Excerpt of Twelve Sharp by Janet Evanovich
(Page 7 of 9)
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He sat on the railing and swung both legs over. Easy for
you to say. You arent named Melvin Pickle. And I bet you
were a baton twirler in high school. You probably had
friends. You probably date.
I dont exactly date, but I sort of have a boyfriend.
What does sort of mean?
It means that he looks like my boyfriend, but I dont say
it out loud.
Why not? Pickle wanted to know.
It feels weird. Im not sure why. Okay, I knew why, but
I wasnt going to say that out loud either. I had feelings for
two men, and I didnt know how to chose between them.
And I wish you wouldnt sit like that. Its creeping me
Are you afraid Ill fall? I thought you didnt care. Remember
dead or alive?
My cell phone was ringing in my bag.
For crying out loud, answer it, Pickle said. Dont
worry about me, Im only going to kill myself.
I did an exaggerated eye roll and answered the phone.
Hey, Lula said. Where are you? I been looking all
Im in the hotel at the end of the mall.
Im right outside of that hotel. What are you doing
there? Do you have Pickle?
I dont exactly have Pickle. Were on the sixth floor, and
hes thinking about jumping off the balcony.
I looked over the railing and saw Lula walk into the
atrium. She looked up, and I waved at her.
I see you, Lula said. Tell Pickle hes gonna make a big
mess if he jumps. This floors marble, and his heads gonna
crack open like a fresh egg, and theres gonna be brains
and blood all over the place.
I disconnected and relayed the message to Pickle.
I have a plan, he said. Im going to jump feet first.
That way my head wont make such an impact when I
Pickle was getting noticed. People were dotted around
the atrium, looking up at him. The elevator opened behind
me and a man in a suit stepped out.
Whats going on here? he wanted to know.
Dont come near me! Pickle yelled. If you come near
me, Ill jump.
Im the hotel manager, the man said. Is there something
I can do?
Do you have a giant net? I asked him.
Just go away, Pickle said. I have big problems. Im a
You dont look like a pervert, the manager said.
I whacked off in t he multiplex, Pickle told him.
Everybody whacks off in the multiplex, the manager
said. I like to go when theres one of those chick flicks
playing, and I wear my wifes panties and I
Jeez, Pickle said. Too much information.
The manager disappeared behind the elevator doors
and minutes later reappeared in the lobby. He stood in a
small cluster of hotel employees, everyone with their
heads back, their eyes glued to Pickle.
Youre making a scene, I said to Pickle.
Yeah, Pickle said. Pretty soon theyre going to start
yelling jump. The human race is lacking. Have you noticed?
There are some good people, I told him.
Oh yeah? Whos the best person you know? Of all the
people you know personally, is there anyone who has a
sense of right and wrong and lives by it?
This was a sticky question because it would have to be
Ranger . . . but I suspected he occasionally killed people.
Only bad people, of course, but still . . .
Excerpted from Twelve Sharp, copyright (c) 2006, Janet Ivanovich. Reproduced with permission of the publisher, St. Martin's Press. All rights reserved.