short story

On how Romulus convinced Scarlett even further

[Crossposting from thecaregiverseries.wordpress.com]

I was all comfortable and relaxed at a table inside the hotel’s restaurant reading the morning paper and sipping coffee when the billowing of a black coat and the agitated tones of a male voice interrupted my concentration.

“There you are!” Romulus was rushing to my table. “I’ve been looking all over for you!”

I put down the paper the moment he stood next to my seat, waiting for something.

After not obtaining a reaction from me, he lowered himself and kissed my cheek before unwrapping his scarf, taking off his coat, and joining me in the seat across.

“It’s six in the morning. I expected to find you still in bed.”

“You took my other key.”

“I did.”

“You weren’t planning on staying the night so I thought I’d get an early start.”

“Ready to order now?” A waitress stood by our table.

I was quick to recite my order. Romulus hesitated when she turned to him.

“Go on. It’s on the agency.” I encouraged him and he ordered something for himself.

An uncomfortable silence fell upon us after the waitress left.

“I thought you’d be… tired.” He said, taking the discarded newspaper to glance at it.

Tired? Not so much. My wrists sure didn’t like being handcuffed for as long as they were subjected to and my buttocks still stung a bit –he sure liked whipping that leather belt– but I couldn’t say the whole act warranted the tiredness required for me to sleep all through the night, though. It warranted me other things. Things I didn’t feel like discussing at the moment.

“Insomnia.” I blurted. “Hits me every now and then. Had I popped one of my pills I would’ve been out the whole day and missed the trip to Spring Gardens.”

“Pills? You mean sleeping pills? Aren’t you a bit too young for that?”

“The sooner the better for the pharmaceutical companies.”

“Maybe I could be of help?” There was that smug smile again. “Maybe I wasn’t rough enough for your liking?”

“There are only so many things one can do in a hotel room before they call security.”

“I have a flat.”

“No.”

“It isn’t mine,” he hissed. “A friend is renting his old flat and I thought maybe you’d be interested.”

“I’ve already got a list of apartments I’ll be checking out. I’m planning on buying one this time. Never been fond of landlords.”

Our food arrived and I hastened to start on mine.

“Are you nervous?” he asked.

I kept my head low so I could roll my eyes without him noticing. “Not at all.” I put my fork down. “Look. Last night was nice.”

“Nice?”

“Yes, nice. But it doesn’t change anything.”

“That was never my intention.”

“Then what was your intention?”

“I wanted you.” He paused to stare into my eyes. “I couldn’t care less about you signing with the project or not, it’s inconsequential to me. They’ll be the ones missing out, not you.” He stirred, doing that lean-closer-to-me move of his. “I liked last night. Didn’t you? I think we got along pretty well.”

It wasn’t out-of-this-world-great but it wasn’t bad either. He had what I called the Two S’s. Sexy and strong. “We did.”

“I’ve followed your career for a very long time, Scarlett. I know about your ex-husband and your association with Madame Beatrix. I’ve been to her clubs and they are topnotch.”

“Do your colleagues take part in these practices too?”

“No. They don’t.”

I picked up my fork again. “Okay, let’s make this clear. Judging by how things developed last night I can tell you’re not trained in BDSM.”

“I beg your pardon?”

“That you’ve visited Beatrix’s clubs once or twice doesn’t make you an expert.”

“Maybe you can teach me, then.”

I looked at him from under my eyebrows and even the chewing wasn’t enough to make him stop smiling.

I was about to change that. I was getting myself into something I wasn’t completely sure about and needed to keep the upper hand somehow. If only with him.

“I don’t mind starting an affair with you but would prefer we keep it private, even more if I were to sign that contract and become an employee under your supervision.” The smile was fading by now. Good. “We negotiate a contract that will specify boundaries. Meet at undisclosed locations. You don’t come to my place, I don’t come to yours. We’re never seen in public together other than during activities concerning our work relationship.”

“Wait.” He shook his head.

“What?”

“Where’s the sentiment in this?”

“Sentiment?”

Uh-oh. I’m not dealing with a sentimental little kid, am I?

“Does it surprise you that much that someone just wants to be with you? Plain and simple?”

Huh?

“I’m sorry. Was there supposed to be any sentiment in this? I gave you what you wanted.”

“And what was that?”

“To fuck the new recruit. Now you can walk into your office with your chest all puffed on the knowledge that you had me before anyone else there.”

“God, Scarlett, no!” he exclaimed. “What the hell are you going on about?” Then took a deep breath. “I-”

Oh don’t fuck with me!

“I researched you, Moretti. You’re divorced with three children from two different women. You have been to Beatrix’s clubs more than once and actually got your ass kicked out from her Frankfurt one.”

“That was a misunderstanding.”

“Everything in life is a misunderstanding.”

“What do I have to do to prove to you that this is not what you’re thinking?”

I cleared my plate, pushed it to the side, and was about to say something when he crossed me.

“Has it been that bad? That awful? To feel unappreciated for so long?” He wiped his mouth with the napkin and set it aside. “You’re young, skilled, clever, yet I can bet my life no one has ever told you these things to your face. There’s a loneliness that is only felt when you’re in the company of others. You keep yourself busy with work and have only pursued relationships that you knew wouldn’t give you what you really wanted, that would leave you as empty as you were the moment you walked into them.”

Now he was getting on my nerves.

My mobile vibrated in my pocket but I kept my sight locked on Romulus’ because I knew who it was. The only person that would be calling me so early, probably locked inside a bathroom so his pregnant wife wouldn’t hear him.

“I’m not saying I’m what you’re looking for. Maybe I am, maybe I’m not. I’m just asking for a chance to show you that it’s not all angst and hardship. That there’s fun to be had.”

He smiled. Wide.

I couldn’t help the slight tremor that took me over.

“When I met you in Miami I told you if you signed with us I’d make it worth your time. Sign or not, I’m keeping that promise.”

“Are you?”

He twisted away from me, reached out to the unoccupied table behind him, plucked a flower from the arrangement it held, and presented it to me.

“To the very last second.”

I took the flower and held it to my eyes.

The mobile ceased vibrating.

And so it began.

——————————

Go to: The Vignettes

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Mother’s Day Sale! Free Books!

Get The Caregiver (Book 1) and my latest short story, At The Corner of Mars and Neptune, FREE for Kindle!

Cargiver Mars and Neptune Free Promo

The Caregiver will be free until May 13, At the Corner of Mars and Neptune will be until May 14. Yay!

And stay tuned for the release of Torn (Book 2 of The Caregiver Series)

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More info:

The Caregiver (Book 1 of The Caregiver Series)

Scarlett Lang always dreamt of becoming an Interpol agent. When her hard work pays off and she’s given the chance to work as an undercover agent with London’s biggest drug lord, Armand Sayer, she can’t help being ecstatic about it.

She’s employed by Armand’s sister (to aid in his recovery from a gun attack) as both caregiver and bodyguard. Her resourcefulness in both areas helps her win much more than Armand’s trust, to the dismay of both his right-hand man and her ex-boyfriend / colleague.

As she makes her way into the business she swore to help tear down, she’s faced with the dilemma of choosing between being loyal to her profession or her heart. And we all know it can’t be both.

At the Corner of Mars and Neptune (Stories About Love)

Lena is a female drug dealer. Noah is a police detective trying to solve a murder case to which Lena is the only witness. Thing is, she can’t remember a thing, and her life is too much of a mess for her to care. He cares, though. A bit too much. Enough to think that he can save himself by saving her. But the streets always claim what’s theirs.

Raw Fiction Friday. Stories About Love: At the Corner of Mars and Neptune Ch. 1

It’s been some time since I’ve posted original stories (that have nothing to do with the book), so I thought I’d put this one here. It’s nine chapters long and I’ll be posting them every Friday. Raw means no professional editing. Enjoy!

1

Knock knock.
Fuck. My head hurts.
It’s the police. Open the door.
I’m too stoned to even know where I am.
My hands and legs weigh a ton and my head’s about to explode. I roll to my side, the hotness comes up my throat and I hurl.
Open. The. Door.
“Brian.” He can’t hear me. “Brian!” Don’t do that, don’t shout.
There’s a police officer at the door and the rotten smell is coming out through my nose.
Last chance before we throw it down.
Throw? Yeah, throw up. I try to push myself up but my hands skid on it.
“Brian?”
There’s something more on the floor. Making it slippery, denying me of purchase. Something liquid and a bit sticky.
It smells. It smells like…
Blood.
Go away blur I need to see. My fucking god I can’t rub my eyes with my hands full of shit… Shake my head, make it go away and see.
Brian. Lying on the floor. A knife stuck in his chest and now my hands are covered in puke, my puke, and blood, his blood. And the police are knocking on the door and I have nowhere else to go but out. Out, through a window, through a door. Whatever. Wherever I fit through ‘cause I’m small enough. But where? I don’t know this house. This is Brian’s house. A mansion in the middle of nowhere only a man like him could buy, and have, on his own.
We were supposed to be on our own.
We’re coming in.
Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit. I can’t remember a damn thing but I know where’s the door. The backdoor. Through the back. Through the dinning room with the chandelier made of Swarovski crystals. Through the kitchen. Through the parallel lines of granite countertops and expensive stainless steel appliances that are never even turned on.
Push the door open. Don’t have the key and it’s locked and I can’t see straight. A window must be unlocked. The one above the sink, that looks over the side of the house.
Boots. Stepping on the marble floors. Voices. Shouting over each other.
Push the fucking frame of the fucking window, pull the fucking lock, open the fucking window. Quick. Come on. Fuck.
The voices are coming. Getting closer by the second and I wriggle the lock because I’m too fucking nervous and I can’t see. When it let’s go I fall. Face first. The grass like nails on my skin but I can’t let it stop me. Run. Run like the rotten soul you are, as if being followed by the devil.
Run.
It’s dark. It’s still night. I have no idea of the time. My head throbs. Firecrackers going off inside my skull with every step.
Freeze!
Shit. Shit. Fuck.
Don’t hit a tree. Don’t step on its root. Above all, don’t fall. It’s a forest, the easiest place to get lost. Run. Don’t stop running. Let the forest swallow you like it does with all lost souls.
Mist. Thank god.
Cover me. Make me invisible. My head pounds too much. It’s too much to go on. Can’t breathe. Can’t see. Can’t feel my feet. I’m going numb.
My knees weaken and I hit the ground. No, I didn’t step on any root. I managed to dodge the trees. I hit myself. Stepped on my own foot, since I can’t feel it, I can’t see where I’m going. I just fell. And my head hurts. A lot. It’s coming again. I heave. Try and make an inventory of all the stuff I drank, I ate, I sniffed, I injected into my veins in the last twenty-four hours.
Brian.
Fucking dead.
Fucking stabbed.
I can’t go on. I can’t get up. I’m too heavy. The world’s too heavy and it wants me to go to sleep. It wants me to go ZZZzzz.
Footsteps. Running towards me.
Let me go ZZZzzzZZZZzZZzZZ.
Left. Right. Left. Right. Left.
My arm is being pulled up. I’m vomiting in my sleep. I’m rolled to my side.
There you go. I don’t need you dying on me.

On how Scarlett met some of Armand’s most trusted men (Meet characters from Book 2!)

In my first novella, The Caregiver, we follow Interpol agent Scarlett Lang through what would be the most important mission in her career so far: pose as caregiver for London’s biggest drug-lord, Armand Sayer.

This vignette is a BONUS! In this one she meets characters that will make their appearance in Book 2: Ollie, Bradley and Cat.

Enjoy!

Read Vignette #1 , Vignette #2 , and Vignette #3.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Heaven was pissing down at us. The Bentley’s wipers weren’t enough as George drove us both to where we were heading: to meet with three of Armand’s most trusted men.

I must confess I was nervous about it. These guys weren’t known for their gentle ways. That, and the fact that George wasn’t exactly the nicest of people when it came to interacting with me, made of this endeavor one that threatened to leave the palms of my hands bleeding, with my nails dug into them.

Yeah, yeah, I’m a hitwoman, and a fucking undercover agent, but that doesn’t mean I won’t feel nervous every now and then. We’re all human after all.

All the tension vanished, however, when we met with them on a street corner in Vauxhall. Standing under two matching black umbrellas were three men in equally black coats.

“Cat. Bradley. Ollie.” George said dryly. “This is Scarlett.” He wasn’t happy I was there. We were both out when Armand called us. He’d tried to convince him it wasn’t a good idea to take me with him, to no avail.

“About time we met you!” Ollie, with his longish curls and matching bright eyes, shook my hand eagerly. He wasn’t as tall as the other two, which made me like him instantly. “We’ve heard so much about you.”

“Hope it was good.”

George cleared his throat. Heh.

The one in the middle was the tallest, Bradley. He just smiled, and, oh god, what a smile… And then there was Cat, with his dark brown skin and green eyes. He waved at me and we made our way into the hotel.

Cat led us to the lifts, while Ollie and Bradley had an animated conversation that eased all my uneasiness.

“So, I waited and waited for the couple to show up.” Ollie’s raspy voice echoed through the hotel’s lobby, “it’s a two-million-pounds property and it’s exactly what they’re asking for. Armand would murder me if I let a client like that down.”

The lift’s doors slid open and we got in. George’s facade was as stern as always, yet the other three were grinning all the way.

Nobody would’ve guessed what they were really there for.

“Did they show up?” Cat asked when Ollie paused.

“They did, yeah… with a fucking dog.”

“A dog? There’s nothing wrong with that.” Bradley’s Australian accent clashed with the Brits’, as he leaned on the back wall, his umbrella dripping on the carpet.

“Not just any dog, you muppet. A Great Dane. The thing was the size of a horse.” They all laughed, even George. “No,” he proceeded, “but that’s not it. They bring it into the house, and it has wooden floors. The thing is scuffing the wood as it sniffs around. I tell the client and he just cocks an eyebrow at me and keeps walking.”

“Armand would’ve given him a piece of his mind.” Cat commented as he held the doors open for us. “Last time I had a client with a pet in an open house I shut the door on them.”

The corridor was dimly lit and the carpet had already been stained by wet shoes.

“You guys work for Armand’s real estate firm?” I had to know.

They turned their heads slowly to me, their longer strides leaving Ollie and me a few steps behind.

“Yeah, we all do.” Ollie stayed with me once we reached the room they were looking for. “It’s our day job. Except for George, of course.”

George merely looked up, then back towards the closed door in front of us.

“Open up, Geoffrey.” Bradley knocked and received no answer. “We know you’re in there.”

“So, what happened with the dog?” I brought Ollie’s attention back to me.

“Open the door, Geoffrey. Or else,” Cat warned.

“Not only did it scuff the floor. It pissed on one of the bedroom’s carpets!”

“Liar!” Bradley swiveled towards us.

“It bloody did! And, well, you know, the buyer didn’t want no stains on it.”

“Geoffrey!” George was knocking now. “Open the fucking door.”

“I had to pay to get the carpet cleaned and the floor restored before Armand learnt about it. With me own money!”

“Bradley,” George stepped back from the door, “do your thing.”

Ollie pulled me to safety as we watched Bradley kick down the door.

Forget stealth. These men got in and rummaged through the room like rabid dogs, except no pissing on the carpet.

“Geoffrey… come out, come out and play,” Cat crooned sarcastically.

It was a small room with only a dresser with a TV on it, a bed, a wardrobe, and an equally small bathroom.

George signaled me to stay by the door by raising an open hand at me.

Bradley opened the wardrobe to find a thin man no older than thirty-five hiding behind a large coat. “There you are!” He caught him by the collar of his shirt, pulled him out with a swift movement and threw him face up on the bed. “You think you can hide from us?”

Ollie cocked his head for me join him while he thrashed the dresser, throwing its contents all over the floor. I glanced at George.

“Oh, don’t mind ‘im.” Ollie nudged me, then whispered, “he’s a bit of a stuck up, ain’t ‘e?”

“You don’t have to say that twice.” I dug my hands into the drawer and felt my way around it until my fingers hit something cold and solid.

A folding knife.

“Where’s the money?” Bradley was shaking the poor man against the mattress. “Where the fuck is it?”

“I…” He could barely answer over the manhandling he was being subjected to. “I don’t…”

One rough push threw him, face down, on the floor and Cat was on him, punching his face mercilessly.

I gave Ollie the knife and he scoffed at the sight of it.

George knelt down next to the now broken-nosed man. “The money, Geoffrey. This is your last chance. We’ve given you one too many already.”

“Look what he had hiding in a drawer.” Ollie handed the knife to George.

“I did’uh mean to use it.” Geoffrey cried, his knuckles white from his tight grip on Cat’s wrists, who was holding him down by the neck. “I don’t have the money, but I will. I swear.”

“MacGowan said he lent it to you,” George said in a nonchalant tone while holding the knife to his face. “He didn’t want to get on Armand’s bad side, since he was the one who recommended you.”

George stood, giving the man no time to retort before Bradley and Cat went back to beating the crap out of him.

A gesture from Ollie cued me to follow him to the wardrobe where the bloke had been hiding and resume our search. There was nothing there either.

“Stop! Please!” Geoffrey’s screams were muffled by Cat’s fist.

“Not until you tell us what you did with that money!” Bradley’s shitkickers landed on his ribs, getting a loud crack in response.

“He did’uh give me nofing!” He rolled to his side, his arms wrapped around his torso. “MacGowan’s a fucking liar.”

Ollie glanced at me and I had to peel my eyes from the scene unfolding in front of our eyes to meet his glance. I hadn’t realized how mesmerized I was by it.

Bradley’s leg was travelling backwards when Ollie called him out, “Oi, give her a chance.”

“No,” George snapped at him. “She shouldn’t even be here.” Then he turned his eyes to me. “Get Armand on the phone.”

The built-up momentum of Bradley’s kick wasn’t put to waste as the force of it made contact with Geoffrey’s torso once more, making him squeal.

I rang Armand’s mobile and he was quick to answer. I told him what was happening and he asked me to put him on speaker so Geoffrey could hear him.

“You’ve messed up enough times, Geoffrey.” Armand’s deep tones made everyone perk up. “Your pathetic excuses are reason enough to kill you.”

“MacGowan lied to you!”

“I have no reason to believe that.”

“It’s true! He did’uh lend me nofing. Said he did’uh care.”

Armand went silent for a moment. I kept the phone pointed towards the beat up man even when my arm was starting to shake.

“Kill him.”

All of a sudden, George had yanked the mobile from my hand, turned off the speaker and started talking into it in a low voice.

Ollie took the opportunity to push me towards the man lying on the floor. “Come on, just a couple of kicks,” he said, with an ear-to-ear smile.

Geoffrey’s eyes bulged as I approached him, my stare blank on his bleeding face. He muttered something I couldn’t comprehend.

“Excuse me?” I leaned forward, holding my hair away from my ear.

“Don’t let them kill me.”

What?

Oh, he was begging to the only source of estrogen in the room.

A rush of adrenaline ran through my system. It made me straighten my back and kick his already aching body twice before answering:

“Sorry, pal. Boss’s orders.”

Another kick and George’s grip was on my elbow. “Enough.” He handed me my mobile before turning to Bradley and Cat. “Take him to bathtub.” He then unfolded the same knife I had retrieved from the drawer, “It’ll make it easier to clean.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Liked this vignette? Then you’ll love the book!

Check out Chapter 1 and Chapter 2.

Or buy it, it’s only 99¢ (£0.77, €0.89)!

The Caregiver book cover

Available here: Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.es, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Diesel

On how Scarlett got the job (The Caregiver Series vignette #2):

In my first novella, The Caregiver, we follow Interpol agent Scarlett Lang through what would be the most important mission in her career so far: pose as caregiver for London’s biggest drug-lord, Armand Sayer. This vignette is about the day she met with his sister, Helga Sayer, days before the story on the book starts. Enjoy!

If you haven’t read Vignette #1, what are you waiting for?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I was rushing around my flat, pulling my jeans on while searching for my nurse uniform. It had been ages since I wore it and, quite frankly, I didn’t even think it would fit me anymore. Cisneros told me to bring it to the meeting in case Helga, Armand Sayer’s sister, wanted to see it. He said she was hard to please. I promised I would do my best.

Take the sniper rifle with you. I reminded myself as I slid inside the shoulder holster and secured my Sig Sauer in it.

Some makeup ― not too much, not too little, ― a jacket and a scarf wrapped around my neck… I shoved the uniform into a messenger bag and slung it over my left shoulder.

I hailed a taxi, gave the address to the driver, sat back and tried to relax. I’d been to Cisneros’s place multiple times, but this was something new altogether. The butterflies in my stomach said it was so.

Yeah, yeah, Ferdinand, I better not fuck this one. Blah, blah, blah.

The cabbie dropped me off in front of the gates, giving the rifle case a long hard look while I produced the notes to pay the toll.

“You don’t want to know what’s in it.” I winked at him.

His answer was to drive away as quickly as he could.

Pussy.

I walked up to the gate and smiled into the security camera, waving my hand sheepishly. The gate opened and I made my way through the driveway to find Ferdinand walking towards me, followed by another one of Cisneros’s henchmen, one by the name of Marco.

“Come with us, Miss Lang.” Fer grinned, welcoming me with an extended arm, ready to take my rifle case. “Mr. Cisneros is waiting for you in his study.”

Sure, sure, protocol and shit. I could walk into that house through the backdoor in the middle of the night and no one would give me any trouble. We climbed the stairs in silence and he held the door to the study open for me.

“Scarlett!” Cisneros rose from his comfy leather armchair, a scotch in one hand, a cigar in the other. “Always a pleasure to see you.”

He pulled me into one of his hugs. His, because they were the really awkward kind, the kind some men give to feel you up instead of greeting you. Ferdinand hated them. I just plain ignored it. I’ve known the man since I was a child. He was there for me when I needed him and I had always been grateful for that.

When had I needed a sly git like him? Back when I was eighteen years old and I had gotten on my grandfather’s bad side, with nowhere else to go. He gave me my first job, treated me like a real pro and kept an eye out for anyone who gave me any shit. He was like a father to me, in a dysfunctional kind of way.

“Meet Helga Sayer.” A woman with thin lips and defiant eyes stepped forward.

I tried to smile as I met her outstretched hand. “Nice to meet you.”

“The pleasure is all mine.” Her eyes traveled from my face all the way down to my feet and back. I was tempted to ask her how much I ranked after she tallied me, when Ferdinand interrupted.

“Everything’s ready.”

Everything?

Fer took my rifle and led us downstairs, to the backyard. They had set a shooting range for me. This was going to be fun!

They stood inside a bulletproof cabin and not a word was spoken as I laid my weapons on a table and took my time to set my rifle. Helga’s eyes were trained on me and I made a point out of showing her how much of a professional I was.

That’s when I saw someone jumping over the concrete wall to my far right and make a run for it behind some bushes. I didn’t think twice before I pulled the Sig and aimed it at the bush where the figure had apparently halted.

Silence.

Then there was a shuffling to my right, and a masked man was running towards me, gun in hand. Two bullets whizzed past my ears as I ducked, shooting him right in the heart. The one behind the bush moved again, running towards the left side of the garden. I couldn’t see him but I could easily hear his steps on the grass, the light brushing of his boots as he shifted.

Straining my ear a bit more, I could hear his low panting.

A quick mental calculation, knowledge embedded into my subconscious, alerted me when he raised his gun to aim at me through the green thickness.

One shot. His body fell on the ground with a thud.

I trod cautiously on the grass, approaching my victim with my gun still aiming at him, even though I already knew he was dead.

He was on his back, legs bent under him, a blood-gushing hole right between the eyes.

I lowered my gun when a slow clapping rang from behind me.

“She always delivers.” Cisneros and Helga appeared at my side. “Always.”

The woman’s eyes inspected the dead man on the ground, then turned to me. I held her stare and she seemed content to find my breathing was as steady as hers.

“Come with me. We shall rehearse your interview.”

Rehearse? What the fuck?

I wrinkled my nose at Cisneros but he wasn’t looking at me.

His eyes were on Helga’s backside as she made her way back into the house. “You’re in,” he turned to me, “just go with it,” patting my shoulder before following her steps.

I walked over to the table, where Ferdinand was waiting for me.

“What the fuck was that?”

“I’ll take that for you.” He took the gun from my hand. “You better go before she changes her mind.”

“Cisneros was the one who told me to bring my rifle.”

“You were brilliant.” He was unloading my gun without looking at it, his sight on me.

“Don’t do that.”

“What?”

“The smile on your face.”

He wiggled his eyebrows at me.

“Oh, grow up!” I did an about face and stepped into the house to face whatever crazy thing was in store for me.

[Art by Arocho, visit her blog, she’s awesome!]

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Liked this vignette? Then you’ll love the book!

Check out Chapter 1 and Chapter 2.

Or buy it, it’s only 99¢ (£0.77, €0.89)!

The Caregiver book cover

Available here: Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.es, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Diesel

Random Conversation #2

He is trying to talk to me but that darn kid of his is playing with his new helicopter too near us. The thing flies close to us and away, then back, almost hitting Jim on the head before disappearing.

“You see, Kathy, the problem is that we need a better mailing system.” Jim dodges the helicopter by an inch. “Dan! How many times must I tell you what you are doing is rude?”

“Can’t we have this conversation somewhere else? I mean, this is your kid’s birthday party. Nothing to do with work.” I am really annoyed by him talking about work on top of having to endure the little kids playing around us.

“I’ll just say this and nothing else, because it really bothers me when clients call saying their packages haven’t arrived and learning that our messenger is sitting on his ass… DAN!”

I catch the helicopter mid-flight, hold it with both hands and break it in two with my knee. Jim takes a perplexed look at it before handing it to the boy. The kid runs to his mother, carrying the broken helicopter and crying.

“I think that’s my cue to leave.”

“I think you should be our new nanny.”

Random Conversation #1

“Does your child know how to swim?”

“I don’t know.”

“How can you not know? That is a matter of life and death. What if he falls into a river? He could drown.”

“There are no rivers nearby.”

“Or a pool.”

“We have no pool.”

“There are pools everywhere. He could be invited by one of his schoolmates, say, to a pool birthday party. You know how long it takes for your lungs to get filled by water? Seconds. And you are still conscious for a couple of minutes, so you are aware you are dying.”

“He is only six months old, Frank. He can worry about drowning later on. Though, not if it involves drowning by vomit, of course.”