Twists at the Door

     "Knows what?" said Khalil gently. His eyes were as peaceful as his tone.

     "About us," whispered Steve loudly. "About you. And me," he added stupidly.

     Khalil pulled the door closed behind him and stepped into the cold. "There is nothing to know," he hissed. "You must stop this." Steve cringed at the tightness of his mouth and the ice in his lovely eyes. He reached for him, and Khalil turned to stone. Desperately, Steve blurted about Dubai; about the sailboat; about that night. He steepled his hands over his face and told him he loved him.

     "I'll say this once, and once only," said Khalil in the stern tone he used in the board room. "We sailed. We drank. We celebrated. We went to Mishrif. We ended up in the same bed. Sleeping. That's it. That's all there was. Go away." He turned to his door, and Steve grabbed his shoulder.

     "There was more, Khalil. You know it," he stammered, quelling a sudden sob. Khalil slowly lifted Steve's hand and stared lasers at him. Then he twisted the hand with a sudden violence that sent Steve to one knee. Behind him, Fatima had opened the door and stood bathed in the light.

     "Hello, Steve," she said brightly. "Is Violet with you?"

     Steve shook his bowed head, but before he could say anything, Khalil aswered his wife. "Actually, love, he was just practicing his proposal technique. He'll be going to see her now." The he leaned close and whispered in Steve's ear.

     "Any more nonsense about that and you're fired. And - just so we're clear - any talk at all about Mishrif," he paused.

     "And I'll kill you."

The End

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