Raven looked over the other books in the plastic bag. As much as he really wanted to start with “Little Women”, the choice was obvious. He put Jo March and her three sisters back into the bag and picked up “How To Kiss A Girl In Fifteen Days”.
He sighed and opened the book. He flipped past the Acknowledgments, the Preface, and the Table of Contents. “”How To Kiss A Girl In Fifteen Days. Chapter One. Devin Lloyd whipped off his shirt in front of the whole crowd and flexed his pecs. All of the girls screamed with joy. The token gay guys hooted and hollered. He flashed a toothpaste commercial-worthy smile. At least five gay guys fainted. Annnnd Freeze Frame! Hello. You see that hot guy without his shirt on? That would be me. Just take a moment to admire my physique. Do you need another moment? No? Okay. Anyway, that’s me. My life is wonderful. I am wonderful.”
Ambrose paused in his reading to comment, “I hate this guy already. He reminds me of Caten.”
Sarah scowled at Ambrose and tugged on his sleeve.
“Sorry.” He returned to the gothic atmosphere of the Paris Opera House.
Sarah cheered right up.
Raven kept reading, “I have admirers. I have fan clubs. I have a cult. I have everything I could ask for. I even have one and a half stalkers. Life is pretty sweet if you ask me. But that is going to change. And it is going to change very shortly. I’d say within the next….fifty-five words. So, hold on tight. Annnnnd End Freeze Frame!”
He stroked Missy’s face. “I wish I were reading this with you. I know now that you would certainly enjoy it. Yet, it is a small matter.” He leaned forward and kissed her forehead. “I will read it again with you when you awaken.”
“Poor Meg Giry! Her fellow ballerinas pestered her mercilessly for more information. She tried to keep it all bottled up. After all, her mother had informed her that those who speak of what they know find too late that prudent silence is wise. Little Giry never fully understood what that meant, but it had sounded fearsomely ominous to the young ballerina.”
Sarah’s skin glowed a steady red-orange.
Such familiar words.
True, it was not in that familiar voice with the familiar inflections. It was a little like listening to a favorite song being sung in another language. Disorientingly familiar and unfamiliar, both right and wrong.
Yet, it was otherwise hard to find fault with Ambrose’s reading. He read it with the right blend of mystery and emotion. And the tone of his voice was a pleasure to listen to.
Sarah smiled as Meg Giry gave in.
Meg Giry always gave in and told the other girls everything.
Joseph Buquet always died under mysterious circumstances.
And Christine was always the best singer in the whole opera.
Sarah transformed into her XQ form. She closed her eyes and relaxed her ears.
And Ambrose read on.