And, without knowing how, I was left standing beneath an entrance porch in the centre of Madrid in a torrential downpour wearing nothing but the shoes on my feet and a small bag over one arm. I looked down at myself: what would anyone think if they saw me standing here? What would anyone who knew me think if they found out about this?
The air was cooler now and very pleasant, but still warm enough despite the rain. Still, I crossed my arms tightly over my chest, as if covering my nipples would make all the difference.
It seemed like an age had passed and I began to fear that Mia was playing a trick on me, that she would not be coming back at all. I turned and anxiously pressed the buzzer to Mia’s apartment. There was no response.
I stepped backwards out of the doorway and almost collided with a middle aged couple with an umbrella between them. They looked me up and down, mumbled something to each other and shuffled quickly along the pavement. I was going to kill Mia when she came back down. I pressed the buzzer again and heard a click.
“It was hot so I took off my shirt, and then the rest just seemed so easy to peel.”
Miss Ashdown re-focussed her gaze on the reflection of Jessica. “So, yes, I know exactly what’s going on inside that body of yours, and how mixed up it all is, but also just how powerful it all is.” She judged that now was the time for the direct approach. “Tell me, do you masturbate?”
Jessica froze with embarrassment: would a lie or the truth be better here? Miss Ashdown saved her the trouble of deciding.
“Actually, don’t answer that,” the teacher said, “Of course you do. But a word of advice: don’t ever do so before a performance. The longer you can hold off, the more energised your playing will be.”
For want of a response, Jessica’s eyes froze on her reflection. She wasn’t feeling much like an energised sexual creature as she saw herself standing in her mismatched underwear with her shoulders slumped.
“Hmmm,” Miss Ashdown said, “So how do we tap this…. well of sexuality… I suppose it worked for me, so… Lift your arms up above your head for me again, draw a deep breath and close your eyes.” Jessica did so and felt one of Miss Ashdown’s hands rest lightly on her stomach and the other on the small of her back. “Now breathe gently and deeply and try to imagine you’re standing on the stage, ready to practice for a big concert tonight. You just want to loosen up and get used to the surroundings before you play in front of an audience.” Her voice dropped to a whisper again. “And since the place is deserted you’ve snuck onto the stage in your underwear.”
Jessica stood, her arms above her, her eyes closed, and barely restrained a giggle. Miss Ashdown felt her stomach move in and out with her breathing, and then continued her story.
“A coat of paint can make an old house feel new, or a naked girl feel clothed. Almost”.
The car behind came to an abrupt stop and turned across the road, in case I had some idea of making another escape attempt. I could plausibly say that I hadn’t seen the first car, but evading a roadblock was something else entirely and if I tried anything I could end up with some serious jail time. I turned off the engine and my hands fell to my sides.
One of the officers with a gun took a step forward and called out to me. “Ma’am, can you step slowly out of the vehicle.” It wasn’t a question.
I gulped and then opened the door, swung both legs out and stood, closing the door behind me. I saw their heads move up and down as they took in the sight of a tall naked woman stepping out of a sports car. I was glad their eyes were behind sunglasses too. “Wooo-eeh,” I heard one of them say quietly.
“Step to the front of the vehicle and put your hands on the hood,” the office instructed.
I had never been pulled over before, but I had seen enough of this on television. I stood by the side of the car bonnet and placed my palms flat on it. The low car and my high heels meant I had to bend at the waist to reach. Through my hands I could feel the warmth of the engine.
“You think I’m letting you out of here while I’m this horny?”
Cassandra smiled and nodded. “I know, I know, and I apologise. There’s a reason I tend to do the negotiating with suppliers…”
I could see how that would work, with Cassandra handling negotiations, and then I realised that, if all their meetings happened in the same state of undress, she probably negotiated some quite decent discounts on supplies from male sales staff.
“But, we’re good to continue?” Cassandra asked, looking at me hopefully with a hint of a smile on her face. She put her hands onto mine, which were still covering a nipple each and, gently, she pulled them away from my body. I offered no resistance. We stood opposite each other with our hands linked. I forced a smile and nodded.
“You’ll do fine,” she whispered, and then added a wink. My smile broadened a little; she really was good at winning people over. I stood, suddenly relaxed, and I realised I probably would have taken the bikini top off if she’d just asked more persistently earlier.