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Please be advised that this excerpt contains adult material, unsuitable for younger readers.
One night in Bangkok. Right. Now how does that dumb ’80s tune go? You’ll find a god in every golden cloister, and if you’re lucky then the god’s a she. One of them anyway. But my gods tonight came in pairs. One lovely Thai girl and one beautiful giant of a black man, both nude, both patiently waiting for me in my room at the Narai Hotel.
The guy. The guy was named Keith, about six foot two, head shaved, his chiseled body this canvas in mahogany muscle, and he stood like a soldier in this black leather harness getup with his hands clasped behind his back, his cock this dangling, thick cord that hung with a kind of arrogance. I was already wondering how big he was when hard.
Then there was the girl. The girl was cute and petite with a smile of brilliant white teeth and dark almond eyes, her skin this incredible golden hue, her hair cut short. I was told her name was Busaba. Catlike, she stretched out on the rug, propped up on one hand, and I had a view of a lovely hourglass waist, small breasts with tiny brown nipples, and her pubic hair was shaved. Someone knew my tastes awfully well.
I know, I know. Back up. What was I doing in Bangkok? A sprawling metropolis of stone and glass cubes that starts right at the airport and just keeps on going. As your cab takes you in, you wait and wait for a center, for a change in this almost cartoon horizon of skyscrapers, but it never comes. Damn good thing you fix your fare at the start. Four hundred baht later and I stood in the huge foyer of the Narai, which isn’t the Ritz or the Savoy back home but better than I expected. A vast room with a balcony, a wellpacked minibar, and your choice on television of ABC (the Australian Broadcasting Corporation), HBO, CNN, Asian MTV, and a couple of channels in Thai and Chinese that were completely incomprehensible to me. My two nudes weren’t there, not when I first checked in.
No, I was to be lonely for a couple of hours first.
And I still didn’t know why I was there.
Only three weeks earlier, I had got an e-mail from Jeff Lee, the brother of my old friend Anna. Anna was my massage therapist for years, and under her sensitive fingers, all your muscle knots and tension would slip away and you’d feel like pudding on the table. She knew traditional Thai massage, Swedish, and Shiatsu, and I gave her a lot of business after vigorous workouts at the dojo or after one of my “quick money” courier jobs or favors to friends with cash incentives (which usually involved travel and neck cramps, bruises, and chalking up one more person who held a grudge against me). I considered her a friend.
Oh, God. Anna dead. My friend was dead.
I cried, but we let ourselves off the hook sometimes when we cry, don’t we? It’s easier to cry than to get pissed off. I knew I was going to be angry soon, because injustice was implied in the e-mail–someone had killed Anna. She hadn’t died through the cruelty of accident. Her brother knew what I did for a living, and he wouldn’t want me over there so fast unless he needed to find somebody and then get them, to help them kicking and screaming into their next reincarnation before Nirvana.
One thing I had learned about rich people. At a certain level of wealth, they consider it more cost-effective to put you on a plane and bring you to them for a meeting. So: Bangkok. Crowded. Corrupt. Dazzling. Dangerous.
One foot out of the Narai and I’m telling myself, Teresa, my love, you are the only African chick for miles. I’m about five foot eight, but I never felt as tall as I did with the sea of golden faces washing all around me, curious eyes noticing my dark brown complexion, for even white tourists are much more familiar here. Australians. Americans. Brits. White South Africans. Creepy guys wanting the fleshpots of Asia, amazingly fat and pasty-looking white tourist women from the Midlands who should not wear tank tops and pink shorts. The city’s reputation for hucksterism is well earned.
“You want Patpong?” demand the taxi drivers. “Patpong is far away, other direction! I take you!”
Liar. Patpong Market is straight up Silom Road, and the tip-off is the stretch of sidewalk stalls selling everything from silk sarongs to cheesy wooden knickknacks to pointless T-shirts. I looked down the street and suddenly cried out, “Holy shit!”
Because a baby elephant was marching toward me. The fellow holding its leash or whatever will charge you forty baht to feed it a couple of bananas. The elephant actually shoves the banana into your hand to coax you into paying.
“No, thanks,” I said. I felt sorry for the poor creature. Patpong. Open doorways with topless Thai girls listlessly dancing around poles, and stalls full of cheap sweatshirts and hara-kiri knives. I do better at Brick Lane Market on a weekend.
I could tell you about the Royal Palace and how I was led all over creation by this driver of a tuk-tuk (imagine a golfcart taxi with an engine like a sick speedboat), but I hadn’t come to play tourist. All of that was involuntary, killing time until my client freed up his schedule. A message left at the reception desk in the afternoon said he would see me at his office in Sampeng at four-thirty (and just where is Sampeng?). I wondered why it had to be so late as I returned to my room–
Which brings me back to the beautiful black man and sweet little Thai girl. She said something in Thai that I didn’t understand at all, but he echoed an English translation: “Welcome to Bangkok, Miss Knight. We’re here compliments of Ah Jo Lee.”
I began to laugh, looked them up and down, and said, “This hotel keeps one hell of a minibar.”
Introductions were made, and then I walked up to Keith, and I had to stand on my toes to kiss him. His mouth was soft and yielding, and he was clever with his tongue, letting mine come to his. I can feel an angel sliding up to me.
I expected his arms to gather me up and wrap around me, but he kept them loosely at his sides. What I felt instead were tiny fingers that reached around to undo my blouse. The girl was pure subtlety, such a light feathery touch that I wanted her to do more, and that was the idea. But for the moment I had too many choices, and now, as I kept leaning in for this man’s mouth, this warm hard bar of flesh pressed against my belly.
Damn, Helena, I thought.
As I confirmed later, Lee had called up my good friend back in London, for he was only one degree off six in separation (Anna was Helena’s massage therapist too). And he must have asked about my tastes. Helena wouldn’t have just blurted them out–she would have placed a couple of calls and found the right individuals in Bangkok to provide my entertainment.
Last year I experienced something of a personal revelation, and my mind had been doing cartwheels over the implications ever since. I admitted to myself that I liked girls sometimes, more than I ever thought I could, and that I might have to do something about that, like act on it occasionally. What messed me up with weird self-inflicted guilt trips was how I didn’t seek involvement with women. I still wanted romance with a guy, yet I really liked sometimes, I really wanted–
I turned around and took what I wanted. I hadn’t had it for quite a while. She was petite and cute and perfect, and I wanted to dominate her. My mouth covered hers and kissed her passionately as I cupped and kneaded her small breasts and backed her up until she fell onto the bed. She was wet to the touch, and I slipped two fingers inside her, prompting a high keening moan. I loved her skin next to line, I loved the intertwine of gold and brown and gold and brown, the same way I had once delighted in my color mixed with a former lover’s whiteness. But my past lover was not nearly as submissive, always a mild power struggle with her, and while I enjoyed that occasionally and relished the competition, I didn’t want that now. I looked over my shoulder, and Keith was doing all he could not to jump in, unconsciously fondling his balls and his enormous cock.
I made her come twice, her eyes shut so tight, mouth open, and the way she arched her back. God, she was exquisite. She hugged me like a child afterward.
“I want to watch you two for a bit,” I said.
I had seen others doing it before, but these two fascinated me. I didn’t notice them consciously performing. It was like they were well matched, the way they kissed and she embraced him. He mounted her and thrust into her, his whole body this ebony building about to collapse on top of a delicate flower, and my eyes focused hungrily on details, the tension in his arms against the bed, his perfectly round ass bracketed by these lovely calves suspended in the air, such dainty golden feet, and then his thick dick retracting out of her, this cable of hard brown flesh. He couldn’t put himself completely inside her . . .
I shut my eyes and lay back and moaned, and they stole that moment to pounce. They both read me so well. Her little hands were gripping my wrists and holding me down as his huge palms slid down my belly and cupped my ass. I surrendered my mouth to hers, let her tongue play on my left areola as, ohhhhhh, God, the dome of his penis nudged my lips below, and then he was filling me up to the hilt. She let me go for a moment to embrace him, and then he was thrusting hard, making me lose myself. I was confused briefly as he made us change positions, taking charge, and then we were on our sides, Keith back inside me from behind, and his cock was hammering away as her fingers danced, as her mouth made this butterfly assault on my nipples, my belly, her fingers straying to my clit. I could feel his brown chest behind me, his hot breath on my neck and then gentle teeth closing on my earlobe. She sucked on my breast and worked my clit until I came with epileptic, shuddering spasms.
It was tag-team action from then on through the night. The girl nestled into me, kissed me sweetly, and used her hands to bring me to orgasm three more times. Then he woke up, and it was about that expansive chest and powerful arms, about filling me. I went down on him once to get him off, wanting to give him pleasure, and when we were done and he asked if I wanted some wine from the complimentary bottle Lee had provided, I asked him, laughing softly,
“What are you doing here, man?”
He laughed with me, nodding, understanding. He had talked so little during the night that it was only now I could discern he was American. “I know, I know . . . I’m studying, kind of. Theravada Buddhism. It’s changed my life. Really. It’s given me peace. Busaba turned me on to it.”
“How did she . . .?”
“We’re together,” he said simply.
He laughed and relished my discomfort for a moment, then let me off the hook. “Relax, this is a job to us, and I think I can speak for both of us that we’re enjoying our work tonight! We both only do girls. Busaba doesn’t have to work so much these days, she’s got a day job managing an accounting department, but I need to pay for school. I recommended her–I knew she’d be interested. She’s never been with a black girl before.”
His eyes flashed with amusement as he added, “She was really curious!”
“That explains it,” I said. “You two have such fantastic chemistry.”
He smiled a thank-you and confessed, “Sometimes it’s hard to hide. Most of our clients are these rich Thai chicks who are more comfortable when they think we’re strangers to each other.”
We talked about Thai attitudes and our apprehensions, and he was stoical.
“Some people I know have bad experiences, but I don’t have much to complain about,” he said. “You know when Tiger Woods came out here, they greeted him like a hero.” I looked at him blankly for a moment, and he smiled and explained, “His mother’s from Thailand, a mix of all kinds of things. So is his dad, really. For them, he was black second, half-Thai first.”
“Wild,” I said, shaking my head. “But . . . don’t you ever feel . . .?”
I wasn’t sure which word to choose. I wanted to say exiled, but he had clearly imposed this on himself. Lonely?
Maybe I was projecting.
In London, I have never felt truly at home but more at home than in other places, and my visit years ago to the land of my great-grandparents in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan had answered some questions but left me restless in other ways. I told Keith if I lived in a place like this I would have to slowly forget who I was, always looking outward.
“I know what you mean,” he said. “But when I feel down, she says, ‘Call home, baby,’ and I phone a couple of friends. It’s all good. By the way, she can speak English. She’s just shy ’round new people.”
I pointed to the sleeping girl and asked, “How did you two meet?”
“States. She got ripped off right out of LAX. One minute she ain’t paying attention–boom, the next second her bag is gone. She was freaking out, saying how she couldn’t believe she’d been so stupid, so careless, and I’m going, chill, babe. Here’s the name of a hotel, here’s my cell, here’s fifty to tide you over until you get set up. Next day I get a call– it’s my day off, so I show her the city. By the evening . . .We haven’t been away from each other since.”
“You followed her back here.”
It always boggles my mind whenever I hear stories that have a fairy-tale quality. Granted, theirs was an X-rated fairy-tale. I could see how it wouldn’t bother a guy much to find out his girlfriend was a high-priced escort for lesbians. Hell, most men would love the idea, would want to accompany the gal to work. I guessed right that she was the one who persuaded him to join the business. She must have said the equivalent of: Are you kidding? They’ll be panting for you here. It would take the peculiar emotional detachment for professionalism that I had seen before, that people said I brought sometimes to my assignments. But I could see they didn’t take each other for granted either. There was something they kept for each other. If sex was an art, then tenderness was to be bestowed on strangers just on rare occasions,
like a granted privilege.
And they had given some of theirs to me.
We talked, Keith and I, for quite a while. He mentioned that Busaba had always wanted to see Europe, and I smiled and understood. Yes, I said, you should come. You should see London. Visit me as friends.
“I’d like that,” he said.
I stole back under the covers and hugged his girlfriend, and she stirred and held me tight. I felt him spoon into me and her delicate fingers touching my mound, her breath on my face and his on my shoulder. We slept like that until the early-morning hours.
They told me that they had been booked only for the night but that they could stay awhile. We ordered breakfast in bed, made love twice more, and when I woke again around twelve there was a paper on the night table with their address and phone number. Busaba’s dainty handwriting told me, You are SO beautiful!!!