I look away as the young man pauses in his work and removes his shirt, baring his torso to the bright Caribbean sunshine. The sun is hot, but there is a light breeze that his tight white tee shirt has screened his sweaty back and chest from enjoying. This, I assume, is why he has removed his shirt in my backyard.

His muscles ripple as he bends and heaves the heavy bag of leaves to his broad shoulders and walks, crab-like with it to my front gate, dumping it there for the trash collection tomorrow morning. I try to get back to my work, but it is useless. My eyes follow him through the wall of windows around the house to my gate. I cannot tear them away from the muscled shoulders that taper into a strong back, narrow waist and pert buttocks. I wonder what he would look like emerging from my pool, beads of water clinging to that smooth chocolate-coloured skin, his short dreadlocks sending rivulets down his spine and along the undulating plane of his pecs.

I sigh. At 46 I’m old enough to be his father and it’s not safe to be openly gay in Jamaica. He’d probably curse me or beat me to a pulp if he knew that I wanted to lick the sweat off his body. I close my eyes, waiting for the image of him, emblazoned on my retinas, to fade. My cock stiffens as I do, and I sigh again. Writer’s block is a hell of a thing.

“Time to take a break and get a drink, Andrew,” I mutter to myself. “You should have taken to method acting instead, my boy. At least you’d have been good at it. You need to get into your characters’ heads and feel what they feel. Feel the killer’s hands as he watches his victim…”

I know that I must have been daydreaming because I realise that I do not know what has caused the young man outside to break into a sheet of local expletives. I wonder fleetingly if he saw me watching him, but dismiss that thought frantically since I was assured by my architect that these windows would not allow that.

Reluctantly brave, I go to check on him. My heartbeat stops again and I fight my body not to have an erection when I see him. He is so beautiful; so perfect as the protagonist in my next novel.

“Are you okay, Kevin?” I croak.

Smooth, Andrew! Pull yourself together.

“What’s the matter?” I try again.

My voice sounds more normal to me this time.

“Oh shit, Mr. Vereen! I need to get this off me!” he says brushing his skin wildly.

I stand like a deer stuck in the headlights.

“I don’t understand,” I manage finally.

Surely he couldn’t have meant that he wanted to remove his skin, and anything else was just too much to imagine at the moment.

‘It’s the cherry tree! I’m allergic! I always break out into a rash when cherry branches touch my skin!”

I look at him more closely and indeed, see a fine rash breaking out all over his torso and arms. I frown at him. If he knew this then why did he not say something before? My mind turns to blackmail immediately and I want to cry. The truth dawns on me that I am already in thrall to this young man.

“So if you knew that this would happen why did you try to trim the tree?” I exclaim.

“I didn’t think you’d believe me if I told you that. Many people don’t. I just wanted to do a good job for you but this is killing me!”

“Come!” I say grabbing his arm and pulling him toward the house. “Would a shower help?”

“Yes, please!” he sounds sorry for himself and it tears at my heart. I want him so much.

I lead him into my home and excuse myself as he undresses in the bathroom. I take the clothes that he hands to me around the door and leave him, to put them in the washer. Hell! I hold his briefs up for inspection. He really is naked in my home! I sniff his musk and sweat and wish, naughtily that he would catch me doing it. I giggle like a madman.

I hurry down the stairs to fulfil my task. It’s no use, he could never be interested in a short, portly, balding, middle-aged writer with an uncertain past. I’m only embarrassing myself to even dream of something happening between us.

I move between the utility room where I wash and dry his clothes, and my kitchen where I fix us a light meal of tuna salad and cornbread. He is mine, if for only an hour this afternoon, and I’m going to milk this fantasy all I can. I wonder if I should offer him some white wine, but decide that that smacks too much of romantic interest, and that I do not yet dare to confess.

I turn on the stereo and serve up a little light jazz-inspired reggae. It is classy, up-market music, but still reggae. I hope he will be impressed. It occurs to me suddenly that he might be a dancehall fan and I don’t have any of that in my collection! I think of finding a radio station somewhere and just using that as my background noise if the conversation falters.

I’m almost angrily disappointed that he doesn’t like jazz when it occurs to me how pathetic I’m being. I haven’t even asked him what he likes but I’m already disparaging his choices. Isn’t close-mindedness a sign of getting old? Ageing isn’t about numbers, it’s about attitude to life, I tell myself importantly. I feel younger for having thought of this by myself. I decide to just tell him that the radio is there and that he should select something. At least I’ll learn something about him if I allow him to do that I think cleverly.

I don’t realise how long I have spent preparing for our “date” and thinking about him until I hear my clock strike two. I’ve been here for nearly an hour! I grab his clothes, still warm from the drier and bolt upstairs to find him.

He turns when he hears me coming and smiles welcomingly at me. He has been browsing through a book from my shelf, his head bobbing slightly to the strains of some jazzed-up Marley. He’s wearing only a towel sarong that rides low on his hips and it is all that I can do not to reach for the knot in front.

“I was wondering where you were,” he says simply, but if he had said “Oh baby, come to bed now and let’s make love,” I couldn’t have been happier.

“I was looking at your paintings,” he says sounding slightly amused when I say nothing. “Interesting choices.”

His voice is gently challenging. My paintings are mainly of nude men; even the abstracts, so surely he knows what I am now if he didn’t suspect before.

He looks at me thoughtfully and then looks away quickly when I meet his eyes. In a way I’m disappointed because I want some sort of reaction from him. I comfort myself with the thought that at least he didn’t curse me, and remind myself that I did not expect anything from him at all.

“May I get dressed, Mr. Vereen?” he says after a while, and reaches for the clothes that I’m still holding.

I hand them to him; and as he takes them from me I would swear that his finger rubbed mine, deliberately. Well, I’d swear it if I hadn’t just been dreaming of it and so probably really did conjure the gesture.

He turns away from me and walks toward my powder room to change.

“Wait!” I shout, startling him, and myself. “How’s your skin? I-I mean, do you want me to put some talcum powder on you?”

He looks straight into my eyes and smiles wickedly.

“Do you mean that you want to rub talcum powder on my body, Mr. Vereen?”

“No! No! Of course not! I have some that I was offering you to use on your rash!”

As with that phantom touch of a few moments ago that still haunts me, I imagine that I see a flicker of desire and disappointment in his expression.

“Mr. Vereen?” he says puzzled and I know that I have slipped off into a daydream about him again. I must pull myself together.

“May I offer you some lunch?” I say breathlessly before I do something foolish.

“Lunch? Wow! Thank you! That’s very kind of you.”

He seems genuinely startled by my gesture.

“There’s taclum powder in the bathroom upstairs,” I say softly. “You can use it on your rash. If you really need any help though.”

He only smiles weakly and shakes his head at me as he turns away again.

When he returns ten minutes later he has smoothed the powder over his stomach, legs, neck and arms. In fact, it occurs to me that he has put it everywhere that he can reach. My cock twitches at the thought of where that might include.

I say nothing when he hands me the bottle of powder and turns his back for me to oblige him. My hands tremble as I run my fingers over his flesh and feel the strength of the muscles under his skin. My hand rubs him down gently and I am happy that he has his back to me since my cock has hardened again.

“There you go, Kevin,” I say after about five minutes of touching him. “Please stay away from my cherry tree in the future. I am not going to be angry if you don’t trim that, but I won’t be amused if you do!”

I’m babbling inanely, I know; and my attempt at humour isn’t funny at all, but I just want to keep my hand from reaching for his cock, or from straying anywhere else on his body for that matter.

Our lunch goes surprisingly well! Over the next three hours we discover that we share the same politics, that we both love sports – cricket, tennis and golf for me, football, boxing and basketball for him and athletics for both of us; and that we do enjoy some of the same music. I promise myself to get some Bounty Killer before he comes again in two weeks. It will make me feel closer to him. I smile to myself when he actually manages to convince me that Buju was really a victim of circumstance! I’m surprised to learn that he is a college graduate and that he does this gardening only because he was unable to find a job after he left his employment when his boss made a pass at him. Some women are like that, and some men, like Kevin, are principled. Of course, I take the hint that he may not judge me because of my lifestyle choices, but that was not to be confused with personal interest. I resign myself to having to look but not touch him during his fortnightly forays here at my home.

“I can come back the day after tomorrow and finish up if you like; no extra charge!” he says quietly after a rare silence between us.

“Okay!” I say hoping that I don’t sound too breathless and eager.

“Afternoon good for you? There’s not much left to do. I could probably finish it this evening,” his voice trailed off.

“No, come back on Monday!”

I watch his eyebrows rise for the second time that afternoon. The first time was when I offered the wine. He declined that, but agreed to share a six-pack of Red Stripe with me. I watch mesmerised as throughout the afternoon he rubs the cold bottles on his skin still seeking relief from the sting of his allergy. I am especially happy for the cover of the table between us when he rubs it over his chest and I watch his nipples harden. I hear him groan and know that I would give anything; everything that I own, to be with him. I need to get him out of my home before I make a fool of myself.

“So, Monday then,” I say, in my closing-a-deal-with-my-agent voice. “I have to get back to work so I’ll see you on Monday.”

He takes the hint that our lunch is over and stands up.

“You don’t need help with the dishes?”

“No, no! That’s fine!”

He extends his hand and I realise how ridiculous I must look sitting at my table like a lady receiving the hand of a gentleman. I stand up quickly and extend my hand into a firm, professional handshake.

“Thank you, again, for your kindness,” he says letting go my hand. “You’re a good man, Mr. Vereen. I’ve enjoyed myself. I don’t know my father at all. I was raised by his grandmother after my father abandoned my mother as a pregnant teenager. I’ve always wanted to have even one evening with my father where we could just talk about things man-to-man like today.”

I smile at this little speech. I knew that I’d be saving him from something. I always sense this in my new boyfriends. It’s part of the reason that despite appearances, I am a great seducer.

I watch him pack away his things out in the yard and load them into the back of his pickup. Mercifully, he doesn’t turn around because I am finding it hard to let him leave. I want to invite him to watch tv with me or something. I can’t explain it, but I feel so lonely because I know that he’s leaving and I won’t have any reason to call or see him before Monday.

I pull myself together after he drives away, and comforting myself with the thought that I’ll see him in two days instead of my customary two weeks, I psych myself up for a very cold shower.

Needless to say, it does not work, and I am tormented with images of him when I close my eyes. Finally I succumb to my desires and allow myself to fantasize about him. I fist my rigid cock as I dream of myself entering the shower and washing him down lovingly to relieve the anguish caused by the cherry blossoms. My hands roam his soapy wet body like a sculptor getting to know a piece of rock before his assault. I slip my hand into the crevasse between his buttocks and curve them around his slippery tight ass cheeks. His groaning is music to my ears and so I slide my hands down his flanks. Kneeling, I feel the failing strength of his powerful legs as he trembles under my deluge of passion.

I play with his cock and when I feel it respond to my ministrations I nurse at his groin, and he growls his approval. I feel his thick phallus harden in my mouth. I hear him whimper.

“Shit!” he exclaims at last.

I chuckle at the uncontrolled expletive and the rumble of my chest sends lightning bolts through the nerve endings in his cock to his brain and back again.

“Jeez! Fuck!” he groans and grabs the back of my head, forcing me to stay with his cock. He threatens to deep throat me, but stops just short of that.

I suck his cock harder and hear him beg me to stop. I can’t move even if I want to because his hands press my head down even more tightly the more he wants me to pull away. He’s going to force himself to accept this. It is what he has wanted for a long time, but he has been too afraid of public opinion to allow himself satisfaction.

He cums violently and I choke on the copious amounts of jism.

I stagger to my feet and meet his body sliding half-way down the tiled shower as his legs give way at last. He looks dazed. He smiles at me gratefully. He clutches for my body and fondles my nipple.

“You’re amazing, Andrew,” he whispers as I lean in to claim his mouth.

The loud ringing of the telephone interrupts my daydream.


It is my agent asking if I’ve come up with the plot for my new novel. He reminds me how worried my publisher is. I haven’t written anything work shit in two-and-a-half years. They think that I’ve lost my nerve since I moved back to Jamaica. I’ve discovered to my chagrin that gay erotic horror muse isn’t inspired by the horrifying situation in which I now find myself. I’ve got into serious trouble with two men before in Toronto, and my mind taunts me that Kevin will be strike three! How often will I succeed in killing my protagonists before I’m caught?

“I’m working on something,” I inform him, ignoring my misgivings.

I reflect that if I offer to drive him here on Monday there would be no one to tie him to my place since it would not have been time for his fortnightly visit. I smile wanly to myself as I mentally calculate how much Gramoxone I will have to give Kevin in order to subdue him.

My cock hardens again as I think of my soon-to-be-lover. It will be hard to wait for two days, but I will force myself to do this for the sake of my art.

September 2018
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