Witch Hunt – Ch. 14


“A’ight, Too-Sexy-for-Yer-Man, but dildo there’s haunted again.”

“I’m not haunted, you’re being ridiculous.”

“Okay, what’d I miss?”

“Dork-ass chased a ghost inna stairs.”

“I chased a person in the stairwell, not a ghost.”

“Wait, what’s going on?”

“I was going to connect the second floor camera’s power supply, but I saw someone go through the stairwell door. I chased them, and saw the second floor staircase door closing. I assumed they went through it so
I followed.”

“But homey seen nuthin’, nada, zip, zilch. Empty hall. ‘Cause it’s a ghost, dork-ass, and it poofed on ya.”

“Wow, you think it was the person you saw this morning?”

JD shrugged. “I thought it might be.”

“But no one was there?”

“No, no one. I was close behind, I should have seen something, but there was nothing there. Then it occurred to me, it was because — ”

“It was ’cause it was a ghost an’ poofed.”

” — it was because they never went through the door, Dillon. They just opened it to misdirect me, and continued down the stairs. Or hid on the next flight while I fell for the trick.”

“Dude!”

“Are you sure, lover?”

JD nodded. “Definitely. Whoever I was chasing knew I’d see them in the hall. By yanking the door open and ducking out of sight while I ran onto the second floor, they were able to slip easily past me. Either up or down the stairs.”

“You mean — you mean they … outsmarted you, love?” JD couldn’t tell if Wendy’s wide-eyed amazement was sincere or feigned.

“Well …”

“Dude! You got punk’d!”

JD blushed deep and hot. “I guess so. If that means tricked.”

Wendy chuckled and wrapped him tight in a hug. “Aw, sweetheart, we’re just giving you a bad time. Anyone would’ve been fooled. Don’t feel bad.”

“Naw — naw dude, feel bad! You got punk’d, man! Ha! I can’t b’lieve it! You, JD-big-brain-noodle-noggin-knowitall, tricked by a ghost!”

“Oh, for God’s sake. It wasn’t a ghost, I told you. It was a person.”

“It so was a ghost. Or the curse gotcha. Or the ghost gotcha with th’ curse. Whatevs. You got tricked, like a suckah! A big ol’ dumb-ass suckah!”

“Like you’d’ve done better,” JD fumed, reddening again.

“Pro’ly not, but nobody ‘spects me t’be a genius an’ all. You? You gotta rep to keep up, an’ this ain’t he’ping ya, dawg.” Dillon cackled gleefully. “Oh, man — I love it!”

“Shut up.”

“Ha! Wait’ll Danae hears about this!”

“Dilly, don’t be mean.” Wendy tried not to smile.

“I haven’t walked into a wall yet. She can hear about that at the same time.”

Dillon sobered. “Yeah, so … it coulda happened t’anybody, G. Don’ feel bad.”

JD drew a long breath. “I feel pretty foolish about it. I never looked over my shoulder. I would have seen them if I had — running down the stairs or hiding or whatever. Something. Instead, I … well, I blew it. It’s that simple. We could’ve ended this whole affair right then, and I blew it.”

“Big time. Blew it royale. Blew-it-a-touille. Blew-it-a-rama, choke-fest, screwed the pooch, screw-up-a-go-go, mess-up-a — ”

“Thanks, Dillon, I get it. Please shut up so I don’t murder you.”

“Well,” Wendy bounced on the bed’s corner, “talking to Phoebe was … man. The situation’s worse than we thought, guys.”

“How so?”

“Dude, she dang-near croaked, tha’s how. Clue-phone ringin’, dork-ass — it’s fer you.”

“She’s scared, baby. Really scared. Scared enough to think about abandoning — and then selling — the resort.”

“Dude! Holy crap!”

“Wow … wow. I had no … I had no idea.”

Wendy nodded, arching her brows. “Yeah, me either, but what happened this morning really shook her. She knew Hank wanted to take care of the lights the guests were complaining about and whatever. I guess they were out in the stairs or something.”

“Right, and during her seizure, too. They came back on when whoever was in the stairway ran.”

“Dude! It’s the ghost!”

“Will you stop it? I’m going to make you a ghost.”

“Anyway, she really wanted to talk to Hank after the choking thing. But she knew he probably wouldn’t agree. They’ve staked a lot on us finding out what’s going on. They really believe it’s a ghost, JD. Not so much the curse, although they think it’s part of it, but they … well, they believe the ghost of this witch that cursed her family is taking revenge for whatever wrong was done.”

“Did she say what the wrong might be?”

Wendy shook her head. “She didn’t know. She said it might be in the journal, but she’s only glanced through it. She’s never really read it. She felt it was an important historical document, but nothing she’d need to read. After all the stuff they’ve been through, though, she’s seriously wondering if she should read it.”

“Nah, readin’ ‘s boring.”

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