Authors: Raven McAllan
Tags: #Erotic Romance Fiction
Oh, shit, no.
Debra felt her skin heat as she looked at Braam. His eyes widened with recognition.
“Well, hello.” He drawled the words and his eyes flashed with what? Anger? “Run out of suntan cream have we? Aspirins?” He hardened his voice. “Condoms? Oh, no, I forgot, you won’t need them. You run before you can introduce yourself and we all know it’s rude to fuck without saying hi and who you are.”
“And it’s even ruder not to take no for an answer. Excuse me.” Debra turned and walked out of the shop and around the corner as fast as she could. Then she turned into a tiny gift shop and hovered behind a stand of postcards.
He didn’t appear on that street. Debra purchased two cards and a thimble for a friend and left the shop. Within seconds she was walking into the MTR and heading for the train to where she could catch her bus to Stanley, on the other side of the island. There were quicker ways, but like this, she got to see a bit more of the island.
Once she was on the MTR and away from the area around the hotel, Debra breathed easier. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to meet him openly and properly, she did. Nevertheless she would prefer it not to happen in the entrance to the shop where she’d been going to buy protection. It felt uncomfortable and more than a little strange to be proactively contemplating sex with an almost stranger. Not something she’d considered before. Oh, she was on the pill, but not for sex, for regularity. Now it seemed those little pink tablets she swallowed each morning might come in useful for something other than every fourth Sunday be prepared. She couldn’t fathom out her mindset and it was unsettling to say the least.
As the MTR drew into Chai Wan, Debra made her mind up. She’d buy the prophylactics and hope she got a chance to use them. If she saw him again, she could maybe show him she was interested, in a nice, let’s get to know each other first, mature and adult way. How to meet him was going to be the problem. She couldn’t very well ask at reception for the fit guy she’d seen around, oh and he’s called Braam and has a tiny Chinese symbol tattooed on his left thigh.
Debra left the train and walked down to ground level. The bus was where she’d been told to find it and within five minutes it had left the bus stance and was shuddering its way along the bumpy road. Even out here, the route was crowded with every type of vehicle imaginable. She swore she’d seen a guy on a kid’s scooter, several skateboarders and the inevitable horse and cart.
They drove through countryside with paddy fields and trees, houses and villages then past a large lake where people fished and sat on the banks. The bus juddered to a halt at one end of it and several people got off and on. The last time Debra had gone to Stanley, it had been by a completely different route and so she spent most of the journey with her nose almost touching the grimy glass. The road was dusty and she didn’t blame any of the cyclists she passed for wearing the SARS masks that were so common around the city.
The countryside changed to houses and apartment blocks lining the road on one side and sparkling blue sea on the other. Cars in driveways were all top of the range and boats moored in the bays were all of the ‘if I win the lottery’ sort. Debra grinned to herself. If she won the lottery, a boat would be the last thing she bought. She got seasick on a boating lake, the cross channel ferry and, ignominiously, when a luxury cruise ship hadn’t even left the harbor.
The bus drew up and most of the passengers stood and moved toward the exit. Debra had checked the route on her map and judged that this was the nearest halt to the market and the promenade and followed three giggling teenagers down the aisle and onto the street.
The pavement was hot under her flip-flops and she was glad to get into the shade of the market and take her time to browse the stalls. A lot of them held no interest for her. She’d had her fill of plaster cast models of the Great Wall, or temples and shrines. However, a couple of stalls caught her attention. The first had prints and photos and she fell for a tiny picture of a couple in the moonlight, simply because it reminded her of the previous night. Mentally chastising herself for being sentimental, she bought it anyway and hurried to the other stall. Here the walls were covered with simple linen and silk shifts and trousers. Understated, superbly cut and, she reckoned, flattering to someone with curves. One dress in an unusual shade of red, almost like the sun as it dropped below the horizon at the end of a hot summer day, stood out. After a quick check of the size, Debra found herself in her underwear behind a somewhat flimsy curtain trying it on.
It fitted perfectly and she parted with her cash quite happily. It wasn’t often she made impulse buys—unless it was earrings—but this time it had to be. As did a leather handbag and a few silk jewelry rolls she earmarked for presents. The underwear on the next stall she ignored. Not her thing and certainly not made for anyone over a ‘B’ cup.
But one teddy did make her gaze longingly at it.
“You like?” The stallholder smiled. “Good price.”
Debra shook her head. “Not for me, I’m afraid.”
“I bet your man would like.” The elderly stallholder grinned and showed her gappy teeth. “Sexy.”
Debra laughed and shook her head. “No man, I’m afraid, and too much here to fit it.” She brushed her hand over her boobs.
“Never too much.” The stallholder copied Debra’s actions.
Was she right? Debra walked on and wondered how much of a handful Braam would like?
For fuck’s sake, get out of my mind. And my underwear.
By the time she emerged into the sunshine, her purse was lighter, her holdall heavier and her tummy empty.
She wandered along the promenade toward the shopping plaza. As ever, several restaurants had their menus outside and more than one took her attention. In the end she plumped for Indonesian cuisine and enjoyed a dish of Nasi Goreng with a spritzer, as she sat on one of the pavement tables and people-watched.
It was one of her favorite pastimes and Debra could have sat there all day. In the end she checked her watch and realized she needed to make a move to get back to Causeway Bay before the rush hour held the bus up too much. If she remembered correctly, she could get a more direct bus that returned through the tunnel and cut out the need for the MTR. This one stopped at the top floor of the shopping plaza so she could head there to catch it.
She paid her bill, did a double take at a blond man jogging along the prom, and was astounded at her sense of disappointment that it wasn’t the blond-haired man she’d hoped for.
The escalators carried her upward and on each floor Deb idly scanned the list of shops.
Gifts, clothing, china, chemist…
. She left the escalator and wandered toward the chemist shop and went inside.
The condoms were easy to find, but not so easy to decide what she needed. Surely there hadn’t been this many different makes and types the last time she’d bought them?
That was twenty odd years ago. Then all I had to decide was ribbed or plain, flavored or not—always not—thick or thin
. She stood somewhat uncertain as to what to choose, until she saw a young—almost not old enough to know what a condom was for—shop assistant approach. Debra grabbed the nearest three packets and took them to the till. It wasn’t until the checkout operator put them in a paper bag, no plain brown anymore but brightly colored stripes with the shop’s name emblazoned on the side, that she saw exactly what she’d purchased. One super sensitive, one ribbed and one licorice flavored. She hated licorice and why on earth would anyone want its flavor impregnated into a condom? Who would want to taste rubber or whatever condoms were made of these days, let alone flavored rubber? It was enough to give her the giggles and she got a few strange looks as she gave an occasional snigger as she stood in the queue for the bus.
Once she’d struggled onto the packed bus and got a seat, she sobered up. The last thing she wanted was to be thrown off for disorderly conduct.
This journey back took about half the time that it had taken her to get to Stanley. By five o’clock she was getting off the bus on a side street near the hotel. Debra made her mind up to dump her shopping with the concierge, make a detour to the kiosk that sold cold drinks and spend the last hour of sun in the park. That she might see Braam in his running gear she did her best to ignore.
She deliberately approached the park from a different angle. The area where the day before teens had played basketball was covered with large metal statues on wheels and various stalls blared out loud Chinese music. Debra recognized several statues of gods and deities and watched, fascinated, as a troupe of toddlers, no more than four or five years of age, danced on a makeshift stage. It was colorful, noisy and fun. She spent so long wandering around and gaining a badge, a balloon and a handful of leaflets that the sun had almost gone down behind a nearby building. It wasn’t worth sitting down, so she might as well grab a curry from the little curry house over the road from the hotel and reheat it when she was hungry. There was live music in the residents’ lounge later so she would go and enjoy that before she ate.
Mind made up, Debra set off in the direction of the gate nearest to the Channing. Her phone bleeped to indicate a text and she fished it out from the bottom of her voluminous holdall. The picture of her daughter dressed as Wonder Woman holding a placard saying
‘Holding the place for mum’
made her snigger and she texted back as she carried on walking with scant awareness of her surroundings.
Grinning, she put the phone in her pocket, to keep it handy in case she got a reply and took out her water bottle to flick the lid open for a drink. Then Debra did something she’d forever told her kids not to do. She looked to her right and carried on walking.
To hit a brick wall with her boobs.
The brick wall swayed a little bit, but not enough so her boobs didn’t press into its warmth and her nipples harden in protest—or was it interest? The opened water bottle jerked out of her hand to shower water over her and the obstacle, which dripped the liquid it had collected back onto her. She caught the bottle on its way downward and held onto it tightly.
Hold on. A warm, slightly squishy brick wall? With… You what?
Something very un-wall-like was pressed into her belly.
With a hard-on? And the wall is wet and my ice-cold water is dripping on me warm?
With a sense of foreboding, Debra took a step back and looked up.
“Clever you, I need to cool down after a jog and a face full of water is a novel way of doing it.” Braam winked. His blond hair was dark with water and droplets hung to it like jewels edging a cloth. His eyelashes were spiked and his expression could be called nothing short of devilish.
“Yes, well, it’s not the only bit of you that needs cooling down, I reckon.” Debra looked downwards at his cock, which had created a long ridge in his running shorts.
Braam shrugged. “Seems you have that effect on me. And we still haven’t been properly introduced.”
Debra bit her lip so as not to laugh. She hadn’t enjoyed sexual bantering like this for ages. “No we haven’t. And may I say, flattering though it is that I have a stirring effect on you, I don’t think Victoria Park is the place to advertise it.” So saying, she tipped the rest of the water over his shorts, handed him the bottle and walked away.
His shout of laughter followed her.
How could he better that?
Braam shook his head to shift some of the water and wished there was some left in the bottle to drink. He foresaw interesting times ahead, if he got to see her again. He hoped like hell he did.
With that thought in mind, he jogged back to the hotel.
The doorman gawped as Braam slipped through one of the side doors and didn’t wait for the main one to be opened for him.
“I know, Howard, I had an encounter with a bottle of water and it won.”
“So it seems.” Howard’s eyes widened at the sight of his boss dripping from more than honestly earned sweat.
Braam grimaced. His state would be the gossip of the staff room later. He thought he’d better come up with a plausible excuse. “There I was jogging along steadily when some idiot of a tourist walks straight across the jogging track without checking if anyone was coming. She was looking in one way, walking in another and drinking all at the same time. Obviously she couldn’t multi task. I’m lucky I got off so lightly, it could have easily been a black eye or bruised ribs.”
Howard guffawed as Braam hoped he would and he knew the tone of the gossip would be different. Braam had had enough erroneous gossip about him in the past and was relieved he’d managed to divert this session. One of the perils of being ‘local’ and allegedly a jet setting boss. Well, he might use jets and travel wherever
boss dictated, but that was where the similarity ended.
Braam worked hard to earn his undoubtedly generous salary and, as the CEO had said on many occasion, earned every penny of it plus his annual bonus. However, it had made him the target of plenty of malicious rumors.
He sketched a wave to Howard and headed for the service lift then to his room. To once more dry off from a soaking from his mystery lady.
As he dressed in his suit and tie once more, Braam pondered how he could surreptitiously find out who the woman was. He didn’t know her name, but had to assume she was a guest. However, he couldn’t very well go to reception and ask if anyone knew the name of a dark-haired curvy woman with sparking eyes and a wicked smile. The staff would think he genuinely had lost the plot.
He knotted his tie, checked his appearance in the mirror and finished the lukewarm cup of coffee he’d made when he’d entered the room half an hour earlier. It tasted gross and he washed the dregs down the sink. He’d get a decent one with his dinner. Braam intended this to be his last evening on duty for the hotel. The new manager could take over the evenings and Braam would begin to bow out and embark on sorting out the bigger problem. That of the missing money.