Shanna paused a moment in the aisle to straighten the ceramic skulls. Their grinning visages seemed to laugh at her. An urge to turn them all around flew through her, but they would hardly sell that way. She narrowed her eyes back at them. Their grimaces remained, unmoved.
The shop was empty, quite unusual for a full moon night. Her store, the ‘Smiling Jack’ was the only gothic curio shop in the small town of Heston, Missouri. Jack stood for Jack ‘O Lantern, as the sign with the smiling pumpkin above the door demonstrated. Ordinarily this time of month was busy with all the Goth kids in town coming in to browse the various wares the shop had on offer. But, for whatever reason, tonight the shop was empty.
It was not, however, the absence of the adolescent thrift-buyers that had her so nervous. Her once-a-month visitor was late, and she’d planned for this night for so long, he just couldn’t skip out on her now.
The young man’s name was Robin. A fact she’d learned only after building up the confidence to ask him after his fourth visit to the shop. Dark blond hair fell to one side of a ruggedly handsome face marked by deep blue, soulful eyes that held Shanna firmly in their grasp every time they met. He always wore the same black silk shirt and dark pants, and somehow they never seemed to fade. The black was as deep and rich as the first time she laid eyes on his handsome frame. Wiry muscles honed to perfection wrapped the arms that fell out of that dark silk, and his leg muscles were equally proportioned if the way his pants fit him were any indication. His package bulged with manhood, a fact she noticed upon his first visit, and had not failed see each visit hence.
How many times had she fantasized about seeing what hung behind those black silk trousers? How many times would he have to come in before she would build up the courage to ask him out herself?
Shanna’s confidence wasn’t always the highest. Though she’d always thought herself to be flatteringly curvy, most of the boys, and later men she went out with labeled her far less positively. Try as she might not to let their small opinions bother her, some of their negativity had always stuck with her.
But something about Robin just seemed different. His smile was always kind, his small talk affectionate. He winked at her after buying his monthly item, and her heart fluttered each and every time.
Shanna stood behind the counter, watching the full moon make its trek across the night sky. Her eyes darted incessantly to the darkened street, hoping to see the object of her affection before he made his entrance. Knowing he was imminent would give her time to muster her courage.
Despite her acute watch, she was still surprised when the little bell above the door rang, indicating a visitor had arrived. How he’d made it past her vigil she never understood, though in the end it meant little. He was here at last, and now was the time to make herself known.
“Good evening, Shanna.” Robin began in his light voice. “Sorry I’m late. I got held up. I hope you hadn’t given up on me.”
“Oh, no. But I was just about to close up the shop. No one in tonight.” Shanna immediately thought that her response was the lamest thing that had ever come out of anyone’s mouth in the entire existence of humanity. Why couldn’t she form coherent thoughts when he was around?
“Well, I’m glad you waited on me.” Robin smiled as he slowly approached the counter. Shanna allowed herself a quick glance, taking in his masculine form, her eyes resting on his nether’s for just a second. Shanna’s heart was beating wildly. This was it. She was going to ask him out, assert herself upon the man she wanted. She opened her mouth to force the words from her lips.
“The usual thing, I guess?” Shanna winced, and hoped he didn’t see it. That wasn’t what she wanted to say!
“Of course.” His easy smile disarmed her completely. Shanna lost her train of thought in his dreamy eyes for a moment. Unconsciously, Shanna reached down beneath the counter to retrieve the box of black candles that were always Robin’s only request. She hadn’t even bothered to stock them on the shelves in the last couple of months, since Robin bought them all anyway. Shanna summoned her sweetest smile as she pushed the box forward. She hadn’t noticed that her eyes had stayed locked on him the whole time.