~ Chapter 2 ~
Knife in a Gunfight
She drives them both to the funfair after changing into flats she keeps in the back of her car. If anything, this blind date is a pleasurable experience just due to the immense sensation of relief when she take off Bea’s ‘Spanish boots.’ Without the cursed heels Olivia doesn’t reach John’s shoulder. She tries to shake off the cliché feeling of being delicate and fragile near him – but it lingers.
They chat in the car. He is indeed an architect. She even knows the research centre on the uni campus that he designed.
He has this low velvet voice that she always needs to describe to explain why the heroine with a heaving chest is so affected by the hero’s presence. Works in reality as well. Her car seems tiny, and she notes the spicy grassy cologne and the surprising lack of anxiety from being so close to another human being.
This is the first man who has a corporeal body and has managed to catch her attention in seven years. And the first man whom she’s kissed after her husband died. And the first she’s ever kissed the first day she knew him. To say nothing about doing it in the first half an hour after meeting him.
He did have a horrible divorce two and a half years ago, his wife having cheated on him with his partner in the firm. So he doesn’t have either now. He laughs and says he likes to be a ‘free range architect.’ She fancies his puns. She also very much fancies his hand stroking her fingers on the stick. He has warm hands, while she’s always cold.
Candy floss is as good as she remembers from her childhood; and he does win her a plush toy in a shooting booth. It’s a pink elephant, and she can’t stop laughing. He looks very smug until she tells him that she did see him grease the palm of the carny.
They sit in a ferris wheel carriage, and somehow she very easily tells him about Allan, and how they’d been married for eleven and a half months when he died. They’d dated for five years before they’d made of official, for the sake of his ultra religious parents. John nods and holds her hand, and then pulls her into him. For the first time she doesn’t feel like a traitor getting so close to another man.
And then, back down on the ground, a knife thrower asks for a volunteer from the crowd. Olivia giggles. She’s pressed into John’s side, and then the knife thrower’s blonde busty assistant comes up to them and shoves her microphone into John’s face.
“You, sir! Would you like to impress your beautiful date with bravery and audacity?”
Olivia cringes from the word choice. Seriously? Even she writes better.
“Gladly! If you promise it will work on my date.”
John’s laughing, and Olivia looks at him in shock.
“Are you mental?” She pulls him down by his lapel and whispers in his ear, “Can you imagine how unsanitary those blades are? What if he nicks you?”
John’s laughing even more gleefully.
“They’ve promised that it’ll impress my date. How can I say ‘no?”‘
He kisses her cheek and steps forward.
Olivia clenches her fists and chews her bottom lip. The barney isn’t that she’s worried for him. A bit, of course; but then again she’s pretty sure they take this act around the world and know what they’re doing.
What worries her are the memories of how she was doing the research for The Knife and the Heart, her second most popular novel.
And on the side note, how are her publishers even still in business with such taste in book titles?
It was two years into her widowhood – and it was the first time she remembered she had a body. By some unexplainable glitch in her libido, YouTube videos and tutorials for impalement arts drove her into unexpected sexual frenzy. It became her ‘porn.’ The artist on the screen would take out a blade, she’d unbutton her jeans; he moved the hand back before a throw, she’d take out a vibrator… And so on, and so on, until her body would grudgingly agree that she was a woman of flesh. And first it was here’s a small and unimpressive clitoral. And then with time it became clear that it was like riding a bike. No puns intended.
She’s a grown-up woman and a mediocre writer; so she’s aware of the sadomasochistic eroticism of the noble art of knife throwing and its place in classical literature. She has a copy of A Girl on the Bridge.
What she always considered slightly alarming in her kink is the fact that she’s attracted to the human target, not the artist.
The assistant leads John to a wide board, and two cuffs appear on the top of it. Olivia breathes out and bites her lip painfully. Her self control is slipping. She’s shaking. The assistant has to stand on a ladder to reach his lifted wrists, and the shackles click. Olivia is probably drawing blood from her tortured lip. She tries to stop herself from narrating in her head – but when has she ever managed it?
She ran her hands over his spread body. Her fingers lingered on the buckle of his trousers, and he exhaled loudly.
“Do not speak,” she murmured, and he clenched his jaw.
Her palm slid lower and cupped…
Olivia turns away from the act and closes her eyes. You can do it, you can. You just have to breathe through it and think about your mother. It can thwart any sort of excitement for Olivia any day of the year. She slowly turns around – and then the knife thrower in a ridiculous glittery costume steps out.
He takes out the first long blade, and Olivia looks at John. He’s smiling, completely relaxed and obviously enjoying himself. He doesn’t seem like an adrenaline junkie to her though. To think of it, since she met him, about four hours ago, nothing seemed to really unsettle him. Maybe he’s like that in general, nonchalant and cheerful. Meaning, the opposite of Olivia Dane. Well, the opposites attract.
With a swoosh the first blade flies.
The crowd gasps, and it drives into the board above John’s right shoulder with a thump. Using the hackneyed expression, Olivia’s inner walls clench, and she fists her hands. John gives out a chuckle.
“How are you feeling, my man?”
The knife thrower’s mannerisms would be hilarious, weren’t Olivia so preoccupied with her increasingly stickier knickers.
“Endlessly grateful that you’re aiming above my waist,” John answers, and the crowd roars with laughter.
Olivia’s eyes of course fall below the said waist; and then she pushes her face into the plush elephant. She hears the thump of the second knife – and she moans. And braces herself for the next wave of text pouring into her feverish brain.
She lowered herself in front of him, holding his gaze, and licked her lips. He groaned when her deft fingers unbuckled his belt and reached for the zipper. His raging erection was painful…
Thump! Olivia jumps up and peeks. There are two knives sticking above John’s shoulders and one near his hip. Its companion follows on the other side. Thump! Oh…
“If I were you, my friend, I’d put your legs wider,” the knife thrower pompously announces and pulls another blade out of his assistant’s hand.
Spread and open for her pleasure, he was breathing heavily, his wide masculine chest rising. She stepped back and pulled a narrow curved blade out of the scabbard on her thigh. With an experienced twirl of her slender wrist she sent the blade in the space between his inner thighs…
Thump! Olivia yelps and bites into the poor dumbo. The crowd is cheering, and she dares to look. The knife is three inches below John’s… Give up and embrace it. You are thinking about his cock, Olivia.
The assistant lets him out of the restraints, and he bows to the clapping crowd. He’s smiling and steps closer to Olivia.
“Have I impressed my date?”
The elephant drops to the ground. She jumps up and hangs on him. He barks a laugh, picks her up under her bum, and she hugs his waist with her legs. The crowd roars in approval. She kisses him – and it’s fervent and scorching, and all those other words she uses to describe it in her books. He moans into her mouth, and she bites his bottom lip.
“Take me home,” she whispers into his ear.
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