Temper for You

By: Genna Rulon

To Debbie,

my bestest friend and the sister of my heart

Twenty years of friendship all began with purple nail polish!

Without your encouragement, nudges, and occasional butt-kicking, Temper For You would never have been finished.

Thank you for pulling me out of my shell when I ‘go turtle’ and for standing beside me, no matter what. You know me better than anyone and love me anyway. You are my rock, my cheerleader, and more often than not, my sanity.

So many readers have told me they wish they had an Everleigh or Sam in their lives, but what they really need is a Debbie.

PS- Does this count as a card?


/ˈtɛm pər/


1. a particular state of mind or feelings.

2. habit of mind, especially with respect to irritability or patience, outbursts of anger, or the like; disposition: "an even temper."

3. heat of mind or passion, shown in outbursts of anger, resentment, etc.

4. calm disposition; composure: "to lose one's temper."

5. a substance added to modify other properties.

6. the degree of hardness and strength imparted to a metal, as by quenching, or treatment with heat.

7. a middle course; compromise. (archaic)


8. to moderate or mitigate: "to temper justice with mercy."

9. to soften or tone down.

10. to make suitable by/as if by blending.

11. to impart strength or toughness by heating and cooling.

12. to produce internal stresses in by sudden cooling from low heat; toughen.

13. to pacify. (archaic)

"We are what we believe we are." -C. S. Lewis


“Excuse me, sir, can I ask you a question?”

I opened my eyes to find Sam leaning across the narrow aisle to address my seatmate in 1A. I whispered a silent prayer to a God I no longer believed in that she was not about to do what I knew she was about to do.

“Sure,” the unsuspecting gentleman replied while he leaned forward to meet Sam’s eyes.

I braced for it.

“Have you ever been charged with a violent crime?” Sam inquired in her sweetest voice as if it were a completely routine question from one air traveler to another.

“Um…no. No criminal record,” Mr. 1A responded with a mixture of amusement and confusion.

“Do you have a history of drug abuse or mental illness?” Sam continued, clearly pleased with his answer and willingness to accept her bizarre behavior.

“Nope,” he responded as the corners of his lips tilted upward.

Sam continued her now familiar inquisition as I pretended to be invisible.

“On a scale of one to ten—one being fumbling idiot, ten being orgasmic virtuoso–how would you rate your sexual prowess?”

I subtly banged my head against the headrest, trying to distract myself from the routine.

Luckily, 1A had a sense of humor and chuckled before playing along, “I’d say I’m a solid eight—with moments of nine…with the right partner, of course.”

“Hmm…an eight is acceptable,” Sam muttered, before offering him a wink, “but a nine is better. Have you considered joining the ‘Mile High Club,’ or if you’re already a member, would you like to renew your dues?”

I groaned my embarrassment, while 1A choked on his surprise.

“Unless the invitation is on behalf of the spectacular example of male perfection to your right, I’ll have to decline,” Mr. 1A replied suggestively, leaning forward to partake in a thorough examination of the ‘male perfection’ in question.

Sam’s laughter filled the air around us, and I couldn’t help but smile. At least she was having fun.

“Love that sound,” I heard Griffin whisper to Sam before addressing the less-than-subtle pick-up line. “Sorry, man. The head of the inquisition,” he nodded to Sam, “and I have an exclusive club all our own.”

“Figures,” 1A complained good-naturedly, “all the best ones are taken or straight.” He ended his assertion with a defeated sigh.

“Guess I need to add a question about sexual orientation to the list,” Sam mused. “Oh well, can’t fault a girl for trying. Thanks for playing along. I’m Sam, by the way,” she introduced before pointing beside her. “The super-sized sexiness with a side of hot-damn you were coveting is Griffin, and the stunning lady beside you—who is pretending not to know me—is Meg.”

“I assume Meg was the prize if I’d answered all the questions correctly,” 1A deduced. After sweeping his gaze over me, he added, “Honey, if there was ever any doubt, I can now lay it to rest. Because if my bat won’t swing for you, then there is no woman who could ever get me to play. You’re stunning.”

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