|Time Will Tell
Author: Charis77 PM
A series of glimpses into the life of Hannah Shepard, the woman who shaped the heroine of the galaxy. Begins with Hannah's early life and will eventually follow her through the Mass Effect series of games and a little beyond.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Family - Hannah S. & Shepard (F) - Chapters: 42 - Words: 185,549 - Reviews: 120 - Favs: 52 - Follows: 53 - Updated: 11-21-12 - Published: 08-06-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8399500
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Hannah awoke from her nap refreshed. She'd slept surprisingly well considering the momentous event that would soon be upon them: confronting whoever had hired Keta. She washed quickly at the sink in her room, then exited into the short hall, crossing to the door that led into the conference room. When the door slid open, she found Lucas and Keta both in the room. At first, she assumed she'd caught them in another disagreement. Keta had her hands around Lucas' throat. She almost ran up to Keta to throw her off and defend Lucas, but Lucas spoke right after she opened the door.
"And then what?"
"Move your hands up here," Keta said, letting go and pointing to her top set of eyes.
Lucas followed her instructions, placing his hands over her eyes.
"Now, if you press your thumbs hard into the corners, near the tears ducts, you'll cause a batarian's top set of eyes to go blind."
"I don't want to hurt you."
"It doesn't hurt," Keta said, "though it's uncomfortable. But I appreciate your consideration, learning and not doing." She stepped back from Lucas. "That's all it takes really. We don't usually tell others about that little anatomical anomaly. It causes immediate disorientation. The effect is temporary, but I've used it more than once to give myself a few seconds to make an escape."
"Red!" Lucas called out, having caught a glimpse of Hannah at the door. "Hey, Keta was just showing me some moves against batarians."
"So I heard," Hannah said, walking to the conference table and sitting down. So, her teammates were getting along. She wondered if Lucas had chewed on her advice and decided to act on it.
"I suppose I shouldn't be betraying my own species," Keta said, sitting down at the table across from Hannah. "But they've betrayed me enough, I don't care who knows how to take them down."
"So, what brought this on?" Hannah asked as Lucas sat down in front of his computer.
"I asked Keta to describe Omega. We got talking about its gangs. The Blue Suns hire a lot of batarians."
"What should we expect on Omega?" Hannah asked, addressing Keta.
"Well, if we're lucky, we'll just receive a cold shoulder as a welcome," Keta said, scratching her scar. "I'll be fine. I've been there a lot. But you two," Keta ran an eye over each of her teammates, "you look too squeaky clean."
Lucas sat up straight in his chair. "So what do we do about that? We can't change who we are."
"But you can change your appearance. You look like typical Alliance Navy: every hair in place, clothes pressed and clean, like you're ready to step on board ship any minute. I can always tell Alliance personnel from miles away." Keta shook her head. She obviously held the opinion that the human Alliance was naïve in a big galaxy. Hannah guessed that was understandable considering Keta could get past Alliance security and sniff out its people instantly.
"How should we change?" Hannah asked Keta.
"Wear dark clothes that don't look like they were laundered yesterday. Let your hair down, Hannah. Lucas, mess it up a little. You want to step onto Omega and attract as little attention as possible, move under the radar so everyone leaves you alone." Keta paused for only a moment, then lifted a finger up as she remembered something. "But don't appear weak. Walk with confidence, like you're on a mission to blow someone's head off and if anyone gets in your way, you'll take theirs off in the process. Make people unconsciously aware they want to avoid you."
Hannah bit her lip. So this was going to take acting. She wasn't particularly good at that. She knew she marched around portraying the persona of an officer, rule oriented and duty focused. She couldn't help it. After thirty years in the military, her habits were ingrained.
"I think it might be best if when we get to Omega, you pose as our leader," Hannah recommended to Keta. "Walk ahead of us and we'll play your lackeys."
Keta nodded. "Good idea. If I can get people to pay attention to me, they'll be less likely to consider you two."
"But won't a batarian and a couple humans together make them suspicious?" Lucas asked.
"If we were in human space, yes," Keta agreed. "But on Omega, humans and batarians are often found together. Crime makes all species friends."
Hannah took a breath. "Alright. So we get down there, Keta you lead, then what?"
"We'll need to hope someone's using the signal," Lucas said.
"Okay, so we get down there and wait for the signal. Track it, then confront whoever is sending it."
"Lucas should make the first contact," Keta insisted, pointing to him.
"Why me?" Lucas asked, sounding nervous Keta had volunteered him.
"I'm still wanted by the Hegemony, and from what I hear, they've put a price on my head so large, any of the gangs would want to take me down. If I show my face to whoever hired me, they'll know who I am and a fight will begin immediately. Hannah's picture is on the extranet. Only an idiot wouldn't have researched Shepard if he intended to kill her. I'll assume my contact would also recognize her and be tipped off. You're not known by the contact at all. You approach them first, then we'll come in behind you."
"Okay," Lucas agreed, assenting to Keta's logic, but still not sounding entirely happy about it.
"Then we have a plan," Hannah said, leaning back in her chair.
"I have one more thing to add," Keta said.
"You need better guns."
"What's wrong with our guns?" Lucas asked, pointing at the gun racks attached to the conference room walls.
"They're sufficient. Common Alliance issue. But they aren't mine. I've modified mine. You'll find them…powerful. I've brought enough along for all of us."
Hannah nodded. "Alright. Show us what you've got."
The next thirty minutes were spent as Hannah and Lucas took stock of the weapons Keta stored in a metal strongbox. Lucas, despite being offended at first by Keta's implication that Alliance weapons were inferior to hers, ended up praising Keta's homemade modifications. Lucas chose a particularly impressive shotgun to take along, while Hannah picked both a sniper rifle and a pistol. Keta wanted only her assault rifle.
When they'd finished oohing and aahing over Keta's arsenal, the waiting game began again. Lucas actually assented to play poker with Keta again, provided no credits were involved and she teach him what she knew. Hannah turned her attention to her data pad. Two new messages had showed up in her inbox, one from Steven, the other from Jane. Hannah read the one from Steven first.
Commander Shepard, no news here. Status quo. Keep me updated if possible. Admiral Hackett.
So, none of Steven's "ears to the ground" had produced any results yet. Hannah had hoped he'd discover the mole himself and not need her to travel to Omega to smoke out who was after Jane. For now, her mission was still a go. Hannah next tapped the subject line of Jane's e-mail, "Thank You."
Mom, I understand being out of touch. I wish I could connect with you more often. There have been so many times I could've used your advice. After my mission is over, we need to get together. There's a lot I want to tell you. I've been thinking recently how lucky I am to have a mom like you. I wanted to thank you for not being some crazed biotic trying to kill me. I know that sounds weird, it's a long story and I'll tell you someday when I get the chance. Jane. P.S. I don't think I told you yet, but the galaxy's a small place. I'm working with Lourdes' cousin's son. What a coincidence, huh?
Hannah didn't quite get the "crazed biotic" part of the message, but she accepted the thanks from Jane regardless. She wondered if the son Jane mentioned was the prodigal biotic Lourdes had worried about over the years. Sounded like he'd finally decided on a career path in the Alliance military. Maybe she'd get to meet him someday when Jane had a moment to carve out of her busy schedule.
Hannah stood next to Pat in the cockpit, observing as he piloted the Agrippa into Omega. Hannah thought Omega looked like an alien jelly fish floating in a deep black sea. From the outside, it was unique and sublime, but she'd read enough about the inside to feel knots in her stomach tighten as they docked. She was used to having the upper hand, having powerful ship's weapons and marines at her command. When she stepped onto Omega, she'd have nothing but her guns, her wits and a couple companions to watch her back.
She met Lucas and Keta at the docking hatch. Pat would stay with the ship, ready to take off if they needed a quick getaway. Lucas looked funny to Hannah. His hair had been ruffled and he wore a pair of black pants and shirt, purposefully wrinkled. She knew she appeared quite the same, her red hair let loose and likewise wearing unassuming dark clothing. The only part of her outfit that felt familiar was the rocket necklace she refused to take off.
"Here, wear this," Keta said, handing Hannah a gray cape. "It'll be best if you conceal your face like me."
Hannah threw the cape around her shoulders, trusting Keta's judgment. It hung a little short on her as she was taller than the batarian, but when pulled forward, the hood hid her face adequately. Keta had donned her own brown cape, though she hadn't put on her mask. With the hood pulled forward, it covered her scar. Anyone walking past her would only sense a nondescript batarian somewhere inside the hood.
"Ready?" Hannah asked, her palms slightly sweaty in anticipation.
"Let's go," Lucas said.
Hannah punched the panel to open the hatch. Keta strode ahead, walking as if she owned the station, detached from her companions behind her, like she was a queen who didn't have to deign to acknowledge her entourage. Hannah and Lucas followed, trying to send out the message in their body language that they were people not to be messed with. As they ascended an elevator and stepped out onto Omega proper, Hannah marveled at how different this station was from any other she'd been on. It gave the impression of utter chaos. There was no symmetry in its design, just an amalgam of buildings, rooms and walkways. She wondered if anyone had created an accurate map of the place to help people get around. Probably not. Omega didn't seem to be a place that catered to its visitors. Here, you were completely on your own.
They passed a large club, music booming out, even through its closed entrance. There was a picture of dancing asari on the wall, advertising the pleasures of the club. Lucas sighed.
"Bet I won't get a chance to go in there," he muttered under his breath.
"I think here, Lucas, they'd eat you alive," Hannah mumbled back.
No one noticed the group of three as they walked along, for which Hannah was grateful. The selfishness of Omega played in their favor: no one had a moment or reason to worry about three unremarkable newcomers. Keta led her companions into a dim area of the station that Hannah postulated was an apartment complex as she glanced through open doors and beheld living areas and kitchens. Both aliens and humans were milling about, chatting in the hallways. Only a few spared a second to glance at the group as they walked passed. Keta stopped at a door, punched in a code and entered. They'd stepped into a one room apartment, a bed and sink in one corner, a small kitchen in another. Keta removed her cape and sat on the bed.
"My home away from home," she explained.
Hannah pulled back her hood. "You live here?" She gazed around the room. It hardly looked live in. It was sparse and simple.
"Not often. Only when needed. I haven't been back here in ages."
The only place to sit was the bed, so Hannah sat down next to Keta. Lucas leaned up against the wall across from the bed. "Waiting again."
"Yep," Keta said, laying back on the bed.
The wait this time, however, was short. Within twenty minutes of their arrival to Keta's apartment, her omni-tool beeped, another audio message coming in. Lucas was ready, his data pad synched to Keta's omni-tool so he could track the signal.
"Shepard is on Feros."
"On my way."
"We're getting impatient."
"I'll get it done."
The caller cut off. Lucas tapped on his data pad. "I've got a location. Three miles south of here."
"Let's go," Hannah commanded, heading towards the door. Now that they were so close to whoever was endangering her daughter, her mommy bear feelings had kicked in. She suddenly felt that all she wanted to do was find this person and rip him or her limb from limb.
The location of the signal led them to another living area, this one clearly more upscale, if such a description could be used in a place like Omega. The apartment Lucas pointed out had steps leading up to it. A small open area was laid out in front of it, turned into a makeshift lounge with crates and metal beams for seats. A vorcha and a krogan were sitting in the lounge area, conversing.
Keta pointed at a building on the other side of the lounge across from the apartment. "There's a roof there. Hannah and I can observe your approach from there."
Lucas nodded, rubbing his hands on his pants, clearly nervous that he had to be the first in.
"Just get whoever is in there to talk," Hannah said. "I'll be listening. If you need me, I'll come down and I'll have my gun trained at all times."
"Okay, Red, I'm entrusting my life to you."
Hannah and Keta made their way to the building across from the apartment, climbing up from the back, using ladders attached to its walls. When they were near the edge of the roof, they both crawled forward on their stomachs. Hannah had a good view of the lounge down below. The vorcha and krogan had left. Lucas was sitting on one of the crates, trying to look nonchalant. Hannah reached behind her back and unhooked her sniper rifle. She put her eye to the scope, training it on the apartment door. She spoke aloud.
Lucas stood up, making his way to the bottom of the steps to the apartment. He climbed them slowly. Hannah's heart thumped hard in her chest. If whoever was in there tried to hurt her friend, he'd find a bullet in his brain instantly. Lucas reached the door and pressed the panel outside it. Hannah breathed in and out slowly, concentrating, her gaze intent through the scope, waiting to see who would open the door.
After a couple seconds, the door opened and Hannah heard Lucas speak. "Hey, I need some help out here."
Hannah didn't hear Lucas' conversation. Her mouth had fallen open. It wasn't the voice she had recognized, though it was familiar. She'd known who it was the moment the door to the apartment had slid back. Fury assaulted her mind and she thrust the sniper rifle into Keta's hands.
"Take it. Don't shoot unless I wave at you. If I go in, follow."
Hannah didn't say anything else, ignoring Keta's confusion, her heart afire with rage. With jittery hands she climbed back down the ladders as fast as she could. Once at the bottom, she stalked across the lounge, reaching the stairs to the apartment and taking the steps two at a time. She pushed in front of Lucas, grabbing the young man in his mid-twenties who stood in front of Lucas by the collar and slamming him back into the apartment, pinning him against a wall.
"Hannah?" the young man, asked, surprise etched all over his face. "What are you doing here?"
Hannah drew her pistol and placed it against the young man's head. "You'd better start talking, Jules, before your mother loses her only child."
Jules Maddock looked from Hannah to Lucas. Lucas had drawn his shotgun, pointing it at the young man in front of him, following Hannah's lead.
"What is your problem?" Jules asked, clearly confused.
"I can't believe you betrayed Jane like this. Why?"
"Oh, Jane. Look, it wasn't much. Just a little program."
Hannah's eyes narrowed. "Explain."
"Why don't you explain?" Jules came back. "How do you even know about it?" Jules was suddenly distracted by someone at the door. "Get out!" he yelled.
Hannah heard the door slide shut and someone came to stand next to her. It was Keta, now holding her assault rifle, also trained on Jules.
"She's with me," Hannah said, informing Jules.
Jules stared at Hannah with disbelieving eyes. "You've taken up with batarians? You hired the Blue Suns to help take me out? Is that why you're here?"
Hannah stared at Jules, her anger rich, yet her mind still managing to maintain control over her actions. A year ago Maddock had lamented to her that Jules had gotten involved with the wrong group of friends and gone off the radar. Lourdes was worried sick not knowing where he was and what he was up to. She tried to read Jules' eyes. He was trying to portray confidence, but Hannah identified the real emotion behind his eyes: he was scared spitless. Hannah gathered her thoughts. For the sake of Maddock, she pulled her gun away from Jules' head, but still kept it aimed at him. "Sit over there," she pointed to a couch. "And let's talk."
"Fine," Jules said, walking slowly over to the couch, then sitting down and staring at the three beings in front of him with their guns trained on him. He rubbed his hands together nervously, glancing between Hannah and Lucas and Keta. When he looked at Keta, he snorted angrily.
"You can put the guns away. You don't need them to talk to me."
"I don't know if I can trust you," Hannah returned. Images of Jane and Jules as friends, chatting, playing games and enjoying each other's company came to mind. She couldn't believe Jules had turned on his good friend.
"How can I trust you with a batarian on your side?" Jules asked, pointing accusingly at Keta.
"I'm not with the Blue Suns. I'm Keta La'ali," Keta enlightened Jules.
Jules stared. "And that's supposed to mean something to me? I don't have batarian friends."
"I'm not your friend," Keta shot back. "I'm your hire."
"Huh?" Jules looked to Hannah. "What is going on?"
"You hired her to kill Jane, didn't you?" Hannah blurted out, her pistol shifting to target Jules' heart.
"What? No. Seriously, Hannah, I don't know what you're talking about."
"Admit the truth," Keta came back at Jules, "Or your brains are going to decorate the wall."
"I didn't!" Jules yelled out, raising his hands up in a gesture of surrender. "I swear, I didn't!"
"Then what did you do?" Hannah asked, starting to doubt Jules had taken out the contract on Jane. "What did you do to her?"
"I didn't do anything to her," Jules insisted, pleading with Hannah. "I only wrote a small program, insignificant really."
Jules looked at each person in front of him in turn again, seemingly debating if he should say anything at all. "It's kind of secret."
"Tell me now, or I swear…" Hannah pulled slightly on the trigger of the pistol.
"Alright!" Jules cried out. "I wrote this program so they could follow the Normandy. You know, just tracking software."
"How did you get it on board?"
Jules rubbed his hands on his knees. "Well, I didn't. I just e-mailed Jane, to chat about the Normandy and its tech capabilities. Someone else got the program onboard once I wrote it."
"Is that person on the Normandy now?"
"I don't know. I don't even know who put it on the Normandy."
"Why did you do it?" Hannah demanded to know, considering Jules a traitor to her daughter, a traitor to the Alliance.
"They told me they just wanted to know what Jane was up to. Make sure she was looking after humanity's interests. They didn't want to kill Jane, just monitor her."
"Who is they?"
Jules shifted on the couch. "I'm not going to tell you that." He crossed his arms over his chest and stared unflinchingly at Hannah and her pistol as if he was ready to die to protect someone.
"If I tell you, you'll start some witch hunt. I'm not turning you loose on my friends. Why do you think they want to kill Jane, anyway?"
"We tracked the signal sent to Keta," Lucas explained, his shotgun still aimed at Jules. "It came from this apartment."
"I didn't send any signal," Jules said, turning his eyes on Keta, narrowing them. "Did she tell you that? She's lying. You're buying her lies."
Keta pointed accusingly at Jules. "You're lying! They heard the calls."
"We did," Hannah confirmed, but doubt had grown in her mind. She didn't sense that Jules was lying; indeed, she felt he'd been upfront with her, entirely truthful. "Lucas, search the apartment for the source of the signal." Lucas lowered his shotgun and began to dig through Jules' belongings, starting in the living room.
"Hey, you have no right to…" Jules exclaimed, starting to stand up from the couch.
"Sit down!" Hannah commanded, stepping forward and raising her pistol, pointing it at his head again.
Jules sat still, but his eyes were angry, furious at Hannah's invasion into his apartment. As Lucas hunted, Hannah continued her interrogation.
"Why are you here, on Omega?" Hannah asked.
Jules glanced at Keta, then turned back to Hannah. "I have my own reasons. It's none of your business."
"Jules, someone wants to kill Jane. Tell me who you're involved with."
"None of my friends would kill her!" Jules declared.
Hannah breathed in and out quickly, frustrated with Jules' stubborn refusal to tell her what was going on. She decided to try a different tack.
"Your mom and dad have worried sick over you. They don't know where you are, what you're doing, if you're in danger."
Jules shifted again, obviously uncomfortable with Hannah's change in approach. "They wouldn't understand," he said quietly. "They never did."
"Tell me. Explain it to me."
Jules looked at Hannah, clearly exasperated, but his voice calm. "If I did tell you, you wouldn't understand it either."
Jules didn't answer, just looked away. Hannah gave him a minute to think. She was about to ask him again, when Lucas tromped back into the living room. He walked right up to Jules and dumped a tiny metal box into his lap. Jules held it up, examining it.
"You're a patsy, kid," Lucas said. He'd clipped his shotgun to his back, obviously viewing Jules as a non-threat. Hannah lowered her pistol, but kept it in her hand. She nodded at Keta, who dropped her assault rifle.
Jules shook his head. "It…they wouldn't do this to me."
"What is it?" Hannah asked.
Lucas pressed his lips together. "This kid didn't call Keta. The call was routed to this apartment, disguising the location. It's sophisticated. He's innocent."
"Your friends aren't your friends, Jules," Hannah said, putting her hands on her hips. "They set you up. They used your relationship with Jane to get close to her. You're a tool."
Jules stared uncertainly at the metal box. "They wouldn't…" he said again.
Hannah felt sudden sympathy for the young man she'd known since he was a teen. He'd been had and hadn't seen it coming. "They aren't worth your loyalty."
Jules set the box on the coffee table. "They can't all be bad. I don't believe it. They aren't all like this."
"Who is they?" Hannah asked again, hoping Jules would finally divulge who he was involved with now that it was obvious they'd used him.
"They're trying to kill Jane! They hired Keta to assassinate her!" Hannah had leaned forward, her voice loud and angry. "Do you want her to die? Are you going to wait until you hear on the news she's dead before you say anything?"
Jules put a hand to his mouth, eyes hurt and scared. "I don't want Jane to die," he said finally.
"Then tell us who you're working for!" Hannah cried out. "Please, Jules, please."
Jules stared at Hannah again, then took a deep breath. "Terra Firma."
Terra Firma, the anti-alien political party, Hannah thought to herself. What had Jane done to piss them off? "Why would they…"
"I don't know!" Jules interrupted loudly. "They're not like that. They're just trying to protect humanity. We're surrounded by alien influence infiltrating Earth. They just wanted to watch Jane, make sure being a Spectre didn't cause her to go against humanity. That's all."
"All they told you," Lucas said, sitting down on the arm of the couch.
"Hannah," Jules said, looking at her with pleading eyes, "They're my friends. I don't know who planted that thing here," he pointed at the little metal box on the coffee table. "I'm sure most of them are good people…"
"What would they do if they thought Jane's actions did go against humanity?" Hannah speculated.
Jules sucked in his lips. "They wouldn't kill her."
"Someone would," Keta said. "The fact remains I was hired and the calls that tell me where Shepard is and what she's doing come from this apartment."
Hannah spoke in a low voice. "I want names."
"No," Jules answered immediately.
"I'm not going to get innocent people arrested. I don't believe they're all in this. They aren't."
"Then who might be?"
"I don't know," Jules admitted. "I don't know all those involved in the underground."
Jules shook his head. "I shouldn't be telling you any of this, I took an oath."
"If you don't, Jane may die."
Jules sighed. "Terra Firma has a public face and a…not so public one. They just want to be able to gather information without interference, make sure they know what's going on in the galaxy. There are various cells all around the galaxy, you know, just listening, assessing the threats to humanity."
"And you're part of one of these cells?"
"Yeah," Jules confessed. "Omega's a great place to keep tabs on aliens. But, recently, some of the cells went rogue."
Hannah became intently interested in this part of Jules' explanation. She sat down in a chair across from the couch. "Yes?"
"Well," Jules said, leaning forward with his arms on his knees. "Just, some of the members didn't think Terra Firma was taking a bold enough stance in the Parliament, that things weren't moving fast enough to protect humanity's interests."
"So one of these cells might be after Jane?"
"Maybe. But I don't understand why."
"Who are the rogue leaders?" Hannah asked.
Jules shrugged. "I don't know. One of the ways we protect the cells is by using pseudonyms. I've had a lot of people in this apartment, but I can't tell you half their names."
Hannah pushed herself into the back of the chair. This mission had just become way more complicated. "Lucas, can you track the signal from that box?"
Lucas shook his head. "I don't think so. I did some scanning with my omni-tool. The programming on this thing erases the incoming signal as it broadcasts."
Hannah sighed in frustration. "So we can't figure out who's behind this."
"Maybe we can," Keta said thoughtfully.
Hannah looked to her friend. "How?"
"I know someone who might have the information we need, but we'll have to be careful."
"Who is it?"
"An agent of the Shadow Broker, here on Omega."
"The Shadow Broker…" Hannah echoed Keta, remembering what Lucas had told her about this mysterious individual or group. If this person or group traded in secret information, maybe they would know the location of Terra Firma's underground cells.
"So…how can this agent help?"
Keta smiled wickedly. "He won't help willingly. He won't compromise his relationship with the Shadow Broker by giving us information for free and we don't have the credits to pay him. But he does keep a copy of everything he sends the Broker, a back-up just in case he has to cover his own ass some day."
"Does he use the Broker's encryption?" Lucas asked. "If he does, we're still sunk. No one's been able to break that, not even the top Alliance hackers."
"He does use it," Keta conceded.
"I could break it," Jules said softly.
"You? I've been doing this for a long time, boy. If I can't do it, you certainly can't."
"I bet I've been hacking about as long as you have," Jules defended his skills. Lucas laughed and Jules glared at him angrily.
Hannah remembered Jules' run-ins with Arcturus Station security over his hacking into their systems. "He's skilled," she said to Lucas, who raised his eyebrows at her doubtfully.
"Will you hack this agent?" Hannah asked Jules.
Jules seemed to debate within himself for a few seconds, then slowly nodded. "I don't want anyone to kill Jane. And I want to know who set me up. But more than that, I want to clear my friends. I know my friends aren't involved in this."
"We'll see," Lucas muttered, causing the ire of Jules to be turned on him again through a furious look.
"Let's find this agent," Hannah said.
Keta pointed a slender finger at Jules. "I don't know if I trust him. Maybe he's setting us up."
Jules scowled at Keta furiously, folding his arms over his chest.
Hannah had to admit she was still a little wary. "If he tries something, we have our weapons." She paused to send Jules a pointed look. "And I will use my pistol if I have to."
Jules shook his head at Hannah. "You never knew me, did you? You lived with my family for four years and you never knew me. You can trust me."
Hannah immediately felt offended by Jules' declaration, but part of her knew he was right. She'd never taken the time to get to know him. He'd been a person of little consequence to her. He was Jane's project and not hers. She wondered now what she had missed by not paying more attention to Jules over the years.