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Authors: Gian Bordin

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BOOK: Summer of Love
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"No, Andrew!" she begged.

    
"Yes, love, just let go," he replied huskily.

    
"Oh, Andrew."

    
His mouth covered her lips, swallowing her moans. She pressed her
eyes shut tightly, arched her back, fighting the intensity of her climax.
Her fingers dug hard into his shoulders. And then she surrendered with
a light shudder, melting slowly into his embrace. Breathing hard, she
remained still in his arms for several minutes, her head on his chest,
listening to his heartbeat, sensing her own. He stroked her back, his right
cheek on her hair.

    
She found it hard to accept how readily she had let her passion run
away with her. Did her own sexual attraction to Andrew render her
helpless? Too weak to resist? Simply sweeping away any intention or
resolutions? It had happened at the lochan the first time, almost four
years ago. And again when he came back.

    
Andrew’s softly spoken "I love you, Helen" startled her.

    
She responded by putting her arms around his chest.

    
"I’m ashamed, Andrew," she whispered.

    
He raised her face. His eyes shone, love pouring from them. "Why,
Helen?"

    
"Because I took my pleasure, selfishly, alone."

    
"Not alone, Helen. With me. It gives me pleasure to pleasure you…
Oh, Helen, you’re my woman."

    
He kissed her hard. Then he whispered: "There are many ways of
making love, of giving pleasure to each other, of stealing pleasure, of
sharing our love without shame… Tell me you love me too!"

    
"I love you, Andrew. But sometimes it feels as if you have cast a spell
on me. I become putty in your hand." She chuckled, embarrassed by the
unintended pun.

    
"But I love it if you’re putty in my hands."

    
A sudden commotion on deck made them break apart, alarmed.
Somebody opened the door of the cargo hold. The bright light blinded her
for a moment.

    
"A police patrol is on the wharf. They seem intent on searching all
ships. You must get off, right away," she heard the captain’s exacting
voice.

    
Helen tensed up instantly.

    
"But how?" asked Andrew.

    
"That’s your problem, not mine. I want you off my ship before they
board it!" The door closed again.

    
"I thought they would stop looking for me when they found the horse.
Why are they still after me? Or is it somebody else?" Andrew’s tone
expressed disappointment, annoyance, and apprehension.

    
"You can’t take any chances, Andrew."

    
He picked up the saddle bags and opened the door enough for him to
get a view of the wharf. Loud protesting voices and swearing came from
a ship farther upstream.

    
"We can’t go onto the wharf. Two constables keep watch," Andrew
whispered. "We’ll have to go overboard into the water and swim for it."

    
"You do that. I’ll go on the wharf. That will distract them long enough
for you to slip away. I don’t think they know what I look like. So I should
be safe."

    
"I don’t like it. It’s too risky, Helen."

    
"No, it’s the only way, or else they’ll catch us together, and then I’m
in trouble too. Leave the saddle bags here. I’ll take care of them. And
now go, Andrew, there’s no time to lose!" she urged. "We’ll meet again
at Rose’s."

    
"Are you sure?"

    
"Yes, go now!" she said impatiently.

    
He ducked behind a crate on the deck, shielding him from the
policemen on the wharf, and crawled to the port railing, facing the river.
A rope ladder hung over the side. Helen watched him disappear down the
ladder.

    
She now picked up the saddle bags and opened the door to go on the
deck. Then she changed her mind, went back inside the hold, and stashed
the saddle bags away underneath sacks of goods. Carrying only her
handbag, she climbed back on deck. The captain was standing on the
starboard railing, watching the police search a vessel farther upriver. She
approached him.

    
"Sir, if they ask you any questions, I’m your woman and spent the
night on board your ship," she said, without so much as a blink.

    
He turned and looked at her in surprise. His eyes searched the deck for
Andrew, but he did not ask where he was. Then he nodded.

    
"Our saddle bags are hidden near the door under sacks. Please give
them to another boat for safekeeping before you sail. Somebody will pick
them up later… And now, give me a kiss on the cheek, sir!" she told
him, her voice completely flat, as if she were talking about the weather.

    
For a moment, her request took him aback, then he smiled and kissed
her, grabbing her waist longer than needed. It felt unpleasant, but Helen
realized that she had asked for it. She stepped down the plank, just as two
policemen started going up to the adjoining vessel. She recognized one
of them as the constable who had arrested Andrew at The Good
Shepherd. For just an instant, she faltered. The two immediately turned
around and came straight to her as she walked away from the ship.

    
"Madam, please wait. I must talk to you," the constable called out.

    
Helen turned to face him. "How can I help you, constable?" She was
surprised how cool and unconcerned her voice sounded.

    
"I’m Constable Fraser. We are looking for a young man, dark hair, and
a young woman, about your age, with red hair like you—"

    
"I haven’t seen anybody," Helen interrupted him. "I just came off the
Clyde, where I spent the night. They’re sailing at the high tide, sir. I’m
sorry I can’t tell you more."

    
She started walking away. The constable rushed after her and held her
by an arm. She looked at his hand in studied consternation: "What do you
think you are doing, sir? Take your hand off my arm!"

    
He clearly didn’t expect such a stern rebuke and dropped his hand.
"I’m sorry, madam, but you’ll have to wait here, while we search all
ships. I need to confirm your story."

    
He waved to the two policemen near the warehouse, and one came
over at the double.

    
"Wait here with this lady," he ordered the man.

    
"Aye, sir," was his prompt reply, as he took a position four feet away
from Helen.

    
The two constables now climbed onto the deck of the Clyde. Helen
kept her fingers crossed that Andrew was already well out of sight
downriver. She made an effort to display an unconcerned face and tried
to strike up a casual conversation with the young man guarding her.

    
"Why are you looking for this couple, sir?" she asked.

    
"You ask Constable Fraser, madam."

    
"Why do you think they’re on one of the ships?"

    
He shrugged his shoulders, looking straight past her. In fact, he never
really faced her directly. Helen gave up and watched what was happening
on the Clyde. Constable Fraser inspected the deck, looking over the
railings from time to time, and then talked to the captain for three or four
minutes, while his colleague disappeared in the cargo hold. Some time
later, he emerged again.

    
They left the Clyde and boarded the vessel next to it.

 

 * * *

 

The ladder led down to a small row boat. For a second Andrew was
tempted to take it and float down the river, but then he thought better of
it. The police would easily spot him. Without causing any noise, he
plunged into the water and hid between the rowboat and the ship.
Anybody looking down from the railing was unlikely to see him.
Although the water was cool, he reckoned that he could probably stand
it for fifteen to twenty minutes. By that time the police should have
finished their search. He could then either swim away or climb back on
deck.

    
Why do I always let her face the danger while I get away?
he
wondered. Yet, he knew that she was right.

    
A few minutes later, there were voices right above him.

 
    
"Nobody on board, sir."

    
"Aye. Nobody in the river either. Their boat is still attached to port…
Maybe we can get the girl to talk. She seems to fit the description given
by the turnkey."

    
Were they holding Helen? A sinking feeling invaded his bowels. He
had the urge to leave his hiding place, to confirm his suspicions.
Don’t
be foolish now! You would just give both of us away. You can’t help her,
he admonished himself silently
.
A short time later, renewed shouting
reached his ears and deepened his anxiety. What was happening now? He
waited for another agonizing ten minutes or so before the chill of the
water drove him out from the protection of the rowboat.

 

 * * *

 

The search of the ships completed, Constable Fraser returned to the
wharf where he called the other policeman standing watch near the
warehouse to join them.

    
"May I leave now and continue my errand, sir?" asked Helen.

    
"Madam, I’m not finished with you. You’ll have to accompany me to
the tolbooth."

    
"Why, constable, if I may ask?" Helen’s voice betrayed her rising
anxiety.

    
"The description of the young women we are looking for fits you
rather remarkably, including the type of clothing she was wearing. So, we
need to verify your identity."

    
"But didn’t Captain McGeorge of the Clyde confirm I spent the night
on the boat?"

    
"He did, madam, but I have reasons to be suspicious of his statement.
So, please, come along without causing any trouble."

    
Helen’s cool threatened to abandon her.
No panic now! But won’t the
turnkey recognize me?
She feared that she was breaking out in a cold
sweat.

    
"Please come along, now, madam," she heard the constable repeat his
request.

    
Almost automatically, she followed him, the young policeman right at
her side. They had gone but a hundred feet upriver along the wharf when
suddenly a boy’s voice called out from a narrow alley between two
warehouses: "Constable Fraser, I think the man you’re looking for just
ran into this warehouse. Come quick!"

    
Helen recognized Owen’s voice. He wouldn’t betray Andrew! Then
she caught on to his ruse. In fact, the constable immediately followed
Owen’s call, ordering two of the three policemen to accompany him.
They ran to the alley where Owen had stood just a few seconds before.

    
The young policeman eyed Helen wearily.
Should I run?
She turned,
and he immediately grabbed her arm, restraining her.

    
"Don’t do anything silly now, madam," he said sternly.

    
Robert’s agonized face after she had kneed him rose in her mind. She
turned to the young man and replied with a smile: "No, I won’t, sir,"
while at the same time raising her skirt a bit in front. Immediately, his
tense expression relaxed, just as her knee shot into his groin. He released
her arm, reached with both hands for his crotch, and sank to his knees
with a hoarse groan.

    
For a second, her own action horrified her. She had the urge to help
him, but then the reason she had done it asserted itself again. Raising her
skirts to her knees, she dashed along the warehouses and dipped into the
second alley upriver from where the three policemen had disappeared.

BOOK: Summer of Love
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