|Debt to Settle
Author: gengen0776 PM
Derek has an old debt to settle. A simple babysitting job seems like an easy way to settle up. But then nothing ever is as easy as it seems and Derek finds paying this debt will be much more than he bargained for.lmfaRated: Fiction T - English - Derek H. & Stiles - Chapters: 16 - Words: 26,303 - Reviews: 34 - Favs: 9 - Follows: 22 - Updated: 01-05-13 - Published: 10-28-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8651898
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Special thanks to Shay for reviewing EVERY chapter! You rock! Sorry for the day tardiness on this chapter I was on an epic Nano writing quest this weekend!
Derek pulled up to the gate of Rowan's house, his mind still processing Peter's comment about a war between the Argents and the Brethren. Why would hunters want to kill each other? Just one more question to add to the growing list and there was only one person who might give him some answers. Pulling out his phone he dialed Rowan's number.
"You'd better not be calling to tell me you failed."
Derek closed his eyes, concentrating on the sounds coming from the house beyond the gate. Becca's heartbeat was sluggish but steady, her breath even and he knew she was resting as he'd suggested. "I need some answers."
"Don't we all," Rowan chuckled wryly. "What answers are you looking for exactly?"
"What the hell am I supposed to be protecting this girl from?" Derek demanded. "And why am I protecting someone who, according to her obituary, died over two weeks ago?"
"The obituary is part of her protection, like witness protection" Rowan replied as though it were obvious. "And you should be protecting her from everything."
"So, you faked her death and her fiancé, Luke's. By the way, you should tell your boy, part of witness protection is laying low and not getting arrested for drunk and disorderly."
"Luke and the Brethren are none of your concern. Becca is," Rowan reminded. "So, I'd suggest you stop digging into our business before the Brethren makes you theirs."
"You can't expect me to protect her without knowing what I'm up against. Things like what the deal is between your Brethren and the Argents. Aren't you supposed to be on the same side?"
"It's not the Argents, but those they work with that we have a problem with…although there are a few Argents I wouldn't mind having on the sharp end of my fangs. But then, I think you beat me to that."
Derek grimaced at the reminder of how Scott had used him to kill Gerard Argent. Somehow it always felt like he was being used by someone. First Peter, then Scott and now Rowan. And although everyone seemed to believe he'd bitten Mrs. Argent, he hadn't. His only thought at the time was to protect Scott, that was true but he would never bite an Argent and make himself public enemy number one to the hunters. The only way to clear his name would be to find the unknown Alpha who had framed him and offer him up to the Argents. "I didn't kill Mrs. Argent. Someone else did, and left me to take the blame."
"We may have a common enemy, then."
"Why would he be after Becca?" Derek asked, trying to see the connection. Had the same werewolf attacked Becca? Was that what had happened to her? It seemed unlikely she'd been bitten. Derek had never seen the bite weaken a person; it either killed them within a matter of days or strengthened them. "Why me? Why get me to protect her? Wouldn't she be safer with your hunters, with her fiancé?"
"She's safer with someone who understands a wolf's mentality."
Derek pulled his car onto the grounds and secured the gate behind him. He stood a moment at the gate, scanning the road and wooded area across for signs of the other wolf. Derek didn't think the wolf would be hanging around, waiting to be spotted after the fire. The fire was a scare tactic. He wanted Becca to know he could get to her and he would let that fear play on her a while. Of course, Becca didn't scare easily.
Derek turned away from the gate, his hands grazing along the brick wall as he walked the perimeter. He caught the faint scent of another wolf as he rounded back to the front of the grounds. It was about twenty feet from the gate and had a direct line of sight of the living room windows. Derek jump atop the wall with ease, surveying the house. He could easily see into the windows from this height. The wolf's scent was stronger here and Derek knew he had waited for the moment when his message would have the most effect.
Derek turned to survey the trees across the street again. Now that he had the scent, he moved to follow it, hoping it would lead him to some clue about who the wolf was. As he pressed forward and the air pressure seemed to change around him, leaving him disoriented. He shook his head, trying to clear it. The wall shifted beneath him and he lost his footing, falling back onto the grounds, the wind knocked out of him. What the hell was that?
Derek pushed through the front door, hunched over, hand holding his side. He wasn't sure what had just happened but he was pretty sure he had a few broken ribs. He took a breath, straightening up as he entered the living room.
"What the hell are you?" Becca demanded as he breached the threshold, gun pointed at him in one hand and stake in the other.
Derek held up his hands, forcing his gaze from the gun to her face. "Becca, listen why don't you put the gun away?" he suggested in a calm voice. The last thing he wanted was to get shot. Sure he would heal, but he'd be sore for at least a week. "I know you're on edge after what happened this morning, but I'm here to protect you, not to hurt you." He held out his hand for her to give him the gun and took a step forward,
"Don't," she warned, leveling the gun at his face. "I saw you jump onto the wall." She nudged her head at the window. "And now I'm watching a cut heal on your cheek." Derek's fingers moved to his cheek and came away feeling sticky. "So what is it? Are…are you a vampire?" she demanded, her voice faltering.
Derek shook his head. He could hear the laboured staccato of her heart even as she forced her breathing to remain even. "I'm not a vampire," he assured. She studied him, searching for some sign of whether he was lying.
"But you're not human," she choked out, the stake dropping from her hand, apparently satisfied he wasn't lying. She held the gun with both hands trying to keep it steady without looking like she was struggling.
"I'm a quick healer," Derek replied simply and with a burst of speed was beside her, snatching the gun from her hand. "And even faster on my feet."
He moved away from her to the leather arm chair she'd occupied earlier while she stayed rooted in place, glaring at him. "Look, if I was going to try to hurt you, don't you think I'd have done it while you were sleeping?" He motioned to the couch behind her. She sat down without a word her arms crossed over her chest and continued to glare at him. "So, what makes you so sure whoever set the fire did it from behind the gate? They could've climbed over the wall, it's not that high."
"Because I know a human didn't set the fire."
"I'd doubt a simple brick wall and gate could keep something supernatural out." Derek frowned, but it wasn't a simple brick wall. He remembered that first night with Rowan. How the vampire had boasted about carving the sigils himself. "Is it some kind of spell?" Becca remained silent her jaw set, her eyes filled with distrust. "You were sure I'd left the gate open," Derek mumbled, pushing up from the chair and moving to the window. He looked at the gate again. From close up you didn't notice it, but from farther away he could clearly see the metal bars of the gate created a sigil like the ones carved into the bricks. "It's a protective circle of some kind." He turned back to Becca, but didn't need her confirmation. It made sense that Rowan would know how to do something like that. "Closing the gate closes the circuit."
"You're a regular Sherlock Holmes. So glad you got your answers," Becca muttered, her gaze flitting from the stake on the floor to glower at Derek. "It doesn't exactly tell us what set the fire, does it? For all I know you're working with whatever it is."
"Do you really think Rowan would have left you here with me if he thought I was a threat?"
"For all I know, Rowan set the fire."
"So this is all some elaborate ruse by Rowan? Why the hell would he set a fire and try to scare you?"
"Maybe he wants to cut his losses," Becca suggested, pushing up from the couch and standing with her back to Derek. "Maybe he realized there's no fixing me and what use is a hunter who can't hunt, a hunter who needs protecting?" She turned to look at him again. "All this just happens to start when he leaves? And you aren't exactly on Beacon Hills' most stand-up citizen list. It would be easy to pin this on you."
"Maybe, you're right."