As a fan of Teen Wolf from the very beginning, I've been dying to write a story like this. Only Jane Brown and her immediate family are mine; everyone else belong to the creators at MTV. My story graphic was made by the incredible lazy bones TDA. Without further ado, here is chapter one:
Rain lashed against the old windows of Beacon Hills Library; thunder forced the entire building to shudder in protest. The sky above was so dark that any common observer would have supposed that it was at least eight o'clock at night, and not mid-afternoon. Wind rattled the metal street signs so viciously that they were nearly torn out of the ground. The roads were almost deserted, the storm frightening away any possible visitors for the library. Only my co-worker, Mrs. Pollard, and me were working there that dreadful day; there were only a few people walking in that day, so our duties were mostly focused on retrieving books that, after a particularly loud clap of thunder, tumbled from the shelves and onto the dark carpet.
"Jane?" asked Mrs. Pollard now, forcing me to look up from my Physics textbook and directly into her dark, weathered eyes. "Can you go check on that girl in the back? I don't like leaving her alone with those public records."
Holding in the urge to roll my eyes, I set the book upon the desk that I was sitting behind and got to my feet. Honestly, Mrs. Pollard was far too old to still be working in the library; she was nearly seventy years old and only seemed to grow more bitter as each day in her life ticked by. She was also ridiculously nosy, to the point where she was constantly butting into everyone's lives, including, unfortunately, my own. Not a day had gone by during those first months that I was working at the library when she hadn't demanded to know every detail on my nearly non-existent personal life, from the type of toothpaste I used—"You know that teeth-whitening crap is going to rot your teeth away until you'll be needing dentures when you graduate from college"—to if I had a boyfriend—"Want a life lesson? Stay away from all men; all they do is eat and complain. Definitely not worth your time."
"Sure, Mrs. Pollard," I told the elderly woman with a friendly smile; if I had learned anything over the time I had worked with her, it would be never get on her bad side. That would be a fatal mistake.
"Good," said Mrs. Pollard. "Damn girl and her need to be here every day; honestly, what's so exciting about the public archives? Nothing, I tell you…"
Leaving her to her irritable ranting, I stepped away from the Information Desk and began to make my way to the back of the library, where the archives were located. The scent of fresh ink and yellowing pages purged my senses, making me happily breath in the intoxicating air. There truly was no better place than the library; it held all of my greatest passions in its quaint abode, from cookbooks to classic Victorian era novels to the biographies of past poets and authors. It was my safe-house, the one place where I could truly be my happiest. Despite all that had happened in the past year, nothing could drag me down while I was in the presence of so many incredible books.
Shoving away those prodding memories, I entered the archive room, which was lined with file cabinets and bookshelves, filled with all of the information on Beacon Hills, California. Well, almost all of it; there was some that would continue to elude the occasional researcher.
Sitting alone at a long, wooden table was one person, a girl maybe a few years older than me. Her head was ducked down, long dark hair forming a curtain around her fair face as she hastily read some packet of papers that she had pulled out from one of the filing cabinets.
"Laura?" I asked her gently. "Everything alright back here?"
She instantly jumped at the sound of my voice, startled by my sudden presence. Her large green eyes blinked up at me, framed by a dark fringe of eyelashes. Laura Hale tucked a stray strand of black hair behind her ear as she replied, "Yeah, I'm fine. Just…still looking for…something. You're not locking up yet, are you?"
"Oh no," I shook my head. "No, you have a few more hours. If you want, I can stay here after hours, if you need some more time back here?"
A strange smile spread across her face as she continued to regard me, her intense green stare gazing directly into my eyes. "I should be alright. Thank you, though. I really do appreciate it."
"It's no problem," I shrugged. Biting my lip, I added, "I'll just be up front if you need me, alright?" Laura nodded as she resumed searching through the files before her, and I took this as an opportunity to leave her alone to work and return to the Information Desk.
For the past couple weeks, Laura had arrived at the library just after nine o'clock and disappeared into the backroom of the library, diving straight into those archives and searching for whatever piece of information that was evading her. Sometimes she would leave for a few hours, but she would always end up being here when we were forced to close up. Then, the next morning, she would be sitting on those front steps, waiting for one of the librarian's arrival. It was a vicious cycle, one that she seemed intended to keep.
Mrs. Pollard had made no effort to hide her distrust for the girl, whispering in her wake that she was far too meddlesome for her own good. A bit hypocritical, of course, but what more could we expect from dear Mrs. Pollard? As for me, I held no misgivings for Laura; she had always been polite and kind, although a bit secretive. But, as my father had taught me since I was a young girl, I continued to show as much kindness to her as possible. As she became a permanent fixation in the library, I would occasionally bring her a coffee when I was forced to make a run to the local café, or even offer her the extra cookie that I packed with my lunch. I wasn't positive on what made me desire to help her so much, but she certainly didn't seem to mind all that much. She'd even offer we exchange numbers a couple days before.
"All set back there?" Mrs. Pollard asked me pryingly as I took my usual seat at the desk.
"Yes," I replied calmly, returning to my book and listening to the raging storm just outside the window beside me. "Everything's fine."
No matter how hard I tried, the exhaustion refused to desert my sleepy eyes. As I drove home from the library, cooked dinner for my grandparents, and unpacked a few more of the boxes still holed up in my bedroom, I couldn't seem to escape the fatigue that continued to plague me. Despite the immense amount of chores I had left to complete, I threw myself upon my bed, ready to announce defeat to my enervation.
As I closed my eyes, my phone began to vibrate in my jean pocket. Groaning to myself, I pulled it out and, not bothering to look at the caller ID, answered it. "Hello?" I practically gurgled as I began to burrow myself into my comforter and pillows.
Frowning at the slightly crackly, unfamiliar voice, I flipped onto my back and, gazing up at the bare ceiling, replied, "Yes, this is she. Who is this?"
"It's Laura. Laura Hale."
"Oh, hi, Laura," I hastily said, sitting up. Ever since I had given her my number, I hadn't received a call or text from the strange girl; obviously this wasn't just a standard checkup from a casual aquaintance. "What's up?"
"Well, I'm in a bit of a bind. You're not busy, are you?"
Glancing around at all of my unopened boxes and down at my exhausted body, I smiled at my invisible caller and replied, "Not at all. What do you need?"
And thus, half an hour later, I was pulling into a rather seedy-looking motel on the outskirts of Beacon Hills, glancing at my GPS to make sure that this was, in fact, the right address that Laura had given me. Fortunately, the storm had calmed down to a light drizzle, the cool rain coating the dark paint of my aging car. But, the wispy rain offered me a chance to see where exactly I was heading, and I wasn't exactly too sure about this destination.
The motel was one of those cheap, one-story buildings that you only found in those intense crime shows and the occasional horror movie. A giggling, drunk couple was collapsing into their room as I pulled in front of the white door labeled "12".
Just as I was parking, Laura Hale was closing her door behind her and calmly walking over to my passenger door, her phone pressed to her ear as she quietly spoke into the receiver.
"—just call me back, Derek, okay? Talk to you later," Laura was saying as she slipped a seatbelt over her thin form. "Hey," she grinned over at me. "Thanks again for the lift."
"It's no big deal," I began modestly.
"You're wrong," said Laura bluntly. "I'd be shit out of luck if it wasn't for you."
I offered her once last smile before asking, "Where do you need to go?"
After she gave me some quick directions, we began to drive back into Beacon Hills, away from that motel that continued to shoot chills up and down my spine. Rain began to pool all over my windshield, the wind picking up slightly as we continued to drive. Glancing over at Laura, I broke the silence by asking, "So, what happened to your car?"
"Broke down on the side of the road," she told me. "I had to walk all the way back to my room and leave it there. Hopefully I'll be able to get a tow truck tomorrow morning to bring it to a mechanic—and don't offer to call a trucking company or pay the mechanic or whatever good deed you want to fulfill," she added as I opened my mouth.
Flushing, I defensively replied, "I honestly wasn't going to say any of that. I was just going to see if you needed a ride to the library tomorrow."
Laura continued to observe me for a moment before a smile returned to her face. "First off, I don't need a ride, but thank you. Secondly, Jane, you must have been a saint in a past life. You're far too kind to everyone, including that old bat at the library—"
"Even I can't keep my patience around Mrs. Pollard," I laughed along with her as I slowed at a stop sign. "So you can't give me that one."
After a quick, companionable silence through a long, dark stretch of endless road, Laura probed, "So what are you? A freshman at some local community college or something?"
"Still a senior," I grimaced. "For one last semester, at least; before I moved to Beacon Hills, I had to take a semester off last year for some…personal reasons, so I just have one more left before I can finally go to college."
"Take a right here," Laura ordered me before, as I switched my turning signal on, continuing with, "It'll fly by for you, I'm sure. Then you'll have all-access to the promise land."
As I pulled up to a separate building with a sign labeling it "Beacon Hills Memorial Hospital: Long-Term Care", I overheard Laura abruptly suck in a deep breath. Frowning as I pulled into a spot, I was just glancing over at her as she unbuckled her seatbelt. "Just stay here, alright? This will only take a minute."
Laura disappeared into the hospital, and I ran my fingers through my dark hair, still slightly damp from the oncoming showers from above. The thin hairs on the back of my neck began to stand on end, and I nervously glanced all around my car. There were no other cars there but mine, although every single light was still lit within the hospital. And yet, I continued to search the parking lot, sure that someone was, indeed, watching me. My fingers fidgeted with each other, the occasional nail being clawed off in anxiousness.
Laura's face abruptly swam in the passenger window, making me involuntarily gasp in surprise as she knocked on the glass. I hastily unlocked the door and she slid inside, shaking her damp hair all about as if some sort of wet dog. "Alright, we're all set," Laura smiled at me, although it didn't quite reach her eyes as before.
Thinking of that sleazy motel, of the people that would be ranging all about the corridor outside her room, and the fact that she would be there all alone, I bit my bottom lip. "Now, don't bite my head off," I began, not catching the ironic grin that flashed across her face, "but, are you sure you want to stay at that motel tonight? If you want, you can crash at my house tonight. It's hardly luxurious or anything, but it's better than nothing, right?"
I was positive that Laura would turn me down, laughing off my offer as another example of my "sainthood". But, she startled me when she replied, "You know, that might not be a bad idea. Just for tonight though, right?"
"Absolutely," I hastily said. "I don't want to smother you or anything—"
"Don't worry, Jane, you're definitely not," smirked Laura. "One night in a place where I don't have to keep looking over my shoulder actually sounds kind of nice."
"Good," I eventually smiled at Laura as I pulled out of the parking space and set off for home. A sleepover with a girl I had known for a couple weeks? I'd done worse.
Alright, so that's the ending of this first chapter. What do you all think? I was really excited to include Laura, who I feel is left out in most stories. Please leave me a review! Thanks for reading!