Two weeks after graduation, I began my new position as an accountant with the Cockaigne Agency. The office, garnering three floors in a non-descript building in the downtown, had no identifying nomenclature on the front, just a number, leading no one to believe there was anything there other than a building used for offices or whatever. This office building was the headquarters for all of the various satellite offices of the Agency throughout the state. The ground floor contained a receptionist area in an open, small vestibule type room, with all other accesses to the building or offices located behind closed doors, strictly monitored and controlled by the receptionist. I happened to know the first floor also contained the Human Resources offices and records, while the second floor was home to the bookkeeping and accounting department, and the third floor housed the management offices and training areas.
The only part of that floor I was familiar with was the training area since that’s where all new recruits were prepared for their courtesans’ roles with the company. According to the H.R. Director, the restricted areas on the third floor were the management offices and the IT Department where the main frame computer and other sensitive electronics were housed. That was fine with me; I had no desire to know any more than was necessary to do my job.
My orientation to the “Companion Division” and the specific section of that Division I where I was to work was conducted by the retiring accountant, Oscar Biermeier. I was to work under his tutelage for two weeks and, if he found my performance satisfactory, I’d be on my own. Not that there weren’t other accountants in the office per se, but there were none who had working experience in this specialty area that I had or had their own private office with direct access to the management division via electronics.
“I started with the Agency when it was first formed,” Oscar began, “and, realizing the sensitivity of this particular section, developed the bookkeeping system, password security, and the various accounts used for transactions. The entire Agency uses a cash method of accounting, with receipts counted as revenue when received and expenditures as expenses when disbursed. The main accounts we use are accounts receivable, accounts payable, payroll, taxes, and fringes payable, which includes health insurance, medical expenses, expense accounts payable, and tuition and fees payable. Salaries are a straight rate, payable by employee name and number; the social security number and confidential information concerning each employee is kept by the H.R. Department. All payments into the section, fees received for services rendered, are in cash with no checks, debit cards, or credit cards accepted. This eliminates one trail anyone might use to track down the clients, although we do assign names of individuals or businesses to indicate the source of payment to the Agency. Sometimes the location of either would be difficult for us to find, since we have a rather “transient” clientele. Since our sales are cash, can we help it if some of our customers are untruthful concerning their real identity? It helps preserve the anonymity of those who request our escort services. Please note, however, there’s a notation recorded with each, indicating what service was provided, coded of course.”
“As an example, let’s pull up your job sheet and payroll.” Oscar typed a few characters and numbers into the computer on the desk, entered my employee identification number, and sure enough, the last date of employment before I began this particular day, was my last date as an escort, listed as “tour guide for Milwaukee business group” – giving the date, a client number, fees paid by the client, and my last weekly salary.
“The client number,” explained Oscar, “was developed by me and refers to the actual name of the client and other information pertinent to his file. This information isn’t on file here at the Agency but in my personal possession and memory. Once I leave, I’ll turn this over to you. My suggestion is to memorize it, then lock it away somewhere in some computer only you can access and retrieve when you need to add a new client, which happens more often than you’d think. There’s a special program I’ve installed on my computer which, if anyone tries to access it without the proper authorization, destroys the data contained on the hard drive. How you control access or what you do to backup information is for you and you alone to know. Never, ever, tell anyone else, especially another employee or management. What they don’t know won’t hurt them.”
“If the I.R.S. decides to audit, we can provide names, addresses, and so forth of individuals who utilized our services, but we can’t guarantee location of those clients nor do we record social security numbers, only fees received. It’s a bit shady, but we pay our taxes on time and quite generously, so we’ve had no problems thus far.”
We then spent some time reviewing the payroll. Other than myself and Oscar, there were sixty lads on the employment roster; each earning two hundred fifty dollars per week, college tuition and fees, health insurance, and expense accounts. A separate account listed the fees paid, listed as a “retainer, plus,” to a medical doctor for physicals and periodic health checks. The system was rather plain and straight forward and relatively easy to understand.
Each employee in the “companion” section, other than Oscar and me, were paid on a weekly basis, with a gross annual payroll of $780,000, and each lad, working three days per week, generated fees for the agency in the amount of a gross income of $2,340,000 or approximately two hundred and fifty dollars per interaction with a client. Fringe benefits, including tuition, insurances, retirement (social security), and other incidentals, amounted to approximately $516,000 per year and fixed costs, which included the accountants salary and fringes, managerial expenses, fixed costs such as office and building use, accounted for another $156,000 per year, leaving a gross profit before taxes, of $888,000. This very lucrative sections’ gross profits were blended into the entire Cockaigne Agency’s revenues and disbursements in the main accounting department, masking it quite well, if I don’t say so myself.
Since the Agency was privately held and governed by a board of directors under the guidance of a chief executive officer who also was an owner, there was no need to be accountable beyond the actual owners. Distribution of the profits was unknown in my section and it would appear the owners deliberately segregated all sections and divisions so one hand did not know what the other was doing. Everything seemed to be based on “a need to know.” If Oscar knew who the owners were or how the dollars were distributed, he never said or let on to me.
After my orientation and Oscar declaring me more than fit to run the department, he shared his key to developing the client names for me. It was really quite simple, if you were a piano player, but I played guitar so I’d have to adjust it just a bit, but not much. It was so simple, yet so clever, I would’ve never thought of it as a method for determining the identification of a client.
When Oscar walked out the door for the last time, he shook my hand, wished me luck, and said he was going south, where “snow balls wouldn’t hit him in the ass” all winter. I entered the world of program accounting for a mid-sized private business which, for all intents and purposes, was quite legitimate except for one minor detail; my section provided young men for other men to fuck, on a regular basis, I might add.
It was a good job, I enjoyed it and the pay and fringes were great. I was home evenings and weekends now, but continued to employ Nanna. She was a god-send to us – a bachelor with responsibility for a younger brother, who had a very ardent and gentle lover. Charlie and Will were almost attached at the hip; Charlie, kind, patient, and considerate with Will; Will loyal, quiet, and loving, following Charlie anywhere and everywhere. On more than one occasion, when Charlie would spend the night, I’d hear squeals of delight coming from the bedroom they shared.
Will’s grades continued to improve, which I credited to Charlie, and he and Charlie began playing and singing together more often for Nanna and my entertainment. One evening, after homework was done and they played and sang some songs for us, they announced they’d be performing in the “Spring Music Festival” at the high school after the Easter Break, doing two duets. With that, each evening, they began practicing in earnest; homework first, then practice. It was a thrill for me to see Will opening up and began maturing, with Charlie as his guide and mentor, tutor, and lover.
Easter and Nanna decided to have everyone home. Charlie’s dad, Clyde, would be home on a short leave before being reposted somewhere and it would be an opportunity for the family to get together. My house and hers would accommodate some of the overnight guests; others would drive in for the day. She expected around fifty people, so I bought the hams and a couple of crown rib lamb roasts for the main entrée. Will, Charlie, and I spent the day before helping her prepare the food and the house- hauling in chairs, extra tables, dishes and flatware from my house, and anything else she thought we needed.
The family began arriving Saturday afternoon and by evening both houses were full of adults and young people. Charlie and Will had a blast! Our house became the teen hangout while the rest of us spent the evening at Nanna’s visiting, cooking, and enjoying some snacks and libations.
The next day, Easter Sunday, the family gathered for dinner, but decided to delay a while when Charlie’s dad called saying he was on his way from the airport. Nanna’s big dining room table would accommodate all of the adults while the others, the younger set, would be scattered at tables set up in the living room. We waited about a half hour and at Nanna’s suggestion, we began serving ourselves from the buffet set up on tables along the wall. Plates all filled, forks at the ready, and Clyde arrived from the airport – with a lady guest with him, who he introduced as his wife, Doris. She was not an unattractive woman, I mean not butt-ugly, but she was no show-stopper either!
Rather plain in appearance, sans makeup, hair tied back in a bun, dressed in a long dress, she insisted on offering her own table grace for Clyde and herself before heading toward the food table. We waited patiently while she blessed the beasts of the field, birds of the air, and god knows what else! Once she closed her mouth, I hustled around finding another chair for her and scooted people together to make room for her. Thanking me, once I found room for her, she informed me she was a born-again, fundamentalist, evangelical Christian! I refrained from telling her I was an accountant and a retired male prostitute who really loved fucking and being fucked, thinking it might not impress her in a positive manner!
Charlie, hearing his father’s voice, walked into the dining room, hand in hand with Will, to greet him. He stopped in the doorway when his father rose from the chair, and introduced his bride. “Charlie, I’d like you to meet my wife, your new step-mother. Doris, this is my son Charles and …”
“My boyfriend, Will,” Charlie interjected. Doris scowled at the announcement and looked upon the boys with a mixture of disgust and distaste, almost shameful their apparent sinfulness, in her eyes, would be allowed at such a gathering on a Holy Day!
“Oh,” replied Clyde, “hello, Will,” and offered no more. Doris curled her lip.
Will, sensing a danger or feeling of ill-will, I’m not certain which, moved closer to Charlie, seeking his protection and shelter from an impending storm!
Charlie was polite and with an almost cynical smile, asked, “Since when?” pointing at the two of them.
“About eight months now,” responded his Dad, “but we’ll talk more after lunch, O.K.?”
Charlie shrugged indifferently and he and Will retired back to the living room to eat and visit with the others. Conversation around the adult table became decidedly more subdued, each of Nanna’s remaining children and spouses casting wary glances at their brother and his bride and at Nanna, seeking some sort of reaction or direction from her. Nanna remained seemingly unperturbed on the outside; treating Doris as one would treat any guest, but I could see on the inside she wasn’t only hurt by Clyde’s lack of concern for his son and mother, but seething with anger! I knew Nanna well enough to know that when the stack blew, I was going to be one of the first to duck!
Dinner continued quietly, people making small talk, until desert was served, and then the dishes were cleared from the table. The last plate was removed and Charlie and Will returned from the living room to the dining room and stood expectantly, waiting for Clyde to say something. When it became apparent there was nothing forthcoming from him, Charlie initiated the conversation.
“You said when dinner was over, we’d talk. Well, dinner is over!”
“Perhaps later,” Clyde said apprehensively and curtly, unaccustomed to his now teenage son’s aggressive approach and definitely unaccustomed to someone so young or without a higher rank challenging him, “when we can engage in a private discussion, just you, me, and Doris.”
Charlie looked around the table at the gathering of aunts and uncles, Clyde’s brothers and sisters, and at Nanna sitting there, hands on the table, a very encouraging and supportive look on her face, and nodding for him to pursue the matter here and now.
“No, I think now is a good a time as any,” spoke up Charlie, “What’s on your mind?”
Clearly, this approach didn’t please new wife Doris, since she cleared her throat in such a way indicating Charlie should mind his manners, respect his elders, and be silent. Raising her eyebrows and frowning with displeasure did little to dissuade Charlie!
I really think Clyde had no idea how smart and determined Charlie was. Anger building in Clyde’s face, he rose from his chair, commanding, “First of all, young man, take that chip off of your shoulder and shut up! I’m your father and you’d do well to remember that and address me with more respect – do you understand?”
“Oh, yes, sir,” spoke Charlie with mock pensiveness, “thank you for reminding me since I’ve not heard from you since Christmas when I received a card from you, with no mention of your new bride, although you’d been married for several months by then! You did send me a card two Christmas’s before that however, so I should‘ve remembered who you were. I mean, I’ve been living with Nanna for what, almost six years and NOT ONCE,” voice raised, “did you make any effort to provide me with any financial or moral support, send a birthday card, call me on the telephone, tell me you loved me. No, you left that to Nanna, didn’t you?”
Things were beginning to heat up fast and everyone, including Will was becoming quite uncomfortable, but he wouldn’t leave Charlie’s side! In fact, Will’s eyes were beginning to snap a bit and I thought Clyde better watch out, remembering Will’s coordinated attack with Charlie on the NAUGHTY BOY, or his balls would suffer a painful blow, relieving his wife from performing her bedroom duties for a time!
Clyde pushed his chair back, advanced a couple of steps, and saying harshly, “Young man, our conversation here is just about over. You go to your room, pack your things in no more than two bags, and hustle your ass down here! You’re leaving with us to my posting in Germany. You’ve been there before so this’ll not be a new experience for you” and, pointing his finger at Charlie and then the other room, commanded, “Now!”
Nanna inhaled deeply, I rose a little higher in my seat, ready to step into the fray should I need to, but Charlie, with a smile and a steely softness in his voice, said quietly, “I don’t think so; this is my home! I go to school here, I study at the Music Conservatory, I’ll be getting my driver’s license soon, and Will and I’ll be in the spring Music Festival. Nanna needs me here with her and Will needs me; sorry to disappoint you, Daddy Dear, but I’m staying here!”
With that Doris spoke up. “Yes, you are leaving! I can see you’ve fallen under the spell of wickedness and we must rid you of your sodomy tendencies and habits through a good dose of Christian values and education! You’ll leave your little trollop of a ‘boyfriend’ behind, young man!”
Will’s eyes snapped with an anger I only saw once before (better watch your balls, Clyde)!
Clyde nodded in agreement, saying, “You’re going whether you like it or not. Now, get moving or I’ll take you just the way you are!”
Chairs slid back, Nanna tensed even more – everyone was poised to act, but I just sat and watched. Charlie was way too calm, too collected, too cunning for Clyde and Doris but they didn’t realize how damned clever he was! I was thinking they were about to find out, big time!
Still smiling, Charlie, said, “Well, Daddy Dear, you may force me to go with you and you just might, just might I’d add with some hesitation, get me to Germany, but you won’t be able to make me stay. The minute you or your Bible-thumping wife turn your back, leave me alone, take me shopping in some busy place, I’ll be gone, adios, vamoosed, exiting stage left, without so much as a ‘kiss my ass’ to either of you!”
Scratching his head a moment, still watching his father for any signs of further aggression, he continued, “With apologies to Nanna, my aunts and uncles, and the rest of the family straining to hear it all through the open doorway to the living room, I figure if I become the lonely service man’s friendly fuck-buddy, after playing the pink piccolo of a dozen or so and charged them to stuff their peckers up me arse, I’ll have enough to fly home first class with some left over!”
Clyde began to sputter, Doris gasped in horrified shock, but Charlie continued, “The last thing before I left would be to give a super blowjob to some general or his son and tell him I was ordered to do so by my father so he’d get a great promotion. Now that ought to get you posted to the Aleutian Islands until your retirement! I hear the night life there is real exciting!”
With a smile and a bow, he took Will by the hand, and said, “Now, if you’ll excuse me, please, my boyfriend and I passed on the dessert, so we’re going to have some now and, perhaps, we can find some privacy and snog a little. Enjoy your trip to Germany!”
Charlie, Will in tow, turned to walk away, but just as he came to the doorway leading to the living room, turned his head saying, “Did you know passports for those under the age of sixteen are only good for five years? Mine expired over a year ago. You couldn’t get me through immigration and customs if you wanted to,” and left the room!
Clyde looked at Doris, “We’re out of here. Thanks for the meal, Momma,” and with Doris trailing behind, stormed out of the house!
It was very quiet around the dining room table; the only sound evident was the shuffling of feet as the peanut gallery from the living room quietly tried finding their seats. The atmosphere was more relaxed, but everyone was embarrassed by the scene which had just played out before them. Not Nanna – she looked at me, smiled in her sweet way, and with a triumphal nod, said, “Jay, I have some very fine Claret in the wine cabinet. I think we could all enjoy a celebratory glass of wine. Would you serve, please?”
To be continued.
Thank you for reading “Where there’s Will, There’s a Way” Chapter Fourteen- “No reproach is like that we clothe in a smile and present with a bow.” (Bulwer)
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or locales is entirely coincidental or used in a fictional content.
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