I turned over the sign in the window so that my shop was now marked 'open' instead of 'closed.' I honestly had no idea how well a shop aimed at junior girls would sell in this town.
Mystic Falls: A Historical Town, home of the falls. That's what the sign into the town said, and the website, and the poster in the window of the incredibly small tourist information office.
It had history, alright. Vampires, werewolves, witches. The usual. And no, none of those creatures are made up.
I, myself, happen to be one of those creatures. I never chose to be a vampire. It wasn't until my stepfather suffocated my mother and I on my twentieth birthday, before taking his own life, that I knew vampires existed. I'd come back to life. She hadn't. She'd been putting vampire blood in my drinks for months, as she had a feeling his anger would get the best of him.
I ran from England after that, moving from country to country, trying to find a place where I fitted in. I was in New York when I heard about Mystic Falls, and after finding a reservation in a small B&B, I decided this was it.
I put the shop together super-fast, snacking on deer in the woodland to satisfy my hunger. I'd been given a ring in Australia by an Aboriginee woman my mother somehow knew, which meant I could go out in the sunlight without being burnt to a crisp.
It was now my third week in Mystic Falls and my shop was attracting a rather large crowd outside. I smiled and brushed a strand of my golden blonde hair out of my face.
"We're open for business!" I announced, stepping aside to allow some eager teenage girls inside. "Let me know if you need any help."
I noticed three girls who often seemed to be in the local restaurant, The Mystic Grill, smile at me. I'd heard them speaking to each other before; Caroline, Bonnie and Elena.
The brunette with the large bambi-looking eyes walked over to me with a smile. "I know you've only just opened the store, but I don't suppose you are looking for staff?"
I could feel her little heart thudding as she smiled politely at me. I shook it off, biting my tongue. Her black-haired friend, Bonnie, was watching me cautiously, and the blonde socialite, Caroline, seemed to be checking out some guy walking past the shop.
"Are you looking for yourself?" I replied after a moment.
"Yes." She nodded. "I just need something to keep me busy at weekends and sometimes after school, you know?"
"Well I could use with the extra help! How about you drop by after school Monday and I'll show you the ropes... Elena is it?"
"Elena Gilbert." She smiled, shaking my hand.
"I'm Ruby Weller." I replied.
"Well Ruby, I guess I'll see you at the carnival later?"
"See you then."
Elena smiled, waved, and then left the shop with her friends. I turned my attention to my first paying customers.
The Mystic Falls harvest carnival was something I had never seen before. Townspeople were roped into the tasks for a small pay, I was on a skittles stall, and children and tourists all enjoyed the rides and entertainment.
I picked up all the skittles and laid them in a triangle, then placed the three balls (one dollar for three shots) in their dish, waiting for someone to try their luck. It was unlikely that anyone would win this game, as the skittles were weighed down with sand. Never trust a carnival game.
"Aren't you supposed to be yelling 'roll up, roll up' or something?" A guy appeared, his eyes ice-blue and his scruffy-yet-sexy hair such a dark brown that it was almost black. He smirked, showing some dazzling white teeth. Stupid pretty, cocky guy.
"I don't think that was part of the contract..." I replied, unsure of what to say.
"No, but haven't you seen the movies? Isn't that what Carnis generally do?" He raised an eyebrow, leaning on the counter so that he was closer to me.
"I wouldn't know, I just work in a shop." I replied with a polite smile.
"Ah, you're the new crazy chick everyone's talking about!"
"Uh, I'm not crazy." I replied, picking up one of the balls and tossing it up and down in my right hand.
"Opening a shop for teenage girls in Mystic Falls is pretty crazy. There's about seventy funerals here a year, and eight weddings, one of which was just a vow renewal."
"Did you make those statistics up to impress me?" I smirked moving closer to him.
He didn't move. "No, I just have a very good memory. That's one of the reasons why I knew you were new here. I have never seen you before, and that's quite a disappointment."
"Okay enough flirting, I'm meant to be working." I stood up straight and placed the wooden ball back on the counter.
The guy handed me a dollar with a smile.
I watched as he picked up a ball and threw it at lightning speed. All of the skittles fell over. I gawped.
"That has to be a fluke." I shook my head and stood up all the skittles again.
"Oh so I'm not good enough?" He smirked throwing the second ball.
"Okay, so maybe you're good but I bet you can't get all three."
"Well this is interesting." He raised an eyebrow and leant back on the counter. "What do you bet?"
This time I raised my eyebrow. "A date?"
"Dinner, not the fruit. If I get another strike, I get to take you out on a date tomorrow night. If I don't get a strike, I'll leave you alone." His eyes sunk into mine and suddenly I felt as if he was trying to control me.
Compulsion? Oh great, a cocky, annoying vampire. I was still determined to help him slip up.
"Okay, you're on." I replied with a smirk.
He picked up the ball, but I quickly snatched it from him. Let's try this one. I handed him a tennis ball, softer than the wooden one so bound to be more of a challenge.
"You think that'll make a difference?" He laughed.
And just like that, the tennis ball hit the middle skittle with such great speed that the rest fell down, almost falling off off the counter.
I sighed, turning to face the guy, who's face had the biggest smirk on it. Shame he was so hot.
"Well, I'll pick you up at the Falls Bed and Breakfast, tomorrow at seven." He stood up straight and ran a hand through his hair.
"Great." I faked a smile, hiding my frown.
"Your name, pretty lady?" He grabbed my hand before I could stop him.
"Ruby. Ruby Weller."
"Well Ruby," he kissed my hand and then released it, "I look forward to tomorrow."
"Yeah me too." I said as he turned to walk away.
He paused before he left, just turning to say one last sentence.
"Oh, and I'm Damon Salvatore."