The phone rings, the sudden shrill noise almost violent in the way it shakes her out of her introspection. It sets off her heart fluttering again. The telephone. Could be him. Could be the Party Machine. Could be heaven in human form, could be trouble in human form. The divine Rick or the repulsive Tom.
Her hand on the receiver, pausing, shivering. Heart in her mouth.
“Hi.” It’s him. Her heart pummelling her ribcage now.
“Hi,” she replies awkwardly. So nervous she can hardly make a sound. He hasn’t launched into his charming patter like before, there’s something between them now. It’s awkward. It’s no longer easy between them like it was when he was a silver-tongued journalist and she was a new contact thrilled to have someone paying attention to her every word for once.
“You were right,” he says. About what? About him having no interest in her whatsoever? No, that had been internal thoughts. “They missed off some of the figures you gave me.”
Please, her unsaid appeal, give me an answer. To hell with the bloody figures.
“I… I thought they might,” she says quietly, like a mouse. Not only because she doesn’t want anyone else to overhear their conversation.
“How are you?” he says softly, clearly referring to last night now. About to shoot her down in flames? The world is whirling around her now – it’s Monte Carlo or bust.
“Good,” she says, shaking like a leaf. “Nervous.”
He chuckles, and she laughs briefly too, the ice a little broken between them.
“How’s that pussy I like so much?” he says, and she can’t believe he’s said that. He wouldn’t say that if he didn’t want to see her any more. He might be a filthy-tongued slut, but he’s not. He can’t be. He’s charming, he’s irresistible, he’s the smoothest of the smooth.
“Are you alone in the office?” she whispers urgently, amazed he could say such a thing in the middle of a busy newsroom.
“I’m not in the office,” he says, that voice so unbelievably alluring, just the sound of his rich tones and that slight hint of gravel enough to raise the temperature between her thighs by several degrees, saying unbelievably: “I can’t stop thinking about you. The way you feel, the way you smell, the way you look, the way you taste.”
Her hand slipping between her legs. God, she can’t do this.
“When can I see you again?” he asks, and the entire essence of her being is on fire. What has she ever done to deserve this? She’s still silent as he says, “I mean, I know it might be a little soon after…” she can hear a slight tremor in his voice now, and it is clear to her he is going through the same nervous tension she is. He’s worried she doesn’t want to see him again.
“Tonight?” she says, breaking her incredulous silence. To hell with sounding desperate. She is desperate. She needs him like she’s never needed anyone.
“You have no idea how hard I am for you right now,” he says softly, and the tickle between her thighs turns into a tingle.
“You can’t say that!” she whispers urgently.
“Why not? It’s true,” he replies, and she can tell he’s smiling, that beautiful irrepressible smile of his. “No one can hear me – I’m in a phone booth.”
“But I’m in the office,” she reminds him. “You’re driving me crazy. And what if someone’s listening in?”
“Then they might like to know how incredible you are,” he says, and she blushes even though she’s only talking to him over the phone, her own smile stretched so far across her face it virtually makes her cheeks hurt. “They might like to know how amazing it is to be with you, how great you look in the altogether, how soft your skin is when I kiss you, what an unbelievable experience it is to make you come with my tongue on your pussy, how tight you are around me when we…”
“Stop!” she whispers a little breathlessly, feeling the moisture seeping from her vagina.
“Same place? Seven o’clock?”
“Okay. ‘Til then.”
The receiver hits the cradle and she has to shut her eyes and screw up her face to keep from screaming and yelling in sheer joy. She wants to get up and run through the corridors shouting about how great life is, how wonderful things are having something so good to take her mind off the mind-numbing sluggishness of life in the Department.
He wants her! He’s going to see her again – that night! She’s being given another opportunity to tear off his clothes and screw him senseless! Life is so fantastic!
But she’s still got the rest of the day to get through in the office first with damp underwear and a pussy throbbing with need.
She’s there fifteen minutes to seven, standing outside Lillywhite’s in Piccadilly Circus, one of hundreds or thousands of people there at that time, the bright neon lights all around to dispel the darkness, the hustle and bustle of pure commerce under the flashing advertising that along with Times Square in New York is some of the most famous street advertising in the world and still impresses even Londoners with its brash audacity.
Ridiculously early, but she didn’t want to be a minute late and the Tube isn’t exactly reliable and there’s that long walk to change at Green Park. Her breath forms little clouds in the chill winter air, which is threatening snow, there’s that fluttery feeling inside her again – not nerves now so much as pure unadulterated excitement. God, her pussy is soaking.
Fourteen minutes to seven. Perhaps it is too cold to be waiting here, but if she can steal a few extra minutes with him, it would be worth the suffering.
Checking the countless faces, none of them his. There’s two entrances to Lillywhite’s, what if he’s waiting outside the other one? This is the main one. He’ll find her. Numerous people coming out of the store holding carrier bags containing brand new England rugby shirts, the merchandise of champions. Christmas shopping now, not many days left. Nearly the weekend, and then could she be with him?
But still, early days. He wants to see her again tonight, but how long would this keep up? Are they rushing things? Is it true, the candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long?
“Anne,” he surprises her, coming up behind her and wrapping his arms around her. Twelve minutes early, twelve wonderful minutes extra to be with him. What did it matter how the candle burned? Right now, it was alight, and she was going to enjoy it.
“Rick,” she turns in his arms, reaching up to kiss him. The kiss, reminding her just how incredible he is. Even that short connection between them enough to send ripples of arousal throughout her body.
He’s a little scruffy, a journalist after all, but so sexy with his top collar undone, tie slightly askew.
“You have no idea how damp my underwear is right now,” she says, looking up into those dreamy cocoa eyes, feeling so naughty so frisky and so dirty speaking that way when she’s never done so before. Shocking even herself with such explicit words. But he’s already affecting her life so much, perhaps she shouldn’t be surprised.
That boyish grin again, melting her insides as he slips one hand under her skirt to nudge up against her wetness – outrageous in so public a place, but she doesn’t care and no one’s really looking at them anyway with so much energy and life going on all around.
“You know, I’ve never met anyone like you before,” he says, bringing his finger up to his mouth now, tasting her moisture. “You make me burn up inside.”
Such an overtly sexual gesture in the middle of Piccadilly Circus of all places, it makes her catch her breath. Enjoying her taste in front of hundreds of people, the fire in his eyes revealing his glorious intent. She blushes again self-consciously all of a sudden because she knows he now knows she’s wearing particularly special underwear. She might look like a librarian on the surface – though she’s put some make-up on by now, slipping into the toilet in the Trocadero to transform herself as best she could – but she’s now more dolled up than ever.
He gently brushes her fringe out of her face with his fingers, and she says urgently, “Let’s get out of here. I need you so badly I can hardly stand it.”