Rosy found the dragon napping with the cats, in the front window of the shoppe. “Excuse me, Destiny,” said Rosy, nervously. “I was just wondering if I might, well, if you wouldn’t mind if, I mean, would be okay with you, if I slept under your wing again tonight.”
The dragon looked away and smiled. He didn’t want to seem too easy, after all. “I can barely feel you and I don’t mind, so yes, you can sleep under my wing again tonight.”
“Thank you dragon,” said Rosy, bowing a little. “I’m at your service.”
“LuLu,” said her mother, suddenly appearing in front of her, “you made a real friend in Shaville. She enjoyed meeting you and is looking forward to Thursday night. She’s definitely an ally because of you. Merlin sat as mediator but it’s clear there are two camps. One for war and the one for peace. Your reputation as The One to end the Fairy Wars has spread, so the warring faction will be coming at you until this is over. I was happy to hear that my sister let you use the sword. Will and Vincent have been released from Elizabeth’s unreasonable law, by the way.”
“I’m so happy to see you and hear the good news,” said LuLu, hugging her mother tightly.
“My Lady,” said Rosy, bowing. “I have come to help.”
“Thank you,” said LuLu’s mother, graciously, staring at the sprite. “Your help welcome and now that you are here, you will be under my protection.”
“Lady,” said Rosy, once again, looking at LuLu, her eyes wide with surprise.
LuLu told her mother what happened while she was gone. She mentioned Rocky and Mitzi and told her about the soldiers that Will and Vincent didn’t recognize. The entire time she spoke, she made pies.
“Edith said that Poe is driving her insane, waiting for your pies,” laughed her mother. “So if there are any left tonight, please sent them to her.”
“I just pulled a card, LuLu,” said Chicago, “and it’s the Hierophant. I don’t like him. He’s patriarchy at its worst. The pope, rules that bind people, discord, division, male dominance, religion, fanaticism, war, disharmony and the lot. It means the one in charge of the warring side is male and hiding behind a Queen’s skirt.”
LuLu pulled four pies out of the oven.
“FIFTEEN MINUTES UNTIL OPENING,” shouted Marion, from the front of the shoppe. “They’re lined up and waiting.”
Chicago pulled another card. “Five of Swords, adversaries, war, dishonor. Well, that makes sense, doesn’t it. Only those people would want war to begin with, right?”
“Thank you Chicago,” said LuLu’s mother. “Edith would like you to return to the Emporium. There’s a party in the works and she said she needs you.”
“I’ll come back here when I can,” said Chicago. “LuLu, pick a card.”
LuLu, pulled a card from the deck and placed it on the table.
Chicago smiled. “Ten of Pentacles. Home, family, safety and all good things. You can’t loose and I can leave with a full heart.”
LuLu was saying goodbye to Chicago when Will came in the back door, grabbed her arm and dragged her into the bathroom. Once there he slammed the door and pushed her agains the wall, covering her body with his. He leaned down and kissed her, a small groan escaping his lips. “I can’t think about anything but you,” he said. “I just needed to kiss you and hold you for a few minutes. Vincent and I encountered some trouble but I think the Red Birds….” he went in for another kiss. “…are using thugs from the underworld. We have more inquires…to make but I’m almost sure…that’s what’s happening,” he said, running his hands down her body. “How much time do we have in here?”
LuLu laughed and pushed him away. “Not nearly enough.”
“OPENING,” shouted Marion.
“I have to go,” said LuLu, pulling him in for one last kiss.
Customers invaded the shop, the regulars taking favorite seats, while new people looked for places to sit.
LuLu saw a woman ask Mrs. Swenson if she could join her. Mrs. Swenson, who had been alone for several years, nodded cheerfully. She cut Mrs. Swenson a large slice of apple, peach pie, with walnuts and sprinkled pink sugar on top. She added cherry, peppermint ice cream on the side. For the new arrival she cut cherry and added whipped cream and vanilla bean ice cream, dribbled with chocolate. Marion delivered their plates and both women smiled with delight.
Raven and Sweetheart, perched on the cash register, watched people enjoy their morning. Mitzi removed empty dishes with perfect grace and timing, while Marion poured coffee. Life seemed wonderful and normal and LuLu started humming as she plated up the perfect pie for each person, until Reba ran through the front door and threw herself at LuLu. “CC’s missing,” she cried.