Read Courted by Karma (The Adventures of Anabel Axelrod) Online
Authors: Tracy Ellen
Courted by Karma
The Adventures of Anabel Axelrod
Courted by Karma by Tracy Ellen
© 2013 by Tracy Ellen
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This second book is for all the wonderful women I’ve been fortunate enough to have in my life. Thank you for your friendships and love.
Special Thanks to the
Amber Leigh Gleisner
Dear Number Four Granddaughter,
I read your email first after retu
rning to civilization in Egypt. (There were 24 in my inbox.) Good Lord, Miss Agnes; what a weekend you had! I’m very proud of you, although defending yourself and others comes as no surprise to me. Were you born a man, Anabel, your testicles would be enormous. Feel free to ask Charles Barkley to open the safe in my condo—you’ll know why.
with Anna and Bob Crookston earlier. What a sad state of affairs. This is a prime example of why we should never underestimate the inherent dangers of mental complacency. When reading our history, it’s easy to see this lazy condition is nearly as evil as the unchecked wickedness it allows to flourish. Aunt Lily was a known quantity and therefore not a dangerous stranger to us. The wrongness of her escalating bad behavior was shrugged off with indifference. We’re blessed with instincts for a reason, dearest, do you not agree? We need to always listen and use them. Perhaps undiagnosed Alzheimer’s or some other degenerative disease may help explain Lily’s extreme behavior?
excited about the purportedly amazing man she is considering for partnership. I’m interested what your thoughts are concerning this James Byrd. Your description of Luke brings to mind your grandfather. He, too, was quite boisterously athletic. My plane is called. Happy Thanksgiving, enjoy your visit with Layla, and my love to all.
Auf Wiederesehen, Schnucki!
Should I Stay Or Should I Go Now” by The Clash
Tuesday, (technically Wednesday morning) 11/21/12
We were going in dark again. For the second time in
only a few days, I find myself bouncing and swaying in the front seat as we slowly blunder down the deeply rutted, but snowplowed lane towards Luke Drake’s farm. My laughter at the rough ride is entirely due to the terrible conditions of the long driveway and has absolutely nothing to do with the vodka shots I practiced tossing back all evening at our impromptu little soiree at Bel’s Books. Anna’s stash bottle of whipped cream-flavored vodka was so tasty and went down so easily; I could have been squirting a can of Ready-Whip directly into my mouth. Since I have been known to do this upon occasion and I never did have any dinner tonight; I am licking the red lip gloss off my mouth just thinking about one of those cold cans of creamy delight.
The next jolt of the road jolted my brain, too.
I felt a little shocked when I realized that I’m acting like a regular girl again.
Holy crapola, I’m probably performing another classic move!’
Jaz and Tre would
be so proud of me and they’d probably have a proper title for this move, too. Not that I’ll ever know what that title would be since they’ll never know about tonight. I’m making an executive decision here. In honor of whipped cream, I’m calling my plan “His Turn with a Cherry on the Top”.
Leaning forward and bracing against the dash, I forgot my growling stomach and laughed maniacally in
was in total accord with that playful sex kitten voice purring in my head,
‘This is going to be so much fun!’
My name is Anabel Katrina Axelrod
, and I am many things. Some are good, some are not so good, and some are downright warped. But one thing I am not is a welsher. Once given, my word is gold.
When my alcohol
-drenched brain comprehended Luke’s text message ordering me to open the envelope, I took a fortifying sip from the vodka bottle sitting on the floor next to my bed. I sedately obeyed his command like the mature, sensible woman of twenty-eight that I am. Being an enthusiast of horology, I reckon that description of my behavior lasted for less than a Planck length of time. Then I was drunkenly diving for Luke’s card buried deep in my dresser’s lingerie drawer. Panties and thongs of all shapes and colors went flying through the air. It was raining silk and satin confetti while I dug like a crazed badger.
was humming and singing an old Beatles tune about the USSR that suddenly popped into my head. The annoyingly loud doorbell continued ringing nonstop in accompaniment.
I’ve got you now, you taunting little bastard!
lutching the sealed envelope tightly, I went careening off down the pitch black hallway towards the foyer to see who was trying to drive me crazy at midnight.
Blast it all, I don’t have time for doorbells,” I complained out loud, “I have a sex fantasy to read!”
Away from the spill of light from my open bedroom door,
I was moving fast despite being unable to see two feet in front of me. I slit open the card and tore off the envelope. The sharp burst of pain from the paper cut on my forefinger, and then bouncing hard off the wall, didn’t even register in my nervous excitement to read Mr. Secretive’s sexual fantasy instructions.
Feeling up the note inside, I could tell it
was constructed of sturdy paper stock, the size and shape of a business card. From practice of long habit, I patted along the wall for the light switch near the bathroom. In my mad dash, I stubbed my big toe against something hard and solid. It was the leg of a table that I could have sworn wasn’t in that spot when I went to my room earlier tonight.
This pain registered
Moaning in tune with the throbbing
of my big toe and the words “Back in the US, back in the US, back in the USSR!” still playing a relentless refrain in my trashed subconscious, I kept heading towards the intercom. The long and short bursts of the shrilling, buzzing doorbell was loudest here and overrode my shouting curses of stinging pain.
I delivered a bulls-eye smack with my open left palm to the round dimmer switch for the overhead chandelier in the foyer. I ran past the stairwell on my right. In a move that only proves I should never be trusted to have a lick of booze again, I pressed the lock release for both the front door to the building and my apartment without even a glance in the view screen.
and swaying unsteadily on my feet, I held the card against my chest for one last savoring, titillating second before I pulled it away to read His Turn. Under the twinkling lights of the foyer chandelier, I looked blankly at the card. Slightly cross-eyed and definitely fuzzy-brained, I saw only incomprehensible red patterns of blood spatter smears. In horror, I squinted to decipher the writing under the bloody fingerprints from the dripping cut on my finger. Sucking on my wounded digit while turning the card in different angles under the light, I was vaguely aware of the sound of the steel door screeching open at the bottom of the stairs. It was still sticking a little.
—open the black gift bag.
low voice spoke in my head, as if he had commanded me in person.
back with fervent joy, “The day you have to tell me twice to open a present is the day I’ve reanimated as the walking dead!”
Laughing with relief and heart racing with exhilaration,
I twirled and ran back across the polished hardwood floor. For safety’s sake, I’d stashed the loud-mouthed gift bag in my closet on Sunday night after Luke had left. This was to avoid temptation. Not from me, but from my sisters and girlfriends. They could not be trusted with the mystery of an unopened gift bag, especially a big shiny one like this beauty. I couldn’t chance them descending on it like a pack of ravening beasts and tearing it to pieces. Before the bag was put away, I do confess to performing the expected female rituals. I shook the large present, weighed it carefully from hand to hand while listening for identifying sounds, and then felt it up like a horny teenage boy out with his first easy date. Whatever awaited my discovery in the bag was in a tall, rectangular box and impervious to my eager squeezing. It was sealed tight as a drum across the top and the two edges were perfectly aligned. I would have to cut this baby to get it opened.
was impressed. I adore surprises. This was the perfect surprise package.
my Dark Prince would believe this for a second, but I wouldn’t peek inside this gift bag without his permission for nothing. Trying to guess what was inside from the outside was simply my idea of a mental exercise to test my psychic abilities. I would never actually cheat.
open the walk-in closet door from the hallway, I remembered learning my hard lesson about anticipation, surprises, and cheating when I was nine. My little gang of cohorts and I went pathological on a Scooby-Doo kick the week before Christmas.
was Daphne, but bossed everyone like Thelma. Anna was Thelma, but giggled like Daphne. Reg played Shaggy. At age six, he didn’t do much but repeatedly say “Scooby Doo, where are you?” until we all begged, and then threatened him to be quiet. Trey J was Scooby Doo and Jazy was Scrappy-Doo. They both barked and growled nonstop at anything and everything, but mostly at Shaggy. He bawled in terror when they walled him and started snapping. I collared the dogs while Thelma cosseted the quivering Shaggy.
, we successfully detected every hiding place in the building while scaring the living crap out of ourselves in dark corners. We found every present that every person in the family was giving us before our traditional Christmas morning gift extravaganza. This thorough investigation included the opening of any wrapped gifts for us, and the precise rewrapping of the gifts after our careful forensic examination.
I can’t speak for the others, but
I was emotionally destroyed for weeks after that horrible Christmas morning when there wasn’t one surprise for me under the tree. Not even in my stocking. Never again have I purposely ruined a surprise by cheating.
up the black gift bag, I ran out into the hallway to go across to my office. I knew I’d have a pair of scissors there to cut this sweetheart open. I misjudged my turning radius. Banging so forcefully off the office door frame on the left side, I ricocheted and hit the right side.