Jordan, 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