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Prawn Cocktail

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Rodrigo glanced across the crowded ballroom, martini clutched in one cheliped. There he was. Saddam, at it again. To any casual observer his behaviour would seem innocuous - charming even. Shaking hands and greasing palms, just like always. But Rodrigo knew now the fire that burnt within those deep brown eyes, the passion that dwelt within those muscular yet supple loins. He knew just how Saddam could boil the blood with a single touch; nay, a single glance. And here he stood, laughing as he shook the hand of that man, that imposter. Ceusescu. Just the sound of his name was enough to make Rodrigo’s antennae flutter with disgust. This man dared to flaunt his past connection with Saddam in public, right under Rodrigo’s maxillipeds. He wouldn’t stand for it. Nobody made a fool of Rodrigo Banderez and lived to tell the tale.

Excusing himself from the frankly tedious company of Baroness Olsen, Rodrigo glided across the ballroom, setting his unfinished martini down on the tray of a passing waiter. As he entered Ceusescu’s eyeline the man seemed to pale a little, gazing over Saddam’s shoulder at the approaching crustacean. He vanished into the crowd as Saddam turned to face his lover, seemingly unsurprised by the interruption.

“Rodrigo. I had not anticipated the pleasure of your company tonight”. A small smile crossed his stern, chiselled features.

“Mr Hussein; how could I have stayed away? You left me hungry for more than just decaying organic matter”

Something like surprise flickered across his face for an instant, to be replaced by a veneer of smug satisfaction.

“I wouldn’t mind another taste of marie rose myself” Saddam purred, his steamy gaze caressing every inch of Rodrigo’s curves, lingering on the tantalising mound of his dorsomedian carina.

Rodrigo urged himself to remain calm in the face of Saddam’s bare faced lust, but despite himself he felt his first pleopod begin to ready itself for sperm transfer. He knew from the look in the other male’s eye that they both needed to take this upstairs, or it was anyone’s guess whose eggs Rodrigo would fertilise.

Saddam’s thoughts seemed to mirror his as he bit down impatiently on his lower lip. “I can’t control myself any longer” he cried, grabbing Rodrigo by his third maxilliped, his eyes wild with passion. “I’d give up all the oil in the world for one last touch of your antennae!”

Rodrigo basked in the fierce fire of Saddam’s carnal longing. This was the confirmation he had yearned for - Saddam desired his touch just as feverently as he hungered for the sweet embrace of the dashing dictator. His telson flapped frantically as he pulled his lover into the passionate embrace of his periopods and rushed them to the first floor of the hotel.

The door of the hotel room crashed to the floor as Saddam hurled Rodrigo’s supple, hairless body onto the huge bed in the centre of the room. Rodrigo barely had time to appreciate the silky soft feel of the Egyptian cotton sheets before Saddam fell to his knees and began to lick at each of Rodrigo’s pleopods in turn, his eyes heavy-lidded with lust. Rodrigo let his cephalothorax fall back on the sheets with a deep moan, writhing in ecstasy at the president’s ministrations.

“Oh Saddam”, he cried, “you make me feel things that no organism lacking a neocortex should be able to feel!”

“That’s it baby” Saddam encouraged between each mouthful of pleopod, “I love you like this”. He paused for a moment, running his tongue over his bottom lip as though to savour the taste. “You’re hotter than summer in Baghdad”.

Rodrigo could only look on in a kind of blissed-out stupor as the delectable dictator went to town on every part of his abdomen, travelling down to his preanal carina with delectable, sucking bites. His head was spinning - what would this mean for him, for them? He was just another average shrimp estate agent. He couldn’t hope to entertain the interest of the dictator of Iraq for long. And then he’d be tossed aside, used and cast away. It was just like Mary down in Service Charge was always saying - men like Saddam would never be satisfied with shrimp like Rodrigo. It just couldn’t work.

Rodrigo tensed up at the thought and Saddam, sensing the sudden change in his mood, paused for a moment and looked up into the shrimp’s deep black eyes.

“Is something wrong?” he asked, his eyes filled with confusion.

Rodrigo pushed him away and sat up. “What are we doing, Saddam? I mean, what are we really doing?” His voice wavered, caught between anger and a hollow emptiness. “You’re… you,” he gestured to the tanned and achingly erect dictator, “and I’m, well, me.”

“But Roddy-”

“No, let me say my piece” Rodrigo said firmly, forcing himself to look his lover in the eyes. “When we’re done you can go back to your life - to Iraq, to your wife.” He shuddered at the mention of her name, but forced himself to continue. “But I’ll never be done with you Saddam. Spreadsheets cannot heal a broken heart.”

And with that Rodrigo began to shudder, unable even to cry. ‘I bet his wife cries, with her stupid human lacrimal glands’, he thought, his eyes fixed on the bed, avoiding Saddam’s heated gaze. He flinched when Saddam placed a tender hand under his carapace, tilting his rostrum and causing his eyes to meet that of his crustacean lover.

“Oh Roddy,” he sighed, “there’s something I’ve been meaning to tell you. I’m so sorry I let you worry like this, about us”. He pulled away, climbing off the bed and straightening up to his full height. “I’m not the man you thought I was, Roddy”

“What do you mean?” Rodrigo cried, his sadness mingling with confusion. What could Saddam possibly say that would change any of this, anything at all?

“Rodrigo… I’m not a man at all” he replied with a small smile, reaching up to his hairline. Rodrigo could only watch in shock as Saddam pinched a fold of skin on his glabella and proceeded to tear away his face. He bent down and pulled again, ripping off the facsimile of skin that had previously covered his seemingly human body, to reveal a stunningly handsome adult shrimp.

Rodrigo was flabbergasted. All this time, all their clandestine trysts, and only now he realised the man he thought he knew was no man, but a fellow shrimp.

“Saddam!” he cried “How could you keep this from me?”

“It tore me apart inside, my sweet” Saddam rushed to his side, cupping his carapace in one pereopod. Rodrigo marvelled at the feel of it, where only seconds ago had been human hands. “It is my deepest, darkest secret. Imagine the scandal if I was discovered! Shrimp have not ruled Iraq since the Ottoman days”

“Oh Saddam,” Rodrigo sighed, “Now we can truly be together, only us”

“I would like nothing more, my darling decapod” Saddam’s beady black eyes misted over. “Let us mate as we are, as gay shrimp have always done”

Rodrigo let out a cry of pure ecstasy as their bodies came together at last, the burst of pure pleasure overwhelming his every sense as they mated. Saddam mewled in his arms as his own climax overtook him, releasing his sperm and collapsing boneless in Rodrigo’s arms.

When they had both come to their senses after their shared moment of bliss, Rodrigo gazed into his aquatic lover’s eyes.

“That was perfect” he sighed.

“The best second of my life” Saddam replied, a smile on his lips. “Absolutely shrimpsational”

And with that, the two crustaceans fell into a deep sleep - satiated, for now.