The Last Emperors.
Chapter Seven: We will never, ever, ever sleep together.
By Jolie Adam
“SO I WALK IN AND ALL I SEE IS THIS TALL DUDE FACING THE OTHER WAY WITH NOTHING BUT BOXERS ON AND LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE OVER HERE ON HER KNEES!!” Julia told Dawn, recounting the little mishap from last night. Dawn lifts her eyebrows in shock, her expression one of disbelief. “I am SO serious. And to make it worse, we all just froze there for a few seconds and all you could hear were my Japanese girls just giggling like crazy. It was like the most awkward and funny thing that’s happened to me in a while.”
Lo cringed as she heard Julia’s side of the story being told a little too enthusiastically. She hid her head in her hands as she slumped in her chair.
“I don’t know what surprises me more. That you were amateur enough to get caught mid-act or that you were giving a blow job,” Dawn laughed along with Julia as the girls enjoyed watching their friend squirm.
“I didn’t give hi—I wasn’t doing that. He just asked me to undress him. And where else was I supposed to go? I didn’t even think things were going to move that fast. One minute, he’s walking me to the door and…” She trailed off remembering how the whole thing had begun, the way he’d egged her on without saying a word and how quickly she bit the bullet. She’d been the one to initiate it but with the combination of a victory high, a few drinks, a confidence boost courtesy of a bandage dress and a beautiful, talented man in the dark confines of a luxurious hotel, it was hard to say goodnight with just a chaste kiss on the cheeks.
“Let’s go back to the part where he asked you to undress him,” Julia bit into her apple, excited with curiosity. Lo felt her face flush but Dawn never spared details in time when the girls needed to live vicariously through her escapades so she couldn’t really deny them of this gossip.
“Umm, well…after you and Larry left—”
“Fast forward. Get to the good part,” Julia prompted.
“He walked me to my room and came in when I invited him. I was just going to offer him a drink but then I kissed him.”
“YOU kissed him?” Julia asked, mouth agape.
“Guess you took Shao Mein home too,” Julia and Dawn high-fived each other.
“So we started kissing and things were getting heated,” she glances up at her friends to see their reactions before continuing, amused by their obvious interest in her story, “Then he says ‘Undress me’. Actually, he tells me to. And I was…until you walked in.” She motioned at Julia, surprised that she felt a bit of annoy.
“What happened after we left?”
“I was too embarrassed. Plus the moment was gone so I fixed my dress and went to bed.”
The two girls looked at each other, puzzled and visibly unsatisfied with the story’s end. “Damn, I killed your moment? You didn’t get laid?”
“Nope.” Lo smiled painfully. She hadn’t thought much of it this morning when Laurent had just left. She’d just done the routine clothes and makeup removal and slid into bed, happy to sleep off the day’s fatigue. However now she was feeling remorse. She’d be gone in a week’s time and may never get the opportunity to be that close to him again sexually, or any other way. It had been a perfect first kiss. Kissing him had felt perfect and easy.
Dawn was concerned, “What did he say?”
“Nothing. He was really nice about it. Got dressed and kissed me good night.”
“That’s it?” Julia probed. From what she’d seen last night, they were ready to get freakier than Cirque de Soleil so she didn’t quite believe he’d just make such a quiet, platonic exit.
“Julia!” Dawn half-shouted with a tone full of reprimand.
“It’s okay,” Lo shrugged off her Julia’s insensitive question, “We’re leaving in a week. This is probably for the best. I’d probably just get attached to something I have no business being involved with in the first place. Enough about my inability to close. What happened with you and Larry.”
“Believe it or not, we went for a walk.”
“In those shoes??”
“We took a taxi, went to this park that was just so beautiful. They decorated it with lights and fountains, it was really romantic. We talked for a bit. It was great.”
Lo and Julia were at the edge of their chairs, waiting for her to reach the climax of her story, skeptic about this innocent version.
“…And then we had wild animal sex on a park bench.” Dawn giggled at the expectant expressions on her friends’ faces as they both let out a sigh of relief and contentment. “Lo, I’m your friend and I love you but you fucked up. Because let me tell you,” She brushed a strand of hair out of her face dramatically, “Let me tell you, Larry put down some WERK last night and if they’re really twins in every sense of the word then you missed out.” She winked to close off her persuasive statement.
“I’m happy for you…asshole,” Lo rolled her eyes sarcastically.
“I’m talking hair pulling, spanking, wild, hardcore, loud sex. I came home this morning looking homeless.” Both girls could have guessed that with the current dishevelled state of her hair despite it being tied up. Dawn continued with her diarrheal rambling, “We’re going out for dinner tonight. He insisted when I told him I was leaving next week. And I can’t wait to see if that was just a one-time performance or if he always hits it out of the park. Pun intended.”
Lo couldn’t help but feel a little undesirable. Would Lau have asked her out again if last night had gone without a hitch? She brushed the doubt aside quickly before it settled. If he was that kind of guy then she was glad she didn’t sleep with him, regardless of how much Dawn boasted about his brother’s prowess. The phone rang and she rushed to grab it, glad for the distraction.
Laurent woke up at the crack of dawn having slept terribly. His night had gotten off to a terrible start with the twins’ loss and then having to rush back to his room with blue balls like a 14 year-old. He couldn’t remember the last time he had to take a cold shower solely to get rid of an erection. And that cold shower was a jolt to all his senses excluding sexual urges, so he had a hard time falling asleep afterwards. And once he finally did, he only managed to get a few good hours before waking up much earlier than he needed to. Larry was passed out in the other bed which was a surprise considering he didn’t hear him come in this morning. He couldn’t wait to go back to the comfort of their condos. This hotel just reminded him of the unlucky day he’d had there. Instead of opting to go back to sleep, he got up and went out for a jog. Too many of his thoughts ran amok, unguarded and uncollected, making him feel imbalanced. After his jog, he walked back to the hotel, stopping on the way for breakfast and sitting on a bench to watch Tokyo wake up for another exuberant and lively day. Waking up with Tokyo was like getting stung by a drugged bee. The world went from dormant, silent and peaceful to a stirred cocktail full of energy, life and madness. Larry was still comatose when he returned so he grabbed the opportunity to check the news regarding the tournament last night. It wasn’t as bad as he’d expected but he still despised reading news where any other dancers, especially The Last Emperors were glorified. At least now, he was handling it better. If he’d read this last night, the iPad would’ve been one with the wall. Now that he had nothing else to occupy him but the quiet of the hotel room, his thoughts returned to Lorra. She seemed like a really nice girl but perhaps a little too nice for him. But who was he to pass judgment when he spent the majority of the night chatting to her about some guy who’d beat him on stage. He was a sore loser and now she knew it. Despite smoothing things over, he still felt like an asshole for just bailing last night as soon as he realized nothing more would come of it after their little bust by her friend. But what else was he to do? His rampant thoughts came to a halt at the sound of Larry’s loud morning yawn.
“Good night?” He asked his twin even though he was almost certain of the response.
“Great night,” Larry stretched lazily on the bed, rubbing his eyes painfully in hopes of waking up. He offered no further details on his night with Dawn. Besides, Lau already knew. “You and the girl in the red dress?”
Larry smirked, feeling like a world-class charmer for closing unlike his brother. “She looked good in that dress though.”
Lau didn’t respond to his brother’s taunt. Anyone with a pair of eyes could’ve seen that Lorra looked spectacular last night. She looked so good that if he googled the word ‘temptation’, a picture of her in that red dress would be right next to the definition. He was aware of the friendly competition between him and his brother. They got girls, recycled, dropped and forgot them. And did it all over again, every city, every time. Which was fine and fun…when they had their own space. But when he had to deal with Larry in the morning, making coy remarks about girls he could’ve and should’ve slept with, it just got a little annoying.
“I’m seeing her friend again tonight. Going to take her to Katsura after I show her the temple nearby,” Larry continued.
Lau chose to ignore that too and went on to say, “Just remember, we need to check out of the room by noon so you have 45 minutes to get your stuff together.” He put his headphones on and drowned out his brother’s presence. He genuinely wanted to be in a better mood but it seemed like the universe just didn’t want to grant him that.
The girls spent the whole day in their rooms, ordering room service, laughing, gossiping and enjoying their indoor day. They were offered an extra night free of charge and decided to accept the generous offer from management since they were exhausted. Sunday would be very similar, besides moving back to their original hotel, they planned to rest and gather up their strengths and energy for their meeting with Rank early on Monday. Around five in the afternoon, they rang up the hotel’s kitchen once more to order Japanese-style grilled cheese sandwiches with a decanter filled with strawberry and kiwi bubble tea. They were helping Dawn get ready for her date and taking their sweet time coming up with her outfit. Before they knew it, the sun had set and it was nearly 7:45, 15 minutes later than the arranged time. And not a minute over that when they heard a knock on the door.
“I’ll get it,” Dawn made her way to answer the door. A smile flitted across her face when she saw Larry standing in the hallway with his brother. Her confusion was easily readable which is why Lau jumped in to explain,
“I’m here for Lorra,” He had been planning to stay home but an afternoon spent all alone in his eerily quiet and sterile condo convinced him that perhaps a bit of company was a better idea. He grabbed the opportunity when he heard Larry leaving his condo and asked to tag along. His brother had agreed to wait a few minutes in order for him to change into something a little more suitable for a date.
“Oh. Is she expecting you? I didn’t know you guys were meeting,” Dawn let on, getting more confused by the second. Lorra and Julia had spent the afternoon helping her with makeup and hair so why didn’t Lorra get herself ready?
“No. I just thought I’d stop by and see if she’s free,” At that moment, the girls popped by to see who Dawn was talking to. They’d expected her to come back in to grab her bag and say bye but overheard a conversation instead.
Lo was just as surprised when she saw Lau standing in the doorway with his brother. She looked a harsh contrast compared to her sexy appearance last night. Without the heels and the glam dress and makeup, she felt stripped…ordinary and began to feel uncomfortable under the scrutiny of his intense gaze. Both brothers looked at her, certainly taken back by her low-key, laid-back look but admired how radiant and fresh faced she looked. Lau smiled at her then at Julia,
“Hi,” He waved with amused eyes which put Julia at great ease.
“Oh Hi. We weren’t expecting you,” Julia said casually, “You look much better without all the clothes.” Everyone broke into a smile except for Larry who didn’t understand the joke.
“Sorry about that,” he said sweetly, making an exaggerated grimace.
“Don’t worry about it,” Julia waved it off, glad they could all laugh about it. “Are you here to take your clothes off again? Maybe I can just grab a seat and watch this time…Better than rudely barging in.” Lo gave her friend a shove. Luckily Lau let out a nervous laugh as Larry still stood there waiting for someone to fill him in.
“I’m here to see Lorra. Larry was coming here so I joined him. I thought maybe you’d want to go see a movie or something,” He looked at her and everyone else followed in anticipation for her reply. She really wished while playing around with makeup as they got Dawn ready, she had slapped something – anything – on. A little concealer wouldn’t have hurt those slightly dark under eyes circles she woke up with this morning.
“Oh,” she stammered, “I was going to stay here with Julia..”
“Don’t worry about me Lo. Go with him. You know you want to,” Lo wanted to crawl up beneath her 800-thread count sheets with all the snarky things Julia kept saying. So much for confidentiality.
“Why don’t you come with us?” Lau directed the question at Julia and Dawn jumped in at the opportunity to make it a group thing.
“Yeah, why don’t we all go to the restaurant?” she asked and Larry smiled at the lack of better rebuke. He didn’t know how he felt changing his plans for the evening. After all, he wanted to have Dawn all to himself so that they could defame another Tokyo site with their sinful acts. “We’re going to a temple first. And then restaurant,” he finally found the patience to say.
“You okay with that Lo?” Julia asked her friend not wanting to intrude her chance at going on a date with Laurent. Lorra may have been trying hard to play nonchalant about what happened last night but it was easy to see that she liked Laurent. And considering he was the first thing outside of dance she’d lent her interest to, Julia really wanted to see things evolve between them.
“Of course. Let’s all go, it sounds like a lot of fun. I want to see a temple.” They rushed back in and did their best to look presentable with just five minutes to get ready. It was simple black jeans with a shirt and a large navy cardigan with flats for Lorra and boyfriend jeans with a tank top for Julia topped with Nike sneakers. Ten minutes later, they were heading out of the hotel and walking to the temple.
Despite it being a group outing, Dawn and Larry managed to sneak away without any notice. They’d get together again at the restaurant in an hour but for the time being, it was just the three of them. Julia, Laurent and Lorra got along very well, joking and laughing as they explored the prolific sanctuary, amazed every step of the way. The infrastructure and architecture were simply incomparable and even Julia’s gregarious attitude held no debate about how stunning the temple was. That combined with its age and history made it that much more admirable. None of them felt like a third wheel, each bringing an element of socializing that made their time spent as a trio very enjoyable. Watching Lau interact so well and comfortably with her friend only made Lorra like him more. He was undeniably much better company than he had been the night before which was a little reassuring. And sad because the more she secretly gushed over him, the sillier she felt. The first guy she liked in ages and nothing would come of it. In a week’s time, she’d be back to France and he would be far, far away. All that made her want to enjoy the present even more and the memories they were making, one tatami room at a time.
Lau was having a really good time, helping these two ladies discover one of the many sides of Japan he knew and loved. In a way, he was a little glad nothing had happened between him and Lorra. He’d bedded enough girls of all sort, shape, race and size to know that sex always rendered some sort of expectancy from a woman’s end. He highly doubted they’d be having this much fun together if something had happened. That being said, he was still a guy and of course he wanted to sleep with her. She was smart, funny, laid-back which was the hardest thing to wrap his head around considering his first impression of her last night. Even without the superfluous artificial embellishments, she was pretty and looked much younger. But she said she was 22 so for lack of asking her to pull out some ID, he had to believe her. Julia was a blast as well. She was real, refreshingly blunt and kept cracking them up with every other word that came out of her mouth. He was glad he got a chance to befriend them before they returned to France but he didn’t doubt for a second he’d see them again once he also went home at the end of his contract. Julia would be great for his homeboy Shaun. That thought made him smile. There he was in Japan, trying to play matchmaker. But that’s how great these girls were. Most women just wanted to be romanced by their idea of what Les Twins were like and it was frustrating to live up to their wishful expectations. With Julia and Lorra, he could just relax, be himself and have a good time.
Dinnertime was just plain awkward. The group of five gathered around a traditional Japanese table and placed their orders. No one wanted to point out the obvious. Not even Julia. She was too busy trying to contain her incessant giggles. Dawn and Larry smelled like humid, sweaty, dirty sex. Their clothes were wrinkled so badly that they’d need dry-cleaning rehab to get all those creases out. Dawn’s hair looked so messy and dry, even tumbleweeds rolling around in the Saharan desert looked luscious compared to her frizzed out locks. Julia took a bite of her spring roll since the rest of the crew had ordered drinks and appetizers waiting for them to arrive. They strolled in, looking aloof although they were probably aiming for innocent, about half an hour later than planned. Lau and Lorra focused on the menu despite the fact that they’d already submitted their orders. Anything to avoid staring at the obvious. Julia cleared her throat loudly before declaring,
“Yo Dawn, Imma let you have your moment and all but you have lipstick all over your mouth. You look like a lazy clown,” Lorra burst into laughter before Laurent did, “And Larry, put some Vaseline on your lips. So dry, looks like you tried to peel the black off your mouth.”
That Julia sure was lippy. She was referring to the fact that Larry, in an attempt to wipe off lipstick, now had ashy skin surrounding a dry mouth. Dawn rolled her eyes before excusing herself to go to the washroom. Larry sat there for a few seconds then followed in her steps. Julia shook her head with a smile on her face as Laurent and Lo grabbed their cramped stomachs from all the laughter.
Lau invited Lorra back to his place. Even though he enjoyed spending time with her and Julia today, he figured since he didn’t have to see her for a long while, it couldn’t hurt to try his chances again. And since he was the only one with a key to his condo, it was very unlikely that anyone walked in on them. After spending the afternoon with her friend, the last thing he wanted was to be the subject of Julia’s jokes and teasing.
“Wow, nice place. Some sponsor you got!”
“Yeah, I like it. It’s very quiet and peaceful. I can almost hear myself think sometimes.”
“Wow again! Dancers think?” she joked, taking a stab at her own self. Four hours of hearing Julia poke fun at everything and everyone was rubbing off on her. He smiled shyly knowing he walked right into that one.
“Can I get you a drink, doctor?”
“I’m good, thanks.” She heard him opening the fridge door and grabbing something. When he walked back in the living room, he was holding an opened bottle of water. He took a sip before reaching the couch and put the bottle down on the glass table before her. First he sat on the further edge of the sofa smiling at her and when she didn’t make a move, he got closer, so close that she could smell the cranberry infused green tea he had at the restaurant when he opened his mouth to speak,
“Where did we leave off last night?” She wanted to reply but she was distracted by the warmth of his breath lingering in the air when he spoke. His breath smelled delicious, like a field of ripe berries on a hot summer day. Those summer days where the heat became so unbearable, you got dizzy just standing outside for a few minutes. Her skin felt cold in the warm room temperature and she felt her nipples poking against her bra. Without waiting for her reply, he engaged her in a kiss that grew more consuming by the second. By the time his tongue penetrated her mouth she was burning up and started taking off her cardigan. She let him lead in the kiss, waiting for him to make the next move and undress her but he was being a lot more patient than yesterday. And she just couldn’t wait. He felt so good as she molested his skin beneath the fabric of his persistent clothing. Nothing but curvy toned flesh, lean and long, as her fingers roamed the length on his torso. She’d pushed him back until he was laying at the end of the couch where he’d first sat and she was on top of him, using the second their lips stopped touching to remove her shirt before resuming. He was still fully clothed but she was so aroused that her body heat was about to set fire to his furniture. They humped wildly as the incensed kiss persisted and his fingers found her jeans’ zipper. She found it liberating to be getting naked even if he still had all his clothes on. It ensured all of his attention was fixed on only her and it certainly was. His mouth trailed along her collarbone, as his fingers massaged her breasts, expertly reaching to the back to unhook her bra. Then as a little kid playing, his two fingers began playfully marching downwards to her underwear. It had taken little to no effort at all from him to get her wet. She hadn’t had sex in so long that all it took for her to cream and squirm was a kiss. Feeling a little embarrassed by how moist her nether regions felt and trying to prevent another accident from occurring, she excused herself to find the washroom.
When she turned on the bathroom light, she thanked all of her angels and magical dwarfs. His hands had been so close to finding out what could’ve possible been the worst timing of her life. She didn’t even need to bend down to see the pinkish period blood staining her inner thighs. Lorra let out a sigh of relief and disappointment, slapping her forehead against her forearm. I am never going to get laid..