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Halloween encounter

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„You don’t believe in ghosts?“

“Of course I don’t,” Lydia replied as she put the last touches to her make-up/Halloween costume standing in front of the mirror. “I’m too smart for that. And I really thought you two having girlfriends now would make you stop with this childish nonsense.” She gave the two boys currently lounging on her bed playing cards, a pointed look over her shoulder. They have been wearing their own Halloween costumes – Finn and Jake from Adventure Time - since school.

“Oh no, Kira’s a huge fan of everything mystery and supernatural,” Scott said.

“And Malia supports every activity that involves stealing away at night and making out in the backseat of my jeep,” Stiles added with a wink.

Lydia pursed her lips in temptation to point out couple costumes are usually worn by couples, not best friends. Although she’s always worn matching costumes with her best-friend Allison, every year dressing as Greek goddesses. Since her death Lydia hasn’t been very interested in Halloween anymore, not even giving one of her legendary party and it felt strange to wear her Aphrodite costume. If it weren’t for Scott and Stiles she would spend the night at home reading a good book.

“But let’s get back to the subject of you not believing in ghosts. If that’s true, than you don’t mind a little bet, do you?” Stiles suggested, abandoning the card game and focusing on Lydia with a mischievous gleam in his eyes.

“Let me guess. You want me to spend the Halloween night at the cemetery, because that’s so original.” She rolled her eyes at Stiles’ predictability – every year on Halloween he came up with this terrible nonsense about ghosts and monsters and Scott was stupid enough to go along with it. Their newest obsession were werewolves.

“No, that would be much too cliché. But how about you spend the night at the old Hale mansion?”

“And miss the amazing high school Halloween party you two talked me into attending?” Lydia replied, her voice dripping of heavy sarcasm. “Pass.”

“Sounds like you’re just scared,” Stiles tried to mock her before Scott could stop him by slapping his arm multiple times.

No, she wasn’t, but everybody knew the tragic story of the Hales. Of the fire on Halloween 10 years ago that destroyed the mansion and killed almost the whole family. The police never figures out what exactly happened, but no one believe the fire had been an accident. Lydia passed the ruin of the house whenever she went for a walk through the woods with her dog Prada, always tempted to go inside but never daring to enter. Maybe this Halloween would be the night she could finally satisfy her curiosity.

“Fine. I’ll spend the night at the preserve to proof you two are idiots for believing in ghosts. I have no idea why I’m even friends with you.”

 

+++

 

Just as expected the school dance was boring as hell and Lydia was almost glad when the boys picked her up around 10 pm. The Hale house was located at the end of a long overgrown driveway hidden in the Preserve and would have been the perfect film set for one of those annoying horror movies Scott and Stiles loved so much with the burned-out ruin surrounded by dark forest and the full moon hanging low over the treetops.

“Are you sure you want to do this?” Scott asked overprotective as always, as he drove down the long and lonely driveway. “All you have to do is call us and we’ll be right there, won’t we, Stiles?” The other boy seated in the backseat was rummaging through a plastic bag full of candy and mumble something in agreement. His mouth was full of candy too.

“I’m not stupid”, Lydia replied, rolling her eyes, before she got of the car. The cold night air made her fastening her coat more tightly around her body. “Unlike you my head is not full of sugar. I have my phone fully charged, pepper spray and Allison’s old tazer.” She held up her ridiculous huge designer bag to emphasize her point. She’s been a girl scout after all. “I’ll be fine and I’ll see you in the morning proving that there are no ghosts!”

After the boys left Lydia turned her attention on the old mansion – or more accurately what was left of it. It must have been beautiful once, before the fire destroyed it. A once loving home turned into a gutted carcass.

Taking a deep breath she braced her shoulders and entered the house. Wood creak beneath her steps. She moved carefully over the rotten floor, using the flashlight from her phone to lighten the way. Her gaze wandered over the staircase to the second floor and the spare furniture left all covered in thick dust. Pale moonlight flooded through holes where the roof collapsed.

It didn’t look like someone’s been here in a long time at first. No tramps or drunk kids. But when she entered the living room she noticed a stack of burnt candles standing by the fireplace along with a cylindric object made of wood.

Lydia held her breath as she listened into the night for anything unusual, but there was nothing to hear but the forest’s common background noise.

She clenched her teeth, thinking about the tragedy that happened at this haunted place and dead-hearted people taking pleasure of it like some amusement attraction. She didn’t believe in ghosts, but she believed in respecting the dead and not disturb them.

She stepped towards the fireplace and picked up the wooden container to examine it more closely. On the top of the container a symbol consisting of three interlocked spirals was carved into the wood. A triskelion. She opened the lid and peeked inside, but the jar seemed empty.

A violent shudder went down her spine. The feeling people often described like someone walking over their grave. And she was suddenly overcome by the intense sensation of being watched. The tiny hairs at the back of her neck standing on edge. She stiffened in fear.

“What are you doing here?”

The voice startled her and made her turn around in the direction the voice has been coming from. A dark figure emerged from the shadows beneath the staircase and moved into the room. A young man wearing a black leather jacket. The light from her phone’s display illuminated his handome face ghostly blue. She was sure she hasn't seen him before, Beacon Hills was a small town and she surely would remember such an attractive specimen.

“This is private property,” he continued. His angry gaze bore into hers. The color of his eyes hard to distinguish, something between pale green and ice blue. The five o'clock shadow covering his cheeks made him look older than he probably was.

“I’m sorry”, Lydia apologized and quickly put the container she’s been holding onto without really noticing down again. “I didn’t expect anyone to be here. I just wanted to…”

“Spend the night at the famous haunted mansion of Beacon Hills?” The man interrupted, almost growling. “You’re not the first and probably not the last either.” He nodded towards the candles at the fireplace. His arms crossed over his chest, showing off his impressive muscles. His eyes burned into hers as if he wanted to chase her off just by the grim arc of his eyebrows. Unfortunately it had the opposite effect on Lydia as she felt her cheeks blush.

“Like I said I’m sorry. It was just a stupid bet.”

He grimaced and sighed. His shoulders seemed to relax a little and his voice became softer. „You shouldn’t make bets that involve spending the night alone in the woods. It’s dangerous.”

“You almost sound worried about me. You don’t even know my name.”

He stepped right in front of her, towering over so that she had to title her head back to look at his face. “You should leave”, he said in a dangerously low voice that echoed through every inch of her body.

She ached her eyebrows in question. “Are you trying to scare me?”

“Do you want me to?”

“It’s Halloween. Everybody’s entitled to once good scare,” Lydia replied and couldn’t help the seductive wisp slipping inside her voice. She couldn’t really explain it and she knew she should be more cautious, but there was something about the stranger standing in front of her that made her trust him by instinct. Made her want to get to know him better. It was exhilarating like playing with fire – which was a bad comparison considering the circumstances.

She gasped in surprise and her heart seemed to skip a beat when he suddenly grabbed and pushed her back against the wall, his taut body pressing flat against her in places she hasn’t been prepared for. Than man smirked down at her obvious to her body’s reaction to his proximity. But just as unexpected he let go of her again and stepped back.

His features softened which seemed like a good sign to continue their conversation. Maybe she could convince him to keep her company for the rest of the night which was a much more appealing thought than waiting along for any ghost to appear.

“Do you want to tell me your name?” He asked.

“It’s Lydia.”

“Lydia”, he repeated, tasting her name on his tongue like tasting good wine. Something to savor until the very last drop. Her heartbeat quickened in growing excitement.

“I’m Derek Hale.” Hale – of course, he must have been one of the few survivors of the fire.

“You’re not in town a lot, are you? At least I don’t remember seeing you around,” Lydia said trying to sound as casual as possible as she strolled to the fireplace to light the candles with the lighter from her bag in hope it would make the atmosphere more … romantic.

Derek didn’t seem to mind as he sat down on the charred couch, looking down at his hands almost shyly as he rubbed them together. “Not really. Mostly it’s just this night to keep an eye on the house. To scare off the drunk kids and let my family rest in peace.”

She sat down beside him, scrunching her nose at the thought of her coat and dress touching the dirty couch, but enduring it anyway to be close to Derek. He smelled of soil and cold ash in a pleasant, almost familiar way. The soft glow of the candles made the house look less haunted and Derek’s features appear more vivid.

“So you spend every Halloween out here alone?” she asked.

He looked at her fleetingly and averted his eyes quickly again. But it was enough to see the familiar sorrow she ever so often spotted on her own face whenever she thought about Allison, making her heart ache with him and wishing she could do something to change it. To make him feel better. “That’s horrible. That’s not living. That’s just guarding the dead. Like … you’re dead yourself.”

„Someone has to and maybe I am just as dead,” he sighed, still rubbing his hands as if he didn’t know what to do with them.

Without giving it much thought Lydia leaned closer and kissed him, and after the initial shock has worn off, he kissed her back hungrily, feeling like he has been craving to kiss someone in a long time. As if he was craving to devour life again after being surrounded by nothing but death.

They kept kissing, the movement of their mouths turning more heated. With their lips still locked together Lydia managed to crawl into his lap with her legs placed on the couch on both sides of Derek. His huge hands rested warm on her waist, while her fingers ran through his soft black hair. She pressed flush against his chest and titled his head back so that she could plunge her tongue deeper into his hot mouth, exploring.

When she pulled back to catch some breath she noticed Derek staring at her breathless and wide-eyed, his mouth hanging half-open as if he wanted to say something but couldn’t remember the words. Indecision was written all over his face, though it was plain to see how much he wanted to continue. How much he wanted her. Still it was obvious he wouldn’t make the next move, so Lydia took the lead again.

She took of her coat and let the straps of her Aphrodite costume fall down her shoulders to expose her chest. She took one of Derek’s hands from her waist to place it on her bare breast. The touch felt so good, even more when he started to caress and squeeze. With her head titled back she leaned into his hot touch and her eyes fluttered close as his mouth closed around one nipple, sucking gently. She let out a low moan and enlaced her fingers in his hair to hold him close.

Derek’s growing arousal pressed against her thigh and she started to wiggle against it to create some delicious friction. Her fingers pressed into his broad shoulders. He groaned against her chest, grabbing her waist tightly to grind her down harder. It felt phenomenal. So good, so right. But it wasn’t enough. She wanted to feel bare skin, wanted to taste and lick and bite.

Impatiently she clawed off his leather jacket so that she could pull his shirt over his chest and revel in the feel of letting her fingers move over his marvelous chest and hard abs, before coming to rest on the fly of his jeans. Their eyes met and her red lips twisted into a naughty smile as her fingers slipped beneath the waistband teasingly. Derek sucked in a sharp breath as her hand slipped deeper, brushing over his hardness.

“Lydia”, he whispered huskily and wetted his lips. His pupils were dilated and dark with lust. “There’s something you need to know…” She cut him off by kissing him deeply.

“All I need to know is that this makes you feel good, just like it makes me feel good. I think we’re both in need of feeling good and that’s enough for tonight”, she whispered against his lips as she lowered the zipper of his jeans and stroked his throbbing length, thumb brushing over the sensitive head. With her free hand she reached for her bag, rummaging inside until she found the little stack of condoms she’s been carrying her ever since she dated her notorious needy ex-boyfriend.

Her panties were soaked as she pushed them down her legs and her insides ached with the need to be filled as she unrolled the condom on Derek’s member, before sinking down on him. With her hands braced on his shoulders she started to move, slowly at first to get used to his impressive size but quickly picking up speed. Derek wrapped his arms around her body tightly, holding her close as she kept rocking against him. Her breasts bouncing right in front of his face and his tongue emerged to lick the little drops of sweat off running down her flushed skin.

“How does … this feel?” she managed to ask, her voice almost breaking due to the growing stain.

“Like I never want this Halloween to end”, Derek panted, nuzzling his face against the crook of her neck.

She could feel the sensation building in waves of pleasure, making her walls tightening and muscles tremble with violent release, but she forced her body to move until Derek reached his climax as well. He unwrapped his arms around her to lean back against the couch and watch her. Taking deep breaths to calm her wild pumping heart she collapsed against his chest. She felt happy and sated and not in any way tempted to move. Derek’s fingers stroked over her back before he covered them both with her coat so she wouldn’t feel cold. He murmured something under his breath, but she couldn’t understand the words as blissful exhaustion lured her to close her eyes and let her body relax.

 

+++

 

She couldn’t pinpoint the moment she fell asleep and the rest of the night was a blur of emotions and bodies exploring, but when she woke up in the morning she was alone. Derek was gone.

She sat up and straightened her costume, but hesitated to leave in hope he would return. Minutes passed and still no sign of him. Her eyes landed on the wooden container with the triskelion. Considering her options she gnawed on her bottom lip and then she simply took the cylinder and put it in her bag. Surely if the thing meant something to Derek, he would have to come and get it.

When she heard the familiar rattling of Stiles’ jeep getting nearer she stepped out of the house into the grey cold November morning. The boys approached her, curiosity written in their blood-shot eyes.

“So what happened?” Stiles asked.

She bit her tongue so she wouldn’t reveal too much of her adventurous night with Derek.

„No ghosts, just like I said. Just a little talking with Derek Hale is all that happened.”

“Derek Hale?” The boys replied in unison staring at her in disbelief. “Are sure it was Derek?”

She frowned, not understanding why they wouldn’t believe her and wondering if they just tried to mess with her. “Of course I am.”

“But Lydia,” Scott stammered a little helplessly. “It can’t be… Derek Hale died in the fire.”

“It’s true,” Stiles added. “You know my Dad was already Sheriff back then and I’ve seen the police report. One of the bodies they found was definitely Derek’s. He’s dead.”

She shook her head, looking back at the house. It couldn’t be, could it? It didn’t feel like a dream and Derek has been made of flesh and blood. Warm and alive… at least he has felt like it… Her mind recalled all the details of last night but then stopped remembering his words maybe I am just as dead … she has dismissed what his words as just a phrase to describe his barren emotional state after losing his family and not that he meant it literally!

She clutched her bag tightly against her chest with the wooden container still inside of it, but her mind was too fuzzy to remember. Countless questions filled her head – if Derek was dead how was it possible to have sex? And more importantly would she have to wait until next Halloween to find out?

“Well, Lyds, looks like I won the bet.” Stiles voice tore her from her thoughts. He wrapped her arm around her shoulder and led her to his jeep with Scott following close behind. “Looks like you’ve seen a ghost after all.”

The end…?

 

Chapter Text

It's been a week since Halloween and Lydia was starting to feel restless.

One week and still no sign of Derek.

She's spend almost every night at the old Hale mansion waiting and hoping for sign of his whereabouts as her mind slowly started to adjust to the knowledge that it might be true what Scott and Stiles have indicated about Derek.

She’s also taken the time to research every piece of information on the fire she could find, starting with the official police report she made Stiles steal from his father’s office in exchange of her math homework. But without much luck. The file didn’t contain much useful information since the fire’s been so devastating it destroyed almost all the evidence. The police couldn’t even identify all the bodies found in the ruin due to the intense incineration. There were no records about Derek after the fire like he's just fallen off the face of the earth…

The more time passed the more the Halloween night started to feel like it's been just a dream. Just her own imagination playing tricks on her.

Like she was chasing ghosts...

As she sat in her bedroom working on her homework part of her wondered if it would be a good thing to never see Derek again, for her mental health at least. Her eyes kept drifting to the wooden container standing on her nightstand she's taken with her from the Hale house in hope Derek would come and get it. The lit with the triskele carved into it was shut and she hasn't dared to open it the whole week in fear it could break the spell.

She wondered about the vessel’s purpose as she took it from the nightstand to examine it from different angles. She opened it and took a long hard look at the empty inside in hope if she stared at it long enough the answers she was looking for would appear on the floor of it.

But she could be wrong. As far as she knew it could be nothing but a cheap souvenir or not even Derek’s belonging and she was just wasting her time with it.

A shiver ran down her spine.

With a deep sigh she put the container back on the nightstand and rubbed her tired eyes in frustration. This was getting ridiculous! She was starting to act even more possessed than Scott and Stiles with their werewolf hunt and that was and the most unsettling thought she’s ever had.

She put the half-finished notes on algebra aside and switched off the light before crawling into bed. In the morning, she promised herself bevor closing her eyes, first thing in the morning I will get rid of this thing and move on with real life.

But as soon as she let her mind relax, she was struck by the same intense feeling of being watched that she’s experienced at the Hale house. That undeniable sense that she wasn’t alone, despite knowing very well her mother being on one of her important business trips meant she was the only person in the house.

She froze and strained her ears, listening for any sound of intrusion, mentally preparing herself to reach for her phone and call the police, but there was no sound. She sat up again and spotted a dark shape lurking by the window which hasn’t been there before. The outline of a body illuminated by the moonlight flooding through the window with two blue orbs glowing in position of the eyes.

She gasped in fear and immediately covered her mouth with her hand to keep quiet. Adrenalin mixed with a strange feeling of hope sent her blood racing through her body.

“Derek?” she whispered uncertain. There was no reply.

Not taking her eyes of the figure for one second she carefully reached for the light switch. She exhaled in relief when she saw it was him. Wearing the same leather jacket, the same brooding expression on his handsome face covered in dark stubbles and overall looking just as sexy as the night she met him.

“You startled me.”

His eyes turned soft, his expression apologetic. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to. I can’t really control it.”

She studied him curiously. "You're really ... a ghost?" she asked, twisting the rim of her blanket between her fingers to calm her fluttering nerves. Seeing him standing in her bedroom made it hard to comprehend that he wasn’t real and that she shouldn’t be able to touch him… except that she could touch him. She just had no idea how this was possible when he was a ghost...

And as crazy as it seemed, seeing him now made her realize how much she’s actually missed him though how that was possible after just meeting and spending one night together made no sense. She’s never been the kind to fall that fast for someone she hardly knew and she never believed in love at first sight either.

He nodded. "I wanted to tell you after..."

Anger flooded her system in a hot rush and she jumped to her feet, almost knocking the lamp from the bedside table. Derek’s eyes dipped lower, taking in the short nightgown she was wearing and quickly averted his eyes with his cheeks flushed.

Lydia rolled her eyes. He’s had no problem seeing much more of her body the other night, so there was no reason for this sudden display of chastity and shyness.

She started to pace in front of him and poked a finger in his direction. "No! NO! That's what you tell people before having sex with them!” She stopped in her tracks then, staring at him with wide eyes, almost reaching out to touch him, but holding herself back. The whirlwind of emotions inside her fighting for dominance made her head hurt. “How's that even possible when you’re dead? And don't say you don't know! I deserve some explanation, don’t you think?"

Derek shrugged and buried his hands in the pockets of his jacket. His pale green eyes drifting around the room as his mind seemed to look for the right answer, bevor settling on her face again. “I’m not sure, but I assume it’s because it was Halloween. People call it Día de los Muertos for a reason”, he explained. “Or maybe it has something to do with my family.”

“What makes you say that?” she asked.

“You never heard the rumors?"

Lydia frowned in confusion, recalling the little details she’s found on the Hales before the fire. They seemed to have had a long history in town, but have kept to themselves a lot, which was the reason there have been a lot of rumors about them going around, one more ludicrous than the other. "That your family was rich and egocentric?"

He arched his eyebrows in amusement. “No, the rumors that my family wasn’t … entirely human.” He shook his head fighting with his own words. "Forget it. Doesn't matter. What matters is that I didn’t lie to you when I told you I’m only around for this one night, so that I can guard the house.”

“Then how come you’re here now? It’s been a week”, Lydia pointed out. Her feet moved on their own bringing her close enough to touch his arm tenderly. The dark leather of his jacket smooth and familiar beneath her fingertips, setting off a rush of memories of clothes being taken off and hands moving over bare skin. “Still solid … still real.”

“It could be the connection we shared that’s keeping me here a little longer. Like an anchor”, Derek speculated, his cheeks flushing pink as he obviously recalled the same steamy memories as she did. “It's not like this happened before. I ... I haven’t been with anyone since the fire. I didn’t know it was possible or that it could have some kind of consequences.”

“Can other people see you?” Lydia wanted to know.

“Most people don’t. I think you need to be special. Have a special gift. I’ve never met anyone like you before. As soon as I saw you I felt this pull. Maybe that’s why I fell for you so fast.”

Her heart skipped a beat though she tried to not read too much into his choice of words. Don’t fall for a ghost! Don’t fall for a ghost! she chanted inside her head over and over again, knowing it was already too late. The heart wants what it wants. Even more than just knowing what she wanted  and there was no denying how much she wanted Derek - she knewhow to get it.

“And are there other ghosts?” She changed the subject to the other queation that’s been nagging at the back of her head for the last week - if Derek's spirit was still around, maybe so was Allison's or her grandmother's who committed suicide 10 years ago ... shortly after the Hale fire ... which was nothing but a coincidence, right?

Suddenly she wasn’t so sure anymore about anything.

“I don’t know if there are other ghosts. But like I said, it must have something to do with my family’s history and it’s probably just temporarily”, he replied.

She sighed. Her initial anger has long dissolved into a distant echo, leaving a hollow feeling in her gut as she thought about Derek’s word. Temporarily… She should have been glad and told Derek to leave her alone. But she couldn’t take the thought of not seeing him again. Of wasting their little time left.

“Maybe that’s what I’m worried about”, she admitted, her fingers curling tightly into the fabric of his jacket as she pressed her body up against his. His arms wrapped automatically around her body, his large palm resting comfortable on her lower back. “That you’ll just disappear again and this time for good and I’ll be left wondering if I’ll see you again next Halloween or if I’m crazy for counting the days.” She bit her tongue. She hasn’t even meant to spill all of that out, but now it was too late and she was glad about her confession. She needed Derek to know how she felt, even if it made no difference.

He pressed his lips together and stayed silent. The struggle behind his eyes was plain to see. He looked helplessly torn between wanting her as much as she wanted him and leaving her for her own sake. His touch was burning through the thing fabric of her nightgown. Feeling all the hard muscles, smelling his exotic odor. It was getting difficult to keep her thoughts straight, making her realize how much her body craved him as burning desire stirred inside her.

“If it’s only a matter of time, then what the hell”, Lydia added licking her lips seductively. She stood up on tiptoes and pulled at the collar of his jacket to close the distance between their faces, their mouths hovering just a few inches apart. “Might as well make the most of it.”

 

Chapter Text

“If it’s only a matter of time, then what the hell”, Lydia added licking her lips seductively. She stood up on tiptoes and pulled at the collar of his jacket to close the distance between their face, their mouths hovering just a few inches apart. “Might as well make the most of it.”

 

She grabbed the collar of Derek’s leather jacket to pull his face down for a leisured kiss, relishing in the familiar sensation of his lips moving against hers, firm and soft at the same time. Heat crawled up her spine as the kiss quickly turned more passionate with their tongues getting involved.

He pushed her back her against the wall of her bedroom. His hands circled her waist bevor sneaking down to grab her butt and lift her up. Lydia gasped in surprise, her legs wrapping themselves around his waist immediately. She clawed at his jacket and shirt in need to take both off, her fingers desperately seeking bare skin to touch, but without much success with their limps holding on to each other so tightly.

Derek was just as greedy as if it’s been far too long since he's touched someone. As if it’s been more than just a week since they’ve enjoyed in each other’s embrace. His hands were everywhere at once – stroking along her thighs and running through her loose curls. His lips left a fiery trail of kisses down her neck, sucking at the sensitive spot just above her fluttering pulse.

They broke apart for air, both their chests heaving with their labored breathing.

Derek leaned his forehead against hers, capturing her gaze. "I want ... to taste you", he panted, his clear eyes asking for permission. His voice was deep and husky, dripping of lust. But there was a trace of vulnerability left in his tone as if he wasn’t sure he should be asking or feared she could refuse him.

Which was ridiculous!

Lydia shivered in desire just thinking about his offer. Heat stroked down her back like sweet honey, pooling between her legs. She pushed her hands against his chest to make him set her down again and danced out of his embrace when his reluctant hands refused to let go.

"Take off your shirt!" she demanded standing a few feet across from him, just out of reach.

Derek followed her command like a well-trained puppy, his muscles flexing as he removed his jacket and then his shirt and tossed both to the floor. She let her gaze roam over his exposed chest, taking in every plain and ridge of his well-defined abs, barely able to contain the urge to run her hands and mouth all over the smooth skin, wanting to brand it as her own.

A naughty smile tugged at the corners of her lips. She kept her eyes locked on his face to take in his expression as she skimmed out of her lacy panties very slowly, making it look like a reward for his good behavior, leaving her standing in front of him in her short nightgown barely covering her bottom. A possessive sound almost like a growl emerged from Derek’s chest. His eyes shimmered blue for a moment so fleeting, she almost missed it and it made her pulse quickening on a primal level.

She sat down at the edge of her bed and motioned for Derek to kneel in front of her. He crouched down and gently spread her legs apart, burying his face hungrily between her thighs to satisfy his craving. Lydia moaned in pleasure at the first contact of his soft lips in harsh contrast of his rough hands and scruffy jaw rubbing against her sensitive skin.

Her eyes fluttered, fire licking at her nerves as his tongue flickered over her wet folds, sucking and biting, before dipping inside her. She leaned back on one hand with the other running through Derek’s soft dark hair, massaging his nape and tracing the swirling lines of the tattoo she hasn’t noticed before on his muscular back.

It was a triskale - the same symbol carved into the lit of the wooden container she’s taken from the charred Hale house.

Lydia titled her head to the side, her gaze drifting to the mysterious cylindric object resting on her nightstand, and wondered about its purpose and connection to Derek and his dead family... But all her coherent thoughts were sucked out of her brain the moment Derek added his fingers to the pleasurable penetration, making her arch her back into his touch and tugging hard at his hair, accompanied by a stream of soft whimpers and cries of pleasure falling from her lips.

She came hard and fast.

And Derek lapped up her juices like the most delicious ambrosia.

When he pulled back his cheeks were flushed, his lips glistening and eyes were dark, pleading like he wanted to worship her all night. Gently she brushed her thumb across his lips, wiping off the last droplets from his lips before leaning down to give him another luscious kiss. Their lips moved against each other in a delicate dance, slow and intimate.

Her fingers scraped down his chest and ran along the lines of his pelves before reaching for his pants. Derek hissed when her hand brushed the bulge straining the front of his jeans, twitching beneath her touch. She grinned against his mouth, capturing his bottom lip between her teeth and sucking on it gently, loving the rush of power his reaction to her simple touch sent through her system.

She broke the kiss to pull off her nightgown. The sight of the raw lust crossing Derek's face at the sight of her exposed breasts took her breath away. His hands moved from her thighs, delicately caressing up her sides. The tickling sensation made her shiver in want. His thumbs traced the underside of her breasts but he didn't touch her where she wanted him to.

Pouting she lay down on her back, stretching like a cat, fingers twisted into the bedsheet, tempting Derek to join her with her sensual movements. His resistance faded quickly as he started to kiss his way up her body bevor settling on her mouth again, his hard body a welcome weight on top of her body, pressing against her in all the right places. Her hand snuck between their bodies, making quick work of opening his fly and pulling his pants over his waist, just enough to free his impressive erection. She stroke him a few times, reveling in the feeling of the silky-smooth steel twitching in her palm, teasing the sensitive head against her swollen clit.

"Wait, wait!" Derek gasped, his voice sounded ragged, his shoulders tensed. "Shouldn’t we use … protection?"

Lydia chuckled huskily. "Why if you're a ghost?"

Before he could say more she shifted her hips upwards and let him slip inside her. They both groaned in pleasure at the overwhelming sensation of their union, her body melting into his like a perfect fit. It felt even better than the first time, being filled like this, feeling him warm and alive pulse deep inside her which made it even harder to grasp that he was actually a ghost.

Ghosts shouldn’t feel this real!

But it wasn't like she has met any ghosts before, so how was she supposed to know what they feel like...

Burying his face in her shoulder, Derek held still so that she could get used to his size until she motioned for him to move. He started carefully, setting a torturous slow but steady pace. She let him take the lead, take her body higher and higher with his increasing thrusts. The pressure build inside her like a geyser waiting to erupt. It felt so incredibly good, but she could tell by the strain in Derek’s shoulders and the clenching of his muscles he was holding back.

And she needed release so badly.

“Harder, Derek!” she insisted, digging her fingers hard into his broad shoulders, leaving red marks, fervent pressure coiling inside her. “I won’t break and I want to remember how this feels like when you’re gone.”

He growled in response, adjusting his position and hiking one of her legs higher up on his waist before thrusting faster, harder. The new angle made him go deeper, hitting that sweet spot of white-hot ecstasy that made Lydia cry out his name. The bed started to shake beneath them at Derek’s powerful thrusts. The whole world seemed to shake as their bodies rocked against each other, moving in perfect sync.

“Lydia”, Derek kept chanting her name like a prayer. His movements became erratic, slamming into her with aggressive force as they both got closer and closer to the edge.

“Don’t stop. Keep doing that!” Lydia cried out, holding on to him tightly.

Pleasure ripped through every part of her body in ravenous waves, shuddering her apart as she reached her climax in a violent rush. Her walls clenched and constricted around him, squeezing him hard. He kept thrusting until he succumbed to his own released spilling inside her.

He remained still for a few moments, burying his face against the crook of her shoulder and inhaling deeply before he eased out of her gently and rolled off the bed to get rid of the rest of his clothes. Lydia sighed blissfully, her body feeling boneless and spend and well sated. She didn’t want to close her eyes in worry Derek could disappear again, but exhaustion was quickly taking over her.

“Tell me you’re still here when I’ll wake up again”, she murmured, her eyes closing against her will. She felt the bed shift as Derek returned laying down beside her and wrapping his arms around her in a comforting embrace with thumb brushing soothing circles over her skin, luring her to sleep.

“I’ll stay as long as I can”, she heard Derek promise before drifting off, her head filled with thoughts of Derek - his hands, his smile and how much she wished there was a way to keep him around for more than just a few nights.

 

Chapter Text

Over the next couple of days Lydia figured out the pattern of Derek’s appearances linked to the wooden container. It was a lot like the genie and the magic lamp – the container seemed to be some kind of “magical device” containing Derek’s spirit, soul or whatever you wanted to call it, whenever he wasn’t physically present.

When she opened the lit after dark he would show up, but always disappear again come morning. He could follow her around, even go for some romantic midnight walk through the preserve with Lydia, but he always felt this pull by the end of the night and had to return to his wooden prison for the day.

It also became obvious that no one else was able to see or talk to Derek. Neither Scott nor Stiles could see him though the boys were firm believers of her ghost stories, asking all sorts of inappropriate questions about Derek and his bodily functions she refused to answer. It was weird enough they could have sex, her unbelievable nosy and immature friends didn’t need to know about that.

Her mother was another deal.

Not that she was around that much in the first place to notice what was going on in her daughter’s life. Lydia's been looking after herself for years with her mother burying herself in work since the divorce. She was actually glad her mother wasn’t aware of Derek – at least this way she didn’t have to explain his most often very naked presence in her bedroom.

But it left her wondering what was so different, so special about her that she could interact with Derek the way she did. Why she experienced him like a living breathing physical being and not just some haunting spirit. Why was she the only one…

“Tell me more about this thing," she insisted, as she crawled into bed after another round of hot shower sex with Derek. Immediately her gaze was drawn to her nightstand and she reached for the wooden container, studying it carefully like she’s done so many times since it’s been in her possession. Feeling this strange energy seizing into her hands whenever she touched the object almost like it was alive.“It belonged to my family for centuries,” Derek explained as he followed her from the bathroom, naked and his hair a tousled mess from drying it off with one of her towels. Cuddling up behind her, he wrapped his arms around her in a tight embrace. His hard chest pressed right up against her back, his chin rested against her shoulder, the stubbles tickling her skin. Immediately calmness settled over her as she was engulfed by a primal sense of comfort and security only Derek seemed to be able to provide.

“Carved from the wood of an ancient tree that’s said to have magical powers. The Nematon. I’m not sure about its purpose or what it’s capable off. I think I’m just attached to it because it’s the only thing left of my family that wasn’t destroyed.”

Lydia nodded, though she couldn’t shake the feeling there was more to the barrel in her hands. A hidden meaning she hasn’t been able to uncover yet…

He swept some strands of her damp hair off her shoulder and started to plant butterfly kisses along her neck as his fingers painted soothing patterns on her arms. It was hard to not get distracted by his gentle touch, but she's been tiptoeing around this conversation for days with Derek being far too evasive for liking. It was time to talk and get some answers. She was already so attached to him, so accustomed to his proximity, she couldn’t risk getting involved any further without knowing what she was getting into.

“Tell me what happened the night your family died,” she wanted to know holding her breath as she waited for Derek to answer, knowing very well how difficult this has to be for him. She felt his body stiffen behind her in obvious discomfort of her question, but she needed to know. She needed to make some sense of their situation and she couldn’t do that without all the information.

Derek sighed, forcing his body to relax again, his thighs brushing the back of her legs as he shifted into a more comfortable position on the bed that was a little too small for his huge frame. He wrapped the blanket around both their bodies. She was tempted to turn around to study his face and read the expression in his beautiful pale green eyes, but his arms didn’t give her enough room to move and she didn’t want to miss his embrace either.

“I already told you that my family was … different,” he explained. She nodded, well aware of him leaving out the most important detail - what made his family so different and if that’s the reason he was such an unusual ghost compared to what she knew from Scott and Stiles and her own research on apparitions. But she didn’t delve farther when Derek continued, his voice taking a different resentful tone. “And because of our otherness we had enemies who tried to destroy us. There was this college girl, Kate, a little older than me and experienced ... which was probably why I was so taken by her. I didn’t know back then she was one of them, but she made me fall in love with her and I was young and foolish enough to believe she loved me too.”

There was a sting of boiling hot jealousy cutting through her chest as she heard him talk about loving someone else - which was ridiculous. They were not in love. They weren’t in a relationship. They couldn’t be. He was a ghost for god’s sake!

That didn’t change that she couldn’t get rid of the sour taste in her mouth picturing Derek with another woman. Kissing, touching and fucking her the way he kissed, touched and fucked Lydia.

“I should have known better,” Derek whispered. “She was just using me to get information on my family and take advantage of it.” He buried his face in her shoulder in need of comfort, breathing in her scent as he often did when he was upset or distressed or just looking for some peace of mind.

She waited for him to continue, not speaking a word, just giving him the time he needed to collect his thoughts.

“Halloween, 10 years ago was a lunar eclipse. It left my family defenseless in a way that’s hard to explain, but Kate knew it would be easy to kill them all on one night … I tried to get there in time, but I was too late. The house was already on fire when I arrived with my family trapped inside…“ His voice broke, choked by the memories of his family’s violent death. His body started to tremble as if he was reliving the memory inside his head. “Everything was on fire … I heard people’s screams and I tried to get inside … I don’t really know what happened then … The next thing I remember is waking up in the charred ruins of my home on Halloween the following year and every Halloween after. The beginning of my curse.”

There was a big lump in her throat and Lydia swallowed heavy, fighting back the tears that prickled at the corners of her eyes. Her heart was breaking for Derek, not able to imagine what it must feel like for him. Sure she lost her best friend which was bad enough, but even though she wasn't very close to the rest of her family losing them like that would rip her apart. It just felt so wrong Derek had to suffer like this, making her wish she could take those awful memories away, make him whole again.

“I’m sorry,” she whispered, her voice choking on the depth of emotions his tragic story invoked inside her. Derek’s arms tightened around her, clinging to her like an anchor in stormy water. "Do you think it was her plan to curse you and keep you suffering like this? She must have known you would go after her otherwise.”

“I don’t know,” Derek sighed, his hot breaths washing over her neck like a heavy summer breeze remotely smelling like the blue flowers that always pop up in her backyard no matter how much her mother pays the gardener to keep them out. Wolfsbane.

Gently his hand ran down her arm towards her hands still holding the lit of the wooden container, tracing the symbol carved into it with his thumb, bevor intertwining their fingers. "Kate’s a murderous bitch and there’s nothing she’s not capable off. Or maybe it’s just guilt keeping me here. Because my family died because of my foolishness.”

“It wasn’t your fault. You didn’t know what would happen,” she whispered, managing to turn around in his arms and look at his face. His eyes so full of sorrow, it broke her heart all over again. She touched his face tenderly, caressing his cheek and fingernails scratching lightly over the stubbles.

He leaned into her touch, his gaze drifting out the window with a distant look deep in thought. His lips were pressed into a thin line. It was dark outside, the morning still far away, but it was obvious Derek thought about when he would have to return to his wooden prison and dreading he might not be able to leave it again.

“Maybe, but I’m the one who brought her into my family’s home and told her about our secret. That’s my share of guilt I have to carry,” he said after a long heavy pause which explained why he was so reluctant to share the secret with Lydia now, though it hurt to think he didn’t trust her enough and worried she could betray him the way Kate had.

“Maybe that’s why I can see and touch you. Because I’m cursed too. With my own share of guilt to carry,” she admitted.

He looked at her with concern written all over his face, his arms tightening around her even further as if he wanted to protect her from any dark thoughts that troubled her mind. Her heart swelled with the amount of his concern for her even when reminded of his own tragic history and she could hardly imagine what it was like without him and how it would leave her hollow when shell loose him again.

She couldn’t believe it’s been only a few weeks since she met him.

That one's a keeper, her mind pointed out sounding far too much like her grandmother’s voice before she went crazy and killed herself of course.

“Do you want to tell me about it?” he asked.

She thought about it for a moment. It would only be fair since he just opened up to her to do the same. “My best friend died year and I couldn’t stop it. I can’t really explain it but I knew something was going to happen for weeks. And when it happened … I got this strange feeling that something was wrong. I should have said something … done something. I should have warned her. Then she would still be alive.”

“It’s okay”, he tried to comfort her and leaned down to kiss away the tears running down her cheeks as she couldn’t get Allison’s smiling face out of her head again, remembering the last day they spent together, shopping for Christmas. “I don’t think you could have done something. You might be supernatural, but even you can’t cheat death.”

She blinked at him in surprise. Supernatural? “What do you mean?”

“Lydia, you’re in bed with a ghost. You’re obviously not just the girl next door. You’re-”

“A genius with a perfect grades and incredible good looks?” she cut him off, not ready to delve on this further. Supernatural… what was that even supposed to mean? That she was some kind of psychic since she could talk to ghosts?

She wasn’t supernatural, she was just…

“And so modest”, Derek teased, dropping the subject as she’s hoped and kissing her softly on the forehead.

Her heart began to flutter in her chest like a like bird feeling it was about to burst out of her chest. No, she had to remind herself for what like a millionth time. Don't fall for him! Don’t be stupid!

Deep inside she knew it was already too late.

 

Chapter Text

"Of course it's a curse!" Stiles exclaimed with far too much excitement and much too loud for Lydia's liking after she's filled him and Scott in on what Derek told her the other night, but leaving out the delicate details of his relationship with this Kate.

She couldn't shake the twinge of jealousy invading her system just thinking about the woman Derek's been in love with, no matter how irrational and ridiculous it was. There was no reason to believe Derek still had any feelings left for the person responsible for his family's murder and his own torment apart from hatred, but jealousy has never been reasonable, has it?

They were sitting in the half-empty school's library. With Christmas just around the corner there wasn’t much teaching left too do with most of the students already preparing for the holidays. Several heads belonging to the librarian and the few other students currently occuping the room turned in their direction, giving them disapproving and angry glares. Neither Stiles nor Scott seemed bothered by this kind of attention. They never were. Half the school thought the boys were crazy anyway because of their fascination with the supernatural and the other half didn't even know who they were despite Lydia hanging out with them.

They enjoyed being the odd ones out.

Lydia didn't.

Since Allison's death she didn't really care much about her former popularity or how fast her so-called friends dumpted her when she stopped pretending to be the shallow queen b to fit in. But that didn't mean she liked being looked at like a funfair attraction and having people whisper behind her back about her having lost her mind. She shot a poisonous glare towards the gaping students who quickly turned their heads away again to mind their own business.

Lydia smirked inwardly. She may not be the most popular girl on campus anymore but she still knew how to intimidate her simple minded classmates. She still got teeth.

Not the queen b anymore but an alpha female.

"It's just like in those Poltergeist movie," Stiles continued. She rolled her eyes at the boy for using an inaccurrate Hollywood movie as reference to their real life problem. "Ghosts are haunting spirits who can't find rest for some reason. Even more if they were killed in a violent or tragic death. Derek was murdered - hell, his whole family was murdered and according to you he blames himself for it. Of course he can't find peace!"

"Is there a point to this nonsense?" Lydia muttered getting more and more agitated the longer she had to listen. She felt a twitch developing in her right eye.

"Maybe that's why you met in the first place. To help him find peace," Stiles concluded looking very smug as he leaned back in his chair, putting one of his markers between his lips like a cigarette.

"And how is she supposed to do that?" Scott tossed in, his eyes switching between Lydia and his best friend like watching a tennis match.

Stiles pondered for a moment, gnawing at the tip of one of his marker. His face lit up as he hit on an idea and he spit out the marker, sending it flying over table. Scott dodged out of the way before the marker could hit him in the face. "By destroying the wooden container! It's what keeping him here. We destroy it and his soul will be set free."

"Wait! What?" Lydia cried out, earning more furious looks from the other students in the library, but she ignored them. She lowered her voice to a dangerous whisper and squinted her eyes at the two boys.

Did they never think anything through?

"We can't just destroy it. We don't know what'll happen then. It could kill Derek!" she hissed. Her hands were shaking with fury as she balled them into fists.

The boys shared a strange look in silent communication.

"Lydia, we can't kill him," Scott tried to reason with her calmly. He reached out a hand to lay it on top of hers in comfort. His facial expression was sympathetic and worried. "He is already dead. I think you're taking this too personal."

"Yeah, sounds like you just don't want to stop reenacting Ghost with your paranormal boy toy," Stiles added leering at her with a wink. "Do you two do pottery listening to the Righteous Brothers?"

Lydia pressed her lips together, her shoulders shaking.

She didn't know why she getting so upset over the prospect of helping Derek finding peace. She should be happy, shouldn't she? But every part of her body wanted to be angry. To scream that they didn't know what they're talking about. That it wasn’t their choice and that they couldn’t play with Derek's "life" like that, even thought he wasn't alive technically.

The only problem was ... they were right.

If she cared about him - really cared - she would want what's best for him. To help him and not condemn him to continue this agonizing existance between life and death. She would be nothing but cruel and selfish if she tried to keep him by her side instead of giving the chance to finally find peace and be with his family again.

It wasn't her decision. It was Derek's, but she knew his grief-stricken heart would never let him make the right the decision.

She unclenched her fists, exhaling her anger with a deep sigh. "Are you sure it's going to work?"

"As sure you can be without having actual experience with exorcism," Stiles replied. "We can do it tonight. You tell Derek and -"

"No! We'll have to do it right now before sunset," Lydia insisted. Before I regret my decision and change my mind, she added in her mind, knowing if she saw Derek she would have second thoughts and not be able to go through with the plan. She also didn't want to say goodbye. It would be easier this way without having to look in his beautiful eyes knwoing it eould be the last time.

 

+++

 

They drove to the Hale mansion right after school, stopping on the way at her house to get the wooden container. The charred ruins of the mansion looked even more depressing in harsh daylight with heavy grey cloud hanging low above the clearing. There was a chill in the air promising snow. Maybe they would even get white Christmas, though Lydia couldn't careless. She felt no real Christmas spirit.

Allison was dead, her mother on another business trip and her father was spending the holidays with his new girlfriend.

And now Derek wouldn't be there either.

The boys used dry leaves to light a fire in the chimney while Lydia clung to the wooden container like a secret treasure she didn't bare having to part with, her heart just as reluctant to let go as her fingers. Holding it close to her chest she could feel that strange sense of warm energy surging through the wood again. Her heart was beating so fast it felt like jumping out of her chest. She tried to calm her fluttering nerves by reminding herself that she was doing the right thing.

That she was doing what was best for Derek.

"Are we sure this is going to work?" Scott asked stirring the fire with a long branch. "If this thing ... if it's really magical maybe it can't be destroyed."

"No, it'll work," Lydia replied automatically, her voice sounding as hollow as she felt inside. Knots tightened in her stomach as she took a hesitent step closer to the fire. She shudddered despite the heat warming her skin. She didn't know why or how, but she knew it would work. Just like she knew it would be for the best...

Still, it felt like losing a part of herself that couldn't be replaced that easily, that is, if it could be replaced at all.

How could she have gotten so attached to Derek so quickly? To a ghost? Didn't she learn her lesson with Jackson? Didn't she swore off foolish love to refrain from more heartbreak? Didn't she knew from the start it would end like this?

But it was too late.

She would loose him just like she lost Allison, leaving another hole in her heart that was much too scarred for someone this young.

A would that would never truly heal.

She took a deep breath, bracing her shoulders, before throwing the jar into the flames, saying a silent goodbye to Derek. Recalling his handsome face in her memory as her eyes prickled with unshed tears, mourning what could have been if they'd met under more fortunate circumstances.

The wood burned much faster than expected. Almost like paper with the flames licking greedy at the container, devouring it in their merciless heat within minutes. Sparks were soaring through the air like fireworks with strange purple smoke ascended up the chimney.

The boys jumped back in surprise, but Lydia was completely engrossed by the sight before her. She squinted her eyes, imaging to see something in the dancing flames. Something resembling...

Her eyes widened in horror, her breath catching in her throat as she stumbled backwards.

Suddenly she heard something like the distant echo of a voice ... Derek's voice.

Screaming in agony above strange noises she couldn't place. White noise. Violent. Shattering. Turning to whispers ringing in her ears. Tearing her apart from the inside. Ripping at her mind like wolf claws.

Two words ... over and over again.

Her heart felt like bleeding and she started to hyperventilate. Her lungs burning for oxygen she couldn't find. As if the fire sucked it all out of the room.

Was Derek hurting because of the vessel burning?

Because of her decision?

But it was too late. The wooden jar was nothing but ashes piled on the hod of the fireplace and the flames were dying down with nothing left to feed on.

"La Iglesia," Lydia repeated the words she's heard in her mind in a breathless whisper. The boys turned towards her and from the looks they gave her it was obvious they didn't hear anything, but they must have seen the purple smoke judging their reaction.

"Isn't that spanish for church?" Scott asked, scratching his head and nodding towards the fireplace. "Lydia, what just happened? Did it work?"

"Church", Stiles added. "The old spanish basilica in the desert. Almost completely destroyed by an earthquake like maybe 18 years ago. There's a hole bunch of legends conneted to-"

"I have to go there!" Lydia interrupted him with unexpected certainty nurtured by the nameless pull tugging at her chest. Her voice solid leaving no room for discussion. She had to do this even though she didn't know why and it made no sense ... But nothing in the last couple of weeks since meeting Derek has actually made sense. Which didn't change her feelings.

"Lydia..."

"Please, guys! I can't explain it but I have to go there.," she pleaded. The didn't look convinced. She plased her hands on her hips to shoot them a stern look. "Remember this all started with your stubid bet! You owe me!"

The boys hesitated, but agreed eventually.

"Fine, but maybe we should't take the jeep," Scott suggested, grimacing apologetic at seeing Stiles' offended expression.

"Hey, what do you mean? What's wrong with my car?"

 

+++

 

They drove for hours - at least that's what it felt like for Lydia sitting in the backseat of Stiles' rorty jeep. She prayed the rust bucket wouldn't conk out in the middle of nowhere. Having left any sign of modern civilisation behind and being surrounded by nothing but endless wasteland it felt like travelling backwards in time right into the period of the spanish colonization. When this part of the country had been undiscovered by western civilisation and wild, full of myths and wonders.

They reached their destination by sunset. The last rays of sunlight swept over the mountains. The valley below was bathed in darkness not even the full moon's pale shimmer could illuminate, making the place look even more eerie than the Hale mansion on Halloween.

Rows of abandoned graves and old tombstones weathered by the desert lined the way to the church's remnants at the center of the valley, surrounded by collapsed house of a town long forgotten.

A forsaken place no living soul dared to enter.

Lydia shivered as she climbed out of the jeep and let her gaze wander over the ruins half drowned by shadows huge and dark enough for sinister beings to lurk in without being noticed. she shook her head to get rid of her own paranoia slowly creeping up her spine.

Then she felt it again.

She didn't know what she expected to find, but the voices inside her head were getting lourder and the sensation burning inside her chest was getting stronger, pulling her forward like an invisible leash. She couldn't quite place the emotions welling up inside her tying her stomach into knots as she neared the church's entry or what used to be the entry.

Was it dread or misplaced euphoria?

Moving carefully over bricks and gravel trespassing deeper into the ruins and down to the catacombs beneath the church the boys were close behind her. Stiles' flashlight lit the way. "Do you know where you're going?" he asked, his voice hushed like he feared any loud noise could wake the dead surrounding them.

Lydia didn't reply, focusing on the voices in her head for guidance. They have gotten louder since their arrival at the church making her believe they were on the right way.

They found a tomb overgrown by vines and closed by a heavy paver craved with mysterious archaic symbols. Spirals and tribals similar too Derek's triskele tattoo intertwined with runes and the illustration of animals. Wolves maybe. It looked like a sigil that hasn't been opened in a long time. Lydia touched the cold brittle stone, leaned her head against the stone it and felt something pulsate beneath her touch similar to the feeling she got when touching the wooden container. Feeling like a heartbeat trapped inside.

The white noise whispers that have led her to this place subsided. The sudden quietness in her head made gasp in relief. Steadying herself she said, "We need to open this tomb."

"What?" Both Scott and Stiles exclaimed in disbelief, eyeing her like she has lost her mind. And maybe she has a little. Maybe she has since loosing Allison and her grandmother and breaking up with Jackson and falling in love with a ghost. Maybe this was the final stage of loosing her mind completely. Crossing through the desert und breaking into vaults.

"Just do it please!" she pleaded, not expecting them to understand or helping her without more protesting, but they were her friends and this was what real friends were for - to stick together through the craziness.

The boys nodded reluctantly, hurried back to the jeep and returned with a crowbar and sledgehammer. She frowned, not sure why they had those tools in the first place or what they've been scheming before she's dragged them along on this crazy adventure.

With Lydia holding the flashlight they started to work on the wall. They managed to smash a small hole into the stone. A whiff of stale musky air drifted from the inside of them tomb, mixed with a nauseating sweet smell that made Lydia's nose cringe in repulsion.

Pointing the flashlight at the dark hole Lydia peeked inside, but couldn't see much exept of more vines and small blossoms that looked like the blue flowers in her backyard, only these were purple. But there was something inside. Something ... moving.

Without warning the wall exploded into a shower of debris, dust and petals as something burst free from inside the vault. The boys stepped backwards, pulling Lydia with them to safe distance. As the dust settled a dark figure rose before them. Huge and menacing. Tatty clothes covered in dirt. The shaggy hair a little longer, the beard a litte thicker. He also looked a little older, but that might have been just the 10 years of being buried alive taking its toll. But the eyes ... these gorgeous soul-searching eyes Lydia would have recognized no matter what.

Her heart started to race in hope this wasn't just her imagination playing tricks on her.

"You see him, too, right?" Stiles whispered behind her, squeezing her arm. She barely heard him with her focus captivated by the man standing in front of her. Her feet moved on their own to take a step closer.

"Derek?" she gasped.

His head snapped in her direction, holding her gaze. His eyes glinted from their natural pale green colour to unnatural blue and back again. Ferocity simmered in the hunched set of his shoulders. A low growl rumbling from his chest

But despite his aggressive stance there was also something else in his look. Something like ... recognition?

His thick eyebrows drew together as he studied her face, then lifted in astonishment. As if he was just as taken by surprise by her presence as she. She could feel electricity sparking between them, crawling over her skin just like the first time she's layed eyes on him.

"Derek," she repeated his name with great tenderness. Her hands were itching, longing to reach out for him. To run her fingers through his hair and soothe the frown etched onto his face. But before she was able to move Derek turned away and dashed out of the catacomb.

Lydia wrestled out of Scott's and Stiles' protective grip trying to hold her back and set after him. She called his name repeatedly, but when she left the church there was nothing but empty desert stretching before her eyes and Derek has vanished.

Like a ghost in the night.

 

Chapter Text

Christmas has come and gone and there's been no sign of Derek.

Lydia has expected him to show up on her doorstep eventually, but he never did and when New Year's Eve approached she started to wonder if he's even back in town.

Not that she could blame him if he left without saying goodbye. She intended to set his soul to rest without saying goodbye either and it wasn't like there was much left for him in Beacon Hills except painful memories and lost years.

Did he decide to go after Kate even though he's told her he's sworn off revenge?

Did he waste no time to start a new life to catch up on what he's been missing out on now that he was back among the living?

She couldn't stop wondering just as much as she couldn't wrap her head around what happened the night in the desert. How Derek managed to survived being buried alive for so long or how she's been able to find him in the first place. Sure, he's told her his family was special even though he's been not very specific about it, but 10 years in a tomb? No one should be able to survive that long without water, without food, without air...

Her head was spinning from her mind trying to make sense of it all as she swept confetti of the expensive cream-colored couch, collected empty cups and glasses from the cabinet and put her grandmother's precious crystal vase out of harm's way, wondering once more why she agreed to host this party at the lake house that used to belong to her grandmother.

No New Year's Eve without Lydia Martin's legendary New Year's Eve party, Scott and Stiles argued and looked at her with those damn puppy eyes she couldn’t refuse. Never mind that the boys have never been invited to one of her legendary parties before. She'd agreed in hope it would keep her hands and mind busy so that her thoughts would stop revolving around Derek's whereabout - no one should be singing the blues on New Year's Eve because they're missing a ghost - pardon, ex-ghost.

Unfortunately it didn't work.

The lake house was crammed full of people celebrating the last moments of the old year to decay. Many of them Lydia didn't recognize and some she hasn’t talked to since giving back her crown as Queen B. So many people. The loud music and booming laughter was getting on her nerves and by the time midnight was approaching she started to consider calling it a day and kicking everyone out.

A sharp crash from across the room startled her.

Lydia closed her eyes breathing in and out to bridle her rising annoyance bevor she turned in the direction the noise came from to examine the damage. But a familiar face flashing in the crowd near the front door caught her attention.

Derek... Immediately her heart started to race a little faster.

Was he really here or was it just her wishful thinking playing tricks on her?

He caught her gaze from across the room for a brief moment before she lost sight of him again, swallowed by the sea of people occupying the room. She moved forcing her way through the crowd towards the front door, passing by Scott and Stiles too occupied dancing with their girlfriends to take notice. Cold air hit her face in welcome contrast to the sticky heat inside the house as she stepped outside. Snowflakes tumbling softly towards the ground. Her eyes moved around the driveway littered with cars and tried to figure out where Derek could have disappeared to.

She spotted some students down by the lakeside preparing the firework. Midnight was just around the corner. She let her gaze wander further down the lakeside until it landed on the old landing stage and the small boathouse attached. Shivering against the cold having she moved across the snow-covered ground towards the boathouse where she found Derek standing with his back turned towards the entrance and his gaze lingering on the quiet lake's surface.

"I'm sorry if I come amiss," he said over his shoulder, before he turned around to face her. "I didn't know you're having a party."

She nodded and took him in, immediately struck by how different he looked than when she's seen him as a "ghost". Well, not really different. He's always looked and felt alive which was the reason she's got involved with him without noticing something was off. But he looked more vibrant. Sharper. He was wearing clean clothes and his face was shaven, although a slight five o'clock shadow was starting to cover his cheeks. His eyes were as clear and mesmerizing as ever.

"I wondered if you left town," Lydia said, carefully keeping her voice neutral as she didn't want him to notice how much his wordless exit has bothered her. "You ran away like you couldn't get away fast enough."

"When I saw you I couldn’t believe my eyes," he replied. "Our time together felt like dream... like you were a part of my imagination to keep me from going insane. I didn't expect you to be real."

She nodded in understanding as she's experienced the same feeling the moment she realized he was alive. "Well I thought you were a ghost so we were both fools."

He chuckled. His low laughter filling the space between them, coaxing her into wanting to cross the room and melt against his chest to feel the vibrations running through her body, but she felt rooted to the spot by uncertainty and Derek made no attempt to get closer either.

Something has changed between them that made them both act with more caution than during all their previous encounter and it wasn't just the fact that they couldn't pretend for their actions to have no consequences any longer.

This wasn't just a Halloween ghost story anymore.

This was real.

"Are you going to tell me what happened at the desert?" Lydia asked next. She started to move around and rub the goosebumps spreading on her bare arms as the cold crept into her bones, desperately wishing she would have brought her winter coat. She circled Derek slowly who turned to keep her in his view.

"I'm not sure I can explain it or that you're going to believe me," he dodged and rubbed the back of his neck, obviously stalling for time.

"Do you really think there is anything I wouldn't believe by now?"

His lips parted slightly, but hesitated to answer. His eyes dropped down to inspect his boots as if he was trying to muster up the courage to tell her the truth. She remembered how he's told her about Kate, reminding her how difficult this has to be for him. To open up to someone with his secrets after what she did to him. To trust someone with all his heart.

"I'm a werewolf." His words were rushed like ripping off a band-aid.

Okay maybe there was one thing.

"Werewolf?" She repeated, not able to keep the incredulity out of her voice despite all the strange things and wonders she's experienced the last couple of weeks, and silently relieved that Scott and Stiles weren't around. She would never hear the end of their we told you werewolves exist triad.

"Technically a shapeshifter", he added and his eyes flashed blue to emphasize his words. She gasped in surprise but quickly regained her compusure again. She's noticed his eyes changing color before but assumed it was part of him being a ghost. "That's why I was able to survive in that tomb for so long. Enhanced metabolism and self-regeneration."

"The tomb wasn't a grave but a cocoon", she mussed flashing back to the image of the tomb with the web of thick branches of wolfbane in the tomb surrounding Derek's form like a web. "It kept you alive on primary level."

He nodded. "Pretty much. You see werewolves-"

She held up a hand, her head spinning from his confession. "Okay stop right there! I'm really not in the mood for a lecture of Werewolf 101. It doesn't really matter."

"It doesn't?" He looked skeptical, his thick eyebrows rising up. "Usually this is the moment when most people run away screaming."

"Well I'm not most people as you must have realised by now. And I didn't ran away when I thought you were a ghost, did I? I don't really care about the semantics - whether you're a ghost or a werewolf or a unicorn. I care about you. That you're alright and..." She haltered in her steps, realizing she's been gravitating towards Derek the whole time without noticing and was standing just a few feet away from him now. His eyes appeared so much darker as he looked down at her, filled with stormy emotions that made her nerves tingle.

She wetted her lips, her heart racing, fingers itching. "So... what have you been up to since Christmas?" she asked.

Derek smirked, obvious to her her attempt to change the subject. He shrugged. "I needed some time to think. Had things to take care off. Get re-adjusted to life I guess."

She narrowed her eyes, knowing exactly what he meant even without speaking the words. "You mean you went to the mansion. Haven't you spend enough time in those ruins?"

He sighed, shifting from one foot to the other. Now it was his turn to move around, restless like a caged animal, and the boathouse seemed much too small for his frame all of a sudden. "I did. I had to see it one last time to be able to move on."

"Move on," she pondered the word over in her mouth chewing on the inside of her cheek. "And how are you planning to move on? Are you going to leave for good? It's not like there is anything left in this town for you." She shivered, but not from the cold this time.

Derek noticed and like a gentleman he crossed the last bit of distance between them to pull of his leather jacket and drape her shoulders, the soft fabric radiating his heat and enveloping her in Derek's familiar odor.

"I hoped there's one thing," he stammered. His cheeks flushed as he held her gaze. "I was hoping that you... that we could ... " His eyes dropped to her lips but quickly snapped back up again. "But I wasn't sure you'd want me to."

"Of course I want you. Wasn't it obvious the last two months how much I want you?" Her fingers curled into his shirt, tugging slightly at the thin fabric.

"You thought I was a ghost," he pointed out.

"Yes! But since you aren't, I can finally look in the mirror without thinking I have lost my mind for falling in love with you." The confession fell easy from her lips because it was the truth and there was no denying it.

Somewhere between Halloween and Christmas she has found love under the most peculiar circumstance.

She would be damned to let it slip through her fingers.

"Lydia, we can take this slow. I'm not going to disappear again." His voice was husky, betraying his own feelings as his hand snuck beneath the leather jacket to embrace her. He bend down to rest his forehead against hers.

"We can." She rose on tiptoes, pressing up against his chest, her mouth hovering inches from his. "After. But not tonight."

She craned her head to capture his lips.

The kiss was slow and tender. Testing how it would feel to kiss him, the real Derek, Lydia cherished the sensation. His lips tasted sweeter, his embrace felt warmer, his response more passionate. Or maybe that was just her mind adjusting to the knowledge that kissing him should feel different now. In the distance she could hear faint cheering with the firework rocking across the sky at the stroke of midnight welcoming the new year.

Smiling against Derek's lips, safe and sound in his strong embrace, his steady heartbeat matching her own and no curse left to take him away again, she couldn't help but presume it'll be a good one.

 

The end