By Lisabet Sarai
I'm sure I had something in mind six weeks ago, when I chose this week's Grip topic, “Pride”. Perhaps I planned to talk about the importance of patting yourself on the back for your own accomplishments – because you can't count on anyone else doing so. Maybe I intended to look at the sin of pride, and how being overly self-congratulatory can lead to the proverbial fall. Or, since June is gay pride month, I might have devoted my post to the current state of same-sex lovers in today's world, the recent gains and setbacks.
Whatever I meant to say – well, it's gone now, because I didn't have the foresight to jot down my thoughts in my notebook! So instead, I'm going to blow my own horn a bit, talking about my new book (due out within days), Bangkok Noir. Because honestly, I'm really proud of this novella, for a myriad of reasons.
For one thing, Bangkok Noir is hard-core erotica, not romance. There's nothing wrong with romance, mind you. It's my literary bread and butter. However, sometimes I find the requirements of the genre a bit constraining, compared to erotica. Readers of erotica have broader tastes, I think, and are more likely to accept and enjoy characters, situations, and resolutions that romance readers would reject outright.
One of the heroines of Bangkok Noir is a six-foot-tall dominant dyke in her late fifties, who has lost a breast due to a mastectomy, and her university job because of an affair with one of her students. Doesn't sound like your typical romance lady, does she? One of the heroes is a Thai police colonel, also in his fifties, tough and skinny, with a secret desire for submission. Not one of the handsome, muscular types who normally grace the pages of erotic romance. And yet I think (I hope) readers will find both these unconventional characters arousing in their interactions with one another.
I've been a bit concerned that I'd lost the knack for writing erotica. Writing Bangkok Noir has reassured me.
Another reason I feel proud is that in writing this book, I managed to overcome the inertia that normally plagues my stories. Usually, once I've written something, I find it's almost impossible for me to make significant changes. I believe this is a weakness. It suggests I don't have sufficient control over my work. This book started life as a 10K short in my collection Fire. For years, one of my close friends (one of the few who know about my erotic alter-ego) has been pestering me to expand it. I always felt that doing so would be far too difficult to attempt, but finally, for his sake, I decided to give it a try. The result is 32K long, and much richer and more complex than the source. Erasing the dividing line between the original ending (written nearly a decade ago) and the new material posed a significant challenge, but based on the response I got from my crit partner, I think I succeeded.
I'm proud that I actually managed to write something dark. My tales are normally pretty sunny; I wanted to stretch myself, to see if I could produce something just the opposite. Let me warn you, the title of Bangkok Noir is highly appropriate. The plot centers around a serial killer who targets girls from Bangkok's notorious red light districts and leaves his victims tightly bound, with clamped nipples and every orifice stuffed with sex toys. And no one lives happily ever after.
I'm also hugely proud of the cover, which does a fantastic job conveying the tone of the book. I didn't create the final cover, but I did find the art and suggest the layout. And I absolutely love it!
I don't want to overburden this blog with promotion, but I thought that maybe, just maybe, you might like to read a snippet. The POV here is that of the other heroine, a normally dominant Thai gogo dancer who is bewildered by her reactions to a stranger who takes her out of the bar, who just might be the killer.
There was the sound of the bathroom door opening. My heart beat ever quicker than before. I kept my eyes straight ahead, facing the ceiling. I felt his warmth beside me, but I didn't turn to look. Then there was a flash of light reflecting metal, and I couldn't help myself.
The farang stood very close to me. He was naked. There was blond hair around his nipples, and darker hair between his legs. His cock was hard. The pale skin on it was stretched so tight, it looked like it might burst. The knob at the end pulsed, bright red. I thought of the beacon light on top of a police car.
Saliva flowed into my mouth. I wanted to taste him, to suck him. I started to reach for him, to pull him closer. Then I saw. He had an open pocketknife in his hand.
I choked back a cry. The shiny blade gleamed as he waved it slowly in front of my face. I shrank away, out of instinct. He saw my terror. He loved it.
"Be still," he said quietly. "I told you not to move. I meant it." He leaned over me. I smelled his cologne and his sweat. The knife was close to my skin, close to my throat. I tried to scream. Somehow I couldn't. Because despite my terror, I didn't want to move. I didn't want to disappoint him.
I tried to close my eyes. He held them open with his stare. "Look at me, Nok," he whispered. His eyes were deep pools of cold blue. It seemed that something flickered there, like a frozen flame.
The flame seemed to spread from his eyes to my body. I was on fire with wanting him. At the same time, I was paralyzed by fear.
He hooked the tip of the blade into the fabric of my shirt and ripped it downwards. The shirt fell open, showing him my brown, swollen nipples. Swollen with desire for him. He laughed softly. Gently, he placed the cold steel flat against one aching nub. I shivered, and he laughed again.
"You are perfect, just what I need," he said. Leaving the knife in place, he sucked my other nipple into his mouth. Hot saliva and cold steel. Pleasure beat in my sex like another heart. "And I am what you need, the master you have been seeking."
No, I thought vaguely, no one is my master. I am the mistress, the one giving the orders. That thought melted away in the heat of his mouth.
He put the knife aside. He trailed kisses down my belly. I tried to help him unzip my shorts. He slapped my hand away. "Be still! Unless you want me to punish you..." He sat upright and his eyes flicked over to the knife. "If you won't obey me, I might as well leave."
This was far worse threat than the knife. "No, sir, please, don't. I won't move." I tried to remain motionless. It was very difficult.
He raised my hips with one hand and pulled my shorts down to my knees with the other. The smell of my sex was strong. He swiped one finger through my crack. I jerked in reaction, close to coming from that one touch.
A stinging slap on my left breast, then on my right. "Still, I said!" After the pain, the glow, the pleasure flowing through me like a river. "I'll have to tie you, I suppose. That will keep you in check." Roughly, he pulled off my shorts and tossed them aside. Then he reached under the bed. He came back up with a coil of black rope.
A faint flicker of fear, a dim memory. She probably asked for it. His face, hovering over mine, eyes burning into my soul. "Do you want that, Nok? Shall I bind you, so that you are helpless? So that I can do whatever I want to you?"
His fingers groped in my pussy and found my clit. He began to squeeze. Slowly at first, then faster. Then his fingernails, digging into my flesh. Each time slicing a little deeper. Each time creating sharper pain and more intense delight.
Still. I must remain still, I thought, even as I thrashed and struggled on the bed. Suddenly, he took his hand away. "No, please..." I pleaded, as the echoes of pleasure quickly faded.
"Don't stop, please."
"But how can I continue when you won't be still?"
"Please, sir." I was lost, desperate, ready to do anything for his renewed touch. "Please, tie me up, if that's what you want. I'll do anything. Just don't stop. Don't go."
"Good girl," he murmured, bending to prod my clit with his tongue and send an earthquake through my body. "I think you are ready. Ready for the ultimate thrill."
The ropes tightened around my wrists. I felt a new surge of terror. Then all at once, new peace. I had made my choice. I was in his hands, for better or worse. All that mattered was that I please him.
He was fastening some sharp metal clamps onto my pussy lips when I heard my phone ring. In my pocket. On the floor. Across the room.
He plunged three fingers deep into my pussy. I forgot to be afraid.
Bangkok Noir will be released sometime this coming week, I hope, by Books We Love, Ltd. Check my personal blog Beyond Romance for details.