THIS EVIL ABROAD

Indian Ocean, 1933

Upon the flat, sparkling water loomed a massive, elongated shape, mostly black apart from a broad stripe of creamy white on its upper parts. If you saw it, blurred by distance upon the far horizon, you might take it for some leviathan, some mighty pelagic beast. But once in clear sight, the twin, slightly raked black funnels upon its back, etching a faint trail of vapour across the clear tropical sky, would tell you all you needed to know. This was the liner Chitral, its entirely benign purpose the ferrying of passengers - in the utmost comfort - to those parts of the World still considered exotic enough to merit expensive exploration: the Far East, Australia. The purposes of some of those ostensible tourists, however, could only be guessed at - and not all could be deemed remotely benign.

21-year-old Parker McGann, from Dublin, Ireland, was, on the other hand, a study in benignity. Her arrival aboard the Chitral had drawn admiring glances from all and sundry, but especially the young, unattached men - unfortunately for them, sightings from then on were few and far between, giving rise to rumours that the girl was being kept in purdah. Parker was an extremely pretty girl, and she knew it: possessed of a tanned, open, vaguely heart-shaped face framed by cascades of rich, chestnut hair; soft, roseate cheekbones and a strong, almost regal nose; slightly tilted, somewhat oriental jade green eyes; and a sinuous mouth with a voluptuous lower lip and a perfect archers bow above it, always curling at the corners with a smile that could stop hearts. Whats more, she had a trim yet ripe figure, and possessed a vivacious, winning personality to go with everything else. All of this should in theory have combined to make her the most popular person on board ship - indeed, it might well have done, were it not for the singular impediment of her father, Ewan McGann. McGann senior was an important person in Ireland, though that importance had of late fringed more into notoriety. He had, for reasons not explained to his daughter, undertaken this journey in an incognito condition - having to keep a low profile did not sit well with his worldly, outgoing offspring.

They were in their cabin, as they had been for most the entire voyage, and Parker was pouting elegantly in the midst of her most massive funk yet.

Pa, Im bored, she sighed theatrically. He looked over his (somewhat out-of-date) newspaper at her.

I thought you wanted to see the World, he said evenly.

All Ive seen so far is this cabin, a bit of deck, and the sea, she responded grumpily. I could do that hanging around the shipyards back home.

Ewan McGann set down his paper and regarded his beautiful daughter - it was an endlessly pleasing activity, even when she was playing up.

To see the World, you need to travel, he explained. This, for better or worse, is what travelling is all about.

No, its not, she snapped back. They have aeroplanes nowadays, Pa, if you really want to get somewhere. The only reason to come on a cruise liner is to meet people, to promenade the decks, to dine at the Captains table, to have liaisons in cocktail lounges. None of which, I hasten to point out, have we done, or are likely to do.

You know the deal, Poppet - I have many enemies, home and abroad, and at the moment, I need to keep my head down.

Even if it means stifling the most beautiful girl in all Ireland? She struck a winsome pose, making him laugh even as he again took up his paper.

Frankly, I think you could use a bit of stifling. When our country is put right, youll have all the freedom a young woman could ever need.

But I want my freedom now, she harrumphed. At least the freedom to go on deck and wink at a

boy

He glared at her over a piebald parapet of economic and political turmoil.

All right, he said slowly. Suppose I told you that, this very morning, you have the opportunity to meet an eligible young man?

Parkers eyes widened, then narrowed.

Whats the catch?

No catch, he smiled. I am meeting with an associate of mine, recently boarded. He is bringing his son, I am bringing my daughter - who knows, you two might hit it off

Parkers joy at a potential release from the tedium of their routine - not to mention the prospect of contemporary male company - was tempered by lingering suspicion. Her father was, after all, a professional politician - he led a movement. Nothing happened without a whiff of an agenda, the taint of politicking. This whole adventure smacked of Ewan McGann being up to something - Parker was obliged to go along until he finally revealed exactly what

*

Whilst her father donned a dapper lightweight suit, Parker opted for a bright floral-print frock with embroidered cape collar. She was more than a little chagrined to discover that their rendezvous was to be in a private suite not that much different from the one in which she was presently entombed. But that was to be as nothing compared to her consternation when she finally met their putative host.

His name was Ernst Terboven, a handsome middle-aged man clad head-to-foot in the unmistakable brown and black ensemble of the German Nazi Party. This in itself was not so shocking to Parker - after all, her fathers own organisation, the Army Comrades Association, had its distinctive blue uniforms; but it was peculiar to see one worn at a private occasion such as this. McGann and Terboven greeted each other with the familiar stiff-armed salute, before embracing warmly like they were old friends. Which, Parker suspected, was not in fact the case. She nonetheless smiled warmly as her father presented her to Terboven, who took her hand and kissed it.

A pleasure to make your acquaintance, Fraulein. May I say that you look extremely fetching.

And you look extremely uniform, Sir, she replied.

There was a flicker of annoyance in his eyes, but he recovered quickly.

Now that we are the power in Germany, we of the Reich see no need to conceal our identities, he said, with a proud smile. I trust the time will come when your fathers Blueshirts are as ubiquitous on the streets of Dublin as our Brownshirts are upon the streets of Berlin.

Well said, Sir, McGann interjected, a little too readily, firing a sidelong warning glance at his daughter as he did so. There was a fine line between spirited and downright insolent.

And now, Terboven announced, rubbing his hands slightly, If you would care to follow me into our dining room, there is someone I would like you to meet

So they followed, and as they did, both father and daughter were stopped in their tracks. Before them, draped in a sumptuous, clinging white gown, was a fabulously beautiful young woman. Tall and graceful, with Nordic, pewter-blonde shoulder-length hair; a wide, ovoid face with a high, thoughtful brow, and cheekbones so perfect they seemed carved from Carrera marble. A delicate nose and slender yet perfectly-formed mouth were contrasted by a strong chin with a subtle but noticeable cleft like a beauty spot. Pale brown, almost golden eyes regarded them a certain coldness, a certain disdain - Parker felt an arctic chill behind those eyes, even here in the tropics. She wondered idly what it might take to melt them. Regardless, she took a step forward and said, in a weary, sighing tone,

You dont look like much of a son.

*

It took some time for Ewan McGann to get over his embarrassment, but fortunately Herr Terboven seemed more amused than offended by the misunderstanding.

I am afraid I have no son to boast of, yet, he mused. A shame, as the Fatherland will soon be in need of soldiers. But Sommer here does me proud, both as assistant and daughter - I trust that before too long she will find a man with whom to add to our proud race. No doubt you wish the same for young Parker, here

I do, replied McGann, a little curtly. But before she is worthy of a husband, my daughter evidently needs a few lessons in the art of courtesy.

Ach, she is young yet, my friend. Even Sommer was once undisciplined, but now look at her: twenty-three years old, a model of Aryan womanhood.

As he said this, Parker was looking directly at Sommer herself, and thought, just for an instant, she saw a flicker of dissent in those gilded irises, but it was gone before its presence could be confirmed.

Over coffee, the men folk fell into an intense conversation which, much to Parkers annoyance, steadfastly refused to drift from politics. She was minded to try and nudge it elsewhere, but was also mindful of her fathers rebuke. Also, it was apparent Sommer would be of no aid - indeed, the blonde

affirmed her initial iceberg impression by remaining enigmatically silent much of the time.

So tell me, Herr Terboven, said McGann, his face pinking with slightly obsequious bonhomie, How was your visit to Japan?

A qualified success, Terboven shrugged. The cultural ties between our countries remain strong, and their increasing militarism could be advantageous, but they are a little wary of us, I feel. We are such a new power, and they are so ancient - I do not think they yet realise all we truly have in common.

Parker thought she glimpsed an opportunity to steer the discussion down a more entertaining channel. She glanced across at Sommer.

And how did you find the Far East, Fraulein? Ill bet all those little Japanese men were queuing up to see the blonde Amazon in their midst

Sommer looked at her as if she had just passed a particularly unpleasant gust of wind.

I am sure I have no regard for what racial inferiors might think of me, she said flatly. I was there as part of the cultural exchange, nothing more - the idea of personal relations with the yellow-skinned is repugnant to me.

Herr Terboven smiled broadly. It is as I said: my daughter is Aryan through-and-through. And now, my Irish friend, I think it is time for these young ladies to entertain themselves, while we attend to the more serious aspect of our meeting. Sommer, I am sure, would appreciate getting to know your Parker better

Sommer looked as if she would appreciate no such thing, but she knew a dismissal when she heard it.

Parker, for her part, was not going to pass up a chance to appear in public - in any case, she was so

bored that a suggestion they go and scrape out the bilge tanks might have had her responding with alacrity. They rose, nodded politely to their respective fathers, and departed the suite.

Parker followed Sommer up the steps, watching the slow sway of her bottom in that clinging dress, both impressed and deeply envious. If her chances of securing a young man on this voyage had been hampered before, they were now positively eclipsed by this glittering, if empty-headed, angel.

They emerged into a blinding morning: the sun hot and vivid, bleaching the decks; the sea glittering like the hardest diamond; even the breeze seemed hot and flaming. Nonetheless, there were plenty of passengers determinedly promenading - the pair of them made their way to a secluded spot at the rail, towards the stern. They stood for a protracted interval, looking at the sea - two strangers, neither knowing what to say.

Your father seems a decent man, uttered Sommer, at last. Parker snorted.

He has his moments, I suppose.

Sommer turned, looked intently at her.

Do you not think you should show him more respect?

Me? Parker giggled. Why? Hes got the whole of the ACA to do that for him. To me, hes just my dad - and he needs to remember Im his daughter, not one of his lackeys.

You do not think you might undermine his position?

Im not daft - when were in public I smile sweetly and say nothing. But all this backroom stuff, all

this wheeling and dealing, I cant take it seriously. I remember when the movement was a

couple of blokes drinking Guinness in our front room - now he thinks hes going to lead a revolution. Thats what this is all about, isnt it? Hes trying to get your people to back his big parade, the march on Dublin. Is he really thinking of turning it into a coup detat?

I am not privy to any such information, Sommer huffed. Even if I were, I would not be talking in such a profligate manner.

Jesus, its the worst-kept secret in Ireland. DOlivera knows full well whats going on - hell be down on the ACA like a ton of bricks. I know Pas a dreamer, but I thought he was at least realistic in his ambitions.

They said much the same about der Fuhrer, said Sommer, dreamily. They are not saying it any more

At that moment, the ships gong sounded sonorously for lunch. There was an instant reaction, as the promenaders began to surge below decks, like ants retreating into the nest. After a few minutes, Parker and Sommer were alone at the rail.

What you said, earlier, Sommer began, hesitantly. About the Japanese men - would you seriously consider relations with racial inferiors?

Parker shrugged. I dunno. Im not a great one for this racial purity concept - I think men are men, people are people, the world over. Everything else is just labels.

This time Sommers look was distinctly sidelong.

You are very unusual for the daughter of a Fascist, she hissed.

Parker smiled, the corners of her lovely mouth creased appealingly.

Ill take that as a compliment. And my fathers not a Fascist yet - not as youd define it. He admires Mussolini, but then so do lots of people.

Sommer raised one perfect eyebrow.

And what about you, Parker McGann? Do you admire Mussolini?

Not my type, replied Parker archly, turning her attention back to the sea. It was then she noticed something moving in the water, pursuing a parallel course to the Chitral, almost pacing it. For a moment she was quite convinced it was a submarine, but as she watched it resolved itself into an animals head, perched atop a long, straightish neck. Barely had she registered this, then a hump appeared, some distance behind, followed by another, and another, until a whole string could be seen moving together - only at that point did Parker realise she was looking at a single, living whole.

Do - do you see that? she gasped.

I see it, Sommer replied, a glimmer of excitement in her detached manner..

What is it?

I have no idea.

On the featureless ocean the distance of the thing, and hence its size, was impossible to judge accurately. But it seemed to Parker that it must be immense, possibly as long as the ship itself. They watched the creature for perhaps a minute or more, before without warning it sank below the waves - and in that time Parker experienced a curious sense of normality, as her initial astonishment gave way to a conviction that what she had witnessed was definitely a thing of flesh and blood, albeit extraordinary. She had just seen a sea monster - of that there could be no doubt - and yet it seemed somehow mundane, as if such a thing had always existed, and she had always known. She turned to look at Sommer, and was taken aback to find the blondes eyes upon her: a peculiar light within them, and an expression on that striking face not seen before.

Dyou suppose it will come back? Parker asked, shocked at the unaccustomed diffidence in her own voice.

I do not know, Sommer answered, in equally strained tones.

Should we wait?

That would be best, I think.

So they turned back to the water, not speaking, avoiding eye contact. They waited until the diners began to file back onto the deck, filling up the rails once more - a full hour had passed until they silently, mutually agreed to return to their fathers. Locked as they were in intense negotiations, the men did not notice anything amiss with their daughters. But something had changed; and both women knew it, even if, just then, they could not admit it, even to themselves.

*

All right, Ewan McGann threw up his hands in exasperation, So I was wrong about Terbovens daughter. The name I was given was Sonnen - its a boys name, all right? Thats what happens when you used encrypted communications. But it didnt mean you had to go and make a fool of me in front of the bastard.

Parker regarded him sweetly. It always amused her to see her father annoyed, and the angrier he got, the more amused she became.

And just how did I make a fool of you? she responded evenly. All I did was comment on his uniform, and point out that Sommer wasnt male - wheres the problem?

It made things frivolous, McGann scowled. This was supposed to be a serious meeting. God, why cant you be more like her? Shes disciplined, obedient

Boring, Parker broke in. Shes a pretty, empty-headed doll, and you know it. Would you really want me to be like that?

It might make things a bit easier, he retorted, but his anger was already fading, giving way to sullen resignation. No , I suppose not. Youre still my little conscience, Poppet.

So, Parker sighed, Whats really the matter? Do I take it Herr Terboven isnt keen on supporting your big parade?

McGanns face coloured. He doesnt think der Fuhrer will go for it. Seems hes a fan of the British, and knowing we fought them counts against us, even if we align politically.

Parker gave him a straight look. And just how much do we align politically, Pa? Ive heard the stories, so you must have, too - are these really the people you want as friends?

His look was sad and knowing. If it saves us from communism, yes. I know how they can come across, but theyve salvaged Germany from decadence and ruin, Poppet. They may be our only hope - they may be the Worlds only hope

She sighed again. I suppose this means more meetings with Herr Terboven?

Yes. I think his support is vital. Without it we might be doomed to failure. But its probably best if I negotiate with him one-to-one. Do you think you can bring yourself to go around with the empty-headed Sommer for a while longer?

Parker smiled. I guess so. Consider it my contribution to the cause. And its not as if Im having much luck with the men on this trip.

He chuckled. Thats my Poppet. By the way, you never told me what you and she got up to, while I was locked in negotiations with Terboven.

We Parker hesitated. We stood on the deck, looking at the sea.

For an hour and a half?

I told you she was boring, Parker retorted, a little too flippantly. So boring, shes made me really tired, and Im going to turn in. She kissed her father lightly on the forehead. Goodnight, Pa - I love you.

I love you too, Poppet. And dont worry - this will all work out in the end. For you, for me, for everybody - just you watch

*

In retrospect, going to bed was perhaps a mistake. Alone in her berth, alone in the dark, Parker had nowhere to escape from her thoughts and feelings. For all her spirit she was, of course, a good Catholic girl: she was well-versed in confession and guilt, sins venal and mortal; therefore she was ill-prepared for the emotions and sensations that crept upon her like mosquitoes in the night. She was insomniac, restless, constantly roiling beneath her sheets: her pulse and heart rate surged with an indefinable, unsettling excitement; her skin tingled and perspired, hypersensitive; parts of her body she had long been trained to despise ached and throbbed, at first dully, but with increasing persuasiveness. Worst of all, she was obsessed. Obsessed with Sommer.

No matter what she tried to think about - the sea, the ship, the serpent - Sommers face intruded. Trying to think of the handsome young men she had encountered, all of them simply morphed into that rangy blonde female with the dimple and the searing gaze. Even trying to think of her own father produced nothing but a Teutonic Amazon in a tight white dress - and with each appearance of Sommer

in her minds eye, her bodys illicit agitation rose and surged; become quivering, become uncontrollable.

Parker had never been in love, but she knew the symptoms. Fear and shame assailed her, sweeping in on a tide of incomprehension, but none could stem the inexorable ascent of her excitement. Her

entire being pulsed and ached, trembling luridly, suffused with a intensely physical need that blended hunger and appetite and gluttony and sweetness. She had to act upon it, she knew: if not, at best she would not get a moments sleep; at worst, she would simply die. Beneath the sheets her fingers were stealthy spiders, divorced from her conscious will, working in tandem towards a purely personal downfall. One was seeking out the hem of her lacy nightdress, gathering it in drapery folds up about her hips, her stomach. The other, the true betrayer, was picking its way amid the unfamiliar, coarse springiness of her pubic delta, slipping almost daintily into a warm, wet seam wherein dwelled sin beyond measure and pleasures beyond accounting. Parker had to bite a corner of her pillow in order to stop herself calling out as a searing pang of bliss surged through her. Each faint dab of her fingertips in that sticky morass brought forth new bursts of euphoria, mined unimagined veins of ecstasy, stealing her half-smothered breath. And all the while, Sommer refused to leave her minds eye - her dress clinging tight to every alluring curve, her hair sifting, her eyes aglow. Then there was the moment in Parkers imagination where that dress began to peel away from Sommers pale skin - Parker felt a deep, fundamental judder, and for an instant thought the ship had foundered; but it was only her, her body, convulsing and twitching in perfect, reprehensible release.

Parker lay on her back, gasping for air, eyes wide open but unseeing. Despite her every decent instinct, she withdrew the condemned manus from beneath her blanket. It was damp, sticky with some fast-drying substance. She sniffed at it, a sharpness of citrus and a taint of old saltwater: she recoiled, but not as much as she knew she should. Trembling, she put her fingers in her mouth, and knew a taste like strange, elusive candy; like childhood cocoa and toffee apples long forgotten; like a honey that might be forged by wasps. Gently she licked, and in the dark she smiled - she was headed for Purgatory at the very least, but she was stupidly, implacably happy.

*

The next morning saw her in a state of nervous anticipation, like a child bride about to come face-to-face with her groom. It was absurd, even unseemly, but she could not help it - she laboured over breakfast, her tummy in flux; she paced the cabin, unable to sit still. Time crawled by until her fathers

due appointment with Terboven. Its possible McGann senior might have noted his daughters agitation, were he not himself in a similar state: equally, hopelessly distracted. He was in danger of gambling everything on German co-operation; hinging his dreams and ambitions entirely upon the whim of a foreigner he barely knew.

Thus it was a disconcerted, uncommunicative pair that made their way at last to Terbovens suite. Parker could not help speculating on how she would feel, once she again saw Sommer in the flesh. She hoped, quite fervently, that a splash of reality would dampen down her feverish fantasy - perhaps extinguish it altogether. Sommer wasnt that beautiful, she told herself: she was boring and empty-headed, parroting Nazi clichés learned at her fathers knee. But buried deep within was a bright, lambent, terrifying spirit that said otherwise, that had her blushing in anticipation and excitement. It prayed - it knew - otherwise.

So when she indeed laid eyes upon the young woman, Parker was not so shocked when her heart all but stopped. There was a pang in her breast so intense it stilled her breath, as though her chest was a hollowed-out cavity being slowly, comprehensively crushed. If Sommer divined any of this, if she herself felt anything similar, she gave no sign. She was aloof, withdrawn as ever - and incalculably, painfully beautiful in her day dress of pale, burnished peach.

The men greeted each other as they had before, like old friends, like comrades-in-arms. Parker could barely mumble greetings, while Sommers response was a curt nod. And then suddenly they were dismissed, free to roam the decks, to be alone together - Parker couldnt tell if this was a miracle or a disaster. She was ashamed now to be abroad in the open, in public, as if her emotions were scrawled in Indian ink all across her face - I am in love; I am in love with a woman; I am in love with this woman;

please God, please Mother Mary, help me.

Entirely by instinct, they made their way to the previous spot, from where they had witnessed the creature; from where, Parker felt, all sense had fled her existence. As before, they stood side-by-side in studied silence, staring out: Parker could not bring herself to look at her companion; she feared she might faint dead away. Words and phrases tumbled in her mind, all of them incomprehensible, redundant - so much she needed to say, but no way to express it. Gripping the rail tight in her frustration, she finally blurted,

Did you tell him?

Nein, came the casual response, as if Sommer had been anticipating this very question.

Why not?

There was long pause before Sommer answered.

I found I could not. Perhaps I feared my father would not believe me. Perhaps I thought he would laugh at me. Regardless, I chose to say nothing. And you?

No. I dont know why, but I just couldnt

Perhaps, Sommer sighed, It is best if it remains our secret.

Parker glanced sidelong at her. That white gold hair shimmering in the breeze was life and death somehow merged into one vital essence.

I have another secret, she whispered, almost inaudibly. Sommer shrugged casually, but her eyes remained locked forward. Parker looked straight down to the water, the ships flank plummeting away from her like some smooth, lethal cliff. She drew the deepest breath she had ever taken.

I think Im in love with you, she exhaled, a dizzying, confessional rush of words, seeming purged from her very soul.

Sommer made no immediate response, merely continued to scan the horizon with emotionless eyes. Parker knew she was looking for the monster. For their monster.

You do not know what you are saying, said Sommer at last, her voice still infuriatingly even. The notion is obscene - worse than that, it is subversive.

But you know what Im talking about, dont you? Parker needled. You feel it too - or at least you feel something. Youve felt it ever since we saw that - that thing together. Thats why you couldnt tell your father - you were afraid, afraid of what it meant. Thats the truth, isnt it? Isnt it?

I feel nothing, countered Sommer flatly.

Youre lying! Parker snapped, and far along the rail a head or two turned to look their way. Sommer glared at her, and for the first time there was colour in those arctic cheeks.

I do not lie, she hissed.

Then prove it, Parker retorted, fighting to keep her voice down.

How do you propose I do that?

I am going back to my cabin, Parker announced, jaw clenched in determination. You wait ten minutes, and then you follow me

Sommers eyes narrowed upon her.

And if I fail to comply with this?

You wont, Parker whispered, then turned on her heel and stalked away.

*

Sommer Terboven was unused to being afraid. Supposedly, the rise to power of the Nazis had stamped out fear, at least for their own, for the true Germans. Fear was now exclusively the province of their enemies - the agitators and interlopers who had helped the Fatherland to its former ruin, whose days were surely numbered.

And yet, disengaging from the solid, reassuring rail, making her way along this deck so familiar, Sommer felt a creeping chill of anxiety. Moreover, she was unsure precisely of what she was so nervous - in the worst case scenario, it might well be herself. Parker McGanns words had dug beneath her ivory skin, leaving barbs that nagged and stung. It was true: ever since the monster (what else could one call it?) she had felt different. Detached, slightly unreal; no longer certain of anything, especially her own emotions. Something about meeting that girl - her impudence and spirit - had summoned recollections of what Sommer might have been, before National Socialism showed her true place in the scheme of things. And the thing - this beast that did not belong to the known, ordered world - it had been a hammer smashing through the crust of her certainty, exposing the seething chaos below.

Arriving at the door to the McGann suit, she took an moment to compose herself. When she knocked, it was confident, decisive.

Come in, said a slightly distant, muffled voice.

Sommer entered, to find the parlour room deserted. Her eye was drawn by the bedroom door,

provocatively ajar. With mounting trepidation she approached, eased it open.

Mein Gott, she whispered.

A shaft of searing golden sunlight poured in through a porthole, spotlighting a berth and the scene upon it. Parker McGann lay stretched, full-length along it: indolently, almost arrogantly, naked. Her legs were fractionally drawn up, her knees wide parted, exposing the thicket of her pudenda, a hint of soft lips: she rested her head on one hand, dark hair splashed across her wrist, while the other lightly trailed across her sumptuous breasts; roseate nipples uptilted. Her eyes flashed jade fire; about her lush mouth a slight, maddening smile. In an instant Sommer took all this in, along with a host of other details: the athletic elongation of Parkers thighs and calves; her wide, slightly clumsy feet; the subtle swell of her tummy; the broad strength of her shoulders. It was abhorrent, it was depraved, it was beautiful: it was all she feared and all she could have desired.

What are you doing? she breathed.

Waiting for you, Parker replied calmly. Wanting you. All of this is yours, if you but choose to take it

Sommer swallowed. Her pulse seemed inordinately loud in the rooms fervid silence.

You realise, she pleaded, That this cannot be. What you ask, is not for the likes of us.

I dont care, Parker purred, her face aglow, her look potent as a lighthouse beam. She trailed her hand downward, over her belly, into the vile delta betwixt her thighs. There was a faint, wet sound that made Sommer flinch. So long as youre here, so long as I get to do this in your presence, thats enough. I adore you, Sommer.

She began to work her fingertips up and down, along the length of the scarlet seam that manifested amid the dark, rustling curls. Her expression softened with pleasure and her eyes misted with joy - but she kept them trained upon Sommer.

Dear God, she gasped, Youre so beautiful

Sommer moved like a pale whiplash, a white cobra darting forward. A single step and a snap of her arm, seizing Parkers wrist in a talon-like grip. They held each others gaze for a protracted moment - eyes burning, faces set. Parkers fingers glistened like stamens in dew, guiltily beguiling. Sommers grip slackened a fraction - Parker speared her with that perfect smile. Slowly, oh-so slowly, Sommer lifted Parkers fingers to her mouth, parted those perfect lips, and tasted them. Parker shivered at the warmth, the wetness, so reminiscent of her own flesh, yet so intensely different. For her part, Sommer let her eyelids flutter: her face, her whole being briefly shimmering at this sip of forbidden honey. Parker slowly eased her fingers free, trailing silvery threads of saliva, interlacing them with Sommers. Their conjoined knuckles brushed the burning, pink-dusted vellum of Sommers cheek, sweeping back the lush, silvery velvet of her hair. Then, with the ethereal, implacable strength of the lover, she drew Sommers hand down towards her stomach, towards the zone of seduction. Her eyes bored into Sommers, now open and receptive.

Fuck me, she whispered. Please fuck me

She loosened her grip, but Sommers hand did not fly away. Instead it lingered at her bare hip, fingernails tracing a fleeting fiery signature upon the soft, smooth skin. Then it curled inwards, flowing over the precipice of tanned thigh, brushing the soft bristling garland, touching the wet silky folds beyond. Parker drew a breath, held it - her whole frame gave an involuntary twitch. Those fingertips felt huge against the soft yielding petals of her need: her pelvis oscillated, willingly unlocking even as muscles contracted in her stomach, her legs, her anus.

Patient, curious, even a little disbelieving, Sommer took her time, letting her fingers trail delicately along the gently weeping seam, observing the vermilion lips as they took on definition, blossoming and

peeling apart to reveal an infinity of flaming scarlet beyond; above them the cowled head of the clitoris, proud and overarching. Sweat beading on her snowy brow Sommer concentrated, as focussed on this unbidden tasked as she had ever been on anything in her life, even as its consequences repelled her. A scent reached her, crisp as new-fallen apples and loamy as the soil that nurtured them: Parker moaned, her body shifting and dilating. And though she had no experience of what was occurring, Sommer sensed the significance of the moment - decisively she twisted two joined fingers, curling them with elegant finesse into the submissive recess of Parkers vagina.

Oh! The sound was half cry, half sob, wrenched from the depths of the feminine soul. Parkers body convulsed, suffused with the sense of being filled, of being violated, of being completed, of being consumed. A wash of pleasure and of pain, prickly heated red, lapped up from the pit of her belly, filling her breasts, her throat, her cheeks, her lips. It receded as Sommer slowly withdrew her fingers, leaving a terrible, aching void. And now it was Parkers turn to seize the others wrist, pulling her onward.

More, she pleaded. Harder dont stop

Twas an invitation to power, even to cruelty - both sentiments with which Sommer had recent familiarity. She felt a faint exultation as she pressed her fingers deep a second time, slightly stabbing, withdrawing quickly, urgently before plunging home again. Parker bucked and panted beneath her, face contorted in a expression of melded agony and delight, eyes aflame with agony and hunger. Such magnitude, accomplished with nothing more than her fingers! Yet, as Parker spiralled ever deeper into untrammelled passion; as she lost the battle to keep Sommers beauty in view, at last closing her eyes and surrendering to the maelstrom of her own pleasure; as her body twisted in an apotheosis of convulsive joy - Sommer felt a profound shift in her own emotions, a flutter in her own belly, a white pulse in her own womb. She flung herself forward, her lips mashing upon Parkers, stealing the very cries of climactic abandon she had engendered - it was their first kiss, and it killed the last of Sommers resistance. As Parker fell away from her, limp and shivering the in the afterglow, Sommer inaudibly mouthed a phrase she thought she would never use, least of all with another woman.

Ich liebe dich

She pressed her fingers, all but dripping with residue, to Parkers quivering lips - the girl smiled up at her, gratefully accepted the gift of her own seduction, her own sweetness. And after a moment, Sommer leaned in to taste her own share of sinful nectar, her dabbing licks inevitably evolving into a deep, tongue-curling kiss. Parkers arm slipped around Sommers slim shoulders, pulling her close - drawing her lips tighter, her tongue deeper. Parkers free hand drifted downward, seeking the hem of Sommers dress, gathering its folds in fistfuls up and over her buttocks and hips. Sommer stiffened, a stifled sound in her throat that might have been protest, but she was too lulled by Parkers succulent kiss, too trapped in her passionate, ursine embrace to offer serious resistance. The dress bunched about her waist like some colourful, designer parachute, exposing white stockings and clinging panties. Sommer shivered guiltily as Parker delved shamelessly between her thighs - silky fabric sticky, all but saturated in anticipation.

Please Sommer whispered, Please dont

The feeblest demurral, insubstantial as air - Parker chose to ignore it. Instead she reached with both hands, seizing the elasticated waistband, decisively hauling the panties down to a point just above Sommers knees. Sommer had little time to ruminate upon this humiliating exposure, for now Parkers fingers were at her aching vulva, delicately probing - Sommer gave a long, growling moan as her body opened, easily as butterfly wings, allowing herself to be filled, to be sensuously flooded.

Come for me, Sommer, Parker hissed, her fingers working quickly, implacably into puce, sodden flesh. I want you to pour over my fingers

Sommer lurched against her, brow sparkling and creased in straining effort; eyes closed and mouth set with the pleasurable pain Parker now knew only too well. She twitched violently once, twice, three

times - shuddering in uncontrolled release.

Mein Gott, she cried. Mein GOTT!

She collapsed onto Parker, breathless and spent, her whole body become soft, almost liquid.. Parker held her gently a moment, then introduced her honeyed fingers between them. Sommer balked a moment at her own, sea-spray scent, but then almost obediently licked herself from Parkers fingertips. Soon Parker joined her, and they were little girls sharing an ice cream, their tongues inevitably tangling into another voluptuous kiss of blended feminine flavours. And afterward, they could only giggle at the immensity, the absurdity of it all.

I could be arrested for this, Sommer later opined, quite seriously.

Think youve got problems? Parker countered. Ive just booked myself a one-way ticket to Hell

*