I lay, panting, on the sandbar amidst a sea of similarly wet and miserable, yet grateful still to be breathing, passengers and crew members and watched the pride of the Dutch nation, the greatest ship ever afloat up to the first quarter of the seventieth century, list over and go onto its side on the sand bar. At high tide it surely would slip under the waves. Only about two-thirds of the souls who had set out to test the fortieth parallel—known as the Roaring Forties—crossing from Africa to the East Indies on the great ship Batavia had made it ashore on what I later would be told were outlaying islets of the Abrolhos Islands, off the dimly seen in the distance coast of some vast expanse of land that none of the explorers had yet ventured to—or, at least, had boasted of reaching.
I was more fortunate than most of the other survivors of the shipwreck in that I had received a first-class education and had been kept informed of the track of the Batavia from the docks of Antwerp around the Horn of Africa and out onto the great sea en route to Batavia in the East Indies and a new life—a chance to make my own mark. As the bastard second son of the Graf von Hoensbrouck, I had no prospects in the old world. But as a favorite of the graf, I had been raised in the palace and given a classical education. And when I had come of age, the graf had given me the best of opportunities available—he'd apprenticed me to his friend, the merchant, Galo Needham, who was embarking for the new world in the East Indies.
Even a ship as large and fine as the newly masted Batavia was hard pressed to contain 360 passengers and crew members, and Needham's stature had won us no more than a small room of a cabin with only one narrow bedstead. I was considered quite comely and well formed and Galo Needham was in his prime and robust—and the journey long—and somewhere along the coast of West Africa, Galo had been moved by my groans of trying to find sleep on the hard and pitching patch of decking beside his bed in the small, stifling-hot cabin and had invited me into his bed. And he had opened up a whole new world to me when his touching, first with wandering hands and in time with lips and tongue into increasingly more intimate recesses of my body, had encourage me to open my thighs to the strong and wondrously large and hard member at his center and to feel him moving deep inside me.
Of this, Galo urged me to say nothing—even though after my first deflowering I wanted to shout my glorious release to world. Such knowledge between men, he admonished me, was a capital offense, even on the high seas where life is precarious and opportunities for release limited—and, it must be said, where sexual congress between seamen was quite common, if furtive. If such a relationship became public knowledge, Galo told me, the offenders were subject to be marooned on any remote island being passed at the time of discovery.
Thus, we had to keep our lovemaking secret. And this was very difficult for me. Although Galo was a gentle and sensitive lover, his cock was overpowering and the experience new and exhilarating for me, and he often had to stopper my mouth with his lips and tongue as I lay on my back with my legs raised and locked behind the small of his back as his hips moved against my pelvis and his cock explored my channel at great depth, because his throbbing movement inside me made me want to moan and groan loudly enough to be heard in the cabins adjacent to ours.
As it was, halfway across the track of the Roaring Forties, I was afraid that we had become undone, because the occupant of the cabin adjacent to the head of Galo's bed, a butcher seeking a fortune in the new world where the skills of knowing how to dress and preserve the flesh of animals was highly prized, as, indeed, it was in the old world as well, began to sniff around me with knowing looks and furtive touchings that I spun away from as quickly as I could.
On that night, having moved from embarrassed, "can't help it" furtive couplings in the night, I had become wanton and pushed Galo onto his back on the bed and straddled his hips with my thighs and impaled and fucked myself on his erect cock. And he had been too late in rising up and seeking to lock my lips to his to prevent the long, low, loud, guttural moan that had risen involuntarily from my lips as my channel sank on Galo's pulsing member. Galo had brought his knees and chest up to me, sandwiching my body between them, and moved his hand between his belly and mine and stroked my cock while I rose and fell on his. But he had not been quick enough to take my lips with his to prevent me from announcing the unmistakable sounds of aroused sex from the surrounding cabins.
I did not connect the suggestive attentions of the butcher, Saam Bleecker, with the dangers of that night coupling until a week later when I returned to our cabin earlier than usual to retrieve paper and pen for Galo, who was engaged in some computations of supplies for Batavia's captain, Francisco Pelsaert, and heard sounds coming from Bleecker's cabin that were very like what I wanted to make whenever Galo imprisoned my mouth to prevent me from making. The sounds were in a much deeper voice than mine, but they unmistakably spoke of sex. The door was ajar and I could not help but look into the cabin. A young seaman, of no greater age than I was who I knew to be named Also, as we had had some pleasant conversations, was seated on Bleecker's bed, his shoulder blades digging into the rough timbers of the curved ship's siding, his doublet ripped open to expose his heaving chest, and his lower extremities naked. His legs were thrown out wide and his hips turned up. Bleecker, his back to me and his breeches discarded on the decking, was crouched between Also's flung legs and was fucking into Also with long, rapid strokes. The butcher had his hands around Also's neck in a chokehold that was leaving Also nearly breathless.
The expression on Also's face was of mixed signaling, his cheeks had a bluish tinge and his tongue was hanging out, but there was such a smile of satisfaction on his lips and a flash to brilliance in his eyes that I knew that, as cruelly as Bleecker was fucking him, Also was being transported into another, more glorious world than the stinking bowls of the Batavia.
I felt my cock rising in arousal, but I also felt my body shudder and go all atremble. I couldn't take my eyes off the brutal but exotic and totally sexual taking for some moments, but with a moan of fear I pulled myself away and retrieved Galo's writing implements and went back up on deck by a different route.
That was not the last time I saw Bleecker fucking Also, though, and Also always came back for more cruelty, which left me in a quandary of just what was the nature of what a man could do brutally to another man and still have the power to bring his prey back to him. I could not get out of my mind another scene in which I saw Also bent over the bed, with Bleecker fucking him hard from behind and pulling on a leather belt he'd looped around Also's neck and slapping Also hard on the bare buttocks—almost as if Bleecker was riding Also hard in a full-out gallop across the flat plains of northern Germany.
But from that moment forward, when Bleecker touched me and looked into my eyes in a special, questioning way, although I moved away from him as quickly and unobtrusively as I could, I was atremble not only with the fear of what he might say of what he'd heard between Galo and me in our cabin but also with the fear of my going with him to be able to feel the ecstasy of the rough fuck that Also seemed to seek—and the even greater fear that I would enjoy it and seek it henceforth as Also did.
Just as the Dutch mariners had speculated, the Roaring Forties filled the many sails of the Batavia and sped the mighty ship across the Indian Ocean at record speed. But this was a case of fatal overachievement, because the Batavia reached the area of the Abrolhos Islands a full week before anticipated and Captain Pelsaert did not have lookouts posted in the top sails. In the middle of the night, the progress of the ship was abruptly brought to a halt in a jolt that sent me spinning off Galo's cock and out into the corridor. When I recovered from the shock, I lifted my head to see water pouring in from the end of passage. The Batavia had been holed on a sandbar off the Abrolhos.
The next several moments, which seemed like hours, were a nightmare as more than three hundred frightened and barely awake passengers, already weakened from months of stormy passage around the horn of Africa, stumbled and clawed at each other to get out onto the decks as water poured down the gangways at them.
I somehow lost contact with Galo and slipped and fell below the rushing water as I was reaching for the ladder to freedom. But strong arms gathered me up. I was being borne up the ladder and out onto the deck with the aid of strong and steady arms. I was being held close by a hard body, which, despite my shock in the midst of an unexpected ordeal, included the realization of a hard cock pressing in at the small of my back. Once on deck, when I tried to struggle away from my savior and, by mistaken instinct, to scramble in the wrong direction, the man holding me in his embrace clopped me across the chin. I was stunned into semiconscious, and the next I knew I was in one of the Batavia's few lifeboats along with more of the other passengers and crew than the boat really should hold and heading toward a small barrier island with a broad sandy beach.
I turned my eyes to identify my liberator who was still holding me close to him and rubbing his cock up and down on the small of my back—to discover that I had been saved by the butcher, Saam Bleecker. I willed myself to shrink from him, but images of what he did to Also and the expression on Also's face when he was doing it made me shudder and feel every touch of his cock at the base of my spine. I went hard, and I knew that Bleecker had seen that he had had that effect on me.
When we were stretched out on the beach, side by side, as the dawn was creeping in from over the thin strand of a distant land to the east and shone on the foundering wreck of the mighty dying Batavia, and after I had managed to fill my lungs with air, I turned and thanked Saam for saving me.
"Aye, I would not let a nice piece like you go down with the ship, lad," he answered with a growl. "You must not forget that I have saved you. I will take your thanks, but I will take it in my own way."
I shuddered at the thought of what that meant. I struggled up, thinking to put some distance between us amongst the teeming mass of sputtering, sodden survivors struggling up on the beach, but he reached out and grabbed my leg and pulled me back down in the sand beside him. He was lacing the fingers of his hand at the waist of my soaked breeches, and I had the sudden fear that he meant to pull them off me and fuck me right there on the beach in the middle of the heaps of sputtering humans and detritus from the wreck of the ship washing up on the shore, but just then I heard the cry, "Dane. Dane! Oh thank the Lord, I have found you. You washed away from me in the hold of the ship and I was so afraid . . ."
My master, Galo Needham was struggling down the beach toward us.
"Lay off now," Saam Bleecker spoke out as he stood and squared off with Needham. "I have saved the lad, where you would have let him drown. He is mine now. Get thee off."
"You are daft, man," Needham retorted. "Do you not know this is a bastard son of the Graf von Hoensbrouck consigned to my protection? If Captain Pelsaert lives, he would have you in irons for what you claim on this young man."
"I have seen the nature of your protection," Bleecker answered darkly. "One word from me and you both would be marooned."
Needham laughed at that. "Lest you have not bothered to look around, brother Bleecker, you might do so now. We are all already marooned. And as for informing on me, there are those enough who know you are fucking the seaman Also to his death. Your threats are nothing to me." Then Galo turned to me, and gently said, "Come, come with me Dane. I have heard that Captain Pelsaert has survived and been seen off in that direction. Much of what was on board the Batavia has washed up with us and mayhap more will be recovered before the ship sinks under the waves. Our services will be needed."
Bleecker was glowering at us, but all he said as we struggled off along the beach was, "Remember, Dane, lad, that you owe me your life and I will have my reward rights."
He perhaps would have said more, but as we were leaving, he espied the young seaman, Also, coming up the beach. It was with much joy that I saw that Also had survived. I was drawn to him and would have been much distressed to know that he was not among the survivors. Some way down the beach, I turned and saw Bleecker dragging Also toward the small island's treeline. I could only imagine what Bleecker, in his frustration at having me there and then taken out of his reach, would be doing to Also beyond the fringe of those trees.
A good number of the passengers and crew had survived the sinking of the Batavia, and many of the supplies on board were recovered before the ship turned over. Captain Pelsaert, angry and embarrassed at coming this close to East India and having lost the world's most costly ship on its maiden voyage, almost immediately decided to press on with the heartiest of the crew members in the least-damaged longboat. He left his first mate, Jeronimus Cornelisz, in charge to organize the survivors and maintain them until Pelsaert could return from the city of Batavia in the East Indies with a replacement vessel—in the unlikely event that he and his men could reach Batavia in a longboat. Many a man of the remaining survivors cursed Pelsaert before he had even shoved off in the longboat, as Cornelisz was well known to be a fanatic and unstable.
Cornelisz lived up to this reputation immediately by deciding that the supplies and what could be found on the island combined were only enough to sustain fewer than half of the survivors present, and he took the direct and easy route to solving this problem. He organized a small group of willing and armed crew members and proceeded to systematically cull out the weak and those with skills that may be at a premium in East India but not on this remote island. This small band also was careful to save the fairest of the young maidens, whom they used mercilessly for their own sport.
Some of the passengers, realizing they would not survive the culling, quickly organized and seized three of the remaining longboats and stole off to a smaller, nearby barrier island, thus setting up two opposing societies that raided each other for the next five months where and when they saw an opportunity to acquire useful provisions or to take advantage of weakened defense.
Luckily for Galo, his skills in organizing and helping to ration out the remaining supplies were high on the list of immediate needs—which protected me as well, as his trained assistant. I may have been saved in any event, as Cornelisz, who had been second in command to Pelsaert, most certainly knew my parentage and the quality of my protection.
As a butcher and preserver of meat, Saam Bleecker also had an important place in the new order. Game in near sufficiency, if not abundance, had been found in the heavily forested interior of the island and in the surrounding waters. And to Bleecker's credit, he protected the sailor Also, as well, although, as time went by, Also seemed to be becoming weaker and weaker, no thanks to the beatings and sexual demands Bleecker made on him.
This craziness of society at its raw edge and most primitive lasted for five long months before, miraculously, Captain Pelsaert, having reached Batavia in the longboat, sailed back to rescue the now significantly diminished collection of colonists who had been counted on to make the East Indies blossom with Dutch civilization and culture.
During this time, Needham and Bleecker set up a running warfare of words and posturing over me. Bleecker became obsessed with taking his reward for having saved my life, and Needham met this with determination to fulfill his concept of protecting me as charged by the Graf von Hoensbrouck. Although my heart was with the gentle and loving Needham, the man who had introduced me to the joys of man-to-man sexual congress, my mind recognized the right of Bleecker's claim and also recognized the cynicism of Needham protecting me under the instruction of Graf von Hoensbrouck by having taken my virginity and regularly relieving his lust inside my channel.
Thus, when Bleecker finally had me, I did not tell Needham, and when Captain Pelsaert returned, Bleecker had been fucking me for two months without Needham's knowledge. I knew the relationship between the two had become murderous, and I shunned any part of bringing it to a burn. Some things were best unknown by Needham as long as I was there to lay under him and open my legs to him and take his cock in the nighttime. And it was not only Bleecker and Needham who were fucking me in those last weeks. Before the end, I was enjoying the young, heavy-flowing cock of Also as well.
Needham, in fact, brushed off the first several attempts by Bleecker to have me.
For instance, one day, while Galo was busy inventorying the provisions, Bleecker came up and said to me, "I have been directed to lead a party into the forest to gather wood. Come along with me, Dane von Hoensbrouck. I require your assistance."
Needham rose from his stool and stood tall, his hand on the handle of the dagger at his waist. "I require Dane's aid here with the inventory. Take the sailor Also with you. I know what you are really about in this gathering of wood. Also is accustomed to gathering your wood. Take him."
Bleecker's hand went to his dagger as well, but just than Jeronimus Cornelisz walked by and cast his dangerous eye on Bleecker and said, "I told you to be off getting wood, Bleecker. Do it now."
Bleecker glowered at Needham, but his hand came off the dagger and he turned and strode away, motioning the sailor Also to follow him. When they came back hours later, Also was struggling under the weight of most of the wood they had found and he had been beaten about the face and was walking with bowed legs as if he had taken a tree trunk up his arse.
Weeks later, though, I wasn't as lucky. I had journeyed into the forest myself to help search for small game when I came across Bleecker fucking Also belly down on a mounded rock by a pool of water. They were both wearing their billowy shirts, but their breeches had been pulled off. And Bleecker had removed his red cravat and was choking Also with that within an inch of his life while he was strongly stroking his cock in and out of Also's hole.
This choking that Bleecker seemed to love to do had fascinated me from the first time I'd seen him fucking Also in his Batavia cabin. Driven by curiosity, I had asked Also about it, and he had said that it was fearsome and awesome experience. That each time he had thought he was going to die, that all of the breath would be drawn around him—but that when he was on the edge of unconsciousness, all of his senses were magnified. Bleecker's plunging cock became three times the blinding fuck that Also had enjoyed from any other man and in any other circumstance.
We discussed the danger of it—and that the cruelty of Bleecker might lead him to take Also over the edge someday, and Also admitted that he feared that it was so.
"So why do you let him do it?" I asked. "And the beatings. Why do you let him abuse you so in the fucking?"