Family is an integral part of quite a few of my stories. In Kiss Me Kate, Kate has an older sister, Jill, and I have to admit I created Jill in the image of the older sister I always wished I’d had. She’s carefree, fun, and the perfect foil for the all-too-serious Kate. Today’s snippet’s a little longer than most, but I decided what the heck–I’d just give you a whole chapter. It’s a fun one and I loved writing it.
Kiss Me Kate Excerpt:
“Hulloooo,” Kate’s voice greeted.
Rick frowned, uncertain he’d ever heard that particular tone from his lovely house sitter. “Kate?” He spoke loudly, wondering if she could hear him over the blaring music in the background.
“Rick?” She was yelling into the receiver and he could hear her shushing someone behind her. “Be quiet. It’s Rick. Stop singing, Jill.”
The background noise only faded a bit. “Hiya Ricky. How’re you doin’?” Kate’s voice was slurred and Rick realized at once why she sounded so strange. She was drunk.
“Are you having a party, Kate?” Rick watched Wes emerge from the adjoining hotel room.
“Kate’s having a party?” Wes asked, but Rick waved him away listening to Kate’s response.
“Jus’ a few of the girls from work and Jilly. We’re celebrating.”
“Oh.” Rick struggled to decide whether he was amused or angry. “What are you celebrating?”
Rather than answering, Kate asked her own question. “Is Wes there?”
“Yes.” Rick finally settled on being annoyed. What the hell is going on? “He’s right here.”
“Lemme talk to him.” Rick could tell by her demanding tone that Kate was not just tipsy, but completely and utterly sloshed.
“She wants to talk to you.” Rick frowned and handed Wes his cell.
“Hi Kate,” Wes said. “Are you having a—”
He didn’t get to finish his question and Rick watched as Wes’ face flushed slightly.
“Yes,” Wes said after a moment. “I’ve heard of those. Four of them? Maybe you should take it easy.”
“What’s she saying?” Rick demanded.
“She’s drinking shots—blowjobs.” Wes was chuckling.
“Give me that phone.” Rick grabbed the phone away from Wes.
“Kate,” Rick started, but she continued speaking, apparently unaware Wes was no longer on the phone.
“Can’t use your hands.” She was obviously mid-story. “Just your mouth. They taste like coconut—yuck. I hate coconut. But I didn’t spit it out. I swallowed every drop.”
Rick groaned at her words as the erection her voice inspired rose to full mast. “Jesus, Kate.” He tried to erase the very erotic picture she drew in his mind and then figured what the hell and gave into it. When he checked back into the conversation, she was still slurring and rambling on about a mile a minute.
“Shot the fucking bastard right between the eyes!”
“What? Who did you shoot?”
“Shoot?” Wes came to sit beside Rick, who pushed the speakerphone button so Wes could hear as well. In his mind, Rick was trying to figure out how he could get home in time to extricate Kate from whatever mess she may be in at the moment without damaging his investigation.
“It was a brilliant shot. Even the firefighters said so.”
“Firefighters?” Rick was more confused than ever. “Kate. Is something on fire?”
“Jus’ my wedding dress.”
“Kate,” Wes interrupted. “Is Jill there?”
“Yep, hang on a sec.” A loud hiccup crossed the line followed by Kate’s laughter. “I’ll get her. I sure do miss you guys. Jilly, the boys wanna talk to you.”
“Jill,” Wes’ voice was irate and Rick realized he wasn’t the only one alarmed by Kate’s condition and comments. “What the hell is going on there?”
“Her divorce was final today.” Rick began to feel somewhat reassured by the steadiness of Jill’s voice. At least she wasn’t drunk as a skunk.
“So what?” Wes didn’t seem to share that relief and was clearly still concerned. “Kate mentioned shooting someone and firefighters.”
At Jill’s laugh, Rick felt his temper rise. “Dammit, Jill, what the hell is going on?”
Jill attempted to stifle her laughter, but her answer was halting at best between all her giggling. “Kate got the divorce papers in the mail this morning. A couple of the girls and I decided to throw her a divorce shower.”
“Divorce shower?” Rick asked.
“We brought over a bunch of booze and a big picture of Zack. Started doing shots and shooting BB guns at Zack’s photo. Kate really got into it. Never seen her so happy or at ease. I thought she’d be depressed, but she’s actually over the moon. Anyway, she went up to the house and came out with her wedding dress. We used it as kindling to start a bonfire. Someone driving by called 9-1-1 even though the fire was perfectly contained. Jonesy and Mick ran the call, thank God. They thought it was funny and put out the bonfire, then Jonesy helped Kate line up her last shot at Zack the Rat. Nailed the picture right between the eyes. She was so excited she kissed Jonesy! Can you believe it? Jonesy! Thought the old guy would have a heart attack!”
Rick and Wes frowned at each other. Rick didn’t like the thought of Kate kissing anybody, even if Jonesy was pushing sixty and a grandfather of five.
“Jill.” Rick couldn’t help worrying when a loud shriek sounded through the phone line. “You will take care of her, won’t you?”
“Of course I will, Rick. She’s my baby sister—and don’t you dare yell at her either. Your precious house and yard are fine. She needed today. Wait a second.”
Rick could hear Jill talking to someone and then Kate’s voice came back on the line.
“Hey,” she said breathlessly.
“Hey Kate,” he and Wes both answered in unison.
“When’re you guys coming home?”
“It will still be a couple weeks, at least,” Wes answered.
“Oh, well, don’t worry about anything. Me and Rex and the house are all doing jus’ fine.”
“Yeah.” Rick attempted to joke despite his worry. “You sound like you’re doing fine.”
“Oh hell.” She started giggling. “I’ll be sick as a dog tomorrow and swearing off alcohol forever, but you know what? Even then, I’ll know it was worth it. I love how I feel right now. I wish I could be this happy every day.”
Rick silently wished the same thing for her and then wished even more that he could be with her to celebrate.
Late that night, he was still thinking about her and decided to send her an email.
Hope your head isn’t hurting you too badly today. Try ginger ale and saltines. That always works for me when I’m hung-over. Congratulations on your return to single status. Enjoy your freedom. Have some turkey and dressing for me tomorrow. Can’t tell you what I’d give for a slice of Jill’s pumpkin pie with that fancy whipped topping of hers. I wanted to let you know that this year I’m thankful for you. For all your work on the house, the way you’ve taken care of Rex and your unwavering friendship. With any luck, I’ll be back for Christmas and if not, definitely in time to ring in the New Year with you.
Rereading the message before hitting send, Rick was tempted to add a bit to the “Enjoy your freedom” part. Something along the lines of “while it lasts”. But he decided not to mention his intentions of expanding on their budding friendship.
Deciding the message was fine for now, he hit send before shutting the computer down and chuckling himself to sleep—the image of Kate drinking shots with no hands, shooting a BB gun and kissing an old fireman running through his mind as he drifted off.
Kiss Me Kate is available at Ellora’s Cave, Amazon, Sony and Barnes and Noble.
Check out some more snippets by these awesome authors.