Jordan, Chase and Marissa are in Jordan’s basement when Brian arrives. It’s evident that there is tension between Chase and Marissa. In fact, Chase manages to hurt her feelings, making her cry. She runs out and Jordan goes to calm her, leaving the boys alone.
Brian punched him. It wasn’t a light, friendly punch that they sometimes exchanged. It was a hard fisted slam, knocking Chase’s breath from his lungs. Brian grabbed his shirt front, pulling him over. Less than an inch from his face, Brian growled at his friend. It was the most terrifying noise Chase had ever heard Brian make. It was base, primal, pure fury.
“Get over yourself, Chase,” Brian rumbled, his anger barely contained. The windows rattled, the floor shook. Curios on the shelves tipped over. “This is nothing, this stupid shit you’re dealing with. I don’t talk about everything that’s going on with me, but it puts this petty, teenage crap to shame. I don’t whine about how I’m not sleeping with Jordan. I don’t complain about the fact I cause an earthquake every time I get pissed off. I have a voice activated tape deck in my bedroom that I turn on every night, so I can record myself in case I Dream. I have to listen to it every morning when I wake up, to make sure that nothing catastrophic is coming. And you whine about not getting your dick wet! Do what the rest of us do, dumb ass! Jack off a hundred times a day!”
“I know you didn’t mean to share that bit of information with me,” Heath Barrett said as he came down the stairs. He put a calming hand on Brian’s shoulder.
Brian released his friend’s shirt and leaned away from him. Chase sprang up, backing across the room to get away from his friend.
“We’ve talked about control,” Heath said quietly, his hand still on Brian’s shoulder. “You’re scaring the ladies, son.”
Shaking himself, Brian closed his eyes, drawing a deep breath. “Sorry,” he whispered.
Jordan rushed over, hopping on his lap as she hugged him. “It’s okay, Brian. I’m here.”
Her breasts were in his face as she clutched him to her. The rumbling and shaking started again. Heath pulled his daughter off Brian’s lap.
“Honey, that’s not what he needs right now. Why don’t you run up and help Mom with lunch. You too, Marissa.”
“Yes, Mr. Barrett.”
“Sure, Dad.” Jordan gave her father a kiss on the cheek. With a last glance at Brian, she followed Marissa up the stairs. Heath hopped over the back of the couch, dropping on the cushion beside Brian. Chase sat in the chair opposite them, worried frown on his face.
“Talk to me,” Heath said. “I thought we’d gotten past those temper tremors.”
“My fault, sir,” Chase said. “I was bemoaning my relationship with Marissa—again.”
Heath’s placid face turned to the other boy. “Son, we’re men. Hormones rage and we get excited just smelling a girl’s scent. Knowing we’re supposed to be together isn’t easy. I fought it for a good five years. Jackie always knew. She accepted that we’d be together and she was willing to wait for me. For men, it’s a lot harder to make that commitment and keep it. We aren’t wired the same way at all. Your sexual prime is now. You want it—a lot. Having the woman you’re destined to be with for life, telling you No, it’s not easy. Hell, it’s impossible.”
“What did you do?” Chase asked, completely serious.
“A lot of what Brian suggested.” He leaned forward, hands clasped between his knees. “Jackie and I broke up for awhile. My fault entirely. I sewed my wild oats, as it were. Now, I’m not suggesting that, because it took me a long time to get her to trust me afterward. Then again, I went about it like a horny teenager, not a grown man. Which is why I’m telling you this. If it means that much to you, Chase. If you really can’t wait for Marissa, then break it off with her—nicely—for a short time. Date someone else, get laid and see if she’ll take you back. Which, knowing Marissa, will not be easy.”
“If we don’t get married, what happens to our Circle?” Chase asked.
Heath’s head dropped. “Well, there have been provisions made for holes in the Circle.” He met Chase’s eyes. “Like when your dad passed, his sister stepped up. Now, our Circle has lost its balance. We have two women where it should be a woman and a man. So, the Circle compensates and another man has to be found to fit.”
“What if he’s already married to someone else? He can’t get divorced just to marry Aunt Cynthia!”
“Doesn’t work like that. He won’t be married. In fact, he’ll be just right for your aunt, in every way. A man she can’t resist, who can’t resist her.”
“And if I broke up with Marissa? If she put me aside because I’m a lame ass who can’t control my hormones, what happens then?”
“Then, one or the other of you leaves the Circle, finds someone else and, I hope, lives happily ever after.”
“And the other?”
“The Circle finds a new mate.”
“No choice then either?”
© 2017 Dellani Oakes