Better to give or to receive? (a Christmas fable)

(by SSTORYMAN, 20 December 2001)


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This fictional account contains adult language and themes, including sexually
explicit material.  If such language, themes and material offends you, please
do not read further.  The persons and events described in this work are
purely fictional.  Any similarity to actual persons or events is strictly
coincidental.  Copyright 2001 by SSTORYMAN.  All rights reserved.  Permission
is hereby granted to reproduce this story in any form and for any purpose as
long as this notice is reproduced and no financial remuneration is received,
directly or indirectly, by the person reproducing or using it.

BETTER TO GIVE OR TO RECEIVE?
A CHRISTMAS FABLE

   Samantha sat by the Christmas tree and sipped her coffee.  It was late in
the afternoon on Christmas Eve.  She sighed happily, gazing at the dozens of
matching silver-blue balls that decorated the large green tree in front of
her.  The tree was perfect; exactly the kind she liked.

   Christmas was always her favorite time of year.  There was something
unique about the season; Christmas songs playing in the shopping malls,
decorations everywhere, lights on houses, and excited faces of children
eagerly anticipating the gifts and surprises that accompanied the holiday.
It made her happy.

   This was her first Christmas with Danny.  They'd been living together for
six months.  Like Christmas, he made her happy.  They got along famously from
the start.  The sex was also great.  But it was more than that.  Much more.
Danny seemed supremely interested in her welfare.  He never complained about
having to sacrifice his time or preferences to help her.  He was so unlike
other guys she'd dated.  Moving in with him had been a big step, but now she
was _so_ glad she did it.

   She got up and walked over to a table.  With a box of kitchen matches she
lit the Christmas candles adorning it.  As the flickering flames danced, she
sat back down, returned her coffee mug to her lips and again gazed at the
ornamental balls hanging on the Christmas tree.

   For weeks she agonized over what to give Danny for Christmas.  He was so
generous with her.  She wanted to give him something special for their first
Christmas, a big present he'd really like.  But what do you give the man who
has everything?  Danny was a real estate developer and made excellent money.
He already had everything he wanted.  Finally, though, it hit her.  She
smiled as she fingered the bow on the colorfully wrapped big box with his
name displayed on it.  It wasn't the only present she was giving him.  There
were others, mostly small things.  But this was _the_ present.  With the help
of her old roommate, Nancy, she finally settled on something she felt sure
he'd like.  She now felt secure enough in their relationship; secure enough
to give him a gift that would certainly light up his eyes.  Sam giggled.  She
couldn't wait for tomorrow morning!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

   Danny looked at his watch.  He was late!  He had to make it home on time.
He knew how much it meant to Samantha to spend Christmas Eve together.  He
did the calculation in his head.  If he hurried, he'd make it.  Sam was
fixing a nice supper.  Then they'd go to Christmas Eve service at church.
It'd be tight, but he simply had to pick up this last present for Sam!

   The inspiration for this gift first occurred to him only a few days
earlier.  He discussed it with Nancy, Samantha's friend and former roommate.
She helped him.  At an exclusive jewelry store he carefully picked it out,
amidst a gaggle of expensive earrings, pendants, necklaces, and the like.
The jeweler promised it'd be ready on the 22nd.  But it wasn't.  Right before
Christmas, people at stores get busy.  Till an hour ago he worried he might
have to celebrate the holiday with Samantha without i.  It was the perfect
complement to two other presents he had for her.  But an hour ago he got a
call from the jeweler.  The news was good.  It was ready; he could pick it up
anytime after five.  But the jeweler was closing at six.  Now stuck in
traffic, Danny cursed under his breath.  He looked again at his watch and
crossed his fingers.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

   Danny opened the door from the garage.  "Hey, Sam," he called out.  "I'm
home!"

   His beautiful buxom housemate bounced into view.  She tried to frown, but
her pout quickly turned into a big smile.  "Hi, darling," she gushed,
wrapping her arms around his neck.  "God, it's good to see you!  I've been
looking forward to tonight all month!"

   "Me, too," he grinned, pausing long enough to give her a big kiss.  

   He loved the gorgeous young woman in his arms!  Samantha's long dark brown
hair hung over the shoulders of her red turtleneck.  The sweater had a large
Christmas tree on the front.  Sam loved Christmas; this was her favorite
Christmas sweater.  Her large breasts made the tree emblazoned on the front
look seriously misshapen.  Playfully, he reached up underneath the sweater
and squeezed her tits.

   "Stop it, Danny," she giggled.  "We don't have time to play.  We have to
eat."

   He laughed at her as he took off his coat.  "Sam, honey, there's _always_
time to fool around.  I love you more than the dinner you fixed."

   "That may be, but it's too nice to let get cold.  I love you, too," she
teased.  She gave him a last quick kiss before she straightened her Christmas
sweater and returned to the kitchen.  "Go wash up.  Dinner will be ready in a
second!"

   He hung his coat in the closet, and carefully took a small rectangular
gift-wrapped package from the pocket.

   She saw him.  "What's that?"

   "Nothing," he smiled.  "Just one last present that I need to put under the
tree."

   "Danny," she protested facetiously.  "I counted the packages a few minutes
ago.  There are already way too many presents under the tree with my name on
them."

   "This is the last one," he promised.  "But it's important."

   "You make me feel bad," Sam pouted.  "I don't have as many under the tree
for you as you do for me."

   "Relax.  It's not the number that matters.  I'm more interested in the
giver than the gift anyway.  I'm just happy to be spending this Christmas
with you, Sam."

   She sighed.  "Me, too.  You're sweet.  Now go wash up.  I want us to have
a special dinner before we run off to church for the Christmas Eve service."

   He nodded and walked to the living room.  The fragrance of the evergreen
tree assailed his senses.  Taking the rectangular box wrapped in silver
paper, he carefully placed it right beside two other boxes with Samantha's
name written on the gift cards.

   Moments later they sat at the dinner table.  Samantha prepared a virtual
feast.  She felt it made sense to fix a big meal on Christmas Eve.  Then
Christmas Day attention could be given to gifts rather than preparing food.
There'd be plenty of leftovers for the two of them to eat.

   "I'm so excited," she bubbled.  "I spent a long time this afternoon in
front of the tree.  I'm eager to give you my gifts," she went on.  "There's
nothing more fun on Christmas than giving presents!"

   "I feel the same way," Danny confirmed.  "I can't wait for tomorrow
morning!"

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

   Danny and Samantha were under the Christmas tree in their living room.  It
was Christmas morning.  Each of them had a pile of opened gifts beside them.
Samantha had on a pair of pink baby doll pajamas.  Danny wore a gray sweat
suit.

   "Danny, you are _too_ generous," she protested.  She held up a box she'd
just opened.  "I love this sweater!  You are so sweet!"

   "I'm glad you like it.  And I love these CD's.  Now, why don't you refresh
your coffee before opening the last three presents?"

   "Okay," she eagerly replied.  "God, I love Christmas!"

   She retreated to the kitchen and poured some more coffee.  She used a
Christmas mug, one with Santa and his elves arranging packages under a tree.
Returning to the living room, she settled down beside her presents.

   "Do you feel bad that we didn't visit our parents?"

   He shook his head.  "Absolutely not.  Traveling at Christmastime is a
nightmare.  Besides, I wanted to spend our first Christmas together."

   "Me, too," she sighed dreamily.  She sipped her coffee.  "Shall I open the
next one?"

   "Yes, it's time.  But I should explain.  This is the present I've been
most looking forward to giving.  The last six months have been the happiest
of my life, Sam.  I'm so lucky to have found you.  I tried to think of
something to give you that would communicate how much I appreciate you.  The
next three presents are interrelated.  But why don't you open this one
first?"

   He handed Sam a long rectangular box.  She picked it up and shook it.  It
made no sound.

   "I can't imagine what it is," she said excitedly.  "I love getting
presents.  I also love giving them.  I'm excited about having you open my
last gift, too."

   "First things first," he smiled.  "Go ahead.  Open it."

   Samantha carefully removed the bow and ribbon, and slowly began tearing
the paper from the package.  Then she stopped.  She gasped, blinked, and
gasped again.

   "Oh my God," she said breathlessly, finally removing the last of the
wrapping paper.  "Jesus!"  In her hands she held a carton of Marlboro Lights
100's.

   "Danny; Sweetie.  What's this mean?"  Despite her confusion, she broke
into a huge grin.  "God, it's a carton of cigarettes!  I don't get it."

   He smiled warmly, reached out, and took her hand.  "Six months ago, when
you moved in with me, Sam, I asked you to quit smoking.  At the time I didn't
want anyone smoking in my house.  You were gracious about it, and I
appreciated it at the time.  But I knew you didn't want to quit.  Ever since
I've felt bad that I forced you to.  You liked smoking, but I made you stop.
That was selfish.  I decided that if I really love you, I shouldn't put
conditions on you.  So I was trying to think of something to give you for
Christmas that was really nice, something you'd really like.  I asked Nancy;
I told her price was no object.  This is what she suggested."  He paused as
Sam continued to stare in disbelief.  "Though it was your old roommate's
idea, as soon as she suggested it, I knew it was the right thing.  So, Merry
Christmas, honey!"

   Still astonished, Samantha shook her head in wonder.  "Oh my God!  You
really mean it, Danny?  Is it really okay if I start smoking again?  I mean,
I don't have to smoke a lot or anything.  But it would be _so_ nice to be
able to have a cigarette sometimes!"

   "Baby, be honest.  You haven't completely quit.  I know.  Nancy told me.
You still smoke with her when you two get together.  You like it.  I don't
want you giving it up just because of me.  I want you to feel free to smoke
whenever you feel like it, including here, in my house.  Like I said, Merry
Christmas!"

   The pretty brunette impulsively reached out and hugged him.  "God, you're
_so_ sweet, Danny!  I did give up smoking because you wanted me to.  I didn't
mind so much.  Being with you, making you happy, was more important to me
than anything.  But you're right, I've sneaked a few cigarettes the last six
months.  Being around Nancy was the worst.  It's hard being with her while
she's smoking.  I really couldn't help myself."

   "I only want you to be happy, baby doll.  To me, that's the most important
thing.  Trust me.  I can learn to live with it."

   Samantha brightened.  "So, you really mean it?  No restrictions?  None at
all?"

   "None.  In fact, I think you should have a cigarette right now."

   "Oh my God," she giggled with glee.  "This is the best Christmas gift
ever!  Thank you _so_ much!"

   She tore open the carton and pulled out a pack of Marlboro Lights 100's.
Her hands trembled in anticipation.  She _had_ missed smoking.  She never got
over the desire for a cigarette.  And now, thanks to Danny's generosity, she
could openly indulge again!

   "Before you do that, sweetie, open the next present; the little box there,
in silver paper."

   She looked and frowned.  Candidly, she was eager to get on with having a
cigarette .  "Um, okay.  Is it connected to this present?"

   "Yeah, you might say that.  Go ahead, open it!  I'm very proud of this
one."

   Samantha set aside the pack of Marlboros and deftly unwrapped the small
rectangular package.  It was a jewelry store box.  Jewelry always excited
her.  "I can't guess what it is," she squealed, still unwrapping.  She opened
the box and gasped.  "Oh my God!  It's a lighter!"

   "It's fourteen carat gold.  It's already loaded with butane.  Try it out."

   Gleefully she clicked the button.  A small flame appeared, and then
quickly disappeared when she released the button.  "Wow, it's a really nice
one, too!"

   "It's the best.  It's a Calibri," he proudly proclaimed.  "I wanted to
show you I'm totally committed to a new attitude.  I've really changed my
mind about you smoking.  But I decided to back it up with some serious money
and give you a really nice, expensive gold lighter.  It's the best money can
buy, Sam," he repeated.  "It's monogrammed, too.  Take a look."

   She turned it over.  Inscribed on the back in tiny letters were the words:
"Samantha's lighter.  Love, Danny."

   Tears formed in her eyes and began rolling down her cheeks.  "Thank you,
Danny.  Thank you _so_ much!"

   "Nancy helped me pick it out.  She felt sure you'd like it."

   Samantha frowned.  "Wait.  You've been talking to Nancy about this?"

   "Yeah, sure.  I said that already.  That's not a problem, is it?"

   "Oh no, of course not, sweetie.  God, it is so elegant, so nice!"  She
leaned over to kiss him.  "Danny, you're the best!"  She tore the cellophane
from the pack of Marlboro Lights 100's.  "God, I'd really like to try out my
new lighter!"  She paused.  "God, that sounds so nice.  It's _my_ nice, new,
gold, monogrammed Calibri!  Can I really have a cigarette right now?"

   "Absolutely.  I almost hate to say this because I know you're eager to
have one.  But before you light up, Sam, you should open the last present.
You see, it's also related, and it's sort of the most surprising of the
bunch."

   "Nothing could surprise me more than these wonderful gifts," she
proclaimed, pointing to the carton of cigarettes and the gold lighter.  But
she picked up the last box.  It was large and square.  She shook it.  She
frowned.  It made no noise.  "What is it?"

   She pulled off the paper, slowly, savoring the moment.  "I can't believe
you'll let me smoke," she went on excitedly, carefully putting the lovely bow
to one side.  "It's a bad habit, I know.  But I really did used to enjoy it."
He gazed at her with a bemused look.  "Okay, I admit it, I never stopped
enjoying it.  You talked to Nancy, so you know I never completely quit.  But
my God, Danny, I've been smoking since I was sixteen.  It's hard to give it
up altogether!"

   "And I don't want you to, either," he nodded.  "I'm in love with you, the
real Samantha, not the fake I tried to turn you into.  If you want to smoke,
then I want you to, darling."

   Finally she had the last present unwrapped.  Opening the box, and pulled
out two elegant matching cut glass ashtrays.  "Oh God," she gushed.  "They're
beautiful, Danny.  Thank you!"

   He grinned.  "I thought you'd like 'em.  Notice that they match."

   "Uh-huh, they're really lovely," she slowly nodded.  "There are no
ashtrays in the house.  So this means you're serious?  You really mean for me
to smoke here in the house?"

   He nodded.  "Sam, I want you to use this expensive lighter to light up
right here in the living room; or in the kitchen; or in the bedroom; in fact,
smoke anywhere else you want.  But I said that this was the most surprising
gift.  I bet you don't know why.  Do you?"

   "No, I guess I don't.  I thought that with these beautiful ashtrays you're
reiterating that it's really okay for me to smoke in the house.  But there's
more?"

   "Yeah, lots more.  The smoking's not the surprising part.  The first two
gifts, the carton of cigarettes and your gold monogrammed lighter, they
already made that point.  No, there's another aspect of this last gift that
you still haven't discovered."

   She smiled.  "And I bet you'll tell me, won't you?"

   He nodded.  "But first, try your lighter.  I want to watch you smoke one
of those cigarettes.  Nothing pleases me more than seeing you enjoy yourself,
baby!"

   Without delay Samantha opened the soft pack of Marlboro Lights 100's.
Eagerly extracting a long white cigarette, the lovely brunette carefully
placed it between her expectant lips.  She looked at Danny.  She still
couldn't believe it was okay.  But he nodded, urging her on, and it was all
the encouragement she needed.  With a big smile she pushed the button on her
gold Calibri.  On cue, a tiny flame appeared.  She moved it to the end of the
cigarette dangling from her lips.  She felt mouth-watering anticipation; the
flame touched the tip.

   Smoke filled her mouth, glorious smoke!  Her cheeks hollowed as she hit
hard on the cigarette, not once, but twice.  All through the second drag
smoke trickled from her nostrils.  Finally she removed the cigarette from her
lips, and she simultaneously inhaled smoke deep into her lungs.  Underneath
her baby doll pajamas, her already ample breasts seemed to get bigger as she
made room for the smoke she pulled inside her lovely body.  She smiled
tenderly at Danny.

   "Oh God, sweetie!  You have _no_ idea how much I appreciate this!  This is
nice!"

   For a long time she held the rich deposit of smoke deep within her
grateful body.  Finally, though, she readied herself to exhale.  Closing her
mouth she released a short burst from her nostrils in twin streams.  Then
opening her lips, the brief nostril exhale was followed by a longer, mixed
mouth and nostril exhale.  The thick flow of smoke was endless.  She smiled
contentedly.

   "Honey, you've made me so happy this Christmas.  God!  I can't tell you
how wonderful it feels to be smoking again!  You can't even imagine.  Damn,
it's the best.  You're the best!"

   He smiled.  "Sam, I hoped you'd feel this way.  But remember, I told you
that once you lit up, I'd explain the mystery behind the twin ashtrays.
Don't you want to know what it is?"

   Samantha was already dragging again, this time even more voraciously.
Free to indulge in Danny's presence, she felt ravenous, impatient for as much
smoke as she could get inside her body.  She nodded as she deeply inhaled the
splendid nicotine containing substance once more.

   "Oh, yeah, that's right," she smiled.  "Tell me, babe.  What is the deal
with the ashtrays?"  At last ready to exhale again, she closed her mouth and
released quick twin bursts of smoke via her nostrils, before opening her lips
and continuing the exhale in mixed fashion.  "What's up?"

   Danny smiled.  "Hand me that cigarette for a second.  I'll show you."

   Samantha looked puzzled.  "You mean the pack?"

   "No, silly, the one you're smoking.  Give it here."

   Confused, she held out her hand.  Danny put his fingers around the
Marlboro and graciously smiled at her as he took it between his fingers.

   "When you used to smoke, I know you loved smoking with Nancy.  Before you
moved in with me, you once admitted that one of the things you liked best
about smoking was sharing the smoking experience with other smokers like her.
Isn't that true?"

   Samantha slowly nodded.  "Uh-huh."  Her brain was putting two and two
together, but she couldn't quite believe the tentative conclusions cascading
through her brain.

   "So a few weeks ago, I called Nancy to get together.  We met for a drink
one night while you worked late.  I asked Nancy to teach me to smoke, so I
would be able to smoke with you the same way she used to.  Nancy was cool
with in, and so she taught me to do this."

   He raised the half-smoked cigarette to his lips.  He took a modest drag,
not as powerful as Samantha's, but he hit the cigarette with authority.
Grinning, he removed it and inhaled with no trouble.  He tipped his head and
exhaled a long, thin stream of blue-gray smoke.  "How's that?"

   Stunned, Samantha just stared.  Her boyfriend, the guy she quit smoking
for, was stealing a puff from her cigarette!  More important, he did it with
relative ease.

   She sputtered.  "But Danny...."  Perhaps she misunderstood.  Maybe she
didn't hear him right.  "Sweetie, I'm still confused.  What in God's name are
you telling me?"

   He took another drag, inhaled, and gave the cigarette back to his dazed
sweetheart.  As he passed it, he exhaled again.  "Honey, the ashtrays match.
They're twins.  There's one for each of our nightstands.  We both need
ashtrays in the bedroom; from now on both of us'll be smoking."

   Samantha laughed, half in disbelief and half from delight.  "You're not
shitting me, are you?  Danny!  You're dead fuckin' serious?"

   "You bet I am," he said, continuing to grin.  "Serious as can be.  See, I
wanted you to have the best Christmas present I could give, baby.  I knew you
love to smoke.  But you gave it up for me when you moved in.  I made an
unreasonable request; you willingly complied.  But I love you, and to show
you how much, I decided to give a gift that you'd never even dream of.  That
gift comes in two parts; the right to smoke as much as you want, and to
ability to enjoy smoking along with me."

   Still bewildered, she instinctively dragged again.  "So you've been
smoking?  God, how long has this been going on?"

   He grabbed her hand.  "Three weeks.  The first time I tried it I was with
Nancy.  She showed me the ropes.  Then I practiced on my own, almost every
day.  I only did it at work, and only in the mornings, so you couldn't smell
it on my breath when I came home.  I didn't want you to catch on.  I wanted
to save it for a Christmas present, baby."

   At long last Samantha began to believe it.  "My God," she gasped.  "This
is for real!  You're really going to smoke?  With me?"  She paused.  "And you
did this for me?"

   "All for you.  You like to smoke; honey.  I know you do.  So I want to be
a smoker, too, right beside you."  He pointed at the open pack sitting next
to her on the floor.  "Hand me that and I'll prove it to you right now."

   The dazed brunette gave him the pack.  Danny lifted out another Marlboro
and rested it between his lips.  Without a word she passed him her new
lighter.  He pushed the button and brought up the flame.  He expertly lit his
cigarette and took an initial drag.

   "I want us to be together, Sam," he explained, blowing smoke toward her.
"I know smoking's very gratifying to you.  No doubt about that, is there?"
She shook her head.  "So to be together; I mean _really_ together; we ought
to share all the things that are important to us.  And so now, from now on, I
want to share this experience with you, honey.  I really do."

   Sam's cigarette was almost gone by now.  She took a last hit and crushed
it in one of the twin ashtrays.  With no hesitation she reached for the pack
and got herself another.  With a grin she fired up her lighter and lit a
second Marlboro.  She looked.  There was no disapproval in Danny's gaze.  If
anything, he seemed pleased that she was continuing to smoke.

   "Oh God, I love this," she sighed contentedly, releasing another of her
customary mixed mouth and nostril exhales.  "This really makes me happy, more
than you can imagine.  Having you want to smoke with me is the nicest gift
conceivable!  But how do you really feel about it, Danny?  Are you just
putting up with it?  Or have you started to really like it?"

   He exhaled a stream of smoke toward the Christmas tree.  "I detested it at
first," he admitted with a smile.  "I didn't get it.  But then, the more I
smoked, the more I began to understand.  After a few days, smoking began to
grow on me.  Now I sort of like it.  No kidding."  He laughed.  "I hope
that's the answer you want."

   "It's _exactly_ the one I want," she nodded vigorously, manicuring her
Marlboro in the ashtray.  "So now, I can smoke all the time again, and you're
going to smoke with me?"

   "Absolutely.  That's exactly the plan.  Of course, I may not be able to
keep up with you," he teased.  "Before I made you quit, I know you smoked one
hell of a lot!"

   "Yeah, I did, at least a pack a day."  She giggled.  "And often I smoked a
lot more than that.  But you're not worried about it being bad for you or
anything?  Or for me?"

   He shook his head.  "Nope.  If we enjoy it, that's the crucial thing.  I
plan to share your life as a smoker, honey, so that we can keep growing
closer.  Nothing's more important.  And if it means that I'll be smoking a
pack a day, so be it.  It's worth it!  In fact, I'm sure I'll enjoy it."

   Samantha leaned over to kiss him, tenderly, passionately.  The heady aroma
of fresh tobacco smoke on his breath assailed her senses as their lips
connected.  It turned her on.  Something about his willingness to become a
smoker like her excited her.  Her tongue ardently thrust inside his mouth;
she imagined she was lapping up all the wonderful smoke that coated the
inside of his mouth.

   She pulled back.  "Oh God!  I almost forgot.  There's one last present for
you to open, sweetie," she said, putting her cigarette between her lips for
another hit.  "God I hope you like it.  It's kind of different."  As she
spoke, smoke erupted from her lips and nose.

   Danny tapped an ash from his cigarette in one of the twin cut glass
ashtrays.  "Sam, honey, if it's from you, I'll love it!"

   She reached under the tree for the last unopened box.  Before she handed
it to him, however, the doorbell sounded.

   Danny frowned.  "Who in the hell can that be?  My God, it's Christmas
morning!"

   Samantha blushed.  "I think I know.  But damn!  She's not supposed to show
up this early.  I wanted you to open this last present before she came."

   Laying her burning cigarette in one of the ashtrays, Sam bounced up and
headed for the door.  Danny was confused.  "I don't get it.  Who in hell
comes over Christmas Day?  My God!  It's not your parents, is it?"

   "No, don't worry, it's not my parents," she assured him.  Still dressed in
her pink baby doll pajamas, she opened the door.

   Into the house sashayed a tall, gorgeous redhead.  Under her open coat she
wore a thick, green cashmere Christmas sweater and black stretch pants.  Her
fire-engine red hair was short and curly.  She flashed a big grin.

   "Hi, guys.  Merry Christmas!"

   "Uh, hi, Nancy," Danny answered from his seat on the living room floor by
the tree.  "Merry Christmas.  What are _you_ doing here?"

   Nancy and Sam walked toward the living room, and Samantha gave her old
roommate a quick, affectionate kiss on the cheek.  "God!  Nice to see you,
Nancy.  Merry Christmas to you, too.  But you're early!"  She lowered her
voice to a whisper.  "He hasn't opened it yet!"

   "Yeah, I know I'm early," sighed the attractive redhead.  She threw her
coat on the floor and waltzed into the room.  "But, shit!   I had nothing
else to do Christmas morning.  You know, it's really shitty being all alone
for the holiday!"

   "But Nancy, I thought you were visiting your family," Danny said with a
quizzical smile.  "That's what you told me last week."

   "Yeah, well, that's what Sam and I _wanted_ you to think," she said with a
coy smile.

   Seeing the ashtrays, the burning cigarettes, the carton and the Calibri on
the floor, Nancy grinned.  "Ah, Samantha!  You got your Christmas presents!
Nice, huh?  Does this mean that the old Samantha, the unrepentant smoker, is
finally back to stay?"

   Samantha leaned over to retrieve her cigarette from the ashtray.  She put
it in her mouth.  "Yeah, and I hear you knew all about it, you redheaded
bitch!  It sure is wonderful.  But it's even better that Danny will join me
and will smoke with me from now on!  Isn't that cool?"

   "Yeah, I thought you'd like that."  Nancy nodded, settling into a chair.
Opening her purse she removed a pack of Newport 100's.  Momentarily she had a
cork-tipped cigarette between her lips.  "A carton of cigarettes, a kick-ass
gold lighter, and a boyfriend determined to learn to smoke just the way you
do.  Pretty good Christmas, huh?"

   Samantha sat down beside Danny.  With cigarette in hand, she nodded.
"Yeah, it's the best Christmas ever.  But Danny still hasn't opened his last
present.  I think this is a good time for him to do that.  You might get a
kick out of seeing him open it, Nancy."

   "I'd like that.  Hey, how are you doing with your new smoking habit, big
guy?"

   Danny smiled.  "Just fine, Nancy.  I practice smoking every morning at
work.  I'm actually starting to like it, I think."

   "Of course you are," the redhead laughed, expelling a torrent of smoke
from her mouth.  "Depend on it; before long, you'll be as devoted as Sam and
me."  She hit on her Newport again.  "By the way, Sam.  Did you tell Danny
just _how_ much you're really been smoking recently?"

   The brunette blushed.  "Not exactly.  He knows I smoke when you and I get
together."

   Nancy smiled at Danny.  "That deceptive little bitch!  That's not the
whole story.  In fact, it's just the tip of the fuckin' iceberg.  Your
beloved Samantha has been smoking every day for a month!"  She laughed.  "A
few weeks ago she stayed overnight with me while you were out of town on
business.  Remember?  Well, she and I both smoked constantly that night!
After that, Sam kept right on smoking.  It was a little hard for the poor
girl to play the non-smoker after that night's smoking marathon.  Since then,
she's sneaked cigarettes at work every day.  She also smoked on weekends by
doing her shopping alone.  Lots of breath mints and cologne, eh, Sam?"

   Sam completed her customary nose and mouth exhale.  "Sorry, Danny.  I
intended to tell you eventually.  It wasn't Nancy's fault.  It was mine.  But
today, you solved my problem, because now I can smoke again out in the open
whenever I want."  She nuzzled against him.  "And best of all, I can smoke
with you!"

   "I don't mind, baby.  That explains why Nancy said this would be a great
Christmas present..  Now, what about my last present?"

   "Oh, yeah," Sam grinned eagerly.  She handed him the last package.  It was
large and lightweight, wrapped in red and green paper with a red bow.  "Here,
honey.  Open it.  God, I hope you like it.  It's something you don't have.
I'm sure of that!"

   He took a drag off his cigarette and set it in one of the twin ashtrays.
"Sam, if you selected it, and if you think I'll like it, then I'm sure I
will."

   The box was huge.  Danny shook it.  It almost flew out of his hands as he
did, it was so light.  He raised his eyebrows.  "Whatever it is, it's not
very heavy!"

   "Oh, it's heavy," Nancy interrupted.  "Trust me.  It's _really_ heavy!"

   "So you know about this present, too?"

   "Sam and I spent time figuring out this one together," the redhead
acknowledged.

   "God, Nancy, between helping me with Sam's present by teaching me to smoke
and helping me pick out her lighter, and then in helping her with my gift, I
guess you've been a big part of our first Christmas together."

   "Oh, yeah," she nodded.  "I think you could say that."

   He lifted the lid on the box.  Inside was nothing but a 5X7 picture of
Samantha and Nancy taken a year ago sitting side by side in their old
apartment.  "It's a nice picture of both of you.  But I suspect I'm not
merely supposed to frame it and put in my office.  Right?"

   "Right.  Like the twin ashtrays, this needs some explaining."  Reaching
for her Marlboro Lights 100's, Samantha lit a fresh cigarette from the butt
of her spent one.  "You have the money to buy yourself anything you want,
Danny.  There's nothing I can get you that you couldn't get for yourself if
you wanted.  So I had to be creative, to think of something to really turn
you on, something you don't expect.  When we first met, we went drinking one
night.  After a few beers you said that your ultimate fantasy was to make
love to two women at the same time.  Remember?"  He blushed, and she went on.
"I told Nancy about your fantasy.  She said we could make it happen real
easy.  But I was afraid, because I was still insecure about us.  I feared you
might eventually ditch me for someone else."  He began to protest; she put
her finger on his mouth.  "Wait.  Let me finish.  I realized that's dumb.
You're the most generous guy I've ever known.  The wonderful gifts you gave
me this Christmas prove it.  But even before today, I decided I trusted you;
trust you enough to arrange a three-way with you, me and Nancy."

   The saucy redhead interrupted.  "That's why I'm here, Danny.  I'm part of
your fuckin' Christmas present!  But only I knew we'd all be smoking while we
fucked our brains out!"

   Danny shook his head.  "Wait a sec.  Sam, you prearranged with Nancy for
the three of us to have sex?  Today?"  As she nodded, he again shook his head
in astonishment and whistled.  "Wow!"  He broke into a grin.  "I mean, damn!
That sounds great.  But are you sure, honey?"

   His housemate nodded and gave him a little kiss.  "I'm sure, Danny.  If
you want to, then I want to.  I'm not afraid of losing you anymore.  I want
you to have this special gift.."

   He turned toward Nancy.  "And how do _you_ feel about this?  You're
willing?"

   The redhead laughed.  "Hey, you know me, Dan.  I love a good time."  She
puffed on her Newport.  "I like the idea of you fucking me along with Sam,
big guy.  That's why I'm here.  I'm ready for the three of us to fuck right
now, right here, under the fuckin' tree!"

   Danny looked into Samantha's eyes.  "It's a wonderful present, Sam.  But I
don't want you to do anything you're not comfortable with.  Have you ever
kissed another woman?"

   She blushed.  "Well, actually, Danny, this isn't exactly be a new thing
for Nancy and me.  You see, lots of nights when we lived together, if were
dateless, we often ...."

   He pushed a finger onto her lips.  "Shh.  I understand.  Okay then."  He
grinned.  "Wow.  Right now?"  Both women grinned and nodded.  "Damn!  And we
can do it anyway I want?"

   "Any way you want," Samantha repeated.  "Merry Christmas, sweetie!"

   He laughed apprehensively and took a deep breath.  "Great.  I guess since
it's my fantasy, and my Christmas present, then first, I'd like to see you
two girls kiss each other."

   Nancy smiled and lit up another Newport.  She slid from her chair onto the
floor.  Effortlessly she glided across the carpet till she reached Sam.  She
put her head on Sam's shoulder.  "You're the boss, Danny," she said.  "Just
tell us what you want us to do."

   "Kiss each other," he repeated eagerly.

   Both girls turned their heads.  They closed their eyes.  Their lips met.
They kissed, gently at first, and then more passionately.  Sam pulled away
and looked expectantly at Danny.

   "How was that, baby?" she whispered.

   Nancy answered for him.  "Oh, don't worry, Sam.  You needn't ask.  He
likes it a hell of a lot.  Either that, or the boy's got a very large banana
in his pants today!"

   It was true.  Danny's cock now stood firmly at attention inside his
sweatpants.  The sight of Samantha and Nancy kissing was a huge turn on!

   Sam smiled with satisfaction and deftly raised her cigarette to her lips.
She took a long, hard drag.  "God!  You're right, Nancy," she coyly teased,
holding smoke in.  Before exhaling, she locked her lips on her old roommate's
again.  They kissed, and this time, along with her tongue, smoke traveled
from Samantha's mouth into Nancy's.

   "Mmm," Nancy sighed.  She turned to exhale some second-hand smoke.  "God,
that's nice!  I'm glad you'll let Sam smoke again, Danny.  It's much nicer
kissing her when she's smoking like a chimney!  It's just like the old days,
roomie!"

   Sam smiled as Nancy raised her cigarette to her mouth.  Then she tenderly
put her hands on Samantha's chest.  "Ooh, God,, that's nice!  I _love_ Sam's
nice, big titties.  Don't you, Danny?  They're so huge!"  Without waiting for
his answer, the redhead began gently massaging Samantha's breasts through her
pajama top.  "I love touching your tits, Sam," she sighed.  "They're so big!
And your nipples are rock hard!  Ah, you must be excited.  I bet this feels
good, doesn't it, you beautiful thing?"  Samantha just groaned in response.

   Danny was working his stiff cock through his sweatpants.  "Good boy,
Danny," Nancy laughed approvingly.  Her dangling cigarette bounced as she
played with Samantha's breasts.  "Yeah, get your cock ready!  You like seeing
my hands on Sam's tits, don't you?  You know what?  It turns me on seeing you
play with your big cock!  It looks like fun.  And how about you, Sam?  Isn't
this a turn on for you, too, me playing with your tits while Sam jerks off?"

   Samantha nodded as she drew on her cigarette.  Sucking smoke into her
lungs, she sighed.  "Oh God, yes, it is, Nancy," she moaned.  "It feels so
good when you touch me there.  I want you to touch my tits, too, Danny.  Get
your ass over here; right now!"

   He obediently moved himself beside the two writhing women.  His cock
conspicuously stood up inside his pants.  Nancy saw it, and leered.  "Good
boy, Dan!  You like this, don't you?  But you ain't seen nothing yet!  For
months you've wished you could touch me.  You want to fuck me.  Don't lie.  I
know it's true.  You've dreamed about touching me, kissing me, fucking me.
For a long time you've lusted after my hot body.  Now you finally get to have
me, Danny.  Isn't that nice?  In just a few minutes you get to fuck me, while
Sam watches."

   Danny just nodded and groaned.  His hand moved faster.

   Nancy put her hand, the one with her Newport, close to his mouth.  "Take a
drag off my cigarette, Danny.  Do it, boy.  Now!"

   He submissively wrapped his lips around the cork filter of the cigarette
in her hand.  "That's good, isn't it?" she teased as he took a drag.  "Now
let go, and suck some of that menthol smoke down into your lungs.  Do it now.
There!  Isn't it good?"

   He did and, while he was still inhaling, Nancy leaned in to kiss him.  One
hand was still on Samantha's breasts and her other was now behind Danny's
head.  She kissed him hard, and simultaneously sucked the smoke from his
mouth.  "God, you like being a smoker, don't you, Danny?  Yeah, I  know you
do.  You're such a bad boy.  And we're bad girls.  We're _so_ bad!  We're so
naughty that we'll let you fuck us both!"

   Samantha had gotten so turned on she couldn't stand it.  She slipped her
cigarette into the ashtray and thrust her hands up underneath Nancy's green
cashmere sweater.  "Oh my God, Nancy," she squealed with delight.  "You're
not wearing a bra!"

   Nancy moaned.  "Of course not!  I hoped someone would get their hands in
there.  Ah, that's good!"  She slyly looked at Danny.  "Big guy, I want you
to feel me up, too.  Samantha shouldn't have all the fun.  Won't you join
her?"

   Soon Nancy's sweater and pants were off.  She was naked on the floor,
wearing only her thong panties.  Samantha and Danny took turns kissing her
breasts, and each other, while the redhead lay on her back.  Periodically Sam
reached for the ashtray to treat herself to another drag from a cigarette.
It didn't matter whose it was.  She just wanted smoke; and she wanted Nancy
and Danny; and she wanted Danny to have smoke, Nancy, and her, too!

   Danny was caught in a passionate rush of thrilling pleasure.  The
sweetness of loving both Samantha and Nancy at once was overwhelming.  He
kissed one, then the other, fondled their breasts, licked their pussies,
while alternated played with his throbbing cock.  He didn't mind that they
were smoking; he wanted it, too.  He wanted more; more of everything!

   Just when he thought he couldn't stand any more, Nancy slipped off her
panties.  "Danny, my man, the time has come.  I want you to fuck me, right
now.  I can't wait anymore.  Do you get it?"  She laughed as he nodded.
"Yeah, I want you to fuck me while Sam watches us.  And Sam, dear, you'll
like watching.  You like to watch.  Am I right?"

   Samantha nodded breathlessly.  "But I want to help, too," she gasped.

   Nancy giggled.  "Then get your ass over here.  Kiss Danny and kiss me,
while he's inside me, fucking me."  She laid on her back, and Sam put her
hands on Nancy's naked breasts while Danny shed his pants.  "Oh, yeah, that's
good, Sam," Nancy groaned.  "Keep your hands right there.  Okay, big guy,
give it to me, for God's sake.  I've been waiting a long time for that big
cock of yours.  Stick it right in there!  See if you can fuck me real good,
because I want it.  This is _my_ Christmas present as well as yours!"

   Nancy stayed on her back.  Danny mounted her and directed his rock-hard
cock into her hole.  Samantha was busy kissing her and urging him on, with
her hands still on Nancy's tits.

   "This isn't all, Danny," Samantha whispered.  "I expect you to fuck Nancy
while I help, but then you have to fuck me, too, while she watches and helps.
So don't think this is it!"

   Having thrust his cock inside Nancy's trembling pelvis, he grunted as he
began to slowly move in and out.  "Don't worry, Sam," he groaned.  "I have
plenty for both of you.  Oh God!"

   He thrust harder and harder, faster and faster.  Nancy moaned out loud.
The first of a series of orgasms swept over her.  She trembled and quivered,
always relentlessly urging him on.  Finally, just before he came, Sam
whispered into his ear:  "Merry Christmas, sweetie!"

   And then, he exploded inside Nancy!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

   It was eight o'clock Christmas Night.  Samantha and Danny were lying
together in his king-size bed.  They both had pillows propped up behind them.
Danny quietly read a book he got as a present from her that morning.
Samantha gazed at the ceiling and smiled.

   "This was the best Christmas ever, wasn't it?"

   He looked at his lovely brunette housemate.  "Yeah, it sure was," he
smiled.  "Thanks for making my fantasy come true.  It was fuckin' great!  Did
you have as much fun as me?"

   "Yeah, I sure did.  It _was_ great, wasn't it?" she laughed shamelessly.
"I hope you don't mind if I enjoyed it?"

   "God, no!  Anything that makes you happy, makes me happy, Sam.  You know
that."

   He went back to his book.  Samantha sighed, rolled over and seized her
Marlboro Light 100's from her nightstand.  Beside the half-empty pack was one
of the beautiful, cut glass ashtrays.  Its twin sat on Danny's nightstand.
She sighed.  It was wonderful to have him join in her old, beloved habit.
What a special gift that was; and it was one that would keep on giving!

   She lit another cigarette.  So far she'd had a pack and a half.  He looked
at her, smiled, and reached for one, too.  With her Calibri, she offered to
light him.  A she did, he exhaled a small cloud of smoke from the corner of
his mouth prior to taking his first drag.  It was Danny's fifteenth of the
day, and he looked like he was enjoying it.  That made Samantha very happy.

   "Hey, Sam, how do you do that thing?"

   Samantha startled.  "What thing?  What are you talking about, Danny?"

   "You know.  That thing you do.  I want to learn how you do it.  The way
you first exhale through your nose, but then you continue exhaling while
smoke comes out of your mouth and nose at the same time?  How in the hell do
you do that?  I can't make it work."

   Samantha laughed.  "So, Nancy didn't teach you to do that in her class?"

   "No, she didn't," Danny grinned.  "But it looks interesting.  I want to
learn."

   "It's simple," his bedmate explained.  "Inhale some smoke, then close your
mouth and swallow.  That forces it deep down inside.  Force a little out
through your nose, but not too much.  Then stop.  Now open your mouth and
force the rest out.  It'll come out both your mouth and nose.  Like this."
She took a hard drag and inhaled, demonstrating her approach.

   He nodded.  "Let me try.  Like this?"

   He did his best to imitate her method, but was only partly successful.
After several tries, he finally gave up.

   He laughed.  "I guess it's your exclusive signature exhale, sweetheart.  I
must admit, I like how it looks.  It's very different from the way Nancy or
anyone else exhales smoke."

   "Sweetie, all smokers have their own signature moves as smokers.  You
will, too.  Just keep gong.  Before long you'll develop your own peculiar
ways of inhaling, exhaling and the rest, ways you do things that'll be
distinctly personal.  The best part is, you don't have to think about it.  It
just happens naturally.  That's where this 'thing' I do came from."

   He tapped an ash in the ashtray and smiled.  "Hey, Sam, you know what?  I
almost forgot.  There's one more present I meant to give to you today."

   She began to protest.  "It's not fair, Danny.  You already gave me too
many gifts!"

   "Just one last one.  Here, I think it's in the drawer of my nightstand.
Ah, yes.  Here it is."

   He gave her a small box.  Like the one in which her Calibri arrived, it
was a small, square jewelry store box.  She looked at him suspiciously.

   "Go ahead.  Open it," he nodded.

   Holding her cigarette in one hand, she lifted the lid.  Inside was a ring;
a large diamond ring.  She stared at him in disbelief.

   "Samantha, will you be my wife?  Will you do me the honor of marrying me?"

   Sam stammered.  She was speechless.  She tried to talk, but no words came
out.  Finally, she nodded her head, slowly at first, and then faster.

   "Yes," she managed to say.  "Oh God, yes, yes, yes!"  

   They kissed for several moments.  Then Samantha put her cigarette in her
lips while she slipped the diamond ring onto her finger.  Drawing on her
Marlboro, she inhaled smoke while admiring the stone shining on her hand.

   "Danny, you give the best damn Christmas presents!"

   He grinned.  "You do a pretty good job yourself, sweetie.  Merry
Christmas!"

THE END


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