Saturday, February 21, 2015


Deborah Wiseman woke up in a strange hotel room. Sated and alone. Swearing softly to herself, she checked her messages. Thirty five new emails. And none of them from him. Why do I do this to myself? She wondered, and not for the first time It always ends up with me. Alone. In an improbably opulent setting. No more Alpha-Males, Deb. She sometimes called herself Deb in her head, to make herself relatable. It was important to be relatable, approachable and likeable when you were the sort of beautiful that’s only for sleeping with like once and then swapping for another, shinier option. Like a sex-pog. Remember Pogs, Deb? She asked herself. The world was so much simpler then, collecting pogs instead of accolades, instead of heartbreaks.
She pulled her La Perla cami-knickers over her smooth porcelain skin. She put her expensive bra back on. Jackman had taken it off last night with his big wealthy hands. He’d promised her nothing with words, but everything with slick sex-moves. He made love like a power-ranger the night before a battle she mused. One of the good ones, like the red or the white ranger. Not that they should be sleeping with anyone the night before doing battle. They should conserve their energy. But still…
Orgasms always made Deborah nerdy in a specifically nostalgic way. It was why she only allowed herself several a year. The phone rang, cutting sharply through her erotic reverie.
“It’s Joseph, Deb. We gotta problem”.
Deborah ran her fingers through her expertly high-lighted hair and applied a slick of barely-there lip-gloss. She brushed the delicate traces of the night’s cocaine from her elegant credit card before inserting it back into the credit card pocket of her prada wallet with a certain earthy finesse.
“Talk to me, Jo”.  Her voice was calm, even. She could handle Jackman DuVall, and come out of it singed but still alive. She could handle anything.
“It’s Carbon, Deb. He’s not in his room. And one of his’copters is missing from the ‘copter garage.”

Deborah sighed. Another day, another dollar.

Sunday, February 15, 2015


Jackman Duvall was tersely rustling papers when the phone rang. He had to be prepared for his conference call with Tokyo. But were they prepared for him?
His secretary, Deborah, informed him that his three o’ clock was here.
And what a three o’ clock she was.
Small, yet perfectly formed she was like an hourglass made out of fabergé eggs. Her hair was the dark, shiny auburn that counts as red-head but never as ginger. He wondered if it were natural. It probably was. Everything about this creature seemed effortlessly perfect. Not like a Deborah at all.
“Fox Maison” she said and shook his well-manicured hand with her own.
“DuVall, I know. I have heard of you.” they both laughed. Of course she had. Everyone always knew the name of the most potent businessman in their borough. And that name was always Jackman DuVall.
“So, Fox Maison, what can I do for you in the next fifteen minutes?” he purred, like a lion remembering a particularly exquisite gazelle.
“Well, Jackman. Can I call you Jackman?”
He nodded, taken aback at her chutzpah. Nobody ever called him Jackman. Not even his mother, Deborah DuVall. He shook himself away from the memories of a childhood best forgotten. The beautiful  girl is talking, Jackman DuVall, he thought. And then corrected himself. Not, not a girl. Never a girl. Fox Maison was every inch a woman. And not one of those racist women like you sometimes hear about. A proper beautiful inclusive woman, equally respectful of all cultures and peoples, no matter what that chauffeur said one time.
“I’ve prepared a ten minute iPad presentation on why you need to invest in my company.  You can watch it, or interact with it on your comfort level. When you’re finished, then you can ask me…anything you want to know.” She sat back in her chair, a confident young business maven.
What I want to know thought Jackman DuVall is how you would look lying in my very expensive bed after I had satisfied you with a merger that had nothing to do with business and everything to do with pleasure upon pleasure.
But asking her that would have been sexual harassment, which was not okay in the workplace, even when you are an alpha male who is mostly made of rocks.
So he swiped around on the iPad, nodding thoughtfully. It seemed a solid investment opportunity. It wouldn’t make him billions. But maybe it would make him care again. In a way he’d thought impossible.
When Tokyo called, Jackman DuVall told them to phone again tomorrow.

He had a Fox to catch.

Sunday, February 8, 2015


In the vaults of the ship there lurked a dangerous weapon, caged in human form. . Mingling with the crew. One day a cabin boy, the next cleaning staff. Serving all the beautiful people their gluten-free truffle oil and whatnot.
 How he loathed them.
The beautful rich. There was no true beauty to them, apart from their faces, things and hearts. They thought they were better than other people because they were born with funds they hadn’t earned. The ocean was their playground. They had no respect for it. Or anything else.
 It made Eduardo sick to his rippling stomach. His taut, tanned skin burned with intensity as dark as his smouldering eyes.  
Parasites! The lot of them! Seeking naught but pleasure upon pleasure. Asking for nothing, demanding everything. Wearing tuxedo-based clothing on a regular basis. Spending more in a week than an Irish Primary School teacher could earn in a year. Needing no lucrative second incomes, they shunned those that did. Be they primary school teachers, or international men of murder.
He walked among them but he was not of them. And they would pay.
Oh, how they would pay.
Particularly the one he had been sent to kill. He eyed her photograph, which he had printed out because he couldn’t crumple his phone screen menacingly. Her face. Her beautiful, perfect face, unmarred by years. The one who’d hired him had not been aware of their former connection.
She stood, hands on hips, legs akimbo, beside a spaceship she’d been in. Eduardo had never been in a spaceship. But he had been in her once, and it had ruined him for all other women.
Five hundred thousand dollars (pocket change to his employer) was already wired to a Swiss bank account, and more to follow when the job was complete. He would have iced this bitch for free.
He took the photograph out of his pocket, carefully smoothed out all the creases, glared at it and crumpled it again.
Baroness Monique Therese Yolanda DuMaison, thought Eduardo Khan, the jet set’s grimmest assassin, stroking his rapier-thin pencil moustache. Prepare to encounter an old friend. And then prepare to die. And then actually die.

For the first time in several decades, Eduardo almost smiled. 

Saturday, February 7, 2015


New York Fashion Week was in full sail. But everyone who was anyone was here, in an abandoned hermitage on the lower west side. And they were waiting.
Goscinny Kurosawa was a new kid on the block, fresh out of fashion school with a backwards baseball cap and a portfolio full of balls to the wall nerves of repurposed antique steel. His clothing had it sure. But that wasn’t the reason they were all here. Anna. Diane. Karl. Beyoncé. Miuccia.
Ephemera Tornado outclassed them all. Five foot eleven of Fashion Royalty, she had the respect of the old guard and the adulation of the New. She was a muse, an artist, a wildcat force of nature.
            A Tastemaker.
If She was walking for Kurosawa, his star had already risen. And it was the sun.
Backstage all was chaos, yet in the atrium there was a hush. A lull before the storm.
And then she hit.
Hurricane Ephemera in a crimson scrap of nothing that was somehow everything.
Anna removed her sunglasses.
Beyoncé started to cry.
            Below the earth, generations of hermits rolled over and over and over in their graves, roused from eternity by a tumble of raven hair and a smile like Christmas morning if your present was nine orgasms and Santa was God himself. Again and again she strode her way through their hearts and souls.
She’d come from nothing, a one-horse town fresh out of hope with a population of nobody gave a shit. Her mother was a waitress, hooking on the side to make rent and her father was anybody’s guess.
Ephemera Tornado never talked about her childhood. “Keep ‘em guessing”, she thought, in her brain where the last vestiges of her accent still clung.
Her air of mystery was only part of the reason she was so adored. Why, at the age of twenty-three she’d been the first Nobel Prize winner for peace and fashion and the recipient of a McArthur Genius Grant for ‘those shoes’. Girl could put an outfit together.
Girl could put a life together. But somehow. Under the platinum and the partying and the lovers and the cohorts and the style. Under the Ephemera, there lurked a little girl. Singing country songs into a spoon and making a single food stamp last the week. For though she was a Tornado, she was still a woman, flawed and weak and looking for a man to lean on. Or if a man was not available, possibly religion or a big tree?
Keep them guessing read the snakeskin cuff encircling her delicate wrist.

And just like that, Fox’s name was made.

Thursday, February 5, 2015


Fox Maison was in a quandry. Sure, she was taking New York by storm, out every night hob nobbing with the crème de la crème of high society. From the speakeasies of Williamsburg to the members only supper clubs of the Upper East Side everyone wanted a piece of her.
Just not the right one.
She’d thought things would be so easy the first week she’d moved here. Sourcing the perfect loft in a repurposed TB orphanage in Brooklyn, accumulating a range of different hides, deerskin, lambskin. Visiting the many slaughterhouses New York State had to offer. She’d have her own one, eventually. She knew she would. It wasn’t just a dream.
It couldn’t be.
Fox gazed at her painstakingly curated mood board, the gathered wisdoms of her twenty-two years collected there.
You can do it.
They are the problem not you.
#YOLO. She’d believed that once, she really had. A bitter laugh caught in her elegant throat as she washed away her heartbreak with a glass of Grey Goose. It was so easy to get caught up in the glitter and fanciness. Shopping sprees in boutiques run by people who didn’t need a lucrative second income. Tweeting things that James Franco had promised you one midnight in his yurt.
            Making ice-sculptures with chainsaws in an Oligarch’s dungeon because you were young and good at it and his caviar tasted like the kind your Mum would put inside your lunchbox to let the other children know who mattered.
            Fox gazed at her mood board again, willing it to guide her. Slowly, she rose from her bed and put the vodka down. The time for fun was over. She had been in New York for eight days now and had orders for 1600 leather cuffs already. Donald Trump wanted three. But she wasn’t giving them to him. Her cuffs were only for the young shining elite. She wanted them to make a statement. Lots of statements.
The world had given Fox Maison so much. So very much. It wasn’t enough to be young and rich and gorgeous and not a racist. She’d have to give something back. But she could no longer do it alone.
She needed help. Hired help to do the embossing and the cutting and leave her free to flow creatively and forge important connections. She had a meeting with a possible investor tomorrow as it happened.
Jackman DuVall. He didn’t have business cards. Everyone in New York knew who he was already. A potent combination of Tycoon, Robber Baron and Sex-Batman. Fox hoped he believed in her dreams as hard as everyone she’d previously encountered did. Everyone bar her stupid unsupportive father.
Adversity makes a diamond shine with fire. Fox thought. And then wrote it down and affixed it to her mood board.
And, as for this Jackman DuVall? Well…
Fox had never met a man she couldn’t handle. And she certainly wasn’t going to start not handling men she’d met now.
She stroked the smooth shark-skin, hand killed by Serbian Beat-Poets in a fit of Art.
It will be alright thought Fox. There is no point in being intimidated by the undisputed king of Wall Street and probably America as well.
She was Fox Maison, dammit.