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Authors: Shelia Chapman

Blood of the Rainbow (60 page)

BOOK: Blood of the Rainbow
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She opened her mouth to speak, but her throat was too dry from the desert dust. All that came out was a raspy whisper. Sara cleared her throat and tried again. “I’m perfectly fine….”
My insides feel like scrambled eggs! I’m breathing baked earth, and I never want to sit down again! No problem!
In truth, Sara felt like one of James Bond’s famous martinis – shaken - not stirred. Then she added the comment that called her bluff. “I don’t remember the road being this bumpy, on the bike….”

Jared laughed and turned in his seat. “That’s because on the bike it’s a lot easier to
avoid
the potholes. It’s not much further now – we’re almost there.”

Sara sneered at his back. The very corners of Jared’s mouth turned up.

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

Tom approached what looked like a small canyon to Sara. Her eyes widened.
Surely to God he’s going around it.
As the front of the 4x4 angled down, Sara realized she was wrong.
Oh shit! He’s not!
Sara took a deep breath, quickly tightened her seat belt, and grabbed the handhold above her head.
Did Thunderclouds descend from Japanese Kamikazes?

Jared grinned, said something to Tom in Navajo, and they burst out laughing. Obviously they didn’t intend for her to know they were enjoying themselves at her expense, and her posterior’s pride. As usual, Jared’s
not much further
, and
we’re almost there
, had turned into the day after eternity. Sara was about ready to throw up.

When at last Tom pulled next to a row of fence post and stopped, Sara had started to feel like a dehydrated pea in a bushel basket – one with bruises on its backside.

Jared and Tom got out and walked around to the back. They each grabbed the side of an oversized roll of barbed wire and lowered it to the ground. Sara decided that was what had been banging around in the back. She propped against the side of the truck and waited, while they walked a few paces and deposited the roll of wire next to the seated fence posts.

Jared came back, pulled out the massive beach umbrella and a chaser chair, and sat them up for Sara. He handed her a bottle of water from the cooler, and rested his hands on her shoulders, looking her square in the eye, his voice firm. “Now, you stay under this, and if you get thirsty – drink.” It wasn’t a request. It was a command, and Sara treated it as such.

Her breath quickened, her eyes widened with confusion. Jared softened. He smiled and gently kissed her. Sara didn’t need water to keep her cool. She needed ice. Jared’s kiss had its usual effect. Sara pulled him closer. Jared smiled, instantly reading her thoughts, mirrored with his own. He sighed. “This is going to be a
long
day!” He left her to help his father.

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

Sara watched them for a while, and then started reading her book. She was anxious to see how the story ended but was too tired, and promptly fell fast asleep and started dreaming again, but this time, it wasn’t about wooden wolves and totem poles. Even that dream made more sense. This one flashed from one scene to another so fast it was entirely incomprehensible.

At first, Sara saw herself sitting on the bed, looking down at George Thundercloud’s book for the first time. She opened it as before. Instead of ink scrolling off the paper, a pale blue glow rose from the pages and hovered over her. There was a bright flash, and the next thing she knew, she was on her hands and knees, trapped on one end of the ledge at Mother’s Mountain. On the other end of the ledge, spiraled in a tight coil and poised to strike, was the pissed off rattlesnake.

The ground beneath Sara started to crack and crumble, forcing her to inch forward, toward the rattlesnake. A few seconds after she’d moved to a more substantial part of the ledge, the ground began to crack and collapse. Sara had two choices - move forward or plummet to her death.

After being forced to move forward again, Sara started to call out for help. She eagerly looked up for Jared, but this time no one came. Each time Sara was forced to move forward, the rattler’s strike came closer and closer to her face. Whether it happened from the rattlesnake or a fatal fall, it was inevitable. Sara was going to die.

As the ground began to crack and crumble, Sara decided rather than die a slow, agonizing death from the rattlesnakes’ venom, she’d rather die by falling. It might be painful at first, but then it would be all over.

Sara drew in a deep breath and closed her eyes. Her heart raced as she felt the ground starting to crumble. She screamed as she started to fall, but then her descent slowed. She started falling in slow motion. Sara opened her eyes and looked down. The ground had become a lake of molten lava. She could see tongues of fire rising off the surface. She could smell the sulfurous gases rising with the heat waves, burning her nose, and the back of her throat.

From the burning lake, came what appeared to be a bird, ascending from the flames. The lake began to morph, becoming the center of an active volcano. Sara saw a woman, standing a few feet away from the volcano. At first, she thought the woman might be her, but as she moved closer, Sara could see that the woman was actually Donna Rigden, Gary Browne’s cousin.

Donna was trapped. On one side of her was the volcano, on the other was a rattlesnake, bigger than the one Sara had faced, with glowing crimson eyes like Jared’s.

The bird started to swoop down, heading straight for Donna. She picked up a rock and threw it. While the snake was distracted, Donna made a run for it. She was almost past the snake, when the bird grabbed her by the leg, and started dragging her toward the edge of the volcano.

Donna struggled to break free, but the bird sank its talons in her leg. Sara could see the blood soaking Donna’s blue jeans and dripping down her ankle. After a while, Donna stopped struggling, and the bird began to drag her toward the volcano.

As she went over the edge, the woman had changed. It was no longer Donna, it was Sara. She was no longer an observer of the dream. The woman in the dream
was
Sara. She could taste the sulfur. She could see and feel the heat rising from the mouth of the volcano. Sara started struggling, and trying to scream as she saw the molten lava below her morph into first, the shape of Jared’s face and then Tom’s. They were both in the pit of molten rock.

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

“Sara... Honey... It’s all right, Sara. Honey wake up. You’re having another nightmare.” Jared was gently shaking her shoulders, and wiping her face with his water saturated bandana. He was afraid she might be suffering a heat stroke. “Sara, are you awake? Are you too hot?”

Sara opened her eyes. She threw her arms around Jared’s neck, hugging herself close to his body, as she cried on his shoulder. “Jared! You’re alive – both of you! Oh God Jared! It was horrible. At first it was Donna. The bird was dragging her into the molten lava, and then it was me.”

Tom softly laughed. “Well, of course we’re alive, Sara. It’s you, we’re worried about. We’ve been trying to wake you up for the last five minutes. You were struggling, and trying to scream.”

“It’s all right Angel. It was just a dream.” He picked Sara up, holding her in his arms.

Sara looked up at Tom. “The dream seemed real, Tom. You were both there. In the middle, of the molten lava.” She looked back to Jared. “There was a big bird, dragging Donna down in the pit. Then it wasn’t Donna it was – Oh Jared!” Sara started crying again.

“Shh… It’s all right. We’re both fine. Dad, I’m going to put her in the 4x4, out of this heat. Start packing things up and I’ll help you when I get her settled.”

“No, you go ahead and stay with Sara. I can put this stuff in by myself. Just make sure she’s all right, and we’ll head back home.”

Jared sat Sara on the back seat and crawled in beside her. He put his arm around her shoulders, lifted her chin, and kissed her. Sara almost forgot the dream. “Jared, how much can you tell me about your – family trait – the thing with your eyes?”

“Pretty much anything you want to know. Why?”

“I don’t know why I keep having nightmares about wolves, and strange blue crystals, and rattlesnakes and burning pits of fire. I didn’t dream about wolves this time, but this one was scarier than the last dream.”

Jared pulled his brow together. “Tell me the dream about the wolves. What happened?”

“There were three wolves, a white one, a black one and a charcoal grey one. The black one was the alpha of the pack, but the charcoal one challenged the black one and killed it. It bit the black wolf’s head off, and then the charcoal wolf changed to Seth. The black wolf changed to your father and the white one….”

Jared sighed. “Changed into me, right?”

“Yeah. I’m scared, Jared. What does it mean?”

“Probably nothing Angel. It was just a dream. You probably fell asleep while you were reading your book. I think I need to make you a dreamcatcher,” he joked.

Sara smiled. “I think I could use one. You know, I’ve had dreams before, but none like this. These seem real. I’m afraid I’m going to lose you.”

Jared kissed Sara’s temple. “You’re not going to lose me Sara. It was just a dream.”

Tom finished loading the 4x4 and started the engine. He didn’t comment on the fact that Jared was sitting in the back with Sara. He turned around in his seat. “So, is our girl OK then doc?”

Jared smiled. “Yeah, she’s fine, but I think she needs to stay out of the sun.”

“Don’t worry, Sara. We’ll be home in just a little while, and then you can stretch out on the patio, or go for a swim in the pool. That should cool you off.”

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

They were about halfway home when Tom’s cell rang. Since it wasn’t a main road, he accepted the call and propped it against his ear with his shoulder. “Yeah…? Oh, hi Leo…. Really?”

Jared leaned forward. “What is it, Dad?”

Tom held up his hand. “Oh, I see. Well what about the rest of the herd...? Honestly! Well, at least that’s something. You’re certain…? All right…. I will, thanks, Leo.” Tom ended the call and put his cell back in his pocket. “That was Leo. It was anthrax….”

Jared looked at Sara, a serious look on his face. This was the news he was hoping
not
to get. Sara was heartbroken. She couldn’t stand the idea of putting down Jade or Angelstar. It just wasn’t fair. Tears glossed Sara’s eyes.

Jared turned to his father. “What about the rest of the herd?”

Sara held her breath as they waited for Tom’s response.

 

Chapter 27

Tom seemed to be lost in his own world, ignoring Jared. “Dad!” Jared repeated forcefully.

Tom jerked his head. “Hmm?”

“What about the other horses?”

Tom smiled. “Oh they’re fine Jared. The rest of the herd wasn’t affected.”

Jared embraced Sara. “Thank God. I didn’t know if I could put them down.”

Tom breathed a heavy sigh of relief. “I wasn’t looking forward to it either.”

Sara stood. “Well, I’m going to wash off some of this dust.”

Jared reached for her hand and smiled; a familiar twinkle in his eyes. “I’ll join you….”

Nadine grinned. “Would you like me to call you when dinner is ready?”

Jared kissed the top of her head. “Thanks Mother.”

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

Without a word, as he and Sara entered their bedroom, Jared turned and locked the door. He draped their bathrobes over his arm. With eyes full of fire, already glowing warm amber, Jared slowly walked up to Sara. He took her hand and led her into the bathroom.

Sara walked to the shower cabinet, and reached to turn on the water. Jared walked up behind her and gently placed his hand over hers. From the look in his eyes and the way he was acting, Sara knew this wasn’t going to be a five-minute shower.

Jared took her hand and led her in front of the large garden tub. “Let’s do this a little different this time,” he breathed against the side of her neck as he kissed it.

He turned on the water, adjusting the temperature until he was satisfied with it, and started filling the tub. He poured a capful of greenish liquid from a small bottle and drizzled it under the running water. He then swirled it around a few times. It didn’t froth up. It wasn’t bubble bath.

The room was filled with an exotic floral fragrance, pungent, but pleasant to the senses. It made Sara feel relaxed and slightly drowsy, as though she was drifting.

Any other time, Sara would have been curious enough to ask what it was, but she was too enthralled by the sensation.

She silently watched Jared with curious eyes, as he opened a little door beside him, and romantic Native American flutes started softly playing. He adjusted the sound until the music was barely audible, fading in the background. He smiled at Sara and softly caressed her face. His touch so gentle she barely felt it.

From a medicine cabinet, over the vanity, he brought out some scented tealight candles, and dropped them in what appeared to be normal glass holders.

Jared then spaced them along the rim of the bathtub. Seven different holders. Seven different candles. Seven different positions. Then one-by-one he started lighting them, whispering something in Navajo as he lit each one. The air was filled with a mingled scent of roses, wildflowers, cinnamon, cranberry, and fresh rainfall.

Sara was amazed at how Jared had used the different scents. Every one affecting her senses in a different way. Strange and exciting, yet natural and delicate as the atmosphere he’d created around them. Each fragrance and effect blended in perfect harmony with the other.

After he’d lit the seven candles, he closed his eyes. Breathing deeply, as though pulling invisible life into his lungs. He slowly dimmed the lights until there was barely enough to see by. The room transformed to a masterpiece of light and color. Like tiny crystals, kissed by the morning sun as they projected hundreds of tiny rainbows over their bodies.

Jared opened his eyes of darkest crimson, so deeply shaded they were almost black. Sara’s eyes glossed as he lovingly gazed at her. The rainbow spectrums dancing off his eyes like sunlight on the water.

He turned off the faucet, and swirled his hand through the water again, making sure it was just the right temperature. Hot and steaming, but not unpleasant to the touch.

BOOK: Blood of the Rainbow
8.67Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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