‘Hey baby brother.’ Laura said dropping to the ground beside Derek and resting her head on the stone he was leaning against.
‘Hey.’ He said his voice rough with smoking. He passed the joint to her and she paused only briefly before bringing it to her lips and inhaling deeply. She let out a sigh as she watched the smoke curl up towards the half moon. It was a clear spring night. The ground was still a little damp under her clothes from a rainfall that morning but she wasn’t fussed. ‘What’s up?’ He asked.
Laura paused; already the smoke was getting to her mind. If their mom had ever caught them sharing a joint, and it had been close one afternoon when they were supposed to be scenting a trail, she would have cut their heads off. Laura thought of their mom, her blond hair in a messy ponytail as she ruled the roost from the stove. She was the Alpha Laura set her example by, and she was failing miserably. She would never be anything like her mother, or her mother’s darling twin. Her heart gave an extra hard thump at the thought of him.
‘Uncle Peter died this afternoon.’ She said at last.
‘Sucks.’ Derek said. She knew he already knew, had heard every word of the phone call she took earlier as he tugged on his jacket and crept outside and away from her, giving her time. She needed to say it out loud though, to make it real.
‘His heart had just given up. We have to go back to bury him.’ She said.
‘Yeah.’ Derek agreed.
‘I want to stay there. There’s always been a pack in Beacon Hills and we can’t abandon the town now.’ She said taking the joint again. She could feel her limbs sagging with the weight of the drugs already. ‘Six years has been long enough.’
‘Yeah.’ Derek said again. Laura rolled her head to look at him. Her little brother was handsome, lying there in his leather jacket with his three day stubble.
‘Dandy.’ Derek said. He was acting high, she knew, to hide the loss of another family member. Derek had adored their uncle, followed him around as a boy while Peter taught him about nature and werewolves, and how to live. It had effected Derek more than Laura would ever understand when the powerful werewolf they once loved was reduced to a shell of a man, unable to live in the forest he loved.
‘We’ll build a pack there Derek.’ Laura said. ‘We’ll build a new life.’
‘I know.’ Derek said. ‘It’s just…’
‘I know.’ She agreed. ‘Got anymore?’ She asked taking the last puff of the joint.
‘Yeah.’ He said arching and reaching into his back pocket. Laura watched as he expertly rolled the thin paper then handed it to her to light. ‘Alpha gets first puff.’ He grinned. She shoved his shoulder but took a long deep drag none the less.
It worked for a while.
Laura was a qualified math teacher so it was no problem getting a job in Beacon Hills high school, especially as one of the older teachers keep seeing a wolf in his front garden turn into a dark haired young man whom he remembered as a leather jacket, homework avoiding rebel. He often wondered how the boy cheated in his SATs. Having spent his life around crazy kids he was more than ready to retire a few years early.
The windfall from the estate of a distant aunt he didn’t know existed also came in handy.
They bought a big house near the old burnt out one. Laura spent the summer decorating the inside and working on a rose garden to rival the overgrown one her mother used to nurture. Some of the new roses were cuts from the old garden and some were new from the garden centre. Derek wanted a vegetable patch too so he went to work digging a plot. At one time the old plot could have fed the family on root vegetables for the winter. Laura watched him work, wondering if he would soon be doing the same in the attic to grow his own weed.
When Derek wasn’t busy with the house or garden he spent his days working out or prowling around town like a creeper. He was restless, full of energy. She wondered if he missed his old life they had in New York. Derek had friends and lovers, hobbies and clubs, a life he left behind for a sister who wanted a pack.
‘Are you going to get a job?’ Laura asked one morning. She was due to start work in a few days; the teachers were always back before the students.
‘I thought I could be your kept man.’ He teased. Laura shoved him but didn’t complain when he set a plate of bacon and eggs in front of her. ‘I’ve been seeing what’s available.’
Derek had gone to college, came out top of his class with a degree in computer science and proceeded to bum about the house for a year, using his laptop to browse the internet from time to time. He was never skint and he wasn’t wasting his time, the right thing had just never come along. He was supposed to be a family man, an Alpha. Laura was never meant to be Alpha, but Derek was too young to take on that mantle when their folks died.
‘I’m sure you’ll find something to keep you busy.’
Teaching was perfect for Laura. It would give her a chance to suss out the youthful talent of the town and enable her to build a pack that way. She kept a list inside her head as classes started what students she wanted to keep an eye on. There was one girl, Lydia Martin, who showed exceptional talent. She was clever, driven and ruthless. She was also kind of cute. She was exceptionally gifted when it came to Laura’s class and Laura spent more time than she would care to admit admiring her skills and talents.
Lydia would be the first of her pack if she accepted it.
She thought long and hard about the girl’s boyfriend. Jackson Whittemore. He was talented, athletic and just as ambitious as his girlfriend but there was desperation there too. He almost tried too hard and beat himself up over it when he failed. Laura would have to spend a lot of time with him if he was turned, or Derek would, training him and teaching him. Third on her list was the boy’s friend Danny.
Danny wasn’t actually in any of Laura’s classes but she had picked up his scent in the hallways as she walked through the body of students. He was a clever boy, she found out, and a good influence on Jackson. To Laura they smelt like mates, the first pair of mates she had ever come across in a human environment. That concluded that one of them had to be a wolf for the sake of their happiness. She would get to know Danny, and added him to her to do list.
‘Why do you keep looking to the popular kids?’ Derek asked as he fixed the shower in Laura’s en-suite.
‘What do you mean?’
‘You’ve told me these kids are all popular. The best wolves aren’t always found among the popular kids.’ Derek said with a grunt. He stepped out of the cubicle and flipped the dial. Brown water chocked out of the showerhead before it ran steady and clear.
‘She’s your mate.’ Derek said.
‘What?’ Laura snapped as Derek closed the car door. They had followed the grey Porsche to the video store and Derek had followed the Jackson boy inside. On the way back to his Camaro he caught a scent of Lydia through the open window.
‘That girl. She’s your mate. She smells like you.’ Derek said. ‘Don’t tell me you didn’t notice?’
‘I thought it was a crush?’ Laura admitted. Derek shook his head and started the car. ‘She’s so talented and clever, and she can be really funny and she…’
Derek was looking at her with his eyebrows raised.
‘Oh Jesus my mate’s a sixteen year old girl.’
Derek laughed all the way home.
‘Lydia would you mind staying behind?’ Laura asked as the class filled out. Jackson paused at the door, a concerned frown on his face.
‘He’s my lift but he’s got a lacrosse game on this evening so I don’t have time to wait.’
‘I’ll drive you home.’ Laura said. Jackson looked between the two. Lydia nodded to Jackson and he nodded back before leaving the room.
‘What can I do for you?’ Lydia asked clutching her books in front of her chest.
‘My class is too easy for you.’ Laura said.
‘Yes.’ Lydia agreed.
‘I want to see how talented you really are. I want to skip a year Lydia and give you some work I’m setting for my seniors.’
‘Ok.’ Lydia said, smirking.
‘Are you free this afternoon? I’d like to do this here but this is the day my room gets thoroughly cleaned.’
‘I’ll come home with you if you want.’ Lydia said, big brown eyes looking innocently at Laura. Laura bit her lip.
‘Ok.’ She said gathering up her things. She had to be careful; she didn’t want to blow Lydia’s trust.
Derek was scowling at his laptop in the kitchen when Laura led Lydia inside. At the sight of the two girls his scowl turned to a smirk and with a knowing look he left them alone.
The work that most of Laura’s senior class were struggling with was a breeze for Lydia.
Laura wasn’t surprised, but she was impressed.
Derek was in a bad mood, which was unusual because he liked sports. Laura couldn’t figure it out. They were watching the high school lacrosse game but Derek was more interested in getting the game over with and going home.
‘Lighten up.’ Laura snapped.
‘Being around people has never bothered you much before.’
Derek’s jaw clenched. Laura frowned at her brother. It was more than the people. He knew something she didn’t. He refused to tell her.
‘This teams crap.’ Derek muttered glaring at the field as the very team he insulted scored. Laura just raised an eyebrow but Derek went on ignoring her.
Derek’s moods got worse until one day he finally snapped at Laura’s probing.
‘My mate. I smelt my mate.’
‘Wow. Who is it?’
‘Nobody.’ Derek growled.
Laura smirked to herself. She would soon find out.
As fall wore on and the golden leaves lost their places from the trees Laura sat up and took notice of the Sheriffs son Stiles Stilinski. He would be a fantastic wolf if he could only learn to focus she decided. At the minute he was hyper, his leg bouncing under his table his hands twisting his pen as he chewed his lip looking at the clock. It was raining outside and this was the last class of the day. Most of the students were eying the window hoping the weather wouldn’t be as nasty as they ran from the school, but not Stiles.
‘Clock-watching’s not allowed in my classroom Mr Stilinski.’ She said, trying to hide her smile when he jumped at his name being mentioned. She had read about this one in her teacher files, he suffered from ADHD which was being treated with the drug Adderall. If she could only change his focus slightly, he would be as valuable to her pack as Lydia.
Lydia, whom the boy kept glancing at. Laura knew a crush when she smelt one. She took a lap around the room as the kids worked quietly and paused. Not only did the boy smell of crush but something else…something she was a lot more familiar with.
Derek’s mate was a sixteen year old boy. ‘Now that’s what I call ironic wouldn’t you agree Mr Stilinski?’ Laura said. Stiles stared at her, unaware of what he was agreeing to but he nodded none the less.
‘Lydia I want you to tutor Stiles Stilinski.’ Laura said. Derek was making coffee in the kitchen, his back to them as he muttered at the coffee machine while Lydia poured over Laura’s first year college work.
‘Why? He’s a loser.’ Lydia said. Derek’s shoulders tightened. Interesting. Derek knew the boy’s name.
‘No he’s misguided. I want you to tutor him. I’m going to bring him here. When he concentrates, which is about fifteen per cent of the time he’s brilliant. I think if we could work on the other eighty five per cent of the time he would be almost as good as you.’
‘If you say so.’ Lydia said. Derek turned to stare. Already Laura was exerting her Alpha influence over Lydia and the girl didn’t even know. There were less strops and rudeness and more biddable personality shining through. Now it was quiet glares but compliance.
The boy came home one afternoon with Laura and Lydia. Derek scowled hotly at his sister before being introduced.
‘He’s cute.’ Derek admitted grudgingly as he sanded the wooden floor in one of the spare bedrooms after Laura dropped the kid’s home.
‘He needs you.’ Laura said. ‘He’s spiralling out of control. He has a drug addiction.’
‘Are you going to turn them?’
‘Yes. If they agree.’
‘Lydia will.’ Derek said going back to his sanding and that was the end of his conversation. Laura wondered what he was thinking but Derek had never been much of a sharer, and she knew he definitely wouldn’t share his feelings about Stiles this early in the relationship.
‘Bite me then.’ Lydia said, her eyes lighting up.
‘Are you really sure?’ Laura asked but her fangs were already descending. Stiles wasn’t so sure, he had backed from the table to the wall. Derek was watching him, arms crossed over his chest, leaning back against the counter.
‘I’m really sure.’
‘What if it kills you Lydia?’ Stiles asked.
‘Then it’s my time.’ She said. ‘Bite me Laura.’ She said holding both wrists out to the Alpha wolf. Laura glanced at Derek. He shrugged a shoulder. It’s your decision his body language told her.
‘Wait.’ Stiles said stepping forward, eyes flicking from Laura to Derek. ‘I just…’
‘We’ll take care of you both.’ Derek said moving from his place against the bench and coming to stand beside Stiles. Derek was taking responsibility for Stiles, Laura realised. Potentially if one of the teenagers died here tonight then the werewolves would suffer a long drawn out life without their mate by their side. It was a chance they decided they were willing to take.
‘Ok.’ Stiles said. Laura didn’t think he would give in so easy. Derek wrapped an arm around Stiles from behind and Stiles leaned against him. Laura hid her shock as Derek’s chin rested on Stiles’ shoulder. They were already together. What did that happen?
‘We just kissed.’ Derek explained. She wasn’t surprised Derek read her so easily. ‘And Stiles initiated it. We’re going at his pace.’
‘I’ll bite Stiles first then you ok.’ Laura said. Lydia nodded, obeying.
Both bites took.
The pups were new to the night and the Hale siblings gave them time to adjust, to learn and play together in the forest before bringing them inside for some real instruction in controlling emotions and feelings and shifts. School was their biggest concern. As born wolves both Laura and Derek had learnt early on to deal with everything that came along with a big crowd, but they only had a few weeks to teach that to the new charges.
Laura was more worried about Stiles than Lydia. Lydia was a popular girl and she was given a wide birth. Stiles on the other hand was constantly shoved and jostled. As if reading her mind Lydia spoke up.
‘We’re going to pretend Stiles is my boyfriend.’ She said. She was already looking out for her pack and Laura was filled with pride. ‘No one would dare cross me no matter who I’m dating.’
Laura watched Derek as the kids planned what they would do and how they would interact at school. They would travel to and from school together and meet between classes as often as possible. They even planned to share lunch space. Derek wasn’t happy, he was already a little possessive over his new found mate and that mate was going to come home every day with someone else’s scent over him. Laura would face the same challenges of course, but she had yet to be closer than friends with Lydia, and Lydia didn’t know they were mates so it almost made it easier. Almost.
Lydia forgoes nineteen party invitations to hang out with her new pack over the holiday season and Laura’s immensely proud. She does go to one, with her hand in Stiles’ because they’re supposed to be a couple and they want to practice that. They also want an excuse for why Lydia has turned down these invitations, she’s been busy with her new boyfriend she tells people, glaring when the scoff at Stiles. They leave the party and Derek’s waiting to pick them up. When they get home he’s in a foul mood. Stiles is pouting and Lydia’s full on huffing.
‘What?’ Laura asked.
‘They made out.’ Derek said shoving a thumb in their general direction.
‘We had to dumbass!’ Lydia snapped back. ‘Everyone thought I was just with Stiles as a dare, no one believed it was real.’
‘How did you make out?’ Laura asked licking her lips. Derek looked scandalised at the question.
‘I let Stiles push me up against the wall beside the bathroom door and kiss me hard. I put his hand on my ass, under my skirt and he squeezed my butt so good, then I hitched a leg around him and he lifted me and pressed me into the wall. He kissed me until we were breathless and we could smell arousal all around us.’ Lydia’s voice was soft and seductive, and her eyes were locked with Laura’s the whole time. Laura smiled back at her; maybe Lydia wasn’t so clueless about their bond.
Derek stomped around the room like a bull, grabbing Stiles and yanking him outside. Laura had a feeling that Stiles was the one being manhandled against the wall beside the front door.
Lydia curled up on the sofa on Christmas Eve, her cold feet tucked under Derek’s thigh, her back leaning heavily on Laura’s side. Laura wrapped an arm around her and tried not to nuzzle her skin too much. Stiles stood up with a demented grin on his face and came back to the sofa. He pushed between Derek and the arm of the sofa, forcing Derek to move slightly. He draped his legs over Derek’s thighs, his socked feet brushing Lydia’s legs.
They had already watched White Christmas, Lydia’s choice. Stiles had chosen A Muppet Christmas Carol. She wondered if Stiles knew it was Derek’s favourite, just as White Christmas was her favourite. When the movie was over they fell amongst the cushions piled on the rug in front of the fire and cuddled together.
‘This is the first puppy pile in six years.’ Laura said softly, snuggling against Lydia’s back.
‘It won’t be the last.’ Lydia promised. Laura believed her.
January brought heavy snow and a family of hunters, an old enemy.
‘Stiles told me there’s a mountain lion attacking folk around town.’ Derek said after Laura told him about the Argent family moving in.
‘Really?’ She asked.
‘It’s been caught on camera. I’m going out tonight to see if I can frighten it away.’
‘Good idea.’ Laura said. ‘Be careful. Argents.’
He should have taken his sisters advice.
Laura almost drove over him when he staggered in front of her car at the school. He hadn’t come home last night and she assumed he had visited his mate after hunting the mountain lion. Or he was still hunting.
He was pale like ash and there was a nasty wound on his arm.
‘Wolfsbane.’ He groaned falling into the passenger seat of the car. Laura was frantic as Stiles and Lydia rushed to the car.
‘Meet us at home.’ She hissed, eyes narrowing at Stiles who looked like he was about to disobey. He didn’t, instead taking Lydia’s hand and rushing to his jeep.
‘We need the bullet like the one that shot him.’ Laura said after hauling Derek to the kitchen, winching when he coughed up black blood all over the floor. She tried calling the Deacon but got no answer.
‘What happened?’ Lydia was frantic. Laura tore the shirt off Derek to get a better look at the wound.
‘Hunter.’ Derek said. Stiles was on the phone in seconds, talking rapidly. Laura only half listened.
‘Ok I’m sorry but I had to get help. My best friends dating Allison Argent. He’ll get the bullet that shot him.’ Laura wasn’t happy but it was the only plan they had. Until Derek spoke again.
‘Cut off my arm.’
‘No.’ Laura said. It was the only way, she knew, to save him if the boy didn’t come through with the bullet.
‘Cut off your arm. We can’t cut off your arm. That’s your good arm Derek what would you do without an arm?’ Stiles flailed, hands in the air.
‘I have two arms.’ Derek said leaning on the counter for support. ‘Do it.’ Stiles closed his eyes and rested his forehead in the centre of Derek’s tattoo. His hands held Derek’s hips, rubbing his thumbs into the dips there.
‘But I like your arms.’ Stiles said. Derek turned and put his uninjured arm around Stiles pulling him close. Derek kissed him gently.
‘Let’s give them a moment.’ Laura said leading Lydia outside. It was getting dark. It was almost too late. She went to the garage with Lydia behind her frantic about what they were about to do and rambling about removing limbs in an environment that wasn’t sterile. Laura ignored her as she chose a saw. It would have to do, she thought looking at the small blade. She would start off with a knife for skin, tendons and muscle, and then use this for the bone.
‘Laura!’ Lydia finally snapped.
‘Are you really going to cut off your brother’s arm?’ Lydia asked reaching a hand out to steady Laura’s shanking ones. When did her hands start to shake?
‘Yes.’ Laura said.
‘Stiles will be useless. Tell me what I can do to help.’
They were coming back to the house when they heard a car. Laura didn’t recognise it but she did know Scott McCall. He got out looking confused. Lydia snatched the bullet.
‘Thanks. Get lost.’ Lydia said.
‘I said get lost.’ Lydia snapped running into the house. Scott swallowed, his gaze meeting Laura’s before he got back in the car.
That night Stiles lost his virginity. Laura knew she should have blocked out the sounds like she normally did when Derek brought someone back to their lair, but a part of her needed to listen to her living, breathing, healthy brother. The bedroom door opened and Lydia crept inside.
Lydia was upset after the day they had, aware now that being a werewolf didn’t make her immortal or immune to death or pain.
She crawled onto the bed beside her Alpha as Laura listened to her brother finding completion with Stiles. Clearly a near death experience or the threat of losing an arm didn’t interrupt his stamina because after a few moments Derek was starting the process all over again. This time she blocked them out, rolling to wrap her arms around Lydia and bury her nose in the girl’s hair.
Lydia held her tightly.
Laura had known about the relationship between her brother and Kate Argent, hell she encouraged it. She liked Kate; the girl was pleasant, sweet and had been a great friend. Until she killed their family.
She cornered Kate one night, near the old house. Laura spent hours making Kate pay for every dead family member. But Laura was soft; she was going to leave the woman alive, to live with the memory of the torture. She didn’t know there was a gun was aimed at her back until Lydia sprang from the shadows and left Kate a bloody mess on the floor.
She did have Kate’s confession on tape. She sent it to Chris Argent. After the funeral the Argents packed up and left town. Laura hoped to never see them again.
She thanked Lydia the only way she knew how, by claiming her. ‘You saved my life.’ She whispered all over Lydia’s soft skin. Lydia held her close and kissed her hotly.
‘You saved mine.’ Lydia told her arching against her mate’s body. ‘You saved mine.’ She repeated again. Laura kissed her, hair falling around them in a curtain as she pulled back to look at the girl.
‘Less of this.’ She said swiping her thumb along Lydia’s cheek. ‘Less makeup. Let’s see who you really are. Show the pack what a kind pack-mate you really are.’ Laura kissed her again. ‘Show them the real girl who saved her Alpha’s life. Who saved her mate’s life. Show them you.’
Lydia blushed under the praise, but she chased her embarrassment away with another kiss.
Laura found Lydia and Stiles engrossed in a documentary about wolves in the wild while they ate their Easter candy. She didn’t comment, just smiled and went back to where Derek was nursing the roast beef. She would swear his fangs were dripping as he stared through the glass.
Several hours later their tones were concerned as they whispered low enough so they could hear only each other. ‘What are they up to?’ Derek asked from the doorway.
‘Huh, if Stiles isn’t coming from devilment he’s going to it.’ Derek muttered turning back to the television.
It was three days before Laura found out what was bugging her mate. Lydia had straddled Laura’s lap and ran her fingers through Laura’s hair. ‘It’s about breeding.’ Lydia’s voice was quiet. Stiles was lounging in the armchair pretending to ignore them.
‘Breeding huh? You’re not getting broody already are you? I don’t have to give you to Derek yet do I?’
‘What?’ Stiles snapped, breaking his cover.
‘Derek will breed pups with Lydia. I’ll breed pups with you.’ Laura said as if it were the most normal thing in the world.
‘Because I can hardly breed with my brother. Derek and I agreed on this when we found out our mates were same sex.’
‘But won’t you be jealous?’ Lydia asked cocking her head to the side so her long red hair fell over her shoulder. Laura wound it around her finger.
‘Yes, but we’d rather it was done naturally. You’ll come around to the idea.’
‘Or at least come.’ Stiles said cheekily. ‘Hey if you two are pregnant at the same time I want no part of it.’ Stiles said.
‘We won’t do it at the same time. We’ll do it when we’re ready. You two have collage first.’
‘Are you coming with us?’
‘Try and stop me.’ Laura said reaching up to kiss her mate. Stiles sat back in the armchair and was uncharacteristically quiet.
Laura turned Danny at the start of the summer. He wanted it, was happy for it. The bite took, and Laura was happy. Then he asked for Jackson to be turned. That was a little more difficult. Jackson was arrogant and insecure, but Derek assured her the pack could work with Jackson to help him become a better person, they had dealt with Stiles drug addiction after all, and his ADHD was practically non-existent.
Laura’s pack was growing, she had a mate and her little brother was happy. As she sat on the porch with Lydia’s head on her lap she watched Derek and Stiles in the garden. Derek was lying on his tummy, Stiles was straddling his hips. They were both shirtless, Stiles rubbing his thumbs into Derek’s back in a relaxing massage. Jackson and Danny came through the woods and collapsed in a heap close to the other two, new pups still getting used to the world around them.
‘Hey Laura maybe we’ll light a bonfire tonight.’ Derek said from his place in the garden.
‘And share a joint.’ Laura grinned at the thought. They hadn’t shared a joint since the day they decided to come back to Beacon Hills. ‘Was that a year ago?’
‘I know.’ Derek agreed, groaning when Stiles hit a good spot.
It felt like they’d been here a life time, she thought as Lydia twisted onto her back looking up at Laura with a pout. Laura dipped her head to kiss her mate softly.