The Looking Glass

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Shires Press Series Sneak Peak #3

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About the Author: The ‘Mister Jordan Simon’ is a limited edition model, complete with kung fu grip and aggressive mono-tones. At 21 sun cycles, 6 feet tall, and weighing in at ‘never ask a gentleman about his weight’ pounds, he truly is a majestic example of masculinity. Soon to be graduate of Southern Vermont College, he enjoys long walks in his sleep, sinking private fleets, and devouring the unborn. Let it be known that the self-proclaimed ‘Supreme Prime Evil’, mister Jordan of the Simon clan, uses his ‘immeasurable wit’, along with quirky humor and creative analogies to prove to the world that his I.Q. is not his age…probably.

 

Summary:

Helena Pierce has an idea; a sweet, delicious, magical idea that is guaranteed to see her soul damned for all eternity. Naturally, as any self-respecting woman would tell you, it is her civil duty to drag her ever-faithful friend and husband, Simone, along for the ride. In the name of science, nothing is forbidden; nothing is ‘too far’. Well, maybe having a kid is a bit much.

 

Prologue

 

‘Clinical’ was a suitable adjective to describe the room that Dr. Helena Pierce had selected for the day’s procedure. Twin chips of ice scanned ahead with a narrowed gaze, critically analyzing the setting for anything less than the obsessive perfection she’d ordered for this occasion. Finding nothing of note, she nodded once, and wordlessly marched forward towards the gurney in the center. Slender fingers reached out, pressing against the padding deliberately, then deftly manipulating the thick cords and buckles that lay atop. From behind, a tall gentleman leaned against the door. He was fiddling with a briefcase, but his eyes were locked onto her; his posture screamed of disapproval.

 

“Ivernn,” Helena whipped around to glare at him. Frigid blue irises warmed ever-so-infinitesimally as they found purchase with a set of steely grey. “You personally picked out this room, yes?”

 

“Of course,” He raised an eyebrow. His expression implied that there was no doubt that she already knew he had. Nevertheless, she nodded as if she hadn’t. “Not up to your standards, Hel?”

 

Helena’s left eye twitched with annoyance. “Don’t call me that.” After a moment, she added, “It’ll do,” before sitting herself at the edge of the gurney and quickly unbuttoning her top. “I can count on you for this, right?”

 

This time, it was him that glared. “Don’t ask stupid questions, woman.” His lip quirked into an honest smile. “Of course you can.”

 

She quirked an eyebrow in response. “It’s not stupid. You’ve made your disapproval rather clear in the past, leading up to now.”

 

Simone frowned, thoughtfully. “My aversion to this stems entirely from the fact that the subject today, is you. I still think you should just let me do it instead.”

 

“Hm, your argumentative skills are indeed worthy of praise oh minion of mine.” Finishing with the last button and carelessly tossing it out of sight, Helena continued in a more mocking tone. “Indubitably, I’m sure that in a hypothetical scenario in which you presented such a shining argument within a court of law, it would, more than likely, survive under the scrutiny of several trained professionals!” Abruptly she scoffed. “There’s no way in hell I’m subjecting you to this.”

 

“And yet you expect me to just accept that you’re going to do it, to yourself? What kind of ass-backwards logic is that!?” His voice rose with his frustration for just a moment, before sagging with his shoulders. “What if it goes wrong?”

 

“Doubting me now, are you?” Helena gave him an exaggeratedly disappointed look. “I expected better from you. Why, I feel almost offended by the fact that my talents are being so grossly underestimated.”

 

Simone grit his teeth with annoyance. “Answer the question, Helena. What happens if shit hits the fan and something goes wrong here?”

 

“Then I die you doofus. Don’t ask stupid questions, woman.” She echoed with a childish, mocking lilt. “Don’t worry about it so much, champ. There are fates much worse than death….probably.” Unfortunately, her blasé response had the opposite of her intended effect. Her partner visibly shook, at her casual tone. Rage, terror, or perhaps a mixed drink of both were likely what warred within his heart. He was unhappy with her, she knew. It was unfair to ask this of him; that, she also knew. But just as well as she knew these two facts, she was sure that she could count on him to see this through, regardless of his misgivings. It was a simple rule of nature, she’d have argued; grass was green, the sky is blue, and Simone Ivernn (technically Pierce) would never let her down. Least of all with something so important. Still, seeing his desperation, Helena decided that she needed to say something. Frankly speaking, she wasn’t usually the type for warm feels and kind words. Nevertheless, she could see that he needed them. With that in mind, she reached deep down into the charcoal pit she deigned to call a heart, if only for his sake. “Listen to me, doll-face.” She ignored his flat look. “The chances of this blowing up in our faces are negligible. Capital ‘N.’” She gestured widely, with her hands. “We’ve ran the numbers; refined the process. I trust your work. Now do us both the mother of all solids: take the coward-cock from between your lips, quit pouting like a bitch, and trust mine too, Ivernn.” She mentally shrugged. Close enough.

 

Simone took a deep breath, processing her words. A moment of silence passed as he stared at her, almost-blankly. Then, just before she might’ve thought to call him out on it, he stepped forward, his eyes, hard. He swung the briefcase onto the table, dispassionately, and ambled over to her. “I want you to understand that there’s no going back, once we do this.”

 

“That’s fine. I’m great at moving forward,” she fired back, leaning back fully onto the gurney. She hissed at the coldness of the fabric on her bare back. In response, she allowed herself to contemplate that yes, there were definitely fates were worse than death.

 

“Yes, but-” He tried, only to be interrupted.

 

“-Now quit being a puss-puss and do the thing, already. It’s colder than my heart and my nips could cut diamonds.”

 

Simone tiredly swept his hair back, then began strapping her in with an adroit professionalism that he certainly didn’t feel. He could see that her mind was made up. There was no point in trying to argue any further when she was like this, so he hardened his heart and turned away to the case, snapping both latches open. Within it was a vial, four inches in length, and an injector gun. He regarded the vial, coldly. It would be as simple as smashing the damned thing, to put an end to this clown fiesta in the making. He reached for it, then the injector, and affixed them both before turning back to her. “How should I do this?”

 

“You can cut the bullshit and stick me with the pointy end. I wager that would work.”

 

Simone scowled. “Helena I really don’t think now’s the right time to be a smartass.”

 

She shrugged. “Better than being a dumbass, eh? Just hurry up and do it Ivernn. I assure you, I don’t keep you around for your superior conversational prowess.”

 

By now, he towered over her restrained form. She raised an eyebrow at him, lips quirked in that half-smile that he so adored, but stayed silent, letting him drink in her beautiful features that they both understood might never be the same again. Her long, raven locks, done up in her usual messy top knot, and dusky skin made her look exotic to his eyes. High cheekbones and full, lightly colored lips reaffirmed his belief that some people just had all the luck; it also reminded him of what he might very well be losing soon. Simone swallowed nervously, and his eyes darted up to meet her own. They were without a doubt her most striking feature. Vibrant, electric blue irises stared back, brimming with the same unconditional confidence that had drawn him to her in the first place.

 

Almost against his own will, he found himself believing that things would work out. Fingers playing with the injector gun, he struggled with words that his heart felt, but his brain couldn’t quite verbalize. Simone felt his throat constrict; saliva bogged down his tongue, nearly choking him.  Chapped lips opened and unopened, trying and failing to find the right words before he just decided to throw caution to the wind and blurt something, anything out. “Hel.” He ignored the twitching of her eye at his use of her nickname. “On the off chance something does go wrong, I don’t want anything to be left unsaid. I love you, alright?”

 

She blinked, once, twice, then smiled, brilliantly. It was as beautiful as it was rare. Like a unicorn with several horns, or perhaps like a sweet little pussycat; one so adorable, that he felt almost proud to have been called one, back in highschool. Simone found himself smiling back as she cupped his face, pulling him close. Their lips inches apart, she laughed, “God, don’t make it gay, Ivernn”

 

There was a moment of silence before Simone pulled back, brandishing the injector. “Fuck it! Stabbing you now.” He took the briefest of moments to assure himself that he had the right place before abruptly jabbing the needle into her and squeezing the trigger.”

 

“Jerk!” She hissed, wincing. “Eh, I suppose I had that coming, in hindsight.” Smacking her lips, she wondered out loud, “Hey, what do you want to eat, tonight? I’m seriously craving some Chinese, all of a sudden.”

 

“I could go for Chinese, yeah.” He forced a fake smile onto his face, and adjusted the thick rims of his glasses. “We’ll consider it your ‘I’m not dead’, celebration!”

 

As if on queue, Helena’s eyes glazed, right before she began violently convulsing. “Ch-ch-ch-ch-cha-lleng ash-sh-shepted!

“Ah, I really hope you live darling,” Simone leaned back, plastic grin, wide. “Because I really don’t want to feel bad about enjoying this.”

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