It was late Sunday morning when Fazzi's limo drove up the long driveway and came to a stop at the front door of his palatial home. The chauffeur got out of the vehicle walked briskly around to the rear door and held it open for him. As he got out he could see his housekeeper, Summaya, coming down the steps to greet him.

'Sbaah El Kair, Good morning sir. Welcome home. Did you have a good flight?' she asked in Arabic. 'Is the family well?'

'Yes they are fine and they send their regards to you. Mary says she really misses you and would love to have you come and work for her. Would you like that? Would you like to go out to Michigan and work for Mary and Kasemah again?'

'Sir, as much as I liked working for her and your daughter, my family and friends are all here in New Jersey and I am happy to be working for you and Sgt. Benson. I feel the both of you need me more than they do.' The cook and maid said. 'If I may say so and please I mean no disrespect at all, here I feel like I run the house and I like the feeling of giving the orders. You and the sergeant need someone to look after the both of you. Your wife and daughter, they are both strong people and can do for themselves.'

'Young lady, are you saying that Yussef and I are helpless weaklings and we need a woman fussing around us?'

'Oh no! Not at all, sir. Its just that you and the sergeant need me to take the little things off your hands so that the two of you can have the time and energy to run the world without having to do the menial things like house work or cooking.' She laughed as Fazzi joined her in her joke.

'Err speaking of the Sergeant, did Yussef, by chance, come home last night?'

'No, I was not even expecting him, was he supposed to come home? I wish he had, as the house has been empty and very lonely without you and if you must know the truth, it is even lonelier when Yussef is not around. He is so nice and easy to take care of. And he is always trying to show his appreciation. He knows I won't take any tips, not that he hasn't offered them, but he never fails to leave me a little something, some small little gift.' The housekeeper said, then, changing the subject she continued. 'It is too bad that you did not have the time to visit the women for longer than a few hours. They must have been sad at your short visit.'

'Yes.' He lied, knowing full well that his wife and daughter would rather never see him again. 'There was some business that I had to attend to in person In Dearborn, and I thought as long as I was there I would check on my daughter and find out how she was adjusting to her new life.

'And how are she and Madam doing?'

'We did not have too much time for a visit, but we did talk for about an hour and they seem to be doing fine. Mary is happy to be among her relatives. She is pleased to be able to attend her own church. Mary thinks it is great that Kasemah is becoming Americanized. I think it is a bit too much too soon, but there is little I can do about it. She has changed her name to Cassandra and become a licensed driver. She has now entered the University and she wants to become a doctor, a ladies doctor no less!' Fazzi said as he entered the house. 'You would not recognize her. Oh, before I forget, we will be having two guests this afternoon. Nothing special is needed, well maybe just some tea and toast will do. They should not be staying too long. As far as dinner, I don't know if Yussef will be here for dinner or not... If he calls I'll let you know so that you can prepare a nice meal for just the two of us.'

'Very good sir. Is there anything else?

'If you please, I'll take a light lunch in the library as soon as you can fix it. But first, the chauffeur has brought my 'carry on bag' up to the bedroom. Please unpack it for me and check to see if I have to send anything to the cleaners. OH, by the way, speaking of clothes, did Yussef's new wardrobe arrive yet?'

'Yes it did yesterday after you left and I placed it in his closet. He is going to look like a handsome prince in those outfits. Your daughter had better get back here quick or....'

'Now you are getting a bit too familiar young lady.' Fazzi said with a fake scowl on his face and they both laughed as he headed for the library and she went upstairs to unpack his bag. While unpacking his bag she saw a notepad in the breast pocket of his suit. After carefully removing and inspecting the outside of the pad, she opened it and started reading some of the hand written notes. Hidden among the pages of the pad there was a cable from Syria. Unable to make any sense of it she copied its contents. After this she placed cable and pad back into his pocket exactly as they were before removal and hung up the suit in his closet. Then she went downstairs to tell Fazzi his bag was unpacked. Finding him in the library she informed him that everything was put away

'Very good. You were right I do need you more than Mary and Kasemah, opps, Cassandra. Thank you. Is there anything else?' Fazzi asked.

'No I'll get ready for your guests now and start your lunch. Your suit was clean but looked like it could use a little steaming. Would you like me to do that for you, sir?' She asked.

'Never mind let it hang I will check it out later and let you know.' He said and then returned to his mail. When he had gone through the mail he sat back in his soft leather chair and began thinking about what he was going to tell Allie and Hassan later in the day. Should he rake them over the coals or just burn their edges a little. While he was contemplating their futures, the phone rang.

'Fazzi here.'

'Hello, lov.' Joseph said. 'I see you are home, did everything go well?'

'Everything went very well, except that I missed you very much.' He answered. 'I do so look forward to the day when you will be able to accompany me on these trips. By the way I have regards for you from Mary and Kassie. You do know she has changed her name to Cassandra. Don't you?'

'No I did not know that. Did they call?'

'No. I saw them in Dearborn. I just made a short trip out there on business and gave them a call just to see if they were doing well. They were surprised to hear from me, but they were glad after the shock wore off and they send their love, especially Kassie. My darling you are going to have to do something soon about her. The fool still loves you and while she did not say it - she still has hopes you will come for her someday. Perhaps she has visions of you charging up there on that white horse of yours.'

'I'm sorry about that but that is my fault! I keep calling her at least five or six times a week. Perhaps I should cut that down. I cannot have her hoping and thinking that I want her back. It would be too much of a letdown when she realizes that I am no longer in love with her and no longer want or need her.'

'Well if you don't want her to keep thinking that, then you had better at least cut down on the calls.' He said, 'But Yussef, remember that for now we both need her as a cover. But if you feel you need to tell her the full truth... don't let it stop you. I can always use the excuse that you are going to be my adopted son to explain your living here. Anyway, I am reaching the point where I don't really care what others think any more.'

'Fazzi, habibi, like I just told you, I have no need for her, except for the need to maintain the cover that our pending marriage brings. Once I am free of the fucking army, I will be free to drop the charade. You are my only need now. You are the one that I have decided to spend my life with for as long as you want me.' (He still almost chocked on these words, but found that it was getting easier and easier to lie. He was becoming quite the actor. He wondered if some of Rich's talent had invaded his body along with his....)

'And I want to spend my life with you, Yussef.' His Arab lover said interrupting Joseph's thoughts. 'But you are right about the both of us needing to maintain that cover, at least for the present. When are you coming home? When will I see you again, habibi.'

'That's what I'm calling about --- I will be home for supper. Tell the cook I would like some lamb kabobs if it is not too much trouble. They are an aphrodisiac for me and I might need it after yesterday.'

'You mean your session with Dina wore you out and you need something to put you into the mood to make love to an old man like me?'

'OK, you had your little joke. You know damn well that you are not an old man. You are mature and at the top of your sexual ability, my lover. And you know that I long to be with you all the time.' Laughed Joseph. 'What do I have to do or say to prove that she meant nothing to me. If anything she turned me off and an aphrodisiac may be just the thing I need to awaken my sex drive.'

'I was just having some fun with you, habibi, I'm sure I will figure something out to interest you in sex again, but just in case, lamb kabobs over rice you shall have. I cannot wait to see you at the table; your fingers greasy with lamb juice, as I pick each one up, place it in my hot mouth and with my tongue lick and then suck on your sweet tasting digits. OHHHHHHH yes, just the thought of it is my aphrodisiac! I have to go now. Lunch will be served soon, after which I am expecting those two Syrians you met the other night. If I continue this line of conversation much longer I will have to change my pants before they come. I'll relay your message to the cook. And I look forward to seeing you this evening. I love you!' he said as he hung up and called for his lunch. When it arrived he told the cook about his and Joseph's dinner plans.

'Perhaps after you serve dinner you might want to take the rest of the evening off. Yussef and I can clean up the dishes.'

'That is kind of you, sir, and I would like to visit with my parents this evening and stay over there. You just leave the dishes in the sink and leftovers in the refrigerator, I can take care of it when I return in the morning.' She joked. 'After all, I would not like you and the sergeant getting to think you could get along without me.'

After lunch Fazzi waited for the arrival of his guests. At one P.M. they arrived and were shown into the library where they were made to stand at attention before Fazzi's desk while he pretended to look over some important papers on his desk. He let them sweat for a good three or four minutes before he acknowledged their presents. Finally he raised his head and scornfully asked them. 'Well what do you two idiot fellahin have to say for yourselves before I pronounce sentence on your stupid useless lives. Why did you run another checkup on Yussef?'

Allie was the first to speak. Standing at attention and staring straight ahead he spouted out. 'Your Excellency this whole thing was my fault. I ordered Hassan to do another background check on Yussef. Hassan was following my orders. If there is to be any retributions, let them fall on my head and my head alone.'

Fazzi sat there stunned. He had not expected an outright admission of guilt. It just was not the 'Arab way' of doing things. He was at loose ends to know how to proceed. However he quickly recovered and in an aggressive manner continued his interrogation. 'That is very commendable of you to take the blame you worthless piece of camel dung, but Allie it still does not answer my question.... WHY? And one thing more you are never use the term 'Your Excellency' when we are in public. In my home it is permitted. But no one is to know of my elevation in rank just yet. Now tell me why you felt the need to do this? Were you ordered to and if so who ordered you?'

'No your Excellency no one ordered me to do it, I just felt that this man Yussef was distracting you and that perhaps he was creating a danger to yourself and to our government's plans. I felt that I just had to ascertain if he posed any threat to you or our mission here in the United States. You of all people, having been a security agent from way back, must recognize the danger of us becoming involved with 'outsiders'. And you must admit that this Yussef is, shall we say, too good to be true. So for my own sake as well as the nation's I felt it imperative to check one more time.' Allie said defending himself.

'Well I'll be damned, an agent with the guts to take the blame as well as one who will take the responsibility of leadership. That's very commendable, if it is indeed true. Rather unusual for our people. I like that in an agent. We need more of that, but from now on you had better get it through your head that I AM IN CHARGE. We cannot nor will we have people or groups running off in different directions. Now tell me, for the last time, did you find anything at all about Yussef that I should know about. Anything at all! Was there anything which justifies any further investigation?'

'Well Excellency,' Allie said stammering. 'There was one thing....'

'Well what is it?'

'Well sir..'

'Well - OUT with it!' Fazzi screamed, 'Stop stammering and come out with it. When I ask you for the truth, I ALWAYS WANT THE TRUTH FROM MY AGENTS. I know that it has been the custom to lie to your superiors; Allah knows I have, but I need to know the truth, all the truth, all the time. We are all men of the world. Believe me, in this day and age here in America, there are few things that surprise or shock me.'

'He spent time with and most likely had sexual relations with one of the Dancers that works at the Cafe Casablanca.' Allie finally got out.

'The female dancer, the one called Dina, I hope!' Fazzi said smiling. 'Is that all? Is that all you were able to find out?'

'Well according to her he is a very accomplished lover. That is all, Your Excellency.'

Relieved Fazzi said, 'I'm glad to hear that. I'm sure that bit of 'intelligence' will please my daughter on her wedding night. He is a young man and he needs the experience if he is to make a good and thoughtful husband to my unworldly daughter. I have no objections to Yussef sleeping with other women, before marriage. After their marriage, that will be my daughter's problem. Look, I know what and why he did what he did. He told me all about it. He did it because I had wanted Dina to dance at a certain function that I am going to run. She refused to do it. He helped to change her mind. I do not know if his abilities in bed changed her mind or not, but the fact remains that she did change it. I not only know about all this, but I approve of it. How can I not have approved of it! Hell if I thought I could have changed her mind by sleeping with her---you can be sure I would have gladly fucked her, not once but many times. Someday this man will be my daughter's husband, my son-in-law as well as my adopted son and heir. As such he will be my trusted agent. He is totally and completely loyal to me. I have sent reports to our leaders back home and they not only know all about him but so far they approve of my relations with him and everything I am doing here. You are not to question him or his motives ever again. You are not to investigate him ever again. If you should happen to hear or see anything about him that you think is suspicious ---you are to report it to me directly, but his loyalty to me, at this point, is absolute. Do I make myself clear to the both of you imbeciles?'

'Yes Excellency.' Both men said.

'I have ordered tea and toast for you. I was thinking of putting poison in it, but decided that I would defer that until your next error.. Let us hope that you live long lives.'

Fazzi buzzed for the housekeeper and she came in with tea and toast as well as some cookies. After setting the tea service on the coffee table, she left and they helped themselves to the refreshments. They relaxed a bit and Fazzi turned to Allie and said, 'Allie I must say that I was very impressed with your handling of my questions. Your actions show that you are worthy of leadership.'

'Thank you, your Excellency. I must admit to you that I was scared of this meeting. I hoped that I was acting in the best interests of the nation.'

'I'm so impressed that I have decided to promote you and make you my assistant. It would be a very important and dangerous job. Would you like that?'

'Yes Excellency, I am at your service. And thank you for the promotion and opportunity to serve.'

After finishing tea Fazzi got up signaling that the meeting was over. As both men started to leave. Fazzi walked over and shook Hassan's hand and said to him, 'Salaam Hassan, if you please, will you wait outside. I would like a moment or two with Allie to discuss the new job with him.'

After he left Fazzi said, 'sit down Allie. This job that I have for you is top secrete. As my assistant you may choose whomever you want to help you. I did not know if Hassan had your complete confidence or not so I asked him to leave for now. You will swear everyone who works with you to total secrecy. You may consider yourself as of this moment, so sworn. If word of this gets out I will kill you with my own hands. Not only you but also every member of your family will meet horrible slow deaths. No one will live not a man, woman or child. Do I make myself clear on that? Having warned you of that, I shall now give you this last opportunity to refuse this assignment... This is the last time I will offer you this chance to get out with my blessings and your life. I give you this time, to reconsider. Once you decide there will and can be no turning back.'

After thinking a few seconds he said, 'I do not need any more time to think about this. I cannot refuse to serve the nation and as long as you represent the nation, my family and I are at your disposal. I took that oath when I entered the service, just as you did, and I can see no reason to change my mind or loyalties now or ever.'

'Excellent that is precisely the answer I was hoping for. Now here are your orders; you are to contact, in person, every single head of the groups that we control. I want to meet with them in Syria in about two months. If anyone refuses, you are to tell him that the meeting is to discuss all future funding. Tell them nothing more. We must have their complete and instant agreement to meet. If they still choose not to come, not only will their bank accounts be confiscated, but also we shall take other measures to impress on them the need to attend. If they choose to send their second in command, they had better be on their deathbed, because we will cut them off 100% and heads will roll as well. You are to deliver this message personally and I expect their answers by the beginning of next month so that we will have time to arrange everything. I have here a list of people that you should contact.' He said handing him a sheet of paper with the organizational leaders listed.

Allie looked at the list and whistled. 'You know that not all of these people will want to attend.'

'What they want is no concern of mine. That they attend is not a matter of debate or negotiation. We will, for a starter cut off all support, both political and monetary. That will just mean more money for the rest of the groups. We will then know which groups to have eliminated. The organization will no longer tolerate groups that wish to operate independently. We will hunt down and dig out every single deviant. It has come time to show who is in charge. And we are in charge!'

'But do we have the power to enforce this?' Allie asked.

'Yes we not only have the power but we will gladly use it. We have been chaffing at the bit to prove it for some time now. With my elevation to the head of Western Area intelligence the orders have been issued. Any person not bowing to our authority will find that he is not welcome in any Muslim community. They will be hunted down and removed. Deviations will no longer be tolerated. The time has come to act as one unit. Now get out of here and get to work.'

'If you will permit, some questions for clarification, your Excellency, please.'

'Yes?'

'Just between us now, do you really think this will work?' Allie questioned.

'Off the record. We will never know unless we try it.' Fazzi said after some contemplation. 'However we have to try something. Nothing else has worked and the new Islamic Emirate has decided that it is time to start the process of the final Jihad. And in order to start that we must either gain complete control of all these people or eliminate them once and for all. We cannot have them running the show. While that was OK in the beginning it is not OK now. One way or the other, like that American revolutionary said 'we will all hang together or separately' or something like that. I cannot remember the exact quote but we are all in this together until the very end.'

'And if we fail?'

'We will not fail! Allah Akbar! God is great.' Fazzi said. 'Between you and me-now is the time to find out if he is or isn't.'

'Again, just between the two of us, the Ba'ath party is anti religion. And Syria is controlled by that party.' Allie said. 'How come we are so involved with the Islamic Emirate which is made up of the religious fundamentalists.'

'The Emirate is the new force sweeping the world and as Muslims we cannot avoid it nor can we fight it. We must either join it or be swept under the rug of history. Syria has chosen not only to join it, but also to lead it. Yes we allowed Iran and Iraq to take the lead, but only because we wanted the west to concentrate on them instead of us. So far the deception has been working. We have let them spend their time, manpower, energy and money fighting them. We will now pick up the parts that survive and the Emirate will be the controlling power in the world.' Fazzi explained. 'That idiot, Bush, is right about a 'New World Order' being established. Only it will be the Emirate that will establish it and the beauty of the plan is that the United States is going to pay for it. We are also going to get control of the Stock Market and then force it to work for the Emirate's benefit.'

'That is one hell of a plan! But can it work?'

'Not only can it work, but it is working.' Fazzi continued. 'We have started the process, now we just have to keep up the pressure. We shall be victorious. The Americans are completely confused because we are using 'American know how' and democracy to defeat them. They want democratic elections---Fine we will give them their democratic elections - Hamas in Palestine, which as you know is really lower Syria, and Hezbollah in the Lebanon, which is really western Syria.'

'The Lebanon is an independent country. Has been since ....' Allie started to say,

'Since the French and English split it and Palestine off from greater Syria and tried to establish two new crusader states in our homelands.' Fazzi corrected him. 'They are Muslim and if we have to kill every Maronite pig eating Christian and all the Zionists in the country to reunite that area to us-so be it. And that will be only the beginning. After that it will be the turn of Spain and Europe. France and Eastern Europe are plums waiting to be plucked. We shall use democracy to bury them and also use their money to pay for it. We have billions and billions of people-so what if we loose half of them in this struggle. Unlike the west, we have never used nor will we use birth control. Our population, every man, woman and child is our army. While the Americans debate if they should draft their men to fight us, we will not have to put one extra man in the field. All we have to do is to strap 20 kilos of cheep explosives on the backs of the fellahin and send them into the shopping malls and schools. Let the infidels spend billions and millions on all kinds of weapons and fancy security devises. We will defeat them with simplicity. A few dollars worth of fertilizer, nails and TNT. Who needs A-bombs? A few thousand well-placed martyrs will do more than all their bombs put together. But enough of this for now. I want you to get on this project right away and I want to see results. Now get out of here and take Hassan with you.'

He picked up Hassan who had been waiting for him in the hallway and the two of them got into their car and headed back to the office.

'Thank you for taking the heat for me. I owe you for that. I thought he was really going to have us killed.' Hassan said.

'So did I and I thought that as long as I was a dead duck anyway I might as well go down with flying colors. And instead of winding up as worm bate I get a big promotion. I am going to be working under Fazzi as his assistant.'

'What about me?'

'You, my friend, are lucky to be alive. I may have need of you later, but for now I need only very religious operators. People who will take an oath and mean it. People who will be willing to give up their lives for the Jihad and their country.'

As they were leaving the estate grounds Allie saw the white BMW heading to the main house. It still irked him that he could not get used to the idea of Joseph being closer to Fazzi than himself. How could Fazzi and the Emirate even trust an infidel? It was inconceivable that they could. Who knew maybe this Yussef was not a Christian after all but a Muslim who, for one reason or another, had never been circumcised? He had heard of such things happening. Or maybe an even more likely circumstance was that his parents were Christians who were killed by marauding Bedouin and as a child he was taken and raised by them. They may have even turned him over or sold him to the Emirate to raise and train him as a trusted undercover agent. The Emirate would have given him a complete new identity and history and placed him in the United States with instructions to join the army. Once in there he could worm his way deeper and deeper. Admittedly It was almost pure James Bond, a far-fetched idea, but not impossible and one that would clear up a lot of questions. It would explain his Arabic and his knowledge of the customs. It would answer all the questions except Fazzi's unswerving loyalty to Yussef. He was just about to dismiss the entire idea when another wild thought came into his devious brain. Could it be - could Yussef be - the real head of the operation and Fazzi be his front? Impossible?? Yes? No? Who knew? But it was the only thing that made sense. The more he thought about it-the more he became both confused and convinced. It was a weird mixed feeling, but in any event there was little he could do about it. So the best course of action was to go with the flow and hope it was the right thing to do. Perhaps it might be better if he became friendlier with this Yussef. After all there was nothing to be gained by antagonizing the future son of his new boss.

Joseph, using his key opened the front door and called out in Arabic, 'Hello anyone home?'

'Yes Yussef?' called Fazzi from the library. 'I'm in the library. Come, join me.'

Joseph dropped his overnight bag by the doorway and went into the room as Fazzi came from behind the desk to greet him with open arms. They embraced and Joseph kissed Fazzi and said, 'it is good to be home, habibi, even if only for the night.'

'It's good to have you here. Your clothes have arrived and I can't wait to have you model them for me.' He said hugging him harder and then laughing he added, 'but maybe we should wait until later for that. I might be tempted to ripe them off your body and then all that money would have been spent for a pile of rags. Anyway the cook would be mad as hell as she has assured me that you will have your lamb kabobs for supper. And one must not anger the hand that feeds you! I shall tell her you are here and find out what time we are eating.'

'Lets make it for about an hour from now. I want to shower and be fresh for you and supper. I still feel a bit 'unclean' from yesterday.'

'Great idea! When you are ready you will find a new silk dressing gown and matching pajamas that I had made for you in your closet. Put them on for supper and I'll meet you at the table.' The leering Arab said almost drooling from his mouth. 'We will have a private romantic supper for just the two of us. After she serves us our meal I will dismiss the help for the evening and we will be able to see if the kabobs helped you any.'

'Mmmmmm I can see just the thought has you all excited. Your pants are starting to bulge.' Joseph smiled as he again embraced the older man and pressed his own growing manhood against the Arab's cloth covered cock. 'Come shower with me and we can make love under the water.' Joseph said.

'Damn it lover you don't need any aphrodisiacs. Get the hell out of here. You better take that shower-alone. GO NOW, habibi, before I insist that you fuck me right here and now. Right on the floor with the servants as onlookers cheering you on...'

To be continued...

 

Jay Benson/Joystick

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