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Ives

They talk up the steaks, at Chopchurch, and with a name like that they have to. Ives would go just for the atmosphere, though: candles and stained glass, hostesses costumed at the edge of fetish-nunnery, extra-tall doors to accommodate the manager’s hat. When your table’s ready they ring a solemn bell. The wine tastes like guilty summers.

Ives drops his card in the collection plate and leans back, achingly sated. “Not bad, right?”

His date rearranges salad. “Eh. I associate all this with fasting.”

“The whole point is to subvert your associations!”

“No,” says his date, looking around, “I got that.”

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