Jaye Wells

Romance is Murder, Part Four

If you haven’t already read the first three installments, they’re on the sidebar.
————

The next morning, I woke up with sandpaper for a tongue and jackhammers in my skull. I peeked one eye open and groaned when I saw the time. Sleeping past noon was normal for me, but two o’clock was pushing things.

Dragging myself to a sitting position, I groaned again. It didn’t help.

The phone screamed at me, causing me to jump about two feet in the air. Bastard phone.

“What,” I snapped into the receiver.

“We have a problem,” Hank said.

No shit, I thought. As if the hangover from Hades wasn’t shitty enough, I also had the entire fucking publishing establishment out for my blood.

“What now?” I asked, kicking myself even as I spoke. Did I really want to know?

“They found your business card in Fabio’s pants.”

“What?” I yelled, cringing as my voice reverberated through my aching skull.

“It gets worse. Your fingerprints are on the glass.”

I fell back on the bed. “How the fuck did they manage that?”

“Never doubt the resources of The Syndicate. My theory is they reused a glass you drank from at the luncheon.”

“Great. Just fucking great. How long until they arrest me?”

“That’s the thing. Simon Dreck is delaying the cops, protesting your innocence. Probably a delay tactic until they can get to you themselves. Get out of your room now.”

“Hank, I’m in my jammies. Besides, the door’s locked and the chain is engaged.”

“That won’t hold them for long. Look, I’m coming over. Don’t open the door for anyone but me, okay?”

“Fine,” I said and hung up. Hank would be here too soon for me to change clothes, so I decided to pace. Somehow, I had to avoid getting dead and prove my innocence. But first I needed coffee.

The machine was gurgling by the time Hank knocked. Looking out the peep hole, I breathed a sigh of relief.

Hank slipped through the door with a backward glance down the hall.

“I don’t think anyone followed me.”

“Good. Coffee?”

“Forget the coffee,” he said from behind me. I turned to see why his voice suddenly sounded harder. Angrier.

Well, shit, I thought, as I saw the gun in his hand.

“Hank, you should point the gun at the bad guys, remember?”

His smile was icy as he adjusted him aim.

“I’m pointing it where it needs to be,” he said. “Now, don’t make a noise or I’ll blow your brains all over that mirror.”

I certainly wasn’t a fan of that plan, so I kept my mouth shut.

“You think you’re some real fucking Nancy Drew, don’t you?”

Figuring it was a rhetorical question, I continued to stare at the gun.

“Well guess what, sweetheart. You’re nothing but a two-bit hack.”

I’d been called worse.

“The Syndicate is bullshit. I made it up.”

I’d already figured that out, so I patiently waited for the rest of his explanation.

“See, what you don’t know is I’m an author too. Don’t look so surprised,” he said, waving the gun around for emphasis. “Did you know that the same week La Petit Mort was published, my book came out?”

I shook my head.

“Don’t move,” he said, his eyes wild. “Do you know what happens to a debut book when a best-selling author refuses to blurb it?”

Okay, now I was confused.

“Does the name Jacqueline Oph ring any bells?”

My eyebrows rose, as I recalled the polite but firm refusal letter. And the piece of shit novel.

He cocked the gun.

“You ruined my career,” he cried.

Reaching behind me, I grabbed the coffee pot. I flung it in his face and ducked. Black lava splashed across his face, even as he pulled the trigger.

Shattering glass and his screams filled the room. Grabbing for the gun, I stumbled into him, knocking him on his ass.

Leveling the gun at his writhing figure, I finally spoke.

“Listen, asshole, cover blurbs don’t mean a damned thing. It’s all about the writing.”

Loud voices came from the hallway, followed by insistent pounding on the door.

“And one more thing, Jack Oph, that’s the worst fucking pen name ever.”

19 Thoughts on “Romance is Murder, Part Four

  1. Flood on June 21, 2006 at 9:54 pm said:

    That damned Hank. He finks the bum off the whole wad.

  2. Scott on June 22, 2006 at 4:44 am said:

    Oooh. I liked the way this moved. No damsels in distress here, no sirree!

  3. Jaye Wells on June 22, 2006 at 5:50 am said:

    Flood, he totally finks the bum off the whole wad. I can’t believe you use that saying too!

    Scott, Thanks. She’s pretty tough. Stay tuned for more adventures of Jaye Wells, romance novelist.

  4. Bernita on June 22, 2006 at 6:08 am said:

    VERY cute!

  5. Jaye Wells on June 22, 2006 at 6:36 am said:

    If you would like to participate in this blog by commenting on the topics, that’s fine. I’ll promote your blog myself. Do not come in my comments section and whore yourself to my readers.

    The Management

  6. moonpunter on June 22, 2006 at 8:20 am said:

    Your moderation is no match for PHM!!! Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!

  7. moonpunter on June 22, 2006 at 8:22 am said:

    And let me give you a piece of advice. Put a bag over your head you disgusting old cow.

    Mooooooooooooo!!!

  8. Jaye Wells on June 22, 2006 at 8:33 am said:

    I have left the last two comments up for a reason. I feel no need to reply to them directly, as the poster makes an ass of himself without my help.

    –The Old Cow

  9. Mitch on June 22, 2006 at 11:28 am said:

    AWESOME! I’ve been waiting for more of Romance is Murder! Very well done, Jaye! I loved the black lava metaphor.

  10. Very professional.

    I’m sure that’s hardly news to you.

    A satire on the genre itself?

    Myself, as a Tex-Mex traveller, I would have preferred, I think to drink Tequila and listen to Willie
    Nelson:

    There were seven Spanish Angels
    At the altar of the sun
    They were praying for two lovers
    In the valley of the gun.

    Guess I’m an incurable romantic and could probably never handle hard-edge fiction.

    Ah,always the gun.

  11. Mignon on June 22, 2006 at 11:54 am said:

    I loved the story, but I LOOOOVVVEVEEEVOOOVVEEED you when you put dumbasses in their place.

    (She did all that badass shit to Jackoff in her jammies? Man, getting dressed in the morning is so overrated.)

  12. Congrats on getting your very first piece of hate mail. It’s a milestone.

  13. Jaye Wells on June 22, 2006 at 12:35 pm said:

    Oh, Ivan. I love Willie. The man’s a true poet, a troubador even. Now I need to download some Willie from iTunes.

    Thank you for your kind words.

    Mitch, you were always on my mind.

    Mignon, I thought you’d appreciate that. And yes, all kick ass heroines do their best work in jammies. Bunny slippers are optional.

  14. R.J. Baker on June 22, 2006 at 5:22 pm said:

    Damn, no whoring onself for readers… ;)~

  15. Bernita on June 23, 2006 at 7:22 am said:

    Ignorant AND rude, moonpunter.
    As well as stupid.

    Seems someone doesn’t understand the power of the delete button, Jaye.

    Think I’ll go back to my own blog and use it.

  16. Jaye Wells on June 23, 2006 at 8:04 am said:

    RJ, the prodigal blogger, you can whore yourself here if you promise not to disappear again.

    Bernita, I’d delete but then the evidence of his stunning muturity would be lost.

  17. Bernita on June 23, 2006 at 9:04 am said:

    In this instance, the best thing to do, Jaye.
    Just wanted to remind him of Coventry.

  18. Amra Pajalic on July 5, 2006 at 3:29 am said:

    Just read your interview on Flood’s blog and read your story. I love, love, love it. So comical and clever. I was surprised that the whole conspiracy thing was a red herring. I could so see it being real, lol. As someone who got sucked into reading Fabio’s book (don’t ask, I was 15 and accept no responsibility) I’m glad the killer was a try hard cover-model turned writer. Perfect.

    PS I agree with you leaving that turds comments up. Best thing you could have done. I’ll follow your example if I’m ever in your place.

  19. Jaye Wells on July 5, 2006 at 5:53 am said:

    Amra, I’m so glad you enjoyed it. It was a blast to write. The conspiracy was soemthing I really wanted to run with, but I wanted to do a suprise ending too.

    BTW, I read TWO of Fabio’s books. Since they were ghost written they weren’t as bad as one would think. God can you imagine the dialogue if he had written it?

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