1-concert-el-jem-blog“…. Gloria sic transit!”

Classical music wafted from the distant stereo. An oboe solo sprang to his ‎ear from a passage by a woodwind ensemble sparking speech. ‎
‎“Like this music? Double-reeds have a primordial attraction… ‘n ‎my genes I think, that fascinates me… nearly as much as you do.” She did ‎not respond visually to his remark. ‎
‎“Well, thank you just the same.”‎

Without reply, he smiled at her and their eyes met. He kissed her ‎softly, then again with appetite. He felt a rush of hot new blood from his ‎femoral artery stiffen his resolve to please her. She felt it too, and buttons began to ‎lose their grip. ‎

Underwater image of coral reef and Masked Butterfly Fish

Demoiselles and a Red Sea Butterfly

Finally, he had the opportunity now to observe her young body in the ‎light of unperturbed abandon. She was mercifully hardware free; though ‎never averse to new experience, he was not yet sure how to deal with the ‎ring in clitring; the word ring, in general, in the same breath as woman, still brought a chill to his spine and warmed the engine of his ‎getaway car. ‎

Her breasts were perfect. They seemed to lead a life of their own ‎independent of the rest of her; a buoyant, charmed life that anticipated her ‎every move and appeared to avoid gravitational force. Her toned tummy’s altruistic curves posed a proud prelude, with liberal artistic epilation, to ‎the coming fugue: a dainty, smoothly-shaven mons Veneris, full of grace and ‎glistening, begged veneration. His face

Ej Djem Colisseum from the Air

Ej Djem Colisseum from the Air

glowed with a happiness now that illuminated his labors at this mystifying cleft; his smile met hers lip to ‎labium; his tongue snakelike, scrutinizing, lingered at her inguinal altar, the ‎vestibule of being… to worship, and wonder at the shimmering scissure ‎before him – that this quaint little wattle could wield such worldly wallop – ‎holding it in equal awe as he once beheld, with a similar grin, a vaster ‎gash from a grimmer rim – the Grand Canyon of the Colorado – never mind his ‎current view was superior, and considering the predicament of the human male who, expelled from it once, is by hormones doomed to spend ‎the rest of his life trying to get back in; once there cannot wait to get out ‎again, of this greater than the greatest of cats and quandaries, as she gasped her ‎first sky-scratching of several more to come; then, bow to the wind, he simply lost himself in her soft ‎sanctuary.‎

el djem* * *‎

‎“I’M DISAPPOINTED!” Her voice sounded playful, but he was unsure.‎
‎“Disappointed!? Ha-ha.” He laughed, but he worried the ever-lingering ‎doubt of the male ego, and finally bit the hook. “At what!?”‎
‎“At not seeing those catacombs. I know, of course, they’re not just ‎catacombs, but I’m disappointed!”‎
‎“Aren’t you over disappointment, yet!? How old are you?” ‎
‎“We can’t all be supermen; …women.”‎
‎“I’m hardly a superman. It’s just that I have had so much experience ‎with failure, I’ve had to learn to deal with disillusionment, not to make it a ‎habit. It’s a sad but true fact. The alternative is unacceptable. …Hey, ‎Nikki. You want to see the catacombs?” She nodded as he continued, ‎‎“Tomorrow, then… maybe. Not tonight, though. I’m going in tonight . . . alone.” ‎
He continued, “I’ll know by then where I’m going, and won’t get you lost! ‎I need the lay of the land I cannot get with you along. Sometimes we can be too ‎good at what we do.” Her head nodded mute like a bobblehead doll. ‎
For her part, Nikki had displayed remarkable restraint keeping mum ‎throughout his speech, and not blurting the words that burned her tongue: ‎‎‘You ego-testical ASS!’ ‎


Palermo Never Looked So Colorful As Buranno

She had long seen the necessity for a strong, attractive, clever woman ‎in a testosterone-driven perverse world of maintaining occasional politic ‎silence and overlook certain offenses for the greater good. She also ‎understood human nature. That within every human being, more artfully ‎disguised in some than others but always present, lurked an asshole. ‎Everybody had one. It was the ‘human’ part of the being, she explained; ‎when given half a chance . . . and enough time, it would invariably appear. ‎

He noticed in her an obsession to reveal truths about herself. She ‎was a pathological truthist. He wondered if it was contagious. How she ‎got into this line of work was a question that would linger like butterscotch, ‎he reckoned, and doubtless boggle his mind more than was good for it at ‎the moment. She was forthcoming enough to make him slightly edgy, at ‎any rate, and more on his guard than usual. ‎

underwater-coral_kayaker“You take lovemaking to another level, Brant. You take everything….” ‎
Brant interrupted her, “I take everything I’m capable of showing real ‎gratitude for. Never more; sometimes — rarely, less.”‎
She resumed, seeming not to notice his outburst, “I never dreamed I ‎would say this but, in another world, I could fall in love with you.”‎
He suddenly felt like an overweight skater pushed onto the thin ice of a first freeze. ‎

‎“Your youth is showing. …And maybe a little gin. That’s very sweet, ‎but…. frankly, I would not advise it. I’m a lone lion, Nikki. I’ve lasted this long ‎without a loving woman always by my side, I must be doing something… ‎right. I wonder what it is…. Sometimes I’d like to gag it.” He spoke quietly, ‎almost as an aside, letting the words trail off.‎
‎“I thought you lived for danger.” Nikki’s speech had begun to slur, as ‎she finally felt the effects of three Boodles and tonics she had begun to regret. ‎
When his laughter – at her comment, not condition – subsided, he ‎responded, “I live for the fugitive moments that danger allows. But, like all ‎else, if you do that with an unclean conscience you risk life, limb, and ‎frightful karma.”‎
‎“Still, I’m pleased you let that viper go. It was the right thing to do. I ‎promised the bloke at the pet sho’…  wh….”‎

Amsterdam-Canal-WinterUnbeknownst to Cobalt, the CIA and MI-6 were not Nikki Fairchild’s ‎only employers. She also received income from the payroll of a British ‎petro-chemical firm, World Interim Oil, that had massive economic interests ‎in Africa. They had been appraising Masdar for the past year, studying its ‎finances, etc., prior to a possible purchase offer or takeover bid. There ‎were rumors in the intelligence community that a recent oil spill in the Gulf ‎of Mexico, that involved one of their offshore drilling rigs, had actually ‎been intentional; an act of industrial sabotage designed to deflect world ‎attention away from WIO’s cozy financial dealings with unsavory Islamist ‎elements. ‎

Her job was to kill him.‎


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