DISCLAIMER: The usual applies! Joss owns all, I own ...zilch ...

NOTES: My answer to the JAYNEGROUP challenge as to why Jayne won´t kiss the ladies of the night on the mouth. Delves into his past. Pre- Firefly.


A lesson learned in pain is a lesson well learned. A lesson one does never forget.....or so his father had always said.

Jayne had never cared for those lessons....not even one bit. But now that he was laid out on this bed like a piece of meat, unable to move or to speak, Jayne found himself thinking that maybe the old man had had a point.

A beautiful slender hand brushed his moist hair from his forehead, leaning down towards him, honey blond hair falling to surround her face like a halo. She smiled at him with mirth and something close to pity in her eyes.....and all he could do was stare at her, stare at the ceiling .....

She had gotten him good.

It was his first job....the first pay his job as a mercenary had rendered.

A job well done, a job that had earned him at least some amount of respect from the older more experienced mercs and more money than he had ever laid eyes on during his 22 years. The cut had been generous enough to send some of it home and still employ the services of a more exotic courtesan. Not a common streetwalker....but one of the alluring, seductive creatures that young Jayne Cobb had fascinated from the first moment he had seen one of them walk by.

Gabe had shown him how to find what he was looking for on Ganymed. Gabe who had taken the young man on, even if Jayne had had no experience; Gabe who had seen the pure will, the hunger and hardly contained force in the rugged looking boy.

Gabe was the leader; his word was law ....who challenged his word paid dearly.

Jayne had never been blind to the danger in him, but he marvelled at the brute force and straightforwardness with which the older man handled his business and ruled over the motley crew of mercenaries.

Now that he was lying flat on his back in the ramshackle hotel they were quartered in for the night, completely incapacitated, the feverish question if this was another of Gabe´s tests crossed his mind.

Her name was Tamryn.

She had been perfect to Jayne in every way......milky white skin, golden hair piled atop her head, a sweet angelic face ......; her eyes had startled him, the one flaw in all that perfection. Her eyes were bright, shining like stars and yet ...they were mismatched; one green, one blue ....a disconcerting effect that put off some customers, or so the madam of the house had informed him.

Yet, she had an air about herself that seemed new and exotic to Jayne.....a strangeness that he longed to sample.

He had watched her undress with a smile that managed to be knowing and coy at the same time. He had watched her sway above him as she rode him slow and easy in a hypnotic, lulling rhythm. He couldn't take his eyes off her.

In the end she had leaned forward, bracing herself, her nails running over his ribcage, her hair falling forward, spilling over his face and chest like rays of sunlight, smelling like sandalwood.

She had looked into his eyes with a sigh and a smile, daring him ....kissing him deep and languidly.

Her ruby red lips had tasted of apples and cinnamon.

She got off the bed soon after, too soon for his taste, so he had jumped up, attempting to follow her.....just when the world started to tilt sideways.

The madam had stuck her head into the room mere seconds after Jayne had started to feel very confused. His vision had started to blur and his legs had started to feel like brittle twigs underneath him. She had helped him onto the bed, still smiling so very sweetly.

"He's inside with Amber........" the madam had whispered harshly. "Give her another ten minutes.....then go ahead. I will clear the girls out now."

"Fine .....Thank you." she had whispered, inclining her head at the other woman in a gesture that seemed studied and almost demure.

"What about him?"

Her mismatched eyes lingered on his face, watching him fighting for control, but loosing the fight against whatever drug she had dosed him with.

"He's just a boy ....." she answered dismissively.

"You are so young ...." Jayne could feel her breath on his face while she looked down on him, caressing his face in feather light touches.

"So big and strong already, but still just a boy. I could have shown you miracles, but I have much grimmer business to attend to tonight, my sweet."

His eyes bore into hers, taking her in as she sat next to him on the bed; long, shapely legs tucked under her carvaceous body. The red silk of her robe revealed a supple thigh and the top of her firm breasts.....her skin had the colour of cream.....not quite white, with a warmer, more golden undertone.

Only her voice betrayed that there was far more to her than beauty, far more she had seen and known than her age might suggest.

"Murder is always such an ugly business...." she said with a hint of distaste, sliding off the bed.

Jayne strained to move, but there was nothing for him to do ....everything was brighter, everything seemed so far away...his body just would not obey. His tongue felt dry and far too big for his mouth. He felt like screaming out if sheer frustration, but when he opened his mouth no sound came ....like a fish out of water.

She had gotten him good.

"They call it the goodnight kiss...."

She had her back to him, combing her hair to put it up in a tight bun while she talked with a sweet, even voice.

"We are not companions, not protected by guild law ....me and my brethren. And yet we are not common whores either, to be protected by a pimp who might beat us and take the bigger share of our profits."

She turned around to look at him, lying naked on the bed, unable to move a muscle or to free himself from the hold off the drug. Jayne could feel her gaze like a caressing hand.

"Before the guild came to replace us with their laws and regulations, courtesans were the most admired and educated women on earth that was. Now ...look what has become of us ....now we stand between the artists and the amateurs with no one to speak for us or protect us. So ...." She moved closer to the bed again, every step like a part of a seductive dance. "....we had to learn to protect ourselves, the sisterhood."

She sat down next to him, pulling a knife from underneath the mattress so quickly that for a moment Jayne would have sworn she had produced it from thin air. In the light that was reflected by the edge it was obvious that the blade was well maintained and sharp.

She leaned forward as if to kiss him again, smiling in mock amusement when his muscles twitched in an attempt to evade her.

"You have to look for another mentor...." She told him and suddenly the smile was gone. Her face had taken on an angry, grim expression that belied the decorous, sweet tempered façade she had paraded for the customers.

"Or better yet...stay alone and trust no soul."

Her eyes wandered from him to the knife, and by now the contrasting colours of her eyes gave her a wild, almost frightening look.

"He and his crew came here before, did you know? Did he tell you? A few years ago when I was younger....your age maybe. He took a liking to our business, we were cleaner and smelled sweeter than the girls on the street.....He should have known better than to return."

She pursed her lips for a moment, as though she tasted something sour in her mouth, before returning her attention to Jayne.

"Someone died, one of us ...the girls. Your fearless leader strangled her in a drunken stupor. Her name was Chaylin, my sister ....not by blood, but by oath and friendship."

Seeing these beautifully manicured, capable fingers, which had whipped his body into a frenzy with so few adept touches and strokes not too long ago, curled around the polished hilt of a knife made Jayne's eyes wide. She slid the tip of the blade over his arm in a playful motion, adding only the tiniest bit of pressure, just this side of drawing blood.

"She had black hair to my blonde, black as ink," she whispered gently. " ...and skin the colour of richly creamed coffee. She could sing like a nightingale and play the lute to entertain the guests. She was the sweetest, most gentle creature. We were jin – shei ever since we were twelve years old. And he ...."

She let the knife run down his torso. Jayne could feel a cold shiver run down his spine as she dragged the tip dangerously low, past his loins and up again.

"He squeezed the life right out of her, broke her neck in the process and then tossed her aside like a broken doll."

Her eyes became focused on his face again, her voice hard and bleak.

"He killed my jin- shei bao, my heart's sister. And tonight he will die for that...thus are the rules of my trade."

She smiled at him again, smoothing her free hand over his hair again, kissing his forehead while he struggled in vain.

"We call it the good night kiss, my sweet. It is not the kiss of death, not for you ....not this time." She whispered into his ear, her hot breath swirling around his cheek in a huff. "It will fade and you will recover...."

She got off the bed, pulling the robe closed were it gaped open, refastening the long, silken sash that held the cloth together.

"You are young still." She said with a slightly malicious smile. "Let this occasion be something you take away.....a lesson learned. Never trust a beautiful whore; if her lips are moving, she is most likely lying. We lie with our bodies, our faces ...and our lips. It is the only weapon we have, the only way we can fight and win ...the sweeter the kiss, the more dangerous."