The place was nothing but wind. Grey skies, constant drizzle, and wind, incessant wind, blowing across the entire width of the Patagonian plains from the Andes in the west, all the way over the miles of rocky hills and scrub and finally butting up against this depressing little collection of shacks and decrepit buildings that was the village of Ultambacca, huddled on this rocky cliff overlooking the dark and surly South Atlantic as if it had been blown here and was just barely hanging on.

The end of the world.

EcoVentures had fucked up this time, Caroline thought. There was nothing to see here and nothing to do, and no matter how green and trendy they made their new hotel, not even the most dedicated, whale-crazed eco-freak would last more than a couple days beneath that glowering sky and incessant wind. She’d never seen a more raw and depressing place.

At her room in the drafty stone house that served as the only hotel in this forlorn wilderness, Caroline stared out the drafty French doors at the ocean below. She tried not to glance at her watch. Herrera should have finished his negotiations by now and she was frantic to get out of this place and back to Buenos Aires. Octavio Flores’ land was the last bit of real estate EV needed for their project, and as soon as Herrera dropped the signed contract in her hand she was ready to head back while there was still light: Puerto Madryn to Buenos Aires, and from there, home. She simply couldn’t face another night here with that cold outhouse and no hot water, no electricity, and the wind whistling through the stone walls all night long. She was sick of the smell of the kerosene lamps and the feel of the damp sheets on her sagging mattress, and she didn’t want to eat one more meal in the Casa Menendez’s primitive dining room that resembled nothing so much as a subterranean cave. Even there the wind found its way through the stone walls and around the religious carpets hung like tapestries to stop it, and moaned and whispered as she ate.

This was not the kind of foreign travel and exotic adventure she’d imagined when she’d signed on as EcoVenture’s Assistant Location Manager for the Patagonian Project. She worried about fleas.

The French doors were nailed shut against the wind, and though the thin glass panes were caulked with bits of moss and dried seaweed to keep them from rattling, they rattled all the same. The thin white curtains were never still.

Moss and dried seaweed! As if she were living in the stone age or huddled in some Mongolian yurt. And this the best room in the best house in town, Doña Menendez’s daughter’s room in Doña Menendez’s own home, given to Caroline to appease the Yanqui lady’s fine sensibilities.

Outside she could see a few more of the sad, bedraggled houses these people lived in—more like stone huts, really, or little shacks—built from the flat pieces of rock and slate that littered the ground and the hill behind her. Beyond the huts the land fell away down to a stony beach covered with plastic refuse and gobbets of oily tar, where a few battered fishing boats were drawn up and turned upside down against the rain. Nets were strung on pieces of driftwood though God knows why. They certainly weren’t going to dry in this place, and stretched between pieces of driftwood and scrap lumber they looked like nothing so much as spirit catchers, and spirit catchers that had no more luck than the fishermen did.

It was supposed to be a fishing village, but they didn’t seem to fish very much, or venture out very far from shore when they did. The Atlantic was too rough and cold here, the harbor hardly a harbor at all, just a little cover ringed with stone. Occasionally she could see icebergs in the foggy distance when the rain wasn’t too severe, and sizeable chunks of ice bobbed in the water. There were supposed to be seals and penguins too, and of course whales—humpbacks and southern rights, orcas, and even sperm whales too, she’d been told, though so far Caroline hadn’t seen a single living thing, not even a sea bird. The whales were the whole reason EV wanted to put their resort here, so she had to assume they knew what they were doing, but to hr it was hard to believe there was anything living in that water.

She told herself to calm down and relax, but she was angry at herself. She’d been an idiot to take this assignment. She’d thought this would be a big opportunity to show EcoVentures what she could do. Jack hadn’t wanted her to go, but Jack never wanted any sort of success or independence for her. Caroline had jumped at the chance to be away from him for a couple of weeks just so she could think about their relationship. She’d imagined evenings in Buenos with sophisticated lawyers, sipping Argentinean wines and brokering deals with colorful villagers. She’d never imagined that Ultambacca would be such a primitive shit hole, or that she’d have to squat in dirty huts with a bunch of primitive Ona half-castes with callused hands and broken nails. The wardrobe she’d brought istanbul escort was embarrassingly useless, intended for business dinners in elegant hotels. And Fausto Herrera, the lawyer EV had assigned to her, was an oleaginous caricature of a Latin playboy, fawning, effete, and not to be trusted. But he spoke the language and she didn’t. He knew the customs and she didn’t, and these people didn’t like dealing with females anyhow, especially not Yanqui females. So Señor Herrera did everything while Caroline stayed in her room and slowly went crazy.

Down on the shore she watched two men hauling in a net. It was heavy work, dragging the net up onto the stony beach as the wind blew in their faces, then dropping it and going down to the water to grab the next section and repeating the process. In the end she knew they’d find one or two fish in the net and that would be their reward for a morning’s work. That’s what this place was like, brutal, raw, desolate, a stingy and ungenerous land.

She turned from the window and went to her dresser–Dona Menendez’s dresser, actually–where she found her cocaine hidden in her underwear. The foil was wrinkled and brittle from use and the white powder had started to cake up from the constant damp. Caroline carefully broke up the chunks with a manicured fingernail and crushed them into as fine a powder as she could manage. She had to be careful. If Fausto came back soon with the completed contract, then they could leave for Puerto Madryn immediately while there was still daylight and she wanted to be awake for that. If not, she didn’t want to be so coked up that she’d be awake for their last night in this hell hole, trying to play solitaire by candlelight.

What the hell, she thought. This boredom was worse than anything. She scooped up a hit with the nail of her little finger and sniffed it into her nose.

Good stuff, good stuff. Very clean and pure, much better than what you could get in the States, and she felt the icy rush lift her up and open her senses. The sound of the wind was suddenly much clearer and distinct, the pounding of the surf rich and almost musical. She stood there by the dresser, waiting for the icy rush of the cocaine to wash away the chronic feelings of fear and loneliness that nagged at her constantly and without relief.

But this time the drug only seemed to sharpen them and make them more acute, and Caroline felt tears gather unexpectedly in her eyes, surprising and alarming her. She thought she’d reached a kind of understanding with her unhappiness or at least a temporary truce while she was on assignment here, but instead her sadness had just smuggled itself along and the dreariness and isolation of this awful place set it off with new strength and vigor.

She fought down the tears and the swelling feeling of despair. Not now! she thought. I’ll deal with them later, when I’m back with Jack, or at least on the plane home with time to think.

So she pushed them away and refused to let them come. She wiped away the tears with the back of her wrist, then neatly folded her stash and put it back into an empty tampon and put it away.

She’d always been cursed with beauty. She knew it had helped her too, but because she was beautiful she’d had always had to work harder for people to take her seriously. Beautiful, all A’s, honor role, and even cheerleader too. In college she’d been almost obsessed, turning off her social life while she drove herself to perfection. And then in her job she’d worked even harder, showing the male buddy network she could compete while delicately deflecting their hints and comments. She’d made herself professional, but at a price, and it was the price that had caused the tears.

And then there was Jack. There was a chance they could make it work this time and turn what they had into a relationship rather than a committee of two. But just thinking of how much he fell short of what she really wanted made her sad again.

That’s why she hated this place so much. It looked just like how she felt inside.

She knew what she needed, what almost always worked. She threw a glance at the door to make sure it was locked. It would be just like Herrera to show up at the worst possible time, but she could always tell him she’d been napping. She’d risk it. She really needed some relief.

The piece of scrimshaw stood right there on the dresser. Her new-found Argentinean friend.

She hadn’t dared bring any sort of device with her. Who knew who might go through her things? But this little gem had been right here on Doña Menendez’s dresser as if waiting for her: an elegantly curved piece of whale tooth about eight inches long and just the right thickness, creamy white and tapering to a gently rounded point. It was incised with Ona patterns and polished smooth as glass, warm to the touch with the living feel that only real ivory has. It felt good just holding it.

She had a name for it. To herself she avcılar escort called it Señor Amante—Señor Lover. Her one friend in a friendless world.

She had her pants down before she even got on the bed. The ancient mattress sagged under her weight; the covers were cool and a little damp against her bottom. Nothing ever dried out here. But as soon as she pressed the ivory up between her legs, she forgot all about that. The curve fit against her perfectly, and when she moved it, the shallow carvings provided just the right amount of stimulation.

Maybe she should have turned off the lamp. There was light enough through the French doors, but she liked the warm glow from the kerosene. She glanced at the door once more, double-checking the lock, then lay her head back on the pillow and closed her eyes. She could still hear the wind, the ocean below, but all that was outside now, somewhere else. She told herself to hurry. Herrera could be back any time.

But still she paused, one hand sliding under her sweater and into her shirt to find a breast, the other pressing the warm piece of scrimshaw against her pussy. She looked up at the cracked ceiling above her. Her mind was racing from the cocaine.

Maybe this wouldn’t be such a bad place for a hotel. She could see her and Jack coming here to this very room, joking and laughing about this miserable and primitive excuse for a hotel, so bad it was almost good. They’d fall onto the rickety bed, still laughing and giggling, and Jack would start kissing her, putting his arms around her, pulling her close. Then his hands would go to her breasts and he’d push her sweater up so he could get to them. His lips would be warm on her nipples and wet, and eager for her. She’d feel that tug in her pussy, the emptiness of her need for him, and she’d close her eyes.

Sometimes it was good with him. Sometimes when he’d really wanted her she could see it in his eyes and feel it in his hands. That hadn’t happened in a while now though. But it might happen again. Maybe they could make it happen again.

She imagined the bed creaking as he climbed on and then rolled on top of her. She imagined his cock butting up against her pussy. She put her arm over her eyes to block the light, the better to imagine him. His weight pressing her down, covering her, pushing her deeper into the worn mattress. She slipped Señor Amante into her mouth to give him a coating on saliva, the feeling of him there making her moisten.

She opened her legs and raised her knees. She pushed her panties to the side with Señor and got him in place. She pushed him in.

Oh, he felt good! Just opening her, filling her just this little bit, reminding her how good it was, as if she could ever forget.

She arched her back and just hung there, feeling him, holding the tooth just so, knees up and her jeans around her ankles. It was lewd and dirty she knew, but not it if was Jack between her legs fucking her, holding himself poised just inside her in a way he knew drove her crazy.

“Do it, do it!” she whispered. “Fuck me!” And she started pumping it into her, deeper each time, stopping to grind it around inside, twisting it so the tip of the tooth touched her in all the right and secret places.

A jolt of pleasure jerked her head up over her clenched tummy. Oh yes. There, there. Right there. Right in that spot. Push it, rub it, get it. She was instantly on fire, shocked by how good it felt. She’d unexpectedly found just the right spot, right there, and she was frozen in a half sit-up, paralyzed with pleasure, her eyes glued on the obscene sight of that polished whale-tooth entering her body. So dirty, so lewd, almost, in a way, an act of bestiality.

No. Worse. Necrophilic bestiality. Sex with a part of a dead animal. The depravity of even viewing it that way gave her a sudden rush of chills, which only made the pleasure that much more acute.

Don’t think of it! Don’t think of it! She fixed her eyes blankly on the window with its ragged lace curtain moving in the drafts, and the icy sea beyond.

Caroline panted, clenched her eyes shut. The pleasure was intense, surprisingly sharp and deep. She reached down with her other hand and began doing her clit, her fingers vibrating against it with frantic urgency. Her toes clenched against her feet and one shoe dropped to the bed but she didn’t care. It was good. It was so fucking good. She was already close.

She wanted to make it last. She wanted to explore that spot some more and let the pleasure consume her but she knew there wasn’t time. Her head fall back on the pillow and she surrendered to the devastating pleasure, pushing herself to orgasm, chasing her quick release. It wasn’t far off. It was right there, right on the edge…

The sound of the surf was in her ears, the steady, pounding waves. The wind gusted through the chinks in the walls and stirred the curtains and made the kerosene lamp gutter and flicker. And then she was there.

It was şirinevler escort intense, surprisingly intense, and she clenched her jaw to keep from screaming, ground her teeth together and pressed her lips over them to muffle any vestige of a scream that might leak out. It broke upon her like the surf on a beach, a powerful, irresistible tsunami that flooded her with pleasure shocking in its depth, complete, consuming and possessive. It drove her down and she had to fight to resist it, fight to claw her way back into the light and air again, like a swimmer caught in an undertow.

She fell back into the bed spent and enervated, exhausted, and just lay there as she caught her breath and her heart settled down. Then she smiled, and the smile became a soft laugh.

She picked up Senor Amante and looked at him.

“My, Señor! You do have a way with the ladies! Who would have thought?”

She got up, refreshed and strangely energized, and went to the basin. She poured water into it from the pitcher and washed her face, then lovingly rinsed off the Señor and dried him. She would have to buy him from Dona Menendez as a souvenir, as she intended the Señor to come home with her. And if he wasn’t for sale, then he’d come back with her anyway. What could Doña Menendez do to stop her?

By the time she heard the soft knock on the door, Caroline was composed and collected and looking as if nothing had happened.


“It is I, Fausto,” he said from behind the door. “I am returned.”

She opened the door and Fausto stood there in raincoat and hat, galoshes on his feet, briefcase in his hand, always the lawyer. His smile was even more apologetic than usual, and Caroline knew immediately what that meant. She moaned.

“I know what you are thinking,” he said quickly, holding up a hand. “But things are not so bad as you fear. Please, may I enter?”

Caroline slumped against the edge of the door. “Yes, yes. Come on in. What happened? You don’t even have to tell me. He refused to sign, right?”

“No, Caroline. Not at all. May I sit?”

She said nothing, but Fausto sat down in the shabby overstuffed armchair anyhow.

“He will sign, I am sure of it. But first he needs to consult with his wise man.”

“His wise man?”

Fausto smiled. “I told you these Indians are old-fashioned and superstitious. Often they will not make a decision without consulting with their wise man, their shaman.”

“You’re kidding me! And how long will that take?”

“Oh, not long. Just the night, I think. The wise men always do their work at night. In any case, there’s nothing to fear. I have already spoken to this wise man myself in private, and he’s agreeable.”

Caroline closed the door and looked at him. “You know him?”

“Oh yes. And you do as well. It’s Don Alejandro Correro. He’s quite agreeable to our proposal.”

“Alejandro? The one who doesn’t say anything?”

“Yes. The same.”

“He’s a wise man?”

“He is, yes.”

Caroline sat down on the bed. “I took him for some kind of idiot, I mean, some sort of learning disorder or something. During the meeting he just sat there with his eyes crossed and his mouth open. I expected him to start drooling. I don’t think he likes me.”

Fausto a little chuckle. “Oh, I think he was just maybe playing with you perhaps. Shamen are strange, and often have their strange ways. It shouldn’t concern you.”

“Shamen? Like witch doctors? That’s what he is?”

Fausto retreated. “Perhaps I used the wrong word. In their language they call them Osheina, which means ‘guide’.”

“And I thought he was an idiot.”

Fausto looked at her attentively. “Oh no, Caroline. Don Alejandro is a great man among his people. And educated. He has even spent a year in an American university in California. I think you might perhaps be misunderstanding. These people do not really concern themselves with those from the outside world. I mean no offense to you Caroline, but those who aren’t a member of their family or tribe they do not even see as real human beings like themselves. Especially members of the —excuse me—opposite sex, as you yourself have seen.” He smiled his unctuous smile. “But you must not worry yourself. Being liked or disliked is a very North American preoccupation. You shouldn’t concern yourself with it here. It’s of no importance.”

Caroline nodded and pulled thoughtfully at her lip. She was trying to remember if she’d given Alejandro any reason to dislike her since she’d arrived, which might seriously interfere with her project. She’d noticed him at the first meeting they’d held with the villagers in Doña Menendez’s dining room and had assumed he must be some local chief or leader, solid, good-looking, and tall even among people who were unusually tall. But then as she made her introductory remarks and Herrera translated, Alejandro had seemed to doze off, staring at her with glazed, half-lidded eyes that were disturbingly crossed, his mouth hanging open. She’d immediately dismissed him as the village idiot, which was all the more tragic given his masculine beauty.

But a shaman? Maybe EcoVentures could find that useful. The tourists would fall all over themselves to know there was a real-life native shaman down here, or maybe working at the resort. A guide of some kind, or a greeter…



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