Tom had been made an offer that, in theory, he could refuse…but theories were notoriously easy to disprove.
Busted a month earlier for hot-rodding at more than twice the legal speed limit, it hadn’t been his first offence. The judge reckoned that eight months in the slammer might provide some quality reflection time and, after a lot of paper-work and processing, Tom soon found himself on the inside of the state pen. On the third day of his incarceration he suffered a moderately serious beating at the hands of a gang of neo-Nazi inmates and soon after that began to wonder if his sanity was resilient enough to make the final haul.
It was around that time (two and a half weeks into Tom’s eight- month sentence) that Officer Pettleigh, one of the ubiquitous prison guards generally posted to Tom’s cell block, pulled the young offender aside in order to deliver some heart-shattering news…but also to make the agitated prisoner an offer.
‘Reckoned it should be one of us to break the bad news.’ The guard’s funeral parlour tone would have been laughable…in other circumstances. ‘See, your case has been under review and, well, it seems that certain, ah, technicalities were negligently overlooked.’ Tom’s wide grey eyes shouted a thousand questions. ‘And, well,’ Pettleigh continued as if lost in regret, ‘the judge has extended your eight-month sentence,’ he paused, exhaling a noisy sigh, ‘to three years.’ Feeling as if he had been hit by a sledge-hammer, Tom’s breath hitched in his chest, broad shoulders sagging, as he searched a numbed mind for any sort of response to the devastating news. ‘There may be a way out of this, though,’ the older man suddenly wore a cagey expression, ‘See…there are other sorts of technicalities that may be up, um, some different sleeves.’ He then proceeded to explain that on the notarized testimony of a prison official (and Pettleigh was proud to be counted in that number) a given inmate’s sentence of incarceration could be drastically reduced by early parole on the grounds of proven good behaviour, which, of course, almost never happened.
‘Tell you what. I’ll make you an offer.’ Tom was all ears. See, I’ve had my eye on you, boy…’ Tom didn’t like the tone of the leering guard’s voice, no, not one little bit, but mustering all of his courage and a tatter of hope, replied, ‘What kind of offer?’
Pettleigh’s answer came just over a week later. As Tom endured the tedious lock-down in his cell after the late-afternoon thirty-minute jog in the exercise yard, one of the prison orderlies stopped in front of his narrow cage. ‘Strip down and get yourself dressed in these.’ The crisp order brooked no contradiction and, as Tom squirreled out of his regulation bright orange prison jumpsuit, preceded by shoes and socks, and followed by his undershorts, the orderly tossed a single pair of faded levis between the bars. ‘You’ve got five minutes,’ he smirked, ‘until I come back to escort you to your appointment.’ ‘What fucking appointment?’ Tom hiked the beltless levis up muscular legs and buttoned the fly, but the orderly merely turned on his heel and walked away.
The orderly reappeared, as promised, five minutes later and escorted Tom, clad only in the pair of faded levis, along several corridors to a special (and well-known, if dreaded) interrogation cell where Officer Pettleigh waited like an expectant spider. ‘Thanks for dropping by.’ The strange statement mocked Tom’s ever-present reality, yet, underscored…the promise of an offer. On leaving his cell, Tom had been cuffed and, barefoot, shirtless, and effectively immobilized he felt an acute sense of vulnerability. This was underscored when the glassy-eyed guard reached out, almost shyly, and stroked Tom’s naked pecs, massaging the rubbery nubs of both nipples with a feather-light touch. ‘Fucker…’ muttered nearly inaudibly under the helpless prisoner’s breath but, knowing better, he offered no resistance. When Pettleigh casually unfastened the first steel button of Tom’s beltless levis he instinctively backed up, half-turning in shamed revulsion. ‘Good,’ Pettleigh whispered, ‘It would spoil things if you were having any of the fun.’ It was then that the long-awaited offer at last came to light.
‘See, boy,’ Pettleigh was suddenly all business and, considering what came next, utterly unselfconscious. ‘I’ve developed, um, a real hankering for you…yeah, ALL of you.’ Tom simply stared at the loathsome guard with unfeigned amazement. ‘So, this is what I propose,’ Placing a proprietary hand on one of Tom’s smooth shoulders, he gently maneuvered the reluctant prisoner to the center of the cell, directly beneath the bright overhead light. ‘Hands behind your head!’ Tom reluctantly obeyed. ‘Right, I’m going to give you a choice- just to make things interesting; to spice them up a bit, so to speak…’ Tom waited, breathing hard and sweating heavily, yet remaining as still as a young animal caught in onrushing headlights. ‘I reckon you may have guessed by now that I want to…ah…fuck you, boy, and, sure enough, I very much do!’ The sense of glee dancing in the guard’s dark eyes was palpable. ‘I also needed to make double sure that having a middle-aged cock shoved up various parts of your anatomy wasn’t really your thing…as if you were, like, some kind of slimeball faggot perv…or something.’ He smiled as if at an inside joke. ‘And I must say, I am now 100% satisfied on that account- so here’s the deal: you need to want me to fuck you for, ummmmmm, different reasons.’ ‘No FUCKING way!!!!!’ Tom knew he might regret the outburst but he simply couldn’t take anymore of Pettleigh’s sick bullshit. The guard, unfazed, licked his sensuous lips and continued, ‘Of course, I could force…things…to happen, but hey! Been there done that…’ He shook his head in a mockery of jaded weariness. ‘So, I reckon I’ll offer you a choice…’ Tom waited, utterly nonplussed. ‘You can peel off those tattered trousers and ask me real nice to do what I’ve been hankering after since, well, since you walked through the front gate…and, when we’re all finished, I recommend you for the earliest possible parole for, um, real goooooooood behaviour.’ He chuckled, ‘I reckon you could be outta here in just about a month and a half…OR, you can return to your cozy little cell and curl up, all safe, on that narrow cot…and, starting tomorrow, just make the best of things for the next three years. Promise!’
A steady stream of tears slid from Tom’s averted eyes as he lowered trembling arms and, one by one, undid the remaining steel buttons of his tattered levis.