The Texas group arrives and the boys meet the girls. Caleb Verano, the Voice of the Texas Inner Circle, is very interested in Sweet’s sister. Playing the big brother role expected of him, Sweet introduces himself to Caleb, giving him a none-to-subtle threat.
Sweet nodded. “Seems he didn’t take the idea of having his balls frozen too kindly, but he assured me he’ll be a perfect gentleman.”
“You believe him?”
“Fuck, no. But he believed me, which is all that’s important.” He clapped Chase on the shoulder and guided him over to the food. “Lighten up, dude. Enjoy the party. No one is going to steal your woman away.”
“You don’t know that.”
Sweet spent several seconds scanning the group, looking at auras and body language. “Yeah, I do. I also know that you need to go over there right now, give that girl a kiss and tell her you love her.”
He shoved Chase toward Marissa, who was looking somewhat lost and afraid. Chase stumbled, but took Sweet’s advice. Lifting Marissa’s hand to his lips, he kissed it, then kissed her lips.
“I love you, Marissa. I don’t want anyone but you. I know I’m a total jerk and a complete tool, but the idea of seeing you with another man—makes me sick. You’re mine, heart and soul and I’ll do whatever it takes to keep you with me.”
Stunned, Marissa’s mouth fell open. Bursting into tears, she flung her arms around Chase’s neck, planting a kiss on his surprised mouth. His hands clasped her waist, easing around her back. The kiss lasted well over a minute. Everyone looked on, somewhat startled. Jordan grabbed Louisa and Ginny’s hands. The three girls bounced happily, watching as their friends mended their relationship. They could tell by the shifts in their auras that they were getting along better than they ever had.
“I’m guessing that Marissa withdraws her eligibility,” Brian whispered to Caleb.
Chuckling, the Voice of the Texas Inner Circle tapped his knuckles.
The kiss ended and everyone cheered. Marissa blushed slightly and Chase’s ears turned red, but they looked happier than Brian had ever seen them. Holding hands, they accepted congratulations from everyone, even the Texas boys.
Jordan, Ginny and Louisa nearly killed Marissa with hugs. The boys almost knocked Chase flat, pounding him on the back. Brian was thrilled. He’d counted on something like that taking place, and was glad he hadn’t been disappointed. He had no idea what he would have done if he’d had to put them both out of the Circle. Relieved, he watched as Jordan congratulated Marissa. Feeling someone at his shoulder, he turned to see David.
“Worked out after all.”
“Yes, thank God. I was worried.”
“Me, too. You think they can pull it together now?”
“Yes, sir. I think so. It took seeing her with the other men, to make him grow up and realize what a good woman he’s got. He showed restraint. If that had been Jordan, I think I’d have flattened someone.”
David chuckled, slapping him on the back. “That’s the Earth wielder in you. I’d just smack him with a dust cloud and suffocate the bastard.”
“That works, too.”
Neil hugged his nephew and Marissa, putting an arm around each of them. “Now that we’ve settled this pairing, I hope we can be equally successful with the others. We have a gift for everyone, a token of our friendship.”
Miles and Heath brought out the trays of necklaces and circulated through the crowd of guests with them.
“These were made by our late member, Cliff Finley, and me. Chase and Marissa also helped with them. There are some special blessings on each of them, something that, we hope, will help fight the Dark. Please take one and wear it in good health.”
They had made enough for the absent members of the group, as well as family members. Once the necklaces had been accepted, Neil continued.
“Marissa had another idea. I’m going to let her tell you about it.” He clapped, indicating that she should step forward and speak.
“Thanks, Neil. My friends and I were talking the other night…. You know that scene in Temple of Doom where the man’s heart gets ripped out?”
Everyone who knew the movie put a protective hands over their hearts.
“We found a reference in the Encyclopedia Magicka which indicates that such a spell actually exisits.”
There were many shocked exclamations. It took a moment for everyone to stop talking.
“I didn’t mean to scare you. What I wanted to tell you is that we have found a way to protect ourselves from it. We’re going to place the charm on the necklaces tonight, but there is another procedure which would place the same charm on us—on our skin.”
“Like an invisible tattoo,” Jordan added, seeing that they were somewhat confused by Marissa’s announcement.
© 2018 Dellani Oakes