After reading some original documents, Brian discovers that the wording has been altered. Instead of quick lime and bitter herbs, the witches were buried with bitumen. They realize that this could have caused a massive explosion, possibly brought on when Cliff tried to ward his property. Brian and Jordan go to the hospital to be with Chase and bring him a care package for the night.
Chase nodded, his lips trembling. Tears rolled down his cheeks. “Thank you. He was pretty great.”
Jordan took his hand, kissing the back of it. “I’ll never forget whacking at that damn elemental with two green sticks covered in marshmallow goo.” She sniffled and laughed. “I was freaking out and you guys took care of me. I remember, I almost slapped your mother.”
Chuckling, Chase nodded. “Lord, I thought you two were gonna have a fight right there. Dad said that took a steel backbone. He told me, She might be little, but that girl’s got more fight than some folks twice her size. He admired the hell out of you.”
“I admired him too. His advice saved our parents from Mr. D. We wouldn’t have had any idea what to do.”
“Thanks so much for coming by. Marissa and her folks were here for awhile. It was good to have them, too.”
“Have they figured out what’s wrong with your mom?” Jordan asked gently, holding his hand.
“Yeah. She has a bad heart and it gave out when she saw him. She’s getting a pace maker tomorrow.”
“Do you want us here?” Brian offered.
“My grandparents will be here. I think it will be crowded enough with the four of them.”
“Yeah. Okay, but you call me if you need me.”
“Both of us,” Jordan added.
“Thanks. I’d better get back upstairs. They’re supposed to set me up with a bed. Tell your folks thanks for the clothing and stuff.”
“I’d have brought mine….”
“But you’re Sasquatch.” Chase chuckled, swatting Brian’s arm. “It’s cool. Thanks.”
Jordan flung her arms around him, kissing his cheeks. Sobbing, she ran out the front door. Brian bid a hasty farewell and followed her. He was only marginally aware of Chase heading back to his mother’s room. He found Jordan standing in the parking lot, choking on sobs, gasping for breath.
“You okay, babe?”
Instead of replying, she clung to him, burying her face in his chest. “That could have been you! Or one of our parents! None of us are safe. And what are we going to do, down by two people? This makes us weaker.”
“We’ll manage. I don’t know how, but we will. Maybe we will call in some of the others from the Network. That’s someone else’s job and worry, Jordan. If they need us to do something, they’ll tell us.”
Their parents were still reading through the books and papers when they returned.
“How’s Dora?” Maribelle asked.
“She needs a pace maker,” Brian replied.
“I was afraid of that,” Jackie said. “She’s been putting it off, saying she was too young. I used to work for a cardiologist. We had to put one into a five year old once.” She shook her head.
“What are we going to do?” Jordan asked. “We’ve lost two people. Are we strong enough without them?”
The adults exchanged a knowing look.
“What?” Brian hadn’t missed it.
“We’ve put out a call,” Miles replied. “We’re waiting for response. Not everyone can get away at a moment’s notice, but those who can, will come.”
As if on cue, car doors slammed outside. They heard a motor running in the driveway. Brian glanced at the clock. It was after 11:00. There were voices and movement on the porch. Miles joined him, peeping out the window. With a huge grin, he flung open the door.
Dr. Meru burst happily into the house, laughing loudly as he hugged Miles, pummeling him on the back. He gave Brian the same treatment. Behind him, a quiet, pretty woman waited.
“This is my lovely wife, Willa. And somewhere, my son. Ah, here he is. This is Dwight.”
“Welcome!” Miles ushered them in.
Willa was as quiet as her husband was loud. She had delicate features and looked more like she was from India. They weren’t surprised to find out that she was a native of Sri Lanka. Dwight was an interesting mixture of his parents. His skin was lighter than his father’s, but he had the same wide mouth and full lips. His upper face was much more like his mother’s, with black, arched eyebrows.
“My fiancée, Kiersten couldn’t join us on our flight, but she will be here by Thursday morning,” Dwight assured them. “We will all gladly fill in as needed.”
“Absolutely,” Willa agreed.
The additional noise woke Elise. She was much admired and passed around until she fell asleep in Dwight’s arms. Fortunately, Lucy and Katie stayed asleep.
“Do we know what happened to Cliff?” Meru asked, his loud voice now soft and gentle.
“We aren’t entirely sure,” Miles replied. “From what we can tell, it had something to do with the witches buried under his land.”
“What?” Meru tried to keep his voice down, but nearly lost it.
Elise fussed, nuzzling at Dwight’s chest. He passed her to Maribelle.
© 2017 Dellani Oakes
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