The story so far goes: My heroine Harriet, who’s taking a solo holiday in her aunt’s gite in the French countryside, is attending a local, early morning ‘Tractors and Aperitifs’ party. Harriet’s an artist with an unexpected commission to illustrate a new edition of the Kama Sutra. In secret, she’s been sketching some saucy images to get her in the mood. But in this excerpt, her naughty secret is about to be discovered by the very sexy Jean-Jacques! I hope you enjoy the read!
BLISS IN BORDEAUX
Harriet thought she may need to revise her opinion on the innate sexiness of France. Why was everyone dressed for autumn when it was such a glorious day? And why was everyone over the age of fifty? Or might it be sixty? She sipped her drink, unsure if the sweet concoction was breakfast juice or punch, and surveyed the setting. Half a dozen shiny tractors stood on the edge of a nearby field, men gathered around a couple of the vehicles. By a huge barn, a browning spit-roast pig hung over a bed of low flames. A stretch of rickety tables, draped in vinyl cloths patterned with lemons, held bowls of pretzels and numerous pitchers of fruit juice, wasps buzzing around them.
Harriet sipped steadily, wondering how she was going to cope with living here alone for three weeks. It was a far cry from the hectic London life she was used to leading. Perhaps too far. She tried to push the worry aside, smiling and nodding vigorously in an attempt to respond to various conversations directed at her.
Oui, oui, Miriam est ma tante. Je suis en vacances. C’est très jolie ici. Santé!
The drink slid warmly along her veins, softening her senses and making her legs feel a touch wobbly. Probably not fruit juice, to be accurate. Weren’t aperitifs supposed to be small? Best be careful with this, she thought, or I’ll end up obsessively sketching cocks over and over again.
Mind you, at least it was safe to misbehave out here. She needn’t worry about her flatmate stumbling across her crude etchings as she would do back in her suburban London home. Having both a house and a garden entirely to herself was a rare treat. Adjusting to the quiet may prove to be a challenge, of course, but Harriet was determined to make the most of it. Naked swimming this afternoon, she thought, once I’ve slept off this extremely moreish breakfast. Did alcohol-soaked fruit count as one of your five a day? Was this booze essentially a French version of muesli?
A woman edged towards Harriet’s group with a jug of punch. Harriet might have declined the offer of a top-up, but her attention was snagged by the sight of a man who was very definitely under the age of fifty and very definitely not dressed for autumn. Liquid poured into Harriet’s cup as she gawped. Tall and athletic, with fine, floppy, dark hair, a bristled jaw and a narrow hawkish nose, the man stood by the table, engaged in some serious listening to an older man. Harriet watched as he tipped a handful of pretzels into his wide-open mouth, his Adam’s apple bobbing in his neck as he swallowed. His arms were tanned and brawny, his loose T-shirt hinting at a strong torso beneath.
Ooh la la! thought Harriet, distractedly taking a large sip of breakfast. She was on the verge of wandering in the man’s direction to help herself to some strategic pretzels when an apple-cheeked woman grabbed her by the wrist and tugged her towards a group of people who were equally apple-cheeked. Either these people belonged to the same family or the village was—how to phrase it?—small.
More slow, double-cheek kissing ensued while the name ‘Miriam’ was mentioned several more times. Harriet was beginning to feel like a celebrity. All she’d done was show up, and everyone knew who she was. She had an increasingly loud conversation with a woman about the beautiful weather and something else. The more she drank, the more her French improved.
Unfortunately, when Harriet next had chance to glance back at Mr. Ooh La La, he’d disappeared from view. Ah, well. Probably an out-of-towner, or an out-of-hamletter, visiting for the annual tractor derby, or whatever this event was. It took another cup of punch for Harriet to realise that the tractors were being displayed by a sales company for the farmers to inspect with a view to purchasing for employing on their land.
Her fourth cup brought another realisation—she desperately needed to lie down and tell the world to stop spinning. Making her excuses, Harriet waved a cheerful goodbye to her new friends and set off unsteadily down the track. She was back at the gîte in three minutes, safe in the walls of the secluded garden.
Inspired by the sexy out-of-towner, she decided to grab her sketchpad and take a moment to chill out in the shade of the terrace under the wisteria-heavy canopy. She wanted to draw the man’s face, capturing that pin-straight, floppy, dark hair and his stern, beaky nose.
Mon Dieu, what a captivating profile he had! Harriet had only seen him for a matter of seconds, but the image of him was still lodged in her mind. The important thing right now was to commit that image to paper before it drifted from her brain and became nothing but a hazy recollection.
First, she needed to focus, to become still and calm so she could drive all her energy towards drawing the man’s beauty. So she sprawled on the wicker and chintz sofa on the terrace, placing her pad and charcoals on the glass-topped coffee table, and flexed her fingers. Then she hiccupped.
Hmmm. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea. The walk had cleared her head, or so she’d thought, but lying down had caused the garden to start tipping and swirling. Harriet held her breath and counted to twenty, managing to rid herself of hiccups. Then she edged back farther to recline into the sofa’s cushioned comfort and before she knew it, her mind had drifted into fantasies while her hand had drifted between her thighs.
As Harriet slipped towards sleep, she pictured the man from the tractor party striding towards her with a haughty, no-nonsense expression. He held a cane between both hands and gave it a threatening flex as he neared, looking down his big nose at her as she lazed on the sofa, disapproving and aloof.
“You ‘ave made a fool of yourself, ’Arriet,” he said, “and I am afraid you must be punished for your misdemeanour.”
Harriet couldn’t help but dozily wriggle up her skirt and slide a hand into her knickers. Her pussy was swollen and wet, and she allowed her fingers to dabble in the silky warmth. No one could see her here. She could do whatever she wanted to herself. And if Monsieur Haughty Nose was here, he could do whatever he wanted too.
Moments later, in Harriet’s tipsy imagination, that’s precisely what he was doing. He had Harriet bent over the coffee table, her buttocks bared, and he was striping her cheeks with the little cane, making her beg for his forgiveness.
“Not until I am sure you ’ave learned your lesson, ma chérie,” he countered.
The dream-Harriet banged her feet in protest, crying out in pain.
Heavens above, thought the real Harriet as she returned briefly to her senses. Where did that little scenario come from? She’d never wanted anyone to do anything remotely like that to her before. Did they put something in the water out here?
Well, obviously they did—grapes. Grapes that grew in the field, rows and rows of little shrubs growing fat and sweet in the sun. Black grapes, green grapes, pink grapes. No, that wasn’t right. Pink wine. Too much of it.
Harriet had been informed that the punch from the morning was based on the local rosé. Rosé and pamplemousse. She needed to stop drinking that stuff as if it flowed from the taps. Pamplemousse. She smiled to herself. That was a funny word.
She allowed her mind to wander again. Well, to be fair, she didn’t have much choice. She was too drunk to keep her thoughts on a straight track. Mr. Ooh La La held her over his sturdy lap, bringing his work-roughened hand down onto her buttocks, smacking her with crisp, measured blows. Then suddenly he was squashing her against the trunk of the plum tree at the bottom of the garden, his greedy kisses bearing down on her, his eager hands roaming over her ample curves. Then she was on her knees before him, her lips bobbing on his proud, stiff length.
Then the scene shifted again, even more dramatically. Harriet was now squinting into sunlight, and Monsieur Haughty Nose was standing on the terrace, Harriet’s sketchpad in his hand as he gazed intently at a drawing.
Something was amiss. This scene was a little too precise and focused, the garden around them bright with clarity and realism. Was this what they called lucid dreaming? Harriet blinked into the sunlight and stirred on the sofa. The wicker creaked beneath her. Mr. Ooh La La glanced her way.
No, this wasn’t lucid dreaming. This was real fucking life!
The man shuffled backwards, one hand raised in defence, the other holding the sketchpad open.
“Non, non, non!” he said apologetically, followed by a stream of other words Harriet couldn’t understand.
Harriet snatched her hand from between her thighs and hastily shoved her dress down to cover her legs. The man formed a shape with his hand, a sturdy, masculine gesture that implied that he was holding a pint glass.
“Quelle queue magnifique!” he said, making his meaning clear by giving his imaginary pint glass an affirmative little shake.
Dear God, thought Harriet, as heat surged to her face. No, it is not magnifique! It’s a crass, bus-shelter wang.
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