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As classic combinations go, strong cider and hot sunshine is not up there with strawberries and cream, tea and sympathy, wine and roses.
I should have chosen one thing or the other. But I had the afternoon off, and my long, golden lunch hour in the beer garden with my new boyfriend did that magical stretching thing, knocking your attention off course until you suddenly realise that it’s after three and you are decidedly squiffy. Even though Evan and I had chosen a table beneath a mature, spreading chestnut tree, the shade had slipped off without excusing itself, leaving me lightheaded, a little bit maladroit, and horribly prone to saying the wrong thing.
And I emphatically did not want to say the wrong thing to Evan. After all, in a place like Great Swingeing, single men of any description were hard to find, let alone eligible, sexy, funny, clever single men with size 11 feet who could do that James Bond single-eyebrow-raising thing. Most of the men in this village thought I’ve Got a Brand New Combine Harvester was a sophisticated romance ballad.
I knew that Evan was a keen participant in village life – I’d only been in Great Swingeing six weeks, but I’d tried to get involved as much as I could, joining a book group and a skittles team. I’d met Evan at the skittles, and I knew he also played cricket and coached some of the village kids. He was a landscape gardener and got a lot of business from the rich retirees who made up a good section of the local populace.
He was an outdoor type, a manly man’s man with broad shoulders, huge hands, a year-round tan and a smile to match his cricket whites. He alone had welcomed me and my new business wholeheartedly to the village, without any snide comments about arty-farty townies who didn’t understand country folk. There was no reason, he said, that a combined pottery shop and tea room could not work in Great Swingeing, and it was about time the village came out of Far From the Madding Crowd and into the 21st century.
Evan’s arm rested loosely around my shoulder as we sat on the bench watching the erection of a maypole on the village green, striped and beribboned, all ready for the weekend fête.
‘You going to be dancing around that, Faith?’ he asked me idly.
‘I haven’t danced around a maypole since I was at school. Should be fun. If you’ll dance with me.’
He turned to me, smirking, that one eyebrow raised. ‘Has anyone told you about our little village tradition?’
‘What, another one? How many traditions can one village have?’
‘This is an ancient one – goes back to before medieval times. Doesn’t get done much, because you have to have a female newcomer for it.’ His fingers closed around my upper arm and he whispered into my ear. ‘Take me home and I’ll tell you all about it.’
About half an hour later, in the flat above my shop, I lay bent over the kitchen counter, still in my blouse but with my jeans and knickers cast to the corners of the room while my overheated pussy played host to Evan’s thick, fat cock.
‘Are you ready to hear about the tradition?’ he grunted, ramming it up to the hilt and leaving me stuck between the granite units and his granite thighs, staring the knife block in the face.