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Valerian drained the last of his coffee and set the empty cup on the small table next to his armchair. "Shem," he said toward the ceiling, "send in Mia." He selected a cigar from the humidor on the table, lit it and settled back in the chair.
He had taken only two long drags from the cigar and was releasing the last as a series of smoke rings when the study door slid open and a slight, thin figure stepped in. The door hissed closed.
"Yes, sir?" The wem, a young one of about 18, stood with her hands clasped in front and her eyes down.
"Good evening, Mia," Valerian said. "How are you tonight?" He clicked the privacy switch on the arm of his chair, isolating the den from the rest of the house.
"Just fine, sir," the girl answered, still not looking up. Her face was vaguely Asian, perhaps Eurasian, framed by long black hair. Her eyes - scarcely visible from this angle - were large and dark, with long lashes above high cheekbones. Her figure was slim, almost boyish, although the close-fitting dress showed off her small breasts, her trim waist and the modest flare of her hips. The high-collared, ankle-length dress of jade green velvet was slit on one side to just below the knee, revealing a well-formed calf and slippered foot.
"Do you feel like some fun tonight?" Valerian asked.
The wem did not answer for a moment. Her eyes flicked upward to Valerian's face, then back down.
"Of course, sir," Mia said quickly, as if to make up for her hesitation. "If you wish."
Valerian smiled around his cigar. "I think I do," he said. He took the cigar from his mouth and blew out a stream of smoke. "Get me a brandy, would you?"
Mia turned and walked to the sideboard in small steps enforced by the long dress. She raised her head as she walked, revealing a softly rounded chin above an elegant neck. At the sideboard, she lifted the stopper from a crystal decanter and poured a generous amount into the snifter next to it. Taking it in both hands, she carried the tulip-shaped glass across the room to Valerian, once again lowering her eyes toward the floor. Mia knelt gracefully at Valerian's feet and presented the snifter, one hand under the bottom.
As he took the glass from her, Valerian noted with pleasure the elegance of her every move, the gracefulness with which Mia presented the glass to his hand, two arching fingers supporting the base, the liquid in it scarcely moving. When the brandy sloshed as he took the snifter from her hand, a brief frown at his own relative clumsiness twitched the corners of his mouth. He raised the glass, inhaled the fragrance of the amber liquid, and took a sip. The warmth slid across his tongue, into his throat, and down into his stomach.
Mia knelt near his knee, eyes down, hands on her thighs. Valerian looked at her, enjoying her beauty, considering his next move. He dipped the damp end of the cigar into the brandy, then put it into his mouth and took a puff.
"Why don't you help me get ready," he suggested. Mia looked up at him briefly. He nodded reassuringly, and she lowered her eyes again as she raised up on her knees and reached toward his waist. Her slim fingers released the knot in the belt of his dressing gown, draped the belt over the arms of the chair, and then folded back the gown, revealing his bare chest, plump stomach and pajama pants.
"But, first, a kiss," Valerian added, putting the cigar in the ashtray. Mia placed one hand on the arm of the chair and the other on his thigh as she raised up on her knees and slowly tilted her face upward. For a fraction of a second, her eyes met his, then her eyelids slid down to cover them. The tip of her tongue appeared to moisten her lips, then withdrew as she parted and extended them slightly to meet his own.
Valerian enjoyed kissing his wem. Mia's lips were silky soft and warm, tentative but accepting. He slid his tongue forward, and her lips opened to let him in. Putting a finger under her chin to tilt Mia's head back, Valerian kissed her deeply. She met his increased pressure, not pulling away, welcoming but not pushing forward against his mouth. She made a sound at the back of her throat that might have been a faint moan.
"Thank you, Mia," he said as he pulled back, then added as she hesitated, "Go on."
Valerian settled back into his chair as Mia's warm fingers opened the snap at the top of his pajamas. He lifted his hips briefly as she slid the garment down his thighs. He took another sip of brandy and closed his eyes as he felt the first feathery touch of her lips. As she nuzzled at his middle, he popped one eye open to locate his cigar, took a puff and replaced it in the ashtray. He groaned with pleasure as Mia's wet mouth enveloped him.
As the wem worked on him, Valerian's thoughts drifted. He remembered the moment he first saw Mia in the buyer's lounge at Elegant Companions. She had slipped through the curtains of his booth wearing a long crimson dress in a style much like the green one she was wearing now. She had stood, eyes down and hands clasped before her, just as she had stood near the door to his study only moments ago. When he had said "Raise your head, child," she had lifted her eyes to his, and he had seemed to plunge into the dark pools. He had known instantly that he had to have her.
Mia's head lifted and lowered, sliding him in and out of her warm mouth. She moved a hand up and wrapped her fingers around him. She was not like Wendy, his previous favorite, who had performed vigorously, greedily, seeming to take as much pleasure from the act as he did. Mia took her pleasure from pleasing him. She focused entirely on him. She was worth her weight in gold, which was more or less what she had cost him. But well worth it, Valerian thought again, as he had reassured himself many times.