I’m putting the final touches on Ineffable, folks! I’m working toward a pre-Christmas release. So y’all won’t have to wait too much longer. In this unedited snippet about half way through the book, I’ve started to flesh out the drama – a trifecta of crap based on Margot’s troublemaker reputation, the trouble it brings from complete strangers and Nori’s father Aro. Enjoy! – SS
…She left for California the next day. As soon as she said goodbye his mood sank like a boat with a hole in it. He called Lado to vent over a drink.
His old friend just laughed when he bitched about over ambitious women who didn’t know their place. “I can’t believe you of all people are complaining because she’s out of town working. It’s not like she’s gallivanting in a mini skirt showing people her crotch, or following the Grateful Dead on ecstasy. She’s helping to advertise the Ineffable brand, and put money in your pocket, I might add.”
“She should be here with me,” Nori said stubbornly.
“You want her to only travel with you, then?”
Put like that it did sound fucking ridiculous, and Nori still didn’t give a shit and said so.
“Laugh it up. Your day is coming.”
Now Lado did laugh. “Please. I’m a confirmed bachelor and you know it. I love women, always have, always will, but only in plural. They’re all special, which is why I wouldn’t dream of stopping my fun at just one. And don’t change the subject. Margot’s a hot commodity. She’s going to have to travel sometime.”
“All she had to do was wait one day, and I could have gone with her.”
“You’re being ridiculous. You’re headed out there tomorrow for God’s sake. Grow back your balls, man!”
“Just wait,” Nori promised. “Soon enough, I’ll be sitting where you are, listening to you bitch about some woman who’s leading you around by the nose. I’m going to remind you how cruel and uncaring you were.”
“You are so French right now.”
Nori swore at his best friend in his native tongue, and Lado just laughed and ordered them another round.
The next day Nori worked the entire flight. His father had called several times before he left the house to catch the redeye. He refused to pick up. He was looking forward to seeing his woman, and he would not allow his old man to ruin their reunion with whatever machinations he’d dreamed up. Time enough to deal with it when he was back in town.
Satisfied with the work he’d accomplished, he collected his bag from the overhead bin and waiting impatiently for the old couple ahead of him in first class to deplane. He was in the taxi on the way to Margot’s hotel before he remembered to turn on his cell phone. He’d call her. Maybe they could get a reservation somewhere. They’d have to bring Tommy, but no matter. He could be friendly for the few hours needed to get rid of her friends for the night.
A text message popped up before he could dial her.
Don’t be mad.
What the hell?
It wasn’t my fault.
His phone rang. His father.
“What do you want?” he snapped in French.
“Are you in town?”
“No, I’m in LA on my way to meet Margot.”
“At the jail?”
“You don’t know? She’s locked up! There was some kind of fight last night, and she’s behind bars. If you’d answered your fucking phone you’d know this! I’ve already arranged for our attorney to go to the jail to see about her release, but it was too late to stop it from getting out. There are pictures all over the fucking Internet. Ineffable is all over the news!”
“I have to call you back.”
He immediately tried Margot’s number. It went to straight to voicemail.
Are you there?
Answer the phone!
I can’t. I’m not allowed to use my cell. I had to sweet talk the guard into letting me keep it so I can text you. He has to take it back soon.
Sweet talk the guard! Jesus.
Where are you?
She told him.
I’m on my way.
The lawyer was already there when he arrived, and an hour later she was released.
His eyes ran over her, but other than appearing uncharacteristically disheveled and still wearing clothes from the night before she – and Tommy – looked fine.
She hesitated when she saw him. He opened his arms, and she rushed into them.
“Hey, man,” said Tommy, yawning and casual despite catching and holding all eyes in her strapless, gold lame gown. “Thanks for springing us. I’ll pay you back.”
He scowled at her. “Never mind that,” he ordered, hustling them out and into a waiting car.
“Tell me what happened.”
Face tucked firmly into his neck, at first he didn’t think Margot was going to respond. He had no plans to press her; he was enjoying the familiar feel of her in his arms. She was safe. He sighed and pulled her closer.
Tommy waved a careless hand. “A slight contretemps with a restaurant patron. Asshole,” she muttered. “Do you suppose we’ll have to come back out here for court?” she asked Margot.
“I fucking hope not. I hate LA.”
Nori wasn’t too fond of the place right now either.
“Where is Dom?” he asked Tommy.
“In Ireland, thank God. If he was in the country I’d really be in for it. I don’t even wanna know what he’ll have to say when he finds out. Good night.” She yawned. “I’m so tired. And we have a meeting in three hours.”
Nori stared at her like she’d grown an extra head. “You just got out of jail, and you’re talking about a meeting?”
She looked at him like, yeah, and laughed softly. “I’m not lettin’ some fucking prick stand in the way of us and this money. By the time this bullshit is over, that prick will already have cost me, us, a grip! Don’t trip,” she dismissed. “It won’t take long. Then we can rest, and we’re out of here the day after tomorrow.”
Manfully resisting the urge to blister her with his tongue, Nori managed to hold his ire until he and Margot were alone in her suite. He ordered breakfast for them and unpacked while she showered. She was in there a long time. By the time she emerged, swathed in a voluminous pink robe decorated with purple orchids, he was about to explode.
Muttering a curse in French he answered the room service summons, and waited impatiently while the man set everything up. He shoved a $20 into his hand and hustled him out double time.
Margot was already cutting into the pancakes. “Thanks for ordering food I’m starved. I didn’t get to eat my dinner last night, and the only food in jail was from the vending machine.”
Hearing she was hungry calmed him somewhat. He thanked her as she poured his coffee and fixed his plate. He even managed a few bites before he said, “Tell me what happened. I didn’t even know you were locked up until I got off the plane.”
“No? Sorry, baby. Things happened so fast, and then they took my phone, and by the time I got it back, I guess you’d already found out. Your dad?”
“I’m sure he loved telling you,” she muttered, chewing morosely on a piece of bacon.
“Not really,” he said, deadpan. “Now tell me what happened.”
“Baby, I’m not even sure, to tell you the truth.” She got up and walked to the window. “Last night we met some people for dinner. Everything was normal. Then this guy came up to our table saying all this crazy, sexist stuff, acting like we were prostitutes. The manager came and led him away, apologized, said he was drunk, whatever. We dismissed it. But as soon as the manager left, the fucker came back! I couldn’t believe it. He was, like, determined to cause a scene. The clients I was with were, like, what the fuck?”
She turned and looked him in the eye. “I tried to take the high road.” She turned back to the window. “But he reached out to touch me, knocked a glass of water into my lap, and I fuckin’ snapped. I picked up my plate full of food and I mashed him in the face with it. His drunk ass fell over, and he hit his head on a table, he was bleeding and –” she shrugged.
He walked over to stand beside her.
“Someone called the cops, patrons were taking pictures; they said they had to arrest me.”
“Did they at least arrest him too?”
“I think so. Once he got done in the ambulance.”
He burst out laughing. “Damn, killer.”
She grinned and turned into his waiting arms. “I thought for sure you’d be pissed.”
That explained her hesitation when she saw him at the police station. She’d been waiting for him to yell at her.
“No,” he said firmly, undoing the belt of her robe. Feeling immeasurably better once her naked flesh was under his hands, he wished his own clothes to purgatory, but contented himself with a hard, warm hug. “It wasn’t your fault.”
“I could have kept my temper.”
He shrugged. “It would have been out of character, no?”
She laughed softly. “Well, they don’t call me Goti for nothin’,”
He kissed her. Long, hard and lush. He was about to ask was she still hungry, if not, to bed. He’d already been one full day without her. She wasn’t the only one who needed reassurance.
Someone banged on the door, hard.
“Margot! Lemme in! Nori! Margot! Hurry the fuck up!”
“Mierde!” he swore, striding over to fling up the door.
“There’s a fucking video of the entire incident on TMZ. It’s already gone viral on YouTube.”