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It's time for more romance. Today we have issue seven of my multicultural romance serial Wind in White Birch. Our word prompt this week is 'Stutter.' Please check out the other wonderful writers after you`re done reading by clicking on the Tuesday Tales link at the bottom. Thanks for stopping in!
Wind in White Birch
As predicted, the drive from Clairton to Auburn was a little uncomfortable. To be honest the first hour was damned prickly. Rhett rode in the small cab seat behind the front seats. He had been quite animated for about sixty minutes after we left the church.
The young boy seemed oblivious to the tension that had erupted between his father and Jonah. How that was possible since he was in Rhick`s arms when Jonah got into Rhick`s smug face, I don`t know. I worried he was burying his reaction to the aggression he had witnessed. Jonah tried to be as upbeat as he could with the boy, but I could see the lines of frustration at the corners of his eyes and mouth.
Fatigue finally overtook Rhett about an hour into the road trip. Jonah had been listening to a classic rock station, so James Taylor was now singing about being someone`s friend as we drove along in the darkness. His long fingers were tight to the steering wheel, his left knee jumping not in tune to the song or the bumps in the road.
I didn`t know what to say to open up a conversation that wouldn`t lead us back to the ugliness of racism. I peeled off my coat and wriggled around until I could place it over my sleeping son`s scrawny chest.
“Those are the kinds of things I don’t want him to hear,” Jonah said unexpectedly. I stayed slightly sidesaddle in the big comfortable seat. The soft blue glow of the dash lights illuminated his face. He looked over at me quickly then returned his sight to the roadway. “I know the man is his father Dana, but he`s a bigot. I probably shouldn`t have gotten in his face like that, not with Rhett right there, I`m sorry for that.”
“God, don`t be sorry. Rhick needed you to get in his face. He`s always been one of those guys who likes to poke fun at other`s expense, you know? Most people let that kind of backhanded insult slide, or just accept his douche-pickle snide comments as funny. Rhett should see someone standing up to bigotry.”
“Douche-pickle?” Jonah asked, a light tremble of laughter accompanying the query. I wrinkled my nose and nodded. “Well still, I should have just let it run off my back. Andy would have kicked my ass for acting like a hothead in that situation. I mean, surrounded by old women and nuns in a church wouldn`t be his idea of a good place to get your blood up.”
I didn`t say anything. Knowing Jonah`s grandfather I suspected he was right. Andy would be pissed about the near confrontation if he had seen it. I reached over to pat his bicep. The wool material of his coat was rough. He gave me another fast peek. Some of the anxiety lines had slipped away.
“I`m not dating you just because you`re white,” he said as the midnight DJ talked about some mid-winter festival somewhere.
“I didn`t think you were. I`m not dating you because you`re Native American, either. I`m dating you because I like the man you are. If you were purple with green dots I`d still date you.”
“Now see, I hate purple people with green dots. Yellow dots, yeah they`re fine, but green dotters? Man, they make my skin crawl,” he said so quickly I snorted and stuttered in surprised laughter. “I know why you`re dating me,” he said in a much lower voice that instantly erased the silly giggles.
“And why am I dating you, Mister Big Deer?” I asked primly.
“You`re after my body,” he countered, pulling off the highway into a convenience store. I sat there staring at him as he shifted the massive truck into park. Jonah glanced at me, his lips curling up into a devilish smile. “You`re not even going to deny it, are you?”
I raised a shoulder then let it drop. Just call me Madame Cool Cucumber.
“Fair enough, but what exactly are you planning on doing to my body once you get it, Dana?” he asked in a heated whisper before leaning in to peck me quickly.
Out into the cold he went, leaving me sitting there with my lips puckered and my mind awash with tawdry images. When he returned with two large cups of coffee, I was still sitting sideways with my lips pursed. He laughed, handed me a cup then kissed me properly. He had sipped his drink. His mouth was deliciously flavored with hazelnut and vanilla crème.
“Mom, I have to pee.”
Jonah drew away quickly, licked his plump lips and then placed his huge cup into the cup holder by the steering wheel. A long hot look passed between us, one that spoke of how much neither of us wanted that kiss to end.
“Okay, buddy, let`s go get the key for the men`s room,” I said. Jonah laid a hand on my thigh.
“I`ll take him,” he offered. I agreed and the two guys went back out into the cold. I ran my fingertips over my window to clear the steam. I watched them dash inside then come back out, huddled against the cold, to disappear around the side of the store.
“Thank you,” I whispered to whoever was responsible for creating Jonah Big Deer. Be the creator a god, a Seneca grandfather, or a fairy godmother they did one hell of a job making that man.
Turns out I should have used the little girl’s room when they used the boys. By the time we pulled into the doublewide Andy Big Deer calls home, I could barely move for fear of having an accident. Jonah had offered to pull over a hundred times. I had waved him off and drank more coffee. There was no way I was tugging down my pantyhose and urinating alongside the road in a three-foot high snow bank. Men just don`t have a clue at times.
My feet barely touched the gravel that lines Andy`s driveway and I was dancing. Jonah motioned me to go ahead and let him get Rhett. The lights on the outside of the tan home had come on the moment we pulled up. I raced over stones, snow, ice patches, and a pug dog that was trying to nip my ankles. Andy was at the front door, leaning on a cane. I grimaced at the huge man with the silver buzz cut. My smile had disappeared as my bladder inflated.
“First door on the left,” Andy pointed with his cane. Streaking past an end table as I ran through Andy`s toasty warm living room I heard Jonah stomping snow from his boots before entering.
“Dana Prescott always makes a hell of an entrance,” Jonah was saying. Whatever other snide comments that passed between the Big Deer men went unheard after I slammed the bathroom door closed.
Copyright 2013 ©by V.L. Locey
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