Don't Hex with Texas

Page 2


So, I’d done what any noble heroine with her eyes on the big picture would do. I’d removed myself from the equation, leaving him free to fight the renegade dark wizard and his cronies without having to worry about me. As a result, I’d broken his heart by walking away. At least, I thought I might have.
Not that I’d heard from him. I didn’t really see him as the type to beg me to come back, and even if he was, I had a feeling he was under very strict orders from his boss not to go after me, but that didn’t stop me from jumping whenever the phone rang or daydreaming about him walking into the store.
The phone rang, and as always my heart started racing, even though I knew there were thousands of other reasons for the store’s phone to ring…and ring. Sherri had apparently taken that break I’d predicted, so I picked up the call from my desk. “Chandler Agricultural Supply,” I said briskly. “How may I help you?”
“Katie, is that you?”
“Marcia!” Marcia was one of my New York roommates, and hearing her voice nearly brought tears to my eyes. Is it possible to be homesick when you’re in the place where you grew up, surrounded by family? “What’s going on?”
“I tried e-mailing you a couple of times this morning, but it keeps bouncing.”
“Yeah, there’s something wrong with our server or network, or something.”
“It’ll be fixed soon,” came Teddy’s muffled remark from under my desk.
“It should be fixed soon,” I relayed to Marcia. “Is there something going on?”
“I had dinner with Rod last night, and I’ve got a little news.” Rod Gwaltney was Owen’s lifelong best friend, and he’d started dating Marcia at the start of the year. Considering that his previous relationships could be measured in hours, that meant that this was looking very serious, indeed.
“Oh, do tell. The kind of news that involves jewelry?”
“What? No! God, no. We’re still not even calling each other boyfriend or girlfriend. Talking about rings would really send him running.”
“Wow, you do have him figured out.”
“Owen’s been coaching me some.”
My heart started pounding again, and I got a funny feeling in my stomach. “So you’ve seen him?
How is he?”
“My, but someone sounds eager. I’ll tell you if you stop asking questions.”
“Sorry! Go on. I won’t say another word.”
“So, as I was saying, I had dinner with Rod last night, and I have a status report for you.” I was dying to ask questions, but I bit my tongue because I knew I’d get the answers quicker if I kept my mouth shut. “There’s been no news on the bad guy front, to the point that it almost looks like they’ve gone underground. Owen thinks something big’s about to happen, and the bad guys are changing gears.”
“Yeah, that’s usually how it goes. Do they have any idea what might be coming?”
“Not yet, but Rod’s getting worried about Owen. He’s working really hard. He’s not getting enough sleep, and while we’re all trying to make sure he eats, I think he’s losing weight, and you know he wasn’t a huge guy to begin with.”
That answered any question I might have had about his dedication to the cause. “Has he said anything about, well, you know, me?” I cringed inwardly at how pathetic I sounded, but I had to ask.
“Not really. Sorry. But you know, he doesn’t say much about anything.” I wasn’t sure what I was looking for there. I knew I couldn’t go back unless the bad guys were well and truly vanquished, no matter how much he begged, and I knew he wouldn’t beg. That didn’t mean I didn’t miss him.
“Thanks for the update,” I said with a sigh. “Keep up the good work and keep me posted about him…
and about you and Rod.” Marcia had only recently learned about the magical world, but she’d proven herself a gung ho sideline participant in the efforts to stop bad magic from spreading, even if her role thus far seemed to be relaying messages and making sure overworked wizards got a good meal every so often.
“Don’t worry, I think you’ll know if Rod makes a move toward commitment. Heaven and earth might be rent asunder. Not that I’m looking for a deep commitment at the moment. We’re having fun. We have plenty of time to worry about getting serious. Besides, I’m not even sure I want to hook up with a wizard on a more permanent basis. That may just be a lot of hassle.”
“Yeah, you could be right about that.” I knew from personal experience that dating a wizard had its complications, especially if he was leading the fight against dark magic. “But keep me in the loop. I miss you guys.”