"YOUNG EDDIE'S TRIAL OF STRENGTH"
In the previous chapter
The big party that Grady and Mario threw at their house for the whole tribe was, predictably, a wild celebration. Pre-lunch appetizers involved a muscle-churning no-rules water-polo match between four jocks where the winners butt-fucked the losers.
Not to be outdone Randy, the tribe’s leader, offered his ass to any guy who was man enough to take it, a challenge that was accepted surprisingly by Doctor Steve. So, under the astonished gaze of the whole tribe the King of the Gypsies surrendered his ass to … his own brother!”
Grady had urged their houseboy Brian to invite his uncle Mike, the middle-aged leather-bar owner from Palms Springs. After watching the triple orgasms of Randy, Steve and their kid brother Ben, Mike said to Randy’s lover Bob, “Man, I have never seen anything to match that. What a family! Yup, Randy and his brothers stole the show, alright.”
When the show was over lunch was served and the tribe came together round the big table by the pool. Now that the horseplay, posturing and preening had died down the group became more talkative and civilized – or what passed for civilized in this clamorous tribe. Randy and Bob chatted with Steve and Mike, mostly about the tribe, discussing the various couplings and relationships as they watched the animated crowd.
Most of the other men sat with their boys and tried to carry on an adult conversation in competition with the noisy exuberance of the youngsters. One voice dominated the boys’ conversation as usual. Eddie’s clattering stream of consciousness was non-stop, noisier than ever after his excitement of watching such riveting sexual spectacles. It seemed that the more excited and garrulous he became, the more silent his master, the soldier Hassan, became. Several times he tried to restrain his boy, though it was tough to get a word in sideways.
In fact, ever since the group had assembled today, the strong, silent Marine had been less talkative than usual, it seemed to Bob, whose sensitive antennae always kept him aware of the currents flowing beneath the surface of the gathering. Bob commented on Hassan’s silence to Steve who, as a therapist, was equally attuned to the group dynamic.
“Seems a bit out of sorts,” Steve agreed. “I think he’s under pressure at work – a new batch of Marine recruits testing his patience and putting him on edge. And his boy’s constant chatter can’t help. Hassan loves the boy, we know that, but it’s kind of a mismatch – the silent, reclusive Marine captain and the gregarious young kid rattling away like a machine gun.”
Bob looked at the irritated expression on Hassan’s face and frowned. “I’ve never seen him look at his kid that way, Steve. Kinda ominous, don’t you think?”
“Well, all relationships have their ups and downs, of course, especially one between a master and boy who have as little in common as these two. It’ll probably blow over, though. And if not you’ll be there to pick up the pieces.”
“Yeah,” Bob sighed, “that’s what I’m afraid of.
******************* CHAPTER 325 ********************
As the meal progressed the situation became even more uncomfortable. Eddie’s excitement mounted, he lost all sense of decorum and talked louder and faster than ever. He was on such a high, so uninhibited, that he did not even respond to Hassan’s hissed commands to tone it down. The boy totally failed to grasp how serious and irritated his master was, wrongly assuming that Hassan was joining in the playful bantering of the other men jokingly mocking each other.
In fact, Hassan had come to the party straight from a morning meeting at his Marine base where things had not gone well. Used to being in complete command at such meetings his ideas had been challenged by an opinionated young Marine sergeant moving rapidly up in the ranks.
Eddie, of all people, should have known better. He had once told his buddy Brian that, as an authoritarian Marine captain, “Nothing riles Hassan more than being disobeyed. He expects everyone to do exactly what he tells them at all times. Usually he’s the strong, silent type but he goes apeshit when guys disobey him and he don’t get what he wants. If he’s had a real rough day at the base he’s usually still mad when he gets home. But I can handle him. A good blow-job always does the trick.”
On that previous occasion Hassan had been irrationally annoyed to find Eddie in bed with Brian and had, as Eddie said, ‘gone apeshit’ and fucked him savagely. It took Doctor Steve to calm Hassan down. Bob had learned of that incident and was aware of the soldier’s occasional morose and explosive moods, which is why he winced now at what came next.
Eddie was in full flood, laughing and joking with his buddies, when Hassan growled, “I told you to cool it, boy. Be quiet!”
Mistaking Hassan’s tone Eddie turned to face him and mischievously imitated the famous old Robert De Niro line – “You tawkin’ to me? You tawkin’ to me? You tawkin’ to me?”
Seeing Hassan’s eyes blaze and his fists clench, Bob quickly defused the situation with a light-hearted, “Very funny, De Niro, but if you’ll let me get a word in edgewise here, Eddie, I need a word with Hassan. Hassan, I keep meaning to ask you something… a colleague of mine is planning a trip to the Middle East but he’s nervous about the security situation and I thought I would pick your brains.”
Hassan looked from Eddie to Bob’s smiling brown eyes, swallowed hard and allowed himself to be distracted. Crisis averted. Living with Randy, Bob had long ago perfected the art of calming the beast and he now engaged Hassan in a subject where the Arab soldier was an expert. Peace reigned … for now.
As the meal stretched through the afternoon it became more and more informal, breaking up into groups. The boys huddled together as usual, excitedly rehashing the earlier sex scenes between the jocks in the pool and the spectacle of Randy getting fucked by his brother.
The men too divided into smaller groups and couples, with Bob and Steve staying close to Hassan, trying in a light-hearted way to draw the Marine out of his morose funk. But it was obvious, especially to Steve with his therapist training, that their intervention didn’t help and that only time and solitude would eventually lighten the soldier’s sullen mood.
Unfortunately time and solitude is what he did not get.
Sometimes when Hassan came home from work in a bad mood the thought of his effervescent boy waiting for him would be a welcome antidote to the heavy atmosphere of sullen Marines. But at other times the naturally reclusive soldier longed to close the door of his small house in the hills and chill out all alone.
In truth, his Arab/Asian background, opposing America in a brutal Middle East war, had left him somewhat alienated socially, with a deep-rooted sense of not fitting in, despite joining the U.S. Marines when the war ended. So he sometimes distanced himself from the rowdy Americans, even members of the tribe whom he loved, like Mark and Bob. And the last thing he wanted right now was a boy’s incessant chatter.
All of which resulted in his being the first to leave the party as it showed signs of starting to wind down. Bob and Steve were not surprised to hear him say, “Guys, I gotta go. Had a rough morning at the base before I came here … some of those guys can be real mother-fuckers. Listen, Steve, do you think you could bring Eddie home when he’s done cleaning up here?”
As Hassan’s guesthouse was on the grounds of Steve’s big house that was a simple request and Steve willingly agreed. Hassan kept his goodbyes short, limiting them to thanks to Grady and Mario and a quick handshake with Mike before he quietly left and drove away in his jeep.
He heaved a sigh of relief at being alone at last, and now that he could indulge his gloomy thoughts without interruption his melancholy deepened. It made him irrational, his usually placid mood now tinged with darkness. He was in one of those depressions where he questioned all aspects of his life – his life as a soldier, his position in the Marines and even his place in the tribe, where his ethnicity sometimes made him feel culturally out of place.
He especially questioned what now felt like an odd relationship with a talkative young urchin whose non-stop chatter made him seem to Hassan, in his current negative mood, shallow and irritating. They were, after all, the exact opposite of each other, as different as two people could be. Of course, what the tormented soldier left out of his ruminations, something that had no place in his current dark thoughts, was the unpredictable nature of love that defied all logic.
At last he reached Steve and Lloyd’s darkened house and walked down the path to his small guesthouse. He went in, closed the door behind him and lay on the bed. At last – solitude.
At the Grady House Eddie was surprised when Steve told him Hassan had left and that he would run him home to Hassan’s house. But Eddie was on such a high that even the fact that Hassan had said nothing to him before he left did not tip him off to his master’s especially bleak mood. He was having fun with the other boys clearing up after the feast, and drinking copious amounts of the remaining wine.
When he was ready to be taken home Steve was relieved that Eddie would not be driving himself, as he was clearly the worse for drink. As he sat behind Steve and Lloyd on the way up to Mulholland, Steve tried tactfully to prepare the boy for Hassan’s mood. “Er, when you get home, Eddie, it might be as well if you give Hassan some space and don’t talk too much. Hassan’s in one of those gloomy moods of his where silence is the best medicine.”
“Oh,” Eddie said brightly, “I’m used to his bad moods, sir, but I can handle them. I’ll soon cheer him up … hearing about my day makes him forget the shitty day he’s had. And in no time he’ll be pushing my mouth down on his cock and bingo – everything’s fine and dandy.”
Steve sighed and rolled his eyes to Lloyd sitting beside him. He even thought of inviting Eddie to spend the night in their house and leaving Hassan alone but as soon as they drove down the drive Edie was out of the car and bouncing down the path with a cheery “Thanks for the lift, sir” over his shoulder.
He stumbled against the door and almost fell into the house, rousing Hassan from a placid doze. Slurring his words he shouted “Hey, wake up, sir, your boy’s home – troubles are over. Steve says you’re in a bad mood, but nothing that a good blow-job won’t solve, eh?
“You left the party too early, you know. It was a blast – Jason got naked and jumped in the pool but Adam said he was too drunk to swim and tried to pull him out but, guess what? Jason pulled him in, so then Darius jumped in to save them and all hell broke loose. ’Course, by that time Grady and Mario had gone to bed to make love. Hell, those guys spend half their lives in bed. Brian says that whenever …
“Be quiet! Shut up!” Hassan yelled. “For god’s sake stop talking for once in your life, boy.”
“But you like that, sir.” Eddie was now on a drunken roll, totally out of control and throwing caution to the winds. “The trouble with you, sir, is you don’t talk enough. Hell, all the way through the meal you sat staring down at the table like you weren’t even there. You’ve gotta lighten up, sir, or the guys won’t even invite you to the parties. Just ‘cos you’re this big stud Marine …”
“I said shut up … shut up!” Hassan leapt off the bed, eyes blazing and slapped Eddie across both cheeks. The shock at last silenced the boy who stared at the fierce soldier in confusion.
“All I fucking want is some peace and quiet, and what do I get? A kid who can’t keep his trap shut, boring me and everyone else with his incessant drivel. I just need to be alone … I like my own company and need to live alone. I don’t need a boy, least of all a kid who can’t stop yapping. Today all I or anyone else at that table could hear was your voice and it drove me fucking crazy.”
He turned his back on Eddie. “This master/boy thing’s not working for me. It was probably a mistake from the first. So that’s it, kid, we’re done, finished. Get out.”
“But, sir, that’s not fair!” Eddie yelled as tears of panic and defiance sprang to his eyes. “I ain’t going nowhere just ‘cos you’re in a bad mood. You owe me at least the …”
The Marine spun round to face him and roared, “Are you defying me, boy!? Nobody defies me! I don’t owe you a damn thing. Now if you don’t get out of here so help me I’ll …”
He raised his hand, Eddie saw the fire in his eyes and he stumbled out the door. As he staggered up the path he heard the soldier’s deep voice bellowing, “And don’t come back!”
His master’s brutal words and the slap across his face had sobered the boy up and now his bravado gave way to the slowly dawning realization that something terrible had just happened. All he could think of were Hassan’s words … “I don’t need a boy” … “this master/boy thing’s not working for me” ... “we’re done, finished” … “get out” … “and don’t come back.”
That drove everything else from his mind and he struggled to focus on what he was doing, where he was going. Instinctively he climbed into his truck, groped for the keys in his pocket and started the engine. Tears blurred his eyes as he drove up the driveway, reached mechanically for the gate opener on his sun visor, and saw the gate swing open before him.
He took a deep breath before pulling out onto the road. He could think only of Hassan, Hassan, as he drove unthinkingly with no destination in his mind. So he was surprised to eventually find himself parked in front of a neat bungalow. He blinked, wiped the tears from his eyes and knew where he was. Brandon’s … he had driven instinctively to the house of his best friend.
He got out of the truck, stumbled to the house and hammered with both fists on the front door yelling, “Let me in … let me in” – almost, in his addled mind, as if yelling to Hassan. The porch light came on, the door opened and there stood Pete.
“Eddie … what’s the matter? What’s happened?”
“He chucked me out. He chucked me out, he don’t want me no more.”
“Come in, boy, come in.” Eddie stumbled into Pete’s arms and Pete held him tight, stroking his hair as the boy sobbed on his shoulder.
Brandon and Pete had been having a nightcap before bed, indulging in their favorite thing – talking out the party. Now Brandon wheeled himself up and said, “Dude, what’s happened?” Pete signaled to him to leave Eddie alone and let him cry it out.
When Eddie’s sobs grew weaker Brandon took his hand and led him to the couch where he sat and stared at them wild-eyed. “He chucked me out … he don’t want me … said I talk to much … sick of it, he said … sick of me … the boy thing not working … he chucked me out … I can’t go back ‘cos I talk to much … do you think I talk too much?”
“Eddie,” Brandon grinned, “you are talking too much right now. Calm down and I’ll get you a brandy.” He went to get the bottle and Pete said, “Sounds like you and Hassan had a fight. Happens to the best of us, kiddo. But it always blows over.”
“Not this time,” Eddie said as the tears flowed again. “He was real mad, slapped me, told me to get out and not come back. I’ve got nowhere to go….”
“He hit you?” said Brandon handing him a brandy glass. Brandon frowned at Pete who said, “Well, kiddo, you’re staying here tonight and for as long as you like. Listen, I’m not taking sides here but I am gonna call Hassan and tell him you’re here in case he’s worried.
While Brandon sat with Eddie, Pete called Hassan from another room and told him Eddie was with them. Sounding exhausted Hassan replied, “OK, thanks Pete. I don’t wanna talk to him,” and abruptly rang off. Taken aback, Pete returned to Eddie who asked, “What did he say, sir?”
“Er, he sounded very tired, Eddie, but he knows you’re safe with us. Now, the guestroom is all yours.” Pete pointed discreetly over his head at Brandon who nodded eagerly, so Pete asked, “Would you like Brandon to sleep with you?”
“Yes please, sir,” Eddie said weakly. Brandon lead him into the guestroom, then came back for a last word with Pete. “Thanks for doing this, Brandon. He seems real shook up and I don’t think he should be alone. He’ll find it easier to talk to you. I know you wanted us to sleep together as usual but I’ll make it up to you tomorrow, OK?”
“It’s cool, sir. After all, that’s what friends are for.”
“That’s my boy,” Pete smiled, ruffling Brandon’s hair.
As they lay together in bed Eddie reached out to Brandon and hugged him tight … as if clinging to a lifebelt. Brandon wasn’t sure what to do except to say lamely, “Don’t worry, dude. Everything’s gonna come out alright I’m sure.”
“Do you think so?” Eddie whimpered “Do you think he’ll take me back? When he told me to get out he said don’t come back. He’s all I got, dude. The only good thing about me is that I’m a Marine’s boy. It makes me somebody. Without that I’m just an assistant houseboy.”
“Eddie, that’s crazy talk. We all love you because of what you are … fun, great company, loyal, loving …”
“And a loudmouth.”
Brandon teased, “That too. Actually I was about to mention something else you do with your mouth besides talking. You’re the best cocksucker in town.”
“Hassan used to love it when I sucked his cock. Maybe that’s all I was for him – a good blowjob – and he got tired of that too.” Tears started to flow again.
“Thing is, dude, I love him. I love waiting for him to come home, making the house look good for him, fixing his favorite drink. I used to stare at him when he didn’t know it and my heart beat like a drum. I would have done anything for him, Brandon, anything. But now he … he …” He broke down in sobs and Brandon felt tears on his shoulder.
“Listen, Eddie, best not to dwell on it right now. Things will look different in the morning and we’ll take it from there. Whatever happens, you’ll always have me. Remember that time when I was struggling up the hill in my wheelchair with my groceries to my lonely apartment and you helped me and became my friend. You had the guys from the tribe fix up my apartment and after that I never looked back. You saved my life, kiddo, and I’ll never forget that.”
Eddie pulled himself together and sighed. “You’re the best, dude. But I’m keeping you away from Pete. I bet you were gonna have sex when I barged in like that. Seems I’m bad news wherever I go ... no good for anything.”
“Hmm, not entirely true, kiddo,” Brandon grinned. “Feel this.” He guided Eddie’s hand down to his stiff dick. “See? You’re right … I was horny when you came in but I can think of one other guy besides Pete who could easily take care of that.”
“You, you dipshit – the best cocksucker in town.”
“You wanna blowjob, dude?” Eddie brightened at the thought that someone, at least, needed him for something.”
Brandon realized that bringing up sex was the only distraction that would help right now. He said, “You know in the days of my old solitary life, when I was feeling down and depressed I’d flip on a porn video and jerk off to it. Sex always helped me feel better … at least for a while. So how about it, dude? One good thing,” he smiled, “you can’t talk and suck at the same time.”
“Don’t you believe it, dude,” Eddie said and his mischievous grin appeared for the first time. At least sucking dick is one thing I’m still good for.”
“And if you like,” Brandon said casually, “I’ll munch on your dick too … if you can get it up. I’m pretty good at that … I was taught by the best.”
“If I can get it up!” Eddie scoffed, rising to the challenge – literally. “You forget, dude, I’m the ‘little gusher’. You want the best blowjob in town? You’ve come to the right place.” Eddie quickly flipped round so they were lying in their sides head to toe, their faces level with each other’s cock. Eddie licked Brandon’s cock gently at first and Brandon copied the master.
Within seconds their cocks were sliding to the back of the other’s boy’s throat, and their heads were bobbing up and down in unison. As Brandon had said, he had been taught by the best and he now followed his teacher’s rhythm and technique so the boys were giving each other identical bursts of pleasure as they clenched, released, swallowed – all the hallmarks of a master blowjob.
They had done this before but this time was especially intense. This time it was not only the physical act of sucking cock. Much more than just sexual pleasure, it was an act of healing performed against a background of Eddie’s shock and grief and Brandon’s impulse to help the friend who had helped him so much in the past. It was a profound act of love that, in its youthful purity and passion, was at least as strong as the affection between more mature men.
The boys moaned with pleasure as they squeezed, teased, caressed the other’s cock in their mouths while reaching over and grabbing the mounds of the other’s ass, feeling them flex as the pelvis moved back and forth.
When they adjusted their position Brandon’s mouth came free momentarily and he moaned, “Dude, you are so fucking great at this … my dick feels awesome in your mouth.”
Eddie, disproving Brandon’s former ‘can’t-talk-and-suck’ assertion, opened his mouth and, still sucking, his voice muffled, slurred, “Awesome, dude, don’t stop … keep sucking.” At that moment Brandon loved his friend more than ever and his laughter was stifled by Eddie’s dick sliding back in his mouth.
They were both so expert, so much in sync, that they felt the climax approaching at exactly the same time. Eddie mumbled something that sounded like, “I’m gonna cum, dude,” but Brandon didn’t need the verbal prompt. He felt Eddie’s rod bulge in his mouth as his own shuddered in Eddie’s and with loud groans they blasted cum deep in each other’s throat.
Eddie quickly pulled back, twisted round to face his friend and their mouths locked as they exchanged semen and swallowed hard. Eventually their lips separated and Eddie grinned, “Dude, you are the best pal a guy ever had. I could do it over again, dude, but I’m feeling tired. Can we sleep for a while?”
Brandon wrapped his arms round him, providing a warmth and comfort that gave an exhausted Eddie the oblivion he needed to banish his troubles … until the morning.
In the room next door Pete had heard their muffled shouts of pleasure and smiled to himself, thinking once again how he had lucked out having a boy like Brandon.
But of course, in the morning Eddie woke to the agonizing realization that, no, it had not been a bad dream. It was true … he was no longer Hassan’s boy. And the dampness of his tears woke Brandon as Eddie wept silently against him.
Instinctively Brandon knew that what Eddie needed right now was routine. So he said, “Jeez, look at the time … we gotta make breakfast and head for work, dude.”
“I ain’t going to work today, dude,” Eddie mumbled, “if ever.”
“You gotta go, man. You’re working in the office with Jamie today as part of your training. Plus you gotta help me get breakfast for Pete before he goes to work. There’s stuff in the kitchen I can’t reach, even with the pull-down shelves.”
That appeal for Eddie’s help did the trick and soon they were all eating breakfast. Pete agreed that Eddie had to go to work, appealing to his toughness as a member of the tribe. When a man like Pete threw out that kind of challenge no boy could refuse.
Pete had called Bob to tell him what had happened and Bob knew it would be the source of dismay and gossip everywhere so, with the help of Jamie and the twins, he put out the word that everyone should be kind and considerate with Eddie but not take sides in a dispute between master and boy.
Actually, Bob’s biggest problem in that regard was with Randy, whose reaction was predictable. “He did what!? He threw the boy out? He hit the boy?” That was a red rag to a bull, sure to rouse the fury of an impulsive man sworn to protect his boys, which included all the boys of the tribe. “Mother-fucker. Wait ‘til I get hold of the son-of-a-bitch and he feels my fist in his face.”
“Randy, Randy please. Remember what you always say about not getting involved between a man and his boy? The situation is delicate enough and you’ll make it ten times worse.” He groped for a scare tactic. “If … if you do that you … you can’t sleep with me tonight.”
It was the first threat he could think of and it made Randy smile despite his anger. “Yeah, right,” he grinned, “like you’re gonna keep me out of my own bed. You try a stunt like that and I’ll fucking tie you down, whip your ass and fuck the shit out of you.”
“Promises, promises,” Bob smiled. But the point was made and Randy backed off. In skirmishes like this Bob always won. Randy knew that and loved Bob the more for it.
When Eddie arrived at the office in the tribe’s compound Jamie was already there and gave him a long, loving hug. There was nothing to say – words would only have salted the wound. When they broke apart Jamie became businesslike. “Brandon’s working up at the Grady House today so we have a shit load of work. Here let me get you set up on this computer.”
Throughout the morning Eddie tried hard to concentrate, with Jamie’s concerned but discreet supervision. But the attempt to drown his sorrows in work failed. Every time the phone rang he jumped on it thinking it would be Hassan asking him to come back, but it was not to be. As the bitter truth sank in that Hassan really didn’t want him, that he was no longer the Marine’s boy, his misery deepened.
During their morning break he tried to concentrate on the guys he loved most, like Brandon … and Darius. The easy-going, macho young black guy was the first man from the tribe Eddie had met. When Eddie had still been working as bar-back at Mike’s leather bar in the desert Darius had dropped in with his leather-master Zack, and Eddie’s attraction to the handsome, muscular Darius had quickly ripened into hero worship.
So now Eddie walked in a haze of deepening gloom up to the apartment Darius shared with his boyfriend Pablo. As it happened they were both there getting ready to go to work at the construction site. Darius, shirtless in black jeans as usual, opened his arms and Eddie found comfort wrapped in the muscular arms of the young man he idolized.
As Jamie had done, Darius held him tight without speaking at first, then said simply. “Kiddo, I know you’re hurting, but you gotta take a deep breath and wait until the dust settles. Don’t do anything rash. You know Pablo and me are here for you, and you can even sleep with us tonight if that helps.”
Then Pablo hugged Eddie and said, “You know, dude, I had a long talk with Mike when I was last at his house and he gave me some good advice. He said I was living so much in Randy’s shadow that I didn’t cast a shadow myself. He suggested that, even while I loved and obeyed my master, I should sometimes act more independently, be my own man instead of just being a man’s boy. And you know what? When I did that I became more confident, assertive, more of a man … and Randy loved me for it. Everyone’s different of course, but it worked for me.”
Eddie talked with them a bit more before they had to go to work. Then, as he walked across the garden back to the office, their words resounded in a tangled mix in his brain. He admired and respected Darius but it was Pablo’s words that had the most impact. ‘Act more independently … be assertive … be your own man.’
Pablo had been unaware of the dangers of passing on second hand advice he had received, and Darius’s suggestion had been sounder. But Eddie didn’t know that. All he knew was the unbearable sadness of not having Hassan, not having a master in this tribe of masters and boys. He felt small, insignificant, alone. He didn’t fit in anymore. He longed for security, a security he had once known. And suddenly he knew what he must do.
Hassan had slept fitfully. Having the bed to himself for a change fulfilled his need for solitude. On the other hand, when he reached out for his boy in his sleep … there was nobody there. That woke him up but he reasoned that this was an automatic reflex after sleeping with the boy for so long and it would soon fade.
He was used to waking up to the smell of coffee and the sound of Eddie rattling around in the kitchen, but this morning there was no coffee and no sound. Well, he thought, at least he wouldn’t have to sit at the breakfast table listening to an endless recitation of his boy’s plans for the day. For a split second he wondered what Eddie’s plans today were, but this too he put down to habit, a habit he no longer had to indulge, so he dismissed the thought. The plans were Eddie’s business now, and that was that.
He himself had the day off – a day all to himself. He knew … he would go out for breakfast at that little place he used to hang out at. As he drove away he felt liberated, having only himself to please. But at the coffee shop he ran into a fellow Marine who sat with him and droned on with complaints about pay scales, pensions and V.A. benefits until Hassan tuned him out. He couldn’t wait to get back to the tranquility of his house.
When he did get back and opened the door he half expected Eddie to come hurtling out as he usually did and throw his arms round him. But no Eddie and no noise, thank god. He settled back with the newspaper he had bought … and heard the ticking of the clock. It was one of those sounds he had got so used to he didn’t hear it anymore … but now he did, loud and clear.
He glanced round the room and his eye settled on something on the floor in the corner. It was Eddie’s favorite old blue sneakers, the ones he always wore unlaced and caused Hassan to warn him to be careful not to trip. For a few seconds he felt inexplicably moved by the sight of the old scuffed shoes so typical of the scruffy young kid. But that feeling too he shrugged off. All this would fade away, he thought, as he stuffed the shoes in a closet – out of sight out of mind.
As it happened, Hassan was to have company that morning. Mark, before he reported for his afternoon shift, had come up to Steve’s house for his regular anger management session with his therapist, Steve, mandated for all cops on the force. After the usual, helpful 50-minute hour Steve had mentioned the business between Hassan and Eddie and hinted that Mark might want to go down the path to Hassan’s house and check to see how he was doing.
Steve was well acquainted with the love these two dominant men had for each other, forged long ago in the crucible of war when they were on opposite sides and Mark had been Hassan’s prisoner and subjected to harsh interrogation. That traumatic event had led to an unlikely love between the two soldiers so physically and spiritually intense that it had lasted to this day.
Mark was in his full police officer uniform, intending to go straight from here to work, but he had an hour to kill so he went down and knocked on Hassan’s door. There was no answer and Mark assumed he was out but he knocked again. In a few seconds the door flew open and Hassan said, “I thought I told you never to …” His voice trailed off as he saw the handsome, uniformed blond cop standing there.
“Mark … sorry, I thought you might be … sorry …” Hassan was wearing only old boxer shorts and he now embraced Mark with a fierceness that Mark had seldom felt. There was obviously more to this than the usual friendly greeting. “Hey, come in, buddy. I was just laying … er … relaxing on the bed. Day off …”
“In blissful solitude,” Mark grinned.
“Yeah, you could say that.”
I heard all about you and the boy, buddy. The grapevine, you know. How you feeling?’
“Fine,” Hassan said unconvincingly. “Just fine.”
“Buddy, it’s me, Mark. I said how are you feeling?”
Hassan shrugged, forcing a grin. “Takes some getting used to, man.”
“You wanna tell me about it, dude? Just between us?”
“Hell, Mark, it all suddenly got to me. I had a shitty day at the base, with some fucking whiz-kid sergeant talking back to me. I’m not blind, I know what they think of me, a ‘stinking’ Arab who came over from the enemy to join the Marines and is now giving them orders. Throw Asian into the mix as well as Arab and I’ve heard it all behind my back – camel jockey, sand nigger, chink. I could put them on a charge but that would only advertise the problem so I’ve learned to ignore it and swallow my pride.”
He shrugged helplessly. “Man, I don’t fit in here and I never will. That’s why I keep to myself. Even in the tribe I’m different from everyone else and I often wonder if I really fit in there.”
“Now wait just a goddam minute, here, buddy,” said Mark raising his voice in anger. “That’s kind of insulting, don’t you think? Have you ever heard anyone in that group, man or boy, speak of you in disparaging terms? Shit, is that what this is all about, your fear of racial prejudice? I thought this was all about your boy. That kid hero worships you. Have your ever heard him badmouth you like that?”
“No, of course not, man, the kid loves me like crazy, I know that and I …” He paced the room clenching and unclenching his hands in frustration. “I’m fucking lost, man. I don’t know what I’m saying. It was just all that stuff at the party – you guys having such a great time and, after the morning I had at the base I … I felt, I dunno … left out. I’m no good at small talk. Then with my kid talking non-stop the way he was it was driving me insane.”
“But you used to love that about him. Made you laugh. Dammit, buddy, I saw the love in your eyes.”
“Do you know I hit him, Mark? I slapped his face. That proves I’m not fit to have a boy. I just want to live alone, be a soldier like I used to be, no ties except to the military.” He sat on the bed, leaned back on his elbows and stared up at Mark.
“You know when I think I was happiest in my life, Mark? It was when I fell in love with you. That’s why I came halfway round the world looking for you. Mark, I need a man! An honest to god gorgeous, macho, alpha son-of-bitch stud like you. I need you, man.”
His eyes filled with tears and Mark’s heart went out to this troubled, beautiful man with whom he had shared so much. “I know what you need, man. I know just what you need.”
He raised his leg, pressed his boot on Hassan’s chest and shoved him on his back on the bed. Mark knew that his words ‘alpha son-of-bitch stud’ were code for ‘rough’. To eradicate thoughts of a lightweight kid, Hassan needed to feel the dominant strength of a man like himself. And he needed it rough.
Without pausing to shed his uniform Mark pulled the Marine’s near-naked body up the bed and met no resistance as he stretched one wrist upward and tied it to the corner bedpost, using the rope Hassan always kept there to thrill his boy in happier days. He tied the other wrist to the other corner then stood back and his blue-grey eyes bored down on the bound solider spread-eagled before him.
Just as Brandon had done for Eddie, Mark knew that sex was the quickest way to dispel Hassan’s dark mood … temporarily at least.
Hassan looked up at the handsome blond cop in his black uniform that hugged the contours of his stunning physique. That sight always turned him on – the broad shoulders, muscular torso narrowing down to the slim waist cinched by his heavy police belt. The black serge pants were tucked into high, shiny motorcycle boots and the only contrast to the all-black uniform was the triangle of white T-shirt under his open collar.
Mark undid a couple more shirt buttons and Hassan glimpsed the shape of his bulging pecs under the T-shirt. The cop unzipped his pants, pulled out his raging hard cock and stroked it slowly in his fist.
“This is what you need, man, right? Remember how we first met in the war – you the dark, handsome Arab, me the blond American soldier stripped to the waist – how you chained me to the wall and tortured me? Remember how you looked into my eyes and fell in love with me … how you released me and I overpowered you and it was your turn to be bound naked like you are now? Remember how you struggled in bondage? But you didn’t beg for release … you begged for something else. Let me see it, stud. Let me hear it.”
Hassan looked up at his bound wrists and tugged at them. His biceps flexed, his muscles rippled as his magnificent body writhed on the bed and his head thrashed from side to side, his black hair flying, until he gave up the hopeless fight and stared pleadingly up at the cop. “You know what I want, officer. Fuck me, fuck my ass. I need to feel your cock in my ass, I need it real bad. I beg you, man. Fuck me …”
Mark knelt on the bed between his captive’s spread legs, reached down and ripped his thin shorts clear off. He held them up to his own face, inhaled deeply, then stretched forward and jammed them into the soldier’s mouth, gagging him. He gazed down in awe at the chiseled square-cut features of the exotic, olive-skinned face and said, “Man, you are so fucking beautiful and you are gonna get so damn fucked.”
He spat on his cock, stroked it some more, then pushed the Marine’s legs high in the air. “This is what you need, soldier,” he growled, and in one swift, savage move, plunged his rod fast and deep into the naked Marine’s ass.
The bound man’s eyes spurted with tears, he screamed into the gag and his body bucked and writhed as the piston pulled back and began a brutal assault on his ass. Summoning all his military strength and training to resist torture Hassan flexed hard, but the pain was soon overcome by his need … his need to feel, to feel something real, something rough, to feel Mark, the rugged blond cop, pounding his ass.
After all his uncertainty and confusion he felt like a man again, a man enduring pain, a man seized by lust and passion. He was alive … he was in love.”
Mark gave his buddy the gift of domination, using all the strength and force in his powerful body as his hips rose and fell and his shaft buried itself in the Marine’s hot ass. It was a savage fuck, the physical onslaught Hassan needed to conquer his confusion and self-doubt – a tortured ass replacing a tortured mind. As the pile-driver continued its relentless pounding Hassan’s muffled screams into his gag were for “more, harder … hurt me!”
But Mark knew his friend’s limit and eventually began to slow down, from a ruthless hammering all the way to a gentle massage of the soldier’s shattered ass. He tugged the ragged shorts from his mouth, pulled them round his neck and used them to pull his head a few inches up off the bed, their eyes boring into each other.
“Man, you look so fucking hot. You have no idea how the guys in the tribe are turned on by that chiseled, dusky Arab/Asian look of yours. Racist? Of course they are, if racism means lusting for an exotic look like yours. They love you, man, don’t you get that? Men and boys – any one of them would gladly surrender his ass to you. They respect your silence – they don’t want your small talk – they want your big body and massive cock.”
Mark continued to caress Hassan’s ass as he smiled and spoke softly. “As for me, I love you, man, always have. When I’m horny and my boy Jamie’s not available I pound my dick and rub one out just for you, buddy. Now, I’m gonna fill your ass with my jizz, soldier, but before I do I want you to show me that most of what you told me today was bullshit, your own paranoia. And there’s one way to do that.”
Mark lowered Hassan’s head back on the bed, leaned forward and pressed his hands on the soldier’s biceps, so their faces were inches apart.” Hassan gazed up and said, “I love you, man. You’re right, I was talking bullshit. Forgive me, Mark. Kiss me man.”
Mark gazed at Hassan’s full lips, open slightly, seductively, and lowered his mouth onto them. Their lips touched, slid gently, softly together, then licking, biting, the pressure increasing to a full-on churning kiss, tongues probing, reaching a searing climax that begged for release … in the only way possible.
Mark pulled his face back and smiled into the dark, slanted eyes. “Cum for me, soldier. Show me how much you love me. Feel my big dick in your ass and cum.” Hassan’s eyes opened wide, he strained at the ropes round his wrists, his body shuddered and he groaned as semen poured from his cock over his ripped abs.
“Now you, man,” Hassan begged. “Please, let me feel your jizz in my ass … yeah, that’s it … oh yeaaah.” His head flew back, his mouth opened in an animal howl as he felt the cop’s dick bulge inside him, then release its sperm, like a healing balm deep inside his ravaged ass.
“I’m gonna be late for work,” Mark said a few minutes later as he untied the ropes from Hassan’s wrists. They gazed at each other with a look that needed no words. Mark zipped up his pants, buttoned up his shirt, then sat by the bed, forearms resting on his thighs as he spoke.
“Now I can’t give you any advice about your current problem, buddy, that’s for you to sort out. But I will tell you a story. Quite some time ago I had a real problem with my boy Jamie. I caught him doing drugs in the dunes with his surfer buddies. My whole cop law-and-order thing merged with my shock and disappointment and I went crazy.
“I told Jamie he was not my boy anymore and drove him down to the tattoo parlor to have that tattoo of my initials forcibly removed from his shoulder before I threw him out. He was panicked, devastated, and ran away and escaped before we went into the shop. I think it was Bob who made me see reason, made me realize how much I still loved my boy and how it was my duty to protect and teach him when he made mistakes. I went to find him and held him in my arms.
“And you know, buddy, I will never forgive myself for how badly I made that boy suffer. I’m ashamed of that to this day. Now that’s just me and I realize all men and all situations are different. So my story may have no relevance. I just thought I’d share it with you, my friend.”
They hugged, Mark left and ran up the path leaving Hassan alone in his house. Alone, the way he liked it. Yeah, people were different, he thought. He wasn’t Mark and Eddie wasn’t Jamie. Anyway, Eddie was safe with his buddies, guys his own age, and Hassan was one of the men. He had just had great sex with one of the leaders of the tribe. So everything was balanced – as it should be.
There was only one thing wrong with Hassan’s reasoning. Eddie was not safe with his buddies. Far from it.
After the lunch break Jamie came back to the office expecting to find Eddie there. But instead he found a note, scribbled on a piece of scrap paper.
“Dude – I love you dude, but I gotta go. I can’t work for you no more so this is my rensig … rensingnation. I can’t even be in the tribe anymore cos I don’t have no master. I guess I fucked up bad so now I gotta just suck it up and get on with my life. I gotta be my own man, more asertive … so that’s what I’m gonna do. Tell the guys I love them all … specialy my amigos. You’ve been great to me, Jamie. I’ll allways remember you for that. Bye, dude. Eddie.
P.S. If you see Hassan, tell him I put his clean laundry in my bottom drawer cos there wasn’t room in his. He won’t think to look there.
Jamie stared at the note in shock and confusion. He was struck not by the misspellings but by words like ‘assertive’ and ‘my own man’. They weren’t Eddie’s. He had heard Pablo use them but …” He immediately called Eddie’s cellphone but it went straight to voicemail … must have switched it off. Then he called Bob and read him the note.
They talked it over and Bob said Jamie should low-key it so as not to spread alarm. “Tell the boys quietly, especially Brandon, but don’t call Hassan yet. There’s nothing he or anyone could do until we hear from Eddie. I’m sure we’ll get word soon, or at least he’ll turn his cellphone back on. So keep trying that number.”
Jamie thanked Bob, hung up and said to himself, “Dumb kid … fuck Hassan.”
Eddie was on his way back to Palm Springs to get his old life back, the life he had before he moved to L.A. As he drove his old truck east on the freeway toward the desert he recalled the trip west so long ago on his way to find Darius and all the guys Darius talked of. All the guys … his started to think of them … his buddies the ‘three amigos’, himself, Ben and Brandon … Brandon, so brave in his wheelchair, the best buddy a guy ever had.
Tears started to flow and he tried to hold them back. He must try not to cry or he wouldn’t be able to stop. No, he had to be strong, independent like Pablo had said, and look what that had done for him, the boss’s boy. He wouldn’t think of the tribe, only his new life, actually his new/old life in the desert. He used to have fun there, didn’t he? And he would again. He grabbed the steering wheel hard, clenched his jaw and put his foot on the gas … headed east.
Two hours later Mike was working alone in his garden on his vegetable patch that Randy had cleared for him last time he was here. He had only just got back from L.A. after spending the night in the Grady House as a guest of Grady and Mario after the big party. He chuckled to himself thinking over the wild events of that day and realized how much he loved that crazy tribe. He had promised to stay in touch and Bob had given him most of the guys’ cell numbers.
In an hour or so he would be opening the bar for the beer bust. One of the regulars was having a birthday so it would be crowded, and he was short of staff. Suddenly he heard a car pull up at the gate and he frowned. He wasn’t expecting anyone. Then, to his astonishment the gate opened, and Eddie strode in … strode in!
“Eddie! What in fuck’s name are you doing here? Is Hassan with you?”
“No, sir,” Eddie said loudly (assertively). “We ain’t together no more, so that’s why I’m here. I want my old job back.”
Mike took a deep breath. “Sit down at the table here kiddo while I go get us some beers.” Mike caught his breath as he went in the house, his mind racing. Obviously the boy was in a state. He was making a pretty lame attempt at sounding tough but he had clearly been crying and still had dried tears on his cheeks. Phew, this would take a lot of tact, Mike thought.
He came back out, sat down facing Eddie and handed him one of the beers. “So, my young friend, tell me. What’s going on?”
“Well, sir. I walked out on Hassan. The master/boy thing wasn’t working.”
Mike raised his eyebrows. “Eddie, this is me, your old pal Mike. Now cut the crap and talk to me.”
Eddie crumpled before his eyes and the whole story poured out. Mike listened without interruption until the boy ran out of words. “So I came here, sir. I want my old life back, and my old job back … if it’s still open.”
Mike gazed at him. “Hassan hit you, you say?” Eddie nodded. “Did he tell you he don’t love you anymore?”
“No, sir, but he said I talk too much and he needs silence and wants to live alone. He told me to get out and not come back.”
Mike turned and gazed out across his garden. In his long life he had seen relationships come and go, had seen love catch fire and then, a few weeks or months later, crash and burn. Some relationships had clearly run their course and needed to end. Others needed to be salvaged. The love between the Marine and his boy Eddie was definitely in the latter category.
He had seen the way Hassan looked at his boy, seen his dark, exotic face glowing with love as the mischievous young urchin had prattled on, gazing up at his Marine in total worship. Sure they were an improbable, mismatched pair but, as Mike knew well, love sprang up like a flower in the most unlikely soil. So what was going on here? It was clear, Mike thought. In a word – bullshit. His mind raced like a computer … let see, it’s a two-hour drive from L.A. In a few minutes Mike turned to face the boy.
“OK, Eddie, you want your old job back at the bar? You got it, kid. As a matter of fact your timing’s great. My bar-back just quit on me … fell in love with a guy, upped and quit. And we got a big beer bust coming up. But you’ll have to start in an hour. Why don’t you take a swim and wash off the dust of the freeway while clean up inside?”
Eddie was kind of surprised at Mike’s ready agreement and felt a moment of panic that his return to his old life had become a reality. So it was with mixed feelings that he took off his clothes and cooled off in the pool.
Indoors Mike was searching through the list of phone numbers Bob had given him. He punched one of the numbers into his phone and waited. “Hey there, soldier, how you doing? It’s Mike … you know Uncle Mike in the desert. Listen, I just wanted you to know that young Eddie is here. Yeah, he told me you two had split up and I’m sorry to hear that but I thought I should give you a heads up that he’s OK.”
At the other end Hassan was non-committal … or stunned, Mike couldn’t tell which. “Yeah,” Mike continued cheerfully, “matter of fact it worked out pretty good. My bar-back here just quit on me and Eddie wants his old job back so … that’s that. Fate working its magic. I’m real glad ‘cos Eddie was always really good at keeping the place clean, swabbing floors, picking up empty bottles and … other stuff.
“Plus he’s great for business, real popular with the guys, especially the leather daddies. That back room sees more action when he’s working … and I do mean working … on his knees. Shit damn, the line is out the door, guys waiting to get one of his famous blowjobs … well I don’t need to tell you what a great little cock-sucker he is. And he makes a bundle in tips.” Mike chuckled. “Don’t worry, I give him knee-pads to strap on, he’s on his knees so long in the middle of that room.
“Well, he’s raring to get back to work so we gotta go. Bar opens soon and, once he’s picked up all those bottles, he’ll be on his knees in a couple of hours from now. One of the regulars is having a birthday, so guess what his present’s gonna be. OK, just so you know Eddie is here and doing just fine. Hope to see you and the guys real soon, stud. Gotta go now.”
Hassan shut off the phone and stared at the wall, trying to process what he had just heard. His mind was reeling, racing over the last twenty-four hours … his rotten morning at the base, then the rowdy party, guys laughing and yelling, his boy Eddie louder than most … that smiling face, his rippling laugh. It had annoyed him at the time and he had needed some quiet, some space.
Then Mark this morning, giving him the macho fuck he needed so bad. Mark’s story of when he had almost lost that gorgeous boy of his. And now the phone call from Mike. Eddie was back in the desert, he was safe and … happy? Working as a bar-back, fending off groping hands, then on his knees with a line of fat cocks waiting to fuck his mouth? Eddie … his boy Eddie …
Hassan yanked open the closet to get a shirt … and out fell the blue sneakers that he had earlier found so moving and stuffed in there - Eddie’s old scuffed unlaced sneakers that Hassan was always afraid would trip him up and make him fall to his knees … to his knees ….
Eddie knew exactly where to look in the bar, where guys would stash their empty beer bottles … the dark corners, under benches, behind poles, that shelf in the toilet. He walked around the crowded room picking them up automatically as if he had never been away. He recalled those days when he had been a cheeky young star, enjoying their teasing, lewd suggestions, hands that groped and grabbed his ass.
It had been kind of fun back then before he knew any other life. But now it was humiliating and made him want to cry. But he had to be tough. He knew he was at one of the lowest points of his life so far but he had to man up … be his own man, be independent. Like Brandon, who had taught him all about independence … and bravery.
He thought of Brandon and Brian in their wheelchairs and felt ashamed of his weakness. Hell, they had guts. What were his challenges compared with theirs? Brandon living alone for so long with only his porn collection for company. And Brian with his hopeless existence alone in his battered old trailer in the desert. Brandon was real brave … and Brian was learning to be.
He smiled to himself as he thought of them … but then thinking about them made him choke up. He was not one of their posse anymore, Brandon, Brian, Ben. He would probably not see them again for a long time, and when they came out on a trip to the desert they would see him picking up empties as a humble bar-back.
He took deep breaths to hold back the tears and forced a smile at the drunken taunts of the old leather guys. He would be strong … strong for Hassan … no, stupid, not for Hassan. That didn’t work anymore. So he thought of the future … a future that right now lay in the back room.
The time had come when the guys, like moths to a flame, were starting to assemble in the back room. He looked over at Mike behind the bar who glanced anxiously at the clock, nodded and came over to him holding the knee pads. Eddie looked him square in the eyes and said firmly, “I don’t need those, sir,” in a last pitiful attempt to show how tough he was.
Mike followed him into the dark room where the boy pushed his way to the middle under the single red light. There was a murmur from the crowd as he knelt down, looked at the line of guys, some with their cocks out already. He closed his eyes, and ….
“Back off!” There was some kind of commotion at the door as the commanding voice barked again. “I said back off! That’s my boy. My boy! Nobody lays a finger on my boy, and the only dick he’s gonna suck is mine!”
Eddie felt himself being lifted up on his feet, felt muscular arms fold round him and heard a deep voice murmur, “Forgive me, Eddie.” He opened his eyes to find himself staring into the dusky, square-jawed face of the man he loved.
“This is no place for a boy of mine. I’m taking you home, kiddo.” Hassan picked the boy up bodily, slung him face down over his shoulder and wrapped an arm tight round his dangling legs in front. His head hung down limply behind Hassan’s back.
As the crowd parted and Hassan strode to the door Eddie raised up his face. In the crowd he saw a grinning Mike who winked at the boy and gave him two thumbs up.
TO BE CONTINUED in “A Trial Of Strength” – Chapter 327