Prompt: I couldn't live without (warning, adult, language)
He remembered another urge following hard on the heels of that one - an urge which came to him as he realised her difficulty in using the overhead storage facility. She’d sworn, an almost inaudible ‘Fuck’ that seemed somehow delicate. His urge was to stand and assist, of course, although her proximity to him would have meant an embarrassing manoeuvre whereby he would have to touch her body, taboo in most situations, and certainly in this one. She was almost leaning over him when she pushed once, twice at the obdurate baggage. Her final push had slid the overnight case into the back of the luggage rack, and she’d stood back, giving the case a reproachful look. He felt at the time that he understood: Surrounded by so many people in such a confined space, her struggle had been absently observed by all, and she would not have liked to appear helpless. Some women would have done, he thought, some women would have asked for help, enjoying the opportunity to play a little with members of the opposite sex.
He imagined the playing of games an anathema to her. As she had lowered herself into the seat directly opposite, he had watched her settle and compose herself. No, she had clearly been irritated by the episode with the luggage rack. It had exposed her femininity in ways which her independent nature abhorred. How he had felt this so plainly had been a surprise to him, as had the fact that he had continued to watch her make herself comfortable for rather longer than should have been acceptable. He remembered the heat of his cheeks as she returned his gaze. He remembered venturing a quick smile, and looked back down at his book, quickly to avoid embarrassment.
There followed a period of quiet reflection of the incident where his eyes followed the words in the book, words that may as well have been Greek for all his comprehension of them. Instead, he saw her face. In her mid twenties or so, he’d guessed she was an analyst of some sort. She would work in an office, analysing... whatever. It didn’t matter. The cerebral nature of her work, coupled with the intellectual leaps that such work demanded, that was what had mattered. His eyes had continued to slide off the printed words without reading them. She would have little patience with the other women who worked in her office, he was sure - their petty gossip and preening together in the bathroom mirror would annoy her. He recalled the heart stopping realisation a couple of minutes down the line, a sudden understanding that she was well aware he wasn’t reading. It wouldn’t take much insight on her part to notice that he hadn’t turned a page, and therefore was either exceedingly dim, or indeed had his mind on other matters. She would know, of course, that her unconventional attractiveness had its effects on men, and she would be acutely aware of her recent unintended closeness with him in particular.
She was thinking, right then, that he was running her through his mind, hopelessly, questioning.
He remembered looking up again. What an idiot. Of course, she was looking at him with frank appraisal right at that second. He’d smiled, as he’d felt cornered in her gaze. Her lips gave a minute hint of a smile too. He’d never really known eyes twinkle before, but here it was: Behind her thick black rimmed glasses, her eyes twinkled.
He’d idiotically cleared his throat right then, looking back at his book, for just a split second before he was compelled to look up yet again. As she filled his view, slowly, a moon lander gently descending into his field of vision, she had tilted her head to one side, amused. He’d known then, her decision was made. He’d known then, that he would end up here.
The middle aged lady next to her had watched the proceedings, it was apparent. His eyes darted to the right and caught her looking between one and the other with the interest of a spectator at Wimbledon tennis finals. The urge to feel ashamed had arrived and departed in a fraction of a second; for him, he was as much a metaphorical passenger on this trip as he was of the paying, traditional variety. He had a sense of how recent this observance was, in real time, and was again amazed. A clock, had he been able or indeed interested in seeing one, would have informed him that barely five minutes had passed since that momentary embarrassment.
A clattering further up the train gave a fleeting warning of the high speed points and line change, presently shaking the carriage they now found themselves in, hard. He put one arm out to steady himself against the wall, another hand around her head to protect her from dashing it against the Formica partition. The absent-minded way in which he had been pondering the recent past - the past during which he had ‘known’ her - had allowed to him to relax more into the moment.
It was the way she had stood up, smoothed her skirt and pointedly caught his eye yet once more. That was the moment that he would relive at another time, at several other times. Like co-conspirators in the midst of enemies, she had signalled her wish for him to follow her without any outward sign. He considered this once more. There was no sign at all. Had there been a diminutive tic, a tiny nod of her head towards the end of the carriage? He didn’t think so, but nothing else would explain the current situation in which he found himself.
Quite suddenly, he was reluctant to peruse the genesis of the union any further. Her head was tipped back, her carotid artery pulsing against his lips as her kissed and sucked her neck. As she increased her tempo, he felt bad that he had somehow missed this stranger’s journey toward this point: that he had been somehow absent during such an intimate act. He responded physically to her increased excitement, taking his hand from behind her head and holding her hip firm as he built his own intensity.
He had a dim perception that a public convenience on board the 08:30 to London Waterloo was no place for this. Shouldn’t something this wonderful begin in a bed, surrounded by roses, backed up with Champagne and soft music? She didn’t seem to mind, and nor did he. He matched her increasingly desperate thrusts for speed and strength, raising her game to new levels and finally, finally, allowing himself to take in her beauty, the way she felt against him, the sheer badness of her audacity, her correct intuition, her mounting orgasm. It was time to understand how good this was, how good life could be.