It’s Mid Week Tease time again, hosted by the fantabulous Sandra Bunino! Thanks Sandra! Do you like sci-fi? How about two sexy heroes and a hilarious incident with a knitting needle? If so, you’ll like my contribution, a little teaser from Joyful Devastation:
“Aauuugghhh!” Theo jerked upright from his favorite chair as white-hot pain howled through his groin.
“Theo? What happened? Are you okay?” his sister Ella asked, coming into the living room from the kitchen. She was wiping her hands on her favorite dishtowel, the one Theo hated. The faded dancing gnomes reminded him of evil leprechauns.
“Oh God, I think my balls are perforated,” he gasped out, standing awkwardly and glaring at the gnomes. They stared back at him malevolently. He couldn’t tell what had bit him, but it hurt like a motherfucker and he was afraid to move. He was afraid to look. Instead, he cupped his hands over his balls awkwardly in front of his sister. And Ella, damn her, could barely keep a straight face. He scowled, hoping irritation would hide the tears he couldn’t quite hold back.
“Hang on. Let me see,” Ella said, throwing the towel over her shoulder. She crouched down and turned him slightly, peering at his junk from behind, then began to giggle.
“How can you laugh?” Theo demanded through gritted teeth.
“Your family jewels are safe, not that you’re using them for anything these days,” his sister retorted.
“That’s not very—” he began to complain when she moved slightly and another searing pain shot through him, cutting off his ability to speak for a moment. He gasped and bent over, hands tightening on his junk protectively. “What the hell did you just do?” he finally managed to choke out.
She brandished her daughter’s favorite purple knitting needle in front of him. The tip was bright red. Jesus, that’s my blood, he thought faintly.
“Looks like you landed on Ivy’s latest creation. She was making you a hat, for when you’re out on stakeouts,” Ella said, still smiling. “And your balls are fine. If you’d let go of them for a moment, you’d be able to see for yourself. It was in your thigh.”
Theo took a deep breath. Dammit. It hurt like crazy, worse even than the time that crazy druggie had shot him in the arm. All he wanted to do was go to sleep after a long night on shift, but he’d promised to stay awake so he could see his niece’s science project. He’d figured he could catch a quick nap in his favorite chair while he waited to see her volcano or poster or whatever, and bam!
This is what I get for being nice, he thought disgustedly. Something warm trickled down his leg beneath his jeans. “Shit. I’m bleeding.” He wasn’t sure if he should try to sit down again, or not move at all. He put his hand lower, trying to put pressure on it, but his sister shoved his fingers away.
“For God’s sake, here.” She pressed her dishtowel to his leg, right up against his balls.
He jumped back.
“You’re making a mess,” his sister said, moving in again.
“Oh my God, are you trying to kill me?” He moved away, grabbing the towel from her. “The thing probably punctured my femoral artery.”
“Oh please, if it had, you’d already be on the floor dying. Pull your pants down.” His sister reached for him, hands threatening.
“What? No! Get away from me.” He backed up, almost falling into the chair. “I’ll do it myself.” He turned around and unbuttoned his jeans, then eased them down.
His sister peered over his shoulder.
“Ella! Get away, Jesus.” His boxer-briefs were bloody.
“You’re packing some serious raw meat down there, brother,” his sister said, laughing.
“Dear God, you have no shame.” He shoved her favorite towel against the puncture wound in his inner thigh, then glared at his sister. “I’m bleeding all over your little gnomes. Serves you right for laughing at me.”
Her brown eyes twinkled at him. “That’s okay. I’ve got more gnomes than you ever had.”
He rolled his eyes. “I think it needs stitches.”
Ella’s smile slipped away. Finally, she’s taking this seriously, Theo thought, aggravated.
“You should probably get a tetanus booster, too,” she said, sighing. “Let me grab my bag. I’ll drop you off at the ER on the way to work.”
Theo eased his jeans back over the wound, using the denim to keep the towel jammed up against the hole. “I can drive. I made it through cop school and everything, all by myself, remember?”
She snorted as she shoved her feet into her tennis shoes. “And what if you pass out on the way, big brother?”
“I’ve never passed out a day in my life!” he said, gesturing indignantly. The motion made his wound throb and he grimaced.
“Uh huh,” his sister said, eyeing him sharply. “Better to be safe than sorry.” She grabbed her purse. “Okay, let’s go.” She opened the door of the house they’d shared since her husband died five years ago. Theo had originally moved in to help her with Ivy and then ended up staying. The house had belonged to their parents, so it was partly his, anyway. He’d been happy she had somewhere nice to live, and he liked being close to the only family he had left. Well, the only family besides his exasperating work partner, Gideon.
“I’ll call Gideon on the way. He can drive me back home,” Theo said as he hobbled to the car. His partner was also his best friend, and he considered him family, too. Gideon had been in foster-care since he was a baby, so when they’d met Theo and Ella had adopted him. Sometimes Gideon seemed sad about never knowing his parents, but everyone knew shit happened and there wasn’t anything you could do about it. Ditto with Tom, Ella’s husband.
“Didn’t he work all night with you?” Ella asked.
Theo shrugged. “He can suck it up. I’ve been stabbed. Sleep is overrated.”
Ella snorted as she watched him open the car door. “You’re not a very nice friend.”
“Gideon would be mad if I didn’t call him.”
“Fine, whatever,” she sighed. “Sounds like a plan.” She waited for him to groan his way into the passenger seat. She shut the door and walked over to the driver’s side. “You know, this may be the first time you’ve ever let me drive you anywhere.” She started the car.
He made a face at her. “Because your driving stresses me out.” The damn seatbelt made the hole in his leg hurt even more.
She gave him a sour look and stomped on the gas, speeding through their sleepy neighborhood like the hounds of hell were on her tail.
“Ella! Jesus, ease up before you give me a heart attack to go with the hole in my leg.” Theo gripped the dashboard, white-knuckled.
She slowed down marginally. “Don’t be such a baby.”
“This is a twenty-five mile an hour zone,” he muttered, beginning to pray. The way she was driving, he might not make it to the hospital.
“What are you going to do, give me a ticket, Mr. Off-Duty Cop?” she asked, making a face at him.
“No, but I may start crying soon,” he replied, hanging on for dear life. “Will you calm down so I can call Gideon? Right now I’m afraid to let go of the dash. The power of my fear is the only thing keeping us from crashing.”
She sighed, long and loud. “Fine.” The car slowed drastically. “But when you bleed out before we get to the ER, don’t blame me.”
“I’m not going to bleed out. It’s just a little puncture wound, remember? You’re the one who was making fun of me earlier,” he said, swiping the screen on his phone. When he heard the other end of the line start ringing, he brought it to his ear.
“Yeah?” Gideon answered. “I’m in the middle of my yoga routine. This better be good, Theo.”
Yoga? Theo rolled his eyes. “I need you to pick me up from the ER.”
“The hospital? What the hell happened?”
Theo heard something crash over the phone and smiled grimly. At least someone cared about him. He threw his sister a triumphant look. She ignored him.
“Are you okay? I saw you forty-five minutes ago when we got off work, what could you possibly have done to yourself—”
Theo cut him off. “I sat on one of Ivy’s knitting needles and need to get the hole in my leg sewn together. Ella’s dropping me off, but I’ll need a ride home.”
There was silence on the other end for a moment, then Gideon laughed so loud Theo had to pull the phone away. His sister snickered.
“Gideon! Come on, it’s not that funny.” Theo glared at the little screen as if his best friend could see.
“It is that funny. Come on man, you sat on a knitting needle. Where did it bite you?” Gideon could barely keep his voice level.
Theo sighed. “On my upper thigh—”
Ella snatched the phone right out of his hand and started talking. “He almost stabbed his balls, Gideon. Oh my God, you should’ve seen his face!”
Theo grabbed the phone back. “Don’t listen to her. Just come and get me in an hour or so.” He thought about how long the waits were in the emergency room and reconsidered. “Better make that two hours.”
Gideon coughed, obviously hiding another laugh. “Okay, man. I’ll be there.”
Theo hung up without saying goodbye. “Are we there yet?” he asked, just to torture his sister. They were on the road to the hospital, but he knew they were at least ten minutes away. His sister tossed him a disgusted look. Theo gingerly touched the lump where he’d stuffed her favorite towel and winced. It was going to be a long afternoon.
Here are some other Mid Week Teasers for you!