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Excerpt for Called to Heel by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

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Called to Heel


Alis Mitsy




This work is copyrighted under the pen name of Alis Mitsy as of 2019.


This story may be published under other pen names belonging to the author.


All acts and characters are works of fiction and any resemblance to real people or events is coincidental.


“You come now! Quickly now!”

Qiao scowled, although there was nothing pretty about it as she snapped her fingers repeatedly, tapping the heel of a daring pink number on the linoleum. It did not quite make the click that she was looking for, but that only threw her further into a fit of frustration, throwing her arms up as her handbag swung wildly from her shoulder in the exact same shade as her high heels. The shopping centre was crowded in the run-up to Halloween, although it was not for any kind of celebratory costume or clothing that she was looking for, oh no: Qiao most certainly was not the kind of woman who’d go for headbands with dancing pumpkins or spooky cat ears!

No... Qiao was a woman with fine tastes, her Chinese heritage evident in the cut of her cheekbones and how her eyes slanted, although some of that was simply because she had them narrowed so much of the time as if something had displeased her. Her breasts had sagged some with age, for she was by no means a spring chicken, but her clothes were of the highest quality, even though she had not spent a single penny on them in, well, all of the time since she’d clawed Darren into her life. And that man had been everything she’d needed to control and so very much more too.

For anyone who knew Qiao knew that she was a woman with a passion for a certain kind of footwear, although it was only those fortunate or unfortunate, depending on how one looked at it, enough to stay in her life for a while longer than the norm that truly got to experience the depth of her fascination, her domineering lifestyle taking a certain kind of person to keep up with.

“Darren! Darren? Why you no come?”

Hurrying up to her, he pushed his hair back from his forehead, the dark strands dark with sweat.

“Yes, dear!” He said, breaking into a light jog. “I’m coming!”

It was all he could do and he gnawed the inside of his cheek as he fell into stride with her, her short, quick stride surprisingly ground-covering for her shorter height. She was not a woman that would instantly be assumed to be intimidating – at least until she opened her mouth, that was. After that, well...everything changed.

“This one! We go here!”

Striding confidently into the shop, the sign above their head reading ‘Always 21’, Qiao cast her eyes about for her target: the glittering, illuminated racks of high heels all set up at the back of the shop for her perusal. If there was anyone else in the shop, they would have been wise to leave quickly after her entry, the rats fleeing the sinking ship of a shop that was intended for a far younger clientele than Qiao – not that she didn’t dress fashionably, of course, only perhaps not quite suited for her age. But who was to say that, truly? It wasn’t up to anyone else to judge.

Hurling her coat off to the side, Qiao sighed heavily and launched her coffee at the main display of shoes at the front of the store, bulldozing along her way as if there was nothing before her at all. The world was her playground, after all, and she was not a woman that took lightly to anyone getting in her way. The lid flew off the takeaway coffee cup with a green logo – one of the big favourites – and pumpkin spice latte spilt out in a sweeping arc, spattering the floor as if in an artificial rain even as the damage was already done. With coffee soaking into the suede and faux leather – it was not really one of the higher end shops, in all honesty – the shoes on that seasonal display simply could not be sold and Qiao’s reign of terror had begun in yet another store.

And Darren was simply left to follow, a pawn trotting along obediently, even if his eyes darted frantically, a small crowd growing as other shoppers paused in what they were doing, eyes wide and jaws slack. Why didn’t they go? They would do better to go! It would, at least, mean fewer people to bear witness to having the shame of his wife going on a high heel rampage yet again, although it was becoming such a common occurrence that it was a wonder that he was not simply bankrupt after everything she’d put him through. It did, however, perhaps explain why he was so isolated in his personal life if not his professional one as it was considerably difficult to maintain personal relationships with such a wonderfully overbearing influence in his life.

He wouldn’t have changed it for the world though. Not one bit of it.

Squealing delightedly, Qiao near enough bounced on the balls of her feet, heels clacking obnoxiously even as her childish glee nearly caused her to topple over. If she did, she would only shriek for her husband anyway, who would come running as he always did. It was one of the many things that she could count on about him.

“Uh, Qiao?” Darren ventured. “Haven’t we got rather a lot of stuff already? My card...”

“No!” She clapped her hands, selecting a pair of baby blue pumps from the nearest shelf, turning them over in her hands. “More! You do love me, don’t you, Darren?”

He winced at the babyish use of his name but knew better than to complain, the cashier already giving them odd looks from across the shop; they knew who to keep an eye on. Of course, he loved her, he just... Oh, what did it matter? It wasn’t going to change anything and, with how his stomach pleasantly churned and flipped over every time she graced him with her presence, neither was he sure that he wanted anything to change.

Maybe things were their own wicked kind of perfect just as they were.

Qiao giggled and ran her hand down the top shelf of heels, knocking one after the other to the floor. The solid material of the heel itself gave a solid knock every time one landed, the softer fabric and leather folding more lightly into the floor as if to mimic the varied kisses of lovers beneath the tender caress of moonlight. But the harsh glare of the shop lights was hardly anything that romancers would write about and Qiao seated herself to try on a pair of chunky heels with thick straps that reached up and around her ankles, toenails painted and polished to perfection in a clear pedicure. Darren licked his lips, fingers crinkling into the bags in his arms as if he was trying to draw them in even closer to himself, although they offered him no semblance of protection.

But when Qiao was on a mission, nothing was going to stop her. And if that mission was finding yet another pair of heels (oh, who was he kidding – it was going to be many pairs!), then he would just have to deal with it.

“Oops!”

Laughing, she rocked back onto her hands and kicked the other heel off, shooting it directly up into a light fixture, which buzzed and rocked but, thankfully, did not plummet to an untimely death.

“Miss! Miss!”

The shop assistant hurried to keep up, eyes wide and round behind her spectacles.

“How are you going to pay for all of this?” She said, sweeping her arm out. “You can’t just walk around destroying everything!”

If he knew it would not have fallen to him, Darren would have laughed but, as it was, his lips merely twitched as Qiao threw her head back, cackling a laugh that rang obnoxiously through the shop as if she was trying to draw attention to herself. However, she should have known that she really didn’t have to try to draw attention to herself as it was something that came to her perfectly naturally.


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