Authors: John Blenkush
Tags: #romance, #paranormal, #teen romance, #teen love, #mythical, #vampirism, #mount shasta, #law of one
“Like now. Too cold for mountain
biking. Not enough snow on the mountain for skiing or
Great. Then I can have you all to
It wasn’t working out that way,
though. I could feel Aaron becoming antsy, like he felt he was
needed somewhere else.
I hung on.
I held up my well-worn WBL orange
beanie. “You got a replacement for this?”
Aaron took it. His fingers grazed my
My heart surged. I felt tingling in my
arms and legs. I shorted a breath. It all happened so sudden,
something I had longed for—a touch in privacy away from the peering
eyes of many.
Yet this wasn’t in private.
We were standing in a store. We shook
hands at lunch. I hadn’t felt anything then, physically anyway.
Emotionally, yes! This wasn’t our first touch. So why the physical
energy flux? I felt weak. Beads of sweat broke out on my
“Don’t know. I suddenly feel very
“That happens in here. Stuffy air.
Here,” he guided me, “sit down. I’ll bring you some beanies to try
I sat down on a bright red cushioned
bench. Boots sat stacked all around me, the kind climbers use on
the mountains. Price tags were in the hundreds of dollars. Who in
their right mind pays a thousand dollars for boots?
Aaron returned. He dumped an armful of
beanies of various colors and shapes onto the floor in front of
“Here you go. There’s a mirror.” He
pointed to it.
The mirror sat at ground level, facing
me. Apparently the clientele who purchased the thousand dollar
boots were interested in looking stylish as well.
I tried on several of the beanies
while keeping an eye on Aaron to see if he showed a preference.
Mostly I just wanted to study his face.
His dark eyes captured the light at
every turn, and when I looked close and deep into them it was as if
sparklers—the kind you see on the Fourth of July—were going off.
His nose, cheeks, and chin were sculpted to the perfection of an
Adonis. His skin appeared tan, more so—like Jason’s skin—from DNA
than the sun.
“So many choices,” I said. “What do
At the present I wore a white beanie
with the pattern of pine trees—green—encircling the rim. It was
ugly at best and unbecoming, but if Aaron said that was his choice,
I would have favored it over all the rest.
Aaron lowered, all 6’8” of him, down
onto the seat next to me. He rifled through the pile of beanies and
pulled my old worn out orange WBL hat from the pile.
“I like this one because it’s
yours...but I am here to sell stuff, so,” he pulled a maroon
colored beanie from the pile, “I like this one too.”
I tried on his hat of
choice and looked in the mirror. I played with it, moving it about,
fluffing it up, anything to keep Aaron looking at me as I looked at
him in the mirror.
I loved seeing Aaron’s attention on
me, even if it was only about making a sale. I also wanted to see
how his eyes shifted and his mouth moved as he talked to me. We sat
so close that I felt if I had wanted to, with the turn of my head,
we would be as about as close as a boy and girl could get without
After I pulled the hat from my head I
saw the ring of white looking clouds shaped like waves.
“What are these?” I said holding up
the beanie so Aaron could see the design. (Really, all I wanted to
do was keep the conversation going)
“Clouds over a mountain.”
“Really. Like waves?”
I knew this from my marathon surfing
the net on Saturday. It showed a picture of the cloud formation
below the Abraham Tree graphic.
“How does that happen?”
“Two different layers of air moving at
different speeds and in opposite directions. Causes
“And beauty,” I said.
“Yes. And beauty.”
I loved the way the word beauty rolled
off of Aaron’s tongue. I could only hope that at some point in time
the two of us would be in a position to cause friction and create
“Okay, I’ll get this one. I put the
maroon beanie on.”
“Good,” Aaron said. “Follow
To heaven and back.
Aaron led me to the counter, punched
in the numbers, and I paid him. He didn’t discount the hat and I
wasn’t about to say anything. Ten percent of fifteen dollars?
Buck-fifty? I could live without it.
“Well,” I said, hesitating, “guess
I’ll see you in school.”
Aaron nodded. I could see darkness
return to his eyes as though he was troubled by the
I walked out of the store with the
maroon beanie on my head. I swore I would not wash it, at least not
for a while as Aaron’s scent still lingered. As I walked away I
remembered I had left my orange beanie in the pile of beanies on
the floor. I could go back for it, but why? It was one of my prized
possessions, but I was willing to sacrifice it on the chance Aaron
would rescue it from the pile and return it to me.
When I got home I found a note on the
refrigerator from Dierdra.
I’ve gone to Redding for a
client again. Don’t think I’ll be making it back tonight. There’s
chicken pot pie in the freezer. Be safe. Do chores. Love
Not making it back tonight? Seemed
strange. Who was this client anyway?
I pulled the Marie Callendar’s chicken
pot pie from the refrigerator and put it in the microwave. Even
with my coat and beanie on, I felt chilled. The wood box sat empty
as usual. I grabbed the plastic tote and headed out for the wood
pile. As I filled the tote I couldn’t help but think of how ironic
it was for me to be in sunny California toting wood and never
having done so in Minnesota.
It didn’t take long for the cabin to
heat up. I removed my coat, but kept the Maroon beanie on. Now and
again I would pull it from my head, bring it to my nose, and draw
in what I told myself was Aaron’s scent. Just knowing he had
touched it was enough to warm me through and through.
With a fire roaring in the fireplace
and hot pie in my stomach I settled in for the evening. I lay in
Mom’s lazy-boy and worked on my homework. There was laundry to be
done. There was always laundry to be done. It was one chore I
wasn’t up to doing on this night. I thought about giving Cherrie a
call, but dismissed it. It was nice having some alone time and
revisiting the day’s events.
My mood soured as I reflected on
Aaron’s and my conversation. Was he trying to tell me something by
picking out this particular beanie? What had he said?
Two different layers of
air moving at different speeds and in opposite directions. Causes
Were we two different people moving at
different speeds and—I gulped—in opposite directions? What
friction? I had something intimate in mind. But the friction I
caused Aaron to have with his cousins and Bernard was unmistakably
Wherever direction Aaron was headed I
wanted, no—I needed to head in that direction also. I just didn’t
know if Bernard and Aaron’s cousins would let me.
I fell asleep in the lazy boy curled
up under my coat with the maroon beanie pulled down over my eyes
and resting on the bridge of my nose. The smell of Aaron filled my
nostrils and his face my mind as I entered dreamland.
7 GIRL TALK
I felt a
squeeze to my shoulder. After I
off the ceiling
and wiped the sleep from my
eyes I saw Cherrie standing before me.
Now I have to tell you, seeing Cherrie
standing before me at six in the morning is a bit unnerving, given
the fact I had never seen her vertical so early in the
“Cherrie, what are you doing here? Or
better yet, what are you doing out of bed?”
Cherrie sat down on the couch. She
pulled the unlit cigarette from her mouth. “Just wanted to catch
you before you left for school.”
“Got any coffee?”
“You just woke me up, Cherrie. If you
want I can make some.”
She followed me into the kitchen. I
ran hot water into a mug, put it in the microwave, and hit the
“What are you doing?” Cherrie
I pulled the instant Folgers pack from
the drawer and held it up so she could see.
“That’s not coffee.”
“Cherrie, why are you
“How’d it go last night?”
“What do you mean?”
Cherrie moved over to the coffee
maker. She dumped out the old grounds and leftover coffee.
“Where’re your filters and grounds?”
“I don’t know. Mom always makes
Cherrie started throwing open
cupboards and opening drawers. She found the filters. I found the
coffee grounds in the refrigerator as I pulled the half and half
out for my instant brew.
“Did Aaron say anything?”
Uncle Mickey wasn’t all that big on
wasting space so when he built the cabin he more or less squeezed
the kitchen and dining facilities together in the same room. I had
a seat at the small table with the two chairs.
“Not much,” I said as I took sips from
Cherrie finished prepping the coffee
and had a seat across from me.
I took a look out the window. It was
drizzling, maybe even sleeting. I was in for another wet-bottom
“Well, he must have said something,”
Cherrie said, “to get you to buy the beanie.” She pointed to my
“What makes you think I bought it from
Cherrie gave me the don’t-kid-a-kidder
“Well, he was nice. And he picked this
one out of the bunch.”
“Yeah. Yeah.” Cherrie flicked her
fingers as if guiding me forward. “Keep it coming.”
“What do you want me to tell
“Everything,” Cherrie said. “But
wait.” She held up her hand in stop sign fashion. “Let me grab my
coffee. I want to see your face when you spill it.”
I waited while Cherrie poured a cup of
coffee. I was glad she wasn’t one to doctor it with sugar, half and
half, and such. The caffeine worked its way into my blood stream. I
came alive and was more than ready to talk about Aaron.
“You want a refill?” Cherrie
“No. Thanks. Can’t drink it. Too
“Okay. So tell me. How’d it
“He was nice...”
“You said that already.”
“This we already know.”
“But even more so up close. He is just
so perfect in so many ways. It’s hard to describe.”
“Go ahead. I can take a dose of
icky-sweet with my coffee. I’ll forego the cinnamon
“His eyes draw you into him. I could
look at them all day long and never be bored. They speak volumes.
It’s just the way the light shines in them. They’re always
“Don’t think that is such a good
“I didn’t say shifty.”
“Well, that’s what it sounds
“Do you want to hear this or
Cherrie picked up her mug, and with
the same motion I had seen her perform when she was steeling
herself with a shot of hard liquor, she downed the coffee. She set
the cup down, leaned back in her chair, and said, “Give it to
“He’s everything I’ve ever dreamed of
having in a boy. Tall. Handsome. Kind.”
“Explain kind, because,” Cherrie said,
narrowing her eyes, “from what I know being unsociable isn’t a
trait of kindness.”
“I’m not finding him
“But he keeps running away along with
his two book-ends.”
“He didn’t last night.”
“Well, that’s a change for the
“I think he’s different when he is by
“You mean without the
“Aren’t we all when we’re not around
authority? By the way, where’s your mom?”
I handed Cherrie the note.
“So who’s the client?”
I could hear sinister overtones in her
“I don’t know.”
“He must pay good to have her stay
“Who says it’s a he?”
Cherrie shrugged. “Don’t know. Maybe
she figures if you are going to have a love-fest than she can
“Please don’t go there.”