Tales from the Finchbottom Vale – (47) Strangers on a Train (Part 06)
It was two hours later when he woke up in his bed with Francesca draped across him with her head on his chest.
His hand was resting on her hip so he caressed her from hip to buttock and he kissed the top of her head and in response she hugged his torso and sighed.
After a few moments he said
“I really do think I should walk you back to the Hotel”
“Oh do I have to?” she replied “I don’t want to go”
“I don’t want you to go either” he said “but you should”
“You don’t want me to?” she asked with surprise
“No I don’t” Paul said and kissed her
“Well as you’re not trying to get rid of me I can leave with head held high” she said “apart from the two counts of adulterous behavior”
“I thought for a moment you’d forgotten about that” he said
“That’s not likely” she said “Now turn your back,”
“Why?” He asked
“So I can get dressed”
“But I’ve already seen everything” Paul said proudly
“That was when we were making love” she corrected him
“This is different”
“Oh ok” Paul said and turned his back to her
“And no peeking” she said over her shoulder
“Ok” he agreed and he thought it was rather cute that even after what they had done she was still acting shy, that was a real point scorer, not that she needed any more points, she had already out scored any woman he had ever known.
“Now you can look,” she said and when he turned around she was wearing the blue cocktail dress again and his jacket was back around her shoulders.
It was a few minute before 4am when they set off from the caravan for the walk down to Sharpington.
It was a much easier walk down from Whitecliff than it was on the upward journey.
They went arm in arm along the well-used and well-lit road and then entered Jubilee Park, which was very quiet and very dark and he was thankful that he had insisted on escorting her.
They exited the park and continued arm in arm down towards the Palladium, and when they reached the end they stopped in the shadows.
“You’d better not come any further” she said “Just in case”
Paul agreed and they shared a long lingering goodnight kiss.
“I’ll watch you all the way” he said and kissed her again and then good to his word he watched her until she reached the Hotel and climbed the steps, where she paused and smiled before going in.
Francesca had mixed feelings as she walked to the reception desk to collect her key card, predominantly feelings of guilt because she had been unfaithful to her husband, for the first time in 18 years of marriage, but she also felt rather pleased with herself for making love with a handsome, kind, caring and gentlemanly guy and she didn’t meet many of them.
However when she reached the desk and discovered both hers and her husband’s key cards were still unclaimed her feeling of guilt melted away.
As Paul made the trek back up to Whitecliff he had to admit to himself that he had lost his heart to Francesca and hoped that that special night was the beginning of something even more special.
And he reflected on the circumstances of their burgeoning relationship which began with them meeting as strangers on a train and ended six weeks later as lovers in a caravan.