KUMIR, Chapter 11: Playing the Sides

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. […]

KUMIR, Chapter 10: An Audition Wager

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.” […]

Kumir, Chapter 2: Three Beds

In case you’re late to the party, I’ve decided to force myself into editing That Damn Book (aka “Kumir”) by committing to releasing a chapter a week here online, for free! This is definitely a Work In Progress – feedback is welcome and appreciated! If you missed it, Chapter 1 is here.

The cold morning wind blew the paper litter around the woman’s legs as she walked with an easy stride out of the coffee shop and turned into the alley. The shadows were graying with the slow creep of dawn, and her unruly blonde hair, skin and leathers seemed to glow with a rainbow of pewtered shades. She held the whip loosely in her right hand, the coils making a dull tap with every step as they bumped against her leg. As she passed her toppled bike she spared it an ironic half-smile, but made no move to set it upright. She looked down the alley, now empty, neither bikers nor bums in sight. She stood there, weight balanced, as though she were waiting for something she knew was going to happen.

Sudden flashes of red light slashed over the alley walls, and she glanced over her shoulder to see an ambulance pulling up. A vague logo emblazoned with “St. Antoine’s Free Clinic” was barely visible under the street grime covering the side. The driver, eyes crazed by too many stimulants and too little rest, looked at her through the rolled-down passenger window. His scruffy beard was a shade darker than the sandy blonde receding hairline that straggled down to his collar. There was a distinctly Jesus-like aura to his hopped-up alertness.

“Hey, lady! You don’ wan’ be there, lady! They takin’ Mr. Doukas’ woman home, and you even look at her, they cut you! Bad!” His voice was a frenetic staccato, but there was a feeling of genuine care underneath. “They cut the last fella whut looked down that alley, and it was bad…real bad. Doc Jonesy had to take care of him.” The driver looked down in mournful remembrance. “That guy, he used to be so pretty…Doc Jonesy can’t make him pretty again. Best he could do was make his face-parts work again.” His face looked sad as a basset hound. “Mostly…”

Jane thought for a moment, and then smiled at the driver. “I bet I can guess your name.”

The driver smiled beatifically back. “Really? That’d be a neat trick.”

“It’s Jonesy, isn’t it?”

The man shook his head with puppy-like eagerness. “Nope!” As she frowned, he laughed with manic glee. “It’s Crew Chief Jonesy!”

Her smile widened at that. “Ah. Yes. Your turn to be crew chief, I guess. Double shift?”

Crew Chief Jonesy’s smile kind of dwindled. “You know it, lady. Every fucking day.”

The woman’s smile turned thoughtful. “You really used to care, before the speed, didn’t you?”

The man grinned happily at her. “Still do! That’s why I’m on it – there ain’t no other drivers, and somebody’s gotta take care of business. Just dropped off another chica from the Toy Shoppe. She split her –” suddenly he stopped, eyes looking wildly up, then worriedly back at her. “Wait. Am I doing that TMI thing again? Doc Jonesy told me I needed to stop talkin’ so much…”

Jane waved a benediction to the driver. “No problem, Chief. And thanks for the warning about looking down here. Don’t worry. I know what I’m doing.” At a sound from down the alley, her head snapped around with a raptor’s speed, and she saw a group of Incubikers exiting into the alley from a side door, a separate silhouette tall and slender in the midst.

“It’s Monique!” Jonesy whispered reverently from behind her. “Mr. Doukas’ woman. I’m tellin’ ya, lady, ya shouldn’t be here.”


Kumir Preview, Chapter 1

The A-to-Z Challenge was a blast, and you can even hear it read, all twenty-six posts, by one of the sexiest voices out there on the Ropecast.

But the fact is it was a distraction. It’s a way for me to ignore the writing I should be doing – erotica, non-fiction, essays, I got a head filled with ideas. Including a full-length novel, roughly set in the same universe as Nawashi and Jujun, which is in need of some editing.

So I’m going to let you, dear readers, put the pressure on me. I’m going to release the chapters as I edit them, serially, here on this blog. Absolutely free. Oh, if you want to tip me some over there on the sidebar, I won’t turn you down, but I promise I won’t leave you hanging. Over the next few months, once a week, a chapter will be revealed here on the blog right up until the bitter end of the ambulance lights driving off into a snowy night (yeah, I gave it away a bit there, but what do you expect for free?).

At the end, the book will be released in actual print form, probably with some additional edits, one or two expanded scenes, maybe a little additional erotica just to make it worth your while. One of the nice things about self-publishing is that you have options.

However, letting the story languish is not an option. So let me invite you into a somewhat decrepit corner of Detroit – not the current city-in-rebirth, but the city when it looked like it was dying. Sit down, grab a coffee, and let me tell you the story of the Kumir.