Skin of the Night
§ 3. Won't You Come In?
© Copyright C.K. Bennett 2022
His statement expelled the air from my lungs, but I couldn’t take my eyes off him. He had me trapped in his gaze.
Astonished, I asked, ‘Are you always this crude?’
‘Sorry,’ he apologised insincerely and put my cocktail back on the table. ‘I can’t seem to think straight in your presence. My tongue travels before my mind.’
The edge of his mouth tucked up to form a crooked smile, and I recognised it as the one he had already presented several times. It was unique to him, and a testament to his cunning and calculating persona. The shape of it whispered tales of his intellectual conquests, of how sublimely he outwitted any opponent. Anyone could have been fooled by the invincibility it exuded, and yet, despite this, I thought I detected a hint of veiled vulnerability, and it intrigued me.
‘Anyway,’ he interrupted my analysis, ‘though I haven’t been acting my age, I’m twenty-eight. How old are you?’
Since I saw no harm in sharing this detail about myself, I said, ‘Twenty-three.’
‘So you’re in your—’
‘Ah-ah,’ I interrupted. ‘My turn.’ I pointed at my chest and his eyes followed. It occurred to me then that I had directed his gaze straight to my shy amount of cleavage. Immediately, heat flooded my face, causing a crimson blush to penetrate my faint layer of make-up. I hurried to lower my hands to my lap. William seemed equally bothered, his gaze veering to Olivia and Andrew.
Was it possible that he harboured at least a modicum of respect for me? I had just provided him with a golden opportunity to ogle my breasts, but instead, he had hastily looked elsewhere. It increased my faith in him. Perhaps he wasn’t so terrible after all.
‘First impressions,’ he muttered. ‘They can be surprisingly difficult to disprove.’
I chuckled. ‘Spoken like a true solicitor.’
He gave me a vague smile. ‘Your turn, you said. What would you like to know?’
Where to begin? Glancing at Olivia and Andrew, I was reminded of his companion. They seemed like good friends, and that made me curious. ‘How long have you known Andy?’
‘My whole life. My turn.’ He grinned. ‘What are your interests, aside from medicine?’
That was a substantial question. ‘Er, I have eclectic tastes, so I find that question too vast to answer. You’ll have to filter it down.’
‘What do you spend your spare time doing?’
I scoffed. ‘Spare time? What spare time?’
‘Have you got a boyfriend?’ he suddenly tossed at me.
I stiffened. ‘That’s none of your business.’
A lascivious gleam entered his arresting eyes, and it captured me wholly. All I wanted was to explore the dancing blue depths. In so many ways, he seemed like a promise of pleasure. Given his level of self-assurance, I couldn’t imagine that he would disappoint between the sheets, so why did I deny myself the chance to explore his potential?
His smile turned crooked again. ‘I assure you, darling, it is.’
Unsure of what he meant, I looked briefly away. I had a vague idea, but I wanted to be certain. Frankly, I wanted to hear him confess it.
‘And how is that?’
‘Because I’d like to see you again.’ His smile faded. ‘So, if you’ve got a boyfriend, I’d prefer to know. I’ll have to reconsider my tactics, then.’
I gaped. ‘Reconsider your tactics?’ I echoed disbelievingly. ‘Are you trying to say that if I do have a boyfriend, you won’t respect it?’
‘No, I’ll respect it – physically.’ Glancing away, he murmured, ‘But I’ll try and tempt you to leave him.’
‘You’re ruthless,’ I said. Was he drunk?
‘Which you need,’ he claimed with a smirk.
I frowned. ‘You don’t even know me.’
‘No, I don’t, but I’ve got a vague idea of what I’m dealing with.’ He shrugged. ‘My intuition tends to serve me well.’
I blinked at his cockiness. ‘Are you drunk, Will?’
His brows furrowed. ‘What makes you think that? No. I’ve had two cocktails.’
‘Because your head is messed up.’
‘You’ve messed it up.’
I snorted. ‘That’s ridiculous. What a cheesy line.’
‘Better than “have we met?”, though.’
I glared at him, and he glared straight back. Eventually, he tilted his head and watched me as though he were trying to solve an enigma.
‘If you’d actually had a boyfriend,’ he said with narrowed eyes, ‘I doubt you’d allow me to keep my arm round you like this, much less let me pour your drink into your mouth. Then again, you could just be a partner prone to cheating, but I seriously doubt you’re the type. You seem too righteous.’
I leaned forward and grabbed my espresso martini. ‘I don’t see why we’re even entertaining this question. You said you’d prefer to know because you’d like to see me again, but in case you’ve already forgotten, I live in Edinburgh.’
‘Sure, but for now you’re still in London. How long are you staying?’
‘Will,’ I shook my head, ‘I’m not going to set aside time to see you. I’m here to spend time with Livy.’
‘Who is obviously interested in getting laid.’ He jerked his head in Olivia’s direction. Looking over, I saw her laughing at something Andrew must have said. ‘I’m sure she’d appreciate it if I took you off her hands, at least for tonight.’
Though it had been on the cards, his proposal still took me by surprise. I faced him, and his eyes were ablaze – two blue flames, wild in their craving for me.
Under the dim orange light, he resembled something of the divine. A Greek god, perhaps, and I was only a mere mortal. How was I supposed to resist such celestial temptation? I was submitting to his power more by the second.
I struggled to fathom the reality that I had only met this man mere moments ago. Our chemistry was clearly off the charts.
When I had spent too long contemplating his offer, his impatience got the better of him. ‘Listen, we can either spend all night bickering, or we can spend this ridiculous energy in my bed. It’s up to you.’ His tone was clipped while his gaze burrowed into mine. ‘Either way, you would be doing both yourself and your friend a favour by joining me back at mine.’
Pink and breathless, I looked away from him. This man surely didn’t beat around the bush. He hadn’t even kissed me yet, and now he was suggesting sex? What sort of a scene was he into? No-strings-attached, I reckoned. That notion filled me with relief, because I didn’t have the capacity for romance at this point in my life.
To buy more time, I raised my drink. ‘I’m not nearly drunk enough for this,’ I said and filled my mouth with the liquid courage. Amused, William watched me drain the remaining contents.
‘I fancy my women responsive, Sandra, so please keep the intake to a minimum.’
‘You’re speaking as if I’ve agreed,’ I said and put my empty glass on the table.
Just as I was about to grab my next drink, a large and unfamiliar hand clasped my jaw. Turning my face toward him, William leaned in until our noses touched. Only then did he pause his advances.
My breath abandoned me, my heart throbbing with bittersweet delight. It was begging me to give in, to allow myself a night I would never forget. Besides, it wasn’t like I hadn’t had a one-night stand before. Hell, I often preferred them. The less they knew, the better.
I wasn’t at a point in my life where romantic companionship was even remotely appealing. It was far too time-consuming a venture. I had my studies to mind, my ambitions to realise. I was a millennial woman, and fiercely independent at that. Intellectual pursuits were my main priority.
However, I was still a sexual creature. I had needs. While I had a friend – Aaron – to fulfil them, my casual arrangement with him allowed me to have one-night stands, which I occasionally indulged in. Tonight, William wanted me to treat myself to another one. So why was I being so difficult? Because he had been an arsehole at first? What did that matter if I wasn’t going to see him again? Plus, he had apologised, and now he wanted to make amends – properly.
The light-blue colour of William’s eyes struck through my defences as he gently released my jaw. Trailing his thumb across my cheek, he buried his hand in my long, wavy brown hair.
His voice was as mollifying as a lullaby when he said, ‘I want you to know that if you decide to join me, I’ll have no expectations. I’d be happy just to talk all night.’
My heart throbbed again. Seduced by the sensual promise that basked in his eyes, I gave him a faint nod.
‘I’m going to kiss you,’ he warned.
Utterly at his mercy, I swallowed. I couldn’t move another muscle. He had me completely spellbound.
‘Okay.’ It was barely a whisper that escaped my mouth.
A lopsided smile claimed his lips, and then he pressed his soft mouth to mine. I marvelled at the taste of him. Only seconds into it, I knew he was the best kisser I had ever encountered. His lips moved tenderly across my own – gently at first, until his lust overruled his resistance. With his hand in my hair, he brought me closer, his other arm coming around me.
He pressed me tightly against him, kissing me like I’d never been kissed. It set my heart on fire. No words could ever match the immense feeling. Kissing someone had never felt so right. The mere motion of his lips overwhelmed me; he made me feel like the most precious thing alive, as if he couldn’t bring himself to stop until he had devoured all of me. Craving more, he pushed his tongue into my mouth to explore the rest of me, and I welcomed him with eagerness.
When the space between my thighs tingled, I realised why this particular kiss affected me so. For the first time in my life, kissing someone didn’t feel like a mandatory part of seduction. I actually wanted this. I wanted to kiss him – I was desperate to. In fact I never wanted to stop.
But he pulled away far too soon. Breathless, he looked at my drinks on the table and said, ‘We’re leaving. Non-negotiable. I’m not wasting another second.’ He clasped my hand and stood up, dragging me up with him.
‘I – okay.’ I searched for his eyes. Something was off about him. His gaze was fleeting, and he looked a bit lost, even dazed.
It surprised me. He didn’t come across as the kind of man who would react so profoundly to a mere kiss. Taking his expertise of the art into account, I was confident he had kissed his fair share of women.
Was it possible that the same flame that had spread through my system like wildfire had also ignited in him?
He started toward the exit, meaning we would have to pass the bar where Olivia and Andrew sat chatting. Olivia studied us, seemingly confused. Was it the look on my face? It had to be.
‘We’ll be off,’ William announced and released my hand to wrap his arm around my waist.
Olivia laughed. ‘Sandra, you devil. I knew it.’
‘Devil indeed.’ William shot me a look that I didn’t understand.
Concerned, I asked Olivia, ‘Will you be all right by yourself?’
There wasn’t a chance I would leave her behind if she didn’t approve. If that meant losing my one shot at a sensational night, then so be it. My duty as her best friend would always come first.
She eyed me knowingly. ‘Yes. You, on the other hand, I’m not so sure about.’
‘I’ll take good care of her, Livy. You have my word,’ William said, suddenly the gallant man again, rather than the greedy, libidinous and domineering man I had just been kissing. I quite fancied them both.
‘You’d better. I know who you are, should she happen to disappear by the morning,’ Olivia threatened.
‘She might be sleeping until dusk, seeing as she won’t be getting much rest tonight, so don’t be concerned if she doesn’t answer her phone first thing in the morning,’ William replied.
Andrew chuckled beside my gaping blonde friend. ‘He’s a bit of a character, but you get used to him. Tad blunt is all.’
‘Just a tad,’ I said under my breath.
‘Get your minds out of the gutter,’ William said, looking between them. ‘I didn’t specify why she won’t be getting much rest. For all you know, we’ll be talking all night.’
Olivia raised a brow. ‘Sure. Talking. With your bodies.’
‘That’s generally what people use when they talk, yes.’ William grinned.
Olivia rolled her eyes. ‘You’re definitely a lawyer.’
William chuckled. ‘Anyway, it was lovely to make your acquaintance, Livy. I hope we’ll meet again.’ He leaned in and pecked her cheek. ‘You’re a sweet girl. Again, I’m sorry about earlier.’
‘Y-yeah. Me too.’ She met my eyes with evident concern, and I knew why. ‘I hope we’ll meet again,’ he had said. I hoped it was only his courteous side speaking, because as far as I was aware, this was a one-time thing. Had I jumped the gun by assuming that no-strings-attached was mutually understood?
‘I’ll see you later, Andy,’ William continued to his friend, who responded with a perceptive smirk.
‘Yeah. Have fun.’
Without replying, William dragged me toward the cloakroom, and his impatience was clear from his strides.
‘Do you live nearby?’ I asked.
‘Yes,’ he said. Then I heard him murmur, ‘And thank fuck for that.’
§ § §
‘Have you got the time?’ I asked when we had walked along the streets of Soho for a few minutes. Raising the hand that was holding mine, William eyed his watch. I swallowed as I recognised the brand – a Rolex.
Glancing at his profile, I realised that he oozed upper-class wealth, and I wasn’t enchanted by it. Rich people could sometimes be dreadfully arrogant with their aristocratic tendencies. But, since I wasn’t one for prejudice, I wouldn’t let his probable fortune define my impression of him. Besides, Jason came from a wealthy background as well, and he was as close to an ideal human being as could be.
‘Ten to ten,’ William said and tugged me closer.
‘Ten to ten? I was only there for about an hour?’ I was astounded. Had he managed to seduce me that fast? How licentious of me – and I wasn’t even tipsy!
Seemingly amused, he looked at me from the corner of his eye. ‘If it’s any consolation, I didn’t leave you much choice.’ He rounded a corner to enter Wardour Street.
I frowned at myself. Was I really so desperate for him that I couldn’t last much longer than an hour? Poor Olivia. I hoped I hadn’t ruined her evening.
‘Do you think Andy will take good care of her?’ I asked, worrying. ‘I feel like I’m being a bad friend.’
‘Again, I didn’t leave you much choice.’
I halted promptly. ‘We ought to head back.’
William chuckled. ‘I disagree. You’re honestly doing her a favour.’
‘But what if I’m not? What if Andy rejects her and she ends up alone tonight?’
From the wrinkles that formed across his nose, I got the impression he could understand where I was coming from but, for selfish reasons, felt disinclined to oblige.
When he didn’t reply, I withdrew my hand from his grasp. ‘You said yourself that you expect Andy will get back with his girlfriend. Don’t you think he’ll reject Livy because of that? He’s probably not ready to sleep anybody else, especially so soon after spending an entire decade with his ex.’
A sigh poured from William’s mouth and his shoulders sank. He studied me for a while.
‘I’m tempted to lie because I’d like to be alone with you,’ he confessed. ‘But, at the same time, I wouldn’t want it to bite me in the arse later on, so I’ll be honest. Andy’s unlikely to sleep with your friend. He’s still in shambles over Chloe.’
I huffed. ‘Right. Well, then . . .’ I dropped my gaze to my feet. Had we really met our end already? It seemed so abrupt. ‘It’s just, I’d like to be alone with you too, but I don’t think it’s right to—’
‘I get it,’ he said. ‘You’re a good friend. I’d have done the same.’
I looked at him, my lips protruding. Since I was unsure about how to proceed, I resorted to admiring how beautiful he was. I could hardly believe I was about to turn him down. Then again, for the sake of friendship, there were few sacrifices I was unwilling to make.
‘I’ll walk you back,’ he said after a short silence.
‘That’s not necessary.’
‘I insist. London’s not safe at night, especially for women like yourself.’
An idea occurred to me then. ‘You know what?’ Reaching into my purse, I fished for my phone. ‘I could always just call her.’
‘A perk of the twenty-first century,’ William joked and earned himself a smile.
I hurried to locate Olivia’s number. While she was slow to pick up, at least she did.
‘Hello? Is everything all right?’ she asked.
‘Hi, yes. Don’t worry. Quick question, though.’
‘Yes? Did you forget to bring condoms?’
‘What? No.’ I frowned. ‘Listen, are you absolutely sure you won’t mind if I—’
‘Oh, for heaven’s sake. We’ve already been over this.’ I could hear her eyes roll.
‘It’s just that—’
‘Are you still with him?’
‘Then don’t keep the poor man waiting!’
‘But Livy, there’s something you ought to know first.’
‘I don’t think Andy’s interested in the same as you.’
She was quiet for a beat. Then I heard her murmur to somebody, ‘I’m so sorry. Please excuse me for a minute.’
A few seconds of silence elapsed before her voice returned. ‘Hello, Cara?’
‘Yes, I’m still here. Did you hear what I said?’
‘Yes, but so what?’
‘What do you mean “so what”?’
‘Why should that matter?’
‘Well, wasn’t your aim tonight to . . .’ I paused and stole a glance at William. Lowering my voice, I continued, ‘Find a man?’
‘Oh my God. Cara, I’ll have plenty of opportunities to find a rebound in the future. I love you for caring so much, but I wouldn’t dream of getting in your way. Besides, I’m genuinely enjoying myself. Andy’s a really sweet guy, and he’s actually hilarious. To be perfectly honest, I started friend-zoning him even before you called to warn me.’
Unsure of her sincerity, I asked, ‘Really?’
‘Really. In fact, it dawned on me while we’ve been chatting that I don’t need to sleep with a stranger to reinstate my status as a single woman. What I need is an actual connection with someone. A one-night stand isn’t going to provide that, and it isn’t going to help me get over Colin, either. Frankly, I think sleeping with Andy would’ve made me feel like shit. I’d feel used again, which is the last thing I need right now. Only a new, genuine connection is going to help me get over Colin.’
Impressed with her rationale, my eyebrows arched. ‘Points for introspection, Livy. I’m glad you’ve got such a healthy mind.’
‘Are you being sarcastic?’
I tittered. While I had a habit of being sarcastic, I wasn’t now. ‘No. I’m being sincere. I’m impressed.’
‘Thank you! Honestly, I’m a bit impressed myself if I can say that.’
‘You can.’ I chuckled.
‘Well, then. With that out of the way, you can stop worrying about me. I’ll be fine. Get back to your man. I’ll want to hear every single detail in the morning.’
‘Okay. Speak soon, then.’
‘Yes. Love you.’
‘Love you too.’
As soon as I rang off, I gave William a grin and stuffed my phone back into my purse. ‘She doesn’t want him that way either, apparently.’
His responding grin far outmatched mine. ‘Problem’s solved, then, I take it?’
‘Seems that way.’
‘Brilliant. She say why?’
‘Well, like Andy, she’s recently split from her partner as well.’
‘Now, then. Where to?’
‘Right this way.’ He reached for my hand again. As soon as our skin made contact, my heart contracted in the most peculiar way. I couldn’t remember having experienced a similar sensation in all my life. It was almost painful in its intensity.
‘Besides,’ I said once we started walking, ‘I’ve no idea what it’s like to endure a break-up, so I’m sure Livy appreciates speaking with somebody who understands, even if they don’t go into it.’
‘You’ve never had a boyfriend?’ William asked, sounding shocked.
I shook my head. ‘Nor am I looking for one.’
‘Why not?’ His tone was slightly odd, as if he was feigning nonchalance.
‘Because I don’t have the time that’s required for a happy one.’
I grimaced. ‘I’m very dedicated to my studies,’ I said. ‘So, firstly, I can’t afford to be preoccupied with a man, as I’m sure it would divide my attention. Secondly, he wouldn’t deserve to get only leftover scraps of my time, which is what would happen.’
Glancing up, I thought William looked quite impressed with my reasoning.
‘Is that the real reason you’re reluctant to see me again?’
Once more, his directness caught me off guard.
‘You’re very forward,’ I said.
My heart slowed as I gazed blankly ahead. He was putting me on the spot, and it wasn’t comfortable. I worried my honesty would change his mind, but I decided to share it anyway.
I could, of course, have resorted to a lie, but I wasn’t in the habit of mistreating people. If his feelings were under threat of being toyed with, he deserved to know. I would have wanted as much for myself.
‘I see.’ William nodded. ‘And it’s never occurred to you to let your suitors be the judge of that?’
‘Of whether they’d be content with only “leftover scraps” of your time.’
Facing him, I stopped walking for a split second. ‘I – no. Why should I? Wouldn’t that involve inviting the risk in the first place?’
He shrugged. ‘I suppose. Then again, the reward you’d reap would be invaluable.’
‘But the odds of achieving that are astronomical.’ I shook my head. ‘I really don’t think it’s the best tactic.’
‘And there’s no way I can convince you otherwise?’
I noticed that he was consciously keeping his gaze from meeting mine.
I sighed. He might be the most alluring man I had ever met, but I was a rational woman; I knew meeting him again would be sealing my doom. He was a little too alluring.
I could manage one night without getting attached to him, but another was a different story entirely. My attraction to him was too immense to ignore. I had never been so captivated by another individual before, and surely not so fast. It made me fear his power over me. If we met again, I didn’t trust that I would be able to resist growing fond of him; I didn’t trust myself not to give in to temptation. I would want to explore more of him – every alley of his enigmatic mind, and every fibre of his mouth-watering anatomy.
I couldn’t have that. Not now. I didn’t have the capacity for it. I was a top student. Becoming infatuated could ruin that, and I wasn’t about to take the risk. Moreover, I wasn’t interested in making a commitment to someone when I knew I would fall short of their expectations – and, even in the event that I didn’t, my reverence for them would tell me that they deserved better than what I could offer.
‘I’m afraid not.’
William chuckled, but it was a mirthless sound. He stopped walking and faced me. ‘Well, I’ll try either way. For starters, I both admire and respect your dedication to your studies. If you agree to meet me again, you’ll find that out for yourself. I wouldn’t dream of getting in the way of your education.’
Somewhat surprised, I stared up at him. ‘I appreciate that, but I’m afraid it’s out of your hands. You can’t decide how I respond to something – you could get in the way even without meaning to, because I’d simply care about you too much.’ I shrugged. ‘I’m sorry, but this is how I’ve handled it my whole life, and I’m not inclined to change my ways for you.’
His jaw flexed as vague irritation swelled in his features. Letting go of my hand, he glared away.
‘I must admit, I’m a bit shocked your sole intention tonight is to use me for your own sexual benefit. What the hell is that all about?’
Guilt flooded my body. Unsure of what to say, I fell silent.
‘Please don’t tell me it’s due to some discreditable idea of feminism, because that’s nothing short of toxic feminism, and you’re doing every feminist – myself included – a great dishonour and disservice by acting like it’s not.’
‘What do you mean by that?’
He looked at me. ‘I’m asking you if you feel justified in objectifying men because some of us treat women that way.’
I inhaled sharply. He couldn’t have been more wrong. With eyes that sought acquittal, I replied vehemently, ‘No, of course not. It’s got nothing to do with that – I don’t mean to objectify you. I just assumed that sex with no strings attached was mutually understood and agreed upon.’
‘Well, you assumed wrong,’ he retorted. ‘I mean, for fuck’s sake – I thought I made myself clear when I said I’d like to see you again.’
My lips quivered. I could scarcely believe I was having such a candid argument with a stranger.
‘Well, I’m sorry. I do’ – I paused and motioned to him – ‘fancy you. I’m just not interested in anything more than one night.’
He was silent for a beat, contemplating. This was it, I realised.
‘I suppose I’ll just have to fuck you so well that you’ll change your mind,’ he finally asserted.
Air stormed out of my lungs like somebody had just punched me in the gut. I doubted I would ever get used to the shocking, yet somehow arousing, effect of his vulgar tongue. Frankly, I wondered at that moment just what else his tongue was capable of.
‘But if you don’t mind my saying,’ he continued before I could catch my breath, ‘I think you’re being ridiculous. Law isn’t an easy path of education either, and I completed my degree at Cambridge. Even so, I still found time for romantic endeavours. That should speak volumes.’
I gaped. He had studied at Cambridge? No wonder his intellect had impressed me earlier.
Smirking, he put his forefinger below my chin and closed my mouth.
‘Something to consider,’ he said. ‘You can gape later, when we’re naked in my flat.’
The mouth of this man rendered me speechless. It must have earned him a slap or two.
He didn’t bother waiting for my response. He started toward the entrance of an elegant white building with warehouse-style windows. A Starbucks dwelled on the ground floor. Was he a regular there?
I looked down the busy street, seeing herds of people outside a great number of pubs. It must get noisy here during the weekends, I thought.
He entered a code on a keypad to unlock the front door and stepped aside to let me enter. As if I had walked into a past era, I gazed around the splendid reception area, where marble made up the floor and walls.
He didn’t reply. His hand on my back, he ushered me to the lift and pushed the button. The doors opened immediately. On a keypad inside, he pressed the digits of a code again. As we watched the doors slide shut, I mentally thanked myself for having shaved earlier that day.
Gravity tugged at my gut as we rode up, but it was nothing compared to the magnetism the man beside me exuded. He seemed electric, and it was making me increasingly nervous. Looking over, I saw that he was completely composed. Was I the only one struggling to resist sexual urges? It seemed that way, and it bruised my ego so much that a pout dominated my face.
‘I hope you’re not a Patrick Bateman,’ I said, hoping to lighten the atmosphere. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw his lips twitch.
‘An American psycho? How could I be? I’m not a Yank.’
He grinned. ‘I’m afraid the only thing I’ve in common with Mr Bateman is a taste for the finer things in life.’ To indicate what he meant, he lowered his hand from my back and gently patted my bum.
A second later, we arrived at our destination – the top floor. The doors parted and revealed a vestibule, where a dark brown entrance door interrupted the wall straight ahead. With a gentle shove, William encouraged me to approach it.
Here as well, a code was required to unlock the door. He entered it quickly. Turning the handle, he revealed a marvellous and spacious flat. Complementing the front door, the floor was made of dark brown wood. Surrounding it were cream-coloured walls decorated with a fair number of contemporary paintings. The interior was undeniably modern with a touch of old-fashioned moments.
He stepped in first to hold the door for me, and when his eyes met mine again, they were lit with desire alone.
‘Please, Sandra, won’t you come in?’ he asked, and his voice was an invitation in and of itself.
coming soon . . .