Mekong Delta

by Andrew Passey

Chapter 8

We walked into the hotel, through the gates and past the guard who looked like he was going to stop me at first. Dan then walked up to reception.

"Hi, my friend here is going to be staying here with me for the next few days to help with a school project. Can you send up an extra towel and add an extra breakfast to the bill," He said airily.

"I'm sorry Sir. Guests aren't allowed," The receptionist said firmly.

"I'm a guest as is my Mum, do we have to check out?" Dan asked, pretending to be confused.

"No of course, local guests are not allowed," The receptionist replied looking resigned that Dan wouldn't back down.

"My Mum lives in HCMC and I guess that's local? My friend here lives just as far away, he's just in Ben Tre visiting," Dan lied.

At the moment the manager walked through and Dan made a beeline for him. He had a quick hushed discussion with him and then the manager spoke to the receptionist and said that it was all fine. I guess Dan had threatened to leave or maybe offered to pay a guest fee. Anyway all that mattered was that I was allowed into the hotel. Dan then led me upstairs to his room.I gasped as he opened the door.

It was the most amazing room I'd seen. It had its own bathroom! A big double bed! A TV! It's own fridge. An air con unit and best of all a balcony that had a view of the mighty Mekong. The view was amazing and I could see down to a swimming pool below the water crystal clear. I had clearly lucked out here.

Dan rummaged in his big bag and pulled out some clothes. "We need to play this right to get my Mum onboard. I want you to shower and wash your hair clean. Then brush it to look smart as you can and put these on. We'll then go and meet her and I'll tell her what's going on. Actually I might tip her off quickly first," He said, laying the clothes on the bed. He then handed me a towel and turned the shower on before leaving me to it.

I was in heaven in there with the hot water rushing over me washing the dust and dirt away. There was an actual toilet I could shit in if I needed to. No more squatting in the bushes or by the river. I knew this couldn't last but while it could I was going to enjoy it. I finished cleaning myself thoroughly and washing my hair with his minty shampoo. I then dried myself off before wrapping the towel round me and going out the bathroom. Dan must have popped to see his Mum so I pulled on the slightly strange underwear he'd left me, (a fancy pair of boxer shorts he said later), and the t shirt and shorts, before putting on the sandals he'd left me. He came back a few minutes later and drew his breath in.

"Oh my god, stunning, she'll love you. Just be polite and honest and it'll be ok," He said then led me downstairs to the pool where his Mum was. She introduced herself as Paula and I introduced myself with a little bow which she clearly enjoyed and then she fired questions for me in Vietnamese. I answered as best as I could and then she switched to English and I did the same.

At the end of it she smiled, "You are an impressive young man Phuc and thank you for helping Dan with his work, and for being company for him. I know it must be boring for him being stuck here with me!" She said winking and waving away Dan's protestations.

She then said it was lunchtime and we sat and ate and chatted some more. She was very nice, despite Dan saying he didn't see her much she clearly loved him and I sensed she had a warm heart. She took great interest in my upbringing and I was fairly honest about things, At one point I could see a tear roll down her cheek as I told her about my mother.

"You certainly made an impression on my Mum Phuc! I thought she was going to adopt you and disown me there and there!" Dan said as we went up to his room after lunch.

I blushed and said not to be silly. "So, what do you need to know for this school work and article you want to work on?" I asked.

"Fuck that for now, let's go for a swim. I'm fucking boiling."

"Um I don't have anything to swim in apart from my underwear. That's what I usually do when I swim in the river but is that suitable for a hotel?" I asked unclear about the rules.

He laughed, "Phuc! Please call them pants, or boxers, not underwear. You sound like you're in some old English novel. "But sir, my underwear is still on and needs removing before I can dress for dinner," He said in a strange accent. The joke went totally over my head but I laughed anyway, his humour was infectious. He then rummaged around in his bag and threw me some swim shorts.

"Here, these should work. They're a teensy bit tight for me now but I have them as back up just in case." He smiled slightly as he said that. He then picked out a pair of his own. He pulled his t shirt off, then his shorts and then his "pants" (see I was learning!) leaving him briefly naked showing off a dick that was an inch or so bigger than mine as well as being thicker and hairier. Clearly he was more developed than I was and I stared at it. It was so much lighter than mine skin tone wise although a bit darker than the rest of his skin. He saw me looking as he pulled on his swim shorts.

"Sorry Phuc. I forgot that not everyone is as used to being naked in front of other boys as I am. I share a room with other boys at school. You very quickly get used to being naked around them,"He said. I didn't want to be rude by making him think that I had a problem with it so I quickly stripped off myself and pulled the swim shorts he gave me on. They were a tighter design than his more baggy ones and he came over and ran his hand around them.

"Just checking the fit. They aren't too tight are the? They crush my balls a bit to be honest," He said with a wince.

"It's fine, they're great. Anyway you've got bigger balls than mine, it's all ok," I replied not wanting him to feel bad. They hugged my balls and dick a bit too closely for comfort but they were ok. I did realise that even the merest hint of getting hard would be obvious though.

We ran downstairs and jumped into the pool, Dan's Mum had gone for a nap after knocking back some beer at lunchtime so we had the pool to ourselves. It was really nice and warm in there and we swam and splashed before Dan realised he hadn't put suncream on. He jumped out and asked me to give him a hand. He sat on the end of a sun lounger and got me to rub it into his shoulders. It was slightly sensual and I felt my dick stiffening slightly, I didn't really know why. I guess it was being close to him, there was something about him, about being with him that made me feel.....strange. Like I had when I was with Dinh those last couple of days together but more intense. I rubbed it lower down his back and he asked me to go lower, all the way to where his shorts covered his bum. Then it was over and he jumped back in as did I before he could see me getting hard.

Luckily I softened back in the pool and by the time our skin got all wrinkly and we got out I was back to my normal small size. His Mum came down and ordered a drink. We sat in the sun drying until Dan said we should go and do some work for a while. Once back in his room he stripped off and put his clothes back on. I did the same and we got down to talking.

He asked me lots of questions. He wanted to get a picture of my life and the life of our other street boys. After a while he asked me the question I was sort of dreading.

"Why did you run away and how did you manage it?"

"I um. I can't really say, it's maybe dangerous," I replied nervously.

"It's just for information. I'm not going to use it in my article or project. I just want to have an idea of why boys end up like this and then I'll add that to what other boys I interview say," He said reassuringly.

"Ok. Well my uncle, well he called himself my uncle but he was more of a distant relative. He apparently wanted to sell me off for sex to someone who would pay a lot of money. He sells boys, drugs, girls, everything. I didn't realise until Dinh told me. He ran away with me although he's gone to HCMC. He was my age really but had to have sex with an older boy to keep my Uncle happy. He hated it and offered to help me escape. He'd got some money he'd saved from stealing and saving every now and again." I told him, wanting all of a sudden to confide in Dan.

"Why did Dinh help you?" He asked.

I blushed slightly, "Well we um, we were good friends and we'd um ah sort of shared a moment and I knew he could trust me.I miss him though. I'm worried about him. What happens if my uncle has found him or he's been mistreated or..." I started to get emotional and Dan sat next to me and put his arm around me.

"Hey sorry. I didn't mean to upset you. Let's talk about something else." He said, pulling me close.

I smiled at him tearfully, "it's not your fault, it's just....hard sometimes. I feel hunted, struggling to survive all the time is draining. I'll be fine, don't worry," I said looking into his blue eyes. He stared back at me silently and then moved forward. To my surprise he kissed me softly on the lips, we split apart with a jump and he apologised.

"Sorry Phuc, I don't know what came over me. That's probably enough talking for today. I've written some notes, I'll have a look at them later. Why don't we go and sit on the balcony and have a drink, the sun will be setting soon." He said.

I smiled and agreed and we sat in two chairs watching the Mekong and the sky slowly change colour. His Mum was on the balcony next to us and we chatted and drank our drinks as it went from light, to red skies and then to dark twinkling night. Dan didn't fancy pizza and so we ate at the hotel restaurant, backing on to the Mekong where our table was next to. It was strange, my life started on the Mekong and even now when I was living a different life for a few days it was still there, watching over me. I could almost believe it approved and was telling me to be like it, always forward motion, never stopping, flowing onward into the sea.

The food was pretty amazing to my taste buds after weeks of the rubbish I'd eaten. However it, distinctly average to Dan's Mum who was clearly used to better Vietnamese fare than what we ate. At the same time though it certainly topped any meal I'd had for a while! They taught me how to play a card game they liked and we sat out for a while, laughing and chatting. For once I wasn't being attacked my mosquitos as Dan had applied repellent to me which seems to work. I loved sitting out there with both of them. It was a very enjoyable evening and a perfect end to a very surprising day.

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