"...so, that wasn't her father after all?" Jane asked Mack over a mouthful of cheese and pepperoni.
"Yeah, he's some uncle of hers. He's taken care of there home ever since Bearhunter 'left for Hollywood'. He cooks and cleans for them, and he acts like she and Brian are prize poodles or something. He was actually around the night of the party, and didn't lift a finger to stop her."
"Whoa. And I thought the Lanes were easygoing." This was Daria, who was sitting next to Jane. The two of them had been pumping Mack for information for over an hour, and he'd reluctantly answered any questions he didn't think were a risk to the Prewitt Hill Sept.
"He's the exception. Her dad's not around much, and Ashley-Amber doesn't give a damn - she's a trophy wife and knows it, it was her punishment for... uh, forget I said that, will you? Anyway, once the school year ends Brittany and Brian both will be sent to the sept's territory to learn about history, traditions, fighting, things like that."
"How's Kevin going to take that, I wonder?"
"Not half as badly when he finds out that he can't marry her. Or at least..." he catchs himself again, then sighs resignedly. "Oh, what the hell, it can't hurt for you to know. The Garou Nation has been dying out for the past several generations. It sort of the duty of any Garou to mate with kinfolk to insure that the line doesn't die out, right? Well, that's always been true with the Silver Fangs, they're the ruling tribe and they always have arranged marriages, or at least, uh, arranged mating. In a few years Bearhunter is going to literally order her to have some guy's children, no matter what else happens."
"You know, this is almost enough to make me feels sorry for her," said Daria. After a pause, she added, "On second thought, I can't think of a more appropriate fate for her."
"Its no joke, OK? Why do you think her mom spends all her time hiding out in some forest? That kind of thing gets to you sooner or later."
"There are a lot of things I wouldn't mind seeing get to her someday, piped in Jane, as she laid down a few dollars, "I've got this covered."
I'll bet. I saw that drawing of a wallet in the women's room just now. Was that supposed to be Upchuck's face on the license? Daria added silently.
It's not like he's gonna miss it, is he?
I guess not, Daria thought. Charles Ruttheimer, III, Esq., had more than enough cash on hand to make himself a real nuisance with it. Jane's subtle bit of larceny was a suitable revenge.
"OK, so she's gonna be off in th woods somewhere this summer, and until then you've got to be her guardian angel, huh?"
"Me and Mr. DiMartino. He's not too happy about it, as you can guess."
Oh, no? I would think he'd be thrilled to have the opportunity. Now ha can be as unreasonable to her as he wants."
"How's that different from..." Daria looks up, and continues, "Uh, hi, Jodie. I thought you'd be home studying."
"Yeah, well, I just needed some fresh air. My Dad's home early, and his constant 'encouragement' was making it hard to work. So what are you guys up to?"
"Oh, just planning a surpirse birthday party for you, you know," Jane smirked, "Oopsie! I guess you know now."
"Very funny. My birthday was two months ago."
"Uh, that was the surprise part?", Daria added lamely.
"OK, if you don't want to talk, don't. I really need to get to studying anyway."
This was a total disaster! he thought as he raced out the back. How could one lupine bitch and an ordinary mortal do so much damage?
"Get out of my way!" he screamed, pushing aside a pair of teenage girls. He rushed past them and...
Suddenly, they were both right in fornt of him again. "How 'bout we get back in your way?" said the one in the green jacket.
Colmer stopped short. His mind was racing: was he seeing things? Even the fastest Kindred couldn't move like that. Rumors of True Brujah stopping time, and of the tricks of the Tremere, and of the lupine's reputed powers, all crowded in his head. What was he facing?
It wouldn't matter. He locked eyes on the black-haired girl, commanding her, "Leave here!"
"You don't get it. Were not going anywhere. And neither are you."
Stunned, he watched as the girl pulled out a large...could it really be a picture frame?... from behind her, seemingly out of nothing. To his astonishment, she swung the frame straight at him, as if she was trying to hit him with the canvas itself.
With a horrible cry, Colmer disappeared into the frame.
"So," said Jane, as she tilted the picture back up to show the frozen vampire's face, "think its good enough for my first gallery exhibit?"
"Not bad," replied Daria, "But a little too life-like."
A bloodstained Mack staggered out into the alley. Holding himself up against the wall, he took several deep breaths and said, "Man, am I glad I called you two."
"Your lucky I've been here before. I had to draw the alleyway from memory."
Just then Brittany popped out. "Where did Corners go? Oh, no, he must have gotten away!" Then she noticed Daria and Jane. "What are you doing here?"
"Oh, just painting a portrait," Jane said, holding the trapped Colmer up.
"Wow. It's really life-like, too."
"Uh, yeah. And she drew it all in the five seconds it took for him to run past."
"Don't worry about it, Brittany," Mack finally said, "Jane took care of Colmers for us."
"THANKS! You're real friends, you know that?"
Remember, Jane, helping them was your idea.
Remind me not to next time she retorted, then said aloud, "Well, that takes care of that. Anyone want to go watch the sunrise?"