Never Saw It Coming | Laxmi Hariharan
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Never Saw It Coming

Because I’m trying my hand at short fiction …  


Never Saw It Coming
“He spent his last £30 on a plate of oysters and a glass of champagne.”
“But he’s vegetarian!” I exclaim before I can stop myself.
“Is he?” Kieran frowns, “He downed the oysters in one go.” He takes a swig of his pint.
Why would he lie to me? Has he been lying to me all this time? Something else niggles at the edge of mind, but the thought is gone before it’s fully formed.
“I’ve always been vegetarian. Have vegetarian genes,” I say.
“I tried to be vegetarian.” He says and when I look at him, surprised, and he adds quickly, “A few years ago.” 
I half nod. People always have to share their trysts with vegetarianism, with me.
“It’s one reason I look younger.” No, shouldn’t have said that. Damn. And he of course picks up the cue.
“How old are you?” He asks.
I smile and shake my head.
“Go on, you can tell me.” He opens his eyes wide, places his chin on his fist, and leans forward. I see the spots on his face, the uncombed hair hanging over his eyebrows. He’s younger than I thought he was. His eagerness is a turn on, though, and I want to sleep with him. Just to taste him.
 “I’m not saying.” I say sharply and his eyebrows arch in surprise.
Stop overreacting Ariana. It’s just a simple question.
“I can be any age you want.” It just slips out and I swear inwardly. I didn’t just say that. I didn’t. Forget it move on. But before I can say something more, he asks “When we meet, I’d like to spank you, is that okay?”
Ah! Well, he’s changed the topic and quite neatly too.
 “Never been spanked,” I say lightly. “But I’d try it. Once.”
“Spanking’s good for circulation” he grins. “Keeps your skin supple.”
I bet!
“Where was he flying to?” I ask.
“Ulaanbaatar.”
I jerk at that and stare and he clarifies, “Mongolia.”
“Yeah! Yeah! I know that.” Ulaanbaatar? Couldn’t he have picked Rio or Bermuda? What game are you playing this time, dear husband? “No oysters in Ulaanbaatar,” I mutter. “Only horse meat and porridge.”
He wrinkles his nose.
“Not too bad once you add vodka to the porridge … for dinner, of course.” I add hastily.
“Of course!” Kieran smirks, then, asks, “So have you decided when?”
I look at a spot somewhere above his shoulder and mumble, “Need to plan it out.”
“Much longer and my wrist will fall off.”
My cheeks grow hot and my fingers slip into my bag, curling around the little bottle. “You sure he got on the flight?”
Kieran tilts his chair back and nods, “He signed off on the house, and the sale has gone through. The money should be deposited tomorrow.”
Hated that place. Still it was home for a year, so guess it’s okay to feel some regret.
“He took it on his chin. For a man who lost everything overnight, he was remarkably even-tempered.” I hear grudging admiration in Kieran’s voice.
“You did good,” I tell him, “He never saw it coming.”
“You didn’t see me coming,” He retorts.
“No” I agree, “you took me by surprise.”
“A welcome surprise?” He’s close enough for me to see his eyes widen. The chair legs hit the ground with a thwack, and he stretches towards me. He brushes his lips over mine, and I go rigid.
 “Relax,” he runs his hand through my hair, and when his fingers touch my scalp, I shiver and pull back hastily, “You are a better con man than a PI.” I sip my now-flat beer.
“Thanks to you,” He raises his glass, and I watch as he chugs it down. “And now I don’t have to be either.”
The glass slips from his hand, and I am already up and moving away as his head hits the table. En route to the airport I click open the just arrived e-ticket. It’s for Ulaanbaatar. 
That sodding bastard.
I am about to delete the ticket, then pause. No, I’m going to go over there and get my share of the money first. Maybe even keep it all for myself. I stretch my legs out and watch the sun shine off my stockings. Time enough to plan.
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