EVEN VILLAINS FALL IN LOVE
If you believe the rumors you know that Doctor Charm, the wickedly sexy super villain, retired in shame seven years ago after his last fight with the super hero Zephyr Girl. The fact that the charming Evan Smith-father of four and husband of the too-beautiful-to-be-real Tabitha-bears a resemblance to the defeated Doctor is pure coincidence. And, please, ignore the minions.
Everything is perfect in the Smith household, until Tabitha announces her return to work as a super hero. Evan was hoping to keep her distracted until after he rigged the presidential election, but – genius that he is – Evan has a backup plan.
In his basement lab, Evan has a machine whose sole purpose is keeping Tabitha hungry for him. But children and labs don’t mix. The machine is broken, and Tabitha storms out, claiming she no longer knows him.
World domination takes a back seat to meeting his daughters’ demands to get Mommy back right now. This time his genius isn’t going to be enough-he’s going to need both his evil alter-ego, and the blooming super abilities of his children to save his wife. But even his most charming self might not be enough to save their marriage.
I knew from the first time I saw my wife that I wanted her naked. Of course, seven minutes later I wanted revenge. It wasn’t that she had handed me my first defeat or ruined my chances for world domination that year, it was the way she kissed me good-bye. She sent my head spinning, then walked away as if I were the least important person in the world.
Once my arm healed, I stole some new equipment, cloned some new minions, and I felt a little different.
I wanted revenge, with a side order of naked.
ACROSS THE DINNER table, Tabitha devoured him with dark, ocean-blue eyes. She put a bite of lettuce in her mouth, full lips pursing around it. Eating salad never looked so good. Her tongue darted out to lick away a stray drop of dressing. She winked at him, promising with every move to do the same to him. “It’s almost bedtime,” she said, her voice husky and luscious.
“I don’t wanna go to bed!” one of the quads screamed.
“What about cake? Don’t we get birthday cake?” another asked.
Evan winked back at his wife from the far side of the table, separated by a few feet and four precocious just-turned-five-year olds, all as stunning as their mother with big, round eyes and hair that fell in loose curls meant to trap hairbrushes and sticky substances. He had to peek at the eyes to see who was talking. Maria had green eyes, Angela’s eyes were blue like Tabitha’s, Delilah’s eyes were brown like his, and Blessing—their stillborn who miraculously survived—had purple eyes. The waif in question had blue eyes.
“Angela,” Evan said, “after dinner it’s pajama time, and then story time.”
“Mommy doesn’t have a bedtime!” Angela wailed.
Tabitha winked at him again. “Tell you what, tonight Mommy will go to bed the same time you do. Right after we eat cake.” She leaned over to give Angela a hug.
All Evan could see was the deep V plunge of her tight blue shirt. Oh, yeah. Crime didn’t always pay, but altering someone’s moral compass sure put the O’s back in the bedroom.
EVEN VILLAINS GO TO THE MOVIES
When your mother is America’s Superhero Sweetheart and your daddy’s the Number One Super Villain, you grow up feeling a little conflicted.
Angela Smith has superpowers—nothing that will ever make her comic-book famous—but her ability to psychically sense and manipulate the emotions of people around her has drawn unwanted government attention. Forced to choose between her quiet life as a teacher under constant surveillance or the life of a rogue, she chooses the latter. She plans to hide out in sunny Los Angeles where being a blue-eyed blonde won’t make anyone bat a false eyelash.
Silver screen star by day, superhero by night, Arktos is a triple-threat. He can fly, freeze anything, and see glimpses of the future, all of which he needs to keep the city of Los Angeles safe, but which does nothing for his social life. When a frightening vision of an explosion leads him to rescue a damsel in distress, he finds himself trading Shakespearean insults with a rogue.
Angela knows just how dangerous well-intentioned superheroes can be: one tried to kill her family when she was young. Arktos knows he should hand the rogue over to Company justice; it’s not safe for someone like her to be in the middle of a fight.
But they can’t seem to stay apart. And together, they just might be able to melt all the obstacles standing between true love for a hero and a villain.
New York is everything I hoped it would be. I love this school! Last semester alone the students showed a marked improvement over the previous year. And, so far, we haven’t had a single senior drop out. This might be our highest graduation rate ever.
I’m really excited by all the improvements. It makes me feel like I’m actually doing something useful. I’m in control of myself, and it’s wonderful.
The date with Simon was less exciting. He’s… um… ‘Dull as a brick’ might be the right term. You’d think it would be easy to find someone who could carry on an intelligent conversation in New York, especially with Internet dating. It’s 2032! But, no, this hypothesis has been proven incorrect yet again.
Give my love to Daddy, Gideon, and the minions. If Maria stops by, tell her I’m worried about her. Delilah and I talked about staging an intervention. I’m not sure, but Delilah thinks Maria will calm down once the shock of losing Martin is over. It may be just a phase.
Oh, and Blessing wrote me. She’s in South Africa and loving it. She sent the most hideous picture of a giant bug ever. I forwarded it to Gideon. And I told her not to bring it back no matter how much she adores its fangs.
Your loving daughter,
EVEN VILLAINS HAVE INTERNS
Just because Mom mentioned she liked Claude Monet’s ‘Grand Canal’ painting does not mean she wants a copy of it for the house. I know it doesn’t mean she wants the original. And telling me not to steal the piece while it’s on tour at the Art Institute here in Chicago is not going to convince me to pick it up in time for Christmas. Reverse psychology stopped working when I was twelve.
In other news, you will be happy to learn that Peter Manigault, as painted by Allen Ramsay, mysteriously appeared at the Art Institute this weekend. The curator was very surprised. Personally, I think his shock was more over the two-dollar price tag left on the picture frame than the return of the old painting. It’s possible I’m biased.
DELILAH WATCHED IVAN PETROVICH step toward her on the pier made ghostly by the nighttime gloom. “Don’t take it personally, Miss Samson,” he said, broken nose still purple from where she’d punched him a week before. “It’s not that we don’t like you.”
“A lot,” his companion added. She’d never learned his name. His file was marked ‘Snail’ because he was always trailing the rest of the gang. “I’d get your autograph if you weren’t handcuffed.”
A freezing wind whipped the snow at her feet as Delilah smiled. “Take ‘em off, big boy. I bet we can find a pen.”
Snail stared, confusion clouding his round face.
Ivan shook his head in frustration. “No. You stay handcuffed, we stay alive. We’ve been over this.”