[Author's Note: I went back and tweaked the story a little, adding some more de_script_ions to give the reader a sense of what Abby looks like at the beginning and what some of the early changes are doing to her figure. The real fun won't start until Part II.]
A rather upset husband discovers his middle-aged wife has picked up the nasty habit of smoking again and decides to do something about it...
It’s Just a Cigarette
“It’s just a cigarette,” Abby said, rolling her eyes, but not making eye contact with her husband all the same. “It’s not that bad of a thing.”
“It’s never just a cigarette,” said Jonathan. “When you smoked, it was never just one. So how many are you up to a day now?”
“It’s just one a day,” she lied, and he knew it. After being married for so long, she came to understand that married couples developed rather decent telepathy over time. She could pick out his lies a mile away, and vice versa. If one didn’t want to know the truth, she either ignored it altogether or she just didn’t ask the question at all. Abby stopped asking him if her pants made her ass look fat years ago. That, and her ass was in fact getting larger. She was 38 now, and the pounds didn’t seem to go away no matter how hard she tried.
Jonathan paced the floor, his anger rising slowly. Abby was already there, however. Here she was being treated like his teenaged daughter instead of a grownup. So, she thought, what the hell? Let’s fight. Fighting the one person you loved most in the world was also satisfying. She already had the perfect attack.
“I started smoking again about three months ago, actually,” she said icily. “Right after Anthony was born.”
Jonathan stopped pacing and stared at her, his mouth slightly agape.
“I gave up smoking and everything when we started trying to get pregnant. Then when he came early…and we lost him…I started back. It was maybe one a day, at first. That was just the first week or so, you know, when I’d wake up at Two A.M. because I thought I could feel him still in my womb kicking. It would wake me up in the middle of the night and it felt so fucking real. And for one fleeting moment I would think maybe it had all been a bad dream. Yeah. I started smoking again because I thought I was going fucking crazy! That cigarette you’re holding right now? It’s the first cigarette of my second pack today I think. There. You got me. If you don’t like it you can get the hell out and go be with that little whore from work who keeps texting you late at night.”
Jonathan only stood there like his heart and bowels had been ripped from his torso and were currently at his feet. Bam! she thought wickedly. That would teach him not to treat her like a child. She had come too far and been through too much in life to ever be treated like someone’s baby again. Just who did he think he was, anyway?
Her husband regained his composure and said, “I’m going out. I’ll be back later. I don’t know when, though.” He put on his jacket and hat and left, slamming the door behind him, leaving her alone with her cigarettes. So, she decided to make the best of it and light one up, in the house, something she had never done as long as they had been married. One bitter victory cigarette, because fuck him.
Then the guilt and inevitable tears hit as her prodigal conscience finally showed up to scold her for being such a harpy. Anthony was Jonathan’s baby, too, even if he wasn’t the one who carried him to term, and failed miserably at a woman’s one unique biological specialty. She crushed out the cigarette furiously and flushed it down the toilet, then she flung open all of the doors and windows to air out the stench.
“I’ll fix him dinner,” she said aloud to her conscience, who sat quietly and invisibly judged her. “He can heat it back up whenever he gets home.”
It was close to midnight when Jonathan finally came in. Abby had chain-smoked her way through the rest of the pack that had caused so much grief earlier in the evening and was really needing to go to the store for another when in he entered bearing a gift wrapped packed. It was obviously his peace offering to her for the verbal evisceration she had given him before. Conscience or not, the thought pleased her darkly.
“Have a good time?” she asked, kind of hoping he had. Kind of hoping he spent his time wrecked with guilt.
“Yeah… I just needed to get my thoughts together. Look, I feel really bad about getting wrapped around the axle with you about the smoking. I know things haven’t been easy for you ever since last October, and it’s not been great for me either. I’ve been lost in my work and I haven’t been here to support you like I should. I think we’ve just both been withdrawing from each other, you know?”
“Look, it was just an excuse. Losing the baby just gave me an excuse to let it all go to hell. I really hate my body right now, and smoking was just a way to punish myself. But I’m kinda scared. I’ve never smoked this much in my life and I don’t know if I could stop if I wanted to. If I go more than an hour without one, I get real bitchy.”
“Well…yeah…I mean, I used to smoke when I was younger. So, anyway, I bought you a present. It’s something a new local company I know started making. In fact, I was involved in a lot of the R&D for it after they got the Kickstarter funding in motion. I just wanted to help you, so that’s why I’ve been gone so much.”
“What about the texts from this Melissa woman?” Abby asked.
“It’s Malissa. She’s one of the founders, her and twelve other women. They had an online ad for someone to crunch the numbers for them and do some project testing, so I applied for it and got hired. I had to sign a non-disclosure agreement on it and promised not to tell anyone about it, so it’s some real super secret squirrel kinda shit.”
“Jonathan, that has to be the lamest cover story for an affair I have ever heard in my life,” she said. Yet, the marital telepathy was failing her on this one. He seemed sincere enough, but it was still really odd.
“Honey. I’m not having an affair. I haven’t had sex with anyone in months, and that was with you. It’s always been with you throughout this whole marriage.”
Abby decided to let it go, thinking that if it was an affair, it would all come out in the wash eventually. Affairs always did. “So, what’s in the box?”
“This is a present for you,” he said, handing her the wrapped package. “I thought it was time to come clean on what I’ve been working on with the girls, and finally include you in on it. I don’t know if we’ll ever get a patent or not, but I have a feeling we can still make a killing through online sales.”
Frowning, Abby tugged the little ribbon loose and tore the festive-pink wrapping, revealing two small boxes with the writing, “YOUTHFUL SPIRITS. 20 Class A Filter Cigarettes” written on each. In the top right corner of the boxes of cigarettes was a crest in the shape of a cauldron with the Roman numerals XIII engraved on its surface. Flanking the cauldron on both sides were the curvy silhouettes of sexy witches, stirring the contents craftily. Abby looked up at her husband, more bewildered than ever.
“So, you got me cigarettes? And this is what you and ‘the girls’ have been working on this whole time? If that’s the case, why’d you get onto me earlier about smoking? Don’t you think that’s a little hypocritical of you? And another thing, who in the hell has a secret business on the side with a woman, or women, behind his wife’s back, making cigarettes?”
“Well, I guess I did. But now you know!”
“So, what’s the big deal about these cigarettes that makes them so damned special?” she asked. They had better be fucking special, she thought to herself.
“Well, they’re all-natural, herbal cigarettes that light up the same chemical pleasure center in the brain that would normally process nicotine instead. So, essentially, it’s a nicotine smoking cessation tool, but that’s not even half of it!”
“Okay, so what’s the other half or so?” she asked, just a little interested, but more annoyed than anything else. The idea of smoking to stop smoking seemed a little flawed in its logic.
“Well, as you know, nicotine is such an effective chemical because it goes straight to your brain and central nervous system. Quickly. People that smoke crack and all of that other stuff only do it because it’s the fastest way to absorb it into your body. Instant gratification. Problem is that it comes and goes really fast too. So, with this, the girls have a secret family recipe that’s been passed down for generations, that, thanks to being in cigarette form, absorbs into the body quickly and can alter the brain, central nervous system, and the body’s circulatory system rapidly.
“Okay you’re starting to scare me,” Abby said. “I’m not about to be the guinea pig for you and your snake oil. Not without knowing what it’s supposed to be altering.”
“Well, this is the best part. The herbal cocktail alters the lifespan of the cells in the body, essentially restoring them to a more youthful state. Don’t you see? We’ve discovered a way to fight aging…and we’re going to sell it!”
“Wow, it is snake oil, isn’t it? Have you done any clinical studies to back up even one iota of what you’re claiming, or do they have you suckered into this bullshit like they plan to do to everyone else?”
“Yeah, I’ve got some proof. Hold on.” Jonathan pulled out his wallet and began sifting through his cards and photo IDs until he withdrew a photograph from its contents. He handed it to Abby, who studied it slowly.
“Yeah, it’s proof of something,” Abby said bemusedly.
It was a photograph of thirteen young women, all wearing black, skin-tight, slutty-witch Halloween dresses that resembled the silhouettes stirring the cauldron on the box. Five of them were brunettes, four were auburn-haired, and four were blonde. Suspiciously blonde. Yeah, they were all very young and hot. Not one of them appeared to be over twenty-five at the oldest. Their skin and bodies were perfect in a way that Abby was watching fade from her reflection with each passing month as she rapidly approached the big Four-Zero. They were all gathered around an ornate, wooden chair with astonishing craftsmanship, and sitting in that chair was none other than Jonathan.
She glanced over to the hallway mirror and frowned. It just wasn’t fair. It seemed like men just kept getting sexier and more confident the older they got. She, on the other hand, was not the same woman she had been back in her twenties when they got married. Her light brown hair had the occasional streak of grey, her once pert breasts had gained a little sag, thanks to giving birth. On her wedding day, she had been quite slender and athletic at five feet, four inches, and weighed one hundred and twenty-five pounds. Now, she was pushing one hundred and seventy. Her once tight, flat belly was now marred with stretch marks and pooched out, flanked by love handles that muffin-topped over the sides of her loosest fitting jeans. She did her best to avoid mirrors like a vampire. Even when doing her hair and makeup, she focused more on the individual parts of her face and ignored the rest, but whenever she did catch a full glimpse of herself, it was depressing.
Sighing, she said, “Okay. They’re young. They’re beautiful. They’re all over you like a case of scabies. So what’s your point, other than to show me your side job appears to have certain benefits for aging men stuck in marriages with barren, withering wives?”
Jonathan ignored her snark and went over to the computer. He began typing rapidly, until he pulled up a feminist historical page with old black and white photographs from the Temperance Movement in the late 1800s. Abby watched as he scrolled though the various .jpegs, thinking her husband had lost his mind from all of the young pussy he was probably getting thrown at him at his new job, when he stopped on one.
“There. Look. And hold the photograph of the women up to it.”
Abby did look, and her eyes widened when she saw it. Really saw it. “`Youthful Temperance Tonic’,” she read aloud. In the photograph were thirteen women, all standing around a cauldron, wearing ridiculous pointy witch’s hats and much more conservative dresses. She compared them to the ones in the photo she was holding – nine dark haired women and four blondes. The .jpeg photo was old and grainy, but the resemblance to the color photo she was holding was uncanny.
“Family business?” she asked, uneasily.
“Don’t you see? It’s the same women!”
“I see thirteen women here and I see thirteen women there, and they could sort of look the same. Like I said, it looks like ancestors of them.”
“Abby, it’s the same women. It’s the same herbal remedy. It cures time. TIME.”
“It’s not bullshit. I’ll invite Malissa over tomorrow and she can show you all of the proof you need. Anyway, they’ve been using this stuff for years now, and it hasn’t effected them one bit. They just never put them in cigarette form, that’s all.”
“If they’re so good at making THE discovery of the twenty-first century, only way back in the nineteenth century, why are they just now getting their company off the ground? This would have changed history….if true.”
“I don’t know. Their financial books were a mess. I ended up doing all of their accounting when they got me hired on. They pretty much wrecked their credit, even under their new names. And I thought you bought way too many shoes. You should see their mansion. I think they had to convert one quarter of a wing into one giant shoe closet. And let’s not get into all of the trips they’ve gone on over the years. If it weren’t for wealthy male patrons, I think they would have been thrown out on their butts.”
“Wealthy men? I didn’t see any wealthy men in that photo you gave me.”
“Yeah, laugh all you want, but when this goes big there’s going to be one man in that photo who’ll be wealthy. Me!”
“If it works,” she added.
“Well, that’s where you come in. There are forty cigarettes in there, which is supposed to run you through the full treatment process. By the end of it, you’re supposed be cigarette free and looking and feeling young and re-invigorated.”
“You sound like a door-to-door salesman, Jonathan,” she said with a slight smile.
“I could get used to that, if it means the kind of money we’re going to be making.”
“Okay. So what do I do then?”
“What you already do, open up a pack and light up!”
“And you promise this isn’t going to hurt me or give me cancer or something, right?”
“You’re worried about smoking causing cancer, now?”
“Good point.” Frowning, Abby picked up a pack of the XIII brand cigarettes and tore upon the shrink-wrapped seal. Upon opening the lid to the pack, an aroma hit her nostrils that seemed both medicinal and sweetly enticing. Her body responded to the smell in an odd way, as if it had been waiting for it. Slightly trembling, she pulled one of the cigarettes free and lit it with her lighter. Putting the filter to her lips, she inhaled deeply as the flame lit the other end. It crackled and sparkled slightly as the small twigs and bits of herb caught fire. The smoke filled her lungs, caressing them with a rich and creamy flavor that was unlike anything she had tasted before. It was unlike any cigarette ever, for that matter.
She took a few more hits from the cigarette, and began feeling a little funny. There was a slight tingling that was radiating from her lungs and spreading up and down her body. Her hairs stood on end as goose flesh prickled out on her arms and the nape of her neck. The feeling didn’t stop there – it made her lips tingle, and her nipples, and down south to her…
Oh wow. I think this thing is making me horny, she thought, blushing in front of her husband as he studied her reaction. “Wow, Jonathan. I don’t know about it being some elixir of youth, but it sure does feel…wow!”
She backed away from her husband to go down the hallway, when he took her gently by the wrist. “Where are you going, he asked?”
“To the bathroom,” she said. “I have to…umm… I need to do something real quick.” She twisted her legs together tightly and squirmed a little. The truth was, she was getting so wet she was afraid she might have to change her panties.
Jonathan, however, had something different in mind. He guided her over and pressed her against the wall and kissed her deeply. His hands, which he had rested on her shoulders, now guided down to her sides, cupping her left breast with his right hand. His touch sent little micro-explosions running up and down her body. She moaned, in spite of herself. She was still a little mad at him, but those thoughts were passing rapidly. She took another long drag from the cigarette and blew a thick ring of blue smoke into the air that wafted back into the living room where it dissipated around the whirl of the ceiling fan. She wrapped one arm behind Jonathan’s back and grabbed his buttocks and pulled his crotch against hers. He was definitely aroused as well.
“We should take this to the bedroom,” Abby said, before taking another drag, finishing off the cigarette.
Jonathan nodded, cupping her ass in his hands and then lifting her up. She wrapped her legs around his waist and let him carry her to the bedroom, running her fingers through her hair and kissing him all over his cheeks and up and down his neck.
The sex was intense, probably the most intense she could ever remember having. It was almost like her first time, with all of the new thrills and sensations and without the awkwardness and the pain. When she came, it was loud and her nails raked up and down his back. Her screams of pleasure pushed him over the edge in no time. His final thrust punctuated by the bursting of his seed inside her. Afterwards, she smoked another two cigarettes while Jonathan dozed beside her. The tingling sensations returned, making her horny all over again, so she parted her legs and masturbated herself to orgasm another three times. Whatever was in those cigarettes packed quite a punch. Those young witches could sell it just as a libido enhancer, she marveled to herself quietly. After a while, the tingling had passed and Abby drifted off into hazy, blue, smoke filled dreams. At some point in the night, she was pretty sure her and Jonathan had woken up and had sex again, but she wasn’t certain.
The next morning, Jonathan got up and left for work. Abby, a full time student in her college nursing program, was off for the winter holidays, and much enjoyed the time sleeping in. She finally dragged herself out of bed around Ten O’clock and jumped in the shower. Not having had sex in months, her vaginal muscles felt a little sore and protested a little as she walked. It was not at all unpleasurable though, as it reminded her of the night before.
Drying off, she wiped the steam from the mirror and regarded herself critically. “I don’t know, do I look any different?” she asked her reflection. To be honest, she kind of did. The slight streaks of grey that had appeared in her hair over the past couple of years were nowhere to be seen. The slight crow’s feet around her eyes also looked less defined. “Huh. Maybe these cigarettes do work after all.”
She finished drying off and got dressed, noticing a little bit of her middle-aged stomach pudge had gone also. Her dependable pair of comfortable errand-running jeans didn’t feel as belabored when she buttoned them, which was nice. Weight loss cigarette too, huh? I guess a coven of witches would think of such things – they are women after all.
Abby gave her girlfriend Lydia a call and asked if she wanted to do lunch at the mall and maybe do a little shopping. Lydia agreed, but said she needed to get back in time to pick her kids up from school. They talked for a little while on the phone before leaving for the mall. Abby smoked another two cigarettes, and tried her best to ignore the now all too familiar tingling sensation that accompanied them. Even still, she would cross her legs a little and let an errant hand drift down between the waistline of her jeans and panties. Easy, girl, she told herself. If she didn’t learn to control her newly acquired sex drive, her pants were going to have a noticeable wet spot by the time she got to the mall. The thought never occurred to her to simply quit smoking, however. If anything, these new cigarettes were turning out to be even more addictive than her regular cancer sticks.
She had another three cigarettes on the way to the mall, and one on her way into the food court from the parking garage.
Lydia stood next to the line at Starbucks, sipping on a frappe when Abby walked up. At first she didn’t recognize her until Abby smiled and said, “Hey, girlfriend!” Lydia jumped at first, but then smiled and hugged her. She backed away and looked Abby up and down before saying, “Oh my God, have you lost weight? Are you working out? You look…you look so…healthy!”
Abby smiled and began playing with her light brown hair, twisting it anxiously before saying, “Yeah, I’m trying something new, I guess.”
“Well whatever it is, it’s working. My God. You could pass for someone ten years younger! You’re not still smoking are you?”
“Yeah I am. So if you don’t mind, I need to step outside here in a minute once I get my latté.”
“Honey it’s none of my business, but you need to quit. They say smoking takes years off a person’s life.”
“Yeah, I know. As soon as I finish Nursing this semester, I’m going to try to quit. The last thing a hospital will want to do is hire someone who smokes. I just need it right now to get through all the stress. Between school and Jonathan working long hours because of his second job and us fighting, I need them to keep from killing someone!” Abby said. In fact, if she didn’t get her next cigarette soon, she was going to kill the Starbucks Barista.
“Hey, Miss, can you hurry up with that? I’ve really gotta get going!” she shouted at the teen behind the counter.
“It’s almost ready ma’am!”
“I swear, young people, I don’t remember being that slow when I was her edge,” Abby said.
She finally got her coffee and went outside for another cigarette. Well, two more. Lydia went along with her, frowning the whole time. After the two cigarettes, though, Lydia was frowning for a different reason. Abby, she said, “It’s so odd. It must be because we’re out here in the light, but you look so different. It’s almost like I’m talking to the Abby I knew ten years ago.
“Oh, well, thank you so much! That is so sweet!” Abby said, hugging her tightly. When she stood back, she had to adjust her bra a little bit. Whatever weight loss had occurred, she sure wasn’t shedding the pounds from all of the right places. The fat had all gone to her hips and ass over the past decade, but she hadn’t minded the old weight gain to the chest. Neither had Jonathan for that matter.
They went back in and shopped for another hour, before Abby had to drag them both outside again for another two cigarettes. Lydia was getting annoyed at the interruptions, as it was really cold outside and she had to be leaving before too long. Even still, she could not get over how young Abby was looking. In fact, if it was even possible, she remarked, how Abby looked even younger than from earlier in the day. Abby just shrugged and smiled to herself, pleased at the enchanted cigarettes her husband had brought home. She had a surprise in store for her big man when he got home later, that was for sure. She had been turned on the whole time they had been shopping. She couldn’t help herself, but she found herself checking out all of the men shopping – especially the young college guys, and imagining what a fling with one of those young bucks would be like. Jonathan was forty, and had the stamina to go the distance in bed, but there was something to be said about the intense thrust of a young man slamming into her from behind, maybe with a line of his best frat brothers behind him.
After a while, Lydia had to leave, so Abby took advantage of the opportunity to enjoy another two cigarettes as she walked her friend to her car, and another two on the way back in to the mall. All totaled, she had smoked 17 cigarettes, leaving her with only 3 in the pack. So much for smoking cessation.
She went back inside and shopped some more, trying on some of the younger clothes in Hot Topic and Old Navy, pleased at how well some of the clothes fit her. Usually the clothing sizes for teen girls were over-exaggerated by a gross margin. Not even once did she stop to really look at herself in the mirror. She found over the years that it was much better to simply ignore her reflection when shopping for clothes or else she’d never be able to purchase anything. Pretty much everything looked hideous on her, she felt.
After she finished, she went back outside for another smoke or two. While hanging out, a cute guy walked up to her that she recognized from BIO 201 at school. Like most people who hadn’t seen her for a few days, he frowned at her. “Do I know you?” he asked.
“Probably not,” she said. It was a miracle he had even noticed her at all in college or right then at the mall.
“Yeah, you just like this older woman in my BIO class from last semester. Are you her daughter or something?”
“What?” Abby, asked. “Young man, I’m almost old enough to be your mother.” She tried to sound stern, but her voice sounded sort of high and whiney.
“Huh? Maybe If you had me when you were a fetus,” he said with a laugh.
“Uh….okay….” Abby said uncomfortably, gathering up her bags to leave and crushing out her pack’s penultimate cigarette. Before walking away she did hesitate, and then turned back to the boy and asked, “Uh…how old do you think I am?”
He shrugged and laughed a little before saying, “I don’t know, maybe late teens…twenty at the most. How old are you supposed to be, then?”
Abby laughed it off and said, “Okay whatever. You better watch out what you say to older women though, flattery will get you everywhere.”
Walking to the car, she lit up her final cigarette from the first pack. That tingle returned, making her blush as she embraced the sensations and just imagined all of the things she would let a young guy like that do to her if she wasn’t married. She got in the car, lowered the seat back, eased down her pants, and masturbated right there in the mall parking lot. Several minutes and several orgasms later, she pulled her glistening fingers from her panties, and thought to herself, I’ve played with myself so much my fingers are starting to prune!
She drove home, speeding a little, as she was already needing another smoke badly. She hoped Jonathan wouldn’t be home too late as she had plans in store for him…