Belonging is a novella set in the Darkest Powers series and available in The Complete Darkest Powers Tales. It is set around three months after the events of The Reckoning and is narrated primarily by Derek Souza with his Werewolf biological family coming to claim him.
The prologue is set prior to the main story, in Dallas in June and is narrated by Werewolf mutt Brad who is meeting with Theo Cain, Carter Cain and Nate Cain. Brad is selling information on Derek Souza to the Cain's having learnt that Derek is Zachary Cain's son, so they can try and get him first. Brad is a bounty hunter whose been hired to find the escaped Genesis II Project subjects. Brad has decided to sell the information about Derek to the Cain's instead. Brad tells them about the Genesis II Project and that the St. Cloud Cabal was behind it. The Cain's only care about Derek and any other Werewolf subjects, Brad tells them that Derek is the only one left.
Theo Cain, Derek's grandfather asks if the other Werewolf subjects were also Zachary Cain's but he doesn't know. Theo is impressed that Derek is sixteen and already able to Change, Carter who is Derek's cousin is jealous having not had his first Change yet at seventeen. Theo is also interested that Derek has genius level smarts, the Cain's have numbers and muscle but lack the intelligence to be a real threat against the Pack. Brad reveals that Zachary Cain was unaware he was part of the experiments, having been seduced by a subject to father a Werewolf child and dying before he could find out.
Theo identifies Derek as a Cain from his photo, stating that he has his fathers eyes. Brad tells them that he knows where Derek is, that he's been in a rented house for two months and that if he moves he can track him down again, he also has a plan to catch him. Nate Cain thinks they could catch him themselves but Brad points out that Derek is smart and tells them about how during the events of The Reckoning he killed Liam Malloy and scared off Ramon Santos. Brad's plan is to use Chloe Saunders to get to Derek as she's his girlfriend and a small girl, who as a Necromancer, has no offensive or defensive powers. Carter expresses a physical interest in Chloe and the Cain's agree to pay Brad's price.
The narration switches to Derek. Along with Simon he's ensuring that the patch of woods near their rental home is still safe and clear. Derek still can't control his Changes so they have to ensure they're living somewhere with woods or a forest. Derek is worrying about Chloe being at the mall with Tori without him, even though he knows she can look after herself and isn't defenceless when Simon brings up the fact that they're approaching Derek and Chloe's three month anniversary. Derek is unsure what Chloe believes to be the start of their relationship so he doesn't know the exact date of their anniversary. Derek missed their first month anniversary and finds it difficult to understand the importance behind celebrating everything.
Derek also doesn't understand the importance of giving Chloe a gift, comparing it to an incentive to keep dating him. Derek thinks he'll need an incentive to keep Chloe, that eventually she'll realise he isn't what she wants in a long term relationship. They return to the same farmhouse they were living in during the events of Facing Facts, once Derek is sure the forest is safe. Lauren Fellows is cleaning and asks for help, Derek who's trying to convince her he's not the big bad wolf is having to play nice so he volunteers to help. Derek is unsure how to feel about Lauren who stayed with The Edison Group for years longer than his father Kit Bae did. Derek doesn't believe that Lauren's actions balance the books against the bad things she's done like putting Chloe in Lyle House and taking her back to The Edison Group when she escaped.
Chloe calls and invites Derek and Simon to join her and Tori at the malls food court. Lauren subtly accuses Derek of lying as she doesn't like and thinks he and Chloe spend too much time together but ultimately allows him to leave. Derek is glad that Simon isn't bothered by his and Chloe's relationship, as long as both Chloe and Derek are happy so is Simon.
Together they make their way to the food court where Derek isn't pleased to see an older teen flirting with Chloe. His reaction to it though confuses him as it was more intense than it should have been, burning through common sense and reason, drawing attention to him which they need to avoid while they're on the run. Chloe introduces the boy as Carter who is shopping with his grandfather, Derek can't identify Carter as a Werewolf from his scent as it's being masked by a musky chemical smell like a bottle of spilled cologne. Derek finds Carter pathetic as he's hitting on girls, covered in aftershave while he shops with his grandfather.
As Chloe goes to get food Carter strikes up a conversation, asking if Derek goes to College or plays football. When he asks if Chloe has Derek isn't impressed, he can't tell him he's dating her as they're pretending to be a blended family. Carter continues and calls Chloe cute with a 'hungry look' that has Derek's hackles raising, he tells him that Chloe is fifteen. Derek gets in Carter's face as he continues to make remarks about Chloe and girls her age liking older guys, baiting Derek who figures that Carter has realised he and Chloe are dating or just that Derek likes her.
Things almost turn physical as Carter continues to make insinuations towards Chloe before Theo shows up and waves him away. Derek feels a jolt like recognition towards Theo who stares at him for a moment. The group head back with Derek and Chloe taking the forest path alone. Chloe encourages Derek to chase her, that the kissing is sweeter when you have to work for it. Derek is sure that the Genesis II Project has cured the instinct to chase a fleeing human as prey in him, when he chases Chloe all he sees is Chloe and there's nothing violent about it. Chloe is smart enough to make it a challenge for him and Derek looses her for a short while.
While he hunts her he recognises the scent of the cologne Carter was covered in.Derek believes that the recognition he felt with Theo means he's an Edison Group employee, that Carter is wearing Cologne to try and stop Derek from recognising his scent and that they're after them. Derek finds Chloe hiding in a tree and tells her what he suspects. They agree to find them and see if they can learn more before taking it to Kit but when Derek tracks the cologne scent he realises Carter went in the forest and then straight back out. Derek believes they've stayed in one place and they go home to have a meeting with everyone about what happened.
Lauren doesn't think things are as bad as they're making them see, that a boy just hit on Chloe. Tori thinks he was a perv as Chloe looks younger. Chloe points out that Carter singled her out, that other girls showed interest and she didn't and when she left the table he singled Derek out too and baited him about Chloe. Lauren tells him he probably brought on himself by being rude. Kit suggests they've misinterpreted Carter's interest in Chloe and that he followed them into the woods to see where she lives but got bored when they didn't head straight back.
Derek isn't happy with this interpretation and gets up to leave the room. Kit asks the others to leave so he can talk to Derek. Derek thinks Kit believes he's being too paranoid but he disagrees, he thinks that Derek's eagerness to move on and how uncomfortable he is with hiding his relationship with Chloe is coloring their interpretation of things. Kit agrees to make plans to move and that where they live next Chloe and Derek won't be made to hide their relationship.
Four days pass with nothing happening and Derek begins to think his dad is right and that he overreacted. That evening Chloe is planning to take Derek on one of his weekly Changing practices. Although he can't control his Changes yet they've been trying to train his body to be able to do it on command. Derek thinks the occasions when he has where more luck than purpose. They make out for awhile to 'relax' Derek to help him Change before he attempts it which he manages successfully.
They agree to play hide and seek, while tracking Chloe's scent Derek comes across Carter's cologne which is heading in the same direction as Chloe. Derek proceeds with caution and finds Carter behind a bush spying on Chloe. In wolf form Derek can detect more of Carter's natural scent and recognises it, he can't place it though, he just knows he's smelled it before so he assumes that he recognises the scent from The Edison Group and that that is why he's hiding his scent but at the same time he doesn't recognise it, it just smells familiar.
Derek decides to sneak round him and warn Chloe but as he tries to, Carter sniffs him out and Derek realises what the scent is, the underlying scent of a Werewolf. Carter sees him and Derek plans to get him away from Chloe and hold him for his dad to deal with. As Derek tries to get him to run Theo arrives in wolf form, Derek won't risk fighting him but when he runs it's almost straight into another wolf. They catch Derek and Carter sedates him.
Derek wakes up human, dressed in someone else's clothes and with his mind fuzzy in a bedroom without windows, unable to place Theo who offers him food. Derek remembers where he knows Theo from and tries to escape, Theo stops him and Derek asks where Chloe is, he tells him she's fine and at home. Carter comes in and suggests drugging Derek again, Theo believes Carter gave him more of the sedative than Theo had measured out in the first place. Theo confirms that he really is Carters grandfather and that they're both Werewolves, telling Derek his name is Theo Cain. Derek recognises the name as Liam Malloy and Ramon Santos believed Derek was a Cain when he met them in The Awakening. Derek doesn't want to believe that he's related to them, he recognises their scent and knows that he looks like Theo, but the only family he wants if his father Kit and the others.
They tell Derek about his biological father and that if he'd known about him they all would have come for him. Derek is unmoved and despite being his biological family he doesn't feel anything, beyond thinking they could supply him with a family medical history. Theo is disappointed in Derek's reaction and isn't able to feel grief for the loss of his biological father. Derek confuses Theo by asking what they're going to do now they've kidnapped him, Theo plans for Derek to come live with him and go to school as much as they can but not to college. Derek isn't impressed but he knows the Cain reputation for not being bright and hopes he can use it as he won't be able to escape with brute force.
He remarks it would be nice to be around his own kind and asks if he can have a shower before they eat. Theo isn't quite as stupid as he'd hoped and assures Derek that the window isn't big enough to get out and there's no one around to call for help. Theo knows Derek won't be happy with him 'for awhile' but believes that Derek will come to see that he's 'done the right thing'. They eat together and Carter, who Derek describes as an ass, makes repeated jabs at Derek until Theo shoos him off.
Derek tells Theo that he has a family already and that he wants to stay with them but will keep in touch with the Cain's. Theo ignores him, in his eyes Derek is a child and isn't old enough to make those decisions for himself so Theo will make them for him. Derek tries arguing but gets put on a 'time out' like a puppy. When he's alone a pencil and piece of paper push themselves under the door, used by Liz Delaney a poltergeist to communicate with him. Chloe is outside, having followed them straight from where Derek was taken she doesn't have her phone and has come alone. Derek tells Liz that Chloe has to get his dad but the Cain's are packing their van and Liz tells him they're going to rescue him before stopping communicating.
Theo comes back and tells Derek they're heading out, Derek asks to go to the bathroom where he's watched over by Nate. He discovers he's in the basement of a partly furnished house. Nate tells him that they'll set up a hunt, a kind of family meeting where everyone gets together and also tells him that when he's older he'll get to hunt humans who Nate claims are picked because they 'deserve it' and won't be missed so the pack don't come after them, reassuring him that they only kill them and don't eat them. Derek stares at him and Nate cheerfully tells him not to knock it until he's tried it.
Liz distracts Nate and lures him into the bedroom where Derek was held before locking him in. Derek tries to get upstairs but Theo and Carter are coming, he goes to hide and finds Chloe already hidden in the room in a crawlspace storage area with a hatch that they share. Chloe tells Derek that she's already called Kit from a pay phone, that she doesn't know the houses address but gave him all the information on the for sale sign and he's on his way. Chloe had to act because the Cain's were packing to leave and they didn't have time to wait for Kit to arrive.
Once the Cain's leave the house to search outside, Derek and Chloe make their escape with Liz scouting for them, finding that the van is unlocked and has the keys in the ignition. Before they can get outside to the van Carter sneaks up and grabs ahold of Chloe, getting her by the throat. Carter wants Derek to leave and not to come back, Derek assumes he wants him dead but Carter knows he'd get in trouble for that so he just wants him gone, he tells Derek he doesn't belong. Carter tells Derek he doesn't want him to contact them and that if he does he'll come after Chloe or Kit and Simon.
Derek doesn't like it, someday when he's older and Theo can't expect to just scoop him up again he might want to get in touch, he might have questions about his family and about Werewolves but that won't be an option until he's prepared to deal with Carter. Chloe gets out of his grip and Liz hits Carter in the head with a plate, Derek considers making a fight of it but he can't be sure he'd win and that Theo or Nate wouldn't arrive so he agrees to leave and have no contact.
They escape in the van and meet Kit a mile down the road, disabling the Cain's van so they can't follow. Derek manages to resist telling his dad I told you so and settles for ensuring that they're going to move, he tells Kit what happened and lets him apologize repeatedly, hoping next time he'll be more inclined to listen.
Chloe remarks that the place they've moved to makes it feel like they haven't really moved, it's also an old farmhouse a mile from the neighbours and borders on a forest. It's revealed to be the same place they were staying when they were found by the Project Phoenix kids in The Rising. Derek is confused about how to feel towards the Cain's, especially the fact that they hunt humans. Kit thinks he should see it 'from a Werewolf perspective, where restricting themselves to rare hunts of criminals actually meant they had developed a system for dealing with their impulses.' Derek doesn't like having to judge his kind with the standard of 'at least they don't eat people', he's come to see more of what people with a prejudice against Werewolves base it off of and realises he'll have to deal with that for the rest of his life.
The novella ends with Derek acknowledging their three month anniversary, he tells her he hopes to have more anniversaries and Chloe tells him they can for as long as he wants them. Derek gives Chloe a gift of chocolates before handing over her real present, 'a penlight, a Swiss army knife and a purse-sized can of mace.' Chloe tells him it's the most thoughtful gift she's ever gotten and that she finds gifts to keep her safe romantic. Chloe and Derek kiss as they ignore Tori calling for Chloe to go shopping with her.
- Derek Souza
- Chloe Saunders
- Simon Bae
- Tori Enright
- Kit Bae
- Lauren Fellows
- Theo Cain
- Carter Cain
- Nate Cain
- Liz Delaney
|Darkest Powers Series|
|Novels||The Summoning, The Awakening, The Reckoning|
|Short Stories||Dangerous, Kat, Divided, Disenchanted, Facing Facts, Belonging, Hunting Kat, Atoning, Branded|
|Compilation Novels||The Complete Darkest Powers Tales|