Among the Shine Clan, Dellani Oakes

Among the Shine Clan by Dellani Oakes – Part 19

among the shine clan coverAt the ceremony, Kazinsky, Harmony and Fiddlestix are awarded ranks in the Shine Clan Militia. Not only that, Fiddlestix is formally adopted by the Clan. Oh—and Deacon proposed.

Deacon extended his hand. When Fiddlestix took it, he drew her to him and kissed her passionately in front of the entire assembly. He held her close, whispering in her ear. “One day, Hannah, you’ll stand here as my wife.”

Fiddlestix didn’t know what to say. She was stunned by her reception by this clannish, secluded people. They treated her like family, called her friend, and extended the warmth and comfort of their hearts and home to her. Even among her own people, she had never been so well accepted. Tears threatened to fall. To hide them, she took Deacon’s head in her hands, bringing his mouth down to hers once more. They kissed hungrily as the crowd went crazy.

Someone in the audience started yelling, “Speech! Speech!”

Everyone took up the chant. There was nothing for it, she would have to say something. Deacon led her to the center of the stage and the crowd grew quiet before being asked.

“I’m not good at giving speeches,” Fiddlestix grinned rather nervously. “But I do want to thank you all for your kindness and generosity, as well as your bravery and sacrifice. Everyone here lost someone they care about. Therefore, I honor your dead by swearing to you that I will always do my best, no matter what, to protect the Shine Clan. You are my family now. Thank you!”

She stepped back by Deacon, trying to lose herself behind his massive body. He took her hand, leading her forward once more. To loud, joyous applause, he took a bow, encouraging her to bow as well.

Blushing furiously, she backed up to hide in the ranks of her soldiers. They parted enough to let her into the front row, but refused to let her go any further. They were proud of her and they thought she deserved all the praise she was getting.

After the ceremony, a huge dinner was set up. The Shine Clan women prided themselves on being able to feed a man until he could eat no more. They pressed food on Fiddlestix’ men, practically force feeding them. After eating, the tables were pushed out of the way and musicians clamored onto an improvised stage at one end of the room. They struck up a traditional square dance and Frank Lord got up to call it.

Fiddlestix had no idea what she was doing, so she refused to dance. Deacon and Jasper tried to persuade her, but she kept refusing. Finally, in desperation, Deacon spoke to the musicians and asked for a different tune. Because it was for Fiddlestix, they heartily agreed. The square dance tune ended and the couples left the floor. The band struck up a slow dance, an old tune from the 1970’s.

It wasn’t something Fiddlestix remembered hearing before, but it was so sweetly compelling, she agreed to dance with Deacon. The melody carried her away and she lost herself in his embrace. As they danced, he sang to her, his voice a smooth, melodic tenor. The lyrics brought tears to her eyes as they danced.

“I wanna rock your gypsy soul, just like way back in the days of old. And magnificently we will go into the mystic.”

It wasn’t a long song, but the band enjoyed watching Deacon and Fiddlestix dance so much, they improvised, each instrument taking a solo. She didn’t even notice that she and Deacon were the only ones dancing until the music stopped. Her heart was so full, she wanted to cry. Tears welled in her blue eyes, dripping out the corners and down her cheeks. Deacon leaned forward, kissing her gently. Quiet applause surrounded them as they walked off the dance floor. Instead of stopping for the congratulations and well wishes, Deacon took her back to his quarters.

“Won’t everyone wonder where we’ve gone?”

Deacon got his elbow stuck in his sleeve and nearly ripped his shirt trying to get it free. “I don’t give a good damn. Let ’em wonder.”

“As their leader, don’t you have to put in an appearance?”

“Did that all ready. Hush now, woman, and kiss me.”

They made love long into the night, finally falling into an exhausted sleep once more. It seemed no time later that Jasper was again banging on the door. This time, he woke them to let Fiddlestix know that her people were ready to go. Their job done, it was time to go back to General McLain and make their report.

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

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Among the Shine Clan, Dellani Oakes

Among the Shine Clan by Dellani – Part 18

among the shine clan coverAfter the cyberwarriors are taken care of, Deacon and Fiddlestix enjoy one another’s company. Jasper wakes them the next day, calling them for a meeting.

After a short explanation, a sharp slap and a brief apology, he got her some clothing.

“Next time you visit, I promise to have clothes in your size for you to wear,” he smiled as he watched her dress.

“You know, I didn’t like you much when we first met,” Fiddlestix told him. “But damn if you didn’t grow on me.”

“Kind of like a fungus?” He winked. “You should marry me, Hannah-Belle. I’d make you mighty happy.”

“That’s just the sex talking, Deacon. You don’t want me. I’m a soldier, not a wife.”

“I don’t want just a wife, Hannah. I want someone who will stand beside me and help me lead, like my mama and grand-mama before her. Our women don’t take second place, they’re equal to their mates. Think about it, Hannah. The offer’s open.”

“Thanks, Deacon. I will.”

“I’m serious,” he told her, taking her hands in his. “I’ve never met a woman I wanted more than you. Stay with me, Hannah. Forget the Army. Stay here with me.” His kiss was compelling, inviting her to forget everything else.

“I can’t,” she whispered. “This is who I am, Deacon.”

“But you could be so much more.”

Dropping the subject because he could see it made her uncomfortable, he led her to the main gathering area. It was a huge auditorium lined with benches, set up like an amphitheater. They walked to the base of the steps. Deacon held out his arm to her, walking beside her up the stairs. Her soldiers were already gathered on the huge stage, Harmony and Kaz in the forefront. Deacon escorted her to the head of the line, walking to the center of the stage.

Holding up his hands, he signaled for quiet. The chatting and whispering stopped and almost complete silence fell. Fiddlestix was impressed. She had never seen a quieter, more orderly crowd.

“We are gathered here today to honor those who came to our aid. Let us rejoice that our home is once more safe and secure!”

Wild cheering filled the room, echoing off the metal lined walls. Deacon let it continue a few moments, then held up his hands once more. Silence fell again.

“For bravery in combat, and continuing to fight even though he was sorely wounded, The Fire Star goes to Corporal Walter Kazinski of the United States Army.”

Kaz limped forward, one arm in a sling. His bruised face was wreathed in a happy grin. Betsy stood by his side, supporting him. Deacon put the medal around his neck. It hung from a red and gold ribbon. They exchanged a complicated handshake and Kaz stood to one side.

“From now on, Walter Kazinski also holds the rank of Guard Sergeant in the Shine Clan Militia.”

Fiddlestix knew that Guard Sergeant was equivalent to her rank and was more than just an honorary position. If Kaz ever returned to live with the Shine Clan, his orders would be honored and followed like any other officer’s.

“For bravery in the face of the enemy, and his assistance in shutting down the enemy soldiers, The Silver Star goes to Private Steven Harmony.”

Harmony strutted forward and was given his medal on a blue and silver ribbon. He took his place beside Kaz.

“Private Harmony now holds the rank of Lance Corporal in the Shine Clan Militia.

“Finally, for bravery, courage under fire, tenacity, and ingenuity, the Shine Clan Golden Star goes to Master Sergeant Hannah Braun.”

Wild cheers exploded around the auditorium as the gold and white ribbon slid over her head. The Shine Clan members were only marginally louder than Fiddlestix’ own soldiers. Even when Deacon held his hands up for silence, it was several minutes before quiet descended again.

When everyone finally settled down, Deacon continued. “As an additional honor, Hannah has been awarded a captaincy in the Shine Clan Militia. Also, the Clan adopts her as one of its own. From now on, Hannah, you are a member of our family, second to none.”

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

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Character Quotes, Dellani Oakes

Character Quotes from Food Truck Hero by Dellani

character-quotes-imageRowena was dressed in clinging pink slacks and a pretty, flowered shirt that looked like a throwback to the Seventies. The creamy, gauzy fabric was gathered just under her breasts, showing enough cleavage to get my juices flowing.

“You look lovely,” I said as I wheeled in my cart.

“Thank you. You look delicious…..” A smack of her palm on her forehead, she blushed. “I’m so sorry. You look very nice,” she corrected herself.

“I like delicious better,” I murmured right next to her ear.

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

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Character Quotes from One Night in Daytona Beach by Dellani

One_Night_in_Daytona_Beach_by_Dellani_Oakes - 200Once the bag was packed, Draven slung it over his shoulder.

“We’ll have to go out the front door, and hope they don’t see us.”

“Why? You think I can’t get over that fence? How the hell do you think I got out of my house to see you all those times I was grounded?”

“That was ten years ago, babe.”

“And I teach gymnastics. Duh.”

Putting her foot on the lower support, she hopped up, finding the top beam of the fence with ease. She swung over and dropped before Draven even got to the top. In fairness to him, his right arm still didn’t feel right. He lost his grip twice before getting over.

Jamie waited impatiently.

“Now I know you’re hurt. You can make that climb in your sleep.”

“Moose hit me with my baton.”

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

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Character Quotes from Somewhere Out There by Dellani

character-quotes-image“Four o’clock?” Ouelle giggled. “When’s the last time we stayed up that late?”

“I don’t know about you, but I do it all the time. I haven’t been sleeping much.”

She shook her head, curls bouncing. “No idea. I’m usually not much of a night owl.”

Ross chuckled, brushing her hair from her face. “You used to be. Why do you think I call you Owl?”

“I always thought it was because of my name.” She frowned. “It’s not?” She covered her mouth with her hands, suppressing her giggle.

“How often did we stay up all night talking? And you’d try so hard not to wake your father, you’d hold in the laughter, hooting like a little owl.” He teased her hands away from her mouth. “You’re doing it now. Some things will never change.”

“And some things do.” She traced his lips with her finger. “I am ever so fond of you.”

Her words and smile stabbed his heart. “I love you, Ouelle. I’ve loved you forever. I can’t remember a time I didn’t. In all that time, you’ve never told me you love me. You tell me you’re fond of me, that you treasure me, but never the words I most want to hear. Do you love me Ouelle? Even a little?”

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

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Character Quotes from How Far is Heaven? by Dellani

character-quotes-image“Okay,” he hesitated. “Are you sure everything is all right? We can do this another night.”

“No!” She said too loudly and suddenly. “No, I don’t want to cancel. Just please come by here and I promise we’ll talk about it in detail later.”

“Sure, Maeve. No problem.”

But he sounded odd to her, hollow and deflated. Her father watched her talk to Hal on the phone, pretending to go over the order sheet she had filled out and printed online.

“So, he’s coming by, is he?”

“Yes.” She didn’t mean to snap, it just came out that way. “Sorry, Papa. It confused him. How could I explain that my father wants to meet him? It could totally terrify him. Hal is shy, very insecure. He’s not from the city.”

“But he’s coming?”

“Yes!”

“Good. That’s very good.”

Maeve could tell that Hal had unexpectedly scored points with her father already. That was a good sign, at least she hoped so.

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

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Character Quotes from Bad Fall by Dellani

character-quotes-image“The Alzheimer’s lady? I saw your show last night. I want to put my Dolly in there. And me, I’ll come. Dolly’s getting a little loopy.” He made a crazy gesture by his right temple.

“I prefer to avoid terms like loopy,” Marka said gently.

The elevator opened. A few people got off and they got on. Frank greeted everyone by name. Those still on the elevator were pleased to meet Marka.

“What else to do I call her?” Mr. Witherspoon asked. “She’s got corn flakes for brains. But she’s my Dolly.” He strode purposefully off the elevator as soon as it opened.

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

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Character Quotes from The Kahlea by Dellani

The Kahlea frontThe Kahlea is Book 4 in my Lone Wolf Series – coming…eventually

Dividing the ships between the four couples still left an horrendous number. In desperation, Wil called in Mai and the Cats as well. This lowered their inspections to roughly seven hundred with one or two extra which Wil said they would flip a coin over.

“Why do we have to visit them all?” Acey grumbled pettishly when given his list on a Kindred hand held. Jessia slapped him sharply on the arm.

“Aceford, shame! Of course we must inspect them all! These ships and their crews have flown all over the galaxy, and into the next, gathering us here. The least we can do is meet them. They’ll risk their lives along with us, they’re part of our family now.”

“I hadn’t thought of it that way,” Acey looked sheepish.

“I know, you were just looking at all your recreational time fizzle away,” Wil nudged him pointedly.

Acey chuckled. “Lone Wolf, you and I aren’t so different.”

Wil smirked, “No, Acey, the only difference is that I’m a bigger asshole than you are.”

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

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Character Quotes from Spy on Love by Dellani

character-quotes-image

We’ll make arrangements for an agent to call you,” Colleen said.

Your kind of agent or a real estate agent?” He leaned casually against the SUV.

Yes.” She smirked.

Brick chuckled. “Gotcha. If you need me, call.”

I will—we—will. We’ll find him, Brick. We’ll bring him home.”

I hope so.” He opened the door for her and closed it after she hopped in. “Be careful.”

Colleen grinned. “I was just going to say that to you.”

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

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Among the Shine Clan, Dellani Oakes

Among the Shine Clan – Part 16

among the shine clan coverFiddlestix and Deacon find Pete on top of the mountain. Deacon shows her his personal cloaking device. She provides a distraction, talking to Pete, while he moves into position. Fiddlestix fires at the cyber handler, only to find herself contained in the slow motion field.

Pete leaned in, careful not to be caught in the field himself. “Pretty,” he chuckled darkly. “Pretty, pretty lady. Very deadly, insubordinate. Macky doesn’t like you, nope, nope, nope! Wacky Macky doesn’t like interfering, fiddling Stix!”

With a mammoth effort, Fiddlestix tried to move her hand to fire at him. He was so close, she could smell his bad breath. But he wasn’t close enough to get caught in her field. Suddenly, Pete Livingston was shoved into her. Caught in the same slow motion field she was, he was at her mercy. Her cyber arm was able to move more quickly than the flesh and blood one. It wasn’t governed by the same parameters as the rest of her. Blade deployed, it slid slowly through his throat, severing his spine. Gurgling, Pete Livingston wilted to the ground, his blood spraying in long, slow motion arcs, bathing her from head to foot.

With a disorienting surge, time started moving right again. Deacon was at her side, Livingston’s computer in his hands. Grabbing her arm, he jerked her toward the clearing. There was, rather unexpectedly, a console in the middle surrounded by toadstools and wild flowers. Deacon placed his hands on the dome covering the control panel and it slid aside. Palm down, he placed it on a screen. A quick scan and she saw a row of yellow blinking lights gradually fade and go out.

“Your people are free again,” he said. “Contact them.”

“Diaz,” she bellowed.

“Yes, Master Sergeant!”

“Get to the Shine Clan compound. They need our help.”

Deacon was already talking to Jasper. “Hannah’s people are heading up the mountain now. They’re coming to help.”

“Get back here fast,” Jasper said abruptly. “It’s fixing to cut loose.”

“On my way.” Deacon held the device out to Fiddlestix. “Tell me you can use this,” he implored.

“I can’t, but Harmony can. He used to be a handler. What’s the fastest way back down?”

“The speediest elevator east of the Mississippi.”

He grinned, leading her to a large tree to the side of the clearing. The inside of the tree was hollow. There was a metal platform that hardly looked big enough for the two of them to stand on it. Deacon held her to him, hugging her close, heedless of the blood on her. As soon as they stepped on the platform, it started to drop.

Fiddlestix felt like she was going to vomit. Had the trip been any longer, she probably would have. It was over in less than thirty seconds. Ears ringing, she stumbled out of the shaft with Deacon in her wake. They were standing next to the room they’d started from earlier, at the junction of the tunnels leading to the east and west gates. They heard fighting behind them. A glance at the scanner showed that the cyber warriors were already at the east gate.

“Harmony!”

“Yo, Master Sergeant!”

“Got a job for you. Where are you?”

“East gate, Master Sergeant. We’re under attack.”

“Coming.”

Deacon nearly dragged her behind him as they ran along the hall. Harmony was waiting for them at the mouth of the tunnel. She thrust the scanner into his hands.

“What can you do with this?”

“Let me see.” He fiddled a moment with the controls, then smiled. “It’s responding. Get your console, Master Sergeant. We’ll take these boys out.”

Kaz’ console in her hands, she typed in the deactivation code. She followed Harmony to the gate. Cyber warriors were mowing down the Shine Clan soldiers, flattening them. The one doing the most damage slowed slightly, hitched and stopped moving. His gaze traveled to Fiddlestix and Harmony. Raising his weapon, he tried to fire, but froze. His companions surged him over, walking on top of him as they clambered up to the door. The second one in line faltered, hesitated and crashed onto its back. The third got a little further, but tripped on his downed companions before toppling over and rolling down the mountain a couple hundred yards before crashing into a tree.

© 2018 Dellani Oakes

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