How Sweet it is!
Cindy Cannon was not in a good mood. This was not an unusual state of affairs.
After selling her modeling agency to Tipton Industries for an obscenely high price, one would have thought she'd feel less stress in her professional life. Things hadn't worked out that way however. For while she was now very well taken care of financially, she still ran the agency and was as high strung about her job as ever.
It was still her name on the agency after all. And she didn't want anything but the best quality to be associated with it, lest it reflect poorly on her reputation.
But this particular shoot with her models was very taxing. Not that the girls weren't doing well. Jessica and Janice and Kate were all being totally professional. It was the setting for this job that was the problem.
Of all the wonderful sites in Europe that they could have used for a backdrop…why were they using a damned chocolate factory?
Yes…she knew that the concept for the shoot was actually quite good. 'Sweethearts and Sweets'…lovely girls and delicious candy. The pictures would work well for Valentine's Day promotions and the like. It was smart business.
But still, taking a bunch of girls who had to watch every calorie to stay at their professional best and surrounding them with the most fattening chocolate treats on the planet…it was nerve-racking. Cindy had to watch all the girls like a hawk. Temptation was everywhere. She couldn't afford to have her three best models go off on an eating binge.
And their host certainly wasn't helping matters.
"Ah, there you are Ms. Cannon," the disturbingly happy voice of Sebastian Nougat called out as he pranced up to her. What kind of man pranced anyway? And that outfit he wore…the stripes and wild colors…he was a fashion nightmare.
"Mr. Nougat," she said tersely.
"Once again, let me say how wonderful it is to have your lovely young charges here in my 'World of Chocolate'. They've all been delightful."
"Thank you," she replied with a phony smile. She wasn't surprised that he was happy to have the models here. The pictures being taken were going to give his candy-making enterprise a ton of good publicity. "Now if you'll excuse me."
"Now now, don't be in such a rush," he said with an almost sing-song cadence. "I noticed that with all the hard work you've been doing, you seem a little stressed. And there's one thing I know of that always makes the stress go bye bye."
From seemingly out of thin air, he produced a small platter of chocolates. "My newest creations…you must try them." He grinned like a maniac. "They are so delightfully decadent."
Decadent was the proper word for them, that much was true. Cindy had always been very disciplined when it came to resisting any food that could affect her figure…but these wonderful, creamy treats being offered to her now…it was frightening how they seemed to call out to her. They were almost irresistible.
"Damn it, get those away from me!" she snapped at the eccentric candy maker. "I've told you a dozen times already not to offer any candy to my girls…and I don't want any either!"
"But you are so tense and unhappy," he answered as he frowned theatrically. "Chocolate can make you feel better."
"What can't you understand about simple logic?" she shot back. "My girls are models. They have to keep their figures absolutely perfect or their careers will be over. They can't have any of your chocolate…and I've been going crazy trying to make sure they don't sneak any when I'm not looking!"
"But they are not," he countered. "The girls have been very good. They have not tried to take one bite of candy, even when offered. They spend most of their free time playing some game… Dungeons & Gargoyles, I think. Except for the one twin girl, Jessica…she spends every spare moment on the phone to her girlfriend. Small world actually…Jessica's girlfriend came on a tour of my factory last year. Lovely girl. The two boys with her were a bit odd though."
"Enough!" Cindy yelled. "I do not want to hear any stories about your chocolate factory. Can't you just leave me and my models in peace?"
"You are a very unpleasant woman," he said matter of factly.
"And you are the demented love-child of Willy Wonka and Roberto Benigni!" she countered angrily.
Well, I must give you points for being cultured," he laughed. "I don't imagine many Americans would make a Benigni reference."
Upset at the fact that she couldn't seem to faze the strange man, Cindy huffed and then turned on her heel to march away.
It was a few hours later, after the photo-shoot had wrapped for the day, that Cindy went looking for Mr. Nougat to apologize. She didn't actually feel sorry in the least…but he was their host and it would have been bad form not to behave in a polite and professional manner.
The part of the building where his office was was very quiet. There seemed to be nobody at all around. Cindy wondered just how many employees Nougat had. Surely a factory this large required more than just one man to function.
"Mr. Nougat," she called out. "Hello? Is anyone there?"
When no answer came she tried the door to what she thought was his office. It opened to reveal not an office but a kitchen. Actually it was more like a bizarre cross between a kitchen and a laboratory. Mixing bowls and cake pans sat side by side with test tubes and microscopes.
And on the table in the middle of the room…chocolate. The most enticing-looking little chocolate creations she'd ever seen.
She knew she shouldn't. Certainly she would never allow Mr. Nougat to see her enjoy some of his sinful candy. But with nobody around..maybe she could indulge in just one tiny piece.
She took one and popped it in her mouth. Then an absolute explosion of sensation seemed to course through her entire being. She felt faint and had to grab on to the edge of the table to remain standing.
After that moment of weakness passed, she looked at the remaining pieces of candy with a gleam in her eye.
She grabbed another.
Sebastian's day had gone pretty well, despite the unpleasantness of Ms. Cannon. But now that she and her models were gone, he was going to get back to his most important work. His quest to create the perfect candy.
While he considered himself an artist when it came to candy-making, he didn't neglect the scientific part of the craft as well. He'd studied the properties of chocolate extensively for many years in hopes of creating just the right mixture of ingredients.
But when he stepped into his private test kitchen, he immediately noted something was amiss.
"Oh no," he said aloud. "Oh no no no no NO!"
The candy he'd left on the table…all of it was gone. Ordinarily, he wouldn't have been upset...what is candy meant for if not to be eaten? But these had been no ordinary candies. They'd been experimental…an attempt to magnify the amount of endorphins that chocolate released in the brain when eaten. But the prototypes he'd left here were not meant to be eaten…they were too strong.
The yell came from down the hall. More happy cries followed. Sebastian followed the sound to the chocolate mixing part of his factory and there he found…Cindy Cannon?
It took him a moment to recognize her…seeing as how she was coated in chocolate, partially submerged in one of the big vats of liquid sweetness.
"Ms. Cannon! Please get out of there!" he implored. "You're contaminating the chocolate!"
"What? I am not," she replied in an uncharacteristically giddy tone. "I'm perfectly clean."
"Yes, yes, I'm sure you are," he responded. "But authorities frown on the selling of chocolate that anyone has taken a bath in first. They're funny that way."
"I won't tell if you wont," she giggled before dunking her head fully under the chocolate once again.
It was quite obvious to Sebastian what had become of his experimental candies.
"Ms. Cannon, come out of there," he repeated when she came up for air. "You're not well."
"Shows what you know," she replied. "I feel great!"
"Yes, but you're not yourself. You're on an uncontrolled endorphin high," he explained. "Now get out of that vat before you hurt yourself."
"But I don't want to come out," she pouted. "It's fun." Her pout vanished as he reached for her. "You come in instead!"
With a swift motion she grabbed the man's outstretched hand and pulled him into it. He flailed around in shock for a moment before he got his bearings…which caused Cindy to laugh uproariously.
After a moment of thinking about the absurdity of the situation, Sebastian let out a laugh or two himself.
"Well, you are certainly not an unpleasant woman now," he commented. "But now that you've had your fun…why don't we go get cleaned up. Alright?"
Cindy shook her head. "No."
"Ms. Cannon, be reasonable." He took her by the arm and tried to guide her out…but she began to wrestle with him and soon pinned him against the side of the vat.
"You know," she laughed. "You look good covered in chocolate. Good and tasty." She leaned forward and licked the side of his face.
Sebastian was surprised at this…and then at the look in her eyes. Then he remembered another aspect of endorphins on the brain.
"M-Ms. Cannon," he said nervously.
"Call me Cindy," she purred.
"I'd really rather not," he answered in a high pitched tone. "Ms. Cannon, you're not in your right mind at the moment. And with all due respect, I'm not-"
He was unable to finish as Cindy crushed her lips to his.
The man struggled, but Cindy was surprisingly strong. And much to his shock…sometime after she'd pulled his pants off and gotten her hands where no woman had gone before…he actually began to enjoy the experience.
Some time later, they were both leaning against the side of the vat in the midst of the afterglow.
"I'm positive this chocolate is contaminated now," Sebastian laughed weakly.
Cindy was calmer now, the effects of the endorphins having finally faded, and she was trying to come to terms with all that had happened in the last few hours.
"I…oh God, I forced myself on you!" she told her unlikely companion. "I'm so sorry!"
"Don't worry," he replied. "You weren't in control of yourself. Besides, now I finally know what making love to a woman is like."
Cindy's eyes widened. "What? You mean…I took your virginity?" She felt even worse now…even if it was a little odd for a man his age to still be a virgin.
He laughed and gave her a rather sly look. "I said I finally know what making love to a woman is like, darling."
"Oh," Cindy said, finally catching his meaning. "I should have figured. Still, what I did to you was wrong."
"Please don't trouble yourself over it." He smiled. "It was a new experience. I may even want to repeat it sometime if I find another willing lady."
Cindy raised an eyebrow at him. "Are you saying one time with me turned you straight?"
"Hah! Bi at the most, darling. Don't let your ego get out of control."
They got out of the vat and Sebastian led Cindy to the nearest available shower. They went ahead and used it together, they didn't want to give the chocolate a chance to harden on them after all.
Once they were both clean, they both dressed in some factory jumpsuits that Sebastian retrieved from a utility closet. Their old clothes were beyond hope of recovery and would be thrown out with the contaminated chocolate.
They both agreed to never speak of this incident with anyone…at least for the next twenty years. It was too good a story to not include it in Cindy's memoirs someday.
As they said their goodbyes for the evening, Sebastian offered a somewhat personal observation.
"You know, Ms. Cannon…when you are not so preoccupied with being stressed and hostile, you are very enjoyable company."
"Thank you, I think," she replied. "And you…you're a very decent man." She paused. "For a total nut-job."
After she left, Sebastian mused for a moment and then went back to his kitchen. He thought he might create a new candy in honor of Cindy. Something with some bitter chocolate and plenty of nuts.
author's notes: Cindy Cannon was from the SLOD episode Model Behavior. She was played by Kathie Lee Gifford.
Everyone's favorite candy maker, Sebastian Nougat, was from the SLOD episode Party On! He was played by Napoleon Ryan.
Mention of Jessica having a girlfriend that Sebastian had once met is a reference to the lovely Bailey Pickett of course. Bailey and Jessica as a couple is officially cannon in the Lodylodylody and SilverTurtle universes.
Mention of the models playing Dungeons & Gargoyles is a reference to the WOWP episode Fashion Week…which taught us that just because a girl is a beautiful model, it doesn't mean she can't also be smart…and an 11th level cleric.
This concludes the 2011 Strange Love collection. I thought I'd end the collection with a contribution from Lodylodylody, the visionary behind this collection and many others. Thanks to everyone who contributed. See you next year! JD