Thanks to everyone who reviewed chapters 35 and 36! To Jak1498-yes, she will, very soon actually.
Enjoy tonight's premiere everyone! I'm so excited!
"Excuse me?" the deep voice caught my attention, tearing me away from the sketch pad in my lap.
"Sorry, how can I…" I looked up, hastily trailing off when I saw the boy standing in front of me. I felt my heart stutter in shock as I remembered wild blue eyes, and I watched him flinch when he heard it.
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to scare you. Derek said you worked here," the blue eyed Beta told me cautiously. In his human form, he was handsome, with a strong, square jaw and dark blue eyes. His ebony hair was short, harshly parted where the top was swept to the right. Unlike Jackson, whose hair had always been immaculate, he seemed to style it with his hand, running his fingers through it to push it back. He was tall, probably Derek's height, with Boyd's broad shoulders straining against the white V-neck tee and open blue button down he was wearing.
"I kicked you," I replied, keeping as far back from him as I could. As I backed up, I caught a glimpse of his lower half. He wore jeans, rolled at the cuffs, and Sperry's. Raising my eyebrows at his fashion, I wondered if he was as much as a prick as Jackson could be, since they had similar styles.
"I tackled you. And then you shifted. At least, your eyes did," he nodded, though I caught a memory of confusion from him as he spoke. Catching sight of my wary expression, he held up his hands placatingly. "I just wanted to see if you were okay. Cora said you haven't healed," he explained.
"I don't have the same healing abilities as you. I'm not a full wolf," I replied, acutely aware of the bandages across my shoulders and back of my neck and around my wrist. "But um, actually, if you could help me bandage my wrist, I'd appreciate it. I can't go to a hospital and get them checked," I sighed, meeting his eyes hesitantly.
"Isaac would be okay with that?" he asked warily.
I stared at him in confusion, then understood. "Isaac's my pup, not my boyfriend. And before you ask, Derek and Scott are my foster and adoptive brothers, so I would avoid pissing them off," I assured him.
"And Boyd?" he checked. Then I laughed, shaking my head. He grinned at me, and I was caught off guard. His grin was stunning, and he totally knew it.
Blinking, I quipped, "Wow, just met me and already using the smile, hm?" To my surprise, he threw his head back and laughed, and I studied him curiously. "What's your name?" I asked him belatedly.
"Kaden," he told me, holding out his hand.
Reaching over the counter to shake it, I met his nearly black eyes and replied, "Ami."
When I woke the next morning, I absently glanced at the notebook I'd been using at the store before Kaden had shown up. He'd stayed even after he'd rewrapped my wrist, chatting animatedly about the Harry Potter books compared to the movies. It was nice to be able to talk plainly with someone who'd paid as much attention to detail as me. I wasn't even disappointed when he walked me out and drove me home in the Camaro he'd bought of Derek a few days after the full moon. Then I did a double take.
The entire page was shaded in black and gray, with two bright eyes staring out of the darkest shadows. A hand was outstretched towards the murky form, and as I stared, a knot formed in my stomach. That was not my hand. With a gasp, I slammed the notebook shut and stuffed it in my bag. Taking two deep breaths, I finished rolling the cuffs of my jeans and pulled on my purple pumps.
I wasn't really sure why I had gotten dressed when I had PE first thing in the morning. It got even worse when Coach yelled through the door to the girls' locker room that we were going up to the cross country course. "If anyone wants to stay and have a study hall, that's fine. Cross country is optional. Except for McCall!" he called. Apparently he'd heard my groan of annoyance, because we could all hear him chuckling as he headed back to the boys' locker room. Most of the girls stayed behind, though a few of the field hockey girls came, so I wasn't alone when I pulled on my knee length running leggings, purple tank top and a black track jacket.
Danny and I talked the entire ride, and when I got off the bus, I watched Aiden, in a tank top, and Ethan, in the windbreaker, approach Isaac. My beta was tying up his sneakers when his ribbon pulsed with rage. Scott beat me to him, grabbing his shoulder to stop him. "Isaac?" he asked, having seen the other beta's reaction.
"It's them," Isaac hissed, shrugging Scott off so he could charge after the Alpha twins.
"Isaac wait!" Scott cried as I hurried to his side. I ran along beside him so he could order, "Lead everyone around us. I'll go after Isaac." Nodding, I forced myself to catch up to Danny to lead the class away from the four wolves. I could feel them all shifting in a gully down the left fork in the trail, so I lead Danny to the right.
I wasn't expecting to find the bloody body standing against a tree, held up by the black leather dog leash. The choked scream tore free as I realized it was his hallucination I'd drawn last night. Stiles was quick to my side as Danny ran back to get Coach. Scott and Isaac shoved their way down the hill as people muttered and stared around me. Horror, disgust, fear, grief, and shock pulsed around me and I sank to the leaves as I stared. "It's him, isn't it?" Stiles asked Scott as the two betas came to our side. Scott nodded as Stiles dug out his phone and called his father.
Isaac and Scott lifted me to my feet when Sheriff Stilinski pushed his way into the scene. "Get this area cordoned off before they trample every piece of evidence," he ordered, making his way up to where the four of us stood.
"Back up! Everyone back!" Deputy Tara ordered, and people shuffled together as she herded them away.
"Get these kids outta here!" Sheriff Stilinski ordered his deputies as Stiles grabbed his father's jacket and pulled him closer.
"Dad, just come here, look, look," Stiles ordered, pointing to the three wounds he'd seen on the latest victim. "It's the same as the others, see?" Scott's dread matched my own as we watched. We both knew this totally innocent kid. Scott knew him from the vet and seeing him around school. I knew him from AP Physics. We'd been lab partners for all of two weeks, but I knew he was smart and funny and a good guy.
"Yeah, I see that," the Sheriff sighed. "Do me a favor, go back to school, yeah?" Stiles clearly didn't want to, but he would since his father had asked. "Coach, can you give us a hand here?"
"You heard the man. There's nothing to see here. Probably just some homeless kid," Finstock called, and the last of the kids backed away.
"Coach," Scott started carefully, "He was a senior."
Coach's horror and sorrow made him put a hand to his mouth as he realized what he'd said. "He wasn't on the team, was he?" he asked, staring at the blood.
Before Scott could reply, there was a strangled scream of "Kyle!" The heartbreak and shock on the blonde's ribbon made me turn away as Kyle's girlfriend screamed and cried into the Deputy's shoulder.
Sheriff Stilinski pushed Stiles away, ordering us all to go, and I found myself watching the Alpha twins. "Did you see the way the twins looked at him?" Isaac asked.
"Yeah, you mean the way they looked like they had no idea what happened?" Stiles asked. Scott was deep in thought as he led us away, and I wrapped my arms around myself. Even with the warmth of a wolf on either side, I was suddenly freezing.
"No, no, they knew," the beta replied, looking up the hill at the twins.
"The kid was strangled with a garrote, alright. Am I the only one recognizing the lack of werewolf-itude in these murders?" the human demanded, and I turned around to look at them. They were jealous of each other, sniping and arguing like little children over whose toy was better. But in this case, Scott was the prize. Well, role of second in command to Scott was the prize.
"Oh, you think it's a coincidence they turn up and then people start dying?" Isaac demanded.
"Well, no, but I still don't think it's them," Stiles argued. I had to agree. The twins were going to rip Isaac apart just minutes ago. Head bashing, throat cutting, and strangling were pretty human ways to kill compared to that. And their wolves were dominantly blood thirsty.
"Scott, what about you?" Isaac asked, forcing the rest of us to come to a halt. I sighed, pressing my hand to my temple as ribbons pulsed all around me. Stiles crossed his arms and I rolled my eyes, annoyed by their need to challenge one another. 'Boys,' I scoffed, looking back up the hill.
"I don't know yet," my brother admitted as I stared at the back of the twins' heads. Both ribbons were distinctly different in pulses from everyone around them. They were confused and suspicious, and thought maybe Deucalion would know the answer.
"You don't know yet," Stiles repeated, completely shocked that Scott had taken his side instantly.
Scott looked at him and admitted, "He's got a point." Stiles' jaw dropped and Scott explained, "Seriously, dude, human sacrifices?" Once again, I scoffed, because for werewolves, Scott and Isaac were seriously undereducated on mythology.
"Scott, your eyes turn into yellow glow sticks. Okay, hair literally grows from your cheeks and then will immediately disappear. And if I were to stab you right now, it would just magically heal but you're telling me you're having trouble grasping human sacrifices," Stiles ranted, and I gave Scott the look.
"That's a good point too," Scott conceded, turning to Isaac.
"I don't care. They killed that kid. They killed the girl who saved me," the taller boy snapped, glaring up at the Alphas. Then he turned to walk away and added, "And I'm going to kill them too." Scott watched him go, determined not to let the other beta get himself killed.
I was getting on the bus when pain shot through my head and abdomen. Gasping as Derek's ribbon pulsed with enough pain to make me double over, I stumbled away from the bus. "Ami?" Danny called as I collapsed onto my knees. "Ami!"
Scott reached me first, touching my shoulder as I heaved. "She'll be okay, Danny. I think it's from that," he told my best friend, gesturing back towards the scene in the woods. I felt Danny's concern fade to sympathy as I vomited, Scott's hands holding my hair back and rubbing my back. "What is it?" he asked, alarmed.
"Derek," I coughed. But suddenly Derek's ribbon was blocked. I could see his pixie still, but there was a blurry screen around it, as well as those of Cora, the other two Alphas, and Deucalion. The pain receded until I could stand, and Scott carried me onto the bus. No one thought anything of my reaction, because I was not the only one to be sick after what we'd seen.
"What's happening?" Scott asked softly as he held me close in the seat.
"I can't see it," I whispered, "I think Deucalion's blocking it." Neither of us saw Aiden's head go up as he overheard. He exchanged a feral grin with Ethan as I curled in on myself, head tucked into Scott's shoulder.
When we got back to school, Coach sent us in to change. A few people went to the nurse, another few to the guidance office, and the rest of us milled about in the gym, talking softly. Danny took me up to the store to get the strongest gum we could find, but the pain remained a dull ache in the center of my ribs. No matter how I tried to coax Derek or Cora's pixies forward out of the screen, Deucalion held them back. Eventually I gave in, dropping my pounding head on my arms folded in front of me. This blindness the Alpha of Alphas forced on me hurt and made it impossible to think clearly.
Scott rubbed my back with one hand, using the other to take today's physics notes. But his hand paused when he felt the ridges of the bandages across my shoulders. I was relieved to see that I knew as soon as he felt the pain throbbing in my back, so I was able to reach back and draw his hand away. "Don't. It won't get any batter. Derek's pain is just going to keep making that hurt more," I breathed before he could take some of my pain.
"They're here for a reason," Scott leaned forward in his desk, speaking just loudly enough for Isaac's wolf ears to catch the words. "Give me a chance to figure out what it is before you do anything. Okay? Isaac?"
"Please, Isaac, just stay calm," I added, watching the anger and tension and even revenge build up on his ribbon.
Danny, what do we know about momentum?" Mr. Harris asked, turning from the blackboard.
"It's a product of velocity and mass. The more mass of something, the faster it's going," my best friend replied, and Scott hastily wrote that down. I watched him scribble a note to ask Danny for help if he fell behind and I sighed.
"Mr. Harris can I use the bathroom please?" Isaac blurted. Annoyance flickered across Mr. Harris's ribbon, but he gestured to the door anyway.
"I have to go to the bathroom too," Scott scrambled to his feet, knowing that if he let Isaac out of his sight, something very bad would happen.
"One at a time," Harris replied as Isaac slipped out the door. I watched the beta's flash of apprehension and reached out into the hallway to see the Alpha twins blocking Isaac's path.
"But I really have to go, like medical emergency have to go," my brother told him, bouncing on the balls of his feet as I dropped my head onto my arms and tried not to laugh.
"Mr. McCall, if your bladder exploded and urine began to pore from every orifice, I would still respond, one at a time," the teacher snapped. I blanched at the description as Isaac strode down the hallway towards the Alphas, only for Aiden to punch Ethan across the face. I flinched as the Alpha's pain and Isaac's confusion sprang to the front of my mind.
"Is that enough hyperbole? Or would you like me to come up with something more vivid?" Harris asked. I glared at him, my chin resting on my arms.
"No. No, that's pretty good," Scott sighed, slipping back into his seat. I patted his arm as I focused on the wolves outside the door.
"Shit," I hissed, catching sight of Aiden's intention as he punched his brother and slammed him into a locker. But I didn't move fast enough as the slam echoed through the wall.
Harris flung open the door as I scrambled after him, Danny at my side. "What is this? What's going on?" he demanded. Isaac and I looked down the hall to see Aiden turn around the corner.
"You alright?" Danny asked, kneeling beside Ethan.
Ethan shook his head, sitting up as he looked up at the beta. "He just came at me," he told my friend.
"Isaac, what the hell did you do?" Mr. Harris demanded.
I snarled, shoved my way passed my classmates, and lifted Isaac's dominate hand. "He didn't do anything to Ethan," I snarled at Harris as Scott's rage flowed down his ribbon. "Don't you think whoever did that kind of damage would have some kind of mark? Or blood on his hands?" I demanded.
"He's the only one here. He gets lunch time detention," Harris told me, scowling at me. I dropped Isaac's unmarked hand, giving Harris my best Derek glare. Furious, I spun around and stalked through the gathered class. Scott followed, a single glare forcing Isaac to go in front of him so he was between the beta and Harris.
After a tense class, I slammed my physics book shut and led the two betas to Isaac's locker. "Don't let it bother you. It's just lunch time detention. If all they want right now is to piss you off, don't give in. They're just trying to get to you," Scott urged Isaac as they followed me.
"It's not just me," Isaac replied, looking over his shoulder as he opened his locker. We both looked over to see Aiden standing beside Lydia.
"What about tonight?" the Alpha asked.
"No," Lydia replied, closing her locker with a snap. "Studying."
"I could help you," Aiden offered.
"Do you have an IQ higher than 170?" the red head asked, but she already knew the answer.
"Okay, you can help me," the wolf replied, smirking as fury and the possessiveness of an Alpha rolled down Scott's ribbon. If I'd ever doubted that Lydia was part of Scott's pack, I didn't now. "Tonight then?" Aiden checked. Lydia smirked and patted Aiden's very toned chest before she turned away with a smile.
Aiden smirked triumphantly at Scott and Isaac before he walked away. I narrowed my eyes as the Alpha walked away, briefly feeling them darken to a glowing violet. "What?" Scott growled at Isaac.
Satisfaction and anger pulsed around Isaac, and I knew shit was about to hit the fan. "Now they're getting to you."