Alex knew if he hit snooze too many times he would be late for work and miss the monthly financial meeting. He missed the last one and ever since his boss seemed to scowl at him whenever he had an idea. It would be in his best interest to make sure that did not happen again, and besides, it was time to get back in his good graces and show his worth since he was highly recommended from his last firm. The pressure was on and Alex needed to find his place within the team and stake his claim as a top producing associate. If only him and Laura didn't have those last few shots this wouldn't be so hard. One last hit of the snooze button and then it's time to spring into action. He wasn't really hung-over, just tired from the long night that continued after they arrived home from Diane and Brandons party. Who has an anniversary party during the weekday? Even still, they had an amazing time and would do it all over again. There were bits and pieces of the night that seem like a blur, but there were certainly things he would never forget.
Cold shower, black coffee no sugar no cream always did the trick to revive him. Surely Laura would get up from her angelic sleep to make the coffee by the time he showered and got dressed. Twenty minutes later, and she hadn't moved one inch. She was sleeping so peacefully he couldn't bring himself to wake her. There was a new bagel shop on the way to work at the corner of Bransford Avenue he wanted to try. He would grab coffee and breakfast there. Briefcase, wallet, tie, favorite suit jacket and off to the office. As he made his way downstairs the reminders of last night were everywhere. He saw one of his shoes and one sock on the stairwell, the other was nowhere in sight. Lauras panties were on the floor in the foyer and is that her dress hanging over the back of the sofa? Oh my...
By the time Alex arrived to the office he was almost back to 100% and knew the day would only get better. The exception was his annoying and chatty coworker who was in his ear about the projections for the meeting. Alex did his best to put on a happy face, smile and ignore Kevin at the same time. Besides, he prepared everything he needed two nights ago, so he was ready for whatever came his way. The margin for error here is very thin, can't mess this one up. Time to head down to the conference room. Coffee in hand and notes in the other he was prepped and ready to go. Oh wait, the conference room was always cold. As he put on his suit jacket, that's when the smell hit him. It was enough to stop him dead in his tracks and instantly cause a memory to come flooding back as if he was right there at the moment. Laura got chilly last night as they left the party, and he draped his jacket over her shoulders to keep her warm. He was completely engulfed in her scent. One of the things he loved most about her was her addiction to fragrances. The lingering notes of amber and sandalwood was enough to make him inhale into his jacket so deeply that he instantly got excited. Whoa buddy! This is not the time nor the place. Focus Alex, focus!
Sitting through a two-hour meeting would prove to be more of a challenge than getting out of bed this morning. The longer he sat the more he started to remember last nights escapades. The way she bit his lip as he went in for a kiss and the smooth but forceful way she pulled him in close to smell every bit of her perfectly scented body. Smiling as he thought of the way Laura always tousled her hair over her right shoulder. The combination of whatever it was she used in her hair and the fragrance she chose was more than enough to drive him into complete madness. It was almost as if every time she moved the scent became more and more intense. She knew what she was doing, and he loved every minute of it. The plan to show her just how much he loved it would not be in vain.
Alex remembers the day he met Laura like it was yesterday. He had just flown back into town from the annual guys trip. Destination, Texas. Golf, bourbon, sunshine and lots of smack talking from the fellas who thought they were the next Tiger Woods. Not hardly, but it was fun as usual. All of his friends were married or in a long term relationship. At times Alex felt left out and wondered if he would ever find 'the one' but he didn't put too much pressure on himself. When his last relationship ended he vowed to take some time to determine what he truly wanted and needed before he jumped back into the dating scene. Three years later, too many dates to count, a couple of catfish encounters, and he started to wonder if he was destined to be single for the rest of his life. Seemed hopeless until she walked by.
Every other Saturday, Alex went to the park to clear his head. He always ended up people watching for a couple of hours, but it was very relaxing nonetheless. Looking at his watch, he figured he would head home, have a beer and throw a steak on the grill. As he got ready to leave, the most captivating smell hit his nose like a Mack truck. His head whipped around so fast, and he was instantly locked and loaded on his target. He immediately thought to himself, 'I have to know what she is wearing'. One slight jog to catch up to her, a fumbled attempt to be cool, and he was certain he gave off at least 3 stalker vibes. 'Hi, I know this might seem weird, but uh, I must know what scent you are wearing, you smell absolutely amazing.' As Laura smiled and stepped back he realized he may have been a bit too close, and he immediately jumped back into what's called the apologetic safe zone. 'My bad, I'm soooo sorry, please forgive me.' Laughter is always a good sign, and they were both doing that, so he felt a little less stalkerish and a bit more like himself.
It had been three weeks since meeting Laura. After standing in the park talking for about 20 minutes it was pretty obvious they were both attracted to one another, so they exchanged numbers and agreed to stay in touch. He wondered if he seemed too eager, but the conversations were so great from the beginning and her voice was so soft and perfect that it made it hard to end the call each time they spoke. There was something different about this woman. The first date was approaching, and he knew exactly where he wanted to take her. A local watering hole called Mortons that had great food, an amazing live band and even better drinks. Alex arrived to pick up Laura, and he was nervous, something he hadn't felt in a very long time. When she opened the door her scent captured his attention and it was like deja vu all over again. Great dinner, the best conversation, and a good smelling woman is a combination that goes unmatched each and every time. The scent of a woman has always been a weak spot for Alex, and he was finally in his happy place.
Over the years Alex and Laura became the envy of their friends. They were married 2 years after meeting and it was the happiest day of their lives. Seeing them together was like watching a never-ending love story. The way he touched the small of her back and the way her hands caressed his face as they kissed was almost too much to handle. The night of the anniversary party was no different. It was hot that night so Laura wore a halter style long flowing dress that had a low dip in the back, one of his favorites. Her new perfume had arrived just in time to wear that evening. Proper placement of a fine fragrance is like a weapon. A dab behind each ear, a little on the wrist, a spray or two in the hair, a bit behind the knee and you are ready, and he better be too! The drinks flowed at the party and Alex and Laura danced all night. As the temperature started to rise between them it only intensified the perfume she was wearing, and he couldn't wait to get her all to himself. He loved to see her so happy, and he loved the way she smelled even more. Arriving home, Laura had a wicked smile on her face. 'Give me a head start, I have a surprise for you'. Alex didn't question it, he just did as he was told. She went to the bar, pulled out two shot glasses and the tequila they brought back from their last trip to Mexico. Alex gave her five minutes, he couldn't wait any longer. The first thing he saw when he walked in was her panties laying in the foyer and the beautiful dress she wore that night hanging over the sofa. He was speechless. As he gathered himself and made his way upstairs, there she stood and all he heard was, 'You want salt with your shot babe?'
Getting kinda hot, let's backtrack shall we.
The meeting went very well. Alex was always known to rise to the occasion and this time was no exception. The presentation was amazing, and he was confident he had finally shown his worth. As he smiled and left the conference room his boss pulled him to the side and said great job, now go and enjoy your weekend! Perfect end to the week, and Alex could only think of one thing that would make it better. He was so excited and couldn't wait to tell Laura the good news. 'That's weird, her phone went straight to voicemail and I haven't heard from her all day.' Was she still in bed he wondered? Hopefully she was feeling well and hadn't overdone it last night. Alex felt like celebrating and it involved somewhat of a repeat of the night before. Just as he started to worry, his phone buzzed and it was a text from Laura. 'Hey babe, I have my hands full working on something, so I couldn't answer. Hope you had a great day and I'll see you when you get home. P.S. I need your help to find something!' The drive home was only about twenty minutes, so he would see her soon enough, but he couldn't help but wonder what she needed his help with.
Alex planned to take Laura out to dinner to celebrate a great day at work, go see that movie she kept talking about and end it with a few of those wicked shots that got them in so much trouble last night. He smiled at the thought of it and couldn't wait to smell the perfume she would wear tonight. Pulling into the driveway he noticed the blinds were still closed from this morning. 'Now thats just odd, what in the world is going on?' Before he could turn the key in the lock, the door popped open and Laura was standing behind the door smiling and doing that thing she does with her hair. As usual, she smelled good enough to eat, and he couldn't wait to dig in. As he closed the door behind him he realized why she wasn't in full view when the door opened. She was wearing absolutely nothing. His heart started racing and the desire was on another level. Between heavy breathing and heated anticipation, he had to ask, 'What do you need my help with?' Laura explained that she sprayed his favorite scents all over her body. Each crevice is a different adventure, start at the bottom and work your way up until you find them all. Alex knew at that moment it was going to be a long weekend.
"He had preserved the best part of her and made it his own: the principle of her scent." -Patrick Suskind
AJ writes & blogs from her home in Atlanta, GA. You can also find her work as a contributing writer at www.groovmagazine.com
"This is how you do it; you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it's done. It's that easy, and that hard." -Neil Gaiman