Laynee Mikalosa sat at her communications terminal, stunned. "What do you mean, I'm the next?"
"This is your month, Laynee. When the moons reach their zenith, if you chant the correct spell, you shall draw your mates to you."
Laynee swallowed past the lump suddenly lodged in her throat. Her hands trembled, so she wrapped them around the mug of Jabba Juice in front of her. It wouldn't do to have her big sister return home if she thought Laynee needed her here. Jaynee had two new mates to take care of now. She didn't want her sister feeling like she needed to step in to make things right.
Not that she ever asked Jaynee to fix her mistakes, but she'd never stopped her sister from coming in and making things better either. She'd much rather surround herself with ancient tomes and lose herself in the worlds and adventures of others than venture out on her own. Laynee bit her bottom lip, then sighed.
Perhaps, it was time to stretch her wings a bit. What harm could there be in casting this spell to find her mate--or mates--if she believed Jaynee's story? And seeing the two gorgeous men who stood behind her sister, she didn't doubt the possibility that a mate or two awaited her somewhere in the far reaches of space and time. The question she needed to ask herself though was whether she had the courage to cast the spell or would she sit back and let the opportunity pass her by.
Her tummy flipped in nervous apprehension, but the growing dampness in her panties was proof enough she didn't find the idea totally repugnant either.
With her resolve strengthened, Laynee straightened her spine, dropped her hands from around her cup, leaned back, and crossed her arms beneath her breasts.
"Tell me what I need to know, Jaynee." She leveled her gaze at her sister and the two men behind her. "And don't leave anything out, please."
Laynee watched as her sister fidgeted in her seat. The blond man reached out and placed his hand on Jaynee's shoulder, while the darker one lightly stroked her hair. She could see her sister relax beneath their touch and that alone was enough evidence for her to know that Jaynee had finally found the happiness that had so long eluded her.
Lost in thought, she was startled when Jaynee started to speak. It wasn't until she heard the word Banart that a chill of premonition rippled down her back and she realized she needed to pay attention to exactly what her sister was saying.
"What did you say?"
"You will not just be calling your mates to you, Laynee, but you three shall be the next Triad necessary to the coming war. Many of us are needed to defeat the Banarts."
Unwilling for her sister and her mates to see her fear, she lowered her head to her chest and closed her eyes in thought. By the Goddess, the Banarts were feared in every known galaxy across the universe. How could she, a glorified librarian and bookseller, help defeat them? She was a nobody. She had no courage. No strength. Nothing inside her that could be used in such a battle. No matter what her sister believed, she was obviously mistaken if she thought that the Lady Goddess had told Jaynee her shy sister was the next to be called to this duty.
Feeling defeated, Laynee clenched her fists and sighed before raising her head and meeting Jaynee's gaze through the communication's terminal.
"I know that look, Laynee. Have faith in the Lady Goddess. Have faith in me. I would never steer you wrong."
"And if you're not wrong ... What should I do?"
"I received the words to the spell in a dream the night of the three moon's alignment. Spend the next few weeks coming up with a spell of your own using the pages of the book I sent you before my own mating, but if you dream have faith in what it tells you. Believe in the Lady Goddess, but above all, believe in yourself, Laynee."
"I'll try, Jaynee. That's all I can promise you."
"That's all I can ask. I must go, sissy. There is a meeting we must attend and time grows short. I've sent you the frequency of our quarters so you can always reach us in an emergency. Take care."
"Take care, Jaynee and many blessings on your mating."
"Thank you and may the Lady Goddess bless you. Give my love to mother and father."
As the vid-screen went dark, Laynee slouched in her seat. In frustrated silence, she ran her hands through her hair, grimacing as they got caught in the knots that seemed to perpetually form, even moments after brushing her wild black mane.
Laynee pushed her chair back and stood, needing to walk off some of her anxiety. Even though her apartment was tiny, a little pacing room was better than none.
If only Jaynee knew how hard it was to live up to her. She'd never been outgoing and adventurous. She'd never been spontaneous or the life of the party. If she believed, took that leap of faith, she didn't know where she'd land. Could she do that? Could she really rely on blind faith that everything would work out as it should? She just didn't know.