"I still think you should bring the cops in on this, Logan."

The two young men were sitting in Jan's car outside of the East Jersey State Prison in Rahway. They both worked for the Newark Star-Ledger. Jan was an entertainment editor. If he'd been the editor of the news desk, he wouldn't be letting the young city-beat junior editor, Logan Sinclair, go on this undercover assignment at all. But Logan didn't work for him.

"I told you, Jan. Bringing the cops in on it would completely queer the deal. We have a deal with the warden. He wants to pin down the source of the drugs coming into the prison before the cops are brought in. And that's the only reason we're being given this exclusive. I help to identify who's doing it from the inside and I get to write the series. This is my chance."

"This is your chance to get killed, you mean."

"You're getting in too close, Jan. I need to do this. Stop trying to smother me."

Jan could see that Logan meant it--about him getting in too close, being too controlling. It had begun to be a problem in their relationship, and Jan didn't want to lose Logan. He was torn. It was all just too dangerous. He'd done as much as he could to kill the operation, going all the way to the newspaper's editor in chief. But the newspaper was slipping. The publisher had brought in new, bolder management. And Jan had already feared that Logan would hear that Jan was trying to intervene.

Jan didn't want Logan to leave him. It had been the best relationship Jan had ever had. Logan was an angel--a young, blond Adonis who looked years younger than he was. That was Jan's primary fear--the fear of what inmates would do with Logan on the inside. But when he'd finally spoken of his fear to Logan, the younger man had just laughed.

"Of course they'll use me, Jan," he'd said. "I was a rent-boy when you picked me up and got me the training and job in newspaper work. It's precisely why I'm good for this assignment. I can handle myself, and I can blend in better this way. They'll never know I'm a reporter."

"But, you'll be--"

But Logan had gotten angry then, clearly signaling that Jan was pushing too hard. "You use me too, Jan. You used me as a rent-boy and now I give it to you whenever you want it--for free. Don't stand in my way with this."

The best Jan could do under the circumstance, as Logan was getting out of his car, was to say, "I'll visit you as soon as I can, and if there's even a hint that you're being abused, I'll go straight to the cops myself."

"Suit yourself," Logan said, leaning over for a kiss before he climbed out of the car. "But they don't let new inmates have visitors for the first three weeks. They say it helps get the prisoners settled in better."

"That isn't good enough," Jan said, shocked. "I'm going right now--"

"Relax. Just track down a Mrs. Taylor, the prison psychologist. She's my link to the warden in there. I'll have regular meetings with her and she can assure you I'm doing OK or she can pull me out if it gets too hot for me in there. If you go to the cops now, though, you can just pack up all my shit at your apartment and put it out on the street, 'cause I won't be coming back to you."

And that was that. Jan clamped his mouth shut, because the last thing he wanted was Logan not coming back to him. It's just that he'd really prefer that Logan be living when he came back. In any event, Jan would be going right back to the newspaper and filing a memo of disagreement with all of this.

* * * *

"As I understand it, the record says you are in for two years for house burglary. I trust you have the scenario for that down pat? The other inmates always want to know exactly what the others are in for."

"Yes, ma'am," Logan answered. He indeed had the circumstances of why he'd be here drilled into his head--as well as that he no longer was Logan Sinclair, but now was Luke Jameson, and barely nineteen to his real age of twenty-three. His size and baby face would enable him to pass there.

Mrs. Taylor, the prison psychologist, had another coughing fit before she went on, and that, plus that she wasn't looking all that well, made him apprehensive about what she was now saying.

"And you know that not even the guards are in on this. That only Warden Wilson and I know you have been planted here. But you'll have a private meeting with me three times a week--all routine for new inmates--and you know that all you have to do is tell a guard you need to meet with the psychologists and they'll bring you right here."

"Yes, ma'am, I've got all of that."

"And no active sleuthing on this," she continued. "Just listen. We're doing this and using you because you will be able just to drop into the population and no one will think about you listening for anything--you do fully understanding that it will be taxing for you, don't you?"

"Yes, ma'am, I understand," the young man who was now Luke answered. This was probably as close as she was going to get to acknowledging that he had been a rent-boy and that was why he'd been selected--because he could just be there as a toy with no more regard given than the value of his ass.

What he hadn't discussed with anyone in this was that he liked it rough. That's what was really so touchy between him and Jan. Jan was a romantic. Logan wanted to know he'd been fucked. It was part of the prospect of being with randy men behind bars that just hadn't been covered. He wasn't being quite as noble and brave as they thought.

"And you just report to me anything you hear that could connect anyone to the drugs coming in and we'll pull you out just as soon as we get a handle on that. We're bunking you with an older trustee, so you should at least have someplace to retreat when the going gets really rough. And a word of advice on staying safe inside a prison. Find a protector. Make friends with someone others are scared of."

"Yes, ma'am, I understand. And then I get the scoop, right?"

"Right." She was going to say something else, but another coughing fit intervened and she just stood, went to the door, opened it, and waved him out into the arms of a stern-looking muscular guard named Clyde.

The interview had gone OK, but Luke wasn't all that comfortable with how sick the psychologist seemed to be. The prison seemed pretty drafty. He hoped whatever she had wasn't racing around the facility and he'd catch it too.

* * * *

Clyde guided Luke down a corridor and into one of the prison blocks. "Guided" was the right word, because he had a hand on one of Luke's butt cheeks from the time they'd cleared the administrative section and were walking through the cell blocks. As they walked, Clyde was leaning into Luke from the rear and making smacking sound with his lips.

As soon as Clyde opened the steel door into Luke's cell block, he called out, "Got a fresh piece of ass for you guys," which brought many of the inmates to the doors of their cells. As Luke was pushed down the corridor between cells, the chant of "Chickee, chickee" and "Got somethin' here for you, kid," and clucking noises reverberated through the block.

"What's the chicken stuff about?" Luke asked Clyde, as they walked long.

"That's for young ass," Clyde answered. "You've the youngest lookin' guy we've had in here in some time, and a real pretty boy. I hope to God you've taken cock before, boy, because if you ain't used to it, you won't last the week in here. You look like you take it, though."

He obviously wanted Luke to say yes, but Luke didn't answer and they now were at the cell he was to share with another prisoner, who turned out to be a thin, bent-over older guy by the name of Horace.

It seemed like Horace was a nice guy, and he spent much of the next three days explaining to Luke what the routines were and advising him on how to negotiate his way through the shoals.

"The time to be most careful is when the guys from this cell block are released into the exercise yard," he said one day. "But I gotta tell you. If you get cornered and you see a screen of inmates forming between you and where the guards are--and they're lookin' the other way, you're screwed and it's best to just go with it. You fight it--call out or anything--you're most likely dead. No reason to call out to the guards anyway. It's not like they won't already know what's coming down. You try to bring them into it and you're the one they'll be pissed with."

On the same day Horace pointed out Big Mike, a big, bald bruiser of a white guy with gang tattoos. "That's Big Mike over there," he said. "If you can, stay out of his way. He rules around here and has the guards in his hands too. He's getting out in a couple of weeks, but he'll be king pin up to the day he leaves."

The fourth day, these two scenarios came together, and it was Horace, standing there with two cartons of cigarettes in his hands, who maneuvered Luke into a shady corner of the exercise yard, where there was a concrete checkers table with embedded concrete stools on either side of them. Big Mike was sitting on the table, and a ring of Big Mike's men was forming as a screen to the rest of the yard.

"Hey, chicken, come over here," Big Mike said. "Yeah, you, pretty boy," he continued when Luke gave him a "who me?" look. "So, what are in here for, kid, and for how long?"

"It's a two-year stretch for burglary," Luke answered.

"Well, I'm just the man to help you with the stretch part," Big Mike said, with a laugh.

Luke didn't even see the fist coming that came up under his chin, snapping his head up, and then buried itself in his belly, taking the wind out of his sails. Big Mike moved real fast for a man that size. He had Luke on his back on the top of the checker's table and his pants stripped off before Luke had his breath back. One of Big Mike's goons had Luke's T-shirt stripped off him and being stuffed in his mouth to gag him, while two others wishboned his legs. There was a little preparation, but not much, before Big Mike was between his legs, pressing down on his sternum with a big fist, working a thick, sheathed cock inside his ass, and pumping him hard.

After Big Mike was finished, the three guys who had helped hold Luke down were given sloppy seconds through fourths.

As Luke hobbled off the exercise field, Horace no longer at his side, Clyde stepped forward to inform him, "There's been a change in cell assignments. You'll be bunking with Big Mike now."

Big Mike must have liked what he got in the exercise yard, because he got it three more times before breakfast the next day, each time slapping Luke around before pushing him down on the lower bunk, painfully immobilizing his arms, thrusting inside him, and riding him hard, pulling out, ripping off his condom, and either shooting up the small of Luke's back or making him take it in the face.

At breakfast the next morning, Luke asked to see the prison psychologist, only to be told that she was in the hospital with pneumonia.

* * * *

If anyone was in for a surprise in Big Mike taking Luke into his cell and fucking him hard a couple of times a day, it was Big Mike. Luke was in his element now. After that first day, when Big Mike let out all the stops and ravished him mercifully, Luke gradually, over the two weeks Big Mike had left in prison, tamed the big man's brutality. Luke showed that he'd take whatever the bruiser had to dish out, but he also showed that if Big Mike gave him some control, it was all for the good in terms of Big Mike's pleasure. Luke showed the man that he gave great head when he let Luke give it rather than Big Mike just brutalizing and force feeding him. And even after Luke had been taken hard, he could impress Big Mike by mounting the bruiser's cock and riding him into the sunset before they both drifted off to sleep--in each other's arms.

What this meant in terms of Luke's mission was that, as it was surmised he'd be able to do, Luke just drifted into the background as part of Big Mike's gang, and he was able to get hints of what he needed to know. Although Big Mike and his gang ended up with some of the drugs filtering into the prison, they weren't part of the delivery chain. They let drop that a single inmate, a Colombian named Gomez, distributed the drugs within the prison. Where he got them, Luke didn't find out. Just this information, though, was enough to pass through channels to the warden.

That was a problem, though. The day Big Mike left the prison and Luke was returned to Horace's cell, saying nothing to Horace about having sold him to Big Mike not only because that suited Luke's purposes but also because you didn't go out of your way to make enemies in prison, Luke asked again to the see the psychologist. If he expected for that to be a problem, it wasn't. But it also wasn't Mrs. Taylor, his contact, he was taken to see.

He was ushered into Mrs. Taylor's office, but a man, introducing himself as Dr. Crawford, was sitting behind her desk.

"Where's Mrs. Taylor?" Luke asked.

"She's in the hospital; I'm sitting in for her. Now, what seems to be--?"

"I have to see the warden. He'll want to see me."

"Now what could there be that you needed to see the warden about? You can tell me. Warden Wilson's away at a conference in Phoenix anyway, so maybe we can work out your problem without him. You're a very good looking young man. I can image--"

Luke did not like the way the psychologist was looking at him. "Um, no matter. Any idea when Mrs. Taylor will be back? I'd really rather be talking to her."

"A few days at least. But maybe there's something I could help you with--and there may be something you can help me with in the process." Crawford stood up from behind the desk and was making to move around it.

Luke couldn't be fast enough in standing up himself and backpeddling toward the door to the corridor. "No, that's fine, thanks. It can wait. I'll talk with Mrs. Taylor when she gets back."

He fairly fell into the arms of the burly guard, Clyde, out in the corridor. Clyde was none too quick either to release him from the embrace he'd put Luke into so the young man wouldn't fall to the floor.

He didn't take Luke back to the cell he now shared with Horace. He guided Luke to what seemed to be some sort of break room for the guards. Six hulking guards in addition to Clyde were waiting, licking their chops and running their hands along their crotches when Clyde pushed Luke into the room.

As one of the guards closed the door to the corridor, locked it, and pulled the blind down on the window of the door, Clyde said, "I guess you can figure out what you're doing here, Chickee." He was taking his baton out of its belt sheath.

"Listen, this isn't--" Luke started to say.

But Clyde broke in. "You can either take this soft or hard. It's your choice." He put his hand into his pocket and came up with a handful of pills. "These will help you take it and to forget it afterward. And there's plenty of them where these come from. Be good to us, and I'll supply all you need. Big Mike said you put out great. We can be partners in this, to mutual benefit, or we can just take it from you. Either way, you're fucked. Now strip, and take your medicine like a good little boy."

As he stripped, Luke reasoned that his work in the prison was done. He knew now who was bringing the drugs in: Clyde, maybe with the help of these other six guards, as none of them had done a double take when he produced the pills and said how easy that were to come by. He just needed to get through whatever time there was between now and when Mrs. Taylor returned to duty and the warden came back from Phoenix.

"Lookin' mighty fine, Chickee," Clyde muttered, giving a low, appreciative whistle. "We're gonna have a ball with you. Climb up on that table and lay on your back."

He had said that if Luke cooperated, they'd go easy on him. Clyde had lied. The first thing Clyde fucked Luke with was with his police baton. Then his cock. Then he let the other six loose for a gang bang. Luke lay back and took it. It wasn't like he'd never been gang banged before. He concentrated on not letting the drugs zone out on him. He wanted to remember everything that happened and to be able to identify every guard who had taken part.

If he ever could get through to the warden. Luke only now was thinking about how tenuous all of this was. And why the hell did the warden just waltz off to a conference knowing that the only link to his prison snitch was in the hospital?

The last door to a possible conduit clanged shut, when a knock at the door marked the entry into the break room of Dr. Crawford, who was the last of the prison establishment to mount Luke's ass and ride him hard.

* * * *

As long as he was in suspension in the cellblock, Luke decided that he might as well keep his eyes and ears open for more conclusive evidence of the drug operation. At the same time he had to stay alive. With Big Mike gone, he now was on the market again within the cellblock--and now there also were the guards to worry about. He remembered what Mrs. Taylor had said about finding a protector. It certainly wouldn't be Horace, but despite having sold him to Big Mike, Horace seemed to like Luke just fine and might help him.

"You want someone like Hakeem," Horace said. "A big black bull, but he has a soft spot."

"Will you help me?" Luke asked. He was holding a carton of cigarettes in his hand. He didn't smoke, but he'd bought his share of the cigarette rations the last shopping day--to use in an instance such as this.

"How do you want me to help you?"

"If I can get him in here during an open cell block period, will you stand watch to see that we're not disturbed?"

That deal set, Luke went wooing Hakeem. This didn't turn out to be hard. The big lunk wasn't all that bright, but he had a soft spot--and a hard on--for small, blond pretty boys.

Luke got up close to Hakeem whenever he could manage it, smiled for him, engaged him in small conversation, and showed interest in the man and his hobbies, which included making figures out of used straws, which he was really good at despite having big mitts, and memorizing the lyrics to rap songs he heard on the radio, which he wasn't that good at because his mind worked slower than the mouths of the rappers did. Luke made himself valuable to Hakeem by memorizing the raps himself and coaching the big black in them. He also was quick to admire Hakeem's straw sculptures.

Luke had to move pretty fast, so almost immediately he was touching Hakeem intimately and making the black bull shudder at the attention and was giving him "come on" looks.

While Horace stood watch during an open cell block period, Luke backed Hakeem up against the wall at the side of the open door, knelt in front of him, and gave him a blow job. Before Hakeem came, though, Luke maneuvered himself between the big black and the wall of the cell, hugged Hakeem's hips with his legs, and made sounds of being taken by the biggest cock he'd ever had--which might have been close to the truth--while Hakeem fucked him against the wall.

Word went around that Hakeem had taken over from Big Mike in Luke's life, and the threat even by the guards died down. It was only a stopgap arrangement, though, because Hakeem was set to leave prison in another week. That was fine with Luke, as he was sure Mrs. Taylor would be back by then. But he'd made a mistake of telling Hakeem that a deal had been done that would get him out of prison soon too.

"That's great," Hakeem said. "Then I'll be there to pick you up at the gate and we can be together."

The big lug had fallen for Luke, and Luke had let slip that he didn't plan on serving out a two-year stretch. Hakeem hadn't been bright enough to ask how Luke could get out that fast.

"Uh, we'll see," Luke said. "But, yeah, wouldn't that be great? I don't know how you'd know, though--"

"Oh, the grapevine extends outside the prison walls," Hakeem said. "Those on the outside always know when someone's being released."

Just great, Luke thought. It was getting a bit complicated.

But this was when real complication set in. Gomez, the fingered drug dealer, who led a gang of Hispanics, decided he was interested in Luke's services and interested enough to dispute that with Hakeem.

The essential problem was that, when Luke learned that Gomez was interested in him, he regretted he had attached himself to Hakeem. If Luke could gain more direct evidence that Gomez was the inside receiver of the drugs, that would pin this all down. If he could play Gomez like he did Bib Mike, this would be a slam dunk--he could make sure of the connection between the guard, Clyde, and the inmate, Gomez.

Gomez had been nosing around Luke for a couple of days, and Luke did what he could to signal interest. They were about to settle the arrangement in that shadowed corner of the exercise yard one afternoon when Hakeem came upon them. Before Luke--or Gomez--knew what was happening, Hakeem had decked Gomez, had him down on the ground, and was choking him--with every evidence that he wasn't going to stop until Gomez was dead.

"Hakeem. Stop. Please," Luke cried out throwing himself on Hakeem's back.

"He was going to fuck you," Hakeem declared. "Everyone knows I'm your man."

"Yes, Hakeem, but let him loose, and let's talk about this."

Hakeem left Gomez on the ground, still stunned and fighting for breath. Hakeem stood, placed a foot on Gomez' sternum, and turned to listen to Luke's insistent whispers.

"Please, Hakeem. It's you I want to be with. But you are getting out in a couple of days and I'll be longer. Think. I have to have a protector. First it was Big Mike. And then you. But I need one for the short time I'm still in prison. You want me alive to come out of the prison to you, don't you? It's just for a short time. I need someone like Gomez to protect me. He needn't know it's just for a week or so."

"Well, OK, I see that," Hakeem said reluctantly. "But you'll come with me now."

"Yes, but leave me to talk to Gomez for a moment."

When Hakeem was released from the prison, the pledge was made to Gomez. Servicing him expertly twice a day when Hakeem was out of prison pulled Luke as closely into Gomez' gang and comfort zone as easily and quickly as he had merged into Big Mike's world. The connection between Gomez and Clyde was made, but there was another elusive person in the chain that Luke couldn't reach.

On his last night in Gomez' cell, after Luke had knelt between the Colombian's thighs and worked the man's cock hard with his mouth and then pressed on Gomez' chest to make him lay back on the bed, Luke turned and sat in Gomez' lap, skewering himself on Gomez' cock, and rising and falling as Gomez held his slim waist between his beefy hands and made guttural sounds of deep pleasure.

Afterward, as they lay stretched out against each other, Luke whispered, "I'm worried about you."

"How so?" Gomez asked.

"I know you're receiving drugs through the guards to supply the inmates. That's cool; that's not what's bothering me. I'm worried you're not protected enough. And if you're not protected, I'm not either. There is someone. Someone higher than the guards, I know." Luke was too smart to reveal to Gomez that he knew the specific guard who supplied Gomez. "I don't think it's safe for you not to know who it is. You do know who it is, don't you and are just keeping that to yourself?"

"No, Chickee, I don't know. I think if I knew I'd be a dead man. It's best that I do not know."

Gomez was all South American macho. To acknowledge that he feared anyone--especially an unknown someone--convinced Luke that the Hispanic didn't know the missing link.

So, who did? Luke wondered. Most likely Clyde. Luke had to find a way to be alone with Clyde--to give Clyde the time of his life and somehow to wheedle a name out of him.

But that wasn't to be. The next morning Luke was summoned to the warden's office.

* * * *

"I was surprised you hadn't asked to see me," Warden Wilson said when Luke was brought to him. "I suppose you haven't been able to find anything useful."

"Other than one missing link," Luke answered, "I think I have the information you need. The drugs are coming in through seven of the guards, under the direction of a guard named Clyde--I don't know his last name. And they are going to a Colombian-national inmate named Gomez for distribution in the cellblocks. I think, though, that there is a connection higher than the guards. But, what do you mean I hadn't asked to see you? Mrs. Taylor wasn't here for regular contact. I finally got into see her replacement and asked to see you but you were off in Phoenix?"

"In Phoenix? What do you mean?"

"The temporary psychologist. He said you were at a conference in Phoenix and so I couldn't see you. He wanted me to tell him what I wanted to see you about, but I had been told not to talk about it to anyone but Mrs. Taylor."

"Dr. Crawford? He told you I wasn't here?"

The warden and Luke looked into each other's faces for the longest moment before the warden spoke again. "And not telling him what you wanted to see me about was probably what has saved your life," the warden said. Both of them now knew who the missing link in the chain was.

Later that day, as Luke--now Logan again--walked out of the prison and saw the two cars waiting for him, he knew that what Hakeem told him about news of releases traveling quickly beyond the prison walls had been true.

He tried his best not to make eye contact with Jan, his newspaper compatriot and his lover before he had started his abbreviated two-year stretch, as he walked by the first car. When he reached the second car, he opened the passenger door and slid into the passenger seat. The driver pulled Logan into his chest for a possessive kiss.

When they came up for air, Logan said in a low, guttural voice, "I was afraid that Hakeem would be here for me too, and there'd be trouble."

"I took care of Hakeem," the occupant of the second car said. "He won't be bothering you." A mean look from him was also keeping a frustrated Jan from leaving his car.

"I've missed you big time, Big Mike," Logan whispered. "Take me someplace nearby and fuck the stuffing out of me just like you did in prison."

Big Mike laughed and put the car in gear.



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