Tom picked Siobhan up from work the following evening. After calling at her flat to sort out some washing and grab some clean clothes for the morning, they bought a takeaway and went back to the bungalow. Rob had gone back to university and was likely to be there all week. They had the place to themselves.
Tom was standing by the wide bay window in the living room, looking down over Thatcham. Although it was late in the season and late in the day, the streets were still teeming with activity, a stark contrast to how this place usually was in late-September, or so he’d been told. By this time of year, John Tipper had explained last Friday evening, the village should be half-empty. Not that John was complaining. As long as there was cash in his tills and people in his bar, he was happy.
Tom was looking at the nearest trees on the hillside, noticing how their branches were becoming more exposed as their leaves fell away, when Siobhan appeared behind him and wrapped her arms around his waist. She nestled her face against the back of his head and whispered in his ear.
‘You okay? Feels like ages since we’ve had time together like this.’
‘Too long,’ he said, turning around and looking deep into her face. The only illumination came from a small table lamp and the TV at the other end of the room. The soft light and constantly changing shadows highlighted the intense beauty of her blue-grey eyes. He kissed her, a first delicate touch of lips, then waited for her response. It was immediate, beginning with light, fluttering kisses which rapidly became more passionate. She slipped her tongue into his mouth, then playfully chewed on his bottom lip. He felt her hands underneath his shirt, then felt her fingernails drag down his back, the perfect balance of pain and pleasure. ‘I love you, you know,’ he said, pressing his face up against hers.
‘I know,’ she answered, and she kissed him again as she pushed him back across the room then pulled him down onto the sofa. She took off his T-shirt then sat astride him. He looked up at her and wondered how the hell he’d managed to find someone as perfect as Siobhan. She was everything he wanted: beautiful, sexy, downright filthy when it suited her… he couldn’t imagine being without her now. And yet, he’d been thinking earlier today that he would never have met her if he hadn’t moved to Thatcham, and that he wouldn’t have moved to Thatcham if he hadn’t lost his parents. Fate can be a strange fucker at times, he thought. Do we always have to suffer before we can experience pleasure? And if I experience pleasure now, will I have to pay for it later?
To be honest, he’d have willingly taken any punishment as a consequence of what Siobhan was about to do to him. She undid his belt then popped open the button of his jeans and unzipped the fly, and he made a conscious decision to stop thinking and give his full and undivided attention to the perfect woman now sitting on top of him.
She leant forward and licked the length of his chest from just above his cock to just below his chin and then, almost lying flat on him now, she pressed her mouth close to his ear and whispered: ‘Do you want me?’
Her breath tickled his skin, driving him wild. She hadn’t needed to ask the question, she’d done it for effect and he’d already burst out of his open jeans with excitement. The hard-on she’d now wrapped her hand around was answer enough.
‘I want you,’ he said.
‘Then I’m all yours.’
He pushed her upright and took off her T-shirt, lifting it over her head. She leant back to undo her bra, then looked up at the TV and froze suddenly.
‘Shit. What time is it?’
‘Why, have you got somewhere else to be?’
She slid off him and marched across the room.
‘Christ, Tom, it’s almost eight. It’ll have started.’
‘What are you on about?’
She hunted around in the low light for the TV remote, then changed the channel. Tom, rejected, stood up and held onto his erection, doing what he could to stop it disappearing.
‘You’ve got to be kidding me,’ he said. ‘You’d rather watch a stupid bloody TV programme than—’
‘It’s not a stupid bloody programme,’ she interrupted angrily, ‘it’s important. You should watch it too.’
‘I don’t want to watch it. I want to fuck you. This is a fucking joke.’
Eventually she stopped messing with the TV and turned around to look at him. Embarrassed, she reached out and took his hand. ‘I’m really sorry. It’s just that I’ve been waiting all day and—’
‘We could record it.’
‘I want to watch it. Please, Tom, watch it with me. When it’s finished I promise you the fuck of a lifetime. All night, if you want. Whatever you want to do. Whatever you want me to be.’
He knew there was no arguing. She gently kissed him, then sat down on the floor in front of the TV, still half-dressed. She beckoned for him to sit with her, but he didn’t move. He remained standing where he was, limp cock dripping, feeling stupid like he’d been stood up on a date or completely misread her signals. As a series of trailers and announcements filled the screen, she looked up at him again.
‘I’m sorry, Tom, I really want to watch this. I want us both to watch it. It’s important, and if I don’t watch it now I don’t know when I’ll get chance.’
She reached out and stroked his leg. Tom just nodded. He knew he couldn’t compete.
‘I’ll make a drink,’ he said as he traipsed miserably into the kitchen.
That was the name of the programme. Variations on a similar theme were broadcast on all the major free-to-air channels, in every conceivable language in every country imaginable. The BBC version, which Siobhan was now glued to, was widely considered the best.
The programme was intended to be an on-going education in all things alien, designed to lessen the gulf between the known and unknown, to break down any remaining barriers, and to eradicate any lingering doubts about the three hundred-or-so new arrivals on the planet. It had been showing twice-weekly for a while now, but this particular edition had been long looked forward to by many. Tonight the programme promised to show a wealth of previously unseen footage of the alien home-world.
The programme already had a fanatical following. The aliens’ biology, psychology, history, physiology and more, broken down into easily digestible forty-five minute chunks. The presentation style was banal, Tom thought, bordering on being patronising. They’re aiming at the lowest common denominator, he decided, so everyone can understand this crap.
His earlier disappointment aside, even Tom was forced to admit that tonight’s episode was fascinating. Given the choice, he’d still rather have been making love with Siobhan than sitting in front of the TV, but there was no point protesting. He could see her hanging on every last frame of footage.
‘This is incredible, isn’t it,’ she whispered as she curled up against him.
‘Don’t be like that, Tom. This is important. This affects all of us.’
‘Still don’t know why you couldn’t record it.’
She rested her hand on the inside of his thigh and began to stroke him, not even realising she was doing it. Her touch was a great pacifier.
Soon all Tom’s disappointments were temporarily forgotten as the promised new footage was shown. It was all too brief and there had been far less of it than they’d been led to expect, but there was no disputing the sheer wonder of what had been shown. Vast, clean, quiet alien cities which seemed to cover entire continents of their unusually pink-hued world. Lush forests, home to an incalculable number and variety of alien species. Mountain ranges which stretched upwards and outwards forever. Floating cities resting on mill-pond still oceans. Intricate travel networks… Like the aliens themselves, Tom thought their world appeared to be completely different and yet bizarrely similar to his own.
The final credits had barely finished scrolling up the screen when Siobhan got up and switched off the TV. She turned around, dropped her trousers and kicked off her knickers. She stood in front of him, completely naked, arms open, offering herself up. Tom scrambled to get undressed, all the time looking up at her, her perfect body gently illuminated by the soft lamp light.
‘You still want me then?’ she asked. She didn’t give him chance to answer. He lay naked on the floor and she sat astride him, knees either side of his crotch, and lowered herself down onto his immediately erect cock. The match was perfect, the movement precise and easy. Both of them were more than ready for each other.
‘I love you,’ he said, already breathless.
She grinned at him. ‘And I love you too. Now shut up and fuck me.’
The promised night of passion lasted less than an hour, but they both knew that would probably be the case, and neither of them cared. Lying in bed next to each other now, Tom felt himself falling asleep, still sweat-soaked and panting. He couldn’t help it. He was exhausted. Siobhan, however, was having none of it. She had ten times his energy tonight, it seemed. She buried her face in his chest and gently nibbled his skin.
Tom wanted to resist, but it was inevitable. He wanted to stay awake and keep fucking, but the sleep was unstoppable.
‘You have no stamina, Tom Winter,’ she said, giggling, nudging him playfully to keep him awake.
‘It’s your fault,’ he replied, still drifting. ‘You wear me out.’
It might have been a minute later when she next spoke, it might have been hours. Tom couldn’t tell, and he couldn’t focus enough to see the clock. Siobhan was spread-eagled, one leg wedged between his, lying half on the bed and half on top of him.
‘Question for you,’ she said.
‘Too tired,’ he mumbled, fighting sleep again.
‘If you had chance to travel to the aliens’ planet, would you go?’
‘It’s never gonna happen.’
‘Return trip or one way?’
‘You coming too?’
‘Then I don’t want to go.’
‘Soft bugger. Okay then, what about a round trip?’
‘Same question – you coming too?’
‘Forget about me, this is hypothetical.’
‘Doesn’t matter. I can’t forget about you.’
She thumped his chest. ‘Just answer the question.’
‘I’d like to go, of course I would, but not if it means spending years away from you. And I’m not being a soft bugger, I’m being honest. I miss you when I don’t see you for more than a day. Hated it when you went on that course in July. I couldn’t be away from you for years, I just couldn’t…’
Siobhan looked up and watched his eyelids flicker.
‘I think you’d answer differently if there was a real chance of going. I don’t think you’d be able to say no. I don’t think anyone would. Anyway, maybe they’d let us both go, imagine that. Sounds romantic, doesn’t it… travelling across the universe together… being so far from home and the only person I know for millions of miles in every direction is you. Doesn’t sound too bad, eh?’
She nudged him again but he didn’t reply. He was asleep.