Tamsin: Tales of a Wicked Woman
She delighted and shocked readers in the stunning Jazz Noir: Seidr. Now the devious and luscious Tamsin commands her own book of four exotic, erotic tales:
Dacha-Nicking: Tamsin and Alexei join forces to visit retribution on a villain who is conning elderly Moscovites out of their dacha's. But ever the seductress, Tamsin manages to indulge in a bout of competitive flagellation during the process.
Erotic-Robotics: Rakhadov's passion for mechanisms of an erotic bent induces a crook to organise their theft. Can Tamsin manage to turn the situation to her favour and to sexually punish the perpetrator?
Switch-a-Rooney: Lazarev's progress in bringing the hateful drug 'Ping' to market needs to be stymied. Enter the avenging Tamsin.
Bonus story: Snegurotchka: When a Russian orphanage faces financial ruin, it's up to the beguiling Tamsin to play Snow Maiden.Elements: Spanking, BDSM, one F/F scene
As the time for N's performance neared, Tamsin became more and more excited. It was ridiculous, really. Here she was, an experienced, sophisticated twenty-seven-year-old woman acting like a teenager waiting for her favourite pop band to take the stage.
Though any performance by N was, in Tamsin's opinion, something to get excited about, To have her performing here in Moscow made it very, very special.
Tamsin sipped her ice-cold vodka and looked around the packed club, searching for something, anything, to distract her. All she felt as her gaze wandered hither and thither was a distinct feeling of d�j� vu. Le Place reminded Tamsin so much of BeBop City in Leeds, the club where she'd first met N, that she wondered if jazz clubs around the world weren't so much designed as cloned. Le Place had the same world-weary ambiance, the same collection of fly-blown, black-and-white photographs of jazz greats adorning the walls and the same casual irreverence to service that BeBop City had.
And the music was as painfully unpredictable in quality.
She checked her watch, not so much to see how long it was before N took the stage, but how long she'd have to endure the current act, a three-piece of trumpet, stand-up bass, and drums, gleefully massacring the Chet Baker songbook. If ever there was an example of a jazz combo that was all technique and no soul, there it was playing on the tiny stage of Le Place.
"How long before N's set?" asked Dazarev, obviously as disturbed by the trio's attempts to entertain as Tamsin.
Before Tamsin could answer, the trio brought their final number to a close in a fusillade of trumpet sharps and snare drum rolls. Breathing a sigh of relief, Tamsin turned to her boss, "In about ten minutes."
The mafia boss smiled at his mistress and returned to chatting with Natasha Rakhadova. Tamsin would have vastly preferred to have come to N's gig by herself, but Dazarev had insisted they make a party of it, and what Dazarev wanted, Dazarev generally got. That, Tamsin supposed, was one of the perks of being head of the largest Chechen crime syndicate--the Tsentralnaya--in Moscow.
"What numbers has she included in her set?" Natasha's husband, Sergei Rakhadov, enquired as he topped up Tamsin's shooter glass.
Tamsin shrugged. She didn't really want to get involved in chit-chat; she wanted to concentrate on what was happening onstage. Rocco, N's Jamaican pianist, had seated himself at the piano and was already complaining about the quality of the instrument. Some things never changed. "Mainly her own stuff, though because it's her maiden gig in Moscow she told me she's going to do a version of 'Murka.'"
"'Murka'? That's a bloody odd choice of song," said Natasha Rakhadova. "Isn't that an old Russian prison song?"
Sergei Rakhadov nodded. "Yeah, it's probably the most famous of the street songs of the 1920s. It was banned by the Communists, and even a couple of years ago, the Duma prohibited Olga Skiba from playing it in the parliament's canteen. It seems a strange choice for a jazz vocalist like N."
"Not really," answered Tamsin absentmindedly, watching as N's bassist and drummer went through their well-rehearsed process of preparing for a set. "It's an underground song, and jazz is--or at least was--an underground music. Anyway, N likes the tune, and Rocco has come up with some interesting improvisations..."
An announcement cut off her explanation. "Ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm Moscow welcome to ... N."
There were a lot of adjectives that could be used when describing N: beautiful, slim, petite, erotic...
The one that Tamsin always thought most apposite was "exotic".
As N walked out onto the stage, nodding in turn to each of her musicians, she looked strange, otherworldly ... exotic. The costume she wore helped. The sheer shrug clung tentatively to her shoulders and smoked over her breasts, her nakedness protected by the few scarps of glittery embroidery that decorated the flimsy waistcoat. Her skirt seemed to be composed of a disconcerting combination of leather and rubber that snaked tight over her legs, emphasising her trim figure.
Her face, too, defined N as someone--something--different. N's crewcut-short black hair accentuated her high cheekbones and her full, black-varnished lips. It was a shame, Tamsin decided, that the narrow shades she wore hid N's wonderfully blue eyes, but the dark glasses did add to the air of mystery N invoked.
When the applause had subsided, N leant forward and breathed into the retro-look microphone that was her trademark stage companion. "Good evening. To celebrate my first-ever gig in Moscow, I'd like to start with a Russian song, translated with the help of a good friend of mine in England. I'd like to dedicate it to the incomparable Tamsin."
As Tamsin blushed away the puzzled looks from her three fellow guests, N began to sing, her fragile, airy voice drifting out to entrance everyone in the packed club. N had reworked the song so that now it was a sparse, sad, plaintive number backed by some sparse, sad, plaintive piano from Rocco.
Enveloped and enthralled by Rocco's maudlin piano and N's desolate voice, Tamsin realised that this was what made N so different, so exotic, so unique ... her music:
All the good-niks knew
About that bad-assed crew
Who ruled the streets of Odessa.
In the day, they grifted,
And at night, they stiffed,
But these cats were being trailed by the Cheka.
In this gang was a frail,
The lust of every straight male,
And this chick's name, you know, it was Murka.
She lived for the thrill,
She stole and she killed,
In that bad-assed crew, she was leader.
Coming back from a fight,
Had to get us a bite
And in the club where we stopped, there was Murka.
Drinking and dancing
And major romancing
With some guy that we knew from the Cheka.
We decided to blow
And exited slow,
But we knew we had to settle with Murka.
So Kolka took a blade
Hid in the alleyway's shade
And waited for that poisonous traitor.
"Hello, my Murka,
It's so great to see ya,
It's hello, my darling, and goodbye
You shouldn't have blabbed."
The sharp blade stabbed,
And Kolka watched young Murka die.
They buried her well,
The funeral swell
With flowers and a Cheka cortege.
A sign written in blood
Said, "We'll reclaim the 'hood,
And we vow the bad guys we'll cage."
They caught all the gang
And watched them hang
From the scaffold at Murka's graveside.
And Murka's guy,
With a tear in his eye,
Said the bad can run but can't hide.