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delusions of grandeur - a hale of summer later

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For as long as anyone can possibly recall, Scott McCall and Stiles Stilinski have been best friends; where one went, the other was probably close behind. You ended up either inviting them both somewhere or neither and, for a while, many had considered the possibility of the two dating each other.

Point was, Scott&Stiles were some sort of intrinsic and assumed pair. Best friends, maybe more, maybe soulmates, maybe brothers from another mother.

Scott will be the first to admit they sort of fucked up during the summer. Stiles hadn’t texted him and while it pained him a little, Scott hadn’t texted him either. Not even a call. But truth was, Scott had had better things to do.

No, better wasn’t the right word. He had had different priorities. Mostly trying to pass summer school - which he knew Stiles approved of - but also… Allison. And he knew very well what Stiles’ stance on Allison was.

For some reason - maybe the fact that her grandfather had kidnapped him and beat the shit out of him, while Allison was in the same fucking house - Stiles and the girl’s relationship had cooled off like the arctic during winter. They had never been friends, their only links being Scott and Lydia, but Stiles had made it abundantly clear to Scott that he didn’t care if he continued to date her, Stiles could and would not trust her.

Scott had of course lashed out at that, because she was the love of his life even though they were broken up, but Stiles had refused to budge.

“Come on man,” had implored Scott, the day before the holidays. “You’re the only person I’m friends with who could drive me there. Mom refuses and-”

“No, Scott,” had answered Stiles, eyes almost ablaze with anger. “I will not fucking drive you off to the airport to see the ex girlfriend who attacked a couple of teenagers and then proceeded to let her grandpa kick my ass so that you two can mopily stare at each other. She never even apologised!”

“She didn’t do anything!” complained Scott, and something in his brain was ringing and telling him to shut up cause he was making things worse, but he couldn’t stop himself. “It was Gerard, not her! And who even cares about Erica and Boyd? They are with Derek, why do you c-”

“Do not fucking finish that sentence, McCall,” seethed Stiles, teeth clenched together. “They were there with me! Of course I fucking care, of course I’m gonna side with the victims over their would be murderer !”

“Don’t call Allison, that! She is not the monster, they are,” he continued, hands curled into fists and fangs nearly popping out. “They chose to become monsters, I didn’t! I didn’t! If it wasn’t for-” he stopped himself before finishing the sentence, but the damage was done.

And Scott had been holding it in for a while, and refused to let himself feel bad over telling the truth. It was Stiles’ fault.

The brunet looked like someone had just slapped him, anger, shock, fear and acceptance all fluctuating on his still bruised face. Then he shook his head and turned on his heels and disappeared in the crowd.

Scott didn’t apologise, and Stiles didn’t say anything either.

So yeah, they both fucked up, but he was gearing up to do better. Allison and him had kept in contact throughout the summer, navigating the small line between friendship and romantic relationship, and they were… okay. 

And absence made the heart grow fonder, right? Stiles and him would finally see each other for the first time since their argument, and everything would be fine again.

That’s the expectation with which he parked his motorbike, fiddling with his phone as he waited for the familiar blue jeep to appear.

Normally, Stiles would have picked him up on the first day of school - or one of their parents would drive them, back when the brunet didn’t have a car - and then walked inside together or something. But he was more or less aware of the fact that Stiles would -

“Hey, McCall!” called a voice, and Scott immediately turned around with a small smile at the boy approaching him.

Rodriguez - one of the lacrosse players - smiled back as he approached him, arching an eyebrow at the bike. “Nice bike,” he whistled.

“Thanks, dude,” answered the other, immediately pleased. “It’s a sweet ride.”

“I’ll bet,” said the other boy, before shrugging and turning his attention back to the main reason he had stopped next to him. “So, are you gunning for solo captain this year or is coach gonna assign you another co-captain?”

Scott looked up confused. “Another?”

“Didn’t you hear? Whittemore left,” he told him, and Scott’s confusion grew. “I thought he was like, friends with you or something. Stilinski was at the party,”

The confusion was replaced with even deeper shock. “Stiles was there?”

No, he wasn’t being dramatic. Stiles and him always went everywhere together. It was kind of buy one get one free deal that they had adopted ever since they were in primary school and someone thought it would be funny to invite everyone except the brown kid with asthma. Stiles threatened to tell his father about the discrimination and both of them were allowed - for the first and last time - to Tracy’s birthday party.

So the idea of Stiles having possibly gone to a party without him, even if they were fighting - or had fought? It hurt.

Rodriguez gave him a funny look. “The whole of his little clique was there,” he started, but didn’t finish instead pointing. “There,”

Part of Scott considered that, from Rodriguez’s words, he should have known who exactly was going to be walking with Stiles across the car park and towards the other entrance, but it was no less of a punch to the gut when he saw them.

Erica Reyes - who last Scott had heard, was missing - was walking and nearly bouncing with a pep to her step, long blonde locks cascading on her back and framing a very made up face. Not in the manner of when she was newly turned, but still enough to let everyone know that she was wearing make up.

Vernon Boyd - the other supposedly missing teen - was walking next to her, their hands clasped together, and head held high. A very far cry from when he was always hiding behind something, shoulders hunched and gaze always focused on the ground.

Isaac Lahey was walking a little behind them, eyes fixed on the phone in his hands as he arrogantly strutted towards the entrance, a little smirk on his phone.

Next to him walked a brown haired girl that Scott didn’t recognise, laughing at something Erica said. There was something familiar about her that he couldn’t quite figure out or smell that far away, but the way her eyes immediately found his and the little smirk that graced her lips at that told him that she knew exactly who he was.

And in front of the foursome was no one other than Lydia Martin and Stiles Stilinski themselves.

Lydia’s hair was tied in a crown braid, and her smile was big and genuine as she looked at Stiles, arms locked with the taller brunet. And Stiles was grinning back, whispering something to her that Scott was too shocked gaping to bother listening to.

They were all clad in different leather jackets, even the two humans at the front, and were all grinning and whispering to each other as they walked inside, unaware or perhaps simply ignoring the stares of everyone on them.

It was like watching a clique or a fucking gang or -

The knowledge was like another fucking punch in the gut.

It was like watching a pack .

+++

 

 

After the basically bombshell of seeing his best friend walk inside the school with people that up to a few months ago they very much hated , Scott had been forced to follow Mahealani and Rodriguez inside the school.

It just… it didn’t make sense.

It wasn’t like humans could be part of a pack anyway, right?

Although… one of the first things Peter Hale had done after biting Scott was trying to get the werewolf to kill Stiles, Allison, Lydia and Jackson his, supposedly, ‘old pack’. So maybe yes, humans could be part of a pack.

But it still didn’t make sense for Stiles to be part of that pack. Stiles or Lydia, to be honest. Neither of them really belonged with those people, neither of them seemed to like those people. Hell, last Scott knew off, Stiles had driven home in an almost wrecked car because Lydia had saved Jackson through the power of ‘true love’. 

Isaac, Boyd and Erica had literally tried to kill Lydia when they had suspected that she was the kanima. And despite what Stiles had said at the time, they would have, Scott just knew. How could he be too uncomfortable with sitting with Allison because she tried to kill Boyd and Erica but be perfectly okay sitting with Derek’s lackeys who had tried to kill Lydia, the girl he was in love with?

How could Lydia herself be comfortable walking around with those dangerous people behind her? Knowing they could lose control and attack her at any given time?

“See you later, McCall,” called Danny disappearing in his AP class, and Scott nodded absently at him, only half listening to Rodriguez’s chatter next to him.

A few moments later he slipped inside his English class, ready to sit down and discuss and fix things with Stiles. He would simply remind the brunet of the things he must have forgotten about the Hale Pack and Derek Hale, and everything would be fine.

It was going to be a simple discussion, and they would both apologise about being IA throughout the summer, and they would try to resolve whatever issues they had.

Except, despite the fact that he had walked inside the school before Scott, the usual seats he and Stiles occupied were free. He frowned a little and sat down, glancing around in confusion.

Erica was sitting a few tables in front of him, and Isaac was sitting at her left. The brunette he had seen with them earlier was not there, and neither was Boyd. Lydia was in the AP classes with Danny and Allison, so her absence wasn't surprising.

Neither of the blondes at the front appeared confused when the bell finally rung and Stiles didn’t rush in.

Scott considered taking out his phone and send him a text to ask him where he was, but he felt like that would be seen by the other as dismissive of everything that had happened between them or something. Also, he didn't want to be the first one to text: let's be real, he deserved more of an apology than Stiles did.

So instead he kept shooting Isaac and Erica suspicious looks, waiting for the door to open and only half listen to what the English teacher was saying.

His confusion only grew during the second period, where he found yet again no Stiles at their usual seats. It was partially hidden when he spotted Allison sitting in the seat directly in front of him, just as she did the year before, but it was still there.

Danny then sat next to him, a small smile at the werewolf. “Hey, Scott. Mind if I sit here?”

Scott wasn’t mean, and as much as he wanted to save that seat for Stiles, it looked like the boy was going to be a no show again. He was starting to grow worried, but Boyd, Erica and Isaac - all three in this class - didn’t appear anxious at all. Then again, they probably weren’t as close as Stiles and Scott were.

Still, “Yeah, sure. I was saving it for Stiles, but he didn’t show up at English either,” he said, only mildly irritated when Isaac snorted loudly. It could be a coincidence, but Scott just knew the other blond wolf had heard him and was mocking him or something.

Once upon a time it had looked like Isaac and him could perhaps become friends or something, but the blond had neatly chosen his side after the Gerard bite thing. And it was not at Scott’s side. Scott had been doing the right thing, but for some reason Isaac had seemed upset by his actions.

Danny next to him frowned. “Uh, yes he did. He was in class,” he pointed out, pulling out his books from his bag.

“No he didn’t-”

“Oh,” interrupted him the other, realisation seeping in his expression. “You’re not in AP English. But yeah, he was there with me and Lydia and Vernon?”

oh.

Because, of course, he was aware that Stiles was something of a genius. He was incredibly smart and no matter what, he seemed to be able to maintain his grades high even when everything was crashing and burning around him.

But despite this, Stiles had always refused to sign up for AP classes. He had always decided to stay back so that he and Scott could share classes and so that he could help the werewolf wherever he was having difficulties. Even though Lydia was in most AP classes, Stiles had stayed. For Scott’s sake.

But not anymore.

+++

 

 

Lunch break found Scott sitting at a table with Allison and some of the other lacrosse players and popular crowd. And Danny, thank god.

But something was missing.

Stiles was missing (and Lydia, perhaps. But Lydia had always been more Allison and Stiles’ than Scott’s.).

The knowledge that Stiles had stopped pretending that he was very much smarter than he pretended to be had come as a surprise. Not like Scott wanted Stiles to keep acting like he was less than he actually was.

But Stiles was his friend . His brother. Scott had grown accustomed with him always being at Scott’s side no matter what.

He recalled just a few months ago, Stiles saying “ Why’s it starting to feel like you’re Batman and I’m Robin? I don’t wanna be Robin all the time! ’. Back then Scott had immediately shut that thing down, saying that they weren’t like Batman and Robin.

Truth was though, that somewhere in his brain, Scott had just grown accustomed with it being that way. He wouldn’t use the names Batman and Robin, and sometimes he was the one being dragged along by Stiles, but… he did see him a little bit as his sidekick. Many did.

When the whole werewolf thing had started, Stiles had been forced to join, just because Scott was a werewolf. There had never been a doubt in the teenager’s mind - in either of their minds - that he should do anything other than try to protect and save Scott from himself.

When he had started hanging out with the popular crowd, Stiles had found himself coming along even when he didn’t particularly wanted to. 

“Scott?” asked Allison, next to him with concern in her eyes. “Are you okay?”

Her voice was quiet enough that the rest of the people around them didn’t bother paying attention, laughing and talking among each other. 

“Yeah,” he said, smiling slightly at the feeling of Allison’s warm hand on his arm. As long as he had her, it didn’t matter. Of course he loved Stiles, but Allison was… Allison, you know? She needed to be protected, more than Stiles. “You?”

The brunette smiled a little, eyes going to another side of the cafeteria. “As good as I can be, I guess.” She gave him a small shrug, explaining, “Lydia isn’t talking to me.”

That… that was surprising.

Why wouldn’t Lydia want to talk to Allison? Allison was her best friend and she didn’t even do anything to her. Allison had done her best to help Lydia, no matter what.

“Why not? You didn’t do anything to her,” he repeated out loud, confused. “You’re her best friend.”

The girl gave him a little strange look, and shrugged again. “She wasn’t very happy about me trying to kill Jackson. And the whole Stiles thing,” she added then, almost like an afterthought. She gave him a worried look, but Scott shook his head.

“She doesn’t even like Stiles that much, she spent the past few years ignoring him! And it’s not like it was your fault what your grandad ordered,” he added, hotly.

His ex girlfriend looked at him with that strange expression again. “My father tried to get me to stop several times and I didn’t listen to him, instead listening to a man I knew was dangerous and had already spent weeks hating and being worried about. And I did hurt Erica and Boyd. Plus I knew that Stiles was in the basement,” she pointed out, ripping the paper in her hands.

“None of that is your fault,” repeated Scott. “You wouldn’t do it again, right? So it’s fine. Everything is fine.” Allison’s almost incredulous look at his words made him angrier. Lydia shouldn’t be treating Allison like this over something like that. It was a misunderstanding, and her, like Stiles, should learn to get over it. No one was actually hurt. Everyone was fine. 

He turned around the room, until his eyes found Lydia and… the pack sitting with each other at one of the tables. She was laughing, head on the shoulder of the brunette girl from the parking lot, sitting next to -

Scott blinked in surprise and part shock.

When Stiles hadn’t sat next to him at lunch time, he had assumed he had changed his timetable somehow, and didn’t share lunch break with him. He had assumed Stiles simply wasn’t there .

Stiles had spent the time Scott became a werewolf basically attached to him. He was so used to the brunet that it was now impossible for him to not know his scent. Hell, he could sometimes smell Stiles before he even heard him. During the summer, he was able to walk into a place and know that Stiles had been there recently.

So when he had not smelt Stiles’ scent in the lunch room, he had just assumed Stiles wasn’t there. 

But Stiles was there, his short hair - but longer, he had grown it out - moving as he shook it in Isaac’s face, a huge grin on his face. And then.

Then it hit Scott why he couldn’t find Stiles’ scent.

Because Stiles’ scent was covered, completely covered by the scent of the jacket on him.

Covered in Derek ’s scent.

Scott felt his metaphorical hackles rise when he registered the scent from the leather jacket. The scent of another alpha on his best friend. 

How dare he? How dare Derek put his ‘claim’ on Scott’s best friend like this? This had to be some sort of dare, some sort of challenge from the dark haired werewolf. He obviously wanted Scott to know what he had done, so that Scott would get mad and do something.

Yes, he was taunting him, using Stiles as some sort of pawn in his chess game or whatever. He didn’t care about Stiles, he was only using him.

And Scott couldn’t even be super mad, because Stiles had gotten himself in that mess, after all. If he had simply forgiven Allison and not thrown his lot with Derek and Derek’s pack the way he had, then maybe this wouldn’t have happened. He wouldn’t have been used like that.

 

 

But at the end of the day, Stiles and Scott were brothers. Sure he was mad at him, sure he was disappointed in him, but Scott would always come after Stiles no matter what, and he knew the other would do the same.

It wasn’t until the end of the day, when the final bell rung, however, that he finally managed to approach the elusive brunet. He had considered approaching him at lunch, after figuring out what was going on, but then had opted against it. It wouldn’t do him any good if he tried to tell Stiles what was happening with Derek’s betas and Lydia all standing close by, ready to sink their claws into him and perhaps poison him even more against him.

And since they shared no classes together that day, and trying to stop him between classes would again put him directly in the path of the Hale betas, he had decided to wait until the end of the classes.

“Stiles, wait up!” he called as he left his final class of the day, immediately spotting the brunet and trying not to grimace at the scent wrapped around him.

It was the first time that Stiles looked at him since the beginning of summer, since their last argument. Throughout the whole day, no matter how many looks Scott had tried to throw his way, Stiles hadn’t made eye contact once .

And yet, it was like summer hadn’t even happened, because Stiles was looking at Scott in exactly the same way he had looked at him last. Furrowed eyebrows, unhappy lilt of his lips and eyes almost cold.

Scott stood a few feet away from him, feeling uncomfortable.

The rest of the betas - Lydia and the brunette included - stood right behind him, forming a sort of semicircle around him. Isaac’s hand was on Stiles’ shoulder, like he was one bad word away from pushing the boy behind him and acting as a barrier between him and Scott; Erica and Boyd were flanking the tall blond, eyes almost flashing in Scott’s direction, stances threatening; Lydia and the other girl were at each side of Stiles, the red head’s face betraying absolutely nothing while the shorter was looking at him like she wanted nothing more than to rip his head off.

Stiles didn’t reply, just raised a single eyebrow, and Scott stomped down the uncomfortable feeling in his chest. “Can we talk? Alone?”

The brunette next to him flashed her golden eyes, and took a step forward. “Alone with you , of all people? You must think we-”

“Easy, Cora,” called Stiles, putting a hand on the clearly unstable werewolf.

Scott bit down the warning in his mouth at that because she was a dangerous werewolf with her back on him, Stiles shouldn’t approach her in case she lost it and attacked him.

Cora growled at him, even as her stance un-tensed, distrusting eyes still on him. “He hurt my brother. He can’t be trusted,” she said, and Scott tilted his head to the side.

He didn’t recall hurting any other werewolf than the ones in front of him, Derek’s family was dead and as far as he knew Jackson didn’t have siblings. Who’s sister was she?

But despite those thoughts, the implications that he would hurt Stiles of all people was insulting . He’d never hurt Stiles. Even if he came late, he always came after the boy. The only time he didn’t come at all was with the whole Gerard thing, and that just wasn’t his fault. There was a lot going on at the time, and Stiles was fine anyway. 

He was tortured and beaten , whispered a voice in his head, and you didn’t even find him. He was let go .

He refused to entertain those thoughts. It didn’t matter, and it was in the past. He had never done anything untrustworthy in respect to Stiles. And the boy knew.

“It’s Scott,” said Stiles, instead of defending his best friends from the lies this Cora chick was spewing. “He wouldn’t hurt me willingly.”

Scott didn’t like the implications of the word ‘willingly’, but before he could say anything, Boyd was speaking.

“He’s an omega werewolf with no pack risking to turn feral. Remember what Derek said about instincts and mental capabilities, and what happens the longer you stay a lone wolf? You start becoming dangerous and delusional,” he said, his deep baritone sounding a lick away from concerned but mostly blank.

It stung a little that Boyd, who had become a werewolf because he wanted to be like Scott, was behaving like this. Like Scott was dangerous, when in fact he knew that they were the dangerous one. And, they were talking about danger of not being in a pack right in front of him. As he had predicted, they still wanted him to join Derek’s pack.

“It’s fine,” repeated Stiles, taking a step forward while still remaining out of Scott’s full reach. Like despite his reassurances he didn’t trust Scott or something.

The thought made him even more annoyed than before. Shouldn’t it be the other way round? It was Scott that should be worried about Stiles being untrustworthy, since he had basically changed alliance and all.

However, before he could say anything about it, Rodriguez barrelled towards them, purposefully knocking into Stiles and nearly throwing him to the floor.

“Ehi,” shouted the brunet, managing to keep himself upright and glaring at the other lacrosse player. “What the fuck ?”

“Watch where you’re going, bitch ,” said Rodriguez, sneering at him.

Scott shook his head a little, but didn’t intervene. After all, they were both his friends, and Rodriguez had been nice to him mere hours before. He deserved the benefit of the doubt.

“You’re the one who smashed into him,” pointed out Lydia, her blank expression turning into one of disgust.

The other man glared at the red head before smoothing his expression into one of pity. “You think you can talk to me, Martin?” He questioned, mocking. “After you got dumped by Whittemore in front of the entire school and then went cuck-”

Lydia had stiffened slightly at his words, and Cora’s glare had intensified to the point where Scott had expected her to attack.

But it wasn’t her who caused the painful twomp of a fist hitting a cheek to echo in the hallway.

Both Scott and Rodriguez stared in shock at Stiles standing in front of him, between the pack and the humans with a glare to rivaled Derek’s own. His eyes were basically blazing, and it was the lack of flashing despite his nerves being frayed and his control basically nonexistent that assured Scott that his friend hadn’t been bitten too.

The brunet took one step forward, gaze angry. “Say one more word,” he threatened, taking a step forward. Rodriguez took an automatic step back, still glaring. “I fucking dare you.”

“Stiles-” tried Scott, because this was insane. Stiles would get his ass beat unconscious for people who didn’t even matter that much? For a bunch of werewolves that, if they wanted, could break every bone in Rodriguez’s body without breaking a sweat?

Or maybe this was an initiation of sorts? To see what kind of strength Stiles already had?

“You son of a bitch!” shouted Rodriguez throwing himself at Stiles.

Scott stilled himself, unwilling to get himself in the middle for some reason. He recognised that Stiles was his best friend, that Rodriguez was bigger than Stiles was and a great tackler and asset for the lacrosse team, which meant he was strong .

But instincts  a gut feeling that steemed from Stiles’ scent mixed with Derek’s jacket, and the way the rest of the pack was standing behind him, tense but unmoving, was keeping him rooted to the spot.

Stiles moved out of Rodriguez’s reach, elbowing him in the back and sending him crashing on the floor with an ease that Scott wasn’t sure he had ever seen before.

Rodriguez made to kick at Stiles leg from the ground, but Stiles caught one between his thighs and held the other with one hand. It was an intricate but easy move, and Scott was even more baffled with the fact that Rodriguez didn’t seem able to free himself from the hold.

The moment he reached with his hand to squeeze or scratch or touch him, Stiles painfully twisted his body, stealing a cry of shock and pain from the lacrosse player, who quickly doubled over on the ground.

“Jesus Christ, Stilinski,” he hissed, pain and slight fear in his eyes.

Scott could relate, because Stiles… Stiles wasn’t a fighter. When it came to fight or flight, even before the whole werewolf reveal, Stiles would flee. He’d distract bullies with his inane chatter, but he wouldn’t stand and fight.

And he definitely didn’t fight like that with the ease of someone who had done it his entire life. 

It was like looking at a stranger.

Stiles’ eyes and words were cold when he spoke again. “Come after me or my friends again, Rodriguez, and I’ll break your arm.” He promised, and his heart didn’t betray a lie. And even without werewolf powers, it was clear that Rodriguez recognised the threat for exactly what it was.

He nodded, and Stiles let go of him, stepping out of reach in case the other man tried to do something.

 

 

Rodriguez twisted his ankle, hissing in discomfort, as he watched Stiles and his friends walking away. 

The boy didn’t bother glancing back at them at all, putting an arm around Lydia’s shoulders and whispering something to the girl. Scott saw her shoulders going less tense, and Stiles squeezed them again gently.

Cora turned mock salute them when they reached the door, smirking.

“What the fuck,” finally muttered Rodriguez, accepting Scott’s hand with a disgruntled expression. “What happened to him?”

Scott shook his head, confused. “I have… I have no idea.”he finally admitted, blinking.

Then he shook his head again, walking decidedly in the direction where Stiles and the pack had left. If he was fast enough he might be able to catch the brunet before he left.

At one moment, before sending Rodriguez K.O. Stiles had given Scott a look. Lips turned down again, a frown on his face like Scott had done something that disappointed him. Him!

Like Stiles wasn’t the one picking up fights and hurting humans for no reason!

His head felt fuzzy. He had, even throughout the summer, focused on three main things to keep himself and the wolf under control: his mother, Allison and Stiles. 

Or maybe, the idea of Stiles, because this Stiles wasn’t the Stiles in Scott’s mind.

Something was wrong, something more than the way his wolf acted as if Stiles was… dangerous. As if Stiles was a threat of some sort. The little interaction they had had made him want to shift, and do something… something .

Only the sound of Allison’s heartbeat not too far from where he was was keeping him in check, because Stiles’ scent wasn’t there and it couldn’t help.

He made it outside right in time to see Cora and Isaac climbing in Derek’s black Camaro, the werewolf himself standing outside it, with his usual dark sunglasses perched on his head.

Scott steered himself, ready for the man to approach him and ask him to join because they already had Stiles, or perhaps whisper something that only Scott could hear, like Jackson had done the year prior.

But Derek didn’t even glance in his direction, a smile - an actual smile, ??? - on his face as Stiles approached him.

Hey, babe,” he heard Stiles say, right before the brunet stood on his toes and pressed a kiss on Derek’s lips.

A kiss.

On Derek’s lips.

Stiles was beyond redemption, because now Derek had him. And Scott didn’t know how to save his best friend from the Hale Pack anymore.

All he could do was - stayawaystayawaystayaway danger , two alpha - keep Allison safe from them, because it was clear neither Lydia nor Stiles could be trusted anymore.

Scott shook his head. Stiles should have listened to him.