Sharing by @Kris_Gallagher

The below is an entry for #FreshlyPolished by @Kris_Gallagher.

Sharing

It had long been on her list of desires, and they’d talked about it from time to time over the years but never acted on it for one reason or another. That year he decided it was definitely going on the agenda,they were getting more experimental in their sex sessions,and the time was ripe to add another woman to their bed.

Finding a suitable guest for the encounter was tricky,as was finding the right time for it to take place. Fortunately aesthetics weren’t an issue as they had always shared a similar taste in women. As varied as those tastes were,there had always been some overlap. It took a few attempts, one or two casual meetings that lacked chemistry before they found the willing guest to invite into their bedroom antics. An ad on an adult orientated site had led to them meeting, but until she saw their guest playing with her blonde hair and smiling across the table of the coffee house they had met at, R hadn’t been sure about the whole idea moving from fantasy into reality. Now she felt a grin tugging on her own lips,thinking about the fun that lay ahead. Even as she kissed her goodbye, R felt a thrill from feeling a nipple piercing pressing against her,and unexpected bonus to proceedings. Arrangements made, they two ladies parted ways for the time being.

The night of the encounter arrived,and he had glasses of imported bubbly poured for the ladies, a bourbon old fashioned for himself whilst R was in the shower. The bedroom was set but he felt the need to sit and relax before sharing the woman he adored. Open minded though he was,sometimes jealousy could kick in unexpectedly. He and R had already discussed limits with N, going over certain ground rules to try to keep everyone at ease. . He heard R finish up in the shower,and grinned as he saw her exiting the bathroom in a sheer white nightgown that he always loved seeing her in. He had just handed her a glass when the buzzer went,announcing the arrival of their guest for the evening.

R made herself comfortable whilst He buzzed N up,unlocking the door to greet her. A welcoming hug and a quick kiss on the cheek were enough to hide his sudden onset of shyness. N made her way to the sofa beside R and leaned in for a far more adventurous kiss as N undid the ties of her overcoat. Whatever was on display clearly worked for R as she grinned,pulling N closer as she did so. Finding himself somewhat surplus to current requirements, He made himself at ease on the other sofa and settled back to enjoy the view of the woman he adored worshipping another woman. The glass cradled in his hand was enough of a distraction to settle his nerves as R kissed the throat of their guest before slowly making her way downwards. A glint of colour between his lover’s thighs caught his eye in the dim candlelight. Being the tease that she was,she was wearing her jewelled plug and had painted her nails to match. K leaned forward on the sofa to get a better view as her fingers tapped against the plug and her waiting cunt. He watched eagerly as she slid her fingertip along her vulva,almost beckoning him closer before wagging her finger to tell him “No,not yet” as N ran her fingers through his lover’s hair,leaving him to watch on the sidelines,sipping on his bourbon and trying to ignore the growing stiffness in his jeans.

K sat,watching impatiently,as R pushed the thighs of N wider apart. R was clearly revelling in the task at hand because K could see her fingers slick with her juices as they worked at her vulva. Fucking hell did he love that sight. It wasn’t long before K found himself reaching for a condom to slip on and join the ladies as they moved from the sofa to the bedroom…

K’s memories of the following hours were a tangle of limbs and snapshots of the action unfolding,his clearest memory being that of fucking R in her throat as her head hung off the side of the bed whilst N was sucking on her clit. He was happy to let the ladies dictate the pace,this was R’s evening and he was more than satisfied watching it unfold to her pleasure

After their guest had left,he crawled back into bed,nestling behind her naked curves,his body fitting perfectly as it always had. His hand found hers as he kissed her neck,a grin on his lips as he slid back into her. Some things were just too good to share…

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#FreshlyPolished: The Entries

The full list of entries to my #FreshlyPolished competition. Entries will be added as and when they’re submitted. Closing date is TBC, so there’s still time to enter. Enjoy!

  1. Coral Reef by @innocentlb
  2. Mint Candy Apple by @ella_scandal
  3. Barbados Blue by @hannahlockhardt
  4. In Stitches by @Kats_my_Name__
  5. Leading Lady by @mollysdailykiss
  6. Sexy Plunge by @His_Cub
  7. Frock ‘n Roll by @jillyboyd
  8. Cute as a Button by @IAmAnnaSky
  9. Passport to Happiness by Ruby Estella
  10. She’s Picture Perfect by @fdotleonora
  11. After School Boy Blazer by @notsosexintheci

‘How a bad girl fell in love’ competition (of sorts): winner

Slightly (very) guttingly, in the end there was only one entry for this competition. In the hope that that says more about my current absence from Twitter, and therefore a lack of competition promotion on my part, rather than a lack of interest in the competition in general, I decided not to extend the deadline, and instead to award the prize to Jo at Teachers Have Sex, since her entry was outstanding and would no doubt have been a strong contender for the winning place even if there had been more entries. You can read her (superbly titled) story below…

Underground Eruptions Could Cause Quakes Months Later

Sitting on a KTX train bound for Daegu, I see my own reflection absentmindedly staring out the window at the mountains passing by.  As so often happens when I’m not thinking of anything in particular, my thoughts drift to you.  To your strong fingers, your expressive brown eyes, your dirty words whispered lovingly into my ears.  Your mouth on my nipple, seen from above as I’m straddling you.  Your sex and heat and body odor-mingled scent in the late morning after an all-night fuck marathon.

You often joked with me how you’d want to see me right off the train or bus because long-distance transit makes me insatiably horny.  I don’t know why; the rumblings of the engine or the bumps in the road, the freedom of my mind to wander now that I’m far from home, the shadows crossing my face as we enter and exit tunnels.

I’m thinking of you and I remember (or did I dream it?) coming home one night after a weekend away to find you lounging on my couch, reading a book.  Waiting for me.  I didn’t expect to see you.  Didn’t expect for you to stride over to me without saying anything, kiss me full on the lips (god your lips), and then ask if my bus ride was good.  I couldn’t muster an answer as I was too busy dropping my bag, fumbling with the buttons on your shirt, and barely getting my own pants down a bit before you picked me up and put me on my kitchen counter, pushed my pants off with your foot, and grabbed the back of my hips to pull me forward enough for you to slide into me.  I came hard that night with my head banging against my cupboard, clutching your back as though I hadn’t seen you in years, feeling a hunger in my cunt for more and more of you.

Now, sitting on the train and thinking of your body pressed against me, I feel my lips swell, blood pulsing deep inside me.  Sometimes I think that if I fantasize hard enough I can make myself come – but not having accomplished that yet, I stand up suddenly, push by the passenger next to me, and enclose myself in the train bathroom.  Still standing, I move my hand into my panties and dip my fingers inside, drawing up my own lube, and rub two fingers in circles around my clit, breath coming hard, biting my own lip.  It doesn’t take long.  My whole body shakes soundlessly, vibrating against the bathroom wall.  A series of powerful contractions takes my breath away, and my body relaxes.  I see myself tremble in the bathroom mirror and I think, sorrowful for just a moment, about how much I’d like to come home to you.  You’re 7,000 miles away now, but you still erupt inside of me now and then, spilling out of me, aftershocks stretching out into the night.

Six men in the kitchen (The Lady, October 2015) & competition reminder

Someone once told her that she only needed six things in her kitchen: a food processor, a microplane grater, a good set of knives, digital scales, a stand mixer and a vegetable peeler.

It’s not true, she realises now. Sometimes you need other things. Sometimes you need six men, all of whom you’ve bedded, leaning against your worktop – not because you have doubts, but because you want a reminder of how you got here.

Her hen do was supposed to be mixed, but it has separated out, somehow – the girls and the plastic, novelty cocks in the living room, the boys – and their real flesh and blood ones – in the kitchen. She intends to flit between the two groups, but there’s an easiness to hanging out with the men. She’s never been one for slick, organised parties; she’s certainly never been one for pin-the-dick-on-the-fireman.

Instead, she plays her own game. She weaves between the guys, topping up their champagne, and for each one, she challenges herself to remember a specific moment or detail about the way they fucked.

Jamie’s fingers, and the way they curved against her G-spot until she drenched his sheets.

Max, who taught her to love face slapping, though she can’t for the life of her remember what made them try it in the first place.

Edward, bestower of tiny yellow thumbprint bruises all over her tits, and bigger, purple ones on her arse.

Stephen, the biggest of the six, who liked to slide into her before she was quite wet enough, stretching her wide around his cock.

Zac, who she only fucked once, at uni, when she was so drunk she can barely remember it, but whose pale arse, disappearing out of her bedroom door the following morning, will stay with her forever.

Fraser, who made so much noise when he came, the neighbours complained. More than once.

She’s found a man who is all these things for her now, but she would’t have got there, without these men. She wouldn’t have known that these things mattered to her.

*

The day itself doubles the contents of her kitchen cabinets. There are vegetable steamers, beautiful stoneware casserole dishes, cheese knives, and, from her grandma, cutlery for best, a concept that is still beyond her.

The boys don’t bring gifts – it’s not their style. Besides, they don’t need to – over the past ten years they’ve given her more than she could ever have hoped for.

For obvious reasons, this isn’t an entry for my competition to win a signed copy of Girl on the Net’s new book, but it is a reminder that you only have four and a bit days left to enter.

I’ll put up a separate post linking to the entries as soon as I have a few more, but for now, check out this epically-titled entry by Jo at Teachers have Sex.

Competition (of sorts): Win ‘How a bad girl fell in love’

Seeing as I love a writing competition, I thought the launch of Girl on the Net’s new book was a great excuse to run one, and the publisher have kindly promised me a signed copy of the book as a prize.

As I said in my review, Girl on the Net uses real magazine article titles for each of the chapters in her book – ’13 Scientifically Proven Signs You’re in Love,’ ‘So You’ve Decided to Watch Porn Together,’ ‘How to Seduce Each Zodiac Sign’ – and it’s one of the things I love about it.

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to do the same – write a post, fiction or non-fiction, of up to 500 words, using a magazine article title as your title. It’s up to you whether you want to use an online or offline magazine, Cosmo, Caravan Monthly or Homes & Antiques. It just must be a real article title.

If you’re tempted, here are …

… the Rules…

(1) Your post can be fiction or non-fiction.
(2) Your post must use a magazine article title as its title.
(3) The post must (obviously) be your own work.
(4) There is no minimum length for posts, but they must be no longer than 500 words.
(5) You can enter as many times as you want.
(6) You must post the piece on your own blog and post a link to it in the comments section below in order for your entry to be considered.
(7) The competition closes at 23.59 GMT on Thursday, March 24th. Any entries submitted after this point will not be considered.
(8) You consent to me reproducing your post in full if you win.
(9) Should you win, you are happy to share your mailing address with me and Blink Publishing for the purpose of sending your prize.
(10) The competition is open internationally.

If I’ve missed anything, or you have questions, please let me know. Also, I’m taking a Twitter break at the moment, so please share this if you can. It would be good to get as many entries as possible!

#Lippie: The Results

It’s taken me two full weeks to get round to judging #Lippie. I’m kind of sorry, not sorry, because I wanted to wait until I had the time to read all the entries in one sitting and to really figure out what I loved about each one. Because god, there was a lot of great writing submitted.

I should say, before I start with what I loved, that the comments on the entries are in no particular order (they’re linked by theme), with the exception of the final five. Although there’s only one prize this time round, there were loads of entries that deserved to be commended and I couldn’t get it down to three, so, yeah, one winner and four runners up.

Two themes that I found particularly interesting came through in a lot of the entries. Lots of the stories dealt with reinventing yourself, which is, after all, the huge joy of lipstick. Brave by @TomWatched was one such example, with the added benefit of great dialogue. @RiaRestrepo also did a fab job of it in Kinda Sexy, where she wrote a great, modern version of Girl Power (yes, I did like the Spice Girls), which also has room for a very hot man. Finally, there was Fanfare by @IAmAnnaSky, which did a beautiful job of combining the will to recreate yourself after a relationship ends with the sometimes huge appeal of being lost in the crowd. Plus, it had the wonderful line ‘She tastes sweet and sour.’

When characters weren’t reinventing themselves, they were generally superbly strong nonetheless. @cherrytartblog’s Flamingos and wolves (yes, she drew a particularly short straw in the lipstick name game) has a heroine with serious attitude. I adored her! @Mollysdailykiss gave us a similarly sassy FMC in On Hold, as well as a lovely bit of alleyway action, which is one of my favourite things. And talking of my favourite things, @Mandapen used remarkably few words to tap into all my kinks and left me lusting for some bruises. Dancing cropped up twice, in @Innocentlb’s Impassioned and Flat Out Fabulous by @Katya_Harris – the first of these saw a narrator who gets lost in the music only to leave me wistful for the girl he misses out on in doing so, and the latter an epic female character who’s so into her dancing she doesn’t need anyone else to make this a really hot story. There was also a lovely bit of character detail in @CollaredMom’s Politely Pink, where the female character says ‘he knew I hated pink’ and the themes of both pinkness and politeness carry the whole way through the story, too. In Dubonnet, by Robert S, the female character wasn’t typical of erotic fiction, which always pleases me, and the male character liked her imperfections, such as her selfies. The sense of place was really well portrayed in this one, too.

Costa Chic by @GoodnightAngela genuinely had me wondering where the story was going. The same was true at the start of @BilliousOne’s Runway Hit, which I expected to be about fashion but actually turned out to be set at an airport. I liked how the arrivals and departures of the planes gave the whole thing a sense of fleetingness, which was the other theme that came up multiple times. I loved too, how the heroine left the hotel after the scene. The sense of fleetingness was also my favourite thing about Peter Stone’s Real Redhead.

Several of the stories had wonderful multi-sensory details, like Lipstick Color by @cammiesonfloor, whose heroine is left with a ‘grotesque, clownish smile (I also loved the line ‘more like the “O” she wanted than a plea’) , Peach Blossom by @Juniper3Glasgow (‘She can still smell the outside on her’), which also had a beautifully balanced and healthy relationship between the characters, and Creme in your Coffee by @fdotleonora (‘[she] could not help but notice that the lipstick was the exact color as her nipples’), which takes an everyday scenario and makes it hot as, well, coffee.

Although @VidaBailey2’s non-fiction piece Cosmo was sad in places (‘…no one knew how to make me come’), it’s ultimately very uplifting, not least due to the description of ‘happy, heavy cock.’ @VenaRamphal’s No Persistence here was equally a bittersweet combination of fun and sadness, with the added twist of being told from the perspective of the actual lipstick! Sexy, too…

Syrup by @AbsolutelyRuby is not sad, but it is bloody dark, and was so powerfully written, I found myself holding my breath for the first few paragraphs. It also had a very cool male character, this time because he didn’t always know what he was doing, which, while terrifying, also strikes me as very true to life. BDSM is also handled well in @StellaKiink’s See Sheer, which reminded me just how wonderfully calm it can make you feel.

In Lady Danger by @Mansplanation, it’s the dialogue – ‘Am I your King,’ I ask her, pinning her down by the throat,’ contrasting wonderfully with ‘Tilt your head my queen.’ Somehow, it’s so powerful it also makes the ending even more of a surprise. Rebel by @loucheasfuck had the beautiful line ‘she’s hit a rich seam’ as well as very powerful repetition – ‘And her. And her.’

This brings us to the top five. The runners up, again in no particular orderwere @Girlonthenetwith Sin, @19Syllables, with Cockney, @JillyBoyd, with Hot Tahiti and @Octogirlscares with Saigon Summer. I went to a writing talk recently where the speaker talked about the writer needing to take full responsibility for the imagery they create, and not leave the reader to have to fill in the gaps, and Girlonthenet certainly does this. ‘Each detail pulses with raw, bright colour’ she says, in the story, and then she totally follows through, writing in a way that allows us to experience all of this raw, bright colour for ourselves.

Cockney is similarly vivid, while less graphic, and does a masterful job of mixing the everyday with the seriously hot. In the comments on this story, Girlonthenet said ‘I think I have a proper kink for anticipation, and unrequited lust, and this captured that *ache* so beautifully,’ and I can’t really express it better myself…

The other two runners up both deal with trauma, although in very different ways. In Hot Tahiti, Jilly deftly pulls off writing about death while keeping an immense sense of life in her piece, which is bloody tricky to do, and she has a wonderfully strong male narrator whose self-assurance allows him to say things like ‘She was never too much,’ which utterly delighted me. @Octogirlscares went braver still, using Saigon Summer to write about the horrors of the Vietnam war. The main character in this appeared so vividly to me I felt I’d met or seen her somewhere, and I was just astounded by the author’s courage is using something as frivolous as a lipstick name to inspire something so powerfully bleak.

And so, all that’s left is to announce the winner: Myth, by @DarkJezebelle. With both this and Girlonthenet’s piece making the top five, it would seem that cheating is quietly one of my kinks, but what I really loved about this piece was that it wove lipstick in, but did it in a way that made it utterly crucial to the story, and the strong, short but confident voice that @DarkJezebelle maintains throughout. I was a also a sucker for the way the paranoia builds over the course of the piece, and the fantastic imagery, such as ‘Or was it left there, around the base, where I’d struggled to breathe, eager to impress a new lover.’

So, that’s it. Thanks to you all for joining in and helping me raise cash for Refuge, and huge congratulations to @DarkJezebelle – drop me an email or DM with your mailing address and I’ll get your prize sent out asap!

#Lippie entry: Brave by @Tomwatched

#Lippie entry by the fabulous @Tomwatched.

Brave

The need has been building. Always present, every time with her husband she wishes he would try, do, something. Her twitter account shows images that make her clench, she reads conversations with graphic descriptions of things she can only dream of.  She squirms when on her own, but daren’t ask her husband, daren’t take that leap of faith to tell him her needs, he just wouldn’t understand. She fears the man she has been with for ten years would look at her in disgust.

She want to have control taken from her,  to be tied, toyed with, taken to new heights of pleasure.

To be used as a plaything.

To submit.

The twitter messages from Him start with a simple; “I know what you need”

Over the weeks He tempts her, every fantasy He relates makes her melt,  she exists in a constant heightened state of arousal. He begins the complete brain fuck, the learning and exploring of her mind. How to turn her on, how to give her confidence.

He asks  her things about her body, how she climaxes, how she prefers to come. What her fantasies are. She is shy and nervous but not reluctant to share.  She needs this.

Every day a new message, a new fantasy to explore or task to expand her awareness of her mental and physical desires:

He tells her he wants to teach her the deep sensations, the sting and throb of a heavy leather strap on her bottom and would make her so wet,  so turned on that the slightest touch of her clit would have her flooding on his hand.

He requires her to play with her unexplored bottom, to learn how it feels to have stimulation on her clit and something filling previously untouched regions of her body.

He encourages her to experience how pegs on her nipples send jolts straight to her clit, heightening her pleasure, accelerating and magnifying the orgasm.

He makes her imagine what it feels like to have a bit in her mouth,  back forcibly arched as he takes her from behind,  pulling the reins tight. Taking her.

A small, sleek small plug arrives in the post with a note that He wants her to feel it with her fingers in her pussy.  Imagining then what His thick cock might feel like bulging in her. What two toys feel like,  opening her up as she masturbates.

Another gift arrives, a book of erotica and a note: “I’m having lovely thoughts about you reading this and slowly sliding your fingers into your knickers, seeing how wet you get. Show me”.

He opens her mind to new possibilities , new challenges. She learns more about her body, her needs in those few weeks talking online to Him than she has in ten years of her relationship with her husband.

One evening, without warning, the message arrives she has half been dreading, half wishing would come. Simply:

“Meet me”

The panic grips her, she can’t contemplate taking such a large step. Then, her mind drifts back over the past few weeks, the feelings of near bliss He has elicited purely with suggestion, instruction. She has the realisation, this may be her only chance at fulfilment, the chance to sate her darker desires.  A fitful night’s sleep and in the morning, reaches for her phone, types Him the shortest of replies:

“I’ll be brave.”

#Lippie Entry: Fanfare by @IAmAnnaSky

#Lippie entry by the wonderful @IAmAnnaSky.

Fanfare

It wasn’t as hot outside as I thought it’d be, but inside was humid. A bar packed full of revellers; drunk, sweaty bodies and a constant rising volume. I should be in my little flat, sobbing my lonely heart out, grasping forlornly at what could have been.

But I wasn’t. I was here, with a passport, backpack and fifty quid for company. Everyone around me knew everybody else. Yet I didn’t feel alone; a stream of people kept dragging me to dance or refilling my glass. The joys of being a tourist in a foreign city on New Year’s eve, I guess. The atmosphere was infectious, a full on party and I was grateful for an interruption to my solitude.

I didn’t know the music, but it didn’t matter; I couldn’t dance, but no-one was watching that closely either. I swayed to the music, intoxicated by either the ambience or the alcohol. It really didn’t matter, everyone else was the same.

A petite body pushed past, the woman I’d had half an eye on all night. She stood out like a beacon in the crowd of bodies. She seemed so vibrant in comparison with everyone else, so alive. I wanted her energy, no, I wanted her.

Her breasts pushed against my chest, and without thinking I rested my hand on her hip. “Perdón!” I exclaimed, withdrawing it like she were on fire. She flashed a smile at me as I held up my hands in apology. The rest of the room faded in comparison. All I could see was her.

She took my hand in hers, turned to face away and replaced my hand where it’d just been. She swayed to the music, her hips sashaying in time to the music. Her hair tickled against my face, her bottom teased against me and everything slowed down. The air seemed syrupy and thick, my movements exaggerated, like my brain wanted to capture the memory.

She turned back to me. “I’m Sylvie,” she said in English, her voice thick with an Andalusian accent. I looked at her, fumbling for the right Spanish phrase, temporarily lost for words. She laughed at me, her eyes sparkling with fun. “Come on.” Her hand tugged at mine and I followed, unsure where we were going. Right now, I’d go anywhere she asked.

We skirted round the bar, and through a door at the back. Once it closed behind us, the noise dropped away to an insistent hum. Sylvie turned and pressed herself to me. Her lips were full and soft, and she ran her fingers round my neck to rest against my scalp.

She tasted sweet and sour. And I kissed her, over and over, wanting more. Her fingers twisted harder into my hair and I let my mouth graze down her neck to her collarbone. Sylvie murmured, words I couldn’t catch or understand.

The noise the other side of the door changed. “Come on!” said Sylvie, taking my hand again. She pulled me outside and into the crowd to watch the fireworks exploding overhead. The flashes and bangs illuminated the sky, and Sylvie pressed herself against me as we looked up.

I breathed out long and slow; I was ready. Ready to release all the tension that had stretched me to breaking point. Ready to move on from all the events that led me here. The fireworks were like a fanfare to a new future. But right now, as Sylvie turned to me, they were a celebration of a petite Spanish girl’s tender kisses.

#Lippie Entry: Highlights by @mandapen

A #Lippie entry from the ever-lovely @mandapen.

Highlights

“This is a very subtle highlighter – there’s no sparkles or glitter – it’ll just give your skin a luminescence. We recommend you blend it on your cheekbones, just under brows and along the collarbone: those little areas you want to accentuate and catch the light.”

There would be no blending on cheekbones for her.

She placed it on her bedside table knowing that she would not be using her new make up until two days time. Until after she’d seen him.

Later that day: he grabs her shoulders, bites her neck, sinks his thumbs into her wrists, pushes her knees apart, slaps her arse, applies tongue, teeth, cock with vigour, but most importantly, for her, he makes invisible fingerprints.

Invisible until the following day when little smudges of tawny yellow and violet grey bruises appear on her arms, legs, breasts.

Each smudge a badge of her kink. Each smudge a thrill that she wanted to announce to the world. She took the make up from her bedside table and began to accentuate and highlight every little bruise.

#Lippie Entry: Myth, by @DarkJezebelle

A #Lippie entry from the lovely @DarkJezebelle.

Myth

She was in full opinionated swing as I began to clear up around her, her arms folded, her manner resolute as usual.

“I just don’t get it…”

“What?”

I turned, the empty coffee cups in my hand. I had my back to her now. I opened the tap and the water began to hit the base of the sink. She raised her voice slightly so I could hear her and I heard every word.

“I just don’t buy into the myth that women don’t know when their husband is sleeping with someone else. I think they just lie to themselves because they don’t want to know.”

She was fond of making these big statements in her lazy, southern drawl.
I shut off the tap and stared at the empty cups, not wanting to turn just yet.
Not yet.
I waited for it.

“I’d know if he was fucking someone else. I just would”

Pause. Breathe. Turn.

I looked at her. She is a long leggy woman, tall and elegant, feline, complacent almost in her manner. We were not alike. I am sharper in my manner. Small, petite, shorter, we were never friends who shared clothes.  I looked down at my hands.

“How would you know?”

I placed emphasis on that first word. I was genuinely interested.

“Well I’d smell her on him for a start….”

I glanced up . She wasn’t smiling. She never smiled that much. She just raised her eyebrows to indicate a statement of fact. Her arm released itself from the fold and she reached down, fumbling in her bag. I quietly observed, not yet sure of my response. She produced a lipstick and, with the skill of many years of experience, she deftly removed the shiny lid, twisted it and began to smooth it over her mouth, no mirror required.
Our friendship could be measured out in lipstick stains, on numerous coffee mugs and wine glasses, on my cheek at a party or dinner, on the lips of my husband when she kissed him in a moment of shared friendly intimacy, always in my presence, never for too long.
I gaze at the ‘barely there’ sheen on her lips, a thought developing in my mind.
Her mouth…..that colour ….his mouth…..my mouth.

Had she applied it on the morning of that first unplanned meeting, kissing his mouth as he left? And later in that stolen lunch hour, emboldened by wine, when he pressed against me in that City doorway and he desperately sought my lips with his, my permission, my implied consent, did some of that soft colour transfer from her mouth to mine via his?

Or the next time, as we lay on my sitting room floor, after his hand had found my skin because the underwear I’d deliberately chosen allowed him to do so with such ease. When he traced his finger along my thigh so that I giggled, when he moaned between my legs ‘my God, you’re so wet and swollen’ making me blush. And then come. Was there a faint slick of colour left behind in between my legs that I didn’t notice?

Or that snatched afternoon in his kitchen, when he pressed his cock into my mouth, had she left her mark on him at the tip so that it smeared across my face as I yielded to his insistence? Or was it left there, around the base, where I’d struggled to breathe, eager to impress a new lover?

Or the most recent time, when we didn’t even make it passed the hallway, when he grabbed and pushed, hastily lifting and ripping, fucking me so hard from behind as he reached round and thrust his fingers into my mouth. Did those fingers still have the vestige of their last encounter, the colour from her mouth painted on to mine?

I stared at that mouth. The lipstick was a soft inconspicuous shade. It was probably called something like ‘Illusion’ or ‘Whisper’ or ‘Myth’. Lipstick names making promises that they can never keep.

Still staring I realised her lips were moving. She was talking. She was saying something to me, her arm outstretched.
“Do you want to try it?”
And there lay the lipstick, like a bullet, in the open palm of friendship.