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i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

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and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
by e e cimmings

Boyd crunches on his apple. He’s sitting at his table in the cafeteria. It’s his table because no one in this lunch period deigns to sit at it with him. Its part of his routine: spring out of English 2, take the back stairs. Eat his chips then his sandwich then fruit. He will have time for a final sip of his soda before the bell rings to signal class change.

Middle school had been like this, as had freshman year, and so far sophomore year was looking to be just like them.

Scott McCall and Stiles Stilinski were sitting at the table in front of his talking about a bite, or something. The bell rings and Boyd makes his way to Geometry.

*

In the winter months his father runs the ice rink. In the summer they open up the portion in the back of the building that serves as a roller rink. After his bus ride home, he walks to work, which is to operate the Zamboni machine. His thirteen year old sister Jazmin runs the concession booth, but she gets out of school later. Usually the week after New Year’s is slow for business and this year no different. His mother works as the night manager for a nice hotel downtown, so he doesn’t see much of her and when he does she’s tired and drawn thin at the edges.

The Zamboni is soothing to him and he likes how it makes the world just a little more ordered, somehow.

*

Strange things start happening after half of a woman’s body is found in the Preserve woods. A mountain lion is roving the county and people are being slaughtered. The body is Laura Hale and her brother Derek killed her, maybe. Scott and Stilinksi and Lydia and Jackson and the new girl, Allison, being attacked at the school one night. The night of Winter Formal, Lydia Martin is attacked and when she wakes up from her coma, she wanders around the woods naked for two days, lost.

Beacon Hills is fair sized, not so small that everybody knows everybody but gossip this juicy travels fast and even a nobody like Boyd catches wind of things.

Things like Scott and Stilinski talking about werewolves, like Scott suddenly being great at Lacrosse. Scott’s mood swings. Boyd has always admired Scott but subtly is not one of the boy’s strong suits. It could be a geek thing, but it’s too close to all the strangeness they just ‘happen’ to be in the middle of.

*

The name on his birth certificate is Vernon Milton Boyd IV. It’s a lot to live up to, and the teasing he got, the Harry Potter jokes especially, was incessant for two school years before people started forgetting he was in the room.

It’s a name meant for a mover and shaker, someone with old money and more influence.

His great-grandfather sold soap in Kentucky after World War 1, his grandfather was a bookkeeper in Charleston after World War 2. His father came back from Vietnam with a nasty heroin habit that took half a decade to kick. His father is a good man, a loving father, but sometimes Boyd feels the weight of the name sit heavy between them.

Besides, his father’s name is Vernon and Boyd is not a Milton kind of guy.

*

Isaac is unexpected. One day he’s the gravedigger’s son, perpetually hunched and flinchy. The next he’s a runaway and wanted for his father’s murder. Boyd knew of him, in a vague sort of way, from Lacrosse games. They were in the same orbit, which could be compared to that of Pluto and the asteroid belt, in the grand scheme of high school.

Everybody knows of Erica and hours after she had an episode in Gym, Boyd gets a look at a whole new Erica to know of. The way she bites into that apple must be like how some people talk about God, a pure, unearthly ecstasy.

Erica winks at Scott and Scott and Stilinski scamper after her like newborn puppies unsure of their paws. The bell rings.

*

Boyd throws himself into researching werewolves. It’s mostly porn and plots to table top role play games. Some of it is lore and he wonders if he’ll ever get to know what is real, how big the world really is. If werewolves exist, what else is out there? The possibilities are dizzying.

*

Stilinski wants to borrow his keys to the ice rink for some kind of double date. It’s sweet, because Scott and Allison are cute together. It’s also helaciously creepy because Stilinski and Lydia will never happen, ever. Stilinski tries to get out of paying the full price but Boyd shuts that shit down. He’s saving up to buy a laptop because his desktop is older than him at this point and is quaking in preemptive fear of a Firefox update.

When they were 12, Stilinski had been at the anger stage of his grief and started the trend of people calling Boyd fat. Not that he hadn’t been before, he’d always been somewhat chubby, but puberty hung on him awkwardly with new, longer limbs that created the overall image of the Michelin Man.

Boyd doesn’t forgive easily.

*

After school he’s ambushed on the way to taking the bus by Erica and Isaac. They’re both wearing leather jackets and Erica looks positively feral around her smile. Isaac is standing straighter than Boyd has ever seen him.

“You’re smart, Boyd. You keep your head down and get good grades.” Erica says. “What’s more, you’ve always been kind to us. We want to repay that kindness.” Isaac continues. A shiny black Camaro pulls up next to the trees they’ve got him by.

They climb in the back, Erica with a wink, Isaac with an earnest smile directed toward him.

The driver is Derek Hale. Boyd thinks about it, how close Erica and Isaac are, how Derek is radiating calm. Werewolves, he thinks. He gets in the car, closes the door with a gentle click.

*

Derek takes them to a warehouse that in better times used to be a shipping center for a textile company. The inside looks marginally better than the outside, which is to say gritty, rusty and cripplingly forlorn. It seems to fit Derek who seems to have a thousand yard stare once he’s not distracted by driving. He also looks like he hasn’t seen a razor in weeks.

“So you’re all werewolves.” Boyd throws it out there.

Derek looks shocked but recovers quickly. “Yes. And they,” waving to Erica and Isaac behind him “have petitioned that I extend the offer to you.” Derek tells him, voice low.

Boyd steps forward, tilts his chin up. “I accept.” He says. Derek looks at him, uncertain. “It’s dangerous. There are consequences.” Derek tells him. Boyd rolls his eyes. “What, like the Winchesters? Please. The day I let a couple of rednecks with some sawed off shotguns frighten me out of living my life is the day you can officially put me out of my misery.” Boyd tells him. He’s never suffered bigots lightly. He’s not about to start now.

Derek gives a quick little nod, like he’s made up his mind. “So you’re certain then?” Derek asks. “Very.” Boyd nods.

Derek comes up to him, gets on his knees. Boyd looks to Erica then Isaac. They give him nods, small smiles. Derek clamps a hand to his left thigh, lifts Boyd’s shirt on the right side. His eyes go a deep red, staring up at Boyd. He opens his mouth wide and his face is distorted, more teeth in his mouth, hair on his face. He places the teeth gently, reverently almost, just over Boyd’s hipbone. Then he bites down hard, drawing blood. Its fire, twisting like vines, like growing things in his gut. He sags. He realizes then that Erica and Isaac have moved to help him, hold him up. Derek stands up, lowers his shirt. He cups Boyd’s face tenderly as he rides the undulations of fire in his belly. His vision is tinged gold and he passes out.

*

The showdown with Scott after that is anticlimactic. Boyd had harbored an admiration of Scott over the years, because sure he was a dorky asthmatic loser but he never seemed to let the bullies get to him. He always tried to do the right thing, even if it meant getting a solid beating under the bleachers after school let out.

Case in point – Scott tried to look out for him in his own way and got his ass handed to him. Three against one, sure he wants to be like Scott. He’s also got a bridge to sell in the Mojave desert. What Derek did to Scott is gonna last a while, if what Isaac says is right.

Boyd isn’t gonna do that lone wolf bullshit if he doesn’t have to.

And isn’t that the whole point, not to be lonely anymore? Things are gonna be different now. He’s made himself different.

Of course, things go to shit almost immediately after – a Hunter takes over the school and there’s a murderous beast of a lizard terrorizing the town. Boyd has to wonder just what is in the water around this town, seriously.

It’s not all bad though – he gets to play in a Lacrosse game while Derek and Erica interrogate Stilinski about the monster. He even helps win them the game. It’s a great feeling, the rush of success practically sings in his blood.

*

Boyd likes the extra strength, the enhanced senses, but more than anything he likes the way he fits between Erica and Isaac after training when they’re all hurting and banged up, sore and bruised.

Erica will tuck her head under his jaw and Isaac will rest a hand on his hip, on the edge of hesitant and possessive. In those moments he can feel the thread of awareness he recognizes as Pack pulse and thrum between them. It’s a living thing and it feels right.

They open themselves up to each other, sharing things no one else knows, stitching themselves to one another in the wreckage of honesty. Boyd would never take the bite back, not for anything.

*

Erica kisses him full on the mouth one afternoon while Isaac watches on, reaching up to him on her tiptoes. It’s surprising because Boyd had thought, had smelled is more precise, that Erica and Isaac were a thing.

He’s a little uncertain about this, the three of them, but Isaac makes a convincing argument with a hand down his pants and Boyd concedes the point as Isaac thumbs over the head of his cock, making his pulse jump. Erica makes a delighted giggle at his face and takes her shirt off.

They fit together, a tangle of bodies in a nest of blankets and Boyd knows he’s gone. Head over heels for these two, just like that. They don’t make declarations to each other, but they understand.

*

Allison goes off the rails and they go on the run. Boyd gets nauseous thinking about what the hunters could do to Jazmin to get to him and he can’t stay.

Erica’s with him when they hear the other pack and they go to tell Isaac about them, about wanting to leave.

Isaac gets a pinched look on his face.

“I can’t leave them. They’re my family.” Isaac says, resolute, and Boyd thinks about the three graves at the cemetery in a neat line, one brand new.

“If you stay, you’ll end up joining them.” Erica bites out, mascara running.

“We all have to go sometime.” Isaac just gives a weak smile.

*

He meets up with Erica, to wait. To see if Isaac changed his mind. He doesn’t show.

He takes her hand and she smiles at him, softly. He’ll always love Isaac, but Erica is here, and it’s them against the world.