Crimes of the Fay II, Chapter 29

“What a fantastic day!” Mom happily declared as we walked towards the cottage.

“Yeah… Fantastic!” I derisively muttered as I peeled a piece of seaweed off of my drenched clothing. Aidan didn’t say a word, but as he cleaned off his wet outfit too, his visage plainly displayed his agreement with my sentiments.

Laraleigh enquired to Aidan and me, “What were guys trying to do? Make love by the beach?”

Aidan remarked, “Oh! I didn’t even think of that!”

“Really?” Laraleigh reacted in surprise.

“Yeah, that surprises me too!” Aidan rubbed his chin as he contemplated this observation.

Laraleigh probed, ‘What were you doing by the shoreline then?”

Prior to reuniting with our family, Aidan and I agreed that we couldn’t reveal the truth of our excursion to any of them. It was paramount that we kept our unofficial investigation of Lake Ana Wai under wraps to ensure Agent Hearne didn’t find out and shut our project down, but I also was fairly certain that Wade was in our neighborhood, so I didn’t want him to learn how much we knew about his movements! Not that this afternoon helped us gain much more knowledge! We were still pretty sure that the mo’o’s gift got stashed on the Island of Death, but we didn’t get anything from exploring the seashore other than soaked! We considered telling them about the healing aspect of that legendary land, but I was in no mood for anyone to question my sanity that night! As if the sting of failure after a long day’s work wasn’t bad enough, I had surgery scheduled just around the corner, so I didn’t need any more stress! Aidan and I came to a consensus on what to reveal to them, and Aidan delivered the explanation, “I love the ocean, you know that! I’ve been dying to see it since we got here, and I guess you can say I saw more of it than I planned!”

“You got to see the Pacific like you wanted, so why the sad faces?” Mom queried us. “You encountered a small splash, why is that such a big deal?”

“Um, first of all, this wasn’t a small splash!” I rather vexedly responded to her. “And second, did you not hear the part where I said I’m having an operation on Friday?”

I expected Mom to utter something encouraging to soothe my nerves or perhaps mourn the lost opportunity to become a grandmother, but instead, she cheerily waved that tidbit off, “Oh, but you’re gonna feel so much better once it’s done! And you’ll have a new family member around to assist you in your recovery!” She indicated to the cat carrier in her hands.

Aidan reminded her, “The shelter told you that you can take care of it while they try and locate its owner, so you shouldn’t count on keeping it permanently! It’s not your baby, more like a foster child!”

“But if they don’t figure out who he belongs to, then he’ll be mine!” She kissed the cage and cooed, “Your new brothers and sisters are gonna love you!”

“They’re probably hiding from whatever trouble the kids are up to currently,” I commented.

Laraleigh took offense to that. “Hey! They don’t always misbehave!”

We opened the front door, and we were greeted with a cloud of multiple colors! Once it cleared, I saw that my garments had a variety of hues now on them! Several piles of bright powders remained on the ground, and Minna hollered, “See! You should have cleaned this crap up when I ordered you to!”

“Ooh! Mama, she sweared!” Willow ran over and tattled.

“What in the blue blazes are y’all doing?” Laraleigh bellowed. “You’re all failing your classes, and this is how you spend your time? Jeez, can you do something other than break rules? Or at least be more productive when you do it/ God, you didn’t even try to cheat, did you?”

The kids all ceased their antics and hung their heads in shame, which seemed more of an effort to appease their mother than actual guilt, and while Laraleigh searched for the right verbiage to admonish them, my mom grabbed a broom and assessed, “We need to clear this up before we let the new cat out!”

While the youngsters gasped in delight, Aidan briefed them, “It’s only temporary! The shelt is trying to find its family, so it’s more like babysitting.”

“Ooh! I wanna meet who we’re kitty-sitting!” Mason exclaimed, a feeling that his siblings all shared. I couldn’t fathom why- the eight felines who already roamed our house were a handful enough! Well, when they weren’t cowering from these jumpy juveniles that is! What exactly did they think would happen with this one?

“As soon as we can tidy this place up, you can meet him,” Mom relayed to them as she swiftly swept.

Harper instantly volunteered, “I’ll lend a hand!”

Preceding her ability to execute a spell, Laraleigh grabbed her wrist and grilled her, “Where did you get this?”

“Uncle Aidan and Shannon’s wands weren’t working, so we threw them out the window,” Harper explained. “Minna let us use hers.”

“That’s a lie!” Minna disputed. “I took a short nap during their lessons, and they stole it!”

Harper corrected her, “Borrowed! It’s not like we were gonna keep it! We just wanted to play color tag!”

Laraleigh built up a lot of steam from that rationalization, but Mom cut her off before she let it out, “Could you save it for later? Poor Jinx is probably already scared enough!” Laraleigh seemed miffed by that request, but she bit her lip and complied. Some of mom’s other pets curiously began to emerge and approach the cage tentatively. Once Laraleigh magicked the dust away, Mom opened the enclosure, and…

Jinx came running out hissing, and the other animals scurried away in fright! Jinx didn’t know where was safe for him to take cover, so he rushed all over the abode, and since his peers couldn’t’ predict his actions, they too darted around in random directions! I got overwhelmed pretty quickly, and I dearly wanted to seek refuge in my hidey closet, but I was afraid to accidentally move into the warpath! As I watched this pandemonium unfold, I pondered how long it would take for things to calm down…

All of a sudden, the doorbell rang, and all of the catapulting cats found their havens in a jiffy from the perceived danger! I folded my arms in annoyance of how unnecessary their previous chaos had been, and I almost voiced this observation, but it then occurred to me that perhaps their instincts weren’t wrong about our guests! We never had visitors, and there was only a single individual I reckoned would have any desire to darken our doorstep…

“Wow! I didn’t know this building had a doorbell!” Jackson expressed in a pleasant surprise. As Aidan cautiously studied the entryway, Jackson asked, “Isn’t anybody gonna get that?” 

“Stay back!” I instructed everyone as I whipped my wand out. Aidan readied himself to open the door up, and my adrenaline skyrocketed! I was positive that Wade discovered our activity in Kai Lawai’a and followed us to the premises to stop us from completing our mission! I had no clue how he bypassed the security measures that surrounded the property, but I would have to figure that out later! I had been waiting for this showdown for a long time! Okay, it hadn’t been that long, but it felt like it! Anyways, I was more than prepared to bring this misadventure to a finish! Aidan made the entrance ajar, and I steeled myself up for the fight of a lifetime, and…

The Hekekias gazed at us in total startlement! I wanted to feel sympathy for them stumbling into such a dicey situation, but I had to undo all of the bluster I had just built up! The two Fays stood there awkwardly for a moment, and then Kaleo inquired, “Uh… Is this a bad time?”

Mom genially replied, “No! Why would you think that?”

While she pet a cat who gotten covered in powder that Laraleigh had missed, Laraleigh was trying to persuade her children to give Minna her wand back and Aidan as well as I had to calm ourselves out of a state of agitation, so I could easily comprehend why the Hekekias would feel hesitant on entering inside! I privately prayed that they wouldn’t have too much intrigue on all that recently transpired, and thankfully, Kalani simply cleared her throat, ignored the oddities in front of her, and announced, “We have something important to tell you…”

I fully expected them to divulge some cocamame excuse for canceling another shift tomorrow, and I couldn’t grasp why they were taking so long to convey this to us! I had such a mentally exhausting afternoon that all I yearned to do for the remainder of the evening was dig out that wine I got on the plane and strive to forget all of my aggravation, so every minute they waffled on this nonsense cost me a fraction of my dearly needed relaxation! I couldn’t prevent my expression from staring at them with total impatience as I waited!

“We sold Lani Noni!” Kaleo finally admitted. The entire household froze upon hearing this update! I imagined that nobody could’ve predicted this eventuality! It caught us all so off guard that we stood there in total silence! I doubted that it even got that silent when we all slumbered! My jaw dropped at the shock of this upheaval! I didn’t have the faintest inkling that they were even thinking of doing this, so it took a lengthy stretch to absorb it!

“Jinx just got here!” Mom cried out. “He’s not ready to make another move!”

She brought up something that hadn’t dawned on me until she articulated it, which I sort of felt ashamed about because I esteemed that it ought to have been at the forefront of my mind! “Oh, darn! We gotta go live somewhere else now! What a shame!” I meant to say that with an ounce of false sincerity, but it didn’t come out that way!

Kalani assured us, “No, no! We discussed your circumstances with the new owner, and she’s more than delighted to allow you all to stay here!”

“Oh!” I couldn’t fake enthusiasm at that one since I had gotten my hopes up that we might actually get the chance to reside in a dwelling with more accommodations towards our needs!

“Why did you sell it?” Aidan petitioned them.

Kaleo filled us in, “They offered us a bunch of cash for it! More than it’s likely worth! The lady who purchased Lopaka’s property wanted ours too, and I would have turned her down if it hadn’t been for the fact that she adamantly insisted that she intends to restore the territory to its former glory, and that’s all I ever wanted really! Well, that’s not say that I didn’t want the money- I just didn’t picture it as possible for Fay Folks to ever get that kind of dough!”

Kalani added, “It’s been a pleasure being your bosses and landlords, but we feel that we’re leaving you in good hands!”

She extended her palm for me to shake, and I took it out of politeness, but something didn’t settle right with me! Who spends so much capital on an unprofitable plot? This person put an offer on Lopaka’s ranch, and then they immediately bought this hovel next door? What could they possibly have seen in this territory that made it so lucrative? And why would they permit a family of ten (or nineteen if you counted the critters) to occupy a piece of their newly acquired acreage? I couldn’t quite put my finger on why, but this transaction had a quality to it that made me truly uneasy! As the Hekekias merrily vacated the vicinity, I watched them go with surmounting concern… What exactly did they just unleash on us?

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