BlurbIlhan started off on the wrong foot with John, and somehow he always seemed to stay there. When the college student hastily looked away from the apartment building’s hunky maintenance man, John thought he was stuck up. When he tried to get John to knock on his door by leaving his trash out for pickup, John though he was a messy tenant. All he wants to do is get John’s attention, but he always seems to do it wrong…
John’s always seeing the little Turkish twink strutting around like a little peacock, in his too-tight clothes, but it’s hard to ignore that perfect little ass, no matter how bad his manners are. He’s nice to the other tenants, John knows, so he must be cold to John because of his job as a “mere maintenance man.” Too bad, because John would love to see what’s under those clothes.
Yet when one of Ilhan’s more embarrassing moments brings them together, each realizes they’ve been mistaken about the other, and also, so right. And all the awkwardness between them is washed away…
But when Ilhan’s conservative Turkish parents come to Perth to visit, and find their son locked in an embrace with another man, the stress of their demands could tear the two lovers apart...
ExcerptEverything went wrong from the moment Ilhan first saw John last year. His dad drove to Perth, with the rental truck following to deliver his furniture. He sat in the back of the car and dreamed about his freedom. Ilhan couldn’t wait to live alone, and had felt drunk from the heady feeling. When they’d parked the car in front of the block of flats, his giddiness only increased. He wanted to belly dance all the way to his new home, to the sound of an orchestra playing Fatih Ürek’s “Hadi.”
That day, he’d almost heard the drums and violin playing in the familiar Turkish belly dancing music style…starting slowly, playing at the beginning as if the world was welcoming him… Then the haunting sound of the clarinet slowly entering the song.
Oh, my Lord. I still remember my body almost felt like it had a mind of its own. My shoulders were ready to sway as my arms opened, moving like a swan about to spread its wings to fly. And my hips nearly joined the swaying. That moment, it was like…I was playing the Turkish version of Swan Lake.
It was a wonder he didn’t start singing along with the vocalist Fatif, “Hoşgeldin yar—welcome beloved…” as he opened the gate. Far-out. He’d almost smelt his freedom on the way to the flat. Its fresh scent was intoxicating. But of course, he couldn’t dance, let alone trot like a satisfied filly or swan. Instead, he’d walked like a Turkish soldier on a night roster. He knew his dad was still dying to send him to the Turkish Army for his final step into manhood, but there was no way he was going there.
The minute the Turkish Army found out Ilhan was gay, they’d send him back faster than he’d arrived. No gay men were allowed in the military, but then, his dad didn’t know he was gay. Fuck. What a mess. He was pretty sure his hips had still jiggled a bit along with the song in his head, but his dad hadn’t noticed. Then he’d spotted John.
He’d tried to walk like a man instead of a belly dancing twink, but his gaze had strayed to John. There he was, working in the garden, looking sweaty and busy. He was whistling “My Funny Valentine.” The tune and his voice were still stored in Ilhan’s memory. He imagined John had a sexy, musky, masculine scent from all the hard work, and his imaginings gave him a massive erection. Ilhan had stood still like a pelican trying to dry itself on a rock after diving into the sea.
The poor man didn’t notice him at first, he just kept humming and whistling. Once he’d seen the new tenant looking at him, he’d stood up to greet him properly. In response to his friendly face, Ilhan became all shy and was mortified to have a hard-on to hide… He’d then walked off without responding to John.
He was sure John had never forgotten that, because after their first meeting he’d never approached Ilhan directly, or smiled at him. I’m so sorry, John, for hurting you, but I didn’t mean it, Ilhan apologized silently.