Dan paused and nervously licked his lips. Their unfamiliar taste only heightened his sense of disconnection. He tried to take a deep breath, but his chest was constricted.
“Danielle!” The teacher’s voice was a whiplash. Dan winced at the name, and glanced over at Miss Pettis. She returned his look implacably, and said more softly: “You know what to do. Besides, he’s your friend. You don’t want him to be punished, do you?”
Dan shifted uncomfortably on his knees, his skirt rustling against his stockinged legs. He looked up at the boy who stood over him. There was a sheen of perspiration on Paul’s forehead, and he trembled slightly. His eyes flicked down, then away – but not before Dan caught a glimpse of what might have been hungry anticipation. Surely Paul couldn’t want this … could he?
Shivering, despite the warmth of the morning sun streaming through the window of the classroom, Dan slowly reached up and unzipped his friend’s pants …
Just two days earlier Paul and Dan had been joking and laughing as they strolled through the leafy and well appointed grounds of the small but exclusive college they attended. “As soon as we get that camera online, watch out!” said Paul. Tall, blond, and with a muscular frame honed by hours in the gym, he walked with carefree ease, ignoring the furtive glances from the girls they passed.
Dan wondered, not for the first time, if Paul was genuinely unaware of the effect he seemed to have on almost every female around him, or simply pretended not to notice. Despite his imposing good looks he was, Dan knew, painfully shy with the opposite sex. To the best of Dan’s knowledge, Paul had scarcely exchanged two words with any of the girls at the college. He had gone on at least one date – last term, with a willowy redhead called Talia. She had demanded he take her to the movies and would not accept any of his usual excuses about needing to practice for one of the many sports he played. Paul had come back red-faced and silent from that night, and refused to answer any of Dan’s questions.
Not that we was uninterested in girls – the impressive collection of porn clips that he stored on his laptop, and the enthusiasm he devoted to pleasuring himself almost every night while he looked through them, attested to his fascination with the female form. He had a particular thing, Dan knew, for the kind of old-fashioned uniform that the girls of this particular college would never have worn at their schools. Where they dressed in the latest fashions, Paul dreamed of shameless young women in crisp white blouses, plaid skirts and either white socks or (even better) silky white stockings.
Dan himself had little difficulty talking to many of the girls at college – but only ever, it seemed, on a friendly, entirely asexual basis. If any of them had ever showed the slightest interest in him as a date, or something more, he had missed it entirely. Not, he thought, that he could blame them. Unlike his friend, he could not have been less prepossessing. He was slim, yes, but gawky and decidedly unathletic. He had (or so he thought) large, attractive blue eyes and thick eyelashes – but they were located in an asymmetrical face that might have character, but never charisma. Worst of all, his very full lips made him the butt of many a joke from the other guys, and even some of the girls.
“So what about Rachael then?” Dan was jolted from his thoughts by a dig in the ribs. “Sorry?”, he replied. Paul was looking at him with a huge grin. “Rachael – I think we should put the camera on her first, don’t you think? Imagine seeing her soaping those awesome tits!”
“Nah, Lucy for me”, said Dan, grinning back. “Or Lucy giving Rachel a bath.”
“Oh God, don’t say that, I’m getting a hard-on already. How am I supposed to walk into the lecture with a tent pole in my pants?”
“More like a toothpick, you mean” quipped Dan, although he knew from the showers that this was unfair. While Dan’s own shrivelled member could sometimes hardly be seen in his tangled pubes, he reflected jealously that Paul’s equipment was considerably more impressive.
“Anyway, I –”. But he was interrupted by a call from the administration block, which they were just passing. “Hey – Scott, De Troia! The Dean wants to see you, at once!” It was the college secretary, a friendly woman who gave them a cheerful smile and waved them over.
“What’s this about, Cheryl?”, asked Paul. “No idea", she replied. "But she did say it was urgent. Perhaps something to do with the mid-term break?” That sounded right – they’d both asked to stay at college over the break to catch up with some studies … and work on their private “project”.
“OK, we’ll head there right away.” They walked into the building, ran lightly up the stairs, and knocked at the first door at the top. “Come in,” came the response. They opened the door and walked in to the study.
Mrs Lake, the Dean, was sitting behind an ornate, wooden desk. A striking woman in her late 40s, her habit of wearing tight suits that showed off her graceful curves to their full effect had made her an object of considerable lust (and not a few inventive fantasies) for generations of young men in her charge. Paul and Dan did their best to look anywhere but at the generous cleavage spilling from her unbuttoned shirt – and failed dismally. As she followed their gaze, she smiled faintly (if a little grimly, Dan thought) and motioned them to the chairs in front of her desk.
She shuffled a few papers, and looked up. The smile disappeared, to be replaced by a look of stern disapproval.
“I won’t beat about the bush. You two are in serious trouble. Did you really think” – now her voice rose dramatically, and her eyes bored into their frozen faces – “that you could install a camera in the girls’ showers and get away with it?
“Oh, I’ll grant that you showed a lot of ingenuity to find a way into the ceiling space and then conceal it in one of the air-conditioning ducts. I suppose that was your doing Mr Scott – you’re the brains of this team, I’m guessing?” Dan nodded mutely, too shocked by the swiftness of the accusation to prevaricate. “And if you hadn’t been overheard discussing this plan by one of my more, ah, reliable informants, I doubt we’d have been any the wiser.
“As it is, we’ve been monitoring your conversations over the past few days, and we’re fully aware you’re waiting for the last piece of equipment you need to decode the camera feed and send it to your computers. That equipment is now in our possession, together with the order Mr Di Troia placed for it.” She slapped a paper down in front of Paul, whose face reddened.
“So we have all the evidence we need to make criminal charges stick. You do know it’s a crime to create and disseminate child pornography, don’t you – because that’s what this is. Some of the students who use that shower are as young as 16, for heaven’s sake! And as for some of the pictures we found on Mr Di Troia’s laptop, a few of the girls in those ridiculous uniforms look even younger. Goodness knows what was done to them to get those films.”
Dan finally found his voice. “But we never intended to –” She brought her fist down hard on the desk, cutting him off. “Oh I’m sure you thought this was just a bit of fun. Well, you’re going to find out otherwise, let me tell you.” Her voice was now low and menacing. “I can have the police here in a flash. They don’t take kindly to perverts like you – and nor do the inmates of the local correction centre.”
Dan felt his flesh crawl and his stomach churn. This was the end of – well, everything. So much for the dream of following his late father into a lucrative career as a commercial lawyer. His name would be mud, even if he survived prison – and heaven alone knew what horrors he would have to endure there first. His head fell and tears welled up in his eyes. He heard Paul stifle a sob.
Another rap on the desk cut into his misery. “All right cry-babies, no need to pour your eyes out just yet. You see, I’m going to give you a chance. But you’d better understand you have one chance only.” The boys looked up to find that Mrs Lake’s expression had softened.
“See, I don’t think you’re truly bad. Like so many boys your age, in fact like so many men, you have no idea how to treat women – or how any halfway good-looking woman really feels. You don’t know what it’s like to be stared at, to be treated like a piece of meat, to know that you’re just some jerk-off fantasy.” Dan and Paul shifted uncomfortably and couldn’t meet her steady gaze.
“Now maybe you’ll grow out of this obsession with treating the opposite sex like objects rather than human beings – but then again maybe you won’t.” Her voice had hardened again. “I have two grown-up sons that I did my best to bring up to show respect for women. But they’re a sorry pair. They treat the girls they know with contempt, and they laugh at me when I suggest they should change their ways. They’re young, good-looking and think they can just use women any way they want.
“Well, I may have failed with them, but I’ve still got time to do a better job with you two. So here’s the deal. I’ve been in touch with each of your mothers –” She ignored their obvious distress at this news. “and persuaded them there is a better option than handing you over to the criminal justice system. They’ve agreed to give me a free hand in, how can I put it, re-educating you.”
She smiled thinly. “Before you get too comfortable though, I should make it clear that you can’t stay here. You’ve burnt your bridges at this college with that camera stunt.”
“So what’s going to happen to us?”, asked Paul in a small voice. Mrs Lake’s smile broadened. She stood up, walked around the desk and then sat on it in front of them. She crossed her legs, and again they struggled not to stare as her skirt lifted briefly to reveal elegantly patterned stocking tops.
“I’m sending you to a – well, let’s call it a specialist university. It’s an elite institution for young men who have been identified as having certain learning difficulties. With just a few exceptions, the curriculum is pretty standard. The rules on the other hand, well they’re very strict. And the school has a very particular approach to maintaining discipline.”
“What do you mean by that?”, asked Dan, whose relief at the prospect of avoiding prison and social disgrace was being replaced by a growing sense of alarm.
“Oh, you needn’t worry about that now” – she waved her hand airily – “you’ll find out when you get there. They’re sending a special car round for you – it will be a journey of several hours. Normally there’s only a single intake, at the beginning of the academic year. But I’ve persuaded them to make an exception in your case and take you in part way through first term. I used to work there, you see, and I stay in touch with many of the staff.”
She leant forward and Dan caught a whiff of perfume as she rested a perfectly manicured hand lightly on his cheek. “I wonder how you’ll adjust to your new educational regime? Perhaps very easily in your case Mr Scott – but we’ll see.” She reached behind her and handed them each a form.
“Now in both cases your parents have agreed to the, ah, rather unusual conditions of enrolment at St Odette’s. But given you’re of age, it’s necessary that you do as well.”
Dan looked at the form. It was headed “St Odette’s – Enrolment Contract”. and ran to four pages of small print. He glanced at some of the clauses. They were written in a legalese that was hard to decipher. One term, he noted, committed students to wearing “such uniform(s) as the teaching staff may direct”, as well as “an enrolment bracelet at all times”. He also thought he understood that they would not be going home during breaks, but would remain at the college until they “satisfied the conditions of graduation”. He wasn’t sure what they were and opened his mouth to ask.
Mrs Lake forestalled him. “There’s no debate or questions here. Either sign, or don’t. It’s up to you.”
“But what if we don’t want to go there?”
“Well, then I pick up this phone” – she gestured at the handset on her desk – “and call the police. I suppose you could try and talk your way out of the trouble you’re in. But I wouldn’t bet on being able to do that, given the case against you.”
Dan and Paul looked at each other. The decision was hardly a difficult one, in the circumstances. Mutely, Dan reached for the pen that Mrs Lake was holding out and scrawled his signature at the bottom of the last page of the form. Paul did likewise.
Mrs Lake took the forms and tucked them away in a file. “Smart boys”, she murmured. “Now, you have until 7 tomorrow morning to get yourselves packed and ready. I’ll let it be known afterwards that you’ve been accepted into a special military academy to finish your education, and that the rules of this academy preclude any contact by e-mail or social networking sites. Any messages for you can be given to me. You’re not close to anyone else in particular here, are you?” The boys shook their heads. “Good. I suppose some of the sillier girls will miss the chance to see that gorgeous body of yours around, Mr Di Troia” – Paul blushed again at this – “but in a few weeks I suspect you’ll be completely forgotten. Which is just as well, really.”
“Does this mean nobody knows where we’re actually going, Mrs Lake?” asked Paul, uneasily.
“Oh, I’ll know – and in fact I’ll come and visit you in a couple of weeks, to see how you’re going. And of course your mothers will get regular updates on your progress. It is perhaps fortunate that your respective fathers are no longer around to have a say in your education. I understand that neither of you remember much about them?” The boys nodded. Dan’s father had died while he was still a toddler, while an acrimonious divorce had brought an end to Paul’s parents’ marriage when he was not much older. His father had provided occasional birthday gifts after that, but had never been seen.
“I must say that when I explained your new college’s approach to your mothers, they were very enthusiastic about its potential benefits to you both. They’re really looking forward to seeing what St Odette’s makes of you – and indeed what you choose to get out of it.”
“What do you mean, ‘choose’?”, asked Dan. He hadn’t liked the way Mrs Lake had smirked when she said the word.
“Again, that’s for you to find out.” She leant forward, and Dan had to fight the urge again to stare at the creamy bosom right in front of his face. He glanced down, and caught the play of light on her nylon-clad thighs. He had always had a thing about stockinged legs, especially when paired with the kind of shiny black pumps that Mrs Lake favoured. As his cock began to stir, he forced himself to pay attention to what she was saying.
“OK, that’s it for now. I’ll expect you ready to go at 7 sharp in the morning. And needless to say – not a word to anyone. Oh, and before you ask Mr Di Troia, I’ll be hanging on to your laptop – you won’t need that where you’re going, and it doesn’t hurt to keep hold of the evidence, does it? While I think of it, I’ll have your mobiles too, if you don’t mind.” Dan was ready to protest, but one look at Mrs Lake’s expression made him change his mind.
The two boys meekly handed over their phones and left without saying another word. They could only wonder what the next day would bring …
The story continues in Chapter Two, in which Dan and Paul arrive at St Odette’s and encounter some very special staff, not to mention some unusual security measures.