Read an Excerpt
By Jade Lee
Copyright © 2006
All right reserved.
Charlotte Wicks dashed down the third-floor hallway after her
younger brother. Unfortunately, at sixteen, William was much
too fast to catch, and with a mental age of about seven, he
was too strong-willed to listen.
"William!" she called again as she spun into their Chinese
servant's room. She skidded to an abrupt stop as she took in
the sight before her.
What a large penis! That's all that she could think. Ken Jin
has an immense penis. She made a valiant attempt to divert her
thoughts. Why, for example, was Ken Jin kneeling half naked on
the floor in the middle of the afternoon? Why were three very
large needles embedded in the flesh right above his very large
organ? And why couldn't she look up into the man's face?
She didn't ask any of these questions, of course: all were
completely inappropriate. Despite the debauchery that ran
rampant in Shanghai-and in this very house sometimes-Charlotte
wasn't supposed to know about men's organs or what they did
with them. Or that Ken Jin had entertained a good number of
her friends with his very large penis.
Her brother, of course, had no such restraint. "Mama says not
to touch that," he said loudly and pointed at Ken's Jin's dark
red erection. "She says you'll go to hell and burn for
eternity with the devil." He frowned. "Butshe didn't say
anything about needles."
Ken Jin didn't respond, except to leap to his feet and hastily
drag up his pants. That successfully hid the view, but it
probably also drove the needles even deeper into his flesh.
"My goodness," Charlotte breathed, "doesn't that hurt?" She
blinked, startled by her own stupid comment. Of course it
hurt. Taking hold of her curiosity and her errant brother, she
made herself turn away from the blushing Chinaman. Then she
addressed her gangly, adolescent sibling.
"You cannot go bursting into people's chambers, William, even
if it's a servant's room. It's simply not fair." And who knew
what one might see, she added silently. "Come along now. We'll
let Ken Jin collect himself and ask him politely to visit us
in the library, shall we?"
She tried to lead her brother out, but the boy had been
growing again and was larger than she. When William didn't
want to leave, she couldn't force him; and right now, William
would not be distracted from their father's First Boy. Truth
be told, Charlotte was also intrigued by the handsome young
Chinaman. He was desperately intelligent, running her father's
extensive business dealings single-handedly while keeping her
debauched father and religious mother in opposite corners of
the city. With his help, Charlotte was able to keep the house
servants in line and manage her rather unusual younger
brother. Plus, every one of her friends had commented on how
very handsome and skilled he was in a variety of bedroom arts.
She couldn't vouch for the latter, of course, but she could
attest to his looks.
Ken Jin was tall and muscular, of twenty-eight or twenty-nine
years, and had lush black hair pulled back into the most
perfect queue. His face was nicely formed, his shoulders were
broad, and he had a generous ... Well, all his physical
attributes were built along generous lines. Still, she had no
idea that Chinese men-even young healthy ones-were so largely
endowed. Or perhaps, she was simply uninformed. After all, her
only real experience with men's organs came from assisting her
brother with his bath. Perhaps Ken Jin was normal and her
brother abnormal. It would stand to reason.
"You shouldn't scratch there either," William said loudly,
doing just that. "It makes it worse."
Ken Jin nodded formally to Charlotte's brother. With his
trousers back in place, the only indications of anything
untoward were the dark flush to his cheeks and the expanding
circle of crimson on his tented pants.
"One of your needles has drawn blood," she said, once again
proving that she was an utter failure at keeping her attention
fixed where it ought to be. So she tried again. "Come along,
William. Ken Jin will join us in the library." Assuming he
didn't bleed to death first.
"But Nanny said he would take us to the park," William
Charlotte nodded. "Yes, yes, of course, dearling, but the park
is outside, you know, and we can't get there by staying here."
William blinked in his uncomprehending way, then abruptly
turned back to Ken Jin. "Why do you have needles in your
stomach?" he asked.
Charlotte sighed. Sometimes her brother could fixate on the
most inappropriate topics. It didn't help matters that she was
desperately curious to know the answer as well.
Ken Jin bowed again, no doubt driving the needles deeper. "It
is a form of medicine, Master Will," he responded in his low,
"Yes, William," Charlotte agreed. "A Chinese form of medicine.
Now let us-"
"I want to see," William interrupted. Then, to her horror, her
nearly six foot tall brother lumbered forward, his hands going
for Ken Jin's pants.
"That is quite enough!" Charlotte cried in her best
disciplinarian voice. William stopped his advance, thank God.
"Into the library, young man. Now!"
Another long moment went by as the boy hovered, obviously
undecided. Then Ken Jin spoke, his manner extremely pleasant.
"I should be happy to take you to the park, Master William,
but you must let me don the appropriate shoes."
Charlotte's brother frowned at Ken Jin's bare feet. They were
nice feet, Charlotte noticed, and wasn't that an odd thing to
think about a servant's feet? But they were nice: the skin was
smooth and not hairy, the toes long and well shaped. They were
masculine without being a coolie's hoary feet.
"All right," William finally said, spinning on his heel and
abruptly dashing out of the room. Charlotte felt her lips
curve into a soft smile. Truly, her brother was a sweet boy
even if he was sixteen and slow.
She turned back to Ken Jin. "Thank you for your assistance-"
"My shoes," he interrupted, his voice uncharacteristically
tight. "Please, Miss Charlotte, let me put on my shoes."
She frowned, abruptly realizing that she wasn't looking at his
feet but at the dark bloodstains on his pants. There were
three circles now, exactly above the three needles, and the
tenting fabric wasn't quite so pronounced.
"Shoes. Yes, of course," she babbled. "I'll see you in the
library, then?" She didn't know why she was lingering. She
couldn't truly ask Ken Jin why he had stuck needles into his ...
She ought to be going. And yet ...
"Ken Jin ..."
The muscles of his jaw bulged as he clenched his teeth. "Yes,
"Do you require any bandages or salves?"
"No, Miss Charlotte."
She swallowed. Of course he didn't. Ken Jin was the most
self-sufficient man she'd ever met. "Well then," she snapped,
abruptly bringing her thoughts back to order. "I shall just
wait for you in the library. After you ... um ..."
"After I don my shoes, Miss Charlotte."
"Yes. Your shoes." And with that, she spun around and fled.
Excerpted from Burning Tigress
by Jade Lee
Copyright © 2006 by Jade Lee .
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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