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Authors: Raelynn Blue

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Wasabi Heat

by

RaeLynn Blue

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Copyright© 2010 RaeLynn Blue Cover Artist: Shara Azod Editor: Novellette Whyte

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced electronically or in print without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in reviews. This is a work of fiction. All references to real places, people, or events are coincidental, and if not coincidental, are used fictitiously. All trademarks, service marks, registered trademarks, and registered service marks are the property of their respective owners and are used herein for identification purposes only.

Chapter One

“The day you decide to do it is your lucky day.”

--Japanese Proverb

“She‟s here again,” Zen Su Chow said to his niece, Asuka above the soft strings and somber notes of an oboe wafting through the restaurant‟s surround sound system.

Standing behind the bank of three flat screened registers, Zen stared in the direction of the foyer. On either side of the foyer doors were large, floor to ceiling tinted glass. The heavily treated glass couldn‟t fully obscure the luscious woman coming in. The woman he had longed to have for months.

With her back to the entranceway, Asuka looked over her shoulder, the spill of her ink-black hair sounded like the rustle of dry leaves. Her back straightened.

“Nadia-san. Again,” Asuka said, with a thread of apathy.

He ignored the boredom in Asuka‟s tone. Zen‟s brother, chef, and Asuka‟s father, Ichiro, didn‟t understand Zen‟s affection with Nadia, but Zen paid them no mind. Nadia came often to the restaurant and each time she did, Zen learned more about her. The more he learned, the more he hungered. Insatiable, he couldn‟t get enough of conversations with her. Time spent in her company felt like small bursts of sunlight on his face—warm, comforting, and arousing. You could tell a great deal about people from the way they spoke, their diction, their mannerisms, and their little stories. Nadia‟s life unfolded for him like perfectly crafted origami.

Zen knew he wanted Nadia to be his lover. Period. He couldn‟t stop thinking about her long after she‟d left the restaurant. Even now his mind conjured images of her long legs wrapped around his waist, her short, ebony hair that would curl around his fingers, trapping them in their woolly softness. Her bright, warm smile rivaled the sun. Despite these finer attributes, Nadia‟s eyes sealed his fate. He lost himself in them. They held a certain heat, a passion for life she kept contained.

He couldn‟t help himself. He wanted to tear through her emotional gates and set that passion free.

Nadia reminded him of wasabi. Beautiful and soft in appearance, but once coupled with the tongue, it exploded in fiery heat, making everything intensify in flavor. Set the taste buds aflame with the sheer ferociousness of its essence.

Nadia stood outside in the foyer, talking to someone else. Asuka turned to face him with dislike wrinkling her youthful face.

“She is not Japanese.”

Zen ignored her statement. Obviously, Nadia‟s ethnicity didn‟t hail from Japan. But he wouldn‟t rise up to Asuka‟s bait. Beauty and sensuality hailed from all types of women, not only Japanese women. Nadia‟s attractiveness went deeper than her physical appearance—much deeper than Asuka could discern, of that Zen was sure.

“When she comes in, you are her server,” he said instead, making Asuka stiffen.

“Is that wise, oji?”

“That was not a request,” Zen said coldly.

His eyes were still on the shadowy outline of Nadia‟s curvy shadow cast against the glass. Her breasts rode high on her chest, full about the size of his palms. Imagining how they would feel in his hands, Zen blew out a sigh—the way people who‟ve tasted wasabi for the first time did. He held no doubt. Once he tasted Nadia, they‟d both explode in searing heat. Possibly a flame that would burn forever, Nadia would give him what he so needed in his life—completeness. He just had to get a tiny bit of her wasabi on his tongue.

He smiled at the thought. A flush inched up his neck and made him hot.
Why does she not come in? Is she going to change her mind? Did she get an emergency call that will take her away from here?

Finally, she came through the door. Relief washed over him. And Nadia had only walked into the establishment.

“Oji, there are other women. Midori‟s father came in earlier in the day...” Asuka was saying.

“I am old enough to select my own wife, Asuka.” Besides, Midori wasn‟t as gorgeous and kind and smart and strong as Nadia. Few women he had met were.

“As father would say, a man in love mistakes a pimple for a dimple.” Zen shot her a warning look. “He would know.”

Asuka gasped, and lowered her eyes. “You disrespect my mother!”

“Asuka!” His sharp rebuke made her eyes snapped back up to his. He gave her his full attention now. “It was you who first disrespected your oji.”

“Gomenasai, oji.” Asuka said. Her expression still held anger, despite her apology.

“I think your customers at table 10 need you,” he said, wanting her away from him. Asuka only parroted what her father said. Her prejudice wasn‟t really her fault, but at 22, he believed his niece needed to develop some independent thought.

She nodded and bowed, leaving the registers to go see about her customers.

Through the darkly-tinted glass walls of the foyer, he watched the African-American woman stroll into his restaurant‟s double maple doors. Dressed in a light gray suit jacket, pencil skirt that skimmed her sexy pear-shaped body and lush thighs, Nadia Crammer held the door for another woman, someone Zen hadn‟t seen before. That was common. Nadia entertained clients here. Sometimes she stayed after her clients had left, and they discussed the pros and cons of running a business. Smart, sexy, and seductive, Nadia had him hooked, and Zen knew it.

“Asuka looks upset,” came Ichiro‟s accusing Japanese from behind him. He wore his white chef hat and a relatively clean apron. Only in the bright revealing light of the kitchen could you make out the watery pink stains of fresh fish. His Japanese came fast with fury.

“I see your black friend is here again.”

“African-American,” Zen corrected in English. Then in Japanese, over his shoulder, he continued. “She has a name. It is Nadia. Besides, you should get back to making sushi. We are getting busy.”

Ichiro scowled, his eyes disappearing into the meaty folds of his flushed face.

“My daughter is upset and she said you disrespected Haruna.”

Zen turned to face his brother. He didn‟t want to get into this tonight, but obviously Asuka hadn‟t conveyed the entire tale. She‟d somehow circumvented her route to table 10 and went in the back to rant to her father. If he didn‟t disarm Ichiro‟s attitude, they‟d spend too much time here arguing instead of getting the sushi to the patrons.

He sighed and explained in Japanese.

“Asuka forgot that I am her uncle and spoke out of turn.” “You called Haruna a pimple.”

“No, you did.”

His brother folded his beefy arms over his chest. “I did?”

“Asuka recited the old proverb about a man in love…” So, in English, Zen said, “She said it. I reminded her that you would know.”

Ichiro‟s eyes lit up in understanding and nodded, chuckling, his anger spent as fast as it had

come.

“About a man being in love? Yes, I would know about love.” Ichiro nodded, putting his hands on

his hips. He looked across the seating areas. “She is beautiful, yes, Zen, but she is not one of us.”

“It is a new time, a new country,” Zen said, looking at Nadia as well. “The world is smaller. Love is bigger, wider. The president is an African-American man—something many did not think would ever happen.”

“Our culture would be lost on her. She‟d be an
outsider
,” Ichiro said, his voice softened by what Zen heard as fear. “Even if she agreed to date you, you will be outcasts among our community and hers. Never fitting into any real place. Would she be able to handle that?”

“Yes.” Zen had no doubt. She‟d have
him.
He would have
her
. They‟d form their own community. Zen wasn‟t interested in dating the community or living with the community or having children with the community.

“Will you?” “Absolutely.”

“Think, brother, of what you are saying? For what? To satisfy a curiosity? There are other beautiful women. Midori…”

“Nadia is NOT a curiosity! She is a
person
. Damn you!”

Zen rounded on him so fast, it took him a few seconds to register he had his hand around his brother‟s throat.

Ichiro‟s eyes widened and he grabbed Zen‟s wrist to snatch Zen‟s hand away. “You are insane!” “No…” Zen croaked, swallowing down the rush of rage. He‟d never reacted that way before, so he

stepped back from Ichiro. He straightened his shirt to give his hands something to do. “Gomenasai.”

Ichiro put his hand on Zen‟s shoulder. “Accepted. I did not know the depths of your love for her. It shimmers from you like rain on your face. You
are
in love with her, Zen.”

“Yes.” Zen confessed aloud what he had held inside for months. “I am.”

Ichiro nodded and squeeze Zen‟s shoulder. “I see.” Zen grinned. Finally, so did he.

Tonight. He‟d make his move. Tonight he‟d tell Nadia his feelings. “Carpe diem,” Zen said softly, lifting his head to Ichiro‟s concerned face.

“It is night, not day, Zen.” Ichiro laughed as he headed back into the kitchen.

Chapter Two


Virtue is not knowing but doing

--Japanese Proverb

The tangy scent caught Nadia first, just after a single step in the restaurant. Soy. Soy sauce. It hung heavily in the air, battling back the aromas of ginger and fish—raw fish. Nadia noticed with a soft smile the absence of another smell that usually accompanied fish—oil. Like the fried fish odor that saturated her grandmama‟s church on Friday nights when she was young.

Not tonight. Only raw fish came on the menu here at Wasabi‟s Sushi. The lights were dim and the drinks were flowing at most tables around her. Nadia sighed in delight against the soft music swirling around her. The Japanese lyrics washed over her, bringing her out of her musings and memories. Funny how this place felt more like home than her apartment overlooking Lake Jeanette. She looked up to the overhead, maple polished wood beams of the restaurant‟s ceiling. Scarlet Japanese paper lanterns dotted the vertical beams. Chocolate, contemporary leather booths lined in neat rows spoke to the elegance of Wasabi Sushi Restaurant. She followed the hostess, a rail-thin, dark-haired woman dressed in the restaurant‟s uniform of ebony slacks, a crisp ivory blouse, and heels, to one of the artful booths Nadia had spied from the foyer.

“This place is freaking sweet!” Kiki Morrison said.

Nadia nodded, casting a sideways glance at her best friend. She brought clients here for working lunches and dinners, but today was bff day. Kiki kept glancing around at the décor. Nadia didn‟t know what Kiki thought a sushi restaurant would look like, but she certainly hadn‟t expected this—if her behavior was any indication.

“Look, you ready to do this thing?” Nadia asked. “I promise. The food here is so good.” “Yes, I mean, I guess. Uncooked food doesn‟t equal good taste.”

Nadia slid into the booth‟s cool, smooth leather seat. “I come here almost every day. You don‟t get fresher sushi then here.”

Across the glossy table, Kiki shrugged. “Being that this is my first time. How would I know?” Nadia laughed. “Touché.”

“You come here every day?”

How could she put it in terms Kiki would understand? Nadia came here to relax. It had become like a second home, well, a first home. If they had a shower and a bed, Nadia may be tempted to move in. She smiled at that.

“Something about this place takes my stress away,” Nadia said. Kiki‟s left, pierced eyebrow rose above her sparkling green eye.

“Food that damn good? Raw fish? Yeah, see I‟m going to have to taste it to see for sure cuz that don‟t make any damn sense.”

Nadia grinned, and then she saw
him.
Zen Su Chow emerged from the area behind the registers up toward the hostess stand like an emperor coming out from behind his throne. Ebony hair tied at the nap of his neck in a ponytail, the crimson button down shirt, and ebony slacks made him look like a fixture of his restaurant—a gorgeous statue, impeccable and wholly male. Silver stripes in the sea of velvety-rich ebony hair made him look more dynamic, powerful, but something in his eyes, those liquid pools of dark chocolate made Nadia‟s stomach tighten in ways no other man had. Beneath the booth‟s table, she crossed her legs. Already her clit hummed at the very sound of his smooth tenor drifting through the din to her.

“Yeah,” Nadia said, her eyes pinned to Zen, watching him as he walked casually through the patrons, nodding and asking them about their meals. If he saw her, he‟d come to her table. “The food is fabulous.”
Just like the owner.
She watched him smile at one of the female patrons, and she flinched. Those lips belonged to her! Why would he waste it on someone who only came once or twice?

“He‟s fine as china! Oh, now who the hell is that?” Kiki asked, not bothering to whisper. Kiki‟s comment bought her back to the room.

Nadia didn‟t drop her gaze fast enough. Kiki picked right up on the handsome man. Nadia swore.

Kiki could find a good-looking man in a hoard of millions. She had that ability. “How would I know?”

Nadia fought the urge to smile, playing at her lips. She picked up the sushi and sashimi menu, and pretended to scan it. If Kiki found out about Nada‟s tiny crush on Zen, she‟d never let it rest—not at the office, not on her social networking page, no where. “So, I recommend the tuna roll, Magura, and a little bit of Tai.”

“Nadia, you‟re here almost every day. I think he works here! I bet you‟ve met him at least…” “Kiki! You‟re not even listening to me…”

“Ah, hello. I am your server this evening. May I take you drink order?” the waitress said. She smiled faintly and held her hands behind her back. Her eyes lit up when they met Nadia‟s eyes.

Asuka. Zen‟s niece and lead waitress of the restaurant. “Ah, hello, Nadia-san. You have saki tonight?”

Nadia smiled at Asuka. Barely 22, she had worked at Wasabi since she turned eleven. “Hello, Asuka. I‟m going to pass, thank you. I‟m driving. I‟ll have a diet soda.”

“Yes. I see. For you?” Asuka asked Kiki. “Soda,” Kiki replied, distractedly.

Kiki leaned back against the booth‟s seat, and with a big grin on her face said to Nadia, “If you know the waitresses, you probably know the fine ass dude in the red shirt.”

“Asuka‟s fast, so she‟ll be back quick. When she gets to our table, she‟ll want to take our orders.

What do you want to try first?”

Kiki sighed and picked up one of the menus. From behind the hard plastic fold she said, “I don‟t even know where to begin, and you know it. You‟re changing the subject because of that dude. You must be crushin‟ on him.”

“Ah, konbanw, Nadia,” came the rumbling softly accented voice of Zen Su Chow. Her clit confirmed it by hardening into a tight nub of need. “Asuka said you were here.”

Nadia swallowed, and forced herself to look up from the menu. She didn‟t need to read the menu at all, and if she continued to try to feign like she did, Zen would wonder why.

“Hello, Zen,” she said more bravely than she felt. “This is my friend, Kiki. Tonight‟s her first time at a sushi restaurant.”

“Hello Kiki,” Zen said, turning his intensity to Kiki.

He smiled and Nadia squeezed her thighs together, relishing the rush of pleasure. Before Kiki could even get out a reply, Zen‟s attention rounded back to her.

“So, what will you have this evening? We have fresh eel. It arrived yesterday.” “That would be nice, I‟d like that.”

The music, the muttering of surrounding conversations, and Kiki all disappeared. At that moment, only she and Zen remained. It happened this way all the time when she came to Wasabi‟s. Zen had a way of making everything pale in comparison.

“No saki?” he asked, a hint of humor in his words. The last time she drank saki with him, he drove her home.

“No, not tonight, I‟m driving,” Nadia said, clearing her throat loudly. Her cheeks became warm. She squirmed in her seat at the memory of Zen‟s closeness in the driver‟s seat of his Cadillac. The dimly lit car, the softness of the CD player‟s music and the strong smell of him.

“Ah, I see. Enjoy your meal tonight.” Zen turned to Kiki and added, “I hope you enjoy also. Nadia will select something wonderful for you, I am sure.”

With a partial bow, he left.

“Wow!” Kiki said, shaking her head once Zen was out of earshot. “That guy is super intense. And he smells good.”

Yes, he does. He smells wonderful, has a delightful body if the fall of his clothes is any indication, and that heavy intensity, the feeling that you’re the most important thing in the room—yeah, that’s Zen.

Nadia laughed instead of conveying these thoughts to Kiki. Only her vibrator and her imagination knew how she felt about Zen and she planned to keep it that way. The man clearly had no interest in her, being Japanese. Most Asian men despised African-American women. Zen and she spoke often, but a wall seemed to separate them from moving beyond the professional client and patron roles.

“So, what do you want? I‟m having eel, but it‟s a bit greasy,” Nadia asked, Kiki who sat hunched over her menu, her face wrinkled in confusion.

“I don‟t want anything that has seaweed in it.”

“So you‟re looking at sashimi. Then you‟ll want to try one of these.” Nadia pointed at the sashimi section of Kiki‟s open menu.

“Your soda, Nadia-san,” Asuka said, seemingly popping up from nowhere. She placed the drinks on the table. “You order now?”

“I will take her order, Asuka,” came that voice, the one that made Nadia‟s stomach flutter in nervous delight. “Stacy needs help in section four.”

Asuka bowed stiffly, cast Nadia an expression she couldn‟t quite catch, and walked off.

As long as Nadia had been coming to Wasabi‟s, she‟d never seen Zen take a customer‟s order. She closed her menu. Maybe he did when she wasn‟t here. It wasn‟t like she lived at Wasabi‟s. Still, she couldn‟t help but wonder what was going on.

“You bring a guest. I will create something delicious for you,” Zen explained as if answering her unspoken question. He waved off the menu Kiki had in her hand. With a hint of a smile, he added. “You will taste it, Nadia, and you will enjoy it immensely.”

At that, he left, leaving Nadia to wonder what he‟d bring back for them to eat. She hoped it didn‟t involve something that would spook Kiki. Her stomach rumbled in the noisy restaurant, but Nadia knew what hunger she wanted Zen to feed.

And it wasn‟t for sushi.

Chapter Three


One kind word can warm three winter months
.”

--Japanese Proverbs

“Fix her the love boat, now,” Zen Su Chow croaked out to Ichiro.

He did not need to explain who the
her
was. He had a feeling that tonight, tonight would be the night he claimed Nadia for his own. He did not want to engage her in a short bout of lust. No, no he wanted her on top of his thickening cock, riding him as one would a fine horse—with passion and love. He wanted to make her buck in pleasure, demand for more and bury her nails into his chest. “Make it with the wasabi in the sauce.”

The rush of fish and seaweed permeated the air. All around workers moved swiftly but cautiously about, fulfilling orders. In the hushed quiet, soft whispers sprouted, probably about why Zen, dressed impeccably had come back to the kitchen. He did not have an order slip, but was in fact placing an order. Despite how unconventional it looked, Zen wanted what he wanted.

“Did you hear me?”

Ichiro actually put down his knife and sighed. In Japanese he said, “I heard you. The love boat.

You want to give her the love boat?”

Zen just stared at him. He did not think he had been unclear with the directions. “The love boat is for couples.”

“And?” Zen inquired, unsure where his brother‟s logic was going. “This boat is to be shared between two people in
love
.”

“I know, Ichiro. What is your point?”

Ichiro picked up his knife once more, lowered his voice and said, “Does she love you as much as you love her? Does she even know of your adoration? What is she rejects your offering?”

Zen did not know. In his haste to claim her, he had not even considered that she may not feel the same way. It did not register that the woman he meant to take to his bed and later to be his wife would not want him too. They flirted with each other, spent hours talking, and he suspected she came so often to his restaurant because of him—not just the food.

“You hesitate, brother,” Ichiro said and took down one of the large open boats from the shelves above his head. The boat would hold a miniature buffet of sushi for two people to share. “That does not bode well.”

“I do not hesitate,” Zen replied sharply. Several of the other workers looked at him and the chatter ceased. Lowering his voice, he said, “I can feel it—the attraction between us.”

Ichiro said in English, “Yes. Lust. Lust does not make for a lengthy marriage.”

“You are speaking from experience?” Zen asked, raising his eyebrow. Ichiro loved his wife, but they were very traditional. If passion existed between them, Zen had never witnessed it. He would be different than that cold pairing. Nadia‟s sassy spunk and fire drew him. He thought of Ichiro‟s wife as soy sauce—predictable, ordinary, plain. Nadia had become his wasabi—heat, fire, and flavorful.

Ichiro laughed. “Fine, fine. I will create the boat for you if it means you leave my kitchen.” “Thank you.”

“Dou itashi mashite,” Ichiro said, welcoming Zen in Japanese.

Zen moved away, leaving Ichiro to complete his task. The boat would be brimming with rolls, sashimi and even some tempura. Yes, Nadia would love it. Her companion would also enjoy the variety of the meal. If he could satisfy Nadia‟s hunger, he could also move in to satisfying his other hunger.

He returned to the registers and looked across the restaurant to the object of his desire.

Nadia leaned forward, talking to the woman across from her. Her beautiful hair hung down to her shoulders in arrow-straight fashion. Her smile made him feel warmth inside and he shifted his position. If she only knew, how he longed to inhale her hair, her scent,
her
in the heat of arousal. He‟d free her full breasts from the confines of her bra and the sharp white blouse. With careful, soft kisses, he‟d tease her cinnamon dark nipples. Would they look like long peaks of chocolate or tight pebbled points? Would the lovely triangle between her ample thighs be shaved smooth or brushed lightly with hair? Would she love to have her generous bottom spanked or kissed?

As if hearing his thoughts, she looked over her shoulder and across the dining patrons to him. Those not so sly looks were smoldering, stoking the flame of his carnal appetite. She wanted him. That one solitary look told him so as much.

With a quick smile, she turned back to her conversation.

“It is ready,” Ichiro said, bringing Zen back to the room, to the fact that he wasn‟t entangled in Nadia‟s arms. “She will enjoy.”

“Thank you.”

Zen lifted the boat and headed to Nadia‟s table. Asuka had kept the women‟s glasses filled and the candle at their table lit. If he could get rid of the friend, he would have Nadia to himself. The rear of the restaurant had three rooms for private parties. After the meal, maybe he can convince Nadia to come back later in the week, alone—tonight he would make her the offer and lay plain his feelings for her.

“Oh damn,” the other woman said, her eyes wide. “This man done brought us a boat.”

Nadia turned to look at him, and his gift. She grinned, her maple-brown eyes shining. “The love

boat.”

“The what?” the other woman asked, her surprise waning.

“This is the love boat,” Nadia explained. “It‟s commonly shared between two people in love.” The other woman‟s eyebrow rose. “Look, Mister. She and I aren‟t lovers.”

“I understand,” Zen said and put the boat between them. He had to do it now. He looked at Nadia,

and took her hand in his. “Nadia…”

Confusion made her frown, but he would bring back her smile once he explained.

“Nadia, will you join me later for a private meal?” he asked. He wanted to be with her alone.

“I, Zen Su, I don‟t understand,” she said, her eyes went to the other woman before coming back to him. “Thank you for the love boat, but you want me to have a private meal, with you?”

“He‟s asking you out on a date, damn, Nadia, get with it,” the other woman said with a snort.

Speechless, Nadia searched his face. He did not know what she wanted to see, but something in his face, his eyes as they were windows to his soul—a soul enchanted with her—she said, “Yes. Absolutely.”

“Tomorrow night?” he asked. “Yes, that would be fine.”

“Enjoy the food,” he said, kissed her hand, bowed and headed back to the register, with his heart light and his phallus heavier.

***

Nadia couldn‟t believe what had just happened. She sat staring at the hand—her hand—her hand that Zen Su Chow had kissed. Kissed it like it had been the most luscious piece of chocolate he‟d ever tasted. She didn‟t know whether to hold the hand up and scream to the entire place that the cool, collected and sexy-as-hell Zen had serious interest in her.

Or wash it.

“Ain‟t that something?” Kiki said, using her fork to poke at the tuna roll. “You been coming here for what? Months? And tonight he asks you out on a date. Tonight? I‟m like a lucky token or some shit.”

Nadia guffawed. “That‟s it.”

Honestly, Nadia didn‟t know why Zen picked tonight to ask her out and she didn‟t care. Her pussy twitched when his kissable mouth connected with her hand. Her clit still throbbed as if sending a signal to Zen of its need—her need to have him closer, without clothes separating them. She‟d be lying if she didn‟t take him up on his offer to have a private meal.

“What the hell is this shit about a love boat?” Kiki asked, and finally deciding on the tuna roll, took a tiny bite.

“The love boat, according to the menu, is a sampler of the most popular items. It‟s usually given to couples hence the name, love boat. I think Zen Su gave it to me because it served two purposes. Allowed him to let me know he‟s interested and to give you a sample of the food here.”

Kiki chewed, her eyes squinted in a mix of curiosity and amusement. She swallowed with difficulty. “You are silly. You could look at him and see that he had nothing but, how did you put it,
interest
, in you.”

Nadia chewed the pieces of eel with delight. God, she loved this stuff. Was it any wonder she really liked Zen? Was Kiki right? Had Zen been carrying a torch for her? If so, he‟d done an excellent job of hiding it the many months she‟d come in to eat here.

“You think he‟s really interested?”

“Why else would he ask you for a private meal? To sample his latest menu item? I doubt it. He‟s been staring at you all night.”

Nadia felt a hot rush flush up her neck. Risking it, she glanced over her shoulder and found Zen processing payments at the register. As if feeling the weight of her stare, he looked up. Directing those electricity-intense eyes, he smiled softly at her, before putting his attention back on his job. That single look zipped across the food stained air and burrowed directly between her legs, making her pussy twitch in eagerness again.

She‟d caught him looking at her like that for weeks now, but she figured he humored her. As a frequent patron, she thought Zen indulged her, spent time talking to her, exchanging ideas and contemplating life‟s many twists and turns, had been his efforts to keep her as a customer. Boy, had she been wrong.

“What‟s this green stuff here?” Kiki asked, drawing Nadia‟s attention back to the big boat taking up the table. “It looks like paste with green food coloring.”

“Wasabi. You mix it with soy sauce, or eat a tiny bit on your sushi. It‟s incredibly hot.”

Hot like Zen. Goodness he could add his flavor whenever he wanted. Light me up. Cool me down.

Make me come.

Kiki grinned. “Oh no, I like my intestinal tract without holes.”

Nadia laughed, her cheeks hot from her very erotic thoughts. “Here, I‟ll mix it. You try a little bit.

Tonight is a night for experimenting, remember?”

“I‟m not the one who needs to remember that,” Kiki said.

“What does that mean? I‟ve tried almost everything on this thing...”

Kiki smirked at her. She nodded in Zen Su‟s direction. “Yeah, but not him.” Nadia didn‟t need to look back again. She knew Kiki referred to Zen.

She met her friend‟s gaze. “The night‟s not over yet.” Kiki smiled. “Touché.”

Chapter Four

The Next Evening


It doesn't bud if you don't seed
.”

--Japanese Proverb

“Ah, „ello, Nadia-san,” Asuka said tightly, her ebony blanket of hair hiding half of her face as she bowed. When she stood up, she avoided meeting Nadia‟s eyes. She simply said, “Follow me.”

The edges of Nadia‟s smile wilted at the chilly reception from the usually warm and sunny Asuka. The din inside Wasabi‟s Sushi rose when Nadia stepped inside from the foyer. The now familiar scents rushed her and unlike usual, they made her unsteady. The music she normally found refuge in caused the butterflies in her stomach to stir. Ahead, Asuka stalked through the crowded restaurant with ease, and Nadia had difficulty keeping up with her. Part of Nadia wanted to flee, race from the place and out into the chilly October air. The other part wanted, no,
needed
to see him, to have him alone.

They bypassed the sections of the restaurant where Nadia normally had meals. She spied Asuka‟s velvety black hair slip through a trio of servers and on back toward the restrooms. Instead of going into the restrooms, Asuka turned the knob on a third set of doors marked Private.

When Nadia entered the room behind Asuka, her breath hitched. A square room sat with a round table in its center. Thick candles flickered in strategically placed sections of the room, making it romantic. Scents of vanilla and Japanese Cherry blossoms saturated the air. Asuka bowed toward Zen Su before leaving. The door made a soft click at her exit.

Zen stood beside the table, where two tapered candles burned lazily. He stood about six feet two inches. His hands had been clasped behind him. The ebony suit had to be designed by hand, it fit him too nicely to be an off-the-rack item. Glossy leather shoes completed his look, and he came forward with those gorgeous, electric eyes of his peering into hers.

“You made it.”

She smiled, because he sounded relieved. “Yes.”

Her voice wouldn‟t let her say more than that simple answer. The image he struck—all powerful sex and sensual delight—stole her voice. Took it and ran all the way someplace else. How was she going to sit through dinner when all she could think about was kissing his lips, snatching off his tailored suit and having her way with him?

“Nadia, I am sorry if this seems rash,” he said softly, gesturing her to the empty seat across from him. Gleaming white plates sat with an equally white cloth napkin folded beside the plate. On each plate were origami swans. Two each, touching bill to bill, forming a heart. Saki cups and chopsticks rounded out the table setting. “Thank you for coming here tonight.”

“This, this is wonderful, Zen,” she said, walking over to the chair. “It‟s beautiful in here. I never even knew you had a room back here! I mean…”

She was babbling. He stared at her with the beginnings of a grin ghosting his lips. “I‟m sorry. I‟m babbling.”

“I do not want to make you nervous,” he said, his rich baritone rolling over her spaghetti-strapped shoulders like velvet. Behind her, he pushed her chair up. She sat down in the chair opposite him. With her heart fluttering, she met his eyes steady gaze. “That is the last thing I want.”

Good. Good, that means he meant to ask me out.

“So, Zen, what are we having tonight?” she asked, more than aware of the tremble in her tone. She coughed to clear her anxiety. Why was she so freaking nervous? A date. Sure it had been a while since she‟d been on a date, but her sweaty palms and fluttering stomach spoke to teenager level anxiety.

Because it’s him. My fantasy made real—the source of endless masturbation fantasies—Zen Su

Chow.

“I had Ichiro make your favorite,” Zen answered, a soft smile on his face. The candlelight revealed

the gentle tint of blush on his cheeks.

He went to a small cart parked along the wall. Draped in an ivory tablecloth, the cart brimmed with covered dishes of various sizes. With a flourish, he returned to the table with a small wooden plank piled neatly with sushi. She spotted the eel at once, but he had included a tuna roll and a few sashimi items she‟d ordered her many visits . Then she noticed the Kampai Sashimi, Ace Han Roll and Avocado Roll, which had been her favorite for the entire month of August when it was too hot to eat anything else. A Super Dragon roll also consumed most of the left side of the plank—that one she had on her birthday.

How could he have remembered all the selections she‟d ordered over the last three months? All of her favorites were laid out. She couldn‟t really believe he‟d put that much effort and paid that much attention to her orders. Maybe, maybe he could look it up on the register. Yes, that‟s probably what he did.

But even if that had been true—which deep inside she didn‟t really believe—Zen Su had paid a lot of attention to her. This pleased her and she instantly felt all warm and gooey inside.

“Wow, Zen…” she ran out of words. Completely speechless, she sat with her mouth slightly opened. He remembered…every order…every piece she ate from a menu that boasted more than 50 different sushi and sashimi combinations.

“You enjoy these, yes? These are your favorites,” Zen said, with the hint of a grin. “Saki is in the cups, but I can order what you want, if you want something else?”

“This is great! Are you kidding?”

Clearly pleased, he sat down, and using his chopsticks filled her plate with food. After he finished with hers, he added some of the delicious food to his plate. In silence, they set about fixing their respective soy sauces, and aligning their plates to how they would eat.

When done, he raised his sake and said, “To us.”

Nadia blushed. It seemed so intimate. If she doubted Zen‟s interest in her, they had quickly faded. “To us.”

The liquid burned in a delicious way. Almost instantly she warmed, the alcohol heating up her inside. She didn‟t need any more encouragement because Zen‟s proximity made her horny and hot enough. Still, sake calmed her.

“The wasabi is very good,” Zen said. With a quick flick of his chopsticks, he ate another piece. He swallowed and pointed with his chopsticks. “Try it.”

She did, mixing a nice dollop with some soy sauce. She picked up a piece of salmon and dipped it in the mixture. When it hit her tongue, she rolled her eyes in pleasure. So good.

“Oh, yeah, that‟s so good.” Zen laughed. “Agreed.”

The ice broken, the awkwardness and her anxiety coaxed by sake, she and Zen ate. Laughing and talking about managing a business and politics, time both slipped by and stood still. When Nadia looked down at her watch, she couldn‟t believe two hours had passed.

“Wow, look at the time!” She noted with a bit of disappointment her cup was empty. “I‟m sure you have to get back to work. Close the restaurant or what have you.”

Zen‟s smiling face faltered a bit. He shook his head slowly, tsking her a bit.

“I have managers to handle that, Nadia. You are more important than work. Are you not enjoying yourself? I can have Ichiro make…”

“Am I?” she asked softly, her throat closing. How long had he felt this way about her? “Of course, I‟m having a great time. No need at all to make more. I‟m stuffed.”

“I like being here with you,” Zen replied evenly, but the thread of heat set each syllable on fire. He leveled his gaze at her and it zipped right through to Nadia‟s heart.

That look meant only one thing—desire. She squeezed her thighs together to try to ease the growing ache throbbing there. She swallowed and re-crossed her legs. Her pussy already glazed with desire‟s dew, grew wetter still when Zen leaned forward on the table, and took her hand in his. Rubbing her knuckles, he refused to relinquish their shared gaze.

Wordlessly, he stood up, still holding her hand firmly in his. He came slowly around the curve of the table. When he reached her, he guided her out of her chair. With her heart hammering, she swallowed. He touched her chin, and lifted her mouth toward his. With gentleness, he leaned down and kissed her. At once, she tasted the fresh hint of fish and the spiciness of the wasabi. It added an already sizzling fire to his kiss. Zen coaxed her lips open farther, giving his permission to explore her mouth, to share with her his very essence.

His fingers, nimble and determined, slid into her hair. With slow massages, he caressed her scalp. They tangled in her strands, and she melted into his kiss, into his smooth hands and into the hardness of his chest. Not relinquishing her right hand, Zen moved it to his waist, and held her arm against him. She shook off his hand and wrapped both of her arms around him, feeling his stone torso beneath the tailored suit and really, really wanting all the fabric that separated them off and tossed carelessly on the floor.

She breathed him in, tasting him, and hearing the rasp of his desire. Zen hugged her one-armed to him, his fingers lost in her hair, and he moaned—he nibbled around the edges of her lower lip. When

he released her mouth, he held her firmly to her, and gazed down at her. Carefully, he untangled his fingers from her hair.

“That too was, tasty,” he confessed softly against her ear.

She beamed and tucked a rogue hair behind her ear. Her ebony Nine West heels brought her right up to his chest, and he had to bend a bit to reach her mouth, her ears, and her neck. Not that he seemed bothered by it. Zen had to be the tallest Asian she‟d ever met.

Height didn‟t seem to be an issue as his tongue found her earlobe. Sucking it gently between his lips, he used his teeth to graze it.

His breath hot against her ear, his smooth accented voice confessed, “I want to take you someplace more
private
than this, Nadia. I feel such hunger and desire for you.”

Nadia didn‟t doubt his words because she could feel the hard swell of phallus pressed against her lower abdomen. Sizable and impressive, the rumors of Asian men having small cocks must‟ve been confined to someone else, because this Japanese male definitely didn‟t fit those parameters. Not that it made much difference. Nadia knew that it was all in how he swung the bat, not necessarily the size of his equipment.

But judging by his size, Zen had more than enough to fulfill her deep ache.

As if to gain her attention, he bit her earlobe, making her love button beat faster. “Answer me,” Zen said, voice laden with lust. “Do you want to go home?”

She stepped back from him, and swallowed hard. For months, she‟d come to this restaurant and ate—most often by herself—ogling this man. She went home, full of sushi and masturbated about this man. Him. Zen Su Chow.

And now, now that the Fates, destiny, whomever had placed the most delectable dish in front of her, he had the nerve to ask if she would taste him? Devour him? Beg for seconds and thirds?

“Absolutely, let‟s go to my place,” she said, enjoying the erotic thoughts skipping through her

mind.

Zen frowned. “I am sorry this is not to your liking, Nadia.”

She paused as she bent to take her purse from the chair‟s back. “I loved it, Zen. What are you

talking about?”

“You did? But you want to go home. May we meet again?”

She peered at him and searched his face. He avoided her eyes and his long eyelashes seemed to shield his eyes from her. It clicked for her then.

“Oh, I see. You‟re going home with me, Zen.” His looked up at her. “I am?”

With a broad smirk, Nadia said, “Oh absolutely. This order is to go.”


There is no teacher for love
.”

--Japanese Proverb

Chapter Five

Zen‟s body felt flushed—a strange combination of heat and air. Part of him wanted to float off to Cloud nine, but the other, the uncomfortable hardening of his cock, kept him grounded. Walking out of the private room with his thickening phallus would be awkward. He removed his jacket, folded it, and carried it in front of his semi-erect phallus. The thoughts of Nadia, naked and in his arms, her full breasts in his palms, and his lips wrapped around those chocolate-tipped nipples that pressed impatiently against her blouse fed his desire. Nadia wore a sheer blouse, but he couldn‟t see through the fabric—not that he had tried. Her nipples, they must be hard as diamonds, for they pushed through her bra and her blouse.

“Zen,” Nadia said firmly, laughing. “Earth to Zen.”

He blinked and turned to look at the source of his delicious torment. The steps to the restaurant‟s exit door and his car couldn‟t come fast enough.

“I will need to tie up a few ends before we leave,” he explained to her. “Oh sure. No problem.”

They let the private room, down the hall and out into the main lobby. The restaurant had emptied except for a few couples lingering over the candle lit tables. Asuka came charging around from the registers bank, her face scrunched into fury. What happened to anger her?

“Asuka…” he said startled, but his niece‟s eyes focused solely on Nadia. Then, he spied the glass in Asuka‟s hand. A wine glass. “No!”