~ Defiance ~
~ Defiance ~
A sneak peek
I looked the dressing table over. Yes, the dressing table. The room the council had stuck me in was extravagant beyond belief and reason. As were the dozens of necklaces that lay before me. To choose, to choose… It wasn't easy. I had no idea who gave what necklace and the necklace of my choice held my fate for the night's escort. I was going to be stuck with some other guy for the whole night because of one of those beautiful necklaces. And of course, Jacobsons weren't allowed to offer necklaces to me. I had to 'spread the courtesy' they'd said. Though I belonged to the Jacobsons, I shouldn't show favor to that clan. And as for the necklaces, it seemed wrong that the council was using something so beautiful and elegant to so blatantly piss Caleb off.
Caleb's blowup hadn't helped things. I couldn't blame him one bit though. As a matter of fact, I was bursting with pride as he let the council have it about all the hypocrisy they were spewing our way. Them carting him off to the 'dungeon' wasn't exactly how we planned things either. Oh boy… This whole trip so far was becoming a soap opera.
And my subsequent jailbreak and threatening of the guard was just the cherry on top of this crazy sundae.
I had no idea what I was doing. The way everyone looked at me and spoke to me; everyone was afraid to look me in the eye or touch me for fear that I'd read or reach something about their past. Or future. Power is an odd thing. It's destructive, it's addictive, it's idiotic at times, but it's also strangely beautiful how the chaos just flows around it. The beat of the human heart thrives for it, but not this heart.
I was ready to be done with this week. I wanted to marry my Caleb. And despite the fact that the council tried to call our bluff and marry us the first day, luckily Peter was a quick thinker. I wanted to marry him, but not because someone told me I had to. I know I was so against marriage before, but I can’t even remember why. And the age thing? Blah. It meant nothing now. I was so ready to be everything for the man I love and it wasn't just to escape the Visionary stuff. I just genuinely looked forward to learning how to be a couple, on our own, with no distractions, with Caleb.
Gosh, the look of pride on Peter's face…watching Caleb turn red and defend my honor…Caleb's powerful arms twitching and moving to protect me… Even now I could feel the ache in my chest, of both pride and want. The council's stupid rules and traditions had me away from Caleb too much and I was beginning to withdraw again.
I steeled myself, raised my chin, swiped the tear that escaped and chastised myself for letting it. I was the Visionary, I was everything they said I was and more, I could feel it, and I was about to use their words against them. They were about to see that things were going to change. I was not to be put on display and worshipped and passed around like some trinket or commodity. I was me and I had my family behind me.
Defiance of the way things are is sometimes the only way to embrace what's coming. The council had been worshipped and revered too long for a bunch of coots with nothing to do but get manicures and live underground. And the Aces needed to learn that complacency was acceptance, even if you wanted to believe otherwise.
And we were not going to accept it anymore.
So, I chose my necklace. It was beautiful and matched my dress so perfectly with its cream leaves, intricate gold filigree and moonstone. I wondered who it belonged to and who I would be stuck with for the night. I slipped it on, placing the gold shawl around my neck to cover it as instructed. I checked my mascara for smears and then opened my door to reveal my guard, Rodney.
Caleb's cousin, who saved me in the woods, was so very sweet and protective of me, even now more so that it was revealed my Visionary status. He smiled and bowed but didn’t kiss my fingers and I was thankful. I'd begged him not to on several occasions.
"Are you ready to go, milady?" he jested.
"No," I said as I took his arm and let him guide me. "No, absolutely not."
"Don’t worry. I'll keep one hand on Caleb at all times. He won't like it tonight but he'll be ok. He just has to learn to share," he said and winked.
"Ha ha. This is a stupid tradition- I'm sorry, I'm not trying to offend, it just is. What is the purpose of this? The council doesn't even know me. How do they know how I would react to other clans? I planned to be sociable," I sulked. "They didn't have to go to extremes and make out like this was the only way to spread me around."
"I don't know, Maggie. We haven't had a Visionary in any of our times before. We're all going on what the council says is customary."
"I know," I said pointedly. "That's what scares me most."
"We're here," he stated the obvious and stopped at the doors. "You'll be great. Just be the sweet, chatty girl I know you are and dazzle them with a smile. I guarantee you'll have them eating out of your little Visionary palm."
"Thanks," I said sincerely. "Really. Doing all this without Caleb feels wrong, but with you here, it makes it bearable at least."
"It is my honor and pleasure." I grimaced at the Visionary worship and he caught it. "Maggie. It is my honor and pleasure, Maggie. You're family and Caleb is like a brother to me. I'd do anything for him, including," he opened the big double doors to a room full of anxious people, "escorting his girl to another guy," he said wryly and smiled.
I looked out over the sea of faces. Even the married Aces wanted a night with the Visionary. It was status and bragging rights and a glance at the coots table told me they were enjoying the show. Though, I tried not to, I glanced at Caleb. I almost lost it as my heart jumped violently but Rodney pulled his arm around me and though I knew it would break 'protocol', I hugged him. I heard a few gasps but didn't even look their way as my eyes stayed locked on my significant.
"Thank you. Would you please go to him now?"
He nodded and smiled as he made his way to the Jacobson huddle. They were all pretty ticked from the looks of things. Then I heard the most beautiful sound in my mind.
You look so…agonizingly…beautiful.
You look pretty good yourself, slick.
I am so sorry I brought you here.
It's not forever. They're just trying to push your buttons. They all envy the Jacobsons whether they'll admit it or not.
But it's not fair to you. You're withdrawing, I can feel it. They are only keeping you so busy and away to spite me, but it's hurting you too. This only-letting-me-see-you-for-a-few-minutes-to-touch-at-night crap isn't cutting it.
I could see his color rising. His father put a hand on his shoulder and Rodney put a hand on the other. Even Kyle stepped up to flank him. They were showing us once again they were behind us. We just had to ride out the council's rules and so called 'traditions' until we could change them for everyone, not just for ourselves. We had to save the race, not just our family. And the race was so consumed by tradition that it would be a hard case to sell. They'd all turn against us if we didn’t do this right. So…we'd play by their rules. For now.
I'm ok and ready to do this.
I smiled. I love you, Caleb Jacobson.
I love you, Maggie Jacobson. And don't you dare forget it.
I smiled again as his use of his family name for me, and held in my chuckle at the protective vibe I was getting from him. I was surprised every person in this room couldn't see it floating around him. It was really was stupid for them to make some ritual like this. They know the significant's nature; to be possessive and protective. So why go to so much trouble to push me on other's knowing that our bodies would rebel against it?
I turned to the eager crowd. All the men were lined up front, their woman behind them. I assumed they were waiting for me to reveal my necklace so they could claim their prize. So I undid the shawl and let it slide off the side. The groans of disappointment were evident but one other voice rang out clear and true.
He came forward all smiles and evil grins. He looked extremely pleased by my discomfort. I decided right then and there that if I was going to be stuck in this, that I would be a player in it as well. So I smiled too and curtseyed to him. He faltered and almost tripped over himself, making me press my lips to stop the laugh. When he reached me I held my hand out with an even sweeter smile.
"Shall we?" I said, dripping with sugar.
"Of course, Visionary," he said smoothly but was clearly taken off guard by my actions, or intentions, but he smiled back and took me to the dance floor. When we stopped on the granite circle in the middle he glanced to Marla, who nodded. He looked back at me with a renewed vigor to his task.
Good, I thought. Two can play this game.
Maggie's necklace she wears from the Watson escort (gag!) But it's SO gorgeous!
Here are the necklaces you have a chance to win!
I am thrilled to offer you a chance to win one of five of these beautiful necklaces that Maggie had to choose from. The artist who hand crafted these necklaces, Hayley Welliver, has other gorgeous jewelry options and has even offered to make replica necklaces if you contact her. Her Facebook page is
From now until Dec 31st at midnight EST, I will take comments on this post for entries for a chance to win. All I want from you is for you to tell me the one gift you got from someone that you'll never forget or that touched you in an unexpected way. That's all. If you are anonymous in the comments make sure to leave your email so I can contact you if you win. I can not wait to read your entries! Good luck and remember that it's Christmas. It's a time for remembering the good things and letting go of things that would bring us down. Be safe, be happy and be merry!
Best wishes, happy endings and Merry Christmas,