Gaziantep is a modern sprawling metropolis that on the surface looks like any other city. High-rise apartment blocks spread out in all directions, two big shopping centres with Starbucks, Novotel, and all those other well-known western trademarks, there’s even a Marks and Spencer.
The streets are crowded with people going about their business, just like you find anywhere in the world, but this city is unique. Unique because of where it is, not because it’s in Turkey, but because it’s only forty kilometres from the Syrian border.
The original population has expanded to accommodate 300,000 refugees from the neighbouring country and this has seriously impacted life in Gaziantep. The city has become the Casablanca of Turkey; a dangerous place where refugees mix with locals, aid workers, spies, jihadists, and the local mafia.
Nobody can feel safe because everyone is at risk, in particular Westerners, opponents of ISIS, or the Syrian regime. You could be killed just walking down the street; shot in the back. Or you might happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, when the terrorists strike.
It’s difficult to know who is who. Throw into the melting pot the sweat factories that put children to work twelve hours a day, making clothes and shoes for a couple of dollars pay. Then add the hidden sex trade that exploits these displaced children. It is not difficult to see why the city is a seething body of corruption and suffering.
Ten months here and Edmund knows his way around. He is very careful where he goes, never taking the same route twice between home and office. More often than not these days working from home, in his large air conditioned apartment on the fifth floor of a modern building.
If he does need to go somewhere he is always accompanied by Asil or Tad. The two young men are his eyes and ears – his protection. One or the other is always around. It makes Edmund smile when he thinks of the two of them, because if you translate Asil from Turkish it means nobleman. Edmund thinks that description fits him well. Tad on the contrary means God given, and that has never been more true. This young man is beautiful, an Adonis, with fine bone structure and a perfect body.
Of his two protectors there was no doubt which one Edmund preferred, but whilst he admired the stunning good looks of the young man, his real preference was reserved for much younger boys.
Firas was the name of the last boy that Graham had brought from the camp. A striking boy who had, according to his friend, only just turned thirteen. That had been nearly ten months ago, and he had really enjoyed that boy.
The first month with Firas had been the best. Edmund had to confront a strong willed and very proud boy. He had not submitted easily, which made the conquest all the more pleasurable.
Edmund had his own way of dealing with such a strong willed boy. A mixture of discipline and reward, pain and pleasure. It was something he enjoyed like a drug. The addiction had built up over the years, to the point where he found himself pushing things to the extreme.
Over time the pleasure would wane, although Edmund would continue to have sex. It was then he would turn to Graham who would always be able to find a new boy. Edmund had told him over a month ago he was getting rid of Firas.
As Edmund moved around his apartment, shuffling reports, and sipping his morning coffee, he was reflecting on what type of boy Graham would bring him next. He knew it was not for this visit, but he was still looking forward to their meeting this morning, and Graham’s news from the camp.
Graham left the truck and driver at the UNHCR warehouse. Ayberk, the driver, would have everything ready when Graham returned later that afternoon. It was another of those mutually beneficial arrangements. If a couple of sacks of whatever disappeared, fine. That’s how things work.
When Graham arrived, Tad was in the hallway. He smiled and nodded, acknowledging the young man who recognised Graham immediately. He saw him pick up the phone to let Edmund know he was on his way up. Graham didn’t miss Tad returning his smile, and thought what a fine young man he was.
He was still thinking about Tad on his way up in the lift. However, whilst he recognised the hot-blooded young Turk was no doubt ready for sex, it would be Tad on top, and that was not Graham’s thing. He did know others who loved nothing better than getting screwed by a hot young Turk, but not him.
The doors opened and Edmund was waiting to greet him. “What’s the news from the front?”
Graham smiled at his friend and followed him inside. “You mean who have I got for you next?” Graham chuckled.
“Coffee?” Edmund asked moving into the kitchen.
“Yes, thanks,” Graham stood watching as Edmund put first one then a second capsule into the shiny red coffee machine on the counter.
“I’m addicted,” Edmund glanced back, waiting for the last coffee to finish.
“To coffee or boys?” Graham replied.
“Both, of course.” He handed Graham a coffee and moved through to the large open plan lounge. Windows looked out across the city rooftops, a jungle of silver metal water tanks, TV aerials, and satellite dishes. “Take a seat.”
“Well, darling,” Graham began, sitting on the leather sofa and sipping his coffee, it was strong, expresso. He liked to lay it on a bit thick with Edmund, he enjoyed the opportunity to banter uninhibitedly. “I’ve a wonderful new boy who’s just arrived and I know he’ll be perfect for you. I was going to keep the little darling all to myself, but…”
“Hmm,” Edmund was attentive.
“Yes, indeed,” he continued, “he doesn’t talk, but you like the strong silent type.” Graham knew from his friend’s reaction he had piqued his interest. “He’s young mind you… a virgin… almost.”
“Almost?” Edmund questioned.
“He had his first… ah, intercourse… with one of the older boys.”
“You mean one of those sex crazed teenagers couldn’t help themselves from fucking him.” Edmund chuckled. “It wasn’t that Mohmmad, was it? He’s a rough little bastard.”
“No, it wasn’t Mohmmad, and the boy’s fine.”
“Good.” Edmund put down his coffee on the glass topped table beside his large leather armchair.
“He’s a very strong willed boy. You can see it in the way he stares at you.” Graham enjoyed exciting Edmund. “He may not speak, but it’s all there in the eyes, and… I’m sure you will make him whimper just a little bit.”
Graham turned looking aimlessly out over the cityscape. “You’ll bring a tear or two to the little buck’s eyes.”
Graham knew his friends, he knew the way they were, and what they liked. He had only just set foot inside the door and had already managed to get Edmund’s imagination running wild.
“Ah, anticipation is a wonderful thing, but so long as it doesn’t turn into frustration. When can I take delivery?” Edmund asked.
“I’ll send the boy with Ayberk in a couple of days. You won’t have to wait long, I promise.”
Graham saw that the news definitely pleased Edmund.
They spent the rest of the morning on business, of which the most important was news there would be a camp inspection. It would not happen for at least another month though. Edmund said he was working on a contact in the local Turkish mafia, who would take in all the boys, or most of them. That way when the inspection took place there would be no problems.
The two of them discussed the details of how that would work and the day-to-day management of the camp. Afterwards, they left the apartment with Tad accompanying them. It was lunch at a top restaurant, on expenses.
Edmund had nothing much back in England. Some years before he’d bought a small house in Brighton, although he had never lived there. It was an investment, a way to keep a foot on the ladder of ever increasing house prices. He rented the place through a property management agency. Whenever he went back to the UK, he stayed with his brother.
Edmund’s brother had done better than all right for himself. He had a very well paid job. He lived outside of Winchester, one of the most expensive areas in the south, in a massive six bedroomed house. He was married with four children, the oldest boy was nearly seventeen, his sister fifteen, then there were two more boys, thirteen, and eleven.
He could easily afford to send them to private schools, but chose instead the local state school. His argument was always that the local school was just as good. It just confirmed Edmund’s thinking his brother was simply tight when it came to spending money.
It had been nearly a year since Edmund had last been home. He hadn’t stayed more than a couple of weeks before taking up the post in Turkey. The only time he had stayed for any length had been during a two-month break, which coincided with the school holidays. That had been nearly two years before. Edmund had fond memories of watching the two younger boys, Mathew and Sam, running around and playing in the gardens. It had been a pleasant summer, hot – at least by British standards.
It was a memory he recalled fondly, the boys had been nine and eleven at the time, which made them hugely attractive to Edmund. Especially so, given they rarely wore more than shorts. He did only watch though, as he told himself, ‘you don’t shit in your own backyard’.
That’s a crude statement, but Edmund knew exactly what kind of person he was. He didn’t see himself as a monster, but neither could he call himself normal. More than twenty years ago he had taken the step of going to see a psychiatrist, and had spent several months in therapy.
It didn’t change him at all. In fact, it simply propelled him to take up working abroad at the ‘hard end’ as it was called. That was when he left England, more or less for good. He knew his behaviour would sooner or later get him into serious trouble if he had stayed.
If he analysed his own nature, all he could come up with was he had a desire to dominate. He didn’t think he was extreme, but he liked to inflict some pain. It was part of the domination and submission. Which of course led to sex. If you didn’t already see the pain and dominance as sexual, which it was.
Edmund had always been this way.
During that long summer with his nephews, Edmund had often fantasised about them. He could get off on his imagination. He never acted on any of the stuff that went through his mind, at least not with his brother’s kids.
Years before, when Edmund was nearly fourteen, there had been a sexual relationship with a sixteen year old. They’d used each other. The older found sexual satisfaction. Edmund was excited when he was dominated, chastised and physically hurt.
That relationship did not last long, but it planted a seed in Edmund. He sought and found places where he could indulge his perversion. As well, and perhaps more importantly, he cultivated friendships with others of his ilk – men like Graham.