The rain started about halfway down South Bank, when the stalls (currently it was an attempt to showcase London’s gardens with a series of open plan greenhouses) started to thin out, to shift from artistic to culinary, before petering away entirely, leaving the pair with nothing but concrete and paving slabs.
Being next to the Thames when it was raining was an odd cousin of being snowblind. Everything became drained from colour, until it was grey water next to grey riverbanks, grey walkways and grey buildings. Perhaps, if you were lucky, there were a few trees the green of oxidised copper, but even that seemed just a trick of the light. They weren’t holding hands, but he pulled her a little closer all the same, taking advantage of the necessity of the umbrella.
Two hours ago, before the date had begun, she’d made resolutions. Touching permitted, but any kissing awarded only if the proper criteria were met. He would have to be charming, decent, and show a flair for the right kind of cruelty before her lips went anywhere near his. Anything more than that would have to wait for another day, if one was warranted.
For the first thirty minutes or so, she’d been pretty happy with her forethought. He was a psychiatrist, and he had that air about him. Aloof, interested, but ever so slightly detached; his hands would never quite stop moving, always adjusting his glasses, or correcting the orientation of his cufflinks. In a way it was endearing, like he was grooming himself so that he remained at his best throughout the evening. But it also gave her something to fixate on, and kept her on track.
But he had to go and spoil things, didn’t he. Had to stand up after dinner, smile, pay the cheque and then abuse her stride so that he could step into her, his hand brushing against her hip, lips grazing her earlobe. It hadn’t been a kiss, but it was a close enough contact to send thrills through her, make her pause and squirm on the spot. He hadn’t even said anything, the fuck.
And then they’d gone for the walk, in comfortable silence, along the bank of the river that cleaved through London with a complete lack of urgency. At the beginning of the evening she’d laughed at him bringing the umbrella, made some quip about him being a latent pessimist, but when they’d started to get peppered with drizzle she had only blushed, thanking him with a look at she slipped underneath the canopy.
"You think a lot." She almost didn’t hear him, a mixture of wind and rain taking away his words so that they drifted towards her from the wrong direction. Disorienting.
He turned to look at her, dipped down a little, a delightfully patronising little movement. He was smiling.
"I said. ‘You think a lot’. I was commenting on the fact that you’ve been staring off into nothing for about five minutes, and you keep fussing over the hem of your skirt."
"Oh, I wasn’t meaning it negatively. I just wanted to offer you the chance to divorce yourself from dwelling, if you were interested."
What the fuck was he on about. She looked up at him, the energetic movement of his eyes, and the way he, almost imperceptibly, licked his lips as she caught his gaze.
"Ok, I’ll bite. What’s your cure for dwelling?"
His smile grew at that. He looked like he’d won, as if her just asking him what he had in mind meant that she’d consented. Her resolutions flashed up in her mind, but she shooed them away in the name of curiosity.
"Come along then." The hand at her hip moved around to become the hand in her hand, and he half jogged forwards, towards the looming mass of Blackfriars, a dark smudge among the grey.
It didn’t take them long to reach, and it didn’t take long before her curiosity spiked again. He wasn’t taking her indoors, or through the bridge, but under it, away from the path and into the shade.
"What’s down here?" She asked, the uncertainty in her voice making him laugh.
"Privacy." He stated with a smile, before finally stopping, turning to face her. She bit her lip. She couldn’t help it.
"You know, you drag a girl under a bridge she can’t help but wonder if you’ve got a mind to introduce her to a troll." He laughed again.
"No, not today. No trolls, just me." He waved a hand in her direction. "And you, of course."
There was suddenly a tension between them. An expectation of… something. A kiss, maybe. Or some sort of contact. She could feel it start to slip, go from tension into something more slack, an awkward silence. She took half a step towards him.
"Have you ever.." He managed to get out before she grabbed his face with her hands and planted the kiss on his lips, soft at first before he took the initiative and pulled her to him, displaying an aggression she’d been worried he didn’t have. Where she’d taken two steps towards him he pushed her two steps back, until her back was hard up against the foundations of the bridge. Her hand fell away from his face and started to fuss over the hem of her skirt again.
"Either lift that skirt or stop messing with it." He growled from inside their kiss, and her eyes flashed. She bit his lip, hard, and he just laughed again, grabbing her bum with a rough possessiveness. Fuck, he knew what he was doing. Fuck again, she wasn’t exactly sure she did. Well fuck.
He broke the kiss for half a second.
"I was going to say.." He was slightly out of breath. "Have you ever had sex in public?" There was this cocksure grin on his face, and she was halfway between wanting to wipe it off and make it wider.
"I.. don’t know.. what to say." She managed, before he kissed her again.
(Source: circunspecta, via prettyfollies)