And while I'm on the subject, I am mortified to realise that I haven't posted up a snippet of my story in that collection, Blind Man's Buff, yet. So here is one:
"I am aware of the bodies before I reach them; there is warmth and scent heralding their physical presence. If I do not like the smell, I try to elude them, but this one is peaches, lovely ripe delicate peaches. Or nectarines. When I catch her she laughs, low and mellifluous, and strokes my hair. She is about my height, and her touch as she unhooks my basque is exquisite.
‘Oh, look, they are standing up for me!’ Warm merriment in her voice, bathing me. Then she is pulling me back against her body – her dress is silk – and pinching at my nipples, demonstrating for the room. ‘Look at these pretty things, everyone.’ She reaches down to unsnap my stockings, then removes them. Her hair tickles my bottom and thighs and there is sweet breath on my skin. Once the hosiery is removed, she drops a gentle kiss on the inside of one thigh, then stands back up and repeats the action on the back of my neck. ‘Pretty things,’ she repeats, crooning it into my hair.
‘Put her down, Saskia,’ says Gil indulgently and, to the accompaniment of sighs, I am released once more, to pad about the room in no more than my thong. Their voices are giving away their location now, for they have broken into conversation, and their conversation is about me – or rather my breasts, and my bottom, and the curve of my hips and the tone of my skin.
‘You’re a lucky man, Gil.’
‘She is built for pleasure.’
‘Made for fucking.’
‘The perfect little slut.’
I twist this way and that, in between the sound waves they produce, until eventually I trip over a shoe – a man’s shoe, perhaps a brogue – and stumble into him.
‘Oh, I have hit the jackpot!’ he proclaims. ‘Let’s get these knickers off then. Such as they are.’
His thumbs settle inside the elastic, resting there for a while, snug against my hipbones, then he begins to ease them down, very slowly, very deliberately. He runs a finger down the string, releasing it from its captivity in my arse crack, then he chuckles – I knew he would – when my pubic hair is revealed.
‘That’s sweet,’ he says. ‘A heart shape. Look at this.’ He hurries to get the flimsy things off me so he can show my clipped, shaped mons to the world. There is a rumble of laughter and some clapping.
‘There now, ladies and gentlemen,’ says Gil. ‘Your gift is unwrapped. It is now up to you to enjoy it. Catch her and you may use her in any way you wish – short, as we have established, of penetrative sex.’ His voice is getting closer, he is almost beside me. ‘Are you ready,