Gracelyn waited until the movers brought in the last box and then closed the door. She turned and looked at the pile of boxes and furniture in her new tiny home. Phinehas came out of the kitchen and weaved between her legs. “I know we have a lot to do.” She bent over and scratched him behind the ears. “Are you happy to be back in town?” The cat sat and gave her a blank look. “I know, I know. It’s not our house, but it’s our town.”
She straightened up and moved carefully through the boxes to the kitchen. “I will try to find some food in here, but we don’t have time to unpack everything tonight. I need to sleep so I can unpack everything at the shop tomorrow.” She looked over her shoulder and grinned at the animal. “I can’t believe I’m finally going to open my dream shop.” She pushed the glasses back up on her nose. “Dreams, is the most perfect name my new store.”
She lay in her bed that night trying to fall asleep, but it wasn’t going to happen. She and Phinehas had left this town with two days’ notice. She’d sold everything in the house, except for a few mementos of her family, and then they had hidden from the rest of the world for months as she tried to reverse the spell Faith had cast on her. Once she realized she couldn’t, they moved and began a new life.
She had spent most of the last five years saving up money and collecting items along the way to come back here and open a small store. She no longer feared that someone would recognize her as Gracelyn Trainer. That person was invisible now. She closed her eyes and clenched her jaw. She had tried for the last five years to bring her back for good, but it hadn’t worked.
“To break it, you’ll need to find the one that can truly see you and kiss him on sacred Hallows Eve, just before midnight,”her sister had growled at her that night, and she had tried everything to find him to break the spell, but nothing had worked, and she was finished trying. She had accepted her bad eyes and the fact that no one really saw or remembered her after they walked away. So Gracelyn Trainer was gone, and Arianna Thorp was born.
Smiling, she rolled over onto her side and closed her eyes. Tomorrow, her new life would begin its final phase.
Evan stood at the bottom of the stairs with the envelope in his hand. He had spent the better part of the last five years untangling the red tape and legal jargon, but he had done it. The Trainer house was his to live in. His assistant thought he was crazy for moving to this small, nothing town and not staying in the city, but he didn’t care. He liked the peace of the town, and over the last few years had spent a lot of time here.
He rubbed his jaw and contemplated once again where Gracelyn might be. He’d never really found a trail to follow. Her cloaking abilities were top-notch, and all those who had helped him in the first year never found a trace. So here he was, standing in her home just knowing somehow that she would eventually find her way back to it and he would be waiting for her. At least he liked to think he knew this much about the lighthearted girl in the picture.
Many months of reading had followed her disappearance. Once he’d found out her sister had lost control of her car on Samhain eve, it wasn’t too hard to tie the loose ends together. Chat with enough townsfolk in a small place and you could find all sorts of interesting facts. Where the girls had gone to school, which children had been their friends, who they were caught necking with, and more. Most interesting was the fact that Gracelyn was loved by all and the kindest heart born and that her sister hated her for that. All of these pieces led him to researching curses.
He’d had no clue if he’d been on the right track there, because he wasn’t a jealous teenage girl, but he’d found some exceptionally dark spell books in the attic of the Trainers’ home and was fairly certain that they had belonged to the oldest daughter. He suspected, after reading through all of them, that she had not only had altered her beautiful sister but was responsible for the deaths of her parents as well. In a large way, he was glad she had died, he may have gone further than carrying out justice where Faith Trainer had been concerned.
Sighing he picked up his suitcase and headed up the stairs. Hopefully the movers had put his bed in the room he’d instructed, Gracelyn’s room. First thing tomorrow, he was cleansing the entire house of all energies and starting fresh, except for her room. He wanted to keep the aura as it was meant to be, warm and welcoming.
Either he needed a break or he was getting old. He grinned and looked around at the furniture he’d been pushing from room to room. Biologically, he was only twenty-nine, but he had the weight of a fifty-year-old on his shoulders most days. Opening the front door, he looked out over the street he was going to call home. It was a friendly street with trees lining it, quiet yards, no steel, and garbage in sight. No noise either. And everyone wondered why he wanted to call this home.
He climbed in his car and then drove around the circular driveway. Food was the first stop today. Having had nothing but water and a chocolate bar since last night, he was definitely hitting the grocery store first.
He drove slowly through the town, noting any changes since the last time he’d been through. He slowed down when he spotted a woman standing outside observing two men hang a sign over the small building. Dreams. He grinned. He’d have to check it out when it opened. He had no idea what a place named that would sell, but the name alone was worthy of his patronage. Hopefully it was opening sometime this weekend, because once Monday hit again, he was commuting back and forth and knew his energy was going to be running a little low for the next while until he adjusted.
His cell phone rang and brought him out of his quiet place. He answered it. “Hello.”
“So, I’m standing outside this enormous house with it’s enormous yard and a very locked door.”
Evan smiled. “I’m going to go out on a limb, Teddy, and guess that you’re standing on my doorstep and I’m not there.”
“You would be correct.”
He laughed. “Back door is unlocked. I didn’t know when you were coming, but there is nothing to eat there so I’m just running to the store.”
“Food is always welcomed.” He paused. “Jesus, boss, I’m not in charge of mowing this bloody field behind the house, am I?”
Evan laughed again. “No. You’re in charge of calling the person that will come and do the yard.”
“Thank the gods for that!”
He pulled into the parking lot at the store. “I’m at the store now. I’ll see you in a bit. Ah, start wandering around and help me figure out what room should be what.” He got out of the car. “I’m used to three rooms and suddenly I have enough to open a small hotel.” His friend laughed.
“Will do. Hey, I understand why you had to be here now, after seeing it.”
“I knew you would. See you shortly.” He hung up the phone and went into the store.