'Go on – say it' I challenged. Well, he was only an 'imaginary construct' wasn't he? So it didn't really matter what he said, or what I said for that matter.
The air in Liugi's was thick with anticipation, antagonism, lust, need and alcohol – a potent mix by anyone's standards. But Gene just raised an eyebrow and moved his face closer to mine, almost kissing distance you might say. So I repeated,
'Say it, you know you want to' I taunted. It had been quite a bruising couple of days, in Gene's case quite literally, although I thought he had taken the left hook to his jaw quite well really, considering. Considering if I had been a bloke, if I had been Sam Tyler then I would never have got away with that. But I suspect that Gene has other torments in store for me.
'Say what Bolly?' he finally replied. 'Say that you were right all along about this one?' He sipped lazily from his whiskey glass without taking his eyes off me. He seemed quite drunk but you can never tell and let's face it, I wasn't totally sober myself.
So what did I want Gene to say exactly? Yes, I wanted him to admit that I was right and he was wrong but there was more to it than that. I wanted him to take it all back, all the words spoken in that vicious argument, the one before I thumped him. Wanted him to admit that he did want me, need me, hell even finds me vaguely attractive would do it. God help me but I have no idea why.
'Why don't you say it instead?' he said still fixing me with those piercing eyes.
''What' I stammered, desperately stalling for time
'Whatever you want to say to me lady, just get it off your chest and I promise not to thump you into next week'.
'You wouldn't would you?' I said doubtfully. I didn't really think he had it in him to hit a woman no matter how provoked he was.
'No, mores' the pity' he snarled and went back to sipping his drink.
Of course, I couldn't say what I really wanted to say. Which was that I wanted him right here, right now and any way that he wanted me – no, couldn't say that could I – too scared that he might take me up on the offer? Too scared that I might enjoy it when he did finally cut loose.
'You know your trouble, Alex' he said while standing to put on his coat. I don't think I'd ever heard him use my given name before – it was strangely intimate. He walked over to me and then stroked my hand with one finger. I shivered.
'You think too much' and with that he leaned over and kissed me full on the mouth and then walked out into the night.