Chocolate
by Judith Freudenthal
1996

Nick entered Natalie's office in the morgue and grinned when he saw her desk. It had a good half dozen candy wrappers on it. She looked up a bit embarassed.

"I don't know what happened. I have this intense craving for chocolate. You wouldn't happen to have any on you?"

Nick had a big grin plastered all over his face, slightly annoying Natalie.

"Does this happen often?" Nick teased.

"No. All the sudden it was there. Be glad it isn't a craving for garlic," she joked with a wicked grin.

"Believe me, I am," he said with grin.

Just then his cellular phone rang as her desk phone rang.

Nick stepped across the room to answer it while she answered her desk phone.

Time to go back to work.

Natalie hung up, sweeped the empty wrappers into the trash, grabbed her coat and was out the door at near vampire speed with Nick right behind her. He guessed it was all the sugar in her bloodstream.

Natalie stopped at the candy machine down the hall to grab another candy bar. She knew she would be paying for this later and wished the craving would stop.

She checked her mouth for chocolate before she stepped out of her car at the crime scene.

Tracy noticed that Natalie seemed a little jumpy, hyperactive and found it rather unusual. She walked over to her partner.

"Nick, is Natalie okay?" Tracy asked a little concerned.

"Yeah, she's fine," Nick said, a small grin on his face.

 

Natalie was back at the candy machine on her way back to her office. She just couldn't shake the craving and it was beginning to annoy her. It had started as soon as she woke that morning and showed no signs of stopping any time soon.

Tracy entered and saw Natalie wolfing down what appeared to be her second candy bar. Natalie saw her and was a bit embarassed.

"Natalie, are you okay?" Tracy asked a little concerned.

"I'm fine. Why do you ask?" Natalie asked on a bit of a sugar high.

"I don't know. You seem to be a little jumpy, a little wired."

"I'm fine. A little too much caffeine. I keep telling myself to cut back on the coffee."

"It seems more like a sugar high. I've seen my nephew like this after Easter, Halloween and Christmas." A thought hit Tracy. "You wouldn't happen to be having cravings related to ....."

Natalie cut her off. "I'm not pregnant if that's what you're thinking."

"Sorry, if I upset you."

"You didn't."

 

Later Nick and Natalie were in his loft watching movies. She was still downing chocolate at an amazing speed. Nick was waiting for her to either explode or wind up bouncing off the walls.

"Nat, are you sure you're okay?"

"Yes."

"Tracy's concerned about you as well."

"I know. She came by to see me. She could tell it was a sugar high. She actually thought I might be pregnant, which I'm not. If I keep eating like this I will look like I am."

"Well then there will ...."

"Don't even say it."

"I guess you were serious when you said chocolate was your one addiction," Nick said with a wicked grin.

"It's never been this bad before. I wonder if they have a chocoholics anonomyous group, not that I'd go," Natalie said returning the tease.

 

The next evening Natalie was finishing up a report on her computer screen without a candy wrapper in sight.

Nick entered and was pleased to see no evidence of her chocolate addiction. He was there when the sugar had worn off and she crashed, hard. It had not been a pretty sight. It had actually been downright scary.

"How are you doing this evening?" He said with a grin, but also some concern.

"Much better. The craving has passed and my blood sugar has returned to normal. Sorry about yesterday."

"No problem. It was kinda interesting to see another side of you," He grinned.

the end

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