Raw Silk, to pull out an excerpt with a Chinese setting - specifically, Chinatown in old Bangkok. Although it's a rather long excerpt, there's definitely some orality near the end - and a lot of fun before you get there!
I'm also participating in Victoria Blisse's Blisse Kiss Chase event. Find my graphic of Smooch the Blisse Bear somewhere in this post, note his number, and add that to the numbers on all the other Kiss Chase posts to be eligible for the grand prize. For instructions on how to enter (and links to more kisses and clues) go to http://blissekiss.co.uk/!
Meanwhile, in keeping with the holiday spirit, I'm giving away a copy of my paranormal novella Hot Spell to one lucky reader who comments on my post today. I'll draw the winner on Thursday the 14th (of course!)
Happy Valentine's Day - and Happy Chinese New Year!
The Chinese area of Bangkok was one of the oldest parts of the city. Tucked into a bend of the Chao Phraya, it was a warren of narrow streets, flanked by crumbling three-story shop houses. Charoen Krung, the main thoroughfare, was barely wide enough for two cars to pass. The traffic crept sluggishly along its length, but the sidewalks bustled with commerce.
The street was lined on both sides with jewellery stores, their bright red signs blazoned with gold lettering in English, Thai and Chinese characters. Some were glassed in, protected from the heat and the dust of the road, but many had open fronts stretching a quarter block or more. Inside, the walls too were crimson. Kate saw long counters and display cases with glittering contents. Customers sat on stools at the counters, bending over the cases or haggling with the proprietors.
In front of the gold shops, vendors hawked everything from fresh vegetables to movie posters. As Kate got off the bus, she took a deep breath. The air smelled different here. Mixed with the normal exhaust fumes, she caught spicy hints of anise and ginger. She passed a traditional medicine shop, its murky interior lined with wooden drawers holding mysterious roots and herbs. A pale ginseng root floated in a glass bottle, its hairy extremities vaguely suggesting a human figure. The wizened, bespectacled shop owner behind the counter looked up as she paused. Flustered, she hurried on.
At the address Somtow had given her, she found a narrow door framed in Chinese script. There was no English sign. The door was open, and led, she saw, to a steep, carpeted stairway. The building smelled of age, but there were also some rich food odours that she could not identify.
At the top of the stairs, she found a small antechamber made even smaller by the huge porcelain jars standing on either side of a curtained arch. She was met by an elderly Chinese man in a rusty black suit.
“Miss O’Neill?” he asked, his accent making it difficult for Kate to understand him. She nodded. “Please come with me.”
He held the curtains aside for her. They entered a cavernous room, two stories high. Fans turned lazily above them, hanging from the embossed tin ceiling. Round tables were scattered around the room, but only one or two of them were occupied. None of the diners was Somtow.
“This way,” said her guide, gesturing toward the back of the room. Here, Kate saw, there were wood-panelled walls that reached halfway to the ceiling. As they came closer, she realised that these were enclosed booths made of teak or mahogany, arranged around a central corridor. Floor-length drapes of heavy brocade covered the entrances, ensuring the privacy of the occupants. Halfway down the corridor, they stopped, and the Chinese man knocked on the door post.
Somtow’s voice was muffled by the curtains. “Come in,” he said, sweeping the draperies aside. “Come in, Katherine.”
The interior of the booth was furnished with brocade-cushioned benches and a table covered in white linen. It was surprisingly spacious. There was no sense of being confined. The top was open; immediately above their heads, Kate saw one of the fans twirling slowly.
Somtow closed the curtains and took her hands. “Thank you for coming. Please, make yourself comfortable.” She seated herself on the bench. He smiled at her delightedly. “Well? What do you think?”
Kate looked around her. “Interesting,” she said. “I’ve certainly never seen anything like it.”
“The Chinese conduct all important business over food,” explained Somtow. “and sometimes, discretion is important. The Three Moons restaurant has seen five generations of negotiations, deals, intrigues and coups. Not too mention illicit meetings and lovers’ rendezvous.”
Kate just smiled at his enthusiasm.
“In addition,” he continued, pouring them some tea, “the food is exceptional. I took the liberty of ordering Peking Duck for us. They need twelve hours advance notice.”
Kate laughed. “You are unbelievable. It seems that all you think about is food and sex.”
“Not so,” Somtow protested in mock seriousness. “I will admit those are among my primary occupations, but I am also interested in business. You have not told me yet whether you will take the position I offered you.”
“After Saturday, I will let you know. After Saturday, everything may change.”
“I know,” said Somtow softly. “Still, I am looking forward to it.” He reached across the table and stroked her cheek gently. Something inside her melted. Her eyes grew wet, and so did her sex.
“Are you hungry?” he asked after a moment. Kate nodded. He pressed a button on the wall that looked like an old-fashioned doorbell. In less than sixty seconds, there was a knock outside.
“Come in.” The elderly gentleman and a much younger man entered with two trays. The steam rising from them made Kate’s mouth water. With remarkable speed, they set the food on the table, and left the cubicle, closing the curtains behind them.
The food was wonderful, but they ate mostly in silence. Kate was surprised at Somtow’s uncharacteristic reserve. She felt a strange tension growing between them. She picked up a morsel of duck with her chopsticks and placed it thoughtfully in her mouth. Was it because of David, she wondered? Or the coming moment of truth? She watched Somtow as he used his chopsticks to pull the juicy flesh from the bone, then brought it to his lips. She was seized with the desire to kiss those lips, to run her hands over his smooth, firm limbs. She felt the pull of his body like magnetism.
Of course, she reminded herself, she had been celibate for more than a week now, in preparation. She had to laugh at herself. A week without sex these days seemed like a year.
Finally, she leaned back on the cushions. “I can’t eat another bite,” she said. “That was magnificent, though. Thank you.”
“I love to please you, Katherine,” he answered. “As I am sure you know by now. As I told you, I have something for you. If you are finished, I will have them clear the dishes.”
He rang for the waiter, and the dirty plates disappeared as quickly as they had arrived. The young man also brought them a fresh pot of tea.
When the curtains were closed again, Somtow reached into his pocket. He brought out a blue velvet box. “I hope that you will accept this, Katherine, as a token of my love and respect for you. As something to remember me by, perhaps.”
Kate wanted to refuse the box, but the look in his eyes stopped her. Silently, she took it from him and opened it.
It was a sapphire necklace, an oval pendant on a delicate gold chain. It was unbelievably beautiful.
Kate was overwhelmed. “Somtow, I can’t take this. This should be for your wife, not for me.”
“Nong has her own sapphires, Katherine. And she has the honour and misfortune of being my legal wife. I want you to have something tangible, something precious, something to convince you that you are more to me than just a playmate and a diversion.”
He was so sincere. Kate felt tears prick her eyes again. Without further comment she carefully fastened the chain around her neck. The stone sparkled in the hollow of her throat.
“Thank you, Somtow,” she said softly. “I'm deeply touched.”
Her prince watched her, a smile playing at the corners of his mouth. “You look lovely,” he said. “Of course, you would look lovelier still if you removed your blouse.”
“Somtow. You promised!”
“Promised what?” he said with mock innocence.
“That you would stick to the rules and would not try to seduce me.”
Somtow grinned. “I am sure that I never promised that.” He leaned forward across the table. “I would never make a promise that I could not keep. In any case, I have a feeling that you really want to take off your top.”
It was true, of course. The attraction that Kate had felt toward him during lunch was a hundred times stronger now. She glanced over at the curtains. They were tightly closed. “The management would never enter a booth unannounced,” said Somtow. “It would violate all the traditions.”
Without a word, she pulled her silk shell over her head. Then she unhooked her brassiere in the front, and let it slide off her shoulders. She sat up straight, enjoying the hungry way that he eyed her bared breasts.
“Ah, Katherine,” he sighed. “I see that I was right.” He picked up his chopsticks, reached across the table, and deftly caught her left nipple between them. “Quite stiff,” he commented approvingly. He applied a bit more pressure and the button of flesh swelled further. Her cunt muscles tensed and her clit tingled.
He switched to the other nipple, rolling it back and forth between the lacquered wood sticks. Kate gave a little moan, and thrust her chest forward.
“You are incorrigible, Somtow,” she said when she had caught her breath. “In any case, I’ll bet that you are quite stiff yourself.”
“You would win that wager,” he chuckled. He stood up and Kate saw that he had already unzipped his trousers and released his erection, that he had been stroking himself with his left hand even as he used the chopsticks with his right.
“You know,” she said with a smile, “I am still a bit hungry after all.” She grabbed one of the cushions from the bench and threw it on the floor in front of him. Then she knelt and began feasting on his smooth, cool flesh.
The slender Thai rested his hands on her shoulders and pressed his pelvis against her mouth. Kate worked his penis like a vacuum cleaner, sucking him as if to extract every drop of his cum,. She relished his slightly salty taste and the now-familiar whiff of sandalwood that came from him. He moaned, and she paused to admonish him. “Shh!” she whispered. “I don’t want the management to come rushing in thinking that I’m doing you harm.”
“I cannot help myself, Katherine,” Somtow gasped.
“Maybe I need to gag you,” she said playfully, and then was a little shocked by her own words. Was her association with Gregory polluting her mind to such an extent?
She returned her attention to his cock, licking up and down its length before swallowing it again. The skin was petal-soft. She could feel the pulse of blood raging beneath.
As Somtow came closer to climax, Kate felt her own heart beginning to pound. Her clit throbbed in the same rhythm as his cock, and she could feel her lower lips swelling, opening, aching for attention. She was determined, though, not to allow him access to her sex. Technically, at least, she wanted to adhere to the rules she had established. She wanted the contest on Saturday to be fair and unbiased. She sucked harder, and lightly raked her teeth over his rigid flesh. Come on, Somtow, she thought. Come in my mouth, my sweet prince.
He hovered on the edge. Kate could feel his muscles tensing. But instead of letting go, he gently
pushed against her shoulders, pulling out of her mouth. “Turn around, please, Katherine. I want to share my pleasure with you.”
“No, Somtow. We all agreed, no sex until the showdown.”
“Oh?” He raised one eyebrow. “And what do you call this that we have been doing for the last fifteen minutes?"