My husband, Martin, isn't one of those men who must have the latest/greatest in technology. Nor must he demonstrate his manliness with boy toys that are always the biggest, and therefore presumed the best (phallically speaking).
Which brings me to the death of Scotty--an appropriate topic, now that the latest Star Trek Movie ("Into Darkness") is in movie theaters.
No, I don't mean Scotty, the good ship Enterprise's engineer (thank goodness, because I really really love love love Simon Pegg in the role).
I mean Martin's cell phone, a relic he calls "Scotty," as a quaint reference to the phasers carried by the Star Trek crew. You see, his phone is that tiny.
And it ispossibly as old as the original TV show itself.
Okay, certainly it's not THAT old. Besides, back then there were no cell phones, not to mention the first ones were attached to suitcases, so that would defeat his purpose of carrying the tiniest phone he could find.
In fact, his current cell is so tiny that texting on it (yes, at least it allows him to text, but only predictively) is a tribulation, despite his opposable-thumb dexterity. (He's right up there with the apes and chimps, so my mother was wrong about him.)
And the darn thing certainly ain't "smart." He can't get The Internets, and the pictures it takes look like they were pulled out of an elephant's ass.
Bottom line: Scotty is dying.
It's showing its wonkiness by asking to "Please Insert Sim Card" when it already has one. Or sometimes the screen goes white (yes, at least, originally it was in color). Other times, the message shows appears upside down.
"Honey, Scotty is dying," I tell him in a soothing tone.
"But I hate the new phones! They're too big," he whines "Much too bulky for a man to carry in his pocket."
"Too bad," I respond. "It's dying. That's okay. It lived long and prospered. But if you're waiting for another cell the size of a Star Trek phaser gun, youve got another thing coming. If you need something to carry it in, I'll lend you one of my purses."
Needless to say, this is not the answer he's looking for.
If he could, he'd wait it out, until cells got small again. Until then, he's still got to reach out and touch someone with something that receives messages that aren't smoke signals, so down to the Verizon store we go.
Speaking of dying, I've got a great excerpt for you today. It comes from Book 2 of The Housewife Assassin series, Guide to Gracious Killing. In it, my heroine, Donna Stone, is charged with protecting the Russian president from assassins while he's the guest of an American billionaire. Of course, both an assassin and the billionaire make their appearance at exactly the wrong time: while Donna is trying to take a shower.
I’ve just clicked on the dryer again, when there’s another knock on the door. I crack it open to find a maid standing there, with an armful of towels. “Shall I take them into the bathroom, Madame?” Her accent is slightly British, which is par for the course around here.
“No, that’s okay. I’ll take them.”
She smiles and hands them to me.
That’s when I see it—a small tattoo of a wolf on her left arm.
Her eyes follow mine. She senses I know who she is.
Her arm comes up toward my face. I block it with my forearm, then kick her in the gut. She falls back, slamming into the dresser. This stuns her, but just for a second. She reaches behind her and yanks the dryer from the electrical socket. In no time at all, she’s got the cord wrapped around both her wrists and arms.
“You won’t stop me from killing him.” Her vow is soft, but deadly. “With what he’s done to others like me? That pig does not deserve to live!”
“Trust me I get it. But it’s not happening here, or now.”
We both know I can’t talk her out of her mission anymore than she can talk me out of mine: to save Asimov’s sorry ass.
We circle each other warily, assessing each other’s weaknesses: She’s got more bulk than me, but she’s also slower. I’m taller, too. Best yet, I’m now up against the dresser. Obviously, she considers this a weakness because she charges me.
Even with the cord wrapped around my neck, all it takes is one squirt of my spray cologne in her eyes to blind her.
She stumbles into the bathroom, dragging me with her into the shower, where she turns on the water, full force. She’s hoping to wash the sting out of her eyes.
What she doesn’t count on is my ability to kick her into the shower.
She bangs her head against the marble wall. Before she comes to her senses, I untangle myself from the cord, plug the dryer into an electrical socket, and throw it into the tub.
Wolverine’s death mask stare and the smell of her frying skin sends me gagging from the room followed by a shower of sparks as the electrical system shorts out.
I shut the bathroom door, then lay down on the bed to catch my breath.
This time when there’s a tap on the door, I throw it open, to let Jack in.
But no. It’s Jonah Breck.
I pull my robe tightly around me. “My husband is out right now.”
He smirks. “I know, dear. That’s why I’m here. Don’t worry, we’ve got all the time in the world. He’s with the Japanese defense minister, who is somewhat long-winded.” From behind him, he pulls a bottle of Tattinger’s and two champagne glasses. “I presume you’re finding your accommodations to your liking.”
“In all honesty, there’s a short in the bathroom’s electrical system—”
Before I can say another word, he has backed me onto the bed. When my robe falls open, he whips the sash out from around me. Before I know it, he’s flipped me onto my stomach.
“I could use that drink right now,” I gasp, as he binds my wrists with the sash.
“We’ll celebrate afterward.” I hear him fumbling with his zipper. “You will, anyway. Trust me, I’ll have you begging for more.”
I struggle and try to sweet talk him some sense into him, but no use. He’s got me pinned. I’ve just about given up any hope of the Calvary coming when there is a sharp knock on the door.
“Mrs. Stone?” Both Breck and I recognize Edwina’s voice. “Mrs. Stone, your daughter requests you come immediately.”
“Answer her.” Breck’s hot breath sears my ear.
I shout, “I’ll—I’ll be right there.”
“I’ll have to escort you. The girls are eating in the south wing media room tonight, and with security as tight as it is… Well, you can just imagine.”
Breck mutters a curse as he rolls off me. Even as he unties me with one hand, the other gently follows the curve of my ass—
When he smacks it hard, I swallow the urge to cry out.
“A love tap. There’s more where that came from. You’ll love the tour of my dungeon.”
He’s got a dungeon? His corporate bio doesn’t mention a sadistic streak, but yeah, okay, makes sense.
I leap up and grab my dress, which is hanging over the chair.
Breck smiles as I struggle into it. “Allow me to zip you up.”
I suppress a shudder at the thought of his hands anywhere on me. Instead, I nod.
He presses the zipper into my skin as he inches it up, ever so slowly. When he’s done, I feel his lips grazing my neck. They linger there as he breathes in the scent of my skin, sweat, and disgust.
How I long to smash that champagne bottle over my host’s head, but seriously, what kind of guest would that make me?
And besides, I can’t deal with the disposal of two dead bodies tonight.
Before I leave, I flip off Elvis Costello.
I can just imagine Ryan and Arnie’s shock and awe at seeing Breck slithering out of the room.
I don’t even want to think about Jack’s reaction.
Let alone what he’ll say about the fried maid in the shower. I guess I have a lot of explaining to do.
c) 2012 Josie Brown. All rights reserved. This excerpt may not be resold or redistributed without prior written permission from Josie Brown or Signal Press Books (email@example.com).
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