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) (3 page)

BOOK: Deja Voodoo (A Cajun Magic Novel) (Entangled Suspense)
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Chapter Three

Ed peeked out a window at the house next door. Since it was still early on a Saturday morning, he might escape before his neighbors spied him. He liked a solitary morning jog to clear the sleep from his brain. And he wasn’t so sure he was up to Barbara Boyette’s unrelenting cheerfulness this early in the day. Ben’s mom was terrific…in small doses.

As far as he could tell, the coast was clear. He could make a hasty escape if he left now.

He had to hurry, before the masses of Boyettes caught him and reeled him in for the inquisition.

He ducked out the back door, turned to stick the key in the lock. By the time he swung back around, two identically beautiful young women stood facing him. Each wore their thick, black hair pinned at the back of their heads with long loose ringlets trailing down over their exposed shoulders. But it was their dresses that made him think he’d taken a step back in time. They wore beautiful peach-colored ball gowns that made them look as if they’d walked straight out of the late eighteen hundreds.

“Hi,” they said in unison.

He slapped a hand over one eye and refocused. No he wasn’t seeing double. There were two of them. Damn, Ben had mentioned the bayou was said to be magical. But time travel and seeing double?

“Let me guess,” he said, “your last name is Boyette.”

“Yes!” Again, both girls answered in unison, their smiles practically blinding him.

One of them stepped forward. “I’m Dolley, and this”—she pointed at her replica—“is Madison.”

He frowned, glancing from one to the other. “You’re kidding, right?”

Both dark heads tipped to the right. And Thing One—Dolley?—said, “About what?”

“Your names.” He smiled when they continued to look confused, and added, “You mean you really are Dolley and Madison?”

“Oh yes!” both said, the stereo frighteningly in tune.

“Okay, I’ll buy that. Now, if you’ll excuse me…” He moved past them.

“Wait, Mr. Marceau,” Dolley said.

Madison finished with, “Mom wanted us to invite you to dinner tonight.”

Dinner with eighteen kids? Did she think he was insane? “Please tell her thank you, but I have plans.”

“Mom told us not to take no for an answer.” Thing Two—Madison…or was she Dolley?—smiled and stepped in front of him.

The other twin grinned. “And
we’d
like you to come, too.”

“Yes, we would,” Madison chime in.

Pre-jog, pre-coffee, Ed wasn’t up to handling their combined enthusiasm, and he was feeling outnumbered by sunny faces. He was not a morning person, and he couldn’t stomach those who were irritatingly cheerful before nine o’clock.

“So? Can we expect you?” Dolley-Madison asked in unison.

He inhaled and prepared to say a firm “No.”

But they turned some incredibly bright smiles on him. “Please?”

His opened his mouth, and knew he couldn’t disappoint this early in the morning. “Okay.”

Two bouncing cheerleaders in ball gowns hopped up and down, clapping their hands, their dresses ballooning out with each movement.

His temples throbbed. If he didn’t get away soon, his head would spontaneously combust. “If you’ll excuse me, I’m going for a jog.”

“See you at seven?” they asked.

He forced a smile. “Seven it is.” Then he made his escape, taking off at an all-out run designed to put as much distance as possible between him and the southern belle twins.
Holy hell!
What had he agreed to?

He rounded the end of the block, glancing back to make sure the girls weren’t following him.
Thank God!
He’d left them behind.

When he turned to face front, he ran into a brick wall, headfirst.
Wham!

He staggered backward, his head reeling. When his vision cleared, he realized the wall hadn’t been a wall at all, but a man.

A
naked
man.

“What the fu—”

The other guy was still flat on his naked ass, shaking his head like a dog shakes the water off his fur.

“Hey, buddy, you all right?” He reached out a hand to help the man up, and cringed. What kind of pervert ran around in the nude in a small town? Did he have some funky disease that would rub off on contact? Or had he just escaped an awkward tryst with a married woman?

Ed needn’t have worried. The man completely ignored his outstretched hand.

Out of the corner of his eyes, a flash of powdery pink flashed past his ankles. He ripped his gaze from the naked pervert to follow a ball of pink fluff skittering down the sidewalk.

He looked closer and determined the cotton candy was in actual fact a toy poodle dyed an outlandish shade of pink.

The man in front of him leaped to his bare feet and chased after the animated powder puff, shouting, “Woof!”

Ed shook his head. He must be hearing things. Had that man
woofed
?

“Sport!” a female voice called out.

“Sport!” yet another feminine entreaty split his eardrums.

The yelling voices preceded the appearance of two women from the end of the street. One was wearing skin-tight biking shorts and a sports bra, and had her fiery red hair caught up in a ponytail. The other…

Holy hell.

His jaw dropped. The collision must have hit him harder than he’d thought. Suddenly, he couldn’t breathe and was seeing things.
Gorgeous
things.

Her hair was as black as the brand-new Mustang convertible parked in the garage at his apartment building. Her eyes were bright blue, and she had smooth, creamy skin that reminded him of a cup of pale, milky mocha. And boy was there a lot of skin showing. She wore a frothy blue baby-doll nightie. The gown did nothing to cover the lacy black string-bikini panties peeking out with every step as she raced down the street barefoot. And oh, those luscious breasts bobbed unfettered beneath the filmy fabric.

The two jogging beauties slid to a stop in front of him. Apparently, they were real, not just a figment of his imagination.

The redhead spoke first. “Did you see a do—” She didn’t get the chance to finish her sentence when the black-haired beauty jammed her elbow into her gut.

“Man. Did you see a man run by?” demanded the woman in the blue baby-doll nightie.

Interesting
. Even without his usual five-mile jog and gallon of coffee, his senses were now on full alert. Standing this close to that short, sheer blue gown was doing crazy things to his gray matter and other parts of his body.

The women looked flustered. But then, one of them had a reason. Hell, she was running around in an outfit that couldn’t be licensed for public consumption in the free world.

He loved seeing her worry her full, ruby mouth, and made it a point to worry it more. “Can you describe this man?” he stalled.

The dark one squirmed.
Wow
, she even squirmed beautifully. If he wasn’t careful, he’d be making a tent of his jogging shorts.

The redhead jumped into the silence. “He has reddish-brown hair, brown eyes, and a body to die for.” She paused and added, “Oh, and did I mention he was naked?”

Ed let an eyebrow inch upward. “Naked?” he asked the dark-haired one. “Any particular reason a man is running around the town naked?”

The black-haired beauty’s eyes flashed, but she didn’t answer.

“We scared him,” the redhead supplied.

Since she’d asked him if he’d seen a man run by, the dark one hadn’t uttered a word.

He considered it a challenge. “Do you always run around Bayou Miste in your…black string-bikini underwear?” He trailed his gaze down her front to the dark shadow of her underwear, barely visible beneath the filmy skirt of her nightgown.

A blush started in the vicinity of her cleavage and traveled up her neck to her cheeks.
Score!

“Come on, Calliope, this man doesn’t know anything.” The dark-haired one grabbed the redhead’s arm and tried to drag her away.

“But Alex, I’m enjoying the show.” The redhead smiled a wicked smile and eyed the front of his shorts.

Damn
. He’d been so intent on making Miss Naughty Nightie squirm, he’d forgotten about his own arousing reaction to her delights.

She glanced down, color brightening even more in her cheeks. But her mouth curved at the ends. “I take it by show, you mean comedy?” A thin, dark brow winged upward. “I’ve had my laugh.
Ha, ha
. Now, come on, Calliope. We have to catch Sport.”

His ego flagging, Ed couldn’t help tossing a parting shot. “What, is this some kind of kinky game you’re playing?”

“And if it is, did you want to be invited?” the one called Calliope asked, her grin widening.

“Maybe.” He answered the redhead, his gaze fixed on Alex.

“Too bad.” Blue nightie actually
tsk
ed her tongue. “We’re more selective of our playthings.” With a dismissive sweep of her gaze from his head to his feet, she put him firmly in his place.

Then she was racing down the street, her firm buttocks even more interesting in the black lace bikini.

Ed turned to jog after her. He had to know who she was. More important, he wanted to get to know those lace panties more intimately. After two steps, he had to pause and adjust.
Nope
, he wasn’t jogging in the next five minutes. Not in his…uh…condition.
Later
. In a town as small as Bayou Miste, he’d easily find her.

Then he thought of his busybody neighbor.
Hmm
. Perhaps Mrs. Boyette would know who the dark-haired babe was.


Wow
. Who was the hunk of macho male?

Alex fought to keep from looking back at the man who’d been eyeing her favorite sexy underwear. If she was going to be caught running around half-clothed in Bayou Miste, at least she had on her best. Somehow, she didn’t think the present situation was what her mother’d had in mind when she told her to “always wear good underwear…you never know.”

In her jogging shoes, Calliope was making better time at catching up with the naked man. Alex hobbled along as fast as she could, her bare feet taking a beating on the gravel.

If by some freaky quirk of fate and Voodoo hexes, Naked Man wasn’t a man at all but her dog transformed into a man, she had a huge problem on her hands.

God, this was worse than Craig Thibodeaux turning into a freakin’ frog.

How the hell was she going to keep Naked Man under wraps until she could get Lucie back to Bayou Miste to undo the spell? She couldn’t even catch the man…er…dog.

Poor Sport
. He must be terrified.

Calliope disappeared around the next corner. Alex hoped she’d catch Sport before he did something to hurt himself. Before she neared the street they’d turned on, she could hear shouting and high-pitched barking.

With little regard to her bruised feet, she picked up the pace and rounded the corner in a gut-splitting sprint. Then she had to dig her sore heels into the pavement to keep from tripping over an eight-foot alligator stretched across the middle of the road.

Pandemonium would have been less crazy than what was going on.

At the business end of the alligator—the one with the jagged teeth and lethal jaws—stood Granny Saulnier’s toy poodle, FeFe, yapping her poofy head off with as much ferocity as a five-pound, pink powder puff could muster. At the other end of the alligator was Naked Man, woofing at the top of his human voice.

Alex recognized the alligator as Maurice Saulnier’s pet, T-Rex. He’d probably been coming to woo FeFe when Naked Man interrupted.

Calliope stood near where Alex had come to a halt, shouting, “Shoo, T-Rex! Shoo!” She flapped her hands trying to scare the alligator away from the dog and the man.
As if!

“Calliope,” Alex called out over the commotion.

“Stop that alligator.” Calliope grabbed her hand and pulled her up beside her. “You have to stop him before he hurts our gorgeous man.”

“He’s not our gorgeous man, and T-Rex isn’t a bad dog to be shooed away.”

“Well, I want that man, and T-Rex thinks he’s a dog. Please get him to leave, before something important gets hurt.”

The poodle continued yapping nonstop, her high-pitched staccato voice grinding on every last one of Alex’s nerves. “Oh, T-Rex, eat the damned poodle, already.”

“Alex Boyette, I heard that. How dare you tell that darned-fool alligator to eat my poor little FeFe.” Granny Saulnier tottered out onto her porch shaking a broom. When she spied Naked Man, her squinty eyes went as round as shiny new dimes. “Pre-vert!” For a four-foot-eleven package of spindly bones and bright-pink hair, she moved fast. Down off the porch she came like a whirling pink dervish whacking at the air with her straw broom. “Get some clothes on, you pre-vert.”

T-Rex got one look at the broom and scrambled backward, away from the crazy woman wielding it. Naked Man’s eyes rounded and he whimpered.

When T-Rex backed right into him, Naked Man yelped and jumped straight in the air, his feet churning before they hit the ground. He leaped across the alligator’s tail and raced straight for Alex and Calliope.

Before they could move, he plowed through the middle of them, knocking Calliope flat on her butt and spinning Alex around.

“Alex Boyette, I don’t know what you’re up to, but I’m telling your mother about this.” With one hand, Granny Saulnier scooped up the yapping pink poodle from in front of the gaping jaws of T-Rex. With the other hand, she applied the stick end of the broom to the alligator’s head. “And you! Go back to the swamp where you belong.” With that, she turned and marched back to her sunny yellow house.

Alex shook her head for a moment, too overwhelmed by the events to react. Then she grabbed Calliope’s hand, hauling her to her feet. “Come on, we gotta catch him before he gets into any more trouble.”

Which meant going back the same way they’d come and possibly passing the he-man-macho-guy in the tented shorts. Warmth surged throughout Alex’s body, her nipples tightening into pointy headlights, poking out of the diaphanous fabric like twin pencil erasers.
Wow
. All that for a stranger whose name she didn’t even know. She wondered if he’d be in town long and, if so, would they run into each other again.

BOOK: Deja Voodoo (A Cajun Magic Novel) (Entangled Suspense)
2.29Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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