Coffee, Tea? Or me?

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It’s never too late

To leave if you wanna leave

Or to stay if you wanna stay

But baby, I got a feeling in my bones

Can’t get you out of my veins [...]

Don’t be a bummer, babe

Be my undercover lover, babe.


Lucy walked into the apartment building in Mayfair, its Victorian facade in tasteful contrast with the industrial interiors of rusted metal and polished concrete was the perfect representation of the new shabby chic in fashion in London.

“May I help you, madam?”

The man behind the reception desk asked.

Lucy walked towards him.

“Yes, I’m here to see Mr Blackwood”. She said, hoping that using his real surname would make her sound more official.

“What’s your name?” the man inquired.

Lucy gave him her name and surname.

“Miss Hamilton, yes. Mr Blackwood said you might come today. I’ll let you in”.

Lucy thanked him and followed him in silence to the lift, a little intimidated by that formality.

The man called the lift for her and pressed the button to the last floor, which he unlocked with a plastic card.

“Flat twenty,” he said, then briefly bowed his head and smiled as the doors closed.

Lucy walked out the lift into what looked like a hotel hallway, with polished wood floors and abstract art paintings on the walls. On her right were two flats, one opposite the other; she walked to door number twenty and pressed the bell, as nothing happened she pressed the doorbell again and waited, her heart pounding.

When, after a few minutes, no one came to the door she took her phone out and called James. No answer.

She took a deep breath and evaluated her options: maybe he was playing hard to get? Maybe he had changed his mind? She called him once more, but again no answer.

As she turned around to leave she noticed two glass doors to what looked like a fitness centre.

Lucy slowly walked towards them and pushed on the metal bar poking her head in, when she found it empty she entered and looked around: big glass windows and a line of cardio machines on the right and a weight and resistance area on the left.

Then she heard noises coming from a separate room that she hadn’t noticed at first, she followed the sound of what seemed like heavy breathing and as she stood on the threshold she saw James.

He was in shorts and trainers, his hair wet and his eyes focused on the target; his left fist was guarding his face as his right arm moved in quick repetitions to hit a punch ball hanging from the ceiling and sending it dancing around. His toned back contracted with each movement and droplets of sweat ran down the grooves of his muscles.

He was wearing headphones and hadn’t heard her coming in, so Lucy stood there for a moment, enjoying the view and looking for the courage to talk to him.

Eventually, she walked into his line of vision staying at a distance to avoid to be accidentally caught in the fight.

As James saw her he quickly halted the punchball and removed his headphones

“Lucy! I was expecting you later...”

“We managed an earlier flight, I tried to call you. Your doorman let me in...” she said apologetically.

“I really needed to talk to you”. She added, playing with her hands.

“You seem nervous,” He said opening the velcro of the gloves with his teeth. “You’re making me nervous”.

Lucy looked at the floor.

“Things happened in Mexico. Sam showed up”.

James sat on a bench behind him, scoffing as he removed the gloves.

“Uninvited,” continued Lucy, emphasizing that word. “It got messy, we had a fight, hotel security had to intervene”.

James stood up and quickly walked to her

“Fuck, are you ok?” he asked apprehensively.

Lucy nodded.

“Yes, he was just a bit too touchy but nothing I couldn’t handle. Anyway, it’s over”.

“Can’t say I’m sorry,” said James scratching his head.

Lucy laughed softly then became serious again

“I’ve had some time to think, James. Sam and I were really fucked up and I don’t want to drag that mess into what I have with you”.

“So you’re just gonna throw everything away because of what somebody else made you feel? I know it might come to you as a shock but men are not all the same!“.

“That’s not what I meant. I just... don’t want to be in your life with all my issues. I don’t want to be a problem for you if things go belly up!”

James rubbed his face with his hand in exasperation.

“Well, maybe I want you to be my fucking problem! Never thought of that?”

Lucy was silent, staring in his eyes.

“Listen, I’m not gonna stand here trying to convince you to be with me. If you are sure that this, us, is never gonna go anywhere, then, by all means, walk away; but if you think there is even the slightest chance for it to work, for you to be happy than why refuse it to yourself?“.

Lucy scoffed.

“Why are you so good to me? I hoped you’d make it easy and told me to get lost, that you don’t have time for my problems...”

James shook his head, his square jaw twitching.

“I think you should know by now, I’m honest and straightforward and I know what I want. If you don’t want to be with me, I’ll accept it. But I’m not gonna let you go by pretending that that’s what I want. If this is over it needs to come from you, I don’t do regrets. So? What’s it gonna be?”

Lucy looked at James standing in front of her, his honest green eyes on her, his arms open, exposed.

A blizzard of emotions was blowing in her head, she liked him and wanted to give it a chance, but she was scared.

Good scared?

She let her bag fall to the floor and with one quick step, she was in front of him, her arms around his neck and her lips on his. She kissed him, and it felt amazing. She knew then that she was doing the right thing.

James was caught off guard by Lucy’s impetus, he wrapped his arms around her waist and steadied himself to prevent both of them from falling.

The kiss reminded him of how deeply he’d missed her, her touch, her scent and it became needier as their lips parted and their tongues touched.

James’ hands travelled down to her bottom and cupped it, feeling the toned thickness of it that had always driven him crazy.

Lucy’s lips were on his neck, kissing and biting it softly as her mouth travelled on his skin.

He had dreamed of this moment every single day that she’d been away, and now she was back in his arms. He couldn’t wait; his hands moved under her hoodie, slowly lifting it over her head and throwing it on the floor, then gently pushed her against the wall.

Lucy could feel his excitement against her hips and slowly caressed his chest until her hand was inside his shorts and started to stroke.

James eyes closed and his head tilted back slightly, his lips just parted. His heart was racing wildly and had to stop himself from letting go.

He removed Lucy’s hand from his pants and kneeled down kissing her stomach and undoing the zip of her jeans, then hooked his fingers in the waist and pulled them down along with her pants. He then got back on his feet and kissed her again, as his hand made its way between her legs and his fingers were finally inside of her.

Lucy moaned softly and cupped his hand with hers to steady the rhythm, as the movement became faster her moans became louder and James kissed her to stop her from screaming.

When they both couldn’t take it anymore James lifted her and was quickly inside her.

He wished he could have taken his time with her, but their desire for each other was so strong that he started to move quickly in and out of her, one arm under her butt and the other pinning her wrist to the wall.

There was no mercy in his movement, no space for romance, he needed to be inside her and taste her and have her on his skin.

Lucy’s lips were on James’ trying to silence herself against his mouth but as he thrust inside her once more, she moaned loudly

“Shh baby,” He said against her ear. “Someone could come in”.

“It just feels so good” she replied in a whisper.

And it did feel good, James was on the verge of losing himself and when Lucy looked in his eyes and said

“I’ve missed you inside me”

He was done.


James’ flat was in line with the rest of the building with its industrial feel and luxurious materials. A glass wall dominated the apartment and allowed plenty of natural light into the, otherwise, dark-toned flat.

The wall opposite the glass was red brick and most of the space on that side was taken by a big kitchen in a U shape of dark grey wood and black granite. In front of it, the living area was made of two dark brown leather sofas, one of them looking at a big tv and audio system and the other facing the window.

In the far corner behind the kitchen, a black piano stood on a raised wooden platform and next to it were two iron staircases: one leading to the second level, where the bedroom and the bathroom were, and the other taking to a glass and iron door into a rooftop garden. Dark hardwood floors were softened by pastel rugs at the entrance and in the living area, on the walls industrial paintings and photography and posters of classic films.

Lucy walked to the glass wall, admiring the twilight over a rainy London skyline, the busy street underneath with its red busses popping out like cherries.

“It’s beautiful,” she said.

James appeared behind her.

“Stay the night,” he said softly.

Lucy turned around, reluctantly peeling her eyes from the charming sight outside the window.

“I can’t, I left my luggage with Harriet and I work the day after tomorrow. I need to unpack...”

James wrapped his arms around her waist and place a kiss on her lips.

“Stay the night,” he said again and fixed his green eyes in hers.

“I wish I could, really...”

He kissed her neck.

“Stay” he whispered in her ear.

James and Lucy were lying in bed, their heads at the bottom of the mattress looking at the big glass wall into the city now alight in the night sky. Lucy was wrapped in grey sheets propping herself up with her elbows, James’ fingers tracing the line of her naked back.

“You’re so beautiful,” he said.

Lucy smiled and look away, still incapable of taking compliments, then her eyes went back to the black sky.

“What are you afraid of?” James asked out of the blue, tucking a strand of hair behind Lucy’s ear.

Lucy look at him, a puzzled look on her face.

“When you were trying to finish it with me earlier, before all the amazing sex...”

The girl scoffed and pushed him gently on the shoulder.

“Earlier you said you were afraid of messing things up,” James continued. “I don’t wanna know what went wrong before unless you want to tell me, but why do you think you could ruin us?”

Lucy turned and laid on her back, looking at the ceiling.

“I’m afraid I’ll bring my old habits into whatever could grow between us, I’m afraid I could make it toxic, I’m scared that I didn’t give myself enough time to heal before opening my heart to somebody else. And with you, especially, I’m afraid it could become very complicated because...well, it could turn public”.

She turned to face him.

“I’ve seen your pictures with your friend, how quickly the paparazzi turned that into a story and every time I go online I inevitably come across a snap of you somewhere, just living your everyday life”.

“You’re afraid we could become public?” he asked.

Lucy thought for a moment

“Yes, that’s on top of everything. If things go wrong that’s out there for everyone to see”.

James caressed her cheek with his index finger.

“I hear a lot of “ifs”, your brain must be a very stormy place. You need to slow it down”.

Lucy kissed his fingers.

“Walk a mile in a woman’s shoes and say that sentence again”.

James laughed softly.

“Ok, I’ll tell you what. We need to give ourself time to see where this is taking us, and I’ll be honest, I hope far. But I agree with you, this is our relationship to grow, we don’t need outside distraction. So how about we’ll just be each other’s secret?”

“A secret?” asked Lucy dramatically, intrigued.

“Mm mm. We’ll keep it between us, we’ll do our best to hide it. I know it’s not the most romantic thing but, it’s the one of the things that are bothering you that I can do something about. Let’s give ourselves a fair chance”.

“James Kent my dirty secret,” said Lucy dreamingly.

“Lucy Hamilton, my sexy one,” he kissed her knuckles.

“It sounds good,” she said and kissed him as she smiled.

“Although,” she added. “I’ve told my friend Harriet about you. She knew from the start”.

“It’s ok,” he scratched his head. “I’ve told four of my friends...”

“Four?? ” Asked Lucy wide-eyed. “Well I guess it’s fair, no one knows who I am, while you are...well you”.

James smiled.

“So it’s a deal. No one else can know”.

“Deal!” she said and laughing she jumped on top of him and kissed him passionately.

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