CASS: TAKEN IN THE STACKS
A Red Bank Fantasy
Cass has never been all that good with people. Books? Books she gets. People…yeah not so much. Opening a used bookstore should have been the perfect job for her, right? Because, well…books. But then there’s the people factor. The customers. It turns out the book business is more about people than about books. Because without customers it’s just you alone in a roomful of books. Which sounds…heavenly, really… But Cass alone in a roomful of books doesn’t pay the rent on this place or on her apartment upstairs. And right now? Cass is alone in this roomful of books. Totally alone. Like usual. She opened at ten and it’s nearly two now and not a single customer has come in yet. Not one. She’s going to have to start taking in typing jobs—do people still do that? Is that a thing still? Or laundry. She’ll have to start taking in laundry like Charlie Bucket’s mom in Willy Wonka.
A year ago she’d fled New York City for her hometown of Red Bank, New Jersey, after a bad breakup—an awful, horrible, no-good breakup—from her boyfriend Rick. She’d meant to get a fresh start, but how fresh can a start be when you’ve run back to the little riverside town where you spent your awkward childhood? And it’s not exactly a mecca of commerce, is it? Maybe if her shop was on Broad Street she’d get more business from foot traffic, but as it is she’s tucked off on a side street between a palm reader and a hippie jewelry shop.
It’s clear. Cass is going to go bankrupt and have to move back in with her mother and her mother’s hairy, thick-lipped husband Earl, and then she’ll die of humiliation. But no…there’s the optimistic little bell on the door as it opens and an actual customer walks in. A man…
Oh my. A handsome man, close-cropped chestnut hair flecked with silver, big brown eyes, full lips. Well-worn Levi’s hug long, muscular thighs. A simple but expensive-looking cream button-down shirt covers broad shoulders, the sleeves rolled and pushed up to reveal strong forearms. He licks those full lips. He opens them to speak. “Hi,” he says. Simple, just like that. Hi.
Oh god. She’s staring at him with her mouth hanging open. He thinks she’s nuts. She can see it there, crossing his face, the thought that she’s nuts. He’s a customer, he’s walked in and said hello and she’s…doing what, exactly? “Hi!” she says, just a shade too bright. Laundry. Definitely a future in washing other people’s laundry. “Can I help you?”
“Just browsing,” he says, and smiles at her. A warm smile. A devastatingly bright smile.
He looks familiar, though she can’t place him. Red Bank is a pretty small town. She’s probably seen him around before. But not in the store. No…she would have remembered that. He walks toward the fiction shelves, trailing a hand along the spines of the books as he goes. She often does the same thing herself, loving the way the books tick by under her fingertips, the way a smooth dust jacket gives over to the rough weave of an unjacketed hardcover, then the wrinkles of a paperback spine, creased from having been read, consumed…
“Consumed…” She says it aloud before she can stop herself, and he looks up sharply. She blushes hard and pretends to shuffle through papers at the counter. This is exactly the kind of thing Rick used to give her shit about. “Do you have to be so awkward?” he’d say when she’d get tongue tied at some party or out with his awful friends. “What are you so afraid of?” He wouldn’t say it kindly though, no. He wouldn’t say it like it was a challenge they could face together, figuring out exactly what got Cass so self-conscious she could barely speak in a group of strangers. He would say it like she was broken.
“What are you so afraid of?” She was afraid that when she did speak, Rick would mock whatever came out of her mouth. Early on, when she did venture to join in on a conversation, he would latch on to something she said and tease her about it in front of everyone. Maybe he was just being playful. He’s the youngest of six kids, and maybe that’s what love looked like in his house. She told herself that a lot. That he didn’t mean to humiliate her, that he couldn’t have meant her any harm. But she’s not his little sister and it never felt like playing.
It was the same in bed. He would push her to open up—to talk dirty to him, to tell him her fantasies—and then he would laugh at her awkward attempts, her blushing and her stammering. Once she admitted that she sometimes fantasized about having sex in public, with a stranger. Maybe it bugged him that she got hot thinking about a stranger fingering her on the subway instead of him. Maybe that was it. “Or maybe he’s just an asshole,” she mutters under her breath. Whatever it was, for weeks afterward he would nudge her toward the oldest, hairiest, smelliest men they saw and say, too loud, “How about him? He get you going?”
Asshole. The worst of it? She didn’t leave him. He was the one who ended it. “I love you, babe,” he’d said. “I do. But the sex…it just isn’t doing it for me.”
The implication: because she was dull, shy, scared. Maybe he was right. And if he was right, then that’s got to be the worst of it. Because where does that leave her now?
The customer? Now he’s exactly what she would picture in those fantasies of hers. Tall, handsome. A kind smile. Older than Cass. Old enough to know what he’s doing, old enough to have patience…
He’s out of sight now, and he calls out to her. “I think I could use some help after all.” His voice is deep and rich. She straightens her skirt and goes to find him at the back of the store. He’s in the History section, eying the books on World War II. She walks up beside him and he moves in close, the scent of wool and coffee coming off him, and something subtle and spicy just below that. He reaches to touch the spine of a book and his bare forearm just barely brushes the side of her breast. Warmth radiates from his skin, sending a sweet, sharp jolt through her.
“Are you looking for something in particular?” she says.
“I am.” He steps behind her, his left hand coming to rest on her shoulder. She feels the heat of it through her thin t-shirt. She wants this man to touch her. He’s a complete stranger. He’s old enough to be her… Not her dad. He’s old enough to be her uncle. Her much older cousin. He’s… he’s standing so close behind her. She can feel his breath in her hair, can feel… Is that?!
Yes, Cass, that is an erect cock pressing against your ass. You remember those, right? Cocks? It’s been a while, hasn’t it, hon?
“I see you’ve got volumes two and three of Hume’s History of War. Do you have the first volume?” He says this so calmly, so smoothly, as his hands slide down her body to cup her hips, pulling her back against him. Oh yeah. That’s his cock, alright. That’s his very big, very erect cock. That first sharp jolt spreads to a low hum of electricity, her pussy going wet, her thighs quivering.
“Um…well…I think I had one a while back but…Unf…” He tweaks her nipples, her full breasts caught in his confident hands. Wow…this is… This is some hidden camera shit, right? This is some practical joke? Because there’s an incredibly handsome man sliding his hands up under her skirt right now. There’s a complete stranger bending her forward, her hands braced against the History shelves as he pushes her skirt up over her ass. There’s a man she doesn’t know at all who’s lightly tracing her pussy lips through the very, very damp cotton of her panties and all Cass can think of is how she wants him to tear that cotton away and plunge those fingers inside her and… oh….
“Did you ever wonder why old books smell so good?” he says.
“It’s one of the best smells in the world,” she says.
He tugs her panties down her legs and kneels, patiently holding them as she steps out, her clunky red clogs getting hung up on the elastic. She steps out of the clogs, too, and kicks them aside. Somehow that—bringing her height down almost two inches, standing on the cold floor in her bare feet—makes her feel more vulnerable than stepping out of those panties did. “As the paper ages, it gives off a scent that’s very close to vanilla.” He runs a finger along the side of her bare foot. “It’s an aphrodisiac.”
He’s kneeling still, and he turns her around, wraps his arms around her waist and pulls her in against him. He smiles up at her while his hands slide back up beneath her skirt to knead her ass. “Hey there,” he says and laughs.
“Hey.” She smiles back. She giggles. And just like that, she feels safe. He gives her that little bit of gentle, that little bit of goofy, that says “Hey, this is kind of crazy, what we’re doing, isn’t it?” Because it is fucking crazy. They don’t have to pretend they’re in some kind of bookstore porno. They can admit it’s crazy and do it anyway. Because they want to. She wants to. She wants him. Now. She turns around and hitches her skirt up, baring her naked ass. She bends over, plants her hands back on the World War II shelf.
This man, whoever he is, he doesn’t waste any time. He’s on his knees behind her, diving in, his tongue teasing her pussy open, long slow strokes from top to bottom and then he zeroes in on her clit, his tongue circling and flicking as he slips one, then two fingers inside her. A long moan escapes her mouth, a sound so low she feels its vibration in her throat but barely hears it. And then another moan, louder, and a gasp and her legs start to shake, her pussy hot and slick, its muscles gripping his fingers. His fingers work against those wet, contracting walls, hitting her g-spot with each stroke. “Oh god oh god oh god…” Her orgasm boils up from her center and spreads through her like cold fire, the most gorgeous enveloping numbness, her body gone, gone, gone… She collapses back against him and he eases them down to the floor. She lies in his arms, this man…this stranger. She leans back against his chest and he thumbs her clit, teasing one little aftershock of an orgasm out of her, then another. It’s almost too much. She pulls up to her hands and knees, starts to crawl away from him, shaking her head, trying to come back to herself, to her senses. And then there’s the sound of a condom packet tearing open and his hands are around her waist and he’s pulling her toward him and then hot hot heat, pleasure so sharp it borders on pain, as he pulls her back hard, impaling her on his huge cock. He drives into her, filling her completely. On her knees, ass in the air, cheek pressed to the cold linoleum of the bookstore, the door unlocked and anyone could walk in, and Cass is getting fucked by a stranger. She’s getting fucked hard.
She looks back over her shoulder, expecting the guy to have his eyes squeezed shut, but he’s looking right at her. He smiles again, that same kind smile but twisted with lust, his chin and cheeks slick with her juices.
“You look great like that,” he says. “You’re a gorgeous little thing.” He pulls her ass tight against his hips and holds her there, grinding into her in a slow circle, stretching her, stretching her. She moans, her body starting to shake. He laughs, but it isn’t Rick’s mocking laugh. It’s a laugh of pleasure. “Good girl.” He picks up the rhythm again, fucking her hard and deep. Her body shudders with the force its absorbing. God, it feels so damn good…
He slips a big, hot hand around her waist and down between her legs, finding her clit again. Just a few little circles and she’s gone, her orgasm ripping through her even bigger than the first, and she feels her pussy milking that massive cock, her whole body quivering and jerking. A scream, high and sharp, cuts through the air before she recognizes it came from her own mouth. He drives harder and harder into her and then pulls her back against him, holding her ass tight to his hips as he comes with a shudder. They fall in a sweaty, half-dressed heap on the floor.
“You sweet, sweet girl,” he murmurs. “Sweet, sweet thing.” He curls his body around hers, stroking her hair.
“What’s your name?” she says. She’s afraid to turn to face him, afraid she imagined the kindness, that it won’t be there when she looks again. What must he think of her, that she would let a stranger take her like that?
“Do you want to know mine?”
“If you want to tell me,” he says. “Yes.”
“Short for Cassandra?”
She nods. Only her father ever called her Cassandra, and he’s been gone for years. Dead when Cass was twelve.
“Cassandra who sees the future.” He stands and pulls up his pants, tucks his shirt back in, dusts himself off. He holds out a hand to Cass and helps her to her feet.
Cassandra who sees the future. Cassandra, granted the gift and curse of prophecy by Apollo. Her father, who loved Greek mythology, had chosen that name for her.
She feels shy now, tugging down her skirt, not sure where to look. This isn’t who she is, this isn’t the kind of thing she does. She should straighten herself out, put her shoes back on. What’s the etiquette in situations like this? What do you say to a gorgeous stranger who’s got your pussy juices drying on his chin? “I can’t find my underwear,” she says.
He chuckles and pulls a corner of white cotton from his pants pocket. “I’m hanging on to these, if you don’t mind.” He kisses her then, their first kiss. It’s soft and deep and lingering. He touches her cheek and smiles that smile. “Thank you, Cassandra.”
And then he turns and leaves the store, the bell tinkling in his wake, leaving Cass alone again, but with a wonderful soreness between her legs and the scent of man on her skin.