This story is probably my all-time favourite story. If anyone has ever watched the dance movie Center Stage, this story, to me, is the Center Stage of smoking fetish stories. [Aside: Zoe Saldana has some pretty good smoking scenes in Center Stage, although most people would consider this to be an awful movie].

This story has nothing really sexual in it other than Daria, our hero, becoming aroused by her own smoking. I think that is what I like this story so much. It focuses more on self-arousal, something I identify with. I, to this day, still read this story.

Without further ado, I present to you an excerpt from Daria’s Smoking Apprentice

One afternoon the head of the company, Valery Primakov, poked his head into her pointe class, and stayed a long time, watching her intently. She felt she was holding her breath the entire time, she was so anxious and excited to do her best. Maybe Mr. Primakov was taking notice of how hard she had worked these last several weeks, in order to give her a glimpse of her bright future with the Company. When the rehearsal broke, he approached her. “Daria? I wish to see you in my office in half an hour.” “Of course, Mr. Primakov,” she blushed, gathering her things. “Valery,” he said sternly, and when he noticed Daria’s look of fear, his face softened into a smile. “Right, Valery,” she repeated, tongue-tied.

After freshening up Daria knocked timidly on Valery’s door. He let her in, still talking in Russian on his cordless telephone, and motioned her into a chair. When he finished he looked at her for a long moment, his clear grey blue eyes unblinking. He began, “Daria, I must tell you something… ah, how you say… personal. Difficult.”

Daria gasped, “Are you letting me go?”

“Daria, no, no, darling. You are working very hard and making much progress. I only want to make your work easier by telling you this one important, but difficult thing.” He paused.

“Please, tell me,” Daria gulped.

“Daria, you must lose weight.”

Daria blushed deeply. Had she put on a few pounds in the past few months from Sheila’s dinners? Daria had always had a larger, more athletic build than most of the ballet dancers she knew, but her muscular, athletic legs lent an exciting quality to her dancing – especially her across-the-floor work and jumps.

“Wow.” She let his comment sink in. “OK . . . like, how much weight?” she managed in reply.

“Ten or fifteen pounds. Not much. It will make your pointe work so much easier, and of course, when you are partnered, easier for the man,” smiled Valery.

“I’ll work on it,” Daria promised. She fidgeted and looked away.

“Daria, my dear, don’t look so apologetic. This is something I say to all of the girls during their first year. It is not personal. You are a beautiful girl. You dance like a goddess. Keep up the hard work, and do what I ask, and you will have many assignments next season.”

“Thanks, Mr. Pri. . . Valery, I mean,” stammered Daria, backing out of the room. She closed the door behind her, and felt a wave of panic and dread overtake her. “How can I lose weight?” she thought. “I’m hungry all the time as it is.” Tears welled up in her throat, and she ducked into the empty stale-smelling break room, slid into a chair, put her head in her arms, and sobbed.

Jamie walked in, unnoticed at first by Daria, and sat down at the table. Daria looked up, saw her, and couldn’t hold back more sobbing. “Daria, what’s the matter? Can I help with something?” Jamie asked, putting her hand on Daria’s arm. “Oh, I don’t know.” Daria’s voice trembled. “It’s . . it’s something Valery said to me.” “I should have known,” murmured Jamie sympathetically. “Want to talk about it? Or should I butt out?”

Daria thought for a moment. Should she make herself vulnerable? Would people in the Company hear about her “weight problem” and treat her condescendingly? Seeing Daria’s hesitation, Jamie said, “Don’t worry, we all go through the wringer with Valery the first few months.” Daria looked up hopefully. “I can tell he likes you,” Jamie added.

“Really? Then why did he just tell me to lose 15 pounds?” The words tumbled out of Daria’s mouth before she could stop them.

“Oh, God, the weight lecture. We all get it from him,” sighed Jamie.

“I just don’t understand how I can lose that much weight. I’m working so damn hard as it is,” wailed Daria, the tears springing to her eyes again.

“I know, it’s not easy, but. . . Daria, I do notice you hit the vending machines every day. Maybe you could just give that up. . .” suggested Jamie gently.

“That’s not going to make me lose 15 pounds,” shot back Daria defensively.

“Yeah, I know … look, I feel bad about suggesting this, but . .” Jamie reached into her purse and threw her pack of Benson and Hedges on the table.”These are the answer to your weight problem. I know you don’t smoke, but I’m sure you’ve noticed, most of us do. Why? We used to be in the same boat as you. ‘Cut weight,’ Val tells us. So, we turned to these to take the hunger
pangs away. I’m going to have one now, do you mind?” Jamie asked, fishing one out of the pack.

“No, I was leaving anyway. Thanks for listening,” Daria added, grabbing her bag. “Anytime, kiddo,” Jamie said, the cigarette in her mouth bobbing as she spoke. Daria heard the rasp of Jamie’s lighter as she walked out the door.

Start smoking? she thought to herself. Ugh! The thought of it made her stomach turn over. That would be the last thing she would do. She put it out of her mind and, on the way home, stopped into a grocery store to buy some celery and carrots, which she was determined to eat in the future instead of vending machine food. “No, thanks, Sheila, not hungry,” she said that evening,
when Sheila called her down to dinner.

Daria dragged herself through the next morning’s class, weak from not eating. At lunch she pulled out the half of a tuna sandwich (no mayo) and carrot sticks she had brought, and wolfed them all down in less than two minutes. Still desperately hungry, she escaped the building and bought a Coney dog from a vendor on the street and ate it greedily.

The guilt feelings immediately overtook her. “How can I lose weight?” she cried silently to herself. “I can’t even trust myself for one day.”

Despondent, she walked down the street and turned into a convenience store to buy herself a candy bar to cheer herself up. “Wait! That’s just the kind of eating I need to stop doing!” she screamed at herself inwardly. She paused in front of the cashier, who looked at her quizzically. “What can I get you?” he asked her.

“A pack of Benson & Hedges.” Was that her talking? The words seemed strange in her mouth. Daria shook her head in disbelief, turning away to leave as the clerk said, “Regular or Menthol?”

Daria stopped. Obviously, dieting was not going to work for her. And there was no way she could exercise more, after those strenuous classes. Should she try smoking? It seemed to be working for Jamie and all the other lithe ballerinas in the Company. She couldn’t think of one ballerina besides herself who didn’t smoke.

“Menthol,” she decided. “Regular or Lights?” asked the clerk. “Lights,” she said, sure of that decision. She paid for the cigarettes, and put them in her purse. “Matches?” the clerk asked. “Sure, thanks,” said Daria, taking them.

Click here for the rest of Daria’s Smoking Apprentice.

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