sexta-feira, 29 de novembro de 2013

Jane Eyre

hello!

My quest through the unknown is relentless... Oh myyy...


hot rio chick
each day looming closer... should I dive in or wait to see if something comes out?

This saturday we'll have another lovely Darcy friends' party, this time a fancy lunch full of surprises. Can't wait! 

We'll be discussing 'Jane Eyre' and how it relates to Austen. For that, I've been watching 'The autobiography of Jane Eyre' on Youtube. Have you? OMG, you should!



It's great! I saved them to watch when the story had reached that part, you know, the revelation and... I'm sorry I did. It's fun and it makes you eager just as 'The Lizzie Bennet Diaries' did.

Here things are more homemade, you really believe it's a girl filming in her room. There aren't the crispy images and neatly rehearsed monologes from TLBD (that I loved), the party episode is totally 'friends gathered to film a cool scene', check it.



hot rio chickAnd... I cheated! When I reached episode 20 I glimpsed a man's legs behind Jane on a frame from episode 40something and I loaded it. No need. Rochester is present from the beginning and he is just like Rochester should be. An ugly handsome, or a beautiful cryptic, a creepy gentleman or a nice confused man... I have a soft spot for Rochester - don't give me the stinky eye, Darcy!



Anyway, today's 40th page is Brontë's masterpiece. Don't you love a well written first-person narrative?


40 pages 40 hot rio chick

Jane Eyre

Charlotte Brontë

Chapter VII
page 40

One afternoon (I had then been three weeks at Lowood), as I was sitting with a slate in my hand, puzzling over a sum in long division, my eyes, raised in abstraction to the window, caught sight of a figure just passing: I recognised almost instinctively that gaunt outline; and when, two minutes after, all the school, teachers
included, rose en masse, it was not necessary for me to look up in order to ascertain whose entrance they thus greeted. A long stride measured the schoolroom, and presently beside Miss Temple, who herself had risen, stood the same black column which had frowned on me so ominously from the hearthrug of Gateshead. I now glanced sideways at this piece of architecture. Yes, I was right: it was Mr. Brocklehurst, buttoned up in a surtout, and looking longer, narrower, and more rigid than ever.

I had my own reasons for being dismayed at this apparition; too well I remembered the perfidious hints given by Mrs. Reed about my disposition, &c.; the promise pledged by Mr. Brocklehurst to apprise Miss Temple and the teachers of my vicious nature. All along I had been dreading the fulfilment of this promise, -- I had
been looking out daily for the "Coming Man," whose information respecting my past life and conversation was to brand me as a bad child for ever: now there he was.

He stood at Miss Temple's side; he was speaking low in her ear: I did not doubt he was making disclosures of my villainy; and I watched her eye with painful anxiety, expecting every moment to see its dark orb turn on me a glance of repugnance and contempt. I listened too; and as I happened to be seated quite at the top of the
room, I caught most of what he said: its import relieved me from immediate apprehension.

"I suppose, Miss Temple, the thread I bought at Lowton will do; it struck me that it would be just of the quality for the calico chemises, and I sorted the needles to match. You may tell Miss Smith that I forgot to make a memorandum of the darning needles, but she shall have some papers sent in next week; and she is not,
on any account, to give out more than one at a time to each pupil: if they have more, they are apt to be careless and lose them. And, O ma'am! I wish the woollen stockings were better looked to! -- when I was here last, I went into the kitchen-garden and examined the clothes drying on the line; there was a quantity of black hose
in a very bad state of repair: from the size of the holes in them I was sure they had not been well mended from time to time."

He paused.

"Your directions shall be attended to, sir," said Miss Temple.

"And, ma'am," he continued, "the laundress tells me some of the girls have two clean tuckers in the week: it is too much; the rules limit them to one."

"I think I can explain that circumstance, sir. Agnes and Catherine Johnstone were invited to take tea with some friends at Lowton last Thursday, and I gave them leave to put on clean tuckers for the occasion."

Mr. Brocklehurst nodded.

"Well, for once it may pass; but please not to let the circumstance occur too often. And there is another thing which surprised me; I find, in settling accounts with the housekeeper, that a lunch, consisting of bread and cheese, has twice been served out to the girls during the past fortnight. How is this? I looked over the
regulations, and I find no such meal as lunch mentioned. Who introduced this innovation? and by what authority?"

"I must be responsible for the circumstance, sir," replied Miss Temple: "the breakfast was so ill prepared that the pupils could not possibly eat it; and I dared not allow them to remain fasting till dinner-time."


---

Oh, don't you hate Lowood?

hot rio chick
hate it, hate it!


Seeya!





Disclaimer: 40 pages 40 is my way to come to terms with celebrate my upcoming 40th birthday. By promoting 40 awesome books I like in no way I intend to dupe the original authors. If you, as me, like what you read, buy them! 
All 40 books can be found on the right side bar. ►
All images found on Google. Kudos to the original poster.

quarta-feira, 27 de novembro de 2013

Naked determination

Hello, hello!
Here I am, each day inching close to doom's day my birthday.

moira bianchi Already have friends/fans/readers reviews for 45 days in Europe with Mr. Darcy andI have to say that I feel sorry that my Portuguese still interferes with my English. I apologize for that. 

But... The book is still super cute! Read it!

On my 40 pages 40 quest, a great new friend Gisela Hausmann sends her 'Naked Determination' to inspire me. 
I can only say: Thanks oh so much, G! I sure need it!





NAKED DETERMINATION
'Back to Basics'
page 40 
(with permission to reproduce)



AFTER THOUGHT

Nobody had ever told me that asking questions could lead to living my dream.

In the past I had thought that the purpose of asking question is to find answers I did not know. Then I learned that asking questions is a two-way street. It reveals what we want to learn and how much we care about a certain matter…  On a lucky day our questions may even be the answers to somebody else’s questions.

I wanted to know how the best of the best in the movie industry worked. That’s how I got to find out.

gisela hausmann

***


NAKED DETERMINATION
SITE    BLOG
"You must enter the door by yourself..."


gisela hausmann 40 pages 40

---
Did G inspire you as well?

See you soon...
bj





Disclaimer: 40 pages 40 is my way to come to terms with celebrate my upcoming 40th birthday. By promoting 40 awesome books I like in no way I intend to dupe the original authors. If you, as me, like what you read, buy them! 
All 40 books can be found on the right side bar. ►
All images found on Google. Kudos to the original poster.

segunda-feira, 25 de novembro de 2013

45 days in Europe with Mr. Darcy

Hello, hello!

Yes, yes! It's finally published!

My lovely, funny, sweet, smutty Pride and Prejudice linear adaptation is available!
pride and prejudice hot rio chick

Tots adorbs, right?

I had a lot of fun writing it, thinking like a 20 years old right when I'm turning 40... Oh myyy...

Anyways, to celebrate my new book launching and my impending old age, I'm starting the 40 PAGES 40 posting. It's nothing 'new' but fun anyway.

Beginning with my new book, I'll post the 40th page of my favorite books. Interesting, right?

Here we go...

45 days in Europe with Mr. Darcy
page 40 (paperback edition) 

Chapter 2 
Amsterdam 
hot rio chick

"‘Yes. Rio was the capital until early 1960’s when Brasília was built. Anyway, back at the nineteenth century, Rio had an impossible weather for the European court. On the way to visit the gold and gems exploration sights they had to cross a few mountains and Dom Pedro frequently stayed at a nobleman’s farm up the hills. The weather was much more agreeable and with time he bought one of the farms making it the imperial retreat and then a few others until his son, also Peter only the second, founded his city. Around 1840 if I remember it right.’

Jane nodded. ‘1843.’ She said.

‘Petrópolis is ‘the city of Peter’.’ Darcy said still tasting the sweetness in his tongue.

‘Exactly!’ Lizzy smiled pointing at him. ‘Peter the second built a miniature of Paris with Palaces, a Cristal opera house, a gothic church. Many noblemen had summer houses there as well. The weather is like… ten degrees cooler than Rio in the summer, right Jane?’

‘Oh, yes!’ Jane sighed.

‘That’s why the Europeans choose the mountains, like our father and our mother’s parents before him. Teresópolis - named after the Empress Teresa, Nova Friburgo… most cities around the area have big European communities.’ Lizzy shrugged before eating some more pie.

Darcy was entranced by the tale laden with historic facts, or rather by how she told it with so little affectation. He thought that maybe seeing a Brazilian mini version of Paris might even be interesting, in some exotic curious way, of course.

Just as Bingley stayed close to Jane, somehow Darcy managed to stay close to Lizzy most of the time. She thought he was probably playing wing man for Bingley who she could see was infatuated and that Jane was letting herself get involved by him. She was all small smiles and shy looks, which were a clear sign that Jane was falling in love.

Jane always fell with all her heart before getting to know the guy and ended up hurt. That was one of the biggest differences between the sisters. Lizzy was always skeptical while Jane was credulous. Charles seemed to be a nice guy, very polite and pleasant but still, Jane didn’t know much about him.

And there was the sister Caroline, the one who was obviously gay but, for whatever reason, pretended not to be. One of Lizzy’s friends, Fernanda, even tried to get closer to her - and judging by how much Caroline sent her long lasting looks, she was almost sure it was a done deal. " 


See ya soon!

sábado, 23 de novembro de 2013

Continuing...

Hello there!

There's a lot going on here, '45 days in Europe with Mr. Darcy' is almost published, almost... Giveaways, birthdays, hallmarks......

But as promised, here goes Chapter 2 of my erotic romance 'Image or Likeness'. Chapter 1 is here.


Chapter two

the encounter



Lana fingered the lapel of her black dress nervously.

“Figure out what to wear to such an odd date is such a hard task.”
She considered her smart jeans with spiky heals but thought it too casual. Then she considered white linen trousers and a colorful top but thought it too cheery. One does not want to give the wrong impression to the enemy.

Enemy? Was this woman really her enemy?

What she knew of this woman, besides her reflection on Lana’s mirror?

‘Anais Robinson’ said her business card but Lana thought it was probably not real. A cell phone number, but frankly, it could be disposable. “What a waste to print business cards if the data was disposable.” She thought and then chuckled at her silliness. How stupid! Business cards were as disposables as prepaid cell phones. For a few moments she lost herself in this useless reasoning.

‘Try to compose yourself, Lana. Find your wits.’ She rallied herself.
She would need every help she could get this afternoon. And she wanted an outfit that would give her a boost of confidence. After throwing the contents of her luggage on the hotel room’s floor, she settled for the long black dress with an elegant cleavage. A beautiful big leather necklace, flats, nice drop earrings. It would have to do.

She twirled in front of the mirror one more time and frowned at her belly. Pushing it inwards she straightened her spine to suck it in. Her baby girl was almost one year old and had just stopped breast feeding, she was practically back to her pre-pregnancy figure and although Lana felt beautiful, her stomach was still distended. She always flirted with size six and at the moment she was a solid eight. She sighed.

Maybe she should keep wearing the girdle… but Sam said she was hot so she decided to break free of that torture. Lana wondered if her husband was telling her the truth or if he was just being lovely as he always were. He was so happy with their baby that maybe he just told her anything Lana wanted to hear.

‘You look beautiful, my Queen.’

‘You never looked more radiant! I can see how happy you are.’

‘Your scar makes me hard, Lalie. Throw that ugly girdle away.’

With another deep sigh she let her stomach free and shook her head. Ten to.

Time to get down to the elegant hotel’s restaurant. She checked her makeup, sprayed a little perfume on her neck and left her room.
Vaughn’s annual college reunion was over and the hotel was much less crowded. The organizing committee had elected this hotel as the official lodge even though it was not close to the campus where the meetings usually took place. Lana’s third time attending this reunion, she was already used to the weekend’s schedule. Friday had meet and greet event with drinks, fake laughs and then guys’ night at the fraternity. Saturday had late brunch and casual families’ night. Sunday had business brunch and official farewells. Three days of social gatherings where people compared their success in life by their kids and bank accounts.

At least this year Vaughn had little Eddie’s pictures on his cell phone to show off. Alone in the elevator, Lana smiled remembering his proud grin showing people the baby’s first steps’ video. Eduarda was so very cute in a leopard onesie and toddled heavily to his outstretched arms over the Persian hug. She sighed and decided to call home one more time before entering the restaurant.
Vaughn picked up on the third ring.

“Hello, my Queen!” He said happily.

She groaned smiling. “Do you really have to be that corny, Sam?” Lana complained again of the silly pet name. They had just met when he started calling her ‘Queen’ and it gave her butterflies how much this naming suggested. She was really scared when time confirmed that in reality he was as intense about her as she had first guessed. Although she still thought it corny, she loved the pet name. And she loved to tease him.

“Queen, queen, queen!” He answered.

“Working?” She asked.

“Just got here at the office, actually. How are you enjoying your free days?” He asked good humored.

“I woke up just now, Sam!” Lana celebrated and her husband chuckled.

“I have to tell you that – Hello, Bernadette. Any messages for me? Thanks – Sorry, Lalie.” He said.

“You have to tell me…” She urged him, smiling. His good mood was contagious.

“Ah! I have to tell you that I had another woman in my bed last night.” Samuel said and Lana could hear the smile in his voice.
“I very much doubt it was good for you!” She laughed. “Eddie is a kicker!”

“My ribs are sore.” He said chuckling. “Maybe we should find her a soccer practice. There is too much Brazilian blood in her.”

“That’s why you’re arriving at the office by lunch time?” She asked inspecting her dark curls on the foyer mirror.

“I had a lunch meeting, Lalie. It’s already two pm.” Samuel said and closed his office’s door behind him. “You really slept in, my Queen.”

“Oh!” Lana startled. She was going to be late. “Love, have to go. I just called to check if you two were doing fine.”

“We’re great, but missing you. Eddie asked what you’ll bring her.” He said scowling at this laptop screen.

Lana laughed. Eddie was not even one yet, how could she be asking for gifts? She barely said ‘mama’! “I’ll find something. Maybe another book.” She said eying the restaurant’s door expectantly, hoping to see her date enter. Distracted, she didn’t realize the faux pas.

“Book? Are you going to a book store outlet?” Sam asked raising his head from his computer and frowning.

“Er… no. But books are always a good gift for a child.” She said recovering quickly. “For our child.”

“Lalie, are you up to some mischief?” Vaughn asked suspicious. Not for one second he doubted his wife’s fidelity but he started to give credit to his hunch that by asking to stay behind when he returned home from the reunion she had some surprise planned for his incoming birthday. “I got you!” He thought and chuckled.

“Not at all.” She lied.

“You liar!” He accused. “You hate crowded stores. Tell me, my Queen: you never planned to visit the outlets near my college campus, did you?” He smiled to himself, amused to have discovered her scheme so easily.

“These are not common outlets, I told you. These are special exclusive shops.” Lana tried to sustain her story. “Sam, I really have to go. Love you.”

“You are such a bad looser!” He joked. “Go, my Queen. Call me in the evening?”

“Sure.” She said anxious to disconnect.

“And you’ll still catch the morning flight?” He asked.
“I’ll arrive before lunch time tomorrow, as we planned.” Lana answered.

“Bye, my Queen.” He said and disconnected.

Lana took one last look at the mirror, arranged one rebel curl behind her ear and marched to the restaurant.

The posh hotel lobby was big and although not as crowded as it had been during the weekend, was busy on this Tuesday lunch hour. As she trudged her way towards the upscale restaurant, her mind in turmoil, Lana tried to command her breathing to a calmer rhythm. Why was she so worked up for a lunch date? How many has she already had in her life? How many potentially hostile women did she already meet? In her interior designer practice she had dealt with several business associates, clients, co-workers. Why was this woman so different from all the others?

“Because she’s a hooker who earns her living by pretending to be you.” She told herself.

---

When Lana and Samuel arrived at this same hotel only four days earlier to attend his college class’ reunion, the happy couple was sided by their good friends Kevin and Dorothy Lewis.

Kevin had been Samuel’s friend since high school almost thirty years before. The shy blond boy had seen on the tall, dark, cool guy a friend and someone to look upon. While Samuel was outspoken, funny and popular; Kevin was kind, good humored and very quiet. They attended the same college and although had different majors kept as close friends throughout the years.

Their friendship was solidified when Kevin’s longtime girlfriend befriended Samuel’s muse at first sight. At the time, Samuel shared only flirts with Lana even if he craved much more and by chance he introduced the women who instantly formed an almost sibling bond. The women got as close as to be maid-of-honor for one another what caused Dora some headache as she had three actual sisters.

The two couples got rooms at the same floor and Lana complained about not being closer to Dora as each room was allocated at one side of the elevator’s hall. By Sunday night Lana was glad the concierge hadn’t been able to find them rooms closer together, there was at least some physical distance between them.

For the families’ party Saturday night, Lana had dressed in a beautiful silk one shoulder dress that made her feel sexy and classy. 

She had chosen this dress carefully since the last time these people saw her she was very pregnant, now she wanted to show off her figure that was (practically) back to normal. The delicate gray dip dyed pink scarf styled dress showed her curves but also gave her some space to hide anything she was not completely satisfied with, like her stomach. Sam hugged her from behind when she studied herself on the mirror to compliment her beauty but instead of reassuring her, his effusiveness made her consider once again if he was lying to make her feel good about her body.

There was only one way to be sure, so Lana pointed her ass back to rub it on his crotch. He groaned and let his hands dive into her dress to touch her panties. She was surprised to feel him already hard and turning she kissed him while reaching down. Several years together, Vaughn was well trained and he kept to her lips and neck avoiding smudging her careful make up. She pushed him backwards until he bumped on the table and turned them so she could take a seat. He smiled and took off her panties, arranged her kaftan short dress around her waist so not to crease it and entered her.

It was a balm to Lana’s insecurities. It didn’t last long, it wasn’t even necessary to last long.

When they arrived at the party, she felt sexy and powerful. Cocky even. And that was her weakness.

In reality Lana had one more reason to want to look fantastic at this party. Not only to look good after giving birth or to make her husband horny and proud of having her on his arm. But Gui would certainly be there. He had made sure she knew he would by posting cryptic notes on Facebook or Twitter. Last year she hadn’t seen him, but she learned later he had been there, just not in the same events Lana attended.

It wasn’t a nice thing to do to a very pregnant woman’s pride – to avoid seeing her – and Lana had made an effort to not let this bring her down. He was only her ex-boyfriend who she never considered much more than a lover, she had chosen Sam over him after all but estrogen running freely through her body helped blow his contempt out of proportion.

Tonight Lana Zaraki would show him what contempt was made of.

Guillaume Lefebvre was a very handsome French man; tall, thin, light auburn hair that he carried a bit longer than necessary, usually sporting a carefully cultivated five o’clock shadow. If not for her budding passion for Sam, Gui would have had a chance with Lana. They connected very well from the moment they met and some months later had a passionate fling after Lana and Sam broke up on a terrible fight. He was very attentive to her, Lana thought him a nice distraction that would do her good and so she let him warm her up in his bed. But Gui overdid his offer in a crazy delusion.

When this fling lost its zest, Lana had returned to Sam’s arms for good since Gui had taught her what she really wanted and, there was no more questions about it. Nevertheless, the Gui months had been great. He was a nice man, authoritative as well as good humored. Lana had had fun with him…

His maneuvering to avoid seeing her fat and bloated killed her ego.

---

The party was the same as always, nice but a little boring. A wedding band sang merrily, elegant waiters offered the women colorful drinks, men talked animatedly over scotch. All was fine until Lana saw a beautiful woman casually stroll the big ballroom far from where she was.

‘Dora, look at that woman.’ Lana said squinting.

‘Where?’ Dorothy said looking aimlessly around the room.

‘There, Dora! By the side windows…’ Lana pointed discreetly ungluing her pinky finger from the wine glass she was pretending to be sipping.

‘Horrendous yellow flowers in her dress?’ Dora asked in a sneer.
‘No!... The beautiful one, hair up in a neat bun. Black pencil skirt. There!’ Lana wanted to point the woman to her good friend but social skills prevented her.

‘Ah! I see her. A bit over dressed for the occasion, wouldn’t you say?’ Dora asked and sipped her own wine.

‘My thoughts exactly! I guess it’s the shoes… Too high. Or the designed stockings.’ Lana said and sipped her wine just to frown as the bitter taste hit her tongue.

You use designed stockings.’ Dora turned to look at her friend. ‘Lalie, you can drink now.’ She said.

‘No I can’t. I keep forgetting.’ Lana looked miserably at her glass.
‘Eddie is waned.’ Dora said patiently.

‘But my belly still has a mind of its own.’ Lana said wanly.
‘Damn it, what you need is therapy! You look wonderful, better than before getting pregnant. What’s wrong with you?’ Dora complained losing her patience with her friend and feeling like repeating herself for the last five months.

‘I have mirrors at home, Dora!’ Lana counteracted.

‘Muffled mirrors. You look great, friend. Believe me.’ Dora said and intent on changing subjects she continued. ‘Look! Miss Fancy embroidered stockings is talking to French Gorgeousness…’
Lana turned and felt a tingle in her spine. There he were, Guillaume Lefebvre, looking as good as ever. A bit older, maybe a little bit fatter, but all beautiful. And he was talking to the Stockings woman as if they were acquaintances.

‘I guess he knows her.’ Dora said, her eyes intent on their conversation.

‘Maybe she’s attended college with them.’ Lana shrugged but failed to avert her eyes.

Gui leaned down his head to hear what the woman was telling him, his hair fell on his eyes and he smiled charmingly. Lana felt her spine tingle again, but now it also burned dully.

‘Oh, pretty smiles for one another!... Miss Fancy stockings will soon be Miss Pantiless…’ Dora sneered again.

Lana felt a weird twist in her stomach but before she could comment the couple raised their eyes scanning the room until they found her. She felt awkward and restrained from shifting from foot to foot. Distracted by Gui’s eyes on her figure, she failed to notice the woman doing the same. Finally he smiled at her; he smiled her favorite smile at her, and raised his glass. Her nostrils on fire, Lana forced herself to recompose, nod haughtily and give him a sideways smile. Then she turned her back to them.

At the same time, Kevin approached and with a hand on the small of their backs, urged Lana and Dorothy to their designated table as dinner was about to be served. Lana felt ashamed of her exchange with her ex-lover thinking that her husband’s best friend had witnessed it and that’s why he was fidgety. He looked over his shoulders twice while escorting them to their table but didn’t comment or made any communication with Vaughn.

During dinner, Lana rationalized that she didn’t do anything wrong. Just a nod and a half smile. If Sam found himself offended by that, he could bite his own ass. She still had to rename an occasional contact on his phone as his previous conquests’ offered him booty calls. When she found one, she renamed the bitch’s contact to:

‘Last: Get this call
First: and your dick
Company: shall never rise again

Or some mean variation of that. She always knew when those bitches called him because he guffawed out of the blue. Nowadays, years after their marriage, the calls were not as frequent but some women were diehard.

By the end of the meal she had relaxed. The band was starting to warm up again and soon the dancing would resume. Maybe she could convince her handsome husband to join her on the dance floor for a few songs. He was such a smooth dancer but avoided public shows, only giving her the pleasure of dancing when alone or in family gatherings.

She needed to check her makeup, retouch her lipstick and visit the restroom before using her charms on him. Lana invited Dora and as they headed for the bathroom the wife of a friend of Samuel’s and Kevin’s approached them. As any women who only met once a year they chatted for a while until Lana’s bladder called for attention. She excused herself and continued to the bathroom that had a small line of women waiting.

Her bladder wouldn’t last that long so Lana asked a passing waiter for directions to another restroom and he pointed a small toilet down the foyer. Her bladder still had the pregnancy months’ memory, a brisk walk was less risky than standing in line, she thought.

Finding the restroom empty was a blessing. Once relieved she left the stall to wash her hands and see to her makeup. She inspected the vanity to deposit her cute clutch to the side and when she raised her eyes to the mirror, Lana saw the Stockinged woman behind her. She frowned and waited.

‘Hello.’ The woman said politely.

Lana nodded and washed her hands as if not affected by the woman’s presence. Why would she be? She was just another human being, a beautiful woman who was talking to a man she knew… and on that train of thought she raised her eyes to the mirror once again.
The woman had a small smile on her luscious red lips, eyes neatly painted black, exquisite make up really; enchanting pink mother-of-pearl scales earrings, hair tied up.

‘You see it now?’ The woman asked in a silky voice.
Lana nodded.

They stared at each other’s eyes in the mirror for a while. Lana believing herself insane; the woman smiling sweetly.

‘Hello, Lalie. I’m Anais.’ The woman said.

‘Lalie?’ Lana raised her eyebrows and dried her hand in a paper towel.

‘I’m sorry. Lana. Mrs. Vaughn.’ Anais corrected herself.

‘Zaraki.’ Lana said.

‘Ms. Zaraki. I apologize.’ Anais acknowledged.

‘I’m sorry, Miss?’ Lana asked, her throat suddenly parched.

‘Robinson. Anais Robinson.’ Another sweet smile on her familiar face.

‘Ms. Robinson. You seem to know a lot about me but I’m at a loss here.’ Lana squinted. ‘I didn’t have anything to drink today, still…’
‘How is your baby daughter?’ Anais smiled more openly. ‘She’s almost one, right?’

Lana raised her brows once again and for the first time felt afraid.
‘Don’t get me wrong Ms. Zaraki. I saw your lovely belly last year. By your waddling, I guessed you were close to term and if you are not drinking, the baby must still be breast feeding.’ She risked a sideways smile.

Lana groaned and hung her head. ‘I was so big… Wasn’t I?’ She asked rhetorically.

Anais giggled and nodded. The sweet sound took Lana out of her self-pity.

‘I haven’t had more than a sip of wine and still…’ Lana squinted again. ‘Don’t we look alike?’ She then turned to face the woman for the first time.

Anais nodded and raised her brows smiling cynically as if Lana had finally noticed the obvious.

Actually, Lana had noticed their similarity a few hours earlier when her ex-lover’s body language towards this woman had been the same he used when with her. Seeing them she had remembered a particular picture taken by friends in common where he was bending forward to level his ear to Lana’s mouth and smiling sexily to what she was whispering. It was a Twilight zone, out of body experience: She watched herself talking to Gui.

‘We do. I’m a little shorter than you so my Louboutins are higher.’ She bended one leg to show her spiky heels. ‘My hair is straighter than your curls so when I don’t spend hours with the curling iron I use a bun.’ Anais said and twisted her head so Lana would see the hairdo. ‘Also I’m two years younger and a little thinner.’ She finished.

Lana didn’t have to be facing the mirror to be assured her face had fell.

Anais frowned and leaned her head to the side ever so slightly while Lana examined her.

She was thinner and leaner than Lana. Her facial features were slightly sharper and maybe she wore green contacts. But aside from that they looked very similar.

‘It was not a snide remark, Lal- sorry, Ms. Zaraki. I just pointed our similarities. I tried to gain a little body but gave it up and returned to my normal size. It proved to be unsafe for me.’ Anais said cryptically. ‘You are a stunning woman, and you have excellent taste in fashion.’ Anais pointed to both their outfits.

Lana felt another ‘zing’ run through her spine: Anais’ black pencil skirt, her light mauve flounce front halter top, her black stilettos and even her fancy embroidered stockings could belong to her own closet.

‘Should I be worried?’ Lana asked.

‘Absolutely!’ Anais said seriously.

‘Too late.’ Lana answered.

‘I wanted to present myself to you.’ Anais said as Lana raised one eyebrow suspiciously. ‘I was curious. You look stunning tonight so I didn’t resist.’

Lana didn’t know what to say. Was this a weird dream? Could she wake up?

‘Here’s the thing.’ Lana said still eyeing Anais suspiciously. ‘I’m in the foyer bathroom alone. Suddenly you materialize behind me looking very much like myself and making cryptic remarks as if I should understand exactly what’s going on.’ Lana frowned. ‘I don’t.’

‘You don’t know who I am?’ Anais asked.

‘Anais Robinson. Shorter, slimmer, straighter hair; otherwise looks very much like me as I said.’ Lana said annoyed.

Anais smiled saucily. ‘You have no idea who I am… How extraordinary!’

Lana crossed her arms on her chest and waited, trying to keep a poker face.

‘I’m a call-girl.’ Anais locked their eyes. ‘A very expensive one.’
Lana raised her brows surprised.

‘I’m a lady of pleasure who is lucky enough to look like you.’ Anais continued challengingly.

‘Excuse me?’ Lana blinked.

‘I have excellent rich clients who pay me good money to have you.’ She said and Lana felt the jab in her chest.

‘I’m sorry. I don’t understand.’ Lana shook her head frowning.

‘You saw me talking to one of them. Mr. Lefebvre is one of my good clients. There are others but I don’t like to be approached by costumers in public, even though this is a work related event for me. Most of my clients avoid acknowledging they’ve met me and I like that.’ Anais said calmly as if discussing her business dealings was something very natural. ‘One of these special clients invited me here as he had the previous years you attended this reunion.’

‘Wait.’ Lana raised one palm in front of her and leaned on the vanity for support. ‘You are here because I am?’

‘Yes, Ms. Zaraki. In fact, I’m being paid to be here. You can call it… a research.’ She said failing to hide a mischievous smile.

Lana was loath of giving this crazy woman the satisfaction of seeing her discomfort but this story was too outrageous to be plausible. 
'You are being paid to talk to me? Am I wasting someone’s money?’

Anais laughed. ‘No! I wasn’t supposed to approach you at all, just watch you from a distance. My client has a partiality for watching me- sorry, you act in public.’

‘Excuse me?’ Lana fidgeted with her belt, feeling offended and confused.

‘You know, he can only interact with you in public… Poor fool… You can see why I wasn’t supposed to talk to you. His poor head would explode seeing you who he can’t have talk to you he can afford.’ Anais shook her head cynically.

Lana eyed the beautiful woman in front of her and laughed. Suddenly she couldn’t hold in her mirth any longer.

‘I’m sorry…’ Lana said but couldn’t stop laughing. ‘No! I’m not sorry at all! This is hysterical!’

Anais smiled sexily back at Lana’s laughter.

‘You say you are paid to be me in bed and that’s luck!’ She laughed even harder.

‘I do.’ Anais nodded smiling.

‘This is precious! What a gaudy story!’ Lana held her breasts to catch some air, her tears of laughter were about to ruin her make up.

Anais frowned.

‘I don’t use that kind of bun, Fake Lana! Your clients should see through you!’ She said in mockery and fanned her face with her hands.

‘Men don’t care for these details. They want you naked and compliant, and I deliver that.’ Anais said and her saucy smile returned to her shiny lips when Lana’s laughter died in her throat and her eyes widened. ‘You are very yielding to anything that concerns their smallest impulses.’ Anais slurred her words and ran a well-manicured finger on her own lips.

‘You are suggesting?...’ Lana whispered.

‘You could teach me how to tie my hair.’ Anais avoided Lana’s question deliberately and enticingly while twisting her head to groom her hair looking at the mirror.

‘I don’t quite understand what you mean.’ Lana blinked, eyes glued to the woman’s hair.

‘Lunch? Mmmm, let me think…’ Anais looked up at the ceiling as if considering her schedule. ‘With you in town I’m fairly busy so… Tuesday?’ She directed her eyes to Lana’s again.

‘Lunch?’ Lana choked. ‘Why would I want meet you?’ She asked disdainfully.

‘Because I can see you are everything they say you are: stunning, enchanting, sexy, witty… and curious.’ Anais said.

‘Am I?’ Lana challenged.

‘Aren’t we?’ Anais answered and opened her classy purse to take out a business card. ‘Call me if something comes up. If you don’t, I’ll be at your hotel’s restaurant at two pm Tuesday.’ She handed Lana the card between her beautifully manicured index and middle finger.

Not sure why, Lana reached for the card and felt it sting in her fingers.

‘Thank you for your time, Lalie- Ms. Zaraki. I apologize for hinting an intimacy that we don’t actually have.’ She smiled and Lana thought that it was not sincere. ‘And you look even more beautiful this year. Maternity did you well, you are very arousing.’ She gave Lana a once over and turned to leave. ‘Good bye.’

---

This book is 15 chapters long and is available in Kindle or paperback.


quinta-feira, 14 de novembro de 2013

Sneak peek

hello,
My new book 'IMAGE or LIKENESS' is on and people have asked me a sneak peek. On Amazon you can read more than this, but I decided to post the first two chapters here.

Here it goes, chapter 1. Enjoy!





Chapter one

the note



“You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.”

‘Hello, my Queen!’ Sam said cheerily.

Lana twisted her nose petulantly looking at him over her shoulder.
She was comfortably installed on the big couch on their four bedroom apartment’s TV room, watching ‘Fight club’ once again.

‘Queen, queen, queen, queen!’ He chanted and bended by the waist to kiss her lips.

‘I still hate this pet name! So corny!’ Lana complained and Sam smiled wickedly.

‘Why do you always smell so good?’ He asked with his nose deep in her neck. Samuel Vaughn knew his wife hated the pet name but he used it anyway. He was damn crazy about Lana Zaraki-Vaughn since he first met her by chance at a coffee house eight years before. She was a stunning brunette of twenty five then, good natured, good humored and proud of her freedom; he fell for her as soon as she gave him the cold shoulder.

Rich, young and successful, Samuel wasn’t used to being snubbed by women. Tall, dark, athletic and handsome; enthusiast of triathlon competitions, he was always surrounded by nice specimen of the fairer sex and was known by his appetite towards them. Feminine snubbing was rare and usually superficial; it required feeble determination from him to get whatever he wanted from them. But Lana had given him a run for his money.

It took him a while to understand that she wasn’t playing coy, she really wasn’t free for him like he wanted her to be. In love with someone else, she made him squirm to get her phone number and sweat to take her out on an actual date. It took Sam a while longer to prove that he could give Lana the monogamy she demanded from a partner, an underlying demand to reach her heart.

Inadvertently, her resistance rendered him completely enslaved to this beautiful half Greek and half Brazilian woman; enchanted with her sweetness when she let him taste it; enticed by her sharp witty tongue; seduced by her curvaceous tanned body, long hair and green eyes. She was irresistible to him.

‘Here, Lalie. Doorman handed me our mail when I arrived.’ Sam sorted their correspondence distractedly balancing letters between his hands. He walked around the couch to let her bundle fall into her outstretched hands and dropped his on the side chair before shrugging off his jacket and tie. ‘I hate when I have to wear a suit. It makes me feel old.’ He complained.

‘What you need is to spend a few hours letting your body challenge its limits!’ She smiled at him and he relaxed. Her intimate smile had such power over his bad mood. ‘When is the next triathlon competition?’

‘In three weeks there’ll be one in Brazil. Florianópolis.’ He sighed and she raised her brows. ‘I’m not fit to it though.’

She chuckled. ‘You’re not fit to win because your work load have been stealing your training time. But you are more than fit to compete.’ She said and gave him an appreciative once-over.
He smiled and blushed discretely. ‘I’m not fit.’ He said flopping down on the arm chair. ‘Eddie?’

‘Asleep already… Sorry, my love.’ She answered his question about Eduarda, their three years old daughter.

‘I guessed. The house is too quiet and you are here lazily watching this amazing movie again.’ Sam mocked his wife’s fixation.
‘Shhh… Now, just… now! Look!’ She said smiling entranced by the violent sequence that was about to start.

Sam squinted at the big TV and felt that, instead of the actor’s, his own hand was burning. The first time they watched the movie together he was amused how much the sexy woman he was trying to seduce liked the guy flick but dismissed her interest as simply appreciation for Brad Pitt’s presence. But she really liked it though, the underlying tension, the double personality character. She must relate to it somehow, he thought. After all, she had read the book, talked about it, watched it every chance she got and laughed at the most absurd moments.

‘Oh, I just love this part.’ She sighed. ‘Eddie was impossible today. Her teacher sent us a note again.’ And as Lana recounted him their tom boy sweet girl’s adventures in school that day, Sam perused his mail arranging it in two piles - important stuff and garbage. He didn’t have much patience for junk mail and never wasted time on it.

He laughed as she told him how Eduarda had talked three of her kindergarten friends into hiding in the janitor’s closet while she raised the alarm, convincing the teacher they were missing. The whole school spent half the afternoon searching for the kids and their prank was only discovered when Eddie burst into helpless giggles.

‘And was she grounded?’ He asked grinning, but got no answer whatsoever. ‘Lalie? Was Eduarda grounded? Will we have to send her to Barbie’s jail house?’

Lana still didn’t answer so he looked up from his mail at her. She had a small smile and a neat small manila envelope in her hands.
‘What, Lalie?’

She looked up at him changing her expressions to a sexy irresistible smile and he felt his loins tingle. He raised his brows in question when she flipped the envelope on her hands.
‘I bet the mailman didn’t bring this nice envelope.’ Lana said languidly.

‘No?’ He asked.

‘Nope.’ She said smiling sexily. ‘I bet this came by courier…’
Sam frowned.

‘And I bet…’ She said and started opening the envelope. ‘Ah!... I knew it smelled good!’ She stole a glance at him.

He stared stupidly at her and she chuckled low in her throat. 
Samuel had had a very tiring day facing difficult clients at his advertising agency and while driving home in one hell of a traffic jam he dreamt of finding exactly what he did when he arrived: his sexy tanned woman alone waiting for him, their daughter asleep, maids retired for the day, the house all for themselves. Guilt of arriving too late to enjoy his baby’s company nagged him but the prospect of having sex with his love to sooth his broken spirit won that day.

Lana ripped open the heavyweight envelope and extracted another one, only pink. As she waved it with a flourish he finally understood her sexy teasing. His insides churned.

‘Fuck.’ He muttered under his breath when the sickly sweet fragrance reached his nostrils.

‘Yes, yes my love: hyacinth and orange blossom!’ She passed the pink envelope in front of her nose pretending to inhale the fragrance. ‘Anais…’ She sighed dramatically ‘…Anais!’

He knew it was a tease. One of the things he remembered most of her trembling voice that night on their darkened bed was: ‘She wore so much perfume; it’s still stuck in my nose. Can you smell orange blossom and hyacinth? I do… I hate that sweet perfume. It’s like she forced herself on me through her scent.’

‘Fuck, why wasn’t I more attentive?’ Vaughn grumbled.

Lana laughed. ‘It’s my mail, what could you do?’

‘Throw it away, burn it, send it back.’ He said aggravated.

‘No sender.’ She said inspecting the bigger envelope.

‘Like last time. Garbage then.’ He muttered before thinking.

‘Last time?’ Lana asked.

Vaughn blushed discretely.

‘Samuel?’ She urged him.

‘Oh, the fuck with it. I did throw one of these away last spring.’ He admitted and she gasped. ‘It was just after Eddie came back from the hospital with pneumonia. You didn’t need that.’

‘Sam! That’s such disrespect!’ Lana complained.

‘No. It was care. I care for you.’ He answered angrily. ‘I can’t believe you’ll fight me over this filth!’

She opened her mouth to argue but had to close it. He knew she had nothing to say against his actions. Of course he considered how intruding it would be but at the time she had been destroyed by worry, both their hearts had been broken by seeing their love child sick. He had scanned everything he could to make sure no other harm would reach them. When he perused the correspondence he only thought about cleaning out junk mail, he couldn’t have never ever predicted that hateful immoral woman would dare to reach his wife.

‘What did it say?’ She asked blushing. ‘The letter you threw away?’ Her beguiling green eyes expectantly regarding his face.

He shrugged. ‘Have no idea. I ripped it without opening. Didn’t have to read, this scent is too strong to mean anything nice.’
She looked at him for a few moments and then at the envelope burning her hands.

‘Give it to me, my Queen.’ He extended his hand to her. ‘Let me get rid of this one too.’ He said condescendingly.

She looked at him again and shook her head ‘no’.

‘Last Spring, you say?’ She asked with a pained expression.
Samuel thought her voice was a little weaker now that he had justified his crime.

‘Yes.’ He frowned. ‘You don’t sound as cocky as you did when you found this shit.’

‘Six… seven months ago?’ She asked.

‘Yes.’ He barked running a hand over his face tiredly. And then heard paper ripping.

Lana was opening the envelope gingerly. He sighed aggravated. “Damn this woman for being so curious.’ He could see her shoulders stiff and her beautiful green eyes slightly widened. She took a small pink note from inside and read it, her eyes moving quickly and then… she smiled. She poised the note on her lap and reached inside the envelope for two tickets.
‘George Michael!’ She chuckled.
Sam frowned and she passed him the note.

“My sweet Lalie,
I hope this finds you and your lovely family well.
It came to my notice that one of your favorite artists will perform a single exclusive concert next week in New York, so I thought it would put a smile on your face.
Will you accept this gift from a dear friend?
Have fun.
Yours, Anais.”

‘Fuck this woman. I swear I’ll have her arrested for this.’ Vaughn growled angrily, bowled the note in his hand and reached for his jacket to find his phone. ‘I’ll call our lawyer and he’ll know what to-‘

‘No, love.’ Lana said leaning forward to poise her delicate hand on his arm.

‘Lalie, this is insane! This woman is harassing you!’ He barked.
She shook her head. ‘No, she’s not.’ She said in a weak voice, a tad louder than a whisper. ‘You said the last time she tried to contact me was more than six months ago. It was a long time.’

‘Long time, Lalie? Twice in a year!’ Vaughn yelled.

‘Calm down, love. It’s just a gift.’ Lana said placidly in a tone of voice he knew she knew would dampen his fire.

‘Damn it.’ He said and slapped his knee. ‘You’ll accept it!’

‘Well… it’s George Michael…’ She said unable to restrain a smile.
Incredulously Samuel noticed that she had found her voice again, it was as if the faint sexy smile on her luscious lips had given her courage.

‘Are you crazy?’ He asked aggravated and shook his head. ‘You are out of your mind.’

Lana rested back on the couch and fingered the tickets.

He took a good look at her, analyzing her languid stare at the note and how the damned sexy smile illuminated her face. Uncertain if he was madder at her for considering the immoral woman’s gift or at himself for being aroused by her reaction, he stood up to leave.
‘I’m going for a bath. Don’t come after me.’ He said by the door. She didn’t raise her head to look at him over her shoulders but he knew she understood his message. ‘Just remember your family - me and your daughter - before playing with fire, Lana.’ He spit the words and strode away.

Samuel Vaughn climbed the steps two at a time seething. He felt a hollow in chest he was unable to deal with. He was bounded, muffled, restrained. He had hated this situation from moment zero, he feared the day this woman would want a piece of his Queen again.

Lana was attracted to this filth like a fly to a spider’s web. She couldn’t fight it, and he suspected she didn’t want to.
By the second floor landing of their penthouse he stopped to calm his breath for a while and entered their baby girl’s room. She was heavily snoring, sweetly asleep, spread eagled on her light pink canopy bed. Her bedroom was the ultimate modern princess retreat: walls striped in pastel turquoise and green, light pink furniture, an assortment of spunky princesses dolls, a Venetian mirror, Breakfast at Tiffany’s portraits.

When a very pregnant Lana showed him her sketches for their princess’ room, he was doubtful of what would come of that but her absurdly happy smile and enthusiastic explanations about the décor made him approve it all. He never doubted her professional skill; she had already shown him countless times how good an interior designer she was. For their first daughter she wanted a room that would host a modern woman, independent and spirited. He had smiled at that because it was exactly what Vaughn wanted: a mini Lana.

‘Dad’s home, Princess.’ Samuel whispered in Eduarda’s ear and smiled at her sleepily grumble of approval.

After that he kissed her mop of brown hair and tucked her in. When he was assured she was in deep sleep again he left her room and braced himself for what he had to do.

---

“Twenty nine minutes and counting…” Vaughn thought smiling at the clock on their double vanity suite bathroom and entered the shower.

Not one minute later he heard footsteps on the marble floor and didn’t have to open his eyes under the water spray to know his wife was there.

‘Hi…’ Lana said tentatively.

He smiled to himself but kept the angry façade. He knew she would come to make amends before long, and he hoped she would try to seduce him in the shower. Of course he would put on a show to persuade her he was right in this but he would give in to her.
She was too compelling to him.

As she was for that filthy woman.

He had called their lawyer as soon as he had gotten to their bedroom and made arrangements to ensure their security. It had been a long time since he hadn’t mentioned any of those measures and his lawyer was curious as to why he needed to discuss this matter out of the blue, in the middle of a week night. He explained the note and they decided on a course of action. After that he used the bathroom and hopped into the shower.

‘Can I join you?’ She asked in a soft voice.

Vaughn willed his dick not to answer for him. ‘It depends. Alone or would you bring someone else with you?’

‘Oh Love… Please.’ She sighed. ‘I don’t want to fight you.’

‘Then throw that stupid note and tickets in the toilet.’ He said opening his eyes under the streaming water to look at her beguiling green gems.

‘It’s just a concert.’ She begged.

‘You are not that naïve.’ He said and reached for the soap.
She bit her lower lip and took off her shirt dress. Only in her beige panties, standing on the shower door she looked at the vanity. Sam still marveled at having vanity space for him since Lizzy decided to store her perfume tray somewhere inside her closet, some two years ago. He saw her notice the phone he had left there but didn’t comment.

‘I think she would be watching us.’ Finally she said.

He snorted. ‘I’m sure she would be watching you.’ He answered.
Lana bended on her midriff to take off her panties and Vaughn had to turn his back to her. “Damn it.” He had never heard of a man having sexual desire for a C-section scar, he knew it was foolish to feel this drive for the telltale of their history. But it was so neatly hidden under the tan line of her smallish Brazilian bikinis, on a white area on the apex of her delicious brown thighs. Only he could see and touch it.

She stepped into the double shower box and although it was big enough for them to bathe independently, she hugged him from behind and didn’t turn her shower head on.

‘I want to go.’ She said, actually asking his permission to do it.

‘I don’t want you to want to go.’ He answered washing himself.

‘Nothing will happen. You’ll protect me.’ She moved her hands from his waist to his chest and glued her cheek to his shoulder blades.

‘Thank you for putting me in such a cozy position, my Queen.’ He spat.

‘Love… please?’ She whined and kissed his back.

‘Lalie, if I thought for one minute you wanted to watch this concert, I would say yes. You know I would. We have visited Brazil just because you wanted to attend Rock in Rio. But we both know what you really want.’ He said and turned to her.

She blinked at him and smiled wickedly, sexily, lazily.

‘I like this voyeur thing…’ She said wasting her French accent on him.

It wakened in Vaughn so many bittersweet memories that he had to swallow the bile in his throat and calm the arousal on his loins.

‘You know what my problem is, Lana?’ He asked in an even voice to let her know she had won this battle. ‘I love you too much.’
‘Sam…’ She let go of him and hugged her chest pushing up her full breasts. ‘Don’t make a fuss. It’s not like I’d be kidnapped or something!’

‘Make a fuss!’ He snorted. ‘Listen to you!’

‘Yes. If she wanted something from me she would have made contact sooner.’ She said while he shook his head. ‘And not by courier. Obviously she knows where we live! And that we are not living in Chicago anymore but in New York now and will be here by the time of the concert!...’

Her reasoning gave him goose bumps.

‘How can you not fear for our daughter?’ He accused her.

‘Oh please!’ Lana threw up her hands. ‘She’s not the Wicked Witch of the East, you know?’

‘West.’ He smiled. She was as adorable as sexy.

‘What?’ She frowned and squinted due to the drops of water ricocheting from his head to her eyes as she looked up at him.
‘Wicked Witch of the West.’ He said.

‘Whatever, Samuel.’ She crossed her arms again. ‘I want to go.’ She pouted and averted her eyes.

He shook his head ‘no’.

‘You would profit from this experience, you know.’ She said and sexily raised her eyes to him, long lashes framing green gems.
He raised his brows surprised that she hadn’t noticed she had already won this argument. She was still giving him the option to refuse.

‘You know how horny I get when…’ She smiled sideways and uncrossing her arms fingered one nipple. ‘Well… the thrill of a new setting…’

He swallowed hard.

‘Remember last time we were in Rio and we tried that rent-by-the-hour motel?’ She said giving him her best teasing look while a hand traveled down her stomach.

He groaned and in one swift motion got a good hold of her waist to twist them so she was facing the tiled wall. Gluing his erection to her butt, he said. ‘I know exactly what you are trying to do to me, and I’ll let you have it.’ He grinded himself into her and she moaned. ‘But know this.’ He opened her cheeks with a hand so he could touch her sex. ‘If that harpy gets into our eyesight I’ll have her arrested. Tomorrow morning our lawyer will start working on it.’ He caressed her and she melted on his fingertips. ‘I’ll take you to this concert and you, my sweet Queen, will be the bait to catch this barracuda.’

She tried to turn and argue but he pressed her to the wall and entered her.

From then on, it was a dance they had already mastered, way before she agreed to be his officially.

---

‘Can you really have her arrested?’ She asked afterwards when they were lying naked in the plush semi darkness of their bedroom.
He shrugged. ‘I can if she comes close to you.’ He blinked and turned to her. ‘Why? Will you try to defend her?’

‘No.’ She said and crossed her arms under her head. ‘But I can’t help it. I fell aroused by this.’

Lana kept silent for a while. Samuel respected, waiting his wife find words to express herself.

‘Do you think I’m crazy?’ She whispered. ‘Do you hate me for this?’

He considered her questions. He had lost his best friend because of the mess she had let happen, she had waned the friendship with said friend’s wife as an aftermath, he had lost contact with a guy he never liked in the first place but was an important business acquaintance because of her and he had been dragged into the filthiness of the world.

He had felt desperate.

Confused.

Enraged.

Humiliated.

Avid for revenge.

But he didn’t hate his Queen.

He never felt hatred for the woman who ruled his life. He always saw her as a victim.

Sweet, naïve, curious as a cat, unaware of her power, a perfect victim.


‘No.’ He answered simply and let it hang.

--- 


Curious? ...
bj