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“Sit still, darling.”  She smiled at the little girl while continued to paint swirls on her pale skin.  The glow of the full moon was the woman’s only light.

“What’s this for, nana?”

“Magic.”

“I know that,” she scrunched up her face causing her to laugh.  “What kind of magic?”

“Moon magic.”

“Nana…”  She whined.

“Hush, Lydia.”  The clearing fell silent as she continued painting the swirls.  Lydia closed her eyes when she started painting on her face.  Her eyelids were covered in the paint and the smell of berries filled her nose.  She kept herself from twisting her lips as the brush tickled her upper lip.  “Almost done, darling,” Nana said.  She undid the pinned up braid then walked around the little girl and began unbraiding the red hair.

She let the hair hang down the girl’s back contrasting with the white sundress.  “I need you to stay still now.”

“Yes, Nana,” she pulled a jar of black powder from her bag and began walking in a circle around the girl letting the powder fall to the ground.  Both felt the air shift as the circle was completed.  “Nana?”

“It’s fine, darling.”

She pulled out another jar housing a white powder.  This was a special blend of her herbs for just this ceremony.  She poured the jar into her palm and began walking back over the circle; however, this circle spiraled inwards and ended at her granddaughter.  She was careful not to disturb either line as she stepped back from the clearing leaving Lydia by herself. 

The moon had reached its zenith bathing the woods in silver light.  Lydia started fidgeting.  The woods were going quiet; she could not hear the crickets and something was moving in the woods.

“Nana?”  She called out.  Her eyes snapped open when the woman failed to respond.  Scrambling to her feet, Lydia started to move forward.

“Be Still.”  Someone said, freezing the girl in place.  “Don’t take another step until the white powder is moved.”  Lydia turned her head to the stranger.  He was younger than her dad.  “Just wait there while I move it,” he said, “why are you out here alone, child?”

“Nana’s with me.”  A stricken look crossed his face, making Lydia wondered what he was thinking.  He started forward but stopped a foot away from her.  He glared down at the ground where the black line was barely visible among the dark soil.  Both of them jerked when a howl echoed through the air.

“Oh, not now.”  He complained before heading toward the edge of the clearing.

“Don’t leave me!”  Lydia said her voice going high pitched; however, she kept perfectly still.

“I’m not going anywhere, child.”  He replied while rooting around the brushes.  “Here we go.”  He came back with a large stick that still had leaves clinging to the end twigs.  Again he stepped forward until the black line prevented him furthered and used the stick to reach over and start brushing the spiral aside and create a straight path for the little girl to use.

“Once the path is clear you can move forward, but do not touch the white powder.”  Lydia nodded and began walking forward following the end of the stick.  As soon as she crossed the black line, he knelt down in front of her.  “Are you alright?”

“I want my nana.”

“We’ll find her.”  He offered.  “I’m Peter.”

“Lydia.”  She said and wrapped her arms around his neck clinging to him.  Peter froze when a strange sensation flooded his nerves.  His world seemed to twist and turn, bending in ways the earth should never bend until everything focused on this little girl.  He remembered his father warning about this, about witches enslaving werewolves as familiars to ensure their safety and he wanted to howl to the sky in rage.  Instead his arms slipped around the girl and scooped her up.

He started toward the Hale house, knowing he can report the missing girl from there; however, an older woman stepped in front of him with a disapproving look.

“I had expected something better for her.”  She sneered at his growl.  There was no raised heartbeat or scent of fear.  This witch knew who had the power in this situation and it was not Peter.  “I guess it is better than nothing.”

“Nana?”  The girl mumbled, “can we go home now?”

“Yes darling,” she pried her granddaughter from his grip and Peter let her.  She was not a threat to his witch so he had no urge to attack her.  “And you,” she focused on him, “I expect you to make yourself useful and go away.”

“Bye, Peter.”  Lydia called after him when he took off for his family’s home.  Neither his parents nor his brother will like this situation.

~*~

Even after six years, Peter had not adjusted to being anchored to a child.  Through Lydia rarely knew he existed; he still felt compiled to grant her smallest whims and to check on her each day.  He feared the day, her power comes to fruition when she becomes aware of his slavery, and it was slavery no matter what that witch says.  He did not knowingly bind himself to the child and was tricked into a situation he can never escape.

Every day he checks through the books of his family and other packs in hopes of finding something about breaking a familiar bond.  There was nothing.

“Peter!”  Adam yelled from downstairs.  “Get down here already.  You can dig through those musty books another time.”  He thought about ignoring his brother, but the laughter coming from everyone was irresistible.  Peter jumped from the landing into the hallway causing his sister-in-law to growl threatening at him and his mother to giggle.

“It’s bad enough Laura and Derek try to get away with that.”  She complained while ushering the three youngest children into the living room.

“Where are they?”

“At school.”  Adam handed him one of the crystal tumblers.  “Since the main celebrations take place this afternoon; we insisted they go to school.”

“And the other three?”

“My children are homeschooled.”  A black haired woman said, “you would remember that if you weren’t so simple.”  Her smirk enraged him causing Peter to growl and step forward.

“Maria, Peter.”  Adam growled, eyes flashing red.  “Enough.”

“Hardly.”  She smirked, “you must understand my hesitance to send my children to the same school that taught him.”

“You went to it as well, dear sister.”  Peter hissed.

“Yet, which of us stepped into a witch’s trap.”

“Enough.”  Adam ordered.  “Separate rooms.  Now.”  He waited until the two had separated before turning to his mother with a tired look.  She just smiled back at him.  He tilted his head briefly, thinking he heard someone in the basement.  A growl ripped out of his throat when the intruder talked about setting the gasoline around the outer wall of the house.  He gestured for James through the doorway while his mother moved into the living room with the children and his wife.  Peter and Maria silently moved beside him and waited for his orders.

“Peter, check the yard.  You two are with me.”  He said quietly.  Peter slipped out of the door and began circling the house in an outward spiral.  He could hear his brothers and sister confronting the two males in the basement just as he caught scent of Lydia.  The scent of his witch was covered by an unfamiliar woman’s smell.  He forgot about his family as he began following their scent into the woods.

She was facing a woman older than Laura.  The woman was glaring at Lydia who held a hand to her lower stomach.  Peter could smell the fresh menstrual blood.

“Stop it.”  She ordered, pulling a gun from her side holster.  “I know you’re the one stopping the lighter.”

“I’m not doing anything!”  Lydia yelled back; tears streaming down her face.  She tried to back away from the woman, but she was stopped by the hand holding on to her long hair. 

“Then I’ll stop you.”  Peter was already moving across the clearing and between them when he saw the woman’s hand twitch.  He felt the bullet rip into his hip and saw Lydia’s strawberry hair dropped to the ground after he cut it.

She pressed her face against his neck while her arms clung around his shoulders.  Behind them, Peter could hear his siblings moving into the woods.  Adam was the first to arrive and did not hesitate to jump the hunter teeth ripping into her throat.  He made sure Lydia could not see anything and carried her arrive from the attack.

He also ignored his sister snide comment about abandoning the pack for a witch.  Even his mom stepped back when he arrived at the house and watched him call the Martin house.  He felt like he was losing his family.

~*~

It has been three months since Peter has last seen his witch.  Lydia normally summons him to help her with spells at least once a week, but nothing.  At her front door he could smell the stench of a male and sex.  His teeth were already bared by the time Lydia answered the door.

“Who is it?”  He growled, shoving past her into the house.  “Who is he?”

“I don’t see how it is any concern of yours.”

“I’m your familiar.  You’re my witch.”

“Oh, yes.  Now everything makes perfect sense.  How silly of me to forget I’m stuck with a werewolf for life.”  She closed the door and brushed past him and upstairs.

“Lydia.”  He snarled surprising both of them.  She stared at him from the top of the staircase with wide eyes.

“What’s wrong with you?”  She said, “You are never out of control.”  Peter barked with bitter laughter.

“Are you still not getting it?  This is us.”  He gestured between them.  “You can never have someone in your life without me knowing who they are.  You can’t hide things from me.”  He dug his claws into the banister stopping him from climbing the stairs.  “You’re my witch; everything about you concerns me especially bratty teenagers fucking you.”

Her spine straightened in anger.  Something he said seemed to piss her off, but Peter did not have time to play a guessing game with her.  “Do not patronized me, girl.”  He said cutting her off.  “You have avoided me for three months to screw around with some brat.  Don’t be surprised I’m losing control.”

“Co-dependent…”  She said snidely before he interrupted her.

“Exactly,” he said, “we need each other, Lydia.  I can no more be out of your life then you out of mine.”

“That’s where you’re wrong.”  Lydia tossed her hair and drew magic to her adding to the illusion of being in control.  “I do not need you.  You are my slave, Peter.”  She turned her back on him and started down the hall.  “I am not yours.”  Enraged Peter crushed the banister under his hands and turned for the door.  He shoved someone off the stoop while heading for the woods.  His mind went black for the next three days until his alpha, his brother came for him.

Adam said nothing just rubbed his furry head against Peter’s hand.

“I cannot do this.”  He said softly.  “End this, please alpha.”  Adam shifted and wrapped his arms tight around his younger brother before tossing his head back and calling the pack to them.  In pairs and groups, the Hales came to their alpha and squished Peter tightly in the middle of the hug.  Soft whines offered what solace they could.

At home, Lydia ignored the cold seeping into her bones while tugging Jackson down and wrapping her legs around him.

~*~

“Peter.”  Lydia shrieked when he shoved her out of the way of Jackson’s claws.  She crashed to her knees and scrambled to his side.  His body was a mix-match of injuries none of them healing fast due to the sheer amount.  Above them, Danny put himself between them and Jackson.

She pulled her shirt off and pressed it to the largest bleeding wound.

“Jackson,” Danny said, “come back to me.”  Everyone could only watch as the Kanima seemed to change back slowly until a naked Jackson was staring at him.  “Jackson.”  He whispered and hugged his friend tight.  “I love you.”  Jackson just whined back at him and stiffly wrapped his arms around Danny.  Adam Hale approached the two speaking softly to them; however, Lydia did not care.  She wanted Peter to be healed up already.

“Every time,” he griped, “I sustain more injuries protecting you than getting into brawls with Derek.”  His words dug into her core and ripped her heart to shreds.  He could have died because of her.  Witches are not supposed to cause their familiar’s deaths.  She watched blankly as Peter abandoned her shirt to the ground and began poking at the pink skin. 

“Of course, if Adam could keep his teeth to himself.”  Peter snarked staring at the back of his brother’s head.  He just ignored his taunts and continued reassuring Jackson that everything would be okay.  Turning to look at Lydia, he was surprised to see the blank expression.  “Lydia?”

“Lydia!”  She jerked and focused her attention on him.  “Are you alright?”  She kept quiet and raised her hand to the healed skin.

“I’m fine.”

“Peter!  Lydia!”  Stiles knelt next to the two.  His hands twitched as he starting checking Peter’s injuries.  Lydia found herself dimly answering his questions prompting both to ask if she was okay.  She nodded her head yes.  After all Lydia Martin is always okay and has a plan.

The next full moon Lydia is in the clearing where they met holding a bag filled with the necessary ingredients to break the bond.  It is an easy spell; just create a circle out of the mixed ingredients and stand inside just as the moon shines down.  The higher the moon rose; the strong the magic became until the air vibrated.  She gathered white powdered in her hand, the same powdered her grandmother had used to bind them 18 years ago, and waited.  She had started the spiral out when Peter arrived breaking the outer ring. 

As the magic dies in the air, she stares at him as he walks up to her and presses his forehead against hers.  Neither speaks through Lydia wraps her arms around his neck clinging to him.  He returns the grip around her waist, tight so she cannot escape.

Six years after she tried to break their bond, Lydia Hale wracks her husband on the head with a tube of gold wrapping paper.

“Color lights are more festive.”  He argued.

“White.”

“They’re more cheerful.”

“White”

“They blink!  Think of the little ones and blinking colorful lights!”  Peter said.

“White,” she said sweetly, “or I will burn each of her silk shirts.”

“Through white lights really show off the ornaments and gives the room a classical elegant look.”  He gave in, smiling at her softly.”  Lydia lets him pull her into his lap.  “Can I put the color ones outside?”

“Tasteful.”

“I’m not Derek.”  Peter lifted an eyebrow speaking, “everything I do is tasteful.”  Lydia just laughed and kissed him softly.  She squeaked when he lifted her up and laid her on the velvet tree skirt.

“Under the tree, really?”  She huffed.

“I love you.”  Peter whispered causing her to smile brightly.  Laughing she slid her arms around his shoulders kissing him.  She pulled back a little to whisper.

“Love you.”