i. the bite
A PORCH LIGHT SHINED AN OUTLINE OF A BOY with long, dark brown hair walking along the outside of a house. His olive skin and brown eyes glowed under the bright lights.
It was Scott McCall.
Wearing a hoodie, he had been moving throughout the porch, ready to strike with the baseball bat he was holding. Turning back, another boy with a buzz-cut popped out of nowhere, hanging from the roof of the porch.
Scott held up his bat, yelling in terror as the other boy, who was hanging upside down, did the same, waving his hands around wildly.
“Stiles, what the hell are you doing?!” Scott shouted.
“You weren’t answering your phone,” his friends answered, still hanging from the roof. “Why do you have a bat?”
“I thought you were a predator!”
“A pre-I-wha-look, I know it’s late, but you gotta hear this. I saw my dad leave 20 minutes ago. Dispatch called. They’re bringing in every officer from the Beacon Hills Department, and even State Police,” explained Stiles.
“For what?” Scott asked as he finally lowered his bat.
“Two joggers found a body in the woods,” Stiles answered, flipping off the roof as he landed on his feet.
“A dead body?”
“No, a body of water,” Stiles quipped with his usual level of sarcasm before climbing over the rail to stand by his friend. “Yes, dumbass, a dead body.”
“You mean like murder?” Scott wondered.
“Nobody knows yet. Just that it was a girl, probably in her 20s,” Stiles answered again, resting his hands on his hips.
“Hold on, if they found the body, then what are they looking for?”
“That’s the best part,” Stiles smiled. “They only found half. We’re going.”
The road was pitch black until Stiles’ headlights from his beaten-up Jeep lit up the dirt road that eventually led to the chained gate of the Beacon Hills Preserve.
“We’re seriously doing this?” asked Scott as he hopped out of the car.
“You’re the one always bitching that nothing ever happens in this town,” Stiles replied as he took the lead, walking through the passed the gate.
“I was trying to get a good night’s sleep before practice tomorrow,” Scott whined as he followed his friend, who was holding up a flashlight to light up their path.
“Right, ’cause sitting on the bench is such a grueling effort.”
“No, because I’m playing this year,” Scott declared determinedly. “In fact, I’m making first line.”
“Hey, that’s the spirit. Everyone should have a dream, even a pathetically unrealistic one.”
“Uh, just out of curiosity, which half of the body are we looking for?”
“Huh! I didn’t even think about that,” Stiles realized.
“And, uh, what if whoever killed the body is still out here?”
“Also something I didn’t think about.”
“It’s comforting to know you’ve planned this out with your usual attention to detail,” Scott commented, panting almost as they started to walk up a small, yet very steep hill. It was so steep they literally had to climb up it.
Reaching the top of the hill, Stiles wiped the dirt of his hand as an out-of-breath Scott leaned against a tree, shaking his inhaler.
“Maybe the severe asthmatic should be the one holding the flashlight, huh?” He suggested. Stiles just ignored him as he kept on going.
As his friend rushed forward, Scott tried to keep up with him. He kept following just to drop to the ground beside Stiles when they saw police flashlights ahead.
“Wait, come on!” Stiles spoke as he lifted himself to his feet and ran forwards again, leaving Scott by himself.
“Stiles!” Scott called. Scrambling to his feet, he ran after his friend.
The sound of leaves rustling and twigs snapping filled the air as Stiles ran through the preserve, leaving Scott behind to take a few puffs of his medication.
“Wait up! Stiles!” Scott yelled. “Stiles!”
But again, Stiles ignored him. He walked a little bit further, slowing down as he turned back to find Scott. He had moved away when suddenly a loud barking noise sounded from behind him as he screamed in surprise. He jumped and tripped over his feet.
“Hold it right there!” A cop yelled, holding back the dog that scared Stiles as it whined.
“Hang on, hang on,” a voice called out as the Sheriff walked over. As Stiles scrambled to his feet, the Sheriff looked at the teen boy disapprovingly. “This little delinquent belongs to me.”
“Dad, how are you doing?” Stiles squinted up at his father as rain started to drizzle down on them.
“So, do you, uh, listen in to all of my phone calls?” The Sheriff questioned.
“No, heh,” his son lied. Well, to be fair, it wasn’t technically a lie. “Not the boring ones.”
“Now, where’s your usual partner in crime?” Sheriff Stilinski asked, looking around for his friend, who was currently hiding behind a tree fifty feet away.
“Who, Scott? Sc-Scott’s home. He said he wanted to get a good night’s sleep for the first day back at school tomorrow. It’s just me. In the woods. Alone,” Stiles lied. But the look on Noah Stilinski’s face showed that he didn’t believe a single word of it.
“Scott, you out there? Scott?” Stiles’ father shouted out, flashing his light around to see through the trees. As Scott held in his breath so he wouldn’t get caught like his friend, the Sheriff sighed, looking back at his son. “Well, young man, I’m gonna walk you back to your car...” He grabbed him by the neck - not too forcefully. “And you and I are gonna have a conversation about something called invasion of privacy.”
GRACIE HALE SLAMMED HER HAND DOWN ON THE BUTTON when her alarm clock went off, turning off the annoying sound that had blared in her ears.
“God...” she mumbled, turning on her side and groaning when she was blinded by the sun’s rays bursting through her bedroom window. It was torture.
“Why didn’t I think of closing them last night?” She thought to herself as she finally sat forward.
After begrudgingly getting out of the comfort of her warm bed, Gracie swung her legs over the side her bed and and headed to the bathroom that was connected to her bedroom. She cringed when she flipped the lights on, a bright light filling her vision.
After squeezing the excess water out of her hair, she walked back into her room. Gracie slumped down on her bed, checking for any messages and let out a breath when she saw texts from her brother. He told her that he had left early that morning to look for their sister, Laura, who had gone missing a few days ago.
Gracie chucked her towel in the hamper as she started to get dressed. Slipping on her shoes, she had finished getting dressed relatively quickly.
After she brushed her hair and put on some makeup, Gracie smiled at her reflection, approving what she saw as she coated her lips with her favorite strawberry lipgloss.
With her bag slung over her shoulder as she walked downstairs, the pitter-patter of footsteps echoed through the empty space.
With that, she closed the door behind her as she headed out of their loft. Gracie closed her jacket as she headed to her car, shivering as a blast of cold wind hit her legs. Even though it was the beginning of January, you would think it would be sunny with seventy-degree weather in California.
It wasn’t even forty degrees. Gracie rubbed her hands together, blowing on them as she turned on her car. Slinging the belt over her, she pulled out of her parking spot in her corvette.
Gracie sighed when she pulled up into her usual parking spot. As she sat there, the brown-haired girl glared at the building in front of her.
“Only 151 days left until summer,” she mumbled to herself.
Meanwhile, Stiles was standing by the stairs as he watched Scott ride his bike through the parking lot, heading for the bike rack.
“Finally!” Stiles exclaimed as Scott locked his bike in. “Are you okay?”
“Yeah,” he shrugged lightly. “I’m fine.”
“Okay, let’s see this thing,” Stiles said after Scott explained what happened after Sheriff Stilinski made his son leave him behind.
Scott sighed and shrugged his backpack off his shoulders. He winced as he lifted up his shirt, revealing the white bandage covering the entire right side of his torso that was stained with a small patch of blood.
Stiles raised his brows and cooed, reaching out to touch the gauze. Scott hissed and slapped his friend’s hand away.
“Yeah,” he nodded, rolling down his shirt. “It was too dark to see much, but I’m pretty sure...it was a wolf.”
Stiles raised his brows, giving him an incredulous look. “A wolf bit you?”
“Uh-huh,” Scott nodded.
“No, not a chance,” Stiles denied, shaking his head as he shot down his friend’s claim.
“I heard a wolf howling.”
“No, you didn’t.”
“What do you mean, ‘no, I didn’t’? How do you know what I heard?”
“Because California doesn’t have wolves, okay? Not in like 60 years,” Stiles explained. There was no way he could have been bitten by a wolf.
“Yes, really,” Stiles repeated. “There are no wolves in California.”
“All right, well, if you don’t believe me about the wolf, then you’re definitely not gonna believe me about when I tell you I found the body,” Scott revealed, still freaked out by that fact.
His eyes lit up in excitement as Stiles flailed spastically and reached out to grab Scott’s shoulders. “You-are you kidding me?”
“No, man, I wish. I’m gonna have nightmares for a month,” Scott shuddered, still haunted by the gruesome image of what he saw that night.
“Oh, god, that is freakin’ awesome,” Stiles exclaimed. “I mean, this is seriously gonna be the best thing that’s happened to this town since...”
He trailed off, his attention being pulled away by a certain strawberry blonde walking by him.
“Since the birth of Lydia Martin,” Stiles declared loud enough for her hear. But the girl didn’t even look their way. “Hey, Lydia, you look...like you’re gonna ignore me.“He looked back at his friend, who had an amused look on his face. “You’re the cause of this, you know.”
“Uh-huh,” Scott chuckled.
“Draggin’ me down to your nerd depths. I’m a nerd by association. I’ve been scarlet-nerded by you.”
Scott nodded. “Uh-huh...”