Neil and Cynthia have a newlywed moment, driving the others outside for awhile. Brian and Chase feel it more than the girls, and make up some chore, so they can escape from the energy for awhile.
Chase shuddered, clawing at his spine with both hands. “I feel like I’ve got spiders up my back.”
Brian had the same feeling. He was doing his own shivering and freaking out. “How can the girls ignore that?”
“No clue, but I wish I could. I’d do a stump if I thought it would help.”
“Splinters,” Brian said sensibly.
Chase crossed his legs with both hands over his privates. “Yeah. Ouch.”
“So, this tattoo thing. Marissa found a spell?”
“Yeah, I think so. She’ll ask Jackie.”
They busied themselves with the wards, just as glad they had, because there were spots where the protection seemed thin.
“What could cause that?” Chase wondered as they reset the ward.
“No idea. I thought these were pretty impervious. I wish I were better at this.”
“Get better quickly, okay? I used to do this with Dad, so I know what to do, but I need your help. Some of these are different and they’re more complicated.”
“Can you see them?” Brian was stunned.
“Yeah, can’t you?”
“I sense them. I see sort of a shimmer.”
“I see them individually. Each one is a diferent color. It’s quite beautiful. The thinning bits are paler and wispy.”
“Are there many?”
“Quite a few. Like someone was throwing balls at a plate of glass that cracked a little with each hit. I’m glad we did this. I’m concerned. We need your dad to look over this.” Chase stared at the air, arms crossed, thinking.
“Yes, but let’s finish anyway.”
“Hell, yeah. I’m not going back to the house yet!” Chase shuddered from head to foot.
Making the loop of the property line, they neared the house once more. The golden glow was brighter now, blazing for several seconds before dimming and going out. Chase stumbled, fumbling with the ward he was trying to repair. Brian tried to grab him, but feeling just as clumsy, he missed. Both boys toppled on the ground, landing in an untidy heap. Laughing and shoving one another, they got up and dusted themselves off.
“Do you think it will be like that—for us?” Chase asked.
“No idea. Kinda freaky, if I’m honest. Can you imagine? Our folks would know from half a mile away!”
“I sure hope not.” Chase wouldn’t look at the house, nor did he look at Brian anymore than he had to. “I’m really happy for them,” he murmured. “But jealous as hell.”
“I know.” Brian clapped his friend on the shoulder. “Relax. Our time will arrive. Once we take that step, there’s no turning back.”
“I’m sorry I’ve been such a dick about it—with you and with Marissa. I’m so jealous of what you and Jordan have, I can’t stand it. You’re like parts of each other and it seems completely effortless. I want what you have, what they have.” He pointed to the house. “What my folks had.”
“You dumb ass.” Brian shoved his friend back a few feet. “You do have that. You and Marissa work well together. You’re completely in sync. You have the advantage of being around one another your entire lives. Jordan and I don’t have that. There are still things we’re learning about each other.”
“I want surprises. I want not to know what she’s thinking. I don’t want to be able to read every expression. She knows me better than I know myself, and sometimes that’s not such a good thing.”
“You have to quit fighting that. We all should have that. Do you know how strong a unit we’d be if every couple were as in tune as you and Mar? We’d kick serious Dark Side ass!”
“You really think so?”
“I know so. Look at the plus side instead of the negatives.”
“When I find some, I’ll sure do that.”
They made their way back to the picnic area to find Miles, Heath and Maribelle had joined them. The girls were playing with Elise. Neil and Cynthia walked hand in hand out the back door. She looked slightly flustered, he looked happy and rather proud.
“Glad you could join us,” Heath said with a smirk. “Jeez, did we ever look that happy?” he asked his wife.
“More than once.”
“Sorry about that,” Cynthia giggled, tugging at her hair.
“I haven’t forgotten being a newlywed,” Maribelle said with a smile. “Is there anything that needs to be done for the meal?”
“No, we’re set,” Jackie answered. “I do need to run the spell casting by you.”
“Dad, we need you and Heath to double check our work. There were holes in the wards. Chase and I patched them, but you may need to do them again.”
© 2018 Dellani Oakes
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