This is a longer story which take time in developing so for those looking for a ‘quickie’ this isn’t for you and it would serve you well to move on to something else. The story builds slowly but does pick up as the characters interact and the plot unfolds.A Gambler’s Requiem, Part I “Love one another, but make not a bond of love
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls” Kahlil Gibran The Game and the Players
Julian St. Croix was miffed. He was more irritated at himself than angry as he drove from the parking lot of the Viceroy Intercontinental Grand. He had been on a roll and was winning when he let his emotions get the better of him at a high-stakes poker game. He was normally an even tempered bloke and rarely, if ever, lost his cool but recent developments, including the tenuous relationship with his younger sister, had him on edge. Now, his life had become a lot more complicated and involved this beautiful woman sitting next to him.
This hadn’t been just any card game and the Viceroy Intercontinental wasn’t just any ordinary hotel. This was a private affair, held in one of their opulent, penthouse suites and it was by invitation only. The hotel itself was an exclusive, luxury establishment located on Brickell Avenue, the main drag in Downtown Miami and offered every possible amenity you could think of. He knew the people who ran the place and the organizer of the event, Tony ‘Four Fingers’ Castellano. There were rumors of Castellano’s nefarious businesses with links to the mob but being of Italian descent and with a nickname like ‘Four Fingers’ that was only to be expected.
They had met a few years back at a ‘Tough Man’ contest which was held at one of Castellano’s Bars. These were wild affairs with no-rules to speak of and a lot more exciting than the organized version of the fights which were telecast on TV. Julian had fought a man much larger than himself and disposed of lumbering giant with freakish efficiency. The take-down, side-guard, full mount and the quick transition to the D’Arce Choke were all performed effortlessly and had left his opponent unconscious and the audience stunned. Two fights later, both of which ended in knockouts, and Julian had won the fifteen thousand dollar cash prize.
Castellano was impressed enough to offer Julian a job at one of his nightclubs.
“Are you a professional?” Castellano had inquired after the second fight had ended quite abruptly before the first minute of the first round.
“No,” Julian had replied taking his gloves off and grabbing a towel.
“You should be … let me know if you’re looking for a sponsor. With the right training and support you could be in the UFC or fighting in Japan,” he said, adding, “Good money there … the fuckin’ Japs pay well!”
“Well, right now I’m not thinking of anything except my next fight,” Julian had responded with candor.
“Fair enough but if you ever change your mind and want to make some real fuckin’ scarol, you let me know … I’ll fix you up at one of my places,” the fat man reassured him, adding, “There’s plenty of work for guys who can take care of themselves.”
He had nodded and walked away. And though Julian had never accepted the offer, Castellano had always treated him well and they had maintained a cool though cordial relationship. He later found out that Julian was also a skilled Poker player and began inviting him to his ‘special’ events.
Normally, affairs like these revolved around money and business where the men networked, establishing contacts to further their personal agendas and where the game itself was of lesser importance. The girls, booze, drugs etc. were there as ornamental accoutrements for those so inclined. But not this one, this event was just about gambling and the competitive arrogance of reckless men driven by the thrill of chance.
The women were all young and beautiful; the prerequisites for being invited. Most of them were ‘wannabe’ models or actresses who having failed at their chosen avocation now did the next best thing, that is, to get invited so they could ‘see and be seen’. And though they would be hard pressed to admit it, almost all of them were desperate and were looking for reasons to justify their secular compromise. So what if you had to spread your legs or suck on some stranger’s cock? There was always the outside chance that they would get ‘discovered’ or land a millionaire which would justify their participation in this concupiscent affair and provide the reasons which fanned those flickering flames of hope. The next step down from this was the morbid reality of the Escort business and none of these girls wanted to even contemplate that … not yet, anyway!
However, there were the exceptions. Among the select group of pretty women was a leggy beauty named Jennifer Haight. Jenny was a big girl crowding five-eleven and weighing in at about one fifty with translucent, sea-green eyes and a thick mane of tawny-blonde hair. She had the fresh, healthy look of a California beach blonde, full bodied and lusciously feminine, standing out from the rest like a long, curvy glass of Royal DeMaria Chardonnay.
She had done a bit of modeling; a few runway shows for Stefano Gabbana and Chantal Thomass but that was as far as it went. She possessed that indefinable quality, an intrinsic aura which drew your attention and made you want to look at her. It was that elusive Q-factor so desirable in the fashion trade so it was odd that she hadn’t gotten farther along by now but there was a good reason for this apparent paradox.
She had chosen a profession which conflicted with her core values. Her Mid-Western, Christian upbringing had ingrained in her an archaic sense of morality; apothegms which certainly did not involve drugs and casual sex. She was also an avid tree-hugger with a predilection for organic foods and a healthy lifestyle and was a strong-willed girl who blatantly disregarded the unwritten protocol of the agencies, the one which required the models to fraternize with the sponsors.
Most of the girls acquiesced. They were slaves to their deep-rooted insecurities doing whatever was needed to promote their careers and if that included catering to their benefactors every whim, then so be it. But Jenny had eschewed the very essence of the modeling scene - the late-night parties rife with drugs and alcohol which enabled the girls to lose their inhibitions and take part in the outrageous orgies; sexual soirees where they were used up and discarded like sullied tissue paper.
She had vivid recollections of Milan and her first post-show event held at one of the Versace mansions. She was an ingénue, only seventeen, and had been dazzled by the many international stars in attendance and the flashing lights of the ubiquitous paparazzi taking pictures of everyone. It was all so new and fascinating for her. Then, later, while meandering through the ostentatious mansion she had stumbled into the entertainment room where she witnessed several men, some older, taking turns fucking a young, teenage model. She recognized the girl instantly. She was the ‘new’ sensation, the Adriana Lima lookalike, who had made the cover of Europe’s Flair and Vogue. The sensual beauty was lying naked, stretched out writhing like some golden cat, while the men pulled the proverbial train.
"Dio! Sei bellissima, tu!" One of them remarked when they spotted Jennifer, stunned by her remarkable beauty.
They had turned to her, waving her in, totally unashamed of their erections bobbing lewdly or the lascivious burlesque taking place.
“Come on, join us,” they had cajoled her in broken English, “you are, er … how do you say … bella
… so beautiful! It will be nice, no? Come on!”
And in the backdrop, the staccato moans of pleasure from the auriferous, young Aphrodite, echoing in time to the thrusting men and playing like the melody of a Siren’s irresistible call.
“Ah … ah, ah, ah … oh, god, ummm … ahgh …ah, ah, ah …,” the young starlet whimpered and then her hooded eyes opened and she smiled at Jenny just as a thick, glistening cock was being pushed into her sensual mouth.
“Come on! Do not be shy... I think you will like it!” urged a very good-looking, older man, smiling broadly while slowly stroking his turgid member, totally uninhibited and unaffected by her presence.
Jennifer was dumbfounded; enticed by the lilting accent adjuring her to join them. She had felt strangely titillated by the gang-bang; the obscene charade of mewling whimpers and groans wafting to the beat of slapping flesh squishing in and out of the juicy, young thing and in a fit of unresolved anger and panic she had fled the party swearing never to attend again. It had brought back memories too close to the surface and she could still hear the derisive laughter of the men as she ran out of the room. How naïve she had been and it was a wonder that she had survived the seductive allure and perplexing challenges with her soul intact.
But as a result of her renunciation she had earned the reputation as a ‘difficult Muse’ and found herself struggling to get booked for shoots and runway shows and it was in quiet desperation that her floundering resolve had cracked and she had talked herself into taking this gig as a “glam-gal” in exchange for a paltry five hundred bucks. It was a compromise and though all that was expected of her was to turn up and look pretty, it had left her feeling soiled and dirty. She promised herself that she would go back to school and do something meaningful with her life.
But lest we think of her as some self-righteous, sanctimonious bitch, there was a lot more to Jennifer Haight …
******* Jenny Haight, The Past
Haunted by the fleeting memories; tormented by the bouts of forbidden love and lust. The sanguinary deceit with promises of fleshy rewards; her blossoming body anointed with the juices of her passion. Her surging sexuality conflicted by parochial dogma … lost and confused while indiscretions of her juvenile past stirred in her soul and within the shadows of her mind, omnipresent like an ethereal mist, sanctioning her tranquility was her uncle, Gerald Coburn.
She had been crazy for him; sixteen and with a schoolgirl’s crush that was obvious to all in the family. Laughter and happiness tied with steely threads to his flashing smile. Her mother, oblivious, thought it was cute - the princess and her knight. The pilot, bearing gifts from far away, exotic places … perfume and dresses along with those surreptitious caresses. He was gregarious and so much fun; dark and dashing … so strong and so good-looking.
“You’ll always be my girl … my favorite!” He would whisper to her.
Then the mutating touches and hugs began with unexpected vicissitude. Though the red-flags of warning unfurled; she was blinded, in awe of his sophistication; she thought he was amazing. The parties at his place; there were so many and with all those beautiful women hanging on to him. She was jealous and wanting him; lost in daydreams and wild fantasy where it was always her he would steal away with.
Far from the others in the hallway bathroom or the den; her heart pounding within the hidden embraces and whispers of sweet nothings as he fondled her. The sensual kisses, deep and lingering … more brazen each time until hands and lips strayed to places that were private. No one had touched her like this. Contradictions! It felt so good and yet, made her feel so bad but she loved him, wanting to please her favorite uncle; dark and oh, so handsome, her Uncle Gerry.
“My beautiful girl, you are special to me … you know you are my favorite, don’t you?” he would murmur as he rubbed between her trembling legs.
She was confused. He was her mother’s brother. Should he be touching her like that? He smelled so good; his cologne, the heady fragrance of musky flesh. Flattered and frightened and betrayed by her wanton body, loving the feeling, longing for his touch; aroused and feeling alive, so good but for the contradictions!
High School: a hot, humid summer night; house sitting for her uncle and falling asleep on the couch. Stealthy hands on her thighs … caressing, stroking, and gradually moving higher. The electric jolts as probing fingers pried her open; a hungry mouth sucking, licking while soft lips preyed on her breasts, his hand in between her legs, groping gently at first then urgently. The passions building until overcome with lust he had pulled down her panties … she was suddenly frightened wanting to scream but there was no one there to hear.
But then it felt so incredible, the soft, tongue licking, exploring … Oh God, so moist and warm; she was lost in the sea of her passion, tossed by the waves washing over her, never wanting it to end. And after all, she loved her Uncle Gerry, didn’t she? Mmmm, her body ruled; writhing, hips undulating, her mind drowning in pleasure; the dazzling lights like a million supernovas bursting with brilliance. Drifting mindlessly then holding him, stroking the pulsing, scepter of flesh, curiously licking and sucking until her uncle’s magic juice-stick spewed his molten potion, flooding endlessly into her mouth; thick and viscid - swallowing life!
“You’re my darling, baby girl,” he whispered, “I’ll always love you. You make so very happy …”
She felt loved. Her feelings sublimated; excited and aroused and then later, ashamed and confused … drifting off in uneasy somnolence.
It had been a while but her uncle was never far from Jenny’s mind and though at times she hated herself for thinking of him, she missed the easy smile and lecherous thrill of his slanted attention. Contradictions!A Party for Jenny Haight
Her Uncle Gerald had thrown a party for her seventeenth birthday and in honor of her first big modeling gig. In a few days, she was off to Europe as part of the ‘Nouvelles filles’, the new hopefuls of the glamour world. He had asked her to invite her friends but she hadn’t – she wanted this part of her life for herself and wasn’t about to share her uncle with any of her skank friends, many of whom would have gladly bedded him if given the opportunity.
“Hi sweetheart, you look absolutely gorgeous!” he said when he saw her and planted a kiss on her cheek but before she could respond, he gave her a quick squeeze and left her to join a group of Air Hostesses who had just arrived.
She watched him making small talk, leaning towards a tall, pretty brunette and after whispering into her ear, he leaned back while they all tittered and laughed. She couldn’t help herself for feeling angry and jealous. She found it incomprehensible; he was so nice to her at one moment and then without a second thought he would rush off to be with ‘those’ women! Didn’t he know that she loved him? Didn’t he realize that she was leaving soon?
“Jenny, you look so lovely, darling … I just know you’re going to be a star!” it was Mrs. Lyndhurst, an older friend of her uncle’s snapping her out of her angry reverie.
Jenny offered her the practiced smile. She was getting jaded by the compliments and felt like she was on display. They stood there making small talk while she kept tabs on her uncle, watching him make the rounds playing the gracious host and flirting with the women – he couldn’t help himself but tonight, it was making her particularly angry. It was her night and she wanted him to pay attention to her and just as her anger was getting the better of her, a tall, smartly dressed man came up to her, rescuing her from the woman.
“Hello dah-ling, sorry I’m late!” he said then turning to the lady he added, “You must forgive us … we have so much to catch up on! Be a dear and find Gerry,” and without waiting for a reply whisked Jenny off towards the balcony.
Though she was surprised, she smiled up at the stranger, glad to get a reprieve from the party and the obligatory expectations of being the hostess and new celeb. She looked back at Mrs. Lyndhurst and laughed at the look of shock on the lady’s face. She wondered what the ‘prim and proper’ Clarissa Lyndhurst was thinking and smiled again.
The fresh air was a welcome change as she studied the stranger.
“You looked so bored I had to save you! You must be Jennifer … you are even more spectacular than Gerry said you were! Simply gorgeous!” he said and held out his hand smiling broadly.
She blushed and stammered, “Thanks!” and they shook hands.
“I’m Mike … Michael Rafter. I’m a friend of Gerry’s,” he said smoothly, then added, “we fly together quite a bit.”
He held her hand a bit longer than was customary, squeezing it gently before letting her go. His grip was firm but not too firm so as to hurt her. He was a bit younger than her uncle, maybe around thirty or thirty five, with sandy-brown hair that was combed back. He had deep, blue eyes with laugh lines around the edges and an easy smile.
“So you’re a pilot?” she asked taken by his friendliness.
“I wish! No, it’s nothing quite as romantic as that. I’m a Steward … that is, a senior flight attendant,” he said pleasantly and continued, “You know, a glorified waiter! I specialize in serving bad food thirty thousand feet up in the air!”
He laughed at his self deprecating remark and she felt herself warming up to this easygoing stranger and was drawn into the conversation. They stood there talking about her career and the upcoming trip to Europe and in particular, Italy. He had been to Milan several times and knew the city well.
“It’s one of my favorite places,” he said, “It’s a lot like New York; there’s so much to do there that you can never get bored!”
“The women all look so … um, glamorous and beautiful!” she said, trying to cover up for her naiveté.
“They are. But they can’t compare to you, Jenny, you’ll have to fight off those Mediterranean Romeos!”
She blushed and he touched her arm reassuringly and spent the next several minutes telling her about the largest city in Western Europe. He explained the significance of the wall circumscribing the inner city which was built by the Spanish in the 1500s and told her about the beautiful La Scala, the first Opera House of the old world and about the history of European art and culture. When he explained the wide variety of cuisines ranging from the Teutonic influenced Northern regions to the more Mediterranean South, she was truly excited. Jenny had always loved cooking. She was flattered that an obviously urbane and attractive man was paying attention to her and found him so engaging that for once the pervasive thoughts of her uncle were gone from her mind.
Later that evening, her mood tempered by a few glasses of merlot, she noticed her uncle looking over at her. They made eye contact and then she saw him walking towards the stairs which lead to the den. It was a sign for her to follow him. It amazed her that her heart would still quicken when she played her role in this dark parody using a language that only they shared and understood.
A few months back, at home, with her mother in the kitchen and her father in the living room, he had fucked her in the upstairs bathroom. He had held her up against the wall and ravaged her until he spent himself deep inside her belly but she had wanted more. Spurred on by the danger of discovery and the prurient needs of her young body, she had scrambled down to her knees, never letting him go soft and sucking him to a second shattering climax. He had groaned loudly as she drained him of his incestuous fluids; sucking him long after there was nothing left. It was amazing that her parents, especially her mother, had never suspected them considering the number of times he had crept into her bedroom when he had visited. And, over time they had developed an instinct for the lascivious needs of the other; a language without words.
Now, she waited for a short time careful not to raise any suspicions and then excused herself and made her way quickly down the short stairway into the anteroom. This was the small room which led to the den and the adjacent bedroom. She had stayed here so often that she knew the layout like the back of her hand. This was the room where they had shared their very first sexual experience … and though it felt like ages, it was less than a year ago and the lascivious memory never failed to thrill her.
“Hi, baby doll,” he said as she walked in, his voice edgy with anticipation, “I missed you!”
Her uncle was leaning back against the wall; his lean body slouched languidly striking the pose she was so familiar with. She paused for a moment and then ran into his arms literally throwing herself at him. Then arching backwards, she surrendered her mouth to his. And when they kissed, it was a lover’s kiss; deep and wet. She could feel his breath burning hot as her tongue darted in and out of his mouth, twisting, probing, swirling against his, tasting the flavor of the wine and cigarettes. She could feel his hardness throbbing against her thigh like the beating of a Japanese Wadaiko.
For his part, he reveled in the urgency of her youthful impatience, hips grinding and thrusting against his erection, feeding the lusty demands of the body he had conditioned. Once stimulated, she was insatiable, wired for sex and he knew just what she wanted.
She loved it when he used his tongue on her; it was the best feeling she had ever felt. He had mastered every nuance of her body, knowing just where and how much pressure he needed to keep her aroused. He spread her thighs and pried her open with his tongue, licking her swollen petals with broad strokes starting from her perineum and working slowly upwards until he had her little nub in his mouth. She was already dripping like a leaky faucet, her juices smearing around his mouth and down the sides of his chin. And while he tickled her clit with the tip of his tongue he pushed a finger into her slowly wiggling it in and out of her, working her G-Spot, pressing his thumb against the tissue surrounding the sensitive anal region of the sphincter. He massaged her gently sending surges of visceral pleasure shooting up her spine causing her to twitch uncontrollably.
“Oh … ahhhh … oh, God …” she whimpered softly.
And just when she thought she had scaled the pinnacles of pleasure, he added another finger, picking up the tempo until she was riding those turbulent ribbons of ecstasy, her body quivering like a leaf in the breeze, hips undulating against his fingers, her head tossing from side to side, the thick, golden mane lashing wildly as the pleasure built inside her, covering her in a auric, sheen of sweat. She felt giddy, gasping for air, feeling like her chest was about to burst. And while she balanced precariously, an aerialist on a high-wire, he sucked her into his mouth, holding her clit in his teeth caressing it rapidly with his tongue.
“Ah … oh, God … Ah, ah, ah … please … don’t stop … I’m going to cum, Uncle Gerr-rr-rry …” she gasped, her hands pulling him into her by his hair as she felt herself tumbling; free falling into the abyss of nothingness.
He sensed the imminence of the paroxysmal squall and pulled his fingers out, quickly squeezing her vaginal lips together pushing upwards so that her inflamed pod was trapped and exposed. Then pinching again, tightly, to exacerbate the pain-pleasure threshold, he lapped at her cunt as forcefully and quickly as he could to send her crashing over the edge.
“Ohhhh … oh, God … yes, yes … oh, yessssssss … Oh, ah, ah, ahhhhhhhhhh,” she hissed as her orgasm washed over her, the nebulous ripples strangling the very tendons of her muscles, arching her body upwards off the bed, her thighs squeezing inwards, trapping him in the humid snare of her libidinous valley.
He kept licking her gently allowing her to enjoy the spasms of pleasure as she descended from her orgasmic high. Then moving slowly up her body he fed his cock into her waiting mouth.
After a while he rolled over so that he was on his back with her kneeling in between his thighs, her thick hair cascading about them, shimmering in the darkness like a golden blanket as she bobbed up and down over his crotch. With one hand she held the base of his cock stroking him in time to the rhythm of her mouth, her lips riding the ridge of his agitated glans. His cock wasn’t exceptional in size but it was perfect for her. It wasn’t too thick or too long but just right so that she could suck on him without discomfort to her jaws.
She enjoyed pleasing him and had come to like performing fellatio on him. She relished it almost as much as the feeling of his cock in her. So while she sucked on his turgid root, her fingers probed her pussy, rubbing her clit and thrilling to the spasms shooting through her. And as she pushed her finer inside her slippery crevasse, she wondered how it would feel to have a thick, pulsing rod of flesh plough into her while she sucked on her uncle’s magic juice-stick …
She was so engrossed in the act of pleasuring him that she didn’t notice the stranger step from the shadows. It was only when he licked her between her cheeks, along the velvety cleft of her vaginal lips that she almost jumped out of her skin. But before she could pull away, her uncle grabbed her by her mane and forced her back down on his throbbing root. Her eyes were wide with concern but he murmured softly … assuring her that it was alright.
“It’s okay, baby, it’s alright … keep sucking me,” he said, holding her firmly, his voice silky like melting butter, rambling softly, “You’re gonna love it, baby … it’s my gift to you … yes … that’s it … suck me, harder … oh, god … suck the head, fuck …”
And while she was being forced down onto her uncle’s turgid flesh, she felt the warm wetness of the stranger’s tongue as he lapped persistently at her core, spreading her swollen lips and sliding the tip against her clit.
For a moment she was tense, unsure of what was happening but lost in that surreal world of kinesthetic delight and unable to resist the wanton stimulations of a wet, eager tongue, she succumbed. And as the pleasure spread through her body, her hips undulated, pushing back against the stranger’s face resigned now to his inclusion, her mind racing with the possibilities of this salacious triumvirate and then it dawned on her; Michael Rafter! An unexpected thrill shot through her core as her body acknowledged her uncle’s twisted gift.
She felt the thick cock spreading her open, sliding deep inside her pussy filling her like she had never been filled before. The pressure rippling from her cuntal nerves rising through to her chest, to the points of her nipples, building in her throat making it hard for her to breathe until she thought she would pass out.
The man stood behind her, unmoving, pressed up against her ass just holding her hips and letting his cock throb inside her tight, little pussy reveling in the involuntary constrictions of her gulping canal allowing her to adjust to his exceptional size. He was amazed by the beauty of this sultry girl; Gerry had been right, his niece was a hot, little slut and he was going to take his time with her – this was a dream fuck if there ever was one.
She closed her eyes and went back to sucking on her uncle, his cock melting into her mouth like a sweet Popsicle as the stranger began sawing into her. She had never felt this aroused or this incredibly complete.
“Oh, oh … mm, mm, mmf, mmfffff …” she groaned around the rigid shaft; her moans echoing softly in time to the thick rubbery flesh plunging in and out of her as her fantasy played itself out in the steamy darkness of the bedroom.
It had taken her years to forgive herself for that evening of hedonistic indulgence. She had surrendered to her body and given herself up to the two men, letting them use her in every way possible, relishing the unmitigated bliss of their spiraling decadence. But it was later in the quiet solitude of her room, with the sticky trails of cum seeping out of both orifices and cauterized by the acrid taste of ejaculate in her mouth that she felt the degradation of her soul struggling with the debauchery of the flesh.
The following day, riddled with guilt, she had gone to church and begged for forgiveness. She had sworn to never again give in to the carnal whims of her body and staying true to her oath, it was the last time she had obliged the profligacy of her uncle.
******* The Texas Connection
Most of the players were high rollers from New York and Houston – Wall Street and Oil Industry types; risk-takers with an itch for the wild life. There were a few inveterate gamblers, felt table junkies like Julian who would chase any card game where the stakes were high enough, but not many – just enough to lend credence to the party.
For those who play poker through the night, recognizing the ‘tipping point’ is critical. It’s when no amount of coffee or cigarettes can revive the foggy mind. At 2:00 AM when the cards and noises blur in a cacophony of sounds and bleary colors, it becomes a struggle to resist the innate urge to chase the River Card burdened by a gamblers need for chance. The game becomes a strategy of stamina, a marathon and not a sprint. The players with deep pockets often use money to camouflage bad hands and even the pros have difficulty reading these mavericks. The wild card at this table was a hyperactive, wisecracking, loudmouth from Houston who was the son of Richard Crosby Hansen II, one of the wealthiest Oilmen in Texas.
Richard Crosby Hansen the Third or Ricky Hansen, as he was known, was a self-assured playboy with a shock of wild, dirty-blond hair, piercing blue eyes and the biggest dick this side of the Mason Dixon Line. It was said to measure over twelve inches in length and nine inches in circumferential girth – a monster cock which had scared half the coeds in Texas to death. He often played up to his reputation as the raunchy lady-killer but what people often missed was that under the antics and loud histrionics was a sharp card player and a rather shrewd businessman.
But it was his quiet friend at the table, a well dressed Arabian with more money than all the Hansens put together, who demanded the attention. Salim Akbar Al Siddique had been educated in the US and graduated from Dartmouth. He had used his business acumen to invest in and manage some of the largest refineries in Saudi Arabia. His father was the respected Šejh
Ibrahim Al Siddique who was related to the royal family of Al Saud and was a close confidant of Prince Mutaib. But apart from the obvious wealth, there was more to Salim Akbar Al Siddique …
******* Salim Akbar Al Siddique
Contrary to Hitler’s twisted theory of the Blond Haired, Blue-eyed Aryan; the original Aryans came from the Indus Valley; the Mountainous region between Hindustan (now Northern India) and Afghanistan known as the Hindu Kush. They were tall, dark haired warriors, fierce men who migrated from Asia into Europe looking for greener pastures.
Salim Akbar Al Siddique had the prototypical Aryan look with sharp hawk-like features; high cheekbones, square jaw, thin lips, aquiline nose with piercing, hazel eyes set deep in his head. He resembled a gaunt, bone-structured version of the Egyptian actor, Omar Sharif, in the old classic, Dr. Zhivago. American girls in school and college had found him irresistibly fascinating; attracted to his fierce, angular looks and his money, which he wasn’t averse to throwing around.
He was inherently cruel and hated dogs having been mauled as a boy by his father’s giant German Shepherd. He tried beating the Alsatian into submission but the animal had turned on him, almost killing him. He had begged his father to put the dog down but the older Siddique had refused and from that day on he had lived in abject fear of that large canine. Over time, he developed what can only be categorized as a specific phobic disorder regarding dogs – fearing them to the point of panic and hating them because of this irrational and uncontrollable sense of despair whenever he accosted one.
He pursued four things with a passion – Raptors especially Falcons and Hawks; Blondes, the tall, voluptuous kind, Thoroughbred Horses and No-Holds-Barred fighting but not necessarily in that order.
He was a talented Falconer and an excellent horseman. He played polo with a four rating – that was almost as good as you can get as a player (the ratings for Polo players go from minus two to a ten. The minus two is for novices and the ten for experts but there are very few worldwide with ratings over six).
He owned a stable of thoroughbreds and rarely, if ever, missed the Triple Crown. Several of his horses had run at the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont. He enjoyed the fanfare and the attention of the fawning media and was photographed with the who’s who of the horse racing world, exploiting his image as the ultra-wealthy Arabian playboy.
His other major passion was for free-form, no-holds-barred, cage fighting and was known to travel halfway around the world to watch these fearless combatants. He sponsored several fighters who participated in the underground version where there were no weight classes, time limits or rules. These events were so violent that they were too gruesome for public sanctioning and had been banned in most places. It was as close as it got to the Gladiators of Rome and took place shrouded in secrecy. But there was big money in it and the sport catered to a very stratified audience who paid enormous amounts for the privilege of being part of the overt brutality. All his bodyguards were expert martial artists and a few like, John Hawthorne, were unbeaten champions.
He kept several mistresses, all of them blonde and all of them beautiful and as soon as he saw Jennifer walking towards the table, he was drawn to her like a moth to a flame and knew that he had to have her no matter what the cost.
He had a predilection for bondage and domination, often indulging in games of enslavement where he played the Sultan taking pleasure from a bevy of slave girls, many of whom would be tied up or collared. What others didn’t know was that he often indulged his Sadomasochistic fetish eliciting pleasure from the dark perversion of sexual pain.
All things considered, Salim Al Siddique was a very complex man.
******* The First Look
Jenny Haight had noticed Julian the moment he had entered the room. She had always been attracted to the tall, dark and dangerous types; men who reminded her of her uncle and this man was the epitome of everything that tickled her fancy. There was an easy grace to his walk and an air of self assurance which came from knowing that he could take care of himself and though he was wearing a linen jacket, you could sense that he was built like an athlete. The broad shoulders, narrow waist and long, lean muscles created an aura of strength and then she noticed the small, gold cross around his neck and wondered whether he was religious. Was he ethical or was he a player … a good guy or just another good-looking user?
And despite the conflicting emotions stemming from the eternal struggle of the spirit and the flesh, she liked the full mouth and strong chin and the way his soft curls fell around his face; a dark, modern day incarnation of Michelangelo’s ‘David’.
“Who’s the hunk?” said the girl standing next to her, brazenly ogling Julian as he walked by them.
“He’s most probably married or gay … I’m betting ‘Gay’!” added another, eliciting a series of giggles from the rest.
That is, all except Jenny – she was a diehard romantic and was suddenly intrigued convincing herself that the cosmic connection between her and this mysterious man was the real reason she was here. Their eyes had met briefly, locking in that curious acknowledgment of attraction where the quantum of time and space seem to vanish. She felt her heart fluttering when he flashed a quick smile making her feel like a schoolgirl, tossing back her silky mane in that quaintly feminine gesture of nervousness.
She was a sucker for astrology and being an Aires, she wondered what his sign was; her mind racing with thoughts of predestination and soul mates and the frustrating search for her true love. Her horoscope had mentioned something vague about being open and the advent of a dark stranger. And though in the shadowy recesses of her mind lurked the serpentine images of her uncle, she wondered - could this man erase those persistent memories or would he augment them writing new ones leading to that ‘happy ever after’ life she longed for? Was this the ‘him’? How she wished she had Crystal Ball!
It’s funny how quickly perception changes the effect of things. She began feeling better about coming to the party and was already conniving of ways to meet with this man but what she didn’t know was that there was more to Julian St. Croix …
******* Julian St. Croix
Julian had spent four years in the Special Forces as an elite commando when a freak accident ended the promising career. While taking part in a training exercise, Julian had blown out his knee. It was serious enough that it required several surgeries to fix the torn Cruciate Ligaments, both Anterior and Posterior, and the Patellar tendons which had ripped when the knee lost its stabilizing support. He was advised of the severity of the injury and instructed to avoid stressing the joint but true to his obdurate nature he was determined to work himself back into shape as quickly as possible. He had always been a hard-worker, able to outwork the others by sheer force of will.
After a quick stint in physiotherapy and against the advice of his doctor, he had rejoined his team but six months later he was back in surgery and in lieu of a desk job had opted for an honorable discharge. It had affected him deeply but he kept his feelings to himself.
Back home, he had struggled through the transition of adapting to civilian life. Their family which had always been close was now scattered. His elder sister, Jessica, had married a Canadian Mountie and moved to Newfoundland and his younger brother, Jeremiah, a marine, was on a mission in Iraq. The only sibling left at home with his parents was the youngest, Jacqueline. He smiled to himself when he thought of her. Even as a child she had been headstrong and stubborn. She had difficulty pronouncing her name and being a pragmatic little tyke, she chose her middle name instead. She preferred ‘Samantha’ to Jacqueline and it stuck and since then, despite her parents urging, she had insisted on being known to her friends as Sam.
Samantha and he had always been closer than the rest. She was six years younger than him and had hero worshipped him from the time she was a toddler. She had been a mischievous, little kid always in trouble and it was Julian who had stepped in and protected her from the neighborhood bullies.
While he was still in Afghanistan with the Special Forces they talked constantly and used their cell phones to exchange pictures. She was his only link to the world far removed from his microcosmic life of violence and destruction. The long-distance chats, which he cherished, and the pictures she would send kept him from going insane and helped him maintain his humanity. It amazed him that at sixteen, just how quickly she had grown up and how beautiful she was becoming. Jessica, his older sister, had always been considered the ‘looker’ in the family and Sam, the athlete. But it was becoming more evident with each passing day that the athlete had taken over the mantle of the ‘looker’!
There was one particular photograph of her in her swimsuit which she titled “All grown Up – Your Little Sister”. It showed her in a revealing bikini, her burgeoning body peeking seductively from under the scanty cloth making him inexplicably jealous. There was this odd tightness in his chest accompanied by the sudden feeling of being out of control.
Then the strangest thing began to happen; during the cold nights in the mountains halfway around the world, alone in his tent, his sister began to invade his thoughts like an illusory seductress transcending their filial bonds, an erotic goddess riding the chimeral unicorn making his cock twitch and harden. This coupled with the intense loneliness tempered his iron will and he began masturbating to images of her culminating in climaxes that were by far the most intense he had experienced.
These bouts were inevitably followed by overwhelming feelings of remorse and regret. ‘I have to stop this … damn! She’s my little sister!’ he would say to himself but the harder he tried the more entangled she was in his psyche; the invasive thoughts of her proliferating surreptitiously into his mind, becoming increasingly sexual until finally, he gave up, submitting to the relentless fantasy of making love to her in every way possible.
During one of their conversations, just before the break of dawn when the reddish hue of the sun lit up the rocky mountainside, his incestuous need for her had clouded his judgment and he had flirted on the edge of ribald familiarity. It occurred when they were discussing the abject loneliness the soldiers faced when they were back in camp.
“Was it harder when Ashley broke up with you?” she asked him knowing that it had hurt him deeply when his girlfriend decided that she didn’t want the stress of waiting for him, not knowing whether each day was his last.
“What do you think? The girl you love says you are not worth waiting for? And then goes and hooks-up with a friend of yours? Makes you wonder!” was his wry reply.
She knew that the pain was far deeper because Ashley had dated a friend of his after the breakup.
“I can’t believe she did that, Julian, I would never have done that,” she said, “and, I would have waited for you,” and then added quickly, “… waited for the man I loved!”
There was a short silence as he wondered about his sister, about the Freudian slip and whether she had a boyfriend and felt himself feeling jealous and angry again. The thought that some hormone-ravaged, sex-crazy boy may be fondling his sister filled him with an irrational and invidious anger.
“Julian? Julian … are you there?” her voice crackling over the static of the wireless frequencies.
“I’m here … I was just thinking, Sam,” he replied, “it’s just that you’re growing up so fast, little girl, and I’m not sure if I can handle that!”
It was her turn to be quiet. She wished that she could have been there with him to let him know that she loved him more than anyone else. The photos he had sent her were haunting and gruesome. There were incredible pictures of mountains flaming gold against the backdrop of the setting sun that were totally incongruous with others that unveiled the mangled bodies of soldiers and children strewn like inconsequential garbage.
There was one particular photograph of Julian with a little girl in his arms. She was about three years old and had been shot and it was obvious that she was dead, her tattered dress covered in the ugly effulgence of blood. It was impossible to ignore the expressions of their faces - the angelic serenity of the child forming an apotropaic pronouncement, an obfuscating masquerade contrasting darkly with the agony etched on his face as he clutched the tiny, lifeless body to his heart.
Samantha’s nurturing instinct had kicked in and she felt those inexplicable sensations in her chest and that warm feeling spreading down from her abdomen into the somatic V of her thighs. She wanted to be there for him, irrespective of when or in whatever capacity. He meant so much to her. She recalled the paradoxical feelings of anger and happiness when she heard that Ashley had broken up with him. He was all hers now and hers alone.
“Do you have a boyfriend?” he probed, breaking into her thoughts.
“No, not really … I have some friends but no one special. Why? Why do you ask?”
“Just curious. I was certain a pretty girl like you would have a bunch of guys calling!”
“Well, I don’t! And, you most probably scared half of them before you left!” she quipped, laughing at memory of him talking to one of her friends who had come over, “Do you remember Carl?”
“Oh, that punk … he had only one thing on his mind and that was to get you into bed!”
“What rubbish! He had come over to work on our Design assignment!” she retorted, giggling as the image of her frightened friend being quizzed by Julian played in her mind.
“He had a design assignment alright … yeah, designs to get into your panties, honey! Hey, trust me, if there’s one thing I do know, it’s what guys are thinking about!”
They laughed together and then felt silent. After a few seconds, with his body driven by a deep-rooted longing and before he could consider the repercussions of what he was about to ask, he blurted out:
“What’re you wearing?” the innocuous question taking on a deeper significance; betrayed by the tone of his voice.
“It’s muggy here … just a t-shirt!” she answered softly, cautiously.
“I’m trying to picture you, baby,” he paused and the added, “I’ll bet you look really sexy,” his voice sounding strangely strained and close, traversing the distance which separated them.
She knew that part of this stemmed from the fact that he was lonely and still hurt by Ashley’s betrayal. And part of it, from the stress of the constant vigil of battle. She struggled to understand what was going on with him, in his head, and her own reactions to him. She sensed that the conversation was heading down a new direction, one that was disguised by the mirage of unconditional love; a sensual path that they hadn’t explored before and one that was fraught with uncertainty.
She also knew, deep within her, that sipping from the forbidden chalice and tasting the sweet ambrosia of incestuous love would banish her forever from the realms of accepted normalcy but despite these instinctive caveats, she was drawn to its golden altar, compelled to imbibe the sweet nectar of sanguinary lust.
She was unsure of how she should proceed and hesitated, wanting to be there for him but also conflicted about what was happening between them and the blurring of boundaries. In the end, her youthful naïveté won out.
“It’s my yellow Tee and pink panties,” she said softly.
He felt his cock lurch and his mind fog over with fleshy urgency; she had taken the bait and had joined him in at the beguiling table of desire. No rules, no boundaries … only unbridled lust.
“Mmmm, sounds …” he struggled for the words, “Can you take a picture, Sam?” he asked, his voice rasping huskily, pleading, “Can you send it to me, baby?”
“Okay … um, give me a minute,” she said now eager to please him and jumped off the bed.
He waited while she played with the settings of the camera and heard the faint clicking as she snapped off a couple of shots. Then she was back.
“I’m sending it now … um, you should have them soon,” she said, breathless from the excitement of this new development and added shyly, “they aren’t very nice …”
After a few minutes of nervous waiting, both of them coping with the vagaries of the satellites and the congested streaming pathways of the international networks, he was able to open the pictures.
“God, you are so beautiful, baby!” he said sincerely, staring at a picture she had just sent.
He was harder than he had ever been and began stroking himself trying to imagine holding her, them kissing, the feel of her full lips, her mouth on him; overcome by the enormity of the moment, staring at the sultry image of his beautiful sister smiling coyly back at him.
He couldn’t help himself, as he emitted a low groan.
“Oh, sis …” it was a whisper but it exploded in her ear, reverberating with the promise of every prurient fantasy she had secretly fostered but had never fully considered.
Not knowing what to say or how this game was played made her hesitant and tentative. She didn’t want to spoil this in anyway. She wanted to help him, help herself and both of them as they reached for each other across the Byzantine chasm half a world away, their spirits locked together in an incestuous dance, spiraling out of control.
And in her innocence she said the only thing that was real to her, “I love you, Julian … I love you so much!”
She heard the strangled grunt as he came, shooting his seed into the ephemeral vision of his sister. It was abstruse; endless in its momentary pleasure, shutting out those parochial reasons which keeps us trapped in pedestrian morality.
She closed her eyes trying to picture him as he labored through the final throes of his climax, his soft, intimate grunts washing over her body until the final sigh signaled its finish. Her legs were trembling as she pressed her fingers into her cunt, the warm tingling sensations spreading through her like the licking flames of a raging wildfire. It was the first time she had done anything sexual with a man and she wanted him to help her through this so she could feel him across the vast expanse.
But as he regained his senses he was, once again, overcome by remorse, wanting to get away from this … from her and them and this convoluted labyrinth of contradictions. In his wretchedness, he was totally oblivious of her needs or what she had done for him; that she was laying there, her soul bared and vulnerable, waiting to hear him reassure her that he loved her back.
“I have to go, sis, I’m sorry!” he muttered, squinting against the rubicund beams of dazzling sunlight piercing through the seams of his tent.
Startled by the change in his tone, she was strangely anxious, unsure of what had triggered his reaction. And in the tortured ambivalence, she watched as the murky shadows danced like molting hieroglyphics on the walls of her room.
“Julian … what did I do? Did I do something wrong?” she asked him, her voice distraught and frightened that she had somehow displeased him.
“No, no, it’s me … it’s me, Sam,” his voice strangled with anguish, “I have to go … I’m so sorry, baby,” and he hung up.
She lay there feeling rejected. She had wanted to help him; to please him and would have done anything he had asked of her. Why was he treating her like this? She withdrew her fingers from her panties and squeezed her thighs together, feeling the searing trail of tears as they rolled down her cheeks.
He knew he had been inconsiderate but convinced himself that this was something that was brought on by the ravages of war and his tenuous existence; by the stress of danger and bloodshed and everything inhumanely violent that went along with it and that it would pass once he was back home. It allowed him to appease his conscience while assuaging the needs of his body condoning the act of jerking off each night to the pictures of his beautiful sister. But there was so much more to Samantha St. Croix …
******* Samantha St. Croix
There were two things that had a special place in Samantha’s heart – animals and her elder brother, Julian.
She had always loved animals and when she was only six she had pestered her parents until they capitulated and allowed her to adopt a scruffy, little mutt from the pound. It was Julian who had accompanied her to the shelter and agreed to help her to pick out the puppy. After struggling to choose between an older Husky and a little black and white mutt, she picked the little puppy. She named her Patches. Life for Sam was now complete and perfect.
Then ten years later, her world came crashing down. Patches had developed pancreatic cancer, a pernicious form of the disease, which had no cure and after a heart-wrenching goodbye she was put down. A few weeks later, the Ozzie and Harriet home collapsed. Her father was threatening to move out of the house in a last ditch effort to save her parent’s troubled marriage. And then, just when she thought it couldn’t get worse, word that her beloved Julian, the rock that sheltered her from the storms in her life, was leaving for Afghanistan; the thought of his being gone ravaged her frayed soul and was the proverbial straw that broke her emotional back.
The night before he was scheduled to join his Special Ops team, distraught over all the turmoil in her young life, she had worn her most revealing nightie and gone to her brother’s room. She was too naïve to comprehend the inner machinations of her actions or come to terms with her feelings, knowing only that the fangs of her burgeoning sexuality was buried deep within the filial love she felt for him.
And, how do you define this love? Is there a clear boundary which delineates good and bad love or acceptable and unacceptable love? What happens when these boundaries are blurred by circumstance or destiny or even the curious and inexplicable attraction stemming from raging hormones? How could she explain what she was feeling; the tightness in her chest, the warm tingling between her legs? Was this normal? Why was all this happening to her? She just needed someone to hold and tell her that everything was going to be alright and the only person who could do that for her was Julian.
But that night, when she stood outside his room she could hear his girlfriend, Ashley, crying and Julian trying to comfort her. So, confused and angry she had run back to her bedroom, a muddled mess … her mind struggling with the emotions of a sister, friend and though she wouldn’t acknowledge it, a jilted lover.
But it was an incident a few years later which had changed their lives forever. She had morphed from the proverbial ‘ugly duckling’ to the relucent Swan; a tall, dusky Lakshmi with rich, auburn hair, a small, pointy nose, full lips and sparkling blue eyes which contrasted dramatically with her dark, Floridian tan. She was a natural athlete and had captained the school’s Swim team. However, unlike many pretty girls she was unaffected and almost blasé about her looks. She was a popular girl with a wide circle of friends and among them was an insecure, grunge-head named Penelope Harding.
Penny’s family was appallingly rich and her boyfriend, Philip Cairn, was another rich kid who was the leader of a pack of unruly juveniles who called themselves the ‘Miami Mafia’. They were a wild, disruptive bunch who partied hard and indulged in activities that the others only fantasized about. One of the games they played involved counting coup – that is, the number of girls they could get to perform fellatio on them. There were several versions of this sordid game, the most notorious of which was aptly named the ‘Rainbow Bangles’.
As the name suggested, it entailed getting girls to wear different shades of lipstick and the kid with the most number of lipstick stains on his penis won the game. As part of this lewd scheme, the girls had to continue to wear that shade of lipstick for the rest of the day as a badge of honor. Philip had won this more times than his friends cared to discuss and more often than not, their girlfriends were among those who had sucked on his root. Like the Silverback in a band of Gorillas he got to pick from the females in his tribe and there was little they could do about it.
Phil, like many of the boys in high school, had noticed the change in Samantha, the metamorphosis from a pudgy, athletic Bug to a graceful, resplendent Butterfly. But no amount of his charming, sweet talk or gentle coercion had worked and finally, in frustration, he had managed to inveigle Penny’s assistance.
At first, she was just as unsuccessful in her attempts at convincing Sam. She had tried to get her to attend one of their wild parties but Sam had always had an excuse: homework, swimming practice, helping her mom or training in the gym with her brothers.
But one weekend, bored and with nothing to watch on the tube, Sam called Penny.
“Hi, Sam … what’s up?” Penny answered, shouting into the phone.
Sam could hear the blaring beat of the music in the backdrop.
“Hi … nothing, I was just bored! What are you doing?” Sam asked, “Where are you?”
“I’m at Luke’s party … its wild,” she shouted back cupping her ear, “you wouldn’t believe the stuff that’s going on here!”
There was a pause. Penny felt her friend’s uncertainty and decided to try again.
“Why don’t you come over? It’ll be fun and you need to get out more … come on, Sam!”
Without really thinking, Sam had agreed, “Okay, I’ll be there but if it gets weird … um, I’m not staying!”
“That’s cool … I can come and get you if you want?” Penny shouted over the music.
“Are you sure? My car’s in the garage … again! And I’d hate to take Julian’s car … you know how he is about it.”
“We’ll come and get you … it’s not a problem, girl!”
“Okay! I’ll meet you outside,” Sam replied and headed for the bathroom to get changed.
She saw Philip’s Hummer from a distance, its headlight glaring and the music reverberating in the stillness of the Floridian night. It was a 50 Cent classic:“I'm like an animal wit it when I spit it's crazy,
Got semi-autos to put holes and niggas try to play me,”
When she looked in she was greeted by a chorus of hellos but there was no room for her. Philip was driving with Penny in the front. She was in the middle and Rob Adams next to her and there were three others in the back. They were all part of the Miami Mafia; John Magi, Don Polanski and Fred Ascot.
“Come on, baby, get in,” Don said over the music."One shot is not enough you need at least a uzi to move me,
After four bottles of Don the kid start to feeling woozy,
I write my life you write what you see in gangsta movies,
I'm gangsta to the core nigga you can't move me,
I find my space at the top I got this rap shit …”
They were bobbing their heads and shaking about like discombobulated zombies rocking to the heavy thud of the Bass. There was something weirdly Gothic about this; about a bunch of rich, white kids pretending that the inner-city, urban culture was something they could relate to.
She was undecided and hesitated when Philip said, “Get in Sam; we’re going down to the beach. The party’s moving there … everyone’s coming, so hurry, get in.”
“Scoot over, assholes,” Philip ordered as his friends scrunched together making space for Sam.
The party had already moved to the beach and there were groups of kids drinking around a fire. Several couples had splintered off and were making out while others danced to music from a boom-box. Sam noticed Penny leaving with Don and the others heading towards the water and was about to call out to them when Philip eased up beside her.
“You want a beer, Sam?” he asked.
“Sure,” she replied without thinking and looked in the direction from where the cheering was coming from.
At first she was shocked: a couple who were in close proximity to her was actually having sex right in front of everyone. The small crowd, which had gathered around them, began cheering them on with wolf whistles and cat calls, clapping in time to the beat of the music.
She recognized the dark-haired boy from one of her classes, it was Erik Cribs, and he was lying on top of a petite, redheaded girl; someone that she didn’t know. She couldn’t believe it because Erik was a shy kid. As she continued to watch, he began pumping awkwardly into the girl and from his expression it was evident that he wasn’t going to last very long; he was almost on the verge of his climax. Then after a few final, frenetic strokes he grunted loudly and his body shook as he emptied himself into the luscious, little thing, jerking uncontrollably until he was finished. He lay still for a few seconds before getting up and quickly stuffing his glistening cock back into his trousers.
No sooner had Erik gotten up than another boy took his place; his erect penis sticking out unashamedly in front of him, bobbing lewdly as he stepped between the girl’s pale thighs. He began rubbing his cockhead against the silvery, wet slit when the eager nymphet took a hold of the thick, fleshy scepter and impatiently thrust her hips upwards, guiding him into her. Then the second suitor began thrusting slowly, working up a smooth, steady cadence. It was obvious that this lad was a lot more experienced than Erik and had indulged in these parties many times before.
Sam found herself becoming strangely aroused; enthralled and intoxicated by the orgy of sweaty bodies. She stood still, unable to look away, transfixed by the girl as she moaned with pleasure, her hips undulating in rhythm to the boy on top of her like a sensual dancer moving to the beat of some primordial ritual. The crowd had begun closing in on the couple and now others were joining in. Hands groping, fondling as the heaviness of the sexual ambience escalated. Couples had begun undressing and it was beginning to resemble a mass fuck-fest depicted in some amateur Blue movie – a case of life imitating art.
“Amazing, isn’t it?” Philip said softly as he came up behind her, pulling her to him.
She could feel his thick cock throbbing against the curve of her bottom and when he squeezed her breasts she felt the jolts of pleasure shooting through her.
“Mmmm … no, please,” she protested but her voice wasn’t very convincing.
Philip just held her tightly to him and continued to knead her breasts, toying with her nipples while kissing the curve of her neck. He was obviously experienced and knew just what to do.
“Shhhh … don’t worry baby, just go with the feeling!” he whispered into her ear, “Let yourself go, you’ll love it!”
Then his hand, which had been holding her to him by her waist, moved down the swell of her abdomen, trailing into the v of her thighs as he began stroking her cunt through the flimsy fabric of her dress. This was the first time that a boy had touched her intimately, not counting the quick grope by one of Julian’s friends when she was younger, and unlike the previous time, the feelings that coursed through her now were indescribably intense. She spread her thighs slightly allowing him better access and could feel the dampness in her panties as his fingers slid along the length of her slit.
She shivered with pleasure as he found her little button.
“Ohhhh … oh, God … no … please, please don’t …” she whimpered, her body teetering on the edge of submission, her hips beginning to push back into the hand cupping her crotch.
But just as she was about to surrender, thoughts of Julian flashed through her mind like a bolt of lightning searing her senses, reviving her from the doldrums of the flesh and she pulled away. They struggled briefly but she fought herself free and glared at Philip for a moment.
“I said ‘no’, Philip! I’m not one of your fuck-toys!” she hissed, adjusting her dress, and turning, walked towards the road.
“Come on, Sam! Don’t be like this … you know you want it! Come back, baby!” he called after her, “Oh, come on … don’t leave; I’ll be good …” his voice wafting faintly across the sea breeze and dissolving within the sounds of the crashing waves.
Sam walked quickly and fumbled for her phone; her heart was pounding in her head, her hands trembling from the intensity of what had just occurred. She needed to get away.
“Julian …? Can you come and get me, please?” she said, her breathing labored and heavy from running across the beach.
Julian was quick to notice the difference in her tone.
“What’s up, sis? Are you okay?” he asked, concerned by her urgency.
“I’m fine. Just come and get me … hurry, please! I’m on 8 th and Ocean Drive by the Bus Stand near the Causeways,” she said.
“I’ll be right over … stay put, Sam!”
She waited, her mind buzzing with what had just transpired. She couldn’t believe that she was on the verge of giving herself up to Philip, a boy she thoroughly despised. This was as close as it had ever gotten. Was this what happened to girls? Teased and stimulated; driven by curiosity and their bodies lascivious needs, pressured by their peers and then … then, there would be no going back or you’d be branded a slut, a whore, a bitch or worse, a cock-teaser!
Most just gave in to the relentless circumstance of wanting to fit in. Some glad that they were now free to enjoy the carnal pleasures, succumbing to the totality of the experience. While others suffered in silence, struggling with their conscience hoping that their souls could be redeemed.
Sam felt vindicated; she had battled the urge and won. For her, there would only be one man she would give herself to … her brother, Julian. If nothing else, this incident had reinforced the notion she had always harbored but had never before acknowledged. She was totally and unconditionally in love with her brother.
******* Julian and Samantha St. Croix
The month that Julian had stayed at home, on his return, proved to be a lot more difficult than he had anticipated. He was unable to stop fantasizing about Samantha and being in such close proximity to her only intensified his feelings and was literally driving him insane with bouts of extreme passion followed by the smothering guilt. For her part, she had taken to pretending like nothing had happened and was cheery and upbeat which confused him even more.
One evening, after their parents had left to have dinner at a friend’s place, she came to his room wearing the yellow T-shirt and her pink panties. He was reading a book, lying back on his bed facing away from the door and didn’t see her come in.
“Can I borrow that CD … you know, Cream … Disraeli Gears?” she asked, innocently, standing by the door. They were both fans of the early Rock bands and recently she had gotten into Cream.
As soon as he saw her, he felt the tightness in his chest and his heart began to pound in his head. There she was, in the flesh, the picture he had masturbated to incessantly, breaching the fragile separation between fantasy and reality. The vision that had stoked his sensual fires was suddenly manifest and he was unable to control himself.
His eyes strayed, darting up and down, running quickly from her pretty face to her breasts and then lower to the enticing V of her thighs. His cock hardened almost instantly tenting his trousers. He saw her looking at the throbbing bulge and tried adjusting his position, raising his knees so that it wasn’t quite that obvious. But she continued to stare at his arousal, lips slightly parted and the tip of her tongue running along the inner ridge, wetting the dryness of her parched mouth.
“It’s in the CD player,” he croaked, his voice sounding oddly discordant.
And when she turned and playfully skipped across the room towards the Armoire where the player was, he almost shot his load. The wiggling of her callipygian ass was about all he could take. While she fussed with the CD player, he got up and grabbing his coat, fled the scene of the crime, not trusting himself to be alone with her.
She hadn’t anticipated his leaving. She had wanted to talk to him – about Afghanistan and why he was acting so distant. She wanted to discuss what they had shared over the phone and that was the real reason she had come to his room. The CD was just an excuse and her outfit was the only thing that was contrived; knowing that it would excite him. But his running away was something that she hadn’t counted on.
So, feeling rejected once again and saddened further by the on-going unpredictability of his behavior, she lay on his bed, basking in the essence of him, his warmth and smell and the aura permeating her being until she drifted off to sleep to the strains of ‘Brave Ulysses’.
There was a strong, ethical side to him which had been conditioned by his parents, the church, school, armed forces etc. which dictated that doing the right thing by God, Country, Family and Friends was the only edict to live by. Sibling-love, though never directly addressed, was perceived as wrong and something that was detrimental to society setting up the daily struggle he had created for himself.
And adding to this was the strain of his father moving back home. His parents were putting the pieces back as a couple but there was a sense of awkwardness which he felt and had failed to address on an emotional level. All through his life, until the day his father had moved out, he had been his father’s son but that changed when he came home and found his mother crying in the kitchen. His dad had cited irreconcilable differences as an excuse but his mother and he knew that there was another woman, a much younger woman, and that his father was going through the desultory ruckus of a mid-life crisis.
Julian couldn’t forgive him for his weakness, for breaking the family up and hurting the women who were sacred to him, his mother and his little sister. But his anger towards his father wasn’t helping and considering the overwhelming feelings he was having for his sister, he decided that the best course of action was to move out.
So despite protests from his mother and Samantha, he found a small apartment a few miles from his parent’s home and began moving his thing into the place. He was determined to start afresh and true to his stubborn nature, no one could convince him to stay, not even Sam.
“But why do you have to go?” she asked, her voice betraying her emotions.
“I just have to,” he answered doggedly, resigned to the path he had chosen, “trust me, Sam, it’s best for both of us … and Dad.”
“Don’t tell me what’s best for me … and, Dad doesn’t want you to leave,” she countered belligerently, adding, “staying silent doesn’t help, it doesn’t solve anything!”
He remained quiet, continuing to pack the last of his things. Sensing his stubbornness, she softened.
“Please don’t go, Jules, please … please, please, for my sake, don’t go!” she pleaded, begging him to stay, “I’ll do anything you want … just stay!”
“Don’t do that; don’t make it any more difficult than it already is. It’s not far away and we’ll see each other almost every day. It’ll give Dad and Mom some space and me, maybe I’ll …” and then he just kept quiet, grinding his jaws, overcome by the sudden surge of feelings.
Her immediate response was to lock herself in her room and not speak to anyone. She felt responsible for his moving out and knew that there was something about them; about their singular relationship rooted in their intense feelings for each other that wasn’t normal but lacking the life-experience to fully comprehend this, she blamed herself.
But true to the resilience of youth within a very short period, unable to sustain her abeyance, she found herself spending considerably more time at Julian’s place. At first she helped him with the furniture, curtains, plants and the other necessary furnishings infusing a sense of warmth and fun, making the place look cozy and filling it with her laughter. And then she shopped for the dinnerware and cutlery and even bought him a large screen TV as a house warming gift, making sure that his internet and cable connections were installed with all his favorite sports channels.
It was about the most touching gift he had received and meant more to him because he knew that she didn’t have a lot saved. He was truly amazed at the change in the apartment and wondered what he would have done without her.
When she began cooking for him and helping with his laundry, his apartment became a second home for her – she got to spend exclusive time with him and felt him relaxing around her; the tenseness between them was disappearing. It was like old times. And when she got him the dog, life was almost perfect again … almost!
When Samantha had called him from the beach, he had just returned from his evening run with Bronson, his large Staffordshire terrier. He had noticed the urgency in the tone of her voice so without further ado he headed straight for the beach. He took his 1958 Buick Century Coupe, a powder blue convertible with custom interior, white leather seats and a souped-up 450 hp engine. It was a Classic. He loved this car and the only thing he loved more was his dog … and of course, Sam.
“So, what happened?” he quizzed, as soon as she got in.
“Nothing … Penny had to leave and I needed a ride,” she lied, feeling a total sense of relief when she snuggled up next to him.
He was quiet for a while then glancing sideways at her he said, “The truth, girl, give me the truth!” then added, “Do you remember our promise? Never lying to each other no matter what the consequence?”
She nodded her head and replied somberly, “I remember but you haven’t been honest with me either! You don’t want to tell me the truth about what’s happening with you and … um, and what you don’t know is that it affects me!”
“Don’t play that game,” he said tersely and then continued, “One has nothing to the other. Tell me what happened … are you okay? Did someone hurt you?”
His voice had turned cold sending a shiver of fear through her. She had always known that Julian had the capacity for extreme violence, especially after returning from the war, and was capable of really hurting someone if he so decided.
“I’m okay,” she answered, leaning against him as if the contact of their bodies would wash away the feelings she had experienced earlier; making her pure and clean again.
And then looking at him she said, “I don’t want to talk about it, Julian, I promise, nothing happened!”
He pulled the convertible onto the shoulder and turned off the engine.
“Okay, let’s have it Sam … what’s going on?” he asked, now turning in his seat so he was facing her.
“No … you’re not putting this on me. First promise me that that you will talk to me about what’s going on with you; promise me this and I’ll tell you everything!” she paused, looking right into his eyes, searching for the crease into his soul, “Just don’t lie to me anymore; I’m not a child!”
They looked at each other for a while, their wills wrestling silently, and he couldn’t help but think how beautiful she was and hated the forces of nature which had cast them into their filial roles. He was the first to look away resisting the urge to pull her into his arms.
“Okay … you win, I promise,” he said softly.
She reached over and took his hand in both hers and unable to contain her exuberance, she kissed it.
“Let’s have a quick dinner and talk tomorrow. I have a game to go to. I promise I’ll tell you everything, baby, just know that I love you more than anything else!” he told her and hugged her to him, holding onto her like she was his only salvation. ******* The Game
They had been playing for a while now, maybe six hours or so, and Salim Al Siddique had been losing steadily. He was losing mainly because he was distracted. His mind was not focused on the game but instead on the tall, curvaceous blond standing next to Julian. The sensual naiad had permeated his being exciting him like he hadn’t been in a while. He couldn’t get over how beautiful she was - she’s perfect, he thought to himself, and reluctantly admitted that she seemed more focused on that man, St. Croix. This was something that bothered him. He was not used to losing … at anything.
“Hey, Blondie! Come here … next to me,” he said addressing Jenny, his light brown eyes boring into her own, “I need something to change my luck.”
Jennifer had noticed the interesting looking foreigner checking her out. She had thought that he was handsome in a cruel sort of way and made a concerted effort not to make eye contact with him. She just smiled and continued to stand behind Julian’s chair.
“Maybe you didn’t hear me? Come here, girl, I do not bite!” he commanded again, his face masked in an impatient scowl.
Rick Hansen had had a run of poor hands and was forced to fold almost every time. He was bored and the few times he had tried bluffing, the others had called him. He looked up from his cards and studied Jennifer before looking over at Julian. The name St. Croix had struck a chord in his memory when they had been introduced but he couldn’t quite place it. There was something about Julian’s self-assuredness that raised a cautionary flag and he had filed it in the back of his mind.
“What’s your name?” Rick asked Jenny, flashing a broad, friendly smile.
“Jennifer,” she answered and smiled back, trying to be cordial.
“You’re a beautiful girl, Jennifer, and maybe you can change Sid’s luck. Why don’t you go over and share the love?”
“I don’t think so,” Jenny replied, “I’m doing just fine right here.”
Rick looked over at Four Fingers Castellano wondering why Jennifer was being difficult. The girls were here to please, right? But the hood just shrugged.
“Well, okay … it’s a free country so suit yourself but Sid here is a big tipper!” Rick said and chuckled.
“That’s okay, I’ll live!” Jenny replied irritated by the aspersion that she could be bought.
“What are you doing here anyway?” he continued trying to keep the friendly banter going, “You should be in the movies or something!”
And while they made small talk the Arab leaned back and spoke softly to the big, man behind him. He was obviously the bodyguard and cut an imposing figure. John Hawthorne stood about six feet four inches in height and weighed in the vicinity of three hundred pounds with very little fat on him. All through the game, his eyes had been scanning the room, making sure that there was nothing that could be a threat to his client.
He made his way around the table, pushing through the small crowd, excusing himself politely until he was next to Jennifer. Then leaning towards her he whispered in her ear.
“Listen Miss, maybe you don’t know who that is? That’s Salim Al Siddique, an Arabian prince and one of the richest men you’ll ever meet. He’s really a nice guy so why don’t you come over and stand by him?” he said then added, “He can save face and we can avoid any kind of trouble.”
Jenny appraised the big man, a little intimidated by his size but stood firm.
“No thank you. I think I’ll stand right here,” she replied, the stubborn streak beginning to take root.
The bodyguard and the Arab made eye contact and the latter nodded. It happened quickly and was very subtle but Julian had caught it. The big man placed his arm around Jenny’s waist and holding her by the elbow began guiding her towards his boss.
“Let me go! Let me go right now!” Jenny protested angrily and struggled to break free.
Though she was a big girl and pretty strong in her own right, she was no match for the bodyguard; he was way too powerful and he continued to ‘guide’ her towards the other side of the table.
Julian had seen and heard enough. The sound of his chair falling back was like a clashing cymbal slashing through the noisy symphony of the smoke-filled room, snapping people’s wandering attention.
“Hey, you … yeah, you big fella; let her go! Now!” he said moving tangentially to get closer to Jenny and the bodyguard, cutting them off.
The big man let Jenny go and then turned very deliberately towards Julian. He had noticed the easy manner in which the smaller man had moved. It was effortless, almost like he was gliding, soundless and smooth like a deadly Mamba. And he was unhesitant and fearless - that was uncommon.
“Listen champ, it’s always a good idea to mind your own business,” he said, his voice soft and even, “this ain’t your problem, dude.”
They studied each other before Julian took off his jacket and threw it towards the table.
“I’m making it my problem, dude!” he answered smiling at the big man.
The bodyguard was quiet. He had met men like Julian, slender and seemingly innocuous but looks were often misleading and he was sure that this man was trouble. He wasn’t concerned at all. This just made things a lot more interesting.
“You’ve gotta big set’a stones, son, I’ll give you that,” the big man said, unruffled, “but it’s gonna get you killed!”
Julian just smiled readying himself on the balls of his feet, prepared for the strike he knew would come. And just when it looked like things were going to break loose, Tony Castellano stepped between them.
“Julian … please … let it go, okay?” and turning to the bodyguard, “Come on, pal, let’s play cards!” he said, gently pushing him back towards his boss.
“You are a lucky man, Mr. St. Croix; John has put men in the hospital for far less!” Al Siddique said to Julian once everyone had settled back.
“You may not want to find out, Mr. Siddique, no disrespect meant. Your man may be a tough hombre but this is one fella you don’t want trouble with!” Four Fingers said motioning to Julian.
Al Siddique smiled and went back to studying his cards confident that if needed his man could handle the stranger. And then he had a thought, an epiphany, and smiled to himself - it would be inherently satisfying to see John destroy this upstart and maybe create a way for him to get to the blonde beauty.
“Come on! Let’s just play cards, okay?” Ricky said, smiling at Julian.
Julian knew that the big man was a professional and wouldn’t start anything unless his boss wanted him to. From the moment he had met the Arab, he had disliked him. Not that he had anything against Arabs; his six months outside Kabul had taught him that there was good and bad on all sides but it was the rich man’s overbearing attitude that had bothered him.
Also, from the moment he has seen Jennifer he had felt a connection to her and when he began winning with her standing next to him, he was convinced she was his good luck charm, an angel sent to free him from the chains of his incestuous turmoil.
“Thank you!” Jennifer said softly, leaning over so her face was close to his.
He loved the smell of her perfume, the subtle essence of lavender and cinnamon.
“Not a problem,” he replied, leaning back to look up at her, “it was my pleasure.”
Their faces were inches apart and he felt himself drowning in the emerald pools of her eyes. Her lips parted sensually and for a brief instant he felt alone with her; divorced from the others in the room and fought the urge to kiss her but the moment passed and he went back to his cards.
******* The Coup de Grâce
They continued play late into the early hours of the morning without further incident. The crowd had thinned and many of the girls had left but Jenny stayed. The Arab was still losing. He was playing erratically betting wildly on hands he had no chance of winning but every now and then he’d pull the proverbial rabbit out of the hat. The befuddling strategy seemed to be working because no one at the table could read him. They weren’t sure exactly when he was betting with the cards in his favor or whether he was bluffing. The man’s expressions remained the same.
Julian had been winning steadily and most of it was coming at the expense of Al Siddique. And though he couldn’t predict the rich man’s moves, he felt like he was in the man’s head. He could sense that the Arab was incensed and it gave him some satisfaction. He enjoyed taking Siddique’s money knowing that the Arab could well afford to lose but like all things in life, what goes up, comes down and things we about to get interesting.
After the requisite Blinds were posted, the Dealer dealt the hands.
“I’m in,” Al Siddique said after a quick peek at his cards. He had an Ace of Spades and a Queen of Diamonds and pushed a stack of chips forward.
A few of the others checked their cards and folded while the remaining players matched the Arab’s bet.
On the flop, the Dealer dealt the Queen of Hearts, the Five of hearts and the Ace of Clubs.
The Queen and Ace gave Siddique an Ace-high two pair and the controlling hand at the table.
Ricky Hansen was the button and he checked. A couple of others checked before Siddique pushed several stacks of chips in front of his cards.
All the others, except for Ricky and Julian, folded.
Ricky was holding Ace of Diamonds and a Ten of Spades. He had an Ace pair and a possible straight if he was really lucky.
“What do you have there?” Ricky asked, pointing to the stack of chips Siddique had bet.
The Dealer did a quick count, “Twenty thousand.”
“Okay! Let’s do this!” Ricky said pushing his chips forward, “My stinkin’ luck’s gotta change!”
Julian had Ace and King of Hearts giving him an Ace pair and a possible Flush. He matched the bet and saw the Arab smile across the table at him. This was what he had wanted – a chance to get at Julian.
The Fourth Street (the fourth community card) was a Two of Hearts giving Julian the flush he was looking for. His expression didn’t change as he stared at the community cards. He knew he had the winning hand. The trick was to lie low and to draw the others in. It couldn’t obvious it had to be done subtly. He checked.
The card didn’t help the Arab but true to the unpredictability of his game, he pushed several stacks forward.
The Dealer checked the chips and said, “Fifty Thousand!”
Ricky looked at his cards again and said, “Damn, I’m out … again!”
He got up and walked away from the table, shaking his head as if to clear the sleep that must have been dogging him.
Julian took another look at his cards more from habit and contemplated the bet. He wasn’t sure if the Arab was bluffing. It was possible that he was holding a trip – three of a kind or maybe a two pair but it didn’t matter, he would still win. It was highly unlikely that he had a Full House. He glanced up at Jenny and when she smiled back at him, he felt good about his chances and matched the bet.
After burning another card, the Dealer dealt the final card. The River card was the Queen of Spades.
As improbable as it was, it gave Al Siddique a Full House beating Julian’s Flush. The Arab knew he had his man and bet another twenty thousand trying to entice Julian to make a play. He was hoping that Julian wouldn’t call.
The very same thought was going through Julian’s mind – it was almost impossible that the man had a full house, the hand that could beat his flush. He didn’t want to spook the Arab so he met him and raised five, a cautious move.
Al Siddique took another peek at his cards and then pushed fifty thousand dollars worth of chips in front of him.
There were no limits to the betting. The only limit was to the number of Raises – at this table you were allowed to raise a maximum of four times.
Julian looked over at the Arab and came in for seventy five thousand raising the bet by twenty five thousand. He was getting close to his limit and would have to borrow from Castellano if this kept going but he was confident that he would win this and felt the thrill that gamblers live for, the feeling of reeling the others in.
Al Siddique looked at Julian for a while before putting down his card and leaning forward over the table.
“Let’s make this interesting and fair since I have a lot more resources than you,” he said, “I’ll call and if you win I’ll add another hundred thousand to the pot. But should you lose, Mr. St. Croix,” he paused for effect, “it would be worth my while to see you fight John. What do you say?”
You could hear a pin drop. The place fell silent and everyone looked over at Julian. The suggestion was appealing in its absurdity, evoking a crass sense of curiosity, like watching two big dogs and wondering if one could take the other.
“Hey, your man’s got over a hundred pounds on him,” Four Fingers broke the silence, “so, if you really want to see them fight, you had better sweeten the deal!”
Then everyone was chattering at the same time, making side bets and giving odds and it was hard to understand what was being said until the Arab raised his hand, asking for silence. But it was Ricky Hansen who spoke.
“Don’t do it, man … just play the game and forget this bullshit!” he advised.
More than anything else, Julian was amused. He looked over at John Hawthorne and knew that this would be a tough assignment but like most fighters he was pretty secure in his ability and sure that he could take the big man out and close the deal.
“Should I agree, where would you want to do this?” Julian asked, “And what if I beat your man?”
John Hawthorne didn’t say anything. He stood there with a half-smile on his face not taking his eyes of Julian like a predacious carnivore eyeing its prey. He wasn’t really concerned; he was a lot bigger and had been tested in several contests in arenas all over the world and had never lost a fight, not even in the toughest arena of them all, Rahway Prison.
“You don’t have to do this,” Jenny leaned over and whispered in his ear.
“I can see that the lady lacks faith in you,” Al Siddique mocked, “maybe she knows something,” and he laughed, a derisive laugh, “We can hold it at my residence. Do you know The Bay Point Estates? Well, my place is on Sabal Palm Road overlooking the Bay … I have a large gym or if you prefer, we can set this up on the lawn. You wouldn’t mind would you, John?”
The big man smiled and shook his head, “No. He can pick whatever he wants, inside or outdoors, it won’t make a difference.”
Al Siddique waited, sensing that it would take more to make this happen. He was deeply insulted that Jenny would refuse him and take to this dark stranger. There was no accounting for taste especially with American girls. He would break him and make her suffer; she would be sorry for her insolence and he would make her regret the rude rebuff. Then he would teach her lessons that would be painful for her but pleasurable to him. Yes, it would give him great satisfaction to break her. This was all meant to happen. Karma, like the Indians say.
Maybe if she saw his homes, his horses and estates and got to know him … his mind raced with possibilities of having Jenny. Men like him couldn’t admit losing.
“Okay, I’ll tell you what I’ll do; I’ll add two hundred and fifty thousand to the pot. You win, you get it all; you lose and you beat John - you get it all. But what happens if you lose and then lose to John? That is a distinct possibility; then what do I get?” he directed the last part at Jenny.
But it was Castellano who stepped in and replied, “You get the chance to see one hell-of-a shindig … I’ll guarantee you that!”
“That is not enough,” Al Siddique protested, “I need skin in the game!”
It was then that Ricky Hansen spoke again. He seemed to be the only one without an interest in the fight.
“Listen friend, it looks like the lady’s taken a shine you, I envy that,” Ricky Hansen said smiling at Jenny, “you should take her and ride off into the sunset. You make a great looking couple and it …”
But before he could finish his sentence, the Arab cut in, standing up, hands akimbo, “I don’t think Mr. St. Croix wants out. I think he wants to know. No, I think it’s more than that - he needs to know! It’s an alpha male thing! Am I right, Mr. St. Croix?”
“I don’t know about that stuff but the money makes it interesting for me. It makes it worth the risk,” Julian replied, “Okay, let’s do it! Why bother with the cards? You want to see the fight so let’s drop the charade and get on with it.”
“Humor me, Mr. St. Croix; after all, I have been losing all evening! Now what if you lose to John? Then what do I get?”
There was a short silence and then the Arab continued, “If the lovely Miss Haight will go on a date with me, just one date with no strings attached, I will accept that as payment enough.”
“No. No deal then! We’re not dragging her into this,” Julian said, “It’s between your man and me and if that’s not enough then let’s call the bloody thing off!”
The Arab shrugged and sat down, smiling at his bodyguard. The silence was eerie as the onlookers watched expectantly hoping that something would change to make the fight happen. And then she spoke, slicing through the tension, her voice resonating softly in the smoky atmosphere.
“I’ll do it,” Jenny said placing an arm on Julian’s shoulder, “No strings attached and one date … a place of my choosing.”
The Arab jumped up, “Done! Done … we have a deal!”
“You don’t have to do this,” Julian said, standing up and moving closer to Jennifer.
“I’m sure you’ll win … so it means nothing! And I want to do this for you, Julian!” she said softly, liking the way his name rolled off her tongue. Her heart was beating so rapidly she thought she would burst.
“Thank you,” he replied into her ear, “Let’s blow this joint, do you want to grab dinner or maybe coffee and dessert?”
“I’d love that,” she answered and squeezed his arm, her thick blonde mane shimmering in the dim light.
Julian wasn’t thinking about the cards but when he turned to the table, Al Siddique was ready to call.
“Alright … let’s have a look, shall we?” Al Siddique said.
They flipped the cards over and you could hear the muted gasp of the crowd. The Arab smiled, grinning like a Cheshire cat, happy that he had bested the good looking stranger and now, now it was time for the beat-down!
******* Julian and Jenny
They had decided on a small Cuban place that Julian knew and fraternized, called “The Cuban Grill & Bar”. It was run by a friend of his, Teófilo Mendez, and when the olive-skinned Spaniard spotted Julian he came running over. He was a short, wiry man with hair so black that is glistened blue in the neon lights and this accompanied by a crooked smile gave him the aura of impish mischief.
“Julio … man, it’s good to see you!” he said, grasping Julian’s hand in both his, “It has been too long … come, come, I have your table in the back,” he effused, “and who is this beautiful lady?”
He took Jennifer’s hand and with an exaggerated flair, bowed, bending low and kissed the back gently.
Then straightening up, he said, “You are truly a goddess; too beautiful for my little place but we will do everything we can for you, Jennifer … everything!”
And with that he screamed in Spanish at the waiters loitering around, waving his hands with typical Mediterranean affectedness.
Jenny had to laugh. He was a character and she was in an extremely happy mood.
“How do you know these people?” she asked with a smile after the little Spaniard had left to get their desert.
“Tito’s a trip! He’s really a wonderful guy … he’d die for you if you are his friend,” he said looking down into his cup of dark, Cuban Coffee.
“Tell me about yourself, Julian, I’m not rushing you … it’s just that I’ve never felt like this before and for once the demons in my life are gone!” She said and reached across the table taking his hand in hers.
“Demons? How can someone like you have demons?” he said, surprised at her candor, enjoying the feel of her fingers gently stroking the back of his hand.
“We all have our demons,” she said so softly it was almost a whisper, “some just hide theirs well.”
They were quiet for a while, looking out into the blackness of the Ocean; listening to the music of the waves as they washed against the sandy beach. It was strange, they were both comfortable with the silence, not really needing to speak and every now and then he would squeeze her hands gently reassuring her that he was connected to her.
“Tell me about yourself, Jenny, not that I’m inquisitive but I’m not very good at stuff like this,” he confided, “maybe if you begin, I could tell about my life and my demons.”
Just then, Tito came back with their dessert; hot Banana Fritters topped with Vanilla Ice Cream, Pistachios, dates and Cardamom. It smelled absolutely divine.
“Mmmm, Teófilo , that looks and smells so good!” Jenny couldn’t help herself, “What’s in it?”
“Call me Tito. All my friends call me Tito. I will get you the recipe … in fact, beautiful lady, when you come back the next time; I will take you in the kitchen and show you how to make it. Would you like that?” the little man said.
Jenny laughed a throaty, full laugh, “Very much … I’d like that very much, Tito!”
The Spaniard literally beamed. He was obviously smitten and flattered that Julian had picked his place to share with her.
“Okay, I will leave you two alone. Julio, anything you need, just ask … it’s yours, anything, my friend.”
And he walked away after a quick but impressive curtsy to Jenny.
Between bites of the savory treat she began by revealing bits of her life; growing up in a small town in Wisconsin, her modeling career and why it had faltered, her refusal to buckle to the whims of the agency and the sponsors. She even told him of her experiences in Milan and how conflicted she was. Then she spoke about her penchant for organic foods and doing her bit to be ‘green’ and the importance of a healthy and balanced lifestyle. She spoke softly looking into his eyes and never wavering.
He listened with rapt attention. Everything she said fascinated him – he had never met anyone quite like her; so beautiful and so utterly open. There were no game-playing or fake personas; what you saw was what you got.
There was a part of her that couldn’t believe that she could be as transparent with anyone let alone a person she had only just met. But it felt right and she was determined to have him see all of her … not just the resplendent exterior but the sad, convoluted wretchedness of her soul.
Then very slowly she introduced her uncle, unsure of how he was going to react but needing him to know and understand. At first, she reminisced about the closeness they shared, the schoolgirl’s crush and then gradually she peeled back the layers of their relationship until she exposed the rawness at the core; the very intimate details of their progressively sexual relationship. She did this without getting too risqué and he appreciated that considering the difficult nature of the topic. And, she did this without blaming her uncle, admitting to her own culpability in their sensual games.
At one point when her eyes misted over with tears, he got up and went to her, hugging her gently.
“Shhhh, it’s okay, Jenny … it’s alright,” he cooed into the dense folds of her hair, “don’t worry about it anymore, we’ll get through this together.”
He was amazed by the similarity of their lives and the incestuous ties which anchored their souls – him to his sister and her to her uncle. Was this just a coincidence or was it Karma, predestination or fate or whatever else it is people call it? But if it was indeed just a coincidence then that was an incredible roll of the dice!
After a while she got up and sat on his lap and they shared soft, gentle kisses, caressing one another like only lovers do. And they stayed like that for a while enjoying the warmth of their bodies nestled together like they belonged. She knew then that he was her soul-mate and her search was finally over.
“I don’t want to but I do have to get home,” she whispered.
“Okay … when can I see you again?”
“You are stuck with me, Julian St. Croix, you will see me every day for the rest of your life!” she replied squeezing him tightly.
And he felt this overwhelming sense of relief flooding through his troubled soul as he held onto her; clinging to the Angelic Beacon as she shed her incredible light, banishing the darkness which had covered his violent world.
After dropping Jenny home, his mind was filled with the events of the evening, a large part involving the rather unexpected role that Jenny had played. Strangely, now that she wasn’t with him thoughts of his sister and what he felt for her began creeping back with confusing persistence and with it the images of the obnoxious Arab and his bodyguard.
The fight and the rather large amount of money involved were at the epicenter of his ragged plan, giving him a way out of Miami. He could finally move to Canada, to Cavendish on Prince Edward Island. Ever since Jessie, his older sister, had sent him photographs of the place he had wanted to move there and this was an opportunity to manifest that dream. But more than anything else it was Jenny Haight who had captured his imagination. They had agreed to meet for lunch the next day and he smiled to himself at the thought of her and the way she made him feel … like a naïve schoolboy. God, she was beautiful!
When he walked into his apartment Bronson was already by the door. He took the large Mastiff out and after a quick tussle, play-fighting on the ground and a few playful nips, Julian headed for the bedroom. He wanted to catch a few hours of sleep before he began training. He needed to focus on the big man and figure out a strategy to bring him down. His best chance was on the ground. He knew that a smart, quick fighter could beat a slow, bigger and stronger man and felt good about his chances but he needed to work on his game-plan.
He stripped down to his boxers and crawled into bed without turning on the lights. He sensed her even before their bodies made contact – his sister Sam was asleep in his bed.
She turned sleepily and hugged him to her, her thighs spreading wantonly, wrapping around him, drawing him close and in that instant, all thoughts of Jenny were gone from his mind and he was overcome by the lust he felt for his sister …
To be continued.
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