Gideon Thomas looked at the man in the corner, trying to figure out just what it was about him that was so disturbing. The best way to be accepted in the hunting community was to ‘make your bones’ – capture one of the creatures and making an example of them. He and his brother, Craig, had stalked Beacon Hills for weeks before deciding on this one.
The kanima was often alone, didn’t seem to be a member of the McCall Pack, and was barely on speaking terms to the people who were in the pack. He was absolutely ideal.
Capturing him had been easy – almost too easy. Walking into a block of apartments on the outskirts of town, dressed like he was going to strut the catwalks of Paris rather than a provincial little shit-hole like Beacon Hills, he’d struggled briefly but the chloroform had done its job quickly and they’d bundled him into the van with little difficulty.
The warehouse they had co-opted had seemed to be easily defended by the two of them, the mountain ash containing the beast safely until they were ready for him, and they had taken the time for a celebratory drink before getting down to business.
The whole time, the man had simply stared at them. No cries for mercy; no lies decrying his supernatural nature; no threats. He had just sat there and watched them. Craig had gotten annoyed with his constant glare, stripping him of his expensive shirt and taunting him, to zero effect.
The silence had become eery and Craig had ceased his bullying, telling Gideon that they should just get on with things.
“What the hell are you staring at?” Gideon finally broke, completely unnerved by the hard blue glare.
“Well – don’t.” He looked around for his brother, wondering where the hell he had got to. Craig had told him he was going out for a piss and then they were going to get down to the messy and ugly business of forcing the guy to change and skinning him. Gideon wasn’t looking forward to it, but Craig had convinced him that it was necessary – they didn’t want to be grunts in some guy’s hunter army. They wanted to be involved in any decision-making, be something important. After all, the skin of a kanima would make an amazing gift to the hunters they were hoping to join. Gideon wasn’t sure that was what he wanted out of life, but what else was there? Craig was his big brother and where he led, Gideon followed.
The guy shrugged but didn’t look away.
“What?” Gideon shouted.
“I didn’t say anything,” he replied.
“Yeah, well – why? How come you’re not begging for mercy? Or, you know, threatening us?”
“Threaten you with what exactly?”
“Well, we know you’re not part of the McCall pack. And there hasn’t been a Hale here in years! So, I guess there’s nothing you could threaten us with but – don’t you care about what we’re going to do to you?”
“And what is it you’re going to do to me?” the man asked. Gideon stepped a little closer, being careful to remain just out of reach. Craig said the guy had a tail and that one swipe with it and he could paralyse you so Gideon was taking no chances. Although, he hadn’t seen any evidence of a tail.
“Craig wants to skin you alive – not the human you, the killer lizard thing you have inside you,” Gideon admitted, his curiosity making him step closer. “Is it true? You can kill people with your tail?”
“Is that what you’ve heard?” the man asked, a small smile playing around his lips.
“We’ve heard lots about you – the first kanima in decades. That’s why killing you is going to open so many doors for us. No one will be able to claim the kudos we’re going to get for bringing you in,” Gideon said.
“Sounds like a solid plan,” the man said sceptically and Gideon bristled.
“Why do you say it like that? What makes you think there’s something wrong with our plan?”
“Well – I hate to say it – actually, you know what? I don’t hate to say it! You guys have shown some seriously questionable judgement, and hearing that the extent of your plan is to attempt to skin me alive and present my hide as proof that you’re worthy of joining the local hunters is frankly insulting,” the guy said, shifting so that he was leaning back against the wall.
“Well, we caught you easily enough, didn’t we? Which kinda shows that our plan is working,” Gideon protested. A noise behind him made him look over his shoulder, trying to peer through the darkness to see if his brother was returning.
“Do you even know who the local hunters are?”
“No, but that’s irrelevant – Craig said that all hunters have the same policy,” Gideon admitted, a sense of unease creeping further through him.
“Look, er – what’s your name?”
“Gideon,” he replied automatically.
“Right, Gideon. My name’s Jackson by the way – not like you asked.”
“We know your name,” Gideon replied. “But Craig said not to think of you with a name because it would make you seem human when you’re not – you’re an abomination and we’re doing the world a service killing you.”
“An abomination? Haven’t heard that one in a while,” Jackson said. “Okay, Gideon – look, you seem like an okay guy. Maybe a little bit weak, a bit of a sheeple if you’re simply following the other guy around and just doing what he says. But, did it occur to either of you that capturing me was a little bit too easy?”
“What do you mean?” Gideon asked, the hair at the base of his neck rising as he felt a presence behind him.
“He means,” a voice from behind him said, “that maybe we knew you guys were hanging around and decided to see what you were up to and you made it incredibly easy.”
Gideon reached for his gun, cursing as it fell from his grip and landed on the floor with a thud. He turned, gulping when he took in the man in front of him. Dark hair, heavy stubble, he was dressed all in black in a leather jacket and jeans. He looked seriously pissed.
“You okay Jackson?”
“All good – although that shirt you bought me for my birthday is ruined,” Jackson replied, easily getting to his feet. Gideon looked between the two men, desperately wishing Craig would get a move on and come back. Reaching for his knife, he held it out in front of him, hoping that the shaking of his hand wasn’t visible in the darkness of the warehouse.
“Scott and Chris said they’re on their own – no allegiance or allies to call on,” the dark-haired man continued, glaring at Gideon.
“Makes sense. Everything I heard from them confirms that they’re just a couple of losers hoping to make something of themselves,” Jackson said and Gideon realised his voice was closer. Spinning around, he saw that Jackson had casually stepped over the mountain ash circle and was right behind him.
“How – “
“You idiots didn’t even do your research properly. Mountain ash has no effect on me, dumbass!” Jackson said bitingly, walking around Gideon and completely ignoring the knife.
“My brother – “ Gideon asked, terror liquefying his bones as he turned to face the two creatures. Jackson walked up to the dark-haired man and kissed him, sliding his hand across his jaw and down his neck. Gideon gulped as he realised that they were a couple and that he and Craig were woefully ill-prepared for what they had set themselves up for. “You – “
“He’s not dead – yet,” the dark-haired man said, pushing Jackson slightly behind him in a protective gesture. “Stiles said it was ungentlemanly to kill someone with their pants down.”
“Derek – stop playing with him. I want a shower, a hot meal and a decent fuck – not necessarily in that order,” Jackson said, yawning widely.
“Fine,” Derek replied before cracking his neck from side to side, his eyes beginning to glow red and fangs appearing in his mouth. “Let me deal with this one and then we’ll see about getting all of that sorted for you!”
Gideon pissed his pants just before he fainted.
”Did you have to make him piss his pants? I’m never getting that stench out of Roscoe!” Stiles complained as they bundled the second wannabe hunter into the back of the Jeep.
“I never touched him,” Derek said, pulling Jackson into his arms as Stiles slammed the door of the vehicle closed. “Did Chris say what he was going to do with them?”
“Give them a spanking and send them crying home to their Momma?” Jackson suggested, leaning into Derek’s embrace.
“They’re not bad guys, apparently. Just a little lean on the old grey matter. Chris said he might be able to rehabilitate them and send them on their way. Hopefully to educate a few more people about how Beacon Hills is out of bounds,” Stiles replied. He slapped Derek on the shoulder before wincing and shaking out his hand. “God-damn it, what are you made out of?”
“Anyone else would have learned by now, Stilinski,” Jackson said, grinning. “I got myself a man of steel!”
“Ugh, you’re making Superman jokes about Derek! I’m out of here! See you guys at the Pack meeting tomorrow night?”
“Yep, sure,” Derek replied, before turning away from Stiles and grabbing Jackson’s hand. “Can we get back to date night now?”