My name is Jim Skellerton. Guess what my nickname is? Bony. My school friends called me it so much that even my dad used it. (His own friends call him Skull.) Mum didn’t change her name when she married, and my big brother changed it to Skeller when he went to university. He is a pompous wanker.
Dad was a teacher at international high schools in Hong Kong, and part of the package was your kids get in for free. So me and my older brother were surrounded by rich kids all through school. No one checks where they get their money from, though, those families. There were some bad kids from evil empire families at our school. My brother’s reaction was to study his way out of having to deal with the riff-raff, to earn enough to stay high above the streets. Mine was to beef up and physically keep them at bay. My nickname Bony became ironic as I became the biggest beefcake in middle and upper high. Tough guys came to test themselves and I happily sent them packing. I had one rule only, it had to be on school grounds. School had cameras everywhere, so I could prove I wasn’t the instigator, and they could see I had not used excessive force to defend myself.
Once school was over though, things went wild for a time. I passed well enough to get into crappy colleges, but I chose not to participate. I worked in a garage on Kowloon side as an apprentice, surrounded by Hong Kong’s underbelly. I knew street-talk Cantonese, which kept me in the loop with the people in that world. I gave favours to people, watching their backs as they sold stolen car batteries or swapped hot tyres for hooch. I wasn’t just big and strong, I was deadly quick in a fight, and I never lost my cool.
Which brought me to Tsuen Wan one day, half-way up an empty multi-story car park. I’d been asked by one of the other apprentices to help carry cigarettes that had been smuggled tax-free over the border. But when I got there, they weren’t normal cigarettes. They were Special K cigarettes. And we weren’t the only ones there to collect. Two vans pulled up with four guys in each, and they had no intention of paying.
I picked the alpha, then calmly moved over with the demeanour of a reasonable man looking to talk, then decked him with a single massive punch to the face. No nose left, blood everywhere, maximum shock value. One guy to the left, one guy to the right. Swift, vicious, one-punch outs. I grabbed a fourth one by the neck and barked in Canto, ‘go’, and ‘now’. The other four picked up their boss and slumped him into the van, dashing off, thankfully to hospital. The guy I held I let loose. He picked up the other two, then left scowling.
“Us, too, go. Now.”
We got our load, but once back at the garage I unloaded on my buddy. Getting us into full-on drugs, it was madness. Bad people were in that business. Proper bad.
As I found out. Next time I saw the two vans, they brazenly pulled in to my garage. And they weren’t going to be taken by surprise again. Police tazers had me laid out on the ground, and no one working at my garage dared step to my aid. I spent until late evening locked in a container at the docks, expecting the worst.
When the door opened, I was led to the weir. There were a number of cars parked in the dark. Under a weak streetlamp, a family lieutenant approached with plenty of backup. He spoke in Cantonese.
“You hurt my people,” he said.
“My nephew, he almost died. Drowned in his own blood.”
I looked around, saying nothing.
“Why did you hurt my people?” he said in English this time.
“They were stealing from us.”
“We take what we want!” the guy yelled in Canto.
“And we defend our property,” I replied quietly back in Chinese.
The guy walked around me, worryingly standing behind me.
“I have heard of you, the white boy who speaks Cantonese,” he said in English, and then, “Bak Gik Hung!”
I laughed. “Polar Bear?”
“That’s what the soldiers called you today. The Polar Bear attacked us.”
He walked around the front again.
“The name suits you, big white Polar Bear. But do you know what happens to people who stop us taking what we want?” he asked.
I took a deep breath. “Containers fall off ships at sea all the time.”
The guy laughed. “You know us very well! Can you breathe under water, Polar Bear?”
“Hmmm,” he nodded. “So I expect.”
For a time he didn’t speak. He looked at me, enjoying the game from his vantage point. I looked at the dark water off to my left, if I broke through the circle, could I swim away? When the lieutenant spoke next, it was unexpected. It pulled my eyes back to him.
“You will come work with me,” he said coolly.
I looked up at his face, meeting his gaze.
“Okay,” I nodded.
“Killing you sends no message to anyone. No one would even know. So let’s put you to better purpose. You are strong. You are quick. You are calm. But can you be loyal to Chinese, over your own people?”
“I have no ‘people’.”
“Hmmm, I disagree. You are from kaçak iddaa a white family. You have people.”
“Only my brother. My parents retired, went home.”
“Your brother Stephen.”
I didn’t reply.
“Does very well for himself. Graduated HKU, working at Hong Kong Bank.”
“Yes,” I quietly agreed.
“Okay. You will go to your brother and prove to this family that you can choose us over your white family.”
“I’m not killing my brother,” I frowned.
“Hmmm, not necessary to kill. But hospital, yes. As bad as my nephew, yes. You will hurt your brother as you hurt my nephew. He will be in hospital. This week. Then you come see me.”
I nodded. There was little more to do but agree. And why wouldn’t I? It would be nice to get paid for the strong-arm work I had been doing for free. And those guys might have done some research on who I was, but not very deeply. I hated my brother. He was the biggest dick I knew. He spent all our days putting me down; physically when I was small enough, then psychologically when I grew. I had been dreaming of beating him senseless for years, and only didn’t out of love for my mother. I tried to hide my grin.
“And if you cannot,” I was told, “We will be back here again next week.”
“Don’t worry,” I said. “No need.”
I look back at that time as a turning point in my life, and Stephen’s. I had purpose for the first time, I was part of something huge, with almost no chance of arrest. We had more police than the police had. And the beating I gave Stephen was cathartic. It enabled me, it was a healing burst of emotion and feeling. The whole time I belted on Stephen he apologized over and over for the way he treated me all those years, as if he had been expecting this explosion one day.
I almost took it too far. Stephen literally couldn’t work for a month. And he said nothing about who did it, not to the police nor to our parents. I went into the hospital every night with treats and magazines. He continued to apologize at every moment. I was touched. Under the oddest of circumstances we had become brothers again, ironically in direct contrast to the lieutenant’s plans. Stephen’s girlfriend Jill was there with him, too. The beating had brought those two closer than ever. The way she looked after him at hospital and at home afterward was warm and full of love, it made them inseparable. I’m not sure he ever told her it was me that brought them so close together.
So over the next few years I had a ‘job’, good money, new friends, and my brother back. What was missing was a girlfriend, a proper one. All the girls I dated were slags. They had tattoos and crazy hair, and had usually been passed to me by one of the crew to take my turn. After a few weeks, invariably I passed them on, too.
But there was a catch, right? In the life I had, what decent girl would want me? And even if she did, I would be putting her in harm’s way. I had a habit of being attacked. Guys that didn’t know me often had a crack of dutch-courage at the big guy in the bar, and guys that did know me wanted to be the one that took down the Polar Bear. I was switched on for danger every moment. I was hardly dating material. The company gave me the pick of the whores they ran, I didn’t have to pay for a short time, but I couldn’t keep them overnight unless I paid. There was no intimacy or affection.
The only taste of good-girl blood I had was when sweet things went for a walk on the wild side. It happened sometimes, rich girls (and guys for that matter) occasionally thought it glam to cross the harbour to the dark side. Give themselves to a criminal for the thrill. It rarely worked out well for them. Bad people’s business is by definition full of bad people. They don’t respect women, they don’t wear condoms, and they don’t care if you get hurt. They will pump you full of drugs and fleece you of your wealth. They are depraved in ways your imagination couldn’t conjure.
Unless those girls got lucky and ended up with me. I mean that sincerely. Having gone to school surrounded by wealthy kids, I know the mindset, I can understand the driving need to go down-market. And I have a better clue to the boundaries of their normality.
Like with Clara.
Clara’s mother was Korean, her dad British. She was typically up herself, fully aware of how gorgeous she was. She spent a fortune on clothes and bags and shoes and perming her long wavy hair. She spent more on eyelashes and hair removal than I would on beer. When I met her, though, she was already in way over her head.
In the back blocks of the New Territories near the old walled city there is a karaoke place owned by the friends of my ‘family’. Out the back is one karaoke room where anything goes. It’s big, has a small stage, sofas everywhere, good ventilation for the smoke from cigs and weed, proper bins for stashing harder stuff and bowls of condoms. It’s called the Naked Room. There is an unwritten rule that any girls inside need to take all her clothes off. No exception. It’s not exclusively kaçak bahis used by crims, any group of people can book it. Lots of college parties are held in the Naked Room, or bucks nights, or high school graduation after-parties, anything. Most people try it only once.
Clara was in the middle of her first trip to the Naked Room when I met her. My colleagues had the room for the night. When I walked in, there was the usual mixture of Russian hookers and local slags, all undressed. But one girl stood out. The lieutenant had her bent over the back of a sofa, nailing her mercilessly from behind. I could hear the girl squealing, even in the din of karaoke. Even naked, I could tell she wasn’t a regular to the scene. Her make-up was classy and her hair stylish. When he pulled her up to standing her breasts looked low-mileage. The girl clearly didn’t belong. I walked over to see if she needed rescuing.
“You like it, Polar Bear?” the lieutenant grunted, still fucking the girl. “You will have to wait. There is a line-up for this one.”
There was no point to argue. I sat back drinking beer and smoking a bong while I waited for the crew to wade through her. Lucky for the girl the next guy came quickly, but the one after that didn’t. By the time Clara was handed to me she was distraught and exhausted. Gunk poured from between her legs. Someone as young and gorgeous as her should not have been in the Naked Room. Not with my crew.
“Come here, curl up next to me and take a break,” I told her. Clara nestled her naked, leaking body into me and I wrapped my arms around her. It was warm in the Naked Room, but she shivered, holding me tight. It took some time until she relaxed into the hug.
There was no point to ask Clara where her underwear or clothes were. For a new fish like her, they almost certainly tore them from her body. Second time in the Naked Room, you knew to get undressed quickly if you wanted something to wear home.
I eyed off a white halter dress that one of the other girls had left on the sofa near me. I shuffled around to shove it up the back of my t-shirt. I feigned to the crew that I was taking Clara to the bathroom to wash her out before taking my turn, but they didn’t care, they’d had a piece of her already. I walked Clara into the hall. She was in a daze, squinting at the bright light.
“Geez, you don’t even have shoes,” I said, looking down at her naked body. Fuck, she was stunning. I didn’t see girls with her young and tight body in there often. What drugs had they given her? “Here, step into this dress. I’ll take you home.”
“I can’t go home now. Not like this,” she slurred, holding the dress but not putting it on.
“You worry about your parents?”
“No, no, no, no…They’re away. The staff. The staff will…report me again.”
“They’ll report you if you don’t come home,” I added.
“Better that than this,” Clara slurred. “Where are my clothes?”
“In your hand,” I laughed.
“This is not mine,” she said, holding up the tangled dress. Some guys walked past and into the room, commenting on Clara’s body.
“I think you should put it on. Standing here naked is going to get you fucked again.”
Clara nodded her acceptance of the theory, and put it on. I hid her in the wheelchair toilet while I went back in for her bag.
“How did you know it was this one?” Clara slurred.
I just laughed. How many princess bags did she think were in there? “You’re just lucky it’s not been rifled through already.”
I led her out to my car, and back to my place. I lived in the loft of the garage where I worked. I’d cleared out all the junk and pulled in favours from workmen to turn it into a boys-own living space. It was a big open mezzanine, one side of the loft looking down onto the garage below; private enough, but noisy if the shop was working. There was an open shower in the corner, with a sink next to it. The only toilet was downstairs, which was a bugger, but I didn’t want my space stinking of piss. There was a huge king-size bed, a small six-by-three billiard table, a kitchenette with an island bench, a sofa and a kick-ass TV stuck to the end wall. There was no door coming up the metal spiral staircase, but you wouldn’t be going up it unless to see me. The roof windows opened if I wanted, and the air-conditioner was huge; with the summers you needed it up there, and I didn’t pay the garage electricity.
It was a setup that worked well for everybody. I liked the peace and solitary nature of how quiet the garage was when it was closed. With a full time resident, break-ins at night and the weekend stopped. I was never late for work. And the garage got all the crew’s business. They’d come round for work on their cars and relax, or work, or screw some chick up in my loft while they waited.
But late on a Saturday night, it was just me. I opened one of the big roller doors and pulled my car in. Clara would probably be wondering what the hell was going if she wasn’t fast asleep. It was a struggle to get her awake enough to illegal bahis go up the spiral stairs, they were too narrow for side-by-side. I took off the white dress and threw it in the bin, it reeked of cheap body spray. I leaned Clara in the shower space, and used the hand-held head to wash the man-cum off her and as much as I could out of her insides. Clara’s vagina was silky bare, it must be waxed, not shaved. She flinched at the touch. She would be sore after the pounding the boys gave her.
Fluffed dry with a clean towel, she slept naked in my bed, as beautiful as any nude girl had ever been there – though I hadn’t been the one to nail her.
I woke first and sat in my boxers at the island counter watching the half-uncovered nude in my bed. I’d been through her purse to find out who she was. Lived half way up the Peak. Not an apartment, but a house with a street number, rare in Hong Kong. A membership card with a home landline number. I rang it and told the house staff she was asleep on my sister’s sofa. They wanted to know where and why and how, but I said she’d call when she woke. They had unanswered questions, but at least they knew she was safe.
There was a student card, Clara was literally in high school still. I shuddered for a moment until I saw the birthdate. She’d been eighteen for a month. That was good luck. I hadn’t had sex with Clara, but she didn’t know it.
“Good morning,” I said as she stirred at nine-twenty. I stayed on my seat.
“How do you feel?”
“I think I was given something,” she croaked.
“I think you were.”
“You did it?”
“Nope. I got you out of there. Tried to take you home, you said not to.”
“Agghhh,” Clara moaned, dropping back to the bed. “Where am I?”
I took a bottle of water over and stood by the bed.
“I’m Bony,” I said, opening it and giving it over. “I live and work here, upstairs in my bosses garage in Kowloon Tong. You didn’t want to go home, so I showered you and put you in my bed.”
“Yes,” I smiled. “With me.”
“And we…?” Clara asked, looking down at her bare body.
“No. Not you and me. But…yeah, some guys at the karaoke place you went, they fucked you.”
“Oh,” she blinked. “Guys?”
“There were a few,” I admitted.
“Well…sort of. It wasn’t me that brought you there. You had your clothes torn off you already when I turned up. What happened, do you remember?”
“Oh,” Clara said, taking some water. She lay back on the pillow. “This guy at a bar, he was talking about Naked Karaoke. That place is like legend, I didn’t think it was real. College parties are rumoured to happen and graduation bashes but no one ever knows someone who has actually been. This guy said he’d show me.”
“So you just went? By yourself?”
Clara didn’t answer.
“You let a stranger take you to the Nude Room out in New Territories?” I chided her.
“He’s not really a stranger. I’d seen him around before. He sells…”
“Ha! That makes it so much better. You followed a drug dealer you’d seen hanging about before?”
“That place is legendary, if people know I’ve actually been…”
“You gonna tell them you lost your clothes and were gang-fucked by half a dozen hoodlums?”
“What do you mean I lost my clothes?”
“What are you wearing honey?”
“How did I get back here?”
“In my car.”
“You said you didn’t want to go home like that.”
“Shit,” she sighed. “I need the bathroom.”
She looked around. “Is there something I can put on?”
Clara sighed and stood unsteadily. Fuck she was stunning. It was madness that a girl with her body and looks went to the Naked Room when the crew had booked it. She had no idea how lucky she was not to have been cut up by the girls that don’t look as good as her. Or ripped by guys who thought it was funny to see pretty girls scream in agony. The crew were bad people who did bad things.
I held her arm and led her to the top of the spiral staircase.
“There’s only us here. It’s Sunday. Day off. Front doors are locked.”
I went down first letting her lean on me as she followed. There was only one toilet but the boss’s missus kept it clean. Inside the toilet were toilet slippers, and Clara kept them on after coming out, not wanting to walk barefoot on the filthy oily ground of the garage.
“What is this place?” she asked venturing undressed into the big open workshop.
“A car garage.”
The incongruity of such a beautiful naked girl walking freely around the filthy old car garage wasn’t lost on me. I turned hard as a rock, tenting my boxers. Clara moved slowly around like it was a museum or an art gallery, examining all the workbenches, picking up tools, looking at the hoists and down in the pits.
“This is a boy’s world,” she said.
“You’re cold,” I smiled. Her nipples were rock hard and her ass covered in goosebumps.
“Can I go back to bed?” she asked, standing up on tippy-toes to look out the windows at the weather. It was grey out, and windy. The garage let in drafts round the edges.
“Are you going to let me fuck you?” I asked.