EDDON AND LASSINDA
[Lassinda] put her glass down on top of the nearest rack.
'Let me touch you,' she said.
Eddon stood very still. The night air was warm and close and
'The way a woman touches a man,' she said. 'I want to know what
'I'm touchable,' said Eddon.
He couldn't help making a kind of joke of it. But Lassinda was
in deadly earnest.
'Lean back here,' she said. 'Against this rack.'
Eddon first deposited his glass, then did as she asked.
'You're trembling,' he said.
'Of course I'm trembling. Don't you think I'm scared?'
She reached forward and touched him on the chest. She slid her
hand from side to side, then up towards the line of his neck.
The material of his overshirt rolled in folds beneath her slowly
'What do you feel?' she asked.
Eddon seemed to be having difficulty speaking. 'You want me to
tell you what I feel?'
'I want to know what I do to men. I've never understood. No-one
ever tells me what it is.'
'You -- I -- I'm not very good with words.'
She popped open a stud and opened up the front of his overshirt.
Then suddenly slid her hand in through the opening -- her whole
hand, up to the wrist. Eddon gasped as her fingers rode over his
Automatically he reached out to clasp her around the waist. But
Lassinda drew away. She shook her head and removed her hand from
his chest. At the same time she reached back to release his hold
on her waist. She took a grip and lifted his arm away.
'You're very aroused, aren't you?' She looked into his face.
His eyes were half-closed and he was breathing heavily. 'Does
it happen so quickly then?'
'Your touch is incredibly sensuous,' said Eddon slowly.
'You can't tell me you've never done that before.'
'No, never. I'm not thinking about it. I don't know what I'm
'One part of you does,' said Eddon wonderingly. 'One part of
She was still holding his hand, the hand that she'd unfixed from
her waist. She could feel the strange large-knuckled fingers,
the male skin slightly rougher than her own. She began threading
her fingers between his fingers, forcing his fingers apart. With
a sudden skid, her fingers slipped past his knuckles and into
the softer space below. Eddon uttered a faint inarticulate sound.
'Does that do it too?' Lassinda asked.
'It's very -- very intimate.'
'I didn't mean it to be. Is it something you only do later on?'
She raised her hand and Eddon's hand, looked at the interlaced
knot of their fingers.
'What does it make you feel?' she asked.
'I can't describe it. It's you and me together.'
'Not just our hands?'
'I don't know how to say it in words. Can't you feel how close
'Sort of. I think I'm beginning to understand.'
'Is it something you need to think about?'
'Yes, for me it is. My mind has to know about it too.'
Eddon was still leaning back against the rack of cylinders. He'd
hardly moved a millimetre from his original position. Lassinda
took a deep breath.
'Can you control yourself if I kiss you?' she asked.
Eddon nodded an almost imperciptible nod.
'Nothing more.' She stared probingly into his eyes. 'Only a kiss.'
Another almost imperceptible nod.
For a moment she stood in a state of indecision. She was not
merely trembling, she was shaking now. Her hand locked into his
hand, tighter and tighter.
Then suddenly she bent forward and pressed her lips to his mouth.