Read Firstborn Online

Authors: Carrigan Fox

Firstborn (3 page)

Jac had been thirteen when she’d had her first vision of the neighbor’s
border collie wandering into the road in front of the house and getting struck by a passing delivery truck.  She had raced across the street and found the dog lounging lazily on the front porch.  She’d clung desperately to her collar for two hours, watching the road for the truck.  Finally, her father had convinced the teen to come home for dinner.  The next morning, the dog was out sniffing around the yard for the perfect place to empty her bladder when a squirrel darted in front of her.  The dog had bolted after the squirrel and into the road, only to be hit and killed by a passing UPS truck.

Taryn
remembered The Talk as though it had happened yesterday.  Their mother had been dead for eight years, and Joe MaCall had dreaded the conversation he would need to have with the girls regarding their family legacy.  Taryn had been horrified and had felt like she’d learned she was a twelve-year-old freak.  She was pragmatic and had not personally experienced any of these premonitions at the time.  But Jaclyn had taken it all in stride. 

Even after all these years, Jaclyn used meditation, crystals, and incense in an effort to stimulate premonitions while Taryn still tried to ward off any visions, as though they were unwanted migraines.
 

Gray tapped on the closed window and watched her jump, startled.  He wondered what she’d been thinking about as she stared through the windshield.  Personally, he had been thinking about pinning her against the hood of her car and rumpling her tidy business suit.

“Is it done?” she asked with impatience through the window she cracked open.

“Well I’m not tapping on your window to invite you to tea,” he answered sarcastically.

“How much do I owe you?”

“I never know how to put a price on
my time and convenience.  But I suppose I could offer a discount on account of me feeling sorry for the discomfort you must feel with that stick up your ass.”

She narrowed her eyes at him and clenched her hands around the steering wheel.  She knew that she’d like nothing more than to shove open her door and introduce the
piece of feces to the heel of her hand.  She imagined him bleeding on his back in a puddle on the blacktop, and the image relieved some of the rage pulsating at her temples.

The dome light was on inside her car, and he could see now that her eyes were blue.  As blue as the flame of a candle.  Her narrowed eyes drew attention to the slight tic in her left eye and her clenched jaw.  He imagined her on her back in a puddle on the blacktop with her legs wrapped around his hips.

“Send the bill to MaCall Securities Consulting,” she spat angrily. 

He stood grinning at her like an idiot.  She wondered if he thought he looked sexy just then with the rain water dripping off the bill of his hat and his slightly crooked nose
sheltering his full, curled lips. 

She shook her head, silently
convincing herself that he wasn’t sexy at all.

“MaCall Securities,” he repeated.  “Joe MaCall paying for your fancy wheels here?”

“In a manner of speaking,” she answered.  When he didn’t step away from her car, she tapped her fingernails impatiently on the wheel and nodded at his feet.  “You’re going to lose a few toes if you don’t move the heck out of my way.”

“If I don’t what?” he laughed.  A woman as cool and cold as she was didn’t bark at a man to move the
heck
out of his way.

Exasperated, she put the car in gear and took her foot off the break.  He stepped back as she rolled up her window and pulled away from him.  He stood there watching her tail lights flicker through the trees after the road curved to the left, fascinated by the beautiful
contradiction who drove the black Lexus.  That was one woman who needed a man to keep her on her toes.

***

It had been two months after Jac’s father had told her the story of their family’s visions when her mother came to offer her own explanation in the form of a dream.  She had been dead for eight years, but Jac recognized her in an instant, though whether from her own memories or the images in the family photos in the living room, she couldn’t be sure.  She was beautiful like Taryn, with long blond hair and wide blue eyes.  Her smile, however, was wide and full of joy. 

As Jac strolled along the sidewalk that ran through the park at the end of her street, she saw the sun-dappled park bench beneath a tall, birch tree.  On the bench sat this beautiful woman wearing a white flowing dress.  She wore no shoes and, with the exception of her platinum wedding band, no jewelry.  She embodied a simple grace and elegant beauty.

She gestured to Jac and after only a moment’s hesitation, Jac stepped off of the sidewalk and joined her on the bench.

“You’ve grown into a beauty, Jaclyn,” she greeted with a warm embrace.

“Thank you.”  She didn’t know quite how to address this stranger.  She had called her Mama as a child, but she wasn’t five years old anymore.

“Please never doubt that I am so proud of the young woman you are now and the woman you will become.  I have seen what you have to offer the world, and you will become even more amazing than you already are.”

“You’ve seen my future?  Tell me,” she pleaded, her exotic lavender eyes tugging at her mother’s soul.

“I will tell you a bit,” she agreed reluctantly.  “Let’s start with my gift to you and Taryn.”

“The premonitions.”

“That’s an awfully big word for a young girl.”  Then she reconsidered, “Then again, if you’re old enough to have them, you’re old enough to call them by the proper name.  But they won’t always be premonitions of the future.  Sometimes I see things that have happened in the past, things I could not have possibly witnessed.  And sometimes I get glimpses of events as they are
happening in some other place.  And you may wonder why you get these visions, Jaclyn, but nobody can answer that question for you.”


What about you?  Why do you think we get the visions?”

Her mother shrugged her delicate shoulders.  “I used
them to do what I could to make a difference in the world.  But mostly, I feel that my visions prepared me to be the best mother I could be to the two of you.  You are so much more important than I have ever been.”

“You have to say that,” she chided.  “You’re my mother.”

“I don’t only mean that you are important to me, darling.  I only wish that I were able to stay with you longer so that I could help to prepare you and Taryn for this time in your lives.  Accepting your gift is such a great challenge.”

Jac shrugged with indifference.  “Not so
great a challenge.”

Her mother smiled knowingly at her but did not dare to contradict her.  “With these visions comes responsibility, Jaclyn.  Use the visions for good only.  And do not be selfish.  I found in my experiences that
efforts to force visions of my own future were never successful.  So do not waste your energies and your gifts on yourself.”

“I tried to save the neighbor’s dog,” she shared proudly.  “But it didn’t work.”

Her mother patted her hand in reassurance.  “It won’t always work.  But certain things sometimes help.  I always used crystals to help center myself for my visions.  When you and Taryn were still in diapers, I sat both of you down and did some energy assessments.  Sometimes, different people find their subconscious aligns with different levels of energy vibrations.  As a result, some respond more extraordinarily to one particular crystal.  For you, Jaclyn, it has always been the amethyst.  I wondered if your beautiful eye color wasn’t some testimony to your particular crystal,” she smiled.

“What about Taryn?”

“It’s the same with Taryn.  An aqua aura quartz to match her electric blue eyes.  But Taryn is not yet ready to embrace this gift from me, Jaclyn, and you must not force it upon her.  You are the older sister, but Taryn will welcome her gift in her own time.  Give her that time.”

She nodded wisely, though her mother
already knew that having patience with her sister’s aversion to her visions was going to be a constant struggle for Jaclyn, into her early adulthood.  She could only hope that her daughters had enough strength and a close enough bond to overcome these differences of opinions. 

“Jaclyn, your future is full of very difficult decisions and challenges.  There will be times when you acknowledge that you experience more challenges than most, but I caution you against wasting time crying about the unfairness of it all.  Stay strong, adapt, and overcome.  In particular, I want you to promise me that you will train with you
r father and embrace the gifts that he has to offer you as well.  He is a strong and talented man with keen insight and knowledge.  Trust in him and learn those skills from him.  Work with MaCall Securities and familiarize yourself with the team protocols and training so that you, too, could be one of the best in the industry.  It will serve you well.”

Jaclyn looked into the trees and focused on the soothing lull of her mother’s voice as she warned of dangers in her future and of great success, as well.  She didn’t think that she could promise to commit to her father’s business, but she wouldn’t admit that to her. 

Her mother gazed at her, silently scolding her with her stern eyes.  “You will get to pursue your own interests in good time, Jaclyn.  But to begin, you will come home after school and work with your father.  The moment you decide that he has nothing to offer you is the moment you get yourself and others you love killed.  I mean that.”  Her voice no longer lulled soothingly.  Instead, it was sharp and frigid.  “You will have plenty of time for your own dreams, Jaclyn.  But first you must take the necessary steps to prepare yourself for any occurrence in your future.  And you will know when the time is appropriate to leave your father’s business and pursue your own ambitions.  But learn as much as you can from your father.”

“I will,” she answered meekly.

“Taryn will help you in this area.  She has been more like your father from the moment she was born.  And she will follow him in his business.  That will be her greatest strength.  She is strong, Jaclyn, and you will need her.”

“Will anything be easy for me later in life?  Or is it all doom and gloom?” she whined in the truly dramatic manner that is characteristic of an early teenage girl.

“Love will,” her mother answered with a twinkle in her eye.  “You will find everlasting love with an amazing man.  You will experience a love like I have with your father.  But do not force the issue.  Love will come to you, Jaclyn.  You must wait and be patient.”

She blushed uncomfortably with the turn the conversation had taken.

“Most importantly, darling, is to never underestimate the power of your gift.  With the help of your father and your sister, you will change the world in ways that even I cannot imagine.  And I’ve seen pieces of it for myself.  The purpose of my gift, I think, was to pass it on to you.  As for your own purpose, I cannot answer that.  But just like your sister bears the strength and intuition of your father, I think you are more like me than we may have originally thought.”  She stood beside her daughter, reaching to give her hand a squeeze.  “I must go now.  But always remember that I shared my gift in love and hope.”

After she had watched her mother stroll around the bend in the path and disappear from her sight, she had whispered her own words of love while daring to imagine what the future could possibly hold for her.

 

C
hapter 3

It was early the
morning following his consult when Dr. Archer’s receptionist, May Fielding, stuck her head in his office and announced that Ms. MaCall was on the phone.  He reached for the phone eagerly, both excited to speak to her again and grateful to have an excuse to postpone the conversation he needed to have with May.  He was considering the possibility of asking her to take some time off until the men who broke into his office were caught.  If Ms. MaCall was right about these men being dangerous, he didn’t want May Fielding at risk.  Of course, she would laugh him off and insist that asking her to not come to work would be nonsense.

“Ms. MaCall,” he greeted, hoping his tone sounded official and not like a middle school boy’s.

The sexy, somewhat raspy voice on the phone was not that of the belly button pierced princess.  Instead, he recognized that he was speaking with her sister.  Her voice was cool and authoritative.

“Dr. Archer, I do apologize again for being unable to make your consult yesterday.”

He found himself wondering if she was as attractive as her sister had been.  “It is no problem.  Your sister was…” he hesitated, searching for the appropriate word, “effective.”  He nodded to himself, remembering how she had affected him.  He had been drawn to her petite and fit figure, as well as her laughing eyes and wide warm smile.  Then he remembered the concern in her eyes as she touched his file cabinet and warned him of the two men who wanted him dead.  Effective indeed.

“Jac is usually quite thorough in her consults.”

“But she doesn’t work for MSC anymore?” Even he heard the wistful tone of his voice.  He couldn’t explain why such an unusual woman held such an allure for him.  She was nothing at all like him.  His mother had always told him that opposites attract, but that certainly hadn’t been the case for his parents.  Both had been doctors and had encouraged him to pursue a career as a surgeon.  They had been surprised by his bold move into psychiatry, but they had also supported him.

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