Ella never slept. That was the main reason Samuel allowed this crazy black magic witch-hunt to proceed. A huge part of him hated she went to such extremes for another man, but neither could he let her go alone or stay away from her. “Deep in bayou country” turned out to be the last room inside the Bayou Country Club, which would’ve been funny in itself to Samuel without adding in the actual Voodooist, who looked more like a sleazy car salesman than any magic man.
Everything was white. The couch, the walls, chairs, and tables were all blinding in their cleanliness. At the center of it all, appearing as a slimy stain on an otherwise spotless handkerchief, was Pierre Lacombe, Voodooist extraordinaire.
The man possessed all of four brown hairs in the front of his head. He used those to cover the pale bald spot at the back. This feat obviously needed a ton of oil to accomplish, a fact, which seemed to hold Ella mesmerized as they took the seats offered to them after a rather lengthy introduction that was uncomfortable at the very least.
Whereas they both had been expecting chicken bones, burning incense, and even a possible club-foot-curse, what they got were some hot wings, cigar smoke, and Ella’s ass grabbed.
That final thing alone was a killing offense in Samuel’s eyes, but the greasy-haired man who wore too many gold chains held onto his life by his immediate prophecy.
“You must spend a night in the woods and become one with the dark,” he told Ella between gnawing on the red-coated chicken parts and them settling into their chairs. “Only that which is created from obscurity can give you what you seek,” he added.
“Any particular spot in the woods?” Ella asked the four hairs.
Wiping his hot-sauced fingers on the front of his shirt, Pierre pulled an ink pen from his pocket. Jotting an address on his napkin, he handed it to Ella. Pinching the slightly rumpled and stained paper towel between her thumb and forefinger, Ella reluctantly accepted.
“Um, thank you.”
“What is the price of your time?” Samuel asked, holding the man’s beady brown gaze.
As he feared, Pierre’s rat-like features became calculating at his question. Samuel knew he shouldn’t have let the ass grab go.
Narrowing his eyes, he allowed a hint of the rage always boiling just under his surface to show in his stare. Samuel had killed many beings since the creation of time. Today would be no different for Pierre if he didn’t choose his words wisely.
Showing a hint of good sense, Pierre waved off the question and lifted another wing from his plate. “For a woman as lovely as yours, and because Randall is my friend, this advice is on the house.”
Another checkmark against Randall as far as Samuel was concerned.
“Oh, thank you,” Ella cried. “However, I insist you accept something.”
Samuel bit back a groan.
Flashing a triumphant smile, Pierre drawled, “Well, there is one thing.”
Under the table, Samuel tapped the heel of his boot against the floor, causing a blade to slide out at the toe. Lifting his foot, he pressed the point against the man’s groin. Pierre’s eyes widened. Samuel silently dared him to continue.
“You can tell Randall I send him good wishes,” he finished quickly, and Samuel dropped his foot to the floor, popping the blade back in place.
Seemingly oblivious to the exchange, taking place just out of sight, Ella smiled brightly. “I will,” she promised. “And thank you again. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your help.”
Wiping the sweat from his brow with his sleeve, Pierre accepted her show of gratitude while rushing them on their way.