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That Silver Shell We Call The Moon

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“And beauty is a form of genius -- is higher, indeed, than genius, as it needs no explanation. It is of the great facts of the world, like sunlight, or spring-time, or the reflection in dark waters of that silver shell we call the moon. It cannot be questioned. It has its divine right of sovereignty. It makes princes of those who have it.” - Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray (ch. 2)

 

For the majority of her life Allison Argent had been hunting. When she was ten her mother was bitten by a werewolf and killed herself instead of becoming one of the monsters. Her father decided it was time for her to join the rest of the family and pulled her from public school. At first Allison was angry but Allison was always angry now. She was angry at the wolf for biting her mother, she was angry at her mother for killing herself, she was angry at her father for allowing her mother to kill herself, it was an anger that didn't go away. Now she was being pulled away from her entire life to get home schooled and take classes online. Her father handed her a bow and told her that monsters existed and werewolves weren't the only ones.

 

Her teenage years were a blur to Allison now. She remembered the first time her father "kidnapped" her and tied her to chair. She remembered being left alone for hours until she freed herself. She remembered the black eye she gave her father for doing that to her. The timeline was a mess though and she didn't remember when things happened or how old she was. The memories were only the things that traumatized her and that said a lot. Allison couldn't remember the last time she looked at her father and didn't feel anger toward him. Even when he hugged her tightly the first time she killed a wolf that was going to kill her. It wasn't a moment that she enjoyed because all Allison could see was the blood on her hands and the way the wolf had turned back into a person with all too human eyes.

 

She lost her virginity when she was seventeen. She was in a small town in the middle of nowhere in Utah and they were trying to explain why people kept vanishing. There was a young man in one of the nearby houses that was about her age but Allison never bothered to learn his name. They slept together and it was quick, it hurt a little, and it was just another thing to be angry about. They left the next morning after killing the wolf. Allison found his number in the pocket of her jeans months later but there was blood on the paper now. She threw it away without a second thought.

 

Sometimes, the anger would take over her in such a profound way that it didn't matter if the monster of guilty or not. Allison faked police reports so they could roam through territories on the full moon and wipe out entire packs. The first time Allison collapsed and sobbed for hours. Her father stood by her side and let her cry until she didn't have any tears left. They were a deadly pair and people kept saying how proud they must be about how many monsters they had killed but Allison wasn't proud. She wasn't even sure she was angry anymore. Allison realized she hated herself.

 

For the first time in nearly a decade Allison sat down with her father and they talked about their feelings. They talked about how they were hunting and killing things that might be just existing. They talked about the blood on their hands. They talked about her mother. Chris Argent said his wife's name for the first time since she plunged a knife into her own heart. It was painful and there were tears but it was the thing that needed to be done. Allison couldn't continue to live and hunt the way she was. It was time to stop "hunting" and it was time to start "protecting". She wasn't sure her father was entirely happy about it but he knew that Allison would go off on her own if he didn't agree.

 

They didn't mean to run into Derek Hale in Beacon Hills. Kate died there so her father never had much of an attachment to the town and wanted to stay away. Allison had only met her aunt a few times and those moments always made the hairs on the back of her neck stand on end. However, the reports coming out of Beacon Hills were not good and there were plenty of innocent people living there that needed someone to protect them. Allison blamed instinct as to why she nearly cut Derek's throat right there but once she calmed herself down and listened she was glad she didn't. It was fascinating, to her, to see not only a werewolf but a demon that were both human.

 

Everything about the two of them seemed to go against everything she knew about werewolves and even demons. Stiles was nothing like anyone she had ever met before. There was a confidence about him that almost made him have a bit of a swagger but Allison could also see the cracks. This was someone, or something, that was stitched back together so many times there were pieces missing. She only had her own knowledge about how demons were made but, from what she could gather, he spent decades or even centuries being tortured in hell. There was no way that wouldn't affect someone. Allison wondered what Stiles was like before he became a demon.

 

Derek was something else as well. Most of the werewolves she met over her years were barely hanging onto their humanity but Derek seemed very in touch with his. Even though he was cursed a human when she met him Allison could see that he had a very good handle on his wolf. Her father had mentioned Derek Hale a few times in passing but she had no idea that he was hunting as well. When she confronted her father about meeting Derek he didn't take it well.

 

"You shouldn't have approached him," he chastised. "He could have killed you."

 

"That's not the point," Allison said. "Derek explained what happened to Kate and I believe him."

 

"Of course he lied to you!" Her father was nearly screaming like she was some stupid kid who didn't know any better. Allison was nearly twenty and been training and hunting for almost a decade. She narrowed her eyes and refused to be talked down to like that.

 

"He wasn't lying," Allison repeated. "You taught me to look for the signs of a liar and he wasn't lying. Something powerful is here, something powerful enough to turn not only a werewolf but a demon into humans, and that isn't something we can let run around. If you won't help me take care of I will do it on my own."

 

"Those threats are beginning to run hollow, Allison," her father said.

 

"If you think that then that's fine by me," she replied shrugging. "You're the one that knew Derek was hunting and kept it from me. You're the one who could have sought him out years ago to figure out what happened to Kate. I'm not going to sit back and do nothing." Allison crossed her arms and waited for her father to say something. He looked like he was very conflicted about this but Allison didn't understand why. This was an obvious solution; there was something powerful killing people and it needed to be put down. At the end of the day Allison didn't care how it happened as long as it happened. "If we get them turned back we have two powerful allies."

 

"You want to align with them now?" he asked incredulously.

 

"Yes," Allison snapped. "I'm not mindlessly killing anyone again." Her father ran his fingers through his hair roughly and paced the room a few more times. Allison was only going to wait a minute more before she would turn around and do this on her own. The time passed and she turned to leave without another word.

 

"Wait," he said and she turned around. "You're right. Something that can change a wolf and a demon to human is far too powerful and we need to find a way to put it down or chase it off. We'll help them but don't think that I trust them for a second."

 

"You don't trust me so I wouldn't expect anything less." Allison turned to walk out of the warehouse they were using as a hideout.

 

"Allison," her father said much softer now. "Derek might be innocent but that demon isn't. We can't think, for even a second, that that thing is safe to be around. If it becomes a threat I will exorcise it." Allison had no doubt that was the case but she had a feeling that Derek would become a bigger threat than Stiles if they sent him back to hell.

 

After Allison found Stiles and Derek literally hiding in a closet she took them back to her father and their portable library to do research. Her father kept staring at Stiles when he wasn't looking who seemed to be reading dead languages like it was no big deal. Allison decided it was best if her and Derek worked on the computer and the internet. When Stiles confirmed that the thing they were mostly likely dealing with was an angel and there was nothing they could do about it Allison felt her heart sink a little. If there was one thing in the world she disliked more than anything it was feeling helpless. It didn't help that things were going from bad to worse which left Allison banging on a door to a parking garage after Stiles raced out to try and catch a kidnapped Derek.

 

Stiles and Derek were such a fascinating couple. She knew within five minutes of meeting them that they were sleeping together. Allison had judged Derek quite harshly for that but after spending a little time with them she changed her mind. There was some sort of bond between the two of them that she hadn't ever seen before. When Allison realized that there was something more between them she began to look through the books and the internet to see if there was any mention of a bond between a demon and a mortal. All she could find was a few mentions about bonds between master and demon but nothing about demons and mortals.

 

Allison and her father managed to kick open the door to the parking garage just as Stiles' very mortal body slammed into a brick wall and a man grinned at her like he knew exactly who she was. Allison hated him immediately. She hated him even more when they arrived at the house and decided it was time to take this man out. Then she saw the angel for the first time and she nearly dropped her bow on the ground. She was beautiful with an air of death around her that Allison had only felt around demons. Allison watched her father move slowly toward a wall and cut his palm as Derek tried to argue for Stiles' life. They had no idea if banishing the angel would banish Stiles as well and her father waited for her to drop Stiles so he could banish her. The undead werewolf was dead again and now there was an angel that might be out for her family's blood for revenge.

 

She could tell that her father didn't want her to align with Derek at the end of this but Allison was the head of the family and not him. She made the alliance without hesitation and left the Hale family and Stiles to go about their own business. Allison gave her father quite a bit of credit for waiting until they were out of earshot before he decided to start yelling at her.

 

"Those things back there are our enemies," he said. "If the Hale's knew about how many of their kind we've killed over the centuries they'd take our heads off in a second."

 

"I don't think so," Allison replied evenly because she refused to start screaming back despite how much she wanted to. "I think they just want to live their lives in relative peace. Derek is on some mission to save the entire world and Laura is just the long suffering alpha that is probably going to start tagging along. I don't think they'd hold the Argent history against us. We did just save their lives."

 

"If not the wolves then I can't believe you're fine with aligning with a demon. Not only a demon but the former King of the Crossroads. He's killed countless amounts of people and we're going to continue to just let him wander around? Why? Because he likes wolves as play things?" Her father was still screaming and it was making the brewing migraine begin to form.

 

"That might be something Derek would take our heads off for or did you miss the love confession?" Allison rubbed her temples and tried to clear her head the best she could but the world around her was beginning to get a little too bright.

 

"That thing is going to kill someone and that blood is going to be on our hands. Can you live with that?" her father snapped.

 

"Are we holding everyone accountable now?" Allison asked raising her voice for the first time. "Because what about the blood on our hands? What about the people we've killed over the years?"

 

"We were doing our jobs," he said and Allison laughed bitterly.

 

"No, Dad, we weren't. Not every time anyway. We have innocent blood on our hands as well so I don't think we're in any position to be judge, jury, and executioner right now. When I said we're changing the way we hunt I meant it. I refuse to be part of mass killings anymore. If you don't like that then perhaps we should go our separate ways." The silence that followed seem to hang in the air but Allison was just thankful for the silence. It made the migraine a little harder to deal with. She wasn't sure that threat was going to work on her father again but she didn't really care. If going their separate ways stopped all of these screaming fights then maybe it was for the best.

 

They ride in silence for a long time as they make their way North. Allison isn't sure whether they have a destination or not but she doesn't mind the driving. It's helping clear her head and keep everything in line. For the first time in a long time she was walking away from a job and felt like she really made a difference. There was more blood on her hands but that couldn't be avoided with their profession. However, she left three of the "monsters" alive and that was new. It was probably something she shouldn't be proud of yet here she was.

 

Allison didn't say anything when her father turned off the highway and went into Sacramento. There had to be problem that needed to be dealt with or a job that he had heard of. She was asleep for a few hours after taking some medication for the migraine so she could have missed something. He didn't pull into a hotel or a library or somewhere that looked like a monster could be living there. Instead he pulled into a used car lot. Allison raised an eyebrow and looked at him but her father refused to make eye contact with her.

 

"So, are we going our separate ways?" she asked.

 

"Your goals are no longer my goals," her father said sharply. "I think it would be best if we went our own way."

 

"If you think that's what's best then maybe we should." Allison climbed out of the car and they spent a better part of the afternoon trying to find a decent car that they could pay entirely with cash. The dealer was very surprised when Allison popped the hood and began to tinker with the car as she looked for problems. Her father taught her the basics of car care in case she was ever stranded and needed to get a car moving. They finally settled on a small compact car that would get decent gas mileage. They signed the papers with one of their false identities and paid for it with cash. It took some time to separate her things from her father’s and he seemed to be giving her some of his things.

 

"I don't want to do this," he said.

 

"Yet here we are," Allison replied as she checked her phone for any messages. She looked up and saw how pained he looked. "If you don't want to lose me then don't. I'm not the one walking away."

 

"You're walking away from the Argent path," her father said.

 

"The 'Argent path' is soaked in blood and death. I think it's time I made a new one that isn't quite as deadly. If that truly bothers you so much then I suppose I will see you someday." Allison crossed her arms and waited. The car was already purchased so she knew this was happening but she was still curious to see if her father would choose the right path. He stood up a little taller and straightened his shoulders like he was trying to stand over her. It didn't intimidate her at all.

 

"I will come if you need me." Her father kissed her forehead but didn't hug her and didn't say goodbye. Allison watched him get into the family car and drive away without looking back. She sighed, gathered the rest of her things, and made her way to a nearby hotel to spend the night. She had a few things that needed to be done.

 

+++

 

Allison slept for twelve hours straight and then went to work on her new car. One of the things her father insisted she own was a Bluetooth and she stuck it in her ear and made a phone call as she worked.

 

"If you're calling us then that can't be a good sign," Stiles said without so much as a 'hello there how are you'. Allison smiled as she listened to Derek wrestling the phone away from him.

 

"Hey Allison," Derek said. "Is everything okay? I know you said you were leaving town so did something come up?"

 

"Not really or at least not in the way you're thinking," Allison said as she carved a protective ward onto the inside of her trunk to protect her things. "My father and I have decided that it would be best if we went our separate ways."

 

"I thought the whole Argent thing was being a family," Stiles said. She wasn't surprised that she was on speaker but it still made her smile.

 

"We are but we have a difference of opinion about how things should be dealt with," Allison said. "Look, I don't think he's going to go after you guys but if you cross paths he might not let you go without a fight."

 

"We won't kill him," Laura said though her voice was a little far away. She must be in the backseat of the car.

 

"That means a lot to me," Allison said. "Look, I have to get going so I can't really talk but I wanted to make sure you guys knew that he was going to be out there. I didn't want anyone to get hurt."

 

"We appreciate it," Derek said. "Are you going to be okay?"

 

"I can take care of myself," Allison said as she finished carving the protective sigil into the car sio her weapons were protected. She felt a little better but only a little. There was only so much she could do on her own now and hunters often were more effective when they were a team. Her team had decided that it was time to move on and that meant she had to change the way that she did things from now on.

 

"I believe you," Stiles said.

 

"Have a good day." Allison hung up and went into her hotel room. It took a little time but she managed to get the hotel room ringed with salt and mountain ash before it was too late so she could get some sleep. She had no idea if her father was going to cut her off and she panicked about it for a moment. Allison had some cash on her but not enough to get by for more than a few weeks at the most. She looked at the phone in her hand and thought about calling but decided against it. If her father was willing to walk away then she had to be willing to find another way to make money. Allison lay down on her bed, put her crossbow on the floor next to her, and tried to get some sleep. The room was quiet without her father's snoring and it took her a long time to fall asleep.

 

+++

 

Allison stayed in Sacramento and the surrounding area for a week. She found a few odd jobs around the city where she could use a fake name and no one would ask too many questions. She didn't make a lot of money but she made enough to get by for that week and then some. Allison also went out into the college community of Davis and killed a werewolf that was tearing up crops. There were rumors of demonic activity in the nearby town of Woodland and she went there next. The demon wasn't make any attempt to hide himself and confronted Allison on her way to her car. The man was older with black eyes and a wicked smile.

 

"I've heard of you," he said.

 

"I would hope so," she replied. There was a devil's trap on the ground next to her car so all she had to do was get him to walk into it and she could take care of this.

 

"No, not because of your hunting, because of Beacon Hills," the demon said. Allison stood up a little taller because what happened in Beacon Hills didn't seem like the kind of information that would spread so fast. "You look surprised. The King of the Crossroads has spies everywhere and she knows exactly what happened and who was involved. She thought you and your father were very amusing. Where is dear old dad?"

 

"Nearby," Allison lied and the demon grinned like he knew it. She stepped to the side to see if he would follow and, thankfully, he did. It was just a few more steps to the left to get him to step in the trap and she could be done with it.

 

"You've cast a very bright light on yourself, Argent," the demon said. "Stiles and Derek are somewhat infamous within our community right now and anyone that is around them because infamous as well. A hunter, an Argent, not only worked with a demon but a wolf. I think the jokes write themselves." Allison watched as he stepped into the trap because she didn't really want to listen to this. He stared at the ground and then snarled at her.

 

"I was wondering when you were going to trap yourself," she said. Allison dug through her bag and pulled out the book that had the exorcisms in it. The demon was cursing at her in a language she didn't understand but she ignored it to read the passage out loud. The demon twitched and fell to the ground but it was holding onto the host body so tightly.

 

"You're going to regret it," the demon hissed just as the body screamed and black smoke rose into the night. Allison watched as it faded and ran over to tend to the body. The man was alive as she called 911 and tried not to think about the demons threat too much. It wasn't the first time a supernatural had threatened her but without her father at her back Allison couldn't lie that it felt more dangerous.

 

+++

 

It was nearly two months later that she finally heard from her father. Allison was somewhere in the middle of Iowa on her way to a hunt when her phone rang. The ringtone she set for her father was something she hadn't heard in so long that she jumped. Allison glanced at her phone and debated pulling over, not answering, all of the above but eventually hit the button her bluetooth.

 

"Hey dad," she said.

 

"Allison," her father said. "I wasn't sure if you were going to pick up."

 

"Neither was I." Allison knew there was no point in lying to her father and the sooner she got all of this out the better. "I contemplated a few things before I picked up."

 

"All of which I deserve," he said. "How are you? Is everything going okay?"

 

"I'm just doing my job," she said. That wasn't quite the truth because she had done so much more than that in the last two weeks. She warned a family of wolves that a group of hunters were coming to town and even helped them escape without being noticed. She helped move a small nest of vampires that were feeding on animal blood that the place where they were staying wasn't safe anymore. There were a few monsters that needed to be put down here and here but Allison was trying to save lives as much as she was taking them. She also knew that her father knew exactly where she had been and what jobs she had taken but was wasting both of their time by asking. Allison was trying not to get too annoyed by it but it was kind of hard.

 

"That's good," he said and there was a brief moment where they both sat in total silence listening to the other breathe. "I'm not calling to apologize."

 

"Oh well that's just super," Allison said sarcastically. "Why would we ever want to apologize? That would be admitting some sort of fault."

 

"I wasn't wrong, Allison." She could hear him saying the words which somehow made them even funnier. There was a brief second where she contemplated not laughing but decided that if her father was going to call to say that he wasn't going to apologize after two weeks of radio silence then she absolutely had the right to laugh as hard as she wanted.

 

"I can't believe you," she said after she got her breath back. "I honestly can't believe you."

 

"I know about the wolves and the vampires you helped," he said. "What if they decide to hurt someone? Their blood is going to be on your hands."

 

"Yeah? And what if the guy whose house I chase a ghost out of decides to go shoot someone in the middle of the street. Then that blood is on my hands as well but you wouldn't tell me not to help him. The point I was, and still am, trying to make is that we have no right to be the judge, jury, and executioner all the time. Sometimes, I have to kill someone but I want to help someone just as much if not more. I don't know why you refuse to understand this." Allison sighed when her father didn't say anything because he never said anything. He never talked to her about anything. "You haven't said a word about mom since she died. We haven't ever talked about her."

 

"Because your mother is a perfect example of why this idea of yours about saving these things is crazy," her father said his voice getting a little louder.

 

"No, mom is an example of someone I would like to save but not in the way you're thinking of. The wolf that bit her was out of control, yes, and needed to be put down before he hurt anyone else but you know what else? Mom didn't have to kill herself. She could have lived with being a wolf and we could have helped her with the change. I don't want any other families to go through what we went through in every sense of the word." Allison shifted in her seat and shook her head. There wasn't anything she could say that was going to change his mind and vice versa. She didn't know why he was even bothering to call. "Unless you have something constructive to tell me or you want to apologize don't bother calling me again." She hung up before he could reply and kept her eyes on the road.

 

+++

 

Allison pulled off at the first town that she came to and spent the entire afternoon crying in her hotel room. it seemed like it was hitting her for the first time that she had truly lost her father and that hurt more than anything in the world right now. She let herself cry about it until she didn't have any tears left and then she walked to the store near her hotel. Allison got a cheap bottle of vodka and drank most of it on the way back to her room. She was sick by the time she got back and ended up throwing up the vodka because she was drinking on an empty stomach and that was always a bad idea. She knew better, she should have known better, but the hangover was going to be her punishment for letting her emotions get the better of her.

 

She woke up the next morning on the tile of the bathroom using a towel as a pillow and another towel as a blanket. Allison sat up and the entire room spun. It made her stomach turn and she threw everything that was left up. She hated herself a little and that was what she wanted in this moment. She questioned whether or not she was doing the right thing. She was losing the only family member she had left to save strangers, was that the right thing to do? Was it worth it?

 

Allison stumbled to a diner where she ordered an entire pot of coffee and the greasiest breakfast she could find on the menu. She downed two large glasses of water first and the waitress brought her glass after glass even after Allison had to run to the bathroom to throw it all up again. She looked at Allison like she knew exactly what was going on.

 

"Are you going to be okay, sweetie?" the waitress asked as she brought Allison an order of toast before her food.

 

"Yes, I'll be fine, just hit the bottle too hard on an empty stomach," she replied truthfully. She didn't feel like lying for once in her life.

 

"Do you have someone who can look after you?" the waitress asked. The diner was mostly empty and she was looking after Allison in a very paternal way that made the ache in her stomach even worse.

 

"No, that's the problem," she said. The waitress frowned and sat down at Allison's table and gestured for her to continue. Allison contemplated waving her off but she hadn't talked about this to anyone save for the Hale's and Stiles when it first happened. "My Dad and I are the only family we have left since my Mom died. We've worked together for a long time now and we had a difference of opinion on how we should run the family business. He decided that it was best we stopped working together and we've gone our separate ways. We talked for the first time last night and I think I might be losing him for good."

 

"I'm sorry to hear that sweetie. You must feel very strongly if you're willing to walk away from your father which is very admirable," the waitress said.

 

"It doesn't feel like it." Allison took a large bite of her toast to keep from saying too much because she could never be too careful as to who was listening. It wasn't fair that she couldn't even open up a little to someone around her for fear of having her enemies listening in. Her paranoia kicked in and she surveyed the entire diner for someone who could be listening in but no one seemed to be paying her any attention. The waitress didn't set off any warning bells and seemed to be one of those people that could just tell when someone needed to talk. Allison kept eating and the waitress took the hint that she didn't want to talk anymore.

 

"You have to walk your own path sweetie. Your dad will see that one day and then you'll be okay again. He just needs time to see that you have your own way of doing things." She got up and walked back to her other customers. Allison wasn't so sure that this applied to the two of them. This wasn't some small disagreement but a fundamental difference in the way that they both went hunting. Allison wanted to help everyone even if everyone wasn't a human and her father didn't. That wasn't something that either of them were going to change their minds on anytime soon.

 

She finished her food and went back to her car. If she couldn't patch things up with her father then the least she could do was try to help someone nearby. There wasn't anything turning up on her scanners though and Allison went to her hotel room hours later annoyed that there wasn't anyone to help nearby. The sun was barely down and Allison took the time to to put up all of her wards so she could get some sleep. There wasn't anything she could do right now so she might as well sleep and hope for something better in the morning.

 

+++

 

Allison woke up to a migraine which was always a fun way to start her morning. It made her stumble toward the bathroom and throw up stomach bile from her food she hadn't eaten since the day before. She lay back down on her bed and stared at the ceiling like it could somehow offer an answer to all the questions in the universe. When it didn't she became annoyed and wished there was somewhere she could go to fire a few arrows into something without drawing some attention from the local police department. That wasn't something she wanted to deal with.

 

The better part of her morning Allison was trying to focus on her computer to do some research and trying to make her head stop hurting. It wasn't helping though, nothing seemed to be helping, which was odd and annoying. There was a vending machine around the corner from her room and Allison grabbed some cash and stumbled down the hall to get something with caffeine in it. She could hardly see straight from the pounding in her head which is why she was trying not to be too hard on herself for not hearing someone walking up behind her until it was too late. Allison turned but something heavy slammed into her already pounding skull and the world went dark.

 

+++

 

There were moments that Allison remembered as she was being moved around. She remembered that someone was carrying her and moving quickly. She remembered that they were not being gentle with her and the movement was making her feel sick. There were a few times she tried to struggle but whatever had her shook her violently and she stopped struggling. There was no point until she got a handle about where she was and what was happening. Allison was nearly awake when she was unceremoniously dropped on the ground and her hands were bound behind her back with rope.

 

"I know you're awake," a voice said. "This will go better for you if you're awake." Allison opened her eyes and it took a moment for the world to come into focus. There was a man standing in front of her with glowing yellow eyes which was irritating that a werewolf managed to get the drop on her. "Good. I'm glad you're awake."

 

"Is there something I can help you with or is this how you treat all women?" Allison asked.

 

"You made a rather large mistake and now it's catching up to you," the werewolf said. "I have to say I was quite amused to hear that the Argent's were not only letting werewolves live but working with them as well. How did such a great hunting family fall so far?"

 

"I'm sorry, I don't know what you're talking about." Allison was always keen to lie when she could and if that kept this wolf talking while she got the knife soaked with wolfsbane out of her boot.

 

"How odd," the wolf said as he looked at her. "I know that you're lying but you don't give it away with your heartbeat. So either you're very good at lying or you don't think you're lying."

 

"You seem to think you know so why don't you tell me?" Allison twisted her hands behind her back and silently thanked her father for taking the time to teach her how to escape from knots like this at a very young age. There was something about this wolf that was making her curious that she wanted to drop this plausible deniability if nothing else to get some information. "So what exactly are you talking about?"

 

"Oh, you don't know?" the wolf said as he smirked. He made sure that she could see his fangs which she guessed was supposed to scare her but instead made Allison laugh a little. That made the wolf growl at her which was just as funny.

 

"I have no idea what you're talking about," she said.

 

"Well, you picked the wrong creatures to help out," the wolf explained. "Stiles and Derek might as well have targets the size of the sun printed on their backs. Sooner or later something is going to catch and kill them like they deserve. You helped out the two most wanted creatures in all of the supernatural community so you've painted just as big of a target on yourself."

 

"So you're saying I wasn't a target just from being a hunter?" Allison asked. The wolf's smile began to fade as the words began to sink in. "So you're telling me I could have announced my presence wherever I go and it wouldn't have been a problem? I've been using these fake ID's for nothing? What a pain in the ass."

 

"No, you're a hunter, of course you're targeted," the wolf said slowly as if he wasn't entirely sure himself. Allison had a feeling that she was dealing with small fry but this was all the proof that she needed. This wolf had no idea what he was doing which made his threats even more hilarious.

 

"But you're implying that I wasn't targeted before I decided to help Stiles and Derek and now I am. You just said that, so which is it? Was I target before? Am I more or less of one now? Have you somehow forgotten that the Argent family has been hunting werewolves for hundreds of years? I would have thought my name would carry a lot more weight with you creatures." Allison shifted her weight as she worked on the knots around her wrists. The wolf looked like he was even more confused by her words which was exactly what she wanted. The more the wolf was off guard the better chance she had to survive this.

 

"What matters now is that I have you," the wolf said. "And I'm going to kill you so you can't hurt or help anyone else."

 

"Is that a good idea for you?" Allison asked.

 

"What?"

 

"You said I now have a bigger target on my back, which I guess makes sense in a stupid kind of way, but wouldn't that mean that things that are much bigger and scarier than you are now after me? What if they wanted the kill and they get mad at you for taking that away from them?" She nearly had one hand free and the wolf didn't seem to hear her working on the ropes.

 

"I'm not--"

 

"What if some big, bad demon is the thing that wants to kill me? Wouldn't that make you a target for taking that opportunity away from them? What happens to you then? I think you might be in way over your head," Allison said as she observed the wolf. He was young and she would be surprised if he had a year under his belt of being a wolf. She could tell by the way he walked and carried himself that he was a bit wolf that probably had no idea the shit storm he could start if he stepped on the wrong toes. She was betting her life on that but Allison had bet her life on less.

 

"Look, you obviously haven't been doing this that long and that's fine. I understand that you probably heard of me and thought you could earn some supernatural brownie points if you killed me but if I'm as high profile as you're saying I am I think it's a death wish."

 

"You just don't want to die," the wolf said.

 

"Of course I don't but I'm guessing neither do you." Allison had one hand free and nearly had the second free as well. She wondered if she could really talk herself out of this and maybe she wouldn't have to kill this little wolf who had no idea what he was doing. Allison nearly had her arms free when the wolf perked up, grabbed her arms, and pinned her to the ground with a snarl. His grip was tight and if she struggled he was going to snap both of her wrists without even trying.

"Did you really think you were going to get away?" he snarled. "Did you really think you could talk yourself out of this? You're going to die, little huntress, and people are going to thank me for it."

 

"I did nearly get away," Allison snapped. "And I wasn't lying when I said that killing me probably isn't in your best interest."

 

"Nearly but you didn't and now you're doing to die." The wolf roared and pulled back with teeth flashing in the light. He was going to rip out her throat and that was not how Allison wanted to die. She didn't really want to die at all but to die helpless like this was not something she was okay with. The weight of the knife in her boot seemed to be mocking her and she kicked out to try and maybe knock the wind out of the wolf. Her boots were steel toed and it worked as the wolf cough and lessened its tight grip on her wrists. Allison rolled away and got her hand in her boot. She didn't want to slit this wolf's throat but it didn't look like she was going to have much choice in the matter.

 

"My goodness what a mess," a voice said. The wolf and Allison both turned to see a young man standing across the room. He had blond curly hair and his eyes were so blue that Allison immediately knew that he wasn't human. The wolf made a face like it could smell something that she couldn't. Before Allison could get her knife out the wolf backhanded her hard enough that she hit the ground. She tasted blood and now Allison was angry.

 

"Who the hell are you?" the wolf asked.

 

"Just an interested party," the man said as he walked closer to the wolf. The wolf, however, took a large step back like he didn't trust this new player. "You should probably let the hunter live though. It would be in your best interest."

 

"She said that too but what doesn't mean I'm going to let it happen. She's a hunter, an Argent, she's killed countless wolves and other creatures. Why would I let her live?" the wolf asked. Allison decided that she had had enough of all of this. Her cheek hurt and she was going to have a huge bruise that was going to be a pain in the ass to cover up for a long time. She was so done with all of this and she wasn't in the mood to watch someone else try to argue that they deserved the opportunity to kill her unlike this wolf. Allison snatched her knife out of her boot and charged for the wolf. The man, however, had distracted the wolf just enough that it turned around just in time for Allison to cut their throat. The wolf's eyes glowed bright yelled as it struggled to keep the wound on its neck closed but she watched the glow fade from its eyes with its life. The wolf collapsed to the ground as Allison sneered.

 

"Wow," the man said but Allison wasn't taking any chance. She flipped the knife in her hand and kicked out. The man hit the ground, hard, and Allison had her knife to his throat in seconds. She didn't know who or what he was but she wasn't about to take any chances. Not now and probably not ever again. "Wait, wait, don't kill me!"

 

"Why not? You were going to," Allison replied.

 

"No, no, I was here to save you," he said.

 

"Do I look like I need saving?" she asked as she flicked her gaze over to the cooling corpse mere inches away from them. The man looked away from her to the dead wolf and back.

 

"Uh, no?" he said. Allison blinked as her heart began to slow down and the rage began to clear. It dawned her as she held his man down that he wasn't trying to get away, if he was super strong he could have thrown her off, and she could feel him trembling. He was afraid and that was distracting. "Please don't kill me. I was sent here to help you!"

 

"By who?"

 

"Stiles, it was Stiles, he sent me to look after you without you knowing. When he heard that you were traveling alone he thought that it would be a good idea if you had someone watching your back and he asked me to do it. Please, I'm just paying back a debt, I don't want to hurt you." he sounded sincere but Allison couldn't hear heartbeats to see if this man was lying to her.

 

"Why should I believe you?" she asked.

 

"Uh, call him maybe?" he suggested weakly. Allison narrowed her eyes but kept the knife to his neck as she managed to get her phone out of her pocket. It took a little more effort than Allison was willing to admit to try and type on the phone while holding a knife to a man's neck. She gave up after a moment and just pulled up the voice control.

 

"Call Derek Hale," she said.

 

"Oh you have a Siri? Those things are really cool," he said.

 

"You be quiet," Allison said as she set the phone on speaker. "Your life depends on whether or not he answers."

 

"If he doesn't answer I'm going to die?" he asked as if the it had just dawned on him that he was going to die. Allison watched as he went through the motions of realizing that his life was about to end with every ring that went by.

 

"Hey Allison," Derek answered and the man below her seemed to visibly relax and Allison pushed the knife to his neck to remind her that she was in charge of this moment. His eyes widened and he froze underneath her.

 

"Hey Derek, is Stiles with you?" she asked.

 

"Uh, yeah, he's around somewhere, what's going on?" Derek asked.

 

"I have some blond haired guy here telling me that he's following me because Stiles told him to. I have a knife to his neck and I have every intention of cutting his throat if he's lying. So I'm here to confirm this information," Allison said. She was surprised at how nonchalant she sounded despite the fact that she was about to end a life.

 

"Oh," Derek said after a beat of silence. "I will find him right now. Uh, Laura, yes, you should talk to Laura." Allison could hear the phone being passed off to someone else.

 

"Allison?" Laura asked. "Everything okay?"

 

"I'm fine it's someone else that might not be," she said. "How are you feeling?"

 

"I've recovered well thanks for asking. Have you heard from your Dad?"

 

"A little." Allison didn't really want to talk about this because it was none of Laura's business but she couldn't really tell Laura to go away because we were waiting on someone else. Laura didn't seem to be pushing it though and didn't ask her to elaborate. Allison was glad because she didn't want to. Her father was something that Allison wasn't sure she was ever going to be able to talk to someone else about her father. The hunter relationship was so complicated that there really wasn't any way to explain it to someone else. Laura was a werewolf so she understood pack dynamics but that was different.

 

"Stiles is here and he looks annoyed," Laura said as the phone was passed around again.

 

"Allison, why are you threatening people? That's not a nice thing to do," Stiles said. He sounded amused but that didn't always mean anything. Stiles was an impossible being to predict and really only seemed to care about Derek which was why him sending someone to look after her made no sense.

 

"I have some blond haired kid here saying that you sent him to watch over me," Allison said. "Speak."

 

"Hey Stiles," the man said.

 

"Isaac you really need to learn how to fail less," Stiles said. "I told you that getting caught wouldn't end well for you and what do you do? You get caught."

 

"A wolf caught up with her and I was trying to help," Isaac said.

 

"Who and what is this guy?" Allison asked loudly as if she had to remind these two that she had a knife to Isaac's neck.

 

"His name is Isaac and he's a selkie. Kind of cool really, there aren't that many left in the world, and I like rare things," Stiles said.

 

"And you told him to follow me?" Allison asked.

 

"Yup," Stiles said. "And before you get all butt hurt about it, Argent, you know that hunters that travel alone usually end up dead. When I found out that your Dad was being a dick I put out a favor to Isaac and told him to keep an eye on you. I know that is going to offend your hunter sensibility but he's not completely useless."

 

"Thanks Stiles," Isaac deadpanned. "So I wasn't lying, could you not kill me?" Allison narrowed her eyes but took the knife away from Isaac's neck. She didn't offer him a hand up as she began to gather her things.

 

"Did you kill him? Everything went quiet," Stiles asked.

 

"No, I'm not going to kill him, but don't do something like that again. I don't need protecting," Allison snapped.

 

"You're mortal so of course you do so unless you want to do time on the table in hell you should learn to fucking accept it." Stiles hung up and Allison stared at her phone like she couldn't quite believe that he had said that to her. She was a little insulted and even more so when she realized that Isaac was staring at her with far too blue eyes. They were like looking into an endless ocean and it was easy to get lost in them. Allison shook her head to snap herself out of that because she couldn't be staring at this thing that was in front of her. That was following her around without her consent just because Stiles told him to.

 

"You aren't to follow me anymore," Allison said.

 

"No offense Allison, you're scary, but Stiles is way scarier," Isaac said.

 

"I'll kill you," she said.

 

"So will he." The words hung in the air and made everything so uncomfortable. Allison didn't want anyone to follow her around, even more so someone she didn't trust, but it sounded like Isaac wasn't going anywhere. She tried to come up with something, anything, she could say that could make him go away but Allison also knew that Stiles was a demon. She mostly knew him when he was a human and he wasn't so frightening. "Looks it's pretty clear that you don't want me around and I get that but I also get hunters. I know you people travel in packs and that the ones that go at it alone usually don't last. Whether or not you want to admit it you're associated with two of the most infamous creatures around right now. Our cooling wolf friend was right; you're a target now more than ever."

 

"So you think that means I should consent to you following me around?" Allison asked. "I don't trust you."

 

"I'm not asking you to," Isaac said. "You can still sleep with a knife and I'll still keep my distance but let me stay close and make sure you're okay. Maybe you'll sleep a little better knowing there's someone close by that's making sure nothing that goes bump in the night is going to come and get you." Allison narrowed her eyes as she tried to get a feel about Isaac and how sincere he was. All of her instincts were telling her that he was, that it looked like Isaac didn't even know how to lie, but a little voice in the back of her mind kept telling her that she couldn't trust him. The last person she trusted walked away and she wasn't sure if she could handle that.

 

Allison's phone pinged and she looked down to see a text message from Derek. She pictured him yelling at Stiles about how he treated her and how he didn't have any right to enforce his will on others. Instead she opened the message and saw the words "you should listen to him" looking back at her. Allison knew that she was talking about how she was mortal and could be killed so easily but that didn't mean she wanted to admit it. Allison was an Argent, a hunter, and if that didn't mean anything anymore than what did she have?

 

"We are not partners," Allison said softly as Isaac nodded.

 

"Nope," he said.

 

"You are not to interfere with my hunts unless my life is in immediate danger and even then try to keep your distance. You could make things worse instead of better."

 

"I can get better at judging situations."

 

"You have to get better or we're both going to die." Allison snapped and she winced when she saw how Isaac flinched like she was going to physically lash out. He seemed to withdraw into himself and he didn't look imposing at all. If anything Allison looked like she should be protecting him and not the other way around. "I'm not very good at working with people that aren't family."

 

"Yeah, I'm getting that," Isaac said softly. "But I get it, sort of, even if I wasn't ever close to my family I know how important it is. I know I'm not the most powerful creature in the world but I can be useful. I'm really good in the water and even faster in it." Allison almost laughed because he was so eager to help. It was like no one had ever asked him to help before.

 

"Don't get ahead of yourself. We don't know where we're going yet," Allison said as she gathered her things. She hoped that her car was nearby. When she turned around Isaac looked puzzled. "What?"

 

"You haven't heard about Washington yet?" he asked.