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Authors: Shelia Chapman

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BOOK: Blood of the Rainbow
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“No!” he commanded. “Don’t do that, you might lose your footing, and my life would end if anything happened to you.”

Sara sighed and groaned. “You’re the most persistent person I’ve ever come across. Let’s go.”

Jared smiled, pulling her up the hillside, over a craggy path. “Now stand still. I’m going to put my hands over your eyes, and don’t look until I tell you. Step up just a little - there. Now,” he continued. “I want you to imagine the most beautiful sight you’ve ever seen, and tell me, if what you’re about to see, compares.” He moved his hands off.

Sara looked across the immense country scene that lay before her eyes. They were far above the treetops. A stream, so far below them, snaked like a glossy blue ribbon. It looked nothing like the river they’d crossed earlier. The sun was just beginning to set. Misty white clouds were sprayed across the hazy cerulean sky, as though they’d been airbrushed in place.

Jared put his hands tightly on her waist. “Now… I’m going to hold on to you, and I want you to lean out, over the rock, and then look directly below you.”

Sara was frantic. “What? No Jared! I can’t do that, please don’t ask me to do that!”

Jared cooed in her ear. “Please? Trust me, I
won’t
let go of you. You’re
not
going to fall. Just close your eyes and trust me.
Don’t
open your eyes until I tell you.”

Sara’s heart jumped to her throat, her mouth as dry as the stone beneath her feet. She swallowed hard and took a deep breath. In that split second, countless ways, she could fall went through Sara’s head. She imagined it, she could see it, and she could feel it. “Jared, if I fall, I swear I’ll come back and torment you every single day of your life!”

Sara took another deep breath and closed her eyes. She felt Jared leaning her body towards the edge, the breeze blowing in all directions. Her green satin ribbon was jerked from her hair. Sara snatched at it, but it was gone. The wind carried it over the cliff. Hopelessly she watched it, twirling, floating down like a feather. Sara frowned and shut her eyes again. Jared put his mouth close to her ear and whispered through her hair. “We’ll buy you another one. Now, open your eyes again Sara.”

Sara took a couple more deep breaths, swallowing the bile creeping up the back of her throat. She was starting to feel dizzy, nauseated, and about ready to hyperventilate. She realized how vulnerable she was. Jared was in complete control of her life at that moment. If he chose, he could easily end it, and no one would ever know. Whatever was left of her broken and battered body would probably never be found, yet her fears faded, when she felt Jared’s warm breath tickle her ear.

“Open your eyes,” he whispered again.

Sara cracked her left eye slightly, and then her right eye, before opening them both wide. She drew in a deep breath. “Oh my God! I feel as if I’m standing on air.” Sara hung, suspended in midair. It didn’t seem as though she was connected to the heavens
or
the earth. Below her, in the middle of the rock face, was one of the most striking waterfalls she’d ever seen. The water gushed from a hole in the hill; falling several hundred feet before splattering into a small pool. It then ran off from the pool, continuing its journey, as it rolled down the hillside, and joined the river. No doubt to Jared, it was a spectacular sight, but Sara’s knees were starting to shake.

She closed her eyes again. “I’ve seen it. Now, would you
please
get me away from the edge of this rock?” Her voice was a little rougher than she’d intended. It was an exhilarating experience, but one Sara could have happily lived without.

Jared pulled her back and held her. “I’m sorry, were you
really
that scared? I thought you would like it. I’ve scared you again, and I said I wouldn’t do that. Forgive me?” He studied her eyes, and smiled his sexy smile that made her heart race.

Sara playfully wagged her finger in his face. “Only if you promise
never
to do that again. Next time, I might
not
be so forgiving.” Sara glanced at her watch. It was almost seven.

Jared sounded disappointed. “Ready to go back?”

“Not really, but I’m concerned that it’s going to be dark soon. The way in here was a little treacherous.”

“Let’s go back, have our picnic, and then head home. If we get back in time, I’ll take you to the house again. I want to show you my pastels, and I’d like you to see my Navajo room. If you give me a kiss, I’ll even let you have my copy of Twilight.”

Sara laughed, furrowing her brow. “You’re not playing fair.”

Jared looked indifferent. He turned away. “Fine - if you don’t want to kiss me, it’s ok – I understand. I’m not going to throw myself at you,” his voice sounded sincere.

Sara turned and put her arms around his neck. Even on her tiptoes, she wasn’t tall enough to reach him. “A little help here,” she complained.

Jared laughed, and put his arms around her waist, lifting her up. “How’s that?” he breathed against her lips.

“What’s this about me not wanting to kiss you?” She covered his mouth with hers, kissing him.

Jared intensified the kiss, groaning and pulling her closer, burying his head in her hair. “Sara, you shouldn’t kiss me like that!”

Sara’s head was still spinning. “Why?”

Jared pulled away slightly. “Just trust me. It’s not that I don’t
like
it, I do, I’m just not sure I can control myself or that I even
want
to.”

“And losing control with me would be bad?” she teased.

“Yes! It would be
very
bad. For one thing, Lucy would kill me. For another, I wouldn’t take advantage of you like that, and it’s not because I don’t want you.” He took her hand, and started leading her down the path again. “Let’s get back to the bike,” he continued, changing the subject. “I’m starving, and you’re right. It will be dark soon. Although I’ve been here many times, I still wouldn’t want to try and drive out of here in the dark.”

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

They sat and ate their sandwiches. When they’d finished, Jared played Sara’s guitar, and they sang a few songs together, before packing up to leave. “I’ve had more fun today, than I’ve had in a long time. What are we doing tomorrow?”

Sara laughed. “Jared, I think I should spend some time with Lucy.”

Jared sighed. “Yeah, I suppose you should. I’m just finding it hard to imagine a day without seeing you. I wonder if Lucy would consider moving to Wisteria Hall,” he mused.

“I doubt it.”

Jared sighed heavily again. “Yeah, me too.”

“I have a question for you.”

“Shoot!”

“Are you
full
blood Navajo?”

“From the top of my head to the tip of my toes and all the other parts in between – why? Has your mother got something against Native Americans?”

Sara laughed. “Probably, but that’s not why I’m asking. Aren’t you suppose to – you know –
marry
your own kind?”

Jared laughed aloud. “Well, not really. I can
marry
whomever I want. Actually, I’m supposed to marry my perfect match, but I don’t think we need to worry about that right now – do we?”

Sara’s face flushed. “I didn’t mean - oh gosh! I’ve truly put my foot in it, haven’t I?” She tucked her head.

“No, you haven’t put your foot in it. I don’t mind.” He pulled her into his arms, holding her. He kissed her, and then they got on the bike and headed home. Jared was quiet all the way. Despite his generous nature, Sara wondered if she’d said something out of line. She hadn’t been fishing for a proposal from Jared. They’d only just met. Sara was curious. She knew in some cultures, there were separate rules for royalty. And in Jared’s culture, he
was
considered royalty. Sara didn’t want their relationship to develop to a point where he had to choose between her and his family. If it ever came to that, Sara hoped she would be strong enough to let him go.

When they got back to Wisteria Hall, Jared parked the bike in the garage and put away their helmets. He still hadn’t said anything to Sara, and the silence was making her nervous. Jared took her hand, and led her into the kitchen where he poured them a glass of iced-tea. “Why don’t you phone Lucy, and let her know we’re back at my house. I wouldn’t want her to think the worse of me….”

“Yeah, sure.” Sara stepped outside for some privacy. She pushed Lucy’s speed number and waited.


Hello?

“Luce, it’s me. We’re back.”


Oh good
!” Lucy sounded relieved. “
Where are you?

“At Jared’s. He wants to show me his drawings and native artifacts.”


Oh, I see
.
You must be talking about his Navajo room. You’ll enjoy that. Are you sure you don’t want me to keep your dinner warm?

“Ah – no - that’s ok. I’ll either eat here, or fix a sandwich when I get home.”


Ok – ah - Sara
,” Lucy said with apprehension.

Sara braced herself and waited for the worst.


Kaye called. I covered for you, but as you might have guessed, she’s upset. This is the second time she’s called to talk to you, and you haven’t been here. If you don’t talk to her soon, knowing my sister, she’ll come up here to check on you.

“Ok, I’ll ring her in the morning. I’ve had too good of a day to let her spoil it now.”


Sara
…” Lucy hesitated. “
I know you’re a big girl, and I know you’re responsible. Jared is a very good friend, and I would trust him with my life....

“But?” Sara prompted.


Just be careful Honey. This is the first serious relationship you’ve been in since, well, you know, since Jeff. I don’t want to see you get hurt again. Just be sure this time Sweetie.
” She paused for a minute when Sara didn’t respond.  “
Uh oh
.
Am I starting to sound like your Mom?

Sara chuckled. “Yeah, a little.”


I’m sorry Honey. It’s just, well, you’re living with me, and you’re my responsibility, ok? I’m not trying to pry, just be careful.

“I will Lucy, and I’ll be home in a little while.” Sara ended the call and went inside.

Jared looked up when she entered the room. “Is everything all right?”

“Yeah. Mom’s just getting edgy. I’ll call her in the morning, let her yell a while, and get it out of her system.”

Jared smiled. “Seems your Mom and I are going to get along like cats and dogs.”

“That’s what I’m afraid of….”

Jared kissed Sara’s cheek and took her hand. “Stop worrying about your mother. We’ll get along, or we won’t. It’s that simple. Come on. Let’s go take a walk down memory lane. Ready to see my trinkets?”

“Yeah, sure.” Sara followed him up the stairs. He led her to what she assumed was his bedroom. It had the right look. She took a deep breath and walked through the door with him. This was the first time she’d been alone with Jared in his bedroom. Sara had fallen head over heels in love with Jared, and she was a little nervous. Jared grinned, sensing her feelings.

He knelt down by the side of his bed and pulled out an old trunk. He opened it up and handed her a stack of papers. “I’m not going to attack you Sara, unless you want me to attack you,” he grinned. “Here, start going through these, and I’ll see if I can find any of my earlier stuff.”

Sara laid the folder on the bed, and kneeling on the floor, used the top of the bed as a desk. Jared scrambled around in the top of his closet. He pulled out an old briefcase. “Oh, yes, here they are.” He opened it and handed Sara another small stack of sketches. “When you’re finished going through those, I’ll show you my Navajo room. I have it arranged, like a museum display, with separate curio cabinets.”

Sara started thumbing through the sketches. They were extremely realistic. She glanced up. “Is this how it looks in Arizona?”

“Yes, but I’m afraid the sketches don’t do it a lot of justice.”

“There are so many colors. Is it really like this? You didn’t exaggerate, when you colored in the sunset?”

Jared seemed mildly annoyed. “No Sara. I’m a perfectionist when it comes to my art. I try to make them as real as possible. Sometimes, I might add the odd blade of grass, or leaf to a bush, but I never go overboard with it.”

Jared waited for Sara’s reaction as she went through the smaller stack of sketches. “Ah – I ah - I did some of those while I was still in high school, in El Dorado. A couple of them might be… disturbing, but remember what I told you about my dreams, and try and keep an open mind about it.”

Sara glanced up at him and smiled, “When it comes to you… my mind will always be open.”

Jared knelt beside her and brushed the back of his fingers across her cheek. “I’m glad.”

 The small stack of sketches only contained four drawings which looked as if they’d been drawn on older paper. Sara gasped, bringing her hand to her mouth. “Oh my! This is me, when I was about ten. I remember the birthday cake. It was in the shape… of a wolf, baying… at the moon. My mother and grandmother searched all over Shreveport, trying to find the right shaped pan.”

Sara held up another picture. “This one was at my thirteenth birthday. I felt so alone. All the local boys laughed at me because of my braces. They called me metal mouth.” She held up a different picture still. “This one was at my sixteenth birthday party - my first
real
party. You’ve even drawn the locket Jeff gave me. My ex-boyfriend and I broke up about a month after that. I found out Jeff was two timing me with the head cheerleader. I was heartbroken. I slung the locket in the river,” she sighed. “It’s probably still down there somewhere.”

Jared chuckled. “Yeah, I know. I started to go back for the locket but… like I said, I’ve been dreaming about you for a very long time. I was a little jealous when I had that dream. It was hard to watch Jeff touching you and seeing you look at him the way you did.”

Sara laughed at the irony of it all. “It seems you
have
been dreaming about me. It’s just
unbelievable
. Did someone assign you as my guardian angel in a previous life?”

BOOK: Blood of the Rainbow
8.28Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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