The Crone Of Lake Cowichan – The Soiree – Part 2

Corrie felt someone quickly coming up behind her as she stomped away from the ballroom to the elevator. She figured it was Jack wanting to placate her and bring her back to the party. Shoulders tense and jaw clenched she thought that before she went back into that ballroom he was at least going to get a piece of her mind first while she was still pissed.

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Deciding to make a stand rather than act childishly and make him chase her, the Crone turned to face him.

“Mrs. Taylor may I speak with you for a few minutes?”

Corrie deflated as she realised it was not Jack that was following her but a tall, rather handsome thirty something man with dark brown hair and whiskey colored eyes.

“Mrs. Taylor, my name is Justin O’Connor. You found my aunt Evelyn O’Connor last month in her home. I just wanted to thank you for your kindness,” he gushed.

Corrie was slammed by a dark energy that made her take a step back. She had been so angry that she hadn’t realised she had let her energy defenses down. Warning bells clanged in her head as her mind locked in on her recollection of who stood before her. Memories of what her witch friend and hair stylist Chantel told her flooded back in.

“Evelyn O’Connor wasn’t just some old lady that died alone in her home, she was a hereditary witch of a very old coven that can be dated back to the early 1800’s. She was one of the last of her line and very powerful. When she went missing over a decade ago most in the witch community thought she met with foul play, but when her spell book was discovered missing as well, well that’s when the gossip and speculation really began. Her nephew is the only heir left to that hereditary line but also to that book and all it contains.” 

“You are most welcome, but I did nothing that any other decent person would do. Enjoy your evening Mr. O’Connor.”

Corrie tried to turn to continue on her way to the elevator when Justin gently grabbed her arm and turned her back to him.

“Actually, I was hoping you may be able to help me locate an item that I was unable to find amongst my aunts belongings. Perhaps you may have seen it while attending to her …….. removal from her house.”

Corrie looked down at Justin O’Connor’s hand on her arm and was not impressed. This evening was becoming a disaster and she was at her limit of playing nice.

“Let me be perfectly blunt Mr. O’Connor. I know who you are. I know what you are and I know what it is you are looking for.” Then more forcefully, “I am only going to tell you this once, I do not have your families book, nor do I know were it is. All I have of your aunts is her dam cat which you are more than welcome to come and get. It sheds fur everywhere and is quite frankly a pain in the ass. Now please let go of my arm and leave me alone.”

Justin pulled his hand away from the Crone’s arm like it had been scorched from her fiery verbal attack. “I think you know more than you are saying,” he accused. “Please be careful Mrs. Taylor, deception is a dangerous game. Make sure you know the rules before you play it with me.”

“Is everything alright here Corrie?”

Jack had just arrived and did not care for the look of things between Corrie and this strange man standing in her space.

“Have a pleasant evening Mrs. Taylor, enjoy the party.” Justin O’Connor nodded his head to her and then to Jack and returned back to the ballroom.

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Justin found his date shamelessly flirting with a business associate and casual friend at his companies table. “I’m afraid we are going to have to leave the party early Emily, a situation with a client has arisen and I must take care of it tonight.”

“It’s Amy,” she pouted, “my name is Amy.”

“How about you leave Amy here with me Justin. I promise to see her home safely. No reason for her evening (and mine) to be ruined  just because you have to work.”

Justin speared his friend with a look that said, isn’t that convenient for you, you asshole, but then smiled and replied, “Of course, if Amy is fine with that there’s no reason for us both having this wonderful evening ruined.”

Then bending over Amy and kissing her on the cheek he seductively whispered in her ear, “I promise to make it up to you. I’ll call you early next week.”  But both of them knew he never would.

That worked out better than could be expected he thought as he ducked out a side door hoping to avoid Corrie Taylor and before Jack Fortin found out who he was and did something to put him in the doghouse with his own bosses.

With any luck I’ll make the last ferry to the island and be in Lake Cowichan just after midnight. With Corrie Taylor here in Vancouver for the night, I’ll probably never get a better opportunity. If that bitch is not going to willingly volunteer the information I need to find what rightfully belongs to me then I’ll go to her place and find it myself.

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Jack was not a man who was use to sucking up to others. It usually worked the other way for him but he valued his friendship with Corrie too much and after all, he had sent her into the lions den like a lamb ready for slaughter. He had been a coward to not tell her about his ex-wife and the business dynamics of the firm. It was just that he wanted to be with her and show her off so much that he wasn’t sure she would come if she new the truth.

Corrie was different from all the other women he’d dated and took to these kinds of functions. His dates were usually younger, beautiful and yes, looking for a sugar daddy. Catherine was not wrong on that note. Jack just found it easier to keep it superficial with the women he allowed into his private life. Maybe moving to Lake Cowichan two years ago to retire had changed him because that kind of women no longer interested him. Corrie interested him. He just hoped he hadn’t screwed it up too badly.

“Who was that man you were talking to?” Jack asked Corrie as Justin walked away.

“That was Evelyn O’Connor’s nephew, Justin O’Connor. We were just having a little chat. He wanted to thank me for what you and I did for his aunt.” Corrie hadn’t told Jack about the business of the missing spellbook yet because she wasn’t sure how he would react to the fact that there are real witches out there. She felt he thought she was weird enough as it was.

Jack dropped his eyes to the floor and grabbed Corrie hands, ” Jesus Corrie, I’m so sorry about my ex-wife. She can be such a bitch sometimes. Please come back to the party and tomorrow I will explain everything about me and Catherine and the law firm. I promise. Jason doesn’t deserve to have his special night ruined just because his parents are dysfunctional.” With that he brought his gazed up to earnestly look in her eyes.

“Of course Jack,” is date capitulated. “I just needed some space for a few moments. But don’t think for one minute you will avoid my wrath later.

Jack tucked her arm in the crook of his and escorted her back to the ballroom. Everyone was taking their seats for dinner.

“Not sure if I just dodged a bullet there,” Jack wondered to himself. Then feeling back in control of things again he thought, “Note to self, send a dozen roses to Corrie when we get home.”

As they made it to the end of the room where a podium stood, they came up to their table for the evening. Corrie surveyed her other dinner companions. Jason and Andrea smiled up at her and so did Jack’s daughter Kate and her husband Mark but then her eyes locked on Catherine Fraser-Fortin sitting beside Kate.

Jack froze. Corrie’s body went rigid against his arm. ” Of God, I forgot about that”, he mentally cringed, “Amend note to self and make that two dozen roses!”

Corrie broke her laser beam stare from Catherine and focused it on Jack. “This evening just gets better and better doesn’t it Jack. You really know how to show a girl a good time.”

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