Chapter 66 - Human Sacrifice
Thirty minutes had gone by when Kate made her way back downstairs in search of Taylor. The house was quiet, carrying the sounds of birds churning in the trees from a distance. Kate’s feet hovered over the dark brown floor which sparkled like polished glass, casting a quick glance around the living room.
Taylor’s phone started to ring again. She lifted the device, glancing at the screen. It was Maria. She had called two times already and when she called again, Kate answered, sensing the urgency.
“Good afternoon, Mr.Price,” Maria said, in her usual cheerful voice.
Kate smiled. Back home was probably around two in the morning and still she sounded as though it was another day at the office - her attitude still as pleasant as ever with no traces of deprived sleep.
“Hi Maria,” Kate replied politely back to her.
The line went quiet for a few seconds, as Kate had caught her off guard. But Maria quickly recovered.
“Oh? Ms. Dawson. I’m sorry, I was hoping to speak to Mr.Price. It’s an urgent matter.”
“It’s alright, Maria. Taylor lent me his phone and I forgot to give it back. Let me go find him for you and I’ll have him call you back as soon as possible.”
Even thought Kate couldn’t see it but she could feel Maria’s smile. She had seen it many times to know that first she would tilt her head to the left, then lift her hand upwards and adjust her glasses with a quick push of a finger, then her lips would spread widely over her teeth.
“That will great. Thank you, Ms. Dawson.”
Ms. Dawson. Kate sighed over the formality. Not matter how many times she had asked Maria to called her by her name, she would always revert back to Ms. Dawson.
“No worries, Maria.” Kate smiled, shaking her head lightly at her stubbornness.
Ending the call, Kate ran a smooth hand through her hair and glanced around the living room then to the hallway leading to the front door and sighed, trying to figure out where Taylor could possibly be. The last time she had seen him was on the beach and Bernard was looking for him.
Where could those two have possibly wandered off too? She wondered.
The sudden sound of glass crashing on the floor brought her attention to the kitchen doorway. Her brows touched, wondering whether it was Taylor. It had to be, she told herself, and if it wasn’t, then it most definitely had to be Phylis, Taylor’s general maid and personal chef. He didn’t like having alot of people on the island, she remembered him telling her, he wanted privacy and with his father locked in a room, he couldn’t risk having alot of people knowing about him.
Making her way to the kitchen her feet stopped dead in its track as soon as she stepped inside.
It wasn’t Taylor nor was it Phylis.
But instead, standing behind the kitchen counter was a very overwhelmed Brandon, with both of his hands clinging desperately to the roots of his hair. Kate’s eyes widened at the mess infront of him - to the white apron which was partially stained with a green and orange slime, down to the same liquid that was splattered all over the counter, on the refrigerator, on the sink and on the freshly mopped floor.
It was only when some of the mixed paste fell from the ceiling and landed on his head that Brandon tore his eyes from the mess and caught Kate staring back at him, with the same, ‘Taylor-is-going-to-flip’ look that he had.
They stared at each other for awhile, blank with consternation. Three weeks of both of them avoiding each other after the whole ‘him walking in on Taylor and her incident’ and they were now standing face to face as if they were strangers - not having a clue of what to say to one another.
And when he still didn’t make a effort to speak, Kate realised that he must obviously still be just as embarrassed as she was. But then a chuckle that grew into a laugh erupted from Brandon’s throat and Kate couldn’t help but matching her own amusement with his. And for a moment, they forgot about the awkwardness and why they hadn’t spoken. They were just Brandon and Kate - partners in crime who enjoyed matching each other’s wits and seemed to miss having each other around.
When the laughter died, Kate composed herself, folding her arms over her chest and smirked. “You know that Taylor’s going to lose it, right?” She announced, imagining how red his face would be.
Brandon grabbed ared stripped kitchen towel from the sink and began to wipe the mess from his hair as best as he could.
“I think that he is going to lose his shit.” Brandon agreed.
Kate gasped and her eyes widened with amusement. “Why Brandon? Was that a curse that just came out of that holy mouth of yours?”
“I guess it’s what I get for hanging around with two potty mouths.” He returned, placing the towel on the counter.
“Hey! We’re not that bad.” Kate said, defensively. She remembered swearing a whole lot more before Brandon started the whole money jar thing. But when Brandon shot her a hard speculatively look, she blushed.
“Okay, fine!” She said, raising her hands up. “We still do it, but just not as much in public.”
Brandon scoffed, biting back the need to ask her to define the meaning of ‘not as much’. Instead, he mumbled out sarcastically, “Oh, of course you don’t.”
Looking down at the mess that he had made and vented out a frustrated groan. All he did was forget to close the lid. That’s all it took to almost destroy his brother’s kitchen and him out of everyone else knew just how scared the kitchen was to Taylor. Most of the memories that he had of his mother was her cooking, Taylor had once told him. His mother would sit him up on stool and telling him stories, share secret family recipes and most of all, it was the only time that he could recall his mother being the happiest.
“Want me to help you clean this up?” Kate offered, walking towards the counter when she saw a look of despair scrunched up on his face.
“No!” Brandon shot instantly, causing Kate to frown. And when he noticed that she had taken offence to his blunt reply, he added, “I’m surrounded by broken glass and I don’t want you to get hurt. I’ve already messed up his kitchen and God knows that he’ll have my head and balls if that happens.”
“Are you sure?” Her brows touched, taking in the green paste that was dripping off the edge of the counter. Then she lifted her eyes back to his face.“It’ll get clean faster if you have an extra pair of hands.”
Brandon chuckled. “Thanks for offering, Kate. But I mean it. Don’t even think about touching anything.”
“Fine!” She shrugged, “It’s your funeral.”
And she wasn’t even kidding. Oh, how she could see it all enfolding before her very eyes. Taylor standing over Brandon’s limped body on the ground and Brandon begging for his life.
“Unless,” her brows lifted up at cheerful tone of Brandon’s voice, the narrowed her eyes when she caught the mischievous look in his eyes.
“you, my sweet, sweet Kate, keep him away from the crime scene long enough for me to do some damage control.”
Her eyebrows jutted up. “Are you asking me to keep him entertained to save your skin?” She snorted, “I thought that you didn’t want my help.”
“Oh! Come on, Kate. You offered to help right, well this is the safest way that I know.”
“Safe?” She gave him an incredulous look, ” How is me, stuck in a room with Taylor safe?”
His lips parted wickedly of his white set of teeth. “Well, I for one, will have the utmost guarantee that he won’t be coming in here anytime soon.”
Brandon didn’t have to say the words because caught on and caught on all too well. She had no problem keeping Taylor locked in a room. Oh no, that was in deed not an issue. But being stuck in that same room as him? Well that was a whole other story. She still hadn’t gotten over their little mishap on the beach a few moments ago.
She swallowed down the scene before evidence of the effect that he had on her began to creep its way to her cheeks. She should just tell him no, that she wasn’t going to take the risk but looking at him again...
Well if she was going to serve as a human sacrif, then he was almost going to have to suffer one way or another.
“Tsk tsk tsk... I never thought I’d live to see the day that you’d ask me to seduce your brother. Really, Brandon? I feel used.”
“Why, I would never!” Brandon gasped with fake modesty, “But as your boss, I am ordering you to keep that boyfriend of yours distracted while I hunt down Phylis and beg her to help me clean this war zone up.”
“Oh, so now we’re pulling out the boss card, are we?” She drew a brow up at him. “Mind enlightening me on what my boss expect me to do in order to get the job done properly? Shove my breasts in my boyfriend’s face, perhaps?” She teased.
Brandon clear his throat and his cheeks flushed from discomfort. “I - uh would rather not know which method of approach you intend on using. But if you think that that will seal the deal then, by all means.”
Oh, naive Brandon! Kate thought, swallowing down the laugh that tickled her throat. He was going to wish that Taylor had walked in and seen his mess.
“Alright, I’ll see what I can do, boss.” She grinned, “But you’ll owe me one and before I set myself up, mind telling me what exactly you were trying to make?”
Brandon exhaled deeply through his mouth. “Kayla can’t seem to keep anything down. I was just trying to fix her favorite drink. Celery, apple and carrot.”
Kate’s eyes flickered with admiration. It was the cutest thing that she had ever heard Brandon say. And when her mouth formed an ‘awe’ and her hand flew to her heart, Brandon shook his head and began to untie the apron around his waist.