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Red and pink carnations stand out against the brown grass. It’s late autumn, so the graveside is covered with fallen leaves and dead grass. The flowers are a splash of color against the granite headstone. Stiles cleans off the stone, rearranging the bouquet until he’s satisfied. “Her favorite was tulips, but they aren’t always so easy to find year round,” he says, looking up when Allison steps up beside him.

“The carnations are beautiful,” she tells him, kneeling beside him. She helps him pick up the leaves before resting her cheek against his shoulder. “I’m sure she’d like them.”

“Yeah, she would.” Stiles takes her hand and squeezes. “Mom liked all kinds of flowers. She used to keep a garden that was the best on the block. Dad has a black thumb, though, so it didn’t last long after she died.”

“Maybe we could try this spring?” Allison kisses his cheek. “We can get the pack involved, and one of them has to be able to grown things well.”

“That might be nice.” Stiles smiles slightly. “Something pretty to look at whenever I go to work in the morning. Besides you, of course.”

“Real smooth, Stiles.” She dimples at him. “Do you need me to go off now?”

“Nah. You’re practically family now, so you can stay.” Stiles rubs his thumb over the engagement ring he gave her a couple of weeks ago, on their fifth anniversary. “Mom, this is Allison. You’ve heard all about her, I know, but now you get to meet her. She’s beautiful and brilliant but also pretty crazy because she actually accepted my proposal.”

“Don’t listen to your son, Mrs. Stilinski. I’m just crazy in love,” Allison teases, kissing his neck. “He’s really handsome and smart, not to mention brave. I think I’m lucking out, but don’t tell him that.”

Stiles snorts, reaching up to run his fingers through Allison’s soft hair. “I didn’t hear anything at all,” he says. “You’d really like her, Mom. She’s amazing, and she’s decided she wants me, so I think I’m actually the lucky one.”

“We’re disgusting,” Allison tells him. “No wonder Lydia keeps making gagging noises whenever she’s around us now. We’re like fluffy sap come to life.”

“I prefer to think of us as more edgy affection than fluffy sap,” he decides, tugging on her hair before he massages her scalp. “Lydia just does that to detract how dopey she and Scott behave, but it doesn’t work. They are much worse than we are, Aly.”

“True.” Allison reaches out to touch his mother’s headstone. “She was so young.”

“Life’s short.” He tugs her a little closer. “I figure that’s one reason I try to live life to its fullest, even before the supernatural world became real instead of something out of horror movies.”

“It’s a good philosophy.” Allison ruffles his hair. “After all, it’s what led to you actually accepting my request for a date senior year, isn’t it? Don’t think I’m not fully aware of your panic at that offer, by the way. I know all about your interrogation of Scott to make sure he wouldn’t be upset if you dated his ex-girlfriend, and I know you still felt guilty about the Nogitsune nearly killing me even though it wasn’t your fault.”

“That was over five years ago,” he reminds her. “It’s totally not what made me accept the date offer, though. That would be those adorable dimples.”

“Idiot,” she says fondly, flashing her dimples as he tugs on her ponytail. “Fill your mom in on the last few weeks. Then we can stop by to see my mom.”

“Hey, at least you’re marrying a human,” he points out. “Your mom can’t haunt us or anything, hopefully. God, why did I say that? If anyone could find a way, it’d be your mom. She was scary.”

Allison smiles, leaning into him. “I know. Where do you think I get it from?”