It’s been a while since I’ve shared a big chunk of the shenanigans I’ve been up to! And we’re less than a week away from the release of Chaos Theory (at last!). So here you go! Will Darling is in big trouble….
Will had driven past Clutterbuck’s Flowers several times, and he knew that the family, Melody included, lived in an apartment above the shop. Scott had told everyone on his team about how amazing the apartment was—two apartments in one, really—but he hadn’t mentioned the location of the entry. It took Will several minutes of wandering around the building, feeling more self-conscious by the minute, before Melody’s sister stuck her head out one of the second-floor windows and said, “Can I help you?”
Cringing internally, Will raised a hand to shield his eyes and looked up. “Is Melody home?”
“Maybe.” Calliope’s tone was a dead giveaway to just how badly he’d upset Melody.
“Can I talk to her?”
“Maaybee.” Calliope drew the word out, her mouth twitching to the kind of grin that made Will feel like an insect specimen skewered with a pin.
He paused, waiting for Calliope to say more. When she didn’t, he asked, “How do I get up there?”
Calliope chuckled. “You’re staring right at the door.”
Will lowered his eyes to find a plain, unassuming door directly across from where he stood. The window had been painted to resemble a stained-glass flower arrangement, which is why he’d assumed it led to the shop. Calliope drew her head back into the apartment, and Will marched for the door. It was unlocked, so he went through and found himself walking up a narrow flight of incense-scented stairs.
Soft sitar music was playing on the other side of a closed, painted door when he reached the top. He raised his hand to knock, but the door swung open before his knuckles could make contact.
“You’d better be here to apologize,” Calliope said in a low voice.
“I am.” Will nodded.
Calliope’s expression lightened to a broad, teasing smile. “In that case….” She stepped back, holding the door open and gesturing for him to come in. “Hey, Mel! Look what the cat dragged in.”
Will supposed he deserved it. Dickery like his deserved humiliation as punishment. That didn’t stop him from freezing in his tracks as he crossed through the modest-if-colorful front entryway and into a gigantic, two story high room. The décor was bright and exotic, what he would call hippie-eastern chic. Oriental art vied with thick, green plants for just about every space on and around the walls. But it was the erotic, almost obscene mobile hanging from the ceiling that caught his attention and had his jaw dropping. Male and female bodies circled and entwined above him in a dance that was…distracting.
Even more distracting was Luna Clutterbuck, Melody and Calliope’s mother. Dressed in a silk wrap-around skirt and flowing blouse, the bangles she wore jingling, she swept across the room and enveloped Will in a hug before he could raise his arms to stop her. He tensed instinctively, then battled to force himself to accept the hug.
“Oh dear,” she said as she stepped back and held him at arm’s length. She didn’t elaborate, she just sighed and said, “I’ll get Melody so that you can work this all out.”
Luna floated off, disappearing through a doorway that looked like it led to a corridor. He heard footsteps going up stairs moments later, followed by Luna’s call of, “Melody, you have a visitor.”
Will glanced to Calliope to see if he could judge just how huge of a villain he’d been reported to be. She didn’t look nearly as peeved as he would have been if his sister had been insulted. In fact, she looked as though she was having a hard time not laughing.
Moments later, Melody appeared at the edge of what appeared to be a loft on one side of the room. She had changed into a long, green skirt and short-sleeved shirt, and her curly hair hung in a wild mass down past her shoulders. She arched a brow and leaned against the loft’s railing. “Hello, Darling.”
Will frowned. She was going to make this as difficult for him as possible. Not that he didn’t deserve it. “I’ve come to apologize.” There. Might as well deal with the issue head-on.
Melody chuckled. The sound was low, coming from her chest. With her standing a full story above him, looking down on him, she was like a fairy queen in the kind of story that had been banned from his house growing up. She made the hair on the back of Will’s neck stand up. Other things too.
“Is that so?” she asked.
He took a breath and clasped his hands behind his back, standing at attention. “I spoke to you in an unbecoming manner, and I’d like to apologize for it.”
Melody burst into giggles, leaning against her arms on the banister. “What, are we in some sort of historical novel now?”
“No.” He frowned.
“Because you sound like Mr. Darcy coming to apologize to Elizabeth.”
Will’s frown deepened. “Who?”
Melody pushed herself to stand straight. Calliope leaned away from Will, one brow arched. “Seriously?”
Will glanced sideways to her, wishing there was a polite way to tell her to go the hell away. “Did I say something wrong?”
“Do you really not know who Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth are?” Melody asked from above.
Since Calliope was looking at him like he’d told her one plus one equaled three, he was glad to look back up at Melody. “I take it they’re a couple.”
Calliope covered her mouth with one hand to stifle her laugh. She shook her head and crossed behind him, heading toward the hall where Luna had disappeared. “He’s all yours, Mel,” she called up to her sister before vanishing around the corner.