The very first time

Perhaps understandably, my recollection of the next few dates isn’t as sharp as that first one. I remember a few trips to various restaurants, a couple of movies and a rugby match. Dominic was the perfect gentleman, and so far we had done nothing more than hold hands and kiss goodnight.

This chaste-ness was taking its toll on my body. I wanted him so badly it was becoming hard to concentrate on anything but thinking what it would be like to kiss him and touch him and…well, I’m sure you get the gist. It was time to move our relationship up a notch.

We had both been invited, separately, to a weekend long house party in Gloucestershire with some mutual friends. We arranged that he would pick me up from work on the Friday evening and we’d drive up together. I spent the Thursday night frantically planning outfits, packing my weekend bag and gathering the riding gear I so rarely used while in London. I wasn’t so nervous as I’d been seeing Dominic for almost two months now, but there was a feeling in my stomach that this was it. This was the weekend.

Dominic arrived at my office bang on time, as always. I don’t think I’d ever been out with someone so punctual. I was finishing up the last of the weeks work and he stood behind my chair, hands on my shoulders, watching me type. All I wanted to do was spin my chair around and kiss my way up to his mouth, but I forced myself to concentrate – which wasn’t easy – and finally closed my computer down.

He helped me into my coat and carried my bag as we left the building. As we turned the corner, I stopped in my tracks. There was only car parked in the small side street, an Aston Martin DB9. My most favourite car in the whole wide world, and one for which I had been saving for years.

“Oh wow,” I sighed as I walked slowly around it to drink it all in. “It’s beautiful.”

He grinned at me over the top of the car, “I thought you like it.”

“I love it. You know, I’m saving up for a DB9. It’s all I’ve ever wanted.”

“You want to drive?”

I looked up at him, mouth probably hanging open. God, did I want to drive that car, but I couldn’t bring myself to say yes. I was too scared of hurting it in some way. “Maybe over the weekend. I’ll just sit in the passenger seat and try not the drool on the leather upholstery.”

He laughed then, opening the door for me to climb in. It was just as beautiful on the inside as it was outside. I’d already told Dominic about my fixation for fast cars. I was a huge motorsport fan and regularly went to race meets of all kinds, from Formula One to junior karts. But this…this was, for me, an orgasm on wheels.

We talked for the two hours it took us to get to the small village where the party was, Dominic really pushed the speedometer once we hit the motorway. I’d only ever been there once before when M, whose house it was, had married V, and Dominic had never been, so we got a little lost trying to find the tiny lane off which their driveway lay. But eventually we accidentally found ourselves on the right road and pulled up at the end of the mile long drive.

M and V were already outside, greeting a couple I didn’t recognise as they climbed out of their car. V hurried over to greet me, kissing me warmly on both cheeks.

“Suz, so glad you could make it! You look fantastic, how was the journey? I didn’t know you were coming with Dominic,” she said, not giving me any time to answer as she dropped her voice, “should I have put you in the same room?”

I laughed, “No, we’re not there yet.”

“Even so, Suz,” she looked over at Dominic, who was busy greeting M as they took our bags from the car, “he is divine. You always land on your feet.”

I felt a muscle leap in my jaw as I thought about my last disastrous relationship. Had I really landed on my feet this time? There was something exceptional about Dominic and the way he made me feel when I was with him. In the short time we’d been together I’d already become quite attached to him.

V showed the two of us to our rooms, although I suspect she’d reshuffled when she realised we were together as his room was literally just across from mine. She left us to freshen up while she went to greet the stragglers and put the finishing touches to a late supper.

I won’t confuse you by giving the initials of everyone at the party – there were a lot of A’s – but there were around 14 of us in total. I knew maybe half the group and, although I wasn’t particularly close to any of them, I always enjoyed their company. We all sat down to an excellent supper at which I drank an awful lot of red wine and by the time the Eton Mess was served, I was almost asleep on the table. I wasn’t the only one, after a long work week everyone was tired and the party broke up soon after the coffee.

I slept well that night, and woke up in the morning to the familiar sound of silence. In London, it’s never silent. You can always here the distant, continuous roar of traffic. But in the country, there’s nothing. It’s wonderful. I could faintly smell the bacon V was cooking in the kitchen as I climbed out of bed and headed for the bathroom to shower. I dressed in my riding gear, fighting, as always, with the riding boots I’d probably worn three times since I bought them.

It’s strange the things you remember years later. Dominic was already in the kitchen tucking into a huge plate of bacon and eggs. He grinned up at me as I helped myself to coffee and I ruffled his hair affectionately as I slid onto the bench next to him.

“You coming riding with me?” I asked him quietly. “V’s got some great horses.”

“Sure, although I have to warn you I’m not the worlds best rider.”

I laughed, stole a piece of bacon from his plate. “I’ll look after you. I’ll go tack up, just ask V to point you in the right direction when you’re ready.”

I grabbed a piece of toast and checked with V which horses it was okay to take out before sauntering down to the stables. It was a cold January morning, with a low mist curling through over the park and the through the woodland that marked the boundary of M’s land. I lead out the two horses and checked them over before saddling up. I caught my thumb on one of the buckles and ripped a chunk of flesh out. It hurt like hell and dripped blood over the cobbles. I’ve still got a little silver scar.

Once the horses were tacked up and secure, I went into the tack room to clean my thumb up and find a plaster. When I went back out into the yard, Dominic was waiting for me. I introduced him to his horse and watched as he stroked her nose, talking softly to him. I was pleased to see he wasn’t scared. Lots of men get nervous around horses.

Anyway, off we went on our ride and I’d love to be able to tell you that we had a romantic liason in the woods, or a roll in the hay back at the stables, but we didn’t. It wasn’t until long after dinner that night, when we were alone in the drawing-room enjoying the dying embers of the fire that anything happened.

We’d been talking about everything and nothing, drinking brandy and gradually relaxing further and further into each others company. We were laying side by side on the vast sofa and the conversation had died out as we stared into one another’s eyes. I remember how intense the feeling was, how much I wanted him to kiss me, the nervous excitement twisting my stomach and the dull pulse beating deep in my abdomen.

Finally, he pulled me against him and kissed me. I remember thinking ‘At last! Oooh, great kisser!’ and then I got lost in the moment. I don’t know how long we laid there, snogging like a pair of teenagers but there came a point where it all got so much more urgent. Without speaking we disentangled ourselves and stood up, then he took my hand and lead me upstairs.

I won’t go into graphic detail, this is my real sex-life with the man who turned out to be my husband after all. But I can honestly say that sleeping with him was unlike anything I’d ever experienced before. I felt a deep connection with him (hey, no giggling at the back) that had never been present in any other sexual relationship I’d been in. Whereas before it was all about gratification, what I had with Dominic was different. If we could have stayed in that bed forever, it wouldn’t have been long enough.

Needless to say we didn’t get much sleep that night. When I woke up in the morning I was snuggled deep within the duvet, his arms wrapped tightly around me. That’s when I realised I was already in love with him.

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