Chairman Steps Into the Parlor
Ev found the parlor charming in a prole sort of way. Ornate chairs and tables of Azja design, reupholstered with soft velour to give a look of sophistication, no doubt. Orange lighting and matching diamond shaped glass ashtrays. Rugs from Sparta with an affected weave. Charming.
"Sit down, Chairman."
"Ev," Ev said. "Please. Call me Ev."
"Sit down, Ev."
Ev looked at the three couches, each a bit longer than a love seat or settee, each with a different woven throw. Two chairs of matching style faced in. Ev considered them as though there weren't much choice, flapped hands, and sat down in the middle of the middle couch, peered into the ashtray on the coffee table.
"Whiskey or wine?"
"Whatever you're having."
She poured two whiskeys at a serving table, then brought them over, put one down in front of Ev, took a sip of hers.
Ev looked at the drink, then at her, eyes lingering on her body beneath the robe, then took a sip of the whiskey.
She flipped open a carved box, pulled a smoke, stuck it in the long black holder. "Wanna smoke?"
"I don't usually."
"Tonight a usual night?"
Ev looked at her body again, nodded, said, "Okay. I'll have a smoke. I'm gonna cough, though, so please don't laugh at me."
She cracked a smirk from behind the cigarette holder. "We'll manage." She gave Ev a smoke, smiled at the fumbling and end checking and sticking it in the mouth. "You're kina cute, ya know. I can see why Marcy liked you."
Ev nodded. "Thank you." Eyes darted to her body then back to the smoke. "You're lovely yourself."
"Can see how you conned everyone, too."
Ev nodded again, smoothed rumpled hair, said, "Thank you. Thank you for your comment."
She picked up a silver monkey, squeezed it and flame shot from the top of its head between cupped hands. The paper and tobacco crackled as it caught fire and burned, filling the room with thick, sweet smoke. She bent over, her bare chest close to Ev's face as she lit the cigarette between Ev's lips. "You've gotta suck it, sweetie."
Ev did, then inhaled and coughed as predicted. Through gasps and hacks, Ev said, "I told you."
She smiled and brushed Ev's hair. "Just relax. You'll find your breath again."
Ev's bleary eyes stared at her chest, trained to dart around and look for some secreted part beneath the shadows.
"Try again. Suck it."
Ev did, coughed, but less. The head rush set in, even through the brine of liquor, and Ev swooned.
She pushed Ev flat on the couch then straddled, smoke crawling from her nose. "Just relax, Chairman."
Ev felt dizzy. "Please. Call me Ev."
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