One day she throws on a tight satin Dolce & Gabbana - high heels and a pashmina wrap, and grabs her Baschmakoff purse, and walks out.
Her Rolls Royce shushes its way to locate her afterawhile, and leans in acquiescently as it approaches the spot where she is standing on the pavement.
Angrily, she pulls off the million-dollar ring and casts it down to the gutter or to the pavement somewhere, and is too exorcised to even notice as the new innovation of a blue illumined, glowing frosty Makrolon Spirit of Ecstasy, lights up its warm 'welcome in' to her very brand new and gleaming Rolls Royce Wraith -, all plush inside with its doublecream-thick carpets and lambswool rugs, and soft luxury black-piped leather seats, and its excessive starlit ceiling.
Ah, see! The elevated in society too have their problems denying to them proper use of a faculty which can truly appreciate the splendours of a lofty station. For that faculty needs time, and ease, objectivity, and insight.
Anyone can easily become highly disillusioned by staying in this place too long, if they are a fundamentally decent person - in the face of big money when it shows its banal public profile as a tool of power in the hands of those who would merely overlord. Power corrupts and boredom does too.
In certain circumstances one can be uplifted by big money's intensely private side; that is to say, if one ever discovers the mysterious face of that private power, called discreet money. It is mysterious because it is in every way like the mist-breath of a magical mythical beast, conjured by a yet-more-mysterious beast-sorcerer. For no one, or at least certainly very few, can even say if such things exist at all! And those who know are not supposed to tell.
The light thrown there glimly in the midst of the thick obfuscation of the mundane and the material life of Man, is in fact from that passionate life we all wish to know more about and perhaps experience intimately ourselves most keenly above all other things in the carnal world.
"Can you come soon?"
"And bring some food for me – I wish to have shark fin soup. And abalone char mein. Not chow mei fun, eh – char mein. Can you do that? I'll meet you outside your place when you call back."
Rich men have their second wives – 'er' (2nd) 'nai' (wives). Why shouldn't I have such a paid companion too, she would tell herself, each time she arranged a meeting with this young girl. Of course it wasn't quite the same thing as a typical ernai.
Sarah – that was what she said her name was – stood outside the apartment block near the Marina Mandarin Hotel. She had said her age was twenty three, but she had a decorum and composure that was unusual for someone of that age. She was wearing a ridiculously short white coloured satin brocade cheong sam with a dark burgundy edging around the hemline which if anything, simply accentuated the very particular obsceneness of the skirt segment itself. The little, owlish glasses motif on the left breast announced to those who knew that it was a bespoke design from the ultra-exclusive and expensive atelier of Sophie Hong Fashion.
She had dark and long eyelashes and mascara-ed upturned eyelid corners that gave a strikingly exotic otherworldly look to her already pretty face.
In both hands she held the metal loops atop two of those Chinese takeaway-style containers, the ones that were square-ish and taller than a square box and usually made from oil-proofed cardboard – only these ones, the ones she held, were made from pure gold. And the chopsticks and little spoons were made from rosewood with gold inlays.
On her feet she wore Paris-handmade Corthay trompas – elevated platform Chinese slippers; albeit entirely handmade by French craftsmen... And on her hands she wore English Dent gloves, white chamois with discreet mulberry-coloured embroidered designs of tiny birds and wings and feathers and fleur-de-lis.
Her mistress opened the car door to her on the passenger side, and the girl got in delicately, sitting in the rear left-hand side seat, next to her patron who also sat in the rear, on the right, directly behind the liveried male driver who always seemed to just look straight ahead.
"Good morning. How are you this morning, Madame Li.'
The Greeks have a word for a type of formal language and diction – they call it Katharevousa. In Sanskrit and in modern Hindi the word Devanagari applies to the same concept and although in all those cultures and languages that have such a spoken literary form, though the words used are ordinary and from the particular language of the culture in question, the implication is that the purity and strictness of the meanings and syntax that is employed has to do with the way divine beings are said to speak.
In Chinese classical literature too it is said fairy beings of heaven speak in a perfect form of words as well as sentence composition, but by tradition they are said to have very little interest in the affairs of the human being and often their words will seem utterly meaningless to people.
The girl Sarah spoke with just such crisp clarity, simplicity, and yet perfection, and Li presumed it was a Beijing affectation now fashionable among the rising class of new ernai elite.
The style or form of language encouraged Li to reciprocate. "Quite poorly, Sarah."
She looked into the girl's face to see if there was a response of any kind.
"And that is why I have called to see you on such short notice."
Instead of a facial expression of any kind at all, the girl simply remarked: "I am constantly at my mistress's service." And with a small incline of her head and a level tone she gave away nothing but a sense of complete demure innocence.
"You do not ask whether I am ill at all and what is the cause?"
"You do not appear unwell and so I assume that the matter must be of an emotional cause..."
Li had often wondered about the perspicacity shown continually by this young thing, and here again was just another of those many such occasions where the question arose in her mind.
Li raised her own eyebrows. "Well you have surmised correctly. I have left this arrogant spoiled miser, and I am thoroughly sick of all the people like him, using their power and position and wealth to take whatever they want, and do, whatever they want, with no regard for the feelings of anyone else, whatsoever."
"I understand." Sarah said, nodding very slightly.
Madame Li shifted a little uneasily in her soft, alpine bull-hide leather seat. "And I have something important that I wish to discuss with you which is not made easier either, by these bad experiences that I have had recently."
"But Madame, if I may suggest, that you eat something first – before it gets cold."
"Good idea." Li dropped the formality of speech, relieved by the easy distraction of the abalone noodles and the shark fin soup, from the real subject that was taxing her thoughts heavily and about which she actually wished to talk to this girl. She loved the way the girl always seemed to know in every right moment what was most comfortable and pleasant to her. How did she do that? She was particularly good-looking too, though in a slightly boyish way. Although maybe that was just a matter of personal opinion... She had to admit to herself there was a strong element of personal erotic bias – which was the real undercurrent to the meeting, afterall.
Sarah had been in the Rolls Royce before and knew how to operate the little trays and crevices and spaces, and knew where the glasses for the champagne were. And where the champagne was.
And where the fluffy white cotton hand-towels were and how to prepare them in the enclosed-behind-the-walnut-veneer-panel, on-board warmer.
Was it solicitous the way the girl had tested the hotness of the shark fin soup before she turned the same spoon she had placed a second earlier into her own earnest mouth and offered the spoon and the soup to her patron? Perhaps not. Perhaps it was just insouciance.
It had taken a long long while for the more mature woman Li, to realize that although she thought of herself as straight, that she was in fact very capable of thinking about another female as a sex partner too. Somewhere, she did not even recall where, in the process of angrily and dismissively seeking out a typical ernai both from a spirit of curiosity and retaliation, she had actually begun to think of Sarah as highly highly sexually exciting. But then there was this almost, nobility about her. She had proven to be a reliable friend, an available companion, an honest broker in judgements about emotional things, highly intelligent, resourceful, and generous in her words of approval and compliment. She was uplifting to be around.
And now it was all too late to go back.
Back on the thoughts, back on the feelings that welled up, back on those ideas of - 'what if...?'
At last she put down the golden box and looked directly and hard, at the girl, and said: "Sarah, there is something I wish to suggest to you that makes me very nervous about what you might say when you hear it..."
"Yes, Madame Li." Utterly unwavering equanimity.
"I believe you are such a nice person in every way that the absolute last thing of all that I would want to do is cause an insult to you or cause you any trouble." She paused only very briefly, and continued.
"This thing I started with you began as something very stupid on my part and probably I was wrong to use money and position to arrange it, because it makes out there is an implication of assuming that anything is on offer for money. Which is ordinarily a way of thinking I myself hate when I see it in other people. Originally I told you that all I wanted you to be was a professional friend."
Li realized at that moment that she was able to some extent to rely on her own maturity, her greater years of experience of the world and of relationships - at least with men because she had never had any of that kind with women. The gap in physical years gave her a degree of self-assurance to deal with the subject matter she was raising with this younger girl.
"Sarah. When a person gets to a certain age – and I am speaking from personal experience of course – the subject of sex poses less fears than when you are younger and less experienced. And although I cannot say I understand how you yourself have approached this matter in your own mind, that is, when you have chosen your lifestyle – if that has been a real choice, of course – I must assume you are not completely negative towards sex.
"The fact is, that I find myself sexually attracted to you and yet I do not want to behave badly toward you either."
The driver was completely unmoved by the talk in the rear because he spoke entirely a different language only. And besides he was driving the vehicle with a fairly obsessive focus on the road ahead and on its journey around and around and around; up to the coast road and along its staggering vista.
Sarah's hands moved to the bottle of champagne. With a small towel in her left hand held over the top of the bottle, she placed a thumb under the lip of the cork and prised it open easily with an expert strength.
"You're such a perfect being, Sarah, yet sometimes I have such strange thoughts about you..."
The girl at last raised her eyebrows in encouragement for a completion of the sentence.
"Yes. For how is it possible for you to possess such a wise and mature outlook – as you continually exhibit - and to possess such fully-grown earthly physical beauty, and be so young? Are you able to even begin to comprehend - will you be able to - enjoy all the pleasures?"
"What do you mean to say by all the pleasures – if they are pleasures – I suppose you mean, of course, of sex with another woman?"
There it was again; the too-great-an-insight for her comparative youthfulness.
"Give me the champagne, quick. You are terrifying me! Honestly!"
The girl smiled all of a sudden. "Madame Li, not everyone thinks of me as beautiful!" She burst out, laughing. "Not as you do, at least!"
"You think it's infatuation."
But Sarah crossed one leg over the other, towards the direction of the woman, and answered very firmly: "No. I do not." And then she set about to hold a glass under the champagne bottle's open neck, and to fill the glass up slowly, until the mousse spilled over the edge of the glass, so that she had to wait a few seconds, and then complete the full measure.
She handed the full glass to the older woman, and sat back, slightly skewing her body to one side in the deep leather seat, so that she was facing her, and she folded her arms with a certain degree of self-satisfaction. And without any bashfulness at all, she looked straight into her eyes and said: "In fact, Madame Li, I happen to think you are very beautiful too. And I am very attracted to you."
She picked up the other glass and filled it slightly more than halfway with champagne. "And may I say to you directly -" she held her glass out to clink it with the other woman's. "that I am attracted to you, in that way..."
She was so intelligent, so sophisticated, Li thought.
Sarah continued. "And this is of my own choosing too, let me tell you, in spite of what you might think! And it will be on my own terms too. And it will be discreet beyond any whisper anywhere...!"
What strange things for the girl to say, Li pondered once more.
"Frankly I am not interested in experiencing the turbulences of many affairs and the madnesses that come from excess. Yet I do not fail to know what desire is, even strong desire, and if I choose ever to submit to such a thing, I know I must be prepared for all the very powerfully confronting things that will go along with it..."
She seemed to be almost, talking to herself. Like a coach coaxing on a team. The words were the stream of her thoughts that had long been going on all the while beforehand, given voice to now.
"But still everything I do is out of a deliberate mindful choosing and a deep inner approval – of how I feel, of you, of the situation... And of course I truly respect the luxury that you have offered me..."
"What kind of creature are you?!" Li laughed back.
The girl removed her footwear, uncrossed her legs, and snuggled her toes deep into the lambswool over-rug.
The interior of a new Rolls Royce possesses a rich odor of wood-shavings and succinic acid, and the lanoline from the lambswool adds another scent layer as well, harmonising with everything else, subtle, and sophisticated, and complex though still outrageously expensive in meaning.
"I'll show you what kind," Sarah said. And she cocked her head to one side and looked up into the eyes of the older woman with a gaze that flashed fire and knowledge and sexual arrogance.
Li had turned over in her mind many times the sexual possibilities and physical techniques with another woman, from the standpoint of her own mature woman's experience of sex with men and sex generally - and yet somehow this younger girl seemed to express some far greater depth still of actual knowledge of woman-on-woman sex.
...There was the currency of a mutual self-knowledge as women, of course – this fundamental idea floated inconspicuously around constantly in the background of Li's mind as she thought about the situation from the hot, even slightly dazzling context of its present focus of possible, in fact likely nay, certain sex now with this girl.
There was a fuzzy glowing cloud forming all around her thoughts: what really were the optional acts of sex in the offing, eventually, here? There was masturbation, clitoral sensations and the prospects of urgent clitoral stimulation by her own hands and the hands of this beautiful girl-woman. There was the straight-out plain glorious feeling of just being with such a beautiful soul as well as being intentionally and mutually deliberately skin-to-skin with her beautiful, exciting body - its warmth, its flush, its tension; and hardly bearing to think of its release.
Her thoughts were swimming in her head now.
"I will honour you." The girl whispered. "And I will respect you in everything." She held up her still gloved hands in kind of 'action of prayer' towards her patroness. "You will be my mistress, and I will serve you in every way and I will show you new desires you have never seen and I will fulfill all of them."
Slowly, she took off her gloves and showed the short, french-tipped manicured nails often typical of the lesbian or bisexual woman, right up close to the face of the other woman. She dragged the back of one hand across Li's top lip slowly.
There was something shockingly carnal in this younger woman's eyes. Grey-eyed, almost green-eyed, flashing, piercing. The meanings behind those eyes alone penetrated right down to Li's clit and cunt. The acceptance that Li allowed, the permission for bodily exploration about to come, was a mutual thought between them both and it caused Li's cunt to begin to lubricate the same way that it did when a man's hot hard cock stood up high being prepared for its initial penetration of her pussy or even her lubricated-up, worked-up beforehand, and consequently relaxing, anal muscle.
The girl knew her way around all the passenger-available controls of the car. She touched a few blackened glass screens and suddenly music thumped out loudly around them everywhere. The digital screen scrolled "London Elektricity – Just One Second." The beat of the song was very fast.
'The city's beautiful, in the early morning air
I love the smell of sunrise
And everything becomes so clear
I think you are beautiful...'
'...I wish that time would stand still
If this was part of a film
We would watch the cliff all day
Like a portrait of you and I'
'...If this second was my life I would... happily... love you.'
Out of a side pocket, the girl withdrew an iPhone and turned it on so that the little Apple symbol glowed onto the screen.
And then she started tapping something onto the iPhone's screen.
"I like to feel a woman's stubble from around her pussy where she has shaved her bikini line." She said in a breathy, low tone. "I like to feel it with my thigh. I like to feel her sitting astride my thigh. I like to feel her against my inside thigh..." She half-smiled nervously with down-fluttering eyelids, and looking up into the older woman's eyes for a sign.
She held up the iPhone screen to Li to see. "Look at this! Look at those girls! Aren't they wonderful? Isn't it amazing what they are doing?"
Li couldn't believe herself that she was blushing so wildly now. It wasn't anything said or anything seen - it was the huge self-confidence of this young woman. And yet at the same time it was her sincerity and the strange juxtaposition of sexual arrogance and yet also the offered personal humbleness: she was totally careful, sensitive, and graduated, controlled.
But her sweat was fairly uncontrolled. She was dripping under her armpits. And Li was sure she was also beginning to sense the girl's warming cunt. She was completely sure she could smell her own cunt, and that was for sure.
If this second was my life, she thought. And pulled Sarah up towards her and kissed her full on the lips, breathing in her underarm odor and her mouth taste and her tongue antiseptic alkali flavour, and flaring her own nostrils at the sharp, salty, flinty, pussy smell rising up off her own warm breasts from having travelled underneath her clothes and up through her open collar at her flushed neck. And she knew the girl was able to sense her too - and clearly loved it.
The driver was paid enough to be insouciant and discreet. And besides it was what you would have expected in such a car anyway, if you were any kind of a sensible person. Which he was.