Thursday, October 11, 2012
Taking the Easy Way Out
The lead-in: Waitress Billie has a major fangirl crush on Dylan, the star of her favorite TV show, Slayer for Hire (coincidentally also the title of the book). However, when the show comes to film in her hometown, she finds herself falling for Dylan’s co-star, Matt (shown above). Meanwhile, Dylan’s being stalked by an actual vampire, and Billie’s also a target. Matt, who comes from a family of slayers, stops by Billie’s apartment to guard her. We pick up as they’re discussing higher education …
“It’s okay if you didn’t go to college,” Matt said. “I didn’t, and it worked out fine for me.” He leaned toward me to whisper, “I’ve been taking courses at USC when I can fit them in. I want to surprise my dad with a diploma. Maybe in about ten years, at the rate I’m going.”
“Tell me about it. I’ve been taking online courses. I’ve got a jar full of tip money set aside for it. Pay as you go.”
“What are you studying?”
“Fashion design. I could go to New York for school if I wanted. My dad’s offered to pay for the first year, at least.” Yeah, I could do that. Why hadn’t I?
“You know how to sew?” He sounded impressed.
“Uh-huh. My Gram taught me.” I hopped up and went to the kitchen table. It meant leaving the heavenly circle of his arm, but it also meant a change of subject. I grabbed at that. I could grab the arm later.
Matt got up and joined me at the table. He whistled as I paged through the sketch book. “These are good. Have you actually made any of them?”
“Some. I sewed my own prom dress,” I added proudly. “For $45. People thought I’d sent to New York for it. I’d show it to you, but I don’t have it any more. Some twit at the prom spilled punch on it.” Cough Ava cough.
“Was this it?”
Oh God. Wouldn’t you know, I’d stopped at the sketch of the princess gown, the one I’d made the color of his eyes. Don’t notice don’t notice don’t notice, I prayed.
“Maya would love that,” Matt went on. “Add another layer of ruffles and she’d be your fan forever.”
“Maya, your sister? The wannabe football player?”
“When she’s off the field, she turns uber-girlie. What’s this one?”
He picked up the pad labeled “Costumes” before I could stop him. I dropped mine and grabbed at it frantically. “That’s nothing. Discarded ideas. It’s—”
Too late. He flipped the cover open. My interpretation of Dylan Garber as Jesse Pierce leaped out at both of us. The clothes I’d drawn to dress him in were way tighter than what he wore on the show. Especially in the crotch and butt. Yes, I’d done front and back views.
“Good likeness,” Matt said, his voice neutral. Was that a hint of red in his eyes?
“Jesse Pierce needs a new outfit,” I said weakly. I tugged on the sketchpad but he wouldn’t give it up. He went on flipping through the book. Page after page of Dylan, Dylan, and nothing but Dylan, in various outfits and assorted weaponry. “He wears the same thing week after week. He should mix it up. You know, scarves and turtlenecks or something, to protect his throat.”
Matt grunted. He went on flipping, and I went on tugging. My blatant Dylan obsession wasn’t the worst thing in there. I had to get it away from him before he found it.
He turned the last page to my most recent drawing, and stopped there.
There stood Emmett Land in full-color glory, a lot straighter and more heroic than he appeared on TV, holding a crossbow and glaring out at the viewer with Matt’s handsome face and stormy blue-gray eyes.
Even with the crossbow held at a strategic angle and the big, thick bolt obscuring his youknow, there was no getting around it. He wasn’t just nude. He was nuuuuuuuuuude.
Matt’s brows shot up into his hair.
“Emmett could do with a makeover too.” My voice cracked into shrill little pieces.
“Nice,” Matt said, “but a bit too minimalist for TV.”
# # #
And now, the book’s only sex scene, in its entirety: “If this is the part you’ve all been waiting for, too bad. I’m not the kind of girl who kisses or does anything else and tells. Let’s just say Matt missed his flight and let it go at that.” Enjoy.