Monthly Archives: March 2013

I’m every woman, it’s all in me ….

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It’s was my daughter’s birthday yesterday, so I decided to bake her a cake. Maybe I was sleep-deprived or something, I decided to bake it …from scratch. Yeah, you heard right – all my bloody deadlines but still…

Excited at the prospect of being able to boast that I could make something from scratch (other than write novels) I switched on my Nigella and hit YouTube with essentials like pen,

paper and a glass of chardonnay. (For courage – hadn’t made anything from scratch for donkey’s ears years.)

As I watched my computer screen, I was shocked to discover that the beautiful and mesmerizing Nigella takes an alarming number of short cuts. She’s now into ‘assembling’ food. (Not alarming to me – I’m all for short cuts. Except when it comes to birth control. Know what I mean?)

So, who am I to argue – I stopped my ‘scratching’, had another glass of courage and zoomed into plan E.

The result is the photo you see.

I’m so proud, I’ve showed it to everyone I know. And everyone I don’t know. It’s like a I’m Capable badge. Haven’t felt this proud since I learned how to  pirate music on the internet operate my iron.

But hey, shortcut or no shortcut, I’m still every woman inside of meeeee,

anything you want done babyyyy, I’ll do it naturalllllllly,

cos I’ve got it, I’ve got it, I’ve got it, got it, baby, ’cause…

(Naturally? No fucking way.)

PS: My daughter thinks I’m amazing to have made the M&Ms, the Kit Kat, the gold coins and the candles. I left it at that so as to avoid confusing her. Let her therapist deal with it when she grows up:)

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Dear Elizabeth Hurley

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Dear Elizabeth Hurley
(Warning: Mature themes and profanity)
My gran and I were wondering – just how do you do it? Hugh Grant, Arun Nayar and Shane Warne?  Gran says it’s like you’ve won the trifecta.
Hugh Grant was so sexy in Four Weddings, even though my gran thinks that he was in serious need of a speech pathologist and even an eye specialist, with all the blinking he did. And Arun …well, let’s just say that I like my men tall, dark and sweet, the same way I like my chai.
As for Warnie – so he took his mother’s diet pills – big deal. My gran, who is eighty-nine and very wise, says that if a man takes diet pills without prompting , it’s a good thing, cos when the times comes, he will take Viagra without any hassles unlike my grandpa—the bastard refused to.

And you holiday with your husband and your ex-boyfriend? Wow! That’s that amazing. I’m not as secure as Arun – I would have been scared to drink too much in case I passed out and left you free to walk down memory lane with Hugh. Know what I’m saying, Liz? Again, we don’t know how you do it, but my gran and I speak for all the women in the world when we say, “You go girlfrien’!”
What we like about you, is that when you are choosing men, you keep it real – no toyboys and no cougaring on your part. (Hear that Demi? JLO?) My gran says that’s smart. (She does say that you must keep an open mind, though, cos stamina rocks. She winked when she said that. Either that or her cataracts is playing up.)

You’re obviously a super woman, cos you do so much at the same time – motherhood, your clothing lines, your acting, multiple weddings and stuff…
Yet, you look so sexy and together all the time. Like you stepped out of the pages of an Estee Lauder catalogue. Wow!
And the way you manage your men? I mean, you even managed to get Warnie on watercress soup too – he looks great now that he’s lost the paunch. Keep at it and one of these days you’re gonna see Woody Allen Jude Law when you look at him.
As for you, unlike Kirsty Alley, Oprah and Tony Soprano, your weight remains constant. No yo-yo dieting for you.
My gran says that I must tell you that she tried the watercress soup, and well, she didn’t dig it. Says it tasted like crap grass from her garden drenched in a combination of rainwater and snail piss.
Got to confess, Liz, I had a similar experience with the watercress soup and that is why my weight is a lot more than my IQ.

The way you shine, Liz, if I were your girlfriends, I would be so jealous of you and your charming life. We’re curious to know how many genuine girlfriends you have, though. Beautiful, successful women like you must have it tough in the friendship stakes? (Gran says that you must exclude girlfriends like Elton John, George Michael, Mick Jagger and Simon Cowell.)
I mean, we’ve watched Real Housewives, seen the botoxed bitches cattiness  and ass kicking among beautiful women, so we know how hard it is to find genuine friends among the rich and famous. It’s usually the fugly ones who are genuine. But I doubt you’d have fugly friends. Your life is picture-perfect and I have to admit, sometimes I maybe be cursing you for having all the fucking luck in this sorry world a tad jealous of you. Just a tad.

All that you’ve done, all that you’ve achieved – how can anyone not be impressed with you? Especially because of your humble beginnings. I mean who doesn’t know about the time when you were so broke, you had to use safety pins to keep your dress together, huh?
Where were all those top, world-class designers then, huh? When you really needed them? Valentino and Versace and Michael Kors and Austin Powers …?

You should write a book on how you did it, or how do it. Reveal everything, keep nothing back so that well deserving, down-on-their-luck women, (like Jennifer Anniston) can take a page/pages out of your book and get their shit together.

Or you should co-author a book with me  somebody sassy and fresh.

So, Liz, my gran says that you should keep doing what you do, and with regards to Hugh, sometimes it takes a little divine intervention to get things moving in the direction they are meant to move in. (She winked when she said that. Either that or her cataracts are playing up again.)

Stay beautiful and perfect!

Your number one and number two number three fans for life.

Eve Rabi and Gran

PS: Tell Warnie my gran said that he looked great in that blue cashmere sweater. But if he could drape it around his shoulders then knot it up in front, she might consider fucking  him asking for his autograph the next time she bumps into him at the pharmacy. (She winked when she said that.)

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=eve+rabi

Viagra, Viagra, wherefore art thou?

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Dear Viagra, it’s Eve Rabi. How you doing?

Waddayamean Eve who?

You’ve been emailing me for the last umpteen years offering me huge discounts for value packs of Viagra, remember? The bulk purchases, no script needed, sometimes postage included even, huh? Even though I never needed or wanted you? Ring a bell, Viagra?

It does? Good. Cos, see, I’ve been thinkin’ – since I spent so many precious hours of my life deleting email after email from you, and emptying my spam folder several times a day, not to mention the $$$ I spent amping up my FUCKING spam filters so that I stop getting a tsunami of Viagra emails every two hours, I think t’s only fair that you to help me now. (Sorry for my outburst, Viagra, just opened up old wounds. Won’t happen again. Smiley face)

See I’ve written fourteen books and I figure that if I want to make as much dough and become crazy famous as those chicks – J.K. Rowling, Stephanie Meyer and E.L James, then I gotta do some serious marketing shit for my books. You feel me, Viagra?

So, I’m askin’ nicely; can you please put me in touch with the same company who markets you? Maybe even put in a good word for me so that I, like you, become a household name? Tell them how awesome I am, my books are?  (Just between you and me, I’m open for some heavy-duty spamming. Seriously.)

Soooo, whachusay?

You will? Aw thank you, Viagra. I am so excited at the prospect of becoming stinkin’ rich!

I will now sign off and put in an on-line order for a red Ferrari (what other color?) with a built in make-up compartment, a mirrored dashboard, a mirrored steering wheel, and a hair straightener thingi.

Then, after I screenshot my order for my flashy ride, I will tweet it, Facebook it, blog it, pintrest it, etc., etc., to make all my friends, enemies and frenemies leaf-green with envy. (Shivering with excitement at the mere thought of it.)

Smiles to you and keep doing what you’re doing, cos your discounts on value packs are awesome, man!

Peace up and remember …stay firm and upright in the face of adversity! (Wink wink!)

Eve Rabi

That time of the month? Show him this

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When I’m mad

When I'm mad

The Cheat (Warning: Strong language, sexual references, drug references, violence)

Excerpt from The Cheat – A Tale of Infidelity and Lies

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***

When our guests left early, I breathed a sigh of relief. Now she and I could talk. Well, maybe not talk –some serious begging on my part was more like it.

But Angel, without a word, grabbed her jacket (her leather jacket which she hadn’t worn in about 8 years) and car keys and stormed out of the house, leaving me with the sleeping kids.

“Where you’re going Angel?” I asked, tottering after her. When I saw that she had taken my car keys, my Porsche, I nearly had a stroke.

Again, I braced myself to remind her that she had a late model silver BMW and that the Porsche belonged to me and that if she really felt she just had to use my precious vehicle, my pride and joy, she could have at least have had the decency to ask first.

But when she glared at me, lips pursed, nostrils flaring, eyes like flying saucers, I became the pussy I am and literally backed away.

She slipped the key into the engine and started my baby – eh, car.

Then she revved it. And revved it.

“Honey, it’s not necessary to rev it so …”

She locked the doors and revved the engine so much, I thought I was going to die from a stroke.

Timidly, I knocked on the window. “Honey?” I motioned for her to wind down the window. “Honey, baby, sweetheart, you’ve been drinking – maybe you shouldn’t …”

Her response was to snarl and rev it again.

“Okay, okay!” I quickly stepped away from the car.

Fuck the revving and shit, I was worried about her. She had been hitting the bottle all night. What if she had an accident?

But I could do nothing to stop her. She sped away. Minutes later, I tried her cell phone, only to find that she had left it behind. My anxiety escalated – I didn’t want anything to happen to her.

Anxious and worried, I sat up all night, waiting for her, wondering where she could be and resisting the temptation to call her friends and start looking for her. Although I felt like a drink, I didn’t, just in case she called me to pick her up.

Alone in the dark, I paced as questions ran like freight train through my

mind – what was she going to do now? Leave? Ask me to leave? Stay, but file for a divorce? Shit, had I lost everything because of my fucking around?

I couldn’t sleep, so I crawled into bed with my girls who were sleeping in our bed. I hugged their soft bodies to mine, saddened to think what would become of them if I was gone. Who would take care of them when I was gone? Would they be embarrassed to know that their father died of AIDS? Would they be forever ashamed of me? How would Angel cope without me? Would she marry again?

The thought of that really jarred me and almost made me sit up. ANGEL IN BED WITH ANOTHER MAN? FUCKING HELL!

Guess I was that kind of guy – full of shit and totally unrealistic. It’s how I was wired.

But around 5 AM, I finally dozed off next to my girls.

 ***

At around eleven the next morning, Angel rocked up, looking like…well, last night and reeking of cigarettes, which she had given up eight years ago.

“Angel, where were you?” I asked in a timid voice as I followed her around.

She spun around to bark at me. “What does it matter to you WHERE I was?”

“Okay, okay, honey.”

Of course, I didn’t want to fight with her. Clearly she was troubled and in pain, so I was going to be very patient today.

“Where’s my daughters?” she demanded as she flung her bag on the glass table.

My daughters. The division was starting already.

“They’re with Debbie, honey.”

“Whyyyy?”

“Because…eh… I think we need to talk, Angel.”

She whirled around and glared at me. “Talk? Talk? I need answers and you, you need to talk,” she snapped, and once again I nodded agreeably. “But I want the truth,” she threatened. “Don’t ever lie to me again, Gabriel. From now on, have the balls to tell me the truth, okay? She was calling me Gabriel, not Gabe or honey. It meant she was pissed.

I hesitated, then nodded. “Sure.”

She walked over to the bar and to my absolute horror, picked up my Johnny Walker, limited edition, $3500 a bottle, individually bottled, individually numbered, in a hand-blown Baccarat crystal decanter, given to me by a retired, murdering mafia boss whose name I threw around like crazy whenever I was in a jam, and poured herself half a glass of it. Half a glass.

Then she took a huge gulp, made a face and, guess what? She spat it back into the glass and threw the contents into the sink. Down the fucking sink!

Too stunned to speak, I could only watch as she poured herself a triple vodka and drank it neat. But I was scared shitless to say anything to her.

Instead, I glanced pointedly at the clock. Eleven fifteen – too early for anyone, other than me, to be drinking alcohol.

She downed another vodka and slammed the glass on the table.

For a while, she stared at the carpet and that hurt look I’d seen last night in her eyes returned. Shaking her head as if she was having a conversation with herself, she grabbed the bottle of vodka and poured herself another. Raising the glass to her lips, she paused and looked at me. “Why?”

I sighed loudly, apologetically, remorsefully. “I was dumb…I got carried away…I was drunk…stupid…”

After taking a gulp of her vodka, she fired the next question. “Was does she look like? Is she attractive?”

A loaded question. I scratched my face, planning to say no.

“I want the truth Gabriel! Don’t you FUCKING make up…”

“Yes! Yes! Yes …”

Her jaw trembled slightly. “How old was she?”

I scratched my brain. “Probably…I dunno…around thirty , I think…”

She closed her eyes and shook her head. Angel was thirty-two, so that shouldn’t affect her that much. “H …how many times?”

“Uh…just that S…Saturday,” I stammered. “Only that day.”

“How many times that DAY?”

Night, honey,” I corrected. “Um…three …yeah, three times. Honey.”

She raised her eyebrows dramatically. “You were drunk and you got it up three times? How the FUCK did you manage that?” she spat nastily. These days we can only do it once a night, cos you’re so fucking old!”

That made me mad. I wanted to shout out that she was the problem here. She usually was too tired for sex anyway, let alone trying to do it more than once a night. I had to always beg for it! But I held my tongue. Actually, I too was baffled by the fact that I could go and go that night. I have no idea how I did it, considering I was shit-faced. But I did, and I was somewhat secretly proud of it.

I know, I know; I was an asshole for thinking that, but hey, we all know that I’m a prick.

Moving on …

She walked over to the window and stared forlornly outside. “I cook, I clean, I take care of your kids… I get exhausted, I get bored, I get lonely.” She turned and looked at me, then downed the rest of her vodka, before continuing. “There are days when I feel like giving up on being a mother and a wife, because of the repetitiveness and mon…mon…otony of c…hings. But do I do that? Noooo! But you get to. How the FUCK is that fair, huh?” She was drunk alright.

I looked away, then at her again. “I’m sorry Angel,” I said, meaning it. “I did a crappy thing and I deserve everything, okay? So let me have it.”

“Don’t call me Angel! It’s AngeLINA to you, FUCKHEAD! You’ve lost your Angel now.”

I looked away, unused to having my wife curse like a sailor or talk to me like that.

“Did you ever think about me at all while you were FUCKING her?”

Truth was; I never did, but I wanted to spare her that pain.

“Did you Gabriel?”

“Yes!”

Her eyes opened wide.

“N…no,” I quickly added. “I dunno – I was out of it Angel.”

““Out of it”? You had a hard-on three times in one night, you FUCKING MORON! You couldn’t have been “out of it”” you DUMB FUCK!”

I kept my eyes averted while she disrespected me.

“Was she the woman in the cab?”

I hung my head, not realizing we had been spotted. “Yes.”

Her jaw trembles before tears cascaded down her flushed cheeks. “So you were kissing her goodbye, Gabriel?”

“No!” I protested, distraught to see her so broken.

“You didn’t…you didn’t kiss me on the lips that day and ever since, because you gave me some crap about some tummy bug or some shit. All that was a lie, right?” She sounded so hurt, I felt like the dog I was.

But the tummy bug really was a lie so what could I say?

“Right?” she persisted.

I nodded.

“All this while, you were fighting…and being so moody with me and I was thinking…” she looked up at me, “It wasn’t pressure at work all along, was it? You were stressed about this, right?”

I looked away, resisting the urge to say, “But wait, there’s more!”

“You haven’t slept with me since you got back and you haven’t kissed me since. God I feel so rejected.” Her shoulders fell.

“Angel, I didn’t…”

She slumped into a chair and covered her face with her hands. Then she rested her face on her lap and wept.

For a few moments, I let her. She needed this.

Suddenly, she sat up straight.

“Angel, baby, I am so sor …”

“Save it Gabriel!” she snarled and walked over to pour herself yet another drink, her …I lost count. Suddenly, she threw the heavy crystal glass and its contents across the room and into my big screen plasma TV. My big screen precious plasma television set! I watched in horror as glass from the television rained everywhere.

“What the hell, Angelina?” I cried. “Look what you did!”

“Look…what…you… did, Gabriel Sloan!” she deadpanned, before stumbling away.

I stared for a few minutes, unsure whether I should run after her or take care of the mess. Finally, I let her go and cleaned up the mess and when next I saw her, she was passed out on her bed, fully clothed and snoring like Trixie.

Trixie was my Rottweiler who passed on (God bless her canine soul) years ago.

End

Read more about Gabriel and Angelina’s story by clicking on the link below:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/242236

The Cheat – A Tale of Lies and Infidelity

By Eve Rabi

Reviews:

“I believe the author is very talented. After reading oodles of books, it is hard to come across a story that you haven’t read before. Her creativity shows in all the books. I love her sense of humor, and how she keeps you guessing throughout the plot. My favorite thing this author does so well is how she develops the romance and relationship in the characters. It feels so real. I always find it hard when writers give you a romance that goes from 0 to 60 in 3 seconds. It just does not seem believable. She builds the relationship right every time.”

“In this book, I laughed out loud, and found myself changing my mind about some of the characters as the book progressed. I also enjoyed how flawed these characters were. Gabrial was very self-centered and had the maturity level of a 14-year old. Again, very believable.”

“I loved reading this book. I laughed from the first page and at the turn of almost every page. That is unless I was clearing the frog in my throat or wiping away my tears. This story is about Gabriel (Gabe) who cheats on his wife and suffers the consequences. As the tale unfolded I realised that although Gabe is a cheating ass I wanted him to succeed in his quest for “redemption”.The relationship between the characters are so touching and so real that at times I found myself wanting to reach out and hug them. This is a great read. I loved it!I highly recommend.”

“An authentic, completely believable first-person narrative about a man dealing with the consequences of a one-night stand in Las Vegas. Honest, gritty, and coarse, but far from trashy; this first novella-sized installment is actually a love story that focuses on the protagonist’s marriage, rather than the affair itself. In fact, the lover –Sinead– only appears briefly in the story. I will definitely be reading Book 2.”

Read more about Gabriel and Angelina’s story by clicking on the link below:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/242236

The Cheat (Contains strong language, sexual references, drug references)

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Excerpt from The Cheat

By Eve Rabi 

July 1998

I was told by friends that if you cheat on your wife, the appropriate guilt-appeasing flowers are roses. A dozen, long-stemmed.

I stood at the airport with roses – two dozen.

In twenty-five words or less: I was on ‘business trip’, she was available, I was shit-faced, she was stacked, I was flattered, she was relentless in her pursuit and…now this is a big ‘AND’ …we were in Vegas.

Been married for six years and my wife was always tired. Could only manage sex once a week. Just thinking about that made me bitter and I guess I felt conjugally deprived.

How many words so far? Oh well, who the fuck cares?

Moving on – my wife was picking me up from the airport and bringing along my two beautiful little girls. I was, as can be expected, nervous and anxious and more worried about the guilt showing on my face, than about breaking my marriage vows.

Now, before you go all harsh and judgmental on me and call me a prick, I’ll tell you this much – I am an arrogant prick.

I don’t try to be, I’m just wired that way.

Now that you know my ABC, let’s move on, shall we?

Okay, I love my wife, I really do. I only cheated on her because of opportunity. I read somewhere that most men cheat, not because they want to, but because of opportunity that lands on their lap. And last night, opportunity was a sexy, long-haired, blonde called Sinead, who was just about every guy’s fantasy and being the human that I was, I guess I erred – succumbed to temptation.

Did I regret it? Let me think. Honestly? Nope.

Hey, I did say honestly. Why didn’t I regret it? I don’t know. Perhaps, it was because …I liked it far too much to be bothered by my conscience, or the lack of it thereof? Told you I was arrogant bastard.

Armed with my guilt-appeasing roses, I waited for Angelina, my wife, (whom I call Angel) and my two daughters. Whenever I return from business trips, I usually catch a cab back home, but today, I was feeling guilty mainly because, I was guilty; so for the first time since I had kids, I accepted Angel’s offer to pick me up from the airport.

As I waited at the pick-up zone, my mind drifted back to Sinead, my unrestrained, unreserved, uninhibited and lusty partner in crime last night.

Wow!

Although I showered before she and I parted company this morning, I could still smell her perfume and it added to my uneasiness. I clutched the roses tighter and willed myself to regret my actions.

Problem was, the memories of my weekend of sin weren’t bad. In fact, some of them were darned good. Okay, amazing. So amazing, that they were responsible for the contented smile across my face, which I now struggled to conceal.

Sinead was extremely flexible, amazingly agile and particularly nimble in the sack and I can’t help but think that she would be artistic with a hula hoop, if you know what I mean.

When I first spotted her, I thought she was hot, like all the guys around me thought, I’m sure. Small waist, big ass, big tits, child-bearing lips–what more could a guy ask for? Did I mention that I was human? At first, I must admit, I was just flattered when she paid me any attention. Flattered because, there were so many good looking, young guys at the club, yet Sinead, who was by far the hottest chick at the club, had me in her cross-hairs. Me, a thirty-five-year-old, overworked attorney, with a receding hairline, slight pot belly, a wife who couldn’t care if she never had sex again for the rest of her life and two kids under the age of four?

Hell, not only was I astonished, but I was even grateful that a woman would find me interesting at this stage in my life and pursue me.

Still, when she came onto me, I somehow managed to keep it together and resisted her the first night. Like the gentleman that I was, (I may be an arrogant prick but I’m a true gentleman.) I even walked her to her hotel room.

Okay, so I enjoyed her tongue in my mouth when I said goodnight. But I have to tell you, it was hard. Especially, since we were booked in at the same hotel. I kept thinking about her probing tongue, the thrust of her double-Ds against my chest, the way her hips locked with mine…if I wasn’t so plastered, I’m sure I would have been up all night just thinking about it.

The next day, we bumped into her and her friend, and when I introduced her to my work colleagues, one of my bosses immediately invited her and her equally attractive and uninhibited friend to party with us.

After a hard day of excessive boozing, we hit the club again for some serious partying and drinking. We were celebrating our win, the coveted Blakeley and Thompson account, worth more than ten million dollars and I, Gabriel Sloan, was the one responsible for that coup. Tonight, I was the star quarterback and I reveled in it, accepting all the congratulatory back slaps and high fives that came my way. An ego rush of gigantic proportion, and I loved it.

Sinead never left my side, never asked awkward questions, (like whether I was married) and by the end of the evening, made it clear she was going to fuck me that night, either in or out of my bed. I smiled and tried to tell myself that it wasn’t going to happen but, and that’s a big ‘BUT’; I waited all evening in anticipation. When exactly was it going to take place and dare I hope it would be out of my bed?

She didn’t actually say when and that was a good thing, ’cause knowing me, I was the type to chicken out. As cocky as I was, I was a bit slow when it came to women. Never had a problem getting them, but I prefer to choose, chase and nail. In that order.

In the past, when women chased me, I, more often than not, ran.

Oh, Sinead hinted, implied and touched her way through things. Her stroking and kneading under the table and her firm, bare thigh glued to mine left me a massive hard-on. Her body was warm and wanton and her breath around my earlobe drove me wild. That, coupled with the rush of winning the account and the booze gave me an all-time high.

Don’t misunderstand me; she wasn’t skanky or over the top or like some of bunnies you find at Hef’s. In fact, she was sweet and playful and kittenish and not in the least bit bothered by my wedding ring, which I kept on all the time, I must add. When she suggested we refrain from disclosing personal details about ourselves to each other, it served only to heighten the sexual thrill and I found myself grinning like the jackass I was and nodding vigorously, like one of those toy dogs you find on the back of cars that nod constantly with the motion of the car.

“Just call me Sin,” she said prettily. “Short for Sinead.”

“Just call me drunk,” I evened, “Short for very drunk.”

She laughed. I liked that about her. She laughed all the time.

My wife Angel liked to fuck in the dark or with the lights turned down really low, mainly because I think she had body issues. Boring! Not Sinead, she wanted the lights on when she slowly peeled off her clothes and when she skillfully stroked my erection and made a Popsicle out of me. There was so much of tension in my sexual vault after two days of innuendoes that I exploded within three minutes but…. I was back for an encore, I tell you. Was I proud I could deliver!

And she knew her stuff too. “Are you game for Amyl Nitrate?” she whispered, at the height of pleasure.

“Sure,” I huffed. “Bring her in. The more the merrier.” (Hey, I had been married for six years – how was I supposed to know about Amy Nitrate and stuff. I mean Amyl.)

She furrowed her pretty brow at me, then smiled at my ignorance and gave me a whiff of it in a tiny vial she got from God knows where. Now, don’t you try this at home folks, ’cause it’s not good for your heart, but it took the word orgasm to a new level and she made me scream.

Something I’ve never done. I screamed like a girl.

As for me pleasing her; I wish I wasn’t so drunk, then maybe I could have really reciprocated, but I did my fair share of ramming at the end, which she seemed to like, ’cause she moaned so loudly, I worried the entire hotel would think it was some kind of low-keyed fire-drill, even though it really turned me on. Not the soft delicate sighs that Angel lets out when I went down on her, but loud, expressive, out of control cries of unabashed pleasure. A gigantic ego rush for a drunken executive. Actually three times! Yeah, even I was surprised, ’cause, as much as it pains me to admit it, I’m no stud. Not anymore.

***

Parting was brief and hurried, ’cause both of us had flights to catch. I was tired from lack of sleep, really hung over and in desperate need of some greasy airport food but, there was no time if I wanted to catch my flight.

As I boarded the plane, I thought of Angel for the first time since I was with Sin and felt a little guilty. That’s when I dialed her number and talked to her for a while.

Angel was late picking me up, so I hung around and people-watched. Then, across the road, I spotted Angel and the other two loves of my life; my two beautiful daughters,

two-year-old Sydney and four-year-old Indiana. I smiled and braced myself for the avalanche of hugs and kisses that usually came my way. I was looking forward to holding Angel again and kissing her and making up for all the shit I did last night. As I watched her approach, I realized just how much I loved her. Cheating had nothing to do with my love for her. Anyway, she was never going to find out so…I would just drop it and never think about it again.

Suddenly, I looked to the side and there was Sin, with girlfriend. No wonder I could still smell her perfume, she was just a few feet away from me!

“Heeeey!” she said, smiling prettily and looking as hot as ever in a tight blue, corset-type top and faded jeans that made her ass talk and made me wonder if I could have gone four rounds instead of three.

“Hey,” I mouthed, glancing at Angel, then back at Sin. “What you’re doing here?”

She jerked her lovely head towards the taxis. “Catching a cab.”

I nodded.

She followed my eyes to Angel and my kids. “Your family?”

I nodded sheepishly, suddenly wishing that Angel had dressed a little sexier. She wore a pink cardigan, a light pink top, casual jeans, black pumps and her hair was in a ponytail. Next to Sin, Angel looked frumpy, like a mother of two kids, and frankly, I was a little embarrassed.

“Nice,” she said lightly. “Well, here’s my ride. Tata!”

I breathe a sigh of relief that she wasn’t going to clash with Angel.

“Take care,” I said.

“Hope she likes the roses,” she flung over her shoulder as she and her girlfriend got into the cab and rattled off an address to the driver. I watched her fasten her seat belt as she talked to her friend. Then, to my surprise, she looked up at me and motioned me over. I nervously glanced at Angel who was fast approaching, then at Sin, panic enveloping me.

But Sin flexed her index finger at me and I felt somewhat obliged to go to her so I hurried over to the cab window.

“What is it?” I whispered, feeling my pants getting tighter around my crotch.

She put her painted lips really close to my ear. I was so sure she was going to lick it. “You might want to get yourself checked out,” she whispered.

I looked at her in confusion. “Wha …?”

“I…I’m HIV positive.”

“Wha…?”

“Sorry, I didn’t mean for things to turn out this way,” she said in a sincere voice. “It just happened. I should have told you, but I guess I got carried away. I’m sor …”

“You’re fucking with me, right?” I demanded hoarsely, hoping to God she would smile and tell me to look at the hidden camera ’cause I was being punked.

She shook her head from side-to-side and I thought – this is what it feels like to fall from the top of The Empire State Building.

“H…HIV…?” I stammered my mouth, suddenly dry as the Sahara. That’s not AIDS, right? Shit! I didn’t know much about the virus. I’m a corporate attorney for Christ sakes!

With a grim look, she tugged at her hair and to my absolute horror, her entire hair moved to reveal total baldness. She was wearing a wig. Before I could stop myself, I recoiled in revulsion and disgust.

For a moment, hurt registered in her eyes. Then she rolled up her window and the cab driver drove off.

I should have run after her and demanded she tell more, but I just stood frozen as the car disappeared from sight. 

“Daddy! Daddy!” The sound of my daughter’s voices forced me out of my catatonic state.

Forcing myself to smile mechanically, I accepted all their hugs. This distraction afforded me the opportunity to somewhat regain my composure.

Angel walked up to me and hugged me. “They’re beautiful!” she cried as she took the roses from me. When she tried to kiss me, I jerked my head so that her kiss landed somewhere between my ear and lips. I didn’t want to kiss my darling wife if I had a virus.

“What wrong, Gabe?” she asked, her hazel eyes darting all over my face.

I shook my head and waved dismissively.

“You look pale, honey.” Her frown deepened. “You okay?”

Am I okay? What a question.

I scanned my brain to find something to say. “I…I think I picked up on of those…um…” The shock of everything was too much. My brain froze and I just went blank and looked dumbly at my wife. This was most unusual behavior on my part and Angel was now worried.

She reached up and touched my forehead. “You have a temperature.”

I looked at her in horror. So quickly? Could the virus be attacking me already? Fuck!

It was enough to freak me out. “I do feel really ill, Angel,” I murmured and absentmindedly wiped my forehead.

“Poor baby,” Angel said gently as she took my hand in hers. I immediately shrugged off her hand. There was no way I wanted to contaminate my beautiful and innocent Angel, love of my life and mother of my children by holding her hand.

Startled at my behavior, she stared at me.

“Better not touch,” I said quickly. “I don’t want to give whatever I got to you, baby.”

She nodded understandingly. Did I really say she looked frumpy and plain? I was so wrong. She looked lovely and caring and concerned and… like my wife.

 “Probably the water,” she mused. “Kids, give daddy some space. He’s not well today.”

My girls looked at me, disappointment in their eyes.

“No!” I said quickly, when I see their crestfallen faces. I could take care of things later. “At least, let me get my hug, huh?”

“We already gave you hugs daddy,” Indiana said.

“We aldeddy dave you huds,” Sydney echoed.

“Naha!” I said, crouching again. “I didn’t feel anything. If I don’t get a huge hug by the time I count to say…one; I’m gonna cry like a baby. “One…”

Being the darlings that they were, they melted into me and hugged me for dear life, then took turns to look at my eyes to look for signs of tears. I loved them so much.

Angel looked down at us and smiled.

I stood up and hugged her again. “It’s good to be back, sweetie,” I said and kissed her hair. “I love you.”

“I missed you, Gabe,” she said as she rested her head on my chest.

The ride home was a boxed hell and I was struggling to wrap my brain around things, which I desperately needed to do right now. Angel talked non-stop about – I don’t know – I paid no attention to what she was saying.

Finally, I closed my eyes and lay back on my seat and she stopped, zipped up.

“I’m sorry, Angel,” I murmured from time-to-time, meaning it.

Unused to seeing me like this, she tried to get me to a doctor, but I refused. All I wanted to do was get out of the car and for a while, go somewhere where I could be alone with my tumultuous thoughts.

My mind drifted back to my fatal rendezvous with Sinead. How could I have missed the wig? Why didn’t I look before I leapt? Now everything about last night, took on a sinister undertone. Did she really fancy me or was I just easy meat? Easy meat I’m sure. Easy and dumb meat for that matter. Was it intentional? Of course! Was she lying? Without a doubt. I could sue the bitch for millions, I reckoned. Yeah, I could. If she had millions.

But why didn’t she have any of those lesions on her skin, like Tom Hanks in Philadelphia? Maybe it’s because, being the dumbass I was, I was too busy looking at her tits and ass and didn’t look at other less important body parts.

Did we use a condom? I recall using them. But I also recall that with all the agility, it did slip out once. Fuck! Sweat dripped down the back of my shirt. How the hell do I tell Angel I cheated on her? How do I tell my wife that I cheated on her and got a deadly virus in the process? Would she believe it was my first time I ever cheated? I hung my head in despair. Gabriel Sloan, what the fuck have you done this time?

Charlie! God, I need to talk to Charlie. He’s my older brother and someone I could talk to. Someone I could trust. Charlie was not as educated as I was, but he always had the answer. My parents died when we were young and Charlie became both mother and father to me, putting me through law school by holding down three jobs. I owe him everything. He’s going to be so disappointed to learn I am dying. Damn, that hurt so much.

The moment we arrived home, I mumbled something about a shower and escaped to the bathroom where I could be alone with my thoughts and even manage a call to Charlie.

I stripped, turned on the taps but didn’t enter the shower. Instead, I called Charlie. He answered on the first ring and I came straight to the point. “I need to talk to you, Charlie.”

Maybe it was something in my voice, but he immediately agreed, sounding concerned.

I didn’t want to have to tell Angel I was leaving the house; I had just returned from a business trip and needed to spend time with my family, so we arranged for Charlie to call and ask for me to come over to help out with a problem.

Half an hour later, he called and talked to Angel.

“Gabe!” Angel shouted. “Charlie wants to know if you can come over. Says he needs your help.”

“Not today,” I shouted back. “Tell him I just got home and I want to spend time with you guys.”

Angel walked over, stood in the doorway and looked at me, a worried look on her lovely face.

“What?” I asked.

“Gabe, I think Charlie might need you.”

“But I just got home, Angel. I need to spend time with you guys.”

After staring at me for a few moments, she said, “Go Gabe. He wouldn’t call if he didn’t need you.”

With an exaggerated sigh, I poured myself a drink, took two aspirins, got dressed and left my house. 

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Captured – My Sworn Enemy, my Secret Lover (Excerpt) Contains strong language, violence, sexual references and racial slurs)

Image

THE OUTSKIRTS OF BAGHDAD

June 2004, 15 months after the US and Coalition forces invaded Iraq

They prance around us, Iraqi militants, dressed in tunics and baggy pants, scarves coiled into turbans around their heads, victorious and triumphant, automatic weapons dangling from their shoulders.

A man with missing bottom teeth and the face of a rodent claps his hands. ‘American soldiers, we get you good.’

Another man with a red-and-white checked scarf and really bad body odor, puts his face in mine and says, ‘Georgie Bushie, him very big dog.’

I say nothing. I dare not. My eyes, when they’re opened, are fixed to the dirty cement floor.

More militants barge into the room, inspects their trophies lying on the ground, by means of a boot in the ribs mainly, then high-five each other.

Some of them look too young to drive or to vote, yet they are armed with AK-47’s, Kalashnikovs and rocket launchers. Holding their weapons over their heads, they dance a jig.

A boy, probably no older than fifteen counts their trophies: ‘Wahed, ithaian, Ithatha, arba, kamsa, sita …sita!’ He runs to the door, sticks his head out of the room and yells, ‘Sita!’

‘Sita?’ More dancing, more jigging, more back-slapping around me.

I know these fuckers. I’ve seen them in my nightmares – fled from them. And now, here I am, in their clutches.

Specialist Jude Stall and I are conscious, so we’re made to sit on plastic chairs. They don’t give a shit that Stall’s army jacket, in varying shades of dirt-brown and dark-red, have bullet holes around the abdominal area. They don’t give a shit that I can barely sit because my neck, back and fuck knows what other parts of me are hurt. I mean, I suspect a broken clavicle and an injured neck. Anytime now, I expect to pass out.

I don’t want to pass out.

I want to die.

Please let me die. Before they torture me and before I’m subjected to all kinds of shit that’s coming my way.

As I sit with my head bowed and knees apart, blood seeps from a gash on my forehead and splatters on the floor between my army-issued boots, creating hallucinogenic patterns on the dirty cement floor.

Fuck! I seriously need a doctor.

Stall is slumped in his chair and moaning. When his moans get too loud, the bastards jab him with their rifles.

I glance at the other members of my convoy lying on the floor in the corner of the room. None of them are moving or moaning. The last I saw any of them move was during our shoot-out with these militants earlier on today. I quickly look away.

A sudden hush fills the room, when a man with the disposition of an executioner, creeps into the room with a camera and a tripod. He places the tripod in front of Stall and slides the video camera onto it. A murmur ripples through the militants and they back against the wall to give the cameraman space. Carefully, the cameraman sets up, then scans the room. His eyes finally rest on a militant with a gigantic handle-bar mustache.

Handle-bar beams and steps forward. After a slight bow to his comrades and a thank-you-for-choosing-me smile; he removes a balaclava from his pocket and slips it over his face. Two other militants unroll a banner with Arabic writing on it and also don balaclavas. They stand tall and erect behind Stall, and hold up the banner for the camera.

Handle-bar takes his position behind Stall and nods. The cameraman hits a button. Handle-bar unsheathes a sword from around his waist, the kind of sword you see in movies like The Mummy—ornate, beautiful and deadly.

In spite of my semi-conscious state, my hearts slams around in my chest as I silently and feverishly chant the code of conduct: I’m an American soldier fighting in the forces which guards my country and our way of life…

Unfortunately, or fortunately, Stall is oblivious to what’s happening around him.

The cameraman lifts up his finger. Handle-bar reaches over and flashes Stall’s dog tag from around his neck to the camera.

He steps back, rips off Stalls helmet, jerks back his head and exposes Stall’s jugular.

Even though I expected this, even though every POW expects this; terror engulfs me. I squeeze my eyes tight and gulp at feverishly at the stale air in the room.

… If I …oh God! If I become a prisoner of … please don’t let them kill him! I will …I will keep … faith with my fellow prisoners …oh God!

A rustle of fabric, a blood-curdling gurgle, then silence.

When I open my eyes, handle-bar is wiping his sword on a muslin cloth.

Stall is lying on the floor, bright red blood pooling around his lop-sided head.

I puke all over myself.

Cameraman shifts the tripod and brings it in line with me.

Still masked, the men with the banner shuffle till they’re behind me.

Sweat drips down my bruised back. The urge to scream is there but I’m too weak. Instead, I shut my eyes and will myself to blank out, to pass out, whatever the fuck will prevent me from feeling anything.

Don’t think. Empty your mind.

Doesn’t work – my mind betrays me. I open my eyes and find myself seeking out handle-bar. He’s disappeared from my sight. Even though my neck is hurt, it jerks in all directions looking for him and his sword.

I hear a sound behind me and freeze. It’s him. ‘Oh God!’ I murmur. ‘Oh God!’

… I will never forget that I am an American fighting for …for freedom … responsible for my …

Oh God! Please! Please!

From behind, Handle-bar grabs my dog tag and flashes it at the camera.

I’m only 27 – way too young to die.

Though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death …

The cameraman gives a final nod and my army-issued pants suddenly feel warm and wet.

My Kevlar helmet is savagely ripped off. I scream in agony as handle-bar jerks my neck back, exposing my jugular. I wait for the sword, my breathing now in spurts, my body shaking.

The sword flashes briefly in front of me before it lodges against my throat.

Ogot! ‘Ogot!’ the cameraman shouts and frantically waves for Handle-bar to stop.

My neck is suddenly released and the sword is removed.

I’m too stunned to question this move.

Cameraman rushes towards me. ‘It is a wiiimon!’

The rest of the men dash over and crowd around me. They peer at me like they would a circus freak. One of them touches my long, blonde ponytail and whispers crude nothings in Arabic.

Also in front of me is Handle-bar. His repulsive mug cracks into a big smile. ‘American wiiimon,’ he says as he shakes his ass and circles his nipples. ‘Very good, very good. Wiiimon is good. Wiiimon is very good!’

Some of the men notice my wet pants and jeer at me.

I don’t give a fuck – I’m too stunned at my stay to worry about my shredded dignity. If I weren’t numb with shock, I’d probably be bawling my eyes out with relief.

As they chat among themselves, their voices rise in pitch and the cameraman rubs his hands together. He turns to me, raises his index finger and says, ‘Very nice.’

After he leaves with his tripod, the rest of the men herd out of the room. Handle-bar remains. He’s lovingly examining his blade for … God knows what. After his careful inspection, he presses the sword to his lips and slips it back into the sheath.

Revolted, I squeeze my eyes shut.

He walks over to me, squeezes one of my breasts and smiles. “Is nice, eh?’

I freeze.

Thankfully, he leaves the room and locks the door behind him.

I try to open my eyes but congealed blood from my head wound has glued my eyelids shut. My entire face is scaly, my body tender and I stink like meat rotting in the midday sun.

I manage to pry my eyelids open and peer around. In my haze, I see that I’m lying next to Stall where I fell. The other members of my unit are still on the floor in a heap. My throat is burning. I desperately need water. Through the curtain of dried blood, I notice someone walking around the room wearing white moccasins.

‘Water … please,’ I beg.

The person ignores me.

‘Please …’

‘Said bousak!’ A jab in the ribs with the butt of a rifle and I shut up.

I drift in an out of consciousness. Could be days – I’m not sure.

It doesn’t matter.

I’m dying.

Then, someone is putting water to my lips and talking to me. ‘Have a sip. Come on.’ The voice of a man – soothing but firm.

I lift my head, drink greedily and choke.

‘Easy now. It’s going to be alright.’ He has a shaved-off Arabic accent. Gently, he coaxes me to drink more water.

Who is this man? This kind man with gentle hands? Maybe I’m dead and he’s an angel.

‘Pain … help me …’

‘Okay, lie still now.’ He injects me in the upper arm. After a few minutes, he bandages my arm and dresses my wounds. At times I cry out in pain.

‘Almost done. You’re going to be alright.’

‘Thank you,’ I whisper, grateful for his help and kindness.

When he’s done, he brings in a mattress and a blanket.

‘Who …are …you?’

He doesn’t answer but covers me with the blanket.

Later, he returns and feeds me some kind of gruel. It’s awful but he forces me to drink it.

A few days pass and with Angel-man’s nursing, I’m conscious and can move a bit without agonizing pain.

Angel-man walks in, sees my eyes open and stops, a look of relief on his face.

My smile is weak. ‘Thank you for helping me.’

No answer.

‘Where am I?’

‘Disneyland.’

Mmm. My team members! I crane my head to look around. All the bodies have disappeared. Startled, I look at him, eyebrows raised.

He shifts about then mutters, ‘Sorry.’

‘Oh God!’ I curl up into a ball and fight the urge to sob.

‘Hey!’

I look at Angel-man.

You’re going to be okay. That’s important right now. Understand?’

Slowly I nod, remembering with horror the sword against my throat. I try to think – how long ago was it?

     ‘What day is it?’

He glances briefly at a fancy wrist-watch and says, ‘Yom al-arba.’

‘Wha …?’ Somehow the Arabic they speak sounds very different to the Arabic the army linguist taught us.

He sighs, appearing irritated with all my questions. ‘Wednesday, 7th July, 2004. That okay for you or do you want the exact time as well?’

‘July? 7th… I’ve been here seven days.’

‘In that case: happy one-week anniversary!’

I ignore the sarcasm remembering all the good he’s done for me. Gingerly, I touch my bandaged shoulder. ‘Thank you for helping me.’

He nods, his scowl softening. ‘You’ve lost a lot of blood.’

We are interrupted by the appearance of Handle-bar. Today, he looks even more vicious, pure evil and instinctively, I touch my throat. The fucker’s pointing an AK47 at me and mouthing-off in Arabic. Sounds really pissed. Don’t know what he’s saying. All I can think of is how he slit Stall’s throat.

I glance at Angel-man. Wish he’d say something.

Handle-bar steps forward and sticks the rifle in my face. Of course I’m disconcerted – an automatic weapon in your face – who wouldn’t be? But I know he’s not going to shoot me.

Angel-man snarls at him in Arabic and shoves him away from me.

Handle-bar argues with Angel-man. After a while, handle-bar slowly backs out of the room. At the doorway, he takes aim at me then lowers his weapon.

‘Nazim!’ Angel-man yells.

Handle-bar or Nazim, quickly leaves shutting the door behind him.

‘Sorry,’ Angel-man mutters.

‘Okay,’ I say really grateful for his protection.

Nazim’s behavior freaks me out. I know he wants to finish what he started the other day.

I have to get the fuck out of here.

In my bid to escape, even though I’m too weak to even consider it and even though he’s hot one minute and cold the next, frustrating the hell out of me, I try to befriend Angel-man. Maybe, just maybe, after we become friends, he’ll allow me to just stroll out of here. Unarmed.

‘I’m Megan. What’s your name?’

For a moment he appears startled by my question. Then he gives my wound his full attention.

Mmm. ‘Shall I guess?’

He focuses even harder on my wound.

‘Ali Baba?’ Oops! I thought out loud there.

‘What?!’

Now that’s no way to win friends and influence people.

‘Guess I’m gonna have to christen you myself, Angel-man. Won’t be pleasant, I’m warning you.’

‘“Angel-man?”’ His look can be interpreted as amused or just sneering.

‘Told ya so.’

A hint of a smile flitters across his lips.

‘Well?’

‘My name’s not important. Keep calling me that though.’

‘Mmm.’

I study him. Clean shaven, around 6’2, faded denim jeans, blue T-shirt, untidy hair, no turban, no beard, no visible weapon, no personality.

He looks up and I quickly look away. He looks down and I continue. Reeboks, Rolex, a thin gold chain around his neck. Rolex? Insurgents must be getting good money these days.

A hint of a Canadian accent. Hard to tell when his answers are mainly monosyllabic. Somehow, he doesn’t seem to fit in here.

‘Can I take a bath?’

‘No.’

‘Please? I have dried blood all over me and it’s so … so uncomfortable.’

‘You want to be comfortable?’

‘Well, yeah. It’s hot.’ Hot is not the word. It’s about 120 degrees and there is no breeze.

‘You come to war, to fight, to kill … and … you want to be … comfortable?

Post-war. I came to help.’

‘You came to help? Is that a fact?’ He finishes the wound dressing and stands up. ‘Save that for the interrogation that’s coming up. Should be interesting.’ He leaves the room.

Interrogation? Who’s going to interrogate me? Will they torture me? I cringe at the thought of that.

I need to get the hell out of here. In desperation, I scout around. No furniture except a mattress on the bare floor. A naked light bulb on the ceiling provides harsh lighting. The only window in the room is barricaded with steel bars. Although the door is wooden, a solid, metal, security gate keeps me in. No holes on the ground, none on the wall so I can forget tunneling out of here Shawshank-Redemption style.

I lie back on my mattress and stare grimly at the ceiling. I’m going to need more than a file in a cake to blow this joint. Shit!

***

‘Follow me,’ Angel-man says.

‘To …where?’

When his head jerks to look at me, I quickly stand up and shuffle behind him. As we walk down the long corridor I get a better view of my cage. It’s actually an old farm-house that has been modified to hold infidels like me.

Steel bars on all doors and windows. Heavy, tattered drapes allow little light in. The place is musty and there is an absence of life outside. No moving cars or trains or even the faint sounds of gunshots, which is common in Iraq these days.

We’re probably on the outskirts of Baghdad. With escape in mind, I case the joint, making mental notes – the angles of the house, the exits, entrances, the bunch of keys hanging on a hook on the wall…

Three armed militants play cards on a make-shift table, supported by three oil drums. Two are armed with Kalashnikovs while the third has an M-249, a SAW.

I look longingly at the SAW – a Squad Automatic Weapon. At 2000 rounds per minute, it would saw through anybody it hit. Lethal. Flash it around and you’ve got crowd control. One glimpse of it and you’ve got a swarm of hostile Iraqis on their knees.

Angel-man stops at a closed door and jerks his head towards it.

With one finger, I push the door open. It’s a bathroom. Not the little toilet I’ve been using but a proper, useable bathroom. Holy crap! I smile.

Angel-man flings a small bundle of clothes at me. I’m too slow catching it and it falls to the ground.

‘Sorry,’ he says and stoops to pick it up.

‘Thanks.’ I examine the bundle. An old, grey but clean towel, a long, black skirt and a red, long-sleeve tunic. Clean clothes after fourteen days in my filthy, army-issued gear. Awesome!

Excited, I reach over and turn the faucet. Warm water. My smile grows biggers! I slowly rub my hands together under the flowing water. Beautiful, just beautiful! Something I took for granted. To lose this awful stench of congealed blood I’ve been carrying around is going to be great.

I push the bathroom door shut.

Angel-man pushes back.

‘What?

‘Stays open.’

I stare at him. ‘What?! You kidding me?’

‘Do I look like I’m kidding?’

‘Then … I mean, how do I shower with you looking on?’

He shrugs and jerks his head to towards the armed men playing cards. ‘Want to take it up with them?’

I look at the men and purse my lips.

He’s bluffing. Has to be. Pissed off, I call his bluff. ‘Forget it.’ I hand the towel and clothes back to him. I wait for him to feel bad and have a change of mind and eventually say, ‘Oh, alright, you can close the darn door.’

To my disbelief, he shrugs and starts walking away. What a prick!

Sullenly, I trudge behind him, pissed off with him and myself. As I walk, I imagine warm water cascading down my parched skin, washing away layers of grime and caked blood, cleansing my matted hair, making me feel like a human being again, and I buckle. ‘Okay fine!’

He stops and slowly turns around. ‘You’re wasting my time, American woman.’

In a huff, I turn and walk back to the bathroom. Leaving the door slightly ajar, I strip down to my bra and panties and get under the shower. When I look past the door, Angel-man is staring outside the tiny passage window, looking a trillion miles away. Relieved he’s not perving me, I relax. How good would it be if I had some almond and honey shampoo? Some citrus shower gel with those little blue beads that exfoliate and soften. A natural, scented loofah, some grapefruit and pomegranate body …

The shower floor rises and hits me in the face.

Angel-man is immediately besides me.

‘This was a bad idea. Let’s go.’

‘No, please!’ I say. ‘I need to …to wash my …’

‘You’ve washed enough.’

‘Please!’ I do my best to stand up but my legs have turned to Jell-O. ‘Help … me … wash my hair. I need your help. Please!’

‘What? I … me? You want me to …?’ He sighs. ‘O … k …’

He washes my hair while I sit on the shower floor and will the ground to stop spinning.

His watch is getting wet and his clothes are getting soaked, but he doesn’t seem to mind. When the water runs clean, he dries me with the towel and helps me up.

Feeling fresher in spite of my fall, I’m thrilled to have rid myself of the awful stench and I don’t even care that he saw me semi-naked. He’s a doctor anyway. To him a vagina is probably like an earlobe or an elbow.

I hope.

‘Thanks,’ I say as he steers me back to my room.

No answer.

For a few minutes I do nothing but stare at the back of the door, expecting them to return. When they don’t, I lean forward and pant loudly – almost hyperventilating. I came so close to death. Being a woman has saved me from having my throat cut. What now? I look at Stall. Maybe he’s still alive. Maybe I can help. I look at my hands. I’m untied. They don’t need to tie me up – my injuries are shackles enough. If Stall is dying, then he shouldn’t die alone. Summoning every ounce of energy from … fuck knows where, I force myself to stand up and stumble towards Stall. After just three steps, I keel over and black out.

I try to open my eyes but congealed blood from my head wound has glued my eyelids shut. My entire face is scaly, my body tender and I stink like meat rotting in the midday sun.

I manage to pry my eyelids open and peer around. In my haze, I see that I’m lying next to Stall where I fell. The other members of my unit are still on the floor in a heap. My throat is burning. I desperately need water. Through the curtain of dried blood, I notice someone walking around the room wearing white moccasins.

‘Water … please,’ I beg.

The person ignores me.

‘Please …’

‘Said bousak!’ A jab in the ribs with the butt of a rifle and I shut up.

I drift in an out of consciousness. Could be days – I’m not sure.

It doesn’t matter.

I’m dying.

Then, someone is putting water to my lips and talking to me. ‘Have a sip. Come on.’ The voice of a man – soothing but firm.

I lift my head, drink greedily and choke.

‘Easy now. It’s going to be alright.’ He has a shaved-off Arabic accent. Gently, he coaxes me to drink more water.

Who is this man? This kind man with gentle hands? Maybe I’m dead and he’s an angel.

‘Pain … help me …’

‘Okay, lie still now.’ He injects me in the upper arm. After a few minutes, he bandages my arm and dresses my wounds. At times I cry out in pain.

‘Almost done. You’re going to be alright.’

‘Thank you,’ I whisper, grateful for his help and kindness.

When he’s done, he brings in a mattress and a blanket.

‘Who …are …you?’

He doesn’t answer but covers me with the blanket.

Later, he returns and feeds me some kind of gruel. It’s awful but he forces me to drink it.

A few days pass and with Angel-man’s nursing, I’m conscious and can move a bit without agonizing pain.

Angel-man walks in, sees my eyes open and stops, a look of relief on his face.

My smile is weak. ‘Thank you for helping me.’

No answer.

‘Where am I?’

‘Disneyland.’

Mmm. My team members! I crane my head to look around. All the bodies have disappeared. Startled, I look at him, eyebrows raised.

He shifts about then mutters, ‘Sorry.’

‘Oh God!’ I curl up into a ball and fight the urge to sob.

‘Hey!’

I look at Angel-man.

You’re going to be okay. That’s important right now. Understand?’

Slowly I nod, remembering with horror the sword against my throat. I try to think – how long ago was it?

     ‘What day is it?’

He glances briefly at a fancy wrist-watch and says, ‘Yom al-arba.’

‘Wha …?’ Somehow the Arabic they speak sounds very different to the Arabic the army linguist taught us.

He sighs, appearing irritated with all my questions. ‘Wednesday, 7th July, 2004. That okay for you or do you want the exact time as well?’

‘July? 7th… I’ve been here seven days.’

‘In that case: happy one-week anniversary!’

I ignore the sarcasm remembering all the good he’s done for me. Gingerly, I touch my bandaged shoulder. ‘Thank you for helping me.’

He nods, his scowl softening. ‘You’ve lost a lot of blood.’

We are interrupted by the appearance of Handle-bar. Today, he looks even more vicious, pure evil and instinctively, I touch my throat. The fucker’s pointing an AK47 at me and mouthing-off in Arabic. Sounds really pissed. Don’t know what he’s saying. All I can think of is how he slit Stall’s throat.

I glance at Angel-man. Wish he’d say something.

Handle-bar steps forward and sticks the rifle in my face. Of course I’m disconcerted – an automatic weapon in your face – who wouldn’t be? But I know he’s not going to shoot me.

Angel-man snarls at him in Arabic and shoves him away from me.

Handle-bar argues with Angel-man. After a while, handle-bar slowly backs out of the room. At the doorway, he takes aim at me then lowers his weapon.

‘Nazim!’ Angel-man yells.

Handle-bar or Nazim, quickly leaves shutting the door behind him.

‘Sorry,’ Angel-man mutters.

‘Okay,’ I say really grateful for his protection.

Nazim’s behavior freaks me out. I know he wants to finish what he started the other day.

I have to get the fuck out of here.

In my bid to escape, even though I’m too weak to even consider it and even though he’s hot one minute and cold the next, frustrating the hell out of me, I try to befriend Angel-man. Maybe, just maybe, after we become friends, he’ll allow me to just stroll out of here. Unarmed.

‘I’m Megan. What’s your name?’

For a moment he appears startled by my question. Then he gives my wound his full attention.

Mmm. ‘Shall I guess?’

He focuses even harder on my wound.

‘Ali Baba?’ Oops! I thought out loud there.

‘What?!’

Now that’s no way to win friends and influence people.

‘Guess I’m gonna have to christen you myself, Angel-man. Won’t be pleasant, I’m warning you.’

‘“Angel-man?”’ His look can be interpreted as amused or just sneering.

‘Told ya so.’

A hint of a smile flitters across his lips.

‘Well?’

‘My name’s not important. Keep calling me that though.’

‘Mmm.’

I study him. Clean shaven, around 6’2, faded denim jeans, blue T-shirt, untidy hair, no turban, no beard, no visible weapon, no personality.

He looks up and I quickly look away. He looks down and I continue. Reeboks, Rolex, a thin gold chain around his neck. Rolex? Insurgents must be getting good money these days.

A hint of a Canadian accent. Hard to tell when his answers are mainly monosyllabic. Somehow, he doesn’t seem to fit in here.

‘Can I take a bath?’

‘No.’

‘Please? I have dried blood all over me and it’s so … so uncomfortable.’

‘You want to be comfortable?’

‘Well, yeah. It’s hot.’ Hot is not the word. It’s about 120 degrees and there is no breeze.

‘You come to war, to fight, to kill … and … you want to be … comfortable?

Post-war. I came to help.’

‘You came to help? Is that a fact?’ He finishes the wound dressing and stands up. ‘Save that for the interrogation that’s coming up. Should be interesting.’ He leaves the room.

Interrogation? Who’s going to interrogate me? Will they torture me? I cringe at the thought of that.

I need to get the hell out of here. In desperation, I scout around. No furniture except a mattress on the bare floor. A naked light bulb on the ceiling provides harsh lighting. The only window in the room is barricaded with steel bars. Although the door is wooden, a solid, metal, security gate keeps me in. No holes on the ground, none on the wall so I can forget tunneling out of here Shawshank-Redemption style.

I lie back on my mattress and stare grimly at the ceiling. I’m going to need more than a file in a cake to blow this joint. Shit!

 

***

 

‘Follow me,’ Angel-man says.

‘To …where?’

When his head jerks to look at me, I quickly stand up and shuffle behind him. As we walk down the long corridor I get a better view of my cage. It’s actually an old farm-house that has been modified to hold infidels like me.

Steel bars on all doors and windows. Heavy, tattered drapes allow little light in. The place is musty and there is an absence of life outside. No moving cars or trains or even the faint sounds of gunshots, which is common in Iraq these days.

We’re probably on the outskirts of Baghdad. With escape in mind, I case the joint, making mental notes – the angles of the house, the exits, entrances, the bunch of keys hanging on a hook on the wall…

Three armed militants play cards on a make-shift table, supported by three oil drums. Two are armed with Kalashnikovs while the third has an M-249, a SAW.

I look longingly at the SAW – a Squad Automatic Weapon. At 2000 rounds per minute, it would saw through anybody it hit. Lethal. Flash it around and you’ve got crowd control. One glimpse of it and you’ve got a swarm of hostile Iraqis on their knees.

Angel-man stops at a closed door and jerks his head towards it.

With one finger, I push the door open. It’s a bathroom. Not the little toilet I’ve been using but a proper, useable bathroom. Holy crap! I smile.

Angel-man flings a small bundle of clothes at me. I’m too slow catching it and it falls to the ground.

‘Sorry,’ he says and stoops to pick it up.

‘Thanks.’ I examine the bundle. An old, grey but clean towel, a long, black skirt and a red, long-sleeve tunic. Clean clothes after fourteen days in my filthy, army-issued gear. Awesome!

Excited, I reach over and turn the faucet. Warm water. My smile grows biggers! I slowly rub my hands together under the flowing water. Beautiful, just beautiful! Something I took for granted. To lose this awful stench of congealed blood I’ve been carrying around is going to be great.

I push the bathroom door shut.

Angel-man pushes back.

‘What?

‘Stays open.’

I stare at him. ‘What?! You kidding me?’

‘Do I look like I’m kidding?’

‘Then … I mean, how do I shower with you looking on?’

He shrugs and jerks his head to towards the armed men playing cards. ‘Want to take it up with them?’

I look at the men and purse my lips.

He’s bluffing. Has to be. Pissed off, I call his bluff. ‘Forget it.’ I hand the towel and clothes back to him. I wait for him to feel bad and have a change of mind and eventually say, ‘Oh, alright, you can close the darn door.’

To my disbelief, he shrugs and starts walking away. What a prick!

Sullenly, I trudge behind him, pissed off with him and myself. As I walk, I imagine warm water cascading down my parched skin, washing away layers of grime and caked blood, cleansing my matted hair, making me feel like a human being again, and I buckle. ‘Okay fine!’

He stops and slowly turns around. ‘You’re wasting my time, American woman.’

In a huff, I turn and walk back to the bathroom. Leaving the door slightly ajar, I strip down to my bra and panties and get under the shower. When I look past the door, Angel-man is staring outside the tiny passage window, looking a trillion miles away. Relieved he’s not perving me, I relax. How good would it be if I had some almond and honey shampoo? Some citrus shower gel with those little blue beads that exfoliate and soften. A natural, scented loofah, some grapefruit and pomegranate body …

The shower floor rises and hits me in the face.

Angel-man is immediately besides me.

‘This was a bad idea. Let’s go.’

‘No, please!’ I say. ‘I need to …to wash my …’

‘You’ve washed enough.’

‘Please!’ I do my best to stand up but my legs have turned to Jell-O. ‘Help … me … wash my hair. I need your help. Please!’

‘What? I … me? You want me to …?’ He sighs. ‘O … k …’

He washes my hair while I sit on the shower floor and will the ground to stop spinning.

His watch is getting wet and his clothes are getting soaked, but he doesn’t seem to mind. When the water runs clean, he dries me with the towel and helps me up.

Feeling fresher in spite of my fall, I’m thrilled to have rid myself of the awful stench and I don’t even care that he saw me semi-naked. He’s a doctor anyway. To him a vagina is probably like an earlobe or an elbow.

I hope.

‘Thanks,’ I say as he steers me back to my room.

No answer.

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Reviews for Captured – My Sworn Enemy, My Secret Lover 
“It is a story that will stay with me forever.”
“It’s not about war, it’s about forbidden love. Beautiful!”
“Eve Rabi has a tendency to go there and that’s what I like about this author. Her books are not for the faint hearted. It is a love story and a beautiful one at that.”
“…very very human, funny, touching, likeable, absorbing, heroic, and altogether fascinating.”
“As in Gringa this book has a bit of everything: action, adventure, humour, sad moments, and lots of HOT love scenes.”
“The love story of Megan and Reed will keep you hooked. Love their banter and how it develops into a deep, fobidden romance that must be kept secret.”
“This is also a raw, knife edge story with undertones of social comment about forbidden love, that will keep you turning the page to find out what happens next. Highly recommended”
“From the beginning I could already feel anguish, sadness, weariness,…and everything sounds terribly terrific…I love it!!!”
“I couldnt put it down. Amazing. I love Eve Rabbi’s books.”
“Wonderful series and I can’t wait for more from Ms. Rabi!”
“Wonderful writing and gripping story telling Ms. Rabi you are
a blessing to us who like our books raw and life like.”

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