My power cord betrayed me again and I have been unable to log on until now.
In that time you have posted 250 comments. Do you even need me here? Yes, to put up posts. Here, have another one.
In other news, Bob and I have reached 48000 words on Rest in Pink, which I just gave back to him, even though he turns into a pumpkin about eight which is further exacerbated by muscle relaxants because he hurt his back. That’s what he gets for doing things other than writing.
I am now going to read comments and cut the hell out of the beginning of Lavender’s Blue because Rest in Pink starts fast and is very good. You all talk amongst yourselves in the comments (like you need me to tell you that).
Oh, and here’s the beginning of Rest in Pink. I know you haven’t read Lavender’s Blue yet, but Pink is supposed to stand alone. The X’s are the parts where I took out spoilers. I do not count the fact that Vince and Liz are lovers as a spoiler. You all knew that was coming after you read the first scene in Lavender.
SUNDAY, First Week of May
Posted on BurneyCommunityNews on Facebook:
WELCOME to BURNEY!
Burney, Ohio seems like a sleepy one stoplight town on the Ohio River, but come visit! We’re actually a seething caldron of illicit sex, graft, political corruption, and murder, controlled by the all-powerful Blue family! And now, Anemone Patterson, famous for her lurid past, has come to Burney with Elizabeth Danger, a woman from Burney with a shady history of her own, who is doing the dirty with dour Burney cop Vincent Cooper, possibly in an attempt to subvert the law!
Stay tuned for more dark doings and darker depravity as Burney turns even Bluer. Go to BurneySecrets&Lies at ThomasThacker.com and pre-order the forthcoming tell-all e-book on Burney and all its dark secrets, out soon. You will not be disappointed.
I’ve spent every Sunday night for the past five weeks with a cop. He is technically not on call on Sunday nights, which doesn’t stop people from calling him anyway, but he’s stopped picking up the phone, especially if we’re in bed when it rings. We see each other on other nights, but he picks up when people call then. Sundays are the nights we do not answer the phone.
I love Sunday nights.
I’d padded out to the counter of the old diner he lives in, still stark naked because the idea of being naked in a diner turns me on. Also the idea of the diner’s owner turns me on. Put the two of them together, and Sunday nights have gotten really satisfying for me, especially since this diner is private, transported to the woods on a flatbed truck to the banks of the Ohio River by the aforesaid cop, who will shoot anybody who comes near the place on Sunday nights. I have heard that he has actually said this to people, so he’s serious.
I’d come out to the counter to check my phone because the cop was asleep, and my employer, the fabulous Anemone Patterson, sometimes has brilliant ideas that she needs to share with me, and evidently Vince hasn’t given her the good news about Sunday nights yet. So I sat down at the counter in the empty diner—did I mention I was naked? it’s so great—and tapped the phone to look at my messages.
There were a lot of them.
Please don’t let anybody be dead, I thought, and then tapped the one person I absolutely trusted, my cousin Molly. Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.
I tapped on the voicemail, and Molly’s voice said, “I just texted you a Facebook URL. Go there right now. And then call me.”
That was it, that was the whole message. Given the urgency in her voice, I didn’t think it was cat videos, so I went to my texts, found hers, and hit the link.
“What do I have to do to keep you in bed?” Vince said from behind me, and I patted the seat next to me. He sat down, as naked as I was, and yawned as he looked over my shoulder at my phone, the heat from his body distracting me. “What the hell?”
I leaned back into that good warmth and his solid shoulder and felt his hand hot on my waist. “This is the Burney Community Facebook page, the one xxxxxxxxx used to run. Faye Blue took it over while xxxxxxxx is otherwise incarcerated.”
“And she put that up?”
I got to the dour Burney cop part and snickered. “I don’t think this is her.” Vince was not dour. He was sometimes unexpressive, but he never looked like a basset hound. I snickered again as I finished reading. “No, she didn’t put this up. Looks like somebody hacked the page.”
“What exactly is illicit sex?” Vince said, sliding his hand up my bare back as he read.
“Adultery? I don’t know. Keep doing that.”
“‘An attempt to subvert the law’,” Vince read over my shoulder, close to my ear. “You subverting me, Danger?”
“Every chance I get.” I frowned at the screen as I saw the URL, something I’d missed before when I’d clicked on it. “Oh, hell. This is Thomas Thacker. He’s that moron who was Anemone’s ghost writer before me. She fired him for being horrible, and he’s been harassing me for money for his research, which I do not want and for which Anemone has already paid him.”
Vince rubbed my back slowly. “I don’t see how this gets money from you. He’s insulting you.”
“Oh, not really. I kind of like having a shady past. Makes me more interesting.”
“You do not need to be any more interesting.” Vince stopped rubbing and took my phone to read the post again. “The interesting thing here is that this is all mostly true. Except my name isn’t Vincent.”
“Vincent isn’t the name on your birth certificate?”
I waited for more but it wasn’t forthcoming. “So what is on your birth certificate?”
He hesitated and then said, “Vinnie.”
There were a million things I wanted to ask, but I got the feeling that none of them would be welcome. I was never going to call him Vinnie. “Middle name?”
“No middle name.”
“Okay, Vince it is.” I looked back at my phone. “So where’s Thacker getting his info?”
Vince shrugged. “It’s Burney. Anybody in town would tell him anything. It’s not a secretive burg. When was the last time he hassled you for money?”
I took the phone back and scrolled through my e-mails as he put his hand on me again. I love it when he puts his hands on me. “About a month ago. There was one every day and then they just stopped. I was so busy coping with everything else that I thought he just got tired and gave up.”
“He stops and he starts working on this.”
I nodded. “If he keeps going, people will be upset.”
“Anybody we care about?”
“No. Anemone will love having a lurid past.”
“I would like to have a lurid present,” Vince said in my ear.
“You just had a lurid present,” I said, but I turned my head so my mouth was close to his.
“More,” he said, and kissed me—the man has a great mouth—and he took my breath away so I dropped my phone on the counter and kissed him back because I couldn’t not kiss him back. He is compelling.
Then he pulled me back to the alcove behind the glass brick wall that was completely filled with his queen-sized bed, a white bed-to-ceiling bookcase as a headboard.
“This is my happy place,” I said as I scooted back up to the pillows and the books.
“You’re about to get happier,” he said, crawling up to join me, and I decided that Thacker was just being an asshat, that nothing would come of his idiocy, and that I could safely forget about him and just be happy with Vince in our lurid present.
I was wrong, of course.