This multipart story is primarily about romance and relationships between men. Any reference to actual persons, living or dead, is only to enhance the fictional nature of the story and does not suggest a particular sexual orientation. If you are offended by graphic descriptions of homosexual sex, what the hell are you doing here? Bye, bye.
Special acknowledgements to Drew and Brad for providing diligent proofing and editing of the story.
If you have any comments or suggestions for the author, feel free to write me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Support Nifty!
Chapter 8, Summer in the Country
The remainder of May dragged professionally for Dex but it sparkled privately. Except for official debriefings with his F.B.I. supervisor, tedious report writing and the wrap-up of his involvement in the undercover investigation were done in the privacy of his apartment. This arrangement gave Dex ample opportunity to review all the AOI material that he accessed on a secure Internet site. By the time he reported to the AOI training center in Quantico, Dex planned to have the details memorized to make his training more cohesive.
After a home cooked dinner at his apartment with Kyle the night before departure, they made ferocious love. Dex was sure that this night would have to suffice in the sex department until he returned from training so they raced to see what they would run out of first: lube, condoms or energy. Kyle and Dex lay in a sweaty heap when the libido meter measured 'only breathing' late into the evening. Dex hoped there would be privacy for an occasional jerk off while he was away. 'Gotta keep the plumbing workin' right,' he told himself before falling asleep in his best pal's arms.
Kyle was dispatched home at 7:00 a.m. after a fast, no-nonsense shower so Dex could ready himself for the AOI pickup at nine. He had been told to dress in casual clothes and to bring only a toiletry kit and a current passport. Dex was curbside outside his apartment at the appointed time when a black SUV pulled up.
"Mr. Tate?" the driver asked as he leaned over to the open passenger door window.
"Yes, Sir, that's me." He wasn't sure of the protocol and decided to address the middle-aged man formally.
"Please get into the back seat and say hello to your roommate for the next month." Nothing more before the dark, tinted window was powered-up.
Dex opened the back door, saw his fellow passenger scoot to the left side and got in the GMC Yukon. The extra heaviness of the door didn't go un-noticed. 'Must be armor-plated,' he thought as he closed it. He could barely hear the street noise as the SUV pulled away.
"Your name's Tate?" asked the other passenger with a smile. "I'm Chip...Chip Lewinthal." He extended his hand to Dex. "Guess we're going to get to know each other pretty well by the time training is over."
"Dex, as in Dexter. Hi, Chip. Nice to meet you." He casually judged that the smaller, compact guy with the preppy buzz-cut, jeans and a polo shirt was probably about his age. The eyeglasses with tortoise-shell frames projected an intellectual, collegiate image.
"We've got about a half-hour to kill on the drive over. Wanna do a little show and tell about ourselves?" Chip asked tentatively. "We're going to be living together for the next month."
"Makes sense, Chip. Um, let's see...grew up in Westport, Connecticut, and there's just Mom, Dad and me. Georgetown for my BA and law degree and kinda involved with another person."
"That's good for openers. I'm from San Francisco, the oldest of three. I've got two moms, a sister and a brother. School was the University of California and Caltech for a few degrees."
"Caltech as in the jet propulsion labs and the earthquake seismological center?" Dex appreciated the impressive academic background. 'This guy must be pretty bright,' he decided.
"Yep. In my case, computer sciences. I've always loved computers since I was a little..."
"Wait just a minute; I remember you. Charlton Lewinthal, boy computer hacker. You got into the DOD main frames and gave the government fits. Jeez, that had to be 12 years ago. I was in junior high...maybe 14, at the time."
"That's me. I guess we're the same age, then. Pretty fucking stupid...I was just a kid with too much energy, curiosity and time on my hands. The F.B.I. came down on me pretty hard and I was restricted from going on the Internet until I was 18."
"I studied your case at the F.B.I. academy. You were lucky they didn't lock you up and throw away the key," Dex said with a laugh. "Jeez, from what I remember, you had all the Defense Department mucky-mucks really upset that their high-security setup could be breached. We were told in class that since you didn't do any damage the federal judge was pretty lenient."
"Four years probation. And actually it was a win-win situation. That summer, as part of my probation, I worked with the DOD computer guys and helped write new programs so that their system couldn't be breeched. We did so well that Uncle Sam gave me a scholarship to Cal and Caltech. The only thing they wanted was for me to return each summer and work for the government. I'm a clean and wiser man...and I've got a spotless record. You mentioned the F.B.I. You're an agent?"
"Was. I just resigned last month to join AOI. Let's just say that I wanted to work in a gay-friendlier environment. By the way, you mentioned two moms?"
"Yeah, as in lovers and partners. When I was little, dad just up and left one day. My biological mom told me that she and my supposed aunt - the other lady who moved in with us - were going to share raising us kids. I was probably five at the time. Sis was three, my brother had just turned one year old and we had this house above Haight Street with lots of room. Gotta tell you that there was - well, still is - a lot of love in our family after dad disappeared. I guess when I was ten, a few of the bigger guys in school cornered me one day and started cursing me, pushing me around and laughing about the two dykes I lived with."
"Christ, that had to be heavy-duty for a kid."
"Tell me about it. I came running home, nose bloodied and crying. My mom cleaned me up and when my aunt came home from work we had a family meeting. They told me the real story and were worried about me accepting them. I mean, here were the two most important people in my life telling me that we had been living a lie since I can remember. I guess I moped around for the rest of the evening before I made a decision that whatever the deal was, I loved them. I went into their bedroom - knocking on the door first - and told them that I loved them both but wanted to know more about two women being together. I guess we hugged for a long time and then had the first of several conversations."
"So did the bullies at school leave you alone?"
"A few taunts, but it was the end of the school year and we went our separate ways for the summer. I was small for my age - well, I still am; 5'7" with no shoes on - and my mom was concerned that I needed to learn how to defend myself. That summer, I was enrolled in a judo school and earned my orange belt by the end of August. When I returned to school, the guys learned the hard way not to fuck around with me. By the time all this stuff with the government happened, I had earned my brown belt." Chip turned on a big smile and winked. "Just for the record, I now wear a black belt and used to march with the family in San Francisco's gay pride parade when I lived in the Bay area."
"So, um, you're gay?"
"Didn't work out that way. I, ah, experimented with my best friend in junior high school but it was just a case of two horny teenagers getting their rocks off. We were best men at each other's weddings."
"My moms are now grand moms," Chip said with a deep breath. "I've got two kids and a wife at home in Bethesda." He pulled out his wallet and continued, "Let me do my proud poppa thing." Chip smiled as he showed Dex two kids - twin boys. "They just turned three."
"Double your pleasure," Dex said. "Handsome little dudes."
"Yeah, amazing guys. Their mother is very bright so we've got some challenges on how to best channel their inquisitive minds down the road. Here's a picture of my wife, Sally."
"Beautiful lady. I can see how the twins got their good looks," Dex said with a smug smile. "How about your sister and brother?"
"They're both back in California. Sis is married and I'm a new uncle. However, brother Brad is batting for the other side."
"Other side? I assume you mean that he's gay...playing on my team." Dex looked into Chip's eyes and detected no reaction other than a contented expression of pride.
"Good looking, single and gay...a lethal combination in San Francisco. But I've delivered my big brother 'safe sex always' speech several times. He's cool."
"Well, I'm glad we got that out of the way. I don't have any pictures but Kyle is the guy in my life. I guess I'd have to consider our relationship in the engagement phase. We're just getting to know each other really well."
"I hope we can all get together when this is finished. You can imagine, I hope, that I'm completely supportive of my brother and assumed that you were probably gay because of the group and AOI. It was explained that I'm in the minority in this organization...something I have no problem with."
"Buddy, I think we're going to be friends." Dex extended his hand and the two men shook. Dex was impressed that Chip had a grip that surged with power and energy. 'I feel sorry for anyone who might want to attack this guy,' he decided.
A half hour later the SUV turned off the I-95 at Dumfries and traveled through the residential areas before navigating the final few miles on a gravel road in the beautiful Prince William county countryside. Dex became more alert when the vehicle rounded a bend in the road and a tall brick wall covered with vines became prominent. 'This must be the place,' he thought. Dex looked at Chip and raised his eyebrows while motioning with his head at the wall.
"Looks like we're home, Dorothy," Chip said with a mischievous grin.
"Yep, we're not in Kansas anymore." Dex watched as the driver slowed and turned into a driveway and stopped at solid wood double gates mounted to two imposing brick columns. The only address or identification was a small brass plaque with 'AOI' engraved on the surface. At the top of each column was a small black reflective bubble that meant all movements at the gate were being monitored by video cameras.
"Mr. Tate and Mr. Lewinthal have arrived," the driver said to the small metal perforated box mounted to the column.
"Proceed to reception," was the only reply.
The gates slowly parted and the driver navigated through the entrance. Before Dex was landscape reminiscent of an old Southern estate. He could see the giant Georgian columns of a typical plantation home in the distance. The only difference in this genteel visual setting was a utility building nearby with five large satellite dishes pointed to the sky. Before they reached the main building, Dex noted a low, two-story building that was similar to school dorms. "That must be where we'll be quartered," he said to Chip.
"Check out those other buildings down the road near the water. I assume those are the classrooms."
"Guess we'll find out soon," Dex replied as the SUV stopped at the front entrance of the mansion.
"Gentlemen, this is where we part. You're expected with the others inside in the reception hall. Take your toiletry kits with you and good luck."
"Thanks, Sir," Dex and Chip replied in unison. Dex opened the door and got out of the vehicle. Chip slid over and eased out. As they arrived at the front entrance the red door slowly swung inward. An older man with worn chiseled features and a shaved head greeted them. He was wearing a pair of fatigues with eagle insignias on the shirt collar.
"Welcome, gentlemen. My name is Colonel Spencer and you will be under my care for the next month. Please follow me so that you can meet the rest of your group." In a variation of a military 'about face,' the colonel turned and walked forward to a large hallway. The two younger men silently followed as they turned to the first set of doors. Automatically the doors slid open to reveal an elegantly appointed small ballroom. "Please help yourself to a beverage and the buffet. Here are your nametags that you will wear for the duration of the training. It would be helpful for you to put them on the right side of your chests and introduce yourselves to your classmates." The Colonel handed each man a nametag with the last name, and first name initial.
"Yes, Sir," Chip said as he affixed the nametag.
Dex did the same thing as he slowly scanned the room. He noticed approximately 20 men and six women about the same age range - mid-20's to early 30's - milling about as Chip and he walked into the room and made their way to the buffet table. Dex recognized one man who had been in his F.B.I. academy class down the road. 'Hmm, the academy could have been more interesting had I known what his sexuality was all about," Dex thought with a smile.
Over the next half-hour Dex worked the group and found out a little about each classmate. Some had specialty backgrounds such as telecommunications, explosives and computer sciences. However, most were ex-military men or law enforcement officers.
"Gentlemen. If I may have your attention," Colonel Spencer announced. "I trust you've had a chance to meet your classmates. As you are aware, AOI is thought of as the 'shadow CIA' by several global corporations and foreign governments. We are increasingly relied upon by multinational corporations, private investors, hedge funds, and even the government's own spy agencies for analysis of geopolitical risks. Our crisis intelligence, protective assessments and security are superior to those of any other organization, and your successful completion of the training program will assure our continued dominance in these areas throughout the world."
There was spontaneous applause and murmurs from the group. Dex swelled with pride that he was now a fledgling member of AOI.
The Colonel continued, "Terrorist groups have assured that we are in a growth industry. Understanding survival techniques and counter-measures are paramount to everyone in this room. Now, if you will follow the team leaders to your quarters, we will reconvene in the training center at 1300. Each of you has training packets in your room. Please review them prior to this afternoon's meeting. You will find khaki uniforms as well. Please change into them before you return." He gestured to a short man at the rear of the ballroom and the group filed out to the hallway and the back door.
Dex was thankful that he was in relatively good physical shape. The morning workouts for the entire class were grueling. Field exercises and the fitness course were attacked daily at 0600 for an hour. After a shower and a change into fresh clothes - all provided by the school - the classmates attended 0730 breakfast and a briefing before splitting up into their specialized groups. To the credit of the AOI officials who supervised the selection process, the entire class became very close and friendly. Teamwork was definitely not an issue.
At the end of the first week, Dex was half-awake in bed as he tried to fall to sleep in the darkened space illuminated only by the moonlight coming through the window. It had been a particularly stressful day and he was still wound up. He slowly keyed in on heavy breathing from his roommate in the bunk to the right of his bed. A low moan escaped from Chip and Dex realized that his buddy was taking stress release literally into his own hands - or hand, as the case may be. Dex focused on the silhouette of Chip as he slid his hand slowly up and down a very formidable hard cock. This was all it took for Dex to spring instant wood. As quietly as possible, Dex mimicked Chip's actions and unexpectedly growled an audible, "Ohhh..."
Chip immediately stopped his stroking and paused. "Umm, Dex, are you awake?" he whispered.
"Err, awake and up...like you," Dex said with a snicker. "Looks like we got the same problem."
"Hey, we're 26 years old and in our prime. The only problem is what to do with it."
"Any suggestions, old married man?" Dex chuckled and raised himself into a sitting position.
"Ahhh, yep, I do. This is something I haven't done in about eight or nine years but I figure that since we're roomies we might as well do this together rather than sneaking around."
"Just two buddies helping out each other. You wanna join me?" Chip asked softly.
"I don't think that it would be the right thing to do. I'm really committed to Kyle to figure out a relationship for the long haul." Dex's eyes had adjusted to the dark and he was able to make out Chip's taut male form in the buff. 'What a hot, fucking dude,' he thought while rubbing his thumb around the tip of his naturally lubed glans.
"Um, just as you love Kyle, I feel the same way about Susan and expect to be with her forever. This is just a matter of physical release and enjoying it with a good friend. I'm just saying that since were going to do it, let's do it together. Make sense?"
"I think I could get into that." Dex swung his legs out of bed, rose, moved over to Chip's bed and sat next to his hard, naked body. "What will you say to your wife?"
"This goes under the category of no need to know, if you get my drift."
"I get it," Dex said in an urgent whisper. 'This is definitely something I don't tell Kyle,' he considered. Dex turned in the bed and sat cross-legged. Chip did the same thing and within moments, knees touching each other, they grabbed their erect, neglected penises. Dex smiled when he thought of the old adage, 'nice things come in small packages.' His roommate's long, thick appendage was quite a surprise.
"That must be your secret weapon."
"It comes in handy...on occasion," Chip replied with a snicker.
"Well, let's see what your missile can do," Dex watched Chip as started stroking. Within seconds, he duplicated the movements.
"Oh, yeah, this is, um, teamwork," growled Chip. That said and with an ample leakage of pre-cum, the two roommates found an additional way to bond...as close friends only. Each understood that 'lending a helping hand' was where the intimacy ended.
A week later Dex and Chip were teamed together in an outdoors reconnaissance mission in a heavily wooded area adjacent to the AOI training school. Dusk had changed to nightfall and the two men separated to move around in a sweeping pincer path.
The overcast skies masked the moon's ability to illuminate the forest. Dex used a digital compass to slowly move to the rendezvous. He took one step at the time; his hands constantly felt for dense brush while his foot cautiously found firm ground. He would occasionally hear rustling sounds of small animals in the distance. 'Nothing dangerous,' he assumed, as he eased forward.
A half-hour later, Dex had still not met up with his partner. He stopped and strained to hear evidence of Chip's presence. He made a low clicking sound similar to a woodchuck and paused...nothing came in a response that had been planned. 'Where the hell is he?' Dex wondered. 'We should have met up 15 minutes ago.'
A snap and swish of a tree branch startled him back to full alert. Dex crouched and strained to see anything in the darkness. Without any body movement, he slowly moved his head from left to right to visually pick up any imminent danger.
Without warning, persons unknown attacked Dex. He knew by the touching and grabbing that there were at least two other men - adult and muscular - advancing this attack. He struggled and got in a few solid blows before he was neutralized, secured and gagged. The last thing he saw were two shadowy figures in front of him before a hood was slipped over his head. The last thing he felt was a tingling prick in his arm. Dex slowly felt warmth and sensed deeper darkness as he drifted into an uncharted abyss.
"Ohhh, uhhh..." Dex groaned. He fluttered his eyes and attempted to focus on his surroundings. Slowly he became aware of the windowless room, rough wood walls and a small stool. A bare low-wattage light bulb in the ceiling dimly illuminated the surroundings. The concrete floor felt cold to his nude body and Dex felt further discomfort with his wrists secured behind his body. His ankles were shackled with cuffs and a chain attached to a cleat in the wall. Dex became more alert when he heard the door open and crash against the wall.
"Well, American dog, I see you're awake," said a muscular man with dark, Middle-Eastern features and a distinct accent. He walked into the room, slammed the door behind him and bent down to pull off the mouth gag from Dex.
"Ah...where am I and who are you?" Dex asked with a slight slur in his voice. 'What the fuck happened to me and where is Chip?' he wondered while he watched his captor move closer. The accent of his capturer suggested that he was either Iranian or Syrian.
"I ask the questions. Got it?" The man took off a thick leather belt and struck Dex twice on the buttocks.
"Urmph," grunted Dex after the second stinging strike of the belt.
"Not that you deserve it but there's a bottle of water in the corner next to the shit hole," the man said with a scowl and a squint. "You gotta do anything, do it in the hole. I'll be back later." He turned around, opened the door, walked out and closed the door with a bang.
Dex looked over at the corner and saw a half-liter of water and a hole in the floor. He knew that he would make good use of both the bottle and the hole. Dex slowly crawled over to the corner, made difficult because of his hands bound behind in the small of his back. After three attempts he was able to get upright and secure the water bottle between his knees. 'Thank god the container wasn't capped,' he thought as he tilted the bottle with his teeth to take a drink. The odor of human waste coming from the nearby opening in the floor caused him to initially gag but he was finally able to quench his thirst.
Next came the use of the hole. After maneuvering on his knees, he was able to position himself to urinate. Dex decided that he would figure out the best way to take a dump later. With as much precision as could be mustered, he took the water bottle in his mouth and crawled to the opposite corner.
Minutes became hours...he had no idea how long he had spent in the room. Somewhere in the distance he would occasionally hear screams. 'Is that Chip?' he wondered. At some point he drifted into a restless sleep, exasperated by physical discomfort, foul atmosphere and mental anguish. Much later, a loud siren shrieking and bright lights suddenly awakened him. Dex cowered in the corner and blinked rapidly as he adjusted to the changed conditions. A different man of similar Middle East ethnic features dressed in desert fatigues stood over him.
"Yankee pig, it is time to talk."
Dex just glared at the man. 'This cocksucker isn't getting squat from me,' he vowed to himself.
"Who is behind AOI? Where do you take your orders from?" The man placed his boot on Dex's head and applied pressure. "Answer me."
"I'm not telling you anything other than I work for a private company and you have no business holding me," Dex said defiantly.
"We'll see about that." The man quickly pulled a long rifle-like device from behind him, touched Dex's crotch area and released a brief electric shock.
"Ahhh...urghh..." Dex screamed. 'What the fuck,' he wondered as the electric surge disappeared. His body nervously tingled and convulsed at the charge. Dex was also aware that his cock had responded by becoming hard.
"Ha. I think you like this," the man said with a leer. He reached down and slapped Dex's erection.
"Bastard," Dex yelled. "You get your jollies off this way...urghh...you fucker." He flinched when he saw the electronic device move towards his crotch again. "Ahhh..." He felt lightheaded after the zap.
"Tell me about AOI and Alpha...now," the man screamed.
"Fuck you and whoever you work for. You can do whatever you want with me...you ain't getting shit."
"No." Before Dex could say another word he watched as the man took a syringe from his pocket and plunged it into Dex's bare backside. He opened his mouth to respond but darkness swept through his mind.
"Dex...Dex, how ya doing?" asked a familiar voice.
"Chip?" Dex slowly opened his eyes and expected the worst. Instead, he slowly focused on the shadowy image above him. Like a photo lens, his retina balanced the background colors and textures before zeroing in on the grinning face in front of him.
"Welcome back to the real world, buddy." Chip reached over and gently grabbed Dex's forearm.
Dex smiled a little and then looked around the unfamiliar surroundings. The room was a cross between a college dorm and a Holiday Inn. "Um, yeah, it's good to be back...where the fuck have I - or, we - been?"
"It's a 'we'...but as a computer geek, I got off a little easier. I'll let our instructor give you the rundown." Chip motioned for Dex to turn his head to the other side of the bed.
"Mr. Tate, as Mr. Lewinthal said, I'll give you the 'rundown' as you Americans say," the man said with a chuckle. "I am Major Jean-Pierre Lutz and you are in my country to continue your training."
"Your country?" Dex asked with a puzzled expression. 'Kee-rist, where am I,' he wondered.
"Yes. France...Alsace...Strasbourg to be precise."
"Whoa...um, one minute, Major Lutz. What the hell are we doing here?"
"Fair question. This phase will be part of your international exposure with AOI. In addition to this being a very large, remote facility that provides complete privacy, we are a short distance to Frankfurt and Zurich. We can move around this part of the world without notice."
"So we're going to be here for a while?" Chip asked.
"You and your classmates will be continuing your training at the European AOI facilities for the next week. And, at night, you will experience some of our wonderful cuisine and wine. Tonight at 1900 we depart for dinner at Au Crocodile. Three stars from Michelin...not bad, I must say."
"Wait, let's rewind this back a bit. You mean what I, er, we experienced was a setup by the school?"
"Yes, a necessary part of your training. At no time were you in danger, Mr. Tate. You, and the classmates who will be specializing in security, experienced a very light form of treatment that could occur out there in the real world. The interrogation and survival phase that you experienced was a preamble to this segment of the curriculum. By the way, you passed with flying colors."
"Including the electronic zappers? Tell that to my dick," Dex replied.
"Is that a proposition?" Jean-Pierre asked with a laugh.
"Maybe if I wasn't involved with someone and you weren't AOI..."
"My lover and partner of 10 years preclude that possibility...however tempting. Seriously, the voltage of the equipment was set only for you to experience an attention-getting shock. This is very similar to devices some men use for sexual stimulation. By the way, I was informed that the electric zap definitely got your attention." Jean-Pierre smiled and winked.
"Attention is an understatement."
"From what I'm told, you're definitely not an understatement."
"Touché," Dex replied with a shrug. He started laughing and was soon joined by Chip and Jean-Pierre. Dex glared at Chip with an exaggerated expression of shock and continued, "Wait 'til I get you later tonight."
"Is that a threat or a promise?" Chip retorted.
"Ah, you Yanks and your jokes. See you at dinner. Oh, if you want to call your family you may use the telephone in the lounge. Au revoir." Jean-Pierre bowed slightly as he nodded and turned to leave the room.
"A bientot, Major," Dex watched the Frenchman leave the room and turned to Chip. "We are definitely not in Kansas, bud. And if I have a choice, I'd prefer Alsace to wherever we were."
"Indeed. And perhaps their famous pâté de foie gras?"
"Definitely...with a Trimbach Gewürztraminer, 2002."
"Pal, you are very much back on your game," Chip said as he squeezed Dex's shoulder.
"And we are very much a team. What say we make use of the telephone and call our other halves?"
TO BE CONTINUED