Svetlana applies the perfect amount of pressure as her delicate hands roll from my shoulders down to my lower back. “How does it feel?” she purrs, and I can only moan a series of syllables into the face hole of the massage table, “Babalabaaaah…”, I exclaim, hoping it means, “Good” in Swedish.
Svetlana’s pressure intensifies and I can feel something in the table starts to creak. Because we are in Sweden, allan keys are everywhere, and she quickly tightens a bolt somewhere near my midsection. She holds my hand momentarily as she stands back up, and I swear I feel something slide over my wrist, but before I can process the thought, her warm hands work their way over my back again.
Her moves grow slower, most deliberate. Rather than punishing, her touch becomes sensual. I suspect what’s coming, but can’t be sure. She grasps my other hand and I feel the same slight pressure on my wrist. Again, I quickly forget this feeling as her hands find the waistband of my Flights. In one quick motion, she pulls them clean off. Now I am certain of her intentions. I lift my head and try to think of my best line for the situation.
“If you think my back door is appealing, come around to the front of the house!” I shout, before turning myself over to give her a whole new area to rub down. But it is then I realize that I cannot turn. My wrists are bound to the table. I can’t move.
This is a kink I never saw coming and as much as I like adventure, I hate surprises. “Not my scene, Boris,” I snapped, forgetting the name of my masseuse. “Untie me and let’s pretend this never happened.”
“Ahh, but this is impossible, Mr. Diamond,” Sveltana says, and I hear her high heels click across the tile floor. “Now that ve have exactly vat ve vant.” I hear the door close and the click of her heels fade away.
It seems Svetlana’s Pleasure Palace is not the reputable massage clinic I thought it was. Rather than panic, I realize that slowly pushing my wrists against the fabric that constrains them appears to quickly wear the fabric thin. I press harder and harder, then faster and faster, and I hear a sustained rip as one hand breaks free. I reach behind my back and, using a fingernail, easily scratch a hole in the fabric that binds my other wrists. It tears easily and I am free. I look at the scraps of fabric that once held me and they appear to be some sort of cotton or nylon blend. Stretchy, but ultimately flimsy.
Other men may have been tempted to jump up and run, but I appreciate the value in taking things slow. I rise quietly, hoping not to be heard by my captor, wherever she may be. I survey the room and find it as sparse as it was when I entered not 20 minutes ago. A stereo plays soft music, a dispenser of massage oil and a container of meatballs rest on the counter. Nothing out of the ordinary. My clothes are in a folded pile in the corner. It’s then that I realize what’s missing. My Flights. Svetlana has taken my underwear with her. But why? And ew!
Quietly, I pull my jeans on over my bare flesh, wincing a little. After the soft caress of bamboo, freeballing it feels like wearing sandpaper as pajamas. I throw on my t-shirt and creep slowly out the door.
I am in a long hallway of what looks like similar rooms. Quickly, I open the first door on my right, only to find another empty massage room. This is also true of the first door on my left. Then the second on my right, and second on my left. Room after room of massage tables. Finally, when I reach the last door on the left, I hear a familiar voice. Sveltlana’s dulcet tones may be sexy, but because I’m in Stockholm, I take extra care not to identify with my captor. I burst in.
“Freeze, lady!” I shout, cursing myself for not coming up with a better line. She turns and does freeze, shocked to see me.
“But how did you escape, Mr. Diamond?” she shouts, which is unnecessary as we’re in a tiny room.
“If you’re going to tie someone up it’s going to take more than a flimsy… cotton… spandex…” I lose my words as I survey the room. Underwear! Pairs and pairs of them hang from clotheslines that cross up and down the space, like negatives in a darkroom. They are a poor approximation of a trunk fit and then I notice an extra scrap of fabric and gasp. “Is that a pocket?” I seethe.
“Fine! You figured me out!” Svetlana throws her hands up in frustration. “You think your Flights are the only underwear on the market with a pocket? Well not for long!”
It is then I realize the extent of her operation. She has pilfered my Flights, it seems, and is trying to replicate their unique design. But, as I grab pair after pair off the clothesline, I realize how short she has fallen from her objective. The pocket, for instance, has no zipper! How could valuables possibly be kept safe in this garment? And cotton, polyester, and even spandex may claim to offer softness, but there’s really no substitute for bamboo. Imitation Flights don’t fly with me; they just don’t offer the same great features. I see my Flights in her hand and snatch them up.
“Are you going to arrest me?” she whimpers, clearly realizing the gig is up.
“No,” I say, turning to go. “You can put any underwear you want on the market. There’s only one Flight.”
I take to the Swedish streets, lined with other massage parlours. “Lars’ Good Hands” is one block over, and a hearty blonde man I assume to be Lars himself beckons me inside. I have a feeling this story will have a happy ending after all.