The grouping of soldiers finally cleared out, leaving us in relative solitude. The boys had all been freed, and I ended up finding myself being enthusiastically hugged by one guy after another. Michael, Cain, and Abaddon spoke amongst themselves with Rune and Andrew by their sides. The men burst into laughter, Baal slapping Michael on the back. It looked like they were doing well.
The other boys cornered me, asking me to explain how I was still alive. I began to tell them about what happened after I died and was tossed off the ledge, but then I noticed Samantha out of the corner of my eye. She had her hands on one of the angel soldiers, and she was giggling provocatively. What did she think she was doing? I felt a flare of jealousy form up inside me.
I stormed up to her just as I heard, “So is that sword the only thing you know how to polish?”
“Samantha! What the hell?”
Samantha gave me a shocked, innocent look. “What?”
“What do you mean, what? What about John? You’re not even on a second date and you’re cheating on him?”
I knew the sight shouldn’t make me so angry, but it was the principle of the thing. Who did Samantha think she was to cheat on me? I mean John.
“It doesn’t count as cheating if you are on another plane of existence.”
“Yes, it totally does, you skank!”
The soldier bowed his head respectfully and excused himself. Once he left the room, Samantha smacked me on the arm.
“Look what you did, you scared him way. Not every girl can have dozens of guys all in love with her at once.” Samantha growled.
“They’re all just my friends. Right, guys?” I turned to the group of boys.
The eight of them stared back, blank looks on their faces.
“Right, guys?” I asked again.
They looked at each other as if daring one of the others to talk.
“Although now that I think of it,” I frowned. “I do remember someone shouting they loved me. Which one of you said that?”
The silence continued.
“No… no you don’t mean it… all of you?”
Daniel took a step forward, “I’ve never hid my affection for you. I loved you since they day I met you, and since then my love for you has only grown. I would do anything for you. I would give up Alpha for you. Anything you want, it’s yours.”
I nodded, I kind of expected that from Daniel.
“You know I love you, little sis.” Alex spoke up, “I’m never going anywhere. And don’t forget you have to take responsibility for your little brothers’ feelings too.”
I shivered at that.
“I don’t think it goes without saying that I’ve already stated I love you,” Victor nodded.
“Yeah, okay, you guys are a given, but what about you Stephan?”
“Me? Oh, yeah… well…”
“No, you can’t say…”
“Well, we are kind of two peas in a pod, aren’t we? You’re probably the only girl for me.”
“Ryan? Come on, back me up.”
“I love my mistress.”
“Come on, Ryan, I was counting on you!”
“But surely Allan doesn’t, right Allan?”
Allan adjusted his glasses, but his cheeks blushed considerably, “Ridiculous.”
“I’m not even going to ask you, Xavier,” I sighed as Mr. Xavier chuckled.
No, no, no, no, no, no. Things were spiraling out of my control again. Everyone was in love with me. What was this, a Saturday night sitcom? I had to get away. I had to find some space. I walked over to the demons and angels. At least Rune and Andrew only saw me as a friend.
“We have gotten into contact with the Necromancer. Rune’s body guard, Major Reginal, is currently in negotiations with him. It looks like he will be happy to help with the summit. He’s also agreed to put his army down, depending on the outcome of the summit.” Abaddon was explaining.
Major Reginal? It looked like that bunny got around.
Michael nodded, “We are fully dedicated to opening up communications with the demons. We’ll need to come up with safeguards so that this kind of thing doesn’t happen again. What of the Star cult?”
Baal was the one who answered, “According to the man we interrogated, the Star cult does seek to acquire weaponry, but in order to protect the human race. At least that’s what the Earth chapter is focused on.”
“It still means they may be problematic in the future. Anyone who only wants to amass large quantities of weaponry through any means could become quite dangerous.” Abaddon added.
“Although in this instance, they were able to stall the plans. The Star cult didn’t know who was masquerading as the Archangel though, so they were no more informed than we were.”
The three men look down at Cain, still sitting unconscious in the crater Abaddon had put him in.
Baal tapped the unconscious Cain with his foot, “Although, now that I mention it, I think it’s about time we neutered the rabid dog.”
Baal leaned down, his hand ripped into the man’s chest. I looked away, the sight just a little nauseating. Then he found what he was looking for and pulled. Out came the demonic sword that Andrew and I had been fighting. The darkness from it had dimmed considerably, and it didn’t look nearly as menacing now.
“Masumune,” Abaddon looked the sword up and down, “That’s a hell of a sword.”
Baal nodded in agreement, “It would take one hell of a demon to be able to tame the beast.”
The two men looked at each other and nodded in agreement. Baal took a few steps over to his son, who was sitting on the steps. He looked a little pale, but was recovering fairly nicely.
Rune glanced up at his dad, his eyes widening, “You’re giving me a demonsword?”
Baal shrugged, “I promised I’d get you one, didn’t I?”
“I… I just thought… thank you, I will.”
Rune rose to his feet, and took the sword. The darkness took on a purplish hue, and he swung it a few times in the air, nodding in approval.
“Besides, you’ll need the sword if you’re going to keep up with my future daughter-in-law.” Baal laughed heartily, turning to me.
Michael approached from the other side, “That’s where I’m afraid you’re wrong. You see, this girl is already spoken for, she’s my future daughter-in-law.”
The atmosphere suddenly turned deadly within a second, the two men’s menacing auras smashing into each other.
“Is that so, preacher boy?” Baal sneered viciously.
“Yeah, I do. My son’s even gotten to first base!”
It looked like it was about to come to blows; I gave the two boys a pleading glance. Both Andrew and Rune had their heads lowered and looks of mortification on their face. Some help they were being. Why did it always have to be me that fixed everything?
“Will you two idiots stop it!” I snapped.
The two turned to me, looks of shock in their eyes.
“If you haven’t forgotten, I’m not an Archangel or an Archdemon, so even if I wanted to, I couldn’t marry either of your kids.”
Their mouths fell open, staring at me with dumbfounded looks. Baal grabbed Michael’s arm, and the two men moved away a few steps and started whispering to each other. I frowned, not quite able to hear anything they were saying. I think I heard, “Mmhmm, that could work.” Then Baal slapped his hands together.
“Alright! It’s a plan!”
The two men turned back to me, clever grins on their faces. I already didn’t like where this was going. The boys had all stopped to watch their little display as well. Abaddon seemed to watch them with amusement on his face.
“Jane!” Michael declared, pointing at me, “You have managed to wield the Holy sword Gemini. If I knew nothing else about you, that would be enough. However, for everything you have done for heaven. For protecting my son, saving me, and stopping a war… I must promote you to the rank of Archangel.”
I blinked, staring at him dumfounded.
“Furthermore!” Baal spoke up, “You house the demonsword Gemini. My son likes you, and frankly, I like you too. As the high general of Abaddon’s army, I hereby promote you to the rank of Archdemon.”
Michael winced at that, but it looked deliberate. The look on both men’s faces were still quite satisfied. The two men were doing something they felt was quite clever, and I just had no idea what it was. Abaddon tsk’d, and walked up next to me, shaking his head sadly.
“What? What does that mean?” I asked.
“The position of Archangel and the position of Archdemon are polar opposites. In a way, they cancel each other out. You can’t be one, while being the other.” Abaddon explained.
“So what does that make me then?”
“Nothing!” Baal chuckled with a grin on his face, “You have no titles.”
I frowned, not sure what they were getting at. That wasn’t much of an award.
“I mean, you could, and I’m just throwing this out there, renounce you Archdemon title, and become a fullfledged Archangel. Then you’d have a place in heaven, and Andrew by your side,” Michael suggested.
“Or,” Baal added, “You could renounce your title as an archangel, and become an Archdemon. Hell is a lot more fun anyway. We have a pool full of chocolate syrup. You’ll have a great time.”
I glanced over at Andrew and Rune. They both still had embarrassed looks on their faces, looking away from their fathers. They weren’t buying this, were they?
“What do you guys think?” I asked.
“Jane,” Rune nodded, “You know how I feel about you.”
I did? My face fell. Holy shit… I did. All of them, all the boys were in love with me.
“Andrew, you too.” It wasn’t really a question; I had felt how he felt through the bond.
Andrew nodded, “Jane, I love you. I should have told you that ages ago.”
Michael clapped his hands. “There, it’s settled. So all you have to do is pick Andrew, and let this polar bear now he’s not needed.”
Baal growled back, “Just tell this over bloated egomaniac that my Rune is that best choice, so which is it, heaven or hell?”
“You don’t have to be so hasty, you could pick neither.” Stephan added, walking up with the remainder of the boys, “The Necromancer said he could make you like me. We could spend eternity together.”
Michael and Baal frowned at his words.
“Yeah, if you wanted to die,” Daniel spoke up, “You’ve already been accepted in my wolf clan. Being the wife of an Alpha has its perks. I could get you anything you wanted.”
“Like dead animals?” Victor shivered, “At this point, you’ve consumed so much venom that you’re already practically a vampire. We could finish the process and spend our immortality together. I could fly you all around the world. Italy would only be the start.”
“Repairing the robot girl Mia has been a trial,” Allan spoke up, adjusting his glasses, “But she has an advanced sensor system that has enabled me to locate a crash landed ship. I believe it may be in good enough condition to repair. Victor might be able to take you around the world, I could take you to space, and show you the galaxy.”
“Well, I’m not okay with my sister leaving the planet,” Alex pouted, “I’m going to be with her wherever she goes, that’s what sisters are for!”
“I only have to offer what I’ve always offered,” Mr. Xavier spoke up, “A stable job and support for any endeavors you’d want.”
“I’ll do whatever mistress commands,” Ryan spoke up, “But I would like to stay with her.”
I glanced at all the boys. Each of them was glancing at me, slightly eager looks in their eyes. This was almost too much to bear.
Abaddon seemed to have an amused look on his face as he scratched his chin, “So what will it be Jane? Who do you choose?”
“Yeah. Jane, who?” Samantha added, an evil grin on her face.
I looked once more at each of the boys in front of me. This is what Michael had meant when I spoke to him some time ago. I could be anything I wanted to be. I could be an angel or a demon, a space alien, or a vampire. The choices in front of me seemed endless. I closed my eyes, affirming my decision. I knew how I wanted to my future to go.
“The person I choose is… no one.”
The guys all blinked, staring at each other in confusion.
“Come on! I’m sixteen damn it. Why the hell do I have to decide who I’m going to be for the rest of my life, or more, what am I going to be? I don’t have to choose, and I don’t want to. I want to just hang out with my friends, have fun, and be a teenager. I just want to be me, Jane Averygail, and no guy is going to bring validation to my existence. I do that for myself. Besides, if you were really interested in me, then you would want to be my friend, even if it wasn’t something more!”
Alex gave a big smile, a tear running down her cheek. She clapped her hands as if I had just given a roaring speech. The rest of the boys just stared in shock, their mouths slightly a gape. Well, let them be shocked for a while. I’m Jane freaking Averygail, damn it, and I write my own story. Baal and Michael burst out laughing, acting like they were old friends. When their laughter died down, Baal turned to Rune.
“Don’t screw it up, Rune. I’m counting on you! Win her heart, boy.”
“Counting on me! Damn it, old man, stay out of my love life!” Rune snapped.
“You wouldn’t let a demon win, would you son?” Michael asked.
Andrew sighed. “There is no winning. In the end, it will always be Jane’s choice.”
The boys all nodded in turn, causing the two men to chuckle even more.
“Could you at least concede to one small request,” Mr. Xavier spoke up.
I frowned, raising an eyebrow at him.
“Well, there has to be a point where you need to choose, otherwise you’re just leading everyone on. Might I suggest a deadline?”
“You can suggest it.”
“Perhaps you decide who you want, if anyone, shortly after you graduate from High School. At that point, everyone will be moving on with their lives. It’s not like the gang will be able to stay together past then. You should have at least an idea of where your life is heading by then. ”
I twisted my lips, thinking about it. We had started this journey almost an entire school year ago. I was a Softmore now, so that would make it another two years before I had to reveal who I would end up with. My story wasn’t over yet, it was only just beginning.
I give the group a smirk, “Yeah, I think we can stretch this story into a trilogy. That’s what all the romantic stories do these days anyway.”