Talon & Claree

By: Liberty Parker

Prologue





Talon





I’m on my way to pick up Claree for her senior prom. Dad and Chief sat me down and had the ‘talk’ with me. Wanna talk about embarrassing! Thank goodness Mom and Trinity came to the rescue and made them leave me alone. I don’t need Chief to remind me of all the ways his ancestors got rid of people, I already know this. I’ve been hearing it for a couple of years now, ever since I started showing an interest in Claree. Mom being who she is, shooed them out of the room, handed me a box of condoms and told me to cover it, or don’t enter it. I think this was the first time my face ever turned red in my lifetime. My mom is unlike any other mother I’ve ever encountered. She’s eccentric, and I couldn’t love her more if she was my biological mom. When we first came to live with Hatch and DJ, Jasper and I weren’t comfortable calling them Mom and Dad, but over time, as the years have passed, we changed that thought and started calling them what they are...our parents. Our lives changed the day that Hatch walked into the jewelry store and while I’ll always miss my folks, we got blessed with a second set of parents who have loved us and cared for us as if DJ were the one who gave us birth. I’m a lucky guy, that’s for damn sure.

I pull up to Claree’s house and a smile graces my face. I can’t wait to get her alone for an evening of dancing, partying and hanging out with our friends. She’s everything to me — my best friend, confidant, and hopefully tonight, she’ll become my lover. Grabbing the corsage, I head to the front door and knock on the front door. When Chief opens it, he does so with a scowl on his face. I want to shrink away and hide, but instead, I smile and ask, “Hey, Chief, is Claree ready?”

“DJ wants pictures first so come inside,” he grunts out. I follow him into the house and back to the family room. Catching my first glimpse of her in her dress, I lose my breath.

Stunning.

Absolutely stunning.

She’s wearing what looks like one of those princess dresses that my sisters used to put on their dolls when they were little in a deep coral color. I have no clue how to put into words what she looks like, but the dress shows nothing and reveals everything, at least to me. I’m going to be proud to enter the ballroom at the resort with her on my arm. I’ve already graduated, but I didn’t go to my prom since she wasn’t ‘old enough yet’ and I refused to take anyone else. However, this was important to her, and I like to give her what she desires so I made it happen with the help of our mothers. They took control, purchased the tickets, got my tux and her dress taken care of. Mom told me all I had to do was show up and take care of my girl.

No problem, none at all.

She looks up at me and smiles and I feel my heart beat frantically in my chest. She does this to me every time we’re in the same room. Some people say I’m too young to know what true love is, but they’re wrong. I knew what it was the first time our eyes met. She’s my kindred soulmate, she knows me better than anyone and understands my past and my struggles.

I love her, I really do.

“C’mere, Talon, I need pictures, lots and lots of pictures!” Trinity exclaims. The only reason Mom didn’t come is she’s on a deadline, but I know she gave Trinity ‘explicit instructions’ about what pictures she wanted her to capture. Claree and I look at each other and laugh, Chief is in the background mumbling something that I can’t understand, but at this point it’s irrelevant to me. “Let’s get pictures of you putting the corsage on her,” Trinity instructs me. I do her bidding, but first I place a kiss on her wrist before I slide it on.

I hear Trinity sigh and then Chief says something I do catch, “gonna cut those lips off, boy, keep them to yourself!”

“Yes, sir,” I reply, but know that I’m full of shit and lying to an adult. But in my mind, this is an acceptable lie. There’s no way I won’t be kissing her tonight, as many places as she’ll allow me to.

“Stop! Hold your horses, I’m here!” DJ hollers slamming through the front door. I didn’t even hear a knock.

“Mom! I thought you were on a deadline?” I inquire.