“I want to go back to Beacon Hills.”
Laura is twenty-eight and she can’t ignore her instincts anymore. (settle, mate, be home) Doesn’t want to. She stares at Derek for fifteen minutes before he sighs and she knows she has him.
They rent an apartment. It’s cheap and in a shady part of town. They have life insurance money, the Hale investments and she wants to rebuild their familial home.
One look at Derek’s face when they see the house for the first time in six years changes her mind.
She orders a demolition crew instead and thinks about what she wants to do with her life.
Laura can kick Derek’s ass any day of the week. Has managed to stay alive since she was nineteen even with the alpha bull’s-eye on her back. She makes Derek do the cooking and other household chores because he’s four years younger and at nineteen she’d been more worried about leading hunters away from her pack (her brother) and power hungry assholes than how to make chicken pot pie or omelets.
So Derek’s surprise is totally justified when she tells him she wants to open a bakery.
“Have you ever baked anything in your life?” Derek asks. “And pot brownies don’t count.” He adds quickly.
She huffs and crosses her arms. Derek continues to stare at her like she’s nuts, which is a happy change from the pain etched daily in his face.
“Derek, I want something not connected to werewolves, blood or pain.” She says softly because it’ll turn Derek into goo. “Come on, we can do this.” Laura rarely pleads. She’s the alpha. If she tells Derek they’re opening, they’re opening a god damn bakery. Using her status though would mean passive-aggressive warfare not seen since her order for him to join an afterschool activity in the wake of the fire.
“Fine.” Maybe she should have considered dental school since she’s obviously gifted at pulling teeth.
They’ve been living in Beacon Hills for four months when everything comes to head at once: the bakery opens, there’s animal maulings that aren’t animal mauling because there’s a bitten werewolf in the shop with no clue what he is, the grapevine has it the Argents have moved to Beacon Hills because they’re being stalked by an alpha with a vendetta and the one guy Derek’s presence didn’t freak out that was interested in her came to the bakery with his wife and daughter.
“Fuck my life.” Wordlessly, Derek handed her a chocolate cupcake. “Fuck Derek, these are good!”
Business does pretty well. The cupcakes, brownies, cookies, tarts, scones and whatever else they can puzzle out together taste good and Derek’s years of playing with hair gel are paying off because his frosting abilities produce mouthwatering pieces of art. Mouthwatering like Derek if the packs of girls that come daily are anything to go by and Laura is not too good to use her brother’s good looks to make money. She makes him sit with her at the counter for an hour everyday when the high school gets out, but mostly Laura handles the register and people.
Derek’s social skills still suck.
Her other business has her chasing after the other alpha’s pups. The asshole is biting teens in dark corners left and right and there are three of them Laura is going to need to kidnap at the full moon.
It costs her a date with an EMT to get the survivors of the latest animal maulings Lydia Martin and Jackson Whittemore. The other one she has to creep around the school for two days to learn his name: Scott McCall.
Fuck yeah. She rocks.
Tonight’s the full moon and the asshole alpha Laura is cleaning up after will most likely try calling his new pack of puppies to destroy the Argents, which Laura is not cool with unless she’s doing the vengeance, so she hops in her Camaro, leaving Derek to handle the bakery.
“Hey,” and she smiles at Whittemore and teenage boys are too easy. Really.
“Can I help you?” Yes, Porsche boy. Love my car. My dick is so bigger.
“Do you know anything about cars? I think my baby is stuttering.” She pouts a little for affect.
She hits him hard over the head and lets him crumple to the ground. She takes a moment to gloat and then puts him in the trunk. She has two more pups to find before pretty boy wakes up.
“Derek, come help me.” Laura pops open the trunk and is slamming her door shut when Derek exits the bakery via backdoor into the alley. “We’ll put them in the basement.” She decides after staring at the unconscious teens.
“Have you ever considered kidnapping as a career choice?” He’s looked at the teenagers piled up logs in the Camaro’s trunk. “You were gone an hour.”
“I’ll keep it in mind if the bakery every gets competition.” She assures her brother. “Now help me. I’ve already had to hit the pretty boy twice in the head and the redhead tried clawing my eyes out.”
“And this one?” Derek picks McCall up as he would a sack of flour. Or Harlequin heroine.
“Snuck up on him. This is Beacon Hills. No one ever locks their doors.”
Laura texts all the kids’ parents, making up some bullshit about a party so don’t worry. She puts the cell phones on the bakery’s glass counter and helps Derek clean up for the night. She plans on sitting with the pups downstairs while Derek keeps an eye out for hunters or stupid shits who don’t know what below the radar means when the moon rises a little higher. For now, the chains should hold.
Laura's not expecting two teenage boys to burst into the bakery, brandishing lacrosse sticks yelling about “Kidnap!” and “Pedobears!” and “Sex slaves are illegal!”
“Cupcake?” Derek offers.
Next time she kidnaps someone, she’ll turn off their phones. Seriously. If she wasn’t so annoyed at having two humans in close proximity to five werewolves, she’d be impressed with the Daniel kid’s hacking skills.
“Derek.” Her stress levels. “Gimme another cupcake.”
She chews on it, staring at the two teens – Daniel and Genim their wallets revealed – trying to think of a plan where no one gets eaten or arrested. Derek isn’t helping . He’s her beta. He’s supposed to help. But no, he’s at peace with the teenagers she has binded with duct tape on the floor.
“Fuck it. We’ll deal with them tomorrow. Don’t let our human pack members die.”
Their human captives make muffled sounds underneath the duct tape.
The puppies break their chains after a few hours and Laura relishes kicking their asses. They aren’t really a challenge, ruled as they are by instinct and she does get bored throwing them into walls eventually.
She roars and the room shakes.
The three pups submit to her, afraid and she bites each of them on the side to make them hers.
Puppies needed a strong alpha or they did stupid shit like eat relatives and the Hales never approved of cannibalism. Besides if their ex-alpha had wanted them, he should have been paying attention to them.
The four of them play together until they collapse in a pile of limbs to sleep the rest of the moon away.
She herds the teen wolves into the bakery’s kitchen around noon with promises of food and answers. Derek is mixing, Genim is frosting with duct tape wrapped around his head and mouth and Laura can hear Daniel wish someone good day from the front of the store.
“About time someone shut you up.” Whittemore says.
McCall starts laughing, holding his stomach. Genim clearly sulks and Martin raises an eyebrow. Laura gives Derek a Look.
“He’s not too bad when he isn’t talking.” Derek shrugs.
“I’m going to put the lunch sign up.” Laura says. She can count on one hand how many people Derek thinks aren’t too bad. This was weird.“You, you take them upstairs.”
They live above the bakery now and Derek has spread rumors that Laura was a dominatrix in New York so please disregard any odd sounds or sights, her clients fly a long way. She’s torn between dumping pepper into his mattress and being impressed. She hovers between the two until Mrs. Hiddleton calls her a wretched harlot for making Derek sleep on their New York stoop while she was with her clients. After that Laura empties the vacuum in his room. Fucker.
So they share a nice apartment. A three bedroom with a cramped bathroom, kitchen and living room to match. Laura’s using the smallest room as her closet actually because Derek gets the kitchen even if he doesn’t want it. That’s totally fair.
Derek pushes the humans onto the sofa, leaving the others to stand or sit on the floor. She raises her eyebrows but lets her brother’s behavior go. He was Beta and taking care of the pack was something he was meant to do. Not his fault this is the first time the pack has been more than her and Derek.
“So, you guys are werewolves. I’m your alpha. We don’t eat people or harm humans. Any questions?”
Laura has the puppies come by every morning before school and Friday nights. They do things like spar, mediate and talk about pack lore. They’re all growing on her. Jackie (“My name is Jackson.”) is precious and she takes great pleasure in using the skills she honed on Derek to make his eye twitch spastically. Laura is positive she found her soul sister in Lydia. The girl is devious and smart and had the best ideas about how to torment the boys of the pack (“Laura, we’re doing this to help them. Putting anise seeds in their bags is responsible of us.”) Scott is her favorite simply because he has these eyes that go round and water and the little bastard doesn’t even realize what he’s doing (“But why?”).
Unfortunately, she has limited contact with her human pack members because Derek has hijacked them at every turn. She would be concerned but he’s happy so as long as he isn’t baking them into pies like that one movie Stiles (“Don’t bother with my first name. It’s better for everyone in the long run.”) made them watch last Friday. She gets the impression they mostly help Derek run the bakery and he makes them run a lot, a healthy skill to have.
More animal maulings have happened of course, but Laura prevented more by taking these kids under her paw so the hunters can fuck off.
And she tells Chris Argent exactly that when he comes pounding on her door. Okay. Not the part about the three teen wolves. The fuck off part though was verbatim.
Then, oh, then he and his band of murders break her baby’s window. It’s a testament to Derek’s self-control he’s the one standing between Chris Argent and death for obvious reasons like the jackass’ pedo sister. A sister Laura will dismantle with her teeth for daring to touch her brother and killing their family. She kind of hopes Argent calls her in to deal with the rogue alpha problem they have.
For now though, she puts on every display cake ARGENTS NOT WELCOME for the whole town to see.
At night, she and Derek take one puppy and hunt for the other alpha. Primarily to develop their tracking skills but also to rub in the other guy’s face she stole his pack. It’s an insult no alpha can ignore so she can humiliate some sense into the dumbass.
This alpha is no different as the first night with Jackie he finds them first and tries to engage Laura in a battle for domi`nance. Laura may be an alpha, but she’s an alpha with a pack so she calls for Derek to snap the wolf’s neck. Betas. Fucking useful.
“Is he dead?” Jackie squeaks. Laura is concerned. Maybe she should drop the kid off at Danny’s (“Please call me Danny. It took me the entire fourth grade to get Jackson to call me Danny. Do I look like a Daniel?”) Jackie looks sick and Danny is the wolf’s security blanket or something. She didn’t really know, that was all Derek. He was the one sensitive to this shit.
(Laura had been showing them how painful wolfsbane was when Jackie snorted the powder and gave himself aconite poisoning. He had started whining and spazzing and Laura could understand, really because wolfsbane sucked ass but she doubted shoving wolfsbane ashes up his nose was going to help him. Derek surprised her by sighing and grabbing Jackie and dropping him on Danny’s lap, Jackie instantly calming into a bundle of whimpers.)
“Alphas are harder to kill.” Laura explains further. “Beheading or destroying the heart is the only sure way to kill an alpha.”
“So why didn’t he kill him?” Jackie jerks a thumb at Derek.
“Mostly? Because he’s not our problem.” Laura shrugs knowing the former human will probably be aghast but this is a werewolf thing. Vendetta she could respect. He just better stop sticking his fangs in people. Jesus Christ. “And this was a training exercise.”
“Yes.” Laura nods. “When he wakes up, we’ll test you out against him.”
Derek smirks at Jackie cruelly, not dissimilar to an older brother. “You can always run.”
Laura sighs. “Don’t run from the alpha. Jackie did that and almost got eaten.”
Scott is staring at her with his big brown eyes, pleading with her. She can almost hear him, “Please don’t make me do this.” She’s weakening, almost ready to crumble and hold him to her bosom.
This is why she has Derek.
“Either you fight him.” Derek looks at the alpha and Scott follows his gaze. The gaping hole in the alpha’s side healing rapidly, bringing the wolf back to consciousness. “Or you fight me.” Derek smiles and Laura beams. It’s been so long since he’s smiled! Sure, he’s really just showing off his fangs but it counts.
“Do I have to wait for him to regain consciousness?” Lydia asks.
Derek and Laura look at each other. Derek shrugs and Laura agrees. “You’re the only one to ask, so no. What weak points can you see?”
Lydia kneels next to the alpha, his guts on the dirt floor this time. The redhead is clinically poking and prodding the wolf, completely ignoring his attempts at snapping. “His underbelly obviously, his throat,” she bravely poked the alpha in the eye. “His eyes. And obviously his brain. I mean you guys have neutralized him three times now. You think he would have learned the first time.”
Laura beams and Derek looks down right fond.
“Now let’s chain him up and drop him off at the Argents.”
Peace reigns for a month in the world of Laura Hale.
It’s a new record.
No surprise, Derek is the one to ruin her peace. Surprisingly, Scott hopes on that train too.
“Derek.” She eyes him.
He steadfastly doesn’t look at her.
“Baby boy, do you want to tell me where you’ve been going at night?”
“Fair enough. Let me rephrase. Tell me where you’ve been going.”
“I saw you leaving Stiles’ bedroom window! Admit it already!”
“I’ll admit something when you admit you’ve been making eyes at the vet. The vet, Laura.”
“He’s a good man!”
“And a vet.”
“How is this about me?! You’re the one sneaking in and out of underage pack members’ houses!”
“Because he’s a vet and Stiles isn’t a vet. See the difference?”
“I will maim you. Seriously.”
“Eat a cupcake and don’t worry about it.”
Derek and his cupcakes. They were winning too many arguments. Laura scowls at the treat. She will eventually overcome this weakness.
She never would have worried about Scott if Jackie wasn’t a tattle tale.
“Scott’s lusting after an Argent!”
Oh hell no. She was nipping that in the fucking bud.
“Scott, the only way you’re even going to eyefuck that girl is if she turns into a werewolf. Understood?” He begins to sulk but no. Just no. She is firm on this. “Danny,” the teen looks up the conversation he was having with Jackson about sensitivity. “Be Scott’s fake boyfriend until everyone at school thinks he’s gay.”
“What? No!” Scott panics.
“I’m saving your life.” Laura informs him.
“I’ll never get a girlfriend!”
“Why can’t Stiles do it? People are more likely to believe that.” Danny asks.
“Because I like Scott.” And doesn’t elaborated anymore than that despite how everyone is pointedly waiting for something more.
“Danny’s mine.” Jackie whines breaking the silence.
“Unless you’re fucking, he’s making out with Scott for a few days.” Laura smiles sharply.
Jackie turned a considering gaze to his friend/security blanket. “You aren’t my type Jackson.” Danny says like he’s repeating himself. “And Lydia will cut off my balls.”
“But you’re mine.”
“Okay. I’m yours. Now what?” Danny crosses his arms. Jackie shifts uncomfortably. Poor baby. “Exactly. If Derek can mack on Stiles while still being friends with Scott, you can handle it if I make out with Scott.”
“Wait. Stiles and Derek?” Scott says.
“Give me a raise and I’ll do it.” Danny agrees.
“Wait, go back to Stiles and Derek.” A look at Laura has Jackie and Danny ignoring Scott’s demands for information.
The other alpha finally gives up and shows up at her door at seven, holding a giant container of chili, a packet of shredded cheese and a box of cinnamon rolls. He’s handsome and if Laura didn’t have evidence of his stupidity sitting in her living room right now, she would have been all over that.
“I wish to pay my respects to the alpha of this territory.” He doesn’t mumble but he doesn’t look her in the eye either. She really saved her puppies from a shitty alpha. Maybe she would remind them the next time they bitched. “My name is Shale Stump.”
Laura eyes him. He’s caused her a few headaches. She should just slam the door in his face or actually kill him (she’d be protecting the werewolf gene pool), but he brought food. There are five teenagers and Derek in her apartment, hungry. “You can come in.” She says magnanimously. “I’m Laura Hale.”
He steps into her apartment, shuffles really. He even dressed up nicely. How cute. “Let me show you where you can put that. Scott! Get bowls and silverware! Jackie! Get everyone drinks! Lydia, be a dear and pick a movie.”
She leads him to the kitchen and directs him to put his peace offering on the counter. She can only hope it’s enough food for seven people plus one. From her viewpoint, Laura can see Derek scowling and shifts their human members around. Stiles was arguing with Lydia over what movie they were going to see, and Stiles really had another thing coming if he thinks they aren’t watching Bridesmaids, and Jackie was giving Danny advice on his latest beau (“I hate him and I will toss him in dumpster the next time I see him.”). Now, however, Derek has the two humans sandwiched between his body and the wall furthest from Stump. He was going to drive his pups crazy. Turning her green eyes to Stiles, she figured she’d be the one to let her nieces and nephews out of the bubble wrap because that boy was only going to encourage Derek’s neurotic tendencies.
“This is my pack.” She gestures grandly to the quickly settling teenagers.
Lydia sitting next to Derek because she’s the only member with any balls and Jackson cautiously sitting next to his girlfriend. For some reason, Jackie was convinced Derek wanted to gut him. Derek didn’t get it and Laura got tired of explaining why, especially when she found out it made Stiles laugh and Derek lit up and just eugh. Jackie would just have to ask Lydia for help. Which meant she’d sit next to Scott and keep Stump on her other side. She’d prefer Lydia at her side, but Scott was a tough little shit once he’s done quivering like a blushing virgin in a whorehouse.
“Scott, Jackson” Jackie perked up and she smirked and shook her head. She wouldn’t let anyone else demean him but she was still going to. “Lydia, my Beta Derek, Stiles and Danny.” Her puppies weren’t so much as twitching and Laura was grateful she’d smacked pack etiquette into them. She knew they were angry about being bitten but they were keeping their shit together. She was proud. “This is Alpha Shale Stump.”
She’s really not surprised when her pack ignores the alpha, icing him out and continuing their night as if the werewolf never entered their domain.
Stump has promised to stay off her toes and has agreed to lead as many of the hunters out of her town. She’s not sad to see him go two days later, leading most of the hunters that had been occupying the Argent home on a merry chase. Laura promised to send Kate Argent’s fingers to him when she arrives, because she will arrive Stump informs her, Chris Argent having requested her as back up to deal with him in exchange for Stump giving up all claim to her puppies. Laura thinks she got the better end of the deal.
She stews. Kate Argent is coming.
She shoves another cupcake in her mouth and decides fuck that shit.
“Make sure they eat their veggies and get to bed at a decent time.” She kisses Derek on both cheeks. “Be nice to everyone and not just Stiles, Danny and Lydia. I’ll be back in two days tops.” She takes in her brother. They’re maybe the same height, Laura averaging with him due to her heels and their eyes are the same and they stare each other down. “I love you.”
He stands so still, doesn’t breathe for a moment and her heart aches because there was a time the words flowed off their tongues and she’s sorry. She was his big sister and she should have known something was wrong (she’d been a freshman at NYCU, she didn’t even know there was a Kate until Derek calls and cries and cries and her eyes turned red). It says something about their family, their strength when he moves to hug her. “I love you too.” The moment is quickly lost when he pulls back to scowl. “Don’t do anything stupid.”
“Stupid’s your department.” She smirks.
Kate isn’t hard to find by any means.
Laura has to be careful. Kate’s father is not an enemy she wants to bring down on her pack’s heads until they are stronger, more capable. That day will come, she has no doubt but not now.
She finds the woman 132 miles from Beacon Hills.
She buries her body 598 miles from Beacon Hills and sends Stump a picture of the mangled woman because her fingers and teeth are buried 304 miles from Beacon Hills.
Laura is a killer and she thought she’d be horrified by what she’s done.
She just feels satisfied and safe.
“Argent left town.” Derek tells her, helping her fold the laundry.
“I heard.” She says. She’s pretty sure the plaid shirt in his hands doesn’t belong to either one of them but she says nothing when he folds it and puts it with his stack. Maybe she smiles. A little. “They won’t be a problem for awhile.”
He raises an eyebrow but lets it go. Derek has always been easy to keep pleased. Keep him around pack, food and something to growl at and he’s fine.
(If only it were that easy, but some scars can only be healed by ripping the wound open again and she refuses to do that. Once was enough.)
“In three months, we’re expanding the pack.” She lets him know.
He raises an eyebrow and folds another shirt.
Scott finds Isaac first.
Scott brought the boy back to the Den (Stiles’ name for her apartment) and had him sitting on the couch and then proceeded to freak out. Laura had taken the stairs to her apartment in one leap and had rushed in, thinking maybe the Argents came back and injured Scott or Bigfoot decided to maul one of her pack. She had not been expecting a curly haired blonde with a busted cheek.
At least he had the decency to appear sheepish before his overwhelming concern took over again.
“I didn’t know where else to take him!” Scott began and Laura was reminded of her little sister’s habit of bringing home strays with a pang. “His dad is hurting him and he” Scott shoots the boy a dark look Laura has seen Stiles wear whenever he feels they’ve been doing something detrimental to their health. “was lying about it and so I broughthimherebecauseIdidn’tknowwhatelsetodo.”
He’s looking at her expectantly like she’s a fairy and with the wave of her wand she’ll fix everything. She sighs, ready to tell Scott to take the kid to Stiles’ or his house when she catches the kid’s eyes and it’s like Scott’s puppy eyes are contagious.
“Fuck. Okay. Scott, tell Derek I need the white chocolate cupcakes right now and not to be skimpy with the frosting this time.” Scott whoops and runs out her door.
She eyes the boy one last time, not sure if she’s making a good decision turning her pack into the Lost Boys but what the hell. She’s always had a thing for the small and defenseless. “What do you know about werewolves?”
Isaac is an odd addition to the pack.
He lives in Laura’s closet since having a puppy around a stressor like an abusive father was a very bad idea. He picks up after himself and is quiet. Not that Laura or Derek would have really noticed since Laura was always hunting for good mate material and Derek was busy with an underage boy with a sheriff father. Her brother. Not the brightest.
Isaac fits between Scott and Jackson most days.
He always sits between the two. Scott she understands. Isaac imprinted on him like a baby duck. Jackson she’s a little less sure about, until she finds out for as much as Jackson pretends to be an asshat, Jackson used to run interference between Isaac and his father as much as sixteen year old boy could. It’s kind of sweet.
Lydia regards Isaac like she would a stuffed animal. Brief interest over how cute and cuddly he is before losing interest, except for when it’s dark out and it’s horror movie night and she lets him cuddle next to her and Jackson because everyone knows Lydia is right under Derek on the pack hierarchy.
Danny likes Isaac she thinks, not too sure on that actually because he likes everyone the same way. Stiles she knows is twitchy around Isaac but she’s positive that’s more of a Derek influence than any real fear of Isaac. Derek actually likes Isaac more than he does Scott and Jackson and if Isaac isn’t following Scott or Jackson and Derek isn’t courting or wooing or whatever he and Stiles do, Isaac usually follows Derek around.
Erica is a mistake, well, a mistake is harsh. Laura hadn’t intended on giving the girl the Bite but shit happens and Laura finds the girl sobbing in a hospital room after dropping off some brownies for her nurse boyfriend. The girl pulls at her and the pack does need more females to balance it out.
She does not expect the girl’s sudden confidence and clashing with Lydia, but it keeps the two battle honed unlike her lazy males who are totally okay with the pack hierarchy.
If Laura is honest, she also wasn’t prepared for the romance between Scott and Erica. Or Derek instigating it. She was suspicious it was simply Derek’s way of getting rid of Scott so he could spend more time with Stiles, but she had no real proof except for Scott and Erica mentioning Stiles and Derek giving them pep talks to admit their feelings. (And thank God the Argent girl situation is solved because for a minute there, she’d been sure Scott had focused on the girl as an anchor, which was stupid because even if she wasn’t a hunter, she was a teenage girl who could change her mind about being in love. Jesus, teenagers.)
This causes Isaac to hang out with Jackson and Danny more and Laura really doesn’t want to think about the hormones and bed sharing going on her pack. Really. Her nose already told her more than she ever wanted to know.
So, Laura needs some sanity in her pack, stat.
And a cattle prod.
Jackson, Scott and Isaac are all complete fine being under Derek and they all decided to be equals rather than fight it out to see who’d be her Beta if Derek bites it. They collectively decided Lydia would whoop their asses for the honor of Beta and that’s fine. Laura agrees Lydia will be her Beta if something happens to Derek. The only problem is Lydia is her Beta female. As in she fights with Erica over the position over who is in charge of the girls. The boys are lazy assholes. Stiles and Danny wrestle each other and Derek more than her troublesome trio.
This is why she offers the Bite to Boyd.
After a week in her pack and the troublesome trio are fighting Boyd and Derek, trying to see who’s stronger and more capable. They all try so hard that she doesn’t have the heart to tell them Danny is Derek’s second because, well, Danny is a clever shit.
Stiles has taken to the pack omega with a zeal she doesn’t understand and is afraid to ask about.
His mind works from a dark, scary place.
So, she has pack.
She’s alive and still mateless but she has a pack that’s nine strong (Derek, Stiles, Danny, Jackson, Lydia, Erica, Scott, Boyd and Isaac). She has territory and the hunters have backed off.
Shit just go real.