Chapter 5 – An Apprenticeship
Kyle did think about what Marshall had said. It was all he could really think about for the rest of that afternoon, that evening after he went home, while he tried to sleep, and in the morning when he woke up. He kept thinking about watching that little bit of smoke slide into Dennis’ ear, thought about what he had seen in the shed that night, thought about what kind of power could make something like that happen. He thought about Jim too, and Marlon, and what he’d told him. Would he disappear like that too? Would everyone just…forget about him, from one day to the next? He wondered if Marlon was there in Pigtown somewhere, trying to get free from whatever had taken him. He wondered if the offer Marshall was making him was just an attractive piece of bait for a hook he couldn’t see yet. He thought about what Dennis had said, he thought about his father and college, he thought about how everyone who walked into the shop seemed so pleased to be there. Marshall knew them all by first name, and if someone walked in who he didn’t know, by the end of the visit, it seemed he’d gained another customer for life. Mostly though, Kyle didn’t feel alone there, but out here, in the suburbs, all he ever felt was loneliness.
He got to the shop half an hour before they opened, as requested, helping Marshall get the store ready. He tried to bring up what they’d spoken about the day before, but Marshall pushed the topic to other subjects, telling him they would discuss it later. Then, the doors were open, and it wasn’t long before the regulars were coming in for their cigars, their tobacco, their magazines, their gossip and conversation about Pigtown. Kyle tried to follow as much of it as he could, but little of what the men talked about seemed to make much sense to him, and none of them made much effort to clarify who, or what, they were discussing. Lunch came and went, and still they didn’t discuss it. Kyle felt that they were waiting for something, but he didn’t know what.
At around three, while Kyle was rotating and restocking some of the bulk tobacco, the bell over the door chimed, he looked over, and saw that a different sort of character had wandered into the shop than usual. He wasn’t too different from Kyle, really–younger, thin, looking a bit nervous and unsure of himself. Marshall treated him like he did most any other newcomer, making them feel at home, asking them what they were interested in, and the young man seemed like he wasn’t quite sure why he was here himself. Marshall nodded, and told him to just take his time. If he saw something that caught his attention, just let him know, and he’d help him out.
The young man spent a few minutes at the glass counter, looking at the pipes in the display case, and at some point, he must have lingered over something a little longer than the rest, because Marshall walked over and pulled a pipe from the stand it was on, and rested it on the counter.
“This one, eh?”
The man nodded. “Yeah, I…I don’t know why, but…”
“It’s alright, here, I’ll help.”
“I’ve never smoked anything like this before, I don’t know why I’m even–”
Marshall took a drag off his cigar, and pushed a couple of jets from his nose. Kyle watched them twine around the young man’s face, caress it, ease it, relax him gently. “I’m here for you. Now, let’s get this packed for you, alright?”
Marshall took some tobacco from a sample jar he kept on the counter, and helped the young man pack the pipe. Kyle stood at the back of the shop, a little confused by what he was watching. The young man seemed distressed, like he didn’t quite know what he was doing, or why. Marshall was kind, but firm, almost pushing the pipe on him. He felt like he should intervene, and yet he also knew, somehow, that this is what he’d been waiting for, what Marshall had wanted him to witness. He slipped the pipe between the man’s lips. They quivered for a moment, and then firmed up enough to hold the bit while Marshall lit the pipe, and he drew the fire into the tobacco, getting it lit at Marshall’s urging, and as he did, Kyle watched the young man begin to change.
It was difficult to pin down how it happened, exactly. Looking back on it, he couldn’t quite describe a clear progression. One moment, there was a young man drawing on a pipe, and the next, there was an older fellow, short and a bit pudgy, with a thick grey beard and manicured mustache, holding that same pipe and grinning over at Marshall, who was beaming back. He could describe how it must have happened, how his belly must have grown, how his clothes must have changed, but it seemed to detract from the central astonishment. That first man was gone. In his place, was another man, and looking at him, Kyle…knew him. As a regular, William, coming in for his usual supply of pipe tobacco, just like every Wednesday. Marshall and William chatted for a bit, while he got his usual purchase ready, he paid, and then left, leaving Marshall and Kyle alone in the store again.
“Now do you see?” Marshall asked him. “That’s what this place will do to you. You’re different from him, of course. Stronger, in some ways. That, or because you want it, it’s more…lenient.”
“You…could change me like that?”
“No, I don’t quite think so. Not so easily. I wouldn’t want to, anyway. I think we could have much more fun together along the way.”
Kyle was quiet again.
“So, did you think about it? What did you decide?”
He had thought about it. He’d thought he’d decided. But watching that happen, right in front of him, he didn’t quite know anymore. Marshall stepped out from behind the counter, and flipped the sign on the door to closed, then walked over to Kyle, smoking his cigar.
“I know you decided, Kyle, or you would have run screaming out that door after that.”
“And you know, you’ll be able to do that too, eventually,” Marshall said, opening his lips and blowing a pair of smoke rings out. They drifted through the air, slipped around Kyle’s wrists, and he felt them clamp down. With a push of the hand, they dragged him towards the back of the store, pinning him to the wall, while Marshall advanced on him again, Kyle struggling a bit as he came closer. “Easy now, easy…” Marshall said, stroking the side of Kyle’s face with a plume of smoke, calming him down again, easing his breath. “We’re going to have so much fun together, my little apprentice.”
Marshall pressed his cigar between Kyle’s lips, and he grasped it in his teeth, pulling on the smoke gently while Marshall’s hands pushed up under his shirt, caressing him gently, working back down and undoing the fly of his jeans, and pushing them and his underwear down. Kyle’s hard cock sprang out, and Marshall grinned. “Ah, you are enjoying this. A boy’s cock never lies, you know. Now, why don’t we get you a little more used to that smoke.”
Marshall got down on his knees in front of him, wrapped his bearded lips around the head of his cock, and sucked on it, and as he did, Marshall felt his own lips seal around the cigar in his mouth and draw the smoke deeper into his lungs than he had before. He tried to cough and sputter, but his mouth wouldn’t open back up. He had to force the smoke back out through his nose, eyes watering.
Marshall pulled his lips free, and looked up at him. “Easy now, the first time is always the hardest. It’ll be as natural as air, soon enough. You can’t be afraid of the smoke. You have to control it, own it. Dominate it. Relax and let it in. I won’t let it hurt you.”
Kyle murmured and pleaded around the cigar he couldn’t release, but Marshall wrapped his lips around his cock and pulled on it again, the smoke again drawn into his lungs, and then deeper than his lungs. Kyle’s heart raced from the sensation, heaving smoke out his nose, but Marshall drew again, and again, sucking the smoke deeper, further into him, until after a couple of minutes, he pulled away from Kyle, who let out a groan as something…was sucked out of him, or through him. He thought it was an orgasm at first, but it didn’t feel quite right. Marshall pulled away from the head of his cock, and pushed a stream of smoke up at him, grinning. Kyle was confused, until he saw the tendril of smoke curling out of the head of his cock. “That’s a good boy,” Marshall said, and did it again.
The pleasure grew with each draw, and Kyle could feel it. Feel the smoke pulled into his lungs, through his lungs, circling through his entire body. He felt sick and exhilarated, terrified and powerful. At last, he felt his balls begin to churn, felt the heat of the smoke in there as well, filling him up, swelling, mixing with his cum and he came, gouts of smoke and cum, all of which Marshall drew into himself, leaving Kyle there, hanging from the smoky manacles, shuddering and gasping for air around the cigar. Marshall waved the smoke away, plucked the butt of the cigar from Kyle’s mouth, and caught him as he sagged forward into his arms, holding him close while he gasped.
“That’s it, you did good, so good…” Marshall said to him, “You’re my apprentice now, I’ll always take good care of you.”
He got Kyle some water, sat him on the floor, and just held him for a bit. Kyle could still feel it, the smoke all through his body, but it was…cooling, and he started to feel more nauseous than pleasurable. He excused himself, went into the bathroom and threw up. Marshall followed him in, telling him that was to be expected, but there’s no real way to avoid it. A few minutes later, Kyle felt himself start to shake, and when Marshall handed him a cigar, he looked up, a bit confused.
“You need it now, boy,” Marshall said, “It will never hurt you, but you also won’t be able to go without it for long. You should light up.”
His hands were shaking a bit too much to get a good light, and so Marshall helped him. He took a mouthful of smoke, and then took a long inhale. It didn’t hurt, not like before. He pulled it deeper, feeling it slide through his body again like before, and he let out a little moan of pleasure–and Marshall gave him a kiss. “That’s better. Now come on, we’d better open up again. I know we’ll have some angry customers if we don’t. They bring down the door and want to join in.”
Kyle spent the rest of the afternoon in a state of shock, trying to finish his list of duties for the day, but had trouble juggling the cigar he now craved in ways he couldn’t quite understand. As uneasy as he felt at first, he found himself enjoying it, at least until closing time came. Marshall flipped the sign over, and Kyle realized that he was going to have to go home soon, and the consequences of his decision crashed down on him in ways that he wasn’t quite ready to deal with.
“I…how am I going to explain this to my dad? If I have to smoke–” he started to say, but Marshall just shook his head.
“You live here now, with me. You’re a part of Pigtown now, for good. Now come on, let’s get some dinner on, and then we’ll get started on your training, properly.”
Kyle gave a little gulp, and looked at the door again.
“If you don’t believe me, check your keys.”
He did–and realized a few were missing. The keys to his parents’ cars for one thing, and their house key. But there was a new one, for the shop of course. He…it was real, wasn’t it? He wasn’t going back there. He expected to feel fear, but the relief was much stronger. He followed Marshall up to the apartment over the shop where he lived, realizing that he’d slipped his track completely–and now, his future belonged to Marshall.
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