At 5:43 p.m. the chauffeured Mercedes limousine pulled up in front of the Okama Gallery. At 6:02 p.m. Reno stepped out of the backseat, adjusting the silver-buckled belt of his jeans. Anyone standing at just the right angle on the sidewalk could have observed, before Reno closed the car door, Brukener, trousers of his tuxedo and briefs pulled down under his balls, lying across the backseat, legs spread and bent, a silly grin on his face, and two carefully wrapped pieces of framed art on the floorboard of the car next to his head. If anyone had been standing around for most of the time between those two points on the clock, they would have observed the car rocking back and forth.
Reno climbed the two stories up to Haruo’s apartment and was fixing their dinner when the gallery owner came upstairs.
“Had a good day?” Reno asked.
“Very good, arigato—thanks,” Haruo answered with a deep sigh that made Reno look up into his face to make sure he was OK. There was a grimace there that Reno knew had something to do with Haruo’s heart but that was a subject that the elderly Japanese man wouldn’t discuss. “Several works were completed in the studio today. Two of you from this morning have already sold, one to an Okinawan businessman and one to a young man I recognize from TV.”
Reno turned to the stove and grinned, but he didn’t let Haruo see his amusement.
“In fact,” Haruo continued, “we sold far more of the special collection today than we did from the front gallery. And Jain Winslow, from the Gallery Nippon, called just before I came up for dinner and told me he needed a couple of more pieces of Nanshoku art to replace what sold at his new exhibit opening this afternoon.”
Another grin, again not shown to Haruo. Reno didn’t want Haruo to know what he was doing to help sell Nanshoku works.
After dinner, the two sat, cuddling, but no more, and looking through art catalogs. It was Reno’s favorite part of the day, one in which he needed to be quiet to recharge for the night.
This, of course, was because he hadn’t worked at the art printer’s facility where Haruo thought he went five nights a week, for several months. He’d quickly learned that technique and had gone into the Shinjuku-sanchome world of not only gay cruising clubs, but the more hardcore kagemajaya—all-male brothels, where Reno exploited his hunky American cowboy persona as a highly sought gaijin kagema—foreign male prostitute.
Reno needed all the “down time” socializing with Haruo during the dinner break to be “up” for his night work. The kagemajaya was quite demanding of his talents, although his contract limited him to two men a night in addition to advertising and dancing. His reputation was such that those two men paid a premium for premium usage of Reno’s cock.
* * * *
Reno was holding the young Japanese man in his lap, cradled in his arms. They both were robed in richly embroidered brocade kimonos and sitting on a low platform covered in tatami matting in a Japanese-style room inside the kagemajaya, the male brothel. Only the young man’s right breast was exposed and Reno was working the nipple with his teeth, lips, and tongue. The young man’s head was nestled back into Reno’s shoulder. Reno’s right arm was embracing the young man, holding him close in his lap. Reno’s left hand was buried in the folds of the young man’s kimono. He was using that hand to stroke off the young man’s cock. With a shudder, Riyho Mikymoto cried out, “A, fakku!—Oh, fuck,” and shot his load into Reno’s hand inside the folds of the kimono.
Reno worked a four-hour night shift at the exclusive kagemajaya five nights a week, including the busiest nights, Friday and Saturday. Reno, the gaijin kagema, the foreign male prostitute, was one of the stars of the kagemajaya and was used primarily as a tease. If you wanted him to fuck you, you made an appointment in advance, and you paid 60,000 yen an hour, with an hour being the limit along with as many orgasms as Reno chose to give you in that time limit. If you wanted to fuck Reno, you were out of luck. He would blow you if he wished and found you arousing. His main attraction though was what he could do with his horse-hung cock in your channel and how it seemed he could make you come just by looking at you.
He was a bigger-than-life persona at the kagemajaya, making the most of his looks, his hunky physique, his expert sex techniques, and his cowboy costume. The first hour on duty, he roamed the lounges, teasing and flirting and drumming up business for the kagemajaya in general and, if the horny man was a millionaire who could cool his heels for a week for an appointment time with Reno, drumming up business for himself.
In two fifteen-minute sets and one six-minute set, broken by twelve-minute off-stage breaks during his second hour, the gaijin kagema danced one of the poles in the main bar, in a prominent position where the patrons could get close enough to touch his knees, but no higher, unless they waved 10,000 yen notes at least, in which case he would lean down to let them deposit the money in his belt and cop a feel.
The only item that the kagemajaya added to Reno’s “stripped down” attire—fringed calf-leather vest; leather bikini briefs, buttoned at the side; fancy cowboy boots, fringed leather wrist bands; and a cowboy hat was a holster belt, holding two six shooters, with the gun holster bases fixed to his thighs with leather straps around his thighs. The six shooters were squirt guns, loaded with vodka. In set one, Reno danced in his costume, including his tight, worn jeans, and a silver-studded Western shirt under the vest. This is what he’d worn the first hour while he was working the lounge areas. In set two, he cut the clothing down to the “stripped down” attire and fired off his six shooters into the crowd, the man gathered below the stage there chasing the stream of vodka, hoping it would wind up in his mouth.
In the third, short set, he let it all hang out, dancing without the bikini briefs. This, of course, was a show stopper at the kagemajaya.
The last two hours were devoted to book-ahead private appointments. On this night, the first appointment was with a man five years younger than Reno, a very unusual occurrence, because most who could afford Reno at the kagemajaya were middle-aged or older men. Riyho Mikymoto was a minor member of the Japanese royal family. He was small, but handsome and muscular, being a devotee to samurai traditions. He was an expert and connoisseur of nearly every cultured aspect of Japanese life that Reno discussed with him in their nearly monthly appointments. He was as much a practitioner of the art of Nanshoku sex as Reno was, and for that reason, Reno came to his appointments dressed in a ceremonial kimono rather than his cowboy costume, and the two engaged in refined Nanshoku sex techniques. A session with Mikymoto could be a strenuous exercise routine.
After Riyho Mikymoto had fired his wad from the refined working of his nipple and cock, he took control, moving Reno into a classic Nanshoku position that made Reno moan, knowing they were moving into that and knowing what the expert sex partner Mikymoto could do with the position. In art, it’s one depicted from the aspect of the okama’s feet. As always, Reno took the role of the okama—the man providing the cock—position. They were both wearing ceremonial robes, which covered all but the erotic aspect of them. Reno was on his back, his legs spread and bent, his bare feet flat on the tatami mat. Mikymoto, playing the role of the wakashu, the one being fucked, sat saddled on Reno’s pelvis, facing him. Mikymoto rode Reno’s cock, not just riding it, but using the muscles of his walls to work Reno’s cock hard and to milk it and then to milk it again and again, until Reno, balls aching, was begging for mercy.
The Nanshoku depiction of this position would be taken from below Reno’s feet. The two men would be fully covered above by the richly embroidered kimonos. But the visual shot would be up between Reno’s bared spread and bent legs, and would show Mikymoto’s plump buttocks, rising and falling on Reno’s half exposed thick cock, his balls slapping on the inner thighs of the chigo under him, with the chigo’s shimmering balls in view above the action.
Mikymoto was an efficient wakashu, making the most out of his hour. Both he and Reno, young and virile, were also fast on recovery. For a third coupling, they went to traditional samurai sexual technique, which included more exposure of skin than Nanshoku and more vigorous sex. Reno was nenja, lover, ergo fucker, and Mikymoto was chigo, the loved, ergo the one fucked. Mikymoto was an expert samurai-mode swordsman. Reno had trained to be sufficient. They initially fenced, as in training, but they stripped as they swung their swords and lunged and feinted at each other. When they were in heat, each observing that the other was in full erection, which they pushed not to last for more than six minutes, Reno bent Mikymoto over in front of a mirror and put him directly on the cock. When fully saddled, he lifted the younger man’s legs straight out from his hips in front of the mirror, and Mikymoto raised one arm and grasped Reno behind his neck to hold himself in place and stroked himself off as both watched them fuck in the mirror.
The last hour had been booked by a man only called The General. He indeed was a general in the Japanese Self-Defense Forces. No one further identified the man for very good reasons. His sexual tastes were particularized; he could not retain his position if the public knew how particularized they were. He could not orgasm except through the heightened pleasure of personal pain. He had to be beaten to harden and release. His favorite kagema was the gaijin kagema. There were Japanese prostitutes that could provide him more pain, but The General could only achieve full arousal at the hands of a Westerner. He wasn’t Reno’s favorite patron, and Reno was always exhausted after a session with The General, but The General paid premium prices and the kagemajaya could not, in any event, take the risk of not serving him as he preferred. To a great extent The General provided the establishment protection.
The hour with The General was straightforward and edged on the brutal. The kagemajaya had a sexual torture chamber, which was used for The General’s appointments. The man liked Reno as a cowboy, so Reno appeared to him as he did in his third pole dance set—the stripped-down costume with his cock and balls swinging free, but without the six shooters. There were attendants, who manhandled The General around the chamber, moving him from hanging hooks to bondage tables and back to hanging hooks, as Reno worked his body with a whip and, when The General was sufficiently aroused, saddled up behind The General where he was hanging from an overhead hook, and fucked him hard, reaching around his waist, grasping The General’s cock, and stroking him to his release.
This satisfied The General more than it did Reno, who went home to the Okama Gallery in somewhat of a tired funk. But he went home 100,000 yen richer for the night, including dance tips, even given what the kagemajaya took off the top.
* * * *
Reno checked the galleries and then went up a level to the gallery office and turned on the computer. He caught Clifton Weldon via Skype at the Freer Gallery of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. He quite honestly had hoped that Cliff wouldn’t be there. After what he’d discussed with Haruo at dinner, he didn’t think his old mentor would be happy to hear from him.
“You may not be coming back in the fall?” Weldon said. He clearly wasn’t pleased.
“I may be offered an extension here or even asked to stay another year. I haven’t learned all that will be useful at the Freer.” Reno wasn’t being honest. His hint that he may be staying longer was much more than just a possibility and it had nothing to do with what he could learn. He’d learned all he had come to Tokyo to learn and more, so much more. He couldn’t leave Haruo now, not until the end. Over the months, if he was being truthful to himself, he knew he’d come to the decision that he wouldn’t leave Tokyo. He was lost to what he had here.
Haruo had come as close as he ever had to acknowledging to him at dinner that he was dying. He didn’t put it in those words. What he had done was to tell Reno that he’d seen a lawyer and that Reno would be inheriting the Okama Gallery. That had come as a surprise, of course, but not the contemplation of staying in Tokyo and owning the gallery. That was no surprise to him. He’d been saving money for several months—and he was being paid really well across his kagema and sales commission activities—to buy the gallery after Haruo had retired or died. Reno had started planning this before Haruo had shown that he wasn’t well.
More than taking over the gallery and the Nanshoku art projects, Reno now knew he couldn’t leave Haruo. He’d probably want to stay with him even if he wasn’t sick, but if he was dying, no matter how long that spun out, Reno wanted—and needed—to stay with him.
“What about me? How can you abandon me?” Weldon was asking over Skype.
What a dick, Reno thought. All along it’s been what Cliff wanted and needed. And what a hypocrite. “You can just continue humping Tim Carr in Chinese Bronzes for comfort,” he answered.
It was like he’d run Weldon through with a samurai sword. The man probably regretted that they were on Skype and Reno could see the effect of his lash back at him.
“Tim? You know about Tim?”
“Everyone knows about Tim,” Reno said, suddenly very tired and over Cliff altogether. “Tim made sure we all knew he was spiking you. He was fucking you before I left Washington. Well, bad news, Cliff. I’m fucking men left and right out here in Japan myself.”
“Yes, right, Daren.” Ironically, the man didn’t believe Reno. “We can discuss this when you aren’t upset. I’m sure you’ll be coming back in the fall.”
“I’m tired, Cliff. It’s after 3:00 a.m. out here. I’m going to close now and go to bed.”
“One thing before you go, Daren. Could you check into something for me? I have found that there’s a school of Japanese art that has spanned from the medieval period to the twentieth century. It’s call Nanshoku art—homosexual art. More open then than since. That’s intriguing. We don’t have any examples at the Freer and we should. Could you check into that and see about getting some of it back to us here if it’s available in Japan?”
Reno could have laughed, but he was too tired too. “OK, Cliff, I’ll look into that and send you a sample list, with prices, if I can find any.” He already was calculating a hefty markup in his mind and thinking about what he could send from the gallery. “But, for now, I’ve got to sign off.” He did that before Cliff could bring anything else up. The man’s failure to tell Reno he’d been cheating on him since before he had come out to Tokyo had washed right over him. He’d stayed on that subject for a nanosecond. The man was completely wrapped up in himself. What had Reno ever seen in him—other than giving Reno his leg up in the art world, of course?
Reno snorted. It was time for him to think of someone other than himself as well. He looked up at the ceiling, at Haruo’s apartment on the floor above. Closing down the computer and the office lights, he climbed the stairs to the third floor. He stripped down and climbed in bed beside Haruo.
He’d tried to be quiet enough not to wake Haruo, but the elderly Japanese artist wasn’t able to manage much sleep of late.
“A tough night at the printer’s?” Haruo asked, turning his back to Reno, nestling his buttocks into Reno’s groin, and grabbing Reno’s arm to wrap across his body. His other hand went back to between them. He grasped Reno’s cock and stroked it and rubbed it inside the crease in his buttocks.
“Haruo,” Reno whispered. “I don’t think you’re . . .” He didn’t say it, though. He’d said it nearly every night for two months. He was tired of saying it. He was tired of holding back from Haruo.
“Tonight, maybe,” Haruo whispered. “Maybe it doesn’t matter. Maybe we can just do what we want to do. I think you know I don’t have long. If it’s a bit shorter because you’ve made love to me, what does it matter. I’ve missed not having you inside me. Life isn’t worth it without—”
“Shush,” Reno whispered, brushing Haruo’s stroking hand away, but not for the purpose Haruo might think he was doing it. He was hard enough. He moved Haruo’s hand so that he could put the head of his cock into position. “Shush, and position yourself for me, if you’re able. Draw your left knee up toward your belly, if you can. Give me your hole. Open as much as you can for me. I’ll try to be gentle.”
“Hai, hai—Yes, yes,” Haruo whispered, moving his knee into his belly, although his moan in doing so wasn’t all the result of passion. “Watashi o seiko. Watashi o seiko kudasai. Dipu—Fuck me. Fuck me, please. Deep. Do it whether you can be gentle or not. Do me as you did me when you first came here. Watashi wa sore ga totemo warui shitai—I want it so bad. Even if it can only be this once more.”
Reno gently pressed on Haruo’s back to turn him down a bit toward the mattress and turned his own body as well to give his cock a straight angle up into the elderly man’s channel once he’d been able to penetrate past the man’s sphincter ring. “Give me your hole. Open to me. Ah, yes, good,” Reno whispered. He should have remembered the man had been well used and would be able to open to a cock. He pushed his shaft into Haruo’s passage, finding that the old man, experienced in decades of anal sex, was able to open to him, and beginning a slow, gentle rocking motion, taking him deeper inside.
“Hai, hai, hai,” Haruo moaned, moving his hips with the fuck, becoming one with Reno in the fuck. The elderly artist sighed deeply. “Arigato—thank you. Watashi wa anata o aishiteimasu—I love you.”
“Watashi mo anata o aishitemasu—I love you too,” Reno whispered, maintaining his gentle stroking inside Haruo’s passage, which blossomed open to take him deeper and deeper. For the first time, Reno realized this was true. He loved the old man. He wouldn’t leave him.
As they were drifting off to sleep, Haruo whispered, “Incidentally, I know about gaijin kagema. I know why they call you that. You don’t have to try to keep it from me anymore. We are way beyond the need for that. I know you aren’t going to the printers at night anymore.”
“Haruo, I’m sorry. I didn’t—”
“No need, Reno. I know and approve. You are making many men happy, and I approve of you grasping your own pleasures as you can. I certainly did.”
Reno strove to find an answer he could give to that, but Haruo, whispering, moved to another topic.
“We must talk more in the coming days about preparing for my passing and life here afterward,” Haruo whispered.
Reno nearly tried to cut him off, but he was quite right. They needed to face what was left of their future without pretense.
“Arata,” Haruo murmured.
“Arata? I don’t—”
“You do. Let us not pretend that you don’t cover him. I approve. And you must give the young man more thought, Reno. He loves you—as much as I do, I believe. And you two would be so good together. He loves and follows the Nanshoku art. He is an asset to the gallery who must continue to be here. You should give more thought to him when I am gone. I have observed you two in fusion when you did not know I had. You fit together well.”
Reno did think of Arata, the young man’s sleek, long hair coming first to mind, but then he thought more deeply about him. It was true; they did fit so well together. He was forming words in the affirmative to provide for Haruo that would assure the old man but that would not supplant him with Arata—not yet. But he hadn’t managed to do so before he realized that Haruo was asleep.