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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, merchandise, companies, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. All characters are 18 years or older when in sexual situations.
It was a kernel of an idea that morphed into this story. I decided to bring in Prisha, a favorite of mine from “Rising from the Ashes.” Thank you for voting on my stories and providing me with comments.
There’s a small bit of BDSM in this story. I couldn’t help it. The story wanted to write itself this way. Apologies to those that are sensitive to a little bit of bondage and spanking.
It was one night in an endless string of dark, cold winter nights in New York City. The trees lining the Avenue of the Americas had long ago lost their leaves, standing barren, and waiting patiently for spring. The high temperature for the day was twelve degrees, with the wind chill taking it down to a balmy minus ten.
I left my high rise office building in Midtown Manhattan just after six, and it was already pitch black outside. There was a large Christmas tree in the lobby and garlands hanging from the lamp posts outside celebrating the arrival of Christmas, but no one on the street seemed to be in the holiday mood, just in the mood to get home out of the howling wind and the cold.
I fought though the crowded sidewalks to the bus stop for the 55 line, careful not to slip on the black ice that lurked under the light dusting of snow that fell that day. I arrived at the bus stop with about fifty other healthy souls. Our collective breaths appeared as a large cloud of steam, to be carried away by the stiff icy cold breeze that whipped between the skyscrapers lining Main Street for corporate America.
I was clutching the handles of a brown paper bag that held leftover cake from a party celebrating my fifth work anniversary, mindful of the people around me inadvertently bumping into the bag and crushing the cardboard cake box inside. The wind cut through my down coat and the clothes underneath, making me dream of a steaming hot bath when I got back home. The bus arrived, and the assembled crowd boarded in a more orderly fashion than I would have expected, given the intolerable conditions outside. I was one of the last to board, and stuffed myself between two businessmen and a woman with a young child, holding the paper bag close to me and trying to find solid footing for the ride.
As the heat level rose inside the packed bus, it lurched forward into the commute traffic. I grabbed for the handle above me as I bumped into a businessman wearing a sharp navy cashmere coat. He managed a weak smile as I apologized. Through the window I saw a couple leaning into the wind as they walked on the sidewalk alongside the bus, making faster progress than the gridlocked vehicles.
I transferred to the 21, for the crosstown portion of the trip. Another packed bus, people pressing against one another in their heavy winter coats. My silk blouse was now sticking to my back, my bra straps were digging into my shoulders, and my feet were sweating in my snow boots. It felt like a sauna inside and there were no vent windows to open. I closed my eyes and willed the last fifteen minutes of the ride to pass as quickly as possible.
The bus finally got to my stop, and I pushed through the standing room crowd to get to the rear exit, alighting the bus into a small snowbank that was taller than the tops of my boots. Fresh powder fell inside them and onto my sweating feet. A blast of cold air gave me a harsh reminder that I was outside again, and the sweat that had formed on my brow started to freeze.
I trudged through the newly fallen snow to my apartment building on the Lower East Side, a pre-World War Two brick four story walk-up. I checked my mailbox. Three bills, including an electric bill addressed to “Christian Cooper,” and a brochure for an all-inclusive resort on some Caribbean island. Couldn’t they get my name right? I’d seen every possible way to spell “Kristin” (Cristin, Kristen, Christin … you get the idea). I threw the mail into my paper bag.
I hiked up the stairs to my fourth floor apartment, still clutching the bag holding the cake box, with the snow inside my boots having melted and causing the inner soles to squish with each labored step. At the top of stairs I wanted to do nothing more than throw off my coat and kick off my waterlogged snow boots.
There was still snow on the shoulders of my down jacket when I opened the door to my apartment, a modest one bedroom with a partial view of the East River. The apartment was hot. The radiator, also circa 1930, was crackling and belching heat, ignoring the dictates of my thermostat.
I put my soggy snow boots into the plastic tray I bought for just that reason and hung up my wet down coat. I hung the scarf my mother knitted for me casino siteleri on the coat hook next to my soggy coat. I cursed the New York winters and the biting cold wind that roared across the Hudson River and through Manhattan. Every day this past month I had to brave the snow and transit delays to get to my job because it was too dangerous to take the scooter I used when the weather was good. I wondered how I ended up cold and alone in a four story walk-up.
As I was feeling a bit sorry for myself I saw a flash of white down the short hallway.
“Mr. Pibb,” I called out. “Kitty!”
Mr. Pibb was my rescue Siamese cat. My guess was that he was about four now, but as athletic as ever. He was tearing down the hallway to get out of first gear. Usually he’d be at the door to greet me. I chased him down in the bedroom and held him against me so he could drape his snow white paws across my shoulder. He purred as I stroked his fur.
“Mr. Pibb, have you been naughty today?” I asked, half expecting him to answer.
He looked at me in that inscrutable cat way. God help me if he barfed on the bathroom carpet or had scratched up the new upholstered chair in the bedroom.
“Well … tell me,” I urged my mysterious feline.
“Meow,” he replied, and wiggled out of my arms, scampering down the hall.
Mr. Pibb was one of the few joys in my life. When I was a kid, I took a shining to Mr. Pibb, a beverage with a unique flavor (like Dr. Pepper), that Coca-Cola no longer produced. I went to a cat adoption event at a local art museum a few years back. I was there to keep a friend company and I ended up forming a strong bond with a young male Siamese cat who couldn’t have more than three months old. I was charmed by his personality and his four snowshoe white feet. It made perfect sense for me to adopt him and to name him Mr. Pibb. He was quirky as hell and I loved him for it.
Most cats are finicky. They change their mind. But there was one thing that was consistent with Mr. Pibb. He only liked me. I brought a number of people into the apartment, friends, relatives and an occasional girlfriend, and Mr. Pibb always found a reason why they didn’t measure up to his standards. He’d run away and hide (usually under my bed) until the company was gone. He usually slept on the end of the bed, or if I was lucky, under the covers with me.
My building had stairs, but no elevator. For me, it was four flights of stairs up, four flights of stairs down. You had to be sure you had everything with you when you left the apartment. It happened more than once that I got down to the street, only to discover I forgot something I had to have.
There was an advantage that outweighed the four stories of stairs, the antiquated heating system (there was no air conditioning), and the occasional rat in the downstairs laundry area – it was cheap, rent-controlled cheap. I was paying $725 a month for an apartment that would go for at least $4,000.
I didn’t get the apartment by luck, it was rather by design, and that should give you an idea of the way my mind worked. I had a co-worker, Dale, who worked with me at my prior job. He used to occupy this apartment. He was single, and when the family business back in Wyoming needed him, he decided to move back there to run it. I didn’t know Dale well, but it was well-known among his friends and co-workers that he had a sweet deal on his rent-controlled apartment. When he told everyone he was leaving my mind couldn’t help but concoct a scheme that allowed me to assume the lease on his apartment.
The next day I stopped by his cube and offered to take him out to lunch. He was flattered by the invitation (I think he had a crush on me but didn’t know I was a lesbian) and immediately accepted. At the time I was making even less than I’m making now (which still isn’t much), but picked a hot new restaurant that was a bit outside my budget for lunch. It served impossible burgers, and I had to admit they were quite good. Dale was impressed as well, and when he was cleaning off the remainder of the French fries on his plate I hit him with my scheme. I think he was looking at my breasts at the time, which were prominently displayed by my v-neck sweater I wore just for him.
I told him I knew a friend of a friend whose side business was producing high quality forged documents. We could get fake driver’s licenses and a marriage certificate with an embossed seal and use them to convince the landlord that we were married. I promised to pay him $250 a month, and if he did come back to New York in the next five years, I would give the apartment back to him. That was three years ago. I planned to get fake divorce papers produced and give them to the landlord at the five year mark so the lease would be in my name only.
I was sitting in my apartment trying to appreciate the fact that I was saving over three thousand dollars a month while the radiator was belching and hissing. I looked at my ragtag collection of Ikea and second hand furniture and canlı casino the cheap knick knacks sitting on them. I had been working in a high profile Wall Street firm for five years and I had precious little to show for it.
The firm had celebrated my five year anniversary that evening after the work day was over. We had cake in the reception area (right after we locked the doors for the day) and champagne in the lobby. I thought it was well done, and had taken a couple slices of the cake home in the cardboard box I had so fastidiously guarded on the way home. I opened the box on the kitchen table and grabbed a carton of milk out of the fridge and a fork out of the silverware drawer.
I sat down at the table and poured myself a glass of milk and stabbed the leftover cake with my fork. Mr. Pibb jumped up on the table and tried to take a drink out of my glass of milk.
“Bad kitty,” I admonished him, pulling the glass closer to me.
“Meow?” answered Mr. Pibb, as inscrutable as ever.
I took another bite of cake, chocolate, from the bakery on the ground floor of our office building that I loved but couldn’t afford. I weighed my prospects and they were few. I was a thirty year old single female in New York City with a little more than $3,000 in her checking and savings accounts and about $100,000 in her 401(k) (that she could collect without penalty in twenty-nine short years). I was working in the bowels of a prestigious brokerage firm on Wall Street, processing wire transfers. Even with my heavily discounted rent, the most I ever saved in a month was $250. I was stuck in my job and stuck in New York City.
I finished the cake, ignoring the fact that I had been eating salads for lunch and dinner the last week to shed those last five pesky pounds, and poured the remaining milk from my glass into a small bowl. Mr. Pibb quickly lapped up the remainder of the lukewarm liquid, licking his whiskers and giving me a look of gratitude when he finished.
Now mind you I did say stuck in New York City. I’m not one of those “I love New York City” people that love living there. It’s fine, it’s a big city, but after you’ve lived there several years there are facets of the city that would grind on you. The noise, the incessant crowds, the gridlocked traffic, the biting cold of the winter, and the smell of rotting garbage in the hot, humid summer, would all make you wish you could live in a place with a slower tempo and peace and quiet. I had that wish.
* * *
I work for a conservative company and still had to wear a blouse, skirt and heels to work. That morning I forgot to put my office heels in my backpack and arrived at my cube in my snow boots. I bent over and slid open the door of the low rise storage cabinet that doubled as a credenza. I pulled out my emergency heels, a pair of black pumps with four inch stiletto heels. I wore them last year to the Christmas party (I was solicited by four guys) and stashed them as my emergency pair of shoes after the Christmas party because my feet were killing me.
I put the heels on and instantly picked up almost three inches in height from my normal shoes. The glossy black pumps elongated my calves, making them more attractive. I went over to a cube not far from mine to seek out Prisha Reddy, a woman who joined our firm about two years ago and became my friend almost from the day she joined us. She was an account manager, and a rising star in the firm. Prisha was also gay, a closeted lesbian of Indian descent. She grew up in London, attending one of the better known prep schools, was wicked smart with a caustic sense of humor. She wheeled around in her desk chair, stood up, and gave me a thorough once over.
“Kristin, look at you girl,” she commented in the King’s English as her gaze lingered on my emergency footwear. Prisha’s colorful sarong caught my eye. I was looking at her while she was looking at me. She was tall and curvy, her olive complexion complimenting her long, wavy black hair. Even though we were good friends there was always an underlying sexual tension between us. Neither of us had acted on our baser impulses because we didn’t want to jeopardize our friendship. But that uneasy truce could end at any time.
“Little early for the ‘fuck me’ pumps, isn’t it?” she asked, making me feel more self-conscious than I already was. I tugged on my skirt to cover more of my knees.
“Forgot my shoes. Had to wear the pair I stashed after the last Christmas party.” It sounded lame because it was.
A broad smile washed across her face. “You mean the party where all the guys were drooling all over you?” I guess my dress that night was pretty revealing. What Prisha said was common knowledge in the office.
“The same. Although it wasn’t just guys.” I stood a bit straighter making my tits stand out even more. I could see that she was watching me. We liked to tease each other.
“You little slut. I knew you were a tease.” Her face showed true affection, and maybe more.
I had to change kaçak casino the subject before we escalated the obvious sexual overtones. “Got anything for me?” I asked, getting back to business.
“Just two.” She spun her desk chair around and picked up some paperwork off her desk. She handed me two slips of paper. I took a quick look at them – a $500,000 wire transfer to a bank in Frankfurt and a $1 million transfer to a bank in Grand Cayman, the largest of the islands making up the British Territory of the Cayman Islands.
“Going to see the Ice Maiden?” she asked, knowing the answer but wanting to give me another gentle poke.
“Yep. You know I have to.” The Ice Maiden was Doreen Johannson, the head of the interbank transfer department. Her department handled all of the wire transfers to and from our office. She was called that behind her back because of her icy exterior and her voluptuous body. Though she was the most attractive woman in the office, no one knew if she was straight or gay, as she had never brought a date to any of the firm functions, nor had she ever mentioned the existence of a boyfriend or a girlfriend.
“What’s her gig?” Prisha knew that I worked with Doreen on a daily basis. She was fishing for something that was gossip worthy.
I didn’t have anything. I would have shared it if I did. “I just think she’s wound a bit tight.”
“That’s being kind,” my Indian beauty said to me. “I heard that she practically bit the head off an intern who didn’t file the wire transfer forms to her liking – had him clean out his desk that day.”
“I heard that story. I’m not sure it’s true …”
“But she’s a looker. I’ve always wondered if she’s straight or if she’s gay.” Prisha was always on the prowl.
I threw up my hands. “I’ve never gotten a clue one way or another and I’m too chicken to ask.”
Prisha liked to gossip. She shared the only juicy tidbit she had. “Grace in accounting told me that she saw her at a gay bar in the East Village.” Prisha rattled off the name and the bar and the address.
I shrugged it off. “Grace told me the same thing, but you have to consider the source.”
Grace was the office gossip. You had to take everything she said with a grain of salt. I did.
Prisha wanted to continue talking about her favorite subject. Maybe she had a thing for the Ice Maiden. “Well … if she was gay I wouldn’t mind feasting on those luscious tits of hers. She’s a Scandinavian goddess in my book.”
“Prisha!” I admonished her. Her neighbors could hear our conversation if they wanted to.
“Fuck them,” Prisha said in a whisper. “I’m just saying what everyone’s thinking.”
I worked so closely and so long with Doreen that I stopped noticing what she was wearing or the perfume that she had on. But Prisha was right. I’d secretly lusted after Doreen as well, but my relationship with her was always strictly business, and I had long ago given up any hope of anything more.
I left Prisha’s cube and made the rounds with the other account managers, gathering a half dozen jumbo wire transfers that required wet signatures. Even though all of our transactions were ultimately completed electronically, transfers over $100,000 required two wet signatures on an approved transfer form and three signatures for transfers over $1 million. I was in charge of collecting all of the wire transfer orders, reconfirming the details with the initiating broker, collecting the signatures, and then delivering them in person to the interbank transfer department. On an average day, I would handle about $5 million in wire transfers.
I made the long walk to the interbank transfer department on the opposite side of the building. A bit unsteady on my high heels, I walked carefully down the long aisle that ran through the center of the building. I tried to avert my eyes from the men and women inside the cubes I passed who leered at me in my sexy heels.
I looked for Doreen. Even though she ruled the department with an iron fist and had a gruff exterior to match, I found in my five years working with her that she was much more pleasant than her office wide reputation. I never thought of her as an “Ice Maiden” and believed the moniker was undeserved. She was tough, but she was fair.
Doreen was fastidious in her wire transfer procedures and insisted that I hand the jumbo wire transfers directly to her, and her only. Her assistant, a male in his 20’s, and teddy bear cute, told me that she would be just a couple more minutes. Two guys standing by a cube, holding mugs of coffee, stole glances at me as I wobbled on my dressy heels.
I could see and hear her chattering in her office behind a closed glass door. She had Nordic blonde hair, and the morning sun caught it just right as she pivoted in her chair to look at me. She crooked her finger, which was my cue to go into her office. I opened the glass door and saw the same thing I saw every day for the last five years. Her desk was made of clear glass, and the only things on her desk were an in box that held her paper correspondence and a framed picture of her with the President of the company. Best as I could tell in the hundreds of times I’d been in her office, she had no personal life.
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