Author's Note: thanks to Ash and Fizz Wizz for reviewing the last chapter! And welcome back Ash! It's been a long time since I heard from you!
My vision was hazy, foggy as though I were dreaming. Heavy limbs weighed down whoever was dragging me, and I couldn't do anything to get to my feet. Pain laced through my chest as I saw sparks fly, and I sat up enough to catch a glimpse of a girl's dark face. The healing process was triggered when my eyes shifted, but when I reached down to my side, I could still feel the four, deep gashes. My fingers came back bloody and I clawed at the pavement, trying to turn enough to gain some strength back.
The girl levered me to my feet, draping my form across her shoulders as she walked. "Stay with me," she ordered. "We're almost there."
I reached for the back of my neck, pinpointing the worst of the pain to a number of wounds. "My neck," I gasped.
"From their claws. It's how they share memories," she replied.
"But I don't remember anything," I protested.
"Also how they steal them," she explained. "Listen to me. No matter what happens, you hold on. Okay? You hold on tight."
"Ami, you good?" Stiles' voice pulled me out of the ribbons, and I jolted back into alertness. "Is that what you're going to get?" he asked.
I looked down at the picture in my hand and then back at the book of design ideas. Running light fingers over the Celtic knot, I nodded. "It's the symbol for the unbreakable bond of family," I explained quietly.
"Like Derek's triskele is the symbol for family?" he asked, and I nodded again.
"Family is everything to Derek, but pack means more to me," I murmured, and then I handed the picture to the tattoo artist. I zoned out as the needle stabbed into the skin on the back of my shoulder again and again, returning to the whirlpool of ribbons in my head.
"Remember what I said before?" the girl driving the motorcycle asked.
"Hold on?" I checked, tightening my arms around her waist.
"Hold on!" she confirmed as the two figures strode towards us. One ran forward and crouched, and as the second ran forward, the bike shot forward. The second attacker leaped off the back of the first, only to punch the cement when the bike skidded around a turn. I yelled as the glass windows approached, but the bike didn't slow down, instead crashed right through. The jolt of the landing knocked my arms from around the girl's waist and I slumped forward onto her shoulder. "Isaac! Stay with me! Isaac!" the girl shouted through her visor.
As I let go, the girl hit the brakes and tilted the bike, sending it skidding across the cement floor. I rolled to a stop when I hit an upright pallet and lifted my head. Through hazy eyes I saw the girl pull her helmet off, then turned as the twins stepped through the broken window.
Stalking forward, the two pulled off their jackets and threw them aside. Then one crouched, allowing the other to punch him in the back and the strangest thing happened. The sound of ripping flesh accompanied the sight of the two wolves merging, their bodies rippling and shifting. When they stood, they roared, a deep rasping roar that shook the building. I turned and started to drag myself towards the girl, but heavy footsteps made me realize I wasn't going to make it.
"Isaac! Get down!" the girl yelled. She rolled over to reveal what looked like a shot gun and the super wolf charged forward. Firing over my head, the super wolf screamed and howled, falling backwards in the electrical charge as identical twins. When the light vanished from behind my hand, I lowered it and looked, but the warehouse was empty. "I thought I told you to hold on," she said, and I dropped my head back onto the pavement.
"Boy, it's a good thing you drew me a picture," the tattoo artist said sarcastically. He lowered the paper so I could see Scott grinning in the chair. Shaking my head at him, I looked over my shoulder at the bandage, confused. I'd just been in a warehouse, in a motorcycle crash. So why was I in a tattoo parlor? But that girl had called me Isaac. How had I been able to see through Isaac's ribbon when I hadn't been able to find the baby-blue pixie for days?
"Hey, Scott, sure you don't want something like this?" Stiles asked. He held up a tattoo design that looked almost exactly like the Kanima and I flinched. "Too soon? Yeah…" Stiles replied when Scott gave him the look. He flipped the binder closed as I poked at the bandage experimentally and winced. "I don't know, man, are you sure about this? I mean, these things are pretty permanent, you know?"
"I'm not changing my mind," Scott declared, and I knew if it wasn't the full moon that neither of us would have the guts to do this.
"Okay, but why two bands?" Stiles asked.
"I just like it," my brother shrugged, still grinning.
"But don't you think your first tattoo should have some sort of meaning, you know, or something, like Ami's?" his best friend argued.
"Getting a tattoo means something," the wolf protested.
"I don't think that's-" Stiles started to say, only to have the artist cut him off.
"He's right. Tattooing goes back thousands of years. The Tahitian word "tatua" means "to leave a mark." Like a rite of passage," the big man informed them, and Scott flared with satisfaction.
"Yeah, you see? He gets it," he told Stiles triumphantly.
"He's covered in tattoos, Scott," Stiles argued, crossing his arms. Then he turned to the artist and added, "Literally."
"Okay, you ready?" the artist asked and Scott nodded. "You ain't got any problems with needles, do you?" he checked, just like he had with me.
"Nope," my brother assured him, taking a deep breath.
"I tend to get a little squeamish though, so…" Stiles said, indicating that he was going to go wait out front. But he didn't make it, muttering, "What the," as he passed out on the floor. Laughing softly, I retrieved an ice pack on the artist's instructions and dragged Stiles out front. We waited, his head in my lap, while Scott got his tattoo. Instead of putting my shirt back on over the bandage, I held it in my lap and waited, flicking Stiles' ribbon until he stirred. When Scott came out front, we paid and headed out to the Jeep. I crawled into the backseat before Scott slid in after me and Stiles asked, "You two okay?"
"Kinda burns," Scott replied, and I just nodded. My shoulder ached and the skin felt like it was on fire, but I knew the half-wolf side of me would heal the inflammation within a day or two.
"Yes, you just had your skin stabbed about 100,000 times with a needle," Stiles retorted, holding the ice pack to the back of his head.
"Yeah, but I don't think it's supposed to feel like this," my brother replied and Stiles flashed him a look of sympathy. Then Scott hissed in pain and gasped though clenched teeth, "Oh, God. No, it's definitely not supposed to feel like this. Oh, I gotta take this thing off"
"No, no, no, no, Scott. Oh, Scott, please stop," Stiles pleaded, turning away as Scott yanked the bandage off. I leaned forward, concerned, since my tattoo wasn't hurting like this. "Whoa, whoa," Stiles muttered when Scott revealed the fading black bands.
"Oh, no, what? No, no, come on," Scott protested as he watched the skin fade back to normal. "It healed," he realized, devastated.
"Ah, thank God. I hated it," Stiles replied, starting the Jeep. I laughed at the look on Scott's face as the human added "Sorry."
"Can you check mine?" I asked, turning around so Scott could peel off the bandage. "It's still pretty red, so I guess your human side is cancelling out the wolf healing," he assured me, gently replacing the bandage.
"Have you talked to Allison at all?" Stiles asked as we pulled up at a red light.
"Nah, we agreed to give each other the summer no texts, no calls," Scott replied, and I knew he was hurting still. So I leaned over with my good arm and clasped his shoulder, squeezing gently so he knew I was there.
"So then how do you know she won't be back at school then?" Stiles asked. He looked over, then leaned forward to see around Scott. Alarm flared down his ribbon and I looked out the window to see what had caught his attention. And there sat Lydia and Allison, laughing.
"After everything that happened, I'm not sure she's coming back at all," my brother replied.
I bit my lip and pointed to Stiles, trying to shut him up before he could say, "I think she is. I'd say pretty definite, you know." Scott's assumption that Stiles was just being a supportive friend faded into confusion when Stiles' added, "Like one hundred percent." He cleared his throat and nodded to the window, making Scott turn around to see his ex-girlfriend, smiling and laughing. Pain, love, and joy flared down Scott's ribbon and I slapped Stiles' upside the head.
Then horror washed over Allison's ribbon and Scott jerked back, breaking eye contact as he shrank down in the seat. "Oh, my God," he gasped, and I whacked Stiles' wave down when Lydia turned to look. "Can we just drive please, Stiles?" Scott requested.
"Scott, it's a red light," Stiles replied.
"Dude, you break laws all the time, and you won't go through a red light when no one else is around?" I asked incredulously. I needed to get out of there so Scott and Allison's ribbons would calm down and I could think.
"I think we should talk to her, I just think we should say something," Stiles said.
"No," Scott replied, shocked by the idea. But Stiles, being Stiles, didn't listen and leaned over him to roll down the window. "No, no, Stiles, come on. Oh, my God, dude, no," Scott and I protested as Stiles called out the window.
Lydia sped off, going right through the red light, and I slumped back in the seat in relief. I sat up with a yelp as my tattooed shoulder hit the seat and Stiles said, "You know, they probably didn't see us."
Then the light turned green and Stiles drove off down the road. Right behind Lydia. "What are you doing?" Scott demanded.
"I'm driving," Stiles told him in the duh voice.
Horrified, my brother protested, "We're right behind them."
Stiles sighed and asked, "Okay, well, do you see any turns?"
"I don't want it to look like we're following them," Scott was clearly starting to panic as he looked between Stiles and the car holding Allison.
"Well, what do you want me to do?" Stiles demanded.
"I don't know, anything," Scott pleaded, and Stiles slammed on the brakes. I yelped and grabbed the front seats as the Jeep screeched to a halt. But up head, Lydia's car came to a halt and the boys exchanged confused looks.
"Oh my god!" I cried as the terrified deer appeared in my head. "Get out, go, go!" I ordered the boys as the deer slammed into Lydia's windshield. The sound of two girls screaming reached us easily, and I shoved Scott out of the Jeep. We ran forward as the terrified girls backed away from the car, crying and shaken. I went around to the front of the car and stared at the buck's body, placing my hand over where I hoped I wouldn't feel a heartbeat.
"Are you okay?" Scott demanded, running to Allison's side.
"It came out of nowhere," Lydia gasped to Stiles as he caught her arms.
"Are you hurt?" he asked, looking down at her as she stumbled.
"It ran right into us," the redhead replied, her voice wavering in fear.
"Are you okay?" Scott asked again, forcing Allison to look him in the eyes.
"I'm okay," the huntress assured him, letting out a shaky breath.
"Well, I'm not okay," Lydia cried "I am totally freaking out. How the hell does it just run into us?" she exclaimed, and Scott came to stand at my side. "I saw its eyes right before it hit us. It was like it was…like it was crazy," she told him, biting her lip as she remembered.
"No, it was scared," Scott explained, and he placed his hand beside mine.
"You feel that right?" I whispered, and he nodded.
"Actually," he told the others, "Terrified." We turned to look down the road, towards the full moon, and I shook my head, backing away.
"Stiles, call your dad," I ordered, then took the girls by their arms and pulled them to sit in the Jeep. Scott retrieved their bags from Lydia's car as we waited for the cops to show up.
The next morning, I was slipping out of the shower when Scott's alarm went off. I heard the baseball hit the clock and knew I had five minutes to get out of the bathroom before Scott's vocab word of the day popped up. We'd established a routine over the last four months, and I knew Scott was doing some kind of workout right now as he read.
When his computer dinged, I slipped out the other door into my room to get dressed. "My ephemeral," Scott muttered as he went to get in the shower. Laughing, I went with a navy and white striped tank top under a cropped white leather jacket. With that went a navy blue skirt and a pair of navy and white wedge sandals. My new school bag, a white MK bag from Lydia plus a pair of white anchor studs completed the outfit. After that, I did my makeup, using a navy blue eyeliner as the base. "Hey, what do you want for breakfast?" I called through the bathroom door once the water shut off.
"Can you make those protein shakes?" he asked, and I strode back to my mirror to finish my hair. A glance ensured that the chin length wedge was completely straightened, so I flashed a grin at my reflection. Melissa had been so happy when I'd cut my hair, saying it made me look older. I went down the stairs easily, having gotten plenty of practice in heels over the summer, and quickly plugged in the blender. Scott came down as I poured the shakes into the insulated travel cups Melissa had bought us for back to school. Since Scott was driving into school, I stuck his dark blue cup in his bag and tucked my own purple one into my mostly empty bag. All I had were the decorations for my locker and a notebook, along with a basic makeup kit and my phone.
"Here," Scott tossed me the red helmet as we walked out the door and I grimaced.
"I'm totally asking for the Camaro," I sighed as I felt Stiles fall out of his desk chair. "I can never wear a dress on this thing," I complained, and Scott just grinned at me as he slid the silver helmet over his head. Grumbling, I pulled the matching red one on, wrapping my arms around his waist when he started the bike. When we got to school, I pulled the helmet off, patting Scott's shoulder as I felt his pride and satisfaction. We looked around the school yard until our attention was caught to our left.
Two flashy, sleek black sports bikes were parked at the curb and I sighed. "Yep, definitely taking the Camaro," I decided, swinging off the back of Scott's bike.
Stiles met us at the front door, falling in at Scott's other side as we walked down the hallway. "Tell him your idea," I prompted my brother, and Stiles gave me the look.
"I'm going to ask Derek about the tattoo," Scott told Stiles.
"You want to ask Derek for help? Why, why?" Stiles demanded, and I laughed softly.
"He's got the triskele tattooed on his back," Scott reminded him, and Stiles flared with jealousy. Derek's sculpted, buff figure flashed through his mind and I cracked up, biting my lip. "So there has to be a way to do it without healing, right?" my adoptive brother asked, logically.
"Okay, yeah, but still, doesn't he have his hands a little full?" Stiles replied, indicating the missing poster of Boyd on the wall. My laughter died as I gazed at the image of Erica and I had to look away. There'd been no sign of the two Betas since they'd disappeared that night with the Alphas.
"Look, these are the applications for the career advisor. I need them sorted," a familiar British accent made the three of us lean around the wall to look into the conference room. Our old principle was back, no that Gerard wasn't there to keep him away from the school with whatever methods he'd used. "And whatever happened to the library while I was gone, I want it cleared up," he ordered. The three of us winced, because after the fight with Jackson in the library, well, the library wasn't really used anymore. Then the principle held up a familiar sword. His navy blue ribbon flared with confusion as he asked, "And what the hell is this?"
"Go, go, go," Stiles ordered, ducking his head. As I was decorating my locker, Stiles and I burst out laughing, and I was just relieved that we could laugh about it now. Just then, a very attractive group of freshmen walked by, and I tracked a particularly hot one down the hall. He looked over his shoulder as he passed, winking at me with a cocky smirk that reminded me of Jackson instantly. I couldn't help the grin that quirked up the corner of my mouth, only for Scott to grab me by the wrist and pull me into class after him. I took the seat in front of Stiles, knowing he'd be able to see over me, and set my phone on the desk, along with my notebook.
Soon after I sat, Lydia and Allison walked in, and Lydia immediately headed for the two open seats next to Stiles and I. But Allison didn't move fast enough before Zach claimed the seat instead. Apprehension and hesitation flared down Allison's ribbon as she saw that the last seat was right in front of Scott, but she took the seat anyway.
Then everyone's phones went off, some vibrating, others ringing, mine simply lighting up since I'd put it in silent. I read the text message from unknown as everyone did the same, their ribbons pulsing with confusion. Footsteps sounded in the hall, female if I was hearing a heel correctly, before a woman's voice read, "The offing was barred by a black bank of clouds and the tranquil waterway, leading to the uttermost ends of the earth flowed somber under an overcast sky, seemed to lead into the heart of an immense darkness." The young teacher leaned against her desk, and I blinked in surprise. She looked exactly like me, and my friends had noticed it too. "This is the last line to the first book we are going to read," she explained, looking around at the class. Then she smiled, holding up her own phone and said, "It is also the last text you will receive in this class. Phones off, everyone."
Staring at her, I pretended to shut my phone off before I dropped it in my bag. I was actually taking a picture of my older doppelganger. The block was only half over when I felt Isaac's ribbon pulse in fear, but suddenly he was asleep, and I lost his pixie. As I was writing a note to Scott to tell him, Ms. Blake called, "Mr. McCall?" Everyone looked up from their books as my brother was called out of the room, and I listened easily. "Uh, I'm sure it's an emergency if your mother needs you to leave school, but I'm gonna give you a warning in the nicest possible way.I am well aware of your attendance record. I don't want to see you slip back into old habits," Ms. Blake said, and I tilted my head in surprise. Melissa had called him out of school?
"I won't. It's gonna be different this year," Scott assured her calmly.
"Resolutions are only good if you stick with them, Scott," she cautioned him, and I sighed. She didn't even know half the story.
"I will. I promise it won't be ephemeral," he promised, and her ribbon flared with amusement before she came back into class.
"Hey, Lydia. What is that? Is that from the accident?" Stiles asked softly as his ribbon gave off a pulse of concern.
"No. Prada bit me," Lydia replied.
"Your dog?" my brother's best friend checked.
"No, my designer handbag. Yes, my dog," my best friend sassed.
"Has it ever bitten you before?" the boy asked.
Lydia shook her head as I got to my feet and I heard her muttered, "Mm-mm."
"Okay. What if it's, like, the same thing as the deer? You know, like, how animals start acting weird right before an earthquake or something?" Stiles asked while I moved up to Ms. Blake's desk and asked for Scott's copy of Heart of Darkness.
"Meaning what? There's gonna be an earthquake?" Lydia whispered as I signed out the book for my brother.
"Or something. I just maybe it means something's coming. Something bad," the brunette insisted.
"It was a deer and a dog," the girl protested, then surprised him by saying, "What's that thing you say about threes?" I had another question for Ms. Blake, so I stayed at her desk as she wrote on the board, and behind me Lydia said, "Once, twice-" There was a thud at the window, and we turned to see the spot of fresh, wet blood.
I ran to the window as fear flew around my head and Ms. Blake followed me over. Confusion flared around her when we saw the flock of crows flying straight for the school. She turned to look down at me, and I took her arm to pull her back. Before we'd moved, a second crow slammed into the glass, his thin, feathery ribbon cutting off instantly. Ms. Blake whipped around with a gasp and kids nearest the window jumped as more birds hit the windows.
When the first broke through, I gasped and threw my hands up over my head, narrowly avoiding a set of talons to the face. "Get down!" I cried, shoving down the girls closest to me.
More and more birds shattered the windows, and Ms. Blake yelled, "Get down, everyone!" I felt her hand close around my arm as I pushed two girls into the corner and a boy under his desk. People scrambled out of the chairs, diving for the floor as wild crows swooped around the room, diving for peoples' heads. Pain and fear pulsed around me as I pushed her and a pair of students towards her desk, and she continued to yell, "Get down, down. Get down! Get down!" Grabbing a textbook, I slammed one bird away from Allison's head as it clawed at her eyes, then dragged her under a chair.
People screamed and cried as the birds continued to attack, but when the room finally calmed, the birds were gone or dead on the floor. People slowly climbed to their feet as I let go of Allison, and she crawled out from under the desk behind me.
I didn't know what else to do besides sit on the desk, and I was glad I did. Not a moment later, Scott picked up the scent of a strange werewolf and Isaac. His pixie shifted into a wolf and rage pulsed down his ribbon. This guy was taking one of mine. Shock. He had red eyes…like an Alpha. Pain. Couldn't breathe. "Don't you realize what you're dealing with? I'm an Alpha," the big wolf snarled, bearing long fangs as he lifted me by the throat.
Then I dropped to the ground as the Alpha roared in pain and Derek appeared at his shoulder. "So am I," he told the bigger Alpha, then threw the fake nurse down the hallway. When the elevator doors closed again, Derek turned to me and asked, "Aren't you supposed to be in school?"
I dropped my head back against the wall, letting the shift fade away, but not before I caught a glimpse of a purple spark out of the corner of my eye. 'You good?' Ami asked gently, and I could feel her concern.
'Good,' I assured her, then felt her flinch as she retreated. The purple spark faded, and I couldn't feel her anymore.
"Ms. Blake, you okay?" Stiles' voice caught my attention, jolting me out of the whirlpool of pixies with a flinch. I looked up to watch him pull a black feather from a flinching Ms. Blake's hair, and Sheriff Stilinski patted my shoulder as he passed me. Most kids had already been checked by paramedics and sent home, and I was just waiting for the paramedic to check the wounds on my head before Stiles could take me home.
Once I was cleared, Stiles dragged me out of the classroom. As I stopped at my locker to get my helmet, he called Scott. "Scott, hey, we got a serious problem at school. Ms. Blake's class," he said.
"Hey can you tell me about it later?" Scott interrupted, and I shut my locker to run after Stiles.
"Well, no, pretty sure this qualifies for immediate discussion," Stiles told him
"All right then, meet me at Derek's," my brother sighed, and I raised an eyebrow in surprise. When had he gotten there?
"What the hell are you doing at?" Stiles demanded while we crossed the parking lot.
"Just meet us here, okay?" Scott requested, cutting him off once more before he hung up.
When I got in the Jeep, Stiles gave me a look, and I sighed. "Go, we have to help," I ordered, though I could hear Derek ordering Scott to leave. I leaned my head against the window as Stiles drove, and an image flashed behind my eyes. Lydia's arm, bruised, like Allison's, with confusion and suspicion made me blink, and I recognized the third girl's voice. But I didn't know why I knew her voice.
"Hey, Ami, come on," Stiles said, waving his head in front of my face. I blinked again, sitting up, and realized we were at the Hale House.
When we went inside, Scott and Derek were sitting in the living room, Scott stripped down to his tank top. "Can you see his tattoo with your eyes?" I asked, moving to stand behind Derek's shoulder.
He glanced up at me before I felt his eyes shift. "Yeah, I see it," he assured me, his eyes fading back to green. "Two bands right?" he checked, tracing them with his fingers. "What does it mean?" he asked, knowing the meaning behind the tattoo I'd chosen.
"I don't know," Scott sighed, then explained, "It's just something I traced with my fingers." He outlined the double circle on the table, and I nodded, having seen the design on the edges of his notebooks and in the morning dew on the car windows.
"Why is this so important to you?" the Alpha asked.
"Do you know what the word "tattoo" means?" Scott replied, looking up at him.
"To mark something," Stiles said, quoting the tattoo artist at the Alpha.
"Well, that's in Tahitian," Scott said. Then he told Derek, "In Samoan, it means 'open wound.' I knew I wanted to get a tattoo when I turned 18. I always wanted one. I just decided to get it now, to make it kind of a reward."
"For what?" Derek asked gently.
"For not calling or texting Allison all summer," Scott admitted, and Derek nodded in understanding. "Even when I really wanted to, even when it was so hard not to sometimes. I was trying to give her the space she wants," my younger brother explained. As I watched, I felt the understanding and sympathy on Derek's ribbon solidify into a kind of bond. I knew it was progress for something to bring my two brothers together, even if it was a tattoo and a girl. "Going four months later, it still hurts. It still feels like a, uh," then he trailed off, unable to completely reveal that much pain to the Alpha he admired for his strength.
"Like an open wound," Stiles finished for him.
"Yeah," Scott sighed, glancing up at them.
Derek picked up a blow torch and I blanched, moving around to stand behind Scott. As I moved, Derek told Scott, "Pain is going to be worse than anything you've ever felt.
"Ah. That's great," Stiles muttered, but he was curious.
"Do it," Scott told Derek, nodding, his eyes wide.
Derek raised his eyebrows at me, but lit the blow torch regardless. Scott jumped as the blue flame shot out, and Stiles groaned. "Oh, wow. That's a lot for me. So I'm gonna take that as my cue. I'm just gonna wait outside," he decided, pointing our front as he tried to duck behind Derek and escape.
But Derek stuck his arm out, stopping Stiles cold, and said, "Nope. You can help hold him down." As Stiles stood beside me, holding Scott down by the shoulders, Derek ordered me, "Sit on him and keep his claws away from me." Hastily I dropped into Scott's lap, away from the arm about to be burned, and held onto his wrist. Scott took a deep breath and nodded to Derek to go ahead. The Alpha glanced up at Stiles, wondering if the human was going to pass out, then pulled Scott's arm out.
I winced as Scott's pain flared through my head, but the smell of burning flesh was worse. "Hold him," Derek ordered us and as I watched, Scott's claws dug into the side of my arm. He roared, fully shifted, and I screamed when the pain hit the worst point. Scott's arm got too sweaty to hold, and just as I was about to let go he passed out.
Derek finished, watching the burns heal, and when Scott gasped awake, two black bands adorned his bicep. "It worked," he said happily, staring up at the three of us. I grinned at him as Derek peeled the bandage off the back of my shoulder and tossed it aside. He nodded as I twisted over my shoulder to see, and he kissed my forehead as Scott and Stiles left.
"Well, it looks pretty damn permanent now," Stiles said, walking away with the younger of my brothers.
"Yeah. I kind of needed something permanent. Everything that's happened to us everything just changes so fast. Everything's so, uh ephemeral," Scott explained, and I knew. It was the same reason Derek had gotten the triskele on his back. He'd wanted a part of the family with him since he couldn't carry the scent of the Hale pack after the fire, but he'd put it in a place where he couldn't see it. Only other people could see and knew what it meant.
"Studying for the PSATs?" Stiles checked, and I grinned as I ran my hand through Isaac's hair.
"Yep," Scott confirmed, pride touching his ribbon. He was determined to keep his promise to Melissa and now Ms. Blake.
"You painted the door," Scott realized, taking in the fresh red paint. "Why'd you paint the door?" he asked suspiciously.
"Go home, Scott," Derek ordered him, and I knew it was a warning as I followed my elder brother out into the foyer.
"And why only one side?" my younger brother asked.
"Scott." Derek protested as Scott's claws raked across the door.
"The birds at school and the deer last night just like the night I got trampled by the deer when I got bit by the Alpha," Scott realized once he'd revealed the Alpha symbol on the door. "How many are there?"
"A pack of 'em. An Alpha pack," Derek told him, knowing it was better to tell Scott the truth know before he went and found out the hard way.
"All of them? How does that even work?" Stiles asked.
"I hear there's some kind of a leader. He's called Deucalion. We know they have Boyd and Erica. Peter, Isaac, Ami, and I have been looking for him for the last four months," he explained.
"Let's say you find them. How do you deal with an Alpha pack?" Scott asked, stepping forward. He knew Derek; he knew Derek was going to try to say this was his problem.
"With all the help I can get," the Alpha admitted, shocking the two boys into silence as I touched Derek's arm.
"Where is she?" Isaac asked from the other room. We turned to see him sitting upright on the table, and he asked, "Where's the girl?"
The three males behind me pulsed with confusion as Derek looked at Scott. He turned to Isaac and asked, "What girl?"
Then I remembered the girl from the dream when I'd been Isaac. I'd seen the same girl through Allison's eyes after the bird attack. It was that girl who'd sent me the image, the bruises she's left on my friends. I looked up at Derek and explained, "The girl who got him away from the Alphas."