37; Boy Wolf

The feeling from the night before hadn't gone away. The sensation of absolute terror and guilt made a home in her heart and stomach.

The remorse was eating her alive like a venomous bite taking one limb at a time. At any moment, El felt like she might faint or throw up from the nerves bubbling within. Frantically walking around the campus of Beacon Hills High School she did her best to remain calm and collected, but she'd thrown both out the window the moment she watched- and let- Liam Dunbar run as far away and fast as he could from Scott's house.

As Stiles had so adequately put it, their plan had sucked.

Well, Scott's plan anyway, she had corrected trying to remove the blame from herself, but she had just stood by and let it happen. If anything, El was even more at fault. How could she have let Scott, in his confusion and panic, take Liam hostage in his bathtub and do nothing to stop it? In her defense, she hadn't been able to think clearly from the moment his scream of pure anguish had pierced right through her heart on the hospital rooftop.

Every second after that seemed to happen in hyper speed.

They had escaped the sea of law enforcement responding to the hospital with no detection. Liam had fought them at every step. She had tried to console him, but instead chipped away a little more at her sanity each time he dodged her touch and shouted for her to keep away. Stiles and Scott failed miserably to explain to him what had happened. What the bite would do... or wouldn't do. Liam had cried and yelled and raged at them, and when he'd finally found a semblance of calm he looked up at her with a granite scowl and asked her to step back.

Then he was using the chair he'd been sitting on as a weapon against Scott, and Stiles was little more than a punching bag. Liam had paused in front of her and although she wasn't afraid of him or the fury reflected in his eyes and sculpted into his features, a chill had run through her body. Go, she'd urged him and he didn't hesitate to get away from them- from her as fast as he could.

Afterward, she struggled to convince herself whether she had made the right choice in letting him go. Stiles had made his opinion very clear.

If something happens to him or worse—someone else— it's on you.

And he was right. It would be her fault and not even Scott whispering reassurances into her ear as they lay in each other's arms could keep the fear and anxiety she felt at bay. He promised her that he would fix his mistake and help Liam and although she believed him, El knew nothing would ever be the same for the young boy again.

"Have you seen him yet?" Startled, El clutched her hand over her chest feeling the beat of her heart spike before returning to its fluttering tempo. She shook her head at Stiles continuing to scan the area while feeling herself become more and more discouraged.

"Hey, hey, you okay?" He examined her face taking in the dark shadows under her eyes from another night of no sleep. He frowned at the minor scrapes across her chin and forehead but knew they'd be gone by tomorrow if not by the end of the day. Her rate of healing wasn't as quick as that of a werewolf, but definitely more efficient than his own.

What disturbed him most about her now was the fact she wasn't smacking him away. A feisty and annoyed El he could handle, but the broken and helpless one left him unsure of what to do. It seemed he experienced the latter version of herself the longer they knew each other.

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