Author's Note: Since this story focuses mainly on Ami and Derek instead of Scott and the gang, I'm not going to incorporate Ami into scenes she really has no place in.
Thanks to pixie VAMP 393 for listing Blue Moon in her community!
Chapter 9-The Tell
"I thought you were getting the movie after you brought me home, Lydia," I told the strawberry blonde from the backseat of her bug. Sometimes I didn't mind being small, but other times, like when I had to give up the front seat to Jackson because I actually fit in the backseat, really annoyed me. Jackson glared at me for interrupting him as he tried to convince Lydia to get a sports movie, but I scoffed at him. He was going to end up watching the Notebook again no matter what he said.
And when we pulled up to the movie store, Jackson lost, just to a look. I snickered and decided to come in and look around as he rented the movie. "Hey, jackass, let me out," I snapped at him when he went to shut the door on me. Grumbling, the blonde complied, putting me in a headlock when I climbed out. In one single self defense move I'd known my whole life, I was free and Jackson was rubbing his wrist.
"Now I remember why I didn't do that to you," he complained, opening the door for me. I threw him a smug smile over my shoulder before heading for the section where my favorite action movies were kept. "Can somebody help me find the Notebook?" Jackson asked begrudgingly. The phone was ringing, and I looked up when no one replied. "Hello? Is anybody working here?" Jackson called, clearly annoyed.
I moved back to his side, starting to get a little worried, and the flickering light caught my attention. Then I noticed the pair of feet sticking out from one aisle. I tugged on the sleeve of Jackson's leather jacket and pointed, feeling myself start to pale. I gripped his arm as we crept down the aisle. When I saw the slit throat of the man lying on the floor, I felt the last of my color drain away, and Jackson took a step back. "Oh my god," he murmured, his hand coming up to turn me away. We stumbled backwards and Jackson fell against the ladder, knocking it over. I yelped as he shoved me down, and the light fell to the floor.
We scrambled back to our feet, my hand still clenched around Jackson's arm as all the lights flickered. Then I felt the hair on the back of my neck stand straight up and the feeling in the pit of my stomach doubled in strength. The little voice in my head that had gone away came back, screaming triumphantly, and I whirled around with a gasp. Jackson turned slowly, and we both stared at the red eyed monster crouched on the floor.
And I did the only thing I could think to do; I screamed at the top of my lungs. Later I would have to thank Coach Flintstock for pushing Jackson so hard, because Jackson had awesome reflex time. He dove behind a shelving unit, dragging me with him, and I covered my hand with my mouth to keep from sobbing.
Today was supposed to be relaxing! I had gone shopping with Lydia, a bored Jackson tagging along, ran into Danny and Josh at the coffee shop, and not thought about the supernatural all day. And now the Alpha was here, and I was with Jackson of all people.
And we'd walked in on a kill.
Jackson leaned around the edge of the unit, looking for the monster, and I heard it growl as it leaped from one aisle to another. Next to me, the blonde jerked back, breathing heavily, and I knew he was just as terrified as I was. But he was trying to hide it for my sake. I heard another unit rattle as the Alpha hit it, and DVDs fell around us. Then I heard tons of DVDs falling, and a thud, followed by a similar sequence, and I shoved Jackson out into the main aisle, diving after him.
But I hadn't moved fast enough, because the shelves landed on Jackson's legs and my back, pinning us easily. Jackson fought to pull himself free, but to no avail, as I struggled just to breathe. Heavy pants alerted me as the Alpha stalked over, leaning over the two of us. It stared at me as it reached down to Jackson's neck with a huge clawed hand. I didn't see what it did after that as I turned my face into the carpet, and flinched when I heard the Alpha roar. Then it was leaping away, and I heard glass shatter as it leaped out the front window.
Right where Lydia was parked, completely oblivious. Through the now empty window, I heard Lydia scream from inside the car, and Jackson started struggling again. "Your phone is in your back pocket, right?" I asked, my voice a faint wheeze.
"Yeah," Jackson managed to reply.
"Call 9-1-1," I breathed. "Tell them the clerk's dead and we're trapped," I sighed, trying to take a deep breath. But I couldn't because the shelf was sitting right on the back of my diaphragm.
When the police and the ambulance showed up, the police were quick to respond to Jackson's yell of, "We're over here! Get us out, she can't breathe!" They lifted the shelves up, freeing Jackson so he could pull free. Then he turned around and yanked me out, and I gasped for a breath. Then I started coughing, doubling over as my lungs re-expanded. The paramedics lead us outside, where one put me in an oxygen mask and sat me on the back of the ambulance. Lydia was already sitting there, pale and rattled, and she took my hand as I sat. Jackson stood in front of us as the EMTs asked him questions, checked his eyes, and took his pulse.
When Sheriff Stilinski pulled up, I saw Stiles sitting in the front seat and groaned. They'd taken the oxygen mask off, so Lydia heard me clearly, and she rested her head on my shoulder. I zoned out of Jackson arguing with the Sheriff, drained and aching. But I couldn't ignore it when Jackson took out his fear and anger on the Sheriff. "Jackson," I rasped in protest, not lifting my head from my hands.
"Oh, whoa, is that a dead body?" Stiles exclaimed, and I groaned again.
"Look, can I please take them home?" Jackson tried again, but I could hear another voice, deeper and above me? I got up, glancing up at the roof, and met Scott's worried eyes. I shook my head at him, and he got up, probably following Derek.
"Mr. Stilinski, can we please go home? We really are fine," I pleaded. The Sheriff took in my pale face, limp, and mused hair before he nodded with a sigh. Jackson grabbed Lydia from the ambulance, and we were both totally fine with him driving us home.
When I walked into the house, there was a voicemail on the answering machine from Melissa. She was frantic, telling me to call the hospital as soon as I got in, and I guessed she'd heard the call about the murder and the fact that I'd been involved. When I called, one of the receptionists I really liked answered, and put me on with Melissa instantly. When she heard my voice, my adoptive mom nearly broke down in relieved tears. I assured her that besides being sore and tired, I was fine, and really just wanted to take a bath. She told me to put lots of bubbles in it and I smiled tiredly before I told her I would.
I was filling the bathtub when Scott came pounding up the stairs. He found me sitting on the toilet, still dressed and half asleep, and shut the water off. "Come on, how about you just go to bed," he suggested, picking me up. I must have made some sound that he took as agreement, because he laid me on my bed and handed me pajamas. I got to my feet and changed with my eyes closed before turning back to my bed and falling face first onto the mattress. Scott chuckled before he sat down next to me and started playing with my hair.
To say I slept was a lie. I would close my eyes and see the Alpha, or the body, or Laura's face, and jerk awake. The one time I really fell asleep, I woke to the sound of my own scream. Melissa and Scott came running to my room from different doors, and squished me between them when they hugged me. I slept badly the rest of the night and when Scott came in that morning, he found me awake, staring out the window. "Mom called you out of school today. Will you be okay by yourself?" he said. I nodded, and waited until he left to open the window.
About the time of the end of first period, I got three texts. The first was Danny, concerned and gentle. He got the truth; I hadn't slept so my mom let me stay home. The second was Stiles, worried about Lydia, not me. He got a sarcastic, "Yeah, I'm fine, thanks for asking about the one who was actually in the store during the attack. I'm guessing she stayed home too."
The last was Jackson, concerned in his own unique way. 'I'm here, why aren't you?' he asked.
"Sleeping off the fact that I can't walk," I growled as I typed my response.
"So, I'll have to carry you out to the car?" Derek's voice made me jump with a yelp, and I dropped my phone on the floor. With a sigh, I leaned over to pick it up, and felt my shirt ride up, exposing my back. Derek growled, and I looked up to see his eyes latched onto my back.
"What? What are you looking at?" I asked, getting up gingerly as I stuffed my phone in my sweatpants pocket. He waited until I was in front of the mirror to yank my shirt up, revealing the mess of mottled purple bruising. "He didn't hurt me. He didn't even touch me. I didn't react fast enough when he knocked the shelves over," I tried to explain. I remembered from my time as his foster sister that werewolves were extremely territorial, which mean their human selves were possessive and protective.
Even as kids the Hales had been that way. Cora had been so ridiculously protective of me, going after anyone who teased me for being a foster kid. Eric had been possessive, refusing to let anyone else dance with me at our lessons. Laura had been smothering in her affection, but I hadn't minded too much. Derek had been the one who showed the least amount of marking me a Hale, since the whole pack had known I was his from the day they brought me home from the hospital. But I guessed that since the fire had taken almost everyone, and now Laura was gone, he wasn't keen on risking losing me either. So I didn't really mind all that much when he forced me into a sweatshirt of his and carried me out of the house.
But I did get confused when we pulled up to school. "I just need to see if Jackson saw anything last night," he explained. I grumbled some sort of response and curled up in the seat as he got out. When I woke up, he was carrying me into the living room of the Hale house. "Just sleep, Ami. I'm here," he assured me, setting me down on the couch.
And I did sleep, without nightmares, until the sound of someone cocking a shotgun woke me up. I'd been exposed to hunters enough as the Hale foster kid to recognize the sound even in my sleep. So when I shot upright to see Derek moving towards me, it only took a second to fling myself over the back of the couch and out a gap in the wall to hide in a hole under the house. And it wasn't a second too soon, because then the door was kicked in.
"No one home," a gravely man's voice observed.
"Oh, he's here," a smug female voice assured. My heart stopped and I felt my eyes go wide. I knew that voice. And as I recognized it, my blood boiled, and I had to bite my lip to keep from making any noise. "He's just not feel particularly hospitable," Kate went on.
"Maybe he's out; burying a bone in the backyard," a stuffy-voiced younger guy suggested.
"Really? A dog joke?" Kate asked. "We're going there, and that's the best you got? If you want to provoke him, say something like too bad your sister bit it before she had her first litter." I breathed calming words, hoping Derek could hear me, but I knew if Kate got him made enough, I wasn't going to stop him. "Too bad she howled like a bitch when we cut her in half!" Kate yelled the last part, and Derek roared furiously.
I snarled softly, perfectly willing to let him hurt them after the bitch's last remark. Derek lunged, and I heard his boot meet a body. The younger guy yelled, then hit the wall and fell to the floor, silent, in the hallway. Derek let out two odd noises that Alec had called barks, and then I heard the other guy hit the floor in the sitting room. Derek let out the short snarls again, and then somebody hit the floor. But I'd heard the tazer.
"Wow, this one grew up in all the right places," Kate observed. "I don't know whether to kill it or lick it." At this, I felt my own lips curl back in a disgusted snarl. The tazer sounded a couple of times, and I cringed as far into the alcove as I could. Derek was trying to drag himself across the floor, and Kate was playing with him. Then Kate laughed, and the tazer sizzled as it connected with flesh. My brother roared, hitting the ground again.
Now Kate really laughed and said, "900,000 volts." My eyes widened, and I knew Derek was incapable of fighting back for another minute. "You never were good with electricity, were you, or fire? Which is why I'm gonna let you in on a little secret. And well, maybe we can help each other out. Yes, your sister was severed into pieces and used as bait to try to catch you. Unpleasant, and frankly, a little too Texas Chainsaw Massacre for my taste, but quite true. Now, here's the part that might really kick you in your balls. We didn't kill her," she said to Derek.
Derek must have given her his look, because she said, "You think I'm lying?"
"Would it be the first time?" Derek replied quietly.
"Sweetie, well, you don't you just listen to my heart, and tell me if I am, okay?" she suggested. Derek was silent, which meant he knew she could kill him easily. Then Kate spoke slowly, saying, "We didn't kill your sister." Then she spoke normally, if quietly, continuing, "You hear that? There's no blips or upticks, just the steady beat of the cold hard truth." And I knew it was true, because Derek hadn't reacted.
"We found bite marks on your sister's body, Derek. What do you think did that? A mountain lion?" she sneered, speaking loudly enough that I didn't have to strain to hear her. "Why aren't we helping each other out? You might as well admit what you've been guessing all along, which is; the Alpha killed your sister. And all you have to do is tell us who he is and we'll take care of it for you. Problem solved, everybody goes home happy," she continued. I felt like my heart was currently sitting in my shoes, because not only had Laura been killed not by hunters, who I could hate, but by an Alpha I couldn't find, but Derek didn't know who was the Alpha now. Which meant he couldn't give Kate the information she wanted.
There was a pause, and I tensed, not liking Kate's tone when she spoke next. "Unless you don't know who he is either," she realized. Moving as quietly as I could, I slid out of my hiding place and crept across the yard into the trees. I didn't hear what Kate said after that, but I heard her open fire, and ducked behind the biggest tree near me. Then Derek fled out the front door, leaping off the porch. He ran towards me and stopped once he reached my side, his arm coming around my shoulders as he looked back towards the house. As he pulled me into his side I could feel his heart pounding. He tensed up, the way he did when he got angry, and I knew the hunters were going to be an even bigger problem now.
"Can you drop me off at school? My mom's there for parent-teacher conferences," I sighed as I climbed onto his back.
"Sure," he murmured, turning his head to nuzzle my cheek. "You're okay?" he asked. I nodded into his shoulder, snuggling into the warmth that always came off him. Scott was developing the same warmth, and I knew it would start drawing people to him, seeking natural comfort.
"Just tired, and sore," I assured him as he started walking.
"Well, stay awake for a minute. When the Alpha attacked you last night, why did you scream? You don't normally show fear like that," he said.
"Eric and Cora used to say that no matter where I was, if I was in trouble, all I would have to do is scream. They said they'd always hear me. I was kind of hoping that rule applied to you too," I explained softly.
"It always has, and it always will," he promised. After that, he fell silent, and sped up. When we got to the edge of the school grounds, I peeled off his sweatshirt so he didn't have to be half-naked. He pulled it on, and I reached up when his head popped out. He bowed, allowing me to fix his hair, before he kissed my temple and vanished back into the woods.
I found my mom just as she was leaving Mr. Harris's room. "Mom?" I called, catching her attention.
She whirled around, and hurried over, asking, "What are you doing here? I thought you were at home."
"I was. But after school Derek came and got me since I didn't want to be alone anymore. He dropped me off here on his way to the grocery store," I explained, making up the lie off the top of my head. I was counting on her not asking who Derek was. She nodded, and I leaned into Mr. Harris's room. "Mr. Harris?" I asked, making him look up.
"Ms. McCall," he acknowledged me.
"I just wanted to let you know I emailed you my lab report. I don't know how well I'll be able to walk for a little while," I told him.
"You aren't going to miss anything you haven't asked for in advance, so take your time and get better," he assured me, nodding.
"Thank you, sir," I murmured, stepping back out into the hall. I let Mom help me towards the doors to the parking lot, but I saw her checking her phone every other minute. "What's wrong?" I asked.
"Your brother isn't answering his phone, and he's failing chemistry and apparently skipped school today," she replied. I shook my head at my brother's idiocy, limping along tiredly.
Outside, Melissa had me point out Allison's parents, and she left me by the car to talk to them. Mr. Argent seemed pretty mad before Allison and Scott pulled up and got out of Allison's car. Mom confronted them before Mr. and Mrs. Argent joined them.
Then, just as I thought my day was over, my blood ran cold as I heard raspy laughter from the shadows. When the tawny shape sprang up over the hood of the car, and I screamed, falling onto my already bruised back. Chaos ensued in the parking lot around me, and I slowing regained my feet, my nails digging into my palms to refocus my pain. I stood by the car, unable to go anywhere else, listening to the growls and screams, and heard my brother cry, "Allison!"
I crouched by the back end of the car, and saw the Sheriff coming towards me, only for him to get hit by a car backing up. "Mr. Stilinski!" I cried, trying to move towards him. He warned me off with a raised hand, and pulled his back up pistol from his ankle holster. Then a shot rang out, followed by a howl of enraged pain and a second shot. I stood, wincing, as Mr. Argent lowered the silver gun, but unlike everyone else, I went to Mr. Stilinski instead of the mountain lion. I helped him up, slowly, and looked up to see Derek crouched by the rear end of my mom's car.
Making sure Mr. Stilinski was able to stand on his own; I limped to the werewolf, my hands shaking. He pulled me into his arms and I whispered, "The Alpha was here. He was waiting for me."
"You're wearing this whether it means I suffer around you or not. I'm not losing you to him like Laura," he replied, pressing a kiss to my hair before he disappeared into the shadows. And I found the triskele locket in my hand, smelling of Wolfsbane.