I closed my eyes and tried to think of something else -- anything else -- other than what was happening now.
"Relax, honey, it's almost over."
Oh god. Just almost? What more was she thinking about doing? How could I have let things go this far?
Oh, the wining and dining had been nice. And the flattery! I'm a sucker for flattery. A few skilled words and I fall hard. And Evilette was certainly a pro in the art of pitching woo.
I wasn't sure if I wanted to, you know, swing that way or not. But there she was and there I was, and then she was asking in that sultry, seductive way that I couldn't refuse. I could have said no, maybe should have said no, but what came out instead was yes.
And now here we were and it was painful, more painful than I thought it could be. I just wanted it to be over.
And suddenly it was.
"There now, that wasn't so bad, was it?" She sounded like a doctor who's just ripped a 10-pound kid out of a 2-inch orifice.
"What now?" I whispered.
"Now we let my brother have a go."
I sobbed quietly.
Then I heard a deep masculine voice say, "I'll take it from here." And as Evil Editor slipped in, Evilette slipped out.
He was -- as I'd known he'd be, dreamed he'd be, hoped he'd be -- gentle. And I knew it was with him that I was meant to be.
When it was over, I asked, "Did I really have to, you know, go with Evilette first?"
Evil put down his red pen and smiled a soft and knowing smile. "Of course, dear. I like my work pre-edited. That's why I don't accept unagented manuscripts."