10: The Attack and Severing Ties
Melody and Mrs. Parker screamed and shrieked hysterically. The Parkers began scrambling away from the table, whimpering in fear while Lukan and Jane rose from the ground they had landed on when Lukan had pushed Jane out of the way.
“Jane, you have to run! Get your family out of here! I’ll take care of those two,” Lukan said, nodding toward the two menacing wolves on the table.
“I’m not leaving you!” she cried fiercely.
“Damn it, Jane! Do as I say! Your family might die if you don’t!”
Jane swallowed hard and watched as one of the wolves began stalking toward her parents and siblings while the other had its eyes on her.
Lukan launched himself at the wolf closest to them, his black, leathery wings tearing through his jacket and spreading out behind him.
Jane grabbed a chair and ran to stand in front of her family who were all huddled up in a corner, with the exception of Todd, who was being held down by Mr. Parker as he struggled to get to Jane and protect her.
The wolf in front of Jane had matted red fur and was snarling like it hadn’t had a decent meal in weeks. It snapped its jaws at her, taunting her.
In anger, Jane swung the chair at the beast, hitting it across the left side of his jaw, the chair shattering on impact. The wolf yelped at the surprisingly hard blow.
The wolf turned back to Jane, snarling more violently than ever, crouching down, getting ready to pounce on his prey at any moment. Both the wolf and Jane turned when they heard a yelp behind them. The other wolf, which had brown and white fur, was being beaten by Lukan, slowly but surely.
The red-furred wolf walked over to where Lukan and the other wolf were fighting, momentarily forgetting about Jane.
“Oh, no you don’t,” Jane murmured, grabbing another chair and pulling herself up onto the table.
“Hey!” Jane shouted at the red wolf.
The wolf turned to be greeted with a blow much harder than the first.
This chair also shattered – leaving Jane without a weapon.
Not knowing what else to do, Jane kicked the wolf in the stomach, and to her surprise the wolf went flying through the dining room wall, landing in the entry room near the stairs.
Cold sweat beaded on Jane’s forehead and a shiver ran down her spine. Where did all this strength come from? Are my powers manifesting like Convel said they would? What’s happening to me?
Jane looked over at Lukan and the brown and white wolf doing battle. The wolf managed to get in a good, solid blow, dizzying Lukan for a moment. The wolf began gaining some headway in the fight, and it was really beginning to tick Jane off.
Who the hell do these people think they are anyway? Coming into my home and messing up Thanksgiving dinner…
Jane leaned down over the side of the table, picking up another chair. She walked up behind the wolf and slammed the chair down on its head as hard as she could. The beast fell off the table before crawling in the direction of its red haired companion, who was just coming to.
Lukan, dizzy and disoriented from all the hits he had taken, looked at her and smiled hazily.
“Not bad… for a beginner,” he said teasingly. Jane rolled her eyes.
“Oh, please! I took on both of those guys and you couldn’t even handle one,” Jane said.
“Convel really ought to know better than to two send two of his minions to do what six might have not even accomplished.”
“You- You don’t really think that it was Convel, do you?” Jane asked fearfully. “I mean, why?”
“The lycans were too well trained to be nomadic. It was very likely that he sent them to kidnap you so that he could brainwash you into switching to his side.”
Lukan and Jane turned to see Todd standing up, the others following his example.
“Jane, what the hell is going on?” Todd asked in a hazy, confused way.
Jane’s eyes widened in horror.
Oh no… No…
“I can explain…” Jane said, laughing nervously, her words sounding almost like a question in her uncertainty.
“That is it!” Mr. Parker shouted, rising from the ground, helping his wife and daughter do the same. “That is the last straw, young lady! Pack your stuff and get out! You don’t live here anymore!”
All eyes fell on Mr. Parker with horror at his announcement – even Melody seemed dazed.
“George, you don’t mean that-” Mrs. Parker began almost pleadingly.
“Yes, I do mean it! I can’t take this anymore. If she wants so badly to be a monster, then let her live with monsters! I’m not having it in my house and that is final!”
“Dad…” Todd began darkly. “I don’t care what the circumstances are. She’s still my sister, and you’re still her father. And if Jane goes then so do I.”
“Then go! All of you, just go!” Mr. Parker shouted, waving his arms at them, as though it would make them magically disappear.
“Fine,” Todd said coldly. “You can send our things to us later then.”
He grabbed Jane’s hand, pulling her out of the dining room into the formal entryway, Lukan following silently behind.
Jane followed in a daze, barely even aware that the wolves that had caused so much trouble only a short time ago were now nowhere in sight.
She fought back tears of shock and hurt. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. All she had wanted was to make things perfect so that for once in her life she could have the best of both worlds. She wanted her brother and Lukan to get along, for her parents to finally accept him, and Melody just to leave her boyfriend the hell alone!
Fake boyfriend, Jane reminded herself bitterly.
Lukan walked up beside her and laced his fingers in hers as they walked through the wide front door, giving her a look of understanding as Todd let go of her other hand to pull his keys out of his pocket.
I know they were terrible people, but you loved them anyway, didn’t you? Lukan’s two dark-brown eyes seemed to say.
Jane leaned into Lukan, allowing the warmth of his body to comfort her. He gave her a small, sad smile before removing his hand from hers and wrapping an arm around her protectively.
“You’ll have to follow Jane and me in your car,” Lukan said to Todd, not taking his eyes off of Jane. “The Haven is just a few minutes up the road.
“No way in hell are you going anywhere with my sister alone after what happened in there, buddy, so you can just forget about it!” Todd shouted, rounding on Lukan, a look of pure loathing in his eyes.
“Oh, so now you care?” Jane demanded hotly, narrowing her eyes at Todd. “Because it seems to me that you only care about me when it’s convenient for you! You know, if you called me more than once every two months to begin with, I might actually have been worried about you when you stopped calling altogether!”
“Janie, I explained that,” Todd said, almost pleadingly.
“Don’t ‘Janie’ me,” she snapped. “Your reasons – as always – were selfish and I’m tired of it!”
“Selfish?” he snarled. “I just walked out on Mom and Dad for you! I stood up for you!”
“For once, Todd! One time in the past fifteen years of insults and unjust punishment, all of it simply because I had the guts to stand up for myself and my individuality! Now all of a sudden you grow a spine and go from whipped to bossing my boyfriend and I around!”
“Jane, I only meant-”
“Well? You only meant well? Mom and Dad have been ‘meaning well’ for the last fifteen years and look where that’s got me! If I didn’t have Lukan and his family, I wouldn’t even have a place to sleep, let alone live!”
“I didn’t see Lukan standing up for you either in there-“
“Because I didn’t want him to! He held back out of consideration for my feelings – for me! I feel safer with him than I ever have with you or anyone else. He protects me, he stands up for me, he comforts me, he keeps me safe,” Jane said, choking on a sob, tears finally beginning to escape her eyes, which had turned midnight blue. “And he was wonderful in there. He took your dirty looks and Melody’s sexual harassment, all for me! No one’s ever done something like that for me before!”
Jane hid her face in her hands, too overcome with emotion to hold her tears back any longer. What’s happening to me? she thought miserably. Two months ago I never would’ve cried like this.
Todd reached out to comfort Jane but Lukan was quicker. He wrapped both his arms around her and spoke nonsense words of comfort, and all the while Todd watched, the look on his face becoming guiltier and guiltier by the minute.
After a while, Jane’s tears and sobs subsided and her face grew red with embarrassment.
“I’m sorry,” Jane said, withdrawing from the comfort of Lukan’s arms. “I’m not usually like this. I think I’ve cried more in the last week than I have in my entire life.”
Jane laughed a little and Lukan gave her a sarcastic smile.
“You’ve had a lot to cry about,” Lukan said, rubbing his hands up and down her arms, the movement causing shivers to go down her spine in a delightful way. “There’s no reason to be sorry, Jane.”
“Janie, I’m sorry,” Todd said, his voice genuinely remorseful. “You’re right. You’re right about everything. I’ve been a selfish jackass. Can you ever forgive me?”
“Of course I forgive you,” Jane said in disgust at his silliness. “You’re my brother.”
“Look, we might want to take this back to The Haven. Your family is getting a bit impatient to see us gone,” Lukan said, gesturing to the living room windows.
Her parents and Melody were peering out at them conspicuously.
Jane and Todd looked in that direction and saw what Lukan had. Jane’s gut clenched at the painful reminder of the bridge that had been burned between herself and her parents.
Todd went to his car and got in, looking a little hurt that Jane didn’t follow. Instead she got into Lukan’s Porsche.
They started their cars and pulled out of the driveway, heading for The Haven.