International Relations, Overnightbyshaunreagh©
Too damn slow, that was my problem. There was a group of them. College students from Japan, Korea, somewhere like that. We were in the waiting room, in Innsbruck, waiting for the overnight bus to Geneva in Switzerland. They had a couple of older women with them. Lecturers or something. A couple of parents perhaps. Some of the students looked mouth-wateringly cute. Lovely sloe eyes, long silky hair that some of them had in pony tails. Parkas, of course. In some cases almost enveloping them entirely. Some had their hoods up, as it was cold. When the bus arrived the boarding was orderly. We all had seat numbers allocated. I was in the second last row, by the window. Another guy next to me, (just my lousy luck!). Two of the oriental students were in the seats behind me, the last row on the bus. The other side was the toilet, with a big "Our of Order" sign on the door.
Once we started off there was a bit of seat swapping went on. Mostly involving the students. Going for empty seats so they could stretch out. This left just one of them in the seat behind me. That's when I should have made my move. But I didn't. More fool me. The bus set off. It's an eight hour trip from Innsbruck to Geneva so I settled down to sleep.
Facing the window I could see the reflection of the pretty student behind me. She was curled up, facing the window, same as me. When she saw me watching she gave me a smile. Sweet smile. Full of friendship. Invitation ... almost. I sorta melted. It's been a while since someone as pretty as that smiled at me. I nodded back. That was the second time I was too damn slow. I should have moved right then. Should have excused myself from my overweight neighbour, who smelled of pipe tobacco. Climbed past him. Slipped into the back seat with the sweet oriental college girl, visiting Europe, who smiles. That would have been that. Eight hours of promise. Maybe even bliss. Who knew? But I didn't move. I just sat there, turned to the window, looking at her reflection in the window. Kinda longingly. She saw me looking. Smiled again. I turned away, like the indecisive asshole I sometimes am.
After we'd been going for ten minutes or so, heading out the city, we stopped at another bus station and a few more people got on. One of them was around my age and it seemed there was someone in his seat. But as some of the passengers were already asleep – and perhaps he really didn't care where he sat – this guy – a manual worker of some sort, late thirties, I guess, carrying a bag – came right up the back of the bus and found himself at the spare seat behind me. The student was already turned in the corner, head on the window, legs curled up beneath her, eyes closed.
The guy looked back down the bus. Most others had already found a seat. There was no-one left in the aisle so this place was obviously free. Which is when I cursed myself. If I had been faster on my feet I would be sitting there, beside the girl, someone sweet to talk to, pass the time with, and he'd be squeezing in here, next to the pipe tobacco that I had drawn, and who had now starting snoring. I watched the guy stow his bag, take his parka off, slip into the seat in the aisle, careful not to wake his neighbour.
So that, I figured to myself, was pretty much that.
I reclined my seat as far as it would go, curled myself up in a ball, facing the window, and closed my eyes. How much later it was that something made me open my eyes I have no idea – I'd been dreaming about a football game for some reason or other – but we were well into the darkness of countryside when I did. Not a light outside. We seemed to be climbing some sort of a mountain pass. The snow on the side of the road was filling the bus with a ghostly glow. I snuck a glance back at the girl behind me, wondering if she had slept as well ... to see that her neighbour was spooning her. Spooning her as if she was his girl-friend or something. The student's eyes were closed. And from the slow movement of her chest it was clear she was fast asleep.
I looked away, my eyes back on the snow piled high on the side of the road. I wondered how he'd done that. Wasn't the arm-rest in the way? I reached behind me ... to find the armrest could be raised. That's what he must have done, raised the armrest out the way, eased towards her, pulled her into him. Spooning her as if she was his girl friend, or wife. I pushed my coat off my chest. The bus's heating was ferocious. I was starting to sweat.
I tried to go back to sleep but what was going on behind me wouldn't let me. My eyes were soon back there. Her neighbour was far from asleep. His outer arm was round her waist. The fingers disengaging the bottom of the zip of her parka. A zip that was fastened when last I looked. Sure as heck wasn't now.
There is some circuit in the brain that feels there is a right thing and a wrong thing to do in circumstances like this. Like telling the driver to stop the bus, or kicking up a fuss, or accusing the man of molesting the girl – a visitor to our country no less; their country, at least. The Austrian's country. (I was a visitor too.) But then there is another circuit that says, Don't be a fucking hypocrite; if you were in his position, and had thought of it, (and had the guts he had,) you might be doing the same thing! So I kept quiet. I let him open the student's parka, slide his hand inside, explore what it found there ... a fit young stomach, perhaps, warm and pleasantly rounded. He couldn't see from where he was, behind her, where his hand was. But I could. Next thing I know his broad fingers are making their delicate way to the waistband of her jeans. I don't say a word.
His fingers find the thick-knit wool of her jumper. He eases it clear, eases it upwards, clearing the buckle of her belt. They explore the metal, find the way it's fixed, then wander off across the denim-clad hips and downwards, into the valley between the legs. I watch the broad fingers as they gently trace the line of her leg, all the way out to the knees, drawn up towards her chest, the same way mine are. The pretty student hasn't stirred. Sweet dreams of youth ... or something. The fingers make their way back. Are at the jumper again, in underneath to where I'd caught the glint of buckle in his first foray. But this time they don't stop there. They carry on, beneath the jumper, heading for the pleasant soft mounds I can see, just behind her slender arms. Her hands are clasped close to her chin.
It is a calculation, rather than a visually verifiable fact, that the hand beneath the student's thick woollen jumper has not only found the mound of a breast, but is, as I watch, cupping it. This I calculate from how much of his arm has disappeared in under the lower hem of her jumper, and the way the jumper itself has ridden up, and the fact that he's stopped moving. Nothing moves. I imagine having a plump young breast in the palm of my hand, wondering if such intimate pressure may wake her, and if it does what she might do?
But she doesn't do anything.
I catch the gentlest movement over one of the two mounds. As if it's rounded shape had moved off, breaking up into ridges, like fingers. His fingers. The labourer's fingers. And the fingers were cupped round the sweet youngster's pretty right breast.
I wondered if she could feel what he was doing. Being honest, I tried to put myself into his shoes – or rather fingers – to see if I could feel what he was feeling. Would she be wearing a bra ... a vest underneath the sweater ... or a shirt as well as a vest? He eased himself closer. His thighs spread around hers even more. He eased her back more completely into the spoon of his bodily embrace. Her face was so peaceful in sleep. Almost a beautiful face; though maybe the lips were too full, and the nose just a shade too small, for the sort of beauty we're used to in the West. Innocent, is what she was. Innocent and ... foreign ... ripe?
Then he surprised me. Without warning, he disengaged from behind her and leaned forward in his seat. I couldn't think what he was doing for he had her in his arms, compliant, uncomplaining, a hand around her, fingers exploring. Then I saw what he was doing. He carefully eased her away from the backrest and slipped his other hand around her. He eased both back to their earlier position, she relaxing against him, facing away, like an egg in a large wooden spoon. It was soon his other hand that was beneath her jumper, cupping a breast, and the first hand was back at the buckle ...
His chin is at her ear. He could whisper into it, if he dared. It is a pretty ear. With a tiny pearl in a neat little lobe. I watch as his tongue comes out, and the tip of it tastes the pearl! I feel a need to move but don't, don't dare. I don't want to spoil things. I don't want to wake her, or frighten him. They look so contented back there. So softly intimate.
He has the flap of her belt out of its loop. I watch as he carefully works it away from the retainer. The bar eases out of the hole. The belt is loose, each side is gently set aside. Both his hands are now at the fastener in front. A button that holds the waist closed. The top of a zip just below. He opts for the zip first of all, slowly draws it down. Once it is drawn all the way down to where her thighs meet, he carefully slips the button, then catches each side as the button springs free. He's retaining the pressure of the waistband, I note, almost admiring the skill. I watch as he gently lets the two sides pull apart. The V of the open front of her jeans shows white within. White panties? The lower tails of a white cotton vest? A white shirt beneath the trousers and pullover? His hand obscures the white. He has slipped his fingers into the v, moving them lower inside the jeans. How can he dare to do this?
I suddenly sense that the girl is awake. She is awake, I see! Her eyes are open, focussed on her chest – the folds of the wool of her jumper, the gentle movement of the fingers of the hand beneath. She will feel their touch. Her eyes move further down, but whether she can see the open front of her jeans beyond the forearms she has crossed beneath her chin, I cannot tell. She will certainly know there is a hand there. And she will know, too, that the hand is not her own. She will wonder who's it is.
Sure enough, the next surveillance she makes is of the window she is facing. The reflection in the glass to tell her something of the person who now sits in the seat next to her. Might she think it is one of her friends? One of her classmates. Even a teacher from her college – though surely it wouldn't be that. She will know the person there was not there when she first fell asleep. She will wonder who it is – the person there, the person with his arms around her, his front pressed close against her back, his hands caressing her body. I have caught my breath. I am waiting to see what she does. How she will react to what is happening. My eyes are on her eyes. But then, to my surprise, the lids softly close. Has she decided it is best to ignore him? Not to make a scene? To act as if nothing is happening, in the hope he will finish, and leave her alone?
My eyes go back to him. He knows nothing of the surreptitious recce, of course; is unaware she is awake, aware of what he's doing. What will he do next? But then I see he is doing it already. The tip of his tongue is inside her ear, delicately stroking every whorl and curl. The tongue tip is sharp and neat. How can a labourer have such a delicate touch with his tongue? The girl doesn't move. The fingers inside the open top of her jeans have disappeared entirely. I wonder how she manages to keep as still and unmoving as she does. What do girls feel when under such attack, in such a strange place, overseas. How are Japanese students taught to react: when a stranger slips his hand into your jeans? How are any students taught to react to being caressed this way?
Whatever they are taught, this one decides to stay still. To pretend to keep on sleeping. Not to help in any way, but nor to resist in too obvious a manner. I look back at her face. There is a little frown above her eyes, the lips are held in a tighter line than before – but other than that, one would be forgiven for believing she is anything other than deep in an untroubled sleep. An exploring hand sneaks, as if guiltily, out from the front of the teenager's jeans. I wonder what he intends to do next. Then I see.
His hands are under her sweater, clearly undoing something there. She wears (I note) a shirt beneath. A dark checked shirt. The lower glimpse of white, I see now, is the white of her panties. Her shirt is carefully unbuttoned, spread apart beneath the sweater. Now both his hands are on her breasts. The folds of sweater sway and roll as his hands beneath, fondle the girl. Could he believe she could still be asleep, I wonder, a touch aghast, as he leans his head forward, and starts to nuzzle her neck. Could anyone sleep through this?
I glance at the pretty student's face. The look has changed. Now it is part confusion, part indecision, with something behind that – curiosity? Pain? She is clearly confounded by this attention. Why doesn't she object? Maybe she's working out how. The best way to move, to get up, to say "excuse me", collect her belongings, move towards the front of the bus. That's what she will be doing. Collecting herself. Deciding which one of her lecturers to go to – maybe not to make a complaint, but merely to ask to change seats, or something.
Perhaps she will make a complaint.
I see that his tongue is on her neck. He is licking the length of it, from where it meets the shoulder, all the way up to the ear ... then delicately in behind the neat little lobe. Her head has moved. It moved with the tongue that stole behind the lobe of her ear ... moved up, as if to escape ... or open her neck up some more? I stare at the front of her sweater. It is now as if there are two cuddly pets under there – moving and shifting all the time – as if getting comfortable, or even playing with each other. He must by now be squeezing her quite hard.
No sooner have I noticed this, than the two pets push out at the sweater. The two hands are lifting off. He is clearly unfastening her bra. As if in confirmation, he pushes up the front of her sweater, and there they are. Two plump breasts, glowing warm in the hazy light, each hotly imprisoned in the broad spread of his fingers. The confusion on her face gives way to a look of what might be pain ... but the lazy parting of lips that glisten gives a lie to that. Although perhaps she doesn't want to be, she is certainly being aroused. This hurt is getting to her, and control is not all hers.
I watch, I study her, and as I do, I see her chin move slightly. Slightly, but it definitely moved. She is angling her head away from him, as if she doesn't want him to notice the expression on her face. As if she is afraid she might give herself away. As her head rolls further towards the back of her seat, two things happen at once. First, there is a line of resolve on the pretty student's face, as if she is resolved to be strong here. And second, the labourer pulls her back into his embrace more frankly than he's done before. He surely must know she's awake now. Perhaps he has seen her react. Or perhaps he can feel her reacting. What can one do, after all, if the bodily functions take over; if soft bits start to get hard, if tender bits start to heat up, if dry bits ...
As if his mind is working the same way as mine, one of his hands gives a now naked breast some respite, and slithers down her front to the waistband of her panties. It ducks underneath. The burrowing fingers lift the light white material of her panties and the girl's thighs seem to jump and flare as the fingers slip in.
That wasn't him, that was her!
That was her, reacting to the hand inside her panties, and what it had touched. What it had set off inside her as it moved on her mound, through her pubic hair, knowing where it was heading. And as if in anticipation her pelvis curls, probably instinctively, easing her thighs in the air – into the path of the burrowing hand. I hear her gasp, quite clearly over the sound of the engine of the bus. And when I look at her face all I can see is concern. Concern, and a little desperation. Her mouth is open, as if she's expecting a spoonful of food. But the only thing likely to enter her soon, was probably below.
Her jeans have eased low on her hips. The waistband of her panties are well below a neat little belly button. One of her hands had gone to his – is on his wrist, at least. It lays atop it limply, as if in recognition of where his fingers are. Or to tell him he should stop. Or maybe it went there of its own accord, without any instructions at all from the youngster's, no doubt by now, quite troubled mind.
My eyes flip front, back to my own neighbour. He is fast asleep. And the two across the aisle, classmates of the pretty one behind me – the pretty one behind me who's male neighbour's hands and mouth are, as they sleep peacefully – exploring their pretty friend's body. I let my eyes go as far as they can towards the front: some few pairs of seats down the aisle. Everyone slept. All on the bus, but the driver, it seemed – and me and the two just behind – were asleep. The bus travelling heedlessly on through the night.
He is pushing her jeans down her legs. He has changed her position on the seat. Her legs are no longer beneath her, but sit out in front. Her head is averted from his, her eyes still tightly and resolutely closed – as if she refuses to acknowledge what's going on – but he is well aware she is awake and fully conscious of everything he's doing. Off over the knees, pretty rounded knees. And then he's leaning over her, pulling the jeans off her feet, pulling a sock off as well. Then he's doing the same thing with her flimsy cotton panties. Her hand, a small one next to his, rushes to try to restore some modesty. But next to his it doesn't have a chance. Soon it's gone the same way as the jeans. Both now in a small heap – I'm guessing here – on the floor beneath my seat. I do not move. He turns the girl again, back into the spoon of his embrace.
A pretty naked buttock settles in one large hand held open in his lap. The other one begins to stroke her hip. The student doesn't move. Her head and body face the window. Her closed eyes seeming to focus beyond it, willing herself to be far away, perhaps. It would be a lot less easy now to make a scene. Wearing nothing below the waist, except one sock! I wonder what's going through the youngster's mind. Has she surrendered to the predicament in which she finds herself. Realising no-one is aware, has she decided she will merely let matters take their course? Is she a virgin? Has she ever been held or stroked by a man as intimately as this? As I ponder these questions I see his foremost hand has slipped between the student's pretty thighs, and is insinuating fingers between tightly pressed-together flesh. She clearly tries to keep her thighs together, but that merely brings his hand the other way. In through the back, as it were.
It is not so much the sight of the fingers' efforts to get between her legs that tell me when they've reached where they're trying to go, as the way her pelvis suddenly jerks, and her eyebrows arch. That and the muted gasp she lets out. Her hands are on his wrists though hardly close around them. Do not really try to. More laid there, for assurance. The effect of his fingers gentle encouragement between her legs is lazy in coming, but pretty soon does. Her pretty head angles softly to the ceiling of the bus. Her pretty plump lips open in a muted grimace. Her smooth brow furrows with the effect of his fingers, now well established between her open drifting thighs.