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Washed Away – I swim in the wrong place.Washed Awayby oggbashan © ************************************Copyright Oggbashan July 2006The author asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work.This is a work of fiction. The events described here are imaginary; the settings and characters are fictitious and are not intended to represent specific places or living persons.************************************It was my own fault. I saw the signs, read them, and ignored them, thinking that I knew better.It was a very hot summer day. I had driven from London towards my rented holiday cottage for hours and I was within a few miles of my destination but early. I was due to collect the cottage’s keys in a couple of hours yet I had only ten minutes driving left to do.I stopped at a viewpoint over the river, got out and perched myself on the low fence beside the steps leading down to a lower level. I was hot. I eased my breasts in my bra, holding my top away from my body so that air could circulate and cool me down. It worked, a little, but I still felt sticky and sweaty. I could hear the waterfall about fifty yards upstream. If I were to go down the steps I could walk to the waterfall. I started down.At the lower point I could see a dark pool out of the main stream. It looked so cool and inviting. Despite the warning signs that told me the dam upstream could discharge water at any time, I thought I could risk a swim. Why not? I had my swimming costume and several towels in the car, there was no one around, and it was hot.The area was suffering from a water shortage and a hosepipe ban was in force. Surely they wouldn’t let water out of the dam during a water shortage? I was wrong.I changed, slid my car door key in the concealed pocket between my breasts, put flip-flops on my feet and walked down to the river’s edge.There was a wide rock ledge below the bushes. I kicked off my flip-flops, sat on the edge and dangled my legs into the water. The water was wonderfully cool and refreshing. The depth before me looked shallow but I knew pools could be deceptive. I stood up, walked a few paces to a gravel beach and waded in.As the water gradually edged up my body I could feel the heat and tiredness draining away. When the water was up to my waist I leant forward and started to swim with a gentle breaststroke. I turned on my back and floated, moving my arms and legs idly to keep me in position in the centre of the pool. The current was so weak that a few hand-flips counteracted it.I was almost asleep when I first felt a change in the current. I thought that I must have drifted closer to the main stream of the river so I rolled over and kicked towards the bank. As my head came out of the water I sensed a change in the note of the waterfall. What had been a trickle was now a roar. Within seconds the flood hit me and washed me out of my disappearing pool into a raging torrent of muddy brown water. My head went under just as I was about to yell for help. To whom? There had been no one around when I entered the water.The next few minutes I struggled to stay alive. I took a breath every time my head was above water. That wasn’t often. The river bashed me against rock and dragged me through tangled branches. One of those branches snagged the back of my swimming costume. The torrent rose over my head as I was held in place. I wriggled out of the shoulder straps and pulled my costume down to my hips. The material held for a few seconds before it tore away leaving me naked but with my head free of the water. I gasped for breath.I was growing weaker as I tried to avoid the worst obstacles. I thought I saw a vehicle close to the water’s edge. I yelled, “Help!” before my mouth was filled with water again.A heavy splash beside me was followed by a fierce grip on my arm. We swung across the current. My rescuer took the impact of our crash against the bank then unceremoniously hauled me out like a wet rag doll.Without a word he unfastened the rope around his waist, picked me up and ran for his Landrover. He threw me into the passenger seat, ran to the tow hook and detached the rope. He shouted, “Hang on!” as he started the engine and gunned up the slope ahead of us. Dirt flew from all four wheels as he powered the Landrover up the rough track. I was bouncing around and hanging on to the doorframe.On higher ground he stopped.”Are you OK?” he asked.”I think so,” I said dubiously. “I’m still in one piece, thanks to you.””You need some first aid,” he announced. “Hang on again, not so hard this time, and I’ll drive us to the cottage.”He drove slower denizli escort but confidently for a couple of minutes until we reached a scruffy cottage with sagging thatch. As he drove, I studied him cautiously. His clothes were wet and plastered to him, showing a muscular torso and large biceps. His blond hair, cut short, had a reddish tinge. His face had a trace of stubble. His skin was tanned; his hands strong but marked with several new cuts oozing blood.blood? I started to examine myself. I was bleeding from many cuts and abrasions including a large gash near my left nipple. The bangs and crashes I had endured in the river were beginning to hurt. I shivered, not just with the effect of my wet skin, but with the thought of what I had endured and survived, thanks to him. I was also covered with mud from the bank side that he had dragged me across.As he stopped I was shaking like a tree in a high wind. I was shivering, my teeth were chattering, and I couldn’t think straight if at all. He opened the door beside me, lifted me out and carried me to the cottage’s front door. He kicked it open ducked his head and entered. He went through the building and into a bathroom. He set me down on the closed toilet seat, leaning me backwards. I clung to the edges of the seat as if they were my lifeline.He started the shower and checked its temperature with his hand. When he was satisfied, he grabbed me and stood me under the shower. I tried to resist but my limbs were too feeble. He rinsed the mud and blood off my body and then rinsed my hair.”This is going to hurt,” he said calmly as he poured a shampoo on my hair.I screeched as the detergent entered my cuts. He ignored my objections, washing my hair twice and then using shower gel on my body. At last he rinsed me off with cool water, turned the shower off, towelled me down gently and wrapped me in a white bath sheet with another towel as a turban around my head.He swung me into his arms, carried me from the bathroom to a bedroom and put me down on a large double bed.”Stay there!” he ordered. “I’m going to get the First Aid kit.”I stayed. Apart from feeling weak and still shaking, he had wrapped me so tightly in that bath sheet that I was almost mummified.He used antiseptic cream on my minor injuries and covered the larger cuts with plasters. He treated the gash on my left breast with a pad and strapping, holding it in place with a sling like a single sided halter around my neck. I was an unresisting heap, still not wholly aware of who or where I was. All I did know was that I slightly resented his casual handling of my body as if I was just an inanimate object. When he had finished he wrapped me as tightly as before.”Stay there until I’ve cleaned myself up,” he said as he left the room.I closed my eyes. When I opened them again the shadows showed that several hours had passed. He was sitting beside the bed wearing another shirt and clean faded jeans.”How do you feel?” he asked.”Alive,” I replied, “thanks to you. Who are you? I’m Anne.””Hello Anne. I’m Gary.””Hello Gary.”Then we both smiled. This was a ridiculous conversation for a nude female who owed her life to a stranger.”What happened?” I asked.”I don’t know how you came to be in the river,” Gary answered, “but I was crossing the ford when I saw the flood coming. I stopped just above normal flood levels and tried to speak to the dam control but my mobile phone battery was low and I couldn’t raise them. I put it down as I saw a white body in the flood – you. I knew that I couldn’t swim in that current so I attached a rope to the Landrover and to me and jumped in just before you came within reach. The level was still rising so I knew we had to get out of there before the Landrover was swamped. We just made it.””Thank God you were there.””I nearly wasn’t. A few seconds later crossing the ford and I would have been swept away too. How come you were in the river?”Ashamed of myself, I explained.”That was a really stupid thing to do, Anne. It nearly killed you, and me too. Those notices are there for a reason. I have to cross the river to get here. Usually I check before I do and if the engineers are releasing water at an unexpected time they ring and tell me. They couldn’t raise my mobile and couldn’t delay the water. There has been a massive thunderstorm upstream. The water coming down is higher than anyone has ever known and the thunderstorm knocked out part of the electrical grid. They had to let the flood water through and generate electricity to replace that lost by the grid failure.”What could I say? diyarbakır escort I had been stupid and Gary had risked his life to save me. I wriggled a hand out of my wrappings, sought it and squeezed it. He looked at my hand holding his as if he had never seen a hand before. He lifted my hand, turned it over and inspected it.He lifted my hand to his lips and kissed it. “Would you like a cup of tea?” he asked in a normal tone of voice.”Yes please, Gary,” I replied, “and have you got anything I could wear instead of a towel?””I’ll look while the kettle is boiling. Stay there.”Stay there? Gary seemed to be telling me to stay every few minutes as if I was his dog.He was back within a minute.”I found these in the other bedroom. Any good?”He held out a large plastic bag full of clothing. I peered inside. There seemed to be a jog suit top and bottom, white with a lilac stripe and other things.”I don’t know. I’ll see. Thank you, Gary.””OK. Back in a minute.” He turned to leave.”Hey!” I yelled. “Unwrap me first!”He laughed.”Oops. I didn’t mean you to be a captive.”He unwound some of the bath sheet and left. I unrolled myself and tipped out the contents of the bag. Apart from the jog suit there were several sensible white panties and bras, a couple of T-shirts and a white silky vest-shaped nightdress. All smelled clean and fresh. I pulled a pair of panties on first, wincing as the material passed my cuts and grazes. I tried on a bra. It wasn’t a great fit. The owner is less endowed than I am but after letting out the shoulder straps and hooking it on the widest setting it would do. I unwrapped my hair from the towel and rubbed it. It was tangled but clean. A T-shirt and the jog bottoms made me decent and I sat on the edge of the bed just before Gary returned with a tea tray. The tea tray looked incongruous against the Spartan furnishings of the cottage.”I didn’t know or ask how you like your tea so I brought the lot,” he explained. “Milk?” I nodded. “Sugar?” “No thanks.”He passed me a teacup on a saucer. My hand shook as I took it and the cup rattled on the saucer.”Steady!” he said, his hand supporting my wrist.”Sorry,” I answered. “I can’t stop shaking.””That’s the effect of shock. Perhaps you ought to have sugar in your tea, just this once.”He reached for the sugar bowl, filled a spoon and held it over my cup. I nodded. He tipped the sugar into the tea and stirred, holding my wrist still.”What are we going to do with you?” Gary asked.”Take me back to my car?” I suggested. “Blast! I’ve lost the key and it’s locked.””That’s not the first problem,” Gary said. “Your car is on the other side of a river in spate and the only way out of here is across a ford that is twenty feet or more under water.””That’s the only way out?””Unless you feel like a twenty mile walk – with no shoes?””As far as that?””It wouldn’t be normally. We could have walked across the top of the dam but the water is running right over it.””So what do we do?””We have to stay here until the water goes down. That may be tomorrow.””What about the cottage I’ve hired? They’ll be expecting me. Oh! What’s the time?”Gary looked at his watch. Seven o’clock or three minutes past to be exact.””I was supposed to collect the keys between four and six. They’ll be wondering where I am.””What’s the cottage?””Moor View. Mrs Thomas. I have the number on my mobile…””Which is in your locked car on the other side of the river… Never mind. I know her number. I’ll ring her and explain that you are trapped on the wrong side of the flooded river and won’t get to her until tomorrow afternoon. She’ll understand. This flood will have upset many locals and probably caused damage elsewhere. Drink your tea while I speak to her.”I obeyed. I heard Gary’s voice in the hall but couldn’t tell exactly what he said until he put his head around the bedroom door.”What’s your car registration?”I told him. He checked the exact numerals and letters with me as he spoke it into the phone then he walked back out into the hall. When he returned he said:”Mrs Thomas understands. She’s only just got back from checking that her horses are safe. They were close to the river but moved themselves to higher ground. I also told the police about your car. They’ll keep an eye on it whenever they are passing down that road which will be fairly often. The emergency services are stretched this evening.””Thank you. But what about tonight?””You have a bed, some clothes. We have food and can make a meal. We have enough food for… several weeks. I was bringing the last supplies in with the Landrover.””Why escort bayan so much?””We don’t know much about each other, do we, Anne.”It seemed a non sequitur but his statement was true.”I’ll pour you some more tea. You first please. Who is Anne and what does she do?””I’m Anne Jenkins, sometimes known as Anne the Figures because of my job. I work for a bank in the City of London as an analyst and occasional currency trader. This was to be the first night of a week’s break after completing a long project.””A week on your own?””That’s what I wanted, Gary. I was in a relationship. It ended in tears a couple of months ago and I’ve been too busy…””Then a week off would do you good.””That’s what I thought. I didn’t expect…”Suddenly I started crying as the reality of what I had survived hit me. Gary took the cup and saucer from my hand, picked me up, sat me on his lap and pulled my head to his shoulder. I sobbed against his shirt while he stroked my back. My arms slipped around him and I was hugging myself tight to his chest. He kissed the top of my head, then my forehead as I lifted my face to him, and finally his lips met mine. That kiss lasted a long time and I enjoyed every second of it.When we broke for air he handed my tea back as if nothing had happened yet we both knew that something had, something that couldn’t be denied.”I’ve told you about me,” I said accusingly. “What about you?””Me? I’m a junior professor of archaeology. I’m here preparing for a group of students who will arrive in two days to work on a dig about half a mile from here. This cottage will be our base for the next few years of excavations. I hope that we will be able to improve the facilities. I’ve made a start. The bathroom and hot water system are all my own installation, with the hot water by solar power in summer, topped up by the wood-burning boiler in winter, not that we’ll be here often in winter. The university bought the cottage and the land on which we want to do the excavations with a bequest from one of our former professors.””What about the clothes I’m wearing? Your girlfriend’s?””No. No girlfriend. I think they belong to one of the Ph.D. students who was here a few weeks ago helping with repairs to the cottage. The work was dirtier than she expected. I remember the white and lilac. She spent most of her time wearing a denim boiler suit and looking like a chimney sweep, as did we all. I assume she brought these to change into when she was clean but she never was. The bathroom wasn’t working then.””Will she mind?””I doubt she’ll ever know if I wash them. Now to more immediate matters. Food? Can you cook?””Yes, if I stop shaking.””I’ll take that as a no. We’ll have a microwave meal. Come into the kitchen and perch beside me while I open packets a shove them in.”The basic meal was ready in minutes. My appetite surprised me. There was no washing up. Everything was disposable.As Gary stood up, he winced.”Bruises,” he explained.”Me too.””The one item we haven’t got is painkillers. I looked in the First Aid kit. Nothing. But…”He opened a cupboard built into the kitchen wall beside the inglenook fireplace.”This will do.”He produced a spirit bottle.”Do you like whisky?””Depends. Some I do. Some I don’t.””Then try this.”He filled a couple of plastic glasses, turning the bottle’s label so that I couldn’t see it. I poised my nose over the liquid. It smelled like whisky. I sipped. It slid down my throat smoothly without a trace of harshness. Gary was watching me closely.”Well?””I’ve never tasted any whisky as good as this,” I replied eagerly.”I doubt you have. An Island single malt, twenty years matured and never declared to Customs and Excise…””From?”Gary rubbed the side of his nose.”That has to stay a secret. Drink up!”I drank. So did he. We refilled our glasses. The rest of the evening was blissfully hazy. My bruises and cuts ceased to bother me and I felt euphoric. When Gary carried me to the double bed I refused to let him go until he agreed to share the bed with me. I stripped in front of him and slid the white silky nightdress on, shimmying as it caressed my skin.I tried to ride Gary.”Oh no you don’t,” he said, rolling me to the side and over to my back.”I’m riding the tigress tonight. You might have a turn in the morning.”He rode me. My legs locked behind his as he thrust deep and hard into me. I kissed his chest, the base of his neck and nibbled at his shoulders as his rhythm grew stronger and steadier, matching mine. When he finally came into me, he stayed poised above me, resting on his hands.”Well?” he asked.”Do it again.” I replied.”Soon.”He did. I slept the night wrapped in his strong arms. Gary had saved me from the river that day. I think he saved my belief in the male of the species that night. In the morning?It’ll be my turn to ride. We’ll see who gets washed away in the torrent of our lovemaking…

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