Monday, August 16, 2010
At the end of Neil Plakcy's Three Wrong Turns in the Desert, ESL teacher Aidan Greene decides to stay in Tunis, Tunisia, with bodyguard Liam McCullough and help him in his personal protection business. When Dancing with the Tide begins, six months later, Aidan has just returned from a bodyguard course in Atlanta, and is practicing what he’s learned with Liam.
A phone call kicks off their new adventure. Karif al-Fulan, a young Arabic pop star, has just come out of the closet, and received death threats. Liam and Aidan are hired to travel with Karif to the island of Djerba, off the Tunisian coast, where he is to lay low in a private villa owned by his record company.
Someone wants to kill Karif, and it’s up to Liam and Aidan to keep him safe. But will Karif destroy the burgeoning love between Liam and Aidan with his intimate advances? Between passionate romps in a private villa on the resort island of Djerba, off the coast of Tunisia, Liam and Aidan must face down bombs, guns, and the pressure of their own testosterone.
Who’s trying to run them off the road in Tunis, orchestrating rock-throwing demonstrations, and issuing death threats? What’s Karif’s connection to a prominent Palestinian politician? From poolside play to a Turkish bath to alley blowjobs in an island souk, these guys are good at getting into and out of trouble. But in the end, once Aidan and Liam save Karif, they still have to find a way to work together without destroying their romance.
Dancing With the Tide
When the computer was hooked up, I identified all the phones, mastered the codes for the intercom, and unpacked my bag and Liam’s. I looked out the bedroom window and saw Liam and Karif had left the pool and were splayed out on lounge chairs in the sun. It was time for this Cinderfella to go to the ball, I thought. I’d done all my chores and I deserved some fun.
I found three big beach towels in the hall closet, then stripped down. It felt funny to walk through the house naked, but I was confident that my body was as good as Karif’s, if not as muscular as Liam’s.
My dick was semi-hard as I prepared to open the sliding glass door to the patio area. I couldn’t help it; thinking of Liam does that to me.
I could see he was having that effect on Karif, too. Our client was fully hard, his dick wagging in the air as he stood under the shower by the pool. Liam was next to him, both of them washing off the chlorine. The sun was brilliant, glittering off something shiny inland of the villa. A cluster of birds soared on high thermals, their wings outstretched. As one of them swooped past I realized it was a kind of hawk, searching for prey and that reminded me that there were people out there who would hurt our client if they could.
I looked from the sky back to the shower. As I watched, unseen by either of them, Karif leaned up and kissed Liam.
My erection wilted and I dropped the towels on the floor, then bolted upstairs.
It felt like I was going to throw up, so I made for the bathroom, passing a startled Yaroush Harootunian in the hallway. Nothing would come up, but I felt tears trickling down my face.
No matter where we went, men and women were attracted to Liam, and I couldn’t help but be jealous, even though he insisted he wasn’t tempted by anyone but me. I felt so connected to him, and so I believed him. The possibility that I’d been wrong tore away at my insides.
Liam had fought his attraction to men as a teenager, through college and into his training as a US Navy SEAL. From what I understood, his only sexual contacts with other men had been casual one-night stands, furtive gropings in bars and rest rooms. He’d never been able to believe he could have a true relationship with another man until he met me in Tunis.
He said I was the first man he ever loved. Though we argued, over little things like wet towels on the bedroom floor, or big things like client tactics, we said “Love you” to each other a few times a day—waking up, going out, just before bed. I had been in relationships before, including an 11-year stint that had broken up just before I met Liam. I knew how magical and special the connection we had was.
“Aidan?” Liam knocked on the bathroom door. “Sweetheart?”
“Aidan. Don’t be a child. Open the door.”
I sighed, then reached over and unlocked the door, then leaned back against the vanity. My stomach was in knots and tears streaked my cheeks.
Liam opened the door and stepped into the lavish bathroom with me. He’d wrapped a towel around his waist, and his chest glistened with droplets of water. “Come here,” he said. He wrapped his arms around me and pulled me close to him. “You saw that, didn’t you?”
I didn’t say anything, just nodded my head against his chest.
“I backed away as soon as he kissed me,” Liam said. “I told him I was already taken. By you.”
“Really?” I looked up at him.
“Really.” He leaned down and kissed me. Even though I’m six-one, Liam still has about four inches on me. I love that about him, the sense that he is bigger and stronger than I am, that he will protect me from anything the world throws at us.
“I love the way you get jealous,” Liam said. “It shows me you care about me. And believe me, baby, I feel just the same way. If Karif had chosen you to kiss, I’d be ready to punch him in the stomach.” He leaned back. “But you have to remember this is a job, and he’s the client. It’s a matter of setting the boundaries. I made it clear to him how things stand. He just didn’t know we were a couple.”
“He knew. He asked me while we were waiting for you to get the rental car.”
“He asked you if we were gay?”
He backed away a foot, and crossed his arms. “I thought we talked about that. Our private life is nobody else’s business. If word gets around that we’re gay, what do you think that’s going to do to our reputation?”
“Get a grip, Liam. Why do you think we got this job, after all? Why didn’t they go to one of the bigger agencies with more resources?”
“Because no one else wanted the job,” Liam said.
“Really? Because the client is gay? What about the security for the Elton John concert in Tunis? You think Meridian Associates didn’t realize he was as queer as a three-dollar bill?”
“How? You think they were scared off by the fact that Karif got a couple of nasty phone calls?”
Liam is a smart guy, but sometimes he can be really dense. I saw confusion on his face as he processed the information. “So you’re saying Yaroush knew we were gay before he hired us?”
“I think so. And that means somebody had to tell him. Most likely somebody else in the private security business.”
“Does it matter, Liam?” I asked.
“You saw the threats Karif got. You’ve seen the way the Arab world looks at faggots like us. Of course it matters.”
“So fuck ‘em all,” I said. “We’ll prove that we can be gay and great bodyguards. We’re a terrific team, and if a client doesn’t want to hire us, it’s their loss.”
He smiled. “Yeah, I guess you’re right.”
“Of course I am,” I said, pulling him close to me. His towel came loose as we snuggled, and his dick rose. So did mine. He lifted me onto the marble vanity, and I shivered as my skin met the cold stone. “Let me warm you up,” he said, dropping to his knees.
My dick was hard by the time he rubbed his cheek against it, the roughness chafing against me but sending shivers throughout my body. “You know I love you, don’t you?” he asked, looking up at me.
“I know. And I love you, too.”
He licked his tongue up the length of my dick, and electric tremors ran through my body. How do you like this, Karif, I thought, as Liam swallowed me down to the root, then pulled back up, sucking like a vacuum cleaner.
Karif, I thought. Who was looking after Karif?
“Honey,” I said, as Liam nibbled lightly at the mushroom head of my dick. “Who’s watching the client?”
“Yaroush,” he said, looking up at me. “I told him we needed a couple of minutes.”
I should have known, I thought, leaning back on my hands and letting Liam suck me. He was a professional. He wouldn’t have ducked into the bathroom for a quickie without making sure the client was protected. We’d learned that in bodyguard school, although not exactly in those terms.
Liam sucked dick like he did everything else—with passion, with dedication, with talent. He reached one hand under my balls and tickled the very tip of my ass crack as he sucked me. The other snaked up to tweak one of my nipples.
He was like that guy in high school who could rub his stomach and pat his head at the same time—a true multi-tasker. He began bobbing his head up and down on my dick, faster and faster, and my orgasm raged through my body. I struggled to hold back the cries and yelps I usually made, worrying that Yaroush or Karif would be outside the door listening.
Squinting my eyes closed, grimacing my lips together, I let loose a stream of cum into Liam’s mouth, and my whole body went limp. Liam stood up, licked his lips lasciviously, and leaned back against the bathroom door, his stiff dick waving. He looked at me, then looked down at himself.
I hopped off the bathroom counter, laid a bathmat at his feet, and kneeled down. Liam’s dick was a thing of beauty, as far as I was concerned. Just above average in length and girth, it was more than a mouthful, big enough to fill me up front or back without overwhelming me. That morning it tasted like chlorine and sunshine. I swallowed him all the way, feeling his pubic hair tickle my nose, then began bobbing up and down.
“Oh, yeah,” Liam groaned, as I reached a finger up and began playing with his ass, just teasing the fine hairs around the opening. He grabbed my head and began pushing me down on his dick. While I had it in my mouth I tickled it with my tongue, and he groaned again.
I backed off, using as much suction as I could muster, and felt his dick swelling and throbbing, and knew he was close. I pushed my index finger straight up his ass and the muscles locked around me—and then he erupted, spurting hot cum down my throat.
By the time we left the bathroom, Karif had gone into his bedroom for a nap. Yaroush was on the phone in the living room, and I went into the kitchen to fix us all some dinner, feeling very satisfied. Hakim had left fresh shrimp in the refrigerator, and I skewered it along with green peppers, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes. I figured out how to use the fancy rice cooker, then warmed up flatbread and lathered it with goat cheese as an appetizer.
Liam uncorked a bottle of Italian white wine, we called in Karif and Yaroush, and I slid the skewers under the oven broiler. Yaroush put one of Karif’s CDs on the stereo and we all sat down at the dining room table. Karif had a full-bodied tenor, and the first song showed his range, up and down. I loved the swirling sound of the saxophone in the background, the rhythm of the drums.
Karif pouted through the meal, sitting with his arms crossed. He refused the appetizer, then tasted the shrimp and called them overdone, even though I thought they were juicy and perfect. Liam and I talked to Yaroush about Karif’s career, the places he had performed and how well his CDs had sold. Karif only answered direct questions from Yaroush, usually with just a yes or no.
“I want to go out,” Karif said, when the CD finished and we were left without background noise. “I want to go to a club.”
“That’s not a good idea,” Liam said. “At least not for a few days. You should lie low until we know exactly what your situation is.”
Karif slammed his hand against the wooden table. “My situation is that I am stuck in this villa hiding, just when I should be out enjoying myself, making love with many handsome men!”
Yaroush and Liam frowned, but I understood Karif’s frustration. I came out of the closet my freshman year in college, and I was determined to get laid as often as possible. That only worked out to once every other month or so, but at least I hadn’t been shut up somewhere. As I fixed cappuccinos for us, I ran through things we could do to get Karif’s mind off sex.
I said, “Why don’t I clean up while you guys play some pool?”
“No,” Karif said.
“Come on,” Liam said. “I can show you some moves. It’ll be fun.”
Karif agreed grudgingly, and Liam led him to the pool table. Yaroush excused himself to look over some contracts upstairs, and I cleaned up. When I was finished, I peeked into the den. Karif leaned over the table, pointing the cue at a striped ball, Liam just behind him, his hand on Karif’s. Liam said something in Arabic, and Karif laughed. My heart flip-flopped, but I was determined not to overreact. I stood in the shadows watching as Karif lined up his shot, and Liam stepped back. Karif knocked the striped ball into the corner pocket, and he and Liam high-fived.
I could have joined them, lounging in the corner watching the game. But I trusted Liam more than that. Instead, I climbed up to our bedroom, where I picked up the Djerba guidebook and read that it was believed that the beautiful women of Djerba had fed Ulysses and his crew lotus flowers, and the men were so pleasantly intoxicated that Ulysses found it tough to make them return to their ships.
Well, that wasn’t the Djerba I’d seen so far, but maybe that would change. It was a pretty island, with charming towns and gorgeous beaches, but I wasn’t intoxicated yet. There were supposed to be more than a million date palms and hundreds of thousands of olive trees on the island, making it one giant oasis.
I read about each of the towns on the island, their markets and their specialties, and around eleven o’clock I started to feel sleepy. Liam still had not come up to bed, though, so I crept downstairs to see what he and Karif were up to.
It was sneaky to move so quietly, as if I hoped to surprise the two of them doing something a lot worse than kissing, but I couldn’t help myself. I trusted Liam—but I didn’t trust Karif at all.
They had given up on pool, and were sitting in the living room, on sofas across from each other, drinking from a bottle of Greek ouzo. As I watched from the staircase, I noticed that Liam’s glass was still full, as he refilled Karif’s. Satisfied, I went back to the bedroom and went to sleep.
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