Okay, so first, I am so sorry that it took me this long to get this chapter out, adjusting to the new semester has been crazy and I fell behind in writing the story a bit. Thank you all for your reviews, your words keep me going and keep me from giving up. This chapter was really hard to write, both because I lost my muse a bit and because it just went somewhere totally different than I expected for this part of the story. A lot of this is set up for the next chapter and the conclusion, but it went darker than I intended and I apologize if any of you are sensitive to the issues raise, trust me when I say that I do not mention them lightly or without my own experiences with them. SoCalGal14 Welcome! I am so glad that you are enjoying the story! Reading all 50 chapters in one day is dedication! I appreciate the review and the favorite it means a lot. I hope everyone enjoys the chapter; I will try to avoid getting bogged down again and delaying posting a chapter.
A few hours later the whole pack convened in the living room, as Derek and Laura joined them, a pall fell over the room. Moving quietly to the chair that Lydia was sitting in, Derek reached down and lifting her swiftly, sitting in the chair and settling her on his lap before addressing the room, "Okay, I take it that Lydia filled all of you in on what she and Laura discovered?" Everyone nodded.
"Good, we are expected back at the compound tonight, all of us this time." Everyone shifted around a bit, their unease palpable, Scott piped up, "All of us, as in the kids too?'
"Yeah," Derek nodded, understanding his unasked question about their safety, "The Elders want all of us there and they have insured the safety of each member of the pack, I specifically asked about the kids and they gave their word. They know that there are human members of the pack and that Allison killed the Alpha North sent to kill Jade. It is not ideal, but for now, we are going to have to trust them," Leaning forward a bit he added, "But we still stick to the story," he made eye contact with Allison who nodded.
"Derek, they are going to ask about Jade," Lydia says from his lap, her voice tense.
"I know," he runs his hand down her back, trying to calm her, "And if they ask we are going to have to tell the truth, but that is my story to tell, so the rest of you can fain ignorance. I don't want to give them more of the truth than they need or ask for so I will answer their questions but I will not offer up any more information than they ask for. There is a faction trying to kill my family, I think my silence can be excused." Everyone nodded, understanding that they were to defer to their Alpha and follow orders.
"We need to leave within the hour, so go get packed," Derek ordered, before Lydia piped up, "Wait," everyone paused, "We don't know who in that house we can trust, so we trust no one. We need to mingle as must as possible and gather as much intel about each of the packs as possible, Erica you are going to be on point with this because you can tell their intent even if they are trying to hide it. Everyone, find out what you can, our lives may be dependent on it." Erica nodded, both honored by Lydia's confidence in her and scared of the weight of the duty she was facing.
Stepping forward and holding Erica's hand, Stiles adds, "Okay, but I say if we do this, we do it on our terms, no more trying to impress the council or being ordered around by everyone else in the universe. If they don't like the way we do things, humans and all, then screw 'em."
Jackson stood, slapping Stiles on the back as he moved off, "Well said, gettin' some looks good on you Stilinski." At the beta's words, Stiles froze and turned about ten shades of red before everyone else burst out laughing, "I agree, now go pack," Derek dismissed them, still chuckling.
Everyone changed clothes and packed their things, a process they had nearly perfected from practice. Loading the kids they made the hour drive back to the compound. Derek had called Bones to let him know that they were on their way so the elder met them in the courtyard as they exited their vehicles. Following Bones, they fell into ranks, it was only now that Lydia noticed how everyone had dressed—dark colors, durable fabrics, knees and soft spots protected, they were prepared to fight at any point. Derek took the lead, Scott to his right and surprisingly Allison to his left. Both were wearing black cargo pants, Scott was in a t-shirt and Allison was wearing a black tank top, fully displaying her should harness armed with fully automatic 9- mm's sporting wolf's bane rounds and her newly awesome breastfeeding boobs. A matching pair of guns was strapped to her thighs and a K-bar knife hung from her waistband. She was the picture of a warrior with her hair pulled back and crossbow on her back as well as extremely hot as Scott had pointed out several times on the ride over.
Behind Derek, Lydia walked holding Isabel on her hip and holding Jade's hand, she was flanked by Isaac and Jackson, a pattern that felt familiar and safe for all of them. Erica followed the Alpha female, holding Sophia in her right arm, her left hand held firmly in Stiles'. Stiles look almost as badass as Allison in his cargo pants and dark grey t-shirt, guns and bullet's strapped to his waist and legs, silver K-bar knife on his right hip. Laura and Boyd closed out the ranks with Kay between them, the strongest fighters in the front and back protecting the children in the middle. As the pack walked in step down the hall of the council compound all eyes were on them. They were young but they were wary and their strength and loyalty to one another was clear to anyone watching them.
As they entered the library the council was all in their seats at the front of the room, several spectators were in the pews facing them as Bones announced, "I present the Beacon Hills Hale Pack."
"Pack acknowledged," Elder Samson stated formally before leaning back in his seat a bit, "Okay Derek, please introduce your pack."
Nodding Derek stepped forward, "You have already met my wife Lydia," he reached back blindly and caught Lydia's hand as she stepped forward still holding Isabel as Jade now ducked behind her mother's hip, "These are our daughters Jade and Isabel. This is my second Scott and his mate Allison," he nodded for Scott to step forward, Scott turned and took his daughter from Erica before taking Allison's hand and stepping forward, "And who is this little wolf?" Elder Woods asked with a smile, looking to Derek who nodded, Scott answered, "This is our daughter Sophia."
"This is Erica and her mate Stiles," Derek continued the introductions, "You have met them briefly but this is Jackson and Isaac, and of course my sister Laura and this is Boyd. I believe you are familiar with my Aunt Katarina Tucker, she has been helping my pack for the last few weeks with everything that is going on."
Nodding Elder Samson continues, "All members are acknowledged and accepted, you are each now under the protection of the North American Council any attack on any of you will be seen as an attack on the council itself and will be dealt with as such."
"Elder Samson and honored members of the council we are grateful beyond words," Derek ducks his head formally. Nodding Elder Samson continues, "Of course. Now your cousin has still not returned with his pack so proceedings will be on hold until tomorrow. If Nathan has not returned by 9 am he will be in violation of the council's order and be brought back forcibly. At 10 am interrogation of Elder North will begin, due to your stake in the interrogation, we have been persuaded to allow you to choose the people that you would like to have present at North's interrogation."
Considering the opportunity, Derek answers, "I would like to question him myself, but if it pleases the council I would like to include Allison, Erica and Laura in the interrogation." From the razor sharp nails digging into the back of his hand, Derek knew that this conversation would be continued later with his wife.
"Of course, if you would indulge, why these pack members?"
"Well," Derek took a breath, turning to his wife, before looking to the huntress to his right, "Allison has experience in interrogation and I trust her to find the truth and I believe that Laura will both put North off kilter and offer a special insight into his motives. Erica will be able to tell me if he is lying without a doubt and he cannot fool her by controlling his heart rate and breathing."
"Your pack offers a unique insight into this situation doesn't it?"
"Yes sir," Derek said reverently, "My family is unique."
"Of course you would chose a bunch of bitches to do your bidding little Derek," An arrogant voice echoed from the back of the library as Nathan and several other wolves, presumably his pack, made their way into the room.
"Someone likes an entrance," Isaac snarked as Nathan made his way in the room dramatically. Everyone chuckled and rolled their eyes a bit. Looking over the pack, Lydia took stock of them all; Nathan was dressed in dress pants and a button down just as she had always seen him, and looking remarkably smug. Behind Nathan stood a thin mousey woman with shoulder length light brown hair and fair skin. She would have been pretty if she would make eye contact with anyone, but she stood behind him, shoulders slumped and eyes trained on the floor. She wore a long sleeved blue sweater and a long skirt that made her look much older than she was. Lydia couldn't help but think that she screamed out abuse victim. Looking beyond the woman, Lydia noticed Carl, Emma and a few of the other faces she remembered from the safe house in the first days after her rescue. What shocked her enough to draw a gasp was Sarah, now wearing a long sleeved sweater and loose jeans and as she made eye contact with Lydia it was clear that she was sporting a black eye and a split lip.
"Sarah, what happened are you alright," Lydia turned to move toward the blonde who flinch and opened her mouth to speak but slammed her lips shut at the sharp look that Nathan shot her.
"Derek you need to get your human in line, she should not speak unless she is told to do so," Nathan sneered. Several of the Elders began to respond as did Scott, but Derek, Jackson and Allison just smiled as Lydia spun completely towards the cocky Alpha and marched at him, Isabel still balanced on her hip, "Listen up you arrogant, little dicked, son of a whore, you will not tell me or any of the other members of this pack what to do—female or not. You may think you can rule your pack like that, but that is not how this one is run. I saw that my friend Sarah had been injured and I inquired about her wellbeing, that conversation is none of your concern and I would suggest you stop calling every female a 'bitch' unless you really want to see one because that is a good way to wake up in a pool of your own blood sans your tiny dick." She stared him down, daring him to answer her, behind her, Bones and Elder Woods were desperately trying to hide their giggles.
Looking passed the pissed off redhead, Nathan scoffed at his cousin, "Do you allow her to talk to you this way?"
Chuckling Derek took a few steps closer to his wife, resting a hand on her hip both to back her up and to be close enough to take Nathan down if needed, "Honestly, I just keep her happy and she doesn't feel the need to talk to me that way. I respect my wife, I would never speak to her in the way that you just did and if I did, I would expect her to return in kind."
"Well that explains the mess that has become of your pack," Nathan tried to answer Derek's insult, not noticing Sarah making eye contact with Erica who subtly nodded.
"Yeah, growing, moving smoothly as a unit and bonded as a family, I can see the glaring problems there, I mean I just really wish we could get that whole repressed and scared vibe you all have going," Derek snapped back, leaning in he added, "You know a real man respects his wife."
Before Nathan could respond, Sarah ran around him and threw herself on her knees in front of the council's table, "I, Sarah Ransom, lowly Beta would beseech you, the all mighty council of the North American Packs to allow me to pledge my allegiance to the Beacon Hills Hale Pack" Sarah let out a sob as a mummer filled the room, handing Isabel over to her father, Lydia knelt beside Sarah, pulling the girl into a hug.
Looking a bit bewildered, Elder Samson asked, "Um, young lady to turn your back on your pack and switch allegiance is not a matter to be handled lightly, what is the reason for this sudden desire to change packs?"
Sobbing again, she looks up to the old man, who gasps a bit at her battered face, "I just," she sobs again and Lydia rubs her back, looking to the redhead, Sarah sobs, "I am so sorry Lydia, for everything that I did to you, I just,"
"It is forgiven, we have had this discussion, now please answer the Elder's question," The Alpha female gently commands. Nodding Sarah continues, "I cannot submit to the rule of Nathan Hale anymore, he has demanded of me what I am not willing to freely give and I fear for my safety under his leadership."
"What did he command?" Elder Woods leaned forward, a look of terror in her eyes.
"First he wanted information about the Beacon Hills' pack, their relationships, their secrets, that is why he ordered me to stay after we rescued Lydia and Stiles, but," She sobbed again, "But I genuinely started to like them and respect the way Derek ran his pack and I didn't feel that what I was doing was right so I started telling him less and less and then after Derek left for the council, he came to the safe house and he said that if I wanted to continue being a member of his pack, if I didn't want to be banished to be an Omega, I" she sobbed again as Nathan fumed behind her.
"What sweetheart," Lydia prompted as she rubbed the broken girl's back.
"He wanted an heir and he said that Carolyn was not producing one so I would have to, I" she gasps for air, "I didn't want him, so he just started hitting me, and I didn't know what to do." She broke down into sobs against Lydia's shoulder. Allison all but growled at Nathan as he yelled, "That whore is a liar, she is a slut and the only thing she has ever wanted was to be an Alpha female. Little Lydia you wouldn't be hugging her like that if you knew the truth about her past with your precious husband," He taunted. Cutting her furious green eyes at him, she snapped, "I know all about her history with my husband and I don't care, he loves me and I love him, what we have done in the past is just that, in the past. And what you did to Sarah is unforgivable and disgusting."
"I agree," Elder Woods added stoically.
"Seconded," Bones barked, red with anger, "Guards please escort this piece of shit to the dungeons, we will deal with him later." Once Nathan had been cleared out of the room, Elder Samson looked at Derek, "Derek, would you accept Sarah into your pack?"
Looking to his wife, who nodded, Derek ran his hand down Isabel's back, "Of course, I accept her into the Beacon Hills pack, along with any of the other members of Nathan's pack who have been abused or mistreated by him."
"Charitable, but for now let's leave it at Sarah and we will look into Nathan's crimes at a later date. All agreed," Elder Samson posses, "Agreed," each elder echoes the notion. In an attempt to break the tension in the room, Bones says, "How about some dinner, I am sure everyone could use a break."
Several people nodded and as everyone broke the pack could feel all eyes on them.
After being shown to their rooms to freshen up, which really meant to disarm and dress for dinner, Derek turned to Lydia as soon as their door was closed, "Lydia," he ran his hand over his face, glad that Erica had said she would help Jade get washed up for dinner, "Are you okay with,"
Looking up at him as she changed Isabel's diaper, she cut him off, "Dear God I am not okay with this, Nathan has moved past a creepy pain in the ass and straight to evil that needs to be stopped. Sarah and I have had our differences, but her joining us will keep her safe and I am fine with that." Crossing the room, Derek grabbed her face in his hands and kissed her deeply, not having words for his love and admiration for her.
Down the hall, Scott and Allison were having a similar conversation as Allison fed Sophia, "God Scott, who the hell thinks that this is okay?"
Shaking his head, "I don't know, I mean I know that we have all had our ups and down as a pack, but I trust each of these people with my life, with your and Sophia's lives. I cannot process a pack violation like that." Looking to his daughter he feels a cold pass through him, "What kind of man hits women he is supposed to protect," Looking into his eyes, Allison knows that Scott is no longer just talking about Sarah and Nathan's wife Carolyn, he is flashing back to his own childhood. Raising her hand to his cheek, she rubs her thumb along his cheek bone, "The kind that you will never be, because you have a heart and you are so much better than that."
Looking down for a moment to center himself, Scott smiled up at her, kissing her palm he sighed, "I am who I am because of you and that little girl and my mom, because you are all strong and wonderful. Allison I cannot imagine what my life would have been like if my mother would have stayed with my dad or if I hadn't met you."
"I don't want to think about that," She looks down to her baby, "I can't imagine that, I love you both too much." Leaning forward they pressed their foreheads together, kissing each other before watching their daughter as she drifted off to sleep. Sighing contentedly, Allison breaths in the scent of her little girl before opening her eyes and saying, "Well, I guess we have to change and go to dinner."
"Yeah," Scott groaned.
As they made their way through the halls of the compound, the pack walked to the dining room together falling into their previous ranks, Sarah had chosen to stay in her room, not feeling strong enough to face everyone else. What she didn't know was that council had her room under video surveillance in order to insure both her safety and her allegiances. In an effort to crack the tension of the evening, Bones met them at the door, slapping Derek on the back, he chuckled, "Welcome son, tell your betas to stand down, we have plenty of food and the rest of the evening will be less dramatic than the first bit."
Nodding to the Elder and then to the pack, Derek turned and took Isabel from her mother, "Of course, I guess after this long on the run it is just habit to fall into ranks, especially when we have the kids with us." Derek explained.
"Understandable, speaking of which, are you all trying to replenish the Hale line in one generation or do you all just need a birth control lesson," Bones joked, causing several members of the pack to blush as Stiles awkwardly asked, "Um actually is there like a pamphlet of something that I could see?"
The wide eyed desperation that accompanied the boy's question caused Bones to let out a riotous laugh. Slapping Stiles on the back he laughed, "I like this one, he's funny."
Nodding, Derek scratched his eyebrow, "Yeah, I guess he has that going for him." He chuckled as they all moved to the table, taking their seats before the servants automatically brought out a salad course. Jade yawned, looking to her other before climbing into her lap, "Mommy, I'm tired, I don't want to eat leaves." Lydia reprimanded her with a whispered, "Jade."
Bones let out a riotous laugh at that, "Well little darlin'," he looked to the green eyed little girl, "What is it you would like to eat?"
Considering it for a moment, she said, "Pancakes," prompting Lydia to roll her eyes, "Little one, you are going to turn into a pancake if you don't eat something else."
Looking to the servant, Bones commanded, "Sir, bring young Ms. Hale here some pancakes post haste," the waiter just nodded and hurried off.
"Be careful Bones or she will have you doing her bidding all the time," Lydia warned, hugging the child closer to her.
"So she doesn't just look like her grandmother then, she acts like her too," Bones chuckled. Derek nodded, "It is uncanny sometimes how much like mom she is. I wish she could have known her," he says quietly. Bones nods, both men aware that their conversation is the focus of the room, even if others are trying to pretend that they are not listening.
"And what of this little one," Bones indicate the baby curled into Derek's chest sucking her thumb.
"This is Isabel, she take more after Lydia, but she is a totally Daddy's girl," Derek explains, subtly noting that the baby is human like her mother and indicating that she is perhaps special like her mother without directly lying.
"You wish," Lydia scoffs.
"Obviously a point of contention," Bones laughs. Lydia giggles along, "No, Derek just likes to think that the girls love him more but I know the truth." Dinner continues light hearted, everyone banters a bit, avoiding discussion of Nathan and North as well as the issues in Beacon Hills over the past year. They all know that tomorrow a lot that has been hidden in blood and untruth will be revealed and that no one in the room will go unaffected by it.
That night after dinner and after all of the kids are tucked into the beds in the bedroom between Derek and Lydia's room and Scott and Allison's room, both couples curl into each other's arms, needing to feel physically connected with one another.
"Scott," Allison whispered, pressing her ear against his chest, listening to his heart beat, "Are you okay with me questioning North tomorrow?"
"Huh?" He quirks an eyebrow, "Since when do you ask for permission?"
Scoffing, she looks up at him, "I'm not, but, I just need to know that you are okay with this, with the place that I am going to have to go."
"Allison, I know who you are, every part of you and I love every part of you. This man attack our family, Jade, Isabel and Sophia could have been hurt or killed. I am all for gutting this bastard and burning his entrails, but the council wants him to be formally questioned so I am completely okay with you doing whatever you have to do to get him to confess. He has been chasing this vendetta since before we were born and the only way this ends, the only way our family is safe, is if he dies."
Sighing, she kisses his chest, "How can you be so wonderful?" She felt tears welling in her eyes, "I am always so scared that that side of me is going to send you running and you are just always so stalwart, supporting me and making me feel like I am not a big freak."
Chucking, Scott kissed her head, "Well we are all pretty big freaks, you are just the prettiest," rolling her eyes at him, she smacked his chest, "Shut up."
"Make me," he mock. She kissed him in response. What started playful quickly turned passionate as Allison rolled Scott onto his back and slid her body over him, straddling him as they continued to kiss more and more desperately. Sliding his hands up the back of her tank top, he groped at her skin, pulling back, she allowed him to pull her top of her head and throw it off the bed. Lower her chest down to his, she hisses as her sensitive nipples make contact with his warm skin. Rolling her hips, Allison latches her mouth back over his, kissing him, roughly. Pulling away for a moment, Scott pants, "Allison, last chance here, are you sure that you are ready for this?"
"God yes," She pants in response, reaching to the draw string on his sweatpants. Flipping them over, Scott takes charge, nuzzling Allison's neck before moving down her chest, kissing the sensitive flesh there, sliding his tongue down her belly, his hands griping her hips as he slowly pushes her yoga pants down. Pulling them from her body, he licks and kisses his way to her core, reacquainting himself with the smell and taste of her flesh as he uses his fingers and tongue to push her over the edge. Still gasping from her orgasm high, Allison pulls Scott down to her and fuses their lips together as she hooks her knees over his hips. Lining his body up with hers, Scott gasps as he sinks into her body for the first time in weeks. Arching her back, Allison bites his shoulder to muffle her moan. Thrusting into her a few times, Scott decides that he wants to watch her. Rolling onto his back, Allison uses her hands pressed into his chest as leverage to ride him. Tossing her head back, she sets a primal rhythm, enchanting Scott with each movement of her hips.
Watching her as she writhed over him, Scott took note of the changes in her body since Sophia's birth. He knew that Allison was a little sensitive about the differences but Scott was amazed by them; her hips were a little fuller, more womanly, her breast were still huge due to breast feeding and there was a subtly softness in her abdomen, not fat but just a less rigid shape. She was like a warrior goddess, fierce and feminine and full of power. Feeling himself edge closer to his release, he reached between them, finding her clit, he began stroking it with his thumb as he leaned up and pulled her into a kiss, "I love you," He whispered against her lips, "I will love you forever, my beautiful warrior goddess." The look of intensity in his eyes was enough to send Allison gasping over the edge for a second time, riding out her release before Scott flipped her over again, hooking her knees over his elbows and pounding into her pliant body before capturing his own orgasm. After a few moments of allowing his heart to slow, he rolled off of Allison, pulling her to his chest in one motion, "I love you too," she whisper as she gave over to her body's exhaustion, "Always."