Serial Novel ALL THE PEOPLE YOU CAN EAT, Chapter 3: TIARA ON THE PHONE IN HER LAIR
Here comes Chapter 3. Click for chapters 1 and 2 here if you need to catch up first.
Tiara fidgeted with the caviar on her plate as she cradled the phone. She was lying on mauve silk sheets in her big Versailles bed, propped up against giant pillows of Victorian lace. One resculpted breast peeked over the organdy frills of her nightdress by Armani.
“The little cocksucker sent me a Henry Moore. I’ve got him running scared.”
“Go easy on him, Tiara,” said Spriggy. “He’s the most talented fag of us all.”
“Talent is no excuse for temperament, sweetie.”
“But it is, Tiara. Look at you.”
“You can’t generalize from me. I’m the exception to all the rules.”
“Sometimes you and Domino are quite alike.”
“No way. I’ve never let anyone bonk me in the butt except my third husband, and that was six years ago.”
“Rumor has it that Domino is a top, not a bottom, my dear.”
“How would you know?” asked Tiara.
“I rest my case.”
“You did not.”
“My lips are sealed.”
“Say it isn’t so, Spriggy.”
“It was a soufflé. Not an affair by any means. He was really very sweet. We flew to Bombay. The villa was full of my favorite flowers. There’s a tender side to him nobody knows.”
“Don’t try to soften my heart. I intend to punish him this time. I raised him from the gutter. I can send him back there.”
“You’re so Greek.”
“My spies tell me his empire is tottering again.”
“He is not without his resources,” said Spriggy.
“Let it be a duel to the finish then. My immune system could do with a good fight.”
“You’re serious about this, Tiara?”
“My God. I don’t believe it. This will be the biggest war the fashion business has ever seen.”
“And you, my sweet mahogany bottom, will help me.”
There was a pause whose pregnancy belied its infancy.
Spriggy broke the silence. Instantly he cast his mind back over years of competing loyalties. He had no more than a moment to weigh one of those existential decisions about his future in the business he loved (a business which had allowed him, an outcast from Mississippi, not only to apply his Nubian queenliness to great personal profit, but also to flaunt its portly charm across three continents), a decision on which he could spend not even a split second of hesitation – Tiara would judge even the slightest pause – a decision which he had to wear as lightly as pixie dust, and which sped him to the most crucial of crossroads: where his bread was buttered. His voice found the right words with the silken ease of the practiced acolyte.
“So what’s your first move, Empress?” Spriggy asked.