Did You miss Chapter One?
Did you miss Chapter Two?
Did you miss part one of Chapter Three?
From A Witch Called Wanda
Chapter Three Continued…
No sooner did Maeve unwrap her sandwich than Gracie reached
across the table and popped her on the hand. Maeve looked up, star‐
tled, but saw that Gracie was attempting to be sly and point without
being noticed, cutting her eyes toward a woman with long, brown
hair in a tight braid, trailing all the way down her back.
“Remember the crazy woman I told you about who kept speeding
so that Joseph would pull her over?” Gracie whispered.
“Oh, wow, is that her?” Maeve asked.
Gracie nodded. “That’s Eleanor. She’s an awesome beautician if
you ever need a haircut, but she’s got a pretty colorful reputation.”
“How do you mean?”
“Well, and this is only a rumor, she had an affair with Mayor James
Wayne. I don’t know how true it is, but she and her husband divorced
last year over it, and he left town. He was irate and before leaving,
yelled it from the rooftops, but the mayor denied it, of course.”
Maeve giggled as she took a bite of her sandwich. “Small town
“Of course,” Gracie agreed.
“These seats taken?” an older gentleman asked.
“Tommy!” Gracie said with a smile. “No, come sit! Maeve, this is
Mr. Ether. He’s our local farmer.” Mr. Ether smiled, and tipped his
hat as he took a seat next to them. Then, he waved his family over,
and introduced his wife, two sons, daughter-in-law, and grand‐
“Got the whole gang out today, huh?” Gracie asked, scooting down
the bench to make room.
Tommy grinned. “I’ve got to get them off the farm every once in a
“You’re telling me,” the youngest of the Ether boys grumbled.
“Work is good for the soul,” Tommy said.
“How are the new calves doing?” Gracie asked.
“Doing good,” Tommy said and then frowned, his gaze shifting
toward the crowd.
Maeve turned to see who Tommy was scowling at and spotted
Mayor James with his assistant, Nadine.
“Everything okay?” Maeve asked.
“Sorry,” Tommy said, breaking his stare. “James and I go way back.
He and I had … well … a less than pleasant conversation the other
“He’s trying to take some of dad’s land to build a stupid shopping
complex,” the older Ether son said. “We’re over there trying to expand
our cattle operations, and this guy is threatening to use eminent
domain to take away land that’s been in our family for five
“Are you serious?” Gracie snarled.
“He’s offering a lot of money for us to settle outside of court,”
Tommy said. “And apparently, spitting at his shoes was not the
etiquette way to respond to that. I got to hire me a lawyer to keep him
from building a shopping complex on my land. I can’t believe it.”
Next to him, Mrs. Ether tsked.
“I can’t have a bunch of shops opening up right next to my
pastures,” Mr. Ether continued. “Bunch of kids will be there all the
time, and they’ll mess with the herd.”
“Nadine is trying to talk him out of it,” Mrs. Ether said hopefully.
“She’s a sweet girl. I’m sure she’ll settle him down. A shopping
complex next to a cow pasture won’t do well anyways, and the mayor
realizes that now –but he’s too prideful to back down at this point
and admit he was wrong.” Mrs. Ether looked directly at Maeve. “I
heard you and Nadine are in a bidding war for that building Gracie’s
Anxiety clawed at Maeve. If Nadine was the local sweetheart, it
wouldn’t benefit Maeve to be in an out and out war with the woman.
“Well, I’d like to open a café,” Maeve said, smiling as sweetly as she
could. “And I understand Nadine’s interested in opening a sub shop,
but I’m kind of curious … if she works for the Mayor—”
“Oh, she hates her job,” Gracie said.
“Of course, she does,” Mr. Ether said. “She spends all her time
cleaning up the mayor’s messes like his little affair with—”
Mrs. Ether nudged her husband. “You don’t know if that’s true.
Gracie and Maeve stifled a giggle.
Suddenly, out of the corner of her eye, Maeve saw Donnie and his
girlfriend Julie approach the table. The young man had a big grin on
his face. Before he could say anything, Tommy Ether pointed a finger
at him. “Come to steal more of my fruit, kid?”
“I’m sorry about that, Mr. Ether,” Donnie said, looking contrite.
“I’m sure you are. I’ll bean you over the head with my cane again if
you pull another stunt like that,” Mr. Ether snarled.
Donnie nodded, then turned toward Maeve. “Are you really Maeve
O’Dare?” Officer Joseph told me you were over here.”
Maeve felt the sizzle of embarrassment flush over her. She wasn’t
used to getting so much attention for her songs. “Yes, that’s me.”
“Listen, my brother is in the band, and they want to do a cover of
one of your songs … but they …”
Maeve smiled. “Haven’t bought the rights to perform it?” Donnie
grimaced and Maeve waved a hand, dismissing his concern. “Tell him,
Donnie blew out a puff of air, clearly relieved there wouldn’t be a
Then Maeve added, with a chuckle. “Just this once.”
She watched as Donnie ran back to his older brother and reported
Maeve swiveled to look at Gracie. “Is Lil here? Can I meet her?”
Gracie polished off what remained of her pulled pork sandwich
and crumpled the paper wrapper in her hand. “Sure, let’s try to track
They stood and said good-bye to the Ether family. As they strolled
through the crowd, Nadine rushed toward Gracie and grabbed her
arm. “I hear you’re feeding the competition,” she teased.
Gracie smiled warmly and introduced Nadine and Maeve.
“Are you trying to steal my business, darling?” Nadine asked,
placing one hand on her slender hips.
Maeve swallowed the dread she felt. She wasn’t prepared for a
confrontation. This woman seemed really sweet, and yet, she knew
what happened when you didn’t fight for your dreams. They withered
“I love the space,” Maeve said.
Nadine threw her head back and laughed. “Well, me too, missy.”
She leveled a finger at Maeve, “But you better keep looking, because
Lil and I are signing a lease agreement tonight.”
Disappointment surged in Maeve’s belly, and she felt as if she’d
retch the sandwich she’d just gobbled up.
Was it a done deal?
Had she already lost the space?
No! There has to be another way.
Before Maeve could say anything, a large man lumbered over.
“Nadine!” he barked. “Bobby needs an appointment for next week.”
Nadine sighed and wiggled her fingers at Maeve and Gracie as she
sauntered off to do the man’s bidding.
Gracie introduced the man to Maeve as Mayor James, but all the
Mayor did was squeeze her hand and walk off.
“I guess he’s not too worried about reelection,” Maeve joked. “He
didn’t even give me the time of day.”
Gracie laughed. “He probably thinks you’re not registered yet.
Otherwise, he would have sweet talked you. Anyway,” Gracie
motioned to the Mayor, who was now across the lawn speaking with
Nadine and another gentleman. “I think he’s working Bobby for some
Maeve glanced over to see the man speaking with the Mayor. He
was tall and slim, wearing chinos and a golf shirt. He looked like he
belonged in LA, and Maeve took an instant dislike to him.
“Who is that?” Maeve asked.
“Bobby Farley–he owns the local bank, and a lot of real estate. If it
doesn’t work out with my space, you should talk to him. I’m sure he
knows a few spaces that could work for your café.”
Maeve’s heart sank as she looked into her friend’s eyes and real‐
ized that she’d probably lost the space to Nadine.
Suddenly, Mayor James called out. “Help, someone! Help! Are
there any doctors here?”
“What’s going on?” Maeve asked Gracie, but she merely
“Someone call 911!” Bobby Farley yelled.
Maeve watched in horror as Officer Joseph darted across the lawn
in the mayor’s direction, a feeling of dread building in her stomach.
“Someone help! Help! Nadine’s fainted!” Mayor James shrieked.
Gracie grabbed Maeve’s hand, and together, they rushed over. A
crowd of people were forming around Nadine.
“Step back, everyone. Give her some air,” Bobby said.
As they drew closer, Maeve could see Nadine sprawled out in the
grass. Officer Joseph was giving her CPR, with Mayor James pacing
Joseph looked up at the crowd, his eyes wide from shock and
“Why isn’t anyone calling for an ambulance?” Mayor James
Joseph shook his head, nervously running a hand through his hair.
“Sir, she’s dead.”
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐”I couldn’t stop reading!”
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐”Fast-paced and fun. I love these mysteires!”
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐”Diana Orgain is my new favorite author!”
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