Chapter 4 - Mystery
Mystery pulled open the screen door of her aunt’s house and practically skipped inside. She was so happy she felt like she could burst, and she couldn’t wait to share her good news with them. Hunter had come out of nowhere, and though at first he had made her uneasy, he had turned out to be a godsend. After fifteen minutes he had secured the small house and had even got it well under the asking price. That meant she’d have money left over to fix it up, and from what he pointed out, she’d need to do some work on it.
As they walked through each room, Hunter had pointed out all the problems she would need to address. Most of it was cosmetic, so she could live in it while they were being completely, and for that she was grateful. The kitchen cabinets needed to be repainted, the porch needed some boards replaced; the shower was leaking; the windows needed new caulking; the greenhouse needed some planes of glass replaced, and the roof needed a couple small patches. Besides that, it was silly little things she could probably do herself.
Hunter had surprised her with his knowledge on home improvement. Unfortunately the real estate agent had to leave to start the paperwork, and seeing as she was Mystery’s ride, she’d had no choice but to follow. She needed someone to complete the work, and she had a feeling Hunter would know someone that could help. She just needed to go back and talk to him. She’d do that in the next couple of days, today she needed to celebrate, and she needed to do it with her aunts.
“Mara, Ruby, I’m home,” Mystery called out as she hurried through the house. The house was old, and the furniture was even older, she had to watch her step as she passed through the living room into the kitchen. The aunts loved antiques, and the house was full. Mystery had run into chair legs and book racks on more than one occasion. She was always in a hurry, and the twisted, jutting out legs of the furniture always tripped her up. When both the living room and kitchen were empty, she grinned as she pushed out into the back yard and stepped onto the patio. There, sitting in two extremely comfy recliners were her aunts, and in their hands were two identical glasses of what she knew were margaritas.
“Drinking already,” she teased, as she plopped down into the free recliner that was left. Her hair tumbled around her and she absently pushed it back as she got settled.
“Darling,” her Aunt Mara purred. “It’s after lunch time, that means it’s perfectly acceptable to have a drink. Would you like one? It would only take me a minute to whip up another batch.”
“No thank you,” Mystery said as she wrinkled her nose. She hated margaritas, preferring fun fruity drinks to the strong liquor they drank. Give her a daiquiri or a hurricane and she was a happy camper.
Her Aunt Ruby frowned at her. “When you get older, your tastes will change, then you’ll love a good margarita, and you know your aunt makes the absolute best.”
Mystery knew, she’d heard it from a ton of their friends, not to mention her Aunt practiced as much as she could. There was hardly a day that went by they weren’t sipping a glass while chatting happily about something or another. She wasn’t upset though, her aunts only drank one or two, and then they went about their day. She never had to worry about them.
“I have some news,” she said with a grin, interrupting to steer the conversation in an entirely different direction.
Immediately, both her aunts set their drinks on the small metal bistro table that sat between them and leaned forward in their chairs. She had their attention, and she knew they could sense the excitement she was unsuccessfully trying to contain.
“You’ve met a boy,” her Aunt Mara exclaimed as she clapped her hands happily.
“And you’ve found a house you’re smitten with,” her Aunt Ruby added as she bounded in her seat.
Mystery couldn’t help the disappointment that clouded her happiness. Both her aunts had an uncanny ability to know things before she told them. It was as if they had eyes on her and were always watching, and it made surprising them nonexistent. She deflated as she took in the two.
“Now darling, don’t go getting all pouty on us. You know you can’t keep secrets from us,” her Aunt Ruby declared as she got up and crossed the small patio to her chair. With a bit of a shove Mystery was moved, and her aunt was pushing herself into the chair with her. Then warm arms wrapped around her and she was pulled into her aunts chest.
“You wear your emotions on your sleeve,” her Aunt Mara added. “And it’s not a bad thing, you’re just expressive, and we wouldn’t want you any other way. Now, just because we know those things, doesn’t mean we know any of the details. Tell us about the boy first and then tell us all about the house.”
Mystery blinked, then knew her aunt was right. She was an open book, and as much as she tried to hide that, it was impossible. When her parents were killed in a car accident, her aunts had taken her in, and they had given her all the love and affection she could ever need. She’d had a good life with them, and she never lacked for anything. Her life was full of fun and laughter even if her aunts were both a tad crazy.
“I’m sorry,” Mystery quickly apologized. “It’s just that for once I’d like to tell you something you don’t already know. It kind of takes the wind out of my sails when you already know what I’m going to tell you.”
Her Aunt Ruby sighed as she addressed her.
“Were sorry for that darling. We promise that next time we’ll keep quiet and let you tell us your new,” she promised.
Mystery couldn’t help the smile that graced her face. She knew the next time she had something to tell them, they’d do the exact same thing. On that thought, she launched into telling them all about her day. She didn’t leave even a single detail out, knowing her aunts would know if she did.