Brian gives Chase an ultimatum. Get his relationship worked out, or Brian will remove Marissa from the Circle.
“Who? Just who will you get?”
“Sweet has a sister our age.”
“You could throw me out and find someone else for Marissa,” Chase suggested, taking a step toward his friend. “Louisa has a brother our age.”
“I need you. I don’t need Marissa.”
“You need? Since when is any of this yours? We’re all in this shit together.”
“And I claimed the Circle. Or, I should say, it claimed me. Someone has to be the Voice of the Circle and that’s me. And I’m telling you to resolve this problem immediately, or I’ll solve it for you. I’ll toss Marissa out on her shapely ass and initiate Sweet’s sister in a heartbeat. Don’t think I won’t. And you’ll be stuck with her instead of Marissa. Is that what you want?”
“You can’t do that! It has to be our choice.”
Brain pursed his lips, shaking his head. “Nope. It really doesn’t. It’s nice if you choose, but for the good of the Circle, the Voice can throw out a member.”
“That’s what you’re calling yourself now? The Voice?”
“That’s what the Powers That Be call me.”
“How are you so sure that you’re the Voice? Could be I am.”
“You’re too intent on fucking things up. The Voice has to be calm and reasonable, not wingeing about his balls all the time. Get a grip, dude. Do you think it’s easy for any of us? I want Jordan so damn bad, I can hardly breathe, sometimes. But I’m not badgering her to get laid. I’m really sorry Marissa’s like she is. God knows I’ve heard enough about it from both of you to last me a lifetime. But you get this resolved, put it behind you, or she’s out.”
“I love her!” Chase stepped aggressively forward, nearly toe to toe with Brian.
“Prove it!” Brian roared. The ground trembled slightly and the wind picked up. “Prove it by working it out. I don’t care what you have to do, or what it takes. You have three days. If it’s not solved by then, I’m replacing Marissa. Tell her that.”
“You tell her! You’re the fucking Voice.”
“Fine. I’ll tell her she has three days to get her act together, or she’s gone.”
“You can’t say it like that! You’ll break her heart.”
Turning sharply, Brian headed back to the house.
“Brian!” Chase called to his friend. “You can’t do that!”
Brian spun around, walking backwards. “Watch me.” Arms out, he sent a challenge Chase’s way.
Growling, Chase lowered his head and ran at Brian. He was fast and agile, but no match for Brian’s blast of wind. It knocked him off his feet, setting him on the ground. Gasping for breath, Chase glared at his friend. Strands of air solidified and wrapped around Brian’s legs and arms, pinning him in place. Calmly, with a flicker of his fingers, Brian freed himself. Another slight movement and the ground at Chase’s feet rose around his legs, anchoring him. Brian advanced, pointing at his friend.
“You will solve this. You have three days.”
“If you throw her out, I’m leaving too. You can put Sweet’s sister and Louisa’s brother in instead. I’m not doing this without Marissa.”
Brian cocked his head, shrugging. “You can’t leave. If Marissa is the source of your problem, she’s gone. Problem solved. Sweet’s sister is hot. Another blonde. You like those, right?” He turned toward the house, releasing Chase’s legs as he went.
A ball of solid air hit him in the back, making him stagger. Since he’d anticipated an attack, Brian wasn’t surprised. He didn’t want to take on his friend, but Chase wasn’t backing down. Another whoosh of wind, he knocked the air from Chase’s lungs, making him stagger and fall. Instead of speaking, he flashed three fingers.
Hopping in the car, he sent a text to Jordan. “We’re leaving.”
She dashed down the steps and got in the car, the door barely closed before she was settled. She saw Chase in the rearview mirror, picking himself up and dusting off.
“What did you do?”
“Made a point,” Brian sighed. “I need ice cream.”
They rode in silence most of the way to the ice cream parlor.
“Are you going to tell me?”
Brian flashed a glance her way. “Taking care of Circle business.”
“Could you be anymore enigmatic?”
He turned into a parking place and shut off the car. “You know when I told you a couple weeks ago, that the Circle claimed me?”
“Yeah. The Voice thing. What about it?”
“Part of my job is to make sure things run smoothly in the Circle. Interpersonal relationships, and so on.”
“Yeah, like the Circle HR. So?”
“So, with Chase and Marissa fighting, things aren’t running smoothly. I told him that he has three days to solve things with Marissa or I’m throwing her out.”
© 2018 Dellani Oakes
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