The Sinful Pleasures anthology was launched yesterday, so here's a bit from my story, The Pier by Night, a tale very much about the terrible weight of temptation. Old friends Maz and James are hanging out together in Brighton as their respective spouses attend a conference...
“What do you want to do now?” James asked, as they came level with another set of concrete stairs leading back up to the promenade. The question was lightly posed, but it seemed to carry an unconscionable weight. Maz looked sideways at him, rearranging the tickling strands of her hair back from her face one more time. Her body knew exactly what it wanted to do. Her body seemed to belong to some other person – someone with no memory, no ties, no guilt. Somebody who had lived all her life here, in the sun, on the beach, far away from any home or husband.
How easy it would be to do something irrevocable. Something that would tear down their carefully ordered world.
“Do you think they’ve got an aquarium?” she heard herself ask. “I like them.”
“It’s a seaside town. Of course they’ve got an aquarium.”
Maz and James took their time. She hadn’t been kidding about how much she enjoyed displays like these. The glowing pools drew her, and the fact that James was beside her only heightened the sense of dreamlike intensity. He would touch her occasionally – a hand on the small of her back, a finger brushing her wrist, the gentlest of clasps upon her upper arm as he pointed out a delicate seahorse among the reed grass. There was a quiet intimacy to it that made her shiver and blush and lose focus.
She could feel her whole body thrumming, as if she were lambent with arousal.
She enjoyed every moment, from the starfish in the touch-and-feel pools to the huge Japanese spider crabs from the bottom of the Pacific, their span of spindly legs metres across, that lurked in ultraviolet darkness. But her favourite was the jellyfish display. This room was dimly lit with glows of red and blue, the tanks bare except for their denizens pulsing delicately as they rose and fell, like phosphorescent thistledown, in the gin-clear water. No other tourists were around. She came to halt in front of one tank, fascinated by their utterly alien beauty, their slow dance emptying her mind like a meditation.
She felt James come up and stand behind her. He put his right hand on her waist, then the left found its place over her other hip. He stood quietly, so close that she could feel his body warmth on her back. They were in perfect symmetry.
Her mind was empty, and her body felt like it was shining in the dark.
Without a word, she covered his right hand with her own, and slid it up to cup her breast.
She heard him sigh under his breath. Then he moved against her, his chest to her back, his face stooped to her hair. And both hands on her breasts, squeezing softly, hefting their slight weight, thumbing her nipples. That friction through her clothes sent burrs of pleasure dancing across her skin, all the way to her core. Ridiculously, she wished she had more tit for him to caress – but it was a fleeting fancy, nothing more than a shadow of her sense of inadequacy. The hands that were supposed to touch Shauna were upon her, now; his body was warm against hers, his breath was shallow and pent against the whorls of her ear. She could feel herself melting under the heat of his regard, the warmth running right through her to escape in a trickle between her thighs. Her whole body softened into one thrilling ache – all except her nipples, which somehow, perversely, were pebbling as he teased them, until he was able to take each point between thumb and finger and roll them with exquisite boldness.
“Hhhhh,” she gasped.
The jellyfish hovered before her blurred vision, like angels falling through an alien heaven.
When he moved one hand around and trailed his fingers down the cleft of her cleavage, her legs nearly gave way beneath her. She relaxed back into his embrace, surrendering. Then he turned her in his arms and pulled her close.
She lost sight of the jellyfish. His shadow engulfed her and his lips moved over hers. Soft and warm, he kissed her. It was almost chaste, at first. Then he broke the seal of her lips with his tongue and their kiss, though gentle and slow still, became something not in the least platonic. Through his clothes, she felt the press of his hardening cock.
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