Monday, November 5, 2012

Spreading Holiday Cheer!

Available for preorder at Amazon and Barnes and Noble - Holiday Hangover!

By reading any further, you are stating that you are at least 18 years of age. If you are under the age of 18, it is necessary to exit this site.
Copyright © KELLI SCOTT, 2012
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.
I’m dying. Not peacefully in my sleep. No, I’m dying one of those slow, painful deaths you dread more than mimes, clowns or public speaking. Dying in one’s sleep is a better way to go. And dying in bed is not the same as dying in your sleep.
Feeling around, my eyes fused shut, I’m sure I am in bed. Not my bed. My bed is like a heavenly cloud of crisp, clean linen. This bed—the one I’m dying in—is more like a comfortable, cozy slab of stone. Cozy because the vacant side of the mattress beneath my fingers is still warm from a body.
I’m not dying of a case of slab-of-warm-cozy-stone, either. I fear the painful piercing in my brain will be the death of me. Opening even one eye will surely be the nail in my coffin.
I hear running water. A shower, so I’m not alone. After all, no one wants to die alone. I could use a shower before I die, or at the very least a swish and gargle from the sink to wash away the fuzziness coating my mouth. Maybe a warm, wet compress for between my aching legs, where I swear a runaway freight train must have blown through. The splatter of flowing water I hear is a pleasant accompaniment to the off-key humming of Here Comes Santa Claus. Baritone. A man. I hope it’s someone I know, then on second thought pray for a stranger I’ll never see again.
I breathe in the woodsy male scent around me but I’ve never had any luck putting names to smells. And still no luck opening my eyes or scaring up a little spit to swallow the nasty taste in my mouth.
Think, Jane—what’s the last thing you remember?
A party. That’s a start. Our annual Seacliff Condo Association holiday party, to be exact. The Seacliff Condos aren’t by the sea, nor on a cliff. Sometimes when the breeze blows our way the residents catch a whiff of the nearby ocean. That’s something. The Cliff, as we call it, is very nice. Upscale. But not on the water. If it was, I couldn’t afford living there.
The recreation room, which boasts an enormous television for Monday Night Football gatherings or movie night, was decked out in an array of holiday d├ęcor, representing Hanukah, Kwanza and Christmas in an effort to mollify all residents and their religion of choice. As the president of the condo association, that’s my job—to mollify. And delegate. I had zero to do with entertainment, decorations or refreshments, being deficient at all three. That would be Trisha Delgado from the third floor, a younger, sassier version of Martha Stewart, if Martha wore sequined tube tops and hot pants in winter.
Trisha runs a small daycare out of her unit. I turn a blind eye to her home-based business venture on account of her being easily delegated to do my dirty work. In other words, I rely on her. She is my eyes and ears at The Cliff during the day while I work my day job in the billing department of a prominent orthopedic surgeon. Trisha secretly sends me texts if there are any rumblings about potential uprisings due to our long list of rules and regulations. She keeps me updated on unauthorized roommates, illegal parking and unsanctioned activity of any kind. Not that I’m a killjoy or anything.
Trisha probably knows whose bed I’m in. The way she gossips, everyone knows but me. The news will get back to me eventually if I don’t figure out for myself who I’ve boinked. Boinking where you live is simply a bad idea.
“Relax,” Trisha said to me at the party last night. “Have a drink. Loosen up. Get in the holiday spirit.”
Holding up a wall with my backside, I sipped at a cup of coffee while I watched everyone else at the holiday gathering get sloshed. “I don’t do that sort of thing.” Anymore.
She screwed up her face at me. “Which thing don’t you do?”
“Any of them.”
“Have. Some. Fun,” Trisha said, patting me on the back. A pat to emphasize each word of bad advice. “One little drink won’t hurt.”
That was when I decided Trisha was in league with the devil. I should have walked away.
“True.” I nibbled on a frosted Santa sugar cookie until I’d munched away his privates. “But have you ever heard that song Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off?”
“I love that song.”
“I’m fairly certain someone wrote those lyrics about me.”

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