The weather had been looking dubious all afternoon, threatening rain, but never coming through with the goods.
It wasn't until I actually left the office, and walked out in the open, far from both the shelter of the buildings and my car, that the skies opened and the backlog of summer rain plummeted to the earth. I ran for the car, but I knew I wasn't going to make it.
By the time I unlocked the door and wrenched it open, I was soaked. My shirt was sticking to my skin, and I had to wipe my glasses to see enough to back my car out of the park, muttering darkly about the unfairness of it all. Perhaps, just perhaps, someone was listening.
I made it two whole blocks before I was out of sync with the traffic flow. Pulling up to the red light, in the lane closest to the kerb, I added some expletives to the earlier list, and then forced myself to relax. Driving on a wet road in a rage isn't very clever.
Looking around, I noticed a woman standing at the lights, a newspaper completely failing to stop her being drenched by the vertical curtain of water. I couldn't really see her too well, but she obviously wasn't very comfortable. Checking the lights first, I wound down the window, and peered out, well aware of the water pouring through the opening and dripping on the seats.
"Hey! Hey, you! Yeah, you. Get in."
"Get in the car. You'll drown out there."
"Do I know you?"
"No. Name's Glenn. Come on."
"Zoe. I can't do that. I'll get your car all wet."
"It already is, and so am I. Get in, Zoe."
"Are you some kind of rapist?"
"Of course, but not in this weather. Come on, the lights will change."
"Alright, alright. God, you rapists are so friendly!"
Hauling the door open, and letting the wall of water splash me in retaliation, she threw the soaked paper to the ground, dragged her backpack off and jumped in, dropping the dripping bag between her legs, collapsing herself on the seat just in time for the lights to turn green.
I gunned the little car as best I could, and managed to hurtle across the intersection without being rear-ended by the rest of the angry assholes behind me. After exiting to a sensible lane, things settled down a little, and I had time to look over at my passenger.
I hadn't realised while she was showering outside, but she was very attractive. A few years younger than me, small, pale skin with short dark hair, currently plastered to her head. "Uh, reach back there, top of my bag. There's a towel. It's clean. And dry," I muttered at her while splitting my attention between the traffic and the rest of her body. It was worthy of some focus. Zoe was wearing a thin cotton button up shirt, almost like a man's business shirt. White, wet, and, all credit to the rain, stuck wonderfully against her skin. It looked great, but I bet it wasn't too comfortable right now. Just for the record, her bra was small, as were her breasts. Pale blue, with a little lace. The bra, not the breasts, of course. Not that I was looking.
My thoughts were interrupted by both the traffic and her voice.
"Oh, I can't use your towel."
"Why not? Rapists are clean."
"No, because you'll need it."
"No. No, I won't. I put it in the car to go to the gym, and I never got there."
"This bag? Glenn, did you say?"
"Yeah, that one. Yep, that's me."
"Nice to meet you, Glenn. Thanks for the lift."
"No sweat. I couldn't leave you in that."
The traffic was moving very slowly in the torrential rain, and I was foolish enough to think that meant I had time to check my passenger out some more. That shirt I talked about was topping a denim mini-skirt. Short, standard denim blue, frayed, and very, very wet. I would have checked out her legs, was it not for the blast of a horn behind me. I caught up with the traffic, and then looked back over at her. The towel was being rubbed vigorously in her short hair, and she was grinning directly at me.
"You better not really be a rapist, Glenn."
"Parks Manager, but please don't tell anyone."
"Oh, you work for the council?"
"Yep. Long term servitude."
"Could be worse."
"Listen Glenn, what part of town are you headed for?"
"I hope you're not planning to swim."
"Not today. So where were you going?"
"Home. I live up by the museum."
"Yeah. Just on the edge. The cheap area."
"Well... cheaper anyway."
"Yeah, that's right. Could I trouble you to go past? It's not too far out of your way, I don't think."
"No trouble, Zoe."
"Yeah, you bet. I'm not in a rush."
"What about the wife and kids?"
"Sorry, none of those."
"Me neither. Oh, God, that was a bit blunt, wasn't it?"
"Saves me asking you."
"Oh, would you have?"
"If I could have worked out a way, yeah."
"Okay. Listen, when we get to my place, Glenn, do you think you could stop the car for a few minutes?"
"Ah... yeah. Why?"
"So I could... This shirt is really, really uncomfortable. I was thinking maybe if you behaved like a gentleman, I could take it off, and wear the towel. But I'd need to rush inside and change so I could give it back. See?"
"I can pretend to be a gentleman."
"Yeah. Isn't there a saying about that? A gentleman is a lecher with patience?"
"Oh. You're a lecher?"
"Could be. You'll never know, unless you take your shirt off."
"With both eyes."
"Got it." I did. Really I did. I concentrated on the traffic, the lights, the weather. Park maintenance schedule. Prime numbers. And I didn't look. Somehow.
"Okay, all set."
"Am I allowed to look?"
"Oh yeah, I guess."
I turned my head, and she was grinning at me again. Her shirt, and her bra were sitting on her lap. "You're obviously not really scared I'm a rapist."
"Just didn't want you to tear my bra."
"You mean physically, or socially?"
"I think so. You better turn out to be as nice as you seem, mister. I don't take disappointment well."
"You get violent? And it's Smith."
"No, I get even. And how did you know, Glenn?"
"You told me, Zoe."
"No, no, my last name."
"How did you know I was a Smith?"
"No, no. I'm a Smith."
"Yes. Glenn Smith."
"Yeah, why? What's so weird about that?"
"Because, Mr Smith, that's my name."
"Shit. How about that."
"You better not start thinking that means I'll give you any leeway if you disappoint me."
"I wasn't planning to, Miss Smith, though I admit you confuse me a little. Up this way?"
"Yeah, and left at the roundabout. Hmm... Nah, I won't ask."
"Ask what, Zoe?"
"Nah. I'll just... Look at the road, nosy."
"That's better. Oh, and so is that. God, that was awful. Sorry about your car."
"What are you... Oh. Forget the car." While I was again paying attention to the traffic, she'd managed to wiggle her skirt down and it was sitting on the floor of the car, around her sandaled feet. As I watched, she flicked it off her feet, and it slumped wetly on the backpack. Zoe had her shirt and bra covering the most vital parts, and I just kinda wondered...
"Yes, Glenn. I do have panties on."
"I never said a word!"
"Your eyes were asking."
"They... well, maybe. Sorry."
"I don't get pretty girls in my car all that often, and they never take their clothes off."
"That's because you're a rapist."
"They can tell?"
"Oh, of course. We're girls."
"I'm not at all sure you're joking."
"Of course you're not. You're a boy! Up here to the right."
"See that driveway, past the red car? No, the other one. Yeah. In there, under the carport, if you... ah, shit, no, someone's in there. It'll have to be the street. Pull up here. Thanks."
"No problem. You're in that one?"
"Yeah. Gloomy, isn't it?"
"I think everything looks gloomy in this weather."
"Yeah, could be. Look, I'll just be a minute, okay?"
"Yeah, yeah. No rush."
"Thanks." She bundled her things together, still holding the towel around her torso, and her shirt in front of her thighs. She kissed me suddenly, a peck on the cheek, and then leapt from the car, giggling.
I have to assume she didn't realise, or didn't care that her black pantied ass was in plain sight. Okay, so I stared as she hooked the towel around herself properly, under her arms, and ran with little coordination down the path, avoiding the worst of the puddles, her butt wiggling as she retreated.
I watched until she reached the house, and then, just as I was sitting back to wait, she turned around to face me. She stood still for a moment, as though she was making a decision, and then waved at me, both hands well away from her body, tempting the towel to fall, and ran, bouncing around the puddles again, all the way back to the car. I hit the button to lower her window as she approached, wondering what she could have forgotten. She stood there, soaking wet again, and stuck her head through the gap.
"You better come inside."
.... There is more of this story ...