Moon White: Color Me Enchanted with Bonus Content (8 page)

BOOK: Moon White: Color Me Enchanted with Bonus Content
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seven

“I
INVITED SOMEONE TO YOUR PARTY
,” I
TELL
A
UGUSTINE AS THE THREE OF
us sit down to dinner. It’s pasta tonight, my dad’s specialty with two sauces, one red sauce that’s vegan-friendly and a white sauce with cream and butter. I go for the white sauce.

“Hey, what’re you doing?” asks Dad as he notices my choice.

“Eating,” I say.

Augustine frowns at me. “What’s up, Heather?”

So I explain my recent dietary decision, even explaining how Naomi was concerned for my health and how I nearly collapsed at class today.

“Well, we can’t have that,” says Dad with a satisfied grin.

“You have to do what’s best for you,” agrees Augustine, but she looks disappointed.

“Who did you invite to the party?” asks Dad.

“Well . . .” I consider how to put this, glancing at Augustine for moral support now. “I invited Liz Daniels.”

Dad just nods. “That’s nice.”

“You’re okay with that?”

He sort of laughs. “Hey, I’m not a beast, Heather. Augustine already told me you might invite her. Nothing wrong with that. Who knows, maybe we can win her over and she can help convince her
old man that — ”

“No politicking at my party,” warns Augustine.

“Sure, sure.” Dad winks at me. “Wouldn’t dream of it.”

The next morning I change my outfit about six times before I decide on my favorite jeans and an olive green sweater that Augustine bought for me in Ireland. She says it brings out the color of my eyes. I also think it brings out the shape of my figure. Truth: The reason I’m taking such care has to do with Hudson. I can’t stop thinking about this guy, and I’m hoping that he’ll talk to me again today and that either Liz or I will get up the nerve to invite him and Porter to the party tomorrow.

At lunchtime, Liz and I meet at the door to the commons, and it seems she already has a plan in place. “We should get a table to ourselves again today,” she says as we go into the cafeteria. “I think the chances of Hudson and Porter talking to us will increase if we don’t sit with the other girls.”

“Why’s that?” I ask as I pick up a food tray.

“I think most guys are intimidated by a big bunch of girls.”

I nod. “That makes sense.”

Since Lucy is already sitting with Chelsea and Kendall again, we have the perfect excuse to go elsewhere. And it’s a nice touch when Kendall tosses me a sympathetic look, like she’s helpless to do anything with stubborn Lucy. I think she and Chelsea might even miss our company. Well, good!

Liz and I are nearly finished with our lunch and about ready to give up on seeing the guys when Porter and Hudson pop over and start joking around with us again.

“You girls going to the big game tonight?” asks Porter in a sarcastic tone. Everyone knows our football team will be toast after Bay View finishes with us.

“I don’t know if I can bear to see it,” I say.

“Yeah, it’s going to be brutal,” says Hudson.

“Why?” asks Liz.

So Porter explains the sorry state of our football team. “And it didn’t help that all the good players graduated last year.”

“They should’ve just cancelled the season,” teases Hudson.

“Why don’t you guys play?” asks Liz. “You look like you might be able to throw a ball and run.”

Hudson just laughs. “No thanks!”

“We’re into soccer,” says Porter.

“I love soccer,” says Liz.

“Me too,” I admit. And that’s the truth. “I’d rather watch soccer than football any day.”

“Why don’t you come watch us on Saturday then?” asks Hudson.

Okay, I’m thinking here’s an opportunity. “Well, I would but I have to help my stepmom with this big party she’s having on Saturday night.”

“Our game will be over by four,” says Porter. “The big party doesn’t start before that, does it?”

“Actually, it starts at seven,” I say.

“Hey, you guys should come,” says Liz.

They look surprised now.

“Sure,” I say. “If you want. My stepmom told me to invite anyone I want.”

“Her dad is serving homemade wine,” adds Liz.

I softly punch her in the arm. “Hey, you’re not supposed to tell people that.”

“Count me in,” says Porter.

“I’ll come on one condition,” adds Hudson, “You girls have to
come to our soccer game.” Then he tells us when and where and we agree.

“See ya,” calls Porter as they take off.

“Well, that was easy,” says Liz as we stand and pick up our trays.

I try not to look too stunned. “Yeah.”

“Want me to drive us to the soccer match tomorrow?”

“Ashamed to be seen in my car?” I ask, pretending offense.

“No, not at all. I like your car.”

I nod. “Yeah, it has class.”

“I’d drive an older one myself,” she says as she dumps her trash, “but my dad’s all into safety standards, so I’m stuck.”

I laugh. “Yeah, you look really stuck.”

After school, I leave quickly. I feel sort of bad for not waiting for Liz, but it’s not like I promised her anything. Still, I’m barely driving down the highway when my cell phone rings. Now, my dad has made it perfectly clear that I’m not supposed to talk and drive, but thinking it could be Hudson, I answer anyway.

“Hey, why’d you take off so fast?” asks Liz.

“Huh?” I say as I try not to drive too close to the shoulder.

“I was looking for you at school, and then I go out to the parking lot and your car’s not even there. Something wrong?”

“No,” I say quickly. “I’m just running an errand. I have to go to North Bay.”

“Oh, something for the party?”

“Yeah.” Okay, that’s partially true.

“Well, I wanted to ask you if you wanted to come over to my house tonight. I thought we could hang out there. Maybe you’d want to spend the night. My parents flew to Seattle this morning and I’m on my own.”

“That sounds cool,” I say. “Can I call you when I get back?”

“Yeah, sure.”

Now I really had hoped to have time to myself tonight. Especially since I’m on something of a mission. My plan is to get some special ingredients that will help me with my life — particularly where Hudson is concerned. I also want to get something to help me with ballet. And this isn’t something I really care to share with Liz. Maybe I can just make up an excuse not to go over tonight. Or maybe I can take care of everything before I go to her house.

To my disappointment, Willow isn’t at The Crystal Dragon today. It seems she’s at some big convention or something. Consequently, a girl named Jamie tries to help me, but I can tell that she doesn’t know much more than I do about these things. In fact, she may know even less. She actually tries to convince me that lavender is for energy.

“No way,” I tell her. “I know for sure that lavender is a relaxing herb. My stepmom uses it all the time in her bath as a calming thing.”

“Sorry,” she finally says. “I guess I should be reading up on this stuff more. But this job only pays minimum wage, you know, and I have a life.”

“That’s okay,” I say, trying to read from a book as I pick some things out. “I’ll figure it out myself.” I’m not too sure about that “I have a life” comment. Like does she think I don’t? Whatever.

After about thirty minutes, I think I have what I need. And, remembering something I read, I make sure that Jamie keeps my two formulas separate. I want them to be as powerful as possible.

Then I go home. To my relief, Augustine isn’t around. I suspect she’s getting stuff together for the party. I see that she’s already made her little hanging lanterns, which are actually pretty cool. So I head up to my room to get some more things, then I take everything down
to the basement, close the door, and light some candles and incense and put on some music. I read the section in the book about rituals, and first I go through a cleansing ritual for all my things and myself. Then I light the new red candle, symbolic of love, and I set it on the green altar cloth, also good for love. Using my just-cleansed ritual bowl, I combine the herbs and stones that will help to ignite love. And I invoke the spirit of Venus and repeat several lines of my own creation. Magic, it seems, is a combination of both old and new, and creativity is welcome. I do several other things, and when I finish, I feel both tired and energized. It’s hard to explain. I wrap up the herbs and stones in a special cloth bag and stash this in my purse. Then I go through a similar routine, only with different ingredients, focused on my dance. Then I pour these herbs and stones into a different cloth bag and stash this in my shoe bag.

I realize it’s nearly six o’clock and I still haven’t called Liz back. So I blow out the candles and carefully place all my ritual tools into what used to be my toy box. I think I’ll have to paint it sometime, maybe put some symbols on it that will help protect the power contained within it. Then I go upstairs, where I find a note from Augustine saying that she’s meeting Dad for dinner and I’m on my own. No big surprise, since Friday is usually their “date night.” So I call Liz and apologize for taking so long.

“I was about to give up on you,” she says. “I tried your cell and got your voicemail. Is everything okay?”

“Yeah, of course. Everything’s great. I just had a lot to do.”

“Do you want to come over?”

“Sure.” She gives me directions, and I leave a note and take off.

Liz’s house is on the bluff that overlooks the ocean, and I’m guessing it’s worth at least a million. Of course, they’re just renting for now. “If we stay here, we’ll probably build,” she tells me after a quick tour
of the impressive home. “My mom doesn’t like this kitchen anyway. Have you had dinner yet?”

“Nope.”

“Well, I could fix us something or we could go into town.”

I shrug. “Whichever.”

She gets a sly smile now. “I was thinking if we went into town, well, we might see someone . . . you know, like run into a couple of guys we both sort of like.”

I nod. “Yeah, that could happen.”

“If not, we could at least get something to eat.”

“And if we didn’t care about watching the hometown team getting its clock cleaned, we could stop by the football game.”

She grins. “Yep, that’s sort of what I was thinking too.”

So we get into her car and head for town. We stop at Jack Hammer’s, the local burger dive, and order some dinner. Not really ready for beef just yet, I stick with the fish sandwich and fries.

“It’s so good not being vegan anymore,” I admit as I take a big bite of my fish sandwich. “Eating out could be a real challenge around here.”

“I’ll bet.” She nods as she picks up her burger. “And your energy should be coming back to you too.”

“Yeah.” Of course, I’m also thinking of the energy potion in my shoe bag. “It should.”

“And before long you’ll probably be dancing the shoes right off me.”

I force a laugh. “Oh, I doubt that.”

“No really, you’re good, Heather.” She looks serious now. “But I think your stamina was definitely lagging.”

“I know. I’m glad that Naomi gave me a piece of her mind.”

“And she doesn’t do that too often, either.”

“Not even with your mom?” I ask. “I mean, since they’re such good friends?”

“They talk, but I can tell that Naomi keeps a lot of opinions to herself. I guess that’s for the best.”

“Yeah.”

“I’m surprised at how much I’m starting to like it here in Westport,” she says. “I wish we’d come here under different circumstances. Did you see the letters to the editor today?”

I shake my head as I sip my drink.

“Well, let’s just say I’m glad my parents were already on their way to the airport when the paper came. It was pretty sad.”

“That’s too bad.”

“Yeah, I hate it when debates gets all heated and emotional. People can say and do some pretty mean things. My dad is having this big meeting with the chamber next week, but I’ll bet there will be protesters. It’ll probably turn into a local media circus.”

I just shrug. “Not much you can do about that.”

“No. I just wish it would hurry and get over with.”

I want to ask her which way she wishes it would go, but I have a feeling she’s still uncertain. And I suppose, since I’m starting to appreciate her friendship, well, maybe I don’t really want to know if she’s supporting the development. Maybe ignorance really is bliss in certain situations.

We see a few kids from school at Jack Hammer’s, but not the ones we’d hoped to “run into.” So we head on over to the game. The score already looks dismal and it’s only the second quarter.

“There they are,” says Liz in a quiet voice, nodding down toward the front of the student section.

I reach into my purse and give the little white bag a squeeze, then actually slip it out and into my coat pocket. What can it hurt? I’m
careful to keep my thoughts focused on Hudson, though. No way do I want this to backfire and attract the wrong guy. I suppose I feel just a little bit silly. But I shove those doubts away. I know they only invite bad energy. Instead, I smile and think about how cool it will be when Hudson realizes that he’s madly in love with me!

“Let’s sit up here,” says Liz, pointing to an empty bleacher.

“So far away from them?”

She nods and sits. “Yes, make them come to us. Play hard to get, you know.”

“Oh. Yeah.”

And after about three minutes, just like magic, the two guys spot us and wave, then wander on up and sit down. To my delight, Hudson sits next to me, and Porter sits next to Liz. I didn’t want to admit it, not even to myself, but my greatest fear was that Hudson might be interested in Liz. And, while Porter is okay, it’s Hudson that I’ve set my heart on.

“What a cruddy game,” says Hudson, rubbing his hands together to keep them warm. “We were actually thinking about leaving just now.”

“We just got here,” I say. “We almost didn’t come, but town was pretty dead and we didn’t have anything more exciting going on.”

He laughs. “Yeah, Westport isn’t exactly the hotbed of excitement.”

“Are you guys still coming to our game?” asks Porter.

“Sure,” says Liz. “You guys still coming to Heather’s party?”

“It’s a deal,” says Hudson, smiling at me.

BOOK: Moon White: Color Me Enchanted with Bonus Content
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