“Hello. Fazzi Muhammad here. I was wondering if I might talk to Mr. Worthington, please?” Fazzi said into the telephone mouthpiece.

“Oh yes! Mr. Muhammad, I’ll put you right through. He is expecting your call,” answered an elderly female voice.

After a few seconds, “Hello, Richard Worthington here. Mr. Muhammad?”

“Yes, it is. A Private Joseph Benson told me to call you any time about the possibility of your company handling some investments for me. I hope he wasn’t, as you Americans say, ‘pulling my foot’,” the Arab said. “One can never tell with these young men these days. They sometimes, shall we say, overplay their connections and I would not want to interrupt an important business meeting or conference.”

“Sir, let me assure you that Joseph, as I’m sure you are aware of, is not one to do that,” Richard senior said smiling into the phone. “He is a bright young man and a very trustworthy one at that. Those are unusual qualities to find in most of today’s youth. Someday, when he is free from the army, I hope to have him enter my firm. I’m even thinking of making him a associate, after he has served an apprenticeship.”

“I’m very happy to see that you and I agree about him,” Fazzi said. “Then you will not have any objection to my using him as my translator. As much as I pride myself on my knowledge of the English language, there are times when I find myself at a loss for a word or two. Joseph has the ability of knowing what I want to say even before I can get it out of my mouth. Besides, he is nice to have around.”

“That would be fine with me. I do not know if Joseph told you that I would be pleased to meet with you in person to discuss what possibilities there might be of our doing business together,” the Wall Street mogul said.

“Yes, Joseph mentioned that and I would consider it an honor if we could meet for, shall we say, dinner some evening?” the Arab suggested, and continued, “you know that it is an old Arabic custom to socialize and conduct business at the same time. We like to do business with people we know and can get to like.”

“It is not only an Arabic custom, but also an American one as well. We have had what has been called, ‘The Three Martini Lunch’ for decades.”

“Ahhhhh yes! I have heard of that. However, I was thinking of something more in-line with my tradition,” the Middle Easterner said. “There is a special sort of night club that I know called the ‘Cafe Casablanca’, where I have been thinking of taking Joseph. It has good food, music and entertainment. It is very relaxing and conducive to, how you Americans say, ‘making a deal’.”

“If that is so, then I must learn all about this. It can give me another weapon in my sales arsenal,” Richard said laughing.

“Good! How does Wednesday night, at let us say seven PM, sound?” Fazzi asked. “The evening is on me and I will send a car for you and have you brought to the restaurant and we could all meet you there. Afterwards the driver could take you home or anywhere you want to go.”

“I think that would work out fine. Just let me check my calendar and make sure the evening is open.” After looking at his appointment book he came back on the line and said, “Yes that date is open. Let me write it in. Wednesday at seven then. Should I dress formal or is it informal?”

“Oh my, it is very informal. Dress comfortably,” Fazzi said. “Yussef and I will meet you there.”

“‘Yussef’?” Worthington questioned.

“Yes, I am sorry I forgot, that is what we call Joseph. It is his name in the Arabic tongue,” Fazzi said. “My family and I have adopted him as our son. ‘ Salaam alechem, menshoofak’, see you Wednesday then.”

Tuesday evening Joseph went to Paterson planning to take Kassie to dinner and the movies. When he arrived at the house, he found the family waiting for him in the library. Greeting them, and telling them how much he had missed both women, he kissed the hand of Mary and the lips of Kassie. There was an audible gasp from her parents. “What? Is it wrong to kiss your future wife in the company of her family?” Joseph queried them.

“Yes! No! Sorry, but it was just an automatic reaction,” Fazzi said. “It is not wrong, but unusual. In traditional homes men do not kiss women in front of even family members. I do not remember my mother or father holding hands in public let alone kissing each other.”

“Then I think it is about time that you change your ways. This is America and here we are a lot more public about our feelings,” Joseph instructed. “Surely it can’t be wrong to show your wife and daughter a little love- even in public. And Fazzi, if I am to join this family then you better get used to it, because I intend to kiss my future wife when and where I feel like it.” The soldier sat next to Kassie and put his arm around her shoulder- daring the family to dispute him.

“Well, the little lion cub is beginning to growl,” the Arab said. After thinking about it a while, he tuned down his rhetoric and admitted, “Well, it was me that thought it would be a good idea to ‘Americanize’ this family. I guess that is part of the price we will have to pay for living here. I can now see, that it is true, that all reformers really come to hate reform.”

“Yes, my husband, you asked for it, and now you got it! What is more–I, too, would like a kiss now and then,” Mary chimed in. “I think it would be nice if from time to time you showed some affection for your wife.”

“My dear wife, I will show you affection later,” he said with a smile on his lips. “And as for you Yussef, for now, as long as it is only with the family, I will try to get used to it. Now I have some great news to tell you, my little lion cub.”

“Yes, what is it?”

“I called Worthington yesterday,” the smiling man said, “and he has agreed to meet with us tomorrow night. Yussef, you and I will take him to dinner and talk to him about business, as well as get to know each other. Will you be able to make it? Since you already know him, you will be able to act as a bridge between us, and also, I would like to have you there in case I run into trouble with my English.”

“I’m sure you will not need me as your English is very good. I wish my Arabic was as good as your English. But, if you insist, I’m sure I can make it. Besides, this will give me experience if I am to become a stockbroker,” Joseph said. “Will Mary and Kassie be coming with us?”

“No. It will be just the three of us. This will be all business even if, as I hope, we can mix some fun and entertainment into the evening,” Fazzi said.

“Good, because next week I start my final week of school and I could use some fun before we have our final exams,” the soldier said. “I will have a lot of studying to do in preparation if I am to graduate at the top of the roster. After that, if it goes well, I will graduate.”

“I am sure you will pass with very high marks,” Kassie said. And with a wide smile asked, “Then will we be able to make our plans, ‘habibi’?”

“Well, if I do pass out on top and get that job,” he said with his fingers squeezing her shoulder, “yes I think it will be time for you, your family and me to think of that future. There are many things we all must talk about.”

“Like what, ‘habibi’?” Kassie asked. “I am to be your wife. That is all that matters. As your wife I will be and do what you want-not because I have to, but because I want to.”

“We will talk about this later when we are alone,” Joseph said. “Now is not the time. Now is the time to go out and eat and have a good time.” Then turning to her parents he asked, “Would you, Mary and Kassie like to come to my graduation? That is if I graduate.”

Shocked, her father stammered, “If you think it would be appropriate, we would be honored to attend. Do you think we could get clearance to get on Base?”

“I can’t see any reason why you could not attend. Most of the students’ parents, relatives and friends will attend. You, as my future wife and my in-laws-to-be, should be welcome there also. It is not as if the school has anything to hide.” Then, as an afterthought, he added in a light-hearted manner, “Who knows? Maybe the head of the school, once he meets you, might want to make use of your knowledge and ask you to lecture in the future. We do suffer from a lack of knowledgeable and talented teachers. Our lecturers are a bit one- sided.”

“One-sided?” the Arab said. “Just what do you mean by one-sided?”

“Well, to hear most of our Customs Teachers tell it-the Moslems, Arabs mostly, are a backward people. They say most of them are caught in the 18th or 19th century, and are either unwilling or unable to adjust to modern times. A few of the Moslem students, and I, have had to literally fight to prove that the teachers are wrong. The problem is that there are not that many modern Moslems willing to present another view. They fear the wrath of their fellow Moslems.”

“I have none of this so called fear you talk about,” Fazzi indignantly proclaimed. “If I can do anything to help, I would be more than happy to address the class and lecture. It might even be fun!”

“Well let me see what I can do, if and when I become a teacher there.” Then changing the subject, Joseph suggested that if he and Kassie wanted to make the movie, they had better get moving.

“Yes! You ‘children’ go out and have fun,” Fazzi said. “Mother and I are going to turn in early. I want to get a good night’s sleep in order to be alert tomorrow night. We will say good night now, because we will be asleep by the time you return. But Yussef, tomorrow night will be the boys’ night out.”

Thank God Joseph thought-at least there is no need to worry about a clandestine encounter in the stairwell tonight!

The two of them left the house and drove to one of those diners that New Jersey is famous for, and had dinner, and afterwards went to a movie. The theater they entered was more or less empty. Except for a few couples sitting in the front of the room, minding their own business, there was no one else. They chose to sit in the rear of the darkened room. Sitting in the dark next to one another, Joseph found it comfortable and nice to relax with Kassie to keep him company. She liked to rest her head on his shoulder and place her hand on his crotch. In the darkness of the theater, she could lean over and kiss his ear and give his cock a squeeze. He could see the smile in her face whenever she felt his manhood reacting to her tender touch. Joseph felt good that he still was able to react to the touch of a beautiful woman-and Kassie was just that. He smiled as his fingers brushed her breasts, and he ran his fingertips over her hard, pointed nipples. It excited him to touch and smell this olive skinned, dark- eyed beauty. His lips brushed her lips and he ran his tongue over them and into her mouth. They kissed passionately and when he released her, he could feel her body begging for more. Much as she aroused him, thoughts of Rich floated through his mind. He would rather be sitting with Richard. His lips and body yearned for Richard as he placed his hand under her dress, ran his fingers up her warm thigh to her silk-clad pussy, all the while wishing it was Richard’s cock instead. His fingers touched the wetness of her passion. He removed them and brought them to his lips and tasted her cum, then kissed her and shared her love juice with her. Her fingers frantically undid his fly, reached in and searched for his maleness. She gasped as she touched his foreskin. Her fingers circled his hard cock and squeezed it, sending waves of hot pleasure through the massive appendage. Her nail tip, running up and down the underside of his manhood and over the very sensitive cockhead, drove the soldier almost to the point of no return. He wanted to rip her clothes off and fuck her into oblivion right there in the theater. His brain finally got the better of his animal instincts and breathing heavily, whispered in her ear, “We better either get the hell out of here or stop before we are thrown out. It would not look good if we were caught this way.”

Forcing themselves apart, and somehow getting their clothes smoothed out, they almost ran from the theater to Joseph’s car in the dark end of the parking lot. As they got into the car Kassie asked, “Where are we going? The car is too small and I don’t want to go to some cheap motel room.”

“Kassie, my love, there is something we have to talk about. I don’t know how to tell you this or even if I should tell you,” Joseph stammered as he pulled her into his arms. “I’m afraid that you will not want me when I tell you the truth about me.”

“Yussef, habibi, I know!” she said.

“What, what do you know?”

“I know about-my father and you!” she whispered and then leaned over and kissed him. “He wants you, wants your body and your soul just like I want you.”

“What are we going to do?” he asked.

“We will do whatever we have to do in order to get married,” Kassie answered, “if that is what you want. This sort of thing is known to happen. While I don’t approve of it, nor do I like it, I am willing to share your body with my father, but-your love is mine. Now I must tell you the truth. He has been using me for years to get his boys. He uses me as an inducement to get them into bed. Never once did he allow any one of them to become engaged to me or even to have sex with me, until you came along. I suppose that, now that I am getting too old to attract the younger men he prefers, he has decided to let me become your wife. I think he loves you, Yussef, and that in his sick mind he wants to grow old with you as his lover. Having you as a son-in- law would preserve his manly image in the community.”

“What about your mother?” he asked. “Does she know and agree with all this?”

“Yes she does and that is the really weird part, Yussef. Before I was born, he used my mother. She was young and beautiful and many young men desired her. He arranged for some of them to be caught in compromising situations with my mother. As an important and influential higher-up in the Syrian occupation forces, he was able to blackmail them into his bed. Some of them refused. They disappeared. Most were compliant and when he got tired of them, they too disappeared. My mother says that Fazzi is not my real father. Because of his fondness for men, she was forced to take a lover. Fazzi found out, arrested him and personally saw to his interrogation. He beat, tortured and raped the poor man and then cut off his genitalia, stuffed them into his mouth and hung him on a hook to die a slow-and what must have been a painful-death. His body was dumped into the Mediterranean. That bastard has used us as his personal harem, to attract men for his perversions. First he used my mother, and now me. No more. Now it is my turn to use him. I want my freedom and you are going to get it for me.”

“Holy Shit! What the hell have I got myself into?” he said. “Now let me see if I got this right. You want me to be your father’s lover, just so that he will allow you to marry me, so you can get away from him?”

“When you put it that way-it sounds so, so horrible,” she stammered. “But yes, that’s it, ‘in a nutshell’, as you Americans say.”

“Look, darling, no matter what happens,” he said, “one way or the other I’m going to get you out of there, and you don’t even have to marry me if you don’t want to. Do you think Mary would like to leave Fazzi also?”

“I don’t know for sure; however, once I am out from under his control, it may be that my mother will be able to either get out herself or make some sort of a deal. I think she has only stayed with him because of me. I told you she was a Christian, and he would never allow her to take me from under his control. I think he fears that she might not only return to Christianity, but have me baptized as a Christian as well. This is what has and will keep him from harming us. I don’t think he could live with that.”

“I’m a Christian. Would he permit our marriage?” Joseph asked.

“I think he is going to try to get you to become a Moslem,” she said. “However, in any case, if you refuse, he could always make some excuse for not having you convert. He may think no one would dare question him. Besides he could say that, as everyone knows, he did try to arrange marriages for me, but could not make a suitable and honorable one and had to settle for you. But to tell the truth, I think the pig is really in love with you and he just does not care what people may say.”

“Honey, I think it would be better if you and I just did not engage in sex for the time being,” Joseph said seriously. “Aside from the fact that I promised Fazzi that I would not until we married, I don’t want the chance of pregnancy to enter into the equation at this time. There are too many things involved here without adding one more.”

“No sex?” she said incredulously. “Would you really do that for me? What I mean is, I really meant it the other night when I told you I wanted you.”

“I want you too, but it is too risky right now,” he said, taking her in his arms and kissing her deeply. “At this point and until we are free of him, I just don’t want Fazzi to have an additional thing to hold over us. However, nothing says we cannot do a lot of heavy petting. I like the feel of your body next to me and I don’t want to give that up.”

They kissed and petted in the car for a while longer and then they headed back home. “Would you like me to come up to your apartment, just to tuck you in, Yussef?” she asked.

“Maybe some other time and place. I have to get a good night’s rest myself,” he said as they left the garage and he walked her to the front door. “Besides, Fazzi might be ‘sleepwalking’.”

He walked her to the door and kissed her good night. On his way back to the apartment he stopped and reported, by cell, to Agent Barns. He told him about the meeting tomorrow, and Bill said it looked like everything was moving along at top speed. He informed the soldier that he already knew about the upcoming cafe meeting, as Worthington had called him yesterday to keep him up-to-date and asked him to check out the place. He then entered the hallway to his apartment and was relieved to find that no one was lurking in the dark. Thanking God, he went upstairs and went to bed. He awoke early and returned to school, stopping at the mess hall for something to eat. The rest of the day was filled with classes and study.

After school he changed into civilian clothes and headed back to Paterson for the Worthington meeting. Arriving early, he found Fazzi waiting for him in the library.

“Good! You are early. Oh I wish you had dressed in your uniform. You know how I love seeing you in it,” Fazzi said as he walked up to Joseph, put his arms around him and kissed his lips. Joseph hugged and kissed him back.

“When I came back last night, I half expected to find you waiting for me in the dark,” he whispered into the Arab’s ear, sending chills up and down his spine.

“Maybe after our meeting tonight!” Fazzi smiled, “if we have time. We will see. I know that by the end of the evening we shall both be in the mood for romantic adventure.”

“Romance?” Joseph questioned. “What are you planning? Worthington, his wife and son are nice people and good friends of mine, to say nothing of the fact that he is to be my future employer.”

“Not to worry. Calm down my lion cub. I guarantee we will all enjoy the evening .”

-To be continued…-