First TimeA Study in Fragrance Pt. 03
Author's Note: In case you're starting with this chapter, a quick summary of what's happened so far. Emily, our protagonist, has discovered a room that no one in her family had been aware of. With more self-confidence than was prudent, the North American, white 18 year-old has enlisted the help of a construction worker, hired by her mother to remodel the basement. She has decided that she wants more than just his labor; she's set her sights on getting laid.
Opening her eyes to the sunlight she panicked. It was a double-swim day. FUCK, lifting her head to look at her parents' clock she lay back down relieved. 5:07. She had enough time to rinse off, slip on her suit and get to the club pool.
It was a perfect antidote to the previous night's anxiety. Even though swimming was the hardest for her, she considered it a challenge to overcome. Focusing only on the rhythm of her body as it sliced through the water, her heart beating in her ears, the micro-timing of taking a breath, all of it forced her complete attention.
When she got back to the house, the temperature had already started to climb. The air, fresh and sweet right after the storm, had become muggy and heavy. The sounds of construction and demolition greeted her as she entered the kitchen; she ran upstairs, before anyone could see her, to rinse off and get properly dressed for breakfast.
Stripping her suit off, she hopped in the shower and washed the chemicals from her hair. She worked the lather under her arms and through her triangle, small jolts hitting her every time her thumb brushed across her clit, bringing her back to the prior night. Her imagination drifted to when it might happen. Today? She wasn't ready for it today, but in some ways she knew it wasn't in her control. If Cos wanted to take her, she imagined not resisting, but she doubted he would go that far today. She needed to play things cool, but not cold. Just keep it under wraps (she smiled at the expression given she'd done nothing of the kind the day before) to prove to him she could keep a confidence. But then she wondered if she would strip again. The self-doubt from the night, though less intense, briefly popped into her head as she was drying off. Her feelings of embarrassment about what she'd done lingered, but she would probably do it again. Maybe he'll expect it.
Downstairs, her thoughts wandered to more immediate concerns: breakfast and how to stay cool before she started working later in the afternoon. From her safe corner of the kitchen she focused on her meal and her phone, checking to see if anyone was available for a movie or a trip to the mall. Emily looked up whenever one of the guys made an appearance, acknowledging them no matter who it was. She didn't react any differently when Cos popped out and ignored him until he caught her eye.
"I've got some materials for the door, and I'll need your help carrying some tools up the stairs. You'll be ready around 3:30?" Interesting. He silently complemented her for not being a stupid twat. Still, her behavior the day before had destroyed any trust. She had a lot of work to do to regain it.
"You bet! That sounds great. Did you figure out both doors?" She tried to make it look like his conversation was extraordinary and unexpected.
"Welllll," he stopped and looked out the window. "The swinging door we agreed on. I've got the materials, except for the hardware. The wood turns out to be in much better shape than I remembered. Hopefully somebody will have the hardware in stock. The closet door, we'll want to talk about that one. You've got a couple of options, one a little less expensive than the other."
She didn't want to risk digging into the details or know what he meant exactly. She kept her poker face, but she could feel her thighs press together at the idea he was going to extract even more from her. She fought against how humiliating it might be for her, of how he might use her. The tendril, quiet until that moment, leapt up, brushing its tip against her chest. She inhaled slowly and quietly, nodding. "Okay," she responded noncommittally. "Can't wait to see what you've got."
The little minx. Flirty flirty. I showed you mine, show me yours. That's not the way it's going to work. You need to earn it. He pressed his lips together, the corners of his mouth curling up, shaking his head and turning away.
She didn't break her poker face the entire time, but her heart pounded in her chest.
She got back to the house later than she'd hoped. As she drove up, she saw the crew leaving. Waving and thanking them, she rushed in to get changed.
"Hey Cos!" She shouted through the back door as she bolted up the stairs. "I'll be right down after I put on some work clothes!" And then stopped short when she saw him upstairs measuring the opening.
"Oh?" He looked at her over his shoulder. "Why bother?" His tone was hard to read. Okay. Step 3. Take control of the fucking situation.
She walked up to him, unable to see if he was being ironic, sardonic, dismissive or just a prick. Without waiting to find out exactly what he meant she pulled off her shirt and dropped her skirt, stepping out of it without bending down, staring at him the entire time. "I'll just be a minute," she said, slipping past him, slipping out of her shoes before she turned into her room.
"What'd you figure out?" She shouted as she pulled on a button-down and her jeans. It was beastly hot; she stopped to open her window and before she joined him at the opening, detoured into a couple of bedrooms to open theirs as well.
"Listen." He sounded annoyed or something. "Downstairs. We have to talk."
For the first time, she was worried. Now she could see he was pissed.
"I didn't ask for this," he stared at her over the kitchen counter. "You come at me," he waved at her as if she was undressed, "and you expect to get your way." Who does she think she is? She can't just wave her pussy at you and expect you to drool like an 18 year old kid.
She held his gaze, waiting. If he was really determined to call it quits, he wouldn't be so angry.
"Mac's a good guy. I've got a lot to lose here." He wiped the sweat from his face. "And you're fucking it up." He was gearing up for the full court press.
"Cos," she said quietly. "Listen. Seriously. I'm not. I thought we had an understanding…I'm…I'm sorry, about yesterday okay?" She spread her hands trying her best to look vulnerable. She saw the look of raw lust in his eyes and the anger. Fuck fuck fuck! Thin ice. You're on really thin ice here. "It was really hot, and I thought…I…I'm serious about the work. I really want it done. If it makes a difference, I'll just pay you for your time. I…." she didn't want to cry but it was hard not to. She could feel the tears about to overflow.
"As if…" he said quietly, looking at her. "It's too late for that. Do you have any idea how fucked up this is? Mac's client's daughter struts her stuff to the idiot carpenter. She cries to daddy when the shit goes down, he loses his job and maybe goes to jail." He stared at her, his eyes so hot. "He's an attorney, right?" She has no idea where this is going. You've got to win the advantage here. Or walk away. But she's already fucked up. He could explain what happened to Mac. Risky, but still doable.
She wrapped her arms around herself but wouldn't look away. "It's not like that. It wouldn't be like that. I…I…yeah, okay, I'm young, I get it. I'm inexperienced. You…fuck, Cos, you're…hot. You're so fucking hot…I…yeah, okay. I'm sorry. I fucked it up. I'm sorry." She started crying for real. It really was all fucked up. She'd fucked it up by going too far yesterday. She had a huge hole in the wall and her dream summer was falling apart. She had closed her eyes, and when she opened them and wiped away the tears he was still there, staring at her. "I need the work done, Cos. I'm sorry. What can I do to get you to help me?" Shit! That came out wrong!
Keep up the pressure, she's close but not there yet. She's still asking not offering. So much ground to win. He looked away, across the kitchen, fuming. "I need some kind of guarantee. I can't have you crying rape cuz I didn't kiss you goodnight or treat you like a little princess. You're throwing yourself at me. You're a fucking hot fox and you're throwing yourself at me. I didn't ask for any of it. So what are you going to do for me?"
Okay okay okay. We still have a deal. He just needs assurances. She tried to breathe without sobbing and failed, her breath catching. Holding the counter edge she got herself under control and inhaled slowly. "I…I…I don't know. But I'll think of something. I will. I need your help…upstairs. I really need it. I…" Shut up. Don't beg. Don't tell him you'll do anything. You won't. He needs a guarantee. What can you do? And then it hit her and she exhaled and found her rhythm. Breathing again, she looked up at him. You can't go back after this. You do this and it's done.
"Cos?" She waited for him to look at her. His anger was under control, but for how long? "Take out your phone. Start a video."
She waited until he was recording. "Okay. First of all, I'm sorry for putting you in an awkward position. It wasn't right." She started unbuttoning her shirt. She could see him getting upset, but she held up her hand. "It's okay. I'm going to give you the guarantee you were asking for." She slipped the shirt off and bent down to untie her shoes. "Keep recording. I want to do a real one when I don't look so upset, but this will have to do until I'm more together." Standing up she undid her jeans and slipped them down, stepping out of them. "I'm of legal age of consent, and I am willingly undressing to prove that I am willing to do whatever it takes for Cos to do the work I need done in exchange for whatever he wants me to do," cringing at her awkwardness…it's not worth correcting…just keep going! She slipped out of her bra and pulled down her underwear, turning to make sure the kitchen was in the background. She stood away from the counter so he could see her full frontal, from naked feet past her brunette triangle up to her breasts and face. Later, when she looked at it she cringed again. Her eyes were puffy and red, she sounded like an idiot. "You've got to get rid of this," she had begged him. "You've got the other one. This is so…degrading." He turned to look at it, smiling. "I like it better. It's so raw. You're so desperate."
She looked to see his expression and his face had gone slack, his head shaking in disbelief. He turned off the phone and set it down, staring at her. She couldn't figure his expression.
"What the fuck." Well I'll be a monkey's uncle. Never would have expected that. Better than what I could have dreamed up. He kept those thoughts buried, his expression not quite as hard as he would have liked, but not the jumping for joy he felt inside. If she's willing to go this far, she'll go as far as I can push her. She claims to be an athlete…we'll see how much stamina she has. He had a raging boner, but he couldn't let her see it.
Confused. Good. Better he's confused.
He waved her around to stand in front of him. When she was close he took his fingers and held her chin, staring into her eyes. "You serious? You do this a lot?"
She felt small even though they stood eye to eye. His fingers were rough on her skin and she shivered at what he was saying. Oh god oh god oh god…what did I just do? It was too late. She'd just sold her body to this cro-magnon, her stomach clenched. She couldn't begin to imagine what that really meant, what he might do to her. She had to regain some leverage. "We need to talk about the rules, Cos. No. I've never done this." She could see he didn't believe her. "Rules, Cos. We have to agree on the rules. You're scaring me." He had a look in his eye that could go either way. There was violence there and that wasn't what she had signed up for. She didn't have anything but a bluff a bluff in the buff…god why can't I focus???, but she could tell he was nervous. She pushed herself backward but stayed in front of him.
"You're terrifying," he breathed out. It was true, he realized. He'd never seen anyone like her. She'd just agreed to be his sex toy for the length of the job, but as sweet a prospect as that felt, he needed something more from her. He could tell she wanted something more from him. She was practically screaming to have him take her, make her his. But even with that recording he wasn't convinced he was out of the woods.
She laughed before she could stop herself, her hands covering her mouth. "I'm terrifying you? How's that even possible? I'm standing here naked; you've got 100 lbs on me. You just got a recording of me basically giving you full control of the situation. What do I have that could scare you?" This is good. He's nervous is all. Settle him down.
He looked at her like she was an idiot and waved his arms. "I'm not stupid, Emily. I may be a construction worker, but I'm not a moron. You're father's a goddamn lawyer. I may be ignorant when it comes to the law, but I don't need a law degree to tell me this is fucked up."
She exhaled. Fuck. Why should he trust me? She nodded. "But…," she had to be really careful. "But you've been thinking about it, right? After yesterday? If this was for real, you'd do me, right?" Please please just meet me half way. "I meant what I said yesterday. I'll work as hard as you need me to. I'll do whatever you need. And I want to make sure you get a fair deal. To make this fair, there has to be a fair exchange. Otherwise, Daddy will tear you to pieces." She regretted the words as soon as she said them.
And there it is. Daddy. She had daddy in her corner. Got to neutralize daddy if we're going to have a deal. He narrowed his eyes, nodding. "Exactly. That's exactly what I'm saying. That thing you just did is worthless…" Let's see what a fair deal sounds like from your side.
"No, Cos. That was sincere. I meant it. It will be good enough, but we can do better. We just need to spell out the terms. Like I said yesterday I'm willing to get dirty. But it isn't a blank check. We need to negotiate the terms. And they have to be mutually agreeable for it to hold up in court." Please go for it. Please believe I've got something here.
Such a little stuck-up rich bitch! He practically laughed inside. She has no idea what she looks like, as if she held the cards. Well, she did hold some cards, he admitted, but she wants to make a deal. Let's make a deal, Monty. He puffed out his cheeks and let his breath go, his shoulders relaxing, his head shaking. "Mother fucker. Court?" He looked back at her, sizing her up. He glanced all over her, letting her think he didn't know where to put his eyes. "You got a fucking beer?"
She turned to the refrigerator and realized, again, she was standing in her own kitchen, butt naked but now with a guy who she'd given the right to do anything he wanted with her. You really went too far this time, Em. She could feel the adrenaline rush, but she didn't have a clue what 'going too far' might actually mean.
"Can we sit down and talk about the job?" She had grabbed one for herself, inviting him to sit at the table. She picked up her shirt slipping her arms through the sleeves before joining him. She left it unbuttoned, the fabric riding the outside of her breasts She could sense his anger and fear behind every move of his eyes. He's staring at me like he's going to pounce. He's probably hard! Her eyes dropped, but the table blocked her view of his crotch. Is this how guys get when they're turned on? She knew the porn she'd seen was total bullshit, but the things her friends said about what guys did when they were horny might have a grain of truth. He wasn't thinking straight. Oh fuck. I need to take care of that.
"Maybe I could help?" She nodded down to his waist. "Just tell me what to do."
Fuck! She wants to help! He smiled internally, his predatory instincts kicking in. It's time. She's asking for it. Help her help you. He gulped his beer and looked out the window. "Hah!" He looked her in the face. "You're serious?" He studied her. "You're fucking serious. Jesus H. Christ."
"I…I want to show I mean it. I do. I need you to do the work and I promised I'd get as dirty as you wanted." She sounded so childish, but maybe it would work. "But I don't have any idea…" She twitched her lips and cheek. Fuckfuckfuck!
"Yeah," he breathed. "That would be a good start. Good faith and all that." Eager. It's too fucking hard to believe she's this eager. But he couldn't find an angle. She'd already "signed" a contract. She was still negotiating. He smiled inside again. The angle — she thinks she can get a better deal if she gives me one for free.
He sounded skeptical, but she could see the need in his eyes.
"You really don't know what you're doing, do you." Poke. Poke. Keep her off balance, see if she's really this naive.
She shook her head, fighting back the tears. She hated being so inexperienced, but this is what she was looking for: an accelerated course. "I've never done…anything before."
"Bullshit," he said quietly. "Okay. I'll play along. I'll give you this much: you're fucking hot. We'll take it slow. This is going to be a big job." Careful, big guy. Don't scare the little kitten. He laughed at himself silently. Not a chance. She's a competitor, remember? Let's see if that's true. "Get onto the floor in front of me, on your knees."
She gulped her beer, almost choking. "What?" But she could see him nodding his skepticism. "Okay. Okay. Fuckkk…"
She moved onto the floor. Wait! What about herpes or the clap or whatever???! Marcy's advice popped up. "Don't let the moment cloud your judgment. Always assume your partner is sick…until you know they aren't."
"Cos," she looked up at him, concerned. "I…uhm…I'm on the pill…so I'm not worried about getting pregnant…I mean…I know I won't get pregnant this way," she rolled her eyes at him, "but…and…I swear this is my first time…with anyone…doing anything…but…?" She looked at him, hoping he'd let her know without asking him.
"I'm clean," he grunted. She's such a cute little kitten. She'll be so sweet to fuck.
She looked at him, eyebrows raised. "I need more than that, Cos," she urged him quietly.
"Yeah," he exhaled. "I haven't been seeing anyone steady for a year. The last time I had sex was three months ago and it was a friend who I know is clean." He looked at her. "You need me to get a certificate?"
She laughed and looked down at his feet. "I don't know…Is that what people do?"
"I'm happy to get you a certificate if that will make you feel better." He made it sound like it was fine, with a tinge of her trying to back out. He was clean. He needed her to feel okay about getting down and dirty with him. He really wanted to see what she was capable of.
"I…fuckkk…I…" She pleaded with him to help her out. "I want to trust you," she whispered. She looked up to see him nodding. Was he trying to tell her it was okay to trust him or that she was right to trust him or that it was right for her to want to trust him? FUCK! She couldn't tell. She should have stopped right then and waited for him to get her proof, but her gut told her he was telling the truth.
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