"Kat, please stop crying," Joanna begged. "You're going to cause a flood!" Filling the prompts magical troubles, taking care of someone, rain.
"Kat, please stop crying," Joanna begged. "You're going to cause a flood!"
"I'm sorry," Kat wailed, clutching a crumpled tissue in one fist. Her mascara had streaked, leaving dark rivulets on her pale skin. Even her hair looked flat and miserable. "I just -"
What "just" entailed was never disclosed, for she began weeping again. It wasn't that she didn't have the right to cry; Joanna sympathized, she really did. For Kat's husband to behave as he had, from the years of treating her like a slave while barely ever lifting a finger himself around the house nor keeping down a job, to now threatening to take the children from Kat just because of the company she was keeping (Joanna, Roxie, and, of course, Darryl) was unforgivable. But the problem wasn't Kat's rage and grief at the situation in general and her husband more specifically. The problem was Kat's talent.
Call it talent, call it magic, call it witchcraft, but the three of them had awoken their gifts the day they'd tossed the coins into the fountain, and Kat's talent was linked inextricably to nature; from growing plants, to healing people, and to influencing the weather. The latter was that which was giving Joanna cause for concern. The moment Kat's lip had trembled, a rumble of thunder had ominously sounded overhead. As she began to cry, raindrops had started to fall. Now there was a downpour that showed no signs of ever ceasing.
Roxie came to the lounge and crouched down by Kat, pressing a martini glass into her friend's' hands. "Here, sweetie, drink up," she said. "Take your mind off him."
Kat hiccupped through her tears and managed a gulp of the martini. Darryl, dripping wet, came into the room.
"Kat, please," he said. "The storm is threatening to flood Main Street!" The tempest was centred above his mansion but the drains couldn't hope to contain the amount of rain that was gushing forth and so the water was running rapidly downhill. Here it joined the surfeit of rainwater that was pouring from the charcoal clouds steadily gathering over the whole the town.
"Oh," Kat said. "I'm sorry! I'm trying! Oh, God, someone could be hurt or killed!" Unfortunately her guilt simply made the tears flow more, not less.
Darryl glared at Roxie and mouthed "do something" at her. Roxie glared back. "I'm trying," she mouthed back.
"Why don't we do something," Joanna said desperately. "To take your mind off things."
"Like what?" Kat sniffed.
Joanna was lost for ideas. Her usual fall back of talking about men was definitely off the table. She wasn't great at cards. And romantic movies were a no go.
"Ice cream?" she suggested. Kat shook her head miserably.
Darryl shivered audibly and that caught Kat's attention.
"You're soaked," she said, as if noticing this for the first time. "You ought to get changed."
He shook his head. "Not until I know you're all right." He put one hand to his mouth and coughed.
If Kat hadn't been so upset she might have seen through his obvious deceit but she was so distraught at another problem that could be attributed to her that it went over her head. This, at least, was one issue she knew how to deal with.
"I'm fine," she told him, getting to her feet and passing her glass to Joanna. She swallowed, dabbed at her eyes and tossed the tissue into a wastepaper basket.
Darryl shot Roxie a sly grin, quickly looking forlorn again when Kat crossed the room to him, taking his elbow in one hand.
"Come on," Kat said firmly, "Let's go and get you out of these wet clothes. I don't want you getting hypothermia."
Roxie watched Kat escort Darryl firmly upstairs with just a tiny pang of jealousy. She couldn't deny however that Kat's maternal instinct had shifted her attention from her own problems and she was now only concerned with Darryl's welfare. She'd stopped crying, and the rain had eased off; now only a few drops bounced off the windows as the wind calmed and the clouds began to dissipate.
Darryl let Kat strip off his shirt and then sat on the bed. She disappeared into the master bathroom to fetch some towels. By the time she returned he was wearing only his boxers.
"Here," Kat said soothingly, dabbing at his damp skin with one of the fluffy white bath-sheets. When she thought he was dry enough, she draped the towel over his shoulders and took up a hand towel, rubbing gently at his dripping hair.
"Thank you," Darryl said in a low voice.
Kat felt desire stir deep within. She pushed it aside. This was no time to start another relationship, let alone one with the notorious Darryl Van Horne – not to mention Roxie's obvious interest in him.
"You should warm up," she said, pulling back the corner of the silk comforter and the duvet underneath it.
Darryl slid into bed and leaned up on one elbow. "You could join me," he said, adding innocently as she fixed him with a disapproving stare, "warm me up."
"You'll soon warm up," Kat said, gathering up the wet towels.
"The storm's over," he said.
She glanced at the ceiling. "Yes."
"You're a powerful woman, Kat."
She couldn't deal with this now. "I'll send Roxie up with a brandy," she said. "That should be all the extra warmth you need."
There was yet another reason to keep her desires in check, she thought, as she took the towels downstairs to find a laundry basket or a washing machine. If her anger and grief could produce such results, who knew what her passion and ecstasy might cause.
These powers seemed to be both a blessing and a curse. That she might never be able to allow her emotions free rein lest she destroy the town in a hurricane was a definite curse.
"Roxie, take Darryl a brandy," Kat said, heading for the kitchen. Joanna followed her and Kat sighed. "Do you know where there's a laundry room?"
"Darryl probably has everything dry cleaned," Joanna said.
"His towels?" Kat asked.
Joanna shrugged. "Maybe he buys new ones."
They were just damp, not dirty, Kat reasoned. They'd dry, if she could find somewhere to air them out. Temporarily defeated, she threw the towels onto one of the worksurfaces.
"Are you okay?" Joanna asked.
Kat fixed a bright smile on her face and tided her face. "I'm fine," she said. She had to be, lest she quite literally rain destruction upon them all.