Objective: To stop Lynn Morgan's feuding parents from filing for divorce.
Approach: Introduce a tattooed, leather-wearing hell-raiser as their prospective son-in-law. The man for the job: Lawyer Tony Russo.
Lynn's parents would join forces to save her--Lynn was sure of it. But from whom? Her best friend Tony Russo was more GQ than Hell's Angels, but that was before the "transformation." Suddenly, steady, reliable Tony had turned into a sexy, irresistible bad boy. The trouble was that Lynn kept forgetting Tony's kisses were just part of the act....
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May 07, 2007
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Excerpt from Operation Gigolo by Vicki Lewis Thompson
"After thirty-five years of marriage, your father should let me be on top!"
Lynn Morgan cradled the phone against her shoulder and began sorting through the messages on her desk. "I can't see what difference it makes who's on top, Mom. We're just talking about bodies, here." She glanced up to see Tony Russo looking amused as he leaned against the doorjamb of her office. "Dead bodies," she added for Tony's benefit.
His eyebrows lifted. "That's beside the point," her mother said. "It's the principle of the thing ."
Lynn knew this terrain well. Mediating her parents harebrained battles had prepared her to become a lawyer, according to her friends. She offered her mother the expected dose of logic. "Shouldn't it depend on who goes first?"
"That's what he says, and it would be just like him to outlive me so he could be on top! I want a guarantee of my final position ."
Lynn looked at Tony and rolled her eyes. "Suppose you do go first. You want to be dug up so somebody can slide him in underneath you?" "Why not?"
"Because we're not talking about rearranging leftovers in the refrigerator! Really, Mom, this is--"
"I can see you don't understand, and I am not spending eternity underneath your father. I want a divorce. You can represent me ."
Lynn put down her pile of messages. "Excuse me?"
"A divorce. You are a divorce lawyer, right? Serve your father papers. That should teach him to dictate burial-plot etiquette!"
Lynn leaned forward and focused all her attention on the conversation. "I can't believe you're serious about a divorce ."
"Dead serious ."
"That's not funny ."
"Yes, it is ."
To Lynn's amazement, her heart was pounding, as if she were a little kid being threatened with this family disaster instead of a twenty-nine-year-old respected member of the Illinois State Bar. "Listen, buy two plots next to each other in a different part of the cemetery ."
"Not on your life! That's my family's plot, and my designated space, and I'm going in it. Let your father find his own plot ."
"Look, Mom--" Lynn broke off as a second phone line blinked. "I have another call. Listen to the Muzak a minute and don't go away ."
"Don't forget I'm paying long distance, dear ."
"I won't forget. Be right back." Lynn put her mother on hold and glanced at Tony.
He pushed away from the doorjamb, his expression sober. he'd always been able to gauge her moods, which made him a valuable friend. "You seem to have your hands full," he said gently. "Why don't I come back later?"
"Please stay. I have a feeling I'm going to need a sounding board when I get through here ."
"That's all I need to know." Tony walked over and sat in one of the chairs in front of her desk.
"Thanks. I'll make this as quick as I can." She gave him a smile as she answered the second line. "Lynn Morgan ."
"Your mother's gone bananas," her father said.
"you're telling me. What's all that noise in the background, Dad?" She glanced at Tony, who was shaking his head in sympathy.
"Never mind the noise in the background. I think this is the big one, Peanut. Splitsville. I want you to represent me ."
Lynn rested her forehead in her hand. "You, too?"
"What'dya mean, me, too? Did she beat me to the punch?"
"No, because I'm not taking either one of you on. Honestly, you sound like two kids fighting over who gets the top bunk ."
"It's not just the plot," her father said. "She went to this Seize Your Power seminar, and as if that wasn't enough, she's started taking testosterone, which she claims is because of the Change. But if you ask me, this is one woman who doesn't need testosterone. I tell you, she's developed a real attitude, Peanut ."
"She's always had an attitude, Dad." Lynn could see this wasn't going to be a quick-fix situation. "Listen, I'll get back to you on this. Don't do anything rash ." "If you're saying don't move out, I've already got a room at the Naughty and Nice Motel ."