as reposted, with elaboration, from Fetlife:
Now, lemme ‘splain…
Recently I was lucky enough, in a single day, to be in contact with the leaders of four Hitchin’ Bitches groups. They spanned not only the U.S.A. but also the Atlantic, and I was hearing from all of them stories of well-meaning (or not-so) blokes who felt the need to step up and offer suggestions upon seeing a woman tying in a public space in some way different than their own. I also heard from the leader of a Rope Bite recently that he’d had to quell a “swarming of the riggers” effect that seemed to happen whenever a female rigger would tie at one of their meetings. Hell, I have even heard about Saki Kamijoo, who is so badass as to make you weep for joy at the speed of her binding, having to deal with “advice” from her male colleagues that was less-than-useful and completely unasked for.
I also found myself watching several teachers, riggers, and even my own girl practicing CBT and having to catch myself from making suggestions when none were needed. I understand the urge! It’s the feeling that in order to be significant, you must be useful, and that person tying over there doesn’t realize just how useful you can be. So you have to let them know!
Sorry. No. Stick your hands in your pockets and STFU.
But Gray! Think of the Bottoms!
This was the rebuttal I heard from a gent in the front row of the class where I first suggested this protocol. His protest (backed up, in his mind, by an incident reported on Fet) was that there are times when someone’s life is in mortal danger. When someone is tying so wrong that it is a moral imperative to step up and save the bottom.
I was dumbstruck for a moment, mainly because the incident he was referring to was one so far removed from the subject of people tying in public playspaces that it bordered on the ludicrous. Something like insisting that all car drivers should wear helmets because you heard about a Formula race car accident…but I digress. I did my best to keep that conversation focused, but since then, I’ve come up with a better way to explain why the Protocol should stand:
- Raise your hand if you have been present at a public play space when someone has died as the direct result of a bad tie. Hmm. Not many hands.
- Now, raise your hand if you have been present at a public play space when someone has been injured as a direct result of a bad tie. Notice, significantly more hands are up.
- Next – and this is mainly for the riggers – raise your hand if you have ever caused an injury as the direct result of a bad tie. Notice, the hands that are still up are the riggers who have been rigging the longest.
- Finally, raise your hand if you tied more purposefully after that experience. Heck, bottoms, raise your hands if learned how to better a tie’s safety and your body’s capabilities as result of that experience.
Thank you, you can put all of those hands down. In case you missed the point, I’ll sum up:
- People aren’t dying as a result of inexperienced riggers, and
- Riggers who tie badly either:
- Ask for help
- Figure it out
- Don’t tie many people more than once, and have a diminishing number of bottoms available to them.
So yes, think of the bottoms, and the tops, and the need to let them peck their own way out of their New-to-Rope shell so they build the resilience they need. Also, well, hubris, but of course that’s not a problem for you, right?
If I am Wrong…
…then upon adoption of this Protocol, there will be a vast influx of injuries caused by misguided rope tops everywhere! And those who insisted that their wisdom was needed to avert such disasters will have a huge I-Told-You-So available to them. I, myself, will publicly stand naked on a stage at the event of your choice and recant while a horde of Littles pelts me with lemon-curd. Or something.
In the meantime, please note the Protocol is gender-neutral, so don’t get your panties in a bundle, men. I’m not picking on you; I’m picking on the impolite. So please don’t stand there gawking, making tsk-tsk noises and loudly commenting to your friends how you’d do it differently; all of that counts as unsolicited advice. In case you’re curious, there is an official list of Female Riggers in Search of Unsolicited Advice, and you can consult it as needed to see if someone you see is seeking your input.
I dream of a time when a Protocol won’t be necessary; when the gender of a rigger makes no more difference than the gender of…um…ok, I mean that I dream of a time when gender won’t matter as much. But we aren’t there. And while I know none of you reading this are the culprit, trust me, it is a problem. For now, the Protocol - Don’t - will help make sure that we are part of the solution.
Georgia swallowed in between gasps, and found her voice. “Yes, mistress, oh, yes, everything – anything – oh, mistress.” Her eyes were wide and shining with tears that ran down her cheeks.
Jane smiled , eyes hard. “Know what I love, Georgia? I love tits. You, Georgia, have magnificent tits. Luscious tits, in fact, they match your lips.” She leaned in just a few millimeters closer to the trembling woman. “I really want to kiss those lips, Georgia. I want to take those fucking amazing tits in my mouth and suck those pretty dark nipples til you scream. “But,” Jane paused, and the smile disappeared, her expression turning grave. “I can’t do that right now, Georgia. I want to, but I can’t. Do you know why?”
Georgia’s mouth made a helpless bewildered moue, and Jane took a moment to solicitously stroke a few strands of hair away from the puzzled woman’s face. Shaking her head slightly, she explained. “I only want beautiful things from you, Georgia. and you don’t much like your mouth or your tits, do you?” The tears fell steadily, Georgia’s face looking crestfallen even upside down as Jane’s words sank in. “If you hate what you give me, that’s not worth very much, is it?”
“Quit talking, ya silvery bitch, people want to see you fucking her, not blabbing at her blubbery ass!” Theo mocked from across the room. He was laying back on a table while Ksenya rode his cock, her arms lifted overhead, hair tossing in dark swirls matching her rotating hips. Her mouth was frozen open in a rictus of orgasm that was as obviously faked as it was skilled, her lithe muscles moving with catlike grace over Theo.
Jane didn’t react at all. In spite of Theo’s bravado, more than half of the club was watching – and listening – to Jane’s slow conquering of the redheaded cook.
“I want you to love those tits as much as I do, Georgia,” she was saying. “I want you to see them the way I see them.”
“H-h-how, mistress?” Georgia pleaded.
“Well, let’s start by looking at them together, my pretty southern slut. Lift them up and let me see them proud. Do it, girl, do it for me.” Georgia’s hands, which had been hanging helplessly down at her sides, came up, fingers spread to catch the curving side of her breasts, first stroking, then grasping the fleshy curves in her hands and pushing them up like lascivious offerings to a fertility goddess. “That’s it, peach,” Jane crooned. “I like how you are playing with them. Do that some more for me, honeysweet. Show me and everyone else how fantastic your tits are.” Jane’s voice commanded now. “Show it to yourself, sweetling.”
Georgia moaned as she squeezed harder, pulling at the flesh in kneading, rolling motions, the dusky skin of her breasts turning an umber red as her fingers dug in.
“Nipples, Georgia!” Jane’s voice was harder. “Twist those nipples up for me!” A low murmur of approval came from the women and men watching as Georgia took a nipple in each hand, twisting her fingers until the dark brown nubs were pulled into distended cones tipping each breast. Her eyes closed and she moaned with the sensation.
“Harder, you sweet bitch!” Jane’s ordered. “Pull them up high and proud for me. Up, I said! Make those tits touch the fucking sky, slut! Higher!” Jane was shouting directly into Georgia’s inverted face, still held immobile by the grip in her hair. The gasps coming from the contorted woman were more like hoarse moans, slowly merging into a low humming sound that wove in counterpoint to Jane’s harsh commands, their intimate exchange still somehow audible over the techno beats that filled the club.
Jane moved closer, eyes fierce, until she was only millimeters from the wide eyed woman under her. “I SAID HARDER, BITCH, DON’T MAKE ME HAVE TO RIP THEM OFF!” Georgia’s hands spasmed, pulling the nipples until they stretched nearly triple their length. Her scream was a mixture of rapture and agony that turned the heads of the last few Incubikers and women still paying attention to Theo. Jane’s hand came down with a clap over Georgia’s open mouth, silencing the scream so abruptly that the room seem to collectively catch it’s breath at the sudden absence of the ecstatic howl. Jane shifted her fingers up so that she blocked both Georgia’s mouth and nose. The woman’s eyes widened as her body quickly used up the last of her oxygen.
Keeping her face close, Jane watched the woman struggle, and let the moment stretch until Georgia’s eyes began to flutter near unconsciousness. Then, voice softened into a comforting, cajoling tone, she murmured “Let go, peach. Give those beauties a rest. You’ve done well.” She moved her fingers slightly, letting some air in, and simultaneously Georgia let go of her nipples and began kissing Jane’s hand, covering it in a flurry of devotion. Jane smiled and hummed contentedly as she slowly lifted her hand.
“Oh, thank you, mistress, thank you, thank you…” Georgia was almost gibbering, quieting only when Jane laid a finger across her lips.
“I’im going to give your back a break, beautiful slut, and you’re going to go face-down ass-up for me as fast as you can, got it?” Georgia nodded as best she could in Jane’s tight grip, her tearful eyes wide and eager. “Good. You lift that ass high for me and show off those pretty curves. Make me proud, peach.” Jane pushed up on the back of Georgia’s head. The sudden release of tension made Georgia gasp and moan as her muscles loosened.
Jane’s push gave her momentum to fall forward, hands naturally folding in to cradle her face as it lowered to the floor. Her back curved up gracefully as she adjusted her knees to support her ass, lifted high for Jane. The smooth beauty of her posture was in stark contrast to the curled and broken form of Elsie across the room near Theo and Ksenya’s mechanical fucking. The blonde woman was still semi-conscious, bleeding from both broken nose and violated ass. The bottle still stuck halfway in her sphincter, the tissues too stressed and ripped to eject it fully. Though the Incubikers snuck guilty glances her way, no one moved to help, as if she were somehow a pariah. Jane’s gazed out at them for a moment, her expression calculating and dispassionate. Most of them missed it, though, as she turned quickly to look down at Georgia’s curves.
Theo could tell he was losing, and losing badly. Only two people were still watching Ksenja’s exotic dance moves as he pumped into her. “Time to fucking change gears,” he muttered, and grasped her hips. He lifted her entirely off his cock and pushed her to her knees on the table. He shoved the Russian woman’s head down roughly, which put her into roughly the same position as Georgia across the room. The rounded curve of Ksenya’s ass was the only softness in the stark line of ribs, flat stomach, and skinny legs.
“Now that’s an ass,” Theo said loudly. He lifted a hand and spanked her hard, the a loud smack of impact breaking the the room as it landed. Ksenja let out a loud theatrical shriek and waggled her ass like a playful puppy begging for more.
Tony swatted her again and again, the thwack-thwack of his palm hitting her flesh keeping time with the beat of the music. He grinned and put more shoulder into it, enjoying the site of her wiggling cheeks turning red. “Let her have it, Tony! Fuck that shit up!” came an encouraging voice from behind him.
“Damn right!” he said, grinning back over his shoulder at Timmy, an IncuBiker pledge watching with an eager, idol-worshippers gaze on his face. Theo’s grin faded, however, as he realized that the neophyte gang member was the only person still watching him work Ksenja over. Everyone else in the club was entranced by the scene being played out across the room between Jane and Georgia.
The submissive cook was now completely naked, her denim jeans laying in a pool of blue strips ripped onto the floor next to her. She seemed totally comfortable with her nakedness, posture straight and proud as a queen even with her hands bound behind her where Jane had started the rope. Georgia’s radiated a relaxed and beautiful confidence in her submission. Her brown skin stretched in a smooth curve across her full belly, its round under her breasts. Her nipples jutted out a dark, swollen red, obviously still tender from her ordeal. Georgia lifted her head up at Jane’s direction like a supplicant at an altar. At a touch of Jane’s hand she spread her smooth thighs wide, revealing a glistening tousle of black kinked hair streaked with gray peeking out from the ropes Jane was pulling between her legs.
Jane stood over her, swaying in graceful arcs as she moved her arms circular weaves as she bound the woman who knelt below her. Her rope was thick, a tawny brown color. As Jane drew it across torso and limb Georgia’s skin seemed to glow with a dark sheen as the rope caressed her. Jane wove it with doubled strands traveling over the shoulders, around the arms and under Georgia’s breasts. As she drew it tight the woman’s body was shaped subtly, breasts jutting out more, arms hugging tighter to her body, head lifting higher on waves of sensation. Jane deftly created a series of knotted diamonds that flowed like a net across Georgia’s stomach, the rope disappearing in the dark cleft of her labia. Georgia moaned softly, eyes shining as Jane pulled tighter.
The ropes bound Georgia’s body the way paint binds canvas, pulling form and texture and shape into every breath. The slightest movement became a journey through a land of sweaty desire bordered by rope and the hand of her mistress. Instead of distorting Georgia’s body, the harness framed her large belly in a way that drew the eye across the smooth stretch of skin as it flowed into the generous curve of hip and thigh. The bindings gave the her something to push against even as Jane added another knot to the pattern.
Georgia breathed slow and even, hypnotized by Jane’s graceful and efficient tying. The petite woman came to the knotted ends of a length of rope and reached without looking for another one from the open case on the floor beside her. A smooth flicking twist of her arm created a loop in the new length and Jane fit it over the other ropes. She hissed her breath out as she pulled it tight, merging the new strands with the knotted lengths already covering Georgia’s body.
Finally Jane stood up behind Georgia, rising in draped wavy lengths of silver like a benevolent deity. Her face shone with perspiration and her eye glowed with a predatory energy as looked down at the sculpture of flesh and rope she’d created. Georgia was the image of pure devotion inspired by lust, eyes focused unwaveringly up towards Jane, her entire body a pledge of surrendered desire.
Jane gently lay her hand on Georgia’s cheek, giving a slight push. “Turn around, darlin’, but keep that pussy wide open,” There was a strange awkward innocence as the larger woman wobbled around on her knees. It somehow intensified the sense of devotion between the two women, and none of the watchers made a sound as the tableau changed.
As Georgia turned to kneel and face Jane, her position revealed the explosion of tight cords emanating from the a complex tangle of rope knotted at the center of her spine. Her hands wer relaxed and splayed open in a mini-star that echoed the shape of the harness. The ties continued down to frame her wide round ass in long tight curves. Even the stretch marks at her waist seemed embellishments to the corded design, like tiny skin-toned flames. She looked up at Jane expectantly, her mouth level with the tight knot of pearls hanging down near dominant lady’s silver-clad waist.
Jane looked down at the woman, then up at the rest of the room. Every IncuBiker and mates were looking at her, even Ksenja at the table, laying forgotten by Theo’s hand. He watched too, face angry but no less entranced by the women’s scene. Jane smiled as she caught his eye and gave a slight, almost apologetic nod, acknowledging her victory.
Then her hand lifted, slow and deliberate, across her chest to her shoulder. She held it for just a moment, letting the anticipation rise, and then in a dramatic flourish she peeled the dress off with one smooth motion. She stood naked save for the long skein of pearls traveling down her naked body and her white stiletto boots.
Jane’s skin was flushed from the ropework, the tips of her nipples hard cones of pink tipping each breast. As the silver dress fluttered to the floor, Georgia let out a whimper of longing, and the room inhaled with one startled gasp.
Jane stood strong and powerful, looking down at Georgia again. “You think maybe you earned some of this, peach? You want a taste of my honey, sweetling?” The words were light but Jane’s expression was stern, and the kneeling woman quickly realized the question was not rhetorical.
“Yes, mistress!” she said quickly. “Please, please may I taste you? Please?” Her eyes widened in fear as she saw Jane start to frown.
“I’m not sure I believe you, Georgia. ‘Yes, Mistress.’ ‘No, Mistress.’ What a fucking cliché. You say them so quick and easy – makes me wonder how sincere you really are. Maybe I’m just another dom you’re using to get your clit hard.”
Georgia’s eyes filled with tears as she desperately sought some way to persuade Jane of her sincere adoration. “Oh, Mistress…I’m sorry, mistress,” she began, and then rocked back as Jane slapped her hard across the cheek.
“Don’t tell me you’re fucking sorry, slut! Tell me what exactly you want. Tell me why you want it.”
“I…I want to taste you, Mistress…oh!” she cried out again as another slap from Jane’s hand rocked her head to the side.
“Taste me? Taste me? I am not an appetizer, you timid whore, I have a juicy, nasty, hot and steamy delicious fecund cunt and if you want to taste it you’d better know how to say it!” She slapped Georgia again, the opposite cheek reddening. “Now tell me what you want to do!”
“I want to taste your cunt, mistress.”
Jane slapped her again. “Taste it how, bitch?”
“I want to lick it, mistress!”
Slap! “I’m not convinced. Tell me more, dammit, seduce me!”
Georgia wailed. “I want to devour that cunt, Mistress!” Slap. Her voice rose in desperation. “Please! Let me drink your nasty beautiful juices, I want your clit grinding against my mouth,”
Slap. Now the words just seemed to pour out of her, “Smother me with your cum, please just let me taste that hot nasty pussy just once, mistress, I’ll eat you out like no other whore can!”
Finally Jane stopped her hand in mid-air, a surprised and satisfied look on her face. “Well,” she said, lowering her hand slowly. “Why didn’t you just say so?” She pulled Georgia’s head down between her legs. Her hips cocked her hips forward and she twisted with a slow grind against Georgia’s face. Jane used the harness to pull Georgia closer with every thrust, and the kneeling woman’s clenched and released her tightly-bound hands as she licked and sucked the pussy in front of her.
Michael had watched the whole scene from the table in the corner of the club. Zhenya’s blonde head bobbed lackadaisically up and down in his lap as she gave him a blowjob. He seemed completely oblivious to her efforts, his gaze sour as he watched Jane. Her eyes were closed as she rode Georgia’s tongue into a shuddering orgasm, her neck stippled her neck with a red flush of pleasure.
Michael turned his scowl to look at his brother, and Theo’s face turned red too, with shame. There was no way to deny Jane the prize, a night with Michael’s coveted Isabella. Theo couldn’t meet his brother’s eyes as he realized how much he’d cost his brother’s pride.
In desperation Theo decided to try one last time to get the audience back. Grabbing Ksenja, he whispered urgently in her ear, hands pantomiming angrily in the air as he tried to give her an idea of what he wanted. The Russian woman looked at him quizzically for a moment, then shrugged and slid down off the table.
She stepped over Elsie’s unconscious body and made her way through the rapt audience of IncuBikers and their women, none of whom moved from their places. Ksenja paused for a moment and looked back towards the doorway to the kitchen where the other cook Ophelia stood in the doorway. The older woman’s face was streaked with tears as she watched her fellow cook lost in erotic surrender to Jane.
Ksenja looked back again towards Theo, who motioned angrily for the Russian woman to continue. She shrugged again, turned, and strutted over to where Jane continued to ride Georgia’s mouth like a slow-motion bull rider. The blonde domme’s eyes were closed tight in pleasure, one hand still tangled in Georgia’s kinky black curls, pulling her harder up against her pussy.
Ksenja considered the pair for a moment, as if searching for something. Then, carefully, the slender whore stretched her long neck forward, leaning towards Jane who seemed oblivious in orgasmic bliss. As Ksenja’s lips came close to Jane’s ecstatic O-shaped mouth, she closed her eyes in anticipation of the kiss.
Then she opened them wide in shock. Jane’s free hand was clamped around Ksenja’s jaw, an iron grip holding the Russian woman’s lips motionless. Jane glared at the invading woman with cold fury, and Ksenja let out a helpless squeak like a mouse caught by a raptor. Jane’s ice-angry gaze burned into Ksenja for a moment longer, then she hissed “Nyet, davalka!” and pushed the Russian whore to the floor.
Jane looked angrily across the room at Tony. “When I want one of your bitches, asshole, I’ll take one,” she said scornfully. “Meantime, keep your fucking sloppy seconds to yourself.” Jane returned her focus to Georgia, pulling the woman’s face away from her crotch and smiled at her slick wet cheeks. “Don’t mind those bastards, my sweet little peach. Right now the only thing on my mind is how much I want my fist inside of you. You think that might make you cum, my beautiful pussy-lickin’ nasty girl?”
Georgia giggled happily. “Yes, Mis- I mean, yes…” she paused, eyes shifting down to the right, searching for the right words. Jane waited, and smiled as Georgia’s dark eyes lifted and met hers. Taking a deep breath that lifted her breasts high, she spoke loud and clear “I want your hard fist deep in my hot pussy, Mistress! I want to be your cumslut, Mistress!” The release of the words seemed to liberate something inside of her. Her dark skin flushed a dusky rose at the delicious shame of giving voice to the lust that filled her.
Jane didn’t hesitate. “Get on your back, slut.” She reached into her case one more time and pulled out what looked like a steel cigarette case. She popped it open and drew out a black latex glove, snapping it over her hand. She reached again and took out a small leather-encased glass bottle with a cork stopper. As Georgia lay back and let her legs fall open, Jane laughed and tossed the bottle back into the case. “Oh, my, peach, I shoulda known you wouldn’t need any lube in that eager snatch.” Reaching down, she pushed a single finger into Georgia’s vulva, watching the woman’s lush curves pressing against the rope harness as she arched back in ecstasy.
Jane glanced up at the room. Every eye was on her and Georgia. She gave a hard, satisfied smile. “Gather round, people, you might learn something.” She began to move her hand smoothly and rhythmically in and out of Georgia’s cunt, crooning words that weren’t really words but more syllables that were pregnant with lewd suggestion. Her ungloved hand traced circles in the tangles of hair and rope above the woman’s labia. Occasionally Jane pressed a knot or pulled a strand on the harness and Georgia would moan louder, arching up as another finger slipped in, then another and another. All of Jane’s knuckles and half her palm were pumping deep inside by the time she folded the tip of her thumb into her palm and pushed it to the edge of Georgia’s labia.
The IncuBikers were still watching intently, lulled by the strange words that Jane intoned in a rhythmic, sonorous tone. When she suddenly slipped back into English they blinked with shock, but she wasn’t paying any attention to them. Jane focused on Georgia’s eyes, wide and pleading. “Peach, I’m about to fuck you as deep and hard as you’ve ever been fucked. Just let go and let it happen, darlin’. Let yourself cum and cum and fall as far and deep as you need to. My ropes have you safe.” Jane’s voice deepened with a ritualistic significance. “My ropes will catch you.”
Georgia closed her eyes tightly and writhed on the table, impaled on Jane’s hand. With frantic need she nodded. “Yes…mistress..fuck me, please, fuck me…FUCK…ME!” Her eyes opened wide in shocked pleasure as Jane pushed her hand slowly but inexorably into her pussy. Fingers, thumb, and palm all disappeared until Jane was in up to her wrist. Jane didn’t stop there, feeling Georgia’s body take her hand even deeper. Looking at the woman under her, Jane’s smile was fierce as she clenched, forearm flexing as she curled her hand inside Georgia, creating a balled fist that pressed up against the g-spot. She thrust in and stroked out, over and over, watching Georgia fall deeper with every motion into the impending orgasm.
Finally Georgia let out a triumphant roar as Jane whispered “That’s it, baby, cum!” Georgia screamed was overwhelming as the orgasm rolled over her. Her cunt gushed clear fluid in spurts around Jane’s wrist, and the blonde woman smiled and pulsed her fist inside Georgia’s pussy, every clench rewarded with a slightly diminished gush and another guttural moaning scream. Finally there seemed no cum left in her, but Jane was relentless, taking Georgia three more orgasms. Each one made the lush curves of her body press up into the ropes with a rictus of pleasure. When she finally collapsed there was an audible splash from the slick puddle of cum now covering the table.
Jane drew her wrist out slowly. Her other hand rested comfortably on the dark curve of skin pressing up between the ropes on Georgia’s belly. “You want to stay in those ropes a while, darlin’?” she asked softly.
Georgia’s eyes were closed, but she murmured “Yes, please, mistress…” Jane draped the silver cloth like a blanket over the woman’s body like a benediction.
She looked up at the crowd around her and her face changed mercurially, suddenly back into her mischievous self. There was no trace of the harsh domme or lesbian ravisher. “Show’s over, folks, you paid your ticket, I’m afraid that afterglow is not included.” She stood as the crowd began to disperse, the Incubikers and their women talking quietly with each other. The music had been shut off at some point during the scene, or just run out, but the silence that filled the clubhouse somehow fit the sacred mood.
Tony approached the table as Jane stepped down off of it. He looked like a sullen teen caught shoplifting. “Um…ok, guess you won. That was a pretty hot scene, and I…I apologize for sending Ksenja over. I… I guess I just thought if two lesbians were hot, three would be – ”
“I know what you thought, Tony,” Jane said, and he couldn’t tell if her tone was angry or playful. “But you lost before you even made the bet. You just showed them porn, buddy-boy.” She waved towards Ksenja, who sat near Georgia, staring at the sated woman with a thoughtful expression. “I showed them kink, Tony, and there’s no porn that’s gonna to match that.”
Tony looked uncomfortable with the metaphysical turn of the discussion, and he tried to change the subject. “Anyway, my brother is good for the bet. You’ll get your time with Isabella.”
Jane laughed, reaching up and tousling his hair. “No rush, m’boy, even us hot bi babes need a little recovery time.” She looked over at Michael, who glared sullenly from his chair in the corner of the room. Zhenya sat at his feet, ignored. “I’m kinda surprised to see him still here, actually. Figured he’d be off saving your butt from that recording.”
Tony’s gaze suddenly became alert. “Recording? What recording?”
Jane looked at him, innocent and surprised. “The recording of you and the whores from the truck this morning. You saw the camera, didn’t you? When I saw the tow truck taking the tanker away, I figured you boys would just take care of it later…I mean, Tony chartered the truck, so he and Kitten probably know about it…” Her expression turned sly as she took in Tony’s panicked expression. “Of course, given the right incentive, I could just tell you the name of the towing company that took the tanker…” As the big man growled, she turned away. “Oh, never mind, you’re right, you lost enough bets today. I’m sure there’s enough time for you to track it down yourself.”
Theo’s hand wasn’t quite threatening as he touched her shoulder, but she could tell it was taking a lot for him to control his temper. Michael could also see his brother’s distress, and was rising from his chair. “What…do…you…want?” Tony grated out, as his brother arrived.
“Same thing I always want, sexy man. Fifteen hundred dollars.”
Michael began to protest, but Theo said “Pay her, Michael. Now,” and something in his tone shut the older brother’s mouth.
Jane smiled sweetly. “And if you don’t mind, could it be in cash this time?” She held up her hand, still slick almost to the elbow with Georgia’s cum. “My ring’s not exactly handy right now, y’know?”
Recently a friend who was considering running a GRUE wrote me apologizing because he’d decided not to do it after all. There was no apology necessary – the GRUE is about doing what you’re passionate about, after all, so obviously if you don’t want to do it, you shouldn’t. It made me realize that perhaps I should issue some warning labels of sorts for people who are considering a GRUE in their town.
- You are a trainspotter. No, I’m not talking about the movie-I’m talking about actual trainspotters, the kind of people who love schedules and timetables and watching things arrive and depart exactly on time. The Open Space time structure of a GRUE is very fluid; things take as long as they need to take, no longer, no shorter. The closest thing we have is a label marked “NOW-ish” that gradually moves down the timeline of classes – and this has been known to cause some stress for the more OCD inclined.
- You prefer bento to buffet. Do you prefer that your conferences be neatly divided into specific classrooms, where the presentations/discussions happen in isolation from the other things going on around? The Law of Two Feet empowers people to wander from class to class, or even just stand somewhere they can be part of both. Occasionally classes have morphed into each other, or spawned entirely new classes that are added to the schedule after-the-fact. If you want a high-school model of a conference, the GRUE is not for you.
- You want to see [insert presenter] teach that [insert class]. One of the saddest things for me to hear from people is “I came to the GRUE because I heard your classes are great!” Not that I don’t appreciate the compliment…it’s just that I usually try not to teach at GRUEs. The job of an Open Space Facilitator is to be as invisible as possible; I fail miserably at that, but in an ideal situation I spend most of my time picking up coffee cups that people are too busy to take care of themselves. The only things that should be taught at GRUEs are things people are passionate about; that means even if World Class Presenter is there, they are under no obligation to teach anything. Especially not that class that they are asked to teach at every other con; rather, the GRUE is the chance for them to teach the class they’ve been wanting to teach for ages (because they’re passionate about it) but no con has asked them for it (because it’s new, and who knows if people will like it?).
- You insist on pedigree for ideas. One of the most common criticisms of GRUEs is “What if someone teaches something that is wrong?” The interesting thing about this is that it is predicated on the idea that there is a “right” way to teach – in other words, a “one true way.” Sure, someone could get up and teach something that was different than the common wisdom – but it’s been my experience that in a GRUE, the Common Wisdom is much more likely to speak up with a “whoa, there, hoss – are you sure?” than in a traditional conference setting with Selected Presenters. There is at least one case where a conversation at a GRUE has resulted in correcting misinformation that a Big Name was teaching at regular cons. The ideas and discussions presented at GRUEs are put through the crucible of the Law of Two Feet, and if someone is saying something that is wrong they usually end up saying it to nobody in particular.
- You want your kink handed to you. It’s wonderfully relaxing to go to a con and see a class grid and know exactly where you’re going to be at what time, who’s going to be teaching, and even (usually) a good idea of exactly what’s going to be taught. GRUEs aren’t like that; you have to seek out (or create) the classes and discussions you want to have, and you are responsible for your own learning. Nobody tells you when you have to leave a class, or where you should go next; hell, we don’t even tell you when to eat, we just let you know that there’s food around. This is work, and while it’s vastly rewarding, it’s true that you are paying money to go and do stuff yourself, as opposed to having it done for you.
Before someone flames out, please note that at no point do I say there is anything wrong with any of these five ideas. I love conferences, both as attendee and teacher, and the GRUE (or the Ropenspace or the TWU) are not designed to replace anything. But Open Space is a very different experience than most cons, and I believe, if you want a GRUE, you should know what you’re getting into.
Whew, chapter 12 is a long ‘un! It’s also proving more time-consuming to edit than I’d expected, but it’s also fucking hot, so I thought I’d post the first half just to give you a taste. A couple of things to note: Bad People do Bad Things. Please do not extrapolate that I condone in any way some of the acts done by or to the characters.
Others, though, I certainly do. I won’t bother to say which is which.
Also, you may notice the sudden change of one character’s appearance. Yes, that was intentional, and in the final draft of the book, the previous chapters will be edited to reflect it. In the meantime, we press FORWARD into the Duel!
Theo shifted restlessly in his chair. Across the room the blonde woman Elsie had come down from the table and was now totally naked, on her knees surrounded by Incubikers. Their cocks jutted out from their unzipped jeans and they were passing her around like a joint, every man taking a hit of her open mouth for a few strokes before handing her off. Elsie’s eyes were vacant and almost rolled up as she opened her mouth for each new cock, spittle and mucus drizzling down her chin and glistening slick on her breasts. She knelt with legs spread, hands furiously masturbating with a desperate grind of her hips. Even at a distance Theo could hear her grunting as she rode her orgasms one after another while the men fucked her face. Nudging Michael, he nodded towards the camera the IncuBikers in the circle were passing around as well, getting closeups of Elsie as she was passed on from cock to cock.
“That’ll be prime content for the our next bukkake title,” he murmured. “I bet we can get her to take a few of them in her ass, too.”
Michael glanced at the group and sniffed dismissively. “Elsie? She doesn’t do anal, brother – at least, not for the kind of green I’m willing to pay. The little bitch still has that ‘I’m young and beautiful and the next Belladonna’ attitude.” He took a sip of beer. “It’ll take a few months to wear her down, but in the end we’ll get her to take it in the ass for next to nothing.”
Theo grinned and he shook his head in amusement. “You’re lucky I’ve already got a money on a different bet tonight, brother, or I’d take your money proving you wrong.” He leaned in towards Michael, voice low and urgent. “I told you – I found something special in New York. It’s big, and it’s gonna make even your sweet Isabella seem like last year’s whore.” Seeing Michael’s skeptical expression, he said “Fine. I’ll give you a little preview.” He cupped his hands around his mouth and shouted over to the blonde. “Yo, Elsie! Listen up!”
Elsie’s pulled her head away from the biker currently in front of her, eyes unfocused and wild, and shouted eagerly “Yessir, Mr. Theo? Oh, God! I’m coming again!” Her words slurred through her salivating mouth and she made a gobbling noise as she shoved his cock back into her mouth. Michael looked at his brother with a “Yeah, so?” expression. Theo simply held up a finger. Wait and see.
“Elsie, you’re so fucking hot! I bet sucking that cock feels really good.” Theo paused for moment, his voice taking on a more commanding tone. “Don’t you think it would feel great to have one of those beer bottles in your ass, too?” Michael’s eyes widened as the girl hummed enthusiastically, nodding her head in agreement without missing a stroke on the cock filling her mouth.
Theo smiled. “You really want that, don’t you, Elsie? You want your ass fucked with a beer bottle because it will feel so good?” Elsie’s noises became even more desperate, and she lifted her hand for a moment from her pussy to give a thumbs up, hand shiny with her own cum.
Theo glanced triumphantly over at his brother, and continued to call across the room. “You’re such a lucky hot slut, Elsie. There’s a bottle right behind you! Why don’t you just reach back there and shove it in your ass, girl? I bet you’ll cum even harder when it’s deep inside.” Theo motioned to one of the Incubikers standing in the circle and the man passed a beer bottle into the girl’s questing hands. As her fingers closed around it, Elsie lifted slightly off the floor and without hesitation pushed it against her anus, sitting down onto it so that all but the last inch or so disappeared up inside her ass. Still sucking on the man in front of her she let out a muffled scream as her sphincter stretched wide, but her fingers worked her pussy even more furiously. The scream morphed into a low moan keening from her mouth between in wet slurps and gaggging noises as the cock pushed in and out between her lips.
Michael watched the girl go through several more orgasms with no sign of stopping. He turned to his brother, his face thoughtful “Alright, I’ll admit, that has potential.” He looked back at Elsie. “Was it in her drink? Could she have tasted it?”
Theo shook his head, looking smug. “The drug has less taste than fucking iocane powder, m’man. I put it in that first beer she chugged, but I could have put it in anything.”
Michael grunted. “Mmm. Just how suggestible is she?”
“Fucking neurochemical magic,” Theo answered. “My guy at Stanford said it turns the serotonin on max and then plays some hokey shit with the amygdala, shutting off inhibitions.” His face turned more serious, all business now. “Want to see how far it goes? It will cut her market value.”
Michael slowly nodded, eyes dark and interested.
Theo shrugged. “Alright, your call. We have the Russians now, Elsie won’t be much of a loss.” His voice raised again. “Hey, Elsie, you hot little cocksucker, you know what would make that bottle in your ass feel even better? Wanna know what would really send you over the edge?” The young blonde paused, the tip of a cock still in her mouth, eagerly waiting to hear his suggestion.
“Slam your face into the floor. Break your nose, honey.” Theo’s voice sounded as calm as if he’d suggested she have another beer. “Give yourself an instant nose job, you hot little slut. That will make cocksucking feel fucking amazing.” He sat back in his chair and watched dispassionately as Elsie pulled back and jackknifed down, face smashing into the stained wood floor. There was an audible crack as the cartilage in her nose broke.
When she sat up again her face was covered with blood and saliva down her chin. Her nose was a swollen misshapen mass shifting off to the left side of her face. Even from across the room Theo and Michael could see raccoon bruises beginning to darken her eyes. Elsie didn’t seem to notice, opening her mouth and moving to take the nearest cock back into her mouth. The particular man’s erection was faltering at the horrific sight of the damage to the blonde’s face. He stood frozen for a moment with a horrified look on his face as she gasped for breath around his cock, ramming her ass down on the floor to shove the bottle deeper while still masturbating frantically. Her naked thighs became speckled with drips of blood from her nose.
The Incubiker couldn’t take it and he turned his head and puked. Elsie didn’t notice, but as he pulled away she raised her face to the ceiling, eyes completely rolled back in her head, and screamed. “Id fees so good! Moh! Oh, God, moh cock! Moh!!”
“Jesus,” Michael breathed. “And she’ll remember none of this tomorrow?”
“Only what we tell her,” Theo replied smoothly. “She got drunk. Fell down, broke her nose. Why’s her ass sore? How should we know?” He clapped his brother on the back. “We can get any bitch – or fag, for that matter – to do anything we ask for nothing, brother.” He mimed a cash register. “Ka-fucking-ching.”
“Singing my song, boys?” came Jane’s alto voice from behind them, and the two men jumped like teenagers caught looking at porn. Jane stretched her arms amicably over their shoulders and leaned in. “Did I miss anything good?”
Theo glared at her suspiciously. “How long were you back there lis-“ His eyes grew wide as he saw the rest of her. “Holy fuck, girl, what are you wearing?”
Jane smiled wickedly. “I told you it’d be worth the wait, boys.” She pirouetted, and the silver mesh draped over her body flowed under the lights like molten silver. It wrapped tightly around her torso, sheer against her breasts and tightly corseting her waist. It fell in waves of gossamer metal threads over her hips all the way to the floor. The dress wasn’t quite transparent, but as she moved pink nipples and a dark triangle at her crotch were implied by the stretch of fabric. She wore a single ring on each hand, one onyx and silver, one black gold set with a pale blue chalcedony stone. A long string of pearls was draped around her neck, tied loosely and stretching from neck to mid-thigh. Her hair was slicked back severely with two precise spit-curls twining along each cheek. Overall, Jane looked like a kinky fever dream by Erté.
It took a moment, but Michael recovered first. “Ms. Jane, that outfit is a long way from dusty riding leathers. I’m beginning to believe you might be worth our money.” He motioned towards the black case at her feet. “I take it Nastya got your gear for you?”
Jane frowned in annoyance. “Mr. Doukas, I gotta tell ya, that Russian bitch is totally worthless. I hope you don’t mind, but I used some rope to leave her in a position to truly contemplate her the depth of her inadequacy.” Her frown turned into a saucy grin. “You’ll get her back in the morning, I promise, with a vastly improved attitude.” Jane nodded idly over at Elsie, bloody-faced and moaning on the floor. The Incubikers had abandoned her, but the girl was still grinding on the bottle and frigging herself with spastic jerks. “Not to be nosy, but she ok? Looks like she could use some training in…um…” She watched the blonde slowly fall over on her side, moaning and fingers still rubbing her pussy frantically. Jane shook her head. “Pacing herself, maybe?”
The men exchanged glances, and Theo said, smoothly, “Bitch just can’t hold her liquor. She’ll sleep it off, we’ll take her to see Jonesy at the clinic in the morning.” He watched Jane’s face closely, gauging her reaction, but Jane simply shrugged.
“As they say in the homeland, not my circus, not my monkeys. Besides, I already got a date. Where’s that Georgia peach? My hands are itching to get some rope on those southern chocolate tits…” Jane’s rough tone of voice was completely incongruous with her elegant silver dress. The brothers sat frozen for a moment before bursting out laughing. Theo stood, grabbed Ksenya’s arm and pulled the brunette towards the far end of the room.
Jane looked at Michael, who returned her gaze thoughtfully. Then he shrugged, leaned over and whispered to the Russian woman sitting next to him. She hurried to the kitchen and a moment later Georgia stood in the doorway, wiping her hands on a towel. Her hands froze when she saw Jane, her hands letting the towel fall to the floor. Her dark brown eyes were wide and awestruck as she took in the elegant silver lingerie with spiked heels and white patent leather peeking out from the hem. Jane, on the other hand, looked at the cook with a dispassionate gaze, almost cold. After a moment she lifted her arm slowly and crooked her finger in a long and deliberate come hither.
Slowly Georgia walked across the room. As the Incubikers and their women saw the cook invade their playspace they began calling out with crude jibes and mocking noises. Georgia’s dark skin reddened to an umber hue as the taunts of “Heifer!” and “Gonna roll ‘er in flour, Jane?” surrounded her. Jane’s eyes were a lifeline pulling her through the abuse and scorn, held impervious by the commanding desire of the woman in silver. As she reached the head table where Jane stood next to Michael the room had quieted. All eyes were on the two women, the tawny, frizzle-haired cook in ill-fitting jeans and a tight sleeveless denim shirt that barely held in her breasts, and Jane in like some Norse angel, blonde hair shining in close gold curls.
Jane caressed Georgia’s round cheek, and the larger woman shuddered at the touch, eyes held captive by Jane’s. The caress trailed into a solitary finger that traced down Georgia’s neck, dipping into her cleavage, pushing slightly and then harder between them. Jane’s head inclined slightly, and wordlessly Georgia obeyed the silent command. She knelt with a grace no one suspected she possessed. Her hands clasped naturally behind her, and she bowed her head.
Jane looked down at the woman for a moment, face grave, almost reverent as she let her eyes take in the lush curves of skin and denim. No one moved, shocked into silence by the power of the submission given and received so elegantly between the two women.
Abruptly Jane looked up across the room at Theo. He stood with Ksenya, both as entranced as everyone else. “You gonna let me win that easily, boyo?” she called out to him. It broke the spell, and with a shocked roar Theo pulled Ksenya around and ripped off her rayon dress with one swift yank.
Ksenya’s squeal changed to a low moan as he grabbed the back of her neck. It was so slender that his hand almost completely encircled it. He pulled her up roughly and bit into her neck. Her moan grew louder and she thrust her hips forward, questing for more stimulation. Theo pushed his other hand between her legs and Ksenya began moving her grinding against it in wanto, circles, hips grinding up against his fingers as they stroked her vulva. Theo moved his hips behind her, pushing her harder against his hand. The IncuBikers and a few of their companions let out a chorus of hoarse and puerile cheers for their leader as they watched the naked Russian woman writhing against him on the stage.
That was the cue, and an Incubiker fired up the music system, sending a pulsing techno beat through the room, an occasional twang of classic rock mashed in amongst the beats. Jane cocked her head, getting a feel for the music, then caught Theo’s eye across the room. She nodded to him as if acknowledging a worthy opponent.
The duel began.
Jane lifted her dress, revealing the full shine of white patent-leather boots laced up to just under her knee. Reaching into the top, she took out the inlaid curved knife she’d used back with Kitten and Tony. With a quick flip of her fingers she tossed it into the air, flipped it up high in the air. The silver-white handle and bright silver of the blade shone in the bright lights of the club as it spun through the air. The shiny attracted the attention of a few men and women from Theo, and there was an audible gasp as Jane caught the blade. The knife didn’t stop, her hand riding the momentum in a quick serpentine slice across Georgia’s shirt. The kneeling woman barely had time to squeak before the silver buttons of her tight denim shirt clattered to the floor, a staccato barely audible under the thunderous drum and bass. The top fell open, and Georgia’s full breasts spilled out, either side of the vest pulling out past her hard nipples.
The crowd barely had time to register the naked breasts before Jane reached forward. She grabbed a handful of Georgia’s thick, wiry hair and pulled her forward and down. The voluptuous woman let out a frightened cry and reflexively reached out to catch herself. Her hands ended up on either side of Jane’s boot, peeking out from under translucent silver hem of the dress. Instinctively Georgia stretched her neck forward and kissed the white patent leather. Her eyes were closed blissfully as her lips rested against the shiny surface. She seemed almost worshipful as she reveled in the cool leather over Jane’s petite foot. After a long moment she lifted her lips slightly and planted another kiss, slightly higher. Jane tilted her foot just a bit, giving another silent signal to the prostrate woman. Georgia moaned ecstatically and began planting frantic kisses in between licks up the leather and laces. Her head pushed against the hem of the silver dress revealing the tight curve of the boots as they rose over Jane’s calves. Georgia lost herself in worship of every curve and seam, interrupted only by a slight gasp as she felt a cool rush of air across her back. The remains of the denim shirt fell away, sliced open by Jane’s knife so quickly it might as well have been tissue.
Across the room, Theo had ripped off his shirt and unfastened his jeans. Ksenya was on her knees, hands wrapped around the base of his cock as she moved her mouth on it. His face was a grinning mask of feral lechery as he looked out over the crowd of his fellow bikers and their women, cheering him on. His leer faltered slightly as he noticed that not all eyes were on him – a few groups of bikers and more than a few women were staring at the spectacle of Georgia, topless and worshiping the hot spiked heels of her Mistress of the evening. Jane stood like an angelic figure in silver samite and pearls, somehow holy and hot at the same time.
Theo growled with bitter savagery at Ksenya. “Put your hands behind your head, whore!” She didn’t move, and Theo lifted his hand to slap some sense into her. His arm froze halfway down, though, as he realized she couldn’t understand a word he said. Ksenya hadn’t even noticed, eyes closed as she sucked his cock, but It threw them both off rhythm. Theo swore again and pulled her hands away, pushing them violently down. The Russian sex worker was experienced enough to know what he wanted, and she left her hands at her sides as he grasped her head with both hands. He forced his cock deep into her throat until she gagged, hands fluttering helplessly but remaining down at her sides. She might not understand words, but she knew men like Theo, and she knew better than to lift them from where he’d put them. “Suck my fucking cock, bitch!” he roared, and smiled grimly as he heard a chorus of “fuck yeah!” come from the audience.
Jane reached down and twisted her fingers in Georgia’s hair. She pulled the woman from her boot and held her there as she murmured, “You think some bootlicking is going to make you worthy of serving me, slut? You’re going to have to work harder than that.” Her measured tones somehow slid between the pulsing bass notes and flanged treble so that Georgia could hear every word. “You’re going to have to show me more than devotion, you sweet fucking peach.”
Jane tightened her grip and gave the woman’s head a little shake as if she were chastising a kitten. “That knife I have? It goes through leather like it was butter.” She paused, letting that register with Georgia, whose half lidded eyes were riveted on the blade. “That means that if you move, my pretty, you’ll be cut before you can even scream.” Jane’s lowered her tone, still clear through the music. “So don’t fucking move, my hot little bitch.”
Pushing Georgia’s head down again, Jane touched the tip of the blade to the skin just under the hairline at the back of Georgia’s neck. The bowed woman’s lips were again pressed against Jane’s boot, motionless with ecstatic terror. She let out a tiny cry into the leather but did not move as Jane drew the blade down the dusky brown skin of her back, tracing her spine inch by inch. The sharp edge drew a red scratch along the vertebrae, just short of breaking skin. Jane moved the knife with inexorable deliberation, slowly moving closer to Georgia’s waistband. There was a slight gap between the fabric and her skin, and when the tip of the blade disappeared under the waistband Georgia let out a low moan of mixed desire and dread. Her hips began to tremble, but Jane kept the grip on her curly hair to hold her face pressed to her white boot.
Jane pulled up with a deft flick of her wrist. The sharp knife ripped easily through the denim, and Jane continued the motion of the knife up as if it were a sword. The silver blade glittered in the air over her head, but Jane focused her gaze down to the soft brown expanse of Georgia’s back. The woman trembled slightly underneath her but did not try to rise. Jane watched with satisfaction as the movement of muscle under the smooth skin gradually revealed a thin red line stretching from the base of her skull to the just-visible cleft of her ass. “You are marked, woman,” Jane proclaimed, face flushed with excitement as she reveled in Georgia’s submission.
Jane held her arm up for what seemed an eternity, as if there were a channel of energy flowing from the knife down through her arms to Georgia’s thick curls. The violent tableau was like some strange demonic healing ritual painted by Frazetta, the bare dark skin of Georgia’s back in stark contrast to the serene draped silver of Jane’s elegant dress. Finally the moment broke and Jane moved her knife hand in a blur, making the blade disappear.
She twisted, skirts flowing around her like a whirlpool, using her grip on Georgia’s hair as a pivot point to move around the prostrate woman. Jane came to rest kneeling behind Georgia, the silver fabric of her dress gracefully coming to rest moments after she’d stopped moving. She reached out and put her free hand at the small of Georgia’s back. Jane held her hands there deliberately for a moment, seeming to gather energy, and then abruptly shifted back. Her weight bent Georgia back, arching up and back, breasts bare and nipples hard and the color of rich cocoa. They thrust up towards the ceiling, and Georgia’s chest heaved in hoarse gasps. She let her head fall back towards Jane, completing the arch.
Jane’s eyes burned with lust as she held the woman’s face centimeters from her own, simultaneously feeding on the woman’s fear and giving her a kind of terrible strength. “Oh, yes, my sweet peach,” she growled into Georgia’s wide, dark eyes. “You’re going to give me everything, aren’t you?”
Georgia managed to swallow between gasps and finally found her voice. “Yes, mistress, oh, yes,” she moaned. “Everything…anything…for you.” Her eyes were wide and shining as tears formed.
Jason was glaring at her before she even opened the glass door to the Hellas Café. In one of the booths Alec was finishing off dinner with Joey, and Jane gave the boy a playful wave of fingers as she walked quickly to the counter. He leaned aggressively towards her, frowning. “Who the fuck was that woman you –” he began, and then stopped as she laid two fingers against his lips. He smelled sandalwood and a kind of clean, oily aroma underneath. It was a familiar smell to him, but he couldn’t remember where…suddenly his eyes widened as he realized she had gun oil on her hands. Jason swallowed, and met her green eyes, focused intently on his.
“No time, boyo. I’m on a very tight schedule. Her name was Nastya. Did my note make sense?”
“Yeah,” he grudgingly allowed. “She’s upstairs sleeping in your room. I gave her some hot cocoa, as you suggested.” His scowl returned. “And I took it off your tab.”
Jane was unfazed. “Good. My kit?”
“Right here.” Lifting a rectangular black hard case from under the table, he looked at her quizzically. “Not to pry, but that looks just like a portable bar kit I once had. Shaker, shot glasses, mixing tools…”
“Right the first time, my sexy barista.” Jane seemed inordinately pleased that he’d recognized it.” She flipped open the case, revealing neatly coiled lengths of rope where the bottles would normally go, and a dizzying array of stainless steel blades, iron clamps, and brass chains neatly arranged under leather straps. “Works remarkably well as a tool kit, as you can see.” She looked over the collection with a critical eye, reaching out and rubbing a smudge off the dark mahogany handle of a butterfly knife. She tapped her chin thoughtfully, and finally seemed to come to a decision. “Hmm…Yes, this’ll work.” She snapped it shut with a satisfied click of the latch, and noticed Jason’s expression, somewhere between confused and worried. “What?” she said, a little defensively “It’s my rope kit!”.
Jason just stared. Jane sighed, setting the case down again. “You haven’t been to many kinky play parties, have you?”
He smiled wryly. “No, I keep my sex where it belongs, between me and my partner and God.”
Jane looked sharply at him, and opened her mouth as if to say something, but then closed it again. “I would explain, but as the Spaniard said, no, eet ees too mush. Lemme sum up.” She took a breath, and held up a finger as if giving a lecture. “Ego-driven attention whores such as moi who do frequent such parties – ” she pirouetted, eliciting a round of applause from Joey in the far booth. “- have kits like this full of our tools. These are a few of my favorite things.” She tapped the case. “Nipple clamps. Blades, for sensation or cutting. Needles and sutures and chains, oh my!” Despite his best efforts, Jason was beginning to smile. “A few carabiners, my graspin’ brass ring for suspension, and about two hundred feet of Twisted Monk Nutella Rope.”
At that, Jason’s grin changed into a shocked O. “Twisted…what? Nutella…rope?” he gibbered.
“I know, can you believe it?” She grinned like a kid who’d scored a prize baseball card. “I couldn’t believe I got two hundred feet of it, but there was a problem on his site and for a change he didn’t sell out of the color of the month for almost two weeks! I was so fuckin’ happy I almost creamed my kneeler – er, chair, that is, right there.”
He was still staring. “But…why is it called…Nutella? And what the fuck is a twisted monkey?”
She tsked at the befuddled man behind the counter. “Twisted Monk, dear ignorant man, and it’s who, not what. Look him up, he’ll teach you a thing or two there at the Abbey. And as for the other – ” she quickly unlatched the case again, opening it and pointing at the dark tawny rope in neat bundles under a leather strap. “What would you call that color.”
Jason looked down at the rope for a moment, then back up at her, eyes resigned. “Nutella,” he allowed. He looked up at Jane. “Want to tell me what’s going on with the Incubikers? I take it if you need this, it’s actually going well?”
Jane smiled and patted his cheek. “Well, if I wasn’t having to teach you kink toys 101 right now, I could tell you, dear man, but now I’ve really run out of time.” She picked up her case and headed back towards the front door. Over her shoulder, she called. “If anyone asks about me, tell them that Nastya is helping me get all dolled up for my audition.”
“Your audi-“ Jason said, following it with “And where will you actually be?”
Jane paused at the door and dimpled a wicked smile at the barista. “Doin’ what I do best, of course. Stirrin’ shit up.” Then she was gone.
Jason exchanged a long look with Alec, still seated in the booth with Joey. The little boy looked from his father to the barista and back. ”I like her! She’s cool, like Mommy!”
Alec smiled at his son, ruffling his hair. “I hope she is, Joey. For her sake.” He glanced back to Jason behind the counter. “Because she’s got a wolf by the ears and a snake by the tail, and I don’t know…” He shook his head. “What do you think, Jason? Can she actually pull it off?”
Jason shook his head as well, echoing his friend’s worry. “Oh…I dunno, Alec, but damn, I hope so. She’s…got a spark, alright. I only hope that she is close to as competent as she is cocky.” He paused a moment, then seemed to come to a decision. “Regardless, I think I might just arrange for a little insurance.” Pulling out his cel, he began punching numbers.
Kitten LaRue sighed with a phlegmy, bubbly sound as she stepped gingerly into the clawfoot tub. She’d been hard at work, “inspiring” the girls as she put it, which usually consisted of threatening, berating, and occasionally slapping them around. The men tended to need more “encouragement” than the women, she reflected sourly, weaker sex my ass.
Sinking her body into the bubbles, she hummed softly to herself starting to relax. It took a moment for her to realize the single point of discomfort was at her neck – in the form of a knife point pricking just over her jugular vein. Kitty opened her mouth to scream just as a dark bundle of rope was shoved rudely between her lips, turning her shriek into a muffled groan. She felt a small, strong hand twist into her hair, forcing her head back.
Looking up, she saw the gamine face of Jane looking benevolently down at her. “Hello, sweet pussy,” the woman purred. “I just don’t have much time, and I wanted to be sure that I had your complete attention. Where’s the button to call Tony? Just show me with those pretty eyes.” Kitten’s eyes rolled wildly for a moment, then came to rest at an intercom mounted next to the tub. Jane stretched out her boot and tapped the red button. “Good. Now, while we wait for him, just listen.” Jane began talking in low, urgent tones.
Tony came in the bathroom door swearing with the gusto of an Australian born and bread. “Goddamnit, Kitten, don’t you fockin’ think I have betteh things to do than deal with yoh silly cunt –” His words transformed into an inarticulate gargle as Jane grabbed him by the hair, yanking his head back. She wrapped her other arm around his throat, pulling him further off balance, and as she dropped to her knee his ass hit the floor, one arm braced out to the side. His eyes bulged as he struggled to breathe past the iron bar that was her arm. Jane let go of his hair and snaked her hand around his supporting arm and he let out a squeak as he fell face first towards the tile. Eyes scrunched shut, he braced for impact…but then realized he had stopped, suddenly, nose inches from the floor. He hung there, frozen in Jane’s chokehold. His eyes were getting blurry, but he could clearly see the tip of a curved knife, blade richly inlaid with swirling patterns, slide in front of his nose. Abruptly the pressure around his neck loosened. Jane stood, letting the tip of the blade lead Tony to his feet as well. As he slowly got to his feet the man’s eyes nearly crossed with the intensity of his focus on the on the near-invisible edge.
“Sorry about that, Tony m’love,” Jane said, her tone placating but the knife never wavering. “Man comes into his wife’s bathroom and finds a little nympho dyke has jacked his entire security system, he might can get a bit cantankerous.” She carefully laid a large folding buck knife that he recognized on the small counter next to the tub. His eyes widened as he realized Jane had removed it from his pocket. Then he noticed his wife sitting on the edge of the tub, naked, toweling her hair with a bored expression.
Somehow, the banality of that familiar action helped Tony finally find his voice. “Kitten? Are you alright? Why the fock are you just standin’ there when this –”
“Give her $1500, Tony.” Kitten didn’t even bother looking at him as she cut him off. “Now.” His mouth went wide with shock. Jane looked at the man and decided the immediate risk to herself was over, and made her knife disappear. Kitten continued, in a matter-of-fact tone. “She’s been spying on the IncuBiker’s for us, Tony, and she’s about to figure out what the fuck Theo got from New York that has him all balls-heavy.” She looked at Jane, who stood silently, waiting. “She can’t stay long. But she had some information that just couldn’t wait.” She gestured, and Jane finally spoke up.
“I was there when your girls were taken today,” she began. Tony’s face darkened, but she quickly continued. “I saw something that Theo and the others missed when they took down that truck.” She paused, waiting to see if Tony was listening, but he just glared at her. “That truck was a pretty new one – it had a hood-mounted camera system in it, as well as one up by the rear-view mirror, so the owners can make sure the drivers aren’t poppin’ pills and picking up hitchhikers.” Tony’s expression changed, the anger slowly replaced by understanding. “You see where I’m going with this? That truck has footage, date-stamped and untamperable, that would inextricably link Theo – and the whole IncuBikers gang – with human trafficking. Hell, since the women came from Russia, Homeland Security could probably slap their asses into Guantanamo.” Tony was smiling openly now, and rubbing his hands together. Jane smiled back at him. “Thought so. Glad you’re so happy. $1500 and I’ll tell you where the truck is.”
Tony’s hands froze, and he looked at his wife, then back at Jane. “$1500? Just for an address?”
Kitten snorted with disgust at her husband. “An address that can take down Theo Doukas, you shortsighted schmuck, and possibly more. An address with an expiration date, as well – Jane’s figures the brothers will figure it out any minute.” Jane nodded solemnly, and Tony grimaced, eyes narrowed and glancing around like a rat looking to escape a maze. Suddenly Kitten reached out and slapped him across the face, shouting “Give her the motherfucking money, you cheap Aussie bastard!”
“Fine!” he roared back at her, pulling out his smartphone and punching some buttons. Jane unfolded her tiny silver ring strip into her palm, but he waved it away, muttering “I’ve got you in the system, shela, I don’t need that hocus pocus any more.”
A moment later the green gem on Jane’s wrist flared to life, and she smiled. Tony’s cheek was still red from his wife’s slap as he looked at her with angry expectation. “The truck is being held at Central Avenue Auto Parts on Warren Street. It’s the only big truck on their lot, so it’ll be easy to find.” Tony nodded and began texting furiously on his phone, arranging for some out-of-town help.
Jane tipped an imaginary hat to them both and began to turn, then paused. “Kitten, darling? I don’t suppose you’d have something naughty and sheer I could borrow? I think the boys over there are expecting something more than denim and leather tonight.” Kitten looked confused, and Jane laughed, heading towards the bedroom. “Oh, don’t worry, dear, I’ll just help myself. Don’t worry, I won’t take anything too pricey – Goddess knows my tits could fit into one of your bra cups and still have room for Tony’s balls.” She winked saucily at the man as he looked up from his phone, vaguely aware he’d been mentioned. “But just barely, darling.” Jane gave a final wink. “Don’t worry, dearies, I’ll see myself out.”
When they returned to the club, the van had already pulled into the garage and Michael was waiting for them. The Russian women were huddled around him, laughing as he smoked a cigar and bantered in Russian. As Theo and Jane walked towards them she saw the men exchange the smug grins of bandits enjoying the sweet plunder taken from their enemy, Tony.
Michael waved his cigar expansively. “Theo, my brother, someday that techie asshole across the street is going to know better. Meanwhile, this is an awfully fine batch of igrushka you’ve brought me.” He whispered something in the ear of the blonde on his arm, and her eyes widened, but she nodded, sinking to her knees in front of him. “Tanye here is especially fond of cigar service, she says. I’m about to test that claim.”
He looked at her expectantly, and she held up her hands, cupped in front of her. His eyes narrowed, and he growled “Nyet, shliukha.”
Her eyes widened a little more, and she shifted on her knees, suddenly looking a bit uncomfortable. Michael’s expression was icy and expectant, and eventually she settled, dropping her hands to her lap, and closing her eyes. Taking a breath, she tilted her head back and opened her mouth wide, her tongue sticking out slightly, cupped like a tiny pink bowl.
With a satisfied grunt, Michael tapped the ash of his cigar onto her tongue. Her body tensed, but her mouth remained open, her eyes opening and looking to Michael. He held her gaze for a moment, finally nodding, and she closed her mouth and swallowed. “Spasibo, Pakhan!” she said after a moment, voice a little hoarse. She waited there on her knees until he motioned her to rise.
Michael tried to hide his pleasure as he looked over at Jane, but she could see a slight smile. Showoff she thought. “So. You don’t have a problem with all this? Doesn’t offend some feminist sensibilities or some shit like that?”
Jane shrugged. “What, cigars? I’m a big fan, though I prefer Ashton. I also tend to roll my ash on the tongue, because I usually have plans for it later.” She grinned impudently at him, but he didn’t rise to the bait. “Oh, you mean the whores in general? Why would I have a problem with that?” She looked at the half-dozen or so women still unloading their belongings from the van. “They know what they’re here for; just because we’re too stupid over here to make sex work legal doesn’t mean it’s any less of a choice.” She motioned at Tanye, who was rather urgently gulping water from a cooler in one corner of the garage. “That kind of thing? Hey, that’s between you two. I’m all about consent, and Goddess knows I’ve consented to a lot more extreme – well, let’s just say the answer to your question is no, whores and porn and camgirls don’t shock my feminist sensibilities.” She held up a finger. “But don’t get any ideas. I don’t affiliate myself with anyone on more than a short term basis. No offense – this girl just likes the feel of the road under her wheels.”
Theo smiled, but his eyes remained cold. “Fair enough. We’ll talk about those other skills later. You’ll find our audition isn’t quite as easy as that fuckwad Tony. Gonna take more than pussy licking and a foot job. ”
She smiled at him mischievously. “I sure hope so. There’s a reason I bailed on them and came over here, after all.”
“What is that reason, Jane?” Michael asked sharply, all banter gone from his tone. “You’ve made your money. Why the fuck are you still around? More to the point, why the fuck should we care?” He snapped his fingers at Tanye and she hurried over to kneel next to his boot, nuzzling her cheek against the side of his leg. The rest of the women were being led out of the garage by the Incubiker who’d been driving the van, and Michael nodded towards them with a satisfied smile. “Thanks in part to you, we’re not exactly lacking for talent right now.”
“You’re not lacking for meat, that’s for sure,” Jane said amicably. “My skillset is more specialized, you might say. More accurately, I’ve got a general skillset at a much higher level than most.” She nodded towards the door where the women had been led. “Give me a camera and any two of those women for two hours and I guarantee we’ll be on the red carpet for the AVN awards in Vegas next year, accepting either ‘Best Feminist’ or ‘Most Extreme’ or both, your choice. Or…” Jane looked down nonchalantly at her short nails. “I hear you have a space for pro submissive work?”
Michael nodded, slowly, and she continued. “Great – so set me up with some client who fancies himself a ‘true dominant.’ I’ll take him for an hour, make him think that he’s so good with a flogger that I’m having spontaneous orgasms with every stroke, and he’ll stay an extra two hours just to give my weepy little ass aftercare.” She looked at him steadily. “I’m a bisexual kinky switch sex worker with only three hard limits, Mr. Doukas – well, two, if you’re out of peanut butter.” She let out a sigh as if exasperated with his reluctance. “If you don’t have some way to make money with me, you are doing something very, very wrong and should probably go back to selling cars.”
Theo, who had been idly fidgeting with his bikes as he’d listened to the two of them, laughed out loud. Michael looked over at his brother with an annoyed look, and Theo held up his hands apologetically. “Sorry, brother, but she’s got you pegged.”
Jane quipped “No, that costs extra,” and Michael’s scowl deepened. She held up her hands as well. “Whoa, peace, Pakhan, sheesh.” She grinned over at Theo. “I guess you got the sense of humor along with the looks.” The younger brother struggled not to laugh under Michael’s glare.
Jane began putting her leather aviator cap back on. “Fine, Mr. Doukas, if all you wanted was my language skills, I’m good with that. Pleasure doing business with you.” She left the buckles dangling under her chin and turned towards Theo. “I’m sorry I won’t get to know you better, Theo. I liked you a lot more than I thought I would. You’re not bad for a guy who confuses his bike for a penis.” She punched him lightly on the shoulder and began to walk away.
Theo called after her “Nothing wrong with accessorizing the main tool, chica!” and turned back to his brother, chuckling. “Hire her, Michael. Between the new Russian snatch and my New York…acquisition, she could be just the edge we need to level up the video.”
Michael looked skeptically at his younger brother, then sighed. “You’d better be right, Theo, because I don’t like her. But for you, kid, I’ll hire her. Just remember, any trouble from her is your problem.”
Theo grinned evilly at his brother, and lifted his fingers to his mouth, his piercing whistle echoing through the garage. Jane stopped but didn’t turn around, a few steps from the exit.
“Jane. Big brother here thinks you did such a bang-up job with these Russian bitches that we’re gonna see what else you can do with them.” He addressed her leather-clad back. “Interested?”
Jane turned slowly, her eyes lidded seductively as she smiled. She swaggered back to the the brothers, an exaggerated waggle to her hips that hadn’t been there before. “Boys, as long as you can afford my rates, there’s any number of things I can show you.” She took off her aviator cap and ran her fingers through her blonde hair. “But right now I’m powerful hungry.” Laying a hand on Theo’s leather covered arm, she looked up at him with wide eyes. “Think you could whomp up a mess of vittles for a girl with an appetite?”
Dinner at the Incubiker’s club was a raucous affair, a long table laid out buffet-style by hard eyed women with lines deep in their faces and bodies modified by choice and age. Distorted tattoos and migrating body piercings mingled with augmented breasts that sagged and bulged in unfortunate directions even as the women dressed to display them proudly.
The clubhouse was mostly what Jane had expected, a teenage boy’s playground of dirty green velvet card tables and Incubikers draped over stained lazy boy chairs. They wore the ubiquitous uniform of dusty engineer’s boots and denim jeans, black t-shirts advertising long-gone rock concerts. Jane paused as she caught sight of the wall to the left of the door, and Theo chuckled knowingly. “I know, right?”
The wall was covered floor-to-ceiling with a mosaic made out of beer bottle caps. It was the club’s mascot, the grinning devilish man with a Schwarzenegger physique fucking a faceless woman doggy-style, her hips lifted by his hands as she prostrated herself before him. Jane couldn’t imagine how much effort and talent had been invested in so mundane and profane a piece of art, but she let out a soft “No fuckin’ way…” before continuing with Theo into the club.
The other walls of the club were far more typical, haphazard collections of cheaply-framed photos of Incubikers, autographed pictures of porn stars, the occasional knife, rifle, or random motorcycle-part-turned-wall-hanging dangling from finishing nails.
Theo led Jane to a seat at an anachronistically fine-wood dining table where Michael sat with three of the new Russian prostitutes. The older man grimaced at his brother. “These were the only ones who could stay awake. Fuckin’ jet lag – the others crashed up on the third floor. I think they were too tired to even shower, much less eat.” He casually pointed at the two women closest to him. “Ksenya, Valya, get us some food,” indicating himself and his brother. The two women looked at each other with nervous confusion. Michael repeated the command in Russian with a simple “Kormi nas!”
Noticing Jane smirking across the table, he growled. “You gotta say everything twice for a day or two, but there are ways to encourage them to learn faster.” He motioned at the third woman, still seated at the table. “You seem to think you’re the cunt-whisperer, let’s see you handle Nastya here.” He sat back in his chair, clearly waiting for Jane to take command.
Nastya was a thin woman barely twenty with a strong mouth and wide eyes peering out under heavy makeup and an unruly mass of bleached-white hair. She wore a sheer white dress that showed her long nipples tenting out from almost nonexistent breasts. The left tip showed the distinct outline of a double-spiked barbell piercing through the cotton material. Nastya looked at Jane with a hollow wariness, obviously recognizing her name and waiting to see what this domme would ask of her.
Jane gave the woman a wink, stood up gracefully and navigated the sea of chairs, bikers, jean-shorts and halters til she made it to the buffet.
Surveying the layout, she smiled at the full-bodied woman across the table, ladling garlic mashed potatoes from a pot into a bowl. Sniffing appreciatively, she said “Wow. Smells like real garlic in there. You make that?”
The woman looked up and around, surprised to be addressed directly. As she realized Jane had, in fact, been talking to her, her eyes grew suspicious. “Yeah…” she said, with a sullen tone. “So?”
Jane’s smile just got wider and she shrugged. “No reason – just that that’s how my grandmamma used to make it, and I never expected to find it among these guys. You put cream in them too?” The woman nodded, eyes growing interested even as her defensive body language remained. Jane maintained eye contact as she reached across and dipped a finger into the large pot of potatoes the woman held. Licking and slurping appreciatively, she let out a little moan. Finger clean, she murmured “Oh, my. It’s like an orgasm just for my tongue!”
The woman giggled in spite of herself, and Jane winked at her. “I bet that’s not the only creamy delight the boys don’t know they’re missing.” She shifted her gaze down to the cook’s jean vest, a few silver buttons struggling to hold in the woman’s impressive cleavage. “I don’t mean to be nosy, honey, but I gotta ask.” Jane gave a quick nod left and right. “Are those home-grown or store-bought?”
The woman blushed, the tired lines in her face suddenly smoothing coquettish pink. “What, these?” Her demure giggle was as incongruous as it was adorable. “No…Tracy bought them for me, oh, fifteen years ago.” She glanced down. “Lotta good they did me. Mostly just a pain in the back. But kind of fun when I…” She trailed off as a group of IncuBikers laughed raucously across the room, and both women looked over to see a group around one of the poker tables, cheering a young woman in a bikini top as she chugged down a stein of beer. The froth spilled down her chin and the men cheered louder as it turned the fabric of her top transluscent.
The woman shook her head, sighing. “Poor little Elsie. She’ll learn.” Spooning a final tup of potatoes into the dish, she straightened. “Or she won’t. I sure as fuck didn’t. But the boys always gotta eat, right? It’s better than workin’ at the fuckin’ Wall Market.” Shifting the bowl, she extended her hand to Jane. “I’m Georgia. Thanks for noticing the potatoes.”
Jane gave her hand a firm squeeze, letting it morph into a caress for a moment. “I’m Jane, and I can’t think of a better name for you, Georgia. Such a sweet peach.” Pulling the woman forward, she leaned in and whispered into the woman’s ear.
Georgia’s face turned red, eyes widening, and she looked at Jane with an expression somewhere between hope and fear. Jane nodded solemnly, then released her hand and quickly loaded up two plates. She returned to the head table where the Doukas brothers and the three Russian women sat, and Georgia watched her go, seeming lost in thought.
Another woman, thin as a rail with an old, tired face came out of the kitchen. “You gonna stand there all day, Georgia? Those wings need to come out of the oven, honey.” Georgia didn’t move, and the woman cocked an eyebrow. “Jesus, darlin’, what did that new slut say to you?”
Georgia blinked and turned to look at her friend. “Something I ain’t heard in a long time, ‘Phelia.” She sighed wistfully. “She said she was going to jill herself off tonight thinkin’ about my tits all tied up in rope.” Ophelia snorted skeptically, and Georgia’s face hardened. “Laugh it up, bitch, when’s the last time somebody talked about your skank ass?” She slammed the bowl down. “Get your own damn wings, I’m having a beer.” As she stormed off, Ophelia stood, shock and anger on her face slowly turning more thoughtful and sad.
Back at the table, Jane placed one plate in front of Nastya with some steak strips and raw vegetables on it along with the garlic mashers. Michael watched her, disapproving, as Jane tucked in to her own far more varied plate. Jane noticed and returned his gaze blandly until finally he burst out, “What the fuck kind of domme are you? She’s supposed to be serving you!”
Jane calmly enjoyed the rest of her mouthful, and then daintily dabbed at the corner of her mouth with her napkin. Setting it down deliberately, she held up a finger. “You said she was mine for tonight, right?” At his nod, she continued. “So. I didn’t want her to serve me – how the fuck would she know my taste?” Michael grunted and waved his hand dismissively, but she ignored the interruption. “So instead I got exactly what I wanted, and she got exactly what she needed.” She filled her fork with another healthy load of mashed potatoes. “I like to take care of my toys. It keeps them shiny longer.”
Theo was seated next to Ksenya, idly pinching her breast, and her eyes were tight with pain as she struggled with the pain. “The point my brother makes is that if they get you something you don’t like, you just punish them until they get it right.” His fingers tightened brutally, and Ksenya obliged him with a yelp. “Bitches gotta learn.”
Jane’s expression slipped for just a moment, betraying a look of utter scorn, but the man seemed not to notice, releasing Ksenya’s breast to dedicate some attention to biting into a rib. In a second Jane’s friendly, wry smile returned. “Well, that just sounds like work to me. If I want to hit something, I’ll hit it – why the hell would I set her up to fail? Nastya’s got a brain, after all, and I’m going to enjoy that at least as much as the rest of her hot little body.”
At the sound of her name, Nastya looked up at Jane, and swallowed, rising from her chair. “Что Нибудь’ выпить’?” she asked, smiling as she wiped a bit of steak juice from her mouth and picked up her glass as well as Jane’s.
Jane smiled back: “Да, Пиво пожалуйста. Хорошое. Newcastle, Stella, somethin’ like that, darlin’.” As the thin blonde went off to get the beer, Theo noticed Jane following the woman’s ass as she walked away.
He chuckled. “At least you’re as much a wolf as the rest of us.” She smiled back at him noncommittally. He motioned over to the table where Elsie’s beer guzzling was now a beer-bathing exhibition, her top now gone and her breasts jutting as she arched back for the leering men surrounding her. “The question is, would you be the bitch on the table or one of the wolves in the pack?”
Jane looked over at the spectacle, considering the blonde doing a classic bump and grind mixed with the occasional twerk accompanied by the enthusiastic hoots of the men. “Neither, I think. She’s cute and all, but I like my meat to have a little more seasoning, if you know what I mean. Sometimes that means experience,” she nodded towards the returning Nastya, smiling as the Russian handed her a bottle with a little bow. Jane gave the hooker’s ass a little pat to her back to her seat. “Or else with some history on her bones, like that sweet Georgia peach you’ve got stuck in the kitchen.” She caught Michael’s eye. “I saw that redhead this morning, Michael. You share my taste for ginger. Where’d you find that prime piece? Why isn’t she sitting here?”
Jane watched with interest as Michael’s eyes and body changed, a strange tension filling him. “Isabella is special,” the older man said. “All this ‘talent’,” he spat the word, “is nothing compared to what she can do. No,” he leaned forward across the table, earnest as an evangelist preaching. “It is not what she can do. It’s not what she looks like. With Isabella, it’s someting about how she does it. I’ve never…” For a moment he looked almost lost, a stricken expression crossing his face. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Theo’s hand slapped him on the back, jarring him out of his reverie. “Isabella is a fine piece of ass, Michael, that’s for damn sure. ” Theo guffawed, turning to Jane. “But Georgia? Are you kidding me? She’s been used up for years. Back when Tracy bought her those tits she was something else, but now?” he looked over to where she sat at the bar, slumped on the stool and nursing a can of beer. “I mean, just look at her!”
Jane looked at the sad woman at the bar, and seemed to come to a decision. She turned to Theo. “Look at her? I did. And it gives me an idea. How about we take care of that ‘audition’ in the form of a little wager?”
Theo grinned the happy smile of a born gambler. “Oh, I like how you think, lady. What’s the bet?”
“Simple. I will do what I want to do with Georgia – assuming she’s willing. At the same time, you can do your thing with – well, with whoever you want. Elsie, Ksenya, whoever lights your wick.” Jane’s smile turned wicked, and she waved her hand, indicating the Incubikers filling the room, eating and carousing. “Whoever attracts more attention from the wolves, wins.”
Theo laughed, shaking his head, and elbowed his brother. Michael had a thoughtful look on his face, far from displeased. Theo smirked. “Oh, dear, Ms. Jane, you must not realize that we built our company on gonzo porn, filmed by yours truly. Me fucking whore after whore, and that built all this.” He gestured around the club. “I know how to put on a show, and I know exactly what these guys want.”
Jane nodded, patting his arm sympathetically. “I’m sure you do, big boy. I just happen to think that I can do it better.” She sat back in her seat, lifting a boot to rest on the edge of the table. “With Georgia.”
A small inlaid buckle on the side of her boot reflected into Michael’s eyes, making him squint.”What are the stakes?” he asked, voice filled with a strange hunger.
“Well, if I’m wrong, and Theo wins, how about he gets to top me for a night?” She leered. “It’s been on my mind since that whole knife and gun thing in the garage this morning.” She licked her lips and shuddered a bit at the memory. “That was hot. I wouldn’t mind a little more of that, but I’d like to give it my – ” Jane took a breath, exhaling slowly – ” – full attention, not have it be some pesky business like an audition.”
Theo smiled back at her evilly, and nodded. “Lemme guess, that’s the reward in the unlikely event that you win, too? Cuz we both know you sure as hell aren’t topping me.”
Jane smiled. “Oh, come on, studly, that would hardly be sporting, would it? No, if I win, I need to get something else…” She looked thoughtfully all around the club, murmuring “Now…what around here would be worth gambling for…” As her gaze came back to the table, she finally looked at Michael, and her face turned serious. “Oh. I know. She’s really everything you say, Michael? If I win, I get Isabella for a night.”
Suddenly the mood at the table became tense, and even Theo’s leer faded as he watched his older brother’s face darken. Jane watched Michael struggle to find a way to decline without losing face, but by now several other IncuBikers were listening in. The room quieted as more people were brought up to speed and they waited. Would Michael stake his brother to the challenge from the tough little bitch? From the expression on the faces, it was evident that most of them were hoping to teach a lesson to the petite woman who had already bested four of them.
The moment stretched. Theo’s hands flexed, as if needing some action. Suddenly Michael laughed softly, waving a hand dismissively. “Sure. Why not? What’s the risk, anyway, Theo, you’re not going to lose, right?” He glared at his brother, eyes belying his easy tone.
Theo smiled back, relieved. “No fucking way, filio mei. I don’t care who she is, bitch ain’t got nothin’ on me.”
Jane slapped her hand on the table and stood up. “Good! Let’s do this. Nastya…” Motioning the woman over, she pulled a small brown leather journa out of her rucksack, running a thumb over the filigreed latch securing it. As it popped open, she pulled a dark wood pen from inside the cover and wrote a quick note. Ripping out the page, she passing it to Nastya with a quick whisper in her ear. The Russian woman nodded happily, turning quickly and heading towards the door.
“Nastya!” Michael’s deep voice rang out as he rose angrily from his seat. The girl stopped suddenly, shoulders hunched with fear. “Where the fuck do you think you’re going?”
“Michael,” Jane’s voice came softly from beside him, and he jumped, not noticing her until that moment. “You did say I could use her, right? I know you were thinking of something else – and I’ll get to that, I promise – but right now, I’m using her to run across the street and get my rope kit from Hellas Café.” She looked calmly up at his dark expression. “The note is just for Jason, letting him know I sent her.”
Michael’s scowled deepened, but he waved Nastya on her way and sat down. Zhenya reached out a conciliatory hand to his arm, and he angrily shook it off. They sat for a while in silence, letting the antics carry on around them while they sipped their beers and picked at their food.
Suddenly there came a strange clacking sound that cut through the raucous laughter, and Jane’s hand went to her hip. She pulled out what looked like a bright brass scarab. She spread the antenna like twin pincers and put the belly to her ear. Michael and Theo exchanged glances as they both realized this was her cel phone.
“This is Jane, puttin’ the ‘amity’ in ‘calamity’” she said cheerfully, but her face darkened as she listened to the response. “Oh, you did NOT drop the – I swear, Jason, I will mince your balls in a garlic press if she – no, no, never mind, just hold onto it, I will be right there.” Snapping the pincers shut with an exasperated flick of her fingers, she made the phone disappear somewhere on her hip.
“That’s a slick phone,” Theo said, speculatively. “Where’d you get it?”
Distracted, Jane glanced at him. “That old bug? Picked it up in Nippon – uh, Japan, that is, a custom job by a friend.” She picked her coat up from the back of the chair and picked up her rucksack. “Idiot-boy Jason sent her up to my room to get the rope bag, and apparently she is ransacking everything I own, looking for it, because he ‘forgot’ he was keeping it for me downstairs.” Shrugging the rucksack over her shoulder, she sighed. “S’ok, it’ll give me a chance to slip into something more slutty.” Suddenly grinning again, she reached out and patted Theo’s cheek. “If Mr. GonzoCock here is as good as he says, I better pull out the big guns, eh?”
Without waiting for an answer, she turned and made her way gracefully through the rowdy incubikers. A moment later she was out the door with Michael and Theo’s thoughtful gazes following.
Theo Doukas was tinkering with his bike as the rest of the men in the security detail finished putting on their leathers. Jane watched as they strapped various implements of destruction to their bikes, spiked baseball bats, chains, even a large pipe wrench with a rock clamped into the jaws. Their jackets were patched with a Satanic-looking stud grinning and grasping the shapely hips of a naked woman face down and ass up. Along with the “Incubiker” and “Detroit” rockers was the not-so-subtle Latin phrase “FUTUIS MUNDO”.
As Theo became aware of Jane’s presence he glanced over his shoulder, smiling at her puzzled glance. “Wanna know what it means?” he growled with the voice of someone confident with command. He dropped his wrench clanking to the ground as he rose and turned towards her. He was a little over six feet tall and moved with the grace of an experienced martial artist or even a dancer. Wiping the grease from his hands with a black bandana, he tucked it in his left back jean pocket as he looked Jane up and down slowly. His gaze was appraising, not invasive. She returned the look, taking him in from his well-worn but neatly polished engineer boots to his slightly tousled black hair. Theo’s demeanor was masculine without being macho, and Jane’s smile was more authentic than she’d expected.
She liked him.
“I know what it means,” she said, waving at the motto. “Nice sentiment. Just kind of trying to relate it to my own motto, Futuis viam meam ad Deum.” She watched him carefully to see if he caught the Latin.
Theo blinked thoughtfully. “Hmmm. ‘Fuck the World’ or ‘Fucking My Way to God.’ Never had much use for the big G myself. I like what’s here, what I can take. Speaking of which,” he met her eyes. “Before we start this run, you got to know one thing. I’m told that you’re the tough little bitch that put my crew in the clinic.” He paused as she nodded once. “No biggie, I’m sure they had it coming. But don’t try that shit on me. I won’t make the mistake they did.” As her expression turned puzzled, he smiled grimly. “Thinking that tiny isn’t dangerous.” He lifted his hand as if to brush his hair out of his eyes, and gave a quick flick that Jane couldn’t quite follow.
However, she had no problem feeling the edge of the knife Theo now held at her throat. She didn’t move. Softly, he murmured, “Fuck with me, I will end you.” The tone was almost loving, and Jane wasn’t surprised to find herself turned on. He nodded downward, and she risked a look. His other hand had a Sig Sauer 9mm pistol leveled at her midriff. “Blink once if we’re clear.”
She looked back up at him solemnly, then suddenly grinned and widened her eyes comically before exaggerating a slow blink. Nodding, Theo smoothly reholstered the gun and pushed the blade back into a wrist sheath hidden under the his denim sleeve.
“Damn, you guys really are brothers, aren’t you?” she murmured, and he finally grinned at her. “Yeah. He got the brains, so I had to settle for the looks.” He gestured at her leathers, her jacket, chaps and boots all varying shades of brown incongruous in the garage full of black leather, iron, and chrome. “What’s with the Sky Captain getup?”
She shrugged. “Eh, black leather makes me look pasty. Same reason I’d rather have amber than diamond, any day. I like things that used to be alive to look that way.” She fingered her aviator’s cap, and smiled up at him. “Plus, I used to masturbate with a Rocketeer action figure.” She was gratified to see his eyes widen slightly. Gotcha. “So what’s the plan for this? We’re getting some Russian imports?”
He grunted assent. “You might say that. Tony Bumblefuck across the way was kind enough to facilitate their trip here, and now he seems to think that we’re dumb enough to think he actually needs an fuel truck delivery to his fortress of stupitude. Taking down the tanker is not a big deal – my boys can do that in their sleep – but the whores inside need to be moved quickly into the van.” He waved towards the corner of the garage, where an overweight Incubiker lounged back against a black van with no windows, smoking a cigarette.
“Last two times we had Rich to sweet talk the sluts out of the truck, and that worked fine. He even got a little on the side, just because they like hearing ‘suck my cock’ in Russian.” Theo grimaced. “Seeing as he apparently had a violent conversation with your foot, it’s a good thing you’re fluent in Mother Russian, or we might not be so happy to have you around.” He glanced up past her shoulder. “Isn’t that right, Beecee?”
Jane refused to turn around, just turning her head slightly to where the big man from the alley slouched towards them. Theo looked amused at the man’s surly expression, eyes glaring at the small woman from under a white bandage covering his stitches. “BeeCee, I don’t know that you’ve been formally introduced. Jane, BeeCee. He’s Michael’s left hand man – me, of course, being the right.” Seeing that neither of them were making any move to greet each other, he sighed, as if the father of unruly children. “Right.” He motioned towards the black helmet the giant held in his oversized hands. “What’s with the hardhat, BeeCee?”
The larger man grunted, nodding towards Jane. “Mr. Doukas says she’s supposed to wear it.” As Jane frowned, Beecee grinned mockingly. “It’s the law, bitch. Deal with it.” He held the helmet out just long enough for her to reach for it and then opened his fingers to let it drop.
Jane gave a slight kick, her boot catching the helmet before it hit the floor. It flipped neatly up into her waiting hands with a hard slapping sound. Beecee’s mouth opened for a moment, speechless, then he frowned with annoyance and stomped sulkily to his bike.
Theo watched him, amused. He swung a leg over his own bike and watched Jane as she gracefully mounted the seat behind him. “What was that, more of your kung fu Barbie shit?”
“Nope,” she said, eyes twinkling as she buttoned the helmet strap under her chin. It fit her like a black shiny salad bowl, making her look like a character from a video game. “Hacky sack with the stoners in high school.” She wrapped her arms around his waist, leaning forward. Theo could feel her breasts pressing into his back through the layers of leather. Jane nuzzled against his jacket, breathing in deeply with satisfaction. “Mmmm…Love me some leather. Yum, yum.” For a moment she seemed lost in reverie, then looked up, seeming surprised to see him watching her. “What, like you don’t sleep with your floggers? Let’s go, stud, Mother Russia has some pussy waiting for us.”
He laughed then, but there was no warmth in it. The garage was filled with the roar of exhaust pipes as the bikes rode out of the garage into the Detroit afternoon.
An hour later, Jane was standing on top of the tanker truck, tapping the helmet absently on the against the side of into the dark circle of the opened hatch. To her left the Incubiker team waited impatiently, alternately glaring up at her or nervously along the street, watching for police. Theo stood at the bottom of the ladder on the side of the truck, his face angry and intent. “They want what?” he said loudly, voice filled with frustration.
Jane looked down at him, her expression regretfully bemused. “They want a Hello Kitty vibrator.” She laughed softly at the ridiculous request. “That’s really what they said, Theo. Hey, on the bright side, they’re only asking for one.”
Theo looked up at her suspiciously. “You’re fucking with us, aren’t you? I told you this needs to happen quickly – The money we gave Detroit’s finest only keeps them away for so long. Plus, Beecee’s getting carried away.” He waved towards the big man who was working over the hapless truckdriver. The poor delivery man’s face was bloody and his body sagged between the two Incubikers who held him up for Beecee’s fists.
Jane sighed. “Boss, I would fuck with Beecee from here to wednesday, but I would not fuck with you. I’m seriously telling you, they are insisting that they were promised a ‘hello kitty’ vibrator – ” Jane stopped suddenly as a thought occurred to her. She called down into the tanker for a moment, and when an answering stream of Russian echoed metallically up to her, she started laughing.
“Something to share with the class, Ms. Jane?” Theo did not look amused as she turned to look down at him, chuckling.
“Sorry, boss. My mistake. It’s not ‘hello kitty.’ It’s Kitty LaRue – as in, the ‘great American pornstar’” She shook her head. “Tony promised them that she would be here to greet them”
Tony didn’t look amused. “Where do you get ‘vibrator’ out of that? Do you even speak Russian?”
Jane chuckled again, unfazed by his suspicious tone. “Better than Tony does. Apparently he charmingly referred to Kitty as his ‘fucktoy’.” She shrugged. “Fucktoy, vibrator, same difference to them.” She grinned impudently down at Theo’s scowl and laughed again. “Hey, man, you gotta love cross-cultural communication.”
“Tell them to get their skank asses out of that truck in the next two minutes or I will toss in a match and close the hatch.” Theo turned angrily from the tanker and walked over to the van, yelling at the driver to unlock the back. Jane shrugged and turned back to the hatch, speaking quickly to the sex workers waiting fearfully inside.
A moment later a thin pale hand reached up and she helped the first woman out. She was painfully thin, elegant cheekbones sharply outlined under a shock of ragged black hair. She wore a metallic black tube dress with silver shoulder straps, small breasts barely tenting the fabric as her nipples crinkled in the chilly air. She clutched a tiny bag in her hand, and Jane could see a small book and some loose photographs inside. In spite of her emaciated state she looked inquisitively at Jane, asking a short question.
Jane’s smile turned sad, and she replied with a few short Russian words, trailing off into English. “I’m nobody you need to know, sweetheart. Just go with them.” She motioned towards the bikers.
The Russian woman looked down the ladder at the men waiting below, then back up at Jane. Her voice was earnest to the point of desperation. “We are good fucking! They not be sorry to buying us!”
Jane sighed. “I’m sure they won’t be sorry, you poor sweet slut. But you might be.” She caught the woman’s eye, and her voice dropped to a whisper. “If that happens, let me know. I’ll see what I can do.”
The woman’s expression changed and she suddenly looked disdainful. “What you mean? We LOVE to fuck! And drugs! We are party girls! You said these men give more than Tony and Kitten. You lie?” Seeing Jane shake her head slowly, the Russian laughed, hard and brittle. “So we go with them. We work in America finally! We will find rich man!” Scornfully, she sniffed dismissively at Jane and turned to make her way down the ladder. “You just can’t find man for you!”
Jane just watched her go down into the waiting arms of the leering Incubikers, a hard look in her eyes. As she heard the next prostitute climbing up out of the hatch, she gave a sigh and reached out to help her.
When they were all out and in the van, she and Theo remounted his bike. He looked at her thoughfully. “You did a good job up there. Worth the $1500, easy – we’ll make that back off those girls in a day.” Firing up his engine, he raised his voice over the growl. “I’m kinda surprised, though. Don’t you feel a little guilty? You are tough, but you don’t seem the type for running whores.”
She looked at him evenly. “You’d be surprised at what type of work I’ve done, Mr. Doukas, sexual and otherwise. ” She nodded towards the van as it drove off. “Those girls chose to come here. They chose this kind of work. They knew what they were getting into, even if they convinced themselves it would lead to something else. I call that risk-aware, and as they say back in Mother Russia, ‘not my circus, not my monkeys.’” Her voiced softened just a bit, but there was no regret in it. “I’m no fucking saint, Theo. I just want my money. Speaking of which…”
Theo nodded, and took a hand off the throttle to fish out his cel phone, pressing a number to speed dial and then saying, curtly, “Brother. It’s done. Bitch delivered as promised.” There was a pause, and Theo nodded again. “Good. Later.” Pocketing his cel, he nodded at Jane. “Your money is deposited. Feel free to check.”
She smiled sweetly at him. “No need, I can tell.” She held up her wrist, where a bracelet made from an intricate skein of copper and brass housed a dark green stone. Theo looked puzzled, but Jane simply smiled, waiting, and nodded towards the jewel. It suddenly flared brightly, the light fading into emerald numbers glowing inside the stone: “$-1-5-0-0-*” Jane ran a finger over the stone, and it dimmed back down into dark smooth jade.
Theo grunted. “Neat trick. LCD under tinted glass, wired with Bluetooth to your cel?” She shrugged noncommittally and got on his bike, and he muttered over his shoulder. “All that fancy shit. Just call the fuckin’ bank, get it over with.” Revving the throttle, he waited as she pressed her body against him.
“Ah, Theo, you’re a Luddite at heart.” At his angry glare over his shoulder, she laughed. “Relax, big boy, it just means you like to keep things simple. It adds to your charm, manly man.” She playfully tapped her helmet against his. They rode back towards St. Antoine Street, leaving the empty truck and the ruined driver on the side of the road behind them.
This episode is dedicated to a particular student struggling through finals, with the hope it is a bit more entertaining than 20th Century philosophy.
“She’s what?” Michael Doukas’ gravelly voice boomed through the door, and Jane suppressed a grin. She was leaning agains the wall next to the entrance, looking blandly at the young Incubiker doing his best to look like a guard while obviously scared out of his mind. The tough’s hands kept fidgeting towards the buck knife at his belt, then at the buttons on his leather vest, loosely cut to make room for a shoulder holster. Feeling mischievous, Jane raised a hand suddenly just to watch him jump. She grinned at him as she ran the hand through her tousled blonde hair. He reddened, but didn’t say anything.
The voices inside the office murmured for a bit, then suddenly raised in volume again as some other disagreement came up. “I don’t give a fuck what you think. I’m not having a goddamn’ bodyguard detail against one skank with a singletail! Send her the fuck in!” Jane pushed away from the wall, tipping a finger at the guard in salute and sauntering into Michael Doukas’ office. It was furnished in dark wood and leather, the office of a man trying to purchase sophistication, having come to wealth late in life.
Michael sat behind the large cherrywood desk, a designer leather chair framing his brushed-back gray hair. His suit was tailored to flatter his broad shoulders, and a silk tie was pinned with a large diamond under a perfect Windsor knot. The whole tableau clashed with the guard standing behind him in denim and leather, gloved hands holding a 12-gauge with ready menace. Doukas ignored him, scowling at Jane through templed fingers. She carefully kept her hands in view, away from her pockets and rucksack, but the guard fingered his shotgun nervously just the same.
“So.” Michael’s voice was low and matter-of-fact. “You look like a bitch, but you must be hiding balls the size of watermelons to show up here after you put four of my guys in the clinic.”
She shrugged. “They dissed my bike. What’s a girl gonna do?” She risked a small grin. “Besides, I improved Beecee’s looks, free of charge.”
Michael still scowled, but grunted in agreement. “Good point. Both of them, actually. Which is why I’m not having my boys dip you in crank case oil and gang rape your ass.” He paused, as if waiting for a reaction from her, but Jane’s expression didn’t change. “Yet. But what the fuck makes you think my benevolent mood will last long enough for you to walk out that door?”
Jane smiled. “You sure know how to charm a girl, Mr. Doukas.” She walked towards the desk, ignoring the guard’s shifting finger on the trigger, and sat jauntily on the corner. She picked up an expensive-looking pen and considered it thoughtfully. “Thing is, I felt kinda bad about what happened, and so I came over to see if I could make nice with you boys. I heard you might be able to use someone with my – ” she looked up suddenly at Michael with lowered lashes “-sklls.” She held his gaze as she thoughtfully and slowly ran the pen cap across her lips. The implication was unmistakable, and Michael’s expression shifted ever so slightly from anger towards amusement. Abruptly she dropped the pen and walked away from the desk. “My skills as a Russian translator, that is. Would you like my rates? We should be sure you can afford them.”
“Rates? What the fuck? Who told you about the Russians, bitch?” Michael’s tone was angry again, and she turned suddenly, halfway to the door.
“Mr. Doukas.” Her voice was strong and cut through his tirade like a stroke of lightning. “I walked into this beautiful office expecting to do business with a gentleman. Or at least a semi-literate businessman. I fucked up your boys because they were assholes. I didn’t think you’d be that stupid.” She matched his glare, and there was a tension filling the office that seemed to hum. The guard shifted restlessly, and the creak of his leathers sounded like a gunshot in the wired silence. He looked embarrassed, then angrily at her.
After a long, measured stare, Michael cleared his throat. “I apologize, Ms. Jane, for my temper. It gets the better of me sometimes.” His tone held no contrition, belying the words. “May I offer you some refreshment?”
“Whiskey. Neat,” she said immediately, and walked back to the desk. Michael motioned to the guard, and growled a little, low in his throat, when the man hesitated a moment. As the door closed behind the bodyguard-cum-errandboy, Michael gestured to a chair. Jane perched on the desk instead, the curve of her brown leather pants complementing the dark cherry wood.
Michael looked at her, shrew appraisal in his face. “Your presentation…Not bad. You’ve got the voice down pat. Pro dom? Or ex-military?”
Jane smiled. “Former marine,” she corrected, and added “I also work pro on occasion. Whatever puts gas in my tank.” She gave him a come-hither look, voice dropping into a Mae West impersonation. “Why do you ask, big boy, your regular girl just not doin’ it for ya?”
Suddenly Michael’s scowl broke and he guffawed. The laugh sounded harsh, but a wide smile covered his weatherbeaten face. “Now that’s a good one. You’re quite amusing, lady.” His grin became more feral. “My girl’s doin’ me just fine.” He looked down and pushed his chair back from the desk slightly. “Aren’t you, girl?”
From under the desk came a soft voice. “I hope so, Sir.” Jane caught a glimpse of tired brown eyes and a bare shoulder before Michael scooted his chair back. He looked smugly up at Jane. “So. While she’s sucking my cock, you get to tell me what it is you think you can do for me. If you convince me before I come, I might not take the clinic bill for my boys out of your fee. But I warn you,” he raised a finger admonishingly as a slurping sound grew louder from under the desk. “She’s quite good at what she does. Better talk fast.”
“Not much to say, Mr. Studly.” The wet sucking noises created a strange ambience for their conversation. Michael seemed oblivious to the fellatio, and Jane was mildly amused by the effort he was putting into looking disengaged. “Basically, I heard that there is a shipment coming tonight. Something from Mother Russia, for your competitors, that you might want to intercept and acquire.” Jane paused, enjoying the tension she saw in the man’s eyes as he struggled to concentrate on business despite pleasure. “I also heard that my –inadvertent– interaction with your boys deprived you of your usual translator.” She shrugged. “I feel kind of bad about that, and thought I’d offer you my services.”
Michael listened, his mouth open slightly, but his eyes were alert. “You seem remarkably well informed, Ms. Jane – ” he paused to let her fill in the gap, and she sat with cool silence. “Yes. Whatever.” He cleared his throat and shifted suddenly.
Jane grinned. “How’s that little piece comin’ along?” she asked. “And speaking of which, you seem pretty well informed yourself. I don’t recall introducing myself.”
Michael pulled a remote out of his desk and pointed it at a television screen mounted in an ornate wooden frame. Nothing happened, and Jane looked at him with a sarcastic smile. “Need help?” Michael gave an annoyed grunt, looked at the remote a little more closely, and pressed a button again. An image of Jane’s ass filled the screen, moving sinuously and suddenly stopping as Tony’s hand came down. There was no sound to the video and the picture was slightly canted to the left, giving it an abstract feel.
Jane studied the image with interest. “Mmmm. Good, so at least somebody remembered to hit record for that scene. You know, though, that’s a really lousy angle- my ass looks much better from above. The POV shots, you know?” She turned to look at Michael, who seemed disappointed at her reaction. “What?” she laughed. “You think I’m going to be upset about a little video of my naked tushie having fun? Oh, come on, Michael, what are you, five?” She tapped her finger on the desk. “Anyway, yeah, so now you have even more reason to hire me. I don’t work cheap, but I always deliver more than expected. As you know if you watched the whole video.”
Michael suddenly hissed through his teeth, baring them in a feral grimace, eyes bright and unfocused on Jane’s face, and she sighed, waiting as his shoulders slumped just a little. After a few more wet sounds, the slurping stopped. Jane looked at him expectantly as his eyes became more aware. “Hmmph. You think you’re quite the smart little slut, don’t you? If you’d heard their conversation afterwards, you might not be so cocky. Pun intended.” He looked at her, challenging. Jane just stared back, waiting.
Finally he slapped the table and laughed again. “By god, Ms. Jane, I think I might like you. Yeah, my boys can be assholes. I’d appreciate it if you’d try not to put any more into the clinic in the near future – they always get a little extra rowdy when Theo’s gone, but he should get back later today. He’ll take you along to catch that delivery. Do what he says, we’ll have no problems.” His grin grew a little wider. “And when you get back, we’ll talk about some of those other skills of yours. I think you’ll find we can be very generous to people with the right attitude and the right talent.”
“Sounds like a great plan, Mike m’boy.” She held out her hand, the tiny silver strip unwinding again in her palm. “I work on retainer, of course, so I’ll need $1500 deposited in this account before we begin.”
“$1500?” he laughed at her. “How do I even know that you even speak the language?”
“A kak zhe znaesh, govniuk, s malen’koi khui?” she said, matter-of-factly, and he laughed again, even louder
“Guess that’ll do, davalka,” and he finally got to see her eyes widen in surprise. He took the strip from her, peering at the web address there, then up at her, enjoying the shocked expression he’d finally been able to elicit. “Yeah, I’m fluent. I just don’t like getting my hands dirty. Don’t worry, though, it’s not the first thing you’ve been wrong about.” Standing, he took his time adjusting himself, zipping up with a slow satisfaction as Jane stared at his flaccid cock. It was enormous.
“Mr. Doukas,” she said, swallowing and licking her lips before she continued. “I will not make the mistake of underestimating you again.”
“I hope not, Ms. Jane,” he replied. “The ones who do don’t tend to be around long.” He pushed his chair in roughly, and tossed the ring to his guard. “See that the bitch gets her money. Fit her out with whatever kit she wants. She rides bitch for Theo.” Seeing Jane’s mouth open in protest, he held up a hand. “Meaning no disrespect to that – ” his lip curled “-fine piece of Japanese engineering you ride, we need to have a bit of a presence with these deliveries. This is not negotiable.” Without waiting for a response, he walked out the door.
Jane watched him go, mouth pursed and thoughtful. She looked down at the chair, pushed in to the desk, then up at the guard. “Damn. Think I could get a moment in that chair too? He is…impressive.” She waited to see if the girl would respond, and gave a disappointed frown as nothing happened. “She stay down there all the time?”
The guard gave a rough smile at her that was not at all friendly. “Heidi? She’s been there a week, ever since she messed up his coffee.” His eyes widened with menace. “ That shit you pulled on my brothers? You’re lucky he didn’t jump all in your shit, too. ”
Jane looked at the door which Michael had left open. “Oh, make no mistake about it, bucko. He did.” She fingered her leather rucksack thoughtfully. “Oh, yes. He did.”
Jason looked up as Jane sat down at his counter. “You take debit cards?” she asked as he poured her a cup of coffee.
“Five dollar minimum,” he said sourly, sniffing. “Pardon me for saying so, Miss-I’m-too-cool-for-a-name, but you smell like a whorehouse.”
Jane smiled good naturedly. “More like one particular whore than the whole house, but no offense taken – these things take time.” She grinned as his scowl deepened. “While we’re on the subject of houses of ill repute, though – I found Tony and Kitten…amusing, but not really roommate material. You wouldn’t happen to have an extra room available?”
Jason nodded suspiciously.” Yeah,” he grudgingly allowed, “but it’s a hundred a week, and I’m not putting that on your tab…”
“No need, my friend.” She rummaged in a pocket of her leather vest and tossed him a strip of plastic. “Run that like a credit card for two weeks rent. It’ll do for starters.” She leaned over the counter, looking left and right. “My rucksack still back there?”
Jason absently opened a cabinet under the register and handed her the leather bag, motioning towards stairs leading upstairs next to the counter. “Take room three. Alex is in two, and it shares a door with one, where his boy stays. There’s an outside entrance, too, door code is 4692.” When she didn’t move, he looked at her. “Something else?”
She was looking at the tied laces on the flap of the rucksack, and then up at Jason, her expression grave. “You didn’t open this.” It wasn’t a question, and as he returned her gaze steadily, she sighed. “Oh, Jason. You’re an honest man, aren’t you? What the hell are you doing in a shithole like this?” Without waiting for an answer, she turned and headed upstairs.
“Whatever I can,” he answered softly, and pulled a cel phone out of his pocket. Pressing a button, he began to talk in low tones, his eyes never leaving the staircase.
The next morning Jason had her pancakes and eggs ready as she came down the stairs, and she saluted his timing with a quick snap of her hand and a brilliant smile. Alex sat at the counter with a small boy of about 4, the two of them sounding out words in a Seuss book. “Sam-I-Am!” the boy said happily, pointing at a sad moustachioed figure in the book. Then he looked up and noticed Jane sipping coffee in the booth. “Who dat, daddy? She pretty!”
Alex hushed is son with a whispered “Don’t bother her, Joey, let her eat alone.”
“Hello, Joey.” Suddenly she was standing next to them her hand offered to the boy. “My name’s Jane. You’re doing a great job on that book – it was one of my favorites.” She looked at the book critically for a moment, then at the boy. “Can I tell you a secret?” The boy nodded warily, and she whispered a few sentences in his ear. His eyes grew wide for a moment, then he looked at his father sitting next to him and started giggling. Smiling, Jane tousled his hair and went back to her breakfast, reading a battered paperback with some sword-wielding barbarian on the cover.
Jason came over and topped off the boy’s orange juice. “What’d she tell you?” he asked casually, glancing over Joey’s head to Jane in the booth.
“It’s a SEEKET!” the boy pronounced happily, then more quietly, “That means I have to whisper it.” Jason nodded gravely, leaning over. Joey whispered intently, and giggled as Jason began chuckling.
“Well, then, I guess it’s lucky for him you’re done! There’s your bus!” Joey squealed with excitement, hugging his puzzled father and giving Jason a high-five before jumping off the stool and rushing out the door.
Alex watched him go, and then turned to Jason, curiosity getting the better of him. “What?” he demanded.
Jason indicated the moustachioed fish in the book. “She told him that her father kind of looked like that fish,” he grinned. “And that if Joey didn’t eat all his food, it might happen to you, too.” Chuckling, Jason cleared away the plate, and in spite of himself, Alex grinned back. Taking his coffee, he turned around and walked over to her booth. She looked up at him and waved him into the seat.
“I ran into your wife earlier this morning,” she said bluntly.
Alex’s expression didn’t change. “Yes, I heard. Thank you for not involving her in your little…demonstration.” He sipped his coffee and Jane thought she saw just a glimpse of the deep pain he felt at the mention of his wife. “I didn’t watch the tapes, but Tony and Kitten were quite impressed.”
“What’s the deal with them, anyway?” Jane asked. “With a sweet set up like they’ve got there, why can’t they make ends meet? Those camgirls and boys I saw in there – man, talk about walking poster children for the Big Burnout.”
At this Alex chuckled, a soft, bitter sound. “Yeah, that’s a good way to describe just about everyone over there. The problem isn’t the infrastructure – it’s that it’s a castle under siege.” He looked up at Jane, then, and she was startled by his eyes, which had looked brown, but now revealed a vivid green ring around his dark irises. “The Incubikers won’t let any new talent in, and if old talent goes out, they don’t come back. That talent you saw? They haven’t been out of that building in three months. Tony and Kitten are able to get supplies in and out, they have that much pull with the teamsters, but people…” He trailed off. “When the Doukas’ catch someone trying to get out, well, if they’re lucky, they disappear. Some they keep… for their own amusement.”
Jane sipped her coffee and speculated out loud. “And in town known as “the Murder City”, I guess it doesn’t take much of a donation to keep the police out of the whole thing.”
Alex laughed again. “Police? You kidding? The Doukas not only have them paid off, they have them procuring. Notice that Juvenile Detention facility down the street? Both Tony and the Doukas brothers used to take advantage of that, scooping up people close to the edge. Doesn’t take much paperwork to get a pretty not-quite- 18 year old released on a ‘work apprenticeship’. By the time his or her birthday comes around they’re strung up on smack or in debt or both, and they just start working the cameras.” He waved out the window in the vague direction of the Incubiker enclave. “Or the clients.”
“So what changed? What put Tony and Kitten are on the defensive?” Jane snorted. “For that matter, why doesn’t Doukas just roll right over him?” Her tone dropped low. “And why do you get to come and go freely?”
Alex looked at her steadily. “I really don’t know the answer to the first two questions. At some point the détente failed, that’s all I know. The Doukas brothers just decided one day to make a move on one of Tony’s stars.” His eyes were expressionless. “That’s part of the answer to your last question, though.”
His voice quickened, as if he wanted to get the telling over with quickly. “Isabella. That’s her name. The one you saw in the alley, the star that the Doukas brothers took from Tony.’ He took a breath, eyes glued to the table in front of him. “Joey’s mother. My wife.”
Jane said nothing, simply waited, and after a long moment Alex got his emotions under control and continued. “She was an indie model, came to work for a month-long exclusive contract with Tony. She’d just finished a great trip to New York, worked with some really high-end photographers, and we thought – that is, I thought – ” his voice cracked, and Jane simply sipped her coffee and waited, silent, for him to regain composure.
“I wanted to stay in the city, keep working the contacts. But she told me she had gotten something really good during her time in New York, something that she wouldn’t show me…I never really understood what it was, or what she thought it would do, but…fuck, I don’t even really care anymore. She just seemed to think it would be our ticket to the dream – for her to stop traveling all the time, for me to stop having to scrambling for freelance gigs, for us to do what we wanted.”
“What is it that you wanted, Alex?” Jane’s voice was soft.
He looked at her bleakly. “Fuck if I know. Never had enough breathing room to actually figure that out.”
Jane nodded, solemnly. “Fair enough. So what happened?”
He sighed. “Again, I don’t really know. I couldn’t meet her when she landed at the airport because of Joey’s school stuff, and from what I heard, Incubikers were waiting there to take her. That was three months ago. Since then, they’ve intercepted every talent Tony and Kitten have tried to hire – and anyone who gets out of Kitten’s building gets disappeared, or worse.” He stirred his coffee and gave a soft chuckle. “The last two times it was a bund from Russia. Tony thought they might be beyond the Doukas brothers’ reach.” Alex gave a bitter laugh.” Didn’t matter where they came from, though,” he pointed out the window again, “that last mile is where they grab them. Didn’t even have to use force; just convinced the girls that working for them would be much more convenient than working for Tony and Kitten.” He chuckled again, sounding tired
Jane tapped a sugar packet thoughtfully. “Why the laugh?”
Alex grimaced. “It’s not really funny. Another bunch of girls are supposed to come in today. Tony is nothing if not persistent. I’m just thinking it might not be so easy for the Incubikers to convince this group to switch sides.”
“Really? Why’s that?” Jane’s tone sounded speculative.
“Because the only guy they have who speaks Russian is in the clinic with his jaw wired shut,” Alex grinned with a bitter triumph and tapped a finger on the table in front of Jane. “Thanks to you.”
Jane stood up from the booth and was gathered her things. Alex looked up, surprised at the sudden exit. “Hey, where are you going?”
Jane gave him a big smile. “That, Alex, was some valuable information. In fact…” she handed him a small card. “Here. PIN is 1469. Take out a hundred, get Joey something nice. And hang onto that card. Anything else you hear about that you think I might be interested in, pass it on, and I’ll authorize more.” She snugged her fingerless leather gloves over her hands, and carefully dogeared her place in her book before tossing it in the rucksack. “Place like this, the right piece of information can be worth a lot to a woman like me.”
Alex looked at the card with a bewildered expression. “I don’t understand. What are you doing?”
She smiled and slung her rucksack over her shoulder. “Going to see Michael Doukas about a job. I hear he might be in need of a Russian translator.”
Alex still looked confused. “And…you speak Russian?”
Jane gave him a wink as she went out the door. “Vot tak!”