Chapter One


I paused in front of the mirror to study my girl-girl body, naked except for a pair of black bikini panties and sheer nylon negligee. I had a date tonight with Mark Condon, who is my contact man in the Mafia fighting group known as the New York Mafia Prosecution and Harassment Organization, more commonly called N.Y.M.P.H.O. As my eyes assessed my contours, I decided Mark Condon was going to flip over what I was looking at, what he'd look at later.

My name is Cherry Delight. I'm a redhead, a girl operative of N.Y.M.P.H.O., and right then I was between assignments, which meant I could live life as life was meant to be lived. Mark Condon would take me to a Broadway musical for which he had third row tickets, and after that we would dine at the Russian Tea Room on nalistniki and champagne, with an Irish Coffee to top it off.

My eyes touched the bed where my Marc Bohan see-through, midi-length chiffon evening gown was waiting to be slithered into; it would take but one second to doff the negligee and put the gown on, and I wanted Mark Condon to see me as I was.

The doorbell rang.

I took one last peek at myself, nodded approvingly and ran for the door, holding the negligee around my mostly bare curves. I opened the door. Mark Condon was in the hall with a scowl on his face.

The scowl should have warned me, but I was so happy to see him I forgot for the nonce that he and I worked together. “Come on in," I caroled, and swung the door wide.

He got a good look at my bare breasts under black nylon and my indented bellybutton with all my bare legs showing. His eyes got wide, he whistled soundlessly.

"Hey, wow," he breathed.

"Don't just stand there, come on in."

“It's all wasted, Cherry,” he muttered, doing what I asked.

"What's all wasted?” I wanted to know, closing the door behind him.

His hand made a motion in the air. "The girlish goodies are wasted—for now. We have a job to do. The Mafia just got Bill Tomkins.”

"Ohhhh, no!"

I had liked Bill Tomkins, he was a swell guy, a damn good agent. “How'd it happen?” I asked as Mark sat on the edge of a love-seat, elbows on his knees, hunched forward.

"He was after a list of all the Mafia members. A woman named Tina Carfacci had promised to furnish him with that list in exchange for five thousand dollars. Cheap at any price. Even his life if he got it.

But he didn't get it."

"Bill apparently kept his date with her, because both he and she were found dead in her apartment early this morning. The N.Y.M.P.H.O. boys staged a raid because Bill hadn't reported back and we knew where he was going. It wasn't at all like Bill not to report, even by telephone. He always kept in touch.

"The boys found them both naked in the bed room. He'd been shot with three different thirty eight caliber bullets—probably the automatics were equipped with silencers, nobody heard any shooting—and she had one slug right through her chest.

“The papers weren't in the apartment. Neither was the five grand.”

I felt bad, but I kept it silent.

Then I said softly, “They're afraid somebody would get to her, make her talk. That's why they killed her. The bastards even took the money!”

“There's more than that.”

My red eyebrows, carefully plucked to thin lines, lifted in surprise. “More? How could there be more? Sounds as if someone wrote finish to a great guy, and nothing else.”

Mark smiled, his eyes on my bare legs, tracing them with his stare all the way up to where my bikini briefs held in my red pubic bush. He licked his lips, then remembered why he was there.

“Tomkins had done a lot of work on the local Mafia. He made friends with some of their buttons, the muscle-men. A couple of them talked, you know how they brag on booze. Seems the Mafia is moving in on China. Red China, I mean."

“You've got to be kidding!”

"Doesn't seem to make sense, does it? But look at it this way. Ever since the President went to have his talks with Mao-Tse-tung and Chou En-lai, there has been talk of opening trade relations and establishing business connections between Red China and us.”

I opened my mouth and gasped.

When I got my breath back I said, "You think the Mafia wants to cut in on those trade agreements! Come off it, Mark.”

“Will you wait? Just let me talk." He hesitated, then asked, “Do you know anything about the Chinese tongs that used to flourish in San Francisco and other parts of California early in this century?”

I said I knew something about them.

"Then let me explain." Mark Condon tends to get a little school-teacherish at times. This was one of the times, so I crossed my bare legs and sank back deeper into my easy-chair.

“The first tongs began in the gold fields of California just about when the Civil War started, though there's no apparent connection. One was named the Hop Sing, the other was the Suey Sing. They were started to help fellow China-men because coolie labor was cheap in those days and the Chinese were despised. Time passed and the tongs turned into gangs.

“They maintained opium dens, they controlled gambling, they established houses of prostitution. And they made money. The different tongs weren't satisfied with this—by now they had formed a sort of yellow underworld in San Francisco—they wanted more. They began to encroach on each other's territories, the same way the Mafia did in the twenties in Chicago and New York, during Prohibition days.

There's quite a parallel, if you make a study of it, between the tongs and the Mafia. The only difference—the color of their skins.

“Anyhow, the tongs began a struggle for control among themselves. The Hop Sings fought with the Suey Sings, their hatchet-men struck again and again. One of their biggest battles was fought at Waverly Place in Chinatown between the Suey Sings and the Kwong Dock tong. The bow how doys the fighting men of the tongs, their salaried soldiers—met in a grudge fight. Before the police broke it up, at least nine of the bow how doys had been seriously wounded.

"But one of the Kwong Docks, the man who had started the war, actually, by killing a member of the Suey Sing tong over a girl, fled to China when the Suey Sing hatchet-man started to hunt him down. His name was Ming Long.

“Keep his name in mind,” Condon told me.

“That was the first of the tong wars that stretched across the entire last quarter of the nineteenth century. The tongs were very powerful, they were rich, they controlled a lot of powerful interests. One member of the Sum Yop tong, a man named Fung Jing Toy, became absolute master of his little world during that time, with the help of political powers whom he bribed.

“He would rat on fellow vice lords in Chinatown, have the police raid them and shut them down, then reopen the gambling and opium dens, the brothels, with his Sum Yop tong in complete control, untouched by the police. He really made himself king of Chinatown, there's no doubt about it."

Mark was staring at me oddly, so when I glanced down at myself I saw that my negligee had opened and both my generous bare breasts were staring back at him with their brown nipples. I smiled and closed the black nylon, though it didn't really hide very much.

Mark sighed, said, “When Fung Jing Toy got too big for his britches and overreached himself remember, every tong except his own had a grudge against him and his methods, because he robbed from them all, impartially—they put a price of three thousand dollars on his head. A sum like that would have let his killer go back to China and live like a king.

"They caught up to him in a barber shop in 1897. Funny thing how barber shops figure so much in gangland killings, isn't it? That's where Albert Anastasia got his, in a barber shop, in 1957.

"Somebody named Lem Jung shot the boss tong chief five times in the spine, and that blew the lid off the pot. The other tongs began exterminating the bow how doy hatchet-men of the Sum Yops until the Emperor of China himself called a halt to the killing.

“He threatened to put their families—those still in China—in jail if any more Sum Yop hatchet-men were murdered. None were.”

Condon said: “Now let's go back to Ming Long."

I chimed in to show I had been paying attention, "He was the man who started the whole thing, by cleaving the skull of a rival tong member over a girl.”

“Right. Now back in China, Ming Long figured he had a good thing going. At that time there were no tongs in China. But Ming Long took care of that, he started his own tong and did pretty well for a while. We weren't sure just what did happen in China, it was still pretty much a closed nation. But we do know he started a tong and other tongs were formed.

"Since then, they've dropped out of sight. Nobody hears a thing about them. But now—even since the resumption of relations between Red China and the United States, there have been stirrings behind the bamboo curtain.

“Overtures have been made to the Mafia by the secret tongs."

I leaned forward, rested my hands on my thighs. This made my breasts swing outward, my nipples nuzzling a path into the lamplight. Mark eyed them hungrily, which I was happy to see.

“You mean to tell me Bill Tomkins learned all this?”

Mark waved a hand. "He learned some of it, especially the bit about the tongs contacting the Mafia. It was in his notes that we found in his apartment. Apparently he was about to write up a report of all this, but he was killed instead.”

I'm no mind-reader, but I knew what Mark Con don was about to say. So I said it for him. "So now the organization wants to know more about this Mafia-tong link-up, and I'm the fall guy chosen for the job.”

Mark looked embarrassed. He is a big guy, lean and wiry and wears clothes as perfectly as a men's store dummy. He was positively mouth-watering in a Paul Wattenburg chalk-striped worsted with a Hathaway satin-striped shirt and an Oleg Cassini silk tie. Mark Condon likes clothes, so do I. It's one reason we get along so well together.

"Something like that, yes. We have feelers out, we're trying to learn where the three killers went."

"Three killers?”

"Didn't I say that three different guns had fired the bullets into Bill? Our ballistics department has been working overtime. No killer, Mafia or other wise, normally carries three different guns to do a job. So we have to believe three separate men were involved. And as I said, one of the men who shot Bill also killed the woman."

I frowned. “But where does China come in?”

“We think they'll head for China—Red China the way Ming Long did a hundred years ago when the heat was on in San Francisco. Tomkins said in his diary that some of them would go there to set up some sort of deal with the tongs. The Coordinator, our boss-man, figures the three killers are going to be sent as envoys. It serves a double purpose, it gets them out of the country and it lets them make the contacts.”

“I think the boss is just guessing.”

Mark shrugged. “Maybe he is. Even so, he's got a pretty high average on those educated guesses he makes. There could be more information in Bill's diary than the Coordinator's letting on. He's working very closely with the police department and the F.B.I. on this. The President, I understand, doesn't want his mission to China to go up in smoke. It could if word got out that American mobsters were joining with Red Chinese mobsters to muscle in on all those nice new trade agreements.”

I uncrossed my bare legs. “Makes sense, Mark. The only trouble is, I'm going to be chasing three ghosts in silk suits when it comes to those Mafia killers. I don't know them or what they look like."

“Our men are watching the air terminals. Taking pictures of all suspicious characters. Some of the boys know the hit men for the mob. They're along to make any identifications that may be needed."

I looked him in the eye. “What do we do now?” Mark grinned, "I gave away the tickets to the show, figuring we wouldn't need them, but there's no reason why we can't go eat nilistniki and drink Irish coffee, is there?”

I hopped to my feet, ran for the bedroom. A second or two later I was letting the Marc Bohan evening gown slide down my shapely curves. I snatched up a mink stole and my Coblentz evening bag and made my grand entrance for Mark Condon to admire and whistle at. I beamed as his eyes ran up and down my bod, and got that want-you look.

"We'll have an early evening," I smiled, leading the way toward the door.

"Early to bed,” he said, smiling like a cartoon wolf.

Sometimes I think Mark has a dirty mind. But I love it, because he does what he thinks. At times he does. I wasn't sure whether this night was going to be one of the titillating times or not. It kept me on my toes, so to speak. The nilistniki was absolutely super. That dish of ground sirloin steak, mixed with onions, eggs, peppers, dill and other varied ingredients, when served on unsweetened crepes and baked, with the right sauces added, is mouth-watering indeed. Mark and I feasted unashamedly. We drank champagne and then the Irish coffee.

We didn't hurry, we enjoyed ourselves, we made small talk and flirted with each other. I like Chinese food but not all the time. Like not for breakfast. There would be no nilistniki in Peking or Shanghai. I had to pamper my taste buds while I could.

We came out of the restaurant and Mark suggested a walk.

The moon was a big silver plate overhead; the night sky was blue velvet. The air was warm, with a hint of coming summer. The breeze that swept along the street was soft and pleasant. I hooked an arm through Mark's and we marched.

Mark Condon is a smoothie. I guess he knows as well as anybody that a big silvery moon in the night sky and a reasonably warm evening will do things to a girl who has partaken of nilistniki and champagne and Irish coffee.

He seemed to know what it would do to me. Because he pulled me into a dark street front after a couple of blocks and wrapped his arms around me and kissed me as I hadn't been kissed for too long. I let my thighs and belly tell him what I wanted, and found him ready for a wrestle.

Now I am a member of the Femmes Fatales, a branch of N.Y.M.P.H.O. which consists of very attractive, love-able girls whose job is that of call girl and seductress, sometime killer and general all around sex symbol. When I am working, I usually get more than my fair share of loving. It's part of the job, but at in-between times, like now, a warm and affectionate nature like mine needs something more than stand-up kisses.

So I whispered, “It's still early, Mark.”

"Did I tell you how gorgeous you are in that black nylon negligee?”

“No, but you could start, right about now.”

"I like an instant replay of the same, Cherry.”

"Not here, Mark.”

"You have a great bedroom. It's made for loving."

"Like its owner.”

Silly talk, but effective, since Mark had his hand on my thigh and was sliding it around over my belly to my pubes and then up to my breasts, unbrassiered behind the bodice panels of the see-through gown. The material of the gown was thin, so it was almost as if he were caressing my skin. This made the rapping that much more amorous.

“We're wasting time," he panted after a few minutes.

“I thought you'd never ask,” I giggled.

We were in no condition to do much walking, so Mark hailed a passing cab which would bring us to my pad on East Seventy-third Street in very short order. Inside the cab, Mark managed to get a hand under my evening gown and run it up my inner thighs. China be damned—all I knew was that I might have to do without the attentions of a lover boy like Mark Condon for quite some time. I let my legs fall apart and scrunched down a little in the taxi seat.

Mark has very deft hands for a big guy. They were like feathers crawling along my inner thighs, right up to my love nest where the red hairs clustered. His fingertips made such gentle love to me, I floated in a love haze all the way to the apartment building.

We slid out of the cab, Mark paid the fare and caught my arm to hurry me into the apartment lobby. My eyes were a little blurred, but I could see well enough to notice two men standing near the lobby, eyeing us with a sharp interest that drew my attention.

I thought nothing of it, though I should have known better. I was too interested in Mark Condon, his hand stroking my rounded hip through the thin stuff of my evening gown. Maybe my N.Y.M.P.H.O. bosses trained me better than they knew, because I never really relax my guard, even when my love zones are clamoring for relief.

I saw the two men reach into their jackets.

Nobody has to tell me that male characters who carry rods keep them in shoulder holsters on their left side, beneath their jackets. Sure, sure. Maybe they were reaching for cigarettes. But their faces, cold and hard, without pity, added to my instinct for self-preservation.

I grabbed Mark and shoved him just as the guns came out. He let out a yelp and lost his balance, falling with me on top of him. The guns were naked, fingers were curling around the triggers. My own hand was out of sight, reaching into Mark's shoulder holster.

Their thirty-eights made, loud sounds in the city night.

Two bullets nicked the sidewalk.

I had Mark's service gun in my hands, whirled and put all my fingers around it to hold it steady. The buttons looked surprised, I guess they didn't figure me for any aggressive acts.

I sighted quickly. My finger squeezed. The gun bucked in my hand.

I have some sharpshooter medals—revolver or automatic—tucked away under a pair of frilly panties in my pad. And when I go into action, my blood turns to ice water.

I was more than slightly mad at these musclemen for the Mafia. Here I was, all lathered up in the crotch for a little bed work with lover boy and these gunsels had to spoil it all.

A dark hole leaped to life in the chest of the smaller man. He opened his mouth and his eyes got wide in surprise. Then he started to fall. My gun moved a fraction to the right where the other hit man was trying to zero in on my girl-girl flesh with a .38 caliber bullet. I got mine off first.

He went back on his heels and his right arm dropped. He fell to the pavement and lay there. Beside me, Mark Condon was cursing."

“Hit men, honey," I told him. “Somebody must have given them the contract on you. Maybe on us both."

"Impossible,” he breathed.

"Oh, yeah? You didn't hear the shots?” He made it to his feet, yanked me up and we went to look at the two dead men. By this time, people were running toward us along the sidewalk.

"Get the police,” Mark snapped.

I ran for the apartment lobby, grabbed the elevator and made it to my room. I dialed the police, told them what had happened, that a N.Y.M.P.H.O. agent had done the shooting, that another N.Y.M.P.H.O. agent was waiting with the bodies. Then I called my own headquarters.

An all-night operator put me through to the Coordinator.

The N.Y.M.P.H.O. Coordinator is a tall, lean man with a British accent, graying black hair and he's rather handsome. His Oxbridge voice told me to stay where I was. He'd be over directly to talk to Mark and the homicide men.

"And,” he added softly, “That was nice work, Cherry. I'm proud of you and Mark ought to be damn grateful."

"I hope he shows it," I muttered. A chuckle was my answer, before he hung up.

I paced around my pad like a hungry tigress walking the jungle paths. What was happening down below on the sidewalk? Would I still be going to China? Had someone or something let the cat out of the N.Y.M.P.H.O. bag, so that the Family knew I was headed for the Chinese People's Republic? It seemed hard to believe, but two dead men were lying on the sidewalk.

Eventually, there was a knock on the door.

It was Mark and a beefy young inspector from the Homicide Squad. I told the story exactly as it happened. Mark had a funny look on his face all the time, and it finally dawned on me that this was a kind of put-down for him. After all, he was the male and it was up to him to protect me. Women's Lib would love this little news item, I guessed.

Inspector Adams—Clinton Adams, to be precise made some notes, then stood up, folding his note book and putting it back into his jacket pocket. “That'll be about all, Miss Delight. I can make my reports now, and you can forget about this trouble. We'll handle it with your Coordinator."

He was gone and Mark and I were alone. “Go ahead, Mark. Say it."

"Say what?” he asked smoothly.

"Tell me I took the play away from you. It was what you were thinking while I was talking to the Inspector.”

He grinned faintly. "Well, I was annoyed at not discovering those two buttons myself. It doesn't put me in too good a light, does it? The main thing is, you saved both our lives. I'm grateful, I mean it."

"Oh, come off it."

He took a couple of steps and put his arms around me, holding me close. His mouth came down on mine and his hands slid to my buttocks.

After a time he said softly, “You see? I wouldn't be here now doing this to you if you hadn't been so quick down there on the sidewalk. That's one reason why I'm so damn grateful.”

My arms were around his neck, my middle moving lazily back and forth against his front. “Well, when you put it that way...."

We kissed some more. I was all set to go into the slipping-into-something-more-comfortable routine when there was another knock on the door. It was the Coordinator. Maybe he saw the lipstick on Mark's mouth and maybe he didn't. All he did was smile at us and sit in the easy chair I gestured him into.

"Why do you think those men were after you, Mark?''

Mark said, "I haven't the faintest."

"I have a theory," I muttered.

They looked at me in surprise, Avery King, the Coordinator, with his British eyebrows raised. “What theory is that, Cherry?”

"Well, Mark is—was Bill Tomkins' contact man, as well as mine. It may be that Bill had some notes in his pocket when he was killed. The hit men took those notes along with the list of names Bill was paying five grand to get. They might have found Mark's name and decided to play safe by rubbing him out, too."

The two men stared at each other. Finally Avery King said in his veddy cultured, veddy English way of speaking, “It makes sense. I can't account for it, otherwise." He glanced at me, asked. "Were they after you, too? Did it seem that way?”

"Not until I started spraying bullets at them."

“That's what I wanted to know. If they suspected you were going to Red China after the men who killed Tomkins, then I'd have to call off your trip.”

I waited while he frowned. He went on, I think that what happened tonight was the Mafia's way of saying they'd finish any war we started. Well, they've made their try and failed.

"They may try again. That means you're a marked man, Condon. Do lay low for a while. Cherry, you keep to your schedule, the flight from Kennedy tomorrow, all the way to Hong Kong with the necessary stopovers.

"Has Mark briefed you, yet?” the Coordinator asked.

Mark looked embarrassed. “Not completely. We were coming up here to talk business when those buttons showed.”

Avery King smiled faintly. “Good. Then I'll leave you two alone so you can—ah—discuss business matters before Cherry goes to sleep."

His gray eyes twinkled, but he didn't say a word, the doll. He knew what was going to happen when we finished talking about N.Y.M.P.H.O. business. He gestured me away when I tried to walk him to the door. It closed behind him; I chained it.

Mark was saying, as I turned and moved toward him, “Let's get the business end of it out of the way, Cherry. I have your flight tickets, your sealed instructions, your passport." He took them out of his inside jacket pocket, placed them on my Bruno Mathesson coffee table.

My hand was at the strap of my evening gown. I slid it down slowly in the manner of a strip teaser. Mark glanced from the papers up at me, and never looked away again. I lowered the other strap, caught both of them in my hands. I did a little shimmy. Mark licked his lips, staring at the upper swells of my breasts that had begun to shake loosely in time with my movements.

“I really ought to have some music," I hinted.

He bounded up and practically ran toward my Harman-Kardon stereo set. In a moment there was the proper music for a girl to strip by, and no wonder, because I'd placed the record there myself, earlier in the evening. I moved around the room with swinging haunches, turned and lowered the upper part of my evening gown so my breasts came out into the light.

I have good breasts, they are big and heavy but very upright, with large brown nipples. Now my nipples were big and extended. It always gets me hot when I bare my body for an adoring male. My hands came up under my breasts, lifted them. I smiled at Mark and gave each titty a milk shake.

"Jeez," he breathed.

"You too," I whispered, and Mark started to undress.

He didn't make a production out of it the way I did. He just undid his tie and threw it, tossed his jacket and then his shirt; in a moment was down to his jockey shorts. He was as excited as hell; his penis stood proudly, hardly contained by the webbed shorts.

I was bare to my slender middle, my navel was winking at him as I started pushing the Marc Bohan gown down further off my body. The more down it went, the more up he came, if I may be permitted a bit of Amish patois. When my red pubic bush came into view below my black and red lace garter-belt, I thought honestly he'd tear the shorts.

The gown pooled at my feet. Ordinarily, I treat a Marc Bohan creation with a little more respect, but Mark seemed in such need. I walked right up to him and let my mostly nude body do the talking.

His erection went between my thighs. I closed them gently, holding him fast. Mark was glassy-eyed, and breathing hard. He was a real doll.

My arms went around his neck, my breasts to his somewhat hairy chest; my lips fastened on his mouth. He put his hands on my smooth shoulders and ran them all the way down to my behind. Mark likes my buttocks, he says they are big white moons of quivering delight, the rascal. His palms and fingers slid over them lazily. My thighs tightened and loosed on his penis-head. Mark groaned.

I said to his tongue: it was licking my lips, “See? You wouldn't be doing this if it weren't for me. Aren't you glad you're alive, darling?”

"Yeah," he grinned, pushing his hips forward. "We have to make this last for quite some time. You'll be in China and I'll be here, dodging the hit boys."

"Don't remind me," I pouted. Mark bent, pushing me back so he could take a nipple between his lips and suck it. He knows what pleases a girl, does Mark. His mouth was warm and wet and his tongue laved that brown nubbin until my hips started to squirm.

Then he went to the other breast. “Mark, let's go into the bedroom," I pleaded.

"Leave the stockings on,” he whispered as we came into the dimly lighted bedroom. My twin night table lamps have pink bulbs that cast a very romantic light over the pink tulle and the dark wood of my bed and furniture.

He let me go so he could feast his eyes on my bare back and shapely legs, not to mention my jellying buttocks, as I crossed the carpet to the bed and bent to turn down the covers. Mark is part voyeur, I think, which is all right with me because it is my bod that he likes to stare at in its various stages of dress and undress.

He came up behind me as I was bent over and fell to his knees. Next thing I knew his mouth was going up and down my bare thighs, above the nylons, right up to my buttocks, and then he was kissing them, hungrily and almost reverently.

“On the bed," he panted.

I felt like a love goddess, the way his eyes roved my nakedness. Mark never hurried in his love-making, and when he said we must take our time, I knew I was in for a slow buildup to the moment of final spasm. Which was fine by me.

He came forward on his knees, he bent his head and then his mouth was sliding up my warm thighs to my hips and all over them, never coming too close to my pussy-lips, just skirting the red hairs of my pubes. In seconds, he had me whimpering and shuddering with absolute lust.

His hands gently parted my thighs, I knew he was staring between them and that he was seeing the moisture of my need. His mouth kissed up and down my inner thighs that he was holding open with his hands on my knees and pushing apart.

"Please, Mark. Please, darling,” I breathed.

His head bent. I felt the brush of his lips across my genitals, the stroking of his tongue. I yelped, my hips lifted. I couldn't help it, the lust-flames were alive in me; all my feelings and emotions were concentrated in just one spot.

My hands went to his head. I wanted to push him away, but couldn't, it felt too damn good, what he was doing to my private parts with his lips and tongue. My hips quivered and shook, I raised up to him, my fingers clawing at the bedspread.

“This is for saving my life," he would say.

He was grateful and so was I.

It went on and on and I became a mindless thing of flesh and pure animal instincts, awash in a sea of sexual pleasure. His tongue roved, it tickled, it teased and tormented and then it satisfied. I wept and sobbed.

I damn near fainted.

Only after a long time, a very long time, did Mark move from his kneeling position. He came up off the carpet and between my widespread thighs and then I felt his penis making a slow, slippery entrance between my futtering folds. He slid in slowly—only I knew what an effort of will it cost for him to be so easy about it all—and only when he had himself fully fleshed inside me, did he begin to move his hips.

I screamed. My legs came up and wrapped about him. I held onto him with both arms and we went off on a bed romp that carried up back and forth across the bed, to its very edge and then to the headboard as we bounced and rolled. How long it took, I'll never know. All I felt was that slide and withdrawal, that rigidity of male strength inside me and my own crazed reactions to its movements.

We finally brought up against the headboard, convulsing and shaking, and I clung to Mark Condon as if there were no tomorrow, hips beating my flesh at him, my breasts like rocks against his hairy chest.

At last we lay together, panting. Mark kissed my throat, moved to draw away. I held him tighter, whispering, “No, don't move. Let's just fall asleep this way.”

“I have to tell you about your orders, honey."

"It can wait. You can tell me in the taxi on the way to the airport. But let's sleep for a little while. Then if one of us wakes up, he can wake the other in some nice way and we can play some more."

Mark snuggled closer, arms about me. "You sure you'll be warm enough?”

"You can be my covers," I told him.

And he was, all during the night, one way or an other.

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