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Deadly Secrets

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His Mom had tried to warn him before she died. It made him wonder if that’s why she did – die, that is. Because he thinks that’s a part of this whole secrets thing. If you tell anyone your secret, then it’s not a secret anymore. And you die.

Fate is a bitch.

Stiles Stilinski has a secret.

And it’s nowhere near as fun as he might have originally thought.

His mother really had tried to warn him – hindsight gave him that knowledge. But up until now, his secret hadn’t caused him too much grief.

Finding out his Dad had a few NC17 thoughts about one of the nurses at the local hospital called Melissa was hardly rocket science, although he could have done without the visuals. I mean, who else did his dad spend any significant amount of time with but nurses? And she looked nice and all, but it also helped Stiles figure out he was more into the outtie aspect of sex rather than the innie.

Then during one of his routine ADHD checkups at the hospital, he accidentally discovered who Melissa was and that she shared those feelings and really liked the way his Dad looked in his uniform was a little uncomfortable but, hey, he could deal.

Things kicked into high gear when he went to college and he was forced to try to find out as much as he could about his ‘gift’. It wasn’t as simple as touch – God, that would have made life unbearable and he’d have moved into Eichen voluntarily! Some of it was just plain bad luck – touching someone at the wrong time while they were thinking about something specific. Like the time he ran into Greenberg during track who was looking at Coach and – well, it was a whole thing and Stiles had run off the field to be sick because Greenberg needed help man!

In a large group of people, it was often a background hum that didn’t impinge on him in any significant way – someone had to be feeling pretty intense about their secret for it to make it to Stiles. And he had enough on his plate with classes to be able to ignore it.

Until he met the Hales. The fucking Hales were going to be the end of him, like, seriously.

He had met a decent group of people that he would classify as friends – Isaac was a bit of a dick, but that made sense since his family life had been seriously fucked up and Stiles could have done without that knowledge in his head. Erica was a bitch but in a good way – she could hold her own in any conversation, often slammed down the guys when they went too far and she had good taste in comics. Boyd was harder to get a grip on, but once Stiles accidentally on purpose made contact, he realised that Boyd was dealing with his own grief from family circumstances.

Best of all, he made friends with Scott McCall, who just so happened to be the son of a certain nurse – now that was kinda cool. And Scott was a blessed void when it came to secrets – the worst thing that seemed to go on in his head were concerns that he had considered cheating on a chemistry test once and whether or not that would stop him getting into Veterinary school. It was nice to be around someone that pure.

But with them came the Hale family, a group of people he only knew vaguely from Beacon Hills because they kept themselves to themselves out in the Preserve, living in some big old mansion and owning half the town.

Cora was stone-cold, caring only about her family and her group of friends but Stiles could appreciate that. You knew where you stood with someone like Cora. Laura, the oldest sister, was someone he hadn’t spent any time with. She was beautiful in a ‘wow, look at her’ kind of way, with long dark hair and dark eyes that seemed to see everything. Sometimes he thought they held a glint of red which was freaky as all get-out, but he put that down to the shitty lighting in the corridors which was the only time he saw her.

And then there was Derek. Hotter than the sun, brooding dark looks with startling hazel eyes, he looked at everyone as if he hated them. Stiles was convinced that Derek would like nothing more than to drive over him in that gorgeous Camaro he drove, but when they got talking one lunchtime, it turned out that Derek was a pussy cat. All he wanted to do was study some environmentalist shit – something about converting the vehicles the Hales had on recycled materials – and be left alone. Which was weird with the way Kate Silverton hung all over him. Derek didn’t seem even vaguely interested in her, but she never seemed to take the hint. Everyone else was polite, not that she paid any attention to them, but it was obvious she didn’t fit. She gave off crazy-lady vibes that made Stiles want to run in the other direction, so he made sure he sat as far away from her as he could get.

He half wished it had stayed that way, but only half wished. If he hadn’t accidentally got close to Kate, he wouldn’t be in the position he was in.

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“So who is this Stiles person your little pack of friends keeps talking about?” Derek looked up from his food over to where his Uncle Peter was looking at him.

“He’s just some kid – he’s taking computer stuff I think. He’s a nice enough dude – talks a lot.”

“Hmm.”

“Uncle Peter – “

“I take my position as Pack Enforcer and Protector very seriously, Derek – I’ll need to do a background check on him, the same way I do everyone else,” Peter insisted and Derek sighed. He understood the need for secrecy and care, but sometimes he felt that his uncle took things too far.

“He’s the son of a Sheriff – what kind of background do you think is hiding there?”

“Derek – “

“Come on, Mom!”

“You’re just sore because of what you found out about Jackson!” Cora interjected, sticking out her tongue with a mangled mass of mashed potato hanging on the end.

“Cora – manners please!” Talia said firmly before turning back to Derek. “It’s just a precaution, Derek. Besides, I thought the whole situation with Jackson had been rectified.”

“Not exactly,” Derek muttered, twirling his fork around on his plate. It was next to impossible knowing the things he did about Jackson’s birth parents to look him in the eye – the young man was going through hell trying to live up to his parents’ expectations, completely unaware that he was adopted or the manner of his birth. Derek wasn’t good with secrets.

“What do you mean?”

“He means he’s kicked him out of his inner circle and Jackson’s walking around being more of a douche then normal because he doesn’t know why!” Cora said and Derek scowled at his sister.

“That’s none of your business!”

“It is when you won’t explain to the poor bastard why you won’t speak to him anymore!”

“Shut it Cora!”

“Enough!” Talia’s voice held a hint of her alpha tone and Derek unwillingly subsided into his chair. “Derek, is what Cora said true?”

“How the hell do you expect me to feel? You tell me this huge secret about him that I’m not allowed to share with him and think we can still be friends?”

“Derek – “ His mother’s tone was sad as she obviously understood his dilemma.

“How do I tell him the truth about his birth parents when his adopted parents haven’t? How do I tell him that I know?”

“It’s not just that though, is it?”

“No – I can’t tell him the family secret because he didn’t pass Uncle Peter’s asinine background check!”

“DEREK!”

“Well, it’s true! Jackson isn’t good enough to know about us being werewolves because he has unresolved issues that could blow back onto the family! That was how you put it – right, Uncle Peter?”

“It’s not as simple as that, nephew, as you well know. It’s got nothing whatsoever to do with whether or not he’s good enough. However, David Whittemore is the D.A. – how exactly do you think he’d react upon his son confronting him with things that David and his wife obviously aren’t ready to discuss with him? I know you have – feelings – for the Whittemore boy, but until his parents are prepared to fill him in on his past, there is too much danger – “

“Yeah, yeah, I get it!”

“Sorry, Derek!” Cora’s voice was small but he spared his sister the hint of a smile. Cora didn’t mean anything by what she had revealed – she was very much of the opinion that he should just tell Jackson everything and let the cards fall where they might.

“What about this Kate girl? You mentioned she’s started hanging around you at the beginning of the semester. Is there anything there?”

“I’m not interested in Kate.”

“But she’s very interested in you!” Laura spoke up, her tone just a little snide.

“She’s always asking me about you, which I would imagine is why you’re being such a bitch, Laura!” Derek retorted, knowing he had scored a point by the flush that mounted his sister’s cheeks.

“Kate is – “

“Okay, let’s not have all out war at the dinner table!” Talia intervened before things could
get heated. “Is this true, Laura? Are you interested in this Kate girl?”

“She’s alright.” Laura shrugged awkwardly, uncomfortable now that the scrutiny had shifted to her.

“Then perhaps we should have her round for dinner?” Talia said, smiling pleasantly. “And this Stiles boy as well.”

“I don’t even know if Stiles would want to come round for dinner – I don’t talk to him that much,” Derek said, taking the heat off of his sister as he could see that she was slightly flustered at the idea of Kate being allowed into the den.

“Who are we talking about?” Erica strode into the dining room, throwing herself into the seat next to Peter.

“Stiles,” Derek said, grinning when Erica dared to steal a carrot baton from Peter’s plate. Only Erica dared to do things like that – the rest of the pack treated Peter with wary respect.

“Oh, yeah, Stiles is a hoot! You’d love him, Uncle Peter – he talks almost as much as you do!”

“Thank you, Erica, and if you take one more thing from my plate I will bite off those talons you’re so proud of!” Peter retorted, nevertheless pushing more of his carrots closer to the edge of his plate so that she could help herself.

“And Kate,” Laura said from the end of the table. “You said we could invite Kate too.”

“Ugh, her!” Erica said, pulling a face.

“What’s that face for?” Peter asked her, putting his cutlery down onto his plate and giving the girl his full attention.

“She’s just – there’s something off about her! I can’t explain it but she gives me the creeps!” Erica flinched away from the punch Laura aimed at her shoulder. “What? I’m just telling it like I see it – she’s just – I don’t know. Off.”

“What’s her surname?” Peter asked and Derek had no problem whatsoever in relaying the information.

“Silverton. She transferred in – lives in an apartment building downtown. I don’t actually know much about her.”

“Apart from the fact that she’s latched onto us for some reason,” Erica said spitefully.

“Yeah, she just kinda appeared one day and made herself at home at our lunch table.”

“Thank you. Go ahead and invite the pair of them to dinner and I will run my investigations,” Peter said, tapping his fingers against his lips thoughtfully.

“What is it, Peter?” Talia asked.

“I don’t know – there’s something about that name. I need to reach out to some of my contacts.” Peter shook his head and smiled. “Nothing to worry about – until I say so, anyway.”

“Very well.” Talia looked around the table. “Now, whos turn is it to clear the dishes?”


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If he’d been clairvoyant, maybe he would have seen this happening and he could have avoided it. Because he would have avoided it. Despite the friendships he’d built, how he’d felt being part of such a large, loving family – pack – he would have done his absolute best to stop bonding with the lot of them and stayed safe.

He had promised his Dad that he’d stay safe because they were all each other had. Well, they had been.

Instead, here he was – reaping the benefits of being a needy asshole and finding friends that meant a lot to him. From Erica, with her hidden vulnerabilities, deep love for Boyd, and loyal heart that made her bind herself to a loser like him, to Isaac with his penchant for scarves in the most inappropriate weather, his understanding of what it was like to lose a parent, to Scott who was like an overgrown puppy – ha! – who put up with Stiles’ monologuing, research binges and need to know everything about everything.

And that wasn’t even talking about the larger pack. Talia Hale kept her family close, living together in the mansion out in the Preserve – but her pack was much larger than that. There were members based in the town, on the outskirts, some away in college – she had the biggest pack for counties and was loved and respected by them all.

Derek, Cora and Laura were aggravating good people, even if they all possessed the eyebrows of doom. Laura was an uppity bitch, beautiful, talented and aggravating with a huge heart and unfailing loyalty to her pack that was almost her downfall. Cora – well, if she didn’t end up running the country it would be due to lack of interest rather than talent. She was scary.

And Derek. Another puppy hiding beneath a brooding, scary exterior, who was so in love with Jackson Whittemore that it was actually vomit-inducing.

He should have avoided all of them.

But in particular, he should have avoided that fucking bitch, Kate Silverton. With her acid tongue, a banging body that she used as a weapon, and sociopathic tendencies that were hidden behind a beautiful face and smile.

But instead, he found himself in group projects with Erica and Boyd; Call of Duty marathons with Scott; intense discussions with Cora about how to turn the country around; taking up god-damned yoga with Derek so that he could protect him from all the yummy mummies that took one look at him in those yoga pants and wanted him to ‘help them with positions’. Like, the dude could have bench-pressed any of them – even without the supernatural shit – and he was scared of them because they simply wouldn’t see behind the muscles to the sensitive guy beneath,

Instead, he found himself getting ready for a family dinner with some kind of invitation that had made Jackson Whittemore swear and slam his way out of the canteen where he overheard the conversation where Derek explained that his Mother would really love to meet Stiles. Instead, he found himself heading further into danger simply because he didn’t pick up what most people would have considered the biggest secret of all – none of them was thinking about it, so he didn’t find out about it – and now look where the hell he had ended up.

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“I think you should tell Jackson.” Derek looked over at her and Cora shrugged, well aware of her brother’s feelings on the subject. “I mean, let’s be honest Derek – this thing you have for him isn’t going anywhere! Laura doesn’t call you ‘Jacob’ just to be a bitch – you really have imprinted on him! And, hey, at least he’s not a newborn animatronic baby that gives everyone the creeps!”

“Very funny Cora,” Derek replied, closing his eyes and laying his head on the back of the couch. “It’s not that simple and you know it.”

“I think you need to talk to Uncle Peter and explain. He doesn’t know how you feel about Jackson because you’ve been too constipated to tell him and Mom what’s going on. If he knew – you know that Uncle Peter is all about the pack. And if he realised how you feel isn’t all in your groin, he’d move heaven and earth to make it possible for you and Jackson to be together.”

“You think?” The hopeful tone gave her encouragement. Derek had been a complete and utter dick ever since Peter had nixed the idea of him bringing Jackson to the house, and staying away from the douche-cannon was hurting him in a way that none of them had expected. Jackson was a prickly, arrogant, unstable mess but it appeared that he was Derek’s mess. And she would do anything she could to help him get what he wanted.

“I think if Mom and Uncle Peter knew, they would talk to Jackson’s parents and smooth the way. Look at how much trouble they went to get Isaac away from his father and they didn’t even know him then,” she replied, reminding Derek of the epic legal (and not so legal) battle Peter and Talia had undertaken to remove Roger Lahey from Isaac’s life. They hadn’t simply threatened him – they had systematically destroyed his public standing, his finances, his life – until he had no choice but to slink off with his tail between his legs, relinquishing all parental ties to Isaac and handing him over to the Hales. It had been epic and inspirational, and when she was fully grown up, she wanted to be able to eviscerate people just like her Uncle Peter.

“Jackson hates my guts,” Derek said, slumping back onto the couch, the hint of hope gone. “He won’t even look at me – I think he’s dating Lydia.”

“Ha! He’s not dating Lydia – apart from the fact that she wouldn’t put up with his bullshit, I have it on good authority that she’s leaving soon. She’s been invited to Cambridge for some Maths thing. Uncle Peter wants her affiliated to the pack before she goes – said something about a Banshee being an asset even if she’s not in the country – but she has zero interest in Jackson.” She leaned over and thumped her brother on the shoulder. “Her and Danny have been keeping him going – as friends – but he’s pining over you just as much as you’re pining over him.”

“I don’t know, Cora – what if he doesn’t even like me once he finds out that I’m a werewolf? Or runs away screaming and tries to tell the world? I can’t take the risk! It’s not just about me – it’s about the family and the pack.”

“Ennis has been sniffing around him.”

“What?” Derek practically leapt from the couch, electrified by her statement.

“I was talking to Aidan – you know, one of the twins? Apparently Ennis thinks Jackson would be a good way to get law enforcement on their side – can you imagine if they had the DA aligned with their pack? If he bit Jackson – made him his beta – “

“He better not lay a hand on him!” Derek growled, his eyes flaring.

“I’m just saying what I heard. If Ennis does bite Jackson and he becomes affiliated with their pack, you might lose your chance.” She sat back and watched her brother pacing back and forth. She should be feeling guilty for her slight exaggeration – Aidan had just said that Ennis had mentioned Jackson to Deucalion, not that they had plans to offer him the bite, but something needed to be done to get Derek moving. She couldn’t stand the scent of his misery much longer, and besides, she had problems of her own.

“Fuck, fuck, fuckity fuck – what do I do?”

Talk to Mom and Uncle Peter. For God’s sake, Derek, stop acting like you and Jackson are Romeo and Juliet – that shit wasn’t romantic in English class, let alone in real life!”

“I just – I’m scared, Cora.”

“Yeah, I get that. But maybe you need to put yourself out there – accept that Jackson likes you and will take whatever you say the right way. Some people wouldn’t have an issue with their partner being a werewolf.” She bit her lip and lowered her head, avoiding her brother’s suddenly keen glance.

“Are you okay?”

“What?”

“You – there was someone you were interested in and then you just stopped talking about them. I wondered if – “

“Yeah, that’s over.”

“Cora – did you tell someone?” Derek sounded scandalised, landing next to her on the couch and pulling her into a hug. “Please tell me you didn’t – I mean, Mom would shit a cow and – “

“I didn’t tell her. She already knew about that side of things – not about me specifically, just – “

“Who was it?”

“Her name was – is Allison – but her family are not what anyone would call supernatural friendly. So I just – backed off.” She lay her head on her brother’s shoulder, accepting his silent comfort. “I thought we had a lot in common and we got talking about the supernatural and the stuff she was saying. I mean, she made it sound all hypothetical but the stuff she knew made it obvious she was in the know. And she’s firmly of the opinion that werewolves are monsters.”

“Damn,” Derek said, pressing a kiss to the top of her head. “I’m so sorry. She doesn’t know about you – about us, right?”

“No, I told you – I didn’t tell her. It was too much of a risk. But it made me think about you and Jackson and realise something. The way you two are – were – together made me think that sometimes things are just meant to be. And that you need to fight for what you want.”

“Doesn’t sound like you fought for what you wanted,” Derek said, softening his blunt comment with a squeeze to her shoulders. “Maybe you could educate her, let her know – “

“No. I met her mother – coldest bitch I’ve ever encountered. The way she looked at me – just me as me, not a werewolf – it was obvious that there would never be anything resembling understanding there. Her Dad was an okay guy, but I wouldn’t want to meet her Mom on a full moon,” Cora replied, sighing. She had really had high hopes about her relationship with Allison until she had met her extended family. Her Mom and Grandfather were elitist assholes, her house stank of gun oil and wolfsbane, and Cora had had to let go any fantasies about
letting Allison in on the family secret. She was just glad Uncle Peter hadn’t figured out what was going on. “But we’re not talking about me – we’re talking about you and Jackson. I know Mom said to invite Stiles and Kate, but maybe you could ask them – “

“You’re right. I should explain why it’s so important. If anyone would understand, it’s Mom.” They both thought about their father, about the stories their Mom had told of how she had had to reveal herself to him as a werewolf and how he had taken it. It was a love story that all of the Hale children wished for themselves, a true partner in every sense of the word, and they all knew that it was extremely unlikely that Talia Hale would ever take another husband. She still loved their Dad and always would. Cora felt Derek’s gaze and looked up, eyes watering at the compassion in her brother’s look. “This girl – are you sure – “

“Allison is out of the picture – permanently.”

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“I don’t know why you insisted on meeting. Grandpa said quite plainly that we shouldn’t be seen in public together.” Kate scowled at Allison, well aware that the girl was merely parroting what Gerard had said but irritated nevertheless.

“This is hardly public!” Kate replied, gesturing to the old diner where they were seated in a booth at the back. “And I don’t think Grandpa would be all that happy to find that you’ve managed to lose your target,” she snarked back, pleased when Allison flushed angrily.

“I haven’t lost my target!” Allison protested.

“I told you letting her know how Victoria feels was a mistake!” Kate said, pleased that she had pushed Allison off-kilter.

“Jesus, it’s like you don’t have a clue how to plan for the long-term.” Allison rolled her eyes and leaned over the table between them to make her point. “Cora will want to show me that my Mom is wrong – which means she’ll reveal a hell of a lot more than she might have originally planned. Besides, it’s not like you’re doing that well.”

“Shows what you know – I’ve been invited to dinner this Sunday!” Kate delivered her statement with relish. She knew that Gerard was pitting her and Allison against each other in an attempt to make them fight for the position of matriarch – he was all about survival of the fittest and as Victoria was only an Argent by marriage, she was not acceptable for the position. “I’ll actually be able to get in the house and scope things out. Talk to me about long-term planning again?”

“Yeah, well, let’s just see how that turns out, shall we?” Allison turned away, the set of her jaw stubborn. “I don’t understand why we have to do it this way – normally it’s not like this!”

“I think Dad wants to see if we can be more stealthy than your last effort – getting chased out of France because you burned down a château is not quite the way he sees the Argent legacy panning out!” Allison had certainly made her presence felt in France, with more than a few hunters talking about what she had done. It wasn’t as if the Trager pack had been on site, which Kate had considered a waste of resources. All Allison had done was cause a mess that had meant the Argents had to move to the States much sooner than planned. Gerard believed that it had made it possible for them to see just which hunter families were on the right side – those of them decrying Allison’s actions would not be part of his new Hunter Order.

“You’re just jealous because they know my name and not yours!” Allison retorted.

“I’d rather be known as the one who manages to wipe out a pack rather than burning down an old house!” Kate snapped back.

“Well, we’ll just have to wait and see. Whichever one of us manages to infiltrate the Hale Pack and cause the most damage wins,” Allison challenged and Kate grinned maliciously.

“That works for me – although at least I won’t have to put up with one of those mutts mauling and kissing me to get what we need.”

“I’ve seen you climbing all over Derek Hale, so don’t pretend – “

“I’m not interested in Derek – I’m going after the heir. And Laura is this close to being jealous and possessive enough to make her move – just you wait and see!”


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The last time he saw his mother – when she wasn’t a drooling mess because of all of the drugs – she had been screaming about the monsters being real and how Stiles had one inside of him. She had been trying to dig it out of him – for his own good – when the nurses had come in and wrestled her off of him, sedating her whilst she was sobbing about how they were condemning her son to a life of pain.

It wasn’t much of a consolation to know that she had been trying to dig his ‘spark’ out of him so that he wasn’t cursed with this whole secret ability shit. At the time, it had just hurt that his mother thought he was a monster and wanted to kill him.

He had started researching whether anyone else was similarly afflicted once he hit his teens, but the limitations of his computer and hacking skills meant that he got lost most of the time. He had even asked Danny Mahealani but the boy had just assumed that Stiles was awkwardly flirting (which, yeah that might have been part of it) so that hadn’t got him anywhere.

Of course, now he had a captive audience who was more than willing to answer his questions to relieve the boredom of captivity. And maybe take their mind off of the whole being shot through with enough electricity to power a Beyoncé concert.

“Stephanie Meyer?”

“Fang banger.” Stiles licked dry, cracked lips, wondering whether they would bring them some water soon. He tried to remember how long you could go without water but his mind wasn’t working as fast as it normally did and the answer eluded him.

“Fang banger?”

“Well, of course. Who else is going to try to make the creatures of the night that want to suck your blood sound all sparkly and shit.” A spasm went through the body strapped to the chain-link fence and Stiles winced in sympathy, wincing again when the action pulled at his split lip. “She married in, then got into so much shit when she wrote those books because she wasn’t an authorised biographer. That, and she pissed off the council by making the wolves do stupid shit like imprint on fucking babies.”

“That was an error in judgement,” Stiles agreed. “Wait, is that why you guys call Derek Jacob?”

Isaac laughed, then coughed up some blood, then laughed a little more. “Yeah. It drives him fucking crazy but Laura started it and it spread. The whole thing with Jackson, how it played out – we can be a little evil when it comes to humour.”

“Hence the Bambi and red riding hood comments?” he asked drily, realising that for quite some time he’d been the subject of Hale humour without knowing it.

“Yep.” Stiles rolled and shifted on the floor until he could rest his back against the wall, wondering if he had cracked a rib. He would have panicked about piercing a lung or something but he didn’t think that would have a chance to kill him. Not with that psychotic bastard and his female minions coming down to work him and Isaac over on the regular. “You should have seen your face the first time you met Peter – your eyes were so big, you looked like a chibi character!”

“Yeah, yeah, laugh it up furball! Peter is fucking hot!”

“Yuck! You do know he’s, like, a uncle or big brother figure to me, right? I do not want that kind of imagery in my head!”

“So you don’t want me to talk about how thick his neck is, or how firm his chest is beneath my hands? Or even, how when he strips off – “

“Lalalalalalala!” Isaac began to sing loudly and Stiles sniggered.

The sound of the heavy door to the basement opening made Isaac quiet down, and they both turned to the steps where Gerard, Allison and Kate were walking down towards them.

“Hey, look, Isaac – our favourite Mengele clan have come to visit!” Stiles said, scowling at Kate when she ruffled his hair as she moved past him. He knew better than to kick out at any of them – Gerard carried a heavy walking stick that he didn’t use for walking, just for cracking people around the head and back when they annoyed him.

“It’s not like we’re conducting experiments on you, Stiles, so shut up!” Allison said, moving to one of the cupboards against the wall.

“Not on me, no,” Stiles muttered, giving Isaac a sad look. Isaac’s face had closed down and he had stiffened in his bonds. Stiles wondered how much more the other man could take – he didn’t know enough about werewolf physiology to be able to make an estimate.

“I keep telling you we should invest in sound down here, father,” Kate said as she lounged casually against the wall. “Maybe there are things we are missing out on hearing when we’re not here – “

“Perhaps you are right,” Gerard replied, hands resting on the cane as he watched his granddaughter preparing her tools. “So, are either of you prepared to be helpful or do we continue to do this the hard way?”

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Striding out of the changing rooms, Jackson rummaged through his pocket to find the keys to his Porsche. Lacrosse practice had gone incredibly badly and he only had himself to blame. Hearing Derek casually inviting Stiles – Stilinski of all people – to the Hale house when Jackson had never been there had hurt more than he had expected and his mind had not been on the field.

Not that he gave a shiny shit about Derek – or his little bunch of assholes. If Derek couldn’t see what a catch Jackson was, then that was his downfall. He didn’t need them – he wasn’t going to hang around in this backwater town for much longer. His parents had been talking about letting him take a year off and visit family in London and Jackson was on the verge of saying yes. This whole thing was bullshit and he’d had enough of it.

He gasped when he was tackled from the side and pushed into what looked like the janitor’s closet, only the familiar scent of Derek’s cologne stopping him from panicking. Before he could voice his feelings on the rough treatment, Derek had pushed him into the shelving and grabbed his face, cursing before slamming their mouths together.

Jackson would have liked to say that he didn’t respond to the passion in Derek’s kiss, that he had stood there completely uninterested in the feel of Derek’s body pressing him uncomfortably into the shelves behind him, arms crushing him close while he shoved his tongue into his mouth and ravaged him.

Unfortunately, it was like his body was programmed to respond to Derek no matter what, his bag dropping to the floor unheeded as he grabbed onto Derek’s shoulders, the smooth leather of his jacket so familiar beneath his fingertips. The only consolation he had was that Derek was obviously as starved for this as he was, not that that explained what the hell had gone wrong.

“Derek – “ He pulled away, avoiding Derek’s seeking lips. “ – you can’t just – “

“Please, please, just let me have this and then I’ll explain – I swear – “

“Derek – “ He knew his voice was weak even as he gave in, cradling the back of Derek’s head and soothing him with gentle kisses wherever he could reach. He didn’t need to feel the hard thrust of Derek’s erection against his stomach to know what he was feeling – the tension in his shoulders, the almost desperate grasp of his hands told him everything. “Okay – it’s okay. We can sort this out – whatever it is, we can sort this out.”

“I don’t care what they say, I can’t give you up – I can’t lose this – “

“You’re not making any sense – “

“Just let me – “ The kiss this time was no less desperate, the tight clutch of Derek’s hands on his waist soothing the pain of rejection somewhat. But only somewhat – Derek had some explaining to do and Jackson wasn’t going to stop asking what the hell was going on until he had some proper answers.

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“So, Kira, when are you going to give Scott a break and tell him that you like him too?” Stiles smirked when Kira blushed a deep red, scratching her pencil across the paper.

“STILES! You can’t just ask me that! Besides, I don’t know what you’re talking about and Scott hasn’t told me that he likes me and – “

“Whoa, whoa, take a breath will you!” He put his hand onto hers without thinking about it, pulling back sharply when the sudden image of a fiery fox surrounding Kira like a bright orange aura stabbed into his mind.

“Stiles? Are you okay? You’ve gone pale and – “ Kira reached out for him and he couldn’t prevent the flinch away from her. He felt like his retinas had been scorched with how bright the aura had been, and he opened his eyes and looked at her closely, trying to see without the aid of his ‘sight’ or whatever.

“Kira – “

“Oh shit, you – ”

“What was that?” he asked, still stunned. Kira began to scrabble her belongings together, biting her lip as she threw everything into her rucksack.

“Oh my God, my Mom is going to lose her shit – I can’t believe – how did you even – “

“Kira – “

“I’m so sorry, Stiles, I normally have so much better control than that and I didn’t realise that you were – “ She clamped her lips together, staring at him with eyes full of tears. “I can’t believe that you – “

“I what? I wish someone would please tell me what the fuck – “

“Stiles, I had no idea – I assumed from you hanging around with – shit, my Mom is going to pull me out of school and – “

Grabbing her hand, Stiles deliberately ‘opened’ himself to whatever it was inside him that saw the weird secrets he did, desperately reaching inside himself for whatever the hell it was. For a moment, there was nothing, then there was a blaze of light and he could see it again: Kira was surrounded by a clear image of a fiery fox, its many tails whipping around her with agitation, eyes boring into Stiles’ with an almost alien intensity.

“Let me go!”

“You – what is – “

“You need to STOP!” Her shout brought him back to himself and he instantly released his grip on her arm, ashamed of himself for using physical force.

“I’m sorry! I’ve never – what was – “

“Stiles – do you not know – “

“What I don’t know would fill a book! But you know – something! And – what are you?” He tried to get to his feet, staggering slightly before falling back onto the bench.

“Here, drink this!” Kira handed him an energy drink, dragging her chair closer to him and holding the can to his lips when he was too weak to do it for himself. “Jesus, I’ve never met – none of us have – “

“It would really help if you would finish some sentences you know!” He tried for his normal sarcastic tone, but his voice was slurred and he felt like he was drunk. The sugar and caffeine from the energy drink were helping and he was beginning to feel more like himself, but his mind was buzzing.

“Stiles – what do you know?”

“Honestly? Not a lot! Is it okay to talk about this – here?” He gestured limply to their surroundings. They were in the courtyard, having been working together on one of the benches and seats scattered around. There weren’t a lot of people around and they had been making the most of the peace to catch up with assignments.

Kira looked around them, sighing relief when she realised that there was no one within earshot.

“Yeah, it’s fine but – I’m not the best person to talk to about this stuff. I mean, I don’t have permission and – “

“You need permission to talk to me?”

“No, it’s not like – look, let me make a phone call and – “

“A call to who?”

“Someone official, someone with permission to – look, just let me make this call.” He shifted in his seat until his back was against the bench, chugging what was left of the energy drink as Kira muttered to herself and pulled out her cell phone. He felt fuzzy around the edges, his mind racing and his heart thudding in his chest. He’d never tried to see someone’s secret before and he was beginning to think he would never do it again if that was the result. He felt like he’d been dragged behind a car for a block, every bone in his body beginning to ache. Was this what his Mom had gone through? And why had it happened so late in life rather than when she was a kid? None of this made sense, but one thing he knew now was that he wasn’t alone.

He had wondered if other people had – powers felt so pretentious but he couldn’t think of any other way of putting it – but he hadn’t had a clue how to find out. He couldn’t talk to his Dad – Noah Stilinski was stolid, stoic and practical to the bone. There was no chance in hell that Stiles was going to ask his Dad if he had magical fucking powers, which meant that whatever the hell it was going on in him came from his Mother’s side of the family. He had never met any of his mother’s extended family – when she had married Noah, they had disowned her and the subject was painful so was never discussed. But it looked like he should have pushed for more information.

He pushed the thought of his mother from his mind and turned his head to listen to Kira as her call connected.

“Mr Hale? I’m so sorry to bother you, and I can’t believe this has happened but – “ There was a rumbling voice from the other end of the line, but Stiles couldn’t make out the words themselves.

“Sorry, my name is Kira Yukimura – Noshiko’s daughter? And I think I may have found an unaffiliated – “ The voice interrupted again and Stiles scowled, wondering just how Kira had been about to describe him. “Okay. Okay, yes – we’re in the quad at Beacon College – no, I – “ Kira turned to Stiles, biting her lip. “He wants to know if you’d be willing to go to him or whether he should come here?”

“Who is him? And where is it he wants us to go? Because I gotta tell ya, not feeling the trust right now,” Stiles snapped, wondering who the hell this guy was.

“Um, I don’t think – “ Kira had put her cell to her ear again, but stopped speaking, listening intently before nodding. “Okay, I’ll tell him. Yes – we’ll wait here.” She ended the call, took a deep breath and looked at Stiles earnestly. “Would you be okay to wait here? He’s going to come – introduce himself and – “

“WHO?” Stiles said, raising his voice slightly in frustration.

“He’s the official Liaison, the man we all report to when – look, I’m just messing this up so much and – “

“Kira, will just TELL ME!”

“Peter Hale – he’s coming here to talk to you!”

“Hale? I don’t – “ He shook his head, confused. “Are you saying the Hales are like you?”

“No! The Hales are – I’m so sorry, Stiles, I’ve been instructed to not tell you anything until he gets here. Please, just – will you wait here with me? He’ll explain everything – I promise!” She looked so earnest that Stiles subsided.

“Okay – okay, I’ll wait for this Peter Hale but he better be prepared to answer some fucking questions!”


Chapter Text

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It was brutal watching Allison working Isaac over with her knives. Initially, the Argents kept the electricity running so that Isaac couldn’t heal, Gerard making notes on what appeared to cause the most pain. Watching Allison slice into the pale skin, obviously relishing the pain she was inflicting made Stiles feel nauseous. That wasn’t helped even slightly by Kate’s excessive running commentary on how bad a job Allison was doing. Then they turned the electricity off so that Isaac could heal, gave them both water and stood around chatting like they were in the office, meeting at the water cooler and exchanging gossip.

Perhaps the worst part of it was that Gerard didn’t ask any questions – he just seemed to like watching Allison torture Isaac for shits and giggles. Not like any of the threesome appeared the shits and giggles type, although Allison did let out what Stiles could only think of as a psychopathic chortle a few times.

His mother wasn’t the only woman to warn him away from the supernatural shitshow. He should have listened.

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“Lydia!”

“Stiles.” She pulled him into a hug, noting how he had grown since they had last seen each other, stepping back and waiting for him to put two and two together.

“What are you doing here? We’re waiting for – “

“I know who you’re waiting for. Thank you for the call, Kira, I’ll take it from here,” Lydia dismissed Kira with a kind smile, knowing that the young woman was going to have to explain herself to Noshiko.

“Thanks Ms Martin,” Kira replied, giving Stiles a sad smile before scrambling away from the table and leaving the courtyard at a fast clip.

“Sorry, Peter wanted to come but he’s in the middle of some negotiations at the moment so I came instead – especially since I know you from before.” She sat primly down on the bench, watching Stiles take in everything.

“You’re part of this?” he finally asked, taking the seat next to her.

“Sort of – well, yes and no. I keep myself relatively distant because I have other interests, but as part of my heritage – and affiliations – I occasionally act as a representative for certain members of our society.”

“Which is a long-handed way of saying you might be able to answer some of my slightly out there questions?”

“Yes.” Again, she sat quietly and watched as Stiles absorbed the information. He hadn’t changed that much from when she had known him – they had both attended the same therapist and had often got talking in the waiting room. He’d been there following his mother’s death whilst she’d been seeing a therapist ‘in the know’ to assist her with the awakening of her Banshee powers. Hearing her dead grandmother telling her things that she couldn’t possibly know whilst in the middle of calculus had almost ruined her early academic career, but Marin Morrell had more than been up to the task of getting Lydia straightened out.

“What are you?”

“Some people call us Wailing Women, but we prefer Banshee – it has less hysterical connotations,” she replied, smiling. Typical Stiles, going straight for the jugular. He really hadn’t changed that much.

“Banshee – speaker for the dead, affinity for those in the afterlife?” Stiles asked brow creased.

“That’s right. Although I do draw the line at necromancy – definitely too dirty for me to get involved in,” she replied with a frown. “I didn’t realise that you had any abilities when we met, although that might explain why I was drawn to you even when you were being incredibly irritating.”

“Me, irritating?”

“If you recall, you told me that you had a ten year plan to get me to accept your undying love and marry you – you were verging on stalker territory for a while there.”

“Sorry – yeah, I was more than a little intense in those days!” She watched quietly as Stiles played with his pen, tapping it against his lips before flipping it over and around his fingers.

“You had questions? Although perhaps I should ask what you think you saw before we get to that.”

“I – to be honest with you, I’ve always been more than a little afraid of reaching this point. You know, of talking about it. I was kinda convinced that it was part of what killed my Mom – that she told someone.”

“That’s superstitious nonsense, Stiles, and you know it!” She sighed, slightly exasperated. “There are actually very few curses where uttering them will kill you – most of them simply prevent you from telling anyone.”

“Curses – “

“That’s if what you have is a curse. It could simply be something hereditary. Your mother’s surname was Gajos wasn’t it?”

“How did you know that?”

“Because it’s my job to know – there are a few of them registered and affiliated, although none in California.” She pulled out her tablet, entered her password and did a couple of searches, keeping her eye on Stiles the whole time. “Yes, just like I thought. Your mother basically turned her back on all of that when she married your father.”

“All of what? I don’t know any of this – “ Stiles sighed deeply. “All I know is that my Mom thought I was a monster before she died and tried to dig my spark out of me, whatever that was meant to mean.”

“A spark? Well, that’s a bit vague – a spark can be many things, Stiles. For a few people, it’s similar to a sixth sense – a sense of foreboding before something bad happens; a hint to go one way instead of another. Had yours manifested before your Mother died?”

“No – she tried to warn me but I didn’t realise what she was warning me about until after she died. She was fun, you know, before she got ill. She always seemed to know when the day was going to be a good one, when we could get away with cutting school and just spending the day having fun together. Other times, she would warn me to keep my head down – avoid certain people. I just thought it was her being a Mom – whether she knew that some kid was bad news, or that someone was in a bad mood,” Stiles said, deep in thought. “And of course, when she got ill it all sounded like nonsense. She kept going on about the monsters being real – the creatures of the night were out to get her. A branch tapping on the window was a tree creature trying to break into the house; a stray dog was a wolf following her around; the pale guy who hung around the park wanted to take all of her blood and use it in a sacrifice – it all sounded nuts!”

“Yes, well – if she had been affiliated, we would have been able to help her – she wouldn’t have had to handle all of that alone,” Lydia said sadly, realising that Stiles and his family had been let down. When Claudia left her family behind, she should have reported to the supernatural authorities in the county where they lived but she had obviously wanted nothing to do with the supernatural. That didn’t mean the supernatural wasn’t interested in her. If she could do what Stiles described – foretell good and bad fortune, she would have been a valuable resource to many. “I know you attended therapy with Morrell but where did you grow up, Stiles?”

“Cantock, not far from Beacon Hills. My Dad was a deputy there and Mom was the librarian before – before everything.”

“I’ll have to report the local pack – even if your mother was uninterested, she should have been afforded some protection. I’m sorry – formal apologies will be offered – “

“I’m not interested in formal apologies! Dammit, Lydia, will you please just tell me what’s going on!”

“What did you see? And how did you see it?”

“Are you sure I won’t die if I tell you?” For a moment, she looked at Stiles, seeing the scared young man behind the facade. He looked like a typical student – she knew he was older than her because he had missed nearly 18 months of school after his mother died. He was dressed in a Marvel teeshirt, with a dark hoody over the top, a beanie perched on the back of his head. He’d managed to grow a decent beard and looked like a young hipster with his clear brown eyes, skin honeyed by the sun, beauty marks scattered across his face.

“You won’t die,” she reassured him firmly, nodding to encourage him to speak.

“I can tell a person’s secrets by touching them – not the small shit, either. The big stuff that bothers them or that they’re trying their hardest to hide,” he blurted out, his eyes wide as he admitted it out loud for what was most likely the first time.

“Oh – a Touch ability!”

“A what?”

“Sorry, most abilities rely on one of the senses. A touch ability, funnily enough, relies on being able to sense something through touch.” She tilted her head, considering Stiles carefully. “So, if you held my hand, you could sense my biggest secret?”

“Yeah, generally. I mean, I haven’t had any luck finding out much about this ability – and I certainly don’t practice it or whatever you call it. When I touched Kira earlier, she was thinking about – about the whole fox thing, and somehow I saw it – like an aura around her entire body.”

“She’s a kitsune – a trickster fox. A very young one which is why she was probably thinking about it. She’s only in the early stages of her training and was obviously struggling with her shielding. She probably let her guard down around you and that’s why you were able to sense it.” She held out her hand. “Do you want to try with me?”

“Are you testing me or trying to – to – you know what? I don’t know what you could be trying to do. Besides, haven’t you already told me your greatest secret?”

“Why don’t you touch me and see?” Stiles gave her a shrewd look of his own, then reached out and took her hand. There was a mild tingle and she closed her eyes, concentrating on a secret that she was prepared to reveal.

“Pretending to be stupid and wishing that sometimes you really were isn’t much of a secret, Lydia. And isn’t it cheating if you know what I can do and try to trick me?” She smiled and opened her eyes.

“Not cheating – I just happen to prefer that my secrets remain my own. You knowing that I’m a Banshee is an open secret within our community so it’s safe you to know. The rest of my mind belongs to me,” she said, satisfied with what Stiles had demonstrated. “You’re strong – you barely had to try and you pulled that out of me. You would be an asset to any clan or family that you wished to join.”

“Like some weirdass secret society? I don’t know if that’s something I would be interested in, Lydia, especially if they could have helped my Mom and didn’t bother!”

“To be fair, if she didn’t reach out herself – “

“Yeah, fine, whatever.” Stiles pulled his hand back and looked away. “So what happens now?”

“Well that’s kind of up to you. I can put you in touch with a few people who might be able to help you track down your mother’s family, find out more about your heritage.”

“That might be good,” Stiles nodded. “But I meant about college – and Kira and everyone! Do I have to join some special club to be friends with them or what?”

“Stiles, at the moment, you’re a completely free agent. You’re not affiliated to anyone, bound to any clan or pack, free to do whatever you want. If you never want anything to do with all of this supernatural stuff, you can walk away now and no one can stop you.” She sighed, knowing she was letting her issues get in the way – the ability to walk away freely would be her idea of heaven but the option had never been presented to her. “I heard something about you going to the Hales for dinner?”

“Yeah – Derek invited me around for Sunday. But – I don’t know if I want to go now that all of this has happened.”

“Think about it carefully then. This might be your one chance to get away from all of this without being pulled in too deeply. If you go the Hales’ place on Sunday and – well, if they like you and you like them – “

“Are you saying I’ll be assimilated? Like the Borg?”

“I’m saying that you need to think long and hard about whether you want to be dragged in to all of this. Your ability – especially as you grow and it becomes honed – it could be extremely valuable. To people on both sides of this thing – there are hunters out there who would love to be able to use what you can do to justify some of their actions and there are clans and packs that would use you.” She hated to sound so pessimistic, but she wanted Stiles to take this seriously. She looked at him closely, her tone sharp. “Once you step into this, it’s damned near impossible to get away from it. Be sure, Stiles.”

“Okay, okay – I’ll give it some thought.” She shook her head. “What? I said I’d think about it!”

“Yes, but I know you – you’d sell your soul for information, and knowing that going to the Hales might mean you having access to a whole new world – you’re not going to think this through at all.”


Chapter Text

Panting for breath, it was hard to figure out which part of him hurt the most – his head, where Gerard had smacked him with the cane, or his ribs where Kate had kicked him as they left. Of course, that was nothing on what they had put Isaac through, but as a squishy, mostly human, he was going to allow himself just a little bit of internal whining.

“So, what’s my big secret?”

“What?”

“We’re more than likely not getting out of here – at least anytime soon. So, entertain me while my skin tries to knit itself back together.” He grimaced at Isaac’s description, although it was fairly accurate. Watching the slices Allison had made all over Isaac’s torso slowly bind themselves back together was not his idea of great viewing.

“Your biggest secret is how you feel about Cora – and how guilty you feel about it. You want to view her as a sister – same as you do Laura – but there’s something deep down inside that says she could be the one for you – could be your person,” he finally panted out, leaning against the wall with a heavy sigh.

“Good one,” Isaac admitted, although the slight discomfort on his face let Stiles know that he had thought that he had kept that better hidden. “What about – Talia?”

“Ah come on, man, I barely touched her. And she’s your Alpha – do you really want to know her biggest secret?” Sheltering his ribs as he manoeuvred into a sitting position, Stiles tried to reach for the thing that was niggling at the edge of his mind – there had been something that happened when he grabbed at Gerard – somehow, he had touched skin and –

“Yeah, come on! It’ll give me something to chew over!”

“Fine. Talia’s biggest secret is that she’s in love and she’s not sure how her kids, how her family are going to take finding out just who it is she’s in love with. Because everyone has kind of built her first husband up in their minds as this perfect love that can never be replaced. She never thought she would find someone else who could make her feel like more than just the Alpha and yet – she has!”

“Whoa!” Isaac shifted in his bonds, looking intrigued. “Did you see who it was?”

“I did but I didn’t recognise him. I could try and describe him to you but – there’s something about Gerard that I picked up, something important. Something he’s hiding from Kate and Allison – “

“Could it help us?”

“I think it just might.”

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No matter how guilty she felt every time she did this, Talia couldn’t find a way to stop. With confidence, he pushed her down onto the bed and came to lie on top of her, stretching out her arms above her head and holding her down as he looked down into her eyes. He saw too much sometimes.

“You need to stop thinking so hard – I’ll begin to think that I’m not doing it for you any more,” he said, his voice a rumble in his chest that she could feel throughout her body.

“You could always make me,” she said, aware that her voice had become low and almost sultry in response to their position. “I want to stop thinking and worrying – “

“I wish I could do more – that we could do more,” he said, leaning down and rubbing their cheeks together. It was strange how often his mannerisms reminded her of a wolf – for a hunter, he was so in touch with his those instincts. “We may need to.”

“You mean – “ She tensed, her mind racing.

“I mean, that once we have taken this time for us, we are going to have to do something. Things can’t carry on the way they are – “

“I knew things would come to a head sooner or later but I was hoping we would have more time,” she sighed, slumping back onto the bed.

“I’m sorry. If I could have headed this off, stopped it from happening. I’ve only just become aware of a hint of their plans. They’re pushing me out, keeping secrets from me – I don’t think they know about us, but they don’t trust me any longer.”

“Are you in danger?” She moaned when he lowered his head and began to kiss along the length of her neck, tiny bites that wouldn’t mark the skin but stung enough to cause goosebumps.

“Probably. But I don’t care – you are worth all of this and more.”

“I don’t even know how we’re going to introduce you to the family, let alone get them to understand that you’re on our side,” she managed, distracted by the sure way in which he began to strip the clothes from her body. For a change, she could enjoy her form not as an Alpha, as a strong woman in charge, but simply as a woman with her lover – a man who looked at her with eyes burning with lust and desire, his appreciation for her form based purely on her.

“We’ll figure it out.” He ran his hand down her chest, long fingers sliding beneath the lace of her bra and easily finding the hard pucker of her nipple. “You know how much I love seeing you in red.”

“That may have played a role in what I chose to wear,” she said, spreading her legs and cradling his hips as he instantly took advantage of the chance to be closer. The hard thrust of his erection pressed exactly where she needed it and she closed her eyes, desire threatening to overcome all of her senses. No one else had ever made her feel like this – like the animal inside was purring and writhing in pleasure, whilst her human skin was almost over-sensitised. “How long do we have?”

“Long enough.”

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Him.

He was dancing in the middle of the crowd, his body bumping and grinding to the heavy beat, ignoring the people around him with his eyes closed as he gave himself to the music.

Peter wanted him.

Slamming down the last of his drink, he made his way to the dance floor, accepting as his due how people moved out of his way until he was standing behind his prey, eyes glued to the slim waist and rounded curve of his ass in tight jeans, mesmerised by the pumping hips. He reached out, hands sliding over the denim at the hip and pulling him gently back against his body so that those enticing dance moves were against him.

For a moment, the movements faltered, hands sliding over his and holding him in place and he waited to see what his response would be. Whether his advances would be accepted or not. He wasn’t sure what he would do if he was rejected – he wanted this man with a desire that was strange to him. Normally, when he came to Jungle to feed his desires, he chose almost casually, the desire just a physical need. But this time – he needed this man with a strength that was riding him hard.

One arm lifted and a long-fingered hand wrapped around the back of his neck whilst those hips resumed their pumping motion. He easily followed the movements, pressing their bodies together until they were dancing as one, practically fucking on the dance floor. He pressed his nose to the sweaty neck in front of him, inhaling the pure scent of the male in his arms and relishing how right it felt. All of it felt right.

Or almost right.

He wanted everyone else gone – he wanted them alone, naked, writhing on a bed, with all of that smooth tanned skin laid out in front of him. Available for him to bite, to suck, to kiss as he wished. He wanted his marks on this person so that anyone who saw him would know that he was taken. He wanted his scent so deeply imprinted that the barest sniff would let anyone know that this body belonged to him – to fuck, to taste, to own.

He span him around until they were face to face, shocked brown eyes meeting his, pink lips parted in a gasp before a tongue came out to lick them nervously. Or perhaps, not nervously – perhaps in desire – for his mouth, for a kiss. Not a wolf, but – something. He tugged him close until their pelvises were grinding against each other, his hand resting on the curve of that delicious ass before he managed to squeeze his palm beneath the tight jeans and hold skin. Soft, plump, giving yet firm – his.

They danced like that for the rest of the song, something with a heavy, driving beat that matched their movements perfectly, drowning out the sounds of other heartbeats, his scent so perfect in Peter’s nostrils that he couldn’t smell anything else. It was as if they were in a bubble that pushed everything external away.

The song changed and he had reached his limit. He reached and grabbed the hand that was already reaching for his own, pulling the willing body behind him away from the dance floor and towards the VIP section. He didn’t care how many people he pushed out of the way, his eyes gleaming blue in an intimidating manner that had the area clearing out in moments until they were alone. Or as alone as they could be in a club.

That first kiss was like a mating of mouths, clashing teeth, hands in hair tugging with little care. Still, he managed to move backwards until he landed on the padded bench with a small thump, tugging the willing body down onto his, long legs straddling him so that his prey was kneeling on the bench, hips still pumping.

Peter managed to wrest his hands free from the tangled brown hair, sliding down the firm chest until he reached the waistband of his jeans. The button popped easily, the zip slightly more difficult as it was straining under the push of the hard flesh beneath.

“If you want to change your mind, sweetheart, now is the time,” he managed to gasp, looking up into eyes that were staring at his face as if stunned by what they saw. A moment, two, before long-fingered hands were at his waistband, undoing his pants and tugging until his erection was finally free from its prison, thrusting into the smooth palm.

“I would kill to get my mouth around that,” the husky voice said and Peter smirked.

“You wouldn’t have to kill, but how about we take the edge off first?” He held up his palm. “Lick.” With a dirty grin, the man licked Peter’s palm, leaning back to make it easier for Peter to take them both in hand. Smooth, heated hardness pressed against his own cock and he mirrored the gasp from his companion as he began to pump the two of them together. “I want to see my come all over your skin and rub it in until you are covered with my scent. I want to fuck you until you can’t move, splayed out on my bed with my come leaking out of your ass and down your thighs. I want to have you on your knees, your head pulled back so that I can hear your cries as I fuck you so hard you can feel me in your throat.”

“Jesus – “

“I want to wrap my hand around your throat and feel the head of my cock there as I choke you until all you can smell is me, all you can taste is me, until I come so hard and so deep in your mouth that you don’t even taste it – “

The imagery took them over the edge far sooner than Peter expected and he barely managed to aim so that the gouts of pearly white liquid splattered the belly revealed by the tee-shirt he seemed to have torn in his haste to get his companion into his arms. The man was hanging onto Peter’s shoulders, fingers digging into the muscles, head thrown back as he gasped out his orgasm, eyes closed. He wanted to mark that neck, trace the moles that were scattered on the smooth skin and he forced his eyes to remain open as his balls emptied. When the touch of his hand became too much for his over-sensitive flesh, he released them both. The man looked down at Peter, whisky brown eyes looked drugged, panting breaths beginning to calm down. Peter deliberately placed his hands in the mess they had made and rubbed it into all of the skin he could reach, pinching the hard nipples as he did so before sliding his hands up until they were wrapped around the long neck.

“Oh sweetheart, the things I want to do to you,” he muttered as he finally regained the ability to speak.

“Not here.”

“No – we’re going to need a lot more room.” Without considering what he might be revealing, he easily lifted the man off his lap and to his feet, rising from the bench. He tucked himself away and did up his pants, watching as the man did the same. “My car is out back.”

“Lead the way.”


Chapter Text

Kate’s biggest secret was easy. She wanted Allison dead and was going to find a way to make it happen, sooner rather than later. He’d not even been a little bit surprised. Allison was more difficult. For whatever reason, she steered clear of him, never allowing him the chance to even graze her with a touch. It’s almost as if she sensed what he can do. He wondered if she has the hint of an ability like his and if so, what would her grandfather do if he found out. Were there rules about that shit? If you show even a hint of being more – or just different – are you thrown out of the club?

His ability was mutating – or growing might be a better descriptor. Ever since that night at Jungle – that night before the Sunday dinner where he let his reckless side out and just wanted to be free. He’d planned just to dance – he didn’t need alcohol when he felt like that, just the music and the freedom to move.

But then hands had appeared on his hips, the hard press of a body behind him, and all of his senses had gone into overdrive. A feeling of safety that should have clashed with the adrenaline fizzing through his veins that made his movements more sexual, his body feel tighter and harder. He could have danced with him all night long, drowned himself in the feelings of arousal that made his heart thump in his chest, his dick rock-hard in his jeans, his mouth water with the need to taste.

Then he was spun around and all the breath had left his body and he forgot how to breathe. Eyes so blue it was inhuman, lips curved in a sensual but also cruel smile, a thick neck rising from the darkness of a vee-neck shirt, down to chest that appeared to be carved from stone. Their bodies were practically glued together from the waist down and he had never wanted someone so much in his whole life.

The VIP section was a blur of desire and want, sensation upon sensation with that voice whispering all of his inner desires whilst a big, strong hand pumped at him so perfectly that he felt like he had died and given his soul to the stranger he straddled even before his orgasm tore through him.

If he had taken just a moment to tune into his gift, maybe he wouldn’t have followed him so willingly; maybe that night wouldn’t have happened and the whole stack of dominoes might not have begun to fall.

Maybe.

But he had followed him, more than willingly – to his car, his apartment, to that sinful bedroom with the giant bed that had all the room they had needed to do everything he could imagine and more.

And maybe, if he had tuned into his ability and seen who the man was, realised just how neatly the whole trap was closing around him, he wouldn’t be here, wondering if he was going to die in a cold, dank basement.

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“So what’s this dinner about?” Stiles looked up at his Dad, wondering not for the first time what he would do if Stiles told him all of the thoughts in his head. He wouldn’t do it – if he could possibly keep his father out of the whole thing, keep him safe, there was not a chance in hell he was going to say anything.

“Just a few friends I’ve made at college – apparently they all gather for a big family dinner thing and they invited me along.”

“Sounds nice – it’s good that you’ve made some friends,” his Dad replied, his voice muffled slightly by the newspaper he was reading. It always struck him as funny that Noah insisted on reading a physical newspaper when he could pick up the news on his table far easier. But Noah insisted on it being a Sunday tradition if he wasn’t working – breakfast together, where they split the newspaper between them and caught up on life.

“Yeah, it could be fun. Hey, Dad – “

“Yeah, son?”

“Have you ever thought of just asking her out?” The newspaper dropped and Noah stared at him for a moment, his mouth open.

“Who?”

“Oh please! You talk about this one nurse all the time – about how efficient she is, how she’s always so helpful. It’s not hard to tell that you like her,” Stiles replied. His dad blushed a little, then blustered into speech.

“I’m not sure who you’re speaking about – there are lots of nurses that are efficient and helpful when I have to go to the hospital! I don’t talk about – “

“About Melissa? That’s her name, right?”

“Stiles – “

“No, seriously. She sounds really nice and – I don’t think Mom would have wanted you to be alone for the rest of your life.” His dad dropped his gaze, a sad expression flitting over his face. “You and Mom had a fantastic relationship – I know that. But she’s been gone for so long – and, well, it would be nice if someone else had to handle your dirty socks every now and then!”

“Hey! My socks are nowhere near as bad as that room of yours – and besides, I don’t see me dating someone just so that you can get out of doing the laundry when you come home!” Noah put the newspaper down completely, giving Stiles his full attention. “Besides, what’s brought this up?”

“I dunno – I guess me going to college, the potential for me taking an internship away from home. I’d like to think of you having someone to come home to on occasion,” Stiles admitted, letting his worry show. “You’re one of the good guys, Dad – it seems a shame that you don’t get to share that side of yourself with anyone.”

“I – thanks, Stiles – that’s a really lovely thing to say. Especially since I haven’t always been there for you the way I should have been. Especially when your mother – “ Stiles waved his hand, dismissing that awful time in their lives as if it hadn’t happened. “Don’t brush it aside as if it’s nothing. I let you down when you needed me the most, hid in a bottle – I’m ashamed of myself for that and will never be able to make up for it.”

“Dad – “

“Besides, shouldn’t you be looking into finding someone? I mean, college has to have opened up the possibilities for you but you haven’t really said anything. After we had the being safe talk – “

“Which we will never mention again as it put me off bananas for a very long time and potentially scarred me for life!”

Noah laughed and nodded. “No one on the horizon?”

“Not really – not that I’ve been looking. Hey, Dad – I wanted to ask about Mom’s family.” Noah stiffened slightly. “I know you didn’t get on with them, but I was interested in if there was any paperwork, communication at all?”

“The Gajos didn’t feel that I fit in with them and your mother made the decision to cut them off. She didn’t speak to them again after we got married. If there’s anything at all about them, I didn’t find it when I was going through all her stuff after she passed,” Noah finally said and Stiles nodded. To be fair, that matched his recollections but he had been young at the time.

“That’s okay – I was just curious,” he said, finishing off the last bit of bacon from his plate. Lydia had promised to get him any information that was available on the Gajos, especially concerning his ability, but it would have been nice to find something from his Mom. His Dad reached out and touched his hand and without thinking, Stiles reached out with his ability. There was nothing there in his Dad’s mind apart from a desire to show that Stiles was loved – and that was new. He’d never been able to discern people’s thoughts like that before – it had always just been secrets before now.

“Stiles – you know, if they had ever met you they would have loved you, right? I know we don’t have any extended family – something I’ve always regretted for you – but – “

“I know. And I love you too, Dad,” he said, getting to his feet and grabbing his father’s shoulders in a hug. “You need to be kinder to yourself, old man – you’ve been a pretty good Dad all told.”

“Hey, less of the old!” Noah said, his voice slightly croaky like he was holding back tears. “Get out of here – knowing you, you’ve got homework to get done before you go out for this dinner! When you get back, you can fill me in on whether that house is as beautiful inside as it is on the outside! I’ve always wanted to go to the Hale House but I’ve never had cause!”

“Thanks Dad – I do have an assignment to get finished before I go!” With one more squeeze, Stiles headed towards his room, turning just before he left the kitchen. “Still, might not hurt to let this Melissa see you out of the uniform – just on the off-chance that she returns your interest, right?”

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Cora couldn’t believe that Allison had called her. She really had thought that things were completely over and done with – her family had made it more than clear how they felt about the supernatural. The short drive to the diner just on the outskirts of town was pleasant, and she couldn’t help but allow a little bit of hope to build. She wasn’t quite sure how she felt about things to be honest – she had expected to feel devastated for a lot longer when she and Allison broke up. Yeah, it had hurt, but just looking at how Derek was struggling with the absence of Derek in his life had made her realise that she wasn’t feeling the same about Allison. Maybe she wasn’t the One? Or maybe Cora needed to let go of the desire for what she knew her Mother and Father had had together. Maybe she just wasn’t the kind to experience the highs of passionate love?

Before she could give the idea much more thought, she had pulled up at the car park for the diner, and she carefully parked the car a little distance away from all of the others. She didn’t want Derek to kill her if she got a mark on his beloved Camaro – well, more than he would for taking it without permission anyway.

She entered the diner, looking around the quiet interior. It wasn’t particularly busy – probably because it was a Sunday – and she easily spotted Allison seated in a private looking booth near the back. She fleetingly wondered if Allison had chosen just this spot because she didn’t want them to be seen together, but shook the thought from her head as she headed over to where she was sitting. Allison got to her feet, a shy smile on her face as Cora walked closer. She looked a little harried, her normally pristine appearance slightly askew.

“I’m so glad you came – I wondered if you would blame me for how my Mom and Dad acted when you came around,” Allison said, hands twisting in front of her nervously. Cora wasn’t sure whether she should hug her or not, choosing instead to take a seat on the opposite side of the booth. Allison followed suit, and for a moment Cora thought she saw an expression of annoyance.

“You can’t be blamed for how your family feel and think – unless you think the same of couse,” Cora said, picking up the menu whilst looking at Allison surreptitiously. Allison’s lips tightened momentarily and Cora began to get a weird feeling at the back of her neck.

“I don’t know why you seem to be taking it so personally anyway,” Allison said, taking a seat and grabbing the other menu. “I mean, it’s all hypothetical, right?”

“Right,” Cora replied. “Although, still kinda bigoted views – I mean, just because something isn’t completely human doesn’t mean it doesn’t have the right to coexist peacefully.”

“Peacefully? When do animals like that ever exist peacefully? The whole idea is to be top of the chain, right?” Allison spoke with vehemence, a hint of contempt in her voice.

“Is it?” Allison looked up and seemed to realise what she had said, biting her lip.

“Sorry – I’ve had a rough morning.”

“Why, what’s happened?”

“My Dad – I can’t believe this – my Dad is leaving my Mom!”

“Whoa!” Cora slumped in her seat for a moment, stunned at Allison’s announcement. “Where the hell did that come from? I thought they were happy together?”

“I don’t know about happy but – there was absolutely no inkling that he was going to leave! He says he’s in love with another woman, that they’ve decided they want to be together! For God’s sake, it’s ridiculous – it’s just not done! You’d think he’d consider the impact on the family, our reputation – “ Cora was stunned that Allison seemed more concerned with reputation than her family breaking up, all of her previous ideas about the young woman taking a blow. This wasn’t the sweet, kind woman Cora had spent so much time with. In fact, the longer she sat there, the more she found herself thinking that Allison was most definitely not who Cora had thought she was. “I had to get out of there – Grandpa was having an absolute fit, and Mom was just screaming at him!”

“He’s fallen in love with someone else?”

“Yeah – he didn’t say who, not that it matters! How dare he? I mean, at his age and with everything going on – “

“What do you mean, everything that’s going on?”

“What?” Allison seemed to realise that she had been venting without apparent thought, not tempering her words in the slightest. “I’m sorry – I just wanted to talk to someone, someone who understood me and you were the first person I thought of.” Allison reached across the table for Cora’s hand, twining their fingers together. “You always seemed to just get me and – I’ve missed you since we last spoke.”

Cora was about to pull her hand away when the waitress appeared next to them.

“Can I take your order?”

“Can’t you see we’re talking?” Allison spat out.

“Sorry – can you give us a few minutes?” Cora said, pulling her hand away as the waitress merely raised an eyebrow and walked away again. “That was a bit out of order, Allison – she was just doing her job.”

“I know, I know – it’s just – I’m so fucking stressed, you wouldn’t believe it! And my Aunt is just – “

“I didn’t know you had an aunt,” Cora replied.

“What? Yeah – late life baby for my Grandparents. She’s a vicious, twisted bitch who’s out to get me,” Allison said, almost muttering to herself as she ran her hands roughly through her hair. Cora felt like she was witnessing some kind of psychotic break, the entire persona Allison had presented to her previously collapsing as she watched.

“Allison, maybe – “ Allison took a deep breath and shook her shoulders, putting a smile on her face that looked more like a grimace.

“Anyway, that’s not why I wanted to see you! I just – none of that stuff matters really. Cora – I – “

“Look, I’m really sorry for everything that’s happening but – I only came to say that I thought it wouldn’t be a good idea for us to – hang out or – “

“No, don’t make any hasty decisions! I’m sorry I haven’t been myself – I just – you can’t understand the pressure I’m under – “ Feeling completely out of her depth and all of her instincts screaming at her to get away, Cora got out of her seat, pushing off the hand that Allison put on her arm to prevent her motions.

“I think you might need to go home and try to – maybe talk to your Dad? Or your Mom? I – “

“Don’t you walk away from me!” Allison’s voice was threatening and Cora had had enough. She wanted nothing to do with whatever this was.

“Allison – I’m really sorry but I’m gonna go.” Not giving the woman another chance to speak, Cora turned and headed out of the diner, giving the waitress an apologetic smile as she did so. By the time she had made it to Derek’s car, she could see that Allison had followed her out of the diner, and she started the engine quickly, determined to get away. In her rearview mirror, she could see Allison standing in the middle of the car park, shouting at her.


Chapter Text

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“So – are you going to tell me what you got from Peter that made you run out of the house like a scared rabbit?” Stiles groaned, knowing that this question had been coming but still unprepared to answer it.

“What makes you think I was scared?”

“Chemosignals,” Isaac replied, stretching as much as he could in his bonds. “That and you went so pale you’d have made good parchment!”

“Yeah, right – I forgot the whole chemosignals things what with only having being introduced to the whole idea of fucking werewolves this week!” He could barely believe how much his life had changed in the space of a week. Monday he’d been worrying about one of his assignments, Wednesday he discovered kitsunes and by Sunday –

“It’s not my fault you didn’t pick up on shit!” Isaac replied. “Although, to be fair we’re pretty used to keeping it low key. Kira’s new.”

“How come none of you think of it as your big secret?” Stiles asked, leaning against the wall and making himself as comfortable as possible.

“I guess because we’re used to hiding it – it’s like second nature. Maybe our other secrets are bigger for us, I dunno,” Isaac replied.

“Hmm, makes sense I guess.” He sighed, trying not to think about Peter and what he had got from the man when they touched. “How long have we been here?”

“Not as long as you might think,” Isaac replied. “Barely 4 hours I reckon.”

Really?!” Stiles was stunned – it had felt like days.

“Yeah, time does not fly when you’re being tortured, unfortunately,” Isaac snarked back. They both flinched when they heard the door above them open and Stiles bit his lip. He didn’t know how much more of this he could take. His mouth fell open when someone he only recognised from his ‘visions’ appeared moving swiftly down the stairs, the man in front of him no one he had ever met in person before.

“Who the hell are you?” Isaac growled out, doing his best to look intimidating despite his position.

“We don’t have a lot of time – let’s get you two out of here, shall we?”

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Jackson pulled into the nearest parking space available, noting the absence of Derek’s Camaro with a slight feeling of apprehension. When he and Derek had talked and his – lover? Boyfriend? – had said that everything would be explained on Sunday if Jackson would come out to the house, he’d been in a post-orgasmic haze, agreeing because it made sense at the time. He’d had a couple of days to panic since then, and he hadn’t been able to get hold of either Lydia or Danny to talk him down. Why Derek wouldn’t – or couldn’t – explain then and there, he didn’t know but Jackson had the feeling that he was into something deeper than he could ever possibly imagine.

Climbing out of his Porsche, he deliberately straightened his shoulders in case anyone from the house was looking and walked across the gravel pathway to the front door. He’d barely lifted his hand to knock before the door was wrenched open and Derek had pulled him into his arms.

“I was so scared you wouldn’t come!”

“I wasn’t sure – “

“Thank you! There is so much to tell you but I just wanted this moment with you first,” Derek spoke quickly and quietly, resting his head against Jackson’s and breathing him in. it settled something inside Jackson to see that Derek was just as nervous as he was – it meant he wasn’t alone in this. Derek lifted his head and kissed Jackson quickly before pulling him into the house and shutting the door. “Mom’s in the study – she said to bring you through as soon as you arrived.”

“Your Mom – “

“Yeah, we need to talk to her in private and that’s the best place,” Derek replied, tugging Jackson behind him down the hallway, barely giving him a chance to take in his surroundings. “Kate’s here with Laura, and the others are in the living room so the study.”

“Why is Kate Silverton here?” Jackson said, scowling just at the thought of the woman. Watching her climb all over Derek while he wasn’t even allowed to speak to him had been a big part of the feelings of hurt and it didn’t sit well with him that she was there.

“Because Laura wants her here,” Derek said, turning to look back at Jackson. “Oh come on, please tell me that you didn’t think – “

“What was I meant to think with her crawling all over you whilst you refused to speak to me?” Jackson snapped, coming to a halt. “Apparently, it’s okay for her to hang around with you, but not me? What kind of shit is this, Derek?”

“My Mom will explain, I swear to you!”

“I don’t know – “

“She spoke to your Dad – got his permission to – “

“What the hell has my Dad got to do with any of this?”

“If you would just come to the study with me, we could both find out what the hell is going on! I thought I knew but then Mom said there was some other stuff that we needed to know and – “

“TIME OUT!” Jackson raised his voice, relieved when Derek stopped trying to pull him forward. “Derek, this all seems really strange! My Dad completely avoided me this morning, and my Mom has been sick with a ‘headache’ for the past two days. What the hell is going on?” Derek tried to pull him into his arms but Jackson resisted. He was just about past his bullshit level and was ready to just walk out.

“My Mom promised she would explain everything – there is so much I don’t know myself, Jackson. Please – just come with me?” The pleading look on Derek’s face finally convinced Jackson and with a sigh, he followed Derek to the study, taking a deep breath just before they walked through the door.

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Talia knew that this was just the beginning of what a shitshow the day was going to be but she also knew that this was necessary. She observed her son as he made his friend comfortable, pulling up a chair so that he could sit alongside Jackson and taking his hand.

“Okay boys – I know what you’re about to hear might be a little shocking, but I’m going to need you to bear with me and hear me all the way through before you start asking questions. Okay?” They both nodded although she could see that Jackson was confused and a little angry. Not surprising considering that all of this was going to be a complete and utter shock to him. “First of all, Jackson, I apologise for how things have happened. Derek was trying to avoid hurting you when he stopped being your friend – “

“Right,” Jackson muttered, giving her son an angry side look.

“He truly was. You’ll understand shortly – hopefully. Secondly, I spoke to your father and he agreed that I could have this conversation with you. It’s – he wanted to talk to you before but your Mother wasn’t willing and he admits that he perhaps tried to let sleeping dogs lie. He tells me that you’re aware that you’re adopted but don’t know anything about your biological parents?”

“I don’t need to know anything about them – they obviously didn’t want me so – “

“That’s not actually the case. You were very much planned and wanted. Unfortunately, your family had come under the scrutiny of hunters – “

“What – “

“No, let me speak please. Your parents were part of the supernatural world, Jackson – you actually come from a long line of kanimas.”

“What is this bullshit?” Jackson jumped to his feet, looking at her scornfully. “I don’t know why you’re – “

“Sit down!” Talia allowed her eyes to bleed red, watching as Jackson almost automatically resumed his seat, his mouth open a little in shock. “You need to hear me out. Kanimas are a special breed of protectors – they always have been. In fact, they are highly prized – once they give their allegiance to their Master, they do not waver and they never hesitate to follow through on a command. Your father fell in love with your mother who was fully human, and because he didn’t believe his family would accept her, they ran away. They managed to remain completely under the radar for quite some time before coming to the attention of the Calaveras family. They are a family of hunters based in New Mexico – “

“What the hell is a kanima?”

“I can show you pictures – afterwards. Please, let me finish.” He nodded reluctantly, and Talia resumed the tale. “The Calaveras are a hunting family based in New Mexico and when they became aware that they had kanimas in their territory, they decided they wanted to possess one. And obviously, the easiest way to gain control of your father was to threaten your mother. They underestimated his need to protect his wife – and unborn child. He was – hurt – in a fight to escape but he managed to get away from there and drive to Beacon Hills where he planned to claim sanctuary from us. We are a wolf pack, the pack in charge of the county, and would have accepted him – and you – with no qualms whatsoever.”

“Mom – “ Derek looked confused.

“Wolf pack – “ Jackson said, his voice disbelieving.

“With assistance from David, Jackson’s father, your uncle Peter was able to gather more information than we had previously. This is why this is the first you are hearing of this, Derek.” Her son nodded. “Your mother was David’s sister and her in case of an emergency contact. There was a car accident on the outskirts of town – an unfortunate accident, nothing to do with the Calaveras, and by the time David made his way to the hospital, unfortunately, your father had already passed. Your mother – Caroline – had survived the impact but it didn’t look good. She explained as best she could and asked your father to take you in and raise you. I should tell you that David knew what he was getting into – his sister was brutally honest about the person she had married and what they had been trying to escape. She died shortly after you were born although she did have the chance to hold and name you before she passed.

David didn’t know who he could trust so decided not only to adopt you but also to keep your heritage a secret. He wanted to keep you safe – that was his highest priority. Your mother – your adoptive mother – was also of the opinion that the less you knew, the better, simply because she felt that if you began to investigate your background, you might garner the attention of the Calaveras family and she didn’t want that for you. She was trying to protect you.”

“This is bullshit!”

“No, Jackson, it isn’t. And I think you know it isn’t. You have certain – instincts – within you from your father’s side that will be coming to maturity. David knew that the time was coming when he would have to explain all of this to you, but he didn’t know where to turn. It was only when Peter began investigating your relationship to Derek – something he does as a matter of course for anyone who is becoming intimate with our family – that all of this came to light.” Talia gave them a moment to take in what she had said. “Your father made sure you received counselling when you found out you were adopted, during which time the therapist discovered that you had some anger issues – issues that became a matter of record, which is where Peter first gathered his information about you. For reasons of safety, it was decided that we couldn’t risk exposure and Derek was told that he needed to draw back from you. We were not aware at the time of the depth of his feelings for you, or your supernatural inclinations.”

“Supernatural inclinations – “ Jackson questioned, pale beneath his tan.

“You are unconsciously looking for a master, someone you can respect and serve. It’s an integral part of your nature. You obviously recognised something in Derek that met your needs, hence your relationship becoming so – committed – so quickly. I hasten to add that Derek has made me aware that he is fully committed to you too – which is part of the reason for this conversation. Jackson, Derek did not want to hurt you. He was aware of secrets your parents were keeping from you but was under strict instructions not to force their hand. He couldn’t bring himself to lie to you which is why he pulled away completely – drastic and ultimately doomed to failure because simply looking at the two of you, I can clearly see the bond that is there. But there was nothing malicious in what he did – he was trying to keep his word to his family, to his pack. I am sorry that you were hurt in the process.”

“I – are you trying to say that I view Derek as my master?”

“That’s – “

“I don’t mean in all aspects of your relationship, although if that is the case then it is absolutely nothing to be ashamed or concerned about. The kanima side of your nature is something you need to be aware of, Jackson, whether you decide to see your relationship with Derek through – you need to know what you are searching for and why you need to be careful. You will also need to become affiliated with a pack or clan to ensure that you are adequately protected if hunters try to capture you.”

“What do you mean, whether I decide to see my relationship with Derek through?”

“You may have unconsciously chosen him as your master, but that doesn’t mean you have to accept that bond. You are free to make your own choices, and no one will force you. I know Derek has deep feelings for you, but you have the right to make informed decisions.” Talia turned to Derek. “I know you are feeling the beginning of a mating bond with Jackson, but I also know that you will give him the space he needs to make this decision without undue pressure. This is a big deal – for both of you – and you need to have all of the information available.”

“Are you saying I can walk away? From all of this?” Jackson asked. Talia noted that even though he was asking about walking away, he was holding onto Derek’s hand as tightly as Derek was holding his.

“You can’t walk away from your nature, but you can walk away from Derek – and from this pack. There are other places you can pledge your affiliation and we won’t try to influence that decision. We were very clear about that with your father. There are only two things that I would ask of you – actually, three.”

“Go ahead.”

“Firstly, please don’t blame your parents. They were trying to protect you with limited information and resources. They didn’t mean to hide all of this from you maliciously. Your mother is sick at the idea that she has hurt you in any way – you are her son now just as much as you were before.”

Jackson nodded and Talia gave a small sigh of relief – David and Celia had both been distraught at the idea that their desire to protect their son might have caused him pain.

“Secondly, I would ask that you not punish Derek for his actions. I hope I am not out of order in saying that my son cares for you very deeply, and anything he did was because of his connection to his pack and family. Please don’t hold his actions against him.”

“And the last thing?” Jackson’s face gave nothing away as he asked her the question.

“The last thing I would ask of you is that you seriously consider becoming part of our pack. I mean, seriously. There are hunters out there – people who would hurt you just because of your nature – but this isn’t just about protection. We would be honoured to have you with us, Jackson, and I hope that you will understand that the people you meet – or meet again – are part of something precious and special, and you would be treated as such. Please don’t let your justifiable anger or ego get in the way of what is best for you.” She saw the impact of her words on Jackson, that she had reached him because a tear spilt over and he wiped it away quickly. “Now, everyone is gathering for dinner shortly and Laura wants me to meet her friend, Kate so I’m going to leave you and Derek in here so you have the space and privacy to talk. Obviously, if you have any questions at all, I’ll be around.”

As she walked to the door and moved past them, Jackson reached out and grabbed her hand.

“Yes?”

“I – thank you. For telling me all of this – and for the welcome. I promise – I’ll take it seriously and fairly.”

“That’s all I ask. Derek, bring Jackson through when you’re both ready.” Derek nodded even as his gaze was glued to Jackson’s profile and Talia let herself quietly out of the study.

On to the next thing – her daughter’s new friend, Kate Silverton.


Chapter Text

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“It’s the guy I saw with Talia,” Stiles said, trying to reassure Isaac who was growling the entire time the guy was turning off the electricity and struggling to undo the bonds holding Isaac on to the chain-link.

“What?” The guy turned and gave Stiles a hard stare before shaking his head and returning to his task. “Can you walk? How injured are you?” Finally free, Isaac immediately sprang so that he was between Stiles and the guy, which, hey that was getting old.

“What do we call you?”

“My name is Chris – Chris Argent,” the man said warily.

“We can’t trust him, Stiles – this is some kind of trap,” Isaac said, crowding Stiles against the wall in a bid to protect him.

“Quit it!” Stiles snapped, finally managing to move around Isaac and give Chris an assessing look. “What would be the point of a trap? They have us here already and they know where the Pack is. He has nothing to gain from this and a hell of a lot to lose.”

“Both excellent points – now can we get out of here? I don’t know how long the diversion I set up is going to last,” Chris said. “Now I repeat – can you walk?”

“I’m good,” Isaac said grudgingly and Stiles nodded even though absolutely everything on his body hurt.

“Right – here drink this,” Chris held out two bottles of water, sealed and Stiles took one gratefully, draining it in just a few gulps. Isaac eyed the offering with suspicious eyes, but once he saw that Stiles was apparently not going to drop dead from poison, he accepted the bottle offered to him, ripped it open and drank the contents speedily. “I need you to keep quiet and behind me. I know you have claws but Stiles isn’t armed – “ Chris stopped speaking when he saw that Stiles had made his way over to the tools that Allison hadn’t put away from her last visit. Stiles picked up one of the longer daggers then turned back.

“I may not have a gun but if things get up close and personal, I can hold my own. Sheriff’s son – I had self-defence lessons almost before I could walk.”

“Okay – I’m beginning to think you two didn’t need saving,” Chris said. “My father, sister and daughter are not here – I’m not sure where they are – but I’ve set off a small fire to the west which means we should be able to get to the car so I can get you two out of here.”

“Sounds good to me,” Stiles said and Isaac grinned. Slightly inappropriate, but hey, he was the one that had been tortured.

“Maybe I’ll be lucky and we’ll meet the asshole that manhandled us into the van,” Isaac said and Chris nodded before moving towards the stairs, Stiles and Isaac following closely behind him.

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Peter was in a foul mood and most definitely not feeling like spending time with his sister and the cubs. He was pissed because not only had he not got the name of his guest from Friday night – and Saturday morning – but because said guest had sneaked out whilst Peter was sleeping off their excesses, he had no way of contacting or finding him. He didn’t think much of his chances of hanging out at Jungle night after night, hoping for a repeat performance. Why the hell had the man left? Admittedly, he’d been younger than Peter had thought once they’d got out of the lights of the club, but he had definitely been legal and an enthusiastic participant in everything they had done.

Normally, he went to his partner of choices place because he didn’t like having strangers in his home, but for some reason, he had wanted that young man in his territory. And just because he had done exactly what Peter had done on many, many occasions – left without a word the morning after to avoid awkward conversations – didn’t mean that his behaviour was acceptable. Somehow he should have known that this was more than a one-night thing. He might not be a wolf, but he was most definitely something supernatural – surely his senses were telling him what they could be to each other?

Whatever, he needed to put all of this out of his mind. They were having visitors – he knew Talia planned to speak to Jackson and Derek, which would put his nephew in a good mood no doubt. Then there was Kate Silverton and Stiles Stilinski. So far, his investigations on Stiles had pulled very little of interest – Sheriff’s kid, slightly accident-prone when he was younger and mischievous. He missed 18 months of school after his mother died, but upon his return had excelled and more than made up for the time he had missed. He was doing Forensic Science and was interested in a career in the FBI if he wasn’t snatched up by the private sector first. He sounded altogether too good to be true, but none of Peter’s contacts had been able to pull up anything particularly negative. They were still investigating, trying to track down his family on his maternal side but at this point, there didn’t seem much point in keeping him away from the baby-pack that attended the same college.

Kate Silverton, on the other hand, made all of Peter’s hackles rise. She was too perfect as if everything about her was aimed at making someone relax. It was a cover, but Peter wasn’t sure what it was a cover for. He was in touch with a couple of Marshalls who would be able to let him know if she was in witness protection, which would explain her bio, but they weren’t going to be able to get back to him until Monday. He regretted the decision to allow Laura to invite her to the Den, but he couldn’t take it back now. He would report back to Talia and plot their next move, but he intended on keeping a sharp eye on this Kate.

The last place she had lived, there had been an incident with a local pack, but there were no survivors that Peter could talk to. There was nothing to link her to it, which was frustrating, but that didn’t mean she wasn’t involved. Talia often said he looked on the dark side far too often but his motto was most definitely better to be safe than sorry.

He was irritated to see a dirty, slightly wrecked blue Jeep parked in his space, the sight making him scowl. He was being pissy, he knew he was, but everyone knew to leave that space for him – whoever had invited the driver (whether it was this Kate or Stiles) should have warned them. He gave the Porsche parked slightly away from the other cars with a smile – now that was an owner who respected his vehicle and knew how to keep it in good nick. Fewer dings if you parked away from other people.

Patting the trunk, he walked towards the house, pulling on a smooth, pleasant exterior so that he didn’t scare the puppies – just because they sometimes called him the executioner behind his back didn’t mean that he couldn’t look civilised.

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Kate Silverton was all the way wrong but there was nothing Talia could do to make her daughter see it. It was like watching someone ignore every single red flag in front of them, toss them over their shoulder and run headlong into their demise whilst being able to do nothing but scream internally.

Laura was completely and utterly under Kate’s spell and it was nauseating to see. Talia had brought up her children to be polite, helpful, caring individuals and she hated to see that being used against her daughter. Kate was so – insidious. From the time Talia had walked into the lounge and met her, she’d been stuck to Laura’s side like a leech, holding her hand, running her fingers across Laura’s cheek, even trailing her hand down Laura’s back and Talia was pretty sure, grabbing her ass, all whilst Laura was introducing her.

Her smile was a hideous grimace, challenging and smarmy at the same time, although her expression became saccharine-sweet whenever Laura turned to face her. She avoided answering even the simplest questions and practically simpered when Laura offered to get her a drink. It was vomit-inducing.

“So, how are you finding college?” Talia asked, desperately hoping Peter made his entrance soon. Talia still hadn’t been able to meet Stiles Stilinski who was sitting talking to Erica, Boyd and Isaac, but felt like she might need a shower before that happened. Being around Kate made her feel – dirty.

“Oh, you know, it’s – entertaining. I’ve met a great group of people – boys and girls – and I am very much equal opportunities so it’s been good.” Kate gave Talia an up and down look. “And it’s been cool to meet so many older people – I didn’t realise Beacon Hills had so many potential cougars and sugar daddies, am I right?” Kate gave a patently false laugh, throwing back her head and Talia wanted to rip her throat out.

With her teeth.

“I see,” was the only answer she could think to give, wondering if Kate was implying what she seemed to be implying. “Do you have family in the area? Derek mentioned you lived down-town?”

“No – no family to speak of,” Kate replied and Talia stiffened. That had been a lie – the first lie she could say with complete surety that Kate had uttered. “I guess that’s why it’s been so lovely getting to know Laura and Derek – and the rest of them, of course. It’s been nice to be part of a pack of people, you know?”

Was there added emphasis on the word ‘pack’ or was Talia letting her suspicions get away with her?

“Oh absolutely – there’s nothing like finding a group of like-minded people who you can bond with,” she replied smoothly, leaning forward slightly to try to catch a hint of Kate’s true scent. The young woman was wearing heavy perfume – surprisingly heavy for such a young person – but beneath it, Talia could scent something that smelled very much like gun oil. Not that that meant anything – lots of people had guns, especially if they lived alone. But it raised the hackles on Talia’s neck nevertheless.

“It was really nice of Laura to invite me to dinner. Any chance of a tour? This house is amazing – I bet there are all sorts of nooks and crannies, secret passages and stuff,” Kate said.

“I’m sure Laura will be able to show you around at some point – we’ll be going in to dinner shortly, if Cora makes it home on time.”

“Cora? Why – where did Cora go?” Kate had stiffened, her tone almost interrogatory.

“I believe she went to meet with a friend,” Talia replied, looking around for an available member of the pack. She was suddenly desperate for someone to check on her youngest daughter.

“Do you know what friend?”

“Excuse me?” Talia raised an eyebrow at Kate’s tone and the younger woman made an effort to visibly relax.

“I was just curious – I thought the whole pa– family were always here for Sunday dinner,” Kate said, looking around somewhat nervously.

“We do generally try to eat as a family at least once a week, but it’s not always Sunday and it very much depends on everyone’s schedule,” Talia said, catching Isaac’s eye. Laura had returned with a drink and Talia’s nose wrinkled when she caught the scent of alcohol. She didn’t prevent her children from drinking – it wasn’t as if it could affect them – but she was surprised that Laura was being so open in providing Kate with alcohol at a family dinner. It was out of character for her daughter and she resolved to make time to talk to Laura privately after dinner. Once Kate was gone – it was obvious by how Laura only had eyes for Kate that there would be no real opportunity before then. “If you’ll excuse me – I need to check something with Isaac. It was – nice meeting you Kate.”

She strode over to Isaac who met her halfway.

“Do you know where Cora went and who she was meeting?”

“Um – “

“She’s not in any trouble – with me at least,” Talia reassured him.

“She went to meet this girl she’s kinda attached to – I think she took Derek’s car,” he replied, frowning at her phrasing. “Why – is something wrong?”

“Go into the office and check the tracking on the vehicle please – and send the check-in request text to her. I don’t know if something is wrong but – “

“I’ll do it now,” Isaac said and she put her hand on his arm.

“Don’t make it obvious please,” she said, looking around the room. “Something doesn’t feel right.”

“Okay.” She watched as he casually walked out of the room, trying to shake off the prickling feeling that was bothering her. She needed a moment to regain her equilibrium before she met Stiles – hopefully, that meeting wouldn’t go so badly. Where the hell was Peter when she needed him?

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Lydia had been sparse in her details about the Hales, saying that Stiles would be filled in as and when necessary once he had met Peter. He could make a rough guess as to what they were – if nothing else, he thought that the beautiful wolf figurines on a few of the bookcases gave a major hint – but he didn’t want to tip his hand. It was nice to spend time with Erica, Boyd and even Isaac without the pressure of classes and he was enjoying himself. He wasn’t looking forward to meeting Peter Hale – the way Boyd and Isaac described him, he sounded intimidating, although Erica insisted that Uncle Peter was a pussycat and that he and Stiles would get on like a house on fire.

Derek had disappeared when the front doorbell had gone off earlier and Erica had said that he was talking to Talia about something important. Laura was stuck to Kate Silverton’s side and Stiles admitted to himself that his dislike of the girl had no real basis – he’d never even properly met her, let alone shook her hand or anything. Maybe that’s what it was – he had no idea what her secret was because he hadn’t ever got close enough to find out. She just struck him as – skeevy. It was obvious now that she had been hanging all over Derek to make Laura jealous and that was underhand, to say the least.

Scott would be coming later – he was doing a bit of overtime for his boss, Deaton, and he would be bringing Kira with him. Hopefully, that meant he’d finally put on his big boy pants and asked her out. Strange to think of Scott as part of all of this, although Lydia had told him that not everyone was of a supernatural persuasion. He hoped not – he might have to rethink telling his Dad he should ask out Scott’s Mom if that was the case.

The door to the lounge opened and he looked over, expecting to see Derek return since Talia had come through a little earlier. It wasn’t Derek. Stiles could feel himself going pale, his eyes wide and his mouth almost dropping open when the guy from Friday night strode into the room as if he owned it. He looked delicious – there was no other way to describe it – wearing a soft-looking black, vee-neck sweater and dark jeans. His eyes instantly went to Stiles, an almost feral gleam entering them as he took in Stiles’ presence. What the hell was he doing there?

“Uncle Peter!” Erica walked swiftly over to the newcomer, confirming Stiles’ worst fears with her words.

“Are you okay, Stiles? You’ve gone seriously pale?” Boyd’s hand on his arm shook him out of his stupor slightly but before he could get a word out, Erica had dragged Peter over to them. Peter made no attempt to hide his smug satisfaction, his eyes travelling up and down Stiles’ body like a physical caress as he came to stand right in front of him.

“Erica – please, introduce me to your – friend,” Peter said. That voice. That voice had been in his dreams all of Saturday night, the slight huskiness of it, the way it sounded commanding Stiles to get on his knees, to suck harder, to roll over and –

“This is Stiles! Stiles, this is Uncle Peter,” Erica said, grinning happily.

“How delightful to meet you – Stiles,” Peter said, holding out his hand as if they had never met, hadn’t fucked for hours only two nights before, hadn’t slept in each other’s arms in between bouts of incredible sex. He couldn’t think of anything to do other than take his hand, the flash of knowledge rushing through him like a lightning bolt as he discovered Peter Hale’s biggest secret with no effort whatsoever. “I hope we get the chance to get to know each other better – much better,” Peter continued, whilst all Stiles could do was hold onto his hand and try not to pass out.


Chapter Text

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Stiles was pretty sure he would need a change of underwear by the time they got out of the Argent house. Isaac was pissed at Stiles’ idea that he should pretend to be Chris’s prisoner to stop anyone who wasn’t dealing with the fire from questioning what was happening and made his feelings plain by remaining in his beta face, amber eyes glaring at Stiles almost as much as Chris. Forget the fact that Stiles had to try to pretend to be ‘cowed’ and follow Chris meekly when all he wanted to do was stab every motherfucker they came across who seemed to think that Chris was taking out the trash and planning on killing them both.

Good times.

Before they’d left the basement of doom, he’d made a point of grabbing Chris by the wrist and searching out his secret, although to be fair the man didn’t even attempt to pull away.

Chris fucking adored Talia Hale with every fibre of his being and was ashamed of his family. Which meant he was on the side of the angels as far as Stiles was concerned – or rather, the side of the wolves. Stiles sweated through the walk through the Argent house, which from the outside was not the gothic prison he had imagined but an everyday looking house in a courtyard, what looked like a nice garden and a sort of turret shaped building at the entrance where a guard waved Chris through without question. Perhaps Gerard had a green thumb as well as a black heart?

“Are you going to tell me why you went the colour of paste when Peter shook your hand?” Isaac asked from beside him, obviously in a slightly better mood since they had pulled away from their previous prison.

“What makes you think I went the colour of paste?” Stiles grumbled, not wanting to get into what had been revealed when he took Peter’s hand.

“Because when Peter sent me after you when you did your runner, he said you’d gone pale as shit and he wanted me to look after you!” Stiles realised that Isaac was one of the people he had ploughed down in his attempt to get away from Peter.

“Why didn’t he come after me then?” Stiles hadn’t even realised that that was part of the reason he had been pissed. He’d run out of the Hale house like his ass was on fire, desperate for some space while his brain parsed all of the information that had been thrown into it with no warning.

“Because Talia called him urgently from the kitchen,” Isaac replied, looking smug. “He obviously wanted to come after you but couldn’t – besides, I’m training under him to be Laura’s Left Hand so he trusted me to take care of you.” He looked downcast for a moment. “Fucking awful job I did of that though.”

“Hey, no – that wasn’t your fault! There was no way we could have expected to get driven off the road and dragged into a van! Besides, that thug was the size of a house and they shot you – you’re not superman!”

“I’m sorry about that – “ Chris said from the front of the car but Isaac just grunted. Stiles hoped he’d forgotten his original question.

“What did you pick up from Kate then? You bumped into her when you left and Boyd said you went even paler!” Isaac insisted and this, Stiles was more than prepared to share.

“She was thinking – at that exactly point in time, when Laura was holding her hand and looking at her like the sun shone out of her ass, she was thinking that she couldn’t wait to burn the god-damn house down with all of you in it!” Stiles finally blurted, his chest heaving with the weight of what he had been holding inside.

“What?”

“She – you have to understand, I’ve never been able to see random things like that before. Ever since Friday – “ he blushed and saw the look that Isaac gave him. “Things have been wonky since Friday – I can’t explain why now. But we have got to get to the house and warn them – she was thinking about how easy it had been to get into the Hale house and how she was going to find every secret passageway and escape tunnel you guys had, scatter something called mountain ash and make sure you couldn’t escape whilst she burned the house down around you!”

“Shit, Stiles – “

“Here, Isaac – call your Alpha. She needs to warn everyone to get out of the house – “ Chris tossed a cell phone back towards Isaac who instantly began pressing buttons.

“What the hell is mountain ash?”

“It’s like – think of it like that programme Supernatural – the way they use salt, it’s like that for werewolves. It prevents access which means if they surrounded the house with it, if they found out where all of our exits were, they could stop us from getting out.”

“And knowing my father, he’d have men on the outside shooting anyone who did manage to get out of the house,” Chris said, beginning to drive even faster and Stiles found himself thinking he was glad they were taking the back-roads because otherwise they’d have been stopped for sure.

“I can’t get an answer,” Isaac reported, looking concerned.

“Try Peter – or Derek!” Chris said.

“I have!” Isaac protested and Stiles felt shivers run down his spine. Isaac had already lost one family – how the hell would he survive it if he lost a second one?

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“Talia, this isn’t the time – “ Peter said, striding into the kitchen despite every instinct inside telling him that he should have followed Stiles out of the house.

“There’s something very wrong with that Kate Silverton that Laura has brought into the house and I think we need to detain her,” Talia said and Peter stiffened. He trusted Talia – as his sister and his Alpha, and if she said Kate needed to be detained then he would do so without question.

“We can take her down to the basement and question her there,” he replied, turning to go back to the lounge.

“Peter – be prepared for Laura to protest. I don’t want to say that Kate has done something to her, but she’s not acting like herself,” Talia said, holding onto his arm.

“You suspect a spell of some kind?”

“I’m not sure but I’ve called Deaton and asked him to get to the house as soon as possible. I also asked Isaac to check in with Cora – he said she’d gone to meet someone and Kate reacted – strangely – when I mentioned it.”

“On it,” Peter replied. By the time he left the kitchen, Cora was running into the house and he caught his niece as she collided with him in her haste. “Cora – your mother was concerned – “

“Uncle Peter – there’s something really weird going on with Allison and – “

“What did Stiles do to Kate?” The shouting from the lounge caught his attention and pulling Cora along behind him, he headed towards the room. Laura had pinned Boyd against the wall, her eyes glaring a sickly orange colour as she threatened the beta. “He touched her – bumped into her and whispered something! As soon as he did that, she left! What did he say?”

“Laura – you have to let him go, he can’t breathe!” Erica was tugging uselessly on Laura’s arm, trying to get her to release her grip. Letting Cora go, Peter grabbed hold of his other niece’s shoulders and wrenched away, tossing her across the room and releasing Boyd from her grip.

“Restrain her!” he ordered, not caring who followed the order as long as someone did. “Boyd – are you okay?”

“I’ve got him – you go sort her out!” Erica spat out, already helping a coughing Boyd to a seat.

“Laura, what the hell – “

“Stiles did something to Kate! I need her here with me – I want to know what he did!”

“You need to calm the fuck down or I’ll put you in the cells!” he thundered back at her, realising that Talia was right – Kate had done something to his niece to have her acting like this.

“You don’t understand – none of you understand – “ Laura was muttering, rocking back and forth with her hands over her face, struggling to control her shift in a way Peter hadn’t seen since she hit puberty.

“What the hell is going on?” Talia came in from the kitchen, her tone making everyone in the room stop talking and turn to her. “I’ve just got off the phone from Deaton – Laura, I need you to come downstairs with me – “

“I won’t let you lock me away!” Laura flew at her mother, claws aiming for her face. Talia hesitated in the face of the attack, and realising that she was allowing her maternal feelings to prevent her from defending herself, Peter sprang into action. He jumped between his niece and his Alpha, backhanding Laura so that she once again flew across the room, landing with a thud against the bookcases and knocking several figurines and books to the floor.

“I need the restraints,” he shouted, moving towards her warily. Laura might be the alpha-heir, but he was the Left Hand and as such, stronger than her until she completely came into her power. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Erica hurry to leave the room, presumably to obey his command, whilst Cora was in her mother’s arms.

Laura jumped to her feet, looking around her wildly before throwing herself at Peter. He didn’t use his full power but it was a close thing – she was slashing at him without control, trying to drive him backwards as she screamed out her rage. Initially only defending himself, he realised he needed to go onto the offensive when she showed no signs of calming down. With near-deadly intent, he began attacking her, sweeping her legs out from under her every time she got to her feet, shoving her backwards so that she didn’t get close to her mother or sister in her rage.

Boyd came up on her left side, drawing her attention whilst Peter grabbed the restraints that Erica had run into the room with. He caught her next flailing gesture and snapped the cuff around her wrist, feeling the spell woven into the restraints activate as soon as it was placed on her arm.

“NO!” Her wail was piercing as she turned back to him, her face a grimace of unrestrained anger and he ducked to avoid her next punch. Realising that he needed to finish this as quickly as possible, he punched her sharply in the face and whilst she was reeling from the blow, managed to grab her other arm and close the second restraint. He kicked her legs out from under her, managing to protect her head at the last second whilst Boyd and Erica added the leg cuffs so that she was writhing impotently on the floor but at least unable to attack anyone else.

“What the hell is going on in here?” Derek appeared in the doorway with Jackson Whittemore, his hair mussed and lips were swollen. Well, at least that meant he and Jackson were sorted out.

“Will someone please tell me what the hell is going on?” Peter spat out in the sudden shocking silence, holding up his hand when everyone began speaking at once. “Cora – you first.”

“I met my – friend – Allison this morning. That’s where I was. But there’s something wrong with her! I’m sorry, Mom, I didn’t tell you but I met her family – her Mom and her grandfather are – well, they’re anti-supernatural and I think they might know we’re werewolves because some of the things they were saying – “

“Allison? Allison what?” Peter interrupted.

“Her name’s Allison Argent. I met her Mom – I think her name is Victoria – and – “

“Oh Cora!” Talia put her hand to her mouth in distress and Peter zeroed in on his sister. “The Argents – most of the Argents are hunters!”

“Hunters?” That came from Jackson who had remained in the doorway with Derek.

“Hunters?”

“We didn’t tell you because we didn’t think we needed to! There’s been a truce – “ Talia continued, letting Cora go and turning towards Peter. “We thought they’d be time to fill you all in at a later date. Everything has been so peaceful since your father died and – oh Jesus, Chris!”

“Chris?” Peter frowned then gave his sister a shocked look. “Christopher Argent is who you’ve been seeing?”

“How did you know I was seeing someone?”

“Oh please! I’d be failing at my job if I didn’t know that!” Peter said.

“You’re seeing a hunter?” Cora asked in a small voice and Talia turned back to her daughter.

“Yes – darlings, I was going to tell you. In fact, he was speaking to Victoria this weekend because – “

“Oh Jesus, this is some Romeo and Juliet shit right here,” Peter snapped. “Derek, Erica – carry Laura down to the basement and lock her in one of the rooms down there. Where did Kate go?”

“She was running out when I came in,” Cora volunteered, still staring disbelievingly at her mother.

“Shit!” The doorbell went as Derek and Boyd began carrying a struggling Laura out of the room. “Jackson, go and answer that please.”

“What?”

“I said answer the damned door! Cora, I’m going to need you to tell me everything you know about Allison Argent and what you’ve told her!”

“I didn’t tell her anything – “

“Peter, there was no way I could have known – “ Jackson came back into the room, leading two men behind him.

“I didn’t know if I was meant to let them in but this guy,” he pointed to Deaton, “ said he was here to help with Laura and he – “

“Talia – I told her!”

“Chris!”

“For fucks sake!” Peter said.

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“Let one of the men do the mountain ash,” Gerard said and Kate smirked, pleased. She knew Allison had been looking forward to being the one to lock the Hales into the house. Allison looked – odd. She was normally pristine-looking – another thing Kate hated her for – but her clothing was wrinkled, her hair a tangled mess, and her make up was smudged.

“But – “

“No! We keep to the outskirts and wait for them to try to come out. You may give the order to start the fire but you stay with me,” Gerard thundered and Allison subsided with a scowl. “Where the hell is Victoria?”

“That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you! Mom has lost her shit!” Allison muttered angrily.

“What are you talking about?” Kate snapped at Allison. Victoria was one of the coolest people under pressure that Kate knew – in fact, Kate had a lot of admiration for her.

“Dad said he’s leaving her!” Allison blurted out and Gerard’s jaw dropped.

“What nonsense are you speaking?”

“He just announced it this morning – before I came and joined the crew when Kate radioed in. Although I still don’t understand why she wanted us to grab Stiles and Isaac – “

“I told you – Laura said she sensed something about Stiles. And when he bumped into me, he said that he knew what I was thinking and he was going to stop me!”

“Don’t be ridiculous!” Allison retorted, getting into Kate’s face. “He’s not clairvoyant!”

“How the hell would you know? He met with Lydia Martin and we know she’s involved with all of this shit somehow – she’s been seen meeting with Peter Hale and other werewolf representatives! I have it on good authority from a source that this Stiles might be able to – “

“Will you both shut up!” Gerard roared and Kate stepped back, lowering her gaze angrily. She hated how her father listened to Allison but not to her, which was why she was building her own sources of information. She would prove to him that she would make a better matriarch than Allison ever would. “You both know better than this – this shoddy operation has been a mistake from beginning to end! Now, we’ll deal with your parents’ marital issues after we’ve dealt with this vermin.” He turned to Kate. “And I have seen absolutely no sign of this so called ability in this Stilinski boy – the entire day has been waste interrogating those two boys because of your incompetence.”

“But father – “

“Enough, from both of you! These hysterics need to stop – why hunting is matriarchal is beyond me when you insist on bringing all of this emotional shit into things! We get this hunt over and done with and then we will straighten this family out once and for all! No more nonsense about people leaving, none of this relationship shit!” Gerard took a deep breath whilst scowling at both of them. “Now – Allison, give the order for one of the men to surround that house and Kate, place the remaining operatives in appropriate places to handle any attempts to escape. Am I clear?”

“Yes father.”

“Yes Grandpa.”

Kate determined then and there that Allison would not survive this night – Gerard would show her the respect she was due and Allison wasn’t going to get in her way ever again.


Chapter Text

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“This is probably as close as it’s possible to get,” Chris said and Stiles climbed out of the car, followed by Isaac. They went to the trunk of the car which Chris opened to reveal a cornucopia of delights. When Chris gestured his permission, Stiles helped himself to a weapon he recognised and was confident he could use, relieved when he checked to find that it was indeed a tranquilliser gun.

“Is this the best that you can do?” he snarked at Chris who was strapping on a variety of items. “I thought you were an arms dealer or something!”

“We sell weapons to law enforcement, not deal – you know what, it doesn’t matter!” Chris snapped back. “I’m not James Bond, Stiles!”

“Mitch Rapp is more my style,” Isaac said from beside the vehicle where he was practically vibrating with the need to get things moving.

“Who the hell – “ Chris began, shaking his head when Stiles turned to Isaac and fist-bumped him in agreement. “Forget it! Remember, they’ll be wearing armour but the darts can pierce it. It was engineered to pierce the hide of a kanima. If you’re not sure, aim low – or, if you’re using teeth and claws aim low – hamstrings, Achilles. They won’t expect a werewolf to be armed. I think that cell phones are definitely out as a method of communication with the jammer that they’re using. I wish there was a way to let Talia and the others know – “

Isaac threw back his head and howled, the sound piercing the early evening silence and almost echoing back to them.

“That works,” Chris muttered just before there was a chorus of howls and yips in response. It was eerie and beautiful all at the same time and Stiles wished he could join in.

“Does that mean they’re safely out of the house?” Stiles asked hopefully.

“I’m not sure,” Isaac replied, frowning. “That didn’t sound like all of the pack that were there today, and it’s hard to tell where the howls are coming from.” Stiles nodded, accepting that there was no way of knowing. His heart was thudding in his chest as he accepted the Kevlar vest from Chris and snapped it on.

“I know this isn’t what either of you are used to but – if you come face to face with a hunter, don’t hesitate. Because they won’t,” Chris said, looking at both of them sternly. Isaac met Stiles’ gaze and he knew they were both thinking the same thing.

“What if it’s your Dad or – “

Especially if it’s my Dad, Allison or Kate. I’ve been coming to terms with the fact that things are going to end up like this for some time. The fact that they kidnapped and tortured you when the Hale Pack has done absolutely nothing wrong – “ Chris looked utterly defeated for a moment and Stiles could only imagine what was going through his mind. Bad enough to have fallen in love with someone who should have been his enemy, but being forced to face his family in battle must have been devastating. “The Argents are taught to be ruthless in battle – don’t think for a moment that you can reason with them, make them see another point of view. Understood?”

Stiles nodded his understanding as did Isaac.

“If the follow SOP, Dad will have placed men at equal distances around the perimeter. There may be a couple extra to cover the doors. Remember, they’ll at least be wearing a vest so aim for – “

“Knees, legs, ankles – “ Stiles and Isaac chanted in response and Chris took a deep breath.

“Right, sorry. It doesn’t feel quite right sending you out there – “ Chris began but Stiles interrupted him.

“You’re not sending us anywhere. We’d be here with or without you. Those are our people out there and neither of us are going to stand back and allow them to be slaughtered.”

“What he said,” Isaac chimed in, and Chris slowly smiled.

Okay then. We have the element of surprise on our side – let’s go hunt some hunters.”

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With Deaton handling the spell that had been placed on Laura, Peter found himself sitting around the large kitchen table watching his sister holding hands with Christopher Argent. Erica was fussing over Boyd, whilst sitting as close to Peter as she could get. Derek and Cora were sat facing their mother whilst Jackson was prowling back and forth. So far, Isaac hadn’t returned from seeing Stiles safely home and it niggled at Peter how long it was taking.

“The Argents and the Hales have maintained a truce for years,” Talia began, looking at her children earnestly. “After your father died, we needed to have stability within the pack and I worked extremely hard to make that happen. The Argents weren’t based in Beacon Hills at the time – there wasn’t any need.

However, I would meet with one of their representatives regularly. Two years ago, that representative was Chris.”

“Obviously, the meetings were conducted professionally and were completely impartial – initially at least. However, Talia helped me out with an issue that had arisen and I valued her opinion and assistance. She became a valuable voice of reason and prevented a number scuffles that boiled down to cultural misunderstandings.”

“Chris represented a side of hunters that I had never really seen and we became – friends.”

“Friends – right,” Cora muttered snidely.

“My marriage may have been arranged as an alliance between hunter families and not a love match in any way, shape or form, but I assure you that I took my vows seriously,” Chris replied, his tone firm and Peter couldn’t detect even a hint of a lie. “Things changed when I discovered that my wife was aware of certain – behaviours and proclivities – that my daughter was displaying and had chosen to ignore them. When I became aware that Allison was experiencing some – issues – I wanted to get her professional help but Victoria disagreed. She felt that it would be a stain on the family honour and that we could handle things internally. I thought that I had managed to convince her otherwise, that I had impressed upon her the importance of not ignoring the signs Allison was exhibiting. I felt that we needed to try to halt Allison’s deterioration and that came above something as ridiculous as our family name. Victoria lied to me about the help Allison was getting and it culminated in Allison murdering an innocent family.”

“A supernatural family?” Peter interjected.

“No. A family of humans. The daughter rejected Allison’s advances, so she blocked the family in their home and burned them alive.”

“Jesus Christ!”

“My father and wife covered it up – I was in Japan at the time – and thought, or seemed to think, that Allison had made a simple misjudgement, believed the family to be supernatural in origin and as such, it was an acceptable loss. Victoria later discovered that Allison knew that they were human and didn’t care – her narcissistic tendencies did not allow for what she felt was a disrespectful rejection.”

“When did you find all of this out?”

“Shortly before Allison repeated her actions – or tried to. This was a supernatural family, but it was the same story. She became obsessed with the son. He knew that the Argents were a family of hunters and didn’t want to get involved. Fortunately, this time it was property damage – the family were away when she torched the family home. I was in the country and Victoria and my father were unable to keep me out of the loop.”

“The Château d’Ange?” Peter asked, the report he had received on the destruction of a property that had been in a clan for generations popping into his head, as Chris nodded.

“We came back to Beacon Hills in an attempt to give Allison a fresh start. She was taking appropriate medication, and I had hoped that it would make Victoria see what was happening. Talia was – was an immense assistance to me at the time, providing me with an impartial person to speak to, helped me find therapists and doctors that were able to help Allison. She even helped me find the school that Allison attends. The arrival of my father and sister changed things.”

“So what you’re saying is that your daughter is potentially psychotic and obviously not taking her medication, you’ve made it clear to your wife that your relationship is completely over and your father is a xenophobe?”

“Succinct, but pretty much,” Chris accepted and Peter nodded.

“Why my family?”

“I don’t know all of the details – Victoria has pretty much ensured that I am kept out of much of the hunting side of things, which I have preferred. I don’t have an issue with policing the supernatural when it needs it, but I don’t agree with the whole idea that if something isn’t fully human, that it is lesser or always dangerous. Talia helped me reaffirm that belief and we – “

“We fell in love,” Talia finished for him and they shared a look that even Peter felt a moment of something for. His sister hadn’t been so happy since her husband had died and he had been glad that she was seeing someone who made her feel good. He should have dug deeper but had wanted to allow her some privacy.

“I told Victoria that I wanted a divorce and in the shouting that followed after Allison left the room, she let slip information that I believe pertains to your family.”

“What kind of information?”

“I have a younger sister – Kate. Apparently, between she and Victoria, they concocted some plan to bring honour to the family. Kate had been away training but has remained in touch with Victoria – a fact I wasn’t aware of. Kate moved to Beacon Hills, using our great-Grandmother’s maiden name – Silverton.”

“Shit.”

“Exactly.”

“And Allison?”

“Allison stopped taking her medication – I believe it was at my father’s behest but I can’t be completely sure of that – and has fixated on someone once again. Unfortunately, this time it has been exacerbated by things between her mother and I – things at home have not been calm.” He turned and nodded at Cora. “When she brought you to the house, I realised who you were and tried to contact your mother to warn her. Unfortunately, I didn’t realise some of our methods of communication had been hacked into – emails I’d sent, text messages. I thought Talia was trying to handle things here without involving me and I tried to respect that, but I found out this morning that that wasn’t the case. Which is why I’m here.”

“Allison – this morning when I met with her – she wasn’t her normal self, at all,” Cora said, fingers twisting around Derek’s. “She was ranting about you saying you were leaving her Mom and what it meant for the family name. When I said I didn’t think I should see her any more, she was – mad. Like, really mad,” Cora finished. “You think she’s obsessed with me?”

“I do.”

“Which places our whole family in danger – oh God, I’m so sorry – “

“No, Cora, this isn’t your fault. There have been far too many secrets in this family and – “

“Well, whilst we’re discussing secrets, there are a few things I need to reveal,” Peter interrupted and all eyes turned to him. “I discovered today that I have met Stiles before.”

“What?”

“When?”

“I knew there was something – “ Erica crowed before Talia gestured for silence.

“Go on, please, Peter.”

“He’s the young man Lydia told me about – the spark with the Touch Ability.”

“Touch ability?” That came from Jackson who had come to stand behind Derek.

“He can discover things about people simply through Touch. His spark allows him to ascertain secrets, traits – sometimes even plans, although I don’t know how advanced that particular ability is in Stiles. It’s something that hasn’t been spoken about because there hasn’t been such a spark in years – they tend to keep themselves to themselves as people try to use them for their own gains.”

“How come he didn’t tell us – “ Derek began speaking but Erica spoke louder.

“Where did you meet him if Lydia made first contact?”

“At Jungle. He was the young man I spoke to you about on the phone, Talia.”

“The one you – “ Talia’s eyebrows rose to her hairline. “ – you thought he might be – “

“Can you fill in the rest of us?” Erica said and Peter turned to her.

“I think, based on what Laura was ranting about when I came in, that Stiles may have picked something up from Kate and alerted her to the fact that he is aware of her plans. Which was why I sent Isaac after him to keep him safe.”

“If Kate thinks that he’s onto her, she’ll try to get him into custody,” Christopher said from the end of the table and Peter nodded.

“Wait, wait! You’re saying that Stiles – our Stiles – is like telepathic or something like it and can tell our secrets? Oh shit!” Cora exclaimed, whilst Erica was looking at Peter with shrewd eyes.

“That wasn’t all, was it?” Erica finally said.

“No.” Peter took a deep breath and finally said out loud what he had been thinking since early on Saturday morning. “Stiles is my mate – it took me a little time to realise it because I was busy – “

“Oh I bet I know what you were busy with!” Erica muttered and Peter shoved her shoulder.

“Behave, brat! We didn’t exchange names – don’t look at me like that, Talia! Which means I thought he was aware of the potential mate bond because it was obvious he was not fully human. Having met him today has made me realise that he may have absolutely no idea that something like that even exists, which would explain him running away because that was all that was in my mind when we shook hands.” He turned to look around the table. “And if he’s in the clutches of Gerard Argent and Kate – well, then we need to get him back.”

“I don’t disagree, but we should also consider that my family may push their plans forward if they think that you may have been forewarned. And, if Allison was as unstable as Cora says – “

“Then we better get ready then, hadn’t we?”


Chapter Text

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Stiles couldn’t figure out how he could see so well in the darkness of the Preserve until he realised that the house was already ablaze. Rage built inside him, worse than the anger he had felt when his mother left him to deal with this whole shitty secret alone; worse than the feelings of abandonment he felt when his Dad fell into a bottle instead of being there for a little boy that needed to know that even though he had lost his Mommy, he hadn’t lost everyone; anger bigger than had built throughout his time at High School when he was too much – for teachers, for fellow students, for everyone. It was white-hot rage that threatened to consume him.

Instead, he allowed it to feed him as he began running around the Preserve, knowing that Isaac had taken the other direction and Chris had plans of his own. It was like an extreme game of laser tag – finding his target, sneaking up on them whilst they stood and enjoyed the blaze they had started, taking great delight in shooting them in the leg, arm and neck on one occasion. His only regret was that they were tranquilliser darts and not bullets taking them down. They all deserved to die.

From nowhere, he was tackled from the side, falling to the ground with a thud, a heavy body atop his. He managed to keep hold of the tranquilliser gun, lifting to take a shot.

“Stiles?” His name was slightly mangled by fangs, the blue eyes reflecting the light from the flames, but the weight atop him was familiar, the arms holding him strong and sure, the spark of desire bursting into flame.

“Peter?” Apart from Isaac, he hadn’t seen any of the Hales in their beta form and he took a moment to take in the sight in front of him. Peter’s ears were more pointed, fur growing along his jaw, his jaw more angular. But it was definitely Peter. “Jesus Christ!”

“What the hell are you doing?” Peter asked, his hands sliding over Stiles as if checking him for injuries.

“Trying to save you from whatever the Argents are up to! What the hell are you doing?”

“Clearing out the Preserve so we can make a retreat! I thought Christopher was going to take you to – “

“Like I was going to let him take me anywhere but here!” Without realising it, Stiles was running his hands over the changes to Peter’s face, fingers tracing the sharpened cheekbones before coming to rest on his lips. “Isaac and I are clearing out the forest – we couldn’t get through to you by phone so thought that – “

“Chris warned us and we had enough time to clear out – well, as much as possible,” Peter murmured, eyes slowly returning to their normal blue. Stiles gasped at the feel of Peter’s body changing on top of his – it was incredibly difficult to take in what he was feeling. It was like Peter’s bones were realigning, shifting and changing until he was just a man – a very sexy man – lying on top of Stiles in a manner very reminiscent of their time over the weekend. “Are you okay? They had you – “

“They didn’t hurt me – much! My ribs took a bit of a beating, and that geriatric psychopath smacked me around the head a few times – “ He was mesmerised by Peter’s face and opened himself to whatever his ability wanted to tell him. Exactly as had happened when they shook hands in the Hale house – a constant refrain of mate – spark – touch – need – lust almost beat at him, but this time he didn’t pull away. Something inside him uncurled and rose as if to greet the call from Peter and without second-guessing himself, he lurched up and kissed him. Peter returned the kiss with fervour, hands that had been checking him over for injuries clutching him tight in desire. He wrapped his legs around Peter’s waist to hold him close, hands tugging at the short hair on Peter’s head as they ate at each other’s mouths.

They separated to breathe and Stiles finally remembered where the hell they were and what was going on.

“We have to let Chris know – “

“Talia’s heading in his direction now. We’re closing in on Gerard, Kate and Allison. I couldn’t figure out why half of my targets were out cold on the ground which is how I tracked you!”

“Well, I couldn’t let you have all the fun,” Stiles replied instantly and Peter smirked down at him.

“Oh I can tell you’re going to be a handful, sweetheart!” He gently untangled Stiles’ legs from around his waist and leapt easily to his feet, holding out his hand for Stiles to take before tugging him to a standing position. “Where’s Isaac?”

“He was working the other side – we were going to meet in the middle at the back of the house,” Stiles replied, unconsciously moving closer so that he and Peter were plastered together.

“Good plan – he should run into Erica and Boyd then. We need to head towards the south – that’s where the rest of the Argents went.”

“How the hell did you get out of the house?” Stiles asked as the two of them began to jog south of the blaze, the heat from the burning house making the night uncomfortably warm as they ran in the opposite direction to the inferno the house was becoming.

“Laura didn’t know all of the secrets entrances, so Kate wasn’t able to fully encircle the property. We came out to the north, which is why we had to work our way back to deal with the hunters,” Peter responded, taking constant glances at Stiles to ensure that he was okay and keeping up.

“Nice!” Stiles replied, shoving his hands through his hair to keep it out of his face as he ran. There was the loud crack of a shot, sounding loud now that they were further away from the house, and with a shared panicked glance, they began to run faster.

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Bounding forwards, the cool breeze rushing through her fur, Talia tried to put all human distractions behind her. Her eldest daughter was in a medically induced coma whilst their Emissary tried to figure out just what had been done to her; her youngest daughter was standing guard over Jackson, Laura and Deaton whilst the rest of the pack that had been in the house followed their alpha to handle the hunters trespassing on their territory; her lover had gone into enemy territory to try to reclaim two members of her pack – if the Spark chose to join the pack after all of this rather than enticing Peter to leave and go somewhere else, as she had zero doubts that Peter would follow his mate wherever he chose to go. It was all too much for her to have in her head at present.

She followed the scent of gun oil and wolfsbane that didn’t belong in her Preserve, determined to root it out and cleanse her home of this abomination. She didn’t have time to think of the unholy tangle that awaited her once this was done – her sights were completely set on the hunters she could smell.

She knew the Preserve better than almost anyone else within the Pack, only Peter knowing it better, and she led her pack towards the vehicles that had made their way close to her den.

THERE!

Before the old man could even lift his hand and take a shot, she had leapt through the air and taken out his throat, arterial spray splattering the leaves that had fallen to the ground as she twisted her head and yanked with her fangs. He landed heavily, gurgling through the gaping hole in his throat, hands clutching at her uselessly as he struggled to survive. He tasted – wrong. She could taste the sickness in him, his blood rancid in her mouth and she turned and allowed the lump of flesh to fall from her jaws. She didn’t want to ingest more of him than necessary.

In the light from the moon and the blaze of her home – her home! – she caught sight of Christopher creeping through the trees, heading in her direction, a rifle of some sort in his hands. Movement caught her attention and she forced herself to focus. A red-headed woman was making a run for one of the vehicles and she realised that it was Victoria, trying to escape. That was not to be borne – they all needed to die for what they had done. Talia flinched as something thudded into her side, and she looked back to see that she had been shot with an arrow in her flank.

Allison.

Twisting, she used her powerful teeth to grip the shaft of the arrow, tugging it out of the wound and seeing blood begin to pour sluggishly from the wound. Allison began to stride towards her, already nocking another arrow as she did so, her face twisted into a grimace of rage. Before she could pull her arm back to fire another shot, Erica and Boyd were there, taking her down in a mass of claws and fangs. She whipped her head back around, tracking Victoria’s movement. The woman had made it to one of the vehicles and was struggling with keys.

“Christopher – “

“Please don’t make me do this, Victoria,” Christopher replied, his gun pointed at his wife, his arm steady.

“This is ridiculous – I cannot believe you are here taking the side of these animals – “

“Victoria – “ The woman turned, the gun in her hand a complete shock to Talia who hadn’t even realised that that was what she had been going for. She hadn’t been running away – she had been going for her weapon. Talia made to move towards the two of them, looking down in shock to realise that she was on the ground and that she couldn’t feel her legs. She couldn’t hold back the whine that came from her throat as she realised that the arrow must have been coated in wolfsbane – that was the only explanation she could think of.

“You’re completely surrounded – all of your support has been taken out. It’s time to stop, Victoria,” Chris said, moving steadily closer to his wife.

“I don’t understand why – oh my God, it’s her isn’t it?” Victoria’s voice was full of vitriol as she looked down at Talia, stomping across to where she was lying on the ground. “You were going to leave me for this literal bitch?” Talia couldn’t move as, before Chris could do anything, Victoria drew back her leg and kicked Talia viciously in the head, the power of the blow knocking her head sideways. “Ha! Fat fucking chance of that now – she’s as good as dead.”

Despite the numbness travelling up her body, Talia managed to turn her head and sank her teeth into Victoria’s ankle, hanging on through the screaming and frantic kicks that Victoria landed on her in an attempt to make her let go.

“NO! No – I won’t become one of them – I won’t!” Exhausted by the final effort, Talia allowed her head to fall to the ground, her eyes becoming almost too heavy for her to keep open. Victoria had fallen next to her and was clutching her ankle, screaming in pain. In the periphery of her vision, Talia saw Kate step out from the trees, a weapon pointed at Chris. She couldn’t even warn him – a husky bark all that came from her throat as Kate grinned nastily and pulled the trigger.

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When he looked back on the events, Derek would realise that it was his first full transformation into a wolf. Up until that point in time, the only members of the pack able to attain a full shift had been Peter and Talia. Seeing his mother on the ground with a black, oily substance staining her fur made every instinct inside of him rush to the surface. His body transformed from one moment to the next, and he was on four legs, dashing towards the threat to his alpha.

Kate Silverton – Argent – went down beneath the weight of his jump, her face a mask of shock just before he ripped her throat out. It was as easy as killing a deer or any kind of prey – he simply bit down until her flesh gave way beneath his teeth, twisting his head and pulling the way he had been taught. The look of shock stayed on her face as she grabbed at where her throat had been, her hands covered in blood as she bled out in front of him. He watched the life drain from her eyes, only satisfied when he heard her last breath and knew that she couldn’t hurt his sister, his family anymore.

He turned towards Chris, relieved to see that the man was still standing although he was holding onto his shoulder. He ran back to his mother, sniffing at the wound on her flank and whining. He couldn’t do anything as a wolf but he didn’t know how to turn back into his human self. He ran to Chris and back to his mother, desperate for help. He could hear his mother’s lungs struggling for air, her laboured breathing as she slowly sank into unconsciousness.

Stiles and Peter appeared through the trees, along with Isaac from a different direction, their faces showing the shock that he was feeling, but at least they were in human form and could do something about it.

“What hap – “ Peter began asking but Chris interrupted.

“Stiles – one of Allison’s arrows – quickly!” Stiles acted without question, running over to where Erica and Boyd held Allison captive. He grabbed one of the arrows from the quiver then back to Chris, who was kneeling next to Talia.

“I don’t even know if this will work – “ Chris muttered to Peter who had come to kneel at his side. “ – she’s been experimenting with different forms of wolfsbane, I don’t – “

“You have to try, god-damn it!” Peter snarled. “Give it here!” Chris handed the arrow to Peter, moving to Talia’s head and picking it up so that it rested on his knees. “Stiles, I need a blade or something – “

Stiles pulled a small pen-knife out of his pocket, knelt next to Peter and held it out to him.

“What do you need me to do?”

“You need to scrape some of this coating from the arrow-head, set it alight and shove it into the wound. It should burn the poison out. I can’t – “ Derek realised that Peter wouldn’t be able to do it without poisoning himself too and whined once more. This was too much to ask of Stiles – he had barely been introduced to the supernatural and now he was being expected to perform battle surgery on their Alpha.

“Shove it in – okay, yeah, I can do this!” Stiles muttered to himself the whole time he was taking the arrow and the penknife back from Peter before doing as instructed. He dug a small space on the ground and began to scrape off the coating from the arrowhead before rummaging through his pockets and coming up with a lighter. “You’d never believe I wasn’t a boy scout – they kicked me out because I kept questioning the leader – but we don’t talk about that because – whatever – right, light it, then shove it into the gaping wound in the wolf’s side – hope wolf doesn’t decide to bite my hand off for causing them huge amounts of pain! Yeah – easy! No worries – I can do this!”

The small amount of powder burned a lurid violet colour before Stiles grabbed as much as he could and shoved the contents of his hand into Talia’s wound. Her howl pierced the night and Derek closed his eyes and prayed to every God he could think of that they weren’t too late.


Chapter Text

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Even as heavily drugged as she was, Allison put up a fight. She had already marked the one nurse – Brunski – for death because he had put his filthy hands all over her during the intake process. Hiding it behind the need to check her for contraband like that excused his actions. When she escaped – not if but when – she would make sure to make his death as painful as possible.

But that would only be the first of many.

She had seen her mother, her grandfather, her aunt – however detestable Kate had been, she hadn’t deserved that – die at the hands of the Hale mutts. All whilst her father sat back and did nothing. She was ashamed of him – ashamed and enraged. He would have to die too. Then she would take on the mantle of Matriarch of the Argent family and bring them back to glory. Then she would finish off that traitorous Cora and her pack. It was the least that they deserved for what they had done.

That night felt like a fever dream with everything that could go wrong going completely and utterly wrong. It was her grandfather’s fault in the first instance – he hadn’t allowed her to surround the house in mountain ash, which meant that the job obviously hadn’t been done properly.

Then Kate had been babbling on about Stilinski, like he was the clue to it all when he was obviously nothing.

And Victoria. What they had done to her mother – biting her and making her turn into one of them. That had almost broken Allison’s heart. She had barely managed to wrench herself free from the clutches of Boyd and Erica whilst they had been mourning the death of their Alpha, rushing over to Victoria and sinking a knife into her chest. She knew her mother would have appreciated the gesture if she had been in her right mind – she would not have wanted to become one of the animals they hunted. It had been the right thing to do.

They hadn’t even given her time to mourn the loss of her mother before they dragged her with them, away from where Talia Hale was breathing her last, away from the burning building with the fire that had beckoned her to stand and watch its sweet destruction, away to some dank prison beneath a god-damn tree, shackling her arms and legs so that she couldn’t escape.

She hadn’t been able to bring herself to speak to her father when he came to visit her – had ruthlessly ignored his entreaties and explanations. Perhaps she should have listened to him – then arriving at Eichen wouldn’t have been such a surprise. The Leaders from the Hunter’s Guild hadn’t given her a chance to explain the necessity for the hunt that had taken place – it was all blah blah, unsanctioned, blah blah, murder – as if they had the right to judge her. They should have been grateful for the Argent family being so dedicated to the cause.

“Where’s she been taken? This one seems a bit odd if you ask me – “

“Hey! Don’t question – that’s not what they pay us for. She’s on the lower floor,” Brunski said, his grip tight and bruising on her arm. The pain felt distant, the drugs making it difficult for her to concentrate.

“But she’s human – “

“You wouldn’t know if from some of the shit she’s guilty of. The Hunter’s Guild have passed sentence and we just do as we’re told. I’m sure they filled you in on all of this stuff when you signed up for the Lower Levels,” Brunski said brusquely. How dare they think that they could use a prison that was made for the non-humans to hold her – didn’t they know who she was? “Just do as you’re told and there won’t be any issues.”

She lost track of time, those damned drugs messing with her mind, and suddenly they were in front of a cell door. Brunski and the other nurse put masks and goggles on and she wondered why they were taking such precautions. It wasn’t as if she could cause them too much damage in her current state.

“Remember what you’ve been told – don’t look him in the eye, whatever you do!” Brunski said, his voice slightly tremulous. They were quick and efficient as they opened the door to the cell and pushed her none too gently inside, slamming the door closed as soon as they were safely outside.

Allison pulled herself laboriously to her feet, looking around her. She was proud of the fact that she didn’t jump in fright when she realised that there was someone in the cell with her – she hadn’t seen him when she had first entered. He looked harmless enough – didn’t register to her senses as anything other than human. The weirdest thing about him was the bandage wrapped around his forehead.

She turned to the cell door, realising that Brunski was watching her through the hatchway.

“Don’t think you’re going to get away with this – when I get out of here – “

“My dear, you really must learn to relax. And I would give up all hope of escaping – I believe I’ve been here for a number of years now and I have never heard of a successful escape attempt,” the man said and she gave him an irritated look over her shoulder. She froze as he stepped into the light, unwrapping the bandage around his forehead as he did so. “I believe they’ve put you in here with me to assist you in acclimatizing to your new circumstances. Don’t worry – I won’t lay a hand on you. If you would kindly look just here, let’s see what we can do to settle you, shall we?”

In the centre of his forehead was a gaping hole and Allison couldn’t seem to pull her eyes away from the horrific sight, seeing into his head where she was even more horrified to realise there was an additional eye. Mesmerised, she staggered back slightly, her hand held in front of her as she tried to prevent him from coming any closer.

“Now, this won’t hurt – well, not too much anyway.”

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“I’m not made of glass,” Talia said, arms folded beneath her head as Chris rested gently atop her. Ever since the night of the fire, Chris had been treating her as if she was fragile. She had allowed him his very human nervousness – he had watched almost his entire family die in front of him after all, and according to Peter, he had nearly lost his mind when he thought Talia was going to die too. But really, she was the Alpha of her Pack and more than capable of throwing off the after-effects of the truly awful blend of wolfsbane that Allison had coated her arrows with.

“I know – but sometimes it still amazes me how you heal,” Chris replied, his calloused hands sweeping over the skin of her shoulders and neck. He followed their path, dropping gentle kisses all over as he slowly began to move down her body. He cupped her breasts, squeezing them in his hands before resting his head over her heart. “We almost lost you – for a little while, I was convinced that we had. Allow me my need to be sure that you are fully recovered.”

“That night was – a lot,” she admitted, bringing one hand down to rest on top of his head. “Are you sure that you’re alright about – “

“They had gone too far – all of them. I know that Victoria would never have accepted her new status – Allison did her a mercy with her actions, although I doubt that that was her motive. As for Kate and my father – “

“It’s truly a wonder that you didn’t feel the same way as them – that I found you – “ she murmured, stroking his head and marvelling that she had this. That they had this. She had never allowed herself to imagine what it would be like to be lying in her den, her family safe and sound within its walls, and having Chris here with her. Adjustments were still being made by everyone – Laura had gone to visit Satomi’s pack, struggling with what she had allowed Kate to do to her, the danger she had brought onto her family; Isaac was ensuring that Cora didn’t fall into too deep of a depression as she blamed herself for catching Allison’s attention and all that it had brought down on their family; Erica and Boyd had requested more fight training so that they could take a fuller role in being pack enforcers – Boyd had been a surprise, but Erica had taken to the new role with a vigour and enthusiasm that should have surprised none of them; Jackson had moved into the packhouse and spent a lot of time in the family vault reading through all of the information on packs and supernatural that he could lay his hands on – it wouldn’t surprise her in the slightest if he and Derek announced their engagement sooner rather than later.

And then there was Stiles and Peter. Those two together were intense. Stiles was undertaking training with Deaton in how to handle his talent, and it appeared that he was going to be one of the most powerful sparks in the country. They had had to let the Sheriff in on everything – Stiles had insisted on that as part of him joining the Hale Pack as he felt it was the safest way of keeping his father safe. Noah had been heartbroken that Claudia had kept that part of herself away from him and that Stiles had been struggling with everything alone. One of Noah’s first actions upon finding everything out was to reach out to the Gajos clan and there was the tentative beginnings of a good relationship growing there.

Peter was acting incredibly smug. Not only was Stiles in training with Deaton, but he was also insistent on working alongside Peter as a secondary Left Hand. There was an untold advantage in having someone who could literally read the intent of everyone in a room when it came to negotiating treaties. Their reputation as a couple was growing at a rapid rate, with calls for their assistance coming from across the country. Admittedly, there had also been a few calls requesting that they not be allowed in certain territories – neither Stiles nor Peter suffered fools gladly, and tended to cut through the bullshit and often go a tad nuclear on any they deemed to be threats. Deucalion had lodged an official complaint after Stiles and Peter had visited him and Kali in their territory, deemed the pair of them to be complete assholes who shouldn’t be allowed to remain in charge of anything more important than a stationery cupboard and had them placed on ‘probation’. Unfortunately for Deucalion, Stiles had impressed the Leader of the Supernatural Guild and he had decided that Kali and he should perhaps downsize their plans for their pack. It had not gone down well and Talia would not be even slightly surprised if those two were a potential issue in the future. It hadn’t helped that Ennis had gone missing shortly after Stiles and Peter visited and no one had been able to find any sign of him – it was more than slightly suspicious.

There was still so much to be done. They had managed to rebuild the house, adding several dwellings for the couples who didn’t want to be in the main building. Renovations had included modifications to their security to ensure that no one could surround all of the pack buildings easily ever again, as well as escape tunnels, training facilities and a shooting gallery. Stiles could often be found there brushing up on his gun and crossbow skills, and the only person who seemed capable of keeping up with him there was Jackson of all people.

“I appear to have lost your attention – “ Chris said and she smiled down at him. He had shifted down the bed until his head was resting on her lower belly, his hands sweeping up and down her thighs. “ – I would hate to think that I’m boring you.” About to apologise, Talia caught her breath when Chris pulled her legs further apart and lowered his head, his talented fingers and tongue dragging her mind firmly back into their bedroom together.

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“Oh come on, Stiles – you shouldn’t need to use your hands to sense what I intend to do!” Peter murmured, smiling evilly when Stiles cursed, his hands twisting in the silk ties binding him to the headboard.

“I am going to fucking kill you!” Stiles gasped out, throwing his head back with a moan when Peter deliberately bit his hip bone, sucking up a dark red mark that matched the others littering his chest.

“Tsk, tsk, threatening me really isn’t the way to get out of this,” Peter said, sliding his hands beneath Stiles body and grabbing hold of his ass. “Now, all you have to do is use all of this delicious skin to ascertain my decision on how to handle the Calaveras clan, and I promise you that you will enjoy your reward!”

“I’m pretty sure this was not what Deaton had in mind when he asked you to help with my training!” Stiles gasped back, trying to wrap his legs around Peter’s body where it lay on top of him. Peter deliberately twisted to avoid the motion, holding Stiles’ legs down by the knees to prevent the manoeuvre.

“Deaton didn’t specify how I was to assist you, merely that training you to be able to pick up peoples’ thoughts without having to use your hands would be advantageous. After all, as a touch ability, as long as some part of you is touching the target, you should be able to pick up something,” Peter replied, allowing the stubble on his chin to graze at the insistent thrust of Stiles’ cock.

“Bastard, bastard, bastard,” Stiles chanted when Peter pulled back from his attempts to get more contact, and Peter chuckled. He had never expected to have this – someone who was a full partner in every aspect of his life. Meeting the younger man at a nightclub and a night of hot sex – yes, that had been something he had enjoyed for many years. But someone who matched his intelligence, could stand toe-to-toe with an arguing alpha, negotiate with the Supernatural Guild for reforms and treaties, who wanted to work with Peter in all aspects of his life as the pack’s Left Hand and handle a firearm with deadly accuracy? No, he had never expected to receive such a gift.

And having someone he could share all of his secrets with, who he didn’t have to tell when he was worried about a pack member, or some information he had dredged up from his sources that was concerning him? All the better.

“I swear to God, if you don’t put that smart mouth of yours to work doing something in the next few seconds, I am going to put blue hair dye in that expensive shampoo of yours!” Stiles half-shouted and Peter looked up the length of his body at his mate. Stiles’ hair was a tangled, sweaty mess, his cheeks flushed dark red, his lips bitten and swollen. His chest was heaving and he had almost managed to pull his hands free from his bonds with the strength of his struggles.

“I promise, I am thinking about my plans for them right now – all you have to do is concentrate on where I am touching you and you will know all of my secrets!” Stiles closed his eyes and concentrated hard, before opening them wide and looking down to glare at Peter.

“What you’re going to do with the Calaveras is NOT what you’re thinking about right now – that’s cheating!”

“But so much more fun.” He lowered his head, taking the swollen head of Stiles’ dick into his mouth and sucking hard. They could continue the lesson later – much later.

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THE END