By Robin 'Red Hot' Kaye
I hate to shop. I really do. The only store I enjoy going to is the Apple Store--I mean, it's like an FAO Schwarz for adults. Just the thought of going to the mall between Thanksgiving and President's Day is enough to make my ass twitch--after all my mother has been dragging me through stores and shopping malls all my life.
I had my first panic attack at Macy's in Herald Square. I walked very young, and my older sister didn't. My sister was in the stroller, and I was walking when my mom pushed us into the elevator at Macy's. It was winter, and back then all the men wore long wool coats and hats. I got stuffed into the corner, surrounded by wool and I didn't know where my mom was. I was maybe two years old at the time... I haven't liked crowded elevators since. Then there was that time mom had me sitting on the moving belt you're supposed to hold on to on the escalator. She must have reached for my sister and let go of me. I went flying over the side and landed on the jewelry case below. Yeah, I don't much care for escalators either...
I thought it was only fair that since I'm in the middle of my blog tour for Wild Thing, I'd torture my hero, Hunter Kincaid, a little more and send him out Christmas shopping.
All you have to do is comment to win one of two copies of Wild Thing! Be sure to write out your email address for me so I can let you know if you win.
I hope you enjoy the shopping trip. It's the closest I've come to the mall since the last time I saw my mother in October.
Hunter Kincaid’s definition of hell was going shopping with his sister, Karma. He liked shopping all right, as long as it was at Home Depot, REI, McU Sports, The Elephant’s Perch or just about any other home improvement or sporting good store. Yeah, there was nothing like shopping for building materials, crampons, climbing ropes, kayaks, rafts, hiking boots, skis, and mountain bike—all worth while things to buy.
Hunter turned to his sister, Karma and dodged a pack of teenagers. “Tell me again why we’re in the mall?”
Karma pushed past a family with strollers and ducked into a store called Hot Topic. “To buy your wife Christmas presents.”
“What more can Toni want? I already bought her a set of skis, bindings, boots, poles, bibs, a powder jacket, and a parka.”
Karma turned and rolled her eyes. “Toni doesn’t ski.”
“Yet. “ He smiled and rocked back on his heels. “She just needs the right equipment and a me—she’s married to the best ski instructor around.”
“Did you ever consider that maybe Toni doesn’t want to ski?”
Karma couldn’t be serious. Who wouldn’t want to ski? “Nah, Toni is going to love skiing. What’s not to love?”
“She’s still not at all comfortable being in the wilderness, and most ski resorts look like woods on mountains, remember?”
“Don’t be ridiculous. Toni’s plenty comfortable at home, and our home is on a mountain beside a ski resort.”
“Well, just in case she’s not overly excited about you forcing her to ski, I thought it might be helpful to diversify your gifts. Hot Topic is one of Toni’s favorite stores.”
Hunter looked around and had to admit the place looked like the inside of Toni’s closet. It was like Goth heaven. He shrugged. “Okay, what does she want? It looks as if she’s got most of the store at home already.” At least now he knew where she shopped, not that he’d ever want to join her. There were just some things couple shouldn’t do together. Shopping for girl stuff was one of them. He looked around and saw a half dozen of graphic T-shirts Toni already owned. When he spotted the one she was wearing the first time he laid eyes on her, he couldn’t help but smile.
He followed Karma into the shoe section where she picked up a pair of black stiletto boots that had to go above the knee. They were sexy as hell.
Karma tried them on over her tight jeans. “Toni’s been drooling over these for months.”
“You don’t think she’d wear them outside the bedroom do you?”
Karma shrugged and giggled. “You know Toni.”
“Yeah, that’s what I’m afraid of.” He rubbed his hand over his face and shook his head. “Okay, I’ll buy them.” He’d just have to make sure she never wore them in public. Toni had no idea how hot she looked, and he didn’t want anyone else knowing it either. Good thing he had ways of distracting her. “What else?”
Karma went around the store picking out hats, fingerless gloves, arm warmers, and stockings. God help him if Toni wore the fishnet stockings with the naughty-school-girl skirt Karma added to the pile, and those boots—he’d be a goner. He paid for the purchases and grabbed the bags. “Where to next?”
Karma slid her arm through his and headed in the opposite direction of where they were parked. Not a good sign. “Victoria Secret.”
“Kill me now.”
“I know for a fact you like Toni wearing nice lingerie.”
“Yeah, and I don’t even mind hand washing it. I just don’t want to buy it. Besides, the way I look at it, it’s more of a present for me than it is for her. Wouldn’t that be a little selfish of me? It would be like buying myself a Christmas present.”
Karma rolled her eyes. “Aw come on, big brother. Don’t tell me you’re afraid of a few scraps of satin and lace.”
“Not afraid, but damn, Karma. The last thing I want to do is shop for naughty lingerie with my little sister.”
“Time to put your big-boy boxers on Hunter and get over yourself.”
“I thought I did that when I bought the boots.”
Karma just chuckled and led him right into what he was sure was the bowls of hell.
So tell me, do you have a shopping phobia? Has anyone else taken a header off the belt of an old escalator and landed on a jewelry case? Am I the only one with a fear escalators and crowded Macy's elevators?
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
By Robin 'Red Hot' Kaye