Many a dream can be realised with a little forethought. The characters in this quartet of stories are intelligent, sensitive and literary. They are also supremely voyeuristic and open-minded. Their intelligence is counterbalanced by inhibitions, which they can only lose by premeditated seduction scenarios, which relate intimately to their professional, creative and cultural lives. The great effort each couple puts into arranging a scenario seems to enhance the quality of the experience. A great source of inspiration for this and other works has been the novel The Girl Beneath the Lion by André Pieyre de Mandiargues.
Seductive Semaphore: Fashion Designer Bethesda and journalist Hector live opposite each other, with windows facing. They make initial contact through visible, provocative gestures. Soon afterwards, they get direct contact when Hector assists Bethesda with her folio. She invites him round to model for some of her fashion creations, and proceeds to seduce him. The seduction continues with a ritual visit to a sports centre, and then to a beach. They leave it open as to whether their relationship could ever become long-term.
The Heroine and the Author: Dreamer Hecate discovers she has a terminal illness. She wants to make the most of the time she has left by being celebrated in literature as a charismatic, legendary figure. She meets Ferdinand, a ghost writer, who is happy to undertake this massive project with her. In the process, She gets an idea of his physique through jogging and the fitness centre. Then there is a seduction scene inspired by the literary models of Sappho and Donne. Being ‘open-minded’, they make a pact for each one to go and have a sexual adventure – his hetero, hers lesbian. Their relationship is enhanced by this extra dimension.
Dreamtime Sensuality: Romona, highly literary and highly inhibited, goes to an exotic island location. She deeply desires a passionate encounter. At the Pension where she stays, she meets Stefano, who fulfils her requirements exactly. The proprietress of the Pension picks up on Romona’s shyness, and gives her reassurance, including some practice in the art of kissing. Romona orchestrates an elaborate beach seduction scenario, and they are both fulfilled. They never meet again, but their exchange of emails and text messages goes on indefinitely.
Dancing with Danger: Verona is a Scriptwriter and Gareth an archaeologist. They both have ‘retreats’ near the coast, and discover their common interests. Verona contrives a half-seduction on a deserted beach, wearing 18th century retro gear – related to their common interests. After some further encounters, they give each other a ‘dare’ to go and have a really risky encounter with someone really dodgy. Gareth finds a young woman on the run. Verona has a rapturous encounter with someone who gets hauled in by the police, suspected of terrorism. She uses her charm on the interrogating police officer to extricate herself. So Verona and Gareth both meet up again, to tell their respective tales.