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Cuffs and Protests

Layla Holiday

Copyright © 2017 Layla Holiday

All rights reserved

I can resist everything except temptation

Oscar Wilde

Chapter One

It’s hard to imagine that just six months before—prior to the construction of bamboo tripods, the installation of concrete lock-on devices, the arrival of the Peace Angel and the Knitting Nannas—all the Bentley Blockade consisted of was a few dedicated women, greeting the crepuscular rays of each Bentley dawn by sitting in front of the access gate to the Scarrabelotti’s paddock.  

I couldn’t believe the disaster that Bentley was shaping up to be. The NSW Police had deployed 800 officers, and a riot squad, to swarm the camp and surround the drill site the next morning. I thought of Doubtful Creek and shuddered.

The last thing we needed was a repeat of that clusterfuck. But the guys they send up from the big smoke just don’t care. They didn’t get it, for them it was simple: protesters are pests; getting in the way and wasting tax-payers’ money. How could I tell Elle that I would be there the next day, at Bentley, with her, but not beside her? That I’d be on duty, practically working against her.

It would kill her. She’d been out there since the beginning, back when it was just her and a couple of others, sitting on deckchairs, in darkness, in front of that gate, waving at traffic passing by.

Unzipping my Kevlar vest, I slipped out of my powder-blue shirt. I felt sick. I caught my reflection in the mirror, I looked tired. I’d had a tough few months, trying to balance the conflict of work and ethics, obligation and love. I’d lost a little weight but, I was thankful, no muscle tone. I worked hard for my body. My greatest fear was becoming one of those fat cops who teenagers oink at. I wanted to be able to chase, and catch, those little buggers if I had to.

Alone in the locker room, I unclipped my bra with one hand and turned the shower on with the other.

Chapter Two

I shampooed for a second time. I dawdled. I was putting off meeting Elle. I practiced what I should say, ‘Babe, I want you to know that I agree with you completely, CSG is the asbestos of our generation,’ that was a good start. ‘Metgasco must be stopped,’ I’d add to ensure she’s onside.

Then I’d drop the bomb, ‘I’ll be in uniform tomorrow but it doesn’t mean I’m working for Metgasco, coppers don’t take sides, just do their jobs.’ I knew it was a lie. ‘Fuck, I’m ridiculous,’ I thought. ‘Such a hypocrite.’ She was going to hate me.

I thought back to one weekend, a couple of years earlier, not long after I’d graduated from the Police Force Academy, Elle and I had attended an anti-CSG protest together. It was one of those autumn mornings: hot empty skies, fresh breezes, biting sun. A sea of yellow placards flooded Lismore CBD. There were blues on street corners. Traffic backed up at every intersection. Horns beeping. Drums beating. Blues on horses. People singing. Elle’s hand in mine. Dogs Panting. Babies in prams. People on stilts. Blues on bicycles. Kids on scooters. People in wheelchairs. Afternoon music in the park and dancing on the hill.

Just thinking of that weekend caused my whole body to tingle. I’d never gotten myself off at work before, my hand slid down my neck, between my breasts, along my soapy abdomen, and came to rest on my pelvic bone.

The weather, the weekend of the anti-CSG protest, had been perfect. After the rally, Elle and I rode out to Protester Falls. I remember Elle’s golden-brown, long legs wrapped around my hips, how she slid up close and hung on tight. Her hot breath on my neck. Her breasts pressed flat against my back. We reached the outskirts of town and I pulled back hard on the throttle, well aware that the sudden speed would turn her on.

Turning down a secluded trail, I parked the bike beside some towering gums, their trunks elaborately encrusted in the pale-greens of lichen.

‘Don’t move,’ I ordered Elle in my most authoritative officer voice. ‘Turn and face the bike. Hands where I can see them.’

A fleeting look of confusion was replaced with excitement as she responded to my orders.

‘Shirt off. Shorts down.’

She obeyed and, in nothing but fine-lace boyshorts, turned to face the bike. I watched her long-thick hair brush against her generous curves. Her olive skin was glowing, as if she spent her days frolicking on the beach. My eyes devoured her absurd beauty. There was a pounding in my chest and an urgent pulsing between my legs.

Take control,’ I told myself and, taking a deep breath, I approached her. Roughly grabbing her left wrist, I reached into the saddlebag with my free hand. When her eyes caught the glimmer of my new cuffs, she shivered and goosebumps appeared on her bare skin.

I cuffed her hands behind her back and let her squirm between me and the bike. Nipping at her shoulders and upper back, I pushed my knee between her thighs and sucked hard on her neck.

This scene, with her being stripped and shackled and me fully dressed and in complete control, was an abiding fantasy of ours. I let my hands wander down the side of her torso and over her hips, squeezing, pushing and pulling handfuls of her womanly flesh. When her fingers reached out to touch me, I moved away. There was a throbbing deep between my legs, I liked being in control. I liked that Elle was frustrated by the fact that she couldn’t touch me back.

Sliding my hand into her panties, I cupped her slick heat and teased her with my fingertips, eventually letting one finger glide slightly inside. Not usually the vocal type, Elle moaned so deeply. I felt myself gush with longing.

Each time she pushed back against me, my finger slid out, along the full length of her, and with each thrust forward I re-entered her deeper and harder. The husky sounds she made that day—together with the feeling of her invitingly warm and swollen sex—were so hot I had to stop myself from peaking first. I pushed her forward and started working her smooth, swollen button. She sighed and jerked wildly. I let my fingers slide away from her clit and ran them up and down the length of her slit.

‘Please, Kat,’ she implored with a growl.

She didn’t need to ask twice. I returned to her firm bud and pressed against it with increasing firmness, stroking faster and faster until she was shuddering violently against the bike. Before long, with her hands still cuffed and her hips pulled down against me, with the friction of the fabric between us, I was groaning and shuddering my way to my own spine-melting climax.

I stole a look over my shoulder, the locker room was still empty, I was still alone. My own sex was swollen and aching. I braced myself against the wet wall. With two fingers, I parted my lips and let my middle finger rest against my clit. Hot water rushed over my most sensitive parts, the slight pain aroused me further. It wasn’t long before I was panting against the tiles, making myself come against the wall of the open showering area.

Chapter Three

Sorry I’m late,’ I said, kissing Elle’s forehead. We had agreed to meet at that Thai place on Woodlark Street. She was eating a samosa, dripping with hot chilli sauce.

She looked up at me and my expression softened. ‘I miss you,’ I told her, my voice just above a whisper.

I know,’ she said with her mouth still full.

I rolled my eyes. She laughed. I did miss her, she’d been camping out at Bentley—almost every night—for the previous two months. Her hair was slightly sun-bleached and messy, her clothes looked ragged and I noticed dirt under her fingernails.

‘How’s it going out there?’

‘It’s intense.’

I can imagine,’ I said, noticing how alert and clear her rich-brown eyes appeared. ‘How does she become more breathtaking every day?’ I asked myself.

Today everyone’s banging on about George’s son, Stuart, having been employed as a Metgasco salesman for two years. As if it’s some wild discovery. Of course, the rest of us have known that for ages. He’s actually been working for Metgasco for five years, trying to convince farmers to sell their land and whatnot.’

I know,’ I said. ‘Babe, listen. I have—’ she didn’t let me finish.

I wish you could be there, Kat, it’s so wild but efficient and organised. Apparently 6,000 more protesters are going to arrive tomorrow, you know, because of the …’ she trailed off, her gaze dropped and she began folding her napkin. Her cheekbones were irresistible. I wanted to forget all about Bentley and let my hand wander up her skirt.

The cops have been getting forceful,’ she added, not looking up from her origami napkin.

I know, babe,’ I said. I had never imagined that our professions could come between us. A lawyer and a cop. But that was before she started working at the Environmental Defenders Office. ‘I wish I could be there, beside you too,’ I told her, ‘but that’s the thing, that’s what we need to talk about.’

What is it,’ she said, with a teary jerk in her voice.

Swallowing hard, I said, ‘listen, you know that I support you completely, I’m proud of what you stand for, of what you’re doing out there.’ Reaching over, I put my hand on hers, and added, ‘I’m going to be at Bentley tomorrow, but in uniform.’

She yanked her hand away but held my gaze, as if waiting for me to tell her I was only kidding. I said nothing. ‘Fuck you Kat,’ she said quietly. Then stood and walked away. She had lost weight too. I threw 20 bucks on the counter and followed her out into the street.

I caught the door of her Jeep and pried it open. She let go, and sat behind the wheel looking painfully sad. ‘I’m sorry,’ was all I could say.

I know,’ she said, still not looking at me. ‘I’m sorry too.’

What the fuck does that mean? I thought, trying to push down the sharp pain in my throat. I uttered a few incomprehensible words, without knowing what I was trying to say.

Look, Kat, I love you but …’ she trailed off again.

Sudden anger broiled in my lungs. ‘But what?’ I demanded, loud enough to get a few curious glances from the footpath.

‘I love you, but maybe we’re too different now, maybe we’ve drifted apart.’

No. Fucking. Way. We haven’t drifted apart. You’ve abandoned us to live like a fucking feral out there at Bentley.’ My tone was bitter and I immediately wanted to take back what I’d just said.

I know you don’t mean that,’ she said.

Sorry,’ I said, lowering my voice. ‘You’re right, I don’t mean that at all. It’s just, I miss you. I haven’t seen you in a week. You said we were going to spend last weekend together, but only turned up, Sunday evening, to do a load of washing. What’s going on? Don’t do this. I don’t want to lose you. Elle, please just come home tonight.’ I leant in and caught one of her tears with my lips. ‘Please?’

‘Kat, you know I can’t do that. Not tonight.’

We really need to talk, about tomorrow.’

Big round tears fell down her face and rolled along her jawline. ‘Would you arrest me?’


Would you arrest me?’ she sniffled.

Would you like me to?’ I asked, trying to lighten up the mood.

I’m fucking serious Kat,’ she said, slamming her palm against the steering wheel. ‘Would you arrest me?’

Jesus,’ I exhaled. ‘No, I mean, I don’t know. I don’t think so. It would depend.’

‘Depend on what?’

‘Elle, I don’t know, depend on things. I can’t answer that.’

‘I’ve got to go. I’ll be home on Thursday. We can talk then.’

Please, don’t leave it like this. Come home.’

Let me go,’ she said, pulling on the door.

There was no point arguing.

Chapter Four

I wouldn’t allow myself to cry. I arrived home, watered the plants, fed the cat, put the TV on and did crunches on the lounge-room floor. I tried to sleep but couldn’t get comfortable. I tossed and turned and eventually switched on the light and went in search for some Aspirin.

Great, it’s 3am,’ I thought. ‘I haven’t slept and I have a bloody headache.’

Tomorrow’s going to be fucking fantastic,’ I said out loud to myself.

I tried listening to a guided meditation tape but the guy’s voice pissed me off. I flicked through Facebook. Elle was tagged in countless photos. I didn’t know any of the jokers, with their arms slung around my girlfriend’s shoulders. A pang of jealousy instantly became a nostalgic ache in my groin.

I must have drifted off because, suddenly, I was awoken by the sound of my phone beeping. The bedside light was on and the Aspirin were still sitting beside the glass of water. I reached for the phone. It was an executive update about the raid. I surged out of bed, pulled my pants on, and grabbed my car keys.

Chapter Five

By the time I got to Bentley the darkness was shifting, a few birds were chirping, and the whole place was awake and buzzing.

People were moving about with purpose and determination, I noticed that the entire camp was operating like a sophisticated piece of machinery. Women, guided by torchlight, painted rainbows on kids’ faces. Flags were being raised. A couple of old farmers, leaning against a fence, smoked rollies. And a couple of surfer-looking dudes, standing beside a kombi, smoked a joint.

I didn’t care. I wasn’t on duty yet. It took me a good fifteen minutes to find Elle, she was busy helping an elderly lady into a lock-on device.

She wasn’t expecting to see me. She looked me up and down. There I was, standing in front of her but in my old Adidas track pants, a white Tee, and runners, rather than a uniform. She didn’t know how to react, her rich-brown eyes regarded me with concern.

A moment of sadness slipped between us as I recalled what she had said the night before, about us drifting apart. But then I remembered why I was there, shook my head and smiled.

Her shoulders dropped a little as she smiled back.

Sorry for interrupting,’ I said awkwardly, because I was lying. I wasn’t sorry. I couldn’t take my eyes off Elle. ‘Can I steal you for a moment?’

Of course,’ she said, handing the chain over to another volunteer. ‘I’ll be right back,’ she told the lady being assisted into the lock-on device.

Hey there, Kat,’ said the lady who was being chained against some type of concrete-filled contraption and who, was now, looking up at me.

Woah. Hi, Dr Valley,’ I stuttered, scolding myself for not recognising her earlier.

‘You can call me Sue out here. We’re sure glad you’ve made it. We need all the people we can get today.’

Ah, yeah. Of course,’ I replied, realising Elle hadn’t told anyone that I’d be waving handcuffs instead of placards that day.

I wasn’t sure if the tears in Elle’s eyes were from sadness or relief.

We stepped away and she looked at me expectantly.

‘In privacy?’


Where’s your tent?’

She led me down the hill.

It was dark in her tent, but organised and clean and smelt of her rose-scented body scrub.

What are you doing here? I thought you were meant to be working,’ Elle asked.

Promise you won’t tell anyone?’ I interrupted, trying to suppress the giddy tone in my voice.

‘Tell anyone what?’

What I am about to tell you.’ I held her hand. ‘You can’t tell anyone, not yet. Promise.’

Sitting with her legs folded beneath her, she bounced a little. ‘What? Oh my God. Tell me already!’ she said, shoving me playfully.

Okay, okay,’ I grabbed her other hand, and drew her toward me. ‘No one will be arrested today,’ I whispered into her ear.

How can you know that?’ she asked, pulling away and searching my face for answers.

I cut straight to the chase, ‘Metgasco’s Rosella exploration licence has been suspended. It will be announced this morning. We’re withdrawing. You’d better get ready to celebrate.’

‘Are you serious?’

Elle, you know that I’d never joke about this. I got the text a couple of hours ago. I can’t believe it …’

‘What does this mean?’ She asked, her gaze flicking around the tent, as if searching for answers.

‘Babe,’ I whispered. ‘I don’t know what it means in the long run, but for today it means victory and peace. Today it means success.’

‘Jesus Christ, I can’t believe it,’ she exclaimed, a little too loudly.

I made a shushing sound, and placed a finger over her lips. She scanned my face, her eyes wide, then smiled and nipped at my finger.

Well-fucking-done!’ I whispered.

She shoved me roughly and I collapsed back, pulling her down with me.

She pushed my hands back above my head and straddled my stomach.

I tried to kiss her, but she arched back and pushed down with her hips.

My whole body tensed, I tried to rise up to meet her. She held my wrists firmly and, in that moment, I would’ve given anything to have my hands free, to run my fingers through her hair, to drag my nails down her back, to feel her nipples harden between my fingertips.

I’ve missed you, too,’ she said, leaning down and lightly brushing her tongue along my lips.

A sound, that I can only describe as a whimper, escaped from my mouth. Elle seemed amused.

She licked the outer edge of my ear and flicked the lobe with her tongue.

Elle,’ I gasped, arching my back. I was about to take over but I felt her resist.

We’re doing this my way,’ she said, practically purring.

I surrendered completely.

Chapter Six

Elle peppered the side of my face, my neck and collar bone in tauntingly light kisses. I fought the urge to writhe beneath her, telling myself to keep still, forcing myself into submission and giving her absolute control. She relaxed her knees further apart, I felt the softness of her inner thighs as she thrusts down against my abdomen. Her head tilted back, her eyes closed, her lips parted a little, and her breath was laced with the most delicate of moans. She was utterly gorgeous. I must have done something right in a previous life, I thought, watching her succumb to desire as she fucked me through our clothes.

Still pinning my wrists above my head, she planted one thigh between my legs and pushed against me. The need to stay quiet intensified the hot passion pulsing through my body, I momentarily felt light headed and sleepy. I wanted her weight on me like this forever. I opened my eyes, and her eyes locked with mine. With a cheeky smirk, she started making long, slow grinding motions.

My arousal had soaked the lace of my panties, which were rasping against my clit. A delicate pain in the most sensitive of places.

Her grinding became shorter and faster. Remaining still, I had to concentrate on staying quiet.

Fuck me,’ was all I managed to gasp.

When I’m ready,’ was her cruel reply.

She was pounding me then and it was too much. Arching my back, I shoved my hips forward.

‘Baby, I’m going to come.’

You’ll come when I tell you to come,’ she whispered bluntly.

When she became so dominant? I silently asked myself. She was painfully sexy.

Much to my dismay, she climbed off. Then slithered out of her pants. The light was dull but I could see that her thighs glistened with desire. She ripped my shirt over my head and forced me back down. She straddled me again, smearing her wetness over my abdomen. I wriggled down until she was kneeling over me, and I came face to face with her spectacular pussy. Clutching her hips, I licked her ever so lightly. She tasted sweet and familiar, I had to stop myself from sucking at her greedily. She quivered silently above me as I pressed my tongue deep inside her, reaching for her most aromatic places.

She leaned backward. I held her lower back and supported her position while driving my tongue in further. My chin and the tip of my nose were brushing against all the right places. She dipped into me and thrashed against my mouth.

She bent back further, started kneading her own clit, and fucked my face desperately. She rubbed herself so vigorously that I thought, surely, it must hurt. and I pulled her weight down against me, my tongue pulsed inside of her. She continued stroking herself.

Supporting her whole weight, I heard her suck in a breath as her whole body gyrated in silence. I pushed my mouth hard against her, forcing my tongue in deeply, straining forward as she convulsed and climaxed in my mouth. Still holding my face, she fell to her side and trembled with orgasmic aftershocks.

Fuck that was hot,’ I whispered, grinning like a fool.

Chapter Seven

Following Bentley, my life gradually returned to normal. Elle stayed out at the site for five days after Metgasco’s licence was suspended. The protesters performed a closing ceremony before pulling the camp apart, and clearing the paddocks.

She slipped back into her Monday to Friday, nine-till-five, routine. We went back to working out at the gym, trying new restaurants, and devouring Netflix series.

My roster request to take Elle’s birthday weekend off had already been approved before we discovered the body in the bathtub. On the Friday evening, I decided to postpone camping. I wanted to stay back and work on the case over the weekend.

‘That won’t be necessary officer Kody,’ Stone uttered without taking her eyes off the computer screen.

I was dumbfounded. She hadn’t been working with us a week. I was simply mentioning it to her, not asking for her permission. I didn’t trust her, rolling in here full of head honcho, homicide detective, attitude.

Seriously, Kody,’ she said, swivelling around and looking up at me with her very deliberate eyes. After a long day of running her hands over her hair, blonde strands had fallen from her braid, slightly softening the sharpness of her angular features.

I couldn’t help but notice a hint of hardness, and perhaps a desire for agony, in her features. She has the most perfect teeth I’ve ever seen, brilliantly white, super straight with a charming little gap between the two upper front teeth. Her figure is exquisite, she moves elegantly, although there is a hint of masculinity about her gestures which, no doubt, has evolved through carrying a gun and spending countless hours analysing gruesome and disturbing crimes.

‘I might be a blow in,’ she admitted, ‘but I’ve been a detective for ten years and have never worked on a case as fucked up and cruel as this. It’s been a tough week. Don’t think I haven’t noticed you working your guts out.’

Until then, Anna Stone hadn’t uttered more than three words (usually to specify her coffee order) or glanced in my direction. It was as if she hadn’t noticed me at all.

I had been pleased to learn that the new D was going to be a she, a bit of back up in such a testosterone-fuelled field never goes astray.

That gladness transformed into resentment, when she looked straight through me as I attempted to introduce myself.

‘Look, you don’t strike me as the sort of copper who requests for time off often. It must be something important. Go, try to enjoy yourself and shake off this horrid case for a few days.’

Right,’ I stuttered, ‘uh, yeah, okay. Thanks. Uh … hope the weekend is better. I mean, see you next week,’ I rambled like a total kook.

She returned to the screen. And, it’s quite possible that I imagined it, but I’m almost certain that she licked her lips, after looking me up and down, before swivelling back around on her office chair.

Chapter Eight

Everything was perfect. I woke before dawn that morning, rushing out to set-up camp, decorating the tent with battery-operated fairy lights, tea-light candles, several arrangements of native flowers, and a new camp bed fitted with 1000-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets.

Protester Falls was named after the protests responsible for preserving this small patch of rainforest back in 1979. One of Elle’s favourite places, she says it was the history of Protester Falls that inspired her to become an environmental lawyer. She was also a big fan of the curiously natured Albert’s lyrebirds.

I took Elle for breakfast at Harvest, then drove the country-side roads out to Terania Creek.

Let’s walk a bit, then set up,’ I said, parking the car.

Let’s go lyrebird spotting,’ Elle squealed and clapped her hands. Once again, she closely inspected the Canon Powershot that I gave her that morning. It was the latest superzoom, completely different from Olympus 35mm Film Camera that she always had hanging around her neck when we first met.

Back then, when we first met, Elle and her housemate, Sara, were avid photographers, they even used the spare room of their apartment as a darkroom. In the beginning, I went out and bought a camera, pretending to be interested in photography, just so they would let me tag along. I suddenly remembered the smell of caffenol and the desperate and depraved sex the three of us had in that darkroom.

It’s peaceful out there, at Protester Falls, and after ten minutes of wandering among the soft-green climbing ferns crocheting thin-trunked Bangalow Palms, and admiring the burnt-brown patterns on the white trunks of scribbling gums, I had all but forgotten about the murder case that had been plaguing my mind that week. It’s good to be in the bush, I thought.

Elle had stopped up ahead. Crouched down, she pointed the camera at a ground-dwelling lyrebird, scratching and pecking at the darkness of the rainforest floor. I was amazed by the artistry of its elaborately marbled chestnut tail-feathers.

She took several shots and, still crouching, flicked back through them. She turned to me with a brilliant smile.

This camera is fucking unreal,’ she said. ‘I love it.’


Let’s go put up the tent?’ she asked, suggestively raising one eyebrow.

Sure.’ I couldn’t help smiling, she had no idea.

Back at the carpark, she headed for the car boot, calling out, ‘throw me the keys.’

Just wait,’ I said, extending my hand. ‘Do you remember seeing that sweet, secluded spot last time we were out here. Let’s check if it’s free.’

She shook her head but followed me into the bush anyway. ‘Damn,’ I said when we arrived at the spot. ‘It’s already taken.’

She looked at the tent, then at me, and then at the tent again. ‘You sneaky little shit,’ she said, elbowing my side.

I grabbed her elbow, unzipped the tent and guided her inside. I switched on the fairy lights and she cooed with delight. I decided to leave the candles for later.

I wasn’t generally such a romantic, but the recent possibility of losing Elle had inspired me to demonstrate just how much I cherished her.

She ran a hand over the tawny-coloured sheets, admiring their silkiness. Her head was slightly tilted to the side in a manner that accentuated her long lashes and the fullness of her dark-raspberry lips. I wanted to take her right then, but I was frozen in a moment of ineffable admiration.

She looked up, with heavy eyelids, and began to crawl toward me. Her lips were parted and her eyes were full of intention. She was so sexy, I almost stepped back but her hands were on the back of my thighs and her pert breasts were pressed against my legs. She pulled me toward the mattress and started unbuttoning her shirt. She kept it on but let it fall open, revealing her golden-brown stomach, her piercing, and the fact that she wasn’t wearing a bra. I pushed the shirt open and traced the outline of her perfect brown nipples with my tongue.

Tearing off my shirt, I cupped her cheeks and press my forehead against hers. ‘I love you,’ I whispered before kissing her delicately. I ran the tip of my tongue along the outline of her lips, meandering and licking the corners. She allowed my tongue to slip in. I pushed it up and dragged it along the front of her teeth. Her tongue found mine and massaged it briefly before she sucked my tongue into her mouth wantonly.

We fell back. The awareness of skin on skin, nipple on nipple, took my breath away. I let air rush into my lungs, then kissed Elle possessively. Shoving my thigh between her legs, I rocked forward, pressing my own centre against her hip bone. Her nails dug into my back and her hips rolled rhythmically. Shock waves of desire crashed in my apex, flooding my underwear. With my hands beneath her head, I began grinding against her, slowly at first.

Elle raked her nails down my back. Her hands found my hips, her fingers dug in, she pushed and pulled handfuls of flesh, every squeeze pushing me closer to the edge. Gradually, our movements became faster until we were grinding against each other fiercely.

Oh, fuck,’ she moaned. Her hot, sweet breath sweeping over my face.

I lifted her head and pressed my lips against her hot, open mouth.

Unable to resist any longer, I slid my hand between our sweaty torsos, loosened the drawstring, and pushed my hand under the waistband of her harem pants. She gasped as I gingerly traced circles around her throbbing clit. She gasped again as I slid two fingers inside her.

Deep inside her, my fingers pulsed rhythmically against her swollen bundle of nerves, I ground my thigh between her legs, forcing my hand between us. She bit down on my bottom lip and I thrust into her a little harder. When her whole body tensed beneath me, and I felt her tighten around my fingers, I knew she was close. My thumb brushed over her clit and she pulled my hips down against her. Her pussy quivered around my fingers as she released one long soft sob then collapsed back onto the mattress. Her long, muscular legs tightened around me. I panted and thrust again against her. Her lips found mine, and she swirled her tongue around in my mouth. I whimpered into her mouth, convulsed, and fell against her.

My heart pounded and my breathing was erratic. I brushed some rogue hairs from Elle’s face and uttered, ‘happy birthday, baby.’

It couldn’t get any better,’ she said yawning.

It’s not over yet,’ I tease.

Chapter Nine

We’re swarming the house. The stomping was astonishingly loud. There was so much shouting. Shots were fired. I kicked in the bathroom door. A slashed-up hand reached out of the blood-stained bathtub, I tugged and tugged on the hand but couldn’t pull the tortured body from the water. I scooped up the eyeballs floating in the tub and twisted them back into the empty sockets of her face. She was blue, and screaming. and sinking further and further into the water. I grabbed her hand and pulled, but it slipped and slipped, again and again, from my grip. The putrid smell hit me and I spewed into the bathtub.

I was sweating and gasping for air. Elle’s hand was rubbing my back. ‘Shhh,’ she said. ‘You’re okay, you’re okay.’ I ran my hands over my forehead, pushed back my hair, took a sideways glance at Elle and looked around the tent. There was air in my mouth but it wasn’t reaching my lungs, I forced it out and attempted to breathe through my nose. Something wasn’t right. I fumbled around for my shirt, pulled it over my head and opend the tent.

What are you doing,’ she asked.

Just stay here,’ I whispered.

She clenched the sheet to her chest, narrowed her eyes and frowned.

I was assaulted by the light as I stepped outside. It was so fucking bright. I stumbled forward, blinking and shielding my eyes. There was no one around. It was all sunshine and birdsong. I heard Elle call my name, but something still didn’t feel right. Looking for a sign, or something, I walked around the tent again.

Kat,’ Elle called again.

Spotting three snapped twigs at the back of the tent, I rushed over to look for more evidence. About ninety centimetres away, I noticed some crushed leaves in the shape of a footprint. I l Did I hear footsteps? I ask myself.

Kat,’ Elle said quietly, knowing better than to sneak up on me.

I spun and was instantly facing her.

What’s going on? Did you find something?’ she asked, her words seemed to drip with fear.

Her shirt was on inside out and she looked genuinely scared.

You fucking cocksucker, I scalded myself. Of course, she’s scared. Everyone’s on edge with this body in a bathtub bullshit.

Hey, yeah … Nothing to worry about. Just a lyrebird scratching around back here, he just scampered off in to the bush.’ I lied straight to her face and interlocked my fingers behind her neck.

A lyrebird?’ With one eyebrow raised, her mouth twisted into a cute little pout.

I knew she didn’t believe me.

Let’s go up to the fall?’ I changed the subject. ‘I packed a picnic.’

Layla Holiday

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