She had changed her name — or rather, a single letter in her name — because a man she chanced upon at a private art opening in Soho had mistaken it as Elona.  The name so aroused him, he said, that if he didn’t bed her immediately he would be doomed to night after brutal night of excessive self-abuse, conjuring images of her ample lips enveloping his ample cock.  Pushing close against her hip to verify his claim, he managed to brush her cleavage with the back of his hand, which happened also to be cradling a snifter of Brandy.  He lifted the glass two inches to her mouth, and she drank.

When a bit later in the evening the very same man (who had further ventured to share his preferences regarding grooming habits insofar as private parts were concerned) learned that her name was Elana, and not Elona, he lost interest altogether.  That simply.

Her ancestry was faded Hollywood royalty, of Jewish extraction, and a mother who had taught her to scrub her face with soap and cold water as morning and bedtime ritual.  Thankfully, she had wised up early on to the fallacy of that beauty tip.

She had married money — Russian mob money — and lived in an elaborate loft, kissed with sparse opulence, at an address in the West Village most people would put their eyes out for.  Pallid and well-kept, the young heiress delighted in suggesting she was far more sexually adventurous than she was in truth — possibly a character trait she believed prerequisite to having a name like Elona … but nonetheless.  Ivory tower and imaginarium of sexual deviance aside, it was all perfectly dull to the poor, forlorn princess plagued by l’ennui.

The problem with Russians was that you never knew what they were thinking, or how much they knew, and that the reverse was seldom true.  That, at least, had been her experience with Dimitri.  And they had you followed.  So the report of your day over a pleasant, candlelit dinner had better be pretty damn well accurate.

She had never minded much, being a possession.  It came with certain benefits, and when push came to shove, it was the only vocation she had been groomed for.

*     *     *

She went down to meet Harry because Harry had said he wanted to talk.  About matters substantial.  Which is what Harry always said when he had had enough to drink to try to convince her for the umpteenth time that they belonged together.  That the “situation he had created” — that being having a wife and a child — was keeping them from being together.  And how deeply he regretted it.  For starters.  He would ask her to sit on his lap — right there in the cocktail lounge — as though she were his daughter, or some floozy, or some fucking twenty year old who didn’t really know any better or didn’t really care.

The reason she continued to go down to meet Harry was her penchant for the obscene — which was the only thing you could call it, the situation Harry had created and the way, after how many years now?, he continued to pine for her, desire her so completely and unabashedly, that he did himself a wrong, soaking his skin in the excess of humiliation.  He was so weak, so vulnerable … it would be repulsive, if that were all she knew of him.  But he was also the salt of the earth, and had more substance than anyone she had ever known, dead or alive.  And that was the real reason Elona continued to go down to meet Harry.

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