Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Glow of the Lights

Today's contribution is from Ben Hannigan.  He has written for Storytime for some time now.  His previous short stories are in archives.  Ben stated that he was inspired by something he hates about the holidays that he turned around to make better, at least in fiction. 

The Glow of the Lights Look Like a Burning City
Ben Hannigan

David weaved his way across the crowded office, moving through the typing coven sat cackling at some god-awful cracker joke. Past the logistics office supervisor waxing lyrical to his giggling secretary who was drunk enough to fawn, passing the mid forties HR drone who was absorbed in being noisily sick in the bin that lived under Chris’s desk. As David walked past he casually opened the whelp’s desk drawer and poured the first full bin in, well he never liked the smarmy little brown-noser who could only be seen when the boss yawned, and Christmas was the season of giving and sharing after all.


Feeling chafed by the forced hilarity of these things but trapped by the fact the taxi’s booked for everyone were a long four hours away, all he wanted to have done was be seen and noticed so the bosses couldn’t come down on him about lacking company spirit or whatever bullshit buzzword that was currently in vogue. He cracked a few jokes shook hands dropped off his secret santa gift on the table and collected his own, amused by the note, ‘open privately others would be Green with envy’. When pressed to open it by his colleagues he muttered something about waiting till the twenty fifth and this was accepted.


Walking through the smoking room that after the ban had become a breakroom that had become dominated by the sales team, what once was the preserve of the smoking subculture. a place where rank and role were forgotten and discussion was between equals, a dark area of cynicism and subversion as they discussed the world, putting it to rights in a haze of smoke, had been repainted in garish, ‘bold’ colours with designer chairs that when sat on seemed to be more akin to torture devices than comfortable seating and filled with posters that were a mix of explosions, border line pornography and football.


He snagged a bottle of Kahlua from the seemingly endless bar and slowly meandered through the crowd, shaking hands backslapping and keeping up his appearance of ‘A Good Egg, bit quiet, typical IT bod’ the image that saw him left alone and able to get what he requested from the annual budget. David was well the stereotypical IT guy, he was described by many to his private amusement as Harry Potter at the post grad level. He took the joking well and his self deprecating humour made him popular enough to slide in and out of conversation with most of the company, well other than the testosterone fuelled sales wankers, who were far too up their own arse to notice him as in their mind’s they were the star quarterback’s of the ‘team’ and all the “support staff” should be at their beck and call due to the fact ‘we are the company, we make the money we rule the roost’. Amongst these secondary schoolboys, all brash Ben Sherman suits and a taste for blow, the skinny, messy haired David standing in converse, combat trousers and a faded Blondie shirt stood out and was a frequent target for what they called ‘banter’ but the rest of the company privately called physical and attempted sexual abuse. They never did connect his bullying with the fact that their pornographic email exchanges with vapid secretaries got pasted up in the bogs* with startling regularity.


Seeing the head of Sales passed out on the floor, whilst his comrades were busy photocopying their arses and guffawing, he adorned the twats face with a permanent ink message across his forehead proclaiming him to ‘Suck harder than a Dyson and fuck better than the Tomson kid.’ Once he had finally moved out of the main areas of the building and disappeared into the bowels of the company, he headed for the server room. Punching in the access codes and entering the room he began to climb up the ladder leading to the air con units. Unlocking the access door with a key that didn’t exist he stepped out onto the roof. Bathed as it was in the glow of the city of London’s Christmas display he murmured to himself awed by the sight, “it’s almost as if the entire city’s on fire.”


He took a small tin from his bag and then stopped for a second and using the knife he carried for cutting and trimming cable he carefully opened the present, unravelling the plain white paper, he saw a cardboard box. Intrigued he slit the box open and buried inside the shredded paper packing material were two things, the first was a small pipe, all brass and dark mahogany. His love of Steampunk was well known at work, due to his habit of wearing Victoriana with a twist to important meetings and when consulting with outside clients and vendors, the PHD Potter transformed by nineteenth century dress into that era’s image of a dapper young gent. So far there had been no indication of the identity of the gift giver. This was the challenge of the event, to find and thank the giver before the end of the year.


 The second object was a brass circular tin, which he unscrewed to reveal something that shocked him. He was so careful, so organised and it didn’t touch his work life. No imagery, no clothing glorifying the habit, no nothing, so how did this mystery secret Santa know.


It was a brass grinder and in the space under the mechanism, was an eighth bag, an eighth of what he found upon examination, a beautiful example of his ‘medication’ not only that but it was his preferred blend, Rokenj’s exclusive AMG. Which was a bastard to get, relying on bringbacks from the ‘dam.


Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, reasoning that it will all come out in the wash anyway but still confused because he didn’t ever smoke at work. He packed it all away deep into his bag and took the black cherry rollup from his tin and had a fag whilst pondering the mystery of who it was who knew so much of the life that when at work didn’t exist. Sipping from his coffee cup, the purloined Kahlua, he pondered and stared out at the city with his legs hanging over the side of the air con unit, eighties punk playing from his tablet and just relaxed.


Lost in his music and his drink half an hour and 4 rollies had passed before he registered the fact that he was no longer alone. The ladder to get to the top of the air con unit was rolled up next to him, he heard a Midwestern drawl ‘Oi, Potter throw down the ladder. I know it’s you.’ It was Ms M, the head of security for the organisation. To the majority of the staff, she was a stone cold bitch, calm, collected and very, very well trained. To David however, she was the closest thing he had to a friend at work. Kicking the ladder down, he waited and when she reached the top, offered her a hand up. She sat down with an elegant sprawl as David asked ‘How did you know it was me?’


‘Honestly Potter, who else smokes cherry tobacco roll ups and has access to this rooftop? I should confiscate the key but you get too much crap from the sales monkey’s so I figure you deserve a perk or too. Plus plastering their sordid little rendezvous across the lav gives me something to laugh at when I’m waiting in the queue.’ She laughed and offered him a chocolate. Taking one he relaxed and passed over the bottle, they sat in a companionable silence sipping coffee liquor and swapping stories of the fucked up things they had seen in the company. They worked closely monitoring risk and security, Judi, the physical and David the virtual. ‘Inspired work with regards to the head of sales by the way.’ She grinned.


‘I don’t know what you are talking about’, he replied grinning.


‘Oh come on Potter, no one else knows the last name of the bossman’s daughter aside from me or the fact she’s currently in rehab for sex addiction after being caught pulling a train with half the arsenal first eleven’, As she said this he snorted Kahlua from his nose and nodded, knowing he had been caught and looking like a schoolboy who had been caught behind the bike shed with a fag.


Though she was a yank by birth, this thirty year old cuddly, big boobed sweet looking five foot blonde had adapted to the local slang very well due in no small part to spending time at work chatting to David and investigating the dodgy end of the London office. ‘can I cadge a skin?’, he handed over the little blue pack and she rolled a cig and lit up before grinning and impulsively kissing him on the cheek. “Thanks for the Secret Santa prezzie, buying me a silver crackerjack secret decoder ring and an airsoft ppk made me giggle.’ He blushed and mumbled ‘no problem, it seemed very you’, desperately wishing he could skin up to calm his nerves, he was crap at talking to women unless he was stoned. She sat with him and asked ‘so did you follow the instructions in the card?’ startling him as he hadn’t shown anyone the request. ‘You?!’ he half stated half asked and she nodded in response. ‘How did you know? I mean no one here knows I smoke the stuff’


She laughed and said ‘Silly boy, when I drew your name I followed you for a week so I knew what you would want I saw you drop your pipe and smash it and I spoke to your doctor. The pain is getting worse and the morphine’s making you sicker I worried and had something sorted that would work.’


he stammered a thank you and gave her a hug lingering a little longer that a hug between friends, touched by the gesture.


‘Do you mind if I?, she shook her head and unwrapped the pipe from the packing for him and produced her own, she packed his pipe for him and grinned, ‘Lets break this new one in together’, she held it to his lips and with the gentleness and the care of a nurse set her lighter to the bowl as he took the first draw. He gave a quick thumbs up and told her the pipe drew wonderfully and held it out to her for a hit, putting her own aside she took it gratefully and they passed the next half hour smoking drinking and talking, talking about this, that, good, bad and the downright bizarre.


Over that half hour they started leaning against the wall slowly sliding closer to each other starting with the bottle between them and moving slowly until the two were stoned in a happy gentle way, not mindlessly giggling or paranoid rocking but just relaxed curled into each other, her cuddling into him, neither really minding that the pipe had fizzled out due to it being neglected. She looked up at him as he stared into her eyes. Neither had any idea who had kissed who first or who moved which way but they found themselves embracing, not a gentle chaste kiss but a deep slow passionate tongue tying kiss. They moaned into each other and moved together like they had been doing this for years, she moved her hand up behind his head and pulled him down to the floor as he slowly began to undo her blouse. They stood together still kissing to lay their jackets on the cool metal and she slid his shirt off, running nails down his spine. He bared her shoulders and pushed the shirt off kissing and licking down her neck and throat treating her body as some kind of ice lolly, undoing her bra with her help he moved down to her boobs, tasting, teasing, sucking ,caressing as she slipped her hand down his jeans whilst slipping his shoes off with her bare feet. They stroked each other with their feet as they bared their upper bodies. Judy caressing each and every scar on his body. He touched and kissed all that was in reach, her stroking his cock slowly, giggling as he mewled with need and struggling to undo and pushed off her jeans before slowly fingering her and spreading her legs as she yanked his jeans off completely moving down his body and licking his length sucking slow and gentle, him responding by spinning her round and tasting the nectar between her thighs, licking slowly gently exploring her as she did him.


It wasn’t nervous or awkward because they weren’t thinking, they were just moving together, enjoying the moment, the contact and the feelings. They were acting on feelings and desires without the nervousness of expectation. She gasped as he rolled his hips and they both came together not with a crash but as with every part of there contact, gentle and relaxed, laying there nude gasping, coming down in more than one way. He rolled over blushing and said ‘hi’. She got her breath back opening her eyes and moving close whispered, ‘I should have got you stoned a year ago, would have saved me rsi from nights indoors’.


He squeaked and looked everywhere but at her face for a second processing her comment and responding with an elegant ‘whaaaa? Me? You? You did? What?’ she snorted and giggled, ‘one of the things I’ve always loved about you is your way with words’. That line, breaking the ice she hoped and she lit up when her comment evoked his trademark low smirking laugh.


She got her breath back from the shared laughter first and grinned, noting he was reacting to her state of dress and slid over from his left hand side into a new position straddling him and looking deep into his eyes. ‘I want this, I want you, I am not being taken advantage of and I need this, look at my eyes, I’ve come down again and this is me, not drug fuelled and needing anybody, any warm, hard body. This is me David, sober, ready and wanting you.’ she sank down onto him in one long stroke and he moaned a long deep moan more akin to animal than man. She could tell he wasn’t sure what to do, whether this was a drug induced dream and also where to put his hands and whether he could touch her.


She lent into him her nipples brushing his chest, she could feel his heart racing through his skin, could feel the pounding as his blood coursed through his veins. ‘David darling, how the fuck did you get through uni, to PHD no less without someone taking you, pulling you close and spoiling you?  How did someone not just pull you into their bed, feed you and fuck you silly?’ He spluttered and tried to answer the words not making sense. ‘ssssh’. She replied placing a finger against his lips. ‘it’s all ok, I’m glad, means I have something special and even if you and me don’t work or you don’t want me, I will always be remembered’.


He laughed ‘oh god Judy, I will always remember you, this. God, fuck this is so fucking good. Please take my virginity please. My gift to you, but please be my girlfriend after this, after tonight’. She kissed him softly and eagerly.


‘God I really hoped you would say that, say that you want me, want an us.’ She rolled her hips eagerly, grinding into her boyfriend focusing on the act on him, pushing him closer and closer to the edge of oblivion, rocking, grinding, bouncing into him faster and faster, shaking and mewling into her first and second crescendo, her wails and moans lost in the hum of the generator spooling up. The whole ledge they were laid on moaning gasping was vibrating, the movement and shaking rocking them into each other and making every feeling deeper, hotter and more intense. He was getting into it, more confident more able, taught by her but also by animal instinct fucking her. Kissing her. without any training knowing things that feel good for her, his new girlfriend, like squeezing, teasing, wriggling into her and sliding a finger across her tight arsehole as he stroked and worked her clit. It was almost a howl, as they raced each other to completion, racing but waiting neither wanting to finish first. She leaned into him biting his throat, sucking his neck teasing as he thrust a finger into her arse and took the chance to nip her throat as she nipped his. They rocked and whimpered into each other one last time, her clenching on him whilst biting their throats and caressing each others most intimate sensitive parts, she gave one final wail and the last bite fair tore into him forcing him to drag his teeth over her in the same way. The faint copper tang of blood on the kiss they shared as their final bone shaking orgasm tore through them, him exploding into her fast, hard, long, and deep as she clenched almost sucking and milking him dry.


‘Wow’ they murmured together, ‘wow indeed’ ‘you can say that again,’ David replied.


‘Wow indeed’


‘Prat’ David muttered fondly as the conversation devolved into soft kisses and the laughter of a couple in that happy post coital afterglow. The air grew cool on their skin with the sheen of sweat chilling them and in response they helped each other dress, snatching kisses and tastes as they went. Heading back down to the party, they shyly reached for each others hands. Re-entering the main room they weren’t noticed until the CEO saw the door open during his speech and toast. He began to call for silence and calm as he thanked the staff, section by section announcing awards and praising individual success stories. When he reached the point where IT and Security were the two groups left he asked. “           Can the head of IT and the head of security come to the front?”


They moved as ordered and the whole party saw they had become a couple with the evidence of love bites and handholding. He congratulated them for their projects and their work before calling for his briefcase, opening it, he handed fifty pound notes to various people and laughing announced “As you can see I have kept my word and paid out the bets,’ turning to the couple he admitted ‘when we did the Ssecret Santa this year we set it up so you would get each other because well we had been making bets on when you would get together since Potter here started working for us.” He ruffled their hair and hugged them both. ‘congrats but we need a decision, which place is the cab going tonight?’ This brought raucous laughter and cheers and a blushing Laura said ‘mine.’


The gathering broke up with congratulations and giggles from the crowd and the young couple slinked off into the night in the back of a black cab pouring their love into each other both thinking to themselves ‘Thank god I didn’t skive the party and thank fuck I fucked off from the main chaos’, Laura also mumbled into David’s  arms as they fell into bed, “so glad I went to find you.”


They laughed, cuddled kissed and drifted off into each others arms ready to face a bright new future together.

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