Erol slips out of the palace near the end of the day, as the reception of foreign ambassadors is finishing and before the banquet begins. The air outside is still hot, but there's a breeze springing up that feels marvelous on his face.
He makes his way from courtyard to courtyard, from garden to garden, and is nearly at the stables when he sees a man standing ahead of him in the path. It's one of the foreigners, in the heavy robes of a Christian priest, and he's looking about with a puzzled air.
"Are you lost, sir?" Erol asks.
The man turns, and he is beautiful. Erol smiles.
When he gets no answer, he asks again in Arabic.
"I... to go," the man says haltingly, and then he gives up, waving a hand and frowning. Even his scowl can't mar the pure lines of his face. The cloth of his robes falls straight from his broad shoulders, and his gaze tracks slowly down Erol's body and back up.
"I'm going swimming," Erol says, pointing down at the sea. "Want to come along?"
The man shrugs and smiles apologetically. Erol points to the water again and jerks his chin in the direction of the path down to it. "Come," he says. He starts walking again, and the man follows.
Erol leaves his clothes in a heap and races into the waves. The sand stings his feet, and the water is warm as blood. He shakes his wet hair and turns back to the shore, where the foreigner is slowly getting out of his many garments. Erol watches him strip, and he watches Erol look.
When he is finally naked, he picks his way down to the water and wades in. Erol leads him in deeper, step by step, till the waves are lapping at their chests. Then Erol reaches over and touches his shoulder. The foreigner draws in a breath and smiles.
Erol steps close then, pressing their chests and bellies together, trapping their cocks between them. The man wraps his arms around Erol, palms coming to rest on Erol's ass. Erol noses at the damp curve of his neck and slides a hand in to grasp his cock.
The man's eyes fall closed as Erol begins to touch him. His hair clings in wet clumps to his sun-reddened face, and his lips part and curl in response to each of Erol's strokes.
He groans loudly when he finishes, but the wind carries away the sound even as the water dissipates his come.
He takes Erol in hand then, murmuring something in his own language into Erol's ear, while his other palm curves around the back of Erol's neck. Erol throws his arms out along the surface of the water and lets it take more of his weight. He is gasping before he knows it, panting, light twisting inside him, faster, higher, and then his companion's mouth covers his and pins him there while he comes.
The sun is setting, Erol is missing prayers, and before long there will be torches and shouts and rough hands dragging them both away. But here in the last rays of light, held by kisses and rocked by waves, Erol can't imagine a better world.