**Author's Note: Well, hello all. I wrote another short story. I was writing in my longer story, Blood-Streaked, and I used the word "aphrodisiac." Just like that I had the title to my new short story. It's, well, a somewhat sexual story. You all must have gathered that from the title, but hey. I think it's cute. I hope you all like this short story and I will try to post another chapter of Blood-Streaked soon. Another side note, Tim Horton's is the Canadian equivalent to Krispy Kremes. With that all said, Read, Review and enjoy!**
"Wake up, sleepyhead," my roommate said as she groped through her purse looking for her keys. She had showered, dressed, curled her hair and artfully applied makeup onto her face. All this was done before seven am in the morning. The girl was obviously demented. She had to be. Who else would actually like being up at this ungodly hour?
Being the morning person that I am, I told her, "Go away."
"Madison, you have to get up now. You start work at eight o'clock and we both know it takes you an hour to get ready," Camille reminded me.
More than anything, I wanted to ignore her. I wanted to turn my back to her, snuggle deeper into the covers and fall back into blissful oblivion, but she was right. I did have to get up and go to work. Still, none to gracefully, I moaned, "I don't feel well! My head hurts and my stomach is unsettled. I think I'm coming down with a fever and is… is the room spinning? Oh, I'm so dizzy, too."
I peaked out from underneath the cover to see if she was actually buying what I was saying. It was safe to say that she wasn't. Okay, so I wasn't ever going to win a Golden Globe Award for outstanding acting. "Alright, alright, I'll get up and go to work sick," I churlishly declared.
"Ah ha, I found my keys!" Camille cried out happily. She looked upon me and shook her head. "You aren't getting out of work today. If you really don't feel well, take some aspirin out of the bathroom cabinet. It'll help with your headache, stomachache, fever and dizziness. Ciao, Madi."
She flounced out of the room and skipped out of the apartment. She would spend the day frolicking in a field full of flowers. Camille was simply much too optimistic. Whatever rose-tinted glass she wore needed to be crushed to pieces and those pieces should be burned. I sighed. Whereas Camille was entirely too optimistic, I was entirely too bitter.
I shoved the covers away and trudged over to the bathroom. My head really did hurt. Still half-asleep, my clumsy hand knocked over two bottles. One of which was the aspirin. I picked up the bottle, took two pills from it and placed it on the counter and put the other one back into the cabinet. After having scalding water beat down upon me in the shower and a cup of coffee, I was ready to face my day.
I yanked on my clothes, ran a brush through my damp hair and was ready to face my day sans makeup. It was a quarter to eight and it took ten minutes to get to work. I worked at Chapters, the Canadian equivalent to Barnes and Noble. However, like Barnes and Noble, every Chapters came equipped with a Starbucks. If I got there five minutes early, I could have breakfast there.
The front window that displayed the bestsellers was decorated for Christmas with fake snow, tinsel and wrapped boxes. I stamped the snow off my boots on the red rug placed just inside the doors. I liked the bookstore with its hardwood floors and fireplace off to the side. Not to mention the endless stacks of books. Not all confirmed bookworms worked at libraries. Some, like myself, worked at bookstores.
After grabbing a croissant, I went into the back to check in and pull on the green vest that constituted for our uniforms and the Santa hat. My boss, Marcus thought it was a great idea to get into the festive spirit. The rest of us thought we looked like dorks, but hey, he was the one who handed out the paychecks. What he said went.
I polished off my croissant and began to work. It was the holiday season which meant more customers came into the bookstore to buy a gift for someone else. Most of them couldn't distinguish the kid's sci-fi section from the romance section even with those large signs clearly labeling the sections. It didn't bother me much. Without them, I wouldn't have a job either.
The day didn't become unusual until about nine that morning. I was feeling restless, but I do tend to get restless when I have nothing to do. I was helping Aidan stock the shelves and catching up while doing so. We had both been working in the bookstore for almost a year, but Aidan didn't normally take morning shifts. As he was talking about his new girlfriend, my gaze slipped down to focus on his mouth.
He had soft, supple lips. He had a very kissable mouth. Whoever this lucky new girlfriend was made him happy and every time he thought of her, this tender, silly smile appeared on his face. Out of nowhere, I wanted nothing more then to wrap my hands around his head and pull those lips down to mine. I wanted that mouth to devour me, to lick me all over, to lap me up until I purred.
"Madi?" he questioned.
I shook my head to dispel those wayward thoughts and replied, "Yes?" I almost groaned. I sounded like a breathless idiot.
"Is something wrong?" he asked, concerned.
"Um, no, I don't think so. Why would you think that?"
He laughed. "I don't know. It was probably nothing, but for a second, I thought I might have said something wrong. You looked like you were going to jump me or something."
I laughed, as well. Little did he know, that was exactly what I had almost done. "Oh, I think I see a confused and lost customer. I better go help them out."
Aidan looked up and saw the customer that I was referring to. "We should go out sometime for coffee or something. You know, catch up while not doing work." I thought about coffee in bed, but he continued, "I would really like for you to meet my girlfriend. I think you would really like her."
I smiled at him. "I would like that, too. We'll set a date later. I can't wait!" Liar, liar, pant on fire! A mocking voice in my head screamed.
I headed for the customer who was in need of my help. By some cruel trick of fate, the customer was an attractive male maybe in his mid-twenties. His hair was auburn and his eyes were a vibrant green. He had a nice lean, muscular body and it was obvious that he worked out. Those broad shoulders tapered down to a narrow waist. I could imagine him shirtless, lifting weights, a sheen of sweat covering his able body.
Being the confirmed bookworm that I am, I tend to be shy around strangers. Sure, I can open up later on, but the first few meetings with someone I don't know, I tend to find awkward. It was one of the reasons I found working in a bookstore so appealing. What I didn't do was take a quick inventory of every male to see if he could fulfill my every sexual fantasy as I seemed to be doing now.
"Hello, sir, may I help you?" I queried in a perky voice. Help you out of your pants and into mine? Help you test out your endurance as you strain above me? Christ, was that fire raging out of control? It really was getting hot.
He smiled at me as he spoke. "Yes, I was wondering if you could help me find a book. I'm a bit embarrassed, but it's for my fiancée. It's, well, something along the lines of one thousand and one ways to make love to your partner."
Method one: have mad, hot, passionate sex with the woman who works at the bookstore in front of a fireplace. "No need to be embarrassed. I'll help you find it," I assured him. As long as you test every one of those methods on me first! I could see it clearly now. We would strip one another with our teeth; he'd push aside all the books on that table, lay me down atop of it and take me in one powerful thrust. Did I mention he had an Irish accent? It was stuff wicked dreams were made of.
I found the book and drifted off again into my own wicked thoughts when his hand brushed mine to take the book from my hands. I actually jumped at the contact. He grinned. "It is quite graphic, isn't it?" For a horrifyingly long second, I thought he had read my mind or I had spoken my thoughts aloud, but he continued, "At least they have their clothes on."
The cover! He was talking about the book cover where a fully clothed couple lay entangled in a passionate embrace. "Yes, wearing clothes is good," I replied. I realized what an idiot I sounded like and felt my face go red.
"I'll go and pay for this," he said with a knowing smile. "Thanks for your help. I appreciate it." I would have appreciated if he took off all his clothes and left himself at my mercy. I could have guaranteed we both would have enjoyed it.
After that incident, I dealt with two other customers who were thankfully female and one more blonde male. It was just like the others. I stammered like an incompetent moron while I resisted the urge to lock him into a closet with me and ravish him. Thankfully, all he needed was to be taken to the section he wanted to be in where I left him to browse. However, the temptation of that dark closet didn't end until he was gone. Even after that, all I could think of was Aidan, the Irishman and that blonde Adonis… together.
Business slowed and I went behind the counter to ring up someone's purchase. One of the cashiers, Kelly had gone on her break with Aidan, I noted with a dark glower. The other, Yasmine really had to go to the bathroom. It was almost one thirty and she had been working since eight, like me. So I took her place while she relieved herself. Taking a magazine off the rack, I flipped through it absentmindedly while trying to discern exactly what the hell was going on.
"I suppose I shouldn't be surprised to find you with your nose in a book," a male voice drawled.
I looked up and frowned at the sight of him. It was James Claybourne. No where else on this earth could I, or anyone else for that matter, find another man who would be more arrogant, egotistical and rakish than this man. I had met him a couple of times before when all my friends would invite me to gather. They often invited him and few of his friends, too. After two pitiful attempts of conversation, it was obvious that James was my antithesis.
"Actually, it's a magazine," I pointed out. Whatever freaky incident brought upon my eruption of lustful, carnal fantasies involving complete strangers would not be exercised on him. Thank God for that!
Yasmine returned and reclaimed her post which meant I would probably have to help him find a book or whatever he was here for. "Is there something specific you want here or was the lineup at Tim Horton's so long that you decide to make do with Starbucks?"
"Surprise, surprise, I am actually here for a book," he answered. Before I could retort with a witty, sarcastic comment, he remarked, "Cute hat." That shut me up.
"I need to find a biography on Alexander the Great," he replied.
I took him the bookshelf at the back of the store where hardly any customers came. These books mostly collected dust. "There is a small selection of books on Alexander the Great. You should choose however many you may need. Is this for someone else or are you actually interested in conquering warriors and such?"
He gave me an odd look and a half smile. "Maybe I am into conquering."
My throat became dry and I had to swallow. Oh dear lord, God was cruel after all. It was starting again. He had that rough, rugged look with his hair not quite at his shoulder, but still longer than most guys kept it. He had high gothic cheek bones and a strong jaw. His smoking grey eyes were best described as piercing and his body was more muscled than the Irishman, but hardly that bulging quality most men thought women found attractive. Not him, I begged, anyone but him!
He hadn't noticed my distress because he had been looking at the selection, but he turned to me and asked for my advice. "What do you think?"
I think that I wouldn't even have to pull you into the closet to ravish you because no one comes to this section anyway. I think that if we were to do anything, no one would be able to see use because we are in such an isolated corner of the store. I think I want you to take me against this wall. What I said was, "I think it would depend on how much you are willing to read about this guy without getting bored."
"I suppose I am looking for something interesting. Not just a short picture book with only basic facts, but not a never-ending book of dry facts," he answered.
Distracting myself with the books didn't keep my mind off of him, but it helped keep my emotions in check. "There is a book here about three to four hundred pages. It's more like an informative novel rather than an encyclopedia. Oh, I think I see it there."
It was on one of the higher shelves so I had to stretch out onto the tips of my toes so I could just barely reach it. I supposed he stepped closer to help, but I had already gotten a hold of it and turned around to face him. In doing so, my body brushed against his in the most seductive manner and I found myself in his arms. For someone who had only thought of sex all day, this was not a good position to find one in. A small concession was that he was obviously as affected as I was.
We both froze and looked over each other with surprise and newly discovered desire. Well, I wasn't all that surprised; after all, I had been like this all day. I was, however, surprised that he seemed to be affected, too. He leaned towards me until his lips were just a breath away from mine, but then his lips moved to my ear where he whispered, "Thank you for helping me find my book." Then he leaned back and turned away to leave me.
I stood there for a moment unable to believe what happened, but then I grabbed his arm and yanked him back to me. This time, I wrapped my arms around his neck and kissed him. I was finally able to release the tension that had been building up inside of me all day.
He was shocked, to say at least. He slowly began responding and then much to my contentment; he began kissing back with just as much passion. Within seconds, he became the aggressor and I became the responder. Christ, the man knew how to kiss a woman. Our lips melded, our tongues danced and our hands wandered. His hands had slipped under my shirt and were caressing my bare back.
I wanted nothing more than for our clothes to simply melt away and leave nothing but skin to skin contact. I arched, pressed and rubbed against him. His lips were at my neck, sucking, licking, and nibbling. I purred with delight. Yes, I actually purred! He chuckled and pressed my back against the wall as we continued our ardent spurt of lust.
"Oh, God, I'm sorry," Aidan said as he backed away from the bookshelf. I gasped and we instantly broke apart. "Oh, no, don't stop on my account. I'll just drop these books off here and put them away later." Aidan was hardly embarrassed. He was actually grinning at me as he left.
I glanced at James to see him watching me with that sexy grin of his. He was laughing at me! The rogue was actually laughing while I was mortified. I felt my face burning with humiliation. I grabbed the book from his hand and mumbled, "You should go pay for this at the front counter." Without waiting for him, I left for the front counter.
I ignored Aidan's teasing looks and Yasmine's questioning ones. She probably had noticed my crimson face and James' satisfied smirk. "Yasmine, ring this up for him and I'm going on a ten-minute break."
"Your shift ends in fifteen minutes. You can just go," Yasmine replied.
I sent her a grateful smile and left for the backroom without looking at James once. I even went so far as to leave through the back door just to avoid him. The cold air did wonders to cool my still aflame face. Damn it, of all people to randomly start making out with, why him? If it had been a stranger, at least I wouldn't have had to face him again.
I thought of all the different scenarios that he would humiliate me further in front of all my friends. I wanted to run away, far away where I would never ever have to face him again. By the time I got to my apartment, I was considerably disheartened. How could I lose all my self-control, my disciplines, and morals? It was as if I was under someone's spell or a drug. I froze in the act of taking off my coat. A drug! Tossing off my boots, I ran to the bathroom and picked up the bottle I had taken two pills from.
Herbal Bliss, it was an anti-depressant. Camille had gone through a rough time several months ago. Her childhood sweetheart had left her and her mother had gotten quite sick. She had probably bought it then and she had needed it. However, now she had another boyfriend and was madly in love with him. Her mother had also recovered nicely from her bout of pneumonia. She probably forgot to throw it out.
I turned the bottle around to read the side-effects and there it was. The explanation for all the baffling events that had occurred that day was printed in clear, bold letters. May have effect of mild aphrodisiac. Mild, my ass. There was nothing mild about what happened today. I couldn't wait to tell Camille, even if it meant she would tease me about it for the rest of my life. She should have kept dangerous stuff like this in a much safer place.
As if granting my wish, there was a knock on the door. She had probably forgotten something and come to pick it up before she went out to meet the new boyfriend's parents. I went to the door with the bottle still in my hand and flung the door open. I felt my face flush bright red when I saw James leaning against the doorframe.
"Well, hello, Madison. Is Camille here?" he queried.
Foolishly, I was somewhat hurt that he wasn't here for me, but that was stupid. The only reason I had wanted him was because of the drug. "Nope, I'm sorry, she's not in. She won't be back until much later tonight."
A wicked smile flashed across his face. "Good," he declared as he grabbed my waist, hauling me against him for a kiss as he closed the door.
I pulled away, frantically, feeling the heat of his kisses melting away the resolutions for never wanting to see him again. I wanted to see him… preferably in my bed. Stepping back, I told him "Wait, about what happened in the bookstore, I didn't mean to."
He raised an eyebrow. "Oh, you didn't?" There was a wealth of amusement in his voice. He took a step closer.
I licked my dry lips and his eyes followed my tongue's progress. I shoved the bottle at him. "It was that! I thought it was aspirin and I didn't know anything about the side effects. It was seven in the morning and I was tired. I didn't know what was going on until I came home and read that."
He had stopped advancing on me and read the side effects that were listed on the bottle. He looked up at me. "You took this at seven in the morning?"
I nodded. "I thought it was aspirin."
He was grinning in that way which I had recognized now as dangerous for my mental stability. I still wanted to kiss that grin off his face. "I came to Chapters at around two o'clock."
His grin widened. "The effects of the drug wore off after five hours. That would mean the drugs wore off at twelve. The drug wasn't why you were kissing me like that."
I opened my mouth to reply, but then closed it. I swallowed and tried unsuccessfully to come up with another answer for my actions. No brilliant reasons came to save me from the incredibly awkward position.
He took another step closer toward me and lifted my chin to make me look at him. "Madison, do you want to continue what we started in the bookstore?"
I froze with indecision and then decided to be honest. "Yes," I whispered hoarsely.
He let out a laugh and kissed me again. "Thank God, I thought I might die if you said no," he admitted as he lowered me onto the couch.
"What's your reason for kissing me in the bookstore? You weren't on an aphrodisiac," I said between kisses.
"Sure I was," James answered. "You are my aphrodisiac and I am happily addicted."
**Well, there we go. It is a short story, so I am ending it off there. I am also aware it's not quite realistic, but that's why it's fiction. I hope you all liked it enough to review. Thank you, Flawless Storm.**