Calendar Girl (March): Chapter 2
We’re on book three of Calendar Girl, so I guess it’s finally time to meet the primary antagonist that put the events of the entire story in motion! Pro Writing Tip: Don’t do this.
Ginelle and I walked through the casino, dead set on our mission. Get to Blaine’s office, give him the check for my second installment, and get the hell out of Dodge.
Awesome! Let’s spend some time with Mia’s best friend too, since we barely know her either.
I turned to Gin and stopped with my hand on the handle. “Okay, this is as far as you go.”
Oh. Ok. Or not. Glad you brought her along then.
Mia reminds us that the plot of this series about a girl who becomes a high-end escort and lives out a romance novel with a different dude every month is actually about her gambling-addict father and his debts to a loan shark. Much like how Harry Potter was a book about a young boy learning how to be a wizard, but was actually about a country crawling out of the shadow of Thatcherism. Lol just kidding. Books that make sense usually aren’t actually about something totally unrelated to the events that happen in them!
Anyway, let’s talk about Mia’s dad’s gambling debt that this erotic romance series is ostensibly about.
In my dad’s case, the hardcore gamblers, they borrow money. Lots of it. More than they could ever possibly pay back in their lifetime. All for the win, for Lady Luck. In my experience, Lady Luck was a cold, hard bitch that smoked, had fake tits, and an STD.
I know that Mia’s crassness comes down to personal taste, so plenty of people are gonna find this funny while I find it mildly groan-worthy. It just sort of feels like Mia (or Audrey Carlan) is just… trying too hard?
I felt fierce and ready to handle a prick with a tiny dick. Really, he had an average-sized dick, but it made me feel better to emasculate him internally.
Okay, so let’s meet our primary antagonist. What’s Mia’s loan shark, ex-boyfriend like?
“Mia. Pretty, pretty, Mia,” Blaine responded
“Nope, I’m here for business, not pleasure.”
“Why can’t we do a little of both?” His tone was sultry
Ok, we’ve got a mildly flamboyant but totally totally straight villain. Cool. That’s not a goofy, tired trope or anything.
Blaine stood up. All six feet four of him towered over me. He was broad, with an additional solid forty pounds of pure muscle since I last saw him.
Seriously? That’s a LOT of muscle.
I pulled an envelope out of my jacket pocket and slapped it on the glass surface of his desk. “Here’s what you were wanting.”
“Here’s what you were wanting”? Did we stumble into a Shakespeare play or something? Bear in mind our erotic romance just stumbled into an organized crime drama for a chapter, so maybe.
“How could you possibly know what I want, pretty Mia?”
Dude, you gotta stop.
Blaine tells Mia he wants her to have dinner with him tonight. She points out that, you know, “You beat up my father so badly he’s still in a coma.” Blaine insists that was “just business.” Somehow they don’t see eye to eye on this one. Blaine gets angry and tells Mia that she has to bring payments to him in person from now on.
“You can bring it in person.” He clenched his teeth and gripped the chair handles hard enough to turn his fingers white. “You will bring it in person.” The tone brooked no argument, but I wasn’t one of his minions.
“That was not part of the deal.”
“Deals can be renegotiated.”
“Not this one.”
“What if I book your services for the month?” he threatened.
Oh. Huh. See, I kind of assumed this was a given for the final book or something, since he’s the primary antagonist and… you know… the story needs to wrap up. But I guess that would ruin this whole “every client she has while she’s kinda forced into sex work is actually a pretty nice, sexy dude ready for a fun but consensual romp in the sack!” vibe Calendar Girl has going. Somehow.
Mia threatens that this may not be one of Blaine’s better ideas:
“I can already hear my statement to the cops now. […] It was an accident, officer, I swear. We were having sex, and he liked it rough. I didn’t think he’d choke. One minute he was coming, and the next going…” I clucked my tongue and looked down my nose at him.
…and the next what? He turned into a chicken? What kind of violent death does clucking indicate?
Mia thinks the threat landed and she leaves. She meets up with Ginelle at the bar and immediately has four shots of tequila, which is how I feel every time I read a chapter for this book. She catches her up on what happened.
“Only you…” She giggled and continued to laugh until she started to hiccup. “Only you would threaten a loan shark— allegedly a guy who murders people as part of his job. You better watch your back.”
I thought about what she said for a moment. Blaine could come after me, but that would be like killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. As long as I owed him money, or he perceived it as I owed him money, I was worth far more to him alive than dead. That line of thought worked for now. It would get me through the year, at least.
…holy shit, did something interesting happen in this story? That’s a really good point! I’m really intrigued to see how this plays out! Only, uh, ten books to go. And presumably none of them will focus on characters that are actually recurring through this story. Can’t wait to meet disposable man #3 in the next few chapters.
Seriously, this is kind of a problem. Not even Mia really knows any of the characters in this fucking story.
“What’s with you and the gum?” Her eyes brightened, and a small smile slid across her face.
“Trying to quit.”
Her smile dropped, and her face went slack. She twisted her lips pinching them between thumb and forefinger. “Smoking,” she said quietly.
Oh man, and I didn’t notice. Shit. Best friends notice when their friends all of a sudden no longer have a cancer stick poking out of their mouths.
It’s ok, Mia. We didn’t notice either. Because we were never told anything about your best friend in the entire world.
Mia tries to make it up to Gin.
“I’m sorry. I haven’t been a very good friend, have I?”
She shook her head. “No, you’ve had a lot going on. I get that. [What do I get] if you do it again[?]”
I thought about it for a moment. “Naked pictures of one of my hotties?”
Well, this seems crazy unethical.
I pulled the phone back and looked at the picture I’d taken of Alec lying in bed asleep. He was lying face down. His strong, muscled back and tight, bare ass were on full display.
Gin ogles the naked photos of Alec and Wes that Mia apparently took and never told the reader about. Mia stares wistfully at Wes, “the one who’d asked me to stay”. So do you think we’re going to get real competition for Mia’s one true love? Or is this Italian guy just going to be a whole book of jokes about how delicious Italian food is?
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