Lucien(2)By: Elijana Kindel
“Holy Mama Mia,” she breathed. “Moonbeam’s going to the slammer.”
“No,” Raven said sharply. “She is not. I am selling my babies. All of them. Including my… bike,” he finished in a pained tone.
It took her a moment to speak. Sell his bike? “Oh, no. Raven, you can’t sell your motorcycle. She’s your baby. You built her yourself. You spent years finding all of the parts and… you can’t sell her.” Her eyes welled with emotion. Raven’s 1951 Series C Vincent Black Shadow motorcycle was his pride and joy. His first love. He never went anywhere without Aphrodite—the name he’d given his bike when she’d been a tarnished skeleton of a motorcycle.
“I have to. Mom doesn’t have the money. She can’t sell the house without losing money. You don’t have the money.” He swore violently. “Hell, Moonbeam is depending on moon magic to save her. I’d rather sell my cameras and my… bike than let her lose everything.” Elise knew Raven didn’t put a lot of credence in their mother’s beliefs, but she also knew when push came to shove he would give his life to spare Moonbeam a moment of pain.
“But how will you work? You can’t be a photographer without cameras,” Elise whispered.
“Ken—the guy I did the last shoot for—said he’d buy them from me. He’ll let me borrow the cameras, as long as I do the Sandy Springs layout and a couple others.”
“Oh, Raven. I wish there was more I could do. Selling your cameras is one thing, but Aphrodite…? Once you sell her, you’ll never get her back.”
“I know. I know. But if you’ve got a better idea, I’m listening.”
Elise closed her eyes and braced herself as she asked, “When do we have to have the thirty thousand by?”
“We’ve got two weeks. And Elise?”
“Don’t even think about selling your body.”
“Ha, ha. Very funny. Like anyone would pay thirty grand for an overworked, undernourished executive assistant like me,” she muttered.
“They’d pay, but not for your typing skills,” he replied jokingly. “I say we both skip town. We’ll run away when they come for Moonbeam. Can’t feel guilty over something you don’t see.” She heard the smile in his voice as he added, “I heard of a good convent who’s recruiting down in South America. You meet all of their requirements.”
Elise smirked and shook her head. Raven took his brotherly responsibilities too far sometimes. Trying to lighten her mood and keep her chastity belt in place were but two of many. “All but one, Brother Raven.”
“Which one,” he demanded. “I haven’t seen you out with anyone since the dork from—”
“I’m not Catholic and David wasn’t a dork. He was a… very nice person.”
Raven laughed. “He was a dork. He only wanted two things from you and when he got the first… he ran screaming for his mommy.”
“Raven,” Elise snapped. “I still haven’t forgiven you for introducing David to Wyndemere.”
“Me? Wyndemere wanted to meet him. I didn’t do anything, but introduce them.”
“You know very well what you did.” Elise clicked her tongue in annoyance. “Telling Dad that David was writing a book with me as the heroine—”
Raven chuckled. “Not just any heroine.”
Her frown bordered on a smile. “Oh, how could I forget? I was to be Sasha, the sex crazed, man-slaying nymph.”
Raven cleared his throat pointedly. “You know that dork wasn’t good enough for you. I did you a favor by getting rid of him.”
Elise glanced at the six inch stack of folders her boss had dropped on her desk before lunch and her mood soured. “How about getting rid of Luc? He’s drowning me in paperwork.” She slid out her desk drawer and scanned it for potential weapons. “I’ll hold him down for you and we’ll tag team him. I’ve got… eight rubber bands. We’ll put his hands behind his back and… we can smother him in Post-it notes.”