Afterwards, she studied his face as he lay facing her. He looked different somehow – more handsome. “Was that because of the love that I’ve grown to feel for him?” she wondered. “Or was it because the sex had been so very enjoyable – leisurely, in a nice bed and guilt free?”
She reached up and moved a lock of his hair off his face.
‘I think that I love you too, Mr Hannay,’ she said, and kissed him again.
‘Did I pass the test?’ he asked.
She snuggled her head into the space between his neck and his shoulder. She could feel his hand on her bottom, and he could feel her breasts against his chest, their stomachs touching.
‘I’m sure that I noticed a minor error,’ she teased, ‘I believe that a retest could be booked very quickly. I do have a question though.’
‘Uh, oh!’ he said, ‘Go on!’
‘Nine out of ten for technique, ‘she said, ‘but you didn’t get to be such a wonderful lover without going round the block a few times. You didn’t learn that from reading books about marketing. What happened to the girls you’ve been practising with? I take it that they are all ex-girlfriends now.’
‘Come on, Mel,’ he argued, ‘You’re not a virgin either. What happened to your exes?’
‘A couple turned into bores afterwards, a couple disappeared like rockets once I’d served my purpose, one – the last one – was a controlling bastard. You’ve met him – Craig. Now you.’
‘There were a couple for whom I wasn’t ambitious enough, a couple who didn’t like the hours I work, two or three who just wanted rings on their fingers. I wasn’t ready and they weren’t girls that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.’
‘Where do I fit in the Jamie scheme of things. Are you going to bin me off too now that you’ve had your wicked way with me?’
‘Mel, my love,’ he said, ‘Just one lifetime with you won’t be long enough.’
‘We’d better make the most of this one then,’ she said, sliding her hand down towards his stomach.’
Later, they went for cooked breakfast and coffee in the restaurant. Afterwards, they walked into the town, exploring the shops. There was an art gallery up the hill that Mel loved particularly.
‘This was a great idea,’ she said, ‘It’s somewhere else that I’ve never been but always wanted to.’
They chose a café for a mid-morning coffee, got served and sat down, side by side on a bench seat.
‘Didn’t you bring your camera:’ he asked, ‘I’ve not noticed it in our room.’
‘I hadn’t though that we’d be seeing much daylight,’ she answered, looking sideways at him.
‘I can’t get over you,’ he said.
‘How do you mean?’ she asked.
‘A few months ago, you came across to me as a hating all men because they wanted to have sex with you, next thing you tell me that you need to see whether I cut the mustard in bed, then you all but rape me.’
‘Rape?’ she asked, ‘Me? Rape you? I never heard you say “No”. I’m quite sure that what we did was consensual, Your Honour. If anything, I was the one getting raped, Your Honour. I rest my case.’
‘I’m not complaining,’ he said.
‘I should bloody well think not!’ she said, ‘Anyway, I’m a woman. I’m entitled to change my mind. Ask your mum.’
‘Of course,’ he said, slapping the side of his head in mock self-chastisement, ‘You’re a woman. How come I didn’t notice that?’
I continue with another of the architecture shots that I took on my afternoon in Liverpool a few weeks ago. I captured today’s image from near the Roman Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral, looking down Hope Street, past the Everyman theatre, towards the Anglican Cathedral.
For all the street shots, I used my Pentax KP 24 MP cropped sensor camera twinned with a Pentax 16-85 mm f/3.5-5.6 mm lens at an ISO of 100. The EXIF data for this photo were 1/100 secs @ f/8 and 75 mm.