While 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.
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?”
“Strangely, I am. There are billions of other women out there, Jordan. But I only want you.”
They kissed for a couple of minutes until the honking of the car horn reminded them that she was leaving.
© 2018 Dellani Oakes