Chapter 9: Lunch Is Interrupted
I jumped and got into a fighting stance as a loud ding woke me up.
‘Calm down there Hulk.’ Artemis howled in laughter. ‘It was just your phone.’
I looked over at my bedside table as saw that my phone’s screen was lit up.
My shoulders dropped and the tense sensation left my body.
“Right.” I mumbled out loud. “I knew that.”
I picked up my phone, put my password in, and clicked on the message.
Hecate: Good morning dear. I left early this morning because I’m running low on the flowers and I needed to get some more. There a little ways away so I’m going to be gone all day, but hopefully be back sometime tonight. I’m really sorry that I can’t be there. I was hoping that you could run to town for me real quick, I forgot to pick up those little glass bottles. They sell them at Hobby Lobby. You may take the wrangler and just please don’t crash it LOL.
I huffed slightly, but couldn’t help letting out a small laugh.
I’m not that bad, am I?
‘Just a little.’ Artemis teased.
I rolled my eyes. ‘Be quiet.’
Me: No problem! And I promise not to crash your baby haha.
My phone dinged again before I had the chance to set it down.
Hecate: Thank you so much dear! I really do appreciate it. I even left you a little extra cash to get lunch somewhere if you wanted. Hobby Lobby is about a mile down the road from Wal-Mart. If you want, you can type Hobby Lobby into your maps and it will bring it up. There is also a couple potions next to the cash for you! Be safe :)
Me: I will! And you too! :)
I smiled as I set my phone down and walked to the bathroom.
‘What’s got you so happy?’ Artemis laughed.
‘I don’t know.’ I smiled to myself as I turned on the shower. ‘I guess just having someone care about me is really nice.’
‘That’s understandable.’ Artemis agreed. ‘I really like her too. She is so caring and she has this amazing personality. Can we keep her?’
I laughed out loud as I rinsed the shampoo out of my hair. ‘Yes, we can.’
‘Yes!’ Artemis howled. ‘But I’m serious. She’s like the mom we never had.’
I sighed sadly but put a smile on my face. ‘I agree. Although I would have really liked to meet my real mom, Hecate is the next best thing. She really does treat me like a daughter.’
I continued to talk with Artemis and get ready to head out. It didn’t take long really. I dried my hair and decided to leave it down and I grabbed a sweatshirt and a pair of skinny jeans with my new combat boots.
‘Do you know what I just realized?’ I asked as I grabbed the cash and the keys to the jeep.
‘What’s that?’ Artemis asked.
‘What am I supposed to do if I get pulled over?’ I mentioned worriedly. ‘I don’t have a license to give to the officer.’
‘Just don’t get pulled over.’ She laughed.
I rolled my eyes and grabbed an apple before heading out the door. ‘Thanks for the advice genius.’
‘Glad I could help.’
I unlocked the jeep and jumped into the driver’s seat.
“Let’s put on some tunes.” I said to myself as I flipped through the radio.
I smiled as I found the rock station and cranked the volume.
With the windows down, I headed to the city.
The drive seemed to be pretty short even though it was two hours away. My jam session probably made it seem a lot shorter than it actually was.
“Okay.” I mumbled as I looked at the map while I was at a red light. “It says that in another mile I’ll be there. Hobby Lobby is on the right.”
I put my phone down and waited for the light to be green.
Once the light turned green, I stepped on the gas and continued to drive until I saw the sign.
“There it is!” I shouted relieved as I pulled into the parking lot.
‘Worried much?’ Artemis laughed.
I growled at her. ‘Yes. Don’t judge.’
I parked the car and locked it before heading inside.
“Bottles.” I sang to myself quietly. “Glass bottles.”
I walked up and down the aisles starting to grow annoyed that I can’t find them.
“How hard is it to find glass bottles?” I asked myself. “If I was a glass bottle, where would I hide?”
I finally spotted them and ran over to the shelf.
‘Did she say how many she needed?’ I asked.
‘I don’t think so.’ Artemis replied unsurely. ‘Maybe just grab a case?’
I shrugged. Works for me.
But before I reached for the case, I felt the hair on the back of my neck stand up.
‘What was that?’ I asked suspiciously as I looked around.
‘I don’t know.’ Artemis said. ‘I feel like we are being watched.’
‘I do too.’ I agreed as I reached up to grab the case and gripped it tightly. ‘Let’s get out of here.’
I made a quick beeline to the register and paid for the bottles with the cash that Hecate gave me.
‘Wait.’ Artemis said quickly.
I clutched the case to my body and walked a little faster to the car.
‘I smell a wolf. But I can’t tell where the scent is coming from.’ She admitted confused. ‘You drank that potion before you left right?’
‘Of course.’ I said.
Before I tried to pick up the scent, it disappeared.
‘That was strange.’ Artemis said unsurely. ‘We need to head back home.’
‘But I’m hungry.’ I whined.
‘Goodness girl.’ She laughed. ‘Fine. Find a place to eat and then let’s leave. I don’t want to be here any longer than we have to be.’
‘We’ll be fine.’ I reassured her as I got into the car. ‘I drank that potion before I left and I have a couple more hours before the effect wears off.’
‘Fine. But will you please drink another one?’
‘Really?’ I laughed.
‘Humor me would you.’ Artemis growled
I chuckled before digging through my purse. ‘Fine.’
‘Thank you.’ She sighed in relief as I drank the liquid from the bottle.
‘Now let’s go get some food!’ I yelled as I hit the gas.
After several minutes of driving around and trying to find a place to eat, I settled on going to a small diner that is somewhat on the outside of the city.
I opened the door and a bell sound chimed throughout the diner.
“Hi, there dear.” A small, older lady smiled as she walked towards me. “How many?”
“Just me.” I smiled back.
“Booth or table?” She asked as she fixed her glasses.
“I’ll take a booth please.”
She nodded and started to turn around. “Follow me please.”
She brought me over to a booth in the corner of the diner and handed me a menu.
“My name is Jill and I’ll be your waitress.” She introduced herself as she grabbed a notepad and pen. “What would you like to drink?”
“I’ll just take water please.”
Jill nodded and wrote that down. “I’ll be back with your drink shortly and take your time with looking over the menu.”
“Thank you.” I smiled as she returned it and left to go to the kitchen.
I opened the menu and skimmed the options.
The chicken sounds delicious but so does the fish. Why does this all have to look good?
I groaned as I continued to look. So many choices.
After a couple of minutes passed by, Jill came back out with my water and grabbed her notepad.
“Have you decided dear?” Jill asked.
“Yes.” I nodded. “I will take the chicken lunch with mashed potatoes and gravy please.”
“Excellent choice.” She smiled. “That’s my favorite.”
“I’m guessing it’s really good then?” I asked.
“Oh most definitely.” She laughed as she stuck her notepad back into her apron pocket. “It’ll be out shortly.”
Yes! I’m so excited to eat.
‘What are we going to do the rest of the day?’ Artemis asked.
‘I don’t know really. This is the first time Hecate’s been gone all day.’ I said as I played with my napkin. ‘Maybe I could help her around the house?’
‘Do you mean cleaning?’
‘Yeah.’ I chuckled. ‘I mean she’s letting us stay there for free. It’s the least I could do. I feel terrible for not doing anything to repay her.’
‘Well to be fair, she’s not letting you.’ Artemis brought up.
‘Yeah, I know.’ I sighed. ‘I just wish she would let me pay her back or something. I could find a job here and make some money.’
‘There is no way she is going to let you do that.’
I growled in annoyance. ‘I know. I just hope-’
I cut my sentence off as I heard the bell chime and I smelt another werewolf. A powerful one at that.
‘Athena.’ Artemis said worriedly.
‘I smell it.’ I said carefully.
‘Just keep your head down. Your back is too them and there is no way that they can know you are a wolf.’
I took steady breaths and tried to keep my heart rate under control.
‘Athena.’ She said amazed. ‘I recognize that smell. It’s the same wolf from the other day!’
‘You mean the royal one?’ I asked scared.
Oh no. A rogue on an alpha’s land is one thing, but a rogue on an Alpha King’s land is so much worse.
‘Deep breaths.’ She told me softly. ‘Maybe he’ll leave and we won’t have to confront him.’
‘Just in case, there are two exits. The front door and there is another exit out back through the kitchen. I think we can make it to the car.’
‘Don’t be ridiculous. I’m not trying to be mean Athena, but we can’t outrun a royal! Even if I took complete control. He would take us down in two seconds flat.’
I growled but stopped as I heard his footsteps come closer.
‘Artemis. Get ready.’ I warned.
“Hey.” I heard a deep voice.
I gulped and looked up slowly.
“Apollo?” I asked confused.
‘Don’t let your guard down!’ Artemis yelled.
“Can I join you?” He asked with a smile.
I was about to open my mouth to speak but he plopped down in the seat across from me.
“Here you are, dear.” Jill smiled but her eyes got wide. “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t know you were expecting someone.”
“Oh, I’m n-”
“What would you like honey?” Jill asked cutting me off.
I groaned quietly and looked down at my food.
“Pancakes and bacon with chocolate milk please.” Apollo smiled.
Jill nodded and scurried off to the kitchen.
“For lunch?” I asked.
Apollo looked at me and laughed. “Breakfast is the perfect meal. You can have it at any time of the day.”
I shrugged. “I guess you’re right.”
“So you must be new.” He smiled as he tilted his head and looked at me.
“I am.” I said unsurely as I leaned back in my chair.
The more space between us the better.
“Where are you from?” Apollo asked as Jill placed his chocolate milk in front of him. He smiled a thank you and turned his attention back to me.
“Montana.” I lied.
“Wow.” He said in shock. “What are you doing in Maine?”
Come on Athena. Think!
“My dad is in the army. He got stationed here.” I said a little too quickly.
“That’s so neat!” Apollo exclaimed. “Tell him I said thank you for his services.”
“I will.” I smiled as I let out a nervous laugh.
“Oh, you got the chicken. Their chicken is the best.”
“That’s what Jill told me.” I said as I scooped up the mashed potatoes.
I smiled and closed my eyes as the flavor danced across my tongue.
Oh my gosh, this is amazing!
“That good, huh?” Apollo laughed.
I felt the blush run up my neck and into my cheeks.
“Yeah. Sorry.” I apologized as I wiped my mouth with the napkin.
“Oh don’t worry.” He waved me off. “I’m the say way.”
“Oh okay.” I nodded.
Silence fell over us and he continued to stare at me.
Okay, this is getting a little awkward.
‘Is he going to leave or what?’ Artemis asked getting annoyed. ‘Like yes, we are hot. Please continue walking.’
‘I don’t know.’ I said as I eyed him. ‘Why did he even sit down in the first place?’
‘Do you think he knows?’
‘There is no way he could.’ I said. ‘Even if he is a royal. It’s not like he has a file on every wolf in the world.’
‘I’m confused about something.’ She said suspiciously.
‘What’s that?’ I asked as Jill came back with Apollo’s order.
‘Out of all the places that he could have sat, he chose here. Why?’
‘I-I don’t know.’ I admitted getting worried.
I let out a small laugh as Apollo moaned at the taste of his food.
“It’s so good.” He laughed as he took a bite out of his bacon.
“I bet.” I nodded.
‘There is a reason why he’s here but I just don’t know what.’ She explained. ‘But he doesn’t know that we are a wolf.’
‘How do you know?’ I asked.
‘Look at him. His body language is completely relaxed and he’s treating you like he’s known you forever. If he had the slightest thought that you were a wolf, he would be somewhat tense. He’s not at all. And his wolf seems calm.’
‘You can sense his wolf?’
‘Well not really.’ She laughed. ‘It’s hard to explain but even his wolf seems at peace. They don’t suspect anything.’
I felt my body relax a little, but I still wanted to get out of here.
I quickly ate my food and Apollo looked at me shocked.
“Damn girl. You sure can eat.” He laughed.
“Sorry.” I smiled apologetically. “My mom texted me and she wants me to come back home.”
“Oh, no problem.”
“It was nice meeting you again.” I smiled as I stood up.
I didn’t wait for him to respond. I quickly turned around and practically ran up to the register where Jill was at.
“Leaving so soon?” She asked.
“I’m sorry. My mom is expecting me back.” I lied as I grabbed my wallet.
“Oh don’t worry dear.” She laughed. “Your total is $9.86.”
I was about to open my wallet, but a shadow hung over me.
“Don’t worry Athena. I got it.” Apollo smiled as he handed Jill his credit card.
“What?” I asked as I spun around. “Oh no. I can’t let you do that.”
“Oh don’t worry.” He smiled as he waved me off. “I want to.”
“Oh.” I blushed. “Um thank you.”
“Well. I-I better get going.” I stuttered.
“I’ll see ya around.” Apollo smiled brightly at me.
I nodded. “Sure.”
I gave him one last look before booking it out of the diner and heading to the jeep.
What just happened?