Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Dark Heart ~ Part 8

“Great,” Jackson mumbled to himself, “way to go knucklehead, get all worked out about a girl, who isn’t even your girlfriend, and walk right into a maze without paying attention.”
He jumped up, hoping to see the house and was surprised that he couldn’t. He sighed and began walking, hoping that his usually great sense of direction wouldn’t fail him.
Jackson kept looking for landmarks that would let him know if he were walking in the right direction and was disappointed to find only hedges and open sky. Not even the full moon was giving him any clues to where he was at. He stopped and steadied his breath. He closed his eyes and listened for the music and laughter of the party.
He sighed as he heard nothing and decided he must be going in the wrong direction.
“Enough of this nonsense,” he said to himself as he pulled out his cell phone. “There is a perk to living in an age with GPS capabilities and that perk is never getting lost in a maze.” His heart fell as he saw he had no signal. “Guess we’ll do this the old fashioned way.”
He turned and started in a new direction, hoping it would lead him back to the party or at least let him hear the party. Not that he minded the quiet of the night, he actually found it comforting, but he was ready to go home and forget the night had ever happened. Genna wasn’t meant to be … fine. There were other girls.
Jackson stopped to look at the moon. It seemed bigger than normal, giving the labyrinth a haunting, yet romantic feel. The mumble of voices caught his ear and Jackson let out a sigh of relief, “Finally.”
He walked toward the voices, but as he got closer he could tell the voices were not just having a conversation, but an argument. Jackson stopped just short of the people, trying to decide on the best way to intrude on their privacy long enough to find the exit.
“You need to leave me alone,” warned a female voice. “I’m not going to tell you again.”
“You can’t do this,” said a male voice. “I won’t let you.”
“It’s already done,” said the woman.
“No! You will listen,” said the man with such force it sent chills down Jackson’s spine.
He decided it was time to make his presence known and to try to defuse the situation. As he rounded the corner he stopped in his tracks. There stood Emberlyn James with a tall, dark man. Jackson could tell by her stance that she was standing firm, but the man’s balled up fists told Jackson the situation was getting out of hand.
“Everything okay here?” asked Jackson.
“Mind your business and get out of here,” snapped the man.
Jackson held up his hands in a peaceful gesture. “I’d love nothing more than to do that, but I’m embarrassed to say I’m a little lost in this maze and I’m afraid I can’t leave the lady alone with you.”
“We are fine,” said Emberlyn, her voice melting over him like the warmed wax of a scented candle, warm and comforting. “Follow this trail, take, a left, then two rights and another left … that will get you back to the house and garden.”
“So get going,” snarled the man, “the lady and I are in the middle of a conversation.”
Jackson closed the remaining distance between himself and the couple. His mind raced with everything he wanted to say to the man, but instead he turned to Emberlyn.
“Are you sure you won’t join me?” Jackson offered his elbow for Emberlyn to take. “Seemed to me your conversation was over.”
Emberlyn looked at the man and then back at Jackson. “You’re right, it is.”
She took Jackson’s elbow, but before they could take a step the man grabbed Emberlyn’s arm, swinging her back around. A vision of Genna being pulled around the corner flashed through Jackson’s mind, followed by a flash of Tucker’s smirk. Without another thought, Jackson turned and punched the man in the jaw.


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Dark Heart ~ Part 7

As he neared the fountain, he scanned the area looking for Genna. He smiled and gave her an awkward wave with his hand that held his whiskey, but he could tell she hadn’t seen him. He took another step forward just as a hand reached out, grabbed Genna’s arm and pulled her into a small alcove by the fountain.

Chapter 3



Jackson’s heart hitched as a ripple of fear started to spread through his veins.  He rushed toward the alcove, hoping that Genna was all right. He couldn’t imagine anyone would be brazen to assault a woman in the middle of a party, but he wasn’t naïve enough to think bad things didn’t happen at parties filled with people, even charity events.
He rounded the corner, ready to confront whomever had jerked Genna’s arm so harshly and skidded to a stop. He blinked hard, trying to register what he was seeing. In a dark corner of the alcove stood Genna. She was pressed up against the wall, her arms draped over a man’s shoulders. The man stood close as he whispered something to her. Genna laughed before placing her hands on the back of the man’s head and gently pulling him close to kiss her passionately. The man moved from Genna’s lips to her neck, as Genna ran her hands through the man’s sandy blonde hair.
Jackson’s mouth fell open as his mind raced to decide what to do next. The man stepped back ever so slightly from the kiss and glanced over his shoulder just enough for Jackson to see the man was Tucker.
Jackson’s fist clinched the stem of the wine goblet so hard he feared he would break it. He stepped forward to confront the couple and then shook his head. He gently sat the wine glass holding the spritzer down and walked toward the door leading to the garden he had seen earlier.
He downed his whiskey in one gulp and put the short tumbler on the edge of the fountain before going outside. His mind reeled. How could Tucker do this to him? If anyone knew how Jackson felt about Genna it was Tucker. Jackson had never felt so betrayed.
Jackson took random turns down the garden paths, trying to walk off his anger. Hadn’t it been Tucker’s idea for Jackson to come to the ball in order to sweep Genna off her feet? What was the point if he was just going to pull Genna into some dark corner to make out?
Stopping, Jackson took a deep breath. Tucker was being a big jerk, no doubt about it, but Jackson reminded himself, he had no claim to Genna. They had one dance and a bit of flirtation, if she didn’t want it to go any further, that was fine by him.
He turned around and started back to the house and was surprised to find himself in a labyrinth of tall hedges.
“Great,” Jackson mumbled to himself, “way to go knucklehead, get all worked out about a girl, who isn’t even your girlfriend, and walk right into a maze without paying attention.”

He jumped up, hoping to see the house and was surprised that he couldn’t. He sighed and began walking, hoping that his usually great sense of direction wouldn’t fail him.

Part 8

Friday, August 19, 2016

The Dark Heart ~ Part 6

“Beethoven Moonlight Sonata,” boomed Alister over the crowd, before he flipped his coat tails out and sat behind the piano keys.
As Alister played Jackson found himself rooted to his spot. The music was so beautiful, yet so haunting. Movement caught Jackson’s eye and he looked toward the stairs. His breath hitched as he caught sight of a beautiful woman descending the stairs. She stopped, and though the ballroom was filled with guests, she met Jackson’s gaze with her lilac colored eyes, making him feel as if he were alone in the room.
A thunderous applause caused Jackson to snap out of his self-imposed trance and release his stare. It had felt as if the song only last a minute, but Jackson knew better. Had he really been staring at the woman for the duration of the sonata? The woman turned her attention to the crowd.
“Thank you all for coming to tonight’s fundraiser benefiting St. Jude’s. For those of you who are here for the first time I am your host, Emberlyn James, and as your host I will match the amount donated tonight.” She gave the crowd a wink. “So make me pay for it.”
The crowd again let out a roar of applause. The orchestra started to play again and the guests returned their attentions to dancing and conversing. Jackson watched as Emberlyn descended the rest of the stairs and began to great guests. Her long black hair was tied back in a low chiffon and her floor-length indigo dress seemed to float as moved about the people.
She looked back over her shoulder at Jackson and gave him a sly smile. Jackson smiled back as someone bumped his shoulder. Jackson looked that the man, who mumbled an apology. By the time Jackson had looked back toward Emberlyn she was lost in the crowd.
A waiter walked by with a tray of champagne and Jackson’s thoughts turned to Genna. He was supposed to be getting them drinks. He quickly turned and hurried to the bar, thankful there weren’t many people ahead of him.
“I need a white wine spritzer and a whiskey neat, please,” said Jackson. The bartender nodded and went to work. Jackson placed an elbow on the bar and half-way faced the crowd. He knew he should be searching for Genna. He hoped she hadn’t gotten tired of waiting for him and left the fountain area, but as he looked over the sea of faces, he found himself looking for Emberlyn’s raven hair and alabaster skin. He thought of her eyes and wondered if he had ever seen anyone with eyes the color of lilacs before. He didn’t think he had.
When the bartender sat the ordered drinks in front of Jackson in what seemed like seconds, Jackson pulled out his wallet.
“Free bar,” said the bartender, before giving a little point to the tip jar. Jackson smiled and threw a ten dollar bill into the jar.
“Much appreciated,” said the bartender.
“As are these,” said Jackson as he picked up the drinks and started to make his way across the crowded room over to the fountain to find Genna.
Jackson couldn’t help but feel the room had gotten more crowded since Emberlyn had entered the party. He had heard whispers about the famous Emberlyn James, people seemed to flock to her. Jackson figured it was because she was filthy rich. Old money, people had called it and Jackson knew, old or new, money had a way of attracting people.

As he neared the fountain, he scanned the area looking for Genna. He smiled and gave her an awkward wave with his hand that held his whiskey, but he could tell she hadn’t seen him. He took another step forward just as a hand reached out, grabbed Genna’s arm and pulled her into a small alcove by the fountain. 

Part 7

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Dark Heart ~ Part 5

Genna looked Jackson up and down. “Man, you clean up nice. I didn’t think anything would get you out of The Shack and your surf shorts.”
Jackson shrugged and smiled. “Tucker invited me. He said it’s where all the beautiful girls would be.” He gave Genna wink. “He wasn’t wrong.”
Genna giggled. “I never took you for much of a flirt, Jackson.”
Jackson could feel his cheeks grow hot and knew he was blushing. He looked around the room trying to hide his blush and saw a small orchestra take their positions on the far side of the room. A haunting melody began to fill the air as couples started to gather on the dance floor.  
“Honestly,” Jackson ran his hand over his hair, trying to regain his composure. “I’ve never been very good at the flirting game. So how about I be blunt and just ask you to dance.”
Genna’s smile widened. “I think you’re better at flirting than you think you are. I’d love to dance.”
Jackson gently grabbed Genna’s manicured hand and led her to the dance floor just as the orchestra transitioned into a waltz. Soon they were gliding along in perfect harmony with the music.
“Why Jackson Hunt, where in the world did you ever learn to waltz?” asked Genna, her eyes wide with amusement. “You’re an amazing dancer.”
Jackson smiled. “My grandmother was a big fan of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. I used to stay with her when I was little while my parents worked and watched all their movies day after day. Just before my grandmother turned eighty she said her one regret was never learning to dance like Ginger. So I bought her dance lessons and took them with her.”
“Jackson,” Genna sighed. “That’s about the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard. Here I thought you were a rough and tumble surfer boy, but you’re really just a softy.”
Laughing, Jackson gave her a wink. “Don’t tell anyone. I have a reputation to uphold.”
She gave him a sexy smirk. “You’re secret’s safe with me.”
The music stopped, causing everyone to applaud lightly. The orchestra started again with a faster number, causing Genna to bite her lip. “You might have taken dance lessons, but I’m afraid this is out of my league.”
“How about a drink then?” asked Jackson.
Genna nodded. “A white wine spritzer would be great.”
“Okay,” said Jackson. “I’ll find the bar and then meet you over …” he looked around seeing a large gothic fountain flanking a door he presumed led to the garden. “… by the fountain?”
Genna reached up and gave him a kiss on the cheek. “Sounds good, thanks for the dance Astaire.”
Jackson’s heart quickened pace as Genna gave him a wink and strolled off in the direction of the fountain. He smiled and made himself a mental note to thank Tucker for dragging him along. Never in a million years would he have found himself at such an elegant event and been able to waltz with Genna otherwise. He made another mental note to call his grandmother and thank her for introducing him to Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
Finally, spotting the bar tucked away in a small room just outside the ballroom, Jackson made his way in that direction. The orchestra’s lively tune faded as attention turned to a man making his way to a grand piano. Jackson hadn’t remembered seeing the piano there before, but conceded he probably hadn’t seen half the room with it being so large and having so many guest in it.
The man looked vaguely familiar and Jackson fought to remember where he had seen him before when it hit him. It was Alister, the man who had taken their invitations and given Tucker the warning about staying off the second floor.
“Beethoven Moonlight Sonata,” boomed Alister over the crowd, before he flipped his coat tails out and sat behind the piano keys.

As Alister played Jackson found himself rooted to his spot. The music was so beautiful, yet so haunting. Movement caught Jackson’s eye and he looked toward the stairs. His breath hitched as he caught sight of a beautiful woman descending the stairs. She stopped, and though the ballroom was filled with guests, she met Jackson’s gaze with her lilac colored eyes, making him feel as if he were alone in the room.

Part 6

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Stone Magic ~ History & Lore


~~~~Peridot ~~~~
          ~~~~History & Lore ~~~





Peridot has always been associated with light. In fact, the Egyptians called it the “gem of the sun.” Some believed that it protected its owner from “terrors of the night,” especially when it was set in gold. Others strung the gems on donkey hair and tied them around their left arms to ward off evil spirits.

The word peridot comes from the Arabic “faridat,” which means “gem.” Most peridot formed deep inside the earth and was delivered to the surface by volcanoes. Some also came to earth in meteorites, but this extraterrestrial peridot is extremely rare, and not likely to be seen in a retail jewelry store.

Early records indicate that the ancient Egyptians mined a beautiful green gem on an island in the Red Sea called Topazios, now known as St. John’s Island or Zabargad. Legend has it that the island was infested with snakes, making mining unpleasant until an enterprising pharaoh drove them into the sea. From the earliest times, people confused this stone—now known to be peridot—with other gems. It was one of many labeled as “topaz.”

Some historians believe that Cleopatra’s famous emerald collection might actually have been peridot. People in medieval times continued to confuse peridot with emerald. For centuries, people believed the fabulous 200-ct. gems adorning the shrine of the Three Holy Kings in Germany’s Cologne Cathedral were emeralds. They are, in fact, peridots.

Mystique Stone Magic ~ The Spirit Within
Anna's Legacy Leukemia Awareness Jewelry


http://www.gia.edu/peridot-history-lore

Friday, August 12, 2016

The Dark Heart ~ Part 4

Alister handed the invitation back to Tucker and Jackson notices some silver writing on it that hadn’t been there before. The pen Alister had used when writing on the clipboard had been as black as the man’s hair.
“Your invitation is both your ticket in and out. Please do not lose it,” said Alister. He looked directly at Tucker. “Mr. Hearst, the upstairs chambers are off limits, consider this your only warning. We are not running a brothel.”
Jackson shot Tucker a look that caused Tucker to burst out in a loud belly laugh before looking at Alister. “I’ll keep that in mind, Igor.”
Tucker gave Alister a pat on the shoulder before taking his ticket and motioning for Jackson to follow him. Jackson mouthed an apology to Alister as he slid by. He had a feeling Alister was not someone you wanted on your bad side.
“What did Alister mean that our invitation is our ticket both in and out?” asked Jackson.
Tucker shrugged. “Before you can leave, you have to show them the invitation.”
“That’s odd,” said Jackson.
Tucker put his hand on the large doorknob. “Just wait, this whole things is odd, but in a good way. I think they have an x-ray machine that makes sure you haven’t carried away any silverware in your pockets and that’s why you have to stop. I’ve never seen it, but that’s my guess. Now take a look at this.”
Tucker pushed open the door. Jackson looked inside and saw a simple entryway with no sign of a charity event or even other guests. He raised an eyebrow at Tucker.
“Just wait,” said Tucker with an ornery smile. “This is going to totally trip you out.”
Tucker stepped over the threshold. Jackson followed and blinked hard as a silvery shimmer blinded him for a moment. When Jackson opened his eyes he expected to find himself in the simple drab entry way, with a beige tiled floor and off-white colored walls, but instead found himself standing in the middle of a ballroom on impeccable dark wood floors.
People, whom Jackson had not seen before they entered the room, mingled about with goblets of wine as wait staff weaved in and out with silver trays filled with food. Four crystal chandlers surrounded a center gold chandelier filled with candles. As Jackson looked harder at the crystal chandeliers, it looked as if it they each had a hundred candles inside the crystals. Their yellow light forming twinkling prisms around the room.
“Whoa,” said Jackson.
“I told you,” said Tucker with a smile. “Come on let’s find Genna.”
Jackson’s eyes shot around the room as he tried to take it all in. Tucker had been right about the room being lit only by candles. Jackson searched for any kind of switches or outlets and found none. It was as if he were in the ballroom of a Victorian castle instead of a mansion in the hills of California.
“Hey there handsome.”
Genna’s sweet voice brought Jackson out of his astonishment.
“Hi, Genna, you look lovely,” said Jackson as he took in her long blond hair tied in long curls sitting on her shoulder and her pink gown which trailed along the floor. She looked like a princess, especially with the rhinestone headband tucked into her hair.
Genna looked Jackson up and down. “Man, you clean up nice. I didn’t think anything would get you out of The Shack and your surf shorts.”

Jackson shrugged and smiled. “Tucker invited me. He said it’s where all the beautiful girls would be.” He gave Genna wink. “He wasn’t wrong.”

Part 5

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Dark Heart ~ Part 3

Jackson got out of the car and waited for Tucker to get his valet ticket.
“I’m out of my league,” said Jackson, gazing up to the house.
“Just enjoy yourself,” said Tucker, “Now come on, we’ve got us a Genna to catch.”
“For the love of God man,” said Jackson shaking his head as they started up the stairs. “She’s not a fish.”
“Isn’t that what this whole game of love is?” said Tucker. “One big fishing trip. You cast out your line and hope you get something tasty on the other end. You get a catfish, you throw it back and hope for a nice rainbow trout.”
“What if the rainbow trout doesn’t like you?” asked Jackson.
“See, that’s your whole problem with Genna,” explained Tucker. “You’re so caught up on whether the fish likes you, you forget you’re the fisherman. You have all the power.”
Jackson stopped and raised an eyebrow at Tucker. “That’s barbaric.”
Tucker paused and shook his head. “No, it’s life. You want something, you’ve got to be the fisherman and take it, or you end up being the fish.”
Jackson chuckled, shook his head and started walking again. “How are we friends?”
“Because, I’m a fisherman,” said Tucker giving Jackson a playful punch on the shoulder.
Before Jackson could responds a tall man stepped into their path. He was dressed in all black, with his black hair slicked back. If it weren’t for the twinkling lights around the front door, Jackson was sure all they would be able to see was the man’s pale white face.
“Invitations, please,” the man said in a bold bass voice.
“Hi Igor,” said Tucker, grabbing the invitation from his breast pocket. “You always work the door these things? You’d think your lady boss would let you enjoy the party from time to time.”
“Aw yes, Mr. Hearst the comedian, I see my hopes you had a previous engagement were in vain,” said the man. “I’ll remind you once again, my name is Alister.” He looked Jackson. “I need your name please, sir.”
Jackson held out his hand. “Jackson Hunt.”
Alister shook Jackson’s hand and then scribbled his name on a clipboard, Jackson hadn’t noticed before. “Hunt … an Anglo-Saxon old name indeed, originally from Shropshire, I believe?”
Jackson gave Alister a smile. “Wisconsin is as far as I go back, I would have to ask my mother about Shrophire. She’s the family historian and I’m afraid I haven’t given it much thought.”
“You should remedy that,” said Alister.
Alister handed the invitation back to Tucker and Jackson notices some silver writing on it that hadn’t been there before. The pen Alister had used when writing on the clipboard had been as black as the man’s hair.
“Your invitation is both your ticket in and out. Please do not lose it,” said Alister. He looked directly at Tucker. “Mr. Hearst, the upstairs chambers are off limits, consider this your only warning. We are not running a brothel.”

Part 4

Friday, August 5, 2016

The Dark Heart ~ part 2

Jackson nodded as Tucker laid on his board and started paddling towards the shore. Sitting alone on the water, Jackson watched the last bit of sun hide below the waves and smiled. Hopefully, the next time he watched the sunset it would be with Genna.
Tucker let out a wolf whistle as Jackson exited Tucker’s large walk-in closet. “Dude, you look like James Bond … well a lumberjack James Bond … but still.”
Jackson walked to the full-length mirror. “Will you stop with the lumberjack stuff?”
“Will you shave that beard?”
Jackson smiled and shook his head. “I like it.”
“Then I will not stop with the lumberjack stuff.” Tucker gave him an ornery grin as he stood and walked next to Jackson and straightened his own black bow tie. “You’ve got to admit, we make this look good. There’s no way Genna won’t notice you.”
Jackson’s shoulders slumped. “I don’t know about this. I’m really over the party scene and this sounds way out of my league anyway. Maybe I should just ask Genna out the next time she come to the surf shop?”
“No way you’re getting out of this,” said Tucker. “Because I know exactly what will happen when Genna come to the surf shop next. You will get all bashful and not say a single word to her. You’ll let her lean against your counter and laugh with her friends and gush every time she throws her blonde locks over her shoulder and gives you the side wink.” He turned to straighten Jackson’s tie. “This is your night. No more sitting in the shadows waiting for the right moment. Tonight is your right moment.”
“Have you been watching those motivational videos on YouTube again?” Jackson asked with a raised eyebrow.
Tucker slapped his hands down on Jackson’s shoulders and gave him a playful shake. “Did it work? Are you done with your pity party and ready to take action? ‘Cause it’s game time, bro.”
Jackson couldn’t help but laugh at Tucker. “Fine, let’s go. For a good cause right?”
“Exactly, getting Genna Armstrong in your arms,” laughed Tucker.






Chapter Two


Jackson let out a low whistle as Tucker drove up to the grand house that was hosting the party. “Wow, now this is a house. It’ll take us an hour to get to the front door.”
The large mansion sat on top of a small hill. A number of light brown stairs wound their way up the hill to the front door. The walkway was lined with lush grass and dozens of bushes all bearing twinkling white lights.
“Just wait until we get inside,” said Tucker. “The place is like walking into some kind of gothic fairy tale, but pretty.”
“So pretty goth?” Jackson raised an eyebrow.
“Well, yeah,” said Tucker. “Everything looks elegant, dark yet inviting. I swear every room is lit by candles. Last time I was here I couldn’t find a single light switch.”
“Probably all runs on remote,” said Jackson as the valet opened his door.
Jackson got out of the car and waited for Tucker to get his valet ticket.
“I’m out of my league,” said Jackson, gazing up to the house.

“Just enjoy yourself,” said Tucker, “Now come on, we’ve got us a Genna to catch.”

Part 3

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Stone Magic ~ Birthstone

It is August!
     If you were born this month, 
                 you are a Precious Peridot!


Peridot  " The Stone Of  Destiny"
I stand as a guardian of hope, wisdom, generosity, abundance, and compassion. Let me take you in hand and guide you to understanding your destiny and spiritual purpose. 


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The Dark Heart ~ Part 1



Chapter One

Jackson sat on his surf board and watched the horizon turn from a soft blue to pink. He’d been surfing most of the afternoon and early evening never growing tired of it. He heard the splashes behind him and looked over his shoulder to see his friend, Tucker, paddling up beside him.
“Hey,” said Jackson as Tucker sat up on his surf board.
Tucker jerked his head up in a “hey back” gesture. “Great waves today.”
Jackson nodded. “Yep. Great sunset too.”
Tucker let out a chuckle. “Dude, you’re such a sap.”
Jackson let out his own laugh and ran his hands through his thick brown hair. “If appreciating a beautiful sunset makes me a sap, then I guess I’m a sap.”
“A lumberjack sap,” teased Tucker. “When you gonna shave that beard?”
Jackson rubbed his chin. “Thinking about keeping it.”
Tucker shook his head and rubbed his own smooth chin. “Don’t you know us surfer boys are supposed to have baby soft tan skin? You may have to turn in your surf boy card, sell your surf shop, and move into the woods to sell axes and skunk skins.”
“Says you,” said Jackson, splashing water on his friend.
“I say, you’re only growing it out because Genna’s last boyfriend had a beard,” teased Tucker.
Jackson’s heart gave an extra beat as he thought about Genna. With her blonde hair, blue eyes, and curves in all the right places she was the kind of girl all the surfer boys wanted as their girl and it didn’t hurt that she could surf the toughest of waves without getting single hair out of place. Even though she knew she was the prettiest girl on the beach, she had a sense of humor and didn’t take herself too seriously.
Tucker splashed water on him and laughed. “Earth to Jackson.” He shook his head. “Seriously, dude, just ask her out already.”
“Don’t you think I’ve tried?” asked Jackson. “Every time I get up the nerve she either mentions some guy she’s dating or I get so tongue tied I sound like an idiot. Besides, I need to figure out where to take her that hasn’t already been done by the dozens of guys she’s dated and found boring. You and I both know you only get one shot with Genna.”
“Well, I know where you can start,” said Tucker. “My family’s been invited to this charity ball tonight benefiting St. Jude’s. Have you heard of Emberlyn James?”
Jackson shook his head.
“Aw, man, her parties are off the hook,” said Tucker. “Not like in a rave way, but in an elegant, eerie, yet cool way … like you can’t believe you’re still in California because you’ve entered some kind of time warp or a different universe …” He shook his head. “It’s hard to explain, but my point is it’s the kind of thing that girls eat up and I happen to know Genna will be there.”
Jackson raised an eyebrow. “She will?”
“Yep,” said Tucker. “So why don’t you be my plus one?”
Smiling at Tucker, Jackson batted his eyes. “Are you asking me on a date?”
Tucker rolled his eyes. “Yeah, a bro date. Interested?”
“Well, I am a big sap who likes sunsets and St. Jude’s, so why not?”
“All right,” said Tucker rubbing his hands together. “You got a tux?”
Jackson gestured to his board shorts. “I own a surf shop in a hut on the beach, do I look like the kind of guy who owns a tux?”
Tucker waved him off. “You can borrow one of mine, come by around eight.”

Jackson nodded as Tucker laid on his board and started paddling towards the shore. Sitting alone on the water, Jackson watched the last bit of sun hide below the waves and smiled. Hopefully, the next time he watched the sunset it would be with Genna.

Part 2