Yesterday Sneak Peeks
I slathered on the Coppertone to make sure I’d tan and not burn. Odds were in my favor, as I’d inherited my mother’s genes in that respect. We always looked like toasted coconut by the end of summer, and the contrast with our blond hair was quite stunning. I checked myself in the mirror once more and was satisfied that I’d pass muster. The baggy shorts hung down to the top of my knees and kept the package under wraps. No one would be throwing stones at this homo today.
The only people outside were foreigners. Nobody in this part of the world would willingly lie in the sun half-naked, burning layers of skin and expecting not to end up with an extreme case of sunburn. After thirty minutes, I knew I’d have to take this intense heat seriously and temper my sessions by the pool if I didn’t want to look like a lobster or end up with heatstroke. I might have fared better than most, given my good genes, but the sun blazed fiercely in this desert climate, and I knew now why people ran around covered in layers of cloth from head to toe.
I decided to move over to a covered section for a cool drink. I shrugged on a loose cotton shirt and headed toward the bar. “A large iced tea with extra lemon, please,” I ordered, turning to look at the people lying around the pool I’d just left. It had been impossible to see them clearly while I was baking under the ferocious rays, but here in the shade and hidden behind sunglasses, I could stare without appearing rude. I would have loved to pull out my movie camera, but surprisingly, people objected to being filmed without permission, and the amount of effort it took to get them to consent wasn’t worth the bother. There was no one out there who looked remotely interesting until Kamran showed up with his two bodyguards flanking him like twin buttresses. Christ, they could probably snap me in half if they chose to get aggressive.
He saw me and waved, breaking into a beautiful smile that changed his face dramatically. In repose he looked menacing, a studied look he’d no doubt perfected, but when he cracked a smile, the contrast was significant. I could forget for a few seconds that he wasn’t the untouchable nephew of a world leader. He was dressed in white again, a color that definitely suited him. The loose pants and long tunic top was a traditional garb of some kind and looked comfortable.
“Grady,” he called out in the deep baritone, rolling the r in my name appealingly. “You look like you’ve been basting in an oven.”
I laughed. “It felt exactly like that,” I admitted. “This is why I’m here instead of out there. Would you care for a drink?”
“I’ll have whatever you’re having,” he replied.
I turned toward the bartender. “Another iced tea, please.”
“Why don’t we sit down at a table?” Kamran suggested. “I don’t like to drink standing up. It makes me feel like a camel.”
I grinned. “Not much of a barhopper, are you?”
“Hardly,” he said. “I told you I don’t touch alcohol.”
“Right.” I remembered he’d mentioned something last night about being Muslim. “It’s against your religion?”
In June of 1978 Grady Ormond, eighteen-year-old son of diplomat Peter Ormond, accompanies his father to his new posting as US Ambassador to Pakistan. Neighboring Iran is on the brink of a civil war, with the monarchy in danger of being overthrown.
Grady will be leaving for New York City in late August to study cinematography and has been warned to keep his homosexual orientation tightly under wraps while on vacation. Repercussions in the predominantly Islamic region could be severe.
On their first night in Karachi, his father hosts a cocktail party to meet the local dignitaries. Grady is introduced to His Highness Prince Kamran Izadi, nephew of the shah of Iran. Twenty-three-year-old Kamran has recently returned from the UK, where he spent eleven years, first as a student, and then as a financial analyst.
The attraction is immediate—unforeseen and dangerously powerful—but neither one dares to make a move. Odds are so stacked against them it's futile to even entertain a friendship, but they do, and their world tilts precariously.
With his country in turmoil and Grady about to leave for college, Kamran makes a decision that will change their lives forever.