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The sun shone brightly, being reflected softly on the polished wooden floor as Issay walked silently through the corridor. He had been told there were going to be new arrivals and the owner of the place wanted them all to meet them.

The dark haired beauty entered the common room, pulling slightly on his hakama to be able to sit at his assigned place in a comfortable cushion. He supposed this would be quick, as he wondered if this time there would be any male among the chosen ones. It wasn’t like he had always been the only man in the house, so he was eager to have some more of his own around that weren’t customers.  

After all, men weren’t there for the same purpose exactly as most the women did, or at least not as often. He was a singer and musician since his youngest age. He had been sold to the place so his family could survive a particularly hard winter. The only reason the owner of the house had accepted him was because he already knew how to read, write and sing.

He had been raised and educated by the owner herself; she had even taught him how to handle finances. He had also learned all the etiquette rules and was quite famous at the place. He was sure his acting and music skills had been the reason the owner had refused to give him away to the army when they tried to recruit him. They had taken all of the other men from the house.

 Issay still remembered the huge amount of money she had endorsed to feed said army in exchange for them to leave him there. She had later told him he would have to work for her for the rest of his life to pay it back. That day he had learned as well that she intended for him to run the place after she was no longer able to do so.

The whole thing had given him bittersweet feelings. On one side, he could have been free to live his life if he had been able to join the army, given of course only if he survived the war. He wasn’t as young as most of the soldiers and the owner had told him he would have surely died first.  But on the other hand, he had realized this bitter old mean woman cared for him and trusted him enough to hand him over a business as long as he took care of her till her last days.

He heard a few girls murmuring, they seemed jealous of the new ones. They probably feared to lose customers due to them; so he turned towards them. “You shouldn’t worry about the new girls…” he said calmly. “They still need to be trained, and won’t be able to serve customers until they have passed their trials…”

“That’s easy for you to say… no one can take your place…” One of the girls retorted.

“Well, it’s true…” Issay stared intently at her. “There’s no way any untrained newbie can become better than me… but if you trust your abilities that little… worry all you want…”

The girl looked down feeling embarrassed. Issay then heard the owner’s voice instructing the newcomers to enter. He looked as each of them was instructed to walk in. Most were barely children, some others were teens and the fewest were older.

Issay sighed feeling a bit disappointed, they were all female. Surely the army had something to do with that. He supposed the war was worst than he had heard. Maybe it was truly a privilege to be away from the combat lines.

After the new ones were introduced the owner instructed each one to join a pair of the girls so they would take care of them and begin their training, so they took them with them and left. Issay however noticed there was one last left, so he looked back at the owner wondering if she would train her.

“This is Kaya…” the owner told Issay.

“She is pretty…” Issay then stood, walking closer to them. Not sure what she expected him to do, Kaya had a very beautiful face and long hair but he didn’t see any reason why the owner would be particularly interested in her. “Does she have any particular skill?”

“Darling, Kaya here is not a girl…” the woman smiled. “He just looks like one…”

Issay’s eyes widened, he wouldn’t have been able to tell. “Am I to train him then?”

“Yes. Of course we are still going to dress him as a girl. Those greedy bastards in the army also thought he was a woman, otherwise they would have taken him…” she walked over to Kaya. “Kaya here can’t speak… I don’t know why, and neither did the ones who sold him to me… apparently he ran away from home or something…” the owner took Kaya’s face softly with her hand. “Maybe you can learn to play some instrument…” She then looked at Issay. “So, please take care of him…”

Issay nodded as he saw the woman leave. Issay then turned towards Kaya. “I’m Issay…” he introduced himself earnestly. “I’ll be your senior here, so you must learn everything I tell you and help me when I need it… you should be thankful Mother took you in…” he said referring to the owner. “You’ll have food and shelter, and if you behave properly you’ll be able to stay… if you fail to learn your duties and the proper manners… she’ll most likely sell you again…”

Kaya took a hand to his lips, scared of such possibility.

“Good… I see you understand what I’m saying…” Issay smiled softening his stand. “Come with me… You look like you could use a hot bath… make sure to wash yourself properly. I’ll go get you some other clothes so you can change… those rags are unbecoming for someone in this house…”   

A while later Kaya was warming up in the hot water tub. He sighed closing his eyes. This house seemed by far the best place to be. Issay seemed stern and hard just like the owner; however his smile had given him a slight sense of warmth. Suddenly, the sound of the door being opened startled him.

“It’s just me…” Issay said entering and placing the new clothes in a small chair. “I think this will fit you…” he then walked towards Kaya’s old clothes, picking them up. “You won’t need these anymore…” he stated opening the door to a small chimney and beginning to throw the clothes in there.

Kaya tried to get up, but remembered he was naked and sank back in the tub.

Issay then felt something among the clothes, taking out a small book from within the folds and throwing the rest of the clothes in the fire. “You know how to read?” he asked looking at the younger.

Kaya nodded, crossing his arms and looking down afterwards.

“That is great…” Issay smiled. “Come out, I’ll help you dress up…”

Kaya blushed looking at the elder a bit surprised.

“We are both male…” Issay said. “There’s nothing there I haven’t seen before… “

Kaya nodded, getting up. Still feeling embarrassed as the elder wrapped him in a towel.

“I don’t know if you have worn this kind of clothes before, but in here you must remember how to dress correctly… everything we do is a reflection of Mother… we can’t make her look bad.” Issay explained as he began helping Kaya into the clothes. “Try to remember the proper order, folds and how to tie the bows…” he then noticed Kaya was looking at him with curiosity. “They used to dress me on these when I was young… until my voice changed I wasn’t allowed to wear male clothes…” he explained.

After dressing him up, Issay began combing the younger’s hair. “You have lovely hair…” he commented once he was done. “I’ll teach you how to wear your makeup after lunch… you must be starving…”

Kaya nodded excitedly. Feeling glad he’ll finally be able to eat decently.

During the meal, Kaya was taught how to eat, being scolded a couple of times because of attempting to eat too fast. He however made his best at learning everything Issay was teaching him, the threat of being sold again still clear in his mind.

Though Kaya had been wary of Issay at first, he soon realized he only was stern when needed. Beneath all that elegance and seriousness there was a warm caring person who also seemed quite patient while teaching him everything he thought he might need to learn. The younger was quite a fast learner as well. Making his best at remembering everything he was supposed to know and barely a few weeks after his arrival he had been allowed to follow Issay around and assist him with the house duties. Issay had also decided to teach the younger how to dance, so by now they could perform together.

 Kaya had been assigned to sleep in the same room as Issay, so he soon caught on his routine, noticing the elder enjoyed reading before going to sleep. At first he simply left him alone, but he was curious of his tastes and wanted them to have more things in common, so one night he sat next to him as he read.

Issay noticed Kaya was looking at him. “Are you tired? Do you want me to turn the light off?”

Kaya denied with his head, signaling the book.

“It’s a love story…” Issay told Kaya. “I’ve barely begin reading it, but I can lend it to you once I’m done…”

Kaya pouted slightly. Going towards his side of the room and retrieving a piece of paper and some ink, writing something and handing it to Issay.

“You want me to read for you?” Issay asked a bit surprised.

Kaya nodded enthusiastically.

Issay sighed. “Fine…”

The elder’ days began with him making sure the food was served on time for breakfast; he then had to check the pantry and go to the village to buy things if necessary. Then after lunch he had to make sure the house was thoroughly cleaned and everything had to be neat before they opened. Issay was then at the door, in charge of directing the customers towards the girls. At times he was required to perform for some of them as well. Once the last costumer was gone, he would count money and deliver it to the owner. Then it was bath and bed time.

It had also become a routine for the elder to read for Kaya. He didn’t mind since at least he no longer felt alone in the house. Yes, he was around women and costumers all day but none of them were his friends.

One day while shopping for groceries he noticed lots of movement caused by some men who looked like soldiers. Feeling a bit worried that might be a bad sign, so he asked one of the women at the market as he paid for the things he bought. “Are they recruiting again?”

“Oh, no…  they just won a big battle and came back to celebrate…” the woman answered.

“I see… thanks…” Issay bowed slightly, hurrying back to inform the owner. That would probably mean some of those men would show up at the house that afternoon.

Just as he had warned, the soldiers filled the place that evening, keeping everyone busy. The owner wasn’t happy; however work was work after all.   

Issay walked towards the door giving instructions to some of the girls, then looking at a man coming in. Recognizing him, they had been friends before so he walked up to him. “Acchan?”

The dark haired man looked at Issay, sliming. “It’s Sakurai-sama now…”

Issay smiled nodding. “Of course… sorry, Sakurai-sama… please come in, is there anyone to your liking or should I get a specific type of girl for you?”

“How about you?” Atsushi requested.

“Sure…” Issay signaled one of the girls to take his place, then taking Kaya’s arm softly. “Bring some sake for us please…” then he turned towards Atsushi once again. “This way please…”

Atsushi followed Issay to one of the fancier rooms, taking a seat on one of the soft cushions as the elder closed the door.

“Do you want me to sing or play an instrument for you tonight?” Issay asked politely.

“I want you to drink with me…” Atsushi answered, hearing a small knock and then seeing Kaya enter and close the door, kneeling and then beginning to serve the sake.

“I’d be honored to join you…” Issay said then sitting in front of Atsushi.

“You know, you don’t have to be that formal with me…” Atsushi began drinking.

“You just told me I should call you Sakurai-sama…” Issay smiled.

Atsushi then glanced slightly at Kaya. “You are very quiet…”

Kaya looked down, feeling embarrassed as he refilled Atsushi’s cup.

“Oh, this is Kaya… she can’t speak…” Issay explained. “So worry not, your secrets will be safe with us…”

Atsushi laughed softly. “Fine… You don’t have to call me Sakurai-sama where no one sees us…”

“You look well…” Issay commented relaxing a little as he drank as well. “I thought these two years would change you…”

“I’ve been lucky…” Atsushi moved his now short hair aside slightly. “Do you regret staying?”

“I can’t go anywhere no matter what I think…” Issay answered. “How about you, do you miss singing?”

“I’m not a pretty object anymore…” Atsushi drank some more. “I think you would have done well in the army too…”

“I’m older than you…” Issay said drinking again. “Mother says I would have been among the first to die…”  

“I’ve missed you.” Atsushi stated honestly.

Issay looked into the younger’s eyes. There always was a fire in that gaze that threatened to consume his very soul.  “I’ve missed you too…” he conceded, looking down as he placed his cup on the table. 

Atsushi then took his hand, making him look up at him once again. “Do you know how to please a man?” he inquired sternly.

“We both know I do… If the proper price is paid…” Issay felt his heart pound hard in his chest at the younger’s words.

“I think that’s not a problem…” Atsushi smiled still not letting go of his hand.

Issay then looked at Kaya, who seemed really worried. “Leave us alone…”

Kaya had no way of arguing, and he knew that even if he had he wasn’t supposed to; so he simply got up and left. All he could do was hope Issay would be fine.

Issay hadn’t come back to the door for the rest of that night; Kaya was still worried as he heard Issay entering their room. It was quite late and he didn’t dare to let him know he was still awake as he watched him lay down on his futon.

The elder blew the candles as he lied with his back towards Kaya. Closing his eyes and frowning at the still fresh memories of his now shattered heart.

If he closed his eyes he could still feel Atsushi’s warm chest against his own, and listen to his ragged breath. A shiver ran through his body at the memory of his hand caressing his face softly, as warm pink lips claimed his.

“I’m not supposed to kiss the customers…” Issay smiled as he broke the kiss softly.

“Does it matter if it’s only for tonight?” Atsushi had asked as he got up.

“Won’t you come to see me again?” Issay looked into the younger’s eyes, noticing they were avoiding him now.

“I’m sorry…” Atsushi then began dressing up.

Issay took his juban, putting it on as he saw Atsushi dress up. “Is there something wrong?” he asked feeling confused.

“I don’t think I’ll ever come back…” Atsushi had finally dared to look back at him.

“You just won a major battle… you’ve survived two years already… do you think you are gonna die?” Issay still didn’t understand his sudden change.

“I don’t know if I’ll survive the war…” Atsushi stated. “Still… I’ll become a father soon… I’m getting married, so I’ll never be able to see you again…”

Issay took a hand to his lips. Squeezing his eyelids hard as he felt a few tears slid down his cheeks. It had been so hard to keep his composure in front of Atsushi. He had even wished him the best for his future. Yet now in the darkness of his room he allowed himself to be honest.

The elder straightened up, turning around startled as he felt a hand on his back, noticing Kaya was there. “I thought you were asleep…” he said passing a hand over his eyes.

Kaya denied with his head, moving closer and holding him.

“I’m fine, don’t worry…” Issay tried to stop him, but Kaya wouldn’t let go; so he gave in, holding him back, feeling a few more tears slid down his face. “He didn’t hurt me…”

Kaya simply caressed Issay’s hair softly. He couldn’t ask what was wrong, but he could at least try to comfort him.

“I… was so happy to see him alive…” Issay confessed. “He was an old… friend…” he sighed trying to stop his tears. “I’ll never see him again…”   

Issay couldn’t remember how long he had cried that night. He had fallen asleep in Kaya’s arms at some point. He however had woken up alone in the room; Kaya was nowhere to be seen and by the sunlight he knew it was late for sure.  A sudden knock in the door startled him.

“Come in…” he said in a faint voice as he tried to fix his hair at least, crying so much had affected him somehow.

“Kaya gave this to me…” the owner entered handing him a piece of paper with Kaya’s handwriting. “You look awful; do you think it’s contagious?”

Issay read the paper making sense of her question. It said he was sick that morning and to please let him rest. “I… I’ll be fine by tomorrow…” he looked down feeling embarrassed.

“Fine… rest all you need. You have been working really hard…” the owner sighed. “I’ll tell Kaya to bring you something to eat…”

“Thank you Mother…” Issay felt thankful.

“If you think you need a doctor, let me know…” the owner then left.

 Throughout the day, Kaya had been bringing him food and some fruit the girls from the house had sent him. Though Issay hated lying, he couldn’t have stand to hear them gossip about him if they knew he wasn’t sick.

That night, after his bath he was drying his hair while sitting on his futon, seeing Kaya arrive as well. Issay began combing his hair, seeing the younger come towards him with a book in his hand.

“Right… we finished the other one already…” Issay said putting his comb down and taking the book. “You want me to read a children’s book?” he asked as he saw the title.

Kaya nodded, taking a piece of paper and writing something for Issay.

“You are tired of love stories?” Issay looked at Kaya after reading. “Fine… so am I…” he sighed as he opened the book. “You know… I wanted to thank you for what you did… all of it.”

Kaya smiled then sitting next to Issay and resting his head on his shoulder as he began reading. 

A few months passed and Kaya began gaining popularity due to his dancing skills. He however noticed this seemed to make Issay worried. Kaya had even heard some of the girls wondering if Issay was scared Kaya would become much more popular than he had ever been, making him feel guilty somehow. However he knew he shouldn’t believe what others said, so he decided to ask him one night as he was reading for him yet once more. 

Issay received the paper and read it sighing afterwards. “I’m worried because… I don’t want you to get hurt…” he said noticing the younger frowned. “You are an artist, so you aren’t among the girls who can be easily bought… but one day, a rich man or a soldier might request you… they have enough money or power so they can’t be refused that kind of service, not even from us…”

Kaya then wrote something else, handing it to the elder. “How am I supposed to please a man?”

 “If the time comes I’ll teach you how…” Issay sighed looking away; he however had to look back at the younger as he felt him climb on his lap. “Kaya!” he felt surprised as he saw the younger trying to reach his lips, so he avoided him taking his wrists as he tried to stop him. “Stop it!”

Kaya then blushed, closing his eyes as he tried to grab a hold of himself. He then looked up at Issay, feeling a few tears roll down his cheeks as a thousand questions kept going through his mind.

“Please… you don’t have to do this…” Issay took one of his hands to wipe the younger’s tears away. “I… don’t want to have to think of their hands touching your body…”  

Kaya looked up at him once again, feeling confused. However this time it was Issay who approached him, kissing his lips softly. The younger closed his eyes as he felt his arms going around his body and holding him close.

“We are not supposed to kiss their lips...” Issay whispered against Kaya’s lips. “We might sell our bodies not our souls… kisses are only for those to whom our souls belong…”

Kaya felt certain warmth spread through his body as he heard Issay’s words, then moving closer and connecting their lips once again. He was ok with his soul belonging to the elder.

Issay’s hands caressed the younger’s back softly as he allowed him to explore his mouth. Kaya’s hands went to untie the elder’s robes. He wanted to feel him. 

“Are you sure about this?” Issay inquired as he kissed his neck.

Kaya nodded as he began caressing Issay’s chest. The elder then decided to take over, making Kaya lie down on the futon as he began undressing him. “Since you are so eager… I’ll show you what pleasure is first…”

Kaya bit his lower lip as he felt issay caress him to full hardness, closing his eyes as he undressed him.

“Don’t be ashamed…” Issay requested. “This is going to feel really good…” he promised then licking his lips and taking the younger’s manhood in his mouth, sucking softly at first; taking him deeper and faster as he saw his reactions.

Kaya clenched the sheets with his hands as he felt his whole body nearly vibrate in pleasure. Issay really seemed to know what he was doing. He could feel almost like he was seeing stars behind his eyelids.

Issay took Kaya as deep as he could, noticing how close he seemed to be, then taking a hand to his testicles and caressing them at the same time. And then as he felt the younger’ seed fill his mouth he heard what seemed to be a strangled moan coming from him.

Issay licked his lips as he straightened up; noticing Kaya was looking at him and seemed to be scared. “So… you have a voice?”

Kaya straightened up, looking down as he blushed profusely. “Are you gonna be mad at me for hiding it?”

Issay felt shocked at hearing Kaya’s voice for the first time. “You can speak!”

“Please… don’t tell anybody!” Kaya requested taking the elder’s hand.

“Why didn’t you tell me?” Issay asked.

“My voice… isn’t beautiful…” Kaya seemed really embarrassed as he spoke. “It doesn’t match who I am…”

“There’s nothing wrong with your voice…” Issay caressed the younger’s face softly. “Who said such thing to you?”

Kaya moved closer, holding the elder and hiding his face in his chest. Issay caressed his hair softly trying to soothe him. And just as he thought he wouldn’t get any other words out of him, the younger began to speak.

“My family was really poor… they had to dress me with my older sister’s clothes…” Kaya took Issay’s hand softly. “She was always so beautiful… I wanted to be like her, but as I grew older they told me I shouldn’t wear her clothes anymore… and then as if to spite me my voice changed… so I ran away and decided not to speak until my voice matched who I am…”

Issay then took Kaya’s face softly with his hand, looking into his eyes. “Your voice is beautiful… and I think it matches who you are just fine…”

“Really?” Kaya inquired feeling happy somehow. “But… it makes it obvious that I’m not a woman…”

“Do you think I like you because I think of you as a woman?” Issay asked.

“You like me?” Kaya felt a few tears come to his eyes once again.

“Yes…” Issay smiled. “I wouldn’t worry about you if I didn’t…”

“I… I love you…” Kaya confessed, holding the elder once again.

Issay then moved closer, claiming Kaya’s lips once again, however breaking the kiss softly afterwards.  “I shouldn’t be doing this…”   

“You said you would teach me how to please a man… you can’t back out now…” Kaya frowned.

“But… I don’t want anyone to buy you.” Issay sighed.

“I wanted to scream the day that person bought you…” Kaya said caressing his face. “I guess this is what we’ll have to endure if we stay here…”

“I’ll talk to Mother… there has to be a way to protect you…” Issay insisted.

“Please…” Kaya said looking into his eyes. “I don’t want to get any of you into trouble... if it happens it will happen, but I want you to love me first… that’s the only thing that will matter to me…”

Issay sighed, contemplating for a moment the idea of running away, but he knew they would most likely end up caught amongst the war. Kaya was right. This was the only way for now.

“Fine…” the elder agreed. “Lay down for me…” he requested then going to fetch a few things. “Have you ever done anything like this?”

“No…” Kaya denied as he lied down on the futon.

Issay then took a small phial with a viscous substance. “The way to please another man… can be like I did with my mouth… or with your body…”

“I’m not a real woman… how can I do that?” Kaya inquired.

“I’ll teach you…” Issay said as he began applying some of the substance between the younger’s thighs. “This is the easier way …”

“Is there another way?” Kaya asked as he saw Issay getting rid of his clothes.

“There’s no rush for anything… I’ll teach you all you need to know…” Issay then moved closer, kissing him deeply as he aligned their bodies, sliding his manhood between Kaya’s thighs as he used his hands to press them together.

Kaya blushed slightly as he felt the elder’s body so close to his own. “Issay…”

Issay kissed him once again as he began moving between his thighs. “Ah…” he moaned as he felt so perfectly caressed by the younger’s soft slick skin, taking one of his hands to caress his nipples.

Kaya pushed his thighs together, closing his eyes as he felt Issay’s movements begin to increase in speed. “Does this feel good?” he asked sensing his own manhood stirring back to life.

“Yes...” Issay moaned taking one of his hands to caress Kaya’ shaft; increasing his speed some more. “It feels so good… you are so beautiful…”  

“So are you…” Kaya closed his eyes, allowing himself to feel all the pleasure the elder was providing him, moving slightly against him as he felt his movements become faster and harder.

“Ah… Kaya…” Issay closed his eyes as he felt he couldn’t take it anymore, spilling his seed over the younger’s thighs, as he increased the speed of his hand on his shaft.

Kaya then came for a second time, spilling his seed on the elder’s hand.

Issay sighed then lying down next to Kaya. “How was it?”

Kaya smiled, holding him and kissing his lips. “It was amazing…”

“We should get some rest now…” Issay smiled.

Kaya nodded. “Do I have to go back to my futon?”

“Not if you don’t want to…” Issay smiled holding him as Kaya lied on his chest.

“You are not going to tell anyone I can speak… right?” the younger asked still a bit wary.

“I won’t…” Issay reassured him. “We’ll have to be careful no one hears you though… I don’t want the army trying to recruit you…”

Kaya felt happy. “You love me, don’t you?”

“I think I do…” Issay answered honestly. “I shouldn’t… I’m too old for you…”

“I’m twenty… I’ll be your age too one day…” Kaya caressed Issay’s chest softly. “Will you really teach me everything you know?”

“Only if you promise to stay by my side for ever…” Issay requested.

“I will…” Kaya promised.

“Sleep then my love…” Issay closed his eyes. Their relationship would be complicated, but he was willing to do anything in his power to protect it. He knew the pain of abandon; he wouldn’t let it happen to Kaya.

The End!