KUMIR, Chapter 11: Playing the Sides
Jason was glaring at her before she even opened the glass door to the Hellas Café. In one of the booths Alec was finishing off dinner with Joey, and Jane gave the boy a playful wave of fingers as she walked quickly to the counter. He leaned aggressively towards her, frowning. “Who the fuck was that woman you –” he began, and then stopped as she laid two fingers against his lips. He smelled sandalwood and a kind of clean, oily aroma underneath. It was a familiar smell to him, but he couldn’t remember where…suddenly his eyes widened as he realized she had gun oil on her hands. Jason swallowed, and met her green eyes, focused intently on his.
“No time, boyo. I’m on a very tight schedule. Her name was Nastya. Did my note make sense?”
“Yeah,” he grudgingly allowed. “She’s upstairs sleeping in your room. I gave her some hot cocoa, as you suggested.” His scowl returned. “And I took it off your tab.”
Jane was unfazed. “Good. My kit?”
“Right here.” Lifting a rectangular black hard case from under the table, he looked at her quizzically. “Not to pry, but that looks just like a portable bar kit I once had. Shaker, shot glasses, mixing tools…”
“Right the first time, my sexy barista.” Jane seemed inordinately pleased that he’d recognized it.” She flipped open the case, revealing neatly coiled lengths of rope where the bottles would normally go, and a dizzying array of stainless steel blades, iron clamps, and brass chains neatly arranged under leather straps. “Works remarkably well as a tool kit, as you can see.” She looked over the collection with a critical eye, reaching out and rubbing a smudge off the dark mahogany handle of a butterfly knife. She tapped her chin thoughtfully, and finally seemed to come to a decision. “Hmm…Yes, this’ll work.” She snapped it shut with a satisfied click of the latch, and noticed Jason’s expression, somewhere between confused and worried. “What?” she said, a little defensively “It’s my rope kit!”.
Jason just stared. Jane sighed, setting the case down again. “You haven’t been to many kinky play parties, have you?”
He smiled wryly. “No, I keep my sex where it belongs, between me and my partner and God.”
Jane looked sharply at him, and opened her mouth as if to say something, but then closed it again. “I would explain, but as the Spaniard said, no, eet ees too mush. Lemme sum up.” She took a breath, and held up a finger as if giving a lecture. “Ego-driven attention whores such as moi who do frequent such parties – ” she pirouetted, eliciting a round of applause from Joey in the far booth. “- have kits like this full of our tools. These are a few of my favorite things.” She tapped the case. “Nipple clamps. Blades, for sensation or cutting. Needles and sutures and chains, oh my!” Despite his best efforts, Jason was beginning to smile. “A few carabiners, my graspin’ brass ring for suspension, and about two hundred feet of Twisted Monk Nutella Rope.”
At that, Jason’s grin changed into a shocked O. “Twisted…what? Nutella…rope?” he gibbered. […]