The bell rings. I look through our bedroom window. Isabelle, a small and beautiful woman, my wife Anne's best friend, is standing in the rain. I run downstairs and open the front door. "Come in, come in," and I make an invitational gesture, not realizing that I'm still holding a knife in my hand. "My God," Isabelle gasps, "what's that big knife for? Cutting meat or something?"
I'm taken aback a little. "Oh... no, sorry about that", I answer a little embarrassed, "Just practicing." It's out of my mouth before I realize.
"Practicing?" Isabelle says frowning and looking up at me with a curious squint in her eyes. "Are you applying for a job in that circus?"
I laugh a little sheepish. The circus she's referring to has left town long ago. Anne, me and Isabelle, who happened to be with us, had witnessed there an incredible knife throwing act involving a girl shackled to a target board. I grin at Isabelle's mentioning of it and hand her a clean kitchen towel to dry her hair with.
"So what's the practicing?" she persists, raising an eye brow. I hesitate, but she's such a close friend I guess I can tell her. "Well, you know, Anne wants me to learn the trade."
Now it's Isabelle's turn to laugh. "You? You learn to throw knifes at girls? You're not joking are you?"
"No," I try to laugh, "not at girls." What do I care, it's not really a lie. We enter the kitchen and I put he knife down next to the sink. "Coffee?"
"Is Anne at home?"
"No, I'm sorry, she's out attending another one of those unexpected planning meetings from her office."
"Shit," Isabelle says and, with an elegant sway of her body to signal her acceptance of my invitation, sits down, watching me rinse the coffee pot. "Wanted to do some shopping with her. Will she be home soon?" "I'm afraid not," I answer. It might be quite late tonight. The meeting is supposed to extend into a meal in a restaurant."
Isabelle sighs, then looks up and, noticing the knife again, says: "So tell me, if it's not for throwing knifes at helpless girls what are you teaching yourself?" She takes a sip from her coffee and without waiting for my answer says: "That was really something, that act. You know, I went back to the circus the next evening, just to see that feat again. Gave me such a terrible thrill."
I laugh, more honestly now. "I'll tell you something, Isabelle," I say, "we did too. We went back even twice. Anne's idea. She was absolutely crazy about it."
"Yeah," Isabelle agreed with another sigh, "Still sticks in my mind as if it was yesterday."
It really had been quite a scene indeed. I too still remember every single detail of the event.
We had been sitting all evening high up on those hard wooden benches, looking down into the circus arena. For almost two hours we had watched jumping horses, dancing elephants, roaring lions, and clowns playing with their life high on trapezes. And then the circus master had announced the final performance of the evening, a "breathtaking knife throwing act."
And breathtaking it was. A big bare chested man, with an outfit that made him look quite silly, like something in between a gladiator and Tarzan, stepped into the sand below. He waved to the public with his muscular arms and, while he was welcomed with applause, two sturdy helpers rolled an enormous wooden disk into the arena, erecting it upright, some five or six meters away from where the man stood. It was painted with red, blue and white concentric rings, like a huge archery target. Close to its rims four short pieces of leather were fixed to the wood, forming a square. The men disappeared, only to reappear carrying a table. They placed it next to the Tarzan. On it they lied out in a neat row a series of large long butcher knifes, their blades glittering in the lime lights.
When they had gone, the man straightened his back and, viewing his audience, began to speak. "Ladies and gentlemen, you are going to watch a very dangerous act. If you are too afraid to look, please close your eyes. No yelling or screaming please. And no applause. I need absolute silence to concentrate." He stopped a moment to let his words sink in and then continued: "But first welcome my lovely assistant, a warm applause please." Upon a summoning sway of his arm, a lean brisk woman ran towards him from behind the back stage curtains. She looked like a fairy queen, dressed in long flamboyant draperies waving around her as she moved, her hair flowing around her shoulders like a gypsy in an opera, and her eyes sparkling. She took the man's hand, kissed it, and then both of them bowed to their public. "Ladies and gentleman," the man continued to speak, "I will now ask to bring into the arena the little jewel on which I will focus my attention. I'm afraid she's not a willing participant, but she'll do fine for the purpose." And with a loud voice he called: "Bring her in!"
Immediately screams were heard from behind the curtains. A moment later, the two helpers reappeared again, now dragging between them a young woman, struggling and fighting to get free. Scarcely dressed in a daringly small bikini that covered only the most spectacular parts of her body, she was stunningly beautiful. Looking around wild eyed, seeing all those people gawking at her, she gave another scream and tried to jerk her arms free from her captor's strong grips. But she was no match and soon they had her fine struggling body attached spread eagle to the wooden target board, wrists and ankles securely shackled with those four pieces of leather that turned out to be sturdy cuffs.
The girl seemed desperate now, crying and shaking with her whole body, her head banging wildly against the board. "Be quiet!" the man called out loud, "I can't concentrate like this." And addressing his two helpers, he added: "Close her mouth, I need silence!"
Immediately one of the men unwrapped a large scarf from around his loins, and together the two of them strapped it over the poor girl's mouth, rolling the material several times around her head, and knotting it tight behind her slender neck. It was quite an erotic sight and I took a stealthy look at my wife and her friend, to see their reaction. They were as fascinated as I was and gazed at the girl's squirming body as if in trance. I noticed Anne's face was blushed, and realized that the sight of that pitiful girl so erotically exposed, must have fired her own masochistic sexual feelings, which I so often enjoy in bed. In fact, my own lust for cruelty awakened as well from watching that helpless semi-nude girl pulling in such frenzy at the bonds that held her young body so nicely stretched against the wooden board.
With a broad smile the gypsy fairy queen now handed one of the knifes to her partner. He took it by the tip of the blade, stretched his arm and quietly took aim, pointing the knife's handle towards the girl on the board. And she, seeing what was going to happen, panicked and began to shake her head violently jerking her imprisoned spread out arms and legs in their bonds. A hushed silence descended on the public.
But the man slowly let his arm down and called out loud: "Don't move girl! Keep your body still and don't move your head, or you'll die!" In response the girl suddenly froze in her bonds, her eyes grown wide in fear.
Now, turning to his audience, the man raised a finger to his mouth. "Absolute silence please!"
Slowly he stretched his arm again, aiming, and suddenly the knife flew, hitting the wood with a loud knock. The blade stuck in, millimeters below the girl's left armpit. She gave a muffled cry, but kept her body rigid in fear, like a beautiful marble sculpture.
A loud applause rose from the audience.
"Silence!" the man called out, raising his hands. "No applause please. I need to concentrate!"
With another smile his assistant handed him another knife. And when total silence had returned, it was thrown like a bullet towards the girl. It bit into the wood with another dry knock just below the armpit of her other extended arm. Anne grabbed my hand, pressing it strongly with a hot moist palm. I looked at her and she glanced back at me with large gleaming eyes, her cheeks quite red, betraying her arousal. I bent over to see how Isabelle was doing. She looked straight ahead, her face flushed too, and one hand pressed into her lap.
Knock... knock! Two more knives stuck out from the wood on both sides of the girl's frightened face, imprisoning locks of hair so close to her head that it looked like they had cut her ears. But no blood showed, and the girl, with terror in her eyes, watched another knife flying towards her. It settled almost scraping the skin of her slender neck. The next blade hit the wood symmetrically on the other side of her throat. Anne breathed heavily now, heat radiating from her body. "Jesus," I heard her gasp.
More knifes sailed through the air. Soon the girl's was completely framed by blades embedded in the wood narrowly close to the sexy curves of her body.
In the end only one knife was left on the table, and the assistant slowly and rather ceremoniously handed it over. This time she didn't smile. The shackled girl, obviously realizing this was going to be the prime blade to be thrown at her, squeezed her eyes closed tight, biting her lip and holding her breath.
The man aimed very carefully, taking an unusual long time. And threw!
The blade cut into the wood at the only place not covered yet by the other blades: high in the apex of the girls spread out thighs, grazing the little triangular material between her legs, it seemed to have just kissed her womanhood.
But apparently it had not hurt her. The girl did not scream behind her gag. Ostensibly greatly relieved that she had remained unhurt, she sagged in silence and hung trembling in her bonds. Amid a thunderous applause the fairy queen walked over to her and pulled out the knifes, one after the other. The show was over. The man turned around and bowed deep, again and again. The fairy queen embraced him and they kissed each other, bowed and kissed again. In the mean time, the girl was taken off the target board by the two helpers. Her limp body first collapsed on the floor and then tried to get free again of the men's groping hands. Tarzan and his lady did not care. They were now holding hands and kept bowing to the long lasting applause. In the background the struggling girl was dragged behind the curtains, the scarf still over her mouth.
The lights went on and we got up. My two woman companions had a somewhat embarrassed look on their blushed faces, as in fact most of the people around us had. It was clear that this had not been just a circus act like any other, but something that had touched a hidden very private place deep inside all of us. We didn't speak. But in the end, after we found our way downstairs through the pushing crowd and stood on solid ground, Anne finally opened her mouth and asked: "Do you think that girl was really... I mean... not volunteering?" I smiled. "Of course she was acting. It's just for the benefit of the audience." Isabelle looked at me still with a blush on her face. "You think so?" she asked in an uncertain voice. "Sure," I answered, "want to check it out?"
It took a while before we succeeded in finding our way behind the stage. But we found the knife thrower. He was sitting on a wooden bench, wearing a house coat and sipping tea with his lady assistant. He smiled politely to a throng of people who, like us, were standing around them in obvious admiration. We pushed ourselves through and when close enough to catch his eyes, complemented him on his extraordinary skills. "Liked it?" he asked, and turned to introduce his companion. "Please meet my wife Aliza." While we shook hands, the victim girl suddenly appeared from nowhere, happily smiling and still dressed in her bikini. "And this is our daughter Sylvia," Aliza said, kissing her on both cheeks. "Good performance, girl" she complimented her, "I'm sure the audience again fell steeply for your acting." And addressing us again she said, "It was her idea, you know, to tickle that little sadistic muscle we all seem to have." Then, noticing Anne's still flushed face, she smiled knowingly and added, "or touch some hidden masochistic nerve of course. Did it work like that?"
It did. Anne had been horny like hell. That night she gave herself over to me like prey to be devoured. The next morning after she woke up with her violated body still aching, she even took a day off from work. It had been quite a memorable night.
"Yes that was really a remarkable show," I say to Isabelle, "That's what started it." I am silent for a moment, maybe I should stop talking about this. It feels a bit awkward speaking about such private things with my wife's best friend. But Isabelle keeps looking at me, expecting more. I hesitate, but then think 'What the heck, they are such close friends, I'm sure that at some point in time Anne will tell Isabelle anyway.' So I continue and tell. "Ever since we saw that show Anne has been fascinated and haunted by that knife act. Wanted me to learn to throw knifes as well, became adamant I do. It gives her an enormous kick to imagine the fear of seeing a knife fly at her while she's helplessly fixed to a target board."
"I think I know what you mean Alex," Isabelle said, "she's told me she likes the feel of fear and forced submission. It arouses her sexually."
"I didn't know you are that close."
"You would be surprised," Isabelle says with a smile, "if you knew what we tell each other about our private lives."
I look her closely in the eyes, trying to read her mind. Her face reddens a little and she hastily takes a sip from her coffee. I hesitate. "You're not shocked?" I ask a little worried, "I mean me telling you this all? It's rather a personal thing between Anne and me."
But she ignores the question. Instead she looks up at me for quite a while, and then asks: "How good are you at throwing those knives?" I notice a slight tremor in her voice
"Pretty good by now, seldom miss a throw."
"How long have you practiced?"
"Couple of months."
"Upstairs. Want to see?" I'm startled by my own boldness.
"You don't mind?", she asks in a thin voice, and blushes.
"Well... no," I say, "as long as you're not really shocked. You might find it, what shall I say, a little upsetting." But she follows me up the stairs saying she's not easily shocked. Nevertheless, when I show her into our large bedroom, her mouth falls open. "My God," she exclaims, seeing Anne's life size photo on the wall, perforated with a multitude of little clean knife cuts.
It portrays Anne in splendid nudity, shining brightly in her blossoming thirty two years, her posture suggesting innocent purity. One arm is folded across her desirable breasts, the other hand modestly cups the curly bush of her love mound. But it's her smile and the teasingly inviting glance in her eyes, that look straight into the camera, which makes the photo most erotic. Two real knifes stick into the picture, close to her loins.
"My God," Isabelle gasps, "That's Anne!"
"Sure," I say, "good guess."
"You... you throw your knifes at that?"
I smile. "Its good for practicing and doesn't hurt anybody." I say. "Look I'm really good at it. I'll show you. Where do you want me to throw?" I take one of the knives that lie on the covers of our large matrimonial bed at the opposite end of the room.
Isabelle gives no answer. Just stares at me with her flushed face.
"Next to her head," she whispers.
TACK! The knife sticks half a centimeter aside Anne's face on the photo.
"Jesus," Isabelle gasps. She trembles. "Maybe you should sit down," I say a little worried. "Are you OK?" She hesitates, but then sinks down on the bed, folding her legs and pulling her skirt modestly over her knees. Then she looks up at me again with those blushed cheeks. I retrieve the knife. We are both silent for a long time. I realize how attractive she is.
"Are you..." she hesitates and seems to search for the right words, "Is this... I mean, are you planning on... I mean... doing it real... with Anne?"
"Well, yes, maybe. At least that's what Anne says. One day she'd like to try."
"Like in that circus..."
"Yes, more or less. Anne gets all sexually hyped up from the idea. And to be honest, I find the thought very erotic too.
Isabelle does not react, just blushes a bit more.
"Isabelle," I ask carefully, "am I upsetting you?"
"No, Alex, you don't." she whispers.
I smile and stare long into her large dark eyes. She's really very attractive as she sits there with that small frail body of hers. I let myself down to sit next to her. We are quite close. Warm radiance emanates from her body, but I don't touch her. She's very, very pretty. Her perfume is the same as Anne's, but she smells differently, and no less arousing.
She looks at me, her eyes near mine. "When are you eh... ready?" she asks. Her voice is hoarse.
I hesitate. "I think I'm ready. Pretty well skilled by now. But Anne doesn't. She's thinks I'm still far from being the crack expert I should be. But I believe I am."
Again we are quiet. Isabelle keeps looking alternatively at me and at the far wall where Anne's picture is stuck up, her shape encircled nicely by the many cuts from my knives.
Finally, she opens her mouth and very softly says: "Mind if I ask you something?"
"Won't you need an assistant?" Her cheeks flush crimson.
Now I too feel blood rise to my cheeks. "Maybe that's not a bad idea," I say, looking intensely into her dark beautiful eyes, "not at all, actually." I can see she's aroused too. "You want to eh... to apply?"
She confirms without words, keeping her eyes on me.
For a moment I hesitate, but then I take a deep breath. "Isabelle, dear, I would certainly like that. I really would. But, you know... I don't think Anne would want you around. This is a very private thing."
"But Alex," Isabelle protests, her breathing accelerating and moving closer to me, "wouldn't that just make it more thrilling? Like in that circus. If Anne is not cooperating willfully, shouldn't that make it even more exciting."
She's right. What she says puts me on fire. "I never thought of that," I confess, smiling back at her with a beating heart.
"Yes," she says softly, "She should be unwilling."
I don't know what to say. But Isabelle goes on talking, like in a fever. "I have another idea," she says. "Afterwards, I mean after the performance... we should also... like those two in the circus..." she doesn't finish her sentence.
I feel very hot now. "You mean... kiss...?"
Isabelle speaks in a whisper now. "Yes... we should kiss... shouldn't we? And... you know... Anne would have to watch us."
"You little creep," I say, "Is that what you want?"
"You bet I do," she says, her face now red like a lobster.
"Isabelle," I say very softly: "I like you very much and I would... I mean... eh... not mind at all to kiss you... and even... you know... But you are my wife's best friend, and I'm her husband. That makes it different, I mean difficult."
"Difficult or different?"
"Both," I say, breathing much too hard.
She takes my head in her hands and draws my face to hers. "It's not so difficult," she whisper, "I'll show you... just for practice."
She kisses me.
Her lips are soft and her mouth is wet and warm. Soon we suck each other's tongues. She's as hot as I am and begins to fumble on my belt. But I break the embrace. "Wait, wait, Isabelle. Don't run too fast. Let's talk about these things first. Why don't you stay for dinner? I make a good spaghetti and we can talk."
So it's not only Anne who has an unexpected planning meeting over dinner. When we've done our talking and taken decisions, Isabelle leaves to buy the CD before the shops close. I carry our sound system with its two enormous loudspeakers up into our bedroom, then get my power drill. Soon Anne's photograph is taken down and four sturdy steel hooks, adorned with the leather cuffs, retrieved from the secret drawer that holds our kinky play things, are securely anchored in the thick wood paneling of our bedroom.