Heath and Jackie decide that Brian and his mother don’t need to be alone and insist that they sleep over at the Barrett home.
“Mom and I heard a weather report. They expect a storm late tonight. Probably won’t be school tomorrow. Even if there is, Mom is so freaked, it’s unlikely she’ll let us go.”
“I don’t want to start on any of this tonight. I’m beat. I just want a shower to get the smell of smoke out of my hair.”
Jordan showed him the bathroom and got him out a couple of towels. Before Brian went in the bathroom, she stopped him with a hand on his arm.
“You saved my life tonight,” she said quietly. “I don’t know how to thank you.”
“It’s easy, you just say it.”
“Brian, thank you for saving me,” she whispered. Her dark eyes filled with tears and she leaned toward him.
Feeling drawn to her like a magnet, Brian leaned over. Jordan’s arms went around his neck and she kissed him. It started as a soft, simple kiss, but soon took on a life of its own. Brian dropped his backpack of clothing, clasping Jordan to him. She stood on tiptoe, arms around his neck, holding him close. Brian opened his mouth a little, teasing at Jordan’s lips. She opened to him, kissing him hard.
They broke away from one another, panting. Neither of them had ever experienced anything like that before. Then again, neither of them had fought off a fire elemental before. Smiling nervously, Brian held her waist. Jordan put her hands on his chest, grinning up at him.
“Wow,” he said. “That was the best kiss ever.”
Jordan tossed her hair, smirking. “Of course you’ve had so many.”
“A few,” he replied, defensively. “Even social pariahs have a chance to make out.”
Jordan shoved him playfully away, but he didn’t let go. She didn’t want him to. Her emotions still ran high—fear and excitement had her adrenaline pumping. Even though she wanted another kiss, she knew they shouldn’t. Stepping away, she pulled his hands from her waist, holding them between her own.
“Thank you, Brian. That’s the greatest thing anyone’s ever done for me.” She gave him a quick kiss on the lips before dashing off to her room.
Brian watched her go, wishing she would stay. He’d had a few girlfriends over the years, but none of them had ever been serious and hadn’t gone beyond kissing. Having Jordan kiss him like that made him understand why so many of his friends were already having sex. Not that he ever expected to get to that point with Jordan—he just could understand it now like he never had before. Maybe it was the fear making his nerves jangle. Or maybe it was the thrill of having a beautiful girl kiss him.
Trying to set those thoughts aside, he got in the shower. It took awhile to get the stench off him, but he eventually toweled dry and got into his pajama pants and T-shirt. Normally, he slept only in his boxers, but it was far colder than most nights. He crawled into the bed, folding his arms behind his head. He stared a long time at the ceiling, thinking over the last few days. His life was crazy, but having Jordan around made it bearable. She understood what he’d been experiencing and didn’t think he was completely out of his mind. Finding out that Chase had been having similar experiences made him wonder how many other people had. He couldn’t think of a good way to find out. Maybe Jordan would.
Jordan’s face floated in front of him and he felt her lips on his once more. With her in his mind, he fell asleep.
Jordan woke in the middle of the night. Despite her pajamas, warm socks and extra blankets, she was cold. A chill wind blew in around windows, finding chinks and gaps that no human ever would. Was this another attack? Or was this simply a natural occurrence? She didn’t know. Her room was dark, not even the night light in the corner was lit. The power was out. Jordan shivered, terrified. She never liked losing power, but considering all that was going on with her, Brian and the elements, she was terrified. At least she had a flashlight in the drawer beside her bed. She reached for it and turned it on. She couldn’t sleep with the lights out, but maybe she could read a book.
Something glittered around the edge of her window. Getting out of her warm bed, she crept to the window. The glass was cold to the touch, Jack Frost’s patterns were scattered across the panes, but didn’t stop there. Little by little, frost crept in around the wooden frame, filling the gaps with crystals. When Jordan came close, the ice receded slightly when her warm breath struck it. It halted, waiting. As soon as she inhaled, the ice advanced again.
Terrified, Jordan backed away from the window. The wind increased. She could feel it sneaking in with the ice. Grabbing her robe and slippers, she ran from her room, shutting the door against the advancing cold. The only thought in her mind was to get somewhere the ice couldn’t reach her—Brian. She needed Brian. Running down the stairs, she burst through the door to the den. Brian sat up in bed, startled and disoriented. Jordan flew at him, hopping on the bed. She scrambled under the covers, pulling them over her head. She huddled under the blankets, trembling. Brian lay on his side, rubbing her back over the covers.
© 2016 Dellani Oakes
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