I always get so excited over the release of one of these books. I hope you’ll want to read it. Of all my stories, the White Tigers books are the nearest and dearest to my heart. They are a synthesis of all the influences on my life, expressed in a unique way.
Men of Tokyo: Sudden Surrender
ISBN eBook: 978-1-906590-87-1
Genre: GLBT; Contemporary
Series: White Tigers
Release Date: August 4, 2008
In desperation for his life, Yuzo Kitano escapes the sadistic clutches of Taro Suzuki, one of Tokyo’s fiercest yakuza, and seeks refuge with Suzuki’s arch-rival, Kikuchiya Fujimara, owner of the White Tiger, a luxurious love-hotel for gay men which also serves as a spiritual community for its inhabitants. From early meetings with the handsome, charismatic leader who trains men in the sexual Tao, Yuzo senses deep inside he’s found someone he can trust and who will keep him safe. What he doesn’t expect is the absolute sensual bliss he finds with Kikuchiya’s skilled lovemaking and realizes he’s found what he’s really wanted his whole life. But does Kiku want him in return?
At first, Kiku sees only Yuzo’s alluring beauty and desperate need for protection. But the headstrong impulsive Yuzo is also the first man Kiku has ever met whose touch is healing and calming for him, rather than a distressing channel for his psychic abilities, and the more he makes love to Yuzo, the more Kiku is in danger of losing his heart to another for the first time in his life.
However, Kiku also knows that when Suzuki finds out where his slave has gone, there will be hell to pay. Kiku has already made one harrowing sacrifice to the yakuza in return for his freedom and might not survive a second…
If I don’t get the hell away from him, he’ll kill me. The thought shuddered through Yuzo’s mind like a mantra. His justification for leaving…no, escaping, this gilded cage he’d willingly gotten locked into.
Yuzo’s hands shook as he hunched over his bathroom vanity, using the wooden handle of his hairbrush to grind up the sleeping pills he’d filched from Taro’s medicine cabinet last night. How he’d managed to pull that theft off was only a testament to his terror and desperation.
Yuzo took the saké cup and brush and climbed into the shower, crouching over his work to try and muffle the scrape scrape of the hairbrush handle against the porcelain. Yeah, he had this tiny bedroom and bathroom all to himself, for what good it did. Sound carried, even in a luxury flat like this one. Worse, Taro’s armed goons were always stationed right outside the door, because, as Taro liked to say with that greasy smile on his square face,
“No one will steal my little prince.”
Some prince. Huddled in a dry bathtub, naked except for a pair of boxer-briefs, desperately grinding sleeping pills into powder so he could drug his sadistic sugar-daddy and escape. The damn tablets were stubbornly refusing to break into anything smaller than granules which Suzuki would no doubt see floating in his saké.
Sweat poured from Yuzo’s skin but he kept grinding. Whether he deserved his freedom or not at this point had stopped being an issue within his conscience. Survival had won out. That and his wish to bring Uncle Tokuma no more grief and shame than he already had.
Then he heard his bedroom door open. “Yuzo-chan!”
Yuzo gasped and froze. Taro! Shit! He scrambled out of the tub, stuck the cup in the vanity cabinet and stood in front of the mirror. “In here,” he called and ran the brush through his hair, forcing his breath to calm down. One fuck-up and Taro would kill him.
But not before torturing him some more in the name of sexual pleasure.
“What is this?” Taro Suzuki’s stocky frame filled the doorway. His mere presence sent prickles of icy heat down Yuzo’s spine. “You don’t come out to greet me?” The older man’s shirt hung open and the oni tattooed on his barrel chest and thick stomach glared out at Yuzo, the colourful demons’ eyes bugging, their large teeth bared with foreboding, even in the reflection of the vanity mirror.
Yuzo pasted on the smile that usually appeased Taro and feigned the urgency of brushing his hair. “I wasn’t presentable yet.”
Suzuki stepped forward, his eyes locked with Yuzo’s in their reflections. It was then Yuzo saw the saké bottle dangling from Taro’s hand. The older man plunked the bottle onto the vanity and insinuated the front of his body against Yuzo’s back. One arm snaked around Yuzo’s front, hand splayed across his stomach.
Yuzo set the brush down and schooled his features to appear like he enjoyed the attention. Heart pounding, he tilted his head back against Suzuki’s thick chest while he strained to remember the White Tiger practices he’d studied on the sly from the pamphlet he’d managed to filch from the hotel during their last visit there. Another feat of desperation.
Breathing steadily, he focused his qi, his life force, so that it would strengthen him mentally and physically. Of course, there was more, like the sexual channelling of yang force to clear the mind and revive the spirit. But you needed a partner for that bit and as Yuzo had grievously learned these past few months, Taro Suzuki was the last guy in the world anyone should expose his genitals to. The yak would rather squeeze the life out of a cock than make it feel enlivened.
What little Yuzo had been able to learn of the Taoist meditative practices served him well. His mind and body remained clear and calm enough to continue his plan and not let the other man’s behaviour sway his resolve as it had the other times he’d started to escape. Suzuki seemed tender and affectionate in moments like this, but the pain would soon follow. It always did.
“That’s better, Yuzo-chan.” Suzuki’s saké-infused breath whispered across the back of Yuzo’s neck. “For a moment there, I thought you were afraid of me.” The man’s fingertips brushed over the bruises on Yuzo’s throat. “You know that was only for fun.” He followed the statement with a kiss on the nape of Yuzo’s neck. Yuzo pulled in another slow, calming breath and closed his eyes. Yeah, near strangulation while Suzuki screws me. Lots of fun. “I know,” he managed to whisper. Everything Suzuki said was like some kind of twisted test of Yuzo’s loyalty.
Suzuki’s fingertips on Yuzo’s jaw tilted his face up and then sharp teeth scraped his earlobe. Yuzo suppressed a yelp while tears threatened to fill his eyes, as much from the hurt as from frustration. Why did everything have to include pain with this bastard? For the millionth time, he regretted letting himself be seduced by a yakuza with Suzuki’s reputation. All the other workers in the host club had warned him off Taro Suzuki and of course, he hadn’t listened.
What he wouldn’t give now to still be hosting in that place and coming home to that ratty futon he slept on with Mojo in the flop they rented with the other guys. Yuzo had once dreamed of getting out of there, of finding a rich sugar-daddy like Suzuki and living as he was here in this luxury apartment. Now, Mojo and the ratty futon looked like paradise. Mojo was an urchin, but he’d been crazy about Yuzo. Had done everything for him. Without physical and psychological torture.
Taro bit his earlobe again and straightened, looking into the mirror. Yuzo breathed past the pain and watched the yak’s eyes study his reflection. In the next moment, Yuzo sensed the darkening shift of energy in the man’s stocky form. His blood chilled. Taro Suzuki was crazy but he wasn’t stupid.
“You seem different tonight.” The statement was full of Suzuki’s usual suspicion.
Kuso. An invisible part of Yuzo felt suspended over a pit of hungry vipers. He considered every word and move. Manipulation would go only so far with Taro.
But before he could respond, Taro shrugged. “I keep forgetting what a lightweight you really are.” He chuckled and reached over, retrieving the bottle of saké off the vanity and unscrewing the cap. “Another day or two and you’ll be begging me to choke you again.”
Relief prickled down Yuzo’s arms. If Taro thought his upset was only about the strangulation, so much the better. He shifted to the side, giving the older man space to drink from his bottle, but then found the glass opening being pressed to his own lips. The acrid scent of fermented rice assaulted his nostrils.
“Drink,” Suzuki said, the command clear in his tone, “a couple of nice big sips.”
Yuzo’s relief evaporated. Wordlessly he took the bottle and tilted it back, letting a generous amount of saké fill his mouth. Hoping the stuff would numb his renewed terror, he swallowed. The saké burned in his veins and caused a numbing tingle to cascade through his limbs and brain. He surrendered to the feeling, knowing that as Suzuki took the bottle away and gathered Yuzo’s arms behind his back into a lock, he was going to need it. “Chibe!” Taro called to one of his goons. “Now!”