How to stiffen a lacrosse head: How flexible should a lacrosse head be? : lacrosse
Making an Iroquois Style Lacrosse StickThis is a project I’ve been wanting to tackle since I was a young boy growing up in New York. I was a lacrosse player (and still play and coach) and was fascinated by the history of the game and with the tribes who invented the game. I didn’t have the know-how as a kid to accomplish the task. I realized that after making many wooden bows that I had just about all the tools and know-how I needed to make one of these sticks. So last year, I set about making some. It was the fulfillment of a life-long dream. I’ve since helped 3 of the players on the lacrosse teams I coach to make these wooden sticks. With each one, I get a little better at doing it. These photos below will focus on the first one I made, but will also show some pics of the others that followed.
Aside from the woodworking skills (including steam bending as well as shaping with hand tools), a lacrosse stick maker has to know how to string the stick. As a kid, I satisfied my urge to make things by learning to string sticks and repair sticks – something I continue to enjoy doing today. Stringing traditional style lacrosse sticks was an art that began to be lost with the invention of mesh pockets (which is just a sheet of pre-woven net like material that is lashed into a plastic stick). There is a bit of an art to installing mesh pockets, but this is nothing compared to the fun of stringing a traditional stick.
Although I used steel tools to make these sticks, I hope one day to document (by photo and video) the manufacture of one of these sticks using stone tools, just to see if it can be done!
I started by contacting bowmakers on PaleoPlanet and seeking out freshly cut/split hickory blanks. When these arrived, I chose a couple from the bunch and split them further into lacrosse stick blanks:
The one on the left is an unsplit sapling and the one on the right a quarter split log. I’m going to use that one and split that into 2 lacrosse stick blanks. I used steel axes and wedges to split them:
The hickory split very well:
This next photo is of an old store bought wood lacrosse stick I used as a model for my project:
Here’s a side view:
The trick in making one of these is to initially shape the wood and prepare it to be steam heated and bent to a rather large degree! It’s important to use wood that is only partially dried or seasoned as it needs a pretty decent moisture content to survive such a radical bend. The bark is left on and the wood fibers completely intact on the outside of the bend (as you will see in photos to follow). All shaping is done at first on the inside of the bend. My first task was to reduce the thickness of the wood in the main area to be bent (the crook). To do this, did some shaping with an axe, drawknives, spoke shaves and rasps:
Here is the stave worked down (a bit too much as it turns out on my first one!) and just about ready to be steam bent:
As you will see later, I messed this first stick up by thinning the wood a little too much. I should have left it thicker for reasons I’ll explain later. As indicated above, I’m going to show the mistakes I made on my first attempt as it will help to illustrate some important things, and because we all learn more from our mistakes than we do from our successes! In this case, maybe someone out there will learn from my mistakes and avoid making them should you take on this project yourself.
After shaping the stick, I steam heated it for about an hour. To do this, I used a propane burner from a turkey frier, a new 5 gal. gas can (new so it never ever contained gasoline!) to heat the water, a radiator hose to connect water tank to the steam tube, and a large diameter PVC tube:
I angled the steam tube down toward the far end so water would flow out the far end. After putting the wood into the tube, I jammed a rag in the end to help hold the steam in the tube. I also put a blanket over the top of the tub to help hold the heat inside. After a short while, the water started boiling and the steam was flowing quite heavily!:
While the wood was steaming, I set up my first bending jig. This one turned out to be very poor. It worked, but there were some big problems. What I really need is a heavy post sunk in the ground with the bending jig on it. As I didn’t want to sink a post in the ground in my lawn, I tried to work out the next best thing. I used a workman bench and had to secure that to the ground with stakes and ropes (and my own body weight) as I bent the wood around the form. The set up did not allow me to make the complete bend I wanted and so I had to make quickly thought out adjustments to salvage the project!
I don’t have any photos of my doing the bending as I was by myself the first time, but here’s a still photo of the end result of my first attempt:
As you see, I had to adjust the angle of the bending jig (From straight up and down to this big angle) as the bench got in the way of the bending and I couldn’t get the bend right. Even this adjustment wasn’t enough however. I also had a hard time fixing the bent stave in place on the form and had to make an adjustment (below). The bark popped off (No problem) and the wood splintered very slightly (a little problem, but easily overcome), but otherwise, I had my bend. Having made some small bends before in wood for things like recurve bows and such, this giant bend scarred the heck out of me and I just couldn’t imagine it would work! So I was rather psyched to have succeeded in doing this without blowing up the wood completely.
As mentioned above, I had no good way to secure this bend out of the form (the stave would have to sit for a number of days and I didn’t want to leave this contraption set up in my yard). So I attached this rope and stick tourniquet to hold it in place while it cooled and dried:
All in all, this was a fairly successful 1st attempt. More importantly, I was learning by leaps and bounds and already thinking of ways to improve the process. Here’s the blank next to the stick I was using for a model:
After only 4 days of drying, I couldn’t take it anymore, so i released the stick from the rope/stick contraption and was happy to see that it held its shape. I then set about shaping the head of the stick using my hand tools:
I needed to shape the scoop area by reducing the top to bottom thickness. I used the model stick as an example as I went:
This was a bit of work. My shaving horse is set up for bowmaking and it was tough to hold the lacrosse stick well enough for easy shaping. Cutting around the bend was a challenge too. I used a rasp quite a bit in that area.
After a bit of shaping the head and the area of the stick leading up to the head, I prepared to make the bend in the handle area just below the head which would set the curve head where it needs to be (in the center of the handle). This set back was fairly easy to accomplish. After shaping the wood and thinning it out, I put lots of veggie oil on it and used dry heat from a heat gun to heat the wood in the area to be bent. I then bent it back in my shop vice (no photo) and then set it in this form to cool for a few days:
TO BE CONTINUED: I’ll be back…I’ve run out of time for the moment.
Scoring from crease – LAXPlaybook
It takes a special lacrosse players can to dominate while playing in the crease. A lacrosse crease-man who knows what he’s doing can often be the most dangerous offensive player on the field — being that he is right in front of the goal the defense must account for at all times. This really hurts a defense ability to slide from the crease.
When somebody scorers in the crease a lot the word “crafty” comes up. A good lacrosse crease player can play off others on the field recognizes seems and opportunities that is hard to teach. A certain degree of humbleness is necessary as he needs the help of his teammates to get him the ball. The crease-man is a major offensive force with practice and a high lax IQ around the goal.
A great crease-man trusts that his teammates will get him the ball in a good spot and at the right time. Since crease players don’t drive to the goal with the ball, they have to learn to position themselves around the goal, capitalize on their teammates’ play, catch feeds, and score goals.
Hot Tip: Read the Feeder
Practicing one-on-one drills is a great opportunity to develop chemistry with your team’s feeders. One-on-one situations normally call for an offensive player to drive past his defender and to the goal by himself. This situation can be modified for crease work by including an offensive and defensive player on the crease.
The defensive player should slide from the crease when the dodging offensive player has clearly beaten his defender. This leaves the offensive player alone on the crease waiting for the feed. When the dodger sees the slide coming, he should pass to the crease man for an easy catch and finish in front of the cage.
A big part of positioning yourself in the perfect spot has to do with team chemistry – teammates that work well with one another tend to move the ball around with ease. Just a subtle glance can be enough of a signal between you and a ball carrier to set up a move and goal-scoring opportunity.
During a game, you have to trust that your teammates know when and where to get you the ball. They aren’t always going to hit you when you’re open, which can be frustrating, but you have to trust that your teammates are trying their best to help the team win.
Hot Feet, Cool Hands
Not moving your feet is the cardinal sin for playing on the crease. You can easily ruin a perfect scoring chance by standing still and waiting for a pass to get to your stick. However, many crease players are guilty of committing another deal-breaker: They stiffen up their hands and body as they wait for the pass. Improper body positioning around the crease almost always results in the ball bouncing off the head of the stick. To boot, most crease players normally absorb massive hits as they search for the ball.
Once you’ve moved to the ball and are ready to catch it, do your best to relax your upper body – especially your hands. Keep your elbows bent and the head of your stick next to your helmet. If the pass is inaccurate, you’ll have to move your hands to reach for the ball. Exhale as the ball is about to enter your stick; taking calm, controlled breaths should make you more relaxed.
Finishing the Job
Now that the hard part of getting open and catching the ball is out of the way, it’s time to get the ball into the cage. This seems like an easy task from so close to the goal, but some players still shoot themselves in the foot with poor habits. Here are some tips for making the most of your scoring opportunities by the crease:
- First and foremost, you should be relaxed when preparing to shoot from in front of the cage. Tensing up and ripping a sidearm crank shot is going to end disastrously.
- Once you catch the ball, calmly find the goal before you shoot. Look for an opening in the goal and decide where you need to place your shot.
- Once you’ve turned your head and body towards the goal, prepare to shoot. Don’t over think it when the pass comes your way: Be relaxed, find your spot, and release the ball.
- Pick your spot on the cage — preferably one of the corners — and take an accurate and controlled shot.
Accuracy is your number one priority when finishing around the goal. Nothing is more embarrassing than ripping a shot as hard as you can and having it nail he goalie right in the chest. Or worse yet, having your shot miss the goal entirely from three yards out.
Being the Crease-man
If you’re the primary crease-man for your team, do your best to be a threat every second that you’re on the field. Don’t forget your footwork, because it’s the key to racking up goals inside. Trust your teammates to get you the ball in good spots, and don’t get too frustrated if they occasionally miss you. Remember, you’re the most dangerous offensive player on the field when you’re on the crease, so make the defense respect you.
Aspen boys lacrosse holds off Vail Mountain to win home opener
aspentimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2019/03/lacrosse-atd-032119-1-150×150.jpg” data-src=”https://cdn.aspentimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2019/03/lacrosse-atd-032119-1.jpg” data-sub-html=”Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times | Aspen High School’s Charlie Campisi, left, attempts to get away from Vail Mountain defenders during the boys lacrosse game on Wednesday, March 20, 2019, on the AHS turf. (Photo by Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times).”>
Aspen High School’s Charlie Campisi, left, attempts to get away from Vail Mountain defenders during the boys lacrosse game on Wednesday, March 20, 2019, on the AHS turf. (Photo by Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times).
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times
Aspen High School senior Noah Hollander makes a pass in the boys lacrosse game against Vail Mountain School on Wednesday, March 20, 2019, on the AHS turf. (Photo by Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times).
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times
(Photo by Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times).”>
Aspen High School boys lacrosse coach Tommy Cox talks to the players at halftime of the game against Vail Mountain School on Wednesday, March 20, 2019, on the AHS turf. (Photo by Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times).
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times
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What looked like a possible rout turned into a nail-biter on Wednesday when the Aspen High School boys lacrosse team hosted Vail Mountain School in its home opener. The Skiers overcame a late collapse to hold on for an 11-9 win over the Gore Rangers on the AHS turf.
It was the first win for new head coach Tommy Cox.
“We played unbelievable for the first three quarters,” Cox said. “The age-old story, we started to get a little comfortable and complacent and they made a little run back. But it kept our boys on our toes and ultimately helped us finish out the game strong.”
The two teams had originally been scheduled to play March 9 in the season opener, but the recent winter storms forced that game, and a few others, to be postponed. The Skiers finally opened the season on Monday with a 6-5 overtime loss to Battle Mountain and really needed to rebound against VMS in their final game before spring break.
“The Battle Mountain one was a heartbreaker,” Cox said. “Last season they lost their first game and it kind of woke them up a little bit and they went to the state semis. We got our loss out of the way and now we are rolling.”
Tied 2-2 after a quarter against Vail Mountain, the Skiers scored five straight goals in the second quarter to take a 7-2 lead. However, Vail Mountain score twice in the closing minute and took the momentum into the break down only 7-4.
Aspen got both goals back in the third and tacked on another early in the fourth to make it 10-4. The game seemingly out of reach, the Gore Rangers put together a run of five consecutive goals scored in barely two minutes, pulling to within a single goal with just over four minutes remaining.
A minute later, Aspen’s Garrett Hughes pushed the AHS lead back to two goals and the defense held on from there.
Aspen sophomore Tyler Ward led the team with three goals, while seniors Dawson Holmes and Dominic Lanese each had two. Four others had a single goal.
The loss dropped VMS to 0-4 overall. The Gore Rangers were preseason No. 10 in 4A before dropping out of the rankings this week.
Aspen, ranked No. 5 in the state this week, is 1-1 and won’t play again until April 2, a home game against Fruita.
Wednesday’s win was particularly notable at it was the first home game and victory since the Feb. 16 deaths of Roaring Fork Valley locals Michael Goerne and Owen Green, who both coached lacrosse. Goerne was the head coach when AHS won the 2015 state championship.
The team is using the letters “MGOG” on shirts and uniforms to commemorate the two men this season.
“It feels great. We wanted this one, especially for Mike and Owen in our home opener,” Cox said. “We wanted to come out, have a good showing and really show this conference what we are all about in this new era.”
7 Foam Rolling Mistakes You Should Avoid
You’ve probably heard your runner friend or gym buddy mention how their foam roller is both their best friend and worst enemy. How it hurts so good. While it’s true that foam rollers can be a great recovery tool, there’s more to rolling for relief than just lying on the floor and digging into whatever hurts.
“Like [with] any rehabilitation tool, improper use can cause injury. Overuse of a new injury that has not been fully healed can cause the injury to worsen or cause bruising,” says Fei Jiang, P.T., D.P.T., O.C.S., of Providence Saint John’s Health Center’s Performance Therapy in Santa Monica, California. And yes, foam rolling can contribute to overuse, too. “For example, if someone has a strained hamstring, one should let the area heal rather than foam rolling on it; that can cause the injury to worsen,” he says.
Using the right techniques will also make you more likely to reap the benefits of foam rolling,, says Austin Misiura, D.P.T., O.C.S., C.S.C.S., owner of Pure Physical Therapy, a rehab and movement retraining center in Miami. While research on foam rolling is still limited, what’s out there suggests it may help you recover better after a workout, improve circulation, and relax and loosen tight, achy muscles.
As long as you do it properly, foam rolling is a pretty low-risk way to potentially improve your workout performance and simply feel better. If you’re new to foam rolling or just not sure if you’re doing it right, here are some common mistakes to look out for.
Mistake #1: You’re rolling in the wrong direction.
If it feels hard to balance on the foam roller, you might be rolling the wrong way. “Likely, you are misaligning the foam roller by placing it parallel to the muscle. Instead, try rotating the foam roller so that it is perpendicular to the [length of the] muscle,” says Jiang. Then roll up and down the entire length of the muscle.
By keeping the roller perpendicular to the muscle or tissue you’re targeting, you’ll be able to balance better, roll with a steady flow, and increase the surface area you cover with each roll, Jiang says.
Mistake #2: You’re not rolling your upper body.
It may seem like foam rolling is primarily a lower-body activity—especially since so many vocal foam-rolling faithfuls are runners. But you can and should roll out your upper body, too.
That includes your pectorals (chest), lats (the broad muscle on the sides of your mid-back), triceps, and the muscles around the shoulder blades. Some of these muscles might be a little hard to reach with a big roller, so you might want to roll them out with a lacrosse ball instead. For example, the spot between your armpits and chest that gets wildly sore if you do too many push-ups can be awkward to drape over a tubular roller, and the muscles in the upper back can sort of get lost under the shoulder blades. In both cases, it’ll be easier to get a ball in there to target the tight spots (more on that in a minute).
Mistake #3: You’re not using the right pressure.
If you’re rolling too gently, it may not make much of an impact, and if you’re going too hard, you could add to the pain and end up tensing up your muscles in response, which is the opposite of the goal.
Aspen boys lacrosse team wins state championshipAspen High School senior John Heaphey (19) pushes the attack against Valor Christian on Friday night during the Class 4A state lacrosse championship game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver. Heaphey scored five goals as the Skiers won 17-12 for the school’s first state lacrosse title.
Leah Moriarty / Special to The Aspen Times |
DENVER — Let the celebration begin; the Aspen Skiers are state champions.
The Aspen High School boys lacrosse team made childhood dreams come true Friday night, defeating Valor Christian 17-12 in the Class 4A state championship game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
Playing in front of a large crowd of Aspen supporters who made the trip to Denver, the Skiers stunned previously undefeated Valor Christian with nine goals in the first half and a 9-2 halftime lead.
The Eagles from Highlands Ranch rallied in the second half, twice closing the gap to two goals.
But Aspen’s prolific offense rebooted in the fourth quarter with six goals and the first lacrosse state championship in Aspen High School history.
“We’ve worked for this for so long. It’s unbelievable,” Aspen senior John Heaphey said amid the joyous postgame celebration in the middle of the Broncos’ stadium.
Heaphey led all goal-scorers with five in the state championship game, including three in the Skiers’ red-hot first half.
“I cannot tell you how good this feels,” said Aspen High School senior Harry Ferguson, who scored two goals and added two assists. “This was 10 years in the making. I’m on the moon right now. I’ve never been happier.”
Ditto Tyler Tick.
“We worked so hard in the offseason and during the regular season just to get here,” said Tick, Aspen’s leading scorer on the season. He had four goals against Valor Christian. “To lose this (state championship game) was not an option.”
Tick scored Aspen’s first goal of the game just 45 seconds after the opening whistle.
Aspen senior Trey Robinson followed with the first of his two goals.
Then Heaphey scored his first goal, and Ferguson potted Aspen’s fourth goal after a steal and an assist by Jonathan Wells.
Senior Matt Gregory added the first of his two goals, and Aspen led 5-1 at the end of the first quarter.
Ryan Russell scored for Valor, assisted by Brett Haskins, in the opening quarter.
Heaphey, Tick and Wells scored again in the second period.
Russell’s goal with 41 seconds to play in the half pulled Valor Christian to within 9-2.
“We knew at halftime that they would come out stronger,” Wells said of the charge by Valor Christian in the third quarter.
Goals from Don Provost, Grayson Goodyear, Aidan Donaldson, Russell (again) and Goodyear (again) cut Aspen’s nervous lead to 9-7.
“All year, our success has been there because we stay calm,” Ferguson said.
The Skiers promptly scored on back-to-back goals by Heaphey as the third quarter ended with Aspen up, 11-7.
Valor Christian rallied again in the fourth quarter, pulling to within 12-10 with nine minutes to play.
Again, the Skiers’ relieved the building pressure with Gregory’s second goal, a reverse-360 spin and goal from Wells and a spinning score from Tick (assisted by Ferguson).
The Skiers’ final goal came from Henry Godfrey with 11 seconds remaining — a fitting tribute to injured senior Ryan Fitzgerald, who suffered a broken collarbone in Aspen’s quarterfinal playoff game.
“Henry Godfrey stepped up for Ryan Fitzgerald,” Aspen head coach Mike Goerne said. “He did exactly what he needed to do. He finished the last goal of the game. … A high note to wrap it up.”
And Fitzgerald, Goerne said, provided inspiration from the sidelines.
“Ryan kept the team’s momentum up from the sidelines,” Goerne said after the Skiers finished their state championship season with a school-best 17-2 record.
Valor Christian ended the season 18-1.
“These boys have worked for this for a long time,” Goerne said, adding that the current Aspen seniors were among the first Aspen youngsters to take up lacrosse 10 years ago.
“These boys have been fighting for this the last 10 years,” he said, calling the Aspen attackers “surgeons with their sticks” against Valor Christian.
He said the Skiers enjoyed tremendous community support all season, including Friday at Mile High.
“The community of Aspen has embraced us. The support thes boys have had all year is incredible,” Goerne said.
All year, he said, the team has focused on helping each other.
Goalie Arthur Kelso led a shut-down Aspen defense that held Valor to only two goals in the opening half.
“Art is amazing. He’s been such a wall all season,” Heaphey said.
“Art, once again, stood on his head. He came up clutch at the most important time,” Wells said.
For Goerne, the state championship completed the Skiers’ mission for 2015.
“They did it for each other today,” Goerne said.
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Adidas Freak Lacrosse Goalkeeper Gloves CF9662 – Black
Adidas Freak Lacrosse Goalkeeper Gloves CF9662 – Black
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Finger-Save Spines stiffen and resist pressure when pushed backward for more effective ball deflection
The Adidas Freak Lacrosse Goalkeeper Gloves are the perfect option for any lax goalkeeper who needs a high quality set of mitts. The Freak Gloves are made with PU Leather, Polyester Blend Liner, and Polyester Mesh Gussets which makes for a tough durable glove. The Anatomical Design wraps around the hand for a snug, comfortable fit and also has a Removable Wrist Cuff for personalizing to your own preference. The Climacool technology will help keep you cool and dry in warm weather. The Ax Suede Palm offers a lot of comfortability and a soft touch that will keep your hands loose rather than stiff. Overall, the Adidas Freak Lacrosse Goalkeeper Gloves has everything you need to dominate the competition next time you’re in net.
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For an in-depth look at our Return Policies please visit our Returns & Shipping Page90,000 Yuriy Faykov became tougher, because the bar at Shakhtar is higher than
An experienced Shakhtar defender told Hockey.by about Yunost without Zakharov, the new Yuriy Faykov and the unpredictable championship.
In the central match of Friday, Shakhtar overcame Yunost away and won the shootout (2: 1). Soligorsk captain Konstantin Durnov commented on Mikhail Zakharov’s departure from the Minsk club, compared Yuri Faykov to the times of Molodechno and Soligorsk, and also speculated about the unpredictability of Mogilev.
Yunost v Shakhtar: the Pitmen snatch victory in the bullet series
– Three points in this match were very real, we were adjusting to get them. But the confrontation turned out to be viscous. Somewhere they did not use their chances, and in the third period they started playing to keep the score, which led to an error and allowed Yunost to transfer the meeting to overtime. Nothing terrible happened, let’s analyze the match and try to prevent this from happening in the future.
– On the ice did you feel that with the departure of Mikhail Mikhailovich you are opposed by the wrong “Youth”?
– I would not say. The guys have a complicated calendar: they just played away in the Champions League – and immediately from the wheels to the extra league. Yes, Zakharov left, but the skill of the hockey players has not disappeared anywhere. It can be seen that the new coach is working, and not just occupying the post. There is no need to make tragedies in connection with the replacement on the coaching bridge. This is hockey: Mikhail Mikhailovich is now in the national team, and the club continues to live its own life.
– Was Zakharov’s departure taken into account when analyzing the opponent before the game?
– No, we already had something to see: tactics, their actions in unequal compositions.
– Yuri Faykov joined the team this season, but in the past you worked together in Molodechno. Has anything changed in Yuri Alexandrovich’s system?
– A year ago, a very difficult financial situation developed at Dynamo.It was not entirely humane to demand that we jump over our heads – they were sitting without money for more than four months. Everyone could legally not go out on the ice, not to mention something more. Everything is different at Shakhtar. Yuri Alexandrovich became tougher. The result is demanded from him – we also have high requirements. The bar has become much higher.
– And if you compare with Dmitry Shulga?
– I don’t like to do this. Everyone has their own approach. In general, there are no useless coaches: anyone who works with a team gives the players something new.This is not to say that one is worse and the other is better – it is just that the systems differ.
Who was I more comfortable with? If you are a professional, then you are good with everyone. Of course, some time for adaptation may be needed, but this is the difference from amateurs – the ability to adapt to any system. If not, then I have one piece of advice for such a guy – to quit hockey, because there will be nothing worthwhile further.
– Are you surprised that Dynamo are leading the championship?
– It is still too early to look at the table – there are many games ahead, everything can change a thousand times.One “Mogilev” is worth it – the guys bite in every match. Despite the fact that we beat them with a score of 6: 2, it was very difficult to do it. Now you need to take points in every confrontation, and not look who is there first and who is last.
– Yaroslav Chupris had a birthday the other day, how did you congratulate the coach?
“They gave me a bottle of good wine from the team. He said that he was pleased, but it is better to congratulate him with a victory. So I had to work on the ice and for the second gift.
– Ahead of you is Mogilev – a team that creates sensation after sensation.
– Only by count it seems that in the first match we made them on the same skate. The Lions and Neman won, and Dynamo left no chance. For seven games we have hooked points with two leaders. There can be no talk of any passing matches.
I can say that in Extraliga “A” all teams are equal, everyone knows how to play hockey.Often, the outcome is determined not so much by skill as by luck. Therefore, it is not worth hoping that we will come out now and, without much straining, score points.
Text : Natalia Fedortsova90,000 Read online e-book Save Me Save Me – Ruby for free and no registration!
I can’t feel my legs under me.
Lacrosse is a fast sport. The ball flies from one club to another.I barely have time to follow him to take a picture. I had to admit from the start that without Lin, I wouldn’t be able to document the game. We usually share sports reports with one another: one is recording the progress of the game, and the other is taking pictures. But today Lin again went to London on a call from her mother, and we did not have time to find a replacement for her from the event group.
Since the lacrosse team is the most viewed on our blog, we didn’t want to give it up.The problem is that in order to report on the headline “Macston Hall vs. Eastview – Clash of the Giants,” I need to be clear about what is actually happening on the pitch. But amid the shouts of the players, the loud admonitions of the coaches and the jubilation of the spectators, it is quite difficult to catch the course of the game and even more so to take suitable pictures. Especially considering that I have to deal with a camera that is at least ten years old.
– Damn it! – Coach Freeman roared next to me so that I flinched.
I looked up at the pitch and realized that I had conceded the second goal from Eastview.Damn it. Lin will kill me.
I squeezed closer to the coach. When you watch the game live, and not on TV, there is no instant replay of the moment, but maybe the coach will at least explain what is happening. But before I could open my mouth, he started screaming again:
– Pass, damn it, Ellington!
I turned to the field. Alistair Ellington was rushing towards the enemy so fast that I would not even have time to photograph it. He tried to squeeze between two defenders, but a third player appeared out of nowhere.Ellington was pretty darn nimble, but rather small compared to the other guys. Even I understood that he had no chance against three.
One of the defenders kicked hard while running. Ellington stood on his feet, but he was thrown on the slippery grass a good half a meter.
– Give the pass! – shouted the coach.
Alistair again rested on the opponent, even on the other end of the field I could hear how they reviled each other. Alistair’s already tense body suddenly froze completely, and for a second it seemed that he and his rival were frozen in the same position.Coach Freeman had already taken a deep breath in his chest – apparently to shout out another instruction, but then Alistair swung his club and hit the opponent in the side.
I froze in horror. Alistair stabbed again, this time in the belly of the enemy. He screamed in pain and fell to his knees. Another defender pounced on Aleister, threw him to the ground and began to pound him, without removing his gloves. Alistair hit him with a club too. A high-pitched whistle sounded, but it took the help of several people to pull the fighters apart.I heard the deep voice of James Beaufort. He shouted at Ellington. And I could imagine that he, as the team captain, would now gladly rip his head off.
Coach Freeman was cursing next to me non-stop. Of all his curses, “damn shit” was the most harmless. He took off his cap and began to pluck his hair with such fury that it seemed to me as if a couple of tufts had fallen to the ground. Soon, the judge removed Alistair from the field.
He came up to us at the edge of the platform, took off his helmet and took out the mouthguard from his mouth.All this he casually threw on the ground.
– What the hell happened, Ellington? – the coach growled.
I carefully backed away so as not to fall under a hot hand.
“The shit deserves it,” Alistair replied. His voice was completely calm, as if he had not been involved in the fight.
– You …
– Suspended from the next three games? – Alistair shrugged. – If you think that it will be better for the team, then good luck.
He slowly walked past the coach, threw the club on the ground and began to take off his gloves.Noticing my gaze, he stopped.
– What? He asked defiantly.
I shook my head.
Fortunately, the referee’s whistle saved me from having to answer. I returned to my starting position as quickly as possible. It took me a few seconds to figure out where the ball is now – and it was with Ran Fitzgerald’s stick. Ren is not as fast as Alistair, but strong. He knocked Eastview out of the way with his shoulder, but the ball was taken away from him. However, Beaufort caught up with the opponent and intercepted the ball.
I grimaced with displeasure, Beaufort was so good. Even pretty damn good. He moved nimbly, adjusted to the step of the enemy and did not spare anyone who stood in his way. I couldn’t see his face because of the helmet, but I had no doubt that he was enjoying the game immensely. When James is on the field, it seems as if his whole life has been doing nothing but running through a crowd of opponents with clubs.
– What are you doing here? – Alistair’s voice suddenly sounded behind. He not only made me shudder, but also reminded me why I am here, in fact, I am.I quickly opened my notebook.
“I’m writing a game report for the Maxton blog,” I said without looking up. – What is the name of the defender who took the ball away from Ren?
– Harrington, – answered Alistair. I felt his gaze on me, and Coach Freeman at this time uttered another swearing tirade. Apparently, while I was busy recording, Beaufort missed the ball. Eastview took possession of the game again.
– Come on, Kesh, – Alistair said quietly.
Striker Eastview jumped half a meter up to grab the ball.After landing, he took two short steps and threw the ball forward with a powerful movement. Everything happened so quickly that at first I did not understand whether he hit the net or not. But when Keshav lifted his club up, there was loud glee in the stands from the side of Maxton Hall. It looks like Alistair’s quiet spell helped – he caught the ball.
“Let me stand next to you while you are writing a report,” Alistair said at the moment when I was writing down in my notebook: “Keshav caught the ball in the last second”.
I looked at him incredulously.The first time I saw him up close.
– You beat another player for no reason. How can I justify your actions?
A shadow passed over his face as he looked towards Keshav again:
– Who said there was no reason?
– From the outside it looked like you didn’t really think about what you were doing.
Alistair raising an eyebrow high:
– I’ve been waiting for months to clean McCormack’s face.And as soon as he opened his mouth and started insulting my friends, I had a great excuse.
He brushed away a blond curl that had fallen on his forehead. Then his gaze settled on my notes. He grimaced:
– How are you going to decipher this when you write the article? It’s impossible to read it.
I wanted to argue, but he was right. Usually my handwriting is normal, and if I try, even beautiful. But with the speed with which I recorded the course of the game, it was not possible to make the notes legible.The result is a terrible scribble.
– Usually the two of us. “I started making excuses, although I didn’t care what Alistair Ellington thought about my handwriting. “And it’s not so easy to take pictures and watch the game at the same time, so that you can write everything down later.
– Why didn’t you just film the game? “It sounded like he was really interested and not looking for an excuse to laugh at me.
I said nothing and raised the camera.
Alistair grimaced again:
– How old is this thing?
“I think my mother bought it before my sister was born,” I replied.
– How old is your sister? Five?
Alistair blinked, then broke into a smile. Now he didn’t look like the cruel lacrosse player who beat a man with a club a few minutes ago. Rather like … an angel. He had beautiful, regular features, framed by light curls – he seemed completely harmless. But I knew it wasn’t. Alistair was considered one of James Beaufort’s best friends – which means he is definitely not harmless.
“Wait a minute,” he said suddenly, turned and disappeared into the passage leading to the dressing rooms.No sooner had I realized what the guy was planning, as he was already standing in front of me, holding a black iPhone in his hands.
“Although it doesn’t have enough memory to film the entire game, I can take some pictures,” he said. Alistair unlocked the screen, opened the camera and pointed the lens at the field. Noticing that I was not moving, he raised an eyebrow:
– And you watch the game, not me.
I was so surprised that I stopped following the most important game.
– Do you want to help?
He shrugged his shoulders:
– I still have nothing else to do.
– This is … very nice of you. Thanks.
– I tried not to sound too incredulous, but I didn’t succeed. I couldn’t believe it was Elaine Ellington’s brother. Elaine wouldn’t help me. I would only make fun of the camera and make sure that everyone knew about it the next day.
I kept looking at Alistair out of the corner of my eye for a while. He seemed to be taking the new task seriously. He took one picture after another and only occasionally lowered the phone to shout something encouraging to the team or scold opponents.
I completely immersed myself in recording, now it was much easier to do. When Coach Freeman approached us, I thought at first that he wanted to kick Alistair out for bad words about striker Eastview. But instead, he stood next to me and began to explain the course of the game and suggested the names of some of the maneuvers.
Ten minutes remained until the end of the match, it started raining. But this circumstance further encouraged the fans and players. After Maxton Hall decided the game with a pass from Cyril Vega to Beaufort, the fans seemed to go nuts.The trainer let out a beastly cry, turned to them and raised his clenched fists.
I quickly closed my notebook and stuffed it into my backpack. My hair got wet and my bangs stuck to my forehead. It was pointless to correct it, and I did not want to comb it back at all, since I inherited a rather high forehead from my father.
One after another the players jogged out of the field, and each gave Alistair a high – all except Keshav, who immediately went to the locker room without even looking in his direction. An emotion flashed across Alistair’s face, which I could not figure out.The smile faded for a moment, and the look darkened and became as if impenetrable. But then Alistair blinked, and the joyful expression returned so quickly that I thought: I had a dream.
Alistair noticed my gaze again and raised his eyebrows in surprise.
“Thanks again,” I said quickly to get ahead of him. I didn’t know if he would be as nice to me when friends were around, and I really didn’t want to check it out. – For the pictures.
– Not at all. He poked at the touchscreen of the phone and handed it to me.Dialing mode was opened on the screen. – Enter yours so that I can send you photos.
I took the phone. But before I had time to dial my number, a voice was heard, already so familiar to me:
– What are you doing here?
I was taken aback.
Before me stood James Beaufort. He was soaked to the skin: the rain darkened his brown hair and fell on his forehead, making his features even more angular. He held a golf club in one hand, a helmet in the other, and did not seem to be particularly worried that the water flowed from his face, over his shoulders and further mixed with the dirt adhering to the leotard during the game.
I involuntarily stared at his wet body. This sight awakened something in me that had nothing to do with a feeling of distrust and dislike. And although this was the first time I experienced something like this, I knew for sure that James Beaufort was the last person to whom I would like to experience it.
I decidedly tossed aside all thoughts of what that might mean and tried to look as indifferent as possible.
Luckily, Alistair answered first:
– She writes an article about the game for the Maxton blog.- He took the phone from my hands, looked at the number and at the name under which I saved it. I doubt he knew my name before. – I’ll send you pictures later, Ruby.
– Super, thank you very much, – I thanked, although in my mind I was already ready for the fact that he, most likely, would not send anything. As much as he surprised me in the last thirty minutes, he was still Alistair Ellington.
– I’ll go see how angry Kesh is …
“He’s very angry,” James said and looked coldly at his friend and his teammates.- Just like me and everyone else. I told you not to touch McCormack.
– I didn’t hear you. Alistair shrugged. “You may be my captain, James, but not my mother. It sounded like he didn’t care what James thought of him, but then he patted him on the shoulder and it looked like an apology. Then he turned and went to the dressing room.
James’ gaze fell on me again. It was even colder than usual. Whether it was my fault or a short quarrel with Alistair – I don’t know.I wanted to get out of here as soon as possible.
– What does this mean? – he asked.
In an instant, the rain seemed completely freezing.
“I don’t know what you mean,” I said more boldly than I really felt.
He made a short sound that sounded like laughter. Or barking? I’m not completely sure. I noticed that his posture became harder and his expression even more determined.
– Get off my friends, Ruby.
Before I had time to say a word, he suddenly quickly walked around me and headed towards the locker room, while the spectators in the stands continued to rejoice.
Collection on Sterek. – Knot if You Don’t Knock
Stiles hates the whole world. He hates doctors. He hates puberty, and he very much hates the fact that he woke up this morning with mucus between his buttocks.
He knows this is happening. Hell, he himself was lucky enough to be present when Greenberg presented last year in economics class: a cocktail of omega pheromones nearly caused a scuffle.Who knew the economy could be so exciting? But then again, this kind of thing happens to someone like Greenberg.
What about Stiles? He is nobody in Beacon Hills – a small fry at the bottom of the social ladder. That weird kid with an unpronounceable name and a dad in charge of breaking up all the parties. Wasn’t his life miserable enough without being presented as an omega?
Nooo. Of course he did it. It was presented. Omega. Fuck.
And that’s why he’s in Dr. Thalia Hale’s office on Friday night after school, undressing for an examination.
He takes off first his shirt, throwing it on the floor, and then his boxers and jeans. He swears when the legs don’t want to be pulled over the sneakers. Okay, he had to take off his shoes first, but if he’s not concentrating well, is that his fault?
Half naked, he is still struggling with laces when the door to his examination room suddenly opens.
– Mom, I need to …
Stiles whips around, landing his bare ass on the floor. His worst nightmare stands in the doorway.That is, his number one fantasy is Derek Hale. But the worst nightmare would be the scene if Derek saw him falling on his bare ass with his legs tangled in his pants.
This is worse than his worst nightmare.
Derek stares at him wide-eyed, his cheeks burning, but he doesn’t turn away.
– What are you doing? The guy asks in a hoarse voice.
– Me? What are you doing? Stiles scolds. Words (verbal diarrhea) are his line of defense.He pulls his knees up to his chest, trying to cover himself somehow.
– I thought my mother …
– This is a reception room! You can’t just open doors wide open. Oh my God.
Hale’s face turns red, but he still doesn’t look away. Doesn’t apologize and doesn’t seem to be going to leave. His lips are parted.
Stiles stares back, trying to decide if he can reach for his shirt without exposing himself even further. If not, they can spend eternity like this.
– Derek Hale! Thalia Hale rushes into the examination room like a hurricane, and a shiver runs down Stiles’ spine with the anger in her tone. “What the hell are you doing?
– Uncle Peter told me that you need me in the second office.
– Get out, – Dr. Hale says angrily, pushing his son out the door, – I’ll deal with you and Peter later.
Stiles can feel Derek’s eyes on him even after Talia closes the door.
It’s all Peter’s fault, Derek is sure of it.His uncle is always up to something, so when he said with a shrug that Thalia was waiting for her son in the second office, Derek should have been suspicious. He should have known his uncle was lying.
He didn’t even try to hide his cackle as Derek hurried away from the angry Thalia through the waiting room and past the chairs next to the front desk where Peter himself stood.
Any other time, Derek would immediately show everything to his uncle, but only now …
Derek groans when finally falls into bed.He is shaking all over, and even the fact that he is lying down does not help relieve the strange dull pain in the whole body, from which sweat pours out hail and even becomes difficult to breathe.
Without hesitation, he pulls his pants down onto his hips, arching his back and resting his shoulders against the mattress.
Stretching pleasure is not an option now. His hand immediately covers his cock and it almost hisses. Everything is different. Everything feels different, as if every movement, every contact with the skin is a completely new sensation.
Handjob has never been like this. His whole body is tense and taut like a guitar string in need of a good jam. The guy spits on his hand and jerks off. He knows where the touch is most needed. It is clear what happens to his penis when the edge of his palm touches the knot with each downward movement.
He hisses with the pleasure of being in contact with this new part of himself. He swells node . He’s alpha. He was finally presented as an alpha – and this is after his eighteenth birthday.
Everything gets too much when his instincts scream like wild, when his body craves for something else. He doesn’t just lose control of his body. This control simply does not exist.
Derek knows what he is missing – the most important . Maybe now his hand will be enough, but his knot needs something different, something better. And his mind graciously provides a picture. Perfect ass, slim body, bent, ready to be taken. He easily recalls what caused all this, every small detail clearly pops up before his eyes.
His wrist hurts from how fast his hand moves and his mind is seething with ideas, like Derek would take Stiles, the annoying guy who always flickered on the periphery. He cannot decide between poses: face to face, so that they can kiss, barely breathing; lying on your sides, gently, stretching pleasure for hours; like animals in the forest, tough and wild. Or maybe Stiles would have straddled him, hovering over Derek and giving him a malicious smile, teasing … Derek groans in his voice at such thoughts.
His grip closes around a swollen lump at the base of his penis, and he screams as he physically needs Styles’ perfect ass.His orgasm resembles a storm, shaking him to the point of losing his breath.
The head is empty when he comes to himself. But the body is not enough to release orgasm. He reaches for the sheets on the other side of the bed, his instincts hum for someone else.
Waking up, Derek feels like he was hit by a bus. His body hurts, his skin is too sensitive, even soft sheets seem extremely uncomfortable now. He groans, pressing his face into the pillow, as if looking for something in it.
He regrets for the hundredth time that he hadn’t thought of remembering Stiles’ scent in that lookout room.Regrets not being focused enough to discern anything other than the sugar note of regularity and the wave of pheromones.
He puffs and rolls out of bed, hoping he won’t get up again. God. His cock twitches with interest, to which Derek makes a displeased grimace. It hasn’t been this way since he learned to masturbate. Huh, well, you could say he got to know the member in a new way. Instead of a riser surprise – a surprise knot.
Because of Stiles.
Whom he has known for several years.Like. Although, after that joke on Coach last year, you can say everyone knows Stiles Stilinski.
He seemed to be struck by lightning at the moment when he opened the door to the examination room. The sight of Stiles sprawling on the floor, smelling of my and of my ideal, almost knocked him off his feet. Only because of this, he did not dive into Styles’ neck for a bite.
A knock on his door knocks Derek out of his thoughts.
“Get up, get up,” Cora shouts from behind the door, and then adds: “It’s almost dinner, nerd! I can literally hear you sour there.Or you jerk off … and if so, then you are disgusting. I don’t even want to know.
Derek hates his little sister for being an early riser. He’s already awake, but he’d better leave the room. He knows from experience that she will not leave him behind. At least Cora isn’t nearly as annoying as Laura, who, thank the gods, was still in New York. She always knows exactly what he is doing behind the closed doors of his room. Derek really doesn’t want to make his life more awkward.
He quickly takes a shower, rubbing his skin under cool water, gets dressed and goes downstairs.The house is quiet and there is no one except Cora.
Going down the stairs, he freezes in front of the kitchen. He is covered with a paralyzing ignorance of what to do with himself. He took a shower, and then what? Entering the kitchen, the guy moves on autopilot. Ignoring his actions, he opens the lockers, Stiles spinning around in his head like a worn-out record. Only now, his leading actions and thoughts-instincts do not carry a sexual connotation at all, rather the opposite.
The guy is wondering if he can get Stiles’ number and call him.To apologize for yesterday, naturally. Danny seems to know him.
Or he can burn a CD of his favorite songs and leave it on the seat of that blue jeep that Stilinski drives …
– What are you doing?
Derek blinks frequently, floating out of his mind, and drops a bag of flour on the table.
Cora looks at him, raising an eyebrow, and nods her chin towards the ingredients cooked and laid out on the table.
Derek shrugs, ignoring his little sister.He turns to the refrigerator to get eggs and chocolate.
“I’m baking cookies,” he says, diligently not meeting Cora’s eyes.
– Why? And since when do you bake? – Sister asks, squinting. God, she looks so much like their mother.
Derek stumbles, unable to answer. He stalls for time, defiantly pulling out the bowl for the dough for a long time, hoping that behind all his body movements his blush is not noticeable. If Cora sees him blush, he’s finished.
– Oh my God!
Damn. Too late. Bark slaps her hand on the tabletop, which makes the carton of eggs almost bounce.
– Are you baking for Paige ? Have you finally grown eggs and will invite her to dance? God. It’s such a cliché, ”she says, rolling her eyes and taking a bowl in her hand. “The lacrosse team captain drooling over the cheerleader captain?” I beg your pardon if I vomit.
– Fu. Derek takes the dishes from her, but doesn’t straighten.Rumors about him and Paige have been circulating around the school for a long time. But now it plays into his hands. The last thing he needs is Cora’s knowledge that he has a knot on one of her 90,245 classmates. Get out of here or you won’t get the cookie.
– Okay, okay. Cora lets her brother push her out of the kitchen, only slightly resisting for show. – But I want three!
– Pig, – he shouts after her. Unhappy that he will have to share Styles cookies, Derek starts cooking.
He bakes two batches.
The sugary, chocolatey cookie smell is still thick when Derek takes it out the next morning. He’s just about to get behind the wheel when Peter’s Lexus pulls up to the driveway and pulls up next to him. As soon as Peter gets out of the car, his eyes light up at the sight of Derek with the cookie and he starts to laugh.
“Shut up,” Derek rages, even though his uncle hasn’t said a word. He tries to turn away to hide the cookie from prying eyes.
“Oh no,” Peter’s grin is annoying. “It’s too wonderful.Is my beta nephew trying to hit the new omega Beacon Hills? If I knew my joke would turn out … ”Peter trails off for a moment, smiling. And there is something in this smile of his at the same time teasing and evil. – With this , I would probably do the same.
– Fuck you. I don’t know what you’re talking about, ”Derek mutters, a warning growl in his tone. He slams the door of the Camaro with force, hearing the clatter of St. Petersburg, from which the windows in the car tremble. He blames Peter for that, too.
Words new omega Beacon Hills haunt him all the way. Heck.
John blinks slowly when, opening the door, he finds a young man on the threshold with an aluminum tray covered with a napkin on his outstretched hand, and it looks like an offering.
– How can I help? The Sheriff asks good-naturedly, believing that the guy must be one of the new neighbors. He saw the trucks a couple of days ago and I must admit was impressed with the speed of unpacking the neighbors, since they already had a kitchen ready.
The kid reaches out and stares a little awkwardly at the tray.
– Cookies, – he mutters.
John laughs, but picks up the tray, wondering if he can hide them from Stiles while he is still sleeping. It’s still 10am and it’s Sunday, so he has a couple of hours.
– Stiles, – adds, tambourine, guy.
– Sorry? John frowns, thinking when his son got to know the neighbors. Or why cookies are for Stiles. The sheriff is eyeing the guy. Something about him looks familiar, but only after the boy sniffs and shifts from foot to foot, as if he cannot find the words, Stilinski Sr. recognizes him.
– Are you Hale, son? – Not that he needed confirmation in the form of a half-turn. The man can clearly see Thalia’s features upon looking closely. – Derek, huh?
– Yeah, – Derek mutters, not meeting the Sheriff’s gaze. – Give them to Stiles, okay? – he asks, and then abruptly turns around and rushes to the Camaro, parked in front of the house.
John, left in the open doorway with a tray full of cookies and the sound of a car receding in the background, doesn’t quite understand what just happened.
– Oh shit.
Is this Thalia Hale?
– She is the most.
– This is Sheriff Stilinski. I think we need to talk.
Derek lies on the bed, torn between panic and happy stupor. Stiles is an omega. Maybe if Derek had presented himself as an alpha earlier, then he would have been able to immediately tell who Stilinski was. But instead, Derek served the newly minted Omega with cookies.
The look on the sheriff’s face when he saw Derek on his porch immediately made it clear how undesirable the guy was in this house. But it seemed so right to cook them, and so right that they were accepted. Derek just couldn’t afford to regret it.
His new alpha instincts quieted down at the thought of providing Stiles with food. He doesn’t quite understand who Stiles is to him and why he is suddenly so fixated on him. But still, the satisfaction from what was done is real, and the calmness, and the feeling of being right, too.
His contentment is interrupted by a short knock on the door. This is a knock from the category of “parental knock that cannot be ignored.”
“Come in,” he shouts, relieved that the door is unlocked and his pants are still on him. He tries to pacify the expression on his face, although his mother is able to see right through him.
One look at Mom makes it clear that she knows.
– Can you help me understand why I just got a call from , a very concerned Sheriff of Beacon Hills about chocolate chip cookies?
– J… – Derek grimaces, unable to find the words. His mom takes a deep breath. Hell, that’s usually Laura’s reaction.
“Derek,” she calls softly this time, sitting down next to her on the bed. – Sometimes beta can be interested in omegas. This is rare, but it happens.
Derek fiddles with his jeans without looking his mother in the eye. It might be better if she continues to think of him as beta …
– You don’t have to try to change or imitate alphas to get the omega’s attention.- His mother always did not like the moments when he did not look into her eyes. Thalia takes his chin, silently asking him to look into her scarlet eyes. – It is important that you do not do this. Be proud of who you are.
And no matter how frightening it may be, he cannot lie to his mother, his alpha, and therefore he gives out:
– Umenyauzel got out.
It is rare to see their mother with a similar expression on her face, it is a pity that he does not have a camera at hand.
– What did you say?
– I saw him, and… my cock … – He choked with shame. Hell, he said member in front of his mother, but any other way to explain what had happened to the alpha went out of his head. – I’m not beta, Mom. I presented as an alpha on Friday.
“Because of Stiles,” the woman says, turning pale.
Derek doesn’t have time to confirm his words.
– Yes, ma’am?
– I think you better sit down.
Stiles is writing an essay about Richard III when his dad walks into the room with a plate of cookies.He puts it down with a crash on the table in front of his son, saying:
– Does it look like a cookie? Stiles says uncertainly. He’s not quite sure what was making his dad so tense – the discontent emanating from him in waves worried Stiles. Hell, he literally wanted to bare his throat as a sign of submission.
– Cookies delivered by Derek Hale. Which, it turns out, was presented by the alpha. He baked them . For you.
– Oh. Stiles’ lower jaw drops at what he hears.He leans back in his chair, chasing what his father said in his head. Well, yes, they definitely had a moment in the lookout, but he himself had no idea what that meant. And biscuits too. Derek is two years older and in a completely different stratosphere of popularity; to be honest, he had no idea Derek knew him.
– Yes. And I do not like it. You’re too young to … ”His father waved his brush vaguely as he said,“ cookies. He sighs. “It’s just … Damn, Stiles, just be careful, okay?” You are an omega, and I don’t want you to suffer from some newly minted, hormone-drugged, not knowing what to do with yourself, alpha.
“ I give you my word, ” Stiles agrees, what else to say to him?
His father does not look convinced, but still leaves, sending one last heavy look in the direction of the cookie, as if pondering whether to leave it to his son or not. And all of this would be funny if Stiles’ brain wasn’t busy with something else. His imagination kept trying to picture Derek in a bright pink apron, making cookies for him.
The plate with refreshments resembled a bowl of forbidden fruits. Their scent appealed to Stiles, sugar and chocolate and something else seductive.Stiles looks guiltily over his shoulder to make sure his dad is gone, then slowly pushes the essay away. He bends down, resting his chin on the table, looking at the plate.
The cookie looks as soft as he likes. He thinks about how Derek cooked it. Maybe he pulled it out a minute before it’s ready, because he also knows this trick? Or is he tired of waiting? The tastiest chocolate chip cookies are slightly undercooked cookies.
Stiles licks his lips as he imagines Derek tasting one cookie and too hot chocolate burning his tongue.
Fidgeting, Stiles straightens himself in jeans. When did he get up? Probably somewhere in between his father’s announcements that Derek Hale baked him cookies and that he was presented by Alpha. Within 2-3 seconds, his cock decided that chocolate chip cookies were the most erotic food in the world.
He finally gives up and grabs one. He was right. The cookie is soft in his hand, but hard enough not to lose its shape, and he knows it tastes best before he even tastes it.
It is.He is absolutely not ashamed of the groan that escapes his lips when chocolate spreads in his mouth. He unbuttons his jeans before he realizes what he is doing.
Searching for information is his topic, and he searched enough on the topic of alpha / omega rituals, but then everything seemed like some kind of joke. This whole idea of alphas providing omegas, madly in love with them, obsessed with them … It all seemed a little gross and exaggerated like in the TV series.
But now there was nothing fake in the taste of this cookie.Or in a wave of desire, spreading in the chest from the realization of what this gift could mean. He is an omega for only a couple of days, but he understands what these cookies mean. Derek most likely knows that Stiles is an omega, and for him, as the presented alpha, bringing an offering to Stiles can only mean one thing: he is being looked after. Not just romantic. Food is not flowers. Food means alpha wants Stiles healthy . Derek Hale wants his body to be ready for heat.
About devil. Stiles’ hand slides into his boxers. His eggs are damp. He feels this watery pre-heat mucus. Stiles isn’t ready to get to know this part of himself yet. Instead, he puts another cookie in his mouth, savoring the taste and touching his cock. His ass is clenching, she needs something. The first heat comes only a few months after the presentation. His body is changing, growing into an adult omega, but he is not ready yet. Because an adult omega won’t behave like that when they see the first plate of cookies, but he is not ashamed.After eating a cookie, he gets up and closes the door. His dad would likely be traumatized for the rest of his life if he found him like this, but heck, nothing’s stopping him from self-gratification right now.
He quickly kicks off his clothes, licking the remaining chocolate on his fingers before lying on the bed. He spreads his legs wide, giving cool air access to his ass.
Derek Hale – captain of the lacrosse team, has long been spotted on scout radars, the hottest and most desired high school student in Beacon Hills – was presented as an alpha.
Stiles squeezes the base of his cock, imagining how beautiful Derek must be at this moment and how right his knot felt in Styles’ hand. How perfect he would have filled it. His body creeps, muscles tense, and some more lubricant oozes from his ass right onto the sheet. He slides his hand up and down.
He’s thinking about Friday.
Derek’s face was so hot as he stood in the examination room, eyes and mouth wide open as he stared at Stiles bent in half, naked.He remembers the look of panic on Derek’s face, his fingers clenched white on the door, a slight tremor throughout his body.
Awareness comes to him at its very peak.
– Oh God. Oh my God.
It was because of him that Derek became an alpha.
He bends over on the bed, heels rest against the mattress when the orgasm covers his head. He collapses onto the mattress, gasping for breath and looking towards the empty plate on the table.
Father will beat him.
When Derek arrives at school on Monday, all his senses explode.The corridors seem too big and too long. The sound echoes like never before. The smells are a hundred times harsher than before. Any detail is too sharp in its focus and seems surreal. He was so surprised by the knot on Friday that he didn’t really think about the changes in his senses of perception.
His head is splitting.
Too much, but he picks up one special smell. He is drawn to this smell immediately, and he knows exactly where it will lead him.He walks, oblivious to Cora calling out to him, his friends’ hands slapping him on the shoulders and back in greeting, his focus completely on his plaid-shirt shoulders resting on a locker at the end of the corridor. Derek unties his scarf, walking towards Stiles and not realizing what he is doing. And while Stiles’ smell is good, it doesn’t feel right. It is not mixed with its scent. Bye.
He had heard of such things before. This usually happens in love movies, where the alpha often crosses the line with his possessive gestures.It’s funny, or at least he thought so. Only now he’s standing in front of Stiles, scarf in hand, offering it. He growls warningly at the alpha standing next to his omega, and then ignores him. The adrenaline and hormones overwhelmed him with such intensity that he is absolutely sure that this alpha is not his rival.
There comes a moment when the corridor is completely quiet. Everyone is looking at them. Stiles straightens up, pulling himself away from the locker he’s leaning on, and a blush fills his cheeks down his neck.
Nothing happens for a long time, and somewhere there is already a whisper.
And then Stiles, as surprised as everyone else, comes closer and tilts his head to wait for the scarf around his neck. The whisper gets louder.
Derek tries to ignore others. He takes his time wrapping the scarf around Stiles’ neck until his omega is surrounded by Derek’s scent. Something calms down in him; a warm and confident feeling in your chest is better than the satisfaction of contemplating a cookie baked by him, ready for delivery.Without a word, he turns and walks away.
Only after the phrase “what the fuck just happened?” he realizes that perhaps something should have been said. Maybe at least introduce yourself? Get a phone number?
But Derek wasn’t supposed to be an alpha, so no one ever told him how things should go between alpha and omega.
He keeps walking, his cheeks glowing as every gaze in the hallway slides after him. Whom he is deceiving, all the awkwardness of the situation is entirely his fault.
Stiles is confused. Excited and puzzled as he stares at Derek’s retreating back. The scarf around his neck is warm and smells very good, but it doesn’t quite help calm his emotions, instincts and hormones, the excess of which makes his head spin.
After God knows how many hours of searching for information, he knows that it is possible for alpha genes to awaken in the last stages of puberty. But this is rare. And knowing this absolutely doesn’t explain Derek’s fixation on him.And if earlier he had any doubts about these courtship, they just died a painful death.
– What the hell? Stiles whispers under his breath.
“No clue, man, but I don’t like it,” Scott replies in a husky voice.
Stiles turns to look at his friend and, blinking slowly, realizes that his friend’s iris is filled with red.
– Hey friend. Stiles waves his hand uncertainly in front of Scott, and at that very moment, his friend’s eyes become normal, and the fangs that were about to get out disappear.
– Damn. Stiles, I …
But Stiles has already moved away from his friend, his hands clutching Derek’s scarf around his neck. All this is strange – a piece of cloth, but with it he feels safe. Not that Scott could harm him, but his friend was clearly influenced by the omega pheromones.
“It’s okay,” Stiles said in a nervous tone. A shadow of pain slips across Scott’s face, and Stilinski reaches for him to pat him on the shoulder, but stops moving as soon as the thought of the smell of another alpha on him sweeps through his brain, leaving an unpleasant sensation behind him.- Um … sorry.
– Nothing. Understand. Like … I mean … I’m sure Derek acted like an asshole just because he’s an asshole, not because he’s an alpha. I remember how it was last year when I presented. It was all very … – Scott makes an incomprehensible hand movement, and on his face comes this expression, which Stiles calls “thinking about Kira.” By the way, this expression is akin to the one on Derek’s face five minutes ago.
“Yeah,” Stiles agrees, smiling at his friend’s sight.- Okay, drove to class.
Scott smiles back.
– Do you want me to carry your books? He asks. His smile becomes unsure as Stiles slows down with another wave of discomfort. McCall rubs the back of his head awkwardly. – Well, or not.
Stiles rolls his eyes at his friend’s puppy look. Everything in between is good. Everyone around them is whispering, looking in the direction Derek has gone. It’s almost unbearable. He used to have no problem paying attention to himself, heck, he did everything he could to get that attention, but now it was different.The gazes directed at him seem intrusive and wrong, as if someone else had invaded his space. Stiles breaks out in sweat before they finally enter the office.
– Are you okay? Scott asks worriedly as they sit down in their usual places. – You look worried.
– Yes. It’s okay, ” Stiles smiles, hopefully convincing. – Hey, Jackson definitely got out of my way just now, huh? – he says to ease the situation.
“Exactly,” Scott replies. – It was cool.
The thought that Derek’s scent is strong enough to scare Jackson off makes Stiles feel a little better.
As soon as the bell rings, Stiles’ brain immediately pushes the teacher’s speech into the background, making room for thoughts of Derek to roam in his head. About the tension in Hale’s gaze as he wrapped his scarf around the omega’s neck. He blushes from this, his blood runs faster under the skin, despite the fact that the rational part of his brain is outraged: Derek, like a complete goat, did not even say a word about him.
Still, Stiles buries his nose into the fabric, inhaling deeper. Derek’s scent is thick and musky, soothing.
– No, – says his father, as soon as he crosses the threshold after school.
The scarf is removed from it within three seconds. The sheriff unwinds it from his son’s neck, his eyebrows furrowed and his nostrils twitch with displeasure. The scarf goes to the hanger no one uses, and Stiles looks at it. It looks like the scarf was punished for disobedience.He glances over him, already bored, which is why his father stands between him and the little thing, as he would stand between people violating public order.
“To my room,” John says to his son, crossing his arms over his chest. – And this thing remains here.
Stiles sighs bitterly, but doesn’t dare to disobey as he walks up the steps towards his homework.
The scarf is nowhere to be seen the next morning. Stiles thinks he’s naked, it feels like he forgot his phone or wallet with the keys.But he doesn’t show it. Better now not to annoy my father once again.
When he finally pulls up to school 20 minutes later, Derek hangs out next to his parking spot.
– Dad took him, – explains the omega, getting out of the car. His hands reach out to his neck by themselves, as if hoping to find a scarf there.
Stiles thinks these are their first words to each other. The looks and gestures do all the work in their case. Everything is clear and happens on instincts. And that makes everything simple.Just lean towards Derek as he strokes his cheek. Just accept the leather jacket, which Derek gracefully takes off and drapes over his stylish shoulders.
They walk along the corridor together, pressing their shoulders together. Not at all like yesterday. They seem to be in a bubble, behind the walls of which everything is muffled. When they walk up to his locker, Stiles blushes wildly as Derek takes the books from him. He stands beside him, patiently waiting for Stilinski to escort him to class.
Something squeezes nicely inside Stiles.
This time his father is not limited to calling. He blushes with anger, grabs Hale’s jacket and gets into the car.
Derek opens the door for Stiles’ dad, who is standing on the porch with a killer expression on his face and his leather jacket in hand.
“We need to talk, son,” says the Sheriff, taking the teenager into his own house.They find Thalia in the kitchen with a cup of tea in hand. – Oh, Thalia. Exactly the person I was hoping to find.
They sit in the Hails kitchen: Sheriff, Derek and his mom. Derek tries to pay attention to their conversations, but his gaze involuntarily returns to the jacket, from which such a pleasant smell emanates. She smells like him and his perfume, but on top is bordered by another smell, sweeter and sharper. It’s a brand new mix, it’s him and Styles , and this scent is the best Hale has ever come across.
And so, nothing that the elder Stilinski says is new to him. Stiles is too young. Derek is in too much of a hurry. This is completely inappropriate. The words flew past his ears as he sat and thought about Stiles, only occasionally rolling his eyes at the words of his too quick courtship of the sheriff’s son.
The thought of having to hide the intensity of his feelings for Stiles annoyed him. “Yes, I understand,” he replies when they ask him to stay away from Stiles.
Naturally, understanding and agreement are two different things. And that’s why he doesn’t feel ashamed the next day when he waits for Stiles in his parking space. This time he is sitting in the car because it is raining outside. He is wearing his leather jacket, which he took from his mother’s office, and every minute he cannot deny himself the idea of burying his nose in the collar, deeply inhaling the smell.
Just a minute later, he sits up straighter, grabbing a very large umbrella that he stole from Cora’s car.His palm is already on the door handle, ready to get out of the car and protect Stiles from the rain, but his gaze catches an unexpected sight.
Stiles isn’t the only person in the car, he’s got another alpha Derek remembers in the abstract from the day before yesterday. This alpha gets out of the passenger seat and hurries to the driver with his own umbrella.
Derek seems to freeze in place. Somewhere in the brain, a small voice is heard, assuring that it is useless. Saying that Stiles has another alpha ready to take care of him.
And, for the first time since that unfortunate incident in the lookout, Derek questions his instincts. He asks the question: did he justifiably consider his sympathy mutual?
It’s been three days since Derek forced himself to keep his distance from Stiles. It’s not easy at all, and it’s getting harder every day. He struggles to control himself as he watches the other alpha – Scott, as he finds out – winds around his omega.His shoulder came into contact with Styles seven times during lunch on Wednesday, and because of that, Hale had to go home to change, because his jeans had claw holes.
And when Stiles decided to walk up to him on Thursday, covered in completely unnecessary and strange smells, it completely knocked the new alpha out of his rut. He doesn’t even remember what he said before running away from the omega without even meeting his gaze.
All that helps is lacrosse. Hale goes headlong into training, trying not to think about Stilinski’s uncertain look from under his eyelashes, thrown in his direction.But the coach is happy, and when Friday’s game comes, Derek is ready for it, feeling the energy buzzing under his skin.
Stiles’ presence in the stands only makes him want to destroy his rivals. This urge seems to be akin to baking Stiles a cookie. Alpha doesn’t even try to figure out why.
All he knows is Stiles’ eyes on him. It is not facing Scott talking to the kitsune walking with them, but on him. Even when the coach calls them, Derek can feel his omega’s gaze.
He sweats through the mold even before the game starts. The game seems to be some kind of blurry, brief flashes of pain, the body next to him, adrenaline flowing through the body.
Never in his life has Hale felt so alive as after earning his first point in this game. He looks at the bleachers and sees Stiles cheering for him. And at the same moment, all the doubts that have accumulated over the past days are fluttering. He punches the air and then points at Stiles – for you .Stiles cheers back, yelling something that Derek can’t hear. But it is not important.
Scott may have drawn attention to himself those couple of days, but now Stiles’ gaze is on him. He is literally pulled by some kind of physical force towards the stands to stigmatize what belongs to him. It takes almost all the effort to get back into position and finish the game.
When the final whistle finally blows, Derek’s points are displayed on the scoreboard. The guy hurries off the field with only one thought in his head.Passing the congratulations and celebrations around him, he tosses the equipment into the locker, not thinking about the stink that he will meet him on Monday. He washes quickly, knowing Stiles is waiting for him.
With wet hair, clothes clinging to wet skin, he returns to the field. Cora is waiting for him and hugs him, saying that everyone is going to eat burgers. Derek barely hears her, completely distracted. He shakes his head and hands her his duffel bag. His gaze is glued to Scott talking to the kitsune.Stiles’ place is empty. Closing his eyes, he searches for the very smell that has teased him all week in the walls of the school and haunted him even in his dreams. Today he will allow himself to go after him.
He easily finds Stiles under the stands. He stands with his back on something, with a lazy smile on his face. Derek almost laughs.
“Hey,” the omega says, his cheeks glowing and distracting.
Derek steps closer, his trembling fingers finding the belt loops on the guy’s jeans. He pulls Stilinski towards him until their bodies are pressed against each other.
– Hey, – echoes the alpha in a hoarse voice.
For a second, Derek’s nose is almost nashed by the smell of another alpha on Stiles’ clothes. These mixed signals confuse him, making his head and instincts explode.
And then Stiles presses in tighter, exposing Derek’s throat so he can press against his sensitive skin. This gesture calms the alpha, but more of the fact that there is only Stiles’ scent here, pure and untouched by other people’s notes.
They stand there for a couple of minutes, and then Stiles pulls Derek’s face towards him, stopping just a couple of millimeters apart.
“I was scared,” the sheriff’s son admits softly, looking at Hale from under lowered eyelashes. He looks uncertain, continuing: – I thought maybe you were bored … That you don’t want me anymore.
“Never,” Derek says quickly. And this single word sounds like a promise.
“Okay,” Stiles says, moving closer. His voice is soft and teasing as he whispers, “I missed you.
Derek’s response is a hot kiss. The kiss comes out awkward and quick from how long they denied themselves in it.Derek can’t wait to wipe the scent of the other alpha off the omega’s skin, he puts a big hick on the milky skin. Stiles buries his fingers in the short strands on the back of Hale’s head, holding him in place, thrusting his throat out, then kissing him again.
They should have cooled down, given each other the opportunity to calm down. They are practically in public, a couple of steps from people who can see them. They’re both too young, but Stiles’ skin burns at Derek’s touch. And its smell becomes completely sweet, all the air is saturated with it.God, such a rich and sweet scent of his omega.
Hale slides Stiles’ arms over his head and then catches his legs as Stiles saddles him. Both of them exhale as if the air was stolen from their lungs, so their bodies are perfectly pressed against each other. These short thrusts are absolutely perfect. And now there’s no turning back, Derek thinks.
As the guy’s hands grip Stiles’ ass, pushing him higher, he feels like the fabric is soaked through with grease. His reason leaves him. They push towards each other, wanting only to achieve relaxation.And pretty soon Stiles is shaking in his arms, whining with the power of his orgasm. Derek ends up following him after a couple of thrusts.
Hale takes a deep breath, trying to calm his pounding heart, lowering the omega’s trembling legs to the ground. Alpha doesn’t let go of him, squeezes him tightly. The smell of semen and grease is in the air, letting everyone know about his Stiles’ condition. Derek wants to take and hide Stiles from prying eyes, to protect him. But the parking lot is now so far away, and on the way to it, you can still hear the voices and pounding of other people’s hearts.The feeling of guilt settles somewhere inside. How could he, Derek, let them be in this position?
Derek growls at someone approaching footsteps.
– Styles? – comes a voice from around the corner. – Are you there?
The familiar alpha scent fills Hale’s nostrils, and he pushes Stiles behind him, ignoring his “it’s just Scott.”
The smell has been burning through his insides with jealousy all week, and the guy just couldn’t think rationally, not after what happened between him and Stiles moments ago.
In one second, everything around calms down, the colors fade and the world seems to turn upside down by itself. His roar grows louder, stronger. He clicks his mouth at the alpha opponent. His things lie in rags at his four paws, and he hardly realizes that he has completely turned into a wolf when Scott comes into view.
The opponent got too close to them.
Its omega needs to be protected. Derek attacks and blood fills his mouth.
And the next moment, his omega screams words that he does not understand, and pushes him away.But he sees anger in white-clenched fists. The salty smell of tears trickling down his omega’s cheeks as he helps another alpha.
His omega made a choice. His omega chose another.
Stiles holds Scott’s hand all the way to the hospital.
“It’s not that bad,” McCall tells a friend, trying to smile.
“I’m covered in blood, Scott,” Stiles replies with a tremor in his voice, pointing to the shirt.- Your blood is on me. It is not normal. It’s so far from normal that …
“I’m fine, Stiles,” Scott interrupts, squeezing his friend’s hand in an attempt to reassure him. His face is too pale to be persuasive. “I should have been careful. I didn’t know you two … well, you understand. Stiles nervously wipes his palms on his jeans, only now thinking about their condition. – This is … Can you open the window? Scott asks the doctor.
“Trust me, I’d love to, but I can’t,” the man says, blushing as his gaze falls on Stiles.
“Oh my God,” Stilinski mutters, burying his face in his hands in shame and not paying attention to the fact that they are covered in blood.
The ambulance finally arrives at the hospital. The car doors swing open, Melissa is here, and a new wave of shame engulfs Stiles. He’s too hot. His lungs seem to burn as he tries to remember how to breathe.
– Stiles, can you hear me? – This is not Melissa, she has already disappeared into the corridor, holding her son’s hand. But the female voice is very soft. “Scott’s okay.Stiles? The doctor calls him. – Can you count with me? Everything will be fine.
Each breath is given to him with difficulty, giving in to chest pain. He concentrates on a woman’s voice and cold fingers on her neck. The lady looks very familiar and he frowns.
– Stiles, do you remember me? I’m Dr. Thalia Hale. – Her gaze is very soft, motherly. – Cora called me.
– Derek, he whispers. The events of the last thirty minutes float before our eyes: people screaming for the police and an ambulance, Scott bleeding in his arms.- He … We …
– It’s okay. We seem to know what happened. Her hand brushes the hair from his forehead and Stiles closes his eyes, accepting someone else’s concern. – Shh. Things are good.
– But Scott …
– Scott will be fine. – Derek’s mom gets distracted for a couple of seconds, looking into the distance, and then continues: – He is already healing and worries about you more than about himself.
– And Derek? I didn’t know that he could completely transform into a wolf.
– Sometimes, due to injury or in extreme situations with alphas, this happens.He’s probably as surprised as the rest of us.
– He just … left me.
– Derek has had a tough week. And I’m afraid I didn’t give him the support he needed. Your father is looking for him now, and I’m sure he will be fine.
– Looking for him? To arrest?
Thalia smiles and shakes her head. Her eyes are just like Derek’s, and Stiles involuntarily calms down, unable to panic again.
– Nobody’s getting arrested, Stiles.Now I need to take you home. You shouldn’t be here right now.
“I’m fine,” Stiles says quickly, and the words sound out of tune even to him.
– Stiles, I’m taking you home. This is where you should be right now. For the first time, besides, at that age … – The woman smiles encouragingly and hands him the clean uniform of an intern, pushing him towards the restroom. – Go change your clothes.
Stiles doesn’t quite understand what Dr. Hale is talking about, but he listens. Getting out of jeans is such a fuss.And all he needs now is a shower and a bed. The skin itches and burns at the same time. It feels wrong . His chest hurts from how much he misses Derek.
“You were right,” Stiles says to Talia who is waiting for him. – You and father. We needed to listen. Me and Derek … We needed to stay away from each other. See what came of it.
“Oh, Stiles,” she says, shaking her head and smiling sadly. “We were completely wrong. This should help.
A woman unzips Derek’s duffel bag. He does not quite understand her, but accepts the leather jacket handed to him. He gratefully slips the leather jacket over his shoulders, allowing himself to be taken out of the hospital.
– Sheriff? Thalia says. Stiles looks up from the floor, waiting to see his father, but not finding him, turns to Derek’s mom to see her on the phone. Her next words bring him out of his trance. “I just want to inform you that Stiles is in early heat.”
– What? The guy asks, discouraged.
The woman smiles encouragingly and puts her arm around his shoulders, leading him towards the car. She continues the conversation while Stiles takes the passenger seat.
– Okay, John, we’ll be here soon. – Thalia plugs in the phone and starts the car, and after a couple of seconds someone else’s breathing is heard in the speakers. “Can you hand the phone over to Derek now?”
Derek is running.
There is a thick taste of blood in his mouth as he rushes headlong towards the forest behind the school, along the streets and roads whose names he cannot read.He is driven by pure instincts.
The colors around him are only gray, and all he knows is the feeling of wrong: he hurt the couple.
His breathing is completely out of breath when he finally stops. His chest and legs tremble from running. He crawls, almost pinned to the ground by his body, to the porch of a small two-story house. The man inside says that the house looks familiar, but the wolf doesn’t care, that’s not why he came.
A pair of dusty sneakers lies on the doorstep, and Derek nuzzles into one of them to sneeze quietly after a moment.He pokes at them with black paws, and then, with a bitter whine, wraps around them, placing his head between his front paws.
After a while someone’s sigh wakes him up.
– Eh, guy.
The search for an alpha who was trying to court his son, his 90,245 underage and just presented by Omega 90,246 son, completely misrepresented the sheriff’s plans for the evening.
And it was not at all reassuring that he had been rolling around the city for twenty minutes without a clue where to look for that very alpha.
His first instinct, after hearing about the scuffle after the match, was to drive from the precinct to school. The only thing that stopped him was Thalia’s call. She informed him in her calm tone that she had everything under control, that she would meet Stiles and Scott at the hospital. She promised to do her best. Only now her son has completely turned around and it is not known where he is now … Eh, John is not so heartless as to refuse a worried mother in search of her son. Derek was her only son.
The Sheriff is very surprised when help comes in the form of a call from their elderly neighbor, who is concerned if he knows about the huge dog on their porch.
– It’s okay, Brenda. Thank you for the call.
Really, there’s a big black wolf sleeping on their porch … next to a pair of shoes? They look like Stiles’ sneakers. A couple of weeks ago, my son and Scott wanted to try running in the woods, but after half an hour they returned home to play video games and lie on the couch.
– Eh, guy, – the man sighs, going up the steps.He thinks Derek is asleep, but judging by the barely audible whine, he is not.
Not so heartless.
John looks at the wolf, pursing his lips at his sad look.
– What should I do with you? He sighs again, unlocking the door to the house. With his hand he invites Derek inside. – Come on, boy.
At first Derek doesn’t move, but then he slowly gets up and tiptoes inside. Everything changes in the house. His ears and nose twitch. He lets out a bark and then rushes up the stairs, out of John’s sight.The man sighs and climbs to the second floor, knowing exactly where to go.
Derek is lying in a ball on his son’s bed. Its muzzle is hidden under a bushy tail, and its eyes are stubbornly compressed. With all his appearance, the boy shows that he will not leave.
John sits down on the edge of the bed, pretending not to notice Derek’s second glance.
“Your mom told me what happened,” says the Sheriff. “Scott will be fine. Stiles too. Derek whines piteously. – You know, son, it would be much easier if you could talk to me.- In response, the wolf only curls up more. “Hell, I don’t know how it’s done,” Stilinski admits. He doesn’t always handle his own son, much less an emotionally unstable alpha teenager. John laughs and looks directly at Derek. – I correctly believe that this connection between you and your son will not go anywhere?
Derek finally looks up and lets out such a drawn-out, heartbroken howl that the man’s heart tightens at how familiar the sound sounds.
– Damn, – he whispers, realizing that he was losing sight of all this time, – he’s your mate, right?
– Yes.- John sees Derek in human form. The teenager rests on his back at the head of the bed, pulling his knees to his chest, and he looks absolutely pathetic. “But he didn’t choose me. He … We … ”Derek’s face burns, and John doesn’t need to explain what the teenager cannot say. The waist of him also notified of this. “And I thought everything was fine between us. But then this alpha came along, and Stiles was for him, and …
– Another alpha? Scott?
Derek nods. He does not meet John’s eyes, continues to speak, as if squeezing out the words:
– I saw them together all week.Stiles smelled like him.
– A … – Now everything fell into place. Well, his son is an idiot. He may be too. Hell, he didn’t realize what was happening in time. What he didn’t realize was that Derek wasn’t a preoccupied youth at all. He looks closely at Derek, at the way he hugs his knees in a childish way, at his drooping broad shoulders. “I was wrong,” John says.
Derek looks up and meets a man’s eyes for the first time ever.
– I didn’t …
– I was wrong in my attempt to keep Stiles away from you.I thought you wanted to take advantage of my son. Try elm … sex. But I was wrong. You deserve each other. What about Scott. Well, for starters, you’re an idiot. Scott is courting Kira, he and Stiles are just friends. So don’t worry. But I have to admit … We did wrong to you, son. Your mom and I were so preoccupied with trying to protect Stiles that we completely forgot to worry about you. You presented yourself quite late. And I didn’t know a lot … – The man scratched the back of his head and continued: – I can imagine how hard and confusing it must be.So you should know. I am at your service if need be. As a man and as an alpha.
“Thanks,” Derek answers nervously. The sheriff’s heart tightens. He remembers that the boy’s father hasn’t been around since Derek was a boy. Yes, of course Thalia is also an alpha, but he remembers how useless he felt with Stiles at times. He is not Claudia and in some respects will never be able to replace her.
– Okay, let’s find you something to wear.
Derek feels like a squeezed lemon, both physically and emotionally.He is incredibly tired, but he feels calm. Now he knows that Scott is not his rival. And he may have always known it, but he was just afraid. The chance to meet your mate at such an early age is statistically equal to the chance to present at the end of puberty. Alpha was just pulling on a worn-out Beacon Hills Police Department T-shirt borrowed by the sheriff when he knocked on the door.
– Your mom wants to talk to you.
Derek picks up the phone offered to him, listening intently to his mother.
– Derek, you’re on speakerphone. Stiles and I are on our way. And you need to know something.
– Stiles is my mate.
Even on the phone, Derek can hear Stiles’ heart rate, the way it gets louder after talking about the couple. Hale grips the pipe in his hand as if she can bring them closer.
“Yes, dear,” his mother agrees, “and I wish I had understood this earlier.
– Nothing, mom.
– Expensive, but that’s not all. A couple should not be separated at such early stages for many reasons.I understand that the stress of the past few days has already affected both of you emotionally, but physical consequences are also possible. Your complete transformation, for example.
When his mom stopped talking, Derek asked:
– And Stiles?
– He’s in heat.
After hearing Derek lets out a low howl, his claws climb. He glances towards the window, he must meet them halfway. But the mother’s voice is heard in the phone:
– Derek! – As if from the order the guy stops.- We’ll be there soon. Don’t be stupid.
– Derek? Stiles’ voice finally comes out. – See you soon.
“Hurry up,” Derek asks and waits.
About five minutes later, Stiles shifts from foot to foot at the doorstep of his own room, like he’s not sure if he’s welcome. Hale’s heart skips when he sees his leather jacket on Stiles.
Noticing Derek’s gaze, the guy explains:
– There was blood on me, and I changed. Cora gave your mom the bag, the jacket was in it.I can take it off if you want.
– No! No, I … I love that you wear it. – They both fall silent, more interested in the carpet. The door squeaks and Derek realizes that they are alone in the house. – Scott, is he okay? The Sheriff has already told him everything, but it was important for the alpha to hear that from Stiles.
“He’s fine,” Stilinski replies. He stands swaying on his heels with his hands in his pockets.
– Sorry about …
– Yeah, Stiles interrupts.
– I wasn’t going to hurt him. Or contact. Damn, it’s so confusing right now and I just want to …
“I know,” Stiles agrees softly, walking up to Derek.
Derek smiles tenderly and steps towards the guy.
– Knowing the cause of all these sensations … It is soothing. It’s not because you are Omega and I am Alpha. This is you are . You are my omega. What I feel … – Derek trails off for a second as something freezes inside. – I will never experience this for anyone.
– Oh. Stiles ‘lips break into a sweet’ o ‘and Derek thinks he has said too much, but then Stiles’ expression becomes so gentle and he finally gets over the last few inches between them. – Yeah. I feel the same way. It’s inconceivable if you think so.
– Exactly. Derek’s fingers slide along the line of Stiles’ jaw, running down to his neck. His skin is on fire. And all that goes around in the alpha’s brain is my couple is in heat when Stiles groans and sticks his throat.A quiet growl escapes Derek’s chest, more like a purr. – My.
Hale pulls on Stiles and their lips close in a hot kiss. The kiss comes out fast, hungry, a little wild as then, under the stands. But then the realization comes that it is no longer forbidden, and then the kiss becomes tender.
Stiles eagerly sucks on his bottom lip, then releases it and asks:
– Will you give me this heat?
Derek smiles broadly as he lifts Stiles by the waist.He hastily wraps his arms and legs around the alpha as he carries him to the bed. They fall with a thud on the mattress, the springs in it creak a little.
“This one,” Derek says, kissing Stiles, “the next one. Every one you let me.
They seem to kiss for ages, getting to know and trying each other, enjoying what is permitted.
Stiles tries to lie still under Derek, but he can’t, as his thighs seem to be pushing up on their own for the desired friction.He feels so alive, groaning out loud as the alpha spreads his legs wider, making himself comfortable between them. This position only builds up the heat in him, and the omega closes Hale’s ankles behind his back.
When Derek slides under Stiles’ shirt with his slightly damp palms, the omega blows the roof off. The long-awaited feeling of skin-to-skin touch; the blood in my veins is boiling. All his thoughts fly out of his head, leaving only a thirst for more .
His ass tightens at what she needs, grease leaks out of him, making the air sweeter.
– Take it off, Stiles mutters. All his strength has left him, and all he can do is nudge the alpha lightly in the chest.
And either Derek is in control or his desire to please Stiles is too strong, because the guy immediately pulls away, lying down next to him for a second. He immediately returns to help when he sees that the omega is not coping with things.
He shoots the last thing off Stiles in a way you might think, he unpacks the artwork and then stops and just looks at .
Stiles is open in front of him, every inch of his body on display for Hale.
“You’re embarrassing me,” Stilinski says softly. He’s about to bring his knees up to his chest when Derek squeezes his thigh.
– You are beautiful.
“It’s only worse,” he says, still relaxing.
– Better? Derek asks, pulling off the borrowed clothes.
Derek has broad shoulders, nicely framed by pumped up biceps.He looks exactly the way all his skinny henles imagined him to be. Stiles closes the distance between them, sliding his fingers over the guy’s nipples. He traces the small bumps, lightly touching them with his fingers, and when the alpha lets out a low moan, he flinches at the sound.
He reaches for Derek, and they both hiss as their bodies are finally pressed against each other. But this is not enough. Stiles wants … no, he needs the alpha to finally brand him. The grease drips down his legs, staining the sheets.He rolls over, kneeling down and resting his face on the pillow, showing the alpha what he is doing with him.
It gives Derek a completely unhuman roar. Stiles looks over his shoulder to see if Derek has approached. He is almost disappointed to see a man with very red cheeks.
– So you’re turning into a wolf now? Stiles teases. His heart skips a beat when he remembers what Derek is in the guise of a wolf: huge, majestic. – It turns on.Scary – fucked up, of course, but it seems hot.
“Shut up, Stiles,” the alpha growls, smiling.
– Force. – As soon as the omega pretends that he wants to get up, Derek immediately pounces on top, pressing him to the bed, making the omega giggle. – Come on.
And Derek doesn’t need any more invitations. He bites Stiles’ neck and he screams at the intensity of the sensation. His eyes roll back. Seconds later, he barely feels Derek kissing down his spine.It doesn’t stop when it comes to the lower back, on the contrary. Alpha gets comfortable and spreads Stiles’ legs wider.
“Oh my god,” the omega screams, feeling Derek’s mouth right there.
– You taste … – Derek mutters, burning his swollen hole with his breath, – simply delicious, – he finishes, and then, unable to resist, leads his tongue from the contracted testicles to the protruding bone of the tailbone.
– Fuck. Stiles pushes back, he needs more, he’s glad Derek doesn’t keep him waiting.Omega clings to the pillow, trying not to make unnecessary movements. But it’s so difficult because he’s so sensitive. Jesus, the scratching of Derek’s stubble is there, the feeling of fullness on his tongue … Stiles is just helpless. His cock is stuck and sore, pressed against the sheets by his body.
Derek maneuvers his body effortlessly, like he’s a doll. He puts him on his knees, exposing the hole for display.
“Yes,” he exhales without even thinking. He is ready, his body is literally buzzing. – Come on. Fuck me.
“I never …” Derek starts, but stops talking as the head of his penis slides over tight, lubricated muscles.
Stiles presses his face against the sheets, waiting for the alpha. He bends a little more in the back, inviting.
Derek can’t get in at first, his cock slides past, and he kisses Stiles’ shoulders apologetically. Then he tries more slowly. Stiles can feel the guy moving behind his back, making himself comfortable, pressing his cock at the right angle.
The omega’s mouth opens in a low scream as the fat head slides inward, stretching it the way he wanted it since the cookie.
His body takes on an alpha like he was made to do it, like Derek’s cock is a fucking puzzle piece. They freeze as Hale’s balls hit the omega’s ass.
– God, Stiles, Derek hisses. It is hard for him not to move back, but he is afraid to hurt. Stiles makes the decision for him, moving his hips, making the alpha scream.- Jesus.
Omega hits a fast pace as he sits on his cock until Derek finally takes control, forcing Stiles to move slower. Long, rhythmic thrusts allow for deeper penetration, and Stiles just can’t argue with that. He just can’t, not when he literally sees the stars.
Derek pushes into him, practically knocking out sighs and screams with every movement. He gets hotter and closes his eyes. Alpha barely notices the sound of tearing fabric or the sound of the headboard against the wall.The pleasure of forming a bond peaks and Derek’s thrusts get harder, almost too much.
– Fuck. It…? Stiles breathes out, feeling the swelling knot pressing against the inner walls. – Oh my God.
Derek bites his shoulder.
“Don’t move,” he asks with the shadow of the alpha’s order in his voice. Stiles breathes deeply, allowing his body to relax despite the growing pressure inside. – Like this. Okay, ”Derek praises, kissing the omega. – You’re just wonderful. You’re perfect, Stiles.
And then Stiles feels it. He feels their connection. Feels her in the way Derek’s teeth bite into his shoulder, feels her in the way the alpha holds him like a jewel, in the way they are tied in the most frank and intimate way.
Tears come to his eyes, it almost hurts, but Derek takes his cock in his hands. Exactly what is needed. The pleasure of doing this overshadows the now slight pain of the knot stretching him, so, plucking up courage, Stiles flexes in his back, deciding to check their knot.Derek hisses, holding him in place – his grip on his thigh will surely leave a bruise. From around the new angle, the damn knot presses right into the prostate, making you scream with pleasure. The next moment he ends, orgasm covers him with his head, knees tremble. Whitish streams of semen trickle down Derek’s fingers, landing on the sheets.
After a couple of minutes, Stiles can finally get his words out.
“I think you broke my cock,” he says.
– I think this is more my phrase, – laughs Derek, carefully laying them on their sides.
Stiles laughs, slapping his palm against his Alpha’s bicep.
– This is what happens when you don’t knock on entering the doctor’s office.
“I’m not against these consequences,” Derek replies, smiling. – I don’t mind at all.90,000 Read “Scandals Never Sleep (LP)” – Bradley Shelley – Page 45
Gabriel shook her slightly, bringing her back to the present.
– You did what you had to. But we will join him if we don’t start moving and find a way out of here.
Everly stood still unable to move with fright. What was his name? Does he have a family that will miss him? What was he looking for in Maddox’s house before he set it on fire?
“Come on,” Gabriel shouted over the sound of the spreading fire. “I’ll try to find a blanket or something else to hide. It is necessary to protect the skin from flames. Grab the box we found in the secret room.
When she looked around, she realized that the flames had developed into a rapidly approaching fire.Fear gripped her. It helped her focus on her escape … but not completely. She had to decide how to act in order to survive. And find courage. His father’s voice rang in Everly’s head. Make a decision, Eva. Always choose life. Shock and horror aside, she nodded. If she gets out of here alive, she’ll think about the rest later.
– Okay – no matter what happens, she will fight to find a way out. With Gabriel.
Everly slipped back into the secret room and quickly grabbed the locked box from the bar.The temperature in this brick room was much colder. While the fire had already damaged the house around her, she could barely smell the smoke here. A cool breeze hit her face.
She found a way out.
Gabe forced himself to remain calm. It took them an hour to find their way out. Everly discovered a network of tunnels that Mad’s great-grandfather used to store and transport moonshine. His secret supply route became their escape route.
“He was quite foresighted,” as Connor called him, who picked them up after they exited the tunnels.Gabe was quite sure that he did not show any external signs of tension, which overtook him the minute he realized that someone was walking over them. Even after the second police interrogation, in less than twenty-four hours, he maintained a level of calm that he did not feel.
“I’m going to shower.” Everly stood at the bottom of the stairs in Connor’s apartment. “Are you sure I won’t interfere?” I can find the hotel.
– Stay. Your room is the second door from the left, Everly. ”Gabe’s tone was perfectly normal.He didn’t shout orders or target territory, as the primal instinct within him wanted. But he knew the adrenaline would rush … and soon. – The room has an adjacent bathroom. You can use it. Dax will bring us some clean clothes in the morning.
“Thank you,” she muttered, and then climbed the stairs, fatigue in her slow movements and sagging shoulders. She stopped halfway and turned to him. “For everything, Gabriel. Are you sure we shouldn’t be looking into the things we found at Mad’s house today?
– Take a shower.We’ll deal with this tomorrow. ”The order sounded a little harsher than he had planned, but his tone worked. She turned and trudged up the stairs.
As soon as she disappeared, Dax whistled next to him.
– You’re in bad shape, bro.
Roman shook his head, placing his briefcase on a nearby coffee table.
– I don’t think I’ve ever seen you go off like that. Is it about the cops?
The police suspected he started the fire himself to hide some clue to Mad’s murder.They were still trying to identify the body of the man in the mansion and figure out what role he played in this scenario. The other guy appears to have escaped. But that wasn’t what upset Gabe.
– I’m fine.
Connor thrust a glass of whiskey into his hand.
– Of course you’re okay. You need to calm down before meeting her. Do you have any idea what these guys were looking for?
Gabe gratefully took the glass and emptied it in one gulp.
– None. They haven’t touched anything of value as far as I can tell.They seemed more interested in papers, files and books. And that doesn’t clarify anything.
– One guy is dead and the other is gone and we won’t get any answers.
– Exactly. And Everly saw and heard what I did, so she can’t provide any evidence. ”He sighed. “I have no idea what to do with her.
– What do you mean?
– She was nearly killed today. After these assholes realized that we were in the house, they tried to kill us. She dealt with one of them before I could do it.I almost shot her.
Connor sat him down on the sofa and slipped into the chair opposite. They were in the apartment he bought five years ago. Gabe wasn’t sure exactly when or where Connor got the money from. Sparks got to Creighton on a lacrosse scholarship. He was appointed captain of a weak team, and he quickly led it to victory. His own family consisted of a single mother who had worked as a bar waitress all her life. She was glad that Connor became an athlete, and happily sent him away to boarding school.She almost never picked him up for the holidays. The rest of the company took turns taking him home for the holidays.
But this apartment, previously underestimated, spoke of wealth. It was a penthouse in an exclusive building on the Upper West Side. Apparently his friend was doing well.
– She’s not the type of woman to hide when she can fight. I recognized her, asked around, – Connor took himself a whiskey. “Her subordinates really love her.
– She really saved your ass today? Roman asked, examining the old bottle of booze they had rescued from Mad’s house along with files and a metal box.Fortunately, Connor showed up before the police, so none of this was confiscated as evidence. – And this tape? She should receive a medal for saving him. Let’s open it up.
Gabe put a bottle of vintage alcohol out of Roman’s reach and handed him a much cheaper bottle of twenty-five year old whiskey.
– Yes, but only after she took a crazy opportunity that could end up being shot in the heart.
He still hadn’t been able to get this moment out of his head.Gabe sat down at that table, completely focusing on one thing and only one thing: the steps of this bastard.
Gabe held his breath, waiting, waiting … He timed the time and jumped to his feet, more than ready to pull the trigger. He had a clear picture of the man standing before he straightened up. As he began to pull the trigger, Gabriel noticed Everly standing there with matted hair, holding a poker tightly in her hands.
He could have killed her. He could accidentally shoot her and she would stop breathing.Exist. He could never hug and kiss her again. And now he wanted to strangle her because he was still terribly angry. Scared, to be precise. The thought that he would never see her again terrified him. He didn’t like the feeling.
“Take it easy, boy,” Dax said from nearby. “You owe her. She’s smart as hell and figured out there were tunnels in that place.
Connor frowned, putting down his already empty glass.
– This makes me wonder what else Mad was hiding.
“I have no idea.” He turned to Roman. “Do you really know why he wanted to talk to Zach?”
Roman shook his head.
– Mad didn’t tell me. He called and asked to schedule a meeting. I told him that Zach was too busy because he was angry with Mad at the time. You know that he always had tender feelings for Sarah. After Mad treated her like this, he was in no mood for reminiscing. I think now he blames himself for the refusal.
– But Mad went to Washington anyway?
“He told me he would set up camp in front of the Oval Office if he had to,” Roman shrugged.
– Does Zach know someone named Sergei?
Roman thought for a moment.
– I can see if he has dated anyone under that name lately, but I don’t remember that. To be honest, he has been working day and night since Joy was killed.
“Paper Princess (Part 1)” – Erin Watt.Chapter 5.6 | Infinity ?
I wake up in an unfamiliar bed and I don’t like it. No, not a bed that is fantastic: moderately soft, with smooth sheets that are not at all like the rough rags I have slept on before, if I ever managed to fall asleep in bed at all. Because millions of times it was just nylon sleeping bags that started to stink over time.
This same bed smells like honey and lavender.
But the luxury and convenience that surrounds me scares you, because from my own experience I know that beauty usually hides something ugly.Mom came home from work one day and announced that we were moving to a better place. A tall, thin man came for us, helped collect our belongings, and after a few hours we were already settling down in his little dwelling – a cute house with checkered curtains on the windows, where I was given my own bedroom.
But the same night I woke up from screams and clinking glass. Mom flew into my room, pulled me out of bed, and we ran out of this house.And only when we stopped a couple of blocks later, I saw that her cheekbone was broken.
So nice people don’t always live behind a nice facade.
I sit down and look around. It was as if this room was being prepared for a princess – and a small one. So much pink and ruffles it makes me sick. The only thing missing is posters from Disney cartoons, but, probably, posters are for the lower strata, they would not fit in here, like my cheap backpack lying on the floor by the door.
Memories of yesterday’s events flash in my head and stop at a bundle of one hundred dollar bills.I jump out of bed and grab my backpack. Opening it with a jerk, I sigh with relief – the money is in place. I run my thumb over the bundle and listen to that lovely sound of banknotes rustling, breaking the silence of the room. I could take them and leave right now. Ten grand would be enough for me for a long time.
But … Callum Royal promised me even more if I stayed. A bed, my own room, ten thousand every month until I graduate from school … and just for the fact that I go to school? Live in a mansion? Drive your own car?
I stuff my money into a hidden pocket at the bottom of my backpack.I’ll wait for now. Nothing will stop me from leaving tomorrow or in a month, or in another month. Any minute when something goes wrong, I can dump.
Now that the money is safely hidden, I dump the contents of the backpack on the bed and critically examine the things. Out of clothes, I have two pairs of skinny jeans and a pair of wide jeans that I wore to leave the strip club unnoticed; five T-shirts, five panties, one bra; corset, thong and high heels that I danced in last night.And also a beautiful dress that once belonged to my mother. It’s black, short, and it makes my chest look bigger. Most of the makeup case is the same products that my mother used, but there are a few inherited from the strippers we met. The contents of this suitcase will be worth a bucks by itself.
I also have a collection of Auden’s poems – probably the most romantic and meaningless thing among my belongings.I found this book on a table in one of the coffee shops; the dedication written by the author matched word for word with the engraving on my watch. I could not help but take it. It was fate, although, in general, I do not really believe in this bullshit. Destiny is for weaklings – those who do not have enough power over life or have no desire to make it the way they want it. I have walked a little along this road so far. I have no power, but someday I will.
I run my hand over the cover of the book. Maybe I can find a part-time job and work as a waitress.Cool if it turns out to be a steakhouse. Then I will have pocket money, and I will not have to take anything out of these ten thousand, especially since they have already become inviolable for me.
The knock on the door scares me.
– Callum? I ask.
– No, this is Reed. Open up.
I look down at my oversized T-shirt that once belonged to one of my mom’s friends. It almost completely hides everything that should be hidden, but I am not going to stand under the judgmental and furious gaze of one of the Royal Brothers until I am fully ready.Which means I need to dress and put on my bad girl makeup.
– I’m in an inappropriate state.
– Yes, I wanted to spit. You have five seconds and then I come in. – His words sound categorical and harsh.
You moron. I have no doubt that with such biceps, this guy can easily take my door.
I stomp towards it and jerk open it.
– What do you want?
He unceremoniously looks me over from head to toe, and although the hem of my T-shirt hangs down almost to my knees, I feel like I’m standing in front of him naked.This annoys me terribly, and the mistrust that was born yesterday grows into sincere dislike.
– I want to know what kind of game you are playing. – The guy takes a step forward, and I understand – this is on purpose to unsettle me. People like him use their body both as a weapon and as bait.
– I think you better talk to your father. He kidnapped me and brought me here.
Reed takes another step, and now we are standing so close to each other that with each breath, our bodies touch.
He is so stunningly handsome that my mouth dries up and begins to tingle in places that, I always wanted to believe, could never react to such a jerk. But thanks to my mother, I learned one truth – your body can like things that your brain hates. Therefore, the head must control everything. It was one of my mother’s instructions in the spirit of “do as I say, not as I do.”
“This moron wants to offend you!” I shout to my body.But despite this, my nipples stick up.
– And you really resisted, right? – He looks down with contempt at the spikes sticking out from under the thin fabric.
I have no choice but to pretend that my nipples are always so puffy.
– Again, you better talk to your father.
I turn around and pretend like Reed Royal doesn’t spark every nerve ending in my body. I walk slowly over to the bed and grab a pair of panties.Then, as if I don’t care about the whole world, I throw off yesterday’s and leave them lying on the cream carpet.
A convulsive breath is heard behind me. One-zero in favor of the visiting team.
Trying to maintain a calm air, I pull on fresh underwear, slowly lifting my panties up my legs under the long hem of my T-shirt. I physically feel his gaze on me, as if he were touching me.
– I warn you, no matter what game you play, you will not win. Against us all – definitely not.His voice became lower and rougher. My little show had an effect on him. Two-zero. But I am glad that I have my back to him and the guy does not see that his voice and look also affected me. – If you leave now, no one will touch you. We will let you take everything your father gave you, and none of us will interfere with you. But if you stay, we will break you, and you will have to crawl out of here.
I pull on my jeans and then, still not facing him, I begin to take off my T-shirt.
Reed grins hoarsely, and then I hear the sound of rapid footsteps.His hand squeezes my shoulder, leaving the shirt in place. The guy turns me around to face him. And then he leans in, so close that his lips are just a few millimeters from my ear.
– I want to tell you: you can undress in front of me at least every day, but I still don’t want you, truncated? Let my dad get caught up in your little ass, we got you through.
Reed’s hot breath scorches my neck, and I have to use all my willpower to keep from trembling.Am I scared? Excited? God knows. But my body is now confused. Shit. I am my mother’s daughter, am I not? Because loving men who mistreat you was, damn it, Maggie Harper’s trademark.
“Let me go,” I say coldly.
His fingers tighten on my shoulder, but after a second, Reed is already pushing me away. I almost fall forward and grab the bed.
– We will not take our eyes off you, – the guy says menacingly and leaves the room.
With shaking hands I finish dressing. From now on, I will always be dressed in this house, even in my own room. I’m never going to let that goat Reed take me by surprise again.
I jump in surprise and turn around to see Callum’s open doorway.
– Callum, you scared me, – pressing my hand to the pounding heart, I am the food.
– Sorry. He enters the room holding a tattered piece of paper.- Your letter.
My surprised gaze meets his.
– I, uh-uh … thanks.
– Didn’t think I’d really give it to you, did I?
– Honestly? I doubted its existence.
– I will never deceive you, Ella. I have many shortcomings. By listing them, my sons could write a thicker book, War and Peace, but lies are not included in this list. And I will not ask you for more than just give me a chance.The man places the letter in my palm. “When you’re done, come downstairs for breakfast. There is a staircase at the end of the corridor that leads directly to the kitchen. So come as soon as you’re ready.
– Thank you, I’ll go down.
Callum smiles at me warmly.
– I’m so glad you’re here. For a while, I even thought that I would never find you.
– I … I don’t know what to say. – If it was only in Callum and in me, it is possible that I would be relieved to agree to live here. Even with gratitude. But after the run-in with Reed, I am incredibly scared.
– It’s okay. You will soon get used to it. Trust me. – With a wink at me, as if it should somehow cheer me up, the man disappears.
I sit down on the bed and open the letter with trembling fingers.
I don’t know if you will ever receive this letter and believe what is written here.I am sending it to the address of the naval base in Little Creek with your personal number. You dropped a piece of paper with this data, as did your watch. I saved them. And by some miracle I remembered the damn number.
Okay, I’ll get straight to the point: after that crazy night – a month later you left God knows where, I got pregnant. When it was discovered, you were already far away. The guys, your co-workers, didn’t want to listen to my story. I suspect that you do not really want to know her.
But if you care, come.I have cancer. It destroys my intestines. I swear I can really feel it inside, this parasite. My baby will be left alone. She is cheerful. But tough. Harder than me. I love her. Death is not scary to me, I am only afraid that she will be left alone.
I understand that between us there was just crazy sex, but we gave birth to the best creature in the world, damn it! You’ll hate yourself if you don’t even get to know her.
Ella Harper.I named it after that cheap music box you won for me in Atlantic City. Thought you would be pleased.
Hope you receive this letter in time. She doesn’t know about you, but she wears your watch and has your eyes. You will recognize her as soon as you see her.
I rush into my bathroom – also bright pink – and press a towel to my face.Don’t cry, Ella. Tears will not help matters. Leaning over the sink, I splash water on my face, trying to convince myself that the drops dripping from my face into the china bowl are just tap water, not my tears.
Pulling myself together, I brush through my hair and pull it into a high ponytail. Then I put some foundation on my face so that the eyes are not so red, and that’s it, I’m ready.
But before leaving the room, I stuff all my things into my backpack and put a strap over my shoulder. He will be with me everywhere until I find a place to hide him.
I walk past four doors, and here it is, a staircase. The hallway where my room door opens is so wide that you can ride one of Callum’s cars. I say for sure, this place was once a hotel, because it does not fit in my head how one family can have such a huge house.
The kitchen, where the stairs descend, seems immense.Two slabs, an island with a marble top, an endless row of white cabinets. I see the sink, but I can’t see the refrigerator or dishwasher. There is probably another kitchen in the bowels of the house, and I will still be sent there, despite Callum’s assurances, to scrub the floors. Actually, I don’t mind. It will be much safer for me if I get paid for a real job, and not for going to school and being a normal teenager. Well, who gets paid for behaving normally? No one.
There is a massive table at the far end of the kitchen, right by the floor-to-ceiling windows, overlooking the ocean.The Royals are sitting in four of the six chairs. In school uniform – white shirts outside and straight khaki trousers. Blue jackets hang from the backs of the chairs. And each of the guys manages to look stunning, but with a touch of rude masculinity.
This place looks like the Garden of Eden. Beautiful, but full of danger.
– How do you cook eggs? Callum asks me.
He stands at the stove, in one hand a spatula, in the other two eggs. His pose is not very confident.A quick glance at the brothers confirms my suspicions. Callum doesn’t cook often.
– Scrambled eggs will be just right. – Nobody can spoil the eggs.
He nods and points with a spatula at the large door next to him.
– There is fruit and yogurt in the fridge, and the buns are right here, right behind me.
I go to the closet and open it, haunted by the oppressive, angry gazes of four pairs of eyes. It’s like the first day at a new school – when everyone decides that they will hate the new one, for no reason, just like that.The light comes on and cold air hits my face. Hidden refrigerators. Of course, why would anyone know you own a refrigerator? Nonsense.
I take out the strawberry container and place it on the countertop.
Reed tosses the napkin on the table.
– I am everything. Whom to give?
The twins pull back their chairs, but another brother — must be Easton — shakes his head.
– I’m picking up Claire today.
“Boys,” their father says warningly.
– Everything is fine. “I don’t want to become a source of quarrel or tension between Callum and his sons.
“It’s okay, Dad,” Reed says sarcastically and turns to his brothers. – We’re leaving in ten minutes.
They go out after him like a flock of ducklings. Or, more correctly, as a company of soldiers.
– Sorry. Callum sighs heavily. “I don’t know what makes them so upset. But I still wanted to take you to school myself. Although I hoped that the sons would be more … friendly.
The smell of burning makes us both turn towards the stove.
– Oh shit! Callum scolds.
I walk up to him and see a black curled mass. The man smiles sadly.
– I’ve never cooked, but I decided that I could definitely handle eggs. Looks like he was wrong.
So, he never cooked in his life, but decided on it because of some unknown girl whom he brought to his house? Now it is clear where such hostility comes from.
– Are you hungry? Because I can get away with fruit and yogurt.- Fresh fruit I have not often eaten. Anyway, fresh food is the privilege of the rich.
– To be honest, I’m starving. The man looks at me pitifully.
– I can cook the eggs … – and before I can finish the sentence, Callum pulls out a packet of bacon – with bacon, if you have one.
Callum is leaning against the counter as I cook.
– Five boys, then? A real headache.
– Their mother died two years ago.They have not yet come to their senses. No one in our family has yet come to terms with this loss. Maria was the link between all of us. He runs a hand through his hair. “I was seldom home before she died. Atlantic Aviation was going through hard times, and I flew around the world making deals. Callum sighs shakily. – I managed to settle everything with the business … but with the family it is still in the process.
Apparently, the process is very long, but who am I to criticize Callum’s educational skills.I make an unintelligible guttural sound, which Callum takes as a sign to move on.
– Gideon is the oldest. He is now in college but comes home for the weekend. I think he’s dating some girl from the city, but I don’t know with whom. You will meet tonight.
Cool, nothing to say.
– Great. – Yeah, as great as getting an enema.
– I want to take you to school so you can see what’s what. Well, when we’ve settled it all, Brooke, my girlfriend, offered to take you shopping.As far as I understand, you will start going to school on Monday.
– How much am I behind?
– Classes started two weeks ago. I saw your grades, so I think everything will be fine, ”he assures me.
– You have good bloodhounds, since you even got my school file. I frown at the eggs.
– You moved a lot, but yes, when I figured out your mother’s full name, it became easy to track you down and get all the information you need.
– Mom did everything possible to make me feel good.I lift my chin.
– She was a stripper. And I made you do it, right? Callum asks angrily.
– No, I decided so myself. – I put the eggs on the plate. Let him cook his own damn bacon! No one would dare to speak ill of my mother to my face.
Callum takes my hand.
– Listen, I …
– Didn’t I bother you? – comes a cold voice from the side of the door.
I turn around and see Reed. There is ice in his voice, but fire burns in his eyes.He doesn’t like that I am standing so close to his father. Yes, this is real disgusting, but something makes me move even closer to Callum, almost under his arm. Callum is focused only on his son and does not even realize that I am standing very close to him. But Reed’s narrowed eyes tell me that he understands everything.
I raise my hand and place it on Callum’s shoulder.
– No, I’m just making breakfast for your father. – I smile sweetly.
Reed’s face darkens even more, if that’s possible.
– I forgot my jacket. He walks over to the table and yanks his jacket off the chair.
“See you at school, Reed,” I poke him on.
He glares at me, then turns and walks away. I drop my hand. Callum gives me a puzzled look.
– You are playing with fire.
– He was the first to light a match.
Callum shakes his head.
– It seemed to me that raising five sons was a risky adventure.Looks like I haven’t seen anything yet, huh?
Callum is taking me to school for the next two years. Well, rather, Duran is lucky. Callum and I sat in the backseat. He flips through the pages with some drawings, and I look out the window, trying not to think about what happened in my bedroom recently when Reed walked in.
Ten minutes pass before Callum finally looks up from his papers.
– Sorry, so much has accumulated.I took a vacation after Steve died, and now the board of directors is above my soul.
I really want to ask him about Steve – was he kind, what he liked, why he slept with my mother, but never returned to her. However, I am silent. Part of me doesn’t want to know anything about my father. Because when I know more about him, he will turn into a real person. And even, perhaps, good. But it’s easier for me to think of him as some bastard who left my mom behind.
I point to the papers.
– These are the blueprints for your planes?
– We are designing a new jet fighter. Commissioned by the Ministry of Defense.
Stunned. He designs not only simple airplanes. But also the military. This is a lot of money! Although, given the size of their home, there is nothing to be surprised at.
– And my oh … Steve. Was he designing too?
– He was in charge of the test section. Me too, to a certain extent, but your father had a real passion for flying.
My dad loved to fly airplanes. I store this information in my mind.
I remain silent, and Callum’s voice softens.
– You can ask me about him, Ella. Whatever you want. I knew Steve better than anyone.
“I’m not sure yet that I’m ready for this,” I hesitantly answer.
– I understand. But when you are ready, I will gladly tell you everything. He was a great man.
I can hardly refrain from remarking that Steve was not so great, since he left me with my mother, but I do not want to quarrel with Callum.
All thoughts of Steve immediately fly out of my head as soon as we drive up to the gate six meters high. Is this how the Royals live? Moving from one gate to another? The doors open and we roll down the paved road to a huge Gothic building covered with ivy. As we step out of the car and look around, I notice several more similar buildings scattered across the impeccably manicured grounds of the private academy Astor Park, between which are wide green lawns. This is probably why the “park” got into the name of the school.
“Wait here,” Callum says to Duran, walking over to the driver’s side window. – I’ll call when we get ready to leave.
The black car drives off in the direction of the parking lot at the end of the road. Callum turns to me.
– Director Boehringer is waiting for us.
I follow the Royal up the wide staircase to the main entrance, and all this time it is difficult for me to hide how shocked I am: from what I see, you can easily go astray. The motto of this place is money and luxury.The sleek lawns and the huge schoolyard are empty – probably everyone is in class now – and on the field in the distance I see boys in uniform playing football.
Callum follows my gaze.
– Do you play sports?
– Uh-uh, no. I mean, not that not at all – dancing, gymnastics, something like that. But in sports games I am not strong.
The man purses his lips.
– But this is not very good. If you are part of a school team, then you are exempted from physical education classes.I’ll ask if there is a place in the cheerleading group – you should go there.
I? In a support group? Yeah of course. Enthusiasts are needed there, but I am not very active.
We enter the lobby – these are usually featured in scenes from school films. Portraits of graduates hang on the oak-paneled walls, and the parquet floor glistens under our feet. Several guys in blue jackets pass by us, throwing curious glances at me.
– Reed and Easton play American football – our first team in the state.The twins preferred lacrosse, Callum tells me. – If you get a place in the cheerleading group, then you may find yourself in the cheerleading group of any of these teams.
I wonder if he realizes that he just gave me another, very significant reason to try not to join the support group? There’s no way in the world that I’ll jump and wave my arms for a bastard like Reed.
“Maybe,” I mutter. – But I would prefer to pay more attention to my studies.
Callum walks to the principal’s reception looking like he’s been there a hundred times before. And this is probably the case, because the gray-haired woman secretary greets him with a big smile, as if they are old friends.
– Mr. Royal, how nice it is to see you here under such joyful, finally, circumstances.
Callum responds with a crooked grin.
– And don’t speak! Is François ready to receive us?
– Yes, come in.
The meeting with the director goes surprisingly smoothly.Maybe Callum gave him some money so he wouldn’t ask unnecessary questions about my past? But it seems that they still told him something, because at the very beginning of the meeting, the director asks how I would like to be recorded – Ella Harper or Ella O’Halloran.
– Harper, – I answer dryly. I will never give up my mother’s surname. She raised me, not Steve O’Halloran.
I am given a schedule that includes gym classes. Despite my protests, Callum tells Director Behringer that I really want to get into the support group.God. I don’t understand why he is so against regular physical education.
When the conversation ends, Boehringer shakes my hand and says that one of the students is waiting for me in the lobby to give me a little tour of the school. I throw a panicked look at Callum, but he’s too busy talking about how treacherous Lawn Nine is. Apparently, he and Beringer play golf together, and the man waves his hand to me, warning that Duran will give the car in about an hour.
Biting my lip, I leave the director’s office.It is still difficult for me to understand my feelings. As far as education is concerned, I was told that it is first class here. But everything else … school uniforms, pompous buildings … I don’t fit in here. It became clear to me immediately, and when I see my escort, I understand how right I am.
She is dressed in a navy blue skirt and white shirt – school uniform, but everything in her still screams wealth – from exquisitely styled hair to nails with French manicure. The girl introduces herself as Savannah Montgomery.“Yes, those Montgomeries,” the girl adds meaningfully, as if it should mean something to me. But I have no idea who she is.
She announces that she is also in eleventh grade, and then scrutinizes me for a good twenty seconds. Her nose wrinkles at the sight of my skinny jeans and T-shirt, frayed combat boots, my hairdo, no manicure nails and hastily applied makeup.
“Your uniform will be delivered to your home this weekend,” Savannah informs me.- The skirt is non-negotiable, but there are ways to wear it shorter. She winks at me and spreads hers, which barely covers her thighs. The rest of the girls I spotted in the hallway wear knee-length skirts.
– What, you give a blowjob to the teachers and you get the right to wear a shorter skirt? I ask politely.
Her eyes, blue as ice, open in fear.
– Uh, no, – Savannah squeezes out an awkward laugh. – Simply, if one of the teachers starts to complain, you shove a hundred Beringer, and he turns a blind eye to it.
It must be great to live in a world where you can just shove someone a hundred. I only have dollar bills. Because bills of this denomination were usually stuffed into my thongs.
But I decide not to tell Savannah about this.
“Okay, let me show you everything here,” she says, but in less than a minute I realize that she’s not going to help me get used to it. She needs information.
– Class, class, women’s toilet. – Her graceful fingers with fashionable manicure point to different doors as we walk down the hall.”So Callum Royal is your legal guardian?” Classroom, classroom, teachers’ restroom … And how did it happen?
“He knew my father,” I shortly answer.
– Callum’s Companion, huh? My parents attended his funeral. Savannah tosses her brown hair over her shoulder and opens several more doors.
– Study rooms for ninth graders, – she continues.“But you have nothing to do here. Tenth graders in the east wing. So you live with the Royals?
– Yes. – I’m not going into details.
We quickly walk past a long row of lockers that are nothing like the narrow, rusty lockers in the public schools where I studied. Here the cabinets are painted dark blue and are as wide as three ordinary ones. They reflect sunlight entering the corridor from large windows on the opposite wall.
Before I can get a better look around, we are already on the street and walk along a cobblestone path, on both sides of which there are spreading trees.Savannah points to an ivy-covered building.
– Eleventh grade is studying in this wing. All your classes will take place here. Except for physical education – the gym is on the south lawn.
East Wing. South lawn. Some kind of nightmare.
– Have you met the brothers yet? The girl stops in the middle of the path, her piercing dark eyes peering into my face. She evaluates me again.
– Yeah. I fearlessly meet her gaze. – Not impressed.
I hear a surprised laugh in response.
– Then you are in the minority. Her face turns serious again. “The first thing you should know about Astor is that the Royals rule here, Eleanor.
– Ella, – I correct.
Savannah waves his hand.
– It doesn’t matter. They set the rules. And they make them do it.
– And you all follow them together like little obedient sheep.
Her lips curl up slightly in a grin.
– Just do something wrong, and four years here will be torture.
– Well, I don’t care about their rules, – I say with a shrug. “Even though I live in their house, I don’t know them and I don’t want to recognize them. I’m only here to get a certificate.
– Okay, then I think it’s time for the next Astor lesson. The girl shrugs too. “The only reason I’m so nice to you is …
Wait, does she think she’s acting nice?”
– … because Reed hasn’t delivered his verdict yet.
I raise an eyebrow.
– One word from him and you are nothing here. Insignificance. Invisible. Or worse.
Now I’m grinning.
– Was that supposed to scare me?
– No, it’s just true. We’ve been waiting for you. We were warned and told not to enter the game yet.
– Who? Reed? King of Astor Park? Oh-oh, I’m already trembling all over.
– They haven’t made a decision about you yet. But soon they will. I met you five minutes ago, but I can already say for sure what this decision will be. Savannah grins. – Women have a sixth sense. We are briefly in the dark as to who we are dealing with.
I grin back.
– Exactly, not for long.
Another gaze freezes on me for a few more seconds. But I have enough of them to show that I do not care about her, about Reed and the hierarchy in this school, which she undoubtedly follows.