Remember to chime in anytime if you have an idea of how you would like this to go. I am currently breaking it up into reasonable, somewhat readable parts.
He had fallen afoul of the universe. There was no other explanation to describe why he was having this feeling rippling through him when Phoebe Morgan smiled her beguiling smile. Here she was looking like a waif, a well-dressed bag lady, a Mori girl (which he actually now knew what that was thanks to Jared’s niece, Jilly, who wanted to dress like and be a Mori girl). Fanciful as it was he could see Phoebe Morgan as a fairytale forest girl despite the narrow-eyed angry gaze she now aimed at him. And, why did she look so angry? And, hell, why did he really want to kiss that scowl from her face despite knowing innately that if he were to even try to do that the scowl would deepen and she might even curse him further, not exactly what he needed.
“What’s wrong?” he asked.
She shook her head and looked away. “Forget about being sociable or anything like that. We should probably just get this over with.”
Kaden nodded. “Sure. I guess.”
“What did Serena do?”
“You know her?” he asked, hearing familiarity in her voice which made him grow suspicious.
“She’s my cousin. She does things like this all the time, unfortunately. She gets pissed and I have to clean up the mess. You’re just the latest mess. So tell me what she did.”
“She said a really stupid rhyme and left.”
“What? She didn’t toss anything at you?”
“I Serena-proofed the room first. No vases, no lamps, nothing like that lying around,” he said, and then catching her exasperation, shook his head. “I’m kidding. Don’t you have a sense of humor?”
“Say something funny and we’ll see,” she said just barely under her breath, but he heard her.
He watched as she straightened some opaque dark amber bottles with neatly handwritten labels. The scent of something woodsy, deeply complex reached him as she dabbed liquid onto her wrist.
She glanced at him, those beautiful eyes watchful.
“I should probably warn Jared that all of the women in your family are crazy.”
“Don’t you even know the name of the guy your sister is dating?”
Phoebe groaned, in a not at all sexy way, and stamped her boot. “My sister is dating some guy named Jared? What’s he do? Is he like you?”
Kaden grinned and tilted his fedora back on his head. “He’s exactly like me,” he lied. “Two peas, same pod.”
“She always did like a pretty face,” Phoebe muttered.
“You think I have a pretty face?”
“Men shouldn’t have pretty faces. Let’s be straight on that.”
Phoebe pressed her fingers to her temples and closed her eyes. Kaden’s grin widened as he watched. He knew he shouldn’t be enjoying her frustration just so much, but he couldn’t help himself. She seriously needed to unwind. He knew just the way to do it too. He couldn’t believe he was thinking about seducing this deluded woman. But there would be something satisfying about hearing her moan and knowing he was the reason why. A low sensual moan as he touched her, kissed her, aroused her into a frenzy.
Suddenly her eyes flickered at him and her mouth formed an “o” as if she read his mind and was sickened or mortified by what she saw.
“You need help,” she said pointing her forefinger at him and went to stand behind the counter. She waved her hands in front of her and pulled a face as if she had just tasted freshly squeezed lemon. “Damn. Okay, let’s just get this over with so you can leave. Serena didn’t throw something that looked like powder or dust at you? No smelly liquids?”
He shook his head, still wondering why she had reacted like so bizarrely, not that he thought she was sane. He figured that anyone who believed themselves to be witches couldn’t be playing with a full deck. Really, he had to warn Jared. If both Phoebe and Serena were insane, it probably ran in the family. Jared couldn’t handle crazy. He was too nice, unassuming of a guy. Crazy would just wrap him around its little finger and he would be a goner. Probably much like he was now with his constant texting and cow-eyes. Maybe Jared was already a lost case. Kaden shook his head and sighed.
“She didn’t toss anything.”
Phoebe tapped her forefinger against her chin, her eyes blankly staring at a display of dream catchers. “Was she holding anything? A pouch? Something that looked like a sachet?”
“A sachet, you know, it’s like a little bag.”
“Nothing,” he said and then tried to think back to that Monday morning. He could see Serena standing at the front door. She smacked him with her right hand, but there was something in her left hand and she’d clasped both hands together when she spoke. “Hold on. She was holding something.”
“Aha. Okay. But she never tossed anything or spread anything? Was this at an apartment or a house?”
“She might have buried something in your front yard.”
“Okay. But I don’t really have much of a front yard.”
“Flower pots? Bushes?”
He nodded. “Yeah, there’s some kind of red flowering thing in a hanging pot by the door. So what’s next?”
Phoebe thought for a moment. He could see an array of emotions pass over her face. He watched her eyes. They were like light brown or green. He guessed they were hazel. With her plum colored hair and porcelain skin, she looked exotically beautiful even though she looked equally annoyed.
She glanced at him, biting her full bottom lip again. “So Chloe’s in California?”
He nodded and she immediately shook her head. Her expression seemed to fall.
“She told me she was in New York. I don’t know why she just can’t be honest with me,” she said.
“Is it because you’re a bit of a hard-ass?” Kaden guessed.
Phoebe’s eyes darted to him and he almost thought he saw them grow shiny, before she turned away and grabbed her phone. He listened to the one-sided conversation she had with her sister. There was no mention of California or New York, which surprised him. He could have sworn that Phoebe would have been the type to remind Chloe of her lie. He raised an eyebrow. Maybe there was more to Phoebe. Of course, he didn’t really know her, did he?
She asked Chloe to check the pots and any bushes or any other likely places that Serena could have hidden a pouch on the outside of his property. She ended the call with a “love you” and no recriminations.
When Phoebe turned back toward him, she shrugged. “Okay. We have to wait until Chloe can check out around your house. Is it very large?”
He couldn’t help it. He immediately thought she was asking about his dick and he grinned. “I’ve never heard any complaints.”
She pulled that same face as before, as though he smelled bad.
“Your house,” she said adding something descriptive under her breath that he couldn’t make out this time.
“Oh, that. It’s a good size,” he said and grinned again. He couldn’t help it. “Come on. Let’s go get something to eat. I’ll treat you.”
“Yippee,” she said, and he could have sworn her voice reeked with sarcasm. He had to do something about that. He wasn’t used to women not adoring him until they had known him a much longer time.
end of day 2