“Don’t you have something you need to be doing?” she asked him as she went upstairs to take a shower. She realized that even though all she had done was lay outside, she smelled like the outdoors and sweat.
“Actually, yes. I am going with Brian to look at motorcycles. My parents have given me the money to purchase one so I will be able to get around on my own,” Fane told her.
“Why not a car? And what if it rains, won’t you get soaked?” Jacque asked.
“It’s cold most of the time in Romania. Why would I want to be cooped up in a car when I could be on a motorcycle with the sun on my face? And they make rain gear,” Fane explained.
“Oh. Well, I guess if you lived somewhere cold all the time, it would be nice to ride out in the sunshine,” she answered.
Jacque began gathering clothes to take to the bathroom. As she walked into the bathroom and closed the door she discovered she was reluctant to undress while they were talking through their thoughts. Somehow that felt way too intimate. As if sensing her discomfort, Fane asked her, “Is something wrong? Did I do something to upset you…besides imply your bathing suit was a bit skimpy?” Fane asked with little remorse.
“No, no, I’m fine. Just, um, got things to do is all. People and places, you know how it is,” she said awkwardly.
“Jacquelyn, why are you acting so strangely?” Fane asked.
Jacque rolled her eyes. Could he just leave it alone? If she had to spell it out for him she was going to be mortified. She could just hear herself explaining how she was sweaty from the sun and needed a shower and the thought of talking to him through their thoughts while she was butt freaking naked was just a tad beyond her comfort zone.
Fane must have caught her passing thoughts. Man, she really needed to learn how to block him out somehow.
“I will leave you alone since you have things to take care of. Just so you know, I may be a teenage guy, with teenage hormones, but I assure you I am not dishonorable, nor would I abuse our thought connection,” he said with firm conviction.
“I know you can hear my thoughts, but can you like, ‘see’ through my eyes?” she asked apprehensively.
“No, but I can see the things you think. Just as you can see what I think if you want. When your emotions are strong I feel you and hear your thoughts very loudly, even when you aren’t trying to communicate with me. You might want to bear that in mind,” Fane told her.
“How do I keep you out of my mind?” Jacque asked.
“All you have to do is imagine a wall in your mind between mine and yours. I will not be able to get past it. The same goes for me if I don’t want you to hear my thoughts.”
Jacque was surprised to find herself a little hurt at the idea of him not wanting her to hear his thoughts, but then she thought how absurd that was because everyone needed privacy.
“Okay, I'll keep all that in mind. And since we are in mind reading 101, could you answer me this? Who else can you do this with?” Jacque asked, not realizing how jealous she sounded.
“No one, meu inima, only you. You will not be able to do this with anyone else as well,” Fane stated possessively.
“Talk to you later, be safe,” Fane told her.
And just like that she “felt” him leave her, and fell instantly bereft. She undressed and, without looking into the mirror, got into the steamy hot shower, letting it wash the feeling away. It was silly to feel so empty without him in her mind, she knew that, and yet she couldn’t shake it off. It just seemed so natural to talk to him, like she had done it all her life. She found it so odd that she was jealous at idea of him talking to another girl through her thoughts. She had only known him a day, after all, but the thought irked her to no measure. Ok, Jacque, she told herself, move on to another topic. She hadn’t heard from Sally and figured she’d better call her to make sure she was still going to be able to come over.
She got out of the shower and toweled dry, flipping her hair over and drying it first, then standing upright to dry her body. Turning to look into the mirror, she froze. Then, without realizing she had done it, she reached for Fane’s mind. “Fane, what the hell is on my back!”
Slowly calming down, she began to examine the design that looked like a tattoo. The thing ran from shoulder to shoulder and up her neck. It was scrolled lines arching and curving, coming to a point at the nape of her neck, with definite places that appeared would fit into a puzzle. It was very beautiful and feminine – it was also very not there before she tanned. Had Fane done some Romanian voodoo on her? ‘Cause she would so do some voodoo up on his ass if he had.
He still hadn’t responded to her after a few minutes, so Jacque got dressed and combed out her wet hair and put mousse in it. She went back to her room, still trying to think about how the marks could have appeared on her back when her phone rang. For a fleeting moment she hoped it was Fane, but that would be ridiculous when he could just talk through his thoughts. Shaking her head in frustration, she answered the phone.
“So I’m thinking bikini, towel, tunes, and catching rays. You in?” Sally’s cheerful voice came through the phone.
“You’re a little late, Charlie Brown. I’ve already cooked, rotated, and cooked some more. I just got out of the shower. So I assume you are going to be able to come over soon?” Jacque asked, relief in her voice.
“That’s the rumor. You free?” Sally asked.
“Free, crazy, completely deranged…take your pick.” Jacque answered.
“I’m on my way over now, be there in five.” Sally hung up.
Jacque looked around her room and decided to pick up from the impromptu sleepover. She folded the blankets and laid them on the bed. No sense in putting them away since the girls were staying the night again. She picked up the dirty clothes on the floor and threw them in the laundry basket. Her mind was restless and she decided to write her thoughts out. Sometimes writing down what was floating around upstairs helped her put things in perspective.
She got out a notepad from school and opened to a blank page, grabbed a pen off her desk, and sat down on her bed and began to write.
I’ve met a guy. Not just any guy but a really unusual one. He’s from Romania. He is beautiful, and he can talk to me through my thoughts, and I can talk back. It’s so unreal. To top it all off, I have these strange markings on my back that came out of nowhere. I don’t know what to even begin to think about the whole thing. But I know for the sake of my waning sanity I need to talk to him face to face and see if he will answer any of my questions. My other problem is I seem to be…