He takes my hand.
We enter the hotel lift and as it ascends, and his lips brush mine, the lights go out.
Someone gets in at the next floor. He pulls away, but in the darkness, his fingers trace the length of my spine. I catch my breath, and will the lift to move quicker, the tension palpable in the small airless space.
We get out after two floors, go into a room and get into bed.
There’s a TV flickering at the end of the bed, but we’re not really watching it.
He holds me softly, his arm resting lightly around my shoulders, the fingers of his right hand flicking my hair out of my eyes, his breath hot on my cheek. As I reach out to pull him closer, I hear floorboards creak and the rustle of bedsheets.
I look to my right and my Mum is lying on the bed next to us, staring resolutely at the TV, pretending that this is totally normal and that she can’t sense my consternation and sheer unadulterated exasperation.
For God’s sake! This is ridiculous. I’m a grown woman?
His body grazes mine as he straddles me, then starts to descend, disappearing under the duvet.
‘Oooh look!’ shrieks my Mum loudly, ‘It’s David Attenborough! I love his programmes, don’t you?’
I mutter curse words under my breath and turn my head, shooting her daggers, willing her to fuck the hell off, NOW.
She won’t look at me.
Big warm hands clasp my ankles, the bedclothes ascend as my trembling knees rise and fall apart to allow him access, and my hands disappear into his hair as his head descends.
‘That poor zebra!,’ exclaims Mum turning up the volume so that the room is filled with the sound of scuffling, growling and frightened braying, ‘nature is very cruel, isn’t it?’
‘Mum, please?’ I hiss furiously, ‘We don’t get to see one another very often, can we have a bit of privacy, just for once?’
He’s on his back now, so I turn and bury my head into his chest, my belly queasy with desire. Fingers tremblingly grazing his abdomen, I turn my face up for a kiss.
Mum blows her nose loudly.
‘For fuck sake! Can’t we just have a cuddle in peace?’
Mum laughs shrilly ‘That’s not very ladylike is it? I bet your friend doesn’t swear at his mother, does he?’
There’s a knock at the door.
I leap out of bed and answer it.
It’s my Dad.
‘Dad, please make her go! I’m not a kid anymore, surely I’m entitled to some privacy? And it’s not like I’m going to get pregnant anymore is it?’
Dad’s face is like thunder. ‘Now you listen to me, I’m 58 and know more about men and what they’re really after than you do and….’
‘No you’re not! I’m 50, so how can that be?’
Dad laughs sheepishly. ‘OK, well that might be true but no daughter of mine….’
I slam the door shut and turn back to the bed.
He’s out of bed now with his back to me. I can see the expanse of his broad muscular back, his slightly narrowing waist and the outline of his bum through the thin, damp, white towelling robe.
I turn my back on him, and feigning indifference, casually shrug off my robe and get back into bed.
He turns to face me now, his erection tenting up the robe, a small, almost inperceptible smile turning up the corners of his mouth.
Golden skin, tawny eyes, full lips, dark, tangled, curly wet hair.
I can feel his heat even from this distance.
I lie back, turn on my side, close my eyes and wait.
Something soft brushes my right eye.
I ignore it. He’s going to have to do better than that.
Again, something soft brushes against my eye, more firmly this time.
I raise my hand and flick it away.
Then something warm, soft and spiky scratches my eyelid.
I open my eyes and there’s Dexter looking extremely indignant, sitting on my chest, his paw hovering over my face.
I groan with realisation and disappointment, then reach for the stale glass of water on my bedside table.
Fucking Scary Man juice! Right now I need weird wet dreams like a hole in the head.
I climb wearily out of my lonely bed, conscious of the small pulse of desire throbbing away in my lower abdomen. I grimace. All revved up and no place to go. If it was still night I’d be on the common howling at the moon.
I don’t like feeling this way. It’s brought me nothing but trouble in the past.
I pull back the curtains and squint at the blinding sunshine, then stretch and yawn. A strange deeper, more visceral sound starts to emit from deep inside my gut.
The cats stare up at me, appalled.
Time to arrange another blind date.