Before a further piece of wisdom I poke the chromed muzzle of my .45 calibre Auto-Ordnance into the front angle of her neck, between jawline and a noticeable laryngeal prominence.

“You know only six-point-two percent of women have them?”

“Have what?”

The brunette’s return comes out surprisingly confident despite the question mark. For my money, I reckon I’d be all croak if the positions were reversed. Examining her pretty face for sign of nerves leaves me impressed. Only the blue eyes let her down — the long-eyelashed lids blinking faster than usual.

Then again, some people do that.

“Have a prominent Adam’s apple,” I say.

Ought to pull the trigger now and have done with it. Shame to mess up the good-looks, but worse things do happen.

“Gets me in trouble,” she muses, gazing straight back along the barrel.

“How?” The query pops out before I think.

“Well, the odd paramour gets to thinking I’m a man in drag.”

“You’re kidding me?”

Heart’s hammering. Voice isn’t much better than the croak I mentioned earlier. She’s a looker, no matter the Adam’s apple.

“Sadly? No kidding. Some men get frightened.”

That’s not what frightens me. It’s the weakness enveloping my limbs while I take in the red, Cupid’s bow mouth and a lot of perfect skin that clings just right.

That mouth purses, almost a pucker, like she’s mulling over something and blowing me a kiss at the same time.

Before I know what’s happened she’s wrapped her right fingers around the pearl-handled pistol, gently removes it from my fist, twists the thing about, and has it pointed into the front angle of my neck — between the jawline and a likely bulging Adam’s apple.

The pout becomes a smile as she uses her southpaw to straighten the collar of her shirt to better cover the throat, and then the gun presses hard into mine.

“You know a hundred percent of men have them?”

“That so?” I mumble, flummoxed.

“Yep.” Her eyes now narrow, a breeze of grievance winging my way. “Forbidden fruit, my arse.”

~ fin ~

Andrez Bergen is an expat Australian writer, journalist and DJ who's been entrenched in Tokyo for the past 12 years. He published the noir/sci-fi novel Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat (2011), slipstream tome One Hundred Years of Vicissitude in 2012, and now Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa? through Perfect Edge Books - combining classic comic books, noir, pulp, fantasy and sci-fi.

Bergen has published short stories through Crime Factory, Snubnose Press, Shotgun Honey and Another Sky Press and worked on adapting the scripts for feature films by Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell), Kazuchika Kise and Naoyoshi Shiotani.