Elise started to push the cart toward the circulation desk motioning for Rosemary to go away. She was not going to answer that question. Rosemary knew perfectly well that Elise had avoided contacting her ancestors. What would she tell them? How would she explain how she’d failed all this time?
As she approached the desk she was surprised to see Cage take a large step back from it. She rounded behind the desk and saw Roark frantically turning in circles. Something made her spider friend uneasy and that something had to be Cage.
“Are you okay?” she asked.
He gave her an unwary look. “I think your desk just growled at me.”
Elise let out a low chuckle and made herself a mental note to give Roark some extra flies that evening. “Just my old computer warming up. I have a new system coming in, but that will be up to the new librarian to install.”
“That’s right,” said Cage, stepping back up to the desk, “you’re retiring. May I ask why you’re leaving the valley? Seems like such a lovely place.”
“It is,” said Elise with a sigh, “and a part of me will miss it, but my young niece just graduated with her degree in Library Sciences and I’ve always dreamed of living in Paris. So that’s what I’m going to do.”
“Have you ever been?” asked Cage, he took her in with his dark brown eyes, making Elise feel as if she were swimming in chocolate sauce. “To Paris, I mean?”
“Once,” said Elise, “a long time ago.”
“That’s a pretty big change from the quiet valley,” said Cage. “I bet you find your way back here one way or another.”
Elise raised an eyebrow at Cage. There was something in his tone that was teasing, as if the two were sharing an inside joke. She heard Roark growl again.
“Mr. Martin, might I ask where you’re from?” she placed her hand under the desk and tapped Roark’s head gently to quiet him.
“Ironically, Paris,” Cage answered.
“Really?” Elise cocked her head. “I don’t hear an accent.”
“I don’t have one, unless I’m there,” he said with a smile. “It’s like I pick it up the minute I hit French soil, probably because I grew up just over the mountains, in a tiny town called Unity.”
The hairs on the back of Elise’s neck stood tall. Unity had been the home to a rival coven, but she couldn’t remember a witch or warlock with the surname of Martin.
“My family helped to found the town,” he continued. “I know a lot of its history as I’m you know a lot of Apple Hill’s history.”
“Why would I know that?” snapped Elise.
Cage raised his eyebrows. “Other than being the town’s librarian, I happen to know the Pendergraphs were a founding family. They started the library, correct? I’m kind of an amateur historian, which is what took me to Paris. The city is alive with history.”
Elise swallowed down her suspicions. The man was clearly just smitten with history, anything else was just paranoia on her part. He handed her his library card application and she made quick work logging it into the computer and assigning him with a plastic card.
“This gives you an hour on the library computers, but if we’re not busy, I don’t get too strict about that. There is no limit to how many books you check out, but it is twenty-five per day per item if you don’t renew or turn them in on time. We also have DVDs, laptops, and audio books you can check out. Please feel free to wander and let me know if you have any questions.”
“Unfortunately, I don’t have time today to wander, but I will be back,” said Cage. “I just wanted to check out the library and make sure I have my card. Nothing speaks about the town quite like the local library.”
Elise smiled. “You’ve got that right.”
Elise smiled. “You’ve got that right.”
Cage turned toward the door.
“One more question, please,” Elise called out. Cage stopped and turned around, giving her a slight nod. “Why not move back to Unity and open your bed and breakfast there?”
He gave her a wicked smile. “I felt it was high time to make Apple Hill my own.”
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