Forbidden Alliance A Werewolf's Tale
Author:Danae Ayusso

It would be a cold day in Hell when I drank wine again. It felt like a giant had crawled inside my head, kicked the hell out of me for shits and giggles, and then decided to host a goddamn Pantera concert in there.

I temporarily hated Tanis with a fiery passion for not warning me about the unfortunate joys of a wine hangover.

And now, apparently, a demon was trying to either break out of my head or break down my door.

Sadly, the demon I was related to and couldn’t, in good conscience, kill.

“Stop pounding on the door!” I groaned, and tried to grab a pillow to cover my head with and ended up rolling out of bed in the process.

Loud footsteps stomped across the floor before the annoying, amber-eyed demon jumped up on my bed and needlessly bounced up and down, just to make it squeak, causing my hangover induced super hearing to wreak even more havoc on my already throbbing head.

“No,” Jarvis barked out loudly. “That’s what you get for drinking on a school night, young lady,” he parentally scolded.

“I hate you,” I mumbled and rolled over, and whimpered as I stretched out on my back.

He cocked an eyebrow. “How much did you drink? You look like shit!”

“Gee, thanks for the lovely compliment,” I groaned, making a face; I felt like shit, but it didn’t stop there, no. I felt like shit which was re-digested and shit back out a couple of times before a buffalo tap danced in said shit. “We didn’t drink that much…okay, we did. But he was totally sober…I’ve never had wine before. Okay? It kicked my ass up one wall and down the other. Happy?”

“Nu huh,” he huffed. “Not even close.”

“Shut up. It went perfect with dinner…but, oh my god, ow. I won’t be doing that again anytime soon.”

“Uh huh.”

“I’m going to kill you,” I mumbled and he laughed. “What time is it…am I late for school?”

“Nope. It’s six.”

“What?” I cringed at my own loudness. “Why in the hell did you wake me up an hour early?” I whimpered, trying to cover my face with the blankets to block out the ungodly bright light coming through the window.

“Why not?” he asked with a chuckle. “It’s totally something you would do.”

True.

“Touché,” I conceded.

“In case you were wondering, I didn’t tell Mom and Dad who you were with. They’re rather suspicious though since you came home in a hundred-thousand-dollar SUV with a white guy. It was very reservation whore’ish,” he scolded.

I groaned even louder; that was all I didn’t need today: parenting from Jarvis.

“Seriously, Sis, are you banging with this rich suckhead?” he demanded, pulling the covers back with his toes.

“Oh my god, what is wrong with you?” I whimpered, pulling the covers back up over my head.

Jarvis straddled me and pulled the covers back, pinning my arms to my sides. “There is nothing wrong with me, Sis. But then again, I’m not the one running around with vampires!” he hissed.

“Vampire. Singular. There was only one,” I corrected with a smirk.

“It doesn’t matter,” he harshly whispered. “You’re a damn werewolf. He’s a vampire. You two were born mortal enemies!”

“Enemies of a feud that ended over a century ago,” I reminded him. “Have you ever met one?”

The look on his face answered me.

“Exactly. Neither had I! But Tanis is different…he’s so normal. He’s nice, polite, funny, self-conscious and cordial. He calls me Miss Jay Dee...I hate it but I love it. He opens doors for me and pulls out chairs, spends ungodly amounts of money on fancy dinners.”

“Lots of guys would do that for you,” he pointed out.

“Yeah, you’re right. But only with the objective of getting in my pants! Tanis looks at me in a way that no one else ever has and I really like it, it makes me feel special and not special ed.”

He gave me the look that I’ve seen one too many times from him while growing up. The you-are-retarded remind-me-again-how-we’re-related look.

“There’s awe in his expression with everything I say,” I tried to explain, “and a gleam of excitement in his eyes when he’s talking to me. The way he looks at me makes me feel like I’m the first and only woman on earth in his eyes.”

He raised his hand as if he was waiting to be called on in class. “You sound like a goddamn love-struck bitch in a shitty chickflick.”

I snapped my teeth at him and he laughed.

“You gotta give me something here, Sis.”

Damn it.

“Jarvis…it’s...I mean...damn it,” I huffed. “All I’ve ever wanted was for someone to see me as a person. Not as a white girl, not as the demon sent by the white man to take what little bit of land the Lhaq'temish still owned, not as a weird white wolf, not glass, and not as a little sister who’s sniffing your butt because I ain’t got no friends to play with me.”

“Ew,” he said, making a face but I ignored him.

“My best friend doesn’t even realize that I’m a girl-”

“No one could mistaken you for a boy with tits as big as yours,” he interrupted.

Again, I ignored him. “My brother treats me like I’m this little kid who’s still trying to hang out with him and his friends because no one will play with me. Mom and Dad go out of their way to protect me from everyone, to make me feel part of the Lhaq'temish and pack, but all it does is segregates me even more. I’ve been kept from everything that reaches beyond the pack’s presence and territory...I’ve only been to Seattle a handful of times in the thirteen years I’ve been here, and Arizona to see grandpa and grandma. That isn’t right,” I mumbled the last part, just then realizing it.

Jarvis looked at me curiously. “What are...I don’t...” his words trailed off.

“I’ve lived here for thirteen years,” I continued since I already ripped the Band-Aid off so I might as well finish the painful job, “so you’d think that the Lhaq'temish and pack would finally accept me. But no, it’s just as bad now as it was that first day. No matter where I go, Jarvis, I’m always going to be the outsider, that strange creature who never really belongs anywhere or with anyone.”

“That isn’t true,” he weakly argued, knowing better than to counter what I said because we both knew that it was true. “We love you,” he said, wiping the tears from the corners of my eyes.

“And I love you,” I assured him. “And Mom and Dad, and Grandma and Grandpa, and Yahto and his family, the extended family...and all of those who have treated me like a person and not an outsider. I couldn’t imagine having a better family, pack and tribe, but it doesn’t make me one of you,” I said the last part on accident, something that had always been bubbling under the surface and biting at my tongue but I never lost the battle to keep the words from leaving my lips.

I suppose I could have blamed it on the wine hangover induced mental incoherency, but it wasn’t. For my entire life I had kept everything inside because I never let it get to me, worried about it or let it eat away at me. But mostly, I knew the words and my feelings would hurt those I love. It wasn’t their fault and they weren’t responsible for the way I was feeling, it was just something that I silently struggled with, so it was never worth mentioning. Hurting those I love would have hurt more than keeping everything inside, so for thirteen years I just smiled and brushed it off.

But for some reason, I couldn’t do it anymore.

Realizations are a bitch, and this one was just one of many that I was pretty damn confident would turn my world upside down and inside out.

“Where is this coming from?” Jarvis whispered. “Did that rich suckhead say something?” he growled.

I groaned, shaking my head; that was exactly why I never said anything about how I was feeling.

“No. He didn’t say anything at all,” I assured him; that was only partially a lie. Tanis hardly ever shut up, but I actually liked that about him. From what I saw of him at school the day before, he never said anything to anyone, even the other vampires. If I hadn’t known any better, I would have pegged him as being a cute, manic-depressive teenager with severe anti-social behavioral issues. But when he was around me, he apparently couldn’t shut up and I thought it was adorable and endearing.

I licked my dry lips before speaking next. “After spending time with Tanis, with a fellow outsider, it made me realize that I don’t deserve to be treated that way. Jarvis, I’m a person, a good person...a goddamn saint compared to most of the bitches in the pack and the broads on the Res. And I’ve never done anything wrong to anybody, even when I should have, and yet I’m treated like a serial killer junkie, street trash whore. Mom and Dad shouldn’t have to sacrifice, or have their positions in our society questioned, because of me. It’s total bullshit! They took in a child, a nameless orphan, and raised her as their own, loved her, and gave her the world. What’s wrong with that?” I demanded, now I was in full out hysterical bitch-mode.

Jarvis sighed and rolled off of me, then stretched out on the floor before pulling me into his arms and hugged me tight. “There’s nothing wrong with any of that,” he whispered against my hair. Jarvis wasn’t an emotional person, but my words hit him hard, and tears stained his dark cheeks. “How long have you felt this way, Sis?” he asked, his voice catching in his throat.

“A long time,” I admitted, my pale, compared to him, cheeks streaked with tears as well. “I don’t mean to upset you, Bro, but I’ve been thinking a lot lately.”

He rested his chin on the top of my head, his breathing shuddering in his chest as he struggled to compose himself. “What have you been thinking about?” he asked after a while, once he was semi-composed.

I shrugged and wiped his tears away with my thumb. “Where I came from; who I am; why I’m so different...why hadn’t anyone come looking for me? Seriously, if your child was missing, or thought lost at sea, wouldn’t you look for them?”

“Of course, but you already know the answers to most of those questions,” he said with the unmistakable sound of a smile in his voice. “You came from the Pacific,” he teased. “You washed up on shore, a little pale angel covered in seaweed. Who are you? You are Jay Dee Lightfoot, my little sister, the only daughter of Reign and Sky Lightfoot, the Princess of the Lhaq'temish, and the white fur covered point of light in a sea of dark fur. You’re different because you’re amazing.”

I snorted and rolled my eyes.

“I think someone got into the Peyote this morning,” I dryly informed him.

Jarvis ignored me, he was really good at doing that when he was trying to make a point. “Why would you want to be like everyone else?” he countered. “I have no idea why no one looked for you. I would have searched to Hell and back for you, and would still. It doesn’t matter if you’re called Jane Doe, Jay Dee, or Unknown Child Number Five. To me, to us, you’re our little pale princess and always will be, like it or not.”

My bottom lip quivered and I wiped away the tears away with the back of my hand.

“Thanks,” I sniveled.

“It’s the least I could do,” he cheerfully said. “Get dressed and I’ll make you some breakfast before taking you to school.” He got to his feet and offered me a hand up.

“Toast and fruit sounds perfect but I already have a ride to school,” I admitted, biting my bottom lip, looking at the ground. “Be nice,” I begged when he growled.

“Whatever,” he snorted and headed for the door. “Don’t take too long. I don’t know how long I can play nice with your friend when he comes over,” he hollowly warned.

I rolled my eyes and headed to the bathroom to shower and brush my teeth.

Showering certainly didn’t help to calm my nerves or relax me. I went from feeling hung-over and falling out of bed, to blubbering and complaining about life and how everyone had been hurting my feelings, and how the only person that I can relate to is a goddamn vampire, to feeling ridiculously giddy. There was a ball of butterflies in my stomach, nerves that had me doubled over more than once in the bathroom longing to throw up whatever was left in my stomach, but nothing came up.

For more than twenty minutes I stood in front of the steam-covered mirror and debated what to do with my hair, face...anything really. I never wore makeup. I was pretty sure that I owned some but I didn’t actually know where it was stashed. I never screwed around with my hair. Other than ponytails, braids...and that wasn’t only because I didn’t know what else I could do with it or extreme laziness; to Mom’s disappointment, I was the epitome of a Tom Boy.

“Screw it,” I said, releasing the handful of hair I was toying with, and looked at my reflection in the mirror. “I’m not going to pretend to be someone I’m not in order to impress someone who isn’t interested in me like that.”

The pep talk did very little to keep me from fighting the urge to double over again.

After running a brush through my hair, I threw on some clothes. I was seventy-percent sure they matched, and they smelled like freshly laundered linen so I was pretty damn sure they were clean: black fitted polo and Dickies with a black leather studded belt. I slipped my shoes on and hurried downstairs to the kitchen.

“Good morning, Daughter,” Mom coldly greeted as she refilled her cup of coffee.

Crap. She’s still mad.

“Hey,” I said with a forced smile. “Sorry about last night, I lost track of time.”

“Uh huh,” was all she said in a clipped tone.

Usually I can talk to mom…last night I would have stayed up all night telling her all about Tanis and how amazing he is and what he’s been through, but I didn’t because she wouldn’t understand. Her and Dad have been married for nearly a century, and it was love at first sight….she wouldn’t understand.

Damn it.

I nodded once without looking at her and took the plate Jarvis was offering me; never had I disappointed her before and it was more than obvious that she was disappointed in me.

Jarvis shook his head and rolled his eyes, his way of silently telling me that Mom was playing mad, and that she wasn’t as pissed as she was pretending to be.

I smiled when he winked at me. “Seriously, Mom,” I said, “it isn’t like we went on a crime spree or anything. It was just dinner and conversation.” I quickly shoved the sweetened cream cheese and strawberry covered toast in my mouth so I couldn’t answer any of the questions she might have had.

Tonight I’ll tell her all about him while I brush out her hair. That’ll make both of us happy!

“Whose jacket is this?” she asked, holding up the jacket Tanis let me borrow.

“My mouth’s full,” I mumbled, shoving more food in it.

Jarvis took the jacket from her and looked at the label, his eyes widening. He looked up at me, still wide-eyed, the color seemingly draining from his dark complexion. “Sis, this is a five-thousand-dollar jacket.”

I choked, spitting food across the kitchen.

What in the hell? Tanis lent me a jacket that cost five grand?! I’m kicking his ass. He dropped me off at work, knowing that I’m a mechanic and that grease could ruin it. What in the... that can’t be right!

“Shut the...what?” I demanded. “You can’t...who in the hell would pay five grand for a goddamn jacket?” I argued. “What is it made of? Gold?!”

Jarvis raised an eyebrow. “Res whore,” he sang and I flipped him off.

“You’re stupid,” I hissed at him, grabbing for the jacket but Jarvis pulled it away from me and slipped it on. “Seriously?” I groaned.

This could not get any worse if I tried.

“What do you think?” he asked, sashaying around the kitchen like a short-bus model on the catwalk. “Does it make my ass look fat or bring out the gold in my eyes?” he flamboyantly asked, batting his lashes at me.

It’s official: my brother was dropped on his head as a baby.

“Jarvis, stop being the Res whore you’re accusing your little sister of being,” Mom tried to say with a straight face but couldn’t and ended up roaring with laughter. “Seriously, stop it,” she choked when he started shaking his ass at her as he danced around the kitchen, using a chair to pole dance with.

“You break it...or rip it, you buy it,” I reminded him and he stopped in mid-grind and cocked an eyebrow. “Or would you rather I sleep off your debt?” I countered with a smirk, and suddenly the jacket was balled up and smacking me in the face. “That’s what I thought.”

I kissed Mom goodbye and flipped Jarvis off before heading to the door, stopping at the stairs to grab my hoodie and backpack. “I’ll see you after work, love you!” I called out as I hurried out the door; I didn’t want to risk Jarvis following and starting shit with my ride.

I hadn’t told Tanis what time to pick me up, but to my surprise he was parked in front of the house waiting.

“Hey,” I said as I climbed in the passenger seat and handed him his jacket.

Tanis forced a smile and closed his door, the look of irritation washing across his face.

What’s his problem...shit, did Jarvis follow me?

I looked around but the front door was still closed and I didn’t see my meddling brother lingering in the shadows anywhere.

“You could have kept it, Miss Jay Dee,” Tanis said, reluctantly taking the jacket from me, then tossed it in the backseat.

“A five-thousand-dollar jacket?” I scoffed and rolled my eyes causing him to shake his head. “Thanks for picking me up. I hope you weren’t waiting long.”

He smiled, a genuine one that time. “Think nothing of it and no, not long. I needed to go through the contacts in me mobile anyway. Did you know that I had a hundred and thirty-five people whom I have not talked to in a couple of decades, and whose names I had time to erase?” he teased and pulled out onto the main road. “I was not sure if you would be sozzled or knackered thus I grabbed you a cuppa...coffee. I recall you telling me how you take it.”

That’s really sweet.

“Thanks,” I whispered, not entirely sure what to think or say about that. No one other than my friends and family had bought me...actually, no one had bought me a coffee before.

“It was nothing,” Tanis assured me. “How did you sleep?” he asked.

Was he making small talk?

“I was rudely woken up by my brother,” I said with a shrug, and blew on the coffee he had handed me. “Even fell out of bed,” I informed him and he chuckled under his breath. “Then I had an emotional breakdown like a chick...made him cry, and then I cried,” I blurted out before I could stop myself. “It was a rough morning to say the least,” I whispered, looking away from him.

Tanis looked at me and his smile fell. “May I inquire as to what has you gutted?”

I shrugged as I watched the steam dance from the mouth of the white recyclable coffee cup in my hands.

“Upset,” he clarified.

“Life...I suppose that’s the best way to sum it up,” I blurted out now that he had translated from Tanis to Jay Dee for me.

He nodded. “Would you care to elaborate?” he asked softly.

Not really.

“I realized something last night,” I whispered, “and when Jarvis started flipping me shit about hanging out with vampires, I kind of snapped...which doesn’t happen often. In fact, it’s never happened before. I’ve never lost my temper, ever, so it kind of scared both of us.”

“I am so sorry, Miss Jay Dee,” he instantly apologized. “I did not mean to cause issues for you with your family. However, I have to ask, what did you realize last night?”

Again, I didn’t want to tell him, but I felt compelled to, so I told him everything I told Jarvis. And again I cried, I hadn’t realized how pissed off my little revelation was making me.

When we got to school, he put the SUV in park but we just sat there while I continued venting, but it was different talking to Tanis. Where my words and feelings caused Jarvis to cry and get upset, they caused the exact opposite reaction in Tanis: he was pissed. I wasn’t sure if he was pissed at me or at someone else, but his hands were squeezing the steering wheel so tight that his knuckles appeared as if they would break through his skin at any moment.

As each emotion-laced word spilled from my lips in a rush, it felt as if a sliver of the emotional burden I had always kept inside was being lessened. Somehow, Tanis apparently took the weight of that burden upon himself, and for the first time in years, I felt emotionally lighter...that was the only way to describe it, and I hated to admit it, but I liked it more than I should have.

When I was finished, the cuffs of my hoodie were stained with tears and my eyes were red and puffy.

“Pity party for one,” I laughed, sniveling like a little girl.

“Two,” Tanis corrected. “Pity party for two. Are you stable enough for school, Miss Jay Dee?” he asked and wiped away my latest tear with his thumb.

I nodded and shrugged at the same time; honestly, I didn’t know.

“Let us get some breakfast.”

I looked at him and forced a smile. “Okay.”