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There it was the opening. She pounced, “Oh you know, just some shopping and a spot of lunch in town, I do like a bit of a shopping trip and Oxford Street is my Nirvana!”

Dan blinked. Once, twice, but no words came out, no easy patter or stock answer was on the tip of his tongue or anywhere remotely useful for that matter. This was going to be problematical, this nervous gushing was a bad omen, and a glib reply would not placate her. He was going to have to talk to her and use his negotiation skills and survival instinct to get out of this one.

Dan was no slouch when it came to talking to women, in fact he was pretty good at it, in the correct social setting. On  the train, where personal space was sacrosanct, as was the right to ignore all human contact, well that was different.

I’ll have to use the charm then, get out of this by pretending to chat her up. It wouldn’t be the first time he’d used charm to get what he wanted and he always got what he wanted, always.

He slow smile, slightly crooked and designed to be charming, ”You going far?”

“Oh no! Just to East Dulwich,” still breathless but seemingly more in control.

Shit! That was his stop, of all the places to go and there was no chance of avoiding her at the station when they got off. Things were getting serious, he would now have to commit – not something that came naturally to him – to a full conversation.

If he was trapped, then he might as well make it interesting. He was committed now and as he studied her more closely he realised that she was an attractive woman. Ahh, the other brain has kicked in he thought with a smile.

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