Read Deja Voodoo (A Cajun Magic Novel) (Entangled Suspense) Online

Authors: Elle James

Tags: #Suspense, #Romance, #romance series, #Elle James, #entangled publishing, #voodoo, #Entangled Suspense

Deja Voodoo (A Cajun Magic Novel) (Entangled Suspense) (19 page)

BOOK: Deja Voodoo (A Cajun Magic Novel) (Entangled Suspense)
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She left the vet’s clinic in Ben’s SUV with Sport draped across her lap and Ed in the seat beside her, his arm over her shoulder. Every time she looked into Sport’s soft brown eyes, her heart ached for him and Calliope. Deep down, she’d suspected that the magic wouldn’t last, but she thanked the Voodoo spirits for sending him to find her. Calliope would be heartbroken.

When they arrived at Alex’s house, the adults were waiting. Ben had called ahead to let them know Alex was okay, and they all wanted to see her for themselves.

As soon as Ben got out of the car, Lucie ran to him, wrapping her arms around his middle, smiling and crying at the same time. “Oh,
b
é
b
é
, I’m so glad you’re okay.”

Alex’s mother engulfed her in a hug so tight she could barely croak, “I’m okay, Mom.”

Her mom loosened her hold slightly, tears trickling down her face. “I was so afraid of losing you.”

Alex hugged her back. “Me, too. But it’s over now.”

Setting her at arm’s length, her mother pushed the limp, wet hair out of her face. “
Mais
, then get yourself cleaned up and meet us back at the house. I’m making dinner for everyone.” She brushed the tears from her own face and sniffed. “Don’t be long this time.”

Alex smiled. “I’ll be right there.”

“We’ll stay and make sure she makes it to dinner on time,” Lucie said.

Calliope stood to the side, her bright-green eyes dark as the deepest forest and filled to the brim with emotion. “Where’s Sport?”

Alex swallowed hard, ready tears springing to her eyes.

Ed lifted the dog’s limp body out of the back seat.

Calliope reached out a hand, tears slipping down her face. “Is he…”

“Asleep,” Alex reassured her. “He’s going to be okay. The vet gave him a sedative. It should wear off soon.”

Calliope followed Ed as he carried the dog into the house and laid him on a blanket on the couch.

“Ben promised me some clean clothes.” Ed grasped her cheeks between his hands and bent to press his lips to hers. “I’ll see you at your mother’s.”

Alex would have preferred he stayed, but she wanted to talk to Lucie and Calliope alone. “I won’t be long.” She kissed him back.

After Ben left, she turned to Calliope. “What happened to Sport? Why is he a dog? Did the magic wear off?”

Through choking sobs, Calliope told of Sport’s demand to undo the Voodoo that had made him into a man, insisting he could find her but only if he was a dog again.

“Madame LeBieu said the magic was never meant to last.” Calliope knelt on the floor beside Sport and ran her hand along his fur. “He’s more of a hero than any man I’ve ever met.”

“Oh,
cher
, I’m so sorry.” Lucie dropped to the floor on one side of Calliope, Alex on the other, and they hugged her until her sobs stopped.

“We’d better get going before my mother comes looking for us.” Alex hurried into the shower, her body achy, her wrists raw, her heart sore for Calliope, but full of hope for her own future.
Soon, she’d see Ed
.

She scrubbed her hair, careful not to disturb the bandage on her forehead, and washed the swamp out of her skin with scented soap. When she felt human again, she stepped out of the shower, dried off, applied antibiotic ointment to her wrists, cuts, and scrapes, and found her prettiest sundress and sandals.

Sport was awake and actually perky when she emerged from her bedroom.

“Can we bring Sport?” Calliope asked.

“The vet said he needed rest, but he appears to be recovered somewhat.” She smiled. “Yes, we can bring him. He’s as much a part of my family as my brothers and sisters and you.”

Lucie pushed out of the lounge chair and rubbed a hand over her swollen belly. “I see I’ll have to get to work on something for Calliope next.”

Calliope and Alex both turned to Lucie at once. “No!” they said in unison.

Lucie held up her hands in surrender. “Okay, okay.”

“I hope that once you have your baby, you won’t have time to dabble in Voodoo,” Alex said.

“I can’t let it disappear when Gran LeBieu passes on. It’s tradition!”

Alex slipped an arm around her friends’ shoulders and hugged them. “That kind of tradition we could do without. Come on, the family’s waiting.”

When she opened her front door, she met the dark-brown eyes of the man she was falling madly in love with.

He wore Ben’s old fishing clothes, which were tight across his broad shoulders and short on the pant legs. On his feet he wore a pair of bright-orange flip-flops.

Lucie and Calliope slipped around her, Sport trotting after them with only a slight limp.

“We’ll see you at your mother’s,” Lucie called out, leaving her and Ed alone on the porch.

“I couldn’t wait to see you,” he said, gathering her in his arms.

“Are you going to tell me the whole truth now?”

“Since I’m no longer undercover”—he held her a little away from him and gazed down into his eyes, a smile playing at the corners of his lips—“ask me anything.”

She tipped her chin up and tried to look serious. “What happened to the witness?”

“Marcus and Oscar are escorting her to Baton Rouge, where they will keep her in a holding cell until the trial begins tomorrow morning.”

“Who was the man who kidnapped me?”

Ed shook his head. “Sad to say, that was our supervisor, Gordon Dean. Crooked as they come, and on Leon Primeaux’s payroll. Might mean a promotion for me or Ben.”

“So…if you’re not a mediator, what are you?”

“I’m a special agent for the Special Criminal Investigations Unit of the Louisiana State Police.”

“All that stuff about growing up in the foster system?”

“True.”

“And you’ve never been fishing before coming to the bayou?”

“True.” He raised his hand like a Boy Scout. “Scout’s honor.”

“Were you ever a Scout?” she asked.

“No, but I wouldn’t lie to you. Well, not if I didn’t have to because of my job.”

“Speaking of which…” She paused, inhaling a deep breath before continuing. “Were you telling me the truth when you said you were falling in love with me?”

He gathered her closer, his head dipping until his mouth hovered over hers. “You bet your beautiful Boyette buns, sweetheart.”

Alex sighed. “One more question.”

He brushed her lips across hers. “Really?”

“Do you believe in magic?” she asked.

He laughed. “I have to. It brought me you.”

Epilogue

Raccoon Saloon, Bayou Miste, Louisiana

Four months later

Alex looked around the big table, filled with her friends and some of her family, realizing she’d never been happier. Jean Dupree had even allowed Sport to join them, at Calliope’s insistence. The burly old bar owner had a soft spot for Calliope, and let her have her way more often than not.

Leon Primeaux had been sentenced to life in prison. Phyllis Ragsdale had entered into the witness protection program, and hopefully moved clear out of Louisiana by now. Ben and Lucie had delivered a beautiful baby girl, and life had returned to normal in Bayou Miste.

Alex had been seeing Ed practically every weekend since he’d gone back to work in Baton Rouge, and was falling more in love with him each day.

With a grand flourish, she raised her beer mug. “I’d like to propose a toast to the new parents.”

A round of clinking bottles and mugs was cheered, along with, “Hear! Hear!”

Lucie and Ben grinned, both looking tired but elated at the new addition to their household.

Ben lifted his mug. “I’d like to propose a toast to Dolley and Madison for agreeing to babysit tonight so that we could have our first night out since Lilly was born, and so that Mom could come out with us.”

More clinking, more cheers and hugs all around.

“Can we join the party?” Joe Thibodeaux and Miz Mozelle stepped up to the table.

“Please,” her mother scooted her chair back.

“We’ll need room for four,” Joe grinned and waved toward a man and woman entering the saloon.

“My nephew Craig and his wife, Elaine, are in town for a visit. Some of you know them,” Joe said. “They’re expecting their first baby.” Joe’s chest puffed out as he draped an arm over his nephew’s shoulders. “I’m going to be a great-uncle.”

Alex’s mom made introductions all around, and they made room at the table for the Thibodeaux clan.

Ed stood and cleared his throat. “I have an announcement to make.”

All eyes turned toward him. “After careful consideration, much haggling, and assistance from Alex, I’ve purchased a house in White Castle, halfway between Morgan City and Baton Rouge.” He pulled a box out of his jeans pocket and dropped to one knee.

Alex’s eyes widened. Her pulse pounded so hard against her eardrums, she strained to hear his next words.

“I’m hoping Alex will like the house enough to agree to move in with me…as my wife.” He opened the box, displaying a beautiful sapphire-and-diamond ring. It took her breath away. “Alexandra Belle Boyette, after one failed marriage, I never thought I’d want to take the plunge again, but you gave me hope. You showed me how to really love someone, and that it was worth risking my heart. Will you marry me?”

“Yes!” She threw herself at Ed, wrapping her arms around his neck as, laughing, he staggered to his feet, then twirled her around, planting a kiss on her lips.

Everyone gathered around, congratulating, hugging, and shaking hands, as Ed slid the ring on her finger. When they finally resumed their seats, Alex glanced across at Calliope, her joy fading. For the past three months, her friend had put on a happy face. But Alex knew her heart would not be mended so easily. Losing Sport as a man had taken the spark out of the normally bubbly and vivacious woman.

Lucie leaned close to Alex. “I’ve been working with Gran LeBieu on a
cunja
to help bring Calliope out of her funk.”

“I don’t know, Lucie,” she said. “I don’t know how much more excitement this town can handle. Neither one of us will be around to bail her out if things get crazy. You know how gullible she can be.”

“It’ll be okay. I promise.” Lucie patted her hand. “There are enough Boyettes in Bayou Miste to help her out of a bind. Besides, look what Voodoo has done for you, me, Craig, and Elaine. Do you think we’d have found our true loves without it?”

Alex’s heart swelled every time she glanced at Ed. “I don’t think I’d have changed a thing. I can’t imagine my life without Ed in it.”

“See?” Lucie winked. “Don’t worry. Gran LeBieu and I won’t let her down. We’ll come up with something.”

Alex’s mother leaned into the conversation. “I’ve been giving it some thought, too. I believe we need to find Calliope a man.”


Mo-omm
,” she said, drawing out the word to three syllables and giving her mother a warning look. “Not everyone appreciates your meddling.”


Matchmaking, ma cher
.” Her mother lifted her hand. “That’s a beautiful ring on your finger, Alexandra Belle.” She gazed into her daughter’s eyes. “I believe between me, Lucie, and Madame LeBieu, we can help our Calliope find the love of her life.”

Alex rolled her eyes and raised her beer. “
Laissez les bon temps rouler!”
Let the good times roll!

Who was she to doubt the power of love and Voodoo?

About the Author

Elle James spent twenty years livin’ and lovin’ in South Texas, ranching horses, cattle, goats, ostriches, and emus. A former IT professional, Elle is proud to be writing full-time, penning intrigues and paranormal adventures that keep her readers on the edge of their seats. Now living in northwest Arkansas, she isn’t wrangling cattle, she’s wrangling her muses, a malti-poo and yorkie. When she’s not at her computer, she’s traveling, snow-skiing, boating, or riding her ATV, dreaming up new stories.

You can reach Elle James at
www.ellejames.com
or email her at [email protected].

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BOOK: Deja Voodoo (A Cajun Magic Novel) (Entangled Suspense)
12.93Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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