“How are you really, Liam?”
The question made his chest constrict and breath hitch momentarily. His phone nearly crushed in his grip as his head leaned back against the wall. The past two weeks had been rough, especially knowing Scott wouldn’t be back for another few months. None of them would. All the weight had been balancing hazardously on his shoulders as the pack nearly tore each other’s heads off without their real alpha around. Liam was blessed that his heartbeat wouldn’t be monitored over the static of the phone call.
“I’m fine, we’re fine.”
A soft scoff filtered over the background noise of Scott’s dorm. Hope that had began to inflate within his mind, flattered when he realized his bullshit wasn’t going to slide by. His shirt rode up as it stuck to the popcorn like wall while he slid slowly down it. Liam’s knees bent towards his chest as he sat in the hallway. Being honest about his feelings was never a wanted situation.
“I didn’t realize it was going to be this hard, you know?” The beta breathed out with closed eyes.
Scott took a moment to respond, “It’s never going to be easy, you just have to find a way to meet them all inbetween.”
Laughter unconsciously bubbled past his lips in an almost breathless matter. Head knocking against the wall while his palm dug into his eyes. Scott made it sound like it was easy to please everyone, to keep the peace. Sometimes, the alpha didn’t understand that he was respected because of what he had become and done along with the way he held himself. Liam couldn’t get that kind of respect because he was a senior in high school, with anger issues, that apparently couldn’t make a decent plan.
“There is no inbetween, it’s a one for all that requires the all to be in the same room, but not as one.”
It was quiet on the other line besides soft breathing as Liam struggled to explain what was happening within the pack without it sounding concerning. He never had a good way with words and it’s even harder when it connects to things that shouldn’t even exist.
“What?” Scott asked in confusion.
Liam sighed as his shoulders slumped, “I’ll figure it out, discard that last sentence.”
The alpha’s soothing chuckle caused his eyes to finally crack open. He missed this along with the pack and his alpha. He missed his family. It hasn’t even been a month yet and he’s falling apart by the seam without the steady guidance of those that turned him. He wished the chuckle wasn’t muffled over miles and miles of land. Liam was lost and wasn’t sure how to find his way back to the beta he was supposed to be.
“Liam, you just need to breathe. There’s no right way to maintain order in a pack full of banshees, werewolves, humans and sparks,” Scott blew out air, “That’s a sentence i’d never thought i’d see myself saying.”
That allowed both of them to let out their own noises of amusement. The beta felt his phone vibrate against his collarbone and pulled it back to see a notification. A hushed swear fell from his lips as he ignored the text from Mason. He heard Scott scold him for his language before asking what had happened. Liam gave him a chaste goodbye as he stood and stretched his legs. His fingers grabbed onto his key ring and the duffle next to the door. He had meant to leave about thirty minutes ago, but Scott had called causing him to forget about the plans he himself had bullied everyone into.
His truck started up after two tries and the radio was patchy for most of the ride. The pack chat was blowing up his phone which he almost silenced, but didn’t encase their whining turned into a cry for help. Tires squealed only faintly as he turned into the abandoned parking lot, almost all of the pack’s cars took up the closest parking spaces to the field. He could already hear Brett telling the rest of the group that their ‘oh-mighty-beta’ has arrived. Liam definitely let out an unfriendly greeting under his breath as he roughly grabbed the duffle. His cleats made an unpleasant sound as he jumped down from the drivers side.
“I still don’t understand how that piece of crap hasn’t broke down on you.” Caylen said with a scowl.
Liam threw him a glare as he slowly approached the odd looking group, “Screw you, Argent.”
Olivia gave him a blank stare standing beside one out of her two boyfriend’s and the Dunbar could hear her message nice and clear. His bag clattered to the grass, the bright maroon probably already scuffed up with grass stains. Tinted eyes flickered over the seemingly small amount of pack members while his fingers quickly scooped up his lacrosse stick.
“Brett, Caylen, Nolan, Austin and Corey,” He started out before abruptly stopping, “Where the hell are Mason and Corey.”
Stifled laughter arose as their eyes landed on the smaller building only a few feet away. The concession stand was abandoned, but yet there was shadows of two decently sized males beside it. A groan ripped from Liam’s throat as he shielded his eyes from the sight.
“Hey, lover boys, knock it off and come over here.” The Martin called out while picking at her nails.
The look of gratitude was greatly ignored, “I just want to get home faster because I hate all of you.”
Eyes rolled at the comment from the spark while the boys whose names were called, huddled around the beta. Although, they all purposely kept their gaze on the sheepish and embarrassed boys who walked towards them. Mason stopped beside the twins and females as his boyfriend jogged towards the group of species. Liam tuned out their side conversations as he focused on the things he had originally planned.
Noises of protest were quickly hushed down by one low growl and Liam was faced with six annoyed expressions. He pulled out a crumpled piece of notebook paper from his pocket and showed it to the brooding boys. He explained it would both help their werewolf abilities and lacrosse skills.
“You realize i’m human right?” Nolan said slowly, his eyes locked on Liam’s.
He was brushed off with a single hand wave, “But you’re a lacrosse player, so suck it up.”
With a clap of his hands, the boys broke up while Corey headed to the goal across the field. Liam forced them into a line multiple feet away from their goalie. He was only slightly disappointed he didn’t have coaches whistle as he shouted for them to start the drill.
“Don’t murder my boyfriend please, Carisi would not be pleased!” Olivia called out from the benches.
Mason sat beside her and placed his elbows on his thighs while his head rested on his fist. He ignored the twins quietly discussing their father’s case and if they should give him a burger tonight against Stiles’s wishes or not. A soft tap on his lower back caused him to sit straight at the sudden touch and his eyes were torn away from the scene of his boyfriend diving for the ball.
“You’re going to get back problems if you keep sitting like that.” Maia chided with a shake of her head.
He blinked in surprise at the blonde with faintly parted lips, “Did you cut your hair?”
The normally waist length platinum was now a little above her shoulders. His head tilted while he slowly analyzed how it made her features look sharper and dare he say it, scarier. Mason felt a presence beside his cheek and looked out of the corner of his eye.
“You look good.” The dry compliment came from Olivia, whose face was way too close to his own.
“Jesus, you need to learn about personal space.” Mason mumbled.
That only spurred her to leave a hair between their cheeks with a sarcastic smile that looked more predatory than teasing. His hand almost came out to shove her, but decided he’d rather leave the field with his limbs attached. Maia gave a surprisingly soft smile towards the two as she sat beside them, having arrived late.
“More lacrosse, seriously? You would think he’d have his fill of adrenaline after last month.” The blonde grumbled with annoyance.
A full body shudder almost erupted from Mason at the same time two bodies crashed on the field. He ignored the argument to reflect on the last month of training for them all. Scott had wanted them to be prepared on what to do when one of those that were defenceless were taken. He was not pleased about being taken from his home at three am with a bag over his head. He claimed it was the ‘argent’ way after Chris ripped the bag off his head. That was probably scarier than being the damn beast.
“I’m still pissed at Chris and Scott for that.” Olivia grimaced as she pulled her blanket closer around her.
One of the twins piped up behind them, “At least your dad didn’t force you into learning how to get out of handcuffs, rope and zip ties.”
“And left you there until you figure it out.”
“Four hours of my life i can never take back.”
Mason snorted at the irritation seeping from the Stilinski’s voices and shook his head. Olivia shoved at Weston causing him to groan as the bleachers cut into his back. Alek laughing hysterically beside him. He, after regaining his breath, reached out to help his brother back onto the stand before Austin noticed.
“That was completely uncalled for.” Weston protested with a glare.
He received a sickly sweet smile before he was once again shoved off the bleachers.
Liam groaned as the air was knocked out of him, Brett shouldering into him like it was nothing. Caylen was chuckling and calling out compliments to the newer member that grinned back at the blue-eyed wolf. The taller man’s hand appeared in his vision, which he promptly ignored and kicked himself back up.
“Again.” Liam growled out, eyes dangerously close to flashing.
Brett rose an eyebrow and squared his shoulders, feet pounding against the not so freshly mowed grass. The beta took a deep breath and dropped his torso down to avoid the tackle, only a stick to enter his sight and hook behind his knees. Roars of laughter was washed out by blood pounding through his ears. Bright, yellow eyes shining upon his pack mates who’s noises stopped simultaneously.
“Liam, calm down. It’s a sport.” Brett’s soothing comment was disregarded.
A barking order from his left caused him to suck in a sharp breath, “Dunbaby, cool it. There’s humans.”
His faded iris’s locked on the hybrid that stared him down with a sense of authority. The Hale had a stern expression on her face as she crouched down in front of him. His gaze flickered to how Austin and Caylen shifted to block the most vulnerable members from sight. Corey and Brett stationed in front of Nolan, who looked more concerned than scared. Eyes closed as Traz was a comforting presence and shield in front of him.
“You good?” Her voice was low as her fingertip tapped under his chin.
Liam’s eyes slowly opened to show ocean blue while he felt wounded by the amount of relieved sighs echoed on the field. His shoulders slumped and he nearly curled up on himself, knees aching from where they were planted on the ground. A slim hand hooked under his bicep and hauled him to his feet where he stumbled unsteady. Alcatraz basically dragged him to the tree line a few feet away, brushing off her girlfriend’s hand and feeble warning. His sneakers got stuck on an uprooted tree and he nearly landed on his face. A low growl rumbled within his chest as his head whipped back to look at the elder Hale.
“Get yourself under control, you can’t rely on that the sun, the moon, the truth crap.”
Brett’s protest were quieted by Taylor as she daringly came to stand beside Traz. Her eyes had soften as she took in his defensive and animalistic crouch. She tilted her head and gave her partner a look as she crouched down a foot away from him.
“Stop letting it control you, you’re stronger than this and no one here is afraid of you.” Taylor nearly cooed.
Liam was at war with his mind as he remembered how terrified everyone was junior year of him. After he thought Brett had died and everyone saw his darkest side. He couldn't go through that again, not with the pack, not with his family. Metallic wafted through the dense area as his claws dug deep into the soft flesh of his palm.
“I’m fine.” He gritted through his teeth.
Traz sent a look towards those that had gathered behind her and they made a soft noise of protest. With her teeth bared, they took hasty steps back towards the bleachers where the humans stood concerned (besides Olivia who had apathy written all over her face).
“Breathe, idiot.” Traz barked out in irritation.
His ears picked up on the steady heartbeat of the hybrid and witch in front of him. The blood rushing in his ears dimmed down until it completely demolished and all that filled them were the worried comments coming from afar. Liam nearly flinched at the hand that clasped onto his shoulder before he forced himself to take a deep breath.
“You’re fine, kid.”
“You’re not even that much older.” Liam retorted.
Traz gave him a grin as she stepped back, “There’s our whining, dunbaby.”