I spent a couple hours today doing something that required no work and was totally fun–a local movie theater is running older movies for week-long stints this summer, and this week is one of my all-time favorites, The Princess Bride, and a wonderful little birthday gift to myself (even better, because I had a certificate, my friend and I spent less than $3 between us for our tickets and snacks!) in the middle of the month.
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I’m dating myself, but I don’t care. I remember seeing this in the theater when it was first released, and I loved it. It is one of those movies now that my kids and husband hate to watch with me, because I recite lines along with the movie. Which is why I went with a friend today. Haha! We recited lines together, along with other moviegoers in the theater. I have the movie-release paperback in my book room, with Buttercup and Westley on the cover, and it’s been well-read, so the spine is very creased, and the covers battered. But it is a feel-good movie, and I will never not watch it given the opportunity. It ticks all the boxes, just like for the little boy in the movie: adventure, sports, revenge, humor, and romance. My husband actually got me this shirt a few years ago…
( Photo by capsun on Foter.com / CC BY-ND ) I still love it (and wear it). I may even go back to the theater mid-week to see it one more time on the big screen. Hey, one of my co-workers has never seen it, so someone has to take her, right?
The day-job is still so insane, I don’t want to think about it till tomorrow morning when I get there, so I’ll delay it a little longer with a story excerpt for you, from the second Medusa manuscript.
She watched him sit, her fingers curling into her palms to keep from reaching out for him. Ryder was temporary. She couldn’t have anything permanent. Clearing her throat, she forced her gaze away from him, sliding it around the room. His office had a second door, and she moved toward it.
It opened into an office almost exactly the same as Ryder’s though not on a corner.
“That’s Danny’s office. The door on the other side of his opens into Joel’s office, and his is another corner room,” Ryder said from behind her.
She nodded, closing the door again. “Why doesn’t Danny have a corner office?”
He grinned when she turned around. “He’s afraid of heights. Getting him to take any of the outside wall offices was a real battle.”
She smiled reluctantly. “Why not let him have an office without windows?”
“He’s a partner, he’s got to have a big office.”
She shook her head. “Men are so dumb sometimes,” she muttered, sliding her fingers over the empty shelf of the bookcase in his corner.
“I heard that.”
She didn’t reply, her mind turning possibilities. She sat in one of the two chairs facing his desk and crossed one leg over the other. “Nice place.”
“I think we’ve established that.” He rested his forearms on the edge of the desk. “Are you coming up with ideas?”
She nodded. “Yes. I’ll have to think about it for a while, though. And you’ll have to let me know what kind of style you prefer, what sort of info you want on the site.”
Ryder’s dark eyes studied her for a few moments. “Okay. Have you seen enough?”
“Yes.” She pushed to her feet, pausing when she felt a low twist in her gut suddenly, and all the fine hairs at her nape stood on end.
Someone was out there watching her.
She shifted her gaze to the two walls of windows, her heart beating up into her throat.
She shook her head. “I’m probably being stupid, but I feel like someone’s watching me.” A dangerous someone.
Ryder rose in a flash, his sharpened gaze shifting from one nearby building to another. There were far too many windows. “I don’t see anyone.”
Neither did she. But that didn’t mean there wasn’t a Harvester out there watching her. Waiting.
“Let’s go.” He moved around the desk, taking her arm as they left his office.
Philomena’s breath wanted to come faster, and she had to force herself to breathe slowly, evenly.
Downstairs, they paused at the security desk just long enough for Ryder to murmur something to the security guard, and then they hit the sidewalk, walking quickly.
“If I tell you to run, can you find your way back to the truck?” he asked, his gaze darting all around them.
She tried to think. “Maybe.” Gods, how could they have found her?
He pressed a key into her hand. “Good. If I tell you to run, you go. Get back to the cabin and I’ll meet you there.”
“What about you?” She felt an irrational urge to run now. To get as far from here as she could.
“I’ll get there. But if I have to stay behind to deal with anything, I don’t want you to wait around for me.” His fingers tightened on her arm. “Your first priority is to get to safety.”
They were within sight of the truck when he swore under his breath. “We need to move, baby.” He started to run, and she picked up her own pace, her boots thumping faster on the sidewalk.
From behind them, she heard people shouting, “Hey, watch where you’re going, buddy!” and “Yo, asshole, that was my foot!”
A Harvester. And apparently, he didn’t care that they were on the street in a very big city with a large audience.
Philomena sucked in a quick breath and ignored the stitch in her side, moving faster when Ryder did. He unlocked the truck with his remote and pushed her in through the driver’s door.
“Get down.” He slid into his seat, almost on her heels, and started the truck.
She wedged herself into the space between the seat and the dashboard, closing her eyes for a second. Gods, please don’t let me die.
Ryder stomped on the gas pedal, whipping out into traffic to the sound of honking horns. He drove too quickly along the street, and she saw his mouth tighten when he glanced in the rearview mirror. “Son of a bitch,” he muttered, pressing harder on the accelerator.
Philomena closed her eyes again. She so wanted to see Jason one more time. Her chest ached.
She opened her eyes to see him with his cell to his ear.
“I need a rental car waiting for me when we get back….No, I don’t care what kind….Thanks.” He tossed the phone onto the seat.
“How did he find me?”
“Lucky timing for him, I think.”
“What do you mean?”
“Kallan told me there are usually one or two Harvesters in the big cities along the east coast. I figured Philly is big enough we wouldn’t run into one or two people. My mistake.” His jaw tightened. “I’m sorry, baby.”
“What are you, psychic?” She shook her head. “Just drive, Ryder. I don’t want to die today.”
“I won’t let you.” He flashed her a cocky grin and whipped the truck around a sharp corner, and the tires squealed this time.
Philomena put her head down on her knees, hoping his assurance this time was justifiable.
He sped around a few more turns, still muttering curses under his breath, then she felt the truck gain a lot more speed. Highway.
She lifted her head far enough to see the close-set buildings dropping away as he merged onto the interstate. “How many red lights did you run back there?”
“Just a couple.” Strain bracketed his eyes even though he smiled again for her.
She put her head back down. “If I die today, make sure Jason knows I love him.”
“You’re not dying, Mena, today or any other day for a long, long time,” he snapped. “Bastard.”
Under her, the truck vibrated as it picked up more speed. “Promise me anyway.”
“Fine. But you can tell him yourself tonight.”
She smiled into her lap and took a deep breath. “Just drive, would you?”
His short laugh made her relax a tiny bit.
Until something pinged off the roof of the truck.
“Son of a bitch,” Ryder growled, accelerating still faster.
She tightened her arms around her knees. “Is he shooting at us?”
“Keep your head down.”
She stifled a cry when something hit the back window, and she heard glass cracking. She pressed her face harder against her legs.
Ryder whipped the car into another lane, speeding up again so the engine rumbled louder.
Philomena shut her eyes and prayed to all the Gods.
No kissing parts in this one (which would make the little boy in The Princess Bride happy), but there are plenty in this story, just like there were in Hunting Medusa. I’m off to do a little reading before bedtime, but maybe some birthday cake for the week. And I’d love to know what are some of your will-always-watch movies.
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