Not For The Kiddies

Excerpt: Chapter 23, "Slippers of the Giantess" (COURT OF THE LION)

It was not unusual on festival nights for the Yang sisters to glow more brightly than the Son of Heaven. But tonight, the night of the Festival of the Weaving Star, they glowed even brighter than the firmament they honored. 

As they got closer to the hot springs, disturbing memories that he associated with the place began to rise to the surface: the way the lights in his room had gone out on the night of the attempt on the Emperor’s life; the cats yowling in the bushes; the voice that had addressed him out of the darkness, perfectly mimicking the Lady of Kuo. He slouched down into the cushions. And now a celebration underneath a huge sky blazing with stars. He had never been able to explain to anyone just what it was that he loathed and dreaded about the stars. It had to do with their icy, timeless indifference, he supposed, that made the lives of men, his own in particular, seem so puny, futile, and brief. Some people thought they were beautiful. To him, they were a nightly reminder of emptiness, nothingness ...

“What is wrong with you, Cousin? You do not seem to be having fun tonight,” the Lady of Kuo said with light irony.

“I am tired of festivals,” he answered, drawing the curtain closed.

“Is it because you hate the stars and they hate you?” she asked. They both laughed then; she had broken through his mood. “May I offer my handsome cousin the particularly simple solution of not looking upward tonight?”

“You will have to distract me,” he said, playing at being a sullen child, teasing her a little, trying to cover his melancholy mood. She said nothing, but took his hand and brought it down onto the soft satin of her inner thigh. No, he thought at first; not now. I have nothing to offer at this moment. But his body spoke differently. Arousal, sharp and sudden, against his will, pushed aside his gloom and reticence. His “old man” jerked, stiffening slightly, taking his breath. He looked down and watched it move: a life of its own. It jerked again, straightening itself, until it was pinned, hard and painful, pulling against the fabric of his trousers, his heart beginning to pound in his throat. A heavy, unpleasant burning spread from his groin through his chest. He wondered: have I no will of my own? He wanted her. No, he wanted it. The act, separate from himself, separate from her. For one brief moment he tried to resist.

“Why now, Dear Cousin?” he whispered. But it was too late. She was already moving his hand upward along the cool flesh of her thigh until his fingertips caressed the silken hair, the velvet fold of her body.

“Because you are so distracted, my love, and because you will not talk to me about it. You have scarcely talked to me about anything for days. Weeks. You sit and brood. I cannot reach you.” Now she left his hand where she had put it and began to untie the front of her robes. His reluctance evaporated, leaving him consumed with impatience: the anxiety and despondency of recent days transformed itself now into pure desire—hungry, willful, demanding satisfaction.

She opened the silken blouse beneath her jackets. His member, as if it could grow any harder, strained between his legs; she leaned over onto him and pressed her breasts against his chest, at the same time forcing the fingers of his right hand to enter her. Now, her face close to his, she reached behind her head and removed the hairpins. Her hair spilled around them both like a curtain, and she moved so that the tip of his “old man” rubbed between her breasts; she changed her motion then so that she moved slowly from side to side, brushing his hardness with her soft flesh.

She opened her legs again ever so slightly and with a small rotation allowed his fingers to go deeper into her. He cupped his left hand behind her neck and brought her face down to his. He traced his tongue along the full red line of her lips and up into the hollows of her eyes, inhaling the child scent of her unrouged skin. She let him linger for a moment before pulling away; then she began to move up and down with a slow, deliberate motion while he kept his fingers still and rigid until her entire body shuddered with gentle paroxysms and she groaned, sucking her breath in, squeezing her eyes tightly shut and baring her teeth. He watched her face, fascinated, and waited for the tremors to subside; then, slowly, carefully, drew his fingers out. She positioned her knees on either side of his lap, and with her eyes fixed on his own and her hair hanging loose around her face and shoulders, challenged him.

Quickly, he opened his robes and undid the silk cord of his trousers, struggling awkwardly to bring them down below his knees in the close confines of the moving carriage. She bent down, and bringing the head of his “old man” into her mouth, inflicted a rush of unbearable pleasure on him that made him drop his head backward in surrender. Her tongue glided along the smooth velvet of his stalk, caressing the underside of the head with practiced delicacy. Then, abruptly, she raised herself, and with his fingers stretched nearly around her narrow waist, came down onto him, enveloping him in the warm, soft, moist folds of her gate. He breathed the richness of her hair and sank down, like a stone in dark water ... 

“I tossed the sticks last night,” he said. He did not bother to cover his nakedness. He preferred it now. He pushed open the carriage shutters and let the cool air waft over his belly, damp with sweat, and his “old man,” lying limp and spent against his thigh. It seemed to him that beyond the jolly noise of the processional, the singing, laughing, and tinkling of bells, there was a deep silence reaching into the hills and woods. He waited for her to speak; she said nothing for a long while.

“You?” she asked finally, politely incredulous.

“Yes,” he replied. “I consulted the I Ching.” He resolved now to hold nothing back. It was the passion they had just shared, the intimacy, that had dissolved his reticence.

“But why?”

“It was not entirely my own doing,” he said, hearing immediately how absurd those words sounded. “How should I put it? It was a perverse temptation that I gave in to. I wanted to do it and didn’t want to do it, all at the same time. So I did it.” He looked out the window. “And now I regret it.”

“This does not sound like you, Cousin,” she said, tying a silk cord around the end of her braid and fussing with the loose strands of hair over her ears. He watched her feeling around among the satin pillows for the hairpins and ornaments she had discarded. He found a clasp and handed it to her.

“I have been thinking too much about the future. Wanting just a look at it. A glimpse. So I consulted the I Ching, telling myself that it was harmless, a parlor game, an amusement. That was my mistake. It was as if it were talking back to me, reminding me of the serious forces I toyed with.”

“What did it tell you?” she prompted him.

“It confirmed what I already suspected. That we do not have a future.” 


Excerpt: Chapter 13, "The Impudent One" (SHORE OF PEARLS)

“‘Women are more favored than men in indulging their passion for coition. It is in fact their specialty, and for them it is all pleasure, while men run many risks in abandoning themselves without reserve to the pleasures of love.’”

“Many risks,” Dee said from far away, eyes closed, body as relaxed and spent as it could be short of sleep or death. The window stood open so that the soft night breeze carried the scent of her garden to the enormous bed and cooled him as the sweat evaporated off his naked body. The only light in the room came from a small lamp. She had turned it down so that she had just enough light to read by.

“‘The abuse of coition is followed by a loss of internal vigor. To remedy this, the sufferer must anoint his member with a mixture of the blood of a he-goat with honey. This will procure for him a marvelous effect in making love.’”

“Then you had best prepare a large vat of this mixture,” he murmured. “For I will surely be needing it.” He felt her lean to one side, and after a moment he heard the bubbling of the water pipe and smelled the sweet dark smoke. He listened to her suck her breath in and hold it. For a long time. Much longer than he would be able to, he thought during the miniature eternity until she exhaled luxuriantly and lengthily.

“‘Know, oh Vizir, to whom God be good, that man’s member bears different names,’” she continued. In the moment before her warm hand encircled his own member, he detected a tiny premonitory disturbance in the air around it, and knew what she was about to do. By the time she actually touched his flesh, it had begun to rouse itself to greet her.

“‘There is El hamama, the pigeon. There is El heurmak, the indomitable. El ahlil, the liberator; el hammache, the exciter; el Fadelak, the deceiver; en naasse, the sleeper. Ez zodamne, the crowbar. Ei khorrate, the turnabout.’” Her hand tightened around him. “‘Ed dekhal, the housebreaker. El hezzaz, the rummager. El motela, the ransacker. El bekkai, the weeper. El korradj, the coward. Eli besiss,’” she said with emphasis, then leaned down and whispered in his ear, her breath warming the tiny hairs there and sending a ripple along every pathway in his body. “…the impudent one.”

“Tell me about the impudent one.” “Presently. Presently.” Her hand squeezed him a little harder. “‘The indomitable,’” she read, “‘…has received this name because when in a state of erection it begins to move its head, searching for the entrance to the vulva until it has found it, and it then walks in quite insolently, without asking leave. The crowbar is so called because when it meets the vulva and the same will not let it pass in directly, it forces the entrance with its head, like a wild beast in the rutting season.’”

She paused, though her hand never left him, and leaned to the side again. He kept his eyes shut. Indeed, he believed that his eyelids were too heavy for him to lift. Then he felt warm oil dripping onto him, and her hand began to move heavenward and earthward in a languorous motion that made him lie very still.

“‘The housebreaker. So called because on coming to the door of the vulva, and is asked: What do you want? It replies that it wants to come in. Impossible, says the vulva. I cannot take you in on account of your size. Then the housebreaker promises that it will only put its head in, and will not come in entirely; it then approaches, rubs its head twice or thrice between the vulva’s lips, until they become humid and lubricated, then introduces its head, and once in, plunges in with one push up to the testicles.’”

In his mind he saw the vivid spectacle as if he were watching such a “housebreaker” from inside the “door:” The insolent head, bald and pink and ingratiating like a little old man’s, an itinerant merchant, nosing about, talking its way just inside with a great show of manners and restraint, then gleefully taking advantage, rushing forth impertinently from vestibule to boudoir. He shook with silent laughter, her hand still moving deliciously up and deliciously down, mirth and ardor mingling so that he was perfectly helpless.

“Then what you hold in your hand is not the ‘housebreaker?’”

“Hush. You are too impatient.” He heard a page rustle. “‘The weeper’ earned its name on account of the copious tears it sheds. As soon as it becomes rampant, it weeps. When it sees a pretty face, it weeps. Handling a woman, it weeps. It even weeps tears upon remembering. The ransacker is not so sentimental. It is so named because it penetrates into unusual places, makes itself well acquainted with the state of various vulvas, and is skilled at distinguishing their qualities and faults. It has a profound knowledge of the state of humidity, freshness, dryness, tightness or warmth of vulvas, which it explores exhaustively. Then there is the coward. It is thus named because on approaching a vulva which has been deprived for some time, and trying to get in, the vulva, in the heat of passion, cries Yes! But on one condition: If I let you in, you must stay until you have ejaculated three times. And the member replies: Ha! I will do much better than that. I will not leave until I have done you nine times! Once in, the intense heat of the vulva causes exquisite enjoyment. The member moves to and fro, straining for the perfect pleasure caused by the alternate friction against the vulva’s lips and against the womb. But the member ejaculates but once, then tries immediately to withdraw, causing the vulva to cry out: Why do you leave, you liar?’”

“Reprehensible,” Dee muttered. “Ungentlemanly. Punishable by death.” She let go of him for a moment. He felt himself standing in the air. A new name came to him: the forsaken one. But then her hand was back with more warm oil and he forgot it.

“‘El bessis,’” she said, and put the papers down. She moved herself astride him, sitting on his thighs, looking down at him, her hand pressing him against her lower belly so that in the dim light it looked as if his organ belonged to her. She spoke without reading. “The impudent one received its name…because from the moment it gets stiff and long it does not care for anybody, lifts impudently the clothing of its master by raising its head fiercely, and makes him ashamed while itself feels no shame. It acts in the same unabashed way with women, turning up their clothes and laying bare their thighs.”

She raised herself up so that she was poised above him, ready to bring herself down. “Its master may blush at this conduct…” She lowered herself a little further so that his eyes closed and he inhaled sharply. “…but as to itself, its stiffness and determination to plunge into a vulva only increase.” And she brought herself down on him fully, making him the housebreaker whether he meant to be or not.

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12.02 | 19:49

I've always held a special pace in my heart for your the "Court of the Li...

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Thank you for the kind words, Mr. Byrnes. It was indeed a shock, ...

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Terrible shocking news. R I P, Mr. Altieri. Condolences to Mrs. Altieri , yo...