It Started With Christmas
Chapter 1: In The Bleak Midwinter
Caution: This Romantic Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa, Coercion, Consensual, Rape, Reluctant, Romantic, Fiction, Rough, Cream Pie, Oral Sex, Slow,
Desc: Romantic Sex Story: Chapter 1: In The Bleak Midwinter - Alex is at a turning point in life, and it's the holiday season. With no one to celebrate with, he hits the road. He is not sure where he is going, only that it will be somewhere different. A broken car leads him to new friends and the beginnings of a fresh start in life. This story (16 chapters and 60,000 words) is the first part in a series of stories about these characters. (The codes apply to the whole story, and not to the individual chapters. There is sex, but not until Chapter 5.)
I never wanted the damn car in the first place. It was too showy for me. And it wasn’t very practical. I mean, who drives a freaking convertible in Ottawa in the winter? But the guys had all pitched in and bought it for me as a thank you for signing off on the buyout package that left the four of them with jobs and each of us with a big pile of cash. They felt bad that out of the five of us, I was the only one who wouldn’t be working for the new company. I didn’t need a gift, especially this one, but I didn’t want to look ungrateful, so I took it in the spirit in which it was offered.
But I really never wanted the damn car in the first place. And I certainly didn’t want it on a cold and snowy Saturday afternoon, when it was stopped at the side of the 401, just outside of the city of Toronto, in one of Canada’s most economically depressed suburbs. I had to chuckle at the irony - of all the cities my foreign-built car could have broken down in, it would have to be the one that was built on the success of the Canadian automotive industry, and then went rapidly downhill when people started buying foreign-built cars. After that amusing thought passed, the frustration returned, and I slammed my hand on the leather-wrapped steering wheel and waited for the tow truck.
I suppose I should start at the beginning. My name’s Alex. Alex Williams. I’m just coming up on my fortieth birthday. For nearly 20 years now, four of my buddies and I have run a small software company in Canada’s answer to Silicon Valley, otherwise known as the country’s capital city of Ottawa. (Sure, California has wineries - but we have a canal you can skate on in the winter!) We met in university, and quickly realized we had some ideas that other people didn’t. Well, actually, they had ideas that other people didn’t. The other four were the tech geniuses. I was just a simple accounting student. But when we formed the company, we did it together, five equal partners. Four tech guys and a business guy. My job was to help them take their great ideas and see that we made some money from them.
For several years, we struggled, barely making the rent on our office, let alone paying out much in salaries to ourselves. But then we came up with some software that people were interested in, and last year, one of Canada’s biggest tech companies came calling. They wanted our patents, and our people - and they were willing to pay for them. They offered us a huge sum to buy us out, which included giving my four friends jobs in their organization. They didn’t want me - they had their own accountants. We talked it over, and while my buddies felt that I was getting the short end, I didn’t mind. I was ready for a change.
So we signed the deal, and split the proceeds five ways. After taxes, I had just under $3 million to invest. And of course I had been saving all along, so I had some other money in the bank as well. I wasn’t going to need to work much, if at all. My buddies decided that since they would have jobs and I wouldn’t, they’d buy me a gift. They chose the convertible, and gave it to me on the day we signed off on the preliminary agreement for the sale of the company.
While all this was happening, my personal life fell apart as well. My Dad died of a heart attack just after Christmas last year. In June, my mom decided life without him just wasn’t worth living, and she took enough pills to end her life. My older sister was furious, mostly with me. She thought I should have been able to see that Mom was depressed, and somehow prevent her suicide. So she stopped talking to me. She lives out in Vancouver with her husband and my niece, and they are now all the family I have, so this Christmas I was on my own. I’d never married. I’d dated some, but never found the right woman. My buddies all had significant others, and invited me over for Christmas, but I didn’t want to be an extra wheel.
So I jumped into the car on that Saturday morning with a week’s worth of clothes and nowhere in particular in mind to go. I just thought it would be easier to be alone for this first Christmas if I was someplace totally different from where I usually was or had been accustomed to be. I had planned to get into Toronto that night, maybe see if I could rent a girl to spend some time in my hotel room with me, then drive somewhere else on Christmas Eve - but where, I didn’t quite know.
That was the plan. Or at least, that had been the plan. Now I was stuck at the side of Canada’s busiest highway, on a cold, late Saturday afternoon, waiting for a tow truck. Snow was falling, snow on snow, on snow, on fucking snow. Screw it all, anyway.
A flashing light alerted me that help was here. The driver pulled in front of me, then got out to come and talk to me. I told him what had happened - that the car had started losing power, and before I could get off the highway, had died completely. The engine worked, but no power was getting to the wheels. He said it sounded like it might be the clutch - but we wouldn’t know till we got it to a garage. He recommended a mechanic to take it to, and I agreed - and soon he had my car unhitched from his rig and was headed off into the snowy afternoon with $150 of my cash in his pocket. The mechanic took a look, and confirmed that it was the clutch - and he said there’d be no way it could be fixed before Wednesday night at the earliest, assuming he could get parts by then. Tomorrow was Sunday, so his shop and most others would be closed - and then it would be Christmas, and then Boxing Day, and no work would be done those days either.
So there I was, a day and a half before Christmas, stuck in Oshawa, in the cold and snow. I could get a rental car, tomorrow, but for tonight I was stuck.
I decided that there was nothing to do but to make the best of it. I figured a mechanic would know his way around, so I asked him the name of a good nearby place where I could go for a bite to eat and a few drinks after a difficult day. He laughed, and offered me a ride to a place he knew not too far away. It didn’t look like much from the outside, he said, but it would be a good place to unwind. I accepted his offer of a lift, threw my suitcase into his pickup, and soon he had pulled up outside a small place with a sign out front that proclaimed it was “Johnny’s Tap and Grill”. I invited him in for a drink with me, but he said his girlfriend would be expecting him, so I slipped him a fifty for his trouble and headed in on my own.
He had warned me, when I asked about a pub, that Johnny’s was more of a bar than a pub, and I could see what he meant. There were a few tables around the outside of the place, and some booths at the far end, but most of the space was taken up by a large, square bar in the middle. The patrons were mostly male, mostly drinking bottled beer, and mostly looking like they’d had quite a bit of it already.
Behind the bar, there was a woman in her early twenties. Long brown hair, pulled back into a high ponytail. White blouse, buttoned down far enough to show more than a hint of cleavage. Tight black pants, which revealed a tempting butt when I got close enough to see it. And once I was seated, and she turned towards me, the biggest pair of brown eyes I had ever seen in my life. Definitely someone worth spending some time watching. I climbed onto a stool.
“What can I get you?”
“Rum and Coke.”
She brought it over, with a menu. I took a gulp.
“That tastes good. Been one of those days. What do you recommend off the menu?”
“Depends on what you’re looking for. Chef does an amazing Greek salad - cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, really good feta. And we’re known for our wings. If you want dinner, the grilled salmon is great, and the chicken pasta with the mushroom sauce is always popular.”
“Thanks. Um ... Greek salad? And some wings? Medium?”
“Done. Salad first or all together?”
She smiled. I guess she heard lots of lines from guys at this place - but it seemed like that might have been a new one.
The salad came out first, and a nod at my empty glass got me a second rum and Coke. She was right - the salad was good. Fresh, real tasting veggies, light dressing, and the feta melted in my mouth. The wings, accompanied by some celery and carrots and a great blue cheese dressing - not that ghastly ranch some places serve! - were meaty, without much fat, and cooked to perfection. And the third rum and Coke arrived to wash them down. She had earned a decent tip.
As she cleared the wing plate she asked, “Do you need anything else?”
“Not at the moment. Though you can keep an eye on this glass, please.”
“Ok. If you need anything, just shout. I’m Jessica, by the way. I’ll be here till we lock up.”
“Alex. And thanks. You’ve been great.”
I sat at that bar for the rest of the night. She flirted a bit, in that way that young servers sometimes do with guys my age - the kind of flirting that is not intended to go anywhere or do anything except to make the guy feel like he’s worth flirting with. And it worked. I wasn’t hitting on her. I mean, my original plan for the night had involved finding some female company, but I didn’t expect her to be it. I’m not one of those guys who assumes that any girl that is serving me drinks is waiting for me to take her to bed.
But we did talk. She was working, and had other customers to serve, but as it turned out, I had chosen the stool directly opposite the one she sat in on the other side of the bar when she had a few minutes to get off her feet. The conversation was broken, but we learned a bit about each other. She started it off, by asking what had happened today that made it “one of those days.” So I told her about the car, and that led to questions about where I was headed, and why I was spending Christmas alone. I didn’t go into all the details, but gave her the Coles notes version. I left out that part about being rich, and didn’t say what kind of car I was driving. But by the end of the night she knew that there was no one in my life to spend the holidays with, and that I was likely to be spending them right here, alone, in this ex-industrial town.
The conversation went both ways, and by the end of the night I had learned that Jessica was 23 years old, and that her parents, like mine, were dead. She had a sister, still in high school, who was in Jessica’s care. This job kept the bills paid, mostly, though she had some outstanding debt piling up, and Christmas wasn’t going to be as good for the two girls this year as it had been in the past. She regretted that, especially since she knew how much her sister, Kate, loved the holidays.
Between the bits of chat, and the pleasant scenery to look at as she went about her work, the night passed quickly, and soon it was almost closing time. I knew perfectly well that I’d had way too much to drink, but I wasn’t driving, so I wasn’t worried. All I had to do was get outside and into a cab, and let the driver find me a hotel. I’d asked Jessica for recommendations, and she gave me a couple of locations, and said that there would be several cabs waiting outside the bar as they closed up.
She brought the bill over, and I was pleased to see that she’d added a thank you and a heart before signing her name. I didn’t read anything into that - she likely did it for all her customers - but it showed that she took the time to put something of herself onto the piece of paper, and I appreciated that. I’d had enough to drink that the bill came to over $75, so I counted out four twenties and tucked them into the folder. That would cover the tab, though not a tip.
Then I thought about those big brown eyes, and how sad they got when she talked about what Christmas would be like that year. I know money can’t solve all the problems of the world, but it solves some of them. And I wanted those eyes to be happy when she got home to her little sister, after a night of looking after a pile of demanding customers. So I pulled two hundreds out of my wallet, and tucked them into the folder as well, while her back was turned. I flipped the bill over, wrote “Merry Christmas” on it, and pulled on my coat. I called out a thank you and a good night, and then headed out into the cold and snow.
There was only one cab there, and a couple of very loud drunk guys were trying to get into it. The driver rolled down his window, called out that more cars were on the way, and then he pulled out. I zipped my coat a bit higher and stood against the wall to get out of the wind, and waited.
And then the door of the bar opened, and Jessica stuck her head out. She motioned me over.
“Alex? I’m glad I caught you. You’ve left way too much money. I can’t keep all this. Please, take it back.”
I smiled at her.
“I left what I meant to leave. And of course you can keep it. I’m not taking it back. Buy something nice for yourself and your little sister. And Merry Christmas.”
She leaned in, then, and gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek. Then she pulled back and looked at me for a minute. Those brown eyes did look happier. Mission accomplished. And, as a bonus, I even got to see them looking happier, which I had not been anticipating that I’d be able to do. Score.
“Um. You’re heading to a hotel, right? The ones down in this end of the city aren’t very nice. Some of them have bedbugs, and maybe even worse things. I don’t live far from here, and we don’t have much space - but you’re welcome to come home with me, if you want? You can sleep on the couch? It’s not much - but you won’t take home any hidden passengers, if you know what I mean.”
“Jessica, I gave you that money as a gift and a tip. I wasn’t trying to buy anything from you, you know.”
“I know. And I’m not selling anything. I just thought you might like to...”
We looked at each other, silently, for a half minute or so. I wanted to be clear that I understood what she was offering.
“I’d love to come home with you and take you up on your offer of the couch.”
“Ok, come back in for a sec while I grab my stuff.”
So I stepped back into the bar, and waited by the door, and a few minutes later Jessica reappeared, with a coat and hat on and a purse over her shoulder.
“Goodnight, John!” she shouted, and we headed out together into the night.
We headed off across the parking lot, and then up the street. I hadn’t packed my suitcase for carrying it long distances, but I would manage.
“It’s only a couple of blocks,” she said. “We’ll be out of this wind before you know it.”
Other than that, neither of us said much. I think we were both wondering what on earth we were doing. This was out of character for both of us.
Jessica was right - it didn’t take long to walk to her place. We turned off the street and walked up the steps to a lowrise brick building, that looked like it had been built in the 1950s. Inside, it was clean, but worn. She led me to the stairs, and we went up two flights, and then down a short hallway. And as we reached her door, she stopped, and looked at me. Those eyes. I could get lost in those eyes.
“Look,” she said, “I don’t do things like this. Bring guys home, I mean. In fact, this is the first time I’ve ever done this. And I’m not always a good judge of character. I’ve messed up before. So ... um ... what I’m trying to say is ... Oh shit. I don’t know why I did this.”
“Jessica, I can leave if you want. Let me call a cab, and I am out of here.”
“No, that’s not what I want. I want you to come in. Really. But I’m not inviting you in to sleep with you.”
“That’s fine. You offered me the couch, remember?”
“Yes, I know. But ... I wanted to be clear. I don’t want you to think I’m leading you on. You seem nice. I want to get to know you a bit better. But ... um ... if I am wrong, and you’re not nice? Promise me something. Let me get my sister out of here. If you are going to hurt me, well, then, I guess I shouldn’t have been stupid enough to bring you home. But please don’t hurt Katelyn. Don’t hurt her because I’ve been dumb.”
I put my arms around her then. It might not have been the best thing to do. But I did it anyway.
“Jessica, I have no intention of hurting you. You offered me the couch, and I’m assuming you won’t be sleeping on it with me. And I give you my word - I will not harm your sister. I promise.”
She relaxed then, and turned, and unlocked the door.
The apartment was small - just a livingroom with a dinette table in one end, with a doorway from there leading into the kitchen, and a hallway with a bathroom and what I guessed was a bedroom at the other end. The bedroom door was closed. There was a small, artificial Christmas tree in one corner of the livingroom. I noticed that there were no presents under it.
Jessica took my coat and hung it up, and showed me how to pull the couch out. I did that while she got sheets and a blanket and some pillows. Then she said that she was wiped and was going to bed, and that she’d look forward to talking some more in the morning. She led me to the bathroom door, gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek, and then went into her bedroom. I brushed my teeth, peed, then pulled off my pants and shirt. I pulled on a t-shirt, and climbed into bed in that and my boxers. I figured it wasn’t the right time or the right place to sleep nude, as I usually did. As I tried to get comfortable, I heard someone come out of the bedroom and into the bathroom. A few minutes later they retraced their steps. And as I lay there in the darkness, feeling the lumps and the springs of that pull-out couch, I wondered just what the hell I was doing there.