Should have put the opal somewhere else besides the top of his dresser.
He growled in frustration. He’d let his head overrule his heart.
Hopefully by the time he saw her at the sheriff’s office, she’d be cooled off enough that he’d be able to convince her to listen. He’d apologize and fix everything.
Willa couldn’t go back to her apartment, so she went to the only other place she could think of. The House Witch.
Fortunately, she didn’t live far. And by now, she should be home.
Pandora Williams answered the door in a bathrobe with her hair wrapped in a towel. “Hey, Willa, how are you? Did I know you were coming over?”
“No, sorry, this is an imposition because I know you just got home, but I need a place to stay. My apartment got broken into last night and—”
“What? Oh no!” Concern marred the pretty redhead’s otherwise happy face as she moved to the side to let Willa in. “Get in here. No wonder you have Jasper with you. Of course you can stay. You know my guest room is always open to you. You poor thing. Did they take much?”
Willa stepped into the house. “Just my sense of security. I hope you had a good conference. Where’s Pumpkin?” Pandora had adopted one of Jasper’s littermates, an act that had further solidified the friendship between the two women.
“The conference was good. Boring, but good. And her Royal Fatness is in the kitchen having a second breakfast. Let Jasper out.” Pandora shut the front door. “Maybe he’ll distract Pumpkin and get her to play. She could use the cardio. Speaking of, have you eaten? My first showing isn’t until eleven, so I have time to hang out and make us some breakfast while you tell me the whole sordid tale about this break-in.”
“No, no breakfast yet.” Willa thought sadly of the one she could have been having with Nick if he’d just been honest about how he really was. With a sigh, she set Jasper free. He immediately took off for the kitchen. “That would be great.”
Pumpkin was indeed in there, and still at her dish. The big orange tabby didn’t even glance at her brother when he walked in. Willa sat at the table, drank coffee and, while Pandora cooked, unloaded everything that had happened, including her fight with Nick.
“Wow.” Pandora stared at the spatula in her hand. “Just…wow. But, really, that just sucks. I know Nick. I sold him his house. He seems like such a nice guy.”
“He is,” Willa said softly. “Except for when he’s not being honest about who he is. And the part where he thinks I’m going to take away his free will and make him do my bidding. What exactly did he think I was going to have him do? It’s not like I’m at war with anyone.”
“Apart from the stalker guy.” Pandora brought two plates of scrambled eggs to the table and sat.
“Ugh, don’t remind me. What am I going to do about that?”
Pandora doused her eggs with hot sauce. “What is he?”
“Troll. You know anything about them?”
“A little. I can check my mother’s library for more info, though.”
Pandora’s mother, Corette, was an extremely talented witch. Pandora and her sisters weren’t slouches either—well, Pandora had never really found her niche with witchcraft. She’d ended up going into real estate, which she excelled at. Most people referred to her good-naturedly as the House Witch. She handled almost a hundred percent of the sales for Nocturne Falls’ supernatural community.
“Thanks.” Willa poked at the eggs, wishing she had a mother with a library. “That’s one of the real downfalls of my decision to run away from home all those years ago. I never got the education my peers did. Everything I’ve learned has been through trial and error.”
Pandora tipped her head. “I hope you’re not saying you’re dumb, because you’re one of the most talented, street-smart women I know.”
“No, not dumb exactly, but I don’t have the book smarts about supernatural history the way others do. I don’t think Nick was lying about the fae once enslaving the gargoyle nation, but I didn’t know about it. Or that my power over stone meant I could control a creature made of stone. I never put those two things together.”
“And why would you? It’s not like this has come up before.”
“Still.” Willa groaned into her coffee. “No wonder he thought I might be a threat.”
“You’re not letting him off the hook that easily, are you? He kept information from you. He sat there, listening to you make that wish, and never identified himself. That’s kind of shady.”
Willa sighed wistfully.
“Uh oh,” Pandora said. “You like him.”
Willa frowned at her friend. “I did sleep with him.”
Pandora grinned. “I knew it. You have the sex glow. How was he? Phenomenal, I bet. I mean, that body, how could he not be? You know I wanted to introduce you two when I was selling him his house, but you kept telling me you were too busy to date.” Her brows lifted as her lips pursed. “Just think, you could have been tapping that all this time.”
“You’re not helping.”
“Sorry.” She sipped her coffee, smirking like Jasper after he’d charmed Willa into giving him extra treats.
“Yes, I like him. Or I did. I don’t know what I think about him now. Other than I’m angry about this whole misunderstanding.”