'Are you leaving next week?' Asked the cook. 'I thought it was in two weeks.'

'Of course it is in two weeks, but I want to have the watch repaired and in my possession before then.' Fazzi told her. 'If he thinks I'm leaving in two weeks, he just may take too much time to do it and I'll be without a good time piece. Besides, with all I have to do in the next few weeks, I will need the watch to keep me on schedule. Has Allie called today?'

'Only about 3 times. He said you were to contact him when you got in. He said he just wanted to check on how things went at the bazaar.'

'Thank you Summaya. I will be in the library I do not wish to be disturbed. I have a lot of bills to go over. This little party we have thrown today has cost me a small fortune. That cafe owner makes Ali Baba and his forty thieves look like small time thieves!' Fazzi said as he went into his library and locked the door behind him. Seating himself at his desk and unlocking the bottom desk draw, he removed his concealed secure phone and dialed Allie's phone number.

Allie's sleepy voice answered, 'Good morning Fazzi. How did the bazaar go?'

'It is evening here Allie. The bazaar, thanks to you, went very well. You did one hell of a job in Iraq. Ibrahim said you were his savior, his knight in shinning armor. Now, tell me, how are you doing on our other project?'

'There are a few people that I am having problems with but most will be glad to meet with you. Our friend in Afghanistan is having a problem and doesn't think he can make it, but he will send his son and said he has full authority to act for him.'

'Not good enough, but for now in his case, I will allow it. You must make him aware that this is a one-time forgiveness. Next time I will not be so understanding. Between you and I his days as a leader are coming to an end. He has to realize that he is no longer in charge and he will learn that lesson soon.' Fazzi said. 'Is that the only problem?'

'Yes it is. I just wanted to warn you of it and also to find out about the bazaar and how it went.'

'Thank you for the warning and we will take care of it. Like I said the bazaar went off beautifully. Everyone here is pleased, but Yussef is most impressed with you. I have been telling him that I was thinking of appointing you as his assistant in the fund.'

'What does he think about that?'

'He is very pleased and says that if your actions on the Ibrahim situation was any indication of your abilities, he would be honored to have you on board.' Fazzi said, 'and I think the two of you would make a good team. By the way I have officially adopted him as my son and legal heir.'

'Fazzi, Excellency, I beg of you, can I please speak plainly?'

'Yes. I told you when you came to work for me that I want my operatives to feel that they can always feel free to talk to me. It is what makes a good system.'

'Yes I remember that, but since you have already adopted him, I am still respectfully asking the question. Are you sure you want to do that? He is still an outsider.'

'Yes, but I will have time to work on him. I believe he is coming around. You must remember that some of our most dedicated and best people have been 'outsiders', as you put it. Yussef and this last incident have convinced me that we have been somewhat wrong in our methods.'

'Wrong? How so?'

'You know the old saying, 'more is gained with honey than vinegar'. For over a thousand years we have waged war against the infidel. What we gained, we only later lost.' Fazzi said. ' For example, someone once said that if we had accepted the original partition plan for Palestine offered us in 1947, it would have created an unworkable Jewish State that would in time have fallen apart and disappeared from the map. If we had used one tenth of the money that we wasted on wars to educate and train our people as the Jews did, then by this time we would have been in charge of the entire country. And we could have done this without the loss of life and treasure.'

'Are you saying that we should surrender to the infidels?'

'Never!' he said violently. 'And if you ever say I did, I will kill you with my own two hands. But, as a leader, I must consider all sides of a question or an action. Our problem is that we have never used our heads. We were and are ruled with our emotions and the new leadership is going to have to change its methods. There was one farsighted Arab politician who knew this, but instead of listening to him, we assassinated him.'

'Who was that?'

'Field Marshal Muhammad Anwar al-Sadat.'

'But Sadat was a traitor to the Arab cause.'

'No, my dear Allie, not a traitor. He and later King Hussein were the only Arab leaders to win back Arab land. Both won it by waging peace. They changed the world's conception of Arab leaders. Before them we were all imprinted by the vision of that gun-toting idiot, Arafat, standing before the UN, uncovering his shoulder holster and yelling 'don't make me use this'. Sadat and Hussein, each portrayed a new and cultured diplomat.' Fazzi continued. 'Sadat stating in that calm voice of his. 'No more war! No more killing! No more grieving Egyptian and Israeli mothers! He said No more war, but also said and insisted that he wanted every bit of sacred Egyptian land back. Not one grain of Egyptian sand would he concede? By portraying himself as a pipe smoking cultured peace-loving man, he not only got them to withdraw from Egypt but he became the most dangerous enemy the Zionists ever had. He created a wedge in that solid Zionist wall. He saw and knew that the only thing that united them was their hatred of terrorists. Without that they would fall apart.'

'And is this what you are going to tell our 'friends in two weeks?' Allie asked.

'The Emirate can not do that, at least not now. They want to, but the time is not right yet. First things first - we must get complete control over all these groups. Later we can come into the open. Your work in Iraq proved it could be done. The world now thinks we can be negotiated with and trusted to keep an agreement. What will be in a few years from now-will be. In the meantime we will use Sadat's strategy, Negotiate but concede nothing and get it all!'

'Do you think it will work?'

'As long as we keep the hotheads in line, I think so. And that is our job Allie, yours, mine and also to a large part, Yussef's.' Fazzi said.

'Yussef's? How come it's his job? Is he involved in this in some way that I'm not knowledgeable of?' Allie asked, smiling to himself. Here could be the proof he needed in order to confirm his suspicions.

'Allie, Yussef is now my son. Well before I die, I will have prepared him for what he will have to do.'

'What if you die before that?'

'The Emirate knows what to do. I have set things up so they will use Yussef as a front man for international Arab charities. We have set up these agencies so that they appear to be legitimate and some of them are.' Fazzi said and then asked, 'Have you arranged for the meeting place that I requested? It must be in that town I told you about.'

'Yes, but why there, there is nothing there. It is deserted. The town was bombed out almost nothing remains.'

'Yes that's why I want it there. It will only underscore the futility of all out war.' Fazzi said, 'And remember no one is to know the meeting place. Our friends are to be housed in Damascus and bussed to the site.'

'Yes that part has already been arranged.'

'Well then unless there is something else you want or need to tell me, we are done for now. Again let me say that you are doing good work, I have told the Emirate how much you are assisting me and I'll see you in two weeks.' And then he hung up the phone.

About a mile away in the basement of a two-story house sitting before a bank of electronic recording equipment a young man removed his earphones and turned to his companion and said in Hebrew, 'Well we know when and why. We can guess who and now we have a good idea where.'

'Yes, but we have to be able to pinpoint where this meeting is to take place within a few meters and that's going to be impossible.' Said his companion. 'I think we should break into his house tonight and abduct him. We can take him to a safe house and interrogate him using the electrodes

'And if we don't get it and he dies in the process, what happens then? Do we dump him in the Hudson and then have to start all over again? The Americans would be all over our asses. We have to work with them if we want to keep operating here. Even after 9/11, they still think these murdering 'Momzarim' (bastards) have rights. They think they can afford to. Their country is big, powerful and removed from the daily need to protect their families. Even though 9/11 was the most vicious and costly attack ever carried out against them, most Americans by this time have forgotten about it. They have such short memories. They can and have, for the most part, dug holes in the ground and buried their heads. They just cannot visualize the results of loosing this or any war, nor do they want to admit that this is total war. It is their inability to come to grips with the realities of total war and their unwillingness to give up one ounce of personal comfort that will defeat them in the end. As much as I love Americans, they are collectively spoiled rotten bastards. Enough of my lecturing. Let's get back to the topic at hand. Who else may have the information we need?'

'I'll bet you that guy he has living at his house, the one that he tells people is engaged to his daughter. I'll bet he knows something.'

'Yes he might, but the boss says not to mess with him, he is in the American Army and we sure don't want to add them to our enemies.' He said as the telephone rang and he picked up the receiver to answer. He listened for a while and then replaced the receiver. 'We may have a break. The boss just called. She is coming over to see Jid. She has some work for 'Jid' (Grandfather).'

Later that night, after dropping Ibrahim's mother at the hotel, Joseph took Ibrahim uptown to Dina's apartment and after making sure that she had come home from work he called Rich and told him he was coming over. 'I thought I should call and let you know before I show up this time.' He told him. 'I don't want to take the chance of running into one of your many boyfriends, if I can help it.'

'No chance of that lov. I've been working too hard for that. We just finished our final casting call and we have our first rehearsal set for next week. It went well today, but I'm so sorry I missed the bazaar.' Richard said, 'Dad and Mom told me all about it and the fine time you all had. I was really hoping to make it, if for no other reason than to have been able to see and dance with you. Dad told me how fantastic you were. I hope you realize that it was not my intention to hurt you or Fazzi by not showing up.'

'No problem. Fazzi really appreciated your call. He was like a small kid. All day after your call, he was bragging that he had just been on the telephone with a Broadway star.' Joseph said. 'I wonder what he would think if he knew I was sleeping with one??'

'What do I care what he thinks. You just get that ass of yours home to me, now babe. I'm going to fill the tub with warm water and fill the bathroom with scented candles, then I'm going to get nude, slip into the water and wait for you to join me.'

'Damn your sexy ass. Tonight, I'm going to have me a hot Broadway Star. I'm on my way...... start that tub, babe.'

A half hour later, after parking his car in the basement garage and riding the elevator up to Richard's floor, he unlocked the door and walked into the darkened apartment. The only light was coming from the small multicolored string of lights attached around the floorboards and the flickering light coming from under the bathroom door. Closing and locking the door, He could just about make out the made up bed with the covers turned down. Quickly casting off his clothes he moved to the bathroom door and lightly knocked.

'Rich is it all right to come in?' He whispered.

'Only if you are nude, FRANK!' Came the answer.

'Frank???' he said acting outraged as he opened the door and saw Richard spread out in the tub surrounded by burning flickering candles. 'I'm going to drown you, you bitch.'

'Well look who showed up, fresh from the oasis, it's --- what's his name, and nude yet. Come in and get your feet wet, stranger.'

'I'll stranger you!' he said stepping into the warm water behind Richard's back and sliding down, forcing Rich to move forward in the tube while Joseph circled him with his legs and his arms hugging his wet body to himself. He kissed his neck and said, 'This reminds me of that time we made love all night long in that hotel hot tub. The first time I...'

'That seems like ages ago.' Rich said sadly. 'I wish we could go back to those days. To the days when it was just you and I and things were less complicated.'

He ran his lips over Richard's shoulders licking and kissing them. Pulling Richard even closer to himself, he sat with his hard cock snuggled against the actor's ass cheeks. Leaning over he sucked on the actors ear lobe and then with his tongue tip he traced around the outside of the ear and then he ran it in and out and whispered, 'if you think things are complicated now, just think of how complicated they would be if it had been me in Ibrahim's place and I had been.....'

He never had the chance to finish the sentence. Richard turned his head and stopped the rest by kissing him. 'I need you to remind me of that every now and then.' He said seriously, 'I tend to forget it and I have to be reminded of how much I have to thank Fazzi for.' Seeing the look of doubt on the soldier's face he quickly said. 'I really mean that, I do have him to thank for keeping you here. We would not have had all this time together if it were not for him. Someday I would like to be able to thank him, but for now, I just hate him.'

They kissed deeply and relaxed in each other's arms while the candles burned down and flickered. Richard turned around and Joseph lifted himself onto the tub rim while Richard took his cock in his mouth and ran his tongue up and down the underside of the uncut penis and then took him deep into his throat. The mussels of his throat massaging the soldier's weapon as Joseph moaned. The throat manipulations sucking and drawing the love juice from his loins again reminded him of the milking machines back home. He remembered how every morning he used to watch the machine vacuum the milk out of the cows and he smiled as he recalled the numerous times he had thought of trying to attach one of the teat cups to his pecker.

'What the hell are you smiling about?' Richard asked.

When Joseph told him they both broke down in laughter and Richard slapped Joseph's face lightly and said, 'so that's all I am to you, a milking machine or perhaps a plumber? Just someone to clean your pipes?'

'You are much more than that and damn you-you know it.' His lover said reaching for a towel and getting out of the tub. 'Come we'll dry each other off and we can continue this in bed.'

'What are we, an old married couple? Are we set in our ways? Where is the romance, the sense of adventure?'

Adventure, Joseph thought, that's the last thing I need now. I have enough adventure with Fazzi. It's the last thing I need. What I do need is a loving quiet time a relaxed restful evening where I can be plain Joseph Benson, a soldier on leave with his lover, not Yussef Benson, FBI undercover slut. However Richard was the one he loved and he would have to perform for the actor even if he did not feel like doing it.

'Never mind the adventure, I feel nostalgic tonight. Do you remember the night we exchanged these neck chains and you taught me to dance? I want that again and I want it now. Let's put on a CD and dance.' Joseph pleaded.

'Do I remember? How can I ever forget? That was the night we committed to each other. It was the first time that we cried after having sex. They were tears of love and joy.' Richard said as he went to his pile of CDs and chose the very same record they had played that evening. Then the two naked men embraced and started to dance together.

'See I do remember and I always will. You know there is something to this acting like old married people. It's nice to relax in your arms and just forget about Broadway and acting and your army work and the FBI.' Richard mumbled in Joseph's arms. 'The world stands still while we spin around the floor.'

'Rich, I love you. I can't go on this way much longer, seeing you only on weekends. I want you and only you. I feel so uptight when I'm with Fazzi. The other night..'

'No! Stop don't tell me I don't want to hear. The only time that counts is the time we are together. Just like now. I want you and I want you now.....'

Joseph danced him over to the bed and sat him down with his legs hanging over the edge, his feet resting on the floor. Placing himself between Richard's spread legs; he placed his face in his crotch. His tongue extended out and touched his scrotum and licked up, down and around his balls. Pushing Rich flat on the bed he worked on the inside of his legs kissing and licking while his finger tips did a light tattoo on his six-pack. He worked his tongue tip deeper into the 'Y' and ran it up and down the sensitive area under the balls and roamed back to the ass hole. Richard grabbed his hair, pulled his face up to his and said, 'I want to play the top tonight.' He pulled Joseph up on the bed with him, lifted his legs and rammed his finger into his ass, poking and prodding his prostate gland making Joseph moan.

'Man you are tight. Doesn't that Arab fuck you?' Rich said.

'You are the only one to ever enter me.' The angry response came. 'How many times do I have to tell you that? There never has been anyone else and there never will be anyone but you. Now, you fucking asshole, get out the KY and a condom and claim your man pussy.'

'I love when you talk dirty and turn so vicious. It turns me on. Not that I need turning-on, my personal pussy, my man pussy! Ohhhhh do I look forward to the day I can bareback you lov. You don't know how often I dream of that. I'll be the happiest of men when I'm at last able to really feel your warm moist love hole around my bare skin.' Saying that Rich reached over to the nightstand draw and withdrew the needed equipment, quickly applied it and lifting Joseph's legs onto his shoulders he prepared to 'Storm the Gates'. Pushing his hard cock into the love canal, despite the KY, he found the going tough. 'Oh are you ever so tight. It's almost like you were a virgin, but it feels so good.'

Making a supreme effort Rich pushed all of his cut cock into the anal passage and then rested his balls on Joseph's ass. Using short slow strokes he worked to open up the soldier's hole. Even through the condom Joseph could feel every bump and vein in his lover's cock as he worked with Richard to ease the pain. After a while the pain subsided and was soon replaced by pleasure. The two lovers began to moan and then they started to hump like jackrabbits. Both pounding the other. Each meeting the other's thrusts: each feeling the other's pain and pleasure. Richard slowly lowered himself, his trembling lips meeting Joseph's. They kissed, softly at first then more firmly, and finally their tongues touched ever so slightly then with more and more passion. Their souls were on fire, panting and sweating profusely and unable to control themselves any longer but each wanting it to last forever they both erupted in an excruciatingly intense and passionate orgasm.

The mountain had been climbed and conquered and now at the summit they rested and then slowly descended back to earth. Richard kissing Joseph's face with little quick smooches as Joseph's anal passage kept pulsating around the sill hard but softening invader in his mist.

'Oh Rich, that was the best yet.' Joseph said with tears in his eyes. 'Remember what you said the first time we really made love? Now I know it is true!'

'I said a lot of things. I'm too exhausted to remember right now. What was it?'

'You said that it would only get better and better. One thing bothers me babe.'

'What's that?'

'I just don't know how we are going to top this.' Joseph sleepily said as Rich's cock slipped out of him leaving him empty.

'Neither do I, but we will sure have fun trying to find out.'

Bright and early Sunday morning Fazzi's front doorbell rang. Ringing the bell was an old man who looked to be in his sixties or seventies. He appeared frail and bent over with a full snow-white beard. Coming from Yemen, not Syria, the Lebanon, Jordan, or Palestine, he was different from most Paterson Arabs. Like a lot of his people he was gifted in the design of jewelry and repair of watches. Every Paterson Arab knew him to be a fine craftsman and fair in his dealings with the community. Most of them called him 'Jiddi' meaning my grandfather or as the Americans say Grandpa. They treated him with respect and love. What they didn't know about 'Grandpa' was that he and his family had left Yemen in the mid 1950s on operation 'magic carpet' and had been flown to Israel. They were settled in a small town in the Negev desert called Omer, where his father, his two mothers and his eleven brothers and sisters grew up and prospered. He had joined the army and fought in so many wars that he lost count. When he retired from the army he found himself at loose ends and was soon enlisted into 'Mossad' where he became one of their top 'Arab specialists'. Like most Yemenites he was a good craftsman and was sent to a school in Tel Aviv's diamond district. There he became a jeweler. Using it as a cover he was sent to America and was setup in Paterson, where after a long time he became a respected member of the Arab community. He now stood on Fazzi's front door step carrying a sample brief case and a clipboard.

'I'm here to see Mr. Muhammad.' He said. 'I believe he is expecting me.'

'Yes he is' said the butler/chauffeur. 'He is in the library. Follow me.' The two of them went to the library and after knocking and receiving permission to enter the butler held open the door and let Jiddi in.

Getting up from behind his desk and greeting the old man he offered him a seat. 'I see you have brought your samples with you, good. Let's see what you have.'

The merchant opened his case and laid out about two-dozen watchbands on Fazzi's desk. He pointed out each watchband's strong points. Fazzi looked over the lot and picked out a good strong thick band.

'This one looks strong enough to last, does it not, Jiddi?'

'Yes and the links are thick enough to solder a small chain on so that if it should become undone again, it will not fall off your wrist. However, unlike the others, it is very heavy. Are you sure you want that one?'

'Yes.' He said hefting the band in his hand. 'I will feel secure and with the additional security chain, I will not have to worry about it falling off.'

'Effendi, as long as I have to replace the crystal might I suggest that you take this opportunity to have the watch cleaned and oiled. It is a fine instrument and we might avoid problems later if we do it now.'

'A good idea, yes do it.' Fazzi said. 'Did you bring that catalog that I asked you to bring?'

'Yes, I have it right here. Anything you want will have to be a special order. I can not afford to stock these items, but I can arrange to go into the city and pickup anything you want and have it here in a day or two.'

'Excellent. Let me look through and pick out what I want. Remember this is a gift for Yussef and I want it kept secret from him. You are to engrave it in Arabic. It is to say, 'To my beloved son, from his loving Father'.' Fazzi said and then added, 'one thing more I would like the same type of watchband on that one too. I don't want him to have it fall off his wrist like mine did.'

'Yes Effendi, it will be done. You just pick the watch and I will take care of everything.'

The next week was a busy one. Fazzi prepared for his trip. He received reports from Allie everyday. Joseph was busy at the base school. His students had really advanced to the point where Arabic was spoken almost all the time. Both his students and the commanding officer were impressed with both the ability of Joseph teach and his willingness to be 'one of the guys'. He invited a few of his students to the estate to dinner and to spend the night in his old apartment. He had additional cots brought in for them. When he asked Fazzi if he could do that, Fazzi repeated what he had told him at the bazaar. 'This is your home now, I want you and your friends to feel that they are all welcome here. For your sake, I will behave myself. I will not even try to seduce any of them.' He jested. On the Friday morning before the week he was to leave they went to Mosque. Everyone came over to say goodbye and wish him a good and safe trip. Many of them handed him notes and letters (along with cash in them) to deliver to their relatives in Syria. They returned home to have dinner before Joseph was to make his weekend visit to Richard. Joseph helped him to store away the envelopes. Fazzi would be traveling light. He was talking just one bag to check through and a small overnight case.

'How much does one need for a week?' He asked. 'Besides I will be traveling under a diplomatic passport that Allie has arranged for me.'

'In that case you should be able to get away with bringing many gifts into Syria duty free as you do not have to pass through customs or security. Aren't you going to bring any gifts for your family?'

'No! I told you that we don't get along too well as it is.' Fazzi said. 'Besides there is no one there that I would want to give anything to. All my gift giving now is taken up by my gifts to you. And I do have a parting gift for you, habibi.'

Fazzi went over to his dresser draw and took out a beautifully packaged gift box and handed it to Joseph. This, my love, is for you. I want you to count the hours we are apart, in style.'

Joseph opened the package and saw it contained a beautiful watch similar to Fazzi's but not as ornate. Beside himself with shock he had to sit down as he tried to compose himself. Thinking fast he said, 'Now you have spoiled my surprise for you! I have a gift for you at the Base and I was planning to give it to you Tuesday night before your flight. It is nothing as thoughtful and beautiful as this. It is just something to also remind you of me while you are away.' He really didn't have anything and he could have kicked his own ass for not thinking of it ahead of time, but this would give him time.

'You did not have to do that, habibi. That was sweet of you, but I did tell you how much I enjoy giving you things. I love giving you gifts. The few things I have given you only cost money. You have given me your most priceless gift of all - your love and there is no need for you to ever buy me anything else. I am well satisfied with you my son and my lover.'

Joseph put the watch on and took Fazzi in his arms and embraced him. 'Are you sure you want me to go into the city this weekend? I really don't want to leave you. This will be our last weekend together before your trip. I could call and tell them you needed me to help you pack or something like that.'

'No, as much as I would love for you to be here with me, it is best that you go. You can check up on how the fund is doing and report back to me before I go back to Syria. That way when I'm there I will have up to the minute data on hand and maybe I can arrange to visit some of the institutions we are planning to aid.'

Again looking at his new watch he said, 'It is real beautiful and whenever I look at it I will think of you.'

Later that evening in the basement of Jiddi's workshop, Fazzi's cook told him in Hebrew, 'You did an excellent job, the bastard never knew. I think the weight of the band was such that it hides the weight of the transmitter. It amazes me what you can do with electronics these days.'

'Yes we should be able to get away with it as long as he does not look inside. I think we should have also done the soldiers watch, but you insisted not.'

'There was no need for that. Why chance being discovered from two sources?'

'You are the boss. Maybe you're right. We have been working on this so long, I am getting sloppy.'

'You are 'New' to this. I have been living a double life for over fifteen years now. First in Syria then Lebanon and now here. It has taken us that long to set Fazzi up for the kill!!!!'

To be continued....

 

Jay Benson/Joystick

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