Monday, February 25, 2013

Daddy's Money excerpt by Alan Chin

In Daddy’s Money, Alan Chin's sixth (and, according to Alan, perhaps his best yet!) novel everyone needs a little help now and then. For gay Muslim Sayen Homet, that help first came from his understanding mother, who brought him to America from the Middle East. Now that he’s working his way through Stanford Medical School, his help comes from a secret sugar daddy. But Sayen might be able to end their arrangement soon now that he has a boyfriend he can depend on, A student Campbell Reardon. Campbell is more than willing to support Sayen, even if it means coming out to his conservative family.

But when Campbell takes Sayen home to meet his parents, everything falls apart. Campbell doesn’t realize how his boyfriend pays for school… and neither of them knows Sayen’s sugar daddy is Campbell's father, Blake Reardon.

While everyone involved struggles to overcome their shock, it becomes obvious Blake will do anything to keep Sayen. Campbell and Sayen love each other, but in the face of so much hurt and betrayal, love might not be enough to hold them together.

Daddy's Money
Dreamspinner Press (December 10, 2012)
ISBN: 978-1-62380-233-2

Dreamspinner Press has released Daddy’s Money in paperback and all popular eBook formats.

Purchase links:

Campbell took a deep, Adam’s-apple-bobbing swallow of wine, and it tasted like courage. He pulled his inhaler from his pocket, gave himself a blast, and plowed into the living room. He found Sayen sprawled on the couch with the relaxed sleekness of a big game cat sleeping under a shade tree. Campbell ambled to the tuner and flipped on some music, easing the volume nob down several notches. He turned off one of the room lamps on his way to the couch, and settled well within Sayen’s gravitational pull. He wanted so desperately to lean into this man, to lift that pout into a smile with a kiss. What is it, he thought, that makes a pouting face so damned sexy?

“Tell me more about this mysterious boyfriend,” Campbell said.

“We’re back on that subject? How boring.”

“So bore me, I don’t mind. What’s the attraction?”

Sayen took a long swallow of wine. “He’s a decent guy who helps me make ends meet.”

“You’re a kept boy?”

“Look, Cam, my middle name is Levon for a reason. I was named after that Elton John song because I was literally born a pauper, to a pawn, on Christmas Day.”

“I love it when you call me Cam. My little sister is the only one who ever calls me that.”

“You know, it’s all so easy for you rich guys. You don’t have a clue.”

“I’m not rich, my parents are.”

The sound system switched songs. The soft warble of Shane Mack singing “Lie to Me” floated on the air. Campbell shifted, trying to find a more comfortable position, and not finding one.

“Right,” Sayen said, “you’re one of those lucky trust-fund fucks who uses daddy’s money to get whatever you want. You just point and take. But I’ve worked my ass raw to get to a position where I’m set. A few more years of grubbing, and I’ll be one of those takers. Until then, I’m not rocking the boat.”

Campbell picked up a remote control and notched down the lighting to a romantic glow. “Not rocking the boat? Hom, dating a married man is like standing in a leaking rowboat, for God sakes. I’m offering you the QE2.”

“Modesty so becomes you.”

“Are you this hard on everyone who falls in love with you?”

“Love?” Now it was Sayen’s turn to shift around, looking for a more comfortable spot. Campbell leaned closer, giving no route to escape. Sayen looked away, his expression complicated, unreadable.

“Don’t tell me you haven’t noticed,” Campbell said.

Sayen took another deep swallow of wine. “I don’t even know what love means, and neither do you. You see something you want and you take. Well, guess what, I’m not a something.”

“I do know about love.” Campbell grinned while repouring Sayen’s glass. “You go all out for what you want, you don’t let a lack of money stop you from your dream, and you’re the kind of man who joins DWB and learns to deal with your phobia about blood in order to help your people.” He looked up from filling his own glass. “You’re special, and that intrigues me. Everything about you intrigues me. Isn’t that important?”

Sayen cleared his throat. “Before my mother died, I promised her I would become someone respectable, someone everybody looked up to. Right now, for me at least, that’s all that’s important.” Sayen pulled a white monogrammed handkerchief from his pocket. It unfolded and hung between them.

Campbell smiled. “You’re surrendering?”

“This is yours, remember?”
Campbell pushed it back. “Consider it the first of many presents I’ll lavish on you.”

“Wow, Mr. Big Spender gives me a handkerchief. I’m so impressed.”

“You should be. You see that monogram? My mother hand-stitched that. It’s the only thing she ever made for me, and she only made two. So you see, I’m giving you something I cherish.”

Sayen pressed the cloth to his cheek. “Wow, I am impressed. But what would you tell your lily-white, Catholic parents? They’ll think I’m a terrorist.”

Sayen’s question somehow sounded like a capitulation. Campbell felt something reckless well up inside him; a sense of euphoria filled him to overflowing. He set down his wine, inched closer, and slid one arm over Sayen’s shoulder. “I’m going to help you fulfill that promise you made to your mother, even if it hair-lips the Pope. Here’s the plan.” He unbuttoned the top button of Sayen’s shirt. “Step one: admit that you would rather be with me than some old married dude who’s afraid to be seen with you.” Campbell briefly kissed Sayen’s shoulder while Sayen closed his eyes and spun the wine in his glass round and round as if he were turning a prayer wheel.

Campbell unbuttoned the next button and found a patch of silky hair covering hard muscle. The fine hair curled around his fingers as if with joy for having been discovered. His head began to tingle at that feathery touch. “Step two: you move in with me.”

Sayen’s eyes pinched more firmly shut; the soft pink of his lips nearly disappeared. Campbell kissed Sayen’s neck, and unclasped the next button. “Three, take your boyfriend to your favorite restaurant and tell him you will always be grateful to him, but I’m taking care of you now.” He kissed Sayen’s cheek as he brushed his hand through that glorious forest of chest hair. He undid the last button. “Then you let my charm and Daddy’s money make your promise come true.”

He kissed Sayen’s lips, longer, fervently. He spread Sayen’s shirt open, ran his hand down Sayen’s chest. After years of cautious glances and hopeful yearning—on the basketball court, in the gym locker room and showers, even watching Sayen at the library losing himself in a book—he could now barely contain himself. Though he’d had sex with other men, touching had never felt like this. The fullness in Sayen’s shoulders and chest was chiseled without seeming bulky. The texture was supple skin over granite muscle, and that hair, that splendid fur curving into a thin, dark line that journeyed down the middle of his rippled stomach and widened again below his navel. Having seen Sayen in the gym showers, Campbell knew he shaved his underarms as well as his pubic hair, apparently a custom in some Muslim cultures, but thank God he didn’t shave his chest, arms, and legs.

Campbell rolled an erect nipple between thumb and forefinger. He edged closer until he felt an unbearable fire spread over his own chest and groin, extending into a faint wash of heat through his head. He could smell the fruit of wine on Sayen’s spent breath, feel the muscles tightening at his touch. That skin, that supple, bronzed softness seemed to burn his fingertips. He pulled back to admire the treasure trail leading below.

Does he really want me, or only Daddy’s money? What the hell am I doing? I will never be worthy of him; he is too fine, too good-looking, too pure. He will never be interested in me. No, damn it, sit up straight, look sexy, be confident. I can do this. Sayen opened his eyes, and a faint light seemed to shine from within their depths. That piercing look froze all Campbell’s thoughts. It was the same look Sayen had shown when they had held that baby between them, caught in the wonder of new life. But then those eyes, blue as sapphires, seemed to slide away, to look across the room. Searching for an escape route?

Campbell read something in the sudden change in mood. Fear? Guilt? An anguished indecision? Or was Sayen’s wary caution morphing into something like mourning?

Campbell shivered in the instant he lost all his confidence. He knew he had done something wrong, pushed too fast, too hard. He had somehow caused this beautiful man to feel pain.

“I’m sorry,” Sayen said. “All this is new to me. I’ve only had two lovers. The first was my brother, Mahmud. He was twenty then, five years older than me. We slept in the same bed. One night he came home after he had been drinking with his chums. He was crazy with lust. He pulled my pajamas down and fucked me, and because he was my older brother, I had to submit. In my culture it’s not that uncommon. He’s not gay; he just needed to get off, and I was available. When that began to happen regularly, my mother brought me to the United States to protect me from Mahmud’s lust. She said it was to keep me from the growing violence against our family, but I know the real reason. What neither of them knew was how deeply I loved him, before and after he raped me.”

Campbell sat shocked and embarrassed. His feelings about any type of incest was unadulterated revulsion. To hide his own prejudices, he tried to move the conversation to safer ground. “And the second one is this married sugar daddy?”

“After my mother died, I couldn’t go back to Tripoli because by then I knew I was gay, and life for a gay Muslim in North Africa is no picnic. I needed someone to help me survive here, and he has. Before I met him, I was adept at dining on fumes.”


“I’d sit at a table nursing a coffee or latte, and absorb the delectable fragrances of the meals being served all around me. I could make a single latte last a whole evening.”

Campbell pressed his face to that beautifully formed neck and lingered below the jawline until the pleasure grew unbearable. His lips brushed Sayen’s satiny mouth before pulling away.

The room grew intensely quiet despite the soft music.

Campbell fingered Sayen’s shirt, pulling it further open to reveal more flesh. “We’ve run out of buttons,” Campbell said to ease his sudden discomfiture.

A smile graced Sayen’s face, and in the dim light he looked like a lost angel, luminous and acquiescent. He breathed faster, harder, and stammered, “There’s one more.”

Even before Campbell’s mind reengaged to understand what those three little words meant, his fingers had already reached for the button on Sayen’s jeans. This time Sayen kissed Campbell, forcefully moving his tongue into Campbell’s mouth, as if laying claim to new territory. A devouring, breathless kiss. When Sayen pulled away. “You really love me?”

Campbell saw a plea in those alluring eyes; it drew him closer. Those eyes were begging, but then they glazed over while moisture collected in the corners, until a single drop formed, trapped in those lashes until he blinked. The drop slid down his cheek, and he brushed it away with the back of his hand.

Campbell popped that last button open.

For another excerpt from Daddy's Money, see the blog for 12/17/12.

To purchase from Dreamspinner Press, click; to purchase from Amazon, click

Monday, February 18, 2013

Always Looking excerpt Mykola Dementiuk

In Mick Dementiuk's Always Looking, the main character admits "I started going out early with girls and guys, not for sex because at that age, who the hell knew what sex was?"

With those words, Danny's coming-of-age begins. From the gloomy, stifling hallways of high school in the 1960's to the vast expanse of 1970's New York, young Danny explores the complexities of love and lust in the arms of Luba, a girl he believes himself in love with, and then in the company of various men, from whom he learns his true nature.

Raised by a poor, single mother whose upcoming marriage to a second husband threatens Danny's shaky world, Danny finds that accepting -- and ultimately embracing -- the unpredictability and promise of his future means letting go of the past and taking the leap of faith he knows he needs in his journey to maturity.

Always Looking
JMS Books (January, 2013)
ISBN: 9781611524215


I walked up the stairs, keeping my head up and looking ahead of me. Near the third floor a balding man’s head looked down at me, wearing a little yarmulke and a suit and tie. I paused.

“Sorry, I was looking for Yankel,” I said.

The man stood, disappointed.

“No, I’m Yankel. Don’t you even recognize me?” He shook his head.

I looked up. It really was Yankel! The suit and tie with a yarmulke certainly threw me off, but as I came up the stairs, I recognized him for what he was: a grieving Jewish man. I didn’t know if bothering him was the proper thing to do.

“I know you said next week, but I was just in the area and thought I’d stop by. Hope its okay?”

“Come in, come in. Don’t be foolish. Of course it’s okay. You’re always welcome.” He shut the door behind me and immediately reached for my crotch. I dropped the small parcel I had been holding, letting him paw and grope me and slide my pants zipper down. I heard a voice.

“Well, well, what have we here?”

I stiffened in shock. His brother stepped out of the other room. Yankel let go of me.

“This is the handsome young man I was with when you interrupted me.” Again he reached for my crotch.

I pushed his hand away, but again he tried to grab me.

“Shlomo’s just like me,” Yankel said, “a queer. Just like you are. No, so don’t resist. We are a family.”

“I’m not a queer,” I shamefully muttered, turning red.

Shlomo stood with his arms akimbo.

“Mitromem mizdayen batahat,” he muttered.

Yankel looked angrily at him and put his arm around my shoulder.

“Don’t you say such a thing. He’s very nice boy -- looks to be the nicest one I’ve had up here in a long time.”

Shlomo shrugged and lit a cigarette.

“I simply asked if the boy was an ass-fucker. Nothing wrong in that.” He looked at us and blew the smoke in our direction.

Yankel angrily erupted and began to say something in Hebrew.

“Sholom,” I simply sighed, trying to bring peace (sholom being the only Jewish word I knew) and removed my T-shirt and began to undo my pants. Yankel and Shlomo watched me, open-mouthed. I’d always been fascinated by being undressed before men. My earliest remembered dreams were of just that -- being on display and shown off like a circus animal or perhaps even like a chunk of meat everyone pawed and fingered until I was chosen for a repast and was carried home. I didn’t know where the dream came from, but it was there, and it was mine. I stood nude before them, my head lowered.

“Mein Gott, he’s hairless!” exclaimed Shlomo, shaking his head.

“But when did that happen,” Yankel muttered. “You were hairy when we first met?”

I shrugged; I wasn’t going to tell them who shaved me.

“Was too hot, the humidity was very bad, so I took it off.”

Yankel did not say anything -- just stared and licked his lips.

To purchase, click

Guest blog by Mykola Dementiuk– January 13, 2013
Posted by JMS Books LLC at 2:00 PM

It seems that more and more in my attempt at gay writing I open myself up and admit to things I wasn't aware of before. Like events I may have forgotten or chose not to remember, but in the process of writing it down they are resuscitated to where I'm forced to admit, "Yes, these things did happen!"

A blowjob, a handjob, what difference does it make?

"Hush, don't let anyone know ..."

In my earlier book, The Facialist, many things came out which were buried decades ago, not only were they too painful or shocking to admit, but I had blocked them out of my memory. For whatever reason but I can admit it now, it was "Shame." Not only over what I was doing but also the secret satisfaction that I might be caught. I enjoyed it, the hunt and the stalking away but was scared of being exposed, still very pleased and liking it, too. A little masochism never hurt, I always thought, and still do.

When I was younger I loved to jerk off, seven, eight times a day. I adored masturbation, which much later it brought me to those who enjoyed it just as well. There is nothing like mutual masturbation, with another man doing it to you while you're doing it to him. But that still raises the emotion of Bliss! I fondly recall when five men were sitting in chairs in a circle and each held the others cock in his hand, all of us jerking the other off and never once touching ourselves, that is until we got home.

"The circle of life," I like to call it. Oh, what bliss!

In Always Looking, my recent semi-biographical novella (for what part of a writer's work isn't it biographical?), names and events were left alone, letting the guilty or non-guilty suffer the pangs of memory, not that there are bad memories just vague uncertain vestiges of questionable feelings.

"Did I really do that?" a guilty conscience might ask.

"Yes, you did that!" an accusing voice will nod.

Be that as it may, life goes on, marching as the hoof beats of soldiers trailing along. But how much guilt and bad feelings can you accuse them of, and of course, how much can I, too, be pointed out?

I learned to just write it, relate the story, tell the truth, wince and remember, smile and grow. Life is better, lots better than your go-nowhere bad memories might feebly stress. I've learned to put it in my books.

And as the hero of my novella stresses, I, too, am Always Looking.

Mykola (Mick) Dementiuk

Monday, February 11, 2013

Lace excerpt by Jaime Samms

In Jaime Samms Lace, it takes a tough man to wear lace well…and an even tougher man to get close to him.

Cross-dressing Caleb has a huge chip on his shoulder that makes it impossible for anyone to get close...including his boyfriend, Levi, and the uncle he lives with. Shielded behind his bad-ass boots and leather kilts, he feels safe from the bullying and harassment he’s lived with his whole life.

It takes a bully pushing him over the edge and a kindred spirit he never expected to find to make him see that maybe it’s time to exchange the leather for a bit of lace and show his more vulnerable side.

Total E-Bound Publishing (December 2, 2012


Heat, sweat and noise. It should be just like a dance floor, but it wasn’t. Caleb had never really caught on to the appeal of sporting events. Usually, he avoided them like the plague, but Levi had wanted to come, and Caleb had the worst time ever saying no to the man.

Except he could only take so much. Now he was hiding in the restroom off the gymnasium, gripping the sides of the sink. He avoided glaring at himself in the mirror, knowing he was going to that emo place he hated.

“Fuck.” He turned on the water, letting it run into the sink, losing his thoughts in the white noise. He was too warm. Too jittery. He wanted out.

Out of what?

He ran his palms over his jeans, tugging at the tight material, stomped his feet, feeling the weight of his boots and hearing the jingle of chains and buckles arrayed around his body. Through the blue fringe of his hair he looked at the blurred lower half of his body and could almost feel like himself if he took the time to remember what the jeans actually hid. But he avoided, for one more moment, seeing the floppy hoodie he’d thrown on over his own top. The only saving grace of the ugly garment was that it belonged to his boyfriend, and Levi’s scent clung to it, offering some measure of comfort.

Glancing in the mirror, past his own shoulder, he surveyed the room. It was empty. If it stayed that way for just a few more seconds…

His fingers trembled just enough to make him fumble the zipper, but he managed to get a grip on it and yank it down. The tight vest underneath appeared, black cotton offset by brilliant blue lace to match his hair. There wasn’t much lace. A bit of trim and a stretch of it across his back. But enough.

Behind him, the door banged. Voices echoed off the tile walls. Laughter bounced and shouts filled the room to overflowing as he jerked the zipper back up.

It caught on a bit of lace and stuck.

The laughter stopped abruptly and Caleb looked up, meeting a glittering, focused glare in the mirror. The man’s face twisted into a sneer and he mouthed a single word, “Pussy.”

Caleb flushed. “Fuck off, Shank.”

All three men who had entered the bathroom snickered as they lined up at the urinals, Larry Shank shouldering Caleb hard as he walked by, making him catch himself on the edge of the counter to keep from slamming into the mirror.

“Asshole,” Caleb muttered, shutting off the water and moving towards the door. It only earned more snickering, and it was all he could do to clench his fists and get the hell out without taking a swing at the guy.

Not like it was anything new. He’d endured such taunts his entire life. He should be used to it. He should be able to ignore it by now.

Out in the corridor, around the corner where no one would wander by, he slouched against the wall, gently fiddling with his zipper until the lace was free, and pulled it up until no part of the more delicate clothing beneath was visible. He knew it was there, though, and wished just knowing could be enough.

It wasn’t.

Sliding until his ass hit the floor, he tried to push the hollow wish out of his head. He stayed there, listening to the waves of cheering and booing and cat-calls from inside the gym.

He sat, knees pressed together, hands pushed deep into the pockets of the hoodie. A trickle of sweat meandered down his spine. He should have just removed the delicate, lace-trimmed vest Levi had lent him the sweater to hide. But the way Levi had draped the sweater over his shoulders—the way he’d zipped it up carefully and smiled, intimating that the vest was Caleb’s private business and Levi was willing to protect that privacy—had convinced him not to take it off.

Roaring cheers and taunts ebbed and flowed from the gym, and he hunched his shoulders, trying to lose the chaos in the rest of the background noise in his head. Concentrating, he listened to the faint music he’d been working on for weeks now. He hadn’t written any of it down, yet. He didn’t need to. He could hear it, and he knew he could play it. He just had to find the opportunity and the right audience.

A hank of his blue-dyed dark hair flopped into his eyes and he tossed his head to get it out of the way, tried to tuck it behind one ear with his fingertips, and immediately cringed at the girliness of the motion.

“Hey.” Feet came into view in front of him. A pair of red Converse sneakers he knew too well.

“Hey,” he replied.

 “Had enough?” Levi slipped down the wall at his side.


“Nah.” Levi bumped him with his shoulder. “It was a massacre anyway.” He fell silent for a minute and Caleb slowly gravitated until his head rested on Levi’s shoulder.

“Something happened,” Levi said quietly after a few more minutes had passed.

“Doesn’t matter.” Caleb reached for his hand. “We can go back in. I just needed a breather.”

“It’s fine. We don’t have to go back in.”

Caleb listened for the stretch of Levi’s voice over the truth. He hadn’t asked Caleb to come to the game with him because he didn’t care if they watched it or not. He cared. He wanted to be here, and he was giving it up because it made Caleb uneasy.

“I’m all right.” He squeezed Levi’s fingers. “Promise.”

Beside him, Levi rose to his feet, bringing Caleb up with him. “Game’s almost over,” he said, a hopeful tilt to his voice and his head.

Caleb nodded, though he didn’t let go of Levi’s hand for an instant, and might have clamped his fingers tighter than necessary around his lover’s as they entered the gym. He couldn’t help a glance around, looking for the latest in the long string of his harassers. It took only a matter of seconds to feel the burn of Shank’s glare on him. He shuddered and looked away, grateful for Levi’s hand in his and the shorter man’s touch at the small of his back, sneaking under the sweater to caress the lace.

The warmth of those fingers through the thin material grounded Caleb as he climbed up to their seats in the bleachers and he relaxed slightly. He could stand this for a little while longer if it made Levi happy.

Monday, February 4, 2013

An Island Interlude excerpt by Anel Viz

The novella “An Island Interlude” by Anel Viz appears in the December, 2012 issue of Wilde Oats online magazine and will run until the next issue comes out in April. “An Island Interlude” is in three parts – Barcarole, Romanza, and Fugue – each divided into three short chapters.  This excerpt is the opening chapter, called “The Shoal.”

Commenting on Wilde Oats, Anel Viz says, "I always submit stories to Wilde Oats, and for many good reasons:  1) Loyalty. I got my start there. The person responsible for my first publication by inviting me to submit something for a vampire anthology he was editing is one of the founders of the zine and asked me for a story to help launch it. (A revised version of that vampire story is now available in my Dark Horror anthology.)  2) The zine publishes gay-themed stories in all genres, so it's good for placing my stories that aren't traditional romances (or aren't romances at all).  3) My editor at Wilde Oats does a terrific job, and we have a wonderful working relationship.  4) Since I don't have an active blog or website, it's the perfect place to put my freebie offerings.  5) They haven't yet turned down anything I've submitted. What's not to like?"

Wilde Oats is a zine focusing on gay- and bi-male oriented short fiction, with approximately ten stories featured in each issue, as well as reviews of longer fiction and nonfiction works of interest to the gay and bi- community.  It is published three times a year, in April, August and December, and features a mix of established writers and new voices.  The editors are an all-volunteer group of writers, most of whom have been published in various online and print media or have long experience editing gay-interest writing.  Wilde Oats accepts submissions throughout the year.  For more information or to contact Wilde Oats, visit

An Island Interlude
Wilde Oats (December, 2012)


I tried to distract myself with work, but the bitter cold at last determined me to take a much needed and long overdue vacation, so I rushed through my end of term corrections to be able to spend the last two weeks of January in the sunshine of the Caribbean.

For the first three days, I luxuriated in doing nothing and let my mind go blank.  I didn’t even explore the small town in which my beachfront hotel was located.  I lay on the sand far from the water line, seldom venturing into the ocean, staying under the trees so as not to burn.  We’d had overcast skies since early fall, and the northern winter had left me very pale.  I spoke to no one.  I read, I slept, returned to the hotel for my meals, and went to bed early.  I needed time to myself, time to do nothing.

On my third morning there, I began to feel restless.  I rented some scuba equipment and a boat and sailed out to a small island I had spotted on the horizon.  I didn’t even ask its name.  I went wearing only my swim trunks, a tee-shirt and a small hat with a visor, and took only a large beach towel, my book, sunscreen, a few pieces of fruit and two liter bottles of water.  It was no doubt rash of me to dive alone, but I meant to hug the shoreline and figured the risk would not be much.  The seabed there is sandy and not very deep.

It did not take long to sail there, no more than twenty minutes, even in what was really not much more than a motorized rowboat.  It reminded me how many little islands there were in addition to the bigger ones.  I had let it slip my mind although I’d seen them from the plane.

I rounded the island, apparently uninhabited, and anchored in an empty cove that looked southwest over an endless expanse of ocean under a cloudless sky.  It was as calm as a lagoon, and may have been one, though I passed no reef on the side from which I entered it.  I took off my tee-shirt, checked my equipment one last time, sat balanced on the side for a moment, and flipped backward into the calm, shimmering water.

The flat, sandy bottom, no more than ten or fifteen feet below the surface, was barren except for the occasional conch.  Jutting out, a rocky promontory dense with vegetation formed the east end of the cove.  If I were to find interesting underwater formations and marine life anywhere on this island, it would be there, and there I headed.

As I approached the promontory the sandy bottom sloped more steeply toward the open water, and its foot was indeed cluttered with rock crusted over with the shells of tiny mollusks, and plenty of crevices to shelter the more timid creatures and hide their lurking predators.  The land on the far side fell straight into the sea, and beyond it the ocean floor plunged sharply down some sixty feet or more, where a few hundred yards ahead of me a dense shoal of silver fish hovered in an immense wall between the bottom sand and the rippling surface.  I swam cautiously to within a few feet of it so as not to disturb the fish in their dance, and held there treading water at a depth of about forty feet.

The school suddenly became agitated and their motions erratic.  Had they sensed a shark?  The wall divided in front of me and vanished in either direction, and I found myself face to face with another diver, a young man who had been watching them from the other side, treading water like myself and wearing nothing but his diving mask.  His dive must have frightened them off.  He could not have been there long without air.

We were maybe six or eight yards apart.  He was beautiful.  Lean and muscular, his long, black hair adrift in the current, his sex wagging handsomely with the in-and-out movements of his arms and legs.  The evenness of his tan showed that he was in the habit of diving nude, but he evidently had not expected to encounter another human being in that isolated spot, for he cast me what looked like a sheepish grin from behind his mask.

He pointed to the surface.  I looked up and saw the white hull of a boat, at least ten times larger than mine.  Then he jerked his head upward with a slight shrug of his shoulders.  An invitation?  I nodded, and he headed toward the surface just as the scattered shoal swirled back into place and reformed between us, closed like a gleaming silver curtain, and blocked him from my view.

I had, as I’ve said, spoken to no one except the hotel clerk, a couple of waiters and the owner of the boat rental since I got there.  I felt more isolated suddenly cut off from him than I had sitting in my boat looking out over the ocean or swimming through the empty water along the sandy bottom of the cove, and for the first time since my arrival I felt the need for human conversation.  I started back up wondering what was in store for me.  A cocktail, a cup of coffee?  Had he come there alone or was his girlfriend also on board?  I imagined he would have slipped into a swimsuit by the time I got there.  I didn’t even know what language he spoke.

Wilde Oats:
An Island Interlude:
Wilde Oats blog:
(When reading An Island Interlude on Wilde Oats, be sure to click on "continue" for the entire story; there's also a review of of Horror, Dark & Lite by Anel Viz in the issue)