The Telemachus Story Archive

The Secret of Gauss Hall
By Hooder
Email: hooder@ntlworld.com



The Secret of Gauss Hall

The carriage doors closed with a rusty squeak and the old diesel train rattled off down the line. Jeremy looked around; the little station was deserted and beyond it in every direction the fields extended unbroken to the horizon under the depressingly grey sky, except for where they became a small range of mountains far off to the left. He picked up his suitcase and walked out onto a narrow country lane. He was some eighty miles east of Prague; he’d never been here before, didn’t speak the language and he had no idea where to go.

He squinted up and down the lane, put his case down and took out the only map he had. It wasn’t much help – it was so large-scale it didn’t even show the little station. An insect buzzed around him angrily for a moment and he swatted it away with his hand. Martin was supposed to be here to meet him off the train but there was no sign of him. He sat down on his case and waited, half-expecting a midnight-black coach surrounded by bats to appear at any moment. It felt like that sort of place.

Ten minutes later he was still waiting. Another observation up the lane revealed a few rooftops a mile or so further on, and so, not knowing what else to do, he picked up his case and started walking towards them.

The sound of a clearly unwell engine made him stop and look round. Coming up the lane behind him was a cloud of black smoke in the middle of which was an ancient and wheezing red tractor. The machine ground to a halt alongside him.

“Hello. Are you Jeremy?” The driver was an elderly man in dark green overalls.

“Yes. I’m supposed to meet Martin.”

“Yes. He sends his apologies. He’s been delayed. Climb aboard and I’ll take you.” The man’s English was good, but he had a thick accent.

Jeremy handed his suitcase up and then clambered into the passenger seat of the cab. The seat was hard and unyielding.

The tractor shuddered in complaint as the man rammed it into gear and they set off at an alarming speed. “I’m Gustav. I farm the land next door to Martin’s.” He reached over and shook Jeremy’s hand, causing the machine briefly to head for the ditch.

After ten minutes, during which Gustav had not spoken again, they slowed and then stopped by a rusting set of gates. “I will have to drop you here – I have things to do.” He pointed a gnarled hand towards the gates. “Gauss Hall. Go up there. It is a walk, but you are strong boy, I think.”

Jeremy thanked him and climbed down, shivering - the open cab had done nothing to stop the chill autumn wind. He grabbed the suitcase the man handed down to him and watched as the tractor disappeared down the road in a miasma of oily smoke.

Taking a deep breath of fresher air, he passed through the open gates and set off towards the Hall which was, at the moment, completely hidden by the oaks that lined the drive. As he walked, he thought about what had brought him to this place. And as he did so, he felt the beginnings of an erection in his jeans.

He and Martin had begun chatting on the website many months ago. He’d been amazed when he’d first looked at Martin’s profile text: it could have been a re-written version of his own, from the opposite perspective. Their main interest coincided exactly – but whereas Jeremy was completely sub, Martin was a hundred percent top. Their profiles were like a key and a lock – and Martin’s key fitted perfectly.

He had been unable to sleep that night. He’d told himself that it would in all probability come to nothing – that was the usual default for new friendships on those sites – but he couldn’t shake the feeling that this one was different; that Martin really knew, really understood.

Although he was only twenty-one, Jeremy had been around the block a few times as far as sex was concerned. He’d realised a long time ago what turned him on more than anything else, what he really wanted, and he’d been searching for it ever since. Oh, he had to admit, he’d had some reasonably good sessions (and an awful lot of bad ones), but never yet had he found anyone who could give him what he really craved; what he would travel to the middle of nowhere in a remote country to get. Yes, he was prepared to be disappointed, but he was also excited beyond words at the possibility that this guy Martin was the one. And if so, he was willing to sell his soul for what he thought the man could offer him.

They had corresponded every week on the net, Jeremy having done most of the talking, while Martin had been more reserved, usually answering his questions - but sometimes frustratingly obliquely. Jeremy got the distinct feeling that Martin did not consider their shared obsessive interest ‘play’; quite the reverse, in fact: the man seemed to regard it as a religion.

The oaks parted as Jeremy rounded a bend in the drive, revealing a castle. Well, at least it was an impressively large, and Gothically ornate, mansion with a high tower at the right-hand end. The sound of his footsteps changed as the earthen surface of the drive gave way to dark grey stone. A low wall with small statues on it edged a circular lawn with a fountain in the centre, the drive splitting into two and going around it. At the far side was a wide set of steps leading to a long stone porch and a pair of massive, studded oak doors.

Jeremy followed the circular driveway. He was about to reach for the gargoyle-shaped knocker when the door opened.

A man in his thirties stood there smiling. He had dark brown hair and a small, trim beard. He held out his hand. “Jeremy. I’m so sorry I couldn’t meet you at the station – there was a problem I had to see to. But Gustav got you here, I see. I’m Martin. Come in.” Unlike Gustav, Martin had no trace of any accent.

Jeremy shook the guy’s hand, picked up his case and followed him through the doorway. The entrance hall was massive, with actual suits of armour standing either side of the huge central staircase. Stern-looking, ancient men in frock-coats stared down from time-blackened portraits on the walls. The carpet was old, but not yet threadbare.

“Welcome to Gauss Hall. It’s a ramshackle old place and I live in only a small part of it, but it’s home.” He led the way down a long corridor to the left and into a high-ceilinged library with wood-panelled walls. There was a framed flag on one wall: red, with a white cross. Worn but welcoming chairs were dotted around, seemingly at random. “Sit down. Can I offer you a drink? Something to eat? We’ll be having dinner at seven.”

“Thank you. A cup of tea would be wonderful, if you have any.” He placed his case by a large armchair by the roaring fire and sat down. It felt good to be comfortable and warm at last.

“Oh yes, we have tea, even here.” He smiled and rang a bell.

Half a minute later a servant appeared. He was completely bald, and was wearing a butler suit that could have come from a museum. He looked as if no-one had dusted him for a long time. “You rang, sir?”

“Tea for two, if you please, Benson.”

The butler bowed stiffly and was gone.

“Now, how was your journey?”

They chatted about trivialities until the tea had arrived and the butler had left again, then Jeremy leaned forward. “Were you serious about what we were talking about on the net?” His eyes were riveted to Martin’s.

Martin took a sip of tea and put his cup down. “Oh, completely serious. I never joke about that.” He looked at Jeremy. “The point is, were you?”

“Absolutely. I’ve spent much of my childhood and all of my adult life searching for someone who really understood – and someone who is capable of it.”

Martin considered this. “And do you know what you are letting yourself in for? You are not going to be in any position to have second thoughts, you know.”

“I understand that. More than that: it is exactly what I need.”

“I see. Well, I think you will find out that I do understand, and also that I am certainly more than capable.” He glanced at the grandfather clock. “We will continue having a pleasant talk, and I will show you around. Then dinner, and a few hours to allow for digestion - I will have to leave you for a while at that point, as I have to take care of something. The first session will be at midnight, if that is convenient.”

Jeremy felt a flash of disappointment: he’d wanted to go to the dungeon immediately. Midnight – that was hours away. But then, he thought, he’d come all this way and a few hours was not going to make any difference.

* * *

The day passed slowly for Jeremy, even though he was fascinated by what Martin showed him of the old Hall. He was itching to get started in the dungeon. Martin hadn’t shown him that yet – perhaps he was keeping it as a surprise, Jeremy thought.

Gauss Hall was enormous. It had, so Martin explained as they wandered around it, originally been built as an insane asylum. Eventually it had been closed and had gone onto the market. “I fell in love with the place the first time I saw it,” he told Jeremy and, not being short of money, that he had bought it there and then. It had cost a small fortune to repair it, he said, but apart from a bit of damp here and there in the east wing it was now basically sound, and it was his.

Martin lived in the bottom two floors at the far end of the west wing – on the tour Jeremy had seen that the rooms of the storeys above that were unused. It was cheaper to heat just part of the hall, Martin said. The east wing was almost entirely bare, but Martin admitted that he enjoyed walking through the whole place when the fancy took him. There were extensive cellars – they housed the dungeon, which (he smiled at the sudden flicker of alert interest that crossed Jeremy’s face) his visitor would see later.

Dinner was served by the butler, after which they sat near the open log fire and sipped port.

A little later Martin glanced at the clock and then excused himself. He looked troubled. “I’m going to have to leave you for a while, I’m afraid. I suggest you have a shower if you wish, and a rest in your room.” He indicated the shelves of books on the walls. “There’s plenty to read, I’m sure you’ll be able to amuse yourself. I’ll meet you here shortly before midnight, and then I will show you the dungeon.” He bowed slightly, and left the room.

It was just after eight. Nearly four hours to waste. Jeremy didn’t feel like resting, but he realised that it might be a good idea. His room on the first floor was wonderful – there was an actual four-poster bed. He took a shower, then lay on the bed experimentally and found that it was as comfortable as it looked. He closed his eyes.

A knock on the door woke him. It was the butler. “Master Martin would welcome you in the library at your convenience, sir.”

“Thank you -” What was the man’s name? “Benson. Please tell him I’ll be down in a moment.”

“Very good, sir.”

Jeremy shook his head to clear the sleep out and washed his face with cold water. He looked at himself in the full-length mirror. “Well, here goes,” he said.

Martin closed the book he was holding and smiled. “I trust you slept well.”

“I did, thanks. I must have been more tired than I thought.”

“Well I hope you’re wide awake now. Shall we?” He held out an arm to the door and led the way through.

The stairs down to the cellar floor were not as grand as the main staircase, in fact if Martin hadn’t pointed them out on the earlier tour Jeremy would have missed them completely. Unlike the main ones, these were not richly carpeted, but bare stone. A locked black door at the bottom opened onto a corridor with a concrete floor. Martin pointed to the left. “The padded cells were down there in the original asylum,” he smiled, then led the way in the other direction.

“The dungeon,” he said, opening a large, dark door with ornate hinges.

Jeremy stepped inside. He wasn’t sure what he’d been expecting – something like his own playroom, he supposed: fairly modern with lots of heavy restraint equipment dotted around; shelves full of leather gear; ropes, chains, straps – but this looked like an authentic medieval torture chamber. The rough stone walls were lit by flickering electric torches in sconces, and the room was completely bare except for a single vertical restraint frame in the centre. From the corners of its heavy oak beams hung four heavy, dark-brown and sinister-looking leather cuffs.

Martin had been watching Jeremy’s face with amusement. “Not quite as well-equipped as you’d hoped?” He chuckled. “This is just one room. There are many others. But for now, I think this will suffice.”

“Its – amazing!” Jeremy said, looking around. And he meant it. Somehow it seemed just right. “Erm, shall I strip?”

“If you think you should,” replied Martin cryptically.

Jeremy didn’t know whether the guy wanted him to or not. He decided he would.

Martin buckled the cuffs around Jeremy’s wrists and ankles, and then adjusted the height of the frame until he was comfortably stretched. He stood in front of the boy and stared piercingly into his eyes. “Now, Jeremy, tell me what you want.”

Jeremy swallowed. “I want to be tortured beyond my endurance.” He said seriously. “I want to be tickle tortured.”

Martin nodded slowly. “And so you shall be.”

It began.

The moment Martin’s hands touched his naked skin Jeremy knew beyond question that this guy was the one. In their correspondence on the net Martin had specifically asked Jeremy not to tell him anything about his body – and now the boy understood why: where others had jabbed or stroked ineffectually, here the slightest touch anywhere brought uncontrollable gasps, and it seemed that wherever this guy’s fingertips landed, that was the one spot – the perfect place – to make him suffer.

And suffer he did, increasingly. Martin had begun gently, stroking and touching lightly, slowly; but as the hours drifted by it was as if the guy were being progressively taken over by some kind of devil. His face, pleasantly smiling at the start, was now – some three hours later – a mask of sadism. He was concentrating hard and sweating profusely as he worked on the boy, and the boy was screaming.

Suddenly Martin shook himself. “Enough!” His face cleared and once again he was the politely smiling host. He stepped back. “I think that will do for tonight. I hope you are not disappointed so far.”

Jeremy was incapable of speech – he was incapable of standing too, and hung from the leather cuffs, exhausted and shaking his head slowly. He could not believe it. What he had experienced in the last three hours had been beyond his wildest dreams. He wanted to move in and live with this guy.

That night Jeremy slept very well. When he’d finally climbed into bed his body had been aching and he’d felt like he’d been in a long, weary battle – but when he awoke the next morning he felt wonderful. Before getting up he’d had one of the best wanks of his life, re-living that session in the dungeon. The feeling of helplessness; the intense, unbearable tickling; and the absolute control that Martin had had over his body and his reactions… It had been like nothing he had ever experienced before. And he badly wanted more.

Although the man had not even touched his cock once so far, Jeremy had been dripping precum throughout the session. Even though there had not been any fingers on it, it felt to him as if it were being gently stroked all the time. While he’d been screaming, he’d also been as horny as fuck.

* * *

Over the following days Jeremy was introduced to other rooms in the dungeon, and each one seemed to release Martin’s demon more quickly than the last. The routine was always the same: the day was spent in recreation – walking the extensive grounds; exploring the old Hall; reading, playing in the snooker room – then lunch and, later, dinner; after which Martin would disappear for a few hours, and then a session. And the sessions always ended the same way: Martin would suddenly shake himself and be back to his usual self.

Jeremy suffered more intensely every day. The restraints got more and more restrictive, the positions made him more and more vulnerable. Martin had worked on the boy’s cock after that first session, and that had been one of the most wonderful – and terrible – things of all. He knew that if he let himself cum, it would make the torture that followed many times worse, and so he tried hard not to shoot. But it was clear that Martin was aware of that very same thing, so as well as having to try to deal with the tickling itself, Jeremy also had to do everything he could to stop himself from getting too horny.

Unfortunately the boy discovered that not only could he not control his body’s reactions to tickle torture, but also that Martin was in full control of his level of horniness as well: and the man used that as a torture itself. He knew that the boy was so scared of cumming that he concentrated much of his skill on repeatedly getting Jeremy close to the edge. Then, in the session on the third day, he had purposely and very slowly taken him over that edge. Jeremy had cum with a long, drawn-out howl. The torture after that did not bear thinking about – and it had reinforced his fear of cumming in later sessions. And, of course, Martin had used that against him mercilessly from that point on.

He’d been here for six days now, and the latest session had been the worst ever – or, in retrospect, the best ever, though he would not have been able to say so at the time. He’d been strapped to a fiendishly-designed frame, the kneeling position of which had left his feet exposed and vulnerable. Although he’d been free to move them, it had seemed that it had been impossible to get them away from Martin’s fingers however hard he tried. And the rest of his body had been the guy’s playground. He’d worked the boy over from the front and from behind, systematically, scientifically, and devastatingly effectively. The stone-walled room had rung with Jeremy’s screams, his begging and pleading – and, strong as it was, the frame had creaked and groaned with his efforts to escape.

That was the strange thing: although this was what the boy wanted more than anything else in the world, he could not stop himself from doing everything he could to escape, to get away from those dreadful, torturing hands. By the time the session had ended, Jeremy had been on the verge of passing out. He’d already lost control of his bladder twice during that session – Martin had breathed a deep sigh of satisfaction each time that had happened, and had then continued the torture with renewed intensity.

The morning of the seventh day dawned bright and clear. Jeremy gazed out of the bedroom window at the forests, clad in the gold of autumn. He dressed and headed downstairs.

Benson the butler greeted him in the dining room and began to serve breakfast. “Master Martin sends his good wishes, and his apologies: he is not able to join you for breakfast today. My instructions are to see that you have anything you require, and to tell you that he will meet you in the library at four o’clock, if that is convenient, sir.”

Jeremy tilted his head in surprise, then thanked Benson and began to eat. He’d wondered what it was that called Martin away every evening after dinner. The man’s classic old Citroë n was still parked as always by the garages, so presumably whatever it was, it was something here in the Hall. Perhaps his absence now was because of the same thing.

He spent the day sitting in the grounds, wandering around the old Hall, and reading – he’d found an original copy of ‘Mein Kampf’ and had struggled with it for a while before admitting that his German wasn’t up to it. There were many books in English, and to his surprise he’d found a recent one on quantum theory. With this one he could understand the language but not the content.

Martin appeared on the stroke of four o’clock. “I’m sorry I haven’t been able to be with you today, Jeremy. Have you managed to amuse yourself?”

Jeremy nodded. He told Martin about his lack of success with the Hitler and the quantum books, and Martin laughed.

“Both are interesting for different reasons, though I suspect the one about quantum theory is the more intelligent.” He walked over. “Sit down, please.” They both sat.

“Now, there is something I want to talk to you about. How do you feel about our sessions so far? I need you to be quite truthful.”

Jeremy paused, trying to think of the right words. “They’ve been beyond my greatest hopes. They’ve been… I don’t have the words. Brilliant. More than brilliant – perfect. They’re what I have dreamt of for years.”

“I haven’t been too hard on you?”

“Not at all. Oh, I know I scream and tear at the restraints but that’s just my body’s reaction. Automatic. In my mind, it is -“ He shook his head as he groped for ways to express himself, “- absolutely perfect. I can’t put it any other way.”

Martin pursed his lips, thinking. “Ok. Good. Now, there is something more I can subject you to – but I’m afraid it may be too much, more than you want. How far do you really want to go, Jeremy?”

“There can not be too much, Martin. I want all there is. Everything. I want to go all the way. I need to go all the way.”

“Are you sure about that?”

“I have never been more sure of anything in my life.”

Martin paused, then nodded slowly. “All right.” He got up. “Follow me.”

He led Jeremy out of the room and up the main staircase. They turned to the east, away from the used rooms, along the corridor and, at the end, Martin opened a door the boy hadn’t noticed before. Beyond it were more stairs.

At the top – they were now on the third floor of the Hall - was another corridor which went even further to the east. Jeremy hadn’t been up here before. There were rooms off to one side, windows on the other. They walked a quarter of the way down it and then Martin stopped and opened one of the doors. Jeremy looked into the room; it was bare except for a simple bed. “Lie down.”

Jeremy did as instructed, wondering what on earth this was about. Even though the room looked unused, there were substantial restraint points at each corner of the bed, and very soon Martin had buckled the cuffs around the boy’s wrists and ankles. Jeremy noticed that these cuffs were older, and of much heavier leather than even the ones downstairs. He wondered if they could be originals from the days when the place had been an insane asylum – and he found that thought exciting.

Martin stood at the side of the bed, closed his eyes for a moment and seemed to be listening. When he opened them, the devil was there on his face.

The following hours were the most intense torture Jeremy could have imagined. It was worse than he would ever have believed possible. Martin was kneeling astride his hips, and his fingers were everywhere. They seemed to have a life of their own as they probed, prodded, grabbed and kneaded. There was no gentleness here, no compassion – Martin was giving completely free reign to his sadism for, Jeremy realised, the very first time. And every stimulation - even the smallest - seemed to be magnified to extreme proportions. Jeremy was wonderfully ticklish at the best of times, but here, now, he seemed to be many times more so than usual.

The boy screamed himself hoarse. He yelled, begged, pleaded, struggled. He wrenched at the restraints, did everything he possibly could to get away from the supremely unbearable, unending torture. And yet, in spite of this, a tiny part of his mind was soaking up every last drop of torment – and there was a feeling of satisfaction so intense it had no name.

* * *

Much later, Jeremy regained consciousness. His mind had, in the end, done the only thing to escape of which it was capable: it had closed down.

Martin was looking down at him, his face serene. “Are you all right?”

It was a while before Jeremy could speak - but eventually, slowly and painfully, he managed to nod.

* * *

“Scotch?”

“Yes please.”

It was several hours later. Martin had taken Jeremy to his room and laid him on the bed, then had left him to recover. They were now back in the library.

Martin poured from a crystal decanter and handed a glass to Jeremy. He sat back and crossed his legs, getting comfortable. “I was born in Switzerland,” he said. “More accurately, we were: I, and my identical twin brother Michael. Sadly, when Michael was born there was a complication and he suffered a lack of oxygen for a time. That left him with damage to his brain.” Martin tapped his head. He smiled briefly at the look of concern on Jeremy’s face. “Oh, it’s Ok.” He nodded. “He lives in the tower – you may have seen it from the grounds.”

He took a sip of his Scotch. “I literally can not remember when I first became interested in tickling. I think I was obsessed with it while I was still in the womb. Certainly there has never been a moment in my life when I have not thought about it, dreamed about it and – whenever possible – practised it. Like you, I have searched for someone on whom I can indulge my passion to its greatest extent. This, so far, has not happened. You, Jeremy, have come far closer than anyone else – ever.

“My brother Michael also showed an interest in tickling – it must be genetic,” he chuckled. “But he is incapable of movement. He is also incapable of speech, and of hearing.” He nodded again, this time at Jeremy’s unasked question. “I know, you’re wondering how I can know this if he’s never been able to tell me. It is slightly complicated. Let’s just say that Michael and I have a very close relationship. We each know what the other needs, what he is thinking.”

A strange thought was beginning to make itself known in Jeremy’s mind.

Martin smiled. He saw dawning comprehension. “As I said, Michael lives in the tower at the end of the East Wing. My rooms are on the lower floors, at the other end of the West Wing. Does that suggest anything to you?”

“Nothing that could be explained rationally,” replied Jeremy after a few moments’ thought, “but yes, it does.”

“Michael’s early life was not pleasant. We grew up together in Bienne, a small town in Switzerland, until one day when something happened to a boy I used to play with. I was never told exactly what, but there was talk of devils and of possession – you know what old country folk are like. Apparently the boy was no longer well, in his head. I never saw him again, and our parents would not talk about it. At all. Shortly afterwards Michael was taken away to a ‘care home’ (so my parents called it), where he stayed for many years.”

He leaned forward and topped up their Scotch glasses. “On my eighteenth birthday I left home and went in search of my brother. It took me a while, but I eventually tracked him down. He was in an insane asylum. This insane asylum – as it was then. I moved to live nearby, took a badly-paid job, and vowed that somehow I would get Michael out. When my parents died a few years later – both together in a car crash in Zurich – I suddenly found myself with a very great deal of money.

“One day, providentially, I heard that the Hall was to be closed, and I went to Prague to negotiate with the authorities. I bought Gauss Hall, complete with its only remaining patient, my brother -” He smiled. “Money speaks very loudly in countries like these, Jeremy. I had the place repaired, and moved in.”

Jeremy turned his whiskey glass in his hand. “Your brother takes you over, doesn’t he?”

Martin smiled briefly. “It’s not as simple as that but, yes in a kind of way. His – powers – are greatly attenuated by distance and thick stone walls, which is why I’ve arranged the living quarters here to be as far away from him as possible, and why I took you up to that room a little closer to him earlier. But basically you’re right. Apart from breathing and orgasm, Michael is capable of only one thing, and usually he does that through me.”

He gave Jeremy a pointed look. “Usually.” He looked as if he was considering something, and then he seemed to come to a decision.

He nodded again. “If you really want it, and if you think you are strong enough, I can take you to him. You must understand what that will mean, though. You will not be restrained – you will not need to be restrained. He will enter your mind and work on it. You will experience tickle torture of a degree you can not even begin to imagine. There will be no release until he has cum – and that may take a long time.”

Jeremy took a breath to speak but Martin held up his hand. “I will not be able to intervene, as I will not be there. I have experienced this and I do not wish to again. Ever. I will take you to him and leave you. You will be on your own with him – and believe me, Jeremy, it will change you forever. I want you to be very, very sure that you want this, that you need this.”

Jeremy closed his mouth. Did he want this? Was he sure? Oh fuck yes he wanted it. He wanted it more than he’d ever wanted anything. “I understand everything you’ve said, Martin. And I want this. I need this. Please take me to Michael.”

Martin was silent for a while. Then he nodded. “Very well. I will make preparations. We will meet here at midnight and I will take you to him. I hope I’m doing the right thing.”

* * *

Midnight was a long time coming. Jeremy tried to absorb himself in books but he couldn’t concentrate. He walked the grounds and the Hall, but wherever he went, whatever he did, he couldn’t stop thinking about his appointment with Michael. His eyes seemed to be drawn inexorably to the tower. This was more than he had ever imagined possible – and he realised that it was his ultimate dream.

“So, have you reconsidered?”

Jeremy shook his head. “I want it even more now,” he said, simply.

“Very well. Follow me.”

They went up the main staircase, along the corridor, through the door at the end, up again and this time to the very end of the third floor. Martin produced an old, ornate black key and unlocked a narrow door in the wall. A spiral stone staircase was before them. With Martin leading the way they climbed to the top and stopped at a final door.

Martin told the boy to strip. “I know it’s cold out here but it’s warm in the room,” he said.

Jeremy took off his clothes and folded them on the floor.

“Please do not be disturbed by Michael’s appearance. When I open the door, go in and sit on the floor.” He turned a key and pushed the door open. “I will see you later.”

Jeremy walked inside. He heard the door close behind him, and the key turn in the lock.

It was indeed much warmer in here. There was one single window in the room – a small one through which the tops of trees were visible in the distance under the light of the almost-full moon. But that light seemed reluctant to penetrate the gloom, its rays falling dimly on a bed against the far wall. A recumbent figure lay there: the man was naked, and he had a very obvious erection. Jeremy’s eyes travelled up the bare, pale body and he recoiled with a gasp when he saw the face: it looked like Martin, but Martin when he had been working on the boy – except that where Martin had still managed to keep it partly under control, this face was a mask of pure, uncontrolled and unadulterated sadism. Jeremy would not have been surprised to have seen horns sprouting from the head. It looked like a gargoyle. It was demonic.

Jeremy swallowed, and sat down on the stone floor as he’d been instructed. Then he thought he’d better lie down.

Almost immediately he was conscious of a strange feeling: it was as if some small creature was burrowing about, exploring, in his mind. This continued for a minute and then stopped. He straightened his left leg to get more comfortable – or tried to – but discovered that he was unable to move it in the slightest. He tried other parts of his body, but without success. He couldn’t move a muscle. Panic threatened to take him over then, but he realised that he could still breathe voluntarily, and after some deep breaths he managed to regain control of himself. He waited.

It began - and blind panic overwhelmed him.

When you stub your toe, or burn your finger, you feel the pain in that part of your body – the pain is localised in your toe, or in your finger. But imagine, if you can, not localised pain but pain that is pure, and everywhere. And nowhere. It just is, enveloping you completely. This wasn’t pain, this was pure, perfect, abstract tickling . Nothing was touching his body – there were no fingers probing, stroking, pressing, squeezing – and yet, had he been able to move, he would have been writhing on the floor.

It began gently, but it didn’t stay that way. Gradually the intensity increased, the torture getting worse by the second. After what seemed like aeons to Jeremy it reached a plateau where – although physically the boy was motionless, lying on the floor, his eyes open and staring at the ceiling – in his mind he was in a transcendental state of suffering. The fact that he was unable to scream made it many times worse. He had never, ever, experienced anything like this.

And then it expanded. Jeremy could now feel something touching his skin: invisible fingertips stroked over him, exploring his body, homing in on his armpits, his sides, his bare feet, his knees, his back, his lips, nose, thighs, ears – everywhere at once. And each one worked on its chosen spot in the way to which that spot was most unbearably responsive. The fingertips on his lips brushed over them like gossamer, hardly touching. He desperately needed to scratch them with his teeth but he couldn’t; others probed very gently into his ears, sending him mad with the need to get them out; they softly moved the hairs in his nose, driving him to distraction. Even his tongue did not escape – and he would never have believed a tongue could be so insanely ticklish.

Stiffer fingers jabbed repeatedly into his sides, hard. They pressed in, retracted, pressed again, moved in small circles, seeming to know which precise spot was the most unbearably ticklish at any moment and how it could be stimulated to maximum effect. They probed between his ribs, clawed hands raked up and down his sides, squeezed and kneaded the muscles just above his knees and on the insides of his thighs. Sharp fingernails scraped across his soles, tickled his heels, his arches and between his toes, seemingly holding them apart to do so. The ends of fingers tapped quickly and repeatedly across his abs and silent fingertips tickled the backs of his knees.

And all through this that unbearable, general, intangible, pure tickling continued unabated.

Jeremy wet himself. He pleaded for unconsciousness – but the fiend was apparently also capable of denying him even that means of relief. In other circumstances he would have fainted a long time ago, but Michael was keeping the helpless boy conscious so that he could suffer. Jeremy knew beyond question that it could not get any worse.

And then it did. Fingers took his cock gently and began to stroke the head slowly.

“NO! FOR GOD’S SAKE NO!” Panic returned in spades. If he came now, post-orgasm hypersensitivity would make the torture unthinkable. He strained to control his cock.

But the fingers continued to work on the head, rubbing it in the exact way that Michael knew was impossible for the boy to resist. Gently and slowly they stroked, in the full knowledge that there would be nothing the boy could do to stop himself from cumming. He felt himself approaching orgasm in spite of anything he could do about it.

Jeremy fought against it with every atom of his being, but he was helpless to control himself - and spunk shot out of his cock in long arcs, landing on the stone floor. In his mind, for a few moments, he was in ecstasy – it was a monumentally intense orgasm.

But then it was over; and as the last contractions slowed and then stopped, Jeremy felt Michael gloat . The boy’s body was now more sensitive, more insanely ticklish than it had ever been. And there was absolutely nothing he could do about it.

Michael began to work.

Four times Jeremy was made to cum – each time very slowly, so that he could feel its approach and struggle in panic against it - and after each the degree of torture increased further. He prayed for death.

And he prayed that this torture would continue forever.

* * *

Jeremy blinked in the light. He was lying on his bed and Martin was looking down at him. Suddenly his eyes opened wide and he bolted upright, his hands clawing at the air. He screamed.

“Lie still. Breath slowly.” Gently Martin pushed him back down to the bed. “It’s over.”

Jeremy’s heart was pounding again in his chest. He forced himself to take slow, deep breaths, and after a few minutes he’d calmed down sufficiently to speak.

“Oh fuck,” he groaned. “Oh shit. What the fuck was that?”

“That was brother Michael.” Martin smiled. “I did warn you.”

Jeremy closed his eyes. After a while he slept.

* * *

He managed to stagger down to the library some hours later. Martin was there, reading once more. He put the book down as the boy entered. “How are you feeling?”

Jeremy sat in the armchair and flopped back. “I don’t know. I’m still trying to process what happened up there in the tower.”

Martin nodded. “That is understandable.”

Jeremy closed his eyes. “I think I’m going to have dreams – or nightmares – for a long time.”

“Let’s hope they’re not nightmares. Let’s hope they’re more – interesting.”

“The thing that really got me was that… I don’t have the words... that generic tickling. The fingers on my body I could deal with – well no, I couldn’t, I certainly couldn’t - but at least they were something I’m used to. But that generalised, unfocussed, pure tickling – that was something else. That was completely outside of my experience. I would not even have been able to begin to imagine what that felt like. And how he made me cum – he was using my own orgasms as a weapon against me – we both knew it, and he played on it. He exploited that like a fiend.”

Martin nodded, understanding completely. “Oh yes, he likes to do that. He likes that a lot.” He tilted his head. “So, looking back now, would you still say that you needed it?”

Jeremy looked the man in the eye. “You have no idea, Martin. That is something I didn’t even know I needed. But now - I know that I need it more than you will ever believe.”

Martin considered this for a while. “I have allowed no-one else to meet Michael face to face. Ever. You know, you are a very special boy, Jeremy. I have never met another like you. And I have been looking for one for a very, very long time.” He looked thoughtful, his lips pursed. “What can we do about this, I wonder?”

Jeremy looked down. “I would do anything to experience that again. And again.”

A corner of Martin’s mouth lifted. “It gets worse the more he gets to know you. He seeks out your weaknesses, and he uses them against you in ways you can’t imagine. And he remembers them. Oh yes, he remembers them. He is sadism incarnate.”

“Did he cum?” Jeremy had been too far gone to notice.

“Yes, he did. He’s resting now.” Martin paused. “But he wants me to take you to him again.”

Jeremy looked up sharply. “Yes. Please.”

“I will take you up there one more time before you go home. You have another two days, and there is more I want to do to you myself first.”

* * *

The session that night was more than good, it was amazing. Jeremy struggled and screamed and pleaded as Martin’s fingers worked on him. But there was something missing, and the boy realised that there would now always be something missing unless he were locked in that tower room with Michael.

And Martin knew this too. It was what he had been afraid would happen if the boy hadn’t run screaming for the hills. Good as Martin was, he was now no longer enough for Jeremy – even with his brother’s attenuated assistance.

They were back in the library. Tomorrow was Jeremy’s final day here – the morning after that he would have to go home.

Martin stared vacantly at the books on the wall for some time, then nodded to himself. “I will take you to Michael tonight. If, afterwards, you still feel the same way about things, we will talk about what can be done. I have an idea that may be of interest to you.”

* * *

The tower room was still gloomy, the lack of moonlight tonight having been compensated for by a candle placed on the windowsill by Martin earlier. In its flickering light the figure on the bed looked even more grotesque. Jeremy lay down naked on the warm stone floor and waited, his heart racing.

This time the burrowing in his mind lasted a shorter time, and the torture began almost straight away. Unlike on his last encounter with Michael, this time Jeremy found that he could move however he wanted – there were no mental restraints on him at all. If anything, this actually made it worse: he could struggle and writhe on the floor as much as he wanted but there was still nothing he could do to get away from Michael’s powers.

Time didn’t seem to exist in that tower. He could have been there for minutes, hours, or days. He had no idea. And Martin had been right: this time was far worse than even the last - it was as if the fiend on the bed had learned all of the things the boy could not take, and was sadistically and mercilessly exploiting each and every one. There, on the stone floor in the tower of Gauss Hall by the guttering light of the candle, his suffering was absolute.

When it was over, a moment after Michael released him, Jeremy was aware of a thought – more than a thought: a kind of vision – and it was the most horrifying thing yet. Inexpressibly intense as he thought tonight had been, he was shown just how much more intense Michael was capable of making it. Jeremy panted in terror at that appalling vision. He curled up into a tight ball on the floor, whimpering.

The pale figure lying on the bed by the wall was quite mad. But at the same time Jeremy knew that in that insane mind lay nirvana. He felt himself being drawn to it like a moth to a flame.

And he knew he was powerless to resist it.

* * *

Martin took a sip of port. Dinner had been especially good tonight – possibly because Jeremy was going home in the morning. Benson had taken the dishes away and they were alone in the dining room.

“So, you survived. What are your feelings now?”

Jeremy took a deep breath. “You said a few days ago that meeting your brother would change me forever. It has done. I’ve tasted something I didn’t even know existed – and I need it. I need it as much as the air that I breathe.”

Martin considered this. “Well, there may be something we can do about that. I don’t know the details of your circumstances back home in England, but I have an offer for you to consider.

“For the first time, my brother is happy. And that is directly because of you. He needs taking care of – bathing, feeding, toilet – the usual things. I do those to the best of my ability, but it is not easy for me, being exposed to his… power… every day. I manage partly to control it some of the time but it is, as I say, not easy. He needs someone to look after him, but obviously, not just anyone will be able to do that. You would, I think, Jeremy. It would mean moving to live here, and then being in his company a great deal. And you know what happens when you are in his company - and it will get worse.”

“I would be willing to live in that tower room with him,” replied Jeremy.

Martin chuckled. “I don’t think that would be advisable. Even you would be insane within a week. No, there are many rooms in this Hall, and you could pick one – close enough to feel his influence, perhaps, but far enough away to be safe.”

“Please, Martin, let me do this. I will look after Michael for as long as he lives.”

Martin took a deep breath, then gazed at the boy for a while. “There has never been anybody else who would even have considered this, Jeremy. If you are willing to do this, I would be pleased to welcome you to Gauss Hall.”

The boy sighed in relief. “Thank you Martin. It won’t be difficult for me to make the arrangements. I’ll contact you when I have.”

Martin nodded.

“And thank you, thank you .”

“I just hope you can control yourself.”

“I think I’ll be able to.” Jeremy smiled. “The thing is I don’t know if I want to control myself.”

Martin smiled then, too.

* * *

The little station was just as deserted this time. Jeremy leaned out of the train window and shook Martin’s hand. “I’ll see you again in a few weeks. And thank you.”

Martin smiled, nodded, and stepped back. “Safe journey, Jeremy. I look forward to seeing you again.” The whistle blew and the ancient diesel started to chug. Martin watched as the carriages rattled over the track and the train moved off into the distance. Soon the silence was broken only by the occasional tweet of a bird and the sound of Gustav’s tractor complaining, far away across the fields.

Martin turned and walked out of the station. There was a spring in his step and he was almost crying with relief. He couldn’t believe it: finally. Once Michael knew that the boy was his, permanently, he would never let Jeremy leave. Ever. Michael would release his dreadful control over Martin’s mind and transfer it to Jeremy’s. Completely. At last, he would be free. He closed his eyes, thinking of the relief that would bring. Free. Oh God, the relief.

No more would he be compelled to climb that spiral staircase up into the tower room every evening, to writhe in suffering on the stone floor. He closed his eyes – he couldn’t bring himself to think about it. Now, at last, Michael would concentrate on someone else.

Did he feel guilty about it?

Smiling, Martin climbed into the Citroë n. He inhaled the aromatic smell of the leather seats, and turned the ignition key. Michael would get what he wanted, Martin would get what he wanted, and the boy would get what he wanted – more than he wanted. Much more.

The car moved smoothly off down the lane, carrying with it the sound of Martin humming happily to himself.

Soon there was nothing at all to break the peace of the country morning.