The hum of the tube-train increased as it accelerated away from the platform below us while we merged into the crowd making its way down the steps. The copper edge with the criss-cross pattern glinting its warning up at anyone choosing to look down. We would catch the next one.
Stifling July air on the platform clung around us, our fingers entwined and his thumb rubbed my knuckles which sent a tingling through my limbs like ants racing towards my heart, then down to the pit of my stomach where they churned with desire. As he looked away down the platform at the overhead announcement board, I noted his neck, the tendons taught in twist and a pulse clearly visible.
I wasn’t sure how much longer I could hold back. We had finally shared the drink date we’d been promising ourselves for days yet been too busy to achieve. We had consumed three glasses of wine each, enough to relax the inhibitions and below the small mahogany table in the gloomy corner of the pub, his hand had found my thigh and given it a gentle squeeze. I had adored the intensely pleasing conversation about attraction and respect. We had been seeing each other for over a month and had kissed only once before, outside my flat door when he dropped me off after a meal – the gentleman I hoped he would be; he had placed a gentle kiss upon my cheek. Yet that night I had yearned to ask him in, my body screaming for his touch. I had lent against the inside of my front door after closing it and almost panted with expectation, such was the passion within.
The next train came into view, bursting from the tunnel with familiar lights, blue and red flashes of doors passed us until the carriages slowed and stopped. We waited for people to step down, many knowing exactly in which direction they would start walking, while others alighted and immediately hesitated, searching for information boards or coloured arrows nestled in the Victorian glazed tiles.
He stood back and invited me on first, then stepped in close behind before more commuters and workers jostled into the end of the carriage. The sliding window in the top half of the inter-connecting door was already dropped to its allocated depth, such an inefficient gap which allowed only warm acrid air to filter through. ‘Doors closing’ and away we went, towards the next station, the air speed increased through the window and swept my hair forward into my face, which I tucked behind my ears. I kept my back to the door while he stood directly in front of me, each arm holding on to a bar either side of my shoulders, a protective enclosure which no-one else could enter.
I looked up as our bodies joggled with the motion of the train, his only inches from mine and once again my breath caught in my throat as desire for this being erupted at his proximity. I watched his denim shirt, open at the neck, move slightly whenever he turned to check the surroundings and the temptation to touch the few dark hairs there was almost too much.
We had four stops to travel and as we raced around the bends on London’s mysterious tunnel network, he looked back down at me, from his taller perspective and simply stared. When the train jolted slightly and his body fell forward making contact with mine, his eye contact did not waver. So close were his lips to me, I felt I could lean up and graze them with my own. I wanted those lips on me, my face, my body. Soon.