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Welcoming New Pack Members

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All but two members of the pack had joined them for the claiming. Even Derek and Cora had come back to Beacon Hills for the ceremony.

The pack stood in a rough circle around the Nemeton as Peter started the ceremony to welcome Jackson and Ethan into the pack.

Peter and Stiles had spent the time before the full moon to talk with both men, to give them some idea of what they were committing to. Because of its relationship to the Hale pack, the Nemeton would be... unhappy to see any Hales leave the territory.

"I mean, you'll be able to travel and go on vacation or travel for work," Stiles explained. "But after a couple of months away you'll be, I guess compelled is the best I can describe it, to come back to the area. There's no exact time limit, but figure ten to twelve weeks as a guide. We haven't really tested it to that extent." He took a sip of his coffee. "Derek and Cora come back regularly but they're the ones that stay away the longest. You can talk to them about what it's like to be away for an extended period of time."

Peter added, "You don't even have to live in Beacon Hills if you don't want to, but you will need to live in what the Nemeton considers its territory. That gives you some options for finding a permanent place to live."

Jackson and Ethan looked at each other for a moment. Ethan nodded.

"We should be able to make that work," Jackson agreed.

"If employment becomes a problem, let me know and we can see what other options we can work out," Peter promised. "There's enough pack money that none of us really need to work, so you can afford to be underemployed if that is what works for you."

"Good to know," Jackson nodded. "That gives me even more alternatives once I pass the CPA exam."

Ethan shrugged. "With my background, I can arrange remote work for any work I take," he said. "And we came here with the plan to settle down. So that's not a hardship."

They used the Sheriff's home as a central meeting place. Peter apologized for not taking them to the Hale home.

"We have a couple of very vulnerable pack members and no one who isn't pack gets to meet them, even you," Peter explained. Technically, it was one, but that exact number wasn't for anyone outside the pack.

"Now I'm curious," Jackson admitted. "But we can wait." They had learned about 'pack secrets' while in London and that not being full pack members meant there was information they would never be given. It was yet another reason they wanted to be part of the Hale pack. Being on the outside was sometimes uncomfortable for everyone.

On the night of the full moon, Jackson and Ethan presented themselves to Peter before the Nemeton.

"Mother Moon joins us in welcoming you to the Hale pack," Peter said. "The pack will honor and protect you, as you honor and protect the pack. Jackson, as a Hale on Hale land, you have a special duty to the land as well as to the pack. Do you accept that duty?"

Jackson stepped forward and said, "I do accept my duty to the Hale pack and the Hale land."

"Ethan, as the Mate of a Hale, you also have a special duty to the land as well as to the pack. Do you accept that duty?"

Ethan stepped next to Jackson. "I do accept my duty to the Hale pack and the Hale land."

Peter stepped in front of Jackson, who bent his head in submission. Peter placed a small bite on the side of Jackson's neck. Peter stepped over to Ethan, who bent his head. Peter placed the same small bite on Ethan.

Stiles watched in pride and happiness as he felt the Pack bonds snap in place. He could feel a sort of relief from Ethan, who had not had the full support of a pack in a long time. Stiles had suspected that he had been worried about his acceptance into the Hale pack, in spite of what Jackson may have said. Peter hugged them both and stepped back.

Stiles stepped into his place. He put a hand on Jackson and Ethan. "As Alpha Mate and Emissary, I am pleased to welcome you to the Hale pack. Our purpose here is complete. May Mother Moon continue to watch over us all."

With the formal dismissal complete, Stiles reeled Jackson in for a hug. He turned to give Ethan the same hug.

"So glad you came back to us," Stiles said.

"Stiles has enough food for an army back at the Den," Peter invited everyone. "Join us!"

Stiles could feel the curiosity from both Jackson and Ethan as they walked back to the Den.

Peter had built a new home in the Preserve, needing to be near the Nemeton as well as on Hale-owned land. The two story structure blended into the forest and it was designed so that one didn't realize how large it was until one was inside. And that didn't include the two floors that went underground.

As promised, there was food ready to feel the entire pack of 'wolves and Stiles moved to the kitchen to bring out more food that had been kept warm during the ceremony.

"We'll run later, as the moon climbs higher in the sky," Peter explained to the newest members. "But it's easier on the wildlife if we eat first."

"Think of it like not going grocery shopping while hungry," Stiles added. "You-all need to manage the local deer population. Taking a deer or three occasionally is all well and good, but if you take down too many all the time, it's harder for the herd to re-populate."

Just then John came into the room.

"Ah! Perfect!" Stiles sighed. "Missed you!" He took a bundle from his dad, who had stayed behind to serve as protection to the pack's youngest member.

"Jackson," Stiles said, with a twinkle in his eye. "Meet our son, Jameson Poitr Hale." He grinned. "Also, your little brother."

Jackson looked stunned.

Stiles pushed the bundle at Jackson, who took the bundle awkwardly. "Jamie, meet your big brother Jackson."

Wide blue eyes looked up at Jackson, then Jamie reached a hand out toward Jackson with a burble.

"I... wow!" Jackson was speechless.

Ethan peered over Jackson's shoulder. Stiles could see the longing.

"Huh. We can talk later," Stiles promised. He already knew the magic they had done for Jamie would work for other Hales; he hadn't been sure until now that Jackson and Ethan would be interested.

Stiles nodded at Peter, who smiled at them all.