Gabriela Casimiro was not pleased. Women like her didn't wander through suburban malls on a chilly Christmas Eve. They didn't wait in ridiculously long lines. And they certainly didn't get shoved forward, backward and sideways by the overweight and overloaded shoppers surrounding her. Fucking Christmas, she thought with a discernible sneer.
It was bad enough she had to do her own shopping, it was doubly dreadful that it was all left to the last minute. A steady stream of swearing escaped her knowing she still hadn't gotten the ridiculous toys that her nephew had begged her for, had manipulated the queen manipulator herself into swearing oath to purchase.
"Oh, please, Aunt Gabby. Daddy and mommy said not to expect Santa to bring them, but I wanted just two things for Christmas more than anything else and all the kids at school are teasing me because they said that Santa is getting them both and I'll be the only boy in school that didn't get that new two-foot-tall Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or extra-special edition PlayStation. Please Aunt Gabby, can you try and get them for me? Just two things and I would be so happy this Christmas. I've been so good this year, I promise, Aunt Gabby."
She had to admit, for a nine-year-old, her nephew Zacarias had an A-plus exploitation game that rivaled her own. She knew he wasn't gullible enough to believe in the existence a heavyset, sexagenarian with a full white-haired beard breaking into people's homes undetected in the middle of the night and leaving behind a plethora of expensive gifts for free. No, little Zac was too smart for that. He simply knew just how to twist and turn any situation to favorably get his way — "Oh, Please Aunt Gabby?" She saw herself revealed in his entreating eyes, reminded of her own beguiling bewitchery.
Gabriela knew she wasn't the only Casimiro to get what was wanted when it was wanted. Her older brother, Marcos — Zacarias' father — was the consummate lothario. How many girls did Gabriela witness as a teen in their family estate being seduced by Marcos' wily suaveness? How many did she spy poolside under the guise of moonlight being fucked by her brother? Gabriela loved touching her blossoming sexspot from her third-floor bedroom window while watching Marcos' slow, assiduous thrusting deep inside girl after beautiful girl, night after summer night, each writhing in orgasmic bliss under his adept skills with a rather impressive-sized cock. Yes, it was her brother, and she never ever delved into incestuous fantasies, but she could easily admit her bother possessed a rather fine-looking cock and eye-pleasing physique that literally charmed the panties off of young women.
So It was no wonder his offspring — Gabriela's nephew — would possess the same power of get-anything persuasion as the Casimiro siblings. Aunt Gabby easily peered right through the wide-open window of her nephew's sly charisma at play in this game -- Takes one to know one, right, Gabriela?, she smiled to herself. She understood fully his heartstring-tugging for the manipulative ploy it was. He reminded Gabriela of herself when she was that age, how she could persuade her father to get her practically anything with just a modicum of begging, batting-of-eyes and boo-hooing. Aunt Gabby will give the North Pole a call and see what she can do, Zac, she told him, seeing that "getting-my-way" gleam in his eye that she herself had learned to quickly disguise long ago.
Besides, she would just have her executive secretary go out shopping and acquire both items. She was much too busy with her Robarts &Simms International legal team working to finalize a partnership between her corporation and a prestigious London securities firm specializing in investment banking to worry about personally Christmas shopping herself in an actual brick-and-mortar store.
But this Christmas Eve, brick-and-mortar is exactly where Gabriela found herself. Goddamn executive secretary picked a great time to have appendicitis, right as he headed out the day before to obtain Zac's gifts. Couldn't wait one more day, could you, Joshua? With the entire office gone for the holiday break, it was too late to find a surrogate shopper, and her overbearing mother would never let Gabriela hear the end of how she disappointed her sweet grandchild with a "Grinch Who Stole Christmas" epic failure to deliver the not-so-secret Santa gifts she promised. Never mind the child's own father left it up to his sister to fulfill his son's most-desired Christmas wishes.
Anyone unlucky enough to have been caught in Gabriela's path as she marched angrily into the toy store was met with a dagger-sharp vicious glare, her normally sultry demeanor replaced with "work" Gabriela. Dragon Lady. She-devil. That's what the jealous underlings in her office called her behind her back, among a litany of much, much worse monikers. Bitch. Cunt.
There was a battering storm of young ones chaotically scattered throughout, running-darting-yelling-whining in seemingly every direction. The unbearable noise and unending cascade of sorry chorused by mothers or fathers after their Santa-obsessed little monster had unapologetically slammed hard into Gabriela's thigh as they torpedoed from shelf to shelf of overpriced, soon-to-be-broken or tossed-aside-in-quick-disinterest toys annoyed her even more.
As she moved down aisle eleven, her small-child-filled nightmare was near its end, Gabriela's shopping target plainly in her sights; she quickly grabbed the rapidly dwindling supply of teenage-mutant-whatevers Zac wanted, checking the name on the package. Did he say Donatello? Or Leonardo? Michelangelo? Whatever. Fuck, the little conniver just gets whatever's left — let's go, Donatello. You're coming with me. Gabriela tossed the toy in her cart, glad that this was one store she could check off her list.
Turning to head toward the anarchy reigning supreme at the checkout lines, a man stood in her way, blocking her cart from leaving the aisle. He was tall, ruggedly good-looking, his ass particularly taut in the jeans he wore. His green eyes immediately stood out to Gabriela, those eyes now showing desperation, but she noticed something much deeper inside them — an emerald cauldron of boiling passion and simmering inner turmoil that immediately appealed to her, her pussy clenching ever so slightly. Any other day, Gabriela would have flirted with him, determining if the man possessing those intriguing eyes was worthy of opening her thighs wide for. But now, in the midst of holiday hell, she had no time for cockteasing games, no time for niceties.
"Excuse me, I really need that turtle. Would you be willing to give it up for an extra ten bucks?" He grinned endearingly, no doubt thinking that killer smile, gorgeous green eyes and alluring Irish brogue would woo her into handing it over. Gabriela answered him with ill-humored ferocity.
"It's Christmas Eve, don't you think I need it just as badly as you? Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a half-shelled gift to wrap," she snarkily derided.
As she tried to move past him, his hand unexpectedly clutched her cart hard and held her in place. He clearly didn't anticipate the vigorous vehemence that would soon follow if he didn't move immediately. "Twenty bucks? Please, my son ..."
Anger flared in Gabriela's chest. "Listen, I don't want to hear about your kid, or your fucking sob story. Move — I won't ask again."
Those green eyes darkened, the charm gone and anger bored holes into her — Fuck, Gabriela, the cauldron just bubbled over! Almost instinctively her pussy contracted, much harder this time. She had seen that look before — it was the kind of look that ended up with her bent over a desk or knee and beaten, deeply bruised and sorely satisfied.
With a defiant glare target-locked onto him, she pushed the cart hard, his vice grip forced to relinquish its stranglehold. She could feel his burning eyes follow her to the end of the aisle, undoubtedly envisioning a thousand ways he could hurt her; it warmed her now-damp silky-blue panties.
A half-hour later, Gabriela escaped the riotous gauntlet of last-minute-toy-shopping torment, one more destination remaining on her exasperating gift-getting expedition — the video gaming shop, which was just as nightmarish as the toy store. Frenzied shoppers, tearful tykes, harried store clerks buzzing around, a swarm of madhouse mass consumerism at its finest.
Gabriela wrestled her way to the front, predictably manned by a gawky zit-faced teen, whose jaw dropped in gee-golly geekiness when catching full glimpse of the stunning brunette zeroing in on him. Once she reached him, Gabriela teasingly stroked his arm, impatient to get the extra-special PlayStation Zac had cunningly cajoled her into promising to procure. He laughed nervously as she leaned in a little closer and nodded her head toward the large display of extra-special PlayStations her nephew wanted. "You wouldn't possibly have any more in the back, darling, would you?" The way her body leaned forward over the counter pressed her breasts together in perfect view for him to admire.
She could practically hear a cartoon-comical boing! as he stared down her top wide-eyed, stuttering out that he would check right now. Gabriela grinned as he shuffled away. The Merry Christmas craziness around her made her brow furrow in annoyance; she vowed this was the last time she personally ever ventured out mall shopping. As she impatiently awaited the shop clerk's return, she couldn't help but notice who paced frantically into the shop's entrance. Look who's late to the party, Gabriela. Mr. Gorgeous Green Eyes.
He looked a frazzled mess as his eyes interlocked with hers. Irritation avalanched off of him in wintry wrath as he approached the counter, standing directly beside her. A box with Zac's extra-special PlayStation was placed on the counter between them and Gabriela nearly squealed with delight. Glimpsing at his nametag, she blurted out a breathlessly entrancing "Oh Gerald, I could kiss you right now!" before tightly securing the box.
"Do you have another one of those back there?" Mr. Gorgeous Green Eyes blurted out loudly, clearly exasperated. The young teen, crimson-cheeked and unhinged by Gabriela's attentions, shook his head in nervous awkwardness, sensing Mr. Gorgeous Green Eyes' smoldering displeasure. "I'm afraid that was the last one we had," his voice cracked out. Gabriela's sneer couldn't have been more pronounced. She was impishly entertained one-upping this admittedly handsome stranger and all while she got her way, as usual.
"Goddammit, you've got to be fucking kidding me! I called five minutes ago and somebody told there were three left!" Quickly scanning over to the long line formed in front of the register, Gabriela silently counted one, two, and mine makes three PlayStations, nearly bursting out in laughter.
Clenched fists by his side, a still-visibly incensed Mr. Gorgeous Green Eyes turned to her near-pleadingly. Before he could utter a single syllable, however, she brusquely cut him off.
"Don't even bother, you couldn't offer even a thousand dollars to wrest this away from me. Maybe try to keep up next time, you'll stand a better chance," Gabriela quipped as she strode into line. His seething stare followed her once more, that ire in him fountaining a wellspring of giddiness within Gabriela. It was too easy to rile him up.
A sigh of relief escaped her as she exited the mall. No more battling through overcrowded obnoxiousness, no more seemingly hours-on-end lines, no more pretentious flirting to get her way. But as she placed Zac's gifts into her trunk and closed it, she had one last stop in mind, one last gift. This was a much more personal present, something Gabriela normally would order online, but she really wanted to feel this one in her hands before purchasing it. Across from the mall, tucked away in the corner of a small plaza was Ricci's, a rather expensive leather and fetish wear boutique.
Gabriela frequented its online catalog but had never dared ventured through its doors. She had her own reputation as well as that of her prestigious investment firm within the business world she needed to uphold. Gabriela couldn't risk even the slightest chance of being seen inside, which was ironic as her inner exhibitionist yearningly craved being seen in the naughtiest of environs. Today, however, Gabriela decided to throw frosty caution to the howling winter wind. Who could recognize her securely bundled up in a black parka, furred hood firmly covering her head and obscuring her face, on a frostbite-nippy December evening. Her inner exhibitionist felt a tingle of cunt-wetting excitement as she pulled open the boutique's entry door.
The shop wasn't especially small, but cozy enough. Leather skirts, corsets and pants lined the front walls. Browsing deeper into the store's recesses, she came across the many items that lit her eyes with masochistic desire: paddles, crops, gags, anything and everything to fulfill the painful pleasure exchange — giving or receiving, depending on one's placement on the BDSM lifestyle spectrum.
Gabriela lowered her hood and picked up the leather-handled crop, the rod firm and unyielding as she smacked it against her hand a few times. Oh yes this will do just nicely, she thought. Without thought to whoever else could be in the store Gabriela swung the crop down hard against her thigh, a resulting squeak issued from her making her smile widen as she bit her lower lip.
"You seem to have a very annoying knack for getting the last of every fucking thing I wanted today."
The faintly familiar voice made her pause. Where have we heard that intoxicating accent before, Gabriela? She looked up and Mr. Gorgeous Green Eyes searing gaze drilled into hers with a fury so penetrating her knees weakened — if only for a moment — unintentionally menacing as he circled her slowly. "You got the best of me in the mall. Twice. Now here, too?" Gabriela glowered directly at him, retort at the ready, before he cut her off this time.
"Do you even have someone to use that on? Or to use on you? Because right now you're bruising the fuck out of my ego and shopping prowess, that's for fucking sure," he spat out vindictively. His stance and tone were threatening, frustration poured out of him, and enough heat radiating off him to send the outside December ice age into oblivion.
Not used to having someone talk to her in such a threatening manner outside of an overtly sexual situation, Gabriela felt her Dragon Lady scaling to the surface, fiery breath ready to incinerate his insulting words.
"Do I not look like someone who would have a partner to use this with? What exactly are you trying to insinuate, Sir?" She flushed slightly, the smell of leather and a slight sting still resonating against her thigh made the dominant title slide easily from her lips.
Mr. Gorgeous Green Eyes laughed mockingly, "You look like you have no idea how to wield or receive the power that crop holds," his words were biting. "You look like a 50 Shades wannabe that has no idea about this lifestyle that a crop such as that one is part of."
Gabriela let out a condescending snicker. "Oh, Sir, you have no idea the things that I've done," her flirtatious charisma layering over her displeasure. "Or the things that I've let men do to me. And I have no doubt I'll be able to find a man who'll use this on me, bruise me, beat me, show me what this crop can do and then fuck me hard all night."
The lustful look escaping his entrancing eyes froze her in place. "You could find a man. Right here, two feet away. Because that attitude certainly needs to be beaten into submission. High-maintenance, better-than-everyone-else, prissy little brat." His voice angrily rose decibels as he hissed toward a slightly intimidated Gabriela. "You're just like every other rich slut in this lifestyle who thinks that opening their legs when told is submission. Keep the damn thing, maybe someone will break it over your ass and teach you some fucking respect. And you can keep your fucking condescending Sir to yourself. The name's Jimmy."
He turned brusquely, storming up the flight of stairs to the second floor to be away from her. Gabriela was wholly stunned, his words burned scorched-earth through her chest, igniting her anger and casting a brief moment of self-doubt that she had never experienced before.
The petite young blonde behind the counter asked Gabriela if she was OK, the query snapping her quickly out of her daze. She would not let the words of someone, a stranger, ruffle her feathers. A hundred and fifty dollars later, Gabriella had a new crop, clamps, a ball-gag, and was headed home to wrap gifts. One last day of family function frivolity ahead. It wouldn't be long before this confounded Christmas holiday was completely over, giving her the opportunity to head over to Wicked and use each one of her new toys to her painslut heart's content.
James "Jimmy" Flaherty built houses, or rather rebuilt them — throughout the older section of the city left behind in suburban flight, wherein houses stood a hundred years old or more, the ghosts of lives long gone still remaining in each brick in the wall and wooden plank in the floor. It was backbreaking at times, long hours and days melting into each other, working sometimes fourteen-hour days six or even seven days a week. He enjoyed restoring dilapidated, long-neglected husks to homes — taking care to retain as much of the originality in each. Century-old wood that found need for replacement he made into furniture — each beaten, bruised and broken floorboard and timber Jimmy turned painstakingly into tables, chairs, dressers and desks— it proved extremely profitable, too, as his reclaimed wood furniture was renowned for its quality and provided him a solid second income — that he more than needed for alimony and child support. Fuck, Jimmy Flaherty. You let a fine woman get away from you, didn't you? The emerald-isled accent echoed inside his head — dulled and somewhat Americanized by its last 25 years since immigrating — but still unmistakably Irish.
His upbringing — those first 15 years of his life as part of a working-class Dublin family, led by his tough-as-nails father, Francis "Franny" Flaherty — taught Jimmy the necessity to work hard to survive the rough and tumble reality of Dubliner life. Just walking back and forth from school through a gauntlet of Dublin ruffians was an important lesson in survival. "James Flaherty, either get tough or get beat," his dad always told him every time he stepped through the doorstep with a blackened eye or bloodied lip. And tough Jimmy became, quickly.
All these years later, being tough came with a bill his body paid in pain, with interest: a badly broken collarbone and torn pectoral and a shredded-to-fuck left knee the most egregious injuries suffered while working. His face and fists bore the brunt of his equally hard after-work life. Jimmy Flaherty knew only one way — the hard way. And that included his drinking. He never met a boilermaker or five he wouldn't knock back. Coupled with a short-fused Irish temper, too many bar fights and scrums to count left behind a plethora of deep-seated battle scars. He was deceptively strong, sinewy arms tempered steel-sturdy were companioned with an iron-fisted fury that packed a wallop few expected. Jimmy Flaherty never backed down from any fight, and a cracked rib or busted eye was a normal Monday morning reminder of a weekend overflowing in alcohol-infused impiety.