Home > Harvest Web (Moonshadow Bay #4)(4)

Harvest Web (Moonshadow Bay #4)(4)
Author: Yasmine Galenorn

“And you never noticed your mother going in there?

I shook my head. “No, nor my father either. You’d think a locked door would have driven me crazy, but…” A memory cropped up and I snapped my fingers. “Oh! I remember now. One time I asked my father what was in there and he told me that they just stored a bunch of old furniture in there, and that if I wanted to look, fine, but I’d have to clear out all the spiders first. That totally freaked me out to the point where he somehow convinced me that they couldn’t make it out of the room as long as it was locked. I think I was like…seven? At the time.”

Ari laughed. “When I was a kid, I never bothered going in the attic because I hated the dust and mess. I can’t even remember what we stored up there. My parents must have cleaned it out themselves before they moved.”

I contemplated the door. “I’ll go look for—” I was about to search for the key but at that moment, I heard the front door open and Killian’s voice ring out.

“Honey, are you in here? I brought a couple of guys to help out!”

“Meet you in the kitchen!” I called out.

Killian had brought home two of the other veterinarians he knew and while they tackled the furniture, Ari and I returned to bringing in boxes. Within an hour, I was back in my house, and we called out for pizza while I continued to tackle the unboxing. Luckily, it wasn’t as bad as moving—I’d only had to clear the kitchen, the en suite, and the living room. While that still made for quite a few boxes, it wasn’t anything like an entire household of goods.

After we ate, Killian’s friends left, and Ari, Killian, and I sprawled out in the living room.

I yawned. “I’ll stay at your house tonight, then bring the cats over tomorrow.” I leaned back on the sofa, stretching my legs out on the ottoman.

“Aren’t you going to miss me at all?” Killian asked.

“Of course,” I said. “But I’ll be happy to be back home.”

He gave me a puppy dog sigh, his eyes twinkling.

Killian was gorgeous. He was tall, with dirty blond hair that brushed his shoulders. He was sturdy, but muscled. While I could imagine him in a tux if I strained my imagination, he wore jeans and sweaters well. Though he was a wolf shifter, he led a much more liberal lifestyle than most of his kind. He wasn’t into the whole macho thing, which made me love him that much more, and while he definitely had an alpha streak, Killian was an individualist.

He turned to Ari. “So, have you set a date yet?”

She made a face. “Meagan is still waiting for the Elder Council to approve her petition for autonomy. They’ve done all the leg work, and she’s filled out a gazillion forms, but bureaucracy is a bitch, regardless of what organization you’re dealing with.”

“Is her mother still giving you trouble?”

Ari had fallen in love with a bear shifter. In high school, Meagan had been a cheerleader and a bully, but she’d turned out better than she started. However, when she left her husband and announced she was gay, she had broken her mother’s icy-cold heart. Not only that, but the fact that Meagan had chosen a witch for her mate was enough to push her mama over the edge. Meagan’s mother had threatened to destroy Ari’s business. So Meagan had applied for a seal of autonomy to officially sever her ties with her family. That way, if Mrs. Lopez tried anything nasty, Ari would be able to sue her ass off.

“Her mother’s disowned her and washed her hands of us, which is good for me, but it’s been hard on Meagan.” Ari shook her head. “The only thing that’s holding up the final seal is that the Great Father of their Sleuth left the country a few months ago on a visit to Europe. He’s the one who has to sign the document. He’ll be back in a few weeks, so it shouldn’t be too much longer.”

“Sounds to me like you’d better start planning a winter wedding instead of an autumn one.” I leaned against Killian, closing my eyes as he slowly rubbed my temples.

“The hell with that. The minute she gets that seal, we’re going down to the courthouse and get hitched. We’ll still have a ceremony later, but we just want to be married.” Ari shrugged. “I never thought I’d find the love of my life. I sure as hell don’t intend to lose her.”

I was about to say something when a noise echoed down the stairs. It sounded like a chair tipping over. Frowning, I padded up the stairs, with Killian on my heels.

I peeked in my bedroom. Nothing seemed out of place. A glance in the bathroom, however, revealed that one of my boxes filled with lotions and creams had tipped over. I frowned. I had placed it squarely on the counter—I remembered because I had shoved another box out of the way in order to make room. Three bottles of lotion had opened, along with one bottle of shampoo, oozing all over the floor.

“Cripes. This is going to take paper towels and a sponge to mop up.” I glanced up at Killian, who was standing behind me. “Can you bring me a roll?”

Killian took in the mess, then nodded. “I’ll be back in a few minutes.”

As he headed back downstairs, I reached for the box so I could tuck the unopened bottles back into it. The mix of scents was overwhelming, and I switched on the fan. As I turned back to the mess, a sudden echo of laughter startled me and I jumped back.

“Who’s there? What the hell?” I frantically turned around, but there was no one in sight.

The laughter abruptly faded, but then something pinched my side.

I jumped. “Who did that?”

Utter silence.

“Who’s there?”

Again, silence.

At that moment, Killian returned, handing me the paper towels. “Who were you talking to?”

I wasn’t sure I wanted to tell him. Killian was protective and he’d insist that I stay at his house until we found the source of the voice.

“Nothing,” I muttered. “Just…talking to myself. Here, let me wipe up this mess.”

Killian knelt to help me clean up the spilled lotion. “Did you lose anything important?”

Again, I shook my head. “No, but…” I paused. “No, I didn’t. I must have balanced the box wrong and gravity took over. Thanks for helping me clean up.”

We finished and Killian carried the used paper towels downstairs. I turned back to give the bathroom a once-over. Everything seemed fine, and when I closed my eyes and reached out, I couldn’t feel anybody or anything around. Maybe it had been an accident. Maybe the laughter and the pinch had been figments of my imagination. Not everything could be explained away by ghosts and the supernatural. Sometimes a duck was a duck was a duck.

Finally, convincing myself to chalk it up to gravity, I turned and headed back down.

 

 

“So, Ellison texted me today,” I said. Ari had left for home, and Killian and I were crossing the lawn to the fence and gate that divided our yards.

“What did he want?” Killian let out a low growl.

“He wanted me to let him come live with me, and—get this—maybe give it another go. He’s broke, and he’s desperate.” I didn’t mention what Ellison had said about my “ blubber” because I didn’t want Killian driving up to Bellingham to break Ellison’s nose, which I could easily see happening if he thought he had enough reason.

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