2 - THE UNEXPECTED.
phone rang just as he was getting into the shower. Paddy grabbed for
it. It might be work. In the pub last night Davy Finn had told him
"Jack Offerton?" enquired a voice.
Paddy stood rooted to the spot, admitting nothing.
"Hello? Is anybody there?" asked the voice.
Of course he was there, stark naked and fucking speechless. It had
only been yesterday morning when ...
"You filled out our questionnaire ... "
Should he slam down the phone or deny all knowledge and say it
was a practical joke played by one of his mates?
"We were sufficiently interested in some of your answers;
no promises, but could be that you'd at least qualify for the offer
- the £100 for a day of your time doing evaluation tests. Is
it something you'd like to find out more about - or not?"
"Er - Yes ... find out more." Paddy managed to force
out, as he scratch the hair around his crotch. He always got prickly
around the crotch when he was in a tight spot.
"Good. So, Jack, a few more questions ... "
Paddy needed to sit down. He was fucking shaking. The leatherette
chair was freezing when he sat on it - he was hardly listening ...
" ... so if it's OK by you, I'd like to set up a meeting.
Not at our offices, somewhere informal - less intimidating. What part
of London do you live in? No need to give too much information now.
Preserve your anonymity. We liked your pseudonym, by the way."
Paddy was cringing at the stupidity of the stupid name ...
"What we usually suggest is, if there's a caff or something close
to where you live. I could meet you there and we could run over a
few points. That way you don't have to commit yourself to anything.
You'll learn a bit more about what's on offer - and I'll get to meet
you face-to-face on neutral territory - so ... "
the voice continued seductively, " ... you're not exactly
sticking your neck out?"
Silence, before the tempter threw a bait that couldn't be resisted:
"You said you were a risk-taker - can't resist a challenge.
What have you got to lose?"
"Well ... " was all Paddy managed, but then had to
stop and think about that.
After a pause the voice cut in again ... "What area of London
would be convenient for you?
Easy for me to get around by motorcycle - name an area."
Put on the spot, Paddy croaked "Battersea - Clapham
Junction ... "
"I know Dave's caff near the Queenstown Road station - or that
greasy spoon in Falcon Road."
Fuck Me, thought Paddy, how come this bloke knows ...
"What's it called - Manny's? We could meet in there, over
a coffee - or tea?" suggested the voice. "We won't
be talking about anything other customers will find out of the ordinary."
Well that's bloody something, thought Paddy picturing the blokes he
often rubs shoulders with in Dave's caff in the Battersea Park Road
"When might be a good time for you?" asked the
voice, driving the situation along at a pace Paddy was finding unnerving.
"When?" was all he could manage by way of response.
"What have you got on this morning?" asked the
"Nothing." The words were out of Paddy's mouth before
he realised what he was saying.
"Great. What is it - ten thirty - I could be there in less than
an hour. I'm all for getting things done and dusted. How about you?
Let's get moving, whether there's any mileage in it or not. Only you
can say - and you can't say till you know more about what's on offer
- and what is involved - and if I can tell you that in public with
the sort of blokes that sit around Dave's on a slow Friday morning,
what have you got to lose?"
"You keep saying that," said Paddy, almost rattled.
what? Are you working today?" -
"No, but ... "
"Are you working next week?" -
"No, but ... "
"So you'd be available, if we see eye to eye over a cuppa - and
you want to accept the challenge that comes with this opportunity
- you can walk away with a hundred quid in your pocket next Wednesday".
What could an out-of-work Irishman say as he sat there naked and shivering.
Was it nervousness or excitement?
3 - FACE
Dave's caff was almost empty, like the bloke on the
phone had said it would be.
Not time yet for the mid-day rush on the pie-and-chips, beef stew-and-boiled,
sausage-and-mash, and the sort of puddings Paddy used to get at school.
Nell behind the counter knew Paddy of old; knew him as something of
a trouble-maker, specially after the pubs turned out. She was surprised
by his subdued manner when he'd walked in, looked around furtively
and order a tea in a low voice.
Turning to decide where to sit and wait, the bloke in the corner with
the crash helmet on the table, caught Paddy's eye and indicated the
Radio Times he was reading. That had been the agreed way of recognising
one another, the Radio Times.
Paddy had clocked the biker when he arrived but had taken him for
one of the regulars at Dave's. So this was 'Nick' as he'd
called himself. The agreed mutual recognition had been arrived at
on the phone when 'Nick' had asked 'Jack' to describe
what he would be wearing.
Paddy had offered alternatives; a wax Barbour motorcycle jacket, red
England football shirt or hi-vis site jacket with Costain stamped
all over it.
Nick had said, choice of image was one of the things they would be
talking about. How he saw himself was something the interviewee would
To Paddy this didn't make much sense. He was ... who he was. But,
on thinking about it, how did he see himself - now - today - not the
same as ten years ago? It had never struck him before that time was
moving on - and perhaps it was time for some changes in his life.
Easing himself into a chair in his bulky hi-vis site jacket, Paddy
put the hard-hat on the chair next to him. He'd gone for the full
image. The rigger boots were his normal footwear, but a hard-hat when
he wasn't actually working was, perhaps, a bit over the top - imagewise.
"Glad you could make it at such short notice," said
the visitor, "Jack? Right?"
"Er - yes."
"Fair enough," drawled Nick in a tone of sceptical
acceptance which put Paddy on the defensive. Almost accusingly he
shot back, "You got here earlier than you said. I'm early
but you're already ... "
"I used to be a bike courier. I know all the short cuts - and
I know this area because I've got a couple of mates on the Shaftsbury
Estate. So, let's get down to business."
The biker loosened his well-used Gore-Tex (expensive) motorcycle jacket
in order to lean forward comfortably across the table. "The
way I see it," he began quietly, "all we need to
cover this morning is whether you're the sort of person who has
(A) got confidence in his own physical abilities
(B) can rise to a challenge with energy, determination and humour
(C) can give as good as you get in some sort of competitive sport.
"Humour?" was the word Paddy picked up on, repeating
"Yes, indeed. The one-day testing involves a series of quite
intensely stress-producing exercises, but they're treated as a game.
Several are a matter of, to what degree you're willing to stick your
"Neck," echoed Paddy questioningly.
"Finding limits and then pushing beyond them. Nothing you can't
handle, I'm sure - and all the tests are conducted by guys who like
to win but aren't afraid to lose."
"How many - guys? " asked Paddy, not sure whether a
group situation would be safer than a one-to-one if these guys (as
this bloke called them) were all queers. "And no women?"
"Strictly man-to-man stuff. Not sure how many on the team - if
it's this coming Wednesday, maybe three - four including me."
Paddy needed more information, but in this public place, he needed
to be cautious: "I found my way to your site by Googling
..." he hesitated, "... sex opportunities."
"Ah!" said Nick, "Sexual rather than sex,
it said - and there is a difference."
for me there isn't," argued Paddy almost defensively.
"Is this a ... ", he checked his rising tone, "a
Gay thing?" he almost whispered.
"Not unless you want it to be," was the abrupt and
firm reply. This was a challenge which brought Paddy up short. After
quick consideration, he decided not to follow that line of questioning
- at least not just yet.
It was as if Nick could read his mind: "Here is not the place
for us to discuss what is just raunchy talk among blokes - and what
you would think is a bit of a laugh and what you might regard as being
seriously off limits in the way of Kink ... "
Paddy almost flinched at that word being said aloud in public, but
Nick seemed unaware as he continued: " ... here today, all
we need to decide together is whether or not there's a basis for mutual
trust. You need to decide - I need to decide. If you fancy taking
a risk - eight hours - having a bit of man-to-man friendly challenge
and counter-challenge ... "
"How friendly?" challenged Paddy, interrupting the
Nick smiled "Friendly enough for you not to be vi-o-lated
physically, mentally or spiritually".
The word violated was mouthed almost silently, and the twinkle in
Nick's eye forced Paddy to admit the humour of the situation.
"Fuck you," said Paddy with an almost unintentional
"You should be so lucky, chummy! You'd have to prove just
how good you are at getting the upper hand in a wrestling ring - and
keeping it - before you could even contemplate that possibility."
Nick then winked provocatively across the table.
Paddy, chose not to rise to the implied challenge, and asked "Wrestling
"Wrestling/boxing ring, fully equipped work-out space ... Play-Space,"
offered Nick, wondering whether this guy would pick up on the term.
He didn't, so Nick moved in for what he knew would be the irresistible
"All you have to decided now - or at least before Monday
is - whether from nine-to-five next Wednesday you would like to find
out more about what The Agency does - AND - test yourself
to find out if you can cope with the demands that our regular operatives
get paid very high rates for doing - as often as they want to do them."
"Do - them - what, exactly?" interjected Paddy determinedly,
but his question was ignored.
"Having met you - I think you can cope with anything I or
the rest of the team might throw at you for a single evaluation session.
Trust us. A few of the things might boggle your mind, but they might
also widen your horizons ... "
"As long as that's all that gets widened," warned Paddy,
who was perhaps by now curious to find out just what this bloke thought
he could get away with. The Irishman knew he could always punch his
way out of a tight corner. But Nick was still explaining ...
"Not only will the different sessions give you the opportunity
to prove your physical capabilities - they'll introduce you to a whole
range of alternative possibilities and opportunities for the future
- AND ," he continued, blocking another question, "
you will walk away with a hundred pounds cash, tax free, whether or
not The Agency decides to offer you 'involvement' in the
Paddy thought about this before confirming, "You pay me to
do these tests, not than the other way around? Why?"
"Good question - 'Jack'. Shrewd question." The emphasis
on the name was not lost on Paddy as Nick continued. "Because
the testing process will be video recorded for both safety and future
training purposes, the fee is a buy-out on the footage. The agreement
you will sign will give us the right to use the visual material in
any way we see fit ... provided! ... " Nick emphasised the
word, again preventing an interruption " ... provided that
you are not identifiable in any of that footage. OK?"
"Oh - OK," said Paddy, his question answered.
A group of workmen entered the caff, straight off a nearby building
site. They were all speaking Polish or some foreign language. This
not only confirmed for the Irishman that he would accept the opportunity,
but it also made him less inhibited about asking Nick. "Would
I be right in thinking that some sort of fetish or kink will be involved
in this - testing?
"Yes," replied Nick, amused.
"Bondage?" persisted Paddy, hardly bothering to
lower his voice, "whether I can deal with ... with ... some
of the ... things listed on the questionnaire on your site?
"Yes," confirmed Nick, his smile getting broader. "Step
by step you'll be introduced to gear and equipment which Clients of
The Agency like to see in use - or to use - or have used
on them expertly and efficiently.
During the day you'll be invited to explore some of it either from
the outside or inside.
Every step of the way you'll be free to chose - yes or no - no compulsion.
You can try it or watch it demonstrated. Some things it's safer to
know what it feels like before you try in on somebody else. Have you
ever tied anybody up?"
The caff patrons were going about their business. Paddy was now totally
oblivious of them. "Yes," he admitted flatly, his
mind speculating on demonstrating what he was capable of doing.
"Did they get free - the blokes you tied up?" asked
"Not until they were let lose - we were only pissing about,
of course ... ".
"Of course," soothed Nick.
Paddy ignored the smirk, and continued ... "Early on, I used
rope, but more recently I used - we used (he corrected himself)
duct tape. That had to be cut off - and even so it was painful
to peel away. I know, because I had it done to me as well as doing
it to other blokes when we were pissing around."
"Good!" said Nick emphatically, "so some
of the things our Clients like to see - and all of our operatives
are good at doing and surviving having done to them, will come as
no serious shock to you."
"And some will - right?" challenged the now completely
hooked potential Agency Operative.
"We will certainly want to test how you react to some of
the more extreme restraint equipment like - a strait-jacket, perhaps?"
- K, " breathed the Irishman, speculating on how he might
deal with it. "And what else?" he challenged, looking
almost casually around the rapidly filling up caff.
"Oh, different types of hoods, or at least head-coverings
in leather and rubber. Think you can deal with those?"
"I've worked in anti-exposure protective suits and masks, and
sweated my bollocks off for hours in a diver's dry suit,"
he confirmed, now determined to convince this bloke that he was up
for the challenge.
you'll be quite at home in some of the stuff," said the
seducer, ready to reel in the hooked fish. "I'm sure you'll
be able to deal with a lot of things that'll come at you. And - some
of our Clients like to watch people putting up a real struggle while
trapped inside that sort of gear - real men - and seeing them being
forced into difficult and uncomfortable situations - apparently against
their will (Apparently, remember) - and then kept there - and forced
to stay there long past the time when they're ready for release ...
and sometimes the desperation is real. But most of our operatives
are men who enjoy proving that they can deal with/survive in such
situations. Certainly, some of our lads specialise in putting up a
no-holds-barred struggle ... while others enjoy the challenge of achieving
their objective however much resistance is put up.
And, at the end of the day, EVERYBODY always comes up smiling ...
we have the video footage to prove it. For legal reasons, we always
end every videoed session, however intense it might have got, with
everybody involved smiling and shaking hands""
Paddy's prick was getting harder by the minute - and his day was made
when Nick offered: "Look, if you're prepared to give me an
e-mail address ... " he broke off mid-sentence, having remembered
another question. "Do you live alone or with somebody?"
"Alone," admitted Paddy.
"OK, so if I send you a small selection of clips that show the
sort of situations we film for our Clients ... different sorts of
challenging ... er ... predicaments our lads not only dream up for
one another ... but get a kick out of both imposing on others ...
AND surviving them when they're on the receiving end ... however heavy
they get. How does that grab you?"
The idea had grabbed Paddy by the short-and-curlies and his prick
was ready to burst.
- THE NAME OF THE GAME:
Nick Bartlett certainly knew how to land a promising catch when one
swam into his net. He and his mate, Denny, got quite a blast from
spotting 'potentials' as they called them; men who perhaps didn't
know what they were getting into - then jumping them through a few
hoops before either winning them over or sending them on their way,
hopefully with no harm done. This was a high-risk game in itself -
and risk-taking had always been Nick's thing.
"The Agency" was, in reality, not the main focus of their
activities. It was a profitable side-line, which gave focus to some
of the games the liked to play - but it was the man-to-man rough-and-tumble
competitive escapades themselves that energised the minds and bodies
of this select group of game-players.
Also, "The Agency" made a reassuring cover story, because
finding a tough newbie and enjoying a day-long session of cat-and-mouse,
was a regular entertainment for the Team.
Another skill they'd developed, was video editing; putting together
just the right combination of 'scenes' to do the trick in each individual
case. Denny had become a dab-hand at this.
After the meeting in the cafe, Nick had warned that this Irishman
might be unpredictable, volatile or even dangerous to mess with. Just
the ticket. So they had fun deciding exactly how far to push their
luck. How much to include and not include in the video they sent for
download on that Saturday morning ... and they got it right.
Paddy, by the end of a weekend watching the video, was fired-up and
ready. His mind was not only blown by such action-packed sequences
- he'd spent two sleepless nights picturing himself as both the victim
and the aggressor in the different challenge situations. His prick
was sore from wanking over video footage, and shooting too many loads.
If man-to-man challenge was the name of this game - too fucking right,
Paddy Cotterill had never been able to resist a challenge! For him,
Wednesday couldn't come soon enough.
What was it brought him to this pitch?
Judge for yourself.
A text file was the first thing Paddy had downloaded. This was in
the form of an advertisement sent out to Clients of THE AGENCY. It