Tera is the new girl in town. Right from the start she can tell that Rowan was different.
By megan kuykendall
7/1/2018 copy right
Tera glanced around her new two bed-room town home with satisfaction. She watched as the movers brought in boxes and furniture to make sure they didn't drop anything.
"Where did you want the desk?" One of the burly movers asked as he and his partner held her grandfather's old and very heavy mahogany desk.
Holding her breath, Tera pointed toward the hall. "In the first bedroom facing the window please."
When the men shuffled off, she moved from the living room to the kitchen. Tera sighed as she looked at the open and empty cabinets. "Got to go grocery shopping."
A young lady in the kitchen putting away dishes looked over at Tera. "Sounds like you're not real big on shopping for food."
Tera laughed "Actually, I usually love to shop, but I've never had to shop for everything at one time before. Not to mention that I would have two or three people to help me when I got home."
"I see your point. So, all your family are in Ohio? Nobody you can call in to help with the grocery adventure?" the girl asked as she put the last box of kitchen stuff away.
"Nope, not a soul. This is my big break away from everything. I want to live someplace where my every move is not watched and decided for me. I'm going to prove to myself that I can do things on my own." Tera replied
"You have more courage than me. I don't think any of my family live more than a few miles apart from each other." the girl said and broke down the last box putting it with the others. "Tell you what. I don't usually do this, but my name is Tilly Cagle. Give me a few minutes. I'll go with you to grab at least some of those groceries.
"It's alright. You don't have to go out of your way to do that. I'll be fine on my own," Tera responded half heartedly
Tilly looked over at Tera with a reassuring smile. "No worries, I don't have anything to do after this. Besides, I hate eating out alone. I'll introduce you to Jimmy's before we stock your kitchen."
"Jimmie's?" Tera asked
"Yep, there isn't much around here. So, Jimmy opened a very unique restaurant. It's one of those things you have to see to understand." Tilly grinned.
Tera nodded and held her hand out. "Alright then, it's nice to meet you Telly. And don't even think about touching the check at Jimmy's."
"It's a deal. Give me a minute to tell my brother that I'm heading out." Tilly picked up the stack of flat boxes and headed out the front door.
Terra watched Tilly trudge outside and smiled at the thought of possibly making a new friend.
A few minutes later Tilly came back. "Alright, everything is set. Tim will make sure everything is done and come back tomorrow to make sure nothing needs to be moved around. He has the key to the front door. Tim will lock up and bring the key back with him tomorrow."
"And you're sure this isn't going to interfere with your day or Tim's?" Tera asked
"We are happy to help. I have nothing planned for the rest of the day. Besides, this will take Tim the same amount of time regardless. He always comes by after we are done with a move to make sure everything is to your liking. So, see no big deal," Telly assured
Tera grabbed her bag and keys off the counter. "Alright then, let's go shopping."
"Hey Jared. I'm looking for some bright flowers for Marie's flower bed out front. What do you have?" A male voice called from the front entrance of the greenhouse.
Jared was planting a new set of rosemary seeds. He glanced over his shoulder toward the entrance to see his best friend. He held up a hand to wave, then finished planting the last two seeds. He watered the flat quickly and then walked over to the front entrance.
"Hey Avery. Marie has a new honey do list? Did you finish the last one?" Jared asked shaking his friend's hand.
"Building the front flower beds was the last thing on the list. I guess I should have known what would be on the list next. She needs everything picked out and planted for the Summer Solstice next week." Avery grinned. "Her initiation into the first circle of the coven will be during the celebration, so she wants it all to be perfect."
"She got her acceptance letter. That's great, I know she has got to be excited."
Avery nodded, "She has been buzzing around like a crazy woman on a mission. The moment she got the letter she called your mom to see if they would hold the ceremony at our place this year. Of course, Cloe thought it was an excellent idea. They have had their heads together planning ever since."
Jared laughed "Alright, so they sent you here. I guess that means picking out the plants is my job."
Avery tapped his nose with his finger. "Got it in one."
"I guess it's a good thing I just finished the last of my planting for the day. Alright, let's see what we can come up with. Your wife loves butterflies, doesn't she?"
"Yeah, she says they remind her of fairies." Avery confirmed.
"Then I know just what to get her. Let's go to the front greenhouse."
The two men hiked the short distance to the front of the property and proceeded into to a much larger glass green house. It was like stepping into a living rainbow so many different vibrant colors to choose from. Jared grabbed a large flat cart and began strolling down the long walkway "Let's start with blue. Some Aster, Salvia, and Scabiosa."
"So, I heard that your mother is going to lead the solstice celebration this year," Avery said
Jared put another plant on the cart. "That is the plan. Julie is on her honeymoon with Vincent and won't be back in time. The coven elders voted for her to stand in. You should see the house. There are books and papers everywhere. We need some purple. Umm. Lavender, Penstemon and Centaurea should do the trick."
Avery shook his head. "In other words, she's driving you crazy. I'm glad I don't have to deal with the inner circle stuff yet."
"It's not too bad. I'm here for most of the day. I am working and talking with the plants and giving my customers what they need." Jared added some orange Coreopsis and blanket flowers to the cart.
Avery looked around the greenhouse at the vibrant plants. He lightly ran his hand over a rosemary plant. "You really do have a gift, that's for sure. There isn't a nursery in the state that can hold a candle to your plants."
Jared smiled at the complement. "The plants do most of the work. I just give them the care they need."
"Speaking of that, have you banned Jessica from buying anymore house plants? She has killed almost every plant you handed her." Avery asked
Jared rolled his eyes and chuckled, "Oh, gods don't remind me. Jessica has been put on self-sufficient plants. You know the ones that get everything they need from the air. If she kills one of those then there really is no hope for her."
"Well, I say you should start a betting pool and make a little money off of it." Avery half joked "You can put me down for ten bucks. That plant won't last three weeks."
Jared shook his head "She's not... Ok so maybe she is that bad, but no betting pool. With my karma she would kill off one of my green houses."
Avery laughed at the thought. "You would just do your witchy thing and the whole green house would spring back."
Jared finished picking out the rest of Marie's flowers. "Tell you what, since I am such a wonderful friend, I'll close up a little early and help you plant your beds. All you have to do is buy me food." Jared said as the pair made their way back to the front of the greenhouse.
"Sounds like a good deal to me. How much do I owe you for the plants?" Avery agreed
"Consider these my initiation gift to your wife. And I'm in the mood for a giant salad and onion rings so lets head to Jimmy's." Jared said as he flipped his open sign to closed and locked up.
"Marie is going to be thrilled. But I think you just expanded my honey do list. She has more money to spend now." Avery grumbled good naturedly
Avery helped Jared put all the plants into the back of the nurserie's delivery truck. "All right all loaded up. Let's go eat." Jared said as he got in the driver's seat.
"Turn in here." Tilly instructed.
Tera looked at the three-story brick building confused. "You did say this is a restaurant, right?"
"Yep, best food in town." Telly grinned as she rubbed her hands together in anticipation.
"It looks like an old apartment building. How old is it?" Tera inquired
"The building was built in 1920. It's considered a historical site. Don't worry you'll love this place." Tilly assured as she grabbed her purse and opened the car door.
Tera grabbed her own bag and got out, then locking the SUV.
The two women started strolling toward the entrance. "I still can't believe you shop with coolers in your trunk. That is such a great idea!" Tilly exclaimed as she opened the door to Jimmy's
"It's just the way my family always did things. We didn't even have to worry about getting the food back before it spoiled. Like I said it was an all-day trip going from store to store." Tera said absentmindedly as she looked around the massive restaurant.
The hostess stand was right in front of them. It split the main floor in two. The right side had tables and chairs scattered around the main part of the floor, on the back wall were videogames with lots of kids playing and waiting turns calmly. Tera looked to her left there were large booths lining down the wall with a few tables in the center. The place was packed with families, but it wasn't unruly or overly loud. Tera looked back at Tilly confused.
Tilly laughed "Jimmy is great with the kids. He makes sure they all know the rules, and everyone has fun with out all the screaming and running around like crazy critters. But don't worry we're not staying down here." Tilly walked up to the hostess stand "Two for the bar please."
The hostess was a young woman in her twenties with a cute pony tail. "Oh, hey Tilly. Do you know if your brother is going to come by tonight?"
Tilly smiles back at the petite blonde "Not sure, he's finishing up Tera's house."
The hostess turned her attention to Tera. "Welcome to Jimmy's. Don't worry you're in good hands. Tilly knows everyone." She stated cheerfully "Go ahead and go on up. It should be a fun night. The band is already set up. Blues tonight. Oh, and Jimmy is handing out drinks tonight."
"This could be an interesting night yet." Tilly replied
Tera looked around the family floor one last time as Tilly lead her past the hostess stand to an elevator located just behind the stand. Tera watched the door open. "Well, this place is definitely different."
The elevator door began to close, and Tera turned to her new friend. "Wait where are the buttons?"
Tilly laughed again "Relax, they control the elevator at the hostess stand to ensure no curious kids try to sneak up. The stairs have alarms and are for emergencies only. The hostess will send us to the right floor."
The elevator started moving and a moment later the door opened. Tera walked slowly out into the open floor. At the back of the room there were square wooden tables with simple chairs to match dotted around the room. To the left was a raised stage large enough for a band to set up. There was plenty of room in front of the stage for dancing.
At the moment there was a band playing some soft jazz. A few couples were dancing. A few of the tables had people sitting enjoying the music.
"It's quite right now, but in a few hours, it will be standing room only." Tilly explained as she led Tera over to a table near the stage.
Tera sat down and watched the band for a moment "So, does this band play every night?" Her foot began tapping to the warm sexy beat of the music.
"No, they play twice a week Jimmy has a rock band, country group and a hip-hop group. He loves music of all sorts. He even has a karaoke night once a month. This floor has a different vibe every day." Tilly answered as a waitress walked over to the table.
"Hey Tilly, you want your usual?" The waitress asked cheerfully.
"You know it. The same thing for my friend as well." Tilly replied
Tera gave her friend a confused look. "And what am I eating exactly?'
Tilly grinned and shrugged "Haven't a clue. Jimmy's in the back right now so it's whatever he thinks we need."
Tera shook her head with a smile of her own. "I picked a very interesting town to move to."
"You don't know the half of it." Tilly agreed with a mischievous grin.
The girls turned their attention to the music for a few minutes. The kitchen door opened, and a giant of a man came out of the back carrying two drinks. He was about seven-foot-tall dark chocolate colored skin. His black hair was in a thick braid that ran down to the middle of his well-muscled back. He had a goofy grin on his face making him feel more friendly then imposing as he approached the table.
"So, you are the new arrival. I have heard whispers about you." He said in a deep cheerful booming voice. "Welcome to Rowan."
Jimmy put Tilly's drink down first "A tropical paradise for my favorite customer." The drink was in a hollowed-out pineapple with a little umbrella. Then he turned to Tera "And for you my dear... enlightenment." He set an oversized martini glass down. The liquid was a florescent blue and bubbled as fog rolled over the sides of the glass.
"Sorry but I don't drink alcohol." Tera looked skeptically at the glass.
Jimmy's smile just widened "That's good, because there is no alcohol in this drink. Just try it and I will get you something else if you don't like it."
Tera picked up the glass. The cool fog rolled over her hand. She raised it to her nose and inhaled. She couldn't describe it exactly it just smelled of lavender and sunshine. Tera closed her eyes and smiled she could almost feel the warmth of the sunshine on her face. She took a small sip, letting the liquid settle on her tongue. A vivid image of a field of flowers filled her mind. She stood in the center of the field a cool breeze running lightly along her skin. A light hearted chuckle caught her attention and she turned toward the sound. In the distance she could see a man walking through the field. It looked like he was talking to the flowers as he went. She couldn't quiet make out his face. She could tell he was well built with shoulder length wavy chestnut hair. She went to take to take a step toward the man to get a better view. The daydream broke and Tera found herself sitting at the table in Jimmy's. The glass was still in her hand, but the liquid was no longer blue with mist, now it was a bright yellow as if it had absorbed the sunshine Tera had imagined.
"Wow, I've never seen it change colors before." Tilly whispered in awe. "Hey, Tera what did you see?"
Tera blinked and looked at Tilly "I... sunshine... a field of flowers... and a man." She answered quietly.
Jimmy's voice was quiet as he took Tera's drink from her hand. "She has a gift." He set the glass down. "You received a glimpse of your destiny."
Tera shook her head, "I don't believe in destiny. We make our lives what they are. Our decisions determine what happens in our future not some god looking into a crystal ball."
Jimmy chuckled "You are right partly. We make our own choices, but people cross paths for a reason. I would say the soul you are meant for will come into your life soon. What you do when you meet will decide if there will be anything there." He picked up Tera's drink and stared into the yellow liquid for a moment. "Let's get some food into the two of you." Jimmy turned and hurried back to the kitchen.
Tera turned to Tilly. "What was in that drink?"
"It wasn't drugged if that's what you're implying. Jimmy is a seer of sorts. He simply cast a little spell over the drink sorta like a prayer. It gives you a glimpse into yourself," Tilly shrugged and took another sip of her drink.
"I've never been into all that witchy stuff. Besides I doubt there's a guy around here that goes around talking to plants and laughing at their jokes." Tera grinned at the thought.
Tilly's eyes lit up, "Oh you never know what you'll find her in Rowan."
The waitress came back to their table with another tropical paradise for Tera and two plates. One had a massive burger and onion rings and the other was grilled chicken with steamed veggies and yellow rice with a pineapple chutney on the side. "Here we go ladies. Jimmy said to welcome you again and lunch is on the house."
"This looks amazing. How did..."
Tilly grinned "Like I said jimmy get's you what you need. It's his gift." She looked up at the waitress "Tell Jimmy thanks. It's all perfect as usual.
The waitress nodded then headed back to check on her other tables.
"Well don't just sit there. Dig in!" Tilly demonstrated by taking a big bite of her burger.
Tera laughed then began eating her own food.
Seth paced his study old books and manuscripts laid out on a huge mahogany table. The stone walls were covered with bookshelves full of ancient books. Lamps were lit around the room giving off dim lighting.
A woman stood in the doorway watching. She was tall, slender, long dark hair, pale complexion, a smirk playing at her blood red lips. "Are you still sulking over that witch and her boy toy?"
Seth turned toward the door, "Lilith, to what do I owe this unexpected visit?"
Lilith glides gracefully into the study. She looked over the books running her fingers delicately over the pages. "I heard rumors that it has been weeks since you have steeped foot outside these..." She looked around the dim room "dreary walls. I just wanted to see for myself."
Seth's hazel eyes narrowed in suspicion as he moved close to the slender woman reaching around her and closing a journal. "Yes, well, I do on occasion decide to stay in. I have been thinking of a plan to deal with my little witch. I do not take kindly to being denied."
Lilith smiled as she leaned close taking in the scent of spicy cologne. "And have you come up with a plan?" She inquired as her fingers moved from the books to run lightly over his forearm.
Seth inhaled sharply taking in the Jasmin from her hair. "If you must know, I have come up with a solution. If I can not have Julie and Vincent in my collection, I shall simply take a couple from each of the bloodlines that helped to protect them."
Lilith looked into his eyes smiling ferally "I like the way you think. Have you picked your first acquisition?"
"I have." He pulled her roughly into his arms and kissed her demandingly.