Yep, it's almost that time, my minions. Fifteen days to the release of He Belongs to Me. I must admit as the time draws nearer, the more anxious and frightened I'm becoming. I'm anxious because, I never really thought I would see this day and I'm frightened because allowing my work to be read is like allowing you into my mind.
Trust me, at times, it's not a very nice place...muhahahaha.
For those of you, who know me personally, "DON'T JUDGE ME!!" (lmao) Seriously, don't look at me any differently, okay? Gah, what does that really say about me?
Over the past few weeks I've been working with my editor to finalize the changes and have--as of today--gotten the final copy. Yes, the copy that you all will be reading on the 11th of April. It looks real good, if I do say so myself. (lol) And guess what, here's your first look!!!
An Excerpt, my minions!! Devour and enjoy, and then wait for more!!
Things to know before you read the excerpt:
PAP: Partially Android Personomale
FAP: Functioning Android Personomale
Excerpt from somewhere in the beginning to the middle of the novel:
“It’s simply adorable,” Phia’s mother, Baroness Varonda Zen, gushed while walking around Donté as if taking in a new piece of deco furniture. She stepped close to him, looked him in the eyes and continued, “Did you have them give it eyes that color? They’re astounding if I do say so myself.”
The other patrons in the restaurant were turned in their seats now, taking in the scene, and Phia felt her face flush. “Mother, stop it. He’s not a piece of meat.”
“I certainly beg to differ,” Varonda said, continuing her perusal. “It’s nothing short of aged Angus beef. And you know how hard that is to find these days. Have you broken him in yet?”
To Phia’s abject horror, her mother stepped even closer to Donté, reached a hand out, and grabbed for his genitals. “Mother,” she warned, standing from her seat. To her surprise, Donté grabbed the woman’s hand, stopping her grope-fest a mere inch from his groin.
“It is wonderful to meet you, Baroness Zen. Perhaps you should have a seat.” Donté released her hand and stepped back and to the side, away from her.
To say Phia was pleased would have merely scratched the surface of how she truly felt as she watched her mother’s flabbergasted face go from red to stroke red.
“What is this? How is it, he speaks without being prompted?”
“Mother, sit down,” Phia ordered again, with chagrin. She was proud of Donté. He not only stopped her mother in her tracks, he also did it in a respectful manner. Unfortunately, this could also pose a problem. FAPs and PAPs were not unruly. They spoke when spoken to and never talked back. They were submissive by creation. If it got out that Donté was willful, she’d have a lot of explaining to do.
Her mother moved begrudgingly to sit down, her eyes trained on Donté, who had taken the seat between them. “Sotophia, is something wrong with its wiring? Perhaps you should trade it in now, before your warranty expires.”
“I have wiring and a warranty?”
Phia shushed Donté, her attention focused on her mother. “There’s nothing wrong with him, Mother.”
The waiter came to take their orders and Phia asked, “Donté, do you know what you want?”
His tone was clipped, but Phia tried to pretend she didn’t notice. She couldn’t deal with him and her mother at the same time. If she placated him, her mother would ask questions. If she treated Donté as if he really were a machine she would have a lot of explaining to do later. “Well, do you want me to order for you?”
“Why are you asking it? Just order something. It’s not like he can digest it anyway. Jesus, Sotophia, we don’t have all night,” Varonda blustered, staring daggers at Donté.
“Mother, you wanted to meet him, so please stop behaving like a shrew.”
Her mother started to say something, but Donté interjected first, “I’ll have what you’re having, as long as it’s meat.”
Phia smiled, and leaned over to whisper in his ear. “No, you don’t have wiring or a warranty that matters.” She couldn’t explain why she needed to make sure he was fine. At the moment, it just seemed like the most important thing she’d ever had to do.
Phia ordered for herself and Donté, and then her mother ordered. She thought for a fraction of a second maybe the night could be salvaged. Unfortunately, the minute the waiter, a FAP—one could tell by the dead look in his eyes—left the table, her mother started up again.
“I gave you enough credits to purchase three of these things, but you had to go and purchase the most broken-down, decrepit one you could find. Haven’t I told you about bringing home stray dogs? Haven’t I warned you about that?” She pulled her c-pod from her purse.
“What are you doing? Who are you calling?”
“I should have known you wouldn’t handle a purchase of this magnitude properly. As usual, I’ll fix it for you.”
Varonda glared at Donté, and Phia deduced he must have seriously insulted her for her to be behaving in such a manner, not that it surprised her. Her mother had always been the uppity-prima donna-scowling-at-servants-banshee who got what she wanted when she wanted and had no problem throwing an outlandish fit when she didn’t get her way. So, no, her current rant didn’t surprise her at all.
Shaking off her thoughts as the waiter brought over two glasses of white wine and a glass of water, which Donté had ordered, she heard her mother say contemptuously, “Lorraine Lobush, I’m appalled you would sell such a broken down piece of…”
Phia sprang from her seat and snatched the c-pod from her mother. After disengaging the call, she turned to her mother. “I’ve had about enough of this. You wanted me to get one, so I did. I got Donté, and regardless of how you feel about him, he’s mine and I’m keeping him. I don’t need you interfering with anything involving him, Mother. Do you understand me?”
Varonda’s face flushed with incredulity as her thin lips slipped from a thin line to an ‘O’ shape and back again before she finally stated, “Sotophia, calm yourself. This thing is damaged.” She made a flippant dismissive motion in Donté direction. “You can’t see it because you’ve never owned one before, but I have and I know damaged when I see it.” She made a show of straightening out her lap-bib. “Had Elric behaved in this manner, I would’ve hauled his rump back to the nearest facility without a second thought.”
Phia clenched her fist, ground her molars, and willed herself to not blow a gasket.
Donté reached over, his large hand slipping over hers. He squeezed her hand in a show of camaraderie and smiled as he said, “Perhaps we should go home now.”
As Phia gazed back at him, she wanted to melt into a thick, creamy ooze at his feet. The anger she was feeling dissipated. She smiled at him, interlaced her fingers with his, lifted the palm of his hand to her mouth, and kissed it. “I’m fine, Donté. Thank you.” She kissed his palm again. “Thank you.”
“It’s quite alright,” he said. “However, I would prefer to eat at home. The company tonight is not desirable.”
“It tells you what to do?” her mother screeched. “This is blasphemy, and I won’t hear of it!”
Phia clenched his hand at her mother’s words and tried to maintain her calm. “Donté, could you please find the waiter and let him know I’ve changed my mind? I do want a salad before my entrée is brought out and another glass of wine as well.”
He looked at her for a long moment as if he knew she was trying to get rid of him, but he eventually stood, released her hand with reluctance, and started off in the direction they’d seen the waiter go in a few moments earlier. As he disappeared from sight, his broad, powerful back swaying beneath the tan smoking jacket she’d picked out for him, she allowed her eyes to roam over the female occupants who were sitting with FAPs and PAPs. All of them, every last one of them was watching him. She swelled with pride.
“Mother, Donté is perfect just the way he is. He’s mine. I’m his mistress, not you, and there isn’t a damn thing wrong with his wiring.” She glanced over her shoulder for Donté. “I don’t even know why I’m telling you this, but I had him programmed without all the extra blockage crap other Personomale models have. I wanted him to have a sense of free will. I wanted him to make his own decisions. I wanted him to be Donté, okay? Not some android who jumps when I say jump or sits when I say sit. You can call him every name in the book, I don’t care, but you will not talk about him in such a manner to his face or in front of me. I won’t allow it.”
Her mother scoffed. “Still the hopeless romantic, I see. How many times am I going to tell you romance is and always has been highly overrated?” A dry laugh escaped her. “I’m glad it died with the rest of the chauvinistic pigs.”
The way her mother spoke was so cold, so emotionless, it sent a shiver down Phia’s spine.
Varonda took a slow sip of wine and ran her bright red painted fingernail around the rim of the crystal wine glass. “Sotophia, an android, is an android. Beneath the clothes, the fabricated skin, and the gentle words, they are nothing more than programmed possessions to be owned, used, and disregarded at our whim. You can call it what you like, but it is what it is. No amount of pampering or petting is going to change what is.”
“My…name…is….Phia,” was all she could manage to retort.
So, what did you think?