Read an Excerpt
Show & Tell
By Rhonda Nelson
Harlequin Enterprises Ltd.Copyright © 2003 Harlequin Enterprises Ltd.
All right reserved.
Chapter OneKnox Webber absently swirled the liquor around his glass as he watched the naked couple displayed on his television screen gyrate in sexual ecstasy. They sat in a pool of fuzzy golden light, face to face, palm to palm, the woman's hips anchored around the man's waist. Her long blond hair shimmered over her bare shoulders. She threw her head back and her mouth formed a perfect O of orgasmic wonder. The video's hypnotic narrator droned from the hi-fi speakers placed strategically around Knox's plush glass-and-chrome apartment.
"Let the tantric energy flow. You'll feel the power wash over you, through you and around you as your male and female energies merge. This wave of utter bliss will transport you and your partner to a new plane in sexual rapture, a new plane of enlightenment and awareness, where you'll flow in harmony with your lover and the rest of the world. Synchronized, controlled breathing is essential ..."
Knox snorted and hit the stop button on his remote control. He'd seen enough. He'd watched the howto video on one of the best home-theater systems money could buy - a fifty-five-inch digitally mastered screen with superior resolution, picture in picture, and quality sound - and he still thought the entire concept of tantric sex was a load of crap.
Regrettably, it was becoming an increasingly popular load of crap and it just might be the one story he'd been looking for, the one pivotal article that would give him an edge over his competitors. Knox currently enjoyed a top spot in the Chicago scene of investigative journalism, but it wasn't enough. He wanted more. He wanted a Pulitzer. A wry smile twisted his lips. Granted, this story most likely wouldn't win him the coveted award, but it could put him that much closer to his goal. The thought sent a shot of adrenaline coursing through his blood.
Call it journalistic intuition, all he knew was each time Knox caught the scent of a good story, he'd get a curious feeling in his gut, an insistent nudge behind his naval that, so far, had never steered him wrong. This sixth sense had propelled him into his current comfortable position with the Chicago Phoenix, had earned him a reputation for staying on the cutting edge of journalism and keeping his finger on the fickle pulse of American society.
The nudge was there now, more insistent than ever, prodding him into action. But for the first time in his life, for reasons that escaped him, he found himself resisting the urge to pick up the scent and track down the story.
Knox chalked up his misgivings to inconvenience. Naturally, in the course of his work, he'd been mightily inconvenienced and had never minded the hassle. It was all part and parcel of his chosen career path, the one he'd taken despite howling protests from his more professionally minded parents. His mother and father considered Knox's career choice beneath him and were still clinging to the hope that he'd eventually come to his senses and use his Ivy League education for a more distinguished career.
They'd have a long wait.
Knox was determined to make his mark in the competitive world of investigative journalism, no matter the inconveniences. This wasn't just a career; it was his identity, who he was. He was a show-and-tell journalist - he unearthed facts, then he showed them to the American public, told them in his own outspoken way and encouraged them to draw their own conclusions.
He'd hidden in small dark places and he'd assumed countless disguises, some of which were completely emasculating, Knox thought, shuddering as he recalled the transvestite debacle. He'd made it a point to befriend a scope of unwitting informants, from assistants to top city officials to the occasional pimp and small-time thug, and all species in between, creating a network of eyes much like the Argus of Greek mythology.
The idea of being inconvenienced didn't disturb Knox - it was the form of inconvenience he was concerned about. Knox preferred to work solo, but for this particular story, that simply wasn't an option.
He'd have to have a partner, and a female partner at that. A wry smile turned his lips. After all, he couldn't very well attend a tantric sex workshop with a man.
Knox studied the glossy tantric sex pamphlet once more. This clinic - Total Tantra Edification - in particular was his target. While some workshops were probably on the up-and-up, something about this one didn't feel quite right. Hadn't from the beginning when this idea had first taken hold. The little brochure was chock-full of glowing testimonials from happy couples who had sworn that the workshop had saved their marriages, had brought their flat-lined sex lives from the brink of death via the energized, intimate therapy. Women, in particular, seemed to be thrilled with the results, citing multiple orgasms and even female ejaculation.
And why not? Knox wondered with a crooked grin. The whole technique seemed geared toward female gratification - a new twist in and of itself. According to his research, men avoided physical ejaculation completely, thereby prolonging their erections, and instead strove for full-body inner orgasms. The blast without the shower, so to speak, Knox thought.
Expensive tantric weekend workshops were becoming almost as common on the West Coast as surfers at the beach. While they hadn't gained as much popularity on the East Coast, interest in the subject was nonetheless increasing. A popular cable music program recently polled eighteen- to twenty-four-year-olds, and when asked what sexual subject they'd most like to learn about, tantric sex topped the list.
No doubt about it, it was a timely story. The nudge tingled behind his navel once more.
In this case, it was also a load of New Age baloney taught by aging hippies in unbleached hemp togas bent on feathering their retirement nests. Knox was sure of it. He glanced at the so-called instructors featured on the inside page. Drs. Edgar and Rupali Shea smiled back at him, the picture of glowing serenity and marital bliss.
Knox didn't buy it for a moment.
Honestly? What self-respecting man would purposely deprive himself of an orgasm during sex and claim inner enlightenment was better? Knox snorted, knocked back the dregs of his Scotch. Not a real man. Not a man's man, anyway. Sex with no orgasm? It was like a hot-fudge sundae minus the hot fudge. Hell, what would be the point?
Excerpted from Show & Tell by Rhonda Nelson Copyright © 2003 by Harlequin Enterprises Ltd.
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.