The story theme of a generously endowed black man servicing a white woman is a major one in the lexicon of erotica. It just won’t go away, because, in truth, it is a fantasy that many have and want to read about.
In this three-story anthology, Chris Cross explores this theme in several different dimensions and scenarios. In “Tall, Dark, and . . . ,” Atlanta office worker Ellen goes on a Caribbean cruise with her friend, Stephanie, precisely to discover and explore the experience of sex with a dark stranger. She finds not one, but two of them, to experience in what is probably the most-used scenario in this genre. In the more free-wheeling and humorous “Christmas Tree Hunting,” a more mature woman, a cougar, goes unabashedly hunting for a particular kind of man to bed her—and finds what she’s looking for.
The early twentieth-century story scenario, “Dark Storm on the Neuse,” a love story between an abused young white wife of a prominent North Carolina businessman and a black servant, explores more romantic interracial sex at a time when such coupling wasn’t just looked down at but was a deep risk to take.
From “Tall, Dark, and . . .”
“You will meet a tall, dark, stranger.”
“Naturally,” Ellen muttered under her breath.
“Already have, actually,” Stephanie, murmured.
“AND,” a thickly accented voice, showing edges of pique, overrode the murmurings, “and you will find he has been close to you already, in an earlier life, and will be closer yet in the next . . .”
“See, I told you. Riyad said he lived in Atlanta, same as us. Oil company work, of course.”
“Shush,” Ellen hissed. “Don’t feed her ideas.”
“And,” the accented voice continued, “he will be dealing with a precious commodity that all want.”
“Oil, of course. I knew it. Riyad is your man.” Stephanie tried to keep the whisper so that only Ellen heard her distinctly.
They were in the back room of a cinderblock hovel in a back alley of Samana, Dominican Republic, where the Enchantment of the Sea was making a stop on their nine-day cruise of the Eastern Caribbean. Oddly enough, Riyad, who had been so possessively attentive to Ellen the last two days, hadn’t objected to Ellen taking an off-ship exploration of the small port of Samana while they were docked—and had said he had no interest in going with her. With Fahd, it had been more Stephanie keeping him in sexual bondage in what had been Ellen’s shared cabin. And Stephanie hadn’t even bothered to ask him what he felt about her leaving him for a bit.
It had also been Stephanie’s idea to visit the gnarled old fortune teller who someone who had taken this cruise before had recommended to her.
“So, you’re going to the Caribbean on a Halloween cruise,” the woman had said. “Would you like to meet a genuine witch? Someone who can not only foretell the future, but can create it as she wishes?”
Stephanie hadn’t been able to resist that opportunity.
“Precious commodity? Gold? He’ll have gold teeth?” Ellen said in a somewhat louder voice. Although she’d agreed to come here with Stephanie, she had been making fun of the venture since the moment they left the ship.
“Black, I see black . . . and murky,” the fortuneteller said in a strong voice that was laced with irritation.
“See, I told you. Oil,” Stephanie spoke up. “It’s Riyad. You can’t escape it. And Riyad’s dusky skinned. Another black.”
That was something that was nagging at Ellen’s mind, and it didn’t help a bit for Stephanie to mention it. Riyad was certainly taking care of her needs—but he was almost exhausting. And so possessive and bossy . . . and narcissistic. The feeling had never been lifted from Ellen that she was only there to serve him. She wasn’t all that comfortable with the thought of being with him in Atlanta when they returned—even though he was a hunk and probably wealthy beyond her wildest imagination.
“I sense skepticism, a narrow mind, doubt,” the fortuneteller was saying in a throaty voice. Her eyes were closed and she began to rock. The grip of her hands on Ellen’s from across a small, round table became a death grip. “There is disbelief afloat. You must be warned that your fate is out of your hands—that you may struggle against it, but if you try to avoid or reject it, it will haunt you until accept your fate.”
The outing had been more disturbing than the needed change of pace that Stephanie had promised her.
When they returned to the ship, which was to depart port again while they were eating their dinner, Ellen acquired a strong suspicion on why Riyad had been so willing for her to go on an off-board excursion without him. There was a hint of perfume in the air in his suite that wasn’t any scent she would have worn.
She couldn’t pinpoint anything beyond a suspicion, however, as Riyad seemed quite pleased at her return and showed her just how happy he was to see her long and vigorously enough that they almost didn’t make their seating for dinner.