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Today we have the next chapter for Wind in White Birch and our word prompt is "Address". Don`t forget to visit the other talented Tuesday Tales authors. Thanks for stopping by!
Wind in White Birch
I met her at the door with a smile and an outstretched hand. She took the offer. Her grip was strong, her fingers and palm calloused. I was about to introduce myself when something that resembled the man I was dating staggered into the side of the double-wide, young boys hooting like banshees hanging off him. My son and a Native American boy roughly Rhett`s age had bear grips on Jonah`s left leg and were laughing hysterically. I wasn`t sure if I should break up the roughhousing or not. Generally I didn`t let Rhett act so wild.
“Jonah, don`t bring them inside. Take them to the back porch to strip off. Andy doesn`t want snowy kids making puddles on his carpet.”
“Jules, meet Dana. Dana, my one and only sister Julia, the oldest and sternest of Will Big Deer`s six – Ack!” He fell backwards with a young man dangling off him like a monkey, the child`s arms garroting Jonah by the looks.
“Take it around back,” Julia warned. Somehow, he managed to lurch and stumble around the side of the house, my son still stuck to his leg like a burdock. I smiled at Julia then stepped into the doublewide. It was packed with Big Deer`s. Adults and children roamed from one room to another with food and drink. Julia had my elbow.
I was introduced to a staggering lineup of men who all resembled Jonah strongly. There was an older brother Jim and his wife Olivia, then Jason and his wife Cassidy who was non-native like me and quite pregnant, Jared and his fiancé Sue Looking Fox who was from the Oneida tribe, and then there was John who was single and four years older than Jonah at thirty. I wished I had a pen and notepad to write down the names of the children each couple had. I would never remember them all. Julia led me into the kitchen. Andy was seated at the table, his ever-present mug of coffee in hand. The counters were overflowing with dishes, platters, and aluminum serving pans.
“This is my husband Paul Windtalker,” Julia smiled, patting the thick arm of an imposing man with sharp brown eyes that twinkled with mischief. “And three of the boys that attacked Jonah were ours.”
“Why don`t you let the girl draw a breath and maybe get a meatball before you start the interrogation?” Paul suggested, giving me a smile before leaving the kitchen to watch some sort of sporting event on Andy`s flat screen. A meatball sounded good. It would ensure I didn`t have to talk to Julia, who I felt had things she wished to say to me, things about seducing her youngest brother with my cougar wiles at the top of the list. A loud shout erupted in the living room. Andy pushed up from his seat, cane in one hand and coffee in the other.
“I`m missing something,” he said then left me and Jonah`s big sister alone. I fidgeted with my jacket.
“I`m not planning on interrogating you,” Julia said, a bit of warmth igniting in her onyx eyes. “I do have a few questions,” she admitted candidly.
“I`m sure you do,” I smiled. I really wished I had a meatball or two. The sliding door flew open and a pack of half-naked boys raced inside, my son among them. They ran past the eldest of Jonah`s siblings and disappeared from sight. Then Jonah sauntered in, his arms filled with sodden coats, hats, mittens, and snow pants. He was not half-naked sadly. He was instantly on alert when he saw his sister and I were the only ones in the kitchen.
“Want to take some of these?” he asked, dumping the load into Julia`s arms before she agreed. “Man, I`m starved,” he said, looping a long arm over my shoulder then steering me to the buffet.
Julia threw something biting at her brother in Seneca. Jonah jerked his head at her, indicating that he thought she needed to leave. She did but it was not pleasantly.
“Don`t let her intimidate you,” he whispered, tugging me closer. “Ever since mom died she thinks she has to run our lives. Can we sneak off for an hour or two?”
I was beginning to feel like a dainty silk slip caught in an industrial washing machine. “I can`t just leave Rhett here with people he barely knows.”
“Sure you can,” Jonah argued stubbornly. “Watch.” He stalked to the doorway and yelled for Rhett. My son, still in wet Spider-Man underwear appeared with two lads of Seneca descent on either side of him. They were in superhero underwear as well. “Are you cool with staying here while I take your mom for a romantic ride?”
All three young men`s faces screwed up. “You two are gross,” Rhett said then ran off, his new buddies in underwear games on his heels. Not giving me time to speak Jonah then procured ten adults to keep an eye on my son. I had been outmaneuvered neatly. The man had me out the back door and into his truck quickly. I protested the entire time.
“I never got a meatball,” I pouted, pulling my seatbelt around me. Jonah folded himself behind the wheel.
“I did you a favor,” he said buckling up then backing out, “I think Sue made them and she can`t cook.”
“Now Sue is the one that`s married to Jim?” I burrowed into my coat, the interior having grown cold quickly.
“No, Sue is the one that`s engaged to Jared. It`s a pretty daunting group isn`t it?” he asked, slipping neatly out onto the road and heading west. “You`ll get them all down in time. So, are you really mad at me?”
I turned the heater vent away from my face. “I`m not fond of being bullied,” I confessed tartly.
“Yeah, I didn`t think that you would be. I`m sorry, but we really have some things to address.” I turned to look out the window. “Dana, don`t shut me out.”
I nibbled my bottom lip then glanced over at him. “I`m not sure what to say to you,” I told him. “Can you just give me some time? I`m not good at thinking on my feet.”
“Yeah, okay, I can do quiet.” He cranked the heat and music up then fell into silence. I know I had asked for the quiet but after fifteen minutes, it was beginning to grate. We pulled off the road. I gazed out at a large field that had been transformed into a winter carnival. Lights, rides, attractions, tents, ice-skating and snow sculpting competitions awaited us.
“This looks nice,” I said instead of the snippy comment that was resting on my tongue. His hand lighting on my thigh pulled my attention from the crowds milling around.
“Let`s walk and talk,” he said.
“Can we eat while we`re walking and talking?”
His smile made my irritation dissipate instantly. “Yeah, we can surely do that.”
Copyright 2013 ©by V.L. Locey
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