- Character Bashing
- Dark Themes
- Discussion-Child Abuse
- Discussion-Domestic Abuse
- Discussion-Sexual Abuse
- Hate Crimes
- Fix It
Section Three: The Summit
Stiles pulled into a parking spot on the street near the diner. There was a private room in the back with a separate entrance that could be rented out for parties or meetings. The diner would provide any range of catering required from basic drinks and snack platters to full-on sit down dinners from a pre-chosen and set menu. Stiles knew that Peter had reserved the room and asked for drinks and snacking platters, with both savory options and sweet options.
As he entered the building, he was surprised to find Scott there. The last thing Stiles had heard, Scott was to stay away. But the Argents weren’t due to arrive for another fifteen minutes, so maybe he was just helping set up.
Stiles walked over to his best friend and grabbed a bottle of water from the table. “Hey, Scott. Surprised to see you here. How was detention?”
Scott shrugged. “Peter told me to come. And, it was you know, detention.”
Peter walked up behind Scott. “Is that what Scott told you, Stiles? That he had detention?”
“Yeah. He was going to get a ride with Isaac since he had practice after school. I went and did my research thing that we talked about. And I need to discuss that with you some more to figure some stuff out.”
Scott squirmed as Peter looked at him with red eyes. Stiles sighed, guessing Scott had been stupid somehow.
Peter sneered. “Such a liar. No, I got a number of texts this afternoon from pack members who overheard Scott making plans with Miss Argent for a study date after school today. Four of them were within hearing distance of the conversation and Scott even literally ran into one of them afterward.”
Scott’s eyes narrowed. “Jackson!”
“He was right outside the door the entire time, Scott. And I know you were trying to keep it a secret, thus your lying to Stiles. But, even after six years, you barely use any of your Gifts that came with the Bite. You should have heard and recognized Jackson’s heartbeat, along with the other three who were nearby.”
Scott sniffed. “I don’t like having them ramped up all the time. It makes stuff hard and I don’t want to shift in school.”
Peter nodded. “Even though after six years you should have better control, one would think you would have used your senses to scan this afternoon since you wanted to be so stealthy and deceitful about your little study session.”
Scott spun around with a growl and Stiles jerked back. Scott was partially transformed. “Dude, chill. I mean, the Argents are gonna be here pretty soon and you don’t want them to walk in to you all wolfed out, man. And it was kind of a dickish move, lying to me.”
Scott growled again but seemed to be fighting to get his shift under control. “You wouldn’t have let me be with Allison alone.”
Stiles nodded. “You’re right. I wouldn’t have. Mostly because you were ordered not to ask her out until things were settled.”
Scott’s partial shift faded, though his eyes still glowed. “It was a study session.”
Stiles looked at him with contempt. “I’m not stupid, Scotty. How much studying did you get done this afternoon? And put your damn headlights away, too.”
Scott’s eyes returned to their normal hue and he pouted. “None.”
Peter snorted. “He didn’t get any studying done because I was there when they arrived at the house. Not that I think he was going to try to anyway. Unless it was anatomy class, or maybe biology. Or sex ed. But he did let slip that he was planning on telling her all about the pack before ‘anything happened’. I have him here to sort things out with her parents. I don’t want them getting the idea that I have encouraged my idiot beta as some sort of revenge plot.”
Scott’s eyes flashed again but Peter flashed his and put a tone in his voice. “Go sit down and stay quiet until you’re needed, Scott.”
Scott shivered and his pout deepened but he turned away and went to sit down after a brief flashing of his neck that was so short it was more of an insult than an acknowledgment of submission to the alpha’s will. Stiles sighed and turned to Peter. “I’m sorry I just believed him without double checking what he told me. I just – he’s my best friend and I didn’t want to think he would play me like that.”
Peter placed his hand on Stiles’ shoulder. “He knows how to play you and he will if it suits him. And he knows how much you trust him. He used that.”
Stiles’ shoulders slumped. “Yeah. He did.”
Peter squeezed his shoulder and scented his arm. “Just be aware going forward that he doesn’t betray your trust again.”
“If I don’t give it to him, he can’t.”
“But can you keep yourself detached. He is your best friend.”
Stiles scoffed. “Evidently he doesn’t think that.”
Stiles turned away and made his way to his seat at the round table. It was on Peter’s direct left this time as Janet wasn’t here. Stiles’ dad was already seated to the right of Peter’s seat and Scott was slumped beside him. There was a space about two chairs wide and then the three empty seats for the three Argent family members, followed by another empty spot next to Stiles.
After only a few minutes, the door opened and Allison walked in, flanked by her father to her right and her mother to her left. Stiles found the sight fascinating. He was fairly certain it was a statement and not an accident on their part. He didn’t think Allison, the daughter would have been first through the door in a normal situation. But as a statement echoing a wolf pack’s structure, the ‘Alpha’, the future matriarch – or possibly that was the current one – flanked by her Right and Left Hands.
As the Pack rose to their feet and Peter moved forward to greet their guests, Stiles could tell that the Alpha saw the mirrored structure as well. And a quick glance toward his dad showed that he understood the symbolism. And that Scott was clueless.
Peter stopped a few feet from the Argents and nodded. “Miss Argent, it is a pleasure to see you again.”
Allison smiled. “Hopefully, this is a productive meeting, Alpha Hale. May I introduce, my father Christopher and my mother Victoria.”
Peter inclined his head slightly. “Christopher, it has been quite some time. Victoria, a pleasure as always.”
Allison quirked an eyebrow and Chris stepped forward half a step to be equal on his daughter’s right side, as Victoria did the same on her left. “I told you before we moved that I lived in Beacon Hills for several years, before and briefly after your mother and I married.”
Allison nodded. “I had forgotten.”
Victoria smiled tightly. “You were actually born in Beacon Hills, Allison. We moved when you were two and a half.”
Allison’s eyebrows went up but she didn’t say anything. After a few moments, Peter turned slightly to the side and slid back so the Argents’ view of the table and those around it was unimpeded.
“My Second, Noah Stilinski, Sheriff of Beacon County, his son, my pack’s emissary, Stiles Stilinski. And one of my betas, Scott McCall, who is here at your request, Miss Argent.”
Allison and her parents looked at the trio and nodded. Stiles noticed that Christopher was eying him in curiosity and Victoria’s eyes had a hard look at she stared at Scott. He wondered what Allison had told her parents about Scott and whatever had gone down this afternoon.
Peter stepped back to his spot at the table as the Argents took their seats and the pack members returned to their chairs. Once everyone was settled, Peter took the initiative and began.
“First, I would like to know if you have had any contact in the past two months with Kate Argent.”
Christopher blinked and shook his head. “I – No. That isn’t what I thought would, she brought up. At least, not as a starter. But, no, I haven’t heard from Kate since mid March. We’ve been interviewed on our knowledge of her whereabouts extensively, Peter.”
“By the FBI?”
Victoria nodded. “And Interpol. And the American Hunter Council and the European Hunter Council. We were called before the EHC in early summer. They were – unpleased by Kate’s actions.”
Noah sat forward. “Because her actions and the spotlight they brought to the hunters was bad for their freedom to do as they wished?”
Chris shook his head. “No. Well, partly. But more for her not just breaking the Code but utterly obliviating it. I know that the American Council isn’t as – strict about – policing – it’s members. But the European Council is different. And they actually have more power then the American Council. They could disband them or restructure them and the latter is actually in the works. I can’t and won’t get into all of it but the problems stem from some people getting power through blackmail, intimidation, and murder, or at least suspiciously convenient deaths. Several families matriarchs died within a two year span and their heirs were all significantly underage. So, regents were appointed and took control. When the heirs came of age they were either figureheads or had been corrupted to the bone and followed the path of breaking the Code.”
Peter nodded. “Like Kate. And I presume the regent in question was Gerard?”
Chris nodded. “Yes. While we were in Europe, we were told that Allison was to be informed about the supernatural. We had been training her in tracking and shooting and living off the land, but in very mundane ways. We planned to tell her when she turned eighteen, but thanks to Kate, we had to move that up.”
Victoria sighed lightly. “May I ask why that was what you started with? We had been under the impression that you would want to know our intentions first.”
Stiles exchanged a look with Peter who nodded to him. “You can’t quite remember what Beacon Hills was like when you lived here before, can you, Mister Argent. You can’t recall why you lived here.”
“Chris, please, Emissary Stilinski.”
“Stiles. I – I don’t really recall. I know my father ordered me to live here but I don’t – when the European Council suggested we take a step back until Kate’s mess is resolved and Allison is of age, we chose Beacon Hills because it was utterly quiet, supernaturally speaking.”
Peter barked a laugh. “You really don’t remember. You don’t recall meeting me, my sister, my brother-in-law?”
“Of course I do. Your sister was the district attorney for the county. But you weren’t a werewolf then.”
Peter’s eyes widened to a comic extent. “Christopher, I was born a werewolf. I became my sister’s Left Hand when I was nineteen. She had been Alpha for over a decade by then. And you knew that. The Hale Pack founded Beacon Hills. And you knew that. You were a liaison between the hunters and our pack for the area for five years. Until your father sent you elsewhere.”
Chris blinked, his brow furrowed. “I – I can’t – no! I do remember that now. How did I forget? Victoria?”
Victoria shook her head. “I didn’t recall any of that until just now when Alpha Hale said it.”
Stiles whistled a note under his breath. “Well, I can somewhat explain. Six years ago, Kate Argent came to Beacon Hills and using a fake name took a job as a substitute teacher at the high school. She used her position and knowledge to seduce a teenage member of the Hale Pack, the Alpha’s son, Derek.
“And one night, during a full pack gathering for a full moon, she and her accomplices surrounded the Pack house with rings of mountain ash, including the basement escape tunnel and set the house on fire using a chemical accelerant a chemist told her could burn stone and burn quick and hot. She added wolfsbane to this chemical agent and killed the vast majority of the pack, both werewolves and humans. The youngest wasn’t even out of diapers. And was human.
“Peter had been in the woods when the fire started and hid his young niece who had been playing until dinner time inside a hollow tree when he smelled the wolfsbane. When he tried to get to his family, his pack, he got caught between mountain ash circles and burned, badly enough to send him into a coma.
“At the time, it was unknown who else wasn’t in the house, though we knew that night that someone survived. We know now, just found out a few days ago, as a matter of fact, but then we just knew that someone other than Peter and Cora lived. And they inherited the alpha spark.
“We knew about this, the entire town found out about werewolves and the supernatural that night because the inheritor of the Hale spark couldn’t handle it, not on top the breaking of the pack bonds. They went feral and passed by a playground filled with children and no real adults. The Alpha proceeded to bite nine of those kids, none of them over the age of eleven. Seven of them survived the Bite and became werewolves. The other two also survived but became other than werewolves.
“I was one of those kids and the Bite didn’t turn me. Rather it awakened my magical spark. And that night while in the hospital being treated for my wounds, Cora followed her new bonds and found me and my dad. She told us about werewolves when she understood what had happened and that hunters had killed her family. And while trying to console her, I inadvertently made a True Wish that saturated Beacon County and covered it with a spell to protect my new pack and the people we cared about.
“It blunts the knowledge of the supernatural being here. Those who live here know about it but when they leave they can’t talk about it. They can’t even talk about it to someone outside the spell by phone or email or text. And anyone who has bad intentions, malicious intentions toward the pack or those we care about, can’t one here and if already here, are urged to leave town by the magic.
“It only works on human and humanoid creatures but over the last six years it has kept us safe.”
Christopher’s eyes were wide and wild. “On the news, they said that a fire in a small Northern California town and the actions of the Sheriff there led to Kate’s identification. That was here, wasn’t it?” He looked at Noah. “And it was you.”
Noah nodded. “Myself, Peter, and Scott’s father, Rafe, who is an FBI agent.”
“I didn’t make thee connection. Until now. I guess that’s the Magic’s doing.”
Stiles grinned. “Yep. Wish Magic is powerful stuff. And we still aren’t totally sure everything it does. I couldn’t create a spell to do everything this one does. Several spells that I would then have to layer together without canceling each other out, maybe. But not a single spell.”
Allison sat forward. “So, how did Peter become the Alpha? He wasn’t the one who inherited the spark, you said he was in a coma. But you recently learned who bit you. So, did he kill them and take back the Hale spark?”
Peter shook his head. “No. The Alpha who holds my family’s spark is still alive and living where they ran to when they abandoned those they had bitten that night and left town. The recent news coverage of Kate brought my nephew, Derek, to town. He hadn’t even realized when he was scooped up by his elder sister, Laura, on her way out of town that the woman he was dating was the reason his family had died. Not until he saw her picture on the television. My eldest niece gained the Hale spark. And bit the town’s children, revealing the supernatural. Derek never even knew she had done that. They were already out of town when the spell went up and it cut off the pack bonds between her and the children.”
Allison nodded. “Okay. So, who did you inherit the spark from then?”
Peter grinned wryly. “The Earth? The Moon Lady? Magic itself? I was in a coma for six months, my healing almost glacial due to the wolfsbane with the burns and my system. And there were seven new preteen wolves, a preteen born wolf, a magic spark, and another preteen of a magical species. Plus several preteen humans who had been present in the playground but not bitten. And they all had pack bonds to one another but not to an alpha. They were all caught somewhere between beta and omega. The bonds to each other kept them from slipping entirely into omega feral behavior but they weren’t a pack, exactly, either.”
Stiles smiled. “We all knew that the Alpha who had bitten us had abandoned us and left us for dead or omegahood. We had limited information, only what Cora knew. And she was our age. Or what we could find in the internet, which was hit or miss and we had no way to distinguish the good from the bad, for the most part. Cora had told us how Peter had protected her the night of the fire and how he had been hurt trying to save his pack. To us, that was Alpha behavior, not the cowardice of the Alpha who bit us. So, one day, we basically gathered around Peter and petitioned Magic to make him our Alpha. I believed he was and should be and so did the rest and Magic agreed. He got an alpha spark and healed and woke up. And he’s been a great Alpah ever since.”
Peter smiled. “Thank you, Stiles.” He turned back to the Argents. “Over the past five and a half years, I’ve given the Bite to several adults with their consent, to balance out the pack dynamics. That’s how Noah became my second.”
Allison nodded. “I guess a pack made of nothing but preteens or teenagers except for the Alpha would be a bad idea.”
Peter snorted. “To say the least.”
Victoria leaned forward on the table. “Now that we have this knowledge again and that is settled, I would like to know why young Mister McCall is here.”
Peter nodded. “Allison asked me to be sure he was here. Scott had invited her to his house this afternoon, though he and the rest of the pack was told to wait to do anything with Allison until after tonight’s meeting. It was realized a few days ago that she knew of the supernatural and we knew from the day she began school that she was from the Argent Hunter clan. We wanted no misunderstandings but frankly, Scott is a teenage boy, werewolf or not, and he doesn’t always do as he’s told.”
Victoria narrowed her eyes and turned to Scott, which had Stiles mentally bracing himself. “And why did you so disobey your Alpha? Why the impatience?”
Scott drew himself up from his previous slumped posture. “I really like Allison. She’s special. She’s so smart and kind, and she’s funny and caring and beautiful. I was going to tell her about the pack today. I didn’t want tonight’s meeting and Peter to ruin any chance I had with her, ma’am. Peter is prejudiced against hunters because of what happened six years ago to his family. But Allison would never do something like that, I know it. She’s too good a person.”
Allison blushed. “Scott invited me over to study and I didn’t know he liked me, too. But I would like to date him, see if we could work beyond being friends.”
Chris and Victoria shared a long look before Victoria looked away. Chris smiled a tight smile. “I suppose we can give it a chance, if Scott’s parents and his Alpha agree to it as well, but there will be ground rules you both need to follow.”
Scott nodded. “I understand, Mister Argent. I would never want to hurt Allison.”
Peter’s body was tense next to Stiles. “I will have rules for you to follow, too, Scott. And you will accept them if you want this chance.”
Scott nodded and sat back, a smug look on his face.
Peter turned to the Argents once more. “Before we conclude this meeting, I would like to know the likelihood of your father coming to visit, Christopher.”
Chris swallowed “Oh. Of course, you don’t know. My father is dead. He had stage 4 cancer and a few months ago, he came up with a plot to force an Alpha to give him the Bite to cure him and then he planned to kill them and take their spark. He blackmailed the pack’s emissary, a veterinarian, into helping him ambush the alpha. But the emissary, while not powerful magically, wasn’t cowed as much as Gerard thought. He had used his connections to have Gerard’s cancer medications switched out with mountain ash. And when Gerard forced the alpha to give him the Bite, it didn’t take.”
Victoria took up the tale. “But it didn’t kill him. Gerard had been taking moon-flowered wolfsbane to insure he wouldn’t reject the Bite. But the mountain ash in his system did interact badly with the Bite and he was incapacitated. And several agents from the European Council showed up. Apparently, one of Gerard’s trusted minions didn’t care for his plan and notified them, knowing the American Council wouldn’t stop him. While he was unable to move, the agents passed sentence and cut him in half to prevent him from overcoming the mountain ash and turning. And it was that which began the EHC looking into the AHC and their doings which snowballed with Kate’s actions coming out.”
Peter smiled. “Well, he was hoist on his own petard. Poetic justice at its finest. I am sorry for your loss, however, Christopher. He was your father, no matter how evil he was.”
Chris shook his head. “Don’t be. I haven’t had any true positive feelings for my father since before my mother’s death, which I suspect he orchestrated if not outright participated in. And he was never a very good father before that, either.”
Peter inclined his head. And after a few more minutes of manners, the meeting came to a close. The Argents left and Scott hurried out after them. Stiles waited around and when his dad questioned him, he told him he needed to speak to Peter about the research he was doing about his dream wish magic. Noah left the two alone and Peter and Stiles spoke about his trippy trip to the Nemeton.
“I think I recognize most of the ingredients you described. They are things you need for a summoning ritual. They vary by type depending on what you want to summon, but the basics are the same.”
“Ever since I left the Preserve, I’ve felt increasingly antsy. I want to do this ritual as soon as I can. I need to do it. I think I’ll be summoning whatever pushed that dream on me. And I need to understand, I just – it’s a compulsion. And I know it isn’t truly natural, it is magically induced, but it doesn’t negate the increasing urgency I am feeling.”
Peter nodded and gave Stiles a hug. “Stop by the house on your way home and I’ll,give you the book you need to read to understand what you have to do. I don’t think the exact ritual will be in there but the basic forms are the same as long as you aren’t summoning the infernal. Which you aren’t because the imagery in your vision quest would have been far different, far darker, if that was the case. No demons involved.”
Stiles wrapped himself tightly around Peter, relaxing. “Thank you, Alpha.”