Marissa and Chase are having even more relationship problems than usual. Although he claims to love her, he’s pressuring her to have sex. Marissa cares for Chase, but she’s very religious and has very rigid principles of behavior. She won’t even let him kiss her in public. It’s becoming a major problem for their Circle.
Marissa hung her head, lips trembling. “He hates me so!”
“Who hates you, honey?”
“Chase! He despises me! He can hardly stand to be near me and we’re always arguing.”
Jordan said nothing, letting her mother take the lead. Jackie knew about the problems between Chase and Marissa. Everyone knew. It had been worse since Cliff’s death, but had been building steadily to a head for the last two years. Now, more than ever, she saw changes between the two of them that she knew meant trouble.
“He doesn’t hate you,” Jackie said. “If anything, he loves you to distraction. But you’re frustrating him, dear. He’s a man.”
“Does that mean I should drop my panties and hop in his bed?” Marissa’s infamous temper flared, making the rose plates on the wall rattle.
“No. It means just what I said. He’s a man, with a man’s urges.”
“So’s Brian and he’s not always fussing at Jordan about—things.”
“Brian isn’t Chase. Not only that, Jordan gives him a bit more than you’ve ever given Chase. I’m not saying she’s been indiscrete,” Jackie said, her eyes flickering over to meet her daughter’s glare. “I mean she allows closeness, intimacy—not sexual—but loving. Do you let Chase hug you? Give you more than a little peck on the cheek?”
“No, ma’am. Things like that put impure thoughts in a man’s head.”
Jackie almost lost it. “Sweetheart, those thoughts are already there. Even a man with the self-control of a saint, has trouble with that. You have to give him a chance to be a man.”
“I’m not going—”
Jackie held up a hand, stopping Marissa’s rant. “Did I say that? I’m not condoning pre-marital sex. Even if we’re destined to be together, doesn’t mean that sex is for the taking. All I’m saying is, give the guy something. A kiss, a hug.”
“Throw him a fucking bone, Riss. You nearly froze his dick!” Jordan joined in rather loudly. Marissa’s Puritanical attitude annoyed her. They were friends only because of the Circle. Otherwise, she would have had nothing to do with the straight laced girl. “Brian knows his limits. He’s not pawing all over me.”
“He was earlier,” Marissa spat out angrily.
Jordan smirked, her eyebrows arched. “And how far did he get before I nearly broke his fingers? Seriously, Riss. I have him on a tight leash. He hates it, but he knows that eventually we’ll be together. It’s a given in my mind, and his.”
“I don’t want to know this part,” Jackie said, sighing. “It’s an inevitability…. At least I know Brian and love him like my own. You could do far worse for yourself, but not any better. The same applies to you, Marissa. Chase is a wonderful boy. But I see a crisis looming. If you don’t get this situation resolved, you will cause an irreparable rift in your Circle. I know Heath’s just spoken to Chase.”
“How do you know?”
“You get a feeling for it,” Jordan said. “When you get past—where you and Chase are. You know what he’s thinking, feeling, what he’s going to do next.” She pointed at the doorway, counting down, “Three, two, one….”
Brian popped around the doorframe, grinning. “Heath wants to know if we want lemonade out here or in the crystal room?”
“Which does he want?” Jackie asked.
“He said you’d say that. He wants out here.”
“That’s what I want, too, as it happens.”
“He said you’d say that, too.” He winked at Jordan and went back inside.
“That,” Jordan said with a smug grin.
“All couples have that to a degree. Just we have it more.”
“Why did Dad freak when you told him you were craving fried foods?” Jordan asked.
Jackie giggled. “Because the only time I crave fried foods is when I’m pregnant. I’m not, I promise. But I’m not entirely sure what brought it on. We know it isn’t either of you two.”
The girls exchanged a glance, grinning. “It’s Louisa,” they chorused.
“You think? She and Andre haven’t been married that long.”
“Seriously, Mom? They were having sex for ages.”
“Thank you for waiting,” Jackie said, her face serious. “Don’t make me a grandmother too soon, please.”
“No intention of it. We have to get our educations first. I don’t even want to get married until after we graduate from college.”
“Good idea. Ah, here we are!”
© 2017 Dellani Oakes