The incessant craving is almost too much for her to bear. Stephanie struggles to contain the need inside of her even as she finds herself in the center of feuding males intent on gaining her attentions.
Stephanie grumbled as a beam of sunlight shone on her face. She peeked one eye open to absently look at the clock, and then she pulled the covers over herself.
Then she threw off the covers and sat up. She didn’t a double-take at the alarm clock on her side of the bed. It read eight o’clock. She was always at work by this time.
“God damn it!” she cursed as she jumped out of bed.
The frazzled woman couldn’t think how she had slept through her obnoxiously loud alarm clock, but her hurried question was answered when she glimpsed the alarm light on the face. It was turned to off. She turned to scowl at the lump beside where she’d just been sleeping. Bob must have shut it off while she was gone.
Stephanie was so angry she didn’t heed her lateness and instead grabbed her pillow. Ruthlessly she moved over to his side and began belting him with the soft weapon.
She actually felt pretty glad when he flailed around against his attacker and fell off the bed.
“What the hell?” he grumbled. He groggily looked up at his grinning wife. “What the hell was that for?”
“For shutting off my alarm and not turning it back on,” she scolded.
“I didn’t mean to,” he angrily shot back. The deep scowl on his face showed him no excuses would be accepted by her. Instead, then, a smooth smile appeared on his face. “I’m sorry, hun, I didn’t mean to,” he swore. “It was just an accident. You know, with that clock being all the way over there, I can’t shut it off very well myself.” He pulled the blankets off himself and stood. “Now how about a nice kiss before you go to work?” he offered.
Stephanie stepped back out of the reach of his arms. She wrinkled her nose and looked him up and down. She swore she smelled something funny on his clothes.
“Are you using a new lawn detergent?” she asked. She waved her hand in the air to ward off some of the strong smell. “It smells like lilacs.” Stephanie was surprised when he jerked back in shock.
“Um, yeah, just trying out a cheaper kind,” he stuttered out. “You know, trying to save money and such for, um, for a surprise.”
“What kind of surprise?” she questioned with a raised brow. She wasn’t one for surprises, even on her birthday.
“If I told you that, it wouldn’t be a surprise,” Bob pointed out. He mischievously grinned and slid toward her. “Now are you going to give me that kiss or do I have to force it out of you?” he teased.
She didn’t have time for that, and right now she didn’t want it.
“I think I have to go,” she quipped.
Instead of letting him win the morning she deftly brushed passed his advances and into the bathroom, where she firmly shut the door behind herself. Bob got the not-so-subtle hint, and scowled at the closed door. He grumbled back into bed and threw the covers over his face so he didn’t have to see her again when she passed.
Stephanie, meanwhile, hurriedly washed her hair, threw on some clothes and raced downstairs. In a thrice she’d eaten a small bowl of cereal and grabbed the car keys from the counter. It was only twenty past eight when she slid behind the wheel of the car, and if she was lucky she’d be able to beat Chuck there.
Her partner in business usually couldn’t drag himself out of bed and to work any earlier than eight-thirty, so as partial compensation he worked later than she did. This would mean she’d have to work later if she wanted to keep her end of the bargain, but that wasn’t what worried her. What really concerned her was showing up later than Chuck and him constantly worrying about her for the rest of the day. She felt fine, if a little tired, so his concern was a little annoying.
Stephanie floored it out of the garage and broke a couple of speed limits on the way to the office. She was relieved to see the parking lot was empty of Chuck’s usual red, beat up beetle. After she parked the jeep she jumped out and raced to the door.
Unfortunately, the frantic young woman was still fumbling for her office keys when Chuck drove up. He was right on time. Her shoulders slumped as he stepped out of his vehicle with a quizzical expression on his face.
“Did you just get here?” he hesitantly asked as he moved to stand beside her.
“Yeah,” she sheepishly admitted. She finally got the right key and inserted it into the lock to open the door. “Bob shut off my alarm, so I slept in late.”
“You look like you could have used some more of it,” he commented as they stepped inside. She shot him a death glare, but it harmlessly bounced off. He was used to it by now with his daily scoldings of her childish behavior. “Are you sure you should even be here today?”
“I feel fine,” she insisted. “Now stop bothering me and get some work lined up.”
Stephanie stalked off toward the backroom to start her end of the business, but Chuck merely stood by his desk. With more than a little worry he watched her go into the room and slam the door.
“Come on, Boss, you need some rest…” he muttered to himself.
Chuck sighed and shook his head. There was no talking to that woman when she was in her stubborn mood, though, so he sat down at his desk and began his daily routine of calling up clients and prospective clients.