The Catbird Seat
by Neil Plakcy

an excerpt

In the narrow crew cabin on the lower deck of the motor yacht Odessa, Rashid Washington stripped down and put on a tiny white bathing suit. Standing between the two bunks, staring out the single porthole at a circle of blue sky, he lathered up with SPF 35 suntan lotion. When he was sufficiently protected, he slipped his feet into a pair of worn deck shoes an ebony brown only a shade or two darker than his skin. Then he went topside, hooked up the hose, and started washing down the boat.

It was a picture-postcard day at the Miami Beach Marina, the sky a pale blue with a lazy stripe of high, thin clouds. The scent of machine oil and salt water floated past him, carrying the noise of an ambulance siren on Alton Road and the deep, guttural roar of a cigarette boat revving its engines. Wavelets lapped gently at the hull as a Coast Guard patrol boat puttered by on its way back to its base along the MacArthur Causeway.

Down the dock, he saw a fine-looking white man step off the deck of a catamaran that had come in the night before. He looked to be in his late thirties, perhaps ten years older than Rashid, with a muscular body encased in a tight-fitting emerald-green polo shirt and tan cargo shorts.

As the man strolled down the deck toward him, Rashid noticed his blond hair slicked back and skin tanned to the color of strong tea. Everything about the guy, from the gold coin on a rope chain around his neck to the expensive deck shoes on his feet, said rich and sailor. That was a combination Rashid could get into.

"Nice boat," Rashid said as the man approached.

"Nothing compared to yours," the man said.

"Ah, but I'll bet you own yours. I'm just the hired hand on this beauty."

"I'm Bjorn," the man said, sticking out his hand. The touch of his rough, calloused palm against Rashid's sent an electric tingle through Rashid's body, a sensation further enhanced by the way Bjorn's sparkling blue eyes fixed on Rashid's own.

"Rashid. Pleased to meet you. You planning to stay long?"

"For a while. Depends on how friendly the atmosphere is."

"Oh, you'll find we're very friendly around here," Rashid said, still holding Bjorn's hand.

Bjorn looked down at Rashid's bikini and smiled. "I can see that."

Embarrassed by the bulge he was showing, Rashid released Bjorn's hand and picked up the hose again. Bjorn was no slouch in the groin department either; it looked like he was just as pleased to meet Rashid as Rashid was to meet him.

If there was a thing as love at first sight, then Rashid knew what it felt like. With the sun behind him, Bjorn was wreathed in a golden halo like some Aztec Indian's first vision of the conquering Spaniards. Rashid's heart raced and the hand holding the hose quivered.

Bjorn stroked the teak guardrail. "Looks like a lot of love goes into maintaining this boat. You ever give tours?"

"I could take you below right now."

"I'll bet you could." Bjorn licked his lips and smiled again.

Rashid turned off the hose and left it lying on the concrete dock. He hopped onto the deck and said, "Coming?"

"Very soon," Bjorn said, grinning devilishly again.

He followed Rashid through the main lounge to the stairs, and Rashid felt the older man's eyes on his butt the whole time. He hurried down the stairs and stopped in front of the owner's cabin. Bjorn didn't wait for an invitation; he walked right up to Rashid and locked lips, wrapping one of his muscular, tanned arms around Rashid's waist and pulling him close.

Up close, Bjorn smelled like aloe and lanolin and expensive face cream. His lips were rough and chapped, and they pressed against Rashid's with an urgency matched by the pressure of Bjorn's dick against his own. "Missed this," Bjorn said, rubbing his cheek against Rashid's. "Sailing single-handed is fun, but... ."

"Sometimes you need another hand," Rashid said, placing his palm over Bjorn's dick, which pulsed with solid heat.

"You could say that," Bjorn groaned.

Rashid slid his hands under Bjorn's polo shirt and pulled it up over the blond's head. Bjorn's abs were flat, his skin smooth and hairless. They embraced, chest to chest, Rashid's skin just a few shades darker than Bjorn's. Bjorn leaned down to kiss Rashid's shoulder as Rashid nibbled Bjorn's earlobe.

The sensation of skin against skin was amazing, but Bjorn's belt buckle pressed uncomfortably against Rashid, who began to undo it. Once the belt was unlatched, the cargo shorts slid down to the deck, and Bjorn stepped out of them. Both of them were left in bikini briefs and deck shoes, dicks pressed against each other through thin layers of nylon and cotton.

They kissed again, each man opening his mouth to receive the other's tongue, their bodies touching at a dozen points. Rashid kicked off his deck shoes and skinned down his bikini, then stepped inside the owner's cabin toward the king-sized bed.

"God, you're gorgeous," Bjorn said. Rashid was tall and slender, with the bearing of an African king. His body was slim and toned by sailing and boat maintenance rather than gym work. He had no big muscles, but everything was in proportion, and his waist was still so slim he could wear the sexiest designer pants when he wanted.

"Back at you, babe," Rashid said. Bjorn's body was older and tougher than Rashid's, but equally toned. When he slipped off his bikini briefs, he revealed a thick, uncut dick sticking out from a bush of dark blond hair. He kicked off his deck shoes too, and they embraced again, body against body, at the foot of the bed.

Bjorn ran his hands down Rashid's back, cupping his smooth ass, pressing their bodies even closer together. Then he slid down to his knees and took Rashid's dick in his mouth.

Rashid opened his mouth and arched his head and neck back, reveling in the sensation of Bjorn's lips around his dick. He was so hard it hurt, and every swipe of Bjorn's tongue up the length of Rashid's shaft sent shivers through his body.

He reached down and gripped Bjorn's head as the older man began sucking him up and down. Rashid felt his pulse race and his nuts swell, and with a strangled moan he came in Bjorn's mouth.

Bjorn swallowed it all, licking his lips and smiling. He stood up and kissed Rashid again, and Rashid tasted the salt of his own cum on Bjorn's lips. He pushed Bjorn down on the king-sized bed and crawled onto the bed over top of him, sucking Bjorn's monster cock.

"Turn around, baby," Bjorn said.

Rashid scrambled around so that his ass was at Bjorn's face and resumed his cock-sucking. Bjorn wet his index finger and began playing with Rashid's hole.

Rashid felt almost delirious. It was hard to concentrate on sucking Bjorn with that amazing sensation of Bjorn's finger stroking, then penetrating, his ass. But he focused his attention, bobbing his head up and down on Bjorn as the older man's body shivered and bucked.

With a quick intake of breath, Bjorn shot his wad down Rashid's throat. He gasped for breath for a moment, then turned and flopped down next to Bjorn. "That was amazing," he said.

"You bet." Bjorn looked at his watch, a gold Bulgari with a leather strap. "Shit, I've got an appointment. Gotta motor."

He jumped up with an energy Rashid admired, and pulled on his clothes. At the cabin door he turned and blew Rashid a kiss. "Later, babe," he said, and he was gone.

Rashid lay there for a minute. Who was that dude, anyway? They'd jumped into bed so fast they'd hardly had time to exchange even the most basic information.

But what the hell, it had been great sex.

Bjorn had not returned to his boat, The Catbird Seat, by the time Rashid finished his maintenance work and left the marina to return to his apartment. If it weren't for the presence of the big catamaran with its furled yellow sail, he thought he might have imagined the whole experience.

Walking up Collins Avenue, he struggled to remember what a catbird seat was. When he couldn't bring the term to mind, he pulled out his phone and Googled the term. It meant, he learned, an enviable position. Well, he certainly felt that way after his very satisfying sexcapade with Bjorn.

The next morning as Rashid arrived at the marina, he was unsure of the protocol. Should he go down to Bjorn's boat? Wait for Bjorn to reappear? He saw Joe, the elderly maintenance man, sweeping in front of the marina office, and stopped to say hello.

"Marina's busy for summer," Rashid said. "New boats coming in all the time, huh?"

"Just the one," Joe said, "but then, you've already met him, haven't you?"

"Oh, you mean from the catamaran?" Rashid asked, struggling for innocence. "Yeah, I talked to him yesterday."

"Funny kind of talking," Joe said, chewing the unlit cigar end that was his constant companion.

Rashid blushed. "You know anything about him?"

Joe shrugged. "Got a damn nice boat. Paid up through the end of summer."

The end of summer, Rashid thought, as he walked down to the Odessa. That was a good sign. Fortunately he had enough maintenance work to keep his mind from obsessing too much over Bjorn. He was topisde, oiling the teak handrails on the afterdeck, when he saw a young Haitian guy appear at the marina gate.

He was no more than a teenager, with a side-to-side swagger and a hand clutched at his crotch, holding up beltless jeans that threatened to drop at any minute. His head was shaved at the sides, with a high crown.

Living in South Florida, Rashid had become attuned to the ethnic mix. He could distinguish between Jamaicans, Haitians, and American blacks at a glance. Puerto Ricans and Cubans were easy, as were the square-faced Mexicans and those South Americans with Inca or Maya ancestry. The rest of Central and South America blurred together, though.

Rashid hated guys like the teenager sloping down the dock and hoped he wasn't headed for the Odessa. Why dress like an urban gangster? It just attracted police attention and made you look like a fool. Their stupidity made it harder for educated, law-abiding brothers like Rashid, who would never be caught in public looking less than his best. When his pants slid down over his narrow hips in front of anyone else, you could be sure there was sex on the way.