tagMind ControlThe Love Bug

The Love Bug


The sound of the alarm was cut off abruptly by the downward motion of his hand as Joseph Templeton rubbed the sleep from his bloodshot eyes. The room was still blurry, and he reached over to pick up his spare glasses from the table next to the bed. He could just make out the aroma of coffee coming from the other room. His view of his surroundings swung around wildly as he threw his legs over the side of the bed and sat up.

"There should be a law against getting up this early," he thought in disgust.

It took a supreme act of will, but he managed to get to his feet and walk to the bathroom where he slipped on his robe over his t-shirt and boxers. Still trying to shake the cobwebs from his head he removed his glasses long enough to bend over the sink to toss some cold water in his face. He pulled a small towel from its holder near the light switch and dabbed away the water. In the mirror above the sink, he caught sight of his reflection and wished he hadn't.

A blond haired man in his late twenties starred back at him. His mother would have complained he was too thin and she would not have been wrong on that score. At his last physical his doctor had wanted him to put on some weight, and he was trying to do so, but his hectic work schedule made eating regular meals a chore. Standing just a bit over six-foot tall but weighing only about one-hundred sixty-five pounds Joseph, Joe to his friends, was definitely on the skinny side of the ledger. He frowned in the mirror wrinkling a not unattractive face. His looks had always favored his mother's side of the family with dark green eyes and a narrow nose over soft looking lips.

"Joe! Coffee!" came a shrill voice from the other room.

Wincing at the sound, he placed the towel back on the holder well aware of his girlfriends need to have everything in its place.

Joe made his way into the kitchen of the small two bedroom apartment he shared with his girlfriend, Gloria. He found her there sipping from a steaming mug as he entered.

He had met Gloria Stein during grad-school. The act of dating had been a foreign concept to Joe who had done little of that activity growing up. There wasn't a lot of demand for skinny, nerdy guys with glasses, and his lack of social skills had not helped his cause. Gloria had solved that problem by taking charge of the entire operation the same way she seemed to dominate everything else in her life. A severe-looking blond haired woman barely five-foot two-inches tall her natural arrogance made her seem far bigger. She had set her sights on Joe from the first day and decided that he was at least roughly her intellectual equal. They would, therefore, produce optimal children when the time came. Joe had found himself cornered and ordered into a date while being given the exact time of pickup and mode of dress required.

He had appreciated that she seemed so interested in him were so many other women had not been. The fact that he had to do very little was a big plus as well since she carried most of the conversation on that first date though it did seem a bit like a job interview at times. It was apparent from the beginning that Gloria Stein had a plan for her life and she was determined to follow that plan to the letter. Joe soon found himself caught up in a carefully dictated romance. Lacking experience himself he assumed that the way he and Gloria came together was entirely reasonable. She had a written timeline for their relationship and ticked off milestones with the careful observance of a born engineer. As time passed Joe did find himself enjoying Gloria's company. They were both a bit odd but accepting of each other's quirks and eccentricities. It helped that Gloria was a reasonably attractive woman with dark blue eyes in a round face set off by a small pert nose and soft light pink lips.

Exactly two months to the day after they first met she casually remarked that they should be at the point where their relationship should advance to the physical stage. Joe had assumed that when he lost his virginity, it would be an extraordinary moment both beautiful and magical. Gloria went about it like planning an amphibious assault on a hostile shore. She told him when to arrive at her apartment and what to wear right down to the brand of boxer briefs. When he showed up at the appointed time she had shown him a task list that included five minutes of kissing followed by ten minutes of intimate massage and progressing from there right up to the moment of vaginal penetration. In the heat of the moment, he had nearly tried to stray from her planned program a few times but was met by a raised eyebrow and a quiet admonishment to "stay on task."

Joe was in the biological sciences program at the university while Gloria was studying aerospace engineering. When they graduated both had been offered positions at Modern Dynamics a company that had its fingers in many different technological pies including the commercialization of space travel, and the development of new pharmaceuticals. Joe was assigned to a project in the latter area which fitted his area of expertise. At the moment, he was working on a project to extract enzymes from the venom of a newly discovered South American species of insect.

"Thanks for the coffee," said Joe as he poured himself a cup.

"There is no need to thank me according to the schedule on the refrigerator I make the coffee on Tuesday's," replied Gloria.

Joe smiled, but it faded at the serious look on his girlfriends face sometimes he forgot just how matter of fact she was about things.

"Well, I had better go shower I have to be in the lab on time today we have a new scientist coming up from Peru to deliver the latest samples."

"Please be sure to be home by five p.m. today my parents will be arriving at six for dinner."

Trying to hide his disdain at the idea of dining with two of the most boring and odd individuals he had ever met Joe took his coffee with him and headed back to the bathroom. He placed his cup on the bathroom counter as he lathered up his face to shave. Meeting Gloria's parents the year before had shed quite a bit of light on why she was so literal and regimented. Her father was ex-military and still ran his household the same way he had run his submarines in the service with the absolute focus on schedule and discipline. Gloria's mother was a former engineer herself and seemed to lack anything remotely approaching an imagination. They had raised Gloria in a very strict home without television and with very limited time for play or other wasted indulgences as they saw them. Still, for all her oddities Joe did acknowledge that Gloria had been a positive influence on his life in a lot of ways. She had taught him to organize his scattered thoughts and stay focused on achieving his goals. Many people saw her as being controlling and aloof, but he felt that she did care about him in her way.

Joe exited the shower and went into the bedroom to dress, Gloria was there putting on her clothes for the day, but at the moment she was standing there in just an everyday white bra and matching panties. Her body wasn't spectacular but was still quite lovely with a tight rear end and small perky breasts. He stole up behind her and slipped his arms around her slender waist while trying to kiss her neck. The kiss missed its intended target as Gloria neatly pivoted away displaying impressive reflexes.

"Why are you trying to engage in romantic behavior overtures it's not Wednesday or a special holiday?" asked Gloria with a puzzled expression.

"Well, you just looked so cute standing there I thought we might be a little late for work for once."

"Late? That would be unprofessional of us and would negatively affect our team members."

"Come on Gloria. Just a few minutes late we surely could spare that time to be with each other."

He moved in again, and for a moment he seemed to gain the upper hand pressing his lips to Gloria's small, firm mouth. Her hands touched his arms, and he tried to deepen the kiss. She started to respond opening her mouth slightly to accept his tongue, but just as swiftly she broke away.

"Joe, please, this is not the appropriate time. We have responsibilities to fulfill that need our attention."

"What about our responsibility to each other Gloria? I feel responsible for making you cum."

He tried to move in again and once again he gained a bit of ground kissing Gloria softly and managing to pull one cup of her bra down exposing her small breast with its pert pink nipple. Gloria gasped quietly when his lips found her perky mound and his tongue slid across it toward the upright round shape of her stiff nipple. She groaned louder as he bit gently on her swollen bud yet just when it looked as if he might have his way her cell phone rang loudly on the dresser near them.

Gloria pushed him away again shaking her head to regain her composure, and picked up her phone to answer it.

"This is Dr. Stein."

Joe moved off and could only catch half the conversation, but it was evident that she was needed urgently at the lab. He sat on the bed and watched as she hastily dressed.

"I guess I will see you later," he said with a hint of disappointment in his voice.

Despite her calm demeanor, his girlfriend was not entirely without empathy, and she caught the sadness in his tone.

"Joe, I do care about you a great deal. I love you in point of fact, and I don't take pleasure in disappointing you."

"You could have fooled me."

"Don't pout like a child, Joe, it's unbecoming and belittles us both."

"A child? I'm not asking for a cookie. I am trying to feel closer to the woman I care about."

She hesitated uncertainly not sure how to proceed with the conversation. It was apparent that she needed to provide some comfort to her significant other, but she was at a loss as to how that could be accomplished in the brief time available.

"We will have to speak about this later. I'm sorry, Joe," she said finally and walked out of the room.

Joe sat forlornly on the bed until he heard the front door open and close signaling Gloria's departure. He started to get dressed as he considered for what seemed like the hundredth time why he was still in this relationship. There were times when it looked like his girlfriend wasn't even a part of the same species as him. It was almost like she was conceived by a computer or was a Vulcan like on Star Trek, a person ruled by logic and not emotion. Still, as often as he criticized her for what she lacked, she had always been there for him. She had been the one to provide guidance and support when his doctoral thesis seemed hopelessly mired, and he was ready to give up. If it weren't for her, he likely would not have this job which he did love. That she could be eccentric was a given, but she was capable of surprisingly healthy passion, as long as it was adequately scheduled in advance of course.

He set the alarm system and left for work a few minutes later trying to tear his thoughts away from his relationship problems.

The drive into the offices and labs of Modern Dynamics was free of traffic for once, and Joe arrived fifteen minutes earlier than usual. He parked his car in his space and flashed his badge at security before taking an elevator down ten floors underground. When the elevator door opened, he was greeted by the sight of a long, dull corridor with walls of corrugated steel that seemed to vanish into the distance. There were doorways regularly spaced on either side of the hall. Joe walked to the third door down on the right that had a small sign above it.

"Biological Research Division. Another day in the trenches," thought Joe absently as he read the sign and swiped his key card through the coded lock at the same time.

The door disappeared into the wall to his right admitting him to the lab beyond. He stopped to survey the landscape as the heavy door closed behind him. The walls were covered with high tech equipment and shelves of chemical beakers and specimen jars. In the center of the room was a bank of computer workstations with high-resolution monitors that were tied into both the environmental controls for the room and the adjoining isolation labs. From these workstations, a scientist could also pull up information from a plethora of databases containing the latest research on pharmaceutical development. The far side of the room was divided into two separate chambers with long windows of reinforced glass. These were the experimental isolation areas for dangerous specimens and chemical agents. Several corridors branched off this central control room, and they led to offices and storage areas.

Joe's entrance had attracted the attention of the rooms lone occupant at the moment.

"Well, my cup runneth over. You're early today Joe, will wonders never cease."

"Good to see you as well, Stephanie."

Stephanie Dodd was a mediocre scientist but a top-notch administrator which was why she had been placed in charge of the division. Her gruff manner aside she was a decent boss. Joe had always found her more than a little intimidating. Stephanie was close to six-feet tall and had been a female rugby player in college. She sported a pair of broad shoulders and thick muscular legs that carried her around the lab at a brisk pace. Her face was plain but not ugly with large green eyes and generous lips surrounded by her close cut red hair. Stephanie tended to disdain make-up, but her fair skin was smooth and didn't need it.

The hardest thing for Joe when first meeting her had been not to stare at her chest. Stephanie tended to favor low cut blouses under her lab coat and when she didn't have it buttoned her enormous breasts looked as if they were about to stage an escape.

"I hope that partner of yours gets his ass in here on time today. We have a guest arriving soon," said Stephanie glancing at her watch.

Joe smiled. Stephanie had a long-standing friendly feud going with his lab partner, Manny Prince. Manny came off more like a used car salesman than a scientist and his efforts at bedding every new female grad student that showed up at the lab were well known.

"I'm sure he will be here. He wouldn't miss this it's not often we get a look at a previously undiscovered species of insect."

"Even more important if the preliminary reports we have received are true this little critter may contain a real bounty of potential new drugs."

Before Stephanie could elaborate the steel door behind Joe opened, and two new arrivals stepped through and into the room.

"So, did I mention that I have two tickets to the opening of the hottest dance club in town," said the tall, dark-haired man that Joe instantly recognized.

Manny Prince looked like a Latin lover and played up that image as much as possible with thick brunette hair swept back off his forehead and the chiseled features of a movie star. He had left a path of broken hearts all over the office. His companion at the moment seemed less than impressed with his flirtations however as she stepped away from him without a word, and crossed the room to speak with Stephanie. Manny shrugged and continued toward Joe.

"A real walking block of ice that one," whispered Manny to Joe.

She may have been a block of ice, but Joe was having a hard time not staring at her just the same. The woman that was now engaged in conversation with his boss was almost as tall as Stephanie, but that was where any similarity between the two ended. The newcomer was one of the most striking women Joe had ever seen with raven black hair that fell in a thick waterfall down across her shoulders framing a gorgeous face highlighted by her flawless light brown skin. She had large almond shaped brown eyes above a perfectly sculpted nose, and thick lips painted a sweet dark berry color.

"Gentlemen! I would like to present Dr. Gabriella Ruiz, our guest scientist," said Stephanie breaking Joe's train of thought.

Joe stepped forward to shake her hand enjoying the warmth and softness as their palms met. He tried hard not to let his gaze wander, but it wasn't easy. Dr. Ruiz had her lab coat open, and he could make out the swell of some decent size breasts under her plain black shirt. She was also wearing a skirt that gave just a glimpse of what appeared to be some very shapely long legs.

"I'm Joe Templeton, lead researcher," he managed to say, proud of himself for not stuttering.

"It is nice to meet you, Dr. Templeton," she replied with the hint of an Argentinian accent.

I guess you already met Manny," put in Stephanie.

"Yes," said Gabriella unable to keep a general loathing out of her tone.

Any rejoinder Manny would have thrown into the conversation was cut off when one of the computer consoles began emitting a loud beeping followed by a series of flashing yellow lights.

"I think your specimens are arriving Dr. Ruiz," said Stephanie.

The lights on one of the isolation chambers came on, and a second later a panel in the roof pulled back as a robotic arm descended from the ceiling holding a small clear glass case in its steel clutches. The computer controlling the arm lowered its burden down to a table secured to the floor in the center of the chamber. As a group, the scientists moved to the thick glass of the chamber window and watched as the arm retracted leaving the case behind.

"Well, they don't look like much," commented Manny Prince.

"Looks can be deceiving Dr. Prince," replied Dr. Ruiz.

The inside of the glass cage contained a small number of what appeared to be large silver and black insects that vaguely resembled the Pill Bugs so many children played with growing up. The most apparent difference was that these were far larger than your standard Pill Bug the smallest was about the size of a new quarter but several were as big as a silver dollar. They moved swiftly around their container sometimes bumping into and climbing over each other in their haste.

"These particular insects were discovered in the high mountains of Peru. They live in a valley that is almost completely geographically isolated from the surrounding area by both the mountains and a series of fast flowing rivers. One such river is the only way into the valley which is also the home of one of the few native tribes to have virtually no contact with the outside world."

"What's so special about this species?" asked Joe.

Dr. Ruiz stepped away from the glass, and the other scientists followed her back to the computer stations. She reached into a pocket on her lab coat and produced a thumb drive that she inserted into one of the computers. In a few moments, she had accessed a series of data files bringing up information on the insect in question. The screen in front of them lit up with a three-dimensional photo of one of the specimens as she began to answer Joe's question.

"As you can see here, they appear fairly ordinary at first glance but when you look at them from below it is a different story."

The image rotated to show what appeared to be the insects head concealed beneath the overlapping armor of its top half. The head looked quite bizarre and somewhat frightening with a short proboscis that was flanked by two long sharp looking pincers.

"Those mandibles are stingers that are capable of injecting a large quantity of a potent venom into the insect's prey."

"It looks like that would hurt like hell. What are those things about a quarter of an inch long?" observed Stephanie.

"You wouldn't feel a thing. The proboscis of the creature secretes a strong anesthetic that numbs the area before the use of its mandibles. It appears that the creature is a blood feeding parasite that prefers its presence go unnoticed like a tick though it behaves more like a mosquito, drawing a small quantity of blood quickly and moving on. The most interesting thing we have discovered is its effect on humans. It appears that in most animals the venom causes the expected lack of coagulation, but in humans, there is a startling series of side effects. The poison causes intense euphoria and heightened sexual urges."

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bydarkoverlord6© 6 comments/ 26382 views/ 32 favorites

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