The Top Deck of a London Bus
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He breathed heavily as he hauled himself up to the top deck of the bus. A long day behind him, a few ups slight consolation for a string of disappointments.
Another day, a little more in the bank, not much incentive to keep on day on day walking the narrow line between keeping clients on side and telling them directly their chances of media coverage for their hair-brained ideas were slim — and zero without his contacts.
There was only one other passenger on the top deck — it was after the main rush and before people started out for the evening. He glanced in her direction as he slumped into his seat.
Was that a hint of a smile? He couldn’t be sure, but smiled in her direction, and turned to his newspaper.
The bus seemed to be crawling even more slowly than usual — one red light after another. Then it turned into an unfamiliar street. “This bus is on diversion,” over the PA system.
Very helpful, he thought, no indication what the new route would be.
“Does this bus go to Liverpool Street?” The voice of his fellow top-deck traveller aroused him from the trivia of the gossip column. “It normally would but I’ve no idea where this route will take it,” he replied.
“I’ve a train to catch to Norwich — it’s the last one tonight,” she said. “I’ve got about 10 minutes and if I miss it I’m in trouble!”
Not sure how to respond, he returned to his paper. The bus hardly moved. From the corner of his eye, he could see her check her watch, take out a cell phone and then put it away without making the call.
“Look,” he said, “if we jump off here we should be able to get to Liverpool Street in time.”
“But that’s taking you out of your way, surely?” “Not really, I can catch another bus from Bishopsgate — it will only add a few minutes.”
It didn’t take much persuading for the driver to agree to open the doors — the bus was firmly stuck in a jam that ran the length of the street.
“Sewer works,” the driver said. “They start earlier each evening and it doesn’t give the rush hour traffic time to clear.”
“Down here,” he said. “Let me take that.” He took her small bag. “Not going for long?” “A visit to a friend. It’s a long story — not something I want to talk about.”
“Of course — sorry to intrude.” Oh no, not an intrusion. But it’s well, just difficult for me to talk about it right now.”
They walked on in silence through the narrow city sidestreets. There were even fewer people around and the evening was growing chilly.
“Do you think we’ll make it?” “It isn’t far now — just to the left and another 50 metres or so. How much time do we have?”
“About three minutes.” Neither spoke — it would be a close run thing. Instinctively they walked faster. She took his arm as the pavements near the station became more crowded.
He liked the feel of her hand on his forearm, the fingers pressing against his muscle.
“Come on, nearly there.”
The lights of the station shone brightly across the road. They reached the escalators and looked at the departure boards.
A line of red ran across the screens. Cancelled, delayed, cancelled…. It seemed not one train was running. A crowd was milling on the concourse, deepest around the information point.
He stopped a station official, firmly asserting his authority. “What time do you expect the Norwich train to leave?”
“A total power breakdown just outside the station. Engineers are working on it, but the inbound train for that service has been terminated at Çankaya travesti Chelmsford. It won’t be able to get here — and even if it does it won’t be able to leave in time to reach Norwich before the station there closes for the night.”
“But you can’t just leave people stranded.”
“They’ll be able to claim compensation — now I’m sorry but I’ve a million things to do.” He hurried off, anxious to escape from the growing tide of anger and frustration on the platform.
Her hand still held his arm. If anything the grip was tighter. She said nothing but he could sense her mind racing as she calculated her options.
She took out her phone again — called up a number … and hesitated.
“Your friend is meeting you?” “No — he doesn’t know I’m coming. I need to arrive without warning — but I need to talk to him tonight. Tomorrow will be too late.”
“It looks like a phone call or nothing. The chances of getting to Norwich tonight are zero.”
She looked up at him. Her green eyes seemed mistier than he remembered from the bus. She swallowed. Looked down. Looked up — were those tears?
“What’s the matter?” “If I don’t get to Norwich tonight I don’t know what I’ll do. If it isn’t life or death it isn’t far off…” she sniffed.
“If it’s that vital the only option is a taxi — you may find a cabbie who’ll take you but I’d hate to guess the fare.”
“Can we try? It is important to me?” Her eyes searched his, looking for help, for certainty.
“OK, we’ll try up here.” They took the elevator to the street and the main cab rank. Not a cab in sight — obviously taken by other equally desperate travellers. “There’s another rank down here,” he said, taking her arm.
Two or three cabs were lined up at a rank at the rear of the station. None had their “for hire” signs lit. He tapped on the window of the first. “Are you free? How much to Norwich?”
“Norwich mate? You gotta be jokin’. Wouldn’t consider it for less than two-fifty at the best of times but the fucking A12 is blocked — lorry fire at Witham — and the M10 has 15 miles of roadworks. I’d even rather go to Stockwell….”
He looked at her. It might be possible to persuade one of the cabbies to take her. “You won’t get a fare for less than £250 — maybe £300 with the tip. You could get to New York for less.”
This time there was no question about the tears. They welled up, and poured down her cheeks. “I really don’t know what to do,” she said.
“What is so important that it won’t wait until tomorrow?” “I have to say I’m sorry — and it must be tonight. The papers will have the story tomorrow.”
“Let’s find a pub that isn’t too crowded. Tell me about it.”
“A drink would be great, but no, neither you nor anyone else will know.”
They walked towards Spitalfields, crossed the Commercial Road. Passing the 10 Bells, they stopped at a pub near the old brewery. It looked like any other but it had artistic connections. Gilbert and George, Tracey Emin and others were regulars. The landlady was a “character”. It was easy to find a quiet corner. He ordered her a large vodka tonic — no lemon, she instructed, and asked for an alcohol-free lager for himself.
“Will you go home as you can’t go to Norwich tonight?” “I can’t go home — it’s … impossible. I’ll find a hotel.”
“I’m sorry, I haven’t asked your name. It’s so rude of me.” “Dan,” he replied. “People call me Dan.”
“Dan. Sounds a cliché to say that’s a strong-sounding name, the name of Dikmen travesti a person you could trust and rely on.” “Thank you. And yours?”
“Elaine.” “What do you do, Elaine?” “A dancer. Ballet.” “This is going to sound awful — but you seem just a little old to dance.”
“My corps days are behind me – mainly I produce and work on choreographs now and again. For exotic dancers.”
“Strip en pointe?”
She looked at him with contempt. “You fucking bastard. It’s hard enough to earn a living in the ballet, but when you reach 35 and you haven’t made the headlines it is a struggle. And exotic dance is an art form — if only for the performers — the audience doesn’t care about technique. It just wants to see tits and pussy.”
“I’m so sorry. Thoughtless of me.” “Too right — so much talent goes to waste so that a bunch of investment bankers can get their dicks out of their boxers in the gents.”
Fire had replaced tears in her eyes. “Don’t lecture any of us about morality. All the morality is on stage —and the hypocrisy is all in the minds of the customers.”
“Elaine, please let me apologise. I understand and agree — it was a cheap jibe.”
Their drinks were largely untouched. “Look, are you hungry?” She looked at him, tossed her hair, and nodded. “But can we make one last check on the trains?” They left their drinks and walked to the station. The same crowds, the same hopeless message on the departure boards.
“I think I should find a hotel,” she said. “OK, we’ll try the Great Eastern first.”
They went up to the street level and entered the hotel reception. “A room sir? I’m afraid we have nothing left. There’s a problem with the trains.”
It was the same story at the other hotels they tried. People had got there first, or they were block-booked by City firms.
“I know a good hotel in Wapping”, he said. “Perhaps they won’t have been affected.” “OK, wherever,” she sounded tired.
Still no cabs so they caught the 100 bus and were in Wapping in 15 minutes. The hotel was a converted warehouse — it claimed you could still smell the spices that had been its staple product in the heyday of the docks.
“That will be £150 for the room. Breakfast is from 7.30-9.00. I see you have no luggage — would you mind paying in advance.”
He was too tired to argue over whether her valise counted as luggage — it was no larger than many handbags he saw in daily use.
Instinctively he handed over his own credit card. She looked at him. “Are you going to help me with my bag?”
“I’m sorry? Oh …”
She took his arm again. “Please take me to my room. We can have a drink from the minibar.”
“And then I must go,” he said, whether for her benefit or for the ears of the woman at the reception desk, he neither knew nor cared.
The fourth floor room had high ceilings and a richly hued wooden floor. There was a huge bed, a bath strategically placed so that the occupant could see the river below.
There was no mini-bar. “Shall I call up something from room service?” “No, I must go.”
“You pay for a girl’s hotel room and then run off… what kind of message is there for me there?”
She looked into his eyes again. She held both of his arms. “Stay for a while at least — the view of the river is stunning.”
They stood by the open window and watched the lights twinkling on the inky blackness of the river swirling below.
She held his arm. Gently he took her hand and pulled her towards him. Her head Eryaman travesti inclined upwards, her lips parted. Their lips met, lightly brushing as she moved against him.
The kisses became firmer. His fingers traced her ears, the line of her neck. The tips of their tongues met as if by accident — though neither was surprised.
She slipped her hands under his jacket, slipping it over his shoulders and off his arms. He felt her fingers unbuttoning his shirt, pulling it from the waistband of his denim jeans.
The soft caress of her fingers as they traced his chest aroused his passion. When she touched his nipples, his inhibitions vanished.
His hands slipped under her tee-shirt, tracing her vertebrae up to her bra. He unclasped it and held her breasts firmly, his thumbs searching for her nipples. He found them, felt them grow firm under his fingers.
She pulled off the shirt and removed her bra, standing topless in front of him.
“Well?” “You are so beautiful.”
They kissed again and he felt her fingers unbuckle his belt and unbutton his jeans. He reached behind her and grasped her bottom, pulling her close to his stiffening prick. “Let’s go to bed,” Elaine whispered in his ear. Discarding clothing as they moved across the room, they fell on to the bed, rolling over, their lips locked, tongues probing.
“It’s been a while,” she said. “Treat me with care.”
His hand followed the line of her stomach until he found the soft warmth of her vagina. His fingers deftly traced its lips, moving backwards from the clitoris and back again. Her breathing became more obvious, her eyes partly closed. “I want to feel your tongue there,” she said.
He moved to kiss the lips of her pussy, feeling her become moist as he did so. Gently he probed with the tip of his tongue, softly stabbing at the clitoris and then running it firmly over her labia.
“Hmmmmmm,” she said. “More, deeper…” His tongue ventured deep into the velvet depths of her cunt, tasting her, driving her further into ecstasy.
She reached down to hold the shaft of his prick, moving her hand up and down. Both were close to climax.
“Fuck me,” she said. “Fuck away my fears.”
He entered her and slowly but firmly drove his prick deeply into her cunt. Her warmth and moistness overwhelmed him — he had no thought for any other sensation. She could envelop his whole body for all he cared. Her juices flowed copiously over his prick as she gently held his testicles and softly massaged the soft skin behind them.
Without apparent effort she rolled so that she was on top, lifting her body so that only the swollen tip of his penis remained inside her. Then she rammed her body firmly down, enjoying the sensation of the hardness against her yielding body, enjoying being in control.
As her orgasm grew she moved with greater abandon, forcing his orgasm to coincide with her own. He felt the tip of his prick deep inside her and knew that this was the moment.
Thrusting his hips upwards, he felt his spunk shoot deep into her, just as her orgasm came in waves of pleasure and carnality. Their juices mingled as they kissed deeply and softly, falling asleep with their fingers locked…..
He awoke with a start. The bed empty. Her clothes and the overnight bag were gone. He rang down to reception. “Was Mrs Smith in the breakfast room?” No, she had left early to go to the station. The lines were repaired and trains were running again. There was no message.
He knew her only as Elaine — she had never shared her family name. All he knew of her was her link with the ballet — and with Norwich. Would that be enough to find her again.
There was a sound at the door — a newspaper was thrust through. He opened it — and there he found his answer…
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