I only walked in to escape the rain.
I'd dressed for the summer, and hadn't realised the day was planning to play practical jokes. A short skirt and t-shirt wasn't the best combination for a wet afternoon, and the museum was the closest point of refuge.
The quiet, cool, dry corridors were a huge contrast with outside, and I decided to take a wander before heading back out, hoping that my clothes might dry properly and that perhaps the rain would stop.
I'd never have thought so in advance, but I was drawn to the bones. Prehistoric dinosaur skeletons and Palaeolithic turtles. Petrified bird turds from Africa, and amber dragonfly fossils.
The echoing halls were largely empty, and it seemed that just walking in them was some kind of intrusion, quite aside from the fact that I must have been dripping water on the well-trodden floor, at least for a while. It was inviting though, wandering amongst the exhibits and peering at the well spaced displays. Occasionally the rich old wooden structures were interrupted by some attempt at modern museum science. Some sort of blinking interactive screen enticing children to smear its surface with their chocolate-dirtied fingers. The consoles seemed out of place though, and I avoided them when I could. I wanted the old-school museum.
It was an hour or so before I saw the pervert. He wasn't quite what I expected, though he exhibited all the major symptoms. He was in his twenties, and looked more geeky than pervy, a thin face in deep glasses on a tall frame. Jeans and an untucked white business shirt. Just the one pen in his pocket.
I wondered, briefly, if he was also escaping the weather, but he seemed too comfortable in the large dinosaur hall, helping folk and answering questions in between sneaking looks at me.
Okay, so maybe I didn't mind that so much. I couldn't resist checking though, and ducked behind what might well have been God's thigh bone, turning to peer across the ancient calcium deposit. He was looking straight at me, a smile on his face. I could have turned away. I could have hidden again. I could have run; left; gone back to the rain. I smiled back at him, and he walked over.
"Are you enjoying the exhibit?" he asked with a grin.
"Depends. Are you throwing people out today if they just came in to escape the weather?"
"Not for a first offence."
"So I'm safe."
"Oh, I didn't say that."
"What if ... what if I have dinosaur questions?"
"Well then, that's core business. I could never turn that away. What is it that interests you?"
"Ah ... Dino sex."
"Sort of. I was wondering ... How did the lady dinos indicate their interest, in situations where it was inappropriate, wasn't going to go anywhere, and didn't make the slightest bit of sense?"
His eyebrows lifted, and he paused before responding. "They would just ask. It's an established historical fact that Ms Dino was one liberated ... er ... chick."
"Liberated chick? And this is the official line?"
"It's semi-official, but not promoted."
I grinned. "It's a secret?"
"More like an inconvenient fact."
"A hidden one?"
"Badly. How desperate is this chick?"
"Not desperate. Opportunistic. Anticipative."
"She plays the field?"
"Only if she has no other commitments, or conflicts."
"She's asking now?"
"Come with me," he said, quietly, confidently, and with more of the smile.
"I ... don't you have to ... you know. Help?"
That made him grin, and his face dimpled. "It's my break."
"Oh." I couldn't decide why, but I really wanted to go with him. "Which way?"
He took my hand. "Just walk with me."
I didn't resist. I looked up at his face. He was a little taller than me. "Rose."
"Neil. Nice to meet you, Rose. This way."
He led me to a large door in the side of the hall, behind one of the dinosaur skeletons. As we approached he took a key from his pocket. His movements were all thoroughly assured, as though it wasn't possible that anything would distract him from his intentions. I felt as though I couldn't provide that distraction by resisting, and anyway I wanted to see what he was going to do next. And I liked the way he spoke, though he'd had to little to say.
Neil pulled the door open with his free hand and led me through it, releasing me to turn and lock it again behind us. In front of me was an old set of stairs. Just the sort of thing you might expect to find in a museum. Rich, dark, well-worn wood, glowing with an air of stability and age. Heavily varnished banisters bounded both sides, with turned balusters fencing off the area. The stairs themselves were dusty, with clearish spots near the centre of each tread, where the feet most commonly found themselves I guessed. Would it make any sense if I said the stairs seemed as though they were expecting something? Waiting? Anticipating?
When I saw the dust I realised that I could also see shadows, and looked up to see that the sunshine had returned. The rain must have been banished while I was inspecting bones in the hall, and summer had returned.
I couldn't actually see where the sunlight was coming from though, and turned back to Neil just in time for him to take my hand again, and walk with me up the wide stairs. There were no turns or landings. We suddenly cleared the top of the stairs and could see across another smooth wood floor.
It was an apartment of some sort. To my left were a kitchen and a living area, bathed in sunshine from a set of skylights in the roof. To the right was a small bedroom. I could see from where we stood that it contained an old wrought-iron single bed, and there can't have been too much room for anything else.
Further to the right was a set of internal windows, and I pulled Neil towards them and peered through. The windows overlooked the halls downstairs, and while the glass was clear, they were old and murky enough to prevent the few people downstairs from clearly seeing up, I was sure.
I turned to Neil and he put his hands on my hips, not saying a word. I put my hands on his shoulders and pulled him towards me, not speaking, not thinking, and not hesitating at all.
He didn't kiss like a geek, or like a pervert. His lips were soft and slightly cool, dry, and very nice. He didn't seem to be in any sort of a rush, and just put his effort into kissing. Our tongues eventually found each other, and our bodies pressed together. Still no rush, and decidedly no plan.
When he eventually lifted his face from mine, I was smitten. His eyes sparkled with desire, and he smiled before reaching for me again.
I backed away, a grin on my face, and took his hands in mine. Continuing to reverse, I looked quickly behind myself to ensure we were headed for the bedroom. Part of my mind was screaming, wanting to know what in hell I thought I was doing, but I just ignored the noise and pulled Neil to the bed. I fell backwards when we got there, bent my knees, and ended up sitting on the edge of the bed with Neil standing in front of me. The bed was scattered with small squares of sunshine from another skylight. Dust motes sparkled, floating in the air.
He reached out to put his hands on my hips again, and I had my one and only moment of hesitation, quickly scrabbling backwards until I was sitting haphazardly, my back against the wall on the other side of the bed.