Chase joins Jordan and Brian when they meet up with the Louisiana group. Ginnfer insults Jordan somewhat, by calling her perky. However, she and the others are far more impressed when they find out that she held off a fire elemental with a greenwood stick.
“Wow, for real?” Andre sat, clasping hands with Chase. His eyes fastened on Jordan and her clingy sweater. He smiled. “Delightful to meet you, Miss Jordan.”
She smirked, raising a wary eyebrow. “Of course it is. What color are my eyes, Romeo?” She closed her eyes before he could peek.
Ginnifer punched Andre—hard. “My eyes are green, you idiot!”
Jordan snorted before taking a sip of her hot chocolate. Ginnifer glared at her. Brian didn’t want to see the day explode in their faces. There was too much going on for them to fight.
“Doesn’t matter,” Brian said. “I don’t care if you hate each other, we have to work together—now. Serious shit is happening. There’s been two very targeted attacks on Jordan. First the fire elementals, then the ice last night.”
“Whoa—on me? We were both in the house.”
“But it was your room,” Brian said. “And the fire elemental headed straight for you.”
“That’s true,” Chase said. “It wasn’t interested in me and Bri at all.”
Jordan paled. Her hands shook as she put her cup down. Ginnifer, in an uncharacteristic moment, took it from her before she spilled it. She put a gentle hand on Jordan’s shoulder.
“All this time, I saw it differently. I thought of it as attacking us, coming after us—not me!”
Ginnifer patted her hand. “When Louisa and I got attacked, the creatures ran past her to get at me. If it hadn’t been for the dog, we wouldn’t have gotten away.”
“That reminds me,” Jordan said. “Where were the dogs last night? We sure could have used them.”
“I wondered the same thing,” Brian said. “Weird that they didn’t show up. They always have before.”
“You don’t think—could that Deidrich guy have anything to do with that? Chase’s dad said he’s been hanging out in the woods. What if he hurt them or something?” Jordan said.
“We can’t really focus on that,” Andre said. “Seems to me we need to see this information and learn what we can about Brian’s amulet.”
“Can we get our own?” Ginnifer asked. “I’d feel safer if I had something.”
“We have no idea what we’re doing,” Chase said. “We could come up with something that had the total opposite effect. We could kill ourselves.”
“They aren’t that tricky,” Jordan said. “My mom has made them and she showed me how. I’m not perfect at it, but I think I can imbue a few stones. I don’t know how much help they will be, but I’ll try.”
“Meanwhile,” Andre persisted. “The files.”
Brian nodded. He booted up the computer and took the flashdrive off his wrist. Once the computer was ready, he plugged it in and went to the menu. He accessed the file marked stones. The file opened, but it was gibberish. It was completely unreadable. Each successive file was like that. They couldn’t read a thing.
“I don’t understand,” Brian said, near panic. “It was fine when we looked at it earlier.”
“Deidrich,” Jordan said. “I bet he did something. I felt all tingly when I touched him, like electrical current running through me. What if he did something?”
“How could he?” Ginnifer complained. “He didn’t touch the flashdrive.”
“No, but he did touch Brian. I wouldn’t put anything past that man. He was so creepy. I hope you never meet him, but if you do, you’ll understand.”
“I have another copy,” Brian said. “It’s safe, for now, but I’d sure feel better if we could make a backup.”
“Where is it?”
Brian and Jordan exchanged a look.
“I’d rather not say in public. I should have made a copy already. I wasn’t thinking straight.”
“What will we do if it’s corrupted too?” Ginnifer asked.
Licking his lips, Brian shook his head. “I don’t know. Start from square one, I guess.”
Since they didn’t have the files to look at, Jordan and Brian told the others what they’d read. They talked about the properties of stones.
Jordan showed them her mother’s site and they read a lot of useful information there. They still didn’t understand what they were supposed to do with it. Knowing about the stones didn’t tell Brian how to use his amulet and didn’t protect the others.
After a couple hours, they decided to head home. It was going to be dark soon and looked like it was going to storm some more. Andre didn’t want to hit bad weather driving home. He and Ginnifer said goodbye. Ginnifer hugged everyone. She was far less confrontational and even hugged Jordan. Chase called his father after Andre and Ginnifer left.Cliff arrived a few minutes later.
© 2016 Dellani Oakes
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