While listening to a recording that Cliff made of Evageline Cayce’s writings, they discover something interesting. Opal Cayce wasn’t the girl’s birth mother. They find a portrait of the Cayce family, which shows all of them, except Olivander, who wasn’t yet born.
“Evangeline was the eldest. She was fourteen when this was painted,” Jordan said.
“How do you know that?” Chase asked.
“Says on the wall,” she pointed to a plaque. “This was painted the summer a few months before the big Halloween battle. Boy, Opal looks like a bitch, doesn’t she? What a scowl!”
The dark haired woman did look sour. She was a pretty woman, but something had warped her personality until she was mean and twisted.
“That’s Evangeline,” Marissa said, pointing to a pretty blonde who stood right next to her father.
The brooding Opal was dark of complexion and her hair was nearly ebony in color. It was doubtful, given what they knew of genetics, that she was Evangeline’s mother. Besides, there were no shared features between the teenager and the woman. Several of the younger children looked more like their mother than their father, except for the eldest son. He looked more mulatto than white.
“Look at these kids,” Brian said. “They can’t all be Opal’s. They don’t look a thing like her, but look a hell of a lot like their dad.”
“Well, he had kids on both sides of the sheets,” Marissa said primly. “Men and their dalliances….”
“I think Luminous can be excused a little bit,” Jordan said. “If you were married to someone like Opal, how would you like it? I think he showed restraint not choking the woman in her sleep.”
“She was still the mother of his children,” Brian said solemnly. “That may not seem like a big deal to some, but to a man like Luminous, that would mean everything. He might not have loved her, but he honored the fact that she’d nurtured his seed.”
It was a strangely archaic way to say it, but those were the words he chose. He’d had Luminous in his head. He knew, although the other man had tried, he hadn’t loved his wife for several years. Because she was his wife, he had children with her, but he found love in other places. Acknowledging his children from his mistresses, had infuriated Opal. She felt that her children, those of the lawful union, were the only ones that were important. She didn’t like the fact that his other women were allowed to be part of the household and did her best to undermine them. She drugged and seduced her husband in order to conceive Olivander, the baby who was born after her death.
“She bore my fruit six times,” Brian said.
“Hm, what?” Jordan shook her head, glaring at him. “Your fruit?”
“Sorry. I still get flashbacks of Luminous from time to time. His fruit. I haven’t had any fruit,” he complained.
“Nope, only nuts,” Chase joked, nudging his friend.
“Oh, ha ha. Thanks for that reminder.”
“I understand, Brian. I shared with Opal, remember? Sometimes, I still can sense her. It makes me feel dirty inside and I want to do IV Clorox. Fortunately, I wasn’t with her as long as you were with Luminous.”
“She had him under some sort of compulsion spell,” Brian said. “She used sex to do it.”
“Sex would do it for most men,” Chase remarked.
Marissa punched him.
“What? She’s hot, in a completely psychotic bitch sort of way. She’s totally do-able. Wouldn’t you say, Brian?”
His friend was too smart to reply, but he secretly agreed. When he’d had Luminous inside him, and Jordan had been possessed by Opal, he’d lusted after her even more than usual. Some of that desire lingered, as if he hadn’t completely dispelled Luminous. He certainly hoped Opal was gone, because she was the kind of crazy that they didn’t need. And he couldn’t even imagine hurting Jordan again. The idea made him a little sick.
“So,” he forced himself to speak. His voice sounded loud in the echoing room. “We know that Evangeline had to have gotten her Dreamer blood from her dad.”
“Could have been from her mom,” Marissa interjected.
“Unlikely. Her mom wasn’t of the Circle— Or maybe she was. Hell, he could have been doing them all and we wouldn’t know,” Chase said.
The girls each punched an arm.
“Ow! Yeah, hit me for being honest! Not everyone’s Puritanical.”
“Stop,” Brian said. “Okay? To a lesser or greater degree, we all feel it. Us probably more than the girls…. But honest to God, Chase, if you don’t stop talking about how Marissa’s a prude and you want to get laid, I might have to hit you myself. You don’t want that.”
Chase examined his friend. He hadn’t really paid attention to how much Brian had grown. Not only was he taller, he’d filled out as well. His muscles were well toned from working out with Jordan and her father. Where two years ago he’d looked like a big, gawky kid, now he looked like a man in his prime. The glower on his face made him quite fierce.
© 2017 Dellani Oakes