Alexis Sampson walked down the familiar corridor of Dirks Financial, her long-time workplace in suburban St. Louis, with a late elementary aged brunette girl in a T-shirt and jeans walking next to her, shyly leering ahead awaiting the formal arrival of the cube farm where Alexis toiled all day. A middle-aged man looked at Alexis and the young girl and smiled.
“Hey Keith!” Alexis greeted, then looked towards the girl. “I’d like to introduce you to my daughter Hannah.”
Keith smiled at Hannah and introduced himself as she meekly shook his hand, and then looked back up to Alexis. “Ah yes. Take Your Daughter To Work Day,” he muttered aloud, remembering he had seen that late April occasion on his calendar and quickly connected the dots of why Alexis brought the girl there.
“Yeah I figured it would be a good day to have her here,” Alexis said, motioning her eyes towards the manager’s office but leaving Keith a little confused what specifically she was talking about.
Alexis made the rounds for the next few minutes, introducing Hannah to all the coworkers in her department, with the girl warming up very quickly to the adults she was being introduced to. Finally, the two of them stepped into Alexis’s cubicle and she noticed Hannah sniffing curiously, wrinkling her nose a bit at the unusual and vaguely offensive odor that she had been smelling since walked into the cube farm area but which had grown even more intense as she worked her way closer to the manager’s office.
“What’s that smell?” Hannah finally asked her mom, curiosity having gotten the better of her.
“Don’t worry about it…musty office smell,” Alexis responded dismissively, carefully avoiding informing Hannah that the offensive odor was the stench of stale cigar smoke coming from the manager’s office right across the partition. Alexis figured Hannah would quickly get used to the smell and nothing more would be said of it for the rest of the day, particularly since “the manager” was gonna be out for the day.
Alexis began to settle in and begin with her work projects on the computer when a familiar female voice on the horizon startled her to an alarmed state of attention. It was Breanna’s voice! She was talking to one of the other workers on her way into the office.
“What’s she doing here today??!?!” Alexis muttered in a loud whisper to coworker Stephanie in the adjacent cubicle. “Doesn’t she do collections on Thursdays?”
“Not on the last Thursday of the month,” Stephanie answered as faintly as possible, which triggered Alexis’s memory. She had figured it would be a safe day to bring Hannah into the office free of Breanna’s presence, but was now desperately dreading that choice and kicking herself for forgetting the “last Thursday of the month” scheduling anomaly.
The clicks of the high heels approaching the cubicle served as a requiem leading to the inevitable as Alexis slowly came to terms with the reality that Breanna would soon be rearing her head. And sure enough, the heel shuffle came to an abrupt stop as the college-age brunette manager stepped into Alexis’ cubicle. Breanna was decked out in her most common office wardrobe selection, a candy-apple red blouse with a black leather miniskirt and long, smooth legs showed off under the skirt’s hemline. And as always, a massive half-smoked cigar protruded from Breanna’s clutched jaws.
“Alexis, I’m gonna need that Williams account information by noon,” Breanna stuttered as smoothly as possible through the cigar perched between her teeth before she even made eye contact with the suddenly wide-eyed young girl looking up at her with a stunned curiosity.
A blast of dirty cigar smoke spewed out of Breanna’s mouth, flowing around the sides of the huge tobacco stick in the center of her mouth and filling the airspace of the cubicle very quickly. Hannah instantly identified the source of the foul smell she took note of when she walked in the office and she couldn’t take her eyes of this very unusual young woman standing in front of her exuding such authority and power.
“Well, hello there young lady,” Breanna said in a friendly but slightly condescending tone, quietly scolding herself for leaving an “old lady” first impression on this 11-year-old girl. She changed her tone to seem more like the girl’s contemporary when she made eye contact with her and added, “You must be Hannah. I’ve heard your mom mention you.”
Alexis grudgingly made the formal introduction of her daughter to “Breanna the manager”, barely able to hide the contempt in her voice for Breanna generally and more specifically for the fact that she accidentally exposed her young daughter to this vile young woman who slithered her way into management of her department entirely due to nepotism. But it took Alexis a moment to realize the instant connection that Breanna and Hannah made amidst this introduction…
Hannah’s eyes were as large as saucers as she looked over Breanna, admiring her feminine yet powerful presentation. And Breanna was picking upon Hannah’s youthful fascination with her, which was more intense even than the lay person’s typical first impression of her. The look on Hannah’s face as she surveyed Breanna from head to toe took Breanna back to her own childhood and her early fascination with seeing some of her father’s clients smoking big cigars. The encounter only lasted about 30 seconds before Alexis effectively shooed Breanna away so she could “get going on that Williams account”, but as Breanna walked out of the cubicle, she made sure she sent a final huge blast of cigar smoke flowing from her lips and strutted her hips just a little more than usual, knowing that Hannah was watching every nanosecond of it.
Breanna felt good as she stepped into her manager’s office and took her chair behind the big oak desk that was now officially and permanently hers. She propped her feet up on the desk and leaned back in her chair to enjoy the moment, pulling a huge draw from the cigar perched at an upward angle in her mouth. It had been more than three months now since she was bequeathed this managerial position. She had began her junior year of college the prior fall, but after the enriching and empowering summer job leading the collections department at her father’s company, the fall schedule full of business classes leading up to a degree she didn’t really feel she needed just wasn’t cutting it for her anymore….so she put her education on hold and talked her father into bringing her on full time at Dirks Financial. With the success Breanna had in extracting the collections during her summer internship, Breanna’s father didn’t hesitate in taking the opportunity to bring her on as head of the department full-time all before she even turned 21, much as he wanted her to finish her education first. But Breanna continued to have the old man wrapped around her finger, getting what she wanted much to the passionate consternation of her coworkers who all despised her for seemingly infinite reasons…
And while most of the coworkers had come to accept that Breanna would be part of the department’s landscape for the foreseeable future, Alexis remained the most visibly hostile. She and Breanna just didn’t see eye to eye and it led to a few public spats, all of which Breanna obviously had the upper hand with given her position. Alexis resented it and Breanna got off on the power differential, yet ultimately respecting her more than anyone else in the office for occasionally standing up to her. Breanna loved a worthy sparring partner….so long as the outcome of the sparring match was never in doubt.
About 45 minutes passed and Breanna became immersed in her work. While the encounter with young Hannah earlier in the day had perked up Breanna’s morning, she had completely forgotten the girl was in the office. She leaned back in her chair with just the stub of her cigar remaining, taking a couple of final puffs before removing it from her mouth and flinging it into the large glass ashtray on her desk, the smoldering and still-moist cigar resting a top a pyramid of cigar butts Breanna let pile up just to annoy her coworkers. She quickly became overcome with sexual desire, her raging libido reaching one of its semiregular moments where she could contain it no longer. She smiled and reached towards her desk for the bell that was all too familiar to everybody in the office, dinging it twice to alert the necessary party that his services would be required…
The dinging of the bell elicited another curious response from Hannah, whose ears perked up first at the bell itself and then at the immediate rustling of feet from the cubicle across the hall. Curiosity finally got the best of Hannah, particularly after picking up on her mother’s terrified body language, and she asked “What’s the bell for?”
“Nothing!” Alexis muttered dismissively, not wanting to explain any of what the bell could potentially represent to Hannah. She tried to remain calm and told herself even Breanna wouldn’t misbehave too badly knowing a child was so closeby, and crossed her fingers that all Breanna wanted from her “secretary” was a light.
A nicely dressed, dark-complected young man stepped into Breanna’s office and could tell by Breanna’s body language that this service call would likely involve more than just firing up a butane lighter.
“Antonio, could you lock the door and shut the blinds,” Breanna requested in a mildly seductive tone, admiring the buff body of the early 20s Latino man in his suit as he attended to Breanna’s request, locking the office door and turning the dial to shut the blinds. Neither of them even realized that the blinds were not fully closed when Antonio turned around to face a smiling Breanna as she used a guillotine to clip the end of her next cigar. With a wry smirk on his face, Antonio picked up the butane lighter and began applying the flame to the end of Breanna’s cigar.
Breanna maintained an immensely flirty eye contact with Antonio, quietly congratulating herself again for hiring him. Her personal assistant from the prior summer, Chad, had quickly moved onto another department within Dirks Financial soon after Breanna returned to school. But she jumped at the opportunity to hire another personal assistant in January when she came back to work, this time going with “tall, dark, and handsome” over Captain America. Like Chad, the arrangement required frequent gratification of Breanna’s basest sexual urges. Unlike Chad, Breanna could tell Antonio had no hesitation whatsoever with his role as Breanna’s erstwhile sextoy. After a few moments of toasting her cigar with the lighter, Breanna inserted the giant tobacco stick in her mouth and ingested her first snootful of smoke. She then aggressively grabbed Antonio by his silky tie and pulled him towards her, exhaling a blast of cigar smoke into his face from inches away while maintaining her tight grip on his tie.
“Whatcha got to say for yourself?” Breanna playfully inquired.
“Just taking care of whatever you want me to take care of ma’am”, Antonio responded, laying on thick his Latin accent that drove Breanna wild.
Breanna pulled him even closer to mutter, “Why don’t you take care of removing my panties!” a haze of cigar smoke lurking in front of Antonio’s face that briefly took him aback.
Breanna began to lay Antonio flat on his back on top of her desk, removing his belt and then his pants as Antonio reached up Breanna’s leather skirt and hooked the underside of her panties with his index finger, slowly pulling them down until they slid down her legs and fell to the floor. Breanna pulled off Antonio’s boxers and now they were fully exposed to each other, Antonio allowing himself to rest on his back atop the desk as Breanna climbed on top of his body with a primal animal lust. She hiked up her skirt and lowered her moist vagina to his erect cock and moaned with pleasure with the first penetration. Breanna initiated additional penetrations from there, riding him on the desk and moaning loudly with pleasure through the freshly lit cigar that remained clutched in her jaws, bursts of smoke blasting from her mouth with every breath.
As usual, the entire office was able to hear what was going on in the manager’s office despite the locked door, and it was particularly audible in the adjacent cubicle where Alexis sat with her 11-year-old daughter. Hannah’s ears perked up at the passionate sexual moans coming from next door and looked at her mom with a vaguely confused look.
“What’s that?” Hannah formally asked, being aware of the sounds of sex from watching R-rated movies but not really putting together that that was going on in a formal office setting like this. Seeing the distressed look on her mom’s face, Hannah began to realize she likely was hearing what she thought she was hearing.
“It’s nothing, Hannah. Why don’t you go to the bathroom?” Alexis responded.
“But I don’t have to go,” Hannah fired back, just to keep the exchange going longer to maximize mom’s discomfort.
“Please just go!” Alexis exclaimed with urgency. “Take two right turns in the hall and you should find it.”
Hannah shrugged, pretending to have no idea why her mom wanted her to vacate the office but ultimately obeying the command, turning right as advised outside the cubicle. She slow-walked her way down the hallway but could still hear the sex noises coming from the manager’s office. She looked over her shoulder, realizing she was out of her mother’s line of vision, and decided to backpedal and see if she could get a look inside the manager’s office.
Hannah doubled back down the hallway, tiptoeing past her mom’s cubicle until she was in front of the manager’s office window and relatively isolated from anybody’s observation. Since Antonio hadn’t fully closed the blinds, there were multiple small cracks for Hannah to leer into and she leaned forward to do just that, getting a full visual of sexual intercourse on the desk inside the office. It was a new and exhilarating experience as Hannah was able to put faces and bodies to the passionate moans she’d been hearing. As powerful as Breanna had looked during their introduction an hour earlier, she looked orders of magnitude more powerful now, thrusting her body atop this beefcake young man lying on her desk, clutching her cigar between her teeth for the duration of the intercourse. Hannah couldn’t take her eyes off of the performance and found herself wishing she could be 10 years older so she could live Breanna’s life.
Ultimately, it was Hannah’s leering saucer-shaped eyes that told on her though. Perhaps sensing she was being watched, Breanna’s attention was diverted to the silhouette hovering beyond the blinds. She was briefly distracted from her passionate intercourse as she focused her vision on that silhouette and eventually noticed an innocent young eyeball staring at her through the glass.
“Shit!” Breanna exclaimed between moans when she quickly put two and two together that it was Alexis’s young daughter who was watching her. Breanna had completely forgotten the girl was there and was uncharacteristically embarrassed and ashamed for a hot second, but as she could feel herself about to climax, her own needs once again came first as she ground in harder to Antonio’s throbbing cock knowing that a steaming load of his seed was about to defy gravity and erupt into her oval orifice as she dominated him from above.
Hannah was so mesmerized watching this performance and listening to the escalation as Breanna climaxed that she lost her balance and fell forward, using her hand to catch herself on the glass and making just enough of a noise to draw the attention of her mother. By the time Hannah regained her footing, Alexis had stepped out of her cubicle and spotted Hannah leering into the manager’s office window.
“I told you to go to the bathroom, damn it!” Alexis exclaimed with an exasperated fury, walking over to grab Hannah by the arm and pull her away. Hannah quietly submitted as her mom continued to bark at her and physically nudge her in the direction of the bathroom. This time, Hannah went along with the directive and walked away, but nonetheless feeling pretty electric about the first sexual encounter she ever witnessed.
Alexis returned to her cubicle, aware that everyone in the office had heard what had happened. She broke down for a moment, allowing some tears to flow and feeling responsible for exposing her daughter to this office circus simply because she didn’t realize her “boss from hell” would be there today.
Alexis cried for about a minute before regaining her composure, just in time to hear the manager’s office door open. First to step out was Antonio, once again fully clothed and quietly slinking back to his cubicle. Stepping out next was Breanna, still tussling her disheveled post-copulation hair and adjusting her blouse and the hemline of her leather skirt. It was gonna be painful to serve up a mea culpa to her office nemesis, but Breanna realized one was forthcoming in this instance, stepping into Alexis’s cubicle. Breanna could tell Alexis had been sobbing as she looked up with even more contempt than usual at the attractive but entitled brunette hovering above her with yet another giant cigar in her mouth.
“I had forgotten your daughter was here. I’m sorry,” Breanna said concisely before a quick but silent moment of eye contact before turning around and heading back in the direction of her office. Alexis sat there stewing, feeling almost more insulted by Breanna’s curt apology than if nothing had been said at all. Alexis had gotten used to suffering Breanna’s near-daily abuse in silence in the last few months, recognizing that position of power in the company ensured that she would almost always lose if she took on the boss. But Alexis always figured if she chose her battles well, there may one day come a time where it would be effective. The sorrow on Alexis’s face morphed into a vengeful sneer as she came to the conclusion that a lame apology wasn’t gonna cut it for Breanna this time. Alexis was choosing this as the battle where she formally took her stand, and if it worked out, she anticipated that there would soon be fireworks.
The following morning, Alexis got to the office early, having set in motion the evening before the long-coming encounter that she wanted to be completely sure she didn’t miss. She figured Breanna would come rolling in anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour late as she usually did, but that would only be more time to build suspense for the moment that had been coming for nearly a year. She kept her ears peeled for the usual clicking of high heels strutting down the hallway accompanied by the odor of fresh cigar smoke, and at nearly 9 a.m., the desired moment of arrival finally came. It was the first time Alexis had ever looked forward to the arrival of Breanna Dirks.
As she did almost every morning, Breanna turned into Alexis’s cubicle to convey a few quick work-related comments, a routine that Alexis knew Breanna got off on since she was able to start the day throwing around her considerable weight. But as Breanna spouted off her morning orders today, she immediately gleaned a different energy from Alexis. The usual defeated vibe was replaced with a smugness that threw Breanna off her game. Alexis nodded agreeably to the work terms Breanna requested and all but nudged Breanna to go into her office.
Breanna turned around with a vaguely freaked-out feeling and seconds later as she stepped into her office, that feeling was validated as she saw her father–company CEO John Dirks–seated in her chair.
“Daddy! What are you doing here?” a startled Breanna inquired.
“Close the door, Breanna. We gotta talk,” John responded with an ominous tone, and before he even began talking, Breanna knew this was Alexis’s backlash against the incident from yesterday.
As Breanna closed the door behind her and approached the chair at the less powerful end of the desk, her father attempted to maintain his stern look of disappointment, but seeing Breanna’s exaggerated look of concern coupled with the all-white ensemble she was wearing that could not have contrasted more starkly with her corruption of innocence, John couldn’t help but crack a pitied smile.
“Honey, I received a very troubling complaint last night from one of your employees. It was reported that you had sexual relations here in your office with Antonio Acosta, your personal assistant. That would be bad enough on its own but it was also reported that this is a pattern of behavior with you…and that yesterday there was a young child in the department who heard and witnessed it.”
John paused and Breanna sat quietly, her silence and the look on her face giving away her guilt.
“Do you understand that this is fireable offense in just about any workplace?” John continued.
Breanna maintained her silence but nodded affirmatively, bellowing out plumes of cigar smoke that rapidly began to fill the room.
“So I’ll ask you straight up if the accusations are true.”
Breanna took a rare moment to compose herself, scrambling for the best approach to this moment of reckoning before finally saying, “It’s true that Antonio and I hooked up….but I didn’t know the kid was around. I’m sorry, daddy!”
John’s look of disappointment deepened as he had held out hope as he always did that the rumors about his daughter’s inappropriate workplace activities weren’t true. “Well I fired Antonio right away this morning. As for you, I think this is the perfect opportunity for you to return to school and do some growing up. Maybe when you’re done with school, there will be a place for you here.”
“No!” Breanna pleaded. “It was a mistake, daddy. You fired Antonio so you know it won’t happen again! Take a look at the accounts from last summer and so far this year. Nobody is as good at this job as I am.”
As usual, the least little bit of charm and manipulation on Breanna’s part was clearly working on John, odd as it continued to be for John to watch “daddy’s little girl” plead for her job with a big cigar in her mouth. “How can I expect to be respected by my other employees if I let you get away with this? They know that they wouldn’t be able to get away with it so how can I let you?”
The situation was getting precarious. Breanna still suspected she could charm her father into keeping her on the payroll, but knew she’d have to lay it on thick. A hangdog look emerged on her face and she began sobbing.
“I know it was wrong…I guess I just got caught up in a mindset of ‘work hard and play harder’,” Breanna enunciated as well as possible knowing that between the waterworks and the cigar in her mouth, her words might not be overly audible. “My top priority was making the family company proud with my hard work and I feel like I’ve held up my end of the bargain with that. My receipts speak for themselves! And while I acknowledge that I messed up, I feel like I bring more to this position than the average applicant and that it would be an even bigger mistake to fire me because of my mistake.”
Breanna ended her plea, although she was working together some further arguments if needed as she had no intention of letting her father leave that office having fired her. It didn’t appear as though she’d have to resort to additional pleas though as she could see the gears grinding on her sympathetic father’s face. She stepped up her waterworks one last time knowing it would most likely seal the deal, and sure enough, John got up out of his chair and sat on the chair next to Breanna, consoling his weeping daughter. She had him right where she wanted him as she buried her head in his shoulder.
“One more chance,” John whispered. “You’ve proven your worth here and I should be able to dismiss one lapse in judgment.”
Breanna’s eyes lit up and she looked up at her father. “Thank you so much, daddy. I promise that I’ll make you proud again!” she added before hugging him again, continuing to puff away on her cigar every step of the exchange. Held tight in Breanna’s extended embrace, John found himself desperate for refuge from the unbearable assault of his daughter’s cigar smoke the completely engulfed him. Being years removed from the presence of tobacco smoke pretty much everywhere except in the presence of Breanna, John found it increasingly intolerable to be around it and came close to speaking up that he won’t fire Breanna so long as she makes the additional concession of no longer smoking in the office, but as she pulled away from the hug to reveal her puppy dog eyes again, he decided not to rock the boat.
After a few more hugs and few more tears, John walked out of Breanna’s office as quietly as possible so as not to kick the beehive with Alexis and some other disgruntled employees who wouldn’t appreciate the special treatment he was giving his daughter. And only moments after John left the office, Breanna’s face flipped like a switch from daddy’s little girl to vengeful vixen. She sat back in her chair, puffing on her cigar with her mind very obviously deep in thought. In all honesty, she could have taken or left this particular job and knew that with minimal effort she could have restored the situation with her father even if he had elected to fire her. But Breanna fought so hard to keep this job for one simple reason….to keep Alexis from thinking she got the better of this grudge match. The early stages of a long plan were rolling through Breanna’s mind, but she knew what the first step would have to be….
She got up out of her chair and walked over to Alexis’s cubicle. A victorious smirk flared across Alexis’s face as Breanna walked in, with Breanna stopping in her tracks and staring for a couple of moments hoping she could intimidate. Alexis had hoped John would fire Breanna but figured that was a long shot. Now it was just a matter of enjoying this moment before the painful payback that would inevitably follow. She didn’t know what to expect but was surprised when all Breanna said was “I’m putting out a new schedule for the next month or so. Some people’s hours will change, including yours. Expect to be working some nights.”
Breanna turned around and walked back to her office. Alexis knew that wouldn’t be the last of the payback and it would definitely suck to make arrangements with her ex-husband to look after Hannah on school nights with Alexis now poised to be working late most nights, but she figured it still a small price to pay for landing a punch on Breanna. For her part, Breanna figured Alexis was breathing a sigh of relief about the limited magnitude of the retaliation, but just like Breanna’s father when she made her emotional appeal, Breanna had Alexis right where she wanted her.
Breanna dedicated her entire weekend to searching through Alexis’s employee file for personal information and contacts, as well as online stalking of Hannah’s social media sites. The stars seemed to be aligning early on. She had heard Alexis mention before that her ex-husband took Hannah on nights when she worked late or had other plans, and it turned out after her records search that Alexis’s ex-husband lived only a mile from Breanna’s house, far closer than Alexis lived from her. Breanna familiarized herself with the music and TV shows that Hannah talked about favorably on social media, and after learning that Hannah was a collector of dolphin collectibles, Breanna proceeded to express-order dozens of her own dolphin-related items from online. As they began arriving at her doorstep, Breanna dedicated hours redecorating her home with dolphin bedsheets, dolphin table mats, and dolphin curtains, effectively turning everything she owned into a dolphin shrine.
Come Monday afternoon, she cut out of work early to do some in-person stalking of Hannah. Even the shameless Breanna felt more than a tad sketchy while doing surveillance on this 11-year-old child, but she kept reminding herself to keep the eye on the prize and not let a conscience get in the way of her epic endgame. Breanna lurked in her car across the street from Hannah’s elementary school waiting for afternoon dismissal, positioning her car in a spot where she figured Hannah would likely emerge en route to her father’s place. As the students began pouring outside, Breanna kept a laser focus to be sure she didn’t miss Hannah and within a few minutes, she spotted the cute dark brunette girl who reminded her so much of herself when she was in fifth grade. Hannah rode her bike off the school campus and headed in the direction that Breanna expected her to, pedaling down the residential streets while Breanna creepily followed block by block. On the ride back to her dad’s place, Hannah stopped at a 7-11 and came out with a soft drink and a snack.
Breanna returned to Hannah’s school the following afternoon and was pleased to see that Hannah was a creature of habit, taking the same route home on her bike and going to the same 7-11 for a snack and a beverage. The stars continued to align for Breanna’s plan, and she since she was working with a fairly compressed timeline, she decided the following day would be the time to put her leg work to the test and make her first introduction.
On Wednesday afternoon, Breanna again excused herself from work a few hours early, parking in the 7-11 lot near the time of school dismissal and looking over her shoulder for an approaching bicycle with a cute 11-year-old brunette riding. When she saw the bike on the horizon about a block away, Breanna jumped out of her car and headed inside the store, picking up an iced coffee drink and getting in line to pay for it. As she handed over her cash for the iced coffee to the clerk, she could see Hannah’s bike approaching the front of the store. Everything was working out perfectly as Breanna reached into her purse to extract another cigar, a guillotine to cut it, and a butane lighter. She opened the gas station door and stepped outside, pretending not to notice Hannah as she clipped off the end of her cigar and approached the flame of her lighter to the other end. She toasted the cigar for about 30 seconds while Hannah parked her bike and she timed it perfectly to approach the cigar to her lips to take the first puff just as Hannah walked towards the store entrance and saw her.
Hannah’s familiar innocent eyes swelled to saucer shape as she made eye contact with Breanna, wearing the same red blouse and black leather skirt ensemble she wore the previous week. Hannah remained silent while Breanna played it as cool as possible, saying “Hey I know you,” in a casual yet friendly tone. “Hannah right?”
“Yeah. And you’re…..Breanna?” Hannah responded, pretending to not remember the name of the young woman who left such a huge impression on her six short days earlier.
“Good memory,” Breanna said with a smile, filling the spring air with a blast of cigar smoke, the smell of which Hannah still don’t know whether she liked or hated. “Are you on your way home from school?”
Hannah nodded in the affirmative, “My dad lives close to here. I’m staying with him till my mom picks me up. She’s working late this week,” Hannah added, apparently not connecting the dots that Breanna’s scheduling was the reason Alexis was working late for the foreseeable future.
“Well that should be fun staying with your dad for awhile,” Breanna added, continuing to display some serious performance art with her cigar, correctly suspecting that Hannah was intrigued by it.
Hannah shrugged. “Sort of. My stepmom is a witch.”
Breanna gave a sympathetic look and then decided that her introduction went well and her plan would be best served if she didn’t push her luck in their first encounter, bidding Hannah a good afternoon and walking towards her car. Breanna had it arranged to where the second she turned the key, her MP3 player would start blasting a Shawn Mendes song. Just as Hannah was about to enter the store, the music from her favorite singer diverted her attention. Breanna saw Hannah looking her way as she pulled out, waving goodbye to Hannah with the freshly lit cigar protruding from her face. Breanna was thrilled at how well this encounter went…and looked forward to an encore the following afternoon.
Thursday afternoon, same time, same place, Breanna was once again waiting for her preteen prey. Once she saw Hannah’s bike on the horizon, Breanna raced into the 7-11 for another iced coffee, hoping Hannah would hold to her routine and, as she paid her money for the iced coffee at the counter, being thrilled to see she was. Breanna was firing up another cigar as she stepped outside, once again making eye contact with Hannah and getting the same intrigued but slightly confused response.
Breanna laughed upon seeing Hannah again, puffing on her cigar to formally bring it to life after the light-up, really pushing her luck asking Hannah with a laugh, “Geez girl, are you stalking me or something?”
“Nooo” Hannah responded playfully. “I just stop here for some chips and pop after school.”
Breanna nodded, while exhaling a plume of cigar smoke to maximum visual effect, this time decked out in a casual T-shirt and cutoffs instead of her work outfit, today going for a slightly more girl-next-door image for Hannah’s benefit. “I come here every day for iced coffee on my way home from work. I’m getting off earlier in the afternoon for awhile so we might be seeing a lot of each other around here.”
“That’s cool,” Hannah responded, genuinely intrigued with Breanna and getting some gratification from these repeated “chance encounters”.
Breanna then finally commented on the dolphin decal she noticed hanging from the handle bars of Hannah’s bike. “I like that dolphin on your bike? Are you into dolphin stuff?”
Hannah’s eyes perked up. “Oh yeah!” she exclaimed. “A couple of summers ago, I went to SeaWorld with my mom and I’ve been collecting dolphin stuff ever since.”
“You’re kidding!” Breanna exclaimed, feigning surprise. “Check my car over there. First on the rearview mirror,” Breanna used her cigar to point in the direction of the car.
Hannah squinted while looking in the direction of Breanna’s car, a smile developing on her face as she noticed a very similar dolphin as the one on her bike.
“Now check out the back,” Breanna said, leading Hannah to encircle her car and notice the bumper stickers and tire flaps that also featured dolphins which that Breanna just put on a few days ago. “I got interested the same way you did. I went to SeaWorld with my parents as a young girl”, she added, telling at least a half truth as she did have vague memories of a SeaWorld vacation with her parents when she was about seven years old.
“That’s so cool that we’re both into dolphins.” Hannah responded.
“I know,” Breanna said, pausing to work up the nerve to reel in the fish. “I actually have an entire house full of this stuff. If you’d ever want to come by and see it, I’d be happy to show it to you.”
Hannah froze in a panic, wanting to take Breanna up on the offer while watching the pretty 20-year-old ingest and then release another messy puff from her large cigar. “I don’t know.”
Breanna sensed the combination of interest and reluctance and opted to use some of the same tactics she had successfully employed to manipulate her father the previous week. “Oh I’m sorry…didn’t mean to put you on the spot. Just figured maybe hanging out with me would keep you away from that bitch stepmom of yours a while longer.”
Hannah laughed and agreed. “But what about my bike?”
“I can just put it in the back of my car…if you want to visit my place. Again, no pressure.”
Hannah contorted her mouth, weighing the pros and cons of the offer, but clearly moving closer and closer in the direction of taking Breanna up on the offer. “Yeah why don’t I come with you. It’ll be fun!”
Breanna smiled. “Great! You go in and get your snack and pop and I’ll be waiting for you in my car.”
Hannah smiled back and went inside, still looking nervous about getting in the car of this relative stranger, but ultimately excited about this new friendship with this very mature girl who had flattered her by taking an interest in her. Breanna wheeled her bike to the backseat of her car and then tossed it inside, then sat behind the wheel eagerly puffing on her cigar awaiting Hannah’s return and in moments, the girl was exiting the store with a bag of chips and a bottle of Dr. Pepper. Hannah somewhat apprehensively climbed into the passenger seat and Breanna continued attempting to be as disarming as possible, asking “Geez, girl, aren’t you gonna spoil your dinner?” as Hannah tore open her chip bag.
“Yeah right,” Hannah responded. “My stepmom doesn’t really cook.”
“Wow,” Breanna said as she drew smoke in from the cigar, drawing Hannah’s attention as she watched the giant smoldering cherry turn bright, then watched the smoke lazily spill out of Breanna’s face as she continued speaking, “I hope your dad treats you better than your stepmom.”
Hannah quietly shrugged as she chewed on her chips, not yet ready to divulge the details of her relationship with her dad. Breanna nonetheless recognized trust was being built and in only a matter of time, she’d be sharing everything with her. Breanna pulled the car out of the lot and asked Hannah, “Do you like Shawn Mendes?” before cranking up the MP3 player to the Mendes-heavy playlist she had just programmed into it.
Hannah’s eyes lit up, remembering that she heard Mendes’s music playing in Breanna’s car the day before. She nodded excitedly in the affirmative and responded “He’s my favorite!!!”
“Yeah??!?” Breanna acted surprised. “You and me are gonna get along well I think!”
Hannah smiled as she surveyed Breanna, who smiled at her as she puffed from her cigar, exhaling a blast inside the car that quickly reduced visibility. Hannah had a vague intuition that Breanna seemed too good to be true but was too fascinated by everything about her to not let this ride out a while. They talked about music and pop culture on the drive to Breanna’s place, and Breanna had to fake her way through at times when Hannah mentioned stuff that went beyond her recent crash course in the teen beat which despite being young herself had generally isolated herself from. Every time she needed to distract Hannah, she just put on more fireworks with her cigar-smoking show which Hannah was clearly captivated by.
They got to Breanna’s place in about 10 minutes and Hannah was impressed by the size of the home and that Breanna lived there alone, having bought it the prior summer with some of her own money but mostly money from the family fortune. Hannah was excited to see all of her dolphin stuff but continued to be most mystified by Breanna’s cigar smoking, walking into her home with the cigar clutched in her mouth just as it had been almost the whole drive there. The odor of cigar smoke filled the home just as it had Breanna’s car and her mom’s office the week earlier. It was an environment unlike Hannah had ever encountered or even deemed possible up until this point. She occasionally wrinkled her nose at the stench and the sight of dirty cigar-filled ashtrays in every room, but still, Breanna just made it look so glamorous…..
Breanna tried to be as passionate as possible showing off hundreds of very recently purchased dolphin collectibles to Hannah and pretending as though the collection was years in the making. Hannah enjoyed looking at everything and expressed some interest in items she didn’t have but would like, to which Breanna dangled a couple of carrots and said “maybe that’s something I can get for you some time,” increasing the prospect of keeping Hannah on the hook for future visits.
Breanna had stepped up her usual pace in smoking this cigar, both for visual effect for Hannah’s benefit but also to make sure she’d get the opportunity to fire up another before Hannah left. Hannah had been there a little over an hour when Breanna finished off her current cigar. Sitting on the couch in her living room talking to Hannah sitting a few feet away on the same couch, Breanna flung her smoldering cigar into the ashtray on the coffee table in plain sight of Hannah, leaving the wet butt to steam out atop a half dozen other butts. In mid-conversation and with as little pomp as possible, Breanna then reached into her purse next to her and pulled out another Churchill-sized cigar, this one a darker maduro, which she began toasting. The conversation had a natural break as Hannah studied Breanna firing the cigar up. She could tell Hannah wasn’t gonna broach this subject by herself so she figured she’d have to go for it.
“My smoking isn’t too annoying to you is it?”, Breanna asked in a way that Hannah would be unlikely to attempt a veto option just in case she was bothered by it.
“No….it’s fine”, Hannah responded, appearing to feel a little guilty about Breanna even mentioning it. Seeing Breanna’s warm smile in response, Hannah decided to run with the open topic, much to Breanna’s delight. “You sure do smoke a lot though,” Hannah commented with a disarming tone as Breanna put the latest cigar in her mouth and officially brought it to life.
Breanna maintained a dialogue with Hannah about her cigar smoking for several exchanges, thrilling Breanna that Hannah was as interested in it as she’d hope the girl would be. About a couple of minutes of discussing it, Breanna gave Hannah a mischievous grin and said “why don’t you give it a try”, extending her hand with the freshly lit cigar to Hannah.
Hannah briefly looked like the proverbial child from a 1980s afterschool special on the receiving end of peer pressure, wrinkling her nose a bit and then saying “I don’t know.”
“C’mon…just one puff. You can see what it was like for me when I started. Have you ever tried a cigarette or a vaporizer before?”
Hannah shook her head no.
“Good…then you won’t be tempted to inhale the smoke. Just puff on it and blow it.”
Hannah nervously smiled and took the cigar from Breanna, the hulking stick of dark tobacco looking even larger in the hand of an 11-year-old child, with Hannah a bit grossed out by the saliva-covered butt Breanna had just slobbered all over. Apprehension and curiosity filled Hannah’s face as she squinted her saucer-sized eyes and approached the big, smelly cigar to her lips, following Breanna’s instructions as she took a puff. Breanna laughed as Hannah made displeased faces while blowing out the smoke.
“Haha, just one more quick puff,” Breanna instructed, knowing the second puff might be a little less nasty for her. Hannah took one more puff and while still not appearing to love it, did seem to move incrementally towards the direction Breanna had hoped. Breanna laughed and held out her hand to reclaim the cigar, not wanting to push her luck on it this afternoon, and adding “That was my reaction when I tried my first one too. It’s definitely an acquired taste. Took me weeks to get used to.”
The banter continued for a while longer but Breanna was now eager to cut short this first visit to Breanna’s place, again in the interest of not pushing her luck too early. “Listen, I didn’t realize it was almost 5:00. I better let you get home before your dad and stepmom get worried.”
Hannah wrinkled her nose again, as if not looking forward to going home. Breanna, feeding off of this sentiment, added, “but I’ll tell you what, you’re right here in the neighborhood and I get off work at 3 every day. If you’d rather come and visit me after school than hang out with your dad and stepmom, I’d love to have you over.”
Hannah smiled, really enjoying this visit to Breanna’s but still having a sense there was more going on than met the eye. Breanna added that she’d probably be seeing her at the 7-11 if nothing else, fully prepared to engineer more “chance encounters” to keep the momentum rolling, but sensing that she now had Hannah interested enough that she might keep visiting without additional provocation. She asked Hannah if she knew how to get to her dad’s place from there, sending the girl on her way confident she’d be seeing a lot more of her.
Breanna’s instinct was right as Hannah texted her after school that day asking if she could come over. Breanna felt just like a schoolgirl who realized the boy she had a crush on also liked her. Everything was going according to plan, and when Hannah wheeled into her driveway and hung out again that Friday after school, Breanna felt it was time to gradually step things up. After about a half hour of banter, with Breanna puffing away on one of her cigars as always and Hannah continuing to eyeball her when she did so, Breanna made her move.
“You looked like such a gangster yesterday when you took the puff from my cigar,” Breanna said with a laugh.
Hannah laughed back. “Really?”
“Totally!” Breanna took a puff from the cigar and pretended to have just had a revelation. “You know what would be fun? To take some pics of you puffing on my cigar and then you can see yourself!”
Hannah laughed again, agreeing that would be kind of fun but not knowing if she really wanted to give that disgusting, intimidating cigar another try. Breanna was aggressive but playful in taking out her phone and handing Hannah the cigar before Hannah had a chance to reject the proposition. Before she even knew what was really going on, Hannah had Breanna’s cigar in her hand and a camera phone pointed at her. Hannah giggled nervously as she placed the cigar to her mouth and took another puff while listening to the shutter close on the camera phone. Breanna reclaimed her cigar and showed Hannah the pic she just took, which they both got a giggle from.
Breanna smoked briefly on the cigar and then suggested Hannah pose for a pic with her dangling the cigar from her mouth the way Breanna always does. Despite feeling mildly bullied, Hannah followed the instruction and opened her small mouth fairly wide to fit the 50+ mm bandwidth cigar in it, removing her hand and clutching the cigar lightly with her teeth much like Breanna did as Breanna laughed and snapped a couple of pics. Hannah struggled to avoid laughing keeping the big cigar perched in her mouth for a few moments. Breanna eventually took hold of the cigar and began showing the pics to Hannah. They continued to laugh as Hannah looked at the new pics taken, and Breanna could tell Hannah liked the look.
For the next half hour, Breanna handed Hannah her cigar a few times unsolicited, and every time Hannah took it and took a quick puff. It was Friday afternoon and Breanna was concerned about loss of momentum heading into the weekend where she’d be with her mom, but she had established a rapport with young Hannah and they genuinely enjoyed each other’s company. Breanna was pretty confident they’d be able to pick things up where they left off the following week.
Breanna and Hannah texted some over the weekend, with Breanna expressing excitement for hanging out again. And come Monday afternoon, it happened, with Breanna again pushing the envelope and handing the cigar to Hannah with greater frequency, and Hannah accepting every time to the point where it almost became a reflex that Hannah didn’t even think about immersed in conversation. Breanna observed Hannah coming to terms with the taste of the cigar smoke, and hopefully growing her tolerance for the nicotine.
With each passing day that first full week of May, Hannah consumed more and more from Breanna’s cigars being passed on to her repeatedly. Towards the end of the week, they watched a movie together, passing the stogie back and forth nearly to the point of Hannah matching Breanna puff for puff.
Moving into the following week, Breanna was generally satisfied with the pace things were going but knew the timeline she was working with was still compressed, so she pushed the envelope yet again. After passing another cigar back and forth with Hannah to its completion on that Monday afternoon, Breanna said, “You know, I think it’s time I let you have a cigar of your own!”
Hannah seemed a little hesitant to formalize this introduction. Having merely sneaked puffs from Breanna’s cigars up until now, Hannah never really felt as though her experimentation was that serious. But she also didn’t want Breanna to feel like she had to keep passing the stogie around if it was annoying to her, so she accepted. Breanna showed her how to cut the end with the guillotine and how to toast the end of the cigar with the butane lighter before putting it in her mouth to take the first draw, all of which Hannah had picked up on just from watching Breanna. Watching Hannah smoke her own cigar, Breanna knew she was at what may be the last genuinely critical phase of Hannah’s transformation. Hannah had become comfortable with smoking cigars much more quickly than Breanna had nearly three years earlier when she started smoking them, but she also knew that if Hannah got sick from too much nicotine when smoking her first full cigar, she might still decide it’s not for her. But Breanna watched her closely and knew Hannah had built up a decent tolerance with the gradual progression she’d been exposed to in the last 10 days.
Hannah smoked her first full cigar at a much slower clip than Breanna sucked hers down, as was expected, and Breanna decided upon seeing Hannah’s cigar was about 60% done that that would be enough for today. When Hannah left on Monday with no signs of being sick, Breanna figured she’d built a tolerance for a continued slow-motion escalation. The next day, Breanna explained to Hannah how the cigars have subtle flavor nuances that a connoisseur can identify, and tried to point out as the two of them smoked their respective cigars what flavor changes she could identify as it smoked down. Hannah was barely able to identify the changes but sometimes pretended to notice since she was increasingly concerned with maintaining Breanna’s approval.
Throughout the week, Hannah smoked her own cigar every day when she went to meet Breanna after school, and Hannah was concerned the smell was gonna give her away. Her father was typically gone when she got to his place and her stepmom and her kids were relatively indifferent when Hannah finally rolled in from Breanna’s place, but it was a different story when her mom picked her up at 8:30 when she finally got off work. Even though Hannah had made a point to change her clothes and wash her hair, Alexis still couldn’t help but shake that there was a faint smoky odor when Hannah climbed into her car. That didn’t make much sense to Alexis though and she kept convincing herself that she’d become nose blind from all the smoke at work and the smell she detected was just the lingering aroma of Breanna’s cigar smoke from the office.
By Friday of that week, when Hannah came over and Breanna handed her a cigar moments after arrival, Hannah finally vocalized what the last two weeks had made clear, giggling as Breanna lit her up that “you’re turning me into a smoker!”
The way Hannah said it did not indicate much of a resistance, but Breanna knew she had to tread carefully, responding through the cigar hanging from her mouth “what can I say, kid, you’re a natural! You’ve mastered it much better than I did when I started. And admit it, you kind of like it, don’t you?” Breanna added with a wink.
Hannah shrugged and giggled, taking a puff of the cigar and then exhaling it before admitting, “A little.”
“The taste is growing on you?” Breanna pressed on.
Hannah nodded affirmatively.
“And you like that rush that goes to your head after you’ve been smoking it for awhile?”
Hannah nodded with a smile again.
“And you like how badass you look while smoking it?”
Hannah nodded and giggled again, this time placing the giant cigar in her mouth and holding there like Breanna always did.
Breanna laughed out loud and then joked, “I wouldn’t mess with you!”
Hannah tried to articulate a comeback through the giant cigar in her mouth as Breanna always did but mumbled incoherently before laughing at her fail and then grabbed the cigar from her mouth to avoid losing it. The smoke sputtered out of Hannah’s mouth when she asked Breanna “how do you talk with the cigar in your mouth?”
Breanna continued the roll of giggles in what had increasingly become a slumber party environment, looking Hannah in the eyes and saying through the cigar perched in her mouth, “Don’t worry. We’ll work on it with you.”
Hannah nodded affirmatively while taking another puff from her cigar. Breanna knew she had Hannah completely on the hook at this point.
The following week, with the weather getting increasingly nice by the third week in May, Breanna took Hannah’s cigar habit to the great outdoors. The two of them strutted down walking trails with cigars in hand, conversing casually and looking like older sister and younger sister, almost always eliciting the shocked looks of passersby. Hannah was understandably bashful about being seen with the cigar at first, but Breanna’s gambit was almost normalizing it for her, and she could tell it was working. A trip to the mall the next day served as a way for Breanna to start buying a new wardrobe for Hannah and to further normalize her cigar smoking in the most public of venues, with both girls stepping out of the mall with bags full of clothes lighting their cigars and taking the long way through the parking lot back to Breanna’s car to get the maximum attention from onlookers. Hannah did her best to avoid eye contact and stay aloof as instructed, strutting on by those gawking at her while quietly thrilled with the attention.
Breanna had also been practicing Hannah’s dangles as promised, as well as talking with the cigar in her mouth. She was surprised at how quickly Hannah had progressed in just a few days, and by Thursday, it was time to put Hannah’s developing skills to the test in a venue that Breanna also hoped would help enhance the rebellious thrill aspect of cigar smoking for Hannah. The rebelliousness and political incorrectness of cigar smoking was its primary draw for Breanna when she picked up the habit, and she could sense Hannah was getting off on some of that as well. And on Thursday afternoon, Breanna trained Hannah on leaving an unforgettable mark on the local farmer’s market.
Breanna had been planning the scenario for a good week and guided Hannah step by step what she figured would be a fun exercise. Breanna slinked up one of the two dozen vendors and quietly propped up her camera phone on the base of a street light, aiming the lens on the most isolated of the vendors, pushing the button for it to record and then gave Hannah, who was waiting in Breanna’s car, the hand motion to come on over. Hannah emerged from the car, cigar in hand, clearly nervous but working up the adrenaline for her performance art debut. Breanna winked at Hannah as they crossed paths with Breanna walking back to the car to watch the show from the lot. Hannah placed her relatively new blond-ish Churchill cigar in her mouth and kept walking right on up to the farmers’ market vendor.
The middle-aged couple working the stand slowly took notice of the approaching child and couldn’t believe what they were seeing as she walked right on up to them with the huge cigar in her mouth. They first presumed it was some odd joke that would be revealed shortly after they played along long enough to ask the girl “Can we help you?”
The heat was on but Hannah was up to the challenge, successfully answering through the cigar in her mouth, “yes, I actually have a list here of things I’d like. Can I get three green peppers, a half dozen radishes, a dozen cherry tomatoes, and a half pound of strawberries?”
The older couple looked at Hannah with inexplicable shock realizing this was an actual customer encounter and after a couple of moments of awkward silence, agreed to the terms and started gathering the requested items to sell to her. They both kept one eye on Hannah as she stood there, trying to hide her trembling nerves while puffing copiously on the cigar and stinking up the entire area near the vendor. A few moments later, they punched up the total on a calculator and announced, “That’ll be $17.75,” still waiting for some cameraman to come out of the woods and announce this was all for a TV show.
Instead, Hannah quietly dug in her jeans pocket, pulling out a crumbled up $10 bill, a $5, and three singles. She looked sincerely at the couple, asking again through a cloudburst of cigar smoke spilling out of her mouth, “Can you make change for this?”
The man nodded in continued disbelief, taking the money from Hannah and giving her a quarter back. Hannah picked up the produce in the two bags they provided and offered them a sweet “thank you” before turning around leaving one final trail of smelly cigar smoke for the older couple to remember her by as she walked away. Hannah finally broke her poker face as she looked back to Breanna in the car, bursting with excitement for having pulled off the encounter without a hitch. Walking past the lamp post, she swiped the phone recording the encounter and proceeded back to Breanna’s car, knowing the older couple was watching her every step of the way.
“So I bet that was pretty fun, huh?” Breanna asked, smoking her own cigar, as Hannah put the produce on the floor and excitedly began looking at the phone.
“Oh my God. It was great!” Hannah exclaimed as she and Breanna leaned in to watch the video. Hannah giggled seeing herself in action and was impressed with herself for keeping her cool.
“You were soooo good!” Breanna exclaimed as both of them giggled away at the playback.
“I can’t believe they didn’t say anything. I thought they were gonna call the police on me or something!” Hannah responded.
“I told you. They’re vendors looking to make a sale. The customer is always right for them.” Breanna said halfheartedly, but in reality was a little surprised herself that there was no pushback. “But you did give them a story to tell their friends and neighbors about for months to come.”
The giggles kept rolling as they watched the entire encounter and then watched it again. Breanna stuck her cigar in her mouth and looked Hannah in the eye to tell her, “You did good, kid,” really starting to revel in her Miyagi-like mentor role to this generation’s Daniel-san. Hannah smiled back and then inserted her giant cigar in her mouth just as Breanna did. Breanna pulled the car out of the lot and they were heading back to Breanna’s place, with cigars dangling from both of their mouths.
As mid-May morphed into late May, Breanna knew that with as great as her plan was going, she still needed to step things up to meet her timeline. Breanna and Hannah were hanging out that fourth Monday in May at Breanna’s place as usual, smoking cigars and giggling like the best friends they had quietly become, when Hannah finished her cigar in a little over an hour. Usually, after she finished her cigar, it was her cue to get ready to take off. But today, Breanna reached into the humidor on her table and pulled out another cigar, this one a dark maduro in the same Churchill size, handing it to Hannah and saying “Give this one a try. Tell me if you like it more or less than the ones I’ve given you so far.” Breanna was thrilled when Hannah didn’t hesitate to accept, asking her questions about what to expect from the maduro as she clipped the end and began toasting it. She could tell Hannah was enjoying the flavor right away as she placed it in her mouth and took her first draw. Every step of the way, Hannah was exceeding Breanna’s expectations and she couldn’t have been more thrilled with it.
A few days later, Hannah had quickly grown into a two-cigar habit every day, and Breanna thought she was ready for another social test, this time with boys. Breanna had been prepping her for the moment for a couple of days, explaining in detail her own associations with the power of cigar smoking to dominate any situation and to be intimidating and imposing on others. Having seen Hannah’s response with the farmers’ market vendor, Breanna knew this next step would be an even stronger confidence-booster for Hannah…not to mention a whole lot of fun.
The two of them had gotten some ice cream at a nearby suburban sundae shop, not yet smoking, sitting on the outdoor patio and surveying the booths for boys Hannah’s age. With each spoonful of ice cream, the girls evaluated the crowd until they zeroed in on a duo of 12-13-year-old boys, one in particular who Hannah was most interested in. Breanna advised her to establish and maintain a flirty eye contact with him for the duration of the ice cream snack. She could tell Hannah’s experience with boys was very limited but she also knew that her confidence had soared in these last few weeks, and with Breanna backing her up, she knew Hannah could pull this off.
After a few minutes of making eyes with these boys and capturing their interest, Breanna knew the boys wouldn’t fail to notice when the transition from ice cream sundae to the “real dessert” was made. With both girls grinning ear to ear, Breanna and Hannah began toasting their giant dark maduro cigars, diverting their attention from lighting them just enough to notice that the boys who had been engaging in casually flirty eye contact up until now were now staring with wide-eyed disbelief. Hannah and Breanna played it cool, flashing tootsie smiles their way as they brought their cigars to their lips and started smoking. They both knew that the boys were far from the only ones in the seating area looking at them aghast, but in their minds, those two boys were the only ones in the crowd worth paying attention to. Breanna and Hannah gave them about a minute to get familiar with the idea of the two of them smoking big cigars in such a public venue, but on Breanna’s motion, quickly made their move to strike while the iron was hot.
The boys were briefly bummed seeing Breanna and Hannah climbing out of their chairs, expecting that they were leaving, but the boys’ disappointment quickly turned to terror upon noticing that the girls were walking towards them, maintaining an aggressive come-hither eye contact and body language. Breanna and Hannah were decked out in matching low-cut white blouses and pale blue daisy duke jean shorts, cigars firmly clutched in their mouths as they swaggered on over to the boys with their long brown hair hanging onto bare shoulders. Hannah didn’t have the curves to fully pull the outfit off, but Breanna made sure she did as good as possible for Hannah with that shopping trip they took the week before. The boys certainly liked what they saw, nervously admiring both girls and wondering to themselves if this was all a dream up until the point that Breanna and Hannah stopped right in front of their table.
Hannah in particular made a point of invading the space of the boy she picked out, walking as close to him as possible without feeling weird and making sure her cigar was close enough that he could feel the heat from the cherry. “Mind if we sit here with you,” Hannah asked, coolly talking through her cigar dangle as though she’d been doing it for years.
“Sure,” the boy responded, bewildered and more than a bit terrified about this unusual and aggressive girl and her older friend.
Hannah smiled and sat down while Breanna did the same at the seat across the table, next to the boy’s friend. “I’m Hannah,” she introduced herself through a continued talking dangle, stretching out her hand to shake and making sure the cigar smoke spilled through her mouth and into the boy’s face. “This is my older sister Breanna,” Hannah added, subtly winking at Breanna.
“I’m Caleb,” the petrified blond-haired boy said, betraying a subdued confidence which Hannah immediately picked up on and guessed that this boy was used to being quite the ladies’ man in whatever junior high school he attended. “This is my friend Nick,” Caleb said, pointing to his brunette friend sitting next to Breanna who, if anything, looked even more paralyzed with social anxiety than Caleb. Breanna sweetly introduced herself to both boys, maintaining her oral grip on the giant dark cigar and belching out clouds of smoke for the boys to choke on.
Breanna broke the ice, hoping to hand the baton to Hannah, “We just saw you boys looking at us and figured you might like some company.” Breanna said before removing the cigar from between her fingers and looking at Hannah, motioning the girl to follow her lead as discussed and placing her right elbow on the table, cigar in hand tilted at a 45-degree angle only inches from Nick’s face. Breanna then continued, looking at Caleb and saying “My sister here thought you were pretty cute, Caleb.”
Hannah was removing the cigar from her mouth, placing her left elbow on the table and positioning her cigar just as Breanna had, fully invading Caleb’s space. Hannah let a burst of smoke explode from her mouth as she playfully said “Breanna!!!!” in a scolding tone for what she had just said to Caleb, but then looking at Caleb and confirming that “But she’s right. I do think you’re kind of cute.”
The girls kept their eyes trained on their young male prey, with Caleb and Nick trying to look at the girls, but having a hard time taking their eyes off of the giant dark brown cigars the girls were holding in front of their faces. Nick in particular was studying the hulking sticks of tobacco in their hands….the dark and oily wrapper….the smoldering burn line and its contrast with the pale gray ash….the dominating smoke pouring off the burning end and trickling out the unlit end, especially in the seconds after either of the girls took a puff…..and the moist end where the girls’ lips kept on sucking. It was unlike anything the boys had ever experienced before. Under normal circumstances, they would find the odor disgusting and the entire performance offensive, but watching these comely young females so obnoxiously impose their filthy habits upon them at such close range with such chutzpah, they instead found themselves turned on like they never had been before, hoping the girls wouldn’t look down and notice their bulging crotches.
Hannah led the way through the small talk, soldiering through her bashful instincts and carrying herself with as much confidence as possible while also being as aggressive and imposing as possible, never conceding an inch just as Breanna advised, knowing that the boys wouldn’t ask them to concede an inch as they got off on this power dynamic. Breanna and Hannah were both thrilled when a pause in the small talk led Caleb to inquire about the cigar smoking. Perhaps because he was even more intimidated by Hannah, he looked to Breanna first and asked, “So do you guys, like, smoke cigars a lot?”
“All the time,” Breanna responded curtly and playfully.
“So like every day?” Caleb progressed, her answer not quelling his curiosity.
“All day, every day. Morning till bedtime,” Breanna answered with the same feminine confidence, taking a huge puff and exhaling it into the air for maximum visual effect.
After Caleb heard this from Breanna, he turned to Hannah, who he was even more fascinated by. “How about you?”
“Oh I’m the same,” Hannah said, dragging from her cigar. “I smoke them constantly,” exaggerating her level of consumption compared to Breanna’s but could tell from Caleb’s body language that he was thrilled by the answer as she made her most aggressive move yet, exhaling her cigar smoke directly into his face through pursed lips, then transitioning those pursed lips into a flirty smile. Breanna was so proud of Hannah and figured Caleb may have creamed his shorts at that moment.
And so the conversation went from there, with more interrogation about the girls’ cigar smoking and more small talk, with the girls continuing to puff copiously on their cigars, continuing to hold their cigars only inches from the boys’ faces with their elbows on the table, and both girls mixing it up occasionally by playfully blowing their smoke into the faces of the boy sitting nearest to them. They could tell the boys were growing repulsed by the invasive assault of smoke, but also knew they wouldn’t even dream of objecting, enduring the olfactory abuse simply because it was coming from these hot girls. It went on for nearly an hour before Breanna suggested to Hannah they “better get home.” This was Hannah’s cue to make one final request, a request that would have been beyond her wildest imagination an hour earlier but now seemed almost quaint after what she’d delivered at this table.
“I really liked chatting with you Caleb. Give me your phone and I’ll put my number in it.”
Caleb, still thinking this might all be a dream, quietly handed Hannah the phone as she punched in her digits with her three-quarters smoked cigar hanging out of her mouth as she typed. She didn’t know if she’d take any of Caleb’s calls or not but felt powerful giving him the option. She handed him back the phone and removed the cigar from her mouth, moving in nervously for her first “real” kiss. Caleb had been quietly hoping the encounter would end this way and now his fantasy was becoming a reality as Hannah planted her nicotine-stained lips on his. As intense as the stench was from Hannah’s secondhand smoke for the past hour, the sensation was even stronger as he tasted her breath directly for a few short seconds before she pulled away. For her part, Hannah was thrilled with herself for making a move she never would have considered even a week earlier, knowing that Caleb would secretly wish he could taste fresh cigar smoke on the breath of every other girl he kissed in the foreseeable future.
Nick, the friend who had remained relatively quiet for much of the conversation decided to swing for the fences as Breanna was getting up to leave in the chair next to him. “Do I get a kiss too?” he asked Breanna, only half joking.
Breanna smiled and said, “Sorry Nick but you’re a little young for me,” shooting him down with a flirty flourish and exhaling one final blast of cigar smoke into his face as a consolation prize before standing up to leave with Hannah. They both waved and said “bye guys” before walking away, shaking their booties in those daisy dukes knowing Nick and Caleb, and probably several others, were watching every hip flourish as the girls walked away, a trail of their dirty cigar smoke following them like the chimneys from coal-fired stoves. Breanna and Hannah tried to contain their elation until they were out of sight, but both looked at the other with the most electric giddiness yet, waiting to release some of the excitement they’d let build inside themselves for more than an hour. Hannah was at this point loving this reinvention of herself as much as Breanna was loving grooming her protege, and for the first time Breanna had little doubt she would be able to accomplish her long-range plan.
There were only two more weeks of school, one of them shortened because of Memorial Day weekend. Breanna and Hannah continued to hang out together almost every day after Hannah got off from school, doing a variety of activities until an hour or so before Hannah’s mom got off work, with Hannah smoking back-to-back cigars every day. While not being upfront about her motives, Breanna spilled the beans to Hannah what she thought she should do with her summer once school got out, and to Breanna’s relief, Hannah was thrilled with the idea even though it would mean coming out to her mother about her new smoking habit. Breanna promised she’d “make her mom understand” and was able to calm Hannah’s fears.
In the meantime, they had plenty of shopping to do to prepare Hannah for her summer duties. As her friendship with Breanna grew tighter, Hannah’s initial instinct of feeling a bit used by Breanna dissipated. And now that Breanna was rolling out big bucks for designer clothes for her, Hannah felt indebted to Breanna, wanting to deliver for her and make her proud as she had already with the oddball stunts that Breanna had engineered.
It was the last day of May when Hannah’s school year ended. Breanna took a vacation week at work for the first week of June for one final round of grooming of her pint-sized protege. Meanwhile, Breanna scheduled Alexis for double shifts to “fill in for some of her work while she was away”. She was hoping Alexis hadn’t yet connected all these dots and couldn’t believe when Hannah told her that her mom had not seemed to notice that her daughter reeked of cigar smoke. After all the planning and risks taken, there was just one more week to go.
Right away on Monday morning, Breanna picked up Hannah up for their planned “long drive”. The four-hour drive each way from suburban St. Louis to northwestern Missouri would give Breanna and Hannah their longest-yet opportunity to bond. Right away when Hannah climbed inside Breanna’s car, she laid her hands on one of Breanna’s cigars as though the routine was becoming just that for her…a routine. Breanna just loved that Hannah was embracing the opportunity for a cigar at 8 a.m., with Hannah even commenting how she was now starting to notice the flavor changes as she smoked the way Breanna had described.
Breanna’s BMW made good time heading west on I-70, both girls puffing away on their stogies and connecting even better than usual. Breanna went into this grooming process blind, knowing virtually nothing about young Hannah and being fearful early on that the girl would be too immature or too bratty to handle. She knew she would have been at Hannah’s age! Instead, Breanna found herself a new best friend. Hannah had become like the baby sister she never had, and Hannah made an unsolicited confession on this drive that she felt the same way about Breanna. It was then that Breanna was hit with an uncharacteristic wave of guilt. She’d felt some guilt about what she was doing to Hannah already, but the “sisterly bond” confessions really raised it to a new level. An hour and a half into the drive, when Hannah discarded her first cigar and then immediately reached into the humidor in Breanna’s purse for a second one, Breanna reached her breaking point….
A tear formed in Breanna’s eye as she took her eyes off the road and watched Hannah toasting her latest Churchill cigar, putting it in her mouth, and taking the first draw. Hannah looked at Breanna with those innocent saucer-sized eyes, a blast of cigar smoke flowing from her mouth and creating a haze inside the car, and Hannah quickly sensed the sadness in Breanna’s eyes.
“What’s wrong?” Hannah asked, still in a peppy mood but sensing an emotional pivot.
Breanna just looked at her for a second and gave her a pitied smile, not knowing quite what to say upon reaching this epiphany of the innocence she had corrupted in only a month, reducing herself to the tactics of a creepy child predator primarily in the interest of settling a petty score with a coworker. Finally, Breanna settled upon the closest talking point she could come up with to defuse the situation she created.
“Hannah, I know you saw what I did at the office with that guy. I don’t want you to think that’s normal. And I don’t want you to think you should be doing that anytime soon,” Breanna said in a sensitive tone.
A confused Hannah had a look of befuddlement as she clutched the large blond cigar in her mouth but quickly grew embarrassed when she realized the subject had turned to sex, her face briefly turning as red as the cherry on her cigar. Hannah buried her face in her hands, giggling as she exclaimed, “I’m not planning on doing anything like THAT with Caleb!”
Breanna’s somber tone broke as she giggled back upon hearing Hannah’s response but then continued to reinforce her point. “I didn’t mean Caleb or any guy generally. I guess I’m saying hanging out with me has forced you to grow up a lot and will continue to this summer. That might not be a bad thing overall but please proceed on your own timetable with boys from this point forward. You will be stronger in the end if you make them wait for it….and make yourself wait for it.”
Hannah focused closely on Breanna’s words, taken aback by the rare moment of serious candor. And for her part, Breanna was taken aback by the fact that she was growing into this big sister role to the point of giving Hannah life advice. It all seemed a little empty given that she was otherwise so thoroughly corrupting the child, but it helped clear her conscience just enough to keep the rest of her plan on autopilot, changing the subject back to fun stuff and cranking up the Shawn Mendes for a smoky sing-along as the girls kept driving west.
A couple of hours later, they arrived at their destination….the Northwest Steak House near St. Joseph where Breanna’s defiant indoor cigar-smoking episode from two years earlier led to an outdoor assault. Breanna had pushed her luck and returned to this steak house a few more times in the years since, whenever she had business in northwestern Missouri. When Breanna told Hannah there was a restaurant where they could smoke cigars after their meals, Hannah thought she was putting her on. But now Breanna was about to prove she was right, taking Hannah to the only nice restaurant she was aware of where smoking was still allowed.
Breanna and Hannah walked inside, turning heads even without their cigars in their matching tanktops and white shorts, a mirage of youthful female innocence that was about to drop a massive stink bomb on the preconceived notions of the restaurant patrons. It was a weekday and they got there in the late afternoon, so the crowd wasn’t large, but Breanna was met at the door by a familiar early 30s waitress with the nametag “Agnes” pinned to her blouse. Agnes recognized Breanna from past visits and took Breanna to the “smoking section”, insofar as there was one, without a reminder. As Agnes seated them and inquired about “the young lady”, Breanna once again introduced Hannah as her “younger sister” going on a road trip on her first day of summer vacation. Breanna got off on this introduction setting the waitress up for Hannah’s much more corrupting display after her meal.
The girls enjoyed their steak dinner, but Hannah in particular racing to the finish line eager for her after-dinner cigar. As Breanna and Hannah broke out their respective maduros from their purses and began to toast them, Breanna was thrilled with how poised Hannah seemed, not quite as nervous as she expected knowing that the previous few weeks of preparation had already worked to normalize public cigar smoking as part of her new lifestyle. Moments after they were lit, Agnes returned to ask them how they were doing. She smelled the cigar smoke and was prepared to see Breanna smoking one, but froze with surprise when she noticed Hannah also held a big dark brown cigar in her little fingers.
Agnes was clearly not thrilled at the sight of this child smoking in her restaurant, but valued Breanna as a customer and made small talk anyway. “Having a cigar with big sis, huh?” Agnes asked Hannah as she cleared the finished plates and silverware off of their table, hoping the response would at least give away that this was a rare “treat”.
Instead, Hannah completely ad-libbed a response she knew Breanna would be proud of, confidently firing back with “Yup, a cigar always tastes best after a big meal!”, echoing a sentiment she’d heard Breanna say before. Agnes didn’t respond but was clearly unapproving as she carried away the dishes from the stinky table rapidly clouding up with exhaled cigar smoke.
The restaurant continued to suffer from a mellow late afternoon weekday crowd, which didn’t provide Breanna and Hannah the audience they would have preferred for their massively stinky show, but the upside was that there was no pressure from Agnes for them to leave as the girls bantered about without a care in the world, smoking down their cigars and stinking up the restaurant for the few diners in there. A couple of older visitors in for the “early bird special” laid eyes on the girls with their cigars and Breanna and Hannah had all they could do to keep from bursting out laughing at the stunned responses, imagining some of these little old ladies pissing their own Depends from the unlikely imagery. One more cigar culturalization experience down for Hannah….and now a long drive home.
Breanna only gave Hannah until they got to the freeway before pushing another cigar on her, doing her best to turn the girl’s habit into a lifestyle in as short of time as possible. Hannah put up no resistance and took another blond Churchill, beginning to fire it up. They were at a stoplight near the freeway entrance and a middle-aged male commuter was in the right lane, looking over towards Breanna’s car at the very moment as Hannah placed the recently toasted cigar into her mouth for the first draw. The stunned guy kept staring in her direction as the fresh smoke began to burst from her innocent young face. Hannah maintained eye contact with the guy, who couldn’t look away at this spectacle. Hannah kept the cigar parked in her mouth and puffed from it, and then decided to flash the 40-something man a cutesy wave much like she and Breanna bid Caleb and Nick adieu with 10 days earlier. The traffic light turned green and Breanna proceeded forward, having no idea this encounter was playing out in the passenger seat as Hannah maintained eye contact on this guy until their cars separated out of sight. Hannah was really beginning to understand the power her cigar smoking had and would continue to have if she kept it up. A light had gone off in Hannah’s soul in these last few weeks and it was not going back off anytime soon.
It was a long drive back to suburban St. Louis, with Hannah and Breanna continuing to enjoy each other’s company like long-time best friends. Hannah finished her fourth cigar of the day with two more hours of drive time, and while part of her felt like she had nicotine overload, she couldn’t shake the image of that middle-aged male driver looking at her like she was a gangster. It was a total power trip for her…and she loved that image for herself. Without any provocation from Breanna, Hannah reached into her humidor for a fifth cigar of the day only a few minutes after finishing her last one. Breanna quietly glowed with the pride of a parent watching her child’s first step.
The rest of that week was the final week of “training”, with Hannah ditching her dad and stepmom’s place early in the morning after her mom dropped her off, giving the excuse of “playing with her friends” to gratify what little interest her stepmom had when Hannah announced she was leaving. A short bike ride to Breanna’s place later and the cigar smoke started flowing and stayed that way all day long. Over the course of several hours, Hannah would match Breanna cigar for cigar, smoking four or even five of them over the time period and never appearing to grow tired of them. Breanna made a point of laundering Hannah’s clothes to kill the cigar stench as much as possible, attempting to hide it for a few more days. Hannah was nervous about the promised “coming out” moment pending the following Monday but Breanna assured her it would be completely under control and she would be able to proceed with her “new life” with mom’s grudging acceptance.
Breanna rarely wished away her weekend based on pending excitement for Monday morning, but she sure did this weekend, spending her Sunday night crafting the perfect department-wide e-mail that would be waiting in the inbox of everybody in the collections department first thing Monday morning, announcing the introduction of the new office intern. She hoped she would be able to sleep that night as the excitement built for the final phase of her epic revenge plot become realized.
The following morning, the collections department was hard at their Monday morning work for an hour, having read but quickly forgotten the e-mail about the new intern’s arrival. Breanna was fashionably late as always, but nobody including Alexis realized there was a reason for it today. The clicking of heels from down the hallway was the telltale reminder of Breanna’s tardy arrival around 9:00. Breanna stopped at the common area near the printers several yards before arriving at her office, announcing aloud that she’d like everyone to come meet the new intern.
Alexis was in her cubicle finishing some final data entry but was eager to meet this new intern, figuring as everybody else did that Breanna had found a way to hire some buff new sextoy for herself despite her father firing Antonio. But before she even got out in the hallway, Alexis could feel something was off based on the silence of coworkers. Still, nothing could have prepared her for what she saw when stepped out into the hallway to find two young females, dressed alike in candy apple red blouses and black leather miniskirts with freshly lit hulking cigars hanging from their mouths. A satisfied smirk on Breanna’s face was met with unmitigated horror by Alexis looking at her 11-year-old daughter as the miniature sidekick to Breanna, dressed alike and smoking a cigar.
Alexis worked through her despair for the next several moments, putting together the pieces of all the subtle clues of the past several weeks, never imagining that even Breanna would be evil enough to corrupt her sweet daughter. She looked in her daughter’s eyes and even though Hannah appeared very nervous, Alexis could see just by looking at her that she was a different person…..that the light had flipped and turned Hannah into a pint-sized version of her abhorrent boss, and that there would be no way to unring this bell. And that only became more clear as she observed her daughter’s well-practiced smoking, casually belching out smoke on both sides of the obnoxiously large cigar in her mouth.
Alexis couldn’t even muster a response as Breanna began speaking through the cigar in her own mouth, “As you all may know, my father eliminated the personal assistant position for this department in April. Once that happened, I had to think outside the box on how to get new young talent a head start at Dirks Financial, and then a light went off. We’ll go with an unpaid internship for an aspiring young student.” Breanna continued making direct eye contact with Alexis adding, “Some of you may already be familiar with this young lady, but her name is Hannah Sampson. She’ll be 12 years old this summer and has a very bright future in front of her, hopefully with this company.”
Breanna continued with introductions, and the unamused staff went through the motions of shaking hands as Hannah introduced them all individually. She saved Alexis for last, twisting the knife as she said, “And Alexis, I think you may already know this young lady, but this is Hannah. She likes dolphins, Shawn Mendes, and smoking the fattest and smelliest cigars money can buy…..all day long!” she added with a flourish.
The rest of the employees stood there waiting to see if Alexis would fight back against this unthinkable move from Breanna, hovering in that hallway to find out. Finally, Alexis responded meekly with “You can’t hire an 11-year-old girl at this company without parental permission and you don’t have parental permission!”
Breanna’s mouth formed into a teeth-gritting smile as she fired back with, “Actually, I do”, breaking out a form letter from her purse. Alexis took it from Breanna and perused the permission slip, her eyes rolling to the bottom of the page to see the signature of Stewart Sampson, her ex-husband. Breanna could tell the bottom had just fallen out of Alexis’s chest, realizing that this was now a done deal.
Hannah then spoke up, the stogie remaining perched perfectly in her mouth as she articulated herself. “I just want to spend the summer here and get some work experience, mom. And to hang out more with my new best friend Breanna. That’s okay, isn’t it?”
Alexis was once again at a loss for words, directing her defeated eyes at Breanna one last time and recognizing that Breanna was always going to win. Had Alexis not brought Hannah in for Bring Your Daughter To Work day, none of this would be happening right now and the worst she’d have to worry about is listening to Breanna’s obnoxious bell multiple times a day along with her inappropriate sex sessions in her office with Antonio. But now she lost her daughter to this monster.
And as the summer rolled on, Alexis had to learn to live with the changes unfolding right in front of her, the situation worsened by the fact that Breanna and Hannah enjoyed an obvious friendship. Their giggling that filled the halls at multiple points each day would under ordinary circumstances have brought a welcome humanity to her bitch boss, but knowing that it came at the expense of her daughter’s innocence made it cut like a dagger. Hannah now came and went as she pleased, accompanied Breanna to collections encounters where she knew Breanna behaved irresponsibly based on what she’d heard from multiple account holders, and dressed in the age-inappropriate leather-heavy business outfits that Breanna had bought for her.
And worst of all for Alexis, she hardly ever saw Hannah without a cigar for the rest of the summer. She was smoking them all day and every day just like Breanna, firing one up at home first thing every morning, smoking in the car on the way to and home from work when commuting together, and lurking around every corner in the office with a smelly cigar sticking out of her face every single day at work. At home and at work, Alexis recoiled at the sight of overflowing ashtrays full of nasty cigar butts left behind by her daughter just as Breanna always left to stink up in her office.
For her part, Hannah loved her new life. Deep down, she knew Breanna intended to use her as a prop for reasons she didn’t fully understand, but she never questioned the sincerity of their friendship and that they each filled the role of the “sister” that neither had ever had. And although Breanna was undeniably a bad influence, she always made sure Hannah never drifted off the razor’s edge, and was helpful whenever Hannah confided secrets to her. At summer’s end, Breanna promised her new intern a trip to SeaWorld, coming and going on the company’s cigar-soaked corporate jet, giving Hannah one additional perk to look forward to.
But most of all, Hannah just loved being a cigar smoker, and found new reasons to remain excited about it every day. Even at her young age, she totally got why Breanna got off on it. Every morning in the office, Hannah was sent on her rounds to gather the days collections folders from every employee in the department. The highlight of the morning run was her daily visit to the desk of Keith, the middle-aged guy who was the first she was introduced to on Take Your Daughter To Work Day. Hannah vividly recalled being the bashful child talked down to by the 50-something Keith only two short months ago. Fast forward to today and Hannah confidently strutted into his cubicle each morning, cigar clutched between her jaws, politely but assertively requesting he hand over the collections files and making sure to spray out as much cigar smoke as possible into his cubicle. Just like that day in northwest Missouri where the similar appearing middle-aged guy saw Hannah lighting up a cigar, Keith now felt like Hannah’s inferior, vaguely intimidated by this aggressive child and her very adult habit. In only two months, he went from treating her like a cute child to treating her like a mob boss. And that was the greatest feeling in the world to Hannah.