There's knowing when to stop, then there's stopping.
|Your pearls glow in the candlelight, like a string of moons around the neck of Venus. Funny that I’m focusing on them now, when I should be paying more attention to the dagger tip touching my starched white shirt, pointing at my heart.
This afternoon you said, Let’s dress for dinner – I have a special wine. Just like our first night together, now that I think of it. World-class restaurant, world-class wine. World-class perfume. You were all shining blonde hair cascading around your shoulders, framing a perfect face, ice blue eyes, lips to fall into. I had no chance.
You lean into me, and I notice that the blade disappears about halfway, into my shirt. I’m dizzy – I didn’t know how special your wine was. But mostly I’m thinking about you months after that first night together, how intoxicating you still were to me. You wouldn’t tell me anything about yourself, where you were born, what you were doing before you materialized in front of me. And I didn’t press you. I knew I was telling you too much about me, about the money, about how I got it. But I didn’t care. I was in your net.
I feel pressure at my chest, look down. All that’s visible now is the hilt of the dagger, and the handle, with your slender fingers wrapped around it. Perfect manicure, the color of a mid-summer peach. I notice that you’re wearing the jade ring I gave you last week, at what I realize now was the end of things.
I can still wrap my hand around yours, push it slowly away, withdraw the blade, think about it all, ask the questions I never asked before. But I won’t. I’m all the way in, and I know I’m not getting out.
(Word count: 298)