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Monday Puzzler > Monday Puzzler - August 13, 2018

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message 1: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (cvenable16) | 136 comments It had come to his attention tonight that he was a complete idiot. Hero had never thought of himself as an idiot. In fact, he’d always considered himself somewhat intelligent, but that was before he’d climbed into the trunk of a strange car and locked himself inside for no good purpose that he could think of.

“Definitely an idiotic move,” Hero announced, but then perhaps insane was a better description. Stupid would have been accidentally locking himself in a trunk. Climbing in and calmly pulling it closed was more along the lines of inexplicable insanity. And he was starting to talk to himself, he pointed out. Yes, it would appear he’d lost his grip on sanity. He couldn’t help wondering exactly when he’d lost his mind, and how. Perhaps insanity was contagious, he pondered.

Perhaps he’d caught it from one of his clients. Not that Hero had any clients he’d have diagnosed as insane. He dealt mostly with phobias in his practice, though he treated a few patients with other, more long-term, difficulties. He supposed he could have had the seed all along, and tonight it had simply sprouted into full-blown madness. That was a thought. Perhaps insanity ran in the family. He should check with his mother on that, find out whether they had a madman or two in the family history.

It wasn’t just the climbing into the trunk that bothered Hero, that had only been the first of his mad actions tonight, and one he’d regretted as soon as the trunk lock had clicked into place. He’d lain in the dark, cramped space, calling himself all kinds of a fool for at least half an hour as the car had driven to this house. Then the car had stopped, the trunk had opened and what had he done? Had he leapt out, apologized for his unnatural behavior, and gone home? No. He’d stood and waited as the pretty brunette from the elevator had gotten out of the car to join him, then had followed her—docile as you please—into this huge house and up to this room.

Hero had been as cheerful and trusting as a five-year-old as he’d—without even being asked—climbed onto the bed and splayed himself for her to tie down. Hero had even returned her smile when she’d patted his cheek and announced, “My daughter is going to love you. You are my best birthday gift ever.”

After she’d left the room, he’d lain there, his mind blank for several moments before the situation he’d got himself into had begun to sink in. Hero had spent the time since then in bewildered contemplation of what had happened. His own behavior—never mind the woman’s—didn’t make any sense. It was as if he’d temporarily lost his mind. Or control of it. Unable to solve the quandary, he’d turned his thoughts to more immediate concerns, such as what was going to happen now that he was here?

“My daughter is going to love you. You are my best birthday gift ever.” These words—along with the fact that Hero was presently spread-eagled on a bed—had first made him fear he was some sort of sexual gift. A sex slave, perhaps. That possibility had immediately had him imagining being ravished by some huge, homely creature with a bad complexion and facial hair. For surely only someone terribly unattractive would need a man kidnapped and tied to her bed to get sex in today’s sexually free climate?

Just as Hero had started to hyperventilate at the imagined horror, he’d given himself a mental slap. The woman—the mother—couldn’t be more than twenty-five or thirty years old at most. Surely no daughter of hers would be old enough to want a sex slave? Or even to know what to do with one. Besides, why would anyone want him for a sex slave anyway, he’d asked himself.

Hero had a healthy self-esteem, and knew he was attractive, but he wasn’t a rock star or GQ-model gorgeous. He was a psychologist who dressed in conservative suits, had a conservative haircut, and lived a conservative life based around work, his family, and little else. Well, his work, his family, and attempting to escape all the blind dates his sisters, aunts, and mother would have set him up on, he corrected himself wryly.

Hero’s thoughts were disturbed when the bedroom door opened again. Stiffening, he jerked his head up to peer toward the door and saw that it was the woman from a moment ago. He eyed her with wary interest. Except for her long blond hair, she looked very like the brunette who had brought him here. She was beautiful, with full lips, an oval face, a straight nose, and the same silver-blue eyes as her brunette counterpart. Obviously, they bought their contacts at the same place.

No, Hero decided. The eyes weren’t exactly the same. They were the same color and shape, but the brunette’s eyes had held a sadness and wisdom had belied the youth of her skin and features. This woman was lacking that. The blonde’s eyes were clear, untouched by regret or true heartache. It made her seem younger.

The blonde was obviously a relative of the brunette though, Hero thought as he watched her walk to the dresser against the wall adjacent to the bed and open a drawer. Probably her sister, he guessed. He let his eyes run over the short, formfitting black dress she wore, then to her shapely legs, and the thought crossed his mind that it was almost a shame that she was too old to be the brunette’s daughter. He wouldn’t have minded being her gift.

Rolling his eyes at his own wayward thoughts, Hero watched her close the dresser and waited expectantly for her to turn her attention to him, but she didn’t. Much to his amazement, she merely walked back to the door, obviously intending to exit the room without so much as a by-your-leave. Hero was so shocked that his mouth opened and closed twice before he managed to get out a simple, “Excuse me.”

The blonde paused at the door and turned to peer at him curiously.

Hero forced a stiff smile and asked, “Do you think you could maybe untie me?”

“Untie you?” Appearing surprised by the request, she moved to the bedside to peer down at him.

“Yes, please,” he said firmly, noting the way her gaze slid over his hands. Hero knew his wrists were red and abraded from tugging at his bindings. Their state seemed to confuse and distress her.

“Why didn’t Mother calm you? She shouldn’t have left you like this. Why—” She paused and blinked, then understanding filled her face. “Oh, of course. My brother’s early arrival must have interrupted her before she could properly settle you. She probably meant to come back and finish with you after, but forgot.”

Hero didn’t have a clue what she was talking about, except that she seemed to think her mother had brought him here and he was positive she was wrong. “The woman who brought me here was too young to be your mother. She looked like you, but had dark hair. Your sister maybe?” he guessed.

For some reason his words made her smile. “I don’t have a sister. The woman you’re describing is my mother. She’s older than she looks.”

Hero accepted this with some incredulity, then his eyes widened at the ramifications of what she was saying. “Then, I’m your birthday gift?”

She nodded slowly, then tilted her head, and said, “That’s an odd smile. What are you thinking?”

Hero was thinking he was the luckiest son of a bitch alive…


message 2: by Stacey (new)

Stacey (staceyissassy) | 1281 comments I know this one and enjoyed it. I haven't read it in years but maybe it's time for a re-read. :-)


message 3: by Dls (new)

Dls | 2102 comments Mod
I haven’t read this.


message 4: by Leigh-Ayn (new)

Leigh-Ayn | 1207 comments No idea?


message 5: by Lorien (new)

Lorien | 5 comments No idea, but I'm super curious now.


message 6: by Susan (new)

Susan (susaninaz) | 1044 comments No idea, but I would not want to meet Mother/daughter schizophrenic in a dark room.


message 7: by Manda (new)

Manda Collins (manda_collins) | 1925 comments Mod
No clue


message 8: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Mcgrath | 14 comments i love her books especially the first 6 or so and i would love to meet this family.


message 9: by Irisheyes (new)

Irisheyes | 896 comments I don't think I've read this one.


message 10: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (cvenable16) | 136 comments As many of you have guessed this week is from A Quick Bite by Lynsay Sands. This is the first book in the long series. One of my favorite series, when a new one comes out it's a must for pre-order. :) Love her take on how vampires came into existence.


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A Quick Bite (other topics)

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Lynsay Sands (other topics)