Clayton's Jade (Runes Stone Series)





Maria Yvonne Wood


Copyright © 201
2 Maria Yvonne Wood

All rights reserved.


Cover by Melody Simmons





This book is for my Mom who without her help and encouragement this book would not have been written.  Thank you and I love you!



                   This is a work of fiction.  Names, characters, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead  is entirely coincidental.

All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced or copied in any form or format, by electronic, digital, or mechanical means including, but not limited to, information storage and retrieval system, without written permission.  An exception is granted to book reviewers who may quote up to 250 words in review.

Author’s Note:


This book was not professionally edited and any mistakes are mine and mine alone. 




I want to thank Mark, without him the website would not be up and running.

Mom and Tanya for their time in editing this book.

Shannon for all the texts and questions you had to endure when I was stuck.

To Gary, Gordon, and Jacob thanks for the sword play in the house and most importantly for not breaking anything!












If I don’t stop dreaming about him, I am going to have the most immaculate garden in the area
She had some very strange dreams lately and none of them had made any sense to he
at all. The dreams were about fighting and stones with marks on them. Over the last week a man had appeared in her dream with hair color between night and twilight. His eyes were as blue as the ocean on a sunny day.    He was welcome anytime. Maybe next time the guy showed up in her dream, it might be fun to figure out how to get him to take off his shirt.  Oh the possibilities!

  This last year Kaylee had started to see things while she slept then a few days later it would happen.  It all started when she found a piece of oblong jade with what looked like a plus sign on it.  She carried it with her everywhere she went.  When she was worried her thumb would absently rub the stone until she calmed down.  Today nothing was working.  Something was going to happen, but she couldn’t see what.

  Kaylee lived in Gasquet, California along the Smith River.  Her family owned sixty acres that bordered the river and the Six Rivers National Forest.  The redwoods on her land were old growth.  With the exception of her home and immediate yard, the land was wild.  Developers wanted to buy it, but that was never an option.  Even as a little child she knew this land was special.

The redwood canopy was so thick in some places you couldn’t see the sky.  In those dark places the mosses and lichens grew which provided a place for insects and small animals to live.  Some of the taller trees were wind damaged from years of being battered by storms.  New trees sprouted from the base of fallen trees.  Further up river, before restrictions were put into place logging had taken place.  They had tried to come on her land, however her grandparents had stopped them before any damage had been done.

What they couldn’t stop was the sediment that came down the river from the soil damage done by the logging.  This had, had a long term effect on the river and everything that lived in it.  She was part of a group trying to find a way to fix the problems that past generations had created.  Now on top of that they were on the lookout for zebra mussels, all because people could not clean their boating and or river equipment. Zebra and quagga mussels are from the black sea and they are freshwater mussels.  The mussels attach to anything in the water including the wildlife. They could be microscopic or up to two inches long with stripes along their shells.  The shells are razor sharp and can cut hands and feet.  The problem was that they could live up to thirty days in a moist area like a life jacket.  These mussels caused millions of dollars of damage each year due to carelessness.

With a deep breath she went back to work pulling the weeds out of the garden.  Today was not about her work, she needed a break from it and working in the garden provided that.  It helped to clear her head and it was peaceful.  The vegetables in it would get her through the winter.  Some of it she would trade with, the rest would be canned, frozen or dried.  Black berries and huckleberries grew wild and she just went into the woods and gathered them.  Then in the fall she would go to Shively for the rest of the fruit and vegetables that she needed.  It was a good road trip down past Eureka and just outside of Fortuna.  For some reason she could never leave without at least four gallons of apple cider.

Stopping for a minute to wipe her forehead with the back of her hand she saw light reflecting at her from up the road.  She still had half of her garden to weed.  With her luck it was another developer that wanted to buy her property.  Did they think that by pressuring her that she was going to cave in?

Standing up then walking down the row to the grass she took her gardening gloves off and put them on the table.  Enough was enough.  She was done being nice.   She hoped it was one of the snobby ones that always pissed her off when they looked down their noses at her.  It would just add fuel to the fire that was already brewing.  She heard the gravel churn as the tires rolled over it.   She entered the house as the car came to a stop in the driveway.   She waited in the front room until she heard the knock on the door to walk over and open it.

As she opened the door there stood the man from her dreams. He was wearing a teal blue dress shirt that clung to his chest almost as if it was too small.  His shoulders were brood.   His chest tapered down until the black slacks cut across his waist. Why was life so unfair! Here was the guy she had drooled over in her dreams and now she was had to be rude to him.  “I’m not selling any of my land. Not now, not later, not ever.  So tell all your developer buddies to leave me alone!”  She got the door about half way closed the man’s hand stopped it.  

“Actually Ms. Thompson, I am here to see you about something else.  However, I am glad to hear you have no intentions to sell this land.  Now where can we sit down and talk where you will be comfortable?”

She opened the door a little and looked him directly in the eye, “What do you want to talk to me about?”  Still being very suspicious, she stood there waiting for his answer.  Her toe had started tapping, it only happened when she was annoyed about something. She could feel his eyes looking over her entire body.  The sad part was that her body was responding to it.

“Ok, fine let’s start with the jade stone with a plus sign on it.”  He had a look on his face as he told her you asked for it.

Her bottom lip dropped and if she hadn’t been leaning against the door she would have fallen on her ass.  However, her body was still blocking the entrance with her body as she stared at him in disbelief.  She could feel the stone in her pocket making her want to hold it.  “How did you know I had that?”  There had to be a reason that he knew she had that stone.  She had been dreaming about him and here he was in the flesh.  She guessed it would be ok to listen to what he had to say.

“I was told.”  Hopefully, she would leave it there, but he didn’t think she would.  Knowing she really wasn’t ready for the rest of it.  What he had to tell her was bad enough. The door opened for him to come in.  He could tell she was on her guard.  As he stepped into the house he noticed that she was very beautiful.  Her blond hair was pulled back into a ponytail letting him see every detail in her face from her hazel eyes to her very kissable lips.  He wanted to be closer to her, to feel her pulse as he nibbled on her neck to hear her moan as his hands slid down her body. Taking a deep breath this was not where his mind should be.  He needed to be in the here and now not thinking of ways to get in her pants.  “We have a lot to talk about and go over. Do you want to do that here or out in the yard?”  The front room consisted of an old brown cloth covered recliner that had seen better days and a sofa that matched it.  There was a long coffee table in front of the sofa and end tables at the end of each arm of the sofa.  Those seemed to be very old.  The tables were most likely homemade.

“In the back yard.  Let me grab a pitcher of ice tea and a couple of glasses.”  How exactly did he know she had the stone?  As she walked into the kitchen she put her hand into her pocket and her thumb started to back and forth across the top of the stone to calm her down.  No one knew she had it and no one was around when she found it.  Only animals had been in the area.  She knew that for a fact.  She took the tea and two glasses she went to the sliding glass doors and the dream man opened them.  “I never asked you your name, what is it?”

“Clayton Howell.”  He pulled the sliding doors closed then he followed her to the table.  His pants were getting tight and they were getting harder to walk in just from watching her.  He wanted to pull her back against his body.  He wanted to feel how her body would respond to his, but that was not going to happen anytime soon.  She was still nervous and tense around him so he had to put his body on ice for now until she accepted him in her life.  While she was busy pouring glasses of tea he sat in one of the chairs and scooted closer in to the table.  Sometimes it was better just to hide and be uncomfortable.

“What do you need to talk to me about?”  She might as well enjoy the scenery while he explained things. His form fitting shirt was tight enough to let the imagination wander the wide expanse of his shoulders to the outline of the six-pack that rippled right below his chest.  She could imagine running her hands down his chest and feeling every line and ridge along his upper body.

“Could I see your stone first?  We will go from there.” His voice startled Kaylee out of her wandering imagination. Kaylee reached into her pocket and brought it back out for him to look at.  As she handed it to him their hands touched a warm shock went through her.  She jerked her hand away, but when she looked into his eyes she couldn’t look away. 

He did not want to break contact with her eyes, but they both had a lot of information to go over.  He looked down at the jade stone and he could see the rune in the stone.  She was one of them that much he knew now. 

When he broke eye contact she turned her head and looked out at the garden.  She took a drink of ice tea and asked “What’s so important about that stone?”

“That’s what we are going to talk about.  Since you found the stone have you experienced any dejavu or weird unexplainable dreams?”

The tapping of her foot started again, how was she supposed to answer that? ‘Yes I have, so do you have the white jacket to strap me into?’ or how about ‘So what’s the big deal I can change into a bob cat too.’ Great, just great! “Dejavu?”  That was the ticket play dumb.  “What seeing something again and again?”

“Yes and no.  As its happening you could swear it has happened before or you see something and you know you have seen it before.”

“Ok, yes that has happened a few times lately.”  She was looking at one of her dreams now.  He was looking at her in an odd way now, almost as if he was trying to look into her brain to see what she knew.

“Did you ever dream about any more of these weird looking stones?  They might have had different markings on them.”  His fingertips traced the lines on the jade stone as he talked to her.

“Yes I have.”  Wherever he was from he had a very unusual accent. She loved the way it sounded.  He was very good looking but he could use some help in the warmth department as he came off as cold as ice.  He seemed to be all business.

“Could you draw the marks you saw on the stone?”  Getting up Kaylee went inside the house and got paper and a pen then went back outside and sat down.  She drew five rocks with different marks on them.  She drew the marks the best she could.

“Do you mean these?” she said as she pushed the paper over to him.  He took the paper and looked at each of the drawings.  As he looked at the last two stones she had drawn, she pointed at them and said “both of the markings were on one stone and not just one marking but several on each side.”  As she said that he went very still and then she could see the disbelief in his face.  “Are you ok?”

“I’m fine.  However, you are about to get the shock of your life.  I need you to just listen and not interrupt until I am done.”  If she knew the last two stones she had drawn were his and hers together and that it meant they were supposed to be together she would flip.  He would just keep that information to himself for now.

This was the woman he had been waiting his life time for?  She was cute and he was very attracted to her but could she handle what was in store for her.  Now he knew why Odin had not given him much information on her. 

“Listening and not allowed to say anything?  That’s not going to happen.  If I have a problem I’m going to say something.  So you might as well just get over it now.”  How dare he tell her to just listen?  If she had a question she would ask it. This was her house and he could just get over himself!

“These markings in the stones you see are called runes.  Yours means the cycle of time and you are the keeper of it.  You pronounce it, yara.”  He reached into his pocket and took out a rose quartz and put it on the table.  It had a different mark on it.  It kind of looked like a tilted z.  “This means regeneration and longevity.  I need to find the other four of mine then there are some others that we have to find if we are going to keep Ragnarok from happening.  Exactly how much of your Viking history do you know?”

Boy she thought she had problems!  This guy needed a padded room with no chance of getting out.  I wonder if Pelican Bay Prison has any padded rooms.  Maybe he escaped from there and she just hadn’t found out yet.  Slowly getting up from the table so she wouldn’t startle him she moved back towards her garden.  If she had to get away all she had to do was make it to the redwoods, which were at the edge of her garden.  He took a deep breath and let it out loudly.  “Don’t try to run, I can find you.”

“I know this area like the back of my hand, you sir do not stand a chance.” She stated with total confidence and she was ready to run at a drop of a pin.

“Look, there is a lot you need to know and a lot we need to do.  I know that I sound like I have just escaped from the mental ward.  You’re keeping things from me, I can see it in your eyes.” His eyes never left her, he watched every move she made.

“Ok. Fine, I know very little about the Vikings.  I’ve heard of Thor and his hammer but who hasn’t heard of him.  The only other things I’ve heard of are the Valkyries and Valhalla.” Thank god for the superhero comic Thor.

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