Here’s a little excerpt from The Turkish Trace, the next book from Panthera Press. In the scene, Eddie Daley is enjoying the afternoon with his girlfriend’s sister, hoping for some peaceful downtime. Not going to happen.
Instead of going home, Kari took us through the park, exiting on Greenwood Avenue at another set of row houses. I was enjoying feeling like a urban sophisticate again, so I didn’t bother to ask where we were going. Besides, with the upcoming trip I’d planned to the D.C. area, I welcomed the time not having to think or be in charge. Still, I was more than a little surprised when she rapped on a door and who answered but Camara. She was dressed in shorts and a halter top, but looked every bit as stylish as she had the night before. The address turned out not to be a home, but a shared artist studio space with a small room in the back where people could crash for the night.
Lauria and her wife Tanya were there, again sitting on the floor, working. Tanya was crafting some kind of handmade jewelry that I thought I could make a killing selling to tourists back home. Lauria was finishing a sketch of Camara, who was gloriously nude in the drawing. I was kind of sorry we hadn’t arrived sooner.
Kari said, “We just wanted to come by to thank you again for the drawing.” I gave her a suspicious look since she said it so loudly. She then leaned over and whispered something in Camara’s ear, and the two of them turned toward me, grinning. I backed away; Kari had a Lucy Ricardo crazy-scheme look in her eyes and I was feeling very much like Ricky.
It was too late, however; Tanya stood and grabbed me from behind, effectively locking me into position. I could probably gotten myself free, but she was shorter than me and had leverage.
Camara approached me, turned to Kari, and asked, “Can I?” Kari grinned back and nodded. Stopping only for a devilish grin, Camara ripped open my shirt in one motion, popping off around three buttons in the process.
“What the hell are you doing?” I asked, though I was laughing more than I was mad. Apache started barking at me, I assume telling me to shut the hell up before the pretty girl stops trying to strip me naked. While I was trying to shut him up and retrieve my shirt from Camara, Tanya grabbed me again, turned, and pulled me to the floor in one jiu-jitsu-like motion.
“Holy fuck,” I yelped, since she made me fall on my funny bone.
“Quit whining, you big baby,” was her empathetic response.
I gave her some token resistance, but nothing serious. She was just skilled enough that I couldn’t break free without risking hurting her. I’d been trained for hand-to-hand combat, the kind that usually ended in some guy’s death, not wrestling with cute lesbians.
Tanya said, “You aren’t fighting very hard.”
“What makes you think I’m trying to win? You’re actually turning me on a little bit.”
“Ew,” she said, and twisted her body. She managed to get me in an arm bar. When I tried to counter, she released it, grabbed my right hand and torqued it behind my back. I calmed again, and she took the other one, and locked it.
“You’ve done a little wrestling,” I said.
“Three years varsity in high school.”
“Did the other guys get a boner too?”
“Ew!” she repeated and tightened her grip. That made my elbow start to throb. While I cursed my elbow, tried to break her hold, staved off Apache’s face licking, and told the howling-with-laughter Kari I was going to kill her, Camara yanked off my jeans and my skivvies.
Tanya released her hold and looked at me. “Not bad, Eddie girl,” she said.
“Very nice in fact,” Camara said, standing over me with my jeans in one hand and boxers in the other. She was scanning me like an old photocopier. “I’ve wanted to do that since I first laid eyes on you.”
Kari started cackling louder. I didn’t think it was possible.