Disclaimer: I own nothing. All characters and places belong to Jeff Davis.

AN: All those waiting for updates on my other stories – I'm sorry! I keep getting plot bunnies and this happens, and… yeah. But I hope you guys enjoy this, and please, let me know what you think.

Linette stared at her best friend's sister in disbelief.

"You're what?" she deadpanned. Beside Laura, Derek winced. He knew that tone. So did Laura. But the new Alpha merely rolled her shoulders and looked the younger girl in the eyes.

"We're leaving. I want you to stay here and look after Peter."

Linette snorted.

"Like I would be able to leave regardless. I still live with my parents, Laura. They wouldn't let me hightail it out of the state with the two of you. And if I'm taking care of Peter, then the house needs to be rebuilt, with several modifications to the design. I'll also need a way to look after him, go to school, and hold down a job. I won't bother trying for college, but I'm at least finishing high school." She told the elder wolf sternly. She was keeping her emotions in check. She wouldn't break down, no matter how much she wanted to. Her Alpha was abandoning her, and so was her best friend. Her only consolation was that the hunters had gone once the fire department had arrived at the house. At least they were leaving her Peter – she wasn't completely an Omega. Derek reached out and grabbed her hand, jerking her into his arms.

"I'm sorry." He breathed into her hair. She shook her head, hugging him back tightly.

"Not your fault." She meant this in more ways than one. The boy had confessed to her, little under an hour ago, that he had been involved with Kate Argent, and had inadvertently given her all the information she needed to destroy their pack. But Linette didn't blame him. Kate was older, and had probably tricked far wiser men than Derek. He hadn't been the same since the death of his girlfriend. He tightened his arms around her and she whimpered at the guilt and self-loathing she could feel coming off him in waves. When he finally released her, she turned on Laura with fire in her eyes.

"Take care of him." She ordered fiercely. Laura nodded. She turned back around and kissed Derek's cheek, then turned to face the hospital, nodded to Laura, and walked inside without looking back at either of them.

A few days later, she got a call from the Hales' lawyer telling her she'd been given power of attorney over Peter. A week later, she got another call from a contractor, asking her to meet him up at the ruins of the old Hale house. He was being paid to rebuild the place, but needed her input on the design before he could begin working. So she told him exactly what she wanted done. The old tunnels were filled, and new ones created. There was a fire and water proof bunker. Then there was another call. This one from the bank. An account had been set up in her name, with $10,000 in it. She was wanted at the bank to discuss what to do with it. She ended up investing through the bank, with strict orders to pull out if anything looked like it was about to tank. Peter's hospital bills were being paid for by Laura, according to the lawyer and the hospital. Of course, he wouldn't be in the hospital after Linette graduated. She would take him home and care for him. She refused to chance him being vulnerable to hunters any longer than necessary. Two years later, she was a live-in nurse, with a part-time job at a local café and no social life. Everything was fine for the next four years. Until the Alpha came.