Cheers for the reviews.

I will definitely continue this story! I've actually already written the whole thing and am just 'tidying up' as I go along. If you want the full story, just leave you email in a comment. I plan on (hopefully) fully editing it on the weekend. I'm just reeeeaaally nervous because part of the story is set in two countries where I've never been.

I spent Friday at university, doing not much of anything other than thinking of my dark-haired new fling. I was getting bored with study. On one hand, I knew I had to pass. On the other, putting in enough effort to get a grade above pass level was becoming increasingly harder to do as my motivation levels dropped off. I was a lousy student, which was ironic considering I was studying to become a teacher myself.

On Saturday morning I headed off to work with only slightly more enthusiasm. At least work rewarded me in the form of cash. Plus, I had some cute workmates. Admittedly I also had some totally bogan workmates, but even they were tolerable. Still, the day dragged. I was eager to see Ahmet. I was just as eager to actually spend the night with Ahmet. On Thursday evening we'd eaten, driven around town a bit, and gone back to our respective homes. It was frustrating, to say the least.

Unfortunately, I'd no sooner arrived home on Saturday, than Michael requested I drive Ben to a high school party.

'I was going to go out soon,' I replied cautiously. 'Can you take him?'

'Where are you going?'

'Um…out with someone.'

My guiltily vague reply rang alarm bells. Michael claims he is not cut out for parenthood. He doesn't particularly like children. He claims he likes teenage boys once they're past puberty, but that's the extent of it.

Nonetheless, he can pick up the scent of guilt quicker than you can say 'boo'. Michael stared at me, seeking an answer. I wasn't about to give anything away. I simply shrugged, apologized, and said I could probably manage to drop Ben off, just a little later than he'd planned.

'I'm concerned about your safety,' Michael pointed out. 'Could you please tell me where it is you'll be going? You don't need to tell me who he is, just let me know where you'll be.'

I glanced around our old Queenslander home carefully. Brett wasn't around. Ben, and Teagan – the third of the foster kids – weren't nearby, either.

'Promise you won't get angry?'

Michael groaned. 'Please don't tell me you're dating someone you met last weekend.'

God he was quick. Either that, or my guilt was written all over my face.

'Maybe,' I admitted guiltily.

'Do you really think it's a good idea to date one of Brett's friends?' Michael asked doubtfully. 'I don't think many of those guys are really…. Reputable. Keep in mind, too, that they're not Australian. They probably have very different expectations.'

'He's not one of his friends,' I corrected. 'More of a friend of a friend. Besides, I can't knock someone back just because of his background.'

Michael ran his hands through his blond hair. He was always so perfect looking; blond and tanned and impeccably dressed, that the gesture looked completely authentic. 'Is your date, by any chance, Ahmed or whatever-his-name who was wearing the blue shirt and sitting far too close to you?'

'Erm, yes. That's Ahmet. That's him.'

'Where exactly in the world is he from?'

'Turkey. He came here three months ago. His family lives in Victoria.'

'I see. Don't you think he's a bit too old for you?'

'He's in his mid-twenties. He's not very mature, so you don't have to worry about him being too old for me. I mean, he's not immature but he's not…well, he's not like Brett.'

Michael snorted. 'Brett's not mature.'

'Well, Ahmet is less mature than Brett.'

'That sounds interesting,' Michael replied diplomatically. The expression on his face was one of dread, but I could see he was trying to be understanding and calm. 'Have fun with him tonight.'

'Um, yes. I will.' I stood up and started to edge away. The next step was the 'safe sex' talk. I hated talking about sex. It was one of those things that we all did, but I didn't want to discuss. 'Well, um, I'll let Ben know I can still drop him off. I better get ready now.'

'No, no, don't worry about Ben. I'll drop him off. You just get yourself ready. Remember to bring condoms. You never know when you might need them.'

There it was. He could never let me venture out without that warning. I wanted to tell him not to worry. The thought of STDs grossed me out. I didn't want anything weird going on down there.

Ninety minutes later I was at Ahmet's house, repeating my conversation with Michael to him. Ahmet found the exchange hilarious.

'My parents never discussed sex. Never. It was entirely taboo,' he explained.

'Are they religious? I've noticed some religious parents get very uptight.'

'They're more religious now they're in Australia. They can socialize with other Turks at a mosque, which makes them more inclined to go.'

'Are you religious?'

'Me?' Ahmet laughed. 'No. Are you?'


'That's good.' Ahmet looked as relieved as I felt. 'Differences in religion can cause problems.'

'I know. My ex-boyfriend was a really strict Christian. He was always going to church, and doing church things. It always got in the way.' I paused and ate some too-good-too-be-healthy baklava-type thing. Ahmet was trying to prove Turkish food was better than Australian food. He didn't have to try too hard to make his point. 'Have you had any religious boyfriends?'

'No.' He shook his head. 'I wouldn't be able to tolerate it. I know men who say they can be homosexual and Muslim, when they know that homosexuality is clearly not permissible. They need to make up their minds and act accordingly.'

'I agree. Tom was like that. He thought he could change the bible, interpret it the way he wanted.'

'You can't do that.'

'I know.'

We stared at each other across the kitchen table. He was a godless Turkish dentist and I was a godless Australian student. He was older than I was, and he had a different background, but for the first time in my life, I seemed to have met someone who seemed to have similar values.

'Are you planning on staying in Australia?' I asked carefully.


'Do you like it here?'

Ahmet hesitated. He was worried about insulting me. 'No. But it's better than France.'

I wasn't insulted. I was sorry that he didn't like Australia, but I didn't hold it against him. 'Have you thought about going back to Turkey?'

He nodded. 'I've thought about it, but I probably won't move back permanently. My family are in Australia, and so is Mahir.'

Mahir was his friend and housemate, who was thankfully – from my point of view, because I wanted alone time with Ahmet – out for the night. From previous conversations, I knew Ahmet and Mahir were close. They'd been friends since primary school, and had gone to university together in France.

'Australia is nicer to its gays than Turkey.' He added.

'Not that nice,' I argued.

'No, not that nice, but nicer than Turkey.' Ahmet shrugged. 'Am I offending you?'

'Not at all,' I assured him. 'If I immigrated to Turkey I'd probably find it really weird. Your food is good, I'll give you that, but still…it would be different from everything I've known.'

Ahmet smiled. 'I'm glad you understand.'

I returned the smile. 'Are the men different in Turkey?'

'The gay men?'

'Yes, the gay men.'

'They're not as good-looking as you.'

I blushed. 'That wasn't what I meant to ask.'

'It was what I meant to say,' he argued, his dark eyes flickering with amusement. He had beautiful dark eyes with thick eyelashes. 'You're embarrassed. You shouldn't be; it was a compliment.'

I wanted to crawl under the kitchen table. 'I'm very easily embarrassed.'

'I've noticed. You need to toughen up. I like to tease.'

'So I can see.' I cleared my throat. 'Um…'

He burst into laughter. 'It's so hard to stop teasing you, when I know that's how you're going to react,' he confessed.

'Will? This is Dragana. You need to come and get Ben. He's really sick and he won't stop throwing up.'

I bit back a groan of disappointment. Ahmet and I were lounging on his couch, watching a French movie on SBS. I was reading the subtitles. Ahmet didn't need the subtitles, so he had been half-listening, and half seducing me. It has been really, really good. He'd been lying in my lap, lifting my shirt up and kissing my stomach. I had a hard-on like you wouldn't believe.

'Um, if he's sick, call Brett or Michael,' I suggested disinterestedly. 'They'll pick him up.'

There was a pause.

'He's not really sick sick, he's drunk sick,' Dragana clarified. 'Please come and get him. He's won't stop vomiting.'

'I'm at someone's house. I rode my bike here. I can't come and pick him up.'

'Could you catch a taxi? '

I sighed. There was nothing like being told your foster brother was shit-faced to kill an erection. 'I'll see what I can do. Can you text me the address?'

'Sure. Thanks Will.'

I pressed the end call button, turned to Ahmet and sighed.

'Don't bother repeating it, I heard,' he said. 'Do you want me to drive you there?'

'No, I'll call a taxi. I don't want him being sick in your car.'

Ahmet stared at me appraisingly. 'I'll take some towels. If he throws up on the seats, he can pay for it to be cleaned. That's what my father made me do when I was fifteen and got drunk.'

'Ben's only thirteen.'

He leaned in and softly kissed me. He kept his eyes shut as he kissed, gently prodding at me to open my mouth. I laid back onto the couch and pulled him on top of me. He wasn't the Most Magnificent Man I'd had sex with or anything, but he was nothing to sneeze at, and it sure beat going handing cash over to a cabbie so I could pick up my drunk foster brother.

'There,' Ahmet remarked, pulling back. 'You see? I'll take you to pick up your foster brother and then we can come back to my house. Do you know how rare it is Mahir goes out? I had to bribe him.'

'You bribed your friend to go out?'

He grinned. 'Wouldn't you?'

'I, uh…yes.' I confessed. 'Ahmet…look, when we pick up Ben, ignore him if he says anything stupid. He's thirteen. It's a stupid age.'

'What would he say?'

'Um, sometimes he questions why I'm, uh, not straight,' I fumbled.

Ahmet shrugged. 'That's to be expected. Some people are very…I'm lost for the word…'


'Yes, that's it.'

As it turned out, though, Ben didn't say a thing about Ahmet. He was too drunk to speak, have a coherent thought, or even walk out to Ahmet's car. He wasn't just drunk; he was absolutely slaughtered.

Dragana helped us carry her shirtless boyfriend out to the car. She was relieved we were here, and wouldn't stop thanking us. I didn't know what to say. I was pissed off, and embarrassed that someone I'd just met had had to come and help, but I wasn't going to take my frustration out on Dragana, even though I had to wonder why it was she'd sat by and watch him get so thoroughly drunk. A lot of people accuse attractive women of being selfish and arrogant, but Dragana wasn't either. She was extremely pretty, but she seemed to care quite a bit about Ben.

'What was he drinking?' Ahmet asked her.

'He was doing Tequila shots with the guys.' She twirled a lock of dark, shiny hair around her hand nervously. 'They were paying out on him, and telling him he was a chicken for not drinking. I told him to ignore them, but he… we had a fight. He said he didn't care what I thought. Please don't let him get in trouble for this, and tell him I'm sorry about what I said to him.'

Unfortunately for Ben, there was no getting out of this mess unscathed. He puked several more times in the car and when we finally arrived back at my house and tried to pull him out, I mistakenly set off Ahmet's car alarm. It was a fucking loud alarm.

It took precisely two seconds for Brett and Michael to be out the front with our younger foster sister, Teagan, demanding to know what was going on. Ben was lying prostrate on our front lawn. Ahmet and I looked guilty, even though there was no reason for us to be guilty. Several neighbourhood dogs were barking loudly.

'He's drunk,' I explained. 'And, um, this is Ahmet by the way.'

'Hi Ahmet,' Teagan grinned in the guileless, eleven year old way of hers. 'Are you Will's new boyfriend?'

'Teagan, go inside,' Michael requested. 'Go back to sleep.'

Brett stared at Ahmet. 'Do I know you? You look familiar.'

'I live with Mahir. You worked with him in Papua New Guinea,' Ahmet clarified. 'We also saw each other last weekend.'

'Of course,' Brett replied darkly.

Ben groaned. He was drunk and sick and cold. 'Can we go inside?'

They were the first coherent words he'd spoken since we picked him up. It was a relief to hear him talk. He'd looked terrible in the car, and Ahmet and I had actually been debating taking him to the hospital. The only reason we hadn't was because we had agreed that waiting in an emergency room would be worse for him than heading home, where he could puke his guts up in privacy. He'd already left a revolting pile of puke on the blankets in the back of Ahmet's car.

'Are you going to be sick?' Brett asked.

Ben shook his head. 'No.'

Brett picked him up and carried him inside. Michael held open the front door, and I went ahead into Ben's room, pulling back the blanket and helping Brett put him down.

Michael came in with a bucket and a cup of water. He made Ben drink the latter, and told him if he was going to puke, to make sure he did it in the bucket, and not on the floor.

'Sorry,' Ben muttered.

'You're right,' Brett replied gruffly. 'Let us know if you need anything.'

We left Ben to sleep off his alcohol.

'Where are you going?' Brett asked as I headed outside.

'Ben puked in Ahmet's car. I thought maybe we could wash all the blankets and stuff,' I suggested. 'It's not really Ahmet's fault he puked in there.'

'I'm going to kill him,' Brett threatened. 'I'll help you clean out the car.'

The car was soon cleaned out of the dirty blankets and towels. Thankfully there were no stains or marks on the seats. Ahmet's car was too new and expensive. I still felt guilty about picking Ben up in it in the first place.

We took the stuff inside to wash, and afterwards, Michael made us coffee. We sat down at the kitchen table and drank it. In the background, we could hear Ben puking. It sounded bloody nasty. I've never been a person who gets terribly sick when I drink, and I wondered to myself exactly how much Ben had drunk. It must have been a lot.

'I wonder if he'll be okay,' Michael mused aloud.

'He'll be fine,' Brett responded. 'Hopefully he'll learn a lesson from this.'

Michael snorted. 'Fat chance of that.'

Brett raised his eyebrows. 'I have my ways.'

Ahmet was not an elegant sleeper. He lay on his back, one hand on his penis and the other behind his head, snoring. His mouth was open, and he occasionally twitched.

It was eight o'clock and the sun was streaming in on his body, but in his sleep, he was entirely oblivious to his surroundings. I wasn't oblivious at all. I stared at him in amusement, wondering how it was that a dentist had two amalgam fillings. I'd never met a dentist with fillings before.

It was oddly pleasant to have him in my bed. For so long it had been Tom and I, but then whatever love Tom and I had shared had slowly died away, and we'd split before our friendship turned into hatred. We liked each other too much to allow that too happen, no matter how much it had hurt at the time.

Not many people understood why Tom and I split. It's hard to explain, and I can't really add much to what I've already said; our love just faded away. We simply weren't meant to be.

I gently touched Ahmet's hair. There's nothing remarkable about his hair, it's just regular, short, dark brown hair. There's really not anything remarkable about his looks as a whole. He's around six foot tall, has a regular build, and his nose, jawline and ears are all of regular size. He has no piercings or tattoos, but he removes the hair from his chest and stomach and butt and crotch, so that you can see a nice expanse of olive skin.

Ahmet stirred. He rubbed at his face before opening his eyes and peering at me curiously. 'Is it morning already?'

I leant down and kissed him. 'Yeah. Did I wake you up?'

'Yes.' He replied matter-of-factly.


He pulled me down. 'Mmm, it doesn't matter. The sooner I wake up, the sooner I can start spending my Sunday with you.'

'I have to work this afternoon,' I said apologetically.

'Really?' Ahmet groaned and buried his face in my shoulder. 'Arrrrgh.'


He crawled on top of me and started kissing my forehead, nose, mouth, neck and shoulder. His face was bristly and sharp, but his kisses were soft. He was a good kisser.

We ended up having sex, good sex. Quiet sex. I could hear people walking around outside, and I was worried about being overheard. Ahmet wasn't. His breathing was heavy and he groaned softly as he came. He probably wasn't very loud, but he seemed that way to me.

'Oh, that's good,' he said, satisfied. 'Are you sure you won't call in sick?'

'I'm sure,' I replied regretfully.

Ahmet withdrew, holding onto the bottom of the condom so it wouldn't slip off. It was a yellow banana-scented condom, and it smelt incredibly artificial, even more so now it was mixed was strawberry lubricant. He carefully took it off and grabbed a few tissues to clean himself with. He didn't have a particularly long cock, but it was thick and veiny and circumcised, and gave off the impression that it was angry. Ordinarily, that would have been a stupid thought to have about a dick, but Ahmet's seemed to have a personality.

'Have you slept with many men who weren't circumcised?' I asked curiously.

'Of course. I studied in France and England. Why do you ask? Am I bad in bed?'

'No, no, it's not that,' I assured him honestly. 'It was just a thought.'

He shrugged, while dabbing at his softening cock a few more times with a tissue. 'All Turkish men get circumcised.'

'Yeah? Was it weird when you went overseas for the first time and saw you know, the whole thing?'

Ahmet laughed at my choice of words. 'It was funny. It's like they were all waiting for their circumcision.'

'Oh my God. I'm not waiting for a circumcision. No one and nothing comes near my foreskin with anything sharp.'

'I liked my circumcision. I got presents.'

I laughed. 'Yeah, and you were probably like twenty-four hours old and were given lots of drugs.'

'What? It was done when I was six.'

The thought alone made me instinctively reach for my crotch. 'Are you kidding?'

'No.' He shook his head. 'Why would I be kidding? That's our tradition. It's an important step for Muslim men, and at the time, I was still a practicing Muslim.'

'God, that's brutal. Are you angry about it, now that you're not religious?'

Ahmet laughed. He didn't laugh in his usual way, when he was taking the piss out of me. This time his amusement was more private. He was laughing at my outrage at his culture. 'I'm not angry at all. It was one of the best day's of my life.'

'Okaaay. Well, I'm, uh, happy for you.'

Rarely will Brett find it excusable for anyone to miss work. Even when I was at high school, unless I was at deaths' door with illness, Brett would boot me out and send me to school or work.

It was therefore a complete and utter shock to me when, after walking out of the shower post-sex, he informed me that he'd rung my boss and told him I wasn't coming in today. My boss is his best mate, so it was therefore very, very suspicious and very, very unusual.

'Why?' I asked uncertainly.

He shrugged. 'Ben ruined your night last night. I thought he might repay you by doing your shift at work today.'

'Um, Ben doesn't know how to do my job.'

'I'll go with him,' Brett grinned. 'Jamie and I will show him what to do.'

Ben, who was sitting at the breakfast table looking distinctly pale, groaned. 'Will, please don't let them make me work. I'm sick.'

'You're hungover,' Brett corrected. 'And you're going to work with me. Jamie works seven days a week, hungover or not, so you can spend five hours of your time learning that life is not a box of chocolates.'

'I get it, I get it,' Ben complained. 'Could I at least have some Panadol?'

Brett took a hell of a lot of pleasure in replying in the negative. It was evil almost, the way he knocked back Ben's request. It got a lot worse when Ahmet exited the shower and came and sat down at the table. Between them, Ahmet and Brett proceeded to take the absolute crap out of Ben, ignoring the fact that he was getting more and more frustrated with them.

I was edgy. I could see Ben growing more and more irritated, and tried to stop Brett and Ahmet from pushing him any more than they already were.

Ahmet grinned at my interruption. 'Will, stop trying to stop us from having fun. Ben knows he's a bad, bad Muslim for drinking.'

'I'm not as crap as you,' Ben snapped. 'I got drunk, once. You're a faggot. You're lucky Australia isn't under sharia law.'

'Ben,' Brett warned. 'Drop it. Ahmet was only teasing.'

'I don't like being teased,' Ben glowered. 'I want Panadol. I want to sleep. Stop being so sadistic.'

'He really needs Panadol,' I agreed, directing my words at Brett.

Brett stared at Ben.

'Brett, I will never, ever, ever, drink again,' Ben swore. 'Believe me, I don't ever want to feel this bad again.'

Brett hesitated. 'Fine. I'll get you some Panadol and you can go back to sleep for a few hours. I'll wake you when it's time to go to work.'

'I still have to go to work?' Ben complained.

'Don't push your luck.' Brett warned. 'I've already given in to Panadol and sleep. Don't make me change my mind.'

Ben heeded the advice, took the Panadol, and went to his room for a few hours rest. Brett, Ahmet and I watched him go.

'Where is he from?' Ahmet asked curiously.

I knew why he asked; Ben was very 'unique' looking, with light brown skin, blue eyes, a massive nose and very strong facial features. He was actually quite good-looking, but he definitely didn't look like your average white Australian.

'His family are from all over the place, but he's largely of Syrian descent.' Brett replied.

Ahmet nodded. 'Do you every wish you could send him back there?'

'All the time. All the bloody time.'