Castle Roland

On The Web

by Jack Scribe, of Honored Memory


Chapter 4

Posted: N/A


by Jack Scribe

Saturday afternoon

Rory and Officer Petrie silently climbed the stairs from the sub-level garage to the outdoor courtyard patio of the attached condo complex. The 60-ish two-story building - containing 24 town homes - was constructed around a token swimming pool with several chaise lounges and a large Jacuzzi. Each unit opened onto the courtyard. They walked to the mailbox area where the front entrance was located and Rory opened the gate.

"Wiedermeier?" asked the other officer as he watched the gate unlatch. He solemnly looked at Rory and, by habit, rested his hand on his holstered firearm.

"Yes...although he prefers to be called Rory Reed," Petrie replied to the shorter, brown-skinned policeman as he watched his partner enter the courtyard. "Mr. Reed, this is Officer Sanchez."

"Let's go over to my place," Rory said. He stepped back and watched the two policemen take off their sunglasses at the same time. "It's two doors away." Without waiting for an answer, he turned and walked to his door. "My roommate is probably out for the afternoon. Come on in." He unlatched the door, swung it open and stood back.

"Go ahead, Mr. Reed. We'll follow you."

Rory stepped through the doorway, passed the kitchen and dining area, and continued to the sunken living room. He turned and watched the cops walk down the two steps. "Can I offer you guys anything to drink?"

"We probably won't be long," Petrie replied. "So why don't we all just get comfortable?" He waited for Rory to settle into one end of the couch before joining him on the opposite end. Sanchez pulled up a desk chair and sat down. "As you suspected, this investigation is related to the murder of Harvey Fine at his home last night. We understand that you worked at Frat Loft for Mr. Fine and we're curious about your activities over the past 24 hours."

Over the next few minutes, Rory thumb-nailed his history since leaving the Marine Corps. He referred to his porn career as an actor in 'adult film' and colored his various roles as being part of the business. He voluntarily admitted that he had been invited over to Harvey's house on a number of occasions and that they had been very intimate. Rory grinned slyly, cocked his head and shrugged. 'Might as well cover my tracks,' he thought, 'especially in case they find any of my fingerprints in the house.' He hoped the police would ask some questions defining 'intimacy' - so he could embarrass the uniformed lawmen - but it didn't happen. When one of the policemen asked about his relationship with Thad Brooks, Rory replayed the conflict between the two of them a few days earlier that had been caused by Harvey's demands. He quickly added that he felt awful about the blowup that occurred between he and Thad.

Petrie and Sanchez took copious notes as Rory recounted the previous evening. He specifically recalled arriving at The Abbey around 9:00 p.m. Friday night, and almost immediately running into Thad Brooks. This was an ideal opportunity, he had decided, to apologize about the incident at the studio and bought the guy a drink - a gin and tonic. Then came the major diversion from any semblance of truth.

"We shot the shit for a while and then I excused myself to hit the head. It was kinda busy so I had to wait a few minutes before I could drain my lizard. When I got back, Thad was gone. I looked around, decided he must have scored with someone and split." Rory was pleased with his performance. 'So far, so good,' he thought as he turned on a concerned expression. "Why the questions about Brooks?"

"Mr. Brooks is a person of interest in this investigation," Sanchez replied. "What did you do next?"

"What guys do at a gay bar - had a few beers and got real friendly with a few cuties. Nothing serious...just real touchy-feely, if ya know what I mean." Rory smiled and jerked his loosely closed fist up and down a couple of times. "I probably took off around 1:00 a.m., came back here and hit the sack."

"So you were at the bar for about four hours?" Petrie looked at Rory and frowned.

"That sounds about right. And the guy I share this place with was home when I got in."

"Share? As in..."

"I just rent the spare bedroom - my roommate owns the place. Pretty nice guy but, because of our schedules, I don't see him very often. He was in last night and can verify the time I returned." Rory pulled out his wallet, retrieved a dog-eared business card and handed it to Petrie. "Here's my roomie's card with his numbers."

"We'll contact him later and verify that." Petrie looked at his partner for a moment, slid the card into his pocket and turned to Rory. "These guys you met at the bar last night. You got any names?"

"Naw, it was just, ya know, goofing around...bullshiting...stuff like that. Those rooms are dark for a reason and no one asks names cuz everybody lies anyway. Occasionally I'll find a keeper, but not last night."

The two policemen tag teamed on questioning; each dredged previous statements from Rory and focused on different angles. They ricocheted from his past to the incident in the studio to his encounter with Thad in the bar. Over and over the officers rehashed the previous evening's details until Rory was mentally exhausted. He was pleased, however, that they hadn't found a significant hole in his story. 'I got this covered,' he thought as he walked with the officers to the door, 'and they ain't got shit on me.'

The I-10 freeway to Palm Springs was fast flowing with sparse traffic on this beautiful late Saturday afternoon in mid-May. L.A. residents - as well as those from Orange County and San Diego - escaping to the desert usually drove the 100 or so miles on Friday afternoon. Oleg had checked the forecast and was looking forward to the sunny desert's climate. 'Might even veg out around the pool in the morning,' he thought as he cruised eastward. When the Boxster crossed the city limits, he was pleased the trip had taken just under two hours. At the first convenience store in town, he stopped to put down the top and bought a few fresh provisions.

The car exterior thermometer indicated 92 degrees when he turned onto the quiet street off Palm Canyon Drive. With the usual low humidity in the 'teens', the air was quite pleasant. The home he shared with Ted, his former lover, was tucked amongst a very lush, landscaped Las Palmas neighborhood just west of the 'main drag'. He was within walking distance of the local Episcopal Church, restaurants, art galleries and theaters.

Ted and he had purchased the three-bedroom home eight years earlier and happily watched the appraisal value triple. Although the two had drifted apart - with the help of a twink actor who had 'captured' Ted's heart - they maintained a casual friendship and separately used the place on an every-other-week rotation schedule. Oleg was amused and felt vindicated when the actor dumped Ted for someone with more financial means four years later. Now, they were both meandering into middle age with nothing more significant than a series of affairettes and one-night stands. He was definitely going to attempt the latter...tonight.

The mid-century, architecturally significant house with a lap pool and Jacuzzi had also proven to be a good income provider: it was rented to wealthy Canadian visitors during the prime December-April season. The revenue literally paid for the mortgage and allowed Oleg to easily afford his Century City condo. 'Thank God I bought these places before the real estate boom. I should be debt-free when I hit 60...if the job doesn't get me first.' He considered the risk attached to some of his European assignments as the garage door ascended. 'Maybe it's time to think about jockeying a desk.'

After punching in the code on the home security pad, he opened the back door and hit the garage door button. Inside, the air was somewhat stuffy and the kitchen was dark. Exterior retractable metal shields protected the floor to ceiling windows and doors that looked out on the pool area. Oleg dropped his overnight bag on the granite counter, stowed his purchases in the refrigerator and smiled when he spotted a can of his favorite Sumatra coffee in the corner of the bottom shelf next to a half-dozen bottles of white wine. 'Drinking coffee and reading the Sunday Times by the pool in the morning sounds like a great plan,' he thought as he closed the fridge and walked over to a control panel next to the breakfast room. He flipped a switch and listened as a motor whirred and engaged. Immediately, light came into the room as the shields disappeared into the outside overhang of the house. Oleg smiled at the view of his favorite body of water - other than the Pacific Ocean. 'Maybe I'll do a few laps.' The clock on the refrigerator was in sync with his watch: it was 5:05 p.m. 'Plenty of time to swim, clean up and get over to INNdulge for my meeting with Andy.'

A walk-through confirmed that everything was in order, clean and undisturbed. One of the annoying aspects of Oleg's former lover - at least, annoying at the time - was his almost compulsive focus on neatness. Now, it was a blessing: the house was always tidy after Ted had been there. Oleg went into his bedroom - the master had become his territory as part of their 'divorce' agreement - and unlocked a small closet that contained a few clothes and personal items. Each man had created a secure space in their bedrooms to store items to make them inaccessible to the various renters.

He quickly got out of his clothes, grabbed his swim goggles and paused by the mirror. 'Hmmm, not bad for an old fart of 38,' he thought while studying his trim, naked form, 'but I need to work on the abs.' He grabbed a towel and slid open the door to the pool area. The seven-foot stucco wall around the property allowed him complete privacy for skinny dipping. He padded across the decking and cautiously stuck his foot into the water. "Ahhh, just right," he said to himself. "The solar panels are doing their job heating the pool."

20 laps and a hot shower did wonders in refreshing Oleg. He redressed and drove over to the gay resort. INNdulge had a solid reputation and was very popular with guys coming over from the coast throughout the year for a weekend of low-key, upscale decadence. If there was a rating system of gay-themed, clothing optional lodging, INNdulge would be a solid four stars. On the other end of the scale were the establishments that encouraged randy raunchiness, butt slings, oil-slicked group waterbeds and communal sauna baths - definitely not his scene.

The smiling front desk stud muffin nodded as Oleg walked through the reception area with his canvas bag. Inside the bag was a bottle of chardonnay, some plastic glasses and a bottle opener. He winked at the cute clerk and continued out to the pool area. Since cocktail hour was approaching, the outdoor population was fairly sparse. He did notice a small crowd in the Jacuzzi - a mix of younger guys, probably all with tight, trim bubble butts, slightly over-thirty men who religiously preened their physiques, and fifty-ish flabbies who needed to continually suck in their stomachs. Other men casually walked around the deck or lounged in chairs: a few in shorts, but most in the buff. They were on cruise control and continually scanned the area for fresh meat. 'Been there; done that,' he thought with a chuckle, 'and will probably do it again tonight.'

Over by one of the largest palm trees was a guy in a polo shirt and jeans sitting at an umbrella table. 'That must be Andy,' Oleg thought as he approached the smallish guy who appeared to be in his mid-20's. Particularly sitting down, he appeared to be rather short - maybe 5' 6". The shock of blond hair, freckles and large Keane-like blue eyes created an image of a young man still in his teens. 'Kinda cute in a disarming way.' But the firm, muscled biceps, well-formed pecs and taut stomach told Oleg that Andy was serious about his fitness and not just another waif-like twink. 'If it weren't for the investigation, I wouldn't mind finding out what he has in those jeans. The guy's got large hands and big thumbs, and those indicators aren't all that far off, most times.' He smiled as he mentally undressed the young man and found one of those dicks of death dangling from the shaved crotch of a compact small body.

"Andy?" Oleg asked as he approached the table.

"Hi." Andy stood up, pulled out another chair and extended his hand. "Just before six. You're a man of your word and on time." He smiled, shook hands and sat down.

"How are you dealing with this situation?"

"Felt a little numb at first. But like I told you, I had no attachment to the man other than he provided me with a decent paying job. I've worked there for a couple of years and he hardly ever referred to me by name. And now that the shock has worn off, Mr. Petrov, I plan on enjoying the rest of my weekend."

"First, it's Oleg. Okay?" He smiled and retrieved the chilled bottle of wine from his bag. "And I also promised you something to drink." Oleg skillfully cut the foil, penetrated the cork with the screw and slowly pulled it out of the bottle. "If you'll get the glasses out of the bag, I'll pour."

"Far Niente 2004 Chardonnay? Looks expensive," Andy observed.

"Gift from a client. It's a Napa winery that's known for quality, so enjoy." Oleg poured until each glass was half-full and sat down. "Cheers." He raised his glass, touched Andy's glass and took a sip. "Ah, nectar from the gods or whatever." He purposely wanted to create a mellow climate and a few swigs of good wine usually did the job. "So, you've got dinner reservations at seven?"

"My friend is in the room getting ready. I told him I had a business meeting with someone out by the pool. I haven't said anything about this Harvey thing. If he comes out, just say it has something to do with hiring some new talent for Frat Loft."

"Got it. He's your..."

"Not sure." Andy took another long sip and added, "We're going through the early stages of figuring each other out. With my luck, it'll probably turn out to be love for the weekend...period." He shrugged, looked at the bottle and studied the label a little closer. "Man, this is good wine. Beats the hell out of the stuff that I can afford."

"So enjoy." Oleg took a small sip to moisten his palate and decided to steer the conversation into a productive area. "Any idea why anyone would want Harvey dead?"

"I've been thinking about that. As I told you, he wasn't exactly someone you'd want to run up and hug...but to kill the guy? Harvey had a nasty streak like a lot of bosses in the industry. Even if porn is the poor relative to mainstream movie studios, the people who run the business end of things are the same types. I hear horror stories about the characters who manage the majors and don't see much dif."

"How about Rory Reed, a.k.a. Henry Wiedermeier? Where does he fit into the picture?" Oleg was beginning to like Andy and felt the trip would turn out to be fruitful.

"Rory's the biggest thing at Frat Loft...which was evident from the moment he first stripped off his briefs. I've seen all kinds of guys come and go. Several are supposedly straight and are referred to as 'gay for pay' porn stars. They'll go down on someone or take a big one up their chute for the money."

"Right. And are watching chicks on video to keep themselves hard," Oleg replied with a chuckle. He wanted to communicate that he was no prude and knew about the industry.

"Rory was one of the few at Frat Loft that had a big following." Andy shrugged and took another drink from his glass.

"Andy, you refer to Rory in the past tense. Is he no longer the star of the studio?"

"The shelf-life of superstar porn actors is pretty short...especially those who specialize in the college boy look. Harvey had plans for Rory that included launching a premium leather site built around the guy. Something called Leather Loft. I don't know too much about it because it was going to be part of another company that is located in San Francisco. It's called Raunch Ranch and has a separate office. I just monitor the bank accounts, so I don't know too much else."

"Harvey owns this company?" The nuggets of information that were dribbling out encouraged Oleg. 'This guy might prove very valuable on the other case I'm working.'

"He's owned Ranch solo - along with Frat Loft - for several years, as far as I know. I've seen videos and they're pretty rough with bondage, slavery...that kind of stuff. The sales volume is impressive and the cash flow is unbelievable; but I guess not enough. He must have decided to launch the new website and get an even larger market. I did hear something about Harvey bringing investors in for the new site, but I wasn't involved."

"The Frat Loft and Raunch Ranch are his only operations?" Oleg was anxious to review Harvey Fine's personal papers.

"Naw. There's also another company in Germany...but he's involved only as a partner from what I could gather. Kinder something or other. Located in Dresden. Harvey was always very secretive about this company and I only know about it because he would occasionally get a fax concerning a bill that needed to be paid."

"Perhaps KinderGeist Pornoladen?" Oleg asked without showing any emotion. "It's a company I'm aware of." The sight of young boys and girls being molested by adults disgusted did the depraved scum who supported the kiddie porn business. 'The trail is getting warmer,' he thought, 'on my other case.'

"Yeah, that sounds like it." Andy shrugged and looked at the pool for a moment.

"Hmmm, interesting." Oleg decided to file this news away and go back to the murder investigation. As he was thinking about the next step in his line of questioning, a hunk of a man in his late-30's walked by...wearing only a pair of low-rise shorts with a towel slung over his shoulder. The man looked at Oleg, raised an eyebrow and continued on his way to the Jacuzzi. 'Wonder if he's signaling interest in me?' he thought as the man nonchalantly removed his cover, ran his hand over his exposed buns and slowly stepped into the bubbling, churning water. 'This stud might be worth exploring after I finish with Andy.'

For the next 10 minutes, Andy spilled out further details about his job and the operation. There was no doubt that Rory - while a hot physical specimen - was not the nicest person to deal with. Andy was aware that Rory only sucked up to him because he was the gatekeeper to Harvey's office. And when it was casually dropped that Rory and Harvey were an item, Oleg's interest perked up.

"Are you implying Rory was your boss' boyfriend?" Oleg tore his eyes away from the man lounging in the water and looked at Andy.

"More like an expensive boy toy for Harvey to play with. In addition to a premium paycheck, Harvey gave Rory several gifts...including a car. I'm sure Rory wasn't too excited about his part of the deal but he didn't turn down the money or gifts. The last time I saw Rory in the office - probably this past Thursday - he didn't look that happy although he tried to cover it up with his hooky Carolina 'farm boy' demeanor."

"Any idea why he was upset?" Oleg didn't think this information was going to yield any new information but decided to finish this line of questioning.

"I'm only guessing that it had to do with the new leather site. As far as Harvey was concerned, it was a done deal and Rory didn't have anything to say about it...the boss was his meal ticket."

"Let's talk a little bit about Thad Brooks." Oleg's attention multi-tasked as he watched his fantasy man step out of the Jacuzzi and rub water off his chiseled body. The man grabbed his towel, dried his hair and wrapped the terrycloth around his waist. He turned to Oleg, gestured to a section of the building beyond the pool and walked away. Oleg nodded and continued his conversation by describing the events that had occurred with Thad the previous evening in The Abbey. He purposely left out the part concerning the stranger helping Thad out of the bar.

"Nice guy who had a run-in with Harvey and quit. It was no biggie, because this happens often with non-actors on the set. With Harvey, it was always about the talent. Why Rory would be buying Brooks a drink is puzzling. Rory is all about Rory, and only cozies up to those he wants to screw, or someone from whom he can benefit. With all due respect, I don't think Brooks would fill either bill."

"Understand what you're saying." Oleg decided he now had enough information to digest and added, "Andy, I'll get out of your hair so you can go to dinner. I appreciate your time. Just so you're up to speed, I'm going to relay this info to Detective Lamanna, and you should expect to hear from him on Monday. I recommend that you go into the office on Monday and encourage the guys in the studio to go on about their jobs." He looked over at the wing of the inn beyond the pool and saw 'Mr. Yummy' walk into the third room from the end. The man left the door open.

"I should probably call the studio again and keep everyone informed as to what's happening. It's a good paying gig for everyone and the cam chat rooms run on their own. The models have a schedule and the webmaster handles everything else."

"And as you can run the routine business end, I suggest that you just keep things operating normally for the time being. That way everyone keeps getting paid, and you still have a good job that pays your bills while you look for something else." Oleg didn't want to mention that it would also give him time to see who might show up to claim ownership of Harvey's businesses. 'Chances are that anyone who appears probably has something to do with the kiddie crap,' he decided.

"Excellent idea. I'll make sure they know I'll be in the office Monday morning and that everyone should continue as usual." Andy stood up and finished his last swallow of wine. "I always get there at 8:00 a.m. In fact, I'll call my counterpart in San Francisco and suggest they do the same thing. Might as well make a few more bucks for the estate, and ourselves."

"Good plan. Speaking of estates, did Harvey ever mention any family?"

"Not that I remember. I was strictly the numbers guy in the front office, although he did authorize me to do the paychecks and pay the regular bills." Andy shoved his hands in his pockets and shook his head.

"Good thing...oh, one more thing. I suggest you don't go into Harvey's personal office. It's not a crime scene but the detective will want it undisturbed until he gets a chance to inspect it." Oleg didn't add that he was also anxious to see what was in Fine's office.

"No problem. Everything I need is on my computer and in the general files. I'll be doing the payroll when I get back."

"Here's my card." Oleg also stood, fished a business card out of his pocket and handed it to Andy. "Don't feel shy about calling me on my cell if you remember anything else. I'll probably see you first thing Monday with the detective." He planned on working closely with Joe Lamanna and wanted to pry into any files pertaining to KinderGeist.

"See ya then." Andy waved and walked to his room.

Oleg re-corked the half-full bottle of wine, put it in the bag with the opener and tossed the used plastic glasses in a nearby waste container. He slowly walked around the perimeter of the resort, past the reception lobby and towards the wing of the building he had been watching. He looked into the window before coming to the open door. Inside, his man was spread out on the bed without a stitch of clothing. Small rings pierced the man's nipples - the steel accentuated his defined pecs. The dark trimmed chest hair traveled down across his tight abs to his 'innie' navel and continued to the stud's groin. 'Nice uncut equipment,' Oleg thought as he arrived at the open door and paused. 'Is the guy just teasing or is this an invitation?' He didn't have to wait long to find out.

"Boun giorno. I had hoped the fellow you were with wasn't your boyfriend." The man winked and played with his nipple ring. "You with anyone?"

"Bouna sera. He's just someone I know and wanted to say 'hi' to. And, no, I'm very much alone...but I'd like to change that." Oleg studied the features of the handsome guy's face. 'Must be Italian,' he thought, 'but I don't pick up an accent.' The carefully barbered hair on his head was beginning to look more salt than pepper.

"I'm Giorgio - or George if you prefer - and you are invited to come in." He sat up, propped himself on his elbows and turned on a radiant smile.

"Giorgio...I like that. Has a nice expressiveness. I accept your invitation but I first need to make a short call to my office. Shouldn't be more than five minutes." Oleg could feel his body receiving a volley of messages from his brain, all of them pleasurable. "I'm Oleg."

"I await your return so we can get to know one another, my Russian friend."

"Only half Russkie...on my fathers side. Ma mere is French."

"Ha. Aggressiveness and romance...quite a combo."

"Hold that thought." Oleg winked and walked back into the grassy courtyard so he could have some privacy. He fished his cell out of the large cargo pocket and dialed Doug DiMarco's home. It was picked up after the second ring.

"Good evening, Jackson speaking," said a voice in an even tone. Jackson was Brad and Doug's live-in house manager and chef. The 'house' - Brad and Doug's home for several years - was actually the entire 10th floor of the Remington Towers on Wilshire Boulevard.

"Hi, Jackson. It's Oleg Petrov. Is Doug available?"

"They had a previous engagement, Oleg. Bryan is home from school for the weekend and they went over to TJ's for dinner with Dave. But Doug said you'd be calling about Mr. Brooks and said you could leave a message."

"Keeping business all in 'the family', I see," Oleg replied with a chuckle. Mike Cole, the proprietor of the popular restaurant, had served in the Navy with Doug and Brad. And Mike's life partner, Dave Swenson, who was also a fellow Navy veteran, was a member of the same law firm as Brad.

"Those guys are family so if you need to, there's no problem calling them at the restaurant. Mike's certainly working tonight."

"Not a problem. Just tell Doug that Thad Brooks is not considered a suspect and will be able to begin his job on Monday. By the way, isn't Bryan about to graduate from law school?" He knew that Bryan DiMarco was Brad and Doug's adopted son, who attended Stanford University.

"In about three weeks. I understand the reason for this dinner is to finalize an offer to work at Brad's law firm while Bryan's studying for the bar exam. It will be part time until he passes the bar."

"And then he'd join the firm as a junior lawyer?"

"Brent wants Bryan to be part of the mergers and acquisitions team. Apparently it's a tremendous growth area. However, I think that young Bryan is thinking more about criminal law."

"Either way it sounds ambitious. Please pass on my regards and have Doug give me a call if he has any questions. Brooks is squeaky clean and appears to be a good man. Take care, Jackson."

_"You, too. Bye." _

Oleg pushed the off button, flipped down the cover and put the cell phone back in his pocket. He walked back to the open door and noticed that Giorgio had put on his shorts. 'Just as sexy, though,' he decided.

"Welcome back. I decided to be more modest until the proper moment." Giorgio put down a book he was reading and gestured for Oleg to enter. "You finished your business? And on a Saturday evening no less."

"I'm not in a weekday, nine to five job. Had to take care of a few loose ends so we could get to know each other without being disturbed." Oleg walked over to the bed, lifted his canvas bag and added, "I've got about a half-bottle of white wine if you'd like to have a glass."

"I haven't eaten yet and a glass of wine sounds delightful." Giorgio swung his legs around and sat on the side of the bed. "Have you had dinner?"

"No. But I can think of a nice appetizer right now." Oleg grinned as he pulled out the bottle of wine, removed the cork and set out two glasses on the bedside table. He poured two final glasses of wine and offered one to Giorgio.

"Ah, a favorite of mine. Far Niente makes superior wine and I'm particularly fond of their Oakville Cabernet. Salut." Giorgio smiled and raised his glass.

"Cheers." Oleg decided not to reveal any more of his linguistic abilities. He touched his glass lightly against Giorgio's and said, "I'm afraid the plastic doesn't do the wine any favors." He was impressed that not only was this man a prime masculine specimen but also appeared to be sophisticated without being overbearing. He took a sip when Giorgio did, allowed the liquid to flow down his throat and commented, "I uncorked the bottle about an hour ago. Between breathing and being not quite as cold, the wine has opened up quite nicely."

"Agreed. But enough about our wine." Giorgio got off the bed and walked over to the door. He secured it and then closed the drapes at the window. "I propose that we get to know each other very intimately, without any interruptions." He took Oleg's glass and put it on the nightstand. "Let's see what's behind your shirt," he said in a lowered husky voice as he put his hands at the bottom of Oleg's black tee. When the tee was halfway off, Oleg raised his arms and helped with the final step of removal.

"Phase one," Oleg counted as he dropped the shirt on the chair. "And here's phase two." He unbuttoned his shorts, pulled down the zipper and let the shorts drop to his ankles. He stepped out of them and casually stood for inspection in only his black bikini briefs. It impressed Oleg that this man would suggest they get 'very intimate' rather than just saying what was on both their minds - 'let's fuck'.

"I like." Giorgio slowly moved his hand over Oleg's hairless chest and smiled as he leaned down to nibble on the hardening nipple before him. While he serviced the other nipple, Giorgio hooked his thumbs around the elastic of Oleg's underwear and slowly pulled them down past his muscular thighs and calves. He moved his head down with the briefs and licked Oleg's hardening penis. "And I like this even better." He kissed Oleg's glans, slowly stood up and gently pushed him down on the bed. Giorgio removed his own briefs while Oleg kicked his free of his feet.

"You do have a way with words," Oleg said with a chuckle. "What do you like to do?"

"From what I see, you would fit in me very nicely." He reached down and stroked Oleg's erection.

"Do you have...?"

"Of course." Giorgio smiled with an expression of dreamy confidence and reached over to the bedside table. In the drawer were all the accoutrements required for the evening.

"Maybe we can have dinner a little later, but I think that right now we should work up an appetite." Oleg took a condom package and tore it open with his teeth. He wanted to know more about this gorgeous man, but only after they got the preliminaries out of the way. He rolled the latex over his hard cock and moved closer.

Giorgio uncapped the lube and poured an ample amount onto his fingers, and said, "I know a charming restaurant not far from here that might be fun. The manager and I are friends...but enough of any further discussion right now." After lubing Oleg's erection, he raised his legs and prepared himself.

Afterwards, Giorgio called the manager and secured a table for 9:00 p.m. This gave them time to plunge into the pool, enjoy the Jacuzzi and take a shower - together - and share a little more 'intimacy'. Giorgio shrugged off Oleg's concern that his clothes might be too casual and dressed in similar fashion. Oleg suggested they travel in his car, which was parked in front, to take advantage of the top-down roadster on this beautiful desert evening.

The drive to Europa took only five minutes and Oleg was delighted with the secluded, romantic surroundings. It was tucked into the rear of a small resort, part of which had originally been Sonja Henie's home. She was a 1936 Olympic figure skating star from Norway who went on to perform in Hollywood films back in the 1940's. They were ushered through two small dining rooms before arriving at a secluded patio. 'If this is Giorgio's attempt to put the moves on me, he's succeeding,' Oleg thought as they were seated. 'This is turning into much more than just a fast fuck.'

"I suppose we should get the 'who', 'where' and 'why' questions out of the way. My full name is Giorgio Como and I'm a lawyer."

"I'll spare you the shark jokes," Oleg replied with a snicker.

"Hey, L.A. is a rough, tough town - people lie, cheat and steal. You have to have a good lawyer to avoid being totally ripped off."

"I confess I now recognize your name, Mr. Como. You specialize in divorce litigation," Oleg said, as a matter of fact. He smiled, looked at Giorgio's puzzled expression and continued, "My memory clicked when you offered your last name. I'm Oleg Petrov and my firm is AOI Security. We've handled the investigative details on a few of your firm's cases." He decided not to reveal that he was a good friend with Brad Williams - a partner of the firm. 'Wonder if he's related to that old pop singer, Perry Como? The facial features are similar.'

"Of course." Giorgio leaned back in his chair and laughed. "It occurs to me that I've seen you in our offices from time to time. But we haven't met, as I recall." He sat up as the waiter arrived. "You want a cocktail or some wine?"

"How about a Cosmo and we can order wine for dinner?"

"Excellent. Two Cosmos with Absolut Mandarin and Cointreau, please." He waited until the waiter walked away before asking, "So why's a good looking man like you playing in Palm Springs?"

"Looking for a little fun with the right man," Oleg replied with a sly smile. "I actually did have a little business to accomplish - that was with the guy you saw me speaking with earlier - and admittedly I got my hopes up for a little play time when I saw you at the Jacuzzi. I'm a ripe old 38, by the way, and single. And when I had a lover several years ago, I was completely monogamous."

"Similar status for me and I just turned 40. All my parts, however, work just fine."

"As I found out." Oleg was becoming more fascinated with this man and was already hoping they'd get together in L.A. "Do you get out here very often?"

"I get invitations to be a houseguest from time to time. But I also like to let my hair down without anyone monitoring me and INNdulge is ideal. I do my slutty thing every other month or so and that's that. Are you staying at the inn?"

"No. I have a home in Las Palmas and drove over this afternoon to interview that guy you saw me with." Oleg paused as the waiter delivered the cranberry-tinted cocktails and told him, "Give us a few minutes before we order dinner."

"Las Palmas? Pretty fancy."

"More comfortable than fancy," Oleg replied. "Although I do have some fancy neighbors, so the streets are well-patrolled."

"Then we can settle on comfortable and safe?" Giorgio asked with a wink. "I'm always safe." He put the menu down and continued, "Unless you have anything special in mind, why don't we order the steak and lobster and split a Caesar salad? They have a few Pinot Noirs on the list that should do quite well. I like the Saintsbury from Carneros. I've drunk it before, and it's super. I'm buying, and no arguments."

"Then I'll accept...if you'll allow me to reciprocate back in L.A., providing a busy barrister has time to get out at night." Oleg grinned and raised his eyebrow. "There are a couple of restaurants I'd like to check out. Mlisse in Santa Monica just got a couple stars from Michelin. And the food and wine you suggested sounds great by the way." He liked the way Giorgio shared his wine knowledge without being smug or condensending.

"Then it's all settled."

They spent the next couple of hours dining and drinking. They regaled each other with stories about their past, celebrity gossip and a few bawdy jokes. Neither man dwelled on their professional lives...both had sensitive jobs that required confidentiality.

After Giorgio signed the charge slip, Oleg said, "If you're interested in returning to INNdulge for a late night romp with the other guests, I'll understand. But I'd really like it if you'd come back to my home for the night." He decided to 'go for the gold' and see where this might be headed. 'Am I only a one-night stand for this guy?' he wondered.

"Oleg, I am honored. I was originally planning on whoring around until I returned to L.A. tomorrow. But meeting you and getting the chance to know you better is too good of an opportunity to pass up. Intellectual acumen aside, I'm impressed by how well you know how to use your physical attributes."

"Hey, it's a two-way street and I'd like to find out more about you. Giving isn't necessarily better than receiving."

"Versatility is a good thing." Giorgio smiled and rolled his eyes.

"Then let's move on." Oleg pushed away from the table and stood up. "I think you'll like the accommodations and services at Chez Petrov."

"The accommodations are a given. However, I'm more interested in the services." Giorgio rejoined and in the privacy of the patio, kissed Oleg playfully on the neck.

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