Sunday, June 27, 2004

Sex story

Kelly's Adventures by Dorsai

Copyright (c) 2003 - Dorsai

LEGAL DISBLAMER This is a dirty, nasty, *filthy* story � or some people
would have you believe. If you�re old enough to read it in your area,
make up your own mind. If you�re not �of age�, then you�re not
_supposed_ to be reading this stuff. Don�t get caught � I won�t accept
the blame.

INFORMATION You can get a copy of this story in text and .pdf (Adobe
Acrobat) formats, and my other stories, at the text
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You can reach me directly at my public email account at:

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anyone. This story may NOT be included in any collections or posted on
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My best friend in the world was Paul.

Divorced with 3 kids, I helped him out in his job as a salesman when I
watched out for his kids when he had to go out of town on business. They
were good kids, so it wasn't much of a problem. When his daughter, Jan,
was in high school, I was watching out for them one time when I
accidentally interrupted her while she was masturbating.

That one event led to changes in my life that I had never even
considered: from getting her started on learning sex education on the
Internet (she and Paul's other kids attended Catholic schools, where sex
ed wasn't well thought of), things progressed to introducing her, and
her best friend Kelly, to physical intimacy.

Then things progressed to teaching several of their other friends about
love, and sex. When all was said and done, I'd deflowered a half-dozen
girls before they even graduated high school - including Jan, with
Paul's explicit permission. To top things off, the extremely intelligent
and attractive Kelly had fallen in love with me, as I had with her, and
moved in with me. After high school, she'd gone on to attend college,
majoring in mathematics and philosophy. On graduation, she'd gone to
work for me in my engineering business.

She'd been working for me for a little over a year when one of my
customers (a loyal bunch - they knew that despite my rates, I was
actually *saving* them money with my designs) let me know that they were
seriously considering opening a manufacturing facility overseas -
specifically, the Philippines. Knowing I'd spent time there while in the
Navy, they asked me to take the lead on finding them a good site for
their plant. After a few days of exhaustive discussions detailing what
they needed, what they wanted, what they'd like to have, costs for
land/labor/materials, and so on, I agreed. My job wasn't to actually
sign any contracts or anything; rather, I was to narrow down the number
of choices to a half-dozen or (preferably) less. That done, I'd go back
with a few of their people to make introductions and get things started.
From there, their own people could take over to make the final
selection, and seal the deal.

As I pointed out to them, my knowledge of the Philippines and its people
was limited, and likely years out of date. Their response was to observe
that it was still infinitely better than anyone else's that they thought
they could trust with the job.

With the details of who and what and when and where worked out, we
signed a contract for my services: I was to go there for a period of
four to eight weeks, returning with between two and six potential sites
that met a checklist of requirements necessary to support their
facility. I was also to return with the names of at least two lawyers to
represent them, and a detailed list of the various legal and financial
requirements they'd have to meet, as well as the names and titles of any
government officials that they'd be dealing with. It wasn't a small
task, and they knew it - they didn't grumble in the slightest at the
hefty fee I was charging them.

They were willing to pay Business Class airfare; I got a price quote for
that rate to submit with my expense report, and then bought First Class
tickets. Yes, ticket*s*. Kelly had made it quite clear early on that if
I went on *any* business trip without her, I'd come home to a house
without her in it. I didn't think she'd actually DO it, but she'd made
her point. If I was going to the Philippines, I wasn't going alone. The
departure date was for a good six weeks away - ample time to get
passports for me and Kelly, get my other clients set up to deal with my
absence, and make all the other arrangements. As always, my secretary
worked wonders for me, and I made a silent vow to bring her something
*extra* special from the Philippines.

Still, *I* had to deal with such things as doing some research on the
Philippines as it was at the time, and contacting a company in the
Philippines to arrange for a guide and driver. Then contacting that
guide - a Miss Marlyn Ramos, age 32 - to let her know what I was going
to be there for, and what places I wanted to visit, so that SHE could
make the hotel reservations and such - ensuring that we got the best
possible rates. From previous experience, I knew that given a chance,
too many businesses there had Filipino (regular) and American (inflated
to varying degrees) prices for about everything. She was also the one to
make contact with the officials in the different cities that we expected
to visit, ensuring that we would have access to them when the time came.
At her suggestion, I agreed that she would be the one to hire our driver
- so that he could also pull duty as a guard for us for increased pay.
Americans weren't immune to the political kidnappings that happened
there, and she assured us that our driver/guard would be there for more
than mere appearances. With the knowledge of what we were there for, and
the main places we wanted to go, I gave her authority to make additions
to our itinerary, and take care of the sequence and scheduling. She even
emailed us a brief description of her qualifications for the job, along
with her description and a digitized photo we could use to help identify
her at the airport. When Kelly saw it, she just looked at it for a
while, without saying anything. We responded in kind, sending
descriptions and digitized photos of the two of us, as well.

With that taken care of, all that remained was to try to ensure that the
house didn't burn down and that our cat, Cat, didn't starve while we
were gone. Jan and the others quickly worked out a system and schedule
of who would be doing what, and when, to make sure things would still be
there when we got back. Every last one of them flatly refused ANY kind
of compensation or offer I made them to repay them for their help; I
quietly resolved that they would NOT go unrewarded - I remembered the
beauty and delicacy of the silverwork I'd seen in Baguio, years before.

The fateful day finally arrived. Paul took time off from work to take
us, along with Jan and one of her friend, Sandra, to the airport to see
us off. We were flying a U.S. airline as far as Los Angeles; from there
it was Philippine Air Lines the rest of the way. We got to the airport
in plenty of time, and didn't have any trouble getting our tickets in
hand, or our baggage checked through. Kelly and I both kept a carry-on,
though, with a couple changes of clothes in it - while I expected our
luggage to arrive with us, it wasn't something I was willing to bet
money on. Paul and the rest kept us company as we made our way toward
the gate - even going through the security checkpoint with us so they
could stay with us as long as possible. Jan and Sandra were both
terribly jealous of Kelly getting to go with me; Kelly was both
frightened and excited at the prospect: her biggest adventure to that
point had been when her parents had taken her on vacation to Canada one
summer, when she was still a child.

Finally, it was time: Paul and the others gave us a final hug and kiss
(okay, Paul only kissed Kelly) before watching us head down the jet way
to our plane. As the plane backed up, we could see them watching us
through the big terminal windows. We waved, and they saw us well enough
to wave back before we lost sight of them.

The flight to L.A. was pretty typical. Granted, in First Class we got a
little better treatment than the thundering heard in Coach. But really,
at 30,000 feet and 400 miles an hour, what can you DO? Things improved
somewhat after our two-hour layover in L.A., and we boarded the flight
to Manila, via Hawaii and Hong Kong. Once airborne, the flight
attendants (all young, female, and cute as could be) quickly began
pampering us. When one of them brought us our drinks, I thanked her in
Tagalog, the 'common language' of the Philippines - it being slightly
more common than English, and a definite improvement over the multitude
of local dialects. She looked surprised at my "Salamat po!" (honorific
version of "Thank you"), and asked where I'd learned Tagalog. I told her
that I'd been stationed there, and was going back on business. I added
that my wife and business assistant - indicating Kelly - was going with
me; her first trip outside the U.S. The flight attendant told us her
name was Mhay, and that she would be happy to come back and visit with
us. Kelly thanked her, and Mhay dimpled prettily before moving on to
take care of some other passengers.

Kelly leaned over to whisper in my ear "She is such a *doll*!" then
looking around and adding "They ALL are! Are all the women there this

"Nope. Most, but not all. These are the cream of the crop, so to speak.
They don't have any problems there about hiring practices, so the
airline is free to hire only the prettiest young girls they can find. A
job like this - travel, good pay, plenty of chances to meet eligible men
- is highly desirable, so they don't lack for applicants."

Kelly poked me in the ribs, and said "No, really, what are they like?"

"I just told you. Think about it - do you think a businessman on a trip
wants to look at the guy that served US on the way to L.A., or somebody
that looks like one of THESE? Then think about WHY the airlines would
hire that guy anyway."

She looked at me doubtfully, but thought it over, finally telling me
"Okay, I can see your point. You mean this airline can really DO that? I
mean, just hire the pretty young girls and no one else?"

"Sure. It's a fairly poor country, so the general attitude is that ANY
job is better than NO job; and nobody's inclined to fuss at the
companies that have the jobs. Besides, it's their country and their
rules. If you don't like it bad enough, don't go there."

She gave me another doubtful look, and I went on to explain "Kelly, this
is something that you need to understand, completely and fully, before
anything else: we are going to a FOREIGN COUNTRY. It is NOT a suburb of
Los Angeles or New York or anyplace else in the United States. It is
traveled through a lot of Asia, without any problems, by keeping that in
mind AT ALL TIMES. Give them half a chance and you'll probably find the
people we meet to be friendly, courteous, and helpful - but never lose
sight of the fact that it's THEIR country and THEIR culture. We can
learn to get around in it. But if we're not careful, we run the risk of
assuming we KNOW it when we don't - by getting too comfortable and
confident - and making a mistake that gets us into trouble. When the
stewardess gets back, I can give you an example."

Kelly looked surprised, but nodded her agreement. A few minutes later,
Mhay reappeared, telling us "I have a few minutes before we start the
meal, if you would like."

I assured her that we certainly WOULD like, and she took a seat on the
armrest of an empty seat on the aisle. She looked at us expectantly, and
I spoke up, saying "Mhay, this is Kelly's first trip outside the United
States, and I am trying to help her understand that not all places have
the same customs. If you would be kind enough to help me, I think I can
help her understand what I am talking about."

Mhay assured me that she would be happy to help, and I asked her to show
us how she would gesture for someone to come over to her. She nodded,
the stuck her arm out before letting her hand drop toward the floor.
Kelly looked at her quizzically, and I asked Mhay "Why do you do like

She answered "Because that is the nice way."

I went on to ask her "You know how Americans do it, right?"

She nodded, and said "You can do that, too, but it is only for servants
or like that. The other is the polite one."

I turned to Kelly, and said "You heard her. The way WE would normally
gesture someone over, by crooking a finger at them, is the RUDE way. If
you did that anywhere in the Philippines, you would almost certain cause
a problem. But doing it the RIGHT way - for the Philippines - would make
people think you were polite. It's just the REVERSE of that old saying:
different folks, different strokes." - making her smile at that last

We heard someone say something in Tagalog, and I saw Mhay turn her head
and nod to the speaker. When she turned back, I asked her "You have to
go back to work now?" She smiled and nodded, and I thanked her for her
help. She said it was her pleasure, and I asked her if she would be able
to come back and help me practice my Tagalog, and maybe learn some new
words. Her whole face lit up, and she assured me that she and the others
would be happy to help however they could.

When she was gone, I told Kelly "You saw how she perked up when I asked
her to help me learn more Tagalog?" Kelly nodded, and I went on "The one
constant I found in my travels was that if the local people can see that
you're at least TRYING to learn and fit in, they'll be happy to help you
- sometimes even going out of their way to do it. You can mangle the
language, botch a custom, or foul up a ceremony, and they'll forgive you
- as long as they can see you're TRYING. If I asked Mhay or any one of
the others how good my Tagalog is, they'd assure me it was fine - except
that I already *know* my pronunciation is bad, and my accent worse. But
I TRY, and that's what counts."

Kelly nodded her understanding, and I told her "While we're in the
Philippines, you'll see me do different things, and say different
things. CAREFULLY watch and listen, not just to me, but to the Filipinos
we meet, and I think you'll get the idea. Until then, don't be afraid to
explain yourself before answering questions, or asking for help before
doing things. Don't hesitate to tell someone that you don't know how to
do something the Filipino way. Even if you get it wrong, they won't be
upset because you at least made the effort."

Kelly put her head on my shoulder and hugged my arm before saying "You
sound like you had a lot of fun traveling around."

"I did. Made a lot of mistakes, got confused a lot, was *constantly*
lost, but sure, I had a blast. Anyplace I went the first things I tried
to learn was some key phrases in the local language."

"Such as?"

"Such as 'Hello', 'Thank you', and most important 'where's the
bathroom?'" - earning myself a giggle. I continued by telling her
"Actually, I did have a lot of fun. Met a lot of nice people, and
visited a lot of pretty and interesting places. Learned a lot, both
about the countries and the people in them - how their cultures worked,
how they evolved, stuff like that."

"Ever get into trouble?"

"Never anything serious enough to get arrested for."

She tilted her head back to give me the fisheye; I was saved from having
to explain myself right then and there by the reappearance of Mhay, who
let us know that they would be serving lunch soon, and asking what we'd
like, after detailing our choices. Kelly simply looked at me, waiting
for me to decide for both of us: we'd been given a choice between
braised beef and a Filipino dish, chicken adobo. It took me only a
moment to decide - we'd go with the chicken adobo. After Mhay left, I
described what the meal would be to Kelly: essentially, a chicken 'stew'
with plenty of vegetables, served over rice. Several minutes later, Mhay
returned with out meals. After taking a tentative bite, Kelly's face lit
up as she told us "This is *good*!" - and getting a smile from Mhay
before she left to take care of her other passengers.

Shortly after Kelly and I had both removed the last molecule of the
adobo from our plates, Mhay turned up again to take them back to the
galley. With our trays cleared, she came back again to ask if there was
anything else we'd like.

"Isang sarbisa, paki", I answered. A GI *never* forgets how to order
beer, no matter WHAT the language.

Mhay nodded, and I continued "San Miguel?", and she nodded again.

Mhay waited patiently when Kelly asked me what I'd just ordered. When I
told her I'd asked for a beer ("Isa is 'one', add 'ng' to the end for
grammar; sarbisa is beer, paki is please"), specifically a San Miguel
brand, she indicated she'd like to try one, too. I looked up at Mhay,
and said "Dalawang, paki". She smiled her understanding, and left us to
return a few moments later with two cold bottles of San Miguel, and two
glasses. Kelly and I both carefully filled the glasses before taking a
sip; again, Kelly's eyes lit up at the taste.

Kelly and I had both gone through about half our beer when Mhay showed
up again, along with one of the other stewardesses. She introduced us,
saying "This is my friend - kaibigan in Tagalog - Cherry". I could feel
Kelly start to giggle next to me, and I discretely nudged her to
indicate that it wasn't the time for that. She quickly got control of
herself, and told Cherry "It's nice to meet you." followed by my own

Mhay told us "Cherry wants to practice her English - she already speaks
Chinese - so she will be helping me."

I could see on Kelly's face that she was surprised that the cute little
Cherry already spoke _another_ language, and wanted to practice yet a
different one. I assured both of them that we would be happy to help,
and thanked them for taking the time to help US.

For the next couple of hours, the two of them coached both Kelly and I
in pronunciation and expanding our grammar as we coached Cherry - who
took our polite corrections in the good will that they were intended. A
few times, Mhay and Cherry both laughed when Kelly or I (or both) badly
mispronounced a word, and started to blush at embarrassing us - until
Kelly and I laughed along with them, and assured them that we thought it
was funny, too. As it sank in that we weren't going to play at being
'Important People', they gradually became even more friendly, and
willing to correct our errors.

When they finally had to leave to take care of their other duties, Kelly
and I both had a secure grasp on several key phrases, and had passable

When Mhay and Cherry were both out of earshot, Kelly leaned over to tell
me "Never before in my LIFE have I heard anyone with the name 'Cherry' -
I nearly laughed when Mhay introduced her!"

"I know - that's why I nudged you" - "Nudge, my foot; I thought you were
going to cave in a rib!" Kelly exaggerated - "to let you know not to.
Something else you need to know is that the country we're going to is
roughly ninety percent Catholic; it seems like about two girls in three
has the first name of 'Maria', so it's pretty common for them to use
nicknames. There's no telling what you'll hear somebody called, so try
to remember that no matter what it sounds like to YOU, it's somebody's
NAME, okay?"

That sobered her considerably, and she thought things over for the next
several minutes as I finished off the remains of the latest beer Mhay
had brought me - my excuse being that I needed to keep my vocal cords
well lubricated.

Finally, she spoke up again, telling me "It really *is* different, isn't
it? I really didn't _understand_ what you were telling me about customs
and cultures and all of that; at least, not until we got on this name
thing. I started thinking about what you said, about people's names; and
I suddenly realized that MY name could be laughed at, too - like in
'Kelly green'. I know *I* wouldn't like it much, and that gave me a
different perspective; it kind of put me in Cherry's shoes. Now I really
DO understand that we're going to a different place with different
rules. Before, it was still kind of abstract, but now it's REAL. If she
comes back, I think I have to apologize to Cherry."

"I wouldn't do that, if I were you."

"Why not?"

"Because if you apologize, there's a real risk that she wouldn't
understand what you're apologizing ABOUT - remember, to her, it's a
perfectly reasonable name - and you might find yourself trying to
explain WHY you thought you were giving offense. And like I told you,
the Philippines is like 90 percent Catholic, and not particularly
'liberal' about such things as sex; the girls there are EXPECTED to be
virgins right up to the time they're married, so your explanation would
likely embarrass the hell out of her, if not outright offend her."

Kelly thought that one over for a bit, and said "I see your point.
Better to just let it go this time, and learn from it."

"That's it. And just so you know, we're probably going to run into
people with names that cause just the opposite reaction."

"Such as?"

"Such as we meet a girl - though possibly a boy! - called 'Baby'. She,
or he, will likely be the youngest child, and that's what they've been
called all their life. Doesn't mean anything to them, particularly, but
to us it's a different matter: Baby could be a term of denigration or
endearment, and you might find yourself having trouble using it without
adding the emotional value we Americans would give it."

I watched as she rolled that one around in her mind for a while before
asking "So what do I do, then?"

"What I found works for me is to use my emotions as a kind of alarm
system - if something hits me that brings up an emotion, I use that as a
way to kind of 'flag' it for INTELLECTUAL processing, rather than just
responding to it immediately. If I have trouble saying or doing
something because of the way it makes me feel, I stop a moment to
examine why - and deal with it then, rather than let it tie me up in
knots. If I can't settle it any other way, I just remind myself that
it's their country and their rules, not mine, and go from there."

Kelly nodded her understanding, and got thoughtful again. She stayed
that way until a couple hours later, when Mhay and Cherry showed up
again. Remembering our previous lessons, she greeted them in Tagalog,
and thanked them in it when they told her she was doing very well.

Cherry and Mhay both gave us language lessons a couple more times during
our flight to Manila; after Kelly and I had our talk, she was
appreciably more intent on the language lessons, and much more willing
to ask Cherry or Mhay the *why* of a certain phrase. She showed more
interest in asking them cultural and situational questions - what do I
do if..., how should I..., and so on. Being female as Cherry and Mhay
were, Kelly thought of things that simply wouldn't have occurred to me -
and I learned even more about the culture in the process.

We finally made it to Manila, and made it through Customs without any
problems. Baggage in tow, we made our way out of the secure part of the
airport to the receiving area for our flight. Tired as we were, it still
didn't take us long to spot Ms. Ramos.

She seemed to recognize us about the same time, and moved to meet us as
we headed toward her. Straight black hair to the middle of her back, a
little button of a nose, full lips, dark eyes, and a nicely curved
figure, she was a delight to look at with her smooth, clear complexion.
Standing a full 5 feet, 2 inches tall, Kelly and I both towered over

"Mr. and Mrs. Marshall? Welcome to the Philippines."

"Mabuhai (Greetings)" I told her, followed by Kelly asking "Kumu sta
ka?" (How are you?).

Ms. Ramos got a delighted smile on her face, and answered "Mabuhay!
Mabuti!" ([I'm doing] Fine!).

She looked at both of us for a moment, and then asked "How is it that
you know Tagalog?"

I explained to her that I'd been there while serving in the Navy (I saw
what she thought of THAT), and that both of us had asked for - and
gotten - language lessons from a couple of the stewardesses on the
plane. Through a twist of fate, I saw Mhay and Cherry walking a little
distance from us, and pointed them out to Ms. Ramos. About that time,
Mhay happened to look in our direction and saw us. She smiled and waved
at us, then nudged Cherry, who did the same. I was proud of Kelly when
she remembered to extend her arm and let her hand drop to gesture that
we'd like them to come over. Both readily changed direction toward us,
and in a few moments, they were in an animated conversation with Ms.
Ramos. When they were done, Mhay and Cherry both told us it was nice to
see us again, and wished us well. Kelly and I reciprocated, and the two
of them headed back the direction they'd been going while Ms. Ramos

When they were out of earshot, Ms. Ramos told us "You pleased - and
surprised - both of them very much with your willingness and ability to
learn to speak Tagalog. Cherry in particular is grateful for your help
in letting her improve her English."

Then she looked at me speculatively, and said "There aren't many U.S.
sailors that come to our country that take the time or effort to learn
our language, Mr.Marshall."

"Please, call me Dan - and this is Kelly. I'm sorry to say that I know
that, Ms. Ramos." - "It would be Miss Ramos, but I think Marlyn would be
better since we'll be together for a while." - "But the Philippines
isn't the only country I spent time in, and I found that I LIKED to
learn about the places I was lucky enough to visit. I also found that it
was easier to get the help that I so often needed if I was able to speak
at least a LITTLE bit of the language. I have no illusion that I am
fluent in Tagalog; but I hope that I can at least be POLITE."

She listened to that, and when I was done, told me "Yes, I think that
you were probably the kind of visitor that we LIKE to have here, Dan."
Then she turned to Kelly and said "I was told that this is your first
trip to our country. You impressed Cherry and Mhay very much with how
quickly and well you learned the Tagalog they were able to teach you.
And Mhay was *very* pleased that you remembered how to show them you
wanted them to come over here. It isn't often that we get visitors that
take the time to learn OUR way of doing things."

Kelly answered her by saying "Dan was able to explain a few things to me
on the flight here, and help me understand that *I* am the foreigner,
now. I am sure that I am still going to make mistakes, but I would hope
that you would be kind enough to correct me, so that I don't make any
more than I have to. This is a new place for me, and I know that I have
a lot to learn - I don't want to be an 'Ugly American'".

Marlyn smiled at that, and told her "You are too pretty to be an *ugly*
American anywhere - but I understand what you mean. I'll be happy to
help." She went on to tell us "Your driver is waiting out front with the
car. If you'll give me moment, I'll get him to help with your luggage.
Please, wait here."

I assured her we wouldn't move from that very spot, and she smiled at me
before heading for the door. True to her word, she was back in a minute
or so with a very fit-looking middle aged man. When they were standing
in front of us, Marlyn told us "This is your driver and bodyguard,
Bhoy". I could see Kelly thinking *that* over as Marlyn went on "He is
retired from the Philippine Army, and even served a tour in Viet Nam, so
he really is qualified as a bodyguard. He works as a driver and guard
only to have something to do, and to make a little extra money. I've
worked with him before, and he is very good and very helpful. As I told
you in the email, we won't be going anyplace where there is any real
risk; he is here more as an insurance policy, I think you would call

I told her "I understand, and thank you."

She smiled again, and said "It is I who thank you, Dan. Ours is a poor
country, so anyone who is bringing jobs for our people is someone we
want to take care of. If you're ready, we can get you to your hotel

Kelly and I both indicated that we thought that was a fine idea, and
Bhoy quickly moved to take command of the three largest of our bags,
while Marlyn picked up a fourth. Kelly and I both tried to protest,
since we were left with only our carry-on bags, but Bhoy and Marlyn both
ignored us as they led the way out of the terminal.

Once outside, Kelly immediately knew why I'd 'suggested' (all but TOLD
her to wear) light clothing for the flight: we were hit with heat and
humidity that was happily very rare in our part of the U.S. I watched,
too, as Kelly tried not to react to the varied smells that hit us - the
combination of odors that any large city in the tropics develops: auto
exhaust, decaying vegetation, and too many people - all leavened with
heat and humidity. For someone who'd never been exposed to it before, it
can be a real assault on the senses.

Once Bhoy had stowed the luggage, we all piled in. Bhoy drove, of
course, while Marlyn took shotgun; Kelly and I were left with plenty of
space in the back. I was more than a little surprised when Marlyn had
Bhoy drive us past the monumental garbage piles near the airport as we
made our way to the hotel. When Kelly saw it, I saw her turn pale and
her expression change slightly when she saw the number of people digging
around in it. A little farther along, we passed a shantytown, and Kelly
saw the crude shacks that lacked even the most basic plumbing. I heard
Kelly draw a breath, and quickly squeezed her hand to let her know to
keep quiet. When she looked at me, I mouthed the word 'later', which she
understood to mean that we'd talk about it in private. As we got closer
to the hotel, Kelly started noticing the traffic - and I saw her flinch
a few times when she thought we were going to have an accident. I
suppose I should have warned her about the insane Manila traffic.

When we got to the hotel, the outside staff quickly got the van unloaded
while the desk clerk (five feet of condensed cute) got us checked in.
Ready to head up to our rooms, I turned to Marlyn and said "If you don't
mind, I would like for us to go over your plans for our trip this
evening. I would be delighted if you would join us for supper in a few
hours, after we've had time to rest from the flight, and clean up a

Marlyn answered "I was thinking the same thing, except for the dinner
part - but I accept. What time would you like me here?"

I checked my watch to find that it was getting close to 3:00 PM. "How
about seven o'clock, then?" I asked, and she readily agreed. I went on
to say "I don't think we'll be going very far tonight. Do you think that
we should ask Bhoy to stay?"

She thought it over, and answered "No, I don't think you need to. This
is a good hotel, and there isn't any trouble around here. Just don't go
more than a few blocks, and you should be fine - I think you know what
places you will be safe in. Once we leave Manila, though, you will want
to let Bhoy know what your plans are, since he can help you better than
I can."

"Then that's what we'll do; thank you. We'll see you at seven, then?"

She nodded, and we parted company.

Up in our room, I tipped the bellboy when he'd unloaded our luggage, and
he left happy - carefully closing the door behind him. Kelly and I both
had a look around the rooms (it was actually a small suite) before both
of us released a sigh of relief. I was the first to start undressing,
but Kelly didn't hesitate to follow my example. In just a few moments,
both of us were naked as we headed for the bed to lie down.

As the air conditioning dried the thin film of sweat from our bodies,
Kelly looked at me and said "I couldn't BELIEVE that pile of garbage,
and how all those people were digging through it! What were they doing
there? And what about that place with all those shacks? I thought I saw
some woman actually PEEING behind a bush!"

"That garbage pile is actually kind of famous - every so often, a chunk
of it falls over and kills a few people. All the people you saw on it
actually LIVE there; they dig through all the stuff trying to find
things they can sell for food or clothing or anything else they need."

"But it's GARBAGE!"

"So? Haven't YOU ever thrown away something that was still good, just
because you didn't want it any more? We recycle aluminum at home, but
here, it's not so important - so there's plenty of aluminum cans and
other stuff for them to dig out and sell. It's not fun, but for most of
them, it's do that or starve. I know which one *I'd* prefer."

I went on to tell her "And that bunch of shacks we saw is a poor
neighborhood, is all. The woman you saw probably WAS peeing behind a
bush; damn few of those places have running water inside, never mind
actual toilets. But even the people in those shacks are better off than
the ones at the dump, aren't they?"

She looked at me as though she couldn't believe I was saying all of that
as matter-of-factly as I was.

I told her "Kelly, I'll tell you again: this is a POOR country. Up until
the end of World War II, the Philippines was a U.S. possession that we
got when we won the Spanish-American war. After that war, the U.S.
government really screwed them over when they started fussing that they
wanted to be their own country. Try reading up on the Philippine
'Insurrection' sometime. We didn't get around to 'giving' them their
independence until after World War II. For the last couple hundred
years, they've always been under someone else's control; it's taking
them a while to figure out how to do stuff on their own. Shucks, OUR
country had a tough time getting going after we got OUR independence
from England."

She looked at me doubtfully, and I went on "It's true, Kelly. None of
the countries that has had control over the Philippines has done them
any favors. The Spanish laid the Catholic religion on them, and look
what's happened: the Church doesn't believe in birth control, so they've
got more people than they know what to do with here. There are only so
many jobs and other work to go around, so the surplus population is left
holding an empty bag - if they're lucky enough to have the bag. They've
also got a corruption problem; I expect _that's_ a freebie from the
Spanish, too - it seems to be a pretty common problem in ALL the
countries Spain 'discovered'. So, because of the corruption, the people
with power and money tend to get MORE power and money, while everyone
else loses out. It's almost as though the average person *expects* their
politicians and government officials to be crooks; the only time
anything significant happens about it is when it gets too blatant. Hell,
look at what Marcos did here: when they got fed up enough to chase him
out, he left the country with many, many millions of dollars - on a
salary of a few thousand a year. Part - no, *most* - of the reason
Marlyn is with us is to help me figure out who has to be paid how much
for what, if my client builds a facility here. Sure, my client is going
to get tax breaks and all that - but they'll be paying some of it back
under the table, you can bet on it. *I* know it, my client knows it, and
Marlyn knows it. The definition of an honest politician here is one that
STAYS bought after you've paid him.

"No, it's not 'right', by our standards. But it's THEIR COUNTRY. It's up
to THEM to decide what to do with it, and when. The only problems they
have are the ones THEY recognize, and decide to change THEIR way. All we
can do is offer help they're willing to accept: bringing in jobs and
money to help them develop a larger middle class, and stabilize a shaky
economy. We can come in, and when they let us, SHOW them the benefits of
some of what we do; and help them recognize the problems they have, and
show them possible solutions. But until THEY decide what changes they
want to make, and how to make them, all we can do is let them run their
country their way. We wouldn't like it if they started trying to tell us
how to run OUR country, so we have to show them the same restraint in

I finished up by telling her "I'm not sure why Marlyn took us by those
places; I KNOW there are other ways out of the airport. When we've
gotten to know her a little better, I'll ask her - but I'm not really
expecting any kind of real answer, either."

Kelly listened to all of this, and when I was done, I saw her give a
small shudder as she thought about what she'd seen.

The only consolation I could offer her was to say "I know, Kelly. I
don't like it, either. But by being here, we ARE helping; and if things
work out, we'll have helped even more."

"How?" she asked.

"While we're here, we're spending money - good old U.S. dollars - that
they didn't have in their economy before. The money we're spending is
going into the pockets of the people here, more than the politicians.
Marlyn has as much as a couple months of work while we're here - and the
money she earns will be spent on things that make jobs for OTHER
Filipinos. We've got a driver and bodyguard; he only has to work because
he wants to - but the money we pay him will be spent to increase HIS
life style a little. For all we know, he'll throw away enough aluminum
and other stuff to feed a couple of those families on the garbage
mountains for several DAYS. When we leave Manila, more of the money we
spend will stay in the local economies - which means that they'll have
that much more for things like schools and such; maybe some child will
have a textbook that they wouldn't have if we HADN'T come here. If my
client builds a facility here, they'll be hiring Filipinos - creating
jobs that wouldn't have existed otherwise. The folks they hire will
spend THEIR money, making jobs for the things other Filipinos make - who
will spend THEIR money, and so on. Yes, a fair chunk of the money will
be wasted because of the corruption. BUT, and this is important, most of
it WON'T - there will be kids that are able to go to school and learn
that it doesn't HAVE to be this way. There will be parents that don't
have to spend all their time just trying to survive; and with more
'free' time, they'll be able to pay more attention to what's happening
around them, and why it's happening - and change things, if they want.
When they've had a taste of a better life for themselves and their kids,
you can be damn sure they're not going to want to go back - which will
put pressure on the corrupt politicians to actually DO something to help
the people - if for no other reason than to stay in their profitable
government jobs."

"It isn't much, is it?"

"No, not really. But it's SOMETHING."

"It won't happen very fast, either, will it?"

"No. But better to happen slowly, than not at all."

Kelly sighed deeply, and said "I guess when you've got nothing, ANYTHING
is *something*."

A moment later, she looked at me and said "Promise me that if we get a
chance, we'll do something more - even if it's just for ONE person."

"If we can, we will. You already know that."

She sighed again, and answered "Yeah, I know - but I just wanted to make

By unvoiced agreement, we decided to let the subject drop in favor of a
good cuddle. When Kelly saw my eyelids start drooping, she got up to dig
out the wind-up alarm clock I'd brought along. She quickly set the time,
then the alarm; after making sure it was fully wound up, she set it on
the night stand and lay next to me again. I don't think that it was more
than a few minutes before both of us fell asleep, exhausted from the

It wasn't the alarm clock that woke me up, but the feeling of Kelly's
warm mouth wrapped around my erect penis. When I looked down at her, her
eyes gleamed as she released me long enough to tell me "This seemed like
a *much* nicer way to wake you up than that damn clock!" We'd tested it
before we left, and both of us found it an *extremely* effective - if
unpleasant - way to wake up.

Taking me back into her mouth, she easily slid her lips down me until
her nose was touching my pubic hair, before lifting her head again.
After all the time that we'd lived together and been married, it still
amazed and delighted me that she was so able to get me going like this.
I watched her for a minute or so, enjoying the sensations she was
creating, and the effect she was having on my libido - but it wasn't
much longer than that before I wanted to return the favor. We'd been
together long enough that she recognized the signs, and without
prompting, started to move herself around so she could straddle my head.

When she got close enough, I helped guide her leg over me, and quickly
lifted my head to sample the nectar that I still loved: spicy and sweet
at once, it was a flavor I never got tired of.

With the taste of her on my tongue, I pulled my head back a bit to have
a look at her womanly flower: thin vaginal lips fully extended and
parted, framing the glistening entrance to her womanhood; her Mound of
Venus covered with a dark, dense, but surprisingly short and soft pubic
hair. At the top of her cleft, her larger-than-usual clitoris was erect,
and clearly visible. No matter how many times I saw it, the vision of
her sex always delighted me.

Lifting my head again, I ran my tongue between her labia to collect
another taste of her essence before putting my mouth over her mons.
Forming a rod with my tongue, I slid it into her opening as though it
were a miniature erection, and started making love to her with it. I
heard her moan of pleasure, and felt its vibrations in my erection.
Mischievously, I timed my penetrations of her to be OPPOSITE to the way
she was sliding her lips up and down my manhood - as she was taking my
penis IN, I was pulling my tongue OUT, and vice-versa. I'd done that to
her before, and she told me that it always made her feel as though she
was at opposite ends of the same penis - and got her *very* aroused. As
I'd expected, it had the desired effect this time, too - in less than a
minute, I could tell that she was getting even wetter and hotter inside
as she started slowly hunching her pelvis against my face, trying to get
more of my tongue inside her.

Sadly, I couldn't hold my tongue like that for as long as SHE would have
liked. I finally had to let my tongue muscles relax a bit, and moved my
attentions to her clitoris to begin softly 'milking' it with my lips.
That was something that she particularly enjoyed, and I felt her
clitoris stand out even more from my attentions. I felt her deep-throat
me a few times before she started dancing her tongue along the underside
of my penis - she knew what *I* liked, too!

I continued tending to her nubbin for another couple of minutes before I
felt the overflow of her essences touch my lip. Taking her clitoris
between my lips, I softly sucked on it for a few seconds as I fluttered
the tip of my tongue across it *ever* so lightly; and heard/felt her
groan of pleasure as she pressed her pelvis against my face. When she
paused to take a breath, I quickly moved to put my mouth over her
opening again, and began lapping her secretions from between her vaginal
lips as though she were the Flavor of the Month. Her response was to
spread her legs more, inviting me to continue; which I gladly did. It
wasn't long before I let myself start dipping my tongue into her again,
delving into the source of her precious oils.

When I'd exhausted the immediate supply, I decided to stimulate
production by taking one of her labia in my mouth and gently sucking on
it as I softly pulled at it with my lips. She deep-throated me a couple
more times, then went back to gently sucking on me as the let her tongue
and lips wander along my length.

It didn't take much longer before the pleasure of what I was doing to
her - and what she was doing to me! - began to have their effect, and I
felt my scrotum begin to tighten up. With Kelly cupping it in her hand,
she knew when it happened, too, and quickly increased her efforts to
bring me to a climax. I didn't want to leave her 'hanging', and
reciprocated by focusing my attentions on her still-erect clitoris by
circling it with my tongue as I applied varying degrees of pressure to
it. I knew my actions were having the desired effect when I felt her
start a rhythmic thrusting of her hips against my face as I continued to
stimulate her sensitive nubbin. Even as she was responding to MY
actions, I was responding to HERS - I could feel myself getting closer
and closer to my release as Kelly continued to use her mouth and lips
and tongue to stimulate me.

I finally got her to the brink of orgasm, and held her there for several
long seconds before pushing her over the edge with a rapid fluttering of
my tongue across her clitoris. When her climax started, she pressed her
mons against my lips, and I happily started a gently sucking on her
clitoris in time with her spasms. What I didn't expect was the prolonged
moan of pleasure she released, and how quickly it would push me into my
own release - even as she was drawing a breath after the first wave
passed through her, I was flooding her throat with my seed. It was a
challenge for both of us to continue our attentions to the other, but we
managed; when it was over, Kelly all but fell off of me to lay at my
side, both of us gasping for breath as we tried to recover from our

Kelly was the first to move as she slowly managed to turn herself around
so that she was lying head-to-head with me. I managed to roll onto my
side, and ease myself over so that I was next to her. I laid my arm on
her belly so that I could hold her breast in my hand; she put one hand
on my arm and the other on my thigh before I said "Yup. That's
_definitely_ a better way to wake up than that damn alarm clock!"
Mustering what little enthusiasm she had left, she rapidly nodded her
head in agreement before both of us started laughing. And we had an even
harder fit of laughter when 'that damn alarm clock' DID go off.

But, as planned, it _did_ get us up, and moving - first to shut it off,
then to make our way into the bathroom for a shared shower. I took the
opportunity to caution Kelly to enjoy the hot water while she could -
there wasn't any guarantee that anyplace we stayed at outside of Manila
would have genuinely HOT water; more likely, we'd be showering in tepid
water, at BEST. I knew she was paying attention to what I told her when
she elected to enjoy it for an extra minute or two after I got out and
started drying off.

Dried, rested, and again fit for public viewing, the two of us made our
way down to the lobby. There wasn't any sign of Marlyn, so we elected to
have a seat on one of the surprisingly comfortable couches available.
When we first sat down, Kelly started to move to pull my arm around her;
I pulled it back, and whispered to her "I'd love to - but the rules here
are that public affection isn't a good idea; even for American
tourists." Kelly smiled her understanding, but I could see the
disappointment in her eyes.

We'd been seated only a few minutes when we saw Marlyn enter the hotel.
Kelly and I both got up, and moved to meet her.

She saw us moving toward her, and changed direction to meet us halfway.
Once we were close enough, Kelly and I both greeted her in Tagalog while
she responded in English.

"It's been a long time since I was last in Manila, so if there is a
place that you would like to recommend, or a place that you prefer, I
would be more than happy to hear about it." I told Marlyn.

"There are several places near here that would be fine. DO you have any

Kelly told her "I *loved* the chicken adobo we had on the plane; so I'd
like to try some more Filipino food, if you don't mind."

Marlyn smiled, and said "I don't mind, at all. Too many of the visitors
I work for want to go to restaurants that feature THEIR food, so I
seldom get to go to the better Filipino restaurants. I know just the
place, and it is right on the next block over."

Kelly and I both voiced our agreement, and Marlyn started for the door,
then stopped and turned around. Kelly looked at her quizzically, and
Marlyn told us "Dan, I am sure you know what to watch out for, but I
think I must tell Kelly. Tonight, in the dress you are wearing, you
don't have to worry about it so much, but any time you are wearing
*anything* with pockets, you have to watch out for the children. Many of
them are pickpockets, and will steal from you. You will also see people
begging. No one will stop you from giving them money, but I have to warn
you that many of them are not as disfigured or poor as they look. I know
that Dan will be watching out for you, and so will I. But if anything
happens, and you find yourself separated from us, do NOT let *anyone*
try to help you - just stay where you are, in a public place, and one of
us will find you. Never, EVER go into a dark place without one of us
with you. You are an American tourist, and it is not likely that anyone
will bother you very much, except to try and sell you things for too
much money; but sometimes, things happen. What is your expression? Oh,
yes - better safe than sorry."

Kelly immediately looked at me, and I told her "She's right. Remember
what I told you before?" - she nodded, and I went on "Now think about
what it really means, and you'll understand. You don't have to be
afraid, just careful, okay?"

Kelly looked at both of us, and told us "I'll do exactly what you say."

Marlyn smiled in reassurance as she told Kelly "Please, I don't mean to
frighten you. I only want to make sure that you stay safe, and enjoy
your time here."

Kelly smiled back, and Marlyn turned to lead the way to the restaurant.
As she'd said, it was on the next block, though at the far end. Between
the hotel and the restaurant, we were swarmed by a small army of
children. As predicted, they tried to pick my pocket; I was ready for
them, having wrapped my wallet in several large rubber bands to give it
extra friction before sticking it in my FRONT pocket. It wasn't going
ANYWHERE without my noticing. We also saw several different varieties of
beggars, and were accosted several times to make a purchase from a
street vendor. Kelly stayed right next to me, and Marlyn impressed me by
walking on the other side of her, so that the two of us provided
protection for her. Entering the restaurant, it was as though we were
passing from a combat zone into public park, the change was so dramatic.

The hostess at the restaurant told us that it would be several minutes
before she could seat us, and told us that if we would leave our names,
they would let us know in the bar when a table was ready. Marlyn had a
brief conversation with her in Tagalog, and then told me "They're busy
tonight, so if you want to wait, you can get something to drink in the
bar and they will come and get us."

I told her that was fine with me, as did Kelly (who, I suspected, wasn't
quite ready to run the street gauntlet again). Another brief
conversation between Marlyn and the hostess, and Marlyn was leading us
toward the bar. Inside, a waiter quickly guided us to a small but
comfortable booth. I ordered a beer, while Kelly and Marlyn both settled
on a Coke.

The waiter had the drinks on our table in short order, and Marlyn
chatted with him for a moment before he left. When he was gone, she told
us "I just told him that we were waiting to eat. The drinks will be
added to the meal."

After we'd all had a sip of our drinks, Kelly turned to Marlyn and said
"I don't want to insult you or anything, but I'm curious to know where
you learned English - you speak it very well; better than I do most of
the time!", with a grin.

Marlyn smiled back, and said "I graduated nursing school here, and
worked at a hospital in Houston, Texas for almost two years. It was
there that I learned English so well."

Kelly stared at her, and asked "You're a nurse?"

"Yes, I was. A Registered Nurse, working in the emergency room at the

"You said 'was'. You're not a nurse any more?"

"No, not now. There was a problem at the hospital, and I had to come
back here."

"If you don't mind my asking, what happened?"

Marlyn got a sad look on her face, and told us "I was working one night
when we were very busy. An ambulance brought in a young boy, and all of
the doctors were very busy with other patients, so one of them told me
to take care of him. I checked him, and realized that he was overdosing
on drugs. I ran some tests, and found out what it was - heroin. I
treated him for it, and got him stable, even after his heart stopped.
When I was done, I wrote in his records what I'd found, and what I'd
done, just the way I was supposed to. The next day, I was called at home
and told to come into the office immediately. I did, and was sent up to
the hospital administrator's office. In there, there was a woman that
the administrator told me was the young boy's mother. She was upset that
I'd written down that her son had overdosed on heroin. I told the
administrator what I'd found and how I'd known what was wrong with him.
The symptoms could ONLY have been from a drug overdose, and the tests I
did PROVED that it was an opiate, specifically heroin. One of the
doctors that night was called in, and he verified my diagnosis. But the
mother was the wife of an important person, and didn't want her son to
have any record of ANY kind of drug usage. She insisted that I was
wrong, and that the records be changed. I said that I wouldn't do that,
and she got very angry. The administrator told me that I had done a good
job, but that he thought I should change my diagnosis. I refused, saying
that the tests I'd done, and the medications I'd used, would only be
valid for a heroin overdose - that anyone who looked at those would know
that my diagnosis was wrong. I told him that if they wanted to change
ALL the records, they could, but that I wasn't going to change MY
diagnosis. He got upset with me, and told me to leave. That night, when
I got to the hospital, I was told that I had been discharged for working
without the supervision of a doctor. The doctor that had been in the
managers office found me, and told me that everyone knew that I had done
exactly the right thing in treating the boy, and that I had only done it
because another doctor had told me to take care of it; I was only being
fired because the boys mother was causing trouble, and that was the only
excuse they had."

Kelly was horrified, and told her "That's TERRIBLE! Wasn't there
anything you could do? Someone you could go to for help?"

Marlyn just gave her a sad smile and answered "No, not at that time. I
was there under a professional visa, since the hospital needed nurses.
When I wasn't working for them any more, I had to leave to come back
here. And when I got back here, none of the doctors or hospitals would
hire me because I had been discharged from the hospital in Houston; WHY
I was discharged didn't matter. So I had to find different work, and I
was lucky enough to get this."

"Wasn't there anything your family could do to help?" Kelly asked.

"My family is all gone - they died in a typhoon while I was in college
here in Manila."

"Where are you from?" I asked.

"San Fernando. It is a few hours north of here."

I nodded; I knew - approximately - where it was.

Marlyn started to say something else, but the hostess for the restaurant
approached to tell us that there was a table for us. I turned to Marlyn
and asked her "How much should I leave as a tip for the waiter?"

She told me "You can leave him just a couple of pesos, if you want. He
will also get ten percent of the tip you leave for the meal, too."

I fished a couple of 1-peso coins out of my pocket and left them on the
table as the hostess started to lead Kelly and Marlyn into the dining
area. I quickly caught up, and held Kelly's chair for her when she sat.
Marlyn watched as I did it, but didn't say anything as she seated

When we were all seated, I turned to Marlyn and said "You started to say
something in the bar, before the hostess came in. What was it?"

She looked at me a little sadly, and answered "Oh, it is nothing. Don't
worry about it", before turning away slightly.

I looked at her a few moments, and finally got her to look at me so I
could tell her "Marlyn, I think there is something that you should know
that will help BOTH of us - you AND me - while we're in your country. It
is not my habit to ask people about themselves unless I am *interested*
to know the answer. Kelly is like that, too - you saw how she reacted
when you told us what happened about your job in the United States. We
really *are* interested in your country, and in YOU."

When I finished, she looked at me intently for a few seconds, then
seemed to reach a decision. She looked at Kelly, then back at me, before
saying "I was going to tell you that the typhoon that killed my family
didn't just take my mother and father and sisters and brothers. It
killed almost everyone I knew. The only ones left were me, here in
Manila, and my brother's daughter. She was only a few months old at the
time, and they found her crying where she was trapped in some tree
branches that were tangled together. It took them almost an hour to get
her out."

Marlyn looked at Kelly after that, and saw the sadness on her face as
Kelly asked her "Is she okay, now? Where is she?"

Marlyn told her "She is fine. She had some scratches and was suffering
from exposure, but nothing more. I could not take care of her, so she
was put in an orphanage. I send them money whenever I can so they will
take good care of her, but it is still hard on her - and me. I visit her
often, but I still can't take her into my home; it is too small, and I
don't make enough money to get a bigger one."

I asked "What is her name? How old is she now? Does she go to school?"

Marlyn looked at me again, and answered "Her name is Marilyn, and she'll
be 13 years old next month. While I was working at the hospital in
Houston, I was able to send enough money for her to go to school like
she should; but since then, not so much. To help pay her expenses, she
has to work at the orphanage, and doesn't have much time for that

Kelly saw me start to 'go inside' myself as I started thinking about
what Marlyn had just told us, and told her "I'd like to see what she
looks like, if you have any pictures."

That distracted Marlyn long enough for me to finish my thoughts, so I
was ready when Kelly handed me the photo of Marlyn's niece. Looking at
it, I saw the shy smile she was offering the camera. I could also see
clear signs of the intelligence and humor in her eyes. There was a
distinct family resemblance, and I didn't doubt for a moment that she
was going to be a real cutie when she grew up.

I handed the photo back to Marlyn, and asked "If you don't mind my
asking, what did it cost you to pay her expenses while you were in

Kelly knew me well enough to give me a joyous look before Marlyn told me
"I was sending them fifty dollars a month to pay for her expenses, and
school supplies", as she looked at me curiously.

I looked at Kelly, and she nodded happily, before I asked Marlyn "Would
you mind if Kelly and I sponsored her, instead?"

Marlyn looked stunned, and objected "But it is too much! And you don't
even know her!"

I replied by telling her "No, it is NOT too much - we can afford that,
easily. And you have already told us everything we need to know about

Still in shock, Marlyn started to say "But..."

I cut her off by telling her "'But' nothing. You and I both know that
there are many organizations that sponsor orphans here - and some of
them charge more than fifty dollars a month for a child. Fifty dollars
is less than what we would have to pay if we were still in the United
States, and in this case, Kelly and I would KNOW that ALL of the money
was going to the person that needed it. And Kelly and I would both know
WHO that child was, and why she is there. We would *know* that she
wasn't just the child of a prostitute, or a poor family that couldn't
take care of her, or anything like that - you have already told us that
she is from a good family that she lost in a disaster. Looking at her
picture, I think she is smart" - "She is!" Marlyn hastened to assure me
- "and that is the *best* reason I can think of to help her go back to

Marlyn was still sitting there, dumbfounded, when the waiter approached.
Marlyn absently ordered pancit; I told the waiter that Kelly and I would
have some, too. I also requested refills for our drinks; by the time
they arrived, Marlyn was able to speak again.

When the waiter had left, she told me "I am having trouble accepting
your offer, Dan, because I don't know how I can ever repay you - or even
thank you for your offer."

I answered "I don't remember saying anything about repayment. And
knowing that that young girl will get an education that she will
obviously benefit from is all the thanks I need, or want."

After a few moments, Marlyn suddenly looked at me suspiciously, and
asked "Why are you doing this? REALLY?"

I looked her straight in the eye and answered "Because it's the *right*
thing to do, and I _can_."

Still suspicious, Marlyn asked "You don't want her? Or me?"

I couldn't help answering "If all I wanted was a little girl, I could
find one here in Manila. The same thing for a pretty Filipina. For extra
money, both would be virgins. If *that* was all I wanted, do you think I
would be talking to you like this? With my *wife* sitting right next to

I paused to take a breath and continued "If you want, we can go back to
the hotel right now, and I will give you five thousand dollars cash. You
take that money, and have your agency send another guide. You have the
money for your niece, and you don't have to see me again - ever."

We were all saved from any further conversation by the appearance of the
waiter with the first course of our meal. All three of us ate silently,
though Kelly and I shared a few Looks.

After the waiter reclaimed our dishes, Marlyn made a few false starts
before she was finally able to tell me "I am sorry if I have offended
you, Dan - and you, too, Kelly. I am so used to seeing the American men
that come here on 'business' and only want to use our women, that I
forgot about the other Americans that I met and knew in Houston. I also
let myself forget that you aren't like the other American sailors that
were stationed here, Dan, and I apologize. You do not have to give me
the money, or find another guide. I will be happy to stay with you and
show you my country. I am most grateful for your *kind* interest in my
niece, and I accept your offer to help her - if you are still willing."

I wasn't particularly surprised when Kelly spoke up, telling Marlyn "I
am glad to hear your apology, because I think you offended Dan, and I
KNOW you offended _me_ with your suspicions. But I know Dan well enough
to know that he will still want to help Marilyn, as I do. When you get
to know us better, you will understand that the LAST thing EITHER of us
would do would be to force someone to do something, or to take advantage
of them. You didn't know that before, but I think you will before we
leave the Philippines."

There was another, longer, pause in the conversation when the waiter
brought our main dishes. Kelly's face got a pleased look after she
sampled her pancit (mixed vegetables and rice), and the side dishes that
went with it. By mutual consent, all of us decided to let the matter of
Marlyn's niece drop for a while.

When we'd finished eating, Marlyn reached into her purse and handed me a
couple of folded sheets of paper. She told me "This is the itinerary
that I would suggest. You can see that we are starting in the south, in
Davao, and generally working our way north. I know some of the places
fairly well, others not so much. There is enough time in the schedule
that if you want to spend more or less time in a place, we can
accommodate that. I also have the names of several lawyers here in
Manila, as well as at least two more in each of the places on the list.
I have had no contact with them other than to tell them that you are
representing a company that is considering building a small factory
here, to make sure that they are qualified for that kind of work."

I looked over the list Marlyn had given me, and saw that there weren't
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