This story wouldn't exist without my inexhaustible and amazing beta/friend/overlord/consultant Annie. I also want to thank Emily for all her info about Bonnie, and for being my second beta. And Alia, you know why. This story was a collaborative labor of love. I hope you enjoy.
"Tell me this dream of yours."
Bonnie Bennett closed her eyes, willing the images to appear like the floor of a deep pond. The smell of incense was sharp and heavy like woodsmoke. Strangely soothing.
"There was fire, everywhere. But it was strange."
"Strange how?" the voice was smooth and deep. Maya, the witch who'd helped her settle in at Beacon Hills, had insisted on helping her develop her powers.
"The fire was a strange...violet color. It burned me from the inside. And there's a man, I've never seen him but he looks at me like he knows who I am -," she bit off in frustration and opened her eyes, "That's where it all fades and I wake up feeling terrified."
The older woman looked thoughtful and Bonnie took a moment studying her friend and mentor. Maya was beautiful like an ageless sculpture, with dark hair and deep, expressive eyes. She was also a powerful witch with ancestry originating from China, as old and powerful as the Bennetts.
"If this is a premonitory dream, then you need to strengthen your abilities," Maya stood with a decisive air, glancing at her pearl wrist watch,"We'll start tomorrow. You're already late."
Dammit I almost forgot about Boyd.
He'd said he needed a favor and she'd agreed to meet him at her place a good 15 minutes ago.
Maya handed her her coat, "I'll drive you."
She noticed it then; the large scabbard suspended over Maya's door. It was both simple and menacing. "What's that?'
"The old hunters call it a wolf-sword."
Bonnie glanced at it one last time before they headed out, "Why do I get the feeling they didn't mean Siberian huskies?" She thought about Klaus and shivered unpleasantly.
"The only way to make certain a werewolf is dead," Maya glanced up at the sharp sickle moon, "Is to cut it in half."
Bonnie tapped her foot impatiently, waiting at the stairwell.
She was about to give up when two figures emerged from the shadows. Boyd's square-jawed outline was immediately recognizable.
"I thought you weren't...," her words faded when Boyd's companion stepped up, and she blinked, taking in the tall, powerfully-built figure. He was almost unrecognizable, except for the piercing hazel-green eyes.
"It's been a while, Bonnie." he said quietly.
"I'll say," she smiled but his expression remained serious. She'd left Beacon Hills when she was eight and Derek almost twelve. There was little that was boyish about him now. The jaw and sharp nose made his face seem carved in stone, except for the vivid, almost haunting color of his eyes. And the leather jacket and jeans couldn't hide the powerful lines of muscle as he moved.
She was lost, hopelessly so. Bonnie never cried if she could help it. At eight years old she'd already learned that crying wasn't something that got you anything. Certainly not her mother's interest.
Her dad was the only one who noticed if she was upset. 'There, there green-eyes' he'd chuckle and wipe her tears.
But he wasn't here, no one was here. Just her and the trees and whatever else was hidden in the forest, waiting for silly little girls who wandered off alone.
Bonnie wiped her nose, sniffling loudly. 'Mom,' she called faintly, hiccuping, 'Dad. I'm here.'
'Are you lost?'
The boy seemed to have come out of nowhere. He was a bit older than her, with wide eyes the same shifting colors as the forest leaves.
'No,' she replied boldly, but her voice quavered.
He smiled, 'It's ok, it's easy to get lost here if you don't know the way.'
"You two know each other?" Boyd's voice cut in and she realized she'd been staring. Bonnie felt a slight warmth at her ears.
"Yea. From when I lived in Beacon Hills," she found Derek still watching her, like he was waiting for something. "So what's up?"
"He needs a place to stay." Boyd cut to the point in his usual way.
"What does that have to do with me?"
"Nothing," Derek interrupted sharply, "It's a stupid idea and I told him so. Let's go, Boyd."
"Wait," she stepped up to Derek, "If you're in trouble, I can help."
His gaze unsettled her. Like he'd never seen her before. Like he was weighing every word. Her heart fluttered the tiniest bit faster and his eyes moved sharply like he detected something she couldn't.
Boyd cleared his throat, "Uhh... can we all talk inside?"
Derek had conceded to himself that Boyd was the most level-headed pack member. Which is why he'd listened when Boyd said he had a friend who could help.
"Her family's been involved with stuff for generations, so she's a safe bet," the younger wolf insisted. Bonnie and Boyd worked together at a small bookstore downtown.
But now that Boyd was gone and he was trapped in awkward silence at Bonnie's apartment, Derek was reconsidering sleeping in his car or the abandoned Hale house, fuck the danger.
"I'll get you some blankets for the futon."
While Bonnie bustled around Derek looked for a place to put his bags. The apartment was small and sparsely furnished. A quilted wall-hanging and some patterned curtains were the only decorations. There was a picture beside the futon of Bonnie and an older woman who was quite obviously family. Bonnie looked happy and younger in the picture, though it probably wasn't very old.
She emerged with an armful of blankets and a pillow and dropped them on the futon, "Help yourself to the fridge, just don't drink milk out of the carton."
"I'll try and remember that."
She stood with hands on her hips, "Do you need anything else?".
Derek looked at her properly for the first time and noticed she was pretty. More than pretty. His werewolf-sight could absorb details in mere seconds - a heart-shaped face, green eyes, petite curves - like they did everyday. But other things - the tilt of her smile, how the soft grey dress drew out the supple gold in her skin, the way her neck and shoulders were shadowed almost teasingly by the loose dark curls - drew his eyes back, again, and a third time when she shifted her weight, waiting.
He'd been staring like a creep and she was probably weirded out.
"I'm fine," he rasped, avoiding her eyes.
"Oh...ok," there was the smallest hint of disappointment in her voice, like she'd been expecting more than two quick words. Derek busied himself with his duffel bag and kept his silence until she shrugged off to her room.
The girl was obviously lost, but her tearful green eyes flashed when he tried to approach her.
"Don't come closer or...or," she scrambled and hastily picked up a rock, "or I'll throw this at you!"
She was really brave for being lost in the woods by herself. "My parents live close by, you can come wait at our house till your parents find-,"
"No," she shook her two braids, "No, no they'll find me before that. Or I'll find them."
He could hear the runaway thud of her heartbeat. Her socks were dirt stained and one of her hair ribbons were coming loose.
"Go away," she repeated, "I'll be fine by myself."
He watched her walk off into the trees. Derek knew it was almost supper time. He should head home and wash up so he could help his mom lay the table.
He glanced back at her. It would be dark soon. What if she fell and hurt herself? She wasn't a wolf like he was, she couldn't smell and see the hidden things. Maybe his mom wouldn't be upset if he told her he was helping someone.
Derek followed the girl, keeping his distance so he stayed hidden. After almost an hour she dropped down beside some bushes and started crying. He froze. What should he do? If he showed himself she'd run away and maybe hurt herself. But his parents always said he should help people who were in trouble.
He waited until her crying subsided and she curled up on her side. After a few moments her breathing evened out a little. The sun was fading.
Derek stepped out quietly, crouching down to the ground when he was a few feet from her. She didn't stir, so he sat down. Eventually he stretched out on the forest floor, its scent of earth and leaf and rain as familiar as his own breath.
He watched the stars appear as his eyes grew heavy. Her heartbeat was the last sound that faded with sleep.
R&R if you have a moment, your feedback is deeply appreciated! xoxox
The graphic belongs to/ was made by Annie. A fanmix will be posted when the fic is done :)