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The Last Bookshop - Omega and Alpha

The Last Bookshop - Omega and Alpha

Offered his chance at redemption by the promise of a muse, will Harry take it?

Their black eyes shimmered as a dark terror rendered him immobile.  An existential cry for help drowned in the deluge of panic that filled his mind.  His paralysed vocal chords felt so numb and useless, and his leaden limbs refused to move.

Forward they advanced, self-assured with each step, their impassive faces certain they had their transgressor.  Digging deep, the tardy swell of adrenaline fuelled his need for flight.  He turned and ran; his sluggish legs moved but felt disconnected and powerless.  Certain they would catch him, he measured each second of freedom as pathetic beacons of hope.

Looking back, they stood motionless; filled with elation, Harry looked forwards.  He could not stop in time, he would never escape their clutches and ran straight into their arms.  Time ran out too, and mixed with this horrific fear was a blithe acceptance of fate.  The awfulness that he would not fight permeated into his core, he wanted to scream and resist until his last breath.  Distressed and almost sick with revulsion, he did not even try.

An incongruent shaking sensation confused him and an involuntary command to open his eyes followed.  Not recognising anything in the dark grey and jet-black of night, his stupefied mind reeled.  A peal of sound followed, a lazy groan warbled and grew in strength into a cry for help.

“Harry?…  Harry?”

Flailing a little, an arm embraced his troubled body.  A vivid, high-definition and thoroughly convincing tale from the dark side of his imagination dawned on him.  Revived him from his stupor, alive in the flat above the bookshop with Esmerelda; relief soaked into his mind.

“Harry, it’s okay, it’s okay, shush, shush.”  Her arms reached around him and he seized on her embrace.

Clinging to her arm, he felt the soft reassurance of her body as an anchor to reality.

“Another nightmare?”

Harry mumbled, “Uh-huh.”

“Go back to sleep darling, I’m not letting you go, it’s okay.”

He mumbled again, “I love you Esmerelda.”

On the cusp between awake and slumber, it was not a question of imperfect timing; it was their heartfelt truth in a moment of helplessness. 

In the warm glow of his innocent words, she nuzzled his neck, “I love you too.”

Pulling her closer, he turned to his favourite memories - cathartic moments of joy and happiness.  His eyelids heavy, he drifted away to the sensation of her soft, warm breath against his neck and shoulder.


Amidst the chaos, the crumpled sheets, and squashed pillows, she laid motionless.  Her unruly hair matched the wide-eyed look of fading madness in her eyes.  Naked, her legs rested where they fell with her limp arms crooked above her head.  She looked so vulnerable in the fragile quiet after the maelstrom of frantic cries.  Too beautiful for a mere transitory glance, Harry loitered with his admiring eyes.

The culmination of so many desires and hopes enlivened their senses.  Their intuitions roared as each sight, touch and sound felt so vivid and alive.  Each kiss, better than the last, fluttered in the pit of his stomach.

She undressed herself so simply, an economy of movements that revealed the flawless cacophony of her slender curves.  Holding an arm out, pinching it between two fingers, she let the flimsy lingerie fall with an impish smile.  Its repetitiveness left him in turmoil as she stared determinedly into his eyes.  The fire in her own body did not need more fuel to immolate her with lust.  Their gluttonous intuitions gorged on their hunger for each other. 

From the delicate elegance of her broad shoulders, each scallop and flare of her body held him in raptures of anticipation.  He lingered on her full-cupped breasts and admired how they melded sensuously with her torso.  From her waspish waist through to her toned thighs and flanks, they met at their confluence with a tuft of raven black hair above her naked mons.  She moved with intent as the sinews of her loins flexed with each slow step.  Her soft gait swished in a solemn walk towards him.

That first time, Esmeralda demanded nothing that she did not inspire first.  Kneeling before him, her gaze bored into his soul as she took his erection in hand.  Playful eyes, easily misconstrued as innocence were the mischievous prelude to taking him into her mouth.  Slowly, she pleasured him and a high priestess of the Cremorne tutored her new lover.  They understood everything they craved, everything they desired, and with one delicious increment after another, they revealed it all.

Her full lips kissed his shaft and her mouth opened to accept it.  Licking around the swollen glans, she watched as he clasped at the sheets and lurched with a loud groan.  In a symphony of grasp, vacuum, and caress, he soon begged for his release.  She licked and flicked at its bulging head and made it flex easily.  Engorged to its maximum, a deft flick of her wrist extracted the full tempest of his climax into her mouth without breaking eye contact.  The last vestiges of its eruption leaked onto her clenched fingers as she sampled its flavour.  Releasing what she collected, it dribbled down her chin and fell as drips onto her breasts.


He gasped at the rhetorical nature of her question, swallowed to wet his mouth and nodded weakly.

They danced through their game of give and take and Harry took to her body with the confidence of a seasoned lover.  Running her slim fingers through his tousled hair, she pressed him to that spot in a plea for her release.  Taunting her enough, he gave in and she simmered on a litany of soft, effortless orgasms. 

Mottled with a rash of arousal, her torso rose and fell hurried for air.  Prone and holding the back of her thighs, her hopeful expression made him smile.  He took his place and looked carefully into her eyes.  She felt its heat rest on pubis and wriggled to let it fall and couple with her.

As he rose from a soft kiss, her wide eyes pleaded, “Please Harry…” 

Pressing at her entrance, her reflexive groan at its heat and rigidity surprised her.  Tenderly, the motive force of his hips filled her slowly.  He witnessed her expression melt with a faint pouted sigh.

Impaled fully, she rejoiced in the swell of its girth.  The fluidity of each thrust brought fresh pressure to her loins and a soft yelp at its apex.  Seizing him as hers, she held him in a tight embrace as splayed fingers clenched his muscular back.  Legs aloft and crossed at the ankles held him in place.  She cherished the moment when a dream became true and whispered soft words of encouragement.

She knew where he learnt this and now he would learn from her.  She gave herself until his ardour grew beyond his control.  Slowly, she reeled in her prey and lured him to the point where lust overpowers cogent thought.  She tensed her body and used her strength to assert herself.  He conceded to rest from his labours and she revealed the potency of her energetic frame.

A chill of cool air soothed her wet skin; their interlaced fingers provided leverage and containment.  Laid prone for her pleasure, she gave him an exhibition of all that she craved.  With a determined expression of passion etched on her face, his gaze would not flinch.  Moving with effortless grace, she rode, stroked and ground against the rigid bulk ensconced inside her. 

He looked lost in a haze of ecstasy as she sat erect; her back curled as if riding her prize stallion.  Writhing before him until he looked ready to explode, she eased from him and took him slowly with her mouth.  His ardour cooled, her squat body, legs apart, showed Harry how completely he impaled her.

“See Harry?  Doesn't it look so perfect?”

He would crane his neck and groan.  Collapsing back into the bed, he gripped at the bedstead and she would make him groan louder still.

Arms forward, she invited his mouth to suck on the erect stubs of her nipples and they ground together.  Amidst frantic gasps, she kissed his body on the places that provoked that pressure at his core.  The flex in her thighs and tight circles from her hips wrecked his shallow breathing.  She smiled at that moment and pouted as that pressure ratcheted beyond its limits.  Bolt upright, pressing his hands to her breasts, she wanted him to witness this.  Through heavy-lidded eyes lost in the majesty of climax, his countenance blurred with a profound groan.  In the flood of fused nerve endings and spasms of hot ecstasy, she revealed herself to him.

Weakened, they exchanged places and he provoked her body so studiously.  Fascinated by her reaction, he snaked his hips, he caressed and kissed her to learn the tricks that made her yield.  Instructed by the petition of her groans and the appeals of her intuition, he watched as she writhed to expel the cauldron of pressure. 

Gripping the cold fluted brass rods of the bedstead, her womanly body met each thrust.  He stooped to suck on her nipples and provoke her to the climactic boil.  Symbiotically, they struggled together in a reluctant but necessary race to the finish.  

The rising volume of their gasps brought them closer to the edge.  Her unyielding snug muscles massaged his swollen tumult.  For every shallow exhale, there was a groan and desperate lunge for air.  With a gasped command from her pouted lips made scarlet by arousal, he groaned as his movements stuttered.

Through her hips, she began to tremble and they careened to the inevitable end.  Clasping each other tightly, Esmerelda convulsed through her abdomen, legs and outstretched toes.  Their jagged cries rose as she felt the first pulse of his release and instinctively clenched on him in return.  They howled together as his seed spilled readily.  Shuddering violently, her convulsing sex squeezed his essence into her body.

Breathless, they laid there in a soft embrace until his girth withered and left her.  Immediately, she craved him again.  His kiss, no longer the fevered expression of passion, felt so personal.  She vowed to sate him and quell her own longing until the point of exhaustion.  She longed to drift into a peaceful sleep with his girth inside her as they slipped into unconsciousness. 

Easing from her prone body, he gathered her into his arms.  Silently, she comforted his exhaustion with a reassuring hand on his chest and felt the cadence of his heartbeat.  Nothing else mattered; no one had a claim on how they felt.  No one would come between them.


He slept peacefully courtesy of Esmerelda’s calming intervention.  The bookshop did not open on Sunday and with a cup of coffee to rouse him, Harry looked at the organised chaos of her boudoir.  He pondered how he found himself here and how impossible it felt just a few months ago. 

In those first weeks, their union mattered more than anything else.  They slotted together perfectly and as a love-match, they did not need the Cremorne to fuse them together.  Its purpose remained unfulfilled and amongst their episodes of unbridled passion, Harry did not expect the interludes of long, meaningful conversations.  Discovering one another meant more than a mechanical execution of the Cremorne’s remaining chapters. 

Yet, it was an unresolved truth; he could not be Esmerelda’s equal until he completed the Cremorne.  His desire to do that felt undiminished and yet this pause carried no impetuousness from Esmerelda or his intuition.

Looking at her when she did not notice, the impurity of her thoughts came with an integrity to the book’s teachings.  It gave the reassurance to Harry that he would not deviate from them and risk everything on one bad decision.  This comfort gave him confidence; there were no secrets between them, no awkward truths unspoken or lies told.

Schooled sufficiently in its code, he knew deception was not in its teachings.  Esmerelda’s vignette of chapters did not intimate such a device as a ploy.  In public, she maintained a perfect façade that protected their powerful secret and behaved correctly in every way that any partner would. 

In her arrangement of the Cremorne, he was the roguish antagonist in Chapter Nine, the one that filled her with lust at first sight.  Regardless of her personal journey through the Cremorne, he was the one that would endure.

Conversely, Harry thought about how Esmerelda might perceive him, she knew every single flawed aspect of his voyage through the Cremorne.  He knew her journey from her vignette, yet as a story within a story, how Esmerelda navigated herself through the other remaining chapters was a mystery.  He pondered if this was her source of wisdom.  It always brought him to the same dilemma; did she play this role permanently as the shepherd to guide the flock to the conclusion of the book?  Or, was this serendipity, the right time, the right place, and she chose him as the one for her?

He knew that to ask Esmerelda would risk Delilah’s ire; the Cremorne did not come with an instruction manual and exacted punishment for deviation.  He knew that Esmerelda’s motives were genuine – he could feel it. 

Esmerelda did something to him no woman ever did, she was an enigma.  Her considerable charms and the complex facets of her personality commanded a deep respect.  Harry knew one thing, whatever the revelation at the end of the Cremorne would be, that would never change.

That struck him in the most profound way; this relationship was the most honest act he ever committed.  Better still, it made him strive to be a better person; there was no game to play.  Naked not just in body and shorn of pretense in her mind - their intuitions did not lie.  He came here months ago, barely more than a psychological wreck and she offered him a chance at redemption.  Looking back, he did not recognise that ethereal stranger in his memories.

He knew he loved her.


Solemnity was preferable to speaking ill of the dead.  Harry watched as Esmerelda rose from the front of the fresh granite headstone.  She left the fresh-cut flowers in the ornamental vase at its foo and he gave her waist a gentle squeeze. 

Amidst the new and weathered headstones, neatly trimmed lawns fanned out punctuated by tall mature trees.  In the fading heat of the late afternoon sun, they propped themselves against a broad trunk.  Sitting for a moment under its looming shadow, they remembered a colleague and an adversary.

“Harry, I did not think I would miss him quite as much as I do.”

“I admit, coming back to the bookshop, part of me was looking forward to sparring with him.”

“You did not like Frobisher much did you?”

He shrugged at Esmerelda’s blunt question delivered with a tone as soft as velvet, “I did not like many people back then.  I respected him though and that’s probably why I liked to give him a bit of stick.  He had a considerable wit, crabby, I liked that.”

Resting her head on his shoulder, they reflected for a moment, each with their own private memories.

“When I finished renovating the bookshop, you know he actually smartened up his act a little.  He even smoked that dreadful pipe outside.”

Harry sniggered, “Really?  When I walked in after all that time, I couldn’t get my bearings at first, the transformation was incredible.”

“It was worth it, trade is good.  Did you know when I took stock, he had more first editions and rare prints than his stock list?  When I put the lot of them into auction, I split the difference with him.  He actually smiled!”

Harry laughed, “Now I would have liked to have seen that!”

“He was so happy that he went on holiday.  All things considered, I was glad he did that.”

Harry hesitated as he sought the right way to ask, “Was it quick?  You know?”

Esmerelda nodded, “Uh-huh, in his sleep, just didn’t wake up.”


She sighed, “Yeah, best thing really.  It was very sad but in a way, he deserved a good death.”

They paused for a moment, not in awkwardness as they held each other a little tighter.  Facing his own turbulent demise, Harry empathised with its poignancy. 

She looked over to his headstone, “We’re going now.  Until next time.”

Esmerelda broke from him; it was time to go.  There was no need for any more words; a hug would say it all, benign and comforting.

“Thanks Harry, would you hold my hand?  I have something to ask you.”

The narrow grey tarmac wound towards the exit and a zephyr breeze took the edge off the balmy heat.

“What’s up?”

“Well Harry, it’s your chosen occupation…”

He interceded quickly, “I quit that after our first night at the bookshop.”

“You did?”  There was a hint of surprise in Esmerelda’s voice.

Harry nodded, “Your vignette of chapters in the Cremorne was clear, the muse is devoted to him.  It did not suggest that he was too.  I just erred on the side of caution.”

“And the remaining chapters Harry?  Have you worked out what to do?”

He shrugged, “I don’t know.  I followed Delilah’s words to the letter and told you everything and showed you everything.  I lacked a purpose.  You read the twenty-odd chapters of your vignette and told me that was correct.  That leaves about thirty to do and I’m not sure what’s best.”

Esmerelda giggled, “Oh Harry, you look so confused.  You do want to complete the Cremorne don’t you?”

Harry stopped, “To be honest, I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you and well, lost track of time.”

She stopped and Harry could see a look of concern on her face, “Lost track of time or is it the nightmares?”

He shrugged, “Sometimes, they are so vivid.  The Cremorne’s gift is a double-edged sword.  Perfect recall of the sublime… and a great imagination for the horrific.”

“Are you worried they might be premonitions?”

Harry’s face dropped and he looked down, “I am.”  He paused and stiffened himself to look into her eyes, “It’s silly really.  They are not like Delilah’s interventions or that place on the island.  When I wake up I feel so stupid because they aren’t that realistic.”

“And what else do you remember from last night?  Could that be it?”

He looked up, initially puzzled at first as Esmerelda looked expectantly at him.  As the realisation dawned, Harry had more than an educated guess. 

He smiled, “It feels vague and I know I felt it.  Even if I didn’t say it, I’m going to say it now.”


He bit his upper lip and nodded, a sense of vulnerability in his eyes signalled just how much he felt it, “I love you Esmerelda.”

Her full smile widened and her eyes sparkled.  She broke into a beaming grin that showed her white, flawless teeth, “You do?  Do you remember my reply?”

Harry shook his head, “I was really groggy once you calmed me down.”

On tiptoes, he accepted her kiss.  It lingered as she brushed against him in an invitation for his full embrace.  Deeper and deeper, its spice warmed his body until they broke a little breathless.

Harry looked awestruck, “Wow, I don’t think I need to ask.”

She demurred, “I love you too.”

With a nod of his head, she took his hand and led him down the path swinging his arm with hers. 

“Just because you love me does not mean you have to quit the Cremorne Harry.”

“Now I feel foolish, I should have told you sooner,” Harry paused for a moment, “I had to be sure I loved you first and I didn’t want to screw that up.”

“Well you didn’t and Harry, I’ll make a noble man of you yet.”

“Ha! I think you already have.”

They laughed.

Esmerelda squeezed his hand, “Let’s celebrate tonight, wine and lots of drunken sex.  I will tell you that I love you at the apex of our throbbing gut-busting climax together.”

“Wow, did I tell you that I really, really love you?”

Esmerelda sniggered, “Flatterer.  So is this why you know my predilections, yet you have said nothing about them?” she giggled coquettishly.  “We need to talk.”

“There is such a thing as free will, I know how important that is.”

They continued walking, “Fair point Harry, if you know what I need and I know what you need and if we are to be together.”  Esmerelda paused, “Want to be together.”

“I want to be with you for a long time to come, absolutely.”

Esmerelda giggled, “Yes, absolutely.  So I suppose we should do them together.  We are allowed to.  You have to take the initiative, I want to take part.  Now, as I have performed my duties as your muse, you can thank me tonight.”

“Really? You’d do that?”

She purred, “I would like to watch when I cannot take part, I like that thought a lot.”

Harry smiled, “You do?”

Esmerelda nodded, “The thought of watching you fornicate really gets me going.  From the chapters you have remaining, I’d get to join in a few times and you know how much I like the ladies.”

Harry sighed, “Wow.”

Esmerelda stopped him in his tracks, her expression craven, “I want to watch you drive another woman insane with lust and then take her.  Imagine its power between us, imagine the sex.”

Harry blew out his cheeks, “Well, when you put it like that.”

She squeezed his hand, “I have completed the Cremorne, I know.”

Harry had that puzzled expression again, “Look, I know you are not supposed to tell me until I complete it…”

Esmerelda placed a solitary finger to his lips, “That’s right.”  She kissed him, “I know you are not asking me to tell you either.  Remember Harry, every person’s quest is different so I could not tell you what to do next anyway.  You nearly came back to me after reading Chapter One in that bar, remember?”

Harry shrugged, “Yes, I do.  That would have been different.”

“Yes, and it would not have been you, would it?”

“No.” Harry looked more earnest, “Despite everything, I would not be the same person.”

Esmerelda took both of his hands, “See?  And Harry?”


“You would not have been the most fantastic lover you are now.  Chances are you would have freaked out or worse or got carried away.  You might have hurt me and Delilah would have eaten you for breakfast and scrambled your mind into soup.  Remember, I sensed everything you did, I felt your pain and every single good and bad decision you made.  I did not intercede then, it hurt to know but I had to wait.  I know that it made you into what you are now.”

Harry nodded slightly, “Never a truer word spoken.”  A wistful expression eased onto Harry’s face, “Esmerelda?”


“You know, you were the motivation to get myself straightened out.”  He paused with a look of seriousness on his face, “Am I straightened out?”

She paused and cast her eyes on him; she could feel his sense of wonder.

“You are and I know you are.  You got a hell of a fright and I would say it straightened you out.  I felt how tortured you were, I looked into your eyes and knew everything the first time I saw you.  I look at you now and feel the difference.  Remember who I am Harry.”

“I do, I do, it’s easy to forget sometimes, in a nice way.” Harry raised her hand to his lips and kissed it, “Thank you.”

Reaching up, she softly caressed his face and they embraced with another soft kiss, “No, thank you Harry, because of you I am complete.”

Harry’s eyes widened, “That’s it! That’s it! God, I am so stupid!”

He picked her up and spun her in his arms, “That’s my purpose!”

She felt the triumph of his intuition and clung to him tightly with her arms and legs. 

“It is Harry! I can feel it, I can feel it!”

Peppering kisses on his face and lips, their spirits intertwined in swirls of delirious joy.  Calling out in her mind, they would hear their riotous jubilation.  He held her close in silence as their blood coursed and their breathing rushed in shallow breaths of excitement.  Embracing her tightly, Harry began to laugh, deep hard laughter full of relief.

Placing her softly onto her feet, he looked into Esmerelda’s eyes and beamed.

“Oh Harry, look at you, I never saw that smile before.”

“Phew! I can’t tell you how good it feels.”

She took his hands again and kissed him tenderly, “You don’t have to, I can feel it. Now we are really celebrating!”

Leaving the cemetery, they walked down the long tree-lined lane towards his parked car.

“Harry, there is one other loose end?”

“Really? Another one?” delivered with a tone of playful exasperation.

“Yes another one…  You were a book collector and agent once upon a time.  Frobisher told me you were a total bastard and that was a term of endearment coming from him.  You must have been good at it.  You got me too with the price of the Cremorne.”

“Yes, I said that was underhanded and my apology remains completely heartfelt.”

“All’s fair in business Harry, besides, once you were a poacher, now…”

He paused and made her stop.  Looking into her eyes, he scrutinised her for a second, “Esmerelda, are you offering me a job?”

She smiled and kissed him softly, “Well, the pay isn’t much but the perks are amazing.”  Her hand slipped effortlessly to his groin, “And we can’t have your talents unemployed can we?”

Harry grinned, “I suppose not.”

“And Thalia?  You’ve seen that look in her eyes haven’t you?”

Harry nodded, “So have you.”

Esmerelda nodded too and sighed, “Oh yes.”

“I admit Chapter Seventy-One occupies my thoughts.  There are nine chapters that flow from that effortlessly.”  He paused and watched for Esmerelda’s reaction, “Thalia shows a great deal of promise.”

The brooding lust of their intuitions rose; they stopped and looked into each other’s eyes aflame.  They kissed passionately as she slowly caressed his imprisoned penis.

Esmerelda held a wicked glimmer in her eyes, “So, do you feel inspired?”

Sharing the moment, Harry felt the power of her thoughts and revelled in the surge of their intuitions.

As she squeezed on his burgeoning erection, Harry groaned deeply, “Inspired is one way of putting it.”

“A job with great benefits,” her intonation low and sultry, “Lots of benefits, the Cremorne together, and Thalia.” 

She kissed him deeply, “Do you accept?”

“Done!” Harry snapped playfully.

She patted his firm penis, “Mmm, now that’s what I call a hard bargain.  At work, I am the boss, at play, you are the boss.  You are not done yet either, I know that look in your eyes.  You can eat dessert off my breasts if you do what you are planning to do.  We’re going to be at it all night.”

Harry sniggered, “Careful, you are a very powerful muse and very inspiring.”

“I am, you will need lots of inspiration for what you want tonight.  Take me home Harry and have your way with me.  Show me what you want to do to Thalia.”





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Copyright © © 2018 by The Travelling Man. All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of The Travelling Man.

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