All of a sudden the record player, which had been emitting Arletty, Edith Piaf, Charles Trenet and Josephine Baker all evening, began to play Viennese waltzes.

Richard marched up to me and said 'Dance with me, you crazy Swede'.

'Certainly not; you're pissed!' I replied.

'No I'm not; or not very. Look, we're the Captains. We are not supposed to be dignified all the time. We have to give the troops a laugh at our expense. Once we have done that, they can really relax; and so can we. I want you to waltz with me. It'll be a hoot'. (The record player had begun to play Franz Lehar's "Meine Lippen Sie kussen so heiss" from "Giuditta.") Raising his voice, he grabbed me by a paw and shouted 'Come on Sven!'

'Go on, Sven!' shouted the happy, intoxicated soldiers. So, on I went.

I had not waltzed for ages, but Richard proved to be a brilliant dancer. He led, and whirled us expertly round the floor at speed. I found myself enjoying it, despite the ironic cheers and laughter. Anyway, I loved the music of Guiditta. Audible only to me, Richard was singing along to the music, adapting the lyrics in a thoroughly ironic and risqué way like the insolent bastard he was:

On my lips every kiss is like wine

In my arms sex is more than divine, It's engraved in the stars high above me:

Sven must fuck me, Sven must love me!

When my feet haunting rhythms inspire,

In my eyes gleam the flames of desire,

When I fuck, then I know Fate's design:

On my lips James's kiss is like wine!

Thank God the Toms could not hear him above the din. At the end, amid a gale of laughter, we bowed like professionals and found our table again. Richard draped an arm round my shoulders. 'Well done. We did it. They loved that'.

Certainly our waltz round the dance-floor had broken the ice. The noise and laughter grew louder. Then someone changed the record again and began to play disco music, of a sort that I detest but that the average British squaddie loves. Two of the toughest Sergeants: one Para, Sergeant Kincaid, who was Richard's platoon sergeant and a charming, humorous Irishman; and one Fusilier, Sergeant Usher, began to boogie skilfully to more ironic cheers. Both were muscular and good- looking; typical rugby players. To my private amusement, the Fusilier was Roger Cooper's platoon sergeant. It was just as well, on reflection, that Roger was not present. Oblivious of the cheers and grins, they danced around in a seemingly-aggressive way, never taking their eyes off each other, like boxers. Then it dawned on me: this wasn't a choreographed fight; it was a serious courtship ritual. Will he, won't he? The Para was courting the Fusilier; the latter was interested but undecided. I could not believe this; Sergeant Usher had never previously shown any interest in other men. Their dress shirts gaped open to the navel; their ID discs glittered dully against their chest hair. Sergeant Kincaid sported a heavy gold chain; the only vaguely gay thing about him. Their close-cut trousers showed every muscle of their powerful legs. The lights in the restaurant were flatteringly low and muted but, when they danced close to our table, I could see that both Sergeants had erections. Dark patches of sweat showed under their armpits and down their spines.

Laughing, more and more men were joining them on the dance floor, which was becoming quite crowded. Some were clearly treating this as a lark; a jolly good joke. They leaped about like kangaroos on speed. For others it might have had a more serious purpose. I only had eyes for the two Sergeants, however. Sergeant Kincaid now pulled off his shirt and went on dancing, stripped to the waist. He was one of the strongest men in the Para rugby team and it showed. It was an oppressively hot evening; a few other men followed his lead. He in turn had eyes only for Sergeant Usher, who was apparently mesmerised by him. Keeping their eyes locked, Kincaid danced closer and closer to Usher and slowly unzipped his own trousers, to about half-way down. This gesture revealed nothing except a flash of blue briefs, but said everything. Usher grew pale but remained riveted. He momentarily shut his eyes and licked his lips nervously. He opened his eyes again; looked at Kincaid's crotch and again at Kincaid himself; questioningly, almost imploringly. Can I really believe my eyes? Are you serious? As an answer, Kincaid kept his eyes on Usher's; continued to dance almost touching him; and pulled the zip down a bit further. I am very serious indeed. Usher took a deep breath and finally gave an almost imperceptible nod: Yep. I'm on. I'm game. And now they were dancing close together, touching at last. Then, suddenly, they were not there at all, anymore.

'Que de cancans! Really, the boys seem determined to get St Vitus de-canonised! Let's hop outside for a smoke' said Richard.

I followed him, somewhat confused: as far as I knew, I did not smoke at all and he rarely did. Moreover, there was no rule against smoking inside Chez Boureima; there was usually a smell of Gauloises.

'It will look quite normal if we take a break to smoke in the garden' said Richard, lighting two sobranies and handing me one.

The garden was 'Moorish' and contained a large formal fishpond, full of Koi and goldfish. It was comparatively cool outside. We stood looking at the fish.

'I think that Sergeant Usher is now meeting his fate', chuckled Richard. 'The question is where?

'I can tell you for free: almost certainly up his arse' I said. 'You, Richard, and your Paras, are a diabolical and subversive influence'.

'Yes, I know we are. But, you chucklehead, I meant where on the premises?'

'At a guess, in one of the secret rooms', I replied. 'If Sergeant Kincaid is even half as resourceful and unscrupulous as his platoon commander, he will have planned this, perhaps not even knowing at that stage with whom he might end up in bed. The venue and location of the post-match dinner were in the Restricted version of the visit programme, which Kincaid would have seen. He has had plenty of opportunities in the last 24 hours to have recce'd Chez Boureima; spoken to Gilles; and explained his requirements. Gilles would have given him the tour, including the so-called private rooms'. If he had wanted, he could have booked one. That is what I would have done'.

Richard was smiling seraphically. 'Tell me more', he murmured, squeezing my arm affectionately.

'Well, there are two or three private dining rooms on the first floor. If you want to have a sensitive business discussion, on which you would not want competitors to eavesdrop, you can arrange to have lunch or dinner served in one of the rooms. The table will seat up to six; wine in coolers is placed on hand in the room. You ring a bell when you want the next course delivered. However to my certain knowledge these rooms are often used by businessmen cheating on their wives. They can claim to be unavoidably detained at an important business lunch or dinner, but each room contains a curtained alcove with a bed, so you can pass lunchtime very agreeably there. It's a bit of a brothel; quite up-market for Belize. However there is one drawback. There are other, adjacent and genuinely secret rooms, which give a view on the 'official' secret rooms through a one-way mirror. Spies or voyeurs can enjoy a grandstand view. Gilles does not usually tell people about these. You see, according to rumour, he also works for an intelligence agency. Or perhaps he just makes fat fees from the voyeurs. But if you ask him nicely, in your best French, he just might let you borrow the key to the right room and you could see how Sergeant Usher's drama is being played out'.

Richard hugged me. 'You're a genius' he said. Then he was off, racing like a startled deer. Seconds later, it seemed, he had reappeared clutching a bunch of keys and beckoned me to follow him. We re-entered the restaurant by a back door normally kept locked, and crept silently up a dark staircase. On the first floor Richard cautiously unlocked a door and revealed a small room with two armchairs facing an ornate baroque mirror. This, as I had told Richard, was deceptive; it allowed us to see into the next room, but the occupants could not see or hear us. Nor did we cast any reflection or shadow. All the lighting was in the other room.

The two Sergeants had only just arrived. As we settled down to watch, they were still on their feet, embracing. A bottle of champagne, or something very like it, was in an ice bucket on a side table. Sergeant Kincaid was now kissing Usher on the lips. Something told me that he was a good kisser. He was simultaneously unbuttoning Usher's shirt and sliding his hand inside. Once the shirt was out of the way, Kincaid explored Usher eagerly with his hands. Usher wasn't objecting, but he had his eyes closed and almost seemed about to faint. I had not really noticed until then how handsome they both were: Kincaid classically Irish, with short, dark curly hair; pale but healthy complexion, brilliant, deep-set blue eyes under black brows and a ready, heart-breaking smile; Usher very English, well-built, brutally handsome (although in reality not a brutal person) with green eyes, ruddy complexion and barley-blond hair. He came from Lincolnshire, where there is a lot of Danish blood.

They took a break to knock back some champagne; then Kincaid led Usher to the bed and gently set about removing his remaining clothes, like a squire helping his knight out of his armour. In the process, he touched and kissed Usher on his most secret and sensitive places. He then stripped himself completely, apart from his gold chain, and walked slowly and with some dignity towards the bed: master, hunter, warrior, king.

Usher, who was reclining and watching him intently, suddenly grinned up at him and touched Kincaid's leg. He was rewarded by one of Kincaid's dazzling smiles. The next moment, they were wrapped round each other and kissing passionately. I was in no doubt: Kincaid might have planned and carried out the seduction; Usher might have seemed shy, inexperienced and hesitant, but there was a great and serious affection between these two big, strong men and it was now taking physical form. It was a major step for Sergeant Usher to take; into completely unknown territory. But he was doing it with a very sympathetic guide.

Later, when I got to know him better, I learned that Sergeant Kincaid had been brought up on a bloodstock farm. He had grown too big to be even a gentleman jockey, but he had wonderful hands and was 'good with horses' generally. He was in fact, although physically tough, a very gentle man. His treatment of Usher now was much as if he had been breaking in a spirited, nervous thoroughbred colt. Although I could not hear what he said, it was clear that he was calming and caressing the other man; getting him to relax before starting to ease him into a state of sexual responsiveness.

Now Usher was lying on his stomach, head on his arms, while Kincaid was kneeling astride him, gently massaging his back and shoulders. Suddenly, he bent down and ran his tongue along Usher's spine. He did this twice, to Usher's evident pleasure. The third time, he continued southward and pressed his face between Usher's buttocks, rimming the Fusilier with his tongue. Usher reared up, directly facing the looking-glass. He had never even imagined this sensation: his wide-eyed and open-mouthed astonishment caused Richard to give a suppressed snort of laughter. (He's an innocent, he chuckled softly. Not any more, I whispered). On this occasion I could even hear his shocked expletive, as it was delivered in his parade-ground voice: 'Holy Cow!!' It evidently amused Kincaid as well, who laughed and seemed to say: Did you like that, now? before doing it again, more slowly and deliberately. This time, the mixture of lust and utter delight on Usher's face was heart- warming.

Matters developed. Kincaid began gently to massage oil into Usher's backside and to oil his own cock. Then, still gently, he entered him and began to thrust. At first Usher's response was passive but he became more and more agitated, as Kincaid pushed deeper and finally opened his mouth in a cry, as Kincaid reached his climax. Thereafter Kincaid was solicitous, holding Usher, who was pale and trembling, in his arms and reassuring him (there now, it's always a bit of a shock first time. Don't worry, you'll be okay; I love you, man).

A few minutes later Usher, who had recovered his nerve, seemed to ask Kincaid something. Kincaid looked at him in surprise, then threw back his head and laughed. It soon became clear what Usher wanted. He wanted an equaliser, having presumably not celebrated his own orgasm in the pain and excitement of being taken from behind for the first time. Kincaid now began to make love to him expertly, and started to work his way down from Usher's face until Kincaid's close-cropped curly head was at Usher's crotch, giving him oral sex; coaxing his erection with lips and tongue. Kincaid's hands were still well to the north, caressing Usher's neck, face and nipples and messing his short blond hair. When Usher was whimpering with desire and very hard, Kincaid again reached for the oil; oiled his own backside and Usher's cock; spread-eagled himself on his back, legs in the air, and let Usher have his way. Usher went for it: he was rough, enthusiastic and inexperienced. I think that Kincaid probably got hurt. At any rate he gave a great yell, which was again audible in the next room, as they climaxed again. Thereafter Kincaid wiped them both with a towel and they lay there together, laughing (Yes, you did okay; you're quite oversexed, aren't you?). They were now completely relaxed; laughing and showing great affection. Kincaid poured more champagne and they clinked glasses. Richard was staring at the two men intently, giving them The Look, but was otherwise expressionless. He had a very strong erection that was clearly visible in his tight mess-trousers. From time to time he would touch his crotch.

As their bodies entwined again in arabesques, it occurred to me that there was nothing wrong in what our two Sergeants were doing. They were beautiful and courageous men. In the best possible way, they deserved each other. What was wrong was that their intimate encounter should be witnessed by two mischievous voyeurs. Richard and I should be ashamed of ourselves. I tapped Richard on the shoulder and made as to leave. He followed me reluctantly. We went back to the restaurant, where we had not been missed. The party was beginning to break up. A few people were happy to remain Chez Boureima, but would move over to the bar. Some were for returning to Airport Camp and continuing to drink there. A few hardy souls opted for a bar-crawl through Belize City. I gave the necessary orders to the Mennonite teetotal drivers and headed for my own house, with Richard. We did not go to bed immediately, but had a nightcap on the terrace.

'Somehow or other, you are behind this' I said.

Richard looked innocent. 'All I did was to introduce Sergeant Kincaid to Sergeant Usher. I thought that they had a lot in common, and they'd have met anyway, eventually, in the Sergeants' Mess. Had I thought about it, I might have recalled that Kincaid likes blond men. In fact, he's another of your admirers in 4 Coy. But I cannot be held responsible for what has happened since then'.

'You know very well how Roger Cooper will react if he finds out, or even suspects. The man's a prig, puritan and prude; unstable at the best of times, and you have helped to make him worse. He's a loose cannon. There could be a most awful scandal, with reputational damage to both Regiments'.

'Well, I'm not going to tell Roger Cooper', said Richard.

'No, but someone else might. Other people than ourselves may have noticed and understood that business on the dance-floor; may even have noticed that Kincaid and Usher disappeared together. It does not require Hercule Poirot to work it out. You cannot be too careful in a small, gossipy place like Belize City'.

Richard twined himself affectionately round me. 'Sven, shut up and come to bed. I want to make love to you. The rugby match, plus watching the two dashing white sergeants, has really given me an appetite. And I want my revenge for the draw:

It's engraved in the stars high above me:

Sven must fuck me, Sven must love me!'

I am totally unashamed about what followed. Richard being amorous was impossible to resist, so I did not bother to try. Before we were even into the bedroom, he had pinned me against the wall, kissing me and unzipping my trousers. Shortly after that, I in my turn was lying naked on my stomach, while an excited Richard, kneeling astride me, started to do to me everything that Kincaid had done to Usher earlier that evening, and then some. He gave me a thorough 'workout'. It was bloody marvellous. An hour later, exhausted, I fell into a deep sleep.


Max Markham


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