Wednesday, January 16, 2008


I raised one eyebrow. Robbie hadn't earned his nickname of "The Evil Old Queen" for kissing puppies and helping old ladies across the street. "A trap, huh? I wouldn't expect you to warn me off from something like that," I said.

"Oh, please -- who else can get me signed Pratchett books?" he said, brushing brick dust off his jacket. "Besides, you're the only one who knows how to get to Havencrest for the next Princessfest -- all I remember is that it's somewhere out in squirrel porn country. Now, if you're finished with your paranoid fantasies and trying to brain me against a wall, may I continue?"

I waved a hand. "Be my guest."

"Yes, well, you know how I have that little, ahem, problem."

"Excessive sarcasm?"

He snorted. "That's not a problem, that's a gift. No, I meant the low testosterone issue." In the dim light of the alley, I could have sworn he colored slightly. "I'm taking supplements, but I've been trying to save up for a condo-wide iPod system so instead of paying full price for the drugstore version I've been using black market testosterone."

I smacked my head. "Black market testosterone? Robbie, for all you know you're shooting up with Mexican wrestler sweat."

He gave me a long, chilly look that the Princess would have been proud to call her own. "Who works in the medical field here, pupcake? I know what I'm doing."

Office managers. "I'm sure," I said. "So where do you get black market testosterone on Fabulanna, anyway?" Before the words left my mouth, however, I knew.

"The Lone Star Gym," Robbie said, confirming my suspicions. Dammit, I hate being right all the time. "The supplier goes by the name of Joe -- believe me, you can't miss him." He shuddered. "But a little bird told me there's something seriously wrong going on at the Lone Star, and I think they're looking for a fall person to pin it on. If you're not careful, you're going to find it pinned right on one of the twins."

"Mary-Kate and Ashley?"

He pinched the bridge of his nose and sighed. "Just be careful, you blithering idiot."

"Pot, kettle, Nacho Libre," I replied. "But thanks for the heads-up."

He walked off into the night, muttering to himself. From here, it sounded almost Hispanic. I headed in the other direction -- before I hit the gym, I needed to talk to a little bird myself.

A little bird named Pobrecito...

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