Romance With Liquids

Author's notes: As usual, my wonderful beta worked her magic.  Screen cap courtesy of LJ user paddies.  Written for Kitkatbyte.  Her request:  "Something post-513 where Brian and Justin decide that it's not working for them to visit each other in New York or Pittsburgh, so they meet up somewhere else and vacation together."




"This traffic report brought to you by Mellon Financial, taking care of your family's finances for over ninety years. And now for the weather. There is a severe weather advisory in effect for the greater Pittsburgh area. Temperatures will be dropping into the single digits as early as Friday afternoon with wind chills expected to plunge into the negative numbers for the next several days. The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency has issued the following warn-"

Finger on the mute button, Brian regarded the now-silent Bose system wearily. He'd had it up to here with this year's cold weather. December and January had been the coldest on record and with the latest Arctic assault headed their way, February was looking to be more of the same.

Crossing to the window, he looked out at the hard, grey sky and endless expanse of bare trees. Frankly, he was sick and fucking tired of it. It took him less than ten seconds to make up his mind, and he went back to the night stand to get his cell and dial the office.

"Good morning, boss."

"What's on the agenda for next week?" He listened to the rapid clicking of Cynthia's keyboard as he opened the door to his summer closet.

"You have a meeting with Gradient on Tuesday morning. A Wednesday lunch meeting with Julia Morgan. Thursday is clear. The roofing contractor is scheduled to start the tear-off on Friday. Uh, that's it. It's a light week."

"Cancel everything and book me on the next flight to St. Vincent. Same for Justin. Make sure we have the same layover, preferably San Juan. Miami's a nightmare. Make our return flights into New York next Friday. I'll make my own reservation back to Pittsburgh. Call the resort and book the large villa. If they give you any shit, ask for Gustav. I'll call you from the car to get the flight information."

"No fair," Cynthia groused. "Leaving us poor schmucks to battle the next ice age."

"You come from good Scandinavian stock, you'll survive just fine."

"Easy for you to say. The only ice you'll be worrying about are the cubes in your Pina Coladas."

"I don't drink Pina Coladas," Brian said archly. "But if I did, they'd be frozen not on the rocks. Oh, and . . . Cynthia?"


"Don't forget to wear your mittens." He thought he heard a muttered "bastard" right before he hung up. Smiling, he glanced at his watch. Six thirty-three. Justin would be dead to the world. The phone rang seven times before he finally picked up.

"Hello?" Justin's voice was rough and gravelly and on cue, Brian's dick stirred inside his briefs. He missed their sleepy morning sex, the warm weight of Justin in his arms, his sex sounds, low and husky in his ear.

"Do you still have that hot bathing suit you got in Barcelona?" Brian asked as he placed a stack of tank tops into his suitcase.


Brian turned to study the array of sandals on the back wall, waiting for Justin to fully wake up.


"None other. Listen up. Cynthia's going to call you with flight information. I suggest you get your ass in gear. You'll probably have to leave for the airport in less than two hours."

"Wait. What did you say?"

"We're heading to the land of sunshine, Sunshine. Pack your skimpiest shorts and bring plenty of sun block. We'll be gone for a week."

"But you're coming here this weekend."

"Not any more," Brian said as he tried on a third pair of sunglasses. "Haven't you heard the latest weather?"


"Let's just say the Woolly Mammoth might be making a comeback."

"What? Oh."

Brian heard the smile in Justin's voice and paused to listen before reaching up to pluck his favorite hat from the top shelf.

"Wait a minute. Did you say a week?" Justin asked, sounding put out. "You might've checked with me, you know. I could've had plans."

"I know for a fact that your week is clear. You told me so last time we talked, remember? When you tried to cajole and charm me into staying a week and not just the weekend?"

"Don't flatter yourself, you arrogant bastard," Justin replied, but the smile was back in his voice.

"That's the second time someone's called me that today," Brian said cheerfully. "I must be doing something right. Now, no more chit chat. Get up and get ready."

"You haven't told me where we're going yet."

"The Grenadines." He heard Justin's quick intake of breath and said, "Have a safe flight and see you in the tropics." He clicked off before Justin could ask any more questions and began sorting through his collection of linen pants.

Eight hours later, Brian's plane touched down in Puerto Rico under sunny skies and at a balmy 82 degrees Fahrenheit. First to deplane, he made a mental note to bring back something extra-nice for Cynthia. He made his way to the nearest arrivals and departure sign to check on the status of Justin's plane - it had been due in at 2:05 pm. A quick perusal of the board showed that the plane had arrived on time, and he was just about to pull his phone out of his pocket, when he heard a familiar voice. "Hola senor, quieres singar?"

"Are you still talking that trashy, tenement slang your neighbors insist on teaching you?" Brian chided as he drew Justin into a tight hug.

"We can stand here and debate the merits of the various Spanish verbs for 'to fuck' or we can," Justin pushed himself out of Brian's arms and looked up, "go into the nearest bathroom where you can show me that it's an action verb regardless of its country of origin."

As was often the case with Justin's logic, it was hard to refute and Brian wisely decided to forgo the foreign grammar lesson in favor of making sure Justin was good and vigorously greeted. They came in record time and afterward, as they washed up at the sink area, they watched each other in the mirror, smiles tugging at their mouths until they finally gave up and burst out laughing.

"I think we set a land speed record," Justin said, grinning.

"The senor did specify action," Brian replied, wiping the back of his neck with a wet paper towel.

Balling up his own paper towel, Justin threw it, hitting Brian squarely in the chest. "And for your information, you elitist prick, it's not a tenement." He shouldered his carry-on and sauntered back out into the terminal, leaving Brian smiling in his wake.

The flight from San Juan to St. Vincent was aboard a compact turboprop whose lavatory was too small for a proper fuck. Justin pacified Brian's ire over being cheated out of high-altitude sex with a slow, skillful hand job that put him to sleep for the last forty-five minutes of the two and a half hour flight.

The final leg of their journey was by speedboat and at slightly after eight p.m., they arrived at their destination, L'Arriaqua, a small island twelve miles south of St. Vincent. The island was owned by Aqua, an all gay resort, which thanks to Kinnetik, had recently become the premiere destination for gay men from around the world.

They were met warmly by Gustav, the owner and on-site property manager, who drove them via all-terrain vehicle to their villa. It was half a mile away from the main resort and completely secluded. Exhausted from the day's travel, they wanted nothing more than a shower and the light supper that was waiting for them. After the meal, they sank blissfully into the down-filled bed where they made love quietly, easily, before falling into a deep and restful sleep.

The next morning, Justin woke to the chatter of wild parrots, exuberantly calling from tree to tree. Leaving Brian to sleep in a tangle of white sheets, he got up and went exploring. By the light of day, he saw that the villa was tucked into the slope of the island's dormant volcano and was surrounded by a lush rain forest that overlooked a glittering black sand beach.

It was a simple, three room house with white-washed walls and thick wood doors the color of faded skies. There was a wide verandah and a pool and the blue-green sea was everywhere he looked.

Their breakfast was delivered shortly after Brian woke and Justin was pleasantly surprised to find that Cynthia had requested all his favorites. They ate poolside under the shade of a palm-thatched hut.

"I feel it's only fair to warn you," Brian said as he bit into a croissant, "that ocean air has been known to increase my appetite. My sexual appetite," he clarified needlessly.

Justin's eyes widened in mock horror. "Do you think it's safe for me to stay?"

"It's hard to say," Brian replied as he poured more coffee. "Some men have gone down, never to come up again."

They spent the first three days sequestered, devoting themselves to pleasuring each other, trying to make up for all the missed nights and mornings. And Justin not only survived Brian's formidable appetite, he matched him bite for bite.

This perfect cycle was broken only for food and drink, and when even they couldn't stand the accumulated stink of their combined sex and sweat, they jumped into the pool to rinse and start all over again.

Their meals were delivered by beautiful men who lingered discretely, hoping to be invited but always leaving disappointed. Justin discovered the delights of the island's fresh juices and sweet nectars and ordered them round the clock, drinking glassfuls of mango, tamarind, and papaya.

In the daytime, Brian fussed over how much time Justin spent in the sun and after fucking him at high noon on the pool deck and in the shallow end, he guiltily pulled him under the cool dimness of the pergola to fuck him until evening.

They slept soundly, lulled by the island's night music - the whispering palms, the buzz of insects, hypnotic and ever-present, the ceaseless rush of the ocean on the shore.

On the fourth day, Brian woke to find Justin watching him, a rogue's smile in place. "Are you ready to fuck someone else besides me?"

"Sounds like someone's ready to check out the native fauna."

"I dare say I'm not the only one." Justin fixed him with a knowing look.

"Maybe. But first, there's a certain species of Taylor I'd like to study in depth, to bone up on, if you will."

"By all means," Justin rolled over onto his knees and elbows and presented himself, "hammer away."

Afterward, they got dressed for the first time since they arrived, and Justin watched with unconcealed amusement as Brian tried on various outfits, each one similar to the one before, before settling on the perfect combination of white linen pants and a tank top.

The trail down to the resort was a riot of color and Justin was fascinated by everything he saw - the rivulets with their green, mossy bottoms, the mahogany and teaks, the lemon and amethyst-colored orchids arching gracefully overhead. But he was especially entranced by the lizards and geckos that seemed to decorate every surface. He tried to catch them, but like quicksilver, they streaked away and he was left empty-handed, time after time.

"I had a pet gecko when I was eight," Justin said as they crossed a small bridge. "I felt sorry for him being stuck in that tank all the time, so I made a leash for him out of my mom's sewing thread. I was outside less than two minutes, when he broke free and ran away." He smiled ruefully. "I never saw him again."

"Is that what happened to those hermit crabs you had at Deb's? You took them for a walk?"

"No," Justin laughed. "I gave them to Vic when I moved in with you the first time."

"Vic? Really?"

"Yeah. He offered to take them. He told me that if I took them to the loft, they'd end up in your garbage disposal."

"Vic was a wise man."

"You're such a shit," Justin said. "Wait till Gus gets his first pet and brings it to the house."

"Not to my house, he's not."

"Our house. And my vote's in favor of the pet, so it's a tie. We'll let Gus be the tie-" He broke off as he spotted a lizard sitting on the path ahead, seemingly oblivious to their approach. Having refined his technique, he was able to anticipate the lizard's line of escape and caught it neatly. Cupping it gently in his hands, he held it out for Brian to see.

"We'll let him be the tie-breaker. What do you say, Mr. Lizard? Pet or no pet?"

The lizard cocked its slender head and regarded Justin with an emerald eye.

"Well, what do you know? His vote's definitely for the pet."

Brian made a half-hearted swipe at the small reptile, but Justin danced away and deposited it safely onto a banana tree.

The resort, like their villa, was simple. It was made up of individual cottages, each with their own pool, set amidst sheltering groves of palms and flowering trees. But what made Aqua so special was its main pool. Not only was it one of the largest in the world, it had recently earned the distinction of being named the most beautiful. Tiled completely in blue and green glass, the designer had used every hue in those spectrums and the effect was stunning. Like a kaleidoscope, the water color shifted and changed with the slightest ripple or passing breeze.

It was also clothing optional and plenty had opted out.

"Wow," Justin said when they reached the perimeter of what could aptly be described as an oasis.

Brian's silence echoed the sentiment.

After a few moments of quiet perusal in which they got the lay of the land, they found the cabana that had been reserved for them. It was equipped with everything a gay man could want, from blender, to blow dryer to bidet and Justin found it all a little hilarious, though he definitely planned on trying out the bidet.

While Brian lined up their lounge chairs so that they were at perfect angles to the sun, Justin noticed an events board and went to take a look. When he came back, Brian handed him the suntan lotion and sat up. "Do my back."

"There's going to be an Esther Williams contest in half an hour. And after that, a Twinks on Top chicken fight. They're pairing twinks with gym queens," Justin explained as he smoothed the creamy lotion over Brian's body. "I used to kick ass at chicken fights. Do you think I'd get in if I lied about my age?"

Brian snorted. "Please. You look all of eighteen."

"And how it grates on you," Justin teased and let his hand stray to the ticklish spot just below Brian's ribs.

The Esther Williams contest started off with a beauty pageant. The 'aqua-belles' really camped it up, wearing outrageous bathing suits complete with stilettos and towering headdresses. Justin's favorite was a psychedelic, vinyl ensemble which reminded him of some of the costumes in Yellow Submarine.

Unfortunately, when the belles got into the water, things didn't go quite as planned. There were several near drownings during the synchronized swimming segment due to the unforeseen weight of water-logged D cups, and the diving competition resulted in at least one Esther being pulled from the water, semi-conscious. The theme for the diving contest was "The Kama Sutra" which sounded hot in theory, but in practice was a disaster, as two and sometimes three men assumed their positions before diving from the three meter platform.

"Fucking Christ," Brian laughed, "it's like a cross between Fellini and The Three Stooges."

After the diving competition was over, the chicken fights were announced and Justin tried to back out, pleading a stomach-ache from laughing so hard over the aqua-belles' antics.

"Bullshit. Your stomach hurts because you drank three Hurricanes in a row without coming up for air. In fact, I don't believe you know how to chicken fight at all. I think you're all talk, or should I say, cackle?"

Justin chugged the rest of his drink and stood up. "Watch and learn, asshole."

Brian gave him the thumbs up and said, "Go show them who rules the roost."

Justin was paired with a cute bodybuilder who introduced himself as Eric from Wisconsin. They made a good team and after a string of six victories, found themselves in the championship round. As they waited for the final whistle, Eric expressed some doubt about their chances - his counterpart was the biggest so far and nearly twice his size. Justin patted the top of his head and gave him a pep talk. "We'll use his size to our advantage. He's not as agile as you are. Make sure you come at him from all sides and don't worry about me. I'll ride you no matter what." He kicked his heels into Eric's waist, spurring him on and added, "we're going to fuck their shit up."

Justin's counterpart was taller than he was which meant that Justin had to stay low and wait for the perfect opportunity. The fight lasted longer than any of the others, and Justin almost went down several times but managed to stay seated thanks to Eric's foot-work. In the end, they won with a combination move that involved Justin pinching his adversary's nipple then pushing strategically at the moment he flinched away.

He returned to Brian's side, streaming water and triumphantly holding first prize - a blue rubber chicken wearing a shiny tiara.

"You fight dirty," Brian said admiringly. "I like that in a lying, wanna-be twink."

Justin shook his head like a dog, water droplets flying everywhere, making sure the majority of them landed on Brian.

They spent the rest of the day hosting guests in their cabana as well as accepting invitations to most of the neighboring ones where they enjoyed the never-ending stream of wet and willing guys.

It was long past dark when Justin came back from his latest conquest and threw himself onto his lounge chair. "I am fucked out. I don't think I could get it up if Matthew himself stopped by."

"Oh, I think you'd manage to rally for Mr. McConaughey," Brian said dryly.

"Probably," Justin agreed and closed his eyes.

"So, have you had your fill of the native fauna?"

"Have you?"

In reply, Brian extended his hand, helping Justin to his feet, and they walked back up the mountain trail by the light of a high pale moon.

On Wednesday morning, Brian woke to find Justin studying a deep sea fishing brochure. He waved it in Brian's face and announced, "I signed us up last night."

"Have fun."

"Come on," Justin wheedled. "It's only four hours. We'll be back by one."

"Since when do you give a shit about fishing?"

"I don't. But I've never been, and I thought it would be fun."

Brian yawned and scratched his balls.

"They have a full bar."

Brian nodded toward 'their' full bar and cocked a brow.

"There'll be lots of hot guys. I think that Colombian that got away last night said he'd be going."

"Try again, Sunshine."

"You've never fucked me in the middle of the Caribbean," Justin countered, dealing his trump card and upping the stakes by pressing a warm erection into Brian's hip. Gamesmanship and sex statistics were Brian's weakness and Justin didn't hesitate to take full advantage of it.

"We fucked on a yacht last summer," Brian hedged.

"The Hudson is not the Caribbean," Justin pointed out and wrapped his hand around Brian's cock, laying full and final waste to his resolve.

As a result of Justin's tactics to get Brian on the boat, they almost missed it and had to run down the dock, Justin shouting as they went. Pissed off over his less than grand entrance, Brian left Justin at the bow and went into the bar to get a drink. Justin watched the water change from clear to green to turquoise and finally to a dark blue as the boat headed toward deeper and deeper water. They went so far, they lost sight of land.

They had dropped anchor by the time Brian came out. He was holding two beers and handed one over before kissing Justin on the cheek.

"Thanks. Are you over your snit?"

"I fucked the Colombian."

"I told you," Justin said slapping Brian on the arm. "Look," he pointed starboard, "they followed us all the way from port."

Brian turned and saw five sleek dolphins crisscrossing and frolicking on the surface of the water. One of the deckhands, who was setting up tackle nearby, looked over and said, "Dolphins are one of the few species, aside from humans, that have sex for pleasure. They've documented homosexual relationships between males, including oral sex."

"We obviously watch the same nature shows," Brian replied. "But what's always interested me is that their dicks are supposed to be prehensile." He turned to Justin and said, "The things I could do."

"Trust me," Justin said reaching down to squeeze reassuringly between Brian's legs, "you do just fine."

When the fishing started in earnest, Brian went back inside, leaving Justin in the hands of two very capable and friendly first and second mates. In the mood for a tour of the upper deck, he ascended to the wheelhouse where he made the acquaintance of the ship's equally friendly captain. They joked about depth finders and short pole fishing before the captain put the ship on auto-pilot and let Brian steer.

Half an hour later, Brian went back out onto the deck to make sure that Justin was still wearing his hat and had reapplied his sun block.

"Guess what?" Justin asked when Brian sidled up next to him. "I caught us dinner." He secured his pole and pulled Brian to the back of the boat. Opening the lid to one of the live wells, he pointed proudly. "See that red and brown fish? That's a four and a half pound grouper. Charlie says they'll filet it and cook it up for us tonight."

"That's pretty impressive." Brian slammed the lid shut. "For a beginner. Come on, and I'll show you how it's done."

"Oh, now you're interested. Typical. Competition in everything."

After that, they fished side by side, bringing up fish after fish. Surprised by Brian's apparent skill at the sport, Justin asked him about it. Brian explained that Jack had taken him on a couple of fishing expeditions before turning to the bottle full time, and that like most everything he put his mind to, he was phenomenally good at it.

The time passed quickly and before they knew it, it was time to stow the gear and pull up anchor. As the boat made its turn to head back to port, Brian said, "Let's go, I want that fuck you promised me." Intimately familiar with all the ship's hidey-holes, Brian opened a narrow door next to the head and they enjoyed a comfortable, cushioned fuck among the ship's life preservers.

Forty minutes later, they emerged to find that the ship had emptied of its passengers and was in the process of being scrubbed down. Charlie looked up from hosing down the deck and winked as Justin walked by. "Nice fishing, today."

When they got back to the villa, Brian casually commented that Justin owed him a new shirt. As evidence, he held the old one away from his body with both hands so that Justin would be sure to see the stains the fish blood had left behind.

"It's just a white t-shirt for fuck's sake."

"It's not just a white t-shirt. It's a Roberto Cavalli."

Ignoring him, Justin stripped off his own ruined clothes and headed for the pool. He dove neatly and surfaced on the other side, treading water as he shouted, "Well, it could pass for Fruit of the Loom."

After a late lunch, they relaxed in the double hammock and Brian read out loud from Brideshead Revisited while Justin drew contentedly at his side. After a while, Brian put the book down and leaned over to look at Justin's drawing.

It was an underwater scene in which a merman, who looked suspiciously like Brian, was singlehandedly fighting off a host of sinister barracuda, a viciously snapping moray eel and a monstrously large hammerhead. The drawing was richly detailed down to the swaying anemones on the coral reef, but Brian noticed only one thing.

"Where's my dick?"

"Mermen don't have dicks."

"Of course they have dicks. How else do they fuck?"

"I don't think fish actually fuck." Justin looked up, wrinkling his nose. "I think they sort of squirt."

"Squirt? I don't fucking squirt."

"Actually," Justin grinned, "you squirt plenty."

"Out of my huge fucking dick. Give me that." Brian tried to grab the sketch pad, but Justin was quicker and rolled out of the hammock, vaulted the low garden wall and clambered up the side of the hill, slipping and sliding as he went. Turning to see how close Brian was, he didn't see the vine which stretched across his path at shin-height. He went down instantly and Brian who was right behind him, fell on top of him, grabbing the sketch pad as they hit the ground.

"Either you give me a giant cock or I tear it up," Brian threatened as he held the sketch pad out of Justin's reach.

Justin twisted and squirmed, finally managing to turn over onto his back. "A giant cock? Is that anything like a giant clam?"

"It's nothing like a giant clam, you little shit. Promise you'll draw me a cock of gargantuan proportions to make up for the cloaca you tried to  give me."

"Cloaca?" Justin laughed.

"Yes. It's the open-"

"I know what a cloaca is, it's just that you actually using the word is kind of hysterical. And," Justin bit his lip to keep from laughing "a little bit sexy." He tried to pull Brian down for a kiss, hoping to distract him long enough to grab the sketch pad.

"Fuck that," Brian said, rearing back. "I know your wily ways. First, I want you to promise me a cock that legends are made of. That sailors tell tales about and pirates fear. That makes Moby Dick turn fluke and head for the nearest horizon."

"Oh my god," Justin said. "I think you have sunstroke."

"Fix it."

"Only if you fix this first." Justin guided Brian's free hand to the front of his damp bathing suit and the sketch pad fell forgotten into the undergrowth.

With a practiced rough motion, Brian flipped Justin onto his stomach and yanked his bathing suit down past the top of his thighs. "I'll fix it all right." He made quick work of the buttons on his shorts and snapped a condom into place.

"Get up." Brian tugged on Justin's hips bringing him to his hands and knees. Justin had a hard time finding purchase as it had rained the night before and the hillside was slick and muddy. Not waiting for Justin to steady himself, Brian attempted to drive his cock all the way in with a single thrust, but the force was too much and Justin went sprawling, taking Brian with him.

Cursing, Brian pulled him back up, this time clamping one arm around his waist to keep him in place. He entered him successfully and after a minute or so, relaxed his hold so he could fuck him with longer strokes, but two thrusts later, Justin slid out from under him again and Brian's dick slipped completely free.

"Fuck! Hold still!"

"I can't help it," Justin said laughing. "It's slippery as shit."

Justin crawled forward looking for a better spot, forcing Brian to follow, muttering angrily behind him. Spying a thick root, Justin anchored himself against it and raised his ass in the air. "Third time's a charm," he called back encouragingly. After a few careful thrusts to make sure the root would actually hold, Brian let himself go and fucked Justin hard, pounding into him with a steady, brutal rhythm. Justin came twice before Brian finally finished.

Afterward, they fell asleep on the forest floor, washed in the filtered green light that came through the canopy. When they woke, they laughed at the sight of one another. They were covered in dirt and bits of vegetation, though Justin bore the brunt of it.

"Admit it. You had fun fishing today, didn't you?" Justin asked, propping himself up on an elbow and leaning in to kiss him.

"Ugh," Brian grimaced and drew back. "You have dirt in your mouth."

Justin licked his lips, worked up some saliva and spit out as much dirt as he could, then kissed Brian again. "Admit it."

"I caught more fish than you did."

"Maybe," Justin said and crawled on top of his partner, "but I caught the biggest one."

On Thursday morning, Justin announced that he wanted to go down to the beach and look for shells. Brian tried to distract him from his latest absurd notion by going down on him repeatedly, but it was no good. Justin was set on playing beachcomber for a day.

They wandered up and down the ocean's edge gathering shells. Or rather, Justin gathered shells. Brian smoked and cruised the men they met along the way.

After two hours, Justin's bag bulged with shore-loot, while Brian's hung empty at his side. Deciding to punish him for his lack of enthusiasm, Justin casually picked up a handful of wet sand and flung it, catching Brian totally off guard. Justin dropped his bag and made his escape, running headlong into the waves and alarming the hell out of the nearby seagulls.

The next thing Justin knew, Brian had tackled him and he was underwater with water up his nose. But Justin was a fish, having grown up with a pool, and with a few clever twists, slipped out of Brian's grip and rose to the surface, sputtering and laughing.

They ended up tumbling in the surf, rolling over and over, and when they finally sat up, not only were they thoroughly soaked, they were completely covered in sand.

"This is the third outfit you've managed to ruin in two days."

"What are you talking about? It's just wet." Justin splashed more water in Brian's direction.

"It's being stretched out of shape by the combined weight of water and sand."

Justin rolled his eyes at the ridiculous comment and said, "It's not three outfits. It's one t-shirt and a pair of shorts. You know, you might consider investing in clothes that aren't so delicately made." He never saw the glob of sand that hit him.

Later that day, fresh from the shower, Justin stood at the bathroom mirror applying moisturizer when he caught movement in the mirror's reflection of the bedroom. Stepping sideways to get a better view, he watched, unseen, as Brian opened the bag of seashells and sifted through them, finally choosing one and taking it out. He examined it closely, turning it over and over, before crossing to the dresser to put it in his toiletries bag.

Jennifer Taylor had taught her son to be fair. Earlier in the day, Justin had punished Brian for not gathering seashells, now it was time to reward him for appreciating them. Brian rarely commented on past fucks or blow jobs, but he would talk about the blow job that Justin was about to bestow for years to come.

It was no surprise to Brian, as the end of the day drew near, that Justin wanted to go down to the beach to watch the sunset. Hell, Justin would probably wake up tomorrow and explain that the day's itinerary included sand castles, kite-flying and hunting for lost jewelry with their brand-new, his-and-his metal detectors.

While Justin folded blankets and towels to take with them, Brian grabbed the essentials: the local weed and the local rum.

They set up camp near several large boulders and passed the pipe and bottle back and forth, watching the sky fade from vermillion to violet to black. Soon, the stars appeared, fiery pinpoints of white and blue, scattering silver on the surface of the sea.

"See that cluster of stars over there?" Justin pointed low on the horizon. "Those are the Pleiades."

"I know how to say Pleiades in Japanese."

"No fucking way," Justin said disbelievingly.


"Bullshit," Justin said, bumping Brian's shoulder with his own.

"I presented a case study on them in school."

"Huh." Justin was quiet for a while and then pointed again. "There's Sirius, the Dog Star."


"Follow Orion's Belt down to the horizon about two hand widths. See it? It's the brightest star in the sky."

"Let me guess. You had a telescope when you were a kid and spent countless hours gazing into the sky wishing you were anywhere but planet Earth."

"Something like that," Justin said and shifted closer to Brian.

"Look, there's Gluteus Tightus," Brian said suddenly and pointed straight up. "Right next to Penis Erectus. And there. That's Hungcockus Enormus. The ancient Greeks built temples left and right to that fucking cluster."

They cracked up and spent the rest of the night making up porny constellation names, each one raunchier than the one before.

At one point, Justin waded into the water and dipped his hand in. He came back and painted Brian's lips with the sea water and kissed him. "I like the way it tastes on you. Promise we'll come back."

"Cross my heart," Brian said and sealed it with another kiss.

That night, the wind sailed through the villa with the promise of rain, and in the morning, they woke to a torrential downpour of the kind only seen in the tropics. Clap after clap of thunder ripped though the sky followed almost immediately by blinding flashes of lightning.

"Gee. Looks like we get to stay in and fuck," Brian said, watching the deluge from the verandah.

It stormed all day, and true to Brian's word they fucked all day. They also ate and drank and smoked the rest of the island weed. It was in the middle of a fat stogie, that Justin was struck by sudden inspiration. "Let's play a game."

"What kind of game?"

"I'm a merman and you're the enchanted prince that's been asleep in an underwater cave for over five hundred years. The only way to break the spell is for you to have sex with a merman."

"Why do you get to be the merman?"

"Because you clearly have issues with cloacae," Justin said. "I, on the other hand, do not. In fact, I celebrate my cloaca. I also celebrate my very thick, very long cock which resides in my cloaca and which I can erect at will. Oh, and did I mention that it's prehensile?"

"You should've told me all this yesterday."

"You didn't give me a chance. You ran me down like a crazed boar and fucked me in the dirt."

"I don't recall it happening quite like that, but whatever," Brian said, prepared to let it go in anticipation of Justin's fantasy. "Just get on it with it, fish-stick."

"Merman," Justin corrected. "Okay, you have to make believe you're in an enchanted sleep while I use my mermish sexual powers to try and wake you."

"Jesus, you and fucking Michael."

But Brian closed his eyes and waited to see what the merman would do. He jerked when he felt a hot tongue lap at the bottom of his foot. Justin responded by biting his toe. Obviously the merman didn't like sudden movements, and Brian willed himself to relax. Justin continued licking and biting up his legs, nudging his thighs further and further apart.

When he finally neared Brian's groin, Brian thought he'd encourage and praise him. "Good merman."

"Sssh. You're supposed to be asleep," Justin scolded and nipped Brian's belly in warning. "Now, I'm going to suck your dick. Mermish saliva is known widely for its magical restorative powers." And Justin fell to.

From all the noise the prince was making, it appeared that he was very close to waking. But there was only one way to make sure that the spell remained broken forever, and Justin released Brian's dick to explain what came next.

"Justin! What the fuck? I was about to come!"

"You can't yet. In order for the enchantment to be lifted, you have to be filled with a merman's semen." Justin knelt by Brian's face and held out his cock, touching the tip of it to Brian's lips.

"Make me come first, then I'll suck you off."

"You misunderstand me, my enchanted prince."

Confused, Brian looked up scowling. "Spit it out, fish-boy."

Justin pushed on Brian's shoulder and tried to roll him over, but Brian resisted. "What are you doing?"

"It's the only way," Justin said solemnly.

"You said I had to be filled with a merman's come. If you put your dick in my ass, the only thing that'll be filled is your condom."

"The technical aspects of the act are not as important as the symbolism and tradition of it."

"Tradition, my ass," Brian snorted.

"Yes. Exactly," Justin said trying hard not to laugh.

Brian shot him one last glare then rolled over graciously. Justin fucked him so superbly, he may as well have had a prehensile cock. As foretold, the prince woke from his enchanted sleep and after catching his breath, lit a cigarette. "So what happens now?"

"The merman and his prince fuck their way across the world's oceans till the end of time."

"Do I get to wear the latest in underwater fashion?"

"Of course," Justin assured him. "You'll knock them dead from the Caspian to the Pacific."

"How about the Mediterranean?"

"You'll wow them off their sea horses."

"And don't forget that my cock is gargantuan."

"Yes, but not prehensile."

Brian pulled him close and kissed him. "You can wake my ass up anytime."

That night, Justin dreamed he was a dolphin swimming through coral canyons, spiraling to the surface, faster and faster, until he exploded out of the water, flashing golden in the sun before diving back into the cobalt blue, to do it all again.

It dawned clear and cool on their final day, and they had time for a last pool side breakfast before boarding the speedboat that took them back to St. Vincent. Brian made up for the lack of mile-high sex on the way down by fucking Justin three times between San Juan and New York.

The plane touched down in winter darkness, hard frost glittering on the tarmac, a chill wind blowing from the north. They'd packed thick sweaters for their return but still shivered as they walked through the skyway.

"Home sweet home," Brian said.

"It's surreal, isn't it?" Justin asked. "One minute you're on an island in the middle of paradise, the next you're in the frozen north."

"What's surreal is us having to spend the next two nights in that flophouse you insist on calling home."

"You know what?" Justin stopped walking and made a show of looking around. "I think we're in an airport, and I bet you anything they've got regular flights to Pittsburgh. Want me to find out?"

"Shut the fuck up and let's get to baggage before the hordes descend," Brian snapped and shoved Justin to get him moving.

The town car dropped them off in front of one of the few buildings on the lower east side that had managed to avoid gentrification. As they walked up the eight flights to Justin's studio apartment, they were stopped on the fifth floor by a gaggle of lithe Puerto Ricans queens, half of whom were in drag.

One of the more flamboyant ones ran forward and bussed Justin lightly on the cheek. "Ooh sugar, look at you. All pretty and brown. Look girls, our little white angel isn't so white any more." The men murmured appreciatively over Justin's new coloring. And," the queen stepped back and looked at Brian appraisingly, "you brought us back a present."

Justin laughed and made the introductions. "Jorgi, this is Brian, my partner. Brian, this is Jorgi. Jorgi just got back from Estonia where he studied Gregorian chants."

Jorgi batted his eyelashes at Brian. "Do you like medieval music, handsome?"

"Only when I'm in my dungeon," Brian replied and prodded Justin toward the stairs.

"Oh honey, watch your step on the seventh floor. Eddie in 7A got into another fight with his sugar daddy. Then that hopped-up Dominican in 7D called the popo, and they got into it in the hallway before they showed up."

"Thanks, Jorgi," Justin called over his shoulder, smiling apologetically for Brian's brusque behavior.

On the seventh floor landing, Brian made a big show of stepping over a broken chair, a boom box, and a pot that was filled with what appeared to be dried lentils.

After Justin closed the door and locked the three deadbolts behind him, he turned to find Brian watching him with a grim, self-satisfied smile.

"All right, maybe it is a tenement," he said, returning the smile with a wan one of his own.

"I promised you we'd go down to the islands again, didn't I?"

"Yeah," Justin said, his eyes lighting up.

"There's one condition."

"What?" Justin asked warily.

"You move out of here tomorrow."

"No fucking way. Brian, we've had this disc-"

"Justin," Brian implored and pressed a key into his hand. "Please."

"What's this?" Justin asked though he knew full well what it was.

"It's the key to your new place."

Justin regarded him for a long time before he finally spoke. "You fight dirty. I like that in a domineering bastard."

"Like I said, I must be doing something right." Brian pushed him against the door and kissed him, and for the briefest of moments, thought he tasted the sea.

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