The Hack Works

The Question

In this thread, I'm going to post the stories I've done on a for-pay basis. Some of them you may have already seen, some of them you will not have. Each of these stories was sold for $180 apiece, and all for the same customer. None of them are particularly great, in my personal opinion, but they will hopefully be instructive in one respect: They are all, essentially, the same scenario dressed in different details. If anything, I hope you'll take away from them the knowledge that it is entirely possible to write for money, even when you're not writing for love.


Jim Gallagher drew an already-damp bandana across his forehead. "Damn," he muttered; a recently transplanted Chicago native, his first summer in Arizona was not being kind to the tall, heavyset newcomer.
“How’s it coming, Jim?†Jeanne’s voice floated out to him from the dining room just as the rumble of a diesel engine drew his attention to the DHL truck slowing in front of his driveway.
“Last truckload of stuff is here.†He called back. “Probably the living room. You think those girly muscles of yours can handle goin’ halfsies on the entertainment center? I don’t want to have to shell out an extra $75 just to get these jerks to bang up our furniture!â€
“Oh, gee, I don’t know, Jim…†his sister-in-law cooed, shaking a wayward stream of auburn curls out of her eyes as she stepped into the harsh afternoon sun. “I’m not a big studly ex football star like you. What happens if the entertainment center tries to run off with the remote control? I’ve never tackled an entertainment center before.†Herself a long-time Arizona desert-rat, Jeanne’s long, supple limbs showed not a bead of sweat despite the triple-digit temperature.
Jim tried not to notice his sister-in-law’s rather minimalist attire, but found his eyes – and mind – inexorably dragged back to it in defiance of his better judgement.
All five foot ten of her was richly tanned. Emerald eyes sparkled with, it seemed to Jim, a perpetual, barely-contained mischief. Her notably-Irish features reminded him faintly of the actress, whose name he could not immediately recall, who had played opposite John Wayne in not a few films.
Her arms were well-turned and solid, but not what you would think of as muscular, at a glance. The deep tan of her skin contrasted sharply with the pristine white of her tank top. Jim wondered if she was uncomfortable in the thing – it looked to be at least a size too small for her… not that he was complaining. It showed off her full, firm breasts so well that –
“Hey! The hell do you think you’re doing?†She glared at him. A deep crimson flushed his cheeks.
“I was just trying to read what it says on your shirt.†he lied instantly, barely catching a glimpse of a line of script just above the fabric stretched across her bust.
“Uh huh.†She punched him in the arm – hard. “Then why are you blushing?â€
Jim winced, rubbed his bicep – God damn, that hurt! – then helped the smirking delivery guy lower the coffee table gently to the ground, thinking furiously. “Well, because… you know… I know what it must’ve looked like…â€
“Oh.†Jeanne grinned sheepishly. “Okay, that could happen. You’re okay.â€
“C’mon, let’s get this out of the way.†Jim watched Jeanne’s long, rather muscular legs as she came around to the other side of the table, then almost gasped aloud; as she lifted the table with him, her long thighs flexed, pressing her large, powerful quadriceps into striated relief against her perfect skin. He continued to watch them with a mixture of fascination, arousal and dread as they moved the table onto the lawn.

Either she didn’t notice this time… or she just didn’t say anything. Jim prayed it was the former. It wasn’t so much that he was afraid of his sister-in-law – so she was a big woman, she was still just a woman – he was more worried about what Holly might do if she knew he had been ogling another woman, and her own sister at that.
The two of them unloaded end tables, couch, table lamps, television, stereo, home theatre system, bookshelf and boxed books in silence.
“Last one’s the big one.†Jim announced, hoping he wasn’t already in a world of trouble. He walked up the truck’s ramp, doing his best to ignore the feeling of Jeanne’s eyes on his back from just behind him.
He unfastened the straps that held the entertainment center in place, wincing as Jeanne sashayed to the opposite wall of the truck and, directly in front of him, bent low to pull something from the floor of the truck, her appallingly short cutoffs riding dangerously high up her fantastic ass, the sweep of her sculpted thighs visible even from this angle, the long, hard diamonds of her calves in stark relief.

It occurred to Jim, in a detached sort of way, that she couldn’t possibly be wearing any panties. He felt the screwdriver he’d been holding slip from his nerveless fingers, clatter on the metal floor.
This time, she didn’t even have to look to know that he’d been staring. She chuckled, a low and dangerous sound, but still said nothing.
“Aherrgh. Arraugh.†Jim tried, then realized that hadn’t come out right. “Ah, let’s get this in outta here so we can get all this stuff in the house.†He shook his head, then ran a bare forearm over his face to try to drain off some of the sweat – not much of which had anything to do with the desert sun anymore. It didn’t even half work.
“Whatever you say.†Jeanne chuckled, and turned to take hold of the bottom edge of the 200+ lbs of wood, steel and glass. Jim found himself fervently wishing that she would handle his wood – he shook his head again. He was a happily married man, dammit! And this was his sister-in-law!
They lifted together, and Jim realized with amazement that Jeanne wasn’t the least bit fazed by the weight. “Come on, little boy,†she teased, “what are you waiting for?â€
“Jesus, Jeanne, this thing’s heavy, are you sure you–“
“Quit your belly-aching.†she teased. “Let’s get this over with, so I can figure out where all this stuff needs to be set up.â€
All the way into the living room, Jim marveled at the unexpected ease with which the young woman handled the solid weight. He didn’t have to slow down for her, any more than he would expect to have to for a man his own size. And every now and then, a brief flash of chiseled thigh – a small moan of exertion that sounded so much like a moan of pleasure – a… he realized with sudden panic that his khakis were tented by a stiffening erection, more than noticeably.
The couch was only a few feet away when they set the entertainment center down in the middle of the living room – he leapt at it like a thirsty man at a glass of purest water, yelling, “Banzai!†and laughing as he hit the cushions on his stomach.
“Hey!†she scolded, “Get up, you big lummox, we’re not done yet!†Her hands on her hips, she looked almost like his mother. That helped reduce the swelling a little.
He stalled another few seconds, then pulled the couch back a few feet – looked good to him. Taking his X-Acto knife from his pocket, he set to work slicing the tape from the box containing the television.
“Whoa, hold on there, stud-boy.†Jeanne chided. “We have to figure out where we want this.â€
He looked up from his work; everything looked fine to him. “What? It’s good.â€
“No, no, no, no, no.†she shook her head. “It doesn’t look right. Help me move this over. Just a few feet to the left.â€
“Nuh uh.†he shook his head, his voice firm. “I’m not doin’ the “a few feet†game. I’m hot, and I’m tired, and it’s good where it is.â€
Jeanne pouted, crossed her arms over her ample breasts. “Fine. Maybe you’re right.â€
“Thank you.†Jim turned his eyes back to his work. “Let’s just get the TV set-“
A pair of slim, powerful arms encircled his waist, crushing the air from his lungs; he lost his grip on the X-Acto as he squeaked, “Up?â€
“I think you’re right, Jim.†Jeanne purred in his ear. “Maybe it’s not the furniture that’s out of place… maybe it’s you.†Her arms constricted tighter still as she hoisted him higher, bracing his butt against her hip, then quickly sliding one arm up his back and the other under his knees, hoisting him higher into the air. “Let’s see if we can’t find a better spot for you, hmm?â€
“Hey! Put me down!â€
“Ohhhhh, Jim…†she breathed down at him. “What’s the matter? Are you scared my little girly muscles might give out?†She slowly extended her forearms… slowly… slowly… until she held his 200+ pound bulk at nearly arms length. “Not gonna happen, little boy. I’m not going to drop you – and I’m not going to put you down, either, not until I’m sure I’ve found the perfect spot.â€
“What the-?†He was stunned, and more than a little aroused. Here was this gorgeous woman holding him in her arms as if he were nothing more than a sack of groceries. And that look in her eye told him that she knew. She knew what she was doing to him.
This was wrong. He had to put a stop to this. If Holly came home and found them like this… well, he didn’t even want to contemplate what would happen.
“Put me down, Jeanne.†it was practically an order this time, the same tone he used with the junior partners at the law office. “Right now.†She stopped – it worked! First time she’d listened to him, ever.
Or maybe not.
“Okay, Jim.†Her voice was dark, with a hint of that mischief that was always in her eyes. He felt the floor under his feet, started to back away – but in one fluid motion, she wrapped those long, defined arms around his chest again, and continued her descent to the thick living room carpet, dragging him down with her.
Then he felt those insanely long legs rise alongside his ribs until his armpits stopped them, felt them close around him, engulfing his entire rib cage. He hadn’t realized just how truly packed with muscle her thighs were until they were pressing against his sides.
By the time the panic set in, it was too late. Far too late. He felt her thighs shift slightly, heard the slap of leather sneaker on leather sneaker as her ankles locked behind him, and then his breath shot out of his lungs like a cannonball under sudden, excruciating pressure.
“Mmmmmmm.†she smiled up at him just before his eyes and jaw clenched against the unbearable pressure. He felt his ribs bending more and more in the warm embrace of her inhumanly strong thighs, until they could flex no further. He was astonished at the sounds escaping his throat – gasps, grunts, choked shrieks. He had no control at all over himself, much less her.
“You know I could break you, Jim.†She purred in his ear, caressing his face like a lover. “I could probably break every bone in your chest. That okay with you, Jim? Yes or no? You want me to let go? Just say the word. Go ahead… any time now… no? Okay, then.â€
He couldn’t get enough breath now to say, “Boo!†and she knew it. As darkness and dizziness seized his brain, he reached back and flailed one weakened hand at her ankles, only half aware that he’d never be able to break out of his sister-in–law’s grinding thighs. She moaned again, this time running her delicate pink tongue across her lips.
The last thing he felt before he felt nothing was the press of his trousers against his throbbing member.

“Ugh!†he grunted. The dizziness hadn’t faded – actually, it had gotten worse. It took him almost 5 full seconds to realize that that was because he was upside-down, and bouncing. He shook his head, only to find it bounced into a solid, rounded butt-cheek.
“Oh, you’re back!†Jeanne chirped, and tightened her grip on his legs as his face bounced off her shapely, cutoff-clad butt again. “How was your trip?†she laughed lightly, then her voice darkened again. “You should know better than to argue with any of us Gordon women by now, Jimmy. We always do what we say we’ll do. And didn’t I say we’re going to find the perfect spot for you?â€
He didn’t bother answering her – he was sucking in huge lungfuls of air, despite the raging pain in his ribs and sternum. With a free hand, he pressed a few ribs gently.
“Oh, stop it, you big baby!†Jeanne chided, not even having to look to see what he was doing. “I didn’t break any. But, ahhh…†she smiled behind him. “Holly just might, if she finds out your sister-in-law made you cum in your pants.†She giggled.
“Oh, God.†he could feel the sticky wetness himself, now that she’d drawn his attention to it. “Oh, God, no.â€
“So I think the perfect place for you right now is the shower.†She bounced her ass into his face again, this time deliberately, and hard. “Wouldn’t you agree?â€
“Yes!†Jim exclaimed, almost pleadingly. “I’ll get in there right now, just put me down!†He could feel his face burning with the flush of embarrassment and shame.
“Too late, we’re already here.â€
His world spun as she reeled in his legs, set him on his feet. He nearly didn’t catch his balance in time, and shot an arm behind him to brace himself against the wall.
“Now strip.â€
His eyes widened. He couldn’t believe what he’d just heard. “What?â€
“Did I stutter?†she jutted her chin at him, daring.
“Well… no.†He backed away from her.
“Then you heard me.†She rested her slim hands on her full hips, then stuck one pumped thigh out, flexed it, the huge muscles of her quad and adductor springing into stark definition. “Or do you want more of this?â€
“But… no, but…†he tried backing away further still. There was nowhere left to go except into the master bath, and beyond that…
“Do it now, James.†she closed the distance, slowly, then pinned him to the wall with a single outstretched arm; he struggled for a moment before he noticed that she’d set one of those solid legs behind her. His beautiful, frighteningly strong sister-in-law had pinned him, as helpless as a small child, and he was suddenly very afraid.
He peeled off his shirt first, then once she’d released him, his khakis. Mercifully, she only smiled and left him to shower in peace. When he peeked around the corner of the door 10 minutes later, there was a towel, a pair of utility shorts, his sandals and a Gold’s Gym t-shirt waiting.
He couldn’t hear her. She was nowhere in sight. He sighed, relieved, and stepped into the shorts, shrugged on the t-shirt.
Then she struck – one of her sinewy calves snaked around his – an arm around his shoulders, another pushing him back, then it was under his legs, and the floor dropped away for the second time.
She’d been in the corner of the room. Watching him. Ever since he’d stepped out of the shower. He groaned.
“Now are you going to be a good boy this time?†she asked pleasantly.
“Yes.†he murmured.
“Sorry, what was that?†Her eyes twinkled only inches from his; her lips curled into a satisfied smirk. “I couldn’t quite hear you, little man. Are you going to be a good boy? Or do I need to give you another taste of the Gordon Family Secret?â€
“I’ll… yes.†he said, this time more clearly.
“Yes what?†she slowly brought her arms together, her breasts pressing against his tender ribs, his back already beginning to ache from the strain.
“I’ll be a good boy!†he cried, evoking a low, guttural moan from his beautiful captor.
“Oh, God,†she sighed, “now that’s what I love to hear!â€
The front door was in front of them. “What are you doing?†Jim demanded. “No! You can’t–“
“Can’t what?†Jeanne cut him off harshly. “Can’t what? I already showed you what I can do, little man.†Jim found himself laughing, despite the pain and embarrassment. He couldn’t help it. Here he was, a man of better than six feet and two hundred pounds, and this woman kep calling him “little†– then his ribs got his attention again, and he wasn’t laughing anymore.
“I’m thinking,†she continued, “that maybe the best place for you is out in the front yard.†He began to struggle, hard, but she held him tight against her, her hot breath cascading across his cheek, the slightest of moans escaping her full, crimson lips. “Maybe,†she whispered huskily, “we should get the neighbors’ opinions. An outside perspective, what do you think?â€
He struggled harder, giving it everything he had. She crushed him brutally hard to her, biting his earlobe, licking it, sighing into his ear. He felt his cock stiffen again, bewilderingly, but could no longer budge even a centimeter.
She giggled again as she swung the front door wide, carrying him over the threshold in what must have looked like a very backward version of the passage of a pair of young newlyweds.
“Or maybe we should ask your wife.†Her delicate eyebrows arched in a smile of wicked delight. The blood drained from his face, and a pit of ice formed in his stomach. He turned his face into her taut shoulder, and felt as if he were about to cry.
“Hey, sis!†Molly’s voice was light and cheerful. “Everything moved in?â€
He heard the driver’s side door of her Sentra slam. She must not have seen them yet, he decided. The screaming would start, any minute now. He would lose her. He would lose the house. He would lose… everything. And he couldn’t have stopped it, any of it. He was going to lose it all, and it wasn’t his fault! He felt his throat hitch, fought the urge to weep.
“Almost everything!†Jeanne chuckled. “I just can’t seem to find the right spot for this, though!â€
He could hear the click of Holly’s heels on the concrete walk. He could even smell her perfume now, that new brand he just couldn’t recall the name of. It was over. It was all over. All gone. He felt a small tear break free and begin to trickle hotly down his cheek.
“Oh, that.†His wife’s voice was right behind him now. “Let me show you where that goes. Here, hand it over.†What – ?
He was jolted by a pair of long, slender arms wrapping themselves under and around his thighs, his back, and the all-too-familiar arms that had held him prisoner suddenly dropping away.
What the – ?
He turned, and looked into the eyes of his beloved, his beautiful, his darling wife. And we was too confused for words.
“Hi, honey!†She smiled broadly back at his perplexed expression. Her long blonde hair bounced in a girlish ponytail as she carried him easily back to the front door, all 5 foot 8 of her limned with muscle he’d never seen her use before, never like this, anyway.
When they reached the door, Jeanne held it open for her sister. “I think he got to do it last time, didn’t he, sis?†Jeanne grinned.
“Mmm-hmm.†Holly nodded. “I do believe it’s my turn. I’ll bet you never guessed I’d be doing the “across the threshold†thing this time around, did you, baby?†She asked, giving Jim a sweet little peck on the lips.
“Well… no.†his voice made his utter bafflement unmistakable.â€
“Well, I thought it was time the secret came out.†She she easily sauntered inside. “Oh, and speaking of secrets…â€
Oh, Christ, Jim thought. This is it. His face fell.
“You’re mine. You know that, don’t you, baby?â€
Jim nodded, mute and ashamed.
“But Jeanne gets to play with you. So I guess it’s really more like you’re ours.â€
Jim’s jaw dropped. “What?â€
Holly turned to her sister, cocked an eyebrow. “He made you put the legs to him, didn’t he.â€
“Ohhh, yes, he did.†Jeanne rolled her eyes back in her head, biting her lip and smiling, her thighs flexing terrifyingly in memory of their recent playtime.
“You don’t want me to let her do that again, do you, Jim.†Holly whispered. It was a statement, not a question. “She might not stop in time… next time.†She noted with satisfaction the brief flash of fear and compliance that crossed his face. “Now!†she continued brightly, “The perfect place for you!â€
He looked nervously ahead, trying to discover where his wife was taking him, and whether they were being followed. Then it hit him, and his mouth curled into a little smile.
The king-sized bed had always seemed to him to be too large for just two people – now, as his loving, beautiful wife laid him gently down on the sheets, and his gorgeous sister-in-law quietly shut the bedroom door, he realized why she’d insisted on it.

The Question


“Uncle John?” My niece’s voice is like cool water compared to the clatter of the word processor; and although I’d like to take a break, I literally can’t afford to. I’ve been sitting on this story for over a month – for one reason, then another… now it’s come down to a not-so-good, old-fashioned case of writer’s block. The only way I’m going to break through the wall on this is to stop procrastinating. Stop letting other things drag me away. Just do the dirty deed, and get it the hell out the door. Tackle the next one. Keep moving.
And so I sit here, typing furiously, hoping that magical tumbler in the lock behind which my muse is sitting will finally catch and turn, and that I’ll finally find myself letting something good flow through these fingers.
“Uncle JOHN!”
I sigh. Dammit. Dammit, dammit, dammit. I can’t stop now – I can feel something finally bubbling up from the murk. The beginning of something. It probably has to do with thinking about Kim. She calls my name from the living room again, but this time I only barely notice. I’m busy trying to picture her picking up a larger guy – wrapping those sinewy arms of hers around his middle – probably not even having to stoop down first to get a good grip on him…
She’s a pretty big girl for her age, you know. I remember when I was a teenager – girls, at 14 years old, were nowhere near as developed as Kim is. God, it gives me the creeps even to use a word like that to describe Kim. But she is – it might seem like a cliche to say it, but it’s the truth – she has the body of a 21 year old woman. A big 21 year old woman.
I don’t know if it’s the growth hormone they feed livestock these days, or what, but whatever Kim’s mother feeds her, combined with the girl’s soccer and track-and-field sports, has yielded a 14 year old girl who stands a solid six feet to my five foot ten; and at 190, I’ve got only 20 pounds on her, at most – she’s all leg, and her legs are all muscle.

Jesus, enough. Just picturing those 27 inch quads of hers, those 18 inch calves… good Christ, her mother says she’s seen the girl squat 450 pounds. For reps. She wouldn’t say what Kim can do on the leg press. Truth be told, I didn’t press the question. Neither of them know that I like muscular women, or that I’m a complete idiot for muscular legs. I want to keep it that way. If they ever found out… best case scenario, I never see Kim again. Worst-case is something I don’t want to spend a lot of time thinking about. And if they ever find out I make my living writing about this kind of thing –
Best not to think about it.
“Uncle John!” the door bangs open – I switch off the monitor, hoping she hasn’t seen what I’ve been writing – a story about two hapless burglars who break into a shop late at night, but instead of the treasure they were planning to loot, they end up finding… a girl who’s a lot like Kim, now that I think of it. Huh.
“Sorry, Kim, what is it?” I look up at her. Her expression is half a scowl and half a pout. Her arms are crossed just below her prodigious breasts. That girls’ mock turtleneck isn’t doing much to hide their size, or their shape. And her black skirt is way, way too small to cover those enormous, striated, rock-hard thighs… Good thing I’m sitting down.

Ohhhh, Christ, I am a dirty, dirty old man, and I’m only 30.

“I’m bored.” she complains.
“Well, watch some television, kitten.” I suggest.
“There’s nothing on TV!” She flips her long waves of jet-black hair back over her shoulders and pushes out her lower lip, exaggerating her pout; then begins tapping her right foot impatiently. Well, that makes the gigantic slabs of muscle in her thigh begin to shift beneath her smooth, tanned skin.
“Stop that!” The words are out before I can even think twice. I look away quickly, back to the monitor – but I can’t turn it on, I can’t let her get a glimpse of what I’ve been writing. But God dammit, I have got to get this story done!
She covers the distance between the door and my desk in two quick steps. “Stop what, Uncle John?” She’s standing right at my shoulder; I can’t tell whether she’s really trying to intimidate me, or if she’s only playing. I risk a glance over at her – but I’m only looking into and then up the deep crease between her quadricep and hamstring,
“I’m sorry, Kim – I don’t have time for this.” I can hear the quaver in my own voice – oh, God, there’s no way she could fail to pick up on it. I clear my throat, and try to get the shaking in my hands, the broken rubber band feeling in my knees and elbows, to go away. “I’ve got work to do, so you just go on out there, and…” She swings her thigh slowly toward me – it’s a fucking wall of muscle, swaying slowly, seductively toward me. My train of thought, friends, has left the station – and I just fucking missed it.
“Well, let’s just see what you’re working on, then.” I’ve never heard her voice sound like this before – quiet, a little husky, a little – oh, Christ! Is my niece trying to fucking seduce me?! No, huh uh! No fucking way, Jack! This is not gonna fly! But I just… I can’t seem to think – let me… stop, let me try to…
That monumental thigh is still moving – slowly, she lifts it up – turns it at the knee – now I’m watching, hopelessly mesmerized, as her bare foot slides over my lap, continues on until 18 bulging, vascular, almost supernaturally defined inches of calf glide past. I can hear something ripping… I guess, somewhere in the back of my consciousness, I must be aware of what she’s doing, what she’s about to do – but I can’t seem to… can’t think… her thigh stops gliding by – and then the situation comes back into focus… but too late. She plants her right foot on the floor. Her skirt, the hem torn all the way to the waistband by the stretch of over mammoth leg across my lep, bunches on my thighs as she settles on top of me.Oh, no! No, no, fucking no!
“Hey!” I try to get up, but it’s not going to happen. She tilts her head forward, then whips her long black mane of hair across and over my face, giggling.
“So!” she chirps, acting as if I’m no longer even there. “Let’s see what my tiny little uncle the writer has been up to!” I reach for her arm, take hold of her bicep, hoping I can keep her from reaching the monitor’s power button… and knowing already there’ no way in hell I can.
To add insult to injury, she pressed her back into me, crushing painfully into the back of the chair. Although her head is only slightly higher than mine in this position, the unimaginable power and leverage of those long legs is absolutely immobilizing.
The monitor flares to life. She begins to read, and there’s not a damn thing I can do to stop her now.

“Slowly,” she reads in what must be her idea of a melodramatic narrator’s voice, “she knelt on the edge of the bed… making –“ she pauses, rubs her chin with her left hand, her right on my mouse. “I don’t think ‘knelt’ is really a word, Uncle John.”
“Ugh!” I croak, trying to pull in a whole lungful of air in the crush between her muscled back and the seat of my chair, which groans in protest of the weight. “It… is. Now stop – “
“If you say so…” she cuts me off, then continues reading – relentlessly, it seems to me. “She knelt on the edge of the bed… making her way forward with quiet precision until she sat atop David’s unconscious form, one powerful thigh… hmmmm.” She runs a hand lightly over her own powerful thigh, then wiggles her hips gently from side to side. Trapped under her, I feel heat from her on my lap. Right through the bunched folds of her skirt. Right through my own khakis.
Think of something horrible! Think of a multiple-fatality car crash! Think of severed limbs! On a plate! Covered in runny boiled onions! Think of me ex wife! Ugh – well, damn, that one actually works.
She’s still going. “…on either side of his waist; then, just as carefully, she hooked her calves around his ankles, and lowered her chest to…” her voice trails off. She gasps.
Oh… no. No. Oh, man…
“Kimberly Kira Rimland, get your little ass off me – right NOW!” I’m shaking, all right – and my face has got to be as red as a stoplight at midnight right about now – but I can only pray she thinks it’s anger, and not the gut-numbing combination of fear and embarrassment it really is.
She stops reading, takes her hand off the mouse. Holy shit, it’s a miracle! I try to stand up; it’s over, right? She’s been properly chastised by a responsible adult, and by God, that is that!
She isn’t getting up. She crosses those big forearms, all ridged with muscle. She turns her head slowly – her bangs making her aquamarine eyes look for all the world like those of a big, dangerous predator – just like the girl in the story she’s been reading.
Her full red lips part slowly.. then press themselves into a firm, grim set.
Finally, she leans back toward me a little more – I can’t even draw a breath, she’s crushing me, the chair back is creaking, I can’t breathe! Air! I need air – god dammit –
“Make me.”
I’m trying not to panic can’t breathe Oh God she’s killing me Oh God make her stop no no no no no –
“I know you like this muscle girl stuff, Uncle John. I’ve known since last night.”
Oh God Oh – What? I can feel my eyes widen. My hands and face are suddenly so cold.
“You went to bed,” she continues, “and I came in here to surf the internet. You must have been tired, Uncle John.” She eases the pressure, but flips her hair across my face again. I’m coughing, can’t get it under control. Now air, O God, blessed, sacred air!
“I read what you wrote in here so far.”
She sounds so… cheerful. Well, that’s… that’s weird. Maybe a little scary, too, but I’m not entirely clear on why.
“I like it.” She stretches, her back flaring against me, her breasts straining against fabric. “Especially the part where she picks the boy up and does exercises with him.” Suddenly, she gathers her left leg under her, swinging up off of me.
I’m so relieved to be able to breathe normally again, at first, that the impact of what she’s just said is lost on me.
“I’ve always wondered what that would be like…” she continues – she reaches under my arms. The chair, the floor fall away. Holy Christ! She’s almost holding me at arm’s length!
“Hey, you’re pretty light, little boy!” she chirps. “I bet I could carry you around like this all day!”
God, this hurts! Her hands are digging into my armpits – right into the nerves, it feels like – and it’s a little tough to breathe like this. My hands are going numb. “Kim… stop…” I try twisting out of her grasp, my feet swinging uselessly.
“Nuh uh.” she shakes her head, then giggles. Then she sees the look of anguish on my face. “Aw, does this hurt? Poor widdle boy, is the big mean girl hurting you? Here – ” suddenly, there’s solid ground under my feet again – but for only an instant.
She gives my chest a hard push with one hand. I flail my arms by reflex, knowing I’ll probably end up on my ass anyway – but at the last moment, she catches me, one arm under my shoulder blades. Then my legs are resting on her other arm as she hoists me into the air again, cradling me like a small child.
“Is this better?” she finishes.
“God dammit, Kim!” I’m terrified, exhilarated and infuriated, all at the same time. “Stop it! Put me down!” I try to roll out of her grip, try to swing a leg free, but her arm tightens around my legs like a steel band. I struggle against her, pushing against her with both arms, but she just reaches under and around my shoulder and crushes my arms to my sides, pulling me in even tighter against her.
“You’d better stop fighting me or you’re gonna piss me off!” she growls. “You don’t wanna piss me off, Uncle John. You know I can hurt you, real fuckin’ bad. Now I’m gonna have some fun with you, and you’re gonna let me!”
We’re moving out into the bright, sunlit living room now; I can’t stop her. I can’t even move anything except my head. All I can do is wonder what the hell she has planned.
“Want a little demonstration of what these legs can do, Uncle John?” she teases. Before I can say a word one way or the other, she’s taken three long strides into the center of the living room. With one foot, she easily sends the heavy oak coffee table skidding to the edge of the room, clearing a space for her upcoming demonstration.
“I know it’s hard for you to see them from where you are, my little toy,” she purrs, “but I want you to watch my legs the best you can.”
I feel my cheeks flush with humiliation – who wouldn’t be embarrassed if their teenaged niece called him her “little toy”? I think of saying something again, but the look on her face tells me that she’s not going to put up with it… and, as absurd and uncomfortable a thought as this is, I know she’s right – she could fuck me up if I don’t do what she wants, and probably pretty badly, at that.
With no other choice, I turn my head as far as I can manage. Over my shoulder, I can just make out those monstrous teenage girl thighs as she slowly descends into a textbook squat. Her quads and adductors flare into obscene bundles of muscle, every solid centimeter exploding into sharp relief; beneath them, I can make out the smooth flare of huge calf muscle.
Then, with that same exquisite control, she powers us back up again.
“How much do you weigh, little man?” she teases.
I’m too dumbstruck to answer – in my mind, I’m watching those powerful thighs and dangerous calves flex, again and again.
My breath explodes from my chest – my ribs ache and my head spins as her biceps crush in on me against her braced forearms. “Answer me, little man, or I’ll fucking break you!” she hisses into my ear.
“Ugh!” I croak – I can’t even form words against the pain and the pressure. Seeing this, she eases her embrace. “Almost 200 pounds…”
Uproarious laughter springs from her. Her breasts, partially flattened against me, jiggle slightly. Oh God, oh God, don’t get hard, John, don’t get… too late. Shit.
“Ohhh,” she coos, “what’s this, now? Is my little toy getting all turned on?” Her face nears mine, only inches away. I can taste her breath on my lips as she breathes, “You better not, Uncle John…mmmm… you just better not be a naughty little boy…”
Oh, God, this has got to stop! I struggle harder than ever now, frantic –
She crushes the breath out of me again – “Or I’ll tell my mother on you!”
This is a nightmare. Oh, Jesus Christ, this is the worst nightmare of my fucking life. I’m not playing along anymore. I’m not going to do a goddamn thing. No more fighting her, no more arguing with her – she’s obviously getting a kick out of it. Fun’s over, Uncle isn’t playing anymore.
She bounces me a few times. No reaction. She pouts. She rubs me against her chest – no reaction. She scowls. She pulls my face to hers, plants a kiss – with closed mouth, thank Christ – directly on my lips. No reaction.
“Fine!” she snarls. Her arms are gone, and the cold hardwood living room floor slams into me – white light flashes behind my eyes as my head strikes the floor. I gasp to try to reclaim the wind that’s been knocked out of me, but before I can get my wind back, I feel her drop down behind me.
Her hand snaps up a bundle of shirt front, and I’m hanging from her grip as she thrusts one gigantic thigh under my back, then drops me onto it as her other thigh drops onto my chest.


She isn’t teasing, now. She isn’t playing anymore, either. “I told you I can hurt you, fucker.” she says quietly. “Now you’re gonna find out.” I reach for her ankles, try to get my hand between them before they can lock up, but I just can’t reach them. Instead, my hand is trapped now, held fast between her bulging, inhuman calves as her thighs crush down.
I can’t breathe. I can’t even think.
“Mmmmmm.” She sighs. Distantly, I can hear and feel a sound like knuckles popping – she’s popping my back. I can hear her giggle as my eyes well up against the mounting pain.
“Is this what you thought it would feel like when you write those stories, Uncle John?” she asks. “Oh, I guess you can’t answer me, huh? Don’t have any smart mouth one liners now, do you? Huh? Do you?” Her face has the most angelic expression – like a little girl playing a little game. She’s not exerting herself, not in the least, and my ribs are compressed to the breaking point already.
“I can feel your heart.” she closes her eyes. “I think I could really hurt you bad if I wanted to.” the gigantic, ropy muscles of her thighs ripple, then bunch – “I could kill you if I want…”
It’s the last thing I hear her say before everything fades.

The world swims back into focus around me – my ribs ache. My back aches. Even my breastbone aches. But none of those compare to the headache. The dizziness doesn’t help – but I can’t figure out why I’m so dizzy…
Ah. Maybe it’s because the world is spinning. I look down to see green grass – bright green, in fact, too bright – whizzing around and around and around more than six feet below my face. As the feeling returns to my body, I realize that she’s under me – there’s a hand pressing into my chest where, I don’t know how long ago, her huge, muscular thigh threatened to crush me like an insect; another hand is planted painfully in my groin.
And the world is spinning faster. I can’t fight it – I can’t hold it in – queasiness overtakes me, overpowers me, and the sick comes rushing out of my mouth and nose, leaving my gut in a burning roar of pain and misery, clutching at me with a sour, searing fist. The world fades away again.

Rain. I’m in a hospital, and it’s raining indoors. No, that’s not right, can’t be. I shake my head, clench my eyes against the downpour. I raise an arm to rub some of the excess moisture out of my eyes, and she’s there. Oh, come on! No! God, I am so going to fucking jail for this!
“’Sup, ya little pukebox!” she jokes, wiggling her firm, round ass at me.
“Oh, no…” I lay my head back against the shower wall, my eyes clenched, doing everything I can to resist looking at my 14 year old niece – my captor.
“You know what this means, don’t you, Uncle John?” she turns toward me, moving her head away from the shower to let the hot water strike me full in the face. “I own you. From now on, you do whatever I say. ‘Cause if you don’t, boy, you don’t even wanna know all the things I can do to you. Do you understand me?”
I stare at the translucent shower stall door, beaten. She’s right. I am completely and absolutely fucked now. She said she could kill me if she wants to, and I believe her. She could also get me thrown in prison for so long, she might just as well kill me. She’s a 14 year old girl – I’m a 30 year old man. Even if anyone could prove she’d done something to me, she could claim it was self defense. Who’s going to sympathize with an accused child molester over a teenaged girl? I am well and truly fucked.
“I understand.” I say. There’s nothing else, literally nothing else, I can do.
“I understand… what?” she prompts, pinning me to the wall beneath her perfect foot.
“I understand… you own me.”
“Well, that’s good,” she nods. “But that’s not what I meant. From now on, when it’s just you and me, you call me Mistress.”
I blink once, twice, as the water beads on my face, rolls down. Her foot presses in tighter – “I understand, Mistress!” I exclaim, not wanting my ribs bruised any more than they already obviously are.
“Good boy.” she releases me, turns back to the shower. “Now, the first thing I want you to do is… go finish that story.”
I stand for a moment, relieved that she doesn’t want anything more… awkward.
I don’t waste another second getting dressed. I stub my toe in my rush to get back to my desk, but I can’t even feel it.
My hands are shaking badly, but the keys are rattling again, faster now than they’ve ever gone before.

The Question


“Dude, what the fuck are you waiting for?” Jimmy demanded, adjusting the canvas strap of the tool bag on his shoulder. “Gear up already and let’s fuckin’ go.”
David looked up at his friend, finished lacing his left boot. His pale blue eyes narrowed as he shook his head faintly; he stood, zipped up the black nylon flight jacket Jimmy had lent him for the night’s activity. “I still don’t think this is a good idea.” he objected for the umpteenth time, but reached for the empty canvas olive-drab backpack on the bed beside him anyway.
“Pussy.” Jimmy spat. David rolled his eyes; Jimmy continued, “All we have to do is follow the plan and this’ll be a piece of fuckin’ cake. Shit, you got the easy job! All you’ve gotta do is keep an eye out for cops while I pop the front door. Then we grab the laptops, book it over to Fred and Betty’s, and fuckin’ stash ‘em. The owner chick is out of town until tomorrow night. There are no cameras,” Jimmy gestured expansively. “No alarms. Nothing’s even open in this shitty town after two in the morning. It’s fuckin’ bulletproof. Got it?”
“Uh huh.” David grumbled as they made their way downstairs to the living room. “I’m just trying to figure who’s the dumber motherfucker.”
“Yeah. You, for coming up with this crazy shit – or me, for knowing how fuckin’ stupid risky it is and going along with it anyway.”
“Well, remind me to ask you what you think when we’re sitting here surfing the internet and playin’ Medal of Honor on those fine-ass computing units.”
“Yeah, or when we’re sitting in a fuckin’ holding cell…”
“Just quit your bitchin’ and let’s go.”

In an upstairs apartment on Main Street, a girl in her late teens stretched her long, sculpted arms and legs and turned over in bed, unable to fall fully asleep. A cascade of dark curls framed her delicate alabaster skin. The point of her pink tongue danced over her upper lip, then disappeared. A gentle gasp moved her full lower lip before her flawless teeth pulled it in slightly, briefly tensing in synch with a barely-perceptible clenching of her closed eyes, her head tilting back, ever so slightly, in reflex reaction to the sensation her mind provided itself.
She sighed softly, gently pressing her thighs together; in her half-dreaming state, she almost believed she could feel her prey there, desperate and struggling.

The sky over the small coastal Washington town of Toluca was a rusty, glowing ceiling bearing down on the erstwhile cat-burglars’ heads, thanks to the combined effect of the foul-smelling smog of a slowly dying paper mill and the scant strings of Lucalox streetlamps that clung like beaded strands of incandescent sweat to the heaving breast of the coastal landscape.

“Jesus, I almost forgot how much this town fucking reeks.” David complained, his face etched in disgust under a black Gore-Tex watch cap. Jimmy said nothing.

Main Street was dead when Jimmy and David finally set foot on the shadowed corner of Main and Sixth.
“There it is.” Jimmy grinned, his narrowed eyes gleaming in street light. “You’re not gonna puss out on me, are ya?” He nudged David with an elbow, chuckling as the younger man shook his head and shivered.
“Let’s just get this shit over with. I’m tired, and it’s freezing out here.”
“Well, it’s gonna be nice and warm in there.” Jimmy nudged him forward. “You get three minutes to thaw out before we bail.”

The front window of their target – a small gym, Toluca Bodycrafting – was ordinary glass. Jimmy had briefly considered the crude but effective approach of simply smashing that vast pane of ordinary glass with a brick for this night’s entry method – but David had convinced him that the sound of glass shattering was too recognizable, and a powdering of broken glass under the streetlights far too visible.
In truth, David had been trying to talk Jimmy out of this thing entirely. Between the two, David had gotten all the brains – and Jimmy had gotten all the guts.

But Jimmy had simply adapted his plan; so now they stood, David peering nervously down the main drag from the chilly shadow beneath the expansive green awning bearing the words, “Toluca Bodycrafting”, Jimmy retrieving an improvised explosive from the tool bag.

The device had begun its life as a group of seven “Whistling Pete” firecrackers. Each had been pounded flat with an ordinary ballpeen hammer, then wrapped thick with electrical tape until round again – the process repeated until each firecracker could be flattened no more, then the seven similarly wrapped in a bundle and their fuses braided and taped together. This potent homemade explosive Jimmy now affixed to the gym’s front door, between the knob and the frame, with yet more electrical tape. Then, careful to leave the fuse exposed, he secured a second improvised device: a small funnel, stuffed with thick paper towels, with an old cork from a long-forgotten wine bottle securely glued into the narrower end.
After a handful of minutes spent in hushed preparation, it was time.
Jimmy tapped David’s shoulder in a prearranged signal, then flipped open his Zippo. The two would have about three seconds to get clear of the door once the fuse was lit, unless they wanted to gamble on being hit by shards of superheated plastic from their improvised silencer.
David felt his knees and hands begin to shake; his insides felt as if they were being filled with ice. He felt the blood drain from his face, and fire fill his thighs, his biceps.

Then the silence was ripped open by the roar of the fuse coming to life, and David didn’t even wait for the second tap to start running for cover.

In the darkness, she turned in her sleep, still restless… still hungry. Then the world exploded – a sound like a cannon shot rang through the building, rattled her teeth. A terrified scream shot from her throat before she clapped a long-fingered hand over her small mouth. Her eyes, huge and almost glowing in the dim light, darted from side to side, her small, firm breasts straining the fabric of her t-shirt as she drew in great gasps of air.
But as her ears reattuned themselves in the silent wake of the blast, she heard footsteps. Slow, furtive footsteps. Her eyes narrowed in anger… then, in anticipation. She smiled in a shadow, but her smile was darker.

Jimmy stepped over the shredded doorknob, its locking bolt still thrust, all futile now, into a bent and partially torn metal frame. A few feet away lay the twisted remains of the deadbolt, a ghost of smoke rising toward the ceiling. A faint odor of sulphur tinged the air.
David trailed behind Jimmy, eyes large with fear and amazement. “Holy shit!” he whispered. “Sincrely! Holy fucking shit!”
“Fuckin’ A right!” Jimmy hissed back, extending both arms together in front of him to send brief bursts of hand-shaded crimson light from a tiny LED lamp out in search of their treasure. “You liked that shit, didn’tcha!”

A pair of hazel eyes peered out from the darkness – cold, predatory eyes behind a thick mass of bed-tangled curls. A slim hand moved with infinite care, slowly parted the dark hair. When the ruddy light came again, she counted two silhouettes.
She catalogued them; the further one: approximately six feet, with a muscular build. Perhaps two hundred pounds. He might provide her with a challenge. The nearer, all of five foot nine, with a swimmer’s build that couldn’t have been much more than one hundred sixty. Both of them very cute, but she liked smaller men better – easier to control. She couldn’t decide if she wanted to destroy the smaller one, or keep him.
She loved little men, loved to play with them, to use them for her own satisfaction – but most especially, she loved to wrap herself around them, to feel them struggling against her, to grind herself against them and witness the agony and terror in their eyes as they tried to escape but only spurred her arousal higher and higher – and, finally, as passion overcame her, she loved to break them. Slowly. She wet her lips in the darkness, gave soft voice to a combined moan and growl of anticipation.

David turned. “What the hell was that?”
Jimmy took his hand off the LED mini-light’s pressure switch, extinguishing the red light from the room. “I told you, the owner’s out of town. You’re probably hearing shit.” he said, but his own voice betrayed a touch of nervousness. “What did it sound like?”
David cocked his head invisibly. “I don’t know.” he thought a second. “Sounded almost like… a cat.”
“A cat?” Jimmy’s voice filled with exasperation. Then he joked, “You’re not afraid of a little pussy, are ya?” He flipped the mini-light on again, then threw his hands down to his sides after a moment, clearly upset. “Where the fuck – ?!” The laptops they’d come for weren’t on the table near the window, where the two young adventurers had spied them earlier; neither were they anywhere to be seen among the gym’s neatly arrayed rows of exercise equipment. Jimmy’s frustration mounted.
David didn’t notice. “No! Dude – “ he insisted, “It sounded big!”
Thoroughly fed up, Jimmy spun on David in the dark, hissed, “Listen, motherfucker, the only big pussy in here is you! Now shut your fuckin’ whinin’, and either help me or quit crowdin’ me! Go look for that fuckin’ cat or somethin’.”
Stung, David took a few steps back. Then he shrugged, turned, and gingerly made his way toward the direction of the sound, careful to avoid tripping over any of the large, heavy machinery in the gym’s common area.

She retreated silently, on the balls of her feet, backward up the stairwell, watching him approach. He had compared her to a cat, and it both flattered and thrilled her. Without even the ambient light from the street, the stairwell was as black as ink; she pressed herself into that blackness. A soft purr was all the warning he would have that a very large cat indeed was on the hunt.

“Heeere, kitty, kitty… ” David whispered, edging closer to the deeper darkness of the stairwell. Wishing he had a mini-light himself, he edged into the comforting blackness. A sudden, soft footstep sent his heart pounding up into his throat, utterly freezing him in midbreath – but it was far too late. Something slipped around his neck. A tug at his shoulder blade spun him 180 degrees. Something hard slammed across his backside, jarring his jaw shut on his tongue. Something slipped over his mouth barely in time to silence the cry of pain.
“God dammit, watch where you’re goin’ over there!” Jimmy spat from far, far away.
Solid warmth of flesh under his arms crushed his breath from him in a long, tortured hiss. He tried to climb back to his feet, but his thighs were trapped under what felt like another pair of legs. Hot breath washed over his neck as his attacker sighed behind him – a wave of cool, soft hair draped itself on his shoulder as a hot mouth bit his ear, a pair of lush lips caressed his neck. Something – two firm but yielding somethings – lowered past his shoulder blades, pressed into his back, but not nearly as ferociously as the humping, grinding junction of the two pillars crushing him.
“Ahhhhh… ” someone breathed into his ear as static popped, then sizzled, behind his eyes. Then the fire in his chest and a ringing in his ears grew to a roaring inferno… and, slowly, the world faded away.

“Shit!” Jimmy cursed under his breath; another pass of the mini-light. “Shit, shit – shit!” The two beautiful laptops – their treasure, their prize – were nowhere to be found. Not on the desk where he’d spotted them the previous morning. Not at the counter where the cash register lay sleeping. Not under the counter where the Seattle Yellow Pages lay mocking him. Not on the shelves behind the counter heavy with nutritional supplements. Nowhere.
And now, to top it all off, his accomplice was off somewhere doing – what the hell was he doing? The three minutes were long up, anyway. There was no longer any point in delaying his admission of defeat – it was time to call it a loss and get the hell out of here.
He turned, “Hey! Dennis!” He whispered, using David’s pre-selected alias. “Come on, we’re getting the fuck outta here.” There was no answer. “Hey! Pussy-chaser! Move your skinny ass, let’s go!”
Still no answer.
Jimmy pulled his mini-light once more, started making his way in the direction his accomplice had gone. “Motherfucker, if I have to – “
He paused. There was no sign of David. A thread of fear started to weave its way through his practiced overconfidence. The mini-light slipped a little in his suddenly sweaty fingers.
He moved cautiously through what he could now see was a doorway; a drinking fountain glared red back at him. Around the corner of the doorway, to his right, he saw a flight of stairs. Not good. Not fucking good! This, he hadn’t anticipated. His heart sped in his chest, his breath shallowed and went coarse.
Still… not a sound. What the hell was going on here? His nerves, it felt to him, had been replaced with pure electricity as he crept upward, a single stair at a time. He nearly tripped over the final step. Silence lay like a cold, wet blanket over the unseen room… but now he could smell something. Something so familiar… Perfume. It was perfume. He allowed a tiny burst of deep red light, and nearly had a heart attack.
In that flash of light, he caught a glimpse of a tall dresser. A nightstand. A queen-size bed. On the bed, a body. David’s body.
An arm slipped around his throat from behind; he gagged, not yet even comprehending that he was under attack. A second arm wrenched his empty hand painfully behind him, up between his shoulder blades. The mini-light clattered on the hardwood floor as his free arm shot to the thing that was choking him, and the room went black. Five panicked seconds later, so did Jimmy.

“Okay.” her voice husked in the dimness. “No, I’m sure. These two are perfect. The bigger one is just the kind you like. Ballsy. A little mean. Mmm hmm. A little. They messed up the front door pretty good. They actually used some kind of homemade explosive or something… oh, yeah, loud enough to wake the dead, but there’s nobody on the street… well, that’s up to you. Okay. Yep. Perfect.” The sound of a cell phone’s cover snapping closed was like cannonshot in the quiet.
She took a moment to survey her prisoners, brushing a wayward bundle of nut-brown curls from her eyes. Carefully, she knelt behind where Jimmy’s stocky, six foot two bulk lay on the hardwood floor of the living room; her fingers quickly and expertly checking the bindings of his hands to make sure they hadn’t been tied too tightly. She didn’t want to leave bruises as evidence. She looked the body over, then left softly, returning to drape a towel over the head.

Then she turned her attention to David, visible through the door to her own bedroom.
The lithe 18 year old began to sway as she stepped into her room. Then, slowly and rhythmically, she stripped out of her sweatpants, lowering them away from her narrow, perfect waist; past fantastically hard, round glutes and the indentations of creased muscle in her wide hips, and finally, down along the gentle outer sweeps of her long, fleshy thighs. The cloth bunched briefly at the hard balls of muscle that were her calves, then slipped to the floor, where her delicate ankle brushed them aside before a slender foot kicked them away.
Next, she crossed her slender but sinewy forearms, and in one motion lifted her t-shirt up and off, freeing her breasts, the nipples hardening in the dimly-lit coolness of the bedroom.

Slowly, she knelt on the edge of the bed, making her way forward with quiet precision until she sat atop David’s unconscious form, one powerful thigh on either side of his waist; then, just as carefully, she hooked her calves around his ankles, and lowered her chest to envelop his sleeping face.
His response was immediate, and exactly what she had hoped for; he twitched; then, unable to breathe, he panicked and struggled in the twining embrace of her long limbs. His attempts to twist out from under her excited her; she stretched atop him, purring contentedly.
With his face enveloped hopelessly between her young, full breasts, he fought for air and gained none. Her hands cradled the back of his head, wedging his mouth and nose further yet into her cleavage; her thighs crushed in painfully on his lower ribs as they stretched her legs to either side, and his along with them. It felt as if, any moment, the tendons in his hips and knees would be irreparably torn.
Then, mercifully, she eased herself up, allowing him some desperately-needed air. “Wake up, sleepyhead!” she giggled.

“Oh, god…” he looked away, terrified and embarrassed. “What are you gonna do with us?” His guts were crawling with dread.
“Mmmmm.” her face adopted a stern expression. “I think you mean, what am I going to do with you? Your friend isn’t in any shape to play anymore.” she giggled.
“No.” he whispered. “You didn’t…” good God, had this girl killed his friend? He tried again to break free.
“Mmmmmm…” she purred appreciatively, then slam-stretched her legs out again; he howled – then whimpered, once more subdued, as she eased the pressure. Taking his jaw in her hand, she twisted his head forcefully in the direction of the bedroom door, Jimmy’s unmoving body plainly visible just beyond it. “See for yourself!” she growled with a devilish twinkle in her eye.
“Oh, god…” he whispered again. “Oh, no…”
“Ohhhh, YES!” she ground herself on him, ecstatic at the fear in his voice, the renewed trembling of him against her. She bent her neck and bit his in a feline gesture of heat fueled by aggression, eliciting a yelp of pain and fright.
Then, taking his wrists in her deceptively delicate hands, she pulled them both from the bed; before he could entirely get his footing, she spun him away from her, then wrapped a sinewy forearm across his throat, and began to walk him toward Jimmy.
“What are you doing?” He croaked, gulping against the bone of her forearm as it dug into his throat and staggering a bit with the unaccustomed gait.
“Quiet.” she ordered. “You’ll find out.” As they passed Jimmy’s body, she reached out her bare foot and nudged it – and the body stirred, then sprang into consciousness, its head thrashing under the towel while its arms jerked frantically at the rope that bound them at the wrists.
David jumped in the girl’s grip, loosing a bewildered shout which Jimmy returned in a pure fear reflex, still half-blinded as the towel slid from his face. Disoriented, he looked one way, then the other, as David’s bare-breasted captor laughed uproariously.
Then the nearly unprecedented happened – Jimmy somehow twisted one hand out of the rope – it fell away.
He started to lunge for her, but she tightened her headlock on David brutally hard, the mirth leaving her face in an instant.
“I can break his neck.” she warned the bigger boy. Resting her cheek against David’s, but glaring steadily at Jimmy, she told the boy struggling in her grip, “Now we find out if he’s really your friend. Now we find out if there really is honor among thieves.”
Jimmy’s face hardened – she tightened her grip further on David’s jaw – the older boy’s shoulders fell in a silent admission of defeat.
“What the fuck do you want?” he spat.
A sound from downstairs turned his face to stone – the sound of the front door closing, then the slow, measured click of high heels.
“I want you to meet my mom, sweetie.” The girl smiled sweetly.

“Rebecca?” a voice called from the stairway, rising with the clicking of heels.
“Up here, Mom!” Rebecca answered, smiling through the faux fear in her tone. “Hurry!” She giggled at the look of disgust on Jimmy’s face, before he spun to confront the sight of the older woman emerging from the stairwell into the lamplight that suffused the bedroom.
His jaw dropped, and both mens’ eyes widened at the sight. At 6’4” and well over 200 pounds of solid muscle, the woman was simply gigantic. Even modestly dressed, there was no hiding the fact that her arms looked to be as thick as Jimmy’s thighs, and her thighs… well, Jimmy could barely wrap his mind around them. Even in that plain, grey, knee-length skirt, there was no getting around the fact that they were absolutely enormous.
Below the knee, the visual shock treatment continued, with calves that must have measured a solid nineteen inches, and flared into diamonds of muscle so hard and so sharply defined that one could imagine they could etch glass.
Jimmy was absolutely sickened. “Jesus fucking Christ!” he spat, turning back to Rebecca. “I thought you said your mother was coming home, and here your dad shows up in drag!”
“Excuse me?” Gina Dornan was only one long, swift stride away from the impudent intruder, and she covered it in an instant, seizing one arm in a shockingly powerful grip before wrenching it up and behind his back, then wrapping her other arm around his neck – and with both arms, hoisting him up into the air, her breasts cushioning his back. All of this took only a second. He struggled for an instant, but only for an instant, before the pain overpowered his will to resist.
“I’m going to give you boys a choice.” Jimmy’s raven-haired captor informed them. “And I want you to consider it very carefully. If you understand me, I want you to put your left arm straight out to the side.”
Jimmy managed to focus just long enough to extend his free arm feebly away from his body before Gina mercifully set him back on his feet.
“Here are your choices.” She continued. “You can go to jail tonight for breaking into my business and frightening my poor defenseless child nearly to death,” at this, she smiled knowingly at Rebecca, who winked back at her in turn, “or you and your friend become my employees. I don’t know what it was you intended to steal, but the fact that that’s how you choose to spend your Saturday night means that you’re either bored or broke. Either way, you need a job and I need a little help around here. I’m going to give you two exactly one minute to decide, and then you’re either going downstairs to start work, or you’re going to jail. Oh – “ she retightened her grip on Jimmy’s throat; he gagged and began to shake all over as she leaned in and whispered in his ear – “and you’re going to apologize for questioning my femininity, or you’ll be going to the hospital regardless of where you end up after that. Is that clear?”
Abruptly, she and her daughter simultaneously released their prisoners – though Rebecca kept her arm draped loosely about David’s trembling shoulders, her body pressed lightly against his.
“Job.” David said, then repeated, more directly, to Jimmy, “We’ll take the job.”
“Quiet.” Jimmy shot back, rubbing his sore jaw.
“Oh, I’m sorry!” David snapped, his patience worn thin. “Would you rather go to jail? Look,” he cast a pleading look on Gina, “can we choose individually, or does this have to be a package deal?”
“Fuck you!” Jimmy started toward David, then stopped as Rebecca stepped in front of him and Gina shot a restraining arm into his way.
“It is a package deal, I’m afraid.” Gina replied. “You invaded my home with your friend. You stood to gain as much as he did; you’ll have to face the same consequences he does.”
“Then we’re taking… the job.”
“Not until I fucking say we are!” Jimmy snarled.
Gina re-clamped the headlock, instantly silencing him. “Are you speaking for the both of you?” she asked.
David felt a rush of something. Was it pride? He couldn’t tell, but no one had ever addressed him as an equal when hanging around with Jimmy before, much less as the leader. Finally: “Yeah.” he nodded. “On account of he’s non compis fucking mentis at this point.” He was surprised when Gina actually laughed delightedly.
“Well!” she leaned to address Jimmy directly. “It looks like we know who the brains of the outfit is.” she once again released Jimmy, but kept him in arm’s reach. “That settles it. As of now, you two are working for me. And don’t think of getting yourselves fired to get out of this. If I fire you, you will not pass Go. You will not collect your pay checks. You will go directly to jail. Is that understood?”
Both men nodded – David eagerly, Jimmy with an air of unmatched sullenness.
“But being fired won’t be a package deal.” Gina continued, speaking pointedly to Jimmy again. “Your friend made a smart call on your behalf. If you screw that up, he won’t be paying for your bad judgement. Now.” She indicated the stairway. “You start tonight.” She looked over her shoulder at Rebecca. “You might want to put your top on, dear. No reason to give the non-paying public a show.”
After a moment, the four descended into the gym. Gina flipped on the lights. “I appreciate that you boys didn’t break the window to get in here. You would have had to pull guard duty all night down here if you had. You’re going to work off the cost of that door, though. Stand over there, please.” she indicated the open space before a pair of Nautilus machines.
Jimmy and David complied, Jimmy casting David a withering look.
“Turn a full circle.” Gina instructed, and the two complied, slowly turning while the women appraised their respective builds. “The bigger boy will be mine,” she told her daughter.
“That’s okay with me,” Rebecca replied with a sly expression. “I like the little one better, anyway.”

Mother and daughter stepped forward to stand behind Jimmy and David. Gina nodded to Rebecca, and on her cue, both women bent their knees and wrapped their arms around their respective “weights”, lifting them in synchronized bearhugs that sent the mens’ breath whooshing from their lungs, then lifted them entirely off the floor.
“Put your arm around my shoulders.” Gina ordered. Jimmy had no choice but to comply. Taking his cue, David draped an arm around Rebecca as well, and both women quickly scooped the mens’ legs, cradling them. Gina wedged a foot between the front door and the frame, pulling it open. “Time for a little jog.” she announced. “You up for it, Becky?”
“Sure, mom!”
“Okay, hold on –“ Jimmy started to protest.
“Are you quitting on me already?” Gina scowled. Jimmy shut his mouth. “No, I didn’t think so. Just be glad there’s no one out there to see you. This time. Maybe next time, we’ll do this at lunch hour. Or better yet, right in the middle of Happy Hour, right past the bar.”
The two women and their human weights emerged into the rusty glare of the street lamps. Slowly at first, then building speed as they went, mother and daughter began to jog down the empty sidewalk.
David’s face showed pure amazement as he gazed into Rebecca’s eyes and felt her feminine yet powerful arms under and around him. She smiled, looking for all the world as if she knew exactly the effect she was having on him. It felt to David like his entire world was changing like the view through a kaleidoscope – but far from being uncomfortable, he found it exhilarating.
In too short a time, to him, they reached the other end of Main Street, where it branched off. One way was uphill – too steep, David judged, even for these improbably powerful women to carry them. In the other direction, Main Street descended toward the paper mill, with its stomach-turning stench.
Gina set Jimmy on his feet, and David was surprised to find himself disappointed when Rebecca did the same.
“Okay.” Rebecca told Jimmy. “I’m going to give you a chance to earn a little trust. But you should know that if you try anything stupid, I’m going to hurt you, and then I’m going to fire you. Understand?” Jimmy nodded.
Gina turned, and squatted down slightly. “Get on my back.” she ordered. Warily, but without argument or complaint, Jimmy complied. “Good boy.” Meanwhile, Rebecca had followed her mother’s example, and David followed Jerry’s – a bit hesitantly…
“Hey, Mom!” Rebecca giggled. “I think mine’s got an extra leg!” The two women straightened, and Gina regarded David with upraised eyebrows.
“Really!” The older woman exclaimed. “Well, now don’t I feel shortchanged!” Jimmy harrumphed.

Stepping back through the doorway at the gym, Gina announced the final exercise of the evening. “Squat time!” Setting the men back on their feet, the two women directed them to a pair of Jamn Squat Machines.
As Jimmy and David stood with their backs to the machines, Gina and Rebecca stood with their backs to the men, then squatted until their buttocks rested on their heels.
“Sit on my shoulders.” Gina ordered.
David followed his friend’s example, and both looked nervously at each other, then exclaimed “Hey!” as the long, sinewy thighs and calves flexed, bulged and propelled them heavenward.
“Okay, now hop up on the cushions.” Again, the two complied; mother and daughter then settled into the cushions, having added the weight of two adult men to what was already on the machine.
David had no idea how much weight that was – but he knew it was far more than he could move, many times more even than his bigger friend could push around. And here was a girl of barely eighteen under him and this weight, while he, she and it descended toward the floor so slowly that the movement was almost imperceptible.
Then they stopped… and stayed in that position. Neither woman spoke – the banter died away, and that was the only outward sign at all that there might be any effort involved at all.
David looked at Jimmy; the look was returned, and although neither uttered so much as a syllable for fear of breaking the womens’ concentration, the unadulterated awe on David’s face was finally mirrored on Jimmy’s.
And then they were rising again – so slowly that it was impossible to tell, at first. David watched Gina’s thighs bulge and striate, and found himself getting so stiff he feared he might damage himself in the tight confines of his jeans.
“Hey, don’t be getting hard over my mom, little boy!” Rebecca scolded him.
How did she know – ? David kept his mouth shut. Gina giggled.

Five times, they descended – five times they climbed. Finally, Gina and Rebecca pulled the two men back onto their shoulders, setting them down as gently as newborn kittens.
“Well.” Gina declared. “That’s enough exercise for tonight. My thighs are burning nicely, and I think I’ll have a massage.” So saying, she wrapped one solid, sculpted arm around Jimmy’s and pulled him toward the stairs, and her bedroom.
“Mmm, I know what you mean, Mom.” Rebecca tilted her face back, eyes closed, “I think I strained my pussy.” David’s jaw dropped.
“Dude!” Jimmy looked at David like the other boy had just won a heavyweight boxing title fight.
“Becky!” her mother chided laughingly. “God, you’re so crude sometimes!”
By the time their first paychecks were written two weeks later, neither Jimmy nor David could have cared less about the financial benefits of their new job.

The Question


Sixth Street and Mill Avenue, 5:27 PM

"Checkmate." He stared, numb, at the tiny plastic chess pieces before him. Leaning forward, he rested his face in his hands, his ice-blue eyes narrowing with feigned concentration until a sigh of defeat escaped and he lowered his weathered face into the cool darkness of his palms. Pretending to anything more or less than exquisite boredom was proving to be more of a chore than Tom Gennery wanted to tackle anymore. He liked a challenge… but trying to force himself to relax wasn't his idea of a challenge. It was his idea of an exercise in timewasting - and Tom Gennery hated nothing more than to waste time, to be unproductive. Just being wasn't enough; he had to do.

Bigby Woodward Sykes Advertising, 4:26 PM - Earlier That Day

Bigby again. Sure. He was just here five minutes ago, and here he comes again.
Al Bigby crossed his arms, cocked his head and harrumphed in his most editorial manner. "What the hell are you still doing here? I thought we agreed that you needed to get the hell out from behind that keyboard and go clear your head?"
Tom stared at the blank page on his display, which stared back in dumb defiance. Finally, he said, "All due respect, Al? I was busy, and you agreed all by yourself."
"Hmm, well…" Bigby stared at the ceiling, then nodded. "I still agree. Get the hell out, go get some coffee. Or a beer. Hell," he reached over and tapped the power button on Tom's display, killing the blank page. "go empty a goddamn keg right in the middle of the corner Starbuck's - just don't let me see you in that chair, in this room or even in this building before Monday."
Tom sighed, drummed his fingers restlessly, then rolled his chair back.
Al caught his eyes, caught his shoulder in one sweaty, meaty paw. "I'm telling you, Tom, not as your editor but as your friend: You have got to get away from here and get your act untangled. I used to sit in that chair myself, and I know how this thing works. The more pressure comes down, the harder it gets to unclench, and the longer it goes, the worse it gets. You have to step back, son. Let me take the pressure for a few days at least. Look, I know this woman who… she's a professional."
"A shrink." Tom shook his head slowly.
"She might be just the - "
"No." Tom stood firm. "It's my problem. I can take care of it."
"I hope so." Bigby looked doubtful. "If you can't get the wires uncrossed, well…" he trailed off, unwilling to finish the thought.

"'Scuse me. Hello?"
Tom jumped out of his reverie and back to the real world. A thump! and a spattering of warmth against his leg drew his eyes to his fallen coffee cup disgorging its contents onto the concrete patio floor. He withdrew his arm from where his start had sent it. "Crap." he noted, then looked up.
She was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen, he thought, then dismissed the brief flash of irritation at the cliche. Her eyes were a shade of brown light enough to seem amber beneath fine, perfectly arched black brows on pale skin. Those eyes were wide with dismay above a hand that covered a gasp of surprise.
"Oh, I'm sorry!" she breathed. "I didn't mean to startle you! Can I - is there anything I can do to - "
He grinned just a little. "My leg was getting cold. Something I can do for you?"
"Maybe." she returned a smile. "Can I sit down?" she extended her drink toward a clear space on the table.
"That depends."
"On what?"
"On whether you like coffee acrobatics." He cleared the chessboard away, enjoying her delighted laughter.
"So." He asked. "What can I do for you?"
She tilted her head slightly, noting his posture. "Slouch."
"Excuse me?"
She took a sip of her coffee. "I just want to see if you even can. You look like a Marine standing at attention."
"Used to be one." he pointed out.
"Well, it's like having a conversation with an electric fence. Relax."
He looked away, blowing air through his teeth. "Al Bigby." He turned back in time to see her look at her hands. "I'm going for a refill. I'm only coming back on one condition."
"Which is?" she looked at him like a little girl whose hand has been caught squarely in the cookie jar.
He retrieved his cup, stood and headed toward the door, "I don't find a couch here when I get back."

The first words from her mouth when he set his cup on the table were, "I'm sorry."
He leaned forward, pinned her eyes with his gaze. "Never," he said slowly, "be sorry."
"Well, I - " she stumbled, off-balanced by the intensity of his statement. "It's just that I guess you don't like psychotherapists."
"I'm sure they're good people. Just don't have any use for them."
"Mm." she took a sip of her coffee. "Your boss told me you were against seeing me."
"Professionally? Yeah."
"You have something else in mind." Her lips were pressed into a tight, thin line… but a small, quiet smile eventually fought its way through.
He chuckled. A breeze picked up, ruffled his silvered hair, lending the mischievous cast to his blue eyes an unmistakable boyishness. Then he looked down, abruptly self-conscious.
"Gibbs." She extended her hand to him. "Lisa Gibbs."
He took a small, delicate nip at his resurrected coffee, discovered that it was still a bit too hot. "Ms. Gibbs - "
"Lisa." she scolded.
The corner of his mouth turned only briefly, but the smile didn't leave his eyes as quickly. "Lisa," he set his cup down again. "I appreciate you coming out here. But I don't need professional help."
"Well, I'm giving you a second opinion, 'Doctor'." she declared. He smiled and shook his head, but she cut him off. "Tell you what. We'll settle this fair and square." She began rolling up the sleeve of her blouse.
He held up his hands, astonished, "Hold on! Are you challenging me to a fight?"
Laughing, she rolled her eyes. "Of course not! Ladies don't challenge men to fights." Noting his confused look, she finished rolling her right sleeve, and added, "Arm wrestling."
"Arm wrestling!" he laughed. "Are you - ?" No… no, he could see she wasn't kidding, after all. He shrugged, began to roll up his own sleeve. "Okay…"
"If you win," she set her elbow on the table, "I'll tell your boss… well, whatever you'd like me to tell him, and you never have to see me again. But if I win…"
He almost laughed at the idea that a young, pretty woman shrink would beat a decorated Marine veteran-turned-advertising hack at arm-wrestling, or any other physical contest. That was, until he happened to look down at her forearm, and noticed the deep crease between her funny bone and some serious and very firm muscle. He noticed her notice his attention. He gave a little half-nod of acknowledgement.
"If I win," she continued, "you be at my office at 1900 hours. And there will be a couch at my office."
"1900, huh?" He took her hand, set his elbow. Some of the other patrons had taken notice of their little contest by now; some chuckled, others looked faintly embarrassed to be there.
"Air Force," she answered the unasked question in his expression. "Got home a year ago. Ready?" She tensed her fingers in his once, twice - and on the third squeeze, it was on.
Gennery felt her out a little, varying the pressure and watching her eyes intently to see how much he could apply without hurting her. Surprisingly, her eyes were focused on his own, but twinkling merrily back at his concentration with exactly the light-heartedness he suddenly realized he'd been trying to find for himself.
"You're going easy on me, Mr. Gennery." she chided. "I wouldn't do that if I were you." With no further warning, she broke their trembling stalemate in her favor, driving his hand back He pushed a little harder, surprised by her power - and found himself redoubling his efforts.
Their faces matched in concentration, their fingers interlocked, they had drawn all eyes on the patio to them - people were even slowly making their way out through Starbucks' doors to take in the small battle of wills.
"Damn, you're strong!" he managed, adjusting his fingers trying to find a better grip. She didn't reply, fully absorbed in the struggle. His hand sunk another half-inch… then another. He mustered as much effort as he could, managed to push back up to stalemate - almost. But not quite. And then it was downhill again; slowly, at first, then more quickly, his shaking hand descended. Then hit the table with a grunt of released tension from the two contenders.
"Damn!" It was all he could think of to express his surprise. "Damn!"
"1900 hours, Mr. Gennery." she smiled at him, shaking the cramp out of her fingers. "You will be there, won't you?"
He sighed… then smiled, shaking his head in amazement. "That was the deal."
"That's not a yes." she pointed out, re-buttoning her sleeve. She folded her arms.
He brought his eyes back to hers, gave a half-nod. "It's a yes."
"Good!" she smiled brightly. "See you at 1900." She pushed her chair back, picked up her purse and her coffee.
"You leaving now that you got what you wanted?" he asked, disappointed.
"I need to get my office ready. I have something special in mind for you." And without another word, she was gone.
Tom watched her go, and marveled to discover that he was grinning from ear to ear. "Huh."

Offices of L. Gibbs, Msw, 6:55 PM

It took him almost ten minutes to find the office, even after consulting the directory int the building's lobby - but find it he did. He pulled the door open to discover a cozy reception area filled with the drifting fragrance of sandalwood. To his right sat a sofa upholstered in deep forest-green suede, and before it a cherrywood coffee table piled deep with Sports Illustrated and Scientific American back issues. To his left was an oak receptionist's desk atop which sat a sleek, compact computer and behind which sat a pretty and inquisitive-looking young woman.
"Would you be Tom Gennery?" she asked.
"Nobody's ever offered me a choice before." he quipped. Noting her impassive gaze, he said, "Sorry. Yes, that's me."
She picked up her phone, tapped a key somewhere out of sight. "Ms. Gibbs? Yes, ma'am. Yes, Mr. Gennery is here. Yes, ma'am." she hung up. "She's ready for you, sir. Follow the hallway here, second door on your right."
"Thanks." he followed the hallway back.
She watched him go; when he rounded a corner, she covered a giggle. "'Nobody ever offered me a choice.'" she repeated to herself, laughing.

Lisa heard his knock just as she got the couch where she wanted it. When her door opened, his eyes instinctively traveled her office, scanned each corner floor to ceiling, cataloguing and archiving each small detail; then on to her - her long black hair was up, a pair of stylish spectacles framed those striking amber eyes, and a white blouse and knee-length black skirt completed the image. He noted, without really thinking about it, that she was taller than she'd appeared when sitting down, about his own height, or maybe an inch or two taller. Slim, but with good muscle tone where there was skin to be seen. But his eyes didn't linger - he wasn't appreciating, just scanning for potential threats - force of habit.
"Are you worried I might have a rocket launcher up my sleeve, Marine?" she asked.
"Should I be?" he asked, turning his piercing blue eyes from the room and back on her. "What's with the furniture? More arm wrestling?" It had all been pushed to the edges of the room, leaving a fair-sized open area over which the hardwood floor had been covered in thick gym mats.
"Not exactly." she turned to her desk, retrieved a clipboard, clicked her pen to the ready. "Height?" she asked, her tone now businesslike.
"Six feet even."
"Two twenty, give or take."
"When was the last time you had a physical?"
"That's a pretty unusual question for a therapist, isn't it?" Off her pointed look, he continued. "About six months ago. I'm in perfect health."
She appraised him, head to toe, then nodded and put pen and clipboard away. "Remove your shoes, please." He noticed that her own shoes were next to the door, shrugged, and placed first one shoe, then the other, next to hers.
"Okay…" she took both his hands in hers and gently led him to the center of the mats.
"What are you doing?" he asked, a bit anxious, but without resistance.
"Just relax." she commanded. She face him and kneeled partially, wrapped her arms around his legs just above his knees. "Put your arms around me."
"What?" he was confused.
"Last chance." she warned. "Put your arms around my neck and don't let go."
"Now, hold on, I - " Without further warning, her arms tightened around his thighs and he was propelled directly ceilingward. His balance held, but only briefly, before he began to tilt backward. The mat caught him with a solid fwoooomp!
"Hey!" he exclaimed.
She smirked down at him. "I told you to hold onto me. Stand up."
He stood up, all right, and immediately headed for the door. "Lady…"
She was fast - a lot faster than he expected, at least, sliding past him and putting her back to the door, swatting his hand away from the doorknob. He paused, unsure of what to do next, then reached for her, thinking to push her aside.
She thumped his chest with an extended index finger. "Don't." She wasn't kidding around. She pointed back to the center of the mat.
"But - " he stammered. "Well - I - "
"Now." she ordered.
His face flushed two shades of red… then a shade of pale. He had no idea why, but he was suddenly just the slightest bit afraid of her - and… and… he was confused. Was he liking this? Just a little bit? He took a step back from her, then another.
"Good boy." she nodded, her voice warm and approving again. "Now, then." she resumed her position in front of him, placing a hand on his shoulder until she could feel that he wasn't tensing to make another run for it. "Let's try again - and this time, I trust you'll do as you're told?" She knelt, wrapped her arms around his legs again, as before. He didn't have to be prompted to clasp his hands behind her neck this time.
Again she straightened her legs, and again he was driven upward. His balance felt off again; he fought the instinct to let go of Lisa, to try to regain his balance.
"Don't let go." she warned him. "You won't fall as long as you don't let go."
"I know, it's just... I just..." Did she tilt back, or – or forward? He felt his hands leave her neck, powerless to stop himself from trying to take control. It was just the slightest movement; it lasted only an instant. But before he could reach for her, it was too late.
She set her hands on her hips, gave him a stern look. “You,” she pointed out, “have control issues.”
“And bad balance, apparently.” he ran a hand through his hair, staring at her desk. “Hey!”
In his momentary lapse of attention, he hadn’t seen her kneel next to him, only felt her right arm encircle his knees while her left reached behind his back and under his own arm. Now she cradled him like a small child.
“This isn’t about your balance.” she informed him. “In fact, this isn’t about your anything. You’re not in charge here.”
Well, this was… unacceptable. Tom Gennery was always in control – instinct, reflex, force of habit; call it what you want, but he hadn’t survived room-to-room fighting and long nights of counterinsurgency ops without it. It was just his way, and there was nothing he could do about it.
“Put me down, Doctor!”
“I don’t think so.” she coiled her arms around him a little tighter.
He struggled – gently, at first, then more frantically as he realized that there was little hope of convincing her to put him down and none at all of escaping. Meanwhile, she whispered gently for him to calm down, soothed him, rocking him gently.
Finally, he was exhausted – and still held firmly in her arms. He no longer had the energy, or the room, to struggle further.
“How the hell -- ?” he started, then took a few deep breaths. “How the hell did you get this goddamn strong?”
She smiled. “Gymnastics, field and track in high school. Free weights in college, five days a week, and wrestling my boyfriends for about as long as... well, pretty much since the first one. You're coming back next week.” she added.
“Am I?” he asked skeptically. “Well, this has been... interesting, but -- “
“You're coming back next week, Tom, and every week after that.” she reassured him, constricting her arms around him and leaning in until their lips were nearly touching. “It's out of your hands.”
He gulped, suddenly both intimidated and aroused. “Okay.”
“Good!” she chirped, then quickly set him on his feet. “Now! One more time, and let's see if that famous Marine discipline counts for something!”
Ah ha! “Is that a challenge?” he asked.
She reached out, ruffled his silvered hair. “Absolutely.” Kneeling, she wrapped her arms around his knees again, waiting until she felt his hands on her shoulders before slowly, carefully, rising.
His breath caught in his throat, his abdominals tense as he fought to remain relaxed, focused on just letting her do the work. Then she took a step forward, and he almost lost it.
“I've got you,” she reassured him. “You're fine.” She took another step forward. Then another, and he somehow managed to keep himself from stiffening up... and then discovered that this was actually... fun?
“You'll be here next week, won't you, Tom.” she coaxed.
“That's the notion.”
“Good. I'm going to shift my arms a little higher on your legs, and I want you to lean forward across my shoulder. I'm not going to drop you. Ready?”
“Uh...” he wasn't sure about this --
“Good!” she said, her solid right arm rising to just under his butt as her left arm controlled his descent and he leaned over her shoulder into a fireman's carry. The sound of her office door opening reminded him that her receptionist was going to see this.
“Hey, whoa!” he exclaimed. “Put me down before your -- “
“Uh uh,” he felt her shake her head, her long hair brushing against his side. “Cheyenne stayed late tonight just to see this. I can't very well cheat her out of her show.”
“Well – but -- “
“It's out of your hands, Tom,” she reminded him. “Just relax and go with it.”
She was right, of course. There wasn't much he could do to stop her, short of hurting her – and he certainly wasn't about to try, not least of all because he wasn't entirely sure at this point that he wouldn't come out on the losing end of it.
“Oh, isn't that cute!” Cheyenne was obviously enjoying this immensely. “Ooh, and look how red his cheeks are! Is our little Marine blushing?”
“Oh, man...” he grumbled, and that seemed about the right time for the flashes to start going off.
Lisa turned her back – and his face – to the camera. “Smile for the camera, Tom!” she giggled.
“Yeah, okay. Looking at the camera.”
“No, he's not!” Cheyenne tattled.
“Fine!” he rolled his eyes, then gave in and did as he was told.

Bigby Woodward Sykes Advertising – 0830 hours, Monday morning

“So! How did your session with Lisa...” Al Bigby caught Tom's inscrutable gaze, then caught the softbound booklet Tom tossed at him. “...go? What's this?”
“Copy for the Jevalia account. It's ready for proofing.”
“Fantastic, Tom! I knew seeing her would -- “
“Don't you ever do anything like that again, Bigby. Not ever.”
Bigby's face reddened with anger, “Now, look -- “
“Because if you do,” Tom Gennery continued without slowing down, “I can't be responsible for my shrink's actions, and I'm pretty sure she could kick your ass up and down the block.” Tom rose and clapped his boss on the shoulder. “I'm going for coffee. You feel like coming with?”
Bigby stared after him, mouth agape. After a moment, he found the only word that properly captured his feelings... “Huh.”