The city of Deerwood was always bustling with busy people, living busy lives. Most of the population was happy with their lives, the main reason being that Deerwood is a city for the supernatural beings that had no where else to go. It is a safe haven for all types, witches, sorcerers, werewolves, vampires, demons, etc.
However, there was someone who was not happy living there or anywhere. She is not happy with her life, nor how it had turned out so far.
Jenna Smith is a psychic with many different abilities such as: reading minds, seeing the past, present, and future, moving things with her mind, communicating with the dead, and seeing ghosts (Which is one of the abilities she had always hated).
She had been born in Chicago, Illinois but the first time she threw a tantrum and sent things flying all over the house, her parents quickly abandoned her at the local orphanage. She was then transferred to dozens of different foster homes all over the country because no one kept her for long.
Then she was dropped off at a new foster home here in Deerwood. Colleen and Derek Marsh owned the home and had four other kids living there currently. Colleen is a high ranking witch and can usually stop the kids from fighting before it could get started, she was great at domestic magic and healing magic too. Derek is a half wolf, like a werewolf but his bite doesn’t turn anyone into a werewolf. He is a tutor for all children all around Deerwood that couldn’t attend the public school. Colleen works from home making clothes and selling them online, she has a very large sewing room in the basement.
The four other kids are Jack, Lewis, Kate, and Lilly. Jack is a sixteen year old half wolf, he was the lone survivor when a pack of mutts (bad wolves) attacked his pack house. He’s always positive about everything and is at the top of his class in school.
Lewis is ten, he is a witch, but his family was slaughtered by humans when he was four and he barely survived. He lost is right leg and his right eye in the attack. He knows he will never be adopted, the only thing keeping him from breaking down was Colleen’s never ending support as a fellow witch she had helped him learn about his powers and she seemed to know what it was like to lose family.
Kate is seventeen, she will be eighteen in two weeks and plans to move into an apartment with her best friend. She is an immortal, which means she cannot die. Her mother died in labor and her father had died a couple of months before she was born. She had been a foster kid with Colleen and Derek from the beginning and she never wanted to leave while growing up, she liked it there and refused dozens of couples that had wanted to adopt her.
Lilly is seven years old and came from an abusive family. The state took her from her human parents and brought her to Deerwood after learning she is a healer. She was still learning and training so currently she could only heal minor scrapes and bruises. She is a very happy young girl.
Jenna learned all of this just minutes after entering the foster home. She normally didn’t last long in foster homes, the longest was six weeks. It had been two weeks since she moved in, sharing a room with Kate for the time being. The other foster homes had been humans that didn’t understand what she was going through, but Colleen and Derek seemed to understand and wanted to help her.
She had graduated high school two years ago and had a doctorate in Supernatural studies and a bachelors in Supernatural history. It was easy for her to pass classes, she could read incredibly fast and could remember everything she read, saw, or heard.
Now that she is done with her school career, she was starting to think about her future. Not many companies would hire a seventeen year old girl that had issues with authority. In the past she had been arrested for vandalism, theft, and joyriding. She hadn’t done anything since coming to Deerwood, but she had thought about it.
She had seen an ally in town with a large concrete wall that had nothing on it that she considered painting. She had always loved art, it seemed to be the only way she could express herself. She didn’t have money for paints so lately she had only been sketching in an old notebook.
“Time for school!” Colleen yelled from the kitchen.
Jenna hadn’t known that much time had passed already. She had been sketching in her notebook all night in the hall closet with a battery powered lantern for light that she had found among the things in the closet. She didn’t have school so she stayed put, not wanting to get in the way.
Kate, Lilly, and Jack ran down the stairs, Lewis’s room is on the main floor. Derek got them out to his car and drove them to school.
Jenna focused on her sketch again, until she heard Colleen come upstairs, she knocked on the closet door.
Jenna quickly shut her notebook and then reached up and opened the door.
“Hey,” Colleen gave her a motherly smile, “We missed you at breakfast,” she crouched down, and offered Jenna the plate that had a large gooey cinnamon bun on it.
Jenna accepted the plate, “Thanks.”
“You’re welcome,” she straightened, “If you want to get out of the house, I’m going to head out in a bit. I need to pick up some groceries and sewing supplies.”
Jenna glanced at Colleen, she didn’t have to read the woman’s mind to know that she was trying to get her to open up and talk to her.
“Derek gave me a little extra money to get you a welcome gift,” Colleen grinned, “You can pick out something you like.”
She was tempted…very tempted, “Okay, I need to shower first.”
“Alright, just come down to the kitchen when you’re ready. I have to clean up from breakfast,” Colleen said and then left Jenna alone again.
Jenna ate the cinnamon bun then stashed her notebook under a tote in the closet. She went to her room and got clean clothes then went to the bathroom to shower and get ready.
She was in the kitchen twenty minutes later with her hair up in a ponytail, wearing jeans and a baggy sweater that had a jack-o-lantern on it. Halloween was one of her favorite human holidays and it was coming up in four weeks.
Colleen had finished the cleaning with her powers then grabbed her purse and keys and they went out to her car in the driveway.
“Is there anywhere you want to go in particular?” Colleen asked, “I just need to go to the fabric store and grocery store.”
Jenna considered her answer, she really wanted some paints and brushes, but did she really want to let these people know? If they bought her paints and the next day she painted the wall in town she’d seen they would know it was her.
“It’s alright, there’s no rush,” Colleen said when Jenna didn’t answer, “If you see a store you want to go in, just let me know, alright?”
Jenna gave a nod, “Okay.”
“We haven’t really had a chance to talk since you moved in,” Colleen said wanting to keep the conversation going, “Do you like it with us so far?”
Jenna shrugged in answer.
“I hope Kate is being nice to you, she doesn’t make friends easy, but in a couple of weeks you’ll have the room to yourself,” Colleen said, “Are the kids making you feel at home?”
Jenna shrugged again, “I guess so.” She was thinking about how she wanted to arrange the room once she was alone. She wondered if she could get away with painting her art on the walls.
“Is there anything special you like to eat?” Colleen asked, “I try to make different meals that the kids like.”
“I’m not a picky eater,” Jenna mumbled looking out her window at the stores they were passing.
Colleen wanted to find a topic that Jenna would actually talk about, “I’ve been meaning to ask, is there a reason why you hide in the hall closet?”
Jenna did a quick read on Colleen’s thoughts and history with her mind reading ability and understood that she was just worried that Jenna was struggling with something so she decided to ease her mind, “There’s no reason, I just didn’t want to keep Kate up all night.”
“Oh,” Colleen said, “But why the closet?”
Jenna sighed, she hadn’t wanted to get into the details of it.
“Sorry to pry, Jenna,” Colleen said gently, “We’re just worried that something might be upsetting you.”
“There’s nothing upsetting me, so don’t worry,” Jenna said a bit curt so Colleen would drop it.
Colleen looked defeated, “Alright, but if there is anything on your mind or bothering you, just know you can always talk to me or Derek. We’re here to help you with anything.”
Jenna didn’t respond, she had heard that same thing from all of her past foster homes and they ditched her at the first sign of trouble.
The rest of the drive was quiet. They stopped at the fabric store first, Colleen needed to stock up on all sorts of fabric and sewing supplies.
Jenna wandered the aisles of different fabrics, she had never really cared about sewing or fashion. She grimaced when she found herself in an aisle of seasonal fabrics that were mostly winter and Christmas designs. She hated Christmas with a passion.
She rushed to the next aisle which seemed to have miscellaneous designs, some were abstract, some just didn’t fit in with the other aisles. It was in this aisle that she actually stopped and looked at two fabrics that caught her eye. The first was a very soft felt blanket type of fabric with jack-o-lanterns, black cats, and ghosts on it. The second was the same design but on a cotton fabric.
Both fabrics were on clearance since supernaturals did not celebrate Halloween in the slightest. Jenna wondered if it would be too much to ask Colleen to buy these fabrics and make her something out of them. The felt would make a nice blanket.
As if on cue, Colleen came to her with a cart full of things, “Find something you like?”
“No!” Jenna jumped away from the fabrics automatically.
Colleen tried not to laugh at the teenager’s reaction, “Alright, well, I’m going to pay for my things.”
“Can I wait in the car?” Jenna asked.
“Sure,” Colleen pressed the button that unlocked the car, “I’ll be out in a few minutes.”
Jenna hurried out of the store, feeling stupid for even thinking that she should ask Colleen for anything or wanting something made by her. It was too personal for her taste. She refused to get too attached to these people because it would just be harder when she screwed up and was sent away.
Colleen waited until Jenna was out of the store before picking up the two Halloween style fabrics. She had seen them sitting there for years without anyone wanting them, but she knew Jenna loved all things that had to do with Halloween. She put the fabrics in her cart and headed for the checkout. While the clerk rang up her things, she sent a text to Derek.
I think I just found a way to make Jenna feel more at home with us.
A minute passed before his reply came, Great! What’s the plan?
Colleen smiled as she tapped in her reply, This year we’re going to celebrate Halloween.
Okay, how is Halloween celebrated anyway? Derek asked.
I’ll look it up later. I think it will really help her open up with us. I’ve got to go, I’m out shopping with her right now.
Okay, see you later, babe!
Colleen paid for her things and carried everything out to the car and put it all in the trunk so Jenna wouldn’t see the fabrics. Before Jenna had come to them, she learned a spell to block her mind from being read and she put up the blocker now so Jenna wouldn’t know what she had planned.
They were driving towards the grocery store when Jenna spotted an art supply shop and without thinking she blurted out, “Can we go there?”
Colleen parked in front of the shop, “So, you’re an artist?”
Jenna didn’t respond and got out of the car and darted into the art shop. She spotted the paints and headed for them.
Colleen hadn’t seen Jenna so excited before, her green eyes were bright and she awed over some of the different colors. She went to Jenna’s side, “Remember you can pick out something.”
Now that she was in the store she couldn’t suppress her urge to want every color and every brush in the shop. She knew there was a budget so she focused her attention on the cheaper supplies. Doing the math in her head, her best deal would be to get large containers of the primary colors and still get a decent set of brushes all for under twenty dollars.
She looked at Colleen, “What’s my price limit?”
“As long as you can keep it under forty dollars, you can have anything,” Colleen said while flipping through an art magazine she’d found.
That just blew Jenna’s mind, she could get double the supplies or different colors or better brushes if she wanted, this changed everything. She had never had anyone spend more than twenty on her before.
Colleen smiled to herself and waited patiently while Jenna loaded up a basket with paints, brushes, a paint pallet, and was then eyeing some of the clearance supplies. She went to the excited teen looking at the easel on clearance, but it would put her over budget, “You know, I bet Derek can make you an easel in his workshop in the garage.”
Jenna had thought about that too, but she didn’t want to ask for it. She then checked the price on a thick roll of canvas, it was on clearance because the edges were yellowed from sitting too long in the shop.
Colleen picked up the canvas in her arms and winked at Jenna, “I won’t tell anyone we went a few dollars over.”
Jenna actually felt her lips curve in a kind of shy smile.
“Ready?” Colleen asked.
Jenna nodded and trotted to the checkout behind Colleen.
The woman behind the counter smiled at Colleen, “I haven’t seen you in ages, Colleen. How’s everything going?”
Colleen set the roll of canvas on the counter, “Great, we’ll probably see each other more often,” she gestured to Jenna, “This is Jenna, she just moved in with us a couple of weeks ago.”
The woman gave Jenna a kind smile, “It’s nice to meet another artist. I’m more of a sculptor myself though. I’m Sandy Simmons.”
“Nice to meet you,” Jenna said to be polite, she got all of Sandy’s information in a matter of minutes by delving into the woman’s mind.
Sandy is a shape shifter, married to Henry Simmons for sixty four years, he is a conjurer. They have four daughters, Jessica, Marla, Kit, and Penny. Jessica and Marla are both married and live in town. Kit and Penny are both in college and come home on breaks. They also have a son, Lupin, named after his grandfather. Lupin is the youngest of their children at seventeen years old. He is going through a rebellious phase currently. He will graduate from high school this year, works in the shop after school, and is currently grounded for another three weeks due to his most recent escapade when he stole his father’s credit card and used it to buy a motorcycle.
“Is this your first time living in Deerwood, Jenna?” Sandy asked.
“I thought so,” she smiled and gave her a wink, “I’ll give you a bit of a discount today to welcome you. Stop by any time.”
“Thank you,” Jenna said she had never felt so welcome before and she knew Sandy was being sincere too.
The discount brought their total to just under forty dollars. Colleen paid, “Thanks, Sandy. We’ll see you again.”
“Anytime,” Sandy had their purchases bagged and ready to go, “Jenna, I’d be happy to see some of your work sometime,” she gestured to the wall behind her, there were shelves of sculptures and drawings and paintings on the walls, “I like to help out young artists by selling their best works in my shop.”
Jenna hadn’t even considered that she could make money with her art work, “I’ll do that, thanks.”
Colleen and Jenna were halfway to the door when two police officers came into the shop with a teenage boy that had a black eye and a split lip.
“Lupin!” Sandy ran over, “What have you done this time?!”
“He was in a fight at the high school,” the larger officer said, “According to his teacher, he changed into the form of Gwen Thompson…ahem, naked, and was taunting Gwen’s ex-boyfriend provocatively.”
Jenna burst into giggles and rushed Colleen out of the shop.
Colleen shook her head when they got in the car, their purchases in the back seat, “That boy needs to get his act together. This behavior is going to ruin his chances at a good career.”
Jenna was grinning, “Yeah, but it’s pretty funny.”
Colleen rolled her eyes, “Yes, but we shouldn’t encourage that behavior, especially when he’s walking a fine line as it is. I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets expelled for that stunt.”
They headed for the grocery store…
Lupin had been working in the shop with his mother since coming home. He had been expelled from school, but said he could still earn his diploma through online classes or tutoring. His grades were always above average so it would be easy to get his diploma online, but his mother was going to discuss what they could afford because online classes weren’t cheap.
He was now sitting in the break room in the shop with an ice pack on his bruised eye and ate a sandwich his mom made him for lunch today.
She was furious with him and he expected his father would be even more so when he got home from work in a few hours. Lupin felt his actions were justified, but his mother didn’t see it that way.
Joel Weatherspoon is a douche bag, he’s Gwen’s most recent ex and she’s worse than Joel. Lupin had heard Joel telling the other boys in class that he broke up with Gwen because she wouldn’t put out. It was well known that Gwen would fuck any guy that had a hard on.
Lupin changed into a naked Gwen to prove a point, not to defend Gwen in the slightest, but to prove that Joel couldn’t get a hard on for her even though she was the hottest girl in school. He would bet anything that rumors were already spreading that Joel is gay, which he is, but he hadn’t told anyone except his closest friends. Lupin only found out because he could access some memories from the people he changed into.
He put the incident out of his mind and closed his eyes for a few minutes. His mind wandered to when he was brought into the shop, the girl that had laughed at what he’d done. A smile curved his lips as he pictured her in his mind.
He hadn’t seen her around before, but she had been with Colleen Marsh, so he assumed the girl was a new foster kid. She was cute, he thought. She had brown hair in a ponytail, a natural cuteness about her face, and green eyes that seemed to tell him that she knew more than anyone gave her credit for.
He hoped to bump into her again, she seemed like the type of person he could get along with, which was a rarity in itself.
“Lupin,” his mother opened the break room door, “I need you to get some supplies from the stock room for a customer.”
Lupin sighed, put the ice pack back in the freezer, then he followed his mother out of the break room. She gave him a list of what the customer needed and he went to the stock room and got it all…
Colleen made spaghetti for dinner tonight. Earlier she had picked up the kids from school and helped them with homework. Jenna had been in the garage all afternoon. Every time Colleen went to check on her, Jenna wouldn’t let her inside to see what she was working on, so she kept out of the garage for now, just happy that Jenna was having fun.
Derek had come home ten minutes before dinner was served at the dinning room table, everyone was there except Jenna.
“I’ll get her,” Derek said while Colleen was getting drinks for everyone. He went to the garage, Colleen had kept him posted on what they had done today. He knocked on the locked side door to the garage, there were two windows that were both open and he could hear a radio playing inside.
Jenna opened the door partially and looked up at Derek.
“Dinner’s on the table,” he said, “You can come back out after you eat something.”
Jenna sighed, “Fine,” she turned off the radio and followed Derek into the house. She went to wash up in the main floor bathroom first then joined everyone at the table.
“So,” Derek started the conversation, “How was everyone’s day?”
“One of the boys in the classroom next to mine got hauled off in handcuffs by the police,” Kate said, “People are saying he’s a shape shifter that turned into a naked girl in the middle of class.”
“It was Lupin Simmons,” Colleen confirmed, “We were at his mother’s art store when he was brought in.”
“What were you doing there?” Jack asked casually.
“Jenna wanted to go in,” Colleen said, “Which reminds me, all of you need to stay out of the garage. Jenna’s working on a project in there.”
“An art project?” Kate said looking at Jenna, “What kind?”
Jenna kept her head down, “A painting.”
“Don’t ask about it,” Colleen said, “She told me she would show us when it’s finished.”
“Cool,” Lilly smiled, “I like painting too, can I help?”
“Lilly, what did I say? Jenna wants to work alone on it, that’s why I set her up in the garage,” Colleen said.
“Okay,” Lilly looked put out.
Jenna was doing a painting to put on the living room wall where nothing was hanging, it was a large blank wall right now so she had plenty of space to work with. She thought about the design she had been doing and got an idea, “Actually…that’s not a bad idea,” she said to herself.
Everyone was looking at her.
Jenna blinked, realizing she had said it aloud, “Excuse me,” she practically ran from the dinning room and back to the garage, her plate of food untouched.
Derek was about to go get her, but Colleen stopped him with a hand on his arm, “Leave her to it.”
“So, what did you learn about her today?” Jack asked Colleen.
“Not much,” Colleen sighed, “But I think she just needs time. One thing we’ve decided is to surprise her by celebrating Halloween this year.”
“No one celebrates Halloween, it’s a human holiday,” Kate complained.
“So is Christmas, but we celebrate that,” Derek argued, “So, we have done some research and we’ll need everyone’s help to get it right.”
“Fine,” Kate sighed.
Jack, Lewis, and Lilly agreed to help too.
Jenna had the radio on in the garage and was lost in her painting. She had gotten an idea when Lilly said she wanted to help, she was going to incorporate each of them into the painting. She was still debating on if she should paint them into it or have them do a hand print or something else, but she felt it would turn out great with that added personal touch to it.
She didn’t stop working until someone knocked on the garage door, it was already dark outside. She turned off the radio and saw Colleen was there, she had brought her a bottle of water and reheated her dinner that she had left behind.
“I know you’re busy, but you really should eat something,” Colleen said.
“I will, thanks,” she accepted the food and water, “Um, I saw some spray paints on a shelf, are those needed for something?”
Colleen shook her head, “No, most of those are from when Derek and I first moved in and were fixing up the house. You can help yourself to them if there’s anything left in them.”
“Thanks,” Jenna grinned, “And thanks for everything today too.”
“No problem,” Colleen said, “The kids and Derek are going to bed, if you need anything I’ll be in the basement working.”
“Okay,” Jenna said and waited until Colleen was heading back to the house before closing the door and went to a work table. She pulled up an old stool and sat down to quickly eat her dinner. When she was finished she decided to take a break from the painting and went to check out the different spray paints on the shelves.
She remembered that blank wall in town and was dying to put up a mural on it, she had plenty of ideas with the colors of spray paint that were there. She shook the cans, most were still pretty full and usable. There were only three that she tossed in the trashcan by the work bench.
She was very tempted, but what if she got caught? Would Colleen and Derek kick her out? Would they take back the paints and brushes they got her?
Although, this would tell her if they were sincere or not when they said they would help her with anything. She debated with herself for over half an hour before making up her mind.
She crept inside the house, grabbed her backpack from the downstairs closet and her black jacket that had her gloves in the pockets. She went back to the garage, packed up all of the spray paint in the back pack then shut off the garage light and locked it before sneaking off to where she had seen the wall.
When she made it there, she was surprised it wasn’t that far from the art shop. She did a quick scout of the area to make sure no one was around to catch her, then she slipped the back pack off her shoulders and put on her gloves.
Using her powers, she was able to cover the entire wall with her artwork in under an hour. When she was finished, she stepped back and looked it over. It was easily her best work yet.
“Psst! Hide! A patrol car is coming this way,” a male voice hissed from somewhere in the dark alleyway.
Jenna ducked behind a couple of trashcans and watched through a gap between them as a police car cruised right past the ally, not even looking at the wall she had just painted. She let out her breath and stood up then looked around for the source of the male voice.
“Who’s there?” she said keeping her voice low.
The stray cat that had been wandering around suddenly changed into Lupin Simmons, he gave a bow, “Thank you, no applause is necessary,” he smirked at her, “I’ve been sneaking around dodging the cops in this city more than you have. Next time you throw up your work you should bring a spotter.”
“I suppose you want some sort of hush money now?” she eyed him skeptically.
He chuckled, “Not at all,” he looked at the wall she’d painted, “You’re really good. We get a lot of paintings coming and going at mom’s shop and this is at least ten times better than anything I’ve seen.”
“Oh yeah?” she questioned, “So, something like this,” she gestured at the wall, “As a canvas would sell for how much in your shop?”
He shrugged, “Mom makes the prices and even takes bids on exceptionally good works. I’ve seen some sell for less than twenty dollars, but I’ve also seen them sell for over ten thousand. I’d say something like this in a decent size could go for no less than five hundred dollars.”
“Seriously?” she said.
He nodded, “Yep,” he looked her over, “So, do you like watching supernatural fights?”
She shrugged, “Like the stuff on TV?”
He shook his head, “No, not the fake fighting. I mean real live fighting between two equally powerful supernaturals.”
“I’ve never seen a fight like that before, why?” she asked.
“I was heading to a secret place where supernaturals come to train and fight each other,” he explained, “You seem pretty cool, want to come with me?”
“As long as I’m back before five,” she said, “That’s when everyone starts waking up at the house.”
He nodded, “No worries, I’ll get you back in time,” he winked at her then offered his hand.
She took it, grabbing her backpack with the other.
Before they left the ally, he took out his smartphone and took a picture of the wall. They walked through the city until they came to an abandoned warehouse that had little else around it.
“It’s soundproofed with the best spells and charms,” Lupin said before pushing a button on the door.
A pair of large angry eyes glared at them from a slot that opened up in the door.
“Benny, it’s me,” Lupin said, “I brought a date, don’t worry, she’s cool.”
The slot closed and the door swung open, a huge man was there and let them inside the dark room he was in. After he closed the door and locked it, Benny opened the door on the other side of the room and let Lupin and Jenna into the noisy warehouse.
There were six boxing rings each with a fight going on in them. There was a DJ playing loud music, a dance floor, and a crowd of supernaturals watching the fights or dancing.
Lupin, still holding her hand, tugged her closer to one of the fights that was between a sorcerer and a witch. They were hitting each other with spells and fists.
The witch hit the floor and the match was over, new opponents were brought in for another match.
Jenna followed Lupin as he tugged her through the crowd, she liked this place, not because of the music or the fighting, but because of the atmosphere of the place, it was full of emotion from everyone there.
They stopped at the bar in the far corner.
Lupin spoke in her ear so she could hear him, “What do you want to drink? My treat.”
“Just water,” she said.
“You sure?” he said, “They won’t ask your age here. I’m getting a beer.”
She shook her head, “I don’t like beer.”
He grinned and gave a soft chuckle, “What do you like?”
“Whiskey and soda,” she said.
“Where have you been all my life?” he said teasingly in her ear then put in their drink order. He paid the guy at the bar when he got the drinks, then he guided her away from the crowd, “I never got your name.”
“Jenna,” she said.
“I’m Lupin,” he said, “You already know I’m a shape shifter,” he took a drink of his beer, “What are you?”
“Psychic,” she answered.
“Really? So you can read minds and stuff, right?” he said.
She nodded, “Yeah, but it’s hard to hear anyone’s minds in this place.”
He grinned, “That’s probably a good thing, most of the people hear are not thinking good things.”
“So, have you been in a fight like that?” she gestured to the nearest ring that had a werewolf and a vampire in it.
He shrugged, “A few times,” he was standing very close to her, partly because they needed to be able to hear each other, but mostly because he wanted to get in her pants, “Where are you from anyway?”
“I was born in Chicago, Illinois,” she said, “But I’ve been in foster homes all over the country ever since I was two years old.”
“Human parents?” he guessed.
She nodded, “Yeah.”
“Why’d you never get adopted?” he asked.
“Adults don’t want a kid that’s smarter than they are when that kid is not even in school,” she shrugged, “I’ve been out of high school and college for a while now.”
“Miss Smartypants bragging about her brain, and here I am an expelled high school student,” he moved to speak seductively in her ear, “Do I even have a chance with you?”
She looked up into his blue eyes, “Who knows?”
He grinned, “Is that a yes?”
“It’s a maybe,” she said, rolling her eyes at him. She took a drink, it was more whiskey than soda, but didn’t mind. It wasn’t her first time drinking and it wouldn’t be the last.
“I’m technically grounded for the next six months, but Derek Marsh is going to be tutoring me so I get my high school diploma. Any chance you might tag along with him so I can see you again during the daytime?” He winked.
She laughed, “I doubt it, he’s really busy. I don’t want to get in the way of his work.”
“Well, maybe I could convince you to sneak into my room to help me study,” he had his hand resting comfortably on her hip.
“Or, here’s a random thought,” she smirked, “You could behave yourself, get your diploma, and after serving your time then you could ask me on a date where we’re not breaking any laws.”
“We’re not breaking any laws right now,” he said.
“If I’m not mistaken, we’re both underage drinking right now and we’re in an illegal warehouse fighting ring,” she said.
Jenna loved his laugh, the way his blue eyes smiled at her.
“So you only date well behaved guys?” he questioned.
“No, but it’ll get your parents off your back if they think you’re cleaning up your act,” she explained.
“Hmmm,” he thought about that and grinned, “That’s a good idea, Miss Smartypants.”
She rolled her eyes and took another drink. She glanced at the fights going on and winced when the vampire slammed the werewolf into the ceiling and then let him fall. Jenna saw the werewolf was unconscious and no one was going to stop him from hitting the concrete floor, from that height it wouldn’t kill him, but it would put him in the hospital for several months.
Without thinking, Jenna ran forward and used her power to slow the werewolf’s fall and was able to stop him a few feet from the concrete then she carefully set him down.
The crowd was booing her, they had wanted to see the werewolf get hurt badly.
“Time to run!” Lupin grabbed her arm and ran with her to the nearest exit before the crowd could do any harm to her, “Are you crazy?!” Lupin was still running with her through the dark streets, “They were going to kill you!”
“Just because I saved that werewolf from getting hurt?” Jenna asked.
“Why do you think most of those idiots go there? For the carnage!” Lupin yanked her behind a dumpster and listened to be sure they weren’t being followed. After a few minutes, he relaxed and walked with her through the city.
“Is that why you go there?” she asked.
“No,” he muttered, “Believe it or not, I go there for actual training, not mindless violence.”
They ditched their drinks in a garbage can they were passing and continued on their way.
Jenna dove into his mind to find out who this guy really was.
Lupin had been bullied growing up, but he was too ashamed to tell his parents about it. Instead, he trained every day and eventually the bullies stopped beating him up because he was strong enough to fight back. Every time he tried to do something good it would go wrong and he would get punished. Like the time he stopped a group of bullies from picking on a couple of younger students, he ended up getting beat up and was suspended from school. Eventually, he stopped trying to be the good guy, he stopped trying at everything because he was always seen as the bad kid.
Jenna decided to give him a chance, “I’m sorry.”
“Forget it,” he said.
“Thanks for saving me back there,” she said, “You’re a nice guy after all,” she said teasing, “Not just some weird pervert who changes into naked chicks.”
He smirked at her, “Is that what you thought of me?”
She shrugged, “Maybe.”
“Well, I’m not,” he admitted, “I mean, I can be a pervert sometimes, but I don’t run around in naked chick form.”
That made her laugh.
“You know, since you’re not in school or anything,” he ran his free hand through his hair, “My mom’s been looking for help in the shop. I do what I can, but I think you’d be perfect for the job.”
“Hmmm,” she thought about it, “Would I get an employee discount on supplies?”
He chuckled, “I’d have to ask about that.”
They passed the alley where her painting was on the wall and she glanced back at it with a smile, she hadn’t thought tonight would turn out this way.
“So,” he paused a moment, “Will I get to see you again?”
“Maybe,” she said, “Are you going to behave?”
“Maybe,” he winked at her, “I might be persuaded to.”
“How so?” she asked, wondering what he had planned.
“Well, maybe if there was a certain someone who came to visit me in solitary confinement,” he joked, “I might behave for that certain someone if it meant I could see that person more often.”
Jenna was glad it was dark out because she was blushing, “I’ll see what I can do. If anyone finds out I did the wall then I might be grounded.”
“Don’t worry, if anyone asks, I’ll take the blame,” he said, “I can’t let a pretty girl like you do time for something amazing like that.”
“I don’t know, I’m not good at lying,” she admitted.
“Don’t worry, they’ll go easy on you,” he said, “Just give them puppy eyes.”
She shook her head at him.
He grinned at her and was about to ask for her phone number when someone was shouting Jenna’s name. They looked and saw it was Colleen and Derek, they must have been looking for Jenna this whole time.
The couple ran to them.
“Where have you been? We’ve been so worried!” Colleen hugged her, “Why do you smell like alcohol?”
Jenna was about to explain, but was cut off.
“Were you running away?” Derek asked seeing the backpack.
“No, I…” she felt bad for making them worry, “I’m sorry, I wasn’t running away, there was just something I had to do.”
“In the middle of the night?” Derek frowned at Lupin, “And why are you with her?”
“It’s not his fault,” Jenna defended him, “He actually saved my life tonight and walked me home.”
Colleen took a deep breath, “Let’s go inside and talk so we don’t disturb the neighbors, come on you too Lupin. I want the whole story.”
They went into the house and sat at the dinning room table.
“Start explaining,” Derek was frowning at the pair of teens.
Jenna opened the backpack and showed them the spray paints, “These were in the garage, Colleen said that I could use them,” she kept her head down, “I’m sorry, I have this bad habit of painting on blank walls I find. I’ve done it in every city I’ve ever been in. I just can’t help it,” she stopped there.
Lupin took out his phone and pulled up the picture of her wall and showed it to Colleen and Derek, “That’s what she put up tonight.”
“So you encouraged her to do it?” Derek muttered.
“No, I didn’t see him until after I was done. He caught me and warned me that a patrol car was coming,” Jenna explained, “After that we left.”
“That doesn’t explain why you smell like alcohol,” Colleen was clearly angry.
“That’s my fault,” Lupin said, “I invited her to a place some of us train at. Someone there was serving up drinks and accidentally gave her a mixed drink instead of just a regular soda.”
“Okay, so how exactly did he save your life?” Derek asked.
Jenna explained, “We watched some of them training, one pair was a vampire and a werewolf. The vampire was going to drop the werewolf from about fifty feet, it would have really badly hurt him, so I used my power to stop him and then put him down. Then some of the people there got angry that I stopped him and if Lupin hadn’t gotten me out there when he did…” she trailed off from there.
“I see,” Derek looked at his wife, “We need to talk about your punishment. Go shower then go to bed, understand?”
“Yes, sir,” Jenna stood.
Lupin stood too and caught her arm to stop her, “Mr. and Mrs. Marsh, I know my opinion means very little here seeing as how my track record is against me, but Jenna’s a good person. I’m very sorry for taking her there, it won’t happen again.”
“It had better not,” Derek got up, “I believe you are grounded anyway, you shouldn’t be out this late at night.”
Lupin shrugged, “My parents stopped caring about me years ago. I’m just a lost cause to them,” he felt a pang in his heart as he admitted that, “Anyway, I’ll be going now. Sorry again,” he looked at Jenna, “You don’t have to worry about me trying to corrupt you. You’re too good for the likes of me,” then he turned his back on her and Derek showed him to the door.
“Go upstairs,” Colleen said, “We’ll talk in the morning.”
Jenna nodded and trudged up to the bedroom, Kate was awake, sitting on her bed.
“Are you alright?” Kate asked.
Jenna nodded, grabbed a set of pajamas, then she went to the bathroom and showered and cleaned herself up…
Lupin took his time walking home. A deep sadness had overcome him, he swore to himself that he could not be with Jenna until he was a man she deserved. That could take months or years, but she deserved so much better and he wanted to be the man she deserved.
He made a list in his head of what he would have to do. First, he would have to change his attitude and have a more positive outlook on life. Second, he would have to take his tutoring seriously so he could not only become smarter, but also have a better image in Derek’s eyes of who he would become one day.
He continued with his list even as he climbed back inside his bedroom window. He listened at his bedroom door to make sure no one was awake then he went to the bathroom in the hall and showered and changed for bed.
He looked himself in the mirror and promised himself that he would become a better person…