Upon the waters of the Mediterranean rests an isle of the Minoan race.
Passions erupt when he's consumed by lust for a man destiny marks as his mate.
That was not the mantinada on the placard in front of him but one that slowly formed in his fantasies during the long flight from the US to the bustling city of Heraklion on the island of Crete. Lust was such a small word for the gorgeous man holding up the white signboard handwritten with a welcoming message in Greek. Andrew, weary after the flight and the time change and the tedious passage through customs, suddenly was reinvigorated with a flood of fresh adrenaline. He was here at last. And the man waiting for him was more than he could have hoped.
An image of Icarus flashed into his mind. Of the erotic statue that graced his home back in the suburbs of Boston. Well-formed, lean, and wiry. He imagined well-defined pecs beneath the casual shirt stretched across his chest. Legs that could grip, hips thrusting. Biceps, not bulging with muscle, but strong and fit, forearms well able to hold a man, to grip a hip, to claim control.
Andrew, at thirty-nine, hadn't felt this randy in longer than he cared to remember.
"Stephanos?" he inquired, needing desperately to confirm that the man was waiting for the dusty American professor, with whom he'd struck up a conversation online about the history of Crete.
The dusky-skinned young Greek grinned, showing the whitest teeth Andrew imagined he'd ever seen. Against a darkly tanned complexion and eyes that rivaled a gleaming Mediterranean sea for breathtaking, Andrew once again was reminded of a winged man soaring high in the sky headed directly toward the burning heart of an immense auriferous orb.
The anticipation was almost more than Andrew could bear. His cock was already hard and pressing against his blue jeans. His heart pounded in his chest, the excitement making his skin tingle. A ray of afternoon sunlight highlighted Stephanos's wild curly blue-black hair that defied confinement.
"Yassas. Hello, Andrew. Ne--yes, it is I, Stephanos."
Stephanos. Young. Beautiful. Greek.
Your cock, long and thick, driving deep, stretching my hole, consuming me.
God, yes. He wanted that with the man standing in front of him. At this moment, he needed it more than the history he'd come to Crete to find. They'd never really spoken out loud about sexual preferences. And Stephanos's online profile had been decidedly uninformative on any personal level. The relationship they'd struck up had been through a Greek history site. It had been more an undeniable impulse than anything else that had Andrew contacting Stephanos. That and the fact he lived on Crete and had an interest in history. And that's what they'd discussed, more in relation to Andrew's past and a history he wanted to discover. After more than a year of building a friendly relationship, Stephanos had invited Andrew to visit Crete, and he'd offered to be Andrew's guide and interpreter. How could Andrew refuse?
He'd had qualms about making the trip. After all, what did he really know about Stephanos? The man had shared so little of himself. He couldn't turn down the invitation. Something far stronger than he understood had him making that reservation without only fleeting second thoughts. But meeting the man face-to-face, he knew it was the right decision, and it was going to take every bit of control he could muster to keep his hands off Stephanos until invited. Words seemed lacking at the moment. All he could do was stare at Stephanos, drinking in the beauty of the man, the exotic perfection. God, how he hoped the man was gay. He'd been up front with Stephanos pretty much from the beginning. His online profile was completely honest. Approaching the matter in a more direct fashion was fairly easy to do in an anonymous e-mail. He'd done it more or less in a conversational manner, tied in some ways to Greek history. Stephanos had never indicated whether he was gay or straight. They'd never approached the subject again after that. But Stephanos had indicated in passing that he wasn't in a relationship at the moment.
The tension thickened as Stephanos stared back. There was that moment, that urge to reach out and hug Stephanos close. The painful urge to want to kiss him, to learn his body, to discover the newness.
I've been waiting for you, Andrew. Let's go home and fuck. Those were the words Andrew wanted to hear. Yes, Stephanos. Anything, any way. Those were the words Andrew wanted to say. He could taste the words. They sounded loud and pleasantly arousing inside his head.
Stephanos turned away, breaking the connection. Andrew released a long, pent-up breath. The moment had passed. For now.
"Let's go," Stephanos said. He relieved Andrew of one of his suitcases. "My apartment is not far. I expect you would like to rest. A fresh look out--I mean outlook--in the morning would be best, I think."
Andrew could listen to Stephanos's voice forever. His heavily accented intonation, somewhat shy and carefully pronounced speech. He had told Andrew he wanted to work on perfecting his English while Andrew was visiting.
For a second Andrew stared at Stephanos's lips--that fleshy lower lip, skin that Andrew wanted to taste, to tug at, to see what sounds Stephanos might make--deep and guttural? Or a long, slow sigh?
He bet the man could suck too. Fuck, he had to stop thinking about sex. That wasn't what he was here for. But the young, sexy godlike man with the perfectly proportioned ass, leading the way toward the exit, was terribly inviting. Andrew watched him navigate through the crowds, moving with a fluid and easy gait.
Andrew was not known for taking chances. He liked his well-ordered life. He was old-school, the type of man who didn't ordinarily involve himself in complicated intimate relationships. Most of the men he'd found some measure of satisfaction with didn't want to hear about the Mycenaean Age. They didn't much care about Theseus or the Minotaur. They didn't care how many times Crete had been invaded, how they had triumphed, how the people possessed a vast and profound courage.
They hadn't minded learning about the exotic sex lives of the Greeks. The secret rooms, the elite sects that catered to the eroticism of ancient Greek life. That had invariably been the topic that had gotten them into bed. He'd never had a problem getting a sex partner, and he'd always had a way of telling his erotic stories--showing it--that left his partners infinitely satisfied and eager for more. But satisfaction was inevitably short-lived and the relationships, if one could call them that, superficial.
For Andrew, something had been missing. There had to be more to it. History wasn't simply about titillating sex fables, and when he'd discovered Stephanos online during a chat on the Spartan society, it was like he'd found a soul mate at the cerebral level. They had taken their exchange outside of the more populated chat room and spent hours in conversation and debate. It was exciting in a way he'd never felt before. And now, meeting him, he wondered--could the cerebral truly meld with a more intimate relationship? Could they find common ground?
Two weeks--he had only two weeks to find out. And he couldn't wait to get started.
The attraction caught Stephanos unaware. All he could think of was slamming Andrew up against the wall, kissing him deep, and then fucking him hard. That was the first image that suffused his mind when he saw the handsome, rather rumpled studious-looking man with the baggage approaching him. The glasses he'd pocket first, so they wouldn't be damaged. The gold-flecked beard would scratch and burn; perhaps the mustache would tickle a bit. Oddly, he realized he'd never been with a man sporting a beard before. All his rather clandestine relationships had been with clean-shaven men. He was intrigued by the possibilities. Stephanos, after months of e-mails, had finally gotten up the courage to invited Andrew to come to Crete, and Stephanos had to find the courage to tell the sexy professor he wanted more than just to be his friend and interpreter.
He fisted his hands tighter around the steering wheel of his Swedish-made compact station wagon as they waited in backed-up traffic.
"You should post a new photograph on your profile, Andrew."
Andrew turned from staring out the window at the sights of Heraklion. "You don't like it?"
They sat stagnant, motor running, nowhere to go. Stephanos studied Andrew. "You look much older in the photo. It does not do you justice. You look much...younger in person. And your words--they make you sound older in your e-mails as well."
Traffic inched forward; Stephanos returned his attention to the road. Horns blared; people yelled. And Andrew smelled very, very good in the confined atmosphere. Winter meant the sun set early. It was raining, which was probably the reason for the slower traffic, most likely a collision up ahead.
"Are you...flirting with me, Stephanos?"
The air in the car turned thick with sexual tension and excitement. Traffic stalled once again. He hesitated to answer.
"Are you gay, Stephanos? Or are you a straight guy just looking for a quick holiday hookup? Something exotic to try? You've never said."
Stephanos knew his answer would likely change everything. Was he ready for this? Admitting it out loud was a huge leap for him. The last time he'd told someone he was gay, he'd paid a high price. Since then he was very careful about revealing anything personal about himself, except in very controlled situations. No one at work knew he was gay. At least it had never come up in conversation. And he was careful about the places he frequented, the men he fucked. Yes, he was very careful.
"What if I were flirting with you? What if I admitted I was...gay?" He held his breath as he awaited Andrew's response. Both afraid and excited.
"I'd say, thank God," Andrew said in a low, breathless tone. "I was afraid either you wouldn't be gay, or you wouldn't be interested."
"I wanted to meet you first. For me, it's not an easy thing to speak of my sexuality."
Suddenly, Andrew released his seat belt and leaned toward Stephanos. His hand went to the thick bulge outlined against Stephanos's jeans. His teeth razed at the curve of Stephanos's ear.
"Ahh, this isn't exactly the place to start something," Stephanos said, trying to keep his attention on the still-halted traffic.
"We're not going anyplace just yet, are we? Nobody can see in--it's pitch-black, and the windows are fogged." His hand kneaded Stephanos's cock rhythmically.
Stephanos licked his lips and then glanced at Andrew. Andrew grabbed the moment. He fastened his mouth to Stephanos's lips, and fireworks exploded behind Stephanos's closed eyelids. He opened his mouth, and Andrew's tongue plunged inside, and Stephanos's brain seemed to explode. More than he'd hoped. Definitely worth the risk of being arrested for indecent public displays.
Andrew nuzzled Stephanos's dark five o'clock shadowed jaw.
"How soon before we get to your apartment?" His hand rubbed against Stephanos's erection. God, he wanted out of this traffic right this minute. He wanted Andrew's hand inside his pants, his fingers curled around his prick.
"Soon. Now get your seat belt back on before we are arrested."
Stephanos felt disappointment ooze though him as Andrew eased back into his seat. Stephanos heard the click of the seat belt.
He tried to get his mind on something else rather than his raging desire to fuck Andrew. He gripped the steering wheel. He thought of his father, the stony expression on his face when Stephanos had told him he was gay. The anger and painful words that had ensued. The deep cut into his heart of being disowned by his entire family. He hadn't returned to his village since that encounter. He'd tried to call; he'd written letters. None had been answered.
This Christmas would have been another spent alone. He glanced at Andrew. But he wouldn't be alone this year. This year, he'd taken a chance, perhaps an impulsive risk, because he couldn't stand it any longer. He'd reached out, and Andrew had been there.
"It was almost a year ago exactly that we first connected," he said. He inhaled the scent of Andrew's sophisticated cologne.
"I remember," Andrew said. "Christmas Eve. I'd taken a break from the family and gone into my father's study to check my e-mail. Yours caught my attention."
Andrew had been surrounded by family. Stephanos had been alone in his apartment.
"Does your family know that you are gay?" He couldn't help asking.
"Yes. They've known almost from the first. They took it in stride as they do most everything. Sort of a badge among their friends." He raised his voice an octave. "'Oh, Andrew is gay, you know.'" Stephanos heard an underlying tension in the tone of Andrew's voice. He waited for Andrew to say more, but he didn't.
"And they are right with it then?"
"Not much of a problem. They've very, what would you call it? Enlightened?"
Traffic began to move at a more even pace.
"The holidays are very important for your family, Andrew?"
"It's the one time we usually can manage to get together. So I guess so. But not this year. They're headed for a cruise to the Caribbean this year."
"But you are here? Were your parents not upset?"
"I'm thirty-nine, Stephanos, and they know this is important to me."
"They are not challenged by the fact you want to discover your birth family?"
"Challenged? Oh, you mean feeling threatened by it? No, as I said, they're pretty open-minded. They understand." But again, there was something odd in Andrew's intonation.
Stephanos finally turned into the parking garage of his apartment building. He found his slot, turned in, and shut off the engine. He undid his seat belt and then looked at Andrew. The car was dark, the garage low lit. And he could smell Andrew's light cologne.
"I'm glad you chose to come here." His words were softly spoken but heartfelt.
A warm hand searched for his, and he threaded his fingers through Andrew's.
"I'm glad I came too, Stephanos. I wouldn't have missed this for anything."
Then lips met again, once more in the dense darkness, a promise and a demand.
Two weeks. Stephanos had two weeks to explore this relationship, to know Andrew in every way he had never even dared imagine he would have a chance to do.
Two weeks that he most likely would never forget.