Stiles was leaning back in his chair and waiting. He could hardly breath in this suffocating air of the place but for what is going to happen soon he could bear with it. His hand clenched glass until the knuckles were white, and his lips curled slightly as he watched the crowd around him. He couldn't bother to make his body seem relaxed — doesn't even think he could do it despite the two years training for it. His legs, knotted tightly under the seat, were ready to move in an instant, and his eyes moved from the front to the back of the place. They were bright brown that were never still — always moving, watching, waiting. He had waited for so long, waited and hunted with bitter patience. But now the long wait was drawing to a close. He knew that Cassie was coming and the trap was set.
For the thousandth time this evening, a shiver of chilly pleasure passed through him at the thought. He squirmed in eagerness, hardly daring to breathe. With his free hand he caressed the cool plastic handle of the gun that was close to his side, and a tight smile appeared on his thin lips. Cassie was coming and … at last … at last … tonight he will kill her.
The place around him could be only described as madhouse. Or a magical world of disco lights, laser beams, and the irreplaceable glow of black lights shining on people. Everyone is smiling and having such a good time. They were packed in the club like sardines. The DJ mixed the loud music on the turntables watching the half naked bodies of young men and women dancing around as if something has possessed their bodies. Man are wearing undershirt, or no shirt at all, and pants. They eye the women who strut around in tank tops and tight dance pants or skirts, and who are smiling, and letting all their worries go away. The line at the bar is extremely frantic too, with people getting water or their favorite alcoholic beverage. Due to his sensitive nose Stiles could smell the muck of the guys and the sweat smell of perfume from the ladies mixing together creating a smell that makes him want to cover his nose with his hand.
Stiles rubbed his eyes, blurred from the bluish haze filling the long, high-ceilinged room. The unhealthy laughter broke out again, and someone bursted into a bellow of song, half giggle, half noise.
At the bar an heavy drinker sittered, muttered something unintelligible and returned his nose sadly to his glass. Stiles eyes flicked over the man with distaste. The scrawny neck, the sagging jaw, the idiotic, almost unearthly expression of intent listening on the vapid face: a typical picture of man Stiles come to hate. Watching him for a moment in disgust, he moved his eyes across the room, a flicker of apprehension passed through his mind.
A girl, quite naked except for the tray slung at their waist, strolled by his table, wagging her hips and turning on her heaviest personality smile.
“Good night, dar’?”
The smile cooled slightly in the girl’s lips. “Just askin,” she whined. “You don't have to get—”
“Fuck off!” Stiles shot her a venomous look, trying frantically to keep his attention from straying from the front of the room. It would be too much to slip up, more than he could stand to make mistake like that again.
The trap was perfect. It won't — it couldn't fail this time. Each step was carefully sketched, plotted through long sleepless nights of conference and planning. He couldn't have hunted a woman like Cassie all these years without learning something about her — about her personality, about the things she liked and disliked, the things she did, the places she often visited, the friends she made.
Last time, after Stiles understatement the enemy her allowing her to slip through the net at the last moment, there seemed to be no hope. Everything seemed all more hopeless when she disappeared completely as if she was dead. But then they found a girl — the key to her hiding place. She had formed the top link in the long, meticulous chain which had been drawn tighter each day, drawing Cassie Gramm closer and closer to the hands of the man who was going to kill him. And now the trap was set; there could be no slip this time. There might never be another chance.
The street door opened sharply, and a short, bull-necked man with sandy hair walked in. He was followed by two other men in neat business suits. The first man stepped quickly to the bar, shouldering his way through the crowd, and stood sipping beer for several minutes. He glanced closely at the people around the bar and the surrounding tables before he walked toward the back and seated himself next to Stiles. Looking at Stiles with an indefinable expression, he finished his beer at a gulp and set the glass down on the table-top with a snap.
“What’s up?” Stiles asked hoarsely.
“The sky, what else.” The sandy-haired man’s voice was a smooth bass, and a frown appeared on his pink forehead. “She should have been here by now. She left the hotel over in Beacon Hills an hour ago, private three-wheeler, and she headed here, I’m sure of it.”
Placings his arms on table Stiles leaned forwards, his face going white “You’ve got someone trail her?”
“Yes, yes, of course.” The man's voice was sharp, and there were tired lines around his eyes. "Take it easy, Stiles. You wouldn't be able to get her if she did come in—the way you are. She'd spot you in two seconds."
With trembling hands he gripped the glass, and settled tensely back in his chair. "It can't go wrong, James. I must caught her and lock her up for good.”
"It should. The girl is here, and she got word from her last night."
"Can she be trusted?"
The sandy-haired man shrugged. "Don't be silly. In this game, nobody can be trusted. If she's scared enough, she'll play along—okay? We've done our best to scare her. We've scared the hell out of her. Maybe she's more scared of Cassie—I don't know. But it looks cold to me. On a platter. So get a grip on yourself."
"It's got to succeed." Stiles growled the words savagely, and drained his glass at a gulp. The sandy-haired man blinked, his pale little eyes curious. He leaned back thoughtfully. “Suppose it doesn't? What if something goes wrong? Then what?”
Stiles’ heavy hand caught the James’s wrist in a firm hold. "You don't talk like that," he grunted. "Your men I don't mind, but not you—understand? It can't go wrong. That's all there is to it. No ifs, no maybe. You got that now?"
James rubbed his wrist, his face red. "All right," he muttered. "So it can't go wrong. So I shouldn't talk, I shouldn't ask questions. But if it does go wrong, you're going to be dead. Do you know that? Because you're killing yourself with this—" He sighed, staring at Stiles. "What's it worth, Sti? This constant tearing yourself apart? You've been obsessed with it for years. I know, I've been working with you and watching you for the last five of them—five long years of hunting. And for what? To get a woman and kill her. That's all. What's it worth?"
“You know what she has done. Who she has killed!” Taking a deep breath he took out a pack of cigarettes he bought for his cover up character. “Here take one,” he said, offering the pack. "And don't worry about me. Worry about Cassie. She's the one who'll be dead."
James shrugged and took the smoke. "Okay. But if this blows up, I'm through. Because this is all I can take."
"Nothing will blow up. I'll get her. If I don't get her now, I'll get her the next time, or the next, or the next. With or without you, I'll get my revenge." Stiles took a trembling breath, his gray eyes cold under heavy black brows. "But there better be no next time."
He sat back in his chair, his face falling into the lines so familiar to James Stone. Stiles had been a handsome man — if you are into social awkward teens that is —, but the long years of hate had done their work on his face. He was still small like before but now he was powerfully built too, heavy-shouldered, with a strong neck and straight nose, and a shock of dark brown hair, neatly combed back. Only his face showed the bitterness of the past five years—years filled with anger and hatred, and a growing savagery which had driven him almost to the breaking point.
The lines about his eyes and mouth were cruel—heavy lines that had been carved deeply and indelibly into the strong face, giving it a harsh, almost brutal cast in the dim light of the bistro. He breathed regularly and slowly as he sat, but his dark eyes were ice-hard as they moved slowly across the little show floor. They took in every face, every movement in the growing atmosphere.
He was out of place and he knew it. He had no use for the giddy, half-hysterical people who crowded these smoke-filled holes night after night. They came in droves from the heart of the city to drink the alcoholic drinks and inhale drugs frantically as they tried desperately to drive off the steam and pressure of their daily lives.
And Stiles...well he hated the smell and stuffiness of the place; the loud screams of laughter, the idiotic giggles of women falling in love or finding her next victim, hated the blubbering drunkards who crowded the bars with their beers and their strange, unhealthy dream-world. Above all, he hated the resounding artificiality, the brassiness and clanging noise of the crowd.
His skin crawled. He knew that he could easily disappear in the crowd, sway his body alongside music and use his charm on giggling girls and males but today he can't bring himself to do it. If he was haunting anyone today but Cassie he would do it without thinking about but with Cassia … he only sees his dad’s bloody face staring back at him. The eyes that will never look at him gazeless and the arms that will never wrap around his body were cold and stiff soon to become cold and stiff as eight hours since the death neared.
“Stiles? You okay there buddy?” James asked watching him from corner of his eyes. “You know I could take this mission on myself? If you aren't feeling good.”
“No, I’m good,” easing back in the chair he fought for control of his trembling hands. “I must be one to kill her. It is last I could do for dad.”
The lights dimmed suddenly and a huge red spotlight caught the curtain at the back of the show floor. Stiles heard James catch his breath for a moment, then let out a small, uneasy sigh. The crowd hushed as the girl parted the curtains and stepped out onto the middle of the floor, to beginning of an erotic dance battles. Stiles eyes widened as they followed her to the center of the red light. She has some good moves for kid of her age.
Stiles glanced sharply at James. "The girl? She's the one?"
Nodding James let his eyes room over her thin body. "Cassia knows how to pick them — could be because she is woman and who knows a woman better than another woman. She's supposed to meet her later one. This is her first show for the evening. Then she has another at ten and another at two. She's supposed to take her home." He glanced around the room carefully. "Watch yourself," he muttered, and silently slipped away from the table.
The girl was nervous. Stiles sat close enough to see the fear in her face as she whirled around the floor. The music had shifted into a slow throbbing undertone, as she started to dance. She moved slowly, circling the floor. Her hair was long and black, flowing around her shoulders, and her body moved with carefully calculated grace to the music. But there was fear in her face as she whirled, and her eyes sought the faces on the fringe of the circle.
The music quickened imperceptibly and Stiles felt a chill run up his spine. The upper part of the shimmering gown slipped from the girl's shoulders, and slowly the tempo of the dance began to change from the stately rhythm it had a moment before. The throb of the music became hypnotic, moving faster and faster. Stiles hands trembled as he tried to draw his eyes away from the undulating figure. There had been nothing to mark the change, but suddenly the dance had become obscene as the music rose—so viciously obscene that Stiles nearly gagged.
He felt the tension in the crowd around him. He heard their breathing rise, felt the desperate eagerness in their hard, bright eyes as they watched. The nervousness had left the girl's face. She had forgotten her fear, and a little smile appeared on her face as her body moved in abandon to the quickening beat.
Slowly she moved toward the tables, and the spotlight followed her, playing tricks with her hair and gown, concealing and revealing, twisting and swaying.... Stiles felt his body freeze. He fought to move, fought to take his eyes from the writhing figure as she mingled among the people, moving from table to table, never slowing her motion, graceful as a cat, twisting and twirling in the flickering red light. In and out she moved until she reached his table, her face still a peacefully smiling mask. With amazing grace she leaped up on the table-top and gave Stiles glass a kick that sent it spinning onto the floor with a crash. And then the red light hit him full in the face—
"Get out of the light!"
Like a cat he threw his chair back and struck the girl, knocking her from the table. Someone screamed and the light swung to the girl, then back to him. The table went over. He rolled out of the light, twisting and fighting through the stunned and screaming crowd. His gun was in his hand, and he frantically searched the shouting room with his eyes.
"Get her! There she goes!"
He heard James's voice roar from the side of the room. Stiles swung sharply to the sound of the voice. He saw the tall, slender figure crouched with her back to the bar, eyes wide with fear and desperation. There was no mistaking the face, the hollow cheeks and the high forehead, the strawberry blond hair. It was the face he had seen in his dreams, the twisted lips, the evil face of the woman he had hunted to the ends of the earth. For a fraction of a second he saw Cassia crouched at bay, and then the figure was gone, twisting through the crowd toward the door—
"Stop her!" Stiles swung savagely into the crowd, screaming at James across the room. "She's heading for the street! Get her!" The gun kicked sharply against his hand as he fired at the moving head. Rising for an instant, it disappeared again into the sea of heads. A scream rose at the shot. Women dropped to the floor, glasses crashed, tables went over. Someone clawed ineffectually for Stiles’ leg. Then, abruptly, the lights went out and there was another scream.
"The door, the door—Don't let her get out—”
Stiles plunged to the side of the room, wrenched open the emergency exit and plunged down the dark, narrow walkway to the street. He heard shots as he ran. Turning to the corner of the building, he saw the tall figure running zigzagging down the wet street.
“There she goes! Get her!”
James hung from the door. He gasped as he held his side, his face twisted in pain. “She hit me,” he panted. “She's broke away—”
A jet black car passed them heading down the street towards the fleeing figure. “She can't make it — I’ve got men on every corner in cars. They’ll get her, drive her back—”
“But where’s she going?’ A sob of rage choked Stiles’ voice. “She sold us out, the bitch. She fingered me when she saw her come in—” His whole body trembled and the words tumbled out, almost incoherent. “But she must know the streets are blocked. Where’s she running?”
“You think I’m a mind reader? I don't know. There are no open buildings in the whole block but this place and the medicine center. She can't go anywhere else, and she can't get out of the block. We’ve got every escape way sewed up tight. She'll have to come back here or be shut down out there.”
They watched the gloomy street, tears of rage in Stiles’ eyes. His hands shook uncontrollably and his shoulders sagged in exhaustion and defeat. The club door had been burst open and people were crowding out. Stiles and James moved back into the shadows of the alleyway and waited and listened.
“There’s got to be a shot!” Stiles burst out. “She couldn't have slipped through.” He turned to James frantically. “Could she have gone into the Center.”
“On what pretense? They’d throw her to the Wolf Trap — or the booby hatch, one or the other. She’d know better than to try.” The sandy-haired man sank down on his haunches and gripped his side tightly. “She’ll be back, or we’ll hear the shooting. She couldn't have slipped through.”
A car stopped next to them, and a man come up to them, eyes wide “Get her?”
Stiles scowled “No sign. How about the other boys?”
The man blinked. “Not a whisper. She never reached the end of the block.”
“Did you check with Jones and Thomas?”
“They haven't seen a soul down here.”
James glanced at Stiles sharply “How about the streets behind? Any chance of breakthrough there?”
The man’s voice was matter-of-fact. “It’s airtight. She couldn't get through without somebody seeing her.” He stepped back to the car and spoke rapidly into the talker for a moment or two. “Nothing yet.”
“Damn. How about Dominic and the boys inside the place?”
“Nothing from them either.”
Stiles face darkened. “The Hospital,” he said slowly. “She got into the Hospital, somehow. She must have.”
“She’d have to have gilt-edged medical credentials to get in after hours. They don't mess around over there. And what would it gain her?”
Stiles peered at James in the darkness. “Maybe she wanted to be thrown to the Wolf Trap. Maybe she's figured that as a last resort, she’ll go in and volunteer, make a stab at the Big Cash.”
James stared at him in horror. “Look — Cassie may be desperate, but she hasn't lost her mind. My God, man! She isn't crazy.”
“But she's scared."
“Of course she's scared, but —”
James shrugged angrily. “She’d have to be on her last legs to take a gamble like that.”
“But they’d take her. They wouldn't ask any questions. They’d swallow her up; they'd hide her, whether they knew it or not.” Stiles’ voice rose in excitement. “Look. We’ve hunted her down for years. We’ve never rested; we’ve never quit. She knows that and she knows why. She knows me. She knows I’m not going to quit until I get her. And she knows I will get her, sooner or later. I’m cutting too close; I’m undermining her friends; I’m always moving closer. Everywhere she goes, everything she does, I’m onto her. And she knows when I get her, she's going to die. What does that add up to?”
James blinked in silence. Stiles face hardened. “Well, I’ll tell you what it adds up to. A woman can take just so much. She can slide and twist and hide and keep moving just so long. Then she finds there aren't any more hiding places. But there's one last place a woman can go hide — if she's really at the end of the game —that’s the Wolf Trap. Because there she could vanish as though she’s never exited.”
James carefully lit another smoke. “If that’s where she went, we’re through, Stiles. We’ll never get her. We don't even need to worry about trying. Because if she's gone there, she will never come out again.”
“Some of them do. Did your man catch that girl?” Stiles asked returning his weapon to its rightful place. “Keep your man where they are,” he said to James. “Keep them there for the rest of the night. If she's found a loophole, I want to know it. If she’s hidden in the buildings, she’ll have to come out sometimes. Get some men to search the roofs, and you and I can start on the alleyways. If she’s out there, we’ll get her.” He straightened his shoulders and the sullen fire was back in his eyes — an angry, bitter fire. “And if she's gone into the Center, we’ll still get her.”
James’s eyes were wide. “She’ll never come out if she's went where you think, Stiles. We could wait weeks or months, even years, and we still wouldn't know. Even if she did come out, we might never recognize her.”
Sagging against the blue seat of his Jeep, he closed his eyes and thought of every step of the plan and where did it all go wrong. Truthful it wasn't hard to find error after everything was done and said. Both he and James, mostly he, were too blinded by hope of finally winning this five years old chase that they didn't stop and think of backup plan, a plan that would have told them what to do after Anna betrayed them. They should have foreseen it, for heaven’s sake she was involved with Cassie sexualy! And everyone knows that sexual union leads not just to a physical reaction, but emotional one as well — hack he should have seen it! He did experience it firsthand after all. And he knows what happens afterwards, knows that leads to jealousy, blackmail betrayal, trickery, deceit and murder.
“I think that when any two people have carnal relations, the greater the difference in their status, the more likely it is that one of them is being forced to act against his or her will. When that occurs, the act is demeaning to both parties. Or the tables can be turned. I’ve seen so-called philosophers behave like fools, wealthy men bankrupted, powerful men humiliated—and all for the love of a woman. To be sure, not every union can be of equals,” his father had quoted to him after he found the true nature of his and Derek’s relationship. And man he spoke the biggest truth in the world! Only troubles come from that kind of unions.
“We’re here,” James announced parking the car in front of building that may or may not be answer to Stiles’ preys. The building rose high, it is one of the highest buildings he has ever seen. It walls gleamed white in the bright evening sunlight, reflecting brilliant facets of golden light from thousands of polished windows.
It was an immense building, sprawling across six perfectly landscaped city blocks, tall trees and cool green terraces setting off the.glistening beauty of the architecture. The structure sent tower after tower up from the dingy street below, and for the additional thirteen thousand people who worked day and night to keep the huge hospital running, moved toward the unloading platforms.
The Wolf Trap Medical Center was an age-old dream which had finally come true. Even those who had conceived it had not realized the tremendous need it would fulfill. From its very inception, no expense had been spares. The finest architects had thrown up the shimmering ward-towers, turned toward the sun, to bright light to the sick and injured who rested and healed within. Equipment unequaled anywhere the world had filled the Center's dressing and surgical rooms. The doctors, nurses, researchers and technicians who staffed the institution had been gathered from all over the world for opportunity to work here [ To work at the medical equivalent of “American Dream” ]And most of world had conceded the Wolf Center its place as leader in the realm of medicine, ever since the cornerstone had been laid that rainy morning in the spring of the year 2014.
Two years had passed since that day, and in those years the Wolf Center had never once faltered in its excellent service to this who needed it. Looking at it Stiles has hard time accepting that it was the puppy he knew once upon a time,, Liam, who made this building, which is supporting his family and two thousand people with the building. If it blows up Liam won't have any kind of incoming — tough with the money he has now it is most likely the thirteen generation of his family won’t have a penny left from Wolf’s hospital. So only ones who benefit from having this kind of hospital will face dreaded concussion.
Stiles extended his hand briefly to James “You’ll cover things out here?”
“Don't worry about it,” James shook the hand. “I will wait for you at the allway near the entrance of hospital.”
James watched, almost wishfully, as Stiles cut through the traffic and headed for the large glass doors. Then, with a sigh, he stepped on the starter button and snaked the little jet car into the stream of traffic moving toward dark alley.
Steeping in the great he joined the bustling lobby while trying to not stare around in awe. Despite knowing Liam he had never been inside Wolf Center before, though he had heard of it many times and in many places. Since it had taken over service of the huge metropolis of Boston-New Haven-New York-Philadelphia, the newspapers and TV had been full of stories of the lifesaving and healing that had gone on within its walls. The disease research, conducted by specialists in all phases of medicine who were for the first time gathered together under one agency, had startled the world again and again.
But there had been other stories, too—not from the papers and TV, not these stories. These tales had come by word of mouth: a short sentence or two, a nervous laugh, a sneering joke, a rumor, a whispered story from a wide-eyed drunkers hanging over a bar. Not the sort of stories one really believed, but the sort that made one wonder.
Several women moved across the floor of the huge lobby and talked quietly among themselves. Stiles sniffed uneasily. There was a curiously distasteful odor in the air, an odor of almost unhealthy cleanliness and spotless preservation. The lobby was a mill of activity: the elevators and inter building terminated here; people moved briskly, carrying with them the familiar air of hurry and pressure that infected the whole world outside.
Stiles watched, spotting the corridor leading to the main administrative offices. He saw the elevators constantly rising to and returning from the huge admission offices. He noted the corridor twisting off to the staff living quarters. He stood silent, his quick gray eyes cautiously probing and watching. He tried to print an indelible picture in his mind of the layout of the building and was almost floored by the hive-like bustle of the place. There was a complexity in the curved doorways and the brightly lighted corridors.
Somewhere here he could find Cassie Gramm. Somewhere in this maze of buildings and passageways was the woman he had hunted for. Logic told him that. They had spent the night searching every possible alternative. His muscles ached and his eyes were red from sleeplessness, but there was a hot, angry glow in his heart. He knew that this was the only place that Cassie could have gone. Yet the place where she must be hiding was a place Stiles only had heard in rumor, a place whose mention Cassie with it a half-knowledge of staggering wealth and almost indescribable horror.
Someone tapped him on the shoulder. He turned, startled, to face a huge, burly man with a suspicious face and a gray uniform. "You got business here, mister, or are we just sightseeing?"
Forcing a grin on his face he said truthfully “I don't know where to go.”
"Maybe you should go back out then. No visitors until this afterno-.”
“ Stiles,” melodic voice choked out, half in disbelief and half in hope. Stiles expression fall into natural one as he straightened his back returning the „greeting” emotionless “Good evening, Mr. Dunbar.”
“It’s really you,” Liam breathlessly answered stopping in front of Stiles, looking at him as if he never seen Stiles before. “What are you doing here? Are you sick? I can — I mean my people can help you if your sick. Don't worry about the price, I will take care of it.”
“I can't get sick, not anymore anyways,” running his tongue across the teeth he glanced at retreating backs of guard. “I'm looking for someone," he focused on Liam again trying not to wince when his face lightening up like Christmas lights and suddenly he could see young, much younger Liam standing at the side watching him and Scott fight as if they weren't best friends, but eternal enemies. “Cassie might be here … Somewhere in building.”
Liam lowered his eyes slightly, a family emotion flashing across his eyes when he picked up the distressing smell coming from Stiles. “You're still — off course you're. You were always too contracted when it comes to solving crimes. Though … Are you sure —”
“Liam, Liam,” interrupting Liam Stiles slowly dragged out the name while looking at their surroundings. Some people stopped to look at them. He could hear them talking about how humble and nice Liam is to stop and talk to ordinary citizen, ordinary citizen who was chasing some disturbance and Liam was called to deal with him. Inwardly he snarled at their idle talk before thanking God for fact Liam is turning conversation into argument. Way easier than to reminded what happened that day. “I look in the case, I personally interrogated every single suspect before I want around accusing people. I'm not like your pack.”
“Right. I didn't get to say this at the funeral but I'm s—”
“Aren't we all. Besides, it happened three years ago no need to send condolences now,” frowning Stiles looked back at the Liam. He hates that sentence.
I'm sorry for your loss!
His loss. As if he's misplaced the bat. When people said that, a part of Stiles wanted to slap them, knock cards and casseroles out of their hands. I'll tell you what I've lost, he wanted to say, and then open up his chest, so they could see the hollow pit where her heart used to live. It was stuck in a state of collapse, this pit-a tiny, organ-shaped singularity, sucking down the bleeding ravaged bits of who he used to be. But he did none of that. He accepted their bland sympathy and uncertain smiles.
“Um …. So … About Cassie — Jackson told you uh that day she is innocent and when you … Left … You said you value the word of friends, if so then why didn't you listen Jackson that day?”
“True I did say that and i still stand behind my word, but who said anything about me being buddy with that Jackass? Surprised aren't you, Liam — boy? I'm too. I mean three years, I spent three years alongside werewolves, a banshee and hellhound but no one of you noticed when it begins. No one of you consider it strange how I could lie to you in face without you realizing it — I remember how some of you thought you’re losing your powers and others thought I was just confused. Each of you forgot that in some cases human can control its heartbeat. Werewolves always so full of yourself ... I can tell you now so many lies and you wouldn’t be able to tell if they are lies or truths, but I won’t say anything. Not a lie, not a truth. I will just ask you one simple questions. Liam would you trust a man who has thrown a party at the day to of your dad's death, and let's not mention that the same man was saved by your dad's killer? A man who knows what weapon was used to kill your dad, a fact that only killer and I should have known — you remember how he was main suspect for a brief time period. The same man is a lawyer of the killer. Would you believe him? “ Lowering his eyebrows slightly he added, his voice lowering more and more and his body became warmer and warmer as he felt his grip on emotions slip. “You probably would, after all your Alpha is firm believer of second chances, isn’t he? It still amazes me how he can forgive you for trying to kill him .... And he has known you only for what, eight months? And yet ... And yet he couldn’t trust me, now have in mind that we grow up together — we were friends since diapers — and he couldn’t do it. But you, Derek, Theo ... He trusted you.”
Scowling furiously at the Liam Stiles whirled around and left the hospital with hurried steps, holding a hand over racing heart. Bundles of memories he kept hidden and never dared to recall rushed to him. Till that day he didn't know how betrayal felt. Didn’t know until the crumpling feeling made itself clear that day. The day when he become desperate for attention, approval, and affection. He remembers how it made him feel nauseous. The way it killed his self-esteem, the trust he held with other people, him. It was like he was on his first roller coaster ride; everything's too fast to comprehend, and as he is plugged down that steep hill his stomach purchased into his throat, choking him and making a huge tangle of organs and intestines. And when the ride ends things are clearer, but everything is still dizzy, and he is a bit numb. Or worse, all his nerves are alive as ever and his senses are heightened. James is wrong. Everyone is wrong.
He never hunted her because she killed his dad — well he kind of did, but it wasn't sole reason why he did it. He haunted her because she killed the only person in world that loved him despite his flaws, the person who trusted him with his life and the person that stood alongside him since the beginning. Without him here he was in constant fear that one day he will awake up and find himself completely alone. Perhaps that is why his body accepted the bite instead of rejecting it. Maybe it thought that if everyone rejects in human form he can live in his animal form, just like Malia did. Though he doubts that all humankind will reject him, he has wife and a man who will spend with him, go against whole world if they have to.
“Wanna some coffee? There was stand in back and you know me always ready to drink coffee — especially when we have to visit the Doctor Alice later on. God, do I hate that stupid woman. Honestly how you — you okay?” James asked eyeing him from the hood of the car. Starbucks coffee in one hand and chocolate in other hand. “ You know we can catch her later on and with this machine way faster — especially if it works this time.” He snickered remembering the failed experiments “But seriously we are going to catch her. Especially now considering we have SEALS by our sides.”
“James what are we?”
Frowning James tilted his head “Why? Did you forget. We are — ah right. We are back on beginning track.”
Stiles lips tugged downwards as he accepted the offered the coffee “Yup.”
“You look awful,” a voice as soft and murmurous as wings filled the room. Stiles relaxed, all tension left his body as the sociopath entered the room. The man was a middle-aged were cheetah with bright brown hair and matching spade beard. The beard was neat and unless you have a good nose you wouldn't be able to tell that man has just eaten soup. He is dressed in one of those uncomfortable looking suits, blue one — his favourite and the lucky charm. There was nothing out of ordinary about him, you would have without doubt guessed that he was one of us — a man who belongs to their universe — and you would have been …. Wrong, so wrong. There is a reason behind “failed - experiment” nickname.
“Had a shitty day,” mustering up a smile he rubbed his hands together “Shouldn't you be with Doc Alice?”
Doc Alice is a person who oversees man's condition and makes sure that he doesn't find out where and who he is. He didn't belong to this time or to this reality, this universe. Stiles doesn't know much about how he came here and how they found him, but he knows that he was unfortunate enough to met him when he was changed and in rage. Unfortunate for him, and fortunately for the doctors. Him biting the man turned tables around and finished the puzzle. What a chair and couple of electric wires attached to it can do. The argument “You bite him, now take care of him,” was better argument than his opinion and dad's displeasure at having to share custody with a man who is manipulated to love Stiles with all his being … Literally .. Now he doesn't know what they did do to him, but whatever they did it left the man unable to love anything but Stiles. Dad never got over it — “He isn't even his biological father or stepfather, for heaven's sake!” — but Stiles loves the attention it comes out it. The man made sure he spends every free second with him, unlike dad who was almost always on the duty.
“I do, but your boss — Larry, wasn't it ?— said I could help you with a project. HTP project or something like that?” He offered him unsure grin, the sharp white teeth gleamed under the room's light. “A big deal. As big as Scorpio monster thing, hopefully it won't end up same as before. But enough about the jobs and things, we have fourteen minutes before it begins. Enough for you to vent out.”
Sitting down on their chair he rubbed his chain. “Well, obviously the plan didn't work, but that is not the shitty part — well, partfully it is. The shittiest part is that I met and ex-pack mate.”
“Ouch,” father winced his hand making circles on Stiles backs. “Did he try to tell you the same thing the Jackass and the abused puppy tried? I know that I don't have a fortunate like I did before but I'm still dangerous and if you need my help to deal with him I will do the hard part.”
“Thanks father,” twisting his lips into loopy smile he looked at his father. “Can you bring me some coffee — my ADHD barely has effect on me? Pretty please?”
Father tilted his head, his forehead smoothed as he debated whatever he was willing to suffer through one of Stiles episodes or not, though Stiles knows it is only for a show. He never denied him anything. “Sure. I well meet you in the lab.”
Standing inside of the pool their eyes focused on the only one thing, a thing that “will” change the world they know. Well, change it for James and the rest of humanity. The pool — yeah, you heard right, the pool — should theoretical teleport a person or object from one place to another. The scientist didn't have positive results yet, but hopefully they will have some soon.
Rubbing his hands together James looked at the Stiles, his eyes gleaming with excitement “Do you think it will work?”
“Well I hope so,” both he and James turned around in unusual fast speed, guns drawn out and pointed at the scoffing woman. “Hold your guns boys. It's I, Isabella.”
Returning the gun to its holster he smiled, the first guinea smile since the tomorrow, at his beautiful wife.
The best thing about this kind of life is married. It's good old tradition that even the first civilization followed. Expect that it's got one decent in it, big enough to throw a cat through, especially when you happen to be married to woman like Isabella. Then its permanent thing.
Thought that is not bad thing, especially since Stiles is still over heels in love with her. Even if she sometimes thinks she is stuck in Blissful ‘Fifties the time with the Family Solidarity Amendment of 1968 and all the divorced taxes they had in that times. He only knows about that because she often emphasized on the divorce tax and the Aggrieved Spouse Compensation Act they had these days. It was amusing to say at the best, annoying at the worst.
He has spent eight years trying to keep her happy, which is exactly five and a half years too long.
Isabella was a dream to look at, with her tawny hair and her sulky eyes and a shape that could set your teeth chattering — but according to Dominance that is where dream stopped.
She has a tongue like a poisonous snake and a list of grievances long enough to paper the bedroom wall. When she wasn't complaining, she was crying, and when she wasn't crying, she was pointing out in chilling detail exactly where Stiles Stilinski fell short as a model husband, which happened to be everywhere. Half of the time she had a “beastly headache” (for which he was personally responsible) and the other half she was sore about something, so ninety-nine per cent of the time they got along like a couple of tomcata in a packing case.
But despite all that Stiles knows they are meant for each other. James and Dominic can say whatever they want but Stiles knows the truth, though it is strange how Hunter can talk to Jane without Alice eating his head. Stiles knows better than to try that. Isabella was already so jealous that he can't even smile at the secretary or his female friends without a twinge of guilt. Give Isabella something real to howl about, and he’ll be ready for the Rehab Center in a week.
“How are you, baby?” Stiles wrapped his arms around her wrist, the tension that he didn't know was there left him the moment she was in his hands. Even though she wasn't like his dad, loving and trusting, he felt safe when he was close to her. “Good. Can't wait to see how this facial recognition pool works.”
He and James shared a quick look as she uttered out their little white lie. On higher-ups orders they told everyone that pool served as something close to more developed security A.l house system. Whatever they believed them or not is up to discussion. For one Stiles knows Isabella recognized the lie for what it is. She was highly intelligent women and Stiles — well, he was always weak when it comes to her — you can guess how much he blushed and shuttered when he told her about the project, and not to mention he made up most disappointing lie in his life. How could he forget that she did know it was a pool, and not machine like others thought it was.
“Tell me, why is this...machine a magical like pool, exactly?” She asked, her brow wrinkling slightly as Stiles nuzzled her. The pool did look magical with the all candles flowing in it, being to only source of light in the room, with red and pink petals covering the blue hue of water. Truly, it looked like something from a romantic movie and not something that has potential to help the world.
“Image if it did something other than the teleportation,” James said, secretive smile dangling on the corner of his lips. “Image if it did. I could go in the past and stop that damn coffee maker from breaking. God, it made the best coffee in the world. I seriously need that back.”
“Whatsoever,” waving her hand in around Isabella looked down at the Stiles, his head resting on the crock of her neck. She squinted at him. “After you are done playing the Romeo we are going to have nice talk about your new secretary.”
Breathing in the lavender smell his wife loved to coat herself in he removed himself from her neck and nodded absently recalling secretary name, Jennifer. Looking at the Jenifer Isabella's corners weren't something to brush off, especially since Jennifer was most gorgeous, second to Isabella and third to Lydia, woman half of the company saw. As a matter of fact, she was better than gorgeous. She was the sort of secretary every business person ought to have in his office. Not to do any work—just to sit there.
Jane was tall and dark, and she could convey more without saying anything than I ever dreamed was possible. The first day she was there, she conveyed to him very clearly that if he cared to supply the opportunity, she'd be glad to supply the motive.
“Of course, honeybear,” James snorted at the nickname and Isabella turned on her Accusing Look #9. “I also hear that she's five-foot-eight and tapes out at 38-25-36 and thinks you're handsome.”
Isabella has quite a spy system.
“She couldn't be much of a secretary,” she added.
“I will fire her if you wish,” Isabella humped smiling. Releasing sigh he mentally patted himself on the back, congratulating himself on well done job.
“That is pity,” James said rubbing the endings of pool. “I liked looking at her backside, if you catch my meaning. Which you do considering how many times you made her bend over to pick something in front of you.
“Look at the time,” pointing at the clock he batted James arm, and hurriedly added before Isabella could explode on him. “We should be going.”
“I have your orders, Mieczysław,” offering the grin to father he made grabby hands at the coffee. A coffee Isabella took from father's outstretched hands and made tasking noise. “I don't know what you think you're doing, but I'm not having you drink coffee. Not unless you wish to sleep on the couch.”
Father's nose flare, his eyes flashed amber and chain pulled inward as he stared intently at the Isabella. He never liked Isabella — mutual feeling — and he made his opinion clear when he could. Since he came in their lives he always had some side remarks about her — whatever it was lack of money [ he tends to forget that both he and Isabella have same wage ] of her tongue, or her plastic surgery, probably her accusing Stiles … Well, everything that she did father put it down as meaningless and something not worthy of attention.
“Oh, okay,” pausing he moves his hand towards Names’ outstretched palm, taking the small but heavy bag out of it. “Come, father. We have a mission to complete.”
Tugging on father's cuff her sending apologizing smile to her, deducing from her frowning face he will be sleeping on the couch whatever he took or not the coffee. Thank you father … And James. Father hastily followed him, fingering his suit. Swimming to the red tilt he frowned when his legs abruptly give out and the world spun around him, the colours blended together, creating whole new speakers of colours that humankind doesn't have name for.
There was a brief but endless sensation of falling.
Something pulled away from him, then came rushing back in explosion of light.
Isabella looked at the James as he pulled leverage after leverage, letting out a bubbling laughter every time he did it. She knows Stiles considers James a friend, — a hard thing to become after what Scott did — and he told him everything. Heck the first person he called after losing his virginity to her was James.
“This new secretary of Stiles how does she behave around him?” James looked at her for second before grinning. “Don't worry at all! You will never have to worry about Stiles cheating on you.”
Stiles blinked back at thunderstorms swarming in his mind, the disjointed haze receding to the point where he could make sense of the world around him. Though the edges of his vision flickered and danced, the center coalesced into a graffiti-splattered garage, all twisted metal and spare parts. The letters seemed to run like fresh paint, and he stumbled with every second step, but he had managed to sit up.
The moment he sits up was moment he fell down back on the bed and his vision blackened.
He could hear noise, loud annoying beeping noise. Of course, there are other sounds — a pitter pattern sound two rooms away, someone singing awfully catchy song — but the beeping was the loudest sound. It could belong to anything, to James’ stupid phone, Isabella’s parrot who likes to inmate everything he hears, but he could recognize this kind of beep-beep sound. His machine of doom, the Batman alarm clock. Throwing hand in directions of the beeping he scrunched his eyes at the bright light sipping through his closed eyelids. Too bright.
Despite the brightness and dizziness he tried to open his eyes. He opened and closed them at least four times and still it felt like he was looking through thick cloud of a mist. On eight blink he could see more clearer. He could see salt blue sales with white windows trim. A plain white table-top desk with no drawer. It looks like an IKEA Hissmon with metal legs. On the desk is a small lamp, printer and a laptop.
The small source of light wasn’t coming from bulb, but whitish lamp in the nightstand. Sitting up he ignored the cracking emitting from his backs. He run his hand through the empty side of the bed, expecting to bump on warm body of his wife, but there wasn’t anything but rounded bundle of blanket. Blinking he looked at the bed than at the room. He was in his old remade room from teenage years, but it was a little bit changed in some way, modern ways. But if he was here than, does that mean that the experiment failed?
Looking at the bed he knitted his eyebrows in a frown, the glow of lamp light and sunlight falling on the blanket shoving the lack of his wife. There wasn’t sign of tawny hair on the pillow in shape of tiara, or the saliva tracking down her mouth. Not that strange, he rarely gets up before her. He never was early riser or a morning person. She was probably in kitchen making coffee, it's Sunday after all.
Shrugging his shoulders he released a breath at the pleasant feeling of rug. Circling his stomach he locked his lips pushing himself off the bed and slowly walking towards the door, carefully to no step on cracking wooden pallets. He needs to fix them later on, or he will fall through the floor and end up in tub. Like James once did. His lips tilted up as he remembered the girlish scream James let out as he fall.
Walking down the stairs he hazily wondered if Isabella removed the picture of them and why, especially why the picture they took when they were at Hawaii — she was drop dead gorgeous in that picture and it was also the happiest memory they shared. The stairs were different too — did she repaint them? — they were obnoxious red before, and now they are muddy brown like ones he had in his old house. And wall they’re white? Isabella painted half of house into the pale purple and white paint, but Stiles could bet all his money that only living room is white and all others were purple.
Entering the kitchen he sniffed the air, expecting the deep fruity, and as smooth as leather smell from the scented candles instead he smelled flowers and old take out. He looked at the kitchen and nothing, beside badly hidden take out, was out of the place. He gazed fondly at the room, the only room Isabella allowed him to decorate it. He walked towards the counter, his eyes taking in all small details — where did she get the stuff, the frames picture of him and dad smiling up at the camera? Didn’t it burn down alongside the house —, before looking at the fridge, searching for green sticker notes.
Strange ...It isn’t Isabella’s fashion. She always makes sure he knows where she is and with who, and if it isn’t with note than it was messenger. Running his hand down the thick fabric of his pants he dug out a phone only to silently look at the phone. It wasn’t his phone — he didn’t have Nokia Kumis 920 Windows since he was ... In high school? ... It might be one of James' pranks. Wouldn’t be first or the last one.
“I’m thirsty,” glancing down at his growling stomach he added “and hungry too. She should be back at at the five O’clock at least, probably gossiping with her friends. What can I make? Okay, lets see what I have in fridge. There is ham and couple of eggs food — I really need to go to shopping soon and till then, I guess ... I will have traditionally James food hearty ham and egg tarts. Should keep me occupied long enough! And help me to come up with an excuse. Why did U accept her job application anyways?”
For next twelve long minutes Stiles drunk the water at least five times, combined many items together, used the dough wrapped in the plastic that he was sure wasn’t there yesterday, but whatever, and finally made the egg tart. Sprinkling Parmesan chees over the top of tart he placed it in the cooker and put up the time.
After couple of the minutes he finally had his meal, and Isabella still hasn’t returned. Glancing at the doors he shrugged his shoulders and sit down on the chair, the laptop ready for the use. He scowled at the laptop. James really levelled up his game, changed the dates, downloaded ancient programs and made modification that Dominican could dream of making .... Wait ... Did he take down the pictures? Isabella is going to kill him. Goodbye, James Stone. May your soul rest in the peace when Isabella finds you.
“Good morning, Stiles.”
Mindlessly trying to find google chrome he hummed “Morning’”.
“You're in way too good mood for someone who was cursing Harris from Heaven to Hell and trying to find excuse to not go school.”
Knitting his eyebrows in a frown he turned to face the speaker and his heart seemed to stop as he looked at the middle-aged man with a lean, athletic building. The short, light brown hair, slightly tanned white skin and hazel eyes he thought he will never see again. Dad ... His dad is standing in front of him, the Sheriff uniform cleaned and neatly hanging off his body as he frowned at Stiles.
“Are you okay?” A voice that sounds like angle choir to him filled the room and Stiles’ hands trembled. Lights flashed across his vision, but he managed to choke out. “I ... Yeah ... I just eat something bad ... I need some water, excuse me.”
He stalked towards the kitchen with hurried steps. The date on the laptop, the ancient program that not even he could have found easily ... The pool, he abruptly thought his heart thumping. He could hear blood passing through his ears — thump, thump, thump — and see his chest moving up and down under two layers of clothing. He noticed that his hands trembled over the sink, and his vision became blurry when he looked at the surroundings.
Suddenly, he was hot and sweaty, so hot and sweaty that he stripped off his shirt and run his face under the cold water. But as soon as his turned the sink, the hand trembling travelled down onto his arms and legs, leaving him unsteady on his feet. His heart seemed to pound even faster, even harder. He tried taking a deep breath to calm himself, but his breaths were sharp and shallow. His vision got darker and narrow and looked kaleidoscope, like when you close your eyes and pressure down on your eyelids to “see stars”.
“Are you sure you're okay?” Dad — he is here, alive and breathing — asked.
“I'm fine ... Just need some water,” Stiles responded in shaky voice, tightness in his chest becoming so pronounced it actually felt like he was being choked.
“If you says so,” there was doubtfulness lanced inside of voice, but he could hear his dad shifting, probably taking one of his divine smelling tarts. He didn’t have time to thank God for dad believing that he is alright as dizziness got stronger, like he has been hanging upside down for hours, tingling legs and numb hands. And then he slowly sank to the floor. He doesn’t know how much time has passed before he was able to get up and steady himself — it could have been thirty seconds or an hour, probably thirty or so seconds since he heard dad yelling “Goodbye, Stiles,” and “Be good, don’t cause any troubles” before doors slammed shut, leaving him alone in the house.
Somehow the pain reduced to being small sharp pain in his chest and down to his right arm, not enough to make it unbearable for him, but enough to judge his pain level somewhere between three or four. He walked back to the living room, glass of water in his shaky hand, and other hand trailing the wall in case he falls down again.
“I should ...” trailing off he sits down on the chair, took deep breath in and out before carefully placing the glass of water down on the table. “I should call father ... See if something happened or I'm just imagining this,” frowning at the phone innocently lying on the table he added “Wouldn’t have been first time I hallucinated something.”
Dialling the number he placed the phone against his ear, and leaned towards to the laptop. Somehow he found a bowers called Mozilla and opened up the tab, Facebook. He hasn’t used Facebook since October 2010, when they found app called Instagram and then the Viber. Inactive, he was showed to be inactive, which is good. No message from quite dead friends and ex-pack mates. Well, unless you count ten new notification — all about Scott commenting or tagging him on something.
“Father!” Straightening his backs he scrolled down easily forgetting the pain from before , focusing on the news — the young face of his past, traitor friends staring back again him, some smiling other stone faced. “Have you ... Can you check your surroundings and the phone? Tell me if you notice anything stranger, unusual.”
“Well, unless you mean the strange dream or the fact my head hurts as if someone whacked me with baseball bat then no,” was the immediate response. Stiles slumped against the chair, blankly staring at the name he wrote on Facebook search ‘Cassie'. Another hallucination it seems, another wishful wish and another strange dream that will push him to work even harder now.
“Mieczysław did you put pictures of us around the house? Because if you did why did you put them face down and not proudly displayed? Oh this one is really nice — although I don’t remember when it was taken.”
“Pictures?” Stiles questioned scrolling down the endless pictures of faro haired women’s “Can you check the dates and the pictures .... Well, you know about the fire that happened on 2014 can you see on Chrome if it's happen?”
“Of co—” father paused. “Mieczysław the ... Why is your Spark phone saying it's 2004. And why is Howard, that lily' piece of shit calling me?”
“Wait my phone is with you?!” Pausing the search he incredulously at the phone. “I get stuck with my old version and you have my phone— never mind. Do you think that pool is time travelling machine? My God, that sounds so stupid! Time travelling pool?!”
“Well,” father paused searching for a right word. “that could be true. Not like it's impossible. Didn’t Derek time travel? Or whatever Kate did to him. If he could do it so can Echoes Doctors. Never thought I wouldn’t be surprise when time travelling hits us on the face.”
“Bingo,” clicking the image of laughing girl he scowled for a second before sending ‘friend request’ to her. “I added Cassie on Facebook. Anyways I assume most of my things are with you. Can you send it back to me somehow? Please? I can’t live without my phone — especially when there is no google on this thing!”
“Wednesday or Thursday? How does that sound?” father asked, the sound of keyboard coming from the phone. “I think I can bring it personally.”
Wednesday ... Suddenly the breathing become harder again and his fingers frozen. “Wednesday ... What day is it?”
“Sunday, he will become werewolf soon. Tonight?”
“I don’t know. The date says 2004, and Scott was bitten on the 9th January 2003. Though I think he isn’t were yet, we don’t have any massages addressing that. I have the haircut I had when I was sophomore.”
“That complicates things. How about you come to Tampa? I will deal with your principle.”
“That would be for best. If we did time travel that it would be best to plan ahead our action or else we will dig a far worse world than before.”
“I will send someone on Tuesday. I'll met you at the usual place and then we will come to Tampa together. Till then I'm going to do some research about the 8-5-12-12 fire and 6-18-1-14-12 — I'm still under how he did it. Living through that fire should have been impossible.”
“And don’t forget Mickey. Was it Mickey?” Biting his lips he pushed the laptop little further himself and leaned back. “Do you think there is change for Scott to stay human? I mean the only reason why he even become the one is me and I ... I ... Uh ... I don’t think I can handle losing my brother for the second time.”
“Hush, mea puer filius,” Stiles suck un the breath, and counted to ten as his father’s unusually soft voice reached him. “You will get him. And you will save him. The most important thing is to not take any actions beside saving Scott till you come in Tampa. I will deal with 6-18-1-14-11 and you deal with Scott. Okay.”
“Be safe Stiles.”
“I will ... I will see you when I see you. Watch out for Howard.”
“See you later and don’t worry I will.”
Ending the call get looked at the laptop mumbling “Talk about the wolf and the traitor shall appear.”
[ Scott McCall ]
→ ? u@, dude? bc u rnt @ my house? U k?
Stiles narrowed his eyes at the text message. He knows he told father he would make sure Scott never becomes, but can he do it? Can he pretend nothing happened? Can he be Stiles, someone who doesn’t worry how he is going to catch a killer or about ambush? Scowling at himself he shook his head. He is never safe, whatever this is past or not. But one thing is correct and that is that Scott won't be problem for five or four days. After all this is autistic Scott, a teenager without supernatural power ups, and obsession over girl out of his league. Blinking he remembered a fact his dad cruelly pointed out. He said that he was one to blame, the one who destroyed the relationship between them ... But, he doesn’t get it. And without doubt he will leave Stiles high and dry if he ever has taste of a game. Stiles has dug out a throne for him to sit on, and then he became a pack clown. Dad was wrong when he placed the blame on his shoulder, and he won't be clown again! Not this time. He will be king this time around.
[ Stiles Stilinski ]
→ Had to eat, heading to your house in sec
“Man, did I miss the short cutting text,” humming one of Isabell's homeland songs he packed couple of tarts and ham for Scott and Melissa, she should be home today. At least he thinks so. Just as he placed the last tart in he frozen. What is this shit? Scrolling down the page he eyed the pictures. Is there even hope for Scott?
[ Stiles Stilinski ]
→ ey I heard two nu students r coming to skl
[ Scott McCall ]
→ 3. Two boys n ur cousin
[ Stiles Stilinski ]
→ My cousin?
[ Scott McCall ]
→ ya, da cute Argent. Dju 4g8?
A day passed since they transferred into 2004. Yesterday he visited Scott, played his part of curious teenager and proved his suspicion. He wasn't sure at the first, but the smell of chocolate chips without a hint of wet dog was a dead giveaway. Still he had to have more firm evidence than that so he circled around the Scott, made him touch silver things and he even brought some mountain ash to check and nothing, he is completely human. But how? He should have been werewolf a year ago! And Laura should have died year ago, but dad got the call yesterday. It gave him reason to talk with Scott and look for signs of him recognizing the tale. He would have stayed longer, but Melissa overheard them and was quite vocal about her opinion on some thing. Might have landed Scott in trouble, but who cares.
“Oh God,” he murmured, and picked up the folded newspaper from the desk. The headline read ; THE UPPER BODY FOUND IN THE WOODS IN 2926 MOUNTAIN VIEW COURT, and the feature story heading volume one detailed the police discover of the upper half of the body, a badly decomposed body. No wonder Scott said he had nightmares about that night, she looks like something taken out from Stephen King’s books. Derek showed him pictures of her and told him stories about his family and he gotta go day this picture did her great injustice.
“The cosmetic patient disappeared. That must be Peter.”
The teapot whistled.
Shirtless, he padded towards the kitchen; as he passed the aquarium he saw that terrible venomous snake was still alive, and this morning it decided to take swim in the “lake” of the aquarium, making tiny. Streams of bubbles that rose to burst to the scummy surface of the water. He paused beside the tank, turned on the light and looked through the drifting eddies of stringed algae. Before going to sleep, he bite it, making sure she won’t die this time around, not after everything it did for survival. It has killed off every other snake in the tank — prettier snakes, friendlier snakes, livelier snakes, even larger and more dangerous snakes — she has killed them all, one by one, and eaten out the eyes. Now it moved alongside large tank and moves around the house alone, ruler of its worthless domain.
Stiles smiled at the snake, dad still thought it was a non venomous snake [ a boa from what he figured out ] and that boas were large enough that their aquarium took over two walls — he was afraid to ask dad how he afford it — and still it didn’t have enough space. “Food Nagin,” throwing a dead bird into the tank he watched as the snake swallowed it in a second before returning to the lake.
In the kitchen, bent over the boiling water, he understood that while Scott is probably still same as ever he wasn’t. He was probably somewhere near the rotting putter ending of sanity, he could smell it foulness on the wind, coming in from the horizon; and like some wild animal rolling its eyes at the scent of the cartoon and the feeders thereon.
He carries the teapot, a cup and two tea bags to the kitchen table and sat down. Propped open on a plastic stand used for keeping cookbooks handy while mixing ingredients, the Mayan Codex translations remained unread from the evening before. He poured the water, dangled the tea bags in the cup and tried to focus his attention. The references to Itzamna, the chief divinity of the Maya pantheon, and medicine, his chief sphere of influence, blurred. Ixtab, the goddess of suicide, seemed more apropos for this morning, this deadly terrible morning. He tried reading, but the words only went in, nothing happened to them, they didn’t sing. He sipped tea and found himself thinking of the chill, full circle of the Moon. He glanced over his shoulder at the kitchen clock. Five forty-four.
He shoved away from the table, taking the half-full cup of tea, and went into the bedroom. The impression of his body, where it had lied in tortured sleep, still dented the bed. There were clumps of blood-matted hair clinging to the brown headboard. He rubbed his wrists where it was pierced by something. Checking the phone he sent his father a “good morning” massage — good news! He found the reason why it date read 2004 instead of 2011. The reality blended in with the movie his father is from – Punisher from 2004. He still doesn’t know whatever is that a good thing or a bad one.
His wristwatch lay on the desk. He checked it. Five forty-six. Slightly less than an hour and a quarter to make the meeting with the Scott. He went into the bathroom, reached inside the shower stall and turned the handle till a fine needle-spray of icy water smashed the tiled wall of the stall. Letting the water run, he turned to the medicine cabinet for his shampoo. Taped to the mirror was his dad’s finger bandage on which two lines had been neatly typed, in capitals:
Then, opening the cabinet, removing a plastic bottle of herbal shampoo that smelled like friendly, deep forests, Stiles resigned himself to the situation, turned and stepped into the shower, the merciless ice-laden resigned himself to the situation, turned and stepped into the shower, the merciless ice-laden waters of the Arctic pounding against his tortured flesh.
“Hello.” He answered the phone, the laptop opened and showing the messages as familiar man’s voice responded “Good morning, Stiles.”
He paused and said “Mr. Argent? How can I help you?”
“Well, you know how Allison will be going to your school now so I thought —”
“Don’t you worry, Mr. Argent! I will make sure she is welcome and if not well, nobody can blame me if I pull a gun.”
With smell of tea leaves and forest training after him, he drove off the house, of course after he prepared health, doctor approved breakfast for dad. Turning on the radio he glanced at it when Queens of the Stone Age — “Go with the Flow” emitting from it. Good song, but too classy.
“Stiles Stilinski,” answering on the phone his lips formed a grin that threatened to split his face when another more squeak voice said “Scott McCall.”
“Going by bicycle or should I pick you up?” He asked. At the this year Scott should have his motorbike, but considering how everything is happening too late he would drive the bicycle.
“Nah,” Stiles chuckled when he heard the distance sound of metal hitting the floor. “Pick me up. Where should I wait for you?”
“How about the path next to your house?” Looking around the streets, he briefly scowled when he saw the familiar brown haired teen boarding underneath the tree’s shadows. “The traffic is good today and I’m close to your house, so I should be there in minutes or two weeks could talk until I get there. I mean we have English then Chemistry with Jackson. Gosh — I can’t believe that piece of shit is still working at our school.”
“While we are at it, I have a question. Why does Harris hate you?”
“Daddy dearest caught him with a pot,” taking a sharp turn to the left, he thought about the message his other father left him. It would be nice if he could make Harris disappear. “I’m still wondering how he didn’t lose a job the moment he was busted. Are you seriously wearing my red riding hood sweater? I was wondering where I put it this whole morning. Dude, you should have told me it’s with you, btw, it looks super cute on you!”
Laughing as he ended the call before Scott could say anything and parked in front of scarlet red Scott — he forgot the excitement that comes to teasing Scott and watching the way his lips become fuller and his face gets the tingling red colour in them. Though he had to admit the blackish pants and Stiles red hood sweater really didn’t suit him nicely. He forgot that before Scott got tangled up with Allison they used to share everything, from clothes and shoes to the games and phones. They were brothers in all sense, but the blood. Shame that it will change in two or three years, give or take.
“Shut it,” growling softly Scott tugged on his sweater, his eyes shifting over the place before he entered the jeep and closed the doors quickly. “Woah dude, what got your pants on twist?”
“A half body found too close to my house for my comfort,” leaning over the seat Scott flung his backpack in the backseat. “I’m so freaking glad we didn’t go to the woods, not thanks to you, Mister Sherlock!”
“Hey! I was one who told you to stay in the house,” Stiles pointed out in-matter-of-the fact voice.
Scott half heartedly glared at him before rolling his eyes. “You’re also the one who suggested we go into the forest! We could have died!”
“Kay word ; could,” abruptly Stiles frowned. “By the way did you hear any howling?”
“Howling? No, although i can tell you after i’m done with my job. There will be howling without doubt.”
“Yeah, taking care of cats and dogs and stuff.”
Scott faced him, his eyebrows knitted in a frown and his hands rubbed the keens. “What is strange about it? You already know that I work at the vet care.”
“You have the night shift, and well, I thought Dr. Alan would give you a couple of free days, considering there is murderer prowling around the Beacon Hills. Perhaps he thought you were safer away from home at the night, since the body was found in the forest. Although I doubt because both your house and the vet clinic is close to each other, therefore close to potential serial killers. Oh, here we are, good day school and the rest of small bastards, I wish that were dead but sadly aren’t. Come on, there should be new student today!”
Getting outside the jeep he looked at the school. For the school of this year it missed a lot of modern facilities such as good laboratories, a library with more books and nicer librarian, a vast playground that doesn’t only serve for playing lacrosse.
The school building is situated in the middle. There is a motorway leading from the main entrance. The playground is on the left of the motorway and a big garden on the right. When you enter the building, the principal’s room is on the left. There are twenty classrooms. Most of the laboratories were missing some things, sometimes it was microscope and sometimes it was other far more important things than cheap microscope. But the biggest the problem the school has is-
“Do you think they will come in there?” Turning around, he faced pale Scott, who was now toying with his inhaler. “I mean the body parts were found in the forest… right? Right. So if I don’t come out of the building they won’t try and kill me right?”
“Kill you,” Scott jumped up a little as new, annoyingly familiar voice scoffed from behind them. “I doubt anyone would waste their time on you, McCall.”
Rolling his eyes at the Jackson Stiles turned to Scott, his lips pursued when he took in Scott’s face. It was tense and slightly contorted, his eyebrows are knitted, and the forehead is furrowed. Perhaps he shouldn’t have brought Peter in the talk. He thought that past him, the naive him, would do something like that to create a more relaxed air around them, but all he did was make Scott upset and afraid.
Relaxing with his eyes and making his lips appear full Stiles offered, “I will come with you. I don’t think I have anything planned for tonight and dad has given me something that would alert police if I press it.”
Taking hold of his jacket Scott led him far from Jackson and into the hallway full of staking, hormone emitting teenagers. “Are you sure you could come with me tonight? Won’t your dad need you?”
Waving hand in the nonchalant manner he smiled. “Dad is working night shift today, and as I said before, I don’t have anything planned for today.”
“Yeah,” biting his lips Scott’s brown eyes shifted around the room, taking in the scene if blending colours ad teens moved by each other, some in great hurry and other not, “but you must understand that I...uh… don’t have money to pay you up.”
“Scotty – boy, when have I ever asked money from you? Let me answer you, never, and this time it is no different. We are friends and not to mention if we are separate I will probably spend the night under blanket holding a bet while hoping that even the slightest noise doesn’t mean the murder is in my house.” Pausing he added after thought “Will make many prayers too.”
“I would be in cage alongside Roxy. She’s a guardian dog, half wolf if I remember correctly, and very protective over me.”
“Miss. Donovan’s dog?” He forgot that Donovan will be alive and well, and in school with him, causing trouble. His death was one of the reasons why Stiles weren’t in pack anymore, the reason Scott never looked at him with eyes that scream ‘friend, brother’, instead he looked wary of him. Like he was expecting Stiles to go on rampage any minute now, even though Stiles were the last dangerous member of the pack. But then again, they do say that the real monsters are humans. “I almost didn’t believe she could hurt a fly until I saw her on street fight.”
Scott pursed his lips and shook his head, the smell of sadness filling the air “Yeah, poor Roxy.”