tagRomanceAn Angel of Mercy

An Angel of Mercy


Greetings, readers! This story is my submission for the 2016 Literotica Winter Holidays Story Contest. Of note, I debated on several different categories to place the story in, such as Erotic Couplings and First time, as it has elements fitting well within each of them. However, I feel that the serious themes discussed in the story fit best with the Romance category, so that's where I'm submitting it. I hope you enjoy, and I hope you see fit to give it a 5 star rating. Thanks, and Merry Christmas to all!

An Angel of Mercy

"500 channels, and nothing but Christmas specials on..."

Ken Dix flipped through the TV guide at a moderate pace, finding nothing but disappointment at every turn. As it was Christmas Eve, every show was a mushy feel-good romp spouting lines about family and goodwill to others. None of that spoke to Ken in the slightest.

"Ken?" a voice came from the kitchen.

"What's up, Mom?"

"I've got my hands full with making everything for dinner tonight, but I'm going to run short on a couple of ingredients," Helen Dix said, poking her head into the living room. "Can you run to the store real quick for me please?"

"Sure thing," Ken replied, seeing as he had nothing better to do.

"Great, thank you. I made a list on the counter for you. The store should be open for another hour or two. The main things would be the eggs; I don't have enough to finish my famous chess pie. If they have tea by the gallon, grab one sweet and one unsweet. The rest are great if you find them, but not essential."

"Got it," Ken said as he took the list from the counter.

Heading out to his car, Ken cranked up his Honda Civic and pulled out of the driveway. As he made his way into town, Ken reflected on his current situation. Though he loved his mom, being home for the holidays was always nerve-wracking for him. His hometown of Alpharetta, Georgia was crawling with former high school classmates of his, people he'd just as soon never see again. But up at MIT, he was actually among peers that he could relate to on an intellectual level. Not that he'd made that many friends up there. As a nineteen-year-old freshman, he was still stuck in the same boring math and science classes as everyone else. He couldn't wait until he could start his health sciences training. Maybe then he could meet some decent people, perhaps of the female variety.

Ken soon arrived in the parking lot of the local Kroger. It was soon obvious that the place was packed with last-minute shoppers, all trying to find that one final ingredient they were missing. Locking his car, Ken sauntered into the store, grabbing a shopping basket along the way. He found the shelves of the store well picked over, striking out on the nonessential items on his mom's list. Making his way to the drinks aisle, he was pleased to see that the store was keeping the gallon jugs of tea well stocked for the holidays, and picked up a pair.

Ken soon arrived in the refrigerated section of the store. Almost every shelf was empty, but he did manage to find one last carton of six eggs, just what his mom needed. Depositing the carton in his shopping basket, Ken made his way back to the front of the store, checking out in the express lane. He gripped the shopping bags tightly, being careful that the eggs weren't harmed from the swinging of the bags. Arriving back in the parking lot, he was pleasantly surprised to see one of his former classmates, Jacqueline Brown. As he approached, she saw him coming.

"Ken? Kenneth Dix?"

She was extremely pretty, as was befitting one of the most popular girls in school, and kept her sandy-brown hair cut just below her jawline. Her soft, warm facial features and bubbly personality belied the sharp intellect hiding underneath. She and Ken had been partners a few times in various subjects, and he had helped craft her entrance essay to the University of Washington. This earned her a full ride scholarship. In spite of her popularity, they had worked well together, and Ken even dared to call her a friend, at least in his own mind. They had never hung out on a social basis; her circle of friends would never have let her live that down. Still, times had changed. They were both out of high school, after all. What could it hurt to ask?

"Jacqueline? Wow, I never thought I'd see you back here. Thought you escaped to cooler climates?"

"Yeah, Seattle is nice, but nothing beats Christmas at home," she replied, adjusting her UW sweatshirt. "You back for the same reason?"

"Uh huh. Mom pretty much insisted. She won't settle for anything less than a full family gathering on Christmas Eve. I'm just grabbing a few last things for her. But yeah, it's great seeing you again. You, uh, you look good."

"Um... thanks," she replied with hesitation.

"I'm, uh, gonna be home for a couple of weeks. Would you want to, I don't know, hang out sometime? Maybe grab a bite to eat? My treat."

"Well, Ken, that's sweet of you to ask..." she said almost to herself. As she paused, her eyes suddenly lit up as if she had gotten an idea. "Alright! Here, let me give you my number." She scribbled a series of digits down on a scrap piece of paper, writing her name next to them. "I'll, um, talk to you later, I guess?"

"Sounds great!"

Ken couldn't believe it; he had actually done it! He had asked out the prettiest girl he had ever known! Moreover, she had given him her number! Things were definitely looking up.

"Dick!" a voice behind them yelled.

Ken turned, immediately recognizing Jason Brown, Jacqueline's fraternal twin brother, along with his two flunkies, Brian and Barrett Sullivan. Jason had been the star quarterback at his high school, and the Sullivan boys were his best offensive linemen. They often served as his muscle off the football field, as well. Ken was intimately familiar with these three, as they had made it their mission in high school to make his life a living hell. Being stuffed in lockers, having his wallet stolen, all were commonplace with them. The three approached, attempting to appear imposing, which they were from the perspective of the ever-scrawny Ken.

"I've got nothing to say to you guys," Ken muttered as they approached.

"Well I've got something to say to you, Mr. Kenny Dick," Jason growled.

"Just shut up and leave me alone," Ken replied, his blood boiling at the use of Jason's longtime nickname for him.

"No! YOU shut the fuck up and listen!" Jason said, grabbing Ken by the collar of his t-shirt and flinging him against his car. In the process, Ken dropped his shopping bags, the jugs of tea landing directly on the egg carton.

"Jason! Stop it!" Jacqueline protested.

Undeterred, Jason threatened. "Listen fuckwad, you stay the hell away from my sister!"

"She's an adult, dickhead! She can have anyone she wants as a friend!" Ken protested.

"YOU don't belong on the same PLANET as her! You're nothin'! A pathetic sack of guts your dumbass mother decided to give a name to! Know what? Just do us all a favor and drop dead!"

Enraged at the insult to his mom, Ken swung a wild haymaker at his assailant, but Jason was more than ready, pinning Ken's arm back against his car. Jason then delivered a crushing punch to Ken's gut, dropping him down to his knees. Before leaving, Jason knelt down next to his gasping victim.

"Next time, I won't be so nice. Next time... I might just kill you myself. See ya around. Dick." Turning to his sister, Jason said, "Come on, time to go home."

Jacqueline looked down at the pitiful form of Ken before muttering, "Sorry, Ken."

The trio of boys sauntered off across the parking lot, laughing and high-fiving at their antics. Jacqueline followed right behind them. Ken picked himself up and inspected his groceries, discovering the crushed eggs in his bag. Swearing and cursing, he grabbed the misshapen carton and went to throw it in a nearby trash can.

"No chess pie tonight..."

As Ken returned to his car and began his drive home, Jason and his flunkies watched on from his car, still pleased with their efforts.

"You shouldn't have done that," Jacqueline said in a lecturing tone.

Jason turned to face his sister. "I do what I gotta do, Jacqueline. That fuckwad has no business gettin' friendly with you. He needs to learn his place."

"Be that as it may, I can take care of myself," she replied firmly.

"Take care of yourself? Wait... you didn't?"

"I did. Jason, someday you'll learn that there are more subtle and effective ways to ward off undesirables. Trust me, Ken won't bother me ever again."


Upon arriving back home, Ken couldn't bring himself to tell his mom about the incident with the eggs. He instead told her that the store had run out altogether. She had spent many sleepless nights in the past worrying about the constant bullying her son was subjected to in school. Ken didn't want to give her anything else to worry about. By this time, has uncles had started arriving, and the living room was soon filled with the sounds of football games. In Ken's mind, these were no more thought provoking that the mindless Christmas specials he had found earlier. Ken went up to his room to take a hot shower, as well as get some alone time in the process. As he stripped down, he saw a bruise beginning to form on his stomach from Jason's punch. He winced in pain as he touched the tender skin.

Shit... that's not going away for a while.

Ken took some Tylenol for the pain before stepping into the shower. The hot water helped relax his body, and the steam gradually built up, clearing his mind a bit. He finished after a while and, after making sure his door was shut, flopped facedown onto his bed. After laying there for around an hour or so, his mom finally called him down to rejoin the family for dinner.

Taking his seat at the table, Ken glanced around the room at his various family members. His mom had two older brothers, Lee and Stan. Though Lee was tall and still relatively youthful looking at forty-five, Stan was shorter and beginning to bald as he approached fifty. Still, both of them had one notable thing in common as far as Ken was concerned: they were both still jocks at heart. Ken had never known his father; it had always just been him and his mom. He could tell that his uncles tried to be male role models for him, but their efforts were usually ill-conceived attempts to "man him up." Never once did they understand his introverted tendencies, and always tried to get him to be more of a people person. After a while, Ken stopped paying their advice any attention.

It was striking to Ken how similar Lee and Stan's families were. They had both married beautiful, blonde cheerleaders, and now both had sixteen-year-old daughters, both of whom were among the most popular girls in school. It all sickened Ken; they were just perpetuating the stereotype of pretty and popular being the be-all, end-all in life. As the family ate, Ken remained silent for the most part. The adults were engrossed in discussions about their jobs, and the two daughters were giggling and playing on their phones the entire time. None of this was relevant to Ken.

"You know, I saw something interesting today," Lee said as dessert was being brought out. "I was at Kroger filling up my car, and saw you in the main parking lot, Ken. Looked like you were, uh, havin' some words with a few guys out there."

Shit! He saw that?!

Not wanting to worry his mom, Ken replied, "It... it was nothing."

"Nothing, eh? Is that why that punk punched you in the gut?"

With a worried look on her face, Helen asked, "Ken, sweetie, what is he talking about?" She walked around the table to Ken's seat and lifted up his shirt, seeing the bruise on his abdomen. "Was it that Jason boy again?"

"Mom, just let it go."

"No! Ken, you know I worry about you!"

"You worry about ME?! I think you need to worry more about your brother!" Ken shouted, his anger exploding at last. "Right, Uncle Lee? Come on, you see your own nephew being ganged up on in a parking lot, yet you do nothing to help him out?!"

"A man's gotta learn to fight his own battles," Lee replied in a calm voice.

"No. You want to know what a man does? A man sticks up for his FAMILY! No. Matter. What! You stood there and watched your own nephew get beaten up. That says a hell of a lot more about you than it does me. And if that's family... I don't want any part of this one."

Without a word, Ken stood and left the dining room. He then grabbed his MIT hoodie and headed for the front door. As he was about to get into his car and drive off, he saw to his frustration that his uncles' cars were parked in the driveway behind him, blocking him in. Cursing under his breath, he prepared to leave on foot.

"Ken! Come back inside, please!" Helen called after him, running down the driveway.

"No. I've got to go out... clear my head..."

"Ken, it's Christmas Eve. Please, come be with your family."

"Mom, aside from you, not a single person in that house feels like family to me," Ken replied coldly. "I'll... I'll call you after while..."

Ken walked off into the cold Georgia night, not knowing for sure where to go or what to do. Nobody else was out, as they were all at home with their families. Remembering the square in historic downtown Alpharetta, he decided to head in that direction. Maybe the quiet walk would do him some good.

Arriving in the town square, Ken walked along the sidewalks for a bit, peering into the darkened windows of the various shops and restaurants. Everything looked so different to him with everyone gone for the day; it all seemed so peaceful. As he continued to walk, he soon saw City Hall in the distance. In front of the building was a large green space, which was teeming with a surprising amount of activity for it being Christmas Eve. Ken moved closer, now spying a large gathering of people sitting on picnic blankets, all bundled up in coats and hats. Ahead of them, a large screen projected the classic film, It's a Wonderful Life.

Though Ken was never into the Christmas cheer, as it were, he felt strangely drawn to watch a few minutes of the film from a distance. He soon began to regret that decision, as the movie had reached the point where George Baily had an arrest warrant out for him, lashing out at his family in anger. Watching him get drunk and punched in a bar fight, Ken began to feel sick with anger. Despite all his efforts to help better the world around him, the universe conspired against George Baily... just as it seemed to be conspiring against Ken. Unable to watch a moment more, he turned and walked into the nearby park.

Again alone with his thoughts, Ken sat on a bench near the fountain in the center of the park. He contemplated many things, as he often did in solitude. He thought about his piss poor excuse for a family, intent on changing him into what they say he should be. If only they could love him as he is. He thought about Jason Brown, a perpetual asshole that managed to get all the beautiful women his heart desired. If only the universe would serve up his just desserts, rather than conspiring against Ken. Sighing in frustration, he stuffed his freezing hands into his jeans pockets.


Feeling the scrap of paper still in his pocket, Ken suddenly felt a glimmer of hope in an otherwise dreary day. He needed something, anything to lift his spirits, and hearing her kind, sweet voice might just do it. Hell, he didn't even care anymore if she was interested in him in a romantic sense; he just needed someone to listen and understand him. Digging out his phone, he dialed the number. After a single ring, a message began to play, seeming to be read by a game show host.

"Congratulations! You've reached Live 95.5 FM's world-famous Loser Line! Live 95.5; featuring the best entertainment in Seattle! If you've reached this message, you have attempted to hit on a girl WAY out of your league! That poor young lady wants nothing to do with you, but you just couldn't help creeping on her! That's where we come in! Now you know what a loser you really are! So leave the girl alone, loser! You're doing everyone a favor! If you'd like to leave a message for the world-famous Loser Line, begin speaking at the tone! BEEEEP!"

Ken hung up the phone in quiet disbelief. How could he have been so wrong about Jacqueline? They had worked so well together in school, and he even considered her a friend! She always spoke so kindly to him, how could this have happened? Was she really as nasty and shallow as her dumbass brother? Was she really just that good of an actress? As he pondered all this, Ken's rage finally exploded out of him.

"That two-faced bitch! Who the fuck does she think she is?! I trusted her! Hell, she would never have gotten a full scholarship without my help! All I ever did was LIKE her! And after all that, she doesn't even have the decency to turn me down to my face?! WHAT THE FUCKING HELL?!"

Slumping back down onto the park bench, every thought that entered Ken's mind brought him lower. Jason was an ass, but then again, he didn't know how to act any different. Uncle Lee was a moron, but then again, he had no malicious intent. But Jacqueline... she was the last straw. He had trusted her, opened up to her, and she repaid him by committing the single most cruel and senseless act Ken could ever imagine. Everything was crashing down around him. As he continued to sulk, Jason's words entered into his mind once more.

"I should just do everyone a favor and drop dead... is that what you want, Jacqueline? Seems like you agree with your brother, or you wouldn't have given me that number."

Ken reached into his pocket, withdrawing a folding knife. It had been a high school graduation present to him from his grandfather, before he passed a few months later. A far cry from the typical Swiss Army knife, he unfolded the shiny, four-inch blade, which stood in beautiful contrast to the wooden handle. Inscribed in the wood were Ken's initials. He had not used it for anything yet, never had any need to. As he stared at his reflection in the blade, Ken kept replaying Jason's words in his mind.

"Maybe that's not such a bad idea..."

Just as Ken took a firm grip on the handle, preparing to take the knife to his throat, an unfamiliar voice came from off to the side.



Gabrielle Libertine relaxed in a lawn chair, savoring the crisp, cold air of Christmas Eve. This was her favorite time of the year, and being able to enjoy an outdoor showing of her favorite Christmas film, It's a Wonderful Life, made it even better. It all fit in perfectly with her life philosophy: live for happiness. Not only her own, but as much as could be had for the world around her too.

"You want the moon? Just say the word, and I'll throw a lasso around it and pull it down."

"Oh, Jimmy Stewart, you charmer you..." Gabby sighed.

Soon, her emotions welled up as the hopeless romantic that was George Bailey began to succumb to the pressures and injustices of life. He had blamed his own uncle for destroying their business, lashed out at his wife and children in anger, and gone crawling to his hated rival for a loan. The hardest scenes for her to watch were always the bar fight and the car crash. Still, she always stuck it out. The best was yet to come.

Just as George stood atop the bridge, Gabby caught sight of something out of the corner of her eye. A young man of about nineteen or twenty was watching the movie from a distance away, leaning against a tree near the road. His face twisted in angst as he saw the pain on display in the film, and he soon spun around, walking into the nearby park. Gabby couldn't explain why, but something compelled her to follow him and make sure he was ok.

Collecting her lawn chair, she walked along the perimeter of the green space, soon arriving at the entrance to the park. As she went, she began to hear angry shouting up ahead of her; it sounded like the young man was in distress. After a few minutes, she came upon the fountain situated in the center of the park. On a bench sat the man from earlier, appearing to be deep in thought. By the glow of the lamppost, Gabby could now get a good look at him. He appeared to be of average height, maybe 5'7", and had shaggy black hair that seemed a bit unkempt. Still, it's color shone in the light of the park, and his white skin provided for quite a striking appearance. A pair of black horn-rimmed glasses framed his face, which combined with his red MIT hoodie to project a very specific image into Gabby's mind. He had to be incredibly intelligent.

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byauguy86© 79 comments/ 42519 views/ 143 favorites

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