Crossbreeds 3: Chapter 53 Into Town by RedPhantom ()
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Jo paced and fidgeted. She was trying to work up the courage to call her mom.
“Call already. Get it over with,” Nim said.
“What if she won’t talk to me?”
“Then leave a message. Do you want me to call?” They’d done that a few times. Nim would call and talk to her assistant and then when Jo’s mom, Amelia, answered, he’d give the phone to Jo. The first time Amelia had been so surprised she talked to Jo a few moments. The second time, she hung up as soon as she heard Jo’s voice.
“No, she’ll just hang up again,” Jo said. She sighed. Nim pulled her to him and held her. Then, he handed her the phone.
She dialed the number.
“Hello?” Amelia’s assistant answered.
“Hello, Susan? This is Joanne. Is my mother there, and is she willing to talk with me?” Jo asked.
“I know she had a meeting this morning. I think she’s done,” Susan said. “Let me see if I can get her for you.” Susan was sympathetic to Jo and would try to convince Amelia to talk with her.
“Hello?” Amelia’s voice came over the phone. Jo’s heart nearly stopped in surprise.
“Joanne, what do you want now?”
“I was in the country in thought I’d call and check on the family,” Jo said.
“Susan could have told you that information. You were only gone a month. Did he dump you already?”
Nim was able to hear what was being said and let out a low growl.
“No, Mom, he’s sitting right next to me. We came with friends to visit their parents.”
“Are you planning on stopping by? We still know practically nothing about this man you’ve run off with.”
“We’re in Colorado. Where you don’t take my phone calls, I didn’t think you’d want a visit.”
“I just figured if you’re going to insist on staying in touch, we should meet him.”
“If you really mean that, we should be able to come to Chicago in about a month.”
“We’re only going to be here a few days. Nim and I have responsibilities on Torthoc.”
“What kind of responsibilities could you have there already?”
“Pretty much the same as I had here. I work at a home for runaway and abandoned children.”
“And this man you ran off with?”
“He has a name, Mother. He’s Nimitinas. If it’s too hard to remember, call him Nim.”
“What does this Nimitinas do?”
“He told you that when he first talked with you. He’s an investor, and he works with kids.”
“What kind of investing does he do?”
“Right now? Not much of anything, the economy being what it is.”
“And what does he do with the kids?”
“He’s a tutor and he works with advanced placement and gifted kids. He also helps at the children’s home I work at. Recently, he was made emissary for his clan to another clan.”
“How big is this island?” Amelia asked.
“I don’t know exactly. It’s pretty good-sized.” They had told Jo’s mom Nim was from an island in the Atlantic called Torthoc. It was the same story Ann had given people when she had lived there.
“Why can’t I find anything about this place?”
“I don’t know. It’s pretty isolated and they don’t get outsiders much.”
“Is that why they don’t have phones?”
“Your father and I have another meeting soon. I need to go. We’ll talk again later,” Amelia said.
“Okay, mother, goodbye,” Jo said.
“Jo?” It was Susan.
“I just want to let you know they really do have a meeting. She’s not making up excuses,” Susan said softly.
“Thank you.” And Jo hung up.
“Is this the shop?” Jaidu asked as they pulled into the parking lot. She’d spent the whole trip with her nose pressed against the window. Andy was pretty sure she was the only one from Torthoc that wasn’t bothered by riding in a car.
Thailyn looked like he was going to be sick. Remtani refused to look out the window, Vor’s knuckles were white from gripping the door handle and Ann’s fists were clenched.
“We’re here.” Andy assured them.
Jaidu tried to hop out of the car, forgetting to unbuckle her seatbelt.
“Jaidu, slow down. Wait for the rest of us,” Thailyn said as he helped her out of the seatbelt and then undid his own.
They all piled out of the car and went into the store. The four stopped and stared.
“Why did you bring us here?” Ann asked. It was the local superstore rather than a grocery store.
“The food costs less here and they have what I want. There are a few things I want that aren’t groceries.”
“Like paper and pens to take notes with at the library. I also thought maybe a couple of prepaid phones might be a good idea too. Since we’ll be splitting up, a way of communicating might be good. Not all of us are telepathic.”
“I’ve never seen such a pretty shift before,” Jaidu said holding up a sundress.
“That’s not a shift. That’s a dress,” Ann told her.
“Really?” She held it up to herself.
“Absolutely not,” Thailyn said. “You are not getting it.”
“Mishtali would skin us both,” Remtani said. “Thailyn for letting you get it and me for corrupting you.”
“It’s pretty but it wouldn’t work back home.” Jaidu agreed.
“What is this?” Thailyn asked holding up a bikini.
“That’s a swimming suit,” Ann said. “They wear those when they go to the beach or pool.”
“They wear this outside in public? You wore something like this?” He was growling now.
“No, I did not wear that. I dressed appropriately,” Ann snapped.
“Ann, calm down.” Andy put an arm around her.
“I’m sorry,” Thailyn said.
“I’m sorry too. I overreacted,” Ann said.
“It might be the hormones,” Thailyn told her.
“Can we look at the jewelry?” Jaidu asked. “That’s not inappropriate.”
Ann nodded and she and Andy led Jaidu over to the jewelry counter.
“Was that hormones, or did I hit a sore spot?” Thailyn asked.
“A sore spot,” Remtani said. “She was accused of all sorts of misconduct when she returned home after running away.
“They started up again when she returned home after being here. Ann and Andy spent a few days in Erilu after the wedding. The night they returned home, the nobles demanded proof of her virginity and blackmailed Shunati into helping. The nobles accuse them of faking the proof.”
“How did Emeton get around that?”
“The Baj-tisk young ones had heard talk of it when they were in Sen-gan before heading up to Dragon Castle. Once they returned to Baj-tisk after the battle with Lyra, they went to the High Council and insisted they help her. The Council made her, Andy, and Sapphire all Baj-tisk and appointed Nim as emissary to protect her. He and Andy found the exceptions in the law that protected her. Andy also found seventy-three people who had violated that law.”
“Seventy-three? And they went after her?”
“Those involved were on the list. Dad didn’t see the list. I did. I have a copy.”
“He was smart to make a copy.”
“He didn’t make that copy, I did before I gave it to him. But, he did make several and gave them to people he trusted, including a couple young ones, Jo, and his parents.”
“That was a good idea.”
“Deyama has a copy too. We should catch up with the others,” Vor said.
Jaidu was still admiring the jewelry.
“Do you think Deyama would like this?” Vor asked about one of the necklaces he saw.
“I thought you wanted her to marry you,” Ann said. “That’s fake.”
“The real stuff is over there. You won’t find a necklace that nice with real stones in a shop like this. Besides, I’ve got something very similar back home with real diamonds. You wouldn’t want her to think you copied something of mine would you?”
Vor sighed. “No.”
“Are you looking to get her something?” She asked.
“I hadn’t planned on it. I just saw and thought it would look nice on her.” Vor shrugged, but he looked a little disappointed.
“Perhaps, later you might find something,” Ann’s said.
“Perhaps. She doesn’t wear much jewelry though. She probably wouldn’t have liked it anyhow.”
“Maybe some candy,” Andy suggested.
“Perhaps.” Vor shrugged.
“They sell sour candy too.” Andy offered remembering the elves didn’t like sweets. That got half a smile out of the elf.
They continue shopping. Jaidu stopped several times to look at things and ask about them. Andy or Ann patiently explained each thing.
When they had finished and were heading back to the car, Andy suddenly he said there was something else he needed and hurried back into the store.
He returned a short time later with a bunch of flowers. He gave them to Ann who smiled.
“What are these for?” She asked.
“Happy anniversary.” He smiled.
“It isn’t our anniversary. We were married in July.”
“Four years ago today, we met.”
“Thank you.” She kissed him.
“Maybe you two can finish that kiss when we get home.” Remtani suggested. “People are watching.”
That evening, after supper, Jaidu’s parents scried again. Jaidu wanted to tell them about everything she’d seen at the store. She’d already told everyone else a couple of times.
“Jaidu, sweetie, please, this is a very difficult spell. Your mother can’t hold it that long,” Mishtali said.
“Can’t you help?” Jaidu asked.
“The spell was meant for an immortal. I’m still recovering from casting it yesterday.”
“You’re learning how to write. Why don’t you write down everything you see and tell us when you get home,” Shay suggested. “I’m sure the others can help you out.”
“We’d be happy to help,” Nim assured her.
“How are your studies coming?” Mishtali asked.
“I’m done. Master Elos didn’t give me enough,” Jaidu said. She had worked on it some the previous day and finished it that afternoon.
“You’re done already?” Mishtali looked doubtful.
“She’s done and it’s all correct,” Nim said. “I have her studying the Tricot alphabet for learning spells, and Jo was reading her some of the histories.”
“She’s been reading them to me to some too,” Jo said.
“Very good. I’ll talk with Elos tomorrow about what else she should work on.”
“How is everything there?” Remtani asked.
“Good. Not much is happening. Your parents, Pt’this, and Sapphire also to say hi.”
“Say hi back,” Ann said.
“And Vor? Deyama says she misses you.” Shay said.
“She did? Really?” Vor was surprised. Until a short time ago she’d barely speak to him despite them being pledged to marry.
“She scried Shunati to ask if he’d heard anything.”
“If she scries again, please tell her I love her and miss her too.”
“I’m sure Shunati would be happy to scry her again tomorrow,” Mishtali assured him.
“I need to end this,” Shay said. “You all take care.”
They all said quick goodbyes and Shay ended the spell.
Image Comments (4)
zaqxsw () 9:33AM | Sun, 27 June 2021
Nice chapter. I thought the drive and shopping would be more traumatic for them... I can just imagine how rusty Andy must have been driving and what it would be in traffic for the passengers. I don't imagine dragons would fair well with speeding trucks and honking horns.
LevKornowska () Online Now! 12:38PM | Mon, 28 June 2021
I love the reaction to the bikini :-) Must have been quite something when it was first worn in general ....Great render! The glass shader is amazing!