Magic and Mayhem: The Witch Is In (Kindle Worlds Novella), page 6
I rushed over to Deedee. “Are you okay? Did the dog bite you?”
What if Deedee sued me? Would I lose the spa?
She blew the hair out of her eyes. “I guess I’m okay. It didn’t bite me, although I saw my life flash before my eyes. Dogs don’t really like deer. I wonder if he sensed me?”
“Probably,” I said. “The dog probably won’t be back.”
“How do you know that?” Deedee asked.
I didn’t know that, but I was trying my best to calm down the situation. I had to look as if I was in control.
“The dog was probably scared. I doubt it will return.”
She stared at me for a moment and then nodded.
“Let’s take you inside. It’s time for breakfast anyway.” I took her arm and guided her toward the house.
Everyone dispersed then, figuring that the show was over. First the bear and now the dog.
“Thank goodness you’re finally giving me food. I’m feeling lightheaded.” Deedee made it sound as if I was starving her on purpose. The calorie content was completely acceptable.
As we walked toward the front door Elizabeth appeared. Deedee stopped and instantly tensed up. This wasn’t going to end well.
“I don’t want any more fighting,” I said with a wave of my finger.
Elizabeth glared at Deedee, as if she hadn’t heard a word I said.
“I know you left that note for me,” Deedee said with fury in her big hazel eyes.
Elizabeth placed her hands on her hips. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Deedee scoffed. “Yeah, right. You are such a liar.”
They moved closer to each other and I was pretty sure there would be hair-pulling soon. All these negative vibes were putting a dark cloud over the spa.
“I think we need to have a talk,” I said, stepping between the women.
“There’s nothing to discuss. She’s a bitch.” Deedee smirked.
My eyes widened. Barbara and Destiny gasped from somewhere over my shoulder.
Elizabeth raised an eyebrow. “Oh, it’s on now.”
Without further warning, Elizabeth lunged toward Deedee. It looked as if I was going to be the one with pulled hair. Now I was sandwiched in between the women. Punches were being thrown and bodies shoved. Mostly I was the one being shoved and punched. I grabbed Elizabeth. My anger had surged so much that I didn’t know my own strength.
“That’s enough. I demand that you stop right now. This is a peaceful place and I will not have fighting. If you’re going to do that then you will have to leave.” I gestured toward the driveway.
The women stopped, but they were still starting at each other. Tension hung in the air.
I released a deep breath and straightened my clothing. “Now let’s go inside and sit down. We can discuss this like adults.”
They stared for a moment longer. Death glares were still being exchanged between the women.
I pointed toward the front door. “Now, please.”
Finally they started walking toward the door, but kept their distance from each other. That was probably for the best. When I opened the door, Barbara and Destiny tried to follow us inside.
“Declan is giving back massages in the yoga studio,” I said.
Barbara and Destiny immediately turned around and hurried away. That was totally a lie, but it had gotten them to leave me alone to discuss this with Elizabeth and Deedee in private. I felt slightly guilty for doing that to Declan.
Elizabeth and Deedee followed me as I walked inside.
I motioned toward the parlor. “Have a seat, please.”
Elizabeth sat on one side of the room and Deedee on the other. I stood in the middle of the room so I could keep my eyes on both of them.
“Now, ladies, we have to talk about your issues with each other.”
They stared at me blankly, their arms crossed in front of their chests.
I cleared my throat. “Okay, I will lead the discussion. Now there is no reason to fight over Jack. He’s not worth fighting over. I mean, sure, he’s good-looking, but there are plenty of fish in the sea.”
Deedee scoffed. “I’m not fighting over Jack.”
“Me either,” Elizabeth said.
“Then what are you fighting over?” I asked.
“The fact that she left me a threatening note. That’s not cool. I should call the police.” Deedee pointed at Elizabeth.
I really didn’t want the police to come here unless absolutely needed. I didn’t want my spa resort to be known as a problem location.
“I really don’t think that will be necessary,” I said.
“I didn’t leave you a stupid note. If I have something to say I will say it to your face,” Elizabeth said.
“Oh, yeah?” Deedee leaned forward in her chair.
“Yeah.” Elizabeth leaned in too.
I stepped forward and held my hands out. “Okay, stop right there.”
Just then the doorbell rang. Of all times.
“Can I trust you all not to fight while I get the door?”
“Of course you can,” Elizabeth said with a fake smile.
That caused more concern than comfort.
“Everything is peachy,” Deedee said while staring at Elizabeth.
I kept my eyes on the women for as long as I could as I backed out of the room. Finally, I had to turn the corner and go down the hall to the front door. I hoped whoever was at the door wouldn’t take long. Thank goodness so far I hadn’t heard any fighting. If they broke furniture I would be most unhappy. They were paying for any damages. Though at the moment Elizabeth had zero dollars.
I opened the door to find a leggy woman standing in front of me.
“May I help you?” I asked.
She flashed a bright smile. “Is this the…” She looked down at the paper in her hand. “Paranormal Paradise Spa and Resort?”
“You got it,” I said.
“Oh, good. I was worried I had the wrong location. I’m here for a stay.” She looked around, glancing over my shoulder.
“Oh, please come in.” I glanced back at the hallway.
Still no noise from the room. That was even stranger. It was like when the toddler got quiet—you knew they were into something that they shouldn’t be into.
“My name is Ruth Reeves,” she said, sticking out her hand toward me.
“Nice to meet you, Ruth. I’m Piper Perdue. I run the spa.” I gestured behind me.
“That’s great.” Ruth picked up her bags. “I would love to stay for a week.”
“Sure. Let me show you to your room,” I said.
Maybe I sounded rushed. That was because I was rushed. I needed to get back to Deedee and Elizabeth. I didn’t want them to fight in front of other guests. Then the shouting began.
“You think you’re so tough?” Deedee yelled.
“You want a piece of me? Bring it on,” Elizabeth spat out.
I ran toward the room, leaving my new guest standing alone in the hallway. That was better than letting the altercation escalate. When I reached the room Elizabeth and Deedee were standing in the middle of the room like it was the beginning of a MMA fight. All that was missing was the ring. Before I reached them, Elizabeth pulled Deedee’s hair. They immediately fell to the ground.
“Knock it off, you two,” I yelled.
I finally got the two of them off each other. Ruth had moved to the room’s threshold. She stared in shock. She probably wanted to turn around and run away.
“It’s time for breakfast.” I motioned toward the door. “Now get up and act like adults.”
“I’m not hungry now,” Elizabeth said in a pouty voice.
“Too bad.” I glared at Elizabeth.
After motioning at Deedee, I turned to face Ruth.
“Ruth, I’ll show you to your room and then we can join them for breakfast,” I said in my sweetest voice.
I tried to act as if nothing was wrong. Maybe if I did then it would be so. I followed Deedee and Eli
Once I made sure Deedee and Elizabeth were seated I asked Randall and Candy to keep an eye on them. The vampires were the most responsible. I joined Ruth again in the hallway. She was patiently waiting to be shown her room.
“You’re going to love it here,” I said with a huge smile, pretending everything was fine.
I hurried Ruth down the hallway to the staircase. I didn’t know how long I had before Elizabeth and Deedee would start again. Maybe Randall and Candy would have better luck with them. I hated to do it, but I would have to ask Elizabeth and Deedee to leave if they continued this behavior.
After climbing the staircase, I directed Ruth down the hallway. “The room is right this way. I think you’ll really enjoy it.”
Ruth was being quiet. I knew what she was thinking. Her thoughts were probably on how to get away from this place.
As we headed for the room, an odd noise came from somewhere nearby. When I glanced over my shoulder at Ruth, I caught her sniffing. She turned to the left without saying a word.
“Oh, it’s not down the way,” I said, rushing after her.
Where was she going? She was still sniffing. She made it to the end of the hallway and then stopped in front of the door. She had gone all the way to Jack’s room. Why had she stopped here? Sure it was the end of the hall and she couldn’t go any further, but still… was that a coincidence? Was she a Shifter too? Maybe she had sniffed out that Jack was a Shifter too.
She looked at me. “Sorry. I guess I got distracted.”
I didn’t understand it, but nevertheless, I had to hurry back to the dining room. There was no time to discuss it.
“Okay, let’s go back this way.” I motioned.
This time I walked behind her. When we reached the room, I opened the door and she stepped in. She placed her bag down on the bed. I hated to rush her through, but I absolutely had to get back to the dining room.
“Please let me know if you need anything,” I said in a hurry. “If you’d like we can go back down to breakfast.”
Ruth took in the room for a second, and then said, “Yeah, okay, I guess breakfast would be good.”
I hoped she liked bean sprouts for breakfast. Ruth peered down the hall toward Jack’s room as we headed toward the staircase. At least she didn’t go down there again.
When I reached the dining room, Warren was standing between Deedee and Elizabeth. He looked at me with a frown. I knew later he would let me know that keeping the two of them from fighting was not in his job description. Randall and Candy were on the floor.
“What happened?” I asked, rushing over to help them up.
“I guess we underestimated their dislike for each other,” Randall said as he rubbed his head.
“Okay, everyone please have a seat. Deedee, you sit at that table, and Elizabeth, you sit over there. One more move like that and you’re both out of here.” I didn’t try to hide the irritation in my voice.
Maybe it was best that Jack wasn’t in the dining room right now. At least Deedee and Elizabeth wouldn’t fight over who could sit next to them. Deedee and Elizabeth paused and looked at Ruth. It was as if this was the first time they realized she was even there.
Deedee and Elizabeth watched Ruth as she moved across the room and sat at the table over by the windows. A moment of peace settled over the room. If they started one more fight this morning then I would ask them to leave. I’d never asked anyone to leave before. I supposed there was a first time for everything.
Warren brought out the breakfast and a few moans and complaints rang out around the room. I was beginning to lose my patience with everyone. I didn’t like feeling that way either. I tried to remain calm and pleasant at all times, but there was only so much that I could handle.
Just then movement caught my attention. When I looked at the doorway, I spotted Jack. I was actually surprised that he’d even returned with everything that had happened. Deedee and Elizabeth remained surprisingly quiet.
“You can sit at the table by the window, Jack.” I pointed.
Jack paused when he neared the table with an empty seat. He looked at Ruth. She fixed her gaze on him for a moment, and then a sly smile spread across her face. He stared at her for a second longer and then finally sat down in the chair across from her. He shifted in the seat, fumbling with the napkin and silverware. I’d never seen him look so uncomfortable.
Deedee coughed and then spat out her mouthful of food, breaking my attention away from Jack.
“Are you okay?” I rushed over and pounded her on the back. “Were you choking?”
Warren raced out from the kitchen. “What is the matter?”
“I think Deedee was choking.”
“Nonsense,” he said. “There is nothing to choke on in that dish.”
“I think people can choke on water,” I said.
“Maybe we should call an ambulance,” Destiny said.
“Or we could try magic to help her,” Barbara said.
“No,” I answered, waving my arms. “No magic, remember?”
“It’s what was in the food,” Deedee finally managed after she stopped coughing. “I’m allergic to the sage.”
“You didn’t tell me about any allergies,” Warren said defensively.
“You should have let me know,” I said.
“Besides, I didn’t put sage in the food,” Warren added.
“Well, it’s in there and someone put it there.” Deedee turned her attention to Elizabeth.
Elizabeth glared. “Don’t look at me. I wasn’t near your food.”
That was true, they had been fighting. There would be no way for Elizabeth to get to the food. Deedee marched over to the door and stormed out of the room. The tension was so thick you could cut it with a knife.
Everyone in the room was staring at me. I picked up Deedee’s plate and handed it to Warren. “Take care of this, would you?”
He grumbled something and walked out of the room with the plate. As much as I wanted breakfast to be uneventful, it had been the exact opposite. Everyone finished the food and started leaving the room so they could go to their other appointments for the day. I had planned on taking a hike with some of them, but now I had other things to attend to.
When I stepped out of the room, I spotted Elizabeth and Ruth talking. They were speaking in hushed tones. I tried to remain so they wouldn’t notice me, but it was as if they sensed my presence. When they glanced over and spotted me, they immediately walked away. What was that all about?
Later that day I was going to check on the spa treatments. I wished that I could have a facial now. Maybe a massage would be good too. There was no time for that though. When things settled down I’d have an all-day treatment. If they settled down. At least everything was quiet now. I hoped the worst was behind me now.
I hadn’t seen Deedee, Elizabeth, or Jack all afternoon. They were almost too quiet, but I wouldn’t push it. Ruth, Destiny, and Barbara were getting facials, so at least I knew where they were. Randall and Candy were on a hike. It was hard to keep track of everyone.
Before I reached the front door, it flew open. Deedee stormed in. She stopped and glared at me.
“Hi, Deedee, is everything okay?” I asked.
She held up a large metal contraption. “Does this look like everything is okay?”
My eyes widened. “What is that?”
“It’s an animal trap and I almost fell into it. Someone set it out in the woods. Do you know who would do that?” she asked with rage in her voice.
“Um, no, I have no idea.”
She looked at me as if she didn’t believe a word I said.
I held up my hand. “Honest, I have no idea who would have done something like that.”
“Well, I think I have an idea,” she said. “And I know they left it for me.”<
“Well, maybe some hunter stumbled into the woods and left it.”
“If that’s the case then this place isn’t very safe.”
Deedee was right about that. I had signs posted all around to keep people out. I couldn’t let the hikers go out into the wooded area if people were going to do things like that. I especially couldn’t allow the Shifters to do that. I wouldn’t be responsible if something happened.
Deedee tossed the metal trap onto the floor. “I’m leaving. There’s no way I will stay here if someone is trying to kill me.”
I thought she was being a little bit dramatic. All of this didn’t add up to someone trying to kill her. Okay, maybe someone had left a threatening note, tried to poison her, and then potentially left a trap. But was all that just a coincidence? Maybe it was for the best that Deedee left. Nevertheless, I felt bad.
Deedee stormed past me. I supposed there was no point in asking her to stay.
Deedee disappeared around the corner. Just then, Elizabeth emerged from the other side of the room. Had she been listening all along? Now was the time to confront her.
“Elizabeth, I need to talk with you.”
“Yes?” she asked in a sweet voice.
Now she was making it hard for me to ask her such a thing.
I cleared my throat. “It’s about Deedee.”
Elizabeth’s smile turned into a frown. “What about her?”
“Well, she’s leaving.”
Elizabeth’s frown deepened. Her reaction surprised me. I’d thought the news would make her happy.
“Why is she doing that?” Elizabeth asked.
“She thinks someone is trying to kill her,” I said.
“Whatever gave her that idea?” Elizabeth’s voice returned to that saccharine-sweet tone.
“Who would try something like that?” Elizabeth continued.
“Be honest with me. Did you leave that note for her?”
Elizabeth’s eyes flashed with anger. I didn’t care if it made her mad. I’d had enough of this.
“No, I didn’t leave the note. Now if you’ll excuse me.” Elizabeth spun around and took off down the hall.
Did I really think she would be honest with me if she had left the note? I would have to do some research on my own. How, I didn’t know, but I had to think of something. I would talk to Deedee and see if I could convince her to stay.
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