A Study in Fragrance Pt. 15

"Hey Jamie! Come in! Steph isn't here yet." Em offered her a chair in the kitchen. "Something to drink? Water, juice?" She studied her friend's face for any signs of...what? Sex-crazed nymphomania? What does that even look like? Em knew what it looked like on her, and Caroline and Steph, and it wasn't a thing. Or if it was, it was a different thing for all of them. She handed Jamie a glass of orange juice.

"So, Em," Jamie looked at her over the rim, her eyes shifting a little. "That was really...weird? yesterday?" She looked away momentarily distracted by the sounds of construction coming from the basement. "Like, you guys weren't screwing with us, were you?"

Em shook her head and smiled, knowing the four of them had probably texted all night trying to figure out what the fuck was really going on. "Scout's honor," she said seriously, gesturing with her right hand. "You guys talk about it?" Em grabbed a chair at the table, nursing a cup of coffee, fiddling with her phone.

Jamie nodded. "I believe you. And so does Sarah. Naomi's not sure and Allison is convinced it's all bullshit." She giggled a little at cursing. "But we agreed we'd let anyone know if something weird started happening to us." She stopped. "So far, I don't think anything's changed."

Em looked back up and nodded. "Maybe it won't affect you the same." She shrugged. "But Caroline and Steph both said it took about a day after their first exposure. So, it's still too soon if that's how it rolls." She pulled the corner of her mouth back and shrugged again. "But please tell me if something does happen, okay? At least I can share whatever I've learned about it so far." She looked at the bag Jamie had brought. "What's that?"

"Drawing stuff. In case I wanted to do some sketching between cataloging."

Em's eyebrows jumped before she could stop herself, her shared memory with Steph still too fresh to ignore.

"What? Is that a problem?

Em laughed. "No! No problem. I just...of course you would bring your drawing kit. It would never occur to me." Which was true, but the real truth was too much. No way I'm going there right now.

She was saved from any further explanation by Steph coming in the back door.

"Hey hey!" She looked at the two of them, offering a thin smile.

"Hey Steph!" Jamie's face lit up.

Em nodded a greeting and glanced between the two of them, a movement Steph caught, throwing her a questioning eyebrow. Em shrugged. "You up for this?" she waved up the stairs.

Steph scrunched her mouth a little and shrugged. "We'll see. If I can't take it, I'll work on the stuff in your parents' room."

"Is...is there a problem?" Jamie set her glass down and looked at Steph.

She shook her head. "No. Sort of. Not really. Maybe." She laughed at how stupid she sounded. "Uh, it gets pretty intense for me up there."

Jamie nodded. "I saw you left right away with Robert. What's it do to you?"

Steph's face stiffened, holding back her response. Em knew that expression. Steph's sarcasm was brutal, and Steph knew it, but sometimes she had enough self-awareness to hold it back. She figured Steph didn't want to fuck things up with Jamie, and definitely not five minutes in the door. Steph looked at the basement stairs and nodded toward The Study.

"Let's talk upstairs, k?" She waited briefly and headed up, a determined expression locking her eyes straight ahead.

"She okay?" Jamie whispered to Em as they put their dishes in the sink.

Em nodded. "Complicit has been pretty tough on her. And like she admitted yesterday, she's not the athletic type. Without a physical outlet it fucks with her head. I've told her I would help, in exchange for the cataloging." Her body felt alive. She'd hit the gym hard, trying to build her upper body strength. The memory of the workout, her muscles sore but fluid, was calming. But then the memory of lying on the bench, pressing weights over her head, her legs straddling the pad, her shorts, rubbing against her lips, distracting her; not tender like yesterday, but swollen, needy. She squeezed her thighs together, her channel squishy, the emptiness made her glance at the basement stairs.

Jamie looked uncomfortable.

"What? Did I say something wrong?" Em worried she might have said something out loud. Fuck this is so fucking weird!

Jamie shook her head. "No! No. Sorry. I, uhhh, I had the strangest image just then, when you said you would help." She looked away, her hand covering her mouth. "Oh dear lord..." She stepped to the chair and sat down, shaking her head, not able to look at Em. "Oh dear."

Em rushed over and knelt down, looking up at Jamie. "What? What. You're feeling something, right? You're seeing something? Can you describe it?" Em placed her hands gently on Jamie's knees.

Jamie just stared at her wide-eyed, her mouth opening. "I...I've never..." she whooshed an exhale, her breath smelling of juice, breathing in again. She closed her eyes, focusing on her breathing. After several cycles she opened them again, her face calmer, her eyes wide and glistening. "You guys weren't kidding. I mean," she closed her eyes again and breathed in carefully. "I mean, if that was what you're talking about," nodding back to the sink.

"Are you going to be okay? Doing this? I mean, if you smell it again, it'll only get harder." Em's concern wiped out her own growing arousal.

Jamie sat back against the chair and breathed. "I do yoga, right?" She kept her eyes closed. "I've got about 50 hours left on my 1000 hour teacher training. I love it. I love almost everything about it. The way my body feels. The way my breath moves. The way my mind dissolves. Whenever anything upsets me, I can just go there, to my yogic breath. It's never failed me since I've been practicing it regularly. That," she opened her eyes and looked at Em, nodding slightly to the sink. "That was more intense than anything I've ever felt. Ever. That...like hit every chakra all at once. Seven bright stars just supernovaed in my body." She breathed again. "Is that what it does to you?"

Em nodded. "Not the same, but yeah. It's a plant for me. Twines around my nervous system. Up my spine and around my brain." She wanted to tell her more but waited. "You gonna be okay?"

Jamie nodded. "Yeah. Wow. Yeah. The second chakra is really lit up." She saw Em's confusion. "Pelvic chakra - reproductive organs, center of desire, sexual energy. Among other things. But it's not the only one. Sheesh!" She smiled at Emily and nodded again. "Phew. Okay. I can see why Steph is so upset." She breathed again. "Let's go and see what Abilene has upstairs."

Em was impressed, nodding.

While Jamie leaned down to grab her things, Em rocked back onto her feet, still wondering what Jamie had seen. "I'm dying to know what you saw. Is it too personal?" The tendril pulsed, waiting.

Jamie giggled a little. "Personal? Too personal? It was the hottest thing I've ever imagined in my life." She exhaled, shaking her head. "And I'm pretty good in that department, so that's saying a lot."

Em couldn't control the surprise on her face.

Jamie nodded smugly at Emily's reaction. "What? Oh. Right. Miss Goody-two-shoes." She smiled thinly.

Em raised her eyebrows and shrugged, leading the way up the back stairs. "I'm all ears whenever you want to share," she said, looking over her shoulder. "I doubt you could ever make me blush." Or top what I've been doing...

"So, we could get you started by bringing down the boxes from my parents' room." Emily had been thinking Steph would work in The Study, but was concerned about her being able to stay in there. Complicit enveloped them as they arrived at the top of the stairs, forcing Em to stop and get control of herself. Jamie continued through the open bookcase into the room.

"Steph?" Jamie's voice sounded concerned, quickly moving deeper into the room.

Oh fuck. Em's skin prickled. The morning's gym routine had grounded her body; her muscles were loose, her blood flowing, but Complicit had kicked in, swirling in her head, her pussy squishy. She needed to see what was wrong, but until she got her feelings under control she would be useless. And then...she was in the room, standing close to Caroline, their arms and shoulders touching. They were looking at different shirts, laughing, but Em was looking at Caroline's body, the sounds of the others muted: laughing, quiet whispers, gentle teasing. She felt...self-conscious...embarrassed about something...but she couldn't tell what it possibly could be. Naomi was nearby, her olive tinged skin lit with golden hues from the floor's reflected light. She was pulling up tiny shorts, Em's eyes catching the small landing strip Naomi kept at the juncture of her legs before the deep purple fabric covered her. Jamie was in the chair, a sketchbook resting on her naked thighs, her hand making quick strokes. Jamie's breasts, smaller than Em's, pointed out from her chest, like tiny cones, topped with dark nipples. Em quickly scanned down Jamie's torso, the sketchbook getting in the way, her right foot crossed on her left knee, well-toned legs extending from under the book. Em had seen Jamie naked only once, when they both were showering after a practice. She remembered Jamie's torso was long, flaring to broad hips, her sandy hair on her head the same color as the curls between her legs. Her eyes were staring at the top of the clothes. Steph, lying on her side, facing her, her pelvic bones sharp angles, her nipples extended, aureolas puffy. She wasn't smiling, but she didn't look panicked.

"Em!" Jamie's voice, sounding anxious, injected into the image.

Emily jerked herself back to the present and, ignoring the tendril's cobra-like motion, rushed into the room.

Jamie had dropped to her knees near the cabinet. On the floor, Steph looked like she was having a seizure, her hands pushed between her legs, her eyes closed, moaning and jerking. Jamie was holding her head, looking back at Em, panicking. "What's going on? What's wrong with her?"

Em crossed the distance in three steps. "Grab under her legs, around her knees. I'm going to grab her shoulders. We're bringing her back out." She nodded toward the bookcase. After a few fumbling starts, they carried Steph, twitching and moaning to the hallway.

"Is...is she having an epileptic fit?" Jamie whispered, softly stroking Steph's legs.

Em shook her head. "She's climaxing. One continuous orgasm, I'd say from how long it was going." She watched Steph's face relax into a smile, her eyes opening, nodding slightly.

"Holy fuck," she barely whispered. "Ohmyfuckingod." She saw Em's face and shook her head, her eyes trying to focus. "I can't...I can't..." And then a blush, deep red and florid blossomed from her cheeks out across her face and down her neck. "Oh god, no." She saw Jamie looking at her. She covered her eyes to hide her embarrassment, trying to roll over to hide her body.

"Steph," Em said quietly. "You know it's going to be okay." She stroked her shoulder and cheek. "Sshhhh..."

"Is there anything I can do?" Jamie still looked alarmed, glancing between Em, Steph and the bookcase. "You guys were really serious." Her tone a mixture of fear and curiosity.

"Yeah. Close the bookcase. Tight. Thanks."

Jamie shot up and Em heard a yelp and a giggle before she heard the case coming to a rest against the frame. Steph was still hiding behind her hands, her moans more from embarrassment than arousal.

Em stood up, rethinking the morning's plans; she looked up at Jamie. "What happened?" nodding to the case. Jamie was smiling.

"I thought I could pull on a shelf, but it just slid away!" Her mouth twitched, thinking she'd broken something. "So I grabbed the side and that seemed to work."

Em made a mental note to chat with Cos later about securing the shelves. Glad she tripped over it now and not after we'd loaded it up. "We're still finishing up...have a few bugs to work out I guess." She saw Jamie's eyes locked on Steph. "She'll be okay now that she's out of the room. We need to change the plan a little though."

She looked at the closed bookcase and wondered if the two of them could just start sorting right here. It would be cramped but possible; she looked up and down the hall if they stuck to the wall and left a path.

"Fuck, Em, what am I going to do?" Steph had curled up and pushed onto her knees, resting her back against the wall. She couldn't bear to look at Jamie, her face still deep red.

"Well, for one, you're not going back into the room until you figure out how to make peace with Complicit. But both you and I have seen you in the room, tomorrow for the BLN party, and you agree that you seem to be in okay shape." Em glanced at Jamie to see if she had anything to contribute. Jamie's eyes had rounded, her head shaking, surprised. "And it looks like Jamie might have seen something along the same lines. So, the good news is, you're going to figure it out today."

"I think I can help." Jamie had sat down next to Steph, still processing what Emily had just said, but eager to do anything she could. "You know I'm almost finished with my Yoga teacher training, right?"

Steph just nodded, sobbing, staring at the floor.

"One of the modules was on Tantric practices: a way to channel and interweave our internal energies to create balance and flow. I think, if you're open to trying some easy things today, you could learn a few powerful techniques." She paused. "Would you be open to that?"

Steph cried, her hands covering her face, her chest shaking. "I don't know...maybe...fuck... I've got to do something!"

"Is there somewhere quiet I could hang with her for an hour or so?" She looked at Emily.

She almost suggested the guest bedroom, behind the wall they were up against, but reconsidered. It was where Robert and Steph had been going at it and it might be a trigger. "There. Try Frankie's room." She pointed across the front stair to the corner bedroom. "I'm going to bring down the boxes. When you think she's in some kind of shape to work, meet me here."

Em left them, Jamie quietly explaining her understanding of the seven Chakras. "...crown and throat Chakras, Steph. You're really strong there..." Em had no idea what any of that was about, or if it would help, but given the bat-shit insanity of what was going on, she was just as happy to have another ally in getting Steph in tune with her physical self.

Upstairs, looking at the boxes, the image from the BLN reappeared, stopping her. Allison was poking Sarah in the ribs, telling her how skinny she was, Naomi sliding the purple shorts up, not bothering with underwear. And then a kiss, from Caroline, soft, yielding and warm. Em couldn't even smell Complicit, so the feelings she was having must have been "real." Real. Whatever the fuck that means anymore. But her vagina was wet, that was real, and her labia were sensitive to every step she took. The memory of Cos's thumb pushing into her rectum. That was real and the feeling of his hand, slapping her cheeks. The nagging feeling she was missing something important from the BLN remained. Caroline's kiss. Self-conscious. About that? But it wasn't that. She wanted to strip off all her clothes, the thought of being naked while she helped her friends sort through Abby's things sent shivers up her spine. But it was different from what Complicit made her feel. It was just naughty. It was a choice, a thing she could do. Steph wouldn't care, and, she paused, Jamie wouldn't either. And if Cos came upstairs that wouldn't be a big deal. She slipped off her top and bra, grabbed a box and carried it downstairs, only a little self-conscious when she passed Friankie's door. Jamie was facing away and Steph had her eyes closed.

Back upstairs, she slipped off everything and giggled at how strange it felt. She wasn't doing it because of Abby's fragrance; she was doing it because it felt good. Jamie had already seen her naked, if her memory of the BLN was accurate. They were all going to be naked tomorrow anyway. And Steph would just shake her head and laugh. Lightly running her fingers across her opening, it felt less tender today, the skin a little rough, maybe. She pushed her middle finger in as deep as she could, but it only reminded her how much she wanted Cos to fill her. She pulled it out, a strand of mucous stretching from its tip to her entrance. Suck it, you cunt. She closed her eyes at the awful way it sounded but it only urged her on slipping it into her mouth, wishing Cos were here to watch her, to demand more of her. She tasted strong, her aroma filling her head, her finger slimy against her tongue. If anyone came up and saw her, she would die from embarrassment: naked, obviously sucking her own juices. The tendril swelled slightly at her feelings.

"Pull yourself together, girl!" She pulled out her finger and shook off the feelings, grabbed another box and bought it downstairs, still a little self-conscious about what Jamie might say, but not enough to stop from pushing herself. She didn't pause at the bottom of the stairs long enough to see what was going on in the room, but thought she could hear Jamie's voice talking softly.

On her third trip down, her arms filled with books, she heard Steph giggling, Jamie's voice encouraging. She deposited her load in the hall and quietly walked past Frankie's room on her way back up. Steph was sitting on the bed, her legs crossed, her back resting against the wall, Jamie in a chair in front of her. Steph's eyes were closed, her hands in prayer against her forehead, humming 'Ommmm.' Jamie's eyebrows rose when she caught Em's eye, her gaze flickering from Em's face down her body. She silently signaled her to stay quiet.

"Again." Jamie directed, gently, turning back to Steph, shaking her head slightly. "Inhale, hold and exhale with an Om, from your chest up through your throat. Imagine the breath glowing behind your 3rd eye, lighting up the top of your head."

Steph did as Jamie directed, her face relaxed, her chest moving out and back in on the exhale.

Em continued transferring Abby's stuff down to the hall, debating each time whether to get dressed or stay naked. The deed's done, dude. Why bother? With each load, she second guessed whether the bookcase would be big enough to hold everything. As she came down the stairs with the last armful, Steph and Jamie were coming out the bedroom door.

"Hey," Em looked at Steph. "Feeling better?"

Steph looked at her and nodded, her face warm but not blushing. Her eyes, surprised at Em's nudity were otherwise clear. "Yeah. Wicked. It was really wicked that time. That might have helped..." she looked over her shoulder to the room, giving a nod to Jamie. Turning back she threw a look. "You...okay?"

Em laughed, the sound light, like the ruffling of pages in a book. "I'm fine," her eyes glistened, her head shaking at Steph's unasked question. "Nope. Not Complicit. Just cuz I wanted to."

Steph scrunched her mouth and turned as Jamie joined them, staring at Jamie's reaction.

"That's just the first mode, Steph," Jamie said encouragingly, seemingly unfazed by Em's nudity. "If you can focus on those three Chakras while you're breathing, that's already a lot. But there's a ton more." She was rubbing Steph's back as they followed behind Em, back toward the bookcase.

"Shit." Steph stopped just before the back stair.

Em could smell Complicit. It was faint, but apparently enough to set Steph off.

"It's okay," Jamie said calmly, "just like we practiced." She put her palm flat on Steph's chest pressing it gently while Steph gathered her hands to her forehead, beginning to breathe. "That's it. The glow, right? It's gathering in your 2nd Chakra. You want to open your chest to let it flow through and up through your crown. Your head will be a beacon of light. And out, with an 'Om.'"

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