Read an Excerpt
Then he led me up the stairs to the fourth floor and into the lingerie department and I was amazed to find that those dull middle-aged women had a real good thing going with their underwear. The department was big – and the stock wasn’t all designed to fit anorexic waifs either. All the labels had French or Italian names on. There were basques and corsets and girdles and stockings and bras of every shape and size – bras to make you look big and bras to make you look small, naughty nighties and control garments and suspender belts. I’ve never seen so much lace all in one place.
‘See anything you like?’ Oliver asked. ‘My treat.’
‘Oh it will be,’ he promised, brushing his lips to my ear and biting gently at the lobe. I shivered.
I started to look through the racks of bras, falling instantly in love with the different colours of contrasting lace. A female shop assistant with a face like a wet weekend drifted over in our direction.
‘Can I help you at all?’
‘We’re fine,’ said Oliver cheerily. He had the right accent for that kind of place. She looked us over and then retreated to her counter again as a tweedy-looking lady went up to ask for help. I smiled to myself, stroking a longline slip of red satin slashed to the waist, and failing to imagine the tweedy woman wearing anything like this in a hundred years. I had a push-up bra in dark purple with lavender trim in one hand, and another in wild hues of blue and turquoise and pretty appliquéd flowers in the other, when Oliver came over with his own choice of garment.
‘I’d like to see you in this as well,’ he said softly.
It was a single-piece body made to look like a ruched Victorian corset, with definite hints of burlesque. The chestnut satin of the side panels was overlaid in peach lace and there were plentiful trimmings of black ribbons and suspender straps. I could imagine how I’d look in it and my mouth watered.
‘Are you sure, Ol? This stuff is pretty expensive.’
‘Valentine’s present. You had a look at the knickers yet?’ He drew me gently toward those racks and away from the assistant.
‘I bet you want me in itty-bitty thongs, don’t you?’ I giggled.
‘Nope. I don’t have a thing for string.’ He turned slightly so that his back was to the counter and anyone watching, and lowered his voice to a warm murmur. ‘What I like is those ones with the full panel of lace at the front, all sweet and pretty, and then you turn around and at the back they’re cut high so that your beautiful round bum cheeks peek out from beneath the lace band, almost bared.’ He was starting to sound a little throaty. ‘It’s like the curtain going up on the stage at the theatre. Oh god, Nikki, that just drives me crazy.’
‘Everything drives you crazy,’ I countered as he brushed up against me, gentle but very deliberate.
‘Everything about you, anyway.’ He took my hand – the one not laden with hangers full of frillies – and pressed it reverently to the front of his jeans. He had a semi on already – a hard curve of flesh that surged up against the fabric and against my fingers. He wanted me but bad, I had to admit, and that eagerness was arousing in the most primal way. I licked my lips. I wanted to rub him harder, but a department store wasn’t exactly the right place.
‘Okay,’ I said. ‘So something like this …?’ I plucked a pair of knickers in stretchy cream lace down from the rack and checked the label to make sure that they were in my size. The gusset narrowed to a ribbon of lace that would fit snugly up the cleft of my bottom; I could already imagine the slight roughness against my most secret flesh. ‘And I need some to go with the tops, of course …’
‘Here,’ he said, handing me four pairs. ‘Now head that way. To the changing room.’
‘I’m not sure these are the right ones –’
‘Ssh! Quickly! While she’s busy!’
Trying to look nonchalant we wound our way between the racks to the back corner of the building where the changing rooms were. In a more modern store there would have been some sort of security, but this place was old-fashioned and understaffed. There was just an outer door and, inside, three cubicles. Oliver hurried me into the far cell and shut the door on us before catching me up in a teasing kiss, all tongue and promise. I wriggled my hips, grinding against him. Two can play at teasing. I was pleased to feel him gasp in response and grow harder.