tagRomanceSolstice Ch. 03

Solstice Ch. 03



The voice was close to my ear but I didn't want to hear it, my body much too heavy, mind much too fuzzy to respond. So I ignored it and let myself drift away again...

"Em-ma." He sang my name this time, a definite note of amusement in his tone. "Come on, sweetheart. I want you to see this."


With a gasp, I jerked awake, finding myself pressed against a warm, naked body, our limbs entangled. For a moment, I couldn't move, my cheek apparently glued to his chest, my sense of panic doubling as I realised that everything was orange. His skin, the grass, the sky...

Sunrise. Adam...

Wincing with pain, I peeled my face away, feeling a cooling breeze on my chin as I lifted my head and hearing him laugh as I traced wetness back to the corner of my mouth.

"Aw," he said, smiling as I stared at him in horror. "So you dribbled at bit. It's okay. Listening to you snore was far worse."

"I was snoring?" I sat up abruptly, only to gasp again as something soft rippled down to my lap. My dress. Adam's shirt. He must have covered me while I slept, I realised -- and now I was naked again. "Oh!" I grabbed at my dress, dragging it up over me, covering my breasts.

"Hey!" Though he was laughing again, he sounded puzzled. "I've already seen all of you, sweetheart. Every bit."

"Not -- not like this." Not in this curious half light, the amber glow intensifying by the moment, washing over everything. "It was dark."

"Not really." I felt his hand on my bare back, his voice soft. "And you looked just as beautiful in the moonlight as you do right now."

I wanted to ask him if he really meant that, wanted to ask if he had any regrets about what we'd done, whether he felt as confused as I did. But embarrassment, acute and raw, wouldn't let me. Instead, I gazed out across the hillside towards the east, my mouth dropping open at what I saw.

The heavens were aflame, the sky predominantly pink, topped by combed swathes of deep red. Tipping back my head I could see that the clouds gradually darkened to indigo, matching the night sky behind us. Here and there, the candy-floss-like plumes were streaked with gold and as I watched, a narrow strip of that same gold began to appear on the horizon. "Yes, I meant that. I don't know how to make you believe it, but you really are beautiful. And no, before you ask, I don't regret a second of last night."

I gasped again as Adam knelt up behind me, startled enough to let him swipe my dress away. "How the hell did you do that?" I demanded as he shook it out then dropped it over my head, the slippery folds settling over me, covering me completely.

"Well, taking it off was easier --"

"Not that. How d'you read my mind? Know exactly what I'm thinking?"

He laughed softly, helping me slide my arms through the straps before zipping up the back. "I've no idea. I thought it was because of your eyes -- but I wasn't even looking at you that time, was I?"

"No." I sighed as he eased me backwards into his lap. "Are you a dream?" I let my head drop back against his chest, realising he'd re-donned his shirt when I felt the fabric there. "Is all of this a dream?"

"Hmm." He smoothed the hair away from my neck, planting a kiss below my ear. "Do you usually dribble on the men in your dreams?"

"Hey!" I slapped at his hand and he chuckled, wrapping both arms around me. "I think you'd find it difficult to dream up this view."

He was right. We sat in silence for a while, watching as the crimson clouds paled to coral, the band of gold gradually widening beneath them. "One to cross off the list of things to do before I die," I murmured at last, still not quite able to believe this was real, that I was there in Adam's embrace, witnessing one of planet earth's greatest spectacles.

"You know what this means, don't you?" He nuzzled my neck again, one of his hands moving from the safety of my waist to the delicate skin at my collar bone.

"I have to add something new to the list?" I shivered slightly, the gentle caress sending a jolt of electricity straight to my groin.

"Uh huh." He kissed me again, his fingers wandering lower, dipping beneath the neckline of my dress. "I've just thought of something new for mine. Want to guess what it is?"

"Um --" I muttered, playing for time. "You want to have breakfast with me?"

He chuckled, the sound turning me on just as much as the feel of his fingers slipping lower, cupping my breast, toying with my nipple. "No. I want to have you for breakfast."

I inhaled sharply as he pulled away, his hands skimming my sides before grabbing fistfuls of material, yanking the dress up to my waist. "Adam --" I gulped as he pitched me forward, sending me on to my hands and knees. "Oh!" I was only too aware of what I must look like, my generous bottom fully exposed to the elements. To Adam.

"Don't tell me." He seized my hips, pulling me backwards against him until I could feel his erection poking my left buttock. "You've never done this before either, have you?"

"No." My voice was almost a whimper. I was scared. Make that terrified. "Um -- wh-where exactly were you planning on p-putting that thing?"

His hands froze. "What? Oh..." Letting out a heavy sigh, he tugged me back to a kneeling position, his arms folding round me again, holding me tight. "No, sweetheart." He sounded amused. "Somehow, I don't think you're quite ready for that. Although --" Holding me at arm's length again, I could feel his appreciative gaze on my rear. I shot a horrified glance back at him and he laughed, planting a kiss between my shoulder blades. "Teasing you is way too easy."

"Oh!" I groaned, shivering with anticipation as he gathered up my skirt again, one hand sliding up my inner thigh. "I'm so naïve."

"And so ready for me." I winced at the squelching sound his fingers made as they dipped between my legs. "Emma -- you're just one big gooey mess!"

"I'm sorry," I managed, my words riding on the back of a moan as he stroked me, rocking backwards and forwards, driving me crazy. "I -- I didn't get the ch-chance to clean -- up -- oh!" I whimpered as his fingers slipped inside me, his thumb brushing repeatedly over my clit.

"I can't believe you're apologising," he murmured in my ear as I struggled for breath, already losing control, perilously close to flying off the edge. "Most of this goo is mine. God." He groaned, working deeper. "You feel so hot. So damn tight. I'm sorry sweetheart -- I should let you come. But I've got to be inside you when you do."

I yelped with frustration when he drew away, hearing him chuckle as he pushed me forward, my hands landing on the grass. He moved in behind me, shoving my knees apart with his own, hitching my dress back up around my hips. And then his fingers were there again, feeling for me, finding my opening.

"Adam!" I sobbed as he pushed straight in, the copious lubrication from our previous coupling allowing him to fill me in a single, smooth stroke. "O-o-ow!" In this position his cock felt even bigger than I remembered, seeming to stretch my still-tender pussy improbably wide.

"Relax, sweetheart, just relax." He held my hips still, trailing kisses down my spine. "God -- you feel good. Too good."

I couldn't speak, could barely breathe, the sunrise in front of us blurring into a haze of red and gold. "Please --" I whimpered eventually, not entirely sure whether I was begging him to stop or carry on. "Please, Adam --"

"Now," he breathed, as though he'd been waiting for my permission, withdrawing almost completely, leaving me so achingly empty I cried out with relief when he plunged back in. "Emma," he murmured, laughing softly as he pulled out of me again, one hand stealing around my hip, dipping into the curls between my legs.

We both moaned as he caressed me there, sliding readily into the wetness, at first distracting me from the discomfort of his penetration but then only serving to heighten my arousal as the pain subsided. Long, sensuous strokes were interspersed with short, taunting, thrusts, the continuing stimulation of his clever fingers driving all thought, save that of the imminent sunrise, right out of my head.

Determined to watch, I managed to keep my eyes open only by staring into the distance and concentrating on that steadily widening band of yellow. The amber glow around us had given way to a deep reddish-gold, the fiery light filling me just as completely as Adam was filling me. And as that fire ignited low in my tummy, I began pushing back against him, forcing him deeper but still needing more. "Adam -- please!"

He growled in response, pressing the heel of his hand into my lower belly, pushing hard against my womb, somehow intensifying the friction of each thrust. Ripples of pleasure began radiating outwards from beneath his hand, racing across my whole body before surging back, merging together to form one, giant wave.

I screamed, my orgasm crashing over me just as the sun emerged from beneath the horizon, exploding into the sky, the golden light dazzling. And just as before, the frantic fluttering of my pussy seemed to trigger Adam's own release. Bellowing my name, he drove into me one last time, burying himself deep, flooding me with his seed.

As my knees began to tremble, Adam scooped me up and tipped us over to one side, his arms holding me tight. "Dear God," he murmured at last, sounding almost startled. "I don't think I can cross that one off the list. I think I might have to do that again someday."

With me? I longed to know, my head spinning, my body still tingling. Was this the end or only the beginning? Was there a chance he too wanted more? Lisa would've asked, that little voice in my head taunted, hell -- even Eve would've asked. But Eve was long gone. I think we left her behind at the kissing gate.

"Emma?" His lips brushed against my shoulder. "You still there?"

I forced a laugh. "Yes."

"Thank God. I thought maybe you'd died."

My giggle was genuine this time. "It would've been one hell of a way to go."

"What were you thinking about?"

"I --" Thrown by the note of concern in his voice, I was relieved when a much safer topic dropped into my mind. "Work," I groaned softly.

He echoed my groan. "Phone in sick."

"I can't."

"Why not?"

"I'm not sick. It would be a lie."

He laughed. "Not really. Tell your boss you haven't slept. That you're exhausted."

"I am." I groaned again, closing my eyes. "But it's completely self-inflicted."

"So?" He was still laughing. "It's a white lie."

"It's still a lie. I don't tell lies."


"Never." I shook my head for emphasis, my head brushing against his chest. "How can I teach the children it's wrong to tell lies if I do it?"

"Really? Okay." He sounded amused. "What if your friend spent two hundred pounds on a new dress and you thought it looked terrible? You'd tell her the truth?" He chuckled when I hesitated, dropping a kiss into my hair. "Thought not."

"Well, I've got a friend who would," I protested, my cheeks flaring hot at being caught out.


"Yes." I frowned, both surprised and touched he'd remembered my best friend's name. "And maybe she's got the right idea. The world would be a much better place if people were more honest with each other."

"Honesty." He murmured the word as though trying it on for size. "You want honesty?"

"Yes." I sighed, enjoying the gentle caress of his hand over mine, for the first time becoming aware of our surroundings, my gaze settling on the awakening city below. "I don't think that's too much to -- oh no!" I froze at the sight of a black Labrador bounding up the hillside towards us, a short stocky man wearing a peaked hat following behind at a more sedate pace. "Shit!"

Adam's snort of laughter was loud in my ear. "Stop panicking. I'm the one not wearing any trousers." He eased himself away, pulling down my dress as he crawled over me, staying low. "Where the hell are they, anyway?"

"Here," I said with a giggle, finding his clothes in a heap beside my handbag.

Grinning, he grabbed his trousers then reached back again for his briefs, lying down flat to put them on. I heard the close of his zip a mere second before the dog arrived. "Hey there boy!" he exclaimed, springing upright and sending a laughing glance in my direction as he fussed the canine's ears. "How are you, eh? How are you?"

I rose more slowly, nervous of strange dogs but reassured by Adam's lack of concern. "Hello!" I said brightly, risking a gentle pat. "What's your name then?"

The dog looked at me, sniffed at my skirt then took a few steps away, nose to the grass. And to my horror, I saw what had caught his interest -- my knickers, a tiny, twisted scrap of cream satin.

"No!" I gasped but Adam was quicker, diving to the ground and snatching them up like a goal-keeper saving a penalty.

"I don't think so," he said briskly, tapping the dog's nose and stuffing my knickers in his trouser pocket. "They're mine."

"What?" I glared at him in outrage but he merely grinned, his arm sliding around my waist as the man in the peaked hat walked by. "Lovely morning."

"Lovely," the man echoed, shooting us a rather curious glance.

Adam pulled me into a hug, allowing me to bury my hot face in his shoulder as the man whistled for his dog and carried on. "I love it when you blush," he murmured, tilting up my chin, smiling as he gazed at me, the look in his eyes unreadable. "Come on," he said, releasing me just as I was sure he'd kiss me. "If you're really set on going to work this morning we'd better get you home."

"I need my knickers," I told him sternly, struggling to hide my disappointment. Why hadn't he kissed me?

He laughed, reaching into his pocket. "You probably need this more," he said, pushing a large white handkerchief into my hand before bending down to locate his socks and shoes.

"Adam!" I blushed anew, realising he'd guessed just how much sticky ooze was trickling down my inner thighs. "Please!"

"Okay, okay." Without looking at me, he retrieved my knickers from his other pocket and held them out. "In that case, I want my hanky back when you've finished with it."

I gave a choke of disbelief. "What?"

He ruffled my hair as he straightened up. "Way too easy," he murmured with a chuckle, looping my underwear over my fingers. "Take your time." He waved to the right. "I'll just be over there."

I stared after him as he strolled away. After all the hours of intimacy, he was giving me space. I couldn't work out what had changed or why, only that it had somehow happened while he was gazing into my eyes.

Blinking back sudden tears, I cleaned myself up as best I could then stuffed the sodden handkerchief into my handbag. Time to go. I took one last glance around as I slid my feet into my sandals then went to join Adam.

He smiled at the sight of me. "Ready?"

"Yes -- oh!" I smiled back in grateful surprise as he draped his jacket around my shoulders. "Thank you."

But the tiny flicker of my renewed hope began to dwindle the moment we started down the hill. Adam didn't seem to want to talk and though his hand occasionally brushed mine he never actually took it. It was only when we reached the kissing gate that our eyes met again.

"You first," he murmured, a glimmer of a smile dancing at his lips.

For a moment, I wondered if I dared to do what he'd done last night -- pass through, push the gate shut and refuse to let him past until he'd kissed me. But tormented by the thought he might refuse, I let the moment go, navigating the gate without as much as a glance back at him.

"What time is it?" I ventured as we finally left the river behind and turned into the High Street.

Adam consulted his watch. "Quarter to six. What time do you have to be at work?"

"Seven forty-five."

"Oh." He gave a sympathetic chuckle, the now familiar sound tugging painfully at my heart. "That doesn't leave much time. We'd better find you a taxi."

"There's no need." I gestured towards the bus station across the street. "I bought a return ticket yesterday. Might as well use it."

"You sure?" He stared at me in surprise as I rummaged in the side pocket of my handbag. "Surely a taxi would be quicker? I'll pay," he added.

I shook my head, producing the ticket with a flourish. "The bus stops right outside my door. If I hurry, I can catch the number ten and be home in fifteen minutes."

He still seemed unsure but I didn't give him a chance to argue, jogging across the road without him.

"Emma!" To my delight he ran after me, catching me up as I entered the bus station. "Wait!"

I kept walking, drawing level with the bus, a quick glance at the station clock confirming I had less than a minute to spare.

"You're wearing my jacket."

"Oh." Crushed, I shrugged the jacket from my shoulders and handed it to him. "Sorry."

"Thanks." There was a short, awkward silence. He glanced at me then at the open door of the bus behind me. "Well. I guess this is it."

I swallowed hard. "I guess it is." I didn't think it was possible to feel more depressed but the finality of those words was devastating. Our date was over. There wasn't going to be another. "It's been --" I stopped, grasping for a single word that could adequately describe the experience. "Fun," I finished lamely.

And suddenly, he was grinning. "Emma," he began. "Look --"

"'Scuse me love." The bus driver was leaning forward, glancing meaningfully at the clock. "Are you getting on or what?"

"Oh! Yes. Sorry." Flustered, I boarded the bus then turned around in the doorway. "Adam --" I faltered, unsure what to do, what to say. "I've got to go."

He nodded, still grinning. "I know."

"But --"

"I'll call you."

The bus doors crashed shut leaving me staring at him through the glass, my mouth dropping open as I realised what he'd said.

"Where to?" The bus was moving, pulling out of the bay, making me lurch for the nearest handrail.

I spun around to the driver, grinning like a maniac. "He said he'd call me," I told him happily, waving my return ticket in front of him.

He looked at the ticket then shot me a pitying glance. "They all say that, love."

"No." I shook my head. "This is different. He's not like --" I turned, raising my hand to wave, only to discover Adam was gone. "Oh!"

Disappointed, I staggered to the back of the swaying bus and dropped into an empty seat, twisting around one last time to see if I could spot him. But it didn't matter, I told myself, feeling that stupid grin return. It wasn't over. By the time I got home from work there'd be a message on my machine...

Then it hit me.

There wouldn't be a message. He couldn't call me. I'd never given him my number. Worse still, I realised, my heart beginning to beat a little faster, he didn't know where I lived, he didn't know where I worked -- hell, he didn't even know my full name.

Maybe I just couldn't remember giving him my number, I thought desperately, a wash of heat flooding over me. Maybe he'd seen my mobile phone in my handbag and found it for himself. But I knew I was grasping at straws. And I couldn't call him. He hadn't given me his number. I didn't know his full name either.

For the first time I felt a prickle of doubt. I'd just spent the whole night with someone I barely knew. I'd let a perfect stranger woo me by offering dinner at an expensive restaurant, allowing that same stranger to take me for a walk in the moonlight then seduce me under the stars.

But it wasn't like that, I reasoned, battling with my misgivings. By the time we'd started walking up St Catherine's Hill, I'd felt like I'd known him for years. Our conversation had been easy, effortless. He'd encouraged me to talk about myself, about my relationship with James, my hopes and dreams for the future.

Great, that little voice sneered in my head. But what did I know about him?

I knew his first name was Adam. I knew his wife Claire had died two years ago. I knew he was some kind of artist or designer and that he'd done a parachute jump for charity.

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