Marteeka is sitting in her den trying to do her fifth essay. She's had a long day with working full time in addition to being a mommy, a wife, and the official CGI artist of the Empire (um, Beautiful Trouble Publishing), which means that she basically listens to a barrage of demands. Thinking back on the movie Multiplicity she considers cloning herself, but knowing the people in her life they’d wear the clones out too. The ding of the IM awakes her just as she nods off.
BTP: Teeka? Are you busy?
MK: I’ve been talking about myself in the third person, of course I’m busy.
BTP: Real busy or only kinda busy?
MK: I will kill you.
BTP: Yeah but before or after you hear what we want?
MK: Seriously. Death…
BTP: We know you went to work, took your son to soccer, and pulled two double shifts last week...but could you please pretty please do a cover for us? It needs a T-Rex and a dragon, a hot BBW woman, a smoking hot naked man. Fire. Smoke. And we need it tomorrow. Also, when are we getting another submission from you?
Before she can answer, a little voice says, "Mommy? Can I have a snack? I just want a Poptart. I can take it out of the package, but will you put it in the toaster? It's hard to get out without burning my fingers."
Husband. "No, son, Mom's about to fix supper, aren't you, Mom?"
Another ding on IM.
KK (editor from another publisher): Teeka? Do you have any idea how late your book is? M's gonna kill us both if you don't get it in! Where are you and when can you get it to me? I love you to death, but you really suck and it takes me a while to edit you.
Another ding on IM.
AG (cover art director from another publisher): Hey. Cover for ya. It's not officially a rush job, but it IS slated out for two weeks and the author really needs the cover for promotional art.
Another…. Oh, you get the point.
AA (anonymous author from above): I really hate to rush you, and I'm so sorry (she really IS a sweetheart and isn't pushy) but I've got to get something up on my website to promote with. Please???
Marteeka shuts her laptop, not answering any more IM's because her sanity is in serious question at this point. She stumbles off to the bathroom because it's the only place in the house where someone else ISN'T. She shuts the door. Locks it. Turns up the CD player… some loud, blaring, screamy stuff because she knows that will drive away even cockroaches. She fills the bath with hot water and bubble bath and sinks gratefully to her neck.
She closes her eyes…
Only to have the door open, close, and a solid, muscled, hair roughened body sinks into the bath behind her. She sighs happily.
"What took you so long?"
"Had to fix Poptarts for the boy," he replies as he gently takes one peaked nipple between his fingers and rolls it between the pads. "He'll be occupied for a few minutes…"
"And what did you have in mind for those few minutes?" Marteeka purrs. He knows just how to touch her, just how to make her want more of his caresses.
"Oh, I thought we'd…"
There's a pounding at the door.
"Mommy? Daddy? What's going on in there?"
He grinds his teeth in frustration. Marteeka has to stifle a giggle.
"We're saving water and taking a bath together. We'll be out in a minute."
"But, I need a bath too. It would save even more water if we had family bath time. Then we could have family cuddle time and all go to sleep TOGETHER."
Just like everything else.