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eXcessica publishing

Under the Seaweed Mask © 2017 by Patient Lee

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This is a work of fiction. Names, places, characters and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to any actual persons, living or dead, organizations, events or locales is entirely coincidental. All sexually active characters in this work are 18 years of age or older.

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Second Edition March, 2018

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Under the Seaweed Mask

By Patient Lee

Marnie, the spa lady, centered the cucumber slices over my eyes, and I sighed, hopeful that I was home-free. “We’ll let the seaweed mask dry for a couple minutes, and then I’ll come back and start your massage, okay?” Her whisper tickled my ear, but I held still.

When the door clicked behind her, I relaxed for the first time since I’d entered the day spa. I’m cool as a cucumber. I wasn’t, of course, but the cucumber blindfold helped. The more coverage, the less I worried. While I was alone in the room, anyway. Taking advantage of the quiet, I focused on breathing and relaxing.

I was nearly asleep when the door slammed, startling me three feet off the massage table. The cucumbers teetered precariously, but I grabbed them in the nick of time, placing them where they belonged. With the blood pounding in my ears, I settled back on the table, trying not to blow my cover.

When I finally took a breath, I realized that a slammed door didn’t match the serene whispering and new-age music, especially with no apology to follow. Adrenaline surged through my body as anxiety took hold. I didn’t belong here, and with the cucumbers masking my eyes, I had no idea if I was alone in the room.

The scent of men’s aftershave hit me a moment later, and I heard movement on the other side of the room. Marnie hadn’t smelled like a man a moment ago, and she had said she would come back for the massage. It was my first day-spa experience, and my fear of the unknown—both of spa etiquette and who the hell had slammed the door—kept my body stiff in anticipation. I wanted to rip the cucumbers from my eyes and peek, but the fear of exposing my identity held me still.

The champagne I drank in the lounge was going to my head, allowing my mind to race with outlandish possibilities: A male client had stumbled into the wrong room and was ogling my scantily clad body. Or worse! He was here for Mrs. H, maybe to kidnap her for ransom because Mr. H was so rich. Oh, God. What if he was planning to rape her, too! I needed to look around. Someone moved at the foot of the table. Stifling a scream, I forced myself to breathe.

My nose itched under the seaweed mask, but I remained frozen with the fear of attracting attention and causing the person in the room to take God-knows-what action. The itch traveled up to my forehead, past the damn cucumbers. It had to be a spider. Any reasonable person would kill it; why wasn’t he killing it?

I squeezed my eyes shut as visions of rape and kidnapping threatened to steal my sanity. God damn you, champagne! I willed my face to stay covered to conceal my identity, but at the same time, my head was screaming, YOU'VE GOT THE WRONG WOMAN!

Fingers landed on the Velcro on my wrap, pulling gently at the closure. The ripping sound set my teeth on edge as the stranger separated one layer from the other and unwrapped me. Oh, my god. He was undressing me. He’s gonna rape me! If only I could risk a peek! The fingertips came to the other side of the wrap, and I stiffened again. Despite my efforts to stifle it, a sob escaped my lips as the terry cloth raked across my chest, turning my nipples to hard points. My cheeks flushed under the seaweed mask.

I was doomed. This faceless man was raping me, and my nipples were hard. He must think I want it. Bolt! echoed through my head, but as I tensed, two hands rested on my shoulders, and a woman spoke.

"Relax, Mrs. Harrison. It's Marnie. I'm back for your massage." The massage therapist, not some strange man. Of course! It was my champagne-guilt and the cucumber blindfold putting these stupid ideas in my head. "I'm going to start with your front, okay?"

My mouth opened to speak, but I snapped it shut, remembering that I was an impostor, and I couldn't risk getting caught. I nodded, feeling the dried seaweed paste on my skin cracking with my movement. I wondered briefly when she would remove the mask and expose my face, but before I could worry, she said, “Are you ready?” Her hands rubbed together, and then she leaned right against my body on the table and placed her oiled fingers on my shoulders. "Deep breath, Mrs. Harrison." I took three deep breaths, aware each time of the rise and fall of my nipples. The form I’d filled out when I arrived said I'd be "covered for modesty" at all times. I certainly was NOT.

Marnie's hands started on my shoulders and traced down to my wrists, sometimes rubbing her thumbs deep into the muscles of my arms. A contented sigh escaped my lips, and I forgot about my nakedness. She moved her hands to my collarbone, finding knots I hadn't realized existed. My tension released, my sanity returned, and as I smiled, the seaweed crackled again. My breathing evened, and I absorbed the calm.

And then she massaged my hands. I'd had a manicure before, but this was different. Less utilitarian and more indulgent. She pulled all of the tension out of my fingertips and headed back to my shoulders. She paused a moment before running her palms down my torso to where the sheet she'd draped over my lower half met my bare belly. With no explanation for what she was doing, Marnie swept the sheet off the table, exposing every part of my body, except my face, of course. Goosebumps erupted from my scalp to my ankles, and I gripped the sheet beneath me to keep myself from springing off the table and running to the safety of the locker room, where they served dry champagne and fresh fruit and had privacy curtains in the changing area. Naked, I lay there, listening as she rubbed fresh oil on her hands. I held my breath, anticipating her touch, but when her hands came to rest over my breasts, I choked.

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