Friday, July 5, 2013

An Excerpt from RAPTURE (Book 3)-UNEDITED

I'm going through the rest of Chapter 23 of the first draft of Book 1, so hopefully I'll be finally posting it today.  In the meantime, here is another excerpt from the third book, Rapture:


Ricky waited as Joanna punched out and then he did as she grabbed her jacket and bag.  Sharon was in the backroom working on some paperwork. 

“See you, Sharon!” Ricky called back to her.

“Oh, have a good evening Ricky!”  Sharon called back.

“See you Thursday! “  Joanna added.

“Oh, have a good one too, Joanna,” Sharon replied.  “See you Thursday.”

Ricky and Joanna left the Book Café, saying temporary farewells to their coworkers.

“Hey, are you guys going to Cobwebs on Friday?” Casey called to them from the music area.  As always, she wore her black fedora over her electric blue hair.

“Of course,” Joanna called back waving to her, relieved that Casey had not been working the previous day.

“You know it, doll,” Ricky said.

“Good, cause I’m deejaying!” Casey said and waved to them both.

Joanna and Ricky stepped out into the early spring late afternoon.

“After you, my dear,” Ricky said, holding the door for Joanna as they exited.

“Why thank you, darling,” Joanna replied.

The sun was warm, but the air was chilly.  As they headed into the parking lot, Ricky said, “Shall we take Elvira?”

“Sure,” Joanna said.

Ricky pressed the unlock button on his keyring, unlocking the drivers and passengers side to his 2001 Focus, “Elvira.”  Joanna settled into the passenger’s seat, placing her bag on her lap and stared out the window to the passing cars on the road.  She was glad that she and Ricky had gotten off of work at the same time that day.

“Tom’s Diner?” Ricky asked as he slid into the driver’s seat?

Joanna smiled.  “That would be great.”

Ricky understood that Joanna needed to talk and to go someplace they knew wouldn’t be too busy.  They both knew that many of their friends from Sacrament would be gathered at the Screamin’ Bean and Tom’s Diner would likely be pretty empty being that it was between the lunch and dinner rush.  Then, Joanna thought of something else.

“Um…can we also not drive by In the Blood?  Pete’s working now and he’ll wonder why I didn’t stop in if he sees us,” she said.

Ricky raised an eyebrow but didn’t question.  Joanna could feel her heart pounding as Ricky started the car, sending Siouxsie and the Banhee’s “Peek-A-Boo” pulsing through the car.  They pulled out onto the road and drove toward the business strip district, taking a backroad that wouldn’t take them passed the tattoo and piercing parlor that Pete worked at.  They were able to get a sidestreet parking space only a half block down from Tom’s Diner.  They got a table in the smoking section and now sat across from eachother with a large plate of French fries between them and three small bowls filled with ranch dressing, honey mustard, and ketchup.  Joanna sipped on her water as Ricky pushed his Iced Tea aside in favor of the ashtray and lit a cigarette.

“So,” Ricky said, blowing out the smoke from the first drag, “what is going on?”

Joanna sighed.  “To be honest…I really don’t know…”

“This wouldn’t have anything to do with Tall-Well Dressed-and-Handsome the other day, would it?  I mean, I was kidding about breaking a sweat at the site of you two, but there definitely looked like there was some type of an attraction.  Am I wrong?”

Joanna absently picked up a fry, dipped it in some ranch, and began to nibble at it.  “Well…I mean, he was cute,” she said lamely.

“Well yeah, duh!” Ricky said.  “I was only half joking when I told you to send him my way if you didn’t want him.  I’ve never seen him around here before, though.”

Joanna took another fry, this time dipping it in the honey mustard.  There was so much she wanted to say, but it was how to go about saying it that was the issue.  Joanna wasn’t even sure herself what was going on.

“Is everything alright with Pete?  Is there something wrong that the rest of us don’t know about?” Ricky asked, dipping three fries into the ranch and then the ketchup before bringing them to his mouth.

“No, nothing’s wrong with Pete.  But…” Joanna’s voice trailed off.

“But what?” Ricky prodded.

Oh jeez, where do I begin? Joanna thought.  She drew in a breath and stammered out, “Well, I’ve just been thinking about how my grandparents were and the respect they had for eachother…even reading about their parents and grandparents…”

“Okay, you’re not making any sense,” Ricky said.

“I guess what I’m saying,” Joanna said, “is that I’m finding that I want that romantic, sort of chivalrous relationship.”

Ricky snorted. “Well, let me know how that works out for you.”

Joanna frowned.  “What do you mean?”

Ricky took a drag from his cigarette and blew out the smoke before saying, “It means that I hate to break it to you, but I’m afraid that sort of thing died with our grandfathers.”

Joanna was silent as she took another fry and dipped it into the ranch.

“I mean don’t take this the wrong way,” Ricky continued, “I know Marie is very strongly a feminist and I love her to death and have a lot of love and respect for what those women have done over the years.  But I will also say on that same note that you women make it difficult for even us gay men to hold the door open and let you go ahead of us.”

“That’s not true,” Joanna said.  “I let you hold the door for me when we left work.”

“Alright.  Point taken,” Ricky said.  “But I’m still confused over what this is all about.  I mean, ever since yesterday, you’ve been on another planet.”

Joanna’s mind swam with the range of emotions she felt.  She nervously toyed with the straw in her water glass when she heard herself blurt out, “It’s just seeing him again after all these years—“

“Woah!” Ricky said.  “Back up.  Seeing who again after all these years?”

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