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Lady Wynwood #7 early release Kickstarter

I worked on my first Kickstarter and it got approved! It’s for the Special Edition Hardcover of Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 1: Archer and the release of Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 7: Spinster. I contacted my graphic designer about the Special Edition Hardcover of vol. 1: Archer—it’s going to be SO beautiful! The Kickstarter focuses on the Special Edition Hardcover, but it’ll also include vol. 7: Spinster so that it’ll sort of be like a launch day for vol. 7, too. A third special thing that’ll be in the Kickstarter is Special Edition Paperbacks of all the books in the series. They won’t be available in stores, just in the Kickstarter (and later, from my website, and also in my Patreon book box tiers if I decide to do them). The Kickstarter is not live yet, but you can follow it to be alerted when it has launched. (You may need to create a free Kickstarter account.) Follow Camy’s Kickstarter

ひとり寿司第18章パート4




「ひとり寿司」をブログに連載します!


ひとり寿司



寿司シリーズの第一作

キャミー・タング

西島美幸 訳

スポーツ狂のレックス・坂井 —— いとこのマリコが数ヶ月後に結婚することにより、「いとこの中で一番年上の独身女性」という内輪の肩書を「勝ち取る」ことについては、あまり気にしていない。コントロールフリークの祖母を無視するのは容易だ —— しかし、祖母は最終通告を出した —— マリコの結婚式までにデート相手を見つけなければ、無慈悲な祖母は、レックスがコーチをしている女子バレーボールチームへの資金供給を切ると言う。

ダグアウトにいる選手全員とデートに出かけるほど絶望的なわけではない。レックスは、バイブルスタディで読んだ「エペソの手紙」をもとに「最高の男性」の条件の厳しいリストを作った。バレーボールではいつも勝つ —— ゲームを有利に進めれば、必ず成功するはずだ。

そのとき兄は、クリスチャンではなく、アスリートでもなく、一見何の魅力もないエイデンを彼女に引き合わせる。

エイデンは、クリスチャンではないという理由で離れていったトリッシュという女の子から受けた痛手から立ち直ろうとしている。そして、レックスが(1)彼に全く興味がないこと、(2)クリスチャンであること、(3)トリッシュのいとこであることを知る。あの狂った家族とまた付き合うのはごめんだ。まして、偽善的なクリスチャンの女の子など、お断り。彼はマゾヒストじゃない。

レックスは時間がなくなってきた。いくら頑張っても、いい人は現れない。それに、どこへ行ってもエイデンに遭遇する。あのリストはどんどん長くなっていくばかり ——

過去に掲載済みのストーリーのリンクはこちらです。

***


**********


レックスは、お金が必要だった。

彼女にとってこんなに大事なことが、始まる前に終わってしまうかもしれないなんて、なんという皮肉だろう。

ワサマタユの年会費は数千ドル——ペアで働いている時だったら心配しなくてよかったのに。貯蓄を崩して、うちで節約しながら生活しているうちに、給料のいいエンジニアの仕事に戻ることができるだろうか。

さて、トライアウトの前に、五千ドルの前金を支払わなくてはならなかった。入れなかった時には返金されるそうだ。

レックスは、そこをもう一度読み直した。自分は選ばれるはずだ。これだけ激しいトレーニングをしてきたんだから。

しかし、お金のことが心配だった。家賃を払わないで父の家に住むのではなく、コンドミニアムを借りる必要がある上、SPZの仕事はペアの時より給料が安い。女子チームのプレイオフ費用のために、代替案として——十分とは言えないが——自分の貯蓄を使うことも考えていた。

エイデンがレックスの隣に座って靴を脱いでいた。二人の携帯が同時に鳴り始めた。

レックスは番号をろくに見もしないで電話を切り、床に投げた。その晩の不在着信は六件。祖母は、年頃の息子を持つ友達が何人いるのだろうか? ため息をついて目を上げた。

(もう、最悪。何でこんなにしつこいの?)

長身の痩せた男の方が残っていた。後の二人は出て行ったようだ。レックスはうめき声を上げて、頭を垂れた。脈打つ頭痛が目玉の真後ろで始まった。

「それで、レックス」ミスター忍耐が腰を曲げ、彼女にまとわりついている。「チケットの話をしようよ」

「したくないわ」自己紹介すらしない、横柄なヤツだ。

彼女は不機嫌なのに、彼は笑った。「頼むよ——僕の母親と君のおばあさんっていうお互いの問題は、簡単に解決できるんだよ」

考えが浮かんだ。レックスは、その後すぐに感じた罪悪感を押しのけた。「どうするっていうの?」

ミスター忍耐は瞬きした。「あのさ……僕、検眼医なんだ」財布の中から名刺を取り出して、彼女に渡した。

この人は支払い能力がある。そして、彼女はお金が必要。彼は、週末のバークレーの試合のために五千ドル払うつもりはないかもしれないが、他にもチケットを手に入れるためにお金を出すのをいとわない友達がいるはずだ……

ノー、ノー、ノー。そんなことを考えた自分が信じられなかった。若干違法であることはさておき、誠実にチケットをくれた同窓会を裏切ることはできない。

ミスター忍耐は、兄のリチャードと同じような厚かましい態度で笑った。

「ダメよ」彼女は、彼に名刺を押し返した。「ダメ」

 彼の笑顔が大きくなった。「レックス——」

「ダメ」

「もう、頼むよ——」

「ダメだ、って言ってるよ」エイデンの鋭い声が割って入った。レックスは、彼が隣に座っていることをすっかり忘れていた。明らかに携帯での会話が終わり、ミスター忍耐の話を聞いていたのだ。

彼はムッとした顔をエイデンに向けてから、悔しそうな目でレックスを見た。「名刺、持っててよ。気が変わったら——」

「変わらないわ」彼に背を向けて、靴を脱ぎ始めた。レックスは、誰も見ていなかった。もちろんエイデンも。

二つめの靴を脱ぎ終わるまで待った。「行った?」

「うん」エイデンは、スニーカーを探して鞄の中を探った。

レックスはモゾモゾと靴下に指先を入れながら、足を見つめた。とうとう目を上げて、エイデンを見た。「サンキュー」

彼の眼差しが彼女に留まった。優しいが、探るような表情ではなかった。「お安い御用」

胸の上に温かみが残った。エイデンが何も言わずにそこにいることが……気に入った。特に、事実上全ての男がレックスからチケットを欲しがる時には。

彼は違った。

レックスは、放り投げた携帯の方を見た。

鳴っていた。

***

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