Six o'clock consistently brought in an after-work crowd that was dying for a chance to let off some steam from the day with an ice cold beer, good company and something just as good to eat. Harman's, the well-known place among office workers, was usually crowded but always had room for some more patrons. It was also no secret that some of the men that frequented the place were looking for some entertainment of the flesh kind before heading home for the night. As illegal as it was, patrons knew when an older gentleman was escorting a very young lady out of the restaurant, it was anything but being gentlemanly.
One winter night around seven, a businessman in his thirties came in by himself to get something to drink. He sat at the bar and signaled the waitress.
"Welcome! What can I get for you?" the young woman asked, smiling widely at the man as he looked up at the menu on the board above him. After a moment of silence, he made a decision on his drink.
"Kirin Ichiban, please."
With a bow, she disappeared around the bend to assist another customer. The businessman looked down at his mobile phone and saw a new e-mail message from his supposed girlfriend. In actuality, they really just had sex and nothing more.
'Keiji, I'm going to be late tonight so don't wait up for me.'
He flipped the phone shut, deep in thought. Yuki was working more and more late hours, making him suspect that she was probably sleeping with someone else. In some strange way, Keiji was okay with that thought. It was about time he broke free from her money-grubbing hold; fake girls were definitely getting old with him. Curiosity grabbed a hold of him as he took a look around the casual eatery. People were sitting around eating and drinking more than their fill, for the most part business men and women. There was the usual scant number of foreigners looking at the menus with a bit more scrutiny than most, to which he smiled. They were quite amusing to watch, most foreigners, and while they usually meant well and tried their best, attempts at the language were usually a frustrating thing.
Keiji saw the waitress coming his way with an ice-cold glass and a bottle of Kirin Ichiban beer.
"Sorry to keep you waiting! Here you go," she said politely, pouring the drink in about three-quarters of the way. "Will you be eating dinner?"
Keiji nodded, pointing to the menu spread out beneath his beer. Colorful spreads of each meal on the menu were laid out to easily choose. "I'll have the okonomiyaki with shrimp. That's it."
"Okay!" Again, she raced off to the counter behind her and called out the order.
In the corner of his eye, he noticed something rarely seen walking into the restaurant and about to take a seat directly next to him at the bar. She was tall, no doubt a foreigner, but it was her flawless dark beauty that caught him by surprise. Her eyes were a bright hazel and hair as dark as his, although his was cropped much shorter. Keiji wasn't normally attracted to foreign women, white or black, but this one… there was something about her. She sat next to him and looked down at the menu, quickly deciding what she wanted well before the waitress made her way over.
"Hello!" the waitress greeted in English, assuming she couldn't speak the language. It was a common thing to see. "Would you like an English menu?"
Her eyes glanced up in amusement. Replying in perfect Japanese, she said, "I'm okay with the Japanese menu. Can I have the beef bowl please?"
The waitress wasn't flustered by the correction, instead continuing in Japanese with completing the order. "And would you like something to drink?"
Keiji noticed her glance over at his Kirin Ichiban and responded, "I'll have what he's having." At that the waitress disappeared once again.
Surprised by the open invitation for conversation, he chuckled lightly. "I guess we have that much in common."
Her eyes glistened, giving him the once-over glance. She was pleasantly surprised by his open candor, something unseen in the natives she'd encountered during her stay in the country. He was probably the same height as her from what she could tell, impeccably dressed in a navy two-piece suit that looked tailored especially for his average frame. It was probably the first time in weeks that any native approached her for conversation and in a way she was a little nervous.
"I guess so," she replied, smiling shyly at Keiji. "Just got off from work?"
"Yes. Today was very busy. I've been looking forward to this drink all day," he grinned, taking a deep quaff of his beer. "Ah, that's good!"
She chuckled at his easygoing attitude. Turning more fully toward him, she asked, "What do you do?"
"Sales manager at NTT DoCoMo," he responded automatically, taking another sip of his beer. The waitress suddenly appeared with her beer, pouring it into the glass. "How about you?"
Her eyebrows rose at the question. Taking a moment to drink a sip of the beer, she lowered her eyes hesitantly, unsure of his impending reaction.
"I'm teaching English at one of the schools nearby. It's not that bad, but today was very busy," she said softly. Keiji got the impression that she was almost embarrassed about what she was doing.
"You're not embarrassed about teaching English, are you?" he wondered aloud.
Her breath caught at his keen observation. Unable to deny it, she admitted, "Most Americans come here under those circumstances, don't they?"
Keiji couldn't refute her point as it was true, but there was no shame in it. "Perhaps so, but it is a job like any other."
They both quaffed deeply from their glasses. Uncomfortable silence settled between them, well after the waitress appeared with both of their meals. Halfway into his okonomiyaki, Keiji stopped to properly introduce himself, shamed by the fact they hadn't done so previously.
"It was so rude of me not to introduce myself before," he said. Holding out his hand, he continued, "Keiji Nomura is my name."
Willingly taking his hand and giving a pert shake, she introduced herself. "Tara Hollister. Nice to meet you, Keiji."
They continued to eat in silence. Tara could feel Keiji's eyes looking at her eat and as much as she strived to ignore it, she couldn't help the nervousness that quaked through her. He was a good looking man and didn't seem to be intimidated by her being a foreigner. That alone made her feel comfortable with him, but there was something more. His eyes reflected an interest she had never seen in another Japanese man's eyes before. Her heart raced at the possibilities; could Keiji be her first experience with a man here? Refusing to believe in the impossible, she continued to eat her beef and rice.
All the while, Keiji was trying to figure out a way to get Tara to come back to his place. It was a short train ride away, no more than five minutes. He wasn't a playboy by anyone's standard, but he knew a beautiful woman when he saw one and wasn't about to pass up the opportunity to spend the night with one. If he was lucky, maybe he'd spend more than just one night with her. Once finished with their meals, he made his move. First things first: drinks.
"Tara," he began, pushing aside his plate, "you are a very curious person to me. Would you mind having a few more drinks together?"
A sensual smile revealed to Keiji that she was on the same wavelength that he was. By the night's end, they would end up in each other's arms, writhing together in the throes of passion. Guaranteed.
"Sure." Once finished with their beers, they moved their conversation to a table in the far corner of the restaurant, next to the window overlooking the river. "This view is great…"
Keiji stared at Tara for a moment, taken by a combination of alcohol and lust. In his mind's eye, he could see his barely tanned and almost pale skin in strong contrast to her lush brown skin, pressed tightly together as the sweat dripped from their bodies…
Thankfully, there was a table between them and she couldn't see the raging erection developing between his legs. He had to calm himself if he was going to see this night through.
"So, where are you from?" he asked, trying to lead his thoughts away from sex for the immediate moment.
"I'm from New York," she responded, playing idly with a napkin next to her hand. The waitress strolled over to ask them if they wanted any more drinks, to which Keiji asked for two more beers. She didn't mind that he ordered for her; something told her that he'd be paying for this round anyway. "I've lived there all my life."
"Me too," Keiji said casually.
"You too… what?" Tara asked, uncertain of what he meant exactly.
"Oh, I mean I've lived in Tokyo all my life," he explained, emptying half his glass of beer. "Drink up!"
Laughing at his excitement, she followed suit. Her eyes were growing limp, the heady feel of the alcohol affecting her senses already. This beer would be her last, she thought absentmindedly. Once finished with their second round of beers, Tara shook her head at unsaid words.
"You know, Keiji, I can't possibly have any more beer. I feel lightheaded already."
Such subterfuge wasn't his style, but in this case it was the better way to go about getting Tara to come with him. Next, onto the train.
"Tara," he started, his voice deepening with subtle arousal, "I don't normally do this, but I wanted to know if you would come back to my place to… well, continue this party."
Surprisingly, she still had all her wits about her. "Keiji, I don't know… I think you're handsome and all, but I don't know if this is the right thing to do."
"I'll make sure you get home safely," he assured. His hand reached across the table to take Tara's hand in his. Warm, she thought, liking more than she'd care to admit the feeling that erupting in her. "Do you have to work tomorrow?"
Tara shook her head at the wooziness creeping in her head. Surely she wasn't drunk already? She wasn't a lightweight when it came to liquor. "No, I'm off; I don't work weekends."
At that moment, his mobile buzzed in his pants, which he pulled out and looked at the name. Yuki. Excusing himself, he turned to the side and spoke softly.
"Hey, Keiji! How are you?" a soft-spoken Japanese girl asked.
"I'm fine. Just having some drinks. You?" he asked, wondering what she really was doing.
"I'm just a little… busy right now. I was calling to tell you I'm going to stay at a friend's house tonight. See you tomorrow?" she said, somewhat distracted-sounding.
That settled it, Keiji decided. In the background, he could hear the faint sounds of a man's voice speaking. Yuki was no innocent, but she didn't have to flaunt her sexuality so openly.
"No, Yuki. I don't think we'll be seeing each other for a long time."
"What?" a confused Yuki asked.
While their conversation continued, Tara tried not to overhear the things Keiji was saying but couldn't help it. So, that was his girlfriend? She didn't sound terribly loyal, she thought. No sooner than the thought came, Keiji slammed shut his mobile phone in open disgust.
"Stupid," he muttered, turning back to Tara. "I'm sorry about that, Tara. That was just…"
"Your girlfriend," she completed.
"No! Absolutely not. We were more like…" Keiji thought on what exactly he and Yuki were. Nothing serious ever existed between them.
"Fuck buddies," Tara said, using an English term. "That's what my friends always called people they just had sex with."
Keiji thought on the crude term and realized it fit aptly, much to his dismay.
"You may be right, Tara. But that's not the type of person I am. Really."
"Neither am I."
They stared longingly into each other's eyes before turning away from each other. Despite what just happened, Keiji's ardor for Tara would not cool.
"So do you want to go with me?"
Tara blinked at the proposition. A part of her wanted to go so badly, to experience something most black women would never experience given Japanese mentality about women of color. But the other part of her thought of it as a one-night stand, a sordid thing that was damn near dirty. Her mind was made up from the moment she laid eyes on him, she realized. Placing her hand into his outstretched one, she nodded.
Keiji promptly paid for the additional drinks and soon they were walking down the narrow streets to the train station. It was just after eight and many people were still on the streets; they received their share of strange glares as they approached the station, some merely curious while others were downright nasty.
"How far away do you live?" Tara asked, looking up at the rail map outside of the entrance.
"Not far, only three stops from here," he answered, looking at her pensive expression. That was the thing that caught him, he realized. She wasn't as she appeared, a strange mixture of sensuality and deep thought. Heaven only knew what she could be like in bed. "Do you have a pass? Otherwise I'll pay for you."
She shook her head and reached into her purse. "I have a pass. I don't live very close to my job unfortunately."
He nodded, leading them through the wicket gates and up the stairs to the green line train. It was surprisingly crowded at that hour, but they were able to stand against the door. Tara could feel Keiji's body heat increasing against hers as he shamelessly pressed against her. His hand rested lightly on her waist, his thumb pressing against the indentation of her pelvis.
Keiji, overcome with desire, leaned forward to her ear and whispered, "You are so beautiful."
Tara blushed although it was barely visible. His cheek pressed sensually against hers, the heat between them rising until she felt a drop of sweat form at her temple. His lips were so close, so rich and desirable that she wanted to take the initiative and just kiss him right there on the train, but she held back, uncertain of what people would think. Keiji's eyes were only on Tara, even as their stop came and they exited. Keiji lead her down several different streets into an apartment complex with three-story houses. They entered the first one in the gate, walking up two flights of stairs to his spacious apartment. Once inside, she realized the kind of man he was immediately. He was extremely clean and organized; she could tell by his strategic placement of everything in each room. The kitchen lights were off, as were the living room's, but from what she saw, he was very specific in his tastes.
"So Keiji, what exactly are we going to do?"
Before she could say another word, he leaned down to kiss her deeply, tasting the sourness of the beer they'd had not long ago. His lips were convincing, allowing Tara to become caught up in the sensations building inside of her. Keiji pulled her close, pressing his hardness against her. He couldn't believe how hard he was and he'd barely touched her. Indulging his desire, Tara responded fully, wrapping her arms around his neck and pressing into him. He groaned loudly, turning his head to her neck and taking in her scent.
"You smell so good," he muttered, his tongue running a wicked path from her ears down to her shoulder. Tara sighed softly, closing her eyes and allowing Keiji to take them deeper into the fantasy.
They had already divested of their shoes and coats as Keiji took them through the bedroom doors, revealing a tastefully designed room with a blue and white motif. Wasting no time, he pulled off her button-down shirt, pressing a thumb against the swell of her breast. Tara followed his lead by stripping him of his jacket and shirt, revealing a lightly muscled chest. It was incredibly sexy to Tara and she sighed with her pleasure.
"Keiji," she whispered, brushing a fingertip over his taut nipples, "I'm incredibly curious about a Japanese man's body. I've never…"
Her pause gave him a chance to bring that same fingertip to his lips. "I understand. Explore me if you want. Let me just get inside you first."
His admission was a heady one, making Tara wish she was already naked and ready to copulate right then and there. She sat down on his surprisingly plush Western-style bed, reaching for the belt on her skirt and watching him unzip his pants simultaneously. The pants slid to the floor and as her eyes took everything in, Keiji allowed his boxer briefs to fall as well.
"Wow," she exclaimed at his pronounced erection. She didn't know what to expect, having only had one attempt at sex and that was with a black man.
"You like?" he asked softly in simple English. Surprised by her emphatic nod, he approached, reaching to pull off her loosened skirt. Immediately exposed were her thighs, then her legs; Keiji began salivating like an untrained pup. "So sexy…"
Tara was wide-eyed at Keiji's open-aired desire, excited to the point where she reached behind her to unlatch her bra. It came free without trouble, tossed to the floor in one deft move. Before she could utter a word, Keiji's body covered hers, pressing her deep into the mattress. His hands gently kneaded her burgeoning bosom, tongue wickedly teasing and taunting her nipples into awareness. Tara's hand buried deep into his hair, holding him to the spot. He took a moment to look up at her, making sure she was okay, then took the entire crest of her nipple into his mouth, sucking intently.
"Mm," he murmured, switching from one breast to the other, giving equal attention. Her breath grew ragged and body heat rose unbelievably fast. "What do you want, Tara?"
Her eyes were hazy when she tried to focus on his face. The amazing power of passion, she thought with a smile. Tara took his hand into hers and pressed it against the warmth between her legs, which was still covered by lace panties. Tentative, he slipped a finger inside the moist cloth, feeling a gush of warm juices hit his finger and the pungent scent of her sex drifted to him. His tumescence bucked wildly against her, particularly when her soft hand brushed against the tip.
"Touch me," whispered Keiji. His body was braced on his elbows, half covering her with one leg and his chest, his knee parting her legs. Tempted by his words, she gently pushed him over to his back and before straddling his hips, she removed her panties. Her hair was neatly trimmed short in a delicate triangular pattern. From what Keiji could tell by her positioning, she had every intention of touching him and more.
"I didn't think Japanese men were so bold when it came to this," commented Tara. Her body was poised above his penis, but in sudden realization, she drew him away. "Oh my God! We don't have any protection…"
Keiji's lazy smile let her know immediately that things were covered, literally. He reached into the drawer beside his bed to reveal two boxes of condoms. At least one of them was prepared, she thought with an unaired sigh of relief. She reached in to pick up one, unwrapped it and sheathed Keiji. Control was quickly unraveling as Tara teased him with a taste of her tight entrance.
"Evil woman," he groaned, grabbing her hips and with unusual decisiveness, he thrust upward, surging deep into Tara. She cried out at the combination of pain and pleasure, bracing her body with her hands on either side of Keiji.
"Ah!" she shouted, tears falling from her face onto his chest. Keiji watched her uncharacteristic response and briefly wondered if she was a virgin. He didn't feel anything on his way in…
Tara wiped away the moisture from her eyes and refocused on the heap of masculinity beneath her. Words just didn't seem to come to her just then, so instead she placed her hands on his chest and began to move. The slight change in movement from forward to back made Keiji's hold on her hips tighten, a moan emerging from deep in his throat.
Like a goddess, he worshipped her body with fingertip and tongue, the sweet caress of his lips on her neck as Keiji brought her low to his chest to kiss her. Her breasts were pressed tightly to him, aching nipples stroking against his damp chest as she ground her pelvis into him. The room grew incredibly warm, their ecstatic voices no doubt filtering through the walls. At one point, he began muttering unintelligible words in Japanese, nothing she could make out clearly.