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Cora is staying with Peter, but it’s not like he’s forcing her to stay.  And it’s not like he has much of a moral compass, so he has opinions, alright, but he doesn’t enforce them very hard.  So when the Alpha howls, and when Cora’s eyes flash and her head turns to hear the sound better, Peter says in a worried voice, “Cora,” but doesn’t get up and hold her down like maybe he should.  Derek would have.  Derek would have, but he’s not here.

“I have to go.”

“No.  No you don’t.”

And okay, he’s getting up now.  And he’s stepping closer to Cora’s chair at the dining room table (they were eating, Peter’s a good cook).  And when Cora goes to stand too, Peter’s hand comes down heavy on her shoulder, and it kind of reminds her of Kali in that Kali always touches her when she doesn’t want her to.

But then she wants her to.  Peter is so strange, and he’s inappropriate.

“Please.”  Her own voice is full of cracks, and she’s not changed, but her nails are stretching out to break the skin of one of her thighs, and Peter’s nails do the same thing, in her shoulder.  It hurts in a way that makes her whine, like the pain’s a surprise (but really she ought to have learned to expect it by now).

“Is it Kali, Deucalion, or one of the twins.”

The howl sounds again, and Cora folds her face in pain.  “Kali.”

“Ah.  Should have known, really.  That girl is as gay as I am.”

Cora wants to tell him that Alpha-beta dynamics don’t have a whole lot to do with who likes fucking who (and isn’t Peter like bi anyway?), but maybe he smells it on her, or maybe he just knows.  Peter is very perceptive, and Cora remembers when she was around seven and was caught with her hand under her dress at the dinner table, and he had said, “Cora,” and clicked his tongue.  “You’re not supposed to do that when other people are around.”

“You don’t—“  Peter’s clenches his fingers unnecessarily, and the pain shoots down Cora’s whole side.  “You don’t understand.  I hate her, but I miss her.”

“I think that’s something I can understand very well.”  With his other hand, he pushes her hair back, touches her in a way that’s almost soothing, but it doesn’t help.  It just makes her tingle, and Kali’s howling again, and you aren’t supposed to ignore your Alpha, you just aren’t.

Cora’s eyes burn.  She wants Peter to hurt her more.  “I wish you were an Alpha.”

And Peter laughs.  A small one, one of his arrogant chuckles.  “Honey, no you don’t.  Because if you were mine, I wouldn’t have let you go in the first place.”

When Cora starts crying full force, Peter tilts her head back and kisses her forehead.