April 15, 2007
Sam spotted her underwear almost a block away. Nine pairs of panties and three bras were strung up in the bush in front of her house like fairy lights. She and Nicole ran to collect them, their school skirts flapping around their knees like flags.
Nicole tugged Sam’s leopard print bikini bottoms off a particularly prickly twig. “Who would do this?”
“I’ll give you three guesses.”
Sam yanked her favourite hot pink hipsters from the bush, tearing the already worn elastic. “No, Peter Pan. Of course, it was Scott. Who else has stolen my underwear and enjoys tormenting me? It was only a matter of time until he combined the two.”
Nicole frowned. “But he would have been at school today, wouldn’t he?”
“I don’t know, all I know is he did it.” Sam jumped to collect her bright red push-up bra. “God, he’s a knob.”
“You’re not going to do anything back, are you? His mum’s still sick.”
Sam glanced up at the Sanderson’s house, large, gated and even more sinister than when they were kids. Inside those walls was Elaine Sanderson who’d they’d learned six months ago had terminal ovarian cancer. Sam hadn’t seen her in months, no one had. When she was first diagnosed, her dad had gone over every day with tea and cakes but now Elaine didn’t open the door for anyone.
“I know his mum’s sick,” she told Nicole. “That’s terrible and I wish she wasn’t, but why should Galahad be allowed to rummage through my underwear, willy-nilly?”
Nicole covered her hand with her mouth.
“You can’t seriously be laughing at ‘willy-nilly.’ You’re the fucking school captain!”
“It was the way you said it. Look, I know this is shit and gross but please don’t confront Scott about this? We’ll just…get a lock and put it on the inside of your window or something, okay?”
Sam looked up at the Sanderson house. What would it be like to watch your mother fade away? She hadn’t heard from hers in forever, but Scott had it worse. She wanted to talk to him about it, make sure he was okay, but the last time they'd seen each other he'd been with a group of his private school mates. One of them had whistled at her and they’d all laughed as she’d flipped them the bird. He didn’t want her help.
“Fine,” she told Nicole. “But you should put a lock on your window, too.”
“Why would I do that? Scott Sanderson doesn’t hate me.”
“Are you disappointed?” Scott asked as they walked through the car park. “Sorry, that’s a stupid question, of course you would be. Ignore that question.”
Sam looked across at him. He looked tense and seemed legitimately nervous about offending her. Jesus, did she come across as that hostile? She didn't want to, but she'd just snatched defeat from the jaws of victory and her hopes of tattooing at Fadeout were circling the can. Silver Daughter was still firmly in the red zone and she had no idea what to do next.
You could ask Scott Sanderson if he’d like to spank you? a small voice piped up. You get the release, he can punish you for that time you did those things that got him arrested. Everyone wins.
Everyone except common sense, Sam reminded herself.
“I’m fine,” she told Scott. “I was pretty invested in winning, but you have to be to stand a chance. It’s never a done deal. Travis impressed the judges more.”
“You should have won.”
He sounded so resolute, she smiled. “Thanks. I wanted to. Fadeout could have turned things around for the Silver Daughters.”
“You’re still in the ballot, though. The emcee said it’d be drawn this week.”
“Yeah, but there’s fifty other artists in there, too. I don’t like the odds.”
“You’ll get it. I can tell.”
"Become clairvoyant since we last knew each other, Galahad?"
Scott's expression remained solemn. "You deserve to be there. All you need is a chance and everything else will take care of itself.”
For a moment they stared at one another before looking away. Sam was grateful for the darkness, concealing the burn of her cheeks.
Is that what this is? Am I a chance you’re taking?
She couldn’t ask, though. Too much risk, not enough energy to handle the answer if it was no, if he’d just been roped into one of Tabby’s schemes. Out of any context, this Scott Sanderson was just a nice, handsome guy and she just wanted to go somewhere with a nice, handsome guy.
“I hope you’re right,” she said as they walked into the car park. “Otherwise I might have to start tattooing the Australian flag on xenophobes.”
“We wouldn’t want that.” His serious expression cracked as he gave her a wide, lovely smile. “So, where are we headed, Samantha?”
Oh, but how she liked the way he said her name, all three syllables of it in his crisp British voice.
“Anywhere but Trippy Taco.” Sam looked around. “Which one is your car?”
“Oh, right, sorry.” He pulled his keys from his pocket and the headlights flashed on an ink-black BMW.
“Nice,” Sam said, surprised as always to discover people actually owned luxury vehicles.
“Thank you.” Scott walked around the car and opened the passenger door. “After you?”
She shouldn’t have been surprised about the Beemer. Scott looked so natural standing beside his fancy car in his fancy suit, showing the subtle, glossy wealth Aaron and now her sister were practicing to attain. “It’s fine if you don’t want a lift,” Scott said. “We can walk or catch a c-c-cab—shit!”
“Galahad, it’s fine,” Sam said, a little unnerved.
He turned away, shaking his head. “I swear to Christ I never normally stutter. You don’t know how f-f-frustrating it is.”
From his fierce reaction, Sam believed him—it wasn’t typical, or at least it hadn’t been. She thought of the little boy at her window and her chest gave a tight spasm. “I want to get in. I was just thinking about Nicole’s fiancé, he’s always wanted a car like this.”
Scott took a deep breath, clearly trying to get himself back under control. “You don’t like him, I take it?”
“No. He’s a fucking toolbox.”
Scott laughed, throwing his head back so she could see the perfect angle of his jaw. She stared at it trying to manually slow the rapid pulsations of her heart. It didn’t work. She walked toward the BMW and climbed in. She settled into the seats, smelling leather and new car, cologne and a faint trace of laundry detergent.
Her ex-neighbor climbed in beside her and she smiled. She’d always liked riding in cars with boys, driving around listening to music, parking to make out on a hill. She had always been allowed to bring boyfriends home, but sometimes, just for the thrill of it she’d say she wasn’t, just so she and her date could stay on the street kissing where anyone could see her.
You mean where Scott Sanderson could see you.
Because she had wanted him to see her. She'd imagined his gaze on her in the dark, judging her for being so dirty and simultaneously wanting to be the one touching her. He wasn't the first person she imagined spanking her—that had been the bad guy from The Swan Princess, for some fucking reason—but he was the first ‘real world’ man she imagined blistering her ass—usually for whatever prank she’d last inflicted on him. When he left for London, she'd tried and, for the most part, succeeded in leaving him out of her BDSM fantasies. But now they had fresh blood pumping through them.
As she looked across at the man buckling himself in beside her, it was easy to see how she’d mentally made a disciplinarian out of Scott. He was classically handsome and simultaneously commanding and moderate—a kindly English professor who would have to be pushed and prodded and teased by a naughty, short-skirted student until he reached breaking point. He was, even when coating her garden path with homemade slime, virtuous and something about that just cried out for corruption. It was why she'd thought Galahad such a great nickname. The fact remained, she had no evidence he was actually dominant. She had probably been seeing things that weren't there.
“So, where would you like to eat? That is, assuming you’re hungry?”
“I am now I’m sitting down.” Sam glanced at her watch. “It’s almost midnight, how low are your standards?”
“I haven’t eaten since lunch, so pretty low.”
She smiled. “Then I know the perfect place.”
Ten minutes later they were sitting in the parking lot of the High Street McDonald’s, their order spread around them.
Sam unwrapped her cheeseburger. “Are you worried we’re gonna make the seats smell weird?”
“I’m too hungry to care, to be honest.”
Sam bit into her quarter pounder, trying not to think about her mother. The smell and taste of McDonald’s always conjured up Madeline DaSilva. One of her earliest memories was her mum taking her and Nicole through the drive-through and then the three of them eating parked beside a random football oval so no one would see them. Afterwards, she made them promise not to tell their dad where they’d been. It was a mean thing to do. Her dad wouldn’t have given a shit if he knew they’d eaten McDonald’s—her mum was just ashamed of what she liked. Or maybe she just liked keeping secrets. There was something to having a secret that brought you pleasure. She and Tab were never happier than when they were doing something they shouldn’t and Nicole had developed a lifelong addiction to nuggets that once saw her eat two dozen in one sitting.
“Can I ask you something?” Scott said, through a mouthful of fries.
“Anything,” Sam said, eager not to dwell on thoughts of her mother.
“How have you managed to stay off social media all these years? I don’t know anyone else who’s managed it. And I know some anarcho-communists.”
“I don’t know. It helps that I don’t have a phone.”
“I can barely believe that. Doesn’t it make you feel…” He shook his head. “I can’t think of the right word. Disconnected? Like no one can see you?”
Sam held up her arms. “Do I look like someone who escapes attention?”
“No, but then you are exceptionally beautiful.”
Unsure how to react to this unprecedented compliment, Sam stuck out her tongue. “I mean the tattoos, you posho charmer.”
Scott laughed as he unwrapped his cheeseburger. “Just speaking the truth. Seriously though, you’ve never had the urge to get Instagram or Facebook or anything?”
“I do get the urge,” she admitted. “I’m an exhibitionist at heart, it’s why I have tattoos. I want to show the world my stories and the symbols that mean things to me, but I want to reveal myself in a controlled way. On my terms. Being on the social media just feels like masturbating into a webcam—it’s so private and public at the same time.”
Scott chuckled. “Nice metaphor.”
“I mean it, I used to do burlesque but I still never felt as naked as I do whenever I see my picture on someone else’s Facebook or Twitter or whatever. It just feels like theft. Like people shouldn’t be allowed.”
Scott sat up straight in his chair. “Okay, backtrack with me for a moment—you used to do burlesque dancing?”
She laughed. “I did. I was a professional. Two shows a night, stripped off in the big martini glass and everything. It was only for a little while when I was twenty-two and only on the Melbourne scene. I was looking for something fun and I thought ‘why not?’ I love dancing.”
“I know you do,” Scott said and then cleared his throat. “Would you ever think about doing it again?”
“Right now, you mean?” Sam teased.
Scott grinned. “I wouldn’t say no, but I meant professionally.”
“Nah, it was fun at the time, but it was too much work.”
She could have said more. She could have told Scott how she’d unconsciously gone into burlesque to find the powerful, attractive man who’d know how to put her in her place in the bedroom. How it didn’t take long for those illusions to shatter, and once they did, burlesque lost most of its charm for her. She could have told him, but that would have been a bit heavy for a first date. Besides, the knowledge of her sexual modus operandi might give him ideas and he already had too many of those.
They ate in silence for a moment and it seemed to Sam that they were both weighing the tension in the air, the level of flirtation to which they’d quickly ascended. That was dangerous. She decided to offset this by asking what she always asked clients when conversation was flagging. “If you could have anything, right now, what would you want?”
Scott looked surprised by the question, but not put off. He stared into the middle distance for a moment and then smiled. “I’d want a puppy. A beagle puppy, like the one in John Wick.”
Sam grinned. “Oh, that was such a cute pup. Do you have room for a dog at your new place?”
“Yeah, it’s more complicated than that, though. I don’t know if I can handle the commitment. Besides, I’ve never owned a dog, I might be shit at it.”
He sounded so wistful, Sam had the sudden urge to hug him. “If it’s what you want, you should go for it.”
He shifted his shoulders uncomfortably. “We’ll see. What about you? What do you want?”
That didn’t take much thought. “I want Silver Daughters to be okay and not collapse due to my incompetence.”
“Oh, well, I’m sure you’re doing your best.”
“Sorry, that was an insufferably British response, wasn’t it?”
She smiled. “No, I was just thinking you sound like my dad. He was always on me about doing my best.”
“It’s not bad advice.”
“I know, it’s just…” Sam shook her head, gloomy again.
“I have no idea what I’m doing! I know how to tattoo, but the rest of it—advertising, managing, making sure everyone’s on the same page, it just feels like too much. Tabby and Nicole are here to help me now but soon they’ll be gone and I’m scared it’ll all go to shit.”
Scott put down his burger. “Samantha, trust me, no one knows what they’re doing. We’re all just making it up as we go along. Or copying people who also don’t know what they’re doing. You’re still showing up and trying to learn, that’s impressive.”
Sam felt tears prickle at the backs of her eyes. “Thanks.”
“Don’t thank me. You’re the one doing all the work.”
“I have to thank you. You’re letting me eat McDonald’s in your car.”
Scott took her hand and despite the cool of his fingers, a warm current rippled through her skin. “You asked for help when you needed it and you just came second in a huge competition. I don’t want to be presumptuous Sam, but I’m sure wherever your dad is, he’s proud of you.”
Dear lord. With that comment, and the skin-to-skin contact, the threat of tears became actual dripping reality. Sam swiped a palm across her eyes, embarrassed. “This is the second time I’ve cried in front of you. You must think I’m a mess.”
“I don’t. I’ve thought many things about you, but never that.”
Sam gave a watery grin. “Thanks, Galahad.”
“Samantha, do I have to remind you I’m not a virgin again?”
She laughed. “It’s just a habit now. Besides, it suits you.”
Scott ducked his head and even in the semi-darkness, Sam could see he was blushing. His hand tightened around hers. “Feeling better?”
“Yeah, much. Thanks.”
They smiled, then glanced away. Sam felt as though she’d just done something indecent—flashed him or said a dirty word. There was a kind of electricity in the air and it promised mischief. Their food was getting cold.
“Your fingers are kind of icy,” she said, because she needed to acknowledge his touch.
“They’re always like that.”
Scott frowned. “How?”
“We used to touch hands by accident when we played in my room, remember? When you first moved to Melbourne.”
The corner of Scott’s mouth quirked. “When we played ‘elves and knights and dragons?’”
“Yes. Though it’s a shame we never came up with a better name.”
“How could we? That one already had everything. Perfectly communicated what it was about.”
Sam smiled and without thinking, traced the skin on the back of his hand with her thumb, taking a weird pleasure in the feel of the fine hairs that lined it. It was a man’s fist, thick-knuckled and broad. She rubbed across his index finger, pretending she couldn’t feel him shudder. The moment was building now, rushing them toward the point where they’d have to do something about all this…everything. She listened quietly as Scott used his free hand to stuff the remains of their dinner into the brown paper bag it had come in. It was close now, very close…
Scott shoved the rubbish bag into the back seat. “You didn’t touch your chips. Were they cold?”
“I don’t like hot chips.”
He stared at her as though she’d just confessed to murder. “You, what?”
“I don’t like hot chips,” Sam repeated, smiling at his indignation. “It’s not the flavour, it’s the texture—they’re kind of mushy and rough at the same time.”
“Fuck right off!” Scott sat up ramrod straight. “How do you not like chips? What kind of human does that make you?”
“They’re just hot potatoes!” Sam protested. “What is this insane allegiance every human in the world has toward hot potatoes?”
“They’re delicious! Why did you order them if you weren’t going to eat them?”
“They’re part of the meal! You’d judge me if I just got two burgers!”
“Not as much as I’m judging you now.” He shook his head dolefully, as though she’d just left her empty shopping trolley in the middle of a parking lot. “This is so disappointing.”
She attempted to tug her hand from his, but Scott held on fast. “I think I’ll have to do something about this. For the good of society.”
“If you try to force-feed me cold chips, I will punch you in the Adam’s apple.”
But Scott didn’t appear concerned with avenging hot potatoes—his gaze was locked on her mouth. He leaned in, his scent so sharp it made her feel dizzy.
He cupped her cheek, his fingers bringing nerves she hadn’t known she had to life. “Yes?”
“I…I don’t know.”
It wasn’t true, she did know, but she couldn’t bring herself to ask.
“Samantha,” Scott said, his gaze fixed on hers. “I want to kiss you. Would you like me to do that?”
“I…yes,” she said, embarrassed she was being so bashful and unable to say anything more. It felt like she was going to burn into nothing if he didn’t kiss her.
“Okay.” Scott exhaled softly, then moved toward her.
The first time she’d flown in a plane, it had been at night. She and Nicole had gone to Sydney with school and as they circled the airport, Sam had marvelled at the lights below, a million pinpricks signaling life and technology. They felt like they were shining just to welcome her to this new and exciting place. As Scott’s lips found hers, she felt like Sydney at midnight. A million spaces electrifying to say ‘yes, I am awake and you are welcome here.’
The moment lasted as long as time, yet there did come a point when Sam felt a change, a hot hook behind her navel, the kiss becoming something more than a kiss. She pressed her legs together, shifting to move as close as their separate seats would allow. The leather stuck to her bare back but she enjoyed the sense that she was stuck there—held in position for Scott’s pleasure. Their kiss deepened and a nameless energy sizzled between them, nerve to nerve, synapse to synapse. The tang of chip-salt on their lips was tangible and Sam knew her feelings about McDonald’s were only going to get more complicated following this encounter. She wound her fingers through Scott’s hair, feeling an inner satisfaction at finally holding him that way. “God, your hair. It’s as thick as it was when you were a kid.”
“Is that a bad thing?”
“Not at all.” She leaned in for a kiss but to her surprise Scott pulled away, keeping their touch light, almost chaste.
“Not into tongue?”
He grinned. “I’m into it, but I’ve wanted to do this more than half my life. Give me a moment.”
Sam didn’t know what to say. Thankfully she didn’t have to say anything because Scott bent forward and kissed her again. This time his tongue slid between her lips and nine weeks of celibacy concentrated itself into a singular, desperate need. She all but launched herself across the console between them and clambered onto his lap.
Scott didn’t seem to mind. His hands found her thighs, urging her to sit flush against him. Sam arched her back, pressing her ass into his lap and her tits into his face. She was proud of how sexy she was being without honking the horn, until she felt her boot crunch on something. “Oh fuck. I think I just stepped on some sweet and sour—”
“I don’t give a fuck.” Scott reclined his chair so they were lying almost flat, sliding it backward so her ass wasn’t jammed up against the steering wheel.
“Thanks, but maybe we shouldn’t be—”
But Scott was already kissing her. It wasn’t the frantic kind of kissing that dissolved into second and third base. They kissed in slow, savouring laps, the kind of marathon make out that took Sam right back to her teenage years. Scott kissed her until her lips were swollen and other places were even more so. Her nipples chafed against her bra and she had to fight to keep herself from rocking against Scott’s hips like he was a merry-go-round horse. She didn’t want to push him and he seemed utterly content to kiss. Just when she was considering grabbing one of his hands and shoving it onto her boob, Scott tore his lips away from hers and nuzzled her neck, stroking his hands all over her skin, as though she were some kind of priceless artifact. “I can’t believe this is happening.”
“Really? I thought we were flirting quite a bit.”
He gave a strained chuckle. “I don’t mean like that. I meant because I’ve been imagining this forever.”
“What did you imagine?”
There was a sadness to Scott’s smile as he ran his fingers through her hair. “Let’s see, when I was eight, I wanted to touch your hair. I didn’t know why I wanted to touch it. I just wanted to touch it.”
He took both of her hands in his big cold ones. “When I was eleven, I wanted to hold your hand. Again, I wasn’t sure why, knew you’d never let me, but I wanted it all the same.”
He held them up and they both stared at the fists they’d made together. His skin was tanned and ruddy, hers was pale and covered in the tiny floral tattoos she’d gotten when she was twenty-six, for forgiveness, growth and regret.
Scott smiled. “At twelve I made a big leap. I wanted to kiss you and I wanted you to be my girlfriend.”
The honesty of it made something inside Sam twist. “You wanted that even though—”
“Yes,” Scott said, without a moment’s hesitation. He kissed her again. It was like their first, light and sweet and shy.
Sam smiled against his lips and pulled away. “What next?”
Scott smiled, a lazy seductive smile. “When I was thirteen, I heard the boys at school talking about kissing with tongues. At first I was so grossed out, and then the idea kind of grew on me. Then all I could think about was kissing you like that, all deep and wet. Like we were becoming one thing.”
“Want a demonstration?”
They kissed again and this time it was an unruly tangle of lust. Sam ground herself against him, feeling a hardness beneath his suit pants. Its length and heft had her pulling away and asking, “What next?”
Scott looked a little sheepish. “When I was fourteen…to be honest, all I wanted to do was see your tits.”
Sam laughed. “I was wondering when we were going to get to the dirty stuff.”
“We don’t have to talk about it.”
Sam ran her fingers through his thick hair, gripping the thick flax and trying to commit the sensation to memory. “Let’s talk about it, Galahad. Did you just want to see my tits, or did you want the whole show?”
Scott swallowed. “I wanted to see you naked about as badly as I wanted to breathe. That’s what it felt like some nights, that I couldn’t breathe. I’d lie in bed and think about how close you were. I’d think that if we could just talk, everything might start to make sense.”
They were close. She tried for a tension-alleviating joke. “Fourteen was the year my boobs came in. I’m assuming you know the exact day it happened?”
Scott gave a half-smile that said he knew what she was doing and was willing to allow it. “There wasn’t a single day, it was every day. Watching you was like watching a rose bloom, always something new and just as beautiful.”
The poetry of his words stung. Play the game, Galahad. Just flirt and fuck around like before.
She arched her back, her breasts swelling over the cups of her halter top. “You saying you didn’t notice my tits?”
“I wouldn’t pretend to be as chivalrous as that.” He swallowed hard. “They’re…flawless.”
“So touch them.”
He hesitated. “We’re in a car. Near a McDonald’s.”
“So? There’s no one around and the windows are tinted.”
“I still don’t think—”
Sam bent her body so that her breasts were inches from his face. “Welcome back to Melbourne, Galahad.”
The sound of his laughter was perfect, almost as perfect as the way he pressed a palm to her right breast, his skin cool, his touch heartbreakingly uncertain. She was so turned on from their kissing that her nipple strained against his skin and when he arched up and bit lightly at her neck, she shivered.
“It’s how touching should feel,” Sam sighed. “Why weren’t we doing this when we were teenagers?”
Instantly, she felt like an asshole but Scott seemed to have taken up her mission of avoiding the hard topics. He kissed her again, hot and deep and Scott became more confident, cupping and squeezing her breasts and tugging at her nipples through her top. The car was heating around them, the windows fogging. They were being ridiculous but Sam couldn’t bring herself to care. For the first time since Silver Daughters became hers, maybe the first time ever, she could think of nothing, she could only feel. The fucking boy next door, who knew he was such a good kisser?
Sam pulled away, knowing she was greedy, but needing more. “What did you want to do next?”
Scott’s smile flashed up at her. He gripped her hips and urged her against him. Sam locked against him in a pale imitation of sex. She felt the thick bar of his erection again and fought the urge to measure with her hands. “Did you want to do me, Scott? Did you want us to fuck?”
He shook his head. “When I was fifteen, all I wanted was to get you off. I wanted to make you come.”
“Most boys don’t think about doing that.”
“I did. I used to lie in bed every night with my head buried in a pillow and wank myself stupid thinking about you sitting on my face.”
Something about the image—the desperation, the unpolished teenage filthiness—sent a bolt through her middle. “Scott…”
“I wanted to taste you so bad, it hurt.” He kissed her again. His tongue curled and lapped at her mouth, she knew he was simulating what he wanted to do to her cunt. She pictured herself on her back, Scott between her thighs, not as they were now but back then. She imagined the sloppy fumbling, sheer enthusiasm making up for lack of skill. How she would have been powerless to resist orgasm, how it would have relieved both of their teenage tensions.
“Would you have wanted me to do the same?”
Scott gave a painful laugh. “That was sixteen, when all the boys at school were bragging about ‘this girl sucking them off and that girl sucking them off.’ I wanted it, Sam. I remember you used to go past sucking lollypops and I’d have to lock myself in the bathroom and take care of myself.”
Sam felt a thrill of guilt. “I did that on purpose.”
He made a snarling noise, gripping her ass cheeks. “I know you did. I used to go crazy thinking about it. I wanted to…and I knew I couldn’t. And I’d wonder if you were doing it for other guys and I’d have to make myself stop looking because I got too bloody jealous.”
It was the closest they’d come to discussing the truth of the matter, how he’d watched her and she’d torment him, the reality of their fucked-up situation. Complex guilt rose inside her, but thankfully, Scott swerved away from that hotbed of bullshit.
“I used to picture you doing it to me at school,” he said. “You’d meet me in the change room after football training. You’d kneel in front of me and give me everything you had.”
Sam pictured herself kneeling in front of him in the change room of a private boy’s school. She was old enough now that she could admit she’d been intimidated by his uniform, his poshness. She liked the idea of embracing the divide between them—of being that trashy public schoolgirl, servicing him. She lifted her hips, rubbing herself along his rigid cock. “Was anyone else watching?”
Scott’s hand gripped her hair, winding it tight. “The whole fucking team was watching. They stood around getting hard and wishing they were me.”
“Did I like it?”
The hand in her hair grew even tighter. “Of course you did. You liked it so much I had to punish you afterward, Samantha.”
This was danger, this was howling red alarms, but Sam couldn’t stop. She ground against him, rocking her hips in pursuit of a pleasure she’d never expected to find. “Please? Keep going?”
Scott tugged at her nipple, his other hand gripping the curve of her hipbone. “Do you want to know how I’d punish you, Samantha?”
Goosebumps rose along Sam’s spine. “Yes.”
“I’d bend you over one of the benches. You’d be wearing a tiny little skirt and I’d flip it up so we could all see your panties…”
“Then I’d slowly pull them down and I’d spank you. Hard. I’d make you count each strike and I wouldn’t stop until you were begging. And you’d like it because you’re a dirty little girl, aren’t you? You like being watched.”
His words made Sam shiver. She’d been told similar things before, but only because she’d planted the idea in her lovers’ minds. This, on the other hand, this was all Scott.
“I want that,” she said. “I want you to spank me. I want you to make it hurt.”
“I know.” Scott kissed her so deeply it made her head spin. It was insane that his mouth, the same mouth that had stuttered all throughout their childhood, could be so capable and lordly.
“Seventeen,” she panted. “When you were seventeen, what did you want to do to me?”
Scott grasped her hips, grinding her against his cock. “What do you think I wanted?”
“Did you want to fuck me?”
Scott’s smile exposed an incisor as white as a wolf fang. “Of course.”
“How did you want to fuck me?”
“On all fours.”
That wolfish smile flashed out at her again. “Oh yeah, I wanted to spank your arse and then fuck you from behind. I knew it would sting that way and I wanted to hear you moan. Have you beg me to keep going.”
Sam closed her eyes, imagining it, letting the heat rise up inside her.
Scott clearly interpreted this as discomfort because he raised his hands. “I’m sorry, this is getting a bit disrespectful—”
“Consent aside, I have never wanted a man to be respectful to me in bed in my entire life.”
Scott sat up, gripping her hips and stroking her along his still-clothed cock. “Good. Fucking good.”
Heat rose in Sam’s belly. This was going somewhere she hadn’t intended, her orgasm was rising inside her like bubbles in a boiling kettle. “Scott, I think I’m going to…if we keep going?”
She knew how ridiculous it sounded and half expected him to pause and question if she was serious. He didn’t. His hands tightened on her hips and he buried his face in her tits, kissing and sucking, his thick hair brushing over her skin. “Go there, Sam. Let me have it.”
She closed her eyes, trying to feel all of him at once. “What are you like when you fuck?”
Scott arched his head, pressing his teeth into her neck. His fingers gripped her thighs, rubbing her hard against his cock. “Work yourself on me. Work me over until you finish.”
Sam moaned, her body tightening…tightening…
“Don’t stop, dirty girl. Don’t you stop until you’ve fucking come.”
That did it, the posh demand. She rocked against him, her hands clutching her tits like some pornographic parody and she came, rubbing herself against the seam of his pants. “Scott!”
“There are people watching,” he muttered in her ear. “There are men watching you, Samantha. Wishing they could be where I am. How does that make you feel?”
She wasn’t sure, but it did wring a near-painful throb out of her pussy.
“More,” she said. “Scott, please tell me more?”
She expected him to say something about spanking, but he didn’t.
“You drive me fucking wild, Samantha,” he said, his voice thick with something both harder and kinder than anger. “You drive me fucking wild. You always have.”
Sam felt her clit burn with the sweet, pulsing pain of orgasm. She ground against Scott, feeling everything—soft hair, hard thighs, the immovable grip of his fingers. She moved so urgently she could feel the car rocking around them, but she couldn’t bring herself to care. Let them watch, let everyone watch her. Pleasure burst inside her as she cried out, her spine stiffening, her back arching up.
“That’s it,” she heard Scott mutter, his hands still gripping her thighs. “Good girl.”
She collapsed against him, everything inside as hot and eager as though she hadn’t come at all. Her orgasm had been intense but it was also a prelude to more. How couldn’t it be? They hadn’t even gotten to third base.
Scott nuzzled her neck, kissing and stroking, his touch as familiar as though they’d been doing this for a decade. “How was that?”
Sam swallowed, trying to clear her mind. “Good. Do you want to keep going?”
“More than anything, but the police might not be sympathetic to my cause. And those teenagers over there might be too sympathetic.”
Sam forced a laugh and tried not to take it personally. Scott had a valid point and she was twenty-seven years old. The last thing she needed to do was get arrested for public indecency. “We should go home, shouldn’t we?”
“We could go somewhere else?”
Scott said it lightly, making it clear she could say no. Sam considered the idea of going back to his place. To his fancy apartment. No, that would never work. Reality had too many gaps to slide inside there and her place would be even worse. She shifted against him, feeling uncomfortable. Already the illusion that settled over them from that first perfect kiss was fading into post hookup awkwardness.
It was just a fluke. A one night thing by the light of good old McDonald’s.
“I’ll take you home,” Scott said and he helped her clamber back over to her side of the car.
They were silent as he drove. The noiseless atmosphere wasn’t uncomfortable so much as it was loaded. Sam knew that if she turned to Scott and said ‘take me back to your place and fuck me’ he wouldn’t even brake for traffic. Maybe he knew that too and was deliberately avoiding conversation. They were being careful with one another in a way they’d never been as kids when they’d wound each other up like those clockwork frogs and let them flip and crash all over the place.
Scott had his radio tuned to the classic rock station her dad used to listen to. When the ephemeral sound of Stairway to Heaven filled the car, Sam’s insides swelled. Where was her dad? Climbing the stairway to heaven or struggling to stay away from home, even as he hoped it would make her grow the hell up.
“Are you okay?”
“Just this song,” she said, trying to be casual. “It reminds me of my dad.”
Wordlessly, he covered her hand in his, weaving their fingers together. It was embarrassing how nice it felt.
They drove in silence, listening to Led Zeppelin. When Scott turned the corner to her street, Sam laughed. “I was going to ask you how you knew the way, but that’s no surprise, is it?”
“I don’t know, I was surprised how well I remember it all; school and mum and...” The silhouette of his jaw tightened. “…everything else.”
Sam knew he meant the ugliness, the events they didn’t want to rehash. Wind. Put the frog down. Flip. “Are you glad you remember?”
He looked across at her. “I’m glad to be back.”
Fleetwood Mac’s Everywhere came on as he pulled up at her curb. The lights in Nicole’s bedroom were on and she was both annoyed and grateful her twin was home. It meant she couldn’t invite Scott up for a nightcap and an incredibly complicated screw. “Thanks for tonight. The orgasm and the burger and everything.”
“It was my pleasure. Sleep well, Samantha.” He leaned over and kissed her cheek, lingering just long enough for it to be tender. The skin where his mouth touched burned.
She’d nicknamed him Galahad when she was fourteen. She hadn’t known anything about Arthurian legend, she’d been riffing on the Monty Python and The Holy Grail idea that Galahad was a stuffy virgin. After Scott left for London she’d read up on the mythos of King Arthur and his knights. She’d been infatuated by the stories—especially the ones about Morgan Le Fay, of whom she’d get a tattoo when she was twenty. Sam had also discovered Galahad wasn’t a virgin, he’d just been gentle and self-sacrificing to a fault. She’d unknowingly chosen the perfect nickname for Scott. He’d always been well mannered and chivalrous, and he was being that way now. He was leaving the ball of their attraction in her court, even though he knew they both wanted more. The kindness of that made Sam’s breath catch in her throat.
“I know it’s a bad idea,” she said, before she could stop herself. “But would you like to see each other again?”
Scott blinked. “I…yes. Of course.”
Both exhilarated and embarrassed, she opened her car door. “Bye, Galahad.”
He clasped her hand, keeping their bodies close. “How can I contact you?”
“You could always climb up to my window like you used to.”
“Don’t tempt me. Seriously though, how do I call and arrange a date with a woman who doesn’t have a phone?”
Feeling mischievous, Sam smiled. “I’m sure you’ll figure something out.”
“I will. I warn you, we’re going on a proper date, though.”
“Like dinner and a movie?”
“Exactly.” Without ceremony he leaned forward and kissed her again—long and slow. Then he let her go, getting out of the car and helping her to her feet. Sam stepped onto the nature strip, feeling flattered and silly and a hundred less easily defined things.
“Goodbye,” she said, feeling just the opposite of that word.
Scott inclined his head. “I’ll see you soon.”
Sam toed off her boots and crept inside the house. She didn’t know if Nicole had seen her kissing Scott, but no good would come out of a confrontation this late at night. She stood in the hallway and listened. It sounded like everyone was in bed. Or Nicole was, she doubted Tabby was home yet. Sam snuck into the kitchen and put the kettle on. She was so hopped up on the night’s events, it felt like she’d never go to sleep. She’d hooked up with her old nemesis, and it had been…incredible.
You drive me fucking wild, Samantha. You always have.
She grinned stupidly, not wanting to think too hard and feel for a little while longer.
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