I just wanted to say that my quotes at the beginning are just in alphabetical order by song from my favorite band, Panic! At The Disco. But what I really want to point out is that the quotes seem to just fit the chapter content. I only notice this after I write the chapter though. None of it was intentional, but I feel that they just fit with at least one portion of the chapter. I don't know why I'm pointing this out now. It was just something I noticed. .


Four

"There are no raindrops on roses or girls in white dresses; It's sleeping with roaches and taking best guesses / Shed off the sheets and before all the stains, and a few more of your least favorite things…"

Build God, Then We'll Talk by Panic! At The Disco


When Jezebelle woke, she was lying in a bed. But this bed wasn't hers. It was lumpy, like someone had used it as a punching bag. She sat up quickly and looked around her. Sun light streamed through the blinds, making perfect straight lines on the cheap tan carpet. Jezebelle took in the tiny bare room; there was nothing in it except for the bed, with it off-white sheets and too soft pillows, and the thick, multi-colored quilt that sat at the end of the bed.

Jezebelle stood up quietly and moved toward the shiny wooden door. She placed her ear against it, but couldn't hear anything. She turned the gold-colored door knob and let herself into the rest of the house. She was in a trailer, one that was well kept, but nonetheless still a trailer. Jezebelle had never set foot in a trailer before, let alone lived in one. None of the furniture in the living room matched, and it all looked old and worn. The carpet bore stains in various places. The TV in the makeshift in entertainment center wasn't a flat screen, and there was DVD player in sight. The wall paper on the walls was probably the worst part; it was white, with little yellow daisies dotted everywhere.

Outside the front door, Jezebelle could hear voices. The small window, though, was not made of real glass, but of warped plastic, so she could see who the people outside were. She listened in on the conversation, though; maybe she could figure out where she was.

"… found her with a succubus," one voice said. She recognized it as the voice of the boy who had tackled her and knocked her out.

"Did you dispose of it?" asked another voice, which she recognized as well: Quinn. Her father.

"Didn't need to," the boy replied. "The stupid thing had tried to take a chunk out of your idiot of a daughter and that set her doom anyway."

"Watch your mouth, Tyler," Quinn replied. "She maybe half, but she's still a member of the pack. You'll treat her like she's been here her whole life, understand?" There was a significant amount of silence before the Tyler boy answered.

"Yes, sir." Jez had heard enough. She threw the front door open. The two men turned and stared at her.

"If you're going to talk about me, don't you think you should do it to my face?" she asked. She didn't feel nearly as brave as she was acting, but she went along with herself anyway. She didn't want them to know she was scared and confused. So she walked down the steps to dusty ground next to the army green Jeep Cherokee that was parked off to the left with the air that she was completely sure of herself.

"Certainly," answered Quinn with a smile. He was a lot younger than she had anticipated. His hair was black and cropped short, his face strong and chiseled. His eyes were the same to-die-for green that Jezebelle's had been when she'd looked in the mirror Sunday morning. His skin was tanned and his body was fit. He wore a dark blue Hanes t-shirt and a pair of Wrangler dark denim jeans. His feet were snug in a pair of black work boots. He stared at Jezebelle like she had just floated down from the sky on a pair of white wings.

"Could you not look at me like that?" she asked gruffly, and Quinn dropped his gaze to the ground.

"I'm sorry," he apologized. "It's just that this is the first time I've ever seen you conscious," he explained. The boy looked at him like he'd just complimented Syrina and told her she was beautiful.

"Look, I'm not happy you're here," he said, throwing a dagger-like glare in Jezebelle's direction. "And I don't much feel like sticking around for this mushy father-daughter crap, so I'm going to school." Quinn dismissed him with a nod of his head and the boy walked off.

"Who the hell was that? And what's he have against me?" Jezebelle asked. And then she blanched. If this was her father, she probably shouldn't swear around him. "I mean, heck." Quinn let out a hearty laugh.

"You don't have to worry about language here," he said. "No one will care; they all pretty much cuss like sailors on the rez. That there was Micha Tyler. And as for his rudeness, let me apologize for that right now. You won't understand until I explain what's going on." Jezebelle nodded at the information he'd given her.

"So," she said after a moment of silence. "You're my father?" Quinn looked up at her with fierce, caring eyes.

"And your my daughter," he said. The two stared at her for a long, long while.

"I'm not going to call you 'Dad'," Jezebelle suddenly blurted. Quinn gave a small, wounded smile.

"I wouldn't expect you to. Your mother never let me have a thing to do with you until now, so I can understand that you've never had a 'Dad' before. I'm not going to enforce the title on you now. But I would hope that I could at least be your friend," she said, and as he spoke, his smile turned into a hopeful little smirk. Jezebelle smirked back at him.

"Well, I could use a friend, considering my own mother despises the sight of me, one of my friends is a crazy, flesh eating I-don't-know-what, my other friend is probably going to be institutionalized, and the boy I liked was preyed upon, not to mention the fact that I'll never see them again. So, I could really use a friend right now." Quinn smiled sadly at her again.

"Let's go inside, and I'll explain everything."


Jezebelle sat at the island in the middle of the kitchen while Quinn, her father, a man she'd dreamed of meeting her entire life, but had never even admitted the wish to herself, made her pancakes, bacon, and eggs. She sipped a cup of coffee with white chocolate macadamia flavored coffee creamer and plenty of sugar in it as she watched him work. So far, it was the only thing the two of them had in common: the way they drank their coffee.

"So, Quinn," Jezebelle started. She wasn't sure what to call him, and she hoped that calling him by name was okay.

"So, Jezebelle," he said back. She smiled as he peered at her over his shoulder.

"What's going on? Why did I get so sick right after my birthday? Why can't mom stand to have me around? Why'd she call you after all these years and have you come get me? Why was I never allowed to ask any questions about you? What happened between the two of you? What's wrong with me? What happened to Syrina? Why'd she try to eat my friend Jayden? And why'd she say that my blood was poison? Come to think of it, where the hell are we?" Jezebelle was out of breath by the time her reel of questions came to an end.

"Whoa, there," Quinn chuckled as he grabbed to plates from the cabinet and loaded them with food. Like the furniture in the living room, none of the plates, glasses, bowls, coffee cups, nor the silverware matched, either. He set one plate of steaming food in front of her with a fork, then he pulled the half-emptied coffee cup from her hands and stuck it on the counter. He grabbed a carton of orange juice from the fridge and poured two tall glasses, and then set one before her as he took his seat on the other side of the island. "Slow down a bit, kiddo. One question at a time," he said with a smile.

Jezebelle smiled a sheepish smile. It was so surreal to her that she was here, in this kitchen, eating breakfast at ten in the morning with her father. Her father. She had decided, ultimately, that she liked him. He was a lot like her: funny, smart, outgoing, cheerful. His smile was the best, that was for sure. And she was pleased that the more time she spent with him, the more resemblance she found between them.

"Okay, so pick any of those questions to start off with," she said, and bit off a piece of her bacon. It was absolutely delicious. The meat was savory and sweet all at the same time; her mother had never made food this good for her before.

"Well," Quinn started, swallowing a mouthful of pancake. "To answer your first question, I have to answer your second question first." He took a big bite of his fried egg, and chewed thoughtfully. When he swallowed, he went for more of his food.

"Well, elaborate," Jez prodded. "Why did I get so sick?" Quinn stared at her and then set his fork and knife down. He wiped his hands on his jeans and sighed.

"Everyone who lives here on the reservation, they're from French descent. That includes me, and therefore, includes you as well," he started. "Your great-great-great-great-great grandfather came here from France before Columbus even discovered America. He fell in love with a young Cherokee woman, and they had a child together." Quinn paused for a moment, thinking about what he would say next. "They weren't married, your grandfather and this woman, and it just so happens that she was the chief's daughter, and married to the strongest of warriors in their village. Your grandfather didn't live with the Natives, so when the chief's daughter ended up pregnant and she and her betrothed had yet to have sexual contact, there was a lot of commotion. So they hunted your grandfather down and they cursed the two of them."

"A curse? Really? Quinn, I'm not ten years old anymore," she scoffed, but Quinn's face turned deathly serious.

"It's not a joke, Jezebelle," he told her darkly.

"Sorry," she said. "What happened to them?"

"Nothing at first. The two ran off and lived together in the home that your grandfather had made. Your grandmother gave birth to a son, and named him Keme, which means secret in Algonquin, because they kept him a secret from the rest of the world. They fevered that the child had been cursed as well. And they were right. The day after Keme's sixteenth birthday, he became ill."

"Just like me," Jezebelle added. Quinn nodded at her.

"Exactly. Keme began going through a series of changes. He got angry at little things that shouldn't have mattered. He often fell ill. He couldn't stand to wear the hide moccasins his mother had sown for him. He refused to behave and often took to the forests to be alone. One day, he fought with his father, and he…" Quinn stopped and sighed. Jezebelle stayed quiet. She knew that whatever was coming next was big, and she knew she had to let Quinn tell her on his own with pushing. "Keme… did what we call 'phasing'. He switched forms. He got so angry that he shed his human skin, and released the curse that the Natives had sworn upon his parents. Now, what your grandfather and grandmother didn't know was that this wasn't a curse only upon them, but it was on their entire lineage. " Jezebelle nodded silently, taking it all in.

"So what was the curse?" she whispered almost inaudibly.

"He turned into a wolf," Quinn said. His words hung in the air like fog. They rung in Jezebelle's head, bells that continued to chime. He turned into a wolf, he turned into a wolf…. "He almost killed his father that day, but he ran away. Keme felt his name was a blessing, a constant reminder that what he could do was supposed to stay secret. Keme looked like a Native, so he ran to a different tribe, and continued his life as normal, always careful to control his temper. He never once phased again unless he was hunting: it was much easier to bring in food for his village as a wolf."

"Keme, unbeknownst to him, on a hunt one day, wandered into the village of his mother's people. The shaman woman who cursed his parents, and him, recognized who he was right away. She asked how he was handling the curse, and he told her that so far, it had proved to be more helpful than cursing. Keme was about twenty-three at this time, and he hadn't aged very much. He was stronger than most men, could see and hear exceptionally well, and he could run long distances quickly without getting winded. The shaman woman smiled at him when he told her this, and she told him to continue to turn the curse into a blessing. Her curse had been placed as a punishment: the punishment being that our line would be forced to be the protectors of the people for as long as we procreate. Now, Keme had no idea what this meant at the time, and he didn't find out, either. His children did."

"Wait, wait," Jezebelle cut in. "So, you, Quinn, are trying to tell me, Jezebelle Marie Walker, that we're werewolves?" She stared at him incredulously. Seriously? That kind of stuff wasn't real. But then, Jezebelle though back to whatever had come over Syrina, and she knew that that was real. Why couldn't this be, too?

"More or less," Quinn laughed. "We're not restricted to full moons or anything like that. Most people would say that the definition of werewolf is a humanoid being who is half wolf and half human. We have the option to sometimes be wolves and sometimes be human. So sure, you can say we're werewolves." Jezebelle's fork fell to her plate loudly as she thought about everything that had happened since her birthday: her illness, her mother's reaction, the change in her appearance, her hearing, her running. It all started to make since, no matter how ludicrous it might sound. "Do you want to hear the rest of the story?" her father asked quietly. Jezebelle nodded furiously, her hair shaking about her face wildly.

"Keme met a woman in the tribe he lived with and they married. They had two children, a boy and a girl. They named the boy Louvel, which is Old Norman French for 'little wolf', and they named their daughter Jaci, which is Tupi for 'moon'. Both of them went through the same things that Keme went through after their sixteenth birthdays," Quinn paused for a moment, thinking. "Jezebelle, I want you to know that girls becoming a part of the pack are rare. Jaci was the first, and there have only been four girls to be a part of the curse after her, excluding you. I, along with everyone else, am not sure why, exactly, the curse skips the majority of girls. But, you're a rare case. You're number five, Jezebelle." Jezebelle stared, wide-eyed, at the plate of half eaten food in front of her. She didn't know what to say. How do you handle the fact that you're one of five girls in a long line of werewolves whose actually made the cut?

"Anyway," Quinn continued, "it was as these children were gaining the upper hand on their condition that other… creatures… started showing up. Creatures like your friend, Syrina."

"What was wrong with her? She was so normal for a while, and then a few months ago, she changed, like she had something against me. And then the other day, her eyes changed and she tried to eat Jayden. She even tried to eat me!" 'Your blood's poison!' Syrina had shouted. Now, Jezebelle knew why.

"Syrina was a… succubus. A human sacrifice to the devil that went wrong," Quinn said, his face contorted like he'd just stuck a warhead candy into his mouth.

"You mean like Jennifer's Body?" Jezebelle snorted. She'd seen the movie with Megan Fox and Amanda Seyfried quite a few times. It used to be a favorite feature at Jezebelle and Chapin's weekend movie nights when they were twelve. Quinn let out a laugh that seemed to suck all the seriousness and tension from the room. Jezebelle felt herself relax just the tiniest bit, but it was still a relief.

"Sure, I guess you could compare it to that. Everything you think is fiction, everything that's ever been a story, is true. Witches, vampires, goblins, demons, hellhounds, warlocks, ogres, giants, dragons, succubus, they're all real.

"Werewolves," Jezebelle said without thinking. Quinn nodded.

"The thing is, we're top notch. We're the strongest of everything out there. We're the protectors of the Pale Faces. And we fight anything thing that threatens humankind. That's what Louvel and Jaci did. Their father would have too, but he was killed by a silver-tipped arrow in a battle with another tribe."

"Silver? Really? That's so old-school horror movie, Quinn," Jezebelle scoffed, but again, his face grew deathly serious.

"It's serious, Jezebelle," he said darkly. "It's the only thing that can kill you. If you avoid silver, you can live to be nearly two hundred years old without looking a day older than fifty." Quinn stopped to let his words sink in. "I want you to know that most people don't make it that long." Jezebelle felt the weight of everything she was learning fall on her shoulders. It was heavy and depressing.

"So, Jaci and Louvel," Jezebelle prompted. "They fought with all these creatures?" She knew she was trying to avoid the subject of death, but she couldn't deal with it right now. Quinn didn't object to her subject change.

"Yes, they did. And their children, and their children's children. Most of the bigger creatures we're at peace with, like the ogre's and giants. They were killing people in the mountains left and right, but after our ancestors hunt them to near extinction, we signed a treaty that states if they leave the humans alone, we'll leave them alone. Everything else, though, they're pretty relentless. We can't attack anything unless there's been an unexplainable human death first, which is kind of a crappy rule." I'll say, Jezebelle thought. Someone has to die before you can do anything about it. "It's precautionary though. If we slaughter something before we have good reason, we'll start a war. But death caused by the supernatural aren't that common. We usually keep tabs on the races in our area and typically beat them to their kill. Our presence on the fringe of things kind of puts a damper on everyone else's kill." Quinn gave her a wan smile.

"And that's it? The line comes to a halt at us?" Quinn gave a chuckle.

"Well, yeah," he said. "We're the currently existing pack." And then, suddenly, even more things began to make sense.

"Wait," Jezebelle said. "Those boys who came and got me… Are they…?" Quinn gave a nod and smile that said he was proud she was piecing everything together. "Does that mean we're related to them?" Quinn shook his head.

"You and I, we're from the original line. The other boys, they're from branches of our line that are so spread out and far away from our lineage, we're not related anymore. So if you get the hots for one of them, it's not incest or anything," Quinn concluded with a sly wink.

"Gross!" Jezebelle exclaimed, but she smiled at her father. "I will definitely not have the hots for any of them. That Micha guy seems to hate me, and the other four didn't even say a word to me when they came to get me the other day." At this, Quinn frowned. "You know why, don't you." It wasn't a question; it was an accusation.

"Quinn, because of your mother's human blood, many believed that you wouldn't join the blood line. They believed the pure line would end with me. And in a way, it has. You're a hybrid, basically. And the guys, they aren't so thrilled about it. Not to mention that you're a female."

"So, what you're saying is, I have to run around with a bunch of sexist pigs while hunting down crazy, human killing species, and maintain looking normal fifty percent of the time?" It didn't seem so hard, if she only thought about one aspect of what she'd just said. Quinn laughed another hearty, happy laugh.

"Pretty much," he laughed, and then his face grew somber. "You think you can handle all that?" Jezebelle gave him a sly smile.

"They won't know what hit them," she smiled and then picked up her fork and began to finish her breakfast.

"Well then eat up," Quinn smiled and resumed eating as well. "I'll show you around when you're done."


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