Plain Jane

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11: Todd Is Told The Truth About Jane

“You know that we have to tell him, don’t you?” Lukan asked from the driver’s seat of his black Porsche, Todd in the Mustang behind them.

“I know,” Jane said quietly. “I just wish…”

She trailed off, unable or unwilling to finish the sentence.

“You wish that he could’ve found out a different way, that you could’ve told him when you were ready. I am so sorry, Jane,” Lukan said, his voice suddenly sorrowful. “This is all my fault. I should’ve found some way to…”

Jane took Lukan’s hand from the steering wheel and laced her fingers through his.

“There’s nothing you could have done about it. This is Convel’s fault, not yours. I just don’t understand why he would want to do this. He’s never tried to hurt me before.”

Lukan’s hand visibly tightened on the wheel as he listened to Jane remark.

“Understanding why is simple enough. He’s a greedy, power-hungry monster. He wasn’t trying to kill you, Jane. He was trying to kidnap you. It’s understanding why he would send so few that has me stumped. He must be desperate to pull a stunt like this.”

Lukan kept his eyes on the road as Jane looked out the passenger side window. The outlines of trees in the darkness could be seen rushing by and the glare of Todd’s headlights in the rearview mirror was blinding.

Jane had so much to think about, she didn’t even know where to start. Who was Convel? The dad of her dreams or the villain of her nightmares? Why did he want to kidnap her? So they could be a family again or because he just wanted to turn her into a weapon? Would he kill her if he got the chance?

Jane’s fingers found the wolf pendant underneath her black t-shirt. Maybe he’s a little bit of both. Villain and hero. Either way, I am going to find out…

***

Lukan pulled up right to the front of the house and parked, Todd doing the same behind him. They cut their engines and Jane got out of Lukan’s car. Jane briskly walked up the wooden porch steps to the heavy wooden front door, opening it swiftly.

“Jane?”

Jane turned her head to see Sofiya walking toward her, Lukan and Todd entering behind Jane.

“Why are you back so soon-?” Sofiya began, stopping short when she saw something behind Jane.

Jane turned to look at what had so enraptured her best friend’s attention as to render her speechless. Todd stood there, stalk still, returning Sofiya’s stare intensely.

Lukan came in behind Todd, squeezing past Jane’s preoccupied brother. Once Lukan saw Sofiya in the same condition he exchanged a look with Jane. Romance is brewing, their eyes said.

“Um, as much as I hate to break this up, we still have to fill Todd here in on the whole Coven thing, so can we get moving?” Jane asked, motioning for all of them to get moving.

You’re Todd?” Sofiya asked in disbelief, snapping out of her reverie.

“Umm… Yeah, I guess,” Todd said, still mostly spaced out and staring at Sofiya.

Sofiya stepped forward until she was face to face with Todd. Sofiya pulled her arm back, and forming a fist, she decked him, knocking him flat on his back, unconscious.

“It’s nice to finally meet you.”

***

While Todd was unconscious he was taken to the Library and placed on a sofa there. When he awakened he was greeted by the sight of the entire coven, including Sofiya, who had apologized for hitting Todd after Jane told her that he had stood up for Jane when the chips were down.

Jane sat in a nearby armchair as Lilith explained the Clans, their existence and origins for Todd the same way that she had for Jane.

Lilith had been told of the attempted kidnapping. She had been silent for much longer than was a good sign.

Jane hadn’t had a moment to think about Convel and his kidnapping attempt. She felt like her head was spinning. One minute Convel is the loving father I never had and now he’s a would-be kidnapper? It just doesn’t make sense.

He couldn’t be both. Could he? Maybe that had been why he had only sent two lycans – maybe he just wanted them to come and get her quietly but they had screwed up?

Jane shook her head. It just didn’t fit. If Convel had wanted her to come quietly, he would’ve come and gotten her himself and then lured her to somewhere secluded.

I have to talk to him, Jane thought determinedly. I have to give him some chance to explain. I won’t do to him what Lilith did.

“Hey,” Lukan whispered, suddenly next to her when he had not been a moment ago. “Are you alright? You look distracted.”

“I’m just a little tired,” Jane said, forcing a smile.

She wasn’t quite ready to tell them about everything involving Convel yet.

“I think they’re just about done. You can get some sleep soon,” Lukan said, putting a supporting arm around her shoulder.

It comforted her. His nearness chased her confused, muddled thoughts away.

They both turned their attention back to Lilith and Todd.

“Okay,” Todd began. “So you’re telling me that not only that mermaids, vampires, and werewolves exist, but that they were created by God to be protectors of humankind, and my sister is one of them- you, I mean? Have I missed anything?”

“Well, there’s the part where Jane isn’t your real sister, and her biological father is trying to get her to join the dark side of the force, but other than that…” Sofiya said, a little too cheerfully.

“Actually, I was trying to avoid that part,” Jane said.

Jane rose from her seat and the comfort of Lukan’s touch to put a hand on her brother’s shoulder. Her heart contracted painfully in her chest when he flinched at her touch.

“Todd, you’ve always known that I was different. Not bad, just different. You’ve always known that I wasn’t like everyone else, and you never cared before. Please don’t hate me for it now,” she said pleadingly.

Todd’s eyes softened at his sister’s words. She was right of course. He never had cared how different she was before – he loved her for her uniqueness and quirky ways.

“I could never hate you, Jane. I’m just a little… well, shocked, I guess.”

“Which is completely understandable given the circumstances,” Lilith said, rising from her seat in a nearby chair like the one Jane had sat in only moments ago. “You will feel much better once you have had a good night’s sleep. Sofiya, will you be so good as to show Mr. Parker to one of the spare rooms please?”

A wide grin formed on Sofiya’s face.

“I’d love to,” Sofiya said, grabbing Todd’s arm, forcing him to get up.

She laced her arm through his and she led him out of the Library doors. Todd didn’t look like he needed much convincing.

“Sofiya,” Lilith called after her.

Sofiya’s head popped around the door.

“Yeah?”

“You cannot keep him,” Lilith said, almost reproachfully.

Sofiya just smirked and popped her head around the corner again.

“We’ll see about that,” they heard her call from the second floor hallway.

Jane chuckled softly. Poor Todd. Doesn’t know what he’s gotten himself into.

The whole room could hear Sofiya telling him that she was putting him in the room next to her own, “just in case he needed something.”

He made no protest. He was going to be a willing conquest.

Jane smiled, shaking her head, and turned back to Lilith. Jane gave Lilith a look that was easily understood. They needed to talk. Now.

“Why don’t you all go to bed and we can discuss everything else in the morning,” Lilith said addressing the Coven.

Everyone nodded their agreement and tiredly shuffled out of the room, with the exceptions of Lilith, Jane and Lukan.

“Did you have something you wished to discuss with me, Jane?” Lilith asked, walking around her to a wooden desk.

Lukan leaned – like he always did – against a bookcase, watching intently.

Jane simply stood there, eyeing Lilith warily as her mother shuffled through some papers on the desk. Jane had intended to tell Lilith all – the dreams, the beautiful decorations in her attic, the laptop, everything Convel had told her, but now, watching Lilith, Jane knew that it would be foolish to do so. They would find a way to cut her off from Convel in a heartbeat, and Jane still had questions to ask him. She wanted answers from both of her biological parents.

But she would start with Lilith.

“You mentioned a prophecy before. What did it say exactly?”

Lilith froze at Jane’s question. Slowly, as though the movement took great effort, she looked at Jane.

“No one knows for certain. The prophecy is so old…” Lilith said, trailing off. “I know only one thing for certain: the girl of the prophecy would be born of two Clans, but would hold the power of all three. No child has ever been born to any of the Clans, Jane. It was deemed impossible, especially since none of the Clans would deign to ‘defile’ themselves to produce such a child. There is one more thing that comes to mind though, now that I think about it. The girl’s sixteenth year was supposed to be very important. Her powers are supposed to fully manifest and she is supposed to cease aging at that time. That is the reason no human is made into one of our kind unless they are aged at least sixteen years. It is our version of the age of consent law.”

“But Study can’t be more than fourteen or fifteen,” Jane said in obvious confusion.

“That is because a rogue vampire turned him,” Lilith said disapprovingly. “Not all follow the laws of our kind. A very good example of that is Convel.”

Jane could hear a mixture of forced distaste and wistful sadness in Lilith’s voice. Jane believed she knew how her biological mother felt, to love someone when you knew you shouldn’t.

Jane nodded.

“And you’re sure that this prophecy is about me?”

I am, but others may need more convincing. We will know for certain in your sixteenth year. Until then…” Lilith said, rising from her seat and walking around to Jane, cupping her daughter’s face in her hands. “…you are my daughter and need not be anything more to always have a place in my home and, most especially, in my heart.”

Lilith kissed Jane’s forehead softly.

“You should go to bed now, darling,” Lilith said, releasing her. “It has been a long day, and we will have a long day tomorrow trying to figure out a more effective way of keeping you safe from Convel’s grasp.”

“Come on, Jane,” Lukan said, pushing himself off from the wall. “I’ll show you your new room.”

Jane walked over to Lukan, looking over her shoulder at Lilith as she exited the room.

The walk to Jane’s new room was silent and rife with unspoken words between her and Lukan. As they walked down the hall, their footfalls muffled by the lush carpet, Jane snuck a glance at Lukan. She couldn’t help wondering how he felt about all this: the disastrous Thanksgiving dinner, the attack on her parents’ house, her brother’s residence in his home… Not to mention all this nonsense about a prophecy. All of it seemed so absurd now that Jane nearly laughed aloud, only just catching herself before the first sound of it could escape her lips.

Lukan stopped and suddenly turned.

Jane, now woken from her thoughts, realized that they were in front of the door to the left of Lukan’s room. Jane knew that it was Lukan’s room because it had been the only one she had not been allowed to clean when she first started working at The Haven.

“Well,” Lukan said, shifting his weight from foot to foot nervously. “This is your new room.”

He nodded towards the door in front of them.

“It’s next to yours.”

It was more of a question than a statement.

“Yeah, I thought that… you know, if maybe you needed anything…” Lukan said, trailing off.

Jane had never seen him so nervous – hadn’t thought it possible with an ego the size of his.

“I’m just going to go to bed now. Goodnight.”

His words were quick as were his footsteps.

“Lukan!”

He turned at the sound of Jane calling him back.

She slowly walked up to him, and, not hesitating lest her courage fail, she stood on the tips of her toes and kissed Lukan’s lips softly. Lukan wrapped his arms around her, no longer nervous, but something else entirely.

He slowly lifted his hand and took out the bobby pins holding her hair in its usual messy bun, her hair tumbling in soft waves over her shoulders. Lukan ran his hand through it, feeling the silky texture of it. His hand came to rest at the back of her neck, his thumb coming around to stroke the hollow of her throat. He deepened the kiss and she more than reciprocated, wrapping her arms around his neck, leaning into him.

Jane luxuriated in their kiss. They had kissed before, yes, but never like this. There had never been this slow, soft, quiet, sensuous desperation before.

And then, very suddenly, he let go and quickly stepped back, Jane nearly falling in the process.

He was breathing raggedly, as was she. Once again, Jane could feel the unspoken words between them. Something was different between them. Something had changed.

Lukan was looking at her like she was the only other being in existence besides himself. He winked at her then, though Jane could tell he was forcing himself to act nonchalantly about what had just happened between them. She could tell he felt it too, that raw, desperate need. It wasn’t lust. Jane could tell the difference between lust and what she was feeling now. This was far above the physical plane of existence and they both knew it… which was why it scared them.

Jane suddenly wondered if this was how Lilith had felt about Convel – if Lilith still felt that way.

“Goodnight!” Lukan shouted shrilly before darting into his room, nearly ripping the door off its hinges in his haste, slamming it shut behind him.

Jane knew exactly how he felt. Every time he had kissed her before she had wanted to do the same thing, though she had never been quite as affected by their previous kisses as she was by this one.

This kiss was different.

Not only had she initiated it, but there had been no real reason for it other than that she had wanted to. There had been no audience to fool, no parents to deceive.

It had been just Lukan and Jane.

Jane looked at the door to her new room wistfully. She would never be able to sleep with the way her heart was pounding in her chest. Besides, she still had some questions that needed answers.

And Jane knew exactly who to ask for answers.

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