First TimeA Study in Fragrance Pt. 08
Author's Note: Emily, a confident North American white 18 year old virgin has found herself slipping deeper into a contract with a workman in which she's exchanged her body for his help fixing up a hidden room. Now, after only a few days, she's concerned about how obsessed she's become with sex. She's wondering if she's been the victim of the room's prior owner, a 19th century occultist.
She woke up tired, not as ready to get back into practice as she had been the day before. 6:00. Swimming. She looked at the temperature. It was cool, the pool was going to be warm in comparison. Hopping in the shower, she rinsed the smell of wood conditioner off her skin, dried off and threw on her suit, shorts and a top. Her head was fuzzy; dreams she couldn't remember; the conversation from the night before.
She was thinking back to what she'd said to Cos, and what he'd shared with her. Could she do that? Do people really like that? The memory triggered the ball of worry, constantly lurking beneath the surface, that she was a fool or was doing something wrong. Not wrong like against the law, but like she wasn't doing something as well as she could. She didn't know what it was, exactly, but it lingered there, her constant worry.
She knew she needed to nip it in the bud before it grew too large to control.
Swimming, as always, cleared her head. The chlorine wiped the fragrance from her nose and her memory, the water, warm and embracing, her arms sluicing, her body leaping forward. She felt like a dolphin, slick from her cap, across her Speedo, to her toes. Her times were horrible, but Coach didn't seem to care. "You're doing fine, Broston. Fine. Stop trying to push it too soon. How's the body building?"
She wasn't sure if the construction work had actually been helping…maybe the gym. Last week had been the first she'd not gone, thinking she'd get what she needed from helping Cos. She thought about it on her drive back to the house. She thought about it while she showered. I need to work out more. She broke out of her thoughts and came back to the moment when she was in her room, drying off, looking at what she should wear. The jeans and t-shirt from yesterday, still crumpled on the floor? She threw on shorts and a clean t-shirt. More conditioning. And then she was downstairs scraping together scrambled eggs and cheese.
They'd agreed if she got the second coat on by 10:30, it would be dry enough to start staining later in the day. She looked at her phone; her friends were all still raving about the weekend, teasing her for not coming along. She posted pictures from the cabin: the lake, glass smooth in the morning, the loons, the cattails. She would have loved to be with them but was just as happy having cooled off with her family.
As she scanned through her photos, she saw the wood inlay, remembering she still hadn't looked up what it might be. It didn't take long: a Celtic love knot. Of course it is. Her arousal lifted up, like an animal awakened by a favorite smell. Fucckkk…Abby…
9:15. She put down her phone, ran upstairs to throw on proper work clothes and went at the second coat, but when she got to the room she saw the plywood backing sitting on the saw horses. Looking at the other pair of sawhorses, she quickly ran through the steps she'd need to take to get them all coated so they'd be dry enough later in the day. She remembered how heavy it was, and tested one side to see if she could tip it over by herself. There was no way. Convinced she needed to start with the plywood, she turned her attention to the cans and rags.
As he'd predicted, things went much faster on the second coat, the liquid spreading farther and not soaking in so fast. With the plywood finished, she focused on the smaller pieces, the time passing quickly. She returned to the plywood, testing it to see if the conditioner had dried. It wasn't even tacky.
She ran downstairs "Cos?" She yelled down to the basement.
"Wassup?" He was covered in dust.
"I…shit…I got all the second coats done except the other side of the plywood…"
"No worries! I'll be right up."
And then, back up the stairs, waiting for him, his goggles draped below his chin, white dust everywhere else.
"K. On three."
They lifted and set the piece on its edge, then flipped it and put it back on the saw horses.
"You can leave it here and we'll stain it later." He pointed to the other set. "All done?"
She nodded, turning to the rags and cans. Fifteen minutes later she had finished, long before the deadline. She brought everything downstairs to clean up..
"Hey! Em! What's up?"
"Soooo, I'm back, and I was thinking…you busy right now? You want to check out this room I'm so weirded out about?" She held her breath.
"Caroline? You there?" Emily's heart began to race, anxious her friend wouldn't be available. She didn't think she'd muster the courage a second time.
"Yeah! Yeah! Sorry. My phone. It goes on mute, like all the time. I'm so pissed at it. What? You want me to come over and see your enchantress's den of iniquity? Is it safe?"
Em knew she was poking at her, but wondered if it would be. She'd be the first person other than Cos and her, and if there was something going on…"Uhhh, I can't guarantee that, Caroline." She sounded funny to her own ears.
"Hnnh. You're serious. You think I might get infected or whatever and turn into a…" she stopped before she said something stupid.
"A…what, Caroline. What do you think I might be becoming?" She wasn't pissed, just poking back.
"Got me. Score. Ummm, when? Now? Hold on." Muffled voices. "Sure! I can be there in 15. Is your guy there?"
"Just get over here. Yes, he's here, but we're not going to look at the animals in the zoo, Caroline. We're going to see what Ms. Abeline Crewitt stored in her cabinet of curiousity."
"Curiosities. I think it's Cabinet of Curiosities."
Sheesh. Did everyone need to correct her grammar? "Yeah. What I said. See you here. 15."
She ran upstairs and found the portable apothecary box, to put it back in its rightful place, aligning it exactly over the discolored rectangle. When she entered The Study, it smelled mostly of drying conditioner, but after Emily opened the cabinet, the red-orange fog of herbs and flowers enveloped her. The memory of Caroline's massage leapt into her brain, her arousal filling her gut. Fuck. Fuck. No. Get out of here. Get your head together.
Shit! She could hear Caroline at the back door, shouting up the stairs.
"Coming!" She raced downstairs, not wanting her and Cos to meet without her there.
Too late. She walked into the kitchen to see them introducing themselves.
"Hey!" Caroline smiled and turned to her, opening her arms for an embrace. "Fuck, girl. He's a goddamn hunk," she whispered in her ear.
She nodded to Cos, seeing him check out Caroline's legs and ass. When he saw her, he winked and went downstairs. "He was so checking you out," she said as they broke apart.
Caroline just shook her head. "Sorry. I should have let you know I was here. He is a hunk, though."
"Water?" Em grabbed a glass and a pitcher.
"Got mine. So, where is this mystery room?"
"C'mon. Upstairs." She took them two at a time, both eager and anxious. As she got to the top, the perfume from the room was a mixture of the conditioner and Abby's fragrance. Emily closed her eyes, the image of her fantasy, the memory of Caroline, the spanking.
"Hey! You okay?!" Caroline reached over, putting her hands to steady her friend, swaying at the top of the stairs.
"Fuck. Yeah. Sorry. Took those too fast, 'sall."
Caroline looked at her and sniffed. "What's that smell?"
Emily nodded. "That's what I think is causing all of this."
"It smells like paint or something. That coming from here? Oh…shit. Look at this place."
They stood at the opening, the saw horses with their boards a sharp contrast to the golden tones in the floor and dark wood paneling.
"Wait," Caroline had looked to the right. "You putting in a door from your closet?" She watched Emily's face carefully.
"C'mere. Check this out." Emily crossed the room and pressed the secret latch, swinging the cabinet doors open with a warm creak.
"Holy shit. Holy holy shit." Caroline took in the array of jars and the drawers. "This woman was organized, no denying it." She knelt to look at the labels on the drawers. "Check any of this out yet?"
Emily shook her head. "Haven't had a chance. You want to look at it with me?" She stopped. "But wait. You can smell it, right?"
Caroline sniffed. "Smells really different here. Like a flower garden or something. It's really nice."
Emily nodded. "I know. Does it…do you feel anything when you smell it?" With every breath she was getting more lit up, and with it the image of kneeling. The tension returned, the tendril rose, stiffening.
Caroline looked at her, cocking her head slightly, inhaling. "Noooo. Should I? Are…wait…are you?" Caroline's eyes had gone wide. "You think this smell might be…turning you on…an aphrodisiac?" Her eyes sparkled, ready to tease her.
Emily shook her head, her eyes staring into Caroline's to make it clear how much she didn't know. "I don't fucking know. I don't know. But every time I come in here, I just want to do the most…" she checked herself, "outrageous. Things."
Caroline's eyebrows flickered and she licked her lips, squelching whatever snark she had been about to share, turning back to the drawers. "Let's check these out."
Two hours later, they'd looked in every drawer and checked every jar, careful to not open anything, unsure what might be in them. Latin was everywhere, and they figured it was just plant names. Emily mentioned the encyclopedia but every time she thought about getting it, another thing caught their attention.
One drawer was filled with nothing but candles. They stared at it, trying to decipher what was going on. It was divided into two halves, running the full width of the drawer. The front half was sealed with a glass top, hinged at the back. The glass had fogged a little, and it took a few tries for the women to get it lifted up. Inside, the section was divided into dozens of compartments, each containing several candles, faded or maybe that was their original color? A confusing aroma came out, pungent and sweet, a little off. They looked at each other and closed it quickly, turning their attention instead to the back half. A mixture of candle paraphernalia was seated in various sections: metal plates, metal wands hooked with floral bell shaped ends, and what Caroline identified as lighters. Flints and strikes.
Another was filled with mortar and pestles, their once white surfaces stained in shades of brown: brownish-red, brownish-yellow and brownish-green.
Yet another was filled with fabric that looked like cheesecloth, some cut into shapes that made Emily think of coffee filters.
The bottom drawer was where Abby had stored her drawing and painting supplies.
"Oh my god," Emily covered her mouth with her hands.
"What?!" Caroline couldn't see anything unusual.
"Hold it. Hold on." Emily raced from the room and got Abby's sketchbook. "Check this out."
She watched Caroline's face as she worked her way carefully through the pages, her eyes opening at the nudes, the simple sketches capturing the women, the intertwining of the flower imagery. "These are amazing," she said, looking up.
Emily nodded, pointing to the drawer. There were more books in there. She knelt to pick one up, only to discover it was blank. And another, this one filled with sketches of flowers, obviously done by Abby when she was outside, small dust or seed grains in the binding.
The right hand drawers inventoried, they turned their attention to the left. Like the right, some were sectioned with thin wood dividers, but here the contents were either empty or contained empty bottles, the labels blank. Others were filled with seeds, or tools and paper. The second to the bottom was stuck; they couldn't open it beyond a finger's width, the sound of clinking glass as they tugged on it. And the bottom one was completely frozen. They both struggled, pulling on it until they thought they might break something.
"I'll see if Cos has any tools to help," Emily concluded when they had given up.
Caroline stood up, checking the time. "Shit. I have to go, Emily. This was amazing."
She looked at the cabinet, closing the drawers and doors. "I know, right?" She looked back at Caroline, trying to understand the feelings swirling in her gut.
"Unnnm, I'd like to come back and look at it some more…whenever?"
Em nodded, the feelings swirling more. She walked her downstairs and out to her car.
"Listen," Emily's tone was serious. "I know you think I'm over the top, but please please please let me know if you start feeling weird, or if you and Bobby decide to do something totally radical. Yeah?"
Caroline laughed. "Okay. I'll keep you in the loop if I decide to go all the way."
Emily smiled thinly. "That's not what I'm saying. But I'm interested. Definitely. Still, I'm serious. Please call me if you feel different somehow, K?"
They hugged and Emily watched her drive away, her body on fire. She wasn't sure why. From breathing so much of the fragrance? She'd been in there longer than that before and hadn't felt this way. From being so close to Caroline? She smiled at that possibility. Caroline seemed unaffected, but maybe it took time? She needed to do something, she couldn't focus. And then she remembered Cos's homework assignment.
She went to the kitchen, thinking about food, thinking about running upstairs and using her vibrator, thinking about her homework. She heard the crew preparing to leave, the sounds of cleanup and banter coming from the basement.
She waved to them as they left, keeping her eyes glued to her phone when Cos appeared.
"Early day?" She looked up at him. She had just starting finding articles about edging and was freaking out a little.
"Gave them some deserved time off. I'm going to grab something." The question implied.
She shook her head. "I'm good. I did the second coat. You have something in mind?" She glanced upstairs and back. Since being in The Study her vagina had been squishy, her nipples hard against her shirt, wondering whether Caroline had noticed. Now, after diving into her homework, the articles she'd read had made her squirm. The women talking about how incredible it felt when their partners kept bringing them to the brink until they finally allowed them to climax.
"I'll be back in a jif."
She nodded and turned back to surfing. Her finger hovered over a link to a porn site; she wasn't prepared to do anything about it if she watched, thinking again about running upstairs. She knew she should stop but wanted to see for herself. The one she landed on was a couple, naked, obviously homemade, she was stretched out on her back, on top of him, his legs holding hers open, her vagina facing the camera, their heads cut off. It was over an hour long! And there were handfuls of them, all by the same couple, with titles like: "He edged me all weekend," and "Four days without relief," and "Valentine's weekend will never be the same." She scrubbed through the one until near the end when the woman was moaning and panting, her partner's hand moving hard against her open lips only to pull away, making her cry out to beg him for release. She closed her eyes, fighting the need to strip off her clothes and stroke herself.
She didn't hear his truck, or the back door, startled when he made a noise in the kitchen. She looked up and quickly killed the page.
She needed to find out what he really expected from her. "Cos," she looked at him finally. "I…we…we need to talk."
He pressed his lips together and nodded, looking up from his burger. "Wassup?"
"Upstairs." She tossed her dishes in the sink and headed up.
He wolfed down his lunch and tossed the wrapper, following moments behind.
"This," she waved around The Study, "what I've been doing…what you've been doing…I what I said…what I want to do to…for you, what you want to me to do…This isn't me."
"Hold on. Slow down." He was laughing. "What…exactly are you talking about?" He cocked his head, not understanding.
"I…you…what you're asking me to do…I've never…it's…" She didn't know how to say it.
"So you keep saying." Skeptical. Confused.
"…any of this before. I've never even touched a guy. Kissed a guy. I…Stop! I'm serious. Please. I'm a little freaked out here. I…don't know if…Aren't you a little freaked out?"
He shrugged and stared at her. "What are you freaked out about? Didn't we talk about this last night? And what should I be freaking out about?" That wolfish smile. The dark eyes.
"No. Seriously. Like, I'm trying to figure something out here. Are you…is this the way you've been with women before?"
He scrunched up his mouth. "I've never been this way with anyone like you before."
"Exactly! It's not just me. It can't be. Seriously. Think about it. Are you behaving the way you would expect?"
"Emily," he looked around, wiping his face. "I don't think you understood what I said. I've never been this way with anyone like you before. You're the one who suggested this," he waved his hands. "You're the one with all your self-confidence. How it's going to be fun! How you can learn from me. You convinced me, you were so certain. This…uhhh…yeah…you're pretty unusual. Aren't you having fun?" His voice was gentle, his eyes burned into her.
She shook her head, frustrated. She couldn't argue with him, he was right, but that wasn't the point. "It's not that I don't want to do this. I do. I really want to. And yes. I'm having a lot of fun! No! That's the problem! I figured we'd fool around. I figured you'd give me some experience and we'd have fun. And we have! Well," she stopped and lowered her eyebrows, "except maybe the edging thing…I…fuck…are you for real about that?" She shook her head and continued, "I mean it's been so much better than I imagined. It's been good for you too, right?"
He nodded, his expression confused about what she was trying to say.
"The problem," she began again after taking a breath, "is how much I want to do this. The problem," she looked around, "is that I'm totally out of control when I get to the house, but when I'm away, things go back to normal. Like now," she looked at him, and couldn't believe what she was saying. "I…can't stop thinking about…" She darted her eyes past the saw horses and wood to the center of the floor. The thought he would keep her on edge lighting her up, the way he built on her fantasy the night before.
He shook his head, and shrugged a little, as if to suggest there was nothing stopping her.
"Really?" She inhaled, the aroma hitting her in her gut, making her clench. The image of kneeling in front of him eclipsing whatever she had been thinking.
He shrugged and raised his eyebrows. "If the priests expect us to do it," he said gently.
Her eyes shot up to look at him. "Really…," she breathed. "Is…that what you want?"
He looked at her, reflecting the question back. "Emily. What are you worried about? I loved your idea last night. Who wouldn't? An 18 year old virgin supplicant? For the summer?" He took a moment, thinking. "I…uhh…have to admit, after I left last night, I couldn't get the idea out of my head."
"Fucckkk, Cosss," she begged him with her eyes. Holy fuck holy fuck. When he says her words back to her she melts, the images blinding her, his look pure animal need. She was trapped in his look, the tendril leapt up, past her chest, wrapping around her tongue. She couldn't breathe; she needed to feel his cock in her mouth. Ohmygodohmygod. He wants me to serve him. Obey. Him. FUCK Abby!!! To serve his cock??? Fuckkkk. Now it was her turn to wonder if he was being straight with her. "You mean that, Cos? And it's not like you ever did this with other women?"
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