Cynthia and Preston head straight for the pool when they get home, giving Sue an excuse to sit out the back. There are two hours of sun before the afternoon will be cooling off at all. Cal is mulching the gardens next door. He keeps looking over, but Sue won’t acknowledge him. She’s feeling too guilty to do that.
She goes inside and puts the stew on simmer. It’s about an hour until Josh is due home. Somehow she ends up in the bedroom sorting through her wardrobe. Her cut-off denim shorts are at her ankles, and she kicks them away. The thought of being bent over that big black motorbike is in her mind as she strips off her bikini and slips on a little, floral print dress. It’s short and straight with spaghetti string shoulder straps. She chooses pretty white lace panties, as if he’s going to be seeing them, like in the picture flashing through her mind.
Sue cuts oranges and takes them out to the children. A low wolf whistle prickles her skin.
“May I have one of those, please? A quarter?”
Blushing and shaking her head, she relents and looks at Cal. He’s at the fence, grinning. This guy is all kinds of wrong, but she can’t stop herself plucking at her dress as she approaches with his quarter of an orange. The low V-neckline gapes a little.
I should be wearing a bra.
“Your gardens are looking good,” Sue comments, peering over the fence while the big, adorable man sucks on the orange she gave him.
She’s thinking about his mouth, wondering how it would feel to be kissed by him.
“Yeah – I’m about done for the day…. How about bringing the kids over for a ride on my bike? It’s a good chance, with none of the guys around.”
“Oh! But isn’t it dangerous? They haven’t got helmets.”
“No – we’ll ride out there.” He indicates the grassy nature strip behind the back fences.
It would be perfectly safe, Sue reasons, chewing a lip. Preston would love it.
“Come on – bring them over,” Cal enthuses. “I’ll go slow and keep safe. I’ve had kids on back and front before.”
“Are you sure it’s no trouble?”
He scoffs. “Hey kids – do want a ride on my motorcycle?”
They both squeal, “Yes!” They’re by Sue’s side dripping and wriggling excitedly in an instant.
Cal has taken the t-shirt stuffed in his back pocket and pulled it on.
“Come on – short-cut,” he says, and lifts Preston then Cynthia over the fence. “Come on, Mum – you too,” he says, grinning.
He leans over the fence and takes hold around the back of Sue’s thighs. She sits on his arm, which is beneath the hem of her dress. He lifts her easily as she clings to the rippling muscle of his shoulder. Her head is beside his. Their eyes lock.
I think my lips have parted, but he’d better not kiss me in front of the children.
“That’s a good dress, Sue.”
Sue’s feet have touched the ground, she thinks. The guy’s big hand is still upon her hip. It’s beneath her dress, squeezing her. He rubs his thumb along the waistband of her panties, just softly back and forth. This has all happened in the space of a few seconds, but time has slowed for Sue.
“Careful there, kids!” They’re climbing on the seat of the bike.
Sue’s standing there by herself now. Her legs are weak. The man she’s dressed like that for is getting on his bike. He puts her son on behind him and her daughter at the back, telling them to hold onto his belt loops. “Get the gate, Sue,” he calls, and she hurries to the back gate and opens it. The big motorbike thunders. Her kids are beaming with glee as he rides past and out onto the nature strip.
More seconds have passed. Sue’s mind is still mush. She can feel the warm, rough imprint of where his thumb was testing the band of her panties. She’s clutching her dress in front, holding her hands to her chest. The bike rumbles slowly by with her children squealing at her. She smiles back, catching the eyes of this man making her heart thump – this total stranger who had his big paw up her dress.
What am I even thinking? It’s my anniversary on Saturday. The kids are going to their grandmother’s place, and Josh is taking me to dinner and dancing. We’ve been together always. There are no other men in the world. I’ve never had to think about that, and if it weren’t for the children, this guy could have kissed me before. I would have let him.
The big loud motorbike is back. “Your turn, Mummy!” little Preston cries excitedly.
“Yeah, Mummy’s turn,” Cal says, helping the children down from the seat. They’re jumping and squealing, tugging at Sue now, pulling her toward the bike. “Come on,” Cal says, taking her hand and guiding her…….