Wednesday, November 13, 2019
Witch of Apple Hill ~ Part 9
Elise quickly looked around and saw that Rosemary had made herself disappear. She scratched her head. “I was just … well I thought someone had stolen a DVD, but it was just under another book. Unfortunately, that’s my pet peeve and you caught me at a bad moment. I thought I was alone since I didn’t hear the door chime.”
Elise thought it was very odd the door didn’t chime. It was a spell of her own and wouldn’t malfunction like a store bought chime would. The man gave her a half smile that made Elise’s hackles rise. He may look ordinary, but every fiber of her being was telling her differently.
Elise shook her suspicions away. He was a simple man and she hadn’t heard the chime above the door ring, because she was too busy complaining to Rosemary about the townspeople. She plastered on a smile and walked to the man with her hand extended.
“I don’t think we’ve met, I’m Elise Pendergraph, librarian.”
The man shook her hand and Elise felt an odd tingle rush through her body. “Nice to meet you, I’m Cage Martin. I just opened the B&B on the edge of town.”
Now Elise knew exactly why her hackles rose. She had heard rumors of someone opening a bed and breakfast nearby and had been livid someone else wanted to profit off her valley by bring strangers into it.
“Oh no,” said Cage, “seems you aren’t a fan.”
Elise realized her smile had faded. “I’m just very protective of the valley and I don’t love the thought of strangers coming to visit.”
Cage chuckled. “I have three rooms, I don’t think we’ll be overrun by tourists.”
Elise pursed her lips together. “It’s really none of my business. My business is the library. Can I help you with something?”
“I’m here for a library card.”
Elise felt a genuine smile caressed her face. “Fantastic, there are forms on the circulation desk, if you want to start filling one of those out, I’ll grab this cart and be with you in a jiffy.”
Elise mentally cringed. She had never used the word jiffy before and she could hear Rosemary’s chuckle on the air.
“Can I help with the books?” he stepped closer to the drop off closet.
“No, thank you,” said Elise, feeling the odd tingle she felt before as he neared her. “That form will take you a minute or two and so I’ll handle this, if you’ll take care of that.”
Cage gave her another half smile. “Okay then.”
Elise returned her attention to the drop off books and felt Rosemary appear by her side.
“He’s handsome,” she said, “and you are smitten.”
“Smitten?” Elise gasped, careful to keep it to a whisper. “I just met the man and I’m leaving remember. Plus, he’s opening that horrid inn on the Badger Hill. The last thing this town needs is visitors.”
“More people for you to curse,” teased Rosemary.
“I only curse the founders,” countered Elise.
“Doesn’t this just verify that you’re never going to have this valley to yourself again?” asked Rosemary. “Come on, Elise, you’ve got to let this notice of revenge and curses go.”
“I can’t,” said Elise as she put the last book on the chart. “If I do I let my whole family down.”
“Have you consulted your ancestors?”
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?