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“Magic isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. For example, there are twenty spells for making tea but none to save yourself from falling from a cliff.” Leona quoted Nana Fontenot and gestured like the older woman–much to Alphie’s delight.
“You know we need to figure this out quickly, right? It’s dangerous for you to be at the dive shop–hell, just being on Bayou Teche might be taking an unnecessary risk. I don’t want you to have to do that.” Alphie fidgeted with the regulator he’d been working on to give his hands something to do.
“I want to believe there’s a logical, non-supernatural reason for all of…this.” Her arm swept in a wide arc, indicating the smashed display cases, overturned air tanks, and the ruined storage room beyond.
“Why are you so hesitant to call it magic?” he asked.
“I guess I’d rather figure out there was someone behind the destruction of your shop than to admit we’ve got a spirit fucking with us. I don’t want to be the target of a supernatural being, either. So, maybe it’s denial?” Leona shrugged and then shook her head. “Smudging didn’t work. And the scrying I did before you came to your senses”–she cast a glare in his direction as she wandered around the rubble–“showed me a dark presence that pretty much freaked out Ms. Nana.”
“That’s what you said, but you haven’t gotten to exactly what Ms. Nana told you about the spirit you saw. How do we get rid of it?” He sighed and his hands slapped against his thighs. “Do I need to find someone to come in and do a cleansing more powerful than burning sage? What about someone that would help the spirit cross over or find out why it’s stuck here? I just want the damn thing gone and for you to be safe.”
“If I weren’t here, at the dive shop, I think I’d be fine.” She absently rubbed her hip–the one an invisible being had pegged with an air tank. “There wasn’t anything out of the ordinary while I was visiting Nana, and you said you only had the one occurrence while I was away.”
“We’re not going to figure this out in the next hour or so. And, I think we need a break. Let me take you into New Iberia. We’ll find something different to do. Nothing having to do with malevolent spirits.” Alphie was eager to get away from his little shop and to make sure Leona knew he wasn’t going to give up until he had his way–keep the dive shop and Leona.
“I don’t know–”
“No. Just stop. Ms. Nana wasn’t really forthcoming with information regarding our friend, so maybe we can find someone in New Iberia that’ll help. If not, I’m calling Beau LeBlanc–his wife has the sight and should be able to help us.” He hoped. If Harley wasn’t able to tell them the spirit’s purpose, they’d be screwed.
“I suppose you’re right. Maybe we should get a room while we’re in town. See if that helps?” Leona tugged at a delicate coil of dark hair that had escaped the bandana she wore to keep her locks out of her face as she worked through the shop’s destruction. She bit her full lower lip, deep in thought as she glanced around the refuse.
Alphie dropped the ruined regulator and stepped over tanks, masks, fins, and assorted hoses to pull her into his arms. He rested his chin on the top of her head and she melted into him. “We’ll figure this out, chere. Nothing–and I mean nothing–is going to keep us apart.”
She sighed. “I know you say that, but I worry that sooner or later you’ll discover I’m more trouble than I’m worth.”
He stepped back, nearly tripping over an air cylinder. Tipping her chin up slightly, he looked into her golden brown eyes. They had a green cast at that moment. “I don’t ever want to hear you say something like that again. You’re worth every ounce of trouble and more. But I think that eventually, I’d have had problems, anyway. They’re not because of you–I think our spirit has become a bit possessive of me.”
Her brows drew together and she regarded him for a moment before she spoke. “What aren’t you telling me?”
“While you were gone, I had an…encounter. I think our specter is female and she wants me.”
Leona wriggled out of his grasp. “What do you mean, it’s female and wants you?”
“I, um, woke up one morning after dreaming about you. I could feel your lips around my cock and your hair tickling the tops of my thighs and it felt so good–but then, I realized you weren’t here. The blankets had been tugged to my knees, and so had my boxers. I watched as something I couldn’t see deep-throated my dick. I was frozen–couldn’t move–but it didn’t last long after I started to struggle. I, uh, deflated pretty fast once I realized what was going on. After that happened, the writing appeared on the bathroom mirror.”
She stared at him, unblinking.
“I honestly had no idea what was going on–I was dreaming about you. I’d even heard you whispering to me about fucking in the boat.”
“That, right there, is when you should have known it wasn’t me. I’ve told you screwing in a boat makes me nauseous.” She crossed her arms in front of her and hugged her body. She stared over his shoulder when she said, “I don’t think I’m the only one at risk here. I think you need to be just as careful as I do–so let’s pack a bag and see if we can stay the night in New Iberia.”
Alphie reached for Leona.
“Don’t–don’t touch me right now. After we’ve left and we know it hasn’t followed us, then you can. I don’t want to anger it…her.”
He sighed, conceding she was probably right. “I’m packed already. I was thinking about going to see T-Rex for the night before you arrived.”
“So, you were creeped out, too?”
He nodded. “Absolutely. I got the heebie-jeebies from getting a blow-job from a fucking ghost. I sure as hell wasn’t staying here by myself.” He shivered. “And there’s no way we’re staying here together–the safety in numbers thing doesn’t apply when we can’t see what we’re dealing with.”
She frowned. “When were you going to tell me about this?”
“Honestly? It’s embarrassing as fuck to admit. I was kind of hoping to never have to talk about it.”
“Oh, but this gives us more information about the spirit. Don’t you see? She’s fallen for you–can’t say I blame her–and she is a woman scorned now that I’m in the picture.”
“Weird things used to happen–I’d find the dishes put away when I’d left them in the drainer. Laundry would be folded and piled up on my bed when I’d left it in the basket. I thought someone was coming in and being helpful–like Ms. Anriette. She stops by often enough with a casserole or leftovers that I didn’t even think twice. I just thanked her for being so neighborly. That’s probably why she looked at me so strangely the first few times.” He scrubbed his palm down his face.
“That does make sense. And it’s been happening since you’ve moved here? Have you ever had other…women over?”
He shook his head. “No. No one that was a romantic interest. I’ve had customers come in and everything’s been fine.”
“And then I showed up.” Leona nodded. “It really is my fault, don’t you see? The spirit was friendly and helpful until I arrived.”
“It was a matter of time, chere. I would’ve eventually found someone I wanted to bring home. Then again, maybe not. If you’d never come into my life, I wouldn’t know the true meaning of love.”
She wiped a tear from the corner of her eye. “Let’s get going before we piss her off more. I’d like to make it out of here in one piece so I can show you how much you mean to me.”
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