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Muddle continues his quest and telling his story to his frog.
It sent her crashing over the edge, throwing her head back and arching her body off the bed. Thrusting her hips forward onto her hands, bolts of blissful electricity coursing through her, once, then again, and again, and again.
"Have you got Saturday free," said Ray. "I was thinking we could go out somewhere. It'll be just the two of us, Sarah's got some kind of work thing on."
Lizzie looked up from the chair in the corner of the room where she'd been fiddling with her phone, "Sounds like a thing I could call fun. Anywhere in particular."
"South," said Ray. "Off into the countryside a little way."
Ray and Sarah had been talking about what to do. They were agreed that they wanted to see whether they could pursue a relationship with Lizzie, but neither of them was quite sure how to go about it. Ray had wanted to just ask Lizzie outright but Sarah was insisting they should take their time.
"Why don't you two go out somewhere together for the day," Sarah had said to Ray one morning while she was sitting on the side of their bed brushing her hair. "It feels as if I've shared a real bonding experience with Lizzie recently and maybe you two need something similar."
"You mean like a date."
"Possibly. Something like that anyway. I don't know Ray, maybe take her somewhere special, or show her something that's important to you."
She had turned this over while she was at work later the same day. Ray knew what was most important to her but she couldn't exactly show Sarah to Lizzie, she'd already seen her after all, and her next obvious option, Somerset, was a very long way away. She'd idled the morning away distractedly at her desk at work trying to come up with an idea she was happy with. Angela had given her a few quizzical looks across the open plan office, she knew Ray well enough to have figured out something was up and it was tempting to solicit some help, but Ray felt somehow that it was important she sort this one out for herself.
She halfheartedly arranged and rearranged pictograms and connecting lines on flow charts. Just giving her hands some work to do while she waited for something substantial to surface in her mind. Eventually her patience had been rewarded, and as is so often the way with these things, once the solution had made its way into her thoughts she had been amazed by its simplicity. And it turned out she had been wrong about her first assumption after all.
They set off mid morning on the Saturday after a late breakfast, because what's the point of a weekend if you can't sleep in, at least for a little while. Lizzie had expected they would take the usual left turn at the end of the street up toward the station. Instead though Ray led them first right, then left, then left again onto a residential street where there was a car club parking space. Ray unlocked the car with the app on her phone and rummaged in the glove compartment for the key.
"Our carriage for the day my lady," she said, presenting the gaudily painted vehicle to Lizzie with a theatrical flourish of one hand, "Not exactly a fashion statement I'm afraid, but it'll get us around."
Ray drove them out of town, picking her way out through the London suburbs, then taking the motorways, first a junction along the M25, and after that splitting out onto the M20 for a while. Lizzie had, after a little cajoling, convinced her phone to link up with the stereo and she'd put on some music. Classics from the nineties and noughties, catchy songs to sing along to. Pulp and Primal Scream, Luscious Jackson and Catatonia, Britney and Black Box. Moving On Up, Road Rage, and Ride on Time.
"But you-and-I-know, we. all. live. in the space age..."
The novelty of driving and being driven in an actual car was a pleasant change for both of the city natives. Lizzie found herself thinking back to the last time she and Ray had spent like this, in a van then though not a car, when they had been salvaging her possessions from her old flat.
She knew in an abstract sense that it had been traumatic while it was happening but