|Shopping for a Bed by Jane New|
The showroom was bigger than a football field. Row after row of beds stretched out as far as Lucy could see. Single beds and sets of bunks, king-sized beds that could have been boxing rings, and queen beds, quilted and padded. Muted music drifted from discreet speakers set in the ceiling high above her head.
At first she thought she was the only customer in the building. Once her eyes adjusted to the glare of hundreds of fluorescent lights, she could see a few people several aisles away. Venturing farther into the showroom, she inspected the beds and stroked the satin covers of the mattresses.
I shouldn’t be here. The prices are way more than I can afford. This is silly. I’m old enough to have more sense. I don’t need anything this fancy—or this expensive.
She sat on the very edge of a queen-sized bed and read the information on the cardboard display. Two people could sleep comfortably in it, and if one person rolled over, the other wouldn’t even notice.
How wonderful that would be.
Lucy wanted to stretch out and see if it was indeed as comfortable as it looked. Instead she got to her feet and kept on walking.
It was a mistake to come here after work, right at the end of the day. Todd would have come with me on Saturday.
No, he wouldn’t. He’ll be washing his car, or watching to the game, or doing any one of a million things more important to him than I am. Was Megan right?
Lucy sighed. Todd was a problem she preferred not to think about right now.
Instead she wandered into a far more exclusive section of the store, where the beds were grander than in the main area. Some had massive polished timber heads and feet. On one, intricately carved timber posts stood at each corner like something out of a fairy tale. A few were made of wrought iron or brass with ceramic knobs painted with flowers.
And then she found the most wonderful of them all.
Its head and foot were slender tubes of brushed silvery metal, curved and curling like the vines that covered Sleeping Beauty’s castle while she was under the evil fairy’s spell. Lucy ran her hand over the foot. The metal was cool and a little rough to her touch. Swathes of gauzy white fabric draped over its head reminded her of wisps of mist in moonlight. She wondered if it were possible to fall in love with a bed.
“Would madam care to try it?” The deep, rich voice came from behind her.
Lucy jumped. “I’m sorry!” she gasped, holding her hand to her chest. Lost in her own thoughts, she hadn’t heard the salesman approach.
“The fault is all mine, madam. I’d assumed you knew I was here.” He smiled down at her from his considerable height. The pin on the lapel of his light gray suit jacket said “Connor,” and his open-necked pale blue shirt brought out the tan of his neck and face. Neatly cut dark brown hair was brushed to one side of a broad forehead. The shadow of his beard accentuated the planes of his cheeks, and his well-shaped lips were curved in a polite smile.
I could so kiss those lips.
She breathed deeply, willing away the decidedly erotic images crowding her mind, telling herself sternly she really wasn’t that sort of woman.
Connor moved away from her to stand at one side of the glorious bed.
She watched his hands as he smoothed out the clear plastic protective covering of the mattress. Long, strong fingers were as tanned as the rest of the skin she had glimpsed. His nails were clean and neatly manicured.
A sudden, clear vision of those hands exploring her body invaded her mind.
Lucy, stop it!
“Would madam perhaps care to test the mattress?” The polite tone of his words had little to do with the look in his eyes. Desire. Lust. Need.