Hi everyone. Sorry I failed on updating as frequently as I wanted to. I teach High School so it became difficult for me to find time once classes started. Anyway, here is another short story for all you lovelies. This chapter kind of intrigued me however and I'm thinking of turning it into a full length novella. Let me know if you'd be interested.

Chapter 4: The Pack

Dad had said something about the Cabal eventually meeting up with us. He had said that when they did we would be in for something beyond what the Edison Group was like. According to my Dad the Cabal wasn't likely to let us get away so easily this time. If they found us, which was inevitable, they would want to get custody of Chloe in particular. He said they'd probably just want me dead. Not much use for a genetically modified werewolf. Of course my Dad was always the optimistic type. He said he had a couple of connections throughout the supernatural world that would most likely aide us if need be.

That was where we were heading now. It was why most of us were quiet in the back of the van. Not because we were heading off to a stranger's home, but because the home we were headed to happened to somehow be affiliated with a Cabal. Simon had not stopped asking questions once we got in the van, and with every reply from my Dad I shifted uncomfortably in my seat. It was only Chloe's reassuring hand on my knee that kept me from leaping to the front seat and stopping us from pending doom.

"So how do you know her then?" Simon asked again from the front.

"I told you, Simon, we had a run in a few years ago." Kit started, "Paige isn't the typical witch. She helps people like us. Her husband is a Cortez…part of a Cabal. They promised to help protect you children while Lauren and I go look for some further clues with another mutual contact."

"Well it sounds like another trap to me." Simon muttered, turning to cast me and Chloe a look. Tori was sleeping soundly in the far back of the van.

Kit sighed, pulling the van onto the off ramp. "I don't expect you guys to take this easily. After everything the Edison Group has pulled it probably does sound like another trap." We stopped at a red light and Dad turned around to look between all of us again. "Can you guys trust me on this one?"

"Ok." I didn't realize I had been the one to say it until Chloe looked up at me with wide eyes.

"You can't be serious, Derek!" Simon chimed up, "Out of anyone of us you should be the most skeptical."

I shrugged, "I trust Dad. If he says these people won't hurt us then I trust them." Well, trust was a very loose term. Basically what I meant was that I wouldn't attack them if they dared look at any of us in the wrong way.

The rest of the car ride was spent in silence as we drive through the quiet streets towards our final destination. Somewhere within the last twenty minutes Chloe had fallen asleep against my shoulder. Lauren and Dad whispered a lot in the front while Simon continued to stare out the window of the van. He looked less then pleased.

About an hour later we were pulling up in front of a quaint looking house. For some reason I had half expected to pull up in front of an old warehouse or some place that looked like a secret laboratory. Before we even managed to get out of the van the front door was opening and a very pretty woman was coming down the steps towards us. My protective instincts went up immediately and I pushed Chloe behind me just incase this wasn't exactly everything Dad had said it was going to be.

"Kit," the woman smiled and held out her hand for a shake, "I'm glad you finally made it. I hope there was no trouble."

My Dad smiled back and began shaking his head, "No, we weren't followed. I made sure of it by taking an extra long route."

The woman nodded again and then turned towards the group of us. For a second her eyes lingered on Simon and then she turned to Lauren; extending her hand again. "You must be Lauren. Kit told me about you while we spoke over the phone."

Lauren looked a bit taken back by this, but returned the gesture with her own smile. "Thanks so much for taking us in like this, Paige." Lauren then waved her hand towards the van. I still felt overly protective of everyone so I shoved the lot of them behind my massive form.

Dad just laughed a bit, "And this is obviously Derek." He gave me a look that told me to stop acting like some sort of soldier. "Come on now Derek…"

I didn't want to move away from them, especially because I had no idea who this person was or how far I could trust her. After all we had trusted Andrew and that turned out to be a disaster. I felt Chloe shove me from behind and reluctantly I moved forward to where my Dad and Lauren were standing.

"This is my son, Derek." He introduced me to Paige first and then did the quick go around before Paige began escorting us into the house. Everyone hustled forward, ready to be taken into a warm safe house; I grabbed for Chloe's hand and pulled her back towards me.

"What?" She giggled a bit as her tiny frame crashed against my larger one.

I sighed, eyes going up to scan Tori as she was the last person to slip into the house. "I just don't like this. I mean-" I held my breath.

Chloe met my gaze and gave me that soft small smile that I knew she saved just for me. "You don't trust them do you?" She reached up and brushed my hair out of my eyes, "Don't you trust your Dad?"

I shrugged again, "I don't know who to trust." I could see the hurt wash immediately across her face. "No, I mean I trust you and Simon…even Tori. I just don't know if I can ever trust anyone else." I lowered my eyes and stared at a spot on the driveway.

"You'll never stop worrying, will you?" She perched herself up on her tiptoes and kissed my jaw. "Come on…my Aunt's likely to come out here in a panic thinking we've been kidnapped again." She shrugged on my hand and for some reason I let her drag me up the rest of the driveway and into the house.

When we got inside I expected to see my Dad and everyone still settling into Paige's hospitality. Instead I was met by the sight of Tori and another girl sprawled on the floor in what looked like some childish hair pulling fight.

"Savannah you need to stop!" Paige was yelling; a man running down the stairs and finally pulling the other girl off of Tori.

"I don't want another witch here, Paige!" Savannah yelled and struggled against Lucas' grip.

"And I don't want to share a room with a self absorbed spoiled rotten-" Tori was brushing her shirt off, but before she could finish her sentence Lauren was clamping her hand over Tori's mouth.

I knew before anyone told me that Savannah was also a witch. Just the way she glared at Tori had me questioning whether or not the girl was safe to be around. Again I instinctively pushed Chloe behind me. I didn't realize that it was something I'd probably be doing for the rest of my life; protecting her that is.

The commotion died down as soon as Savannah got a good look at me but before any introductions could be given the girl snorted back a laugh and pointed in my direction.

"Does Jeremy know your harboring a werewolf, Paige?" She cast the older woman a look.

Paige sighed, "Savannah there are bigger things going on then letting Jeremy know about Derek."

Savannah seemed to size me up, "Derek, hm…" She looked over me again, and then turned towards Paige. "I'll be in my room." And that was that. The girl turned and went up the staircase without so much as another word.

Paige shook her head, "Sorry about Savannah. She's a little territorial."

My Dad merely nodded and then moved us all into the sitting room so he could talk privately with the other adults in the kitchen. We all mutely agreed to his wishes and settled into the room where the soft warm couches were far more welcoming then the crowded van we'd been traveling in.

"Are you ok" Chloe's whispered voice pulled me out of my thoughts.

I gave her half a shrug.

Simon and Tori had begun arguing about what to watch on the television while Chloe snuggled in closely at my side. It was the only sense of reassurance I had as we sat there in the strange house. The strange house my Dad and Lauren planned on leaving us in for a couple of days. I still didn't like it. No matter how much my Dad trusted Paige I didn't know how much I trust I could put into them.

The silence between all of us was heavy and unsettling, but we continued to sit there as Tori finally settled on an episode of CSI. I didn't know which episode or season this particular one was, but Chloe seemed to recognize it and began analyzing the dialogue with Simon. I sat there on the couch and surveyed the room we were sitting in. It seemed nice. Everything about the house seemed warm and welcoming but I still couldn't shake the feeling that something wasn't right. We just weren't in the right place. It was the werewolf instinct in me.

About an hour or so into the second episode my Dad came strolling back into the room with a smile etched into his features. He seemed to be more then pleased with the adult discussion, and began filling us in on the plan he had with Lauren, Paige and the man we had been introduced to as Lucas.

"Lauren, Paige and I will be heading out to California to try and pick up Rae." He held up his hand before any of us could protest our lack of involvement. "I know you all want to be a part of that, but we'd feel much safer if you all stayed here with Lucas under his supervision. If the Cabal is still pursuing you at least Lucas' presence here will stop them from doing anything rash."

It would have been pointless for any of us to argue. I could see the look in my Dads face that said this decision wasn't up for discussion. So I lowered myself into my seat even more and stared off across the room.

"We are going to head out straight away so we don't waste any time. I want to be back here as soon as possible which means you kids are to be trusted enough to sit still and wait for us to come back. We all agreed that once we have any information we'll call you from a safe point."

His words were lost on me as I continued to stare out the window. I hated the thought of sitting here while my Dad went off to do something dangerous. With my strength and abilities he should have at least considered taking me along. I was older then the other three and could prove to be an advantage if things got out of hand. I don't know whether or not Chloe sensed my anger because she silently slipped her tiny hand into my rough larger one.

The nighttime came faster then expected and the adults were piling into the van while we all watched from the front of the house. Savannah, the girl from earlier, didn't bother coming down to say goodbye to Paige. I figured she was still trying to keep her distance from Tori. Hell, I shouldn't have been complaining. She didn't exactly seem like the type that wanted to sit down and share stories.

Lucas was kind enough to fix us all some dinner, and then when we finished he showed us where we could crash for the next few days. Once again Simon and I were holed up in a small room complete with two beds and a full bathroom attached. The girls were given a similar room across the hall. Savannah's room had been moved to the attic for the time being.

"You ok, bro?" Simon voiced up as we both sprawled out on our beds.

I stared up at the ceiling unsure of my own answers. "I guess. Just don't like the thought of Dad going off to find Rae without us."

"Yeah, bummer of a deal, but he'll be back before we even know he's gone. At least here we get to shower and sleep in a bed." Simon had made his opinion of sleeping in the van very clear over the last few days of travel.

There was a soft knock on the door and Simon, who was closest, got up and opened it enough for me to sense it was Chloe before she even said anything.

"Can I talk to Derek for a minute, Simon?" Her voice was quiet and worried. I hated that I had her worried. If anything I should have been worried about her.

Simon shrugged in silence but removed himself from the room before Chloe even stepped in. I don't think he was fully over the fact that she had chosen me over him. I still don't know if I believe it. No one ever chose me over Simon.

"Are you sure you're ok?" She closed the door behind her and I closed my eyes as she moved towards me.

"I told you I was fine earlier." My reply was a little blunt, but I really didn't want her worrying about me. The more Chloe lost her thoughts to my well being the more likely she was to lose control over her abilities. We didn't need her raising any dead without my Dad here to fix things. I still didn't trust Lucas to be able to protect us.

I heard her sigh and then felt the side of the bed drop down a bit as she sat beside me. There was a rough pull of animal instinct in me that wanted to just forget about everything and kiss her right then. I wanted her to know how much I wanted her and how much I'd sacrifice just to keep her safe. Unfortunately the uneasy awkward teenager in me still didn't know how to go about being romantic.

"I think we'll be ok here. It doesn't feel like Lyle House or the safe house Andrew brought us to." I could tell she was trying her best to sound convincing. "I don't think your Dad would have left us if he thought we'd be in danger."

Again I merely grunted out a noise that didn't deny or confirm her assumptions. I wanted to believe my Dad. Believe me; I really did.

There was another beat of silence between us before I felt her shift on the bed again and place her head in the middle of my chest. I could hear her heart beat beneath the tee shirt she was wearing, and I was certain she could hear mine pick up in time to match her own.

"Ya know…without my Aunt here we can finally spend some time alone." She whispered again, "We won't have any disruptions or distractions…no one to really stop us from being together."

For the first time in a few days I actually chuckled; I felt her head move slightly as my chest vibrated. "You don't think Lauren or my Dad told Lucas to watch out for us?" I asked with my eyes still closed. I managed to snake my arm around her shoulders while she laid on me.

This made Chloe laugh a bit and shift again so she was squirming up closer to my face. "Lucas went to sleep a half hour ago. He said he had a meeting in the morning." She kissed the side of my face and the animal inside of me snapped.

I was hovering over her before she had a chance to move which cause for a lot of shifting of clothing and the yelp from Chloe as I scared the hell out of her. I wasn't usually so assertive in my advances towards her, but she drove me crazy half the time and for once I was finally able to act on it without someone barging in to stop us. Well unless of course Simon came back which would likely result in me physically removing him from the room.

I kissed her hard and deep for the first time since that afternoon we spent alone in the hotel room. Most of our other kisses were stolen and brief but this was a kiss that I had been harboring inside of me for weeks; months even. She kissed me back with the same fervor and I held myself above her with my forearms to keep from crushing her beneath me.

I didn't plan on pushing her any further then making out, but the longer we kissed and the longer she stayed beneath me on that bed had my head caught up in a tangle of other images; images of us beneath the blankets and of roaming hands and prodding fingers. Chloe's breath was short and ragged as we kissed, my own breath catching from time to time but never stopping my mouth from moving against hers. I had just found the nerve to slip one of my hands beneath the bottom of her shirt when the telephone beside the bed jolted me out of my adventure to the promise land.

I still hovered over her, but both of us stared at the phone while we waited for the click to indicate someone had picked up. It rang again. And again. Again.

Finally on the tenth ring I rolled to the side of the bed and swung myself in a sitting position. It took a lot of restraint for me to keep from yelling my hello into the receiver.

"Hello?" I asked, my breathing still coming up short as I spoke.

"Hello?" Came the male voice on the other end. "Cortez residence?" The voice didn't sound as though it was questioning me even if they asked for confirmation.

"Yeah." Was all I replied with.

There was a tick of silence on the other end that immediately had my nerves on end. I was about to hang up and organize a break out when the man on the other end of the phone cleared his throat again.

"Is this Derek?"

I didn't answer; just gripped the phone tightly until my knuckles began turning white.

"Derek, this is Jeremy Danvers." Pause. "Pack Alpha…I'd – I'd like to meet with you son."

I hung up the phone before he could say another thing.

So let me know what you think. If you don't know who Jeremy Danvers, Paige, Lucas or Savannah are then you NEED to read Kelley Armstrong's Otherworld series. Let me know if I should take this short and turn it into something more. Also, what do you want to see next? !