“Yep. Jasper is three minutes older than I am.”
“It used to drive her crazy when I called her my little sister.”
“Well, keeping in mind that until we hit fifth grade, I was taller. Then he turned ten and started to grow like crazy. By seventh grade, he was five ten and skinny as a rail. By tenth grade, he was six two, but take all that muscle off him.”
“Oh, Jasper, that’s just not fair,” Hana commented sympathetically.
“I had muscles.” He flexed and his biceps did a dance. “Just not this good. Years of hard work, I’ve earned every one of them.”
“Who needs a workout when you shoe horses for a living? I wish Theo was here. He’d love to see you, Jas.”
“We’ll stop on our way home tomorrow. May be close to dinner time.”
“Plan to stay the night.”
“I’m not sure we can,” Jules. Hana’s been caring for Enid.”
“I don’t want to impose on Marnie and Jeff too many nights.”
“Did those two finally get together?” Julia’s eyes grew wide, she smiled.
“Yeah. She finally convinced him she meant business.”
“Well, it’s about time!”
They talked a few more minutes about that, but Jasper was obviously anxious to get back on the road.
“We will stop for sure on our way home. I’ll call you this time and let you know.”
“I’m holding you to that. Hana, you jerk a knot in him for me, would you?”
“No need to bring her into this,” Jasper muttered.
“Brother mine, you don’t understand how women work. We want you to do something, we go through your girlfriend or wife. Hana knows the drill.”
“Absolutely. The only way I can get anything out of my jerk brothers is to ask their wives. I like them.”
“Don’t you like your brothers?” Julia asked as she walked them to the car.
“My siblings aren’t like yours. We have nothing at all in common except the fact we have the same parents. If they weren’t my family, I’d have nothing to do with them. Well, David isn’t too bad….”
“Oh, how sad. If I didn’t have my family, I don’t know what I’d do.”
“I’m only now beginning to realize how great having a family is. You’ve all been so wonderful to me.” Hana blinked fast, fighting tears.
Julia hugged her. “It’s okay, sugar. When you and Jas get married, you’ll have more family than you know what to do with.”
“Julia, we just met. No one said anything about marriage.”
“It’s okay, you keep living in denial. I didn’t get all Nana’s gifts, but I got that one. Bye, Hana. See you on the flip side.” She giggled, tapping the other woman’s knuckles.
Julia stood on the porch waving as they drove off. Hana waved out the back window until they were out of sight.
“What did she mean about Nana’s gifts?”
“Our paternal grandmother is a shaman. She is a very spiritual lady. She has visions and knows things about people they’ve never told another soul. She sees auras, and can tell you if you’ve met your soul mate or not. People from all over the world come to consult her. Julia got some of that too, though a lot of Nana’s gifts didn’t manifest until she was in her thirties. Julia’s not quite twenty-eight, so it’s hard to say how much more she’ll get, if anything.”
“So what did Julia mean about knowing we would get married?”
He paused, a half smile playing at his sensuous lips. “She means, we’re soul mates.” He glanced at her, then back at the road.
“Do you think so?”
He nodded. “I felt something special when I saw you at the corral. My heart leaped at the sight of you, like I knew you, but hadn’t seen you in forever. When I kissed you, something went click inside, like the last piece of a puzzle.”
“I felt so right in your arms. I didn’t ever want to leave.”
“It seems like we’ve known one another—”
“Forever,” she finished for him.
“Yeah.” His voice took on a dreamy quality. “Forever.”
At his prompting, she cuddled up with her head on his balled up jacket and got a nap. She slept comfortably, despite the limited space. She woke quite a while later, feeling less exhausted.
Jasper thought she looked even more beautiful after just waking up. It made him want to wake up to her every morning for the rest of his life. He could imagine how gorgeous she would look the morning, after they made love the first time. The idea pleased him and he smiled to himself as he drove.
© Dellani Oakes 2022