My dishwasher died yesterday. With a full load of dirty dishes. And now the sink is also full. And the apartment is a shambles. Like most women, I'm not going to call maintenance to come fix my dishwasher until the apartment is clean. Guess what's in store for me today?
I'm also nearly out of dishwashing soap so I borrowed some from my friend Jane. Thankfully, she's rarely out of anything. But I really detest doing dishes by hand. I know, I know... there are lots of people who do dishes by hand. So suck it up and get on with it.
Yesterday I cleaned the living room and dining room. That also included taking down the Christmas tree. I seriously considered just leaving it up as no one would see it but me. And Jane. But then I thought about the possibility that I might want it in some other spot next Christmas so I bit the bullet and dismantled the thing.
And I also remembered why I rarely put the tree up in the first place. It takes so dang long to unpack/pack all the ornaments and lights and stuff. When I pack them away I spend time remembering where each ornament came from and that reminds me of the many friends who have given me ornaments in the past.
On a happier note... my newest book, Rescuing Clarice, will be released today!
When a fire elemental dragon shifter finds his muirne—his beloved—naturally it’s a joyful event. But she’s a water elemental dragon shifter so there are bound to be a few adjustments. The day that Otis Larssen meets Clarice he realizes their happiness will be threatened by the dangerous forces surrounding them unless he can rescue her.
As they battle murder and kidnapping and race to solve an ancient mystery in time to save the planet, Otis woos his woman with hot sex in the bedroom, the shower, the office and on the run with the assurance that he will always be right beside her. Always ready to rescue her or command her pleasure.
Yeow! That Otis is quite a man. And Clarice really gives him a run for his money.
She bowed her head on the steering wheel, inadvertently pressing against the horn. When it blared, she jerked her head up and thought that things couldn’t get any worse. But she was wrong.
Nothing happened when she turned the key in the ignition. A faint clicking noise filled her with dread. Why did all things mechanical hate her? Whatever was broken on the car, she didn’t have the money to pay for it to be fixed. She pressed her hand to her belly as it roiled with nerves. Then after taking a deep breath, she slowly climbed back out of the car, popped the hood and stood looking at the interior as though it could explain the chaos of her morning.
Pacing the cold sterile office that was his temporary home, Otis was laying down the law to the IT department head when the blare of a car horn interrupted him in mid-rant. Patty had explained that the reason Clarice was under the desk was the seven to ten day estimate before the IT department would show up to fix the system. That was plainly unacceptable. When Otis identified himself and demanded action, he was assured that someone would be dispatched immediately.
Otis tossed the receiver onto the telephone cradle and went to the window to see who was honking so he could report them to the security department. With a complete lack of surprise, he observed Clarice slowly open her door and climb out as though the weight of the world was on her shoulders. A moment later, she popped the hood and surveyed the engine. Uncle Shamus, you sneaky dog, what are you up to? With a sudden flash of insight, he knew why Shamus had insisted he fill in for him during his sick leave.
With a deep sigh, he grabbed his overcoat and left his office, heading for the parking lot. A very black cloud was obviously following his woman around. The fact that she didn’t know she was his woman was irrelevant. Deep in his bones he knew she was and that was all that counted. The rest would all work out. In the meantime, all he had to do was restrain the urge to free his fire element to work on her poor excuse of a car. He didn’t think a fricasseed vehicle would help matters at the moment.
“Trouble, Miss Meriwether?”
For a moment, just a moment, she prayed to every deity she could think of—prayed that she would just drop dead on the spot. But of course, that didn’t happen, so she shot Mr. O.Q. Larssen a laser look that should have leveled him and replied, “No, Mr. Larssen, nothing is wrong. I usually take time to look at my engine before I start the car. You can never tell. Someone might have placed a bomb under the hood while I was working.” Get a handle on it, Clarice. You can’t kill your boss! At least not on the first day… Besides, my element is water. It would be damn difficult to drown Mr. Larssen in the corporate parking lot.
“With your luck, I can see how you would want to be cautious,” he observed solemnly. “However, I don’t see anything that resembles an explosive device.”
“It won’t start,” she replied flatly. Damn, he must think I am an idiot.
“I see. Well, you’ve had a hell of a day so far, so I suggest that I take you home. I’ll call a garage. Perhaps it’s something minor that can be repaired without a tow.”
Of course he has to be the helpful type, she thought in despair. Why couldn’t he be one of those oblivious types who ignore everything around them? After a long moment, she turned to face him. Taking a deep breath, she admitted, “I have exactly four dollars and seventeen
cents until payday. That’s two weeks from now. My sister cleaned out my bank account and took off. She’s a drug addict.” She dropped her head in shame. “I don’t know when she got her hands on my bank card but it’s all gone. I cancelled all my credit cards yesterday. My back rent is due tomorrow. And the electric company is going to cut the power because my check bounced. Because the bank account is empty!”
Otis thought of all the things he could say or do. Abruptly, he stuffed his hands in his trouser pockets to prevent himself from grabbing her in the parking lot. He needed privacy for what he wanted to do. Time for that later. “Get your purse. I’ll take you home. We’ll talk about it on the way.
“Clarice,” he interrupted. “My name is Otis. I would like to hear you say my name.”
“O-Otis,” she stuttered.
“Excellent. Now go get your purse.”