The Best Erotic Stories.

The Thin Line
Between Powertools and Lingerie

by Alexander Croiux

"So Miss, those are your cordless right there. Right next to that is your standard sort of drill and all of them got grounds to them. Extra power units for the cordless are back over that way, but be careful of what you buy cause not all units are going to fit all drills. But if you're lookin' for speed and power you want to go with your standard drill that will plug into any outlet, just so long as it has a ground to it. Those are all reversible and you get the highest rpm out of um' compared to the cordless. But you're gonna go with that you gonna need an extension cord if you don't already got one. Most of them are between aisles twenty-two and twenty-four, on the North end. There are some more over in aisle nineteen right next to the conduits..." the customer service specialist droned on at Stacey.

"Yeah!" Stacey said with an overly enthusiastic tone of sarcasm she was positive was missed by the middle aged man in the bright red smock. "What the hell is an rpm?" Stacey thought to herself. "Okay."

"Well if you need anything else Miss..." his breath attacked her with the stink of old cold cuts and Velveeta.

"For starters you can stop staring at my tits," seemed fitting to her at the time, but she settled for a simple: "No, I think I'll be fine," as she stared blankly at the endless array of power tools that seemed to tower over and around her. Without so much as a goodbye, the "sales representative" was already halfway out of the aisle.

Horsepower, torque deferential, circumference, cutting radius, rpms... "More like s'n'm if you ask me," she whispered to herself in a voice so soft she would have to have left lip gloss marks on the outer ear of anyone close enough to hear. "What the fuck was I thinking?" She felt that she must have had a fit of masochistic tendencies to put herself through anything like tool shopping. The store itself smelled like a mixture of saw dust and motor oil; the customers smelled worse. With the exception of the "oh so helpful" sales rep, the only attention she had received from any of the staff were glares at either her legs or her breasts.

"I knew this skirt was too short," she thought to herself as she stood in the isle tugging nervously on its pleats. She stood centered in the array of saws, sanders, drills, and some things that she could only describe as props taken from some of the slasher movies she had watched as a teenager. And if that wasn't bad enough, Kenny Rogers was starting to play on the over head speakers. Stacey began to doubt the success of her endeavor and began to wonder if something else might be more appropriate.

As the voice of Kenny Rogers belting out "Daytime Friends and Nighttime Lovers" filled her ears like shards of glass her eyes surveyed the seemingly endless array of flashy colored boxes displaying nothing but power tools. She began to aimlessly wander down the aisle, both mentally and physically. "Gee Tomas instead of a new pneumatic drill with full reverse speed wouldn't you rather like me to get a nice lacy teddy with matching stockings and give you a fashion show of sorts? I could do the things you like, and maybe even some of the things you really like..."

Yes, the more her eyes passed meaninglessly over the power tools the more she felt that that would be a far better and more likely idea. She took one long look at the tools as she began to step away. "Maybe next year,"" she whispered as she began to take a step and turn at the same time, walking straight into something and almost falling over in the process.

"Ah fuck!" she muttered louder than she normally would have as she stumbled over her own feet and dropped her purse. As she looked down quickly she realized it was not her foot she had tripped over. She was wearing low healed, size six black pumps, not the large black Nike high tops she had tripped over. Her purse fell to the floor; she felt herself begin the journey to join it as she lost all balance and began to fall. Another "Ah fuck!" ready to come on out.

As if her tool buying adventure was a tragic film suddenly put on "pause," she stopped in mid-fall.

Shocked and confused by her loss of equilibrium she looked up and felt everything come to a total and sudden halt. Her fall, her breathing, her body and her blinking: all the world itself as she looked at the man who held her gently yet securely by each arm, just below the shoulder. He had a young looking face, guarded all around by loose black hair that came down just past his shoulders. There were very few lines on his face as her eyes flashed over it, an almost feminine curvature to his nose and lips. His skin had a slight olive quality. Even in that instant she knew that she had never seen darker brown eyes in her life. They were vexing, almost eerie in their own dark quality. All of this ran through her body, like the shocking jab of a needle in the bare instant between when she first saw his face and the time it took him to help her regain her balance.

Stacey felt her feet stabilize again. "Thank you," she said. She felt a bit wobbly, but she did still stand on her own power. The man's hands left her arms. "Damn do you have to let go?" a little voice in her said playfully.

"Your welcome," he said in a shy sounding baritone. "But first I should say I'm sorry." "Good Christ even his voice is sexy..." She knelt to pick up her purse. "Oh God no I am sorry," she said as she bent at the waist to pick up the bag and then slightly at the knees when she felt the hem of her skirt begin to caress upward along the back of her thigh. "I knew this skirt was too short,"

But he again had beaten her to it. As she bent to the waist, so did he but only faster. He had already grabbed her purse and was moving back up to a standing position, bringing them literally a hair width from bumping heads in the process; Her blonde hair meshing against his dark hair as they passed. She felt a lock of his hair graze across her ear and felt her balance come into question again as this time the shock she felt originated between her legs, but this time was not altogether unpleasant to her.

He handed her the bag. "Thank you again," she muttered and fumbled with the latch on her purse. "Here I almost trample through you and you are still being polite." "You're rambling like an idiot. Stop it."

"Most people would have told me to just get the fuck out of their way by now..."

"That's the way to charm him you dumb shit. Show him how well you cuss." "Oh God I'm so sorry. Pardon my language; I'm sure it looks great me standing here saying "fuck" to a total stranger." With that she just stopped and looked at him, taking a deep breath and sighing. "Well I have made enough of an ass of myself for one day. Thanks again Sir; I will be on my way."

"'Exotica And A'more' here I come." She turned around and began to walk away. "Goodbye cool surprise for Tomas... Goodbye sexy stranger..."

"No wait," he said. "What are you having trouble with? You said something about 'next year' and then I ran into you."

"What?" she said. "Goddamned cheap purse..." she fumbled with the latch.

"I said "what about next year?"

"Oh, I was just talking to myself is all..." she said as she finished securing her purse and Kenny Rogers continued to sing about some great woman who always stood by him. "Wasn't he divorced because of some big sex scandal a few years back...?" The incoherent thought flowed through her head. "Yeah, he was... He was caught fucking the Price Is Right lady Fucked and then got divorced from... Oh who the hell was he married to anyway? Oh shit why won't this God damned purse stay latched!"

Just then, another little voice piped up in her even louder. "Do you realize that you are standing here thinking about Kenny Rogers and acting like a snide little bitch to the only guy in this whole place who has not treated you like an ornament an obstruction or both?" She stopped herself completely and looked back up at him for at least a moment. Long enough for her to start thinking sanely again and give him, her first, a fast, but a thorough look over.

"You my friend are..."


He was fundamentally thin. Less bulky than her husband but far from skinny. He had long legs covered in loose fitting jeans hanging snug at the upper thigh in just the way to show that he probably had finely muscled legs. The pants were unique to those warn in this store in the aspects that they were both clean and fit snug at the waist. From there a loose shirt moved up his body in a wide chested "V" that ended in those "not broad but not quite not broad" shoulders that had helped initiate this meeting when she had bumped into him. An undone button at the top made a smaller "v" within the larger. Just enough showing to show that there was something worth showing if he so chose to show. "Very tasteful," she thought.

His upper chest muscles stood out well out under the silk-buttoned shirt, pinpoints of nipples were visible even the five-foot distance Stacey stood from him, or she could have just been imagining them in a fit of wishful thinking. Nothing but loose flowing blue silk covering his stomach as it was apparent he was not wearing an undershirt. Resting atop was the beautiful face, thick hair and his eyes she had so readily noticed. All combining to make two things obvious: he had an excellent body to match his face; and her sudden fit of bitchiness towards her day in general was quickly morphing into intense, thick, admiration for this fine example of a man before her now.

"I came here to get an anniversary gift for my husband," she said in a very calm tone of humility. "He's a handy enough guy so I wanted to surprise him with one of these... these... things over here. Problem is that the reason he would be so surprised is that I don't know anything about tools. Hey, the closest I come to working with power tools is my..."

"vibrator I will be wearing out as soon as I get back home and away from you thank you very much..."

"... juice maker! So that also means I have no fucking, oh sorry freaking clue what to buy either." She took a short step back and raised her shoulders, opening her arms slightly and looking honestly flustered. "So I really do apologize for my rudeness." A quick pause and she continued. "But hey..."

"...don't do it. don't do it... oh fuck it your on a roll Stace...See if you can hook just a tiny flirt..."

She took a short step back and raised out her palms to call mock -yet not mock- attention to herself. "Do I really look like the kind of person who comes to hang out in places like this?"

"...Come on come on take it... please take it give me some satisfaction of reason for coming to this god forsaken hell hole of a store..."

He smiled or more like smirked back at her. "No, you surely do not." He said. She detected a slight accent in his voice. Aside from being foreign, she couldn't attempt to place it any further.

"A flirt? Was that a flirt?" she pondered. "Let's test those waters a bit too..."

She let out a curved little smile for him as she said: "And do I really seem like the type of lady who says fuck in a tool store?"

His look towards her changed. His brow raised his lips came together and he took a deep breath in.

"Oh fuck that was a bit too much wasn't it. God damn it..."

"I think that is a matter yet to be determined Mame," he said. "It takes a certain type of lady to come into a tool store and say fuck." He ended with a loose, tension-breaking smile. A middle aged man in a John Deer cap and a tight white tee shirt crossed at the other end of the isle, giving a dirty look in their direction as he pushed his cart on his way. In the meantime, Stacey and the stranger smiled at each other, bringing forth the inevitable awkward silence. The silence brought thoughts to Stacey's attention.

"You do realize that you are flirting with a man even as you are shopping for an anniversary present for your husband? What sort of a person..."

He finally broke the silence. "Would you like some help? I sort of know my way around places like this."

"I bet you do," the words coursed through her head like an animal circling its cage on a hot day as it looked for either a way out, or something to quench its thirst be it water or the blood of some poor gazelle that might wander into its cage. She held the urge though and let out a slight laugh instead. "Oh thank you but no, I already almost knocked you over I really don't want to inconvenience you any more."

"That's right. Remember Tomas, your husband. The light of your life whom you are buying a gift for..." She could feel the pace of her breath quickening.

"Oh it is no problem," he said with a smile that almost made her faint right in the isle. "Where I come from it is rude to not help a woman in need." He began to turn back towards the power tools.

"Well in that case you can start by dropping me on my back right here and..." Her thought stopped as he turned. With his eyes away she peered fast downward. She got a side shot of his waistline, trim and undoubtedly firm, and either bulging slightly at the crotch or a hallucination of wishful thinking. He turned all the way around. His ass was beautifully formed but not overly tight in the jeans. "...Or I could always just tackle you? Christ Stacey calm down what the hell has gotten into you? You don't get laid for a couple of days and you are acting like some alley cat in heat who just wants this tall dark stranger to take you to someplace hot and stuffy and fuck you like a jackhammer. Fuck you like you know he can. You know it you just know that he could... Oh Christ Stacey you just need to get the hell out of here."

She stepped over beside him and noticed that her pelvic region was getting warmer already. She hoped he couldn't tell yet that she was sweating. "Well, I don't know..." she almost whimpered.

"Very well then," he said and gave her a polite nod of his head, shaking the locks of his hair a bit as he did. He looked at her with a slightly bored look. But not a look of boredom; it was more a look that seemed to say he did not want to be bored. A subtle plea for inconvenience in what was probably for him an otherwise drab day.

Stacey began to get ready to take a step away and stopped. "Oh what the fuck," she said to herself as she began to speak to him again. "Well, I really do not know what he likes, do you think you could help?"

"I hope so."

Then thank you very much... Oh I don't even know your name?"

"I am Simon," he said and extended a hand out to her.

"Well I'm Stacey," She let him take her hand. His was much larger, but it felt soft and smooth all around hers. As his hand enveloped hers, he seemed to envelop her completely. She looked up at his face again. There was no connection- his eyes; she just plain melted into his dark eyes like a deer into headlights. She felt his eyes scan over her face and she flushed from her fair complexion to an obvious deepening red. She looked harder into his eyes; they were so dark she could not even tell where the pupil was exactly. He could be looking at any of her features for all she could tell.

Even as he released her hand and turned his attention to the tools and machinery on the shelves, she felt an echo of that gaze remaining, flowing through her. A shadowy remnant of the way those eyes had roved over her face, scanning their way over her slightly tight sweater. The way it all made her nipples harden and scrape painfully through the sharp thin lace of her bra and the thin layer of peach wool. The way that only his look, the remnant or echo of that look- or her impression of his look tore though her blonde hair or scraped along her neck like a warm knife. Or perhaps tracing slowly up her legs from her ankles, to her knees, up more...more an inch, a hair at a time until his glare connected to the hem of her skirt. It was short, "Too damned short," she had thought even as she had walked out of her house that morning, the skirt coming about eight inches above her knees.

"Not short enough..." was her revised opinion as she looked at this beautiful stranger. Right now there was not a skirt in the world that was short enough. Not short enough to satisfy his glare; not as short as his eyes deserved. She could almost feel the very action of his look, the force of his presence as he turned his body, rustling the pleats of her skirt, rustling it and blowing upward in a warm draft.

Oh Stacey you need to walk away from here. Come on you can do this. Just walk away from the ungodly beautiful specimen of a man. But ah hell I can think about it for just a minute. I can think about what it would be like if he took me by the waist with those strong hands and pulled me towards him until our bodies met. Eyes bulging like saucers. His pelvis up and down slowly against my skirt. My thighs sweating even before it begins to roll down the insides of my legs. "My God..." I would say. I would look all around. The two of us alone in the isle but I can hear people in isles on either side. One voice trying to find a new socket set; one man buying a new air compressor I can hear them so clearly. I shut my eyes and gasp in breath as he holds me in those hands and scrapes our bodies together, my skirt already starting to climb. "Somebody is going to see us," I say. "Take me away. Take me somewhere..."

"No," I hear him say.

"So just what exactly are you looking for Stacey?" said Simon as he turned to the racks of tools.

"Oh God you do not want to know...Or maybe you do..." "I was thinking of something like a drill?" she said to him. "He does a lot of wood sort of...things around the house." "You sound like such a spaz..."

"Does he already have a drill?" Simon asked as he began to look over the tools, picking up a box and turning it over to read the back, glancing back at Stacey as he held the box in his hands.

"Yes," I say. I open my eyes just as he extends his long cool leg out and bends it slightly at the knee, pushing his thigh between my legs and pulling me, dragging me against his leg. I moan aloud.

"No, right here. I want you right here." His voice had taken on a smoky baritone quality. The muscles of his legs flexing and pulling against my panties in ways I did not think were possible. I feel hot, sweat pouring down my face and making my cloths cling to my body, my hair sticking to my face. I look over at him. His nice silk shirt is halfway unbuttoned and showing a sweat stain on his upper chest, tightening against his body. No chest hair, smooth and flawless as a marble statue. But alive, warm and firm as I reach out and put my hands inside of his shirt. Muscles feel hard. My fingers run over his nipples. I pull the shirt aside and look at them even as I see someone walk past the isle behind him. What I would give to taste him right now, to lap the sweat off of him like a loving pet.

"Oh God Yes," I say and collapse towards him.

"Yes," She said to him, blinking fast to keep the image of him ravishing her in the appliance section out of her head. "Yeah, he has a drill. I think it is one just like that." She pointed at the one he held in his hand and noticed her hand was shaking; then that her knees were wobbling under her. She breathed as slowly and deliberately as she could.

"You know what might be a good idea then?" Simon said his eyes perking up genuinely. "On the other side of the isle she noticed the man looking carefully through the various socket sets that were for the most part: identical. Her eyes and thoughts wandered back to Simon.

She felt her jaw slack like a hungry lunatic but she spoke. "What?" she breathed. She looked away from his eyes. "just don't look at those eyes and you will be fine. Look at the box, and his hands. Look at his hands..."

His sleeves are rolled up almost to his elbows; I feel those powerful forearms moving me, manipulating me on his leg. Deliriums as his sweaty hands move up my thighs, raising my skirt. I look at his beautiful face, sweated black hair clinging to delicate features. I lean forward and rest my tongue on that nipple before I tear open the rest of his shirt just to keep myself from screaming. I taste the salty taste of sweat; the soft flesh of his outer nipple and the hard ridged tip. I reach down between his legs and find the rest of his hardness. Seems like he is going to tear through his fly.

I tear the button and zipper open, his cock shifting under my moving hands. His hands touch my panties for the first time. I see the first person standing at the end of the isle looking at us. A man I think it is. An older man in blue jeans with a more than healthy beer gut. A woman stands next to him as I reach into Simon's briefs and wrap my hand around that cock. Immense, hard and ridged with a thousand tiny veins and ridges. I think of all of those ridges and the way they would stream along my softest flesh, as he would penetrate me for the first time. Hard and yet very soft to the touch, like his hands. This wonderful head I hold in my hand.

I lap the sweat off of his nipple knowing that the very presence of this head penetrating me would make me cum before he pushed in with the full length. I squeeze it fast. I stop licking and look up at his face; my chin rubbing into his saliva coated nipple. I try to focus my eyes on Simon. I run my fingers through his hair. I try and continue to look at this beautiful face as I flex my tongue back onto his chest. My hand moving slowly in the tight space of his briefs.

His hair; sweat is dripping off of his hair and down onto my face. Splattering on my cheeks and nose like hot raindrops. It drips into my eyes and makes them burn. It drips onto my tongue and makes me hungry. I pull my hand out of his pants and grab a handful of that sweaty hair. I pull myself upward, dragging my tongue up his body like a snail moving up his chest. I listen to his heart racing and his lungs pump excited air. I drag my tongue and face along his neck and trace the path of his jugular vein as it bulges outward. With subtle but sweet pain I scratch my tongue against the stubbled hair of his chin.

My god every bit of him tastes better than the last. I run my tongue across his lips as his hands attempt to peel back my panties. I shudder as his hand merely jerks. I'm so wet everywhere they are clinging to my body. He does not hesitate. I cry out a loud moan as he yanks them apart at the crotch. I feel a rush of air hitting moist flesh and moist flesh hitting air as he tears off the waist band on one side for good measure and casts the rest of what had been my panties over my leg and out of the way. "You owe me some panties..." I say and lick his cheek. "I'll never be able to use them..."Oh God, is that your...your finger...."

"What about a cordless drill?"

"A cordless drill?" she said to him blankly. She tried to remember. Her eyes perked up as she became refocused like a moment of clarity in a drug binge. "I don't think he has a cordless drill. Are those good?"

"Oh yeah!" Simon said excitedly. "They are great! No damned extension cords to worry about. You just keep it plugged in when you are not using it " He hesitated a moment and continued. "I'm sorry pardon my language but I thought if you could say fuck I could say damned?" He threw her a playful little look. She smiled back, rather obviously blushing.

"Well that seems only fair?" "I swear if he keeps looking at me my legs are going to start to drip."

"Yes it does," he said and continued to smile at her for a moment. Then his face flushed a bit. He quickly set down the box and shot to the opposite side of the isle. He grabbed another box and held it up.

"Is that a cordless drill?"

"Yes it is," he said, reading the box for a moment and then refocusing his eyes on Stacey.

"Oh God..."

"Yes it is." He says to me.

"Oh God I'm so wet I can barely feel it. Oh...oh.... Please fuck me, I'm begging. Simon, fuck me before I cum. I want your cock to make me cum. Please... please..." I shut my eyes as his hands grab my hips lifting me and then setting me back down. Oh the floor feels so cool and good. Where, where did my panties go? I throw my head back and open my eyes. I see an almost comical upside down view of the isle.

The power tools on the shelves both cordless and cord-ful, the tiled ceiling, and the speakers in the ceiling; "Reo fucking Speedwagon" playing some lame assed ballad. There are people at the other end of the isle. I can't make them out. My eyes watering and blurring my view. Two, no three, no four. A man, a woman, a no that one is a man. No a woman. My legs coming apart. A presence, a large warm presence. I rest my legs on his hips and guide him forwards A ohhhhh...God. My god is he sure this is a cock. Mmm yes.... More, good Christ this has to be at least ten inches. Ten inches if an inch, all inside of me. More? Yes, here Simon I'll spread my legs farther apart oh Christ wept yes this cock filling me, pushing too deep too deep no deeper."

"You like?" Simon is over me, his body flexing and moving back and forth on top of me.

"Mmmm yes I like," I say. My hands in his hair I arch my back and yes a bit deeper. Trying to look at his beautiful face. "God you feel like a cannon inside of me. So hard, filling me up. I can feel every little ripple of your cock."

He smiles and grunts. He ignores my compliment and says: "They are all looking at you"

"Looking at me?"


"Looking at me," I reach down and pull up my sweater and bra. My nipples ridged as my tits stand straight up. The gangly looking college aged stock boy who was ogling me as I walked into the store is here. I can barely see him through my blurry eyes. His pants are around his ankles and his fist around his cock.

"And you like it don't you?" he begins to rock me a bit harder. "Mmmmhhhmm yes Simon I like it," I say as I watch the stocker jerking his cock around. I feel Simon's cock rush into me again and I wonder which of us the stocker is looking at more. I wrap my legs around him and hold him inside, as I play with my own nipples, yanking and twisting them hard between my fingernails. He tries to pull back out; I pull him deeper again. "Come on Simon, fuck me like you mean it. Come on...Ahhh" He slams hard into me. His balls bouncing across my ass. "Oh Simon I'm going to cum..." A shock of fear as I can't see. I taste wool and feel it scratch against my face as he yanks my sweater over my head. Scratching my arms. My arms I can't move my arms. I think he is twisting the sweater tight, securing my arms and hands. Then those hands, his hands, locking with my hands. Those large hands, taking me, gripping me, holding me. My hands tight upon the cold hard floor as I become light headed almost to the point of fainting. Can't seem to get enough breath. He holds me tighter as he moves faster in and out of me. I feel his absence and then his presence as he tears in and out of me. Which is more painful.

His face so beautiful I try to cry out something but I cannot breath to speak. He takes me faster and harder. Can't breath, scaring me. Feel like I am suffocating, like I'm trapped under this beauty. Trapped by the glare of the people who have stepped up from all around, some so close I can smell their shoes. Can't breath. My tearing eyes, I can't see any of the people clearly but I can feel each of them fucking me with their eyes as hard as Simon is grunting and clenching his teeth like an animal as he takes me. "Yes," is all I can manage as I melt away beneath him. "Do you like this?" he says to me.


"Do you like this?" he said.

"yes," she gasped.


She looked over at him. He was standing next to her again holding what would appear to be a cordless drill in his hands. He smiled as she snapped back. "I said: 'do you like this?'"

"Oh I am so sorry. Sure," she looked at the strange machine in his hands. After only a few seconds she ignored the drill and began to think of those hands again, holding her down on the very floor where she now stood. She tried to shake the feeling off. "It's a cordless drill?"

"Yes," he said with a smile.

"Is it a... a good one?" she said. "I don't want to buy any piece of shit that is going to break next week?" She noticed the gangly looking stock boy at the other end of the isle, helping a woman select a miniature sander from the various models available. He looked back over at Stacey. His eyes hit her face and then instantly drop to her chest even as he is speaking to the lady. Stacey glared at him quickly. "Asshole," she thought her herself as she reconnected with her eyes and shot him a knowing glare that penetrated him, knocking into him: "I know you're looking at my tits you little shit. Why don't you help that nice lady and then fuck off." The look said to him. The stocker flushed in the face and quickly looked back down at the sander in his hand, understanding fully the look.

"Yes it is a ... good one?" Simon said and craned his neck around. All he saw was the tall gangly stock boy talking to the nice lady about the sander. He looked back at Stacey. "Something wrong?"

"What? Oh no. Nothing at all..." she couldn't help but continue to glare at the stocker as she said it. Then she looked back over at Simon. "You say it is a good one?"

He smiled subtly at her. "Is he bothering you?"

Stacey felt a little shock roll through her body. " I've never even met him. What would give you that idea?"

He continued his knowing smile as he whispered under the sounds of Reo Speedwagon. "I'm surprised that look you just gave him didn't knock him into the next isle."

Stacey looked up at Simon. "That obvious?" she said in a curious but droning tone.

"No," he said. "Just call it a knack for knowing what a person is thinking."

Stacey felt her eyes blast open like saucers as her entire body went numb with dumbfounded shock. She somehow managed to look back up at him. "Really?" "Now you sound like such as asshole again..."

"Well sometimes," he said. "Depends on the person really."

"really?" she said.

"really," he returned.

And there they stood for just an instant.

"So," she said in a slightly too loud tone of voice. "We got the drill!"

"Yes," Simon said back, triumphantly raising the box in the air before extending it to her. She sighed openly and obviously as she took it from him and held it in her arms preciously. "Thank you so much Simon."

Simon smiled warmly as he watched how she held it. "You must really love him to put yourself through this."

Stacey blushed and suddenly felt a dark, shifting feeling begin to go through her. There was something strange to her now about Simon bringing up her husband. "Well, yes I do," she said.

"What is this lucky man's name?"

"Tomas," she said. "And your name is heartless bitch." She recognized the dark feeling. Guilt, the worst kind of guilt; it was the type of guilt you felt for something that was not even real. The type of guilt someone of German decent feels when they see "Schindler's List"- even if their grandfather was a GI in World War II. The kind of guilt the rich feel when they see the homeless eating out of a Dumpster. The kind of guilt Stacey felt for that fleeting moment in the hardware store and that she would for every time in her life thereafter whenever she heard Reo Speedwagon take it on the run baby. Imaginary guilt for things that only seemed real for a moment, like a shadow. And like a shadow turned out to be only the distorted image of something harmless.

The shadow came, reared its ugliness, and went as fast as it had come. The flushed feeling of shock and guilt distorted again. "Come on, you're never going to see him again... flirt a little more...have something to remember..."

With her purse in one hand and a cordless power drill in the other, Stacey crossed her arms under her breasts, subtly pushing them up a bit; a playful smile crossing her lips. "What just what makes him so lucky?"

Simon was fast with his response. "A beautiful wife who buys him power tools. Is that not the American dream?"

Both of them broke out in a slight gale of laughter. Stacey saw a man at the opposite end of the isle look up from the circular saw he was examining and gave them an odd look. She noted the socket set in his hands and blushed again. As they quieted down, she noticed that Simon had suddenly become a bit more olive himself. "Well Simon, it has been interesting but I have to get going."

"Yes," he said with a simple nod of acceptance. "As do I."

She set down her purse and the drill and extended out her hand. "It has been a pleasure meeting you. And thank you again."

He took her hand and shook it with the same gentleness as he had previously. She looked again one last time into those dark, endless eyes. "Oh lets not even go there again..." all parts of her exhausted imagination agreed. "No. Thank you for allowing me to assist you Stacey. You have put some fun into my day."

"As have you," she said still shaking his hand. She felt him make the slight polite pulling motion to end the handshake. As instinctively as anything else, she began to let his hand go as well.

"...wait..." something deep inside of her cried out suddenly.

With a subtle nimbleness she reclenched her fingers around his and a slight jolt ran through her. A little jolt that told her that her imagination was not quite exhausted yet.

"...don't do it Stace... Do not do not say it... do not......ahhh fuck it say it..."

"Tell me Simon," she said still holding her hand. "Is this how men feel shopping for lingerie?"

For the first time in the midst of their short yet surprisingly insightful and profound relationship she felt the surprise and shock rise up in him. She felt it penetrating his body through his hand. She saw it as his eyes brightened with sudden surprise. She felt it begin to transcend warmly into herself as he looked at her and said simply, perfectly: "Not all men."

"oh my..." she said to herself as the warm feeling passed between them. She had no idea how long they stood there in the power tool isle, slightly gripping each other by the fingers like statues dancing a minuet. It was something unique, something she had not counted on or predicted. Some feeling, thought emotion moved through her, rocked through her, toward through her with a power like nothing else, breaking her down fundamentally and rebuilding her instantly but differently. She was identical except now she possessed this quality; this quality that at the same time she absolutely knew was doing the exact same thing through him. possessing him, possessing her. Warmth, sensation, a vividness of shear intensity. Something beyond emotion, beyond sex. It could not be described any easier than it could be divided by any line or rule or law be it man's or natures.

And it was real.

"I have to go," he finally said, sounding as out of breath as if he had just ran a marathon. She saw sweat dripping into his eyes.

"Me too," she released his hand and they both dropped to their perspective sides.

She knelt. She picked up her drill and her purse. She stood. She walked or more accurately marched away as he walked in the opposite direction. "walk away...just fucking walk away... no more bullshit just move...keep moving one foot in front... going...going to Erotica and A'more' and buying that lingerie, have to get a teddy for tonight for Tomas... and then going to the store and wait oh shit...oh shit why... why did you do that. walk walk walk... one step at a time... why did you just think about lingerie shopping you stupid...walk...keep walking... can't stop...yes lingerie shopping what a good idea...I am going to take him lingerie shopping...he is going to take me lingerie shopping now...we are going to take us lingerie shopping...have to go anyway have to get new panties. No! No not new panties! No a new no no...he has good taste though... ...yes... don't stop...keep walking keep are stopping... Stace, why are you stopping...don't stop don't stop..." She stopped.

She turned.

"Simon," she said.

He stopped at the opposite end of the isle, an instant before he would have turned out of sight. He turned around. "Yes Stacey," he said quite clearly.

She said to him even more clearly. As clearly as she had ever said anything: "What do you say we test that theory?"


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