Edward Lane's Argosy Ch. 03byIan_Ironwood©
Chapter Three: Uncle Pete and the Parisian Whore
The next several days were busy for Edward, but he found he enjoyed the direction in scope and purpose that thieving on behalf of another provided. Lady Trey had given him three hundred pounds in "operating capital", as she had put it, to finance his expedition to Paris, and he had pilfered another three hundred in miscellaneous valuables on his way out of Tudley House. Being conservative in nature, Edward husbanded his resources carefully, electing to take passage on a barge crossing the Channel, rather than a more expensive -- and better documented -- ferry or airship. Once in English Calais, he chose to travel by train in favor of a carriage ride, both for expediency and comfort.
Of course Edward was no stranger to the City of Lights, having been a frequent visitor immediately after graduation, when he had appended his fortunes to the coattails of his more affluent friends who made Paris their alternate home. Nearly every aristocratic family in England had a flat, a home or an estate in proximity to Paris, and Edward had spent three months gently visiting his schoolmates, one after another, never staying long enough to be considered a burden.
He had "worked" in the city a few times before, revisiting those same homes under the pretense of renewing acquaintanceships and then re-revisiting them during the dark of night in order to liberate them of their valuables. They were no more difficult to loot than English estates and, he had to admit, their wine cellars were as alluring as their treasuries.
The biggest problem with "working" too long in Paris was not the possibility of being apprehended en flagarente delecto by the Parisian constabulary -- it was in crossing the powerful Parisian demimonde.
The criminal underworld in France was thick with regional and cultural subdivisions, but in Paris the demimonde was likewise filled with political radicals, would-be ideologues, revolutionaries, religious fanatics, ethnic clans, immigrant gangs, the dregs of exile and other lunatics who were kept in line only by the dominance of the nameless organization that ruled there. While Edward was far removed from the squalid tussles betwixt tentament gangsters and knife-wielding Roma clans, he was also aware that thefts in his arena were likewise considered under the jurisdiction of the Parisian criminal world -- and subject to both tribute and retribution, should the occasion arise.
Technically, no one who had pretensions of looting more than a hundred pounds of booty in Paris could do so without providing a tribute payment no less than ten percent of fair black market value of the loot. To do otherwise risked inciting the wrath of the Parisan demimonde, according to Uncle Pete and other professionals he had chanced to discuss the matter with.
But to do so aforehand was to invite the kind of attention to his craft he usually avoided. And deciding upon fair market value for a magical stone that allowed the blind to see would be problematic.
But Edward also knew he would probably need some support amongst the locals, if he was to carry off this larceny. So after securing a room at a moderately priced but still respectable hotel, he dove into the disreputable suburbs of Paris, every footstep taking him deeper and deeper into neighborhoods filled with fatherless urchins, decrepit buildings, and seedy brothels that catered to the wicked tastes of the human mire capable of supporting their service. It was a stark reminder of the life he was studiously avoiding, but unlike a normal gentleman who might wander into such places and fear for his life and purse, Edward strode with the confidence of a seasoned criminal.
He found the place he'd been seeking with little difficulty -- the secret signs, ignored by those not initiated into the criminal fraternity, were all over the dismal little tavern he sought. He went through the open door into the gloomy depths, trading the damp coolness of an autumn drizzle for the cloyingly smoky atmosphere of the taproom. The surly-looking keeper gave him a professional scowl as he threaded his way around passed-out customers, binging tradesmen, and pickpockets taking their ease before hitting the Parisian nightlife for the evening's trade.
There, at the back of the moldy old building, sat Uncle Pete. Slept Uncle Pete, more accurately, for the large man's unshaven face was pressed into his arm as he reclined across the deeply scarred tabletop, a near-empty bottle of ignoble vintage near to his elbow, and a lusty snore emitted from his open mouth. Edward took the opposite chair and signaled for the keeper to bring him another bottle. Procuring Pete's enthusiasm and assistance would be easier with the lubrication of drink.
"Wake up!" Edward said, feigning irritation. "What are you going to do about my daughter, you lecherous scoundrel?!" Edward bellowed in the older man's ear after the bottle and a cheap glass cup had been provided. Pete snorted, stirred, and almost returned to repose when Edward repeated his jest. "My daughter is three months gone with child, now, and says you're the sire!"
"I never touched her, Sir!" Pete said automatically, his eyes springing open only after he had emitted his protest. Recognizing that he'd been fooled -- there was no irate father in evidence, after all -- he first resorted to anger and then to joy when he recognized his beloved nephew.
"Eddie!" he boomed, his lilting Celtic accent filling the entire tavern. "What brings you to this shithole?"
"I'm here on business," Edward said, quietly. Had he used the term "Trade" or "Work", he would have meant something different, but "business" implied that a criminal was at the onset of a job, not at the conclusion. "I already have a mark, and what's more unusual, I have a patron."
"Patron?" Uncle Pete asked, intrigued. "Now that is strange. Someone from London?"
"I'll keep the details to myself, thank you, as I've been paid in good coin for discretion in the matter. But I'm likely to need advice, if not assistance, on this business, so I naturally thought of my dear old Uncle Pete."
"And God love ye for the consideration, lad," his Uncle smiled, blearily. "I'm a bit down at the moment and could stand the trade, more's the truth. Last real job I had was a month or more, and weak tea at that. So who is this mark? And what's the prize?" Pete wasted no time in uncorking the bottle and pouring a generous amount for both of them.
"First, I want to secure your services," Edward said, somewhat formally. "Just to keep the loose talk at bay. I know you'd mouche the moment you were out of brass, so I'm paying to ensure your cooperation. And your silence. This must not get out."
"Of course, lad," Uncle Pete said, solemnly, as he licked his lips in anticipation. "Maybe three, four quid? Just enough to get me by . . ."
Edward produced a crisp ten-pound note and carefully laid it in Pete's hand. By custom, the act of acceptance confirmed Pete was his man until the job was completed. Pete's fingers closed over the note, his eyes wide with appreciation.
"That is some patron of yours," he said, reverently examining the note. "What does he want? The fookin' lint out o' Napoleon's navel?
"Nothing so difficult -- nor disgusting. An exiled Russian nobleman who lives at a country estate, not far from here."
"That bloody narrows it, doesn't it?" Pete asked, wryly, as he drank the wine like a parched man drinks water. "You know how many Russians are enjoying the bitter bread of exile in Paris since the new Czar came to power?"
"This one is from the previous round of pogroms, actually." Edward explained. "His Excellency, Count Piotr Ivanov Cherensky. He's Russian by heritage, Parisian by Fortune's grace. "
"Cherensky, Cherensky," Pete said to himself as he thought. "Don't know him, myself. Have to speak to Leck the Pole -- he's a pimp I know, knows all about those Russian noblemen. Provides them with all manner of diverse entertainments and rarified perversions." Pete made a mental note to himself, which involved much muttering, before returning to the matter at hand. "So what's the booty, lad?"
"That's restricted, Old Man -- I'm to find one piece in particular, and take whatever else I fancy for my trouble."
"That's not going to sit well with the demimonde," Pete cautioned. "Lest you fill their pockets afterwards."
"I had not forgotten," Edward nodded. "And it shall be attended to. But now you're on my shilling, Pete, so go forth and gather what intelligence you can on Cherensky. I will be visiting friends here for a fortnight or so, and I'm staying at the Hotel d'Bretegne while I'm here. Pray leave a message at the desk to my attention -- I'm using my real name, for the moment -- and I shall meet you here to discuss it."
"I am forever at your service," Pete bowed, the picture of servile humility. Edward knew, of course, that Pete's loyalty would run out the moment the coin did, but he was an honest criminal to that point -- and Edward liked to pretend that Pete had enough affection for him to not go out of his way to see him nicked, or worse.
As he walked back to his more-affluent section of the city, he stopped at a café not much removed in state from the tavern he'd just left. The girls who seemed to hover around it were less afraid of the light of day, however, and were younger by half a decade or more than the whores in the slums.
Edward was feeling the satisfaction he experienced at the onset of any bit of business, and now that Uncle Pete was on the job he felt as if he was making progress. That, and the comfortable wad of banknotes in his pocket, courtesy his blind benefactress, had filled him with a sense of potency and physical randiness he hadn't felt since he'd left the clutches of Lady Trey.
He took a table under the soaked awning of the café, and a boy came by within moments to take his order for coffee. In truth he wasn't fond of the robust but haphazard way the French prepared the beverage, but the chill -- and the depressing lack of tea in Paris -- demanded something hot and wet while he surveyed the erotic possibilities his ignoble purse could afford him.
There seemed to be four ladies working the café, he noted. One was a red-headed Celtic lass, with pale skin and a constellation of freckles about her face; two were brunettes, native Parisians or girls from the country who came agonizingly close to being pretty; and one blonde of indeterminate origin who seemed more irritated and less approachable than the others, despite her practiced pretty smile.
Edward sat and enjoyed his coffee while he debated with himself. He had already discarded the idea of a liaison with the blonde, as he did not like her demeanor -- and the memory of his passionate and strange coupling with the golden-haired Lady Trey made such a quick comparison unseemly.
The Celtic lass, likewise, he rejected, due to the pronounced way her teeth protruded from her mouth when she opened it. That ran counter to the operation for which Edward was anticipating employing a maid. No doubt the girl was skilled at her craft, but the gawkish nature of her countenance put Edward off.
As it was between the two brunettes, who lacked much to distinguish between them save the hue of their coats, Edward ordered a second cup of coffee from the boy and quietly switched tables to the table bearing the woman in the brown coat -- arguably the more attractive of the two, and the one who fit Edward's fancy better. Her name was Annette, and she spoke passable English -- enough for Edward to abandon his horrid French in favor of his mother tongue. After a polite discussion of the dismal weather, an inquiry as to her availability and limitations, and the briefest of haggling about the price, a bargain was struck. Edward left the shot and a generous tip on the table and followed the mademoiselle's round fundament through the rain and into the back stairs of a hotel three grades more common than the Hotel d'Bretagne.
"So, what does monsieur desire from petite Annette?" the French lass asked, as she unlocked a room Edward assumed was her studio. It was clean enough, he was gratified to see, if small and stark. There was bed that was the whore's workshop, a table and basin, and a hook on the wall where Edward hung his coat. There was also a chair, made of sturdy wood but with a cushion of soft purple velvet that had seen much better days. "Shall I warm monsieur's body with mine?" she asked, flirtatiously, as she rubbed her bubbies against his chest like a cat begging for cream. Her breath smelled of sweet strawberry preserves and bitter coffee. "Or shall we fuck immediately?"
"Just a bit of fellatio, if you please," Edward said, enjoying the view of Annette's lithe body under her delicate lace garments. "I trust you're well-versed in the art?"
"Oh, mais ouis!" Annette assured him, nodding vigorously. "Annette can use her mouth in ways no English whore could imagine!"
The lass couldn't be more than sixteen or seventeen -- eighteen at the latest -- but she had already begun adopting the jaded demeanor of an old professional, seductively asking to see the money before she took off more than her coat. Had her face been a bit more pleasing -- her eyes seemed buggish, so large were they, and her chin was far longer than fashion dictated as attractive -- she might have had hopes of attracting the attention of a minor aristocrat, or public official seeking a mistress. She might have made an ideal bourgeoisies wife, and could yet end her life as such, Edward decided. But she seemed enthusiastic about her trade, a capacity which Edward had always admired in a whore. Annette gently caressed his face and allowed him to kiss her sweet-smelling neck before he let her push him gently into the chair.
"Just fellatio?" she asked, her face the picture of innocence. "Are you so certain, monsieur, that you do not have time or coin to explore petite Annette's other charms?" As she did so, the whore slowly extended her leg like a dancer, making a graceful arc with it until, shockingly, her knee was close by her cheek, while her alternate leg still stood straight as a ruler, stretching her pantaloons enticingly against her furry cleft. "Annette has many talents worth your money -- though monsieur is so handsome, Annette hates to charge him at all!" She added a near-perfect whore's pout, her lip extended fetchingly and her eyes wide and drooping with feigned sadness. Edward had to smile at her earnestness, and tenderly swept a stray lock of sable from her eye.
"As tempting an offer as that is, mon chere, I make a point of never fucking a woman while I'm planning an endeavor -- I find it clouds my judgment and impairs my instincts. The calm I seek lies between these beautiful lips, not your . . . flexible knees. But after my work is done, if you please me I shall be happy to reserve your sweet cunny and tight arse for an entire evening."
"Then I shall do my best to be . . . memorable," Annette said, batting her eyelashes with flirtatious exaggeration. She pushed him gently into the chair and gracefully knelt between his knees, rubbing his bulge thorough his trousers and cooing admiringly. She wasted no time in freeing it from his flies, and after inspecting it briefly (there was plenty of the Spanish Disease about, of course) she began to delicately nibble on the head, her wide eyes glancing up at him while her tongue tickled his glans.
"Yess," Edward hissed, leaning his head back in the chair luxuriantly as her lips delicately surrounded the head of his cock and began suckling on it delightfully. In truth, he found the practice of fellatio not only greatly calming to the mind, but positively unmatched in terms of inspiring creative thought. He had not lied to Annette -- when he was planning a major job, he made a practice of avoiding pussy (his unexpected tryst with Lady Trey an unavoidable exception) because, he reasoned, with pussy there came complications. But the simple, honest act of having his cock professionally sucked was about as uncomplicated and rewarding an investment as he could ask for.
Annette's dark hair tickled his thighs where it dangled and fell through his flies, but he was focused far more intently on how ardently the eager young whore sucked his cock. She had grasped the shaft of his prick with her left hand, whilst using the right to continuously brush her wild strands of hair out of her face so that he could witness the resplendent sight of his cock pushing into and out of her mouth. Annette studiously checked to ensure that her actions were pleasing by the simple expedient of watching Edward's expression -- but he doubted she would find anything amiss there. Her dancing tongue, so much more deft than Lady Trey's unpracticed sucking, delighted his enflamed cock while her hand steadily pumped him towards a creamy oblivion.
"Is monsieur enjoying himself?" she asked, hospitably, when she had taken him to the brink of rapture -- and then stopped. "Annette is not like English whores -- she does not rush you to the petite morte, thinking of nothing but money . . . she takes her time and enjoys the meal!"
"Vive la France!" Edward, agreed in an intent whisper, as her lips and tongue descended once more the torment his prick with pleasure. He felt her other hand steal under the waistband of her pantaloons -- the little brunette tart was frigging herself! "Let me see?" he asked, placing a hand on her head to slow her motion. She was startled and gave a yelp around his prick, then embarrassed for being caught by her patron, but when she realized Edward wanted her to continue, she jumped up to fetch something from her handbag before returning to her submissive pose between his knees.
"If you do not care to fuck me, monsieur," she asked, a wicked grin on her face, "then perhaps you will allow me to pleasure myself with my new vibrateur. . . all the girls are mad for them right now!" she confided, with teenaged enthusiasm.
Edward was intrigued. "Might I see it?" he asked. She nodded vigorously, and presented the instrument for his inspection with all the ceremony of a feudal ritual. He was not unfamiliar with the French passion for dildoes -- nearly every lady wife and her chambermaid in Paris had one of the illicit instruments tucked away in her bedding -- but this was something else entirely. He saw that the head, a simple design that did not try to mimic the variations of the male member beyond the most elementary form, was of highly polished brass, while the body of the engine was beautifully finished rosewood, sanded and varnished to a glass-like smoothness. At the base there was an elaborate brass fitting, as ornate as a music box.
"It works like this," Annette explained, after he examined it. She turned the base several times, producing a small clicking sound, before it was wound enough, and then she activated a switch on the base. The faux phallus immediately produced a small whirring noise. "It is . . . how you say? Rouage d'horloge . . . clockwork! Oui, it is a clockwork vibrateur . . . the most amazing, wonderful contraption the French ever invented!"
"So . . . what do you do with it?" Edward asked, failing to see the device's purpose or utility beyond that served so admirably by an ordinary dildo.
"Well, monsieur," Annette confided naughtily as she pushed the instrument into her pantaloons and, he assumed, against the slit of her cunny, "When I place the baton just so . . . and activate it . . . OH!" Annette yelped as she flicked the switch with her thumb. "It produces the most divine vibrations against my . . . my clitoris . . ." she gasped. "It makes the work go much more quickly!" With that the randy young tart returned to her duties servicing Edward's prick. The familiar motions were now punctuated with gasps and moans as Annette pleasured herself, a situation which Edward approved of heartily -- never had he seen a woman become as aroused as the little whore had with her device. And the sensation of her expressions of lust while employed sucking his cock produced a delightful sucking which, if erratic, was none the less welcome for its novelty and renewed enthusiasm for the task.