pain for each other. Within days, co-operation was only a memory, even when they went back to bidding face to face.

And then the game was, for Ron, just as entertaining as he had envisioned it would be.

Joe sputtered "Are you fucking kidding me?" This was, after all, a much harsher punishment than any that had been dealt out before. This time, there would be some serious pain in store for whoever lost the bidding. Ron smiled ever so slightly, anticipating the upcoming show.

Keller twirled the needle between his fingers, testing the sharpness of the point against his index finger. "Nope," he said calmly. "One needle. Under the thumbnail. That's what we have up for auction today. Start your bidding now, gentlemen... unless you both want one?"

Greg said "I'll take a gut punch." Joe spun to glare at him, but Greg refused to meet his eyes.

Keller schmoozed like an oilier version of "Family Feud" host Richard Dawson. "That's good, we have a gut punch to start. Joe, any counter offer?"

"Slap my face."

It was, in a way, a huge accomplishment just to hear those words come so blandly out of Joe and Greg's mouths. Could either of them have imagined a week ago that they would be imploring someone to punch or slap them, actively taking part in the process of deciding how they would be hurt? And yet, here they were, offering their bodies up for pain as if they were discussing the weather.

Greg: "I'll blow you."
Keller: "Niiiiiice! Now we're talking!
Joe: "I'll blow Greg."
Keller: "Come on. You know Greg's offer is better than that, so he's still in the lead. Any other ideas?"
Joe: "I'll let you fuck me."
Keller: "That works. Gentlemen, we have a fucking! Greg?"
Greg: "Pierce my nipple."
Keller: "They're already pierced. You mean do a second one, vertically?"
Greg: "Yeah."
Joe: "Pierce both my nipples."
Greg: "Pierce both nipples and the head of my dick."
Keller: "This is fascinating - you'd take three needles, including one in your dick, rather than one under your thumbnail? That nail thing must really hurt. I've never tried it, myself."
Joe: "Maybe you should."
Keller: "The contestant is a funny man! Any other bids?"
Joe: "Hang me by the neck for 30 seconds."
Greg: "Hang me for 45 seconds."
Joe: "Hang me for a minute."
Greg: "Hang me until I pass out."

Joe tried to come up with something that Keller considered better than Greg's noose offer but was to him more appealing than a needle under his thumbnail. He couldn't.

They did Greg's noosing first. His rope dance was erotic - Ron loved watching him kick his legs for support that wasn't there while his face slowly turned red - but it was over all too quickly. Nooseplay never lasted long enough for Ron's tastes. When Greg lost consciousness, they lowered him down, revived him, then tossed him in the box in the corner to recover.

Joe's needle job, on the other hand, really got Ron's juices flowing. They slid it in slowly, savoring every moment of the process. Joe was strapped into a heavy chair with his hand taped firmly down, but that didn't stop him from yanking the restraints as hard as he could, trying to break free. Ron had never seen this particular torment in action before, had only read about it, but he concluded that it must hurt like hell. Joe's eyes were rolling around in his head, wild and frantic as he sought escape. Every tiny push on the needle separated another little bit of nail from the meat underneath and caused Joe to redouble his screams. It was truly amazing to see such a vigorous reaction to such a tiny stimulation.

When the needle had at last been pushed all the way down to the base, they untaped his hand and let him nurse it. Ron stroked his dick while he watched Joe try to remove the needle from under his nail using his other hand and his teeth. He couldn't get a grip on it no matter what he did and the metal remained firmly lodged in place. At last, sobbing and crying, he begged them to take it out. They did, using pliers, but only after he gave both Keller and Ron hand jobs with the injured hand, stroking them one at a time until they had each shot their loads all over his face and chest.

"That's a good one," Keller said to Ron after they had prized the needle out and gotten Greg out of the box for the next round. "We'll have to remember to do that one again."

T-minus 6 days... more or less

Ron pulled steadily on the fishing line, inexorably taking out the slack, forcing Joe and Greg closer and closer together. He alternated sides, tightening one set of lines then the other until at last the two men's chests were pressed together, their hands cuffed behind their backs.

Amazing that just two simple bits of fishing line are strong enough to hold these two large, heavy men bound, he thought. Of course, fishing line used any other way would probably not have held. The setup only worked because the line had been sewn through their nipples.

Picturing the outer rim of each tit as a clock, Ron had run a long strand of line through a needle and started sewing. Into Joe's nipple at 12:00, out at 11. Then into Greg's, whose clock was the mirror-reverse of Joe's, at 1:00 and out at 2. And so on, back and forth, until each tit was linked to the one opposite by a net of lines. Then he had pulled out the slack, forcing the men closer and closer together until at last there was no more slack to remove and Joe and Greg were standing with their tits pressed tightly together, the metal rings squeezed between their flesh. Keller helped by running a rope down from the ceiling, under their sewn tits, and back up the other side. Joe and Greg could do nothing but stand there, waiting for whatever came next.

What came next was a fucking for each of them - an awkward position for Ron to maintain, but enjoyable nonetheless. Then came some pains on other parts of their bodies - heat near the ass, the poke of a knife or needle on a leg, the details didn't matter. What mattered was that the sensations made them squirm, which caused them to pull on the threads linking their nipples. Keller kept threatening to make them yank on each other so violently that they tore themselves apart. He might even have done it eventually, but Ron suspected the mental game of the threat was what he was actually getting off on.

At one point, Keller decided to see if he could fist them both simultaneously; not one of Ron's favorite activities. He left Keller to his amusement and went over to the workbench to prepare the equipment for the next round of torment. Joe and Greg used to watch him feverishly whenever he did this, trying to figure out what he was creating to torture them with. Now, of course, Keller was occupying their attention, but even if they hadn't been distracted, they might not have been able to work up much interest in what Ron was doing. They had figured out that the details were unimportant - there would be pain no matter what.

He fiddled around with wires and solder, making connections and testing links. It was kind of fun to be actually building the things that he came up with - in his day job, his work was mostly at the design level. Creating systems on whiteboards or in his head was satisfying on an intellectual level, but there was a certain visceral thrill to making the actual physical connections with his own hands. And, of course, the use to which these systems were put was a whole lot more interesting than improving coal extraction efficiency by another half a percentage point...

He glanced over to where the captives were standing. Keller had removed his arms from their asses and, bored with waiting for Ron to finish, had started to occasionally flick his whip at them just to keep them jumping.

Ron tweaked and poked at his creation for another ten minutes or so, and then it was time for a trial run. He held the bare ends in his fingers and got the expected result, then spun the wheels up to compare the difference. Perfect.

He pulled Keller away from dry-humping the crack of Joe's ass to help him move the two men to the stationary exercise bikes. Keller had picked the bikes up earlier in the day. Ron would have preferred treadmills, since both Joe and Greg were runners, but it would have been too difficult to arrange the bondage such that the men would have enough freedom to run but not enough to either break loose or kill themselves through accidental strangulation. So stationary bikes it was. Keller grumbled about how far he would have to drive to find such items, but when Ron explained what he planned to do with them, Keller reluctantly agreed to get them.

The bikes were the recumbent kind. Ron and Keller cut Joe and Greg apart and plunked each of them down into a seat. They taped the men in place, arms behind the seat backs, with some supplemental chains added for extra security. Ron hooked up his creation: the Mark II version of the deadman-switch ball-shocking device. The wires were taped to the victims' balls as before, but this time the switches were keyed to the speedometers of the two bikes. As long as Joe kept his speed over 20 of the arbitrary, meaningless units that the bike used to measure velocity, then Greg's balls were safe. If Joe's speed ever dropped to 19 or less, Greg got zapped. And vice versa.

Ron and Keller supplied the men with plenty of water, available by sucking on phallus-straws, and went upstairs for the night.

"The best part of the design," Ron told Keller as they were preparing for sleep, "is that I connected alternators to the flywheels of the bikes. The alternators keep the charge of the battery topped off as long as the wheels are spinning."

"And how long would it take the battery to drain without the chargers running?"

"Hard to say. Couple of hours, maybe."

"So the only way they can ever stop pedaling is by enduring a couple of hours of electricity shooting through their balls?"

Ron nodded. "And if they can't take it and start pedaling again to get some relief, they'll just start charging the battery back up again."

"Good God, man," Keller said. "You're an evil genius. Right up there with Dr. Frankenstein. I wonder how long we can keep them at it?"

The answer, as it turned out, was ten hours and a few minutes more. Joe and Greg were still pedaling the next morning when Ron and Keller returned to the basement, breath heaving in and out of their lungs, eyes staring glassily ahead, their water tanks drained nearly dry. The stench of sweating men filled the space. Neither one looked up at the arrival of their tormenters - they were entirely absorbed in the effort of keeping their burning, over-exhausted legs pistoning back and forth.

"Nine hours and thirty minutes," breathed Keller. "Let's make 'em go an even ten."

Ron and Keller watched the men work. Mostly, they maintained their rhythm, but every once in a while, one of them would slow just enough to trigger the tiny click that would start sending juice to the other's nuts. There would be a jerk of surprise or a sudden grunt - neither of them had the air to shout - and, more often than not, the recipient of the abrupt jolt would slow in his own movements, triggering a counter-shock in return. The current would continue its inexorable flow until both men had been spurred to improve their performance enough to stop the cycle. Then, a few minutes later, it would happen all over again.

A few minutes before the ten-hour mark, Ron fished his cock out and began to stroke it. He stood next to Greg's face, rubbing his hand up and down the shaft. With his other hand, he reached down to grope Greg's balls, trapped beneath the heavy steel collar, wires firmly taped in place. He hefted them up and down, then dropped them to the seat with a thunk, which distracted Greg enough to send a jolt over to Joe, who soon faltered and triggered a corresponding blast back to Greg. Ron picked up Greg's nuts again, touching only the skin and therefore immune to the current pulsing through just beneath his fingers. The dichotomy between his totally-unaffected hand and the seizing, clenching agony of the organs it held was intoxicating, and his cock swelled even harder with anticipation.

Greg and Joe regained their rhythms; the current stopped flowing. Ron dropped Greg's nuts and continued to stroke himself. The musky scent wafting up from Greg's sweaty body filled his nose and he bent down to lick a droplet off his cheek, savoring the salty flavor on his lips and tongue. He could feel himself getting close.

When he was seconds away from the point of no return, Ron reached out and cranked the resistance for Greg's bike up to its maximum. The steady rhythm Greg had been trying to maintain for so long sputtered and died. He was simply unable to force his spent muscles to push against the increased pressure. Joe's balls immediately lit up with liquid fire and he slowed as well, returning the fire to Greg. Both men started to buck and twitch as their nuts were jolted with sizzling current. Joe's head lolled back and to the side; Greg's teeth ground loudly together.

"Uff da," Ron whispered as he watched the men squirm. "That's gotta hurt."

The sight of Greg's wracked, tortured body beneath him sent him over the edge. Hot white jets spurted out of him to splash Greg on the face, mingling with the generous layer of sweat already there. Ron shuddered and spasmed a few more times, then rubbed the last drops from his dick onto Greg's stubbled cheek. He turned to look at Joe, who had given up any attempt to get his legs moving again and was lost in the agony of his balls. Ron let the current flow a few seconds longer, then went to the battery and disconnected a wire. Both men sagged with relief, slumping in their seats like marionettes whose strings had been cut.

"You've got half an hour, gents," Keller announced. "Then it'll be time to get you fed and washed and ready for some one-on-one sessions."

...but Joe and Greg were already snoring.

T-minus 3 hours, 10 minutes

Keller loosened the clamp again, leaving it on just tight enough not to slip free. Ron felt other fiddling going on, but he kept his eyes closed, savoring the feeling of having his nut hurting only a tiny bit. Really, it was only a slight discomfort, no worse than after one had been sitting in a meeting for far too long and one's underwear had begun to bunch up around one's crotch. Perhaps that's all this was, just an overlong meeting where one of the company financial officers was showing slide after slide of quarterly projections and earnings reports. He must have tuned out and dozed off and had this horrible nightmare triggered by nothing more than bunched-up underwear. He would wake up soon and get up, move around, stretch, but for now the meeting was still going on and he had to stay still...

"I'm glad we still have this original version," the presenter droned on. "The one that worked with the bikes was impressive, but I like the simplicity of this one. Just one switch, one easy-to-use control. Off... and on."

Ron's eyes flew open. Fire was blasting through his groin. He screamed.

Keller was standing in front of him, staring into his face with that maddening, impossible-to-read half-smile on his lips. Ron looked down as best as he was able with his hands chained over his head. He saw the wires taped to his ball sac, one at the front of his clamp-imprisoned left nut and one leading out of sight to the back. In Keller's hand was the deadman switch, now unpressed and therefore allowing current to flow from the car battery, through the relay and the capacitor bank and the transformer and into his nuts.

A tiny part of his mind could see how it all fit together, the relay toggling itself some ten or twelve times per second, each time flipping the direction of the current to alternately charge and drain the capacitors. On the charge cycle, the capacitors filled with electrons from the battery. Then the relay clicked and the capacitors drained their charge through the transformer, which stepped up the voltage and sent it to the output wires, where the voltage either dissipated harmlessly, if there was nothing to complete the circuit, or sent electrons hurtling through whatever connection existed between them - in this case the skin of Ron's scrotum.

A much larger part of his mind only knew that the result of those hurtling electrons was an agonizingly painful experience. The electricity forced the tiny muscles in the area near the contact zones to clench uncontrollably, tensing and releasing with each blast of current. They rapidly exhausted themselves but were compelled to keep twitching by the relentless electricity. Every instinct told him to protect himself from injury, but he could not pull his hands down to tear the wires free, could not shake his hips hard enough to jar them loose, could not bend in upon himself, could not do anything but suffer. The mindless electrons continued their painful way through his body, and there was nothing he could do to stop their progress, no matter how much agony it caused him.

Then, mercifully, it stopped. Ron looked up to see Keller squeezing his hand down on the switch.

"I'm thinking of another game we can play," he said. "Let's play 'Ron holds the switch while Keller tries to make him drop it'."

"No... no... take it off. Please..." Ron stammered.

"Don't worry," Keller said, pressing the switch into Ron's unwilling fingers. Ron took it, knowing that if he didn't, Keller would just let it fall and the current would start to flow again. He clenched his fist down on the lever as hard as he could hold it "I won't do any harm to your hand. I mean, I might hold a candle real close to your fingers so you think I'm going to burn you, but I won't actually burn you. That would be against the rules."

He moved closer and began running his hand lightly up and down Ron's ribs. The sensation made Ron jerk and jump, though he tried to remember to keep his fist clenched as tightly as he could.

"Aw... you're not ticklish, are you, Ronny?" Keller asked, all wide-eyed innocence.

As it turned out, he was.

T-minus 4 days? Maybe 5?

"OK, waterboarding. Bidding's open... go." Keller almost sounded bored.

We're running low on creativity, thought Ron, if the best we can come up with is recycled tortures from the CIA. Not that he wasn't looking forward to the event, of course.

They had done this auction game enough times now that the ideas the victims came up with were, for the most part, tired retreads of things that had already been done to them, and the first few bids were pretty much routine. Ron allowed his mind to wander, telling himself he'd tune in again when the bidding got interesting. As a result, he didn't hear what Greg said that caused Keller to draw up short until Keller repeated it.

"Excuse me? Did you just say 'brand me'?"

Greg nodded, his eyes glazed from lack of sleep.

Keller brought his face in close. "I'll be happy to do that, I just want to make sure I'm hearing this right. You know that branding is a permanent thing, and that waterboarding is only temporary, right? It's just a simulation of drowning, not the real thing."

Greg nodded again, or perhaps it was just the bobbing of a head on exhausted neck muscles that only looked like a nod from where Ron was standing. No, it was definitely a nod.

Keller stood back and blinked a few times. "So... OK... let's iron out some details..." Ron expected him to laugh at the pun, but his tone of voice revealed that he didn't even know he'd made one. "I brand my initials into the inside of your upper thigh. Is that what your bid is?"

Greg swallowed and nodded again.

"Say it, then."

"Brand your initials on my thigh."

"You are serious, aren't you? Why the hell would you prefer that over..." his voice trailed off.

Suddenly Ron realized the answer. "He's afraid of drowning," he breathed.

The light went on in Keller's face at almost the same time. "That's it, isn't it? Drowning scares you."

Greg had no ability left to try to mask his fear. Keller allowed a small smile to slowly grow across his face until it was a wide grin. "I think we may have ourselves a winner, here. Joe, would you care to make a bid that improves on Greg's offer of a branding? No? Then, gentlemen, we have a winner!"

It took some time to figure out how to do a branding - they weren't set up for it. They had nothing like a branding iron, and even if they had, there wasn't enough ventilation to get a hot fire going in the basement. At first, Ron wasn't happy with their makeshift solution - a soldering iron - because it was smaller and cooler and therefore required more and longer contact with the flesh to burn in the desired shape. His opinion changed as he listened to Greg scream for the next hour. Sure, one quick, searingly hot brand would have provoked a marvelous reaction in the victim, but this method of having forty to fifty smaller ones prolonged the process most satisfactorily.

Joe's waterboarding took only half the time. Greg was compelled to watch the whole thing, and as bad as the experience was for Joe, Ron could see that for Greg it was even worse. He was well aware that, even though it was Joe coughing and spluttering and choking at the moment, he had given his tormentors a window into his soul, letting them know what it was that he feared the most.

And sure enough, the very next day... or later that afternoon... or whenever it was... they suspended Greg upside-down, hands cuffed behind him, over a tub that they gradually filled with water. They tied Joe to a place where he could reach the rope that Greg dangled from. Greg had two options for air: he could do inverted sit-ups every time he wanted a breath, or Joe could pull on the rope to lift Greg up out of the water for as long as he could hold him.

Joe tried at first to help Greg out, but his long ordeal had drained him of strength and energy. He could never hold Greg for more than a few seconds, which helped, of course, but Greg clearly wanted more. Joe finally had to give up entirely, unable to force his exhausted muscles to obey his will, standing there right next to the rope that could lift Greg to temporary safety but not even trying to pull on it. Greg was on his own.

He lasted more hours than Ron would have thought possible. Greg's fear of inhaling water was so great that it gave him incentive beyond anything Ron or Keller could have provided to keep working his abs to lift his face up over the water's surface, pleading and sobbing and panicking with every precious breath he was able to steal... and occasionally castigating the quietly sobbing Joe for his uselessness, which left Keller barely able to suppress a grin. Ron squeezed out three loads while he waited for Greg to tire, each time squirting the result into the churning water. He was even kind enough to try to give Greg a blow job, but Greg's dick remained stubbornly limp and unresponsive.

They left him there until his exhausted muscles could no longer lift him high enough and he sucked in a lungful of water. Immediately he tried to cough it out again, but it came right back in as his rebellious body tried to bring in the air it so desperately craved. Seconds dragged by before Keller turned the crank that lifted Greg's spasming body up the few inches that he needed. Water streamed out of his mouth and nose as he coughed and choked until at last he was able to pull sweet, clean air into his lungs.

Keller gave him two minutes, then lowered him back down.

Five times Greg sucked water into his burning lungs. By the time they let him down, he was a broken wreck. Looking into his eyes, Ron could see nothing at all there. Panic at having to live his deepest fear had driven all rational thought from his mind.

They let him have a whole day to rest after that, contenting themselves with working only on Joe. Keller had had so much fun, after all, branding his initials into Greg's thigh that it was only natural to repeat the procedure on Joe. Then Ron had to put his initials on Joe's other leg, and then they had to try the head-in-the-bucket technique on Joe, just to see how the reactions of someone who didn't have a phobia about drowning compared to those of someone who did.

The results were interesting, but Ron doubted they'd be able to publish them in a reputable scientific journal, much less obtain grant money to do further research on the topic. Ah, well...

T-minus 48 hours

Ron gently slid the door closed. The sound of gasping breaths and muttered obscenities cut off abruptly as the heavy wood made contact with the frame. Another sleepless night of mutually-inflicted torture for Joe and Greg...

He trudged up the stairs, feeling exhausted himself. Keller was out in the woods getting some fresh air. Ron rummaged around in their much-depleted supply of food. There wasn't much there - neither one of them wanted to have to make a trip to town to pick up some groceries, but as a result, they were going to be subsisting on cereal and peanut butter for the next two days. He finally came up with a lump of cheese and some crackers for his supper.

Or was it breakfast? With the windows blacked out upstairs and no access to the outside at all from the basement, time had ceased to mean much for any of the men in the house. He peeked out the door - it was night, though whether late evening or early morning he couldn't be sure. He ate the cheese and crackers and chased them down with a bottle of water.

Keller returned from the woods. Neither had much to say to the other as they both slipped into their sleeping bags to grab a couple hours' rest before unleashing the next round of hell downstairs. Despite the dark and quiet, though, sleep wouldn't come. Ron's mind kept wrestling with the question of exactly how this vacation was going to end.

It was a relief that Keller had agreed to abide by his recommendation about pacing themselves. Spending their time brutalizing their victims, then letting them recover their strength only to break them down again with more abuse was definitely the way to go. The recovery period was never long enough to let them get their full strength back, but it was enough that they were able to produce satisfying screams of resistance during the next torture session.

Ron pictured what they were doing as being like the "health points" of a role-playing game: each of their victims had started out with a health status of ten. The first two days of torture had broken them down to maybe a 4. Then food, water, and rest allowed them to recover, but only to a 9. Subsequent sessions brought them down again and back up to 8. And so forth, lots of ups and downs but with an overall downward trend. Right now, they were at maybe 5, dropping to 2 or 3 in a few hours.

True to the script he had devised back when this was only a hypothetical "what-if", the two victims were kept in nearly constant contact with one another whenever they weren't being actively tortured. During their rest breaks, they were either chained close together by their necks or their wrists or their collared balls, or they were forced to share a too-small environment like the wooden box. It had been Ron's duty and his delight to invent clever and creative ways to keep them in each other's faces and, incidentally, awake during the times when the tops were resting. What a joy to use my engineering interests this way instead of wasting them on mining equipment...

Watching the change in the victims' behavior over time had been fascinating. Joe and Greg got nowhere near the amount of sleep they needed and were constantly exhausted and in pain. Even though they some got down time and rest breaks between tortures, their minds and their endurance were clearly being worn away, and it showed in their actions. He recalled how they had behaved in the beginning, when they would try to cover for each other. That co-operative spirit had steadily fallen away, each man becoming more and more focused on his own survival with no energy to spare for the other. Now, it was definitely every man for himself. There had even been a few times when they actually seemed to blame each other for their discomfort rather than placing the fault where it truly lay. That much, at least, had gone just as Keller had predicted.

As to whether the end result would also happen as Keller foretold... well, that remained to be seen.

Ron had done his part to ensure that it remained possible to release their toys when they were through with them, and it hadn't felt like he was holding himself back at all. To be sure, Joe and Greg didn't look exactly as they had when they came in. Both of them had piercings in both nipples now, along with piercings in various other places: navels and eyebrows and lips and scrotums. There were also burn marks and welts and scars from various cuts, and Greg had developed a nasty cough, probably from his immersion in the water tank. Joe had a large tattoo on his chest of an erect dick, complete with balls - Keller had made it by draining some of Greg's blood, mixing it with charcoal, and using the result for ink

It looked pretty good, Ron had to admit. Keller had a gift for art. Ron would never have been able to make such a realistic-looking schlong, with perfectly-rendered veins and even oozing a drop of pre-cum, using that medium on that canvas. Ron's own effort at making a tattoo hadn't gone as well. Maybe it was because he had tried to put it in such a small space: the head of Greg's dick, held artificially erect by a band around the base. The universal "NO" circle-and-diagonal sign showed clearly enough, but the letters inside it that spelled "PUSSY" weren't very legible.

But aside from all that, the two men were fine. Or they would be, once they were released. And that issue - the release - remained stubbornly unresolved.

Ron hadn't fucked either of the men today and wouldn't do so again lest he leave DNA evidence behind. He had to assume that the police would be the first place Joe and Greg would go once they were freed, and so it would be crucial to arrange the release in such a way that there were no clues that pointed to Ron in any way. If the cops got to this remote hideaway, they'd find a mountain of skin cells and other evidence that would lead them straight back to him and Keller.

Ron had suggested that they throw the men in the trunk of a car, drive some distance away, then dump them on the side of the road and call an ambulance when they were safely gone. Keller, though, was adamant that they give his plan a try. Ron tried to point out the consequences if Keller's prediction was wrong, insisting that there needed to be some contingency plan in place for what to do if the men bolted up the stairs and made a run for it. Ron figured they'd have to recapture them, then release them again in a safer manner, but Keller refused to even consider that as a possibility. "Look, it's not gonna happen," he said snappishly when Ron pressed the point. Ron concluded that he would have to handle the planning for that eventuality himself.

Honestly, Ron couldn't imagine Keller's scenario coming to pass. Joe and Greg were little more than wasted shells. It was becoming harder and harder to get them to focus on anything, which was frustrating for Keller because it took much of the fun out of his manic hey-fella-gee-whiz routine. Ron was a little more patient, and didn't mind pacing his work slowly enough that his victim could follow what was happening, so their impaired mental faculties weren't as big a deal for him.

But still, it was a far cry from "impaired mental faculties" to "attack each other upon release", and those were the conditions that Keller had set. Which begged the question, why had he set them? If the scenario didn't play out as he claimed it would, then not only was Ron off the hook, Keller was going to find himself in the hot seat instead. Can he possibly be that certain of himself? Ron wondered. Or could it be that he just didn't care about the outcome? He had, after all, made it clear that he was equally comfortable as either a top or a bottom. Perhaps, like a masochist, he was playing to lose?

This line of thinking was a buzz kill; Ron deliberately turned his thoughts elsewhere. Like to the games he had been enjoying recently, experimenting with suspension and balance, requiring the men to stand on their toes or on some small surface. The position was so was so uncomfortable that it could not be maintained for long, and yet failure brought pain of a different sort, pain for not only the one who slipped but for the other as well. Just like the National Geographic experiment with the rats, only better.

He rolled over. The thought had roused him to yet another erection, the blood surging sluggishly into his drained and depleted cock. He didn't feel particularly compelled to do anything with the hard-on - the sex had been pretty much constant of late and his balls felt like they had nothing at all left inside. He had been shooting at least two loads a day, experimenting with a wide variety of positions and activities and learning all sorts of things about not only his own sexual responses but the responses of men pushed far past their limits.

He had discovered, for instance, that while it was hot to fuck a straight man in stocks, it was even hotter if that straight man's neck was chained to the balls of another stocked straight man so that his nose was permanently jammed into the crack of his ass while that second straight man was choking on a cock in his throat. He had also learned that he could reach orgasm with the stimulation of a straight man's tongue on only the underside of the tip of his dick. It took a long time, but it was possible... if the straight man was restrained in such a way that he could only reach Ron's cock by stretching really hard with his tongue, and if he knew that he would only be untied - and his cousin would only come down from his crucified position on the wall - when Ron was satisfied.

Even jerking off was a greater pleasure when it was accompanied by the sight of two straight men working their hard, toned muscles for his pleasure. If they were tied, for example, with their hands behind their backs, wrists linked to the ceiling by ropes threaded through collars around their necks, with another rope leading straight down from one man's balls to the floor, across a few feet, then up to the other's. If that connecting rope was tight enough that one or the other of the men was forced to squat, putting pressure on his arms. If they were left for a few hours to seesaw up and down, trading pain back and forth because whenever one rose up to give his arms some relief, the other was forced down to work his thigh muscles until he could tolerate it no longer and stood up, easing his own arms at the expense of the other... that made for some very satisfying sessions of five-fingered enjoyment for Ron.

Keller seemed to be enjoying himself as well, though he was a hard man to read. Ron hypothesized that he was happiest when he could get his hands dirty, causing pain with his own actions rather than one step removed via a mechanical contraption. He did a lot of floggings, hanging the men by their wrists from the rafters, all four hands tied together and dangling from a single point. Joe and Greg would be facing each other, free to spin their conjoined body around as they pleased. Then he would start swinging a whip at them, always from the same direction. Joe and Greg were left to work out, either by mutual consent or brute strength, which of them would receive the blows. He had played this game with them a lot, and as with everything else, their behavior gradually slid from cooperation, each taking a few strokes before turning to let the whip hit the other, to brute survival instinct as time wore on.

Keller also enjoyed things that Ron didn't get off on at all: piss play and blood and shoving his fist up the straight men's unwilling rectums. When Keller was in the mood for such things, Ron would find a way to busy himself with his mechanical designs or head upstairs for a snack. It was only fair that Keller get a chance to indulge his pleasures - he was, after all, the one who had made this whole thing possible.

The visions of suffering men blended and blurred into one another. His mind saturated, Ron at last fell asleep.

T-minus 16 hours

"Well, gentlemen, our time here is almost at an end."

Keller was calm and sedate. He held a C-clamp in his hand, twirling it idly between his fingers. Joe and Greg were seated, tied back-to-back with their hands cuffed to the rafters overhead. Their nipple rings were connected together by strings around their ribs, Joe's right to Greg's left and vice versa. If either man leaned forward, he tugged his own tits out to the side along with the tits of the other. It was a strong incentive to sit still, but neither could manage it. Nearly two weeks of pain and sleep deprivation had left them both so beaten down they were barely able to focus their eyes. They shuddered and trembled uncontrollably, unable to hold still.

No, there was more to it. They were actively trying to hurt each other. Each time Joe twitched forward involuntarily, Greg would counter with a slightly-harder twitch of his own, not caring, it seemed, that his movement caused as much pain to himself as it did to Joe. Joe, for his part, would let two or three small yanks go, but then would react with a long lean to the front once some invisible tipping point had been reached. Ron would have been happy watching this for hours, but there were other games in the works.

Greg coughed and mumbled something unintelligible.

"What was that?" asked Keller.

"You gon...gonna k... kill us now?" he repeated, only slightly more clearly.

"No. No, we're not. We're going to let you go. After this one last little thing. Well, two last little things, really. But that's it, that's all, really, then we're through. You'll be free to go."

Greg choked back a sob. Ron couldn't be sure whether it was from relief at the prospect of release, dread at what the "two last little things" might be, or simply a reflex spasm. Joe seemed to perk up a little. Perhaps he hadn't quite reached the limit of his strength yet...

"So, the last thing - almost - is this: My buddy and I have never crushed a testicle to the point of rupture before." He thumped the C-clamp against his palm. "We want to see what happens when we do."

"Oh, God, oh, no" stammered Joe. Greg lurched in his seat, yanking on all four tit rings. Joe lunged savagely back, seeming not to care that his own nipples got yanked just as hard as Greg's in the process.

"Bid for it. Go," said Keller.

The routine of bidding began. As in chess, there were only so many possible opening moves to make. Joe and Greg quickly ran through blow jobs and fuckings and moved into more painful suggestions. Greg seemed to have a hard time putting words together.

"Sock... stock... stocks. Half hour," he said and coughed again.

"Whipping. 20 lashes," countered Joe, his voice slurred, but not as much as Greg's.

"Tirty... thirty."

"A needle under my fingernail," Joe said.

"Good," chimed in Keller. "That, I must say, is one of my favorites. Greg?"

"Two needles."

"You're not being very creative, Greg. I'm a little disappointed. But still, two needles beats one. Joe, back to you."

"Waterboard me," Joe said firmly. It took a moment for the meaning to register in Greg's brain, but when it did, a look of horror slowly engulfed his face.

"Oooh... that's good. In fact, that just may be a winner," purred Keller. "I gotta tell you, Greg, you're gonna have to come up with something really good to top that. Something... water-based."

Greg began to spasm in his seat, helplessly seeking escape where there was none. "God... goddammit, you fucker!" he spewed. "Goddamn you, you motherfucker!" Ron thought at first he meant Keller, but suddenly realized he was talking to Joe.

"You shut up! Shut the fuck up!" shouted Joe in response. "I am not gonna lose a fucking nut for you!" Both men were thrashing around so hard that blood began to seep out from the holes in their nipples. Greg continued to rant incoherent obscenities, but Joe didn't back down. "I sacrificed enough for you, you little shit! I'm not gonna lose a ball, too!"

Ron realized what had happened. Once Greg's fear of drowning had become public knowledge, it was available for any of them to exploit. Ron and Keller had, of course, done so without hesitation. But Joe, even in his beaten-down state, had not... until now. Ron almost felt sorry for the younger man: betrayed by his cousin, caught between two impossible alternatives, he could either endure again his worst nightmare - drowning - or lose a ball in a most painful fashion. Keller let the auction hang unresolved for two long minutes, but there was nothing Greg could bid as a counter-offer, and finally Keller called the auction closed.

They did Joe's waterboarding first, but before they did, they chained Greg back up in the frame where Ron had first seen him. Keller removed the ball collar - the first time it had been taken off in nearly two weeks - because once he was down to only one intact nut, there wouldn't be enough left in his sac to hold the collar in place. Then he tied off Greg's balls with a short rope to keep them from moving around too much and positioned the C-clamp over the left one. He cranked the clamp just enough to hold it firmly in place, leaving Greg in some discomfort but not outright pain. Then they set to work on Joe.

It was surprisingly unsatisfying. Ron found himself looking more forward to Greg's hemi-castration and couldn't quite get into the action of Joe's near-drowning. Keller seemed to feel the same way. They called it quits after a perfunctory effort, then released Joe from the table and chained him to the metal frame opposite Greg, where he would have a good view of the proceedings.

Unlike Joe's waterboarding, Greg's de-nutting was a powerfully erotic experience. They tightened the clamp, let him savor the agony for a good long while, then loosened it to give him a break. Then they tightened it again, a quarter-turn tighter this time, repeating the process over and over and over again. Ron delighted in watching Greg's face as he suffered - the rolling eyes, the heaving breaths, the incoherent noises of pain and rage and sorrow. It all combined to give him the hardest, strongest erection he had ever felt. Knowing that this torment was happening solely so that he could have that rock-solid erection was just icing on the cake. Two weeks ago, this piece of prime beef had had a life of his own. Now, his only reason for existing was to make another man's hard-on more enjoyable.

Briefly, Ron's mind started down the path of wondering what it would be like to be on the receiving end of such treatment, but he quickly turned such thoughts aside. Whatever might come in the future, there was no denying the pleasure of the now.

In and out, press, hold, release, Ron and Keller taking turns squashing Greg's nut again and again and again. The nut was incredibly resilient - they were able to squash it to a quarter of an inch in thickness and it still rebounded to its normal shape when they released the pressure. Greg passed out twice, the cuffs on his wrists biting into his flesh as his dead weight pulled down on them. They revived him each time then started up again. The stench of sweat and fear filled the room. Ron stroked himself several times, but always pulled back before going over the edge. He wanted to be at his sexual peak when the moment came.

"Time to go all the way," said Keller at last. "Care to do the honors?"

Ron began tightening the crank, slowly and steadily. Greg's nut flattened, then flattened further. Half an inch... three-eighths... one-quarter... he continued to turn the screw while Greg thrashed and screamed. Down to near an eighth of an inch... and as soon as he had the thought, he felt something give way under his fingers. There was suddenly much less resistance. Greg keened a high-pitched wail; Ron tightened the screw until the two plates could be brought no closer together. Whatever was left of Greg's ball was barely thicker than scrotal skin. He left the clamp hanging from Greg's misshapen sac for a few moments, then loosened it until it fell to the floor. He removed the rope that was wrapped around Greg's remaining right nut.

Greg's screams faded down to hoarse sobs. Ron felt around Greg's sac, his fingers marveling at what they found: one whole, intact testicle, and one blob of gelatinous mush. He squeezed the sac with his left hand, savoring the odd, unfamiliar shape of a half-full bag while massaging his cock with his right. It only took a few strokes before he was spurting cream onto Greg's soft, limp dick, shuddering and trembling in ecstatic release.

When the spasms subsided, he looked around to find Keller slapping Joe's face to wake him up. Despite the noise Greg had been making, Joe was so sleep-deprived that he had actually dozed off as he stood idly in his chains, sleeping right through his own cousin's de-nutting. It's definitely time for this event to end, Ron thought. Both victims had been pushed to their absolute physical limits, and were fast approaching the point where they would be no fun for further play.

Greg's cries had faded to occasional choked-off sobs and coughs. Keller stepped in, still relatively calm. He removed the collar from Joe's balls, set it aside, and then said "Guys. Guys. Pay attention here. You're almost there, OK. You've almost made it."

Four bleary, blood-shot eyes tried with varying degrees of success to focus on Keller's face.

"There's just one last thing we'll have you do. And it's really simple. You just need to ask yourself one question: did your partner do all that he could do for you over the past two weeks? If he did, then he'll be fine. If not, then now is your chance to get your revenge. Now, to keep things absolutely fair, I'm afraid we're going to have to gag you boys."

They did so, stuffing fat latex plugs into their mouths and securing them behind their heads. The large leather plating over their lips made speech impossible. Greg's coughs were forced to come out through his nose, sending snot flying each time.

Ron started to set up the last of the torments he had devised. It involved a pair of drill bits, each a quarter-inch in diameter. Ron and Keller each took one, lubed it up, and slid it very gently inside the soft dick of one of the two victims, much as they had done with smooth-sided sounds and various other objects over the last two weeks. It was a tough process to insert the shafts in such a way as to not cause any damage going in. What turned out to work best was to spin the bit in the opposite direction of the cutting edge, allowing it to slide along the urethra, penetrating slightly deeper with each iteration until it was submerged to a depth of four inches.

Next they set up a table between the two men and attached the bits to two drills.

"Mmmph! Mmmmph!" shouted Joe when he saw what was about to happen.

"Relax, man," said Keller. "I'm not going to turn it on. If it were up to me, this little baby would never start spinning, and your proud manhood would remain unblemished. But it's not up to me - it's up to your buddy, here." He gestured over to Greg, who was staring with wide eyes at his own impaled cock.

They secured the two drills in place, then taped the triggers down. There was no room for Joe and Greg to wiggle out of their predicament; they didn't have enough mobility to slide the drill bits out of their pissholes.

"Everyone got a good look at the setup? OK, then it's time to cut off all communication."

Ron and Keller slipped blindfolds over Joe and Greg's eyes. The two men stood, chained hand and foot to the frames, blinded and gagged, with their cocks stuffed full of drill bit just waiting to be powered up.

"So here's how this final game is going to work. Right now, both drills are powered off. I'm going to put a button into each of your hands. Your button will control the other man's drill. When the master power comes on, if you are pressing your button, his drill will turn. If you aren't, it won't. Got that? Press button, drill on. Don't press, drill off. Simple."

Ron delivered the switch mechanisms into the trembling fingers of the chained men, making sure that each had a good grip on it with his thumb poised over the button. Greg seemed like he might drop his, but Ron helped him to close his fingers around it so it wouldn't fall.

"Now, I'm going to give you ten seconds to make a decision. In those ten seconds, you'll need to ask yourself this question: has my partner acquitted himself well during this ordeal? Has he done all I could have expected him to, taking his fair share of pain? Or has he left me hanging? Did he let me down, causing me to suffer more than I should have had to? If you feel like the balance of pain has been too heavily weighted against you, now is your chance to settle the score."

"But there's one more thing to consider: is he about to screw me over now? Once this last test is over, my friend and I are going to cut the two of you loose and you'll be free to go. Before that happens, you may want to consider how you will feel if you give him a pass, however much he may royally deserve your righteous judgment, and he in turn gives you the shaft? Make your decision now, gentlemen, because the main power is going to come on ten seconds from right... now."

The seconds ticked by with both glacial slowness and blinding rapidity. Ron was mesmerized by the sight of the two men, beaten down to beyond the breaking point, standing chained, each vulnerable to the other's mercy. Their cocks had an odd look to them, soft and shriveled, yet held ramrod-straight by the hard metal bores inside them. No communication was possible between the men; each had to make his decision without any clue what the other would do.

If this had been the beginning of their time here, the result would have been a no-brainer - neither man would have dreamed of reaming out the inside of the other's dick with a drill. But now, after two weeks of torture, sleep deprivation, and constant opportunities to get on each other's nerves, the outcome was much less certain. Ron found himself wondering if one or both of them had become disoriented enough to actually blame the other for all the hell they had been through, blame that should rightfully fall on Ron and Keller. Was Keller actually right in his assessment of what would happen?

There was no audible or visual cue to the time that was ticking by. Keller was counting off the seconds inside his head. When he reached zero, he would flip the master switch that controlled the circuit and Ron's questions would be answered. Keller seemed confident enough, but Ron was far from certain. He made a private vow that, when they did set the two men free, he would make sure that he was standing closer to the stairs than Keller was. Just in case.

With no announcement and only a quiet click, Keller flipped the switch. Instantly, both drills spun up to their full speed, filling the room with a loud whining noise. The flabby lumps of flesh provided no impediment whatever to the motion of the bits. Ron happened to be watching Joe's cock at the moment it happened. There seemed to be no transition at all - between one instant and the next, Joe's cock was transformed from an oddly-stiff-but-otherwise-perfectly-normal penis to a gooey red gash.

He wondered why Joe didn't react at all, then realized it had happened too quickly, and sure enough, the reaction came then, the drawing of breath to scream into the gag, the pulsing, futile attempt to bend his body to protect his injury, the thrashing and wailing and screaming as the pain registered in his brain.

"Now," said Keller. He moved over to Greg to release the chains. Belatedly, Ron moved behind Joe to do the same. The bonds had been made for quick release. Keller nodded to synchronize their timing, then they both unclipped the chains, allowing Joe and Greg to lower their arms. Swiftly, Ron bent to free Joe's ankles, then headed for the door that led upstairs, fully prepared to tackle them should they try to make a run for it. Weakened as they were, he should be able to manage that much. Had they been in their prime, he would have stood no chance against either of them alone, much less both together. He paused at the foot of the steps to look back.

Greg was clawing off his blindfold, followed only a hair later by Joe removing his. The two men were absolutely consumed with rage. There was nothing left in their eyes but a burning, consuming hatred and the animal desire for revenge. Keller stood quietly behind the frame that had recently held Greg, not advertising his presence but making no attempt to hide himself, either.

To Ron's astonishment, Greg shoved the table to the side and hurled himself across the short gap the separated him from Joe, an incoherent growl filling his throat but only barely escaping past the gag. Joe was caught off guard as he was attempting to remove his own gag. He stumbled to the ground. Greg fell upon him and began beating him with his fists, feeble blows that were all he could produce in his weakened state, but made effective since they were landing on an equally weakened recipient.

Joe recovered himself and began to fight back, and the two of them wrestled for a short time, each streaming blood from his destroyed crotch. At one point, Joe was able to pin Greg's hands with his knees, but Greg turned to the side and sank his teeth into the side of Joe's thigh, right where the brand was. Joe howled and fell back. Greg fought his way to his feet, followed closely by Joe.

Ron wondered briefly why the fight was seeming to take place in such silence. At first he thought it was because neither man had managed to remove his gag, then realized the real reason: the two drills were still spinning on the table, filling the air with a loud, high-pitched whine that drowned out all other sounds. As though reading Ron's thoughts, Greg realized the source of the noise at the same time and began scrabbling at the tape that held the drill to the table. Joe saw what he was doing and began to work at the fastenings of the other.

Joe's ripped free slightly before Greg's did, but he hesitated a crucial fraction of a second, some last vestige of human decency briefly coming to the surface and causing him to pause. Greg got his drill free and whipped it around toward Joe's arm, catching him on with the edge of the whirling bit and opening up a bloody line. Joe howled and plunged his own drill into Greg's side.

After that, there was no turning back. Greg drove his drill straight toward Joe's heart. Joe blocked it with his hand, but caught the spinning tip with his fingers. He was able to keep the drill from cutting into his chest, but at the cost of nearly severing his ring finger. Frantic, he swung his own drill over and over at Greg's face. Mostly he missed, but a few of the swings struck home, one close to Greg's eye. At first, Greg was kept busy dodging the wild swings, but after the second touch of the bit against his cheek, he changed tactics. While Joe concentrated on Greg's face, Greg opened up a hole straight into Joe's abdomen.

Joe stepped backward, looking down at his pierced gut. Greg pressed his advantage, aiming his drill at Joe's neck and pressing deep. The bit sank into the side of Joe's throat. Joe's eyes went wide. His mangled left hand went up to try to press the invader out of his neck while his right aimed his own drill at Greg's chest. It slipped in between two ribs and chewed a hole through to Greg's lungs. He wiggled his hand around, scraping the bit against the bones of Greg's ribs. Greg let out a muffled howl but did not back away.

Joe's strength gave way and he sank to his knees, the whirling bit still spinning in his throat. Greg sagged down soon after, coughing blood through his nose, and at last the two drills pulled free. Ron walked slowly over to where the fight had taken place, horrified by and yet strangely drawn to the sight of his two former neighbors, kneeling in a puddle of their own commingled blood.

Joe couldn't breathe. All three paths that he could use to get air - his nose, the space between his lips and the gag, and the hole in his throat - were rapidly filling up with blood. Every time he tried to inhale, his body's reflexes took over and he coughed it out, sending more blood out to block his airways. His eyes rose to look at Ron, now standing over him. On impulse, Ron reached up and removed the hood from his head. He wasn't quite sure what he was looking for - some sign of recognition from Joe? If so, there was none. Instead, the light in Joe's eyes slowly went out as his oxygen-depleted body ran out of reserves. He slumped into the puddle of blood.

Ron turned his attention to Greg, who was suffering his own death agonies. Because of the perforation in his lung, he, too, could not get enough air into his body. A trickle of blood leaked from the behind the gag. His diaphragm continued to clench spasmodically, trying to draw breath, but air merely came in through the hole in his chest, along with a steadily-increasing amount of fluid. He had dropped the drill and was clutching at his ribs with both hands. A minute or two dragged by while Ron watched. Greg grew steadily weaker, though at one point he looked up into Ron's eyes, seeming to realize, now that it was too late, who his real enemy was. He was too weak to move, though, and as a few more minutes slipped by, he slipped into unconsciousness.

The drills stopped whirling, leaving the basement in eerie silence. Keller stepped out from behind the frame. He looked Ron in the eye and Ron suddenly realized that the colossally unlikely event he had just witnessed had gone down exactly as Keller had predicted it would. Which meant...

... oh, shit.

Greg let out one last gurgling wheeze, then lay still.

T-minus 2 months

SadistNEPA: got to see both my guys today.

sk512ym0: From a distance, no doubt.

SadistNEPA: he-he. yeah, greggy-boy bought hmself a new bed. he needed help moving it in so he asked his uncle joe to help out.

SadistNEPA: he must have got it second-hand, but its a nice one. its got a wraught-iron headboard ad footboard. man, my imagination was going into overdrive picuring how many different ways i could tie him down with all those handy attachmnet points!

sk512ym0: ... and yet it never occurred to you to actually go over and offer to help them out, did it?

SadistNEPA: whoa. no your right, i didnt think of that.

sk512ym0: Your problem, my friend, and I mean this as constructive criticism, is that you have trouble noticing opportunities when they present themselves.

sk512ym0: Think: you could have been in his bedroom! With both of them! Who knows what might have happened?

SadistNEPA: ahh, but their straight. nothing would have happend.

sk512ym0: You don't know that. Why would Greg have bought a bed like that? Maybe because he's into exactly the same kinds of things you're into, only with women? Maybe Joe is, too?

SadistNEPA: hah! no way!

sk512ym0: You don't know that. In fact, you don't know much about them at all. For all you know, they could have gotten that bed up to Greg's bedroom, set it up, and then spent the rest of the afternoon tying each other to it and fucking like rabbits.

sk512ym0: Heck, maybe they BOTH like to be the bond-ee, and you could have been the bond-er for both of them at the same time!

SadistNEPA: that is totaly implausable but damn, id give my left nut to do it!

<long pause>

sk512ym0: Is that just a figure of speech, or do you seriously mean it?

T-minus 1 hour, 15 minutes

Ron's vision cleared as Keller loosened the C-clamp again and his testicle was allowed to regain - somewhat - its usual shape. It was so different, so vastly, unimaginably different, being on the receiving end of this punishment. There seemed to be no way he could continue to suffer this degree of pain without losing his mind, and yet, stubbornly, he continued to not go insane, despite his desperate longing for anything that would take him away from this hell.

Would the experience that he was now gaining have changed how he had treated Greg when he had been the one turning the crank? Would it have stayed his hand to have this kind of understanding of what his victim felt?

Probably not, he admitted to himself.

It was simply too hot to not do it, at least when he was on the right side of the clamp. The way Greg had squirmed and screamed as Ron crushed his ball, the way it had suddenly lost its resilience as it shattered under the pressure, the sensation of the squashy sac rolling between his fingers afterward... even now, lost as he was in his own suffering, the memory of how it had felt to be the ultimate sadist was intoxicating.

"I have one question for you," Ron said when he had caught his breath.

"Shoot," Keller replied.

"How did you know that they would both turn the drills on?"

"I didn't."

"What do you mean?"

"I have no idea whether they turned their drills on or not."

Ron raised his eyebrows.

"Yeah. I lied to them," Keller said simply.

Ron figured it out. "You rewired the setup. The switches in their hands were just dummies. The drills were going to come on no matter what they did."

Keller was nodding.

"And here you told me you had no mechanical aptitude..."

Keller shrugged, an "aw,shucks" grin plastered on his face.

"But even so, you couldn't possibly have known they would attack each other."

"Actually, it wasn't hard to predict after I fed them a line that made them think that the only reason the other guy would turn on the drill was revenge. When both drills went on, each one thought the other was out to get him."

"...and so they went at each other, each thinking it was self-defense," Ron finished.

"Bingo. Now, Q-and-A time's over..."

Keller tightened the clamp again. Ron's pain level shot through the roof.

Several minutes went by while he came to grips with the agony. When he was able to squeeze his eyes open, he saw Keller finishing the last of the cleanup. What had he done with the bodies? Probably dumped them into the septic system below the floor, the same place where all their wastes over the last two weeks had gone. Assuming nothing went drastically wrong, no one would ever find them. Joe and Greg would simply have disappeared, with no evidence to tie their absence to either Greg or Keller. They had, after all, been missing for two weeks already, and no one had traced them here.

True, he probably wouldn't sleep easily for months, but you can't maintain constant vigilance forever. After enough time passed, he would have to conclude that the authorities would never be coming for him. He would have gotten away with murder after two weeks of the hottest sex and torture he had ever known.

Keller was coming back, no doubt to crank the level of Ron's torment up yet another notch, torment that would only end when his ball finally gave way under the relentless assault and was destroyed. Ron wished he would hurry up and get it over with, but knew that wouldn't happen; there was still a lot of suffering in store for him. The price for all the fun he'd had was steep but, Ron had to admit, it was worth it. After all, he would still have one whole and intact testicle when he returned to his normal life, which was more than Joe and Greg could say. And one ball was plenty enough for a perfectly normal sex life.

Yes, given the choice, he'd do it over again in a heartbeat. All in all, it was not a bad bargain to make, Ron thought. Not bad at all.

Keller gave the clamp another quarter turn, and Ron stopped thinking.


  1. Breathtakingly Brilliant!

  2. Magnificent and exciting in so many ways.

  3. Omg i want to be ron so bad it hurts, id give up my freedom my life my will all of it just to have an experience like that

  4. In your stories there is never torture with fire or hot iron.
    Don´t you like this Kind of torture?

    1. Hmm. Interesting question. I guess I would have to say torture by heat is not really a favorite, but it has its merits. May I point you to "Keep It Up" at http://powauthor.blogspot.com/2013/09/keep-it-up.html ? It's not fire, but the end result is pretty much the same.

  5. Just curious but will there be a part two to this ? Something that tells what happens to Ron . Maybe he wants to see how he handles being on that end . He thought about it throughout the story . Maybe Keller gets him to be masochist and he loves it .

    1. I don't have any plans to write a followup to this story, but I don't ever rule out a sequel.

      It sounds like you have a good idea of where you think the story might go next. Want to try your hand at setting it down in print?

  6. Great pacing. Very subtlety written. Absolutely no sympathy for the two men, only wished, in some cases, more substantive programmes had been carried out. I was all for hanging as the final coda with each man holding the rope to open the trap door. As to Ron? He was and would get what he wanted. Or perhaps Keller will grow bored and hang him.

  7. Best. SM story. Ever.
    I wish I could ask you to write another story better than this, but that's unfortunately impossible.
    Also, thank you for including some GP scenes!