'Of course you have a choice.'

Silas Collins sat there, assessing what was really going on here and whether everything was down the tubes for him. Yesterday morning he'd been in the Colombian jungle, just 'that far' from seizing the daddy of all drug cartel lords, and now he was sitting in front of a desk, facing two suits and overlooking Northern Virginia woodlands, with a stack of photographs sizzling on the desktop between the three of them.

'We've just about got Emilio Delgado,' he said, stubbornly. 'Two years I've spent on this. I'm only days away from blowing the top off this one. Send me back to Colombia, Ted.'

'That isn't one of the choices,' Ted Talbot, chief of the South America section, said, the tiredness showing in his voice. They'd been around the bandstand a couple of times on this point.

'Sam Winterberry here has come up with the choice we'd all like you to make, Silas. It will more than save your career. And when you've helped him set up the new unit he's forming, we can have you back. And all will be forgotten - nothing asked, nothing told. I'm not passing judgment, Silas. All I care about is results. I don't want to lose you. Taking Sam's offer is the win-win position for us all at this point.'

Silas took another look at the damning photographs.

'And McGrath. Will he have choices too?'

Both Ted and Sam looked uncomfortable.

'Alas no,' Ted said. 'He doesn't - rather, didn't - have the value that you do - and Sam couldn't say there would have been room for him, really in the new unit.'

'That so? Wouldn't have been?' Silas asked.

'Well, I guess you haven't heard,' Ted said in a low voice. 'Sorry to say that Mike McGrath died this morning. Cleaning his gun. It was a terrible accident.'

There was a nervous moment of silence in the room as Silas absorbed this information.

'Is there really any other choice?' Silas eventually asked, his voice hard.

'A detail to Sam's unit is by far and away the best choice, Silas - for all of us. Not least for you.'

'When would I have to start?' Silas asked.

'I leave for the Farm this afternoon; it's a three-hour drive down to Williamsburg if we don't meet a lot of traffic on 95 between Springfield and Dumfries,' Sam spoke up. 'You could go with me - and get started right away. A new recruiting class is coming in for basic today. You could be inserted into this class tomorrow, right from the beginning.'

After he'd left Ted's office and was sitting, waiting for Winterberry to be ready to leave, Silas thought back on McGrath. He'd been the moody tape - and had been the one who came on to Silas - and Silas had never known him to be careless with his guns. There were just too many choices in what to think about this. And as for the choices that had been given Silas, he didn't really like any of them.


Silas Collins. I should have known there was something more to him than we were led to believe. It's not just that he wasn't on the bus from Washington with the rest of us, that he just appeared as a member of the recruitment class at the Farm for basic physical training the morning after we were bussed down to Williamsburg. It's not just because he was older than the rest of us and in better shape and exuded confidence. And it's not because he always seemed to know the answers - that he didn't jump out and volunteer them - but that, if he was asked, he always had the right answer, succinctly given, on the tip of his tongue.

It was because of all of these together.

Without him ever telling us so or bragging about it, we soon learned that Silas could do everything. He could do more sit-ups and pushups and leg lifts, he immediately knew where to go to get anything at the Farm, he knew just what to say and when to shut up, he knew what direction the river and the main gate were from anywhere in the scrub forest of the triple-fenced installation. When we gathered in the evening, he had read all of the books, seen all of the movies, could play any tune we wanted to hear on the piano - which, when he found I could sing well, he did in accompaniment with me almost nightly in the club - and he could drink us all under the table and still remember what everyone had said throughout the day. He had all of the women recruits hanging on him, and more than one of the men recruits too.

I was one of those men.

I should have known. Much to my surprise, I'd passed the polygraphs. They hadn't even asked any leading lifestyle questions. Pete had told me I'd be bounced at the initial interview and testing, given in an unobtrusive brownstone building on a Washington street I'd already forgotten the location of - which was probably the plan. But I had the languages and the skills and the desire for it. I hoped that would make up for the other - and to the point of entering basic physical training, it had.

Seth Kamar was another one of those men. I probably should have paid closer attention to Seth's reaction to Silas - and Silas's reaction back. But it seemed like in no time Seth was gone from the program and no one said anything about why - they just glowered at anyone who brought it up and made clear that even this, not asking such a question as this, was part of our training for what we were to do in life.

There wasn't much of a question why someone like Seth was in this program. He was third generation Palestinian-American and spoke both Arabic and Persian fluently. He was also quick witted and breezed right through the obstacle courses set for us in our basic physical training regime. He'd been captain of the tennis team at Texas A&M, a team that had come close to winning the national collegiate title every year he'd swung his racket for it. But it was obvious to me - OK, maybe a little less obvious to others, but obvious to me - that he liked men. He was handsome, dark, and sultry, spending considerable more time on his looks than a paramilitary recruit should - and he couldn't control his roving eye.

He'd closely eyed all of the more presentable men - and it was a good-looking, fit recruitment class - whenever we were stripped down just in shorts for the training and whenever we were out in the forest and 'making do' with our cleanliness routines.

His eyes had fallen on me more than once, but I wasn't about to chance anything now that I'd gotten this far, and so I stayed as far away from him as possible.

But Silas didn't stay away from him. Almost from the first day, they had become close buddies. Seth stuck to Silas like a puppy dog and took every opportunity to team up with Silas on exercise routines or the occasional operational exercise out in the scrub forest.

And then, not more than three weeks into the training, Seth was gone, overnight, without a word to anyone or an explanation from anyone. The next day, the instructors just ignored questions of where he was - or stared down anyone who asked until it dawned on them that this wasn't a question to ask and might, in fact, be a test of some sort - they were always talking about 'need to know' around here - and within two days it was like Seth had never been here.

It wasn't like this was unusual, though. Others in the class also disappeared as quickly and totally, women as well as men. Some I could understand, because the training was rigorous and it was inevitable that some portion of the class would decide this was not a life they wanted - or had that decision made for them. Most of the fallouts were pretty understandable and identifiable. However, there also were a couple of trainees, Seth included, who were standouts in the training and who just disappeared from the class forever.

I got a handle on this a few weeks into training too. Beth DePage, one of the female physical trainers took a shine to me - although not just to me. She pretty much went through the men in the class in the time I was there. But I was one of the first men she hit on. It became sort of a game on what man she was going to fuck next. But she was peculiar, in that none of the men claimed they had gone with her more than the one time.

My time came one evening after a particularly grueling day on the obstacle course. We were in just shorts and jocks and Beth was showing us how to twist our bodies to fit through ever-smaller pipe openings. And when my turn came, she made quite familiar use of her hands, including a visit to my basket, under the rim of my shorts, and I received a whispered invitation to meet her behind the club hut with a bottle of bourbon at twilight.

I dared not accept the invitation - but I equally dared not turn it down. So there I was, all nervous and not the least bit interested. And we drank while I tried to build up courage and interest by kissing and squeezing her and even latching on to her proffered nipple with my lips. But we both got pretty tipsy in the process. In the effort to put the unthinkable off, my questions were guided by more curiosity then they should have been and Beth's lips became looser than I'm sure they really should have also. I asked her about the disappearing classmates - especially the ones who seemed to be doing really well, including Seth - and without directly saying it, Beth let me know that not all of the trainees were leaving because they changed their minds or crashed out. Some were being pulled out for special assignments, already being needed somewhere in the field and having proven capable enough to cut their basic training short.

I asked directly about Seth, though, and she just gave me a peculiar look.

She also switched gears at this point, no longer egging me on to fuck her. And she thought of somewhere she needed to be and left me there, relieved - although in hindsight, I shouldn't have been - that I hadn't had to try to go through with it. I was probably the only man by the end of training - other than Seth, of course - who didn't fuck Beth DePage, but I wasn't about to brag about that.

Then right after Seth disappeared, Silas turned on a dime. Switched his interest to me. I should have guessed then. But that was before I'd been working for the Firm for several years, before I discovered how things worked around here.

I didn't go after Silas, and he didn't go after me - exactly. But now, suddenly, with Seth gone, Silas needed a partner for our partnered exercises, and my partner, a woman named Janice, crashed out of the program. Silas and I were rebunked together because they said they needed rooms for an incoming class. And there it was, natural, and inevitable. Or so it looked at the time. I've seen Janice around the Langley headquarters building from time to time in recent years, though, so I guess she didn't really bomb out of that course.

Silas was good at spreading himself and his goodwill and his helpfulness around to everyone in the course. But after Seth left, Silas gave me an extra helping of that attention. And I admit that I felt privileged and lucky. And I can't say that I didn't find him enticing and arousing too. Silas was a real hunk - and a charmer. A regular 'can do everything' Renaissance man.

I learned this in spades when he abruptly let me know I didn't fool him - that he was on to me. And that he was interested.

One day during a particularly boring tradecraft ops course, Silas was sitting just in front of me, both of us on the edge of the seating, next to the window, which was getting more of my attention than the lecturer was when we were being lectured on things we'd read about more than once and already been lectured on more than twice. I noticed that Silas was writing notes - or seemed to be writing notes. I found this odd, because Silas, while always knowing the answer to everything, almost never took notes.

But the closer I looked, the more I realized that he wasn't taking notes. He was drawing on a pad of paper. Sketching with a pencil. And when he realized that I was interested in what he was doing, he lifted the pad high enough for me to see what he was drawing.

The shock went straight through my body - and, unfortunately, seemed to focus on the area of my dick, which stood right up to attention, to my great embarrassment, although I'm sure no one could see it.

But it didn't matter if no one could see it. Silas was signaling to me that he knew all, that there was no hiding from it with him.

What he'd drawn on the sketchpad was two men - naked and in an embrace, fucking. And Silas was such a good artist that I immediately and clearly was able to identify the two men as Silas and me.

He made his move that evening. I went, alone, to one of the gym rooms - one by dorms not then occupied by anyone - where I decided to work out on the machines to the point of exhaustion, to do what I could to exercise the fears and desires right out of me. I'd always been able to clear my head and think better after an exhausting workout.

And it was working, but then Silas showed up. He found me, and the first I knew he was behind me, seemingly to spot me as I sat on a bench, doing arm curls with weights. But his hands were too busy where they didn't belong to be spotting me. And he was sitting behind me on the bench, close, until I gave up on pretending I was doing arm curls and just sat there, Silas wedged behind me, his thighs pressing mine into the bench.

He'd been holding me by the waist, but when I stopped and let the weights fall back into the racks at the side of the bench, I felt him move in closer and wrap his arms around my chest from behind. I was only wearing shorts, and so was he - if he was wearing even that much.

And he just held me, waiting for the tension to flow out of my body, waiting for me to surrender to him.

'It's going to be all right, it's going to be fine,' he murmured in my ear.

I whimpered, knowing both that it wasn't fine and that it was divine - that he aroused me like I'd never been moved before. I was hardening, and he sensed that I was, and one of his hands went to my basket and he held my cock through the thin material of the gym shorts.

'No, don't . . . please. I'm not . . . ,' I whimpered. I couldn't finish the sentence, though. My cock in his fist betrayed me.

'Shush, shush, it's OK. Just relax. You are . . . I know that you are. But it's OK, it's going to be OK.'

'No, please,' I whimpered again. 'I can't . . . we can't . . .'

'Oh, I think we can, Paulo. You want me. I know you want me. And there's no reason not to.'

'There's every reason. Our careers . . . everything.'

'You fuck men, Paulo. I know you do. You do, don't you?'

I couldn't answer. He had his cock free now, and was crouched behind me, rubbing his cock up and down on my back. I was trembling and shuddering and little sounds were coming up from deep inside me that I'd never heard before. And I was having difficulty breathing.

'Say it, Paulo. You've been fucked by a man before. Say it. It's OK. We'll be fine.'

I mumbled something, I'm not sure what.

'Say it, Paulo.'

'I go with men,' I sputtered out, the saying of it being like wrenching my gut out of me.

'You would go with me if there was nothing to be scared of, wouldn't you, Paulo?'

'Yes,' given after a brief pause that seemed like forever.

'Do you want to leave right now, Paulo? If so, just get up and leave. But then I will still know about you. If we fuck, I'll be part of it. I'll be more of a part of it than just knowing. Your choice. Choose now.'

I started to get up, but my legs were like rubber. He was right. I'd gone too far already. If I left now, he could just report what I was and truthfully say anything he'd done was just to trap me. But even as I settled back down in his embrace, I knew that I would stay anyway. I wanted him, and it was too late to deny that.

'Ah, good choice,' he whispered in my ear. His hand went under the waistband of my shorts and he was fisting my cock, skin on skin, now. 'Yes, that's it, Paulo. Just relax. Yes, like that. Good. It's going to be OK. It's going to fine. You're a bottom, aren't you?'

'Yes,' I squeaked.

'And have taken it big?'

'Yes,' I answered, with a gulp. I'd seen what Silas had. I only now was taking that into account.

'Wow, guy, relax. You're packing too. Now, have you ever done it with a belt sling - a plow belt? I like the plow belt.'

I never had, and had no idea what a plow belt was. But I sure know what it is now - and I melt every time I think about it. I'm in good shape, but not all that tall. Silas, on the other hand, was tank built and more than a head taller than me, and there soon was no question that he could easily press way more poundage then me.

After it was clear we were going to do this, he stood at the bench and turned me around, and made me suck his cock hard. I was, in fact, good at that, and he showed his appreciation in almost losing control of himself and beginning to fuck my face before he was able to break off. While I was blowing him, he reached over my back and started working lube into my channel, so that we were ready at nearly the same time.

I admit that I was both confused and intrigued when he went over by the door and came back with what he called the plow belt - a black leather, padded strip about ten inches thick and four feet long, with hand holds at each end.

Silas held it in one hand, draped down to the floor, while he told me to stand in the middle of the gym floor, facing him, and he encircled my waist with his arm.

'Work them together,' he murmured, and I reached for our cocks and rubbed and pumped them together while he kissed me on the lips and worked his mouth down to my nipples.

I was more than ready, when he handed me a condom disk and told me to crown him, which I did.

'Turn,' he said, and I turned and he crouched a bit; palmed my belly with the hand he was holding the sling in; told me to bend over, which I did; and then used his other hand to help guide his cock head to, and then into my hole. I cried out and moaned at the breaching, and then gasped and groaned as he slowly slid deep up inside me.

It was heaven. I didn't care what they did to me now. Having Silas Collins's cock up inside me was worth it, even if this was the only time I'd have to enjoy it.

And then the fucking began, and everything that went before that didn't compare to where Silas took me.

When I was fully impaled, Silas flipped the sling around the front of me and grabbed it with his other hand. It was stretched across my lower belly, and the first thing I knew, he'd drawn it tight and lifted my feet off the ground. I tipped forward, my arms just dangling in front of me, while I moaned and groaned, and the hulk that was Silas just pumped my dangling body back and forth on his cock by pulling and releasing on the pressure of the plow belt until we both had climaxed. It was an incredible fuck.

Just to show that he liked me, when we got back to our shared dorm room, he laid me on my back and fucked me hard and deep in the time-honored missionary position, followed by doggy style, and ending near dawn by a side split.

* * * *

The next afternoon, I was pulled out of class and summoned to the administration building. Two of the instructors walked me over.

I wasn't all that surprised. Silas had been gone when I got up that morning and he wasn't in class. I figured he'd told our handlers about me. Had his fun and then said he'd trapped me. Silas was gold; they'd believe anything he said.

It was worse than that.

And I knew it wasn't going to be good, because all of my gear was sitting by the door of the room I was shown into. And sitting down the hall, looking at the floor, was Silas.

I sat there in the administrative office, cheery sunshine streaming in through the window, looking at the photographs: Silas fucking me, both in the gym room and in our dorm room. I had been set up. But the cameras hadn't shot anything that wasn't true. There was nothing there I could deny.

The man in the expensive, well-pressed suit told me that his name was Sam Winterberry and that he was putting together a new unit in the Agency, one that tracked down good intelligence the old-fashioned way.

'Do you know the quickest and most effective way to get intelligence out of a target, Mr. Pulido?'

'No, what?' I said, still stunned, not able yet to talk to the man, not able to lift my head up.

'It's not to torture him for the information. Then he will tell you what he thinks you want to hear - anything to stop the pain. No, Mr. Pulido, the best way to get reliable information out of a target is to give him what he wants - and to make him want more. And then to deny it to him if he stops giving you information that is both good and reliable. And all the better if what he wants is something that will cause him great pain and suffering if it comes to light that this is something he wants.'

'Oh, that's interesting . . . but what . . . ?'

'Spy candy, Mr. Pulido. I'm starting up a unit of very, very special operatives that we're informally referring to as the candy store.'


'Yes, and we can give you two choices, Mr. Pulido. You can be severed from the Agency - just let go without any consideration or a recommendation - because, after all, you knew very well what our requirements were when you applied for a career here, didn't you? Or you can join the new unit I'm creating. I think you can be very useful to us - and we won't mention whatever sexual preference you want to follow as long as it doesn't publicly redound on the Agency. You'd be doing important work - getting good information from targets in a time-honored way, helping to dispense with any need for torture tactics. Your choice. Which will it be? All you need do is nod, and we'll start the processing in immediately, and you can come back to Langley with me. Just a nod.'

My prospects were bleak. Of course I gave the nod.

'Ah, yes. Very good choice. We'll leave within the hour. We'll be arriving in Northern Virginia late, so you can spend the night at my house.'

When I left the office, Silas looked up, and I saw the pained expression in his face. I didn't bear him any grudge. I'd known the risks, and I could only imagine what was being held over his head to participate in this recruitment. And, if I'd been asked, I would have had to admit that, despite everything, if Silas had stood and beckoned me to him, I'd have let him do anything he wanted to do to me right there in the corridor of the administration building at the Farm.

Sam Winterberry fucked me that night in the four-poster bed in his townhouse in McLean. He was a master at it, and he made clear that this was all part of my instruction to the new job. But he couldn't give half the cocking that Silas could.


I was barely eighteen, for craps sake, and all of my life had been tied up in competitive swimming. I had lived and breathed it, nothing else. What did I know about any of this. I hadn't even thought about it. I'd thought only about the next swim meet, how I could parley that into a college education, and how I could manage to keep off the streets of Hampton and out of trouble until I could get out of Virginia. I hadn't even been around white men all that much. God, I didn't even know this went on between guys. I was so naïve, not ready for it - until it happened to me.

The swimming is what did me in, really. I'd gotten that scholarship to Florida State, and a full scholarship too. That didn't mean I didn't need any walkin' around money. That meant a job. My best prospect for a job was at a pool, a life guard maybe - of course I was certified - or pool maintenance. I landed a summer job doing both, at the top secret training base they had there right outside Williamsburg. It was supposed to be some sort of big secret, but everyone knew who ran that place and that it was for training spies.

That didn't bother me. They had a pool at their clubhouse that needed a lifeguard and someone to keep it clean, and they paid a lot of money, and it was no real hassle for me to go through all of their security clearances to be able to work there. As I said, all I'd done in life was work on my swim times from one meet to the next, so I had as clean a record as a black boy in southeast Virginia could have. It certainly didn't hurt in the employment process being black.

From the first day I was working there, I noticed I was being noticed. As raw at anything involving relating to another person - especially a white man - as I was, I had no idea what those looks meant. I certainly didn't get it when the guy called me over to where he was laying on a lounger by the pool. But I certainly get it now. We were the only two out there that afternoon. All of the students were in their classes. This guy was some sort of visiting official. Pretty old - at least in his 40s - but well-developed and worked, with a buzz cut. Everything Marine style. We see a lot of those around the naval bases in Norfolk.

I remember walkin' down the street toward where we were goin' for a swim meet one day, over by the naval base. I was with Leroy, about as good a friend as I had, and we walked by where there were some Navy guys cut just like this guy at the pool, and they gave us cat calls and called out somethin' to me that I hardly understood, and Leroy just took my arm in his hand and started draggin' me in a extra step out of there.

'you don't wanna have any truck with guys like that, Antoine,' Leroy said. 'What they got on their mind combined with your looks don't equal up to nothin' you wanna know 'bout.'

I just went along two-steppin' with him, not asking what he meant, my mind focused on how I was gonna' make my turns in the pool, thinkin' I'd thought up a way to save a split second on each turn. Thinkin' back on it, I guess I shoulda asked him what he meant.

'Come close and let us look at you,' the man that day at the pool said in a friendly voice. 'My name's Sam Winterberry. Haven't seen you here before.'

'I'm Antoine,' I mumbled. 'This is my first day at the pool.'

'Swimmer, aren't you?'

'Yas, sir,' I answered.

'Thought so,' he said. 'And competitive, I'll bet. You got the long legs and the right leg muscles for it.' He had reached out and ran his hand down my flank and thigh. It seemed natural at the time. The swim coaches sometimes did that too, to make sure I was keepin' the right muscles developed. Twasn't nothin' in it. Or so I thought.

'And the right streamlined torso, too,' he said. And he ran his hand down that too.

Right then someone else, a woman and two little kids came into the pool area. One of the kids was luggin' a giant duck floating device that is really too big for the pool and could as easily hold a kid that size under the water as well as on top of it. The guy - Sam - had dropped his hand from where it had ended on my waist.

'Well, nice meetin' you,' I said. 'I gotta go figure out how to tell this lady nicely that her kid can't have that duck in the pool, that it isn't safe for a kid his size.'

'Hey, Madge,' Sam called over to the woman. 'I saw in Consumer Reports that that duck is a water hazard for someone the size of Jamie. You might want not to - '

'Oh, my,' the woman exclaimed. 'I didn't know. His uncle gave it to him. Thanks, Sam. Here, Jamie, give that to me please. We'll have to put it away for another year.'

I turned from watchin' the woman start after the little kid, who took out across the pool deck, duck in hand, but the little bugger was soon under her control. And I smiled at the man.

'Thanks, Mr. Winterberry.'

'Sam. Call me Sam,' the man said, and then he gave me a big smile. 'And yes, we'll have to meet again. Soon.'

The 'soon' came rather frequently, but almost always when other swimmers were there.

But then came that day when 'soon' caught up with me. I was cleanin' the pool when Mr. Winterberry came in to the pool area. He wasn't alone, though. He had another white guy with him, a much taller, bulkier guy. Still of the Marine ilk, though. And very good looking.

I guess Silas Collins was the first guy I ever looked at and thought of him being a gorgeous guy in his skimpy little Speedo swim briefs. They were not that much different from the ones I was wearing, from those I always wore at swim meets, although I was told I would get some of those skin-tight full-body swim suits they wore at international meets when I went out to California for the Olympics pretrials in September. My proudest moment had been when I was selected for those. But now there wouldn't be any of that, of course.

I was walkin' around the pool, with the skimmer, takin' the loose leaves out of it. Sam and the other guy, Silas I was soon to learn was his name, were on the loungers, talking softly to each other, and both were eyeing me up and down to my increasing embarrassment. The Silas guy had a sketch pad too, and while he was watchin' me, his hand was flowing across the sketch pad.

He was having a very strange effect on me. I felt all tingly, and I felt my cock gettin' a little hard. Now I could masturbate with the best of them, on my bed at night, with my stash of girlie magazines. But this was the first time I'd ever felt any sensation of arousal like this without the girlie pictures - in fact from a white man. I was so naïve, though, that I wasn't even all that self-damning about how I felt. It was just new and sort of interesting. If I didn't have all of my focus on swimming and had had a daddy in my life, I might have thought about puttin' some stops in right about now. But I didn't. And within minutes it was too late.

I moved to the pool house, where we kept the equipment in the middle, and the women's showers were to the left and the men's to the right inside sort of a little covered but open area with the service counter in front of where we kept the equipment.

The Silas guy was up off his lounger and intercepted me right at the counter as I was tossing the skimmer back to the back of the equipment area. He had his sketch pad in one hand and some four-foot-long leather strap thing fisted by a handhold at one end in the other hand.

'Like to see what I've sketched?' He asked. His smile was terrific. Very friendly.

'Yeah, yeah, I guess.' I said dubiously. I didn't want to be unfriendly, but I felt the danger in the air. The closer he got to me, the more aroused I was by him. These were interesting sensations, but now, suddenly, I wasn't so sure they were something I should be feeling.

I looked at the sketch he held out for me to see, and I froze, in shock, my knees starting to go to rubber. It was me, and a great likeness. But it wasn't just me. It was me and this Silas guy, both naked, and he was fucking my butt with me being suspended in front of him with this black leather sling thing he was holding supporting me under my belly.

'Oh god, no, sir. No, I don't - '

That's as far as I got. He moved into me and wrapped one arm around me, bringing my body in close. And he had his lips on mine, and his free hand was moving down my belly and below the waistband of my Speedo.

'You don't what? Don't fuck? Never been with a man before?' he muttered in a gravelly voice when he let me up for air.

'Oh, god no . . . I've never - '

'I don't believe it. You're hard for me. You want me.'

'No . . . no, I've never. Please, please - '

'I can take you to paradise. I can show you pleasure like you've never known before. You were getting hard just watching me on the lounger. You're ready to go right now.'

He took my lips in his again and opened my mouth to him with his invading tongue, and I shoot off a load into his fist.

He came up for air and laughed. 'You've done it with another man now. And it was easy. And you can't tell me you didn't want it, didn't enjoy it. Come into the shower room with me.'

'Oh, oh . . . please.' But I followed him into the men's dressing room and over to the showers. He turned on the water and turned my belly to the wall and stripped my Speedo down and off my legs.

I moaned and groaned and gave little pleadings of 'don't' that weren't even convincing to me, as he knelt behind me and worked my virgin hole open with his tongue, while holdin' my belly to the slippery tiled wall with one strong palm in the small of my back and workin' my cock to and through another ejaculation with his other hand.

I was a rag doll now, lost to him, not fightin' him for anything he wanted to do to me.

And what he wanted to do was fuck me. He took it slow and was as gentle as one could be with a first timer. He turned me and lifted me with palms under my buttocks and just slowly settled my channel down on his cock, as I gasped and groaned and cried out at my first taking. He'd gotten his Speedo off and a condom rolled on before he took me. When he'd worked himself deep inside me and I had stopped shuddering and cryin' and began sighin' for him, he leaned down and picked up that black leather sling he'd brought into the shower with him and slung it up under my butt as he moved out from the wall, leaving me supported by my shoulder blades against the slick wall, water cascading down on both of us, and the sling under my butt, held and controlled on either end in his fists. And then he began a rhythm of tightening and releasing pressure on the sling and moving his cock inside me that, as he promised, sent me to heaven and to my third shoot off.

When he was done, he put his lips to my ear and whispered, 'Do you want more of that?'

'Yes,' I answered in a small voice. Indeed, having now crossed that threshold, I wanted more of that right now.

But he didn't give me more of that right then. 'I'll be at the gate to the pool at four when you get off tomorrow. I'll take you to my room in the student dorms.'

'Yes,' I whispered.

Then he was gone, and I just sank to the floor of the shower. I still had my eyes closed, both savoring and regretting every moment of that first fuck, when someone turned the water off. I looked up, and there was Mr. Winterberry - Sam. And he was naked and had that look in his eye that I soon was able to read and a raging, condom-crowned hard on.

He reached into the shower and dragged me out and literally folded my belly over his arm and brought me out to the bench running between the lockers in the changing area. He laid me down on my belly on the bench, with my legs straddling the bench. Then he straddled my thighs with his, fisted the hair on my head with one hand and arched my back to him while rollin' my pelvis up to him with his other hand. He guided his throbbing cock to my hole and thrust inside me in one long, strong slide. As he pumped me, I sobbed silently and contemplated not only my second white man of the afternoon but for all time.

When Silas fucked me again in his dorm room on the afternoon we'd agreed to, he used the black leather belt sling, which he called a plow belt, again, holding my hips to his pelvis, his cock buried in my channel, and the small of my back supported by the sling. The weight of my body was supported on the blanket covering his bed by my shoulder blades and the back of my head. The second fuck was as glorious as the first one was.

On our third assignation, Silas wasn't in his room. Mr. Winterberry was there instead, sittin' on Silas's bed, a bunch of photographs fanned out in his hand.

I looked down. They were of Silas fuckin' me in this room two afternoons previously.

'I don't really think Florida State would be happy with these photographs. Do you, Antoine?' Mr. Winterberry asked.

'You bastard,' I muttered under my breath.

'I didn't hear that answer, Antoine. Would you care to repeat it - and, by the way, I think I know a way out of this - if I'm in the mood. So, what was your answer?'

'No, sir, I guess they wouldn't like it,' I answered through clinched teeth.

'As I said, the Agency actually could use young men like you. I happen to head up a special unit myself. I think I could find a place for you. And it pays well. And I think we might even be able to get you out to California for those Olympic trials. Of course, you'd have to say you were interested. Or you could just walk out of here and do it on your own; see what might happen. Or - '

'I'm interested,' I whispered. The possibility of still getting to the Olympics was the kicker. I lived and breathed swimming competition. I'd made a mistake here, but there seemed to be a door still open to me.

'What was that? I didn't hear your response,' Sam Winterberry said. He was smilin' that smile and unbuttonin' his shirt.

'I said I was interested,' I said in a little louder voice, trying to keep the anger and frustration and belligerence out of it. I knew when I was whipped.

'Well, we can talk about it,' Winterberry said as he stood and dropped his trousers. 'Strip for me please and lay on the edge of the bed. And spread your legs for me.'

As I could have guessed, I wasn't at the Olympic swim trials in September. In September I was back here myself in training at the Farm and two Septembers after that, when the trials came up again, I was deep in the south of Colombia in the compound of the Colombian drug cartel kingpin Estaban Delgado and bound to a sling in his special room and being fucked relentlessly by Delgado.

The only pleasant memories I had from my recruitment into what was informally called the candy store - beyond the fuckings I got from Silas Collins - was seeing the confrontation between Collins and Winterberry outside the dorms when I hobbled outside after being fucked by Winterberry. Collins grabbed Winterberry by the shirt front, and they had a bit of a row, ending in Winterberry being decked onto his butt by Collins and Collins declarin' that he was finished with his 'duty' at the Farm and goin' back into South America unless the Agency didn't want his services any more.


We had to go through three checkpoints, each cut through close-packed rolls of concertina wire, before we were able to enter the Nahr al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp near Lebanon's border with Israel. It was difficult to think that in just two days Israeli tanks would be cutting through these defenses like they were butter and blasting the hell out of the camp - but Silas had told me that the security measures here were more to keep the refugees in the camp than the Israelis out. I leaned across the aisle in the old school bus and tapped him on the thigh, almost having to scream for him to be able to hear me over the sputtering of the engine and the creaking of metal in the bus as it lurched from one pothole - mortar shell hole, really - to another.

'How many are on the list?' I asked.

'Sixty-five names,' Silas yelled back.

'How many does this bus hold?'

'I think we can wedge in thirty-five. What, Seth?'

Silas Collins was looking sharply at me. He knew that I hadn't liked the idea of this from the beginning, the futility of it. I could appreciate the heroic effort he was making, but it all seemed to be so 'too late and not enough.' Sending out a broken-down bus with seats for only half of those on the list seemed to illustrate the futility of this perfectly.

'What, Seth?' he said again.

'What do we tell the thirty-sixth person, Silas? And more important, what do we tell our colleague, the son of the thirty-sixth person?'

'It's just a hope list, Seth, you know that. There won't be thirty-five relatives of our Palestinian operatives who will be willing to go with us - not even with the personal letters we have begging them to leave. Half of them aren't even here anymore - and two-thirds of those who are still here won't believe the Israelis will really attack the camp. How can I tell them it's going to happen because the Israelis have already given us the date and time it's going to happen?'

'So, this is more so we can feel good about it, then?' I yelled back. I was third-generation American. I never knew until now, right at this moment, how much of Palestine was still in my blood.

'No, this is so we can tell our colleagues we tried and not be lying to them. What choice do we have, Seth?' Silas shot back. 'We do what we can. The rest is in the hands of the gods.'

And of course Silas Collins was right. We only found nineteen Palestinian refugees, in three families, who were willing to get on the bus in the trust that their faraway relative who worked for the Americans in some unspoken way somewhere beyond the Levant knew what was best for them. Seeing the conditions in the camp, the filthy-covered narrow dirt streets between makeshift hovels and the lack of sanitation and safe water use, made me wonder why they didn't all jump at the chance to get out of here. But to them this was their land, and they were afraid that if they ever left it, they would never get back to it.

But to my surprise - Silas always had yet one more surprise for me - he had come prepared for not being able to fill the bus with those listed. We stayed there in the camp, almost beyond the time allotted to us, until Silas had found someone willing to fill all of the empty seats in the bus, and he'd come prepared with primitive, but effective, means to document each and every one of them as someone whose name was on the original list so that we all could get back through the checkpoints and to Beirut, where they were put on a small ship to be smuggled into Cyprus and somehow resent somewhere safer in the world from there.

There would only be three of our Palestinian colleagues that night who would think America had done enough 'give back' to them for the intelligence services they were rendering. But Silas would say that three was better than none.

And just as the Israelis had warned us, they invaded and flattened the Nahr al-Bared camp as a hotbed of terrorists just two days later.

Imagine my surprise after we managed to get back to Beirut without being gunned down between all of the independent armies stretched out between Nahr al-Bared and the Lebanese capital when Silas told me this wasn't the mission I'd been called to Lebanon to carry out.

* * * *

'Hi, Seth, how's tricks?'

With this cheery statement, Silas Collins, the man who had changed my life forever, walked back into my life two weeks before the mission to the Lebanese camp. I was sitting in the embassy canteen in Amman, Jordan, and he just greeted me for the doorway and came over and sat down beside me.

He was as intimidating and arousing as he had been on that night back at the Farm in Williamsburg when my life had taken a totally unexpected turn. And, typical of the impression I had built up of Silas in the intervening months, there was no 'I'm sorry' or 'Has it been too, too difficult?'

Because of Silas, because he had come into my bed during the Agency physical training course and demonstrated for the hidden cameras that I was legally unfit for Agency employment, I had had no choice but to take the only offer that didn't push me out on the street with, essentially, a dishonorable discharge. I had become part of the Agency's 'special' unit, informally known as the candy store, and, although not dishonorably separated from the Agency, I now was called on to use my body in the service of intelligence on demand.

So far it hadn't been too onerous - I was a regular agent doing a regular job when my special 'talent' wasn't needed - but I sure as hell wondered what happened after this, where my Agency career went when I no longer was desirable to men.

And here, sitting by me, was the man who had engineered my 'coming out' while still in basic training. There was nothing else to do in these circumstances than take him back to my Amman apartment and let him fuck me silly.

'I'm sorry, I hope this didn't jam you up too much,' Silas said when we were in my apartment, which, of course, threw my whole built-up perceptions of him a kilter. We had stopped just inside the door, and he was standing close to me and running the backs of his fingers across the hair on my forearm. I shivered. Somehow he instinctively knew that was a turn-on for me.

There it was. The apology he hadn't made back in the canteen. I hadn't known we'd end up fucking when we were going to my apartment. I thought maybe there'd just be a confrontation of some sort. But now he had apologized. And now I knew this would end up with his cock inside me.

'I hope you realize they have me by the shorthairs too,' he continued, 'and I don't think you would have gone long at all without being outed. If you really want to be in the Agency, this may have been your only choice.'

I didn't tell him it was OK. I couldn't go that far, even though I've thought it all out myself and I knew he was right. There was just something about them photographing it and him knowing and me not. That plow belt. I'd never done it like that. Somehow that made it different, wanton. Even though I'd melted to it.

'Can I fix you something to drink?' I stammered out.

'Not now, not yet,' he answered in a low, husky voice. 'Maybe later. If there's a later. If you want there to be a now.'

I shivered under his touch on my arm, and when I raised my face to him, he was there, ready to take my lips in his. And I let him.

In the bedroom, as we were slowly undressing and neatly folding our clothes - just as we'd been taught in basic training - he opened the gym bag he had with him and took out the black leather belt sling. Probably the same one he'd had in Williamsburg.

He held it up and gave me a questioning look.

I gulped and answered in a quavering voice. 'Yes, please.'

I was laying on my back on the edge of the bed, the plow belt stretched out under the small of my back, my legs spread and raised, and he was crouched between my legs. He worked my cock and lathered up my hole while working his cock up until he was ready. Then he rolled a condom on his cock, and as I gasped and groaned, he worked himself up into my ass.

When Silas was fully impaled, he grabbed each end of the sling by the hand holds, and brought me up by the small of my back, as he stood tall. I was arched back, with my shoulder blades and the back of my head resting on the bed and my hands fisting up bunches of the bedspread on either side, as, holding my midsection up to his pelvis, he, at first slowly and then more rapidly, plowed me deep.

Afterward, we had that drink I'd offered him previously. Then I was stretched out on the sofa in the living room and he, his body under mine at a full stretch and embracing me, masturbated me to a second climax.

'What are you doing in Amman?' I murmured as he relentless stroked me off.

'I came for you.'

'Aren't you assigned to South America? Aren't you working Colombia?'

'Yeah, sometimes. But this time I came for you.'

'For me? I don't understand.' For a brief moment I thought he was saying that he had chosen me, had decided to come live with me. But that hope was quickly dashed.

'We have a 'special' assignment, you and I,' he whispered in my ear.

'But the station here - ?'

'Has been informed, and you are now assigned to work with me until I return you.'

'But . . . but where? What?'

'Lebanon,' he said, answering the first question. He didn't answer the second question, because then I was writhing under his attention, close to coming.

'I'm going to come,' I struggled out with a gasp. For me that was a warning.

'Yes, yes you are,' Silas said. From him, it was a statement of fact.

* * * *

'That wasn't it?' I asked incredulously. 'Pulling what Palestinian asset relatives we could out of the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp before it was wiped out by the Israelis wasn't the mission?'

'No,' Silas said. 'The mission we were sent to do is just beginning.'

We were sitting at an outdoor café on the Beirut corniche, enjoying a late morning coffee and brandy, joining the world of Beirut in utter disinterest that internecine warfare was going on all around the capital and that we were living a brief fantasy of Parisian-like life before the inevitable destruction.

'But, what we just did? Pulling the Palestinians out of the camp?'

'Off the books. Favors called in. I was coming this way anyway.'

'And Beirut station?'

'Doesn't even know about it.'

'God, Silas.' And that was all I could say for a few minutes. When I was able go on, I continued, in a low, intense voice, 'You live dangerously, buddy. You may not last long in the Agency.'

'Probably not,' Silas answered. 'But I make my own choices.'

'Back to the hotel,' I said in a husky voice. 'I want to go back to the hotel now.'

Once inside our room, I undressed him and pushed him onto his back on the bed, and I crouched over him. I kissed him then, followed by moving down his body and kissing down his sternum and belly and through his pubic hair. And then I possessed his cock in my mouth and made love to him that had him groaning and moaning. And, for that brief time, I made him all mine.

And then, as he came off the bed and opened the door to the nightstand and pulled out the black plow belt and held it up for me to see - and then use . . . then I was his.

* * * *

'So, this is it, then,' Silas said as we stood in front of the innocuous-looking storefront in a busy Beirut market. 'You know what you are to do?'

'Yes,' I said. 'We want to know when and where his next shipment of cannabis is coming from the Beqaa Valley. And I have two weeks to find out.'

'Yes, and you know I'll be working on the same information from another angle. Remember, it must be this shipment. This shipment pays for the arms we don't want delivered.'

'Got it,' I said. 'But how will I know he even wants me?'

'He's already picked you out of a catalog. All we had to do was make all of the other choices significantly inferior. And that wasn't hard to do, as alluring as you are.'

'Silas . . .' I started to say, and then I paused.

'Yes?' he asked.

'Oh, nothing. Let's go on in and get this started.' I just wasn't brave enough to tell Silas what I thought of him, how much I wanted him - how important it was that he was here for my first really risky candy store operation.

A clerk met us inside the storefront. He was young and willowy, dark complexioned with black hair and eyes and eyelashes that were much too long and curly for a man. His eyes latched on Silas and got wide as saucers when we came in. He possibly had never seen a man this tall and well built and muscle hard this close up.

The clerk went behind a curtain at the rear of the store to report our presence, and then he came back and asked us to sit and wait for a few minutes. The clerk looked shyly at me from time to time, but his attention was mostly riveted on Silas, who had sat down and taken a sketch pad and a pencil out of his shoulder bag and was drawing something there. He occasionally looked up at the clerk, so I got the impression that the clerk was who he was sketching.

After a little while - Silas always worked quickly and expertly and with bold strokes in his artwork - he tore the sheet off of the pad and, with a smile, leaned over and gave it to the clerk.

The clerk melted on the spot. He blushed and looked down and seemed very confused and embarrassed, which I thought was a bit much of a reaction to a quick sketch of him. He looked up, with a gleam in his eye, and started to say something to Silas, but just then we heard a clap from the other side of the curtain, and the clerk bounded up and motioned for us to go through the curtain into a rug-lined and pillow bedecked room. The merchant himself, somewhat roly-poly but all smiles, was sitting on pillows beside a low, bronze tray-topped table.

Nearly an hour later, Silas's roundabout discussions with the merchant came to a head.

'Yes, yes, very nice, Mr. Roper,' the meaty merchant in his flowing robes was saying as he put his cup of Turkish coffee down on the brass tray. 'A two-week's lease, yes?'

'Yes, two weeks, as already agreed,' Silas, posing as Mr. Roper, French pimp for the day, said. He was sitting next to the Lebanese importer, Rashid Khoury, in the room curtained off from Khoury's main shop area. Khoury's young clerk was standing where the curtain was flapped up between the two spaces and staring wide-eyed at Silas.

I, trying to appear as demure as possible, was standing beside the table where they were taking coffee. I was completely naked, Silas's hand cupping one of my butt cheeks.

It was all part of the transaction, where the merchant decided whether he wanted me for two weeks in his bed at the price he had agreed to with who he thought was just a high-class French pimp.

'It's a high price, and two weeks is a long time,' Khoury said. 'What if, upon trial, I decide I don't want him, that he doesn't please me?'

'Once paid, I cannot make refunds,' Silas said, in perfect Parisian French. And then he smiled and leaned closer into Khoury. 'But I am so sure you will like him that I'm willing to give you an hour free, now. If you like him, he will stay. If not, I will take him away, no charge. But, of course, I will not supply another if you turn this one down.'

Khoury sat there, contemplating.

'Of course . . .' Silas said, almost as an afterthought, and then stopped and smiled a little smile.

'Of course what?' Khoury asked.

'While you are enjoying your free introduction, I should be permitted to try your sweet little clerk here. Perhaps I might then make an offer of my own.'

The clerk gasped and immediately began trembling. He, however, did not withdraw or voice any objection.

Silas knew that Khoury was fucking the lad; Silas had cased the circumstances here quite well. Placing me in Khoury's bed was only half of the candy store plan. At the same time Silas planned to take the clerk and twist him to Silas's purposes. If anything, the information we needed would be easier to extract from the clerk than from the merchant.

The merchant led me behind yet another curtain into what obviously were his private living quarters. There were a few veiled women in that room, but Khoury motioned them away and they scattered to the winds.

He was easy to handle. Just from his inspection in the other room, he'd almost gone beyond the pale. He ejaculated on my inner thigh even before he could enter me, missionary style, on the edge of his many-pillowed, low bed.

I pretended it hadn't happened, though, and drew him down on top of me, as if I had to work him into arousal for the first time. I embraced him and offered my lips to him, and then I nudged him to stand, between my legs, at the edge of the bed, and I made love to his cock, bringing him to some semblance of hard again without too much time elapsing.

When he entered me this time, I arched my back and cried out as if he was splitting me, almost as if I was virginal - although that would have been a hard tale to sell - and I writhed under him and groaned and grunted as if he was a magnificent lover. I buried my nails in his back and cried out that I'd never, ever been taken so well, and when he came again, I jerked and lurched and sobbed my undoing.

I either convinced him that I was in love with his cocking, or he was good at convincing himself. In any event, there seemed no question that our two-week use deal was settled.

When I returned to the middle curtain chamber to let 'Mr. Roper' know that the arrangement was settled, he was still occupied with the wide-eyed small clerk. Silas was standing, half crouched, in the middle of the room, naked, and the gasping and groaning clerk was plastered to his pelvis, his torso arched away from Silas, and suspended by the black plow belt held tightly under the small of his back. His eyes were swimming in cum, and I assumed that he was already well into his second fill-up. Regardless, he was obviously Silas's now for whatever information Silas could wring from him in fuckings over the next two weeks while his master was otherwise occupied with me.

After accompanying Silas through the outer shop area and to the street, I turned to come back to the inner rooms. My eyes caught the sheet of paper on the top of the desk where the clerk had been sitting while we waited upon Khoury. It was the sketch Silas had drawn earlier. I picked it up and then smiled. The sketch wasn't just of the clerk; it was of the clerk and Silas, both naked, and Silas fucking the clerk using his black leather belt sling. I laughed at his directness, which, in this case, had worked to his advantage. The clerk no doubt had fairly climbed Silas's legs and thrust his channel on Silas's cock when given the chance after being prepared like this. I had told myself that Silas used bold strokes in his artwork. But it didn't stop there. Silas used bold strokes in everything he did in life.

* * * *

The caravan entered the pass through the Anti-Lebanon Mountains near dawn not more than two days after Rashid Khoury reluctantly gave up his two-week lease on my ass canal, having repeatedly, but to no avail, tried to renew the lease and even to buy me outright.

I'd been good to him, and he had been good to me. I had managed to extract from him the timing and route of the cannabis caravan out of the Beqaa Valley and to his warehouse outside Beirut, where the drugs would be exchanged for guns to feed the terrorist cells in the valley. The information I had received had matched what Silas had simultaneously been fucking out of the very willing clerk.

I pitied Khoury when he tried to telephone through to the number 'Mr. Roper' left him to beg for more services. The number went to the religious council offices of the national mosque.

Wearing stolen Syrian army uniforms, those of the forces that struck the greatest fear into the lives of Lebanese living any distance from the border with Israel, our little band of Agency operatives swooped down on the caravan. Those driving the World War II-vintage jeeps loaded down with sacks of the drug, scattered like geese as soon as they saw us descending the slopes of the pass on either side of them, making as much fearsome noise as we could.

We burned the drugs, jeeps and all, right where they stood, using the flame throwers we'd brought for that purpose. It wasn't our concern that the debris would block the road until the metal cooled and could be hauled to the side. It was part of our message to the drug and terrorist gangs running seemingly unchecked in this region. Life here would never again be the same - as safe as it had been - as long as they kept shipping drugs out of the valley to support terrorism.

At the same time we were flaming the drugs thirty miles from Beirut, Rashid Khoury's warehouse at the edge of Beirut was being raided by the second half of our team. This was actually a dicier operation, as we wanted the guns intact and functional for our own use in operations world wide wherever an untraceable gun would be useful. But we were lucky there, in that to assuage his frustration at my leaving, Khoury had taken his clerk off on a fuck holiday to Tripoli and none of the men he'd left behind could think for himself. The guns were taken without casualties on either side.

Two days later we were back in Amman and in my bed, and Silas was making thick and deep love to me through the night.

When I awoke, he was gone, leaving only a message.

'Again, sorry,' it said. 'You are better without me.'

I cried for the first time since my mother had died. It was not the choice I would have made.


I didn't volunteer to be in any sort of action triangle. In fact, I didn't volunteer to be out here in the Colombia scrub jungle at all, ready to put my ass - quite literally - on the line to capture this Emilio Delgado drug lord dude. I didn't owe any explanations or apologies or anything to Ward Spano. It wasn't my choice to be out here, and it wasn't my choice to be out here with Silas Collins. And it certainly wasn't my choice when Ward happened on Silas fucking me in his tent, me suspended in front of him by that black leather belt sling of his he called a plow belt and him just fucking away in me.

I wouldn't have been out here at all if Silas hadn't seduced me back during basic training at the Farm. And I'm sorry if I couldn't resist giving in to Silas whenever he wanted me. Ward could just keep his judgmental looks to himself. I didn't ask him to stumble in on what Silas was doing to me while we were out here waiting for the signal to start this snatch-and-drag operation on Delgado.

Complicating all of this was that I saw the looks Silas gave Ward. And I saw the sketches Silas drew of him fucking Ward. So, there was no secret what was going on there. As far as I could tell, though, Ward seemed oblivious to Silas's wants, and I never saw a hint that they were doing it. If they were, Ward was certainly a good actor. Ward wasn't part of this operation, really - not like Silas and I were. He wasn't from the special 'candy store' unit that I was. He was just muscle at the point of snatch. I, Paulo, was the one who had to take all of the heat as the bait in this. And they'd let me know that Emilio Delgado was rough and into bondage. That wasn't something to look forward to. But, then Silas's plow belt certainly was arousing - I was more filled and worked with a cock using that than any other way I'd ever had it - and I thought using was getting into bondage. When he used that on me, I certainly wasn't going anywhere until he was done. So, a little bit of it was all right.

But none of this tense triangle stuff was of my choosing - I didn't care if Silas went off and fucked Ward's brains out. Although it would be nice if he kept a piece of himself for me too. And we didn't need any of this extra melodrama in this operation. Snatching Delgado and getting him out of Colombia from under the noses of not only his own bodyguards but the Colombian police he had paid off as well would be rough enough without all of this side tension.

'Paulo. Paulo, are you with us?'

I snapped out of my reverie and looked up at Silas, crouched across the tree stump from me where the group of us were powwowing over the operational plans.

'Yes, Silas. I'm here. As always. I'm right here.'

The go-ahead had finally come in from Langley, and Silas was explaining the plans to me. As was no surprise to me, the initial plans were all me and Silas.

* * * *

The hardest part of the operation for Silas was getting a gig at the Valpariso, Emilio Delgado's favorite bar in Florencia, the closest city to his well-guarded compound in Colombia's rural Caqueta Province. The roughest part for me came later, under the domination of Emilio Delgado.

As always, Silas did his part quickly and with panache. We just walked into the Valpariso bar one afternoon, and, after standing drinks for us at the bar, he walked over to the baby grand at the edge of the dance floor and started playing pop tunes that are favored for background music in smoky bars. The owner was in the place, as Silas had known he would be - indeed had timed our visit for - and by the time he took note of Silas's playing and thought he'd do well as a backup to a singer, Silas motioned me over, and it just happened that my voice could blend in perfectly with a couple of songs it seemed like Silas just pulled out of the air.

And the bar owner couldn't restrain himself from noted that we were both hot lookers and wouldn't hurt his business any. He asked Silas if we'd do trade on the side, and Silas just smiled, ready to say yes if it got our foot in the door, but he didn't have to do more than smile to get the man's hopes up.

'Sure, I can come around tonight and we can play some for your patrons, my friend and I can,' Silas was saying. 'But we're kind of tired and don't have anything to do this afternoon - and we heard you had some rooms upstairs. Maybe in exchange for some entertainment tonight . . .'

The bar owner took the bait and this wasn't just any bar. This was a men's bar with rooms above for when men wanted to be men with other men.

The owner looked us over real well and close again, and his eyes narrowed, and he said, 'I might have a room in an hour or two. But it's a pretty special room. If you and your nice little friend here are interested in making a little cash, I could pay you 200,000 pesos to use our special room for a couple of hours this afternoon.' He then winked at Silas, but he didn't need to. Silas was rather hoping that this offer would be made - counting on it, actually. And he'd already checked out that Emilio Delgado was in town. At this moment, Ward was sitting outside the building where Delgado kept a town office and had seen him enter the building.

Twenty minutes later Delgado came out of his office, accompanied by a phalanx of burly bodyguards, all in black suits and polished shoes, dark sunglasses, and something bulky under their armpits inside their suit jackets.

They roared off in an Escalade SUV toward town, and ten minutes later yet another of Silas's operatives saw the SUV drive up to the door of the Valpariso and dispense the fast-walking Delgado and two of the bodyguards.

A half hour later Silas and I were naked in the middle of the special room that had been provided for us on the Valpariso's second floor, and Silas was putting on a Grade A fuck show for several sets of eyes peering through several eyeholes drilled in the walls connection the two rooms on either side to the special room.

I took my time sucking Silas big while sitting on the edge of the bed with him standing between my legs arching his pelvis toward my face. While sucking on his bulb and flicking his piss slit with my tongue, I ran my hands over his chest and six pack and thighs and buttocks, showing all of the paying voyeurs the bar owner had managed to collect in the time given - including, most importantly, Emilio Delgado - just how hard and cut Silas was. All the time I was pulling on my own cock as well.

After a good fifteen minutes of this, Silas pulled his hips back and pushed me down on my back on the bed. The black leather belt sling was already stretched out on the edge of the bed where I went down on the small of my back. Silas knelt between my spread legs and placed the palms of his hands under my buttocks and rolled my pelvis up. His mouth went to my balls and then down to my hole as I pulled slowly on my cock. And then he raised his mouth and took possession of my cock and sucked and pumped me with his mouth as I writhed and groaned and moaned under his attention.

Silas had never done this to me before. He'd never blown me, although I certainly had sucked him. I was loving it, dangerous show or not. And it wasn't long before I had cupped his head in my hands and tried to push him away, gasping that I was going to come if he didn't stop. And he didn't stop, and my jerks and cries and writhings at and beyond my climax were in no way an act for the voyeur's pleasure.

Silas stood after I had ejaculated, turned to the nightstand beside the bed, took up one of several condom packets there, and slowly rolled it on his tool, showing to all of the eyeholes in the wall that he barely was able to cover enough of his cock to make it matter.

And then he walked back between my legs and slowly worked his way into my ass canal, with me putting on quite a show of being split asunder and tasked almost to my limit, this too being only slightly an act. When he was fully sheathed, he grasped the two end handles of the plow belt and lifted my pelvis up to him, arching my back to where my shoulder blades and head were digging into the bed cover and my legs just dangled down on either side of his hips, and he pumped me hard and deep and fast and at great length, until I felt him jerk and quiver and fill out the balloon of his condom.

He pulled out of me, rolled the condom off, and dropped it to the floor as he leaned over my body and possessed my mouth with his. His lips then traveled down my torso, lingering at my nipples and my belly button, and then, in a display of his strength, he was standing and pulling my cock into his mouth, with me bearing my weight on my shoulder blades and head again, and him wishboning my legs out - giving the gallery a great view of his strength and control. I moaned and grasped the bed cover up in my fists as he worked my cock up to bursting again and drained me dry.

Silas stepped away from the edge of the bed and dropped my legs, and I just sank to my knees there between the bed and his legs and gave his dick suck again, this time Silas cupping my head in his hands and working my face back and forth on his cock, making me take him deep.

Another condom, and Silas pulled me into the center of the room, crouched between my legs from behind, forcing me up on my toes as his cock slid up into my channel once more. He whipped the plow belt around my belly, and I was upended and suspended in air, my torso and arms dangling down to the ground, as he walked around the room with me suspended, impaled on his cock, in front of him, and him using alternating pressure and release on the belt to fuck me on his cock.

When we were done, Silas stretched me out on the bed. He was about to join me, when the door to the room opened a large crack, and the bar owner murmured something to catch Silas's attention, and Silas went over to the door. There were mutterings of haggling, with Silas first looking angry and then more haggling.

Silas came back to the bed and leaned down and whispered to me.

'We've got Delgado hooked. He wants to fuck you. But we have to make this look good. You try to struggle up and I'll backhand you and you lay back on the bed, stunned.'

He did, and I did, and I didn't have to act stunned.

And then Silas was out of the room and Delgado and two goons were there. Delgado stripped off his trousers and briefs and unbuttoned his shirt while his two goons bound me with black leather strappings they brought into the room with them. It was just one apparatus, really. A long strap that went around my neck, where there was padding for the back of my neck. The strap came out to my legs on either end and ended in bindings for my ankles, so that, when it was set up, my legs were stretched out and up, with the pressure on the back of my neck. There were wrist bindings on the strap down each side near the ankle bindings as well, so that when the goons were finished, I was trussed up, my legs spread-eagled, my wrists pinioned, and my hole waving in the air.

Delgado proceeded to fill my hole with his cock, though, in a brutal thrust right after availing himself of another one of the condoms from the top of the nightstand. He didn't have nearly the trouble getting the condom to cover his engorged cock that Silas did, but his length and thickness were nothing to sneeze at.

I struggled, trying to roll away from him, knowing it was futile, but also knowing that this was what Delgado liked. And he backhanded me, and I rewarded him with whimpers and groans while he made quick work of my ass. While he fucked me hard and deep, he had his hands around my neck, choking me. He'd apply pressure until I almost blacked out and then relieve it. I could tell this gave him a special charge of arousal. I had also been told that this was how he said good-bye to lovers he grew tired of, and I resolved that I would do everything in my power to keep him interested in me until that was no longer necessary.

When he was done, he pulled away and redressed, the goons released me from the apparatus, and all three of them were gone as quickly as they had burst into the room to begin with.

'How much was my ass worth?' I murmured to Silas when he came in to help me back full-length on the bed and came down beside me and gathered me in his arms.

'300,000 pesos,' Silas whispered. 'The bar owner assured me that that was top peso with Delgado. Let's only hope that he likes you enough to take you home tonight or tomorrow. We need the name of that ship the drugs are on before next Monday.'

We rested then, but not for long. Soon Silas was lifting my leg and sliding into me while we were on our sides, my butt folded into his crotch, and he was plumbing my depths once more. I turned my face to his and we went into a long, lingering kiss. If there still were voyeurs, they were getting a completely different perspective on our lovemaking. But, to tell the truth, I didn't care if anyone was watching or not.

We performed on the Valpariso stage that night, and as well received as Silas's piano playing and even, surprisingly enough to me, my singing, was, what really made a hit was what Silas did between song sets. He'd brought his sketch pad and, to the delight, of many of the patrons, he dashed off sketches of those in the bar and handed them to the delighted men. He was at his flattering best in depicting them, and our tip jar was quickly overflowing. Delgado and his two goons were there too, sitting very close to the piano, with Delgado giving me 'the stare' the whole time, which, professionally, suited me just fine - and I vamped for him to heighten his interest.

Silas made to sketch Delgado, but, predictably, at his signal his two goons made threatening moves and Silas desisted. What they didn't know, however, was that Silas had already sketched the two goons surreptitiously and that these sketches would be scanned and faxed back to the States overnight for identification and filing.

At the end of a set, around 1:00 AM, Silas leaned over to me and whispered, 'I think they are in position. I saw some movement back there. It's time you took a leak break. Remember, your contact on the inside is Teo. He's serves at meals and changes the linens, so you should be able to talk to him alone several times a day. Just let him know when you know the name of the ship the drugs are on and have cleared out the safe in Emilio's office. Somewhere near the west wall of the compound around midnight. And try to let him know if you have to get out of there quick before getting the information.'

'Got it,' I said. I'd had it for several days. It had been beating in my head. So much easier to say than to do.

I leaned into the mike and murmured that our next set would start in fifteen minutes and that after that, if they wanted to see the piano player and me in action upstairs, they should make arrangements with the bar owner. I was pleased to note that there was a hubbub going through the crowd at that point and craning of necks to eyeball where the bar owner was perched.

I looked down at Delgado. His eyes were slitted and there was a little smile on his face. I had no doubt that I wouldn't be performing upstairs that night.

I turned and walked back into the corridor toward the men's room. I was barely out of the sightline from the main room of the bar, when two bulky men in black suits were grabbing me. One slapped a gloved hand over my mouth and nose, and I was nearly suffocated by the time I'd been hustled out to a dark-colored van and tossed into the back on a heavily carpeted floor. I was fighting for breath so hard that I put up no resistance - even if I had had the intention to do so - while the two goons stripped me and slammed me onto my back and bound me off with straps cuffing my wrists and ankles in a spread-eagle position tied off to four corners of the back of the van. In short order, Delgado and his other two goons had come out of the Valpariso and we were on the road, traveling for some time and distance into the heart of the drug region of Caqueta Province.

While he traveled, Delgado came into the back of the van; stripped; knelt between my legs, raising my pelvis up; and fucked and choked me until he had filled me and I passed out. When I came to, he repeated the process. Obviously I pleased him greatly.

There isn't all that much to say about the next three days except that Teo already knew the name of the ship with the drug shipment bound for the States with six-months supply of the Delgado cartel supply on it, and I managed to get Delgado's safe open and all of the interesting records and name files therein photographed and passed to Teo between bound brutal fuckings in Delgado's own version of a special room.

Somehow I managed to keep him interested in trying new toys and positions with me, and when I whispered to him one evening that I'd show him something special if he took me for a midnight fuck swim in the swimming pool near the compound's western wall, he bit on the idea. He didn't get his special fuck, though, he got a shot of something that put him right out, while the lone bodyguard he'd brought along in his too-trusting mistake was being quietly dispatched by Ward's trusty Ek commando knife in the bushes by the pool.

We were away and half way to the coast before Emilio's brother, Estaban, raised the alarm at the disappearance of Emilio. The paid-off provincial police officers arrived soon thereafter, but the manhunt they launched encompassed the major airports in the region, not the sleepy little fishing village of Timbiqu, where we were keeping the three launches that took us and our precious cargo, a kingpin of Colombian drug cartels, out to an innocuous fishing boat headed up for Baja California, where debriefing would take place in a special Mexican prison, far away from the stringent laws of the United States.

I might have felt a little sorry for Emilio - except for what I had suffered at his hands the three days he had worked his little bondage and S&M fantasies on me. Still, in hindsight I knew I should not have told Silas what I had endured. If I hadn't, maybe Silas would not have done what he did and life would not have turned out as it did for Silas.

Because Baja California and the Mexican prison was not Plan A for the delivery of Emilio. He was supposed to go to San Diego, on U.S. soil.

The first I knew of the change of plans - barely an hour after Silas had debriefed me on my three days in the Delgado compound - was when I came up to the wheelhouse of the fishing boat and Silas had Sam Winterberry, chief of the Agency's 'special' unit, and Ted Talbot, chief of the South America Division, on speaker phone from their cushy, safe offices in Langley.

'Request denied.' There was a lot of static in the sound coming from the open mike, but I knew that to be Ted Talbot's voice.

'I don't see that we really have any choice,' Silas said back into the mike. 'We're taking on water pretty bad. It's a leaky tub.'

I looked out the side windows to the choppy waves the little fishing boat was efficiently chugging through. I saw nothing wrong in how the boat was riding on the water.

'Well, do what you can to get to San Diego,' the other voice, that of Sam Winterberry, chirped back. I could tell he was ticked. His voice had an edge to it.

'Mexico was never really approved,' Talbot chimed in. 'You kept referring to it as Plan B and set something up down there without keeping us fully informed. But we want the subject back here, on U.S. soil.'

'I'll try,' Silas said, 'But I don't . . . uh oh, one of the engines just stopped. I'm not sure we can even make it into Mexican waters. And I'll have to sign off and go see whether anyone is working on it.'

Again, I was confused. I didn't hear anything wrong with the engines. Silas turned to me, winked, gave me a mischievous smile, and motioned me over to him. I went to him, and he stood close behind me and wrapped his free arm around me. With that hand, he started unbuttoning my shirt. I wedged the back of my head in the hollow of his neck and sighed. It was so good to be back where I wanted to be. My shirt open now, his hand went down under the waistband of my shorts.

'Collins,' Winterberry was yelling through the static over the intercom.

Silas laid the mike down on its side beside equipment that didn't enjoy the interaction of the radio waves and started complaining in dense static.

'Silas,' Talbot joined in.

But all they got back was static, because Silas had already stripped off my shorts and briefs and I was leaning over the dash below the window screen of the wheel room and was lowering my channel on his erect phallus for the first of several 'welcome home' fucks.

As I lifted my head in gut response to a cock entering my gut, I noticed movement in my peripheral vision. A green shirt over cutoff jeans. That was Ward, if I wasn't mistaken. I have no idea what he saw of Silas mounting me, if anything, but there wasn't anything I could do about that. Whatever was going on between Ward and Silas was their thing, not mine.

Of course our 'broken down' and 'limping' little fishing boat only made it to the prearranged landing on the coast of Baja California, where Silas's friends in Mexican intelligence were delighted to receive the drug cartel chief they too had been hunting for years and who they believed was responsible for several bloody operations against Mexican antidrug government officials in Mexico City. Silas was more than happy to let them have a go at Emilio before what was left of him was turned over to the Americans.

Once again Silas had made his own choice.


It seemed like only yesterday we were here in the Delgado's southern Colombia compound, snatching Emilio Delgado. That had gone smoothly, with the only feathers being ruffled being those back at Langley. But that was more than a year ago, and this was now. And this time it hadn't gone smoothly at all.

No, not at all.

I stood there, in the spotlights up in the trees on a moonless night next to the swimming pool in the Delgado compound, listening for the last few shots of what had been a prolonged gun battle to gain entrance to the compound. And I was staring down at the body of Antoine Johnson floating face down in Delgado's pool. He was naked, but as far as I could tell there were no bullet holes in his brown little swimmer's body.

He'd gotten his wish, gone out where he'd loved best, in a swimming pool. But whether this was his choice or Delgado's choice, I didn't know. I'd probably never know. But, just for the hell of it, I'd assume it was Delgado. And not just Delgado. Some of my own folks had a hand in it too. Sam Winterberry, head of the candy store unit, of course, and then there was Ted Talbot, chief of South American Division. But then, there was me too. If it hadn't been for me, Antoine wouldn't be here. Well, that wasn't true. He might have been here anyway. If I hadn't recruited him, Winterberry may have found someone else to do it. But the truth is that I did do it. And not just to him.

The sound on my handheld was crackling, and I lifted it to my ear.


'Silas? That you, Silas? What the hell are you doing in the Delgado compound? Get out of there and like now!'

'We weren't after him, Ted,' I answered, having recognized Ted Talbot's voice. He no doubt was in his Langley office with his feet up on the desk. 'Johnson gave us the extraction call; we were doing what we told him we'd do when he couldn't take it in here anymore. But we were too late. Johnson is dead.'

'Johnson? We sent in a candy store agent? Who in the hell approved that? I sure didn't. What in Hades are you doing out of Bogotá at all. You had strict orders.'

'How did you even know we were in the Delgado compound, Ted?' I said. I was gripping the handheld so hard, I was afraid it would crumble. A lot of things were beginning to crumble. 'Why are you calling me and not chief of station Bogotá calling me?' I continued. And just for good measure I added, 'The plan two years ago was to close down the Delgados completely, Ted. Why this sudden interest in why I'm working on doing just that? COS Bogotá seems to think it's a good idea. I didn't get the memo on the change on that, Ted.'

'Get your ass back to Bogotá and report to the COS, Silas,' Ted growled down the line. 'And you'd better be out of that compound when Estaban Delgado returns. Oh, and bring Johnson's body out too. Don't want that left there.'

'How did you know Estaban wasn't here?' I screamed back into the phone. But it was already dead. Just the way he referred to Antoine's body - like he was no more than a nuisance - just about sent me over the edge.

It's true. This operation hadn't been cleared up to Langley, but the COS Bogotá had given me his blessing under the table. He couldn't understand any more than I did why we weren't taking Estaban Delgado out. We'd grabbed his brother Emilio, who, unfortunately for the question askers in Langley, had died in Mexico before he could be handed over to the Americans. But the Mexicans did deliver a lot of good intelligence they'd wrung out of him on huge-scale movements of drugs from South America into North America.

So, why weren't we taking down Estaban, his brother, and successor as Delgado drug cartel kingpin? Why the pussyfooting around Estaban?

And this operation hadn't been about Estaban anyway. It had been about extracting one of our own from his compound. We'd sent Antoine Johnson in there as candy - as a sex object for Estaban to play with while Antoine was picking up all of the intelligence on the Delgado operation that he could. And Johnson had signaled, as arranged, that he had to get out. And that's all I was doing. We had owed Johnson that. I owed him so much more.

We even waited until we saw Estaban and some of his goons drive out for a night on the town in Florencia in an Escalade. All I wanted was to do what was right, what was agreed, for Johnson.

And there he was, floating face down in the Delgados' swimming pool.

After Ted had cut me off on the handheld, I had a pretty good idea where everything stood. I knew what the choices were, and none of them was good.

I turned to the young man beside me.

'You got the gist of that, Ward,' I asked. My voice was choking up. The one man I wanted in my bed, and the one man I did not have the nerve to try to seduce. I could try, but it would destroy me if he turned me down. There was no evidence that he liked men at all. I just couldn't take it if he turned me down. I'd only continued working this shitty job for the past year to be near him. And now I had to send him away.

'Yes,' he answered grimly. 'I think I get it. What do we do now?'

'We don't do anything now, Ward. Nobody, including COS Bogotá knows you were on this raid. You need to return to Mexico City, and I mean right now. You need to turn around and go out into the clearing and take one of the jeeps and drive in the opposite direction of Bogotá and get your ass out of this operation altogether. This operation is poison now. I'm poison.'

'But, I don't - '

'Not another word, Ward. Get out of here. Get out of my life. I'm screwed. And standing here and looking down at the floating body of a young man who I started on the road to this swimming pool death, I could do almost anything from this point. I don't want to take anyone down with me.'

Ward gave me a look, the first look he'd ever given me that showed that there might, at one time, have been something going for us. But that was then and this was now.

I had made my choice.

I turned away and when I turned back, Ward was gone.

And then I gathered my men about me and we started the bumpy-road journey back to the capital and to the office of chief of station Bogotá.


'Silas's Choice.'

'Say what?' Rocky Hansan asked.

'Silas's Choice,' I repeated. 'You are offering me the same options you offered Silas Collins three years ago. Did you realize that?'

'Of course not,' the chief of the Near East Division said. 'Farthest thing from our minds.' But he looked out of his fifth-floor window at the unexpected April snow falling on his view of the Northern Virginia countryside, marred by an expanse of parking lot and a water tower, but being made less institutional by the quickly building blanket of white. He couldn't look at me. He was lying. Certainly he knew. And there was no coincidence at all in the offer. Silas and I had been too close. I'd done nothing, but Silas had angered them with his choice, and they were going to systematically deep six all of his friends in the organization. This was what they did.

On appearances, they were both cushy assignments, and there was nothing in my record that would disqualify me for a cushy assignment. I'd been working for them for ten years now, following graduate school and the most rigorous boot camp training course you could imagine. And I had laid my life on the line repeatedly and always brought home the goods.

I could either take Amman station or stay here in Langley and head up the personality files for the terrorism center. The latter would even come with a promotion. The promotion was window dressing, though. The files job was a pasture assignment, a dead end, a signal to all that I was no longer a player or needed to know much of anything. And the Amman station was open because the man who took the job because Silas wouldn't was dead. The public story was that he'd been killed in a stray robbery while taking a couple of visitors to the ancient cliff-city ruins of Petra. But the truth was that he had come out in the open and had been recognized by the opposition and had been eliminated.

So, these were my choices - the same choice they had given Silas - either be neutralized and sidelined for the remainder of the eighteen years I'd have to serve before qualifying for early retirement at fifty, or roll the dice in the Mideast. And, like Silas, my expertise was in South America. I could tell when a Colombian was ready to pull a pin by the look of his eyes. I'd been trained to do that. I had no idea how to read an Arab. The last, departed Amman station chief had been transferred from South America too.

For the thousandth time since Silas had made his choice I wondered why he had chosen to do what he did. Maybe it was time to find out.

'How soon would I have to decide, Rocky?' I asked as I rose from the supergrade upholstered chair in front of his supergrade wooden desk and edged toward the door of his supergrade sixteen-by-sixteen office, with its two supergrade windows and partitions that went all of the way to the ceiling. That was the real perk - partitions that were actually walls. I'd get one just like it if I took the files job, but my door would empty out into the corridor, whereas his was connected to that of a deputy director. Of course, if I took Amman, maybe all I'd get was a magazine of Uzi bullets, delivered one by one.

'You've got some time coming to you from the Asuncion operation,' Rocky said. 'Done very well, I understand, by the way. That's what Ted tells me. Say two weeks. Come on back in, in say, a month from today. I'm sure you will want some time with your wife. If you take the terrorism center job, of course, you can settle down here.'

Sharon. Right, I thought. Sharon would be just pleased as punch to have me home in Oakton again and riding a nine-to-five job. She'd be just as thrilled as Ted would be, especially since he sent me to Asuncion in the first place to ease him into getting his dick inside Sharon. Sharon and the Oakton house were history, either way.

* * * *

It took me three days to track down Silas's whereabouts, using all of the connections I had, which didn't include those of my employers. I didn't want them to know I was doing this. If they found out, even those two choices would evaporate. And then it took four days of talking through intermediaries to get Silas to agree to see me and to arrange a connection point. This, even though we had been like lips and teeth in Brazil and Colombia for five years. We had covered each other's backs and squared off against the world so many times and in such trying conditions that I had been more married to Silas than to Sharon. And yet he had just told me to walk away and leave him, in the middle of an Op going sour - when he should have needed me most if he respected me as an agent. It was time for some explanations regardless of the 'Silas's choices' I'd been offered.

Silas was fifteen years my senior. He was already a specialist in staying alive and getting the job done in South America when I was assigned to his operations, trained in everything including suicide, but with absolutely no notion of bringing all of the training off in the real world. He had been a Marine before joining the outfit, and he'd probably always be a tightly wound Marine. But he was something rare as well. He was a Renaissance man. He had a photographic memory and a brilliant mind, and he could have made a success of himself as either a fine artist or a concert pianist. He was equally at home in the drug-producing hidden farms of the Amazon basin and the diplomatic drawing rooms, and, by the way the diplomatic wives fell all over him, it was obvious that he wore a tuxedo extremely well.

His memory and artistry were of particular help to our operations. We didn't have to fool with cameras - or with explaining why we brought cameras to a drug buy. We could return to the embassy weeks after a meeting, and Silas could still provide a sketch of everyone he'd met, no matter how briefly, that identified the person better than a photograph would have. Silas had taught me everything I knew about the business, but I'd never know half of what he did on the day he walked away from it all.

So, I went looking for Silas. I was surprised, but not totally surprised, when I got directions to fly into Seville, Spain, and then to book a car from there and drive to a resort on the Mediterranean near Barcelona. I knew that Silas loved the sea and beaches. I could picture him stretched out on the sand of a Costa Dorada beach. I only gave brief thought to why I wasn't just flying into Barcelona - but I knew that Silas never did anything directly. That might be why he was still alive.

Still, I was surprised when I was met at the Seville airport. Silas himself didn't meet me. I was pulled out of the arrivals line just beyond passport control by a young, dark, and handsome man of slight stature and big, engaging, white-toothed smile. He was holding a sketch of me that made me look like a blond movie star stud and that only could have been drawn by Silas. The young man also had a letter from Silas introducing him and telling me to go with him - and the letter contained a code of authenticity that Silas and I had used in the past. So, I went with the man in an elegant, if old, Mercedes sedan, accepting that he had already taken care of the reservations I'd made for a car and hotel room.

Three years and Silas could still do a sketch that a nice young Spanish guy could recognize as me. Except he wasn't a Spanish guy at all - and that surprised me as well, but I should have been able to figure it out. He spoke to me in Portuguese, knowing full well, apparently, that I was conversant in that language, as I had to be to operate in Brazil. And he warned me when we were about to leave the airport that it was almost a four-hour drive to where we were going, and he headed due west - for Portugal. Everyone I had talked to who seemed to have any inkling of where Silas had landed thought he was in Spain. But, of course, with his background in Brazil and Portuguese - and the care that he took to protect himself - it made sense that he was in Portugal instead.

It clicked that even his annuity paymasters would believe he was in Spain. He was smart enough to know that you didn't just walk away from the outfit as he had and not expect to be facing open season - from vengeful enemies and jilted friends alike. As we drove into Portugal, my anger at the difficulty to get him to see me dissipated. Under the circumstances, I guess it was significant that he would agree to see me at all, since I was still - at least for now - with the outfit.

Whatever secrecy Silas was living under, though, didn't transfer to the young man he had sent to pick me up at the airport. He affably told me his name was Marcello, that he was barely twenty, and that he was Silas's houseboy. He also told me, even though I didn't ask, that we were headed toward a seaside village in Portugal's southern coastal Algarve district, where Silas had a cliffside villa; that Silas was reclusive and had become a famous artist in the region, although no one knew who he was; and that he was the best, most generous employer in all of the Algarve. That did sound like the Silas I knew. Marcello was a particularly winsome lad, olive skinned and handsome figured. He was not more than five and a half feet tall, but he was lithe and well proportioned, and that smile of his and his open good humor were winners.

I barely realized we were at Silas's place before we were on top of it - almost literally on top of it. As we approached the Portuguese coast, we were riding along the top of a cliff, where I occasionally could see paths going down to isolated, pristine beaches tucked away between sheer cliffs tumbling down to the Gulf of Cadiz. I saw a sign saying it was seven kilometers to Albufeira, but within two kilometers, Marcello turned the old Mercedes hard to the left in the middle of a stretch of sheer stuccoed rock wall with razor wire running along the top of it and we were sitting in the front of a set of massive iron gates. Marcello activated a remote control on his dashboard and the gates swung open and brought us to a second set of gates in yet another wall. Silas apparently wasn't leaving his past to chance.

Then we were gliding along the top of the cliffs again, rolling toward the sea. And when it looked like he would just drive right over the edge, Marcello pulled the Mercedes to a stop, popped the trunk, hopped out, and started to carry my suitcase down a path leading below the cliff edge that I wouldn't even have known was there before he approached it.

We were looking down on the villa as we descended the path. It was u-shaped around a stone-floored terrace that hung out over yet another cliff edge suspended over a fairly wide and white-sand beach. The calm, sky-blue of the small pool in the center of the courtyard contrasted with the pounding of the azure surf far below at the base of the cliff that had spurs coming down at the corners of the property on each side that isolated the beach area.

'Mr. Salazar regrets that he isn't home at present,' Marcello was merrily saying as he led me down to a small forecourt in front of what proved to be a two-story house that was only attached to the land side by this small entrance court, which was, in fact a stone bridge that crossed a moated area. The only windows on this side of the building were set high and had strong iron bars on them. 'He says that you'll want to sleep for several hours after your plane ride. He'll see you at dinner on the terrace at 8:00 PM.'

'Mr. Salazar?' I asked. And then I figured it out. That obviously was who Silas Collins was here in his Portuguese hideout. But perhaps he had not been Silas Collins originally either. Maybe the Silas I knew was just one phase of a multichambered life set off in chunks by bars just like these windows were, or like the measures were set off in that music he played on the piano.

Marcello gave me a brief tour of the villa. It didn't take long. We entered a large foyer at the western corner of the arm of the building that ran parallel to the edge of the cliff. I could tell at a glance that the building was constructed for defense. The walls were thick, the windows here were small and high on the northern and western walls, and the two doors leading from the foyer on the first floor, one on the eastern wall and the other one on the southern wall, were heavy wood reinforced with iron mountings and studs. A graceful iron winding staircase went up to the second floor. Marcello told me the door on the southern wall went into Silas's private rooms, but I wasn't shown those. The first room beyond the door on the western wall was a long living room-dining room area, with a kitchen beyond that in the northeast corner of this arm. All of these rooms had large, French doors that opened onto the central courtyard. The western arm of the building, Marcello told me, was where store rooms and the servants' quarters were located.

Then he took me up the stairs. The second floor only stretched across the arm of the building parallel to the sea. The first room, roughly two-thirds the length of the living-dining room below, was obviously Silas's workshop, as it was chockablock with canvases in various stages of completion and scattered painting supplies. Beyond this were two guest bedrooms and a bathroom. Again, as on the first floor, the only windows of any size faced the sea - but these windows were enormous. Doors from the second-floor landing in the foyer and from the most distant guest room led out onto broad balconies that stretched across the roofs of the two wings that reached out toward the sea.

Marcello guided me into the nearest bedroom, which directly overlooked the courtyard from French doors that led out onto somewhat flimsy-looking iron balconies. The one outside this window proved to be quite strong, however. The room was richly appointed in maroon and gold brocade on the windows and the corners of a canopy bed that was draped with a white gauzy mosquito net. The floor was of red terrazzo squares, and the only furniture in the room other than the massive bed was an equally massive armoire facing the bed and two sturdy Spanish-looking arm chairs.

Marcello left me then. When I heard him clomp down the stairs, I went back out into the studio to check on the impression I had gotten when I was ushered through that room. I had been right. Some of the paintings had covers over them, and I didn't look at those. But those I could see were shockingly arresting. Most of Silas's paintings were of young men. Naked young men. They were excellent, of course, but they were evocative and provocative. And they raised stirrings that I had been feeling for many years but had been fighting. I could not work where I did and have those sorts of feelings. But it also was hard to work for long periods of time under stressful situations with the type of men who did what I did - and had to keep themselves in the shape I had to keep myself in - and not have these types of feelings. I had long felt that a man had to be basically narcissistic and adventuresome and risk taking to be in the business I was in - and to survive.

All of the young men in the paintings were beautiful and were perfectly formed - or at least depicted as such. And it didn't take me long to realize that some of the paintings were of Marcello. Silas had captured his engaging, open, trusting smile perfectly as well as that teasing come hither look in his eyes.

The paintings were fascinating - and disturbing at the same time. Silas had been right, though, in assuming I would be exhausted after my plane trip. So, after a cursory glance at the paintings, I pulled myself away, took a long, cool shower and dropped, naked on the bed. As I drifted off to sleep, my mind was in a muddle. This was a side of Silas that perpetually confused me. Were the paintings just what sold well here or were they something Silas used for release, or did he paint these because he looked for the beauty in whatever he was painting? Perhaps his last series dealt with the beauty of misformed pumpkins. I did know that Silas fucked men. I'd seen him do in during an operation in Colombia.

I couldn't get those paintings out of my mind, and as I drifted toward sleep, my hand involuntarily traveled down my chest and across my thankfully still flat belly and found that I had engorged. And, as I had done countless times while hunched down in a jungle waiting for something to happen, I began to stroke myself. And to think of those paintings and of those young men in the paintings. And of Marcello. And at last, as I climaxed, more surprisingly - and honestly - of Silas himself.

The sun was almost directly parallel to the bed and sinking toward the horizon of the sea when I awoke. My hand was still wrapped around my cock, which was dormant now, but still a handful, and I had spilled my seed on my thighs in big globs. It had been some time since I'd gotten off, and I still felt horny from the memories of Silas's paintings. I could feel myself stirring again. But I would have to shower again before dinner, and there may not be time for me to indulge myself a second time. I wondered how long it would be before dinner. My alarm clock was in my kit in the bathroom, but neither it nor my watch was set to the local time, and I was too groggy to make the calculations. I knew, though, that I'd have to get up soon and shower again.

Then I heard it. Moaning and groaning. I wasn't so woozy that I didn't recognize that sound. Someone was being fucked and was enjoying it immensely. I rose from the bed and moved over to one of the French doors, which I had opened to the sea breezes before taking my nap. The sounds were coming from the courtyard just below me.

Their lovemaking was already well in progress. Marcello was on his back on top of a patio table, his head toward me and his legs stretched up and out toward the sea. He was gripping the edges of the table with his hands. Silas - a still-magnificently built Silas - was standing at the seaward edge of the table between Marcello's legs. Both were stark naked and heavily tanned. Silas was holding Marcello's legs up and out with his hands and his hips were moving in rhythm, as he split the young Portuguese houseboy with what I knew was a prize-winning cock.

Marcello was moaning and groaning in ecstasy. And as the rhythm of Silas's fucking increased in intensity, the young man began to give little cries of pleasure and was writhing around on the table top. His head flopped back and his eyes picked me out, standing right up against the open second-floor, full-length window - not intending to, but mesmerized by what I was watching. And he smiled for me that big, beautiful toothful smile and his eyes slitted, telling me how much he was enjoying the fuck. And acknowledging with that teasing smile of his that I seemed to be enjoying it too.

I should have withdrawn into the room and not made my presence felt or seen, but I was glued to the spot. And, involuntarily, one of my hands went to my rising cock and the other to my nipples.

As I watched, Silas leaned down into Marcello, heaving chest to heaving chest now, and he kissed the young man deeply on the mouth and then lowered his head and nipped and nuzzled at Marcello's nipples. Marcello was writhing under him and giving little chirping sounds. When Silas raised back up, he released his hands from Marcello's legs, leaving the young houseboy to hold them up on his own and took Marcello's hard cock in both hands and stroked him relentlessly until Marcello gave a little scream and ejaculated up onto his own chest.

Silas then lifted the lithe young man off the table and, while maintaining purchase of his cock deep inside Marcello, stood there on the courtyard stones, holding the younger man against him. He took a long black leather strap from the table top, and, wrapping that under Marcello's butt cheeks raised and lowered him on his prodigious tool by the action of his fists holding handles on each end of the strap. Marcello flung his arms around Silas's neck to hold himself in place and, between pants, put his mouth to Silas's ear and whispered something to him.

Silas turned then, never losing stride on pumping Marcello's tender ass on his tool, and looked up and, for the first time in three years, made eye contact with me. And there I stood, in full view, in a full-length, open window, naked and stroking myself and not being able to stop. I was fascinated by the rippling of Silas's arm and chest muscles as he worked his willing houseboy up and down on his pole. Silas's musculature and curly black chest hair had always held a fascination for me, and I had often found my dick dripping after watching him in action either in the gym or in the field. I just hadn't been smart or 'in tune' enough to make the conscious connection that Silas, another man, could be sexually arousing to me. I had just thought it was envy and had always doubled my own efforts to develop the muscles he had.

Marcello gave a little cry and a lurch and collapsed against Silas's chest, gasping for breath, as Silas undoubtedly flooded his insides with cum. I could tell from Marcello's twitching and the rhythm of his gasps that he was getting multiple gushings of Silas's seed. But Silas stroked on, still watching me with hooded eyes and a half smile - until I could take it no more and withdrew to the cool water of the shower - wondering if this is what I had come for. If my subconscious knew what I would find here - and welcomed it. I was confused and scared and excited and aroused all at the same time.

A shy and demure Marcello served us a calamari and salad dinner with excellent red wine by the pool on the terrace at 8:00 that evening as the sun went down. Silas was playing the welcoming host of a long-lost friend, and both he and Marcello were pretending that nothing had happened on this very patio table this afternoon and that I hadn't seen it and that they hadn't seen me or my revealing response to what was happening.

But Silas didn't maintain the pretense. Over brandy and his favorite Robusto Vegas de Tabacalera Esteli Premiem Cuban cigars afterward, he was as open as I would want him to be - in fact, more shockingly than I could ever have imagined.

'No, I didn't just resign and walk out on the job because of those two assignment choices I was given, Ward,' he said. 'The assignments and what they symbolized reflected where I was with the outfit, of course. I was disgusted with the red tape and the dumb decisions and them continually just hanging us out to dry and to survive as we could. And then giving us little pats on the hand when we brought home the bacon for them and acting like they could all do it just as well as we did. And my disgust was showing through and undoubtedly was what led to the assignments. But, no, it wasn't because of that. It was because of you.'

'Me?' I was incredulous. What had I done to alienate him. We'd been best buddies. I had worshipped him and would have done anything he told me to do, would have gone into the jaws of Hell just on his assurances that we could pull out of it - and I always believed he could get us out safe. And he always had. What had I done?

'I grew to love you, Ward. More - and much more dangerous than that - I wanted to have you. The urge was almost uncontrollable. And we couldn't have that in the outfit, could we?'

'Love me? Have me?' I still didn't get it. But he just sat there and looked at me with those sad eyes and it began to dawn on me. 'Oh.'

'So, I can't tell you what to do with the job offers, Ward. Because your situation isn't what mine was. For me, the third choice - just getting out and evaporating - increasingly became the only logical choice. As hard as just getting out is with those folks. They want to make the decision when a man's usefulness and the relationship is at an end.'

The hair was standing up on end on my head. I had never felt this way or been in a situation like this before. I was confused. Scared, confused, and aroused all at the same time. This was all just too new, going too fast. I couldn't speak. I couldn't have formed words even if I had known what to say. I certainly dared not say what was swimming around in my mind just now.

I looked up and Silas was giving me a long, hard stare. 'As I said, your situation isn't the same as mine. . . . Is it?'

It seemed to be a very important question, and there had been quite a pregnant pause before Silas had pinned the question down, almost as if this was a decisive point he was trying to make. But my tongue wasn't mine to control. I felt like I had cotton in my mouth. I could feel that I was slightly trembling and getting sweaty. Me, a hardened behind-the-lines, boots-on-the-ground agent, trembling and sweating at the mere thought of what could be and what a cataclysmic change doing what I was thinking of doing would be. I couldn't say a thing. I just sat there.

Silas watched me for a while and then he sighed.

'Gone but not forgotten, you know, Ward. The opposition has a long memory, and the outfit has an even longer one for those who disappoint it. So, I'd advise that you lock your door tonight. We're ever vigilant here. If you don't lock it, this could be the night something happens. I'm going to bed now. After breakfast, I'll have Marcello drive you back to Seville. I can't really tell you which choice to make. You have to make your own choices.' His voice had gotten a little hard - hard but, at the same time, sad. And I could feel a chasm opening between us. I wanted to scream for it to stop widening, but I just couldn't say it.

And then he was gone. Lights went on behind tightly curtained windows in the French doors of his wing of the house and I just sat there, watching the last pink and purple of the sunset fade out at the rim of the sea and the dotting of twinkling lights begin to glow along the sides of the cliffs to the west and east.

When I entered the foyer, I briefly paused at the door into Silas's rooms, desperately wanting to take up the conversation again, not wanting us to end on this note. But the closed, iron-studded doors looked just too daunting.

I was exhausted - and not only from the long plane journey - but I was reluctant to go to my room. Somehow, when I entered that room and closed and locked the door behind me I knew this would be a closing out on an important choice. I lingered in the art studio, drinking in the paintings of Marcello and of other beautiful, sexy young men. It was clear now that Silas had had more choices available to him than those the outfit offered and that he had gone for life rather than one form or other of death - or even of convention and safety. Having had my fill of the uncovered paintings, I moved on to those with coverings over them, still terrified at the thought of entering the bedroom and closing and locking that door, erasing for me the choice that Silas had hinted at, even if ever so remotely.

I uncovered one of the paintings and then staggered back in shock. I moved quickly around the room, uncovering the rest. And then I just collapsed on my haunches in the middle of the room and trembled as I drank them in. The paintings that had been covered - they were all of me - in the nude - and accurate down to the mole on my inner thigh. Silas had memorized my body from those years of working and living together in intimate circumstances. He was even more intimately aware of my body, amazingly so considering the distance in time and location that these must have been painted, than even I was. He had that little up curve of my shaft just below the mushroom cap just right, a characteristic I previously had not been fully aware of myself. And that small chameleon I had impulsively had tattooed on the small of my back one drunken night in Bogotá was something he'd seen and memorized that I myself would never get a good look at. He had made me look like a real, alluring . . . stud - and maybe in his eyes I was.

The most arresting painting, the one that took my breath away, was a big one on an easel right in front of where I was sitting. Whereas most of the paintings in the room were of solo subjects, this one included both me and . . . Silas - in an intimate embrace. We were facing each other and I was reclining back on something that Silas hadn't chosen to graphically depict, no doubt wanting all of the attention to go to our bodies. We were nearly pelvis to pelvis, him inside my spread thighs. But we were on a bit of an angle and there was enough of a separation to see that he had his cock buried inside my ass. He wasn't all the way in, and I could feel the heat inside me rise, as my eyes were glued to the root of his cock and those bulbous balls of his resting against my thigh, suspended in time, intending to bottom inside me but never destined to do it.

At the back of the studio, in the corner, I found a two-paneled painting. In the left-hand panel of what was obviously the first tableau of a continuation in time, Silas and I were in a rowboat on an expanse of water, with no land in sight. I was sitting on one bench at the bow of the boat and Silas was kneeling on another bench toward the stern. I was sucking Silas off. In the next painting, I had laid my torso back in the boat, with my head resting on where the gunwales met at the bow. I was still sitting on the bench, but my arms and legs were draped over the gunwales on each side and Silas was kneeling between my legs in the bottom of the boat and his cock was nearly totally buried in my channel and he had his hands covering on my chest, covering my nipples. The expression on both of our faces was one of matched total passion and being lost in our shared form of paradise.

Yet another painting aroused me even more, especially because I remembered Silas taking a young man that way back when we were working together - when I was conflicted in my feelings for him myself - and had seen the same position with Marcello earlier this afternoon. It was the two of us again. And he was using that black leather belt sling I'd seen him use before. My body was lifted off the ground, suspended in front of Silas, and my buttocks connected at his pelvis, by a sling cupping my belly and holding me to him, him fisting the edges of the belt, which would give him leverage to raise and lower me on his cock. The expression on both of our faces revealed the utter depths of lust and passion.

I willed my eyes to pull away from that painting, but that only pulled my attention to the previous painting. I was trembling and feeling an arousal I've never felt before. My eyes traveled up Silas's well-muscled torso, and a little jolt of desire went through me as I saw the curling of the black hair on his chest, trailing down in a wide band across his belly and into his pubic hair.

I wanted Silas. I probably always had wanted him. The realization came as a shock. But it came as full-blown knowledge that I had always wanted Silas - embracing me, possessing me with his cock, the two of us united in a single being. I remembered now how much pleasure I'd always had at seeing Silas bare chested. That curly black hair and that beefy musculature. All man. I'd always thought it was just admiration for a perfect man. But, if I was prepared to be honest with myself, I now had to admit that it had been more than that - even then, back on the Amazon.

The answer was in how Silas had drawn our faces. Intent on the fuck, lost in each other, our eyes glued to each other's. Just the two of us. Just the two of us, as one, against the world, blotting the world out as we melded and made love to each other.

I couldn't take it anymore; I raised up off my haunches and lurched into the bedroom.

I didn't even think about it when I got to my room, but this was when I made my choice. I left the door unlocked; I didn't even close it. I searched the room, in the closet and through all the drawers. Somehow I knew it would be there. And it was. In one of the bottom drawers of the bureau. The black leather belt sling - one of Silas's plow belts. I hadn't misinterpreted the hints. Silas had planted this, just in case I understood what he said - and wanted the same thing he was telling me he wanted. I took the plow belt out and very carefully laid it under the bed. I had no idea - no real hope - that he'd ever use it on me. But I felt somehow closer to him, and more fully aroused by the thought of him just to have it there, under the bed.

Then I stripped and showered and opened the French doors to the cool sea breezes and lay spread-eagled and naked on my belly on the bed under the netting, silently sobbing myself to sleep. Damning myself for not having found voice to answer Silas on the terrace - to respond to him. Why couldn't I cross that chasm? What choices, really, was the outside world offering me?

Ever the professional in tradecraft, Silas had entered the room and my bed without my being aware he was there. I heard no telltale breathing, saw no flickering shadows, didn't sense the pulling aside of the netting. And as heavy as he was, he was stretched out full length hovering over me one knees and elbows before I sensed his presence.

The first thing I felt was that monster cock of his in the small of my back. That in itself was enough for me to involuntarily emit a moan. And then he was encasing me, closely, from above. His hairy barrel chest on my shoulder blades, his strong thighs encasing mine, my arms being pinned to my side with his.

He put his lips to my ear and whispered to me. 'You left your door open.'


'I want you. You know I want you.'


'Have you ever . . . before . . .?'

'No.' He couldn't have missed the trembling in my voice when I answered thusly.

A pause.

'I don't know if I can keep myself from . . . ,' he whispered.

'Then don't.'

'Then don't what?'

'Don't keep yourself from fucking me. I've made my decision. I left the door open. I knew what that meant. I'm totally open to you.'

A sharp intake of breath. 'But I want you hard and deep and all night.'


'I'll try to be gentle - until we are sure that you can . . .'

'Please.' I turned my mouth to his then and we kissed deeply. I could feel his need stroking the small of my back. 'Don't hold back. Take me completely. Take me as completely as I saw you take Marcello. Take me like you take me in your paintings. I want the pain of it. I want to know that a cock - your cock - possesses me fully.'

I heard his deep moan, an almost animal sound coming up from deep inside him. And, although very much afraid, I was glad that I had said what I did.

He rose off me then and kissed down my shoulder blades and my back and across my butt cheeks and he had his face in my crack. I moaned and writhed in a newly found ecstasy, as he attacked me with his tongue and slipped his hand between my legs and pulled my dick back through my thighs and alternated stroking it with his hand and lowering his mouth to it and giving it special attention.

I came almost immediately. And he laughed softly and whispered to me that this was quite natural on the first time. And that I was young and virile and he could make me come again and again and again. And I sighed, believing him.

He spent a good half hour preparing me, opening me to him with his tongue and lotion and his fingers, all the time me telling him just to do it, that I wanted him inside me. And when he entered me, he did it slowly, gauging his insertion to my gasps turning to moaning, waiting at each level for the nature of the moaning to change from pain to pleasure and then sinking a bit lower. The worst part was the entry of that huge mushroom cap of his, and then, as the rest of his throbbing dick followed, I felt like I was being split by a telephone pole. He was so, so big. I grunted and cried, and he whispered soothing words to me.

He said he would stop if I wanted. I knew neither one of us wanted that, though, and told him so.

He kissed me and said I was doing great and that I was so, so nice, and that he had dreamed of doing this for years, that he could hardly keep his hands off me during that last operation in Colombia. I felt myself being stretched to the limit, but just when I thought I'd be torn and was ready to cry out that I couldn't go further, my walls would expand, and he could go in another half inch. He had me up on my knees under him, but my legs began to feel like jelly. His strong hand went to my belly then, and he held me there, giving me the support I needed to stay with him. Another half inch in, and I no longer was panting. I felt myself going flush.

'Breathe, breathe,' he was whispering insistently. 'You're holding your breath. You'll black out.' He somehow felt that we were beyond some turning point, and I felt him starting to rock back on his knees and he was taking me with him. And we were in a sitting position now and I was above him and sliding down on his pole. Deeper, deeper, but it wasn't a battle of half inches now. I was well lubed, and the thickest part of him was well inside and I was taking him deeper. At length he had bottomed.

'Nine inches. Nine thick inches,' he was murmuring to me. 'That's good. You can take it. You're tough and healthy and supple. I knew you could take it. Oh, how I've wanted this. For years. And you came to me in the end.'

And then he was pulling my legs up with hands under my thighs, and I had adjusted to him enough for him to start stroking, which he did at increasing rapidity and depth, moving my butt up and down on his pole as I had seen him do to Marcello earlier in the day as he stood and Marcello clung to his midsection. He had maintained his strength and muscle tone these past three years. I felt the muscles of his pecs tighten and loosen on my shoulder blades as he raised and lowered me, and I thrilled at his body working for me, a thrill that shot through me to my nerve endings. This was what I wanted. I wanted Silas, forever. And I hadn't even known it until now. I opened more to him, and he could feel the tension draining from me, my encasing walls making love to his cock now. I could feel him tremble to the ecstasy of the fuck.

I was stroking myself as he moved me up and down on his tool, and I came again with a lurch and a gasping exclamation from me and a satisfied low laugh from Silas. Then he rotated me back onto my belly on the bed, and, his pelvis plastered to my buttocks, began to move himself inside me by moving his pelvis up and down and sideways and in a rotating fashion on me. I moaned and panted and cried for his deep fucking. My walls undulated around his moving tool, and he was moaning now too.

I came a third time before his first ejaculation. But by his third plowing of the night, me on my back on the bed with my pelvis rolled up and him hunched over me, spreading my legs with his hands, and fucking hard and fast down into me, I was becoming able to time myself more closely to him. I was a fast learner, and he was an extraordinary teacher. He always had been. I just had never been aware of the full breadth of his talents.

He let me sleep then, in his arms, for a couple of hours. When my eyes opened, shortly before dawn, I could see that he had his eyes trained on my face and they had a perplexed look about them.

'I hope . . . I hope I didn't presume too much,' he whispered when he saw I was awake. 'I didn't want to hurt you . . . or make you do anything you weren't comfortable doing.'

'I want something else from you,' I responded in a hesitant voice.

'Name it, anything,' Silas whispered. 'I wouldn't for the world want to force you to - '

'Under the bed. Just here, below the mattress. I want that. Just like in one of the paintings, just like with Marcello yesterday afternoon.'

I heard Silas draw in his breath deep when he ran his arm under the mattress and came up with the plow belt. His eyes were full of surprise and lust when he turned them on me again and held the belt up.

'I didn't . . .' he started to say, but then couldn't complete his sentence.

'I found it,' I answered in a low voice. 'No, I saw you using it on Marcello and I saw your painting of me - of you fucking me with it - and I went looking for it. That's when I knew for sure I wanted you to fuck me like that. I made my choice before you entered the room. It wasn't just the open door. I want all of it. I want this.'

He drew me out of the bed and carried me to the center of the room, and the fucking he gave me as I was suspended like a rag doll from the sling holding me to him by the belly and impaled on his pumping cock was the best and most fulfilling cocking I got that night. Long after dawn, after waking me and taking me yet again in a vigorous, passion-exploding side split, he left me, exhausted and sighing, unable to close my legs, saying that preparations needed to be made for my trip to Seville.

Marcello was serving a late breakfast by the pool to Silas three days later when he took a phone call from the authorities in Barcelona, Spain, regretting to report that a vacationing American government official, one Ward Spano, had been incinerated two days earlier in what appeared to be a random terrorist suicide bomb attack on a car park in Barcelona and that when he had entered the country he had left this telephone number in Portugal as his contact number. Where should they send the ashes, if they could differentiate which were specifically his? The voice on the other end of the line didn't sound all that surprised - or concerned, for that matter. Terrorist bombings had become rather common on the Iberian Peninsula. The voice on the line sounded like my affiliation with the Agency was known.

This was a common end to those in our business. And it fit in with the choices my Agency managers had had for me anyway. A loose end clipped; an annuity saved.

Silas and I were having a good chuckle over my recent fiery demise when Marcello returned and refilled our coffee cups. During that night of my glorious first taking by Silas we had plotted my departure from the scene so that, perhaps, my service would write 'well gone' on my personnel folder and be happily rid of me. The following day Marcello had driven me off to Spain, he to deliver the payoffs to those who could make me disappear, and me to make my presence known in preparation for my fiery death. Making plans like this was what Silas and I were good at. As far as anyone knew anyway I had been at a resort near Barcelona since I'd entered Spain. Marcello had one of his lovers, someone who looked much like me, take the car I had hired from the Seville airport and drive it to Barcelona and claim my hotel reservations. I was in Barcelona, not in Portugal.

That evening, as my ashes were being shipped to my unfaithful wife in Virginia, I was down on the terrace, by the pool, sliding back and forth on Silas's cock as he belt sling fucked me before we both plunged into the pool.


I was laying there on my bed, naked and working my cock in my hand. I was breathing hard. Watching Silas work on Marcello like that made me breathe hard, made me hard all over. That was because I knew when Silas was finished with Marcello, he would do me, in the same way. And then it would be on the bed for all three of us in a free-for-all that I never in a million years would have imagined I would want to participate in before I'd come to Portugal. Not just Silas fucking both of us, but me fucking Marcello while Silas fucked me.

Silas was standing in the middle of the room, naked, and working the magic of his plow belt on a groaning Marcello. Marcello was bent over in the middle, suspended on that sling, legs and arms dangling toward the floor, while Silas worked him up and down on his cock impaling Marcello's channel from behind with the pressure he applied or released on the sling.

I wanted that. I wanted that too. Each time Silas did that to me, I wanted it again - right then, right away. And I could hardly wait in my arousal to be worked on Silas's cock just as Marcello was now being fucked.

My time with the plow belt would not come tonight, though.

Siren's started going off all over Silas's elaborately secured compound. The windows were lit up like it was day by the searchlights that snapped on all over the upper grounds, and we heard the ominous thud of two of the mines going off inside the perimeter of the outer wall, up near the road.

I looked at Silas in shock as we all reached for our shorts.

'Guns?' I cried out. 'Where do you keep the guns?'

'No, not that,' Silas growled as Marcello ran out of the room.

'What choice is there?' I asked. 'It must be a full-scale assault. Someone has figured it all out. We can at least make a stand.'

'There are always choices. I always have choices,' Silas answered, as he took my arm and guided me out into his art studio.

* * * *

'Where are they? Where could they have gotten to?' the commando, his face charcoaled and his body swathed in the night-time camouflage that had served no purpose in the floodlit compound. Estaban Delgado was not a happy man. This was all planned so well, and most of the plans had just fizzled. They'd taken the wrong flowers to the funeral. And he'd already lost three men to the mines they'd stepped on while coming over the first compound wall. Delgado wasn't in the mood for hide and seek.

'Where in the shit are they?'

'They were just here,' said the American at his side as he reached down and picked up the black leather belt sling that had been dropped in the center of the floor of the bedroom they were in. 'This sling is still warm, and this is a signature for Silas Collins. He's still alive and so is Ward Spano, and I'm sure they were both here. They couldn't have gotten very far.'

'You promised me. You promised me Collins's head,' Delgado spit out. 'You said the seizing and murder of my brother, Emilio, was all a mistake - all his doing, all Silas going off the reservation. And then he tried to do it again. To me. You promised me.'

'And you can have him,' Ted Talbot answered. 'I found out where he was holed up and led you here, didn't I? He's got to be around the compound somewhere. He's yours. Just find him.'

The two squared off, ready to spit more venom at each other, but their attention was arrested by a whirring sound, and they both rushed to the French doors to the little balcony looking over the villa's pool terrace in time to see a small helicopter lifting off of the beach down below the short cliff.

Just then one of the soldiers burst into the room to report they'd found a tunnel leading under the house and down to the beach.

Estaban started to raise his submachine gun, but Talbot stayed his hand.

'Not a chance of hitting that copter now,' he said. And what he'd said was quite true. As the helicopter had lifted off, it banked sharply out over the water and already was turning and heading up the coast toward Spain.

'Pretty hard to hide a helicopter,' Talbot said. 'Don't worry. I keep my promises. We'll track it down. Maybe we can have someone there to greet it when it lands.'

All eyes were trained on the sky, watching the helicopter appear to grow smaller and smaller and smaller as it whirred up the coast.

This was all as planned - not only the diversion of watching the helicopter being flown by Marcello but also not noticing that the sound of the helicopter blades was covering the putting of the engine on the small motorboat Silas and Ward were using to spin along the waves in the opposite direction up the coast of the Gulf of Cadiz to Silas's nearby backup hideout.

'What do we do now?' Ward asked as he settled down between Silas's thighs behind the speedboat's steering wheel. He could feel the hardness of Silas's cock in the small of his back.

'Well, in just a few minutes, I'm going to hove to and give you a fucking like I've never done before. God, that brought on the adrenaline. I'd forgotten how arousing operations could be. I've gotta fuck something right now.'

Ward laughed. 'That's fine with me. But what then?'

'We always have choices, Ward,' Silas said. 'We'll always be just a step or two ahead of them - until we're not. But until then, we'll always have choices. Do you fancy France or the Azores? Silas, he's always got choices.'

Some choices come before other choices, though. If Delgado and Talbot had night-vision binoculars and trained them west across the water rather than east in the direction of the long-gone helicopter, they might have seen the little speedboat dancing in the water, with two legs draped over the gunwales at each side, and the hard-muscled butt cheeks of a hulking master cocker pistoning away between them. The sounds of the sea, of course, completely obliterated Ward's cries of passion at the lustful taking.



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