Eliza: "Do not touch fire, James. Fire is hot. Fire burns things."
James: "Burn things? Burn house? Fire burn James house?"
Eliza: "Oh no, definitely not! We have a fire alarm, so the firemen at the fire department will come in their shiny red truck and put out the fire right away. So you don't have to worry about that at all, okay?"
Lane had tracked down the formula VJ mentioned during their meeting. Two of the ingredients - silver ore, wolfsbane flowers - could be purchased from the alchemy shop in town. The final ingredient, a moonstone gem, was the most difficult, but with the help of a mail-order gem detector Lane managed to locate a sample in the hills surrounding town. Now only one task remained - mixing the potion.
Locke was already at the remote fishing lake when Lane arrived. As Lane jogged up from where the taxi had let him out, he wondered what Locke was thinking about.
Locke: "Hey yourself. Where've you been hiding for the past forever? You never want to hang out anymore. I checked the library and everything."
Locke: "Look, did you meet someone else? If you did, that's okay, really, I just want to know."
Lane: "No, it's nothing like that! I still like you, a lot, and I want to be with you. That's why I'm going to tell you everything, right now."
Locke slowly nodded, and let Lane take his hands. And so, Lane told him everything - how he was born, his meetings with Gobias and VJ, his research, and the potion.
Lane: "So that's what I've been doing. And I'm sorry that I haven't been there for you, it was really stupid and I should have made time for you. For us."
Locke: "Why didn't you tell me about any of this before?"
Lane: "I was afraid you'd try to stop me."
Locke: "That's stupid. You know me better than that."
Lane: "I know. I was still worried though, I couldn't help it."
Locke: "So when are you going to...you know, do it?"
Lane: "The next full moon. It's the night before Spooky Day. I was hoping you'd be there with me, when I took the potion."
Locke: "Aren't werewolves supposed to attack people when they're transformed?"
Lane: "I'd never attack you. Ever. Even during the transformation, the human mind is still there. It's just instincts you have to deal with. I can understand if you don't want to be there, though."
Locke shook his head.
Locke: "No, I'll be there, unless I have to work. I'll have graduated by then, you know."
Lane: "Yeah, it's right before my graduation. Better that way, really, in case other people around town don't accept me."
Locke nodded, then reached forward and hugged Lane tightly.
While Lane was finalizing the details of his transformation, his younger sisters were enjoying the summer in their own way. Faye was enjoying the great outdoors, spending most of her days off school swimming in the ocean. She spent so much of her time outdoors that she even managed to cultivate a tan!
At dinner one night, Crystal had finally made up her mind. She would ask her parents if she could attend, but only if Faye was okay with it. Even the slightest hesitation on her sister's part would be cause for Crystal to drop the idea immediately.
Crystal: "Hey, Faye, did you get a tan or what?"
Faye: "Yeah, I guess I did. Swimming is so fun! I don't know why you don't like it, it would cool you off."
Crystal: "The beach is always so crowded. I need to talk to you about something after dinner, mind sticking around?"
Faye: "Sure, but can I go put my normal clothes on first? The AC in here is giving me goosebumps."
Crystal nodded and Faye ran off to dress a bit more warmly. While she waited, Crystal turned her attention to Lane.
Crystal: "Hey, nerdboy, do your homework somewhere else, alright? I need to talk to my sister."
Lane rolled his eyes and took his homework into the living room, not willing to have an argument with his younger sister tonight.
Faye: "What's up?"
Crystal: "I've been thinking about applying to a special art school for high school. I read about it in the art gallery, and it seems perfect for me."
Faye: "Ohmygod, that's great! You should definitely apply!"
Crystal: "Well, there's one thing that's not so great. It's in France, a boarding school."
Faye's face fell a bit as the significance of that sank in.
Faye: "Oh. Who would I bake things for then, if you were gone?"
Crystal: "Lane. I think he's the one who's been eating all the ones you keep saving for breakfast, anyway."
Faye: "Seriously? I'm going to kill him! Those were NOT for him!"
Crystal: "But anyway. I'd miss you so much, but I really want to go. It's up to you, Faye. If you want me to stay, I will, and I won't regret it at all."
Faye: "What? Of course you should go! I'd miss you, but it sounds like you'd love it there, so much more than the high school here."
Crystal: "Are you sure?"
Crystal grinned, an infectious grin that soon spread to her twin's lips, and the sisters hugged.
The final and most difficult step was to prepare a portfolio and apply. The school didn't take just anybody, after all. Crystal abandoned the art gallery, choosing instead to spend her time painting in her room, producing works of art that could be photographed and e-mailed to the school as evidence of her artistic abilities.
~ * ~
Too many people in a house with one toilet! Can you blame me for wanting to ship one of them off to boarding school?
I hope this chapter sheds a bit more light on the Crystal-Faye relationship. They fight, but like kittens more than anything else. They don't hate each other at all, they actually really like each other. They just tend to express their sisterly love in a somewhat antagonistic manner. And they think Lane is super-lame.
That's the last serious Lane drama for at least another chapter. The boy's pretty and all, but I swear he's a drama magnet.