A Study in Fragrance Pt. 13
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When she’d finished cleaning the kitchen and had put everything away she could think of she realized they’d be there any minute. She wasn’t dressed. She didn’t intend to be dressed. The idea she’d be naked in front of them with Cos sparked more humiliation, and her reaction sent the tendril into motion, wild and frenzied. “Oh fuck.” She had to stop and catch her breath, finding something in her head to focus on, to make it okay.
A movement outside the kitchen window caught her eye, and then Steph was there, knocking at the back door her eyes widening at Em’s nudity, her face reddening.
“Fuckkk, Em,” she whispered, looking around. “He’s still here, right?” She was holding several bags.
Em nodded, reaching for a couple of them. “Yep,” she said it as lightly as she could. She’d gotten over being naked; it was nothing compared to what Steph would bear witness to later. The tendril coiled around her skull. Fuck fuck fuck. You can’t let it. She knew that wasn’t the way, that resisting it was only going to feed it. “Whadya bring?”
Steph set her other bags down and came to help, self-conscious about standing so close to her naked friend, like her nudity would rub off or it was contagious. “All the fixings for potato salad. Just need to mix it up. Oh! There’s Caroline!” She waved through the window and turned away to find a bowl.
Or to avoid being next to me. Emily smiled, looking forward to Caroline’s company before the ceremony. The ‘ceremony.’
“Hey hey!” Caroline waked in, an aluminum foil covered platter on her arms. “Mom made a turkey breast last night. Said we could have the leftovers,” thoroughly enjoying Em’s nudity.
Em embraced her after she set it down, turning her lips to kiss her lightly below the ear. “What does she think we need leftovers for?” Slight concern in her voice.
Caroline laughed, her hands softly landing on Em’s buns. “Just a couple of us getting together. Something about planning a Bare Naked Ladies’ party.” Her fingers rubbed lightly. “Aren’t you a little underdressed?” She trailed her fingers around Em’s waist, sending little shocks up her spine, “or are we overdressed?”
Steph just stared from across the kitchen, blushing, her legs twitching slightly.
Em squirmed from the touch, her skin sensitive, and broke away, smiling and staring into Caroline’s eyes. “Until tonight’s…ceremony, you’re welcome to wear as much or as little as you want.” She turned to look at Steph, making sure she was okay. “But at 10, you’ll need to be only wearing a robe. The boys too.”
Steph had let out a small yelp.
“You okay over there?” Caroline lifted the platter from the table and brought it to a counter. “You recovered from Thursday night?”
Steph shook her head, her face bright pink, her legs looked like she needed to pee.
“Steph?” Em came over, putting her hands on Steph’s cheeks, feeling how warm they were. “How strong is it? The glow. It’s a glow, right?”
Steph looked at her, nodding, shaking her head. “It’s…it’s…it’s bad, guys. It’s really bad. I mean, good-bad. So fucking good, but every time I think about what it’s making me do, I…” her face reddened deeper. “Shit. I can’t stop thinking about what Robert did to me. Last night. This morning…all day.” Her hands stopped cutting potatoes, and she held onto the counter, pressing her waist against it. “Can you smell it?”
Em hadn’t thought about it, the fragrance so weak down here compared to what she’d been inhaling all day.
Caroline nodded, inhaling deeply.
“Okay, friends. Let’s leave this here for a minute and bring Steph up to speed on my theory.” She pointed to the sunroom. “Outside. The picnic bench.”
They followed her outside, Steph even more embarrassed at seeing Em naked in her backyard.
“Aren’t you…like…?” She waved her hands around.
“What? Nobody can see us here. It’s dark under the room; it’s so bright out there. Steph!” Emily was getting concerned for her.
Steph looked even more uncomfortable.
“Caroline? Were you able to figure out something…?”
Caroline nodded slowly at Em’s question, looking at Steph. “Sort of? Like, I tried doing something based on what you thought might be going on. I still went further than I would have ever expected,” she closed her eyes and inhaled, smiling. “But it was never out of control. It comes and goes, though.”
Steph glanced between them, her hands moving between her lap and her head. “Fuck!! I just want him to keep doing it to me. Over and over again, I can’t stop imagining it! And I’m so shy and…guilty! Why do I feel so guilty? I just want it to stop but I don’t. I really don’t. It feels so goddamn good!” Her eyes pleaded with Em. “What is your fucking theory?” She eked out a smile.
Em had been thinking about how to say it as simply as possible. “I think Abby was trying to help her friends with all the shit happening to them back then. Shit that is still going maltepe escort on today, but not necessarily for us. Maybe it was a class thing, whatever. I think she wanted to help women with their husbands, with their sexuality, with their ability to be full human beings. But we don’t have those same restrictions. At least not as terrible as they had them. Abby’s journal entries? Some of those look familiar,” Emily smiled ruefully, “but a lot of them are outrageous. We’ve never been told we were getting too old to marry…at 16!
“And her pamphlets. She’s constantly talking about how to leverage the character and talents of being a woman to improve their lives, to find a way in a world that was so definitely not going to let them be fully who they wanted to be.” She waited, watching Steph.
“Okay. I think I get that. So she made some kind of love potion? How was that supposed to help? You said Cos can’t even smell it.”
Em shook her head. “Yeah. No. Not a love potion. A perfume. She made a perfume. Maybe a lot of them. I think a lot of her recipes are perfumes. Maybe she wanted them to wear just a drop every day, to gently remind them of their sexuality, to help them use it in some subtle way so that they could…I don’t know…not be so repressed?”
“I’ve been thinking about that,” Caroline said. “Like, what if this fragrance was designed to loosen our inhibitions? Let our fantasies come true? Ignore societal norms, explore taboos? What if we don’t need quite so much of that kind of push today? What if it’s supposed to push us outside of our comfort zone, but that means something really different today than it meant in 1900?”
Steph was listening but shaking her head. “I hear you. I hear what you’re saying, but even if it were possible for her to create such a thing, and forgetting about how long it’s lasted what can we do about it?” She was looking desperate.
Em jumped back in. “Yeah. I was thinking about that when I went out to the lake. For me, I told you, it’s a green tendril. It’s still pretty thick around my brain right now. Pulsing. I’m trying not to focus on it; as soon as I do it like wakes up? And then I’m like I dunno, I start needing to do something. With Cos.”
“So, I should try to ignore it?? You know that’s like impossible?”
“Yeah. No. I tried ignoring it, or not focusing on it. No. That makes it worse.” She stopped and let Steph think about that. “When it’s kinda quiet, like it is now? I can ignore it, focus on something outside my head: my training, fixing up The Study, getting ready for the BNL party. Oh yeah, that’s happening.” She grinned. “At least, I’m getting ready in case we go through with it.
“Steph, you said it you’re shy, and it makes you feel so guilty, right? For me it’s embarrassment and humiliation. As soon as Cos suggests something for me to do that sounds totally outrageous and degrading, it wakes up and it expects me to do it! If I don’t, it only gets stronger. Caroline? What does it do to you?”
Caroline shifted, hesitating. “Believing my feelings are real. As soon as I doubt what I’m feeling, the lava lamp just heats up, the blobs get oranger and…fuck…” She closed her eyes.
“So,” Steph pushed again, “what am I supposed to do to make it stop? I can’t stand what he’s doing, what I’m letting him do…and I need him to do it even more! I don’t want to show him my body the way it’s making me, but then I feel so fucking guilty when I don’t and the glow just gets so bright!”
Em jumped up and wrapped her arms around Steph, her breasts pushed against her friend’s face, her hands stroking her neck and hair. “Shhhh…shhhh, I know. If it makes you feel any better, I’ve done and said shit in the past week that I never ever ever could have imagined saying or doing. Ever.” She lowered her voice. “I told him I was his cunt yesterday.” She did it to test the tendril, to test her control. It shifted a little, restless, but didn’t wake up. “And I just told you that to see if I’m getting better at handling it. That’s the most embarrassing thing I could possibly say to him, except for saying it to you two. I’m burning from the memory of saying it…so many times.”
She shook her head, unwrapping from Steph to sit back on the comfy chair. “And the spanking.” She pointed to the comfy chair. “My butt is so sore I can’t sit down on that bench. And you know it’s not just on my butt.” She couldn’t say any more, the shame rising in her core, the acceptance of it flooding afterward, loosening the tendril’s hold. “But just saying it to you guys, accepting it? That’s the antidote. Abby’s fragrance only has power when we resist the urges it brings up in us.”
“Oh my god,” Steph looked at them both, “you’re saying I’m supposed to be okay showing off my body? Feeling guilty? What if he…oh fuckkkkk.” She closed her eyes, her hands closing between her legs, pushing into herself, her face deep red.
“Steph. Steph!” Em wanted to get up and hug her again, escort maltepe but thought better of it. “Steph! Look at us. Look at us!”
She opened her eyes, her mouth forming an ‘O’ and she bent over, shaking.
Em looked at Caroline and they were alarmed, thinking she was having a seizure, until Em pointed to between her legs. “Steph, let it go,” Caroline said gently. “Let it out, it’s okay. We know you’re climaxing. You’re cumming. It’s beautiful. It’s amazing. Don’t stop it, go with it. Seriously, sweetie. Go with it.”
Steph shook, bent over, her hands deep inside her thighs, sobbing. “It..feels…soooo…goddamn good…fuckkkk!!”
They waited until she recovered, Emily thinking about anything else: about dinner, wondering when Cos might be leaving, looking at Caroline, telepathically sending her images of what she wanted to do with her.
Caroline just looked back, smiling and shaking her head. “Steph. You okay?”
She moved her hands, slowly pushing herself back up, ashamed to look at either of them all while they were telling her it was okay, that she had to, that it was the only way to overcome it.
Caroline shook her head. “Back to your point, Steph. No. It’s not about being ‘okay’ with it. It’s about accepting what’s happening and letting go. Stop fighting the urges. Let them flow. As soon as I accept my feelings, no matter how scary or weird or whatever, the lava lamp blobs all dissolve.” She hesitated. “You know I wasn’t going to have sex with him, right? And then the other night, just after spending a couple of hours here, all I could think of was having his dick in me. And the confusion and turmoil and conflict? The more I resisted the idea, the more I got tied up in knots with my confusion, the stronger it hit me, the more I needed it. Even letting him didn’t stop it, right?” She looked at Steph, knowing she’d eventually give in, and that by giving in, Steph was hoping things would be all right. But that’s not the way it worked…at least for Caroline. It wasn’t just about giving into the urges. It was accepting the feelings that they brought with them.
“There’s something else I’ve been thinking about,” Em continued. “Don’t take this personally, Steph, but Caroline and I are both athletic. I know I spend a lot of time in my body. Maybe half the day, I’m pushing it, training it, listening to it. I know my body way better than I know my mind. I think Abby’s fragrance works on our bodies and we need to meet it where it is. No amount of thinking is going to wrench back control. It’s about feeling and physicality.”
Caroline looked at her and nodded, her eyes surprised at the idea. “Fuck yes! That’s true! As soon as I swam, or practiced my routine, everything went quiet. It’s only when I’m sitting around, when my thoughts bubble up…it does too.”
“Then I’m truly fucked,” Steph said with a quick laugh. “I hate exercise.”
“No,” they both said at once, smiling with her. Caroline continued, “It’s not about exercise, although you should be exercising, it’s good for your brain. It’s about being in your body. Yoga, pilates, anything that puts your mind to rest and lets your body take over. You need to trust your body.”
She shook her head. “What the fuck am I going to do?”
“I think we’re telling you,” Em suggested. “Two things: don’t fight it, accept it, and find some way to be in your body. It’ll be a process. We can help. I feel bad, Steph. I got you into this. Do you want me to help train you out of it?”
Steph looked up alarmed. “I have to do something, I just have to. I just saw myself stripping off all my clothes and…oh fuck…I can’t even say it.”
Caroline raised an eyebrow, unconcerned. “So what’s stopping you? We’ve seen you naked. Don’t stop the flow.”
Steph looked at both of them, her face beet red, her eyes glancing every which way. “But what about…him?”
“It’s okay, Steph. He’s upstairs. He’ll be leaving soon…” You’ll be naked later…but Em thought she’d lose Steph completely if she brought it up again.
Steph closed her eyes and unbuttoned her shirt, slipping her arms out and down, unsnapping her jeans and pulling them to the ground, all in one smooth movement. She was red from below her breasts all the way to the top of her head, the other half white, except around her labia. Em saw how swollen the inner lips were, her fuzzy down not hiding anything.
“I’m supposed to do whatever it’s telling me?” She looked at them, certain they would make fun of her. “I can’t…”
“You have to, Steph. That’s the part of the physicality thing we were talking about: get over your fear of letting your body take control. Just go for it.”
“Please don’t make fun of me…” She opened her legs wide and slipped two fingers into her channel, her eyes closing as she rubbed herself. “I have to rub it, all the time…all the time. If I don’t, the feelings…fuckfuckfuck…ohgodohgod…” She bent over again and shuddered. maltepe escort bayan “This can’t be happpppennnnning.”
Caroline jumped up and stroked Steph’s back, whispering in her ear, calming her down.
Em saw Cos getting ready to go, inside the kitchen. She jumped up, not wanting to make things worse for Steph, and caught him before he could leave. “Everything ready for me up there?” Her eyes glistened, the image of him taking her leaping up.
He nodded. “She okay?”
Em turned and saw Caroline kneeling down, Steph’s nudity obvious, her fingers between her legs.
“She’s just dealing with her priests. You saw that?”
“What, her jilling off just now? Fucking crazy you women. What the fuck did I trip into here? Or is that what all the girls your age are doing now?” He was both amazed and confused. And being a dick.
“Tonight,” Em decided to just ignore the dick part, “you’re ready? You’re ready to fuck me in front of these women?” She stared at him until he smiled and nodded.
“Wouldn’t miss it for the world, candles and all.”
“Cool, cuz if you did, Cos, it would be a serious breach of contract.” She kept her eyes on him until he nodded.
“10:00. Come earlier if you want, but being the novitiate, you aren’t responsible for setting everything up, yeah?”
He leaned in and grabbed her, pressing his lips against hers, kissing her until she thought she was going to faint. When they finally broke apart she looked at him, a little dizzy. “What the fuck was that for?”
He smiled and spanked her butt. “See you tonight, virgin.”
She winced from the pat, slight as it was and shook her head as he left. “Don’t forget,” she said as loudly as she dared, “bring a robe.” He nodded without turning around.
“How are things out here? Steph?”
“Yeah…fuck. Did he see that?” The terror starting again.
“Steph! It doesn’t matter. I don’t know. I don’t know. Stick with us. Here. Now. How are you feeling?”
“I’m better. I’m better, actually. Hunh.” She looked at the two of them. “I’m feeling better. Fuck. I thought I was going to lose my mind.” She had sat back up, trying not to look down at her nakedness, slipping her shoes off, slipping her feet through her jeans. “I can’t believe I’m sitting here naked again with you guys…again!…I…fuckk…” She left the last part unsaid, her fingers, wet on her thighs.
Caroline raised her eyebrows. “Now I’m the one overdressed.” She had a spaghetti strap top that she slipped off, revealing a strapless bra that barely held her.
“That’s pretty daring,” Em commented, staring and then glancing up at her face.
“I figured I wouldn’t have it on for long, if the other night was any measure.” She smiled, undoing her jeans and pushing them down. “Fuck that feels so much better,” she said, removing her bra and underwear. “Thanks Steph for making it okay.”
“No problem,” she mumbled, not certain if Caroline had been joking. “Seriously, Em. You got time to help me with this? I don’t want to get in the way with whatever…” she waved toward the driveway, but it could have been to Caroline just as easily.
“What? Him? Cos and I have an arrangement. I’m his summer fuck-toy…well, technically the fuck part after tonight, and technically the toy part not much longer after tomorrow, but whatever, and he gets me experience. And some carpentry.” She couldn’t help but giggle at the look on their faces. “What? We don’t get to have friends with bennies? Why the fuck not?” Her smile a sharp contrast to her indignation.
They laughed, but Steph shook her head. “Okay. I’d be happy to help figure out what the hell is in all those cabinets and maybe organize her pamphlets if you need.”
“Deal.” She looked over at Caroline. “You mind if Caroline comes over to help every once in a while?”
Steph actually looked relieved. “Yeah! Sure! No problem.”
Caroline secretly winked at Emily, smirking a little.
“Hey. When are the guys supposed to get here?”
“You said by 10, so I told Bobby 9:30. He’s always late. No doubt for this he’s gonna be early.”
“Quarter till. Robert’ll be here.”
“By the way, what did you tell them?” She didn’t care, she just wanted to know.
“I just said we were having a small party, just the three couples, to celebrate your remodel.” She paused, “of course, telling him to bring a robe was interesting. Maybe he thinks you have a hot tub too?” She smiled, licking her lips.
Steph laughed. “I told him if he was enjoying what he was doing to me, he’d better show up. I don’t know what he expects. But yeah, the robe thing really lit him up. All questions and eyes and fingers and fuck…” She closed her eyes again, letting her fingers drift to between her legs. She shot them open again, “Fuck! I…it’s…fuckfuckfuck. Tell me it’s okay, please?” She had started to play with herself, her eyes begging them to be okay with it.
“It’s perfect, Steph. Really. I’m hoping you’ll keep doing it. I’m starting to get off on it.” Em stared at Caroline, watching Steph climax again out of the corner of her eye. The way Caroline looked back at her, Em imagined they were thinking the same thing.
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