“Th-th-there is a spaceship!” Alex nearly cries out.
“Did you do what I asked?” I demanded fervently.
Alex broke his gaze from the view of the planet below and waved his hand. “Of course, of course. I’ve convinced your mom that both female me and you are over at Samantha’s. Samantha has agreed to keep our lie and has been sufficiently bribed. I still don’t get why I needed to give her a lock of boy me’s hair.”
“It’s better if you don’t ask questions.” I shrug, ignoring the Alex voodoo love dolls Samantha was likely going to make with that lock.
Of course, she wouldn’t use it herself. She’d sell them to other girls, promising them success in their pursuit of Alex if they used the doll and chanted a made-up incantation. As to what Samantha did with all of her various exploitative sales, it was at least one of the reasons she dressed nicer than I did. Well, except now. At the moment I was still wearing the dress Ryan had gotten me.
“Still, to think that Allan was an alien all along.” Stephan shook his head in wonder. “I never thought I’d get the chance to see Earth like this.”
Christopher gulped, visibly shivering. “I really hate heights… but I guess this isn’t exactly the same.”
“It is truly a marvel to be up in the stars with you, Jane,” Victor said before snapping his fingers. “That’d be a great song!”
My smile tightened as I realized more of my life was going to be put on display as a new pop song. Even if Victor said sweet things, it was a tad embarrassing.
“So, these are all members of the H club? I had suspected it was a front for supernatural beings, but I hadn’t realized that it was all of them,” Allan surmised as he looked over at everyone. “You! The one without a shirt!”
“Yes!” Daniel almost made a salute as Allan pointed at him. “I was working out when you summoned me,” he explained apologetically.
“If that’s your excuse, why’d you arrive without pants or underwear on?!” I demanded.
He was wearing pants from Alex’s mystery bag now, but he had arrived in the buff.
“Jane, if I don’t want my shirt to get sweaty, then why would I want my pants to get sweaty?” Daniel said as if this was obvious.
When I looked for support from the other guys, they all turned their heads, pretending that they were focused on something else. I had to stop seeing Daniel naked all the time. I was starting to like it! My dreams recently were starting to become indecent!
“You’re some kind of Anubis, right?” Allan asked shortly, ignoring my griefs.
“I’m a werewolf!”
“But you have animal-like behaviors, yes?”
“What are you implying?” Daniel stiffened.
“Your nose. Can you track down Ryan if I show you his old clothing?”
“Oh!” Daniel visibly brightened and pointed his thumb at himself. “I’m a master tracker. I can easily find him!”
“Good,” Allan nodded. “Then here’s the plan: Jane, Andrew, Daniel, and Rune will lead the rescue mission for Ryan. I’ll take the rest back to the moon where we’ll stop the planet cracker from triggering.”
“What?! I stick with my sister,” Daltom insisted.
“She’s my sister! I stick with her!” Alex interrupted Daltom.
“Why can’t I go with Jane?” Victor asked.
“Perhaps it’d be better if we all stuck together?” Stephan offered.
“As the teacher, I should decide.” Christopher insisted.
“Ridiculous.” Allan pushed his glasses back up on his nose. “You can’t all be on the rescue mission for Ryan. A smaller group would be preferable, and Jane lacks any abilities that would help back on the moon.”
I winced at the admission of uselessness, but Allan wasn’t completely wrong. Prince Skyf also had something against me personally, it seemed, so I was probably in a lot more danger there.
“I agree.” Rune seemed uncharacteristically agreeable. “Let’s leave things the way they are.”
“That’s just because you’re with Jane!” Alex cried. “How about we draw straws?”
I shook my head in confusion. Why was everyone making a big deal about who went where? I was going to rescue Ryan. Did everyone here really care about Ryan that much? I didn’t realize they were all such close friends with him. To think they’d pretend to want to come with me just to hide their true feelings for Ryan. I suddenly started having fond thoughts of the boys and their loyalty to each other.
“You guys… the fate of Earth hangs in the balance and you want to draw straws!” Allan cried out.
“Everyone, shut up!” I shouted, and to my surprise, nine attractive men all turned their eyes on me. “I know you want to save Ryan with me, but unless we save the planet, there won’t be a home to return to.”
“Who’s Ryan?” Alex asked. Rune kicked him in the shin. “Ow!”
“He’s the person that Jane’s saving while you go save the planet.” Rune rolled his eyes.
“Look, I know you all have preferences, but Allan has thought really hard about who’s best suited for which mission. Andrew and Rune can only use their powers close to Earth. Andrew needs to speak with his Uncle and we’ll all be safer if he’s present. Daniel is a tracker, and me…” I bitterly considered how useless I was and shook my head. “Well, either way, Earth is my home. My mother lives there. My best friend lives there. Can you please help me save it? Please…”
I gave the boy’s a pleading stare, looking up at them with my chin lowered. The boys suddenly all started to look sheepish, not meeting my eyes while wearing awkward grins and blushes on their faces. It was Daniel who recovered first, stepping forward.
“Of course!” Daniel made a fist. “I have to protect my pack anyway, but I’ll save this planet for Jane!
“You’re going with Jane on the rescue mission, idiot!” Rune snapped.
“Oh, right.” Daniel took a step back.
“Very well. I never saw myself as some kind of hero, but with Earth on the line, it’s not like I can complain. A disembodied ghost stuck… so high up… for all eternity.” Christopher gulped. “Ah, yeah, let’s fight these moonmen or whatever.”
The rest of the boys slowly accepted things too. Alex, Victor, Christopher, Allan, Daltom, and Stephan would head to the moon. Daniel, Rune, Andrew, and myself would go rescue Ryan and keep the satellite defense grid in our control. Allan rolled out some blueprints and started going over the plan.
“I’ve scanned enough data from the STAR Wars ship that we can make an approach without being caught. This ship has a shuttle that is just small enough to pass through their shields undetected. Once there, you attach to their outer hull and use my site-to-site transporter to get on board. The best place to teleport would be right here.” Allan pointed down at a place on the map.
I barely knew what he was talking about, but Andrew and Rune were nodding, so I nodded too.
“Actually,” Christopher spoke up, pointing at another part of the map. “You’d be better off landing here and transporting there.”
“According to my scans, the ideal security detail would protect these locations. They are at the highest risk for sabotage.”
“Ideal…” Christopher scoffed. “As if people do what is ideal. This location is near the engines. It’s loud, hot, and the guards are going to avoid that location. Rather, they’re going to congregate over here near the mess hall. Furthermore, the engine noise will cover up the sounds as the ship attaches to theirs.”
“That is…” Allan started and then looked up in surprise, “very good reasoning. I have to say, I’m impressed. How did you reason out such an idea?”
Christopher frowned for a moment, touching his head before shaking it. “I… don’t know. Huh. I just saw the map, and it seemed so clear. Well, either way, if it keeps Jane safe, I have to trust my instincts, right?”
Allan nodded slowly, but I looked over worriedly as my handsome teacher put on a smile. Clearly, something was bothering him, but he was hiding it behind his usual smile. I would have pushed more, but time wasn’t on our side at the moment.
“Alright, if we’re all in agreement then, head to the shuttle.”
“Um… stupid question here. Who’s flying?” Rune asked.
The three boy’s stopped in their tracks and turned back to Allan. Allan waved his hands to usher them on.
“It’s not an issue. It’ll be on autopilot. It’ll only be a few buttons.”
The five of us walked down into the shuttle room, and Andrew volunteered to take the cockpit. Surprisingly, Rune didn’t fight him on the issue, muttering something about him being likely to send them spiraling into certain death. I actually sympathized with them as I had no desire to be in charge, either. Still, I was a little annoyed they didn’t even offer me the chance.
As Allan took his leave, I looked down into the little shuttle and frowned. The space was tight. It was about three seats and that was it. Wait… three seats. I counted the four of us and then looked back down at the seats with a frown.
“How are we doing this, guys?” I asked as it took the boys a few moments to realize the same dilemma. “I guess I’ll have to sit on someone’s lap.”
“Of course, my lap is always available to Jane.” Daniel, said.
“I… don’t want to be rude, but you smell a bit like wet dog.” I grimaced, looking at the shirtless man.
“But… I’ve been working out…” Daniel put on a depressed look.
I felt bad, particularly because I was lying a bit. Daniel actually smelled rugged and sexy. However, he still wasn’t wearing a shirt. Sitting on his lap, my back against his naked, sweaty chest… ah!
Stop thinking about it, Jane! Stop!
And thus, my eyes turned to Rune.
“No!” Andrew growled.
“Andrew… you’re the pilot and need to have access to the controls. I have to sit on Rune’s lap, no choice.”
“Anyone but Rune.”
Rune turned his head as his face turned red. “It’s not like I’m nuts about having her sit on my lap either.”
“Will you guys just stop?!” I said, aggravated. “We need to go now. Sit down and shut up!”
To my surprise, once again, everyone listened to me. Daniel took the co-pilot chair, Andrew took the main chair, and Rune took the chair in the back. I carefully set myself down on his lap. It was only at that point that I realized how mortifying this was.
How heavy am I? He can feel my whole weight! Is he thinking right now, ‘Damn, this girl is fat!’?
I shot him an angry look. Rune immediately turned away. He had been looking at me. However, now his face was even redder. He seemed to be holding his breath! Can he not breathe? Oh, God, my fat ass was suffocating him! I didn’t need that in my history. I had to eat one more donut this morning and now I’ve murdered a cute boy with my disgusting thunder thighs!
“Ja-Jane…” Rune’s voice came out strained. “Ca-can you please not move around so much. You keep grindi-ah… moving and it’s…”
“I’m sorry, it’s just so hard and warm!” I said, nearly in tears.
Two sets of eyes suddenly turned from the front towards us. “What’s hard?!”
“Oh, Hell, I’m trying … you can’t expect me to-” Rune tried to defend.
“Rune, if you’re poking her right now I’m going to stab you in the eye, I swear!” Andrew glared at Rune.
His knees were a little bony, but why did Andrew need to take everything so personally? Rune had a higher than normal body temperature and his hard muscles made it difficult to get comfortable, especially in a way I wouldn’t crush him with my ass. I should have done the workout routine with Samantha when she asked. But obese Jane just had to pick today to sit on his lap!
Oh, great; now I’m crying.
“You’re dead, Rune!”
“I’m not… I’m not trying… Ah, Damn it!” Rune grabbed me by the hips and suddenly lifted my butt off of him.
I gasped. “H-how are you lifting me?”
“Huh? What are you talking about? You’re really light?”
“What did you say?!” I nearly shouted.
“What? You’re not heavy. I mean, I can bench like three hundred pounds. You’re really skinny.”
“S-say it again!”
“J-just say it!”
“Ah… um… you’re skinny.”
I closed my eyes, ignoring the tingly feeling in my chest as I finally started to relax. “Very well, you may put me back down on your lap.”
“Huh?” Rune’s eyes shot at the two men in front who were glaring at him.
“Jane… you don’t have to-” Andrew started.
“It’s fine!” I said. “He’s just really muscular and so it was difficult to get comfortable. I’m fine now.”
“Ah… you’re grinding again.”
“If you pop a boner, I kill you,” Andrew said darkly.
“Twice!” Daniel adds as Rune starts drip with cold sweat.
“P-put your arms around me.”
“No seatbelt. You need to put your arms around me.” I demanded.
Rune cautiously brought his arms around, clasping them together in my lap. My heart felt like it was about to explode, but I was more relieved that he didn’t think I was too heavy. That was too much of a close call.
“Jane, is your face a little flushed?” Andrew asked.
“I’m fine. You’re imagining it. It’s the lighting; shouldn’t you be piloting the ship?”
The two guys in front sighed while the guy under me seemed to gulp.
As they turn back away from my scene of embarrassment, Daniel muttered. “I shouldn’t have worked out today. I’m never going to work out again.”
“No!” I barked. “You need to work out! In fact, I should work out too!”
I suddenly started to feel the intense urge to go on a fast. All these muscular handsome boys were starting to make me self-conscious about my own health choices.
I didn’t think about it long though, as the ship suddenly shuddered into a launch.
“Alright,” Andrew said. “Here we go!”