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Stiles is better at faking humanity than she is, when it comes down to it. Even as a human, when she’d first discovered him, back when he was nothing more than a small town sheriff’s boy, he’d already been an accomplished actor. It was what had drawn her to him in the first place, rather than the way he’d toddled after her like an infant with a crush.

Attention had always pleased her, even when she had been human herself, so she hadn’t spurned his advances. She watched him as his friends warned him away from her, as he’d laughed in their faces and thrown besotted glances her way from under thick, dark lashes.

“She’s a genius, though,” was what he’d said to them, as if that was more important than her beauty or her standing. To him, it had been.

The states were still new at the time, so she’d followed the steady stream of pioneers lured west with the promise of gold, of riches beyond their wildest imaginations. She’d expected to add to her fortune, maybe meet a compelling lover. She hadn’t expected him — hadn’t expected the puppy-like child who followed her around — and more than that, she hadn’t expected the intense desire to keep him.

She’d turned him after a mine collapse, when his father’s loss was still fresh. He hadn’t come to her in his grief, had backed off and hidden himself in the shadows of his home, so she’d gone to him.

“Would you follow me?” she’d asked him, the stars above brighter than the candle he kept on his windowsill. “Would you be mine?”

“Yes,” he’d told her, fingers trembling around her wrist.

“Wonderful,” she had purred, flashing him a grin full of sharp teeth. “Then follow me.”

He’s been with her ever since, dogging her footsteps back across the states, across the mountains of Europe. He was good for her, kept her steadied in the present. He made sure that she didn’t slip, that she played the part of human convincingly enough, and then, the few times that she’d failed, he did damage control for her.

They made names for themselves, whispers on monster lips all across Europe. The Martin girl and her monster. The queen and her consort. The banshee and her demon.

They don’t need a kiss or a coven to be powerful, and she knew that others of their kind envied them of that. There were attempts — crude assassinations, as if it were that easy to just absorb their power — and they laughed, and waltzed on their attackers graves, blood streaking their chins.

They rode on a wave of power for a century and a half, going wherever they pleased and sipping blood from pearl-strewn throats.

They shared some lovers over the years, helpless humans who’d been drawn to them for their name and their beauty alike, but she did not always love him like that. He was hers and she his, but more often than not, she’d rather have his arms around her shoulders than his cock in her cunt.

Which wasn’t to say that they didn’t — it was easy, with each other. She knew his body as well as her own, all the ways to bring him the quickest, most exquisite pleasure. They dabbled, on nights that they were hungry for more than blood and filled with sloth, no desire to find themselves a human to warm their bed.

They go back to the states in the sixties, and mingle amongst the sweat-soaked hippies that flock across the country. It’s easy, with him at her side, to smile sweetly and poke daisies into the open, black mouths of firearms — to fake normalcy — go to Woodstock and tumble some sweet-smelling, drugged virgin back into the grass. Easy to sip from the necks of the enthralled, for once not bewitched by her, but on the high of drugs and music.

Stiles evades being drafted easily, power singing in their veins when the officers come to call. He stays at her side, kisses her neck, and they breathe in the sour tang of sweat mixed with dirt.

They make a little house in New Orleans their home for twenty years, spending their nights beneath towering oak trees heavy with spanish moss and coaxing humans back to their nest. It’s a good life, one that they make last as long as they can, but eventually, one of Stiles’ human friends makes a comment about how the two of them appear as if untouched by time. Then it’s time to move again, up to Montana, where it is almost too cold for the chill of their bodies to stand.

In 2013, Stiles turns to her, a considering look in his eye. He’s wearing plaid and has some scruff on his cheeks, as much as his forever young body can grow. He’d complained of that when they first came north, tickling her and flinging an arm over his eyes dramatically, “You’ve dashed my dreams of being a lumberjack forever. Woe is me.”

“You don’t want to be a lumberjack, Stiles,” she’d told him, rolling her eyes, and he’d grinned at her until she made him go chop them some wood for the fire.

“I think I want to see home again,” he tells her now, biting down on his lip.

She considers him, and shrugs. It’s too cold for them here anyway. She responds, “Okay.”

.

“There’s a werewolf infestation,” Stiles tells her on their second day back.

The place where Stiles grew up is no longer the tiny mining town it used to be. The gold has dried up, of course, but it still retains the sleepiness of a small town, just off the outskirts of the big cities. They call it Beacon Hills now, and it is largely unfamiliar, though the preserve still contains trees that they’d known well over a century ago.

Nostalgia, Lydia thinks, standing in the middle of a grocery store. There are shelves of eggs in front of her and a variety of cheeses a few steps to the side. It is the exact spot that she’d stood a century ago, when she’d asked Stiles if this was really what he wanted.

“The Hales,” she tells him, placing a block of havarti into their cart. She’s fond of food, even though they haven’t needed it to survive for some time.

Lydia knows of the Hales. The pack had been on her periphery when she’d been here last, still small, and content with their trees and solitude.

“No, not them,” Stiles says with a huff, leaning his full weight against the side of the cart. She grimaces when it moves, drifting under him so that it gently bumps up against a display of cottage cheese. “High schoolers.”

She frowns at him. “Explain.”

So he does. When they’re back at the house, he looks up the Hales online, and they both hiss in sympathy when they read about the fire.

“Hunters, you think?” he asks curiously, clicking onto a link that jumps to a new article.

“Of course,” she scoffs. “Move over, it says three of them survived.”

“One,” Stiles corrects, jumping over to a different article. This one tells them of how Laura Hale’s body had been found two years ago and that a month later, their uncle had gone missing from the hospital.

“Derek Hale,” she muses, tapping her nail against the screen until he huffs and clicks on the picture she’s indicted. “Do you suppose he’s the one who turned the children?”

“They’re hardly much older than I was when you got to me,” Stiles scoffs, eying the out of date picture approvingly. It’s crap quality and the boy is turned away from the camera to counter the lens flare, but she has to agree, he is pretty to look at.

“We should pay them a visit,” she says decisively, and he raises an eyebrow at her.

“What kind of visit?”

She grins sweetly, eyes still on a young Derek Hale’s face. “That would depend on our welcome, now wouldn’t it?”

.

Vampires are not at all what the modern age makes them out to be. Nor are they like the old ones. Instead, her kind have been a mix of the two. They can cross running water, see themselves in the mirror, and can walk in the sunlight without going up in flames. Stories always get details wrong, but she can’t fault them for that.

Lydia will live forever unless someone removes her head or burns her first and even then, she’s powerful enough that even that may not take. Her body requires a steady supply of blood in order to keep functioning correctly. She wouldn’t die if she stopped drinking it, but she would wither into a husk of what she once was.

She is old, older than even Stiles suspects, and has yet to meet her match, among her own kind or otherwise.

She isn’t fond of garlic, but it has never hurt her.

She cannot touch objects that are blessed and hasn’t spent time in a place of any faith since she was human.

The werewolves are rebuilding, in the heart of the preserve. The smell of sawdust is heavy in the air, though the moon is hanging bloated and there’s an inch of snow dusting the ground, more yet in the air around them. They haven’t been working in at least a week, but the scent lingers, as does the putrid tinge of ash.

“I’m still not so sure about this,” Stiles tells her, glowering at the windows and the shadowy figures moving beyond them.

She raises an eyebrow at him. “You think that we can’t take a pack of children?”

“I think that we could destroy them,” Stiles murmurs. “That doesn’t mean I think we should.”

She leans close to him, wraps herself around him until her lips are pressed against the whorl of his ear. “They will know us by name, love. They won’t attack. Worry not, we should have no reason to spill blood here.”

He nods, shortly, and she smiles, brushing snow from his hair. He takes her hand when she offers it, and together, they step up the porch steps.

A girl with hair the color of straw that hangs to her hips answers the door, the suggestion of a laugh still on her lips when she pulls it open. She is in her socks and a pair of shorts, and for a moment, Lydia wants to tear out her throat just so she can get some warmth back in her own veins.

The laugh dies off though, when she sets eyes on Lydia and Stiles, standing there pale in the moonlight. She’s confused, likely expecting a pack mate who’d been held up by the storm or, if Stiles was to be believed about their age, their parents.

“May I help you?” the she-wolf asks them, squinty-eyed with suspicion.

“We’re looking for Hale,” Stiles says from beside her, rubbing his hands together and breathing on his fingers, as if he’s trying to warm them up. She can tell without even looking that he’s flashing the girl one of his kind, disarming grins. “Sorry, it’s a bit chilly out here, isn’t it?”

He doesn’t ask to be invited in; he lets her do the work for him.

“Sorry,” she says, stepping out of the way. “We weren’t expecting company tonight. Come on in.”

“Thanks,” Stiles purrs, taking hold of Lydia’s arm and pulling her into the house after him.

“You said you were looking for Derek?” the girl is asking them as she leads them into the living room, where there’s a decent-sized fire in the hearth.

“We are,” Lydia whispers, stepping close to the fire and holding her hands up to it. The warmth is glorious.

“He’s sleeping right now, but I can wake him up for you if it’s urgent?”

Lydia doesn’t stop to wonder where the rest of the pack is. They’re upstairs, with their alpha — napping, playing video games, doing homework, who knows. She doesn’t have to ask to know that werewolves are terrible tactile creatures. She gives the girl a smile and tries not to make it too sharp. She hasn’t had a werewolf in decades, but if Stiles wants to avoid bloodshed, she’ll do her best.

“If you could, please? Tell him that the Martins are here to pay him a visit.”

.

“You had to drop the name, didn’t you,” Stiles sighs once the girl has headed off towards the staircase. He, like her, has migrated towards the fire, soaking in its warmth.

Stiles is paler than her at the moment, dark circles beneath his eyes, lips cracked and all but bleached of color. It’s been too long since he’s fed. She should likely be concerned about that, since he is the one insisting on keeping this a pleasant visit, but she isn’t overly so. If this turns violent, he’ll gorge himself on werewolf. If it doesn’t, she’ll find him a snack on their way home.

“Of course,” she says flippantly, tossing her hair over her shoulder as she flashes him a grin, this one with teeth. “It’s much more fun this way, wouldn’t you say?”

“I can’t take you anywhere,” he mutters, rubbing the bridge of his nose between two trembling fingers. She frowns at them, suddenly concerned, but doesn’t have time to address the matter before there’s a thump and a growl from upstairs.

“You let them in?” Hale — because it must be, who else in their pack would know — hisses.

“They were cold,” the girl protests.

There are more sounds, quiet whispering and shushed demands. She smirks over at Stiles, who just wrinkles his nose at her.

By the time Hale warily creeps down the stairs, they’ve snagged two of the armchairs and dragged them closer to the fire, backs pointedly to the staircase. It’s a statement, one that she’s fond of using instead of immediate bloodshed. It says: you don’t threaten us. Odds are, Hale knows it.

He clears his throat when he is feet away from them and stiltedly says, “My apologies. You’ve caught me at an odd time. Welcome.”

Stiles snorts. Lydia slaps at his arm, then stands, turning to face Hale.

“Derek Hale,” she murmurs, setting eyes on him. He’s grown up well — from a baby-cheeked boy with too large ears into an attractive man, broad across the shoulders with a fine layer of stubble on his cheeks. She feels a spike of want from behind her and the small smile she’d been wearing turns to a grin as she reaches for Stiles’ hand, squeezing. “You have a lovely home.”

“Thank you,” Hale says, back tense, like he’s ready to spring. “I must ask — what brings you to Beacon Hills? I’d heard that you’ve spent the last century in Europe.”

Her smile widens ever so slightly and she can feel her eye teeth itch as he shuffles back and forth on his bare feet. He’s absolutely adorable. She wants to eat him alive.

“Subtle,” Stiles mutters from behind her and Hale stiffens even more.

“We’ve been back in the states for some time,” she tells him, wondering what stories have been told ih their absence. They’ve kept to themselves since their return from Europe, but surely someone somewhere noticed their presence. “We’ve been keeping quiet.”

Hale stares at her blankly. “Then what— why have you come here?”

Repeating himself. He must be truly nervous.

“I was born here, dude,” Stiles cuts in, taking a step forward so he can wrap an arm around her shoulders. She fights down the urge to roll her eyes; she loathes the way he’s taken to slang. “Was feeling a bit homesick, decided to come take a gander at this new and improved little town.”

“That’s… nice,” Hale says flatly, and Stiles lets out a little bark of laughter.

“You can’t fake just a little bit of enthusiasm?” Stiles teases, fingers pressing into the curve of her hip. He thrums with power, she can smell it on the surface of his skin, but only the faintest hints of suggestion slip out. “Just a little?”

Hale clears his throat, sways for a moment. “My apologies,” he says again. “I wasn’t expecting the Martins to come knocking on my doorstep at half past two in the morning.”

“Ooh, that was sass,” Stiles murmurs excitedly in her ear, bouncing on the balls of his feet. “Lyds, did you hear that? He just sassed us!”

Hale blanches, turning the color of paste. It’s impressive, he’s almost as pale as they are. “Don’t tease the boy, Stiles,” she purrs, reaching up to cup Stiles’ cheek. “It’s not nice.”

“Don’t hurt them,” Hale suddenly blurts, immediately looking appalled at his brazen disregard for his own safety. He steels himself, but continues nevertheless. “My betas have done nothing, just — spare them, please. They don’t even—” he falters, wavering for a moment between grief and determination before he can continue. “—They don’t even have their licenses yet.”

He sounds so miserable. It’s pathetic. She can feel Stiles looking at her, asking without words how to proceed. She sighs.

“We aren’t going to harm you or your betas, Hale,” Lydia tells him, tapping a finger against Stiles’ wrist. Amused, he taps back. “We merely came here to make you aware of our presence. Leave us be and we won’t touch any of you.”

“You’ve gone soft,” Hale mutters in the tones of great revelation, as if to himself, and her eyes widen, then narrow.

Stiles hands lock tight around her elbow immediately, holding her in place. Hale seems to realize his error just as quickly, because his own eyes widen and he holds out his hands in surrender. “Not— I meant no offense.”

Stiles barks out another laugh, still holding her tight. “Sure you didn’t,” he says, manhandling her forwards. Lydia snarls at him, baring her teeth in Hale’s direction. She wants to rip his throat out, let him see just how soft she’s gotten. “And you’ve caused none. What you have caused is anger, so I’m gonna warn you right now, we have not grown soft in the least.”

Stiles laughs again and they’re close to Hale, close enough that Stiles’ arm is brushing up against his, though he’s angled her away from him. He looks up at Hale through his lashes, and she can still feel his want, deep in her breast. Despite that, she knows that his eyes are cold right now, that he’s got a threatening smile on his lips, and his fangs are out.

“I could end you right now,” Stiles whispers, eyelashes fluttering. “And it would be as simple as letting her go.”

“I didn’t—”

“Do not make me angry, Hale,” Stiles tells him sharply, fingers digging into her arms. “Did you ever wonder why they called me her monster? In the stories your mother told you at night?”

She can see Hale shaking his head out of the corner of her eye, and she’s calming enough to notice his eyes, darting to and from Stiles’ lips.

“It’s because of the two of us, I’m so much more unpredictable. I’ve done her dirty work for two centuries, puppy. I could take you apart in seconds, put you back together, and do it again. We’ve taken out packs and covens older than this damned country, anything that has threatened us. Your pack doesn’t fall into that category just yet. Don’t make us change our mind.”

Then he’s marching her out the front door, with little more than a salute, back out to the cold.

.

The next time she sees Hale, she’s in line at the local coffee shop and still bleary-eyed with sleep. She doesn’t like mornings, but Stiles likes them even less, so she’d offered to make the first coffee run, since they’d yet to install an actual espresso maker.

Hale’s coming in as she’s going out, his eyes on the dark-haired boy at his side. He isn’t paying attention, so she waits patiently until he notices her.

When he does, he comes to a dead stop, throwing his arm out in front of his beta. The boy whines, making grabby hands at the counter, but stills when his alpha lets out a soft growl and shakes him by the nape of his neck.

“It’s good to see you, Hale,” she says, amused by how he flinches at her voice.

“You as well, Ms. Martin,” he mumbles to his feet. She bites her lip, running her eyes down his torso, lingering over his toned stomach, his biceps, and the sharp jut of his hipbones. He’s covered in a thin layer of sweat and his clothes, flimsy tank top and shorts, seem to indicate that he’s been out running. Maybe training his betas, for the ‘coming threat’, not that it would do him much good.

Lydia smiles at him, purrs. “Have a lovely day.”

She makes sure that her side — the swell of her hip and the curve of her breast — drag along his as she pushes her way out the door.

.

“Are we trying to seduce them now?” Stiles mutters when she gets back to him, wrinkling his nose at the smell of Hale lingering on her clothes.

She shrugs, giving him a hooded smile. “Not them. Him. Problem?”

He regards her carefully, shrugs, and takes a sip from his coffee, which she’s carefully doctored with the blood of a very enthusiastic volunteer in the alley just outside the coffee shop. She’d made sure that Hale had heard the whole thing.

“Sure,” he says, licking red from his upper lip. “I’m game if you are.”

.

“They have a hunter in their pack,” Stiles tells her, nose wrinkled in distaste.

She puts her book down and stares at him. “That’s adorable.”

.

“We should have him over for dinner,” Lydia says. She’s inspecting a pair of stilettos, weighing them carefully in one hand. They would look lovely on her and the price tag is nowhere near enough to dissuade her.

Beside her, Stiles snorts, shuffling sideways so that a mother and her squalling child can pass by. “That would be sending entirely the wrong message, Lyds.”

She rolls her eyes and passes him the shoe box. “Nonsense. It’s what you do when you wish to court someone.”

“Pretty sure all the rules are different when he knows what we are and may think we’re planning on having him for dinner.”

She sniffs and makes her way towards the fetching skirt she’d seen earlier. He follows. “Shall we take him to the cinema instead?” she asks drolly, rolling the fabric between her fingers. It feels wonderful, silken and soft. She hands it over as well.

When she turns to look at him, he’s pouting at her, and she just knows his mind is churning with ideas. She hopes he doesn’t suggest something stupid, like bowling. It’s Stiles though, so he may do just that.

Instead, he surprises her by sighing and giving in with a small nod. “Fine. Dinner.”

.

She has Stiles cook. He enjoys it more than she does, and though she’d never admit it, he’s better at it too. Stiles always finds the best recipes and has a sixth sense for knowing just how long to cook the meat, until it’s juicy and tender, insides red enough to suit their palates.

Hale shows up on their doorstep right on time, shuffling nervously when she answers the door. He doesn’t return the smile that she sends his way, but that’s all right. He reeks of fear, and Stiles may have had a point. For all he knows, they are having him for dinner. The poor boy is just self-sacrificing enough to come anyway too, for the sake of his little pack.

“I hope you like your steak rare,” she tells him over her shoulder, leaving the door open so that he can follow her. Lydia flashes him another grin over her shoulder, eyes sparkling when he pales at the sight of her teeth. “We prefer our meat a bit bloody.”

“Stop scaring him, Lydia!” Stiles calls from the kitchen. Something clangs just past the doorway and he curses as she enters the room, stooping to pick up the lid he’d dropped.

“I’m teasing him,” she coos, spinning around and hopping up onto the counter, to get a better view of Hale, who is edging cautiously into the room, wide-eyed as he takes in Stiles crouched in front of the oven. “Oh, you brought us wine,” she says, delighted.

He blinks at her, eyes flickering between her face and her legs like they can’t decide where they want to settle. “The blood bank was closed,” he tells her flatly and the smile that had been edging onto her face broadens.

Stiles turns away from whatever he’s doing to the oven to look up at Hale in awe. “That’s the second time you’ve sassed us,” he marvels quietly, crossing the kitchen to take the wine from Hale. Their knuckles brush, skin tones contrasting wonderfully. She doesn’t miss the way that Hale shivers at Stiles’ touch, how his breath hitches from something other than the chill of Stiles’ skin. “I like it. We should keep you. Can we keep him, Lydia?”

Hale’s eyes dart to hers, eyebrows raised. She wonders if he’s surprised by Stiles’ forwardness or if he believes that he is joking. She smirks and because she can, waggles her eyebrows at Hale, who blushes just as nicely this time around. “That all depends on our dear alpha, now doesn’t it?”

“Derek.”

“Hmm?” Stiles stops appraising the wine, locking eyes with Hale.

“Call me Derek,” Hale — no, Derek — murmurs, averting his eyes as if suddenly bashful. “It’s only polite.”

“So it is,” Stiles whispers, cocking his head and peering at Derek like he’s just had a dozen questions answered. Perhaps he had. His want, which has been flowing in a steady stream in the back of her mind all afternoon, spikes again.

“The food, Stiles,” Lydia reminds him gently, swinging her ankles happily, heels tapping against the cabinet.

.

The dinner goes well. They make idle chatter once the tension finally leaves Derek’s shoulders and she doesn’t know why she’s surprised at how they bicker, because Stiles is always like this with the ones he really wants. It’s different though, Stiles dropping innuendos every few sentences, as if he expects a prize out of it. He’s more comfortable bickering with Derek than he has been with any of their lovers and it pleases her, to see him so interested.

After dinner, she makes Stiles walk him to the door. They’re gone for so long that she worries they may be scandalizing the neighbors, but Stiles comes back into the kitchen moments after she has the thought, grinning ear to ear, a blush high on his cheeks.

“You didn’t ravish him on the porch without me, did you?” she asks, setting the wine glasses into the rack to dry. He grins at her and shakes his head.

“No, but he did ask me if we were courting him. It was adorable.”

“And what did you tell him?” she asks, drying her hands on a towel.

Stiles’ grin widens and he slides down so that he’s kneeling before her, wrapping his arms happily around her waist as he rests his brow against her stomach. Lydia considers pushing him down further and letting her legs fall open, but in the end, she decides against it. It will be so much sweeter, to have this later.

“I told him that our intentions weren’t exactly the purest,” he tells her stomach, nosing at her belly button. She swats at him, because even after all these years, she’s still ticklish there and he knows it.

“And?”

His grin is all teeth and she just knows that they’re going to go hunting later tonight, find some hapless human and drink until the stranger is reeling and dizzy with desire. “I may have implied that should he so desire, I would have no qualms about sucking his cock right there.”

She rolls her eyes and cards her fingers through his hair, sighing when he pushes back into her touch. “And he just left?”

Stiles shrugs. “Yeah, but you didn’t smell him when he did. I’ve never seen someone blush that hard before.”

“I wonder if he’d let us drink from him?” she muses. Stiles just laughs.

.

She meets the hunter a few days later, when the girl is out with one of Derek’s betas — her boyfriend, judging by the way their scents have mingled together so thoroughly. The beta, the one with a head full of dark hair that she’d seen in the coffee shop doesn’t notice her, but the girl does, going still as she catches sight of Lydia over the beta’s shoulder.

The hunter waves a hand dismissively and sends her boyfriend off with a murmured word. Judging by the way the boy flounces off happily, it was probably an instruction to get her a drink or something out of their car. She makes her way over to Lydia slowly and takes the seat across from her without a word.

“A hunter dating a werewolf,” Lydia says, taking a sip of her tea. “That has to be interesting.”

“I heard you and your consort are courting our alpha,” the hunter responds bluntly. She gives Lydia a stilted smile and crosses her legs beneath the table, the heel of one weathered brown boot scuffing the chair.

Our alpha?” Lydia replies, blinking.

The girl bares her teeth in a smile. “Our alpha,” she agrees.

“You are an interesting bunch, aren’t you? The new Argent matriarch, part of a wolf pack. I’ll bet your family was thrilled,” Lydia pauses, considering the girl’s perfect posture, how she’s in a perfect position to go for the knife in her boot if Lydia makes one wrong move. “You are an Argent, are you not?”

“Allison Argent,” the hunter agrees, nodding. “We don’t hunt much anymore though. We’ve got a new motto: Nous protégeons ceux qui ne peuvent pas se protéger leurs-même.”

Allison is still giving her a hard look, steel wrapped in silk. She makes the words sound like a threat. Lydia likes her already. “We protect those who cannot protect themselves,” she translates, a smile already quirking her lips.

It is a threat. This little girl sits here, with her tidy little skirt and her scuffed boots and is threatening Lydia, as if she has any hope of actually besting her in a fight. Lydia laughs, delighted, and leans closer, steepling her fingers under her chin.

“I like you,” Lydia tells her, whispering it as if she’s confessing a secret.

The girl smiles back, the barest quirk of lips, and says, “I know who you are.”

“I would be offended if you didn’t,” Lydia replies flippantly, tossing her hair back over her shoulder.

“Derek told me that you have no plans of hurting anyone here?”

The girl says it like a question, but Lydia hears Derek’s voice in her head, whispering that she’s gone soft. She touches the thread that connects her to Stiles to calm the irritation that swarms to the surface. A deep breath and she’s smiling again. “We haven’t killed the humans that we’ve fed on since the sixties,” she confesses with a sigh. “Stiles insisted. I think the free love movement got to him more than he’ll let on.”

At that, Allison gives her a real smile. She has dimples and perfect white teeth. “So that’s a no?” she laughs.

“That is a no,” Lydia agrees, leaning back in her chair once more. She takes another sip of her tea, waving the waitress away when she comes to ask about a refill. “We have no plans of hurting you or yours, unless of course you come after us first.”

“That’s fair,” Allison nods, leaning back in her own chair as well. There’s still no sign of the beta; Lydia wonders if he’s gotten himself lost somewhere. “I’m sure you can work out all the details with Derek later. He’s rather fond of your… Stiles, did you know?”

“I haven’t seen Stiles take to someone so quickly since we first met,” Lydia tells her with a smile. “It came as somewhat of a surprise, how compatible the two of them are.”

“I haven’t seen them together yet, but you should have seen Derek’s face when he got home from his dinner date with you two. What did you even say to him?”

Lydia grins toothily. “Stiles has a way with words. Apparently his idea of a goodbye is the promise of fellatio.”

Allison laughs, the last of her wariness melting off of her like butter. By the time her boyfriend — Scott, apparently — returns, they’re both laughing, leaning towards each other like they’re old friends.

.

She meets the rest of the pack slowly. It probably isn’t intentional, since they haven’t really spoken to Derek since that first date. More likely the puppies are just curious.

Erica, the blonde who had met them at the door, accosts them in Macy’s, and after her attempt at convincing Lydia to add more leather to her wardrobe fails, she steals Stiles away from her to go look at comics, something that Stiles has been unfortunately obsessed with since their return from Europe.

Isaac she meets on the border of the Hale territory. He’d been running patrols, so meeting him at least was probably an accident. He flusters easily, a soft little boy under all his bravado. Boyd she meets in Tesco. He nods to her over a display of ritz crackers and goes on with his shopping, the cart he’s pushing all but overflowing.

Cora Hale finds her outside of a gym and studies her warily for a good minute before she says, “Break his heart and I don’t care how powerful the two of you are, I’ll find a way to break you.”

“I thought you were dead,” Lydia responds, staring at the girl blankly. She’s wearing a sports bra under a thin tank top and a pair of sweatpants, covered in a thin sheen of sweat. She is definitely alive.

“Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated,” the girl goes in a flat, sarcastic voice. Stiles is going to love her.

There’s also a young kitsune named Kira, who may or may not be involved with Scott as well. Or Allison. Or both. Allison tells her that there was another member too, but that he’d moved to London a few years ago, and only attends pack meetings via skype every couple months.

All in all, it’s an eclectic bunch. Within a month, she’s at least on speaking terms with all of them and Stiles has attached himself to Scott’s hip whenever the pup isn’t trailing after Allison or Kira.

She refuses to be put out that for all their progress acclimating with the rest of the pack, Derek is moving at absolutely glacial speeds when it comes to interacting with both of them. If he isn’t making excuses and leaving as soon as they enter a room, he’s making stilted awkward conversation and keeping at least one packmate between them.

She’d back off, if he were anyone else, but the way he eyefucks both her and Stiles when he thinks they aren’t looking speaks for itself.

“He’ll come around,” Allison assures her one day.

“I know,” she snorts. “I just don’t like waiting.”

.

Lydia smells Stiles before he even steps foot in the house, her nose wrinkling as she curls tighter around the old physics book Allison had leant her. He smells like Derek — like sweat, spit, and come — and when he makes it to the living room, she can see that his lips are still red and shiny, spread wide in a grin.

“You know,” she tells him, closing the book in her lap as he flops down next to her. “I could give you hell for doing that without me.”

He nuzzles into her and up close, he smells even more strongly of Derek, as if the wolf felt the need to rub his scent into Stiles’ skin. It amuses her to think that he might have been trying to override her scent on him.

“You won’t though,” he sing-songs, wrapping loose, pliant limbs around her waist.

“And why not?”

His grin widens and he kisses her, slow and deep, tongue chasing after hers — just the way she likes it. It’s enough to strike a spark of want within her and that, combined with the smell of Derek all over his skin and the taste of the other man on Stiles’ tongue, has her crawling into his lap, settling there as the kiss turns heated, his cock swelling beneath her.

“Because,” he purrs, voice going ragged when she pulls back to yank her underwear down around her thighs. His nose brushes her ear, breath hitching when she tugs his cock out and slides down onto it without hesitation.

“Because why?” she coaxes, rolling her hips and feeling him shift inside her.

“Because,” he starts again, voice shaky with want. He leans in and mouths along the ridge of her ear. “Now he’ll come back for more.”

.

Three days later, Derek shows up at their house, wild-eyed and so tense that she could probably shatter him with a touch.

Lydia answers the door in her underwear, cocking a head at him in confusion, still bleary-eyed with sleep. It’s almost three in the morning. “Shouldn’t you be with your pack right now?” she asks, jerking her chin in the direction of the full moon, which hangs fat and heavy in the sky.

“They’re fine,” he answers distractedly, eyes flashing red in the shadows.

“All right,” Lydia says slowly, eying him with a bit more concern. He doesn’t seem to be hurt. She doesn’t smell blood on him, just the sharpness of his unease. She blinks, hovering on the threshold, wondering if she should call for Stiles, and that’s when all that tension of his turns to steel.

Lydia gasps as he rushes her, more out of surprise than anything else, and doesn’t think to stop him when he gets his hands around her waist and lifts her off the ground, carrying them both into the house. He doesn’t even shut the door behind him, too busy burying his face in her neck and slamming her into the wall.

His teeth, still human-shaped, close over the line of her throat, biting and sucking until she realizes what’s happening. Her legs go around his waist and she lets out a sharp, giddy laugh when his hands migrate to her ass.

“You’re a fun puppy, aren’t you?” she purrs, wriggling in his grip and laughing again when he bucks up into her. Derek’s face is still buried in her neck, nosing at the mark he’s surely left there. Lydia bruises easy, but they never last long. She’ll let him enjoy it while it lasts.

“Stiles,” she calls, and feels Derek jerk against her.

It isn’t often that they go to sleep early. By nature they’re more nocturnal than humans, but she enjoys the daylight, as does Stiles. When she had left the bed to answer the door, Stiles had still been sleeping, making little noises of protest as she slid away from him. He isn’t sleeping now though, stumbling into the room and freezing the moment he sets eyes on them.

She shudders when Derek leaves a trail of bitemarks dotted across her collarbone and bites her lip, holding a hand out to Stiles. “Look who came to visit us.”

Stiles is slow to respond, edging towards them with a look of disbelief on his face, as if he’s still caught in a dream. Gently, he closes the door.

“What brought this on?” he asks quietly, draping himself over Derek, reaching up to card a hand through the other man’s hair, nails dragging gently over his scalp. Derek snarls, grinding into her, and she has to catch her breath again before she can speak.

“The moon, I’m betting,” Lydia breathes shakily, want singing through her veins.

Stiles hums, leaning in to mouth sloppily at the topmost knobs of Derek’s spine. She catches a glint of fangs as Stiles eases back enough to drag the sharp points across the same patch of skin, blood welling to the surface easily, even as the wound closes behind it. Lydia smothers a moan, fighting down the visceral need to lap at the blood trickling down Derek’s neck and Derek himself whines at the feeling of Stiles’ fangs on his skin.

“You’d let us drink, wouldn’t you?” Lydia says, eyes widening in surprise. She’d thought about it, but with that reaction — Derek wants them to — he’d get off on it.

“We should move this party to the bedroom,” Stiles whispers, dragging his nose over Derek’s pulse. He looks drugged out, dark-eyed with want and anticipation, but he’s right. The foyer isn’t the place for this, even if she would happily let Derek take her against this wall. She squeezes gently, and Derek lets her down with a reluctant whine and one last nip.

They get held up again in the living room, because Derek gets distracted by Stiles’ wandering hands and Stiles just gives her this look that makes her sigh and drop down onto the couch, rolling her eyes when Derek hesitates for the barest space of a second before dropping to his knees.

The noise that Stiles makes when Derek mouths at him through his underwear is one that she’s heard dozens of times over the years, but it still has the same effect on her that it had the first time around. He always sounds so surprised, like the pleasure’s been punched out of him. This time is no different, both of them watching as Derek hooks his fingers into Stiles’ waistband, yanking the boxers down past his hips as if he’s personally offended by them.

“You want him to fuck your mouth,” Lydia says into the quiet, taking the time to rid herself of her own underthings. Derek shudders, pushing his nose into the curls surrounding Stiles’ cock and breathing out, hot exhales that make Stiles tremble as he threads his hands into the other man’s hair.

“You want to choke on that pretty cock of his, don’t you, Derek?” she continues, smirking when Stiles’ head thunks back against the wall, hips twitching when Derek licks the head of his dick. She licks her lips, gently trailing her fingertips along the skin of her belly, feeling the gooseflesh come to the surface. “An alpha werewolf and you want us to wreck you, until you’re sloppy and ours.”

She hisses herself when Derek finally sucks Stiles’ cock into his mouth, echoing the breathless noise that punches out of Stiles. Their wolf is good at sucking cock, she realizes, watching him swallow Stiles down effortlessly, moaning when Stiles gives a shallow little thrust.

“Give him what he wants, love,” she calls, letting her hand slip between her legs. “Fuck his mouth, tug on his hair a little. He’ll like that, I think.”

She watches them for a while, sliding two fingers into herself as she does so; Derek’s throat bobbing as he swallows around Stiles’ cock, the way Stiles’ pale hands look tangled in dark hair, Derek’s hands digging indents into their carpet. They look good together. Her and Stiles have been with kings that haven’t looked half as good as Derek does now, an alpha werewolf on his knees with a vampire’s cock so far down his throat that his nose is brushing the dark hair curling around the base.

As she watches, Derek pulls Stiles even closer, making the most delicious noises when Stiles does end up yanking on his hair and fucking his mouth with short, sharp thrusts.

“Stiles,” she whispers, sliding to her feet and backing around the couch, so that she’s pressed up against the opposite wall, head a good foot away from the Monet painting that they’d stolen half a century ago. Lydia cocks an eyebrow when he tears his eyes away from Derek bobbing between his legs and crooks her finger at him. “Come.”

He comes, going to her easily, though she can tell that it’s something of a hardship to pull away from Derek’s mouth. God, she wants to see if Derek feels half as good between her legs as he’d looked between Stiles’. That’s for later though, maybe tomorrow. She may even chain the wolf to their bed and not allow him to leave until he’s satisfied her. If she’s reading him right — and she is, an alpha that gets off on showing his belly, it’s like Christmas — he’d enjoy it too.

When Stiles reaches her, she hitches a leg up around his hip and digs her fingers into his ass, pulling him up and into her in a short motion that leaves them both gasping. She smirks at Derek over Stiles’ shoulder, where he’s still kneeling on the floor, staring in their direction blankly, his eyes flickering red.

She squeezes, rocking back down onto Stiles and gasping when he thrusts up to meet her. They’ve done this for so long that they both know how to make it into a  show. A good one, because she can tell that it’s working, Derek’s eyes tracking their movements. She grins, using her hold on Stiles’ ass to spread his cheeks wide, tracing a finger around his hole.

Both of them moan, Stiles twitching against her, rhythm faltering when Lydia presses the tip of her finger inside.

“Come on, Derek,” she calls, grin widening enough to show teeth when Stiles curses and bites down on her shoulder. His fangs aren’t out yet, but they will be, by the end of this night. “You want to fuck him, don’t you?”

Derek just stares at them for a moment longer, eyes glued to Lydia’s finger as she slowly works it into Stiles. It’s just enough of a burn like this, without something slick to ease the way, to make Stiles squirm, his thrusts going erratic. He could take a cock like this, if he wanted to. They heal fast — not quite as fast as werewolves, but enough — but he isn’t overly fond of pain. This though, her finger buried up to the knuckle, he can take. This, he likes, especially with Derek’s eyes on them.

“Lube?” Derek says blankly and she jerks her head in the direction of the bedroom, watching as he goes.

“You’re evil,” Stiles hisses into her ear, giving a sharp thrust that makes her hiss and claw at his back. “Evil, evil woman. We could follow him back there, actually fuck on a bed like civilized people.”

She laughs, meeting his eyes as she twists her fingers inside him. “Where’s the fun in that?”

He groans, tearing his eyes away from hers so he can bury his face in her neck, working his hips in a shallow circular motion just to hear her gasp.

It doesn’t take Derek very long to come back to them and she’s pleased to note that he’s taken the time to rid himself of his clothes, cock thick and hard against his belly. He makes to pass the lube to her and she just laughs, easing her finger out of Stiles’ ass and gesturing for him to take over, happily surrendering herself to the pleasure of being stretched around Stiles’ dick.

She doesn’t pay as much attention as she’d like to Derek stretching Stiles’ open, too focused on the way he muffles noises against her breast, fangs coming out and leaving a perfect ring of teeth marks around her nipple when Derek finally pushes into him.

The moon seems to have unleashed something in Derek, something that he’s carefully hidden away from them with his stoic, quiet demeanor. It’s torn the man away and left the wolf close to the surface, so she’s not entirely surprised at the way he fucks Stiles, rutting into him, pace near brutal.

Stiles likes it though, bracing himself against the wall with two elbows on either side of her head, mouth pressed to her skin in an open-mouthed neverending gasp for air. Derek gives it to him with sharp, punishing thrusts that drives him even harder into Lydia, makes liquid heat spread through her limbs as the first suggestion of orgasm hits her.

At some point between Lydia’s first orgasm and her second, they end up on the floor, and she has to wriggle out from under both of them. She thumbs her clit and thinks about trying for a third as Stiles snarls at Derek, turning and snapping playfully at the other man’s throat, fingers clenching and unclenching in the carpet, rocking forward on his knees with every thrust.

She chuckles when Stiles growls at the werewolf, flipping them so that he’s in Derek’s lap. He’s too far gone to make riding Derek pretty — they both are — motions stilted and near frantic as Stiles all but bounces on Derek’s dick, but there’s something about the desperation in their movements that’s attractive in its own right.

“Will you let us drink from you, Alpha Hale?” she purrs, crawling on all fours around them, so that she can drape herself against Derek’s back. He grunts, trembling as she traces a finger down his neck, and Stiles’ eyelashes flutter, back arched as his rhythm falters.

Derek nods sharply and that’s all the permission she needs — all the permission that they need.

They both get their fangs in him before he’s even finished nodding, and Derek jolts, back bowing and she just knows that he’s coming, before the smell of spunk even hits her.

Stiles had been right before, of course. He’s absolutely delicious.

.

“You should sleep over,” Stiles murmurs into the quiet afterward, when they’ve wrestled themselves down the hall and into the bed. He’s cleaning Derek’s neck of blood with broad sweeps of his tongue, pausing every once in a while to kiss the marks that they’ve left behind — the ones that still haven’t healed.

Derek twitches, but other than that, doesn’t move an inch.

“He’s already in our bed, Stiles,” she mutters sleepily, throwing an arm over her eyes to ward off the sunbeams slanting through their window. “Do you really think he’s going to leave now?”

Stiles grunts and subsides, slumping to the side so he can get an arm around her too. “Just checking.”

.

“I noticed you’ve managed to coax our alpha over to the dark side,” Allison mentions a few days later, amusement curling around her lips as she flops down onto the couch next to her. Lydia sniffs and glances around the corner and into the kitchen, where Derek has Stiles pressed up against the counter. They’re bickering about something, probably the way Derek’s cooking the vegetables if she knows Stiles at all. Derek seems to be handling it though, judging by the hand he’s got in Stiles’ hair, tugged back just far enough to show his neck.

Lydia shrugs and crosses her legs as Stiles laughs and jerks his hips against Derek’s. She should probably go in there and break them up before they end up fucking on the counter again, but for now, she’s willing to sit and enjoy the view.

“It wasn’t very hard,” she purrs, batting her eyelashes. Allison snorts.

.

A few months into 2014, an alpha pack swans into the Hale territory, and neither of them actually notice until half the pack is missing. Allison’s the one who finds them, showing up on their doorstep reeking of blood and fear. She looks wary of them for the first time in months, shying away when Lydia reaches for her with a stifled, angry noise clawing up her throat.

“Allison, please, we aren’t going to hurt you,” Stiles snaps, tugging her gently into the house. They’ve had a first aid kit under the kitchen sink ever since Derek fell through their window a few months ago with his intestines all but falling out. That’s where he takes her, his movements sharp and short as he installs her at the kitchen table and tugs out the first aid kit, starting to patch Allison up with a practiced ease. They may not get hurt much, but turns out that Derek really does.

“Who did this to you?” Lydia hisses, fury singing through her like wildfire.

Allison hisses as Stiles dabs peroxide on the slash marks going from her throat to just above her breast. If the claws had been an inch or two higher, they would have nicked her jugular. “Alpha pack,” she growls. “They’ve got the pack—”

Stiles freezes, eyes widening. “Everyone?”

“Everyone but me, my dad, and Cora, but Cora’s unconscious back at the loft. They got to her first and Derek kind of lost his mind.”

Lydia doesn’t even realize that her fangs are out until Stiles hisses, his own fangs digging indents into his lips. Allison doesn’t seem phased by it, apparently reassured by how they hadn’t torn her apart on their doorstep just for showing up smelling like blood.

“Where are they,” Stiles growls and she can feel it now, bloodlust in the air. She hadn’t realized how much Stiles had kept her in check, how much his lack of bloodlust had stabilized her own. She’s aware of it now though, because Stiles is furious in a way he hasn’t been since London in the early 1920s. He finishes taping Allison up and turns to her, his entire face bloodless and sharp.

“An abandoned factory on the other side of town,” Allison finally answers, white with pain.

“Go to Cora,” Lydia tells her. “Watch her. We’ll bring them home.”

Allison gives them both a small, pained smile and after a moment’s hesitation, leans in and wraps her arms around Lydia, nuzzling her face into her hair. “Make them pay,” she whispers softly, arms tightening for a fraction of a second before she pulls away and heads out the door.

Stiles turns to her expectantly, eyes hard and black, pupils swollen.

“We’re going to destroy them,” he says viciously. “We’re going to make them regret this and then we’re going to send the world a message.”

She grins at him, letting her fangs drop all the way, nails turning to claws that bite into the palms of her hands.

“By the end of the night, the world will know that the Hale pack is ours,” she agrees. “We’ll give them new nightmares to whisper in the dark.”

.

“You’re telling me you didn’t know we were here?” Stiles murmurs, fangs gleaming red and wet in the dim lighting. The alpha he’s holding is whimpering, a high, frightened sound that makes her teeth itch.

“Don’t play with your food, darling,” Lydia tells him sweetly and Stiles grins at her and tears out the wolf’s throat. He doesn’t even stop to drink, just drops it and moves for the next one.

The one gurgling at her feet is staring up at her with wide, round eyes. He isn’t the leader of the pack, but he is the mate of the female. She’ll come for him, Lydia knows. The female alpha is too feral, too confident. She’ll come, because she’s too young and arrogant to understand the stories.

As Lydia expected, the female does come, dragging something large behind her.

“That better not be the corpse of one of our friends,” Lydia sing-songs, pressing the point of her stilettos to the surface of the mate’s eye. He flinches, then carefully doesn’t move.

Kali and Ennis are their names, if she’s got the right alpha pack in mind. Stiles has already torn through one of the twins, and if she’s not wrong, he’s gone after Deucalion.

“Worse,” Kali hisses, a terrible smile stretching across her face. “A mate for a mate. Poetic, don’t you think?”

Lydia raises an eyebrow and listens hard for Derek’s heartbeat. It’s there, thready and slow, but his heart is beating. That’s all that matters. “You’d best hand him over before Stiles comes back,” she whispers, cocking her head and listening to the wet, meaty sounds coming from the next room.

“I’m not afraid of your little monster, Martin,” Kali snarls and Lydia laughs, peals of dark laughter spilling out into the darkness between them.

“You should be,” she says, catching movement from the corner of her eye as Stiles edges into the room, streaked from head to toe in Deucalion’s blood.

She drives her foot down just as Stiles twists a hand around Kali’s throat, jerking her up and sharply away from Derek, who moans, his eyes fluttering open. Ennis screams as her heel pops his eye open like a grape and keeps screaming as she grinds down, heel grating against bone. His screams are beautiful, as are Kali’s, when she realizes that her mate is dying. Lydia presses down and down until his skull splits under the pressure, caving open like a rotten grapefruit.

“I trust that the other two are dead,” she asks, removing her foot from the mess so she can cross the room to where Stiles has Kali dangling by her throat. The alpha is still wailing with grief, her cries shrill.

“Of course,” Stiles purrs, lovingly tracing a claw down the line of Kali’s throat. “Deucalion even let me record a little message before he died screaming. Thoughtful, wouldn’t you say?”

She smiles happily, stepping in until she’s pressed up against Kali’s front, the alpha sandwiched between them. “That means we don’t need to keep you,” Lydia whispers, nuzzling Kali’s throat and inhaling the scent of blood so close to the surface. Her mouth is watering.

“I want you to know though, before you die, the same thing that I’m sure Stiles told your fearless leader. Do you know what I’m going to tell you? Were you paying attention when Stiles ripped your packmate apart?”

Kali shakes her head fitfully and Lydia’s grin widens, all teeth. Nearby, Derek is shifting, getting to his feet and limping over to the door where the rest of the pack is being kept. He looks good, alive, and he trusts them to take care of this for him. He trusts them and he's theirs, their gorgeous alpha with his pack full of misfits. Lydia leans in close and whispers, “The Hale pack is ours.”