When Tis Done – Part 10

Dellani Oakes

When Tis Done coverNeil reconnects with his friends. Closest to Heath Barrett, he sits with the other man, talking and sipping a beer.

“I’m planning on staying, my friend. I’m finally home. Just came by it the long way.”

A pretty blonde woman walked into the clearing. She carried a big, heavy bowl. Neil who was nearby, hopped up, taking it from her. She smiled, her blue eyes meeting his and she laughed. His heart seemed to skip a beat as he took in details. She was tall, for a woman, slender and athletic, with short blonde hair that was cut and styled in a casual, wispy way. Her full lips parted and she smiled.

“Neil Braxton, swear to God, you don’t recognize me!”

He peered at her, holding the heavy bowl in his arms. He set it on the nearby table, taking her hands. “Not little Cynthia Finley?”

“Not so little anymore,”…

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When Tis Done – Part 9

Dellani Oakes

When Tis Done coverNeil is welcomed home by his family. After a long shower to get off the road grit and sweat, he sits with Chase, comforting the boy while he grieves for his father.

“So much pressure,” he gasped. “Expectations…. Man of the House…. I can’t do it all, Neil. I can’t!”

“Shh, shh…. You ought not to have to, boy. But with Daddy so sick, you’ve had it handed to you. I’m here now. Anything you can’t handle, you throw at me. I guarantee it can’t beat us both down.”

“You boys ready to eat?” his mother called from the kitchen.

“Yes, Mama. Be up in a few minutes. We gotta wash.”

“Okay. Don’t you make my food get cold!”

“No, Ma’am!”

Rising, he hugged Chase. “It’s gonna be okay. I’m here now. I can’t take your father’s place, but anything you need from me, I’m here.” He took Chase’s head…

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When Tis Done – Part 8

Dellani Oakes

When Tis Done coverNeil, Dora Finley’s brother, has returned after nearly two decades. Could he be the replacement that the Center Circle needs to heal it?

“Yes, the way Mama fixed it. Me, I’d have burnt it to a crisp.”

“Thanks, Peanut. This is great!”

“I’m Lucy, not Peanut!”

“Oh, sorry Lima Bean!”

She stamped her foot, pretending to pout, but the giggle escaped her. “You’re silly, Uncle Neil.”

“I got it from Mommy. She made me silly before we were born.” He stood slowly, rubbing the kinks from his thighs.

“You were twins!”

“Yep, we still are. Me first, Mommy five minutes later.”

She gave him a hug around his knees and ran in the yard after her sister.

“Come in and have a bite,” their mother said, after hugging and kissing him ardently.

“Mama, I could sure use a shower first.”

“Of course! Daddy’s inside. It’s hard for him to get…

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Among the Shine Clan – Part 8 by Dellani

Cereal Authors

among-the-shine-clan-coverNeither Fiddlestix, nor Deacon Scott, are happy with one another. They’ve decidedly gotten off on the wrong foot. Of course, the curses she hurled at him, in order to get his attention, might have something to do with it. Both realize they have to work together to capture the rogue cyber warriors, but it doesn’t mean they have to like it—or each other.

“I didn’t ask to be sent here, General Scott,” she turned back to Deacon. “But if I’d had my way, I’d have asked before I barged in. I would have brought no more than twenty people and we would have taken care of this nice and quiet. Unfortunately, I had no way to contact you.”

“Why do you think McLain sent you in like this then?” Deacon couldn’t keep the curiosity out of his voice.

“Slap in the face to you and a burning desire to see…

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When Tis Done – Part 7

Dellani Oakes

When Tis Done coverChase and Marissa have a serious talk and start mending their relationship. Heath and Jackie are worried about them because they help stablize the Inner Circle.

“Miles and Maribelle are nuts to have Elise so late,” Heath said.

“You know how much they wanted another child. The rest of us have so many. For them, it was only ever Brian,” Jackie replied.

“I have a feeling that baby girl is going to be a lot like her brother.”

“Oh, surely not. There’s only one per family.”

Heath pressed his lips together, shaking his head. “Not entirely true. I’ve been going through the archives with Chase and Cynthia, trying to make sense of Cliff’s system. We came across something. I haven’t said anything to the others yet. I don’t want Maribelle to worry. Once in awhile, a second child can also be chosen by a Circle. It’s rare, but it happens.”

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When Tis Done – Part 6

Dellani Oakes

When Tis Done coverJackie has a heart to heart with Marissa, telling her to show Chase a little more affection. Jordan and Brian demonstrate how close they’ve become, virtually reading one anothers minds.

The men came in with a pitcher of fresh lemonade and glasses of ice. There were bowls with sliced strawberries and sprigs of mint.

“I’ve been wanting mint most of the day,” Heath admitted as he poured lemonade in the glasses. “But I sensed that you wanted strawberries, my love.” He handed Jackie a glass of lemonade with sliced berries in it.

“Perfect, I do. Jordan, what would you like?” Jackie raised an eyebrow, her eyes moving between her daughter and Brian.

“She wants mint,” Brian said.

Jordan’s eyes widened. “I do! And I know you want berries like Mom.”

Brian chuckled as he poured her lemonade, dropping three springs of mint into the glass before handing it to her.

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Character Quotes from Heirs of Shakazhan by Dellani

Cereal Authors

Heirs of Shakazhan frontHeirs of Shakazhan is book 6 in my Lone Wolf Series

“Why are you the logical one to watch me?”

Wil was somewhat incredulous. To think that Yktobo, with whom he had never been on particularly cordial terms, was now his nursemaid, irritated him. Sighing extravagantly, Yktobo’s eyes rolled heavenward as if he appealed to a higher power for aid. His conceit was such that Wil knew he didn’t ask for guidance, so much as he wanted to show his annoyance. Ever the showman, he was being overtly dramatic. Wil wanted to punch him.

“Wilhelm, why must you be so….”

His complaint was cut short by Wil’s nonchalant blow to his nose. Eyes watering, the Kahlea Master gasped, surprised. “What was that for?” He rubbed the offended member, dark blue blood dripping on the ground.

“Don’t insult me, just tell me. I haven’t had a very good day so far.”

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When Tis Done – Part 5

Dellani Oakes

When Tis Done coverMarissa and Chase are having even more relationship problems than usual. Although he claims to love her, he’s pressuring her to have sex. Marissa cares for Chase, but she’s very religious and has very rigid principles of behavior. She won’t even let him kiss her in public. It’s becoming a major problem for their Circle.

Marissa hung her head, lips trembling. “He hates me so!”

“Who hates you, honey?”

“Chase! He despises me! He can hardly stand to be near me and we’re always arguing.”

Jordan said nothing, letting her mother take the lead. Jackie knew about the problems between Chase and Marissa. Everyone knew. It had been worse since Cliff’s death, but had been building steadily to a head for the last two years. Now, more than ever, she saw changes between the two of them that she knew meant trouble.

“He doesn’t hate you,” Jackie said. “If anything…

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When Tis Done – Part 4

Dellani Oakes

When Tis Done coverHeath overhears Brian talking to Chase and sits the boys down for a talk. He explains that the Circle will pick a new person to replace Dora Finley, Chase’s mother, now that his father is dead. He also tells them that if Chase and Marissa can’t resolve their differences, one or the other could leave the Circle and a replacement would be found.

“Nope. From time to time, the force around us make mistakes. It’s bound to happen. Our choice of a mate may be pre-destined, but it’s not written in stone. Sometimes, your intended isn’t really the best person for you. So, an alternate is provided. You only get a second chance, not a third or fourth. This isn’t a dating service, after all. But it has to be a mutual thing and you both have to agree which of you leaves the circle. If neither of you wants…

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When Tis Done – Part 3

Dellani Oakes

When Tis Done coverJordan, Chase and Marissa are in Jordan’s basement when Brian arrives. It’s evident that there is tension between Chase and Marissa. In fact, Chase manages to hurt her feelings, making her cry. She runs out and Jordan goes to calm her, leaving the boys alone.

Brian punched him. It wasn’t a light, friendly punch that they sometimes exchanged. It was a hard fisted slam, knocking Chase’s breath from his lungs. Brian grabbed his shirt front, pulling him over. Less than an inch from his face, Brian growled at his friend. It was the most terrifying noise Chase had ever heard Brian make. It was base, primal, pure fury.

“Get over yourself, Chase,” Brian rumbled, his anger barely contained. The windows rattled, the floor shook. Curios on the shelves tipped over. “This is nothing, this stupid shit you’re dealing with. I don’t talk about everything that’s going on with me, but…

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