In all my travels, the Paris Metro is one of my favourite transport systems. Whether whizzing across to breathtaking views of La Tour Eiffel or hopping up to Anvers to marvel at the gleaming Sacré Cœur and bustling artists of Place du Tertre, it's an essential piece of kit to explore what is arguably the most romantic European city.
To plan a Metro journey -- just like most other underground systems -- the rule of thumb is to allow roughly three minutes per stop. While transit time between stations is only about a minute, the remainder comprises stopping; starting; doors releasing; people crushing on and off; and walking to and from trains.
Such ready-reckoning is founded on averages and I know enough basic statistics to understand this can vary at different times of day -- rush hour being one of them. And, although not an accurate measurement, perception is another factor that alters journey time; usually proportional to how important the meeting is and how late I'm running.
The extrapolated time period of this particular journey, however, was due to an external agent: my fiancé Adam. Nine little stations, start to finish. Funny how twenty-seven minutes can feel like a lifetime in the wrong hands.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
To be fair to Adam, it wasn't entirely his fault. I can hold up my hand and claim fifty percent responsibility. Well, maybe forty.
It had started on the Eurostar that morning as we looked forward to a relaxing few days together. After a bit of wrangling we'd managed to align our leave at short notice and secured a last minute train-plus-hotel deal. Nothing fancy, just a much needed break from the windowless office and smell of printer toner.
Huddled in a pair of seats that evidently had legroom designed by someone shorter than me, I watched the early morning sun streaming in from the opposite window as it flickered across Adam's face while he read. His eyes scanned quickly and the pages turned as he absorbed the latest Jack Reacher escapade. From experience I knew there was precious little chance of drawing Adam's focus away from one of those stories once he got stuck in, so I just continued my contemplative observations, appeasing the anthropologist in me.
The carriage was a comfortable, constant temperature but by all accounts it was going to be a hot day in the capital, so we'd dressed accordingly. Adam was in his customary T-shirt and baggy shorts sporting more pockets than strictly necessary. With Vans, shades and Lego Darth Vader cap rounding off the apparel he resembled some kind of skateboardesque, comic-con reject, though the nerd factor was lessened with a large side order of cute. The impish grin he had flashed at me as we were queuing to board -- a grin that ended in tiny dimples by prominent cheekbones -- always finished the package for me. Such spark, such lust for life. It was infectious and still made me all melty inside when our eyes met.
I'd similarly kitted out for summer, but with a cheeky twist. A fairly low-cut, pastel blue halterneck top and matching bra allowed my long, dark plait to swish behind me -- Lara Croft style -- while a miniskirt and strappy sandal with a sizeable heel gave my legs a chance to breathe, bringing me up to Adam's height. Partway between chic and à la mode, with a dash of ooh-la-la, I certainly felt fabulous and powerful. Dressing up in gorgeous clothes always excited me, and the fairy dust that only the Parisian air could sprinkle was sure to magnify this fervour.
My percentage of blame stemmed from the fact I'd deliberately chosen the outfit to give Adam something to lust over: in a city full of beautiful, tanned foreigners, I wanted his attention to remain squarely on me. Insecure? Probably just a little. After all, I'm not classically pretty and in truth somewhat ungainly, with a tiny extra bit of belly of which I'm not proud. Plus, at the back of my mind was the thought of how many more years I could get away with such an outfit in public, so I was determined to make the most of what assets I had while I still had them in some kind of presentable package.
As large agricultural expanses of French countryside whipped past en route to Gare du Nord, I concluded my clothing was making the correct impression. On more than one occasion I caught sight of his shorts bulging as he glanced away from his book and flicked his eyes up and down my body, pretending not to be checking me out. Victory! Me 1; Lee Child 0.
One time when he broke at a chapter point to appraise me, I tickled him, ignoring the disapproving stares from the more serious folk around us. I used the intimacy as an excuse to brush against his lovely erection a few times -- accidentally on purpose. Feeling him jump and swell at my brief touches started to make me hot and horny; made doubly delicious by having to exercise restraint when all I really wanted to do that minute was slip his dick out, marvel the firmness I had shaped, climb on top of him and sink it inside me to the hilt. The urgency of the vivid, slutty thought surprised me and I blinked to clear my mind, sitting back in my seat and eyeing my man lustfully, trying to calm my raging salacity before it landed me in trouble.
As a distraction I looked across the aisle. It was midweek so there were plenty of business people tapping spreadsheets into laptops, or pecking and stroking phones; as if being caught not working at any time of day was a crime. I assumed most of them didn't even qualify for overtime during the commute and shook my head in sympathy. What a world we inhabited, where corporations ruled over personal life with the unwritten fear of unemployment shackled to every soul. Almost everywhere I looked, up and down the carriage, was the embodiment of 'live to work'.
While I was similarly employed in the IT sector, my job thankfully came with the perk of regular travel. If 'perk' was the right term for being catapulted in a metal tube from city to city and staying in budget chain hotels devoid of character and decent food. Even then, I was firmly in the 'work to live' category and made a conscious effort to constrain my work activities to the nine-to-five time slot I was paid whenever possible. Adam too. His philosophy was that if it didn't fit into the working day then it could wait until the next. And for a manager, that was a refreshing outlook which earned him respect from his team and disdain from his superiors.
Another train rocketed by in the opposite direction, scaring me half to death. The blast of noise only lasted a few seconds but my heart jumped and beat rapidly after the unexpected interruption. I grinned at Adam whom it seemed had been similarly startled, then he returned to reading and I remained content to just watch.
By all outward appearances most people would correctly peg him as a computer buff. He just had that look; the slim frame; the indoor complexion; shoulders slightly rolled forward due to excessive laptop use. But to me, he was simply sexy. It wasn't any particular element in isolation, but the combination that appealed. Although his smile and soft-spoken manner had been my initial attraction, his off-the-wall humour added to the allure as I got to know him. He could also cook a mean pasta sauce from scratch and knew how to listen when I needed to let off steam: two qualities that I'm quietly convinced made some of my friends jealous in comparison to their partners' laddish -- and somewhat Cro-Magnon -- behaviour.
As if that wasn't enough, when the time came for Adam and I to make love for the first time, my fate had been sealed. I was totally unprepared for the size of his tongue, and what he could do with it. His utter devotion to my pleasure blew me away and soon had me arching my pelvis up off the bed, pressing hard against his face, uncharacteristically begging for more and being delighted to receive it. By the time he flung off his rumpled clothes, crawled up so our eyes were level, made my heart thump uncontrollably as he gazed into my being, and entered me, I was already two orgasms ahead and well on my way to a third. If I hadn't stopped him from eating me, I sensed he'd have stayed down there until I collapsed or turned inside out, whichever came sooner.
At the time, I couldn't reflect on whether it was luck or destiny that had drawn us together. There was no past or future, only the moment; his mouth drenched in my come, the heady sweet mixture invading my senses as our cheeks and lips brushed while he drove into me. Stroke after stroke I was powerless beneath him: legs spread, pussy drooling, eyes closed, mouth open; panting his name between thrusts, pulling him against me, digging my nails into his back, and inhaling his manly musk that was oh so new and oh so right.
Our bodies seemed to fit perfectly together and we had none of the usual first time awkwardness or apologies for misplaced elbows and knees. Like opposite poles of a magnet we just connected and our limbs locked as his girth easily split my slippery channel, seeking the depths his tongue hadn't already reached. I let him take me, content to be filled as my pulse raced and mind could barely keep up with the volume of messages it was being asked to process.
I remembered how magnificent it felt to once again be on the receiving end after a fairly lengthy barren spell of having just my hands, toys and innermost thoughts for company. Though unladylike to admit it, I hadn't realised quite how much I missed hot, hard cock until that day. I clung on when he picked up the pace, then let go as my body automatically stepped up through its orgasmic gears; finding myself only able to writhe beneath him, bunching fistfuls of bed sheets in the process. As I bucked against him and wrapped my legs around his torso, our moans synchronised and actions became one. He erupted inside me and I came shortly after, my cries echoing off the walls of the rented house as our juice collided.
While that night had been eclipsed many times since, I still treasured the feeling of that first union. The heat inside; the wetness; the far-off explosions that wracked my body and were so other-worldly that I wondered if they even belonged to me. It was only when the white noise had ceased, the room began to take shape once more, and I found his lips still smelling strongly of my sex that I could be sure. We lost ourselves in that kiss and stayed joined for goodness knows how long; elated and spent.
Returning my thoughts to the present, I found Adam settled in his seat, gazing ahead over the seatbacks and I just watched him thinking, aware of my body churning inside at the reminiscence. I watched the way the dimples along his jaw line rhythmically formed and disappeared as he clenched his teeth; his hazel eyes always alert, examining, taking everything in.
He leaned into me, and I had to strain to hear him, even over the fairly low background noise of the train. "Ever notice how the luggage rack is a bit reflective?"
I looked directly up at our reflection. "Not until you mentioned it."
"Look ahead a few rows."
I shifted my gaze forward and focused on the strip of angled glass that ran the length of the carriage.
He leaned conspiratorially further. "See the girl there. Low cut top. Big chest."
Trust a man to notice that. Her opened book was in her lap, and sure enough from this angle it was possible to look right down her blouse at generous cleavage.
I tutted. "So that's why you've been getting hard all this time? Her not me?"
"Hardly! But I've been wondering if anyone else has ever noticed."
"No, silly! The luggage rack."
"I doubt you're the first."
"Right. That got me thinking. What if you swung your legs up into my lap?"
He reached down and gently guided my legs across him so my feet dangled into the aisle a few inches. I leaned against the side of the vibrating train and let him position the back of my knees over his groin. I was already quite aroused after the daydream, and figured this could become interesting.
With the barest touch, his hand brushed my thigh. "What if I ran my hand up like this?" The motion made me shudder, a trail of goose bumps immediately forming in its wake. "And what if I nudged your skirt a little higher?"
It didn't reveal much -- maybe half an inch more skin -- but the fact the skirt was already short amplified the distance. I furtively looked across the carriage at our nearest neighbour with potential line of sight. Podgy and pallid with greasy hair swept back in a pony tail, he was engrossed in his laptop and I sensed only a direct atomic hit would draw his concentration away from his quest to climb the corporate ladder.
Adam's half-whispered monologue drew me back. "What about another inch? How does that make you feel?"
"Uncomfortable. Curious. A little excited. You showing me off now?"
He smiled. "Would you like that?"
I weighed up either side. "I guess. Up to a point."
He indicated my clothes. "So this is you being conservative is it?"
Silence answered on my behalf.
Adam let the question hang a few moments longer as the train banked. "Thought so. You like to tease don't you? You like the power play."
It was more of a statement than a question, but I nodded anyway. He knew the answer; just liked when I admitted it.
"Being in the saddle gets you off. It's the control. That's why you're a little unsure now. You don't know what'll happen next because I'm threatening to take away your reins. To make you mine."
"Enough of the horse references; I'm not My Little Pony! Unless you're planning to ride me, then give me a sugar lump?"
"Cheek will get you a slapped bottom, young lady."
He ignored that, to my slight irritation at the wasted bait, and went on. "What if I called the shots today? All day. You have to do my every bidding. Would you like that?"
I actually quite liked the sound of it, looked down at my hands in my lap and nodded almost imperceptibly.
Though his tone remained measured, his voice tightened a little. "Imagine what I could show people. What people could see right now. Besides perhaps giving that guy over there an early coronary, what about other people? Some of them could look up at the glass and see what my hand just did to your skirt. See whatever we did."
My heart skipped a beat at the idea. It was devilish but I was curious how far he'd go. We trusted each other to the point we'd never push too far at the expense of the other's distress, but we both loved exploring the dark fringes of our relationship. Even if things became heavy I knew I could always back out and he'd respect my decision, but being ever so slightly out of control was something I had discovered was a tremendous turn on. So I played along. "What exactly could we do in this tiny space?"
"Plenty," he confirmed, his hand still resting on one leg at the base of my skirt, just three or four inches below my centre that had well and truly woken up, stirring at the lewd thoughts flashing through my mind. I wiggled against him suggestively, parted my thighs ever so slightly and liked the reaction.
He fondled the hem of my skirt. "Just having your legs like this is driving me crazy."
He grasped the hem between his fingertips. "What if I..."
Pensive, I waited, skin alert, breathing irregularly. His eyes found mine and stared deeply.
"... did nothing."
I deflated. "Nothing?"
"Yes, just sat like this and related what I wanted to do to you later. Described all the parts of your body I want to touch, stroke and lick when we get to the hotel. Tell you exactly how much your sexy curves turn me on. How much your clothes tease and hug your shape. How I long to see what's beneath them, even though I've seen you naked hundreds of times before. How I want to stand behind you and free your hair while whispering that all I've been able to think about the whole day was the moment I had you all to myself. I want to run my hands down through your hair, untie your top, then undo your bra and watch it fall to the floor from your soft shoulders. I long to reach round and feel the weight of your breasts, roll your nipples between my fingers and listen to the breath catch in your throat as they harden. Listen to your tiny whimpers as I squeeze and pinch the tips of your gorgeous breasts, only being able to imagine how it must feel."
I knew how it felt: divine. Quite often when alone with my own thoughts and hands, I'd lay back and massage my nipples just the way he described. Slowly at first, then gradually faster and harder until my twin mounds were capped with what resembled two lychees floating on small pools of molten caramel. I'd squeeze and tweak relentlessly until my hands were needed more urgently in other areas of my body.
Adam continued. "I want to spin you around to face me, watch the way your chest heaves. Just observe you topless. Then I'll step back and demand you dance to a beat only you can hear. I love the way you move and swish your hair about and sway your body; love the way you tease me with your gyrations and turns, bending away from me, showing off your beautiful behind, lifting the skirt halfway and slapping each exposed cheek. The sight of the crease beneath your bottom and the sound of the spanks echoing round the room turns me on immeasurably."
He paused for a moment and I breathed deeply, using his words to transport myself into the scene; to feel what it would be like to perform for him; to imagine how excited I would become. Perhaps it was the onset of summer, perhaps the clothes, perhaps the risqué circumstances -- or a little of all three -- but I was feeling the itch inside already and wanted to be there with him now. Just the two of us alone, to take our time exploring parts of our bodies we already knew intimately, yet would find intensely pleasurable to rediscover.
"When you've finished dancing and cheeks are flushed pink I'll beckon you forward and bend to take a nipple into my warm mouth. Lick it. Suck it. Bite it. Hear you moan. Do the same to the other one. Make you hot. Make you wet. Make you ready for me, because you know how much I love the taste of you when you're dripping. How I'd love to sink to my knees in front of you, lift this titchy excuse for a skirt, yank off your panties and just dive in to eat you. Listen to you cry out as you reach down and grab the back of my head, pulling me up against your soaking pussy, forcing me to service you. You know what it does to me, how hard it makes me to slide my tongue inside you, to run it up your shaved slit all the way to the top. Flick it over your jumping clitoris. Feel you guide my face to the perfect spot, clamping me against your little button as you gasp with each stroke, making your knees weak when my tongue slithers south and drives back up into your hot box."
Damn he was good. I was beginning to liquefy inside and felt the need to touch myself; imagining what it would be like to do it right here, right now. To just inch up the skirt a little bit more, slip my fingers inside my underwear and make contact with the tiny smooth gemstone peeking out from its hiding place. To wet my fingers then draw circles around it. Flick it. Tap it. To close my eyes as I give it what it wants. To give myself what _I_ want: raised heart rate; electric current zapping every erogenous zone on its rapid circuit of my body; a steadily increasing inner heat that would spur more finger movement beneath my knickers. Yet fighting the desire to let go completely and give in to my needs; having to hold back because of the people around us.
Adam's vision continued. "With each stroke of my tongue making you dizzy with excitement, I'd have to hold you steady with my hands, one supporting each buttock. I could then press my fingertips into your gorgeous crack, seeking your arsehole, fingering the dark knot, longing to sink my fat prick into your behind. How I love the feel of your tight bottom wrapped around the end of my dick. Love the sounds you make as you cry into the night with each dirty thrust; not caring what the neighbours think."