The riverboat hit a log, or something, on the hull right at my head, and I woke with a start. The first sensation in the soft, wavering light of a single lantern hung by the doorway was the sound of the drums and low chanting from somewhere above. The driver and cook at it again. The sound was monotonous and comforting all at the same time. It also seemed to be richer than before, almost stereophonic, and the second sensation to reach my senses was the dull thumping against the cabin wall above my head, which was what was providing the stereophonic effect of the drums. The Millers were copulating again to the rhythm of the drums. Who would have known the old man had it in him to fuck so often and so long?
Heavy breathing, inside the cabin, reached me on a third level of sensation. I rolled over. Ethan was slouched, naked, in the chair, legs spread, a shock of salt-and-pepper hair hanging down over one eye, the other eye boring into me. He was slowly masturbating himself-also to the rhythm of the drums. He had a trim and scarred, but hard, body, well built even though he was pushing fifty. He'd had an active life and it showed.
A chill went down my spine. This was Africa. Raw, primeval, and sensual. Instantly feeling the mood and the need of the drums, I turned toward Ethan; stretched my body out, unwinding every bunched muscle like a jungle cat waking from a nap; arched my back; and moved my hand down to my own hardening cock. I lay there on the lower bunk and Ethan slouched in his chair, each of us silently and intently staring at the other, both working our cocks up, panting. Knowing we were going to fuck. The drums picked up their beat, as did the thumping on the wall above the bunk. In a separate dimension, the cry of a native woman from the deck overhead cut through the rhythmic sounds followed by the growl, in his distinctive South Africaner dialect, of the guide, Bull. "Spread 'em wider, you native doxy, and stop your yowling. Stop acting like you've never been fucked before."
Bull had broken the spell in the cabin.
"Come. And bring a condom," Ethan commanded in a hoarse whisper. I knelt between his spread thighs and opened my mouth over the bulb of his cock, being rewarded with a long sigh and the feel of his long, sensuous fingers gliding through my hair, holding my head into his crotch.
Ethan enjoyed the exotic, picked up from his extensive world travels. He fucked me without leaving his slouched position in the chair, my body swanned out from his torso and over his thighs, my feet hooked on his shoulders, him grasping my wrists and, bowing my arms back, my torso arched out over his thighs. With his cock throbbing and making slow and shallow strokes deep inside me, he maintained the rhythm of the drums, slowing in the wake of the sharp cry of release by the native woman overhead and the sudden ceasing, with a jolt, of the cabin wall thumping. With a tightening of Ethan's body, a jerk, and the sound of a gasp and a sigh, I felt him fill the bulb of the condom, and he slowly lowered my chest on his thighs without extracting his cock from my channel. We both held there, panting heavily. I knew he'd fuck me again once he had regained his breath and the hardness of his cock.
That's why we went together so well. He could fuck forever and I wanted it that way.
Stretched out on the bunk, me on my back on top of him, his cock inside me, Ethan slowly masturbated me to my own ejaculation and nibbled on my ear, whispering endearments to me. Then we both slept, sensitive to whatever scant breeze invaded the cracks in the hull of the Congo river steamer to cool the sweat on our bodies.
I woke up in the darkest of the night to silence other than Ethan's heavy breathing and his hissing through chattering teeth. The lantern had sputtered out, the boat was gently rocking from side to side, and, although there were sounds of low muttering in a foreign-to me-tongue coming from overhead, the drums and chanting had stopped.
Ethan and I were both bathed in sweat-his-as were the sheets. He was mumbling and shaking. I felt his forehead, which was burning even though his teeth were chattering. I scrambled out of the bunk and pulled the blanket down from the bunk above, which was supposed to be mine but which Ethan hadn't allowed me to occupy in the six days of our river journey. It had been nearly a year of absence since we'd met up on this safari, and he insisted on going to sleep with his cock inside me every night. This was fine with me.
I bundled him up in the blanket and, not knowing what else to do, went looking for Bull, even though I felt intimidated by the man.
Bull, bulky, but not fat, all muscle and power, seemingly took up all of the space in the cabin as he squatted and peered at Ethan's trembling body.
"Yep, malaria. For sure. Where's he been?"
"Everywhere," I answered. "He does TV documentaries from the ends of the earth. He's been doing a film on lingering insurgency in Angola."
"Yep. Probably got it there. Could have got it here too, but it wouldn't show up this bad in seven days if he got it here. We'll have to have him sent back to Kinshasa when we reach Lokutu Mombongo later this morning."
Bull was giving me an appraising look as he said that. I only then realized that I was naked.
* * * *
"The question, I suppose, is whether we press on or call this off for now." Although this was on everyone's mind, it was Sondra Miller who asked it. Of all the people here, she was the one most out of place-and well aware of that. A statuesque blonde who looked every lovely inch the runway model that she was, she would look good in any setting-but a lot better in most every one other than the upper Congo where we now were. Her voice sounded just slightly bored when she'd said it, but everyone was aware of the hope behind her words.
"Of course not. We've come this far," her husband, Charles, answered, an edge to his voice. "Ethan said he already had enough notes to begin the documentary as long as I was still in. Jim here can take notes for the rest of the journey. What say you, Sean?" he asked turning to me. "You are the editor on this and have talked with Ethan on his vision. Can we do the rest of the research without him? We'll have to come back to do more filming when the script is together anyway."
"Probably so," I answered, not looking at Sondra directly to see if she'd mar her pretty face with a scowl but looking, rather at Charles's young, black secretary, Jim Jackson, to see how closely he was watching Sondra. Very closely. A pity, I thought. With Ethan gone, Jim Jackson was looking very good to me. And I needed almost constant attention.
I wondered why Sondra had come on the safari at all. Probably didn't want to let Charles Miller's money out of her sight for very long. He was a good thirty years older than she was and definitely of the florid-faced, slightly pudgy aspect. He was the money behind this documentary film and Ethan had told me to treat the man right. Thus far I hadn't had many dealings with him, but he seemed the alright sort. He certainly didn't flaunt his wealth-not like his wife did. She was wearing diamonds even though we were sitting on the banks of the Congo at Lokutu Mombongo in a primitive tent camp. The guide had said that it was best to camp in tents in the open under mosquito-repellent lamps whenever we could, as the boat cabins would be harder to protect against the mosquito.
If Ethan was any evidence of this, Bull was right.
Ethan had been bundled off in a float plane by noon and the others had gone on to their daily excursion to the Lokutu Oil Palm plantation. Sondra had shown more interest in this outing than in the ones of previous days, probably because the plantation owner was a Frenchman with a roving eye, a good physique, and randy banter. Sondra very much gave the impression that she needed to be bedded constantly. I didn't fault her; it was my sin as well.
"The safari is already paid for," Bull interjected. "We can take you back now, but there won't be a refund."
"We won't be going back," Charles Miller decreed. "I've already sunk too much money into this documentary to abandon it now."
"Good," Bull said, the palm of his hand going to the buttocks of the young Congolese woman laying the place settings at the camp table. "We leave on the boat at daybreak tomorrow. We'll reach where the Congo is at its widest, where you will see a vast field of hyacinths on the water and visit the Bafoto pygmies."
"Ethan told me about the hyacinths," Charles said, turning to his secretary, Jim. "Be sure and have your video camera for those, Jim. Ethan will want coverage of them. You'll have to do the photography now, if Sean doesn't want to do it."
Miller had turned to me. "Sorry," I answered. "I'm terrible at it. Ethan asked me to begin on the script."
"I suggest an early night," Bull said, as he stood up and put a hand on the small of the Congolese woman's back.
I chose to take in the twilight and sunset over the Congo River before turning into my solitary tent-the first time I would be sleeping alone on this trip. Ethan and I had met in Bangkok when we both were covering a coup there, me for the Associated Press as a journalist and editor and he as director of a documentary. We each retreated into a bar on Soi Cowboy off Sukhumvit, near the international enclave, to escape the teargas of a spontaneous clash between the police and university students. It proved to be a gay bar, and after several drinks, Ethan fucked me in a small room beyond the beaded curtain at the back of the bar. After the teargas cleared, he took me back to his hotel room and fucked me repeatedly there. He was nearly fifteen years older than I was, but I liked older men, and he was hard bodied and fully capable. We had met sporadically, as on this safari, and worked together and fucked periodically over the past seven years. If anything, he got better at it with age.
Now he had deserted me near the end of the earth, up the Congo. The sex the last seven days had been as good, if not better, than it ever had been and we were reaching a shared rhythm that raised possibilities of a more permanent living arrangement. But now he had malaria and was probably in a hospital in Kinshasa awaiting medical evacuation back to the States. I wasn't even sure how to contact him in the States. Charles would know, though. I'd have to ask him.
It was dark enough that night was stealing into the clearing between the tents and the central fire was dying down to embers. The driver and the cook were starting up the drums. The cook was an old man, but the driver was young and heavily muscled and quite handsome. He also moved with an assurance and with sensual grace. I had stolen glances at him with possibilities in mind the first seven days, even when I was being possessed fully by Ethan. I wondered if he . . .
I found my hand wandering down to my crotch, not even thinking if I was safe from observation. The clearing seemed deserted other than the low sound of the drums and of the soft chanting by the two Congolese men. As the darkness drifted in, though, the glow of the lights in the tents almost made their walls transparent, and the shadows from inside them caught my attention.
Bull's idea of turning in early was fucking the young Congolese woman in his tent. I could clearly see their silhouettes against the tent walls. He was standing up and taking her, with her bent over in front of him. I watched for nearly an hour as he turned her and she just flopped back, her arms dangling down to the floor and her head thrown back, while he clutched her buttocks and fucked on. I wondered if she was still conscious. And more than that, I wondered what it would be like to be in her place. There was similar activity in the Miller's tent, where the copulating couple was more reclined and he was stretched on top of her, his buttocks rising and falling, again to the rhythm of the drums.
I almost resented the others getting what I wasn't getting-and now wouldn't get until the safari was over.
Charles Miller walked into the light of the clearing from the direction of the boat. He had a bottle of scotch under his arm and was holding two glasses with his fingers. As I watched him approach, flabbergasted and letting my eyes dart to his tent and what was obviously happening therein, I couldn't help but gasp my surprise that it wasn't him in the tent. The woman there most certainly was Sondra. He calmly sat down beside me where we could both watch his tent and said, "Share a scotch with me and enjoy the show together? Sondra gives a good fuck."
While we were both on our second glass, with the fucking still going on in both tents, he turned to me, laid a hand on my thigh, and said, "I'll give you fifty dollars if you'll let me suck your cock. Ethan said you'd be good to me if I asked."
I didn't need the fifty dollars, but after the silhouette shows I'd been watching, I certainly needed the attention to my cock.
So that was what Ethan meant about treating the angel for his documentary well. I unzipped my shorts and he crouched between my spread thighs, fished my cock out, grasped it at the root, and closed his mouth over it. He gave expert head and welcomed the facial I gave him. I wasn't quite as melancholy at Ethan's absence anymore.
All melancholy was dissipated in the night when I felt a body stretch on top of mine as I lay on my belly on my cot in the tent I shared with no one. In the dimness of the glow of the pulsating mosquito repellent lanterns I could tell that the heavily muscled arms lying on either side of mine were black as ebony. Outside the tent, a drum beat softly started-and a low chant-but it was the sound of only one drummer, one chanter.
A whispered question in my ear, the accent more French than English, but very polite under the circumstances. "Please, may I. Will you receive me? I was told you would want me."
"Yes," I whispered back, aching for the sex that was being denied me in Ethan's absence and thrilled at the feel of the size and insistence of his phallus at the small of my back. I turned my face to his and opened my mouth to him, and he pulled my tongue into his mouth and sucked on it as he moved his lithe, hard body on mine, showing me what French kissing was all about.
"Oh, shit. Fuck me," I whimpered when coming up momentarily for air, as, by instinct, I raised my buttocks to him and opened my legs, permitting his cock to move into the crack. He rubbed the upper side of the hard phallus on my hole, again and again, dry fucking me already as I gasped and writhed under him. He grasped my wrists and held my arms above my head. I recognized the signaling that he would fully possess me, and as we came out of the kiss, I took a deep breath and murmured, "Yes, yes, fuck me hard."
He laughed, a low guttural laugh, and, murmured, "It is good with you? You want me fuck you, yes?"
"Yes, yes," I answered with a gasp. "Don't ask for anything; just do it. All of it."
The weight of his body came off me and he was licking and kissing down my back. But that wasn't what had my attention. He already had a moistened finger exploring my asshole. He was on his knees between my spread thighs, and as I lifted my buttocks higher in the air, his mouth went to my ass and a hand grasped my cock through my thighs and he was stroking it.
"Please, please," I groaned. "Fuck me." I was clutching hard at the thin foam mattress and rubbing my cheek against the rough cotton sheet.
I groaned when his lips left my hole to be replaced by a thumb and his mouth swallowed my cock. I moaned and writhed under him, until he immobilized me more by moving a knee up next to my waist, holding my chest down with a fist between my shoulder blades and began roughly working my hole with three and four fingers.
"Please, please," I whimpered.
And then he was straddling my hips, crouched over my pelvis, and feeding his cock inside me. When he was deep inside, he encircled my chest with his arms and brought me up on my knees in front of him closely plastered against his chest. One strong, muscled arm extended up my chest and he held my head close into his shoulder with a grasp on my chin. He was stroking my cock with the other hand. Then he began to plow up into me in earnest in long, strong jabs, making little grunting noises, while I egged him on with continuous babbling that he probably didn't understand a word of. He was longer and thicker than Ethan was, and more vigorous in his stroking and longer lasting. I came long before he did, and then again when he flipped me over, wishboned my legs, and took me from the front, with me glorying in palming his hard, glistening, ebony-black chest and thrumming his quarter-sized aureoles with the pricks of blue tattooing circling them.
When Bull came to rouse me near dawn, I was flat on my belly on the cot, my arms hanging down, with my knuckles dragging on the earth of Africa, and burbling my appreciation for the night.
Bull gave me a quizzical look, and I was trying to think of something to tell him to explain how exhausted and fully satiated I was when he obviated that. "Was it OK with you?" he asked tentatively. "When we were putting Ethan Woodsmall on the plane, he was begging me to arrange for someone to take care of you. The driver has been-"
"Yes, that's fine. It was more than fine," I answered.
"Do you want him again? I can always cut it-"
"Yes, he's fine. Send him every night."
"Also, If you're interested, one of the boat men. The young one who wears the orange and red dhoti-"
"Yes," I murmured. "I know who you mean. Yes, him too."
"Separately or together?"
I was hoping he was going to mention himself. But he didn't. He just smiled and whistled. Then with a, "Breakfast in ten, and then it's steaming on to Lisala," he was gone from the tent.
Groaning, I struggled out of my cot, my mind going to the Congolese young boat man who wore the orange and red dhoti, the scarf-like long skirt, leaving the chest bare, that men of his ethnic origin wore-tall and rangy, not a black man, but an Indian. But I'd gotten a peek at his cock. Very, very long.
I found how very long later that morning as we steamed up the Congo en route to the town of Lisala, where we were to have our afternoon outing and camp for the night and which the Congolese safari staff twittered excitedly about as the highlight of our trip. Such morning boat trips had become somewhat of a monotonous glide up the river, staring desultorily off into the jungle in continual search for a view of exotic plants and animals that we had seen hundreds of times before on lower stretches of the river.
The chief boat man was standing at the wheel, with one of his subordinates kneeling at the bow and watching the water for possible dangers to the boat's hull floating in the approaching stream. I didn't know where the other boatman was at the moment, the tall Indian with the orange and red dhoti. When we'd first boarded that morning, he'd been there near me, helping me aboard and then touching me and smiling, paying particular attention to me. And then as we were settling on the benches and the boat was pulling back into the midstream, coming back close to me, leaning down and whispering, "The guide, he said-"
"Yes, that will be fine. I wish it," I broke in, not wanting him to complete whatever he was going to say. It was a weakness of mine, wanting men's cocks-and as many and in as much variety as I could get them. I had gone exclusively with Ethan for the first seven days. After being plowed by the driver the previous night, I realized that if Ethan hadn't been taken away, I might by now be feeling the frustration of just his cock. It wasn't what I was used to, and, upon reflection, I realized I had been eyeing not just the driver, but the Indian boat man and Bull and even the secretary, Jim Jackson, for days before Ethan left us. They probably noticed that I had. I'm sure the driver and the Indian wouldn't have been as forward with their intentions if I hadn't been unconsciously signaling them.
Jim Jackson was at the stern, where the Congolese woman was washing out some clothes. Despite the language barrier between them, I expected to see them disappear below at any moment. The biggest wrinkle was that the young driver was there too, probably trying to cajole Jim to give him the same thing Jim was trying to get from the woman. Neither Bull nor Sondra Miller were in evidence on deck. I knew where Charles Miller was, though. He was sitting close beside me on a padded bench, set where we could watch the southern bank of the river glide by. He had an arm around my shoulder, and he had my cock out of my shorts and was slowly masturbating me. He was purring like a kitten and was kissing and licking the side of my neck.
"Would you like me to go below with you?" I asked. Ethan had told me that Miller was a necessary evil to getting this documentary in the can and I didn't have any other prospects for projects at the moment-and the driver had cocked me so well that I was feeling generous and not too picky.
"No, dear boy, thank you," Miller murmured. "This is quite nice as is. Just get nice and big and come for me, and I'll be satisfied."
That's when I realized that he couldn't get it up and that this was the next best thing. That's why he was so calm with his secretary, Jim, fucking his wife. Sondra probably hadn't agreed to come on the safari at all without a boy toy. I felt sorry for Miller, and when he pulled my head back and put his lips on mine, I gave him a kiss to remember. I also ejaculated for him, and although, he dipped his face down to my lap to clean me up, I stood afterward and said I would go down to my cabin to clean up better.
Jim Jackson had the Congolese woman bent over a crate and was fucking her from behind when I reached the top of the stairs down into the cabin area. The driver was sitting on another crate and watching.
I heard them as I was coming down the steps into the lower corridor. The door to the Millers' cabin was slightly open and I looked in as I passed. Bull was naked and on his back on the double bed in the cabin, and Sondra, also naked, was straddling his pelvis and riding his cock. Before I moved on, I saw her dip her face down to his and him run his hand into her luxuriant cascade of blonde hair and take her lips in his. He brutally attacked her lips and, with a tug of her hair and a thrust of his hips, turned her in the bed and was mounting her to take over the driving. She threw her head back and laughed a hoarse, lusty laugh and then cried out as he thrust hard up into her.
I ached to be so lustfully and roughly handled.
Knowing now that Miller couldn't perform for Sondra, I felt much more forgiving of-and a kindred spirit with-her. I passed on to my own cabin door. The Indian, sans his dhoti, was waiting patiently for me in there. If one can say they were fucked gently, this would have been that fuck. I sat in the chair that Ethan had slouched in just a couple of nights previously, while the Indian gave me the most sensual blow job I think I've ever had. I tried to return the favor with him standing and me kneeling in front of him, but I doubt I succeeded all that well. He was just too long for me to come anywhere close to deep-throating him as he had done for me.
He then amazed me with his strength. He appeared so tall and thin that I could not imagine that he had the strength to lift me and stand, a bit crouched, in the center of the cabin, while I wrapped my arms around his neck and my legs around his waist and he entered and entered and entered me with that long, snake-like cock of his and rotated it around inside my channel and stroked it in long glides in and out until I was yodeling to the ceiling and no doubt announcing my very satisfactory taking to all aboard the boat.
Later he took me even more slowly and sensually, face on, atop the bunk, with me looking down the length of our torsos and watching how impossibly all of that was slowly sliding up inside me and, though going in rock hard, seemed to have the flexibility of a hose inside me, finding every nook and cranny of my channel and caressing it with the bulb of the cock.
The Millers, Jackson, and I all had to contain our mirth later in the day when we were shown what the Congolese considered the highlight of the safari, which was a tree commemorating the birthplace of their former leader, Mobutu Sese Seko, founder of Zaire. The members of the party, each giving looks to the other, properly praised the event, though, not wanting to be on the bad side of any of the Congolese this far up the remote river. Charles made a great to do of directing Jim to take multiple photographs of the site, but, in sotto voce assured him that they didn't need to be good photographs.
I felt a chill in the air that evening after we had finished our dinner at the campsite in Lisala. No one else claimed to feel it, though, so I put it out of my mind. Once again Bull suggested that we make an early night of it, as we were pressing on to what he called a "beautiful fishing village" at Iaté. The rest of us interpreted that to mean that we had to stop somewhere for the night before going on to something we really wanted to see, so it might as well be at the collection of mean little huts at Iaté. We had come for the excitement of the national animal preserves, and it was taking us considerable time to find them.
With a smile Bull told us that we would be crossing the equator in merely five days. We all suppressed groans. We wanted the experience of crossing the equator, but we weren't wild about the idea of having to wait for five days to get it done in what had become one monotonous day after another if you didn't take the good sex into account. I was willing to take the good sex into account.
No, not the good sex-the great sex.
At dark that night, Charles Miller appeared from the direction of the boat with another full bottle of scotch under his arm, causing me to wonder just how many bottles he had brought on the journey and if he was thinking of the need to ration them for the return trip. The driver and cook were on the drums again, and, again, Miller and I sat parallel to the Miller's tent so that, while he was slowly and expertly sucking me off, we could watch the show in his tent. Tonight it was a spectacular silhouette show, with Jim and Bull standing, facing each other, and Sondra suspended between them and taking cocks in both entrances.
I wondered how Miller could so calmly take this until, as if he could read my mind, he said, "I can no longer give Sondra what will keep her with me. And I enjoy watching those who can, servicing her."
I had to agree that that was simple enough. Thanks to their performance, I was quite randy when I went back to my tent. Thanks to the driver and the Indian boat man, my randiness was fully serviced. I had watched Sondra get double plowed one way. The driver and the Indian showed me there was more than one way to double plow.
I was quite content riding the driver's cock, facing his face, as he lay on his back on my cot. I lost my contentment and gained a half hour of "Holy Fuck!" when the Indian slid in behind me, encircled my chest with his arms, pitched me forward, and entered me with his snaking cock on top of the driver's thick one. They played me like a calliope and left me just a few hours before dawn, exhausted, sweating profusely, and with my tongue hanging out.
The sweat turned out not to be from the sex. By the time Bull entered my tent at dawn to rouse me, I was wrapped in a blanket alternating between chills and hot flushes, sweating like a pig, and chattering my teeth.
Bull pronounced the dreaded word: malaria.
As I was being bundled aboard the float plane, I heard the drums playing. It seemed to me that they were a bit more loose in rhythm and had a lighter beat than before the driver fucked me. I hoped I'd had a good influence on the driver's music. Bull was helping to tuck me in on the plane and was regretting that I hadn't been able to stick it out to cross the equator later in the week. My regret was that I had to leave before I had experienced Bull's cock-and Jim Jackson's, for that matter. The medic was looking really good to me, and I wondered what might be possible on the way back to Kinshasa. Would the plane fly high enough to qualify for the mile-high club? I wondered.