Miranda saw her on the station platform. In truth she was hard to miss. There were not many things to attract the attention on a wild Monday night in April on the platform of Zurich Hauptbahnhof. The handful of passengers waiting for the last southbound train of the night were huddled protectively over their luggage, their collars turned up against the cold wind that penetrated along the lines. Trains arrived, streaked with rain; their windows misted with condensation and stood dripping at the platforms discharging discontented looking passengers who hastened away, eager to be shut of their journeys. The hustle of the big station was subdued at this late hour; the few travellers like lonely islands, introverted with their own thoughts and disinclined to be sociable. In this damp grey world the dark haired girl stood out like a single beacon of radiance illuminating her patch of uninspiring platform concrete as if a shaft of sunlight from the Mediterranean warmth to the south of the mountains had somehow pierced the pervading gloom over Zurich.
Miranda found herself fascinated by the girl. She looked Italian. The long hair was so dark as to be nearly black and it framed a face of almost exquisite loveliness. She was slender but with perfectly proportioned curves and long slim legs terminating in shapely feet in open, high heeled sandals. Her light soft short, white and mauve summer dress seemed incongruous as if, arriving from warmer climes; nobody had thought to mention to her that it could be cold on this side of the Alps. Her only concession to the dismal weather was a light shawl about her shoulders and the neckline of her dress plunged into a deep vee that exposed her long graceful neck, adorned with a curious pendant in white gold, and the enticing valley of her cleavage. She was breathtakingly beautiful.
Yet, to Miranda watching her covertly from the corner of her eye, from her relatively concealed location behind a pillar, it wasn’t simply the undoubted beauty of the girl that so captured one’s attention. There was something feline about her; feline in a predatory manner, as if she was prowling, her eyes constantly darting over the landscape seeking prey. In the gloomy atmosphere of the station most people were content to keep themselves to themselves and avert their gaze from others. This girl was fully alert however; her senses attuned and wired. You could almost fancy that you saw her nostrils flaring as she tried to catch some scent; her eyes like restless beams scanning her environment, stalking her quarry.
Even to the most jaded of sensibilities, the nature of the girl’s prey was transparent. There was an electrifying sensuality about this girl; a hedonistic indulgence in her sexuality. It showed in the way she smoothed the hem of her dress sensually against her legs; the way she brushed a lock of her hair back into position, pausing to stroke it in evident enjoyment; the hint of a pout in those lovely lips and the smoky lustre to her huge eyes as pleasurable thoughts crossed her mind. This was a girl enslaved by her senses, so in thrall to her sensuality that even a cold Monday night in Zurich Hauptbahnhof was a potential playground for pleasure; a hunting ground for the gratification of her all consuming libido.
There was little scope for the predatory instincts of the dark haired girl on platform four at ten o’clock on a Monday night but she didn’t seem at all discouraged. A pretty blond girl came struggling along the platform under the weight of a heavy suitcase and Miranda saw the dark haired girl come instantly to attention, riveting her gaze upon the girl and with a wry smile playing about her lips. In a tingling bolt of shock Miranda recognised the girl’s prey; saw to an instant the moment when the dark haired girl marked the blond down as a possible. Already she was edging toward the blond girl looking coiled as if about to pounce. Miranda held her breath as it seemed the girl was about to make a move; offer to help the girl with her bag. Then there as a whistle and the blond girl dropped her bag to wave. A young man was hurrying along the platform. Obviously the boyfriend, he gathered the blond in his arms to kiss her fondly before picking up her suitcase and leading her away with an arm about her waist. The dark haired girl backed away; the disappointment evident in her face.
“She’s a lesbian!” thought Miranda to herself, sure of it, and despaired that the realisation gave her such a thrill of excitement. Miranda didn’t want to consider herself a lesbian. She had, after all, just emerged, barely intact, from a relationship of some fourteen months with a man that, while not exactly endearing her to the male of the species, had nevertheless surely not entirely convinced her of the complete worthlessness of them. Yet the sudden realisation that the beautiful dark haired siren stalking the unattractive environs of platform four was out hunting for pretty girls sent a shiver of long suppressed forbidden sensations coursing through her. She felt a flush of warmth rise to her cheeks and for a fleeting second she wanted the dark haired girl to notice her; wanted to see that same look on her face as she arrowed in with triumphal anticipation. She wanted it very much.
Miranda shook her head to rid it of the unbidden and deeply dangerous thoughts. What on earth would she do if the girl did make a move on her anyway? She wouldn’t know what the devil to do if a lesbian approached her! She’d probably run away screaming! Why on earth did she think that the dark haired girl would be interested in her anyway? It was an unworthy thought because Miranda was a warmly beautiful girl in her own right. Her soft brown hair with its natural wave was the accompaniment to a gentle face of demure attraction; not overtly seductive but open and friendly with sweet, hazel coloured eyes of trusting warmth and shyness. Her pretty blouse and knee length skirt clung to a frame of gentle curves and slender waist and her hands were long and sensitive. She was a beautiful girl but a series of disastrous relationships had seriously eroded her belief in that beauty; irreparably as it seemed to her. Timidly she cowered back behind her pillar and stove to master the curious yearnings within her.
In the moments that Miranda was alone and wont to examine herself with brutal honesty, she recognised that there was a part of her that was by no means unmoved by the attraction of a beautiful woman. She was honest enough too to admit to herself that her admiration of feminine beauty went well beyond dispassionate, aesthetic appreciation. She desired it. In a fundamental part of her that she had never dared allow emerge, Miranda had a deep seated desire for the touch of a woman’s skin against her own; their lips upon hers; her caresses upon their body and the stroke of their fingers upon hers. Very occasionally she allowed herself guiltily to daydream about it and if her daydreams led in the privacy of her own room to languid touches, stroking herself in arousal, then she never told any of her friends of her secret yearnings. Miranda came of a morally conservative background in which such things were dangerous temptations. She had certainly never acted upon such temptations and kept them firmly locked from view. Nobody suspected them of her and, if her sexual relationships with the few men in her life had proved unsatisfactory and unfulfilling in comparison to her secret fantasies, she kept this side of her hidden and suppressed. Only at such moments as these with the sight of an alluringly seductive beauty on the hunt would these concealed feelings within her well up and demand gratification.
Miranda’s attention was diverted by the approach of a train at the platform and the mundane tones of the tannoy announcing the arrival of the 22.09 Inter Regio express for Chiasso calling at Zug, Arth-Goldau, Bellinzona, Lugano and Chiasso. Miranda was taking the train to Bellinzona where she was obliged to change to the local train to Locarno; her final destination. It would be a long night. Her train wouldn’t arrive in Bellinzona until nearly a quarter to one in the morning and she wouldn’t be in Locarno until ten past. Her friend Alex, upon whom she was relying on for accommodation, worked late in a bar in Ascona a few kilometres away. He had told her to phone him on her mobile when she reached Locarno and he would come and pick her up. Alex was an old friend and entirely sympathetic when she’d phoned him and told him she needed to get away for a few days; a few days to take stock of her life and the apparent chaos it which it had seemingly descended with the demise of her recent relationship.
Miranda saw the dark haired girl pick up her bags. She had a small suitcase on wheels and what appeared to be a large camera case. Miranda shouldered her own bag and moved toward the train. From the corner of her eye she saw the dark haired girl pause at the platform edge to allow a passenger to disembark. It was then that her persistently questing eyes saw Miranda. Miranda knew instantly that the girl had seen her. In seclusion behind her pillar Miranda had been hidden previously from the girl but now the girl saw her and the beckoning open door of the railway carriage was momentarily forgotten as she followed Miranda with her eyes. Miranda glanced at her and regretted it instantly for the girl was staring straight at her and caught her eye. She inclined her head and smiled; an expression of perilous invitation. Miranda looked away sharply and blushed to the roots of her hair. Hastily she mounted the train.
The train was very nearly empty. There were a few people scattered about in second class but it was even quieter in the carriage to which Miranda took her bags. Wanting some privacy with her thoughts Miranda, in a rush of extravagance, had purchased a first class ticket. Her quest for solitude had been successful. She was the only passenger in the whole carriage. Miranda found a seat, stowed her bag on the overhead rack and took off her jacket, shaking a few drops of rain from it. From her handbag she took out a book she’d brought to while away the journey. It wasn’t a very good book she was obliged to confess; a poorly penned and rather unconvincing romance; but it was all she’d had to hand when making her sudden impetuous decision to flee south for a few days. She took a can of coke from her bag to place on the little shelf by the window and placed alongside it a rather unappetising cheese sandwich she’d bought at the station buffet. There was no buffet or restaurant car on the late night train to Chiasso.
She took her book in her hand and stared out of the window at the platform as the train driver welcomed the passengers aboard the 22.09 to Chiasso in a bored voice over the internal P.A system. Feeling disconsolate and dissatisfied Miranda stared out of the window at the platform with a sigh. The platform was empty apart from the conductor with his baton checking that the last passengers were aboard before signalling to the driver to depart. There was no sign of the dark haired girl. She must have boarded the train. Idly Miranda thought of taking a walk the length of the train on some pretext to see if she could spy the girl again but she knew she would never dare. These were feelings she’d spent half her life running away from. She was hardly about to abandon the habit tonight; not on a night when she was already running away.
Fleeing from the realities of her life was something she was getting rather good at lately, Miranda thought to herself ruefully. The emptiness of her little studio and the miserable weather that had persisted for days now had exacerbated her loneliness to the point of breaking. The sympathy of her friends had been genuine and well meaning but it had not comforted her for she felt it misguided and undeserved. They had been full of solace and pity for her and eager to apportion blame for the collapse of her relationship upon her boyfriend. Miranda had been unable to tell them that their loyalty was misplaced and their analysis unjust. In the honest kernel of her soul Miranda knew that it was she who was to blame for the failure of the relationship; a failure she could attribute directly to those desires she so carefully concealed from the world. Her relationship had been a lie; her whole life had been a lie. But it had been a lie that she had told so long and so cleverly that nobody suspected the truth. Her subterfuge had been brilliant and completely convincing but it was still a lie and it left a bleakness in her heart; a gnawing awareness of her dishonesty and hypocrisy, eating at her self esteem and sense of worth.
Last night had been the breaking point. Some friends had taken her out to dinner to “cheer her up”. It had been a frightful ordeal for Miranda. She had listened to her friends berating her ex-boyfriend for his idiocy and conduct and Miranda had hated herself for not contradicting them or candidly informing them that her boyfriend had in fact been blameless and merely the latest victim of the confusion of Miranda’s sexuality. She had simply been unable to talk to them about it; unable to tell them the truth. Somehow, in her deceit and self denial, she had felt more lonely than ever. One boy among her friends had even intimated that if she needed somebody to bounce back on then he would be more than happy to oblige and Miranda had thanked him and felt more wretched than ever. She had returned back to the hollow desolation of her empty studio and cried herself to sleep. She had tried to work on her new article throughout the next day but had finally broken down and sought escape. It was then she had thought of Alex.
Alex was an old college friend and Miranda had been close to him. Of all the men in her life Alex was the one outstanding male that she could talk to without the complications of sexuality. Alex was gay and flamboyantly open and contented to be so. He treated Miranda with the affection of a beloved sister not at all concerned about any sexual attraction to her. She had sometimes used his shoulder to cry on and he had always been kind and non-judgemental with her. Two years ago he had moved to Ascona to live with his boyfriend and a stable reference point in Miranda’s life had been taken from her. This evening, in this crisis of her life, Miranda had dug out his long neglected telephone number and called him. He had told her to pack her bags and come down to Ascona. It was miserable weather on the north side of the Alps but in the south, beyond the climatic dividing line of the great mountains, the land was full of Mediterranean sunshine. It was thirty degrees in Ascona. Come down he’d urged her, come down and spend a few days while you get your head back together. Miranda had had just enough time to pack a few belongings, take a tram into town and catch the 22.09 train heading south through the Gotthard pass to find the sun beyond.
The conductor blew his whistle and stepped aboard the train. There was a hiss of compressed air and the doors clattered shut before the train, with a lurch, began its stately progress out of the station. Miranda glanced at the clock on the platform as they passed. It was exactly 22.09. Weather notwithstanding, Swiss trains ran with almost metronomic precision. Clear of the station awnings, the rain battered against the windows as the train picked up speed. The passing lights of Zurich were blurred in the dirty streaks through which Miranda peered. Before long the dimly illuminated suburbs were passing in a blur of unconnected lights and the train plunged into the obscuring darkness of the countryside. With nothing more to hold her attention beyond the window of her well lit and warm carriage Miranda turned to her book and opened at her page. She couldn’t concentrate. The words seemed meaningless; trivial and unconnected to reality.
“So this is where you are hiding!” Miranda jumped at the sudden, low sultry voice over her shoulder. She span around in shock. The dark haired girl was stood in the aisle behind her and looking down at her with a smile that Miranda would later decide was somewhere up around the Mona Lisa rating on the enigmatic scale.
“Er do I know you?” asked Miranda in confusion. She could have kicked herself. It sounded fatuous as soon as she said it.
A long lazy smile spread over the girl’s face. “Not yet Caro but we have a train journey before us to learn to know one another.” The girl spoke perfectly good German but with an entrancing Italian accent. “You sit here all alone Bella. This is sad no? On cold lonely nights people should keep each other company. May I join you?”
Miranda looked at her in desperation. Every other seat in the carriage was empty but the girl wanted to sit with her. Evidently it had been her intent from the first. She was still carrying her luggage. She must have scoured the length of the train looking for Miranda. “I...I’m afraid I’m not very good company tonight.” Miranda told her apologetically.
Most other people would have taken that as a diplomatic way to be told that the person wanted privacy but the dark haired girl seemed not at all fazed by the apparent rejection. “Let me be the judge of the quality of your company Caro.” she told Miranda with a smile. Before Miranda could say another word the girl had hefted her bags onto the rack and swung easily into the seat opposite. Miranda blinked at the outrageous ruthlessness with which the girl had invited herself into her space but her ingrained Swiss courtesy forbade any objection. The girl placed her fingertips together on her lips and regarded Miranda with such a sensually appraising gaze that it took Miranda’s breath away. “Now how shall we start to know each other?” she asked Miranda; her voice carrying volumes of meaning and intimation within its rich contralto.
“I...I don’t know.” Miranda squeaked and nearly groaned as soon as the words had left her mouth. She seemed destined to look like a complete idiot in front of this hypnotic seductress.
“Names are good.” the girl noted with amusement. “Mine is Rozella. You?”
Rozella nodded in deep satisfaction. “It is a good name. It is from the Latin. It means one worthy to be admired. It suits you Miranda with the beautiful hazel eyes.”
Miranda swallowed, transfixed under Rozella’s steady gaze, and tried to think of something less banal to say. “Er well I’m... er pleased to meet you Rozella.”
“And I am very pleased to meet you Miranda. I hope that you are taking a long journey tonight.”
Miranda bit her lip; out of her depth with this woman. “Oh just to Locarno.”
Rozella clapped her hands together in delight. “Why this is perfect! I travel to Locarno too. We will share our journey together.”
“You’re going to Locarno? Are you Swiss then?”
“Si, si! I am from Ticino.” Ticino was the southern Canton of Switzerland in which Locarno was found. It was a southern enclave of Mediterranean climate quite unlike the north of Switzerland. It was Italian in culture, architecture and cuisine and Italian was the language spoken there. Many said it was just like Italy in fact except that everything was clean and the trains ran on time. Rozella graced Miranda with that languid smile once more. “And what takes you Miranda, at so late an hour, to the Ticino?”
“Oh er just a break you know. I... I er needed to get away from things for a few days.”
Rozella raised a quizzical eyebrow. “Ah! Do I detect a story? What “things” are you getting away from?”
Miranda lowered her eyes and blushed, hating herself for flush of blood in her cheeks. Rozella seemed pleased; finding Miranda’s blushes endearing. Miranda waved her hand foolishly. “Oh er just things you know.” she mumbled tritely. Rozella’s eyes sparkled; her interest increasing by the minute.
Miranda was saved from further embarrassment by the arrival of the conductor in the carriage. “Tickets please.” he intoned and Rozella took the opportunity gratefully to rummage in her purse for her ticket. The conductor punched her ticket and handed it back. “Change in Bellinzona.” he told her.
“Yes. Thank you.”
The conductor took Rozella’s ticket and frowned. “This is a first class compartment Fraulein. You only have a second class ticket!”
Smoothly Rozella withdrew a pair of banknotes from her purse. “Then I will pay the difference Signor.”
The conductor looked at her in surprise. “But there’s plenty of room in second class.” he told her.
“Si, but not such good company. I will pay the difference.”
“Oh you don’t have to go to all that expense just to keep me company Rozella.” Miranda protested hopefully.
“It is nothing! A trifle! I would count your company cheap at ten times the price Caro!”
The conductor shuffled his feet uncomfortably. “Well in that case that will be twenty seven francs Fraulein.” He told Rozella austerely. After issuing Rozella her ticket he disappeared looking bemused.
Alone with her, again Rozella leaned back and took a long searching look at Miranda. Miranda had never before in her life been subjected to such a penetrating scrutiny. She felt as if Rozella was undressing her with her eyes and the thought of that brought more treacherous blushes to her face. She could imagine herself naked; helpless before this woman’s avarice. “So where do you stay in Locarno Miranda?” asked Rozella at last.
“Oh I’m staying in Ascona actually. A friend of mine is picking me up in Locarno.”
Rozella raised that eyebrow that seemed characteristic of her. “A friend? A special friend perhaps?”
Miranda shook her head. “Oh no! I mean well yes he is a special friend but.... well he’s just a friend. I...I know him from college....” Miranda tailed off, aware that she was beginning to babble.
“And is there a special friend in your life Miranda?”
Miranda hesitated and drew a breath. “No not really... well not anymore.”
Rozella jumped on the opening. “Ah so! Not anymore! Then there was someone you have lost? You are wounded in love perhaps? Is this why you run away to Ticino in the middle of the night?”
Miranda found herself beginning to tremble under Rozella’s questing gaze and intrusive questions but there was something about this girl that made her very hard to lie to. “Well yes,” she confessed at last. “I suppose it is.”
“Povero te! You poor thing. So this is why you hide yourself on this train Caro. You run from a broken heart! I must be very kind to you.”
Miranda laughed in embarrassment. “Oh you don’t have to be kind to me Rozella! I mean it’s none of your business really is it?”
Rozella looked at her seriously. “Miranda bella! Beautiful girls are always my business! I am a photographer.... I photograph beautiful girls. They are my profession.” She smiled. “You may say I make a business of my pleasure.” Rozella laughed shortly and tossed her long dark hair flirtatiously. “So this girl who broke your heart... she lives in Zurich?”
Miranda jumped like a trout on a hook. “I never said it was a girl Rozella!” she protested heatedly.
Rozella returned to her enigmatic mode. “It was not a girl?”
“Of course not! Absolutely not! No it was a boy... a man I mean. He... he was my boyfriend. I... I don’t... well don’t... you know... don’t have girlfriends.”
Rozella was watching her bluster in amusement. It seemed she was trying not to laugh. “Then it is time you did Miranda!”
“I beg your pardon!”
“I said perhaps it is time you had a girlfriend Caro. Perhaps then you have nothing to run away from!”
Miranda bristled indignantly. “I hardly think this is any of your business! I’m not interested in girls in any case.”
Miranda blinked in shock. “I’m sorry?” It was all she could think of to say. Being called a liar to her face by a complete stranger was a unique experience to her.
“I said “liar” Miranda! Don’t pretend to be shocked. You know that you are lying.”
Miranda blushed in outrage. “I really think that this conversation is at an end! I’m not about to have my integrity questioned by somebody I’ve never met before!”
Rozella grinned at her. “You look cute when you are angry bella!” she told Miranda.
“That will do Rozella! You’ve gone far enough! When you came to join me I didn’t expect you to intrude into my privacy and insult me like this!”
“You think that I am a bad girl Miranda?”
“Well yes... as it happens.”
Rozella grinned more broadly; playing with her prey. “Well you are right Miranda. I am a bad girl.” She lifted a finger. “But I am honest Miranda. I know what I am and I do not pretend to be anything else. You though.... you say things but you know they are not true. I think perhaps you say these things to many people. Maybe they believe you.” Rozella fixed her in a penetrating gaze. “But me? No Bella! You cannot lie to me. I see too much.”
Miranda took a deep breath. “You have a very high opinion of your insights into total strangers Rozella! I don’t see why you should think I’m lying to you.”
Rozella shrugged with a smile. “You forget. I am a photographer. I observe people to capture them on film.... I... how do you say....I read them. I have an eye for nuances; body language; the little signs by which a person betrays their mood and thoughts. You are not very good at hiding those things Miranda. You are a liar but not a very good one!”
Miranda shook her head in exasperation. “This conversation is absurd! What possible evidence can you have for calling me a liar?”
“Because your words say one thing, but your body tells me something else Miranda.”
Miranda huffed in indignation. “Well then I suggest you not look at my body Rozella!” she remarked haughtily.
“Ah now you ask too much! I am what I am and it is my nature to look at bodies as beautiful as yours; look at them and desire them. You are so very beautiful my little liar! So very desirable! You have hair to be held against the skin; a face that needs to be stroked; lips that demand to be kissed; a body that cries out for caresses. Why do you withhold these pleasure with your silly little lies?”
Miranda trembled. Rozella’s voice had descended into a low and thrilling sultry tone. “I’ve never heard anything like....” she began defensively.
Rozella reclined in her seat and adopted a deliberately provocative pose. “Do you find me beautiful Caro?” she asked in a low vibrato.
Miranda swallowed. “Well I’m sure most people would say that you’re a very pretty girl Rozella.” She ventured hesitantly.
“Ah but you Caro? Do you find me beautiful?” Rozella stroked a hand the length of her torso seductively. “Does my body please you? Are my legs soft and alluring? Are my breasts shapely? Do you think I am attractive?”
“I think you’re very vain!”
Rozella laughed delightedly. “Ah yes! That too! But indulge me a little. Look at me ... really look at me and tell me what you really think.”
“Why should I look at you?”
Rozella regarded her seriously. “Because you can Caro!”
“What do you mean?”
Rozella smiled at her. “Just what I say! Look at me because you can. Listen to me Miranda and let me tell you something about you. Don’t argue just listen. If I am wrong you can tell me when I am finished. You have looked at me already Caro! Oh yes you have looked at me and wanted me too! I know because when you look at me you blush, your pupils dilate, your body trembles and your lips part in desire. Do not try to deny it Miranda. Do you think I don’t know that if I laid my hand on your breast I would find your nipples hard to my touch and there...” Rozella paused to glance down at Miranda’s crutch and laughed as she hastily pulled her skirt down over her knees. “Oh yes there! Do you think me so stupid that I would not know that already you are moist; moist and swollen in that little secret part of you? Yes you think I am beautiful Miranda and what is more you desire me. Ah but you think that dangerous!”
“What do you mean?” Miranda’s voice sounded high and unnatural even to her.
“Because you have lied Miranda. You have lied too long and too often. I am not the only girl you have looked at and admired am I Miranda? I think perhaps there have been many girls. But it was forbidden to you wasn’t it? You had to avert your gaze and hide behind your lies. Perhaps you have friends who are girls and you dared not let them see that you looked at them and desired their bodies. Perhaps there were colleagues at work you yearned to touch but had to restrain yourself. Did this boy you had have any idea that you lay with him but thought of other women? Is that why you finished with him Miranda? Does anybody else know your secret my lovely? Is this why you run away tonight?”
“That’s ridiculous!” Miranda protested but she knew her words were transparent and that Rozella would see through them effortlessly.
Rozella grinned. “Is it? Ah I think not! But let me return to what I was saying. I said you should look at me because you can. What I meant was that here at last is a woman you find to beautiful that you are allowed to look at! Perhaps for the first time here is somebody who not only is not offended if you look at them but welcomes it. You can look at me openly; admire me: desire me: without fear. I want you to look at me. I am not those other people in your life. Nobody but you and I need know that you lust for my body. We may leave this train tonight and never see each other again. This is safe Miranda. You can allow yourself the pleasure of looking at me and know that I welcome your attention. And when we part it was just our little secret; a few moments of pleasure to be enjoyed without fear on a dark wet night.”
Miranda was breathing heavily, entranced by this impossible woman before her. “You... you are very lovely.” she conceded at last in a hoarse whisper.
Rozella’s face lit up in a radiant smile. “Ah we make progress! Thank you my little treasure. Now we understand each other why don’t you sit back and relax?”
“Si! Relax. Sit back in your seat, put your book aside and feast your eyes. Think of me as a box of chocolates; a guilty pleasure to indulge yourself in when nobody else is watching.”
Miranda leaned back hesitantly. “Wh...what are you going to do?”
“Just giving you a little treat for your eyes Caro. Now sit back and enjoy!” With that Rozella began to stroke her hands over her own body as Miranda watched in hypnotised fascination. Rozella’s eyes never left her as she caressed herself; stroking a finger down her cleavage and cupping a breast in her hand. She was a consummate seductress and Miranda’s throat was dry as she stared at her. The woman was outrageous but Miranda could not tear her eyes away. Rozella lifted a leg and let the soft material of her dress fall away to reveal a long length on inviting thigh. “Do you like my legs Caro?” she whispered softly. Miranda nodded numbly and Rozella smiled as she ran her hand up her thigh pushing her dress up until Miranda could see the curve of her bottom and a glimpse of mauve knickers. Miranda squeezed her own thighs together tightly feeling her mounting arousal. Rozella saw the action and laughed softly. Slowly and teasingly she parted her legs and ran her hand along her inner thigh until her fingers rested on the fabric of her knickers.
Miranda was startled out of her trance by a musical chime in the carriage and the voice of the driver over the PA announcing their imminent arrival at their next station. She glanced around nervously. “Pull your dress down and behave yourself Rozella!” she hissed. “We’re pulling into Zug!” Rozella grinned but she did as she was told, readjusting her clothes more decently. But she teased Miranda by running a lazy finger in little circles over her nipple. Rozella wore no bra under her halter neck dress it was evident. Her erect nipples were clearly visible through the thin material. Miranda averted her gaze as they pulled into the station. Through the rain streaked window she could see only two people on the platform waiting for the train. Obviously they were second class passengers. Nobody came into their carriage. At 22.31 precisely the train lurched once more out of the station.
“So now Caro!” Rozella purred at her. “We have over twenty minutes before our next stop! Are you sitting comfortably?”
Miranda gripped her hands together in agitation. “You’re crazy! What if somebody comes in?”
“You worry too much tessorucio! Relax! You are enjoying the show no?”
“You are completely loopy!”
“Oh yes! But so much more fun don’t you think?”
Rozella laughed and, in a single fluid motion, laid herself out lengthways on her side along the full length of the seats facing Miranda. “Now that is better.” She remarked in satisfaction and once again began her languid caressing. Miranda watched her, terrified that somebody would enter the carriage but still unable to pull her eyes away or to still the urgent aching in her own body. Rozella parted her lips and ran her tongue slowly across them as she raised her left leg and allowed the hem of her dress to slide up her thigh to hips. Careful to afford Miranda a good view she pulled her dress out of the way. Her mauve knickers had tiny little ribbons on the side and a frivolous bow at the front. Miranda sat on her hands fighting the desperate urge to cross the space between them to stroke those silky legs. Astounded by the audacity of the woman, she watched as Rozella stroked the inside of her thigh and came to rest her hand on her crutch between her outstretched legs. Very deliberately Rozella allowed a little sigh to escape her lips as she began to caress herself there; her fingers rubbing gently at the satin knickers. She closed her eyes slightly and lowered her head onto the seat bank, her spare hand lifting up to cup her breast and fondle it through the material of her dress.
Miranda’s heart was pounding in her chest as she watched Rozella wantonly stroke her sex. She held her breath as Rozella lifted her dress higher and lifted her hand to the sliver of flesh revealed above her knickers. Rozella opened her eyes and stared directly into Miranda’s as she paused teasingly. With a slow smile, she slid her hand down under the waistband of her knickers and shuddered softly as her questing fingers found the damp, warmth below. “Stop it Rozella!” whispered Miranda almost as if fearful that somebody might hear her in the empty carriage.
Rozella gave a little gasp and her fingers quickened at her sex. “Too late Bella!” she breathed hoarsely, the cheeks of her face suffusing with the pink of arousal. “I cannot help myself! You have captured me! You have bewitched me with your eyes on my body and I can no longer help myself. I am yours! I am your plaything. I can only surrender myself for the gratification of your pleasure.” With a small moan Rozella slipped her left hand under her dress and eased her breast clear, to grip it tightly as her right hand moved ever more urgently beneath her knickers.
Desperately Miranda leaned out to look along the gangway between the seats to reassure herself that they were indeed alone before wrenching her eyes back to Rozella who was now beginning to squirm alarmingly as she rubbed herself. Miranda felt the quickening throb between her legs as her own arousal mounted and she shifted position awkwardly as she felt the dampness in her groin. Her eyes darted between Rozella’s knickers, the ripe full breast with its pert brown nipple and the lovely face now abandoned to lust as Rozella masturbated uninhibitedly in front of her. It was crazy; it was madness; it was exhibitionist to the point of insanity and it was quite the most erotic thing Miranda had ever cast eyes upon. Rozella was panting now and her soft cries becoming louder by the second. Both in fascination and fear Miranda wondered if Rozella was about to have an orgasm in front of her but she was beyond protesting or trying to restrain her. She decided that Rozella probably would climax. There seemed no outrageousness this girl was incapable of!
Then suddenly Rozella stopped with her chest heaving. She withdrew her hand from her knickers and sat upright. Fixing Miranda with her eyes she raised her right hand to show Miranda her fingers glistening softly with the dampness from her sex still on them. Miranda swallowed sharply as Rozella lifted her hand to her mouth and began to lick her fingers. “You are completely mad!” Miranda breathed exasperatedly.
Rozella grinned at her and, using both hands eased her breasts clear of her dress to fondle them, her eyes watching Miranda carefully. Her breasts were exquisite. Miranda was entranced by them. “Do you like my breasts caro?” Rozella asked seductively.
“Th... they’re very nice!” croaked Miranda with what she instantly decided was the most inane banality she had yet managed in her short acquaintance with this maddening woman.
“Would you like to kiss them?”
“Oh Christ!” Before Miranda could think of anything sensible to say the infuriating chime of the train’s PA system sounded to precede the driver once more announcing their coming arrival at a station. Miranda let out her breath in a gasp. “Oh God we’re in Arth-Goldau!” The time seemed to have flown by since Zug.
Rozella replaced her breasts in her dress with a laugh. “Perhaps later then little one. After Arth-Goldau there are only two little villages between us and the Gotthard tunnel. A lot can happen in the climb up to the pass!”
Miranda wiped a hand across her forehead. “Oh God! This is the maddest thing I’ve ever done in my life!”
“Ah there is time yet!” Rozella glanced out of the window. They were just pulling into the station. Rozella grinned in sudden decision. “I want to give you a present caro.”
“What sort of present?” In reply Rozella lifted herself off her seat and reached under her dress to slip her knickers down her legs. “What the hell are you doing?” Miranda protested in a hoarse whisper.
Rozella ignored her and pulled her knickers down to her ankles. For a second they became entangled in the high heels on her sandals but she freed them and held them out to Miranda. “There caro! They are yours!”
“What the hell do I want your knickers for?”
“A souvenir my sweet! A souvenir to remember me by and our little encounter on a train one wet Monday night. When you are alone in your bed and thinking amorous thoughts you can take them out and think of me as you stroke yourself. Perhaps you can put them on while you play with yourself and remember how they were next to my most private part as I masturbated for your entertainment. Here! Take them!”
“I can’t take your damn knickers!”
“If you do not I will hold them up to the window and show the world what little game we have been playing!”
“You blackmailing.... Oh Hell give them here then!” Miranda snatched the offending item. They were damp to her touch and she could scent the female aroma of Rozella still on them.
Rozella smoothed her dress down and sat back in satisfaction. There now! See what advantage you have taken of a poor innocent girl travelling alone at your mercy! You have me completely naked now under this dress. My reputation is ruined!”
“You... you...” Miranda could think of nothing to express her outraged indignation.
“All tickets from Arth-Goldau please!” Miranda leapt with a start. The conductor seemed to have jumped up out of the floor boards beside her. He was looking at her quizzically. In horror Miranda realised she was still clutching Rozella’s knickers. Hastily she pushed them behind her out of sight, blushing furiously. Rozella stifled a little giggle. “Anybody else get in this carriage ladies?” the conductor asked conversationally, peering down the aisle.
Miranda shook her head vigorously. “No! No... nobody.” she told him breathlessly.
The man nodded in acknowledgment. “Well I can’t see many more people getting on the train tonight.” he observed casually. “So I guess you’re in for a quiet journey.”
Rozella smiled at him wickedly. “Molto buono! We are enjoying the privacy of our company!” Miranda glared at her.
The conductor nodded once more, his face unreadable. “Well I shall leave you two ladies in peace then.” he left the carriage. The train pulled out once more. It was five minutes to eleven.
“Now then caro, where were we?” asked Rozella with a mischievous grin.
“I think we were at the point of fully confirming that you should be taken away and locked up in a nunnery!”
Rozella’s eyes lit up. “Hmmm! I like this idea!”
Miranda laughed suddenly. “Oh God no! No... forget that! Bad idea! Let you loose in a nunnery? God there’d be carnage!”
Rozella grinned at her. “You should laugh more often caro. You are too serious. Laughter becomes you.”
“I don’t often meet people as crazy as you Rozella.”
“Then you should. Life is too precious to waste in being serious all the time. It is good to see you smile.”
And smile Miranda did; acknowledging the justice in Rozella’s words. She had been sad for too long. She had known this woman for only an hour but she had made her feel more alive than she had felt for years. She was maddening, infuriating and outraged every sense of decency in Miranda but she was beginning to like her. Trying to push aside such strange thoughts Miranda gazed out of the window. It was pitch black but the rain hammered at the glass. “God it’s raining harder than ever!” she remarked.
“So are you wet?”
Miranda glanced at her, puzzled. “It’s raining outside, not in here.” she said foolishly.
“Ah Miranda that is not what I meant and you know it.”
Miranda smiled ruefully. “You have a one tracked mind Rozella!”
“And we have less than twenty minutes before Erstfeld caro. Time flies so answer my question. Have I excited you? Are you wet between your legs?”
“I...I might be.” ventured Miranda austerely.
“So I must try harder!” Rozella said with a smile. “I am wet!” she added by way of an afterthought.
“I did notice! Your knickers were sopping!”
Rozella laughed and then with another of the sudden fluid motions that always caught Miranda by surprise she turned around to kneel on the seat with her back to Miranda. She leaned forward and parted her legs. Slowly she raised her dress until it was above her waist, displaying her nakedness. Her vulva was dilated and glistening with moisture. She ran a finger into her crevice and looked back over her shoulder at Miranda. “See what you have done to me! I am a ruined woman.”
Miranda shook her head fondly. “I think you were that long before I ever met you Rozella! Look at you! Showing me your pussy without a shred of shame!”
Rozella pouted at her. “What is wrong with my pussy? Don’t you like it? Is it not pretty?”
Tickled by the absurdity of it, Miranda laughed aloud. “I don’t really know Rozella! I mean it’s not something I’ve had much experience of, examining another girl’s parts! I wouldn’t really know how to compare it.”
Rozella looked at her curiously. “You have never looked at another girl there before?”
“Well no! I mean it’s not exactly something you do is it. You can’t exactly say to someone “Excuse me do you mind if I conduct an examination of your pussy... purely in a spirit of aesthetic, academic interest you understand!”
“Well then look at mine. Go ahead! Take a close look. Here I will make it easy for you.” Rozella leaned further forward and parted her legs even more. With her hands she pulled her buttocks apart to display herself more clearly.
Miranda could think of nothing appropriate to say and she found becoming interested in spite of herself. She leaned forward to peer closer. She had never really thought of the attractiveness of a woman’s sex before but as she looked she thought dispassionately that the dark folds of the outer lips contrasting with the bright pink, moist inner sanctum were actually quite appealing. There was a trickle of fluid from the vaginal opening and she could see the nub of Rozella’s engorged clitoris quite plainly. The skin looked velvety and slick with dampness. She was so smooth there. She noticed that Rozella evidently waxed herself for there was no pubic hair visible. She wanted to reach out and touch her; feel the softness of her sex and knew that if she did she would bring gasps and moans of pleasure to Rozella’s lips. It seemed as if she hardly needed to for Rozella was becoming visibly aroused just by her displaying herself for Miranda’s perusal. “She’s an exhibitionist.” thought Miranda to herself. “She loves doing this! She loves exposing herself and having other people watch her perform.” Even as she thought it, Rozella’s arousal got the better of her and she ran a hand between her legs and began to stroke herself again. She buried her face in the seat and her breath quickened and deepened. Soon she was emitting soft cries and little sobs. Miranda began to hope that she would orgasm; wanted to see her in the throes of climax. Miranda’s own excitement started to grip hold of her. Her nipples were so hard that they hurt and she felt the slick wetness inside her knickers. With Rozella’s eyes off her she succumbed to the temptation to lift her skirt and run her hand through to her own sex; squeezing the front of her knickers and feeling the heat within the silk. She groped away inside her knickers and touched herself. She shivered at the contact and a small gasp escaped her throat.
Rozella heard the sound and turned to look. Miranda snatched her hand away but Rozella had seen her. Slowly she smiled. “So caro! I have you excited!”
Miranda pulled her dress down in embarrassment. “Oh God! I don’t believe this!”
“Don’t be shy amore mio! It is good that you become excited.”
“Oh God you’re impossible! What would you have done with your journey if I wasn’t there to tickle your libido? Don’t tell me that you’d have whiled the hours away working on the crossword puzzle!”
Rozella grinned and turned to face her, seating herself once more. “Oh no my lovely! If I don’t meet you it is sad but I find something to do with myself.”
“I’ll bet you do!”
Rozella shrugged with a smile. “I always have my toys in case I need them.”
Miranda stared at her dumbfounded. “Please don’t tell me that you carry around your sex toys with you just to pass the time on train journeys when there’s no skirt available!”
Rozella smiled hugely. “But of course! Here let me show you!” Miranda stared blankly, her head swimming as Rozella fumbled in her handbag. “Here we are!” Triumphantly Rozella held up a large pink dildo of some flexible plastic material. The shaft of the object was corrugated with raised ridges and there was an extension on top clearly designed to stimulate the clitoris while the main shaft penetrated the vagina. Evidently it was battery operated too for there was a switch and a pitch control on the base.
Miranda stared at the thing in disbelief. “You use that on yourself?”
“Yes of course. You would like to see perhaps.”
“I...I....oh for God’s sake we’re pulling into Erstfeld! But that bloody thing away for Christ’s sake!”
Rozella pulled her dress down and concealed the dildo under her dress. “There now! Out of sight!” she placed her tongue in her cheek slyly. “But not out of mind! You want to see me use it don’t you?”
“Come along now! Don’t be shy caro. You do don’t you?”
Miranda took a deep breath. “Well....” she cleared her throat, “I... I suppose it might be quite diverting.”
Rozella laughed happily. “Well then we shall take a diversion on our way into the mountains!” She raised a finger. “But I warn you caro. I shall want payment for your entertainment!”
“What kind of payment?”
“Just a little something from you. A little gift for my pleasure.”
“Oh Christ! Now what?”
“Ah be patient caro. You will see!”
The station at Erstfeld was bleak and hostile with gusting wind and teeming rain. There were no passengers waiting. At a quarter past eleven the train began its long climb into the dark of the mountains. This was the last ascent to the Gotthard tunnel at over eleven hundred metres above sea level. The train’s note changed as it powered up to take the gradient, ascending through a series of spiralled loops cut into the mountainside and plunging in and out of tunnels as it climbed; labouring its way towards the northern portal of the great tunnel that passed it through the mountains into the southern lands beyond. And as they climbed towards the apex of their journey they climbed too towards the climax of the night.
No sooner were they clear of Erstfeld than Rozella took out her dildo once more. She stroked it in her hand, teasing Miranda with her eyes. “So now my lovely. I will hold you to the bargain you agreed upon!”
“I haven’t agreed to anything!”
“Ah now you lie again! I thought we were past this.”
“I’m not lying! I haven’t said anything about agreeing!” Rozella lifted an ironic eyebrow. Miranda held up her hand. “Alright, alright! I know what you’re going to say! You’re going to tell me that my body said everything for me!”
Rozella chuckled softly. “Ah caro you begin to learn I see!”
Miranda glared at her. “What blasted bargain is this anyway?”
“I want a present from you.”
“What sort of damn present?”
“I want your knickers!”
“No need to shout caro! You heard me. I want your knickers. You have mine now I want yours in return.”
“Oh for heaven’s sake!”
“Come along now my sweet. It is a fair exchange.”
“What is this for you? Some kind of trophy hunt or something?”
“Please caro. It is just a little token for my pleasure. Please give them to me.”
“Oh for God’s sake!”
“Just to please me caro.”
Oh alright for heaven’s sake!” Miranda raised her bottom to slip her knickers off. “I just can’t believe I’m doing this!” she grumbled as she eased them off her feet. Begrudgingly she handed them over. “There now! Are you satisfied?”
Rozella took the item with visible pleasure. “Oh I am never satisfied!” she purred as she held Miranda’s knickers to her face, rubbing them on her cheek and smelling them in great enjoyment. Delicately she touched her tongue to the inside. “You taste nice.” She told Miranda. Miranda just gaped at her unable to speak. “Now lift your skirt.” Rozella commanded.
“What? Are you crazy?”
“Lift your skirt and open your legs.” Rozella told her insistently. “I want to see you.”
“Oh hell!” but Miranda complied shyly.
Rozella inclined her head to see the better and smiled in satisfaction. “Now stay like that!” she ordered. “Now I give you your reward!” With that she began to lick the dildo and drawing it into her mouth; lubricating it with her saliva; her eyes never wavering from Miranda’s exposed sex. She adjusted the switch at the base of the dildo. The low hum was audible even over the clatter of the rails beneath their feet. She passed it to her sex and stroked it against the mound of her clitoris, her breath coming in pants as the vibrations stimulated her to greater arousal. Miranda held her breath as Rozella turned the tip of the dildo to opening of her vagina. It was so thick and long Miranda couldn’t believe that Rozella could take the thing inside her. She was wrong. With an insistent pressure, Rozella eased the dildo in, gasping loudly as she penetrated herself. She drove it home relentlessly until she had taken its full length inside her. Miranda felt perspiration break out on her forehead. Rozella was crying aloud with what could be pain or what could be pleasure; it was impossible to tell. She pulled her breasts from her dress with her free hand and began to knead them urgently. Then she began to thrust with the dildo, driving it harder and harder into her sex.
They plunged into a tunnel and the roar of the train inside the tunnel was a blessing for it masked the sobbing cries of Rozella as she writhed on the dildo impaling her. She threw her head back and closed her eyes, almost insane with the pleasure of it. Miranda sat transfixed by the spectacle before her. Hardly without knowing what she was doing she found her hand back at her own sex. She parted her legs more to facilitate herself and them she was stroking herself urgently, inflamed by Rozella’s wanton lust. Feverishly she found herself pulling her blouse out of her skirt and hefting it above her breasts. She pulled them from her bra to grip them as she abandoned caution in the rising heat of her passion. She was close to orgasm but she compelled herself to ease off. For some reason she was at a loss to explain she wanted to come as Rozella did; share the climax with her.
The train plunged on into the night climbing higher and higher carrying the little tableau toward some point of no return high in the mountains. Miranda was almost whimpering in frustration as she waited for Rozella to climax. At the same time she was beginning to fear that climax. Rozella’s passion was becoming almost violent now as she convulsed on the seat before Miranda. Miranda began to fear that Rozella’s cries could now be heard back in second class and they threatened to be only the heralds of the titanic hurricane that would surely be unleashed when her body finally released her in orgasm. She was very close now Miranda could see; nearly at the edge.
The PA system chimed merrily. “Ladies and gentlemen we are arriving at Goschenen. Goschenen your next stop.” Miranda jumped up in panic. Goschenen was the last stop this side of the mountains right at the mouth of the Gotthard tunnel.
Miranda pulled her blouse and skirt down desperately trying to repair her appearance. “Rozella! Stop! For the love of God stop! We’re coming into Goshenen! For God’s sake stop!” But it was too late. Rozella at the very height of her need could not stop. Even as the train slowed toward the station her climax exploded. In panic Miranda leapt across the gap between the seats and grasped her, covering her mouth with her hand to stifle the piercing wail screeching from her throat. Rozella buried her head in Miranda’s shoulder, jerking spasmodically as wave after wave of her orgasm swept through her leaving her bereft of reason. Miranda thought the scalding convulsions would never end.
Just as the lights of the station appeared at the window Miranda felt Rozella fall limp in her arms. Hurriedly she pulled Rozella’s dress back into place, covering her breasts and dragged the hem down to cover her loins. Rozella relinquished her grip on the dildo between her legs and wrapped her arms around Miranda, nuzzling at her kittenishly and whimpering softly. Miranda glanced out of the window fearful that someone might see them in such close embrace. She told herself to relax. They were just two girls hugging each other. It was perfectly natural. There was nothing wrong with that was there. The train had halted. Blessedly the platform was empty.
Rozella lifted her head and opened her eyes to look at Miranda. “Ah amore mio! It has taken nearly two hours to get you in my arms but here you are and I am content.”
“Please Rozella! Get rid of that damn dildo quickly.”
“Relax caro.” But Rozella eased it from between her legs and pushed it into her handbag. She lifted a hand to caress the side of Miranda’s face. The fingers were wet from her sex. “But you my lovely: what of you?”
“What about me?”
“You have not had your pleasure yet my little darling.”
“For heaven’s sake don’t worry about me!”
“Oh but I do! I want you to come as well!”
Miranda bit her lip. In truth her body was crying out for release. Suddenly she started. Rozella had slipped a hand beneath her skirt, the tips of her fingers exploring her damp crevice. “Stop that!” she hissed.
Rozella didn’t listen to her. “Be patient caro.” she whispered. “When we enter the tunnel I will give you that which you desire.” She chuckled softly and kissed Miranda softly on the lips. “Oh yes caro! In the tunnel I will make you mine!”
The train lurched heavily and, with a squeal from the wheels as they gathered traction, began to move. “Any minute now amore mio.” Rozella whispered in her ear. “Are you ready?”
“Oh God!” Miranda murmured and shivered in anticipation. The train gathered speed and a few seconds later the feeble lights from the station disappeared altogether as, with a roar the train dove into the long Gotthard tunnel.
“Now my lovely! Now! Open your legs!”
With a tiny whimper, Miranda complied. Rozella laughed and stood suddenly. In a quick movement she lifted her dress above her head and pulled it off, tossing it onto the seat beside Miranda. Miranda’s eyes flew open in shock. “What are you doing?” she squeaked at the naked girl in front of her, “What if somebody comes?”
Rozella knelt on the carriage floor before her and prised her legs open with her hands. “Hush now caro and do not waste time to argue. We have only ten minutes in the tunnel! We must be quick!” With that she bent her head and buried her face in Miranda’s sex. Miranda gasped aloud as Rozella’s tongue found her clitoris and began to lick it so very expertly. Rozella thrust three fingers into her vagina and she was open and accommodating for them. The tunnels walls flashed past in the reflected glow of the carriage lights as Rozella worked on her, driving her into frenzy. Her fear of discovery waned as her arousal mounted. Soon she cared not if they emerged into a crowded station full of people so imperative was her need for release. She grasped Rozella’s dark hair and ground against her face her other hand squeezing her breast and panted frantically as she climbed towards ecstasy.
Miranda had lost her virginity when she was sixteen; some boy or other from school; she could scarcely recall his face anymore. She had been drunk and the experience unsatisfactory. She could hardly remember anything about it. But she would always consider that she lost her virginity for the second, and truest time, on a Monday night not long before midnight somewhere in the Gotthard tunnel. For it was somewhere in that long tunnel that her orgasm overwhelmed her at last. She was barely aware of the howling shrieks she gave vent to as the spasms overtook her or of the gasp of pain from Rozella as she grasped her hair tight in her fist. She was only aware of that raging torment that blazed through her body carrying her into realms she had never encountered before and then releasing her to drift down into some cocoon of sheer happiness.
Afterwards she thought she must have fainted for she had no recollection of Rozella putting her dress back on and joining her on the seat. She only knew, that as the train pulled into Airolo at the far end of the tunnel, Rozella was holding her gently, kissing her face softly and crooning nonsense to her. And Miranda cared not. She cared not who saw her now. She wrapped her arms around her impossible lover and rocked gently in bliss. She felt as if she had passed through some great desolate void in her life only to arrive at the place she should have been all along. She felt a great warmth and a contentment that was beyond any word she had to describe. It was another fifty one minutes according to the timetable before the train pulled into Bellinzona where she was obliged to change but the minutes scarcely registered in her mind for she passed them in some enchanted dream world.
Just before Bellinzona the conductor visited their carriage. Miranda didn’t relinquish her hold on Rozella however and he smiled indulgently. “Just here to remind you ladies that the next stop is Bellinzona.” he told them. “I don’t want you to miss your connection.”
Rozella shook Miranda gently. “Don’t fall asleep caro. We have to get off here.”
Miranda’s eyes swum back into focus. “Oh God yes! We have to catch the Locarno train!”
“I am not catching the train to Locarno caro.”
Miranda sat bolt upright. “You’re not? We’re parting here?” Miranda felt a wave of sudden desperate loss overtake her. Tears pricked at her eyes.
“No caro my car is parked in Bellinzona. I drive to Locarno.”
“Oh!” Miranda knew she should say something but words eluded her.
“Yes amore mio and you will drive with me!”
The relief and happiness were almost more than Miranda could bear. “Oh Christ!” she gasped. “I...I have to phone Alex!”
“Alex your friend?”
Miranda nodded. “Yes. He’s supposed to pick me up in Locarno.”
“He is expecting you this Alex?”
“Yes... well sort of. I didn’t know if I was coming or not. I told him I would phone him when I got to Bellizona if I was coming.”
“Then you can phone him tomorrow caro. Tonight you come to my apartment. Tonight you stay with me. Tonight I will teach you who you are. Tonight I will teach you to love a woman!”
Miranda stared at her in joy. “Oh yes!”
Miranda did see Alex the next day. She introduced Rozella to him. She even shyly told him that she was her girlfriend. He must have known her secret for he looked pleased for her. To the south of the Alps the sun shone in glory every day and graced her new found joy with light and warmth. In the end she spent eight days with Rozella before her work recalled her to Zurich. They were eight days of a bliss she had never imagined before. They were eight days that changed her life forever.