To the hot, dark-haired guy in jeans and a navy jumper at Earl’s Court on Tuesday morning at 8.20. You followed me to High St Kensington and got off at Notting Hill Gate. Drink? DAMIAN
Alex was glad to see the back of Monday. It marked the end of a stressful couple of weeks (come on-it's January when people should be easing themselves into the new year instead of working their arse off), and for Alex the end of a long weekend. A really long weekend, stuck in the office.
Alex's team had been just one of seven across various media companies dealing with the launch of Burberry's spring summer 2009 advertising campaign. Working through the weekend had been necessary to make the client deadline.
Despite having resolved to hit the gym on Monday evening, Alex didn't make it. It was 10.37pm before he was able to leave the office in Notting Hill, his job done.
He'd have time to go for a tension-busting work-out on Tuesday morning, before ambling into the office just before lunchtime. He figured that, after working around the clock, more or less, over the weekend, no-one would mind him coming in late to make-up (in part!) for the weekend, lost to work.
Damian woke up early on Tuesday morning. As usual he'd slept with the bedroom window open, but the sudden cold snap made for an abrupt, unplanned, rude awakening. The central heating hadn't yet clicked on.
He looked at the clock, and groaned. 5.26am. Too early to get up, but already he knew he was too awake to get back to sleep. Damian turned and put the radio on, partway through the shipping forecast.
"...Tyne Dogger Fisher German Bight Humber Thames Dover Wight southeasterly 5 to 7, occasionally gale 8 in Tyne and Dogger. Moderate or rough, occasionally very rough. Fair. Moderate or good..."
Who'd want to be on a trawler way out in the middle of the North Sea? Even the thought of being bunked-up in a confined space with a strapping, young, floppy-haired and big-handed fisherman, when it was blowing a gale 8 outside, failed to stir. Now, bring the trawler into port and that's a different story...
Imagine sharing such a confined space with a sexy fisherman coming in from the cold in wet clothes, which he obviously needed to get out of. In fact, if it was the Med instead of the cold North Sea then a dark, sexy hunk and only one, inevitably shared, bunk could work.
And with that thought Damian sank beneath the duvet.
He may well have the day off work, but Damian nevertheless had to rise and shine, to get to Victoria and from there to his sister's new house, having promised to help brother-in-law install some new parquet flooring. But not yet - it was too early, so with time to spare before he had to get up and shower, Damian let his mind (and hands) wander.
It was 8.15am and the district line platform was as crammed as ever. Alex thought that he should have stayed in bed longer. At least he would have avoided the usual rush-hour rush. That said, he had enjoyed a slightly longer lie-in. As he was going to the gym, he'd shower and shave after his work-out, so the time that would usually spend getting ready for work was instead spent in bed.
Working in advertising where image is important, Alex was always extremely well groomed. But this morning, en route to the gym his dark hair was unwashed and tousled. He'd also dressed down to go to the gym, though his jeans were Ted Baker and still rather smart.
As he rubbed his unshaven face (stubble always made Alex look darker, more brooding) waiting for the Edgware Road train to arrive at the platform Alex glanced-up at the "next train" indicator. , Alex found himself thinking. He'd picked up that useless piece of information last year when putting together a briefing paper for TfL on running adverts on the indicators between next train time info.
As Alex looked up, he clocked a guy looking at him. The way you do. The guy looked a little like the actor Alex (nice name, he thought) Pettyfer, one of the guys that Burberry had used in the campaign, Alex supposed, before realising that he was staring back at the guy.
Damian thought that the dark-haired, unshaven guy he'd spotted standing further down the platform would have done nicely thank-you for the Mediterranean fisherman he'd got-off fantasising about in bed that morning.
Oh, hello. There he was looking back at Damian. This had been a right-spy. The guy was also a gayer! And a hottie. Nothing like brightening up the morning with a bit of travel-flirting. Still feeling left-over horny, even after his fumble under the duvet, Damian was well up for it. How far would this guy go?
As the underground train shot past him, pulling up to the platform, half of the world spilling out and pushing past him Damian wondered just how far would he go, literally-he might hop off after a couple of stops. On the other hand he may well go all the way - to Paddington!
As people pushed into the train in front of him Alex realised that he'd stand a better chance getting on the it if he moved up the platform to the second set of double doors. Which, co-incidentally, were right in front of the guy staring at him. Who was still staring at him.
In fact Alex saw that the guy was holding back from getting on the train. Was it to make sure that Alex was going to get on it with him?
Damian smiled at the hot-looking guy. Come on, come on, he willed him. Yup, he was moving up the platform towards him. Game-on. Come on, Damian found himself mumbling as he got on the train. No sooner had he done that and the doors closing beeping warning started. Fortunately Mr Med hurried his pace and, yes, hopped on just as the doors started to close.
As the train pulled away from the platform, Alex lay back against the door, into the little space created when the doors closed. And there sitting by the doors on the opposite side, was the smiling Stormbreaker look-a-like, still staring and still smiling. He did look sexy, but he didn't really think that - what, an Eastern European construction worker-would have much in common with an advertising exec.
Damian wondered whether this guy was going to give anything back. He seemed fairly unresponsive, other than holding his stare. A bit of a pity cos the guy was hot. His unshaven face was so sexy. He dressed well, Damian noted (fuck, he realised he must look like a landscape gardener, or something, dressed in his "working man's clothes").
Maybe it was time to be a little more obvious... He closed his eyes, and brought his hands onto his crotch, opening his legs slightly. Closing his eyes made it rather more easier to make the gesture...
Damian suddenly opened his eyes. High Street Kensington had come and gone and the dark haired guy was now sitting opposite him, still looking back. He had a gym bag over his lap. Was it to hide something, Damian wondered. He stared back and continued to smile to the guy.
Pulling away from High Street Kensington Alex was rather glad that his was the next stop. He didn't really know how he felt. This was the most obvious flirting that he had experienced. It was slightly exciting, but slightly disturbing. Besides him, had anyone else actually noticed this guy rubbing his crotch suggestively to him? He hadn't imagined it, surely. It had been that obvious.
But, hey it's just one of those things. The train slowed as it drew up to the platform at Notting Hill Gate. Alex stood up and realised that his gym back, which had been sitting on his lap while he sat, had left some dust and fluff on his otherwise immaculate Ted Baker jeans. Without thinking he bushed down the front of his jeans. The Eastern European (?) was still staring, looking quizically before smiling again.
As Alex stepped off the train he looked back one last time. "Honza" was still following his stare. Did he just wink?
When Damian saw the almost man of his fantasy stand to get off and what appeared to be subtly rubbing his crotch back, he wondered whether he should follow this guy off at Notting Hill Gate. But he looked at his watch. If he did, he'd miss the train and be late for his sister. Aaargh! It looked like the guy was up for fun-and fuck, his own gym was just round the corner if they needed some place to go...if it got that far, well, if the guy was up for it.
But the decision was made in the instant that the moment was gone, as the train filled once more and the doors started to beep...