The Last Emperors.
Chapter Ten: Get Lau.
By Jolie Adam
Lau did the obligatory cuddle after the first round but having exerted himself after the second time, he could barely manage to keep his eyes open let alone hold a conversation. Lorra stretched her legs out with as much grace as she could muster to avoid waking him. Her hair was sprawled messily across his naked chest, her head rising and falling along with his chest. She felt cheesy and relieved, like inhaling a long breath of fresh air after you’ve been sick with a severe cold and stuffy nose for a week. Lau hadn’t been soft or romantic, nor had she expected him to be. In fact, she hadn’t known what to expect – coming to terms with the possibility that nothing would ever happen between them, or between her and anyone else. She was replacing male companionship with dance championships, compromising sex and substituting a personal life for a healthy bank balance. In a way, she hadn’t wanted to jinx it. Everyday was luckier than the last, to be compensated for doing the thing you loved most, and to have the opportunity The Last Emperors was being offered was a lot more than an exercise of good faith. And a part of her felt like it would all stay great and prosperous as long as she didn’t let herself get distracted by futile things like dating. But coming out of a year long dry spell with the repeat performance Lau put on made it nearly impossible to continue turning the other cheek. For a long time, being Shao Mein was satisfying enough. Her dance alter ego satiated any longing she had for fantasy. The feelings she felt when she was onstage were a lot similar to reaching climax. However with two successive real orgasms in tow, any crowd’s screams and cheers didn’t compare. How would she manage to get back on track now that she’d had a taste of what she’d been missing? She gazed out in a sleepy slump at the dim light coming from the streetlamps through the diaphanous curtains. Somewhere between Lau’s second cup of peach juice and his arrogant pull of her waist, she’d wisened up about drawing the curtains. He’d chuckled cockily as if peeping toms were the last of his concerns or priorities before pulling her back to with a renewed hunger. She’d barely had time to recover from their first tryst but he was still naked and she could see that he was more than ready to go once more. Gently, he tipped the glass at her lips with consideration, inviting her to take a sip. The thirst was there yet having him studying her made her forget that she needed a drink. She’d barely been able to take more than a sip in anticipation for what was to inevitably happen again. This time he got on top and she could feel and smell everything. The small layer of sweat mist on his hard chest, the peach nectar from his lips and the faint rainforest scent of Herbal Essence shampoo in his hair, his pelvis beating her flesh and she could especially feel him continuously ripping into her with every move. His breath came in rasps heavy against her ear, gritty and raw as he dipped himself into her continuously. The climax had been simultaneous but Lau drifted off shortly after and she was surprisingly wide awake and energized. She hadn’t even gotten the chance to tell him she wasn’t leaving. In fact, she hadn’t had the chance to do any talking and she was glad. If he had known she wasn’t leaving right away, he wouldn’t have felt such an urgency to fuck her the way he did. In his head, she is to be on a plane in two days and that would be the end of their flirtation. Whether things between them progressed or stalled, at least they would always have tonight. She had fun and judging by the soft snore escaping his lips, Lau had also enjoyed himself.
Lorra woke up startled, jerking her body stiffly before taking a moment to assess where she was. One minute she was thinking about –she couldn’t recall what she’d been thinking about but she knew she was deep in thought when sleep snuck up and seized her. Laurent stirred slowly too, roused by her hypnic jerk. The night was black and clear, a gibbous moon aiding the dim lighting in the room, flecked with stars dispersed like lost aerial freckles. City lights danced fervently in the distance indicating that the night was still young and filled with possibility but Lorra eyed the time on Lau’s phone and felt heavy with worry. It was just past 10PM and the girls still hadn’t returned. Although thinking her concern through, she realized they were probably having the time of their life in some elite Tokyoite club forgetting all about their early day tomorrow. Besides had they arrived any earlier, they would’ve walked right in on a nude sight of her and Lau sleeping and knowing her friends, she’d never hear the end of it. Laurent rubbed his temples with damp palms, easing himself back into alertness. Lo lifted her head off his chest, wide-eyed and refreshed from her micro nap. A smile crept its way onto his chiselled cheekbones relaxing the rest of his exquisite features.
She smiled back, unsure why but it had come on naturally,
“Hi,” she blushed and suddenly wished she had her dance group’s signature mask to hide behind. The peach color spread across her olive cheeks as she felt her eyes flutter unintentionally and divert from his gaze. It was still cool in the living room yet her internal heat was overriding the comfortable freshness.
“It’s getting late, I should go. I have an early day tomorrow,” he looked right at her as he disclosed this. She was taken back by the lack of camaraderie in his delivery. Trying to muster as much apathy as one could while still undressed and exposed, she replied,
“Sure. So do I.” And with that, she was on her feet, shuffling her bra back on. He tugged at her hand, dragging her down to him.
“I don’t have to go right now,” he paused, “But I can’t stay for long.” Her eyes warmed up to him again and he continued, “So you said you’re staying longer? How much longer?” Lorra was caught off guard. She hadn’t expected him to remember that from her hurried text.
“3 months.” His eyes widened to show his surprise. She searched for any sign of disapproval, irritation or anxiety. There were none. Instead he rebutted with an energetic offer,
“That’s really cool. I will show you all the best places in Tokyo. By the time you leave, you will be half Japanese,” he pinched her cheek playfully.
“I don’t know what my schedule will look like but that sounds great.”
He got up, purposely positioning himself in front of her so that his genitals were right in her face. Pretending he wasn’t aware, he casually mentioned he was going to jump in the washroom for a quick bath. She nodded but soon understood he wasn’t merely telling her, he was inviting her to join him. Baths just weren’t her thing. Soggy, pruney skin, staring at bathroom tiles, creepy all-consuming silence, having nowhere to hide from your incessant, fluent thoughts. She tried to once, equipped with a larger than life playlist and headphones that could play up to eardrum shattering levels but even that wasn’t enough to get her to see the ‘beauty of baths’ as Julia referred to it. Hesitation gripped her on the comfortable flat carpet but Lau wasn’t giving her a choice. Before she could protest, she was already in the washroom, watching him rinse and fill the tub. A cloud of lavender incense pervaded through the modern ceramic décor and the gold accents of the Intercontinental suite. Lau closed the door and not long after, the steam from the hot water enveloped every surface in the small lavatory. Even the walls seem to be sweating, thin with condensation. Yet when she stepped into the large tub and into Laurent’s arms, Lorra wondered why the heck she’d been slacking on baths. They were about to become her new favourite thing.
“I’ll text you, Lorra. LOH-RAnotLAURA,” he said with a chuckle. “When I got your text, I could feel your attitude. Like I could see you moving your head and snapping your fingers. But it’s okay. I like girls with attitude.” He kissed her quickly but densely on her lips before opening the door. Julia and Dawn were sitting there, ears closest to the door, pretending they hadn’t heard anything.
Lo eyed them suspiciously, “How long have you been sitting there?”
Julia stood up, a little too quickly, and grabbed her knees in mock pain. “8:30”
Lo’s furrowed brows asked her question before she did, “That was two hours ago!!”
“Yeah, we only went to this sushi bar to eat and the kitchen caught on fire as soon as we were finishing up so we came back here to see if anything else was catching on fire,” Julia said innocently as if she was oblivious to Lo’s astonishment.
“Wait..the kitchen caught on fire?” Lau laughed, unaffected by their unexpected presence.
“So did you hear …” Lo on the other hand didn’t care about a burning kitchen or a burning tower. She was more preoccupied with these little snooping, calculating friends of hers overhearing what happened between her and Lau…twice. In her head, she was already trying to estimate the time around which the first time happened when Julia replied in her usual smartass manner,
“The restaurant may have been on fire but from what WE heard, the real blaze was happening behind this door,” she pointed at their door and laughed at her own line. Lau shook his head, half embarrassed, half amused. Had he not spent that afternoon with her and Lorra last weekend exploring the temple, he wouldn’t have known how to handle Julia’s poignant jokes and remarks. He put a supportive arm around Lo’s waist to show her he wasn’t ashamed or embarrassed about what had happened or that her friends had heard them. He already knew his private performance was amazing, so what if the entire left side of the 5th floor now knew it too? Recognition for a job well done was something he was used to being in the limelight so it would take a lot more than Julia busting his balls to get him blushing like Lorra. He kissed her again, this time long and delicate, right in front of the girls. Despite the sensuality of the lip lock, Lorra wanted to push him away. Julia and Dawn had never heard her babbling about a boy much less seen her making out with anyone. And within one evening, they’d managed to subtly intrude on her intimate moment and get a peep show. Feeling her apprehension in the lack of physical reciprocity, Lau stopped kissing her and just chuckled, “I’ll call you.”
She waved at him, a sheepish smile spreading thinly across her face, “Bye.” Dawn waved at him. For a quick second, she’d fooled herself into thinking he was Larry and seeing him kiss Lorra got her so hot. She suddenly wondered why she hadn’t told Larry she was free. Mentally, she made it her mission to see him as soon as the Rank gig was done on Saturday.
“Bye Laurent!!” Julia waved playfully, giggling as she pretended he had just come to see her. She turned back to Lo who had lowered her gaze at her in sheer annoy, “You know, I’ve seen that guy in his underwear and now I’ve heard…” she stopped to gauge Lo’s appalled reaction, “…things. What’s next?” Lo still wasn’t finding the humour in the situation so she continued, “Oh, come on. We’re all grown here. So what if we heard you getting a little sum-sum. Shouldn’t you be nicer now that you’ve gotten laid?”
“This isn’t funny. I’m mortified!! You told me you were going out to give me some space. This isn’t giving me space. You guys heard everything!!” Lo screeched, making her way back in the room as the others followed.
“It’s really not that big of a deal, Lo. If anything, it sounded so hot that I was getting turned on,” Dawn offered as consolation.
“Ew.” Julia said dramatically.
“Think of it this way. Now that we know what went on, you don’t have to tell us all the details. We’ve saved you time,” Dawn continued.“Well…I still want to know what positions.”
“And where?” Julia intercepted, coming out of the bathroom with gloves on and disinfecting wet wipes. “Start pointing.”
“What are you doing?”
“What does it look like? I like Lau but not that much,” she began wiping the couch without anyone replying to her inquiry.
“I really wouldn’t have pictured you as the-fucking-in-the-living-room-type. Or the shouting-cuss-words-out-loud type for that matter,” Dawn thought out loud.
“Ok. Sit. Both of you!” Lo pointed at Julia. “You guys are like hungry journalists are a press conference. So let’s get this over with. I’ll answer all of your burning questions but only for tonight. After tonight, this never happened. So get it all out of your system. I’m looking at you Julia. Because when we wake up tomorrow, I don’t want to hear any jokes, funny remarks or comebacks.”
“How big?” Julia barely waited for Lo to finish. And she knew it would be a long night answering all their questions.
Friday came far too soon although Thursday had dragged on, the hours long and tedious. The TV announcer buoyantly asked the audience to give it up again for their guest Rank. He’d just performed his brand new single along with his last two continental hits. The crowd erupted when the lights came on and introduced The Last Emperors’ as the three silhouettes standing behind their Japanese version of Justin Timberlake. Ever since Psy had come out with his global hit that dominated the charts worldwide, Rank had been hoping to do something similar. Before Gangnam Style, no one knew who Psy was but Rank had some moderate success overseas. He was a familiar face to the big networks, NBC and MTV, having appeared on Ellen and a dance/chorus cameo during a performance for MTV’s annual Movie Awards’ show. With his notoriety and the talent of The Last Emperors as his background dancers, he could step into that American threshold. He was tired of just being Japan famous. If Psy could do it, so could he. It was time for him to be big everywhere. His manager on the other hand thought it could be disastrous for him to attempt to break into the American music market right now. The American media was ruthless and unscrupulous. Rank had impregnated a 16 year-old Japanese girl from a small northern village. During one of his nationwide concerts, Zi-Yei had managed to sneak her way backstage and when he spotted her, she’d been invited to tag along on the tour bus. Her beauty was simple and youthful which he liked because it left plenty of room for his lifestyle to corrupt her. It wasn’t until he started fucking her every which way at every possible opportunity that he realized just how inexperienced she was. From blowjobs to anal to just plain sex, she was clueless. And that made him want to take advantage of her even more. It’d been no problem integrating her into his entourage when he traveled or visiting cities and towns to perform. Three weeks later during a stop in Osaka, the crew decided to hit the city’s biggest nightclub and when she was stopped at the door for ID, even Rank’s fame wasn’t enough for the owners to risk letting a minor in. When she failed to draw any other type of ID besides her student card, Rank’s manager pulled her back into the street and questioned her about her age. Frail little Zi-Yei, weak from a diet of pills and sushi, broke down and admitted she was a tender 15. And before Rank, she had been a happy fan from a quiet little village who’d gathered enough allowance to buy a ticket to come see him perform. And a virgin at that. The manager alerted Rank who requested that she be thrown off the tour bus before anyone else noticed they were traveling with a minor. But not before locking her in the bathroom for a final shag. Two weeks later, she’d called his manager, not him, to advise him of her pregnancy. Ever since, a brand new three-story house had been provided to her family, along with a 2014 Mercedes and enough money for her family to take care of her, the newborn and still manage to retire prematurely. Rank pretended not to care but every once in a while, he would turn off his phone, and take a solo drive out to the country to go visit her in secret. A part of him wanted to be involved during her pregnancy and the other part felt it was an obligation. Success in America would give him a good reason to tour there, granting him some time and distance from the big secret eating away at him in Japan. Unfortunately, he wasn’t aware that the dancing trio had already signed a contract with Ty Shori, his indirect boss, and that tonight would be his last time performing with them. The mighty may rise high but they also sink the lowest when they fall. The audience was still clapping and Rank bathed in their approving review of his new single. Beaming with quiet and cool joy, he went out to celebrate with the crew but when everyone had gotten nice and drunk; he slipped off into his Audi A4 and sped to the only place he found peace and redemption these last few days.
The Last Emperors hadn’t been invited to go party with Rank’s entourage although they’d overheard something was going. It was for the best as they were all delirious with exhaustion, eager to get back to the Intercontinental Tokyo to undress, bathe and pass out. Lorra couldn’t wait until tomorrow when she could wake up, after an arduous event-filled and prosperous week and simply order room service and pack. They’d be moving into their contract condos and she couldn’t wait to have her own space. After two years of living with roommates, even if they were your best friends, it would be a relief to walk into her own condo whenever and however she pleased without Dawn’s redundant concerns or Julia’s snide commentary. She could blast music 24/7 and dance like a maniac. Just because. And in the event that Lau ever came to visit, she could scream and moan as loud as she wanted. The thought of it made her smile as she drifted into a deep sleep.