Saturday, July 27, 2013
Wind in White Birch - Issue # 30
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-two years, my seventeen 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.
For this final issue, I wanted to include a link to the Seneca- Allegheny Nations Veterans Pow Wow. If you recall, Jonah mentioned he participated in the drums earlier in the story. Feel free to either listen as background to this last chapter, or enjoy the music at the end.
Wind in White Birch
The summer sun was brutal. I had found a nice cool tent to relax in. It had been a long, glorious July day. One that Rhett and I would never forget. I sucked on a bottle of raspberry water while peeking at the ceremonial dances now taking place. Rhett had been thrilled beyond words to be allowed to dance with Jonah`s nieces and nephews. Granted, his costume was rather lacking compared to the stunning ones that we saw among the seasoned participants, but Rhett didn`t mind his hastily thrown together ensemble.
I glanced at my watch, rather anxious to find Jonah and perhaps do some shopping. I had promised I would send gifts down with Rhick for the Clairton Corp when he returned to Pittsburgh. It would have to suffice until we got down at Christmas.
Looking out of the tent filled with beautifully made blankets I spied my ex and his wife talking with Andy Big Deer. My son was with his dad at the moment, his cheeks flushed with exertion from his dance. Rhick had insisted on coming up to see Rhett perform and photograph the boy`s participation. He was handling our move to the Finger Lakes region much better than I had thought he would. The news that he was going to be a dad again might have taken some of the sting out of it. Time would tell how his second marriage fared with the new addition adding to the strain. I wished him well.
Rhick and Jonah had kept themselves at a peaceable distance today, and while the two of them would never be bestest buddies, they were keeping civil tongues for the sake of the boy they both loved dearly.
I was swishing some ice cold water over my tongue when some fool grabbed both my butt cheeks. Water spewed over the side of the tent and a pretty gold and blue blanket. I spun around and slugged Jonah as hard as I could in his arm. The owner of the tent was not amused and I apologized profusely to the elderly Native American woman. Jonah quickly purchased the blanket that I had spit on, told the woman we`d be back for it, and then led me out the back of the tent.
“I should keep an eye on Rhett,” I said, glancing over my shoulder at my child.
“He`s with his dad, he`ll be fine.”
I didn`t have time to argue. Soon we were behind the bleachers that were packed with people. The gathering was always a huge draw with dancers and drummers coming in from all over the United States. Jonah had opted not to dance, but he had entered the drum competition which was still going on. I followed behind the man in a white tee, leather vest, and worn jeans. His wrists were covered with beaded bracelets his sister and nieces had gifted him with. Feathers dangled from his plaited hair. His grip on my wrist was tight but not painful. The sounds and smells of the gathering began to wane slightly as we slid into the woods. The air was delightfully cooler under the pines. We stopped after walking for another five minutes or so.
I padded around a small area letting the pine-scented air move through my cotton top. Jonah was leaning against a huge white pine, one moccasin-clad foot resting on the trunk, the other on the ground. His arms were folded over his chest. I lowered my eyes from the boughs and quirked an eyebrow at him.
“What?” I asked, wondering if I had globbered something on my yellow blouse or denim skirt. I wouldn`t be surprised. I had eaten enough here to sink the Lusitania. Show me fried food and I am all Zajac over that shit!
“You know you`re the most beautiful woman at this pow-wow?” he asked. I fluttered my lashes at him, but he didn`t smile or wink, he just continued to stare. I stopped playing as the serious mood he seemed to be in now overtook the tiny space in the woods we occupied.
“Is there something wrong?” I inquired. I began ticking off things mentally. I had gotten June`s books done and sent to the CPA. Payroll was done. We had two guides now: Jonah and a highly skilled man by the name of David Crow Wing. The reservations for the rest of the month were in, booked, and confirmed. That we had this weekend to play was amazing. Not that we didn`t want White Birch Lodge booked all year round, but a day off was greatly appreciated, let me tell you.
His hand coming to rest on my shoulder shook me from my list of potential problems.
“Did I forget something?” I asked. He shook his head slowly, keeping those dark, dark eyes of his glued to my face.
“No, you didn`t forget anything. You`re the best bookkeeper, reservation person, personal assistant, and runner of my life I could have asked for. I just was wondering if you`d like to move up on the employee scale?”
I made a face. “What did you have in mind? I don`t know if I can take on any more mantles to be honest. I`m still trying to find us a cook and then there`s all that paperwork with the state game commission that will have to be done. And don`t forget we have to apply for specialty tags for the guys booking for fall hunts and . . .”
“I was thinking something more along the lines of co-owner of White Birch Lodge,” he cut in. My mouth dropped open for a second.
“I don`t have that kind of money,” I muttered, a very odd feeling settling deep inside of me.
“I`m not looking for a business partner, Dana, I`m looking for a life partner,” Jonah whispered while holding a small velvet box out to me. “Marry me.”
It felt as if the world slowed down. I glanced down at the tiny blue box, my hands beginning to shake violently. Then I looked into his eyes. That was all it took. My whole world – my future – was right there in those obsidian eyes of his.
“Are you sure you want to wed a cougar?” I asked, tears welling up despite my resolve not to cry. Jonah smiled and flicked the box open with his thumb. The round diamond sparkled in the late afternoon rays of sun that snuck through the boughs. The glittering gem was set in silver and the band was inlaid with turquoise.
“I`ve never been more sure of anything in my life,” the man said earnestly.
“If you`re sure, then yes, I`ll marry you.”
He slid the ring on my finger and then kissed me until we were both short of breath.
“Take us home,” I whispered, clinging to Jonah tightly. “This is wonderful, but it can`t compare to the wind moving through our white birch.”
“Our white birch . . . I love hearing you say that.”
I planned on saying that to him until the day the wind stopping blowing and the trees stopped singing their plaintive lover`s song.
Thank you so much for reading along. This serial has become one of my favorite stories for so many reasons. I hope you grew to love Dana, Jonah, and the supporting cast as much as I did. We may return to White Birch Lodge sometime in the future, as there is a new romance that might blossom given time.
Next we`ll be doing something a little different but just as romantic for my Saturday Storytime Trysts. I`ll be taking you back in time for an M/M romance set in nineteen forty-five. World War 2 has just ended when Jon Porter gets a telegram that will change his life forever. Western Union`s friendly service doesn`t soften the blow of finding out that his estranged sister has died leaving him to care for a nephew Jon never knew existed.
Jon returns to the small rural town of Hannity Hills, Pennsylvania, fully prepared to do what he must to set up a quick adoption for his nephew, Andy. Once he`s back home though, things go decidedly different for the artist. First on the derailment of John`s neat plans is four year old Andrew himself. Secondly, he meets Ross Coleman, a local woodworking artisan, and the flames of attraction flare up instantly.
How can a man leave when he`s finding so much to stay for? How can he stay when his livelihood is screaming for him to go? There are no easy answers in my M/M romance Dear Jon, debuting next Saturday here on Storytime Trysts. Until then, love and laugh as much as possible!