The Last Emperors.
Chapter Fourteen: Would I lie to you?
By Jolie Adam
Lorra’s heart raced as she watched the screen light up with his name. Suddenly feeling restrained in the small confines of the bathroom stall, she pressed the power button so hard and held her thumb on it long after the device had shut off. The music was a good distance away yet the beat felt like it was thumping right inside her head, on top of her brain, spreading over every sensible nerve, ripping away at my sanity. Panic set in and she began to think of all the worst possible scenarios. What if Laurent knew? Would he tell? Would everyone find out? Would it hurt their flourishing career? Would it negatively affect their sponsorship or contract? She was so lost in worry that when someone knocked on the door, for a moment she believed the entire world was actually collapsing around her in a shattering earthquake. She moved back looking at the door apprehensively.
“Shao. You in there?”
“Uh huh.” She mumbled, recognizing Julia’s voice.
Lorra opened the stall and Meow stood before her, concern transparent in her body language despite them both still wearing masks. Julia tilted her head to the side, her silence delivering everything she was thinking.
“Let’s go home! We don’t need this.” Lorra nodded along, glad to have a quiet ally in that moment. Julia texted Dawn who met them on the main floor within minutes and they shared a cab to Dawn’s apartment. The unsuspecting taxi driver kept looking back through the interior rear view mirror adding to the annoying suspenseful and tense atmosphere of the club. It felt as though even strangers wanted to look into their attire and discover the face behind the characters. Through empathic telepathy, Julia sneered at him,
“Why don’t you keep your nosy eyes on the road, curious George?” She doubted the old man even spoke English but he seemed to understand her annoyance because he didn’t throw so much as a glance until they arrived at their destination. Despite the glimmering lights of the bustling city, silence took form and embraced them during the ride home. The question probing away wasn’t new and right now felt like it would loom over their heads for the next little while. How long would The Last Emperors remain a secret? In a city like Tokyo where privacy was revered, it was ironic to see that in secret societies, nothing stayed veiled for long. Are secrets still considered secrets when they’re spilled in hushed tones and whispers?
Tatiana spun and lost her footing trying to follow Larry’s tutorial of a new move. He was impatient with her during class while Lau remained cordial and polite. He would go over a move as long as necessary until she mastered it. And she could see his pride once she finally did. But today, even he was in a sour mood, keeping to himself and Larry was whipping her ass into shape as if she was the next Beyoncé’s backup dancer.
“Don’t push your hips out like that. It’s not supposed to be sexy. It’s supposed to be like POP slide POP POP. Do it again!” He barked orders as if she was an idiot even though it was only her third try.
“No. I don’t like this move. It’s for guys. Teach me something else,” she wasn’t about to let him boss her around. Especially when her father was their boss. Larry sighed in frustration, pressing the remote to change songs.
“Ok. What do you want to learn?”
“Teach me a choreography for my 18th birthday party. I want to do something cute.”
“If you want to do something cute, watch a Britney Spears video!” He walked off, motioning to Lau to let him know it was his turn to deal with the spoiled brat. As physically attracted to her as she was, teaching her always took a toll on his attitude. He wasn’t trying to lash out at her but when he held workshops, he expected people to work hard to be as good as him…or as close to it as they possibly could. Tatiana held her privilege as an excuse to whine and put in minimal effort. Rich or average, spoiled or deserving, he couldn’t and wouldn’t waste energy on someone who wasn’t willing to learn.
Lau stood up and let the music sway him up and onto the flawless wood finish of the dance studio. Into the mirror, his reflection bobbed up and down rhythmically with the eclectic dance tune as his fun personality came out and dominated the steps. Tatiana watched him, giggling as he twirled around her and moved with facial animation. He took her hand and swirled her once, twice until she threw her head back, thick cascading curls bouncing off her back. Together, they did pirouettes, her laughter sparking the room with carelessness and freedom, the epitome of a joyful moment. They looked like kids on a sugar high, deserted at the park with no parents and no supervision, happy to be left alone without being condemned or lectured about how silly they looked. She began to feel dizzy before he did so she stopped and watched the room spin and crash around her, keeping her eyes open to witness the entire trip, unaware of the goofy grin plastered broadly on her face. Lau stopped and kept a fairly good balance, occasionally stumbling into the mirror and rolling along the length of the wide glass trying to play it off. Her vertigo subsided and the room stopped spinning but looking at him, her heart was still doing pirouettes in her chest.
Larry should’ve felt bad about what he was doing but he just couldn’t help it. Dawn was fun and beautiful however deep down, he knew she was guarded. Maybe it was due to a previous relationship, maybe from experience, maybe just by character. Whatever it was, he’d never been one to put all his eggs in one basket and he certainly wasn’t about to start now. Besides there was such a thrill in doing things you shouldn’t, in wanting things you can’t have, in hiding, concealing, and adding mystery to an otherwise natural thing. Larry watched her step out of the bathroom in a plush baby pink terry cloth robe. Her cheeks matched the color of the robe, making her look pale against her long dark hair. Shyly, she undid the tie holding the robe together, letting it fall to the floor. Her perky breasts were the most beautiful he’d ever seen. Round and high, they looked untouched and all natural. Her nether regions were trimmed to a clean bikini line. He swallowed hard, trying to manage his erection, unable to control just how quickly he’d gotten excited. It hadn’t been hard to convince her. She was young and no matter how much wealth she was born into, she was easily impressionable. Watching her pine after Lau was enough to make him want to exploit the possibility. After weeks of prepping and flirting his way into her consideration, she’d relented and invited him to stay over since Lau had to rush home after their class. By the time they’d reached the east wing of the house where her bedroom was, he’d planted all the right seeds to ensure it would be worth the risk. Telling her that Laurent had a girlfriend but he on the other hand was available and could show her exactly what it took to get his brother. All lies relied on the tone and manner in which they were delivered. Besides, it was believable. They were twins after all so if she could woo one, she’d have no problem wooing the other.
“You look beautiful,” He hadn’t meant to sound so corny but she truly did. Under his lusty gaze, she shuddered and a long strand shifted over her shoulder and covered one of her nipples. She resembled a painting he’s seen once of a goddess with her flawless olive skin, a curvy body unfitting for a girl her age and hair that descended almost to her hips in similar patterns of waves and curls. He wanted to take a mental picture of how she looked, completely bare and exposed, vulnerable and shy.
He removed his jacket and his pants, leaving his shirt and boxers on. Her eyes flitted nervously to the visible erection contained by his boxer shorts. Licking his lips, the tip of his index finger flicked his hat off onto the floor and he shook his braids loose before settling on the bed. She approached him hesitantly, wishing she still had her robe on.
“You’re not going to tell him, are you?” she asked timidly. Right then, she looked her age not like the invincible, powerhouse daughter of a multi-billionaire media mogul man. He almost laughed at her absurdity. How naïve could she get? He knew his brother. Lau would never be interested after he was through with her but his own selfish, primal need surpassed any common sense or morality. He was so aroused and hard for her, it felt like all the blood in his body was pooling in one area and as good as he wanted to be, he wanted to be bad a lot more. His hunger flamed as if Tatiana’s innocence was the meal of the day.
He sat her down on him, grabbing her breasts like a petulant, horny teenager. Her tense body relaxed as soon as he nestled her nipples in his mouth, sucking and licking on them ardently until she arched her back and quivered on top of his massive boner. Her arousal seeped onto his leg in liquid form when his mouth guided hers in a wrestle of tongue and lips. He kissed her like he wanted to fuck her. She kissed him like he was Laurent. Their joint passion was part raw and part deceptive. He prided himself in knowing he was good consolation. Larry removed his boxers, rubbing the top of his dick across her inner labia. Without warning, he grabbed her hair as he pushed her down on him, moving his lips forward at the same time, shoving all of himself into her at once. She let out a painful scream and he was taken back not by her noise but by how incredibly tight she was. As anxious as he was to break her back by pounding her like a butcher at a meat market, he’d need to slow down before he hurt himself. Her insides gripped onto his member like unflexed elastic, refusing to conform to his size. It was uncomfortably tight even though she was wetter than the ocean. He kept moving, flexing his own jaw to restrain from losing it. There was no space in her to move and he was about ready to combust. His mouth was set tightly as his head rested between her long neck as he continued to push her down onto him, slower than he’d anticipated. She rose to the very top of his cock before sliding back down and by the time she reached the bottom, the solid grip of her pussy milked him of everything he had. He groaned loudly as he pushed her off to orgasm, his nails embedded in her skin as he physically exerted himself. He looked back up, mouth open in disbelief of how hard he just climaxed and how taut her young sex was when he saw tears in her eyes, staining her cheeks. With furrowed brows and a confused expression, he was about to ask what was wrong when he caught a glimpse of blood on his legs. His head shot down as if he’d been punched in the back of the head, eyes bulging at the sight of his bloody leg. Her crotch was splotched with blood tint, down the insides of her tights. It explained why she’d felt so wet, it was all this blood. He cursed to himself, slowly putting the pieces together as his brain began to reconstitute after his mind shattering orgasm.
“Was that your first time?”
She burst into tears, nodding slowly as she hugged her body conservatively. Despite the discomfort of the situation, Larry stood up and held her, letting her wet face fall between his head and shoulders as he rocked her from side to side.
Lorra made her way down the corridor, holding last night’s outfit in a borrowed duffel bag. She was braless and wearing one of Julia’s crop tops with shorts and Converse. The girls had spent the night cuddling, ordering food, and comforting each other with stories of battles-gone-bad and funny incidents. Like the time Julia threw up half her body weight due to food poisoning and had to clean up within 30 seconds before running back on stage and pretending she wasn’t about to faint from her illness. Or the time Luluxe wore her hoodie inside out and none of them had realized until it was too late since their colors were so fluorescent, downright neon. Last night was not the best night in LTE history but they had had lots of good nights, a lot of great nights and they would come again. It was just a matter of refocusing and regrouping. She woke up refreshed, hopeful and certain of one thing. She was never going to see Lau again. She walked down the corner of her hallway, cheery and for the first time since they’d arrived in Japan, ready to tackle every obstacle, embrace every opportunity and slay every battle. Fuck Lau and his ego. She was a better dancer than him and would never apologize for mastering her craft. Sadly, the universe decided to taunt her and test her will because when she reached the hallway leading up to her condo, there he was.
Lau looked up from his phone, torn between feeling like he’d finally solved a hard puzzle and feeling upset.
“I’ve been texting you since last night. I called twice today. Where were you?”
She had to remind herself to look calm, unfreezing her steps to continue walking towards her door. He’d only been at her place once – how did he remember the apartment number?
“My phone was off,” she remembered that she hadn’t turned it back on, “Is off. I told you. I was going to Julia’s.”
Lau pushed aside his exasperation to ask how Julia was feeling.
“A lot better.”
“Probably because of your company. I needed you last night.” He hugged her from behind as she fumbled with the keys to open the door. He was being needy and wanted someone to open up to. Knowing their similarities, he felt comfortable doing so with her.
“What’s up?” She desperately wanted to shrug him off, to recoil from his warm embrace, to forget how he smelled from up close but it didn’t happen. She let him hug her. And when he began to speak, she also let him.
“You won’t believe what happened last night. Remember the club I told you about?” She nodded, “We were all there, me and my crew. And guess who shows up? The Last Emperors. Everything is cool until he steps in my face.”
“Who?” She asked, already knowing whom he was referring to.
“Shao Mein. So he steps up in my face and hits me. I pushed him so hard, he fell back. My brother and my friends were trying to calm me down but security came and asked us to leave. I can’t stand him. He thinks he’s so much better than everybody. Like, we’re all dancers. Have some respect. But he wants to be bad and cool. Whatever.”
Lorra felt tears battling to come forth so she blinked quickly, pretending to have an eyelash in her eye. Hearing him talk about her like that was even more hurtful than being pushed by him. All the strength she’d accumulated this morning evaporated into thin air. Even worse was the fact that she was actually scared of him. She’d felt his strength last night in the opposite way she’d gotten used to. And here he was in her space, in the area that was supposed to be her refuge, her resort of peace and tranquility.
“Anyways, you said we don’t talk and last night I really wanted to talk to you. I missed you.” He was laying it on thick but he meant every word. She cringed when he said ‘last night’. Little did he know they’d had the same night, experienced the same event, and participated in the same fight. In a corner near the entrance, the duffel bag held the evidence, the proof, the end of a lie. But in her mind and heart, the truth felt far away.
Lorra used the island counter in the middle of the kitchen as intermittent space between them. His eyes and body language hinted how vulnerable he was willing to get if she would let him, if she would just open up too. In a way, she was certain he already knew and just needed to hear it from her. He needed the confirmation. But she held her tongue for the time being knowing that paranoia was a drunk man’s sober thoughts. He approached her and traced his finger down the side of her cheek, reaching for her neck to pull her into a kiss. She pushed his arm away harsher than intended, tapping into the hurt she still felt from his shove last night. He stared at her, taken back and stunned, letting the disrespectful offense stick to the walls like fresh paint.
“I can’t do this anymore.” And she had to decide right then and there what it was she couldn’t do anymore. Lie to him or be with him.