Last Night A DJ... (2)
But that wasn't the whole story for Mick. Never could be where sneezing was involved. He was an honest-to-God sneeze fetishist; and he was, to put it lightly, terrified that his delightful date might cotton on to what had been the first – though by no means the only – thing that had attracted him to her.
Mick sat in Laissez-Fayre restaurant (he was stretching his wallet for the occasion) and thought about how he had made an effort to look sharp, wearing a suit and tie, and shaving for a change. Sometimes he wasn't so bad looking after all. Maybe it was his nerdy image that usually put the chicks off.
But he hadn’t repelled Donna Dynamite, and she was a veritable goddess. She could have any guy eating out of her hand. Why would she go for an average-to-poor looking guy who blessed her when she sneezed?
When Donna arrived all eyes were on her, predictably. She looked as mouth-watering as ever, her evening dress providing an elegant contrast with the stylish club babe gear Mick had seen her wearing at Paradise.
“Hi Liz.” He was using her real name; Donna Dynamite was a sobriquet.
While they exchanged pleasantries Mick was wondering when he would get to hear more of those wonderful sneezes.
Damn and blast it, he had been forced to book a table in the non-smoking area because smoke made Donna sneeze; and she had told him she had hay fever, so he couldn't bring her flowers.
He had felt like he was betraying the sneeze fetishist in him when he had asked the waiter to move the strongly scented flowers which were already on the table. A man could take gallantry too far.
But there is more than one way to skin a cat.
“So are you DJ-ing this week?”
“No. The other evening when I got home, I sneezed right through the night!”
Out of the mouths of babes! Mick steadied himself.
“That’s not to be sneezed at!”
Donna laughed, a raucous laugh, which seemed curiously at odds with her exquisite features.
She put on a pair of tiny gold-rimmed glasses. If there was one thing Mick liked, apart from hearing a beautiful girl sneeze, it was seeing a beautiful girl wearing glasses.
“I really do have the most appalling eyesight. I may have to start wearing these all the time.”
Typical! Mick worried that the only reason Donna had liked him in the club was because she couldn't see him too well.
“In fact, sometimes, when I sneeze, they fall off.”
Mick's mouth was dry; his pulse was rapid. She had said that innocently, yet was there the tiniest glint in her eye? No. She was stoking the fires of his heart's desires with all the blissful ignorance of someone talking about the weather.
The starters arrived – soups.
Donna tasted hers. “Not bad, but perhaps it could do with a little pepper.”
Pepper! A hundred clichéd images of cartoon gags involving pepper tumbled through Mick's mind.
She sprinkled the stuff liberally on her soup. A little too liberally, in fact.
Mick saw her whole face begin to wrinkle, as it had the first time he had watched her sneeze.
“AH-AH-AH…” Donna was building up nicely.
“AH-ISHOOOOO!!!” Her sneeze seemed even more exquisite in these surroundings, and even louder, away from the noise of the club.
A few elderly people muttered in distaste at these eruptions.
There was something almost theatrical about the way Donna was sneezing, the way she drew out the build-ups and made the most of the releases.
“Aren't you going to say bless you? I thought you were a gentleman. I'm not so sure now.” She winked wickedly. What did she mean?
“'Bless you!” Mick breathed.
“Mick, you've gone all red. I haven't embarrassed you, have I?"
“No, not at all,” Mick lied.
“I do love a good sneeze.”
Mick felt dizzy.
“Always have. I always feel, well, better for a good sneeze! Blow the cobwebs away, in a manner of speaking.”
It struck Mick how well-spoken Donna was in normal conversation. She drawled a little for her DJ-ing.
“Do you like sneezing, Mick?” Such a seemingly innocent enquiry, so loaded with meaning.
“Well, er, you know, everyone does it, and…”
“I know that, Mick. But do you like sneezing?”
Mick wasn't aroused by his own sneezes, although he had always wished he could be.
“Depends what you mean, really.” Mick got that sinking feeling as soon as the words had slipped out of his mouth.
“What do you mean?"
“Because if you like sneezing like I like sneezing, we can really have some fun.”
Mick entered critical denial. “I really don't know what you're talking about.”
Now it was Donna's turn to go red. “Oh, I'm really, really sorry! I've got you all wrong! It's just…I thought I'd noticed that, when I sneeze, it kind of does something for you. Honestly, I am awfully sorry! The thing is, I've always found it sexy when I sneeze, and I thought maybe you understood. You probably think I'm a real weirdo now. I'll call a cab. Sorry to have embarrassed you.”
Mick stared at Donna, amazed by her confession. He cleared his throat; he started to grin. “All right. Call a cab. But take it back to mine! Because I certainly do have a sneezing fetish!”
Donna and Mick both grinned with sheer delight, and relief. He gazed into her almond-brown eyes, leaned across the table, and kissed her for a long, long time. And she returned his kiss passionately. By the time they had finished, their soups had gone cold, and the end of Mick’s tie had fallen into his bowl. But it didn't matter one bit. Mick settled the bill, Donna called a taxi, and they waited, dazed with anticipation, for a sneeze-filled night of passion to begin.