Archive | June 2018

When Tis Done – Part 72

When Tis Done cover smallJordan arrives at Brian’s home the next day, excited because she shared his Dream. Brian remembers it fairly well, and also remembers that, for some reason, he needs to talk to her eldest brother, Scott.

“No. Sometimes it’s really vague, other times, like last night, it’s very realistic. But that was a level I’ve never experienced before. I think it’s because you were there.”

“Why was I there?”

“I don’t know. I think because we need Scott. I don’t know why we need him….”

“I don’t either, but I called him as soon as I got up. Not that it made him very happy, but when I explained what had happened, he promised to call me later this afternoon and we’d all three talk.”

“Good. Do you think he can visit? I get the feeling this is immediate.”

“I don’t know. Maybe he can join us in the Dream?”

“It’s not like a chatroom or a conference call, Jordan. I don’t know how to invite him in. I have no clue how you ended up there.”

“You can ask Roy Curtis this weekend. Maybe he knows something?”

“I will. I can’t wait to talk to him about Dreaming. There’s so much I don’t know and no one else knows how to help me. It will be cool to talk to someone else who understands.”

“I want to,” Jordan said quietly.

“I know, babe. I didn’t mean that as a reprimand. I wonder if, after we’re promised, if you’ll Dream with me more often? Or after we’re married.”

“I’m excited to find out.”

“Me too.”

They pulled up at the school to find a car in Jordan’s spot. It had out of state plates and no student sticker. Peeved, she pulled around to Brian’s place and parked there.

“You’d think that people could pay attention. Now, I have to stop by the office and report it so no one will ticket my car.”

“Let’s get the car tag, make and model of the car before we go in.”

“I want a picture,” she snapped, getting out of the car before he came around to help her. Forgetting the drop to the pavement, Jordan stumbled, nearly hitting her head on the neighboring car.

“Look, someone’s coming. Maybe it’s their car,” Brian said as he hurried around. “Are you okay?”

“Fine. Clumsy. Look!” She pointed to the other vehicle.

The woman walking toward the offending car was probably in her forties. She was Asian, tall, sturdily built with shoulder length black, straight hair. Severely dressed, she looked a matron at a prison. Unlocking the car, she cast about for a moment and noticed Brian and Jordan staring at her. They approached and she got in the car quickly, starting it up and putting it in gear without really checking behind her. Tires screeched and her car shuddered to a stop, less than three inches from another car. The driver, a teenager, hopped out, screaming. The woman waved her fingers and the boy stopped yelling. He got docily back in his car and took off without another word.

Brian ran to the other car, standing behind it, so the woman couldn’t back up. Furious, she waved her fingers at him, as she had the other student, but Brian held firm. Frowning, she glared at him, then Jordan. When he refused to move, she put the car in park and got out.

“You could get hurt there,” she said, her voice layered with several tones.

Brian glowered. “You parked in my girlfriend’s spot. These are reserved for students.”

“I had no idea. I apologize.” She waved her fingers again.

Brian smiled at her look of consternation and surprise. “Doesn’t work on me, does it? Your Mind Mojo. I’m guessing you’re Lien’s housekeeper. Or are you another kind of keeper altogether?”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about. Please leave so I can get out of your girlfriend’s spot.”

“Fine. But know this—I’m watching. I’ve seen you, gotten your scent. I’ll remember you. If you want your tricks to work on me, you’ll have to up your game. But I’m guessing you don’t want to tip your hand just yet. If you’re waiting to find Jian, you could have a long wait.”

“You are a very impertinent boy. Move now.”

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

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When Tis Done – Part 71

When Tis Done cover smallBrian goes to bed, hoping for a quiet night. Instead, he dreams of a creature pinned to the ground by ropes of sand. He starts to release it, but finds Jordan has entered the dream. She tells him to stop, they don’t know if the beast is friendly.

“It hasn’t attacked yet.”

“Of course not, it’s tied down.”

“It hasn’t growled or made any offensive moves, either.”

“Do you trust it?”

“Her,” he corrected, not sure how he knew the beast’s gender. “Yes, I find that I do. We need to let her up.”

“Are you sure?”

“Less sure every time you ask.” He reached out, petting the creature on the head.

Closing its eyes, it purred rather like a cat—if the cat were roughly half the length of a football field, had tawny yellow fur and big brown eyes. It reminded Brian of the dragon in The Never Ending Story. Rather than all scales, it sported fur on its head and the tip of its tail.

“You won’t hurt us, will you, Lady?” he touched the long, tapering snout. It was warm to the touch. “We’re here to help.”

“Are you hurt?” Jordan asked as she walked closer. Brian’s proximity had emboldened her.

The dark eyes flickered and they saw that one paw was wrapped tightly with cord. Jordan eased over to examine it.

“Oh, the poor thing! It’s cut into her flesh.” A silvery knife appeared in her hand. She attacked the cord that held the damaged paw.

Brian imagined his own knife, bigger and sharper than Jordan’s, to attack the ropes that held the dragon down. Patting the snout, he cut the rope nearest the head. It twanged slightly, flying up and over the arch of the neck. The dragon immediately turned its attention to Jordan’s task, trusting Brian to set it free. After he’d cut the fourth line, Jordan had managed to free the injured claw. It was crisscrossed with lacerations that were wickedly deep.

“Almost done?” Jordan called.

“Only a couple more. Come help me?”

Jordan excused herself from the dragon’s head. It nodded to her, closing its eyes and twitching up the sides of its mouth. Jordan felt deep, abiding love come from the animal. The last couple of ropes were tricky. Brian examined one, finding that if it were cut, as the others had been, it would trigger a trap and kill the dragon. He didn’t want that to happen.

“I’m not sure what to do here,” he confessed to Jordan. “This is a crude, but effective booby trap. I can’t do another thing until the dragon meets your brother.” Unsure what he meant by that remark, he looked over the ropes once more.

“My brother? Which one?”

“Scott, the eldest.”


“I don’t know. But we need him.”

Brian woke up, sitting up in bed, gasping as if something were around is throat, choking him. A glance at the clock showed him he’d slept over two hours. He vaguely remembered his dream, but not details. He remembered the dragon and something about Jordan’s brother, Scott. He barely knew the older man, having met him once a year ago at Christmas. He was a nice guy, but Brian had no idea why he would be needed to help out.

Giving a brief run down of his dream, he lay back down. He’d learned to do this, because not everything was revealed while he dreamed. If he slept again before doing it, he’d lose details. The dreams inevitably left him after the experience was shared. Hoping for more information, he went back to sleep, but rested the remainder of the night.

When he woke the next morning, Brian retained enough of the dream’s imagery to tell Jordan about it. He also recollected that, for some strange reason, he had to talk to her brother and get his help. He didn’t know why, but hoped that Scott could tell him.

Jordan was early. Eager and bouncing, she tapped quietly on the front door. Brian knew she was there before she knocked and met her quickly.

“Let me rinse my dishes and we can go. I have something to tell you.”

“I know,” she bounced on her toes, nearly jumping at him. “I was there! I saw it! The dragon, oh my God!” She squeaked quietly, trying not to make too much noise and bother the family.

Brian rinsed his dishes and put them in the dishwasher. Grabbing his backpack, he led her outside, closing the door quietly behind him.

“You really were there?” Brian helped Jordan into the high SUV and climbed in on the passenger side as she buckled her belt.

“Yes! That was so cool! I never thought for a second that I’d ever be in one of your Dreams.” She started the car and backed carefully into the street. “It was so cold there! But I thought of what would keep me warm and I found myself in a coat with a hat and gloves. It was like we were there. Is it always that vivid when you Dream?”

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

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When Tis Done – Part 70

When Tis Done cover smallJust before dinner is ready, Brian’s grandparents arrive. They brought a necklace like Brian’s, for Jordan. They also brought rings for a binding ceremony for the two of them.

“See you tomorrow. I’m driving,” Jordan said. “Mom’s taken the day to help prepare for the visitors. I’ll see you at our regular time.”

“You sure you don’t want me to drive?”

“My turn. I never get to drive.”

“I’m not arguing. Better get outside before—” He chuckled as her father beeped the horn once more.

“Love you, BC.”

“Love you, JB.”

He walked her to the car and waved as they drove away. Elise was asleep on her grandfather’s shoulder, so he went upstairs to put her down. Miles toted the luggage upstairs, leaving Brian with his grandmother and mother.

“I’d like a cup of your delicious tea,” Patience Casey said with a smile.

Maribelle led them to the kitchen and Brian helped her set up a pot of a relaxing tea blend. As they sipped their tea, they talked quietly until Miles and Vaughn joined them. The men had a shot of whiskey each, rather than the tea. Brian envied them. It wasn’t so much that he liked whiskey as much as he wished he were considered grown up enough to have it.

When he’d finished his tea, Brian made his way to bed, leaving the adults to talk. He was tired. Though he hadn’t been to school, his body ached and his head throbbed. He wasn’t feverish, but he felt rather like it. For someone who rarely got sick, it was an uncomfortable feeling. He crawled into bed, setting his alarm to wake up for school. His tape recorder went on next and he turned out the bedside lamp, stating the date as he lay down. He’d gotten in the habit of doing that so he would have clear markers to go back to later. Snuggling under the blankets, he hoped for one night without the added burden of Dreaming. He had so many thoughts churning around in his mind, he was pretty sure he would have a lot of Dreams.

“One quiet night,” he whispered. “Give me one quiet night—please.” Closing his eyes, he fell asleep.

Darkness surrounded him. Strong, cold winds blew from all directions, whipping around, tugging at his clothing and hair. Dressed in his pajama pants, he stood at the top of a rocky crag, gazing down on the night washed land below. It was freezing cold. He could see his breath in front of him. The strength of it crept into his bones, chilling him. He imagined himself in a warm coat, instead of his pajamas. His body warmed considerably, though his breath still came in feathery wisps.

Something rolied and coiled on the ground below. Brian couldn’t see what it was from up here, but he knew that going down would mean discovery and death. It took some time, but he determined that it was a creature of some kind on the ground. It writhed and struggled. From time to time, Brian heard the roar of an angry beast. He didn’t know what the creature was, but he knew he had to set it free. Determined to complete the mission of releasing the beast, he made his way down the rock face on a whirlwind. It set him down on a wind and water swept beach. The tide was low, swishing and shushing softly to his left.

The beast lay to his right. He could see now that it was held down with stout ropes attached to pitons, which were hammered into the sand. It took a moment to realize that the ropes and pitons were made of the sand itself. Nothing here had been left to chance. Approaching with caution, Brian examined the situation with detachement, as if he were watching a particularly boring movie.

The beast turned its head a little, dark, liquid eyes catching his gaze. “Help,” it whispered in his head. “Help me!”

Taking a step toward the captive, he found himself even further away. Each step took him backward, even though he faced the direction he wanted to go. Turning his back to the creature, he took a step in the opposite direction. Unfortunately, he moved that way easily. Taking a deep breath, he closed his eyes, imaginging the beast. Stepping backward with his right foot, then his left, he came up against the warm side of the creature. He touched it, winding his fingers around one of the ropes. Opening his eyes, he saw that he had reached his goal. Toes digging into the sand, he turned, face mere inches from those deep brown, penetrating eyes.

“Who are you?” he asked.

The creature didn’t answer, merely stared at him, pleading with its eyes.

“How can I help you?”

Images filled his mind of him snapping the stout ropes and ripping up the pitons. Deciding this was as good an approach to the situation as any, he stepped back, rubbing his hands together.

“Stop!” a voice shouted from behind him. Turning, he saw Jordan. She was dressed similarly to him, in pajama pants and a heavy coat. She also had on a hat and gloves. “We don’t know if it’s friendly,” she cautioned.

“It hasn’t attacked yet.”

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

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When Tis Done – Part 69

When Tis Done cover smallWhile the boys are having their conversation, the girls find something to help them protect themselves. Brian and Chase nearly come to blows, because Chase thinks he’s suffered more than Brian.

“You want my opinion?” Chase rolled his eyes.

Jordan punched him in the chest. “He asked, didn’t he?”

“Yes, Brian. I think that sounds like a good idea. We have more of the necklaces that Dad made. He crafted extra, for the next generation.” He sighed, hands deep in his pockets. “But I know he’d want them used to help anyone who needed them. I can make more, but I’ll need help with the charms.” He looked hopefully at Marissa.

“Of course. I’d be happy to help with that. We’ll make them tomorrow after school and give them as welcome gifts to the guests.”

“Now, I think it’s time for you children to head home,” Jackie said. “Brian, did you and Jordan have any studying to do?”

“Yes. She needs math help and I need homework and notes.”

“How do you know I need math help?” Jordan snapped.

“Babe, you always do.” Laughing, he kissed her on the nose.

Jordan almost punched him, but remembered his sore ribs at the last minute. Instead, she yanked his ear.

They worked for a couple of hours before dinner. Jackie and Maribelle had prepared a veritable feast. Not long before it was ready, Miles and Heath arrived. Miles grinned, looking around expectantly.

“What, not here yet?” he asked his wife.

“Any minute.”

Someone rang the doorbell. Brian, who was closest, checked the peephole and answering with a huge grin. “Mamaw? Granddad? I didn’t know you were coming.”

“We’d have been here sooner, but we had to stop in Jackson for a couple days. There’s a library there where we had to do some specific research. It will keep,” his grandfather said. He gave Brian a hug.

Mamaw gave him a hug and a kiss on both cheeks before hugging and kissing Jordan. Then, she went looking for her granddaughter. The baby threw herself at her grandparents, laughing happily.

Jordan’s family joined them for dinner. Though Jackie didn’t eat the roast, everyone else enjoyed it. She had prepared a variety of side dishes and had a tofu burger instead of the meat.

After dinner, they gathered in the family room. The teenagers sat on the floor, playing with Elise, while the adults settled on couches and chairs. Granddad brought out a wooden box, about the size of a bread loaf, which was covered with unfamiliar glyphs. Handing it to Brian, he told him to open it.

Jordan and Brian set the box between them. Elise climbed onto her brother’s lap. Leaning over, she touched the box and giggled. Brian lifted the lid. Inside, he found a necklace like the one he wore, only slightly smaller and more delicate. There were also matching rings, one adorned with a large, square emerald. The other held a pearl of equal size. The settings were red, white and yellow gold, braided together to make the band. The prongs holding the rings resembled dragon talons.

“What’s this?” Brian asked, gazing into the box.

“The necklace is for Jordan,” his grandmother replied. “Since we didn’t know your chosen mate, we held onto this until you were older. But it’s time now. Jordan needs this. The rings are yours, but must be presented at a formal ceremony which binds you together.”

“You mean like a wedding?” Jordan asked, puzzled by this announcement.

“No, more like an engagement party. There is a ritual of binding. We don’t usually do this, or if we do, it’s rare that the man also gets a ring, but for you two, it’s necessary. This was one of the things we had to pick up in Jackson. They were storing it for us in their safe.”

“When should we do this?” Jordan asked.

“As soon as possible. Since you’re expecting the Texas families, tomorrow night would be a good time,” Mamaw replied. “Meanwhile, Miles, put these in your safe.”

“Yes, ma’am.” He took the box and carried it with him. He came back a few minutes later without the box.

Since it was getting late and the teens had school the following day, they bid goodnight. Jordan and Brian lingered a few minutes after the adults went outside to see off Jackie and Heath.

“This is a big step,” Brian said, holding her close. “Are you sure you’re ready?”

“Are you?”

“Strangely, I am. There are billions of other women out there, Jordan. But I only want you.”

“Ditto, Brian.”

They kissed for a couple of minutes until the honking of the car horn reminded them that she was leaving.

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

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When Tis Done – Part 68

When Tis Done cover smallThe girls take the computer, with the information on how to protect themselves against The Killing Hand, and the boys talk about the situation with Chase and Marissa.

“Too many emotions. You can’t function like that. I can see this storm inside you and it’s not got an outlet. I think at this point, not even sex would help. Not that I’m an expert….” He fell silent. “You have to pull this together. I can’t do it for you, but you have to. I don’t want to lose you both. The Circle would be weakened, damaged. We can’t be either of those things, not now. A storm is coming, so big and so bad, we might not survive it. I need you, Chase. And dammit, I need Marissa. But not like this. You’re broken.”

Chase wiped his eyes with clenched fists. He couldn’t deny that Brian was right, but he had no idea how to fix their situation either.

“What frustrates me the most…. What hurts, is that you act like you don’t care. You sit there and watch my pain and don’t lift a finger.”

“What finger should I life?” Brian lowered all but his middle finger, flipping it at his friend. “This one? Cause this is what we’re all gonna be if you don’t figure this out. I can’t do this for you, and I wouldn’t even if I could. This is your trial, your lesson.”

Chase jumped to his feet. “What about you, huh? Where’s your trial? Your lesson?”

Brian stood slowly, looming over his friend as he drew himself up. He was frightening, intimidating. Anger radiated from him making the walls shake. Elise started wailing in her room. Jordan dashed past them, running for the baby. Maribelle held Marissa back, who tried vainly to get to Chase. Jackie watched quietly, moving steadily to stand in the room a few feet from the boys, saying nothing.

My trials?” A barking laugh escaped Brian’s throat. “Well, let’s see. I’m the Dreamer. Not so bad, I guess, except I’ve seen my own death a few times. It varies….” He shrugged. “I was possessed by Luminous, and tried to kill Jordan. Oh, I’m sorry, that was Opal, so that’s okay. I died two years ago, killed by Mr. D. I was poisoned last year, you remember that, right? Marissa saved my life. I’ve been beaten, strangled, choked in dirt, had whirlwinds flung at me, nearly had a building fall on my head. Do I really need to go on? Have I managed to imprint on you just how petty and stupid your little problems are? Cause if not, I can go on.”

Chase was red in the face, fists clenched at his sides. “At least you have your father.”

“Yes. You lost your dad and I can imagine how that feels. I thought mine was dead for awhile.” Brian inhaled slowly, trying to calm himself. The rumbling around the house settled down. “You don’t get past things, Chase. You grumble and fuss and blame everyone else for shit. Take control. Be the man your father wanted you to be.”

“I’m not you, Brian.”

“No. Be eternally grateful, you’re not.”

They stared one another down for several minutes. Neither moved, but the tremors of their emotions rattled the house. Wind whipped around the eaves, shaking trees and kicking up dust. Brian forced himself to be calm, but he could see Chase struggling. He wanted to help his friend, but he honestly didn’t know how. This was something Chase had to work out on his own. Only he wasn’t. He was suppressing and blaming everyone and everything except himself. It was stupid, pointless and annoying. Brian wanted to shake his friend to make him see what he was doing, but knew it wouldn’t help.

“Stop!” Marissa yelled. “Both of you! This isn’t helping anyone. If you can put aside your male egos for a second, we think we’ve found something.”

Brian broke eye contact first, his head swinging around to where Marissa stood. “I apologize, Marissa. You’re right. Please.” He gestured politely for her to continue.

Beckoning him excitedly, she led him to the table. Chase stayed where he was, frowning. Jordan came back down with Elise in her arms. She was pale and trembling. Jackie took the baby and gave her daughter an encouraging hug. They stood around the table looking at the page Marissa had discovered.

“There is a charm we can make. It’s less complicated than the spell, which is like a counter hex. The book says that once you’ve cast the spell, it’s easier, but I don’t think any of us have the time to learn it. But….the charm, even if it’s complicated, can be applied to any article of clothing or jewelry you want. It’s best to make it something you wear all the time, not something that comes off to be washed. We all wear our charmed necklaces that Cliff made for us. We can easily add this to them. It can be done all at once, in a group casting, which would be easier for the casters.”

“It’s easier than the counter-hex,” Maribelle said. “But it’s still a very difficult procedure. I think we should get the ingredients together and do this for everyone when the Texas group is here.”

“I agree,” Brian said, nodding. “Chase?”

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

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Red River Radio Presents Dellani’s Tea Time with Amanda, CD and JM!


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It’s officially summer and time to kick back and relax by the pool, on the beach, or wherever the mood takes you! Not hot enough for you? Well, our authors can certainly turn up the heat. All these ladies are known for spinning a great yarn, whether it be werewolves, dragons, warrior queens or witches, they have it all.

Christine Gorri

First, please welcome CD Gorri. She is a fantasy author whose books include Wolf Moon, Charley’s Christmas Wolf, and The Dragon’s Valentine.

Amanda Kimberley

Second, please welcome Amanda Kimberley, author of Forever Bound, Salem’s Trial by Judge, and a non-fiction title Fibromyalgia and Pregnancy

Both ladies are in an anthology: Wicket Nights of Summer

JM Robison

Also joining us is JM Robison, author of historical romances, The War Queen and The Foes Between us. This is JM’s second visit to our show, and we’re delighted to have her back! 

We’re so pleased to have these three magnificent authors here to chat with us!


When Tis Done – Part 67

When Tis Done cover smallWhile Brian and Jordan are talking with Chase and Marissa, Chase mentions the scene in Temple of Doom where peoples’ hearts get ripped out of their chests. This makes them wonder if it might actually be possible. If so, how can they safeguard themselves against it?

Brian gave him a glower. “You think that a bullet proof vest would really do anything against a magical attack?”

“Have you checked the Encyclopedia Magicka?” Marissa asked. “That’s been very helpful in the past.”

“I hadn’t thought about it until you mentioned it,” Brian admitted. “I can’t think of everything.”

“Though you act like you do,” Chase snipped.

“Oh, lighten up, Finley! Once again, acting like a sullen child.”

“I’m older than you are by a couple months.”

“Then act like it! Jesus! We need your help.”

Now, you need me?”

“You’re still part of this Circle until the ceremony,” Brian stated firmly. “As such, I’m asking for your help. You might be a pain in my ass, Chase, but you’re smart and intuative. And Marissa is good with charms and spells.”

“Maybe we should help our new Circle instead.”

“Enough!” Jordan bellowed. “You are being such a big baby! Instead of looking at how badly your feelings are hurt, or how much your balls ache, you should be looking at what we can do to protect ourselves. Not just our Circle, but all of them. If we can figure out something, we will be helping everyone. You’re so selfish and focused on yourself, you can’t see past your own—dick!”

Chase stared at her. Jordan wasn’t prone to such outbursts and it took him by surprise. Marissa and Jordan both glared at him, giving him the same tight lipped frown.

“I, for one, don’t want to die because you’re acting like a three year old with a temper tantrum,” Marissa said. “Where’s your copy of the Encyclopedia?” she asked Brian.

“I have a copy on a flashdrive. My laptop is on the dining room table.”

Jordan got the computer and he took the flashdrive off his keyring. Booting up the computer, he plugged in the drive when it was complete. The familiar cover popped up on the screen and he clicked on it to open the book.

“What should I look for?” he asked, fingers poised over the keys.

The four teenagers exchanged a look. None of them knew exactly how to conduct a search.

“Look for key words first,” Jordan suggested. “Like heart, punch, ward.”

“Or,” Chase said, leaning forward eagerly. “Just look for, how do I keep from getting my heart ripped out?. I’ve found the most information when I ask exactly what I want to know.”

Brian took his suggestion and typed in his question. To his shock, and horror, an entry showed up: Ward to Prevent the Killing Hand.

Shivering slightly, he clicked the link and started reading aloud. “The Killing Hand is a mere rumor these days. There is no record of it being used in more modern times, though some of our earliest records, dating back centuries, mention this spell. Many believe it is a legend, or an exaggeration, the method has been enumerated—though not in this text. This book shall not touch on how to do perform this horrendous practice, for it is considered an abomination among our kind. However, since the Dark are not inclined to follow our rules, we have a counter-measure, a ward, to dispell this maneuver. Below are the directions.”

He didn’t read the instructions aloud right away. Glancing over them, he shook his head. “I thought that summoning the Peddlar was the most complex ritual I’d ever seen, but making the wards for this—just about impossible. I can’t think of a single one of us who has the skill for this.”

“Someone needs to try,” Marissa said. “Because now that we’ve been talking about it, I feel creeped out and terrified all over again. I don’t want to learn how to do it, but I sure want to know how to protect myself.”

Jordan agreed with her. The girls took the computer to the dining room table and pored over it, trying to figure out what would be needed. When Jackie and Maribelle came back down, they asked for their help, leaving the boys alone. Neither Brian, nor Chase, had a facility for wards, charms or tokens. Instead, they sat in tense silence. Knowing he had to say something, in an effort to help his friend, Brian spoke.

“I don’t want to lose you two,” he said quietly. “Not just because it would weaken us, but because you’re my best friend. We’re more like brothers. Over the last couple years, I’ve come to depend on your strength more times than I can count. Not just in the Circle, in everything.”

“You’ve got a weird way of showing it.”

“Be fair, dude. If you were in my position, you’d do the same thing. If I were having trouble with Jordan and you were in charge, and it put us all at risk, how would you handle it? Please tell me, so I can make this right.”

Chase leaned forward, head on his hands. “Honest to God, Brian. I don’t know. I know we’re a mess and I can’t see my way out of this hole I’ve dug myself into. I’m angry, hurt—horny,” he added very quietly. “Frustrated, furious….”

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

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When Tis Done – Part 66

When Tis Done coverJordan’s drama practice gets called early. She has an uncomfortable chat with Lien afterward. She and her mother talk on the way to Brian’s house. Jackie tells her about her early relationship with Heath, and Maribelle’s rocky romance with Miles. Thanks to Cliff, they were both set straight. At Brian’s house, Elise has been near her brother all day, fussing if he gets out of sight.

“Lien cornered me after practice to demand to know where Jian is. I told her I don’t know. And I don’t. She didn’t believe me. Then she threatened me and said she’d have big, luscious Brian to herself.” Shuddering, she took a sip of her tea. “It was so skeevy, like she wanted to eat you.”

Brian said nothing. Instead, he sipped his tea and turned red around the ears.

“Oh, ew!” she wanted to punch him, but Elise was too close. “That’s gross, Brian. How could you even think that?”

“I said nothing. That perversion came strictly from you.”

Soon, Elise needed her bath and a diaper change. Maribelle took her up to her room and Jackie went with her.

“What else happened with Lien?”

“I told you everything.”

“Did she really say that about me?”

“Word for creepy word. She got this look in her eye, like she wanted to eat your soul.”

“Not me?”

“Well, probably that, too. It was icky.”

“Is the idea of someone else finding me attractive icky, too?”

“No, that makes me jealous,” she admitted softly. “I think you’re ten kinds of sexy, but I don’t want to eat your brains or something. I mean, it was like praying mantis rips off the head of her mate, kind of eat.”

“Disturbing imagery.”


They snuggled close, mindful of Brian’s tender ribs, and talked quietly while they waited for Chase and Marissa. They arrived a few minutes later and Jordan let them in. They seemed somewhat subdued and distant around Brian. Jordan supposed that was normal, considering how they’d parted the night before.They gave Brian and Jordan a full and detailed report about Lien’s actions during the day.

“She cornered me in the restroom after chours and wanted to know where Jian is being held. I told her we didn’t have a clue. She didn’t believe me.”

“She didn’t believe me, either, when I told her the same thing,” Chase said. “She didn’t corner me in the bathroom, but she was waiting when I came out of the locker room. I got the distinct feeling that she wanted to come in when the guys were getting dressed. I got a real weird vibe from her. Like—I dunno, like she wanted to eat my soul, or something. I held my hand over my chest, cause I kept thinking of the creepy chest punch thing they did in Temple of Doom. That shit gave me the creeps for weeks the first time I saw it.”

“Oh, I hated that,” Marissa said, clutching her top to her. “I used to wake up at night, screaming because I was so sure someone was going to sneak in my room and rip out my heart. I still can’t watch that scene.”

Jordan let her eyes glaze over and held out her hand, chanting like they did in the movie. Marissa squeaked, moving away. Chase laughed and stood up, grabbing her hand.

“Yank my heart out, Jordan!”

She snatched her hand back. “Oh, that was so icky!”

“Thanks, touching me is icky.”

“No, Chase, not that! I mean, for a second there, when I touched you, I felt like I could!”

They all got very quiet.

“Do you suppose—we could?” Marissa whispered.

“Would it surprise you?” Brian asked. “Think about all the things we can do. We’ve hardly skimmed the surface. It wouldn’t be on the approved course of study list, but why not?”

“Horrible!” Marrisa replied, shuddering.

“Which begs us to consider, if it’s something we’re worried about, for real, what could we do to prevent it?”

“Not much?” Chase said. “Are you seriously considering that possibility? I’ll be happy to practice on you, Brian. No, wait. I forgot. You’re a heartless bastard.”

“Enough, Chase!” Jordan said. “You keep trying to blame Brian for your problems. This isn’t his fault. You know, whatever. I’m so tired of listening to you whine, I think you should leave.”

“Now you’re ordering me around? Excuse me?”

“You’re being mean,” Marissa added.

“Me? Jesus, you’re unbelievable. Since I obviously can’t do anything to please anyone….”

“Shut up and sit down,” Brian said. “I’m serious about this. Who’s to say that the other side can’t do something like that? How would we counter it? Protect ourselves?”

Chase gaped at him. “I dunno, short of wearing Kevlar.”

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

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When Tis Done – Part 65

When Tis Done coverJordan, Chase and Marissa do their best to keep an eye on Lien during school. After drama practice, Jordan is waiting for her mother, when Lien joins her. She demands to know where Jian is, and gets nasty when Jordan says she doesn’t know.

“I said I don’t know,” Jordan replied. “Don’t make me call the cops on you just like we did on your brother and father.Your dad tried to kill Officer Bertram!”

Lien’s smile was dangerous. “Only tried? I’m surprised he wasn’t successful.”

“Not while I’m around.”

“Then perhaps you won’t be around much longer.”

“Don’t fuck with me, Lien. That’s a mistake.”

The Asian girl’s smile turned predatory. “A little thing like you? You’re no threat. With you out of the way, the big, lucious Brian could be mine.”

“Don’t count on it. Big, luscious Brian is mine.”

Lien shrugged, wiggling her fingers dismissively. “For now.”

“For ever.” Jordan stood, flouncing down the steps as her mother pulled up to the curb. Feigning nonchalance, she got in and locked the door. “I need to drive myself tomorrow, if Brian’s not going. Lien was really creepy.”

“That was her?” Jackie glanced in her rear view mirror.

“She threatened me and said she’d have big, luscious Brian to herself.”

“Hmm, makes him sound like a particularly delicious lollypop.”

“I know! Gross! Though apt….”

Jackie giggled at her daughter’s discomfort. “It’s okay to be attracted to him, Jordan. He’s your intended.”

“Can I ask…. How soon did you and Dad…? I can’t believe I’m asking this question!” She stopped, gagging slightly.

“How soon did we get past kissing and a little groping? Not nearly as soon as he wanted. Heath had it in his mind that it would make a great treat after junior prom. I didn’t agree. So, instead, he dumped me and went off with another girl and made it with her instead. There were several more over the course of the next year, and he was quite a player when we got to college. He figured out after his first semester that he’d better stop whoring around and concentrate. We had ourselves a long Come to Jesus talk, which he didn’t particularly like.”

“What did you say?”

“I told him if he loved me, and had any hope of ever being with me, he had to stop what he was doing and examine his life. I didn’t put it that nicely. I told him to straighten the fuck up, or I was going to get him kicked out of the Circle and marry Uncle Jake.”

“Would you have? Could you?”

“I would have in a heartbeat. Whether I could or not, would have been up to Miles. He was Voice at that point and nearly as bad as Heath. Cliff set him straight, after he damn near broke poor Maribelle’s heart. Then he had a long talk with your dad, and got them both back in the Circle, ready to commit and behave. I’ve never worried a day since. Your father is a wonderful man and Brian is, too. You’ll never have that frustration with him. He only wants you.”

“Why did Dad act like that?”

“The men don’t always take to this predestined monogamy as well as we do. You have to figure, men are wired differently. For them, the idea of being stuck with the same woman forever, can be intimidating. Never getting to sow their wild oats, so to speak. But God filled them with lust and told them to be fruitful and multiply. Unfortunately, God didn’t include an off switch for the libido.”

Jordan giggled. Her mother had a very creative way of expressing herself.

“But not all men are that way,” Jackie said. “Like Brian. And Cliff. They know who they want. I was so jealous of Dora through those years. Cliff only wanted her, he doted on her, worshipped her. When she got pregnant with Chase, it was the happiest day of his life, until Chase was born. Then, the girls…. By that time, I’d had your brothers all in a row. I was content, happy. But I always wondered what that kind of devotion felt like.”

“You have it now,” Jordan assured her mother.

“I suppose I do. I hadn’t thought of it really, since then.”

“He loves you more than he can ever say,” Jordan assured her mother. “Which is good, cause you’re a hot mess, Mom.”

Jackie laughed loudly, pinching Jordan’s cheek. “Takes a mess to know a mess.”

“Yeah. I’m that, all right.”

They pulled up in the Casey’s driveway.

“Brian asked to see you after school. He wants a full report on Lien.”

“Okay. Chase and Marissa should give him one, too.”

“They’ll be by soon. Their practices didn’t get canceled.”

Brian was sitting in the living room and Maribelle had iced tea ready for them. Elise was curled up on the couch by Brian.

“She hasn’t left his side all day. If he gets where she can’t see him, she fusses until he comes back. I just don’t get it,” Maribelle shook her head. “She’s not ever like that, not even with me.”

“She senses his injuries and she feels the wrongness in the air. It’s bound to make her fussy. I don’t understand it either, and it’s making me cranky as well,” Jackie said.

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

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