Jayavardhini was pleased with the effect of her teasing, and held the sarong in front of her body, as if protecting her modesty. Chetana was barely managing not to laugh. She said, to Philip, “Jayavardhini needs a spanking. Don’t you think?”
But he said, “Oh, no. I think a spanking would hardly be fair. Jayavardhini, take that ridiculous sarong right off, this instant, and come here.”
Jayavardhini thought it was a pity about the spanking but she let the sarong fall to the floor and stepped towards the bed anyway.
Philip gathered her in his arms, the first time so much of their skin had touched, and pulled her halfway onto the bed, her feet a little off the floor, her ass at the edge of the bed. She turned her face to his, and he kissed her.
His beard was growing. It was the first time she’d kissed a bearded person in at least a couple of years.
She’d heard, in Chetana’s emails, that Philip had been notoriously unkempt, always with a few days’ scruffy facial hair, on the dock, where she’d arrived only days before departure. But on board the Jagannath, and presumably the other ships, shaving involved using drinking water if you wanted suds, and being brave enough to trust your skin with a straight razor.
Jayavardhin’s pubic hair had had two weeks’ growth since the ships had left the Kiltan Lagoon dock, so she couldn’t blame him.
She shook her head. She said, “You’re a hairy man. I guess I’ll have to get used to that.” She kissed him again, and this time he took the kiss seriously. Their lips touched, then tongues and teeth. Philip focussed his attention on her while Chetana watched them, smiling.
Eventually Jayavardhini tried to wriggle up the bed towards him, but he put his hand on the small of her back and held her in her slightly undignified position.
She gazed at him, a little puzzled. “Philip?”
But Philip was looking at Chetana. “As I was going to say, this girl needs two spankings. Just one wouldn’t be fair at all.” Jayavardhini shook indignantly, though making sure she didn’t break his grip. “Have you spanked her before?”