Excerpt of Village of the Ghost Bears by Stan Jones
(Page 3 of 7)
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Sorry, baby, she said.
All in good time.
You know Ive started seeing Nelda Qivits again.
She put her hand on his chest, scratched him lightly,
sighed, and let the hand trail southward. Liar.
I see things are not altogether all right down there.
What are you
I think I could
Mmmm, oh, God. . . .
You should register those hands with the FBI, he said
a few minutes later. Theyre lethal weapons.
That would explain why I won the shoot-out, she
replied with a giggle.
He laughed out loud, pleased that her joke was dirtier
and more original than his own. But how to get into the
real issue? Am I imagining things, or did we just have a
Progress, at least. She shifted to put her head on his
He was silent for a time. What do you think accounts
Its just different out here. I dont know.
Maybe its being out of that house.
She stiffened again. Dont overanalyze it. Leave it be.
I withdraw the remark, your honor.
Noted. A long moment passed. Then she relaxed again
and rolled toward him a bit. The tent was filled with the
smells of lavender, sex, and his own sweat, now cooling.
It was nice, but it does seem a bit one-sided, he
ventured at length. Anything I can do to reciprocate?
She shrugged. Someday, maybe. For now, your pleasure
is my pleasure.
He flipped back the sleeping bag to cool off andnow
that his eyes had adjustedto admire the curve of her calf
thrown across his thigh in the dim light seeping in from the
You know something? She was serious, suddenly.
Mmmm? He was drowsy and hoped this wouldnt get
Youre so polite.
Mmmm. He tried to stay drowsy, thinking they could
work this out tomorrow, whatever it was. But so polite?
He opened his eyes, resigned to it. Meaning?
I mean, you keep trying, but not too hard. Sometimes
Im not sure how much you want me. With my past, I
could understand. . . .
WellI mean, my God, look at you. Youre the most
beautiful . . . what man wouldnt. . . .
She was silent, slightly tense against his side and chest.
Iare you saying you want to be taken?
I dont know. Maybe its what I need. Some women do.
Sometimes. If its someone they trust. They want to be
wanted that much.
Are you one of those women?
I dont know. I want to be normal, is all. I just dont
know what that is. Her hand drifted south again. But I
see the idea interests you at least a little?
Of course. He moved the hand back to his chest.
But Im not the caveman type. For us, what we have is
normal, for now.
Well, then, have some more of it, on me. She rolled
over and kissed him, hard, her hand moving south again.
This time, he let it roam.
Active awoke when the sun got high enough to
heat the tent and spent a few minutes studying her face,
the foxlike set of her eyes, her hair lying against the
honey-dark skin of her neck in the orange half-light.
Finally he eased outside, clothes in hand so as not to wake
her by moving around in the tent. Everything looked blue
until his eyes adjusted to normal light, and he did a hopdance
on the cold, damp moss as he dressed. At least there
was no frost yet. Maybe Indian summer would last out
their week at One-Way Lake.
Excerpted from Village of the Ghost Bears
by Stan Jones. Copyright © 2009 by Stan Jones.
Excerpted by permission of Soho Press. All rights
reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted
without permission in writing from the publisher.