She gazed out the window of the limo that had picked her up at her apartment, large lavish houses blurring on by. She still couldn't believe everything that had happened this year, but she needed a change of scenery and when an opportunity to move thousands of miles away from her ex to start fresh, she just had to hop on it. Though, the catch still left her unsure if this was the right decision to make.
She took a glance at the woman across from her, golden eyes like the sun as she watched Lily curiously. The woman smiled when she caught her eye, pushing back a lock of black hair behind her ear.
"You're not getting cold feet on me, are you?" She smiled so sweetly at her. Lily wasn't a fool though. Sure she was getting doubts in her mind, but she wasn't going to look a wolf in the mouth and tell her that. Lily's eyes ran over the woman's knee length black skirt with transparent leggings and black heels. Her white blouse had small ruffles running down with the buttons. She looked like a beautiful business woman that could have the world wrapped around her manicured finger. Her eyes flitted back to the window, not really focusing on what they were passing along the way.
"I'd open the door and tuck and roll, but I don't really know where I am right now." She said truthfully. The woman let out a soft chuckle as she brushed her hair from her shoulder. Her laugh was like velvet.
"I'm not holding you captive, Miss Thornstun. You are welcome to back out of this arrangement." The woman uncrossed and recrossed her legs, shifting in her seat slightly. She had thought about it, but she already signed the contract for being added on to the lease. Besides, she couldn't go back now. What would that achieve for her?
"Who's this roommate that I'll be splitting the rent with?" Lily asked her. She had gone over every detail of the contract except for the most important detail. The woman shifted her eyes to the window across the way from her, purposely avoiding her gaze. She didn't like that.
"My son." She held up her hand before Lily could put in her two cents, "Relax dear. I'm not setting you up with him. I saw your post online about wanting a fresh start so I jumped at the chance." Her golden eyes returned back to her, captivating her for a moment. The woman seemed like she had innocent intentions, but what mother doesn't want to set her son up with someone? Still, she had to be cautious. She couldn't risk going through another traumatic experience again.
"I'll take your word for it." Lily said. For now. The woman smiled at her, reaching over and rested a hand on her knee. Even with her jeans on she felt the woman's warmth seep through the fabric and into her skin. What is it with Werewolves and their internal furnace?
"I know that it'll be rough moving forward from what you've been through," the woman started. Lily watched the woman's eyebrows come together slightly with worry, a gentle smile on her pink lips. "But I can sense a great spirit in you. You're a fighter. A survivor. Let no man conquer you." She gave her knee a pat before sitting back again and let her eyes drift back out the window. Her words hung in the air for awhile as the limo continued its trek to her new destination. Lily embraced those words, letting them fill her with new refound strength. Aside from her therapist, this woman was the only one that gave her courage to move on.
"As bad as this sounds, I never really got your name." Lily said embarrassingly. The woman raised a brow as if she didn't realize it either.
"You're right. How rude of me. Here I was whisking you away without a proper introduction." The woman leaned across again, smiling as her golden eyes glittered, "You may call me Penelope."
The limo drove along a winding road for sometime, trees the only company she had aside from Penelope when the trees broke away and showed a tan stone wall. Lily leaned closer to the window, her interest peaking as the wall ended and the limo slowed as they drove up to a gate with a security booth. Once the driver made his exchange, the limo continued on past the entrance and Lily's jaw dropped slightly. It was as if a whole new world opened up for her. Houses from first story to third lined the roads in a suburban style layout. Children ran about in their yards, some shifted into pups and others as their human state. It wasn't bizarre to see these transformations, but if this was going to be more of an everyday thing, she'll have to get used to it quickly. As they left the houses, stores lined up next. Some still looked frozen in time of the 1920's, but there were more moderned to match the current times. Wal-Mart, Target, etc. They even drove passed a large school that took up several blocks.
"That has from Pre-K to twelfth grade. If you're interested, we have a separate building that is a community college as well." Penelope filled her in as they drove past.
"It's like you have your own little city." Lily said to her, still amazed. Penelope reached into her purse and pulled out her phone. Lily wasn't sure who she was contacting, but at the moment she didn't care.
"It is our home. Our pack. And now it is your home, Lily." Penelope said to her. Her home, huh? For how long though? The darkness of her past will only come crawling back eventually, and she'll have to run away again. As if Penelope could sense the dread creeping through her mind, she rested a reassuring hand on her knee again. "I couldn't come close to truly understanding what you went through, but please take what I said to heart. I meant it." The car made a turn and Penelope looked out the window, a smile falling onto her lips, "It looks like we're here."
Lily peered out the window with her, eyes widening at what was standing before her. A large mansion stretched as long as half a football field. The limo drove up the curved driveway that wrapped around an elegant fountain before coming to a stop in front of a stone walkway.
The driver opened the door for Penelope and Lily followed out, her mouth still agape. The front door swung open and a woman stepped out, her clothes in disarray as she fumbled with her heels. The woman's eyes met Penelope's and she froze up instantly.
"Chelsea." Penelope said coldly. The woman dropped her gaze to Lily behind her, her lips lifting in a small scowl before rushing off down the driveway. Penelope let out a heavy sigh, turning toward Lily with a smile, but she had a twitch in her brow, "Come."
"Uh, Penelope? This looks far more expensive than the deal we made." Lily mentioned as Penelope escorted her inside, taking in the large foyer with a staircase and giant chandelier. Penelope looked around, her nose lifted in the air, grimace written on her features.
"Oh, don't worry about the look of things. A deal is a deal after all." She said, giving Lily her usual cheerful expression before walking off down a long corridor. Lily took a quick moment to look around once more, getting the faintest smell of fresh rain in the air, the scent relaxing her before taking off after Penelope.
"Still, it feels as if I'm ripping you off in the end." Lily told her as she walked into a marble style kitchen. Penelope set her purse on the island, hopping up onto a stool and gestured across from her. Lily hesitated before setting down her briefcase and backpack beside her and took her seat.
"Oh, I beg to differ. In retrospect, it feels as if I have taken advantage of you." Penelope said, making Lily to raise a brow at her. Was it some sort of catch after all that she missed? Some fine print hidden in the contract?
"Alright, I'm listening." Lily said to her, the smell of the rain only growing stronger now. Her eyes went to the window, the sun still bright with no clouds in the sky.
"Is something wrong?" Penelope asked her.
"I smell rain. Like fresh rain." Lily told her. Penelope inclined her head thoughtfully, eyeing Lily with new interest.
"You do? I don't believe they mentioned rain in the forecast today." Penelope tapped on her phone screen. The smell grew stronger as if it was in the very room she sat in. It clung to her clothes, her hair, her skin. It wrapped around her like a thin blanket. She thought she was going to drown when a deep, husky voice sounded from the doorway.
"I smell lilies."