Michael Arram









  ‘You should not be so hard on Felip.  His problem is that he loves me,’ said Oskar, sadly.


  ‘That makes it worse.  Hendrik knows he does, isn’t that right?  He was teaching you a lesson, and using me to do it.’


  ‘That’s the problem when you put yourself in the power of men like Hendrik.  They use it.  Still, there is this.  You impressed the crew, who were happy to spread around how you cut Felip down to size.  He’s been showing off recently and is not so popular as he was.  You’re already a star at Falkefilm in a small way.  Your web pictures are causing a real interest round the office.  You may outshine me at this rate, Jason.’


  ‘But he bit me, Oskar.’


  Oskar took his lover into his arms and kissed the mark gently, then licked it.  Their lips met.  Will wanted to go further, but Oskar refused.  ‘No sex now until the filming.  We have to gush for Uncle Hendrik.  Also the vyrfebr has to clear up.  Then we fuck bareback forever … bravo!’


  They spent Friday and the weekend at the Spa.  The fact that they were beginning to draw up their final report for Matt didn't preclude some serious sunbathing.  Will's skin was rapidly becoming tawny, and the tan was all over.


  Now the die was cast, Will was less nervous about the way he had compromised his life.  What was done was done.  He had committed himself to a dangerous and potentially disastrous act for a reason he firmly believed was good and sufficient.  From then on, what would be would have to be.


  If anything bothered him, it was the facility with which the porn industry had sucked him in, turning abnormal into normal.  He needed Jason Williams to keep the situation at a distance from William Vincent, who was, it seemed, a born whore.  The whole thing had exposed an unexpected and alarming side to his character, one that both Oskar and Hendrik had so readily sensed.  He’d had to revise his own self-image.  He was a man who could easily attract passion in other men.  He could seduce people.




* * *




  They woke up on Monday early.  In the bathroom together, Oskar asked to have his upper body shaved, followed by his balls.  He reciprocated for Will, giving his underarm hair and pubes a thorough thinning and trim.  Will was also required to bend over and separate his buttocks so his crack could be shaved.  ‘You are hairy down there, my Will, not like me.  You brunettes have a disadvantage compared to us.  Now we are ready to go.  Make yourself look like a Yankee.  I will adopt the guise of an innocent Strelzener boy, about to be seduced by a big-city Westerner.’


  ‘Oh yeah,’ Will sneered.


  They took a taxi to the airport, where the crew was already on the concourse.  A small bribe allowed them to film Will emerging from Arrivals with his bag over his shoulder.  He acted the part of the stranger to Strelzen, scanning signs, unfolding a map, and querying innocent passersby.  He flattered himself he did it with conviction and some depth.


  Soon the camera caught him taking the walkway to the station, boarding the bright, modern shuttle train and staring out the window as the spires of the city approached.  Oskar grinned at him from further back in the carriage.


  Will alighted on the station concourse, where he looked in all the souvenir shops.  Next he did street scenes in various locations: walking Mikhelstrasse and the Rodolferplaz, leaning against King Henry, and sitting by King Ferdinand’s fountain feeding the pigeons.


  Finally, walking down a narrow lane behind the Leuwen Pasacz, he met his co-star.  Will arranged it by having himself absorbed in a foldout map, barging accidentally into Oskar and falling back convincingly on his bum.  Oskar picked him up and their eyes met.  The scene was shot twice from different perspectives so both faces would be seen.  Having been told the dialogue was up to them, they wickedly went to town, taking advantage of the crew’s scant knowledge of English.


  ‘Jeez, I’m sorry, man!’


  ‘You are American!’


  ‘Yeah … but I’m still sorry.’


  ‘This is not yet another attempt to impose domination on lesser former Communist countries?’


  ‘No, just the usual: blundering into situations we don’t understand and fucking them up.’


  Oskar laughed at this point and took his shoulder.  ‘I didn’t know Yankees could be so funny.’


  ‘You’ve not watched the Simpsons then?’


  ‘I can’t get cable.’


  ‘Look, I’m Jason, and I’m lost.  Any chance you can direct me to the … er … whassis?  Rodolfoplatz?’


  ‘Rodolferplaz.  Yes, it’s not far.  I can walk you there.  My name is Marc.’


  Exeunt chatting and laughing.  As they disappeared down the lane, Oskar was actually saying that the subversiveness of their repartee and standard of their improvisation would make everybody else look totally limp in future.


  ‘It’s sabotage, my love, intellectual warfare, and since this is my last outing for Falkefilm, I could not frankly give a damn.’


  For the afternoon’s shooting, Hendrik had taken over Club Liberation, which Oskar said he suspected Hendrik actually owned.  A number of the new Falkefilm boys were hanging round, along with some of the production staff, as well as the usual bar staff, hired for the afternoon.


  Oskar and Will were filmed in the foyer in a supposed queue with fake bouncers.  ‘So, I’ll like this place?’ Will queried.


  ‘It’s cool, Jason, all the Americans come here.’


  ‘Yeah, but where are the dames?’


  ‘It’s a special club.  Men only.’


  ‘Oh I geddit … it’s a gay joint.’  He laughed.  ‘What do you take me for, Marc?’


  ‘I think you know very well, you rascal.  You felt my butt when I picked you up in the lane.’


  ‘It’s some butt!’


  ‘Yeah, I like it.  Anyway, you have to be gay.’




  ‘Dramatic necessity, my American friend.  This is a porn video.’


  ‘Fair enough, Marc.  You gonna stick with me inside?’


  ‘I think not, but no doubt we will meet again.’


  ‘Dramatic necessity?’




  They moved inside and Will roamed the floor, followed by the camera.  He bumped deliberately into a young model called Pavel, and their eyes locked.  Soon they were moving together intimately.  Will liked Pavel, who wasn’t a bad dancer.  Hand in hand they slipped into the (brightly illuminated) darkroom, and a moment later Pavel’s trousers were round his ankles and Will’s lips were round his rather large member.  Will pushed his own trousers down to his knees and began masturbating himself.


  The camera moved round him, which was distracting, and the crew chief kept annoying him with whispered directions.  Pavel overdid the panting, but that wasn’t Will’s problem.  It went on for ages until Will’s knees were just about giving out.  When Pavel was finally allowed to unleash himself over his partner’s face, Will remembered to shut his eyes at the crucial point.  He took the whole load in and around his mouth and, without instruction, climbed up Pavel to share the cum with its owner.  As he did so he was internally marvelling as to how he had got into this bizarre situation.  He tried to shake off the introspection and go with the flow.


  After cleaning himself up with a thick wet wipe and giving Pavel a thank-you kiss and smile, Will moved back out to the floor, where he danced with various partners for the sake of continuity shots.  He eventually shed his top and really got into heavy petting with one guy for the camera.


  Finally there came the next encounter with Oskar, which the crew chief decided to shoot as the boys once more accidentally bumping each other, this time with Will knocking Oskar over and picking him up.  ‘You again!’


  ‘Can’t get enough of you, Rothenian babe.’


  ‘So it seems.’


  ‘Marc, I’ve scoped out all the babes in this place and the hottest one turns out to be you.  Wanna teach me some Rothenian?’


  ‘The rude words?’


  ‘They’re the important ones.  You gotta classroom where we can hang out?’


  ‘I think maybe you could be quite advanced on the practical side.’


  ‘I can show you my diploma, if you’ll show me yours.’


  ‘I keep it rolled up at home.’


  ‘Then let’s go look for it.’  They took hands and pushed out through the artificial disco crush, the cameras following.  And that was it for the day, apart from returning for a night-time shoot in Rodolferplaz, where the crowd round Liberation hooted and cheered at the sight of Marc Bennett being filmed live.  He grimaced and signed arms and bare chests for his fans.


  Will was astonished to think that in a year he might be the one mobbed by drunken gay tourists.  He kept in the background, scanning the crowd.  He finally located the familiar face he was looking for, caught a smile, and felt more than a little relieved.


  The next shoot was the following day around a house Hendrik owned in a quiet street north of the Osten Tor, the city’s medieval river-gate.  They were supposed to cross the bridge hand in hand and sneak around a side alley.  Overcome by passion, they had to start ripping off each other’s clothes in the open air, with Will taking Oskar in his mouth and then Oskar taking Will against a wall.


  Fortunately it was a hot, sunny Strelzen day.  Filming went on for ages.  Cameras shot from every angle, even underneath, capturing each detail of Oskar’s penetration in close-up.  But the two men forgot about being observed.  The noises they made and the kisses they gave were purely for themselves.  They more or less ignored the crew’s instructions, and the chief had the sense to let them get on with it.  Oskar had coached Will to know how to make sure the camera had access to the main action and was not obscured by misplaced limbs.  The crew was very quiet when they wrapped up.


  They moved to a furnished bedroom with a skylight in Hendrik’s house.  They started with foreplay, which made Will ecstatic.  The oral scenes were equally good, as they gave each other head luxuriously and patiently.  The director and his paraphernalia evaporated around them, even when the camera was laid underneath them for the vertical shots.


  Will saw those laughing eyes looking up at him through the heavy blond fringe, his cock in that wide mouth, and he was in heaven.  It must have showed on his face, because a big close-up tracked round him as his eyes closed with bliss.  The crew was completely silent.


  The director eventually coughed, and said it was time to move on to the anal shots.  Will lifted off his lover’s cock, and looked up at him.


  ‘I’ve got an idea, Marc’


  ‘I can read your mind, Jason.’


  ‘You have a penetrating intellect, babe.  Or should I say, your intellects are all about penetrating.’


  ‘Is that good?  I don’t know enough English words.’


  ‘And I don’t know many Rothenian ones, but I do know this, Ai du lebst.’


  ‘And I love you, too, Jason Williams.  Your eyes, your laughter, your mouth and your ass – especially your ass.’


  ‘They’re all yours, Rothenian boy, especially my ass.’


  ‘Then I’m annexing your American ass in the name of the government of the Republic of Rothenia, my Jason.  And I shall now formally take possession by raising a Rothenian flagpole in it.’


  Will laughed happily and not at all falsely.  After kissing the top of the flagpole, he presented himself for a glorious rimming which had him gripping the duvet and moaning.  Familiar fingers followed.  Oskar’s cock succeeded them after a brief delay while he wrapped it with film and lubricated it off-camera.


  As Oskar entered him, the vertical camera was beneath Will, and he groaned into it without any artificiality at all.  Then he put his head back over his shoulder waiting for the kisses as Oskar sank home in him and leaned over.  They gasped and panted, Oskar whispering words of love in Will’s ears as he moved back upright and began patient strokes into his lover.


  Will realised they were away in another world when Oskar kept sighing Eio men Willemju over and over again.  He had forgotten Jason.  Will hoped the microphone wasn’t picking it up.  After an age of anal stimulation, they slumped on their sides so Oskar could lift Will’s leg in a sideways fuck for the camera’s benefit.


  Will was beyond ecstatic.  The precum was leaking out on to his glans, to be greedily picked up on film.  The focus returned to his face when he bit his lips and sighed in a very real sexual delirium.


  It must have been an hour before the crew wound up the scene.  Oskar pulled out of Will, rolled and snapped off the plastic.  When the director nodded, he began on his climax, with Will kneeling in front of him, butt in the air.  Oskar spurted high over Will’s back within a few pumps, spattering him down to his ass.  Will wished Oskar would lick it off, but a crewman had a wipe.


  Then Will had to recline on Oskar and bring himself off.  ‘Ooh,’ whispered Oskar, ‘Rocket Man!’ as Will gushed several times up his chest and trickled down his length.  He stretched languorously on top of his lover.


  They sat together naked while the crew went outside for a smoke.  ‘How was that, Oskar?’


  ‘A unique experience of hot sex, my Will.  I don’t think such a performance has ever been seen here.  Did you notice how quiet the boys were?  They felt it.’


  The chief returned, asking them to climax again for the cameras.  This time they brought each other off, and kissed.  Oskar at least managed another genuine gush.




* * *




  ‘So that was my last ejaculation for the cause of Falkefilm,’ concluded Oskar, clinking glasses with Will in Ribaud’s that night.  ‘We’ve been paid, too!’


  ‘It was my first and last.  What a sad end to such a promising career,’ replied Will. ‘I must say, though, that think what you like, sex in front of cameras is amazing.  Come what may, – and I will probably regret it in the end – it was the most powerfully erotic experience in my life.’  Will paused.  ‘Oh fuck, what does he want?’


  Felip had come in uncertainly from the Radhausplaz, seen them in a corner, and was heading in their direction.  They stood up, did the Rothenian thing, and invited him to sit.


  Felip had been hurrying and was perspiring heavily.  He looked hesitantly across at Will.  ‘I’ve just viewed the first rushes, and I had to come and say something to both of you.  Oskar, Will, I’m really sorry.  I’ve seen the cameras do many things, but that’s the first time I’ve seen them capture true erotic love.  Will, I was jealous of you, and cruel to you because of it.  But now I’ve seen what you mean to each other, it’s made me ashamed.’


  Oskar’s face registered surprise, followed by compassion.  ‘Oh, Felip, you are a funny boy.  I had written you off as a cock on legs, and now you do this to me.  You make me feel mean.  Come kiss me.’


  Felip smiled gently and kissed Oskar, then took Will’s hand and kissed him.  As he did so, Will caught again, stronger this time, the odour of Felip’s maleness.


  ‘I was glad to be there when you two began.  God go with you.’  He got up and left.


  Oskar smiled round at Will, only to have the smile freeze when he saw the troubled concentration on Will’s face.


  ‘What is it, my Will?’


  ‘Oskar,’ Will asked with deliberation, ‘why did Tomas suppose I was mugged by a man with a knife, when all he saw was someone running away?’


  ‘I beg your pardon?’


  ‘And what did Felip mean when he said he was there when we began.’




  ‘And how come the mugger had the same male odour as Felip?’




  ‘And when you said you found me wanton and erotic when you first saw me, it wasn’t in the Lindenstrasse or your apartment that you were referring to, was it?’


  Oskar was looking at him uneasily.  ‘No, it wasn’t.’


  ‘I think I want the full story.  I won’t say the truth, because I know you don’t lie.’


  ‘Thank you at least for that, Will.’  Oskar sighed unhappily.  His blue eyes engaged with Will’s brown ones.  There was a long pause.  ‘Very well.  The truth which you so want.  The story began six weeks ago when Hendrik first turned his mind to the idea of An American in Strelzen, the idea we have just brought to a glorious conclusion.  You know my circumstances and my need for money.  I was desperate to get the production off the ground.  Hendrik was happy for me to help it along, but knew that for it to be successful we needed a genuine Anglophone whom I could work with.


  ‘We had been looking for a week when you turned up that night in Liberation as a member of Dr White’s group.  I was there with Hendrik and Felip and, when I saw you dancing, I knew you were the one … so passionate, so free with yourself.  You were a very special man, I knew it.  We had to give it a try, and to know more about you.


  ‘So I rang up Tomas to bring round his little car, and we piled in and waited till you all left in the limousine.  We followed you to the restaurant.  When you walked down the hill alone, we followed you, passing and repassing.  I couldn’t believe my luck when you turned on to Lindenstrasse.  Tomas roared along to my apartment, where we sketched out a quick plan.  Felip pretended to rob you, we shouted at him, he threw your wallet at me and took off for home.  I, on the other hand …’


  ‘… you seduced me.’


  ‘Yes, I seduced you.’


  ‘It was not love.’


  Oskar looked unhappily back at him.  ‘You call on me to be honest, my brother?’


  ‘Like the nobleman you are, Oskar zu Terlenehem.’


  Oskar’s face grew composed.  ‘No, it was not then love.’


  ‘Did it ever become love?’


  ‘You need to ask that?’




  ‘It did become love, Will.  But not for a while, not until …’


  Will interrupted him loudly.  ‘Wait a minute … the visit to the gym.  Josep’s injections.  What a fool I am!  Vitamins!  Those were fucking steroids!  He was waiting for me.  You brought me to the bastard for fattening up, like some sort of fucking stock animal.  He was getting me ready for Hendrik’s stable.  Oh my God!’


  The people on the next table looked curiously at them.


  Oskar’s eyes were wide and horrified.  ‘No, Will, you mustn’t think that.’


  ‘But it’s true.’


  ‘There would have come a time – soon – when I would have confessed.  And you would have understood why it had to be like that: when the case had been won, when my family’s lands had been restored.’


  Will abruptly rose to his feet, followed by Oskar.  They stared silently at one another.  Then Will snarled low and furiously but quite distinctly, ‘You whore!’  He drew back his palm ready to slap his companion hard across the face.  Oskar stood waiting for the blow, with no intention of evading it.


  But it did not land.  Will’s hand was caught in a powerful grip and lowered to his side.  Terry O‘Brien chided him, ‘Will, me babe, you’re frightening the locals.  I think you’d better come quietly with me.’  He gazed coolly at Oskar.  ‘I assume Mr Bennett here won’t be joining us.’


  With one last cold glare, Will walked out of the restaurant alongside Terry.


  Oskar sat down heavily, looking vacantly at the tablecloth for quite some while afterwards.