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As Far As Promises Go

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Golden eyes that crinkled in the corners smiled back at him. That dark brown mop of hair bounced up and down around his angelic face, a few drops of water sensually sliding down the younger boy's tantalizing body. A body so scrawny that the wind may as well cause a real threat to tip it over, but with skin as fair as spotted porcelain. Derek stared at the beautiful boy laughing and almost dancing before him.
“Derek” his mother, Talia, called for him. The split second Derek turned to look at his mother was all it took for the beautiful boy to disappear. Panic rose inside Derek, and his wolf started pacing. Sensing her son’s sudden distress, Talia approached Derek. “What’s wrong, my angel?” she asked her only son. “He’s gone, mom. I swear, I only looked away for a second and now he’s gone!” Derek almost shouted in distress to his mother. Talia opened her mouth to say something to her son, but was interrupted by her mate. “Talia, Deucalion is calling for you.” Robert informed her.
Talia sighed and took her son's hand, pulling him along. “It’ll have to wait, Derek.” she stated. Derek dug his heels into the sand and pulled back his hand as hard as he could, but his mothers grip didn’t budge. “But mom!” he argued. Talia flasher her red alpha eyes at Derek, ending the fight in him. “I’m sorry angel, but we have to go.” she explained to her son.
Derek looked back to the place where he had seen the young boy, but the spot was as vacant as it had been just seconds before. Sighing, Derek willingly followed his mother back to their family’s beach-camp.

Derek hadn’t had that dream for over a decade now. The memory still came to him as if it had happened yesterday, but somehow it seemed more real this time. Derek could swear that he smelled the young boy, but looking around him, he knew that it was just his imagination playing tricks on him again.
Angrily he threw his covers off and marched over to the bathroom to take a shower. ‘Might as well have been for the best’ he thinks sourly to himself. Looking back he cringes a little. The day he met the boy was also the day the humans went to war against the werewolves. Deucalion had called his mother in, ordering her to strike back against them. As Derek knew she would, Talia refused Deucalion’s command, but Deucalion had already foreseen Talia’s refusal and forced her hand with an offer she could not refuse.

The war was easily won by the werewolves, the humans defeated just before the five year mark. Every human was to be hunted down and put into concentration camps where they would suffer for their crimes against werewolves. Every human that resisted or tried to escape would be put to death, and any werewolf that helped hide humans suffered the same fate. Talia could do little more than watch the world fall to ruin before her very eyes, but the offer Deucalion had made her was a one way ticket to death either way she looked at it. That’s how the Hale pack ended up controlling the biggest concentration camp in California. Once respected for their incredible power, now they were feared for it.

Sighing for the thousandth time that morning, Derek got dressed in his uniform and marched over to the camp to get his team ready for the day.
Violently kicking the door to the barrack open, he drew his brows together and drained every emotion off of his face.
“If you’re not ready in five minutes, I will have your heads.” he shouted before turning and almost crashing into his uncle on his way out.
“Woah nephew!” Peter shouted, putting his hands in the air. “Whoever pissed you off, I feel sincerely sorry for.” Derek glared at Peter before pushing his way through, now heading for the Hale house again.

His mother sensing his foul mood, smiled at him when he entered the kitchen.
“What’s wrong, angel?” Talia asked. “Don’t you think it’s a little inappropriate to call me ‘angel’, mother?” Derek asked with a sneer, not letting up on his scowl. “And why would it be inappropriate, my angel?” Talia retorted. She knew what Derek was referring to, but she also knew her son’s sweet nature would be unable to turn foul. He was the most feared soldier apart from Deucalion and herself, but she knew he wished he could undo all the wrong he’d done. And if it cost Talia her life, she would make everything right again, if only to see her son smile once more. Derek had lost his smile the day the humans went to war, but Talia knew there was something else causing the absence of his happiness. She often thought back to that day, to the boy Derek had referred to when she had called for him. ‘Could it have been?’ she silently asked herself.
“Could what have been?” Derek questioned sourly. Startled Talia smiled at her son, “Nothing, angel. Just thinking about work.” she said instead. Derek was about to say something when his father walked in the door, sporting a freshly split lip. “Deucalion wants a word with you, Derek.” his father states as if nothing was wrong. “Dad? Did he…?” Derek’s anger rose and his eyes flashed red, he didn’t even need to ask to know what Deucalion had done to his father.
“Derek, stop it!” his father demanded. Derek couldn’t believe his own ears.
“What! What! You got to be kidding me, dad. I am sick of that imbecile treating you as something dirty!” Derek shouted right back at his father.
“Derek!” Talia prompted. “No, mom. Just….just don’t.” Derek turned to scowl at his father before turning and walking out, slamming the door shut. He could hear his father sigh and through their bond, he could feel his pain. Not pain from his split lip, but from his son's anger with him.

Even though Derek wished his father would stand up for himself, he knew there was little his father could do. The deal Talia made concerned him, her mate. Talia’s very human mate. He would live as long as Talia agreed to be commanded by Deucalion, but no promise was made to leave her mate unharmed. Derek remembered all the times his father had ended up on the medical bay, just because something didn’t go Deucalion’s way or just because he was bored. Derek hated feeling powerless, but there was nothing he could do.
Barging into Deucalion’s headquarters, Derek scowled at him. Smiling Deucalion greeted Derek with wiping his father’s blood off of his hands, throwing the now blood stained rag at Derek’s feet. Grinding his teeth together Derek stared unfazed at Deucalion. “Impressive,” Deucalion mused “if only your mother would be as cold hearted as her son.” He rose from his desk, walking around it to stand before Derek, lifting his head to make eye contact. “I’m sending your team out to retrieve a group of humans spotted south of the city. It's supposedly a larger group, women and children in it too. They’ve managed to escape every time my men have gone after them. McCall and Lahey will be accompanying you.” Deucalion stated flatly.
“I will not have them. Sir.” Derek sneered defiantly.
“It wasn’t a question. Boy.” Deucalion spat back. Grinding his teeth once more, Derek growled out “I have their sons on my team, it will not go over well if they’ll have to work together. There’s a reason they’re separated, remember?”
Deucalion scowled at Derek. Of course he remembered why he had separated fathers and sons. Lahey and Rafael hated their sons, too soft around the edges, no spinal cord what so ever, he remember the fathers describing their sons.
Though he had to admit, they boys did respond quite well under Derek’s command.
“You do as I say, whelp!” Deucalion hissed at Derek.
“I am not my mother!" Derek hissed. "You would do well to remember that.” he spat back, before leaving Deucalion with an amused look on his face.

Stepping outside, Derek drew in a deep breath, before raggedly letting it out.
“Rough morning?” Rafael McCall asked, walking up to stand beside Derek.
Derek just scowled at him before he strode over to his team’s barracks.
“Scott, Isaac.” Derek demanded once there.
The two in question stepped forward, an equal “Sir, Yes, Sir” on their mouths.
“Lieutenant McCall and Lieutenant Lahey will accompany us on this mission, I ask of you to be on your best behavior.” Derek could sense the tension now seeping from the two younger boys. Their relationship with their fathers wasn’t a good one, even before the war, the boys had had trouble with their sires.
“We are to retrieve a group of humans south of the city. There should be women and children with the group, though we will not let that prevent us from taking them. Do I make myself clear?” Derek’s eyes swipe over the faces he now recognize as friends. In unison they all shout out a “Sir, Yes, Sir.”
“I see you’ve trained them well.” He can hear the slick voice of Lt. Lahey speak behind him.
Derek just turns around while barking a command for his team to follow.
Lt. McCall and Lt. Lahey were thereby forced to fall in line behind Derek as they marched over to the truck that would take them to their location.