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Unexpected Help

By Jenna Cassie Herdz

Drama / Romance

Chapter 1-A Favor

Chapter 1: A Favor

The glass shattered to the floor as it slipped from his suddenly ice cold hand.  Orange juice coated the wood where the glass had shattered as he stared wide, horror filled eyes at what the orange liquid mingled with.  Blood.  Everywhere beneath the table the red fluid spread across the floor.

Morton Rainy jumped with a start as the phone rang.  He sighed and stood up from his desk, hurrying down the stairs to answer it.  He glanced at his watch, wondering what time it was because he felt like he had been at his laptop for ages.

3:15 pm

He picked up the phone and cleared his throat before speaking.


Mort?” a female voice hoped.

“Yes?” he replied with a frown.

It’s your sister,” the voice explained and Mort rolled his eyes with a small sigh.

“Yes, Elektra, what is it?” he groaned, sitting on the couch.

Well, thanks, big brother, for asking how I am,” Elektra replied, sarcastically.  “I’m thrilled with your concern for me, but other than myself being fine, I need to ask you a favor.

“I knew it,” Mort replied, setting his feet on the coffee table.  “You never call me unless you have a ‘favor’ to ask me.”

Well, this will benefit both of us,” Elektra said, making Mort frown in confusion but he said nothing.  “Before you say ‘no’ after I tell you what it is, take into consideration that A: You have no housekeeper and B: You could use someone to talk to.

“I have plenty of people to talk to,” he retorted, but his eyes shifted as he winced at his words.  In reality ever since those turn of events that left his ex-wife and her boyfriend dead, his house keeper had fled and the sheriff had told him to stay out of town for a while.  However, Elektra didn’t need to know all of that.

Yeah, well, you still need a house keeper, right?” Elektra wondered and Mort rolled his eyes again with another sigh.

“Yes,” he groaned, letting his head fall back on the back of the couch in exhaustion.  “So what is this favor?”

Silence followed his question, but he waited patiently for the answer, knowing she was mustering up the courage to spit it out.

Well,” she finally sighed.  “I have this friend, Nicky Verona, and she needs a place to stay.  I suggested that she stay with you, my loving, caring, generous brother, while she tried to figure out what she wants to do with herself.”

Mort sat straight up, staring wide eyes at the wall in front of him through his glasses in disbelief.

“What?!” he boomed into the phone.

Mort, please?” Elektra requested.  “She won’t make trouble, she’s a nice girl, and she won’t mooch off of you.  She’ll cook and clean for herself, you and her cat—”

“Cat?!” Mort repeated in more disbelief.

To top it off, she wants to be a writer!” Elektra continued, ignoring his interruption.  “I thought, ‘Who better to stay with than a writer if you want to be a writer?’ right?

“Why does she have to stay with me?” Mort wondered.  “Why can’t she stay with you?!”

I live in a two bedroom studio apartment with a room-mate,” Elektra explained.  “I have no room to think!  Besides, she wanted a spell in the country and she didn’t want to be completely alone.”

Mort sighed, bowing his head and shaking the receiver in his hand then put it to his ear again, lifting his head.

“Elektra, I’m in the middle of a book right now,” he explained.  “I can’t deal with having someone I don’t know, in my house trying to make small talk.”

That’s the beauty, Mort!  She’s in the middle of her own project!  She’s trying her hand at a romantic novel so she’ll be just as busy as you, and with the same thing!


Morton!  Please, do this for your baby sister!  If I could do this myself, I would and I promise you’re going to like her.”

Mort sighed, rubbing his temples as he bowed his head.  What was his sister thinking, dumping this woman on him like this?!  He didn’t have the time for this, or the energy!  His sister was absolutely insane thinking she could just ask him for something like this.  He didn’t know this Nicky and he wasn’t sure he wanted to.  She may want to be a writer, but that wasn’t going to make them the best of friends.

However, having someone around who didn’t know about his past and Shooter wouldn’t be so bad, as long as she kept her own up-keep and didn’t mooch off of him.  He did need a house keeper.

Mort?” Elektra tried, breaking through his thoughts.  “You there?

“Yes, Elly, I’m here,” he replied, reclining back again with another sigh.

Wow,” she replied.  “You haven’t called me ‘Elly’ in years.”

“Let’s say I said ‘yes,’ hypothetically,” he said, ignoring her astonishment.  “She would do her own laundry, cook her own meals, clean after her cat and not bother me with silly girl things?”

I can’t promise you anything about the girly things, but yes, she would take care of her own needs and her cat’s.  She may even do a little for you as a thank you for letting her stay.”

“How old is she?” Mort wondered, wanting to be prepared.

About my age,” Elektra replied.  “Twenty-three, twenty-four.  She just got out of college.”

Oh, great, a co-ed, he thought.

“Al-Alright,” Mort groaned.  “But the second she starts any trouble, she’s out of here!  I don’t care!”

Oh, thank you, Mort!  You won’t be sorry!” Elektra insisted.

“I already am,” Mort muttered.

I’ll call her right now to tell her you agreed to let her stay.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  You don’t know it, but I’m hugging you right now!

“Oh, what did I do to deserve that?” Mort wondered, wrinkling his nose.

Thank you, Mort,” Elektra said again, ignoring his displeasure at her gratitude.  “You’ll really like her, I know you will.”

“Don’t hold your breath,” he retorted.

Bye.  I’ll call you back to tell you when she should be showing up, ok?

“Yeah, ok.  Bye.”


Mort heard the phone click on the other end and let out a long, loud sigh, as he hung up the phone.  What had he just agreed to?  If he let this girl in, and he didn’t like her, there was no telling what Shooter would do, let alone herself.  The last thing Mort needed was another murder on top of everything that had already happened.  He may have accepted Shooter being around, but he still didn’t like it.

“You’d best behave when our guest arrives,” Mort said as Shooter walked down the stairs from his work area.

“Why wouldn’t I behave?” Shooter wondered, coolly.

Mort stood from the couch and walked toward Shooter.

“I don’t need any more stress worrying about whether or not you’re going to do something to her,” he replied, walking up the stairs.  “I need to finish my book.”

“I’m here to serve you, remember?” Shooter retorted, following Mort up the stairs.

“Well, let me take care of Nicky, ok?” Mort replied, sitting at his desk.  “If I don’t like her, or she makes trouble, I will kick her out.”

“As you wish,” Shooter nodded and Mort turned back to his lap top.

Elektra dialed a number into her cell phone then placed it to her ear, hearing the ring back tone on the other end.  She ran a hand through her short, chocolate brown hair as her gray eyes looked ahead, waiting for the person to pick up.

Talk to me,” a female voice answered on the other end.

“Yo, it’s El,” Elektra replied.  “I talked to my brother, he would be happy to let you stay with him.”

You’re sure?” Nicky hoped concern in her tone.  “I wouldn’t want to be a burden and if he’s not a cat person, I don’t want to make him live with Fifi.”

“Oh, he’s fine, Nicky,” Elektra insisted.  “I should warn you, though, he can be kind of rude.  Writers can be temper mental.”

Gee, thanks, El,” Nicky replied, sarcastically.

“You’re not even there yet, don’t worry,” Elektra replied.  “Anyway, when do you plan to leave?”

I’m all packed already,” Nicky replied.  “I just gotta cancel my reservations at my mom’s house and I’ll be there in a few days.”

“Ok, I’ll tell him.”

You’re absolutely positive that he’s ok with me staying with him?

“Nicky, you’re worrying enough for the both of us,” Elektra laughed.

You know, you never told me much about you brother.”

“Like what?”

His name.”


His age?

“Thirty-two, thirty-three.”


“He had a dog, but it passed away.”

See!  That’s what I was afraid of!  Dog persons don’t mix with cat persons!

“Oh, knock it off!  Trust me, you guys are going to get along just fine.  Trust me.”

You really think so?

“I’m positive, Nicky.”

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