Naughty and Nice (FM/FF)

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Naughty and Nice (FM/FF)

Post by spaceheatguy »

Julia was overjoyed. She was beyond excited. She was giddy. This year, for the first time ever, she was finally going to be able to celebrate Christmas in the best way possible. This year, she was going to be an elf. But not just any elf. She was going to be the best darn elf that Derrick's Department Store had ever seen.

She had been vying for this opportunity since the very first year she had started her seasonal help position at the store. For three years now she had come in to work from Thanksgiving to Christmas, stocking shelves, running the register, and occasionally sweeping the floors or cleaning the bathrooms. Having a good work ethic and cheerful disposition, she never minded any of these tasks. However, she had always had her eye on one role in particular, the elf position.

The job of the elves was basically glorified customer assistance. They were to walk around the store and greet customers cheerfully, making sure their needs were being met, and occasionally handing out little holiday gifts, such as candy or gift cards. This had always looked like great fun to Julia, whose cheerful personality would fit wonderfully with this kind of work. On top of it being their job to spread Christmas cheer, she was also quite envious of the fun green and red costumes that they got to wear, complete with hat and ears. She just knew she would look so cute in one, with her little button nose and rosy cheeks, and her beautiful golden hair poking out in a bun behind the hat. Or maybe a french braid? This year, she'd finally be able to figure out which one would look better.

Before the elves hit the floor, they were required to take the Santa's helpers training course. The course was held in the break room, and consisted mostly of watching training videos that had obviously been filmed decades earlier. When Julia arrived for her first training, she was delighted to see her friend Michael already seated in the room. Over the last few years she had developed a small crush on him, though they hadn't talked much. Taking this training together would be an excellent way to spend more time around him.

He greeted her with a smile as she slid into the seat next to his. "Hey, you get to be an elf this year too? It's about time, huh?"

Her rosy cheeks glowed as she returned a smile of her own. "It sure is. I've been waiting for this since my first season here."

"Figures," came a voice from the back of the room. Startled, Michael and Julia whirled around in unison. Leaning in the doorframe, peering out at them from beneath her dark, jagged bangs, stood Liz. She chewed nonchalantly on a piece of gum as she held them in a stony gaze. "They always pick the goody two shoes to be the elves."

Julia forced a smile. "There's a lot more to it than that."

"Yeah," chimed in Michael. "We had to work really hard for this."

"Anyone can do it though. You've been here a while, so I'm sure if you make it known that you want this position they'll keep that in mind for next year."

Liz met Julia's eyes as her lips curled into a sneer. "Oh you think so, do you? Well what if I told you that they've already given it to me this year?" She strode into the room, taking a seat behind them.

Julia glanced uneasily at Michael, whose raised eyebrows and shrugged shoulders told her that he was just as baffled as she was. She wracked her brain to see if she could make sense of this. Liz had worked there as long as she had, and had always seemed to do a good job. Her speed at sorting and stocking had always stood out from her counterparts. But her customer service skills had always seemed to Julia to be sub-par. She was never overtly friendly, and even had a reputation for getting a little mean with her co-workers, if they weren't going fast enough for her liking.

Her attire, although never outright breaking the dress code, was almost always right on the border of it. If she wasn't wearing semi ripped jeans, it was extra tight leggings with a top that did not cover her rear. One time Julia had even noticed a pink thong and the tops of Liz's cheeks peeking out from a pair of low rise jeans. As she bent over to pick up some merchandise, a few teen boys pulled out their phones, appearing to snap some candid photos. Julia was about to approach Liz to warn her of this violation, but before she could, she watched Liz straighten up, look right at the boys, and blow them a kiss as she wiggled her hips.

Julia's mind was still racing as their boss, Mindy, entered the room. "Well well," she smiled, "How are our three newest elves doing? Are you excited to begin your official elf training program?"

"Yes!" Julia and Michael exclaimed in unison. Liz blew a bubble with her gum, letting it pop right behind Julia's ear.

"Excellent!" Mindy beamed. "Let's get started!"

The next two weeks were extra full for Julia. By day she worked hard to finish her remaining classes. This was her first semester at the local community college, and she wanted to end it on a high note. By night she studied hard in the elf training, still determined to be the best elf Derrick's Department Store had ever had.

She was still annoyed by Liz's consistent bad attitude, but on the bright side, the subject had proven to be a good icebreaker when talking to Michael. If she had had a crush on him before, it was doubled now. He had even seemed to be hinting at wanting to hang out with her, but they could never seem to find a time that worked. She couldn't wait for life to slow down a little.

In the hours before and after elf training, the three trainees were hard at work with the rest of the employees, ensuring that Derrick's was ready for the holiday rush. Julia ran registers and handled returns. Liz stocked shelves, and Michael worked in receiving, loading and unloading the multiple trucks that arrived each day.

Although she loved engaging with the customers, Julia's new favorite time was quickly becoming the time when she was sorting the returned merchandise in the warehouse area. This was the time where she was able to see Michael the most, although he was usually only able to offer a quick hello as he rushed past pulling a skid full of new products.

Her usual sorting partner, Amy, was actually Michael's cousin, and cheerfully offered up any information on him that Julia was bold enough to ask. It was through Amy that she learned that Michael's birthday was December 22. She told Julia that he never made a big deal about it, but she felt that he would sometimes get a little sad about the fact that it was always overshadowed by Christmas. Julia took note of this, wondering if she could do anything to make it better for him this year.

One night Julia and Amy were sorting through the returned items as they usually did. Due to an unusual excess of returns that day, Liz was also helping, much to Julia's annoyance. She enjoyed talking freely with Amy, but Liz's constant scoffs, eye rolling, and demands to go faster really put a damper on that. As Julia sorted and labeled item after item, she came across a particular item that made her pause. It must have been one of the new line of Derrick's holiday lingerie sets. She stared in wonder as she attempted to process what she was seeing. The green bra was adorned with little candy canes, each with the words "lick here" written in tiny white letters underneath them. The panties, full backed and red with green outline, also had a message written on them. In large white letters was the word "Naughty." Underneath it, in smaller letters was written "Spank me, Santa."

Liz noticed the pause, and demanded to know why she had stopped. Amy peered over to see what she was looking at, and let out a giggle. "I hadn't seen this year's line yet. Looks like they went all out with it."

Liz, upon seeing what it was, just scoffed and rolled her eyes. "My boyfriend likes that one." She chewed her gum nonchalantly. "I couldn't sit down for two days after I wore it the first time."

"Why couldn't you sit down?" Julia asked, before remembering what was written on the back. "Oh..." Liz shot her a smug grin, before returning to her work.

"Well, we can't put those back on the floor," piped Amy, in an attempt to disrupt the awkward atmosphere. "Store policy says that we have to throw out any underwear that gets returned." She reached for the lingerie, but it was quickly scooped up by Julia.

"I'll get it. I've already got a pile to bring to the dumpster. I was just about to head there anyways." She set the festive undergarments on her throwaway cart, and wheeled it towards the door.

As she made her way towards the dumpster exit, she was passed by Michael on a forklift. She smiled and waved, and he returned the gesture with a smile and wave of his own. As his eyes left hers, she could have sworn she saw them linger for a moment on the top of her pile, and then glance quickly back at her, looking her up and down. Was it her imagination, or had he been noticing the lingerie? And then, had he just... just checked her out after looking at it?

She reached the dumpster, and began emptying the cart of its contents. For some reason, although she had picked it up several times, she just couldn't get herself to throw the lingerie away. Before she knew what had overtaken her, she was on her way back in, the cart empty, save one pair of sexy undergarments. She made a quick detour to the locker room, and when she had made sure nobody was there to see, she stealthily slid them into her locker. Her heart raced. She told herself it wasn't stealing. They were going to be thrown out anyways. Still, she had never done anything even remotely like this before, and it gave her a funny feeling in her stomach.

The next day was a day that Julia had been looking forward to since the day she started at Derrick's. It was the day they received their official elf costumes. Michael received his first. It was a pair of green dress pants, accompanied by a green jacket that was lined in red, with white fur at the cuffs. The girls received theirs next. The jackets were the same, but they were given green tights rather than dress pants. Julia was thankful that the jacket hung low enough to cover her butt. Each elf also received a green pointed hat with a bell on top. Julia watched in dismay as Liz slid a piece of gum out of her mouth, quietly sliding it into the cracks of the bell. She gave her hat a little shake, and smiled as the muted bell tried in vain to jingle.

Julia was ecstatic to try on her costume. She practically ran to the dressing room. She slid out of her work clothes, taking a moment to examine her reflection in the mirror. Michael was right to be checking her out, if that's really what he had been doing. She looked real cute in her pale pink bra and light blue panties. Her mind flitted briefly to the lingerie that was still hiding in her locker. The excitement to try on the costume quickly overcame her though. She had it on in no time. She noted that the tights were a little extra tight on her bottom, but she was too excited to care. She was finally an elf.

The next few weeks seemed to fly by. The elves, along with the rest of the employees, were kept as busy as could be. Julia worked harder than she had ever worked before, but she loved the work more than ever. She cheerfully greeted and assisted customers, and felt a huge sense of pride whenever it was pointed out that she was an elf. 

The only downside of this position was that Michael was put on the day shift, while Julia and Liz shared the evenings together. She was still able to see him briefly when she came in each afternoon, but the knowledge that he would soon be replaced by Liz was always a downer.

Liz's attitude had not improved much either. As the weeks went on, she seemed to get more and more snarky, making passive aggressive remarks that were beginning to drive Julia up the wall. Julia was also convinced that Liz was sneaking out back and smoking in costume, though she never had the time to find her and prove it.

One evening, as Julia was doing her usual rounds on the floor, she happened past a display that featured a Christmas countdown clock. Having been working so hard, all of the days seemed to run together. She studied the clock. It read four days until Christmas. She counted backwards. That would make today... the 21st! Oh no! That meant it was Michael's birthday tomorrow! She had wanted to get him something. Something nice. Something that would both make him happy and give him a hint. But what? She did not have much experience with boys, and was just now beginning to realize that she didn't even really know what they liked.  Well, she knew one thing they liked... Gross. Surely Michael wasn't as bad as the rest of them though.

She was beside herself by the time the store closed. She had hoped to catch Amy to ask her about Michael's interests, but it seemed she had slipped out before she had the chance. In fact, it seemed everyone had gone home for the night. It was up to her and Liz to close up the store.

Julia dragged her feet as she made her rounds, making sure that everything was in proper order for closing time. She found herself wandering aimlessly up and down the aisles, hoping beyond hope that a suiting gift would somehow just present itself to her. She noticed that Liz was nowhere to be found. Typical. She was probably out for another smoke. Julia fumed. She had had just about all she could take of Liz's attitude, and the failure to find a gift for her crush was just the push over the edge that she needed. It was time to confront her fellow elf. The bell on her hat clanged furiously as she stomped to the back door.

As she rounded the corner of the building she was met with a sight that caused her to stop cold. Just as she had suspected, there stood Liz against the wall, cigarette in hand. However, she had not expected the two additional figures who were towering over her and brandishing guns.

One of the figures had a gloved hand clapped firmly over Liz's mouth. Julia watched as thin wisps of cigarette smoke forced their way between his fingers. With his other hand he held his gun to her belly, almost hidden inside the folds of her unbuttoned jacket. Liz rotated her hips as her midriff squirmed. The gun was probably freezing in this weather. Liz's captor was speaking to her in a low voice, too low for Julia to hear what they were saying.

The other figure had placed their gun into a shoulder holster, and was now rummaging around inside a backpack. In the darkness, Julia couldn't quite make out what they were pulling out, but whatever it was it was long, thin, and coiled. After a moment the stepped up to where Liz and the other figure stood, under the small security light that faintly lit up the edge of the building. Julia could now clearly see what they had produced from the backpack. In their hands were multiple coils of multi-colored Christmas lights.

Something was again whispered to Liz. She nodded, dropped her cigarette, then slowly turned to face the wall. The first figure rotated with her, keeping their hand held firmly against her mouth. The second figure yanked her hands behind her back, and quickly began wrapping a strand of lights around them, binding them firmly together. On the final tug she winced, and a small cry of pain escaped her glove sealed lips. The second figure shoved her hard into the wall, as the first figure ripped off her hat and pulled hard on her hair, while the hand on her mouth squeezed even harder.

Julia was petrified. She didn't dare to move, lest the two figures notice that there was someone watching their diabolical behavior. She wanted to call for help, but to her dismay she remembered that she had left her phone in her locker. Realizing that getting to it was her only hope, she finally decided to make a break for it. As quietly as she could, she slipped back into the door.

She reached her locker as quickly as her trembling legs would take her. When she went to unlock it, she realized that her mind was practically blank with fear. She fumbled with the lock, struggling to remember what the combination was. She was halfway through entering her school ID number before she realized it wasn't right. Just as she remembered the combination, she heard the door open and clang shut, followed by a quick march of feet. She was too late. She dashed out of the far door of the locker room only a second before the three figures entered.

She made a mad dash for the front of the building, ducking behind shadow covered shelves and dimly lit Christmas displays as she did. If she could make it out the front, she could run across the parking lot to the 24 hour diner, and call for help there. She was almost to the door when a large box truck pulled up to the clear glass doors. It was exited by two more figures. She dove behind a register, and peered around cautiously. Although she could only make out their silhouettes, she could clearly see the light glinting off of two more guns, each in a shoulder holster.

Julia's heart raced as she lowered herself down to her belly, and began to slide herself across the smooth floor. Her only option now was to hide. As the figures approached the door, she slid herself back towards a Christmas display area that was set up for children to meet Santa. Large candy canes lined a green carpeted path that led up to Santa's throne. Behind the throne stood an enormous Christmas tree, surrounded with oversized presents. She crawled under the tree, managing to maneuver her way behind one of the present boxes.

She made it to safety in the nick of time. A moment after she squeezed into her hiding spot, the sound of echoing footsteps approached rapidly. From her hiding spot she watched as the original two figures marched Liz up to the display, shoving her roughly into Santa's throne. Her costume appeared very dirty, and was marred by small rips and tears.

"Try to escape again bitch, and see what happens. We won't be as nice the second time." The voice came from the second figure, the one who had bound Liz's hands. Julia was surprised to hear that it was a woman's voice. She could see now im the dim light the shapely hourglass figure, clad in black leggings and a black leather jacket. Short dark hair jutted out from a black beanie, and her face was hidden by a dark blue bandana. The other captor was dressed similarly, but sported jeans instead of leggings. This one was about a head taller than the other, and was clearly a man.

Liz spit at the woman's feet. "Try me, bitch. You think dealing with you is any worse than dealing with any other customer?"

The woman gave her a swift slap across the face. "To be honest I don't give a damn, sweetheart. I'm not here to listen to your problems. I just want to make sure you don't cause any for me." As she spoke she produced another strand of Christmas lights, and handed them to her partner. He began winding them around Liz's midriff and the throne, securing her tightly to it. "Now, I wasn't going to do this, but since you insist on continuing to use your mouth for things that don't involve helping me clear out this store, I'm going to gag you."

Liz stuck out her tongue. "Do your worst, bitch." Her words were defiant, but from Julia's hiding place she could hear the tremble in her voice. Even Julia quivered at the thought. Thinking of how it must feel being tied up was bad enough, but the thought of something being used to gag her mouth was even worse. What were they going to use? That's when she noticed that the woman's footsteps were suddenly coming her way.

She made herself as small as possible in her hiding place. She had the advantage of being hidden in the tree's shadow, but even that was of little comfort at a time like this. She watched as the silhouette of the woman stood almost above her, the presents keeping her just out of reach. The woman grabbed a few things from the tree, then returned to her defiant captive. Julia breathed a sigh of relief, and edged up again to see what was going on.

The woman stood above Liz. In her hands were the items collected from the tree. A small, red stocking, and a length of gold ribbon. "Open up dear," she ordered, as she stuffed the stocking roughly into her defiant captive's mouth. The thick top filled Liz's mouth, causing her cheeks to bulge outward. The curved bottom hung out the front of her mouth, covering her lower lip and chin. The woman then tied the gold ribbon around the stocking, cleaving it between Liz's teeth before tying it firmly around the back of her head. Liz resisted for a moment, but was quickly subdued by the male captor tugging her dark hair back.

Julia trembled in her hiding spot. Up until now she had all but hated Liz. But awful person or not, nobody deserved to be treated like this. She sympathized with how humiliated Liz must feel right now, bound, gagged, and kept powerless by two strangers.

When she was finished with the gag, the woman produced two more small coils of light. Liz's feet were then bound to each leg of the throne, causing her legs to be somewhat spread apart. Julia watched as the two captors stood a moment to admire their handywork. Though she couldn't quite tell how she knew, she could tell that the man was admiring it just a bit more than the woman was. Gross.

"Alright pervert, you ready to let our boys in and clean this place out?" The woman rolled her eyes at the man. He nodded, though he struggled for a moment to tear his eyes away from Liz's squirming form. Then, just as quickly as they had come they were gone, heading towards the front of the store.

Julia waited until she couldn't hear their footsteps anymore, then quietly slid out from her hiding spot. She silently approached Liz from behind, placing a hand on her shoulder when she reached her. Liz jumped, letting out what would have been a scream into her mouth packing gag. Thankfully the gag did its job. A wave of relief washed over her face, but was quickly replaced with a forced scowl.

"Where have you been?!" she demanded, after Julia managed to untie the ribbon and remove the stocking.

"Hiding," Julia whispered. "Who are these people? What do they want?"

"Robbers, I guess! How should I know? All they keep talking about is cleaning out the place. Well, that and telling me to be a good girl. Obviously they haven't done their homework on this place, or they'd know that's the last thing I'd ever be." She smirked, then rolled her eyes again at Julia's fumbled attempts to untie her hands. "Leave the hands! Get the ones that are tying me to the chair!"

Julia quietly obeyed. She felt a little foolish that she hadn't thought of that already. If she could get Liz out of the chair they could make a run for it. Her bound hands could wait until after they escaped. She was just starting on her legs when she heard footsteps returning, accompanied by new voices.

"So you really got one tied up back here?" A man's voice. It must be one of the figures from out front Julia thought. She looked back to Liz, panic in both of their faces.

"Quick, there's no time!" Liz gulped as she looked down to the soaked stocking on the floor. "Put that gag back in my mouth and hide!" Julia shoved the stocking back in her mouth, hastily tying the ribbon back around her head. She dove back into her hiding spot, a moment before three figures entered the display area. This time it was the first man, accompanied by two more men. The woman was nowhere to be seen.

"Wow, that's hot stuff," one of the new men cooed as his eyes landed on Liz.

"She sure does know how to tie them," the other new man responded, producing his phone to take a few pictures of the bound damsel. "Dressed as an elf, bound in Christmas lights, and gagged with a stocking. This is checking off all sorts of boxes for me."

The first one laughed. "The only thing better would be if there were two of them."

"If only..." The original captor sighed, then tilted his head as he studied the captive. "Wait a minute. Do you guys see what I see?"

After a quick study of the captive, the three men looked at each other. "That gag's a little sloppy. Not really her best work..." one started.

"That gag isn't her work at all. I was here when she put it in. It would've taken all night for this bitch to work it out of her mouth. But this is practically falling out already. Looks like there's more than one of Santa's elves here tonight." Liz glowered at him. "Ok bitch, where's your elf friend?" He walked up to her and unholstered his gun, pressing it firmly into her stomach, causing her to squirm once more. "I'll give you to the count of three candy canes before I ice this bitch like Jack Frost. One candy cane, two candy cane, three candy c.."

"Wait!" Julia cried. She stood up slowly from her hiding spot, her hands held high above her head.

"Well looky looky," chuckled one of the men. "It really is another elf."

"It's a Christmas miracle," chided the other. They strode over and took hold of her, roughly pulling her out from behind the presents. "What are we going to do with you?"

"You're going to tie her up, and then you're going to get back to work!" The woman's voice snapped as she entered the display area.

"Aw, c'mon, we were just playin'." Julia winced as they dragged her over to a large present beside the throne.

"I know exactly what you're doing. You can get all the action you want when we finish this job, but right now you're on my time, and on my time there is no playing. Now since you seem incapable of following my simple directions, and since I can clearly see your hands tracing their way up her leggings," she shot one a particularly menacing look, "I'm going to tie herself up myself."

"But," the one whose hand had been circling very close to the danger zone protested.

"No buts, or butts. You had your opportunity and you blew it. Now let go of her and get back to work, all of you!" Sullenly they released their grips on Julia, and skulked back into the shadows.

Make sure you get a few pictures, at least." The one who had photographed Liz called over his shoulder.

The woman rolled her eyes as she took hold of Julia's hands, forcing them behind her back. "Men..."

"Please Miss, you don't have to..." Julia tried to put on her most courteous customer service voice.

"Shut up, bitch." The woman growled as she bent Julia forward over the present. Julia felt her leggings tighten around her shapely butt. "You're lucky you're getting tied up right now. You could've been shot."

Julia didn't feel lucky. In fact, she felt quite miserable. Had it not been a hard enough day already? Now she was getting tied up, and her beloved store was about to be emptied out of valuables on her watch. She looked over at Liz, who she realized was watching the whole scene unfold quite intently. Their eyes met, but Liz quickly looked away, trying to appear as if she hadn't been staring. Julia looked back, and saw that she was being bound with Christmas lights as well. Here were white though, rather than the multi colored ones that bound Liz.

The final yank of the strand that bound her wrists caused Julia to jerk forward a little too hard. With a loud tear her butt was finally relieved of the pressure of her leggings. Oh no. She felt the woman robber pause, and then heard her begin to chuckle. 

"Spank me Santa, huh?" Julia's face reddened with humiliation. She looked back to Liz, who she realized was staring wide eyed at her exposed panties. The stolen lingerie fit her form quite nicely. She knew this from studying it in the changing room mirror before her shift. She really didn't know what had come over her, but she had just had to try it, at least once. After the way Michael had been looking at it.. Now here she was, her secret and ass out at the same time, with Liz, her rival, looking on in disbelief.

Tears rolled down her face as the woman laughed. She didn't know which one of them she was more afraid of at this point; the robber who was currently tying her up but would be gone tonight, or the rival who was currently tied up, but would be back to face her every day. "Mmmph!"

"Mmmmph! MMMPH MMPH MMMMPH!" Julia and the woman turned in unison to see Liz rocking in the throne, screaming into her gag as she worked it out of her mouth. "Leave her alone you fugly ass bitch! What's the matter, you've never seen sexy underwear before? No wonder those men don't respect you!"

The woman threw Julia to the ground, storming over to her newly ungagged captive. She quickly silenced her once more, shoving the stocking in even deeper than before, and securing it with two strands of ribbon. "Believe me, I know a thing or two about sexy underwear." She reached into her backpack, and pulled something out. In her hand was a pair of white satin panties with a full lace back. On the crotch section, written in red letters were the words 'Santa's Little Ho.' She slipped them over Liz's head, with the crotch section covering her nose.

She turned back to Julia, who was laying ass-up on the floor. She straddled her victim, sitting her leather leggings clad butt onto Julia's exposed panty clad cheeks. She hummed to herself as she bound Julia's feet. When she was finished she slid off her captive, and added one last strand that bound Julia's feet to her ankles. She then rolled her captive over, and pointed to Liz.

"You see that? That's what happens to naughty girls. I was going to wear those panties tonight. Now I have to go back to the lingerie section to get another pair. But this time I'm going to grab two pairs. If you end up on my naughty list, one of those pairs is going to find its way over your head too. Do you understand?" Julia nodded. "Good. Now, before I go I am going to have to gag you too. I can't let it slide that you tried to let your friend there go, you see, so you need to be punished at least a little bit."

Julia's lip quivered, but she said nothing. The woman walked to the tree, returning with the same items she had used for Liz. Julia began to drool almost instantly as the stocking filled her mouth. When the woman was finished, she stepped back to survey her captives. "One last thing," she quipped, as she dragged over an extension cord. She grabbed the ends of the light strands that bound the girls, and plugged them in. Both captives were suddenly aglow, Julia in white, and Liz in colors. The woman laughed, bid them good luck, and then disappeared back into the shadows.

For the next few hours the girls stayed in silence. Julia made light tugs, cautiously testing her bonds when she felt it was safe to do so. She could tell Liz was doing the same, though she barely moved. Every so often one of the male captors would stop by to check in on them, but they were always quickly found and shooed away by the woman.

Eventually the sounds of the the thieves ceased. Overcome by exhaustion, Julia was just beginning to doze off when she heard Liz mmphing into her gag. It was then that she realized she heard footsteps and voices. She rolled herself to face the front of the building, just in time to see Michael and Amy wandering into the display area. Wide eyed and open mouthed, she thought their expressions couldn't be any more surprised. She was proven wrong when they laid eyes on the bound and gagged elves.

Amy rushed over to Liz, as Michael knelt down by Julia. He rolled her over to untie her hands, and was immediately met with the sight of her stolen lingerie-clad booty. His face flushed red, but he pretended not to notice as he meticulously untied the embarrassed girl. As soon as her hands were free from her legs she rolled over, hiding the evidence of her shameful act underneath her.

As she looked into his face she could see he was concerned. But there was something else there too..

A few hours later she and Liz were finally finished recounting the saga of the night to the police. As they went to leave the store, Liz stopped her. "Hey, I think maybe I was wrong about you." She looked Julia up and down, her eyes lingering for a moment on her hips. "I think you're actually pretty cool." She popped a piece of gum in her mouth, and offered a piece to Julia. Julia gladly accepted. Maybe Liz wasn't so bad after all. Different, but not bad.

Michael stopped her a moment later. "Hey listen, are you alright?"

"Yes, I'm... I'm fine."

"You don't seem fine." His voice was full of concern.

"Well, to tell you the truth, I am a little bothered by something. But it's not really about the robbery."

"Not about the robbery? Well what is it?"

"Well, I... I know it's your birthday today, and I had really planned on getting you something!" Tears began to well up in her eyes. "But then I forgot all about it, and then when I remembered I spent the night tied up instead of finding something fun for you!"

He wrapped her in his arms as she continued to cry. "Hey, hey, it's alright. To tell you the truth I... Well, nevermind."

"No, what?" She wondered what he could be talking about.

"Well..." he began. To tell you the truth I...I... Well I got a pretty nice birthday surprise this morning. I mean, since you're ok and everything!" They both blushed. She knew exactly what he meant.

Neither of them knew what to say after that. They bid each other an awkward farewell, and she made her way home.

As she lay in bed recounting the night's events, she couldn't stop thinking about what Michael had said. "So I guess his birthday was a success," she whispered to herself. "Now, what to do for Christmas? Maybe that guy taking pictures was on to something..."

When she woke later she went down to the basement and found the box she was looking for. She returned to her room and locked the door. She positioned her phone to face her bed, then began to draw strand after strand of old Christmas lights out of the box. She was going to be the naughtiest elf Derrick's Department Store had ever seen.
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