After his narrow escape from the pounding questions by the German police about Bruno Meister's death by way of accepting a pounding of his ass by Roman the Magnificent on stage at Hephaestion, Folsom meekly followed Roman into his cabin through the door under the stairs in the sex club. The cabin was the same size as Folsom's was and had the same two pull-down beds over benches with a table in between. But it wasn't nearly as well-appointed as Folsom's was. It also had the prolonged lived-in look and the jumbling of costumes and makeup boxes that nearly all entertainer's dressing rooms had.

As they propelled themselves into the room and Roman clicked and locked the door behind them, Folsom scurried to the corner of one of the pulled-down beds and made involuntary gestures of pulling the shreds of his clothes together to protect himself. It was rather an idiotic move of modesty in view of the fact that Roman had just finished fucking him from the rear and could arguably be said to know Folsom fully now. But it wasn't his honor or reputation Folsom was protecting. There was every reason to believe that Roman had killed Meister after Meister had killed Roman's assistant and lover, Dieter. Roman had followed Meister and Dieter out of the club the previous night, and it was highly likely the dildo Roman used his act and the knife found in Folsom's room, both of which had disappeared from the stage props for Roman's act, were the murder weapons in one or both killings.

Roman was standing there, his fists tight and his muscles taut. He had a look of rage and hurt about him, and with his gold outfittings and mane of white-gold hair, he looked like a lion about to pounce. Folsom shrank back into the corner of the bed, ready for the onslaught, taking a defensive position.

'What?' Roman roared. 'Why are you looking at me like that? Surely you don't think . . .'

'I don't know what to think,' Folsom stammered. 'This is all happening too . . .'

'Do you think I'd have saved you back there, if I thought you'd . . . ?'

And then Roman stopped and gave Folsom a look of horror. 'You don't think I . . . ?'

'What am I to think?' Folsom spat back. 'You've motive for Meister's killing. He attacked and brutalized your assistant even before they'd left the stage last night. And there's the knife and the dildo. Where are the ones you used in the act last night?'

'I don't know,' Roman said, his voice having turned to a frustrated wail. He sat down heavily in the opposite bed and lowered his head to his hands, defeated for the moment. 'I have no idea where the props are.'

Then he looked up, with a defiant look on his face. 'But I didn't kill Meister. I wanted to. I've wanted to for a very long time. But I didn't do it. And I'd never have killed Dieter. Dieter was my life.'

Roman was on the edge. His voice had a sobbing quality to it now. Folsom sat up on the bed, using a cajoling voice now.

'Tell me. Tell me why Meister was able just to walk away with Dieter last night like that. Surely you knew what Meister had in mind to do with Dieter. To do to Dieter.'

Another sob. 'Yes, of course I knew. But Meister owned Dieter. He owned us all. He took Dieter and Tiho and many of the rest from an orphanage in Croatia. Whatever they have faced and suffered here, it's better than they could have expected where they came from.'

'Then you had no real grudge against Meister?' Folsom asked quietly, soothingly.

'Unfortunately, not true,' Roman said with an air or resignation. 'Meister was about to send Dieter and some of the others back to Croatia and break in a whole new set of crew for this boat.' Roman laughed bitterly. 'He said they were getting too old and that he fancied more variety. I tried to keep Dieter; I even offered to buy him. But Meister had just laughed at me.'

'And Tiho?' Folsom asked. 'Was he to be sent back too?'

'Yes, and others as well.'

'And the bartenders in the Alexander lounge? Them too.'

'Just Ralf. He wasn't like the others, though.'

Folsom didn't directly ask which one Ralf was. Instead he asked, 'And was it Ralf who Meister was with before he took Dieter off last night? The one who followed them out with you?'

'Yes, that was Ralf.'

'And why was Meister sending Ralf away?'

'He had gotten too cocky. He'd become Meister's favorite in his little sex games. But he was taking control too often. Meister didn't trust him anymore.'

'And Ralf didn't want to leave?'

'No, certainly not. . . . Wait, you don't think Ralf . . . ?'

'Someone did it. I have no idea who killed your Dieter, if Meister didn't do it himself. But there were several who had motive for Meister's death. And Ralf . . .'

'But Ralf saved you. I sent him up to the lounge to help you escape. Surely you can't think . . .'

'Someone killed Meister,' Folsom repeated. He had taken Roman's hand and was willing the older man to look into his eyes, trying to gauge what was surprise from foreknowledge and guilt from innocence. 'Ralf had motive and means as much as any of the rest of us. If you didn't kill Meister and I didn't, Ralf might . . .'

'You didn't kill Meister?' Roman blurted out.

'No, no, of course not,' Folsom said. And then he stopped and really looked into Roman's eyes. 'Did you save me back there because you thought . . . ? Did you believe that I had caught Meister with Dieter's body and then had done the same to him in revenge? Is that why you saved me?'

Roman didn't answer. He just lowered his eyes, shuddered, and let out a big sob. Tears were flowing now and he lifted his head and let out a primeval yell. Folsom moved to the bed beside him and took Roman in his arms and rocked him back and forth.

'There, there, shush,' Folsom murmured as he rocked Roman's torso. 'You are so tense. You have every right to be angry. I didn't kill either one of them, but you can take your rage out on me, if you like. For whatever reason, you saved me back there.'

They went into a 69 position on the bed and endured both Roman's vigorous face fucking of Folsom's cock and his almost brutal attack on Folsom's own prick with his teeth and mouth. When Roman was filled out, Folsom stripped his Roman skirt off of him and looked around for a condom packet. But Roman was too worked up for that nicety. He pushed Folsom down onto the bed on his back, spread his legs, and thrust into him, diving again and again, coming nearly all of the way out and then plunging in again. He was marshaling all of his anger and frustration and grief over the death of his lover, offering a different kind of release and death to Folsom. Folsom writhed under him, experiencing his own frustration and grief at the loss of his own lover, welcoming the death by ejaculation that Roman was offering. Sighing for it; moaning for it; begging for it. Naked cock skin reaming the naked skin of an undulating ass passage. Thrusting, thrusting, thrusting. And then exploding, with a shared vision of releasing death. Folsom's insides flooded with a warm cascade of fluid. And collapse.

Once more Roman was crying, and once more Folsom embraced and consoled him, nestling the grieving man's butt into his groin. And now it was Folsom fucking Roman. But this time it was a more loving, languid, giving taking and receiving a sharing of grief and consolation.

In time the grieving of both was relieved by the cover of sleep, their arms entwined, Folsom's cock still deep inside Roman's ass. Roman slept quietly, exhausted by the exertion of gripping and dealing with his frustration and anger.

Folsom's dreams were more troubled, however. He was being pursued through the ship by Manfeld and a bevy of uniformed policeman, who seemed to be Tiho, the bartender now identified as Ralf, Sigmund, Roman, and even the dead Dieter. He was turning away here and there from slashings of a pearl-handled knife and was been clubbed by a mammoth dildo. He was searching for some place to hide, but there wasn't anywhere where the uniformed figures didn't find him. And then he found himself in a helicopter of a sort, but more primitive than a helicopter some sort of straw contraction. And beside him, taking up most of the space, was the grinning African potentate. And the ebony giant was whisking him away from danger on the ship. But then Folsom found himself on a bed covered with the hides of exotic creatures. And his arms and legs were spread-eagled and tied to the corners of the bed. And the naked African king, his body glistening with sweat and radiating power and force, was dancing around below him, a large dildo in one hand and a pearl-handled hunting knife in the other, both of which were covered in blood. Native African boys were standing beside the bed and shooing flies away and moving the air with large palm fronds. And the ebony giant was chanting and laughing. Folsom's ass was being massively entered, and a thick tube, whether the dildo or the African's cock, Folsom knew not, was invading him ever deeper. And he was screaming a gasping and bucking against and with the invader. The African was huddled over him, leering down at him, the knife was poised over Folsom's breast . . .

'Wake up,' Roman was saying in a loud, hoarse whisper. 'You're moaning and crying out to beat the band. You'll have the police down here in no time.'

'What's the use,' Folsom was saying bitterly as he came out of his nightmare. 'They'll find me sooner or latter anyway. They'll search the whole ship. And they've surely already started doing that methodically.'

'But that doesn't mean they'll find you here,' Roman said. 'We can always try our best to prevent that.' Then he stood and opened a drawer in a built-in bureau at the foot of the bed and took out a small key. He walked over to the closet, opened it, and stepped in. Almost immediately, he told Folsom to come over and take a look inside. And when he did, he discovered that the panel at the back of the closet was open and there was a small locker about four feet high and six feet wide and deep through the opening.

'What . . . ?'

'This is an unused storage locker built into dead space between here and the wall of the club room,' Roman explained. 'No one's come to use it the entire time I've been on this ship. There's a good chance it isn't even on any plans the captain may have given the police. It's a better hope than none. When and if the police come, you can stow away in here.'

'But will I be given enough notice?'

'Both doors into this corridor have buzzers on them. We want to know if any of the passengers are straying where they aren't wanted. If someone's coming, the buzzer will . . .'

And just then a buzzer did sound. Roman pushed Folsom into the storage bin and shut the door firmly behind him. It was pitch black, and it was with great dread that Folsom heard the turning of the key.

He was locked in. He didn't even know if he could really trust Roman and now he was Roman's prisoner. In the dark. All alone, with his ragged, heaving breath to remind him how terrified he was.



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