Chapter 54: Absent
Scott automatically spread his arms out in front of Allison and Stiles as if it would stop a bullet from piercing their chest. The hunter smirked at the werewolf's futile attempt to be a protector. Besides, the hunter thought, the humans were in no real danger.
And, Scott knew this. Stiles and Allison were safe. They were human and the hunters only wanted him dead. This hunter wanted to watch his life be zapped from his body, to crumble into a heap on the basement floor with a blank expression.
"Goodbye Mr. McCall," sneered the hunter, readying himself to fire.
Allison screamed. Stiles lunged forward to attack the hunter. But, Scott held him back in order to spare him of the bullet.
Suddenly, a breaking snap alerted the crowd up. The basement door came flying down, striking the hunter square into the chest. The hunter grunted as he was flung across the room with the door. His body smacked the concrete wall and he slumped to the floor, blood trailing down his forehead and nose.
Scott, Stiles, and Allison looked from the unconscious (possibly even dead) hunter to the basement's doorless archway. Up at the very top of the rickety staircase, light cascading behind, stood Derek.
And he was not happy.
"Get your asses out of this house!" Derek ordered to Scott and Stiles. "NOW!"
The last roar jump-started Scott and Stiles' legs into a run. They bolted up the stairs with Allison following close behind them. Once outside the house, they both dared to take a breath before Derek marched up to them.
He smacked the backs of their heads. "What were you two idiots thinking?" he demanded. His fiery eyes landed on Scott. "And you! You nearly got yourself killed…again!"
"I don't give a crap about your reasoning," snapped Derek. "What's the point in all effort and sacrifices if you're just going to jump into the lion's den?"
"If the next words are 'I needed to save Allison' I will literally rip your arm off with my front teeth," warned Derek.
Stiles gulped, but Scott still continued. "Allison needed help!" he said. "I had to—"
Derek clapped his hand over Scott's mouth to stop the noise. "We're leaving now," he said, grabbing Scott's arm to drag him back into town.
Stiles, hands in his pockets and watching the two werewolves face each other, hadn't said a word. Neither did Allison. Afraid of speaking, they both watch the face-off between the elder werewolf and the younger one.
"No!" shouted Scott. "No! I can't keep running or…or hiding!"
Derek pondered. "Well…there is another way."
Scott lit up at this news. "What?"
Derek's eyes narrowed, his mouth thin. "You're death," he said, incredulously. "No wonder you're failing school."
Scott's hopes deflated. "There has to be…"
"No. There isn't," Derek said, shaking his head. "Argents don't negotiate. They have a target in mind and it doesn't waiver because they know the person."
"Hey!" spoke Allison, but her words fell on deaf ears between Derek and Scott.
"Jesus Christ!" Derek cried. "They kill themselves than become a werewolf! Do you really think they would change their mind about you?"
Allison shifted her stance and Scott immediately recognized her discomfort. A few weeks ago, her mother took her own life to avoid the curse.
"Really? Did you just bring that up in front of Allison?" spat Scott.
Derek side-glanced at Allison before shrugging. "What? Stating the facts," he said. "Now, let's go before they storm this place, bullets raining."
"What about me?"
Everyone turned to Allison. Derek scoffed. "What about you? You're not coming with us."
Allison turned to Scott. "What do you need me to do?"
Looking at Allison, readying herself to join their cause, Scott felt gratitude and grief. "Derek's right," Scott concluded, unwillingly. "You can't come with us."
Allison's shoulders fell. "But…what am I to do? I-I can't stay here! They'll just lock me back down there."
"And you can't come with us," added Scott. "They'll think we kidnapped you out of revenge or something. And, besides, I'm not putting you in the line of fire."
"I'm already in the line of fire!" Allison argued. "And, I'm not going to stay off the sidelines now. Not when you're in danger and…not when my family is involved."
Silence fell between the two. They both stared at each other waiting for one to try to prevent the other's attempt. However, it was Derek who broke the silence.
"I'll make this easy," said Derek. "She stays and we leave."
"Derek would you just shut-up?" snapped Scott. "Not everyone here is emotionally detached like you?"
Smoke blew out of Derek's flared nostrils. Without another word, he lifted Scott off his feet and threw him over his shoulder, Scott protesting.
"Hey—HEY! Put me down!" Scott yelled and he punched Derek's back. "Let go!"
Derek did not drop Scott back to the ground. He kept walking with Scott over his shoulder, heading back into town. Scott looked to his friend. "Stiles!"
Stiles jumped into motion. He ran in front of the older werewolf, which he gulped the minutes Derek glared down at him. "Okay…wait, wait," insisted Stiles. "Why—why don't we all calm down…hey!"
Derek looped his free arm around Stiles and dragged him along. Allison chased after Derek and her friends, but he wolfed out and sprinted away. She did her best to catch them, but she ended up alone on the street.
Harold and Harvey ran through the woods. Light on their feet and easily speeding past the foliage toward the higher ground their father and head Alpha stood. Flynn and a few others trailed behind them. They were no match to the Original's speed, but they were still within distance of the brothers.
But, then, Harold stopped.
Harvey skidded to a halt, loping back to Harold's side. "What is it?"
Harold studied the land in front of him and sniffed the air. "Something's not right."
Harvey glanced around as the their comrades caught up to them. "I don't sense a hunter's presence."
"That's not what I was thinking," said Harold. "Something different…something's wrong."
"What's wrong?" questioned Harvey.
His muscles twitched. His senses heightened. A roaring explosion inside him overwhelmed him. His breathing shortened. Pain dug into his mind, his chin dropping to his chest. Eyes closed, he felt his whole body changing, erupting.
Eyes snapped open. Red-blood replaced the brown as his nostrils flared. "Père…"
He bolted, the trees becoming blurred smears. Everything flew passed him as his heart hammered rapidly. His brother's voice, calling out to him, broke in and out as he rushed through the forest to the clearing he left his father earlier.
Upon entering the clearing, he saw bodies of his father's guards lying in a bloody pool, eyes shadowed. Harold scanned each face, each passing face bringing a small surge of hope.
But, then he stopped.
Down below, closer to the forest edge on the other side, was a body. All the air in his lungs choked in his throat. He stiffly walked toward the last remaining body he saw. As he got closer, his heart hammered harder. It was him. It was his father. He knew.
As he stood over, he tugged the body over. The first thing he saw was the horrid expression etched in his father's face. The bulging, pleading eyes, pale cheekbones, and the ugly quiet scream of agony on his lips burned Harold's soul.
"Harold!" cried Harvey, coming up behind. "Harry! Harry…what's happened? What…papa!"
Harvey dropped to his father's side and went to hug his father. Harold immediately pulled him away.
Harvey fought. "Permettez-moi! Harold! Permettez-moi!" (Let me go! Harold! Let me go!)
Harold clasped his brother around him tighter. "Ne le touchez pas, Harvey. Il est empoisonné." (Don't touch him. He's poisoned.)
Harvey still kept fighting his older brother. Harvey's tears soaked Harold's arms as he collapsed at Harold's feet. Harold couldn't feel sadness like his brother. Inside it was a raging storm, blood thirst reaching a maximum that he could smell every blood scent in the cursed supernatural town.
The other werewolves of the royal pack appeared. They stared at their fallen leader with grave faces. Flynn even had a tear escape from his crystal blue eyes, shoulders shaking.
Then, every werewolf transformed under the moon into the magnificent beast. Lined up like a military pose, they all stuck their noses to the moon and let out a long, sorrow-full howl.
A salute to their murdered leader.
"You didn't have to drag me half across town!" protested Stiles. "I can walk."
"And look where it took you," snarked Derek as he dropped both Scott and Stiles outside his apartment doors. "Now for the fucking last time…follow orders!"
Scott and Stiles scoffed, which resulted in Derek shoving them inside. Both boys marched up the stairs to the highest floor, Derek towing behind them.
"What's gone in your insane mind to run off like that?" Derek snapped at Scott as they turned onto another staircase, Stiles leading the way. "Did you know your mother nearly had a panic attack?"
Scott groaned inward. The idea of the hysteria she experienced upon discovery her son's disappearance dropped his heart into a dark pit. Guilt enveloped his whole body as he struggled up the next stairs.
"I didn't mean to scare her," said Scott.
"Yeah, well you can tell her that," said Derek. "When I left to get you…let's just say she'll have her own hell to give."
And Scott didn't dare want to know. He didn't fear Derek's wrath as much as his mother's. She could put a Tiger Mom to shame when her anger got to her.
"Uh guys," called Stiles.
"Did it ever occurred to you that not only is your ass on the line, but so is mine?" said Derek to Scott.
"Not everything relates to you!" Scott said.
"No," agreed Derek. "But, when I'm your protector. It does."
"I don't need protection."
Derek raised his hands up mockingly. "Oh, my apologies. I guess having the hunter's gun aimed at you was part of your plan."
"Guys…" Stiles called again.
"Of course not!" said Scott. "But, this is my business. My problem. You don't need to include yourself. You can run off now. Save yourself."
"And leave you to die?" questioned Derek. "Trust me, I've thought of that many times every day."
"Then why don't you!" Scott turned on his heels and faced Derek. "Why do you stick around? You keep complaining so much about us, then why do you stay?"
Derek stared utterly confused at Scott. "I meant what I said back in those woods about a year ago."
Scott blinked as Derek continued speaking. "We're brothers, Scott. Maybe not by blood, but—"
Stiles voice broke Derek's voices as both werewolves looked up at Stiles, who was a staircase ahead of them.
Scott peered up at his friend. "What is it?"
Stiles looked down. "You better get up here. Quick! With claws out."
Scott glanced quickly at Derek before they wolfed out, climbing the staircase with rapid speed. Derek stretched his arm out, placing both Scott and Stiles behind him. At the top floor, they could see the door was wide opened…and bullet shells laying on the ground.
Derek motioned for Scott and Stiles to follow his lead. He moved cautiously toward the entryway, crouching low. Scott and Stiles followed suit until Scott motioned Stiles to stay further back.
Derek then sniffed the air. He turned back to Scott. "What do you smell?"
Scott took a sniff and his heart skipped. "Blood."
Taking a deep breath, Derek sprung for the entrance and Scott followed him, slightly colliding into his side. They both gaped at what they saw.
The whole loft was in ruins. Bullet holes riddled Derek's walls, windows gone, and crystal shards spewed amongst the floor, the loft resembled a shooting range. Stiles joined them and cursed at the sight.
"What happened?" he muttered.
Scott glanced around the room, no one in sight. His heart plummeted further into the pit. "Mom?" he croaked. "MOM!"
A cough from another room gathered their attention. It came from the bedroom Stiles and Scott snuck out previously. Scott was immediately on the door, frantically pulling the knob nearly off the door. Derek, swiftly came to his side and kicked the door opened to reveal a similar devastating scene.
Bed ripped apart, windows missing glasses, and bullets dug into the wall, the only difference was this room had blood. And, it came from Isaac's chest.
"Isaac!" Derek slid to his young werewolf's side. "Isaac."
He lifted Isaac up, checking the wound. Scott and Stiles came over, standing as Derek took one of his torn bed sheets to make a bandage.
"Isaac, stay with us," Derek said.
Isaac, his body shaking and eyes rolled up, had trouble speaking. He kept coughing, choking on his own blood.
"Relax Isaac," ordered Derek. "You're going to be fine."
Isaac shook his head. "They—they came out of…n-nowhere. Guns…so many…"
Derek cradled Isaac's head, the new bandage blood soaked. He tore off another piece of his bed sheet. "Isaac, hang in there. We're going to bring you to Deaton."
Isaac shook, his lips trembling. "T-too late…"
Scott kneeled next to Isaac. The young werewolf was right. He was far too gone. He could smell death off Isaac. "What about my Mom?" asked Scott. "Did they…" He couldn't even bring himself to say it.
The pale eyes rolled over to Scott. "I-I did…I t-tried my b-best…they…they…they t-took her… they took…"
Isaac's eyes rolled again and his body sunk in Derek's arms. Derek shut his eyes and sighed heavily. His shoulders went rigid. For a moment, Scott thought he was going to wolf out in rage, but instead, he took a deep breath and rested Isaac back to the floor. "He's gone."
Scott, his world covered in darkness once again, looked out the glassless window. He closed his own eyes and tried his best to see everything.
It unfolded quickly. The door burst open. Isaac grabbing Melissa arm and leading her to the safety of the bedroom. Isaac wolfing out as Melissa tries to find a way to protect herself as well. Isaac insisting she escaped through the window. Bullets penetrate through the door, striking against Isaac's ear, clipping it. Melissa screaming as the door again burst open revealing heavily armed men.
Isaac attacks as Melissa begs for the gunmen to spare Isaac. Three men take on Isaac as the werewolf defeat them easily until one takes a knife, silver. Isaac's back is turned as the hunter guts him. Isaac croaks, his werewolf identity retreating back to it's human mask. Melissa screams and rushes to Isaac's air, only to be grabbed from behind.
Isaac drops to the floor, blood thickening around him as he watches the gunmen drag a crying, screaming Melissa out of the room.
An piercing howl interrupted the scene Scott was sensing. Jolted to the bones, Scott hurried to the window. Derek and Stiles joined him.
Scott was puzzled. "What was that? It sounded like—"
"Death," answered Derek as he listened to the echo. "Someone on the battlefield died." Derek turned to Scott. "Someone from your family is dead."
Allison tied and gagged the remaining guards in her house. Armed with her crossbow, she waited for her father and grandfather to return. When she saw headlights, she jumped up from the couch and marched over to the door.
Before she even reached the door, it opened and hunters piled inside the once normal household. When she spotted her father, she stormed up to him.
"How could you do this!" she cried. "You—"
"Are you hurt? Are you okay?" Chris asked immediately.
"No I'm not okay!" she shrieked.
Chris glanced over his daughter for any forms of injuries. Once satisfied she was physically fine, he sighed. "You were right," He called out to someone behind him, ignoring Allison's earlier rant. "They did come here, but Allison's fine."
Gerard walked into the hallway, a smirk on his face. "I told you. Now, let's get going. They'll come straight here to get to us. With more of them."
Chris Argent grabbed his daughter's hand, knocking the crossbow out of her hands. "Come on Allison. We need to get you to safer place."
Allison shook her father's hand off hers. "I'm not going anywhere with you!" she declared. "After what you did—you tricked me! You lied to me!"
"Now isn't the time Allison," Chris said, urgently, glancing around. "We have to get going. Now! They're probably right behind us."
Allison stubbornly refused to leave. Frustrated, Chris ultimately had to carry his daughter out to the car, her protesting the treatment.
"I'm doing this for your own good," said Chris, as he closed the car door and locked it. He tapped the hood a few times and the driver, nodding, took off as Allison pounded on the door's window.
"Hey! Hey!" she cried and she turned to the driver. "Let me out of this damn van!"
The driver looked at her through his mirror, but said nothing. Allison yanked on the door's handles, but they wouldn't budge. She was trapped again in a van.
The drive lasted fifteen minutes, before the driver let her out. When it opened, she rushed out, ready to run back into town. She could see the lights sparkling through the trees, but someone caught her and pulled her back.
"Not that way sweetie," said the captor.
Allison swung and punched the man in the face. "I'm no sweetie," she said, but another person grabbed her arms from behind and the two hunters led her into a cabin like house, surrounded with more armed men.
"What is this place?" she demanded.
"It's a safe house, Miss Argent," answered one of the hunters. "Trust us, you'll be safe in here."
"I wouldn't trust you even if werewolves didn't exist," responded Allison.
Once inside the house, they didn't let her go. They dragged her through the house, up to the next level, where Allison noticed a security locked door. As they passed, the door opened and a hunter stepped out. As the hunter stepped aside, Allison managed to get a sneak peek at what was being held in such a high security room.
She gasped when she saw a bound and gagged Ms. McCall.