Chapter 19: The Unswayable Mr. Pendragon Is Swayed

[Lance's POV:]

I felt hollow, numb. The world around me seemed surreal and cold, and devoid of any true color. Every step I took felt heavy, and my legs and feet were as lead. I hung my head and allowed my shoulders to slump as I followed Gerard back to the plane. To think, a short time ago, I would have been worried and ecstatic in equal tandem to see Jeanette Harker show up at Dorian's lab. I had been shocked when she arrived in the company of Killer Croc and his men, and enchanted when she had bravely faced down Dorian and gotten him to acquiesce to her demands.

And now she hated me.

It wasn't as though I would never have told her my secret. I had tried dating women before, but none of them were serious prospects for a match that would be more permanent. Since the moment I had met her, I sensed something about Jeanette was different, special in a way that I could tell here, here was finally a woman who I could have a serious relationship with. And it had occurred to me that once we had been in a relationship for a substantial amount of time, I would have to tell her about my lycanthropy. A woman of such intelligence as Miss Harker would likely have found out on her own anyway, but it woudl be a show of trust to tell her of my own accord.

Never had I dreamed circumstances would fall so chaotically that she would learn of my secret in any other manner, and so soon, too.

"Lance?" Said a voice to my side. "Bro? Hey, are you alright?"

I shook my head, not even able to bring myself to look at him, knowing the book imprint on the side of his face would only make me more upset.

"She hates me." I muttered dully. "She hates me."

"Bro, it's gonna be okay." Robert said in perhaps the most comforting voice he could manage. "It''s just a little setback, that's all. Stuff like this happens all the time. You'll make it through."

"Don't lie to me," I mumbled, hanging my head lower and watching the path move beneath my feet as I walked, "You saw how she handled all this. There's no chance she'll ever speak to me again, let alone ever consider going on another date with me."

"So the coffee thing was a date!"

"Mister Greene!" Gerard snapped ahead of us, pausing long enough to glare over his shoulder. "Too soon!"

"What about you, Gerard?" I asked wearily as we approached the jet. It registered faintly at the back of my mind that we needed to check on the pilot, but it was a fleeting thought that faded quickly. "Surely you must have something to say on the matter."

He tapped away at the Mobile Security System Menu he had pulled from his vest pocket, not looking at either of us as he used the device to open the jet and lower the boarding ramp. "A servant has no opinions, Mr. Pendragon." He replied curtly.

"Gerard Montaine," I huffed in exasperation, "We are not living in Victorian London. You can tell me."

"Canadians." Robert muttered to me, pointing an index finger to his head and miming a scew loose.

"I heard that," Gerard said dryly, tossing him a poisonous look, "And quite frankly Mr. Pendragon, I have always been of the opinion you love too deeply, too easily, and too quickly. You are overreacting to Miss Harker's overreaction."

"But Gerard!" I protested as we walked up the ramp into the plane, "You misunderstand what I am expressing! Dost thou not see with thine eyes? Jeanette is a woman I could spend the rest of my life with!"

"Lance, you're slipping into Shakespearian again." Robert hissed behind me. It always irritated him when I did, and lately I'd been trying to avoid reverting to using it, but in that moment I hardly cared.

"You wanted my opinion sir, and I gave it." Gerard replied heavily before moving toward the cockpit of the plane to check on the pilots. I sighed and let my shoulders sag even farther. He had a point. I turned in the opposite direction, dragging my feet as I moved to find one of the reclining seats in the passenger cabin.

"Lance?" Robert asked. I ignored him, pushing one of the seats into the reclining position. I climbed into it, attempting to curl into a ball the way I used to as a child. I still felt hollow and numb, and like the color had all been sucked out of the world, leaving it cold and gray. I shut my eyes tightly, resisting the urge to howl in mourning.

"Come on, man. it's not the end of the world."

"Rook. Please just shut up and wake me when we get home..."