Here we are, Day 30, the last day of NaNo. This is not the last bit, but since it ends on a kind of cliff-hanger I thought I might as well post it just to have you want to throw eggs or other assorted murky objects at me. I’m still writing.
I will let you know that I’ve had the flu or something so my brain is pretty mushy. That’s my current excuse for any extra weirdness. 🙂
Current Word Count: 49,124
Kaden had his hands on Phoebe’s throat when awareness of what he was doing impacted him. He fell backward.
“Dammit,” he yelled. “What in the fuck am I doing?”
Phoebe lay lifeless in front of him. His heart seemed to stop when he saw her pale face. He crawled to her and took her hand.
“Phoebe, chere,” he said, touching her face.
Philo knelt next to Phoebe. “Chloe, call an ambulance!”
Phoebe’s eyelids fluttered, but didn’t open. “No. No ambulance,” she said with a moan.
“Thank god,” Kaden said upon hearing her voice.
“No arguments, Phoebs. You’re going to get checked out.”
She tried to sit up. Both Kaden and Philo each put a supporting arm around her back. She leaned against Kaden’s chest. He stroked her hair gently and then pressed his lips to her head.
He closed his eyes for a moment and saw the image of his hands on her neck. He had seen himself attack her as if from a far distance away, but he couldn’t stop himself. The rage and the power that had been inside of him, like a distinct personality.
“Someone get her a blanket,” he said when he felt her body shivering.
Giselle brought a blanket and handed it to Kaden who wrapped it around Phoebe’s trembling form.
“Let me try to stand up,” Phoebe said.
From a long distance away, the wail of a siren approached. In just moments, the paramedics were there and taking over. The man and woman moved quickly, efficiently. They checked Phoebe’s vitals and then loaded her onto the stretcher. Kaden stood by feeling useless. Phoebe kept trying to tell them she didn’t need to go to the hospital, but her voice was weak and finally she just stopped protesting as they strapped her down and loaded her into the ambulance. Aurora climbed in the front for the ride to the hospital.
Kaden stood in the driveway watching the ambulance disappear down the highway, its red flashing lights slicing through the dark.
“Are you okay?” Philo asked him.
“Me? I attacked her.” He couldn’t believe that those words could ever come out of his mouth.
“She threw you back pretty hard. Our girl’s got powers she doesn’t even know she has. Did you hit your head?”
Kaden frowned. He had a vague recollection of Phoebe somehow throwing him backward, but she had never touched him. He shook his head. Except for the raging anger at himself for laying a hand for Phoebe, he was fine. Right now the self-loathing was pretty strong.
Shaking his head, he cursed under his breath. “I almost killed her, Philo. But I couldn’t control myself. Am I insane?”
Philo squeezed his forearm. “It wasn’t you. It was that entity. I think we may have gotten rid of the curse on you as well, but we’ll make sure later.”
“I don’t care about the curse. I just want to make sure, one hundred percent sure, that I’m never in a position to hurt her again,” he said.
“Are you sure he left?” Phoebe asked for what may have been the tenth time. She could not believe that Kaden would just leave without saying goodbye. She was wringing her hands in a very unlike Phoebe way as she and Philo entered her house.
Philo nodded. “He seemed devastated that he could have hurt you. I think he feels like he should have been able to control it or, worse, he’s afraid he will do it again.”
“But you explained that the entity was banished?” Phoebe could hear the whine in her voice and tried deep breaths.
“I told you I explained until I was almost literally blue in the face.”
Phoebe sighed. “Yes, I know you did. I’m sorry. I just can’t believe he would leave without seeing me first. Is he coming back?”
Phoebe flipped the light switch in the kitchen and put a kettle on to boil. Cat roused herself with a yawn and a stretch from the window seat where the sun had been shining in on her. Phoebe picked up Cat and snuggled her under her chin.
Grabbing two mugs from the cupboard, Philo put a tea bag in each one before turning around to face Phoebe. “My sight hasn’t come back totally. When I looked to see what would happen with you and Kaden, all I got was fog.”
“Fog? Please tell me it wasn’t red fog.”
“No. Just plain old gray fog that happens sometimes when there’s nothing there.”
Phoebe mulled those words and their implication in her mind. She knew that Chloe and Jared had returned to the west coast this morning because it was planned, but Kaden’s return flight wasn’t supposed to have been until tomorrow. She kept hoping that maybe he would just pop up. That he was still somewhere nearby. But a quick tour of the house showed that his things had been removed from the guest room.
Then she saw the note and she felt hopeful and sad all at once. He wouldn’t have left a note if he were nearby or planning on coming back.
She sat on the bed and looked at his uneven scrawl on the notebook paper. He could have been a doctor with this kind of illegibility.
I realized a lot of things in the past day. The most important is that I want the very best for you and that isn’t me. I hoped it could be, but that thing you said about baggage is true and I have plenty of it. You don’t need that. You also need someone you can trust and since I can’t trust me, I don’t know why you should.
All my love always,
Kaden Roarke, the rock star with the really loud music
She smiled at that last bit as she knew he would want her to. The rest made her want to cry.
The hardwood floor outside the bedroom door squeaked and Phoebe looked up to see Philo there. She held the piece of paper up and her smile was brittle.
“He’s really gone.” She let a few tears course down her cheeks. This was closure, she decided. She would have a good cry and then try never to think about him or his electric blue eyes or his sexy laugh again. It was probably a damn good thing she didn’t really like his music.
For the past week, Phoebe had done almost next to nothing. The doctors had nixed the running and anything that was considered arduous. She worked in her shop and did the bare minimum. Her sister, Deirdre, arrived to help out and was amazed and more than a tiny bit jealous that she had missed out on all of the excitement to spend Thanksgiving with the man she was sure was going to propose, except that at some point during his family’s rather fractious holiday dinner, they had broken up instead.
“I could have been here, with you all watching a real possession instead of watching my former boyfriend be pseudo-possessed. He has real mommy issues,” Deirdre said as she easily moved around the delivery boxes that had just arrived.
Like Phoebe and Chloe, Deirdre was also on the petite side, with long flowing chestnut brown hair and wide brown eyes. Her grin was mischievous and her eyes sparkled. As the youngest, she was the most easygoing and cheerful.
“Kaden Roarke, damn, Phoeb’s but he’s hot,” Deirdre said then bit her lip. “But I’m not supposed to talk about him, right?”
Phoebe half-smiled and concentrated on the evergreen wreathe she was making for the holidays. “It’s fine. It’s not like I’m going to break or anything. I’ve had my closure.”
As soon as the words left her mouth, she knew they were a lie. But she mentally shrugged. She wasn’t going to cry over him any more.
“You have always been the toughest of us,” Deirdre said. She found the set of ribbons that Phoebe had asked for and brought them over to the counter. “How was he in bed? He has got a massive . . .”
“Don’t say it.”
“…reputation. What did you think I was going to say? Something naughty? Did he have a massive . . .”
Deirdre laughed her dirty laugh and wiggled her brows at her sister. Phoebe grinned in return. She was so glad Deirdre was back. It was like being grounded and centered. Deirdre didn’t take too much to heart. Not yet anyway. Phoebe remembered being like that once, probably when she was with David and thought they would have the perfect life until Serena arrived on the scene.
The bell over the door jingled and both Phoebe and Deirdre glanced up. It was a man in a leather jacket about Kaden’s height and Phoebe felt her heart accelerate. Please, she thought as she took a step forward.
“Phoebe? Is that you?” And then she saw the cleft in the chin and the amber brown eyes.
end of Day 30, Pt 1