Thank you for reading my entry in the Holiday story contest. I appreciate comments and feedback.
I took a deep breath and pushed open the heavy door with the beveled glass window. The aroma of cinnamon and pine and bayberry engulfed me and warmed me as I stepped into the shop from the cold damp November day. I pushed the door shut and the bell rang.
The small crowded shop had a cozy feel because it was lit with pretty table lamps throughout the store. Tables and shelves were filled with accessories, cards, candles, and antique books that were to be used like props and decorations around the house. The clientele was clearly people with disposable income. It was filled with "I want" and not "I need" kind of items.
A young, thin woman with straight blond hair stepped from behind the counter and asked me if I needed help. I told her my goal: to collect donations, money or items to be auctioned at the town's annual holiday party for the poor.
"I don't think Mr. Wilbanks gives to those kind of things," she said. She scrunched her face and looked pained as she gave me the bad news.
I already knew this about Mr. Wilbanks. I was the fifth person to come to the store trying to get a donation. As the "Director of Giving", a fancy title that just said I was the one in charge of getting the donations for the gala, I was the last effort at a collection. The other volunteers had all tried and returned back to the office empty handed.
"Look," I strained to see if the woman was wearing a name badge, she wasn't, "Sorry, I missed your name." She told me it was Holly. "Holly, every store and business in the county, that's a hundred and fifty three, have given something for the gala. Except this one. Can't we get something? It says a lot about the community if everyone contributes."
Holly shifted from one foot to the other and stammered a little bit. She was young, probably eighteen, and anxious about the whole idea. I gave her my best "we're a really nice group" smile. She still hedged. I tried guilt and told her that the shop would be the only one missing from the program. I kept at it; I used empathy, guilt, goodwill, and holiday cheer. She stepped behind the counter and made a phone call and returned to me. I don't know what finally worked.
"I guess you can have a set of note cards," she said, her face twisted as though she had just promised a kidney to a stranger.
Before she could change her mind, I whipped out the donor sheet, filled in the blanks, she signed it and I walked out of the door with a set of ten handmade notecards.
The gala had been good for me. Every night after work I went home, changed clothes, ate dinner, and went to the office to work on coordinating collections. I worked until midnight, went home, collapsed into bed, and at five thirty the next morning started my day all over again. Until the end of October, I would have been hanging out with Eric, my boyfriend. Actually, my ex-boyfriend. My status changed the last Sunday of the month when I arrived at his condo carrying everything to make dinner for us and his parents. He didn't answer the door when I rang and I let myself in with my key. I put all of the cans and bags and boxes on the counter and set the onions and sweet potatoes on the floor. I started setting up to make dinner. I had been there nearly fifteen minutes, still no sign of Eric, and I went upstairs to his bedroom. He had gone out with friends Saturday to spend a day reveling in beer, testosterone, and college football at one of the sports bars. I was convinced that he was sleeping late after too much of a bad thing. I thought I heard something in his room and I pushed open the partially closed door.
I stopped at the door and I grabbed my chest as I lost my breath. Eric was kneeling behind some brunette, her ass in the air, her chest resting on the bed, as he gave it to her doggy style. She moaned with each thrust.
"What the fuck!"
They both turned toward me at the same time, their faces with similar looks of shock. I turned and ran down the stairs. I should have run out of the house, instead I went to the kitchen. I was putting the canned goods into the bags when Eric walked into the kitchen.
"Baby, I can explain," he stammered as he entered the room.
My head hurt. My breaths came in gasps as I sobbed because of what I had just seen. I felt nauseated and dizzy.
"Baby. Amy ..."
He stepped toward me.
"Get the fuck away."
I learned that day how domestic violence escalates out of passion. There was a knife on the counter, and I instinctively went for it. I gripped it hard, and then I threw it behind me. I grabbed the can of stewed tomatoes and threw it hard at the wall, just to the right of Eric. It exploded through the glass of the microwave oven.
"Don't 'Baby' me!"
He stopped, his hands up, palms out, chest level, as if being arrested.
I picked up a can of broth and curled my fingers around it.
"She's just a waitress. I didn't mean for it ..."
I let the can fly, this time to his left, through the glass on the cabinet. It shattered three wine goblets and the shards flew onto the floor.
"Amy, we need to ..."
He was barefoot and there was glass all around him on the floor. Any movement and he would step onto it. I threw the bags of flour, and sugar onto the floor. I hurled the dishes from the dish rack at the floor and they shattered.
I grabbed a shard of a plate and held it in my hand.
"All right, asshole. I'm leaving now. I suggest that you wait until I leave and then go back upstairs to that skank in the bedroom. If you take one step toward me, if you try to touch me, I'll cut it off."
I waived the piece of blue green plate at his crotch, motioning toward his shriveled cock that was exposed through the black and gray print robe he had put on before coming downstairs.
When I had gotten back to my car that day, I slumped into the driver's seat and cried for half an hour before being able to compose myself for the ride home.
I live in a small town. Life is quieter and simpler. The people hard working, but the recession has been hard on everyone. The Women's Society had started up during the first depression and never saw a need to go out of business. It helps people get through the rough patches of life. I joined it when I moved here after college to teach middle school. An hour away from Nashville, we lack the glitz and glamor of the "big city" but get to have a quiet life. It was Saturday, a week after Thanksgiving Day, and I sat at my desk at the society's office at the town's mall.
I was working on the spread sheet of all my donations. I had columns for each item, an auction number, value, starting bid price and description. The gala was less than a week away, and I was the limiting step to get the information formatted for the bidding program. I had a self-imposed noon deadline. I didn't hear the door open. I turned away from the computer screen and yelped as I jerked out of the chair when I saw the man standing in front of the desk.
I held my left hand to my chest and took a deep breath. My heart beat hard.
"May I help you?"
"You have something of mine," he said. I know I must have looked confused, because I had no idea what he was talking about. I started to ask, and he said "You took it yesterday."
He shook his head and looked at me as if I were six years old and getting a reprimand. He was tall, thin and had short brown hair that was gray at the temples and around his ears. He had deep blue eyes and an angular face. It was cold that morning and he was dressed in a crisply starched white, button down shirt open at the collar and a heather brown sweater. He was a handsome man.
"A Bit of English. You took some note cards."
"Oh, Mr. Wilbanks." I slapped my forehead as everything finally clicked. I extended my hand, but withdrew it after a few moments when he did not return the gesture. "Holly isn't authorized to give away merchandise."
"She didn't give it away, she made a donation."
"That isn't her prerogative, Ms. ..." he searched my desk for a plaque with my name.
We're a no frills charity. There was no plaque. Business cards are scraps of paper with our name and number scribbled on them.
"Amy. Amy Meisner," I said, again extended my hand. I didn't leave it out as long the second time. I was learning.
"Well, Ms. Meisner, those are my note cards and I want them back."
"But it's for a good cause. We're trying to put together food and gift baskets and toys for the less fortunate."
"Just another excuse to pick a man's pocket all in the name of a holiday."
"But these are people who ..."
"There are social service agencies for those kinds of things. Food stamps." He stopped, as if to get breath, his face was turning red. "When was the last time you came into my shop?" I started to answer. "Before yesterday." He put the emphasis on 'before' and glared at me, those blue eyes almost seemed to get darker in color.
The fact was I don't think I had ever been to his shop before yesterday. I don't make a lot as a teacher, and I have school loans, a car note, and rent. I'm doing better than a lot of people, but that doesn't mean there's money left over at the end of the week for thirty dollar note cards.
I didn't have an answer. He extended his hand. I gave him the package of notes and he left.
The next week was a blur for me. There were committees for every aspect of the gala; there was a decoration committee, a food group, a different one for drinks and beverages, another one managed the facility during the event. My group of five had dwindles to three and we were frantic making displays and arrangements for all of the auction items. Some of the high ticket items were for the live auction while others were for the silent auction. We were at the hall until late every night, arranging items, moving tables, setting up the bid sheets. It was really taking some of the fun out of the holidays for me.
The good thing about all of it was it took my mind off the fact that I didn't have a boyfriend any more. I'm not someone that needs to have a boyfriend or partner or significant other. I missed the company, someone to hang out with, go places, and of course sex. It took a while for me to eliminate the image of him with the brunette. As I worked on getting over him, my libido started to return.
The Thursday before the gala, I got home early from setting up. I hadn't eaten after work and I when I got home and I was very hungry. I had been so busy, my refrigerator was empty. Well, not completely empty, but there isn't a lot of nutrition in two bottle of beer, a jar of mustard, three carrots, and a box of mesclum mix that was two weeks past it's sell date. The freezer had popsicles and a can of limeade. I ordered a pizza. An hour later, the doorbell rang.
I don't know where they found him, but the delivery guy was absolutely gorgeous. He was tall, angular with sandy blond hair and dark brown eyes. He looked like he was from a fashion magazine for one of those colognes. Hell, I was ready to scratch and sniff him right then. I know I must have mentally stripped him to his boxers as he counted out my change. He was so good looking, I over tipped him. I was flushed when I closed the door. I ate my pizza and drank both beers while watching some holiday chick flick.
When I got to bed that night I was exhausted. I lay in the bed, snuggly in my flannel gown and the electric blanket on low. I read for a bit, turned off the blanket and light, and tried to go to sleep.
Tried is the operative word. I tossed and turned every few minutes, the hunk with the pizza kept dancing through my mind. I ran fantasy scenes through my mind. In one, I had grabbed him at the door and kissed him. In another, I ordered another pizza and answered the door in my sexiest bra, garter belt, and hose. I tried to think of other things, but I kept fast forwarding to the mystery delivery man.
I sat up and pulled off my gown and got under the sheets and comforter, pulling both up to my neck. I closed my eyes and ran my hands over my chest and circled my nipple with one finger, then two, then pinched it, softly at first then harder. An ache started in my breast and made its way to my pussy, where it got harder and hotter. I slipped my other hand down my belly to my pussy, I pulled my hand out and spit on my fingers and replaced them, and nestled them between my lips. I ran my fingers up and down, brushing against my clit on the up stroke and savoring the sensation. I stopped and leaned over to my bedside table and I took out my vibrator and licked the tip. It is small and shaped like a larger lip stick case, and I turned the base and it started to vibrate. I increased the speed from low to high.
I slid it between my pussy lips and rubbed the shaking cylinder against me, touching my clit, and then pushing away. I eventually rested the tip on my clit and pinched my nipples, first one, then the other, eventually twisting each one between my fingers. The effects were quick. The ache grew in my pussy, deepening, swelling to include my pelvis, my legs got numb and then a shot of warmth rushed through my body, flushing my chest and face and taking my breath away as if I sprinted fifty yards. I slumped into the bed, my muscles weak, the vibrator shaking as it rested against the sheet. I turned it off. And I dozed for a few minutes in a dreamless sleep wrapped in my warm bed.
When I woke, I kept my eyes closed enjoying the feeling or being wrapped in the warmth of my bed. But I had an ache, deep in my pussy, different then when I cum. I wanted to be filled. It had been a while since I had been fucked, too long, and I yearned to be fucked right then, to fill me, to make me cum. I reached in the drawer took out a new dildo that I had bought earlier in the year but had never used. I coated it in some lube which smelled and tasted like lime and coconut and chili peppers. I took it and rubbed it against my lips, up and down my hole, slowly pushing it deeper into me with each pass. An inch, then two, my cunt stretching to take it in, it had been way too long, my juices mixing with the lube, igniting the warmth of the peppers, another inch, in and out with each pass. After a few glorious minutes, my new toy was in me, filling me up, stretching me wonderfully.
I took the bullet vibrator and placed it on my clit, the speed set at low, and I slid the dildo in and out of me, slowly at first, then gradually faster. I closed my eyes, imagining the delivery man's hands on my hips, lifting me off the bed, I thrusted upwards, pushing the dildo deeper inside, and flicking the speed of the vibrator to high. After a few moments I dropped the vibrator and held the clear dildo with both hands, thrusting my pelvis up against it, my thumb brushing my clit with each push in. I felt my cunt muscles tighten, squeezing the dildo, trying to milk it, trying to push it out. I closed my eyes tight, picturing a cock sliding in and out of my cunt, fast and hard, I started to rub my clit, my fingers a blur against it as I tried to cum, I wanted to cum. It hit me hard, different than in the past, a slow tingle in me feet that felt like a roll of surf, gathering speed and strength as it got to my knees and thighs, pressing against my pussy and then exploding into a giant wave of liquid warmth into my belly chest and neck. I grabbed the dildo with both hands, savoring the sensation in my cunt as the waves of my orgasm subsided. I removed it and dropped both on the floor next to the bed. I put my gown on, rolled onto my side, closed my eyes and drifted to sleep savoring the warmth deep in my cunt.
Saturday, the day of the gala arrived, and everyone was at the hall putting the final touches on everything. It was a madhouse. People were flittering from place to place, not finishing one task before starting another. It was nearly noon when Vivian, the chair called me and asked me to meet her at table six.
She stood at the table, a program in her hand, staring at the table when I finally got there.
"We're missing an item," she said.
"Can't be. I've doubled checked, everything is out."
She pointed to an open area on the table.
"Item seventy two, ten handmade note cards courtesy of 'A Bit of English'." She pointed to the bid sheet, pencil, and no note cards.
I had forgotten to delete the item from the spread sheet after giving the cards back to Mr. Willbanks. The program was printed, the acknowledgement given. Everyone thinks that charity projects and galas are a lot of fun. They are far from it. They are hard work and egos and at times tempers. Vivian ran a tight ship and everything was going to be perfect. Or else. And there was no or else.
When the party started that night, I was almost too tired to attend. But I had to make sure the items were okay, help coordinate the closing of various tables, and help out where I could. II got to get dressed up in my party finest, but my shoes were a little too tight and I really wanted to toss back a couple glasses of champagne. Both were going to have to wait until after the paying guests were gone.
I was standing near table five just as the bids were closing. I heard Vivian talking to people and saw her hugging and kissing guests as she made her way around the room. I had lived in town for nearly three years, but I had just met her a couple months earlier when I started working on the party. She was the wife of a surgeon, didn't work, and spent her time moving from one project to another. She meant well, but as I had found out earlier in the day, it went her way or no way.
"Charles," she said in a too loud voice.
I turned just in time to see her air kiss Mr. Wilbanks near my table. His stern look was gone, his eyes danced, and he smiled as he talked to her.
"Thank you so much for the note cards," she said to him. He looked a little surprised, he saw me, and he flashed me a look, some of the glimmer gone from his eyes.
They continued to talk, and I moved on to the next table.
The auctions were over and it was nearly eleven o'clock as the last of the party goers were working on getting their money's worth from the evening. The band launched into a ripped version of "Moonlight Serenade" as the boomers got out to the dance floor and were working it. I leaned against a wall, slipped my shoes off, and took a slug of my champagne.
"Hey there," the deep, smoking voice said.
Warmth shot through my body, and then my heart raced. Eric dressed in a tux with his tie undone and the shirt collar open, was standing next to me. His scruffy hair was a bit too long and he hadn't shaved in a couple of days. It was the first time I had run into him since I found him with the skanky brunette. Unfortunately, he looked pretty good. My brain was working, though, despite the alcohol.
"Fuck off," I said and turned.
"That's no way to treat a friend," he said as he grabbed my arm.
I tried to turn, but he tightened his grip.
I tried not to make a scene. It's a small town. Everyone talks.
"Let go," I said, firmer this time. He started to pull me toward him.
"I think the young lady told you to leave her alone," Charles Wilbanks said. I didn't see him approach us, but he had positioned himself between us and blocking a view of us from the rest of the party. "I suggest you honor her request."
I looked hard at Eric. His eyes were red, and he seemed to weave a little as if trying to keep his balance.
"Or what old man?" Eric hissed under his breath. He tightened his grip.
It happened quickly, and I'm still not sure how he did it. But with a couple moves of his hands, Charles Wilbanks had released Eric's grip from me and gripped Eric's left hand in his own. Eric appeared startled, then uncomfortable.
"Or else I break every finger on your hand."