FLICKER SNEAK PEEK!
Please enjoy this exclusive peek into my newest Rom Com, releasing on March 10th!
I flipped the switch to high speed so I could cross my eyes. I was settled in bed, my favorite plug-in vibrator nestled in my lady bits, riding the speed train to O-town when the power tool blew the fuse for everyone that had the misfortune of living in my apartment complex.
As I panted in the dark, lightly humping my now dormant love pulser, a fire sparked in the distance. The flames on the pole outside sparked my concern.
I was not surprised that there was an electrical malfunction involving me. I was surprised I wasn’t dead, or at least twitching from an electrical shock. I knew I was taking risks when I used four old strands of fairy lights connected as a makeshift extension cord. Sure, they were pretty and set a nice mood, but the lights themselves got warm to the touch after being on for a spell. And I had been spelling for a while. It had to be a horrible combination. I strongly felt the farther away from the outlet, the safer I was.
As I crawled over my contraption, I wondered if other residents in the complex were participating in a ménage à moi as well. Rub one out to see the new year in right. Maybe enough to warrant the current situation with our power current. Or if it was just me. It was probably just me.
I wondered if the manager would come knocking to see if we were all okay. Or more importantly to him, if the building was okay.
“Ah shit, I bet it was a squirrel.”
One of my neighbors was taking a guess as he walked down the stairs outside. He didn’t know I had a dicey vibrator situation. Well, maybe he did. Because of the one time I did myself so right, the wand dropped out of my hand and vibrated on the hardwood floor for about five minutes before I could get my wits about me to turn it off. That had to be a very distinct sound.
But the squirrel bit had me rushing to the closet to put real clothes on. Well, the realest, quickest clothes I could manage by the light of my opened laptop.
I was worried about Mr. Nuts. I jammed a t-shirt that said every zoo is a petting zoo if you’re not a little bitch on it and baggy sweats. My coat was waiting on a hook by the front door, so I manipulated my hands through the sleeves while cramming my feet into boots.
Mr. Nuts was a sweet friend I was feeding on my porch. When I moved in a few months ago, he came with the property. Clearly, the person before me took to feeding him. Once he and I agreed on his favorite treats, peanuts, I made sure I had them ready for him in the morning.
I ran down the stairs to join the gathering of other curious residents in the parking lot.
The truck from Hanning Electric Company forced all of us to back up. I was pretty sure the driver had just rolled over Mr. Nuts’ dead body. I gasped.
When he exited the truck, my sadness and rage were released. I stormed up to him as fast as I could in my UGG boots. “How dare you run him over!”
I slapped the center of his chest. The man was startled and grabbed my wrists. “Who?”
Worry flooded his features while he looked around.
I tried to point at the steaming pile of wildlife. “Mr. Nuts! My squirrel!”
The electric man was taller than I was, and had no trouble keeping me from beating his chest again.
He leaned around me to examine the damage. “That’s a chipmunk. Well, it was a chipmunk.”
“What?” I pulled my hands away and turned, looking closer at the corpse I was trying not to see too closely.
“It’s a chipmunk.” He watched me with one pierced eyebrow lifted.
“How can you tell?” I dropped my gaze to the man's lips. Full with a pair of viper bite rings in the bottom one. He could pass as a celebrity he was so traffic-stopping gorgeous.
“I see a lot of this on the job. Number one reason to lose a transformer is small wildlife getting into things that they shouldn’t.” He tilted his head, watching to see how I would take his logic.
“So, you’re like a Disney Grim Reaper?” I stepped backward and cuddled my boobs.
I breathed a sigh of relief. I was still sad that a chipmunk hadn’t survived, but at least it wasn’t Mr. Nuts in a crumpled pile.
After telling the residents to back up, the electric man started unpacking his gear. He told them the transformer blew, but it had burned itself out. It was no longer about to burst into a fiery inferno.
I was freezing. Super cold. I looked down at the chipmunk. I was a sucker for animals. I had empathy for the smoking body. Not even thirty minutes had passed since it was out here doing whatever chipmunks did in the middle of the night before I somehow killed him with my vibrator.
I had to do something. I was slightly afraid of the electric man, and I wanted a few steps back from him as well.
Electricity scared me for good reason. I’d been shocked many times in my life. Not to death or anything, but I still hated it. I turned to run back into my apartment. Luckily, the complex had backup safety lights on the stairwell.
I watched as the stunning, angry girl rushed from the scene. She was something else. I was so distracted while I was checking her out that I ran over the little rodent that was smoking in the snow. Kind of a gory way to roll up on a job.
But, in my defense, she was a freaking smoke show, too. As she ran back to the building, I started assessing the situation.
I was in the electric business because my dad was and my granddad had been. In my house, the tools of the trade oftentimes lived on my kitchen counter. No one ever asked me if I would be an apprentice, it just came along with my everyday life.
As of four weeks ago, the family business, Hanning Electric, was now mine to run. Dad was incapacitated with a heart attack. The bad news was, as a small business owner, he didn’t have the best health care, so I put my other career on hold to make sure that money would still come in for my parents. Which brought me to being on call on New Year’s Eve, and currently standing by a smoking chipmunk. As I set up the ladder after checking that the power was turned off from the main, movement in my peripheral vision made me turn my head.
The woman was back again. Clutched in her mittened hands was a spatula.
Now, I was fully interested in seeing which way this was going to turn. I’d heard rumors of people trying to eat the charred remains of animals on the job, calling it a free barbeque, but I always thought that was an urban legend.
She seemed to be ignoring me completely, her head bowed. I made sure my ladder was sturdy and clipped my tool belt on while she remained silent. I was about to ask her to step back a little when she made the sign of the cross in front of her.
And then she knelt down close to the chipmunk carcass and started hacking away at the snow and ice.
“Um. Are you okay?” I was wondering if she was experiencing some weird sleepwalking or side effects from a drug.
She looked up from her ineffective chopping. “Yeah. I just wanted to bury him. I mean, I’m sure he didn’t intend for his night to end like this.”
“With a spatula?” I pointed at her hands with my screwdriver.
“I don’t have a shovel.” She sat back on her heels, looking defeated.
I swallowed my slightly callous laughter. It’d take her a long damn time to make a hole big enough for the chipmunk. It’d take anyone a long damn time to make a decent hole with a kitchen tool in this frozen soil.
“Listen, I’ll take him and bury him in a good spot later. It’s thirty-three degrees out here.” I stepped to the back of my truck and yanked open the rear doors. I had a box of connectors that was just about the right size. I slipped the plastic knobs into a Ziploc bag and held out the box to her.
Her deep brown eyes went from the box to the chipmunk and back again. She didn’t want to touch it, I was gathering. I had my work gloves on, so I hollowed out the soon-to-be coffin and plucked the chipmunk’s body out of the snow and laid him in the box, folding it closed.
She stood up and narrowed her eyes at me. “You're not just going to toss him out, are you?”
Her rose-colored lips were full, and she bit them together while she ascertained my trustworthiness.
“I’ve got a place in the backyard that has pets from over the years. He could go there.” I put the box next to my father’s well-worn wrenches.
The woman seemed to weigh her very limited options.
We stared at each other. Her gaze darted around my face, taking in my piercings. She looked wholesome. Like a true honey and milk farm girl.
“Do you think something caused the transformer to catch fire?” She folded her arms under her breasts and rubbed the sleeves of her coat vigorously to stave off the chill in the air.
It was a bit odd that she’d want the inner workings of the pole in this ice-cold weather.
“Depends. The electric company is on its way. It deals with the pole and the wires to the complex. My dad has a contract with the owners, so I want to see if there’s been any damage. Make sure it’s safe and all.”
“So, you fight electricity?” Her lips parted like she was asking me a sensual question.
“Sort of?” I’d never heard it referred to in that manner, but I was getting turned on by her facial expression.
“That’s awesome. Okay. I’m going back up to my place. Thank you for fighting for us. I really appreciate it. And for burying Oscar.” She held out her hand formally.
I slipped off one glove to accept the gesture. “You’re welcome. It’s just my job. And you named him already?”
“Yes. Every soul deserves a name. I’m Monday Blue, by the way. And you’re Harry?” She tilted her head toward the embroidery on my jacket.
“No. Bear. This is my father’s jacket. He just had…” I realized I was standing near a ditch, not really the time to tell a stranger about my dad’s health problems. “He had to take tonight off. So I’m pitching in. Technically, I’m Harry Junior, but everybody calls me Bear.” Her hand was so cold it almost felt like it was fake. “You better get inside.”
She took her released hand and jammed it into her jacket pockets.
“Hopefully, I’ll be able to get the power on soon.” I put my glove back on.
“That’s exciting. Okay. I will. Thanks, Bear.” And then she hit me with a megawatt smile. I felt my balls literally levitating, my physical reaction to her happiness was so visceral. She gave me miracle balls.
I watched her walk all the way back to the complex, her hips swinging. Monday Blue was hotter than the spark that had killed the chipmunk.