Title: Hocus Pocus
Sequel to: On The Hunt
Characters: Chloe, Lois/Adam, Jo, Ellen, Kate, George the Mastiff
Disclaimer: Don't own
Summary: Adam has had the worse luck ever since buying the ring, and every attempt to propose to Lois has backfired, ending up in her getting hurt. But when Jo gets hurt as well Chloe begins to wonder if there isn't more to this than just bad luck.
Written for my Paranormal25 Prompt Table. Prompt used #80
Adam had yet to propose.
Things during the fancy dinner where he'd planned to pop the question had gone up in smoke. Literally. Someone had accidentally set the curtains on fire and the once Windom hotspot had burnt to the ground.
Adam had taken a few days to regroup and decided to have a picnic for Lois at the local park only to have a freak storm appear out of nowhere and rained down hail on them.
He'd gotten somewhat discouraged but then decided to take her ice-skating and somehow work the proposal into the activity.
Lois fell badly and broke her arm in two different places.
So now, with Lois resting at home, arm in a cast, completely knocked out by her pain meds...Adam was lamenting his woes to his sole conspirator and the only person who understood completely why he was so miserable.
Chloe sighed, bringing them both cups of coffee as she sat down across from him at the kitchen table. "It's only a case of bad luck, Adam, it isn't a sign you're bad for her."
"First she nearly passes out from smoke inhalation, then she had terrible bruises from where she was hit by hail, and then she breaks her arm!" Adam was near tears, forehead leaning hard against the surface of the table. "I'm cursed. I've cursed her!"
"Don't you think that's a little bit of an exaggeration?" Chloe tried.
The front door slammed shut, loud footsteps (both canine and human) storming towards them and when Jo Harvelle and George the mastiff entered the room Chloe rose in shock.
The blonde hunter was covered in mud, cut up, the fingers of her right hand bent unnaturally.
George was perfectly fine.
"What happened?" Chloe gasped, hurrying to her friend. "Were you attacked?"
"No." Jo sat down in the chair Adam pulled out for her and hissed as she rested her hand on the table. "I was coming back from taking George to his vet's appointment when the truck stalled for no good reason. I spent half an hour in the middle of the road looking under that damned hood trying to figure out what had happened and nothing. There was no damn problem with it except that it wouldn't start!"
Chloe sat down next to Jo and placed her hand around Jo's injured one. She felt her magic connect with that injured hand and there was a loud CRACK followed by Jo howling and bending over in agony.
"Warn next time dammit!" Jo cried, eyes closed tightly, teeth clenched.
Adam got up and went to the door leading to the door to the drawing room where Lois was still snoring happily, and closed it so that the noise wouldn't bother her. He then went to the medicine table. "You know, I am studying medicine."
Chloe looked up, sheepish. "Sorry."
He sent her a little smile before finding the pain meds and filling a glass of water, bringing both to Jo, who took the tablets with desperation. "What exactly happened if you weren't attacked?"
"Damned if I know." Jo swallowed the water and pills, letting Adam examine her fingers now that they were all back in place thanks to Chloe. "As I was saying, I checked out under the hood and everything was fine. I slammed it down in annoyance and somehow slipped and went tumbling, and I fell badly on my hand. And of course, the damned truck starts perfectly after that-on its own!"
"On it's own?" Adam blinked.
"And the cuts?" Chloe pointed out, ignoring that part of the story for now.
"I fell in a rosebush." Jo grimaced.
"And the mud?" Chloe wanted to know.
Jo glared heatedly at her. "When I rolled out of the rosebush I ended up in a puddle of mud."
"Puddle?" Chloe scoffed, eyeing her. "You mean lake."
Jo's eyes narrowed. "If my fingers hadn't just been completely out of place seconds ago, I would punch you right now."
"You punch with your knuckles, not your fingers." Chloe showed no mercy.
Jo gave her the finger on her good hand.
Chloe puckered her lips and blew her a kiss.
Jo's lips twitched despite her obvious annoyance and pain.
"It's not like you to be so klutzy." Adam frowned as he finally seemed to deem her previously injured hand fine. "You should get some ice on that to keep it from swelling too much."
"I should probably bathe first." Jo sighed.
"You should." Chloe nodded, shooing her away. "You stink."
"Screw you, Sullivan."
"Joanna Beth Harvelle!" Chloe gasped in mock horror, enjoying using Jo's name like her mother did whenever she was in trouble. "I thought we were keeping it secret!"
"Just so you know, you're not funny." Jo informed her as she stood from the chair and left for her room.
Chloe watched her go, only letting her eyes narrow once the hunter was gone. "Something's up."
"I know." Adam mumbled, leaning against the sink. "You two usually do the whole flirting thing with less obvious promises of angry sex."
Chloe laughed, amused as always by Adam's well-known fantasies of the hot lesbian sex that wasn't happening between her and Jo. "I wasn't talking about that, get your head out of the gutters."
"You two deliberately fuel my horny male mind." He reminded her. "Kinda hard to keep a clean thought here."
"I'm so telling Kate what a pervert you are." Chloe rolled her eyes before standing. "I'll be back."
Adam frowned as the phone began to ring in the kitchen. "Where you going?"
"To check something out. Answer that before it wakes Lois up." Eyeing George when he followed her out of the kitchen and house, Chloe rubbed the mastiff's head as they made their way to Jo's truck. There was just something that seemed off about not only Lois' bad luck but Jo's sudden case of it as well, and there was something that Adam had said before that was causing warning bells to ring loudly in her head. So with suspicions eating at her, Chloe circled the truck before going to the driver's door and yanking it open. Putting her hair up in a ponytail with the elastic band that'd been around her wrist, Chloe pushed up her sleeves and got to work, checking under the steering wheel and the seat and every single place she could think of where something could be hidden.
Finally her hand made contact with something and she pulled out a small satchel, frowning as she gazed at it for a moment before opening the cloth bound with leather. Within the hex bag were rabbit teeth, bird bones, the charred metacarpal bones of a newborn baby, and one of Jo's thongs. How someone had managed to get a hold of Jo's thong was a question in itself, but Chloe didn't bother pondering on it, her eyes flashing as suddenly the hex bag caught on fire in her hand, the flames burning bright blue.
Her face was severe, her eyes narrowed, her mind buzzing as her magic reacted to her anger, fueling the fire and causing the flames to climb higher in the air, turning a richer blue.
"Was that a hex bag?"
Chloe jerked in surprise at the voice, realizing that she had been very much out of it because sometime during this whole ordeal Ellen and Kate had driven up and parked next to her. The women had left Ellen's truck with eyes narrowed on her, as the last remnants of the hex bag fluttered to the ground before being consumed completely.
"Why was there a hex bag in Jo's truck?" Ellen came closer to Chloe, motherly protection rearing its head. "Is Jo all right?"
"She hurt her hand, and ego, but otherwise she's fine. I think this was a fresh plant since this particular type of hex is the escalating type which starts with seemingly random bad luck and ends up in the hexed person's death. And considering Jo is only now starting to experience bad luck it was probably planted here last night. Yesterday at the most." Chloe looked towards the house. "Lois' though..."
"Lois has been hexed as well?" Kate gasped, horrified at the thought of the girl she adored as her daughter being hurt. "Is that why she's been having such lousy luck lately?"
Chloe didn't answer, instead hurrying back into the house, George at her heels, and raced up the stairs towards Lois' and Adam's room. She looked around, trying to think of a good place to hide something like a hex bag and went to looking. The blonde made a mess, tearing going through the drawers, pulling them out to see if anything had been secured under them, and yanking the clothes out of the closet to see if anything was hidden in the darkest corners or the ceiling.
"A hex bag?" Adam's voice asked her with a squeak from behind as two sets of footsteps entered the room. "Are you serious? Someone's hexing us?"
"It would seem so." Chloe frowned, exiting the closet to find Ellen already tapping the walls.
"Do you really think someone could have gotten into this house?" Adam made a face while he began ripping the sheets and such from the bed.
"Jo's hex bag had her thong for her personal item." Chloe supplied, grabbing a vase with plastic flowers and dumping it upside-down. "Whoever is behind this has most definitely been inside of this house before."
"Her t-thong?" Adam blinked, holding a pillow, before suddenly grinning. "How do you know what Jo's underwear looks like?"
"Really?" Ellen made a face at Adam as she made her way to the bathroom. "You're going to start that now?"
"Right. Sorry." Chastised, Adam threw the pillow behind him and lifted the mattress, looking under it. "Why Lois and Jo? Why no one else? Why target only them?"
"We don't know that they're the only ones being targeted." Chloe corrected, gazing around the room, trying to be smart about this. "This started with Lois at the beginning of the week, and Jo's was probably a day or two old. If we hadn't figured out what was happening then we all could have ended up with our personal hex bags."
"Damn." Adam shook his head. "Whoever this is better not have touched Lo's underwear."
Lips twitching in amusement at that, Chloe's gaze landed on the bed. "Especially not the purple passion set."
Adam's mouth fell open. "How do you know so much about everyone's underwear?" His eyes narrowed slightly. "Is this a magic thing?" He raised an eyebrow. "What am I wearing right now?"
Ellen barked laughter from the bathroom. "They go shopping together Adam! That's how she knows about their underwear!" She appeared in the doorway. "Hell, even I saw the purple passion set."
"Oh." The utter, devastating disappointment on his face was laughable.
Ellen and Chloe shared female looks of exasperation before Chloe went to the bed and laid on the ground before pulling herself under, gazing up.
In the corner under Lois' side of the bed, a hex bag was secured.
Chloe hissed, yanking the bag free and clawing her way out from under the bed, sitting up as Ellen and Adam joined her.
Untying the material Chloe eyed the same ingredients that'd been in Jo's hex bag, along with a tiny excuse for a thong with a single heart with ears as decoration.
"Not the bunny heart!" Adam glared. "Bastard."
Ellen and Chloe shared looks before the bag went up in bright blue flames, the bag and contents being consumed with ferocity until there was nothing left.
A scream and the sound of something breaking downstairs catapulted them into a run, Adam somehow beating the women as they made it down the stairs, Ellen with her pistol drawn and Chloe with her fists clenched as they found Kate in the kitchen holding a knife to her own heart, tears falling down her cheek.
"Mom?" Adam squeaked in horror. "What are you doing? Put that down!"
"I can't!" Kate cried, hands trembling. "I'm not doing this! I-I can't control myself!"
Adam turned to Chloe. "We have to find her hex bag!"
"That's not a hex bag's work." Ellen shook her head, eyes narrowed.
"Then what is it and how do we stop it?" Adam snapped.
"Someone's controlling her actions remotely, like poppet-work." Ellen responded.
Seeing a shifting of shadows outside of the window in the darkening world, Chloe's eyes flashed as the knife jerked out of Kate's hands, embedding itself into the wall. Adam grabbed his mother and held the crying woman tightly, making sure that she couldn't do anything else to hurt herself.
Chloe threw the back door open and rushed out, snarling in anger at the figure in the shadows. "Who are you and what do you want?"
"You're so vulnerable it's ridiculous that it's had to go to these extremes." The person snorted. "Do you know how easy it's been to get inside your house?"
Her eyes narrowed. "What do you want?"
"Me? Nothing. I'm just doing my job." He replied with a shrug.
"Job?" Chloe took a step towards him. "Someone paid you to terrorize us? Who? Why?"
"What a foolish question." He replied.
"Excuse me?" Chloe hissed.
"You're in heat." The man replied, voice a sneer. "Haven't you noticed an...increase in paranormal attention lately? If you haven't noticed the way that your house has been under constant surveillance this last month you're a fool who deserves it."
She went cold. "Heat?"
"Bloodbaths have been occurring whenever one gets a little too close to you, but none can get close enough because of your support team." He replied. "So I was contracted to get rid of them to make you more...accessible."
Chloe was reeling from this news, and she let her guard down more than she should. "I can't be in heat. Thats not possible. Humans don't go into heat."
He sneered. "Let's not play games doll. You're a bitch in heat that has all the dogs in the neighborhood barking insane, and I've been paid good money to demolish the fence that keeps you untouchable."
Chloe's eyes narrowed. "My friends and family are not fences. And I won't let you touch them."
"I have this." He raised his hand, showing a poppet with one of Kate's scarves around it's neck. "I can break her neck quicker than you can raise your hand."
A gunshot rang throughout the night, and his eyes widened in shock before he crumbled to the ground, dead.
Behind him, pistol still raised, Ellen sneered. "But you're not faster than a bullet."
"Bad guys." Chloe's eyes flashed as the poppet caught on fire. "They always get so caught up on their Monologues of Doom that they slip up. Every single time."
Ellen kicked the dead witch's face. "That's for hexing my daughter."
"I thought that was what the bullet was for." Chloe mumbled as the fire from the poppet reached for him hungrily, the shadows closing around his body and hiding it and the flames as they consumed him.
"What did he mean when he said you were in heat?" Ellen wanted to know, frowning.
"I have no idea." Chloe replied as they turned and headed back towards the house, leaving the body to burn within the cocoon of shadows behind them. "But I intend to find out."