Brand is excited to be called to The Service, but not so much when he learns that his new Master has already returned three Servants. Due to his quick wit, directness, and ability to be creative, he is given the impossible challenge of making this assignment stick. Brand is delivered to his Master, who stays in the shadows and will not let the Servant see him. Brand passes all of the Master‘s tests and discovers that he has been called to Service by Chance Bryson, a country music star who has trust issues. Brand is also surprised by the depth of his feelings for the hot singer. Unbeknownst to either Chance or Brand, there are several tests to their relationship still to go, because not everyone is happy with the new pairing.
I had just graduated from The Service Academy when I got the call. It was a Monday, and I needed to be ready to go on Friday. Not a long time to make a major life change, but then I had been preparing for it since I was thirteen. The call was one of the most exciting things that had ever happened to me. My professors at the SA had told me stories about when they had gotten their calls and I had fantasized about it, but it terrified me when it happened.
The Service Academy had prepared me to become a Servant. The two years I’d spent there had taught me about myself and trained me how to please a Master. I was ready. I didn’t think my Dad or my brothers were ready, but I definitely was. After graduation, I had returned to my hometown in South Carolina, outside of Charleston, and tried to reintegrate myself into the house my family shared.
My dad noticed right away that I wasn’t the same kid that had left for the SA two years ago. I had not seen them in nearly two years, since I had worked at the Academy during the last summer instead of coming home. I felt different from that scared kid that had left for the SA two years ago. At eighteen, I had been older than most of the guys at the SA, because I wanted to finish high school before going, and to be quite honest, I needed to grow up a little bit.
I knew I was more mature, more worldly, more conscientious, less into myself, and a better listener than I used to be. And if my Dad or my brothers ever found out what I knew sexually now, they would never be able to look me in the eye again. That was the purpose of The Service Academy—to make men out of boys and to train them sexually for almost every experience.
My invitation to the SA had come on my thirteenth birthday. When I received the Mark that day, it just so happened to be while I was sitting in my eighth grade American history class. I still remember the reaction of the teacher when he saw the blue Mark develop on my face, and of the other kids when they followed his gaze. There were a variety of looks on their faces–envy, horror, disgust, fear, and even lust. I tried to handle it by laughing it off, because I had been expecting it, and had steeled myself for it.
The Mark signified to the world that I was a man who was sexually attracted to other men. Marked men were rare. There was only one other kid in my school that I knew of to receive it, and he had quickly left for a private school before enrolling in The Service Academy. I had felt sexual attraction to the men around me for the last year, so as my birthday approached in November, I’d figured the Mark was coming.
That night my Dad, as all fathers are required to do, gave me the informational packet from The Service. The Service was the organization that was responsible for providing NOMARs, or non-Marked men, with the chance to have a sexual Servant. The Service ran the SA to train Marked men, they formed the contracts between the NOMAR and the Marked men, and they enforced the contracts and the laws governing Servants.
Basically, the contract said that The Service would provide a Marked man to act as a Servant, for a NOMAR, who would act as a Master. The contract was for one year. If the contract was fulfilled, the NOMAR would pay the Servant one million dollars. The contract could be extended for an additional year, at the cost of another million dollars.
It was the chance of a lifetime for a kid like me, who was not going to have many opportunities to make that much money so quickly any other way in life. In addition to the money, it was the chance to not only meet a lot of really wealthy men, but also to form a sexual connection with one of them.
The downside of The Service was the risk—of getting a terrible Master, of not being attracted to the Master, of being treated poorly, of being vulnerable both physically and emotionally, and the risk of falling in love with a person who wasn’t attracted to men.
NOMARs really didn’t have much of a choice, since they were attracted sexually to women, and our world didn’t have any. Therefore, they had to find other outlets for sex. If the NOMAR had a fortune, he could request a Servant from The Service. If the NOMAR didn’t have that kind of money, he was reduced to having sex at a Service Station, which, while exciting, were pretty unsatisfying, at least for me, because it was just a series of holes that you fucked or got sucked from. You never got to see, talk, feel, or interact with the person on the other side of the hole. It was not a good situation, in my book.