“I wouldn’t say that,” Jasper leaned against the back of the couch, putting his arm behind Hana. “It’s just the Mustangs. I feel like they ought to stay like God made them.”
“That’s the Native soul,” Issy said. “You want the freedom of the plains, the open prairie.”
“Yeah, that and putting a shoe on a wild Mustang that don’t want it ain’t the most fun I’ve had in a day,” he laughed, copying Mitch’s drawl perfectly.
“What is the most fun you’ve had in a day, Jasper?” Issy asked, feigning innocence.
“Miss Issy, you don’t like that kinda talk round your kids, remember?”
She giggled, blushing prettily. Hana laughed at him, kissing his cheek.
“Reckon you’ll tell me sometime?” she murmured.
“Probably not.” He winked at her.
“Before this conversation degenerates, let me show you those horses. Boys, Willow, I need your help now. Get your boots on and come out directly.”
“Yes, Dad,” all three replied as they went to do what they were told.
“The twins are too young to help. They just turned nine. The others have been rounding up horses forever. Got your gear?”
“Would I travel all this way without it, Mitch? That would make sense, right?” Jasper led the way to the SUV.
“You can stay in here for the time being,” Issy said. “This process takes forever. Mitch could have had those horses in the corral all day, but he waits until Jasper gets here.”
“Doesn’t Jasper mind?”
“It’s all part of the pageantry. They are very into the pageantry. I believe they think up new ways to complicate it each time.”
Hana giggled, liking her immediately. “Is there anything I can help with around the house?”
“No, the kids help me keep the mess under control. However, I was about to make a pot of Angel Falls Mist tea. Would you like some?”
“Oh, you’re the first person I’ve met who likes that, too. It’s my absolute favorite beverage.”
“Then I guess that’s a yes?”
“Excellent! Let me get the water boiling and we’ll sit down and chat. You can tell me all about you and Jasper.”
“Not that much to tell,” Hana said simply. “We just met yesterday. I haven’t even known him quite twenty-four hours yet.”
“Really? You seem to familiar with one another.”
“We spent most of the day chatting. He’s so easy to talk to. I feel like I’ve known him my entire life.”
“You probably knew one another in a past life,” Issy said.
“Do you really think that is possible? Do souls live more than one life?”
“Why not? There’s so much in this world to do. You can’t possibly do it all in one lifetime. I want to keep coming back until I’ve done everything. I’ve already been a Pict warrior, a Roman soldier, and a Greek oracle.”
“But how do you know?”
“Past life regressions. It’s a marvelous process. You and Jasper definitely knew one another before.”
“You seem so sure. How?”
“Honey, it’s all over you both. I can’t explain it. At the risk of sounding snarky, you don’t have the background to understand it, and I can’t explain it easily without drawing on prior knowledge. Just let me say that I can see it when I look at you.”
A timer chimed. “There’s our tea. Do you like it sweet or semi-sweet?”
“I’ll take it however you fix it.”
“I put sugar and honey in mine.”
“I think we knew one another before, too,” she smiled at Hana. “We were probably sisters, or mother and daughter.”
They talked a while longer about past lives, most of which Hana didn’t understand, but enjoyed. Issy was one of the most interesting people she had ever met. They were just getting up to look at her crystal collection when Willow ran in.
“Who’s hurt?” Issy asked before the child spoke.
“Who do you think?”
“Is it bad?”
“No, but he’s bleeding.”
“What happened?” her mother asked, grabbing a first aid kit.
“Tripped and fell. Skinned his knee, cut his hand. You know Daddy.”
“The man was born with two left feet. He’s the clumsiest thing walking.” She dashed out of the house behind her daughter. “Graceful as a swan on the dance floor, and just as sleek between the sheets, if you get my drift. Can’t walk across the street without tearing himself up.”
© Dellani Oakes 2022