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Authors: Shelia Chapman

Blood of the Rainbow (30 page)

BOOK: Blood of the Rainbow
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They walked in the ice cream parlor, got their malts, and then walked to the park. Sara noticed Jared was quieter than normal. He seemed troubled and distant.

Sara sat on the bench beside him, and laid her head against his shoulder, slowly sipping on her malt. After several minutes of silence, Sara couldn’t stand it any longer. “Jared, what’s wrong?”

He threw her question back at her. “What makes you think something’s wrong?”

“You’re very deep in thought. You’re normally not this quiet. What’s wrong?”

“Just wondering about something. Trying to figure something out. That’s all.”

Sara turned. Jared’s face was a mask of pain and worry.

“What are you trying to figure out?”

Jared looked at the ground. “Why the person I love, that says she loves me, is trying to hide something from me.” Sara didn’t say anything. Jared continued. “Why she feels she has to sneak around and lie to me about something that doesn’t matter.” He turned to face her, his eyes filled with disappointment. “I know why you don’t want to go to the bookstore, and why you reacted the way you did when I suggested it.”

Sara gasped. Her heart jumped in her throat. “What?”

Jared grinned sarcastically. “Sara, you don’t think my cousin would go to all that trouble, giving you Granddad’s book, and then not brag about what he’d done – do you?”

Sara’s mouth gaped. Her voice raised an octave.  “He was your cousin? The man that sold me the book was your cousin?” Sara furrowed her brow in anger. The man had lied to her and betrayed her trust, not to mention, beat her out of a hundred dollars. “I knew he was ripping me off – the bastard!”

Jared laughed. “You mean he didn’t tell you we were cousins? I’m not surprised about that part, really. I bet he didn’t tell you his name either – did he?”

“No,” Sara growled.

“It’s Joel Sara. His name is Joel Wilson.”

What Sara had said about being ripped off, must not have registered straight away. A few seconds later, Jared’s facial muscles tightened and he clamped his teeth together. “Wait a minute. Did you just say he ripped you off? He made you
pay
for the book. How much?” Jared’s temper was rising.

“A hundred dollars!” Sara’s voice was still rough with anger.


How
did you pay him?”

“With cash – my own money. I wasn’t going to use your credit card. I wouldn’t do that.”

Jared sighed. “You should have come to me first. He had no right to make you
pay
for something that wasn’t his to sell. Besides, it wasn’t about the money Sara. He only did it hoping he would be able to drive a wedge between you and me - cause us to split up. He would like nothing better than to make my life miserable. He knows the best way to do that would be through you. There’s one thing he doesn’t know….”

“What’s that?”

“That there’s
nothing
he could do or say that would
ever
drive a wedge between us. Don’t worry.” He stroked Sara’s cheek. “I’ll get your money back – if I have to beat it out of him.”

Jared said that last part as if he would really enjoy carrying it out. That scared Sara. She had no doubts he could easily beat the worm up, but being around him, and knowing how hard it was to control the thing with his eyes, he would give himself away. Sara didn’t entirely understand how that kind of thing worked, but she assumed it had to remain his secret - their secret. If his cousin had been looking for a way to get back at him, why would he use something like that?

“Are you mad at me?”

“Mad – no – disappointed… hurt….”

Sara closed her eyes, fighting stinging tears.
Oh God!
I’d rather have him raging mad at me than hurt or disappointed.
Rage was something that could be dealt with, it could be shared. Disappointment and hurt was an inner enemy, that couldn’t be shared. It couldn’t be vented and most of the time, although it healed, it never went away.

Sooner or later, somewhere down the road, something would happen to bring it back, and then it was there, dripping like a gaping wound, eager to inflict more pain. Pain that Sara had caused. Pain that she couldn’t take away.

“Look at me Sara.”

Sara turned, her voice choked. “I can’t. I can’t stand that look in your eyes.”

“Sara,
look
at me.” Jared repeated, his voice floating on the breeze.

Sara took a deep breath for courage and turned, keeping her eyes lowered. Jared cupped her chin in the palm of his hand, lifted it and softly pressed his lips to hers. He kissed her cheek, just below her ear, and the side of her neck. Pulling back, he waited. “Now, please, open your eyes and look at me. I want you to see that there is
no
hatred there now, nor could there
ever
be, when it comes to you.”

Slowly, Sara opened her eyes. Jared smiled. They sat like that for a long while, staring into each other’s eyes. Their souls speaking to each other. Speaking of love that could not be uttered through mere human vocalization.

Jared shook his head, disgusted with himself. “See, the only reason I don’t tell you some things is for your own good. Because I know, if you don’t understand them, they can do more harm than good. I’m not trying to hide things from you Sara. I want to share everything with you,
everything
.” He kissed her passionately.

It didn’t matter to Jared that they were in the middle of a semi-busy park, or that people were mingling around them, watching them - some staring. To him, they were not there. It was just him and Sara, and he didn’t care if they approved or not. And you know, the odd bit was, when Sara was with Jared, neither did she.

How did he do it? Sara began to wonder if she would ever be able to do anything that would turn him away from her. Maybe there wasn’t. If there were, she certainly wasn’t looking for it.

------------

They sat and talked for a long time, yet they never seemed to run out of things to say. Jared and Sara wanted to know everything about each other. Before they realized it, forty-five minutes had passed. Jared took her hand and stood. “We better get started back to Dave’s office.”

“Do you really think he’s going to be able to tell us anything?”

“He should. I hope so.”

They were walking along, hand in hand, chatting away when Sara realized he’d taken her a different route back, and they were standing in front of the bookstore. Sara’s stomach flipped over. “Jared, why are we here?”

Jared held the door open. “Because, like I told you. I’m going to get your money back.”

“Oh, no, Jared. That… it doesn’t matter.”

Jared raised an eyebrow at her, and continued holding the door. Sara sighed, and walked inside, stopping just on the other side of the door, silently praying he wouldn’t be there. She glanced toward the back. Her heart sank. Joel was there.

They made their way to the checkout counter. There was a line of customers. “Look Jared, there’s a long line. Is it really necessary, I mean, if we wait we might be late getting back at the doctor’s office and….”

Jared looked down at her with an expression of determination. Immediately Sara knew she was wasting her breath. She sighed heavily, and swallowed the bile crawling up the back of her throat.

Sara started going over in her mind what she was going to say.
What
was she going to say? Anything she said would give her away, and make Joel mad at her. To Sara, having Joel mad at her, wasn’t as bad as having Jared mad at her.

Jared led her right up in front of the counter, opposite of the line of customers.

Joel glanced up at Jared. The look on his face was priceless, almost worth Sara’s agony. Joel looked as if he was staring straight into the eyes of his worst enemy. For all Sara knew, Jared may be just that to him. He didn’t say anything, and neither did Jared.

After a few seconds of them staring each other down, the line of customers started to get restless. Sara wondered what Jared was going to do. Was he going to wait until Joel had finished waiting on his customers, or was he going to demand to speak with his cousin now? A few seconds later, she found out.

“Hey, friend, you wanna get at the end of the line?” A male customer said, slightly rude, but not overbearing.

Jared turned his glare on him. “I’m not bothering you –
friend
!”

“Well, maybe you are. Maybe you’re not. At any rate, you’re gonna have to wait your turn like everybody else.”

Sara drew in a deep breath, afraid of what might happen next. She touched Jared’s arm, hoping to quell some of his anger. Confrontation was not something they needed, not between Jared and his cousin, and not in a public place. “Let’s just go. It’s not important.”

Jared looked at Sara and smiled. Then he looked directly at Joel. “Getting your money back from this lying cheat
is
important Sara. This man sold you a book that he knew wasn’t his to sell in the first place. Then he sold it to you at about three-hundred percent above its worth. I’m seriously thinking of filing charges against him, for selling stolen property.”

Sara hid her head in her hands, and prepared for the worst. To her surprise, Jared and his cousin just stood there, glaring at each other like a pair of angry wolves.

Sara heard one of the old ladies toward the end of the line whisper to her friend, “
Come on… I’m not dealing with somebody like that. Three hundred percent above the price – I can get that cheaper on EBay!


Yeah, me too,
” her friend replied. They casually laid their purchases on top of one of the bookshelves, and walked out. Several other customers followed suit. Sara saw the old lady meet someone coming in the store, and apparently told them. They turned around and left too. Before it was over, there were only Sara, Jared, his cousin, and the slightly rude man there.

Joel quickly waited on the man and he left, leaving the other three alone now.

“I could have you arrested for that!”

“I could have you skinned alive too,” Jared retorted. “A job I wouldn’t find so unpleasant myself Joel!”

Sara attempted to prevent a nasty confrontation. “Ok, that’s enough – both of you. Let’s just all settle down, and see if we can’t handle this situation like grownups.”

Joel snorted at Sara. “You’d have to
have
grownups first. You
lied
to me!”

Sara took a deep steadying breath.
Ok, you’re asking for it!
 
I had lied to you?
“Excuse me? Did you just say I
lied
to
you
?”

“I told you not to tell
anyone
where you got the book,” Joel ground through his teeth.

Jared softly laughed, and turned away. Sara knew why. He was trying to keep his anger in check. Jared knew it wasn’t Sara’s fault. Joel was digging his own grave, and Jared was handing him the shovel.

Sara laughed sarcastically. “Just what are you getting at?
You
called Jared and told him everything. You wanted him to get mad at me, but he didn’t. Don’t you
dare
stand there and try to deny it.”

Sara glanced at Jared. He had a sly grin on his face as though he was enjoying this. “How are you going to get out of this Joel?” Jared turned. “Sara, this is Joel Wilson, my cousin. Joel, this is Sara Foster – my
future
wife.”

It was hard to tell who were more shocked - Sara or Joel. Sara didn’t know what to say. Jared looked at her, and smiled his crooked smile. Sara’s stomach jumped in her throat.
My God! Did he just propose to me? Surely not – not like this – not here. Did I hear him right? Did he really say future wife?
Sara’s head started spinning. She felt as though she were going to pass out. She grabbed the edge of the counter to steady herself.

Jared sighed exasperated, and tightened his jawline. “Sara’s purchase is not the only issue we have to discuss. There’s a little matter of her taking an unscheduled trip after she’d left your store. If anybody should be calling the cops, it’s me,” Jared ground through his teeth.

Joel looked from Sara to Jared. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Sara gasped. “Jared?”

“To begin with, it didn’t make sense, because you didn’t tell me you’d gone to the bookstore first. Then when Cousin Joel called me in hopes of causing trouble between us by ratting on you, it all started to fit together. Now the only things I need to know is
what
you gave her, how
much
you gave her, and
how
!”

Sara started to cry angry tears. She glared at Joel. She wanted to jump over the counter and strangle him. “
You
did that to me!”

Jared stared directly at Joel while talking to Sara. “Think about it Sara. You said you started feeling odd when you and Myra headed for the feed store. Did you have lunch before that?”

“Yes… we went to the shoe store, and then we stopped for a sandwich. We left there, went to the grocery store, drove back to your parent’s, changed vehicles, and then went to the feed store.”

“Well, you deserve her, Jared – she’s as crazy and arrogant as you are,” Joel shot at Jared.

What happened next happened so fast it was a blur. Jared growled, and jumped over the counter. He grabbed Joel by the collar and shoved him against the wall. Joel looked as if he were afraid to breathe.

Sara’s heart was pounding with fright. “Jared! Don’t!”

Jared furrowed his brow in seething anger. He put his nose a breath from Joel’s. “Don’t you
ever
say anything like that about her again, or I promise you – I
will
kill you. Now, I want you to get in that register, refund her money, and then I want you to wipe your system of the purchase altogether. We will return your
trash,
and if you’ve got any more of Granddad’s books back there, I suggest you either destroy them, or see that they make their way to my father’s house. Then and
only
then, will I consider
not
pressing charges against you.”

Joel’s eyes were wide with fear.

BOOK: Blood of the Rainbow
13.99Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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