As the plane reached its cruising altitude, the captain dimmed the cabin lights and I settled back in my seat. I’d counted on getting bumped up to Business, but with only 10 days till Christmas I wasn’t the only guy in a suit looking for an excuse to head back to London; instead, I’d killed a couple of hours in the airline lounge before take-off, and I knew that even squeezed against the window in Economy, the free booze wouldn’t take long to work its magic.
The couple occupying the other seats in my row were way ahead of me on that score. Or the male half was, at least. I’d seen them in the queue for boarding, rearranging their bags to accommodate the last-minute souvenirs they’d bought in Duty Free. Young and wide-eyed, with skin pink and glowing from afternoons spent out in the bitter December cold: I envied them and I didn’t. They retained a wholesomeness that I’d lost at some point, systematically rubbed off by the years and the miles; by the endless hotel rooms. Even though we were close in age, I felt dull and faded next to them.
I glanced across again. The woman – and she was most certainly that – turned towards me and offered a small smile. Her boyfriend’s head had slipped down his seat, onto her shoulder, and she rolled her eyes theatrically as he started to snore. I studied her more closely. There was something guarded in her expression – sad even – that I hadn’t noticed back at the airport. It was as if a mask had slipped the second she no longer felt his eyes on her.
She gazed back evenly, her chin jutting out like a boxer’s: open, but defiant. There was nothing unusual about her face – it wasn’t one to make men stop and stare in the street – but behind the impassive features, her eyes glittered with something that made my skin prickle, and caused my thighs to tense with sudden need.
With exaggerated slowness, she moved a finger to her lips and smiled at me, lips quirked wryly even as her eyes continued to bore into mine. She shuffled in her seat, just enough to jostle her boyfriend’s sleeping head deeper into the crook of her neck; the movement freed up her right hand, which she used to tug her discarded shawl over her lap. Both of us looked down at it, as if the simple gesture had settled a debate that neither of us knew we were having.
“What’s your name?” I asked. She shook her head and took my hand, rubbing her fingers over my knuckles. I swallowed an involuntary moan and held my breath, desperate to stay silent even with the engines’ helpful roar filling the cabin. She guided me under the hem of her short cotton dress and up the inside of her thigh. My fingers tensed when they met bare skin; I must have looked surprised to find stockings instead of tights, because she flashed me a tight grin.
“Men…” she mouthed, and parted her legs still further, encouraging me to continue. I looked up to see the steward push through the curtain a dozen rows ahead of me, the drinks trolley in front of him. Shit. She clasped my wrist with her hand, holding it in place for five seconds, 10 seconds; then, with slow, firm insistence, she moved me the last few inches up between her legs.
Before I even touched her there, I felt the warmth pulsing out from her cunt. She was so wet that when my fingertips finally grazed over her soft folds, it felt like I was pushing them into melting butter. They met no resistance at all and I laughed despite myself. Who was this woman?
I let my fingers explore her cunt, trying to keep my movements light and teasing. I dipped one finger inside her, up to the first knuckle, and she turned to look at me, eyes wide. She shook her head. Her lips looked bruised in the moonlight that leaked in through the plane window, as if they were swollen with arousal.
“No,” she whispered. “Not like that. I want you to make me come.”
My ears felt hyper-sensitive. I heard her breath hitch, and release in a low shudder, somewhere between a purr and a growl, as the slippery heat of her clit brushed the underside of my fingertip. I heard her boyfriend’s grunts, irregular and shallow, as he slept on her shoulder, oblivious to what we were doing. And getting ever closer, I heard the jangle of cans and bottles on the drinks cart, the bright, pleasant tones of the steward now only a few rows away.
I touched her as slowly as I could, her clit already slick and elusive. Her eyes closed and she sighed. An almost imperceptible thrust of her hips pushed her more firmly against my fingers, and I responded, stroking evenly up and down, under the hood of her clit. It felt like a clandestine symphony was playing out all around us: the different rhythms of the engines, the trolley, his snoring, and her ragged, shuddering breaths rolling over and under each other with metronomic intensity. Her thigh started to tremble under my wrist and I increased the pressure, but not the speed, trying to coax her there, not wanting to break the spell with a jarring change of pace.
“Oh…oh…” I felt her hair brush my ear as she buried her face in her shoulder, her boyfriend slipping further down towards her collarbone. The wheel of the drinks cart appeared in the aisle next to our row, but she clenched her thighs tight around my hand, unwilling to let it slip back to safety. Seconds later, I felt her legs go rigid; her fist balled on the armrest, the skin patched red and white, and I put my other hand over it, protectively – possessively – as she came over my fingers.
By the time the steward moved into view, her eyes were closed again, but instead of screwing up they merely flickered with the beginnings of sleep. I took a gin & tonic and downed the spirit in one gulp, trying to ignore the throbbing between my legs. I turned rested my head against the window – I knew I couldn’t look at her any longer – and tried to get comfortable. All that was left to do was sleep.
I woke up as the plane finished its taxi back to the gate. I lifted my fingers to my nose and smelled her on them, but by the time I swivelled around, they had already stood up, ready to disembark. I waited, trying to slow the sudden thump in my chest as I looked at his smooth, kind features; the way he held her coat and helped her wriggle into it. As the aisle cleared in front of them, she glanced back and I smiled at her. She held my gaze for the briefest of moments, her eyes unreadable, before she turned and followed her boyfriend through the curtain, towards the front of the plane.
Also by Exhibit A: