Archive by Author | dellanioakes

When Tis Done – Part 69

When Tis Done cover smallWhile the boys are having their conversation, the girls find something to help them protect themselves. Brian and Chase nearly come to blows, because Chase thinks he’s suffered more than Brian.

“You want my opinion?” Chase rolled his eyes.

Jordan punched him in the chest. “He asked, didn’t he?”

“Yes, Brian. I think that sounds like a good idea. We have more of the necklaces that Dad made. He crafted extra, for the next generation.” He sighed, hands deep in his pockets. “But I know he’d want them used to help anyone who needed them. I can make more, but I’ll need help with the charms.” He looked hopefully at Marissa.

“Of course. I’d be happy to help with that. We’ll make them tomorrow after school and give them as welcome gifts to the guests.”

“Now, I think it’s time for you children to head home,” Jackie said. “Brian, did you and Jordan have any studying to do?”

“Yes. She needs math help and I need homework and notes.”

“How do you know I need math help?” Jordan snapped.

“Babe, you always do.” Laughing, he kissed her on the nose.

Jordan almost punched him, but remembered his sore ribs at the last minute. Instead, she yanked his ear.

They worked for a couple of hours before dinner. Jackie and Maribelle had prepared a veritable feast. Not long before it was ready, Miles and Heath arrived. Miles grinned, looking around expectantly.

“What, not here yet?” he asked his wife.

“Any minute.”

Someone rang the doorbell. Brian, who was closest, checked the peephole and answering with a huge grin. “Mamaw? Granddad? I didn’t know you were coming.”

“We’d have been here sooner, but we had to stop in Jackson for a couple days. There’s a library there where we had to do some specific research. It will keep,” his grandfather said. He gave Brian a hug.

Mamaw gave him a hug and a kiss on both cheeks before hugging and kissing Jordan. Then, she went looking for her granddaughter. The baby threw herself at her grandparents, laughing happily.

Jordan’s family joined them for dinner. Though Jackie didn’t eat the roast, everyone else enjoyed it. She had prepared a variety of side dishes and had a tofu burger instead of the meat.

After dinner, they gathered in the family room. The teenagers sat on the floor, playing with Elise, while the adults settled on couches and chairs. Granddad brought out a wooden box, about the size of a bread loaf, which was covered with unfamiliar glyphs. Handing it to Brian, he told him to open it.

Jordan and Brian set the box between them. Elise climbed onto her brother’s lap. Leaning over, she touched the box and giggled. Brian lifted the lid. Inside, he found a necklace like the one he wore, only slightly smaller and more delicate. There were also matching rings, one adorned with a large, square emerald. The other held a pearl of equal size. The settings were red, white and yellow gold, braided together to make the band. The prongs holding the rings resembled dragon talons.

“What’s this?” Brian asked, gazing into the box.

“The necklace is for Jordan,” his grandmother replied. “Since we didn’t know your chosen mate, we held onto this until you were older. But it’s time now. Jordan needs this. The rings are yours, but must be presented at a formal ceremony which binds you together.”

“You mean like a wedding?” Jordan asked, puzzled by this announcement.

“No, more like an engagement party. There is a ritual of binding. We don’t usually do this, or if we do, it’s rare that the man also gets a ring, but for you two, it’s necessary. This was one of the things we had to pick up in Jackson. They were storing it for us in their safe.”

“When should we do this?” Jordan asked.

“As soon as possible. Since you’re expecting the Texas families, tomorrow night would be a good time,” Mamaw replied. “Meanwhile, Miles, put these in your safe.”

“Yes, ma’am.” He took the box and carried it with him. He came back a few minutes later without the box.

Since it was getting late and the teens had school the following day, they bid goodnight. Jordan and Brian lingered a few minutes after the adults went outside to see off Jackie and Heath.

“This is a big step,” Brian said, holding her close. “Are you sure you’re ready?”

“Are you?”

“Strangely, I am. There are billions of other women out there, Jordan. But I only want you.”

“Ditto, Brian.”

They kissed for a couple of minutes until the honking of the car horn reminded them that she was leaving.

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

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When Tis Done – Part 68

When Tis Done cover smallThe girls take the computer, with the information on how to protect themselves against The Killing Hand, and the boys talk about the situation with Chase and Marissa.

“Too many emotions. You can’t function like that. I can see this storm inside you and it’s not got an outlet. I think at this point, not even sex would help. Not that I’m an expert….” He fell silent. “You have to pull this together. I can’t do it for you, but you have to. I don’t want to lose you both. The Circle would be weakened, damaged. We can’t be either of those things, not now. A storm is coming, so big and so bad, we might not survive it. I need you, Chase. And dammit, I need Marissa. But not like this. You’re broken.”

Chase wiped his eyes with clenched fists. He couldn’t deny that Brian was right, but he had no idea how to fix their situation either.

“What frustrates me the most…. What hurts, is that you act like you don’t care. You sit there and watch my pain and don’t lift a finger.”

“What finger should I life?” Brian lowered all but his middle finger, flipping it at his friend. “This one? Cause this is what we’re all gonna be if you don’t figure this out. I can’t do this for you, and I wouldn’t even if I could. This is your trial, your lesson.”

Chase jumped to his feet. “What about you, huh? Where’s your trial? Your lesson?”

Brian stood slowly, looming over his friend as he drew himself up. He was frightening, intimidating. Anger radiated from him making the walls shake. Elise started wailing in her room. Jordan dashed past them, running for the baby. Maribelle held Marissa back, who tried vainly to get to Chase. Jackie watched quietly, moving steadily to stand in the room a few feet from the boys, saying nothing.

My trials?” A barking laugh escaped Brian’s throat. “Well, let’s see. I’m the Dreamer. Not so bad, I guess, except I’ve seen my own death a few times. It varies….” He shrugged. “I was possessed by Luminous, and tried to kill Jordan. Oh, I’m sorry, that was Opal, so that’s okay. I died two years ago, killed by Mr. D. I was poisoned last year, you remember that, right? Marissa saved my life. I’ve been beaten, strangled, choked in dirt, had whirlwinds flung at me, nearly had a building fall on my head. Do I really need to go on? Have I managed to imprint on you just how petty and stupid your little problems are? Cause if not, I can go on.”

Chase was red in the face, fists clenched at his sides. “At least you have your father.”

“Yes. You lost your dad and I can imagine how that feels. I thought mine was dead for awhile.” Brian inhaled slowly, trying to calm himself. The rumbling around the house settled down. “You don’t get past things, Chase. You grumble and fuss and blame everyone else for shit. Take control. Be the man your father wanted you to be.”

“I’m not you, Brian.”

“No. Be eternally grateful, you’re not.”

They stared one another down for several minutes. Neither moved, but the tremors of their emotions rattled the house. Wind whipped around the eaves, shaking trees and kicking up dust. Brian forced himself to be calm, but he could see Chase struggling. He wanted to help his friend, but he honestly didn’t know how. This was something Chase had to work out on his own. Only he wasn’t. He was suppressing and blaming everyone and everything except himself. It was stupid, pointless and annoying. Brian wanted to shake his friend to make him see what he was doing, but knew it wouldn’t help.

“Stop!” Marissa yelled. “Both of you! This isn’t helping anyone. If you can put aside your male egos for a second, we think we’ve found something.”

Brian broke eye contact first, his head swinging around to where Marissa stood. “I apologize, Marissa. You’re right. Please.” He gestured politely for her to continue.

Beckoning him excitedly, she led him to the table. Chase stayed where he was, frowning. Jordan came back down with Elise in her arms. She was pale and trembling. Jackie took the baby and gave her daughter an encouraging hug. They stood around the table looking at the page Marissa had discovered.

“There is a charm we can make. It’s less complicated than the spell, which is like a counter hex. The book says that once you’ve cast the spell, it’s easier, but I don’t think any of us have the time to learn it. But….the charm, even if it’s complicated, can be applied to any article of clothing or jewelry you want. It’s best to make it something you wear all the time, not something that comes off to be washed. We all wear our charmed necklaces that Cliff made for us. We can easily add this to them. It can be done all at once, in a group casting, which would be easier for the casters.”

“It’s easier than the counter-hex,” Maribelle said. “But it’s still a very difficult procedure. I think we should get the ingredients together and do this for everyone when the Texas group is here.”

“I agree,” Brian said, nodding. “Chase?”

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

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Red River Radio Presents Dellani’s Tea Time with Amanda, CD and JM!


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It’s officially summer and time to kick back and relax by the pool, on the beach, or wherever the mood takes you! Not hot enough for you? Well, our authors can certainly turn up the heat. All these ladies are known for spinning a great yarn, whether it be werewolves, dragons, warrior queens or witches, they have it all.

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.

Amanda Kimberley

Second, please welcome Amanda Kimberley, author of Forever Bound, Salem’s Trial by Judge, and a non-fiction title Fibromyalgia and Pregnancy

Both ladies are in an anthology: Wicket Nights of Summer

JM Robison

Also joining us is JM Robison, author of historical romances, The War Queen and The Foes Between us. This is JM’s second visit to our show, and we’re delighted to have her back! 

We’re so pleased to have these three magnificent authors here to chat with us!


When Tis Done – Part 67

When Tis Done cover smallWhile Brian and Jordan are talking with Chase and Marissa, Chase mentions the scene in Temple of Doom where peoples’ hearts get ripped out of their chests. This makes them wonder if it might actually be possible. If so, how can they safeguard themselves against it?

Brian gave him a glower. “You think that a bullet proof vest would really do anything against a magical attack?”

“Have you checked the Encyclopedia Magicka?” Marissa asked. “That’s been very helpful in the past.”

“I hadn’t thought about it until you mentioned it,” Brian admitted. “I can’t think of everything.”

“Though you act like you do,” Chase snipped.

“Oh, lighten up, Finley! Once again, acting like a sullen child.”

“I’m older than you are by a couple months.”

“Then act like it! Jesus! We need your help.”

Now, you need me?”

“You’re still part of this Circle until the ceremony,” Brian stated firmly. “As such, I’m asking for your help. You might be a pain in my ass, Chase, but you’re smart and intuative. And Marissa is good with charms and spells.”

“Maybe we should help our new Circle instead.”

“Enough!” Jordan bellowed. “You are being such a big baby! Instead of looking at how badly your feelings are hurt, or how much your balls ache, you should be looking at what we can do to protect ourselves. Not just our Circle, but all of them. If we can figure out something, we will be helping everyone. You’re so selfish and focused on yourself, you can’t see past your own—dick!”

Chase stared at her. Jordan wasn’t prone to such outbursts and it took him by surprise. Marissa and Jordan both glared at him, giving him the same tight lipped frown.

“I, for one, don’t want to die because you’re acting like a three year old with a temper tantrum,” Marissa said. “Where’s your copy of the Encyclopedia?” she asked Brian.

“I have a copy on a flashdrive. My laptop is on the dining room table.”

Jordan got the computer and he took the flashdrive off his keyring. Booting up the computer, he plugged in the drive when it was complete. The familiar cover popped up on the screen and he clicked on it to open the book.

“What should I look for?” he asked, fingers poised over the keys.

The four teenagers exchanged a look. None of them knew exactly how to conduct a search.

“Look for key words first,” Jordan suggested. “Like heart, punch, ward.”

“Or,” Chase said, leaning forward eagerly. “Just look for, how do I keep from getting my heart ripped out?. I’ve found the most information when I ask exactly what I want to know.”

Brian took his suggestion and typed in his question. To his shock, and horror, an entry showed up: Ward to Prevent the Killing Hand.

Shivering slightly, he clicked the link and started reading aloud. “The Killing Hand is a mere rumor these days. There is no record of it being used in more modern times, though some of our earliest records, dating back centuries, mention this spell. Many believe it is a legend, or an exaggeration, the method has been enumerated—though not in this text. This book shall not touch on how to do perform this horrendous practice, for it is considered an abomination among our kind. However, since the Dark are not inclined to follow our rules, we have a counter-measure, a ward, to dispell this maneuver. Below are the directions.”

He didn’t read the instructions aloud right away. Glancing over them, he shook his head. “I thought that summoning the Peddlar was the most complex ritual I’d ever seen, but making the wards for this—just about impossible. I can’t think of a single one of us who has the skill for this.”

“Someone needs to try,” Marissa said. “Because now that we’ve been talking about it, I feel creeped out and terrified all over again. I don’t want to learn how to do it, but I sure want to know how to protect myself.”

Jordan agreed with her. The girls took the computer to the dining room table and pored over it, trying to figure out what would be needed. When Jackie and Maribelle came back down, they asked for their help, leaving the boys alone. Neither Brian, nor Chase, had a facility for wards, charms or tokens. Instead, they sat in tense silence. Knowing he had to say something, in an effort to help his friend, Brian spoke.

“I don’t want to lose you two,” he said quietly. “Not just because it would weaken us, but because you’re my best friend. We’re more like brothers. Over the last couple years, I’ve come to depend on your strength more times than I can count. Not just in the Circle, in everything.”

“You’ve got a weird way of showing it.”

“Be fair, dude. If you were in my position, you’d do the same thing. If I were having trouble with Jordan and you were in charge, and it put us all at risk, how would you handle it? Please tell me, so I can make this right.”

Chase leaned forward, head on his hands. “Honest to God, Brian. I don’t know. I know we’re a mess and I can’t see my way out of this hole I’ve dug myself into. I’m angry, hurt—horny,” he added very quietly. “Frustrated, furious….”

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

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When Tis Done – Part 66

When Tis Done coverJordan’s drama practice gets called early. She has an uncomfortable chat with Lien afterward. She and her mother talk on the way to Brian’s house. Jackie tells her about her early relationship with Heath, and Maribelle’s rocky romance with Miles. Thanks to Cliff, they were both set straight. At Brian’s house, Elise has been near her brother all day, fussing if he gets out of sight.

“Lien cornered me after practice to demand to know where Jian is. I told her I don’t know. And I don’t. She didn’t believe me. Then she threatened me and said she’d have big, luscious Brian to herself.” Shuddering, she took a sip of her tea. “It was so skeevy, like she wanted to eat you.”

Brian said nothing. Instead, he sipped his tea and turned red around the ears.

“Oh, ew!” she wanted to punch him, but Elise was too close. “That’s gross, Brian. How could you even think that?”

“I said nothing. That perversion came strictly from you.”

Soon, Elise needed her bath and a diaper change. Maribelle took her up to her room and Jackie went with her.

“What else happened with Lien?”

“I told you everything.”

“Did she really say that about me?”

“Word for creepy word. She got this look in her eye, like she wanted to eat your soul.”

“Not me?”

“Well, probably that, too. It was icky.”

“Is the idea of someone else finding me attractive icky, too?”

“No, that makes me jealous,” she admitted softly. “I think you’re ten kinds of sexy, but I don’t want to eat your brains or something. I mean, it was like praying mantis rips off the head of her mate, kind of eat.”

“Disturbing imagery.”


They snuggled close, mindful of Brian’s tender ribs, and talked quietly while they waited for Chase and Marissa. They arrived a few minutes later and Jordan let them in. They seemed somewhat subdued and distant around Brian. Jordan supposed that was normal, considering how they’d parted the night before.They gave Brian and Jordan a full and detailed report about Lien’s actions during the day.

“She cornered me in the restroom after chours and wanted to know where Jian is being held. I told her we didn’t have a clue. She didn’t believe me.”

“She didn’t believe me, either, when I told her the same thing,” Chase said. “She didn’t corner me in the bathroom, but she was waiting when I came out of the locker room. I got the distinct feeling that she wanted to come in when the guys were getting dressed. I got a real weird vibe from her. Like—I dunno, like she wanted to eat my soul, or something. I held my hand over my chest, cause I kept thinking of the creepy chest punch thing they did in Temple of Doom. That shit gave me the creeps for weeks the first time I saw it.”

“Oh, I hated that,” Marissa said, clutching her top to her. “I used to wake up at night, screaming because I was so sure someone was going to sneak in my room and rip out my heart. I still can’t watch that scene.”

Jordan let her eyes glaze over and held out her hand, chanting like they did in the movie. Marissa squeaked, moving away. Chase laughed and stood up, grabbing her hand.

“Yank my heart out, Jordan!”

She snatched her hand back. “Oh, that was so icky!”

“Thanks, touching me is icky.”

“No, Chase, not that! I mean, for a second there, when I touched you, I felt like I could!”

They all got very quiet.

“Do you suppose—we could?” Marissa whispered.

“Would it surprise you?” Brian asked. “Think about all the things we can do. We’ve hardly skimmed the surface. It wouldn’t be on the approved course of study list, but why not?”

“Horrible!” Marrisa replied, shuddering.

“Which begs us to consider, if it’s something we’re worried about, for real, what could we do to prevent it?”

“Not much?” Chase said. “Are you seriously considering that possibility? I’ll be happy to practice on you, Brian. No, wait. I forgot. You’re a heartless bastard.”

“Enough, Chase!” Jordan said. “You keep trying to blame Brian for your problems. This isn’t his fault. You know, whatever. I’m so tired of listening to you whine, I think you should leave.”

“Now you’re ordering me around? Excuse me?”

“You’re being mean,” Marissa added.

“Me? Jesus, you’re unbelievable. Since I obviously can’t do anything to please anyone….”

“Shut up and sit down,” Brian said. “I’m serious about this. Who’s to say that the other side can’t do something like that? How would we counter it? Protect ourselves?”

Chase gaped at him. “I dunno, short of wearing Kevlar.”

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

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When Tis Done – Part 65

When Tis Done coverJordan, Chase and Marissa do their best to keep an eye on Lien during school. After drama practice, Jordan is waiting for her mother, when Lien joins her. She demands to know where Jian is, and gets nasty when Jordan says she doesn’t know.

“I said I don’t know,” Jordan replied. “Don’t make me call the cops on you just like we did on your brother and father.Your dad tried to kill Officer Bertram!”

Lien’s smile was dangerous. “Only tried? I’m surprised he wasn’t successful.”

“Not while I’m around.”

“Then perhaps you won’t be around much longer.”

“Don’t fuck with me, Lien. That’s a mistake.”

The Asian girl’s smile turned predatory. “A little thing like you? You’re no threat. With you out of the way, the big, lucious Brian could be mine.”

“Don’t count on it. Big, luscious Brian is mine.”

Lien shrugged, wiggling her fingers dismissively. “For now.”

“For ever.” Jordan stood, flouncing down the steps as her mother pulled up to the curb. Feigning nonchalance, she got in and locked the door. “I need to drive myself tomorrow, if Brian’s not going. Lien was really creepy.”

“That was her?” Jackie glanced in her rear view mirror.

“She threatened me and said she’d have big, luscious Brian to herself.”

“Hmm, makes him sound like a particularly delicious lollypop.”

“I know! Gross! Though apt….”

Jackie giggled at her daughter’s discomfort. “It’s okay to be attracted to him, Jordan. He’s your intended.”

“Can I ask…. How soon did you and Dad…? I can’t believe I’m asking this question!” She stopped, gagging slightly.

“How soon did we get past kissing and a little groping? Not nearly as soon as he wanted. Heath had it in his mind that it would make a great treat after junior prom. I didn’t agree. So, instead, he dumped me and went off with another girl and made it with her instead. There were several more over the course of the next year, and he was quite a player when we got to college. He figured out after his first semester that he’d better stop whoring around and concentrate. We had ourselves a long Come to Jesus talk, which he didn’t particularly like.”

“What did you say?”

“I told him if he loved me, and had any hope of ever being with me, he had to stop what he was doing and examine his life. I didn’t put it that nicely. I told him to straighten the fuck up, or I was going to get him kicked out of the Circle and marry Uncle Jake.”

“Would you have? Could you?”

“I would have in a heartbeat. Whether I could or not, would have been up to Miles. He was Voice at that point and nearly as bad as Heath. Cliff set him straight, after he damn near broke poor Maribelle’s heart. Then he had a long talk with your dad, and got them both back in the Circle, ready to commit and behave. I’ve never worried a day since. Your father is a wonderful man and Brian is, too. You’ll never have that frustration with him. He only wants you.”

“Why did Dad act like that?”

“The men don’t always take to this predestined monogamy as well as we do. You have to figure, men are wired differently. For them, the idea of being stuck with the same woman forever, can be intimidating. Never getting to sow their wild oats, so to speak. But God filled them with lust and told them to be fruitful and multiply. Unfortunately, God didn’t include an off switch for the libido.”

Jordan giggled. Her mother had a very creative way of expressing herself.

“But not all men are that way,” Jackie said. “Like Brian. And Cliff. They know who they want. I was so jealous of Dora through those years. Cliff only wanted her, he doted on her, worshipped her. When she got pregnant with Chase, it was the happiest day of his life, until Chase was born. Then, the girls…. By that time, I’d had your brothers all in a row. I was content, happy. But I always wondered what that kind of devotion felt like.”

“You have it now,” Jordan assured her mother.

“I suppose I do. I hadn’t thought of it really, since then.”

“He loves you more than he can ever say,” Jordan assured her mother. “Which is good, cause you’re a hot mess, Mom.”

Jackie laughed loudly, pinching Jordan’s cheek. “Takes a mess to know a mess.”

“Yeah. I’m that, all right.”

They pulled up in the Casey’s driveway.

“Brian asked to see you after school. He wants a full report on Lien.”

“Okay. Chase and Marissa should give him one, too.”

“They’ll be by soon. Their practices didn’t get canceled.”

Brian was sitting in the living room and Maribelle had iced tea ready for them. Elise was curled up on the couch by Brian.

“She hasn’t left his side all day. If he gets where she can’t see him, she fusses until he comes back. I just don’t get it,” Maribelle shook her head. “She’s not ever like that, not even with me.”

“She senses his injuries and she feels the wrongness in the air. It’s bound to make her fussy. I don’t understand it either, and it’s making me cranky as well,” Jackie said.

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

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When Tis Done – Part 64

When Tis Done coverMiles and Heath arrive just as more police do. Between them, they manage to subdue Fēng and Jian. When Jian is knocked out, Mr. Fēng calms down and tells them to make sure he is locked in a more secure place than just the jail. John Curtis, who has connections at Camp Shelby, in Hattiesburg, takes Jian in custody.

“I trust you,” Jordan said. “And I’ll watch her tomorrow. You’ll help me?”

“Of course. That’s what friends and Circle members do.” She shot Brian a look.

“Thank you, Marissa.” Brian gave her a hug. “Sorry about the kiss,” he whispered. “I had to try.”

“I know. I appreciate it. We’ll see….”

He kissed her cheek. “Yes, we’ll see.”

They all went home for the night with the promise to gather Friday night to meet the Texas Circle. Arrangements had been made for places to sleep for the Circle members, but it would be snug. The Texas contingent took rooms at a local bed and breakfast and would spend the long Labor Day weekend in Mississippi.The women of Miracle were already in touch with the women from Beaumont, making plans for meals. It had been decided they would meet at Neil and Cynthia’s house. Since it was the ritual ground, it made sense.

Brian didn’t go to school Thursday. Jordan wanted to stay home with him, but Marissa convinced her to go to school to watch Lien. Between the two of them, they had six of their seven classes with her. The seventh one, Chase was in. Surly, disgruntled, he agreed to keep an eye on her because the girls asked him to. Still furious with Brian, he wanted to ingratiate himself with Jordan and Marissa. At noon, they joined up to report to one another.

“Nothing weird,” Jordan said. “She’s acting dead normal. But you’re right, Riss. Smarmy, suck up. I’m stunned I didn’t notice before.”

“And the Little Miss Helpless thing is an act,” Chase said. “She’s really working it. She tried it on me in Chemistry, but I spilled something on her and she got really pissed when I tried to clean it up.”

“What did you spill?”

“Nothing serious. Gentian violet we were using to stain the slides. She can’t drive, her brother’s not around, her dad’s in jail, so she can’t go home to change. They have a housekeeper, so she’s not alone, but the woman wouldn’t come get her.”

“Pure evil,” Marissa said, giving him a kiss on the cheek. “Genius.”

Chase flashed her a surprised look. Marissa never kissed him in public. “Thanks. I try.”

“What about after school?” Jordan asked. “Should we invite her for ice cream or something?”

“I can’t stand to be around her that much,” Marissa admitted. “I can be polite, even friendly, in class, but not after school. I just can’t.”

“Okay, we don’t worry about that,” Jordan said. “I’m tempted to skip drama practice.”

“You need to go,” Chase said. “She’ll be there. Maybe she’ll tip her hand if she feels relaxed.”

Jordan couldn’t think of a good excuse not to go, so she agreed. Getting through the rest of the day was exhausting. By the time she got to drama practice, Jordan was dragging. Once again, Mrs. Joyce asked her to lead the warm up. Normally, she didn’t mind, but today she didn’t feel like it. Pushing herself, she got them started and guided them, but didn’t give it her all. The other students didn’t say anything, but most of them had heard about Lien’s father being arrested for assaulting Brian and a police officer. No one knew what had happened to Jian and they felt it was better not to bring that up, either. All through practice, the atmosphere was super charged. No one could concentrate. Mrs. Joyce wasn’t sure what to do. She had heard from Mr. Ferris about the conflicts the day before, and didn’t want to stir up trouble. Instead, she called rehearsal early.

“Since there is no practice on Friday, and you have a long weekend, I expect lines to be perfect! This isn’t new material. That goes for everyone.”

“Yes, Mrs. Joyce,” they chorused.

“Go. Enjoy!” She waved them off.

Jordan walked to the parent pickup and called her mother. Though Jordan didn’t really want her to, Lien waited with her.

“How is Brian?”

“He’s okay, hurting. Have you seen your dad yet?”

“No. I am not allowed. He told me not to come.”

Jordan nodded. She could understand that. Her father would be the same way. Not that he’d ever do anything to get himself in jail….

“Have you heard from Jian?” Lien asked.


“Where was he taken?”

“I have no idea.”

“I think you know,” Lien said, her tone hardening. “I think you know exactly where he is.”

“I said I don’t know,” Jordan replied. “Don’t make me call the cops on you just like we did on your brother and father.Your dad tried to kill Officer Bertram!”

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

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