Secrets Chapters One and Two
I need one more minute. Just one more … Lauren’s hand slowly snaked its way from beneath the duck feather quilt and hit the snooze button for the third time in as many minutes. Although she knew she was pushing her luck to get to work on time, she wasn’t quite ready to face the world yet. Mondays! Ugh. Lauren could hear the shower running in the ensuite bathroom, accompanied by an out of tune melody. She’d never understand Calum in a million years. She loved her husband, but, seriously, it just wasn’t normal to be so cheerful and singing in the shower on a Monday morning. Or any morning for that matter.
“Good morning, beautiful!” Calum sang out as he exited the bathroom with a towel wrapped around his waist. After two years of married life and knowing that she was no one’s bride, but Frankenstein’s, Calum still called her beautiful every morning. Lauren glared at him as laughter lines deepened around his mouth. It wasn’t personal—she would have glared at Santa Claus if he’d woken her up on Christmas morning. As Calum strode towards the wardrobe and opened the doors, Lauren rolled onto her side and stroked their miniature dachshund, Scruff, who was sound asleep in Calum’s space.
“You’re the only truthful one around here, aren’t you sweetheart?” she said as she scratched his ear.
Scruff cracked an eye open and thumped his tail at her. She smiled, then reluctantly pushed back the cover and slipped out of bed.
“Please don’t talk to me until I’ve drunk at least a gallon of coffee,” she said, briefly skimming her palms across Calum’s satin smooth back as she passed him and made her way down to the kitchen.
As she entered the contemporary space, she noted the coffee pot was already half empty, confirming that Calum had been up for a while. BBC News 24 played quietly on the small integrated TV screen above the black granite worktop. Lauren guessed that Calum already knew everything that had happened overnight. He had always been like that—keeping abreast of current events. Well, at least for as long as she had known him, which was almost eight years now. They had first met as sixteen-year-olds at secondary school. Calum had been one of the best debaters on the debate team.
He had been standing at the podium leading a current events discussion when she walked into the classroom for her first meeting, and she immediately had a schoolgirl crush on him. He reminded her of Superman—tall and athletic with jet black hair and piercing blue eyes. With his school tie and immaculate striped blazer, he looked so professional and mature as he argued his point with his deep, articulate voice.
Now eight years later, he still looked the same in his white open-necked shirt and black trousers as he walked into the kitchen and gave her a quick peck on the cheek. He had one more year to go on the foundation programme, and then Lauren would be married to a fully qualified doctor. The years of medical school had been long and arduous, but thankfully the finish line was in sight.
“What time is your assessment today?” she asked as Calum sat down at the table and poured out a bowl of cereal.
“At two o’clock.” He brought a spoonful of food into his mouth and chewed absentmindedly. After a few seconds, he continued, “Then I’ve got a meeting to discuss my next placement.”
Lauren watched as he picked up the mug and drank the last dregs of his coffee. It always amazed her to think that Calum had been her one and only boyfriend ever! Although they’d split up several times through secondary school and college, the break ups had never lasted, and Lauren had always remained faithful to him. Sure, over the years she had certainly fantasized about other men. Well, that wasn’t exactly true. She’d fantasized about other … other women. There. She’d said it. She couldn’t even begin to understand why she had those fantasies. She wasn’t a lesbian. She’d never kissed another woman let alone been attracted to one in real life. Yet, when Calum made love to her, in her mind’s eye there were always strong and vivid images of faceless women. A rush of heat would flood her body as she imagined her tongue skimming over a woman’s glistening inner thigh. Of teasing a tight rosy nipple between her fingers or losing herself in the soft velvet warmth of a woman’s kiss.
Maybe it was natural to feel this way after sleeping with the same man for eight years. She was only twenty-four, and her life already revolved around a set routine. She worked Monday to Friday at her parent’s antique shop, restoring furniture and invoicing. She chatted with customers about their projects and went to auctions to look for deals for their shop.
In the evenings, she made dinner, folded laundry and either read or watched a documentary on the National Geographical Channel. Calum had worked irregular hours for at least the past two years while finishing up medical school. So, she was usually on her own because even if he was home, he was studying or trying to catch a few hours of sleep. Yes, her life was dull, dull, dull!
“Right, I’m off,” Calum said as he stood and put his bowl in the sink. Lauren was leaning against the counter drinking her coffee, whilst half listening to the morning news. Death, more death, terrorism and job losses. Honestly, if I hear one more piece of negative news, I’m going to scream.
Calum rounded on her and pressed his body up against hers. It took less than two seconds for Lauren to realise what he had on his mind.
“No way,” she said laughing as she pressed her palms against his chest and pushed him away.
Calum took a step back. “Oh, come on babe,” he pleaded with a pout more suited to a two-year-old child.
“There’s nothing to stop us having a quickie.”
“Cal, surely you should know by now I’m not a morning type. I’ve barely got the energy to get ready for work, let alone a morning shag.”
A smirk spread across his face. “But what am I going to do about Teddy,” he said, pointing towards the obvious bulge in his trousers.
“Take a cold shower or …” She reached up and pinched his cheek. “Think about the time you saw your Aunt Frieda in her birthday suit.”
“Oh, yuck.” Calum’s expression turned into a scowl. “Talk about killing the moment.”
“Go on go, off to work now,” she said, shooing him away with a flick of her hand.
He laughed as he took a step forward and kissed her forehead. “I love you.”
“You too. Good luck and let me know if you’ll be home for dinner.”
“Um, sure,” he responded with a nervous chuckle.
She ran the tip of her finger down his chest. “I’ll serve it in bed,” she teased. “We can play doctors and nurses afterwards if you like,” she added suggestively.
Calum raised his brows, his eyes suddenly hopeful. “In that case I’ll definitely be home for dinner.”
Lauren playfully slapped his shoulder. “Oh, so you’ll make time in your busy schedule for sex but not for one of my home cooked meals,” she said, feigning insult.
Calum grinned. “Lauren, we both know that cooking is not your strongest attribute. Whereas sex …”
As if in total agreement, Scruff appeared at the kitchen door and let out a bark before walking over to join them. Calum knelt down and scratched behind his ears.
“See, even Scruff agrees with me, don’t you boy?” Scruff rolled over to have his belly rubbed.
Scruff had been living with them for two years now. He was eight pounds of chocolate-coloured cuteness, and they both adored him. He was playful and smart, and without a doubt Lauren’s loyal companion, following her around the house wherever she went. He was also a local favourite at the antique shop, and she feared he was going to turn into twice his size soon if people didn’t stop bringing him treats.
Lauren snorted. “Well, he would agree with you, being a male and all.”
Calum stood back up and stretched. Lauren thought he looked tired, but he would never admit it. Calum was so driven and dedicated. She knew he loved her, but sometimes she wondered how he planned to fit her, and a family into his life filled with sick and dying people.
“Us men have got to stick together, you know,” he said with a playful glint in his eyes.
“I’m sure,” she said, grinning. “So, I’ll see you tonight then?”
“Mmmmmm.” Calum grabbed her around the waist. He kissed her deeply this time. “You have a date. I’m not a qualified doctor, yet. But I can definitely play one.” He chuckled as he gave her an exaggerated wink. “Gotta run, babe.”
“Ok, see you later,” she called after him as he grabbed his coat off the back of the chair. “I love you.”
“Love you too, babe,” and then he was gone.
Lauren picked Scruff up and kissed the top of his head. “I’m afraid I’ve got to make a move as well,” she said as Scruff looked at her expectantly. She normally took him to work with her, but her next door neighbour was looking after him for the day as he had an appointment at the vets. An hour later, and a good thirty minutes late leaving for work, Lauren left for the train station.
Her life really was like Groundhog Day; it was the same routine over and over again. What did she expect? Nothing out of the ordinary ever happened in her life, so why would today be any different?
Lauren and Calum lived twenty minutes from Highgate train station, which made commuting to work very easy for them. Parking in London was becoming more and more of a nightmare, with congestion charges and lack of parking, not to mention traffic jams. Just being the two of them, they were fine using trains and cabs. Now and then, if they took off for a romantic weekend in the country—that had been so long ago because of Calum’s foundation programme—they just rented a car.
Half way up the escalator, Lauren heard the train screeching to a halt on the tracks. Oh shit! She could be late but missing this train was going to be pushing it. Even for her. She started running up towards the platform and jumped through the train doors just as they were closing, and banged into the side of someone holding onto the rail.
“Oh my God! I am so sorry!” she exclaimed after hearing a “Whoa!” somewhere in the collision. Righting herself as the train began to move, she looked up past the arm she had collided with and into the verdant eyes of the most attractive woman she had ever seen. Oh my God!
The woman laughed good-naturedly and touched Lauren’s arm, helping her steady herself as the train started moving.
“Are you okay?” the woman asked as she combed back her thick ebony tresses that danced loosely around her shoulders
Wow. She’s talking to me. Say something! “Er … Yes, sorry,” Lauren said, trying to compose herself. Stop acting like a complete idiot. “I’m running a little behind this morning and thought I was going to miss the train,” she rambled on.
“No worries at all.” The woman smiled at her. “Been there more times than I care to remember.”
“I hope I didn’t hurt you,” Lauren said, giving her the once over, searching for a flaw. Surely no woman can be this perfect! She eyed her from her sculptured facial features right down to her slim, shapely legs encased in a pair of dark blue designer jeans and knee length boots. Perfect! Even her perky breasts couldn’t be faulted. Damn.
“I’ll survive,” she said, revealing a white smile.
“Um, good and er … thanks for serving as a barrier,” Lauren said sheepishly as she lowered her eyes to the ground. She thought she’d faint if she looked into her eyes again.
Lauren turned reluctantly, and walked along the carriage to the next available seat and planted herself down. Now she could relax. She had a twenty-five minute ride, and then a ten-minute walk to work. She pulled her phone out of her jacket and flipped through the photos of Calum and Scruff. She needed something to dislodge the memory of the dreamboat she’d just bumped into. Moments later her eyes involuntarily glanced up again. The woman had left her spot holding onto the rail and had settled in a seat four rows up from where she sat. From her vantage point, Lauren could look at her without the woman noticing. She had taken out, what looked like, an academic book. One long leg was crossed over the other, and she appeared to be quite engaged in what she was reading.
Lauren settled back in her seat, resting her head against the cold glass window. She closed her eyes and slowly a vision began to unfold behind her eyelids.
The lights in the bar are low, giving the room an intimate feel. The woman from the train is sitting alone, drinking champagne from a long stemmed glass. She’s wearing an off-the-shoulder top, revealing smooth, lightly tanned skin. I take a seat next to her, my senses swimming from the scent of the heady perfume she wears. She turns and looks at me as she slides her bottom lip between her teeth. I can feel my temperature rising as she lowers her thick, black lashes and asks me if I want to share her drink.
I nod my head slowly. I feel as if I’m falling under a hypnotic spell. As she hands me the glass of champagne, our fingertips touch and a strange tingling sensation grips my body like a vice. Her grey-green flecked eyes study me intently, as I take a small sip of the pale-coloured liquid. I wince sharply as the bitter tasting bubbles dance on my tongue. Suddenly the woman leans against me and her touch awakens every nerve in my body. The atmosphere is so intoxicating, even the air seems to be holding its breath.
“Do you want to have a drink somewhere more private? I’ve got a room here,” she asks in a quiet whisper as she strokes the inside of my thigh with the tip of her finger.
I’m lost in the woman’s eyes. I’d agree to anything if it meant being alone with her. Again I nod and watch as the woman slips from her seat and heads for the exit. Full of anticipatory adrenaline, I follow her to the lift. The way she walks carries its own kind of excitement. We travel up to the hotel room on the fifth floor in silence, our eyes alive with the anticipation of what we both know is coming.
“Take a seat,” the woman instructs me in a velvet edged voice, before disappearing into the bathroom.
I cross the room and take a seat on a plush chair by the window. My hands are trembling, and my breathing speeds up as my heart pounds against my rib cage. I know it’s too late to back out now, but I wouldn’t even if I could. This is what I want. What my body needs! To be fucked by this gorgeous, hot woman. Why should I deny myself such pleasure?
The bathroom door opens, and the woman steps out. I am enraptured by her but at the same time, filled with a strange fear. My eyes are riveted on her nakedness. Tall, slender and graceful—a lethal combination. Fascinated, I watch as she walks towards me and stops a few feet in front of me. She drops to her knees and crawls across the carpeted floor until she reaches my open thighs.
I dare to meet her exacting gaze. She reaches up, and her finger slowly trails along my jawline before moving defiantly to my mouth and slipping in between my lips. I can tell by the challenging gleam in her eyes that she is enjoying the effect she is having on me. I am a lioness being tamed by an expert tamer. Her finger caresses my tongue before coming to an abrupt halt. I widen my eyes in surprise. I want to feel her inside me, but I say nothing, because she’s in control. The very thought of being submissive to this woman makes my clit ache with such need that it takes every ounce of willpower I have not to reach down between my legs and caress myself right there and then.
Without saying a word she begins to undress me, tantalisingly slow, brushing her fingers over my erect nipples as she unbuttons my shirt. Next she removes my jeans, pulling them off in one swift movement. The back of her hand rubs firmly against my clitoris before she removes my underwear. Suddenly I’m naked and exposed but I don’t feel vulnerable—I feel horny and ready for anything and everything she wants to do to me. My juices are leaking down my thighs onto the seat beneath me. I wiggle a little as she ducks her head down between my legs—I can feel the heat of her tongue as she blazes a trail towards my throbbing center. Time has stopped. I have forgotten everything, even what I am doing here. My body quivers with a desire I’ve never felt before. I move my hands down to her head, tugging a handful of hair when her tongue makes contact with my pulsating clit. Minutes later, I’m suddenly hit with a sensation that ripples through my body, causing me to arch my back as waves of ecstasy flood through me. She lifts her face to meet mine, a vixen smile on her swollen lips. I lean forward, anticipating her mouth on mine, desperate to taste her for the first time. Just as I feel her lips….
“Next stop, Kensington Station!” The loud announcement jolted Lauren out of her fantasy. Coming to her senses, she scrambled to her feet and ran for the closing doors. Too late—the train started moving again. What the…?!!! Oh my god!!! Seriously? Lauren frantically looked around. Well, that’s just great! Arrgghhh. She had missed her stop. How could she have done that?
She let out a heavy sigh as she quickly fired off a text to her mum – Have to run a quick errand for Calum. Going to be a little late. She wouldn’t normally tell her mother lies, but she was not going to try and explain this one. She looked up the row of seats; the woman was nowhere to be seen. A ghost of a smile flickered across Lauren’s mouth. Now she was definitely worth being late for!