'Scuse Me While I Kill This Guy

BOOK: 'Scuse Me While I Kill This Guy
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Table of Contents
 
 
A KILLER DATE
“Okay, we want details!”
I sighed. “His name is Diego. He’s Australian. I met him at the bookstore.”
“Ooooh! A man with an accent!” Liv squealed.
My brother rolled his eyes. “And?”
“Well, he’s gorgeous as all get out in that tall-dark-handsome kind of way. He’s very funny and smart and likes kids. Happy?”
“What does he do for a living?” Dak asked.
And there it was. The little thing I didn’t want to tell them. Why? Because there was a teensy, weensy chance that there could be, in the way distant future, a slight conflict of interest there.
“He’s a bodyguard.” I couldn’t lie to them. “But I’m sure it won’t be a problem,” I rushed to add.
“A what? Gin! Are you crazy?” Dak yelled. “Won’t be a problem! He just happens to be a bodyguard in a small city where my immediate family of assassins lives!”
But really, how could that be a problem?
To Tom, my hero

Thank you for making this possible
.
To Mom—
Thank you for making me possible.
A LEISURE BOOK
®
August 2007
 
Dorchester Publishing Co., Inc.
200 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016
 
If you purchased this book without a cover you should be aware that this book is stolen property. It was reported as “unsold and destroyed” to the publisher and neither the author nor the publisher has received any payment for this “stripped book.”
 
Copyright © 2007 by Leslie Thompson
 
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the written permission of the publisher, except where permitted by law.
 
ISBN-10: 1-4285-0411-7 ISBN-13: 978-0-8439-5933-8
 
The name “Leisure Books” and the stylized “L” with design are trademarks of Dorchester Publishing Co., Inc.
 
Printed in the United States of America.
Visit us on the web at
www.dorchesternub.com
.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
I have to thank my children, Margaret and Jack, for respecting my writing time (not an easy thing for an 8- and 6-year-old to do). A huge thanks to Jodi and Natalie, who kicked me in the ass and got me started. And I can’t forget my critique group: Elizabeth, Kim, Susan, Stephanie, Theresa, Jan, Tom, Howard, Jane, Ellen, Gina. And I have to send props to my RWA friends from Phoenix—the RomBabes, as well as Misti and Jen from Ohio and of course, Fredericka from Chicago. Thank you to Leah, my editor, who took a chance on me, and a HUGE shout out to the Scoobies—you know who you are! Thank you to Lori, Beth and Pam for keeping me sane every other Wednesday and to the girls of Brownie Troop #360—you are my inspiration. And last but by no means least, thanks to my cousin Wendy—who totally gets this family thing. You can’t pick your family, but I’d pick her.
PRAISE FOR LESLIE LANGTRY AND
‘SCUSE ME WHILE I KILL THIS GUY
!
“With an irreverent, tell-it-like-it-is, suburban-mom-assassin narrator, Leslie Langtry’s
’Scuse Me While I Kill This Guy
delivers wild and wicked fun.”
 
—Julie Kenner,
USA Today
Bestselling Author of
California Demon
 
“Leslie Langtry has penned a cleverly fresh and glib mystery with just the right touch of romance in ‘
Scuse Me While I Kill This Guy....
It kept me totally entertained first page to last.”
—Tanzey Cutter, Fresh Fiction
CHAPTER ONE
“On a large enough time line, the survival rate for everyone will drop to zero.”

Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club
 
 
No one really liked family reunions. I got that. But when I listen to people complain about it ’round the water cooler, I couldn’t help rolling my eyes. I mean really, try it when you come from a family of assassins. Kind of gave “avoiding Aunt Jean’s potato salad” a whole new meaning.
That’s right. Family of assassins. I came from a line of murderers dating back to ancient Greece. Mafia? Puhleeeese. Ninjas ? Amateurs. Illuminati? How pedestrian. My ancestors had invented the garrote, the ice pick, and arsenic. And Grandma Mary insisted that the wheel had actually been devised as a portable skull crusher. I’d tell you the names of some of our famous victims throughout history, but I’d had to sign a confidentiality clause in my own blood when I was five. So you’d just have to take my word for it.
I turned the engraved invitation over in my hands and sighed. I hated these things. We only held them once every five years, but for some reason, this time, the reunion was only a year after the last one. That meant someone in the family had been naughty. That meant one of my relatives was going to die.
As I stroked the creamy vellum paper, for a brief moment I thought about sending my regrets. But only for a moment. After all, it wasn’t an option on the R.S.V.P. card. Unlike most family reunions with sack races, bad weather and crappy T-shirts, where to refuse to go only meant you weren’t in the ridiculous all-family photo, to turn down this invitation was death. That’s right. Death. Any blooded member of the family who didn’t show was terminated.
Now, where had I put that goddamned pen? I rattled through the “everything” drawer, looking for the onyx pen with the family crest engraved in gold on the side. It may sound pretty callous to throw a centuries-old family heirloom in with tampons, fishing hooks, batteries, and ten-year-old packs of gum, but I didn’t exactly have the usual family sense o’ pride.
I found the pen behind some broken cassette tapes and dusted it off. The coat of arms practically glowed on the cold black surface. Crossed sabers entwined with an asp were topped off with a vial of poison. Lovely. Really sent that warm homemade-chicken-soup kind of feeling. And don’t forget the family motto, carved in Greek on the side, which translates as,
Kill with no mercy, love with suspicion
. Not exactly embroider-on-the-pillow material.
The phone rang, causing me to jump. That’s right. I was a jumpy assassin.
“Ginny?” My mom’s voice betrayed her urgency.
“Hey, Mom. I got it,” I responded wearily. Carolina Bombay was always convinced I would someday skip the reunion.
“Don’t use that tone with me, Virginia.” Her voice was dead serious. “I just wanted to make sure.”
“Right. Like I’d miss this and run the risk of having my own mother hunt me down.” For some reason, this would be a joke in other families. But in mine, when you strayed, your own family literally hunted you down.
“You know it makes me nervous when you don’t call the day you get
the invitation
,” Mom said, whispering the words
the invitation
. It was a sacred thing, and to be honest, we were all more than a little terrified every time we received one. (Did you ever notice that the words
sacred
and
scared
differ only by switching two letters?)
“I’m sorry,” I continued lying to my mother. “I just popped the R.S.V.P. into the mailbox on the corner.” And I would too. No point in taking any chances with my mail carrier losing it. That would be a stupid way to die.
“Well, I’m calling your brother next. I swear, you kids do this just to torment me!” She hung up before I could say good-bye.
So, here I was, thirty-nine years old, single mother of a five-year-old daughter (widowed—by cancer, not by family) and still being treated like a child. Not that my childhood had been normal, by any means. You grew up pretty quick with the ritualistic blood oath at five and your first professional kill by fifteen.
To be fair, Mom had a right to be nervous. She had watched her older sister, also named Virginia, get hunted down by Uncle Lou when she failed to appear at the 1975 reunion. That really had to suck. I’d been named after her, which kind of jinxed me, I think.
In case you hadn’t noticed, my immediate family members were all named after U.S. states or cities (Lou was short for Louisiana, much to his dismay, and Grandma Mary was short for Maryland). It was a tradition that went back to our first ancestors, who thought it would be a cute idea to name their kids after locations, rather than actual names. My name was Virginia, but as a kid I went by Ginny. Of course, that had changed in college when everyone thought it was a real hoot to shorten my name to Gin. That’s right. Gin Bombay. Yuck it up. I dare you.
Bombay had been the last name of my family since the beginning. Women born into the family weren’t allowed to change their names when they got married. In fact, the husband had to agree to change his name to Bombay. You could guess what happened if they refused.
BOOK: 'Scuse Me While I Kill This Guy
11.6Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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