She wore jeans, black boots and a sleeveless, pink blouse with rose buttons down the front. She half skipped down the alley, a bag in her left hand and her free hand swinging gently by her side. She watched her feet as she tried to avoid stepping on the cracks like she had done as a child, a small smile of contentment playing on her lips. Hearing footsteps she looked up and saw a young man, about her own age run into the alley. He stopped and threw a wild look over his shoulder then, seeing her, ran straight towards her. Skidding to a stop in front of her he grasped her arms and, struggling for breath, said, "Help me."

The girl stood stunned, then whispered, "How?Why?"

"I don't have time to explain, please," the boy pleaded, taking off his jacket to reveal a plain, long-sleeved, black top.

"What do you want me to do?" She was nervous and confused.

"There's a man following me. I need to conceal my face from him. I don't have time to hide and I need you to help."

"How?" she asked again.

The boy blushed slightly then, visibly trying to getting a grip, said with confidence "I need you to kiss me."

At first the girls was shocked but soon realised that it was the only way the boy's face couldn't be seen by anyone passing through the alley. There was nowhere for him to hide without breaking down a gate, which would leave whoever was following an easy trail to follow, and he couldn't hide behind her without drawing attention to himself. A couple kissing in an alley wouldn't be disturbed and would conceal his face. She nodded.

"Thank you," his voice quiet with relief. "But it's important we look like we don't want to be interrupted. Do you understand?" She nodded again. "Can you put these in your bag?" he asked handing her the jacket and hat he had just taken off, the sleeves of his top pushed up to his elbows and his thick black hair almost falling in his eyes. "Quick," he added glancing anxiously towards the end of the alley. The girl stuffed the clothes into her bag as the boy kicked off his shoes to reveal bare feet. He noticed her confused expression as he gave them to her and said, "He might recognise my shoes, but if he sees my bare feet he'll just presume I'm from one of the houses." He indicated to the back gates of houses on each side. The girl nodded and placed the Converse All Stars on the top. The boy seemed reluctant to make the next move but urgent at the same time, his face calm but his fingers clicking impatiently and his eyes kept moving to the end of the alley that lead to the high street. The girl took a step back so her back was against the wall. Beckoning to him she took his left hand and placed it on the wall above her right shoulder so his face was hidden to anyone entering the alley from the high street. She placed his right hand on her waist and undid the top button of her blouse showing a little bit more skin. The boys eyebrows rose and she shrugged. "Make it look more realistic." With that she placed her right hand round his waist and the other on the back of his neck. She tilted her head forward and he leant in too. Their lips met. He kissed her a little shyly at first, followed with more confidence and then he parted her lips and slipped his tongue in.

And then it happened…The spark. It shot through her making her body arch toward his and her hand tighten on his neck. His hand tightened on her waist and he took a small step forward so his body was pinning her against the wall. Her top had slid up so his hand now rested on her bare skin, seeming to burn into her.

Out of the corner of her eye she saw a man, dressed in a long coat, burst into the alley. He regarded the couple for a minute or two then ran passed them. The girl followed him with her eyes as he appeared the other side of the boy's head and then disappeared round the corner at the other end of the alley. She closed her eyes as the boy continued to kiss her, neither wanting to stop.

After a long moment, but which seemed like too soon for the girl, he pulled away. She looked deep into his grey eyes and saw the spark that had shot through her was in him too. "Thank you," he whispered, huskily. "Thank you…" He paused looking at her questioningly.


He smiled, "Thank you, Martha"

With what seemed like a great effort he took a step backwards. The spell was broken. "I have to go."

Smiling he turned to leave. A thousand and one thoughts flew through Martha's head. Who was he? Why was he running from this man? Where would he go? Where would he be safe?

"WAIT!" She ran forward and grabbed his arm. "Wait," she said again. As he turned to look at her she desperately thought of something to make him stay, make him kiss her again. "You promised to tell me what this was about…and I still don't know your name?"

He frowned, "I don't have time to explain. If you give me your number I'll ring you."

Rummaging through her bag Martha pulled out a pen and paper. She scribbled down her number, and with his shoes, coat and hat, handed it to him.

"Thank you," he repeated again.

Their eyes met and they stood for a moment, the world around them seemed to stop existing, just for one second.

"What's you name?" Martha asked quietly.

"Chase," replied the boy, lifting a hand to brush a piece of her straight, brown hair out of her face. "Bye," he said softly, and turned to leave, his bare feet slapping gently on the cobblestones. Martha stood very still, watching him go. "Goodbye," she muttered.