I had intended to get back to posting regular chapters of The Pigtown Chronicles last month, but due to some financial constraints, I took on a few extra commissions instead, which I am just now wrapping up. However, one of those was this one, which the commissioner requested take place in The Pigtown Chronicles setting, and he was gracious enough to let me explore a part of that setting which I was worried I wouldn’t be able to get to for a little while in the main story arc.
As a little gay history lesson, just as there were houses for drag queens and for vogue, there were also leather houses and leather clubs that served a similar purpose–mentoring young men interested in leather and BDSM, providing family for those who didn’t have any of their own, and support network for elders in the community. Pigtown has its houses as well, sometimes feuding, sometimes cooperating, all of them with their own quirks and talents that their members learn to harness and control. Here’s an introduction to one such house–The House of Brand.
Like my earlier post, “Miles’s New Boss“, this episode also stands alone, and so can be read without having to know the full back ground of the earlier arcs. Enjoy!
Alex checked the address again, and looked up at the rather sizable house he was standing in front of, wondering if this was really the place. Alex had been dipping in and out of Pigtown for the last few months, ever since hearing a few rumors about the new clubs, bathhouses and sex shops that had been popping up in what had been a fairly boring industrial district of the city not too long before. Alex was in his early thirties, and trying to make up for lost time. He’d been living with his rather conservative family up until a few years ago, when he finally moved away and came out of the closet, hoping to live the life he’d been denying himself, but in all honesty, he felt like he’d missed his chance.
Going into these clubs, looking at all of these hot daddies and the young cubs they were with, Alex felt like he didn’t belong in either camp. He certainly looked more like a daddy, with his slight paunch, furry chest, receding hairline and beard, but mostly, he felt envious of the young cubs. How excited they were, trying new things, eager and anxious and full of vitality. He wondered if he’d wasted his relative youth on a family that wouldn’t even speak to him again, if they knew where he was now. Most of his encounters with men in Pigtown had felt like misfires. If he paired up with a cub, he often felt like they were both fumbling, the younger man wanting him to take the lead, but Alex lacking the experience to know how. If he went home with a bear, the result was usually a bit more exciting, but he couldn’t help but feel like he was missing something with them that he couldn’t quite explain. Despite the missteps, something kept drawing him back, first on the weekends, then most nights a week, then almost every night. Something was there, something he needed to find, but it kept eluding him. Then, he met Chris.
It had been at The Hideaway, which was quickly becoming a staple of Alex’s regular nights in Pigtown. He would have a few drinks at the bar and then wander the maze–sometimes watching, sometimes participating, always yearning, until he woke up back home, without any memory of getting there. Chris had arrived with a small contingent of leather men and boys, ended up breaking off at some point, and sitting next to Alex at the bar, where he’d struck up conversation with him. Alex had told him his story, and to his surprise, the man had listened, and at the end, offered him a suggestion.
“The house I belong to is opening up for prospects. I think it might be what you’re looking for,” Chris said.
Chris nodded. “Think of it…as a club, or a family. Chosen family. A group of men who are stronger together than we were separate. Helping each other grow here.”
“Sounds like a cult, or a frat.”
Chris laughed at that, but didn’t deny either accusation. He just slipped Alex a business card, gave him a kiss on the cheek, and slipped off into the maze, where the rest of his group had already gone. Alex hesitated, wondering if he should follow him. He finished his drink, worked up the nerve, and followed into the dark, but for the rest of the night, he didn’t find any of them, anywhere, and woke up panting in his bed, as if from a nightmare.
There in his pocket, though, was the card. House of Brand, with an address, and on the back, a date and time. It wasn’t much of an invitation, but there on the street, he flipped it over in his hand, figuring it would have to do, marched up to the door, where a leather clad bear was waiting. He gave Alex a glance up and down as he approached, and from the slight frown on his face, he seemed a little suspicious of him. However, when Alex showed him the card and told him he’d received it from Chris, the man welcomed him to the house, tied a strip of dark green cloth around his right arm, and welcomed him as a potential prospect of the house.
Inside, the large house seemed a bit rundown, just like the outside. Well worn, he supposed. The scents on the air were musk, almost like a locker room, and tobacco smoke, both fresh and stale. He could hear the sounds of men talking and laughing nearby, followed them, and entered a sizable ballroom, full of leather clad men. The doorway he’d entered through was up a short flight of stairs, giving him a good position to survey the room, and already, he was intimidated. He nearly turned around to leave before getting too deep into something he neither understood, nor was certain he wanted any part of, but when he turned, Chris was there, smoking a cigar, waiting with a few other men who had green cloth tied around their arms, but on the left side.
“I was wondering if you were going to stand me up,” Chris said, came up, and gave him a little kiss.
“I don’t…what is this, exactly?” Alex asked.
“This is the House of Brand. A group of like minded men who have come together to be larger than something they can be alone. A family, I like to think. Come on, let me introduce you around.”
Chris wrapped one arm around his waist, walked him down the steps and into the crowd. Many of the men gave Chris the same, somewhat skeptical look as the man at the door when he’d approached, but they all were welcoming and generally congenial. As Alex encountered a few more men with the green cloth on their right arm, like him, he began to understand why. All of the other prospects, also escorted by an older bear with a cloth tied on the left, were generally young cubs eagerly pawing at any man they came across, obviously eager to ingratiate themselves with the men of the house by any means possible. The display made Alex a little embarrassed on their behalf, and he found himself wondering whether he ought to be doing something more. When he had a moment alone with Chris, he tried to ask him more about what this event was all about, but just as he felt he was going to get an answer, the lights dimmed. Everyone looked to the entrance doors, where a dignified old leatherman was climbing the steps. Chris leaned over and whispered, “The Housefather, Darren.”
“Welcome Prospects!” Darren said, “Tonight, the House of Brand will select the most worthy of you to join our ranks. Nominators bring your prospects to the center of the room, so we may begin our evaluations.”
The men in the crowd hooted and hollered, and Chris tugged Alex to the middle of the crowd, where a large stage had been erected in the center, and on it, what looked to be a complete dungeon. Other prospects were climbing up onto the stage, and Alex reluctantly climbed up as well, clearly feeling out of place as the oldest of them all, the misfit. Some of the others paired off, kissing and fondling one another while the men of the house catcalled them. Others stepped forward alone, dancing for the crowd, basking in the attention of the men, and Alex shrank back, not sure what, exactly, he was even performing for. He slipped back behind some of the dungeon equipment, only to find Chris standing there, grinning.
“Chris, I don’t understand. I’m not…a cub. I don’t look anything like them. I don’t even know what all of this place is!”
“Boy, you need to relax. I know what’s there, in your heart,” Chris said, moving closer to him, taking a long drag off his cigar, wrapping one hand around the back of his head and feeding Alex his smoke, feeling him melt against him. He pulled his lips away, wrapped both arms around Alex and buried him in his furry chest. “Just let Daddy show you who you can be here, what kind of family we are.”
The world was spinning. Alex looked down at himself, and was a bit confused. Something seemed a bit…off. His chest was slightly less hairy, his gut a little thicker and softer, his cock a bit shorter, but most of all what caught him off guard was the sudden fire in his chest. It was like the smoke had condensed inside him into a little cinder burning there, spreading warmth all through him, and when Chris turned him around and pushed him back into the collection of cubs there, he slammed into one, pressed his lips to him, and kissed him–and it felt…right.
He felt right. He felt young, and horny, and anxious, and terrified, and eager, a whole flurry of emotions spinning through him, and he pulled the cub close, groping him, kneading his gut, the other doing the same to him while the men around them shouted and cheered for them to continue.
Chris came up behind him, ran a hand up and down Alex’s crack, fingering his hole with one leather gloved finger, and pushed inside. Alex gasped, feeling how tight his hole was around it, how he could squeeze it, and then, he looked up and saw another Nominator on stage with the cub before him, running his own hands over the boy he’d chosen. “Giving yours a makeover? It takes more than a glamour to satisfy the housefather you know,” he said to Chris.
“Oh, just some encouragement. Trust me, I know this one is worthy.”
Looking around, Alex saw that the other nominators had joined them on stage. Some were working with the boys they’d chosen, some were inspecting the others, toying with them, using them. A pair had strapped one boy to a cross and were flogging his back while the boy cried out, another had two boys worshipping his cock, fighting over it, eager to earn the privilege of taking his load. Together, Chris and the other nominator bent the cubs over, pushing them onto their hands and knees, still kissing, and got down on their knees, cocks out and hard, eager for the boy’s holes.
“Why don’t we switch?” the other nominator said.
“And give you first fuck at the hole I chose? Why should I?” Chris shot back.
“The goal is to be impartial. If it’s as good as you say, wouldn’t you want a brother to partake?”
Chris grinned, and gave a mock bow. The two swapped places, and the other got on his knees behind Alex and pushed the head of his cock against his hole. “Let’s see how the boy takes it, eh?”
He slid in, and Alex groaned in excitement. The pain was there–he wasn’t exactly an experienced bottom, by any means, but he could feel this eagerness inside him, something that had always been there, but tamped down by years of regret and fear burst forth. He opened up and felt the man behind him moan in surprise. “Fuck, he does have a good hole, how the fuck do you always know, Chris?”
“Years of experience,” Chris said, and slid his cock into the other cub’s hole. It was more of a struggle, but Alex did his best to distract the young man, encourage him, keep him more horny than nervous, and it wasn’t long before the two daddies were pounding the boys in tandem, shoving their faces together while the cubs kissed, and after a few minutes, they both pulled out, and swapped. Alex, though, had an idea–he rolled over onto his belly and slid under the other cub, taking his cock in his mouth, and sucking, the other cub getting the hint and sucking his as well. The other men all cheered at the cub’s ingenuity, and Chris smiled–right again. He grabbed hold of Alex’s ankles and hauled them into the air, on either side of the other cub’s head, and pushed his cock into his hole. No wonder the other cub had struggled a bit–Chris was quite a bit thicker than the other daddy had been, but Alex knew he could take it. Wanted to take it. It wasn’t long before they all blew their loads in quick succession–first the other cub, then the other Nominator, Chris, and finally Alex, who flooded the cub’s mouth with a massive load. The other cub rolled off and they swapped their loads while the rest of the room looked on, the show slowly coming to a conclusion, and when all the prospects had been freed from the predicaments around them, they were lined up, sweating, heaving, and most of all, thrilled.
Their number had dwindled. A few had decided they’d bitten off more than they could chew, and had fled the stage. Another couple were dismissed–their performance had been deemed unsatisfactory for one reason or another, but Alex remained. The last thing he recalled clearly was the housefather, Darren, tapping a chunk of ash off his cigar and into his hand, before swatting it against Alex’s ass, where it burned. He screamed, but Chris was there, holding him in shock, telling him how proud he was of him, that he was home now, and kissed him, fed him smoke, and everything faded to nothing after that.
Alex awoke slowly, the heat of the night before now turned cold in his body, leaving him with any number of aches and pains that he didn’t quite regret, but which he also did not appreciate. He opened his eyes, and found himself looking at an unfamiliar wall–and sat up to get his bearings. It was the first time he hadn’t gone to his own home after a night in Pigtown. He’d begun to assume that he’d always end up back there, and so the fact that he was somewhere else was more unsettling than he’d expected. There was a window near the bed, and he looked out, and saw the same street from the night before–he was still in the House of Brand then, perhaps in Chris’s quarters.
It smelled like Chris, at least. He could smell the cigar, and his musk, and there were the leathers he’d been in the night before tossed over the back of a chair–though there was no sign of his own clothing anywhere. He’d lost it in the course of the night’s event, most of it after Chris had changed him because none of it had quite fit right. He was no longer quite sure he’d even changed at all, really, but then, the whole evening had been such a rush he wasn’t sure what had happened at all. There was full length mirror hanging on the wall, and he went over to look at himself, and scowled at his reflection.
Some of it was right, and some of it was not. His hairline was receding, but not quite as much as before. He looked a bit shorter, but without something familiar to judge against, it was difficult to know for sure. He seemed to have gained a little paunch, and his body hair wasn’t quite as thick. He turned around to look at his back, and let out a little gasp when he saw his ass. There on the right cheek, where the housefather had slapped his ass with that hot cinder was a mark–but not a burn. It was more like a brand, a scar, really, in the shape of a little ball of fire. He reached his hand back to feel it, and it was tender, but didn’t feel fresh.
He was interrupted by the sound of a door opening elsewhere in the suite, and a moment after that, Chris entered the bedroom, towel slung over his shoulder, clearly fresh out of the shower. “You’re awake!” he said, “How are you feeling? You must have some questions. I wanted to be here when you woke, but risked taking a shower first.”
“What…what the fuck is this?” Alex said, indicating the mark on his ass. “Where the hell did it come from?”
“That’s the mark of an initiate,” Chris said, “The housefather felt that you had demonstrated potential, and inducted you into the house. We all have one, myself included.” He turned around, and sure enough, there was a brand on his own ass as well, though his was much more detailed and spread across both cheeks. There on the right side, just as on Alex’s, was the same little fireball, though it was surrounded by scars resembling a crossed cigar and flogger, among other things. “I am currently at the rank of Master, which gives me the honor of nominating prospects and training initiates, if they are accepted. You will be living in my quarters until you become an acolyte.”
“I–I can’t live here! I have an apartment, a job–”
“You had an apartment and a job. Now you have a house, brothers, and a purpose that no job can give you. I know, I…well, I assume I had one at some point, but that feels so long ago now. I suppose you could still leave, if you want,” Chris said, stepping away from the door and holding up his hands, “I understand that this is…more than you may have expected, but there is a reason I invited you. There’s a reason you were selected. There were twenty nominees last night, and the housefather only accepted four, including you. I want you to know what you’d be giving up, if you decided to leave.”
Alex looked at the doorway, then at his reflection, and then went and sat down on the bed. “Alright. What did you do to me last night? Why do I look different?”
Chris chuckled. “Do you mind if I smoke?” he said, but lit a cigar before Alex could signal he was fine with it. “It would be easier to just show you, I think,” he said, taking a breath of smoke, coming over to where Alex was sitting. He wrapped a hand around the back of his neck, making Alex throb, and fed him a lungful of smoke like he had the night before. Again, Alex could feel the heat of it, the rush, but slower this time, more considered. It wasn’t the smoke that was suffusing him, but a warmth through his entire body, and when Chris pulled away, he could see in the mirror the reflection of the cub he’d become the night before. “That’s…how I did it. If you stay, you’ll learn that trick yourself, in time.”
“Is…it a drug or something?”
“No, you’re seeing a version of yourself that I see,” Chris said, pulling him up from the bed, pulling him in front of the mirror, and hugging him from behind, rubbing his hands all over Alex’s chubby torso, nuzzling the back of his neck with his beard. “When you see it yourself, when you believe it, I won’t have to feed you smoke to make it happen. You’ll…do it yourself, in a sense, when you find your own heat.”
“That…doesn’t make sense,” Alex said, resisting the urge to moan and push himself back against Chris’s cock.
“This is Pigtown, boy, it makes perfect sense,” He bit down on Alex’s neck, a little harder than usual, and Alex pulled away, a bit surprised. “Sorry, you’re so hot you get me excited. If you don’t cool off a bit, I’ll have you down in the dungeon before breakfast.”
“I’m not into the whole…BDSM thing, really,” Alex said, “I mean, I like the leather and everything, but–”
“Have you done anything like that before? With anyone?”
Alex shook his head.
“There’s a reason I invited you, you know. You aren’t the first initiate I’ve trained, and while I don’t think you’ll be the last, as soon as I got to know you, got a taste of you, I knew you were meant for this, meant for me. That you understand it, even if you don’t know you do. Let me show you.”
Chris came closer, tweaking Alex’s nipples in his fingers, twisting them, tugging them, then he took an inhale of smoke, leaned down, sucked one of Alex’s meaty nipples into his mouth, and bit down. Alex hollered in surprise, felt a searing heat through his chest, and when he tugged his chest away, he saw something new. A ring had appeared in his nipple, already healed, and he looked down in disbelief as Chris smiled, toying with it. “Looks good on you, doesn’t it? But wouldn’t it look better if it was symmetrical?”
He pushed Alex against the wall, toying with both, and Alex was aware, suddenly, of how hard he was, how hot he was, sweating in the room though he’d woken up and it had felt a bit chilly. He gave a little nod, surprising even himself, and Chris bent down, bit the other nipple, and this time, expecting the pain, he could anticipate it, the heat that rushed through him, that spread through them both, and when Chris pulled away, he kissed him, hungry and hot and fevered. The next thing he knew Chris was lying down on the bed and he’d climbed up on top of him, Chris’s cock sliding into his hole like a red hot poker spearing him, his own cock throbbing and aching as Chris toyed with his new rings. Chris came after a couple of minutes, filling Alex’s hole with a load of cum, and Alex came as well, spraying his cum across Chris’s chest where it steamed slightly on his skin.
“Fuck, you’re so fucking hot,” Chris said, “I’ve never seen someone push so much heat out so soon, you’re a little fucking heater, boy.”
Alex collapsed back on the bed, sweating and shaking, and Chris pulled him close. He was so hot, and yet the heat comforted him, and with a little breathing, Chris helped him cool down, ease back into himself, and after a few more minutes, he felt the heat soften, and he pulled away from Chris, embarrassed and unsure of what had just come over him, only for Chris to reach out and pull him close again.
“You felt it, didn’t you? The heat?” Chris said.
“I…I don’t know what I felt.”
Chris held up a finger from where they were laying down on the bed, snapped his fingers, and Alex let out a little jump when he saw sparks. There, dancing at the tip of his finger, was a little flame. With his free hand, he grabbed Alex’s wrist, lifted his hand, and touched the flame to his finger. He felt it, the slight burn, but it was no more than the sensation of the sun, the flame growing brighter between their two fingers. “I knew you’d be a natural.”
Alex pulled his finger away, and for a moment, he saw the flame split, feeding off his own heat, but he stamped it out. He stamped it out like he’d stamped out so much in his life, all of those years spent with his family, beating out any light, horrified any of them would see a spark, terrified in the dark and the cold and now he was warm, and he could barely express the relief that threatened to overwhelm him.
“I know that you’ve been hurt. We all have. That’s what draws us here, to the flame. Family, lovers, strangers, the world. We know what it means to ache, and sting, and scar over. But we heal ourselves and each other here. We’re a family, and you’re a part of us. You’ve been looking for us for so long, and I know it doesn’t feel that way now, but when you’re a master yourself, you’ll look back, and recognize the little flame you’d been tending all your life, waiting to bring it here, to join it to ours.”
Alex didn’t know when he’d started crying. The tears were hot, they felt like they were boiling from him, and Chris pulled him tight to his chest and just held him, kept him warm, and Alex knew that he couldn’t leave. Chris was right. He belonged here, and Alex didn’t know how he knew that, but he did. After a few minutes, when they’d finally cooled off to room temperature, they got up from the bed, and Chris retrieved a collar from the desk in the room.
“This is your collar. While you are an initiate, this is all you will wear in the house, unless ordered otherwise.” He took a leash and attached it as well to the ring. “Initiates should not roam the house on their own–it will earn you a rather severe lashing if you’re caught. Usually you will be in my company at all times, unless you’re lent to another Master for a lesson or service.”
“How…long will I be an initiate?”
“As long as you need to be,” Chris said, “Some don’t make it beyond this point. You might say that they end up being unable to take the heat. You though, I think you’ll be an acolyte faster than most.”
“But how long–”
Chris put a finger to his lips, and smiled. “Time isn’t important. The path is. The heat is. Now, you’ve burnt up so much I know you must be as starving as I am. Let’s go get breakfast, and then we’ll introduce you to your new brothers.”
Alex nodded, and followed his new Master out into the hall of the house, naked and shaking, but he was home. Truly home, and he felt his chest bloom with pride and excitement, eager for his new journey to begin.