, Book 4|
Read an Excerpt
Note: this book was republished as an e-book in May 2011.
With plans to snare Fang as her boyfriend at last, and her best friend Dru visiting for a short vacation, Emily envisions her last month in England to be filled with shopping, clubbing, and fun with a capital F. But when Fang comes home from a trip to New Zealand with a girlfriend in tow, her whole life seems to go bad: her dream job at a museum turns into a nightmare, and even the epic reenactment of the Helmâs Deep battle scene from the film The Two Towers (complete with swords, fake blood, and water balloons) goes awry.
Not even seances to contact the spirit sheâs convinced haunts her underwear drawer can cheer her up as she readies herself to face the bittersweet move back to Seattle. Home doesnât seem to have the same attraction as she thought it would, and it doesnât take long before Emily realizes just what itâs going to mean to leave EnglandâŠand Fang.
Subject: Emilyâs ĂŒber-Fabu Boyfriend Tips
1. Lip action matters. When selecting a guy to be your potential BF, itâs really best if you donât give him a concussion when trying to kiss him.
2. Bad timing sucks. If you spend months waiting for your potential BF to come home from another country intending to throw yourself in his manly arms, make sure heâs coming home alone.
3. Swords hurt. If you insist on challenging a BF-stealing wannabe to a duel with one, use a fake sword rather than a real one. Sword cuts are so hard to explain to the parental units…
4. Donât take no for an answer. Some guys need a little help seeing that youâre the best thing since someone figured out how to get glitter in lip gloss.
Adventure Press (Apr 10, 2006)
Subject: Sooooooo coolio!
Date: 1 August 2004 10:23pm
Hey chicky, Iâm back from the trip to London. Ahmed at the Tongue and Groove club says hi (yeah, Hollyâs brother Peter got us into the club, which is majorly coolio, let me tell you!). Anyhoo, when I got home last night, Brother was all Iâve got a secret. You know how I hate it when he does that. Why canât I have a normal father? One that doesnât play with medieval torture devices?
âYour secret is that you get turned on by thumbscrews?â I asked, watching with more than a little concern as Brother toyed with a reproduction thumbscrew (one of his fellow professors at Oxford has come up with a line of torture toys stuff based on the originals. Brother says itâll make millions. I say why didnât he think of that so we could have millions?).
âNo, of course not,â he said, his Unibrow all scrunched up into a frown.
âBecause if you and Mom are getting into kinky stuff, I donât want to know about it,â I warned. âIâm only just managing to forget that horrible thing that Mom said to me last year.â
His Unibrow furrowed even more. âWhat horrible thing?â
âThat you guys have a healthy sex life. Bleh.â
Brother sighed and looked upward for a couple of seconds, like he was praying or something. âEmily, why does every conversation I have with you end up being about sex?â
âBecause youâre obsessed with it,â I said gently, and even patted him on the arm so he wouldnât think I hated him for it. âBut thatâs OK, Iâve learned to live with it. So which of you is the boss, and which the grunt?â
He blinked at me. âWhat?â
âWhich of you is the dominate partner, and which the submissive?
His eyes did that Ricky Ricardo bugging out thing, which, combined with the Unibrow, kind of makes him look like a pug dog. An old one. âDominate? Submissive? Where did you hear that?â he roared.
I held up my hand to stop him in case he thought about charging (he looked kind of deranged, like he might). âBrother, this is the twenty-first century, not the first! Everyone knows about kinky stuff like that!â
His hand ruffled through his hair, which probably would have formed his usual hair horn, but did I tell you he got his hair cut last week? He couldnât get in to his regular guy, so he went to a new one, Mr. Manny, who buzzed his hair instead of doing the old guy âdo, so now Brother looks kind of like Boris Karloff. With bulgy pug eyes. âThatâs it, I give up. I formally renounce my fatherhood. I officially recognize the fact that even though you sprang from the fruit of my loins, I have no control over you whatsoever.â
âWelcome to the real world,â I said, patting him on his arm again. âSo what is this news you have?â
âThereâs much to be said for vasectomies,â he muttered as he plopped down in the chair behind his desk.
âYouâre quickly slipping into the EW-zone. The news? For me? That you heard and youâre not telling me?â
He sighed heavily like it was such a big deal to tell me, but finally said, âDo you remember a few weeks ago when I told you about Dr. Morrisonâs daughter who was going to find herself in Nepal for a month?â
I started jumping up and down even before he finished talking. âI got the job, I got the job!â
âYes, you got the job. Dr. Morrison spoke to the head of the zoology department at the Bolte Museum with the upshot that you will be allowed to fill in for Melissa for the month of August.â
I did a very cool victory dance around the room. âI got the job, I got the job.â
Brother made a pretend frown. âYouâre not having some sort of attack, are you? All that jerking of your arms and legsâŠoh, wait, youâre dancing.â
âHa ha.â I stopped long enough to whap him on the arm. âSo funny I almost laughed up my spleen. I have a job! Coolio!â
One half of his Unibrow rose. âArenât you even interested in what the job is?â
âNope. I like animals, so itâll be OK.â I started toward the door. âGotta call Holly and tell her sheâs not the only one who will be making oodles of money.â I paused at the door and looked back. âIt does pay great huge gobs of money, right? âCause itâs a museum job? I need money, Brother. That allowance you give me is positively miniscule.â
âYou get a perfectly acceptable allowanceââ
âYeah, itâs fine if you donât have a life or anything, but excuse me, I do! I want to go to movies, and buy CDs, and clothes, and makeup, and presents for people, and go to places like London. Iâm seventeen, Brother! Money is not just an option when youâre seventeen, itâs a requirement!â
âYouâll find out the pay rate when you go in on Monday,â Brother said, his voice tired. I stood there for a minute looking at him. You know, really looking at him. There were black circles under his eyes, and with his hair cut all butch, he looked old. Really old. Older than he was, and we both know heâs ancient.
âAre you all right?â I asked, suddenly worried about him.
He looked surprised, rubbing his forehead before answering. âAre you inquiring into my general health or mental state?â
âBrother, we both know your mental state is Fruit Loop city,â I said, trying to squish down the sick feeling of worry that was boiling up in my stomach. âYou donât like have cancer or something and youâre not telling me because you donât want to ruin my last month in England, the last and greatest month because not only is Dru coming to visit for a couple of days, but Fang will be coming home from New Zealand in a week, and Iâll finally be able to pin him down about the whole girl/guy thing? Youâre not hiding the fact that youâre going to croak soon, are you?â
âNo,â he said, rubbing his head again. âItâs not that.â
âOh. Good.â I waited a few seconds for him to tell me what was the problem, but he didnât. He just sat there looking old. Part of me wanted to just ignore whatever it was, but the other part of me, the really annoying part, had me adding, âI wouldnât like it if you were sick.â
He stopped rubbing his head and did that old guy blink a couple of times. âThank you Emily. I know how much that admission must have cost you.â
âIâd probably even cry.â
He cleared his throat in embarassment and rubbed the bridge of his nose. âWould you, indeed? Iâm very touched. I didnât know you cared.â
âNot in front of anyone, though,â I figured Iâd better add. âBecause you know how my nose goes all snot-locker when I cry, and my face turns red, and my mascara runs and stuff. But Iâd cry where no one could see me.â
He sighed one more time. âNo, I guess I couldnât expect you to be snot-lockerish in front of people. Good night, Emily.â
âNighty-night, donât let Mom bite,â I said, snickering as I beetled off to my room feeling all warm and fuzzy. Sometimes you just have to let the ancient ones know they matter, even when they annoy you to death. Did I tell you that Iâm not speaking to Mom? Sheâs trying to get me to start packing now, even though we wonât be going home to Seattle until the thirtieth of the month. Like I want to spend my last precious month packing stuff? Gah!
Anyhoo, Iâll let you know tomorrow how the new job goes. Itâs bound to be fun working with animals in a museum, donât you think? I thought I was going to have to end up working at the kidsâ summer camp with Holly, but woohoo, I have a museum job!
Howâs Felix the cat? What did you guys do this weekend? And are you getting excited about coming to England? Itâs a real pain in the b*tch that your mom could only afford one week in Europe, but oh well, at least weâll be together for four days! I canât wait for you to meet my friends here. I canât wait for you to drool over Fang.
I sure miss him. Itâs been like forever since he went off to work on his cousinâs farm.
Tell all about what youâre packing!
Hugs and smooches,
Subject: re: Hippo birdies 2 ewe!
Date: 1 August 2004 10:40pm
> Thank you for the birthday card and wishes. I spent the day helping my cousin repairing
> a fence that had been destroyed by cattle from the neighboring farm, but I appreciated the card
> and the CD you made for me. Iâll be home on the eighth, so stop worrying.
You had to work on your birthday? Sheesh! Oh well, I suppose thatâs how they do things there. Iâm so happy youâll be home soon! I canât wait to hear all about your summer in NZâŠno, wait, you said it was winter there, huh? Whatever, I canât wait to hear about it.
I ran into Aidan the other day. Heâs just as icky as ever, although he didnât go all potty mouth on me like he has in the past. And he asked where you were, which I thought was nice, and he said he is going to Oxford in the fall, so I guess everything worked out with him transferring schools. He didnât ask about Devon, though. Guess heâs still mad about Devon beating him up after we got back from Paris. I know you and Dev had kind of given Aidan up, so hopefully you wonât be too hurt or anything that heâs still a poophead.
Thereâs loads more I have to tell you. Itâs been really strange with you gone. I wish you had come back in July, like you were going to, but Iâm not going to yell at you about that. Arenât you impressed? Iâve been doing some thinking, Fang, andâŠumâŠnever mind. Iâll tell you when you get home.
Iâm really, really glad youâre coming back.
Subject: Want some cheese with that whine?
Date: 1 August 2004 10:53pm
> so I wonât be back to England for a couple more weeks. Iâve got the villa to myself, which is
> good, but it would be more fun with you here. Any way you can come out for a few days? My
> uncle wonât be back from Rome for a few weeks, so itâs cool if you can come. You can even
> bring Holly, if her parents will let her go to Greece.
Man, Iâd love to come to Greece, but I just canât. Iâve got a job starting tomorrowâscore! A real job, too, one in a museum and everything! So I canât come, but thank you for asking. I miss you like mad! You may think itâs no fun not knowing anyone in Greece, but I know you, Devâyouâre a babe magnet. I bet you have girls crawling all over you.
I, on the other hand, am here by my sad and lonesome self. Fang is gone, you are gone, Holly spends most of her weekends on the phone with Ruaraidh, even Bess has been busy what with her witch training and stuff. My mom is obsessed with packing, and Brother is downright weird.
Anyway, I canât wait for you to come home. Youâll be back before I have to go, right? Youâre my best guy friend, Dev, even if youâre not my boyfriend anymore. Any guy who lets me barf on him (twice!) and still wants to hang with me is pretty fabu. I just couldnât leave England without seeing you again.