tagRomanceInfusion

Infusion

byCalpurnius Erex©

I had been feeling feverish and achy for the better part of a week before I decided I was sick. Until then, I had convinced myself that I was merely tired, that I was feeling the accumulated stress of what had been a bad year. Not only was summer the most demanding season of my sales job, but I had also gone through a divorce. I thought I had taken the season and my wife's absence well; my body suggested otherwise and was now sticking me with a bug to prove it.

A coworker suggested that I stop by the local discount pharmacy and pick up a remedy that her sister's husband swore by. I wasn't interested in experiencing the jitters or lethargy over-the-counter remedies usually gave me, without affecting my ailment. Instead, I decided to stop at a health food store I often frequented on the weekends. I remember seeing several natural remedies in their health and beauty aids sections. Words like honey and citrus, garlic and zinc rang from my memory.

I parked my BMW a few doors down from the store and flipped up my jacket collar against the misty evening rain as I walked to their door. A bell tinkled overhead as the heavy door creaked open. A wave of scented herbs and spices rushed to me. Soft Celtic flutes and fiddles played overhead. The store was far less crowded than it ever was on the weekends; in fact, a cursory glance down the aisles suggested that I was the only customer there.

I was not completely alone, however. At the far end of the health and beauty aids aisle, a woman knelt, stocking the lower shelves. She was not one of the clerks I was accustomed to on the weekends. She was slender and somewhat tall for a woman, though no taller than myself. Her hair was reddish-brown, long, and curled loosely. She was dressed in an oversized cobalt blue sweater and long print skirt. She hummed with the music playing on the store's speakers.

"Is this good for a cold?" I asked, holding up a bottle of ginseng, rose hips, and Vitamin C.

"Are you sure it's a cold that's bothering you?" Her voice was accented. One of the accents from the British Isles. Irish, perhaps. I wasn't an expert.

"No," I admitted.

"You look pale," she said. She stood and walked toward me.

"I can't tell."

"Tired."

"Yes," I said. "Very tired."

"A little feverish?"

"Yes."

"The muscles in your shoulders and back: they hurt?"

"Yes."

"As if tense?"

"Yes. Like that." I held up my hand and tightened it into a fist.

She took the bottle from my hand. "This will not help you."

"What do you suggest?"

"Do you know how to make an infusion?"

"No."

She led me to a far corner of the store where the owners had set up several couches, a coffee machine, and racks of magazines featuring their products. She invited me to sit on one of the couches, then went back to the aisles for a moment. She returned with the several packets of herbs and a small perforated metal ball. She held up the ball in front of me.

"For teas ordinarily," she said. "But we will use it for an infusion. And an infusion is simply an herb or collection of herbs steeped in hot water until they release their medicinal properties in liquid forms. Your body absorbs liquids quickly and more easily than it does anything else."

"I'll have to take your word on it."

"Good."

She pinched items from each of the packets and put them into the metal ball. Some were powdered. Some were dried leaves. Nothing smelled unpleasant as they were. She dropped the closed ball into a large ceramic mug, then switched on the coffee machine to heat pure spring water she poured from a bottle.

While the water heated, she asked me questions about my job and life. I told her that I was a salesman for a company that, like so many other companies, had been painfully affected by the recent economic downturn. Sales were not going well. Our production plants were letting people go, as was our administrative offices. We feared that the sales department might be affected next.

She poured the hot water into the mug and told me it would take only a minute for the herbs to steep.

I told her about my divorce. Briefly. It was a story that I did not like to relive myself.

"Life adds and adds to us until our bodies cannot take more," she said, stirring the little ball around the mug by a chain attached to a silvery ring.

"So it seems," I said, more tired at that moment than I had been in a week.

"This will help," she said, holding the mug to my lips. "Be careful; it's quite warm."

I sipped. The infusion was tasty; sweet, without being sugary. Though it was hot, I found myself wanting to drink more.

"Yes, that's it," she said. "Let yourself take as much as you need."

I drank deeply. The infusion's warmth spread down my throat into my belly and began radiating out into my back and chest. Within moments, the mug was empty. She wiped my mouth with a linen napkin.

"How do you feel?" she asked.

"Warm," I said. "But in a very good way."

"Like you're soaking in a bath?"

"Yes, it does feel like that. But from the inside."

She sat beside me on the couch. "Good. That means it's working."

"What will it do to me?"

"Help you relax."

"But I really should get home and you...you have the store."

"The store will take care of itself," she said. She waved a slender hand toward the front of the store. Distantly, somewhat groggily, I heard a heavy door bolt snap into place. From the corner of my eye, I could see row upon row of the overhead lighting turning itself off. Only the fiddles and flutes remained. I couldn't think clearly enough to question how she had controlled the door and the lights. She said, "You're another matter. You need to be taken care of."

She put her arm around me and drew me close to her.

I nuzzled against her soft sweater, my hand resting just below her right breast. She stroked my hair.

"I could feel the sickness within you the moment you walked in the door," she said. "The stress. The loneliness. These things will kill you as easily as anything else."

"What...what can I do?"

"Enjoy."

She removed my jacket and shirt, then rubbed the tense muscles of my shoulders and upper back. When she pulled me back to face her, I saw that she had removed her sweater, revealing bare breasts with rosy nipples. She drew me close to her again and I found myself nuzzling against her breast, my lips barely an inch from her hardening nipple. As she hugged me tighter, I drew her nipple into my mouth and sucked upon it. She gasped in pleasure and stroked my hair. I felt comforted. The infusion had wiped all thought from my mind. I was merely feelings. Sensations.

I cupped her other breast in my hand as I continued to suck upon her nipple. Her flesh was so warm and pliant. Her hands ran from my hair to my shoulders and down my back, her nails tracing broad circles that gave me goosebumps. I bit gently upon her nipple in response. She gasped, momentarily clawing me in a most devine way. I nuzzled between her breasts, then kissed my way up along her throat.

Our lips burned against each other. I could taste something sweeter than the infusion on hers. Something that I could only describe as life. Joyful life. I kissed her hungrily.

Her hand tightening in my hair, she pulled me away. She breathed heavily.

"Slowly," she said. She kissed me once. Twice. Our lips settled together.

How long did we kiss? I am not certain. Time meant nothing to me. I did not realize that there was anything else in the universe except our lips until I felt her hand sliding down my chest. Her fingers worked at my belt, then button, then the zipper. Her hand slid under the elastic of my boxers and I knew I was instantly aroused. Perhaps I had been for hours? Days?

Her nails toyed with the sensitive head. I groaned, my hips involuntarily thrusting toward her hand. I had not had sex since my divorce six months ago nor during the separation, another three months. Her fingers tightened round the shaft. She stroked me. Her hand left me and I groaned again.

She stood, unfastened her long skirt, and stepped out of. She was as nude beneath it as she had been beneath the sweater. Her mound was shaven, bare except for a little encircled pentacle tattooed just inside her right thigh. Her lips glistened with her slickness.

She straddled me. Her hands worked me to her entrance. I felt the head slip against her lips and inside her. She moaned as she settled down around me. I breathed heavily as her warmth and wetness bathed me.

She rocked against me, her nipples brushing the hairs on my upper chest. I cupped a breast in each hand, squeezing with her rhythm. Her breathing grew heavy, almost matching my own hungry grunts.

I thrust up with my hips as she rocked down on me.

Our bodies drove together.

Harder.

Faster.

Tension building between us.

I knew I could not last much longer. The infusion had taken any focus I could have mustered. My body needed to give up to hers.

I came with a gasping shudder, my liquid heat joining hers.

I held my hand between us, my fingers feeling for her clit.

She ground against me, arcing her sex against my hand.

Her legs squeezed against my outer thighs. Her head dropped back. She shuddered. I could feel her sex clutching at me as she came.

She settled against me so that we sat cheek to cheek. We rolled onto our sides, laying face to face on the couch, holding each other.

"How do you feel?" she said after what could have been an hour.

"Better."

"Good," she said, smiling, kissing me. "The first part of your treatment was a success. Now, for the second part..."

END

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