[If you have not already done so, you must
read the Introduction
001 002 Prologue 001-002 003 004 005 Chap 1 003-005
Chap 2 006 007 008 Chap 3 007-008 009 010 Chap 4 009-010 011 012 013 Chap 5 011-013 014 015 016 017
Chap 6 014-017 018 019 Chap 7 018-019 020 021 022
Revenge Should Have No Bounds 023
Chapter 8 (4 of 4): The Hero
“A she. Not a she-male. Very she!”
“Come on, Miche, I’m not into that scene. You know that.”
You might be surprised how often a discreet service like Aspasia’s made appointments for women who were rainmakers but for obvious reasons preferred to keep their predilections out of public awareness. And several of the girls swung either way without any problem, but I was not one of them. I’d made that clear in the lengthy interview I’d had with Michelle before I first started working for her.
“I know, Mazarine. But I am absolutely des-pe-rate. She’s been recommended by a very heavy client. We … I don’t want to have to let him down. And she’s paying enough that your share will run to a thousand dollars an hour, with a three-hour booking.”
That was certainly alluring.
“And besides,” Michelle continued breathlessly, “for what it’s worth, she says she just wants a companion for the afternoon. No sex required.”
“And you believe her?”
“Actually, I do. Of course, if there were any change of plan in the course of your time together, it would be up to you how to handle it. I trust your judgment here.”
I was thinking hard about it. “Oh, and one other thing,” Michelle inserted as though it were an inconsequential afterthought. “She’s Japanese. Her name is Yukiko.”
At least my interest was piqued. “All right, Miche. I’ll do it.”
“Oh, you’re a true angel,” Michelle gushed. “I always knew it. And I won’t forget you helped me out of a tight spot.” I could hear her leafing through her appointments book. “Here it is,” she said. Four this afternoon in room 1856. At Momiji. Got it?”
“Again, Mazarine, you have no idea how much I appreciate this. Now, you go off and have fun with your handsome foreigner.” She hung up and I returned the phone to its cradle.
Eight fifteen. Time to get ready. I took a long shower, put on my emollients, perfume, and face. I dressed in a simple tubular sheath from Bergdorf Goodman’s the color of powdered cayenne. Around my neck I clasped a lustrous necklace of Philippine pearls, a gift from Agung two years ago. Finally I book-ended the dress with black Claudia Ciuti heels and a plain small-rimmed Bendel cloche in black. I checked myself in the long mirror on the bedroom door and smoothed the sheath, adjusted the cloche. My lips were Chantecaille red in exactly the proper hue to complement the sheath.
Yes, I still had the ‘look’.
Agung would like seeing me.
I slung a Kate Spade bag in black vachetta leather around my right shoulder and at ten-thirty took the elevator down to the lobby and asked the doorman to flag down a cab to take me to La Ville. Agung was the only one of my clients who took the presidential suite there, and that was because he was probably the only one who could afford it effortlessly.
I headed for the elevator and was whooshed up.
Agung was standing in the doorway as I exited the elevator.
He came towards me and smiled softly, bowed, and said, “Welcome, di ajeng.”
We gently shook hands and entered the 2400 square feet of suite he was renting. I took my heels off and padded after him in the deep nap of a pale blue carpet. The living room had an incredible view of the tri-state area and was furnished in understated but unmistakable opulence. A kitchen and bathroom led off from one end of the central room, and from the other two large bedrooms, each with its own bathroom. Flowers and fresh fruit adorned tables and dressers, and the sleek glass-top between the central group of sofa chairs and elongated couch in muted gray contained an ornate teak tray with small pastries and tea cups. Agung was a Muslim, and although he was far from ostentatious about it, unlike some I had known he did observe his religion’s proscriptions regarding alcohol even when he was in the West.
A small package had appeared in his hands as he turned towards me. “A little something for a very beautiful woman,” he said softly.
“Oh, Agung,” I said, “that is so sweet of you.”
Agung was one of the very few of my clients who actually turned me on, and I could feel myself getting wet just looking at him. What a beautiful man! At first you want to say he looks effeminate, but that would not be correct. Almost effeminate, yes, but then there was something about his face that I could not define but which made him look very masculine. I had once asked Chick if Agung was bi-sexual, and Chick had told me had never seen the slightest indication that such was the case.
I’m five feet eight, and Agung was a good head taller than I. He was also lean and lithely muscular and carried himself in a loose-jointed way that gave him an impression of being on relaxed guard. This contradictory observation captures an essence of Agung. He contained multitudes. Today he was wearing an intricate kain panjang, or long cloth, of Javanese silk batik riotously colored and held up by a gold-studded belt; he also had on a colorful jacket. A hint of sandalwood enveloped him like a scented aura. Before sitting down at his invitation I slipped his present into my bag. It would not be polite to open it in front of him.
He poured tea and offered me one of the cream pastries. “So how have you been, Mazarine?” he asked.
I took a sip. “Things are going very well for me. Generally it’s a happy time.”
“Generally?” He eyed me quizzically.
“No,” I corrected myself. “It’s a happy time.”
He let it slide. “That is all to the good. And your family?”
“Fine, too. I am going home tomorrow for a few days to visit with my parents. I haven’t seen them for a while.”
He smiled. “Ah, that is a respectful thing to do. I should spend more time with my own Mother and Father.” He always ‘capitalized’ the words when referring to his parents. “But one is so busy. Always so busy.”
We chatted for an hour or so, about books we were reading, plays we’d seen, the Spanish still lifes at the museum, the uncertain state of the world economy. He was an intelligent conversationalist and a generous listener. He had the easy ability to loosen up an interlocutor and create the feeling that he or she alone existed for him at that moment. It was a rush of sorts.
He looked at me and a tiny smile played across his lips, as sensuous as they were – I recalled with a little shiver — sensual. He was not one to beat around the bush. “I want to make love with you,” he said. “But, first, if your ‘generally happy’ should somehow turn into ‘specifically unhappy’ you do know how to get in touch with me, don’t you?”
“Yes, I do,” I whispered.
“You know I am a person you can always count on if you are in trouble of some kind. Please do not forget that.”
“I know,” I nodded. “I know. And I am grateful.”
He came over to the couch and sat down next to me. I could feel my heart racing as he began to caress my face and look with great intensity into my eyes. His own were large limpid depths of brown that I sensed I could all too happily drown in. It scared me that I felt I could fall madly and ruinously in love with this beautiful, charismatic man.
But for now I let it slip and just surrendered myself to the moment.
He traced his finger light as a fluttering butterfly across my jaw from ear to ear, over my forehead and on top of my eyelids, down along the ridge of my nose to the philtrum and curves of my lips. He rubbed the back of my neck and pressed his fingers into the knobs of my collar bone pushing through the skin. He was breathing hard, and he began to position himself along my side. Through the thin batik I could feel his heat and hardness against my loin. Slowly he began to undress me, kissing the parts of my body being exposed and letting his fingers continue to explore. I had no need to fake a mounting excitement as I rotated my pelvis against Agung’s insistent attentions.
“Stand up and let me look at you,” he whispered. I was naked but for choker and heels. I stood in front of him and gazed at his gazing, a passion crackling electrically in the empty space between us. Then he stood up, removed his jacket, and undid his sarong. We looked up and down each other’s bodies and fell each into the arms of the other. He held me tightly to his warmth and then laid me down on the carpet and entered me, gently at first, then with a swelling urgency that made me explode. But he withdrew. He was still huge, but lay on his back, hands at his side, breathing hard. I moved my left hand to the palace of pleasure to finish myself off but he arrested it. “Patience,” he said. “The greatest pleasure comes from anticipation of pleasure, and the most intense desire lies in not consummating it. Wait, and postpone. That is a path to ecstasy.” I let him lay my hand on my belly, just above the hair line and out of reach. “Take shallow breaths,” he said. After a few minutes he spread me apart with his fingers and rose up above me. He entered hard this time and I gasped aloud at the sheer intensity of sensation, the consuming fire in my belly. Again he brought himself – and me – to the very edge, then withdrew. I did not think I could stand it any longer, but he insisted in word and deed, once more, that we defer. “Trust me, and have patience.” We lay tightly together on our backs, he erect and glistening from me, I splayed and matted from him. For a third time he mounted me and entered, now slowly, probing, testing, caressing, in and out. I cling to him like a limpet. At last he allows a tsunami to build for both of us and as he thrusts savagely the wave breaks and we come to a juddering release.
For what seems forever we lie unmoving, together, hearts pounding.
I reflect that he is the only man I know who is master of his passion, not its slave.
I hardly remembered getting up, showering, dressing, leaving his suite. But his last words to me as he handed me an envelope were, “Don’t forget what I said, sweet Mazarine: I am a person you can always count on.”
TO BE CONTINUED