Thoughts and Ends

couple drinking in a barHe selects a table with just two seats towards the rear of the hotel’s bar. He debates the wisdom of choosing one this far from the entrance, concerned that she might feel confined, even trapped, so far from the sanctuary of the street. In the end, he decides that having sufficient privacy to talk is worth the risk.

He places his wide tumbler of bourbon down on the table and watches the entrance. He’d wanted to meet her off her train at Kings Cross, but she rejected the offer. She had some things she needed to do first. She’d meet him somewhere in the city later on. Where? He’d thought about suggesting one of a dozen neutral bars or restaurants he knew. Instead, he’d given her the name of the hotel he’d chosen. There seemed little point in being coy.

When he looks up from checking his watch for the fifth time, she’s standing in the bar’s entrance, scrutinising the other customers, looking for him. She’s wearing a dark blue dress, buttoned along the length of its front, and black leather knee-high boots. She looks casual and very feminine. His heart beats a little faster.

She sees him. Her expression freezes. For a moment, he’s afraid that she’s about to turn tail, to show him her back and walk, no, run, from the hotel and back out into the neon-threaded light.

She doesn’t turn away, though. Her frozen expression melts as she smiles. She begins to walk towards him.

He gets to his feet.

“Hello,” he says.

“Hello.” She smiles again. “Finally.”

“Finally.”

Her hand is small and soft and warm in his. She leans forward, turning her head slightly to offer him her cheek. He presses his lips chastely against her smooth skin. She smells of Chanel Allure. His pulse is a teenager’s again.

“What can I get you to drink?” he asks.

“A vodka and tonic, please.”

He returns to the bar and orders the drink. He’s greedy to refresh his memory of how she looks, but he doesn’t want her to catch him scrutinising her. He wonders if she’s looking at him. The urge to turn around feels like a million fire ants crawling around inside his skull.

He carries the drink back to the table and sits down directly opposite her. “Cheers.” The clink of the glasses meeting sounds louder than it ought to. He pulls deeply on his bourbon. She sips nervously at the vodka.

“How was the train journey?”

“Good, thanks.” She puts her glass down on the coaster and slides it an inch away from her. “Certainly better that I was expecting. I managed to get myself a cheap upgrade to first class.”

“Nice.”

“Well, I got a wider seat and more leg room. Oh, and complimentary coffee and a free copy of The Times.”

“That’s just Murdoch’s attempt to take over the rail network as well.”

They laugh, the sound full of genuine warmth on both sides of the table. She looks as relieved as he feels.

“When did you get here?” she asks.

“Just after midday. There’s a film season on at the BFI that I wanted to catch.”

She perks up noticeably. “Which film did you go to see?”

Les Diaboliques.”

Her smile is a trifle too thin for his liking. “Revenge and betrayal. Interesting choice.”

He shrugs easily. “I like noir cinema, and Les Diaboliques is a favourite of mine. I’ve always wanted a chance to watch it on a big screen.”

She peers at him. “Had you planned to take me with you?”

He laughs. “I wouldn’t have done that to you. I just decided to take advantage of the free time.” He swills some more bourbon and summons a nonchalant tone. “Did you manage to get done what you needed to?”

Her eyes flicker away. “Yes. Thank you.”

An awkward silence settles over them. More than a year has passed since they talked with any real intimacy, and the weight of that knowledge is pressing down on them both, hindering the conversation now that the initial burst of energy at the renewal of their acquaintance has ebbed.

Finally, the lengthening silence compels him to take a chance.

“You know, I consider the fact that I haven’t made love to you one of the great frustrations of my life.”

“Really?” She seems genuinely surprised. By the change of direction, or the choice of words? There’s a hint of scarlet in her cheeks as she glances down at her glass. “Better a great frustration than a huge disappointment.” Her eyes come back to his and she smiles. “I’m sorry. You probably want to admonish me for that.”

“I wasn’t even going to respond to it.”

They both laugh again.

“I thought you were bound to chastise me,” she says. “You always used to whenever I was negative about myself.”

“You’ve always doubted yourself too much.”

“I can’t help myself.” There’s a fresh bloom of scarlet in her cheeks, but this time when she speaks, her eyes don’t leave his. “But perhaps I just like being chastised?”

Is this the moment when things start to move forward? he wonders. Stick or twist?

“You’re still gripped by hesitation, aren’t you?” he asks.

She doesn’t speak. She just nods.

“I’d to sweep aside that hesitation with my lips, banish your doubts with the sensation of my hands in your clothes. I want to open each garment with measured force, revealing you layer by layer until you’re finally – finally – naked before me.”

She gasps. “Measured force sounds lovely.”

“The thought of being fully dressed while you’re lying naked before me … it’s making my pulse throb more deeply than anything has for what feels like an age.”

The tip of her tongue traces the centre of her upper lip. “I like the imbalance of that image. Very much.”

He looks around quickly to make sure that they’re still alone, that there’s no one close enough to eavesdrop on their conversation.

When he speaks again, it’s in a low, measured voice.

“I want to lie over you, still fully dressed while I kiss your mouth, your neck, your shoulders … slowly working my way over your breasts and across your belly … down the inside of one thigh and then back along the other … parting the folds of your sex with my tongue and plunging it deep inside your cunt, coaxing your orgasm with the flicker of my tongue over your clitoris … feeling your thighs tightening on either side of my head, listening to your sighs and gasps of pleasure building to a crescendo. And then I’ll stand up so that you can watch me as I slowly undress.”

She raises her glass with a hand that trembles lightly and swallows half of the remaining liquid. “God, that’s lovely.”

“I’m glad you think so.”

She nods. “I’d love to watch you like that,” she says in a voice that’s mostly whisper. “I’d love to look into your eyes and then up and down your body as you undressed for me.”

“I want you to have that moment. I want to feel the heat of your gaze, to see the desire, the lust, the naked wanting in your eyes.”

Her gaze narrows fractionally as she looks at him. “I’d probably touch myself as I watched you.”

“Good. I want to see your fingers showing me where you want me, where you need me, as you watch me approaching you. Steadily, relentlessly, unstoppable in my burning desire, my cock hard and thick, eager to take you, to claim you, to leave its mark within the wet mystery of your cunt.”

“Oh God,” she whispers. Her eyes dart left and right. “I want you to watch my mouth as I tell you how wet I am, as I tell you how much I want you to fuck me.” She swallows some more of her vodka. “I love to say fuck. And cock. And cunt.”

“I remember.” He’s aware of just how hard he is already. He yearns to feel her hand gripping his length tightly, wantonly. He suppresses a shudder. “I want to hear you saying those words to me, gasping them to me.”

She looks back over her shoulder as she leans conspiratorially towards him.

“Do you still want to hear me begging for your cock too?”

He swallows with some difficulty. “You know that I do. I’m hard now, just from being near to you, just from talking to you. Just imagining hearing you saying those words to me … it sends the most delicious shivers coursing down my spine, all the way to my balls.”

She looks down at the tabletop. “That’s such a lovely thought: your cock all big and hard and only a couple of feet away from me.”

“It’s hardly the first time you’ve made me hard, is it?”

She smiles, a little wistfully he thinks. “No. But this is the first time that I’ve done it when I’m within touching distance.”

“Very true.”

Her eyes – the colour of crystal jade – hold his unwaveringly.

“I’m ever so wet.”

“I’ve always enjoyed making you wet,” he says. “Even though I was never there to enjoy you. I relish the thought of you being wet because of me. Because you want me, because you need me inside you, fucking you soft and slow, then hard and relentless, the two waxing and waning into each other until they become indivisible.”

He sees her swallow, sees her hands convulsing against the varnished tabletop. “Yes. Oh, yes.” She looks around herself again. “What I really want now is to sit in your lap, facing you, with your thigh between my legs.”

“So that you can slip back and forth against my leg? Coating my thigh with your lust?”

“Yes. So that I can say, ‘Feel how wet I am. Hot and wet and all because I’ve been thinking about your cock.’”

He smiles, overwhelmed by the thought of her words combining with the sensation of her soft wetness against his naked skin.

“You could rub yourself against any part of my body you desired. My chest … my abdomen … the small of my back.”

She grins shyly. “You would smell of me. I’d be all over you.”

“I know. I want that. I want to smell how excited you are. I want to bathe in the scent of your desire.”

She leans a little closer. “Perhaps I’d touch myself and then offer you my fingers.”

“I’d suckle on them like a hopeless drunk.”

She laughs. “Then I’d kiss you and taste myself from your lips.”

“And what if I finger you to a shuddering climax and slowly draw a dripping fingertip around the edges of your mouth?”

“That would be lovely too.” She licks the edges of her mouth, just as he has described doing with his fingertip. “Would you look into my eyes as you fingered me? As I came all over your fingers?”

“Yes. Yes.” He looks at her as earnestly as he knows. “Do you honestly have any doubts left about whether I still want to fuck you?”

She glances away, perhaps with a touch of embarrassment. “No. I know that you do. Thank you. Thank you for wanting to.”

He snorts. “You don’t have to thank me for anything.”

She nods. “You’ve given me something back. A little self-belief. I think I’ll be able to look at myself in a mirror and see myself as desirable again.”

“You never stopped being desirable.”

“It felt like I did.”

He looks pointedly over her shoulder, towards the lobby and the elevators that lead up to the residential floors. “Come with me now. I promise that you’ll never feel undesirable again.”

She follows his gaze.

“I want to.”

“Then do it.”

She shakes her head slowly. “I can’t. I’m sorry.”

He sits back, bewildered. “I don’t understand … why are you here? Why did you come tonight, if-”

“I wanted to meet you in the flesh, finally. To know whether we would still want one another when we moved beyond the emails and the chat rooms and the web cams. To know if the attraction between us would still exist if we actually met face to face.”

“And it doesn’t?” He wants to shake his head to try and clear the confusion. How could he have read her so wrong?

“Yes, it does. As strong as I’d hoped it would. Stronger, in fact.”

“Then … come upstairs with me. Finally. Let this take us where it’s always been heading.”

Her expression is so sincere, it’s almost painful to behold. “I wish you knew just how badly I want to do that. How badly I want to take your hand and let you lead me to one of those lifts. But I can’t.”

“You’re not making any sense to me.”

She smiles. “I know. I’m barely making any sense to myself.” She drains her glass. “I’ve thought about this moment so often. And this is exactly what I’ve always feared: that when I did finally meet you, it would be everything that I wanted, everything that I’ve always promised to myself in every fantasy I’ve ever had.” She reaches out a hand towards his, and when their fingertips touch, he shivers violently. She does too. “That the connection between us would be so electric, so … alive.”

“I still don’t see the problem. There are people who would…” He shakes his head. “I was going to say that there are people who would die for this, but that’s too strong.” He holds her eyes with his. “But there are people who would do almost anything to experience feelings like this, moments like this.” He cups her hand with his and feels the naked energy running between them.

“I know. That’s why it’s so sad that it can never be.”

He sits back from her, breaking the physical connection between them. He has to fight to keep his irritation and his bitterness in check.

“Rachel, I don’t understand you at all.”

“I’m afraid that if I fuck you, if I make love to you, it will be just as electric as this moment. More so. And after that, I’ll want more. I’ll need more. I know I will.”

He leans forward. “Who said that you couldn’t have more? Have I said or done something to make you think that this is a one-time deal?”

“You don’t understand.” Her voice – still low – is full of resentment and pain. “If it was as good between us as I think it would be, then I could never go back to my life. I would have ruined it forever. Yes, it’s bland and it lacks passion and electricity, but right now, I can live with it. I can survive it. But if you help me to see just how good things could be, how good they should be…” Her eyes close resignedly. “Then I could never go back to that blandness and hope to survive.”

He slumps back in his chair. Finally, he sees the sanity in the midst of the madness. He wonders what he should say. In the end, he says nothing. There’s nothing to say. She’s said it all already.

She gets to her feet. “You won’t try and follow me, will you?”

He shakes his head.

“You always were chivalrous.” She smiles one last time. “Goodbye, then.”

“Goodbye.”

He watches her leave, feeling the ache growing inside him until the pain is almost overwhelming. There’s a part of him that wants to run after her, to catch her and kiss her and make her change her mind. But to do that would be utterly selfish, and therefore unforgivable, by either of them.

Only when he can’t see her any longer does he get up and return to the bar. He orders a double bourbon.

“And another for the lady?” the young bartender asks.

“No.” He hands over a twenty-pound note.

“Too bad. She looked really nice.”

“She was. Is.”

The bartender hands him his change. “You must be frustrated.”

He thinks for a moment before he speaks. “Sometimes, it’s better to experience a great frustration than a huge disappointment.”

The bartender cocks his head. “Is that a quote from Shakespeare or something?”

He smiles sadly as he turns away from the bar. “No. Just something that a friend said to me once.”

 

Silk

dressNot for the first time that evening, he opens the brown envelope and draws out the photograph that she’s mailed to him. He lets his eyes flow across the curves of her body, sheathed in clinging scarlet silk.

The accompanying note tells him that the gown was purchased for a ball she’s due to attend the following weekend. She’ll be on her husband’s arm, at least as far as the end of the reception line. He strokes a fingertip across the glossy surface, wondering if her husband will truly see the woman beside him, even when she’s dressed to devastate.

He studies her, and as he does so, he imagines himself amongst the party-goers, anonymous in black tuxedo and bow tie. He imagines the other men watching her, unable to drag their gazes away from her. He knows what they’ll be thinking. They’ll be wondering what it would be like to slip their hand inside the long slit on her dress and onto the warmth of her thigh. They’ll be wondering what it would be like to be alone with her, to take hold of the gown’s zip and draw it slowly downwards until the dress slides down her body and pools at her feet.

He holds the photograph at arm’s length. She’s naked under the silk, and he’s certain she’ll be dressed the same come the night of the ball. She’ll want to achieve that same seamless blending of silk and skin. He can picture the men watching her rear whenever she glides by, trying to discern whether – if they were fortunate enough to be allowed to undress her – they would see her utterly naked except for her stockings when her gown reached the floor.

And what would he be thinking if he were there? He’d be wondering what she was thinking when their eyes locked across the room, whether she was impatiently waiting for the opportunity to slip away somewhere private, so that he could undress her, so that she could release his hard cock from his trousers and guide it inside the soft, wet folds of her greedy-to-be-pleasured cunt.

He pictures himself escorting her to the hotel lift, knowing with absolute certainty that before the doors slide open on her floor, he will have kissed her and slipped his hand through that alluring slit to stroke her thigh – and maybe higher. He also knows that he will have guided her hand to his loins, so that she can experience how hard she’s made him.

He closes his eyes, experiencing the thrill of locking the door to her suite, knowing that a few floors below them, her husband and the rest of the partygoers were still drinking and carousing, completely unaware that he was undressing her, making her naked, making her wet, making her come with his lips and his tongue and his fingers, and then sliding his thick cock inside her.

He draws a sheet of rich cream paper towards him, undoes the cap of his Mont Blanc Starwalker fountain pen, thinks for a few seconds with the rhodium-plated nib paused above the paper, and then he begins to write.

 
Will the thought of making me hard bring a smile to your lips? Smile then, because I’m as hard as steel right now, thinking of you at your ball, striding past all those hungry eyes. You’re too astute not to see them. Will their hunger make you moist, or will they merely make you conceited?

How’s that smile of yours? Wanton? Desirous? Lustful? Carnal? I find myself hoping that it is all of those things, and more.

What if I were to come to your precious ball? How would you feel if you saw me across the room, talking to another woman, perhaps to one of your friends? Would you feel a ripple of jealousy? Would you quickly find an excuse to interrupt, to somehow lead me away from the throng towards the lift upstairs?

What if we were inside the lift, the vibration of distant machinery raising us towards the stars? Would you be content to see my erection pressing against the front of my trousers, or would you be too eager to feel it in your hand? Would you grasp me through the material, measure my thickness, my firmness? How long would you be able to resist unzipping me? And then what would you do? Simply slip your hand inside my trousers and grip me through my shorts? Or would you be too greedy, too frantic to settle for that? Would you want to feel my naked cock against your palm, to wrap your fingers around my bare, aroused flesh?

And once you’d led me to your room and locked the door … what then? You told me once that you wanted me to take you firmly over a bed or a chair … to thrust into you while I held you about your waist, holding you where I wanted you, fucking you hard. Would you want that? To slowly undress yourself while I watched, and then lean over the end of the bed, your palms against the counterpane and your buttocks offered towards me? Would you cup and caress your own breasts while you waited for me to enter you, while you waited to feel my cock pressing against the cheeks of your arse, thrusting slowly against your taut skin? Would you reach down between your parted thighs and finger yourself slowly, strumming your clitoris as your teeth bit down into your lip? Would you hold the lips of your sex open for me as you looked back over your shoulders into my eyes, as you quietly asked me to fuck you long and hard? Would you tell me what you were feeling, what you wanted to feel? Would you guide my hands onto your breasts so that I could hold you, cup you, squeeze you, pinching your hard nipples between my fingers and thumbs? Would you press my hand against your mound, show my fingers the way to your clitoris so that I could pleasure you as I fucked you? Would you show me how you like to be stroked and caressed, how to make you come so that your body trembles uncontrollably, so that you can’t contain your cries of pleasure? Would you press your own fingers against the underside of my shaft as I climaxed inside you, so that you could feel every pulse, every throb? And after I’d withdrawn … would you press your fingers inside yourself so that you could feel my warm seed, so that you could rub it over your clitoris and the lips of your sex, bringing yourself to another orgasm as I watched, panting?

 
He scans his words and, satisfied, signs his name. He addresses a matching envelope to her workplace and slips the folded letter inside. As he moistens the envelope’s seal with his tongue, his eyes settle upon the engraved ball ticket that sits upon his desk…

Aftermath

AftermathI sit amidst the rumpled Egyptian cotton sheets, my back against the polished Marriott Hotel headboard, watching as she rolls on her black nylon stockings. Left, then right; the elegant reversal of the work I’d done so willingly little more than three hours before. There’s an ache inside me as I watch her, a hint of bitterness in my mouth, because the fact that she’s getting dressed means that our time is over for at least another week; she’s about to return to her life while I slip back into my own.

She stands up from the chair and stretches.

“Where are my shoes?” she asks absently as she walks around the foot of the bed. I’m too busy looking at her to offer any sort of constructive suggestion. The stockings accentuate her nakedness so deliciously that I’m becoming hard again, in spite of the two highly satisfying orgasms I’ve already poured into her.

“You’re no use,” she pouts after a few seconds of fruitless searching.

“Maybe you shouldn’t dress like that.”

“This is a pair of stockings. I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“You shouldn’t wear that body.”

She smiles, but she says nothing as she continues to scout for her stilettos.

Ignoring her nakedness and my erection is not easy, not even for a few seconds. “Try under the bed.”

She looks at me quizzically, and then her eyes gleam as she remembers how her shoes got there.

“You’re a very bad man,” she chides softly.

“I know.”

She retrieves her shoes from beneath the bed, slips them on and then walks into the bathroom. The three-inch heels raise her ass invitingly, but before I can compliment her on the view, the door closes between us. I shut my eyes and listen to the sound of water filling the wash basin. She never showers after we fuck, preferring to stand at the sink so that she can freshen her face, hands and armpits. She once told me that her husband was more likely to suspect something was amiss if she went home smelling like she’d stepped out of a shower in the last hour.

“Is that the only reason?” I’d enquired, instinctively knowing there was something more.

Her face coloured, and then she confessed in her little girl, “I want” voice that she liked to smell me on her when she went to bed after our liaisons.

“Isn’t that a little risky?”

“No. He doesn’t touch me the nights after we’re together. I won’t let him.”

I hear the toilet flush, and then the washbasin taps are turned off. I smile. She always pees under the cover of running water. There isn’t a place on her body I haven’t stroked, kissed, licked, sucked or fucked – all with her wanton complicity and sometimes earthy encouragement – and yet she refuses to allow me to hear her urinating.

I suppose some things are too intimate for strangers to share.

She walks back into the room. Miraculously, her dress lies semi-folded across the one of the two club chairs. The rest of her lingerie is still on the floor where it fell amidst the debris of my own unveiling. She picks out her bra from beneath my shirt and slips it over her arms with practiced grace. Unconsciously, she turns to face me as she reaches behind herself to refasten the clasp. The brassiere’s lace cups are almost totally diaphanous, and the russet circles of her areola are easily discernible, even in the half-light of our clandestine sanctuary.

There’s something so brazenly sexual about a woman dressed in bra, stockings and heels, and no panties. I have to fight the urge to slowly stroke my cock.

“Why are you looking so smug?” she asks, though I can see from her expression that she already knows the answer.

“I’m just enjoying the dazzling scenery.”

She shakes her head, though I can’t recall when she’s ever said ‘no’ to me. “You’re such a lecher.”

“I prefer libertine. Or rake.”

“Oh yes, much more grandiose.” She puts an expensively manicured finger to her lips as she ponders my choices. Her eyes sparkle, eureka-style. “From now on, whenever I email you I’ll call you ‘Rakish Male’.”

I laugh. “I love it. In fact, I’m going to create it as an email address when I get home.”

A shadow flits across her smile; a solitary cloud passing between us and the sun. She half-turns away and scoops up her minuscule panties. She steps into them perfunctorily, pulling them up her slender thighs with an almost unseemly haste.

I watch attentively as she draws the thin waistband into shallow arcs over both hips. “You look good enough to eat,” I tell her.

She says nothing, not looking at me, staring straight ahead towards the windows as she continues to adjust her attire. A sliver of real world is visible through the gap in the floor-to-ceiling drapes; outside, the cyan shade of the mid-afternoon sky has given way to navy blue. The streetlights are on, the faces of the buildings opposite the hotel becoming defined by the squares of fluorescence they contain.

Night is almost upon us.

I try lifting the mood back to where it had been. “I thought you enjoyed my compliments.”

She shrugs as she walks to the window. She holds onto the drapes, widening the gap so that she has a wider view of the twilight cityscape.

“I love this time of day,” she says, sotto voce. “I can feel it in the air; the potential that only comes with nightfall. All the wonderful possibilities that can only exist when the darkness comes. I look out across all those brilliant points of light, and I see the opportunities waiting for me, waiting expectantly for me to choose one of them. I look out across the night and I can taste them.”

I slip from beneath the sheets. It’s late, and we should be getting ready to leave, getting ready to force our way along the damp streets, through the throngs of despairing souls that fill the pavements and platforms between us and the places we live, the brick shells to which we’ve assigned the label ‘home’. But none of that matters to me right now. Her soliloquy has found my heart, caressed my spirit. I know precisely what she means, know exactly what she’s feeling right now. I feel it every time I look out across the city when the sky is sheathed in obsidian.

I brush her hair aside from the nape of her slender neck and press my lips to her warm skin. She smells of the hotel soap, and the Chanel she knows I adore. I gather her breasts in my hands, relishing the hardness of her nipples against my palms. She arches her lithe body against mine, and I press my erection against the welcoming familiarity of her arse.

“Fuck me,” she whispers.

My first thought is to guide her back to the bed.

“No, here. Fuck me so that the world and all its possibilities can see.”

Exhibitionism has never featured in the carnal lexicon we’ve fashioned together. Quite the contrary: we’ve guarded our liaison with almost paranoid precision. We’ve had to: there’s much to lose on both sides. And so the thought of fucking her as she’s asking is both troubling and thrilling in seemingly equal measure.

The most delectable pleasures are those that come marinated in danger.

She widens her stance without needing to be asked. I don’t even consider taking her panties off. I’m too aroused, too impatient to be inside her again. I slip a hand between her thighs, cupping her sex through the thin material. It’s damp with her lust, warm with the radiance of her sex. I ease the flimsy gusset aside, then guide my cockhead towards the velvet slickness within her labia. There’s no need for teasing, no desire to draw out our pleasure. We both want the same thing, want it now.

My length glides effortlessly inside her, as though my cock were fashioned from the very imprint of her cunt.

She hangs onto the drapes, pressing her arse back to meet my thrusts. I quickly release the clasp on her brassiere, slipping my greedy hands beneath the now-loose cups, moulding her full, soft flesh to my grasp. Each time I enter her to the hilt, she gasps with blissful fulfilment; each time I withdraw to the point where the corniced ridge of my glans pulls provocatively upon her labia, her sighs of pleasure sound bitter-sweet. I fuck her with long strokes, my lips and my teeth working upon the collection of delicate nerves where her neck becomes her shoulder. I hear the curtains straining in their tracks, and half-expect them to come crashing down. And through it all, she watches my reflection in the window as I watch hers, and beyond our transparent duplicates, the night watches us both.

I’ve come twice already so I ought to last for an age this time, should have to focus to summon forth my climax. The growing waves of pleasure in my loins belie that supposition.

“You’re coming to come, aren’t you?” she gasps.

“Yes.”

“So am I. Fuck!”

She grinds herself against me.

“Hard. Fuck me hard.”

I piston into her, sinuous smoothness and control forsaken, abandoned. I drop my hands to her waist, yanking her back to meet me, and she releases her hold on the right-hand drape, cupping her sex instead so that her fingertips can feverishly work upon her clit.

“Oh fuck, yes!”

As I begin to come, myriad images flood my mind: I see myself pulling out of her, my cock jerking in my hand as my semen spurts against her anus and her buttocks and the backs of her thighs; I see her whirling around before me, dropping to her knees so that she can capture my seed in her mouth and across her breasts; I see her standing to one side, pumping my cock in her hand so that I ejaculate against the window, my semen running down the glass for all the night-time world to see.

In the end, none of these things come to pass. My cock quivers and pulses within the silken confines of her cunt, and I am grateful, privileged.

My third orgasm, and, in spite of all the pleasure and passion that proceeded it, my most intense.

I pull her tight against my body, my cock still immersed within her heat, futilely wishing that we could spin the clock’s hands backwards and have our three hours again, and yet wondering how to tell her without causing hurt or offence that time is marching forwards regardless of our desires, that we need to go, now, if we’re to safely resynchronise with our real lives.

Of course, I don’t need to remind her of anything; she has just as much to lose as I do. She eases my softening flesh from hers, kisses me tenderly on the mouth, and then walks back to the bathroom without saying a word.

The door closes, and water begins to fill the wash basin.

I use a towel to dry my loins. I’ll go for a hard run when I get home, and then I’ll shower away all the scents of our union. I’ll take her to bed with me tonight, but I’ll carry her in my mind, not on my body. I’m not as brave as she is.

I’m almost dressed by the time she emerges from the bathroom. I tie my shoes as I watch her slipping back into her dress. She does everything with such unconscious grace and femininity. It’s no wonder I find her so beguiling.

“Will you zip me up?” she asks.

“Of course.”

I draw the zip up her back, fighting the temptation to kiss her neck again.

She checks herself in the tall, thin mirror on the wall. Satisfied, she picks up her handbag and walks to the door.

“Ready?”

I nod. I gather my briefcase and the key card for the door from the desk, scan the room one last time and follow her out into the quiet corridor.

The disappointment I feel as the door clicks shut behind us is as black as the night outside.

We ride the lift down to the ground floor in silence, a respectable distance between us. It’s part of the process; disengaging from one life, reintegrating with the other. There’s no alternative, for either of us.

The hotel’s reception area is busy: businessmen and women returning from a long day of meetings and pitches; tourists fatigued from hours of sightseeing; couples embarking upon their own illicit liaisons. Some will want nothing more than the refuge of their rooms; others simply seek the opportunity for revitalisation, a precursor to venturing out once more, this time in search of the city’s nocturnal distractions.

I wish I didn’t have to go home. I wish that I could go out into the night in search of adventure, her hand clutched tightly in mine.

As hoped, no one pays us the slightest attention as we stroll across the expanse of marbled floor and slip out onto the hectic street.

We walk side-by-side to Waterloo Station, from where the Northern Line will carry her out of the city. For me, it’s the Jubilee Line, eastbound.

As we ride the escalator down into the subterranean maze, she turns and looks up at me. The height difference, exacerbated by the escalator’s steps, makes her seem achingly vulnerable.

“I want to spend a whole night with you,” she says. “Soon.”

“I know. I want that too.”

Her eyes glisten brilliantly as she scrutinises my face. “I want to find out what possibilities are waiting for us in the dark. Do you?”

“More than anything.”

Time to part. It’s much too crowded for lingering goodbyes, far too public for us to risk anything but the most casual of separations.

“Soon”, she says again, and then she turns and walks away. Within seconds, she’s gone, swallowed whole by the rest of the world.

I watch the tunnel down which she disappeared for a few more seconds, and then I turn away, heading for the moving walkway which will propel me some of the way home.

Voleur

VoleurHe’d said he’d be there after six, but he steals into the house at midday.

Martin gone for hours, Sadie all alone.

The bedroom door ajar. Half-naked Sadie kneeling on the bed, head down, hips raised: yoga posturing.

Her black panties whip at his senses.

“I wondered when you’d get here,” she sighs.

Jellied legs carry him forward. She doesn’t shrink from his fevered gaze. Trembling, he reaches out, eases her panties back and down, baring her allure.

“You want to fuck your best friend’s wife.” She’s stating, not questioning.

Swallows. “Yes.”

“Then fuck me.”

And he does.

He does.