"Tell me about your obsessions"
"I don't have any obsessions - I think it's unhealthy to be obsessive about anything"
"Okay then, what are you passionate about"
She tries desperately to find words to replace what she’s really thinking.
She sits back in her chair, crosses her arms, and fixes him with a mocking grin
"Well, I guess if you mean passion as a life long thing, then I’d say my ultimate passion would be… educating others in the importance of doing our bit to reduce global warming. What about you."
"You can't ask me that because that was MY question. Ask me a different one"
His bright green eyes bore holes into hers. She can think of a million questions she wants to ask him but that would mean crossing lines she has no intention of crossing. She feels like she’s on a boat in bumpy water. She tries to turn the conversation around and steer towards port.
"These are the most fantastic oysters I've ever had"
And they are.
He ignores the oyster comment.
"Are you happy with your life?"
He's asked this one before. It surprises her, but the answer she gives this time is very different to the reflex answer she provided him with back then.
"Well of course I'm happy with some aspects of my life. Aren’t you? We both work for a great company...we make decent money…we live in a great city…”
“Yeah sure. And don’t forget we’re both happily married. Which is why for the past 6 months, we haven’t been able to keep our hands off each other.”
She sips her wine and looks directly at him. Part of her wants to end this conversation, yet she’s fascinated by the line it’s taking.
“Look, we enjoy one another's company - that's obvious. You make me feel special in ways I need, and no-one else does that for me right now. You’re a great conversationalist, so you stimulate me mentally. You treat me like a princess and you have no idea what a turn-on that is. But we both know it can’t ever be any more than this…it would be too dangerous”
She hopes she sounds convincing. He slides his arms across the table and turns his palms upward. She places her hands in his. The tenderness of the gesture sends a wave of incredible wanton need through her body.
“Okay” he says. “I know the basic rules about right and wrong. We’re responsible for our own actions. But the thing no-one tells us is that lust and this incredible thing called desire overrides any kind of responsibility. You just have to be strong enough to resist it. Some of us are, and some aren’t.”
She doesn’t mean to let the words slip out – but they do.
“Obviously we aren’t.”
“Obviously. And you in the office next to mine doesn’t help. You give new meaning to the phrase ‘working hard all day’” he smiles.
At that moment, she can’t seem to stem the flow of want. The icy, creeping pain is so intense it grips her heart.
Tonight he’s brought along his big gun. He is full of questions and reflections, but tonight there is an insistent tone she has never noticed before. He re-loads and fires again.
"How do you manage to act so nonchalant and normal at work - this amazes me. You seem to do it so easily."
" It’s not easy. But what would you expect me to do? I suspect that half the excitement of all this is the pretence of normality. How do you do it…?”
“I think about signing contracts, whining clients and declining sales budgets. However, this pretence of normality is rapidly turning into sexually charged anticipation.”
Now that he’s said the word “sexually”, he’s flicked a switch that can’t be turned off. He beams a big grin at her, and his cupid-bow mouth curls upward, making her squirm in her seat.
“Enough talk” he says.
They leave the restaurant. It’s a balmy Spring evening and almost dark. He holds her hand as he leads her through the streets of The Rocks.
She allows herself to be swept down cobbled alleyways, up stone steps. They walk underneath the vast span of the harbour bridge. Trains and buses pass high above their heads. Ferries slither across the harbour, and after a while they reach a grassy park intimidated by old oak trees and ancient Moreton Bay Figs. Surrounded by antiquated sandstone buildings it’s as though they’ve strolled back into the 19th Century.
Peripherally she knows that there are people everywhere. But in the centre of her life right here, right now, there is no-one else. He steers her gently towards one of the big fig trees, resplendent with its natural draping branches, heavy with leaves and fruit. Under the tree, he holds her face with both hands and touches her lips with his. It’s an act so tender that for a moment she feels faint at the extraordinary softness. She moans into his mouth and takes his kiss. He slides his hand under her top and unhooks her bra. She feels her nipples tingle as his hands caress them. Heat radiates from her. He presses against her – his hardness causing sheet lightning throughout her body. She feels herself flutter open with hunger and anticipation.
He kisses her into a wanton mess.
"I love your body...I can't stop touching you" he whispers. The depth of her desire takes her breath away as she unzips him. Tonight there will be no teasing. No extended prelude to a final consummation of months of lust that until now, had never come to pass.
She knows that those months represented intense foreplay. Every encounter in the corridors in their office, where he would find a reason to brush against her, or deliberately touch her in some way. The after-work functions that would end in intense conversation, and eventually, in dark corners of quiet bars move to increasingly more intimate exchange. The last few months have shifted her equilibrium. Her safe, happy life has slid wrecklessly out of kilter with feelings she has never before experienced. She realizes she was wrong about obsession. If this isn’t obsession, she doesn’t know what is. This uncontrollable craving has baffled her. And for the first time in her life, she yearns for the illicitly unattainable.
For a fleeting moment she thinks of her husband at home with the children, and waits for a trickle of guilt or remorse to dampen the fire that is already consuming her. It doesn’t happen. She wants to board the roller coaster. She wants to know what it’s like to be frightened out of her mind…to scream with excitement and to hang on for dear life. She doesn’t want to feel safe any more. She knows she is finally ready for this. Then she begs.
“Please ...I just need to feel you inside me”
He braces her against the tree and lifts her. Instinctively she wraps her legs around him.
He plunges easily inside her and buries his face in her hair. Simultaneously, they sigh with the delicious relief. He punctuates his pleasure with short, erotic whispers while rhythmically gliding in and out of her. They flow into each other, rocking, surging, increasing and decreasing the rhythm like a furious tribal dance. As they move faster, harder, the world around them disappears and no-one exists but them.
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