Thursday, November 03, 2005
Pretty Evil - Excerpt
PRETTY EVIL – Lexi Davis
Pretty Evil is a sexy, wickedly entertaining tale of Good vs. Evil, with lots of laughs. When three playboys buy an abandoned Beverly Hills mansion, they don't realize a supernatural vixen inhabits the cellar. To get rid of them, this sexy she-devil will stop at nothing—including cleverly morphing herself into each guys' fantasy woman to seduce and destroy them. The guys' only hope lies in their girl pal Sunnie who has a supernatural gift of her own --to detect evil beings.
The she-devil's seductive powers are overwhelming. The guys are in serious trouble. Will Sunnie be able to save her friends?
When Geffen Cage entered the Crustacean, an upscale French Colonial Vietnamese restaurant in a section of Beverly Hills known as the "Golden Triangle," he had one thought: I wish this was the Bermuda Triangle so my date would disappear.
Usually Geffen felt comfortable in high-profile places like this, but tonight he wanted to hide. As one of "the beautiful people" among the L.A. socialite circles, he was known to have impressive taste in women, but tonight all of that was blown to hell. He was looking good as usual, but his date was another story. If she stood on the side of the freeway, people would stop because this woman looked like a wreck.
Geffen hoped he wouldn't run into anyone he knew, but that would be hard because Geffen knew a lot of people. His date had suggested this place. The restaurant had an indoor, under-the-floor stream filled with black and gold koi and covered by glass. A floor-to-ceiling aquarium, waterfall, and copper-topped bar added to its breathtaking ambience, but all Geffen could do was hold his breath as he walked his date over the small wooden bridge, ready to duck if anyone recognized him.
"Sorry for the inconvenience, Mr. Cage," the maitre d' said, as Geffen and his date stood waiting in plain view of the whole restaurant while an attendant cleaned up a spill near their table.
Aw damn, Geffen thought, as he brushed nonexistent lint from his Versace suit's lapel. Geffen was superclean and always GQ, dressed sharp like a razor with not a hair in his thin, trimmed mustache out of place and not a fingernail unfiled. He just needed a distraction, a reason to put his head down and try to hide, but he was too late.
Three women sitting at a table a few feet across the marble floor spotted him. He didn't know them, but they were talking loudly, sipping on martinis and ragging on people as they walked by. Both Geffen and his date could hear every word they said.
"Why is he with her, as fine as he is," one woman said.
"Maybe the young brotha likes older women -- nothing wrong with that," said the second.
"I know she gets a lot of candy on Halloween."
"Quick, call the zoo and see if they're missing a llama."
Geffen shot the attendant a hurry-your-ass-up look.
When their table was finally ready, Geffen's date walked closer to the ladies' table. At first, Geffen thought she was showing off her 5 carat oval-shaped diamond ring, but turns out she was giving them her middle finger. Then she sat in her seat.
Geffen tried to concentrate on reading the menu, and put his mind over the matter. The fellas were counting on him to convince this woman to give them a cut-rate investment loan to buy property.
Geffen pulled a long-stemmed red rose from the table piece and handed it to her. "Tonight you look...indescribable."
She batted her fake eyelashes and grinned at Geffen like he was a piece of meat and she hadn't eaten in twenty years. All Geffen could think about was how much older she looked here in the candlelight compared to when he had first met her at the bank that she owned. She had been dressed better, too, with not so much sagging skin showing. And who had done her makeup tonight? Cirque du Soleil? He tried hard to think of something positive. Umm, okay, nice, expensive teeth.
"You really know how to treat a lady, Geffen, my sweetheart," she said in a low, guttural voice intended to be sexy but that sounded like a toad croaking. She opened her menu. "Umm, I'm so hungry. What looks good to you?"
Not you, that's for sure. "The roasted lamb is always good," he said out loud.
She asked the waiter, "What's your catch of the day?"
While his date irritated the waiter with too many questions, Geffen smiled and tried to look patient. Don't order the baked potato. It'll take too long.
Finally, she placed her order, then added, "Oh, and add a baked potato to that."
After ordering his meal, Geffen asked the waiter to bring a Mokt & Chandon right away. Then he started the conversation. "So tell me, how does a woman like you end up owning United Financial Funding Corporation, the second-largest lender of venture capital in Southern California?"
"Geffen, that's business. I never mix business with pleasure. And just so there's no misunderstanding, tonight is strictly for pleasure." She slipped off her shoe, raised her foot beneath the table and rubbed the inside of his calf with her bare toe. She continued her exploration even as the waiter brought and poured their drink.
"You're quite a flirt, too, I see." Geffen sipped his Mokt.
"I don't believe in wasting time, Geffen, my dear. Did you know they make a Viagra pill for women? I purchased a two-month supply."
I bet your husband is glad he's dead right about now. To his relief, the waiter arrived with their food. But the meal's arrival did little to distract Geffen's horny dinner partner.
"I'm hoping that a young man like you will be able to keep up, if you know what I mean."
She reached over and rubbed his hand. Her fingers felt like withered tree branches. He set his fork down and politely withdrew his hand to use his napkin. "You are full of surprises," he said with a smile.
"Yes, I am full of surprises. I bet you didn't know this about me." She leaned in close and whispered in his face, "I like rough sex."
Oh, that's just nasty.
Geffen cleared his throat to try to keep his dinner down. He emptied his champagne glass and smiled at her. She did a little shimmy-shake, another attempt to be sexy. I need some weed and a blindfold. She opened her mouth and wiggled her wrinkled tongue at him. Hell, hit me with a dart gun. Tranquilize my ass. "Waiter, check, please."
In her town car, on their way to her Palisades home, she made it clear to Geffen what he would have to do in order to get the loan he wanted at half the interest rate that other banks had offered. Desperate for a moment alone to rethink his strategy, he asked her driver to stop at a 7-Eleven. He said he wanted to get a Wall Street Journal, but really he wanted to buy a pint of vodka and a Penthouse magazine for sexual inspiration. But mainly he wanted to call his friend, Rice Jordan.
As he paid for his items, he flipped open his cell phone and called Rice. When his buddy answered, Geffen broke down, saying, "I can't do this shit, man."
"Hold on. Calm down. Where's she at right now?"
Geffen knew Rice would take his call, even though he was in the middle of his book signing at Barnes & Noble in Palmdale, California. Geffen had already told Rice about the bank owner who was sweet on him, and that tonight he was going to try to get them an investment loan by any means necessary.
"She's in the car. I had her driver stop at Seven-Eleven so I could get some things. I'm trying to stall, man. I'm telling you, she ain't just old, she's an old freak. 'Bout the same age as that mummy on Tales of the Crypt."
The cashier gave Geffen a weird look as he handed him his change. Geffen picked up his purchases and ducked into a corner of the store. "Rice, man, stop laughing."
"Gef, I'm signing books, so I can't really talk right now -- "
Geffen cut him off -- his problems were more important. "You ever spanked a skinny old freak before? Rice, what if something falls off her, man?"
"You know, what if I try to spank that ass and one of her old, skinny, wrinkled legs pop off?"
"Man, you trippin'."
"No, I'm serious. She's old. Her Social Security number is probably one."
Rice could hardly talk for laughing. "This whole setup was your idea, remember? I told you it was wack, but you said you'd get us that loan by any means necessary."
"But, Rice, pahtna, I can handle most any kind of pressure, but I didn't think it'd be like this, dawg. This woman right here would give Freddy Kruger nightmares."
"Gef, you are straight-up trippin'. But, hey, if you can't do it, then call it off. Let's forget about that investment loan, forget about purchasing investment property, forget about making that money."
"Money?" Money was always the buzzword for Geffen -- it never failed to pump him up and motivate him.
Rice played him like a Spanish guitar. "Yeah, that money. You're the one who swore you'd do whatever it takes to become a multimillionaire in the next two years."
Geffen closed his eyes real tight and thought about the money and all the things he wanted to do with it. Geffen had plans, big plans. He got his confidence back.
"Okay, man, I can do this. I'm going to get us that loan -- I don't care what it takes. I'll spank her till her legs, eyes, teeth -- everything -- pop off."
Rice said, "Don't get carried away now."
"I'm going to get us that investment loan so we live like the royal-blooded Africans that we are. I can't give up on my dream of owning a Fortune 500 company, and this is the first step."
"Right. Think about that when she asks you to bite her."
"I'm just messing with you. Hey, Gef, just do the damn thang," Rice said.
Geffen straightened his Versace collar and strutted back down the aisle of the 7-Eleven, cell phone to his ear. "I got this. I'm going to buy some ACE bandages."
"Bandages? For what?"
"To wrap her old mummy-ass up, so won't nothing fall off." He called to the checker, "Hey, Saddam, where're the ACE bandages?"
Rice couldn't stop laughing. "Gef, go handle your business. I gotta go. Call me later, but spare me the gory details. I ain't tryin' to hear about you getting busy with the Crypt Keeper. Oh, and don't forget, tomorrow's Sunday. We promised our girl Sunnie we'd show up for church, right?"
Geffen asked anxiously, "She found us a place?"
"She said she did, but I don't know if I believe her."
"She can't lie to get us in church. That'd be sacrilegious or something like that."
"Let's just show up and see," Rice said. "We'll know she's lying if she gets too close to the altar and spontaneously combusts."
Geffen threw the ACE bandages on the checkout counter. "Man, if I go through this, she'd better have us a property tomorrow. Yeah, I'll be at church."
"Okay, cool. And hey, you might wanna pick up some superglue, too, in case those bandages don't work."
"Yeah, you got jokes. Whateva." Geffen hung up, paid the cashier, and walked out the door. He stopped and thought about his mother, and how he'd move her grave site to a better place if he got this loan and some property. This one's for you, Ma.
He pulled the pint of vodka out of the bag, opened it, and kicked back a fourth of the bottle. Geffen never drank strong alcohol -- he valued his brain cells too much -- but this qualified as special circumstances. He was willing to sacrifice one or two brain cells for a multimillion-dollar venture.
The Barnes & Noble in Palmdale, California, was bustling with customers, mostly women who had driven past the Antelope Valley Mall and the Wal-Mart superstore to come see if author Rice Jordan was anything like the main character in his books. The fictional "Mathis Shade" was a forthright, moral, upstanding family man who had no trouble at all opening himself up and expressing his most intimate feelings to his woman. Mathis was the type of character who believed in honest communication, even if it meant laying his heart open and getting hurt. Women readers assumed Rice must be like his main character in order to write him so well. Yeah, right.
After listening to him read from his latest novel, No Game, No Shame, book-toting readers waited in a long line to have Rice autograph their books.
Rice sat behind a table with a stack of his novels, a permanent marker, and a bottle of Evian. He had on the same plain blue shirt and whitewashed jeans he'd worn for his book cover photo shoot. He was strictly a T-shirt-and-jeans kind of guy, leaving the dressing up for folks who were trying to impress other folks. He wore his hair closely shaved to camouflage those few pesky gray hairs that wanted to spring up and scream I'm getting old! even though he was only thirty-two. Despite 20/20 vision, he wore glasses as a tiny shield between him and the women who always tried to look into his eyes to see if he was telling the truth, which half the time he wasn't.
Rice was uncomfortable around people and longed to be back home in his private study. He wished Sunnie were there with him because she had a way of putting him at ease, even amid hoards of strangers milling around staring at him like he was a damn monkey in a cage, expecting him to say something clever and witty every ten damn seconds.
Rice smiled and handed a freshly autographed book to a lady, then waited for the next lady in line. Without looking up, he took her book and opened it. Inside the front cover was a glossy photo of the woman stark naked.
He thought to himself, Okay, now things are getting interesting. Rice closed the book and looked over his shoulder to see if anyone else had noticed the picture. He looked up at the lady standing in front of him. She looked like Jada Pinkett-Smith with auburn locks.
"Uh, hello," Rice mumbled.
"You're blushing," she said. His eyes immediately fell on her small, perky breasts underneath her thin cashmere blouse. They looked like two acorns trying to push their way out.
He squirmed. "I was, uh, trying not to."
"But you were. Does that mean you like what you see?" She arched her back. The acorns saluted. He broke into a full-fledged grin. A group of bookwormy women with buns, bifocals, and bunions grunted impatiently behind Miss Acorn Breasts.
He cleared his throat, picked up his pen, and opened her book again, but this time he kept the cover halfway closed, hiding the nude photo. "Where should I sign?"
The woman leaned across the table. "Right here." Her finger landed on her sweet spot in the photo. She leaned closer and whispered a proposition in his ear. He signed the photo and watched her as she walked out of Barnes & Noble, her book tucked under her arm.
Rice signed books for about ten more minutes, but the line remained long and he was eager for his rendezvous with Miss Acorn Breasts, so he began coughing. The store manager rushed and brought him more water. He took a sip and started coughing louder in long hacking, fake coughs.
"Mr. Jordan...are you all right?" the manager asked nervously.
"I gotta go," Rice said, coughing and collecting his things.
"But, Mr. Jordan, we need you to keep signing books." Rice pointed to his throat and hacked louder. He threw his coat over his shoulder and waved apologetically at everybody.
The manager was desperate. "But, Mr. Jordan -- "
Rice was gone.
He jumped in his car, drove across the parking lot to Baja Fresh Grill, and blinked his headlights twice, just as she'd requested. Miss Acorn rushed out, hopped in his car, and they drove to her condo in West Palmdale, where she let him sign a whole lot more than her photo. At the height of their "signing" session, she screamed out the name of Rice's fictitious male character. "Oh, Mathis."
Rice paused for a second. What did she just call me?
Her eyes were closed. "Oh, Mathis Shade, do it, baby. Don't stop."
This was not the first time an enraptured fan had confused him with Mathis Shade, the main character in his novels. Mathis was not only good-looking, he was strong but vulnerable, rough but gentle, worldly but homey -- the kind of oxymoronic guy all women claimed they wanted. Rice, the novelist, was nothing like that -- not even close. He opted to hide his true self behind the pages of his novel while he reaped the sexual benefits on Mathis Shade's behalf.
Acorn Lady screamed out again, "Don't stop, Mathis. Don't stop."
"Okay, Mathis won't stop," Rice said, and did his best to make sure his completely delusional fan was satisfied with his work.
The second she fell asleep, he whipped on his clothes, grabbed his keys, and tiptoed out of her condo.
Rice chuckled, trying to play it off like it didn't really bother him to be called someone else's name as long as he was the one who got the nookie. But underneath his chuckle, that shit really bothered him, made him feel like he was the Invisible Man or something.
During his sixty-five-minute drive south on the 14 and 405 freeways, Rice checked his voicemail. As he passed over the Santa Monica Mountains heading back to his home in Baldwin Hills, he replayed Sunnie's message several times, listening closely: "Rice, where are you? You're supposed to always answer when you see my caller ID no matter what you're doing. What if this was an emergency? Rice, just be careful, okay?"
He tried to figure out if Sunnie was actually worried about him or just taking him for granted, as usual. He called her back but got her voicemail.
He decided to stop by the gym on La Cienega Boulevard, knowing that his boy, Franklin Brass, better known as "Coach," would be there. He needed to remind Coach to show up for church tomorrow.
Coach felt at home amid the muggy smell of rubber mats, damp towels, and body sweat at the 24-Hour Fitness Magic Johnson Sports Club. The gym was packed with well-toned bodies in various shades of brown sweaty skin even after 11 P.M. on a Saturday night. The clinkety-clank of metal machines and iron weights was music to Coach's ear. He was in his usual spot in the southeast corner of the weight room, pumping iron while watching his biceps bulge in the floor-to-ceiling mirror. This was the only place where Coach's beefy chest, muscular buttocks, and bulging thighs blended in with the rest of the athletic bodies.
Coach wasn't expecting to see Rice. Rice looked out of place in his loose-fitting shirt and baggy jeans compared to Coach's muscle shirt, bandana, and sports shorts.
Rice stepped in front of the mirror, and shouted over the noisy equipment, "Nigerian, please. Stop looking at yourself."
Coach kept pumping. "What you doing here, Ethiopian? Thought you was out signing romance novels or some girly shit like that."
Rice ignored the comment. "Came by to remind you that tomorrow is Sunday."
"Who are you, the calendar cop?" Coach knew perfectly well what Rice was getting at, but he liked giving people a hard time. Sunnie, their closest female friend, was also a real estate broker and she had coerced them into going to church in exchange for finding them an investment property. But Coach preferred to spend Sunday morning in the gym rehabilitating his injured leg so he could get back out on the football field.
Rice said, "Man, you forgot? We promised our girl Sunnie we'd show up for church."
Coach grumbled. "I ain't going."
"Got to. Sunnie's been trippin' lately. She thinks we're going to get into some kind of trouble."
"What kind of trouble?"
"I have no idea. Anyway, you know our deal -- we go to her church, she shows us the property. Besides, we wouldn't want to disappoint Sunnie."
"Like I give a rat's ass 'bout that."
"You know you do. Sunnie's our girl."
Coach didn't deny it. He changed arms and continued doing reps. When Coach worked out, he liked to get into a zone and tune out the rest of the world. It was like intercourse between his mind and his body; his mind told his body what to do and it obeyed, no matter how hard or how painful. He got off on pain and roughness, and he liked to dominate, whether it was on the football field making a tackle or in the bedroom making love, as long as he conquered the task.
Right now his mind was on conquering the leg injury that had sidelined him this season. If he wasn't out there playing, he was nothing. That's the way he saw it.
After a hundred bicep curls, he set the barbell down and lay flat on the bench. He strapped the weight's belt to his left leg and started doing leg curls, pressing his leg muscles against two hundred pounds of iron weights.
"Hey, Big Zulu, that's a lot of weight to put on your injured leg."
Coach gasped for breath, but didn't stop pumping the leg machine. "I-gotta-get-back-in-uniform."
Coach figured Rice couldn't relate to how it felt being a pro athlete sidelined by an injury. He needed to stick to what he did best -- type.
Rice kept butting in, messing up Coach's zone. "I know you trying to get off the injured list, but, whoa, you're overdoing it."
Coach slammed the weights down and stood up. "It's pro football! There's fifty guys straight outta college itching to put on that Chargers jersey and take my place."
Coach was explosive like that, and when his volcanic temper flared, he was truly intimidating. Rice backed up a bit. A few people around them stopped and looked. Everybody knew Coach and knew what he was about, and nobody would ever get in the big guy's face and question him unless they wanted a beatdown. But Rice wasn't just anybody, he was Coach's lifelong friend.
Rice raised his hands. "You ain't got to yell."
Coach continued, "I ain't 'bout to be replaced. I'm thirty-two years old, man. I still got good years in me, but I gotta get back out on that field. So I gotta do this!"
"Okay, okay. I feel you."
Coach calmed down and went back to his leg presses. He knew he shouldn't have blown up like that, but sometimes his adrenaline surged so strong, he couldn't help it.
Coach stopped. "Hey, what time is it?"
"It's eleven thirty. Why?"
"Aw, hell. I gots to get outta here." He unstrapped the weights.
"What's your hurry?"
Coach swooped up his sweaty towel and headed for the showers. "I'm supposed to be somewhere. I'm late."
Rice yelled after him, "Where you going?"
Without pausing, Coach answered, "To a beauty pageant."
Thirty-five minutes later, Coach drove his big black shiny Chevy Suburban to the front of the Embassy Suites Hotel on Airport Boulevard near LAX. He jumped out, tossed his keys to the valet, and grabbed his overnight bag. He hustled through the mustard-colored lobby with the eight-story atrium, swooshed past the elevator, and bounded up the stairs.
Fifteen minutes later, he was lying faceup on a king-size bed with his fingers interlaced behind his head and a thousand-watt smile plastered on his attractive bearded face. Even though he was late, the show couldn't have started without him.
Out walked Miss Tennessee. She pranced across the berry-colored carpet in the elaborate hotel suite wearing a white ribbon with gold letters diagonally across her chest and nothing else. She sashayed on six-inch-high stiletto heels across the large room to where Coach lay in a black silk robe, his huge bare chest exposed.
"Show me whatcha working with, Ma," he said, bobbing his head to the Ludacris CD playing on the stereo. A fake diamond-studded tiara was on the bed next to him.
She turned around, did a pose, turned back around, did another pose, and dropped it like it was hot. Her lively breasts bounced up and down like crazy on each side of the white ribbon.
"How'd you like that, Daddy? Do I get that crown now?" She reached for the tiara, but Coach quickly snatched it away.
"Slow your roll, woman. You can't win yet -- not until you've had a little competition." Miss Tennessee poked out her cranberry-glazed lips, pouting. Coach said, "Move to the side, darlin'," then clapped his hand loudly twice. Out walked Miss Nevada and Miss Indiana. Each wore similar white ribbons, stilettos, and nothing else. Coach turned up the music with the remote while all three contestants did their runway routines across the hotel room floor just for him, droppin' it, poppin' it, and making it clap.
Coach judged all aspects of their routines -- physique, confidence, and poise -- but it was hard for him to remain objective because Miss Tennessee's breasts reminded him of his two most favorite things in the whole world -- two firm, brown, round footballs. And they were pointing straight at him.
He announced, "And the winner is Miss Titty-See. I mean, Miss Tennessee."
Miss Tennessee jumped up and down, her pigskins scoring one field goal after another in Coach's mind. The other two contestants complained. "How can she win? Her boobs ain't even real."
Coach declared, "If I can touch them, then they're real. But hey, at this party everybody wins. And to prove it, I'm gonna let all of you share this crown. Now, when I say 'go,' I want all three of you to dive in and get, but you gotta keep your hands behind your back, okay?" They agreed.
"On your mark." Coach untied his silk robe and opened it. His massive bare chest and muscular body glowed in the red strobe light.
"Get set." He placed the fake crown around a strategic part of his anatomy.
All three beauty contestants, a.k.a. groupies, dove in face-first to get their crown.
Excerpt. ) Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
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