A morning in the life of… Aryal
Today sucked more than any other Monday, because, well, it was today. It was not a past Monday and not future one, but right now, so she had to live it.
First item of suckiness? She forgot to get her dirty clothes to the laundry on Friday. She kicked through everything on the floor in her bedroom. Nothing was clean enough to wear again. That meant she had to dig through her bottom drawer where she stuffed all the presents she hated. At least she found a clean T-shirt. Couldn’t remember who had given it to her. She sniffed at it. Nope, she hadn’t worn it before. She shook it out. The logo on the front read: “Heaven won’t have me, and hell’s afraid I’ll take over.”
Yeah well. She put it on and finished dressing.
Second item of suckiness? She didn’t get laid over the weekend. That always put her into a bitch mood. There was this one guy, and for a while it had looked possible… somehow that was always worse, when it looked possible but didn’t happen. To be scrupulously honest, they might have gotten dirty if she hadn’t laughed. Then his flag refused to fly, and really it had been such a teeny-weeny flag, that was why she laughed in the first place. Hell, she probably wouldn’t have even noticed if they had gotten dirty. Poor widdle dinker. She ought to have some sympathy. Guy had to live his whole life that way. At least she could move on.
Third item of suckiness? She had an appointment first thing. She really hated talking to people sometimes, and this one was mandatory which made it even worse. With a staff psychologist no less. Six weekly appointments because some corporate fuckwad convinced Dragos they might help senior staff develop better interpersonal skills. Fuuuuck. At least breakfast was easy. She ate three cupcakes she had bought from Crumbs, her favorite bakery, then grabbed a box of chocolate Pop Tarts to snarf on the way. Harpies were notorious for their sugar addictions.
Psych was all buttoned up, long pencil skirt, high-heeled pumps, suit jacket, hair pinned back, glasses. She looked like the beginning a bad porn movie. Underneath would be thigh-highs, cut-outs, and crotchless. The thought almost put Aryal in a good mood. She threw herself into chair, slung one leg over an arm, and kicked a foot.
Psych looked over her glasses at Aryal. “Our fifty minutes is starting.”
“Woo-hoo,” said Aryal. She tore open a foil pack and ate a Pop Tart.
“What would you like to talk about?”
Aryal just looked at the human. Then she started on the second Pop Tart.
Psych sighed. “We had the silent treatment the first time. Last week you answered every question I asked with another question. Can we at least do something different this week?”
“You don’t have any milk, do you?”
Psych’s mouth thinned. “No, I do not have any milk. Really, this passive-aggressive behavior isn’t suitable between two seasoned professionals.”
“Lady, there’s nothing passive about this,” said Aryal. “I work hard at these sessions.”
This time Psych looked down her nose. “Strong interpersonal relationships are essential to the efficient functioning of any large organization, especially one that employs so many different Races and that has undergone a downsizing of staff recently such as Cuelebre Enterprises has. It’s important we know how to avoid culturally sensitive topics and project an attitude of openness to others, regardless of species…”
Aryal tuned out the psychobabble as she opened another foil pack. “I know what we should talk about. Why, I’m so impressed with the job you do, I looked up your personnel file and found your home address. I enjoyed your apartment. Especially that lacy doily crap you’ve got draped on things.” She gestured with a hand.
“It’s not my personal preference. But I can see why you might like it.”
“You know where I live?” Psych paled. “You’ve been to my apartment?”
“Only because I like you. Honest,” Aryal said. She widened her eyes. “How’m I doing on the interpersonal shit? Because you know, I was hoping I’d improved so much, you could write something up for the next three appointments in a kind of ‘let’s don’t but say we did’ way. What d’you think?”
“You want me to falsify your personnel record,” Psych whispered.
“Uh, yeah.” Aryal finished the last Pop Tart, crumpled the box, aimed and tossed it across the room. It bounced around the rim of a wastebasket and fell in. Two points. “Unless you want to have me over for supper tonight. Maybe for breakfast too. Come to think of it, I might be available all this week.”
“Oh God no! I mean… I mean, all right. I’ll—I’ll say we completed all six sessions.”
“See?” said Aryal. “My communication skills are just fine. We understood each other perfectly, didn’t we?”
“Okay. Just okay.” Psych wiped her mouth. “And you won’t show up at my apartment.”
Aryal shrugged. “Not unless you give me reason to. Any reason at all.”
“God I hate working with harpies,” the other woman whispered.
Aryal regarded the other woman with satisfaction. “We done here?”
“Great. See you around, doc.” Aryal bounded to her feet and headed toward the door. No more Psych and her psychobabble. Can we say hell yeah?
Day was looking up. Even if it was still a Monday.
GIVEAWAY!Thea is generously giving away an ebook copy of True Colors! It's book 3.5 in the Elder Races series. Just leave your email with a comment if you would like to enter the giveaway!
Meeting your soulmate? Great. Preventing your possible murder? Even better.
Alice Clark, a Wyr and schoolteacher, has had two friends murdered in as many days, and she's just found the body of a third. She arrives at the scene only minutes before Gideon Riehl, a wolf Wyr and current detective in the Wyr Division of Violent Crime—and, as Alice oh-so-inconveniently recognizes at first sight, her mate.
But the sudden connection Riehl and Alice feel is complicated when the murders are linked to a serial killer who last struck seven years ago, killing seven people in seven days. They have just one night before the killer strikes again. And every sign points to Alice as the next victim.
Product WarningsThis book contains a hot police detective, a violent murderer on the hunt, and a heroine that can blend in anywhere...
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