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Hello all! My name is V.L. Locey. I am a self-published and traditionally published author that lives in the mountains of Pennsylvania with my husband of over twenty-one years, my sixteen year old daughter, a herd of dairy goats, chickens, geese, ducks, turkeys, two dogs, two cats, and a partridge in a pear tree. For more info about me and contact links, check out the author bio tab up above.
Enough about me, let`s get back to Wind in White Birch and our lovers Jonah and Dana.
Wind in White Birch
St. Clare of Assisi Parish
Apparently Jonah Big Deer`s charm is not limited to thirty-something divorced mothers. It also sweeps women in their eighties and nineties off their feet. ‘Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!’ as Gomer Pyle used to exclaim.
All kidding aside, I was very pleased to see Jonah doing so well with the old gals. His confident yet humble manner had even taken some of the pinched distrust away from my grandmother`s thickly colored lips. He was pleasantly flirtatious with those who would play along like my aunts Mary and Jo-Jo. With the other three less giggly Zajac sisters he was polite deference and respectable good grace. At the moment he was engaged in a very lengthy discussion with Aunt Elizabeth.
“He seems nice enough,” I heard my grandmother say. I buried the ‘No Shit!’ smile that wanted to break free before turning to look at her.
“He`s a very nice man,” I said. She patted her hair, although it was just an affectation. There was enough Aqua-Net on the mound of red curls to hold the beehive in place during a hurricane. Honestly. I saw it happen once on vacation.
“He needs to cut his hair,” she said. The statement didn’t surprise me.
“Lots of Native American men have long hair, Grandma,” I pointed out. She sucked on that like it was a lemon drop. “I think it`s sexy,” I added just to be that way. Her nostrils flattened.
“You thought Rhick`s hair was sexy too, and look where that got you!” the woman snapped, spun around as neatly as possible given her rather low center of gravity and artificial hip, then stalked to the food table for another halupki.
I shivered when a gust of Arctic air whipped into the hall. Streamers and balloons tried to rip free from their scotch tape moorings. A sickening ripple turned the heavy dinner in my belly over when Rhick and his new wife, the Swedish model, hurried into the party. I cursed silently. It had slipped my mind that my ex and my cousin were pretty close. He had probably stopped in on his way to the airport to be courteous. Rhick was actually pretty good friends with most of the males in my family. I think they secretly envied him being a photographer who travelled all over the world, snapping pictures of hot models for a living.
Now the women in my family were a different story. They did not envy the man who left me and his son for a twenty-two year old Scandinavian underwear model. No they did not.
Even as Rhick and his new bride smiled and removed their coats, the hateful glares from the Clairton Corp were erupting. Those abhorrent stares could rival Clark Kent`s heat vision. Rhett made a beeline to his father who swept the lad up and made a great show of affection. So intent was I on the sight I startled sharply when Jonah placed a hand to my back.
“I take it that`s the ex?” he whispered, his chest comforting against my stiff back. I nodded. Rhick ran a fast eye over the festivities until he found me. Some sort of weird emotion rode across his face, tinting his blue eyes a darker shade of cobalt. He strode over, his son in his arms and his wife at his side, stopping to chat with old acquaintances.
By the time Rhick had arrived so had the old women posse. They moved around the food table like rheumatic sharks, just waiting for the first drop of blood to hit the salty water. Rhick ran an assessing eye over the tall man at my side. I knew from the cockeyed smile that overtook his handsome face something asinine was about to be said.
“Well, I guess it`s too late to circle the wagons to protect the white women,” my ex joked, his eyes darting to the people milling about the food tables for back-up chuckles. No one found the crude comment the least bit humorous, least of all the Seneca man beside me. Jonah didn`t so much stiffen as he did vibrate with indignation. I could feel the battle he was waging not to leap on the idiot smirking at him. I turned to the side and placed a hand to Jonah`s wide chest. His eyes flickered down to me.
“If you`re going to hit him, at least take him outside so no blood gets on the nut rolls.”
“What? I was kidding,” Rhick was now saying behind me. His wife giggled uncomfortably. Even the Swede who barely spoke English had enough sense to feel the unease now clouding the hall.
Jonah found something in my eyes. I saw the anger slip slightly. I did not hold him back when he gently stepped around me and went nose to nose with my ex-husband. Rhick deserved to have his clock cleaned for that slur.
“You`re real lucky you`re holding a kid,” Jonah snarled, his hands tight fists at his sides. Rhick opened his mouth to reply. Jonah stalked past him and exited the building.
“Why must you be such a consummate asshole?” I barked, threw a glare at the six foot tall blonde with jugs that would keep a submarine afloat, and then stalked from the church. I found Jonah outside, pacing back and forth, his long legs propelling him from one side of the filled parking lot to the other. Small tufts of steam exploded out of him as he flexed his fingers over and over. “I am so sorry,” I called, hugging myself as the bitter cold crept through my thin dress.
Dark angry eyes flew to me. He stopped beating the blacktop. “You have nothing to apologize for.”
“I married the jackass. I think that deserves some sort of admission of stupidity.”
“Nah, he probably didn`t show you what a dick he was until after you were his wife,” Jonah said, his words blowing away on a gust right off a freaking iceberg by the feels. My skin puckered up and the hair in my nose froze.
“Oh, I probably had an inkling of his dick-worthy status before the vows were exchanged,” I confessed. Jonah shook his head then opened his arms. I scurried into them gratefully. His chin came down to rest atop my head. “That was awful, even for him. I`m really-”
“Don`t say it,” he cut into the confession sharply. “How about we get your stuff and your kid and head north? I`ve had enough party banter with your ex to last me for the night.”
I had to agree. “Give me a few minutes,” I murmured into his chest, “I`m kind of enjoying being here at the moment.”
A gruff sort of angry grunt rumbled through Jonah`s chest.
The four hour drive to Andy`s promised to be interesting.