Heart-shaped Box

Heart-shaped Box


Chris yawned and moved to the next section of shelving. A big truck had made for a long night, leaving him and the rest of the night stock crew facing up the store after opening.

“Never ending, man,” his friend Alan grumbled from the other side of the aisle.

“Feels like it.”

“At least the scenery ain’t bad.”

After turning around to see where Alan was looking, Chris followed his gaze to see Amy — one of the cashiers — working her register. She was hot, but she was also married to a trucker who could probably smash him into meatballs. That was enough to keep him from doing more than stealing the occasional glance.

The discussion had come up before, so Alan tossed his line without Chris saying a word. “Bet you it would be worth the black eyes, bruises, and lost teeth. Has to be wild in bed, the way she talks and teases.”

“Feel free. I’ll come visit when you get out of intensive care.”

Al laughed and continued down to the next set of shelves.

“Think Kelly has finished an aisle yet?”

A voice greeted them from the next aisle over, “I heard that.”

Al and Chris both paused in surprise. “You’re already in eight?” Chris asked.

“Just the paper towels and toilet paper left.”

“Maybe we will get out of here before we die of old age,” Alan remarked.

“Where are you guys at?” Kelly asked.

“Al’s got the dog food left, and I’m about to hit the soap.”


Chris felt his spirits lift, as they would be done in ten minutes at the most. He had expected at least twice — and probably three times that long. As he stood up to reach a higher shelf, something else made him grin. When he glanced up toward the front of the store, he saw Alyssa walking toward the break room stairs.

She ran the floral department, and as far as he was concerned, there should be a picture of her next to Milf in the dictionary. She had ample curves in all the right places, light blonde hair that bordered on platinum, and a smile that could stop you in your tracks. Even better, she was divorced, so there was no jealous husband to worry about.

He’d had a crush on her even before starting to work at the store. She had lived just down the street from his parents’ house. All those days of looking out his upstairs window to see her laying out to soak up the sun had made a lasting impression. After the divorce, she’d moved into the same apartment complex where he lived now, and always made a point to stop to talk to him whenever they saw each other. Her boys were always coaxing him out to the playground with them, and he liked the little buggers. He’d gone beyond sexual attraction and straight into wishful thinking about more some time ago.

Al chuckled. “You and your Milf fetish.”

“Can’t tell me you wouldn’t,” Chris countered, feeling his face grow a little warm.

“I’d hit it like a prize fighter if I had the chance, but it ain’t gonna happen.”

A customer appeared at the end of the aisle, cutting off the conversation. Shortly thereafter, Chris finished his side of the aisle and turned to see Al blocking up the last few cans.

“Go put the stools up and let’s get out of here.”

Chris grabbed the two stools and took them up front to where they were kept when not in use. The alcove was near the bottom of the stairs up to the break room, and he heard Alyssa talking to Amy upstairs. He missed most of what Amy said, but he clearly heard Alyssa.

“Mom is picking up the kids from school and keeping them overnight for the next couple of days. For some reason, she still thinks I have a life and might need to have the kids out of the house for Valentine’s. I don’t have the heart to tell her that all I’m going to do is sit around the house in my PJs and eat ice cream. The only way I’m getting flowers or anything else is if I bring them home with me.”

His eyebrows lifting, Chris considered that for a moment as Alan and Kelly walked his way. The last he knew, she had been dating a guy her age for a couple of months. It didn’t mean he had a chance, but at least she wasn’t currently attached.

Wheels turning in his head, he kept it to himself as he and the rest of the night shift crew headed upstairs to clock out. The conversation upstairs ceased, though Alyssa said hello to him when he stepped into the break room. Amy waved to everyone, but she was a notorious flirt, so that was hardly surprising.

“I guess I’ll see you all tonight,” Alyssa remarked as he clocked out. “I’m coming in later to get everything ready for tomorrow.”

“Yep, see you tonight,” he responded. Kelly and Alan said much the same. Heading back down the stairs, Chris grinned. He was looking forward to seeing her out of the concealing smock she wore while the store was open.


In a good mood after having the opportunity to steal glances at Alyssa in a fitted sweater and tight jeans all evening, Chris headed to the back room with Alan, helping control a cartload of boxes for the baler. He knew Alyssa was in the back Gaziantep Yabancı Escort room, and he meant to take the opportunity to chat with her a little while the boss was out on the floor.

As soon as he kicked open the double doors to the back room and turned around, he got a surprise. Rather than being on the produce side of the back room, Alyssa was instead looking behind boxes in the central area.

“What are you looking for?” Alan asked, having noticed her as well.

“A box of crystal vases. They were on a pallet back in produce, but I can’t find them.”

Alan shrugged. “No clue. Sorry.”

He continued toward the cardboard baler, but Chris paused, remembering something. “You know, I think I saw Scott putting some stuff up in the loft over the produce cooler a few days ago.”

Alyssa’s brow furrowed. The produce manager was forever moving her supplies, complaining behind her back that her things were in his way because she shared his section of the back room. “Thanks, I didn’t think to look up there,” she said.

Seizing the opportunity, Chris said, “I’ll grab the ladder for you. Hey, Al; if Dave asks, I’m helping Alyssa.”

“Got it.”

“I appreciate it, but you don’t have to,” Alyssa said as she turned back toward the produce room and Chris fell in step with her.

“No problem. It beats facing shelves.” He stepped off to the side and picked up the ladder, resting it on his shoulder.

Once in front of the produce cooler, he set up the ladder. “There you go.”

“Thanks,” she said as she climbed.

Alan pulled his empty cart around. “Find them?”

“Scott may have stuck them up top,” Chris answered.

Alyssa breathed a sigh of relief when she saw the box she was looking for. “They’re up here. Thank heavens.” After a brief pause she asked, “Any chance I could get some help getting it down?”

Alan shrugged. “Yeah.”

“Sure,” Chris agreed, and then said, “Bring it over to the ladder and we’ll relay it down.”

He and Alan handled the box with ease, and it soon rested on Alyssa’s table. She climbed back down and said, “Thanks so much.”

“No problem,” Alan said at the same time as Chris, and then the pair headed back out to the store floor.

“Gotta admit that was a nice view when she came down that ladder,” Alan said. “You should make a move. If she’s going to go cougar with anyone, it’ll be you.”

“And get fired for sexual harassment. I was awake through that tape.”

“See. There’s my excuse.”

Chris rolled his eyes and headed for the first aisle. With all the back stock checked and the fast-moving items filled, it was time for break, and then to face the store again. As he and Alan finished the first aisle, Alyssa walked out of the back wearing her coat and carrying a purse.

“Ready to head out?” Alan asked.

“Mmm hmm.”

Alan stood up on the step stool he was sitting on and yelled over the shelves. “Hey, Dave. Alyssa’s ready to head home.”


Alyssa heard the jingle of keys flying through the air, and then Alan caught them.

“Somebody walk her out,” the supervisor called.

“Well, you’ve got the keys, so I’m on guard duty,” Chris said as he stood up.

Alyssa said, “I appreciate it. I parked as close as I could, but…”

“Yeah, you never know,” Chris agreed.

The three walked to the front door, and Alan unlocked it. Chris walked close by as he escorted her to her car, and then waited until she’d unlocked it and put her purse inside.

When she straightened to climb into the car, he said, “You’re probably tired. Be careful driving home.”

“Exhausted is closer to the truth. I will. Thanks.”

“No problem. Get some sleep. Big day tomorrow.”

“For work at least,” she said, and sighed. “You have any plans?”

He chuckled and shook his head. “Sleep. It’s my night off.”

She reached out and touched his arm. “You need to get out more. You’re letting this job run your life. It’s going to pass you by before you know it. Believe me. I know.”

“Easier said than done.”

“I know that too. Good night.”

“Night,” he said as she sat down in the seat.

Walking back to the front door, he had an idea that quickly turned into a plan. When her car went by and she waved out the window, he decided to go through with it. A little lost sleep might just be worth it.


Chris walked up to the counter, feeling completely out of place in the flower shop. He didn’t have a lot of choice, as it was far too late to order anything online and have it delivered.

“Can I help you?” The woman behind the counter asked.

“I hope so. Any chance of sending some roses and maybe some chocolate today?”

She smiled. “You’re lucky. It’s early, so we still have quite a few emergency arrangements. Here, let me show you.”

It only took him a minute or two to decide. The simple vase of red roses seemed perfect — and it was within his limited budget.

“Now, the chocolate,” the woman said. “This is my favorite, and it’s actually not all that expensive. In a heart-shaped box for Valentine’s too.”

Chris looked at the price. It was barely within range of the sticker shock he was prepared for. “Sounds good to me.”

“Let’s go ring this up and take care of things then.”

The woman took down the delivery address, which was the store. He wanted her to get the flowers while she was at work. If there was one thing he’d learned, it was that women loved to get flowers in places where they could show them off and glow about them.

“And what do you want on the card?”

He’d been tempted now and again as he thought about this to give some hints as to who sent the flowers, but decided against it. He answered, “A beautiful woman should have flowers on Valentine’s Day.”

“No name?”

He shook his head.

“Oh, a secret admirer, then?” She smiled. “That’s so romantic.”

Beginning to blush, he reached for his wallet, hoping to move things along so he could get out of the shop and back to bed. She seemed to catch on, and rang up his purchase, promising that it would be delivered by noon. That was easily a couple of hours before Alyssa usually left, which was perfect.

With the flowers on the way, he headed back home and to bed. Some carefully framed inquiries to the right people would let him know how his gift went over. The women at the store loved to gossip. Feeling good — if a bit wistful — he hit the sack and was out like a light in short order.


Ding Dong.

It took until the second ring for him to figure out that the sound wasn’t part of a dream, but rather the doorbell. Blinking until his eyes would focus, he looked at the clock. The alarm was going to go off in five minutes, so he turned it off and sat up. Alarm or no, if it was an insurance salesman or some church people ringing his bell, they were getting an earful. He had a sign on the front door warning people that he was a night shift worker, but those types seemed oblivious.

The bell rang a third time as he stumbled out of the bedroom and toward the door. Cursing under his breath, he snatched the door open, wearing a scowl to let whoever was out there know what was coming.

His eyes widened and he shook his head when he saw Alyssa standing outside.

Her gaze darted downward for a second and she grinned. “Sorry. Did I wake you up?”

Thankfully, his laundry was still sitting in a basket right next to the door. He grabbed a shirt and pulled it on, hoping his face wasn’t too red from answering the door bare-chested. “It’s okay. The alarm was about to go off.”

A sharp blast of wind whipped her hair. She hunched her shoulders and pulled her arms in close.

“You want to come in? It’s freezing,” he said automatically.

“Thanks,” she said and darted inside.

Chris closed the door, wondering what had brought her over. He had a brief flashback to a porn movie he’d watched once where the hot neighbor came over for a cup of sugar and ended up getting something far different. When that memory combined with Alyssa, he quickly pushed it away before it caused predictable — and embarrassing — results in the sweats he’d worn to bed.

“Need something?”

Her grin widened a little. “I suppose you could say that. I wanted to thank you for the flowers and the chocolates.”

His mouth dropped open, but no sound came out. How did she figure out it was me? Is she just guessing?

She didn’t leave him hanging long. “A friend of mine took the order at the flower shop, and she delivered it herself because she was dying to know who my secret admirer was. I knew it was you as soon as she described you. The flowers are beautiful, and the chocolates are my favorite kind. It really made my day.”

That made his day. He grinned a little as he said, “You’re welcome,” though he could hear the nervousness in his voice.

She chuckled. “You’re cute when you get caught. It was really sweet of you. The card made my heart skip a beat.” Her lips turned up in a crooked smile. “Didn’t sound like the kind of card that would go on mercy flowers, though.”

“I…” He knew his face had to be stop-sign red. Still half asleep, he hadn’t even considered the card when he admitted sending the flowers.

She started unbuttoning her coat. “Come on, Chris. I’m not blind. I see you peeking all the time. It’s nice that you don’t talk to my boobs or stare at my ass all day long, though. Even better because I was pretty sure you wanted to.”

As she said that, she pulled off her coat, negligently dropping it on the couch and revealing a fitted sweater that hugged her curves. It was as if she was challenging him not to look, and it was all he could do to maintain eye contact.

She took a couple of steps closer. Her voice dropped a little in tone and volume, taking on a sexy quality that gave him chills. “That’s a real turn-on for me. You meant what you said on that card, didn’t you?”

With her standing only a step away, wearing a sultry smile, he found the courage to answer, “Yeah.”

She reached out and traced a fingertip down his chest. “I didn’t have time to get you anything in return. But maybe there’s something we could give each other for Valentine’s?”

Holy shit! This can’t really be happening, can it?

“Kiss me before we think about this too much and ruin the moment,” she said as her arm slipped behind his back and she leaned in.

The first touch of their lips was soft — a mere peck. Chris wrapped his arms around her; one hand below her shoulders and the other in the small of her back. She let out a little moan and pressed her lips to his again. The second kiss lingered. It was still soft, but their tongues slipped over each other, and he felt her shudder.

“Oh my,” she breathed as their lips parted — but only by an inch or so. He could feel her warm breath tickling his face. “That was… Mmm.”

He took the initiative, kissing her again — harder this time. Her arms squeezed tighter, pressing her breasts against his chest. They both gasped when they broke from the kiss.

Her voice a breathless whisper, she said, “Bedroom?”

He nodded, daring to let one hand slide down to her ass.

Her eyebrows twitched upward, and it dawned on him that she didn’t know where it was. “Oh… Uhm…”

She chuckled and stepped back, letting one of her hands slide from his back and down his arm until she clasped his hand. She nodded, and he led her down the hall, unable to take his eyes off her.

As soon as they were next to the bed, she reached for the tail of his shirt and pulled it up. She traced the muscles of his abdomen with her fingers and moaned. “This is what pushed me over the edge. Delicious. Take it off.”

He didn’t need to be told twice, and pulled the shirt over his head, tossing it away while her caress moved up to his chest.

“When you answered the door with your shirt off…” She shivered. “Oh my.” She glanced down for a moment at her sweater, and then looked back into his eyes and twitched her eyebrows.

Chris reached for the tail of her sweater and pulled it upward. His heart beat fast as her tummy came into view. It wasn’t exactly flat, but for a woman in her thirties who had two kids, it was incredible. The sweater slid higher, revealing her bra, straining to contain her large breasts. She raised her arms overhead, causing the globes to lift as well, and jiggle just a bit. His eyes fixed on them as he hurried to remove the sweater. As soon as her arms were free, she reached behind her back and unhooked her bra. She slipped it off, dropped it at her feet, and cupped her breasts in her hands.

“You can look all you want now. Like them?”

“Love them,” he said as he drank in the sight. Her breasts were heavy — pendulous — and capped with large nipples standing out erect from arousal. They were easily the biggest tits he’d ever seen up close.

Alyssa stepped in close again, her fingers slipping beneath the waistband of his sweats, and then his underwear. She jerked both down at the same time, causing his cock to spring free and bob in the open air.

“Mmm hmm,” she moaned as she curled her fingers around it. “Oh my. You’re really hard.”

“Oh god, that feels good,” he said as he cupped her left breast in his hand, feeling the weight, warmth, and softness of it.

He’d always been self-conscious about the shape of his cock. The head was pointy, and the ridge flared, giving it a distinct arrowhead appearance. Alyssa didn’t seem to mind, and actually seemed fascinated by it. She ran a fingertip along the ridge, and then to the point, making him throb. A drop of pre-cum welled up, and she smoothed it into his skin.

She moaned when his finger pressed against her nipple, her back arching and her grip on his cock tightening for a moment. “You’re making me so wet. I’ve got to get these jeans off.”

He was happy to help with that.

Chris popped open the button of her jeans and slid the zipper down. He heard the clatter of her kicking off her shoes, but his attention was focused elsewhere. He let his thumb drag along her white cotton panties, and she whimpered from the touch. The zipper had no more than reached the bottom of the teeth before she hooked her fingers beneath the denim to push it down.

The jeans were tight, and it took quite a bit of wriggling to get them past the flare of her hips. Her panties slipped down a little in the process, revealing a patch of blonde curls on her mound. She sat down on the bed, lifted her legs toward him, and wiggled her sock-clad toes.

He pulled the denim down her smooth, gorgeous legs. Once her feet were free, she lay back on the bed and beckoned him with a crooked finger.

He climbed onto the bed, straddling her body, and dropped down onto his hands to kiss her. She reached between their bodies as they shared a hungry, needy kiss, and pressed his erection tight against her panties.

He couldn’t resist the temptation of her breasts. In the same motion as he ended the kiss, he rocked back on his hands and gave one of the stiff nipples a flick of his tongue.

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