Cafe of the Prison MoonbyAlii Nui©
She sat alone in the dark.
A street-lamp below the window of her sixth-floor apartment's front room scattered some incidental light against the open drapes and threw a vague pattern on the ceiling, but very little of its illumination was able to penetrate the deep shadows of the room.
There was only the orange glow of her cigarette, a winking ember floating in the gloom.
Then there was a soft pah sound, as the filtered end of the cylinder left the light suction of her glossy-red lips. Then the dull ping of the cigarette being tapped against the edge of a crystal ashtray, crowded with crushed butts and ash.
Her name was Cynthia Lynx. The Lynx part was a stage name, of sorts. The last name listed on her birth-certificate was Rowlings. She'd adopted the alias of Lynx when she'd begun hooking, seven years before. She'd stopped turning regular tricks for the last year and a half or so, taking on johns only when her bank account got anemic, but she'd kept the working moniker.
Lately, she'd been able to entirely avoid having to throw up her legs in the air for money. Off and on for the last six months Cynthia had been working for a private eye named Arnie Bascini. He was a low-rent hustler who specialized in entrapment for his clients, such as catching a targeted prominent citizen in bed with a pretty young thing and taping the proceedings. Cynthia was frequently featured in the part of the p.y.t.
She allowed that it was a fairly fucked up thing to do, but it beat selling her white ass on some corner. And although Arnie was a walking ball of snot he paid in good green legal tender. But now, Cynthia was leaving that behind too.
It was because of last Tuesday. Last Tuesday she'd done something different for Arnie.
The way he had laid it out to her was that a client of his suspected his girlfriend was gambling at an illegal private casino being run out of the back of some jazz club down in the Fillmore District. The detective had sent Cynthia to the Café of the Prison Moon to check it out.
The Fillmore was a part of the city formed by a patchwork of re-development gentrification areas and low-income Black neighborhoods mixed together. The jazz club was on one of the border streets, pulling in a mixed crowd of wannabe hip White yuppies, culturally varied Buppies, and too-cool-for-school folks of the 'hood. It was a popular hangout.
After Cynthia had slipped on a short and basic black angora dress she'd taken herself to the Fillmore. When she'd gotten there the joint was jumping.
There were a good many things she had told Arnie about the club. One thing was that Arnie's client could relax. There was no gambling at the Café of the Prison Moon. The private backroom was a BDSM club. Cynthia had found that out when a tall man at the door had invited her in for a peek. Arnie's client's girlfriend wasn't blowing money at a blackjack table, she was on her knees blowing any man who granted her the privilege of serving him.
Yes, there was a great deal she's shared with the private dick about the Prison Moon. And there were a few things she had no intention of telling him, or anyone else, about. Ever.
Cynthia shivered in remembrance.
She certainly wasn't going to tell Arnie that within twenty minutes after she'd first said hello to the handsome stranger who'd ushered her into the backroom that the man had thrust one hand between her thighs and used the other to pull the neckline of her sweater-dress down, until her large and pale breasts had bounced free. In the private room of the club, she'd been made to cup and offer them up to her arrogant, demanding lover. And she certainly wasn't going to tell the private-eye how the stranger had bent her over a table and fucked her while she screamed out in lust, but only after she'd fervently and loudly begged for his cock for nearly five minutes.
She'd put on quite a show for the assembled masters and their girls.
The former prostitute blushed at the hot memory of it, as her eyes welled with tears. Cynthia was a pro and he'd had her begging, panting for it. Taking her brutally, mercilessly, he had made her cum until she had passed out whimpering.
And here it was, Tuesday again.
He'd said he'd call her on Tuesday. At eight.
Cynthia stabbed out the cigarette, then immediately tapped a new one out of the pack.
It wasn't love.
She was clear on that, because Cynthia didn't know what love was. No, what she felt for the stranger was a raw and yearning need to surrender to him. He had dominated her so easily and she despite her shame she desired that experience again, however much the memory brought fresh humiliation. Still, to walk such a path was dangerous. She ran the risk of losing herself to such a man, it didn't help matters that something in her wanted that loss of self, of responsibility. Something needy in her wanted to fall and to be caught in strong, masterful arms.
No you don't, she admonished herself. Its only a fantasy. A stupid, sick, and bullshit fantasy.
The phone rang. Cynthia jumped in there in her chair in the dark, frightened cold. A second shiver ran through her form. The phone rang again. She let it ring three times before picking up on the fourth.
"Hello, Cynthia. Unsure whether to answer or not?" The tone was conversational and confident, the voice of a man who knew nothing too bad was going to happen to him any time soon. Nothing he couldn't handle.
At the sound of his deep and modulated voice, her chill was replaced by spreading warmth, its epicenter her moistening sex.
"Yes." Cynthia answered, somewhat shakily. She had to make a deliberate effort to keep from adding the honorific sir. Or worse, master.
"Understandable," he said, with a smile in his voice. "You're on the cusp of a life-changing event. A certain nervousness, even fear, is natural enough.
She closed her eyes, listening to his voice, feeling her dampening panties sticking to the fullness of her pussylips. "I don't know what you're talking about."
A chuckle came over the line. "Of course you do. You're just hesitant to admit that you do. It humiliates you a great deal to think that I might know exactly what you need."
Without thinking about it she pressed her knees tightly together, mashing her thighs against each other. But the tingle in her clit didn't go away.
"My car will be in front of your building in a few moments. I'll wait for five minutes. Five minutes, Cynthia. No more."
"I'm...I'm not coming," she managed to stutter out. But the words were without power, insubstantial, even to her ears.
"Five minutes." And the line went dead. # Three minutes later, the uniformed chauffeur opened the door of the long black limousine and touched the bill of his hat as Cynthia climbed into the interior of the luxury automobile. And there on the other side of the backseat was the man she'd dreamt of for a week.
His features were weathered, rugged. A real man's face. His brown eyes held a lively intelligence along with his direct and piercing raptor's gaze. He maintained a well-groomed moustache. His glossy black hair was combed back and flat against his head, clipped above his shirt-collar at the back of his neck. He wore a white suit. Although he was sitting, Cynthia could see the suit was custom-tailored. White silk shirt with a black raw silk tie. White shoes. A man dressed for the Tropics. No jewelry.
She took him to be Mediterranean, Greek or Italian. But she supposed he could just as well have been Spanish or mixed-race American. In the end it didn't really matter. As she scooted across the seat and the driver shut the door, she caught the inviting scent of the upholstery's soft-leather and the musk of the man's cologne. She remembered that cologne. Her nose had been full of the scent as he had taken her from behind bent over a table. She hadn't bathed the next day, the better to preserve the aroma of him on her, the scentmarking of her.
His commanding presence radiated against her as an electrical charge. He had the damnable quality of both attracting and frightening her at the same time. She wanted a smoke but intuition told her he wouldn't permit it inside the car.
In her anxiety, she spoke. "Look, I don't know what you're after. But I don't need a pimp."
His lips tugged into an amused grin, the way an adult will smile when seeing through a child's clumsy lie. "Do you know why you say that when you know full well I am not? It's because you seek to distract yourself from the truth of your needs. Your mind is in conflict with your body. Your ego at odds with your desires."
He said the words not in a lecturing tone, but as matter-of-fact. Although she felt she should, Cynthia couldn't make herself contradict him.
He directed the chauffeur to drive into the Tenderloin, the seedier section of the compact city. It started to rain as the black car drove down Ellis Street. The lights of the city began to streak across the wet glass of the limo windows.
"Pull over here, please, Omar."
The sleek car slid smoothly to the curb, then stopped.
"We'll be here for a few minutes," he told Cynthia. "There's something I'd like you to witness."
She nodded but said nothing, her tapered fingers nervous in her lap, and followed his example by looking out the rain-streaked windows of the limo.
The darkness, the wet, and the glow of the brightly-gassed neon lights conspired to bring beauty even into the Tenderloin. The yellowish glow from the sodium streetlamps and the neon reflected off the wet streets and sidewalks making the unending concrete and asphalt into a vast reflecting pool. The hunched figures of the homeless, the shabbily dressed poor, and the resident population of scantily clan and chunky high-heeled whores moved through the drizzle, infusing the shoddy neighborhood with a certain toxified vitality.
From the quiet, dry, and climate-controlled interior of the luxury car, Cynthia looked out at the slum as if it were the moving image of another world, a place she observed but was not a part of. The scene provoked a memory from her high school years. Cynthia had never been big on reading. When she'd been assigned Dante's Divine Comedy as a book report she'd bought the cheat notes and skimmed through them. Yet, even from her cursory perusal of the material she'd absorbed enough to have nightmares for two nights running. Dante's description of The Pit had leapt out at her, vivid and startling. She had heard the wails of the damned souls inside her head.
And the scene beyond the windows reminded her of that poem and the hell it had portrayed. She was pulled out of her memory by the man's voice.
"Ah, the star of our little play," he said.
A lurid purple Cadillac had nosed onto the block and pulled to the curb close to a congregation of hookers. At the wheel of the automobile was a caramel-skinned man. His upper and lower canines were sheathed in gold. His ears sported two sets of gold hoop earrings. He wore a purple velvet jumpsuit. A monogram was stitched in gold thread on the jumper's right breast pocket. One by one the whores went to the rolled down driver-side window and handed the man rolls and sheaves of high-denomination bills. They all also stooped to receive a kiss on the cheek before sauntering off to sell themselves again for their daddy.
"That man is a pimp," he said, pointing out the obvious. "A pimp is a man who harbors great anger at women, basically because they wish they were women themselves. Only drag-queens dress as flamboyantly as most pimps, as over-the-top effeminate. Now, girl, do you still confuse me with one of those?"
The difference was obvious. Cynthia shook her head no.
"You used words when you insulted me. I'll have you use words in your retraction."
"No. No, sir, I don't think you're a pimp." She heard herself say sir. She blushed, ashamed, but also somewhat thrilled.
He nodded. "Then we're back in agreement. I don't take you for a cheap whore, either, although some might. Which is more than you yourself have thought from time to time."
She flinched but remained quiet, nibbling at her bottom lip.
He studied her in silence for a few seconds before speaking. "Omar, you can continue on to the airport."
"The airport?" Cynthia had thought he was taking her back to the club. Back for another session across a table, to beg, to be rutted. To be claimed anew.
"Yes. I'm going home," he answered. "I run an auction house and I've been away far too long."
"An auction house?" And after a moment's hesitation, she added, "Sir."
He nodded. "Yes. I'm a slave-trader."
The casual revelation didn't surprise Cynthia. His demeanor, his entire presence bespoke of a man accustomed to command and of being obeyed. Still, his actually saying it caused her to shiver once more.
He reached across the seat for her with hands heavily covered with pads of calluses. She could see old scars on them. Then his fingers slid up her smooth right thigh. Up to the elastic of her black thong. She was startled when he snapped the waistband with one sharp tug of his hands.
"Please," she whimpered.
"Please what, girl?"
She blushed, feeling her face grow hot as she averted her gaze, too ashamed of her weakness and need to look at him. "Please, don't."
"Again, you speak words at odds with your true feelings." His hands went to the neckline of her red dress. He tugged, popping the buttons until the garment lay open, revealing her shapely form, her full breasts heavy in the cups of a lacy red bra. The tatters of her thong draped across one thigh.
He sat back, then held out his right hand, palm up. "Give me the dress. And the panties."
She shook her head, tousling her blonde hair. "No."
"That is the last of your defiance I will allow, Cynthia. You've already submitted to me. You do remember last Tuesday, don't you?"
She averted her gaze. And answered in a small voice, "Yes, sir."
Again she felt the unyielding tabletop flattening her tits, the touch of his wide cockhead press her cuntlips before he had grunted deep in his throat and plowed into her. The memory of her scream rang in her ears.
"Then all that is left is the ceremony. The dress, the panties. If I lose patience with you there'll be no second chance."
Her eyes brimmed. She blinked and tears cruised down her cheeks. She wanted to refuse, but the need to obey was stronger. Cynthia shrugged out of your dress and gave it to him, along with the ripped thong. He put them on the floor by his feet and withdrew from his jacket a loop of stainless steel. The collar caught the light of the passing streetlamps, making Cynthia blink.
Faster than she could follow, his left arm struck out, his fist was in the silk of her hair and he dragged her across the seat, hard up against him, jerking back her head so that her throat was exposed.
He spoke the word with such passion, such a depth of possession, that Cynthia didn't struggle in his grasp. Although frightened she lay submissive against him as the bright band of metal encircled her neck. The click of the small padlock seemed as loud to her as a gunshot.
"Mine." He repeated.
Cynthia gathered courage and looked up into his face, the roots of her hair on fire from his brutal grip. Tears still flowed down her flushed cheeks. Her master looked down at her and smiled. And she knew that she was beautiful, beautiful enough to be owned.
She'd once heard that the reason for living was to love, and in turn, to be loved. Cynthia, an abandoned orphan, was the first one to admit that she didn't know shit about love. She figured her lack of understanding didn't matter, because now she knew what it meant to be owned, body and mind, heart and soul. She knew what it meant to be desirable enough to be taken under the possession of a dominant man. And all the self-doubts, cynicism, and bitterness which had plagued her all her life melted away as she looked up into her owner's dark eyes.
In that moment, Cynthia had an epiphany.
She saw that her entire history as a hooker had been an unconscious, unfocused search for such a man. Each john a potential master. And he had come, against all odds in a deaf, and blind, and dumb, and soulless Universe, he had come. Against all hope she had been rescued. A moment before modestly averting her glance, she had looked upon the face of her master, her rescuer, with total and unadulterated adoration.
"Yours. Master, this one belongs to you."
The smell of her aroused sex filled the confined space. Her sincerity was not in doubt.
He nodded, his black gaze sliding with easy intimacy over her body. "Somewhat vanilla," he chuckled, pinching one of her puffed coral-pink nipples. "But tasty." He bent to kiss her for the first time and Cynthia kissed back, surrendering her mouth with a soft desperation.