56 Lucan's and Angel's sumptuous fight

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56   Lucan's and Angel's sumptuous fight

Upstairs again, I lie down. Throughout my tuna melt, I was keeping at bay the picture of Kim's Angel-like figure at Pippa's, but now it floats up through the quiet air of my bedroom, floats down on top of me here on the bed, and softly gnaws at me.

It's not going to go away, unless I deal with it. There's no choice: I had better have a tune-in to Angel himself.

So I close my eyes, conjure up a vivid blast of Angel, aim it out into town, and send my sight running after it like the obedient dog it's become. I half-expect to find myself strapped into a wheelchair on Pippa's balcony or locked behind a keyhole in a cubicle off her hallway. But no, I land at Lucan's house on Summerfield Avenue ... and straight away I see it's not a soothing moment, Angel, for it seems you just demanded something Lucan won't allow. Your little body's angry as you jump to your feet, shrieking "How dare you say no? I hate that." Lucan launches off his chair; his left hand grabs your right wrist hard, so you yelp. He thrusts his gorgeous snarl towards your face and growls: "Where the fuck were you, here, before me, huh?" He lifts you off the floor and holds you up aloft before him. The tight supple muscles underneath your tattooed angel's wings strain to flail you upright, in vain, while the little silver crucifix dangles in mid-air beside your black vinyl brassiere. "Where would you be without me—huh? Nowhere! Dirt-poor! Dead, or good as dead. And I can send you back down there, any time I want."

An explosion of black light floods your eyes and mind: it's time to kill. It's time to kill Lucan. Instead, with a mesmerising weakness and passive spite, you mutter, "Jerk..." In a split second Lucan's hand slaps you in the face so hard, you nearly black out. As your eyes swim slowly back to focus, your left cheek stinging hard, you see his eyes above you. He pulls you up to a level with his grin, spits upon your face and lets loose a deep and wicked laugh. The spit hits your stinging left cheek and stays, hot and sticky. Hanging by your right wrist, hurt and stung and knotted up with weak rage, you start to cry. Lucan holds you up there, one long minute, with the hot tears streaming down your face, and he stares at you the whole time in deep reflective pleasure. He jerks you nearer to him and you flinch, thinking you'll be bitten now or spat at once again, but instead he moves gently in and licks the burning tears from your cheek: his tongue is slightly rough upon your flesh.

You dart your jaws leftwards and grab with your teeth the end of Lucan's tongue—not hard enough to bite through, but hard enough to kidnap it by threatening to bite through. Lucan's eyes blaze at your tear-stained face, across a gap of centimetres. He fears that he may really lose his tongue's end, and he's right to fear it. So, for one extraordinary moment, you both stay exactly there: Lucan, strongly braced like a pylon, holding you aloft, and fearing for the end of his tongue; and you hanging dizzy there, a point of reflected light shining off your earring, dripping tears and wet with sweat and emanating triumph.

Then, by degrees as gradual as if he were complying at gun-point with an order to take his hands out of his pockets very slowly, Lucan creeps his right hand up in the direction of your chest and brings his thumb to rest on the outer surface of your black vinyl bra, just above your left breast. The thumb doesn't move but just rests there, waiting five whole seconds in a new clash of wills. Then it feels what it aimed for, as your nipple starts to swell, against your will. Your teeth don't unclench but stay together, just close enough to hold Lucan's tongue where it is. Still neither of you moves at all, except for your nipple, now erect, pushing up its brown nipple-meat hard against the vinyl bra and Lucan's thumb. Felt by you alone but inferred by Lucan too, a dull throb inside the nipple grows in urgency, without Lucan's moving his thumb at all. Your eyes face each other, sharp and murderous across the tiny gap between you both, for ten whole seconds more—then at last your eyes flicker down and stay down, Angel. With his thumb still pressing in from outside, Lucan's index finger slips inside the vinyl bra and tweaks the nipple with its nail, slow and hard; then again, slow and hard; then again, slow and hard... You moan, your teeth unclench, your limbs and your bottom and your stomach unclench and all resistance in you melts.

Lucan lets you to the floor in a curled moist heap and squats beside you. He lifts your streaming face and plants a slow kiss upon it. Throughout this your eyes stay closed, but your hand reaches up to feel the big golden crucifix hanging at his chest, where his muscles are so close that you can feel their heat, here upon your face.

I zoom in on your eyelids and through them, to your grand estate: a seven-layered formal garden, planted with metal trees and cinder-chip flower-beds and black ponds of oil, around a mansion with minarets and jagged glass spires. Here in your prison-pit of decadence, you're powerful and wealthy. Your contempt is pure, aesthetically; your darkness divine, aristocratic. Around your mansion's ballroom floor, waltzing mannequins grimace, by themselves or in internecine pairs, on jerky rails, while a poisoned orange light from the setting sun blasts through the terrace doors from far beyond the lonely claustrophobic furthest end of the mile-long enclosed Linden Alley carved westward through your forestlands...

Never can you rest, even here in your estate, for Lucan always slips in, hiding on your battlements or somewhere in your corridors, behind the wooden panels, and at any time he may smash or slash with the force of a scythe or a mallet, like a dangerous unpredictable machine. But every day, when he finds you, when the mallet or the scythe hits or slashes you, it feeds you and validates you—tells you that you're loved, in the only tongue by which you are persuadable it's true. Your existence is exhausting, is it not? but you're trapped in it for life, you may be certain.

And everything you love might seem to smile at you; but inside, it's always preparing to escape you. Whatever thrill tingles in your fingertips, a death-shadow palpitates close above your head. Your vermilion-tinted eyes have the fever of a flame on a grave in the dusk, and your little pouting lips hide the kiss of death behind them where your canines sweat. Your glamour's violent to the core, my Angel Deon—and your violence in itself is a glamour unto death.

Hear Lucan stalking through the attics of your palace, up your dark wooden staircases, hunting for you, whip in hand. Crouched there beyond the heavy four-poster bed, you think he cannot see you, but he lashes out, straight in your direction, with the whip. You screech. So he saw you, or he knew you were there, and he still knows. You both wait motionless a moment, in silence... Then the whip whistles out again and bites your back and cuts it like a knife, and you feel a warm trickle down your left flank. You breathe hard; adrenalin is raging through your system now, mixed with this morning's dose of female hormones. The whiplash comes at you again, again, again—from right, from left, from overhead, and even curling up with its end from underneath you where you crouch on all fours, ready to scuttle away through the door like a dog or through the floor like a cockroach. The end of the whip streaks and zings through the air, hissing up around your slinky body, stroking at your blood-dripping black vinyl brassiere. The whip's end hits the bedside table and a glass shatters, wrenching you away from your mansion and your grand estate, and landing you back here in Lucan's house in Asbury Park. You feel you could shatter too or shrivel up and die like an insect in a flame, if you ever got too close to Lucan's lethal anger—yet you want that badly, too—to shatter and shrivel and die!

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For some nice reviews and interviews about The Imagination Thief, in The Guardian and elsewhere, see http://www.rohanquine.com/press-media/the-imagination-thief-reviews-media/

For a quick synopsis of it, see http://www.rohanquine.com/home-the-imagination-thief-novel/synopsis-and-characters-list-the-imagination-thief/

For the 12 Films in The Imagination Thief, see http://www.rohanquine.com/video-books-films/12-films/

For the Audio-book version and the Video-book version of each of its 120 mini-chapters, see http://www.rohanquine.com/home-the-imagination-thief-novel/audiobook-tumblr-wattpad/

For links to the retailers, see http://www.rohanquine.com/buy/the-imagination-thief-novel-ebook/ and http://www.rohanquine.com/buy/the-imagination-thief-novel-paperback/

And for its Amazon pages, see http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Imagination-Thief/dp/0992754909 and http://www.amazon.com/The-Imagination-Thief/dp/0992754909

The Imagination Thief is about a web of secrets, triggered by the stealing and copying of people's imaginations and memories. It's about the magic that can be conjured up by images of people, in imagination or on film; the split between beauty and happiness in the world; and the allure of various kinds of power. It celebrates some of the most extreme possibilities of human imagination, personality and language, exploring the darkest and brightest flavours of beauty living in our minds.

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