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A girl's encounter with a stud sailor and an older couple.
She goes to the driver's side and gets inside and starts the engine. Josh quickly opens the rear door and bundles me onto the back seat and jumps in too, wrapping his arms around me to secure me tightly. I suppose he wants to prevent me scurrying across the back seat and alighting through the opposite door.
I sink into plush leather, feel myself dissolve into the crook of flesh formed in his muscular upper arm, which he has tightly about me to keep me firmly in place. It enfolds me, and I smell his fragrance; his shower goods, his aftershave. His body heat radiates through his short sleeved shirt. His muscular right arm encircles my shoulders, his left-hand grips both my wrists so tightly it hurts. I realise how large his hands are. The hem of my dress has ridden up, and his knuckles press into my bare thighs as he grips both my wrists. The backs of my warm, moist legs stick to the chilled leather.
As Becky edges from the parking space, I look through the side window and see the wide-eyed face of Mrs Smithers, my next door neighbour, staring in at me, her expression one of scandalous disbelief.
My heart is racing. I think about Ian still in our Kitchen. How will he react when he finds I'm not home? I imagine Mrs Smithers hurrying to our front door to tell him she has witnessed my abduction. I start to wriggle, trying to free myself while saying, "Josh you really have to let me go. This is just getting silly." He ignores me, and so I try pleading, "Please, Josh."
But my voice betrays my real feelings. I'm starting to enjoy the wrongness of all this.
As we leave the street where I live, I realise I don't want to go back to Ian ever again. What I want is for Josh to Kiss me like he did in the car on Friday evening. He already has his arm around me, his big palms gripping my wrists, the back of his hand pressing down onto the tops of my bare thighs. It would be so easy for him to just put his face on mine and let slip his tongue.
I turn to him, my eyes beaming need. Can he read my look? But what about Becky? With her here it will never happen.
"You can let go of my wrists now, Josh. You know I'm not going to escape - at this speed," I say.
"I don't want to let go."
I don't want him to let go either. I look at Josh and then scan the back of Becky's head and then look back at him, my eyes beaming my confusion.
"Tell her, Becks," he calls to her. She remains silent as she accelerates onto the bypass.
I see her mascara framed eyes watching me in the rearview mirror. Her right arm goes up and brushes back wayward strands of hair, hooking a wild strand ineffectively behind her ear, only for it to immediately slide free. Her hair is long and downy, fine as fairy-stuff
"Josh often talked about this, Cassie," Becky says.
"About what?" I say.
"Did you know he told me about the kiss you shared."
She waits for my response, and when none is forthcoming, she continues, "You know . . . The one you shared together on Friday."
It takes me a moment to register her words. And when I do, when I understand what she is saying, my heart starts to pound. My stomach spawns a thousand tiny scurrying things.
I look at Josh, my eyes accusing. I hiss my incredulity, "You told her!"
God! He's smiling. I hate his smugness. Then he says:
"Of course I did, Becks and I tell each other everything. Just like Becky told me all about the night you and she shared a sleeping bag. Cornwall wasn't it?"
God how could she have! Neither Becks or I have never, ever mentioned that night to anyone else - Not even to each other. Neither of us has ever spoken of that night, not the morning after, or not once ever since.
My head starts to spin. I feel like I might pass out. I don't understand what is going on.
He whispers in my ear, "The thought of you and Becky together naked. Kissing . . . "
"We weren't naked." I almost whimper the words.
But the truth is I'd often remembered that night under canvas when Becky and I lay all snug in each other's arms, our bare breast pressing together, our l