Things came together quickly after the "showdown" in the meadow. Once again the meadow was safe and everyone else in Mystic Cove was none the wiser.
Overall my dad wasn't that mad at me other than a brief chastising about going around behind his back and undermining the mayor, whether it had been in cahoots with his son or not.
Getting the ball rolling was relatively easy I left that up to Aiden who was able to talk his dad down about moving the recreation center. Aiden and I had decided that if the recreation center was moved to the other end of town, where there were no existing buildings the establishment could stretch to the mayor's content and nothing was in harm's way. Aiden and I discussed this meeting between Aiden and his father for days laughing between anecdotes, primarily over the fact that his father seemed to have gotten it into his head that Aiden would make a good politician. I had no doubt he would, if he were so inclined at any rate.
"Maybe Ellen isn't the only one who wants you to run for mayor." I murmured giving Aiden a small smile from where we sat at our usual table at Ellen's diner.
Aiden shrugged looking nonplussed.
"I told you Mackenzie," his lips lifted in a slight smile, "that's not really my thing."
I shrugged in answer to his comment.
"I don't know," I replied, "maybe it could be, I think you would be good at that type of thing."
Aiden gave a tremulous smile. "Maybe someday…" He pinned me with a steady gaze from his clear green eyes, "a LONG way away."
"I'll be your campaign manager!" I responded gleefully.
Aiden rolled his eyes.
"Okay Mackenzie, whatever floats your boat."
I was about to say something else when Aiden glanced at his watch cursing briefly under his breath.
"What time did your dad say the groundbreaking was?"
"10." I answered succinctly and saw Aiden nod in response.
"That gives us little over half an hour." He responded, as it was not unusual for the two of us to stay in the diner talking for an hour or two.
I reached over gently to touch his arm.
"Don't sweat it; I'm sure they wouldn't start without us."
The landscape of the soon to be recreation center was barren and nondescript just a normal, deserted, area of land at the edge of town. Gathered at this spot was nearly the entire town all formed in various layers in a circle around Aiden's father. Standing near the mayor you the front of the circle was my own dad, his hands in the pockets of his slacks wearing a button up shirt with no tie, not as dressed down as his normal work attire, but not as formal as the mayor who was in a suit and tie.
Aiden and I were also standing near the front of the circle looking on as someone handed mayor Michaels a microphone.
He mumbled into the microphone for a few minutes before clearing his throat and raising his voice.
"Hello, hello, I hope you all can hear me. This is a historic day for this town as we begin a grand project for the outreach of this community, particularly our young people." He nodded surreptitiously at Aiden and I at least that's what it seemed like.
The mayor continued.
"This project and what will be I hope a great asset to this community and has been a long time coming. We've had some ups and downs…"
I snorted, leave it to the mayor to gloss over the ruckus Aiden and I had caused prior to the groundbreaking.
"… But overall we continued to press forward in this new journey together."
"Laying it on a bit thick isn't he?" I muttered to Aiden who nodded slightly but I just saw the slightest hint of a smirk crossing his lips.
Without further preamble the mayor dug into the ground with a shovel. The rest of the work would be done with the backhoes that would be coming in the following day. The crowd cheered and I smile over at my dad who smiled back, giving me a thumbs up.
As the crowd broke up I made my way from Aiden's side over to where my father was standing. "I'm so proud of you." I said as I reached out to him and my dad smiled and nodded before retthe hug.
"Thank you Kenzie." He murmured his eyes soft.
"Mom would be proud." I whispered.
My dad looked up at the brilliant summer sky.
"I know she's out there somewhere watching over us both," he murmured softly, "but wherever she is I know she's smiling."
Before I could reply however the mayor strode up to us extending his hand to my dad. His tone was jovial as ever his mouth stretched in a wide grin.
"Congratulations Mr. Hunter, I'm looking forward to seeing your vision come to life."
My dad returned the handshake.
"I wouldn't count your chickens yet," my dad returned, "as an architect I believe its bad luck to christen a building before the foundation and walls are up."
Mayor Michaels chuckled heartily.
"Superstitious are you?" He asked.
My dad shrugged looking slightly embarrassed. "Not at all sir, I just don't want to get too far ahead of myself, roots before branches you know."
Chris Michaels nodded but I knew he had absolutely no idea what my dad was talking about. At heart however, I knew my dad was saying something about building a firm foundation in something before taking care of the details, and at the moment the details were all the mayor was concerned about.
Afterwards my dad excused himself and continued to talk to the other people around him meanwhile Aiden and I made our escape, I was getting tired of being around the crowd anyway and one in some alone time with my boyfriend. (Yes, I said boyfriend). I don't know when Aiden and I decided to make it official probably sometime after the meadow incident but we wanted to continue to get to know each other better and for the first time in a long time I felt like I belonged.
We continued to walk hand-in-hand towards Magpie which was blissfully left undisturbed after our standoff with the mayor. Just as we were approaching the curb something soft and furry brushed my ankles.
I look down in just enough time to see the cat darting after a butterfly and disappearing into the overgrown grass. Just as Miso disappeared the meadow shivered into view. Without saying a word Aiden and I walked forward and didn't let go of each other's hands until we had reached our spot next to the big rock in the center of the meadow.
The butterflies swirled around us tickling my face and alighting in my hair. Within moments our laughter rang across the open space as Aiden pulled me down beside him kissing me soundly. Something shimmered about me as Aiden pulled me down for another kiss, I shook my head, Cyrus and his soundproof, sight proof shield so he wouldn't have to see or hear us making out.
This would always be our place, a place where we would always be safe and uninterrupted…this place, our place, where butterflies go.