The families with girls will decide if they want their daughters considered by the Beaumont Circle. Brian asks Chase and Marissa what they want. When Chase doesn’t speak up, Marissa allows herself to be considered for the new Circle. Angry and hurt, Chase starts a fight with Brian.
Instead of hitting him with his fist, Chase shoved him with a gust of wind. Brian reciprocated with a blast of cold water. The battle became elemental after that, each of the boys using their weapons of choice. Though Brian could wield fire and earth as effectively as water and air, he chose to fight Chase with his own elements. He didn’t want to risk hurting his friend with fire and he was too angry to incorporate earth. If he did, he was afraid he’d start something he couldn’t control.
They circled one another, blasting and splashing for ten minutes or so, neither making a definitive attack. Brian knew he could beat Chase, but he had no intention of humiliating him like that. He wanted his friend to see his errors, not wallow in them. However, it was becoming obvious that he was going to have to do something definitive before Chase would figure it out.
“Is that all you’ve got? If Mr. D and the others attack, are you going to splash them with muddy water?” Brian taunted, knocking Chase back with another blast of air.
“You’re one to talk. This is nothing. I can do this all day.”
“If you do, you know what will happen? Marissa will leave us and go with the other group. Another man will be her chosen mate. Another man will marry her, make love to her, give her children. Another man will bring her to the heights of passion, be her first and only lover. Another man will take your woman from you.” Each time he said Man, Brian slapped Chase with icy cold water, right in the gut. Each blast was harder, colder. “That sweet release you’ve longed for will belong to another, because you weren’t man enough to fight for the woman you love. Do you love her, Chase? You don’t act like you do. You say it, but I don’t see it.”
“I love her. You know I do.”
“I don’t believe it. Prove it.” He splashed Chase again.
Chase whisked the water away, drying his body completely. Taking the water Brian had drenched him with, he sent it back in long, hot blast. It wasn’t scalding, but it was enough to turn Brian’s skin red.
“I still don’t believe you,” Brian shouted. “If you don’t want Marissa, maybe I’ll take her myself. Luminous Cayce had more than one lover. Maybe I will too!” He reached behind him and grabbed Marissa’s hand, dragging her forward. Before she or Chase could stop him, he kissed her passionately, deeply, lifting her off her feet. Marissa dangled helplessly as he continued to kiss her.
“No!” Chase roared, lunging at his friend. “You let her go!” He slapped Brian in the arm with the back of his hand. “You let her go! She’s my wife!”
“Not married yet,” Brian said, an evil glint in his eyes. “Be careful, Chase, or I’ll take her from you.”
“Stop it!” Marissa screeched, shoving violently at Brian.
He dropped her, but Chase caught her as she fell.
“How dare you!”
Brian felt ice forming on his lips and knew that Marissa was retaliating. At least she hadn’t gone further down. He allowed her attack for a moment before brushing it away with the back of his hand. Panting, he smiled.
“If you fought that hard for her all the time, we wouldn’t be here right now. Will you fight for your love, Chase? Marissa? Will you defend each other and the Circle with everything you’ve got? Even if it means fighting me?”
“Yes,” Marissa said. “How dare you even suggest that you’d have me and Jordan, too. That’s sick, Brian.”
“You can’t have both,” Chase said. “I thought we were friends, Brian.”
“We are friends. And she’s your mate. But if you can’t look past your own hurt to see that, you’re useless to me.”
Rather than replying, Chase charged him, hitting Brian low and hard with his shoulder. He tackled his friend, straddling him. Arm raised, he prepared to slam Brian in the nose, but his fist wouldn’t connect. He looked up and saw Neil pointing at him, muttering. No matter how he tried to hit Brian, he couldn’t. Roaring with frustration, he shoved Brian with a blast of wind before getting up.
“We done now?” Neil asked. “You over this?” He put his hand on Chase’s chest and pushed him back.
Chase thrust his uncle’s hands aside. Furious, he rushed Brian again, but Neil blocked him.
“What is wrong with you? I thought Cliff taught you better, to see past yourself, to appreciate your place in the Circle. No matter what, you can’t do it. Brian, I swear to god, kid, you should banish them both. He’s no damn good to you this way.”
“What? You can’t!” Chase bellowed.
Shaking his head, Brian sighed. “Chase, I really hoped that you’d grow some balls and step up. It will weaken my Circle to put you both out, but you’ve left me no choice. We won’t have the unbinding ritual until after meeting with the Texas contingent, but as of right now, you’re out. Both of you.”
© 2018 Dellani Oakes