Note: Before reading this, you must read "The Vampire's Half Moon" and "Branded" in that order.
Crossing the Line
"Do you honestly think I'm so stupid that I wouldn't kill you? Honestly?"
"We are very disappointed in you, Alex," Mom said, placing my report card on the dining room table. "A 'D' in English? That used to be your best subject!"
Before I found out about Ty and met Zane. "Mom, Dad, I'm really sorry. I just--" stifling a yawn "--am so busy." Both my voice and my argument was feeble.
"Busy with what?" Dad gave me a suspicious look. "If this has something to do with boy problems, quite frankly, that doesn't count. Ty is all right, but that one guy you've been hanging out with lately--"
"Zane is a nice boy!" Mom said, defending my friend before I could. "Besides, he's a friend of Natalie's, and you know how she is."
I held back the urge to roll my eyes. Zane is a nice boy!? Since when? Oh, well, he wasn't bad either. Plus, whenever I thought of him, I kind of got the urge to sigh... "I'm really sorry about all this, but none of it's Zane's fault. It's my own."
It was best not to mention this to Zane, though, as he would instantly blame himself. You see, I'd lately been falling asleep in class lately because of the lack of rest I was getting. Why was I not getting rest.
There are way too many reasons.
"However," Mom began slowly. "I think that you've been hanging around with your friends a bit too much lately. They're a distraction, and I think you should spend some time at home for a while."
"So... I'm grounded." Miserably, I began to flip through my report card. Lately, grades hadn't been a big concern of mine. A much bigger concern was staying alive.
"Yes. One week this time, but it will grow if your grades aren't pulled up."
I gave a long sigh, then stood and pushed my seat back towards the table. "I'm sorry, OK? Really sorry." My tone was blank.
As soon as I entered my room, I found Zane at my window. (I'd taken the hint and started locking it, just like he told me to.) Smirking, I locked my own door as well and let him in. "Knight in shining armor."
Gracefully, he leaped inside my room and smiled angelically. "Yes, that would be me. The vampire disguised as a knight. How's that?"
"Depends." Placing my hands behind his neck, I stepped closer to him. "Will you help a girl escape her punishment?"
To my surprise, Zane stepped uneasily away from me, avoiding my eyes. "Of course I will. You know I can't resist a damsel in distress. Besides, I also owe this damsel for saving me from Mark Lukas." He rolled his eyes.
I watched him, confused. He was acting differently than I'd expected. Then again, I guess his distance could be expected after our last conversation... He was probably confused by the way I was acting normal. Confused and... hurt, maybe?
Who could blame Zane for being hurt? Who could blame Ty for being hurt? Both of them happened to love me, and I'd said nothing back. Well, I'd told Ty I loved him, but that was a mistake. Because I myself was much too confused to make a real decision yet.
"You owe me nothing," I assured him. "I was paying off one of the many debts I owed you. But..."
"I'm on it." As quickly as he'd come, Zane was out the window.
Lying down on my bed, I listened to him knock on the door, listened to my mom laughingly let him in. It was mildly disturbing, the way Zane flirted with my mother to get what he wanted. But hey, you do what you have to do.
He was totally kissing up, and it was totally working—on her. Clamping my hands over my ears, I hoped that my dad could be bought off with the "yes sirs" and "no sirs". I wondered what Zane was suggesting I'd be let out for...
Suddenly, he was leaning over me, pinning me to the bed. He was so quick, I gave a little jump and a yelp. With his soft, deep laugh, Zane pressed his lips to the corner of my mouth, brushing his fingers through my hair. His eyes scanned my face, and he gave a content sigh. But he also didn't get up. "Did I surprise you?"
"Did you shut my door?"
"I'll take that as a yes." The way he was looking at me... I knew that he was finally letting himself look at me the way he'd wanted to. Because it was completely different from the way he usually looked at me. I smiled slightly, and he gave the same kind of smile. There was a longing look in his eyes, but not like he wanted to drink my blood.
"What are you thinking?" he asked suddenly.
"About you. You?" Honest.
Pain flitted over Zane's eyes, but only very briefly. "Vice versa. We sound like something out of a Hallmark commercial."
"I like those." His smile widened slightly, and he skimmed his fingertips over my lips. "Zane? Can I ask you a question?"
"Whatever you want." He shrugged his broad shoulders easily, but I could sense the tiniest note of apprehension and caution.
"What... What do you want to do right now?" Chewing on my lower lip, I waited for his answer, the suspense building as each second passed. Who knew what Zane wanted? I sure didn't.
"I want to kiss you until you can't breathe." His voice was conversational, honest; so honest that the slightest bit of a British accent slipped in. That confused me for a moment—until I remembered that Zane had been born in England.
At that moment, I couldn't breathe, waiting. Quite frankly, if I was being as honest as he was at the moment, I wanted him to kiss me. So much. But unfortunately, I wasn't that honest. So, I waited.
"However, I can't do that." Zane stood, slowly and with obvious reluctance. "Right now, I have to take you to Lucy's place."
"Lucy? The werewolf Lucy?" Stumbling to my feet with disappointment, I perched my hands on my hips. "Um... No offense, but what does any of this have to do with Lucy?"
"That's the way I got you out of being grounded," Zane retorted, a smile spreading across his face. "You've just become my regular babysitting partner."
"What?" In my eighteen years, I had babysitting exactly four times. None of those excursions had lasted long, as I was an only child and didn't handle babies often. Now... Werewolf kids? That had to be even worse. Yes, I wanted my own kids in the future, but the future meant around eight years from now.
"Being a single mother and a lone werewolf," Zane explained. "Lucy has to handle a lot of jobs. She feels that she can trust me with her children, and they're all around the ages my own were..." He paused for a moment, silent. "So I take care of them often."
As he said this, I had to pretend that I hadn't already seen him with Lucy's children at a playground. Then he'd start to act all macho and embarrassed, like any other guy. But, noticing his tender tone, I gave a wide smile. "All right. It's better than getting grounded, huh?"
"Exactly." Zane reached over and touched my face before leading me out of my bedroom. As we left the house, I noticed my dad giving Zane a very suspicious look.
Get used to it, I thought, half-giddy, half-worried. He loves me.
Autumn and Kale were adorable kids—but they were giving me some suspicious look. Amazing what those big, almost-black eyes can do when they're glaring.
"Um... Why are they looking at me like that?" I asked Zane. Lucy had just left, giving us some frantic directions about how Sky was still sleeping in her crib, how the twins were kind of in a bad mood... Just my luck.
"Wolf instinct," he explained. "They're always a little suspicious of strangers at first." Suddenly, Autumn rushed over, wrapping her arms around his legs and giving me a worried glance. Laughing, Zane scooped her into his arms. "Autumn, Kale, this is Alex. Trust me, she's OK." He smiled at me. "Very OK."
Still, the twins were wary. Little Kale began to circle me with what I could swear was a low growl coming from his throat. I sent Zane a startled look.
"At this age, they're just growing into the wolf mannerisms," he told me. "In fact, they should be transforming like crazy when they get mad..." When my eyes widened, he added, "Don't worry, you get used to it. Besides, Sky's... Well, Sky's a baby."
"So encouraging," I replied faintly. At that moment, a wailing came from down the hall. A wailing that sounded oddly wolf-like.
"I'll help you," Zane began as I started towards the baby's room.
"No, you've got Kale and Autumn," I interrupted. "I can take care of one little baby. Even if she is a werewolf baby."
Smiling at him, I walked into what I was guessing was Sky's room. It was messy, that was for sure. Messier than I would expect one baby to create. She was lying down in her crib, screaming. I paused to look down at her. Sky was adorable. Her eyes were an amber that you wouldn't normally see, her hair dark brown.
Once Sky realized I wasn't her mother or Zane, she stared at me, unblinking. Gently, I picked her up, only to find that werewolf babies don't like it when strangers are holding them. Grabbing onto my hair, Sky began to pitch an even bigger fit, throwing her head back and screaming at the top of her lungs.
"Thinking about my offer of help?"
Snapping my head around, I found Zane leaning against the doorway, a giggling pair of toddlers at his heels. He smiled at me, holding out his arms. "Sky's a daredevil." Once she was in his hands, he tossed her into the air so high, I found myself beginning to gasp. "She likes to fly. Sometimes I think she's more bird than wolf." He gave the giggling baby and affectionate look, and I was putty.
Wow. I mean, I'd been pretty sure of it before, but this confirmed it: Zane was a baby-guy. Who doesn't want a baby-guy? Baby guys, the guys who wanted kids... The sad thing was, Zane, being a vampire, couldn't have them. Not anymore.
My moment of staring at Zane-who was looking at Sky-was broken by something furry shoving itself against my keens. Jumping backwards, I found a silver puppy at my feet, scratching my jeans furiously.
"Autumn, let her go," Zane said laughingly, clearly not finding any big problem in this. "She's not as durable as I am."
After giving him a look that was clearly saying she couldn't comprehend this, Autumn went running off. Kale, still human, looked after her a moment, gave what had to be a sigh of exasperation, and followed.
"They seem to be more advanced than most three-year-olds," I stated, raising my eyebrows at Zane.
"Supernatural kids always are." He followed them with his eyes, carefully giving me Sky. "I usually want to let them try their wolf forms out as much as possible... Autumn really likes it. Almost more than the usual." He turned to me, noticing that Sky was trying to bite my fingers. "Stroke her head. She warms up to strangers when they do that."
"Like a puppy?" My eyebrows went higher.
"Exactly. You can even scratch her behind the ears if you want. Think Connor, except little." He grinned at that.
It was hard to compare Connor, the rugged, attractive werewolf to these cute little things. But, I did as Zane instructed, and soon found Sky laying her head against my shoulder.
"She's adorable," I murmured, laying a kiss on her thickly-haired head. I thought about my question before asking it. "What were your kids like? Anna and Benjamin?"
Zane looked at me for a long moment before answering. "They were so young when I had to leave them—but they both had their own personalities. Ben was quiet, like his mother. Smart and bookish, but with a definite competitive streak. As for Anna... She was a wild-card."
"Like you." I gave a quick smile.
"I suppose you could say she took after me more than her brother did," Zane nodded, walking towards me. "Neither of them were terribly like Arabelle. She was a good woman, but very bland. Like I've said before, I never loved her, and I know she never loved me. I took too many risks for her taste."
Another question-one I'd always been harboring in my mind-burst out of my lips before I could stop it. "Was your Sire... Did you...?"
"Have an affair with her?" Zane guessed, arching one eyebrow. He didn't sound offended. "I don't know. I still don't have any memories of her, but it's not out of the question."
"Do you think you'll ever be able to remember?" I asked cautiously.
"Who knows. I kind of hope I don't." Abruptly, Zane changed the subject. "Let's go after the twins; they're probably checking on Izzie." He walked out of the room, beckoning for me to follow him.
"Izzie?" I questioned as we walked down the hall. "Who's Izzie?"
"Isolde," he replied, smirking at my expression. "You know, like the whole 'Tristan and Isolde' thing."
"I know who Isolde was," I muttered. "But she's not real. Unless she was and she's a vampire... Zane, tell me what's--"
At that moment, I broke off, for the twins-both human now-came tumbling into the room, a German Shepherd padding in after them. And, judging from her appearance, she was a pregnant German Shepherd.
"Isolde," Zane said, gesturing towards the dog. "Izzie. Friend of Kale and Autumn, mother-to-be. Lucy's always loved these dogs, and so do the kids."
"I imagine they do..." I murmured, watching the twins wrestle with the affectionate dog. "When are the puppies due?"
"In about three weeks," Zane replied. "Clearly, she's practicing her mothering skills on them... Most werewolves own dogs. They always have a special bond." He then gestured to the sofa. "Sit down; you know how to give a baby a bottle, right?"
"Loosely," I told him, taking a seat.
"All right. Stay there, I'll get it for you."
That took about thirty seconds, counting the time it took for Zane to heat the bottle up. He then came back, brandishing a bib as well. After fussing over how I wasn't holding Sky's head right, he sat down next to me, a weird expression on his face as he watched me feed Sky. The twins and Izzie were rolling around in front of us.
A smile started on my lips as I looked at Sky. Her eyes were half-closed, her little hands curling on the sides of the bottle. She seemed impossibly content. A little drop of milk rolled down her chin, and I stopped it with my finger, wiping it away.
"That look works for you."
Snapping my head around, I found him watching us intensely. "What look?"
"The mother thing. It works." He gave a wistful smile of his own. "Arabelle was at her best when she was with child, and when the twins were in their first months."
"Well, I do like this," I admitted, unable to find a way to really respond. "The twins are cute-even if they are aloof-and Sky... Sky's..."
"Angelic," Zane finished. "You see, this is why... I don't want you to choose me. If you were with me, you'd never be able to do this."
Once again, I looked straight at him, touched his face. "I have feelings for you, Zane. Very, very strong feelings. I... I might even love you, just like you love me. And if that's the way it is." Leaning in, I gave him a light kiss on the lips. "Deal with it."
He looked mildly stunned. "You're getting more assertive. First you chop Mark Lukas' head off, and then you boss me around."
"Get used to it."
"I like this change." He stroked my hair. "I'm sorry about all this, Alex."
"You can't help what you feel." I closed my eyes for a moment, let him stroke my hair. It felt so good. Then I opened my eyes. He was still there. "Neither can I."
"We're so stupid." Zane took my chin in his hand and tilted my head upwards. "I shouldn't have let this happen."
"Me neither," I admitted. "But we did, and now it's done." At that moment, I was so tempted to kiss him again.
"Not in front of children," Zane suddenly said, turned away from me. He'd become so different so quickly.
Could I blame him? No.
"Zane?" Autumn asked in a surprisingly mature voice. She and Kale had apparently run out of energy for the moment, as they were draped over Izzie and pressing their ears to her swollen stomach...
"Yeah, Autumn?" he replied, focusing on her.
"Is Alex your girlfriend?" The twins now said this in perfect unison, as if Kale had known what his sister was thinking. Then again, maybe he did.
Total silence. I felt a blush spreading over my face, then Zane's calm voice. "No. She isn't."
"Then why'd you kiss?"
"We're just really good friends," Zane explained in his quiet voice.
As mature as they were, the twins were still on three years old, and they went back to playing with Izzie. The shepherd sighed, but didn't fight.
"You know," I said, to break the silence. "Christmas is coming up in a couple months."
"Oh, right," Zane responded, as if he'd forgotten. "In a couple months. What? Are you already going to start preparing?"
"Christmas is the kind of thing you plan for for quite a while," I grinned, then titled my head to one side, confused. "What? You don't celebrate Christmas?" I thought of Natalie and Madison, Zane's Sirelings and roommates.
"Madison has her own little celebration," Zane admitted. "But we don't actually exchange gifts or anything. We haven't since the first year she joined us, around eighty-four years ago."
"Well. Eighty-four years is a long time." Sky finished her bottle, and I burped her before going back to the conversation. "You'll have to celebrate with me this year. All three of you."
"I'm sure Sanders will love that." Zane rolled his eyes.
"All right, you have a point there." I shrugged, as if it was no big deal. "You and Ty will have to get along, because I want both of you to be there." At Zane's irritated expression, I added, "Please? For me?"
He leaned forward until his lips were inches from mine. Though I'd just kissed him myself, it had been a light kiss, and the look in his eyes... It was suddenly more difficult for me to breathe.
Smirking, Zane drew away. "Fine. For you."
"Maybe I'll meet you under the mistletoe," I said teasingly.
Zane simply skimmed a finger down my throat. "I think you know as well as I do that we don't need that."
Ty Sanders fought to keep himself from rolling his eyes as he watched the two older Hunters interrogate the vampiress. She was one of the ones they'd rounded up from Mark Lukas' place. She was denying having ever worked with him.
These older Hunters were simply trying to talk it out of her, but she was too smart for both of them. That was the problem. Ty had seen respectable vampires; Richardson wasn't all bad, and neither was The Blond. But—he knew from personal experience that talking to a vampire that you knew had done something bad wasn't going to work.
He and Roxanne stood in the hallway, watching the interrogation through a window. Ty slipped a hand into his jacket, his fist tightening over the stake he carried everywhere. "Roxanne—I know I'm only supposed to watch, but... May I try something?"
She raised her eyebrows, but looked amused. "Hmm... Interesting request from a young Hunter like you. You never know what that vampire is going to do."
There had been one benefit from hanging around Cliffe and his friend: Ty had been able to see how vampire reacted. "Yes, I'm aware of that. But I still have a few ideas."
After a minute, she nodded to the guard at the door. "Take Watts and Lawrence out. Sanders here is going to try something."
As Ty walked into the room and the other Hunters walked out, he felt their shocked stares. The vampire wore an expression of delight as she rose from her chair. "You smell delicious, darling."
"Can't say the same about you." Looking relaxed, Ty leaned against the wall. "Imprisonment isn't fun, is it?"
"I suppose it isn't." She gave a shrug as she walked towards him, thirst gleaming in her eyes. The other Hunters had restrained her. That was their problem. You had to use a vampire's own strengths against them, let them loose to fight.
"How long has it been since you've had a drink?" Ty asked curiously, still not moving as she grew closer to him.
"Too long..." Her thirst was getting the best of her as she leaned towards him. He could hear Lawrence saying something to Roxanne about his stupidity...
Her fangs were centimeters away from Ty's throat. It was at that moment that he took the stake from his jacket and spun around, shoving her up against the wall, the point of the wood digging into her chest. So close to biting into the flesh...
The vampire's eyes widened, and she struggled, hissing and clawing. But it was no use. Ty gave her a confident smile. "That was even easier than I thought it would be. Tell me—are you lying to them? Have you been working with Mark Lukas?"
"I'm not telling you," she breathed.
"Yes you are." He pressed the stake in deeper. "You are or you're coughing all your blood up. How's that choice?"
"I... I was," she panted. "I was."
It was that simple. He didn't understand how they couldn't see it before. The old Hunters didn't understand how violence was needed. Dropping the vampiress to the ground, he walked out of the room and towards Roxanne.
She clapped softly. "I'm impressed. Most prefer to be soft these days. Your technique reminds me of my own when I was your age." She turned and began to walk away. "Come with me, Ty." An inviting smile hung on her elegant face. "Talk with me."
"Thanks for the help," Lucy said gratefully, cuddling Sky against her as the twins bounced around her. "Can I pay you anything?"
"Not me," Zane answered.
"Me neither," I added as we walked out of the house. "It was a lot of fun, and I hope I can do it again sometime... They're great kids."
"They are, aren't they?" Lucy's smile was especially pronounced as she laid a kiss on Autumn's forehead.
Silently, Zane and I walked out to his car. The chilly wind ruffled my hair, and I stuffed my hands in my pockets. "That was... fun." You could almost call it a weird date.
"I guess it was." He wasn't smiling, though, as we stood outside his car. Fluidly, he opened the car door for me—but at the last minute, I reached out and grabbed his hand.
"Wait." Zane looked up, and I sighed. "Look, I don't know what I want to do. I know that you think you're bad for me, but I disagree with you. But..."
"You don't know what you want," Zane finished. "Alex, if you're having trouble with this decision, then the choice you should make is obvious."
"No it isn't!" I protested. "Haven't you ever--" I broke off, biting my lip. "What if we were together?"
"You know how it ended the last time I was with a human." Gently, Zane pushed me into the car. "The subject is closed for the day."
We drove towards his house in silence.
Once inside, I found myself facing the two beauty queens, Madison and Natalie. Natalie seemed surprisingly cheerful as she grabbed me by the wrist. "Come on, I have something to tell you."
"What?" I asked as I found myself being jerked upstairs, so fast I could hardly keep my feet on the ground.
"You'd be happy to hear this," Natalie said in a precise tone. "Sanders just called me-he couldn't get a hold of you, and he has my number-and said that he wanted me to tell you that he's being promoted. Normally, that wouldn't be good for us—but we think he'll be able to pull rank on some people for fairness."
"Great," I said faintly, surprised that Ty and Natalie were communicating at all.
"Something wrong?" Madison asked.
"Um... No. It's just been a really, really confusing day."
"I see..." Madison closed the door. "It's about tall, dark, and moody back there, isn't it? Aren't all our problems about him, Nat?"
"All of them," she agreed.
"Wait a second," I began. "Natalie, if you don't want to hear about this..." I was growing to be more sensitive about Natalie's unrequited love issues.
"Oh, I'm fine with it." She gave a soft smile. "Alex, I love him. I want him to be happy. Quite frankly, I hate seeing him like this... You're the only one who can really get him out of these times."
"I'm the one who caused it," I sighed, sitting down on Madison's bed. "I mean, how do I deal with that? I really can't decide! I don't know who I should with."
"Maybe you do," Madison said, laying down on her stomach and propping herself up with her elbows. "You just don't want to give one of the guys up."
"You're like a polygamist," Natalie said solemnly.
"Yeah, that!" Madison said enthusiastically.
"I'm not a polygamist!" I exclaimed, rapidly shaking my head. "It's not that. I don't want to string them along, I'm just--"
"You just know your friendship with one of them will be dramatically different if you choose the other," Madison finished. "And if you broke up, it would be all over. And you're afraid of taking the next step."
"Funny, I thought it was men who had commitment phobia," Natalie murmured to herself. She looked up at me. "Zane doesn't return my feelings. But in a way, I've never regretted telling him about them."
I opened my mouth to reply, but the door then burst open, thanks to a certain werewolf. Connor folded his arms over his chest. "Do I want to enter the room, or is there too much estrogen?"
"Enter if you dare, Con," I invited him, smirking. He and Madison were exchanging some pretty interesting looks there. I turned to look at Natalie, raising my eyebrows. She gave a simple smile.
"You're a good reason to change the subject, Connor," I grinned, happy that the subject was changed. "You see, when I was helping Zane babysit a few werewolves--"
"Excuse me?" He raised his eyebrows.
"Long story. Anyway, I've been wondering... How would all of you feel about a Christmas party?"
The reactions to my idea of throwing a Christmas party were mixed. Natalie was unsure, Zane was for it if I was for it, Connor was, like Zane, worried about the femininity of it, and Madison was... joyous. Which was why she dragged Natalie out to go looking for a good area to chop down a Christmas tree. Then again, I think that was just so Zane and I could be alone together.
It didn't go as I expected it to. Instead of being in my face, as he usually was, Zane was simply reading and occasionally writing something down, while I watched TV. Finally, I switched it off and walked over to where he was sitting, sat down in his lap, and tossed the book away.
"Sorry if I'm being forward," I snapped. "And I know I've been horrible to you. But honestly—what is wrong?"
"Nothing." His voice was dull, his eyes blank.
"You're just acting so strange," I sighed. "One minute you're flirting with me like your old self, the next you're acting like I have a stake and I'm about to drive into your heart."
"Really?" Anger flashed through his eyes; it was better than nothing. "So I was happy go lucky before I told you--" He finally broke off, then looked at me, touching my face. "Don't you understand? I love you. It's not easy to love someone and realize that you can never have them."
"I know!" I shot back, then was trying to cram the words back into my mouth. "This isn't easy, either. Whoever I choose, I'll be giving one of you up in a way."
"If you chose Sanders, I'd still be your friend if you'd wanted me to," Zane muttered. "But I'm giving you up. I'm letting you go."
"Don't," I whispered, leaning towards him. "Please don't. Because if you give up on me, then I'll be even more confused than I was before."
Then I kissed him, harder than I'd ever kissed him before. But, to my surprise, he stood up, placed me on the chair, and walked to the other side of the room.
"You can't have Sanders and I at the same time, Alex," he stated in a low voice. "Maybe he's all right with that, but I don't want just half of you, one side of you. I want all of you. I'm not some teenage guy who's going to dance around the subject. I'm nearly five centuries old. I was an adult when I was turned. A husband. A father. Look, Alex. Maybe our Bond is part of it, maybe I was just fated to be in love with you. But the fact is..." He walked towards me. "If I started a relationship with you, I'd eventually want to marry you. For good. I'm not so sure about turning you, but maybe I'd do that as well."
He then kissed me, straightened up and gave me a steady look. "Here are the facts. I don't want to be your High School or college boyfriend that you can party with. Or your alternative to Sanders when you don't want to be safe. With my kind, we usually have one mate for eternity, unless that mate dies. Even when they hate each other, they still love each other. Like Madison and Connor. Carissa has a vampire she's been with for over a century, and they've always been together." He shook his head. "I love you, and I want to be with you. But I'm not going to be with you if you're thinking of some other man half the time. Make your decision, and make it soon. Because Sanders isn't going to wait forever, and neither am I."
Gulping, I nodded. "Zane, I wish--"
"I wish too. But wishing isn't enough." He sighed. "Love isn't something you just hold out all the time. I loved Lilah, but I came to love you as well. Honestly—I don't know how I could love anyone else. Still... I won't be your stand-by." A smirk lit his lips as he touched his mouth to my throat. "But I'm in love with you. I want you to be mine. Think about that."
Standing, he added, "And by the way—I've decided to fight for you."
So Crossing the Line begins...
Mixing things up a little, as at the end of "Branded" at least 3 people were thinking she was choosing Ty. Lol, how I love to torture you all. But Zane is laying down the line... And enticing Alex at the same time!