Authors: Tawny Taylor
WET AND WILDE
An Ellora’s Cave Publication, March 2004
Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.
PO Box 787
Hudson, OH 44236-0787
ISBN MS Reader (LIT) ISBN # 1-84360-844-8
Other available formats (no ISBNs are assigned):
Adobe (PDF), Rocketbook (RB), Mobipocket (PRC) & HTML
WET AND WILDE © 2004 TAWNY TAYLOR
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This book may not be reproduced in whole or in part without permission.
This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places, events or locales is purely coincidental. They are productions of the authors’ imagination and used fictitiously.
Cover art by
Wet and Wilde
Another girl’s night—in hell.
If there was one thing Jane Wilde knew it was that she’d trade her left boob to avoid another pathetic Saturday night at Diana’s, swapping complaints about the slim pickin’s in the man department. In fact, she’d give up both boobs. Her stiff neck and shoulder muscles would thank her.
She sure didn’t want to be reminded of how pitiful her love life was at the moment.
Bucket of popcorn the size of a small bathtub in one hand, a glass of diet cola, since she was on a diet, in the other, she took her prescribed seat on the couch. “Please tell me we aren’t watching another vampire flick. I’m vamped out. And if I didn’t know better,” she paused to stab at her best friend and confidante, Diana, with a finger, “I’d swear your teeth have grown at least a quarter inch.”
“Nope. No vamps today.” Diana gave Jane a toothy grin and scooped up a handful of popcorn, leaving half of it trailing over Jane’s lap. “It’s mermaids!
“Oh God, spare me.” Jane slid deeper into the super-plush cushions of Diana’s sky-blue couch.
“It has Cher in it. How could it be that bad?” Carmen, Jane’s other best friend, asked as she rounded the corner from the kitchen, her expression chock-full of wide-eyed hope. “Have you seen it?”
movie.” Jane fought back the urge to roll her eyes skyward. “Although I wouldn’t want to see that one, either. This is the movie with that blonde—what’s her name?—walking naked around New York. It’s older than I am, and even lamer. The only good thing about it is Tom Hanks. Couldn’t you find something better?” She dumped half her cola down her throat, about ready to hit the harder stuff. If this night was going to be salvaged, she’d need something with a lot more kick, like tequila. “Why can’t we watch a movie that has nothing to do with mythological creatures, whether they live in dungeons or the sea?”
“Because those creatures are mysterious—sexy!” Diana waggled her eyebrows, her eyes the size of silver dollars, and punched her. “Have you ever considered the possibilities?”
“Possibilities?” Jane shook her head, ignoring Diana’s jab to her shoulder. “Not since I quit believing in the Easter Bunny.”
Diana gave her another nudge. “Scoot over and quit being such a grouch.”
Jane shot Diana an intentionally exaggerated look of admonishment and complied, giving her just enough room for her skinny ass to fit between the couch arm and Jane’s admittedly wider one. “Next week, I choose.”
Diana clucked her tongue and shook her head. “You know the rules, the hostess picks the movie. And next week it’s Carmen’s turn.”
Carmen nodded her head.
This time Jane didn’t bother stopping her eyes from rolling. “And Carmen calls you from the video store every time.”
“Well, if you answered your phone occasionally,” Carmen piped in, sounding a touch defensive, “I’d call you, too.”
“You both know why I don’t. That man won’t stop calling me, divorce or not. He’s such a control freak.”
“Maybe it’s time to change your number,” Diana offered.
Jane shot up from the couch. Yep, it was definitely time for that drink. She drained her glass on her way to the kitchen, leaving the other two women to their discussion about next week’s torture. No doubt it would be some sort of monster-mermaid-superman flick. If only she had something better to do!
She stooped down, rummaging through Diana’s eternally well-stocked refrigerator. The woman kept enough food in there for an army, and ate a truckload at every meal.
Jane hated her…kinda.
“Where’re the wine coolers?” she shouted.
“Carmen’s polishing off the last one,” Diana answered. “You want me to go to the store for more?”
Drag! No alcohol? A movie released before she had filled out her first bra, and nothing to sweeten the deal. Could this night be any worse? “No, that’s okay.” She refilled her glass with diet cola and headed back to the living room.
Both ladies smiled at her. Smiled like they’d just signed a pact with the devil. Like they’d just enlisted her in the army. Like they’d just promised her life in return for…something.
“We have an idea,” Diana stood and reached for Jane’s arm.
“Yeah, a really great idea.” Carmen reached for the other arm.
Sandwiched between two conniving women? That was one place she didn’t want to be. She tugged but quickly realized they weren’t going to let her go. “What kind of idea?” She really didn’t want to know.
Carmen giggled. “Since your birthday’s coming up—”
“It was last month,” Jane interrupted.
“Even better!” Diana released her arm and gave her shoulders a sound shove, knocking her backward onto the couch. “Sit. Shut up. And listen. This is for your own good.”
Diana could sure be one bossy bitch! It almost pissed Jane off the way Diana was literally pushing her around. She prepared to deliver a choice word or two, but reminded herself of the past six months.
Yep, after holding Jane up for six months, the least her well-meaning friend had earned was a license to shove.
Jane glanced at Carmen, and Carmen gave her a reassuring smile.
“Okay,” she said on a sigh. “What’s this great idea?”
“For your birthday, we’d like to give you a wish. A makeover. New clothes, new attitude on life. What do you say?”
“New attitude? What’s wrong with the one I have?” She wasn’t sure she liked what their grand scheme implied. Was she that pitiable? Were her clothes that outdated?
“Nothing, really.” Carmen sat on the coffee table. “But we just thought you could use—” She shrugged. “Something to make you feel better, now that— Well, you know.”
Did they have to keep mentioning that? “I’m fine—outside of my phone ringing off the damn hook, and the two people I call my best friends bull-dogging me into something I don’t want to do.”
Diana sat on the table and shoved Carmen aside. “You’re making her feel worse. Let me try.” Diana sighed. “Listen, sweetie. Everyone who goes through a change in life—good or bad—has to adjust. That goes for you, too. And to ease that adjustment, it’s good to do something positive, for yourself.”
“Like get surgery to make myself look like Pamela Anderson?” Jane asked, fighting a smile.
“Sure!” Carmen nodded her head.
“Seriously.” Diana gave Jane a swift smack on the thigh—
! “Get with the program here. Isn’t there anything you have wanted to do for yourself? Something that’s been nagging at you for a long, long time?”
“I’ve wanted to get plastic surgery,” Carmen interjected. “I’d love to look like Pamela—at least from the neck to about here.” She motioned just below her very flat boobs.
Diana smiled. “Okay, sweetie.” She gave Carmen’s shoulder a squeeze. “We’ll get you that surgery when your birthday comes.”
Carmen grinned, her pink-tinged face getting even redder, clashing with her carrot-hued hair. “You will! Gosh, that’s mighty nice of you!”
Jane watched Carmen, all aglow, and thought about the possibilities. Okay, the idea of having a wish was kind of cool. Something for herself? Something that would make her feel better? Then, the idea struck her. “I’ve always wanted to learn how to swim.”
In an instant, memories of sultry days on the beach with her brothers and sisters came to mind. Days when they enjoyed the fresh coolness of the sea while she sat frozen by fear at the shore, willing herself to take a leap into that terrifying, roiling mass. She couldn’t remember exactly when that fear had surfaced, vaguely recalled nearly drowning as a young child. But she sure would like to shake it now.
Diana’s smile couldn’t get any bigger than it was, and dread slipped down Jane’s spine.
“Perfect,” Diana said, slapping her hands on her thighs. “I know the perfect person to teach you, too. I mean I don’t
him personally, but I know of him. He’s a world-class swimmer and to-die-for to boot.”
“No way.” Jane shot to her feet. She was at least twenty pounds overweight, and the Slim Fast shakes weren’t doing a bit of good. God, she looked terrible in a swimsuit! Jiggly thighs, an ass that made J-Lo’s look tiny…
Diana stopped her before she was completely on her feet and knocked her back on her ass. “You’re not backing out. Not a chance. I’m calling. I’m scheduling your class. And I’m taking you, and there isn’t a damn thing you can do about it.”
Except not show up
“And don’t think you can hide from me.” Diana finished, as if she could read Jane’s mind. “I will find you, and you will go. If it makes you feel any better, I’ll take the class with you.”
“Great. So, when I drown, I can take you down with me.” Jane crossed her arms over her chest. Granted, Diana had been a lifesaver—literally—recently, but that didn’t give her the right to force her to do anything. Last time Jane checked she was over eighteen—by a few years.
Besides, the idea of standing mostly unclothed next to emaciated Diana was enough to make her vomit.
“It’ll be worth it,” Diana said, shoveling a mouthful of popcorn into her mouth. She chewed and swallowed then washed it down with a swig of her calorie-laden Kahlua concoction. “We’ll celebrate by going on a cruise. Anywhere in the world you want to go. My treat.”
“Did I miss something? Did you get a promotion?” Since when did Diana have that kind of money to burn? A cruise? Wow, Jane had watched commercials, read catalogues, dreamed of going on a ship ever since she’d religiously watched Love Boat as a kid. “Anywhere in the world?”
She’d always wondered if the Caribbean was really as beautiful as the pictures. She’d booked a cruise for herself, once. When she’d frozen at the dock, stopped cold in terror, and refused to go on board, the ship went out to sea without her.
Diana shrugged her shoulders in dismissal. “I guess we’ll just have to go without you, then.”
Go without me!
That day had left one lasting impression. She’d never be left behind again.
“Okay. I’ll do it.”
Her reluctant acquiescence was greeting by a loud round of whoops and hollers, and more than a few high-fives.
When the roar died down, four words struck her mind and turned her stomach, “Great!” Diana announced with a flourish. “I knew you’d say that. Classes start tomorrow.”
Interesting things happen at the bottom of swimming pools.
“Where is the rest of your bathing suit?” Jane stared gape-mouthed at Diana. Three triangular patches covered her tits and pussy.
“What?” Diana spun around.
Okay—there were four, one that didn’t come close to covering her ass. “That thing is obscene! This is a family center, you know. You can’t go out there looking like that.”
“This is fine. You need to loosen up.” Diana tugged on Jane’s shoulder strap. “You’re wearing too much material. That thing’ll drag you to the bottom of the pool for sure. You might as well be wearing a ball gown.”
“Well, at least no one will see what I haven’t trimmed today.”
Diana slammed her locker shut. “I’m shaved clean as a baby’s ass. No problem there.”