- Character Bashing
- Discussion-Child Abuse
- Discussion-Domestic Abuse
- Discussion-Sexual Abuse
- Hate Crimes
- Fix It
This is the sequel to: Who’s the Alpha?
Episode One: New Beginnings
Section One: Beacon Hills What?
Derek Hale, though only one person in his life knew that was his real name, sat in a small cafe, eating a couple of breakfast sandwiches and drinking a large coffee before he had to head off to work.
Derek and his sister and Alpha, Laura, now called Lily by everyone but Derek, had moved to New York when they lost their entire family in a suspicious fire six years before. Derek had been only fifteen at the time and Laura had been nineteen. Derek had never made it to the site of the fire, Laura had found him wandering dazedly towards the house, in shock from the loss of pack bonds and what Laura called echoes of them resonating in his chest. Laura said the fire was set by hunters. She didn’t know who but the smell of wolfsbane had been saturating the area around the burning house and she had seen remnants of a mountain ash circle that had been disturbed, too late, by first responders to the fire. She told him everyone was dead. No one had survived. The bonds he was feeling weren’t real, they were echoes due to the large severing at once of the pack bonds.
She had pushed him into her car and driven out of town and east before the clock even hit midnight. She insisted that they change their names, found someone to get them good fake IDs and eventually, through one of the contacts she made in New York where they settled, for their new identities into the actual system as legitimate.
Derek got his GED a year after they arrived in New York and took some classes at community college while working construction sites to make money.
Derek had completed his associate’s degree the spring before. He was thinking about getting a bachelor’s degree but wasn’t sure what to major in yet or where to go, so he was continuing his construction job until he decided. It was good money and Derek was good at it due to his werewolf strengths.
He was due at his latest site in just over an hour and it was less than a five minute walk away from the cafe. The television was on the local news and the national morning show was about to begin. Derek usually only paid a small part of his attention to it but the opening story changed his habit. He stared at the small television as the anchor showed a picture of a blond woman on the screen.
“Authorities around the world are hunting for this woman, Katherine Argent. A lengthy investigation has determined that she is a serial killer spanning multiple states and even countries. Her normal mode of operation consisted of befriending or seducing a member of an isolated, large family in smaller cities or towns. She would use this relationship to gain inside knowledge of the family and after a few months would hire local arsonists and trap the family inside their house and burn it down. The accelerant which she used was hot enough to even burn stone.”
The female anchor took up the report. “Yes, it was discovered by local authorities in a small California town after a fire that killed a family of fifteen. Argent was the using the alias NAME NAME and working as a substitute teacher at the local high school. The sheriff reached out to the FBI and they found seven fires in the United States and when they identified the suspect, they followed her trail to Canada where she killed two families, and Europe where there were another two families killed in the exact same manner, according to Interpol.”
The male anchor took up the thread. “If you see Kate Argent, contact your local FBI office or the national number at NUMBER. Authorities stress that you shouldn’t approach this woman. She is unstable and violent, almost certainly heavily armed. Her family owns and operates a well-known arms dealership that sells to police departments and armed federal agencies around the world.”
The female anchor continues, “At this time, the rest of the Argents in Argents Arms are not suspected to be involved but investigations are ongoing. A press conference is scheduled for later this afternoon.”
The male anchor smiled at the camera. “A truly horrible story. We’ll be back after this weather report.”
Derek blinked and tried to control his breathing. That was NAME! They said NAME was a hunter. He could read between the lines of the mundane world versus the supernatural. The Argents were where the legend of silver hurting werewolves came from and if NAME actually was Kate Argent, the she was a hunter and she was the one who had killed his pack.
Derek had felt like an asshole all these years, just disappearing on her, not letting her know he had left town. He hated himself for making her think he was in the house when the fire happened. But, she set the fire. She must have known he wasn’t home. She knew his schedule. She knew how he snuck out of the house, through the tunnels. He told her about them. He told her. He was one of the ones the news was talking about – an idiot from the family seduced by a killer.
Derek’s mind circled round and round, jumping from topic to topic, until his phone alarm chirped at him and he realized he had ten minutes to get to work. He scarfed down the cold remains of his breakfast sandwich, tossed his trash in the can, and hurried out the door, thankful that the cups the cafe uses are very well insulated and his coffee isn’t as cold as his breakfast was.
After work, Derek took the train across the bridge to CITY, New Jersey. The New York metropolitan area had been a difficult adjustment for a wolf who spent his entire life until almost sixteen in a family pack that covered a huge territory that was mainly wilderness. The nearest pack he had known of was over fifty miles away.
New York is different. Each of the boroughs, barring Manhattan, was controlled by a pack. Any lone wolves, which is what he and Laura were considered even though she was an Alpha, had to live in Manhattan or at least ten miles outside the city limits. CITY, New Jersey was not eligible to live in but it was home to several supernatural “social clubs”. Some were nightclubs, some were more like gyms, and two were more like town halls. They were all neutral territory and operated by the Shifter Council and the Supernatural Conclave.
The most popular non-nightclub venue was NAME. It had a restaurant which was only open to club “members” rather than the general public, a bar area with enhanced liquors, several conference rooms, and a gathering room with televisions, radios, and game tables for cards, dice, and other recreations that wouldn’t destroy a room.
Derek walked into the gathering room an hour after getting off of work. Unsurprisingly, the main television was turned to a cable news network where mundane talking heads were discussing Kate Argent and her crimes. The volume was relatively low and over a dozen supernaturals were having low-voiced discussions around the room as they watched.
Derek joined one with two werewolves he knew from the Bronx pack. As he walked up, the younger of the two wolves, still a decade older than Derek, was asking his companion about the beginning of the case.
“How did they get on to her? Hunters cover their tracks, one way or another. Even the Shifter Council and the Supernatural Conclave have a hard time getting evidence on hunters that break their precious code to take to the Hunters Council so we don’t get blamed for taking out the trash and protecting ourselves and our packs.”
The older wolf nodded. “I know. And from what I hear from the Conclave, she did cover her tracks in the regular way. She bribed, threatened, and blackmailed mundanes to make it seem like an accident. But, someone talked to someone. They said that the Hale Alpha had an in with the local sheriff. And when the sheriff, who evidently hadn’t been gotten to by Argent before she left town, heard about the truth, he started digging. And he had a connection to a local California FBI agent who went through their files and used their databases when he could, and found other suspicious fatal fires that were ruled as accidental much too quickly. And the mundanes took it from there, interviewing people in those towns, following the money trails, whatever. It took them six years but the Hales and others will be getting justice.”
Derek knew his chemosignals were off and his heartbeat was going crazy. He wasn’t about to reveal himself though. So, he played it off by playing to the false backstory Laura had created for them when they came to New York. He deliberately allowed his voice to shake as he spoke. “Hey, Tim, Paul. Do – do ya think these mundanes could catch other bad hunters? Like even ones that aren’t with a family like that Argent one?”
Tim, the older werewolf, smiled kindly at Derek. “Hey, Rick. I think this situation is an isolated thing. They might be able to get info and dirt on other Argents in the clan due to their prior work on this Kate EXPLETIVE. But, I don’t think they would be able to track down the unaffiliated assholes who killed your parents and older brother. They were just in the wrong place at the wrong time and unluckily ran across those hunters. Your sister said they didn’t even desecrate the bodies like a hunter clan would. They were hunters, obviously, they were using wolfsbane bullets, but they were clanless ones. Which makes them random murderers to the mundanes and even for mundane-on-mundane murders like that, they have a hard time finding and punishing them.”
Derek nodded, biting his lip. “Oh. Right. Fingerprints and DNA and stuff like that.”
Tim nodded. “Yeah, stuff like that.”
Derek huffed out a breath. “But, maybe not the mundanes. But you said an Alpha got them on the trail. Maybe them?”
Tim sighed. “I don’t know the Hale Alpha personally. No one in my pack does. I’m not sure anyone from around here does. Most of the Hales died in that fire that Argent set. But I doubt even they could track down a trail as old as the men who killed your family. It was just so random. There wouldn’t be a trail this far out from it.”
Derek continued his low-key interrogation on Tim and Paul before wandering around the room, listening to other conversations. Everyone agreed that this all started because of the Hale Alpha and, though Derek briefly wondered in if Laura had been involved, those with ties to the Conclave or the Council agreed that the Hale Alpha lived in California, not New York.
Derek couldn’t stand the thought of someone trading on his family’s name, even if his Alpha insisted they not use it any longer. Beacon Hills had been founded by his family, in part, and now some Wolf was taking advantage of Kate’s actions and people were praising them and making assumptions. He couldn’t let it happen. He’d talk to Laura and convince her to go home and confront the interloper. And maybe stay, now that the Argents weren’t a threat.
Derek frowned. “But Laura, this Alpha is using our family’s name and reputation.”
Laura scowled, “I don’t care, Rick. They can have the cursed place. It is evil. We are never going back there.”
Derek bit his lip and huffed it out into a brief pout. “Please, don’t call me that, Laura. I’ve asked before. Not when it’s just us. It isn’t my name.”
Laura shook her head. “It is your name, Rick. You got your degrees under that name, you work and pay taxes under that name. No one alive even knows the name you were born with, other than me and I won’t use it! I changed our names and identities for a reason! And that reason holds. Regardless of one hunter being hunted themselves for our families’ deaths. There are plenty more where she came from. So, stop calling me Laura. My name is NAME NAME. And you are my brother and beta, Rick NAME. And don’t think I’ve missed what the huntress bitch is accused of, how she got her information on the packs she killed. And your part in it, Rick.”
“My name is Derek Hale! Just because you want to forget our pack and home, doesn’t mean I will. Mom named me Derek, she chose it because of REASON REASON REASON REASON. I won’t disrespect her memory by forgetting that or ignoring it to call myself something else, even within the privacy of my mind. I understood hiding until now but I can’t stand how it makes me feel to know our home is being usurped!”
Laura growled. “Fine! Go! Get yourself killed! I am never going back there. I don’t care about Beacon Hills and you’re an idiot if you do. But then, I suppose the brain in your head isn’t very large if the one in your pants killed our pack.”
Derek blinked back tears. “I didn’t know.”
“Your dick just fell into her and she magically learned about our family from your cum?”
Derek firmed his lips. “I didn’t know she was a hunter.”
Laura scoffed. “You couldn’t smell wolfsbane on her? Gunpowder? Mountain ash? Or were you too busy smelling her cunt?”
“I – I didn’t know. I never smelled anything like that. She was just a normal girl.”
“A normal girl? She wasn’t a fucking girl, Rick! She was a hunter. A hunter who was posing as your teacher! And you never questioned why an attractive human woman in her fucking twenties would be interested in a teenage jock? You never thought it was odd for her to come on to you?”
Derek shook his head. “I never really thought about it.”
Laura frowned. “You never thought, period. A grown woman who could and evidently did get any grown man she wanted, according to the news repertoire of her coverups, would work to seduce an underage boy just because he was cute? Or because he was a star varsity basketball player? Even if she hadn’t been a hunter fucking you in more ways than the obvious, doing that could have gotten her fired if you were caught. And she would have gone to jail. And so would you. You were under the age of consent and it was illegal for you to have sex. And a teacher would know those laws. But, hey, she wanted you, right? And she was older, hot? Nice boobs?”
Derek looked away. “I just – after – I -“
“Mom smelled the sex on you but didn’t realize you were betraying the pack by telling the hunter who seduced you with her body about our house and our family and routine. Mom told us all to leave you alone about it because you were finally happy again after your idiocy with Paige. Mom should have banished you from the pack then. When you killed your human girlfriend. Which might have been what caught the hunter’s attention and brought her to our pack rather than another in the first place.”
Derek remained silent, his eyes bright but his face dry.
“But I know you, little brother. You won’t let this go and if I try and stop you, you’ll be stupid again and end up leading them right to us. Again. So, go. Pack a bag or two, get a vacation from work, or quit, if you think you’ll be gone more than a week or so.
Take the Camaro if you are driving. Don’t contact me until you’re back.” Laura took a deep breath and ordered in her Alpha voice, “Don’t tell anyone you meet your new name. Or mine!”