Fair Warning: When Tis Done is more mature than the prior two books. I have toned it down, but it still may not be appropriate for readers under 17.
Neil and Cynthia eat their ice cream, then things progress. Strangely, when they kiss for the first time, both of them start to glow.
“What the hell is going on?” he asked, hopping up.
“I don’t know!”
“Do you suppose we’re doing this—everywhere?”
Cynthia looked at her breasts, they were certainly shining brightly. “Drop your pants.”
“Let’s see if it’s everywhere.”
He stopped moving, eyeing her dubiously. Moving jerkily, he undid his pants, pulling out the waistband of his boxers enough that he could see. His eyes grew wide and his face glowed bright pink.
“That shit’s not right!”
“Like a neon undercarriage,” he breathed.
Cynthia grinned, peeping down her jeans. “Day-glow here too.”
“What’s in that ice cream?”
“I don’t think it’s the ice cream and neither do you.”
“What’s going on, Cynthia? What haven’t y’all told me?”
“I think we need a pot of coffee.”
She got up and put on her shirt, much to Neil’s distress. He certainly hadn’t seen the evening going quite this way. Following her to the kitchen, he pulled his own shirt on, then washed the bowls and spoons as she set up coffee.
“We were the odd ones out,” Cynthia said. “The cast offs, if you will.”
“The bad penny.”
“Yeah. All my life, I felt left out, like I was missing out on something special.”
“And then Cliff died. I felt it happen, down in my soul. It ripped me in two. I was at work, and I fell down, sobbing and throwing up. I didn’t know why, until I got the call, that he was gone.”
“I’m so sorry, Cynthia. That would be the worst thing in the world.”
“It was horrible. And I knew it was my turn. I got here as fast as I could, only to get thrown into the kind of craziness I’d never dreamed of. Swear to God, I thought we were gonna die. I’ll tell you about that in a minute.”
They went through the brief ritual of fixing their coffee, taking it back to the living room. Foot to foot once more, Cynthia told them about fighting Opal Cayce. Had he not been raised to believe, he wouldn’t have. To him, it made sense, although it was fantastical just the same.
“So, that kid…Brian. He and his girlfriend duked it out as Opal and Luminous? Far out.”
“You wouldn’t think so if you’d seen it. I was scared spitless. Our Circle was weakened because Cliff was gone. It’s out of balance now, with me and Dora in it. We need a man to make us whole.” She set her cup down on the table beside her. “We need you, Neil. I need you.”
“You need to take Dora’s place in the Circle, just like I took Cliff’s. There has to be a balance of male to female. With Cliff gone, the balance is out of whack. I firmly believe that Opal was able to use that imbalance against us. She almost won. If it hadn’t been for Dr. Meru, she would have.”
“All my life, I knew that one of us would grow up to be the chosen one for our Circle. I always assumed, because I was older by five minutes, that it would be me. Then we turned fifteen—and I knew…. Dora was the golden grain and I was the chaff. For three years, I watched as she grew closer to our friends, learned things I could never do, and fulfilled some ages old prophecy.”
“That’s why you left when you graduated. And why you haven’t been back since.”
His eyes held deep abiding pain. “Yes. I couldn’t stand it. There was one thing I missed about Miracle, Mississippi, though.”
He leaned forward, crawling toward her again. “I missed the girl who set my soul on fire. The one who woke feelings in me that no one else has ever done. You were a scraggly-assed little girl, with no tits, braces and straw colored hair, and I loved you more than my own life. Cliff and Dora sent me pictures of you and I watched you grow up from that little girl, to the most beautiful woman in the world.”
His kiss was powerful, barely controlled. His skin was hot, and he could see the glow of them even with his eyes closed. Pressing her body against his, he deepened the kiss. The light between them flared, making shadows dance in the far corners. Lifting her in his arms, Neil carried her upstairs to her room. He knew this house as well as his own, having spent nearly as much time here as he had at home. Setting her in the middle of the bed, he pulled off his shirt before taking hers off once more.
© 2017 Dellani Oakes
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