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Coincidental Meetings By Mel R. C.



Chapter 2


Grinning I walk down the stairs to my room counting the money that I had just made from my dad by beating him in pool.

I yawn and stretch as I walk over to my computer and turn it on. I pull my shirt off and pull on my sleeveless navy blue dragon surfer shirt then I take my boots off tossing them under my bed I then take my pants off and pull my boxers on.

I open the door to walk out of my bed room when I hear my computer beep with in coming mail. I raise an eyebrow then walk over to my computer and open the mail box. I scan the messages and see that they’re all from Dan. I groan and roll my eyes then I highlight them all and drag them to the trash can then empty it shaking my head thinking, ‘What’s the point of looking at them? He’s just cussing me out cause his male ego has been shattered.’ I chuckle to myself then crawl into bed after turning my computer on stand-by.

I yawn snuggling into my pillow thinking about the girl I ran into at the mall. Closing my eyes I smile to myself thinking, wouldn't mind meeting her again.

I open my eyes to again only to be looking into the same intense green ones. I jump back with a gasp then jump up on the bed and run off of it almost tripping on the sheets in my flight. I whirl around looking for the door. I run my fingers through my hair confusion only to stop my hand before it can reach my hair. My shirt sleeve billows out and I look down to see that my front is laced together with laces but are undone. My shirt is tucked into a pair of what looks to be raw hide pants. They are tied closed and kept up with laces. I see that I’m also wearing a vest that is hanging on my shoulders it seems to be made of leather. My feet are bare and I wiggle them to against the cold floor. I know that my mouth must be hanging open because the woman that is still on the bed is chuckling at me.

She gets up off the bed and walks over to me. Putting her hands on my shoulders she looks down at me.

Her clothes are identical to mine and I look into her eyes I see nothing, but warmth and love towards me. She smiles rubbing my shoulders softly.

"How are ye feeling?" She asks her voice thick with an Irish brogue.

"Ah doing fine." I whisper hearing the very strange yet familiar brogue as well in my own voice.

She runs her fingers through my hair smiling widely at me then she slowly runs a hand down my chest and presses on my ribs. I feel a jolt of pain and almost fall over.

"Fine huh lass?" She chuckles picking me up.

"Put me down now lassie before I dump ye in the river."

"You and who's goddess me wee one?" She laughs heartily at me shaking her head.

"Ah was doing just fine before ye touched me rips. Ye big giant." I say thrashing around.

"Stop squirming ye little rat before I sick yer wife on ye."

I growl but lay still sighing softly laying back against the pillows.

"I'll go tell Rachel that yer awake. Can ye be good while gone ye wee one?"

"Aye ah can," I grumble. "But just fer the trouble yer better bring back some sweet meats."

The woman laughs ruffling my hair softly then gets up off the bed and goes out the door.

I take the time to look around at my surroundings for the first time. A couple paces from the door is a fire place and by the fire place is a rocker. On the floor in front of the fire place is animal pelts. I can't make out what kind of animal it is though. I look around some more seeing a couple more chairs and a small end table, plus a couple small chests. Nothing else is in the room. I yawn softly closing my eyes for just a second. As I try to settle my thoughts I hear someone padding closer to the door. I open my eyes to see a head poke it's way in with blond hair then a small face grinning at me. The door opens and I see that there are two small children standing in the door way both with big smiles on their faces.

"MA!!!!!" The one I saw first yells.

Then they both race towards the bed giggling their wee heads off. I grin as two strong kids jumps on me. I hug them both holding them close to me.

"Now me wee ones becareful. Yer ma has had a rough time," A voice I haven't heard yet, but sounds just as familiar as the other woman’s says from behind the door.

My mouth goes dry as the most beautiful woman I have ever seen walks through the door with a tray of sweet meats . I grin widely to recover from my shock.

The woman is tall. Taller then I am that is for sure. With flowing black hair and the bluest eyes I have ever seen in my entire life. My green, yellow and blue ones are no match for the woman’s I see before me.

"How are ye feelin Morg?" The woman asks as she sets down the tray.

"Fine now mah love." I say softly.

The words come out so well and I feel like it’s the most natural thing in the world to say as I hold my arms open shifting the wee ones to my side, smiling up at the woman I presume who could only be my wife.

She grins with happiness coming in closely kissing me as she snuggles against my body. I pull my family against me hugging them tightly against my body grinning even though my ribs are giving me pain. I nuzzle my face against my wives hair whispering softly.

"I love ye mah wife."

I shoot up in bed when I hear something crash bringing me fully out of sleep. I look around to see what fell, but I don’t see anything. Yawning I look at my watch to see what time it is. ‘8:30 in the morning? Ugh. Why am I up at this ungodly hour?’ Groaning I get up and climb down the ladder. I stretch then tap the mouse of my computer. I smirk when I hear it hum to life. I crack my knuckles then sit down and surf the net for a while.

I grin while I get into Dan’s hotmail account. I look at some messages from Christa. I raise an eyebrow then mutter to myself, ‘didn’t cheat on me with her huh? Then I guess this was a little romp in bed was called a friendly game of wrestling.’ I smirk then highlight the message and copy it.

I log into his webpage that has the same password as his hotmail then I rename his home page then in it’s place I put the message from Christa and his response on there. I save it then log off his accounts. I sit back in my chair smirking widely. I blow on my nails then I get up and walk out the door to the bath room.

After showering I pull on a pair of black jeans and my brown dragon T-shirt. After lacing up my boots I trot down stairs to the kitchen. I grab a Pepsi out of the refrigerator and lean against the counter popping the top and taking a drink. I tap my bottom lip gently then look at my watch again. ‘8:45. Hmmmm. I wonder if dad got some worms.’

I set my soda down on the counter and trot outside to the shed. Once in side I see dad’s and mine fishing gear on the other side of our gear is the bait refrigerator. I whistle as I go through the refrigerator looking for the worms. I grin when I find a couple of Styrofoam bowls with the bait in them.

“Alright dad. You da bomb,” I say out loud chuckling deeply.

I grab one of them then look through my gear for my bowl and tackle box.

“Ah ha there you are,” I exclaim as I pull out my fishing pole hooking my finger on the fish hook in the process.

“Shit!!!” I exclaim looking at my finger. “Oh well.”

I wipe the little bit of blood off my finger and onto my shirt then picking up my dropped fishing pole and bait I set off to the pond in search of some fish. I whistle to myself grinning all thoughts of Stacy and Dan shot out of my head when I see the sun reflecting off the pond.

I pull my shirt off and sit down in the sand in just my sports bra and jeans. I can see ripples in the water from the fishes fins then a huge fish jumps into the air and I watch with amazement as it flops back down into the water. I grin baiting my hook and casting my fishing line out right beside where the fish had landed in the water.

I lean back on my arms and watch the end of my pole.

I lean my head to the side then to the other to get the kink out of it when I see my pole jerk back and forth. I sit up and watch the pole intently as it wiggles back and forth. Then all of a sudden the end of the pole goes down and I reach over and grab the pole yanking real hard I feel the fish on the line struggling to get away.

I let out a whoop as I struggle to bring the fish onto shore. I dig my heels into the sand and reel the line in pulling the fish along. I let some slack in the line so the fish will ware it’s self out.

Finally after about five minutes or less of fighting the fish I bring it up onto shore. I reach down and pick it up. I let out a whistle when I see how big it is.

I look up when I hear clapping. I grin as I watch my dad walk down the bank to the sandy shore of the pond.

“Looks like you caught a pretty big one there, Jack,” dad says as he slaps me on the back.

I grin proudly. “Yeah sure as hell gave me a fight. Took me about five minutes to bring this sucker in.”

“Yeah I know. I was watching after I heard you let out a whoop.”

I grin up at my dad then look at the big mouth bass. I open up my tackle box and pull out my stringer. I carefully lace the string through the fishes gill the slide it through the large ring. Carefully I put the fish into the water and tie the end of the stringer to a large log so it wont get away.

I turn back to my dad then raise an eyebrow.

“You gonna go fishin, dad?”

“I was thinking about it yeah.” He looks up at the shading his eyes with his hand, “Looks like it’s going to be a hot one.”

“Yeah I know the sun is already beating down pretty hot. It’s kinda unusual for August isn’t it?”

“Naw. It’s probably Iowa’s Indian Summer or something. Who knows. I’ll be back. Gotta go get my pole. Don’t forget to put those worms in the shade so they don’t die, Jack.”

“Okay dad.”

I cast my line back out and lean back again into the sand watching the clouds over head. I just lay there watching the clouds smiling to myself softly. I close my eyes then slowly drift off to sleep.

I open my eyes and see that I’m looking into the same eyes that I was staring into last nights dream. I feel a tug on my hand.

I shoot up from my position on the bank. I look around trying to figure out what was pulling on my hand then I look down and see that my pole is in my hand. I look at it more closely and see that there’s something tugging on it. I jerk back and reel in the line. The fish doesn’t give me much of a fight and I have it in shore in a couple seconds. I pull it out of the water and see that it’s really small so I take it off the hook and gently toss it back into the pond.

I wipe the sweet from my brow and look up to see dad making his way towards me with a small cooler.

I grin widely, “I was wondering what was taken you so long.”

“I thought we could use something to drink while we’re out here.”

“Good thinking,” I laugh. “It’s hotter then Hades out here now.”

“Ahh yep that it is,” he says nodding.

I look in the cooler and see that it’s full of beer. I look up at dad and raise my eyebrow.

“Might as well make it a mans day,” he says winking then laughing deeply.

“You do realise that if mom sees us she is gonna have a shit fit and fall in it don’t you?” I ask popping the top of the Bud Lite that I fished out of the cooler.

“So? It’s her idea to send you to an all boys school. Might as well play the part huh?” He asks grinning.

“So true,” I grin back at him knocking my can against his lightly chuckling.

I look up as I hear a whinny from a horse near the stables. I see a person make their way out of the barn with a horse on a tether. I nudge my father gently.

“Who’s that?” I ask nodding my head in the direction of the barn.

Dad looks up and then squints his eyes to see where I’m now pointing too.

“Oh I believe that is Marion the Ranglers daughter.”

“Yeah? Hmmmm. Interesting,” I say grinning.

“Don’t you be scaring the poor girl now, Jack,” my dad says with a twinkle in his eye.

“Don’t worry dad. I wouldn’t dream of it,” I answer with a chuckle.

I look up again and see the beauty that had captured my eye walk out with another horse. I stand up and hand my dad my pole.

“I think I’ll go for a ride on my bike dad,” I say with a twinkle in my eyes.

“Ach. Don’t you be doing anything I wouldn’t do young lady,” my father answers with a twinkle in his own eyes.

“Don’t you be worrying about me dad. I’ll be fine,”

Dad chuckles as he looks up at me, “You know. Italian isn’t the only blood that runs through your veins.”

“Oh and what else runs through my veins?”

“Why the blood of the O’Ryans of course from my mothers side.”

I stop before I take a step and look at my father with a weird expression on my face.

“Excuse me? What was that name again?”

“O’Ryans. It’s in the legends of our family that a woman named Morrigan O’Ryan was a strong warrior and her love for the fair Rachel was legendary. She would fight any man that tried to sully her honour. They had two kids who grew up to be almost exactly like Morrigan,” he chuckles softly. “It is also in the legends that she was a demigoddess that was left in the woods to die because she had no powers and neither parents wanted her. It is also legend that the man that was her father sacrificed her sergeant mother’s mate Krys.”

I frown as memories start to flood my mind. I shake my head and chuckle, “Well your gonna have to tell me more about that sometime, da,” I grin at him and walk off.

He yells at me as I leave, “I will later tonight if you want.”

I turn and look at him and smile, “Sounds good, da.” He smiles at me then goes back to his fishing. I turn back around and walk towards the shed to get out my bike.

As I wheel my bike out my mind is flooded with memories again, but to fast for me to comprehend them. I shake my head again and mutter to myself, “What is going on here?” I shrug then hop onto my bike and petal over onto the road. I follow the road around the ranch looking at the scenery. I stop my bike and hop off then stretch my arms over my head and look around. I spot a trail that leads off the of the road.

“Hmmm must be a horse trail to work the horses out on,” I mutter to myself then I scratch my chin and chuckle. “So I guess I’ll just see where it goes.”

I hop back on my bike and steer it towards the path. I race my bike through the woods, jumping over small mounds of dirt and slide my bike around curves. I race on the path till it crosses some other paths. I’m about to jump a hill when a rider on a horse comes into my path.

“WHOA,” I yell.

The horse rears and I go flying over the hill and down it. I try to apply my brakes, but the brakes have gone out. I race down the hill praying that I don’t hit a tree. Limbs slap me in the face as I barrel through the woods. I come out the woods and see that the pond is right in front of me. I put my heels down to try to stop, but I can’t stop the bike. So I put my feet on the peddles and try to hand brakes again. Still they wont work.

“FUCK,” I scream as my front tire hits a fallen log and I go over the handle bars and fly into the pond.

I hit the water hard. Hard enough that it knocks the wind out of me and I sink down into the water. I open my eyes and see fish swim by me in fright. I kick my feet and start swimming towards the surface. I break the water and gasp for breath as I bob around in the water. I see my dad laughing at me and the rider that was in my way rides up on the horse. I swim over to shore and get out of the water.

“Hey why don’t you watch where your going next time!?!?” I yell as I get out of the pond shaking my shirt out.

“You where the one in the way,” a feminine voice reaches my ears and I look up to see the ranglers daughter sitting on the horse in front of me.

“No I was minding my own business when out of no where you come along and almost get my killed.”

“ME? You were the one racing through the woods as if the devil himself was on your heels.”

“HA! So you admit that you did see me and that you were in the way.”

“I did no such thing.”

“Sure you did. Unconsciously you just admitted it. I’ll except your apology too.”

“WHAT! I think you are mistaken sir. For I did not admit nothing nor am I gonna apologise for something I did not do.”

“For that outburst I have decided not to except your apology.”

“ARG! You are impossible.”

I chuckle to myself enjoying the fact that I am making the girl all frustrated. I look up as I hear footsteps approaching us.

“That was a good dive, Jack. I give you a 10 and a half for that,” my dad laughs as he slaps my soggy shoulder.

“Thanks dad, but I wouldn’t have done it with out....” I look up at the girl. “What’s your name anyway?”

“My name is Marion. So your Jack huh? I heard about you from my father.”

I grin as I look up into the incredibly deep blue eyes of this woman. I gasp then lean my head to the side.

“Have we met?”

Dad leans over and whispers into my ear, “Oh yeah that was original, Jack.”

I look at my dad and growl softly then look back at Marion.

“Wait yeah we have. Yesterday at the mall. Your the woman I ran into.”

Marion laughs. “Seems you have a problem with running into people.”

“I did not run into you. You ran into me and sent me flying into the pond.”

“I did not. ARG!! MEN!!”

I stand there laughing with my dad and shake my head.

“I could say the same thing about you WOMEN,” I grin up at her and she grins back at me.

“Alright well I guess I better get, Druid here back to the barn. It was nice seeing you again, Jack. Even if you ran into me,” she says with a smirk as she turns the horse around and leaves.

I’m about to yell back at her, but then chuckle shaking my head.

“Give it up, Jack. You can’t win against women.”

“Yeah, but that’s bad, dad. Because I am a woman,” we laugh together as we head for the other side of the pond.

“Jack you remember when I said don’t do anything I wouldn’t do? Well that’s something I wouldn’t do,” he says with a chuckle.

“It wasn’t my fault, dad. She ran me off the trail.”

Dad laughs shaking his head, “Seems to me that your the one that did, but then again. Some women are to stubborn to admit when they did something,” he looks at me pointedly.

“What?” I ask with a chuckle.

“Nothing. Though I have to say. You do make quit a first impression.”

I laugh and slap my hand on his shoulder, “Well if something is worth doing then it’s worth doing right. Right dad?”

He nods and laughs with me.

Once we reach the other side of the shore we grab our poles and the fish and take them to the shed then take the fish into the house. Once we get inside we try to avoid my mother, but it’s as if she has bionic hearing.

“My god, Jacqueline. What did you do to yourself?”

“I had a run in with a tree. It won,” I say laughing.

“Don’t get funny with me young lady. You march yourself up to your room and change, but first go to the bath room and get a towel. Don’t be tracking water where ever you go,” my mother says with her hand on her forehead rubbing it.

“Yes mother,” I say as I head for the downstairs bathroom and grab a towel to get some of the dripping down to a minimum.

As I walk out of the bathroom I hear my mom and dad arguing in the living room in hushed voices. I sigh and walk up the stairs to my room to get a change of cloths. Once inside I strip out of my wet clothes and hang them on my chair for the time being and dig around in my dresser for a change of clothes.

I grin to myself as I remember seeing Marions face when I was giving her a hard time and think to myself, ‘gods she’s beautiful when she’s angry.’ I chuckle and pull out a pair of baggy cargo pants and another cut off shirt and my silky scooby doo boxer shorts.

After putting them on I pull on my black airwalk shoes then walk down stairs humming to myself softly. I jump the rest of the steps and land in front of my dad. I look at him and smile.

“Hey dad. What’s up???”

“Well Jack there’s some one to see you.”

“There is?? Who??”

“Well come into the kitchen with me and you’ll see.”

I smile at him and nod. Anxious to see who’s come to see me. I follow dad into the kitchen. Dad held the door open for me and as I walk into the kitchen my jaw almost drops to the floor. I grin widely then run and throw myself into the arms of the person that’s in the kitchen with us.

“UNCLE TAD!!! I yell loudly hugging him tightly.

“Hey, Jack,” Tad grins. “Step back let me look at you.”

I stand back and look at him then chuckle.

"By the gods, Jack. You've grown since the last time I saw you."

"And you have aged, Tad," I say with a laugh.

“Yeah, yeah smart ass,” he says as he laughs with me.

“So what are you doing here??” I ask excitedly

“Well I heard you were back in town and thought I’d stop by and see my favourite niece,” Uncle Tad says with a grin.

“Yeah right. I’m your only niece, Tad,” I say chuckling as I slug him on the arm gently.

“Yeah, but still. All the more reason to come see you, Jack,” he grins. “Come on, Jack lets go take a walk. I wanna talk to you about something.”

“Okay,” I grin widely then look at dad. “Is it okay, dad??”

“Sure, Jack, you can go.”

“Cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!” I hug my dad tightly then follow Tad outside.

“So, how do you like being back in Elkader??”

I shrug softly before I answer him. “Well to tell you the truth I’d rather be in Seattle, but it has it’s perks. Sides I get ta spend more time with my favourite, Uncle,” I grin up at him.

Tad looks back at me and chuckles deeply. “Yeah kiddo it does have it’s perks. You haven’t been getting into trouble again have you???”

I laugh and shake my head. “ ‘Course not, Tad, I’ve been good.”

“Uh huh. So what’s this I hear about you going into the pond cause of a beautiful woman that happens to be your father’s wranglers daughter??”

I groan and put my hand over my eyes then mumbles, “That was not my fault. She was in my way. I was just trying to stay clear of her that’s all.” I frown softly then groan even louder. “He told you didn’t he??”

“Yeah he did, Jack, but it’s okay. I wont ever judge your decision. It’s your choice and I’ll back you up 100% of the way.”

I grin up at Tad and hug him tightly. “Thanks, Tad. I needed to hear that. So what did you want to talk about that you asked me to go for a walk with you.”

“Ahhhhhhhhhh, you know this old man to well, Jack,” he says laughing deeply.

“Oh come on, Tad, your not that old, but your right. I do know you to well. Probably cause I lived with you for a while?” I raise my eyebrow in his direction.

Tad laughs again and nods. “To true, Jack.”

“So come on, Tad. Out with it. What’s up??”

“Why don’t we see if it’s okay with your folks if you come over to my house for a while and then I’ll tell you what I have up my sleeve deal??”

“You brought me out here to tell me that??” I laugh deeply. “Okay, okay. Deal.”

Tad laughs with me and nods. “Well not just that. I wanted to tell you what I thought about your lifestyle and that I back you up. You dad says that your mom doesn’t know yet.”

“Yeah she’s gonna freak out when she finds out.”

“Oh I don’t know. I think your mom has a clue. It’s just a matter of time before she starts putting the pieces together is all.”

“I hope later then sooner. She’ll probably send me to a homosexual rehab center or something like that,” I say laughing.

“ I doubt that your father will allow her to do that. He totally supports you. So I think he’ll talk her out of it if she thinks about doing that.”

I nod then follow him back to the house. After entering the house we see my folks in the living room. We go in there and sit down with them, then ask if it’s okay if I can go to Tad’s place for the rest of the day. Mom doesn’t want me to because she wants me to get to bed early for the first day of school tomorrow, but dad eventually gets her to agree to let me go to Tads. I grin at my dad and hug him tightly. He hugs me back then pats my shoulder and tells me not to get into to much trouble. I look at him with my best angelic face and put my hand on my chest and say,

“Me?? Get into trouble?? You must have me mistaken with some other Jack.”

Dad just shakes his head laughing then slugs my shoulder and tells me to go before he wrestles me down to the floor and tickle me till I pee my pants. I laugh and nod then follow Tad out the door and to his car.

I whistle when I see Tad’s car. It’s a 1968 Mustang convertible. Midnight blue with black interior and chrome hub caps. I stand there admiring his car. I was so engrossed in the car that I didn’t hear what Tad was saying. He whistles at me and I look up at him only to see keys flying towards my head. I snatch them out of the air and grin at Tad.

“She’s yours. I knew you’d like it so I got it for you. Call it a really late birthday present and a really early Christmas present all wrapped up into one.”

I grin then hug my uncle tightly then race around the other side of the car and hop into it. I put the keys into the ignition and start it up. I just sit there listening to the car purr while Tad gets into the car. He slugs me on the shoulder gently. I look at him and grin widely then I pull the seat belt on then I shift it into drive and peel out of the drive way laughing all the way after seeing my mother come out and start screaming at the top of her lungs at me.

About fifteen minutes later we pull up into Tads drive way. I park the car and shut it off then climb out of the car and follow Tad up to the front door and enter the house. I look around and whistle.

“Whoa, Tad. You remodelled the place since last time I was here.”

“Well I had too. The party that was thrown for you the last day you were here was so big and it messed the place up really badly. Sides I was getting tired with the way things looked in this place anyway. I thought it was time for something new,” Tad looks at me and grins.

“Hey listen, Tad. I’m sorry about that party. I didn’t mean for it to get so out of hand, but that guy just wouldn’t keep his hands off me. I just had to take care of him ya know.”

“Yeah I know, Jack and it’s okay. I was about ready to kill him myself, but you beat me too it. Come on. Lets go into my office I wanna talk to you about something very important,” Tad said seriously.

I nod my head and follow him to his office looking around on the way.

After entering Tad gestures to a chair and I walk over to it and sit down on it. I stretch out my legs and wait for Tad to sit down.

I hear a cupboard open then shut. I watch as Tad sets something down on the table then takes a seat himself. I sit patiently waiting for him to tell me what ever it is that he has to tell me staring at the box as I wait.

“You know, Jack that your as much a man as any that I have ever met even better then some at times as well.”

I nod my head and wait for him to go on leaning closer curious as to what my uncle has to say.

“The thing of it is, that I can’t think of a better person in the whole world I’d rather back me up in a fight or that would protect their family as much as you would. Anyway enough beating around the bush. What I’m asking is would you be the first woman in our family to come into the business??”

I sat there stock still trying to absorb everything my uncle had just said. I rub my chin then look at my uncle.

“You know I can’t stand guns, Tad.”

“I know you can’t, Jack, but your one of the best sharp shooters I have ever known. You bested men that were ten times older then you at the age of sixteen and I know that you are very loyal to the family. Anyway think it over. I’ll be right back with a couple sodas for us.”

I watch as Tad gets up and walks out of the office.

I sit back in my chair rubbing my forehead shaking my head in disbelief. ‘he just asked me to come into the business. I’ll be the first woman ever in our family. Gods. This is a real honour. I wonder if he has the other family members backing him up on this discussion. If he does then yeah I accept, if not then it could cause problems and I wont except.’

I nod to myself after my mental argument then run my fingers through my hair and await my uncle to come back with the sodas and the answer to the question that I have for him.

About two minutes later, Tad enters back into the room and sets a Pepsi down in front of me then walks around and sits back down in his chair. Folding his hands over the can of Pepsi he looks at me waiting for me to talk.

“Okay. I wanna ask a question first off and I want the honest truth. Okay, Tad??”

“Sure, Jack. Whatever you want,” he nods in agreement.

“Okay. My question is. Does everyone in the family agree to your decision of asking me into the family business??”

He looks at me for a second then nods his head. “Yes they do Jack, there has been many stories about you floating around the family and the fact that you just asked that question is also proof that you have the family’s best interest at heart and not your own. What would you have done if I said no??

“Then I would refuse the offer, Tad, but since it is yes then I except it with all my heart. It is an honour to be asked this. Even if our family is a bit murky,” I grin at Tad.

He grins back and nods. “I knew I made a wise choice. Now lets toast to your coming into the family.”

He lifts his open soda up and I open mine then clinks it against his and take a healthy swig of it.

"Now I do know that you hate guns, but I had this made especially for you."

I look into the box and see a gun in there. I pull it out and look at it. It has my first and last initials of my name engraved on it as well as a quill and a scroll. J.S. it said on the side of it and also in the middle of the scroll. The butt also has a steal plate on it with some Greek writing on it. I look at my uncle and raise both eyebrows.

"Tad, how did you know that I write?"

"Well lets see. I am your uncle. Your dad is my brother,” he says grinning. “Sides I saw your book in the book store. So that kinda gave it away as well,” he says laughing. “I know that you’re worried about being the first woman in the family to do this, but I will assure you that you wont get any hassle about it. As I have said before. You’re welcomed with open arms and I said it once, but I’ll say it again. You are more of a man then some of the guards in this place,” he says with a grin.

"And this is suppose to be a compliment?" I say laughing deeply.

"Yeah, it's suppose to be. We're going to have a party in your honour of coming into the family business since you have excepted. I’m gonna have to make the arrangements, but I’ll let you know when it’ll be,” he says smirking then hugs me tightly. “Make me proud, Jack.”

“Don’t worry, Tad. When there’s a challenge I do my damnedest.”

“That’s my girl.”

"Alright, if we have this party I am so not wearing no damn dress. Got it Uncle Tad????” I raise my eyebrows.

"Well now that would be nice. I haven’t seen you in a dress since you were about oh hmmmm four I believe and even then you hated to wear one. So yeah. I think you should wear one," he says laughing deeply.

I raise my eyebrows at him and shakes my head then gives him a look that I knew would say it all to him.

"Alright, alright. You don't have to wear a dress, but your going to have to wear something formal."

"Alright. I don't know what I'm going to wear yet, but I'm full of surprises and the party isn’t for a while yet."

“Okay so it’s settled then.”

I nod then hug him again. I look back inside the box and see a holster in it. I pull it out and look at it then Tad helps me put it on and gives me another box that was under his desk.

“This is for you as well. I hope it fits. I wasn’t sure about the size so I got it a bit larger then it should be, but it’ll hide the gun nicely,” he says grinning.

I grin back at him then open up the box to reveal a black leather jacket. I grin even wider at my uncle and slip it on. It’s a bit big but it fits nicely on me. I go over to the full length mirror and look at myself. I smirk wolfishly at the reflection of myself in the mirror then turn around and look at my uncle.

“Tad this is to much. Thank you so much for the car and this jacket. It rocks.”

“Yeah I have to admit. It looks wicked on ya’s, Jack.”

I chuckle and nod then walk back over to the chair and flops back down into picking up my soda and takes a swig of it then set it back down on the desk.

I look at my watch and curses, “Damn. I better get back home, Tad. Mom’s gonna have a shit fit if I’m to late.”

“Okay, Jack. I’ll see you soon and I’ll call you when I have the party set up for ya’s.”

I grin at Tad and nod. “Okay, Tad. See you soon.”

I get up to leave, but before I can get out the door, Tad whistles at me. I turn around and look at him.

“What??” I say looking at him funny.

He chuckles then holds up the box that had the gun in it. “Don’t forget this. It has your bullets in the bottom compartment.”

I nod then walk back over to him and takes the box out of his hands. Turning on my heel I walk back towards the door. I stop and turn around.

“Thanks, Tad. For everything. Now and way back when,” I grin at my uncle.

“No problem, Jack. Don’t get into any trouble and no more running into gorgeous women,” He laughs deeply.

I laugh with him then closes the door behind me. I walk through the hallway, out the front door and over to my new car. I lean in and grab the keys out of the ignition then walk around to the back of the car and open up the trunk. I put the box into the trunk and close the lid then walk back around the car.

I get in and start it up. Shaking my head to myself silently still dazed at what just happened with Tad. I put the car into drive and peel out of Tad’s drive way. Making my way back home before my mom can have kittens.

I pull into the driveway of my house and park the car then get out of it. I walk to the house and through the door. I almost sneak up the stairs, but I stop when I hear my mother yell to me from the kitchen. I grumble to myself then walk into the kitchen to see what she wants.

“Young lady what do you think you were doing peeling out of the driveway with your Uncle’s car?? She yells at me.

I grimace then lift my chin and answer back. “For your information the car is mine. It’s a late birthday gift from Tad.”

“You’re a girl. You shouldn’t be driving a car like that. What will everyone think??”

“They’ll think it’s normal since I’m not a girl no more. Remember mother?? I’m a boy now or did you forget?? It’s your fault for that as well. So don’t you start lecturing me about what cars to have now as well mom.”

“Don’t you take that kind of voice with me young lady. I’m not one of your friends that you can scream at.”

“Well if you would get off my case about how women act and just let me be myself. I wouldn’t take this kind of voice with you and for your information again. I don’t take this kind of voice with my friends. Just you cause you nag me so much.”

“Jacqueline, I just want what’s best for you.”

“What’s best for me mom is to stop trying to live my life for me. I’m not a little girl no more and another thing mom I hate being called Jacqueline. Can’t you just call me Jack like dad, Tad and my friends do?? I really hate that name.”

“Well that’s to bad, missy. Cause that’s what my mother, your grandmother’s name was. So live with it.”

“But mom. It’s friggin annoying. I hate it.”

“Listen to me young lady as long as you live under this roof I will call you whatever I want to call you.”

I growl then stuff my hands into my pockets and turn on my heel and walk out. I turn around and look directly at my mother and sneers,

“And you wonder why I ran away from home.”

I turn back around and walk out of the kitchen no even listening to mom as she screams at me to get back in there. I keep on walking right out the door and over to the barn. I open up the barn door and flip the lights on then I walk over to a pile of hay and flop down in it bringing my knees up to my chest I sit there looking at the floor till I see a pair of boots in front of my feet. I look up and see the blue eyes of Marion staring back at me.

“Hi,” she says.

“Hullo,” I mumble then look back at my hands again.

“What’s wrong?? If it about this afternoon. Listen I’m sorry about yelling at you. I didn’t mean too, Jack.”

“It’s okay and no it’s not about this afternoon. I just got done having a fight with my mom.”

“Ouch. You wanna talk about it???”

I look at her as she sits down next to me on the hay. I open my mouth to say something, but then remember that she thinks I’m a guy. I sigh and shake my head gently.

“No I’ll be okay. Just a small fight compared to others. Just something’s were said that I didn’t like at all. That’s all,” I say with a shrug.

She looks at me then leans her head to the side gently.

“Your not tellin the whole truth, but that’s okay. If you ever need to talk about things. I’m here. I mean. Ummmm. I’d like to be your friend. Even after today which was a total mess,” she rubs her arm gently and shrugs shyly.

I grin at her and nods. “I agree this afternoon was a bit messed up. So how about we start over,” I grin at her then hold out my hand to her. “Hi I’m Jack Steffeno.” I say with a grin.

She smiles back at me then takes my hand and shakes it as well, “Marion Lorenzo.”

“Nice to meet you Marion.”

She looks down at her hand and I notice that I still have a hold of it. I let go then chuckle nervously. I look into her eyes and smile shyly.

“Ummm. I’m sorry about that.”

“No problem,” she says as she smiles at me.

I smile back then look at my watch. “Shit I have to be gettin going. I gotta get up to go to school tomorrow. It’s my first day at Central. I’ll see you later okay??”

“Sure no problem.”


“See you laters, Jack.”

I grin as I get up then I run for the barn door and sprint towards the house. I sprint up the stairs before my mom can yell at me again.

I open up my door and walk into my room striping as I walk in. After pulling off my shorts and t-shirt. I grab a sweat shirt since the room is a bit chilly and slip it on. I boot up my computer to check my mail before I go to bed. I walk into the bathroom and brush my teeth. After finishing that I walk back into my room just in time to hear my computer ding telling me I got mail. I look through the inbox weeding out junk mail and hate mail from Dan. The very last email is one from Stacy. I hesitantly click on the e-mail thinking the worst. I read the email slowly licking my lips hoping she doesn’t cuse me out for being gay.

Dear Jack,

Hey. Listen. I’m really sorry about the way I acted on the phone the other night. I didn’t mean to flip out like that. I guess it was a real shock. Though I suppose it shouldn’t have been since I was kinda suspicious that you were. Anyway. Can you forgive me for being such an asshole?? I still love you like a sister and whatever you decide to do is fine by me. Talk to you soon I hope.

Always your friend, Stace. :-)

I sniffle softly then click on the reply button and start typing out an email back to her.


I’m not mad. A bit hurt, but not mad and yes I forgive you. We’ve been friends since the first grade. How could I not forgive you?? Anyway I’m totally glad that you don’t have a problem with it no more and yeah I guess I should hide it a bit more huh?? :-) Anyway. I better get to bed before mom comes up here and starts yelling at me to get to bed. I’ll talk to you soon. :-)

Always your friend too, Jack.

I press send and grin to myself then shut the computer down and crawl up into my bed. I hug the pillow to me yawning deeply then fall into a deep sleep.


I wake up the next morning to the sound of my mom yelling up the stairs at me. I’m to dazed by the fact that I didn’t have a weird dream last night that I don’t hear her till she walks into my room.

“Didn’t you hear me young lady???” She asks impatiently.

“Yeah I did, mom.” I say noticing that she’s all dressed up for something. “Where are you going??”

“Oh your father and I are going to a meeting in Chicago about some lands in Elkader that some men from there wants to sell. They have some horses as well so we’re taking Roger Lorenzo with us to make sure they're good horses. By the way his daughter Marion and his son will be staying with you while he’s away.”

“Okay.” I say sleepily as I lay back down on my bed.

I think to myself. Wonderful Marion and her brother will be staying with me while they're away.

I'm about to fall back asleep when my mothers words suddenly penetrats my foggy brain. I spring back up in bed falling out of it in the process. I land with a thud groaning at the pain in my back side then while laying there I yell at the top of my lungs to my mother.


Continued in Part 3

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