Chapter 16: Get It, Bring It, and Put It Right Here
John parked a blocked away. He hoped the physical exertion and fresh air would calm the ire threatening to boil over. Yet, dread deepened with every step. Just in town a few days, he'd already heard the whispers about the Chandler Home for Women. The house of ill repute guaranteed the fulfillment of the most decadent promises. The choice of women varied, effectively whetting men's lustful appetites. White girls, colored girls, and even girls from the Orient could be found here.
He paused outside the wrought iron fence and stared at the framed two-story building. One thought screamed inside his head.
Please, not Evangeline. Not here.
Curtains fluttered in the window beside the door. He wouldn't turn away at this point even if fear of the truth threatened to overpower his senses. He simply had to know. His footsteps ascended the porch steps in a half jog. By the time he reached the door, it opened. A stunning redhead with a healthy, curvaceous figure greeted him.
"Come in." Her voice was as smooth as silk. Vibrant blue eyes accessed him from head to toe. A seductive smile crossed her lips. "I haven't seen you around before."
"I just moved here." He didn't bother to elaborate. He came to get information. Not to give it.
"I'm Skye Chandler." She extended her hand. "Welcome to my home. Is there anything I can do for you?"
Despite the woman's obvious beauty, the idea of touching her made his skin crawl. Parasites, in any form, sickened him. He quickly shook her hand and responded to her question. "Yes, I've heard that your home is welcoming and I was looking for some comfort."
"Anything in particular? Comfort comes in many varieties."
Shrugging, he glanced toward the staircase. "Mind if I look around so that I can get a better idea…"
"Yes, I do. After all, this is my home. Whatever you need, I can get it for you. All you have to do is ask."
"You said you have variety." Upon her nod, he continued, "I'd like something with a little color, slender…beautiful."
"Colored, you say?" Skye nodded once.
She tried to hide her disappointment with a slight turn of her head. But John saw it. Some talk in the department had it that she and Sam Bennett were a secret item. Perhaps that relationship had run its course. Not that it mattered to him. He came to Skye with one woman on his mind and she wasn't a redhead.
"Yes. Do you have any?"
"A couple." She crossed to the fireplace. A series of cords stretched down from the ceiling. She pulled the last one.
A few moments later, two women entered from the hallway. Colorful, sheer gowns covered them from head to toe. Their hair was a mass of curls and waves. They slithered toward him, stopping inches from John. Two pairs of dark brown eyes appeared almost black against their fair complexion. With a little more powder, the women could easily pass for white.
He stepped aside and looked Skye dead in the eyes. "Is this all you have?"
"Yes. They're what you asked for."
He glanced over his shoulder. They stood close together. Their shoulders touched. He couldn't be sure, but he sensed relief at his lack of interest. Only God knew what they'd already been through at the hands of Skye's other clientele.
He turned to the madam. "Yes, they are, but not what I want."
Skye dismissed the girls. After they left, she asked, "What exactly do you want?"
"Darker, like coffee or chocolate. Tall and slender. Full lips and doe-like brown eyes." He stepped forward. "Are you sure you don't have anyone like that here?"
Her eyes narrowed. "Why are you so specific? Wouldn't any warm body do?"
"Well, I'm sorry. You won't find what you need for sale here."
Maybe not for sale, John thought, but she's definitely here. He thanked Skye for her time and left. Her watchful gaze followed his movements so he strolled back down the block. Later, when her was guard was down, he'd return, find Evangeline and take her away before Skye decided to broaden her idea of variety.
The Paradise Lounge hummed with energy. Linc sensed the heightened kinetic pace the moment he stepped inside the club. Moderate success as a swashbuckler gave him false prestige. Club owners sent him invitations to grand openings. He always received the next best table with a fairly decent bottle of complimentary champagne. But the youngest son of a boozing dock worker and a overworked laundress wanted more. He was tired of hand-me-downs. He wanted the first rate life and he wanted it now. And there was one sure-fire way to get it.
For weeks, his manager hinted that a certain boss was interested in breaking into the film industry. With the right face and name--Linc Madison--the boss would eagerly bankroll the next project. Studios were opening on the West Coast. Getting in early would solidify Linc's future and make them all very rich, very happy people.
At first, Linc scoffed at the idea of getting in with the big boys. Five years of vaudeville honed his skills as an all-around performer. Crooning…comedy…stunts…he could do it all. He got a good break in 'The Forgotten Sheik.' No, his performance didn't hurt Valentino's box office receipts, but still, he had a good showing. Hell, but it wasn't good enough to get the center table at the Cotton Club or the best bottle of booze with compliments.
So, Linc swallowed his misgivings and agreed to meet with the boss on the other man's turf. Before coming, Linc researched. Sonny Corinthos operated under Lucky Luciano's tier of authority. With the recent hit in Chicago, they all were trying for a lower profile. Linc figured now was a better time than any. So, here he was in Port Charles, looking for a little rest, relaxation and a new lease on his career.
A rugged blonde bruiser approached him. The other man pumped Linc's hand and said, "Welcome to Paradise, Mr. Madison. Sonny is expecting you. I'm Jason. If you need anything, let me know."
Sonny's right hand, Linc surmised. He kept quiet and evaluated Jason. The man's eyes were like an iceberg. Blue and cold as ice. Linc knew guys like that from the docks in Jersey. Fists and force guaranteed them anything they wanted. Growing up with five older, stronger brothers hadn't left Linc a wuss. Always thinking of a back up plan, Linc knew if it came down to it, he could take Jason. Maybe not the army, but he could definitely handle the lieutenant.
"When will I meet with Mr. Corinthos?"
"He's otherwise engaged right now. Had he known your exact date of arrival…"
Linc nodded. "I understand. As long as he knows I'm here. I'm staying at the Port Charles Hotel. If I don't see him tonight, he can contact me there."
"I'll let him know." Jason glanced toward the stage. "The next act is about to perform. We have a wonderful table reserved front row center."
Linc's eyebrows rose. Satisfaction rumbled in his chest. "Front row center, huh? That sounds real good."
Linc followed Jason to the table. He enjoyed the first song. Soon after, his pleasure waned. This felt good, he realized, but it would be a lot better if he had someone special to share it with. Someone like the beaut he met on the dock. He glanced around. There weren't too many mixed couples, but in a town like this, somewhere there was a spot where a man and a woman of different races could get to know each other. Once he got his bearings, he'd find the spot and come calling on Miss Dawn Jensen.
Stone's sax hummed a slow, seductive tune. The horns joined in and the piano followed. Music seeped inside Sonny's soul. The Paradise Lounge with its abundant clientele made him a rich man, but it was the promise of jazz that influenced Sonny's decision to buy it. He loved the sexy rhythms. The decadent promises and the agonizing sorrows of lost dreams. All of it called to him on a base level. Stirring him to strive for what he wanted and to live without regret. He noticed Dara swaying to the music and wondered if she lived her life the same way.
On a deeper level, maybe he already knew the answer. She didn't come to him to answer her primal needs. She came to protect her sister. Nothing more and nothing less. Often, Sonny wondered if he offered more, would she take it? In the end, could he make her beg?
The solitude of his bottom floor suite gave them all the privacy he needed. He didn't want to share her with anyone. Not even her presence. He wanted--needed--her all to himself.
"Dance with me." The words weren't a request and from her quick response, Sonny knew she understood.
She accepted his hand and moved into his arms. The dove gray satin dress clung to her curves like a dream. The backless gown revealed enough flesh to inflame Sonny's senses. His hands skimmed her sides, marveling at the cool material and the heated flesh beneath. He pressed his cheek to hers and inhaled.
Their hearts pounded in unison. His five senses kicked to life, making him aware of everything at once.
Her scent burned him even more. An erotic mixture of lavender soap, lilac perfume and her unique aroma sent the blood bursting through his veins. His manhood shifted to attention. He moved his thighs between hers, desperately wanting her to know the full strength of his attraction to her. She had to know this wasn't just a deal between two people, but an urgent need between a man and a woman.
One hand cupped the low rise of her hip and the other one slid across her bare back. His fingers flexed, pressing her close. The pebble hard tips of her breasts pierced his chest. The hand at her back moved between them. He slid his hand to just below her left breast. The weight teased him. Tormenting him.
As his thumb brushed the underside of her breast, her quick gasp sounded like a cry for mercy. Her sharp ragged breaths vibrated against his eardrums. The quickened paced easily matched his.
He ached to see her nude brown body spread across his bed, quivering and wet. Burning for him. Yearning for the release that only he could give her.
He hadn't, yet. But with his willpower fading with each passing second…
Both hands moved to cup her face and angle her head. Through heavy-lidded eyes, her beautiful brown orbs stared with wonder and a passion that endangered his sanity. Unable to wait another moment without knowing the taste of her luscious mouth and the sensation of her full, sensual lips, he lowered his head to hers and feasted.
[To be continued in an e-mail only chapter. Email me/niklovr if you want a copy. Thanks!]