I didn't tell my aunt about Ruth, I didn't see a point. She seemed stressed out enough about the store opening. The back story that I got from Peter was the they use to date, and never really got over it. It seemed a little overboard for a relationship that didn't last longer then a month, but maybe that's just me. He told her to back off, I haven't seen her since. And, to be honest. The more I hang out with Peter, the closer he seems to make his way to the friend zone. I mean, sure I like him and all. But, something was missing.
The weekend went by in a flash. I spent a lot of time in the woods. I've been having weird dreams. Like the one I had before, only involving the owl this time. Was it a warning? I lied on the back looking at the ceiling, taking in deep breaths since the house was filled with the sound of cookies. Maybe it seemed like cheating, but I was bored and felt like baking. And I had some large chips left.
"Kay Penny! I gotta go and open up and meet the ladies! Don't be to late now. Its opening day." She says peeking into my room.
I reply and move to the end of the bed petting Merlin, "I won't be later. Just a little sluggish from staying up baking cookies for the opening." I yawn.
She comes up to the end of my bed and ruffles my hair, "You're a big help Penny. I hope you know that."
I smile, "I do. I'll just be a few minutes behind you. Need to get a caffine and sandwich. My apron is freshly pressed. And I'm wearing a nice deep purple t-shirt." I yawn.
She pulls out a box and slips on a new charm bracelet with a new pentagram. I smile and hug her. Then she pulls out a amulet on a black cotton cord and ties it around my neck.
"What are these for?" I ask.
She pats my shoulder, "For protection. I've been looking in the legends more and more. I just want to be careful."
"You really think there is a beast out there?"
She kneels, "Listen sweetpea. The world isn't what it appears. You and I both know that. We also know that it might be something else. Something from our kind. We need to keep ourselves low key. They use to burn our kind."
I lean in, "What do you think it is?"
"I don't want to find out. So be careful." She kisses my temple. "Don't take em off. The bracelets other charms include the drama masks to somewhat hide the pentagram. So its not out there."
"You worry too much." I smile.
There was a pause. And for a moment... I thought she was hiding something from me.
"I got to go. Ladies are probably waiting."
I get up from the bed and watch her get into the van. I do my morning routine of face, hair and make-up before going back into my room and slipping into my favourite pair of skinny jeans and the purple top. I didnt wear much make-up, just a nude eye with a swift of matching purple on my bottom lash line to make them pop. I slip on my boots and give Merlin a kiss before leaving.
"Now don't forget. You start at noon." I smile.
"Mrow." He replies.
I scratch behind his ears, "Good boy."
I carefully put my apron in my purse and lock up the door. I grab my scooter from my porch and make a dash for the Burnt Bean. I walk in and see Peter at the counter with a big smile on his face as I walk in.
I walk up to the counter, "Hey." I yawn slightly.
"Late night?" He asks.
I nod, "Yeah. Made cookies for the opening today. Was up late."
"Well then I guess I am here to save the day." He smiles and pulls out a paper bag and a large Coffee Slush.
My face floods with relief, "You have no idea how much of a boost I need." I reply and hand him the cash. "You saved my ass."
He waves it off, "No worries. I get off at about 1:00ish today. I'm making my mom walk over to your guys' shop."
"Oh thats cool. But you don't have too." I reply.
He leans in, "To be honest. Expect all the originals to be there. Your shop has been quite the buzz." He smiles.
"Well hopefully people come to buy stuff and aren't just there for the free cookies." I laugh.
He chuckles, "I'm sure it'll be a little bit of both. Anyway, when we come over I'll bring you another order." I go to hand him the cash, and he puts his hand up. "On me."
"Thanks Peter." I smile.
"No problem. Now you better go before you get me in trouble." I laugh and skip outside the door in mockery, it was an inside joke.
I walk across the street and down the sidewalk and go into the shop from the back. I hang up my hoodie and put my sandwich in the fridge and pull out my apron. I go to the mirror and tie it around my waste. A simple black apron with 'The Ivy' in gold at the bottom. I slip my phone in the apron pocket and notice I still have time to eat.
"Morning ladies." I greet them.
"Its almost time." My aunt says almost bouncing.
"Did you eat yet?" Agnes asks.
"No but I grabbed a sandwich. I wanted to make sure we had time." I reply.
She shoos me off, "Go eat."
"Don't have to tell me twice." I laugh and head into the back.
I had to admit that Peter knew me well. He grabbed me a turkey and lettuce sandwich and it was amazing. Just what I needed. They set out the cookies while I ate in the back, the whole shop smelled of freshly baked cookies. I sit in the back with the door open. Out the back way you could see the woods.
What's out there?
I see something peeking out in the distance, I try to focus my eyes but couldn't make it out. Probably just a wild dog or something.
I wash my hands and grab a bbq lighter and start lighting up the candles.We had 10 minutes till opening. I had butterflies dancing around, they began a flutter fight when I saw all the cars pulling up to the shop and people started to line up the last five minutes.
"I can't believe the line!" My aunt cheers.
"Peter told me we've been the talk of the town lately. Says most of the original families will be showing up." I reply giving her a warning look as I lit some of the finishing candles.
She nods, "Well. Let's see what they have to say." She smiles and opens the door. "Welcome to The Ivy everyone. Where anything is possible." She smiles with glee and lets the first crowd inside.
They pushed and shoved, oed and awed. They were impressed, and the children enchanted. I handed out cookies, and booklets that hold info on our products.
"Excuse me. May I have some help?" I hear and turn to see a tall man standing there.
He wasn't exactly a man, he was about my age. If not a little older. He was tall, dark eyes and slightly curly brown hair.
"Sure. What can I help you with?" I ask.
"I have a special someone in mind. But she isn't the type to be impressed with flowers. She is more personal. So I thought maybe I can get a little bit of everything for her? But I honestly have no idea where to begin." He smiles.
I poke my cheek slightly, "Hmmm. Well, we can pick out a fragerence. And maybe something for her house? Like a candle or oil?"
He claps his hands together, "Perfect."
I walk him over to the back wall by the cash, its where we had our bottles of fragerence. They weren't big, but that was because they are so potent. Only need a drop or so.
"Have any idea of which she would like?" I ask.
"To be honest...no." He chuckles.
"Okay then. Close your eyes."
He gives me a curious look, "Why?"
I laugh, "Just trust me."
He closes his eyes, "Alright."
"Now," I take his hand. "picture her. Standing here with you. Imagine her aura caressing yours, her skin brushing against your hand. You lean in... What do you smell?" I ask in a low voice.
"I smell...." he pauses. "...strawberries." He responds and opens his eyes.
I smile, "See. Its not as hard as it seems."
He runs his fingers through his hair, "I'm just glad I found you. I would have been over here for hours." He chuckles as I pass him the strawberry fragerence.
"For maximum effect. Have her put a drop on her wrists, behind her ears. And a streak or two through her hair."
"Her hair?" He asks.
"Kinda hard to explain. But a lot of the hormones and such that attract someone. Are released through there head." I explain.
"Wow..." He replies. "How old are you? I mean you look awefully young to know all of this."
I laugh, "Been around this sort of stuff forever. Plus working here means I should know what I am help selling." I reply. "And especially since I help make it all." I add.
"I suppose so." He smiles. "Now, what else should I bundle in with this?"
"Well from personal experience. The best thing that goes with strawberries is... chocolate."
"Perfect. Do you guys have a little set with chocolate?" He asks.
I nod, "We do. I'll grab it for you from the back."
I have him get in line while I go into the side room where we keep most of the product. I go through the shelves and find the last chocaholic set and grab it. I put it on the table and grab a while box, some tissue wrap and a brown silk ribbon. I go to the cash and take the perfume from him and place all the products on the side and put the tissue in the box and place the fragerence inside and frame it with the other products.
"Some oil to burn for relaxation. A few tea light candles for the bathroom. Especially enjoyed during a bubble bath. A small tube of sample fragerence. And a small heart for decoration." I say to myself. I show him the setting, "How is that?" I ask.
He looks, "Perfect."
"Great." I reply and close the box and tie it closed with the brown chocolate coloured ribbon. I give him a ticket to show at the register, "You will be cashed out. And I hope you and your girlfriend enjoy the products." I smile.
"Its great. She will love it. Thank you."
"No worries. That's my job." I smile and go back to handing out cookies.
I help a few other customers, mostly with candles and such.
"Hello, can I get some help?" I hear.
"Sure, what can I help you with?" I reply.
"Looking for a cute girl with amazing lavender eyes." I hear and blush.
I turn and see Peter, I punch his arm. "Not funny."
He chuckles, "It was a little funny."
I look at my phone, "Wow. I didn't notice the time."
"How is it going?" He asks.
"To my surprise.... amazing. The last group just left a moment ago." I reply.
"Well I came because I wanted to warn you. The original wives are on there way."
"Oh. Hello Peter." My aunt greets him.
"Hello Miss Montgomery." He smile and she goes on to talk to Agnes and Marggie.
I walk towards the window, "Why are they called the originals?" I ask.
"There families trail back to the orginal members of Willow Creek. Some kids even say that they have a secret society. But, most likely just a bunch of rich people with nothing better to do then to make each others life a living hell." He replies. "Have pretty old fashioned names. Pierce, Bennett, Garrett, Gilbert, Lockhart. So on and so forth."
The air suddenly became heavy, Merlin who had been lying on the little corner window took off into the back. I watched as they came inside. The vibe coming off of them was suffocating.
"How may I help you ladies."
A tall woman with long dark hair and light eyes turns to my aunt, "Simply looking. See what all the buzz was about."
I walk up to them, "Cookie? Freshly baked." I smile.
She takes a cookie and a napkin and looks around, the others follow suit. They were all different, but looked the same. The one who spoke I came to know as Miranda Pierce. Her husband was the mayor. They have have a son named Kyle. Bridgette Gilbert, seemed out of tuned. She has medium cut brown hair with long laters and side swept bangs. She was mostly here for appearences. The others left before I could listen in. I could almost here there noses raise on there way out.
"Who makes the products?" Miranda asks.
"Me and my niece do." Aunt Eden smiles.
"I'd like to order special baskets for the ladies. Do you do special orders?"
I nod, "We do. We require the week to put them together, incase we need to make some product. And they will be ready Friday night."
She scribbles down on a piece of paper and hands it to my Aunt, "I am having a party saturday night. So friday I will be setting it up and making sure everything is in order. Think you can drop it off?" She asks.
"I'm sure we can swing that." I smile.
"Great. See you both then." She nods. "Peter." She greets him and leaves.
I let out a breath, "Finally. Some air."
Peter looks at me, "What do you mean?"
I laugh, "Nothing. The tension just sucked the air outta this place."
"Ah." He nods looking out the window. "Oh. Here comes my mom."
His mom comes into the shop and takes a whiff of all the different scents. She has long blonde hair and great eyes. Deep sea green with a hint of yellow and brown.
"You must be Penny. I've heard quite a bit about you." She smiles and shakes my hand.
"Peter has told me about you too." I smile back.
"So this is you and your aunts shop? How did the opening go?"
She looks at my aunt, "Your shop is lovely."
"Thank you. Penny decorated."
A look of shock crosses her face, "Most impressive." She turns to me, "What would you recommend?"
"You seem like a very elogent lady. So I recommend a green tea and lemon fragerence. And vanilla and lime blossom for your bedroom." I reply.
"Sounds good. Sign me up." She smiles. "I'll take a set of both."
"In the box sets comes a large candle, three tea lights. Some oil and a container for your living room and or bedroom. It comes with reeds to help spread the lovely scent." I explain.
"Sounds great." She gives Peter her card. "I have a doctors appointment. I'll see you at home." She kisses his temple and leaves.
I grab the sets and tie them up with green and yellow ribbon. I give him the ticket to give to my aunt at the register. I also slip him a points card.
"I hope your mom enjoys the products."
"I'm sure she will." He smiles. "I gotta head back. Need to do a few things."
I nod, "Alright. I'll see you at school next monday. This week I have a lot of orders to fill."
"Well, I wanted to invite you to the party Miranda is having. My family was invited and we're allowed to bring someone." He asks.
"I'm flattered, but--"
My aunt wraps her arm around me, "She'll be there."
"Great. I'll pick you up about 8:00pm." He smiles and leaves.
I remove her arm, "What do you think you're doing?"
She pulls me into the back, "Look sweetie. We need to make sure they don't suspect anything is up. All of the originals will be there. I need you to make sure they aren't telling there husbands that something is up with us."
I sigh, "But I don't want Peter thinking that this is a date. Which is exactly what you did."
"Don't you like him?"
I rub my temples, "I thought I did. Especially at first. But lately, he seems to be in the friend zone." I lean against the counter, "I just feel like... someone else is out there. Someone who I can be completely honest with. Maybe... someone like me." I reply.
She smiles slightly, "Your mother had that feeling once. Just before she met your father." She replies and sits in her little chair. "She came home one day, all perky like she usually was. Telling me that she had felt the winds changing. She was about your age too."
"Was it dad?" I ask.
"Of course. They met at a formal." she chuckles, "He spilled a cup of juice on the floor. She walked by and tripped."
"And there eyes met and they fell in love?" I ask.
"Surprisingly it seemed they hated one another at first. But one day after school, she got caught in the rain. and he gave her a ride home. When he kissed her hand, she knew the changes in the wind was from him."
"I miss them... I don't remember much. But I do."
She stands up and hugs me, "Me too. Me too sweetie."
"I don't remember you telling me how it happened. I mean, you told me that people found out about us. But there had to be something else..."
"Some things are better left alone Penny."
"But I have a right to know." I retort.
"Why bring up bad memories Penelope?" She asks and goes back to the front of the store.
"Because, atleast there some memories. I have none. I want to know what happened."
"No." Aunt Eden replies.
"Because your mother made me promise!" She screams and runs into the back.
I couldn't handle it. I put my apron behind the counter and left. I find my way back into the woods. I go in deeper this time.
This isn't fair. I have a right to know what happened. Don't I? I mean, they were my parents. Its bad enough that no one served time. No one got my parents justice. I wasn't even told where they were buried. I never got to bring them flowers...or say goodbye.
Out of the corner of my eye I notice something white in between the trees. I debate on turning back, just so I don't get lost. But curiosity gets the better of me. I press on through the trees and see an old gazebo in the middle of the woods, then just pass it is a rocky ledge. Beyond that led more woods.
I walk up the few steps and sit.
"Mom....dad...are you there?" I whisper and cry into my knees.
After a few moments, I collect myself and wipe my face. I look around and pull out a candle and lighter from my bag. I light the candle and grip my pentagram.
"Holders to the realm of light and dark. I need your help. Blood to blood. I call forth." I whisper and take a breath. "I beg you... help me remember... Show me there faces. Just...one more time..." I plead.
With my eyes closed, I suddenly felt warm. I slowly open my eyes, and see shimmering lights around me. I stand up and they dance around me, like fireflies. The spread out to the outside of the gazebo, and the surroundings change. I see the old house.
"Matthew, we have to hide Penelope!" I hear my mothers hectic voice.
"Endora is on her way Lillian." He replies.
I watch them outside in the greenhouse, holding me as I slept. She takes off her pentagram and puts it in my pocket.
"This is it... isn't it?" She weeps.
"No.It isn't. I promise." He replies and wipes a tear from her face.
I saw them standing in the backyard, holding me closely. Just like a treasure. Then my small figure was covered in shimmery lights.. and then I was...gone? Then everything began to go fuzzy and blurry.
"No! Wait!" I shout and the lights disappeared. "...wait." I whisper and slink back down to the ground. "It worked?" I ask myself in shock. "I don't know. Did it?" I question.
I turn my head towards the woods. I blow out the candle and put it back into my bag. As I stand up, I try to see a figure. Or something in the dark.
I pick up my bag and begin to make my way out of the woods, just as it was starting to get dark. I looked at my phone, three missed calls from home. I stop at the grill and pick up the usual and head back to the shop to start on the orders. I didn't want to go home. Not yet.
I go into the shop and light a few candles and start on the orders. I didn't know where to go from here. What do I do? I did my first spell, I should celebrate. But I can't. Because deep down. It would kill me, and Aunt Eden.