I'm sitting in a corner of the loft, where the sunshine is flickering through a dust covered window and bathing the cold floor in yellow. My knees are drawn up to my chest and I have my arms wrapped around them while my forehead presses into my kneecaps. I'm squeezing my thighs tightly in hopes that I can pull myself together that way—that cradling my body would help me hold cracking pieces of my sanity together. But it's not working. I can feel the slivers beginning to crumble bit by bit and as they fall, their remnants trickle into wounds that I thought had healed a long time ago. The particles that sprinkle down to the ground make the gashes sting and me outwardly cringe. I do my best to muffle sobs but know that a few ring out in the empty apartment.
Across the room from me is Derek, where's he's been sitting ever since I cowered into this corner. Every once in a while I'll hear the scuff of his shoes or a long sigh leave his lips, but I don't ever get the courage to look up at him. I just squeeze myself tighter and try to shut out the image of the monster-like face he'd flashed me briefly.
The secret he'd just revealed is still running through my mind and just when I think that I've come to terms with it, a new flare of frightened panic rises up till I think I might faint.
For the past hour or two I've been trying to work out what I should do now. There are still holes in the events that have ran through my life suddenly in the past few weeks, even with Derek's admittance of being a supernatural creature. Certain things, like Laura's death and his blaming of me for that, don't make sense at all, no matter how long I calculate everything. But others, such as the good vet Dr. Deaton aiding Derek when he was sick, click together effortlessly.
In between all of that, I'm also still grappling with the decision of whether or not to trust Derek. I know that revealing a secret his entire family had worked to keep from me must've been hard. The love and respect he had for each of them was something I know that no one will ever really be able to grasp, it is that great. He had chosen to tell me something that could put their memory into jeopardy, though. For all he knew, I could leave this shabby complex right now and run to sheriff Stilinski with this news. I would never, though—I couldn't do something like that to Laura or Mrs. Hale. They were my family too.
And then a realization dawns on me so hard that it makes my heart thud even more erratically in the cage of my chest. Derek knew he could trust me with this secret, otherwise he wouldn't have even risked telling me, and if he trusts me with something as monumental as his family of secretive werewolves, then he must believe in me more than he was willing to admit to either of us.
Does this change things? For a second I think no, because his threat from a few weeks ago still pulses in the front of my brain and this Derek was much too different from the one I'd ever been around before. Then, however, I counter with the thought that he'd had several opportunities to murder me. We'd been sitting here for hours now and he hadn't even moved so much as an inch from where he'd dropped earlier.
My heart starts to pick up its pace even more as I think about the choices I have to pick from now. I know that I must choose one—that I can't just abandon him and make a run for it. He needed someone, his tense shoulders and sad, sad jade green eyes a perfect display of that very fact, and I was all that was left. I want to be safe, though. I don't want to fling myself into a situation that might snag the last thread of my life into and end up tumbling off the edge of a cliff that I felt like I'd been risking jumping off of ever since news of Laura's death had reached me.
I decide that starting with my questions is best. I can ask them from here and it's a slow start that will, hopefully, help me warm to the idea of finally diving head first in the black, bottomless pool that was Derek and I's friendship.
My back aches a little when I finally sit up and some of my hair is sticking to my cheeks, thanks to the tacky wetness of my drying tears. I sniffle while trying to fix myself, only glancing up once I'm sure that I won't wobble over at the first sight of Derek in hours.
"I…" I begin, faltering when his jade orbs lock on me. A heat pools in the pit of my stomach again while my fingers tremble. The urge to scoot closer to him, to hide myself in his burly body and take refuge in his warm skin, hits me so hard that I gasp. When Derek's expression turns to a glare that he directs to the floor, I clear my throat and stare down at my hands. "I don't understand why you'd blame for… For her death."
Minutes tick by as I wait for an answer. After a while I give up on thinking that he's going to even reply to me and start to dig around through the other questions I have. But just as I open my mouth to ask the next one, he starts to talk.
"There are other things you don't know about," he says, tone low, his words almost growling.
"Like what?" I ask.
Peering at him curiously now, I'm unable to help myself.
"Dangerous things," he mutters.
"Dangerous people?" He nods. "Did one of them kill Laura?" Another nod. "Was it because she was a… Because she was like you?" This time, a growl ripples out, and I don't need anything else. I know.
I can't help the tears that cloud my vision. My friend had been murdered because she was something from an urban legend and whether I could accept what Derek had told me about himself and his family or not, I would never think that they needed to be burnt alive. I had loved them all before and I still did now, supernatural alter egos be damned.
"Why would they do that?" I ask.
I try to sound strong, but my tone is fragile and I know Derek realizes I've been crying, if he hadn't already.
He glances up to look at me and his expression softens.
"Because they hate our kind. They think we're dangerous—that we're murderers," he murmurs.
The question slips out before I can think and my eyes widen a little as does Derek's. But he manages to fix his expression quicker than I'm able to do mine, looking back down to the floor as I draw in a steadying breath.
"No, we're not," mutters Derek.
"But what do those people have to do with me?"
"I thought you were one of them."
My eyebrows furrow at this. I don't understand, especially seeing as I'd spent the majority of my life in the dark about my best friend and her family's private double life.
"Why would you think that? How could you… I loved Laura. She was my best friend. I would never… I can't even imagine—"
Derek cuts off my rambling softly. "I know," he whispers. "I didn't then, but I do now."
"Is that why you hated me so much when you came back?"
Sniffling, I tuck tendrils of my hair behind my ear and settle against the wall, trying to make myself more comfortable. I want to be beside him, not halfway across the room, but I'm too shy and uncertain to cross the floor to where he's still sitting.
"Yea. And my family. I thought you did them, too."
"What?" I exclaim.
"I know it wasn't you now," he explains.
"Why would you ever think that I would hurt them? That I could murder your family?"
"I knew it was her. Then, in the back of my mind, I knew Kate had started the fire," he states matter-of-factly, though his tone grows softer towards the end of his sentence and he settles his gaze back on the floor. He stares at something only his pretty eyes can see. "But then, I wanted it to be you too. You were… I had feelings that I wasn't supposed to, not when I had Kate. And you were always so close, Rosalie." At this, he glances back up at me, his tone transformed into a low groan. I'm frozen, left to do nothing but stare at him and fight the fire rumbling in the pit of my stomach. "I thought you were trying to tempt me on purpose, trying to get me to touch you and kiss you because you were going to be the distraction while Kate set me on fire too.
But you came to the hospital that night and I swear I thought you were going to pass out. Then Laura and I left, and she said that there was no way that you could ever do that—she said that you were in love with me and it had nothing to do with Kate. It took me until a few days ago to believe her."
My face is heating up as embarrassment floods through my system. Derek's words have destroyed everything inside of me and I can't do anything but stare over at him. My body is twitching silently, though, as if begging me to give up and finally run over to him. The desire gets so strong that I have to dig my nails into my thigh in order to stop myself.
Kate's face, though, pops into my mind and my eyes widen at the realization that she, a person who'd been so close to me, had murdered nearly all of the Hale's. I don't want to believe that she would do something like that. True, I'd always thought it was cold of her to not come to the hospital that night, but that had been as far as my judgment had gone. I'd never suspected that she was capable of doing something so horrific.
"Why didn't you or Laura ever tell me any of this before?" I whisper, unable to make my tone any louder.
Derek swallows and I think I see his eyes float down to my lips before snapping over to the window I'm sitting to the left of.
"Leaving was our best option then. We'd lost our entire pack, we didn't know who'd attacked us, and we had no idea if they were going to come at us again. I wanted to kill you before we left, but Laura threatened to break my leg if I ever touched you." He pauses here and lets a brief smile splay across his lips. I can't help it and one also stretches onto my face. "So we decided to leave you with nothing and hoped you'd be left alone."
I feel like I've been emptied of everything suddenly. Derek speaking of how he'd wanted to kiss me and touch me has seemingly done something that I've been attempting to do for the last few weeks: rid me of my panic, terror, and sadness. But they're not totally gone. I can still feel it all pulsing threateningly just underneath the surface. However, for right now, I'm free. I can breathe easily again and my heart beats as it should.
I'm lost, though. I don't know where to go after finally having the dots connected and all the blank spaces filled in. I've gotten my answers, know all about the darkness that has always been threatening to push into my life, and don't know which path to take next.
"What now?" I whisper.
I don't realize it till the words are already out of my mouth, but I've chosen to trust him again, otherwise where I go from here wouldn't have been left up to him. It's not disorientating or scary. I don't start to panic nor do I feel like I need to run away anymore. I just feel like I want Derek to take me by the hand and lead me onto the next level because I can't find the way to do that myself.
Finally, he looks down from where the window pane had been holding his gaze and allows his orbs to drop onto my face. I stare back when he locks eyes with me, trying to be uncaring in the fact that I know my cheeks are red and that our staring is doing nothing but fanning the flames roaring inside my stomach.
He takes a deep breath that seems to travel up from his chest and exhale out of his mouth before skimming his gaze down to where his big hands are resting lifelessly in his lap. For a few minutes he fumbles with his thick fingers and I just watch him. He let me have my time, so I would do the same with him.
"What do you want to do now, Rosie?" he asks, looking up again.
I try not to smile at hearing my old nickname being used again, having to fold my lips in on themselves in order to prevent myself from doing so. But my eyes swell up and then I know that I've been betrayed. Derek's face brightens a little after that.
"I don't know what there is to do now, to be honest. I'm… I'm lost," I confess.
"We could start again," he tentatively says. "Go back to before I threatened to… To when I said I'd hurt you. If you can, we can forget that and just go from there."
I hadn't thought that that Derek would suggest we move on together. I'd wanted him to lead me to the start of a path, but I'd never thought he'd willingly walk along with me.
Before I manage an answer, Derek is standing and coming towards me. He extends a hand when he gets a couple of feet away and rakes his orbs over me as I stare up at him. When I place my hand into his big palm, he clasps his fingers over it, holding tightly while helping me to my feet.
I try to fix my clothes while I feel his breath pushing over the top of my head. He's peering down at me, with his other hand hovering cautiously by my left hip. Swallowing after realizing what he wanted, I step into him and melt into his body as his arms come around me.
"I missed you, Rosie," he whispers.
"I missed you too, Derek," I reply.
Authors Note: Hi ya! Again, this is another chapter that most of you lot has probably already read. But! As I've mentioned, I'm going about posting all the ones I stupidly deleted so long ago so that I can post new ones. Enjoy!