Sunday, August 15, 2010

Tesla's Stepdaughters - Chapter 13 Excerpt


“That’s right. Here. Ruth made this calendar for you.” She handed him a monthly calendar with a name written in each square.


“Steffie, Steffie, Penny, Penny, Ruth, Ruth, Steffie… Looks like you hit the jackpot.”

“Are you mad at me?” She had a hurt look on her face that gave him a sort of choking feeling.

“No, I’m not mad at you. I’m just upset. They’re going to send me away. They’re going to take me off the detail.”

“They can’t do that! We won’t let them.”

“No choice, I’m afraid.” He walked to the couch and sat down. “Probably all for the best. I’m sure this is playing right into the hands of those women in the Science Police who think men have no business in the agency. We can’t focus on anything but our penises.”

“That’s just stupid. Obviously they don’t know any men.”

“Maybe. Or maybe they know us too well.”

“You need to not think about it. Why don’t we have breakfast? Have you eaten?”

“I’m not hungry.”

“Then let’s just sit and talk.”

“I don’t really feel like talking either.”

“You remember when you first interviewed me?”

“Yes.”

“We took turns asking questions.”

Andrews smiled despite himself. “That’s right.”

“Let’s do it again.”

“Okay, but you go first.”

“What’s your favorite sport? Is it that rugsby?”

“Rugby. Yes. Your’s?”

“I liked baseball when I lived in California, but since I’ve been living in Europe, I mostly watch football. Did you play rugby growing up?”

“Yes. All the boys did. It got pretty brutal. I busted my chin open and had to have six stitches right here.” He lifted his chin and pointed to a thin scar. “It was mostly just an excuse for the bigger boys to beat the crap out of the smaller boys, but it was a lot of fun.”

“Okay, your turn.”

“I’ve been meaning to ask you about your nose ring.”

“Yes?”

“Piffy and Ruth have the side of their nostrils pierced, and so do other women I’ve seen with nose rings, but you have it right in the middle. Why?”

“Do you think it makes me look like a cow?”

“No. But I can see how people might make that connection.”

“I wear it for two reasons really. One, it kind of touches on this submissive streak that I feel inside, but don’t otherwise let show. And two, it just pisses a lot of women off for some reason, and that’s always fun.” They both laughed. “Okay, my turn. What’s your favorite food?”

“A month ago, I would have said tacos, but now I have to go with hot dogs.”

“Have you had a chilidog yet?”

“No. Hey, you snuck an extra question in there.”

“Oh no,” she said, her eyes large with mock surprise. “Maybe you’ll have to punish me.”

“Maybe.”

“Ask me two questions then.”

“Why are you interested in me?”

“You’re very handsome and I miss being with a man.”

“But you don’t really know me.”

“Maybe it’s better that way. That brief period when I was getting to know Simon was the best time of our relationship. But by the time I was sure that I wanted to be with him forever, he was gone.”

Andrews was silent for a minute.

“You have another question, you know.”

“How long have you and Penny been lovers?”

Steffie opened her mouth in shock. Her cheeks flushed red. “How did you know about that?”

“I’m an investigator after all. It’s not that hard to read the body language, not to mention a few subtle clues in her last solo album. You’re Submissive Olive.”

Her face went from slightly flushed to bright red.

“How long?” he asked again.

“Off and on as long as we’ve known each other. Not since you’ve been with us though.”

“Hmm.”

“Does that bother you? I mean is it a deal breaker?”

“Which? That you and she have slept together or that you enjoy it when she calls you a bony-assed bitch?”

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