Brian and Dora go to the security office and view the security tape. They realize that Lien might have done this so that she will be put in jail near her father. They decide that’s the worst thing that could happen, so Dora alters the recording. Also, they find out that Steve Wilke, the security guard, is the brother of a Circle member in Ohio.
“Thanks, Mar. You’re a good friend.”
“Was it Lien?” Marissa asked.
“Yes. Oh, funny thing about Steve Wilke, he’s one of us. Well, his sister is the chosen one for their Circle, but he knows about us.”
“I never got that vibe off him,” she admitted. “You’re sure?”
“Positive. I’m still not sure….” He shook his head, not wanting to give in to his paranoia. “We’ll treat him as a friend an ally unless he proves he’s not. He gave me a copy of the footage and Dora blurred the other stuff.”
“Why? Don’t we want this bitch locked up?” Jordan demanded.
“Not if it means she’ll have access to her father. She could do some mojo of her own and get him released. Do we really want that?”
“No,” Marissa said. “I can’t help thinking the best place for that girl is far away from her brother, father and us.”
“Couldn’t agree more. Let’s see if the cops will let us go. If our dads are here, maybe we can leave. I’ll ask.” Brian hopped out of the car and approached the police officer in charge.
“Sure, kid. You take your little girlfriend home. She seems pretty torn up.”
“She’s miserable, sir. Thank you. Dad, can I borrow your car and take her home?”
“Sure. Heath can give me a ride home. Jackie’s waiting at Aunt Cynthia’s house.”
“Thanks. I’ll see you there.” Brian shook hands with the officer and took his father’s keys.
Chase joined him. “I guess we’re going to Aunt Cynthia’s.” He chuckled as he slid into the passenger seat.
“Looks that way. You okay, babe?” Brian asked, gazing at Jordan in the rearview mirror.
“It will be okay. Your mom’s not going to be angry. Your dad’s not mad at you, she won’t be either.”
“I know!” She burst into tears again, clinging to Marissa.
Brian drove cautiously out of the parking lot and rushed a little to get to Cynthia and Neil’s house. He pulled up near the steps and was met by Jackie and Cynthia. Flinging the door to the backseat open, Jackie dragged her daughter out, enfolding her in comforting arms.
“It’s okay, baby girl. Mom’s here now. Don’t worry. It’s okay.” She hugged and kissed her daughter until Brian was afraid she’d strangle her by accident.
Cynthia seemed to have the same thought. She pulled Jackie away and led them into the house.
“Boys, meet Neil in the back yard. Marissa, you go with.”
“Yes, ma’am,” they chorused.
Neil was by the bonfire, sprinkling a sparkling, gray powder on the ground. “Careful. Not too close. I’m not sure how stable this stuff is. It already sparked a couple times.” He finished what he was doing and washed his hands at the outside tap.
“What is that?” Marissa asked.
“Not sure what’s in it. Cynthia simply calls it Fairy Dust. It’s this stuff that she and Cliff used to mix up for spells and rituals. Not used very often, because its volitile and sparks easily.”
“And you put it by the fire?” Marissa yelped.
“As instructed by my wife,” Neil said. “Me, I’d keep it locked up like explosive ordnance.”
“What can we help with?” Chase asked.
“I heard we needed more necklaces, so I’ve been working on them. Cliff made me one years ago, but the ones he made y’all are a little different. I need for y’all to check them and then help me put the basic wards on them. I’m not too good at that yet.”
“I’m shit at that,” Brian confessed. “Marissa is really good at it, though. Chase—he’s garbage.” He chuckled as his friend punched his arm. “But he knows how to make the necklaces.”
“In here,” Neil said, guiding them into the shed. He pushed Marissa and Chase ahead, pulling Brian out as he closed the door.
They were so engrossed in the task, they didn’t notice that they were alone. Neil tugged Brian a little further away before speaking.
“I think they need some time to work together and not fight. This is a simple task they can work on together. They won’t notice we’re missing for awhile.”
“How do you know?”
“Cause one thing I’m damn good at is keeping people focused on a task. Even when I wasn’t in the Circle, I could do it. I kept my people on task and alert with very little effort. Simple as making toast.”
© 2018 Dellani Oakes