1. The Strangler Fig Pas de Deux


    Date: 11/30/2023, Categories: Lesbian Author: CuriousAnnie, Source: LushStories

    The whirring fan was a triumph of optimism over effectiveness, not a skerrick of breeze cut through the treacly mugginess shrouding my skin. That humidity, redolent of molasses, mango, and frangipani, continually asked: Always the outsider in this fugging hell of a town?
    
    A bead of sweat pursuing its predecessor down my cleavage further dampened my décolletage. Despite wearing less, here, laundry is time-consuming. All of life’s rhythms are in the thrall of the sultry weather.
    
    This is as good as it gets: it's officially winter. Welcome to the fucking tropics.
    
    The front door slamming as Jade returned from lunch didn’t distract the afternoon’s postprandial torpor from weighing on my eyelids. No plans before three, apart from another shower, and this somnolence was of the tropical kind, uninterruptible.
    
    With the gangliness of a young filly, Jade’s enthusiastic naivety reflected her sheltered upbringing. Yet from her first day at work, that desire to please had dog-whistled latent submissiveness fit for the harness.
    
    It’s not her mother’s style to go down on bended knees. But Monica had made an exception when begging me to give Jade, who’s still remotely studying criminology at my alma mater, Sydney University, work experience.
    
    It’s not my style to say no to Monica.
    
    Jade lunching on Asian street food at the markets had been my idea. It’s authentic, well apart from being botulism free, and the dumplings are particularly tasty; the perfect place to start networking with her opposite number at Marlow’s.
    
    Yes, Marlow’s, the competition. Not that they’d see it that way, they’ve self-styled as Cairns' oldest and only reliable detective agency.
    
    We’ll see.
    
    The guy in charge is Col fucking Angelos, a good ol’ boy, which, hereabouts, translates as lecherous arse hole. He’s as much a privates’ investigator as a private investigator if you get my drift.
    
    You’d think an older guy with the size of his beer belly, the strength of his body odour and the minuscule length of his dick would struggle to get laid. Apparently not, seems an encyclopaedic knowledge of who's up who and who’s paying has resulted in the tropics edition of George Clooney. The XXXX rather than the Nespresso version, that is.
    
    It’s totally a man’s world hereabouts. I know, I know, misogyny is here, there, and everywhere. But, there’s something genuinely neanderthal about North Queensland; here, mate, men are still men, mate, and her indoors should know her place, mate.
    
    That said, Col had surprised me, offering me a leg up when I’d been driven out of dodge for the second time; on this occasion rebooting my life far, far away from Melbourne.
    
    In the tourist brochures, the locals promote Cairns as: “Where the world’s oldest rainforest meets the world's largest coral reef.” That had sure sounded inviting, but, there again, Dr Jekyll wasn’t one to say much about Mr Hyde.
    
    Like, in reality, lush rainforests abut pristine white beaches, and you can’t fucking swim. ...
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