The yellow beam of the flashlight swung around another corner in vast warehouse. It was aisles of shelves that reached into the retreating darkness of the ceiling. The concrete floor was cracked and sported the occasional odd puddle.

Dawn Meadows paused, ending the clicks and clacks of her heels on the cement floor. She closed her eyes, and willed her ears to listen very carefully. Something sounded not quite right. Opening her eyes, she literally hopped right out of her heels just as a large wooden crate came smashing down upon them. Quickly turning, she saw the splintered remains of the heavy crate, somewhere beneath her poor expensive designer shoes. But it could have been all of her she thought! That was too close! And I’ve been in this game a long time; that was no accident. Somebody’s trying to flatten me!

Out of the darkness, emerged a grim looking figure, sawdust on his hands.

“So you’re my informant?” asked Dawn, trying to sound casual, heart still hammering from her near flattening.

“I guess you could call me that,” he replied gruffly. Grabbing a board from the wrecked crate, he advanced on Dawn menacingly, apparently no longer interested in pleasantries and dialogue.

Too late Dawn realized this was a fight or flight situation, and flight seemed out of the question. Even without the awkward heels, running in this skirt would leave her easy game for this dangerous predator. Her precious time used up on decision-making, she turned at the last second as she caught the brunt of the board smash on her back. The blow sent her staggering forward.

She gritted her teeth, and turned with a tiny balled up fist, taking a swing at the thug. This gusto from the thin little reporter, he was not expecting, and the blow caught him square in the jaw. He took a step back, and shook his head. He was surprised, but he was uninjured. With renewed menace, he advanced on the slender reporter, her tiny fists balled up in useless fight. Just then a tiny beam of light swung around the corner, far down the aisle behind the thug.

“Danny! Be careful! There’s-“ Dawn’s warning shout was cut off due to lack of air. Lack of air was due to the shocking blow she took to her stomach from the thug’s fist. She reeled back wheezing, gasping for breath, reaching about wildly as if she could grab it with her hands. The thug half turned away from her, pulling out a gun and taking aim toward the flashlight beam down the aisle. In Dawn’s horror, all she could do was stagger back and forth, her body weight shifted from stocking foot to stocking foot as if neither was sure they could handle her, as the shot went off. Her large green eyes widened further as the distant flashlight beam went wild, fell, and rolled away in the aftermath of the ringing gunshot.

Still reaching about with her hands wildly for that intangible breath to give her body control, Dawn never noticed the board coming at the side of her head, until the explosion of stars. Her mind strangely worked overtime, scanning the stars for signs of constellations, somehow unaware in the horror of it all that these were not those kinds of stars. The spots before her eyes raced across her vision as she crashed to the cement floor, blonde hair a mess, soaking up a mystery puddle. Her face turned back and forth dizzyingly as she reached about and finally caught an elusive breath.

“Danny…” she wheezed before blacking out.

Unconsciousness receded and Dawn was met with a crushing weight on her chest. First her ears worked.

“Yeah, boss, I’ve got her. She put up a surprising little fight in her skirt and pantyhose, but she was pathetically outmatched. I put her down,” came the gravelly voice of the thug.

Next, her vision was restored, blurry was the only thing available as she willed her eyes to open. Scratch that, painful and blurry was the only thing available. She held them half open long enough to take in the horrific situation she was in. The thug was standing over her speaking into a cell phone to someone he referred to as “boss.” One victorious booted foot was planted painfully upon her. That was the crushing weight on her chest. Dawn had been in enough bad situations to know this fit neatly into that category. Certainly she had investigated her last case and been defeated. And poor Danny too… she closed her eyes.

The thug clicked his phone shut and applied additional pressure to Dawn’s chest. She was unaware that had been possible, but it had the desired effect. She cried out and opened her eyes.

“Good, you’re still with us,” chuckled the thug. “Now, you’ve got a little job to do, Dawn Meadows. You’ve been a thorn in my boss’s side for a long time now, and you’re a smart enough girl to know when you’ve been beaten,” he emphasized with another application of booted pressure. The additional cry out showed she got the message loud and clear.

“Danny…” whispered Dawn.

“Don’t worry your blonde little head about your boyfriend. He took his bullet like a man and he’s holding it together. For how long though? Well that’s up to your cute little backside,” the thug leeringly.

“Danny’s still alive?” she winced.

“Like I said, for how long, is up to you,” corrected the thug. “My boss has a job for you. You’re going to do it, because if you don’t, I’m going to put more run in those pantyhose than your poor legs can take, and I’m afraid your poor boyfriend won’t be any better off. You’re boss, that blowhard editor, Mr. O’Neil has a story filed on his computer that you submitted. It’s got all the hard evidence that is very damaging to my boss. You’re going to wipe that file from his computer, and make sure that story never sees the light of day so that business as usual continues for my boss, as the saying goes. Are we clear?”

He must be talking about Gerald Sinclair, thought Dawn, fighting to keep her thoughts from scattering like a scared school of fish. Two years ago, Dawn had exposed Sinclair’s dealings with the Triad gang syndicate of New York City. The story was sensational and sent ripples through the upper crust society of the City, including her own editor, Mr. O’Neil who had stood hand in hand at many social events with Sinclair. It also sent Gerald Sinclair to the slammer. It had taken him a couple years, but he was obviously still operating to a degree from within the prison walls, as was evidenced by Dawn’s current perilous predicament. He clearly also had a score to settle with the nosy young reporter. Bad guys often did not like when Dawn Meadows sent them to jail for long periods of time. She ought to be used to their long held grudges by now. Gerald Sinclair was up for parole and Dawn had recently uncovered more dirt on him, and had put a story together. She sent it over to Mr. O’Neil’s desk to be approved before going to print. If published, it was sure to keep Sinclair safely behind bars without parole.

“Mr. O’Neil is the only one with access to the computer. He would never let me near it. There’s no way,” explained Dawn weakly.

“Miss Meadows, I don’t think you’re stockings can support another round with me, and maybe I did not make myself clear. Your boyfriend’s life depends on it,” he added with emphasized gravity.

He removed his heavy booted foot from her chest and she gasped greedily at all the air she had been missing, gulped it in like she only had a certain amount of time before it would be deprived again. The thug’s booted steps echoed on the concrete, getting quieter and quieter as he retreated into the darkness.

“I’m sure I don’t need to remind your cute little blonde head, since you’re a star reporter and all, but if you try to involve anyone, especially your editor or the cops, then you’ll never see your boyfriend again,” the thug called merrily back at her as he left.

Dawn was left with her injuries on the cold concrete floor, her tangled hair had soaked up the mystery puddle. The intrepid reporter of the Rose Tribune, Dawn Meadows, defeated at last.


-After a short stay in the hospital…

After the morning staff meeting, Dawn Meadows followed Mr. O’Neil back to his office.

“What’s up, Meadows? Aren’t there bad guys to catch? Corruption to expose? Why aren’t you out there getting me headlines, keeping the press going, keeping the paper from going into the red, and more importantly, keeping my blood pressure from giving me an early heart attack?” asked gruffly.

Dawn had made sure to spend extra time that morning on her makeup getting it just right, wear a shorter skirt than normal, a sexy white blouse, and very sheer pantyhose with reinforced toes. Her answer to his question was to nudge her cute little butt onto his desk, and slowly cross one of her impossibly long legs over the other. Her heels were nowhere to be seen on her arched feet, toes wiggling playfully against the reinforced nylons.

“I came to return this pen you loaned me last week,” purred Dawn as extended the pen playfully at O’Neil, twirling it in her long slender fingers, delicate nail polish neatly applied with painstaking care.

“Why, uh, thanks, Meadows. Where are your shoes? You know the rules here. Professionalism requires…” O’Neil tried to be gruff, but he was taken aback by Dawn’s unusual behavior.

“Come on, sir. You already keep me snug, prim, and trim in these suits, skirts, and pantyhose. Certainly you can allow a girl a short break from being trapped in her heels. Besides, I’ve seen the way that you look at me. You may be able to hide your desire from everyone else, but not from me. I know that at every staff meeting, you want me sitting on your lap, long legs crossed as toys for you play with. I know you’ll pluck my heels off and say ‘to heck with rules’ just so you can stretch out my reinforced toes and make me giggle like a school girl in front of entire staff. And if your rough hands put a run in my nylons during their foul play, I’ll be forced to change into a fresh pair right then and there, as any good girl would do. After all, you’re the boss, and I need to make sure you’re VERY happy,” seduced Dawn as she uncrossed her legs, drawing out the sound of nylon against nylon. Slick as a snake, she willed her body to curve over on the desk, and then on her knees, she seductively crawled toward Mr. O’Neil, reaching out with her dainty little fingers, and grasping at his tie. She looked at him with her pouting red lips and green bedroom eyes, sure as the smile on his face that he was getting a generous view down her silky white blouse. Dawn was unaware at this point of her seduction that they were no longer alone.

“Arthur!” came a crow’s voice.

Mr. O’Neil’s eyes retreated regretfully from the depths of Dawn’s white blouse, the arch of her back, the hump of her blue skirt and everything wrapped beneath it, her long sheer stocking clad legs on their knees, ending in curled reinforced toes. His attention was drawn with lightning speed from the heavenly creature that was Dawn Meadows to crowing voice coming from his hag of a wife!

“Dear!” exclaimed Mr. O’Neil in exasperation, bolting back in his chair, snatching his tie back from twirling in Dawn’s long delicate fingers. Dawn’s own heart seized in her chest at this unexpected surprise. She backed up on her knees from Mr. O’Neil like a cat caught doing something she shouldn’t. Her posture shrunken with guilt, she slinked with awkward grace off the desk, trying to hide the face that she was sliding her skirt back down from revealing the slimming tops of her pantyhose.

She stood like a shaking leaf in front of Mrs. O’Neil’s baleful gaze, unable to make eye contact. Her knees were turned inward, toes curled down, her posture was of utter humiliation and guilt. She girlishly played with her hair because she knew she had been bad, gotten caught, and had no defense. Her lovely golden hair was the only safe place for her hands to retreat. Mrs. O’Neil said nothing, just burned Dawn with her gaze of judgment. Dawn suddenly felt very foolish in her perfect makeup, flowing silk white blouse, her blue skirt that was too short, and the sheer pantyhose that accented her legs in a clear message: allow these to distract you while I take what I want.

It looked really bad. O’Neil’s wife was never accused of being a beauty, but next to Dawn Meadows, it would be an exaggerated compliment to even call her a beast! Mrs. O’Neil seemed all too aware of this, and the proof was all over her face. Looking Dawn’s trembling slip of a form up and down, she finally paused on her nervous looking stocking feet. The reinforced toes were curled down revealing her nervous guilt.

“Where are this girl’s shoes?” demanded Mrs. O’Neil. Dawn’s posture merely shrank further if it was possible, and Mr. O’Neil simply blinked not comprehending. “I asked where this girl’s shoes are! Surely you don’t let your harlot reporters traipse around the office in their stocking feet like this is a junior high sleepover? Think of the investors. What if one of them were visiting today and saw this trollop prancing around in her nylons like she were a silly girl daring a detention out of the administration of private school? I say again, where are you shoes you waifish whore?” came the scalding questions.

“At my desk… Miss,” whispered Dawn guiltily.

“And you know the rules, every female on staff knows the rules at the Tribune. Of course you know the rules. Do you know what happens to female staff who think it’s okay to dance around in their stocking feet or worse, wear nylons in disrepair at one of the most prestigious publications in the world? Reputation is everything, my dear!” she was nearly yelling now in hysteria. Dawn turned deeply red. She was all too aware what became of female staff who thought they were above the rules. The thought did not sit well with her, did little to slow the hammering of her heart against the ribcage, and made her realize that her little plan to seduce Mr. O’Neil into letting her into this computer was unraveling faster than a pair of drugstore brand pantyhose. She did the only thing she could think of. She fell down on her knees at Mrs. O’Neil’s feet and begged.

“Do you see this, Arthur? This little harlot is begging. Does she know how to do anything but get on her knees? Are you going to take care of this? Arthur?” crowed Mrs. O’Neil. Unfortunately, mentally, Mr. O’Neil was still checked out by the events unfolding before him.

“Honestly dear, just because you like the idea of this little minx’s stockings wrapped around you like some kind of cotton candy does not mean you can excuse her from risking the investors, and the Tribune’s reputation! You’re a disappointment, Arthur. Obviously I will have to clean up this little scandal,” fussed Mrs. O’Neil. Dawn gulped at the sound of this. She knew exactly what that meant.

With a surprising iron grip, Mrs. O’Neil grabbed Dawn roughly around her skinny arm and gave her a yank, nearly pulling the poor arm from its socket. Dragging a resistant Dawn toward the corner of the office, she forced her down into the corner while she turned her attention to a decorative ship anchor mounted on the wall and the accompanying length of rope. She regarded it thoughtfully for a moment before pulling down the coil of rope. Dawn watched in dazed horror as Mrs. O’Neil coiled the tight knot around her trim stocking clad ankles.

“On your feet, trollop,” crowed O’Neil’s wicked wife. Awkwardly, Dawn used the wall to get herself up on her feet, she teetered back and forth, mustering all her balance to keep from toppling over. She pleaded with incoherent murmurs for Mrs. O’Neil to allow her to go and retrieve her heels. She promised it would never happen again!

“Oh, I’m quite certain it will never happen again,” agreed Mrs. O’Neil as she thrust open the window in her husband’s magnificent office, editor of the world famous Rose Tribune publication. Office on the 42nd floor. The wind howled in and took Dawn’s long golden hair in its fancy, whipping it about. Mrs. O’Neil leaned in close to Dawn’s ear.

“I’m disappointed you failed me, girl. I will have to take care of eliminating the file myself. Unfortunately, we don’t have time to catch you with a run in your stockings. You must be using that billions of yours to buy premium brand hosiery. I’ll have to remember to check the tag in your waistband. Fortunately for us, you’ve never quite outgrown your high school bad habits, Miss Meadows. Unfortunately for you, at Ivy Ridge Prep Academy, running around in just your stocking feet just gets you thrown out of school. Disobedient girls do need a good lesson. At the Rose Tribune, it gets you thrown out a window!” she cackled, giving Dawn an unceremonious shove. With her bound ankles, it took very little to encourage Dawn’s cute little bottom over the window ledge, and topple over the other side. She dropped several feet before the rope pulled taught against the anchor mounted on the wall, leaving Dawn suspended upside down 42 stories up, screaming her head off. The sensation of being dangled upside down was disorienting at best, horrifying when coupled with the 42 stories between her and the concrete below. Before the wind played with her hair, out here it savaged it, as it hung out from her scalp. Long, golden, and lovely as it was, it could not reach the safety of the ground far below. Despite her terror, Dawn tried to hold the hem of short skirt down, in an effort not to show the whole city, the tops of her pantyhose, and the cute heart print panties beneath.

“Mr. O’Neil!” Dawn shouted in her tiny voice out there in the raging wind. “Mr. O’Neil, your wife isn’t who you think she is!” Dawn was desperate to communicate this new discovery to her editor. It was all so devastating. How could she possibly have known that O’Neil’s own wife was in cahoots with Gerald Sinclair? Now, her failed seduction, and her inability to see the truth had left her out to hang, and the villains would win the day. She realized with a knot in her stomach, that she should have left her heels on before she executed her plan. Mrs. O’Neil was right about one thing. She hadn’t outgrown her teenage bad habits. A pair of kicked off high heels, lay discarded in her office, and because of that, Danny had to pay for it. It appeared as though she might too, Dawn realized with growing dread, at a horrid sensation in her ankles. The rope had been tied tight around her ankles; tight enough to leave her dangling 42 stories up, screaming her head off while her panicked mind put together all the pieces, but gravity, Dawn’s modest waifish weight, and the slickness of the nylons encasing her long sexy legs were to prove her undoing. Inch by inch, the silky nylons negotiated a little bit more of Dawn’s arched feet. She curled her reinforced toes as if they could hold on before the toe seams of her stockings snagged on the rough texture of the rope as she slipped out of the rope’s entanglement. The toes of her stockings stretched out with a groaning strain as the reinforced nylon toes fought to hold onto the girl in one final snag. She bobbed there for a few moments like bait on a hook, dangling on pantyhose feet stretched to the max, before the dainty seams snipped free and whipped wrinkled and loosely stretched out from her painted toe nails. If she weren’t plummeting to her doom it would have been an embarrassingly comical sight.

Dawn reached out with her hands wildly again, like when she was grasping for breath after the savage blow to her gut from the thug. This time, she grasped for something more intangible. Safety. It was in short supply. In fact, it seemed to be fleeing from Dawn faster than she could fall. The wind whipped savagely at her hair, her sexy silky white blouse, the hem of short blue skirt, buffeted against the wild fear filled kicks of her long stocking clad legs in the open plummeting air. She screamed until her lungs gave out, green eyes wide, tears frozen in the wind against her porcelain cheeks.

From the 42nd story window of Rose Tribune, Mrs. O’Neil looked down in victory as Dawn’s pathetic form. She lay flat out on the pavement below. Blonde hair a mess, the wind had made short of her flimsy skirt, exposing the backside of her heart print panties beneath the sheer pantyhose that covered her long slender legs, now run filled to the point they gave out on the poor legs. The toes of the stockings were garishly stretched out long past the feet within, having desperately tried to support the girl in her final moments, but alas, she needed more than reinforced toes to get her out of this tangle.


-Later that evening…

Gerald Sinclair folded the evening addition of the paper with a cover photo of a face planted Dawn Meadows, complete with humiliated wardrobe malfunction.

The headline read: “Star reporter tests the support of her pantyhose and fails”

“Well, I owe you one, Miss O’Neil. You both helped me secure my bail, and remove the pesky brat, Meadows. You’re coffers will certainly fill with generous donations. I’ll see to it,” commended Sinclair, clinking champagne glasses with Mrs. O’Neil at the shadowy corner table of a high-class restaurant.

“Oh, Gerald, you say the dearest things,” cackled Mrs. O’Neil wickedly.


-THE END

Illustrations by Nippy13

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