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relationship, then yes. Did you know that the calamus plant was often called  the sweet flag
and named after the river god Calamus who mourned for the drowning of his young male
lover? Whitman did. Poor Walt always vacillated over his own nature. Why do you think he
left the identity of  M a mystery? It is ironic that he and deMonde met again in quite
different circumstances several years later. But that is a story for another time. He shifted so
The Sweet Flag 63
that we faced each other.  I would rather not speak any further. He rubbed his cock against
mine and smiled.  I would rather use my mouth in a far more enjoyable manner. He
stopped rubbing, holding still while we both hardened in anticipation. He cocked his head.
 Silent, again, eh? You are an apt student and deserve a reward. What shall it be?
I grabbed his hand and curved his fingers around my dick, gripping his shoulder with
my other hand.  You know damn fucking well what I want. The same damn thing as you!
Fuck me!
And he chuckled softly.  Good answer. And I will not spare the rod for fear of spoiling
the student.
He crushed his fingers around me and squeezed.
And there was no more talking.
* * * * *
I awoke early the next day, at least compared with the past two nights. Ron lay on his
belly, his face turned to the side. Sometime during the night, he must have gotten up and
drawn the curtains, for the room still lay in darkness. I knew it was earlier though. There
was a sense of heat leading me to believe that the temperature outside had climbed, and
twilight hadn t arrived just yet. I shifted off the mattress, taking care not to disturb him, but
he didn t twitch. He didn t even respond to the loud rumbling of my stomach.
Damn, I was starving!
I pulled on my jeans and moved quietly down the stairs. There had to be something in
the kitchen I could grab. This time, I d prepare some food for both of us.
The kitchen had cost big bucks to fit in with the style of the townhouse and yet fulfill
all the requirements of a modern chef. Butcher-block worktable, marble counter tops, built-
in fridge concealed behind a front that blended in with the cabinets. And everything
immaculate as if they had seldom been used.
64 Jeanne Barrack
The contents of a refrigerator can tell a lot about a person. Ron s told me little because
there was little inside. Some salad greens from an earlier meal. A loaf of half-finished French
bread; an open, foil-wrapped stick of butter. A small wedge of cheese with one shallow gouge
cut from it. A clear decanter half-filled with amber liquid. The remnants of the meal from
the other night.
And nothing else.
Two condiment cruets sat on the counter, one containing olive oil, the other, vinegar. I
knew because I had tasted a drop from each the other day. No coffee, no tea. There was a jar
of honey on the small worktable in the center of the room. I opened the oven door of the
retro-styled gas range. Clean.
What the fuck?
Suddenly, I wasn t hungry. My appetite had left me, and my curiosity had returned
with a vengeance.
I reentered the parlor and went over to the roll top desk. Locked, of course. I attempted
to jimmy it open without any success. I tried a door leading, I presumed, to a basement. Also
locked. I felt above the doorframe, trying to find a key to unlock it.
 Don t strain yourself, mon ami. The key is not there. If you re looking for a way out,
try the front door.
Shit, that bastard moved like a ghost.
I turned around and faced him. Like myself, he was barefoot and shirtless. His jeans
were still unbuttoned, and the fly partially zipped. He shook his head, zipped up his fly, and
buttoned his jeans while I stammered like a choirboy caught sucking the choirmaster s cock.
 I was looking for some food. There s bloody nothing to eat in the fridge.
He laughed without mirth.
 And so you thought to find something in the desk or the basement?
He d seen me from the minute I d gone back into the parlor.
The Sweet Flag 65
Why the hell hadn t I seen him?
 Silent? He shook his head and tsked.  If you had checked the cupboards more
carefully, you would have found tuna fish and instant coffee. In the freezer are some steaks.
He sighed.  I haven t had a chance to shop for a while.
I didn t buy his explanation -- who could resist cooking in a kitchen like that? -- but I
couldn t think of a better one. I wondered if tuna, coffee, and steak would be the only things
I d find if I looked.
 I ll open the tuna, and you can have some with bread. I ll put the kettle on for the
coffee. I m sorry I have no milk. The last of it turned sour, and I dumped it. He went over to
the antique Victrola and unlocked the cabinet, chose a recording, and placed it on the
turntable.  While I prepare the food, why don t you sit back and enjoy some music. He
stood there for a moment, his eyes shut, listening in delight, then opened his eyes and
walked without another word into the kitchen.
The tinny sound couldn t completely disguise the quality of the baritone voice issuing
from the speaker.
I recognized the song -- Jerome Kern s  Old Man River from Showboat. A former
lover had been a dinner theater waiter. Three months of heartburn and four operettas and
musicals, but I did develop an interest in classic American shows. The period of history in
which Showboat was set was fascinating, and the story was a cut above anything before it.
I recognized incredible singing when I heard it. The performance was done as a solo
with piano and included an introduction and arrangement I d never heard before. The
recording came to an end, and I went over and lifted the needle from the record while the
disk continued to revolve silently.
 Did you enjoy the song? Ron s voice drifted back to me. I heard the kettle whistle,
and then he came into the room, carrying a tray with the tuna fish artfully arranged on a bed [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]