Saturday, January 31, 2009

Exposure by Lisabet Sarai

The next night I show up at the designated room number, at eight on the dot. I like to be professional. I’ve tried to dress as elegant as I can, in a nice peach linen suit that hugs my curves and makes me look dark and exotic. I’m nervous, though, as nervous as I was that first night I stepped onto the Peacock stage. Taking a deep breath, I rap three times on the door like Mr. Clean told me to do.

I recognize the man at the door immediately. I may be a stripper, but I read the papers. It’s Anthony Pinelli, leading businessman, local power-broker, candidate for mayor. Hey, I was planning on voting for him, in spite of the stories about his mob connections. Nobody’s lily-white these days. From what I’ve read, he seems to have the kind of strength that you need to run this tough town.

I’ve seen his picture lots of times, but in person he’s even more impressive. Big but not fat, with a shock of shiny black hair and bushy eyebrows to match. He has a nice straight nose, lips that look decisive, and dark eyes that seem to go right through me.

But more than his good looks, I’m impressed by the sense of power that he projects. Charisma, I think the word is. He looks me over, those firm lips curve into a warm smile, and I suddenly feel like I’d do anything he asks.

“Please come in, Ms. Xanathakeos,” he says, standing aside so that I can enter the suite. His voice has a round, mellow sound to it. It slides over me.

“Call me, Stella, please.” I look around the fancy suite curiously, noting the modern paintings on the walls, the horseshoe-shaped sofa, the bar set up in the corner. The closed door next to the desk must lead to the bedroom. My heels sink into the thick, plum-colored carpet. I’m afraid that I’ll damage it. Maybe I’ll have to dance barefoot.

“Well, then, Stella, you must call me Tony.” He takes my hand in a kind of old-fashioned way. His touch sends shivers through my body. My nervousness is gone, replaced by a feeling of breathlessness. I won’t have any trouble at all getting turned on enough to dance, that’s for sure.

“Can I offer you some refreshment?” Tony asks, gesturing toward the bar.

“Just water, if you have some.”

He hands me a long-stemmed glass full of carbonated water. I watch the bubbles dancing. It feels as if there are bubbles inside my chest, too.

He pours himself a tall scotch. We sit together for a few minutes on the sofa, not talking, sipping our drinks. I feel flushed and sweaty, as if I’ve already danced for him. His body gives off waves of heat. It’s like I’m lying under a sun lamp. I don’t know what to do next.

Finally, he puts down his drink. “Shall we get started? Let me get a bit more comfortable.” He shrugs off his suit jacket and places it over the desk chair. I gasp as I see that he is wearing a revolver in a shoulder holster. He smiles, just a little, as he removes this and hangs it over the chair on top of the jacket. “I’m a dangerous man, Stella, and I have many enemies. I have to take care of myself.” I nod vaguely. I’m not exactly reassured.

He seats himself back on the sofa. “The stereo is over there,” he says, pointing to a complicated pile of audio equipment next to the bar. Somehow, I figure out how to insert my tape and start it playing. I turn to face my audience.

The first bars of the music free me from any anxiety. I fix my eyes on him and begin to move. Graceful. Sensual. I’m extremely turned on, but I want this performance to be classy, not raunchy the way I sometimes am.

The shoes go first. Now I unfasten my jacket, lingering over each button. Building the suspense. I’m wearing regular lingerie, flimsy and feminine, instead of one of my costumes. My breasts are like melons, encased in black lace. No padding or wires on this bra; my nipples are clearly visible, pushing the fabric into sweet little peaks.

I do the classic strip, turning my back and inching the skirt zipper down. Shimmying the garment over my hips to my ankles. I feel his eyes on my rump. When I turn back to face him, I try out the stare on him. The results are mixed.

He’s not closed off like his friend. I can see deep into his soul. I see passion, hunger, clean and healthy. Not twisted and painful like some of the guys at the lounge.

At the same time, though, I feel like he sees into me. It’s like he’s touching me inside, probing, trying to discover what I want. It’s strange and very intimate. His eyes make my clit harden and my juices flow.

But my eyes are doing the same to him. I can see the bulge in his tailored trousers. His breath is coming a bit more quickly, too.

I unfasten the bra in front. Instead of tossing it at him, which is my first idea, I let it drift to the floor. I caress my breasts, as much for my own pleasure as for his. I love their heaviness in my hands. I love the way the skin shades to rich darkness at their tips. And the nipples themselves, round and firm like the best Kalamata olives. I roll them between my fingers, my breath starting to become ragged.

Finally, there are just my bikini panties between me and nakedness. I hold off as long as I can, letting the music build to its climax. At the crescendo, I undo the ribbons at each hip, so the thing just falls away from my body. For a moment I stand there proudly, my curly black pubic hair glistening with my own moisture. Tony’s eyes devour me. Then the music dies away. I sink to the carpet in a curtsy, strangely exhausted.

I came here to dance. Just a job. But now I want more. And so does Tony.

Beholding the Moon by Augusta Li and Eon de Beaumont

A glass of Dom Perignon was thrust into Lu’s hand, and the form of a beautiful Japanese man appeared in the window behind Lu’s own transparent, naked reflection. His skin looked like gold satin in the light that came from the glass lanterns hanging from the ceiling, each one reflected a dozen times against the dome of glass. His onyx hair, eyes, and fingernails stood in sharp contrast. Slightly shorter than Lu, the other man rested his chin on Lu’s shoulder and reached around him to clink the rims of their flutes together. His other hand rested on Lu’s opposite elbow. Lu could feel the smoothness of the other man’s chest against his back. He could feel the other man’s lips nibbling up the side of his neck, and the other man’s erection squashed against the base of his spine. Nothing broke the silence but the soft tinkle of the fountain at the center of the heated pool on the other side of the room. Quickly Lu drained his wine, still unable to believe he was here, still astonished at what he was considering.

“Taihen kekko deshita ka?” the man whispered, his breath vine-scented and balmy against Lu’s ear and cheek. Then, switching to Mandarin even though Lu understood Japanese, he repeated himself. “Very good, wasn’t it?”

Lu snorted. “This isn’t the first time I’ve tried it, Miyake.”

“No, of course not,” said the man called Miyake, taking the stems of both their drained vessels in his fingers and crouching to set them on the black marble floor. As he rose slowly, he grasped the outsides of Lu’s thighs and let his full lower lip drag across Lu’s skin from the back of his knee to his hip. Miyake’s mouth paused over Lu’s tailbone, his small, round chin wedged between Lu’s cheeks. A tremor rattled Lu’s spine, and gooseflesh dotted him. Suddenly lightheaded, he shut his eyes and pressed his palms against the gigantic window.

Miyake’s tongue traced a chill path up Lu’s back as he stood. His hands, much smaller and more delicate than Lu’s, rested over Lu’s knuckles as he sucked hard on Lu’s earlobe. His cock poked beneath Lu’s ass and between his legs, the head prodding against Lu’s scrotum. Blood flooded Lu’s penis, and his balls huddled close to his body. If anyone had been able to see into the glass citadel, they’d have taken in quite a show. But the apartment stood several stories higher than any of the buildings around it, and Lu knew no one would witness Miyake’s impassioned kisses or the way his body flushed and trembled beneath them. No one could ever know what Lu was about to do, if he went through with it. He could still say no.

Polished nails scratched up Lu’s forearms to his shoulders with a pleasant pressure, not hurting but leaving an exciting tingle on his skin. Then Miyake grasped his biceps firmly and spun him so that they faced one another. The other man smiled, his cheeks blooming with champagne and arousal. A long lock of azure-streaked hair hung to his chin on the right side. The rest stood in short spikes at the back of his head. He stepped forward, pinning Lu against the window and squashing their bodies together. The glass felt cold on Lu’s ass and back, but Miyake’s slender body was as hot as a stone on the riverbank in summer. Standing on his tiptoes, hands moving up to cradle Lu’s neck, Miyake pressed his lips against Lu’s. With expert patience he waited for Lu’s shock and tension to ebb, for his mouth to relax open and admit the other man’s tongue.

It did, almost without Lu’s conscious effort, and they kissed. Before he even realized what he’d done, Lu’s fingers closed around a waist as small and lithe as that of a young woman but covered with tantalizing male muscle. His tongue delved into Miyake’s mouth, enjoying the spicy, floral flavor it encountered there. The two men’s cocks, both erect and filmed with sweat, rubbed together, sandwiched between their flat bellies.

Lu felt himself leaking, and couldn’t believe he’d become so turned on by another man. Perhaps Miyake had bewitched him; it was well within the Japanese man’s abilities. Whatever the cause, Lu found himself more aroused than he could ever remember being. The skin of his cock stretched taut, and his balls felt ready to explode. But when Miyake took Lu’s cock and his own in his hand, smashing them together, Lu withdrew his mouth with a pop. He pushed against the other man’s chest, making him stagger a few steps back. Confusion, resentment, and unrelieved lust filled Lu as he watched Miyake mopping the saliva from his chin with his palm, grinning. He was so beautiful, and Lu hated him for it.

“Not that,” Lu snapped.

“All right. Then what?” Miyake asked, standing with an infuriating patience, his serene expression betrayed only by the redness of his cheeks and the bounce of his erection.

He was so small that Lu could almost imagine seizing Miyake, scooping him up in his arms, carrying him to the huge bed that stood on a marble platform twenty feet behind them, and tossing him belly-down on the black silk sheets. To look at him, Miyake appeared unlikely to be able to stop the larger man from doing anything he wanted.

But Lu knew better. He’d made a point of finding out all he could about Taro Miyake since he’d heard rumors of the Japanese man’s arrival in Shanghai. Most of his information was known to the rest of the world: Taro had been born at the turn of the century, to an English Baroness who could transform into mist and, rumor had it, a kami. With his mother’s wealth and cunning and innate magical ability from his sire, he’d built a criminal empire unlike any the world had ever seen. He was gorgeous and flamboyant, fond of the attention of the media. Worse yet, Taro seemed to feel his alleged half-divinity entitled him to do exactly as he pleased. His behavior was impetuous and often indecipherable. One hundred and seven years old, he looked barely out of school. The one thing Lu hadn’t discovered was a weakness, anything he could use to stop the stunning sorcerer from taking control of Shanghai’s underworld. Entire governments, sometimes working in teams of two or three, had failed to even capture Miyake.

So, when Taro had invited Lu to discuss the state of Shanghai’s illegal enterprises, Lu had seen no alternative but to agree. How the conversation had brought them to Taro’s jewel-like residence—his “Tower for Beholding the Moon,” he called it—to stand regarding each other, naked and swollen, panting with yearning, Lu had no idea.

“It’s fine if you just want to kiss,” Taro said, reaching cautiously for Lu’s hand.

“I—”

Lu wanted to say “I don’t,” but couldn’t muster the conviction. He wanted to kiss Taro again so badly, devour the soft swell of his lower lip, that the few feet between them felt likes miles. Common sense told Lu to put an end to this foolishness, settle the business at hand, but his heart and his body argued too loudly to be ignored. Instead, he allowed Taro to lead him to the bed and guide him to sit on its edge. As Taro stood between Lu’s open knees, gently stroking Lu’s layers of espresso hair, Lu wondered how one could desire and despise a person so profoundly at the same time. He resented Taro’s attempt to usurp control of his city, resented the power he’d displayed over Lu. He wondered how the matter would be settled, if it would need to come to violence.

The distraction of Taro’s willowy torso soon pushed the questions and doubts from his mind, and Lu grasped Taro and yanked him close. His mouth consumed the cords of muscle that stretched from Taro’s hipbone up his side. His slightest movement made them stretch and harden beneath Lu’s lips. Working his way across Taro’s chest, Lu paused to tap his tiny nipple with the tip of his tongue. The other man moaned softly and closed his fist around a section of Lu’s hair.

The hand tangled in his hair yanked Lu’s head backward, and he released Taro’s ribs to catch himself on his elbows. Light as a cloud, Taro fell forward and hovered a few inches above Lu’s body, supporting himself with one arm. His knees rested beside Lu’s waist, and his cock jabbed Lu in the diaphragm. Taro lowered Lu’s head, sat up so his thighs would hold him, thrust his hands under Lu’s armpits and slid Lu three feet up the bed with a strength he didn’t look capable of possessing. Legs no longer dangling, Lu quickly propped himself on his palms. Laying flat beneath Taro made him feel vulnerable, defenseless.

The Dom Next Door by Violet Summers

Giving the mysterious box another glance, she picked up the phone and dialed Alex’s cell.

“Professor Johnson here,” his rich, smooth, British accent flowed through the phone line.

“Hey, Professor. You have another package waiting for you here. It’s pretty damn big, so you need to come pick it up.”

“Wonderful! I’ve been waiting for that particular box to arrive. I’ll pop over tonight to pick it up.”

“Hey, are you up for some pizza later?” She knew that pizza was Alex’s one true weakness. “Double cheese and mushrooms, on me.”

There was a long pause. Strange.

“I’m afraid I can’t tonight. I have several tasks to attend to now that my things have arrived.”

Nadia turned and stuck her tongue out at the box. “That’s okay, Alex. My hips didn’t need pizza anyway.”

“Your hips are lovely as they are, pizza or not,” he scolded.

“You have to say that,” she teased. “You’re my friend.”

His only reply was a short, chuckled, “Until later,” before disconnecting the line.
Nadia sighed as she put the phone back in its cradle. Time to get to work. After spending the better part of the afternoon finishing up a banner for a new dating website, Nadia stretched as she tried working the kinks out of her neck.

The owner of the site had offered her a free six-month membership along with her usual fee, and for a while Nadia had seriously considered it. She missed the touch of a lover. The soft kisses and strong arms wrapped around her. Finally, though, she thanked her client and refused the freebie. As much as she missed sex, she really wasn’t in the right frame of mind to date anyone. Besides, she didn’t need to date anyone. She had Alex, and he was perfect. Well, except for the whole sex thing. She figured that’s why her thoughts strayed to Alex whenever she masturbated. He was the man she spent most of her time with; it was natural to wonder what he was like in bed.

Of course, Nadia had a pretty good idea of what Alex would be like in bed. Sweet and gentle, courteous and polite, just like the man himself. The image of Alex very seriously asking permission to pinch her nipple sent her into a giggling fit. In her fantasies Alex was many things, but sweet and gentle were never part of the equation.

By the time five o’clock rolled around it was time for Alex to get home, and Nadia’s nosey nature had taken over. She’d deliberately ignored the box all day, but with her work done and her imagination in overdrive, she couldn’t resist temptation any longer. What was so important in that damn box that Alex would turn down double cheese? She stood in front of the thing as it sat on the floor, daring her to do something.

She couldn’t exactly open it; that was a federal offense. Besides, it would be a blatant invasion of Alex’s privacy. One that even their close friendship couldn’t excuse. Maybe if she shook it she might get an idea of the contents. The box was big, but if she just lifted one side and gave a jerk maybe she could glean some information.

Bending over, she grabbed one end of the carton. It wasn’t nearly as heavy as she’d expected. The delivery man had given her the impression the box weighed a hundred pounds, what with the way he huffed and puffed before depositing it at her feet.
Bending her knees, Nadia wrapped her arms awkwardly around the box and lifted. She gave it a little shake and heard metal against metal. New pots and pans? Maybe he was taking cooking lessons. Alex told her often enough what a terrible cook he was. She jiggled it again. No, it wasn’t heavy enough for pots and pans. She bent over to set the box on the floor and the bottom gave out with a clang of metal.

“Oh, no,” she mumbled as she flipped the now empty box over. She grabbed the nearest object to drop back inside, then froze as she actually looked at what she was holding.

“No way,” she whispered staring at the plastic wrapped leather flogger she held. There was no way this stuff belonged to Alex! Not her sweet, conservative, blush when she said fuck Alex! Before her on the floor, in a jumbled mess, was a pile of sex toys. Dildos, vibrators and handcuffs. Oh my! She ran her fingers up the length of the flogger, imagining the feel of the rich leather through the sterile plastic wrapper.

When she realized what she was doing, she quickly dropped it back into the box. Her cheeks heated as she picked up a pair of stainless steel nipple clamps. And a clit clamp. A length of chain. No wait, it wasn’t a chain, it was a leash!

“Oh my God, oh my God,” she whispered over and over again as she examined each of the toys before dropping them into the box. With a hiss of sympathetic discomfort she dropped the last item, a black rubber butt plug that looked entirely too painful, into the box.

“Alex,” she mumbled to herself, “just what are you into?”