Brown Sugar 2: Great One Night Stands - A Collection of Erotic Black Fiction by Carol TaylorBrown Sugar 2: Great One Night Stands - A Collection of Erotic Black Fiction by Carol Taylor

Brown Sugar 2: Great One Night Stands - A Collection of Erotic Black Fiction

EditorCarol Taylor

Paperback | January 1, 2003

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Brown Sugar
The first, bestselling Brown Sugar anthology was a literary and commercial success, winning the Gold Pen Award for Best Short Story Collection. Brown Sugar 2 brings you more smart, sexy, and original stories written by bestselling black writers you know and love writing about characters you'll recognize in places you'll know. These stories set the stage for seduction with a distinctly new flavor, and they are as insightful as they are sexy. Here are the real souls of black folk, and each story will take you there in more ways than one. Just be careful -- you might get more than your mind blown. Sexy and stimulating, playful and romantic, seductive and inspiring, Brown Sugar 2 is a must-have collection for every lover, as well as every lover of good fiction.
Carol Taylor is a contributing writer to Essence magazine and an online consultant for
Title:Brown Sugar 2: Great One Night Stands - A Collection of Erotic Black FictionFormat:PaperbackPublished:January 1, 2003Publisher:Washington Square PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:074344244X

ISBN - 13:9780743442442

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Read from the Book

From Brown Sugar 2 LEONE ROSS Art, for Fuck's Sake I had been celibate for a year before a pair of lions happened along. Well, they weren't lions, but the kind of men who make you think of lions, with their tumbling shades of brown and their big soft paws. I thought men were dogs. Panting, impatient things that looked at you with irresistible eyes, then wagged their tails at the very next bitch. When I was fifteen, I met a young man with a mantra. His mother taught it to him: "There is only one way to handle women. Fool them, fuck them and forget them." Two can play that game. I'd chosen to forget. My best friend, Amba, fucked them. She specialized in one-night stands where the talking went wrong the sex went right. But I couldn't imagine a careless grind and a stranger in my bed the next morning. I'd never done anything like that, and I never intended to. *** I sit on Amba's sofa two hours after I finish my third novel. I haven't seen her for months, but she is used to me coming out of post-novel hibernation. That kind of work does things to you, loses you in a world of one. My eyes are bloodshot and my weave needs emergency treatment; I feel ugly. Amba looks at me in friendly disgust. "Girl," she says, "you need some sex." "You always think that sex is the answer to everything," I say. She sticks out her breasts and wriggles suggestively. "Sex is good for you, Simone. You know how much man I check since you disappear into that novel? Me nearly call you the other night to come out and party, but then me remember you don't business wid crotches when you ah write." She tells me about her latest exploits: a man at a local bar with three golden teeth and an oral technique that made her praise God; another who leaned against her car while she was having her nails done ("The man waited for me two hours when him see me go in there, girl!"). I let the details wash over me. Crickets sing through the burglar bars that frame her French doors. I love that sound. Whatever changes in Jamaica, the sound of crickets at night is constant. The night before I finished the novel, I dreamed crickets and dreamed a man. Just a nice man. Someone who did what he said he would do, and knew that when he touched a woman he made a promise. To cherish her, to love her. To be there. And then we made love: skin and arms and moans among the sounds of crickets calling for a mate. I woke up aching, knowing I'd never find him. There had been too many broken promises. Too many good-byes. Amba touches my arm. "You all right?" I shake myself. "Yeah. Sorry. That sounds good." "You not listening at all." She laughs and smacks me lightly on the knee. "Stop pretending." I turn to face her. "Why you do it, Amba? Why you sleep with so much man? Why you make them use you so?" She screws up her face. "I don't feel used." "How can you not feel used?" She stretches out for her wineglass, sips delicately. I think that she looks fragile under the lamp. Perhaps that is why men come to her; perhaps they need to bed something they think they can break. "Is just the vibe," she says. Her lips dip into a smile I don't recognize. "You meet them, you don't know. And they don't know. And then you're there, screaming. With a stranger. Letting go. It...makes me feel alive. And I think they feel alive, too. If it's using, me using them, too." I struggle with this idea. When I began this latest novel, I tried to base one of my characters on Amba, but I couldn't. There are things about her life that I can't imagine. "So, it's the abandon?" "Yeah, I s'pose so." "I'm trying to understand. You don't feel like you're just filling a void?" She laughs. "Don't try make me into some sad bitch!" She pats me. "Is all right if you don't understand. But me? Me will drink to abandon, girl! And to finding you a man!" She raises her glass. I drink, not believing. I feel sorry for her. *** Two weeks later, in time-honored middle-class Jamaicanness, my hair is a sleek waterfall down my back and my nails are scarlet. My manuscript is off to my American editor and I am well into what Amba calls Operation Run Down Man. We party. It isn't that I can't party. Or flirt. Or laugh. I can do all those things. But I find myself in the middle of bars and on the front steps of houses sweating into my frock, wondering if everyone can see how dead I feel inside. I don't want to do this. Waste of time, I think, as men buy me drinks, leer down my cleavage, present their crotches for me to dance with. Love isn't this superficial. And love is what I want. It is Joshua who calls, one morning, as I down strong coffee and hold my head. I grab the phone. "Hello?" I say, hating whomever it is. "Is this Simone Jacobs?" Warmth floods through the receiver. I have to smile. It is the kind of voice that makes you want to smile. "Yeah, that's me." He is very professional. He tells me that he is a musician, tells me about gigs he's played and contacts we have in common. A friend introduced him to my novels; now they have a proposal for work. "Tell me more about the project." I'm not curious about the job yet. I just like how the growl in his voice wakes me up. "We don't have a name for it. We've been calling it Project X." Multimedia, he explains. He'll do the music; his friend Che will create the central piece, a sculpture. And they want me to think about words. A series of short stories, perhaps. "Is there a theme?" I ask. "Passion," he says. I nearly laugh. *** I meet them in a wine bar off Hope Road. They rise to their feet when I enter. I recognize Joshua's voice. He is shorter than Che, but bigger, darker. Barrel chest, rock face. Che bounces on his heels, smiling. A yellow man. His hair is an explosion of soft, black flames. We order pasta, bread, crisp salads. They tell me about Project X, interrupting each other, joking, occasionally dropping into the kind of code reserved for old friends. It is nice to watch. "Blame everything on Che," says Joshua, mock-serious. "I wanted to explore the implications of twenty-first-century postmodernism in Jamaican politics, but he wants to get into slackness!" Che is always bouncing, like he can't keep still. He coughs over his Red Stripe. "Me? You see how you making the woman think is foolishness we trying to do? Passion is everything -- not just sex." His hands are rough, a sculptor's hands. He touches his own face, puts his fingers into his mouth, crosses his arms as if he doesn't know what to do with them. "When did you first meet?" I ask. Che rolls his eyes. "Dis bwoy was looking friend and followed me around school till me talk to him. And I still can't get rid of him." Joshua smiles around his wineglass. "I like your work," he says to me. "You care about everything you write." "I...can't do it unless I care about it." "Like playing God, eh?" he says. "What do you mean?" "You get to make everything turn out right." "'s not as simple as that." Che pats me on the arm. "Yeah man. Of course it is." They are right. They are speaking my language, and it feels scary and good at the same time. I've never met anyone who could do this. I have never let myself be part of a shared creative space. Hours go by easily. A huge vase of flowers wilts on the table. We pass each other cheese and black pepper, and cover our hands with dying pollen, bright yellow against our palms. Joshua has longer, more delicate hands, strange on a man of his stature. His hands are like butterflies. He knocks things over, but he is not clumsy; it is as if his energy is too big for his skin, like it keeps pouring over the edges of him. They talk to me, showing each other off. They don't seem to notice the pollen, the golden cloud across the tablecloth. But something about it promises union all the same. "Yes," I say. "I'll do it." They don't turn me on. They aren't chatting me up. I like that. *** We have funding for four months of work. The deadline is nonnegotiable, but they tell me we can do it. I am shy, sometimes. They have worked together before and it takes me time to fall into the rhythm. But slowly, I relax. For three weeks I go to Che's apartment every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Fans buzz overhead. His home is messy: tarps cover works in progress; odd, painful paintings are askew on the walls. Books teeter and the fridge smells bad. I ball up at the edge of a sofa, tucking my edges in. These daylong sessions take on a life of their own: we bitch, discuss, then move to our own little bubbles of space in the room. I sit scribbling ideas on a pad and then transferring them to my laptop. Joshua plays questioning chords, pats a big, fat drum, hums. He is creating sound, but his is the quietest corner. Che dances around weird buckets and makes sketches on pieces of paper. Sometimes there is only the sound of our breathing and our thoughts. It is always Che who gets bored first. One day when I arrive they grab me at the door and haul me back to my car, laughing. "Give me the keys," says Joshua. "You mad? Give you the keys to my baby?" Che snorts and taps my battered VW bug. "Baby? Look like a big, hard-back man to me." "Where are we going?" "Manning Cup match." "What?" Joshua tuts. "Manning Cup, woman. You know football, right?" "Of course, but -- " "JC's playing Campion," says Che. "We have to go watch our team bruk up dem rass!" I roll my eyes, but I do want to laugh. "You guys not over this high school rivalry yet?" "Never!" they chorus. *** We worm our way into bleacher seats while above us jittering young boys beat drums and cheer before anything starts. We're covered with moisture and hot wind. People call out to Joshua and Che, and the journey to our seats takes a long time, as they swap stories and memories. They introduce me to everybody; I begin to see friends of my own, make my own introductions. Men probe me with their eyes. "JC!" Che and Joshua yell as loud as they can. Which is loud. They're in blue, the color of their team. Che has wrapped an old school tie around his head. He looks ridiculous, and it's wonderful. "Campion!" roar the rivals. I watch an old man selling peanuts in the crowd. I have not been to a Manning Cup match for ten years, but this is the same old man who sold me peanuts when I was sixteen. His back is bent into a question mark; the wrinkles that cover his face are an elaborate pattern. He is calling his wares into the crowd; this is how I recognize him. I've never been able to understand what he's saying. I pluck at Joshua. "You know what the peanut man is saying?" "Who, Burt? He's been here from time." "What's he saying?" "You don't have ears?" I'm irritated. "Joshua, if I could hear him, I wouldn't have to ask you." He reaches for my face, closes my eyes under his palms. "Listen." The peanut seller's voice is clear and beautiful under the roars. "Peee-nuts!" Then something I can't make out. I open my eyes. "Joshua, I can't -- "Listen." I close my eyes. His skin smells like this day -- of hot nuts and laughter. "Peeee-nuts! Peee-nuts! If you cyaan crack dem, mumble dem!" I want to giggle. "Mumble them?" Joshua takes his hands away. Points at the man. "See? He has no teeth. If you cyaan crack the peanuts, mumble them. Mumble them between your gums." We giggle. It is so Jamaican. I grab my notebook and scribble a description of the old man as the teams run onto the pitch and the crowd rises to its feet. Later, I dance. We all dance, as rhyming insults run back and forth between the teams. Our side mashes their rivals into the ground and we dance. Someone pours a bottle of beer down the back of my T-shirt and I break a nail. I don't care. I dance. Che picks me up and puts me on his shoulders. I worry that people will complain that they can't see, but no one does, so I dance there, too. "Boy, you feel all hot and sweaty," Che says. I drum my fists on the top of his head. And when Campion equalizes, I pray, for the first time in a long time. I pray for the winning goal, and it comes, with twenty-five seconds to spare. *** We work around each other in circles. We peel each other's layers. I sit in Hope Gardens with Joshua telling me about his divorce three years ago. I know that Che has loved only one woman in his life. I know that Joshua has a three-year-old child and sinus problems. I know that Che likes bad sci-fi. Finally, I tell them I'm celibate. They think that this is funny. They ask me how I'm managing. I am prim. I tell them it is a choice. That there are no good men; they're all married or gay, or worthless. The old excuses. "Is true!" yells Che. "Talk it, sister! Man ah dawg!" He hits Joshua. "You ah dawg?" They howl and bark and I try to be angry. But I can't. We get stoned a lot. It seems to help the work. They praise me, like the big brothers I never had. They pat me all the time, on the butt, on my shoulders. They ruffle my hair. They toss me back and forth between them. I am writing well. Images are smooth; narrative seems effortless. One night we get drunk. Joshua and I play-fight with Che's cushions. I am laughing so hard I keep falling down. Joshua is sweet and awkward, his chuckles are gentle. We end up on the floor, panting. My legs are plaited through his. They're like iron bars. His face is inches from mine. "Where is your libido, these days?" he says. I giggle. "Nowhere. It took a trip on a sailing ship." Che grabs me under the arms, slides me from underneath his friend. "What you say you libido doing?" I blow him a kiss. My head is swimming. "I hear it's having a nice time in some drunk jungle. But those are only rumors." Che shakes me. "Girl, you need a grind." I stick my tongue out at him. "Typical male response." "I know what Simone is like in bed..." he says, singsong. The comment is directed at his friend, like I'm not there. Joshua smiles indulgently. "She's the kind of woman who takes hours..." says Che. I sit cross-legged and keep my face expressionless. "She's not the kind of woman you can check for five minutes," he explains. "She likes foreplay -- " "Oh, shut up you mouth. Every woman likes that," I say. He ignores me. "She'd cover you in scented oil, rub you down, feed you stuff. Take a bath, suck you, back off again. Tease." Inside me, something is turning over, burning. He is talking about the way I would like to be. If someone loved me, I could be that way. "She'd want to drive you crazy, keep you waiting. And just when you can't take any more, she lets you in. And you just settle down in the plushness, fall into it." He sighs, theatrically. We laugh at him. I laugh because I am embarrassed. I don't know why Joshua is laughing. I know that his knee is brushing mine. It is a small thing; it might even be an accident. He has one hand around the stem of his beer bottle, rubbing it up and down. The movement of his hand seems languorous, lazy but purposeful. I stare at the hand, trying to remember what it reminds me of. I drag my eyes to his face. Through the sunlight I can suddenly see the little boy behind the man's countenance. I want to tell the child that everything is all right. "What?" he says. "Nothing," I say. Che goes back to his work, his body set in concentration. He is molding a woman's hips from what looks like Play-Doh. In the background, Joshua begins to drum. I write. *** And then one night, problems come. I get to the house and find Joshua prowling around the door, banging. He looks as if he wants to cry. "What is it?" For some reason my heart is beating too fast. "Che won't answer the door." "So maybe he's not there." He glares at me. "He's there." He pounds. "Che! Answer the bloodclaaht door!" Silence. "Joshua, what is the matter?" "Him sick, all right?" "What do you mean?" He pounds. "Joshua!" There is a slight crack of the door and we see Che's face. He is nearly unrecognizable. His hair has gone dull. His eyes are dull. Joshua puts a foot in the crack and shoves. Che scuttles back and sits in a corner. Later, I try to describe it to Amba. I try to tell her about this most passionate of men, swollen with apathy. I try to tell her about the scratches on his face and his hands, where he'd been trying to distract himself from the pain. I never knew that the one woman Che loved died. Stabbed with an ice pick on a bus. For a gold chain and a purse with fifty dollars. "So what did you do?" Amba asks. "It was all Joshua. He talked to him; he treated him like he was him pickney. Then he put him to bed. He's there now. He says this happens every couple months. Depression. He's manic-depressive." She frowns. "But the man have to get over this, girl. Is how long since him woman dead?" "Three years." "Isn't that when Joshua wife lef' him?" "Yeah. They brought each other through." "Rahtid," says Amba. Her voice is soft. She hugs me. "Boy, Simone, I love you. But if my man dead, and you marriage mash up, I don't know whether I could -- " I try to smile. "So you planning to give up you slack ways and get a man?" "If you can find me one like dem two. But not the mad one." "Amba!" "Just jokin', baby." We hug. "I'm scared," I say. "Why?" "I want him to be better." "And...?" I bury my face in her shoulder. I feel so guilty. "I want us to finish. I've never done anything like this. We've got thirteen days left. I've never written like this and I want him to be better." "But you can always publish it -- " "No. It's ours. It has to be all of us." *** Three days pass. I know that I should be helping, but I can't think of a way to help. And then Che arrives on my doorstep. He's carrying a bucket. I hug him at the door and give him lemonade. I am awkward. I don't know what to say. I watch for the bounce. It is there, small, but present. "So how you feel?" he asks. "Me? How you feel?" He looks around my apartment. "This place feels like you." I sigh inwardly. It's a lie, this place. It is cream and orderly. Just like my mother would like it. Sometimes I want to be untidy, but I can't. "No it doesn't," I say. He smiles. "But it does, y' know. Not the fancy sofa or the colors, but look." He gets up and moves around, touching things. A bottle of oil on the side table. He opens it and sniffs. "Cinnamon oil. You rub your face with it at night. I can smell it on you." The wind chimes at the window. He tickles them. "You play with these when you're lonely. And -- " He sits on the sofa again and reaches underneath. I watch him, disbelieving, as he pulls out a sheaf of paper. "Yeah man, me did know. Poetry. All about man, right? Man that leave you." My mouth is open. "How the hell -- " He laughs. "Do me a favor." Pushes the bucket forward. "Stick your hand in this." "What?" He reaches for me. "Your hand. Come play in the plaster." He covers my hand, the one I write with, in something that feels like Vaseline. His touch is quiet and efficient; I can almost feel him rubbing the jelly into my pores, into each crease and crevice. Then I am up to my forearm in coolness. After a while he signals for me to pull out. When it is dry, he pulls it off. We regard the disembodied hand in silence. Its fingers are spread, long, frozen in a caress. The wind chimes tinkle. He places the hand on my side table. I didn't know my hand looked like that. Capable. Powerful. "That's for you," he says. "I'll finish it and then you can have it." We order pizza and call Joshua. We've begun again. *** I give them three stories and they take them away. They tell me they want to surprise me. I don't see them for two weeks, and it is strangely unbearable. I prowl my house. I write and write and write: I am astonished that another novel is coming, with two protagonists. One with disheveled hair and sad eyes, one with skin like jet rock. But there is space for other things, too. I masturbate idly, call old friends. I am writing and I am not hiding. It's not necessary. "Didn't even one of them make a move?" asks Amba. "Don't be stupid," I say. She ignores me. "Which one of them do you prefer?" "It's not like that," I say. My head hurts. "Neither." "I woulda grab at least one grind offa them," she says, grimly. "That's you," I say. I think about the first time we all met, and the golden pollen that spilled across the tablecloth, and our hands. *** They call me, finally. It's finished. The drive takes so long. Joshua meets me at the door. If he were Che, he would be dancing from one foot to the other. Because he is Joshua, he is still and mysterious. He carries a blindfold. "May I?" he says. I let him tie me blind. I let him put a hand in the small of my back, another on my shoulder. I let him lead me. In the room, there is silence, and then the sound of drums. They fill me up. I want to reach for the sound, to grab it, to pull it to me. It is sound that could be felt, that could be loved. It is just like Joshua: solid, unmistakable. But there is a new vibe, something I didn't know about him before. The sound of mischief conquering rationale. It is a gorgeous surrender of his masks. It is vulnerable. I pull back against him. "It's beautiful, Joshua." "Of course it is. It would have to be." "You so full of yourself." He laughs. "You don't understand. Listen." I listen. Then I realize. It's not the sound of him. It's the sound of us. The roar of a crowd. Dipping down into drug-laden laughter. A dark piano chord for Che. "It's us," I breathe. "Yes," he says. "But with you at the center. Hear it?" A guitar wails through. Passion. I want to cry. "That's me?" "If you were sound, that would be you, girl." And I know what they have done. "Let me see the sculpture." He unties the blindfold and light creeps into the room. Trickles of blue smoke. I stare. The sculpture is eight feet tall. It smiles out of the gloom. Che has crafted her of soapstone, apricot soapstone. Behind her, my stories climb across the wall, in oranges, yellows, reds, against the blue. The sculpture's eyes are blurred and beautiful, as if she is looking at forever. She is naked. Edges tucked in. Hands soft in her lap. Fingers wreathed in golden dust. Pollen. They saw what I saw. She's me, too. *** I think it will be Che, with his wild-child hair and his bruised-cherry skin, coming from behind the sculpture, dancing up to us, so proud, looking at me for pleasure. I am wet-eyed. But it is Joshua who brings it to a beginning. "Look at how beautiful you are," he says. He puts his hand between my legs, and I realize that more than my eyes are wet. I am amazed that what he does is okay, that a kiss was not what I needed first. He is stroking me through my thin leggings, and his hand knows me. Like his fingertips have been watching me for these months, waiting. I don't think of protest, implications, even how it will be. I just sink into Joshua as Che stands behind me, waiting his turn. Joshua is slow. Slower than I ever could have imagined. The drums have not stopped, and he winds the music through my hair as he places tiny kisses along me. His breath is hot. Somewhere a woman's sounds of pleasure are echoing in my brain. I'm moaning their names like a string of silver curses, like their names make one name. Joshua gives me to Che. He sits on the floor and watches his friend pull my T-shirt over my head. I watch him watching us. Che picks me up, leans against the wall, pulls my legs around his waist, my heels in the small of his back. He pulls off his shirt, lifts my breasts until our nipples are dancing together. I look into his face, so serious. "You're a clever man," I say. My throat hurts. We're sweating, and the rub of his skin against mine makes me want to scream. "Scream, baby," he says. He always knows. I throw my head back and scream. Che is rubbing me into him, masturbating me against his waist and groin. His legs are trembling with the effort. I look back at Joshua. He has his dick in his hand, rubbing and rubbing. I want it in my mouth. I slide off Che, kneel in front of Joshua, run my tongue around his balls, tickle the underside, listen to him groan. They have no coordination. It doesn't matter. They pull my clothes off, ripping fabric, pull my panties off. We are all laughing like children. I am on the floor, blue music and blue smoke and blue arms cradling me in the queer light. Joshua spreads my legs and dips his head into me, licking me thoughtfully. I push my hips into his face. He slips his fingers inside me and rubs the moisture across my lips. Che leans over me, sucking cream off my mouth. He groans against my cheek. He is naked, too. His cock is shorter than Joshua's, but thicker, and he pushes his erection away from his belly again and again, an odd urgency. I reach for him, wanting to feel him, but he pins my hands back to the floor. "You work too hard," he whispers into my hair. I can't disagree; I can't concentrate. Joshua's tongue is so thick, inside me, up and down my thighs, circles around my clit, which gets harder and harder. I want to grab his head, I want to fuck his mouth, but I can't move. Che is kissing me upside down, his teeth are in my neck, his palms spread on mine, letting a pulse reach through his skin into my bloodstream. I arch my back. I am sobbing, running up the rungs of a ladder, pussy wetter and wetter, insistent, like drums. "Tell him to do it faster," I beg. "Faster..." Che whispers to his friend. Joshua is humming into my crotch. He is tossing his head side to side. No one has eaten me like this before. I'm up the ladder. I am at the top of the fucking ladder; I am falling over the ladder. I can hear myself: oh-god-oh-god-oh-god-oh-god. I sound insane. They have no mercy. None at all. I come in Joshua's mouth and Che is over me, sliding into me, one sure movement, bam, like a fireball. I cling to his back as he rides me, like a man in the sea. I can feel them turning me. My body is being manipulated. Like a sculpture. Like music. Joshua is rubbing oil into me, up and down my back, I've been turned onto Che, I am riding him now, rubbing my clit, just slow and easy, like a Sunday afternoon. I can feel warm oil dripping down me, down the crack of my ass, and I know what Joshua means to do. My shoulders freeze. "Let me," he breathes against my spine. He's twisting his thumb into my ass. "But...but..." I have an absurd fear about cleanliness. Did I wash properly? Do I smell good? Che is bucking inside me, throbbing. "Just let me, Simone..." Joshua murmurs. "Stop thinking." I push my ass back into him and he begins to slide into me. I breathe. I think good thoughts, hot thoughts. I will myself to relax, as more inches invade me. Che stops, abruptly. He grabs my hips, stills them. Confused, frustrated, I look down into his face. Joshua has stopped, too. Fear swirls in me. They are regretting it, regretting me. Then I understand. They can feel each other. They can feel each other's cocks. There is only a thin layer of me between them. There is a strange kind of confusion in Che's eyes. I wait. I cannot bear the moment; my body is crying for movement. But I wait. They have never gone this far; there is no male plot. They have never thought of going this far, and because of this, they are afraid. Of what it shows them. Of what it shows me. Che has let go of my hips. His hands are spread out, away from the sides of his body. Joshua's hands are on my shoulders. We are all very still. The music has stopped. There is only the sound of us breathing. Joshua's hand slides down to the floor as Che's hand comes up from the ground. They touch palms, fingers lingering. I watch, fascinated, aching. It is so brief. Che begins. He pushes up inside me, just a small movement. My pussy grabs him, hard. Joshua sighs. "You like what he's doing to you?" "Oh yes..." I moan. Joshua pulls his penis out of me, halfway out. Then back into me again, so slowly, so gently, I can only gulp air. Che smiles up at me as his friend sinks home. "You like how he feels?" he says. My hips make circles. They double-fuck me as if they have been doing it all their lives. I am lost in a world of purring. They are pulling and pushing me along the length of both of them and in the minutes it takes, in the strange hours it takes, in the years that we all fuck and love each other, it seems as if one cock is inside me. It feels as if a million hands are in my hair, a thousand lips on my skin, as if we are all dancing in a lake of mingled sweat. I am speaking in tongues, screaming, begging, I can hear the slap of thighs, I am calling out that old plea, the only thing I can moan in this moment. I thaw out. I give in. I demand. "Fuck me, fuck me, fuck me!" I say. Oh, and they do. And in some part of them, they fuck each other, too. *** They dress me in the blue light, as if I am a child, pulling my panties up my legs, scattering kisses along my back as they hook my bra, smoothing my skin, Che soothing my ass with little sighs, Joshua stroking every pubic hair into place. We sit on the floor, look at Project X and smile at each other through the darkness. And suddenly, I see. They are not dogs. They are lions. I hold up my head in the face of their grace and their beauty. I can't wait to tell Amba. For I am a lion, too. "Art," I say. "They're going to love it." We hold hands, all of us. Copyright © 2002 by Leone Ross

Table of Contents




Art, for Fuck's Sake

Leone Ross

If He Only Knew

Preston L. Allen


Tananarive Due


Bernice L. McFadden

The Most Beautiful Thing

Timmothy B. McCann

Lula Mae

Shay Youngblood

Mr. Good Lay


Next Time Take Flesh

Jenoyne Adams

Letters & Remembrances

Kathleen E. Morris

It's Never Too Late in New York

Nelson George

Counting Days

Shawne Johnson

Ella by Starlight

Willie Perdomo

Passing Through

Sandra Kitt

Simply Beautiful

Michael A. Gonzales


Nicole Bailey-Williams

Prelude To...

Reginald Harris

Don't Stop 2 You Get Enuf

Yolanda Joe

Mr. Man

Rebecca Carroll


About the Editor