KONNICHIWA  COWBOY


Chapter One

Osaka, Japan


“Incredible! I can’t believe it’s really me under all this makeup. You’re a master with a makeup brush.” Sakura Nakamura looked closely in the mirror at the elaborate makeup Molly, her best friend, had taken hours to apply.

Her entire face, neck, and a small portion of her chest were covered in a thick matte white paste. In contrast, a stark, kohl black liner outlined her eyes and formed dramatic eyebrows. The final touch, a bright red dot painted on the center of both her upper and lower lips, left her with an exotic, pursed appearance. Men around the world found the geisha look erotic, and she could see why.

It had been her decision to answer Matt’s request personally. She had used the expected image to hide her identity, and put on solid black contact lenses to take it a step further. She wanted to be with the man, intimately, yet not allow him to recognize her. That took a great deal of work and she left nothing out, including the outlandish hairdo. All of her straight, shoulder black hair, with long extensions added, had been manipulated into three exaggerated buns. Molly secured each with plenty of products and special ornate combs to keep them in place. One of the hair ornaments had delightful bells that tinkled with her every movement. The other two had sprigs of her favorite flower, honeysuckle, dangling from them, which emitted a wonderful fragrance whenever they moved. The combs were the only things she wore that pointed to her as an individual.

Excitement and anticipation of what was to happen caused her heart to race wildly. The night promised to bring her most heated dreams to life, and she couldn’t wait for it to start. Unlike how she lived each day, always doing what her parents planned for her, tonight would be all about what she wanted.

Sakura knew she was a dutiful daughter, although she lived a lie. She hadn’t wanted to rebel against her parents—they’d never meant to hurt her. They loved her and only wanted her to have the very best. Unfortunately, their own expectations encouraged them to raise her under strict rules, offering her no chance to be unique.

There had been bright spots here and there, like her first taste of independence found at college, but graduation brought her back under their control. For as long as she could remember, she’d done whatever they wanted, even when it hadn’t felt right inside her heart and mind. With Matt Wilson came a chance for her to be true to herself, free, and with someone she wanted. She’d take their one night together and revel in being a woman. She didn’t want to hurt anyone, just make some memories to help her find a way to live as her parents wished.

With the complicated makeup and hair finished, she moved on to getting dressed.

The bright red silk kimono with cherry blossoms all over it and the green obi were hers, a gift to honor her coming of age. Not someone to do something halfway, she’d followed through with the image she chose to portray that evening and would wear both geta and tabi, the traditional wooden sandals and split toed socks. Even though she owned the odd footwear, she found them uncomfortable. She pushed the discomfort they caused to the back of her mind and, again, looked in the mirror.

“Is that really me?” Sakura whispered, shock permeating her voice.

“It’s definitely you.” Laughing, Molly circled her and checked over the changes she’d helped her friend make while assuring her no one would see who was behind the makeup.

“I could swear I’m wearing a mask. There’s nothing familiar about the woman I see looking back at me.” The moment Sakura decided to do something for herself, she felt whole, body and soul moving together on the same path. However, there was no future for her and Matt, even if Matt felt for her half as much as she felt for him. Besides the distance between Montana and Japan, they were locked into a working relationship. She’d never shame her boss, her father, by doing anything inappropriate.

However, last week she’d completed her job for Nakamura Enterprises in advising a potential partner what they needed to do to stay in line with the Japanese government’s importation requirements. A couple of days ago, she’d made her final report to her father, and was formally finished with the Big W Ranch’s case.

At a loss for excuses to spend more time with Matt, she’d handled the last item on her list in regards to his visit. She’d called her contact at the hotel where he stayed and asked if there were any requests for their guest’s last night. Sakura had made such calls throughout his stay, but it turned out to be the first time she’d been given a gift in return. The concierge she worked with revealed Matt had asked what many Western men sought while visiting her country. He’d requested a prostitute dressed as a geisha. She hadn’t been turned off by discovering he was comfortable with his sexual needs. In fact, after thinking it through, she’d seen it as a chance for him to get what he wanted and for her to be with him as she’d dreamt.

“Trust me, you look beautiful. Your appearance is exactly like the woman in the picture we found. There’s not a chance he’d recognize you beneath all this gear. Don’t forget, he’s used to seeing you in a suit, dress, even jeans, but not dressed like a traditional Japanese woman. Now, assure me one more time that you know what you’re doing.”

“I really like him, Molly, more than any other man. He makes me think about my dreams and what the future holds. Wouldn’t that be enough of a reason to seek more time with him? To have some memory of us together to hold close when he’s gone?”

“Oddly enough, that makes sense to me, which worries a different part of me. I know you wouldn’t do anything that would put him in an awkward position businesswise, but what about any repercussions or maybe regrets you’d have later?”

“The only thing I would regret is if my parents found out, but I’ve done everything possible to ensure that won’t happen. Only you know my plan, and I trust you to hold it close to your chest as I do. To tie up any doubts of the professional ethics in what I’m about to do, I’m no longer working with him. As far as my position with the company and their negotiations with his ranch, I’m formally off the job. There’s no longer any reason why I can’t be with him as intimately as I want.”

She used her hands to carefully pat her hair, and continued noting reasons why she felt confident in moving on. “I intend to give him exactly what he wants, which also happens to be something I’d enjoy as well. Playing the part of a demure geisha who would do whatever the man wants excites me. There’s a challenge to make sure whatever we do together is legal, but I won’t lose sight of it. No matter how badly I want to feel him possessing my body, I won’t break the law or tempt him to do so, either. I’m not sure if he knows the laws of prostitution in Japan, so it’s up to me to make sure we don’t do anything wrong.”

“Well, I feel better knowing you’ve thought it through, both the good and bad.”

“I’m sure of only one thing, Molly. The only man I have wanted intensely leaves tomorrow. Why wouldn’t I want to spend his last night with him?” No matter what was said or done, she wasn’t about to back down. Not when she was minutes away from fulfilling her hearts’ desire, as well as her hottest dream. All the man had to do was look at her with need and she’d be content.

“Remember, I’ll be here in case you need anything. Okay, enough worrying, let’s finish up and get you to his room.”

“You’re such a good friend.”

“I’m sure you’d do the same for me.”

“Anytime you need me, I’m there for you.” Sakura told her friend what was in her heart and meant it.

“I know, sweetie, I know. Come on, it’s quarter to nine and the concierge should be waiting to let you into his room.” Molly picked up the fan and hooked it over Sakura’s wrist before putting the string of her purse over her other one. “I’ve put both your mobile and a spare key for our room inside.”

“You’ve met Matt and know he’s a decent man, nothing horrible is going to happen. Please, turn it off. I don’t want to receive a call from my parents while I’m locked in a romantic clinch with a gorgeous man.” Without a word, her friend took out the phone and put it in her pocket. “Thank you, now relax. Enjoy the night in a posh hotel. Order a decadent meal and champagne from room service.”

“Okay, okay, I’m sorry. The mother hen inside me came out. Accept that my worry won’t leave until you return.”

“I think we need to find you a man.” Molly looked uneasy at the teasing offer. Sakura believed the other woman wasn’t comfortable with what she’d said and therefore wondered yet again if her friend had been hurt, physically, by some guy in the past. Maybe that was what brought her to Japan. Her friend had never told her how she’d ended up in Osaka.

“Let’s get you through tonight and then we can deal with my lack of a love life.” Her friend gave her a gentle hug, then carefully smoothed her hands over the highly structured hair. “You look beautiful. Enjoy yourself and don’t do anything you don’t want to do. Oh, I almost forgot, I put some condoms in your purse as well. Use them even though there will be no actual intercourse.”

“See, you think of everything. I’ve been so intent on getting dressed appropriately and then into his room, that I forgot all about those.”

“That’s what friends are for. Go have fun, feel sexy, and I’m sure as soon as he sees you he’ll drop to his knees with need.”

“There’s a lovely image, that big hunk of a man on his knees in front of me. I could handle that.” She turned and made her way to the door. “See you later, Molly.”

“I’ll want details.”

“Maybe,” Sakura looked over her shoulder as she left the room and laughed.

Walking down the hallway was awkward in the slim column of her kimono and the wooden sandals. What she had on was pretty, although definitely not for someone who chose to wear clothes that allowed her to walk as quickly and easily as she wanted. Turning the corner, she passed through the elevator bay and saw the concierge standing at the end of the hallway.

This was her first test to see if she was recognizable. She knew the man, although they mainly handled business over the phone. All he knew was what she’d told him during their previous conversation. Nakamura Enterprises would take care of supplying and paying the woman, taking any concerns away from the hotel.

Sumimasen, Nakamura Enterprises asked me to meet with a Wilson-san. Am I at his room?”

“Yes, yes, please hurry,” he said while opening the door. “The gentleman said he’d be back by nine and was very particular about having you already in the room, waiting for his return. While he wouldn’t state it specifically, I believe I know the position you should be in to greet him. I’ve dealt with Westerners before and they have an image of how a geisha should act. Be submissive, entertaining, and speak only when spoken to. No eye contact, either. You’re here to fulfill a fantasy, as well as satisfy his desire.” Hiedo helped her settle into a kneeling position, with her head bowed and hands folded together beneath the kimono’s long sleeves and resting in her lap. She was ready to serve.

Obviously he’d helped other women in a similar position before, since the man managed to be very careful and meticulous in how he fixed her kimono and obi. It was oddly comforting to know he had experience and that she’d passed his discerning eye. Considering she wasn’t a prostitute and had never dressed up as a geisha, she felt pleased to pull off such a feat.

“There, you look perfect. Do you have any questions before I go wait outside for the gentleman to arrive?”

Ile.

“Good, let me close the curtain and dim the lights, help set a mood, there we go. Okay, we’re all set then. O daiji ni.”

The concierge quietly closed the door behind him after telling her to take care of herself. How thoughtful. Sakura took a deep breath and realized she was more eager than nervous about what would happen. Matt starred in her most erotic fantasies and she couldn’t be more excited to finally share an intimate evening with him. At the moment, he probably wouldn’t be bothered with the true identity of his partner, although she had a feeling he would later.

Before she had a chance to think any further about what to expect, the door opened again. Even though her head was bowed, she immediately knew her cowboy stood there, looking at her. Only at her, and the knowledge of him focusing on her so intently filled Sakura with a sense of power she’d never experienced before.

Simply knowing he was there caused her nipples to tighten and her pussy to fill with honey. She knew, without a doubt, that he’d satisfy her as much as was legally possible.

For months and without any effort, the man’s natural sensuality seduced her over the phone. Each time they talked business and flirted with each other long distance, there’d been a picture of him dressed as a cowboy in her head. As time went on, the image morphed into him naked, except for his hat and boots, and always hard for her. Inevitably, with the naughty image of him teasing her and the deep voice talking to her, she usually had a struggle to keep their interactions on a professional level. Somehow she’d managed to do just that, but then he came to Japan and it became more difficult to work with him. In person, Matt was even more handsome and desirable than he’d been in her imagination, and who he was inside shined through.

Thankfully, satisfaction finally stood within her reach. Eager for everything to start, she’d already decided to keep her voice low and emphasize English not being her first language. With a husky whisper, she greeted him in a way he’d surely understand and yet would be subtly naughty, something that would hopefully turn him on even further upon hearing.

Konnichiwa, cowboy.”