Blue Moon

Venomous

Author's Note: Gamer and Marine-Thanks!

Chapter 21-Venomous

"How long is this going to take?" I asked from where I was sitting criss-cross on the train platform.

"You tell me, how far away are they?" Derek replied.

"She's on her way, that's why I'm asking." I sighed, "How do you intend to test him?"

"The venom," he said, holding up the shard of mirror from the pool.

"Be nice, please, he is still technically my friend," I whispered as Erica dragged Jackson down the stairs. Isaac grinned at me as he took Jackson's other arm, securing the blonde boy between them.

"What happened to you on the night of the full moon?" Derek asked Jackson, playing with the piece of glass.

"What? Nothing. Nothing happened," the teen told him, his ribbon pulsing with anger as he admitted his failure to become a wolf.

Derek looked up, leveling his specialty look at Jackson as he said, "You're lying." Setting the mirror on his thigh, he took the black latex glove I offered and pulled it on.

"Wait," entrapped boy snapped. "I can prove it," he told the Alpha. When Derek looked up, Jackson admitted, "I taped myself."

Isaac laughed at Erica and Derek smirked. I just rolled my eyes, realizing that tape was the one Danny had been enhancing for Jackson. "You taped yourself?" Isaac asked.

Jackson glared at him, replying, "Yes. It was the full moon. And maybe while you were curled up in the corner having an exocentric crisis about turning into a monster, I was preparing for the so called gift your big, bad Alpha promised me. But what did I get; nothing."

"I didn't feel him become a wolf," I assured Derek when he glanced at me.

"You want proof, let me get the video," Jackson tried.

Derek pretended to consider it before he mused, "No." As he picked up the shard, he turned it to catch the light, making it bounce back into Jackson's eyes. "I have a better idea," he told the teen.

"What is that?" Jackson asked before Isaac and Erica forced him to his knees. Jackson fought, but he was no match for the two Betas. Erica held his head back as Isaac pried open the other boy's mouth.

Derek approached, holding the shard, and said, "You know, Jackson, you've always been kind of a snake. And everyone knows a snake can't be poisoned by its own venom." I watched, biting the nail of my thumb as my brother raised the shard to Jackson's mouth and titled it. Allowing a tiny drop of venom to fall between his lips.

"Let him go, now," I murmured as the boy convulsed, and Erica and Isaac moved away. I got to my feet, moving to Derek's side as Jackson became paralyzed.

Blue-gray disappointment. It wasn't him.

Baby blue satisfaction. It was nice seeing the bully helpless for once.

Cerulean blue contempt. God he was pathetic.

Charcoal gray fear. What the hell?

Derek sighed, but he allowed me to walk over to the boy and crouch before him. "You're still a snake Jackson, you're just not the one we're looking for," I sighed unhappily. When I stood, I motioned to Isaac, indicating that Jackson was all his. Derek dropped the shard on the ground as I joined him, and he pushed open the door to the train car over my head. Erica stayed outside, watching Jackson with jaunty contempt. "Now what?" I asked Derek.

"We keep looking," he assured me. I nodded, absently fiddling with my locket. "Are you staying tonight?" he asked, taking my bandaged hands in his with a gentleness that surprised me. I nodded again, already tired. It seemed like lately, all I wanted to do was sleep. At first I'd thought it was just my body trying to heal from Kate's torture. But now I wasn't sure. Mumbling something I hoped sounded like an excuse, I pulled away to change into my pajamas, opting to just pull a thin sweatshirt over my tank top.

I was almost asleep on Derek's mattress when he came into the car. I could feel Isaac, Erica and Boyd in the other car, the boys curled around their she-wolf as she slept. I could also feel Derek's fondness and affection as he saw me curled up in a tiny ball on his bed. As he pulled me against his chest, his warmth instantly lulling the pixies into silence, I hummed sleepily. In his chest, his wolf rumbled, his nose already pressed into my neck.

The next morning, Isaac was dressed and ready for school along with the rest of us. We had to stop at Dunkin Donuts on the way to school just like every morning to get breakfast. As soon as he saw Derek, the weasel-looking guy at the counter started running around, hastily gathering already prepared bags and two trays of drinks. As they were handed over, Derek delegated them to the four of us, but a single look ordered the three Betas to wait until they got in the car to eat. However, there was absolutely nothing stopping me from taking a huge sip of my coffee as the Alpha paid.

Erica and Boyd split off from Isaac and I when we got to school and I noticed instantly how people turned to look at the three Betas. Boys locked their eyes on Erica, shrinking away subconsciously from Boyd as they did. Girls turned to follow Isaac with their eyes, suddenly noticing the angular beauty about the boy beside me. I was too busy laughing at them to notice the way boys stared after me.

In first period, which I gladly shared with Isaac, I sat beside the Beta. Scott came in soon after, his ribbon pulsing with worry and dread and apprehension as he saw Isaac. Isaac just grinned at me before Stiles raced into the room. "I just talked to my dad, who just talked to Jackson, and I've got really terrible, horrible, very, very bad news," the pale kid told my brother.

"I think I already know," Scott told him, gesturing to Isaac. Stiles' ribbon gave off a burst of shock and apprehension as he realized the very, very bad news was sitting right in front of him.

At the end of class, Scott grabbed me by the arm, tearing me from Isaac's side. The Beta growled, but I waved him away, meeting his eyes calmly. He stalked away as Scott pulled me along to hear whatever Stiles had found. "Alright, I only found one thing online called a Kanima. It's a were-jaguar from South America that goes after murderers," Stiles told us.

"That thing was not a jaguar," Scott said. I shook my head, knowing it hadn't been even remotely cat-like. Then I spotted Danny and Jackson and perked up.

"Yeah, and I'm not exactly a murderer," Stiles pointed out.

"Yeah, but you did see it kill somebody, which is probably why it tried to kill you. And it's still trying to kill you and it probably won't stop until you're dead," my brother rambled. I sighed, slipping free, and moved to stand between the taller boys as my brother walked away.

"Hey Pixie," Danny nodded to me before turning to Jackson. "It took forever, but I found a program that can recover your video. I'll run it during my free period this afternoon," he told his captain.

"Kay, just let me know when it's done," Jackson requested. Danny nodded then walked away to get to his next class. I stood with Jackson, watching his concernedly as he flinched. I winced as the charms on Erica's bracelets licked and struck my hearing. Then I watched him carefully as he listened to my Betas and listened in on them myself.

"So Derek wants this done during Chemistry?" Erica asked Isaac.

"Yeah, and if it's Lydia, we kill the bitch, right," Isaac replied.

"We have to test her first," Erica reminded him.

"As the Kanima," Isaac scoffed, and then the bell rang, breaking my concentration rather painfully. Beside me, Jackson clapped his hands over his ears, having not been prepared for the sound.

"What are they talking about?" he demanded, grabbing me by the arm as he hauled me to our Economics class.

"We need to talk to Scott and Stiles," I told him. There was a knot forming in my stomach as I played with the locket around my neck. Derek was my brother, my Alpha, and he was hunting the Kanima to eliminate a dangerous enemy. But the one he thought was the dangerous enemy was my best girl friend. I was going to have to help Scott on this one. Even if it meant standing between two completely different packs and betraying Derek…again.

Jackson dumped me in the seat beside him as he sat behind my brother. I didn't even get the chance to warn the other two before Jackson said, "Hey, testicle left and right." I raised my eyebrows at him, a little grossed out as Stiles and Scott both looked up, set on ignoring Jackson. "What the hell is a Kanima?" he demanded.

Cocoa brown shock. Who the hell had Jackson found out about this?

Bright yellow suspicion. How did Jackson know that?

"Alright, quick warning before we begin our review," Coach said, catching everyone's attention. "Some of you, like McCall number one, might want to start their own study groups, because tomorrow's midterm is so profoundly difficult I'm not even too sure I could pass it," he told us. I curled my lip disdainfully. It couldn't be that hard. Then I turned away, not finding any need to pay attention right now. I'd been reviewing for nearly two weeks already.

"Paralyzed from the neck down; do you have any idea what that feels like?" Jackson sat forward to talk to my brother, and I leaned in towards Stiles. I needed to hear this if I was going to make any kind of argument to Derek.

"I'm familiar with the sensation," Stiles told him. Jackson just glared at him in annoyance, so I poked his arm with my eraser.

"Wait, why would Derek test you, why would he think that's it you?" Scott asked. I applauded my brother in my head for having picked up on that one.

"How should I know?" Jackson growled. I rolled my eyes when I saw why he was so insistent on not telling Scott he'd gotten the bite. He didn't want to look weak compared to my brother for having rejected something that had made Scott so much better.

"Wait, do they think it's Lydia?" Stiles asked.

"I don't know, all I heard was her name and something about Chemistry," the blonde replied.

"They're going to test her then," I whispered as Coach came over.

"Jackson, McCall!" Coach snapped. "Do you have something you want to share with the rest of the class?" he asked.

"Um…just an undying admiration for my coach," Jackson told him.

I nodded, plastering what apparently was a very convincing smile on my face as Coach said, "That's really kind of you." Jackson smirked, nodding, and Coach snapped, "Now shut up!" Jackson, Scott, and Stiles jumped, but obediently turned to their books. I watched as Scott and Stiles argued, but I was watching Lydia now. Her ribbon had suddenly twitched and gone cloudy. So I jerked around, seeing the redhead freaking out in her desk. I went to stand, but she ran to the board, grabbing a piece of chalk. She scrawled the same thing over and over as I watched in horrified fascination.

Then she turned to face the class, her eyes squeezed shut as she cried. Coach moved to stand in front of her, thoroughly confused and little weirded out, and called, "Lydia?" When she opened her eyes, he said, "Okay then, anybody else want to try answering, this time in English?" All around me, people laughed, instantly earning themselves glares that hinted on turning purple. Lydia whirled, turning to see what she'd written.

Once I realized what it said I got up, moving to stand in front of Lydia as I gently pried the chalk from her hand. "Everything's okay," I assured her softly, nudging her towards her seat. She nodded, quickly wiping her eyes before he strode back to her desk. Once I erased the board and sighed and got to work. Glancing at the book open on Coach's desk, I wrote out the hardest of the problems with ease then returned to my seat.

I did a double take when I saw my notebook. The same "SOMEONE HELP ME," as Lydia had written was drawn all over the page I'd opened to in the notebook. It was even written in the same pattern and placements that her's had been. But it was my handwriting. Instantly I flipped to a new page, a little shaken. I didn't bother to pay attention to class for the rest of the period, instead I started doodling triskeles and Celtic knots.

When the bell rang, I hurried with Jackson to Chemistry, Scott and Stiles right in front of us. "Derek's not gonna kill her, not without proof," Scott tried to assure Stiles.

"So he tests her like he did with Jackson, right? But when and where?" Stiles replied. The four of us were looking at Lydia, sitting alone at her lab table. Jackson moved around us, taking his seat next to Danny.

Isaac and Erica strode in, both of them reading devious, sneaky, and downright mean. "I think right here, right now," Scott told Stiles. Isaac met my eyes as Erica looked at Scott, and I shook my head, trying to warn him off. Then they saw Lydia, sitting alone. Scott and Stiles both looked at her, then back at the Betas. The two wolves instantly took on a challenging air, and I grimaced. Scott and Stiles beat the Betas to Lydia, sitting down on either side of her. Isaac and Erica sat down behind my brother as Allison came in. She gave Scott a look of confusion that he instantly placated by jerking his head at the Betas behind him. I moved into the seat beside the brunette flipping open my notebook to scribble her an explanation.

"Erica and Isaac here to test Lydia as that lizard thing. If they get to her, they'll poison her with its venom. If it doesn't affect her, they'll take it as proof that she'd the Kanima and they'll kill her," I wrote as Mr. Harris spoke. He seemed to love insulting Stiles.

"I'll help. Who's side are you on?" she wrote back.

"I'm not letting Derek kill Lydia if that's what you're asking," I wrote back, a little annoyed. She nodded, relieved, and wrote back an apology.

When most male hands in the room, and even a few girls, went up after Erica took the first table, smugness rolled down the she-wolf's ribbon. I also saw what she wasn't showing off. There was a hint of disbelief, even shock, because she just wasn't used to that kind of reaction.

The first partnering went alright. Scott was with Erica, who instantly had a plan come to mind. A worried and slightly jealous Allison went with Lydia. I was with Isaac. "Isaac, what are you going to do to her?" I hissed as I worked on the experiment.

"Just test her," he assured me.

"Test her like we tested Jackson?" I asked. Erica's pixie chattered, but I growled, driving it away so I could focus on Isaac. When the Beta met my eyes, I saw the briefest flash of guilt because Lydia was my friend and Isaac knew it. "And if she passes? How are you going to explain why she's lying on the floor, paralyzed?" I pressed.

"If she passes, we won't do anything. But if she fails…" he told me, trailing off as I forced him to meet my eyes.

"Let me talk to Derek if she fails," I pleaded.

"Talk to me," he replied, ducking his head. His eyes flashed amber and I hissed.

My own eyes flared purple, just very briefly, and he turned his head, exposing his neck to my fury. Submitting to my fury… "Don't ever do that. If I want to punish you, I'll stop bringing you books or buying you cinnamon rolls from the bakery," I told him as the bell rang.

Then I watched as Scott jumped to Lydia's side. Isaac moved away from me to take the seat next to Stiles, and I found myself beside Jackson. "Well?" he demanded.

"We're trying," I murmured as I continued with the experiment. "You need to help us after school of we manage to get out of here alive," I told him. Then something Isaac said caught my attention and I growled, "Knock it off, Isaac. You're not killing her." Jackson touched my shoulder with surprising gentleness as the bell rang.

I winced when I saw Allison end up with Erica. That wasn't going to go well. Stiles and Scott were together at a table, and I was with Danny, which meant… 'Oh shit.' Isaac had claimed the seat next to Lydia and my stomach dropped into my shoes. Danny actually helped me with the experiment as I listened to Erica and Isaac and I knew we were screwed. When Erica said psychic, I flinched, clutching my locket. I wasn't psychic. I was just…something else inhuman mixed with a werewolf. I heard Erica's claws come out and turned to glare at the she-wolf. "Stop being such a bitch, Erica," I breathed, hoping there was power behind the words. And she didn't listen, opting to dig her claws into Allison's thigh.

"Time. If you've catalyzed the experiment properly, you should now be looking at a crystal," Harris announced. Danny triumphantly held up the crystal in our beaker and I managed to grin at him. "Now, for the part of the last experiment I'm sure you'll all enjoy; you can eat it," he added.

Danny broke our crystal with a flick of his wrist, and popped one half in his mouth. "Open up, Pixie, it's good," he told me. I shook my head at him, but opened my mouth anyway.

He placed the second half on my tongue and I leaned over to kiss his cheek quickly, chewing the rock candy. "You're right, Danny boy, it is good," I mused, grinning at him as I sat back.

"Lydia!" Scott cried. I jerked around, expecting to see her convulsing, and realized she hadn't even eaten the crystal. 'Eaten the crystal. Oh my god the venom is on the crystal,' I realized. Erica and Isaac were tense with anticipation, Scott, Allison, and Stiles stiff with worry. A glance at Jackson told me he was watching the strawberry blonde as closely as Scott was and I gripped the edge of the table. Lydia bit into the crystal and I looked away, unable to watch. That's when I saw the Camaro parked outside, Derek leaning against the door.

Scott had seen him too, and we both knew the Alpha was waiting to make a move. When Lydia didn't react, Derek's ribbon pulsed with various thoughts. He'd found the Kanima; he could eliminate the threat. It was Lydia, his little sister's best friend. I was going to hate him if he did this, but he couldn't let it keep killing. I dropped my head onto the table as the bell rang to end class, and watched the two Betas hurry from the room. Scott took Allison and Stiles out of the room, so I inserted myself at Lydia's side.

"Lydia, do you have any painkillers?" I asked quietly, my headache coming back in full force. I was tuned into Scott, Lydia, Derek, Stiles, Allison, Isaac, Erica, Jackson, even Boyd, and they were all reading way too many emotions right now. Lydia patted my arm, pressing the pill bottle into my hand as I dropped her off at the guidance office. Stiles came to relieve me a few minutes later and I hurried up to the library. We needed Jackson with us for this one, and he was there with Danny and Matt.

I got there as Matt was leaving. I smirked at Danny's face when I saw Matt clap him on the shoulder and dropped into the photographer's vacated chair. Grinning at Jackson as Danny watched Matt leave, the blonde nodded. Danny glanced up at me, and then looked at Jackson. Jackson raised his eyebrows, but held his tongue. "What?" Danny asked.

"Got a little crush going on there?" Jackson replied.

"No," Danny instantly denied it, but he looked away from Jackson as he did, and his voice said it all.

"You're such a bad liar," I teased him, nudging him with my foot. Jackson just quirked an eyebrow, tilting his head in a disbelieving look.

"Shut up," the tall boy told us both. Jackson laughed as I giggled, but Danny continued, "It doesn't matter anyway."

"Why's that?" Jackson asked.

"Because if you haven't noticed, he's completely obsessed with Allison," Danny told him. I winced, knowing exactly how it felt to have your crush be in love with someone else. "So, whatever," he finished. Jackson met my eyes, a thoughtful look coming over his face. Thankfully Danny distracted him. "Anyway, this is gonna take a couple hours."

"So you can't tell me who did the editing?" Jackson crouched.

"Is there anyone else who can get into your house?" Danny asked.

"Well, I could. I know you're mom leaves the kitchen door unlocked, but we all know I wouldn't have a clue how to edit a video," I told them.

"Yes, Pixie, we know you're technically and vertically challenged," Jackson teased, and then the door to the library opened. Jackson turned to see Lydia and Stiles come in, and I knew as soon as he remembered that Lydia had a key to his house. "Yeah, actually I do," he told Danny, and I sighed. Well, if he needed to confront her, he could help us protect her at the same time.

Then Scott's ribbon pulsed, and I saw that he was talking to Boyd. "I'll see you guys later," I told them, hurrying from the library. Glad I'd worn boots today, I ran across the campus to the lacrosse field in time to see Scott tackle Boyd. There was a black blur when they stood, and Scott turned to see Derek beside him.

"She failed the test," Derek said.

"Yeah, which doesn't prove anything," Scott said as I reached him. I pulled the smallest wolf back, placing myself between my brothers. "Lydia's different," Scott pointed out.

"I know," Derek replied. "At night she turns into a homicidal walking snake."

"I'm not going to let you kill her," Scott told the Alpha.

My older brother looked at Boyd, who just grinned. My stomach twisted as Derek's ribbon pulsed with smugness. "Who said I was gonna do it?" he asked Scott.

"Isaac and Erica," I realized, watching as their ribbons read the pleasure of the hunt. Isaac was sharpening his claws on the lockers around him, and Erica was practically giddy. "Call them off," I ordered my brother, meeting his green eyes with my blue ones. Scott went to run back to the school, but Boyd leaped forward, throwing his arm out. Scott slammed into the branch like limb and I gasped, wincing, as the breath was driven from his lungs. He landed heavily on his back, coughing, and I glared at Derek. Boyd's satisfaction at getting equal and taking down the great Scott McCall hit me hard as I wrapped an arm around my own stomach, fighting to breathe through Scott's pain.

"I don't know why you think you have to protect everyone, now, Scott," Derek mused. "But even so, Lydia has killed people, and she's gonna do it again. And next time, it's gonna be one of us."

"But what if you're wrong?" Scott asked, still laying on the ground. His pain was fading, but I still couldn't breathe. A werewolf being hit by a werewolf usually doesn't take long to heal, as it was for Scott. But a human as tiny as me being hit by a werewolf as big as Boyd; yeah, that took a lot longer to fade.

"She was bitten by an Alpha, it's her," Derek insisted.

"You saw that thing up close; you know it's not like us," my younger brother protested.

"But it is," my older brother argued. "We're all shape-shifters, even Ami. You don't know what you're dealing with. It happens rarely and it happens for a reason."

"What reason?" the Omega asked.

"Sometimes the shape you take reflects the person you are," the Alpha explained. Scott looked away, realizing that Lydia could be classified as a snake. She certainly was sly and sneaky and conniving. To my relief, Derek offered Scott his hand, and to my greater relief, Scott took it, letting Derek help him to his feet. "Even Stiles calls her cold-blooded," the paler wolf pointed out.

"What if she's immune?" Scott asked. Derek hesitated, confused. "What if she's got something inside of her that makes her immune to the bite, which is why she didn't get paralyzed?" he pushed.

"No one's immune," Derek protested. "I've never seen it, or heard of it. It's never happened."

"What about Jackson?" Scott challenged, leaning into the Alpha's face. Derek instantly clenched his jaw and I understood. 'The black blood. But Scott hadn't known Jackson had gotten the bite.' "That's why you tested him, isn't it? Because you gave him what he wanted didn't you?" Scott demanded.

"Scott," Derek snapped, trying to get him to stop.

But Scott was on a roll. "Peter said the bite either kills you or turns you. You were probably hoping that he would die," he accused the Alpha. I looked up at Derek just as Boyd did, confusion flitting across our faces. "But nothing happened, right?" Scott asked, searching Derek's face. "And you have no idea why, do you?"

Derek let an angry breath out through his nose, eyes locked on Scott's, his jaw clenched as he admitted, "No."

"Well I have a theory," Scott told him. "Lydia's immune, and somehow she passed it on to Jackson. You know I'm right."

"No!" Derek snapped.

"You cannot do this!" Scott told him.

"Look, I can't let her live!" Derek yelled. "You should have known that," the black haired wolf reminded the brunette.

"I was hoping I would convince you, but then, I wasn't counting on it," Scott told him, looking over at the school. Derek searched Scott's face, confused and actually a little hurt. I sighed, and then stepped between my brothers. Placing a hand on both of their chests, I pushed them apart, briefly surprised I actually could.

Then I felt Isaac catch Lydia's scent and he pulled Erica into the library. The two wolves looked around in confusion when all they saw were Matt and Danny. Isaac got angry, stalking over to yank Matt up out of his seat. But I didn't worry. Stiles and Allison had taken Lydia out of the library already, Jackson right behind them. "Go," I ordered Scott and he leaned over to kiss my cheek before taking off.

Boyd moved to stop him and I snarled, my eyes flashing purple. Instantly the Beta backed down, though he was literally three times my size. "What are you doing, Ami?" Derek asked.

"You can't kill her. She's my best friend. Look, today something happened. She had another hallucination and her ribbon became this cloudy color," I told him, stepping back.

"You said the Kanima was cloudy, like you couldn't read it," he pointed out.

"That was before the pool. Now the Kanima is mottled, the same color as its scales. Lydia turned gray, but I could still follow the ribbon," I explained. "Look, Derek, I'm telling you it's not her!" I cried.

But his eyes hardened, and he grabbed me by the arm. "You're not doing this to me again," he snapped, dragging me with him.

"If you do this, Scott will hate you. He'll never trust you again. And Allison will gladly accept her family's history to hunt you for killing her best friend," I told him. But my arguments fell on deaf ears as he tossed me to Boyd and stalked back to the Camaro. The big wolf shoved me into the backseat of the sleek car and a minute later, Isaac and Erica crawled in beside me. I was stuck in the middle, two angry Betas sitting on either side of me, their yellow eyes fixed on me.

Erica finally snarled at me and raised her hand, claws fully extended. She went to swipe at me and before I'd even registered that I'd moved, I had her wrist clasped in my hand. A furious snarl ripped its way out of my chest and the she-wolf shrank back. I wasn't even facing her. Isaac blinked, his eyes fading and I realized what I'd done. Instantly I let her go, and she pulled her arm to her chest, rubbing her wrist. "Was that you or me?" I asked Derek, meeting his eyes in the rearview mirror.

"That was all you," he told me, heading for my house. "Stop fighting, Ami. I have to do this," he sighed.

"No you don't. If the Kanima is like us, can't it be taught control? Couldn't it be taught not to kill? It's all alone, Derek, it's has no one to teach it. Why can't we teach it?" I argued.

"Did that thing look like it could be taught control, Ami?" he replied. I sighed, slumping in the seat as I realized he was right. "I know she's your friend, but she's dangerous. The only thing we can do for her is kill her before she realizes the power she has," he told me.

"I just can't believe it's her. The ribbons felt so different, Derek," I sighed.

"Don't we feel different when we shift?" he asked.

"No. Well, yeah, I mean, your pixie thing turns into a tiny, furry wolf. And your human emotions and natural reactions feel more like animalistic drives and primal instincts. But I know it's still you. Your colors don't change. Lydia changed. There's no way the Kanima doesn't change. The fog is something supernatural, but it's wrong, just like the Kanima we heard about in that story. Humans don't feel that way," I explained.

"What color am I?" Erica asked curiously.

"Cerulean blue," I told her then went rigid. That was Stiles' Jeep outside my house, and I could feel him, Allison, Jackson, and Lydia all inside. Derek parked, and the Betas leaped from the car. They gathered on the lawn as Derek let me out on his side, stopping me once my feet were on the ground. He held my arm in an iron grip, leaning down to pull the knives from my boots. He stuck them in the glove compartment and led me up to stand beside the Betas. Boyd took my other arm, instantly preventing me from going to the aid of my younger brother's pack. Then I blinked, a little surprised at myself. 'When did I start thinking they were a pack? When did Scott become an Alpha to me?'

"Check the back of the house. The door's probably still unlocked. Don't go in," Derek ordered the other boy holding me. When he came back, he was grinning, and the other two Betas laughed.

Bright yellow worry. Oh my god, what are we going to do?

French blue fear. They're here to kill Lydia. Conflicted. Should I call my dad? But then he'd know about Scott. Agitated. Where was Scott?

Magenta pink heartbreak. It wasn't supposed to be like this.

Charcoal gray anger. Why was she lying to me?

I saw movement in the windows by the door and met Allison's eyes through the darkness. With the arm not clasped in Derek's iron hold, I made the shape of a gun with my fingers, holding her gaze and praying she understood. The curtain fell back into place and I watched her confliction and fear rise. She'd understood. Closing my eyes in relief, I left my head hang as Boyd moved back to my side to take hold of my arm again. Derek had switched me to his other side, and I was glad, because Boyd gripped my bicep with far less force than Derek.

Charcoal gray fury. Why had she taken this from me?

Magenta pink confusion. What tape was he so angry about?

Baby blue anticipation. Finally, we could get on with this.

Charcoal gray guilt. I didn't mean to hurt her. Pain. Why had I even tried to cut her out of my life?

Bright yellow realization. Allison had her little crossbow.

My head jerked up as Isaac left and I pulled against Derek and Boyd. "No," I gasped as Stiles and Allison realized Isaac was missing. Then I felt Isaac throw Allison and Stiles to the floor and Stiles' pain as Isaac threw him around. Even from out here I could hear things breaking as I desperately pulled, in vain, against Derek. Erica darted into the house now that Stiles and Allison were distracted.

Magenta confusion. What the hell were they doing down there?

Charcoal pain. It was getting hard to breathe. Nothing.

Mottled green, too cloudy to get a reading.

Magenta fear. Why, why was someone trying to break in and where was Jackson?

"Call them off!" I gasped, horrified.

Magenta panic. Police, call the police.

French blue anger. It was here, the Kanima was here.

Cocoa brown fury. Animalistic fury. My territory! My pack!

Baby blue fear. McCall was here.

French blue realization. If wolves could catch an arrow…

Cerulean blue scorn. She actually thought that little crossbow could take me down.

French blue triumph. Take that, bitch. Then Erica went down, paralyzed because she had to be rash and catch the bolt Allison had rolled in the venom.

Copper brown worry. It shouldn't take this long for Isaac to beat a human. But only seconds after that, Isaac went down, knocked out cold by a few blows from Scott. I lifted my head as the door opened, but it didn't surprise me when Isaac and Erica were thrown through the air to land on the lawn at Derek's feet. The Alpha sighed angrily but admitted defeat. Scott had beaten those two.

Scott walked out onto the porch, Allison and Stiles following him out. "I think I'm finally getting why you keep refusing me, Scott," Derek told him, and Scott straightened. "You're not an Omega. You're already an Alpha, of your own pack." At that, Allison and Stiles exchanged glances, but I knew Derek wasn't done. Nor was he walking away. He grinned and pointed out what we all knew, "But you know you can't beat me."

"I can hold you off until the cops get here," Scott replied evenly. Boyd's hand dropped from my arm and I rolled my shoulder, shaking the numb limb.

Then Derek heard the sirens that I'd already picked up and turned to look. But I was distracted by a mottled ribbon reappearing and looked up. "Um," I tugged at my arm, trying to catch Derek's attention, and the Kanima hissed. Derek looked up instantly. The three on the porch heard it, and then moved out onto the lawn to look.

The Kanima crawled along the peak of the roof, making Scott, Allison, Stiles, and Boyd to read fear. Derek was furious, his claws curling around my arm protectively. The lizard looked down at us, met my eyes, and shrieked. Scott and Allison jumped, and then it was gone, crawling away to disappear into the darkness. "Get them out of here," Derek ordered Boyd, sparing a look at his two fallen Betas. He was intending on going after the Kanima.

But a noise in the house made everyone turn and I sighed in relief as Lydia stormed out of the house. I'd been right. "Would someone please tell me what the hell is going on?" she demanded.

"No," I realized just as Scott figured it out. I reached up to grab the hand Derek still had wrapped around my arm, squeezing his fingers. Under my hand, he gently squeezed my arm, letting his hand slide down my arm to my hand.

I entwined my fingers through his, stopping him from going after the Kanima without any of his pack as Scott murmured, "It's Jackson."

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