Home > Mr. Perfect(8)

Mr. Perfect(8)
Author: Linda Howard

"The obvious," Jaine said. "A steady job."

Marci winced. "Ouch. That one hurt." Brick was currently sitting on his butt instead of working.

"A steady job is part of being dependable," T.J. pointed out. "And I agree, it's important. Holding down a steady job shows maturity and a sense of responsibility."

"Steady job," Marci said as she wrote.

"He should have a sense of humor," Luna said. "Something more than an appreciation for The Three Stooges?" Jaine asked.

They began snickering. "What is it with men and The Three Stooges?" T.J. asked, rolling her eyes. "And bodily function jokes! Put that at number one, Marci – no toilet jokes!"

"Number five: Sense of humor." Marci chuckled as she wrote. "In the interest of fairness, I don't think we can dictate what form the humor takes."

"Sure we can," Jaine corrected. "He's going to be our sex slave, remember?"

"Number six." Marci called them to order by tapping her pen on the rim of her glass. "Let's get back to business, ladies. What's number six?"

They all looked at each other and shrugged. "Money's nice," T.J. finally offered. "It isn't a requirement, not in real life, but this is fantasy, right? The perfect man should have money."

"Filthy rich or comfortable?"

That called for more thought.

"I like filthy rich, myself," Marci said.

"But he would want to call all the shots if he was filthy rich. He'd be used to it."

"No way is that going to happen. Okay, money is nice, but not too much money. Comfortable. Mr. Perfect is financially comfortable."

Four hands went up, and "Money" was written in beside the number six.

"Since this is fantasy," Jaine said, "he should be good- looking. Not drop-dead gorgeous, because that could be a problem. Luna's the only one of us pretty enough to hold her own with a handsome guy."

"I'm not doing so good at it, am I?" Luna replied with a tinge of bitterness. "But, yeah, for Mr. Perfect to be perfect, you should enjoy looking at him."

"Hear, hear. Number seven is: Good to look at." When she had finished writing, Marci looked up with a grin. "I'm going to be the one to say what we've all been thinking. He should be great in bed. Not just good; he should be great. He should be able to make my toes curl and my eyes roll back in my head. He should have the stamina of a Kentucky Derby winner and the enthusiasm of a sixteen- year-old."

They were still rolling with laughter when the waiter plunked their orders down on the table. "What's so funny?" he asked.

"You wouldn't understand," T.J. managed to gasp. "I get it," he said wisely. "You're talking about men."

"Nope, we're talking science fiction," Jaine said, which sent them off again. The people at the other tables were staring at them again, trying to overhear what was so funny.

The waiter left. Marci leaned over the table. "And while I'm at it, I want my Mr. Perfect to have a ten-incher!"

"Oh, my!" T.J. pretended to swoon, fanning herself. "What I couldn't do with ten inches – or rather, what I could do with ten inches!"

Jaine was laughing so hard she had to hold her sides. Keeping her voice down was an effort, and her words shook with hilarity. "C'mon! Anything over eight inches is strictly for show-and-tell. It's there, but you can't use it. It might look good in a locker room, but let's face it – those extra two inches are leftovers."

"Leftovers," Luna gasped, holding her stomach and shrieking with laughter. "Let's hear it for l-leftovers!"

"Oh, boy." Marci wiped her eyes as she scribbled rapidly. "Now we're cooking. What else does Mr. Perfect have?" T.J. weakly waved her hand. "Me," she offered between giggles. "He can have me."

"If we don't trample you getting to him," Jaine said, and raised her glass. The other three lifted theirs, and they touched rims with ringing clinks. "To Mr. Perfect, wherever he is!"


Saturday morning dawned bright and early – way too bright, and way the hell too early. BooBoo woke Jaine at six A.M. by yowling in her ear. "Go away," she mumbled, pulling the pillow over her head.

BooBoo yowled again, and batted the pillow. She got the message: either get up, or he was going to unsheathe his claws. She pushed the pillow aside and sat up, glaring at him. "You're evil, y'know that? You couldn't do this yesterday morning, could you? No, you have to wait until my day off, when I don't have to get up early." He looked unimpressed with her outrage. That was the thing about cats; even the scruffiest one was convinced of its innate superiority. She scratched him behind his ears and a low rumble shivered through his entire body. His slanted yellow eyes closed in bliss. "You just wait," she told him. "I'm going to get you addicted to this scratching stuff, then I'm going to stop doing it. You're going to go cold turkey, pal."

He jumped down from the bed and padded to the open bedroom door, pausing to look back as if checking to make certain she was getting up. Jaine yawned and threw back the covers. At least she hadn't been disturbed by her neighbor's noisy car during the night, plus she had pulled down the window shade to keep out the morning light, so she had slept soundly until BooBoo's wake-up call. She raised the shade and peeked through the sheer curtains at the driveway running beside hers. The battered brown Pontiac was there. That meant she had either been exhausted and slept like the dead, or he'd gotten a new muffler on the thing. She thought the exhausted-and-dead part was more likely than him getting a new muffler. BooBoo evidently thought she was wasting time, because he gave a warning meow. Sighing, she pushed her hair out of her face and stumbled to the kitchen – stumbled being the operative word, because BooBoo helped her along by winding around her ankles as she walked. She desperately needed coffee, but knew from experience that BooBoo wouldn't leave her alone until he was fed. She opened a can of food, dumped it on a saucer, and set it on the floor. While he was occupied, she put on a pot of coffee, then headed for the shower.

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