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A Deep State of Honesty

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Tora bristled as he followed Quincey down the street, Poppy’s hand clasped tightly in his own. He didn’t like the idea of what they were about to do at all. Quincey had insisted though, telling him this guy was ‘the real deal’ and that he’d gift his Prada to the homeless before he missed this show. “Hurry up,” Quincey urged over his shoulder from his spot eight feet in front of them.

                Tora rolled his eyes, “she’s got little legs Quince, give her a minute,” he retorted, grunting when
Poppy whacked him.

                She huffed, “don’t you dare blame me, you’re the one dragging your feet you surly grouch. This is supposed to be fun!” she insisted.

                Quincey smirked as his ferocious tiny editor told off his intimidating bodyguard. He was glad he’d played matchmaker for the two of them. They were adorable together and Tora was much more agreeable with her around. He turned and held out his hand to Poppy, “come walk with me darling, Tora can miss the start of the show alone if he wants to move at the pace of a glacier so bad,” he cajoled.

                Poppy dropped Tora’s hand and ran up to Quincey’s side, interlocking their fingers as he swung her arm in excitement, ignoring the growling coming from the kill joy behind them. Poppy looked up at Quincey in anticipation as he regaled her once more with a story he’d heard of the great ‘Kahlid El Shikh’. She bounced as they walked, she couldn’t wait for the show. She looked back over her shoulder at Tora and he scowled when they made eye contact. “I have a free hand if you wanna move a little faster?” she offered, wiggling her fingers at him.

                Tora rolled his eyes, “I’m good sweetheart,” he muttered. The last thing he wanted was to skip down the god damn street with the two of them like some fucked up trio from the Wizard of Oz. He snorted to himself at his own joke. He supposed he wasn’t that far off. They were going to see a fucking con man alright; if Quincey only had a brain he’d see that. He chuckled to himself, thinking Poppy would actually look pretty damn good in a pair of sparkly red pumps. Well, in only a pair of sparkly red pumps anyways. He liked the idea of that; he’d have to thank her for making him watch that fucked up movie later. He was still weirded out by the fucking oompa loompas though…wait a sec…he was pretty sure he was getting the Wizard movie messed up with another one. He sighed, why were there so many creepy midgets in the movies she made him watch?

                He caught up to them five minutes later as they waited in line to enter the theatre. Tora dropped a kiss on the top of Poppy’s head, weaving his arm around her shoulders pulling her against his side and away from Quincey’s fingers. She giggled, “possessive as usual I see,” she murmured only loud enough for him to hear.

                He leaned down to whisper in her ear, “feisty as ever I see,” he retorted, the fingers of his free hand reaching for her ticklish spot.

                Quincey whipped around at Poppy’s shriek, rolling his eyes as he watched her try with futility to dance away from Tora’s fingertips. “Would you two knock it off, I know you struggle to keep your hands to yourself booboo but honestly, we’re in public, put your raging hormones away. K? Great. Thanks. Good chat,” he scolded, his voice dripping with condescension.

                Tora rolled his eyes but halted his tickle attack. “And he thinks I’m the one that’s no fun,” he whispered in Poppy’s ear before pressing a chaste kiss to her temple.  She giggled at his joke as he rose back up to his full height, his arm slipping off her shoulders so his hand could settle on her lower back as he guided her into the theatre while keeping an ever watchful eye over Quincey ahead of them.

                Quinceton wiggled his shoulders in anticipation as he handed over all three of their tickets to the usher; he’d been waiting months for this show! He nodded excitedly as the attendant directed them towards a row close to the stage. “Ooo, this is just so exciting!” he gushed to Poppy as he took his seat. She nodded in agreement as Tora settled into his seat on the other side of her, effectively sandwiching her between the two sets of wide shoulders. She didn’t mind though, she was small enough it didn’t bother her much. Tora sighed and placed his elbow on the arm rest, letting his hand settle on the inside of her leg, halfway up her thigh. She smirked, Quincey was right, the man did have difficulty keeping his hands to himself, not that she minded. She glanced over at Quincey who had stolen her other arm rest. She sighed and laced her own hands together, placing them in her lap. It was okay, they were big guys, they could spread out, she was sure Tora would lean over at one point or another during the show to complain about his knees cramping considering the way they were smashed up against the seat in front of him. She was a little surprised Quincey hadn’t bought an aisle seat so that he and Tora could take turns switching seats to stretch their legs but he’d obviously opted for the view. They were dead center of the row. Well, Quincey was dead center; she and Tora were slightly to the right.

                Tora leaned over to whisper to her, “ya know this is all bullshit right sweetheart?” he grumbled.

                She turned to him, “you know something Tora, I think you’re a negative nelly. How about some good old fashioned suspended disbelief for Quincey’s sake?” She chided, “He’s really looking forward to this. So why don’t you actually try to enjoy the show?”

                He squeezed her thigh gently, “hard to do when I know Quincey’s throwing his money away on a trickster,” he reasoned, keeping his voice low enough the other man wouldn’t hear.

                Poppy bit her lip in doubt, “I don’t know Tora, this guy is really well known, if he was a fraud don’t you think he would have been found out by now? He’s been preforming almost as long as we’ve been alive.” He arched a brow at her, “Well, almost as long as I’ve been alive anyways.” She corrected, a little annoyed, she hated when he brought unnecessary attention to their age difference. Being a handful of years older than her did not implicitly make him more worldly or wise than her.

                Tora leaned in closer, his lips brushing against the shell of her ear, “remember what I told ya, you’re only guilty if ya get caught, there’s only a crime if someone sees it. This bozo is just good at his game,” he insisted.

                She shook her head, causing her ponytail to brush gently against his shoulder, “I still think you’re just being negative. Even if he is a fraud it’s still entertaining right?” she offered, not wanting him to ruin this for her. “You watch wrestling every now and then and you know that’s fake.” She countered pointedly.

                He snorted, “true, Bobby one, Tora zero,” he replied with a smirk and a playful wink.  

                She traced a finger over the back of his hand, drawing patterns over the rough skin, “oh, what do I get for winning?” she whispered seductively, a little louder than she meant to.

                Quincey huffed in annoyance, turning his head towards the enamoured couple beside him. “Oh, for the love of – You both know I’m right here right? Like, I’m not invisible.” Tora and Poppy exchanged an amused look, as if anyone could ever miss or forget about Quincey in a crowd. “Quit making bedroom eyes at each other. There will be plenty of time to do the horizontal tango when I’m not around later tonight. Gawd.” He chastised them dramatically, “Couple of horn dogs,” he muttered under his breath.

                Tora smirked, whispering just loudly enough for her to hear, “he’s just jealous cause his booty call doesn’t come round when he wants her to, not my fault I get my dick wet more often than- oof, what the fuck was that for Bobby?” he asked, referring to the elbow she’d just delivered to his liver.

                Poppy scowled and kept her eyes straight ahead, “you know exactly what that was for you lecherous lout.” She reprimanded. Tora just smiled down at her, he loved teasing her, she was hot when she was annoyed.  

Poppy had to bite her lip to keep from giggling when Quincey reached down to pat her knee repeatedly, leaning forward as the house lights went out a moment later.

                A hush fell over the crowd as a spotlight came on, illuminating a short man with tan skin and a full head of salt and pepper hair standing in the middle of the stage, a row of empty chairs behind him. He held his arms out wide in a welcoming gesture to the crowd. “Good evening everyone! Thank you for coming!” A roar of applause echoed off the walls around them. Great, Tora thought, another creepy midget. “Thank you, thank you, I’m honoured. Please, clap your hands if you’ve ever attended one of my shows before,” Khalid asked his audience. He nodded at the quiet thunder that emanated as a result of his request, “excellent, excellent, so there are quite a few first timers tonight,” he grinned at the deafening roar of the crowd. “Well, you’re in for a treat,” he told them, his smile widening, already getting them accustomed to his voice, “for those of you who have never seen me preform, you’ll find I don’t do that much really, as with all my shows, you my friends, are the real show. So, for my newbies, I’m going to explain how this works. All of you are going to hold your hands out in front of you like this,” He prompted through his headset, clasping both his hands together in front of him.

Quincey and Poppy did as instructed immediately, Tora only participating after Poppy elbowed him again. “Interlock your fingers, placing your right thumb over your left, now stare hard at your right thumb,” Khalid coached. Tora smirked as he looked over at his companions, both of them concentrating hard on their thumbs. “Put all of your attention on that thumb, squeeze those hands tight together, look at your thumb, not at me, look at your thumb, not at me, that’s right look at your thumb not at me, focus on that spot and listen to my words, squeeze your hands together tight, squeeze them so tight you can feel them pressing together,” Tora rolled his eyes, if he had to spend the rest of the night listening to this guy give him orders he was never gonna let Quincey hear the end of it, “you’re squeezing them so tight, they begin to lock, they begin to lock as you’re squeezing them tight together, tighter and tighter so that the more you try to unstick those hands, the tighter they lock together. The more you try to pull them apart the more they just keep pressing tighter and tighter together, now, really feel that happen, they’re locked.” He paused to inhale, “Now try to pull them apart.” Khalid suggested, a smug look on his face.

Tora sighed in annoyance and parted his hands, placing his palm back on his girlfriend’s thigh, the other arm resting on the arm rest he’d tactically acquired from the man sitting beside him. He glanced over at Quincey’s disappointed face as he also separated his hands, leaning back against his seat, his elbows resting limply on the his arm rests.

Poppy blinked down at her hands in confusion as she attempted to pull them apart. They wouldn’t budge. She put all her force into it, straining, a small grunt escaping her as she fought with her own body. This was insane. It felt as useless as trying to separate her hand from Tora’s when he didn’t want to let go. The man in question chuckled as he watched her struggle for a moment, the sound capturing Quincey’s interest. “Quit playin’ sweetheart, you cute but I ain’t falling for it,” he muttered.

She turned worried eyes on him, whipping her head back and forth between the two men, a whimper escaping her as she fought harder to release her hands. “Uh, Tora, I don’t think she’s fooling around,” Quincey murmured.

“I’m not! They, they’re stuck!” She cried, her teeth nibbling her lip in worry.

Tora narrowed his eyes at her, “Bobby. Cut the crap. I’m not biting. Put your damn hands down,” He whispered harshly.

She turned wide, worried eyes at him, “I can’t. They’re stuck,” she insisted, attempting to pry them apart once more.

Tora was about to reply when Khalid’s voice rang out in the theatre again, cutting him off, “can everyone who’s hands are locked please make their way up to the stage?” He requested.