Ripe Fruit was originally published at Every Night Erotica in 2011.
After Martin let Sylvia go wandering across his land by herself, the fear beset him like a gnawing beast. He sat on the balcony, paper in hand, above the paths and tracks where Sylvia might have gone. He tried to read the paper, but his eyes drifted above the horizon of print, to the grass of his gardens, the fountain streaming indifferently to his heart that hadn’t stopped thumping since she had vanished through the tidy hedges onto the unkempt land beyond.
God, how long since she had left? he thought, checking his watch. Seeing it was an hour and a half, Martin cursed his idiocy of inviting her here in the first place. She’d probably tucked her wallet into her shorts and was sitting on the bus back to London, willing it to go faster, as far from him as possible.