'Let's kill him!' Hassan said.
'Who?' Asked the driver.
'The soldier, of course.' Came the answer. 'Fazzi is an idiot who thinks with his dick, not his brain. Something just does not ring true with that Yussef. I can't put my finger on it but there is just something that I don't like about him.'
'I'm glad it is me and not you that has to make these judgments. You would have had us kill off half the population of the United States by now.' Allie said shaking his head as they drove back to the City. 'Did you forget, and need I remind you, that we were only sent to see what Fazzi was up to and to check out this idea of his? That is our mission. We have no authority to kill anyone. Besides from what I can see and understand of this operation it looks as if Fazzi has hit on one hell of an idea. For now, everything looks good, very good.'
'Yes it does look good - too good. Are the Americans really that stupid as to allow all this money to flow through their country and to be distributed to all of our people in Hamas, Hezbollah, Al-Qaeda and all the rest of our groups, and on top of that, invite two Syrian diplomats onto an American Army base?' Hassan asked.
'They are not so much stupid-as much as they are naive.
They go out of their way to try to distinguish between Good Muslims and Bad Muslims. They even help elect one of us to be Secretary General of the UN. They support Muslim countries to be members of the Security Council and then elevate Syria to chair the Human Rights Commission, whatever that is.' Allie said as they crossed the bridge and headed downtown to the consulate.
'That is like putting the fox in charge of the chicken house.' Hassan said.
Allie laughed as he continued, 'They really believe that there is a difference between what we choose to call Freedom Fighters and they call terrorists. They think that they are separate independent groups and that they have no central command structure. Even after 9/11, they still did not think it was possible for Muslims to even conceive of such a plot, much less have the expertise to carry it out. They never had a clue that the order came from Iran and Syria, not Al-Qaeda. Most Americans think this because they either don't know or don't wish to know. They cannot or will not conceive of a culture that considers it a duty to kill as many nonbelievers as possible even if you give up your own life in the process. They consider suicide to be a sin.'
'Is it not a sin?' asked Allie.
Yes it is a sin, but this is not suicide. The strapping of explosives to your body and killing as many nonbelievers as you can is religious martyrdom, worthy of a place in paradise.'
'But surely there are some that know the truth.'
'Yes, there are a few who do know the truth.' Allie said. 'However when they try to tell it-those in power shut them up. Even when one of our own turns into a dirty traitor and tries to tell them, they think that it is impossible and they invent all kinds of conspiracy plots. So much for this American democracy shit. The truth of the matter is that this is a war between Islam and the rest of the world. Nothing less, nothing more. And that war will go on for us as long as one infidel refuses to submit. Either we win or.... There is no 'OR', no compromise, no letting down our guard... However, to get back to the present problem, for now, I suggest all we can do is to run a complete check on this Joseph Benson. I want to know him from the moment he was born till now.'
'But we already did that, several months back. You remember, Fazzi, as well as that fat old pig the one that wanted to marry his daughter, asked us to run a security check on the soldier.'
'I know they asked us to run one on him a few months back and he checked out OK but there must be something that we missed. Something that he is hiding, some little thing that we missed and I want to know it.' Allie said. 'No one is or can be that clean.'
'We both know of Fazzi's taste for young men. You and I both saw his methods and the things he got away with in Lebanon. We know how he used his wife. Do you believe he would use his daughter in the same way? Do you doubt he used her to seduce the soldier?' Hassan asked smiling. Now that they are engaged, he sends her away and uses the time to bend him to his will.'
'It is possible. Yeahhhhh! Now that makes a lot of sense and would be in the old Fazzi style. Yes, I'll bet my life on it.' Allie said. 'That must be it! It has to be it! The old fox, he is back to his old shit. He promises him his daughter, seduces him and knowing the American Army's hatred of homosexuals, he then blackmails him. I bet he even has photographs of the two of them in bed together. Who knows, that old pervert might even have made that young fool fall in love with him. Then he sends his daughter and wife away so he can have the young cock all to himself... Yeahhh, that old sly fox is up to his old tricks again...but just to be sure, you run that check on this Joseph again. See if you come up with something new. And I want the report by Wednesday.'
'If I find out anything about him-we can always kidnap him, take him back to Syria and question him. Will you permit me to handle his interrogation?' Asked the smiling Arab.
'If it makes you dig deeper, I will turn him over to you and we will not have to take him to Syria. We can do it here at anyone of a dozen locations. But, it must be proven that he is not what he says he is. No falsifying the report. No testimony from questionable sources. He must be guilty beyond any shadow of a doubt, and then some.'
'Why? You never required such proof before.'
'This involves Fazzi Muhammad you fool. Fazzi Muhammad is a very powerful enemy to make. I swear that man is like the proverbial cat; he has nine lives and more. He has friends and relatives all the way up. He is the darling of the fundamentalist clergy and it is said that he is related to the President. It was on their orders that Fazzi was sent to the United States in order to establish this undercover route for the illegal funds we have been amassing. Do you think they would entrust anyone with all that hidden money? All that money from the drugs, the cigarette smuggling and the other little legal and illegal enterprises we have going for ourselves over here, Soon, soon, we will soon be able to move it all out of the country. And for now it looks like he has succeeded above and beyond their fondest dreams. Once his operation gets started he will be unstoppable. He will become the new 'Ayatollah', the richest and most powerful of them all. For now he is acting under the direct orders of the highest authority, and you can bet that he reports everything to them, including his affair with this Yussef, if there is an affair. Not only would they know of it-but they probably approved it, if not suggested it themselves.' Allie said, 'but above all this, not one of them will ever admit to having made a mistake. They would rather kill all of us, you, me and all of our families than to admit that they were wrong. They would kill us and then later blame the whole thing on you and me. They are god or have direct information as to the will of god and god does not make errors.'
'Then what's the sense of conducting the investigation?'
'Because, if I am to die, I would just like to know for my own benefit.' Allie said. 'I want to be sure that they are right. I hope Fazzi is clean in this because if he is not then anyone who worked with him in the past will go down and that includes you and me and our friends and family. None of us will have existed. That's the way they work it.'
Even though it was late when they got back, Hassan went right to work on the report. He put his best operatives on the job. They had operatives find and talk to the soldier's parents and ex-girl friends, as well as anyone who had known him while he was growing up in Malone, New York, the small town where he was born. There was not one bit of damming evidence. They found out that his weekly visits to and with the Worthington's at their homes were always at the prodding of Fazzi. There was evidence that Joseph did not even want to associate with Worthington, but that Fazzi had insisted that he do so, because he needed the American to front for the Club. All the proof showed that it was Fazzi and not Joseph that had insisted that the soldier form a relationship with Worthington. It appeared that the only thing the young soldier wanted-was to screw the daughter and that he would do anything in order to get her. The additional fact that Fazzi had started to teach him about Islam in hopes of converting him before the coming marriage to his daughter only frustrated their efforts and proved that it was Kassie he wanted. The only thing that caused them problems was that ability of his to pick up the Arabic language.
By Wednesday Hassan had his report ready. 'NOTHING NOT A DAMN THING!' Reported Hassan. 'And I really tried to dig up something. I wanted to learn something, anything. I had visions of his body hanging from a hook while I cut that white skin of his off his body, layer after layer. I saw his body twist and turn as he screamed, the blood running slowly out of him while he pleaded to confess to anything. But nothing, not a damming piece of really hard evidence, except that Fazzi has him living in a room next to his. I do not know if they share a bed. My guess is that they do. But even if they were screwing each other every night what would it prove? Hell even when we questioned the household staff we did not get anything to confirm or even suggest anything out of the way. Most of them thought that Fazzi was just training Yussef on how to be a good Muslim and keeping an eye on him for his daughter. Making sure that when the time came for their marriage, that Yussef will willingly convert and be a good Muslim husband for his daughter. I even checked up on Kasemah.'
'What were you able to get from her?'
'She is going to school and does not date. She is known to be preparing for their marriage next year. We had one of our younger operatives, a known ladies man, one who has the talent to bed many women, try to get close to her, to date her, but he was not successful. And if he could not do it, no one could. However, they did have coffee together. She told him point blank that she is engaged and will be married next year to a man that she loves very much. She is a virgin, as required by her father, and she will keep herself that way for her beloved Yussef. And then she talked for hours about how wonderful he is and how kind and on and on. Our poor operative was convinced that Joseph was one of a kind and genuine and if he himself were to swing that way, he would bed him himself. I'm sorry but that's it. Damn it the fucking guy is clean!!!'
'I know you tried hard. I guess that ends it for now. I am disappointed but at least we can say and prove that we tried. Anyway we may be able to see the inside of an American Base. Perhaps it was not a waste of time, after all.'
During all this time Joseph spent his week going over some lesson plans. He worked with the teaching staff, seeing where and when his lectures could fit in. He gave practice lectures to the teaching personnel and became friendly with all of them. While some of them disagreed with some of what he was going to say, they all thought he was making some points that needed to be made and approved of the way he intended to conduct his lectures. They drank at the N.C.O. club together and even some of the officers invited him to their club. Towards the latter part of the week the students started to arrive. He was part of the interview team that paired up the students. A lot of them were veterans of the Iraq War that had gained some knowledge of Arabic. The rest were soldiers, who like himself had shown an ability to pick up languages fast. Less and less of them turned out to be Muslim/Americans. All in all it was an exhausting week. The few evenings he was able to spend off base were spent with Fazzi, who questioned him and made suggestions as far as his lectures were concerned. The tailor had come with his patterns and fitted Joseph. He was working as fast as he could. The nights when he was not completely exhausted, Joseph continued to act out Fazzi's fantasies. By Thursday evening, Joseph called and told Fazzi he was too tired to come the rest of the week and to please forgive him as his friend Rich was planning a belated graduation party for him in New York City.
'Can I come?' Fazzi asked. 'When is it going to be?'
'I'll call and find out but it will be Friday night late as Rich will most likely be working unless he can get a replacement.' Joseph said.
'This Friday and Saturday are impossible for me as I have meetings I have to attend and I can't get out of them.' Hearing what he mistook for a sigh of disappointment, Fazzi said, 'maybe next time. Besides you know how much I want you and I to bond with that family. I am glad to see that they have no hard feelings that you did not invite them to the graduation ceremonies. It is nice that they want to take you out to celebrate. Go, have fun now, habibi. I love you and miss you already.'
'OK. But it looks as if you are happy not seeing me on the weekends.' Joseph baited him. 'One would think you had another lover on the side.'
'You know that is not true.' Fazzi said hurt. 'That's not what you think is it?'
'No, just pushing your buttons.' Joseph said. 'I like to get you pissed off at me-it only makes you want me more.'
'I could not want you any more, no matter what you do to me.' He admitted, 'you know how to wrap me around your cock, you know just what I want and you always give it to me. Since I met you I am the happiest man alive. I will do anything for you.'
'I know you would, habibi, I love you.' Joseph lied. 'I wish I had the energy to mount my white charger and swoop down on your ass right now and.............'
'I know dearest, but it's getting late and you must get your rest... so you just rest up and I'll see you either Sunday or Monday evening. I love you my white crusader....'
After he rung off with Fazzi he called agent Barns to fill him in on what was happening and also to tell him that Fazzi had some business meetings on over the weekend.
'Where are you calling me from?' the Agent asked.
'From a phone in the base PX. Why are you asking?' Joseph asked.
'When was the last time you did a security check on your car and the place at Fazzi's?'
'Well the car was done just this morning. As I was instructed, I do one every time I leave the car out of my sight. As for Fazzi's I did it the last time I was there. Why is something wrong?' the soldier asked in a worried tone.
'Perhaps not, but we have been getting reports from some of our other undercover agents that Syrian agents have been making inquiries about you. One of them was seen talking to Kassie in Dearborn. The agent we have assigned to protect her and Mary reported a young man taking her out for coffee and asking her questions about her relationship with you.' Barns said.
'I know about that.' Joseph said. 'Kassie called yesterday and told me all about it. She said he was real good-looking and she was almost tempted to jump his bones I think she told me that to get me jealous. She said she told him to give her a call in a year and if she was not married by then...'
'That's a good girl. You know you should marry that girl, she really loves you.' Barns said. 'You be careful and do a security sweep often and try to use public telephones whenever you call me or at least call on the cell when you are away from the car.'
'You never told me you were checking on Kassie and Mary.' Joseph said. 'I'm glad you are doing it. I still care for her and her mom.'
'Well they don't know about the surveillance. It is nothing high tech, but I'm glad we are doing it too. Someone is checking up on you and not only with Kassie. They are doing a real professional job of it. We have reports of them even going back up to Malone. Again be careful and keep running those security checks.'
I'll be careful and thanks for the information. I'll bet it has something to do with those two Syrians I met at Fazzi's. I wonder what Fazzi's meetings this Friday and Saturday are about?'
'So do I, but I think it would be too risky for you to show up again like you did last week. We have other operatives on the job. Just play it cool for a while.'
'I agree, but I have to see him sometime during the next week. I have a fitting with that tailor. Also there are plans for the party to be made. Look I'll call you Monday. Classes start then and I will have a better idea about scheduling. Good bye now.'
'Bye and again be careful.'
Joseph went into the city early on Friday and spent the day at Worthington's Investment Company with Richard's father. Together they went over the ideas Fazzi had suggested for the party. Fazzi had told Worthington that it looked as if he could not get The Cafe Casablanca dancer to come to the party, but that he was looking into getting others. Friday evening Sarah came into the city and after Rich finished at the theater he joined them and the family decided to go for a late supper.
Sarah suggested that they travel to Paterson, which was not too far away, and pay a visit to the Cafe Casablanca.
'Come on, it will be fun and when Fazzi hears of it he will really think we are going native.' Sarah said. 'It will be fun and I'm sure it will only help. You can tell him I insisted.'
'It might not be such a bad idea.' Joseph agreed. 'Besides we never did get to see that male dancer and who knows maybe I will be able to get that Egyptian dancer, Dina, to change her mind. I bet Fazzi will get a kick out of our venturing into the Arab culture on our own.'
So the four of them piled into Joseph's car and drove across the bridge and went to the Cafe. The doorman did not recognize him and told the four of them that the club was just about full. Before they turned away, Joseph asked to see the owner, Mr. Amos. When the doorman returned with the owner, he right away recognized Joseph. 'A thousand apologies Effendi, you should have called, but, we will seat you right away. I will have the staff clear a place for you.' He said in Arabic.
'Oh don't go to any trouble we can come back another time.' Joseph said, knowing full well that the owner would rather cut off his hand than possibly offend a friend of Mr. Muhammad. 'It was rude of us to come without reservations. Mr. Worthington and I have been bragging about our last visit here and tonight, on a whim, his family insisted that they wanted to visit your establishment.'
'But it is no problem at all. Like I told you when you were here last time, you are welcome here anytime as honored guests.' He continued speaking in Arabic. 'Please come in and I will make you comfortable while I arrange a place for you. It will take about ten or fifteen minutes.'
'That is most kind of you' Joseph said and turned to the Worthington family as he explained to them in English what was going on.'
They entered the darkened room and were shown to the lounge where they were served drinks and refreshments while the owner went to clear away a place for them right by the stage. The displaced and enraged customers were angry until the owner told them that their evening was on him. He told them he had special guests and was sorry for the inconvenience. They grudgingly moved and Amoz had the table reset for Joseph's party. Within a few minutes they were seated and Joseph started to ask about the performers.
'Ahaaaa yes Dina is here tonight and also the male dancer you missed the last time.' He said. 'I'm sure Dina will be glad to see you again. She has asked after you many times.' Then to the rest of the family he asked if it would be all right it he ordered the meal for them. 'As your husband and Mr. Benson know I will take the best care of you. Is there anything that disagrees with your constitution?
'No we leave our evening up to your expert care.' They all agreed.
'Good then I shall go out into the kitchen and prepare you a feast.' He said in Arabic and then turned to the Worthington family and in broken English said. 'I know of your work in our community Mr. Worthington, and I do want you to know that we do appreciate it.'
The meal arrived in short order and while not the shish-ka-bob they had had the last time, it was never the less delicious. They ate and stuffed themselves. After the dinner they relaxed and had Turkish coffee and Baklava. During their dessert the lights in the cafe lowered, the music started and the male dancer danced across the stage. His 6 foot 2 inch 210 pound muscular body floated on the air as if he was a genie. Light as a feather he performed movements that were erotic and sensual, while maintaining his masculinity. Bare-chested, with stranded rings of gold chain hanging from his neck he swayed back and forth, twisting and contorting his body in time with the sexy music. The chains of gold rubbing across his erect nipples exciting him even more. One could see the pantaloon like silk pants he was wearing develop a definite tenting. Flexing his muscular arms and abs and gyrating his groin area, he approached the tables trying to entice a woman to dance with him. He approached Joseph's table and invited Sarah to dance with him. To everyone's shock, she got up and tried to do a rough imitation of the bumps and grinds of a burlesque dancer. Both Richard and Rich turned red as everyone was applauding and whistling for more. Some men started to shout (mostly in Arabic, but some in English} for her to take it off, but thankfully it never got to that point. When she finally returned to her seat, one of the older patrons, who had been whistling the loudest, came over to the table and in Arabic he asked how much they wanted for the woman. Joseph told him she was not for sale and the man went back to his table rather dejected. Joseph translated this conversation and after laughing a bite Sarah said, 'If he were a bit younger, you really should have asked me if I wanted to be sold, before you turned him down.'
'It was not really an offer to actually purchase you, as much as to pay you a compliment. It's more or less like when we say, you are a million dollar baby or I would give a million dollars for one night with that woman.' Joseph diplomatically said. 'Although, come to think of it-- that is how I became engaged to Fazzi's daughter.'
Next to perform was the dancer, Dina. Everyone now held their breath as the lights were turned off except for the small spotlight on the bottom corner of the curtain. The clinking of finger symbols and the tinkle of little bells could be heard but not seen. From behind the curtain a nude foot appeared with an ankle bracelet from which little silver bells hung. The foot shook in time to the erotic music and after what seamed like an eternity but was only about 15 seconds the familiar snake like arm appeared through the folds of the curtain with its long sexy fingers playing the finger symbols. The music reached a crescendo and through the parted curtain the dancer's body appeared. It was covered in silver and gold coins, from her head to her neck. The rest of her body was incased in red, yellow and black flowing veils, so thin that you could just about see her nude body gyrating, twisting and turning in time to the music. If anything she and her dance were even more erotic than before. Tonight she was determined to give the performance of her lifetime and she was achieving her purpose. She had the men going wild with lust. As before she would approach a table and when one of the men would arise to either grab hold of her or reach over and try to place money in her waist band or between her breasts, she would either artfully slink away or that big bouncer (her protector) would convince the patron to sit down and behave himself. It was all done in good humor and grace. By this time her audience knew her routine and that she would choose the man she wanted to dance with. However, hope springs eternal, and they still had visions of foundling her sexy body on a mountain of fluffy pillows. She was every man's erotic dream. In their minds eye their arms would encircle her lovely body, pulling it to theirs and feel the heat of that body wiggling under theirs. Most of the men became so aroused that dark wet spots appeared in their groin area.
She danced up to Joseph's table smiling and pointed at Joseph. She again wanted to dance with him. The soldier was too embarrassed to get up. Hell, even though he was a homosexual, this woman still aroused him to the point that his cock was beginning to become hard. All of a sudden he felt these big hands grip him and lift him to a standing position. Her big protector had dragged him to his feet and just about carried him to the stage, where like before he had his wrists lightly tied together and his body was hung from that hook that had been hung from the ceiling. Leaving him strung up like a side of beef, the big bouncer, after handing Dina a short whip backed off the stage.
She danced around her loosely tied victim and gloried in the fact that she was causing him to become so aroused. She used her whip to arouse him even more. She would run the handle slowly, seductively over his arms and along his chess and down his sides. The whip was passed over his groin area bringing the audience's attention to Joseph's rather prominent erection. Now and then she would lightly whip his body while all the time keeping up her sexy body gyrations. Some of the women in the audience screamed out that she should rip his shirt and pants off, but instead she again backed up to him and rubbed her back up and down the front of his tortured body. While every male in the place turned green with envy (with the exception of poor Richard Junior, who was broiling by this time), Joseph turned red with embarrassment. She gave him the signal and his arms dropped and encircled her as the lights went out. After about ten seconds the lights went back on and the patrons witnessed the spectacle of Dina in Joseph's arms their lips kissing each other deeply. And it did not end there and then, but continued for a long long time while the audience cheered wildly. When the kiss broke and during their bows Joseph asked her to join them at the table. She smiled and nodded yes as she led him back to his table. While her fans continued to clamor for more, they knew the performance for the evening was over and with the aid of her protector, she was finally able to exit the stage.
'Don't you ever give me that cock and bull story about that being the Arab form of ballet! I know porn when I see it. And that was pure sexy pornography, even by the United States Supreme Court standards.' Sarah said. 'Man I got to take some dance lessons from her.'
'I don't know if she gives lessons, but you will have a chance to ask her yourself. She will be coming to the table to have a drink with us, as soon as she changes.' Joseph said, as the waiter came over and arranged another place at their table. A little while later Dina came over to their table. The men rose as Joseph introduced her and then they all sat down together and a round of drinks was ordered.
'I hope you were really embarrassed tonight. It was childish of me, but it was meant to be pay back.' The dancer chided Joseph. 'You were going to call me. You did not! Where have you been? Why did you not call me? Did you lose my telephone number?'
'Well, for one thing. I did not think you were serious, so I put it off. One day passed and then a week.... With one thing or another I became busy. When I did think about it, it was too late and I thought you would really be angry..and I sort of lost your card along with my courage.' Joseph answered trying to make all kinds of excuses.
'I thought so you naughty boy. Now here is another card. I have written my personal private telephone number on the back. Please read the back and memorize it NOW. Do it now and set it into your mind that I am not kidding you.
Joseph took the card and turned it over and at first he just glanced at it ---then he read the writing,
'You must contact me. Someone has asked questions about you. You may be in danger. We must meet.'
Placing the card in his shirt pocket he turned to her and said, 'I'll call you and we will meet any time you want.' He said placing his hand under the table and resting it on her thigh. She placed her hand on his and prevented him from moving it up.
'So tell me Dina, Do you give private lessons to students? Your dance so aroused my husband that I am thinking of doing a belly dance or two for him.' Sarah asked.
'From what I was able to see this evening-Sarah, you do not need any lessons. I do not give private lessons nor do I do private parties,' she responded, 'That man that you were here with the last time has been calling and calling trying to get me to dance at a block party he is going to give here in Paterson. I told him I would not do it-but when he said that Yussef would be there I almost accepted. Anyway I told him I would think about it. And let him know.'
'Oh please say you will.' They all chided. (All that is except Rich.) Then they tried to tell her why it was so important that she perform at the party.
'I'll tell you what I will do, since you ask me so nice and I have made unabashed use of your body twice now, I will speak with my agent tonight after I leave you and then I will meet you for lunch tomorrow and give you my answer. Is that acceptable to you?' She asked.
Yes it is but I am staying overnight in New York City; does that pose a problem?'
'None whatsoever I, too, have an apartment in Manhattan. We could meet for lunch and I will give you my answer then.' Dina said taking her hand off Joseph's and resting her fingers on Joseph's crotch area and giving it a squeeze. 'It is getting late shall we say we will meet at 11:30 at the port authority in front of that stature of that TV character, the Bus Driver.'
'You mean Ralph Kramden?'
'Yes that's the one. Meet me at 11:30ish.'
'Consider it done.' He said as she pushed away from the table, said her good nights to Sarah and the two Richards and blew a kiss to Joseph.
On the way back to the city Rich said, 'Now I have her to contend with? You are supposed to be my lover. It looks as if I am going to have to fight half the men and women in the tristate area to keep you. If I did not know better I'd say you were Bi and be jealous as hell.'
Reaching into his pocket the soldier removed the card Dina had given him, 'Here read this!'
To be continued....