Sloth Fiction 4: 'Twas a Dark and Stormy Night

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Sloth Fiction 4:'Twas a Dark and Stormy Night

The rumble of thunder sounded outside the country home in LA as much-needed rain fell on the drought-stricken red clay soil that night. Lucky Cat was sitting in the living room, staring at the wall (as the poor old fellow was prone to do). Callie was curled up between her mom and dad dreaming happy dreams of chasing down numerous plump field mice.

Those strange bedfellows-Puddie and Thumper-appeared to be a two-headed cat with an odd-coloured coat decorating the den hearth as the rain drummed against the windows and the patio door.

Lucas North, aka John Whoositz, was also ending his drought.

He'd sussed out the bottle of Barcadi Select rum Lady Writer and her mister had brought back from the cruise. It wasn't his favourite-- vodka. But by golly, it would do in a pinch.

"Lucas, you don't seem quite-er--like yourself tonight," Harry said, eying his fellow Character with concern as he folded his long jumper-clad arms and leaned back against the kitchen island.

The spy responded with a hollow laugh. He was hollow-eyed, too, dark smudges beneath those azure eyes Lady Writer so admired, heavier stubble than usual on his handsome face, and his raven hair quite disheveled.

Clad in trakkies and a black singlet instead of his usual tailored shirt and jeans, Lucas stumbled into Lady Writer's den, the bottle of rum clasped in one hand, a plate with a slice of Mr. Lady Writer's homemade choccie cake in the other (the man could bake).

"That's just the bloody problem, Harry-I'm not myself lately," the spy said with a world-weary sigh as he collapsed on the sofa.

"To be perfectly honest, I don't know if I'm John, or Lucas-or some scriptwriter's gormless dream after an indigestible meal."

Guy, who was poking through a package from Sephora that Lady Writer had received, looked up as Lucas passed him in a beeline for the sofa. Guy sniffed and raised a supercilious brow.

"God's teeth, Lu-John-whatever your name is this week, my Spy Friend. You smell almost as bad as I did at the beginning of Series 3," Guy said with a toss of his glossy raven waves. "Before I went to Prince John's Red Door Salon and Forest Spa for my makeover, of course."

Lucas grunted as he dug his fork into the cake.

"It's hard to shower and keep an eye out for--" He paused with the fork on the edge of his mouth, turning his haunted eyes on Guy, his voice dropping to a whisper.

"Who over might be out there. I always feel like-somebody's watching me, and I have no privacy . . ."

Harry's brow crinkled. "But-aren't you enjoying happy romantic time with the beautiful Maya?"

Lucas chewed thoughtfully, then took a large swig of the rum, licking his lips free of cake crumbs as he swallowed.

"I'd swear the look of love is in her eyes, and I'm quite enjoying myself, and then--"

He shuddered. "I have flashbacks to-HER. I imagine it's-HER with a dye job and dark contacts and an actual human personality. Come back from the dead to suck my soul right out of me . . ."

Guy, who was now checking out the brush on the Lash Fusion mascara, making a mental note to see if it really did separate, curl, lengthen and thicken the lashes as promised, smirked.

"Are you entirely certain She Who Must Not Be Named-IS dead? Because I thought she looked very much the same either way . . ."

Lucas took another sip of the rum and nodded. "Well, of course she had carked it. She was cold, stiff and expressionless . . ."

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