Excerpt from Burning Tigress

     
September 10, 1898
Shanghai, China
    
     Charlotte Wicks dashed down the third-floor hallway after her younger brother. Unfortunately, at sixteen William was much too fast to catch, and with a mental age of about seven he was much too strong-willed to listen.
     "William!" she called again as she spun into their Chinese servant's room. She skidded to an abrupt stop as she took in the sight before her.
     What a large penis! That's all that she could think. Ken Jin has an immense penis. She made a valiant attempt to divert her thoughts. Why, for example, was Ken Jin kneeling half naked on the floor in the middle of the afternoon? Why were three very large needles embedded in the flesh right above his very large organ? And why couldn't she look up into the man's face?
     She didn't ask any of these questions, of course: All were completely inappropriate. Despite the debauchery that ran rampant in Shanghai—and in this very house sometimes—Charlotte wasn't supposed to know about men's organs or what they did with them. Or that Ken Jin had entertained a good number of her friends with his very large penis.
     Her brother, of course, had no such restraint. "Mama says not to touch that," he said loudly and pointed at Ken's Jin's dark red erection. "She says you'll go to Hell and burn for eternity with the devil." He frowned. "But she didn't say anything about needles."
     Ken Jin didn't respond, except to leap to his feet and hastily drag up his pants. That successfully hid the view, but it probably also drove the needles even deeper into his flesh.
     "My goodness," Charlotte breathed, "doesn't that hurt?" She blinked, startled by her own stupid comment. Of course it hurt. Taking hold of her curiosity and her errant brother, she made herself turn away from the blushing Chinaman. Then she addressed her gangly, adolescent sibling.
     "You cannot go bursting into people's chambers, William, even if it's a servant's room. It's simply not fair." And who knew what one might see? she added silently. "Come along now. We'll let Ken Jin collect himself and ask him politely to visit us in the library, shall we?"
     She tried to lead her brother out, but the boy had been growing again and was larger than she. When William didn't want to leave, she couldn't force him; and right now, William would not be distracted from their father's Chinese First Boy. Truth be told, Charlotte was also intrigued by the handsome young Chinaman. He was desperately intelligent, running her father's extensive business dealings single-handedly while keeping her debauched father and religious mother in opposite corners of the city. With his help, Charlotte was able to keep the house servants in line and manage her rather unusual younger brother. Plus, every one of her friends had commented on how very handsome and skilled he was in a variety of bedroom arts. She couldn't vouch for the latter, of course, but she could attest to his looks.
     Ken Jin was tall and muscular, of twenty-eight or twenty-nine years, and had lush black hair pulled back into the most perfect queue. His face was nicely formed, his shoulders were broad, and he had a generous... Well, all his physical attributes were built along generous lines. Still, she had no idea that Chinese men—even young healthy ones—were so largely endowed. Or perhaps, she was simply uninformed. After all, her only real experience with men's organs came from assisting her brother with his bath. Perhaps Ken Jin was normal and her brother abnormal. It would stand to reason.
     "You shouldn't scratch there either," William said loudly, doing just that. "It makes it worse."
     Ken Jin nodded formally to Charlotte's brother. With his trousers back in place, the only indications of anything untoward were the dark flush to his cheeks and the expanding circle of crimson on his tented pants.
     "One of your needles has drawn blood," she said, once again proving that she was an utter failure at keeping her attention fixed where it ought to be
 

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