Author's Note: There is no excuse for the delay on this chapter. I've been busy with other projects, but know I have not forgotten this story. Thanks for your follows, favorites, and reviews. Enjoy.

Chapter 4

Stiles froze like a deer caught in a pair of headlights. He imagined, even practiced in front of the bathroom mirror, all the things he'd say to her if he ever saw her again. Now, that she was right in front of him, his mind wouldn't function. The first and most important question how have you been? was right there at the tip of his tongue, but the words wouldn't come out of his mouth. It was like the wires were crossed or burned.

"Here's your worksheet," she said, annoyed. When he still didn't grab it, she dropped it on his desk and turned back around.

Why was she acting like this to him? After she stayed when she could have taken off with the moon stone? After she went to save him from Haven and James? Why risk yourself to save someone, only to treat them like they didn't matter?

Stiles was baffled by her action or lack of action. So baffled, that he spent the entire class staring at the back of her head. He wanted to talk to her. Alone. The problem was getting that to happen. If Freddie was here, it would be safe to assume the rest were as well. If not, they wouldn't be far behind.

When class ended, Scott got up and grabbed Stiles by the arm and forced him to the door. Stiles managed to grab all his things. He kept his eyes on Ruby and didn't pay attention to Scott.

"Mr. Stilinski, may I have a word with you?" Freddie asked. A low growl came from his direction, causing Scott to freeze. Ruby finally got up, grabbing her belongings. She took large strides towards Stiles and Scott. When she reached them, she pushed Scott out of the classroom with ease.

Stiles didn't move from the door. He looked at Freddie. "Have a seat," Freddie suggested, tapping the top of the desk in front of him. Stiles slowly made his way to the front of the room. "I don't bite."

Stiles swallowed the lump in his throat. He was scared, but he decided to respond the best way he knew how, with sarcasm. "Yeah, that's like saying a scorpion doesn't sting," he said as he sat down.

Freddie smiled and leaned back on his desk. He folded his arms in front of him. "I want to formally introduce myself."

Stiles rolled his eyes. This guy was a comedian. As if a formal introduction from the enemy was necessary. Stiles knew who he was already, but he went along, adding more sarcasm. "My fault. I was busy, being tied up and what not." He shrugged his shoulders.

Freddie let out a solo "ha." He found Stiles amusing. "I see why Haven and especially Ruby were so enamored with you." He smiled. "You're a firecracker." He moved closer to him. Stiles' body tensed up and his heart beat accelerated a little. The smile on Freddie's face grew.

"I should be going." He stuttered out. "They'll be looking for me." Who were they? Scott was the only one that knew he was alone with Freddie and Stiles wasn't feeling too confident in him. Ruby wasn't on his side. Jackson was…not in town yet. Derek was barely talking to him and he hadn't been has protective like he was two months ago. Isaac…well he imagined Isaac was with Derek.

"You mean Derek." Freddie had a satisfying tone in his voice. Stiles couldn't help, but feel a little jealous. Did Freddie find Derek attractive? Stiles' top lip twitched.

Derek wasn't who he was talking about and it was none of Freddie's concern if he meant Derek or not and he didn't. "Derek wouldn't like this." He chose his words wisely; to make sure he wasn't lying.

Freddie didn't say a word. He absorbed Stiles' words. Though in truth, his words were true. Last Stiles spoke with Derek about werewolves; Derek didn't want him involving himself with them, especially with Ruby. Because she was connected with James and Haven. Haven and James were the enemy and Freddie was with them. Ergo Stiles had to stay away from him as well. At least, that was a truth for Stiles.

"Very well," Freddie said as he nodded his head at the door. He didn't show any emotion. It was like he just took in the information and was going to analyze it alone.

Stiles got up and quickly left the room. He went straight to his jeep. Isaac and Scott were standing there, waiting for him in silence. When he reached his jeep and them, Isaac stepped forward and asked him if he was alright. Stiles kept his eyes on Scott. He wasn't surprised Scott didn't speak. He had barely said two sentences to Stiles in the last couple months.

Scott growled at Stiles. He knew Scott wanted to know what happened. Stiles just ignored the growl. If Scott really wanted to know, he'd have to ask for himself, in words. Stiles reached into his front pant pocket and pulled out his keys. He unlocked the door on the driver side. As he went to open it, Scott held the door closed. This angered Stiles a little.

"What did he say?" Scott asked, roughly through a tight lip. Stiles imagined Scott was keeping his wolf fangs behind his closed mouth.

For a moment, Stiles felt intimidated, but it was only for a second. He stared into Scott's eyes. He was acting like he was Derek, trying to intimidate him, but Scott was no Derek. Since was trying to act like Derek, Stiles replied to him in the way he would reply to Derek. "You're not my alpha." The dumbfounded look on Scott's face was priceless. It caused the corner of Stiles' lips to slightly curve up. His line delivered.

Stiles, feeling satisfied and not wanting to deal with Scott right now, turned around and walked away. Isaac called out his name, telling him to wait, but he kept walking.

No matter how satisfying it was to hold his ground with Scott and Freddie, deep down inside, it was overwhelming for him. Things were out of his control. An omega was keeping an eye on him and the people he cares about. Alphas were lurking around; he was sure of it. Erica and Boyd were somewhere out there, alone. Scott was just there, frustrating him when he should be helping. The incessant need to help Ruby, out of the predicament she was in, grew. All the while, the mess that was Derek circulated around in the back of his head.

After leaving the school property, Stiles realized he didn't want to walk. He pulled out his phone and called Danny. When Danny picked up, Stiles stared talking. "He gets on my nerves. I'm not just some helpless kid. I can be very useful." Danny tried to speak, but Stiles continued, "can you pick me up from the school?" Danny laughed and said yes. Stiles told him it was just down the street.

He ended the call and continued walking. He thought about what he said to Danny. He was talking about Scott. At least that was what he thought, but the words applied to Derek too.

It didn't take long before Danny pulled up on the side of the road. Stiles got in. He didn't say a word and neither did Danny. He was started to know Stiles and he could tell when Stiles wasn't in the mood for questions.

"Lydia wants to see you," Danny stated. It was then Stiles noticed they were on their way to her house.

They arrived at Lydia's house and walked up the driveway to the backyard. He saw Lydia laying on a floating chair in the water, drinking some pick liquid that he was sure was one of two things: pink lemonade or pink grapefruit.

"Hello, Lydia," he said as he looked at her olive colored skin she got from her trip to Florida. She looked amazing in her peach two piece bikini, soaking up the sun. she pulled her headphones out and paddled her way to them.

Danny stepped to the edge of the pool. He took off his shoes and socks. He rolled up his pants and dipped his feet into the water. He signaled Stiles to do the same and he did. Lydia reached the stairs and got out. She walked over to the table and grabbed two empty glasses she had and poured the pink liquid into them. She walked to them. "Pink grapefruit." She sounded like she was asking them if they wanted something to drinks, but they knew better. It wasn't a request.

As Stiles reached for one of the glasses, she said, "we're not going to hallucinate, right?" He flashed a smile.

Danny gazed at them with suspicion. He didn't go to Lydia's birthday party to know she was under Peter's control and drugged them with wolfsbane. Well he wouldn't have known that regardless. He wasn't clued in the supernatural activity that was going on in Beacon Hills.

Lydia sat down on Stiles' right side, dipping her feet in the water and swirling her feet around, making a figure 8. "So how is summer school?" She asked, filling the time. He knew she wanted to ask him something else, but she couldn't because Danny was sitting with them.

As if right on cue, Jackson walked out of her house and called Danny over. He mumbled Stiles' last name under his breath. Stiles smiled and said, "Whittemore." Danny got up and walked over to Jackson.

Lydia stared at the water for a moment before she said, "I heard that girl is back in town." He didn't like how Lydia didn't use her name. Ruby.

Scott must have told Isaac and, of course, Isaac shared that information with his alpha. "Her name is Ruby." His tone came off harsh. He felt defensive.

"Sorry, Ruby," Lydia said, apologizing. She flipped her strawberry blonde hair behind her shoulder. He couldn't help, but admire her beauty. The way the sun shined down on her olive tanned skin. It gave her an undeniable glow.

She spoke again, forcing him to come out of the trance her beauty had him under, "it's just he name makes me want to scream at the top of my lungs." She really didn't like Ruby. That made Stiles a little upset. He cared about the both of them.

"That isn't the only problem. Freddie is here with her." Lydia saw how upsetting that was for him.

She changed the subject, to an even more oppressing topic. "How's everything with you?" Something about the sound in her tone made his question if she knew about Derek and him. The only people that knew were Ruby and Scott, plus their enemies. Could Scott have told Isaac and from Isaac the information about Derek marking Stiles as he potential mate circulated through the group?

He wasn't sure if it happened; so he played it cool. "Things are fine." They could be better, but things were okay and that was better than them being bad. Though, he knew things were going to get bad.

She told Stiles they came back because Derek ordered Jackson to return, just like Stiles had predicted. He asked her if she knew what Derek had planned. She said she didn't know, but Stiles had his reservations.

Stiles shared with her something she didn't know. He told her about the voicemail he received from Erica. Boyd and she were still alive.

Lydia exhaled long from her nostrils. She didn't share the same happiness as him. "That's great news, but I'm worried you're going to try to get involved." Of course, he was going to get involved. Erica was his friend. Maybe not the best of friends, but he cared about her. The images of Boyd and her tied up and tortured in the basement flashed in his head. The agony in their eyes. Lydia, Scott, Derek, nor anyone else saw that. They didn't understand his need to help. They simply brushed him aside, not knowing how useless it made him feel. How much he hated having to sit on the sidelines and watch his friends fight.

He felt his hatred start to surface and changed the subject. He asked her how their trip to Florida was. She knew he was dodging the subject. She went along. "Hot and humid, but fun." She added that they went shopping a lot. So much, they had to purchase more suitcases to the point that they should have just went with the clothes on their backs.

They got out of the pool and went inside. She had gotten him some things from Florida. He followed one step behind her all the way up to her room. He gazed at her olive colored skin, tracing the outline of her body with his eyes. She was a beautiful sight; one, he felt tempted to touch.

Whey they reached her room, he swallowed the saliva that built up in his mouth from lustfully admiring her body. "I know how much you love your long sleeve, button-up flannels," Lydia said as she pointed at the shirts that lay perfectly on her bed.

He walked over to his bed and touched the blue one, running his fingers down the sleeve. He smiled. She thought about him.

"I like them." He walked over to her and gave her a big hug. They embrace was long. She didn't pull away. She held him tighter than he held her.

Stiles trembled so hard; he knew she felt it, but she didn't pull away or say a word. He sighed, trembling once more in her arms and then, broke away.

His emotions came out. He missed Ruby and Scott. A part of him was saddened by Scott's decision to distance him. He was worried for Erica and Boyd. And of course, as much as he would verbally deny it; he missed Derek.

His mind focused on Lydia. He didn't understand why her touch made him feel this way. Well, obviously, he had feelings for her, despite what the attraction he was feeling for Derek and small clinging feeling he felt for Danny. It was something more than that. There was something more than that.

After Stiles composed himself; Lydia and he returned outside to the pool. Danny approached them with Stiles' phone in hand. He said his father called him. Stiles looked at the time on his phone. He tried figuring out why his father would have called. Maybe he was calling to let him know he had to work late.

Stiles excused himself, walking to the driveway and called his father. His father answered right away. "Hey son."

"Hi, dad." Stiles sounded awkward. He scratched his head, wondering why the awkward tone.

"Where are you? I stopped by the house and saw your jeep in the driveway, but you weren't home." Stiles silenced. How did his jeep get to his house? Did Scott take it from the school? No, it couldn't have been him. From the way Scott was acting lately; doing Stiles a solid would be out of character. Plus, no one had his spare car key, but his father. "Hello?"

"Yeah." He came up with a lie right away. "I dropped it off and got picked up by Danny. I'm here at Lydia Martin's home. She got back from Florida today and she wanted to see me."

His father appeared to be satisfied by his answer. "Okay, son. Don't forget we're having dinner later."

"Of course." He ended the call.

He went back to his friends and hung out with them. They joked around with each other. Danny and Jackson started talking about cross country that would start up when school begins in the fall. Lydia, of course, was making comments about how she didn't like spending time with Danny and Jackson. All they ever talked about were sports.

Stiles spent a few more hours with them. It was nice. His mind didn't wander on to other things. Things he did find important, but not at the moment. He was able to relax and enjoy himself.

Dusk was upon them and it was almost time for Stiles to go have dinner with his father. He said good bye to Lydia and waved at Jackson, who just nodded in return. Danny took Stiles home. When they arrived, Danny asked how his jeep got to his house. Stiles shrugged his shoulder; he didn't know.

He bid farewell to Danny and exited the car. He made his way quickly into his house. Once inside, he heard noise coming from the kitchen; his father was making something.

He dropped his book bag and the bag of flannel shirts, Lydia had gotten him, next to the base of the stairs, leading to the second floor and walked towards the kitchen. As he walked through the hallway, the smell of chicken in the air made his mouth water. He stomach growled, more like roared, reminding him that he didn't have lunch today.

He made it to the kitchen and saw his father-dressed in normal clothes and not in his usual sheriff's attire-standing in front of the stove, frying a boneless chicken breast. Next to him on the counter were bowls and a small pan filled with more food. The biggest bowl had lettuce, which Stiles knew it to be a salad. The smaller bowl had croutons in it. The pan had bowled vegetables.

Without taking his eyes off the stove, his father reached for a seasoning and added a little dash of it to the chicken. "It's almost done," his father said. "Can you take the food to the table?"

Stiles nodded, though his father couldn't see him, and walked over to the counter. He grabbed the two bowls first and set them on the center of the small three-seated dinner table. He returned to the counter and got the vegetables, bringing them to the table.

He placed everything in perfect arm reaching distance for the both of them. This was something he had learned to do 8 years ago. Before his mother passed away, she was the one in the middle, handing someone something when they asked for it.

When the chicken breast was done, they sat down and began serving themselves. "How was school?" His father asked, making small talk.

Stiles didn't answer right away. He wanted to get some of the food. In front of him, in his stomach. He cut a piece of chicken and shoved it in his mouth, chewed it a little, and added some vegetables. Once he chewed it enough, he swallowed it and then answered his father. "It was okay."

His father raised his eyebrow, curious and wanting him to elaborate. He came up with a quick lie because he knew he couldn't tell him the truth, that Ruby and the omega werewolf Freddie had come to Beacon Hills and how much that bothered him. "It's summer school. There's nothing to be excited for; my friends aren't there. I failed a class and thus summer school is my punishment."

His father began eating his salad. "Melissa told me that Scott had summer school as well. You don't see him there?" Stiles tensed a little. Scott was another subject that made him uneasy.

"Yeah, we have geology together." He said stuffing his mouth with lettuce so he wouldn't have to speak.

His father knew more than Stiles thought. "Melissa said she hasn't seen you around in almost two months and the last time she did, you two got into an argument." He paused, putting more food in his mouth. He waited for Stiles to give an input, but Stiles just stuffed his mouth with chicken.

Stiles wondered if perhaps Melissa overheard what they were arguing about. She was clued in on the supernatural. He stopped his mind before wandering off.

"I have to say I agree with her. I haven't seen Scott around here. Is everything alright?" His father asked.

Stiles just chewed his food, staring back at his father. He didn't know what to say; well he did, but it would result in him telling, yet, another lie. Lying to his father kept him up some nights and here he went, telling another one. "He's been obsessing over Allison."

His father interrupted with a question, "he's not…harassing her, is he?"

"No, no, no, it's nothing like that. He's just…obsessing and I tried explaining to him that he needs to move on." His answer was satisfying for his father, but inside, Stiles didn't like having to lie to his father. All it did was created a bigger riff between them, one his father did not see.

His father moved on to another topic, one he wasn't ready to hear. One he knew he wasn't ready to hear. "I want to thank you for giving me what I asked for." Stiles raised his eyebrow. He didn't know what he was talking about. "You've been staying away from Derek Hale." There went the metaphoric knife of heartbreak, cutting into his chest, ridding him of his hunger.

"Yeah," he said, moving his fork around his food, playing with it. He wasn't hungry. He took a large drink from his water. He thanked his father for the dinner and excused himself to do his homework. Homework wasn't his most oppressing thing, but he didn't want to show his uneasiness to his father.

He went upstairs to his room and pulled out his homework. He wasn't in the mood to do it. So he pulled out his phone and listened to the voicemail Erica left him. After he listened to it, he repeated it. The automated voice machine said the number that Erica called him from. 541-238-3209.

The area code was said. 541. He knew the number and he could find where they were. He didn't know why he didn't think of it before.