A/N: the following contains scenes of consensual sex between adults (no slash – sorry!) and should be read only by those who won't be offended by descriptions of a sexual nature.

Disclaimer: Thunderbirds is the creation and property of Mr Anderson et al, not me. This is simply what I would do with them if they were mine!

I noticed him a few moments ago. I watched him work his way through the busy club, the bright glow of a nearby UV tube dancing off of his white hair. I stayed where I was beside the bar and tracked his approach, my heart racing as suddenly our eyes met and his pace quickened for a moment. He then seemed to change his mind and he slowed, hesitating as he neared.


I smiled a reply, a little disappointed after such a build up that this was all he had to offer. He paused a short distance away, thumbs tucked into the pockets of his faded jeans, pale linen shirt hanging open at the neck to expose the tanned skin beneath. And while he waited a moment for inspiration to grab him, I took more of him in.

It would be easy to overlook him; there was nothing outstanding about his average appearance. He was not unpleasant in any way; his gentle face was easy on the eyes and the outline of his body beneath the casual but smart clothes revealed a man in shape, not lithe or muscled, just nice.

It was the hair that had first caught my eye and I could hardly be blamed for that. It was whiter than blonde and spoke of some kind of genetic default. But as he ventured closer, you could see the roots beginning to show and the chemical influence was revealed. And that impressed me. It spoke something of his character that he was brave enough to bleach his hair so light. But this impression of confidence was now contrasting with the slightly shy nature of his demeanour.

He held back. Unsure of how he would be received, shoulders slightly raised in uncertainty, undecided as to whether to approach. I stood from my stool and made the decision for him, closing the gap between us.

His relief was obvious. His shoulders relaxed and, as he looked down at me from his slight height advantage, there was that smile.

Butterflies took flight somewhere in my stomach and my eyes were pulled to his thin mouth. It would be easy to miss if you weren't looking for it. A slight flick of one corner and the dimple nestling in his cheek deepened almost imperceptibly.

"It's good to see you."

I nodded in agreement. Again a simple comment and perhaps not accompanied by the full string orchestra that my heart had somehow been expecting. But it was honest. I tore my eyes from his partly open lips and looked up into his dark blue eyes. Eyes that regarded me with warmth and were now taking in all of me, searching my form in the same way that I had just examined him.

I had decided on something a little lower cut this evening and my heart thudded somewhere behind the glimpse of cleavage as I saw him notice it. A slight nod of approval and his almost smile was suddenly wider.

Stepping even closer, I leaned my face against his chest and closed my eyes as his arms instantly enfolded me. I took a deep breath and inhaled the warm scent of him. A subtle hint of cologne nestling amid freshly ironed cotton and sweat. He was late. He had run here.

I slowly slipped my hands under the hem of his shirt and rested them on the belt of his jeans, my thumbs brushing against the warm skin of his waist. A soft groan from somewhere deep in his chest and a gentle squeeze of the arms that were wrapped around me and I leaned into him, the world swimming around me.

"How are you?"

He had leaned his head down to speak softly amid the noise of the club, his cheek brushing against mine as he spoke.

"Fine." I managed quietly. "You?"

He nodded a reply and then sighed heavily. "You smell fantastic."

"I was just thinking the same thing."

"Mmm." He rested his head against mine and moaned softly. "And you look so good."

"Thank you."

Suddenly he chuckled softly, the tremble of his amusement running down the arms that squeezed me. "I'm glad it's dark enough for no one else to see just how good."

I grinned mischievously, leaning further into him and suddenly noticing the tell tale pressure against the front of his jeans. "Should we do something about that?"

He leaned back from me, gently easing me away from him so he could see my face. The smile lingered amid a sincere face and he shook his head slowly. "Not yet."

I nodded in understanding. He wanted tonight to last the age it always seemed to, the time we had together to linger for as long as possible.

I watched him watching me and had not noticed the slow lowering of his head until his face neared mine. He kissed my forehead, my nose, my mouth, his lips waiting against mine. The warmth of his sigh washed across my skin as I returned the kiss and stroked his lips with my tongue. His mouth opened and suddenly hands travelled up my back and into my hair, gently holding us together as our tongues met.

Suddenly the first few bars of a familiar song danced around us and he laughed softly, the wide smile pulling at his mouth and moving against my lips. His laugh was low and rumbled from somewhere deep within him. It was dirty and infectious and in an instant I was chuckling with him.

"C'mon!" He stepped back from me and took my arm to lead me across to the dance floor.

He was such a tease. His closeness drove me crazy and he knew it. Swaying against me for a blissful few seconds, his hands travelling over my body, he would then pull back and grin merrily as he danced a mad jig before me.

He knew exactly what he was doing and I was his helpless victim. I fought back occasionally; fingers brushing over cotton in places that made him pause, gasp and smile in delight. But it only made him worse. His tormenting me would gradually increase and build to the crescendo that we were both anticipating.

A break in the seemingly endless mix of loud thumping tracks and I stepped closer to him, grabbing a handful of shirt and going up on tiptoe to plant a kiss on his mouth. "Let's get out of here." I urged.

"Later." He replied.

I groaned and leaned into him, letting my head fall against his chest. He laughed and nestled his mouth amid my hair to kiss my head. I could understand what he was trying to do. We only had this night together, this one evening to share all that we had been fantasising over for the past four weeks. He wanted it to last, wanted to drag time out across the evening and into the early hours, wanted to postpone the moment we left the club together and the real reason for meeting here would begin. If we made each other wait for it then it was sure to taste so much better.

I looked up at him and shook my head slowly. Reaching my hand up behind his neck, I pulled his head closer to mine and kissed his mouth, my lips then moving across his cheek. "Please!" I husked into his ear, my tongue stroking the soft skin of the lobe. I felt the shudder of pleasure that ran through him and he wrapped his arms around my waist to pull me against him.

"Okay." He managed.

I giggled in excitement and grabbed his hand to lead him through the dancing bodies on the dance floor.

It was warm outside, the heat of the day still persisting in the close air of the city. We were silent amid the relative stillness of midnight and leaned into each other's embrace as we waited outside the club for a taxi. A short ride away, long enough for a lingering kiss, the taxi pulled up outside the hotel and we wandered inside.

The same hotel, the same room and the same mischievous giggle as we gave false names to the receptionist. We took the elevator to the eleventh floor, hands wandering already as we kissed again during the brief ascent.

The room was exactly the same. We knew the layout well enough by now to be able to continue the kiss as we stumbled inside. Instinctively avoiding the corner of the dressing table inside the door and steering around the cabinet where the large television hid, we crossed the room and my legs found the edge of the bed. With a shriek of delight I tumbled backwards and he landed on top of me, that deep, guttural laugh rumbling through him.

He propped himself up on his arms, his stomach pressing against mine as he smiled down at me and regarded me for a moment.

"What?" I asked with a frown, reaching up to stroke my hand down his gradually sobering face.

His smile returned and he shook his head. "Nothing." With a sigh he lowered himself against me and pressed his lips against mine.

It was slow and delicate. Each item of clothing removed carefully as if any measure of haste would shatter the moment. The new area of skin revealed as each inch of material was peeled away was savoured and examined, lips following gentle fingers. We explored every square millimetre of each other's bodies as if for the first time, minds taking in every aspect of our closeness and all thoughts pushed aside by the intensity of the moment.

He gently urged me higher up onto the bed; hands beside my head as he leaned over me, head lowering to kiss my mouth, my face, my neck. I could hear the soft moans of appreciation that would escape his lips as he moved across my skin and my own loud, quick breaths as I floated beneath him.

One breast was cupped gently as his tongue teased the other, gentle flicks across the nipple sending sparks up my spine. I reached up and let my hands sink into his soft hair, the slight stickiness of gel catching against my fingers.

His mouth tenderly sucked in the sensitive dark skin around my nipple, his teeth catching against the wrinkled, hardening flesh. I groaned dryly and then held my breath as I felt one of his hands stroking down my abdomen and sliding between my legs. Usually this was as slow and precise as every other aspect of his caressing and I gasped in delight as fingers gently parted me and quickly slipped inside.

His soft sucking at my breasts had ceased and I opened my eyes to see him watching me. In the semi-darkness of the room I could just make out that subtle, sensual pull of nearly a smile on his mouth and I moaned softly as his fingers slowly withdrew and began to explore, soon finding the gently throbbing swelling that was growing there.

I arched my back and grabbed at the sheets beside me as he carefully pressed and stroked. His head was lowered again, his fringe tickling my skin as he kissed my chest and then began to move down, his lips dragging against the hot flesh of my abdomen.

Slowly and carefully he eased my legs apart, fingers gently opening me and then suddenly the warmth of his tongue licking and prodding. I couldn't breathe. Tiny white dots of light danced behind my closed eyelids and my body tensed, my hands gripping the sheets so tightly that my fingers screamed in pain.

Slowly it began. The slight tingling warmth somewhere at the base of my spine began to gather and I found that I could breathe again. Deep, noisy breaths that carried the occasional groan out into the quietness of the room.

He had stopped. It took a moment for my spinning mind to register the fact and I sighed in slight dismay. Sinking back against the bed, I looked down and watched him crawling back up the bed. He leaned over me again, watching me in silence. Amusement sparkled in his eyes and I groaned loudly. He was going to torment me. He enjoyed the power he had over me and he was going to savour it. Bastard.

He leaned down and kissed my mouth. I could taste myself on his tongue and it was strangely sensual. I let go of the sheets and reached up to place my hands on his shoulders. Stroking my hands down his back, I could feel the skin tremble at my touch and I lifted my head to kiss him harder. My hands swept around his waist and down his abdomen, fingers encasing the hardness of his erection.

A slight sob of desire caught in his throat and I smiled. Letting my head fall back onto the bed, I looked up and could just see the frown above his closed eyes. The smile was gone, lips parted and the gap in his front teeth just visible.

I carefully stroked and squeezed the length of him, his dry groans sending shudders of pleasure through me. His arms weakened as I continued and he lowered himself against me, his head falling onto my chest and his hot breaths washing against my skin.

My smile grew and I could well understand the attraction of the power that I now felt. I could hear his breaths quickening and feel his body tensing against mine. I wanted to tease him as he did me, wanted to force him to linger on the edge of completion. But my body needed him and my hands gently guided him lower.

I wrapped my legs around his and squirmed beneath him to move up the bed. Soon he hung above me, my own hands brushing against the inside of my thighs as I continued my rhythmic stroking and squeezing.

He let himself fall lower against me, the tip of his erection gently prodding between my legs. I steered him lower, trying to ease him inside me, lifting my hips from the bed to meet him. I groaned in frustration as he pulled back slightly and there again was the slightest of low chuckles.

"Oh fuck no!" I had suddenly found my voice and it rasped against my dry throat.

"What?" He asked innocently.

"Oh, John, please!"

Another deep chuckle, louder this time. "What?"

I opened my eyes and looked up at his face. He was regarding me with such wickedness and yet there was a warmth in his eyes that made my heart miss a beat. I shook my head and closed my eyes again, his nearness driving me crazy. I could feel him teasing still, gently approaching me, his erection brushing against me. And suddenly I could hear myself begging, pleading with him to be inside me.

That was exactly what he wanted. John sighed in delight and lowered his body down, sinking inside me. I grabbed at his waist to push him harder against me, arching my back and crying out in relief and pleasure as he began his slow rocking.

It was careful and gentle and it was driving me crazy. He knew what I needed and he could hear me continuing to plead with him. But he kept it gradual and lingering and was enjoying my desperate writhing beneath him.

Suddenly I decided I had had enough of it. I would explode if I didn't get what I wanted. I anchored my elbow against the bed and straightened the opposite leg. With a grunt of effort, I shoved him hard and sent us both into a spin. I rolled on top of him and dug my hands into the pillow behind his head, arching my back and finding exactly the right angle.

John groaned beneath me, his fingers digging into the flesh over my hips as he forgot his plan and helped me rock against him. I pressed harder into him, feeling the tingling build once again and knowing that he wasn't going to stop me this time.

He lifted his head and took one of my breasts into his mouth, his tongue caressing the nipple. The wave of almost electric like pleasure that suddenly erupted deep inside me and spread up my spine and down my legs tore the breath from my body. I fell against him and sobbed in ecstasy.

Slowly I began to calm. My loud gasping breaths became quiet and steady. I nestled my face into the angle of his neck and sighed in contentment. Gradually I became aware of his hands tenderly stroking up and down the length of my back and could hear his own happiness in his quiet moans.

Lifting myself up on trembling arms, I looked down into his face and met the happy smile he shot me. I laughed gently and shook my head in wonder. "You are such a nasty bastard."

John laughed hard, that evil laugh. His body shuddered beneath me and moved inside me. He nodded and grinned in delight. "But it's worth it, huh?"

I had no choice but to agree and his grin grew smugly.

"Oh yeah … you're so pleased with yourself!" I chuckled.

"Well, aren't you?" John quirked an eyebrow in amusement.

I sighed and fell back onto him. "Of course I am." I nestled my face against his neck and kissed the damp skin there. "I just don't think you need any more encouragement."

He laughed again.

"It was good, though." I added softly.

"Hell, yeah …" John groaned and kissed my shoulder.

I lay there for a few minutes, letting my mind wander as he continued his gentle stroking across my back and mumbled contentedly. I was loathe to move and actually wasn't sure whether my somewhat exhausted body would be able to but my legs were aching and I needed to change position. With a sigh, I raised myself slowly off of him and was then aware of him groaning beneath me.

As I carefully rolled off of him, I watched the frown that settled over John's closed eyes and saw him biting his lip as he tried to contain the gasp that caught in his throat. I reached down and confirmed that he was not yet done and he tensed beside me as my hand closed around what remained of his erection.

I couldn't help the chuckle of pleasure that bubbled in my throat and I edged closer to him. Payback time.

"Oh crap!" John managed huskily through clenched teeth, having heard my laugh and knowing what I must be planning.

I laughed harder and sighed in contentment as I began my revenge.

It was almost too much to take in. Every slight movement of my hand, every careful stroke of my fingers sent him into a frenzy. I sat beside him and played him, watching him writhe noisily. John grabbed my shoulder with one hand and his fingers sunk into my flesh. It hurt but it was worth it to watch him suffering so wonderfully.

After a few minutes, he seemed to be almost crying in need, groans catching in his dry throat as he arched his neck and teetered on the edge of losing control. I knew what that felt like. As amazing as it was to have the inevitable explosion of pleasure drawn out over such a long moment, I could understand how badly he needed it to end. For a moment I considered forcing him to beg for it but I wasn't that cruel and watching him struggling for breath was making my head spin.

John gasped loudly as I licked the length of his erection and then closed my lips around him. His hips rose off the bed and he grunted as I took him further into my mouth.

It wasn't long before he suddenly reached down and gently pushed me away from him. I looked up and could see the effort it took him to try and stay in control. His face was distorted in a wave of what almost seemed to be pain and I quickly moved up the bed to lie beside him. I turned his face towards me and kissed his open mouth, feeling his warm groan wash across my lips. He didn't want to reach climax in my mouth, he knew I didn't like it and it made him feel guilty. There was also a reservation about making any kind of mess. It was a glimpse of the more fastidious side of his sweet nature and his concern made me smile in gratitude and fondness.

I reached down and took hold of his erection, whispering to him that it was okay. He could let it go. With a groan, he rolled towards me and enfolded me in his tight embrace, his body trembling as he surrendered. He husked my name as he then suddenly tensed and the crescendo shuddered through him.

We lay there entangled together for a long while. I listened to the sound of his gentle breaths and could feel the thudding of his heart against his chest. It was perfect. This was what we spent 27 days of every month longing for. And it was worth every minute of desperately needing time to pass sooner to now be here in this moment.

For seven months now we had met up in this same city. It had all started with a two-day conference on nanotechnology. I had needed to attend in order to complete my final paper and he had been interested in the topic. A friend of his had arranged for a ticket for him and chance had sat us together in the auditorium.

It still amazes me now that I had somehow been able to pay enough attention to the speakers to be able to make enough notes for my paper. Amid the sombre atmosphere of such complex material and the more serious, slightly older candidates, we had clung to each other and found a wealth of common ground.

We were so similar. With our science background, subtle humour and love of the stars, we found so much to talk about. Between lectures we had stayed in the auditorium, chatting animatedly about so many things. The spark was obvious and John's friend and my tutor had both teased us about it.

At the end of the first day we had not wanted to part. We had found a soul mate in each other and were loathe to letting each other out of sight for more than a moment. He had brought me here to this hotel and we had ordered room service and chatted long into the early hours.

When the conference had ended on the second day, we had been unsure what to do. We had jobs to return to, responsibilities that required us to part. Not wanting the moment to end, we had both called our families and changed our flights. Knowing that meeting someone and feeling so instantly connected was not something that happened often – if ever – in a lifetime, we did all we could to stay together for as long as we could.

We had explored the city, walked for hours along the streets and talked endlessly about all manner of things. There were aspects of our private lives that we both knew we were not disclosing but it was of no consequence. The reality of the outside world was not allowed to enter the little bubble of space that had been created around us and it was wonderful.

It was also addictive. We found that we could relax in each other's company, respected and appreciated for who we were and how we felt together. And we both knew we wanted more of this new feeling of release.

We had booked a hotel room together during our wander through the city and returned in the small hours of the morning. It had not been our intention to do anything more than share the cost of an overnight stay but also knew deep down that stepping further into what we had found together was inevitable.

It had been amazing. We understood each other. We had connected on so many levels and it was of no surprise that we soon discovered exactly what we each wanted when it came to sex.

And I had told myself that this was all it was. Conversation and sex with a good friend. Nothing shared other than bodily fluids and the cost of a hotel room.

It lasted until the second time I saw him. And by then it was too late to turn back.

Every month it was the same. I made my excuses and caught the 45-minute flight up to the city.I paid for the flight andhe paid for the hotel. Always in untraceable cash.

We met at the club along the street from the train station and let the evening progress from there. He liked the idea of going to a club and taking someone back to his room, it was apparently contrary to his more cautious nature and it amused me that he found excitement in what he considered the recklessness of chatting up someone he already knew. It was endearing and he didn't mind that I laughed at him for it.

It was always exactly four weeks. He didn't tell me what it was that he did in between. I knew he was a scientist and that he wanted to be with me every month. That was all I needed. The real world wasn't allowed in.

I left it to him to make all the arrangements and it was always the same night, the same time, the same club and the same hotel. The only thing that differed was the false name he told me to give at the hotel. He was a creature of habit and I thought it was cute. Sometimes his finicky character would seem a little concerning but it did not matter, for the 20 wonderful hours that I spent in his company, he could be as fussy as he liked. It was comforting; he was reliable, trustworthy. I knew exactly what our time together would be like and that was why I came.

My hand was beginning to tingle from where the circulation in my arm was cut off and I adjusted my position in his embrace to release my arm. He took a deep breath and let it out in a contented sigh. I smiled in understanding, knowing exactly how he felt.

He moved beside me and one of his hands began to gently stroke my side. I closed my eyes as his touch tingled across my skin and then smiled as his fingers crept down under my arm and sought the flesh of a still sensitive breast.

I let a slight moan escape and heard him respond in kind. He edged closer to me and the exploration of our pleasantly tired bodies began anew.

The sound of a siren speeding somewhere beneath the window woke me and I gasped as the early morning light stung my eyes. I blinked to adjust to the brightness and turned my head to look out of the window. Above the buildings beside the hotel, the top of the Empire State was shining in the pinkness of the dawn.

Turning back, I saw him resting peacefully beside me and my heart sank. We should not have fallen asleep; every hour together was precious and should not be wasted with sleeping. Every time we met, we did all we could to stay awake; no alcohol to sedate the senses, caffeine from the 24-hour coffee stall beside the club. It usually worked.

I frowned in disappointment as I watched him sleeping. His mouth was slightly open and the gentle purr of almost snoring rumbled through the mattress. Reaching up, I stroked back a lock of white fringe from his forehead and nestled it back amid the mess of his hair. My fingers then stroked down his cheek, tracing the pattern of occasional dark spots on his tanned skin.

In the corner of my eye I could see the hands of the clock on the wall move a little and I sighed deeply. Ten hours and it would be over. Eleven hours and I would be home. I closed my eyes and tried to think of the positive; we still had ten hours and we would have another twenty in 27 days time.

My body still tingled from all that we had shared as I carefully sat up and swung my legs off of the bed. I wandered through to the bathroom and avoided looking at my reflection in the mirror. That was reality. If I looked at myself, I would see the truth of it all and the illusion of who I was when I was with him would be shattered.

I sat down on the toilet and suddenly there were tears stinging my eyes. This was a new feeling. And it was horrible. I had felt before the desperate need not to say goodbye to him at the airport and the almost physical pain of having to walk away. This was different. This was a sudden realisation that this could not go on like this for much longer.

The world we had created together was not perpetual. It would change as time went on. We would have to change within it. There would inevitably be a choice and there were only two possible options: together or apart. And together was just not possible.

I couldn't stop. The tears came and more were following. My body shook with the effort to contain the sobs within me and I was scared that he might hear. I covered my mouth and tried not to even breathe.

The shower was loud enough to drown out my gentle crying and I stepped into the heat of the powerful jets. Plunging my face into the water, I let the tears come and leaned against the wall for support.

It was just about enough. I cried for a few minutes and was then able to tell myself that I was being stupid and selfish. I should focus on what we had together and be grateful for it. The tears were pushed back down somewhere inside me and I took a deep breath.

I didn't hear the door of the shower cubicle open. I didn't feel the cold draft that wafted inside. The first I knew that he was there was when his hands gently rested on my hips. I gasped in surprise and then relaxed as he stepped closer up behind me and wrapped his arms around my waist.

"Morning." He offered softly amid the noise of the shower.

I leaned my head back against his shoulder and turned to place a kiss on his cheek.

"We fell asleep."

I nodded. "I know."

His hands were stroking my abdomen idly, his fingers moving gently amid the water that flowed down me.

"What shall we do today?" John asked quietly.

I frowned in confusion; we always did the same thing. We got dressed and walked along to 34th Street to have breakfast in the coffee shop we had found one day. It was all part of the routine. Part of the illusion.

John leaned his head round to kiss my neck, laughing as he got a mouthful of water in return. I couldn't help but chuckle at him and it brushed away the dark cloud that had gathered in my mind.

"I think I might have pancakes for breakfast."

I smiled fondly and reached up to stroke my fingers through his hair. He always had the same thing; he would fantasise about changing his order and would mumble about various options but then always settled for a grande macchiato and a cranberry and oat muffin. He was a creature of habit.

Suddenly a new sense of dismay washed over me with the water and I knew that if what we had ever changed then it would be because of me. He was content in his little monthly routine and didn't want anything different. He didn't need anything more than what I gave him. Why that suddenly bothered me, I didn't know but I was overcome with disappointment. For the first time in seven months, our little rendezvous seemed suddenly so empty. So wrong.

"Or maybe a sandwich."

I listened to his low chuckle and wished desperately that the horrible combination of guilt and regret that was building in my mind would just leave.

"I'll think about it while we get clean."

I felt him lean past me and heard him squirting soap into his hands. Then his hands were on me, gently lathering up the soap against my skin. He carefully washed every inch of my neck, shoulders and back. I laughed as he squeezed my buttocks and giggled mischievously. He then leaned in behind me and reached round to wash the front of me. His hands swept across my neck and then ever so slowly down my chest.

I leaned into him with a slight groan as his fingers lingered on my breasts, massaging soap into the sensitive flesh. He rested his head against mine, his hot breath wafting past my ear, suddenly so loud despite the noise of the shower. And then he was on the move again, hands stroking my abdomen and waist, moving in steady circles downwards.

My knees gave slightly as suddenly he was there, a finger creeping between my legs and parting me, lingering there for a tantalisingly long moment. Warm water found its way underneath me, bringing with it the sting of soap against slightly grazed skin. I bit my lip against the pain but then realised that it actually felt good; there was an odd sensuality in feeling the evidence of all that we had done over and over again during the night.

"You okay?"

He had felt me tense slightly and his free arm slipped round my waist in a gentle hug of reassurance and support for my suddenly trembling legs.

I nodded a reply and turned my head, straining my neck to let my mouth reach his. He laughed slightly as he remembered his previous lesson and leaned us back from the torrent of water that had been venturing close to our faces.

I groaned into his mouth as his fingers began to move again between my thighs, finding their target and massaging softly. I leaned back into him and could feel a smile pulling at my mouth as I felt the hardness of him pressing against my buttocks. I reached behind me and took hold of him, hearing the grunt that shot from him as he sank against me. I worked my hand against him for a long moment, letting him rock gently inside my fist.

John groaned and fell back against the wall of the shower. He anchored his feet against the opposite wall of the small cubicle and his breathing was loud and heavy behind me as he fought to stay upright. His fingers had gone from between my legs and I chuckled in amusement; he was a man, after all, he could only concentrate on one thing at a time.

Edging backwards, I straddled John's outstretched legs and sat carefully against him. He gasped as I angled myself over him and guided his erection inside me. I wasn't sure how I was managing to balance there but it didn't matter and John groaned as he slipped his arms around my waist and pulled me harder against him. He leaned his head forward against my back and I could hear his quick breaths getting even louder as we moved together.

Suddenly he seemed to remember what he had been doing and his hands moved down my abdomen. I held my breath as one hand parted me and the other searched inside, tracing up from where he entered me to the small lump that made me shudder when he pressed it.

My mind was suddenly swimming and I reached out with both arms to try and steady myself against the walls of the shower. Between his gentle thrusting deep inside me and the fingers that were now massaging expertly, I was helpless. The climax came quickly and loudly and I could hear his low chuckle as I collapsed back against him.

"Dude … !" John muttered softly against my ear.

"Holy crap!" I managed in breathless agreement.

"We will so be doing that again!" He laughed his deep, naughty laugh and fell against me to hug me tightly.

Suddenly the thought that perhaps we ought not to do anything of this again flashed through my mind and I stood off of him. Washing the soapsuds from my body, aware of him silently watching me, his gentle eyes taking in all of my nakedness, I closed my eyes and let a few tears escape and mingle with the water from the shower.

I stepped past him and returned the smile he shot up at me, hoping that it was convincing. Grabbing a towel and beginning to rub my skin dry, I listened to him humming merrily as he washed and I began to wonder if he ever thought that my usual next morning shower was ever anything more than that. I wondered if he knew how much I wanted to leave the scent of him on me, to smell even the smallest hint of him on my skin and sink into the world we had created. I wondered if he realised that I changed my clothes on the plane and hid the bag away from prying eyes so that there was no chance of what we had shared being discovered. I wondered if he knew that I had no choice; I could not risk going home with any evidence of him on me.

I paused for a moment, face buried into the soft cotton of the complimentary towel. Suddenly I wanted to know what happened when he returned to wherever he spent his 27 days without me. Did he speak of me? Did he think of me? Did he miss me?

Why had I ever thought that this would be okay? What had caused me to throw all caution aside and let myself get mixed up in all this?

I heard him climb from the shower, felt the breeze that him grabbing a towel wafted across my bare back. His wet feet slapped against the tiled floor as he climbed down behind me and I took a deep breath, forcing my tired body to try and get a grip.

Suddenly his arms were around me. He pressed his naked body against the back of mine and drew me against him in a tight embrace.

"I'm so happy, Lily." John muttered softly into my shoulder and kissed the skin there tenderly. "I love you."

My heart slammed into my chest and my head spun. I paused there in the quietness of the bathroom and felt lost.

"I'm hungry." He then added with a chuckle and his arms slipped away. He edged past me and padded merrily into the bedroom.

What the fuck just happened? I stood there in the bathroom and stared after his disappearing figure, totally and utterly confused. He had never said that before. In the discussions we had shared after that first night when we had slept together, he had made it clear that he could not give any more than he already was. He wasn't supposed to say those words.

Oh crap.

Suddenly he was back. Towel wrapped round his hips, torso still glistening from the shower and a frown settling over his gentle eyes. "I said it, didn't I?"

I nodded.

His frown deepened. "Shit." He reached up and dragged a hand through his wet hair. "I kinda thought I had just thought it to myself."

I watched him in cautious, confused silence.

"Shit." John sighed again. His frown faded a little and he shrugged his shoulders. "Well … it's out there now … I guess we ought to deal with it."

"We do?" I had found my voice but it didn't sound like me.

John stepped further into the bathroom and a small smile danced on his mouth. He took a deep breath and it was released in a trembling sigh.

"Maybe we just pretend you didn't say it." I offered quietly.

John halted a short distance from me and his smile disappeared.

I shrugged my shoulders and wrapped my towel around my body, fixing it at my cleavage. "Maybe we can just go back to where we were and forget about it." I forced a smile to my lips and stepped past him.

"I can't do that."

I froze as I neared the bed and closed my eyes, hearing his footfalls on the carpet as he hurried after me.

"I've thought it since that first day I met you." John continued gently, walking round me and waiting before me.

I opened my eyes and looked into his sincere face.

"But … " He shrugged and there again was that gorgeous nearly smile that pulled at his mouth. "If it makes things too complicated then think of it as more of a friendly love - an appreciation of someone very special to me. Then I won't have to worry about trying not to say it again."

I didn't know what to say.

"Please, Lily," His smile faltered and worry settled over his eyes. "I do love you but I don't want it to change what we have together."

"It changes everything!" I laughed, suddenly sighing and shaking my head in disbelief, smiling at him fondly. "How lucky am I to have found someone like you?" I wondered aloud.

Stepping towards him, I reached out and placed my hands on his shoulders. Taking a deep breath, I decided there and then that there was no time for us to be stupid about all this. We were soul mates. We had a connection. We had something together that we both needed. No one outside of our little bubble would ever understand what we had together and they didn't need to. No one else mattered.

"So … we're okay, then?" John asked cautiously.

I nodded and laughed gently. "More than okay."

"We can still get together every month and fuck each other's brains out?"


"Cool." John grinned and there again was that guttural chuckle.

I watched him sigh in relief and saw the smile dancing on his mouth as he regarded me warmly. I suddenly realised that I was the only person in the world that knew him this way. He was different when he was with me, I could sense that much from brief comments he made about how relaxed he felt with me. It made me feel special and appreciated. And so very loved.

Nothing else mattered. Life outside of our bubble was required only to fill the time between our secret rendezvous and I realised that it was the parting and the missing each other that made our twenty hours together so special. So perfect.

"You want some more now or shall we venture outside?" John grinned mischievously.

I laughed and nodded towards the ever-brightening sky beyond the window. "Let's go get some fresh air."


We dressed quickly and walked arm in arm through the streets to our usual breakfast haunt. John chatted animatedly about a new fuel that he and his colleagues were working on. I listened in silence to his theories and nodded when he paused for assurance that I was following his train of thought. It was just as it ought to be and it felt wonderful.

As I listened to his mumblings, I suddenly found amusement in the realisation that sometimes I was glad not to be in his company every day and I smiled happily. We paused at a crossing and John continued chattering to me as he held me back, insisting that we wait until the sign said 'walk' despite the obvious lack of traffic. Some things just had to be a certain way with him and that was fine. I was happy to adapt in order to be in his company.

Fresh tears gathered as I stood with him and was aware of his occasional glance down at me, his eyes filled with fondness. We would be fine. Time would change what we had together but we would adapt. This was going to work.

The sign changed and we headed across the crossing. I had a new spring in my step as I took a deep breath and sighed contentedly. If twenty hours a month was all I had to be close to this wonderful man then it would be more than enough.

"You're not listening to me, are you."

I gasped slightly and looked up at John's amused expression. "I'm sorry." I offered honestly.

"Never mind." John laughed and shook his head slightly, "It wasn't important, anyway."

"I was lost in a flashback of the shower." I continued merrily and grinned up at him, watching his cheeks flush slightly. "It's hard to concentrate on anything else once that enters your mind."

"Hell, yeah!" John agreed with a naughty giggle and winked at me.

"Oh, you so did not just do that!" I laughed in disbelief and thumped his arm playfully. "You dirty old man!"

"What?" John feigned innocence and then winked again. He broke free of me and raced off along the street.

I caught up with him as he reached the coffee shop and we fell inside, giggling merrily. It was wonderful.

I realised again how lucky I was to have such a good friend as we sat together in comfortable silence and had breakfast. And there again was the feeling that we would be fine. I sipped at my coffee and checked my watch; there was still eight and a half wonderful hours of his company.

I watched John fondly as he tucked in to his grande macchiato and triple chocolate muffin. He had been so proud of his spontaneity and his excitement was endearing. My smile grew and he suddenly looked up and saw me watching him.

"We'll be fine." I thought aloud and reached across the table to rest my hand on his.

John nodded and shrugged to convey that he had never doubted it. He knew what he wanted. Me. And he would do whatever it took to have it. In the craziness of the real world, he wanted exactly what we had right here. He watched me for a moment and there again was the half smile that I was sure he reserved just for me.