Magic and mayhem the wit.., p.4

Magic and Mayhem: The Witch Is In (Kindle Worlds Novella), page 4

 

Magic and Mayhem: The Witch Is In (Kindle Worlds Novella)
 


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  “I guess it’s some kind of weird witchcraft.” She held her hands up. “Hey, it’s none of my business what kind of weird crap you’re into.”

  I tossed the spices into the pot and wiped my hands on a nearby towel. “Well, I just felt there’s a lot of weird vibes around here lately and I was trying to get rid of them. Have you felt the weird vibes?”

  She stared at me like a deer caught in the headlights. Okay, that was a bad choice of words since she really was a deer when she shifted, but I digressed.

  Finally, she shrugged and said, “I always pick up on weird vibes. My sense of smell is off the charts.” She pointed to her nose.

  “Right, deer have a lot more olfactory senses than humans.”

  She pointed at me. “Exactly. So see, I really couldn’t tell you if there’s anything weird going on around here.”

  That was an odd statement. Deedee moved from one foot to the other and fidgeted her hands. She was definitely acting weird.

  “What are you doing to my kitchen?” Warren asked as he burst through the door. His face instantly turned red.

  Deedee jumped back.

  “I was just doing a little spell,” I said, trying to act casual.

  Maybe that would help calm his hissy fit. Who was I kidding? Nothing would help.

  Warren tossed his hands up. “No, no, no. Out of my kitchen.”

  “Warren, you really need to seek help for your issues with this kitchen,” I said as I hurried toward the swinging door.

  Okay, I was definitely wrong. It didn’t help his hissy fit.

  “Get out. Get out.” He shooed us away.

  “Don’t you want me to help clean up?” I asked, pointing to the mess on the floor.

  “You’ve caused enough trouble. Now leave.”

  Deedee and I rushed out of the room. It felt as if I’d just been stuck in the eye of a hurricane.

  “Wow, he’s serious about that kitchen.” Deedee said.

  I straightened my shirt and blew the hair out of my eyes. “He’s very particular.”

  As Deedee and I stood in the dining room, Deedee said, “There was something I wanted to ask you.”

  “If this is about the menu…” I said.

  She raised her hand to cut me off. “No, not that.” Deedee stepped over to the window. She picked at the gold silk curtain as she looked out the window. “You talked about a weird vibe. I suppose I do pick up something.”

  I stepped closer. “What’s that?”

  “It’s Elizabeth. I think something is up with her. Perhaps we should do a little snooping to find out what she’s up to.”

  “Snooping on her? Like looking in her room?” I waved my hands. “No way. That’s definitely against my policy.”

  Movement out the window caught my eye.

  “Oh, look, it’s a bunny.” I pointed.

  Deedee peered down at the grass. “It is kind of cute.”

  Just then the bunny hopped away, going toward the front of the house.

  I turned to face Deedee again. “Anyway, like I said…”

  The doorbell cut me off.

  “Hold that thought.” I held my finger up and then turned to walk toward the door.

  Deedee followed me out of the dining room, across the foyer, and to the front door. When I opened the front door, a man was standing in front of me. Not just any man, but the finest-looking man I’d seen since looking at Declan a few hours ago.

  He had blond hair and bright green eyes. He flashed his dimples at me and my whole body tingled. I became acutely aware of Deedee’s presence behind me since she was practically on my back at this point. Her breath tickled my ear.

  “Hello,” Deedee said in a seductive voice. “Aren’t you going to introduce me to your friend, Piper?”

  Now we were both gawking at him. He probably wondered why we were staring at him.

  “May I help you?” I asked in my sweetest voice.

  “I hope he’s here for the spa,” Deedee whispered in my ear.

  “Yes, I hope I came to the right place. My name is Jack Bunnbit.” He stretched out his hand and I shook it.

  Soft, yet strong. Nice.

  Deedee whispered in my ear again. “Bunnbit? That’s an unfortunate name. Deedee Bunnbit. Hmm. Doesn’t sound great, but I guess I can keep my last name.”

  I waved her off. Jack glanced at Deedee.

  “Nice to meet you, Mr. Bunnbit.” The silly grin was still plastered on my face.

  “Please call me Jack.” His eyes could melt the coldest of hearts.

  “What can I do for you, Jack?” I asked.

  He smiled again, flashing those adorable dimples. His eyes sparkled under the sunlight. “I hoped I could book a stay here at your spa. I realize it’s short notice. Do you have any availability?”

  Deedee stepped out from behind me. “Of course she does. Don’t you, Piper?”

  Deedee had overstepped the guest boundary, but she was right.

  “Yes, I do have space available. Please come in.” I stepped aside and motioned for Jack to enter.

  Deedee was still smiling from ear to ear. I’d have to talk to her about inviting guests to stay before finding out if I really had the space. Jack looked at Deedee and smiled.

  “My name is Deedee, by the way.” She stuck out her hand and he kissed it.

  I wondered if Jack was a witch. Was he having issues with his magic?

  “Where are you from, Jack?” Deedee asked as she batted her eyelashes.

  “I’m from Florida.”

  “Did you just get to town?” she asked.

  “Actually, yes, I came straight here.”

  It looked as if I would have to pry Deedee away from Jack if I wanted any information from him.

  I handed him a welcome packet. “You can look over the information and let me know which package you’d like. I recommend the relaxation, but the fitness is good too.”

  Deedee touched his arm. “It looks like you already work out a lot.”

  Jack smiled. It appeared as if Jack was enjoying the attention from Deedee.

  Loud footsteps echoed down the hallway. Elizabeth emerged in the foyer. Her gaze immediately fell on Jack. They exchanged a look for a moment and then he shifted his attention back to me. Deedee glared at Elizabeth.

  He took the packet and said, “Thank you. The relaxation sounds great.”

  Elizabeth moved closer. She was still staring at Jack, but I knew she was trying to act as if she wasn’t. Deedee and Elizabeth weren’t being the least bit inconspicuous. Elizabeth cleared her throat and glared at me. She motioned toward Jack with a tilt of her head.

  Finally, I said, “Jack, this is Elizabeth. She’s another guest here at the spa.”

  “Nice to meet you.” Jack stretched his hand toward hers.

  Deedee’s posture tensed as Elizabeth shook his hand. Deedee looked as if she wanted to shove Elizabeth out the window.

  Tension hung in the air like a thick fog on a crisp Kentucky morning.

  “It’s almost time for dinner. If you’d like I can show you to your room and then you can meet us in the dining room.” I touched Jack’s arm and steered him away from the women.

  Deedee and Elizabeth stared at each other as if they were already in the boxing ring and the bell was about to announce round one. I figured they were already devising plans for who would get to sit next to Jack at dinner. This probably wouldn’t end well.

  “Ladies, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll show Jack his room.”

  Now maybe I would get a chance to ask him some questions. I could find out if he was a witch, vampire, or Shifter. One thing was for certain. I’d definitely put him on the opposite side of the house from Elizabeth and Deedee.

  “Just follow me, Jack, and I’ll show you the room.”

  As we started down the hallway, Deedee and Elizabeth followed us.

  “Sorry, ladies, but I think I can show him by myself.”

  The expressions on their faces looked as if I’d just punched them in t
he stomach.

  “We’ll be back down for dinner soon, I promise.”

  “Nice to meet you, Deedee and Elizabeth,” Jack said with a smile.

  When Jack wasn’t looking, Deedee smirked at Elizabeth. Deedee seemed happy that Jack had said her name first. Elizabeth glared at Deedee. Next they’d put up their fists and start circling each other.

  “Sorry about that,” I said as we walked away.

  Jack chuckled. “That’s okay. I think they’re cute.”

  “You do?” I glanced over at him.

  As Jack and I climbed the staircase, I thought I heard angry whispers drifting up from the foyer. Lucky for Jack, we couldn’t make out what was being said. After reaching the end of the hallway, I stopped in front of the room and pulled out the key from my pocket. I shoved the key into the lock and turned. When I opened the door to the room and stepped inside, Jack followed me.

  “This is nice,” he said, placing his bags on the bed.

  “I’m glad you like it,” I said.

  Now was my chance to ask questions. I peeked out the door to make sure Deedee and Elizabeth weren’t eavesdropping. Jack might not want to answer questions if he knew they were listening.

  “So tell me, Jack, how did you find out about the spa?”

  What I really meant was to ask was if he’d been forced to come here because his paranormal powers were kaput.

  “I saw your ad in a magazine, so I thought why not?” He stepped over to the window to check out the view.

  I was surprised he hadn’t called first. Making such a long trip was risky if he had no guarantee that I had vacancies at the moment.

  I gestured toward the bathroom. “There are towels and other toiletries available for you. If there’s anything else you need let me know.” I stared at him.

  He smiled. “Thanks, I will.”

  I supposed I should leave him alone for a moment, but I wasn’t finished asking questions. Apparently he picked up on that too.

  “You want to know about my paranormal powers, right?”

  My face probably turned red. “Well, yes, I guess I had wondered.” I stumbled over my words.

  “I’m a Shifter,” he said.

  “Oh, really? What kind of shifter? Wolf? Deer? Cat?” The questions came out in rapid fire. I could go on and on. I hoped he stopped me soon though and provided the answer.

  Jack looked at me as if it was classified top-secret information. Apparently he didn’t want me to know. Was it really a secret?

  He opened his mouth to speak, but then someone screamed out, “Fire!”

  “Oh, no, not again.” I raced out the door with Jack following me.

  This had better not be a joke. Okay, maybe it was better if it was a joke, at least then it wouldn’t be true. Now I had to maneuver those stairs again. Would Jack grab me if I started to fall? I got to the bottom and practically slid around the turn as we rushed into the foyer. No one was there. Now I would have to go from room to room. Based on the yelling though, it sounded as if the emergency was in the front parlor. Jack followed me as I ran down the hall and turned right into the parlor room.

  When I spotted Barbara and Destiny, I knew that it was real and one hundred percent not a joke.

  “What are you doing this time?” I yelled.

  The curtain at the front of the house was on fire. I liked it better when they used the cauldron. At least then the flames were contained to one area. This had the potential to burn the whole place to the ground.

  Jack ran past me, pulled the curtain down with one swift yank, and then stepped on it. Everything happened so fast. Within seconds the fire was out. I hadn’t even had to use the fire extinguisher this time.

  “Wow, that was impressive,” Deedee said as she ogled his muscles.

  “You’re so brave, Jack,” Elizabeth said in a swooning voice.

  Chapter 9

  After getting rid of the curtain, I met everyone in the dining room. Maybe dinner would help ease everyone’s tension. Barbara and Destiny were still trying to rid the place of negative energy. Their spells weren’t working though and they needed to quit trying immediately. I’d had a stern talk with them, but I was sure it had gone in one ear and out the other.

  I needed to try to bind Barbara and Destiny from casting any spells again during their stay at Paranormal Paradise Spa and Retreat. (Located just twenty minutes from downtown. An easy drive into the country. Call for availability.)

  Sorry, sometimes I got carried away with promotion. Where was I? Oh, yes. Barbara and Destiny. They had to be stopped before they burned the whole place down. Later tonight when everyone had gone to bed, I would try another spell to bind them.

  The room was full when I stepped in. Jack was sandwiched between Elizabeth and Deedee at the table in the middle of the room. The ladies were obviously in competition with each other. I wasn’t sure why other than he was gorgeous and seemed charming.

  Warren stepped out from the kitchen and made a grand gesture, waving his arm toward the buffet. “Behold my masterpiece.”

  “Is that it? It looks like a shriveled-up piece of fish,” Barbara said as she peered down at the food.

  Warren glared at her and then shooed her away. “If you would not like dinner that’s fine with me. You do not eat.”

  I waved my hands. “No one is skipping dinner. Please let’s eat.” I motioned for everyone to step up to the buffet. Reluctantly everyone stepped up to the display of dishes. I released a deep breath when they started placing the food onto their plates. I had to admit I wasn’t quite sure what the brown concoction even was. I guessed we’d figure it out when we took a bite.

  Silence fell over the room as everyone stared at their plates. Finally, they picked up the forks and started to eat. There were a few grimaces and coughs, but otherwise everyone swallowed their bites. Elizabeth and Deedee were still glaring at each other.

  Jack didn’t even seem to notice the tension between them. If he did, he didn’t mind. He ate his food with a smile. Yes, if I hadn’t known better, I’d say he was enjoying the tension. I wasn’t though. Something had to change. This was a retreat for relaxation and reflection, not for drama.

  Once everyone was finished eating, I pushed to my feet. “If everyone could follow me into the yellow parlor room, we’re having a surprise reflection session.”

  “What’s that?” Deedee asked with a grimace.

  “We’ll talk about our problems and see if we can’t work them out.”

  Deedee rolled her eyes. “This should be fun.”

  “Yes, I think you will like it and find it useful.” I knew she was being sarcastic, but I wouldn’t give in to the bad vibe hanging over this place.

  Everyone gathered in the room. There were two lovely beige sofas and another six upholstered chairs. This room had the most windows, so it was always the brightest.

  “Please have a seat wherever you like.” I motioned. “Okay, now who would like to go first?”

  Everyone stared at me blankly.

  “Fine. I’ll go first.” I released a deep breath, and then said, “I feel that we should all work together to keep a positive attitude. It draws good energy and that’s something we could all use.”

  Still everyone stared at me.

  “You get what you put out,” I said with a smile.

  Still nothing.

  “Bad vibes are like a boomerang. They come right back and smack you in the back of the head.” I swung my arm at the back of Warren’s head.

  He ducked. “Hey!”

  “I wasn’t really going to hit you,” I whispered. “It was just for a visual. Adds a good effect, no?”

  “No,” he said with a grimace.

  “See.” I pointed at his face. “We need to replace our frowns with smiles. Smile,” I whispered to Warren.

  He forced a tiny grin. My talk was falling on deaf ears.

  “Well, with your all’s attitudes, it’s no wonder your paranormal powers aren’t working.”

  Jack stood u
p. “She’s absolutely right. We’re in lovely surroundings and this should be the most relaxed we’ve ever been. We’ll try harder, won’t we?” He gestured at everyone.

  Deedee and Elizabeth sat up a little straighter. “Of course,” they said in unison.

  ***

  Now that darkness had fallen things settled down. Thank goodness. With any luck there would be no more failed attempts at magic tonight. The silence was a welcome relief. Who knew a retreat could be so chaotic?

  Since everyone had gone to bed, I figured this was the time for me to try that spell again. It hadn’t worked out so well in the kitchen. Warren must have some kind of sense for when anyone was in or even near his kitchen. The full moon cast a bright white glow over everything tonight, and this would be the perfect opportunity to cast a spell under the stars.

  I peeked my head out my bedroom door. All was silent. The house was dark except for the glow from the moon streaming through the windows. I slipped downstairs, through the house and toward the kitchen. I had to hurry and grab my stuff before Warren sensed me and chased me out with a rolling pin.

  I had a cauldron outside under the gazebo for nights when I wanted to do my witchcraft under the moon. Nights like this were nice because I was alone and could easily become one with nature. Pushing on the swinging door, I peeked in to make sure Warren wasn’t there. I eased into the kitchen, stuffed my spices into the tote bag, and backed out. My heart thumped faster at the thought of being caught. Okay, so I needed to tell Warren to ease up and take a few yoga classes. This was my place after all and I should be able to come into the kitchen any time I wanted.

  I paused to listen. All was still quiet in the house. Now if I could just open the back door without anyone hearing. The door hinges always made a noise. I needed to get that fixed. Just another thing to add to my to-do list.

  Once I stepped out into the night, I paused and looked up at the sky. Not a cloud in sight as the endless sky full of twinkling stars reminded me just how small I was in comparison to the universe. There was no wind and the only sound was the chirp of the insects. My surroundings were covered with the white glow of the full moon.

  I made my way over to the cauldron under the gazebo. I sure hoped that bear didn’t return. I figured its appearance at Paranormal Paradise Spa and Retreat was a complete fluke. It had probably been lost. I hoped the bear found its way back home.

 
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