When Tis Done – Part 44

When Tis Done coverBrian and Jordan are talking with Heath about what happened with Jian, when he happens to call Jordan my woman. She takes offense and gets angry with him. Having had enough confrontation, he walks out and heads home, just as his parents are arriving.

“Honey, that was harsh,” Heath said as he watched Brian leave.

“What? You think I’m his possession, too?”

“That isn’t what he meant. You’re promised. And even if you weren’t, he’s crazy about you.”

“But he’s all about owning me! That’s not the first time he’s said it.”

Her father hugged her, kissing her on top of the head. “You have to understand how a man thinks. It’s not ownership, but love that makes him talk like that. You own that boy, body and soul. Think about that before you take offense.” He went to the door to greet Miles and Maribelle.

“Was that my only son who just ran past like his tail was on fire?” Miles asked, giving Jackie a hug.

“It sure was. He’s had a bit of a day,” Jackie replied. “Tender ego day,” she murmured to Miles.

He nodded, taking his daughter from Jackie. The toddler cuddled up on her father’s shoulder, nearly asleep. They bid good night and headed home. Brian wasn’t there. Maribelle was worried until she got a call from Cynthia.

“Brian’s here talking to Neil. He’s pretty upset, so I thought I’d better let you know where he is.”

“Is something wrong?” Maribelle asked.

“Nothing that not being seventeen won’t fix.”

Maribelle laughed. “Thanks for letting me know. I’ll leave the lights on for him. We’re turning in early.”

“I’ll tell him. Goodnight.”


Neil offered Brian a beer. Normally, he wouldn’t have, but he could see the same swirling red that David had seen. Brian was in turmoil, and he was worried about him. Brian declined the beer, but did take the herb tea that Cynthia gave him. She’d made her own blend, using things that would help him calm down. Once she’d served it, she went upstairs, leaving the men alone.

“So, talk,” Neil said. “This is a judgment free zone.” He settled back on the couch, relaxed and open.

Brian hunched over his cup, warming his hands. “Am I doing anything right? I told my best friend that I’d split up him and his girlfriend, if they don’t work out their problems. How’s that nice?”

Neil didn’t reply. He sensed that Brian needed to vent. He let the boy speak.

“And she’s really pissed! I’ve seen Marissa mad, but wow. And she’s yelling at me instead of talking to Chase, which is what she needs to do. I’m not in that dysfunctional equation.” He held up one hand, waving something away. “Then—then I meet this new guy at debate who’s a complete tool!” He explained what happened with Jian in great detail.

“Sounds like you threatened his mojo,” Neil said calmly. “Guys like that, they wanna show they’re boss.”

“I don’t care if he’s boss, that’s the thing. I don’t give a shit.”

“See, with a kid like that, it’s a matter of mileage.”

Brian shook his head, waiting.

“Mileage,” Neil said, dropping his hand to his zipper, extending it into the air in front of him.

“Oooh,” Brian finally caught on. “Yeah. A dick swinging contest.”

“Exactly. He wants to win, but you’re a big guy. He figures, all things proportional, yours is bigger.”

Brian laughed, shaking his head. “I’m sure that’s metaphorical somehow.”

Neil shook his head. “Nope. Pure and simple, who’s got the bigger dick. He’s probably used to being the alpha.”

“That’s what he called me.”

“Well, kid, you are.”

“Maybe in the Circle, not anywhere else. I’m not the star quarterback MVP. I’m just a smart kid who likes to debate.”

“Who happens to have defeated evil a time or two. That sort of experience shows. People pick up on it. Doesn’t matter how big you are, how smart, how strong or how big your schlong is, folks feel that energy. I’ve met a lot of guys like that—big and small. They’ve lived through hell and you can tell just by being near them.”

“You’ve been through your own hell, Neil,” Brian said quietly. “I would never mention it, but….”

“I brought it up. It’s okay. I don’t mind talking about it.”

“I can’t even imagine what you’ve seen. But it’s in your eyes and written on your soul.”

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

To Buy Dellani’s Books





you won”t be able to put it down
July 23, 2016 – Published on Amazon.com

I can honestly say there has not been one book written that I haven’t liked by the author and this one is no different. Marice Houston is in town for a college reunion. A lot will happen, shots will be fired, people will be hurt or killed and love will bloom. You can guarantee it will not be boring.
With her usual quick and witty dialogue, and amazing talent for weaving a suspenseful tale, Ms Oakes has hit home with a bang. Through in a few twists and a steaming romance she has created a recipe of fantastic reading which will have the reader wanting seconds. I am definitely giving Room 103 5 stars for great writing and characters you will love.

room 103


View original post

When Tis Done – Part 43

When Tis Done coverAt Jordan’s house, they talk about the encounter with the Fēngs. He tells her that Jian was interested in her, in a more than friendly way. After dinner, they sit down to study Jordan’s math and she tells him that her brothers are coming for Thanksgiving.

“It will be good to see everyone. I like your family. They’re really wonderful people.”

“Thank you. We like to think so. Of course, Jenna will prepare turkey for those of us who like to partake. Mom allows meat at three meals: Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. Otherwise, strictly vegetarian.”

“Yeah, I know. But she’s still a hell of a cook.” He held Jordan’s chair for her before sitting down. She used to protest that, but the rug made the heavy chairs hard to scoot in. “So, do you think you’ll stick with that when we’re married? Are we going to be a vegetarian household?”

“Do you want to be?”

“Not at all. Just, I concede to the woman who can cook.”

“You think I’m fixing all the meals?” She bridled, half rising from her chair.

Brian held out his hands as if she had a gun on him. “We’ve eaten my cooking. Passably edible. We’ve also sampled yours, far better. I’ll help you in any way you want, but if we rely on my powers of preparation, we’ll eat a lot of mac and cheese or hot dogs.”

“Well, when you put it that way. A healthy blend. I like variety.”

“So do I.”

Heath came in a few minutes later, smiling. He kissed his wife and daughter and picked up Elise. She grabbed his lips, pulling at his mouth. He laughed awkwardly as Jackie loosened the baby’s fingers.

“Kid’s got a hell of a grip,” Heath said, giving Elise a kiss and snuggle. “Don’t you, little miss?” He tossed the toddler in the air, catching her deftly.

Jackie gasped, scolding.

“I did this with every one of our kids. They all survived.”

“But she’s not ours!”

“Does she look hurt?” Heath said, holding the baby under his arm like a sack of potatoes.

Elise giggled, pulling at her toes so she curled around his arm. Jackie rolled her eyes and left him to play with the baby.

“Math tonight?” Heath asked from the hallway.

“Yep. I can tell that it’s going to kick my butt this year,” Jordan said. “Only a week in and I’m already lost.”

“Brian will help you, honey. You know that.”

“I should be able to do this on my own!”

“You can,” Brian assured her. “You just need the right mind set. Decide you’ll kick math’s ass, not the other way around.”

“Sss, sss, sss,” Elise said. “Aah-sss.”

“Oh, shit,” he muttered.

“Sh, sh, sh!” Elise added.

“Great. She’ll be the only toddler who can swear.” He put his hands over his mouth and concentrated on math for several minutes.

“Mom tells me you met some new friends,” Heath said, leaning against the dining room doorway.

“Not exactly friends,” Brian replied, scowling. “Well, Lien’s not so bad, but her brother’s a jerk. He told me I’m the alpha male and acted like I was trying to insult him.”

“Ooh,” Heath said, sitting across from them. “Did you strut around like a peacock?”

Brian sputtered. “I never strut. I walk.”

“There’s some strutting,” Jordan said, completely straight faced. “You get that broad shouldered, big guy walk. All legs and swinging arms.” She got up, doing an exaggerated imitation of a tall man walking.

“I don’t!” It took a moment to realize they were teasing him. “Oh, funny. I have long legs. Am I supposed to take little baby steps?” He made walking motions with his fingers.

“You do have an air of command around you, Brian,” Heath said in all seriousness. “You’ve been through a lot. That’s bound to show. Some men, they don’t take that well. They want to be number one.”

“Let him be. I don’t care. I don’t have time for his petty posturing.”

“Alpha isn’t something you give away, it’s earned or taken,” Heath explained. “Did you challenge him?”

“Not at first, but when he eyed Jordan like his next good meal, I did. Don’t look at my woman like that, I’ll take you apart!”

Your woman?” Jordan bridled. “I’m your possession now?”

“Oh, jeez! Not you too!” He slammed the book closed, standing abruptly. Grabbing his keys and phone, he stalked out of the house as his parents were pulling up. He didn’t even stop to say hello, merely jumped off the porch, got in his car and left.

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

To Buy Dellani’s Books

When Tis Done – Part 42

When Tis Done coverJordan invited the new students to go for ice cream, but it went badly. Jian is decidedly interested in Jordan, and Brian wasn’t happy about that. When Jian grabs his sister’s hand in a painful grip, Jordan steps in, doing the same thing to him. Later, she and Brian are talking about the incident.

“Because she’s scared of something. And because he’s a jerk. I’m not sure he’s the one she’s afraid of—entirely. There’s a shadow around her. Didn’t you see it?”

Brian shook his head. “I was too busy being battered by Jian’s bad vibes. We had a moment when he told me about his father’s pottery business, then he focused on you and asked if you had a sister who liked Asians.”

“Is that what you got so angry about?”

“You didn’t see the look on his face. Like he wanted to eat you, in a totally non-cannibalistic way.”

“Oh, my God. Ew! Seriously!”

“He practically licked his lips. I wanted to clock him. But he’s been an ass since I met him. Second I walked in the room, he took offense and nothing I said made any difference. He’s all about challenging.”

“You’re a very confident man, Brian,” Jackie said from the doorway. “You have an aura about you of strength and power. If he’s at all sensitive, he’d feel that. To some men, that’s a challenge of itself. It wouldn’t matter what you did or said, it would be seen as a threat.”

“Well, I’m sure he’s just wild about me,” Jordan said. “Since I nearly broke his hand.”

Brian pressed his lips tightly together, meeting Jackie’s knowing glance. “Actually.” He cleared his throat sharply. “I think it turned him on.”

“Oh, yuck! Guys are so weird! Would that excite you?”

Ears burning, he turned his head aside. Jackie smirked.

“Honey, how do you suppose he knew?”

“Oh, my god, Brian. Seriously?” She punched him in the chest.

“Strong women are my weakness,” he admitted. “I always had the hots for Wonder Woman.”

“You’re freaking weird. I want you to know that.” She smacked him again.

He shrugged, smiling. “I’m a guy. Sue me.”

“Honey, stop hitting the boy.”

Jordan paused, her hand halfway to Brian. Blushing furiously, she hopped up and ran to the small bathroom under the stairs. Strange sounds came from inside. Brian couldn’t tell for sure, but he thought she was giggling.

“Yeah, laugh at my pain,” he mumbled, adjusting his jeans.

“This is awkward for her, too,” Jackie said quietly. “In many ways, she’s still a little girl. She isn’t used to a man’s interest.”

Brian nodded, swallowing hard. “Excuse me.” He walked out to the front porch and sat on the swing.

Jackie let him go, watching to be sure he was safe. She knew he could defend himself, but she still worried. Part of that was normal motherly concern, the rest was very real fear for his safety. Something in the atmosphere had become super charged in the last few hours. From what she could tell, it coincided with Brian meeting Jian and Lien. She hoped she was wrong, that it was some coincidence, but she’d given up believing in those decades ago.

Dinner was delicious, but conversation was somewhat subdued. Brian, as always, helped clean up afterward, thanking Jackie politely for the meal. Heath still wasn’t home, but they’d been told he was working with Neil.

“Your folks should be back soon. Do you want to take Elise home?”

“I don’t have a carseat at the moment. She did a nuclear poop in it and I had to wash it out. Forgot to put it back in.”

“Okay. Do you want to stick around until they get here?”

“Yeah. I don’t feel like going home to an empty house tonight.”

“I could use more math help,” Jordan hinted.

“Babe, you need more than just math help, but I’m not here to criticize.”

Jordan raised her fist to punch him, but rethought that action. Instead, she scurried ahead and got out the paper and math book.

Her father had converted the formal dining room to a study space and office, with Brian’s help. It was a blend of antique furniture and high tech equipment that was very comforting and welcoming. With the exception of the crystal room, this was Brian’s favorite spot in the Barrett house. The walls were a creamy yellow above and dark wood wainscoting below. The floor was red oak, covered with a Persian style carpet that picked up the warm browns and yellows of the room, adding brilliant red, blue and green to the mix. The walls were covered with family portraits going back to when Jordan was a little girl. Her brothers were in their teens and she was in elementary school. Brian loved to see all their faces smiling at him.

“Scott and Ryan are coming for Thanksgiving,” Jordan said, standing at his elbow. “Ben can’t make it this year. He’s going to be in Japan on unavoidable business, but his wife and their kids are coming.”

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

To Buy Dellani’s Books

Red River Radio Presents Dellani’s Tea Time with Christine, Kevin and Scott

red river radio logoTune in for Dellani’s Tea Time TODAY, March 12 4-6 PM Eastern time on Blog Talk Radio

It’s March already! Our minds focus on green shamrocks, the Easter Bunny and multi-hued eggs. However, this month’s guests don’t focus on any of that. The closest we get to the Easter Bunny is a warm and fuzzy wolf. The only eggs are those of a dragon, and I don’t see shamrocks anywhere, so you’re gonna be disappointed if you’re looking for a spring party.

If you’re looking for all things futuristic and fantasy, then my guests have you covered! Join me in welcoming my three, sparkling new guests to this week’s show.

Christine Gorri

First, please welcome CD Gorri. She is a fantasy author whose books include Wolf Moon, Charley’s Christmas Wolf, and The Dragon’s Valentine.

Kevin G Daniel KG Bethlehem

Next is KG Bethlehem, the author of Fantasy, Sci-Fi, and Dystopian novels, including Avenging Knights, Astronomical, and The Forever Spring.

Scott Moses

Finally, is Scott Moses, the author of the futuristic thriller Between Truth and Eternity. He is currently working on Fools of Parody, due for release in June.

Join us for a fantasy filled chat!

When Tis Done – Part 41

When Tis Done coverJordan meets the Fēngs and invites them to go get ice cream. She takes Lien around, leaving Jian and Brian together. The two boys aren’t happy with one another’s company, but find that they have a little bit in common after all.

“I’d like to see his shop sometime,” Brian said, glad to have something to talk to the other boy about that wasn’t full of resentment.

“He is very secretive, but perhaps he can be persuaded.”

“I don’t want to invade his privacy. I’m simply interested. If I weren’t learning woodworking, I’d learn that. Just there weren’t any potters around until now.”

Jian flashed a quick smile. “I will speak to him.” He watched his sister with Jordan. “She is a very kind person,” he said, lifting his chin at Jordan. “Have you been dating long?”

“We’ve known one another two years, dating for just over one.” His smile softened as he watched her talking to Lien and some others. “There’s no one quite like Jordan.”

“You are in love with her?”

Brian blushed, ducking his head. “I guess it’s obvious, huh? Head over heels.”

“I don’t suppose she has a sister who likes Asians?” He smirked, his dark eyes watching Jordan with a hunger that Brian didn’t like.

“Only brothers,” he said sharply. “All older and very protective. I couldn’t tell ya how they feel about Asians. I never asked.”

“You don’t like me much,” Jian challenged.

“You haven’t exactly made yourself likable,” Brian countered. “I’m trying to be civil, but you aren’t even trying to be polite. So I’ll ask again, you have a problem with me, Fēng?” His voice was louder than he’d intended.

Jordan and Lien turned suddenly, drawn by the sound. Brian leaned back in his chair, arms folded across his broad chest, legs splayed, ready to leap to his feet. Jian was in a much more relaxed position, watching carefully, his dark eyes taking in details. A sly smile played at his lips and Brian knew he’d been tested and probably found wanting. Suddenly, Lien was at her brother’s side.

“Be nice!” She smacked his arm.

His grin turned into a grimace. Snatching her hand, he twisted, making her cry out. Jordan stepped up, taking his other hand in a similar hold, twisting sharply. Jian flinched, but didn’t make a sound. He released his sister.

“That shit might be okay where you come from,” Jordan said, increasing the pressure on his hand. “But here, that’s considered abuse and assault.”

“And what you are doing, is not?” his voice was tight with pain.

“I’m defending someone else. The police would see it as a public service.” She leaned closer. “They take domestic abuse very seriously here in Mississippi.”

Jian looked like he wanted to spit in her face. Instead, he jerked his hand away from her, standing quickly. “Come, Lien. Time to go home.”

Lien followed reluctantly, dragged from the building by her brother. Everyone watched them go and burst into chatter as soon as the door closed.

Who is that guy? What’s his problem? Were he and Brian going to fight? Did he really do that to his sister? Damn, Jordan rocks!

After much congratulations, Jordan and Brian went back to her house to study and have dinner. He was surprised to find his sister there with Jackie.

“Your folks had some things to do in Jackson today. Didn’t they tell you?”

“No. But I got up way before they did. Hey, Munchkin!” He lifted his sister, swinging her around.

Elise giggled, tipping out of his arms to see Jordan, then lunged once more at her brother. She used him like a jungle gym while he lay on the floor talking to Jackie and Jordan. They told her about the new students.

“What was with Jian?” Jordan asked. “He was being so weird!”

“He’s a conceited ass. He’s got the hots for you, by the way. If he comes near you….”

“I’ll put the creep in a headlock,” Jordan finished. “You don’t have to defend my honor.”

“Well, I want to. May I?”

“If it makes you happy,” she said, giving him a kiss. “But you don’t have to.”

“That’s the only problem with having a girlfriend who’s a bad ass,” he remarked to Jackie. “Can’t protect her.”

“You can still do it,” Jackie said. “A girl likes to know the man she loves will take care of her. And she can take care of you, too.”

“She’s good at that,” Brian said, his expression dreamy as he looked at Jordan.

Jackie picked up Elise, whisking her away to the kitchen. Jordan crawled over to where Brian lay. He propped himself on his elbows as she kissed him. Nothing but their lips touching, it was one of the best kisses, to date, that Brian had ever experienced. He felt his love for her flow from him and felt hers in return. Jordan rested her forehead on his, licking her lips with a smile.

“Why did you invite them along?” Brian murmured. “I mean, Lien, she’s nice enough. But Jian is a jerk.”

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

To Buy Dellani’s Books

When Tis Done – Part 40

When Tis Done coverAfter school, Brian meets Jian and Lien Fēng at the debate club. Lien seems to like him, but Jian doesn’t. After the meeting is over, he confronts Jian to find out why the other boy is angry with him.

Jian’s lips twitched and a shy smile flickered. “My sister has a way of making friends instantly. She’s never met a stranger. Walk in a group like this, she’s everyone’s best friend when she leaves. She instinctively attaches herself to the alpha male.”

“And you think that’s me.”

Jian shrugged, shaking his head. “Aren’t you? You walk in like you own the room. Everyone listens when you speak.”

Brian was surprised. He’d never considered that before. He knew he’d changed from the shy freshman he was three years ago, but had no idea it was so much.

“Wasn’t my intention to offend,” he apologized, bowing slightly. “We’re all equal around here.”

“But some garner more respect than others.” Jian challenged, moving into Brian’s personal space.

Exasperated, Brian moved back half a step, stopping before he retreated too far. He wasn’t scared of this young man, and he didn’t want to give that impression. He was more afraid he’d lose his temper and hurt him.

“You think whatever you want, Fēng. You’re going to take offense to anything I say. Fine. I’m trying to be polite and welcome you to the team.”

“You are so sure of yourself, so cocky.”

“If my confidence offends you, you’re welcome to leave. I’m not keeping you here.” Brian spread his arms, taking a step forward, sending an unspoken challenge to the other boy.

Fēng Jian straightened, his dark eyes flashing dangerously. He took a step toward Brian, who held his ground.

“Brian, who’s your new friend?” Jordan said from behind him. “Hi, I’m Jordan Barrett, Brian’s better half. And you are?” She held out her hand to Jian, smiling and bubbly. It was an act, but a very good one. No doubt, Jian had no idea.

“Fēng Jian,” he replied, bowing over her hand. “A pleasure to meet you, Jordan Barrett.”

Lien walked over, smiling, angling for an introduction. Her brother did the honors. Brian was too annoyed to do the polite thing.

“Do you two know your way around?” Jordan asked. “Maybe you’d like to go out for ice cream?”

“Today?” Brian asked, hardly able to contain his irritation.

“Sure, why not?” Jordan asked. “Do you have a car? Do you need a ride?” she asked Jian.

“I have a car. I drive,” Jian replied with pride. “Lien hasn’t been taught.”

“Don’t feel bad,” Jordan said, taking Lien’s arm, propelling her toward the door. “I don’t get to drive either. Brian always drives.” She wrinkled her nose.

“But you know how?”

“Yes, Dad taught me. Mom is far too emotional to do something like that. She took me out once and I thought we were both going to die of a fit of vapors.” Giggling, she tipped her head at Brian. “You should see about signing up for driver’s ed.”

“I don’t have a permit and Papa won’t allow it.”

“Oh, well. Nice idea. You guys coming or not?” Jordan cast over her shoulder at Brian. “I hear a hot fudge sundae calling my name.”

The Fēngs’ car wasn’t far from Brian’s, so Jordan walked the entire way with Lien, leaving Brian with Jian. The two boys didn’t talk much, each quietly taking the measure of the other. Brian still couldn’t get a firm read off Jian, but he was pretty sure the other guy was used to being the alpha male, as he’d labeled Brian. That being the case, he was probably going to fight for the position all year. It wasn’t so much that Brian wanted the spot, he was annoyed that someone wanted to challenge him for something he cared so little about. It got his back up.

Jian followed them to the ice cream parlor where Jordan introduced Lien to everyone. Jian stood by, looking sullen and frustrated. Brian didn’t feel compelled to take him around. If Jordan wanted to, that was her prerogative. He ate his hot fudge sundae in silence, watching Jordan with Lien. He had no idea why she was so taken with the girl. She seemed nice enough….

“Do you work?” Jian asked rather abruptly.

“I work with a carpenter part time on weekends and pretty much full time during the summer. He wants me to apprentice with him when I graduate.”

“You will not go to college?”

“Yes, I will. But every man needs a trade, something to help support his family if things go to shit. People always need builders.”

Jian nodded. “That makes sense. My father is a craftsman. He makes pottery. Some is art, but he has contracts with many restaurants all over the world. He has been teaching me.”

“That’s a pretty cool trade,” Brian admitted. “Something about shaping earth that’s very satisfying.”

Jian’s expression changed to one of surprise. “Yes. He fires his pots in a pit or an outdoor oven, the old way. They have more character that way.”

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

To Buy Dellani’s Books