“Are you sure this is it?” Cora asked skeptically, making Laura look down at her phone and back up at the cheerful Victorian home, hidden behind and iron gate and long driveway. Back down, then up. And again. Her GPS system said they had reached their destination, but she couldn’t believe that this was really Peter’s house. There had to be a mistake.
The beautiful 3 story home with the large windows and classy accents looked like the exact opposite of her uncle’s taste. For a while she had believed Peter had lived in an underground network of caves, plotting evil schemes and tinkering with magic, while preparing for world domination and serving his lord and master Satan, but now she knew that it was absolutely ridiculous. Peter wouldn’t serve Satan. If anything, he was the king of hell himself.
She glanced down the street again. It was an exclusive neighborhood and further away from Beacon Hills. There were only three more houses, all equally large and luxurious and clearly built during the Victorian ages as well. The pastel yellow house next to her uncle’s had a ‘FOR SALE’ sign on the curb and from what she could see, hidden behind another iron gate was a perfectly kept front yard. A man in a sharp looking suit was just about to pin a ‘SOLD’ sticker on top of it. He was the only sign of life anywhere since the other two houses were silent and dark.
“I think so.” She glanced at the blue house again, squared her shoulders and climbed out of her car. “If you don’t hear from me in 8 hours, send a SWAT team.” She whispered ominously to Cora, who rolled her eyes. “And have fun on your date.” Her sister, who had oh so generously dropped her off at Uncle Peter’s house, gave her the finger before pulling off the curb, not wanting to be late for her date. Originally, David had wanted to pick her up at the Hale house, but their dad had a pretty strict ‘No motorcycle’ policy, which was why Cora had taken Laura’s car to meet him at the movie theater.
Laura turned towards the house again and took another deep breath. This was it, no turning back now. With determination she pushed open the iron gates, shuddering when they creaked ominously. It was a sound straight out of a horror movie.
There was a brand-new Bentley parked in the gravel driveway, which didn’t belong to her uncle because Peter had gotten himself a new Tesla to ‘contribute to saving the environment’ and do his part fighting against climate change. Hopefully Derek hadn’t sat her up and given her the address of a serial killer or an old geezer who liked to open the door naked.
Cautiously, she walked up the porch steps that were overflowing with bright and cheerful flowers and rung the ancient looking doorbell. She couldn’t hear anything inside the house, which was unsettling, and probably caused by the runes that were carved into the railing of the porch steps and the door frame.
The lock clicked and then the door finally opened, revealing her uncle. Unbelievable, Peter really did live here.
“Hello, Laura. What a pleasant surprise.” Peter’s lips twitched a little bit at the ‘pleasant’, but she chose to ignore it. “Please come on in, my darling niece.” The runes shuddered as she stepped over the threshold and suddenly, she was able to hear everything. The fluttering heartbeat of Kam, Peter’s own steady one and another one from further inside the house. It wasn’t Stiles’, the human’s was far more erratic than the slow thumping of this person’s heart.
“What brings you to our humble abode?” Peter asked as he led her further into the house and Laura faltered. Right, she had forgotten to find a good excuse to turn up at her uncle’s house.
“Can’t a niece just visit her favorite uncle?” She asked innocently and Peter paused in the middle of the large hallway. He turned towards her, leaning against the white banister of the wide staircase leading to the next floor. His blue eyes wandered over her face, searching for something, even though she wasn’t quite sure what it was exactly. Eventually one of his eyebrows arched skeptically.
“No, especially not when I’m nobody’s favorite family member. In fact, most of you are usually quite glad when they see me leave, except for Derek, of course.” He crocked his head a bit. “Maybe I’m getting old but as far as I can recall, every time you had to get the door to let me in, you stank of annoyance, displeasure and general unhappiness. But my memory might fool me, I’m sure the general hostility from your mother and her pack towards me are just hallucinations.”
Laura flinched at his sharp words and cowered a bit. He could’ve slapped her, and it would’ve hurt less than hearing how she had treated her uncle for years, without even noticing it until now.
“Well, you’re already inside, you might as well stay for tea and biscuits.” Her uncle sighed and continued to stride down the long hallway, bypassing white, Victorian double doors. They were all opened and revealed beautifully decorated rooms. It was unmistakable that people lived here. There was a blanket thrown over the white couch in the living room, a bunch of documents were spread across the sturdy desk in an office, a jacket hung over the back of one of the tasteful chairs in the dining room and the scent of freshly baked biscuits clung in the air.
It was beautiful and Laura loved it.
She followed Peter into a stunning, closed off kitchen that was as bright and cheerful as the rest of the house. There were shiny kitchen appliances on the white countertops, high tech ovens and a coffee machine that weakened her knees. It was amazing.
“Oh, do we have a guest?” A curious voice with a charming English accent piqued up and only now did Laura notice the man sitting at the breakfast bar. He had a cup of tea in his hand and was leaning over one of the countless magazines in front of him.
“Yes, one of my sister’s strays appears to have wandered off from her home and gotten lost. God knows how she ended up here.” Peter sighed and took another cup out of a cupboard. He took a delicate looking teapot and poured some tea into it.
“Ah.” Distaste was dripping from his words and he eyed her like an insect that had crawled on his plate and spoiled his dinner. “I see.” He didn’t bother to hide his hostility and Laura shivered.
“Laura, this is Deucalion, one of my oldest acquaintances.” Peter introduced. “Deuc, you know Laura.” He waved a hand between them lazily and the wolf nodded.
“I certainly know of her.” A smirk graced his thin lips. “And really, Peter. Just introduce me as your best friend already. You hurt my feelings by always rejecting me.” He tutted and Peter rolled his eyes. “Well, Laura, it’s a pleasure.” Deucalion gifted her with a smile, but it was as empty as his words. “You are his oldest niece, am I right? Please excuse any mistakes, but Peter so rarely talks about his blood related family. I can see why….” He trailed off, and Laura didn’t know what to say.
His obvious dislike towards her was startling and the fact that Peter hadn’t bothered to step in was painful.
“Take a seat, Laura, and drink your tea. It doesn’t taste half as good when it’s cold.” Peter ushered her to one of the stools at the breakfast bar, right next to Deucalion and she sat down with a feeling of unease and queasiness. “Biscuit? Stiles made some; we have Bourbon Biscuits, Hobnobs, Custard Creams and of course Jammy Biscuits.” Peter offered her a plate filled with cookies.
“Thank you.” She took a dark brown biscuit and carefully took a bite. It was delicious, like everything Stiles made.
“They’re quite remarkable, aren’t they? I have never eaten a more authentic English biscuit made by someone who wasn’t British. Stiles is a very gifted young man.” Deucalion dunked a biscuit in his tea and allowed it to soak for a few seconds, before nibbling on it. “Did you teach him?” The wolf asked her uncle, who was holding his own cup in his hands.
“Yes. Authentic Asian and British cuisine is the only thing I could teach him.” Peter shrugged. “Whenever I feel a bit nostalgic of my years living abroad, he surprises me with a traditional Japanese or British dish. I’m a lucky man.” Her uncle smiled and Laura chocked on her tea.
“You lived abroad?” She gaped at her uncle, who shot her a wry smile, while Deucalion gave her a look of cold, unconcealed judgement.
“Yes, he spent a year in Japan and another one in Britain. It’s where we met.” A read glimmer sparked inside Deucalion’s eyes. “I tried to persuade him to join my pack and leave behind the family that had no appreciation for his numerous talents, but he denied me. He’s a leader, not one who follows and the alpha in him is strong. He may not have a big pack, but numbers don’t matter; there are many ignorant alphas who pride themselves with having a large pack, yet at the end of the day, it means nothing if the individual wolves aren’t gifted. Also, it’s quite difficult to keep track of what happens in your pack members’ lives when there are too many. What kind of pack does your mother call her own again?”
“Deucalion.” Peter soothed and refilled the man’s tea. “Don’t be so hard on my niece, she is a guest after all.” He smirked. “And it would be a shame if the audience already knows about all the jabs at them you’ve prepared in your passive aggressive speech for my wedding.”
“A great shame indeed.” Deucalion sighed theatrically and sipped on his tea. “Very well, I will behave.” He inclined his head a bit and focused on the magazine in front of him again. Only now did Laura notice that it was a wedding magazine. In fact, all of them were wedding magazines with glossy paper and countless pictures. There was a thick leather notebook hidden amongst them and when Laura opened it, she realized it was filled with scribbled notes about their soon to be wedding.
There were multiple dates marked in consideration; different color themes, a couple of menus and two guest lists, one slightly shorter and only consisting of the sheriff, a woman named Melissa, someone named Scott, Allison, Isaac, Derek, Deucalion and about twenty more names she had never heard before and then there was a second, much longer list that also included the entire Hale pack.
“Why do you have two guest lists?” Laura asked, slightly perplexed. Deucalion cleared his throat and picked up his cup of tea.
“I think I shall enjoy the rest of my tea on the porch, while the two of you have a chat.” He got up, grabbed the magazine he had been reading and vanished through the open French doors into the backyard. It gave them an illusion of privacy despite knowing that his hearing was excellent.
“Because Stiles and I are still arguing about what kind of ceremony we will have. He wants a large one and plans on inviting his entire polish family as well as everyone we know, no matter how fleetingly, and all the Hales, while I would prefer a more private affair with only the people mentioned on the first list.” Peter explained calmly and took the notebook from her. “We prepared two guest lists, depending on what we decide on.”
“You wouldn’t invite us to your wedding?” Laura exclaimed, in pure disbelief.
Peter sighed and leaned against the kitchen counter.
“Laura.” He sounded tired. “Can you honestly say that you would want to attend my wedding? Or anybody else of the Hale pack for that matter? Excluding the children below the age of 12, none of you is particularly happy to see me. And I’m not usually welcome at family celebrations. Admittedly, I can be quite… difficult at times, but everyone even prefers aunt Esther and her homophobic, racist, sexist and generally everything phobic except heterophobic, views. Why would I invite people who wouldn’t want to attend my wedding, who wouldn’t share the joy I will experience when I can finally claim my mate as mine in every possible way?” He rubbed his temples, like he was fighting a migraine. “I want my wedding to be a day I shall always remember fondly. Inviting the family that’s glad whenever I leave, the family that has so little interest in me that they didn’t notice when I left the pack, that I spent years living abroad, that I was soaked in another person’s scent for months, would taint that memory.”
Laura’s throat was tight. She tried to swallow the knot down, but it didn’t work. Everything he said was true, a brutal honesty that cut deep and left a gashing wound. He was right. Why would he invite them? To hear them gossip in disbelief while he was saying his vows? To see them shake their head in disapproval while biting his mate? To receive pitying looks and half-hearted congratulations while those he wasn’t related to by blood were honestly happy for him?
“Peter…” She started, but he shook his head.
“I don’t hold anything against you, your siblings, your parents or anybody else.” Peter cut her off “I love you and even though I’m not part of the pack anymore, I’d do my very best to protect every single one of the family. But that doesn’t mean I want to share this with you. It’s too special to be turned into a parody.”
Laura felt numb. Peter had never been one to talk about feelings or emotions, he was a lot like Derek in that regard, and hearing him say all of this, allowing her to get a look into his soul for a brief moment, was something special. Even though it was painful.
“If Stiles gets his way, I will invite all of you as well, but I want you to keep in mind that I don’t want you to come if you don’t share our joy and happiness. I won’t hold it against you if you decline, and I would appreciate it if you passed this on to everybody else.” He emptied his cup of tea before he put it into the dish washer.
When he turned around again, the wall was back up and Laura once again faced the uncle she had always known and never understood. She didn’t know why, but suddenly she wanted to become one of the people whom Peter was comfortable enough around to let his guard down. Only, she had no idea how to get there.
She picked at her biscuit, making it crumble between her fingers. God, she was a shitty person.
When she glanced up, she saw Peter watching her with a contemplating look on his face. She had no idea what it meant, but before she could analyze it, the front door opened. Someone walked into the house, breathing heavily and she could hear music coming from a pair of headphones. The person took their sneakers off before coming down the hallway to the kitchen. To her surprise, it was Derek. His naked chest was glistening with sweat and his usually quite fluffy hair stuck to his forehead.
“Oh, hey Laura.” He looked slightly surprised to see her; but didn’t bother to ask what on earth she was doing here. Instead he walked to the fridge and grabbed himself a bottle of water. As he bypassed their uncle, Peter absentmindedly raised a hand and caressed Derek’s neck fleetingly. Her brother didn’t hesitate to bear his neck ever so slightly, without batting an eye about the casual display of ownership and dominance.
Laura had seen her mother do the same thing countless times, but seeing it happen between Derek and Peter was a shock. Especially since it didn’t seem forced, instead it was…normal. Like it had happened a thousand times before, and it probably had.
“I thought you were staying at Isaac’s for the weekend.” She inquired curiously. “I didn’t see your car in the driveway.” Derek shrugged.
“Isaac has it. He and Stiles wanted to get groceries, so I gave him the keys.” Her brother grabbed the towel Peter handed to him and wiped it across his forehead and over his face.
Laura’s mouth dropped open. The Camaro was Derek’s baby, he barely tolerated Laura and Cora riding with him and had kicked the out and left them on the curb the one time they had eaten a granola bar in his car, which resulted in them having to walk two hours to get back home. He had to be head over heels in love with Isaac to allow the human to drive his car. Not to mention letting Stiles sit in the passenger seat.
“And technically I am staying at Isaac’s. His upstairs neighbor forgot to turn his tub off and the entire ceiling in Isaac’s bathroom collapsed about two weeks ago. He had to move out while they repair everything and since the authorities had been called to inspect everything, it’s questionable if he can move back in at all. Apparently, it’s about to be deemed uninhabitable.” He scratched his beard with a frown. “Anyways, I’ll hit the shower.” He mumbled and left the kitchen to vanish upstairs.
Laura stared after him, still slightly shocked. Isaac was living here? And by extension also Derek?
She turned towards her uncle again.
“Are you trying to make Derek part of your pack?” She asked sharply and Peter raised one eyebrow skeptically. There was something akin to disapproval and disappointment in his eyes.
“Of course not.” He answered, voice cold and blue eyes hard as ice. “I’d never try and steal someone away from another pack. It’s tasteless. Derek feels comfortable with me and Stiles, he feels welcome here and I think he views this house as a sanctuary. He started forming the bond to me unintentionally; when I mentioned it to him, he told me he needed some time to think about what pack he wanted to belong to. I can understand if he decides to stay with your mother and I won’t distance myself from him if he chooses her. He’s family…” Peter stared out of the kitchen window. “Perhaps the only family I’m related to by blood.” His voice was quiet and carried something Laura couldn’t decipher. It wasn’t disappointment or resignation, it wasn’t sadness either. Still, it was heavy and made her heart freeze.
“Have you finished chatting?” Deucalion asked suddenly, dissolving the tension in the air. “I believe I heard Derek, is he back from his run?” The alpha put his empty tea cup into the dishwasher as well and stole himself another biscuit.
“Yes, he’s taking a shower.” Peter tilted his head a bit. “And I believe Stiles and Isaac are about to return. I hope they didn’t forget anything.” He glanced at Laura. “The last time we sent them grocery shopping together they brought back what seemed to be the diet of a regular college student. I had to drive to the store a second time so we would have anything besides ice cream, sweets and hot pockets in the fridge.” He snorted and only seconds later, the front door flung open.
“Honey, I’m home.” Stiles cheerfully called, followed by the rustling of paper bags. The front door was closed again and both Stiles and Isaac spilled into the kitchen, arms loaded with enough food to feed an army. “Oh, hey Laura.” He beamed at her and heaved the paper bags on the kitchen counter, before leaning towards Peter for a kiss. Her uncle rolled his eyes softly, before humoring him with a soft peck.
“Tell me you bought fresh vegetables and fruit.” Peter opened one of the paper bags to glance inside. “At least I don’t see 5 cartons of ice cream.” He teased and Isaac giggled.
“That was one time.” Stiles exclaimed, before he started unloading the bags. Peter and Isaac helped him, and Laura was surprised to see her brother’s boyfriend being so at ease in Peter und Stiles’ kitchen. He knew his way around the cabinets as if it was his own and obviously felt comfortable staying with her uncle.
“What are you spoiling us with today, darling?” Deucalion asked curiously, ignoring Peter’s low growl at the nickname. Stiles elbowed his fiancé in the side, before turning towards the Brit.
“We’ll have Scottish Tattie scones as an appetizer, our main dinner will be a vegetarian Shepherds Pie and for dessert I’ll make apple blueberry crumble with Strawberries in Coconut cream.” Stiles ticked off and Deucalion flashed him a broad smile.
“I happen to love Scottish Tattie scones. And apple blueberry crumble.” He positively leered and laughed when Peter threw an apple at his head. He caught it effortlessly and spun it in his hands. “Calm down, you know I have a boyfriend.” After a second, he tilted his head a bit. “Although I’m sure he wouldn’t be opposed to a foursome.” This time Deucalion didn’t have the time to catch whatever Peter had decided to throw at him, but since it was simply a bag of vegan marshmallows, it bounced off his forehead softly and landed on the floor.
“Peter.” Stiles playfully huffed from where he had put a pint of ice cream sneakily into the freezer. “Behave.”
“I will if he does.” Peter mumbled and pulled Stiles against him possessively.
Deucalion threw his head back and laughed, before turning to Isaac. “I suppose you and Derek aren’t open to a foursome either, are you?” He winked and the human blushed all the way down his neck to the collar of his T-Shirt.
“Don’t even think about it.” Derek emerged from the hallway, hair still damp from the shower. “He’s mine.” He pressed a kiss on top of Isaac’s mop of curly hair, and the slight flush of embarrassment turned into a dark crimson red that made Isaac’s cheek glow.
“You’re no fun.” Deucalion’s sharp eyes jumped to Laura. “Sorry, sweetheart, but females aren’t my type.” He did indeed sound sorry for not being able to offer her to be part of a foursome, which Laura had no idea how to respond to.
“It’s fine.” She mumbled, not really knowing what else to say and turned towards Isaac. Somehow, she couldn’t believe he was living here, especially not when he could’ve stayed with Derek at the Hale house. “So, Isaac. I’ve heard you’ve moved in here.” She asked innocently and the boy blushed again.
“It’s only temporarily.” He said quickly. “I don’t want to bother Peter and Stiles for too long.”
Stiles laughed and crossed the kitchen. He seized Isaac’s face between his hands and pressed a loud kiss on the fellow human’s cheek. “Aw, you’ll stay with us however long you want. We’ve basically adopted you already.” He exclaimed and winked at Derek. “We’ve adopted you too, just so you know. I’ll even let you call me ‘Uncle Stiles’.”
Her brother rolled his eyes fondly, before he helped Stiles take out a handful of pots and pans from one of the cabinets.
“And you don’t mind Maddy? Babies can be pretty loud.” Where was Peter’s brat anyways? She hadn’t seen any toys laying around and there wasn’t any indication that a baby lived here anywhere. No high chair in the kitchen, no tiny shoes in the hallways, not even the scent of baby anywhere.
Five sets of curious eyes stared at her, before Stiles frowned in confusion.
“Why would he mind? We only babysit her once every two weeks when Scott and Ally have their weekly date night and my dad and Melissa can’t watch her.” He explained slowly, like he thought Laura wasn’t exactly the brightest bulb in the world.
Her gaze flickered to her uncle, who’s eyes were shining with amusement.
“You two don’t have a baby…” She realized slowly and closed her eyes in embarrassment when first Isaac and then Stiles started to giggle. Even Derek’s lips twitched into a grin.
“Of course not. Where did you get that idea?” Peter said brusquely. “Stiles and I aren’t even married and we’re too young to want a cub. I’m not ready to share him yet.”
She was an idiot. Oh God, she was such an idiot. Of course, it wasn’t their baby.
“But what about the whole papa wolf thing?” She croaked and Stiles doubled over with laughter.
“Maddy is my best friend’s daughter and we are her good parents. I’m trying to make her call Peter ‘papa’ just to see the despair on Scotty’s face when she does it.” He chocked out and Peter rolled his eyes fondly.
“You’re a menace.” He mumbled, but it sounded like a compliment.
Laura buried her head in her hands with a groan. “You made mom stress clean the entire house.” She said to Peter accusingly, who simply smirked.
“Really, do you honestly think I’d just show up with my daughter in tow? Please.” He scoffed dismissively and Laura bit her tongue to keep her remarks down.
‘Well, you showed up with your fiancé out of the blue, you once came home and were suddenly an alpha and the owner of your own law firm…’ She thought but kept it to herself. She didn’t want to feel even more like an idiot than she already did.
“You can tell my sister that I do not have a child and that there’s no need to call child protective services on me. She has plenty of time to do so when I’m actually a father and her fears that I might raise a future criminal mastermind are justified.” He said drily, before pulling out a couple of wooden cutting boards. “And since you’re staying for dinner, you might as well help chop the vegetables.” He ordered and Laura gratefully accepted the change of topic.
For the next two ours they worked comfortably together. While Laura was rather quiet and watched how everybody interacted with each other, the conversation in the kitchen was lively and fun. Everybody had their own task and while there was a saying that too many cooks spoil the broth, it was obvious that it wasn’t the case here. While everybody did something, it was Stiles who was in control. He seasoned and tasted, he stirred the pots and had turned into a hurricane of energy and laughter.
Deucalion excused himself for half an hour while everybody was cooking, saying something about getting a headache and Derek lead him out of the kitchen to somewhere upstairs and Laura was confused when she saw the alpha almost run into a small decorative table in the hallway. It was as if he couldn’t see properly anymore.
Stiles confined her quietly about some incident with a rouge hunter a few years back and that Deucalion’s sight tended to come and go in episodes, which was painful and occasionally somewhat depressing for the man in question.
When eventually, most of the food was either in the oven, freezer or cooking on the stove, Stiles banned them from the kitchen and ordered Peter to set the dinner table. Derek and Isaac grabbed three glasses of homemade pink grapefruit lemonade outside and Laura joined them. It was a nice summer evening and the slowly sinking sun spent enough warmth to sit comfortably on the wide back porch. There were multiple sets of comfortable couches and chairs set up outside and for the first time, Laura got a look at the backyard.
It was beautiful.
It was a large green meadow that was at least 150 yards long and led to a thick forest that Laura knew was part of the preserve. There was a good-sized pool next to the porch, including a jacuzzi and matching pool furniture. The yard was bordered by flower fields and a small area used to grow herbs. There were bees humming around, butterflies drinking nectar and she could hear some wildlife stalk through the preserve. And in the middle of the yard was a large bunny cage.
A couple of cute bunnies were inside, eating the green grass with adorable determination. Some had floppy ears, some had spots and there was an adorable one who was tiny compared to the others. Isaac told her with a wide smile that Peter and Stiles had given them to him as a gift and let them stay here because his apartment hadn’t allowed pets and because he didn’t want to keep the cooped up in a small cage inside, when they could be outside and enjoy nature.
Laura felt like her world was slowly rearranging itself and she saw Peter with different eyes. She still wasn’t used to it, but it didn’t surprise her the way it had before.
Still, it would take a few more weeks until she’d be used to this side of Peter she had never met before.
Dinner was delicious. Laura had tasted Stiles food a few times already and it was as amazing as always. And even though she had never been a fan of British cuisine, she did the same as everybody else, which was eating herself into a food daze.
Deucalion had joined them as well, eyes clear again and the lines of his face had vanished, but he was slightly more subdued than he had been before. Still, the conversation was lively and loud, especially because mid dinner, Sheriff Stilinski and his wife, Melissa, joined them and turned everything into a full-sized family dinner. The room was glowing with happiness and content and Laura understood why Derek spent so much time here.
Eventually, they cleared up the table and moved outside, where they sat for another two hours, talking more quietly while sipping lemonade and eating apple blueberry crumble. When the clock turned ten, the Sheriff and Melissa said their goodbyes, mumbling something about early shifts, and Laura took it as her que to go home as well. Stiles had offered her to stay over, but she needed some time to recover and think about everything that had happened today, especially Peter’s words about not inviting them to his wedding.
Derek offered to drive her home since Cora had dropped her off and she gratefully took him up on his offer. She needed a few minutes to talk to him privately anyways.
“Will you join his pack?” She asked, once they were out of earshot. Derek, to his credit, didn’t flinch and crash the car, but his hands tightened around the steering wheel.
“I don’t know yet.” He said, but his heart told her that he was lying. And there was only one reason why he’d lie about it.
“You will, won’t you? You’ve already decided.” There was a numbness in her chest. Loosing Derek… it was a terrible feeling. To know he preferred another pack over their mother’s…
“Yes.” Derek admitted with a long sigh.
Laura turned to look at her brother. In the dim light of the headlights, his face was all sharp angles and high cheekbones. “Why?” Laura wanted to know quietly, and he sighed again.
“Why are you in mom’s pack? Because it makes you feel save, it makes you feel whole and wolves need other wolves. You enjoy the humming of the pack bonds and the constant subtle flow of emotions from everyone around you. But I’m a lot like Peter. I like the quiet and the peace and for the first time, I feel less of what other people feel and more what I feel. I’m not being influenced by the emotions of our entire family anymore, it’s just me and a little bit of Peter, Stiles and Isaac. I like being in a small pack and I think… I think I’m in a better place than I was before.” He bit out like it pained him. Laura could understand why, Derek hated talking about emotions after all.
Laura watched her brother quietly. He did indeed seem happier. She should be happy for him, he would be if it was the other way around.
“Okay. Just don’t forget that we’re all family.” She said quietly before silence filled the car again. They didn’t speak another world until they pulled up at the Hale house. There were still lights on and Laura could hear the commotion inside. It was loud and lively as always, but more chaotic and hectic than it had been at Stiles’ and Peter’s house. She had never noticed the difference before.
“When will you tell mom?” Laura asked her brother, who smiled a bit ruefully.
“Tomorrow. I want to tell Peter first.” He mumbled and Laura launched across the center console to pull him into a tight, bone crushing hug, which he didn’t hesitate to return.
“I’m happy for you, Der-Bear.” She flickered his nose, before jumping out of a car, laughing loudly about him cursing her. Laura waved, when he drove away, until his taillights were out of sight. Then she turned towards her home and climbed up the porch steps. The front door was unlocked as always, and she breathed in the smell of home and comfort. After she had taken her shoes off, she climbed upstairs, wet into her room and sat down on her bed quietly. A lot of thoughts were racing through her head and when Cora slipped through her door to join her, she looked at her sister thoughtfully.
“Have we treated uncle Peter badly?” She asked her quietly, and Cora froze from where she had sat down on Laura’s bed as well.
“A few weeks ago, I would’ve said no, but now…” Cora sighed. “I don’t know. Why?”
Laura played with the tips of her hair, twirling it around her fingers. “He’s thinking about not inviting us to his wedding.” Cora looked at her with surprise. “He doesn’t want us to turn such an important day into something less by not being genuinely happy for him.”
“Well, shit.” Her younger sister grimaced. “He’s right. Most of us would behave like assholes.” She fiddled with a loose thread of her pajama pants. “We have a lot to make up for, don’t we?”
Yes, they had indeed.
“Tonight was surprisingly nice.” Stiles hummed quietly, as he was sprawled across Peter’s chest. “Laura isn’t too bad.” He sighed and tightened his arms around Peter.
“Still doesn’t mean I want to invite her to our wedding.” Peter answered and Stiles weakly swatted at him.
“They’re your family, you have to invite them.” He reasoned, but Peter wouldn’t have it.
“Derek is my family, your family is family, Isaac is starting to become family and Kam. They are the people I want to share that special day with.” Peter grinned. “And you’re my family, of course. But I think you turning up at my wedding day is pretty much a given, no matter who we invite.”
Stiles laughed and raised his head to kiss him. “Well, I wouldn’t show up if you invited any of your past flings.” He teased gently and Peter rolled his eyes.
“And I wouldn’t show up if you invited that damn Mehealani boy. It was bad enough that he took you to prom.” He stated and Stiles laughed.
“Alright, that’s fair.” He complied. “Well, we still have some time until we have to make a final decision. Until then lets only argue about the color theme and if bowties are really necessary.”
“I can live with that.” Peter caressed his fiancé’s hair softly.
They heard a door close in the hallway and Stiles giggled.
“I’m so glad that we soundproofed the bedrooms and the bathrooms. Not that I’d hear what Derek and Isaac are up to at night, but I really don’t want them to hear me praise your dick every night, morning and occasionally during the day.” He joked. “I think Derek knows way too much about your dick anyways, thanks to the one time we thought he’d be gone longer and used the jacuzzi for a little fun.”
Peter laughed quietly, remembering the fuss Derek had made and how he still refused to use the jacuzzi even after they had a professional cleaned it. Luckily, they had only walked in on Derek and Isaac making out in the kitchen with the human perched up on the counter. Peter was still glad that they hadn’t lost any clothes yet, because he really didn’t want to prepare food on a surface that his nephew had sex on.
Sure, Stiles and him had christened every room and horizontal surface in the house in the days after they had move in, but now that they had practically adopted Isaac and by extension Derek, who had already bought the cheerful Victorian house next door and was currently trying to find a company that would renovate it properly, they kept the fun mostly to the bedroom and their en-suite bathroom.
But he didn’t mind one bit. He already considered Isaac to be part of their pack and was glad that Derek had found himself such a wonderful boyfriend. And mate.
And from what he heard, Laura and Jordan were working out well and Cora had fallen head over heels for David. Maybe he should launch a dating agency. He could make millions…oh right, he already did.
Peter thought about the conversation he had with Laura today and how she had been thoughtful and warmer towards him for the rest of the day. He hadn’t lied, he loved her and would do everything to protect her, Cora and all the other little ones, but he was hesitant and didn’t want to get his hopes up too much. He had been disappointed too many times in the past, even though it had mostly been unintentional and didn’t want to think in what kind of place he would be if he hadn’t met Stiles so many years ago, always knowing that there was a person in the world who he was predestined to spend his life with.
“You’re thinking heavy thoughts again.” Stiles mumbled quietly and Peter chuckled.
“No, I don’t.” He buried his nose in Stiles’ hair. “Never when you’re around.” He whispered and heard Stiles heart summersault in his chest.
“Then I’ll simply never have to leave again.” The human smiled and kissed Peter softly, tasting of peppermint toothpaste, happiness and something uniquely Stiles that Peter couldn’t get enough of. “I love you, Peter.” He said, for probably the thousandth time, but no many how many times Peter heard him say it, it never failed to make him feel warm and cherished.
“I love you too, sweetheart. More than you could ever know.” He answered, never having said anything more truthful in his entire life.