I slumped to the floor, muttering quietly to myself. So this was teambuilding. No doubt the bosses had thought that taking a load of office workers to the middle of nowhere and making them perform daft stunts and pointless tasks was a great way to encourage teamwork, but on a personal level the whole thing had been a disaster.

My gaze drifted across the room until it finally rested on Fiona. Let’s face it, she was the only reason I’d been persuaded to take part in this fiasco. There were all sorts of women in the office; all ages, colours and shapes; but Fiona stood out a mile. Tall; slim but not too skinny; darkest brown, almost black, hair contrasting with impossibly pale skin. Predictably, however, she worked in a different part of the office, so although we had mutual friends, and I’d even taken the liberty of adding her to my coveted list of people to whom I would pass on humorous and strictly non-work-related e-mails, we were still not close enough for my liking.

That was why I was here. On paper, the plan had been foolproof. We arrive en masse at this posh hotel in the country, and as we’re being divided into teams, I contrive to stand close enough to Fiona to ensure that we end up in the same team. Cue lots of shared experiences, a sense of bonding, and we both live happily ever after. Or, at the very least, she falls in the lake during the raft-building game and I get to see her soaked tracksuit clinging to her gorgeous body, savouring the “squish, squish” of her feet inside her waterlogged trainers as she runs off to change into dry clothes.

Naturally, I hadn’t bargained for them picking the teams out of a hat, which was why I had ended up in a team with a father of three in his mid forties; a pleasant but frankly dumpy girl in her late teens; and a team leader who was good at giving orders but very little else.

Everyone’s first task was to think of a witty and apposite name for their team. It soon became apparent that we were never going to win anything, as we couldn’t even achieve this. Teambuilding? Huh. In the end I sarcastically suggested, “Can’t you just call us ‘Team X’?” and it stuck. Between us we couldn’t climb trees, we couldn’t solve puzzles, and none of us got wet because we couldn’t even get the raft to stay together on dry land. Fiona had gone off in another team with three brainless, muscle-bound hunks so I hadn’t even seen her, never mind bonded with her. Naturally, her team had completed all the games early enough to allow them to return to the hotel, shower and change into proper clothes before my team had even finished buggering about outside. Dressed simply in a pale blue shirt, black knee-length skirt, black tights and shoes, Fiona looked absolutely stunning, and now someone was talking to me and I wasn’t listening.

“Dave! Wake up, you big fool!”

Oh. It was Michelle, the team leader, who was now frantically waving her hand in front of my eyes. “Is there anybody in there?” she demanded.

I closed my eyes. “No,” I replied with as much drama as I could muster, “leave me alone, I want to die.”

“Fair enough,” she conceded, and stopped waving. I grinned. Michelle was fun. She was in her late twenties, short but well proportioned, with flaming red hair and a cute Irish accent. Okay, she was pretty, but she was no Fiona.

My mood worsened as a hush descended, and heads began to turn towards the frail, elderly gent struggling to his feet at the other side of the room. Christ, even the chief executive of the company had turned up! This must have been a major event; although his picture appeared with alarming regularity in the company newsletter, very few employees had actually met Young Mr Grace, as we had affectionately nicknamed him. Young Mr Grace stood as upright as he could manage, cleared his throat, and launched into a speech about how everyone had done very well and how we were all winners, but then, rather unsportingly I thought, he went on to read out the results anyway.

“In sixth place,” he announced, “with…” He paused and squinted at his piece of paper. Yes, he had got the score right. “With eleven points out of a possible hundred…”

Oh no. Not last place. Please, for the love of God, not last place!

“…Team X!”

Cobblers. Michelle and the other two gave an ironic cheer. I joined in, in a half-hearted attempt to make it look like I didn’t mind. Last place. The lowest of the low. Humiliated in front of my colleagues, the chief executive, the entire company. Worse than that, humiliated in front of Fiona. I glanced over at her, only to realise that she was looking in my direction. Was that a sympathetic smile, or just a sneer? It was hard to tell from this distance. She saw me looking and pretended she wasn’t.

The rest of the results were a matter of the utmost indifference to me. Fiona’s team made it into second place. Yeah, so the monkeys in her team could climb trees, big deal. The winning team worked on the floor above me, so I had never seen them in my life before, but they collected their trophy with pride and would no doubt go on to bore their colleagues rigid about it for the next twelve months.

Michelle nudged me in the ribs. “Cheer up, misery guts!” she grinned. “It’s all over, at least things can’t get any worse.”

I was about to point out the obvious error in her statement when Young Mr Grace spoke up again.

“Now, as is traditional on these occasions, I invite, er…” He checked his notes again. “…Team X to the podium to accept the wooden spoon.”

Arse. Even Michelle’s face fell at this new turn of events, but up she got and led us onto the platform. I glanced again at Fiona as I passed her. Well, at least I’d done something to make her applaud. We all shook hands with Young Mr Grace and Michelle lied that it wasn’t the winning but the taking part that was important. As the applause subsided and we stood around, wondering how soon we could go to the bar, I had a brainwave.

“Just out of interest,” I heard myself saying, “how many points would we get if our team leader went and jumped in the swimming pool right now?”

Christ, had I said that out loud? The cheer that went up around the room suggested that I had.

The old fella looked a bit taken aback. “Well, er… ” he stammered, “enough to get you out of last place, I suppose.” He was probably making a mental note of my fighting spirit, determination and outstanding delegation skills, maybe even considering me for promotion, but I had more important things on my mind. The prospect of a drenched Michelle was even more tantalising than a regular Fiona. “Okay, team leader,” I grinned at Michelle, “lead on!”

I had noticed the hotel pool as we were arriving that morning, but had merely filed it away for possible fantasy use at a later date. Now it was about to happen for real! Okay, at the moment Michelle looked as if she would cheerfully strangle me, but this would pass. Hopefully.

Resignedly, Michelle led the way out of the room and along the corridor to the swimming pool. I followed close behind, sneakily eyeing her up and imagining what she was going to look like wet. Her dark green tracksuit would mould itself to her nicely toned legs and bottom, and if she didn’t think to zip up her top, her white t-shirt would go see-through. With a bit of luck, she might not even think to remove her trainers. She turned round suddenly and almost caught me staring at her arse.

“If I’m going through with this,” she hissed, “you’re coming in with me.”

This was an unexpected development, but not one I was about to turn down. After all, as we’d taken so long to finish we still had other clothes to change into for the evening, and I could think of a lot worse places to be than splashing around in a swimming pool with an attractive, fully clothed woman. “Bring it on,” I grinned.

We entered the pool area and waited for the following crowd to settle down. Young Mr Grace, bringing up the rear, paused to gather his breath, and then ushered Michelle and I towards the edge of the pool. “Right, well, er… on the count of three then,” he announced.

“One!” opined the assembled crowd.

Suddenly my heart was pounding. I looked over at Michelle, poised on the edge of the pool with a face like thunder. It seemed I was enjoying the prospect more than she was.

“Two!” announced the masses.

Well, there was no going back now. Michelle and I were about to get a right royal soaking, and for once I wasn’t even thinking about Fiona. Well, not much, anyway.


I closed my eyes and launched myself off the edge. Sploosh! The cool water instantly soaked through my clothes. Safe in the knowledge that my black T-shirt and tracksuit bottoms wouldn’t be anywhere near as revealing as what Michelle had on, I surfaced. Wiping the water out of my eyes, I looked around for Michelle.

She wasn’t on my left. I turned around, but she wasn’t on my right either. Odd. Where was she? I looked down, but she didn’t seem to be obviously drowning anywhere. Then I heard her laugh, and followed the sound to find her still standing on the edge of the pool, laughing and pointing at me.

“Great idea Dave,” she chortled, “it’s only fair that you should get all the credit for it.”

“Very funny,” I lied. This had gone very wrong - I was soaked and she wasn’t. Time for Plan B. I waded over to the side and held out my hand. “Here, help me out.”

Michelle reached out as if to grab hold, then drew her arm away and thumbed her nose at me instead. “You won’t catch me with that old trick,” she sneered. “D’you think my head zips up the back?”

Balls. This hadn’t just gone wrong, it had gone horribly, horribly wrong. By the time I had formed Plan C, which involved desperately splashing as much water as I could in Michelle’s direction, she had turned around and started walking off. I managed to leave a few dark, damp patches on her legs, but this only served as a tantalising glimpse of what might have been. The crowd followed her out of the pool area, and I fished myself out of the water and sat on the edge of the pool, too embarrassed to follow.

Except not everyone had left. Nope. Fiona was hanging back, allowing the rest of the crowd to push past her, until everyone else had gone. Fantastic. Just me and the most beautiful girl in the world, and here I was looking like a complete twonk. No doubt she’d have some sarcastic comment to make too.


It wasn’t quite what I’d expected from her, but it was good enough for me. I’m sitting on the side of a swimming pool, dripping wet, having just jumped in with my clothes on for no good reason, but let’s pretend nothing is unusual. I nodded in her direction. “Afternoon.”

Fiona giggled a bit and walked over to me. She seemed to be stuck for something to say, which was unusual. Better help her out. “You did okay at the games then,” I ventured.

“Hmmm? Oh… yeah, I suppose.” In fact, she seemed oddly distracted altogether. “I could have done without being in a team with those three brainless, muscle-bound jerks from marketing though.”

I laughed, although it was more of a nervous giggle as Fiona knelt down beside me on the pool edge. For a moment I toyed with the idea of pushing her in, but common sense prevailed. I desperately wanted to see her soaked, but not desperately enough to risk losing her friendship. There was still something odd about her behaviour though. “Are you okay?” I asked.

“Mmmm,” she said again. “Yeah. I, er… yeah.” She giggled again and stood up as if to leave, but instead she walked over to the side of the room and leaned against the wall as she removed her shoes. Forgetting my idea of playing it cool, I watched open-mouthed as she placed the shoes carefully on the floor by the wall, walked back to the pool and sat down beside me, dipping her stocking-clad feet into the water as she did so.

I gave a small, involuntary yelp of pain as I pinched myself to make sure this wasn’t some kind of dream, but Fiona didn’t notice. She was too busy swishing her feet back and forth through the water, a devilish grin spreading across her face at the realisation of what she had just done. Supporting herself on her hands, she lifted both feet out of the water and stretched her legs out in front of her, allowing the water to drain from her black tights, now gloriously shiny from just below the knees. It briefly occurred to me that it would have been even better if she’d kept her shoes on, but that was just being greedy.

“I always wanted to do this,” she suddenly offered by way of explanation.

“What?” I asked, startled out of my train of thought.

She lowered her feet back into the pool. “My mother was always obsessed with the idea that I should never get my clothes wet,” she explained. “I was never allowed to go anywhere without an umbrella. Even at the seaside, I couldn’t go paddling without changing into a swimsuit first. ‘You’ll catch your death of cold!’ she would say. So I’ve always wanted to know what it feels like to get wet with all your clothes on.”

I nodded sagely. Unsure of what to say, I settled for “Right.”

Suddenly she lifted her feet out again, this time planting them firmly back on dry land. “You think I’m stupid, don’t you?” Again she got up as if to leave.

Uh-oh. “No, of course not!” I assured her, trying to sound encouraging but not as desperate as I felt. “Come on in, the water’s lovely…”

I watched as she walked away. The gorgeous Fiona had been about to get all her clothes soaking wet and I had somehow talked her out of it. Now she would just take her tights off to let them dry, slip her shoes back on and go back to the bar.

“Well, I don’t care if you do,” she announced. I was wrong again. She did slip her shoes back on, but on top of her still wet tights. “I’m going to do this, and I’m going to do it properly.”

The click of her pointy-toed, spiky-heeled shoes on the poolside tiles, and the gentle squish of her wet feet inside them, was enough to send me wild. I had to adjust the bottom of my still damp t-shirt in order to disguise the growing bulge in the front of my trousers. Was she really going to do this? In her best clothes? She could easily change back into the clothes she’d had on earlier, but I wasn’t about to suggest this to her. Instead I concentrated on not drooling as Fiona once again sat down beside me and dipped her feet back in the pool, shoes and all. This time she giggled even more. “This is so outrageous!” she laughed.

“Go on then,” I smiled encouragingly. “I won’t tell your mother.”

Fiona laughed again and stretched her right leg out in front of her, allowing the water to drain from her shoe. “I can’t decide whether to do it slowly, or just jump in,” she confessed.

From a purely selfish point of view, I decided to persuade her to string it out for as long as possible. Looking around, I noticed that the far end of the pool had a set of steps built into it. “Why don’t you go down the steps over there?” I asked. “That way, if you decide you don’t want to get completely soaked, you can stop…” Don’t tell her that! Pillock.

Without a word, Fiona stood up and walked towards the far end of the pool, her waterlogged shoes now making a more pronounced squelch as well as a clicking noise. After only a few steps, however, her shoes lost their grip on the tiles and she started to lose her balance. With a startled “Waaaahp!” she managed to steady herself before falling over.

“Are you okay?” I asked. I didn’t want her to hurt herself - if nothing else, it was going to take some explaining.

“I’m fine,” she replied, “but this surface wasn’t designed for wet heels. I should have kept my trainers on!”

But I had a better idea. The playing it cool approach had gone on long enough; I stood up, walked over to Fiona and took her hand. “Here,” I said, “let me help.”

Blimey, physical contact. I was half expecting a punch in the mouth, but it never arrived. Instead, Fiona giggled and grabbed hold of my arm. “Thanks,” she said. Looking at her, I wondered if she could feel my pulse racing as we walked slowly and carefully to the pool steps. I noticed water was dripping from my hair onto her shoulder, producing a dark, damp patch on her sleeve. Without thinking, I gently brushed away the excess water from her arm. “Sorry,” I said, “I’ve made you all wet.”

Hmmm, that wasn’t how I had meant it to sound. Fiona just smiled and arched an eyebrow enigmatically. Beautiful, intelligent, great fun and she could raise each eyebrow independently! What a girl!

We came to a halt at the edge of the pool. Still holding Fiona’s hand, I stepped into the water. The devilish grin spread across her face again as I turned to face her. I took her other hand as well, ostensibly for extra support, but mainly for the thrill of holding her. “Are you ready?” I asked.

“Let’s do it,” she giggled.

Still holding both her hands, I took a step backwards. Cautiously, Fiona dipped her right foot into the water and put her weight on the first step, forcing a cloud of tiny air bubbles out of her shoe as she did so. Holding on to my hands for dear life, she did the same with the left foot. She wriggled her toes, sending another cloud of bubbles through the ankle-deep water.

I took another step backwards. Again she followed, soaking her tights again as the water reached her knees. Her clothes were still no wetter than they had been before, although the hem of her skirt dangled perilously close to the surface of the water. This was the point of no return.

Another step. Grinning wildly, Fiona stepped down and allowed her skirt to enter the water. I had been trying my hardest to look her in the eyes, but as the water settled around the middle of her thighs I gave up. Her skirt was quite tight and didn’t float around much, but the black material turned tantalisingly shiny as the water lapped around it.

Another step. Fiona gave a gasp as the cool water rose to her hips, submerging her skirt completely and (out of my view, of course) soaking through her underpants. The bottom of her shirt, hanging loose over her skirt, began to float on the surface of the water, offering just a hint of bare midriff underneath.

The final step. Now the water was past her waist. The pale blue cotton of her shirt absorbed the water immediately and moulded itself to the shape of Fiona’s body. With a whoop of delight, she let go of my hands and launched herself forward into the water.

I stood back to admire the view. Fiona’s clothed body was completely submerged; only her head was above the surface, although the ends of her hair dangled in the water. She swam a couple of strokes, then gave up any lingering thoughts of keeping her hair dry, and dove under. Her legs broke the surface of the water as she dove, and I got a quick, tantalising glimpse of Fiona’s gleaming, drenched tights and shoes before they went under again.

I watched transfixed as she swam around me. After all those false starts, this was a far better result than I had even dared hope for. Somehow, God knows how, I had coaxed the gorgeous Fiona into the pool, fully clothed, and she seemed to be loving it. She surfaced in front of me, scooped the water out of her eyes, slicked back her hair, and grinned at me. I grinned back, struggling to maintain something resembling eye contract and not to notice how her soaked shirt clung to her body and showed off her bra underneath. While we both tried to think of what to say, I suddenly became aware of approaching footsteps.

Fiona must have heard them too, because we both turned towards the door with a look of horror. Everyone knew I’d been in the pool, but seeing Fiona fully clothed in the water too would take some explaining. As the footsteps came nearer, she formed a plan. “Hide me!” she hissed, before wading over to the side of the pool nearest the entrance, taking a very deep breath and submerging.

Unsure of quite what to do, I waded over to stand behind Fiona, and leant over her, resting my hands on the edge of the pool, so as to obscure her submerged figure from prying eyes. Just in time, because as I did so, in walked one of the brainless, muscle-bound hunks who had been in Fiona’s team earlier. I decided once again to pretend nothing was unusual.

“Er, hi,” he said. I had no idea of his name, and no particular desire to find out. “You, er, haven’t seen Fiona anywhere have you? She said she was coming back to the bar with us, but she hasn’t shown up and…”

He certainly talked a lot for a Neanderthal. Normally I would have let him talk, just to see if he was capable of finishing the sentence, but my main concern was to get rid of him before Fiona ran out of air and had to surface. “Yeah, she went home, she said she had a migraine,” I lied.

“Oh,” he said. I watched his face contort as he tried to think what to do next. Meanwhile, the still submerged Fiona had, for some reason, wrapped her arms around my legs and was now squeezing them quite tightly, presumably to signify that she was running out of air. “Oh,” the Neanderthal said again. “Right. Well, er, cheers then.”

He finally turned and walked away. Before he’d gone I had let go of the side of the pool and reached down to help Fiona up. She emerged spluttering, gasping for air, her hair in her face, and for the first time I wondered if she’d decided this was a stupid idea after all. “Who was it? What did you say?” she asked.

“One of those dorks from your team, looking for you. I told him you’d gone home with a migraine.”

“Oh, thank God for that.” Fiona slicked back her wet hair. “They’ve been getting on my nerves all day, the last thing I wanted was to have to spend all night in the bar with them too. Then I really would have had a migraine.”

I shrugged. “Happy to help,” I grinned.

“Thank you,” she grinned back, and kissed me on the cheek. I could have sworn the water had started to boil around me. Fortunately, before I could do anything stupid like declaring undying love for her, she grabbed me by the shoulders and ducked me under the water.

Wow. I wished I’d thought of doing that. Now that I was underwater, I had a perfect view of Fiona’s fantastic legs, still encased in saturated nylon; the shoes, now probably ruined, still on her feet; her skirt swirling provocatively around her thighs. Realising I’d almost certainly never have another chance like this, I grabbed Fiona by the waist and pulled her under the water with me. Instinctively she grabbed hold of the nearest object for support, but as the nearest object was me, it did her no good whatsoever. Her squeal of startled protest turned to mere bubbles as she joined me beneath the surface of the pool.

So there we were. Fully clothed, underwater, me with my arms around Fiona’s waist, she with hers around my neck, and surprisingly not in a manner which suggested she was about to throttle me. I had lost count of the number of times I’d been unable to believe my luck, but we weren’t finished yet. By now I was so turned on that Fiona must surely have noticed what was going on “downstairs”. Was that why she seemed to be pressing her body closer to mine? Or was it the force of the water and my over-active imagination? Ah well, in for a penny. I tightened my grip around Fiona’s waist and pulled her closer to me. To my continued amazement, she responded positively, and started to run her hands up down my back. Spurred on by this, I did the same to her, savouring the feel of her body under the wet cotton in my hands. Tentatively, I moved my hands downwards towards her bottom. Fiona responded by pulling me even closer and pressing her lips against mine. We had to surface.

And surface we did, as one, gasping for air, and then suddenly kissing passionately, bodies pressed together, legs entwined, hands exploring each other’s bodies through our soaked clothing. By now surprise was no longer adequate, and I was forced to resort to astonishment. I didn’t have a free hand with which to pinch myself again, but I could feel Fiona’s hands all over me, and if this was a dream, it was an astonishingly vivid one.

“We should get out of here,” Fiona said suddenly. “Can you imagine if Young Mr Grace saw us here? It would finish the old duffer off.” We laughed, and then kissed again, making no effort to actually get out of there.

“What shall we do then?” I asked, tentatively.

Fiona shrugged her wet shoulders. “I can’t really go out anywhere. I’ve only got my nasty old tracksuit to change back into. Damn, I never thought of that.” Her face fell slightly, and she levered herself out of the water to sit on the edge of the pool. The water drained out of her clothes and left them clinging to her body.

Still standing in the pool, I began to caress Fiona’s lower legs, which still dangled in the water. “I’ll give you a lift home if you like,” I ventured.

“Well, if you don’t mind,” she smiled. “I can’t go home on the bus with the rest of them anyway, seeing as I went home with a migraine about an hour ago.”

“Good point,” I grinned, climbing out of the pool with as much dignity as I could muster.

After removing her shoes for ease of movement, Fiona rose to her feet and padded over to the door. I followed, first of all at a respectful distance, which allowed me to savour the sight of her drenched clothes one last time, and then much closer as I remembered she probably wouldn’t object if I put my arms around her. This was going to take some getting used to…