The Faet Within

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Chapter 8

Isobel

After Austin leaves, Isobel goes back to her room to get dressed and to figure out what plants and flowers she wanted to bring into his flat. She walks into his back yard after pulling on a simple romper, feeling at home with grass between her toes. She tends to the bushes and flowers that are there, bringing more color and life to them. She walks over to a large tree, smiling as she feels the life and power radiate from its trunk.

She spends the next couple of hours turning the small yard into an oasis, her hair sticking to her forehead with sweat. She walks back into the kitchen to wash her hands before making food when she hears a noise in the foyer by the door. Her heart pounds in her chest as she searches for anything she can use to defend herself.

Isobel grabs one of the smaller cast iron skillets, unable to lift the larger one. She holds it up so she can more easily swing it to hit the intruder. She turns the corner and screams when she sees a stranger in the doorway, swinging the pan as hard as she can. She misses and ends up in the arms of the stranger who only chuckles.

"Good to know my baby brother's flat is so well protected."

His voice is smooth and deep but still makes Isobel bristle at his nonchalant attitude. She removes herself from his grasp, backing away. "Austin is your brother?" Her chest rises and falls quickly as she continues to hold the skillet up between them.

The man holds up his hands, "Yes. I'm Kennet. I understand I'm a strange man in the flat of another man but can you please put the weapon down? I don't want to put any bets on you missing a second time." His eyes go back and forth between the skillet at her face even as she lowers it slowly.

"Sorry... Not to be rude, but what are you doing here? Austin isn't here, but something tells me you already knew that." Isobel's grip on the skillet doesn't lessen as she moves back into the kitchen. She isn't putting it away until she's sure of who he is.

Kennet gives her a smile that probably caught the attention of other women but to her just seems predatory. "I was hoping I'd be able to surprise him when he got home. We've been trying to contact him for a few days but he's been ignoring our calls. Now that I'm here I can see why..."

Isobel blushes deeply, her mind going back to last night. She clears her throat, "Why were you trying to contact him? Maybe I can just pass on a message..." Anything to get him out of the flat.

Kennet's smile falters, "Unfortunately, it's something we need to talk about in person. I'll just hang out in the living room and watch some TV until he gets home, he won't mind..." He saunters over to the couch, falling into it heavily before turning on the TV.

Isobel watches him warily, wanting to message Austin but realizing she didn't actually have his cell phone number. She grabs an apple from the counter before going back to what she had planned to do before Austin got home.

Earlier she had ordered some pots to be delivered so that she could have some plants inside the flat. She arranges them before getting to work, using her magic to cultivate gorgeous flowers. She can feel Kennet's eyes on her as she works, hoping Austin gets home soon.

Isobel finishes with the pots, looking at them proudly. Her creations rival those in her garden which had taken years of careful cultivation.

She doesn't hear Kennet get up from the couch, gasping when she feels his arms wrap around her waist from behind. She squeezes her eyes shut, "What are you doing Kennet?"

"I'm doing what you've been wanting me to do all afternoon. I can tell. You haven't left my sight since I got here."

Isobel shudders from disgust, "Please let go of me Kennet..."

"Kennet, what the fuck are you doing in my flat?!"

Isobel breathes a sigh of relief to hear his voice as Kennet lets go of her. That relief is gone when she sees the anger in his eyes aimed not just at Kennet but at her as well. What had she done? She didn't want to be anywhere near him.

Kennet holds up his hands, "I just came to talk to you since you've been ignoring our calls and came across your little friend here..."

Isobel glares at Kennet, hoping Austin wouldn't think she had come onto him. She moves away from him, not wanting to even be in the same eyeline as him.

"Out. I know what you want to talk about and I want no part of it. I've already spoken to Mother and even she agrees. I want you out of my flat now."

Isobel feels chills run down her spine at the authority in his voice. You wouldn't think he was the youngest brother, but the oldest. She watches as Kennet reluctantly leaves, giving her a wink before leaving. Her hand flies to her mouth to keep from gagging, a shudder replacing the chills.

Austin's angry gaze turns towards her and she pales, "I'm sorry Austin... I didn't know what to do. He said you would be okay with him being in here."

Austin shakes his head, muttering to himself, "I should have known better..."

Isobel gives him a confused look, not understanding. "What do you mean?"

He scoffs, "I should have known better than to think that because we had made a deal that meant you wouldn't jump into bed with one of my brothers. You're all the same..."

Isobel squeaks, "You think so low of me that you just assume I would sleep with your brother the first time I met him?"

The mirthless laughter that comes out of his mouth sends a sick feeling to her gut, "You wouldn't be the first girl to do that. It doesn't matter what I think of you. You're obviously all the same."

Austin's gaze meets hers and she feels a sudden coldness. He turns to the nearest pot of flowers and drowns it in flames before stalking back to his room and slamming the door.

Tears slide down her cheeks as she kneels before the charred pot. What had she done to deserve this treatment?

After sitting on the floor for too long, she makes her way to her room, curling up under the covers, hoping for a dreamless sleep.

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