Things that Lose by Being Painted

March 14, 2008 Danae Klimt
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A Tale of Nouveau Montmartre

The breakup was common knowledge, of course. Everything is common knowledge here in our little cloister of harlots. There really aren’t so many of us Courtesies, in proportion to the general populace, and there isn’t much emotional space here, for all the physical space of a hundred storeys. I can’t sneeze without someone on the other side of the tower saying, “Bless you,” even though no one knows any longer why people say that when someone sneezes.

The day I ran into Daniel in the staff dining room, I’d been asked to fill in the morning shift at Ecstatic Sensations, the Salon store. Books, toys, and discs to enhance all kinds of sexual pleasures, with employee discounts. Madame Satine, the retired Courtesy who usually opened the store, had taken a bad fall the night before and was laid up in the infirmary, and I was the only person available who had worked in the store before. Poor Madame, I suppose her old hips just gave way and she tumbled; even Courtesies wear out, though most of us take extremely good care of ourselves.

I worked the morning shift, which was quite dull, and then went up to the staff lounge to get a bit of lunch. I would have gone back to the apartment, but Fionn was booked for most of the day, and I do so hate to cook. I’d much rather exert myself to praise his cooking than exert myself so he could praise mine.

There was no one in the lounge but Daniel. He was sitting on a couch in the far corner, surrounded by the odor of coffee and melancholy and looking like a thundercloud that might burst at any moment.

He didn’t speak to me or even look up as I passed by him into the kitchen. I helped myself to a cold roast beef sandwich, some vegetable chips, and an apple, and poured a cup of tea from one of the two urns that were always hot and always full. Then I carried my tray past the still silent Daniel and placed it deliberately on the table nearest him, sitting down so that I was facing him almost full on.

He didn’t react to my presence at all, only sipped his coffee and stared into space. His grief over Shounagon and his resentment of my presence were palpable, but he didn’t speak up and ask me to leave, so I stayed where I was. One of my assets as a Courtesy is that other people’s moods affect me far less than mine affect them; I am more likely to cheer up a low-spirited person than to be dragged down by one. So I ate my lunch and radiated good cheer, all the while watching him closely while appearing not to.

I don’t think Daniel Martinson realizes how handsome he is, not at all. Unlike most Courtesies, he is quiet, reserved, and self-effacing, for the most part, and seems to be as astonished as anyone at his choice of profession. Yet he has no difficulty attracting clients; I know he has nearly as many regulars as I do. What draws them, I think, is the very mystery of his self-possession, so unlike the effusive manners many of us evince, coupled with a lean, predatory grace like some dark-winged raptor. Even now, slumped amid shabby old cushions with one leg slung across the other, his face half-obscured by his coffee mug, he was somehow magnificent and compelled the eye.

Only one detail broke his poise and marred the picture of indifference he was presenting. His left foot, dangling in air over his right leg, was twitching madly to an unheard rhythm. In short, he jittered. I wondered how long he’d been sitting there and how many cups of coffee he’d consumed.

When I’d finished eating, I carried my remains back to the kitchen and disposed of them and fixed another cup of tea. Then I went and sat down on the couch with Daniel.

His foot stopped twitching as he turned and looked at me, finally. Good–at least he was capable of acknowledging the presence of another. Of course, his eyes told me to leave him alone so clearly that he didn’t have to say the words aloud. I pretended that was not the case and spoke first–the quotation I’d thought of as soon as I’d seen him sitting alone in the corner.

“‘Things that lose by being painted.'” Daniel winced, but I continued. “‘Pinks, cherry blossoms, yellow roses. Men or women who are praised in romances as being beautiful.'”

He recognized the words, I knew–from the Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon, the tenth-century Japanese noblewoman from whom our Shounagon borrowed her professional name. They made him look a little less angry, a little more sad. But he didn’t put down his coffee mug. “Go away, Dermot, I’m in no mood for cleverness right now.”

“No one could paint you as you look right now.” I refused to let him drive me from his presence. “It’s like a toothache, you know, only it involves your whole body. That’s the gap where the infected tooth used to be.”

He shot me a dirty look that said, “What would you know about it?” And then said the words aloud, and looked appalled at himself for doing so, despite how he felt.

I snorted. “What, you think anyone gets through the tween years without wanting someone they can’t have, or losing someone they think they can’t live without?” I shook my head and took a sip of tea. “You can’t hide it from us, Daniel. We’ve all been there. Shounagon’s hurting, too, even if you can’t see it. We’re all worried about you two. Even a whore like me can recognize genuine love gone bad.”

He opened his mouth, probably to make a polite protest that he had never thought of me as a whore, and then closed it again without speaking. I chuckled. “I *am* a whore, Daniel. You know it and I know it. Fionn knows it–everybody knows it. Which is why I’m going to do this.”

I took his face in my hands and kissed him.

Daniel tried to speak, I think, or just to pull away. I held on. He groaned and thrust his tongue into my mouth, taking over the kiss. His hands gripped my arms harder than Fionn ever dared to do.

I let him do what he wanted with the kiss. I let him do what he wanted with me. Let him take my arm and lead me out the rear door of the lounge, up three flights of stairs to a service lift that let us off near his apartment. He pushed me against the wall in the lift, kissed me again, and bit my neck, chewing on me like a dog on a bone.

I had never been to his apartment before. It was small and severely tidy and smelled of mint. I thought for a moment that Daniel might just push me down on the green and blue braided rug and take me there, in the middle of his living room, but instead he steered me by one arm into his bedroom and pushed me down on the bed.

I toppled facedown on the bed, a small, firm, narrow bed, perfectly made up with an unwrinkled counterpane striped in dark blue and green. The counterpane smelled of mint and moss and felt cool against my cheek. Daniel set about pulling off my trousers, plucking off my shoes when they got in the way, stroking the soles of my bare feet with a fingertip as if he wondered whether I were ticklish. I let him bite the curve of my buttock and spread my thighs and chew at my balls from behind. I would let him do whatever he liked. I moaned softly to let him know I was with him, it was all right.

I was surprised when he flipped me over and pulled at my shirt. Buttons flew, and teeth scratched at my nipples, and his mouth fastened on to my cock, sucking with the finesse that only a Courtesy can bring to the task. I had to use all my own training to refrain from climaxing too soon.

Suddenly Daniel raised his head and growled, “Come, damn you!” He sucked me in again without finesse, but with a wild voracity that frightened me as much as it aroused. I clutched at the smooth, tight counterpane, in vain, trying to anchor myself as I let go.

He didn’t choke, although I feared he would. As soon as I had finished, he flipped me over again–he was much stronger than I’d guessed–and started preparing me for penetration. It was maddening–I am always very sensitive to prostate stimulation after I’ve just come, not always in a good way, and Daniel was swift, smooth, efficient–and quite ruthless. I squirmed and moaned, and he held me still with one hand in the small of my back while the other opened me up and slicked me.

He shifted to kneel between my legs, and I moved to welcome him, raising my hips to his thrust. He was quick and fierce, smooth strokes at first building rapidly to a decidedly rough fuck. I moved with him, not too much, wanting to give him a smooth ride without resistance. I feared he would shatter like glass if he met with any resistance now.

I was hoping for a second climax for myself when Daniel froze, sunken deep–pulled back, with a groan, and thrust again in the desperate beat of orgasm. I gripped the edges of the mattress and endured, giving up hope of more attention for himself. I though I heard him call Sei’s name, not her professional name but her birth name, which I happened to know, and I wiped it from my mind even as I heard it, as I do with much that I hear from my clients.

He withdrew from me as soon as he was finished–withdrew his penis from my body, withdrew emotionally as well. With his semen trickling down my thighs and cooling, I saw him throw himself down across the foot of the little bed and begin to weep. His face was hidden in the crook of one arm. I wanted to take him in my arms and hold him, to ground him while he let the sorrow flow. At least fucking me had opened the way for the tears to come. But I felt that if I touched him again, he would strike me. His grief would turn to a violence that made his passion seem tepid.

I gathered my clothes and my shoes and slipped out of the room. I paused in his sitting room to dress myself and then made my way back to my own apartment, hoping no one would see me. I looked well-fucked and felt oddly ashamed of it; in fact, I was trembling and felt a bit sick. Ashamed of having had sex with someone–it was a flavor I wasn’t used to, and I didn’t like the taste of it.

Fionn was napping on the couch when I got home. He will do that, even though his hair touches the floor at one end and his feet at the other. If he wants to nap during the day, he chooses the couch and not our bed. I stood staring at his happy sprawl, not sure how I was feeling, or how I wanted to feel. I stood there so long that he felt me, or smelled me, or heard my rough breathing, and woke up.

“Well, hello, stranger.” He sat up and stretched, yawning extravagantly. “My last appointment cancelled, so I came home, thinking I might warm you up for your shift.”

My shift. Oh, yes, I was going onshift in the Salon in–what, two hours? I’d forgotten about that whilst being fucked by Daniel. I had six hours of fucking or being fucked ahead of me.

Fionn got to his feet, much too easily for such a tall man getting up off such a low couch, and gathered me into an embrace. He bent to kiss me, but stopped before our mouths touched, and studied me. “You’ve been flirting.”

Flirting. That was what we called off-duty sex between Courtesies who weren’t steady partners, partners like Fionn and me. Flirting. Was that what I’d just been doing?

Fionn ran the tip of his finger around the outer edge of my lips, pursing his own lips in mock-consideration. “Who was it, then?” He touched his nose to my neck and sniffed me. “A man. Pygmalion, maybe? Or did you and Algernon finally work out your animosities in the showers?”

I shuddered, but Fionn didn’t notice. Or if he did, no doubt he took it for arousal. He had unbuttoned my shirt, again, and begun to fondle my nipples, whilst rubbing his hips gently against my bottom. He has always been the very opposite of jealous, always aroused by the scent of another lover on my skin, the little bruises left by a client’s hands. He seems less like the alpha male trying to mark his territory than like a thirsty man drinking the little that’s left in someone else’s glass.

Yet he won’t necessarily propose making love if I’ve just come from someone else’s arms. If I come offshift tired and musky, my lips swollen and my bum red, he’ll draw me a bath and leave me alone despite his own desire. He’ll act it out later, when I’ve recovered, when I’m ready to want him as much as he wants me.

This time, however, he’d been dreaming of sex with me since before I walked in the room, and I walked in smelling of sex. He didn’t know who I’d been with, what I’d done; he only knew I’d been flirting, one randy whore carrying on with another. How could I blame him for wanting his share of me? How could I say no?

I did for Fionn what I’d been ready to do for Daniel–I got down on my hands and knees right there, on the rug, the nice thick rug that is such a relief at times like this one. I knelt in front of him, first, and sucked his cock like a good boy. Sucking his cock flipped from my switch, from acquiescence to willingness, shame to desire. I love sucking Fionn’s cock, any cock but Fionn’s especially, and especially on my knees, like a good rent-boy should do. I got it good and wet so he could slide it right into me, right there, in the living room, which he did as I leaned on the couch and smelt his sleepy, horny smell in its cushions.

Fionn ran the tip of his finger around the outer edge of my arsehole, as tenderly as he’d done my lips. “Oh, yes, you’ve been well fucked, haven’t you, my pretty boy? You’re all loose and pink, and still wet inside.” He slipped one finger into me, to press once on my prostate and make me moan out loud, and then replaced it with his fat cock, sliding in so nicely I could only moan some more.

He took a long time fucking me, running his hands up under my shirt, which I was still wearing, finding the places where Daniel had touched me, licking at the almost-bite on my throat. He still didn’t know it was Daniel. That thought crossed my mind, despite the sweet pressure of Fionn inside, the way he managed to hit the right spot with every stroke. I wondered how he was lasting so long, eager as he was, but he still came before I did. When he pulled out, the wetness streamed down my legs, his and Daniel’s. I was so full I was spilling over.

Fionn kissed my shoulders and my bum and turned me over so that I lay on the couch with my arse at the edge, my legs over his shoulders. He leaned forward to kiss me and clung to my mouth while he put half his hand in my bum, fingers and thumb bunched together, right in up to the knuckles. I was already so stretched that it was nothing but pleasure, hot searing pleasure that made me shudder, and then he took my cock firmly in his mouth. My mind promptly whited out and I came, push of his hand, pull of his mouth, I came until I was an empty vessel again, empty and clean and waiting to be filled anew.

I opened my eyes and found myself cradled across Fionn’s lap like a fainting heroine of yore. “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.” He kissed my forehead. “So who *did* you flirt with earlier? They must’ve left you hanging, the tease.”

“Oh, no, it wasn’t like that.” I sat up. “It was Daniel, Daniel Martinson.”

“You flirted with Daniel? Why did you do that? Why now?”

I hadn’t heard that tone in Fionn’s voice since I was his apprentice, a lustful little tween who used to wear himself out fingerdreaming and flirting before he ever got to his lessons. I slithered off his lap and perched on the edge of the couch, not wanting to leave too much of a stain.

“It wasn’t really flirting, Fionn. He was hurting and I wanted to help him. Found him sitting in the staff lounge, alone and miserable. Shounagon’s simply amputated him from her life, you know, and he’s like a cut-off limb, lying around useless with bloody edges.”

“Yes, I know that, but what did you do?”

Fionn’s wanting and his cock had washed away the shame I’d felt from my time with Daniel, but now his disapproval, which I didn’t understand, brought the shame creeping back like a polluted tide. I had to fight the urge to kneel before as if he were still my master, responsible for me. “I kissed him.”

“And then?”

“I only lit the fire. He added the fuel. I didn’t coerce him, for pity’s sake.”

Fionn got up and stalked around the room in a circle. He always did that when he was angry, but I was simply baffled. Why was he so upset?

“That was not the right way to handle him, Dermot. Daniel… Daniel *doesn’t* flirt like the rest of us. He’s been in love with Shounagon and–what he has with his clients is different, a different thing entirely. There’s no overlap between the two as there is with most of us.”

I got up and started to do put on my trousers. Gods, but I needed a shower, a hot, stinging shower. “I don’t understand what I’ve done wrong. He needed someone and I offered. I offered and he accepted. As simple as that. I couldn’t just eat my lunch and walk away from him, leaving him the way he was!”

Fionn came over and took hold of my shirt, settling it over my shoulders and doing up the remaining buttons. “I know you couldn’t, love. But it would have been better, I think, if you’d just tried to talk with him–“

“Talk with him?” Now I was angry myself. “I did try to talk with him–what, you think I just threw myself into his lap? He’s not you! No, I tried to talk with him, tried to tell him I knew something of what he felt.” I was shouting in Fionn’s face, my clenched fists on his chest. “He can’t hear me, Michael. He can’t me because to him, I’m just a whore.”

I can’t remember the last time I’d called Fionn by his birthname. He’d left it behind even more decisively than most Courtesies do. Hearing me say it shook him. Saying it shook me.

“You are not a whore, Jerome.”

Nor did he ever use my birthname. Even my mother calls me Dermot. “Yes, I am, Michael. But unlike Daniel, I’m happy being one. That’s why I kissed him, Michael. I gave him all I had to give, in the best way I can give it.”

He was silent for a moment, looking down at me, looking through me. “It’s not all you have to give,” he said at last. “It’s not the only way you could have given it.”

And he pushed me aside, gently but firmly, and left the apartment.

I just stood there for a moment, looking at the door after it closed behind him. Then it occurred to me that, while I was dressed Again, I still had to go onshift in less than an hour, and I needed a shower more than ever. I washed and cleansed myself and put on a bit of makeup and a fresh suit, taking even more pains than usual; if I was a bit late to the Salon, well, the extra care would be worth it. I needed the boost in order to deal with the crowd.

I must admit that I didn’t do my job up to my usual standard. In fact, I brooded on the fringes of the Salon, sipping at my usual fruit-foam without tasting it, until a perky little blonde sought me out. She giggled a lot, but I couldn’t hold that against her, not when she was so plainly eager to pay for my time. I read her some erotic poetry, spent a long time on oral pleasure and a little on vaginal intercourse–her preference, of course, but I was quite happy to oblige–and returned to the Salon after another shower. I managed to snag the piano and fulfilled my duty by improvising there until my shift was over.

Fionn and I didn’t talk for a couple of days. Once in a great while he gets angry enough about something that he needs to withdraw. He’s afraid that if he gets too angry, he’ll lash out and hurt someone the way he used to when he was an Einheria. I don’t believe he’d do that, but I don’t try to hold him when he has to flee. He left me a note saying he’d be sleeping with a friend and there were two casseroles in the fridge. Even when he’s angry, he thinks about my dislike of cooking. I often wonder if “sleeping with a friend” is really a euphemism for shedding the red cloak and sneaking out so he can get drunk and knock heads in some shitty little street-corner bar, but I don’t ask. He comes back eventually–that’s all that matter.

I didn’t see Daniel in that time, either, but then, I hadn’t expected to. We had never been close, and I didn’t expect the sex would change that. I did see Shounagon, however, and had a conversation with her, if you could call it that, which bothered me a good deal.

I was coming down the north staircase from the shipping room; I’d gone to pick up a package of rare Bathyejji manuscripts sent me by a patron and friend who taught at university, rare enough that I didn’t want them delivered by bot. Shounagon was climbing up, her head down; her hair was loose around her shoulders, not gathered up in ornaments, and she was wearing jeans and a faded shirt instead of her usual kimono. As we were about to pass each other, she stopped and raised her head, and for the first time it occurred to me that she was closer to Fionn’s age than to mine. She looked sad and tired, her face wan with cosmetics, purple shadows under her wide eyes.

“Why did you do it, Dermot?” she asked, before I could speak. “Why did you flirt with Daniel? Didn’t you know it was a bad idea?”

Once again I was rendered helpless by that sense of being accused, when I thought I had done something good. “It wasn’t flirting,” I said, as I had said, uselessly, to Fionn. He needed someone and I reached out to him, the best way I know how.”

It sounded hollow even to me. Shounagon shook her head, and I thought she might be about to weep. “It wasn’t the best way for him, Dermot, he’s not like the rest of us. Daniel can’t–“

I’d made the same defense to Fionn as to her, and now I was hearing the same response from her that I’d heard from him. I was in no mood to hear it further. “If he’s not like the rest of us heartless, flirtatious Courtesies, why is he *in* the profession, then? And how was I supposed to know that I must handle him differently, as if he weren’t one of us? Just what did I do wrong?”

Shounagon just looked at me, and her eyes were like two full moons in eclipse. She shook her head again and continued up the stairs.

By the time Fionn returned from wherever, I was well and truly out of sorts. I slept badly in his absence and covered my shifts in the shop and the Salon with a poor grace. And then I woke one morning to the smell of coffee and frying potatoes, and knew he was home, and things were better. I hurried to take a piss, threw on my old robe, and went to the kitchen.

My teapot stood on the counter on its tray, with the cup, the creamer, and the sugarbowl arranged around it. Fionn turned from the stove as I entered.

“Hallo.”

He sounded tentative. I went and wrapped my arms around him and buried my face in his chest. He smelled faintly smoky but mostly of fried potatoes with onions.

“Care to have breakfast with me?” he asked, putting one arm around me.

“Love to.”

We didn’t say much over breakfast, but it was good just to slurp our hot beverages together and catch up on the news. He had a day shift, whilst I had the day off, so I made a mental note to invite him out for dinner that night and tackled working on the manuscripts I’d just gotten with a clear mind.

Fionn accepted my invitation with visible enthusiasm, and we headed down to Quizzy’s, where we could hide in a corner booth and not have anyone trying to book our time. Quizzy doesn’t tolerate that sort of behavior in his place. We hung up our cloaks and ordered drinks from Sally, and a normal sort of conversation started, about our recent shifts, and the manuscripts I was working on. After French onion soup, a spinach salad, and two pints of Guinness, I finally got up my nerve to discuss the Daniel issue. I couldn’t see any way of getting to it except by dropping it on the table, so I did. “Do you think you could tell me, love, exactly what I did wrong with Daniel?”

Fionn paused with his knife and fork sunk deep in a good piece of steak. “You really don’t understand, do you, lad?”

I was afraid I heard pity in his voice, but I had to go on. “I really don’t, Fionn. I only know that I tried to help and it didn’t work, and people blame me for trying.” I knew I sounded petulant, but I couldn’t help it.

Fionn ate another piece of steak before he answered. “You give a bit of yourself to every client who comes to you. And to every Courtesy you flirt with, too. You don’t hold yourself back from anyone, although you give more to some people than to others.” He gave me one of those quirky half-smiles that are so charming some times and so annoying other times. “I like to think you give more to me than to most people, but I know I’m not the only person who gets something of your heart.”

I wasn’t sure what to say to that, though it was true enough. I clutched my half-empty pint and waited for him to go on.

“So it doesn’t occur to you that other people might be different, might take a different approach to the job.” He scraped up a bit of baked potato. “That Daniel, for example, doesn’t give his heart to every client who comes along; he only gives them his body. And he takes what they need to give, and accepts it. But he doesn’t give them *himself*. Not really.” He took a sip of his own pint. “He gives them ‘Daniel Martinson,’ and that’s a far cry from his real self.”

He bent his head and cut into his steak again. I thought about his words and ordered another Guinness. “So, from his point of view, he might have thought that I wasn’t giving of myself when I kissed him–I was only taking advantage of his pain?”

He didn’t look up when he answered. “I hate to say it, but that’s almost certainly what he thought.”

I let it go at that and turned the conversation to the newest class of novices–I’d been asked to give a talk on combining the art of sex with other arts in the life of a Courtesy. But for the rest of the evening, and well into the next day, I thought about what Fionn had told me, and the more I thought about it, the angrier I felt. Not at Fionn, but at Daniel. And at myself.

I stewed for another two or three days before messaging Daniel and asking him if we could talk. Which I should have done long before, of course. His reply invited me to meet him at his studio at a particular time. His studio, not his apartment. He was not about to let me back into his personal space.

I dressed as carefully for this meeting as if I had an assignation with a client, but quite the opposite in style. Faded jeans given to me ages ago by Fionn. A plain dark blue shirt with long sleeves and a high neckline. No cosmetics. I couldn’t decide whether I looked older or younger than usual. I just didn’t want Daniel to think I had come to seduce him again.

I arrived promptly at ten hundred, to find Daniel waiting for me with a pot of tea and a plate of scones. I hadn’t expected that, but I always have room for another cup of tea and a scone. We drank the tea and nibbled the scones and didn’t quite look at one another. I wasn’t sure what to say, where to begin–should I just blurt out that I was sorry? I *was* sorry. My intentions had been good, but my choice of action had been poor.

Despite the courteous welcome, Daniel sat there like a piece of ice carved into the shape of a man. I had to suppress the urge to shiver. After my third cup of tea, I excused myself to the water closet and shivered in there while I emptied my bladder. Nothing to be done, I suppose, but plunge in.

“I came to tell you that I’m sorry if I’ve done you any harm, Daniel.” I tried to meet his eyes, but he wouldn’t let me. “If you thought I was simply taking advantage of your vulnerability, please believe that I wasn’t–I was simply trying to help in the best way that I know how.”

He did meet my eyes, finally, and looked at without saying anything for an uncomfortably long while. I sat still and looked back, hoping I looked sincere. Finally he sighed, and looked away. “I know. I know you were only trying to help. I just don’t understand why you think sex makes everything better.”

He sounded so bitter that I found myself laughing to cover up my anger. “If I didn’t think that, Daniel, I wouldn’t be in this profession! I couldn’t do this job if I didn’t believe that sexual intimacy, or even just sexual pleasure, can reach people sometimes when nothing else can. Sex is love, always, at least for me, and love is strong.”

“Stronger than death,” he murmured. I recognized the quote. “But sex can also wound people like nothing else can, and I don’t think you know that.”

He got up and walked over to the window. Very few studios have windows, though most apartments do. I wondered how he’d gotten this space, and why he’d wanted it.

He pushed back the curtains and looked out at the sky. We were over a hundred and fifty storeys up. “If I had what I wanted,” he said slowly, “Shounagon and I would belong only to each other. A monogamous relationship.” He closed the curtains again. “I suppose that sounds freakish to you.”

“Freakish? Not at all. Just highly unusual coming from someone in our profession.” I shifted on the chair–my bladder was filling up again. I wanted to go to him, touch him, but dared not. “But people do leave the profession for monogamous relationships. It all depends on how you want to live your life.”

Daniel’s shoulders twitched, more of a spasm than a shrug. “Shounagon doesn’t want that. She wants the life she has. And I–I have no other life to go to.”

He turned to me, but leaned back against the wall, and for the first time, I saw expression on his face. Saw grief, anger, regret. “I used to feel bad leaving her to go to my clients, or lying in bed where we had made love and watching her go to keep an appointment. I used to feel unfaithful. But taking what you offered, so greedily, without any concern for you–that was what really made me feel like a whore.”

His voice broke, and he covered his face with his hands. The only other thing he said was Shounagon’s name. Her birth name.

I left him there, although I was crying along with him. Left him without touching him, without speaking, without trying to comfort. I had already tried and failed; I knew better than to touch him now. Some things, after all, lose by being painted.

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Entry Filed under: Nouveau Montmartre

One Comment Add your own

  • 1. QoS  |  March 14, 2008 at 10:39 pm

    I’d just been thinking about how long it’s been since you posted a NM story. This is wonderful, as usual. I love the way you so skillfully blend hot sex and complex emotions.


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