Marissa has the idea to use a charm of some kind, to infuse the ward against the Killing Hand, into their skin, for additional protection. The boys check the wards around the site and Marissa joins Jordan. Pleased to see that Brian and Chase have mended some of their differences, Jordan gives Brian a big kiss.
“I should go away more often, if I’m gonna get a welcome like that every time.” He kissed her quickly and gave her a lingering hug.
To everyone’s surprise, Marissa did the same thing with Chase. Faster, more fleeting, but she showed him more affection in those ten seconds, than she had ever publically expressed. Chase was so surprised, he inhaled sharply, but gave a slow exhale when she stood next to him, her arm around his waist. His own arm crept slowly around her, as if he were afraid she’d run away. When she stayed, he smiled at her, giving her a soft kiss on the cheek. She didn’t pull away, so he relaxed a little, enjoying what she gave him.
No one wanted to spoil the moment for them, but keeping silent would draw attention as much as pointing at them. Neil hugged his wife once more, kissing her cheek. She fed him another taste and he gave her another kiss, this time on the lips.
“Still doesn’t taste as sweet as you,” he teased. “I don’t think anything does.”
“Ditto,” she murmured.
“What can we help with?” Brian asked, feeling the need to redirect their attention. He could sense their desire and it made him incredibly uncomfortable.
“Get out the picnic supplies,” Cynthia said, not moving from the circle of Neil’s arms.
“Yes, ma’am,” the teens chorused.
Jackie joined them as they gathered the bins of paper plates, plastic ware and napkins which were kept in the storage cabinet on the deck. They had so many gatherings at the Finley home, they kept a stockpile of items there.
“Getting low on napkins,” Jackie remarked.
“No, I saw another package in the cabinet. I’ll get it,” Jordan said.
She dashed up the steps and over to the cabinet. As she went past the door to the kitchen, she saw Neil and Cynthia kissing. Not just kissing, his hands were all over her. The pudding had been set to one side and forgotten. Suddenly embarrassed, as if she were a voyeur, Jordan rushed down the steps. Tripping halfway down, she fell with a yip of fear. Suddenly, she was floating and landed on the ground at the base of the stairs. Surprised and puzzled, she tried to figure out what had happened. Brian raced to her side.
“Are you okay?”
“Yes, thanks to you.”
“Wasn’t me.” He nodded at Chase. “He caught you.”
“Thanks, Chase. I’d have ended up with some nasty bruises.”
“You could have broken your arm,” Jackie fussed. “Or your neck! Why were you running?”
“I saw Neil and Cynthia—kissing,” she whispered. Her tone and accompanying blush told them it was more than just that.
“We’ll stay out here for awhile,” Jackie said. “Let me tell the men to come around back.” She called Heath.
“Stopping to pick up Maribelle and the baby. Be there soon.”
“Take your time. I hope they won’t get too busy with the rest of us around, but with newlyweds….”
“Exactly. I hate that we’re having to impose on them, but that’s our best meeting space.”
“I’d host, but we’re not nearly as isolated. I’m glad we all own the property around here, or we’d have to worry about developers.”
They talked a few more minutes before hanging up. Jackie hoped the teens wouldn’t notice the extra energy in the air, but suspected that the boys did. Determined to keep them occupied, she asked about the necklaces. Chase got them for her and she examined the work.
“Super job,” she complimented. “You have an eye for detail, both of you. These are better than Cliff’s. I think we should all have ours upgraded.”
“Marissa had an idea about additional wards,” Brian said.
He was doing his best to ignore the golden glow he saw coming from the bedroom window. The vibrations in the air around them were almost too much for him to bear. He could see that it was affecting Chase as much as it was him. The girls didn’t seem to notice it, but Jackie did.
Marissa explained about the Killing Hand and her idea for supernatural tattoos. Brian was glad she took over the explanation, because he couldn’t if he’d tried. He and Chase made an excuse to check the wards on the perimeter of the property and scuttled away to do that. The further they got from the house, the better is was, but they were both sweating and panting when they arrived a the stream on the outer limit of the land.
“Shit!” Chase said, wiping his brow with the back of his hand. “I wish they’d warned us. Better yet, kept a lid on it. That was super sexy, and really creepy all at once. My aunt and uncle! It wasn’t that icky with my folks.” He shuddered, clawing at his spine with both hands. “I feel like I’ve got spiders up my back.”
© 2018 Dellani Oakes
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