Asphodel's Ch. 03byvoluptuary_manque©
Mary Jane swallowed apprehensively as she helped Steven Cornwall pull his shirt off over his head, kick off his boat shoes, unbuckle his trousers and slide them down his legs. Her best girlfriend's husband leered lazily at her. He pulled off his socks and dropped his briefs. Now he was as naked as she was with one difference. She held the envelope he'd just given her. Inside were five one hundred dollar bills that she would get for having sex with him. Across the room, Poppy Cornwall looked on with a benign smile from a club chair. Unlike the other two, Poppy was still fully dressed and sitting with an open laptop across her knees. The nude girl made a beseeching face.
"Relax, MJ," Poppy responded, "Not a man in a thousand knows his way around the female body the way my Stevie does. He was trained by the best—my mother, in fact. Today you're going to find out how sex can be when you're not hooked up with some slacker dude. My guy is going to make you come and come again and again. You may even beg for mercy. And while he's at it, I'll take notes and afterwards you and I will have a little discussion about what other things you need before starting your exciting new career."
It had begun a week before in the sauna.
An hour of Pilates in the university gym left both Poppy and Mary Jane sweaty and tired so a trip to the sauna was in order to give their muscles a chance to relax and not be sore in the morning. As they threw their towels down on the cedar benches and splashed a dipper full of water on the hot rocks, Poppy looked at her friend.
"MJ, this class may be hard but what it's done to your shape is a wonder. Girl, you are tight!"
Mary Jane dimpled. "Thanks, but all I'm trying to do is keep up with you. I can't figure out why a chick that looks the way you do is majoring in Bus. Admin. and Finance. I'd have you pegged for either Drama or Media Communications. Somehow I can't picture you behind a big desk in a pin-striped power suit."
Poppy snorted. "And you'd be right on target. I'm not studying this stuff because I want to, MJ. I really wanted to teach primary kids but Mom insisted that the family firm needs financial acumen at the top. Grandmother O'Malley has announced that she is going into semi-retirement on her seventieth birthday so she can devote the rest of her working life to her charities. I happen to know that's a big lie because she still has a few clients she is very fond of and she'll still be seeing them but most of the administration will fall to my mother and I need to be at her side as an advisor."
"So you won't be confined to a cubicle for the next fifteen years? Good for you. And at least you're married. All the rest of my friends are frantically trying to get internships with big corporations so they can 'Lean In' and make 'Important Contributions' before finding some other corporate type and starting a family. It's really depressing. My mother is a lawyer; one grandmother is a judge and the other a doctor—hyper-achieving women run in my family clear back to Suffragette days and if I don't look like I'm carrying on the same way I won't be able to show my face at Thanksgiving."
"So? What are you going to do?"
"Well, it looks like I'm going to law school. I scored really high on my LSAT and that looks less miserable than other options. It's just that lawyers in big firms work such damned long hours! I mean, sixty-hour weeks can't be good for you. When do you have a life?"
By now the sweat was really flowing down their faces and dripping off the tips of noses and nipples.
"Shower time," Poppy announced and they wrapped themselves in the towels and headed for the cold water.
The next day Poppy sought out Mary Jane in the student cafeteria and plopped down next to her. "MJ, I've been thinking."
"Now you're getting dangerous, Poppy."
"Always. Anyway, there isn't any reason why you would have to fight to join some New York or Washington law firm. My father-in-law's firm has been in practice here in the state capitol for over a hundred twenty years. They work reasonable hours and still make plenty of money. You could start interning with them, clerk your way through law school and then join the firm when you pass the state bar."
"Oh, right. As if it were that simple."
"MJ, Cornwall, Cordoba and Cho have been reciprocal clients with Gram's since pioneer days. If I ask Papa Andy for something related to both companies he'd give it to me. Simple it is."
"But Poppy, how does my going to work for your FIL's law firm benefit whatever it is that your grandmother's business does?"
Poppy stuck a carrot stick between her teeth, snapped it off and grinned wickedly at her friend. "You know, I think it's time you paid a visit to Asphodel's."
A couple of days later Poppy drove her jeep into the underground garage of the oppressively respectable Hotel Gentian but instead of finding a place to park, she drove to a big roll-up door and pressed a button on her key ring. The door opened and when she drove through, a tuxedoed, smiling valet stepped forward and opened each door and helped each girl out.
"Thank-you, Juan. Juan, this is my best girlfriend Mary Jane Hartwell. MJ, this is Juan Costada, Asphodel's chief valet. Juan, be a dear and leave the jeep near the front. We probably won't be more than an hour. I've just got to talk some things over with Grandmother."
"Of course, Poppita, and you will need to get back to school right after that, no?"
"Not today, Juan. I only have class Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I just have to get back to the house and make sure Steve isn't making a total mess of the kitchen. Great cook, my hubby, but the mess he makes? Sheesh!"
Juan laughed and drove the jeep away as the two friends walked over to the elevator and pushed the call button. It opened immediately. Inside, the controls showed buttons for two basements and five floors but instead of pushing one of them, Poppy took out a key and inserted it in a lock above the fifth floor.
"What?" Mary Jane looked puzzled.
"MJ, Asphodel's isn't the kind of place people can just 'happen into'. A lot of people in this city know the name but most of them think it's just a story." The elevator rose swiftly through five floors and then past them. Then the doors opened. "However," Poppy continued, "as you can see, it's perfectly real."
Mary Jane looked around, astonished. It looked as though they had arrived in the bar of a very expensive restaurant or possibly an exclusive private club. Rich carpet covered polished hardwood floors, inviting comfortable lounge chairs sat next to small drinks tables in front of paneled walls hung with fine art. An elegantly dressed, sliver-haired woman approached them.
"Hi, Gram!" The older and younger women hugged tightly and them Poppy turned to MJ. "Grandmother, this is my best girlfriend, Mary Jane Hartley. MJ, my grandmother Azalea O'Malley."
MJ shook hands under the warm smile of the patrician woman. OMG, she's nearly seventy? Damn, I've got to learn how she does it. I'd kill to look like that when I turn seventy. "How do you do, Ms. O'Malley? This is a very impressive—office?"
Azalea cocked an eyebrow at Poppy who grinned mischievously and shook her head slightly. "Dear," she said to MJ, "it's not an office, it's a bordello. In fact, if you were to ask anyone in state government or most of the major businesses around, it's the bordello."
Mary Jane was gobsmacked. "A—a bordello?"
"Yup," Poppy laughed, "the oldest, most reputable and definitely most expensive bordello in the state. It's been in operation pretty much continuously for over a hundred years. My thrice great-grandmother started it. It's named after her."
"Have you turned twenty-one, yet Mary Jane?" Azalea asked.
"Er, yes, last month." MJ didn't know what else to say.
"Oh good, there's some excellent champagne on ice. Clarence, if you would be so kind?"
An immaculately dressed, muscular young man set three flutes on a table near several luxurious chairs and taking a frosted bottle pulled the cork with the merest whisper of escaping gas. Then, taking each glass in turn, he filled it up and handed it to each woman. Wrapping a linen napkin around the neck, he backed silently away.
Mary Jane took a sip and blinked in astonishment. It was like nothing she'd ever tasted before. As legend had it, she felt as if she was drinking stars.
"I brought MJ over so she could understand why it will be so easy to get her an internship with Papa Andy's firm. She doesn't believe me."
Azalea flashed a smile. "Dear, skepticism is an excellent attitude for a budding attorney, especially here in the state capitol. When dealing with politicians always make sure you get paid up front, whatever you're selling. However, the simplest way is to ask him yourself." She looked at a diamond-encrusted watch that hung from the platinum chain around her neck. "Poppy's mother is entertaining him, again, and they always like to take their time but he should be out about the time we finish this bottle."
"It's a family business, dear, and darling Andrew is one of Camellia's favorite clients. Poppy's rather fond of him, too."
Mary Jane nearly choked on her champagne. She turned wild eyes to her friend.
"I sure am. Stevie and I had been fooling around all through high school but we'd never gone all the way before Mom started training me. By the time I had all the skills down, they set the price for my virginity at forty thousand. The bidding could have taken it higher but Papa Andy exercised a sort of right of first refusal to prevent me from getting deflowered by some complete stranger. He's a wonderful lover. I can't often talk him up here for an hour's fun because he has some issues with bonking his daughter-in-law but I keep telling him, Stevie screws Mom, Dad does Mama Janey and he does Mom. Why the heck should he worry about fucking me?"
"And me, of course," Azalea said smiling like a well-canaried cat, "I was his first and a man never forgets his first woman. Some time the three of us need to take him into one of the basement rooms and tie him to something. We could tease and tantalize him for quite some time before letting him go to chase us. More champagne, MJ?"
Her mouth and eyes wide with speechless astonishment, Mary Jane nodded and held out the glass. Alcohol seemed like a very good idea right now, lots of alcohol. Trying desperately not to drain it all at once, she took a good swallow and asked, "And this is the business you're studying finance for?"
Poppy shook her head vigorously. "Oh no, Mom will run Asphodel's and the rest of the family holdings—well, the trusts and various funds pretty much take care of themselves. What I'm going to eventually take over is the retirement funds."
"Oh yes, " Azalea raised an emphatic finger, "even with paying the house half of each fee, the young ladies here still bring down between four hundred thousand and a half million a year. They can't legitimately spend anywhere near that, of course, even after taxes so it has to be managed for them. And managed it is. This way after a ten or fifteen year career here each girl owns her own home is some quiet town and has enough socked way in blue chip investments that she never has to work again, no matter how long she lives. It's a serious responsibility and one that Poppy will take some years to learn before taking it on alone. Not that all of them move away. There are a few who come back after getting married and having a couple of kids and work part time, mostly for the fun of it."
"Yeah," Poppy interjected, "like my mother and MIL. Not that they're the only ones."
Azalea nodded, "Yes, there are a few of the local ladies who come in during the lunch hour as hobbyist courtesans. Ah, dear Mr. Cornwall!"
By now good and tipsy from three champagnes on an empty stomach, Mary Jane looked up to see a tall, well-built man in an impeccable blue pinstripe suit coming out of the hallway. Seeing them all, his face lit up in a huge smile and he swept toward them. He kissed both Azalea and Poppy though not in the manner MJ would have expected. Rather than the familial peck on the check Andrew Cornwall kissed both his daughter-in-law and her grandmother full on the mouth. It wasn't precisely passionate but passion was an obvious option.
"Mr. Cornwall," Poppy began, "this is my best girlfriend, Mary Jane Hartley. She has just received really high marks on her LSAT so she thinks she should go to law school. I think she should go to work for you as an intern until she finishes college. Then she can clerk for the firm until she passes the state bar. What do you think?"
Mr. Cornwall looked benignly down at the petite brunette. "Really? How high, Ms. Hartley?"
"Uh, one seventy-one?"
Mr. Cornwall whistled. "And you graduate when?"
"This is my junior year, sir."
"And naturally you will apply to law school here. Well, I sit on the board of directors so there isn't any point in your applying anywhere else; you will be accepted. So, yes, Poppy, I think she definitely should intern in Cornwall, Cordoba and Cho until she graduates. I'll tell Mavis to expect you—Monday morning?"
Mary Jane's jaw dropped. After a few gasps she managed to squeak out, "Monday after lunch? I have Advanced Rhetoric on Monday and Wednesday mornings."
"Excellent. We'll be expecting you. And Ms. Hartley, I don't know what your wardrobe contains but do try to maintain as high a standard of professional dress as you can. Toodles." And with that he strode into the elevator, closed the door and disappeared.
The rest of the champagne bottle and one more were consumed in celebration so the rest of the visit to Asphodel's was a bit of a blur and as Poppy drove home, very carefully, Mary Jane turned to her and said between hiccups, "It really was that simple? I can't believe it. Cornwall, Cordoba and Cho is the most powerful law firm in the state and you just got me an internship with them. How—how can I ever repay you?"
Poppy's chin came up and she looked at her best friend slyly. "You really want to know?"
"Yes, I want to know. Poppy, you name it. If I can do it, I will."
"You know, I really ought to get that in writing but here it comes. Mary Jane, since interns don't get paid and you'll need money to get through law, you're going to go to work for me at Asphodel's."
"At—at Asphodel's? You mean . . .?"
"The word we use is 'courtesan' MJ. Given the prices we charge, 'ho' doesn't cut it."
"But, but I could never do that! I mean, what if some really icky guy comes in?"
"Says the girl who woke up with Alf Greely the morning after Homecoming," Poppy's tongue made a noticeable bulge in her cheek.
"I'd been drinking! You know that happens to almost everyone in college sooner or later."
"Oh? And what was your excuse two weeks later when the two of you disappeared for a weekend? It couldn't be that despite his being odd-looking, mega-klutzy and a totally clueless wonder Alf is a genuinely sweet person, could it?"
"Yeah." MJ's voice was barely audible.
"See, even the most unattractive men can have their good points. So it's a deal. I got you in with Papa Andy and you work part-time for me. We'll start tonight at our place. Steven's going to pay you five hundred dollars for a good fucking. Of course, when you get up to Asphodel's standard, it will be a lot more than that but five 'C's' will do for a beginning."
The next morning Mary Jane dreamily wrapped a borrowed robe around herself and drifted down for breakfast. Poppy hadn't been kidding. Once she had put the envelope in the nightstand drawer ("It's traditional, girl," Poppy explained) Steven had pulled her close. With one hand around her waist, the other had played gently with her bottom and everywhere it touched, heat rose and spread forward to her crotch. Damn, she told him. Every time some guy gets his hands on my butt, I'm lost. I guess every girl has her 'on' switch and that's mine. She closed her eyes and arched her back.
Stevie delicately ran his tongue around the inside of the shell of her ear, breathing warmly. He worked his way down to the lobe, sucked it in and bit gently. She shuddered. The other hand slipped down to stroke and fondle the other buttock as he pressed her hips against his pelvis, bending her backwards.
The kiss that followed was long and hot. He gently bit and sucked her lower lip and the tip of her tongue before probing in to explore every corner of her mouth. Breaking the kiss, Steve lifted MJ off her feet and lay her down on the gleaming sheets. Climbing in beside her he took one modest breast in each hand to massage them before running his tongue tip around each nipple, sucking strongly on the areolas. Mary Jane gasped. He kept this up for a while and then started moving his way down her body, kissing, licking and nibbling. He spent a surprising amount of time at her belly button and she was amazed at how erotic that neglected part was. Finally, he moved between her thighs and slid his hands under her butt cheeks, pulling down and lifting.
That relentless tongue attacked yet again, running slowly up her labia, flicking back and forth. It reached the hood of her clitoris, vibrating that sensitive organ and making the girl gasp. Again he did it and yet again. Mary Jane felt her juices running and her labia swelled becoming full and rosy. When Steven thought her ready, he seized the now-erect clit between his lips and sucked hard. MJ convulsed. Unstoppable shudders wracked her frame and she cried out over and over. Poppy noted the fact on the laptop.
When the climax finally ended Mary Jane looked up at her client/lover to see a sly smile. He reached up and taking a small pillow put it beside her ass. "Lift," he commanded. Once the pillow was under her Steven knelt between her thighs and lifted her feet over his shoulders. He ran his cockhead up and down her juicy slit and then, slipping a condom on ("The client always wears a rubber, MJ.") plunged it into her. The sensation of this new angle of entry was new, interesting. Making short thrusts, Steven seemed to be hitting a place that first felt odd, then good. Suddenly MJ felt like she should be running for the toilet until wave after wave of orgasm hit. The girl, like most her age, had heard of the G-spot orgasm but had never experienced one. It was volcanic. Again Mary Jane cried out wordlessly and again her body writhed in ecstasy. Tears flowed from the intensity and still Steven drove on until in desperation she screamed, "Stevie, stop! Enough, already, stop. Please, Stevie?"
He withdrew and winked. "Roll over, woman, it's my turn."
Obeying, Mary Jane spread her knees as far apart as she could and arched her back, looking, Poppy though, very much like a cat in heat. Supporting himself with his hands on her butt, Steve drove into her with a growl. MJ grunted in response and then began to moan as he pistoned in and out, slapping his hips against her but loudly. MJ felt the tension rise again and then climaxed. This time the earth didn't move but the smaller quieter orgasms repeated, rolling through her and sending her into a kind of hypnotic trance. She lost all sense of time and place, aware only of the pressure on her hips, the cock inside her sex and the wave after wave of climax. Finally, with a grunt Steven, too, climaxed and sat back on his heels. Mary Jane rolled up on one side and stared back at him groggily. And he paid me for that? That was the best sex I've ever had . . .
Sitting down the next morning at the breakfast table, MJ accepted the soup bowl sized cup of coffee Poppy poured her and took a healthy slug. Then, after a deep breath, she looked at her best girlfriend and asked, "Is Steve—I mean, does he always to that?"