Thrill Seeker: an excerpt
Liam doesn’t usually come when I’m sucking him, but on the night it started he was different. His groans were threaded with a darker note, and my throat was more open than it had ever been with him because I was thinking of someone else.
Outside, thunder edged closer, snarling above the sea. In my mind, I saw this strange, broken town, summer rain slicking its pink and gold domes, the black sky ripped by a storm. ‘Trouble’s coming,’ I might have thought. Except I didn’t. I didn’t see anything coming. Well, apart from Liam.
‘Don’t stop,’ he gasped, voice bordering on panic. I was kneeling on my futon and he grabbed my hair, not too hard because that’s not his style. He drew me onto him. I spluttered, tapped his thigh and he eased back a fraction like a gent. Then he was there again, cock nudging at my throat, and I was trying to match his urgency, wet, firm, fast. His noises, half-pained and incredulous, made desire thump in my cunt. I wanted to tip him over the edge and hear his ecstatic cries but we were going too fast for me.
I clutched his thighs, thinking, if this were Baxter Logan, I’d take him and hold him till I ran out of breath.
Liam’s groans thinned. ‘Don’t stop, don’t…’
Why think about Baxter? Was it the rowdy weather? Or was I always thinking about Baxter? Of course I was. Don’t try and kid yourself it’s any different, Nats. Most days, my memories were a low-frequency hum but on occasion, Baxter Logan returned in all his glory, dominating my thoughts.
Where are you now, you bastard? Do you ever think of me?
My hands on Liam’s hips, I steadied myself, relaxed, then eased my mouth forward, straight down the hatch. I was rewarded with a twisted cry of disbelief, as if the pleasure of being lodged in my throat were too much for him to bear. I stayed deep, relishing the calm intimacy of the act. Thunder rumbled closer. I pulled back then bobbed to and fro, my lips tight, saliva spilling along his length.
‘Oh, don’t st… oh, yes.’
For a brilliant instant, lightning filled the room. In the corner of my eye, the tall mirror propped against the wall cracked with reflected sky. A woman on her knees was sucking a lanky guy standing on a futon. Liam likes to watch; I don’t. I prefer close-ups and the focus on sensation. The sight of my own body distracts me. Still sucking, I gazed up at Liam even though my eyeballs ached. I cupped his balls, fondling their warm, slipping weight.
Liam looked down, mouth slack, face crumpling, his eyes blurred with delirium as if he weren’t quite there. His muscular torso was milk white, his pubes a tangle of dark copper filaments, his thickly-freckled arms covered with sandy hair. I focused my lips on his end, pulling hard then down again. I saw him glance at our reflection. He gripped my hair and began to thrust, using me, fucking my mouth so I was no longer the giver but the recipient.
Baxter Logan liked using my mouth that way.
Seconds later, Liam came, his body jerking, his hands scattering touches on my shoulders. I drank every drop of him and cupped his buttocks, holding him close as his shudders faded. I listened to his post-bliss moans, keeping him in my mouth until he grew twitchy. He withdrew – ah, ah – laughing at his sensitivity, then dropped to the mattress, slender limbs collapsing like a house of cards.
‘Oh man.’ He rolled backwards, flinging out an arm. ‘Sheesh. You got a world exclusive!’
I laughed and fell alongside him, nestling in the crook of his arm. His fingers strummed my back.
‘I never come like that,’ he said. ‘Fuck. Awesome. I can’t feel my knees. What are you on?’
‘Form,’ I said, proud of my achievement.
‘I’ll say. Oh, fuck. Seriously, Nats…’
He mussed my hair, lazily affectionate. We weren’t done, not by a long shot. We’d have a breather then he’d make me come or squirt or both. Then we’d fuck again, maybe come again. We’d put on a CD, have another drink, roll a joint, chat, fuck, and on we’d go until we were sated.
‘Man, oh man,’ said Liam, more to himself than to me. I reached across his body for my tumbler of red on the floor by the bed. Tumblers, never stemmed glasses for sex, especially on a futon. Puffs of colour from the fairy lights around my mirror glowed in the wine and shone in the depths of the dark, hardwood floor. As I moved, my stomach squeaked against Liam’s, both of us wet with sweat. I kissed his shoulder. It’s a good relationship. We’re friends and we fuck, and neither of us wants anything more than that. Or at least, not from each other.
We lay in silence as our breathing returned to normal. Thunder grumbled then cracked. A car alarm started pulsing in the street on the far side of the house. Rain hit the bedroom window in squally bursts. After several hot, oppressive days, the cooler air was a relief.
‘Can’t move,’ murmured Liam. ‘I think you’ve broken me.’
I laughed. ‘Do you need to move?’
Before he could answer, a huge crash punctured our mellow mood. I jumped, confused. Not thunder, not coming from the sky like the rest of the racket. A crash in the house from two floors below, kitchen by the sounds of it. Crockery? Glass? A lot of something smashed to smithereens. The window?
I scrambled off the bed, pulled a silk slip over my head then hurtled down the stairs two at a time. I heard Liam call, ‘Nats? What is it?’
I didn’t answer. My mind hopped through possibilities: a tree in the garden had been brought down, smashing the kitchen window. Or, I was being burgled. All I could think was, ‘Cat, laptop, cat, laptop.’ Desperate to protect these two most precious things, I didn’t give a thought for my safety. One glass of wine and suddenly I’m a hero.
Would Rory be scared? Would she scarper, never to be seen again? Would they steal my laptop? All my photos, emails, documents, software? My clammy hand squeaked on the wooden banister. Oh God, some of those photos. For years, I’d been meaning to password protect the dodgy stuff. I needed to back up my files too. And leave instructions for my hard drive to be wiped in the event of my untimely demise. I wasn’t ready to be murdered, wasn’t ready to be burgled. I needed to get organised first. Just give me a couple of days then do your worst.
Instead of my life, jpegs of Baxter flashed before my eyes. So many beautiful, filthy images – his thighs, his cock, his chest, his arms, his cock by my mouth, his cock in my cunt – but rarely any pictures of his face. I should have known, shouldn’t I? ‘Not my face, hen. You know how shy I am.’ This from a man who didn’t have a shy bone in his body.
Mine is a tall, skinny townhouse built in the slope of Old Saltbourne. People say I’m lucky to own such a lovely house but if they knew the down payment came from money left to me by my father, they might not be so envious. I hoped I wasn’t about to add a second early death to the family tree. I rounded the first flight of stairs and hurried across the living room where our discarded clothes were dotted like stepping stones. Rory was curled on Liam’s jeans, a black and white ball of fluff raising her head in mild concern. She rarely moves except for food. I scuttled past her and braced myself against the lumpy stone wall as I turned onto the stairs leading to the lower floor.
‘Liam!’ I called, letting the world and its mad axemen know I wasn’t alone. At the top of the stairs, I felt fresh air blasting inwards, cooling my shins. Halfway down, I saw curtains at the kitchen window flapping softly, gingham dancing and twisting. I stalled, suddenly rational. Someone might be there, waiting for me. Foolish to come charging down like this, a small, slightly drunk woman, unarmed, half-dressed.
I took the steps slowly, a pulse throbbing in my neck. How would Liam shape up if I were attacked? He certainly had the muscle and knuckle to land someone a hefty blow. Plus, out in the woods, he killed rabbits with his bare hands and never went anywhere without a penknife. He might be able to save me, assuming he wasn’t too stoned and blowjobbed to stand.
I took another step down. Penknife? What good’s a penknife against a burglar, a rapist, a homicidal maniac?
Until then, I’d always felt safe in my own home, the biggest threat to my peace an over-active imagination, easily roused by Saltbourne’s history of smugglers, secret tunnels and fishermen lost at sea. Real danger didn’t seem part of my life except, sometimes, when I walked through New Town late at night, the pedestrianised streets, garish red brick, modern murals and glass-fronted shops of Castlegate Plaza conspiring to create an unease rooted in the hollowness of urban planning. Old Town, with its picturesque alleys, worn steps, salmon pink domes, and haphazard streets overlooked by cliff-top castle ruins, was a world apart.
My fingers inched over the wall’s rough stone as I descended to the kitchen. I heard nothing, saw no shadows shifting. I crept down the final few steps then switched on the light. Scanning the room, I tried to make sense of the mess. Shards of glass sparkled on the drainer of the sink. The windows were intact. No one was here. One window was open, its drooping metal handle scraping against the outside wall, hinges banging in the clattering rain. The damp gingham curtains fluttered in the breeze, ditsy flags of surrender. A vase. My glass vase on the windowsill had smashed. A wine glass too by the looks of it. The back door was ajar. My heart was thumping, my throat parched.
Liam’s feet banged on first flight of stairs. ‘I’m coming, you OK?’
On the kitchen table, as if waiting to be filed, was a sheet of A4 paper in a clear, plastic poly pocket. It wasn’t mine. I snatched it up. Across the page, in glued lettering cut from newspapers, were the words: CLOSER THAN YOU KNOW.
My hands shook. My legs seemed to vanish from under me. Coldness slid down my face while sweat pinched under my arms. I was dizzy, weak, yet somehow, I was still upright.
I remembered why Baxter Logan had been on my mind. Because I could see I was chasing sex and danger, taking stupid risks to try and heal the past.
I glanced at the back door, fearing the man would burst back in. Or was he in the spare room, behind the closed door? I swung around. No, not in there. Dirty, wet footprints reached the table and no further.
I tried to moisten my lips but my tongue had no power. ‘Nats?’ Liam was at the top of the kitchen stairs. I tugged open the cutlery drawer, stuffed the note inside, and slammed it shut. I didn’t want to worry him, and anyway, he wouldn’t understand.
‘What happened?’ Liam was at the foot of the stairs, looking as if he’d just run half a marathon. He was naked, no pocket for a penknife.
I took four wobbly steps to the back door and opened it fully. Rain sluiced down, a hard, glittery fall against the backdrop of dark shrubbery and overhanging trees. Light from the house glinted on plant pots, wet stone and on my cast iron chairs, huddled around the barbecue. Cool droplets tickled my toes and night air curled around my ankles.
‘I think someone’s in the garden,’ I said.
Published 9th May, 2013, paperback (UK) and ebook