tagRomanceThe Chemistry of Books

The Chemistry of Books


Libraries are generally very reserved places. I like the dark stacks of books and the quiet. I am fond of the smell of old bindings and decaying paper. Of course, men don't usually find those women in my line of work entirely attractive. Frankly, I have to admit that I don't find myself entirely attractive. I am too tall and thin. My hair is long and flat, and an unimpressive, lackluster shade of brown. My eyes are my biggest complaint. They are the queerest shade of green. I have often thought of getting contacts in a striking shade of blue, but I never seem to get around to it. Needless to say, I have very little confidence in myself, or at least I did. Recently, something happened that affected my opinion of myself.

One evening I was working, reshelving some fiction, when I caught a glimpse of a stranger reading Henry Miller in the stacks. He had a slightly flushed look to his cheeks, which caused me to blush. I could only imagine what part of that phallocentric writer's book the stranger currently read. I looked at my wristwatch and realized closing time loomed. Tentatively, I approached the man to ask him if he needed any help and to suggest that he take his selection to the circulation desk. He looked at my strangely, and a smile graced his thin lips. He reshelved his book and faced me with his hands in the pockets of his overcoat.

"You ought to wear your hair up, in a French twist," he suggested. I looked at him, puzzled. "It would suit your face." He turned and left. I raised a hand to my long, straight locks and considered his observation. I looked down at the book that he had reshelved and noticed that it was exactly in the right place. At least someone made my job easier. I finished my work and looked forward to an evening of leftover Chinese food with my cat, Scaredy...


Two days later, I sat at the circulation desk when the stranger that I had approached came in again. He had a book to return and slid it across the counter to me. He looked pleased as he noticed my hair.

"I see you took my advice," he said.

"What do you think?" I asked.

"I was right. It does suit you." He began to turn away and then faced me again. "My name is Donovan, by the way. I am sorry that I did not introduce myself earlier."

"Erica," I replied, accepting the hand that he offered to me. The skin of his palm felt smooth and cool, like the leather of an old binding.

At the touch of his flesh, I could immediately envision that hand running across my breast, down the curve of my stomach. I quickly let go of his hand and wiped my palm down my thigh. It was not at all like me to have that sort of thought run through my head. Donovan must have seen the disturbed look on my face

"Is anything the matter?" he asked. I shook my head and busied myself with checking in the book that he brought back. Donovan stood there and looked at the ground for a moment then turned and left for the stacks of fiction. I was glad to see him go because with him went the unnatural feelings I had for him that swarmed around me like gnats. I took a deep breath, and the familiar smells of the books around me calmed me.

The afternoon progressed. As per my job, I went about reshelving the returned books. I had only a few more to do before I could leave for the evening. The library was closed, and the lights dimmed. I was putting away many John Grisham novels when a hand fell on my shoulder out of the darkness. Before I could scream, a voice spoke to me.

"You drive me mad," it said. Male. I could almost place it. Then a cool hand reached up to caress my cheek.

"The library is closed. You shouldn't be here," I stammered. Donovan spun me around and gazed at my eyes, my queer green eyes. I looked at my feet, trying to avoid his gaze, and then stared at the spines of the books on the shelves.

"No, don't look away." His hand tilted my chin up to look at him.

I met his clear blue eyes, and he smiled at me reassuringly.

"Do you know how beautiful you are? I must have you. Your thighs must be the color of ivory. The things you do to me..."

I felt insecure but also fascinated by this stranger and his attraction to me. Donovan fell to his knees and ran his hands down my body, down my thighs, to rest his hands on my knees. He planted a kiss on the inside of my knee and breathed deeply.

"Let me worship you," he pleaded.

I had no idea what to do but reached down and rested my hand on his head. I was still quite unsure of how to handle the situation. Either this man was going to do me serious harm or he was actually insanely in love with me. My rational mind suggested that it was the former, but something in his voice, in the touch of his lips, reminded me of the feeling that I had had when we shook hands. Besides, I felt I knew him by the books he read; he was a shy scholar, a dreamer, someone with a thirst for something greater...

"What do you want?" I asked him.

"Only to make you happy," came the reply that made my breath catch.

He kissed the inside of my knee again and pushed up the hem of my long skirt. Through the nylon of my stockings, I could feel his touch like it was on my skin, and it only made me want whatever was going to happen all the more. He lifted the hem of my skirt and stood in front of me. Donovan leaned up against me, pushing me into the stacks for support, and pressed his lips to mine. It was electric. His tongue passed between my lips to meet mine.

I could feel his hands running up and down my back, now fingering the stray hairs at the nape, and now lightly caressing my buttocks. His hands came around my sides and drifted up to cup my breasts. His fingers sought my nipples beneath the thin fabric of my silk shirt. They rose to his touch, and I could feel the rest of my body responding as well. It was so long since I had felt the touch of another...

My hand reached out tentatively, and I ran my fingers down his chest. I could tell I pleased Donovan. His kisses changed from careful to fierce. He pulled back and looked me in the eyes again.

"Is there somewhere we could go?" he asked me. The shelves of books were a bit cold and daunting, but I felt comfortable there, secure. I shook my head in response. After being reassured, Donovan did not seem hesitant about the location as he lowered me to the floor, his lips, once again, pressed to mine.

"Do you know how long I have been watching you? It was only recently that I finally got up enough courage to approach you."

He kneeled beside me and slowly undid the buttons of my blouse. He ran his hand over the lace of my bra and then undid the clasp between the breasts. Reverently, he uncovered them and leaned over to suckle one. I gasped at the pleasure of it. His tongue plaid across the sensitive flesh and made me ache with the need for something more. He squeezed my breast, taking the taught nipple in his teeth and biting it softly.

His empty hand trailed down and once again lifted the hem of my skirt. He moved it up and trailed his hand across my thigh raising the skirt as he went. He turned his attention away from my nipple long enough to undo my skirt and pull off my stockings and panties. I could hear the soft sound of my removed undergarments hit the industrial carpet beneath us. Donovan sighed as he looked down at the neat triangle of brown hair concealing my sex. He ran his hand across the warm, smooth flesh of my belly and then kissed me again as he moved his fingers through the curls between my legs.

I sighed with the recognition that something great would happen tonight, something that I had so long gone without. Donovan's hands were not the fumbling fingers of the inexperienced males I had known (I hesitate to call them men). There was something knowing in his touches, in the way the tip of his finger pressed against my clitoris, the soft movements of his tongue against the flesh of my neck. Hesitant kisses moved across my skin and down my breasts, towards the place where his fingers played. Fingers parted the soft mounds concealing my secrets. Donovan's eyes rested there, drinking in the image, knowing everything about me in that one look. His head dipped down between my legs and I felt his tongue flick out and brush against my swollen lips.

I could not conceal a gasp of pleasure as currents ran through my body. I felt his tongue probe me, deeper, pushing into me, feeling me, tasting what I had to give. I felt there was no expectation of reciprocation here, but I still wanted him to be more a part of me than he was. I tried to pull him up again, so I could feel his swollen cock against my belly. I needed to show him that I wanted more, but he resisted my weak pulling at his shoulders.

Before I could say anything, Donovan hurried the darts of his tongue. I could feel the tension in my body mounting, the muscles in my thighs cramped, and my feet pointed to the point of pain. I could feel my control slipping, all lucid thought dissolving into a haze of blood behind my eyes. I writhed against the motion of Donovan's tongue, surrendering to his ministrations. In a single clenching of every nerve in my body, a single release of all the Saturday nights alone, an abandonment of every unkind word ever spoken to me, I came. I came hard and fast, my hips thrusting out to meet Donovan's lips, his teeth grazing my tender flesh. I think I may have screamed. I heard echoes of something returning to me from the high ceilings, but I was in a daze and didn't recognize my own voice.

Defeated, I relaxed, suddenly becoming aware of the rough carpet beneath me, wanting my bones to soak into the floor and to forget this corporeal existence. The dim light above my head swam in the black, seeming to mock my clipped wings, my inferiority. I raised my head and looked into the eyes of my lover. He looked back, a certain gleam of craving, hunger behind the clear icy blue. Before I could speak, to thank him, to offer myself in return, he jerked to his feet and ran away, leaving his overcoat on the floor next to me.


I showed the stub that was stapled to the inside of the coat to the girl standing behind the counter at the dry cleaners.

"We're not usually supposed to give that stuff out, but since I know you..." Her parents had forced her into programs and volunteer work at the library for as long as I had been there.

"I really appreciate it," I replied, smiling.

She looked through the Rolodex and pulled out a card, wrote the address on a slip of paper and handed it across the counter to me. I looked down and realized that the address wasn't too far away. Throwing the overcoat over my arm, I left the store and hung a left, walking down the fairly empty street. A few blocks, past a theater, a coffee shop, a bookstore, and then right down a side street that matched the name written on my card. Numbers passed me until I found the tall brick apartment building I wanted.

I let myself into the lobby and climbed two flights of stairs to the third floor. I found the door. With more boldness than I was used to experiencing, I knocked, my guts clenching in anticipation. I waited, not hearing any noise behind it. I turned to leave, and it was only then that I heard the door open behind me. I swung around, holding the over coat out in front of me, a shield and excuse.

Donovan stood in the door way wrapped in a black towel. I was aghast.

"I'm sorry to interrupt, but you left this behind the other night..."

Donovan reached out into the hall and grabbed my wrist, and pulled me toward him. His lips pressed violently to mine, cutting off the rest of my statement.

"I don't know what happened to me the other evening! I'm sorry I left so soon."

"I am sorry you left so soon too," I said, smiling.

Donovan looked at me quizzically and then leaned over to kiss me again. I dropped the overcoat, and my fingers went to the towel around his waist.

"I didn't get to pay you back..." As I tore off his towel, I pushed him into the apartment and slammed the door behind me. Donovan sighed as my hands grasped his sides and my lips played across his chest. In the room, I could smell the dust of old books and the spice of the man I held to me: a combination of roasting coffee, clove, and soap. It was a strange aphrodisiac. I wanted nothing more than to taste that spice, to know its source. I looked down and saw the object of my idolatry, standing for me, straight and firm. Already at its tip was a glistening bead of nectar. I found my hands drawn to that length of flesh, reveling in the stone concealed beneath its velvet softness.

I fell to my knees in front of him, raised my eyes to the level of his cock, and ran my tongue down it tentatively. It kicked and Donovan's body shuddered. I took the shaft into my mouth end begin to slowly move back and forth, the entire mass of my body in every motion. Thrilled to finally have possession over this man, I felt myself with one hand, playing across the front of my skirt, dipping between my legs against the fabric; I was moist and hungry. Donovan's hands were on my shoulders, then moving down inside my shirt to run his fingers over my nipples. He strained to reach them from his position. His breathing was shallow. All of the sudden, he pushed me away. My mouth hungered still for the taste of him.

"Not like this," he panted, and then pushed me back onto the threadbare Persian rug covering the floor. Reverently he proceeded to remove my clothes, then to ever so gently suckle one of my nipples. He lowered his naked form onto me, brushing the tip of his penis across my stomach, and touching it to my clitoris.

"Do you want this?" he asked emphasizing his point by rubbing his erect shaft against the inside of my thigh. I nodded, hardly able to believe that my answer was not evident in the hunger blazing out from my eyes. Donovan finally plunged his length into my waiting cunt.

I gasped as he began to move back and forth inside me. It was amazing, this thrill that all too quickly grew in my womb. My arms stretched out across the carpet, and my convulsing fingers found the fabric of the heavy coat, which had fallen to the floor. I grasped it in my hands for the little bit of leverage that it offered. My hips spasmed upwards and collided with Donovan's thrusting pelvis. My whole being shivered at this experience that had once again caught me unaware. I could feel myself coming to crisis, and I could hear Donovan's breath in my ear grow rapid. He did not say anything to me; no words were needed in this communion of two souls that had wandered too long without each other. The scent of our lovemaking filled my nostrils and combined with the smell of the room to send me away, light-headed, and I came.

I came with him inside, and I could feel his own orgasm, filling me completely. Donovan exhaled deeply, kissing my ear as he relaxed. His body fell onto mine, my breasts crushed beneath his pale chest. The fabric of the overcoat was damp and wrinkled in my hand from sweat. I let it go and threw my arms over his back, clutching him tighter to my body. I felt his cock shrink slowly inside me, and Donovan pulled out, resting his spent member on my thigh. We stayed like that, the two of us, exhausted, on the floor until the shadows lengthened through the windows and his phone rang...


A few days later and I am sitting behind my circulation desk, as usual. It is near closing time, and hiding in the stacks, peaking about the corner occasionally, holding a tomb of Kafka and dressed in heavy overcoat, is my lover, Donovan, waiting for me to get off work so that we can get off...

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