Authors: C. L. Scholey
"What about Sandra and Trace?" Telor asked.
Rain was shaking her head. "I thought of that already, but I never brought them to my home. My grandparents only know them from what I've told them."
Before long they were flying down the highway at a rate so fast Telor was feeling a little ill. But there was no way he would ask Jaron to slow down. Rain was in a hurry.
That night Telor and Jaron swapped off driving duty. All it took was a pleading word from Rain, and Telor kept the car at a steady high speed while Rain slept fitfully off and on, her head in his lap. Jaron was propped up in the backseat against the door. Telor could see him in the rearview mirror. Though Jaron's eyes were closed, Telor wondered if the man actually slept.
It was early morning when Telor pulled onto the long adjoining driveway. The house looked deserted and he felt Rain tremble.
"Oh no," she whispered. "We're too late."
Telor got out of the car, grateful now that Jaron had demanded they use his vehicle. Telor's pickup never would have made the return trip unless they stopped occasionally to allow his truck to cool off.
"Maybe we beat Carver," Telor muttered. "You know Grams keeps every light in the house off unless it's necessary. And Papa would be keeping a close eye out. Don't sell him short, Rain. He's a cagey old man."
"Come on," Jaron said, moving toward the house.
It was all Telor could do to keep Rain from racing forward. The home was quiet when they entered. They moved on silent feet, expecting something. Rain fingered a note on Telor's kitchen table.
"What's it say?" Telor asked, dreading her response. He expected it to be a ransom note or a death threat.
"It says Papa took Grams to the police." Telor could hear her relief.
"It means you better talk now," came a brutal voice.
Rain screamed when Carver grabbed Telor by the throat and threw him into a wall.
Carver dove for Rain, but Jaron was quicker and intercepted the man. Rain could see by the look on Jaron's face he wasn't going to run from Carver this time. Jaron was a full-grown man and he was furious. Rain stumbled out of their way as the men fought. She raced to Telor and helped him as he struggled to his feet. Rain covered her mouth when Carver pulled out a knife and slashed it toward Jaron.
Rain was horrified, but Jaron was donning a sinister grin. Carver returned the evil look. It made Rain shudder when Jaron retrieved a sharp kitchen knife from a wooden block and waved it back and forth. Both men looked deadly. Each looked comfortable with a weapon. Telor pulled her behind him.
"You ready to be charged with murder again?" Carver sneered.
"I'll be doing the world a favor when I kill you," Jaron retorted.
"Oh, I don't mean me," Carver said and motioned toward Rain and Telor. "After I kick your ass and this pretty little thing tells me what I want to know, you'll be left holding the bag—a bloody one."
Carver cast a lewd gaze at Rain that made her skin crawl. "I'll make you dance for me first, ballerina," he said and winked. "I plan on having some fun with you before I slit that tiny neck of yours."
dance?" Jaron snarled as he spat the words at Carver.
Carver lunged. Rain howled fearfully. The table was flipped; the chairs went flying. Powerful arms were locked against one another in a battle for dominance. Carver was barrel-chested and shorter. The shirt Jaron had stolen off a clothesline in the city was too small on him and ripped at the seams when his biceps bulged, then ripped straight down his back. Carver tore it from him.
Jaron threw Carver into Telor's glass door. The glass shattered, and when Carver landed outside his knife was on the ground. The man moved like a fleet-footed panther and picked up a jagged shard of the broken glass and sliced it toward Jaron's middle.
Telor leaped forward to help, and when he grabbed the hand holding the glass Carver punched him in the head with his other fist, sending Telor onto his knees. The glass was at Telor's throat, and as Carver positioned the edge to slit his throat Jaron made a swift cut down and sliced Carver's wrist. Jaron hit an artery. Blood spurted onto Telor's face and into his eyes.
Rain ran to Telor and dragged him back. She could faintly hear a police siren. Carver slammed his foot into Jaron's gut, sending him reeling back, and went for Rain. He had switched the glass shard into his other hand and pulled his fist back to slam the glass into her in a downward arc. Jaron was suddenly in front of her. Saving her again.
Carver's action was swift. The man was a powerhouse, but so too was Jaron. Jaron had no choice but to drop his blade and use both hands on the desperate man. Jaron grabbed his wrist. Rain was on the ground. Jaron bent over her backward, trying to fend off Carver's deadly blow. The glass shard inched closer to Jaron's throat.
Rain heard a shout…then a gunshot. Telor grabbed her out from under Jaron. Both Carver and Jaron landed in a heap on the ground. Rain pulled herself from Telor's grasp and tugged at Carver's arm, and soon Telor was beside her yanking the man off Jaron.
Jaron groaned. "Damn, that bastard's heavy."
Sobbing, Rain flung her arms around him. "You're all right. You saved my life. Again."
Rain felt frail arms around her lifting her. "Rain, child, I thought we had lost you," Grams said. Rain turned into her arms and held her close.
Papa held her next. "I knew Telor would find you. Just like he promised."
"I'm happy you went to the police. I should have said something that night," Telor said. "I wasn't thinking straight when I told you to stay at my place and just took off."
"You were worried about Rain," Papa said. There was respect for the younger man when Rain looked at Papa and it made her happy.
Rain wiped at the blood on Telor's face with the hanky Papa handed her. She was grateful it wasn't his blood. Carver was dead, and with him went the information Jaron had wanted about why Carver went after her parents and why he'd killed them. The doll was still missing.
"Telor?" Rain asked.
"Jaron saved your life and mine. Isn't it time you told us where the doll is?"
Telor sighed heavily and took her by the shoulders. "I gave it back the next morning, Rain. Don't you remember? I left it on your front porch. I waited until you picked it up. You took it inside and that's the last time I ever saw it."
Crestfallen, she shook her head. Now she really would never know. There was no memory of her doll after she had dropped it during the storm. She gazed up at Jaron. He had lost fifteen years of his life to save her, and he would never be able to reason out why this all had happened if she couldn't remember. Rain wanted to cry.
"Jaron, I'm so sorry," Rain whispered.
Rain went on to explain to Grams and Papa what had occurred the night of her parents' deaths. She would make sure everyone would know what a hero Jaron was then and still was now. It was the least she could do. If only she could remember…
Thunder hammered the heavens. The two men stood silently and watched as Rain danced, trance-like, near the sparse forest. Rain knew they were watching; she knew what they were thinking. Both men wanted her; both men loved her. Rain loved them both as well.
Tonight she danced her pain, her remembrance, her fears, and her rise from adversity. Only this was a new dance. This was her dance, not her mother's. Rain's was the dance of life. When she leaped barefoot toward the sky, she became the element air. Landing gracefully onto the moist grass she was the earth. Spinning wildly, she became the wind. Her passion was fire. But above all else she was water. She was
Rain could flow fast like a river current; she could be still waters. When you least expected it, Rain could grip your emotions and pull you down into turbulent water. She had the depth of an ocean, and her being was the mystery the water held.
Rain remembered her mother's plight. She could still hear her mother's voice telling her how much she loved her. And she remembered hearing her frantic pleas to God to watch over her baby. Rain allowed every thought, every emotion to bombard her senses. Her life was her mother's legacy. Rain only hoped she had her mother's inner strength. If ever Rain might need to save a child of her own someday…
Rain pulled up short as a memory washed over her. The floodgates of remembrance suddenly opened. Rain did have her mother's inner strength. She stood still as the storm crashed around her. She hung her head and closed her eyes, thinking. The feel of a tentative hand touched her shoulder, and Rain turned to see both men near her side.
"Rain?" Telor said. There was so much raw emotion in his voice. "I understand if you can't choose one of us."
Rain couldn't help but smile lovingly at him. Always forgiving, always so special, her Telor. God, how she loved him. Her gaze settled on Jaron. She saw him tense and could sense his apprehension. Rain could see by the expression on his face he was positive she would once again abandon him to his fate of loneliness and betrayal.
Rain smiled at him too. "The night Papa found me dancing in the storm, I dropped my doll. I left her behind on the ground. I was so distraught. Such an awful feeling of failure overcame me. When Telor returned her, I knew I needed to keep my dolly safe. I hid her, just like Jaron hid me. And I left."
"Just like I left you," Jaron said.
Rain grabbed each of them by the hand and took them under the shelter of the old willow tree. In a hollow knot near the ground, Rain squatted. Carefully reaching within she pulled out the ratty doll wrapped in an old piece of cloth, then stood, showing them.
"It's been here all along?" Telor asked.
"Safely hidden away until I would be old enough to look after it—save it," Rain replied. "I wrapped her in a blanket because I had been in darkness. After a while there is safety in what you can't see."
"I always wondered why you chose to dance in this spot every time." Telor's words were thoughtful.
"To be close to her," Rain said, feeling sad. "I had been so angry with my mother for leaving me when I was a child. But when the doll dropped and I couldn't get to her, I understood how helpless my mom must have felt."
Jaron took the doll into his hands, feeling it over. "There's something in here with the stuffing. Like small, hard rocks."
"It's where my dad said she kept her love. It's so I could feel it under my fingers when I touched her."
Jaron looked at her and seemed hesitant. "Rain, can I…?"
Rain nodded. "It's what you've wanted to do all along."
Jaron placed his hands on her shoulders. "This may be what I was after, but I've found so much more."
"So have I," Rain admitted. In that statement alone she knew both men realized she couldn't give up either of them.
Jaron slit a small hole in the doll's head. When he dumped the contents into his palm they all gasped. The doll was filled with diamonds, raw and uncut.
"There's a fortune in this doll," Jaron said and smiled. "With Carver gone, they're yours, Rain."
," she replied. She could feel a smile curve her lips. Her grandparents were staying at a quaint bed and breakfast. They had asked her to join them, but Rain had told them she needed the security of Telor's arms. Surprisingly, even Papa made no protest.
Rain led both men back into Telor's home. All three were drenched. Jaron put the doll and his handful of diamonds on the coffee table in the living room. Rain stripped off her shirt and tossed her sodden long locks to rid her hair of moisture. She wore no bra. Droplets streamed down her bared breasts.
Both men were bare-chested and also barefoot. Rain stalked them both. She felt predatory—hungry. She'd never had a threesome but she was determined to now. Rain couldn't give either of them up, and she wanted to make certain neither would give her up.
Rain peeled her tights off, then stood in only her panties. She gave the coffee table a gentle push, jostling the doll and diamonds, and sent it back, giving her room. Smiling, Rain began to dance. The area was large enough to spin when she kept her movements tight. It was a lover's dance. She gyrated her hips in open invitation. Coaxing, taunting, she wanted them to burn for her because she was on fire with the need for them. Rain heard Telor groan. She knew he had never been in a threesome either. She looked expectantly at Jaron, who was grinning from ear to ear.
When Jaron chuckled, Rain knew it would be him who would lead the dance. On her next spin, Rain settled herself back against Jaron's pelvis. Her bottom rubbed against him and she could feel his hardness. Rain could hear Telor's expelled breath as Jaron ripped the sides of her panties, exposing all of her to them.
Jaron was gripping her, both of her breasts in his hands, and Rain groaned as he worked them like dough for a delicious treat. It was so like Jaron to be demanding. When Telor stepped forward, he kissed her. Telor cupped the sides of her face and tenderly ran his tongue against hers. Rain could feel the heat of Jaron's belly pressed to her back. He had stripped off his pants. Rain would have chuckled at Telor's struggle with his, but Jaron pushed her to her knees.