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A Spoonful of Sugar

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It takes just over a semester for him to accept that he can’t keep going like this. That his scholarship and part-time job are simply not enough to make ends meet, and even earning a little on the side here and there with odd jobs—including babysitting, which he’s hella good at, after keeping Scott’s ass alive all these years—isn’t enough to fill the gap. If he could work more hours, he might be able to pull it off, but he can only do that if he mostly gives up sleeping, and he can’t maintain his grades well enough to keep his scholarship if he does that.

He’s not sleeping enough as it is.

He calls his dad, first. But before he can shamefully beg for grocery money, his old man starts updating him on things back in Beacon Hills, and it’s . . . it’s good, but it’s not. The house has had a security system installed, and the hospital is bugging about paying the last of Stiles’s tab, and the department finally hired a couple new deputies, so the Sheriff can cut back on his hours the way his son has been begging him to for a couple years now. Stiles listens to all of it with his heart in his throat. It’s normal, things are actually quiet for once, and his dad is taking care of himself.

When he hangs up, it’s without breathing a word of his financial situation.

He mentions his plight to his college friends, and a couple of them take pity on him, feed him now and then. It helps. He speaks to a financial aid advisor about whether or not he can keep his scholarship if he lightens his course load a little, but no dice. He expected as much, but he had to try.

He’s scraping by. It’s not easy, but he figures he can make it through the second half of freshman year if he’s careful, and then he has all summer to work his ass off and save up so this doesn’t happen again. It’s not ideal, but it’s all he can think of.

And then his dorm room floods. At first, it’s just an annoyance—nothing valuable was on the floor, and it was incentive for him to finally get off his ass and do laundry—but then the mould set in, and with it, aspergillosis. Apparently living mostly off ramen and being chronically sleep-deprived wreaked enough havoc on his immune system that he couldn’t fight off some simple mould spores.

He stares at the prescription the health clinic gave him. Even with his student insurance to help him, he can’t afford the antifungal medication.  He spends a few long minutes listening to his own wheezing breaths before he starts crying.

When he runs out of tears, he calls Lydia. He doesn’t exactly want to tell anyone about this, but he needs to borrow money, and she won’t tell on him to his dad.

“Stiles? I’m kind of in the middle of something here.”

The guilt he’s already feeling triples, but he chokes out, “I need your help.”

“Just a sec.” There’s indistinct murmuring, and then the sound of a door clicking shut. “What is it? What’s happened?”

“I . . . I got sick.”

“And?”

He wants to flinch away from her impatience. When he manages to answer, his voice is small. “And I can’t afford my meds.”

There’s silence on the other end of the phone. It drags out long enough that his throat prickles and burns with the urge to cry again. “Stiles, I want you to listen to me very carefully, okay?”

“’kay.”

“I know that you haven’t given me the whole story, and from the way you sound, you can’t give it to me right now. I want you to go to bed, get as much rest as you can, and be up by ten tomorrow. I don’t have class on Thursdays, so I’m going to drive up and help you sort everything out.”

Shame and relief and gratitude churn in his gut. “You don’t have to do that.”

“You called me for a reason. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

He wakes up just before ten the next day, and he feels awful. Not because his lungs have become mould colonies. He trudges to the shower, gets clean, gets dressed, and then waits. He knows it’s a few hours’ drive, and he has no idea when Lydia left this morning, so he uses the kettle in the student lounge to make a cup of shitty instant coffee and settles down with one of his textbooks. He leaves his door open, so he can poke his head down the hall, try to wave to Lydia, but it turns out that she knows exactly which room in which dorm building is his, because of course she does.

She takes one look at him before a devastated expression takes over her face. “Oh, honey.”

“It’s not as bad as it looks.” He tries to smile.

Her eyebrows express her supreme skepticism, but she all she says is, “Make sure you have your prescription, and let’s go.”

He’s quiet as he follows her out of the building, to her car, and into the pharmacy. He keeps his head down as she deals with the details at the counter, and fights the urge to puke when she pulls out her credit card. He holds down his coffee. He’s not as successful at holding back more tears, but he can play those off as mould-related.

She brushes off his mumbled thanks when she puts the prescription bottle in his hand, and herds him to her car. He busies himself on the drive back with reading the dosage info and side effects. It’s why he’s surprised when they stop at an all-day breakfast place instead of his dorm.

“Um?”

“I need lunch, and don’t you dare try to tell me you’re not hungry.”

He can’t help but smile a little at that. “Yes, ma’am.”

She nods approvingly. “Smart boy.”

He looks over the menu and has no idea what to order. He kinda wants everything? Hash browns and scrambled eggs and fruit salad and French toast and bacon and sausage, even though he knows he wouldn’t be able to eat it all, even if he could afford it. He’s still staring longingly at the laminated picture of the Belgian waffle when their waiter appears. Luckily, he asks Lydia what she wants first, and Stiles considers playing eenie-meenie.

“I’ll have the spinach and feta quiche with hash browns and a green tea, and he’ll have scrambled eggs with whole wheat toast and a strawberry-pineapple smoothie.”

He’s staring at her, he knows he is, but just. What? What is happening right now?

“Of course. Would you like to add yogurt to the smoothie?”

She glances at him before nodding. “Yes, thank you.”

“Coming right up.”

He passes his menu to the waiter on autopilot, all his attention focussed on making his face resemble a question mark as strongly as possible. Lydia huffs. “Stiles, you’re sick. You need the nutrients, but from the look of you, you wouldn’t be able to hold down anything heavy.”

His mouth opens and closes, but he doesn’t really have a response to that. She’s right, and they both know it, but it doesn’t change how weird he feels about what’s happening right now. He swallows and nods. He eats gratefully when the food arrives, and isn’t surprised when the waiter brings one bill, and hands it to Lydia.

He wants to ask her how much his half was, what he owes her, but he can’t quite make himself. He’s painfully broke and they both know it. “You didn’t have to do this,” he croaks.

She reaches over and pats his hand. “Yes I did. Now take your meds, sweetie.”

He nods and dutifully takes his first dose, because you do not disobey Lydia Martin. And, no matter how kindly she said it, it was still an order.

When they’re back in her car, she asks, “You have a mini fridge in your dorm room, right?”

“Yeah.” He says it slowly, not sure how the question is relevant. “And I have access to the microwave, kettle, and sink on my floor’s lounge. Why?”

“Because you can’t survive off ramen, Stiles. We’re getting groceries.”

If this were a cartoon, his jaw would have literally hit the floor. “Lydia, no. Thank you, but seriously, no.”

She doesn’t look at him as she turns toward a nearby grocery store. “Seriously, yes.”

He scrubs his hands over his face, tugging at his hair. “Just, no, okay? You’re not my sugar mama!”

There’s a beat of uncomfortable silence. Then, “I could be.” Her tone and face are entirely neutral, but it still blows his mind.

“I just. How could you even say that?”

She gives a frustrated huff, but doesn’t yell. Yelling would be better. “Because you’re my friend, and you need help. I am in a position to offer you that help, in a way that does not incur major harm or inconvenience. If you’re really dead-set against me doing that, then fine, I’ll leave it alone for now, but not forever. Something has to change for you, and we both know it. You can’t live off ramen, you need more sleep, and you need to be able to afford antibiotics when you get sick.”

He has to interrupt, because the longer she goes on, the more nauseous he feels. “Look, the fungal infection was weird and rare, and the medication is way more expensive than most antibiotics—”

“—that’s not the point, and you know it.” Her voice is cold, clipped. “You have to expect little things to crop up, because they always do. We’re human. We get sick and need antibiotics, or Tylenol for a headache, money for laundry or shampoo or a new phone charger. If you don’t have room in your budget for those kinds of expenses, then you don’t have a working budget.”

She’s right. They both know she’s right, and he hates it. “Since when does a rich girl like you know about budgeting?” he grumbles. It’s half-hearted, but he’s curious.

She turns to him just long enough to raise one unimpressed eyebrow. “When you have to live on an allowance, you learn how. Also, it’s good sense. And it came in handy when Allison was trying to figure out her college arrangements.”

He’s quiet as Lydia hustles them through the grocery store. He pushes the cart and follows her strawberry blonde head as she leads the way. He’s too tired for anything else.

He goes back to the dorm with some staples—peanut butter, cheese, crackers, fruit, pre-cut veggies, granola bars, instant oatmeal, some Lydia-approved microwave meals—and a deadline. If he hasn’t figured out some way to fix his situation once he’s no longer a walking mould colony, Lydia will step in again. She’s already threatened him with monthly grocery vouchers.

He hates her, a little bit, for putting the idea in his head. It’s hard to wrap his brain around the fact that there are probably sugar daddies and sugar mamas out there, and that one of them might be able to get him out the bind he’s in. He knows that they’ll probably expect sex, but in a way, that’s easier to deal with than imposing on Lydia or straight-up prostitution.

(His dad’s a cop. He knows how often prostitutes wind up victimized. He’s not willing to take those kinds of risks.)

No. As a sugar baby, he’s only technically not a sex worker, but the technicality is enough to give him better odds if he ever winds up blackmailed or assaulted. And it’s easier, to stomach the thought of being paid for his time and attention and even his body, than to beg for help from his dad, or Lydia, or the pack.

But he waits. Gives the medicine a few days to get him feeling more human. He also uses that time to get a little ahead on his coursework, and research this whole sugar baby thing. Turns out there are sites that exist to connect people looking for a sweet arrangement. He looks around, checks out profiles, tries to get a feel for what he might be walking into.

He doesn’t learn what he thinks he will.

He doesn’t expect there to be so many sugar mamas, for a start. He’s also a little surprised that there’s very little explicit mention of sex. It’s not listed as a requirement or even a preference practically anywhere—but then, this is being billed as a matching service, so there are probably rules about it. The not-so-subtle hints about “rewards for initiative” tell him all he needs to know on that subject.

He’s disappointed, but not surprised that a lot of the sugar daddies are older than his father. He wants to be able to eat, but he doesn’t relish the thought of blowing someone’s grandpa to do it.

He also notices that a most of the sugar babies are young women. A lot seem to be in the position he’s in: struggling to get by in college. He wonders if he’s going to strike out because he’s a dude. He really hopes not, because he’s kinda short on options here.

He makes a profile anyway. He’s vague as he fills it out, which he thinks is safer, because he’s still not completely sure about this, and posts a pic that hints at his face without giving much away. It shows that he’s dark-haired, Caucasian, male, and little else. He figures it’s safe to say what city he’s in, and that he’s a college student. They’re things someone supporting him would need to know—he thinks the person agreeing to give him money should have some idea of what he’s using the money for.

(And yes, okay, it’s not really any of their business, but he’s not whoring himself to fund a drug habit, or gambling problem. He’s a broke as fuck college student who wants to eat, and can’t currently afford to despite working his ass off.)

(He’s maybe feeling a little defensive about this.)

He gets messaged right away, and there’s the sexual component he was expecting! Most of those he deletes. There’s one from the site itself, recommending some discussion groups for him. He joins the one for sugar babies—it has safety info, which he is all over—and the one for people in his area.

He kills a couple hours reading threads. When he realizes that there’s a public meet up, a place for introductions to happen, interviews maybe, he double-checks the date. It’s Saturday night at an upscale bar. It’s his best bet—because if he’s gonna do this, he’ll be as safe about it as he can be. And if he strikes out, well. At least he won’t have wasted too much time. He can start looking into other options, maybe a line of credit or student loan.

He’d rather not do either of those things, but if he scores a good summer job back home, he might be able to pay it off before his dad finds out.

He styles his hair and pairs a blazer with clean jeans. He figures he’ll look respectable enough to be worth noticing without pretending to be something he’s not. He heads to the meet up and tries not to nervous-sweat right through his tee shirt. He meets a sugar baby near the front, a petite blonde who introduces herself as Honey, and she guides him toward the party room that’s been booked for this. Apparently it’s a semi-regular thing.

He’s jittery as hell, which is probably why she takes him under her wing. She quietly points out the couple of daddies she knows are bad news, and apologizes that she can’t help with the mamas. He hugs her and they part ways, but not before she promises to come check on him before she leaves.

But, for all that he was worried about striking out because he’s a dude, his “sweet face” and “shyness” draw the sugar mamas to him like moths to flame. Or possibly sharks to blood. He’s managed to politely turn down two who set alarm bells ringing in his head, and he’s chatting pleasantly enough with a 40-something surgeon when there’s some commotion at the door. He's turning to look when he catches the good doctor’s eye.

If looks could kill, there’d be a body count. “Um?”

She turns back to him, pasting a smile on her face. “Sorry, darling. It’s just that he’s more irritating than poison ivy and has a penchant for stealing the babies’ attention.”

“Why’s that?” He’s curious now, especially since there is, in fact, a flock of young women obscuring the newly-arrived daddy in question.

“He’s a smug piece of work, for starters. And the fact that he’s one of the younger, attractive daddies in the crowd makes him feel like he has the right to anyone he wants, regardless of whether or not one of us is courting them.”

And yeah, Stiles can see why that would give this dude his pick of the litter. But she’s not done yet. “He also seems to think that he can poach our partners, which is disastrously bad form. The only reason the rest of us haven’t retaliated is because he’s some big-shot lawyer with a reputation for being a merciless sonofabitch, and none of us feel like having him sue for defamation.”

And wow, okay, Stiles needs to see who this person is now, because assholery that extreme is a skill that has been cultivated. But he also thinks the others don’t go after this guy because they have their own reputations to protect.

When he finally gets a glance at the dude ruffling the good doctor’s feathers, his mouth falls open. Even from the back, this guy looks good. His waistcoat hugs deliciously broad shoulders that—

No.

“You have got to be fucking kidding me,” Stiles says, a little louder than he intended.

Which, of course, means that Peter Hale immediately turns and catches sight of him.

 

Chapter Text

 

Stiles buries his face in his hands, muttering, “This is not happening. This is not fucking happening to me. It isn’t.” He looks up in time to smack away Peter’s hand before it touches him. “No!” He brandishes a finger for emphasis.

Peter mock-pouts. “You wound me.”

He doesn’t even bother to restrain his snort. “Not yet, I haven’t.”

Peter grins suddenly, and the expression isn’t what you’d call friendly. “I’ve always liked you, Stiles.”

“Wish I could say the same, but,” he shrugs, not taking his eyes off Peter. He knows better.

The doctor breaks in with a choked-sounding, “Do you know him?”

He still doesn’t take his eyes off Peter, who is now smirking. “Unfortunately.”

He sees Honey making frantic chopping motions behind Peter, but he pays her no heed. He’s the only one here who actually knows Peter, and he’s painfully aware of the fact that this could go badly in any number of ways. Peter reaches for him again, and he steps out of the way. “Keep your grabby paws to yourself, or I will poison your hair products.”

Peter glares, but Stiles can tell he’s amused. “You wouldn’t.”

“Try me, asshole.” He’s aware that they have an audience, and he likes precisely nothing about this situation, but Peter is between him and the door, and he doubts the mob of people would let him through fast enough to outrun Peter. He’s been backed into a metaphorical corner and has the adrenaline to prove it.

Peter half-turns his head, looking at him from the side. “You wouldn’t be able to get a hold of it even if you wanted to.”

He feels his expression twist, and watches the crowd behind Peter take a step back. “I’ve got Allison on speed-dial.”

He pulls out his phone to call her, but before he raises it half-way to his ear, his wrist is caught in an iron-grip. Peter tuts reprovingly, and that, that is the moment Stiles has had enough. Furious, he strikes at the inside of Peter’s elbow, forcing him to let go, and then nails the bastard in the kidney just for good measure. Peter’s lip twists in a snarl, frustration finally breaking through the veneer of detached amusement.

“Leave me alone,” he spits. He takes advantage of everyone’s shock to slip out and get to the Jeep.

 

***

 

The next day, his mailbox on the site is overflowing. The messages from his fellow sugar babies are mostly either awed or outraged on Peter’s behalf, while the daddies and mamas seem evenly split between disgust at his behaviour, schadenfreude at Peter’s public rejection, and curiosity.

Oh, and he’s been banned from attending that meet-up. Which is just great. The only upside is that one of the sugar daddies wants to send him a hundred bucks for the pleasure of seeing Peter taken down a peg. It’s a small victory, but he’ll take it.

 

***

 

He wishes he were surprised when Peter texts him a few days later. He knew that the resurrected asshole wouldn’t leave well enough alone, but he’d hoped. He never changed his number, knowing the pack might need him, and that if something ever happened to his dad he would be notified first. It was the smart thing to do, he knows that, but he’s definitely regretting it as he reads the message from Peter.

So tell me, Stiles, why did I see you at a sugar meet-up?

He doesn’t have a good answer for that. He isn’t proud of it, and figures he can maybe claim some ridiculous accident based on shitty luck, but maybe it’d be better to just ignore Peter entirely. Before he can make up his mind, another text rolls in.

And see, the odd thing is, no one in your little ragtag pack seems to know, either.

He panics. It’s the only excuse he has for replying with what did u tell them???

Relax, sweetheart. I haven’t said anything to anyone. But if you don’t give me the answers I want, I won’t have much choice, will I?

It was bait, and he fell for it, and now the bastard’s trying to blackmail him. He’s pissed at himself for falling for it, and even more pissed at Peter for knowing exactly what buttons to push to make him spill.

But that doesn’t mean he has to make it easy. Which is why he sends they don’t know, & wouldn’t believe u anyway.

That won’t stop them from asking you any number of uncomfortable questions.

And, well. Point. Ur so smart, why do u think I was there?

Honestly, I was expecting some sort of social studies research project, but you wouldn’t be nearly this defensive if that were the case.

Goddamnit, why didn’t he think of that? It would have been the perfect excuse for anyone who knows him. Before he can reply, his phone is buzzing with a new message.

So you can meet me at Mel’s Diner and let me buy you dinner, or I can start calling everyone you know and asking if they know why you’re prostituting yourself.

He’s furiously texting back before his brain realizes it’s a bad idea. 1) it’s not prostitution & u know it, u dick, & 2) why would I take the chance of u kidnapping me?

It’s a public venue, sweetheart. You can stop clutching your pearls.

He’s fuming, but he doesn’t see what other options he has. If he wants his business to stay his business—at least long enough for him to contact everyone and let them know Peter is trying to prank him, so disregard everything the undead asshole says—he should probably agree. The idea of free food that’s actually cooked and not microwaved is also pretty appealing.

It’s a sad day when he’s trading his dignity for a hot meal, but he’s always thought dignity was overrated anyway.

He pulls into the parking lot of Mel’s and shuffles inside like he’s a death row inmate heading toward his last meal. He drops into the booth across from Peter and looks for a menu.

“I’ve already ordered for both of us.” Before he has the chance to build up some righteous indignation, Peter fixes him with an unusually sombre stare. “Stiles, I know you’re not well. I know that the medication you’re on can cause nausea as a side-effect. I got you a soup and sandwich combo. If your stomach can handle it, you can have some of my fries after.”

It takes the wind right out of his sails. “What?” he croaks.

Peter’s voice is soft, gentle even. “Your scent is off. And I can smell the medication you’re on, and the mould on your breath. Most people can fight off a simple fungal infection, so if you can’t, it means you’re in trouble. Given that I found you at a sugar meet-up, I feel confident saying your trouble is financial. But none of the pack seems to be aware that you need help.”

He doesn’t even know where to start with that. Before he can figure out how to be pissed off—because Peter is being bizarrely uncooperative on that front—their food arrives. Peter’s gotten a burger, salad, and enormous order of fries, in stark contrast to his soup and sandwich. He raises his eyebrows over the waiter’s arm.

Peter gives him an unimpressed look and takes a bite of his burger. “Beef barley vegetable soup, and a turkey club. No lettuce.”

And fuck sake’s, the asshole even remembered he doesn’t like lettuce on his sandwiches. What the fuck even. He glares while he eats, but Peter just looks amused. Finally, he breaks the silence. “Okay, so—what? What exactly is your goal, here? Yeah, I’m in trouble. That’s kinda been the story of my life, though, so what I’m curious about is why you seem to care.”

Peter sets down his mostly-eaten burger, and wipes his mouth on a napkin. “I like you, Stiles. Always have. If you’re in trouble, I’d like to help you out. It’s not an accident that we met where we did. I see no reason we can’t agree to something mutually beneficial.”

That doesn’t sound fishy at all. “Mutually beneficial? And I’m just supposed to believe you?”

Peter shrugs. “You could always ask around. Word in the community is that I’m very sweet.”

And, just. No. This asshole is not allowed to be funny right now. “Cute. But seriously, what are you looking for? Why do you do this?”

“Are you asking what my evil plan is, Stiles?” Peter’s eyes are twinkling, and he looks like he might laugh at any second.

“Yes!” He points with his soup spoon for emphasis. “Because you always have one!”

The amusement on Peter’s face falls away. “It’s very simple, sweetheart. I like the power dynamics inherent in this sort of arrangement. I like feeling as though I’m providing. To be frank, I need the arm candy for certain business functions, but I need smart am candy. I’ve been trying to find a college student that might fit the bill, and we both know you do.”

That . . . is more honest than he’d expected Peter to be. It makes him shift from HELL NO to something a little closer to Bad Idea territory. He’s not agreeing to anything, because this is Peter and there is, of course, fine print that he’s not aware of yet, but also because it’s Peter and if you give dude an inch, he will find a way to extort six miles. At minimum.

He stuffs the last of his sandwich into his mouth, and thinks as he chews. “So what would the hypothetical parameters of an arrangement with you look like?”

Peter’s eyes sweep over him. “For you? I’d give you a monthly stipend, with negotiated rules over what you can and can’t spend it on. Anything additional is open for negotiation later, with a tit for tat system. In return, you give up whatever part-time jobs you’re working so that you’re available when I want you, barring college-related circumstances. You’ll provide me with your class schedule and exam times as far in advance as possible, of course. And you’d accompany me to working lunches and dinners, charity events, office parties etcetera, where your purpose is twofold: to make me look good to my associates, and prevent me from murdering anyone out of sheer boredom.”

By the time Peter finishes, his jaw is halfway to his forgotten soup. “You can’t be serious! Leaving aside how dependent that leaves me, how would you even enforce half of that?”

Peter nudges his bowl in an incredibly unsubtle reminder to finish it before it gets cold. He glares, but complies. “Is your paranoia blocking your ears? I told you one of the reasons I like these arrangements is that I get to provide. With you, though, you’re Pack. The drive is stronger. And, quite frankly, sweetheart, you look like you’re about to keel over. This is just as much me trying to prevent you from working yourself to death as it is savouring the fact you need me.”

He rolls his eyes. “Don’t know if you noticed there, but I haven’t actually agreed to anything, and I do not, in fact, need you.”

He’s treated to a look so full of sass it’s ridiculous. A thirty-something werewolf lawyer should not be a walking sass factory. “You’re on a sugar matching site. I ran into you while you were trying to chat up a sugar mama with a reputation for gaslighting. Your health is very obviously in the toilet. But please, continue to tell me how much you don’t need my help.”

He pushes his dishes to the side, unable to eat any more. “Look, I admit that I need help. That’s not in dispute here. What I’m arguing about is needing your help, specifically.”

Peter goes back to his burger. “I have been painfully transparent with you. I don’t know what else you want. If you’d rather prostitute yourself to monsters even more bloodthirsty than I am, that’s your business, I suppose. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

“There you go, using that word again. But, y’know, since I’m whoring myself out ‘n all, why don’t you tell me what type of service you’d like me to provide?”

“I believe I already did.”

He’s ready to scream with frustration, but he doesn’t, because he likes this diner and has no desire to be banned from the premises. “Don’t play dumb. I’m talking about sex with you.”

Peter tilts his head and smirks. “I would probably say yes if you asked.”

Wait, what?

Stiles splutters, but doesn’t actually manage to get words out before Peter’s talking again. “Let me make one thing perfectly clear to you: I’m not interested in anything less than full consent when it comes to sex. Smelling my partner’s disgust or fear, horror or revulsion isn’t appealing. If you want sex, I would be more than happy to provide that for you. If you come to me hoping to negotiate for something extra, I might ask if you’re willing to perform a specific act. But you’re always free to say no, and letting me fuck you is not a requirement for your continued financial support with me. The same can’t be said of the others.”

“Right.” He feels cold in a way that has nothing to do with temperature, and gets up from the booth. “Well, dinner with a side of insults was great, really, but let’s not do it again.”

“That’s your choice, sweetheart. But my offer isn’t one-time only, so when you’ve evaluated your options and changed your mind, feel free to get in touch.”

Stiles doesn’t stomp out. He doesn’t flounce, or flail, or do any other dramatic shit. He just leaves, gets in his Jeep, and rants under his breath the whole way home.

 

***

 

He does look into his options, but the problem is, they aren’t good. He knew that going in, but having to admit it—even to himself—feels like giving Peter a victory. Asking around about the sugar mama he’d been talking to, he learns nothing good. She does have a reputation for mind games and, apparently, getting revenge on those that leave her.

He takes everything he hears with a grain or three of salt, of course. All the sugar babies on the site are in competition with one another, so it makes sense that they’d try to stack the deck in their favour. But he’s also not competing with most of them, what with the whole being-a-dude thing, so he doesn’t ignore what he learns, either.

He tries to make it work. He really does. He arranges to meet with three different sugar daddies, but the one makes it clear sex is a requirement, and Stiles likes having the option to say “no” and still eat, so he passes on that one. The other two just don’t feel right. The fact that they’re both in their fifties doesn’t help.

(It makes him feel like a gold digger, which, no. He’s not. He just likes knowing he can afford the bare necessities of life.)

The pool of sugar mamas is smaller, but he gives that a try, too. If anything, they’re even harder than the daddies—they’re used to having to fight to get their own way, and are more than willing to put their foot down from the get-go. One wanted to make her not-quite-ex-husband jealous, and he couldn’t stomach the thought of that.

The others just flat-out scare him.

As much as he hates it, the fact that Peter was upfront about what he wants made Stiles feel safer. It also changes the way he looks at the others, makes him ask questions and get told off for being difficult. He wants to know what he’s getting into, what he’s agreeing to, and when he doesn’t get answers, he walks.

He ends up walking away a lot.

He knows that this is a terrible idea. That agreeing to anything with Peter will eventually come back to bite him in the ass, but he is genuinely short on options and isn’t interested in racking up student debt. He and his dad just managed to climb out from underneath all the hospital bills. And, as smarmy and irritating as Peter is, as inherently dangerous, he’s a known entity. Stiles knows exactly what the dude is capable of, knows all his flaws.

That alone makes him a safer bet than any of the others.

His hands are shaking, but he still manages to type out, fine, u win. I accept.

After a moment, he adds, I want everything in writing.

 

Chapter Text

 

He meets Peter at Mel’s Diner again, but this time, he brings his laptop. He’s typed up Peter’s basic requirements, but they still have to hammer out the details.

“Okay, so what would my monthly stipend be?”

Peter hums as if he’s considering it. Stiles doesn’t buy it for a second. “I would start you off with a thousand a month, especially since you’re not agreeing to quit working right away.”

“Look, we don’t know for sure that this is gonna work out, and if it doesn’t, I don’t wanna have to go to the bookstore and beg for my old job back.” He’s frustrated, and he knows Peter can smell it, but he’s trying to keep it out of his voice and body language. If he gives in to it, it’s more likely to snowball.

Peter continues like he didn’t hear. “As for rules about what you can spend it on, well. I’d think it obvious, but past arrangements have taught me to assume otherwise. So, for the sake of thoroughness: groceries, clothing, shoes, textbooks, your cellphone bill, any medical bills or health insurance payments you might have, tuition or dorm payments not covered by your scholarship, anything that might be labelled ‘housewares’—blankets, light bulbs, cleaning products—the occasional night out with friends, and one negotiated indulgence per month.”

All of that seems reasonable, but—“How are you going to enforce that?”

Peter seems amused by the question. “A lot of it will be an honour system. I know you’re not likely to be irresponsible with anything but your own safety, but I also know you like loopholes. You’ll be given a credit card, and at the end of each month, we’ll sit down with the statement. If I find out you’ve used it for things other than what we’ve agreed upon, there will be consequences, starting with the fact that you’ll pay for it, because I won’t foot the bill for your rebellious urges.”

He swallows, and his throat sticks. It makes sense, and it shouldn’t make him feel a sick sort of dread, but he does anyway. He wonders what chemosignals he’s putting out, because Peter leans forward, forearms braced on the table, expression serious. “I don’t expect you to live like a monk, Stiles. I’m not interested in making you suffer. Simple things like video games or books or music help buffer you against stress, and I don’t begrudge anyone, especially you, those little pleasures.”

He nods, more relieved than he wants to be. “What about the, uh. Tit for tat system you mentioned? How would that work?”

Peter smiles, and it’s unnerving. He’s never seen anything like it on Peter’s face before, so it takes him a minute to realize it’s hunger. “Well, if you want something we haven’t negotiated for, or say, you wanted an extra indulgence or two in a month, I’d ask you for something in return.”

“And what might that something be?” He wants as much information as possible on what he’s getting into before he agrees. It’s smart in general, but with Peter, it feels necessary.

Peter hums, eyes shamelessly sweeping over Stiles’s body. “It’ll depend on how big your request is and what I want that day. I might want you strip for me, or even get on your knees and suck me. But,” he shrugs casually, “it might be something simpler, like having you cook us dinner and then eat with me, or massage my shoulders after a long day.”

Stiles realizes his jaw is hanging open and snaps it shut. He doesn’t know what’s harder to process—the fact that Peter just admitted he might ask for a blowjob, or that he might ask for things that seem, bizarrely, even more intimate. “And I can say no?”

Peter’s eyebrows arch. “Of course you can. But it would also mean going without whatever you’d asked for.”

“You’re not, like, just gonna ask me for things you know I'm not comfortable with so you can say no, are you? I feel like that might be a thing you’d do.”

Peter pinches the bridge of his nose like he’s praying for patience. Stiles tends to do that to people. “What part of ‘I like these arrangements’ did you fail to understand? Just because I would also like to pet your hair and call you a good boy as you swallow me down doesn’t mean I lied.”

Blood rushes to his cheeks and he doesn’t know what to say. He feels bad for immediately assuming the worst in Peter when, in this one specific instance, the guy probably doesn’t deserve it. He’s deliberately not thinking about the other thing. “Right. I didn’t—”

“I understand that this isn’t easy for you, but I’m not your enemy here. In point of fact, I’m the opposite, and would appreciate it if you’d behave accordingly.”

He nods, feeling a weird mix of chastened and forgiven. Like when he was little, and his dad was disappointed in him for being rude. “Right. I can do that.”

Peter’s face is skeptical. “Our first order of business is going to have to be your wardrobe.”

He squawks. “What? Why? I like the way I look!”

Peter rolls his eyes. “And while that’s lovely, something tells me you don’t have anything near formal enough for my work functions.”

“Uh. I have a couple blazers?”

“That’s nice. Do you have dress pants? Ties? Dress shoes? No? Colour me surprised.”

Stiles groans, and drops his face into his hands. “You’re going to make me wear suits.”

“Not all the time, but you’ll absolutely need a dress shirt and pants for anything you’re accompanying me to. Ties won’t be as necessary, but if you pair a waistcoat over a good shirt and well-tailored slacks, you’ll do just fine.”

“Oh my god.”

 

***

 

Stiles has no idea what to expect when Peter picks him up disgustingly early on Saturday morning. He dreads it anyway.

It turns out that he’s right to, because after an hour of being dragged around the high-end shop, they’re still not done. And he has an armful of shirts to try on. “Do I have to?” he whines.

Peter doesn’t deign to respond to that, and instead gives him a little push toward the dressing room. He feels like a life-sized Barbie doll as he pulls on the first shirt of the pile—a pale yellow—and steps back out to get Peter’s approval.

Which Peter doesn’t actually give. “Absolutely not. Next.”

He grumbles a little, because he doesn’t understand what was wrong with it, but whatever. He puts on the next one. It’s plain white, and Peter nods. He tries to get through the pile as quickly as possible, because he has classes he needs to read for, but the whole thing feels never-ending.

White shirt with grey pinstripes gets a yes. Grey shirt, no. Light blue, yes. Mint green, yes. Pink, no. He pouts a little over that one, but Peter just shoos him back into the dressing room. He really likes the plain black, and hopes this one gets a nod.

He steps out, hands in the pockets of his jeans. “Well?”

Peter’s eyes rake over him, and flicker, just for a second. “That one we’re definitely keeping. It does wonders for you.”

He ducks back into the little stall to hide the blush colouring his cheeks. He’s not used to people looking at him like that, like he’s about to be devoured and actually enjoy it.

He eyes the next shirt, wondering how it’ll look. It’s a deep, rich purple, and while he likes the colour, he’s not sure how it’ll look on him.

So, of course, it has to look like it was made for him when he puts it on, because the universe is punishing him. He decides not to mention his skepticism when he goes to get the inevitable nod of approval. He goes out and gives a mocking little spin. “So?”

Peter hums, tipping his head. “I don’t know.”

“Oh, fuck off,” he hisses. “I like this one, we’re keeping it.”

Peter smirks, and goddamnit, he walked right into that. He huffs and goes to try on the last shirt, putting the purple one in the “yes” pile anyway. He really does like it.

The last shirt is dark red. It unsettles him for a minute before he realizes that it’s nearly identical in colour to the one Peter wore when he offered Stiles the bite. For that and that alone, he wants to dump it in the “no” pile without trying it on. He’s about to, when he realizes that’s dumb, he has a hoodie almost exactly this shade, and he’s not about to give Peter the satisfaction of knowing he’s scared of a fucking memory.

If his fingers shake as he buttons it, no one has to know.

He has to admit, once he gathers the courage to look in the mirror, that the colour suits him. He doesn’t like it as much as the purple, but he can see himself wearing this. When he steps out, he’s not surprised by Peter’s pleased expression. He goes back, takes it off. Adds it to the “yes” pile, and tries to forget why he didn’t like it in the first place.

He hands the shirts they’re keeping to Peter, and hangs the ones they’re not on the empty rack by the dressing rooms. “So, are we done yet?”

Peter gives him a look. “You know we aren’t. You need dress shoes. If you can be a good boy and get those without complaining, we’ll stop for lunch after. My treat.”

His heart races at the words “good boy”, but he tells himself it’s because he’s nothing of the sort and never has been. Just ask his dad. He knows they still have to go buy the suits—y’know, the things they actually came here to get—but yeah. A break sounds heavenly. If he has to listen to Peter talk about fashion for another non-stop hour he’s gonna do something drastic. “Yeah, okay. Which way to the shoes, then?”

 

***

 

He ends up with three suits, seven dress shirts, a pair of black dress pants, four ties, dress shoes, and a pack each of dress socks (what even) and undershirts. He’d kind of expected one of said suits to be black, but he finds himself liking what Peter chose instead. The three-piece suits are both grey, one pale and the other charcoal. His two-piece is navy (because fuck whatever ridiculous colour Peter called it, it’s dark blue, he’s gonna call it navy even if it doesn’t have the “grey undertones” or whatthefuckever).

He never thought he’d be one of those pretentious dressers who like waistcoats, but . . . maybe Peter was onto something, because he likes it. They’re close enough to his usual layers to feel comfortable, and even he can tell he looks good in them. Peter had still insisted on dragging him to the tailor to have everything adjusted, though.

He also refuses to admit that he likes the ties—one with Slytherin green on a black background, a shiny lilac, a cross-hatched black and grey that’s close enough to plaid to make him grin, and a black and bronze he picked out himself. But, for as much as he likes them, he’s glad Peter assured him he won’t have to wear them often, because he doesn’t think he’ll be able to resist fiddling with or, fuck forbid, chewing on them.

Of course, he’s not gonna get a whole lot of say in what he wears to these “functions” they're going to. Peter’s made it clear he’ll be deciding that, but it helps that he likes most of the pieces.

 

***

 

They have their first official . . . whatever on Tuesday. He has a break between classes, so Peter takes him along on a business lunch. He brings over Stiles’s suits, too, and tells him to wear the charcoal slacks and waistcoat with the light blue shirt. He rolls his eyes when Stiles kicks him out, but he goes to wait in the car anyway.

Stiles tries not to freak out. Tells himself they’re just clothes, this is just lunch, it’s just Peter. No big deal.

He admits that he looks good when he sees himself in the mirror, but the problem is that he doesn’t look like him. He unbuttons his sleeves and cuffs them until they’re halfway up his forearms and that, that feels better. More familiar. It’s a small thing, but it’s enough to carry him out the door and down to Peter’s car.

Stiles doesn’t bother to hide his relief when Peter hums approvingly. “It’s a nice touch. Suits you. Now, this should be nice and simple. A test drive. We’re meeting with a lawyer from another firm, someone I’ve worked with in the past, and his wife, Flora. Cal is a stickler for etiquette, so until he tells you otherwise, call him Mr. Fallon.”

“Got it.” A terrible thought occurs to him. “Uh, should I try to not be me?”

Peter shoots him a sharp glare before refocussing on the road. “What do you mean?”

“You said this guy is all about politeness, but that you’ve worked with him in the past. Does he not know that you’re made of violence and sass, or do you keep a lid on it?”

Peter snorts. “You should do your best to refrain from swearing, but other than that, feel free to be yourself. Some of his best ideas have come from me needling him, and Flora always finds it amusing when someone sasses her husband to his face. Endearing yourself to her will also go a long way with him.”

“Okay, good. Uh, one last question.”

“No such thing with you.”

He pauses, but Peter doesn’t actually sound exasperated or upset, so he forges ahead. “What are we gonna say I am to you, at these things? Because, like, honesty is definitely not the best policy here, and I need to know what the party line is.”

Peter’s quiet for a moment. “There are a few ways we can play this, at least for now. Once I start bringing you to more functions, the understanding will be that you’re my latest flavour of the week, but we get more control at the beginning, especially since we’re starting with Cal and Flora. I can present you as a family friend, or someone I’m mentoring, or we can jump right into the deep end and I can tell them that, despite your initial reluctance, I charmed you into giving me a chance.”

He deliberately doesn’t think about the last option. “So, wait. You’re telling me that once I start coming with you to like, events and shit, people are going to think we’re fucking?”

“I’m a very successful, very wealthy, very attractive man, Stiles. Having arm candy is expected, and younger, gold-digging trophy wives are more common than you’d think. Having a date to these events is good for my reputation, especially given that I disappeared after the fire. It lends me some normalcy. But their ideas of ‘normal’ are different than most people’s. What we actually are to each other is none of their business, but they’ll try to figure it out anyway. The best course of action is to laugh it off and stick to the cover story.”

He swallows, and looks out the window. He doesn’t know what to think, here. He knows it shouldn’t matter, what it looks like he is or isn’t to Peter, because he knows the truth: he’s being paid to tolerate Peter and act to prevent any attacks of homicidal boredom. He’s providing a service. Practically a public one, given that this is Peter, but the idea of other people thinking he’s a gold digger or some kind of trophy boyfriend rubs him the wrong way.

Maybe because it feels like the truth.

“Okay,” he sighs. “We tell them today that I’m an old friend who’s reluctantly giving you a chance. Depending on how things go, that can migrate to like, boyfriends or partners or whatever you wanna call it, if this arrangement ends up working out.”

“Well, with that kind of enthusiasm, nothing could possibly go wrong,” Peter snarks as he pulls into the restaurant parking lot.

“That’s me. Enthusiastic and perky. My true calling might be cheerleading.”

Peter laughs as he gets out of the car. “Well, sweetheart, if you ever want to give it a try, you should know that you have the legs for the skirt.”

He blushes and cusses Peter out under his breath as he follows the asshole into the restaurant.

 

Chapter Text

 

Stiles turns over the sleek credit card he found in his pocket after lunch with Cal and Flora. He doesn’t know how to feel about it, but the proof of being Peter’s kept boy unsettles him. He wonders if it’d be less disturbing if it was someone else—someone he didn’t already know, someone who wasn’t aware of the supernatural, someone who didn’t know him.

Because, the thing is, he’s good at playing a part. He could have pretended for some stranger, been whatever they needed him to be. He’d have gotten what he needed out of them, they’d have gotten what they needed out of him, and he could’ve viewed it as a simple business transaction. But Peter . . .

Peter makes it complicated.

Because Peter is Beacon Hills and panic attacks, loyalty and loss and fear and the feeling that he was never quite good enough. Peter is blood feuds and bloodshed and anger so tightly controlled you might never see it in him if you didn’t already know it was there. But Peter is also pack and gentle hands during all-night research sessions, and banter that’s always sharp but never cuts too deep. Peter is moral ambiguity and ruthlessness and has never, ever not believed him when it counted.

The problem is that he doesn’t know which Peter is real enough to trust in, which one is dressing him in suits and handing him a credit card and offering to take care of him. He doesn’t know, but he’s letting Peter do it anyway, and he thinks this might be the stupidest thing he’s ever done.

In the end, he tucks the card into his wallet, and tries to forget about it. He has class to get to, and readings to do.

 

***

 

The second time he acts as arm candy is Friday night, just over a week after their “test-drive”. He’s nervous as hell about it, because it’s apparently some charity event and Peter’s law firm were big donors, so it’s absolutely nothing like lunch with Cal and Flora. That was the shallow end, where he could touch bottom. This isn’t even a pool anymore. This is a patch of shark-infested ocean.

Still, he reaches for his ability to give no fucks as he gets dressed. Peter’s told him to wear all three pieces of the charcoal suit with the striped shirt and pale purple tie. He wishes he could roll his sleeves again, but he knows that’s not possible tonight. He has to find another way to feel like himself.

He decides his Batman socks are the way to go. Peter might get pissy if he notices, but the likelihood that he’ll pay attention to Stiles’s socks is low. And anyway, he never dictated what socks Stiles should wear, so it’s his own fault, really.

It’s not like Peter’s unaware he’ll exploit any loophole he can find or create.

He gets into Peter’s car and tries not to stare. Dude went all-out—he’s wearing a three-piece in black. Although instead of the expected white dress shirt, Peter’s in one the same purple as the tie he had Stiles wear. Stiles knows that must’ve been deliberate, but decides not to read into it. There’s no point. If Peter’s playing mind-games, his methods are unlikely to be sartorial. Not menacing enough.

“So, what am I walking into?” He’s proud that his voice is even. He ignores that Peter can hear his anxious heart jittering in his chest.

“A lion’s den.”

He rolls his eyes. “Gee, that’s reassuring. And here I was, hoping for some info to arm myself with before we go in. How silly of me. I guess I’ll just prepare to be eaten.”

Peter smirks without taking his eyes off the road. “If you want me to eat you, baby, all you have to do is ask.” While he splutters, trying to figure out how to respond to that, Peter keeps going. “Honestly, we’re going to this because I have to. The goal tonight is to be seen by as many people as possible, and leave as soon as we can. If you wanted to play the amorous lover, anxious to get home to bed, everyone would believe it and I’d be grateful for the excuse to leave early.”

His eyes feel like they’re trying to bug out of his head. “You’re serious right now.” It’s half-question, half-statement, because the man’s a confirmed troll.

Peter drops his chin to give him a dry look. “Yes.” He turns back to the road. “Unless your acting skills aren’t up for it, of course. Better to do something else than fumble that.”

He did not. Challenge motherfucking accepted. “Uh huh. Hope you aren’t too fond of that suit, because my scent’s not gonna come out of it after tonight.”

“Why Stiles,” Peter purrs, “you say that like it’s a bad thing.”

He can’t help it. He laughs. “Alright, but seriously—what’s the game plan here?”

“We’re going to go mingle with the obscenely wealthy and let them pretend they’re better than us while subtly irritating them as much as possible. We’re going to be civil and polite and obnoxiously all over each other, so much so that they’ll probably be relieved when we bow out early.”

“So we’re going to be trolls in three-piece suits.”

Peter pulls into the venue and smirks at him, eyes bright with mischief, before getting out to hand the keys to the valet, and it hits him—he’s having fun. He’s all dressed up on a Friday night to go trolling with Derek’s Uncle Lazarus, and he’s actually looking forward to it.

What the hell rabbit hole has he fallen down that this is his life?

He’s quiet as he follows Peter toward the venue, and he’s pulled aside before they go in. “What’s going on in that head of yours?”

Right. His scent is basically a big broadcast of shit he’d like to keep private. “I don’t, this is . . .” he trails off, shaking his head.

“Hey.” Peter’s voice is as soft as the hand he cups around Stiles’s jaw. “You’re allowed to enjoy yourself.”

The non-sequitur unfreezes his tongue. “What does that even mean?”

Peter’s thumb slides over his pulse and he fights not to shiver. “It means that these arrangements are meant to be mutually beneficial. I’ve always liked you, Stiles, and we’re a good match. So there’s no need to angst over the fact that you’re going to enjoy both my company and being a little shit tonight.”

He doesn’t want that to reassure him. He huffs. “You’re insufferable when you’re right.”

Peter’s hand slides round to briefly squeeze his nape before letting go. “This isn’t news. Now, let’s get this over with, shall we?”

He nods, and takes Peter’s hand, lacing their fingers together as they head inside. He tells himself it’s only because it makes sense, if he’s playing the smitten boyfriend. That it’s to sell their act.

He doesn’t think about that hand on his face, or his neck, or anywhere else at all.

 

***

 

Stiles nuzzles his face against Peter’s throat to smother his laugh. The revolted look on Mr. Schultzman’s face is to die for. He can’t remember the last time he had this much fun on Friday night. It was definitely before he started college.

Peter’s hand squeezes his hip, and the grip is just on this side of too-hard. It makes him focus. “I’m sorry, Rob, but I just don’t see how bringing an old family friend to tonight’s function is in any way different from you bringing your—did you say she was your niece?”

Schultzman glares, his flush deepening. “She’s an appropriate date, Hale. You might want to take notes.”

Peter meets the poor girl’s eyes, and even Stiles can tell she looks like she’s about to cry. And really, he’s only interested in trolling the deserving. So he gives her a smile, and asks, “Since you’re an appropriate date, could you help me pick a dress for next time? Yours looks great, and is very tasteful, so I’m sure you could help me find something.”

She claps a manicured hand over her mouth to stifle her wide-eyed giggles, and Stiles gives her a wink. Peter’s tone is pure smarm as he speaks over Schultzman’s sputtering. “Rob, I’ve never made a secret out of my appreciation for both sexes, so if you can’t get a lid on your conservative attitudes to speak about business, or the weather, or even the charity this gala is for, you should probably move along.”

The girl looks at Stiles, mouthing wow. He grins, and mouths back, I know.

“I think I will. Not sure what I thought I’d get out of speaking with you, anyway.” And then Schultzman is trying to sweep away, his date at his side but grinning over her shoulder at the two of them.

Stiles shakes his head. “So, what was his deal?”

Peter turns, steering them towards the bar so they don’t look odd, standing around ignoring the other attendees. “Met him when we were newly graduated, looking for jobs. He could never get over the fact that I’m better at what I do than him, and as a result, landed a position with a good firm that was prestigious and treated me well. He hasn’t quite grown out of the urge to try and cut me down whenever he can.”

Stiles shakes his head, and accepts the Coke-no-rum he’s handed. “I just. This is California. You’d think he’d realize he’s in, like, the most liberal state on the west coast and tailor his game accordingly.”

Peter gives him a lazy smirk, something dark flickering in his eyes before disappearing. “Not everyone is as smart as you, sweetheart.”

He rolls his eyes, and tries to control the heat creeping up his throat. “Yeah, well, he’s a lawyer, and this is a charity event that’s all about advancing women in STEM fields. You’d think he’d be a little less tone-deaf.”

“You would think,” Schultzman’s date agrees, appearing at his elbow. He tries not to flail. “But, sadly, no. I’m technically his niece, in that my dad married his sister a few years ago, but I’d much rather join the two of you for the rest of the evening than deal with anything else out of Uncle Rob’s mouth. You got room?”

Peter’s smirk is extremely pleased. “Of course, my dear. Your name?”

“Candice.”

Peter reaches across him to shake her hand. “Nice to meet you, Candice. My partner in crime here is Stiles, and you shouldn’t believe a word he says.”

He shrugs. “Unless you do wanna help me shop for a dress, because I don’t have a clue what I’m doing there.” He says it as much to get another laugh out of her as to tease Peter. Given the look on the werewolf’s face, he’s pretty sure it’s working.

The next forty-five minutes pass pleasantly, between Peter’s calculated flitting and Candice’s charm. By the time 11:30 has rolled around, Stiles can’t believe they’ve already been there for two and a half hours, but is thrilled to leave all the same. Peter offers to drive Candace home, and she reluctantly refuses. She’s apparently the designated driver for “Uncle Rob”, and doesn’t want him to total her car while driving drunk. Stiles winces in sympathy, but understands.

He also kinda melts into the passenger seat once they’re pulling away, the evening catching up to him all at once. “Fuck, now I get why you wanted company. I probably would’ve tried to murder someone if I had to deal with them by myself.”

Peter hums, but otherwise doesn’t comment. He does, however, rest a warm hand on Stiles’s thigh whenever he doesn’t need it to change gears. Which isn’t often, because he’s driving an automatic, and Stiles doesn’t let himself think about how much he likes the fact that it’s there. That it feels like comfort.

He’s so tired from the last week and tonight and the quiet drive back that he doesn’t realize, at first, that Peter’s cupping his jaw again. Or that he’s nuzzling into it. He opens his eyes to see Peter staring at him. It goes on for a long moment before Peter leans forward slowly, brushing their lips together.

He moans, and kisses back. He hasn’t been kissed in way too long, and everything feels only half-real. Dream-like. Because Peter’s touching him softly and making pleased little noises against his mouth and nibbling on his lips. He whines when Peter pulls back.

He doesn’t know what it is that Peter sees on his face, but his expression goes sharp before smoothing out again. “You’re alright, sweetheart. But you need to get upstairs and to bed. Can you manage that? Can you remember to hang up your suit?”

Which, yeah, he can, but why would he want to get up when he’s having such an awesome dream? He clutches at the hand Peter still has on his face, and Peter nods like he’s given an answer. “Alright, baby. Alright.”

Peter strokes a thumb over his cheekbone, and his eyes drop closed again. He can’t remember the last time he was touched like this, all soft and gentle and unhurried. He forgot how much he likes it.

So he’s a little confused and kind of disappointed when it disappears, but then Peter’s opening the door and helping him out of the car, and he gets to have a kind of upright snuggle in the elevator. Peter lets him and runs warm hands slowly up and down his back. It’s blissful.

He doesn’t quite know how they get into his dorm room, but that’s okay, because his eyes are closed, which is weird in a dream but he’s never had normal dreams anyway. Peter’s peeling him out of his suit, and he tries to help, wondering if things are about to get a whole lot more interesting, but Peter just hangs it up in his little closet before dropping the shirt in the hamper, and then he’s being tucked into bed.

Peter’s hand is in his hair, brushing it back from his face, and he lets out a little sound, because he doesn’t want it to be over yet.  The hand traces behind his ear to cup his throat, and he goes boneless. There’s the press of lips to his forehead, and a whispered, “Sleep well, Stiles.”

Then he gives in to soft darkness calling his name.

 

***

 

Stiles wakes up easily on Saturday morning, feeling better-rested than he has in a long time. He stretches languidly, enjoying the lack of grogginess when his eye catches on his open closet and the suit hanging there. Last night rushes back in, and he wonders what the fuck made him act that way.

He’s unsettled, unable to stop thinking about it as he showers and gets ready for his shift at the bookstore. Like, yeah, sure, he gets cuddly when he’s tired, but why with Peter? And why did he feel almost drugged? He might actually think that he had been drugged, or drunk, except that he’d only had two drinks—and non-alcoholic ones at that—the night before, and the second had been nearly an hour before they left.

He goes in to work on autopilot, and stays that way, too preoccupied to pay attention to anything else. He’s lucky they have him in the stockroom today doing inventory. It’s easy enough to count while the rest of his brain is elsewhere.

Unfortunately, he can’t seem to come to any solid conclusions about that night. Not without asking Peter about it, and being texted on Saturday afternoon with a how are you doing? was more than he expected. He doesn’t know why Peter did what he did, doesn’t know how to feel about it, and doesn’t know what in the fuck got into him as a result.

The only thing he knows for sure is that the memory of their kiss—hazy as it is—gets him hard every time he thinks about it, and thinking about what came after makes it worse. On Sunday night, he gives in, wrapping a hand around himself and jerking quickly, angry that he’s thinking of Peter and angrier still that the thought of having Peter’s hands on him pushes him over the finish line faster than normal.

Lying there after, he rationalizes it as nothing more than simple sexual frustration. He hasn’t had the time or the drive to get laid lately, what with his health going down the toilet and then negotiating the mess of an agreement with Peter, so it’s no wonder he got horny once he started feeling better. Totally normal. Less normal to think about Peter while jacking off, but whatever, it’s happened before. Dude might be a literal sack of crazy, but he’s a hot sack of crazy.

It’s no big deal, and it probably won’t happen again. It’s fine. Everything’s fine.

 

***

 

Stiles dithers over asking for a ridiculously long time. Technically, the grimoire isn’t one of the pre-approved necessities he’s allowed to spend his monthly allowance on, but he thinks it might count as an indulgence. Even if it is half for the good of the pack. And he hasn’t quit working at the bookstore, or given up babysitting the Owen twins, so he does still have some cash of his own. Just . . . not enough to afford the book on his own.

Either way, he knows he needs to ask Peter about it. So he does. Specifically, after accompanying him to another work-lunch that is sadly not with Cal and Flora.

“So, um. Remember how you said I could negotiate for indulgences?” When Peter nods, he continues. “Right, so, I found this grimoire. It looks fascinating, and like it might actually be up my alley, so I was just checking before I—”

“That’s not an indulgence, darling, so I’ll be asking something of you in return. Just to be clear.”

Stiles stops fiddling with the cuffs of his dress shirt. “I mean. It’s a book, though? You said those were indulgences.” His heart is pounding in his chest and he’s suddenly really, really pissed with himself for having this discussion in the car, because he can’t leave unless he does a tuck and roll and hopes for the best. He’s not up for that.

Peter tsks. “Sweetheart, indulgences are things that make you happy, things that are enjoyable. This is something for you to study, to learn and work at and apply yourself to. I won’t deny that it’s a pursuit worthy of your time and effort, but it’s not something that you need or that will bring you pleasure or comfort.” Peter darts a narrow-eyed look at him as they pull up to a red light. “And let’s not forget, magic always has a price.”

Ugh. Fine. “So what do you want for it?”

“I think,” Peter says slowly, his voice a husky murmur, “that I’d like you to strip out of your shirts, straddle my lap, and let me suck up some lovely bruises across that fair skin.”

His face goes hot with mortified arousal. “Oh my god, are you serious right now, or is this like that time you told me you lived in caves underground?”

Peter smirks. “Oh no, sweetheart. I’m being quite serious. If you want me to get you the grimoire so you can serve the pack, you’re going to let me mark you up as mine, first.”

He drops his face into his hands. “Forget I said anything, fuck. Just, no. Not happening.”

He watches Peter shrug from between his fingers. “Although I have to say, I’m both surprised and disappointed that you’re this much of a prude.”

“I am not!” It’s out of his mouth before he can stop himself.

“Really.” Peter’s tone is sharp and dry. “If that’s the case, then why are you refusing to do something that is, at most, vaguely sexual, and most assuredly enjoyable when the payoff is something you want and can’t afford on your own?”

A hundred reasons blossom and die on his tongue without ever leaving his mouth. In the end, he looks out the window and says, “Y’know what? It doesn’t matter. Forget it.”

Peter makes a knowing little sound, but doesn’t say anything as they pull up to his dorm. He thanks Peter for the ride, and hoofs it back to his room like his ass is on fire. He thinks he may never ask Peter for anything else, no matter how much he wants it.

 

***

 

He’s still struggling with all things Peter-related when Lydia calls. He tips his head back to stare at the ceiling and heave in a breath before he answers. “Hey, Lyds, what’s up?”

“I’m acing all my classes, seducing one of the TAs, and have all the freshmen under my thumb. So, the usual. But I didn’t call to talk about me.”

Yeah, he was afraid of that. “Okay. So what did you call for?”

“Stiles.” Wow, it is amazing how much disapproval she can shove into a single word. “I want to know how you’ve dealt with your financial situation.”

“Well, you won’t have to step in, so there’s that, at least.”

“I wouldn’t mind, but you know that. What have you worked out? Because I swear on your father’s head, if you’re still living off ramen and working a hundred odd jobs, you will regret it.”

She can’t see it, but he grins. “Aw, you do love me.”

“That doesn’t answer my question.”

And, no, it doesn’t, but he’d really rather not have to cough that up. “Can’t you just trust that I have it under control?”

Her responding “No,” is the flattest thing he’s ever heard.

He heaves a sigh. “So, I, uh. Maybe have a sugar daddy.”

“Okay.” It’s so carefully non-judgemental that it makes him suddenly anxious. “What are the parameters of your agreement, how much say did you have in them, and are you being pressured to do things you aren’t comfortable with?”

He thinks briefly on what Peter asked of him in return for the grimoire, but he focusses on her first two questions. “I didn’t have a whole lot of say, no, but he was pretty reasonable about things. I have a credit card and a monthly allowance, and rules about what I can spend it on. Food, school stuff, medical things, necessities, mostly. And I’m apparently allowed one ‘indulgence’ a month.”

Lydia’s quiet for a moment as she processes that. “It seems reasonable, on the surface. Now tell me the rest of it.” When he whines, her tone hardens. “Stiles, I love you like a brother, and that means I want to know everything there is to know about what you’ve gotten yourself into. I can’t bail you out if you need it if you don’t.”

He groans. “Alright, fine. I’m on an allowance of a thousand bucks a month to be his arm candy at work stuff, and he offered more if I quit my other jobs to be more available, but I refused. Said I didn’t wanna have to go beg for my job at the bookstore back if this doesn’t work out.”

Lydia gives an approving hum. “Smart.”

“I’ve given him my class schedule, so he’s good about booking around that, but the whole indulgences thing is weird. Like, books and video games and nights out with friends are okay, but when I asked for a grimoire, I got told that would be an extra, so I’d have to negotiate for it.”

Lydia’s sharp inhale makes him realize what he’s inadvertently given away. “Stiles, are you involved with someone who knows about the supernatural? About our pack?”

“Yes?” He winces, because he was kinda hoping to keep the identity of his sugar daddy to himself.

“I need to know how he’s involved, what he knows, and what he is. And also, if sex is playing into this, because some species can get incredibly territorial.”

“‘m not territory,” he mumbles.

“Stiles.”

“Right, fine. He’s a werewolf, he knows about our pack, and he knew that I wanted to grimoire for non-selfish reasons. Which he isn’t technically against, or anything, it’s just that, according to him, the grimoire isn’t an indulgence because it’s something for me to work at rather than enjoy.”

There’s a long silence on the other end of the line that has him chewing on his sleeve. Finally, Lydia breaks it. “From what you’ve described, you found someone reasonable. Like, really reasonable. I was worried about the guy being overbearing, and I feel like a bitch saying this, but are you sure it’s not too good to be true?”

“Positive,” he says dryly. Because Peter. Which she doesn’t know, but still.

“Alright. I’ll take your word on that. Now, tell me about the sex.”

“Lydia!” He’s blushing, because he really, really hoped that he could distract her long enough to make her forget about that part.

“Don’t make me come up there.”

“Oh my god. Look, it’s—there hasn’t been any, okay?”

“Why not?”

He wonders what he did in a past life to deserve this. “Why does it matter?”

“Answer the question, Stiles. It matters.”

He fiddles with the drawstring of his sweatpants, glad she can’t see him blushing. “He’s a werewolf, and he said that . . . he doesn’t like less than fully consenting partners. Doesn’t like the way coercion smells, or something.”

“That’s good to hear. Now what else?”

“How do you know there’s anything else? Maybe that’s it, all there is. The end.”

“Because you wouldn’t have been anywhere near this defensive about it if that’s all there was to it. Now tell me the rest.”

“Okay, so, like. Remember what I said about indulgences?”

“Yeah.”

“So, I’m allowed one a month, but I can negotiate for more. And, like, I never know what he’ll ask for, and I can refuse, but it means I don’t get what I want.”

“What has he asked for? Do you know what he’ll ask of you?”

Shit. He didn’t mean to worry her. “I mean, he told me that it would depend on his mood, but, uh. Intimate things, generally.”

“Generally?”

He really doesn’t want to tell her, but he still feels bad about making her worry. “When we worked things out, he said he might ask for, uh. For a massage, or me to make him dinner, but that he might also ask me to suck him off, so.”  

Lydia goes back to sounding calm. “What did he want in exchange for the grimoire?”

“Wanted me to straddle his lap and let him mark me up,” he mumbles. He still can’t get over how much he wants to run screaming from the idea, while also being curious and more than a little turned-on.

“That’s it?”

He bristles at the incredulity in her tone. “That isn’t enough?”

“Stiles, that’s barely second base. What is holding you back here? Are you not interested?”

He wishes. “No.”

“Do you have a significant other I don’t know about who would be upset by seeing hickeys on you they didn’t put there?”

“No, I’m not with anybody.”

“Is this guy not attractive to you?”

His guts go all hot and squirmy, because attractiveness isn’t the issue. At all. “No, he’s, uh. He’s attractive.”

“Are you scared of him? That his control will slip?”

“No.” It slips out too fast and with too much conviction for him to walk it back and use it as an excuse.

Unfortunately, Peter’s control has always been good. Even when he was an insane Alpha, when he was slamming Stiles against the trunk of his car in the parking garage, there was always a calculation behind his force. He has no reason to think that Peter’s control will be worse now that the dude’s mostly-sane, holding down a steady job, and not hopped up on Alpha juice.

“Then, I repeat: what’s holding you back?”

“I just . . . feel like I shouldn’t?”

Her tone softens. “Why shouldn’t you?”

“Isn’t it, like, prostitution? Trading sex to get what I want?”

She laughs, and it’s a little sad. “Stiles, people trade in sex all the time, even between romantic partners. Sometimes it’s a compromise for a mismatch in libido, sometimes it’s to comfort the other person, and sometimes it’s to sweeten them up. You’re not prostituting yourself, and even if you were, there’s no shame in providing a service to people. My only concern is your safety, but you’re telling me in no uncertain terms that his control isn’t something you need to worry about, and I trust your judgement on that. So why not?”

“You don’t think it’s, uh, kinda gross to have sex with him?”

He can almost hear her eyeroll. “Stiles, you’re allowed to enjoy yourself. If you’re not enjoying it, then don’t do it. End of, really, since your daddy has been clear about not pushing your boundaries on this.”

There’s a weird swoop in his belly when he hears her call Peter that. “You really think it’s that simple?”

“I really do.”

 

Chapter Text

 

He takes a deep breath and reminds himself of what Lydia said as he rides the elevator up to Peter’s apartment. He’s allowed over whenever he wants, Peter was clear about that—he suspects it’s a bit of a scent thing, because he’s pack, but he didn’t ask. There are some things he doesn’t need to know.

He gives a cursory knock before letting himself in, not quite believing that he can. When he texted about coming over, Peter said he’d leave it unlocked, but Stiles still half-expected to walk into the door. He can feel his heart pounding in his fingertips, so he’s not surprised when Peter’s eyes scan him the second after he walks in. After visual confirmation that there’s no life-threatening (or non-life-threatening) injury, he seems to relax a little. “Stiles. As much as I like to see you, I’d like to know what has you in such a state.”

Well, there goes his plan to bring it up casually. “Can we, uh. Can we sit?”

Peter nods, and gestures towards the living room. Stiles sits on the edge of the couch, too wound-up to really settle. Peter sits on the coffee table in front of him. “So, I realized that I overreacted, when I asked for the grimoire, and you said what you wanted in return. It’s . . . I didn’t expect to be doing this with someone I knew, who knew me.” All of that is true, because lying to his werewolf sugar daddy would be unbelievably stupid, but lying to Peter Hale’s face would be even worse. “So I was hoping that your offer wasn’t a one-time only thing?”

Peter tips his head to the side and laces his fingers together between his thighs. “It wasn’t.” Before Stiles can do more than grin, he goes on. “But I looked into what you were after. And, now that I know the true value of it, and how much work you’re going to have to sink in to reap the full benefits, my terms have changed.”

Stiles swallows, dread making his guts go cold. “Okay,” he says slowly.

Peter gives a little smirk. “No need to get anxious about it. You can always refuse.”

Except that, really, he feels like he can’t. Especially now, after convincing himself that he can have it. “What are the new terms?”

Peter looks straight in his eyes and says, “I want you to suck me,” with absolutely no shame whatsoever, and Stiles’s lungs forget what air is.

He has no idea what his face does, but he can feel his mouth working as he tries and fails to respond. It doesn’t take long before the amusement on Peter’s face is replaced by something that looks a lot like concern. “Easy, baby. Breathe for me.”

Stiles closes his eyes and ducks his head. His lungs won’t expand. A small whine crawls up his throat.

Peter’s hand settles on the back of his neck, thumb brushing over the sensitive skin behind his ear. “C’mon, sweetheart. You can do it.” Peter squeezes, and suddenly he’s gasping.

Even once his breathing is under control, he doesn’t move. He doesn’t know how to feel about this. So he does what he always does when faced with an uncomfortable situation and known unknowns: he asks questions. “Can—can werewolves carry diseases? Actually, you know what, never mind. I want lab work confirming you’re clean, or you’re wearing a condom.”

“Of course, sweetheart.”

Peter sounds fond, but he doesn’t have time for that right now. “I know how strong you are, and that you can make me do all kinds of things I’m not interested in, but I’m hoping you weren’t full of shit when you said that you have a strong preference for willing partners.”

“I do,” Peter says firmly.

He nods without looking up. What he has to say is easier to spit out in the absence of eye contact. “In the interests of full disclosure, I haven’t sucked a lot of dick, so don’t expect me to be able to deepthroat or anything fancy.”

“I’ll keep that in mind,” Peter murmurs, stroking the skin behind Stiles’s ear again. “Are you done?”

He sucks in a deep breath, swallows, and meets Peter’s gaze. “You want me on my knees for this?” Peter nods, which he expects. “Then a pillow, too.”

Peter’s lips quirk into something close to his signature smirk, but not quite. “That can be arranged. If you wait here, I can get you the paperwork you want.”

He nods, feeling weirdly detached. None of this feels quite real. He’s about suck Peter Hale’s dick for a spellbook. It’s like some of the weirder Harry Potter fanfiction he’s read.

When Peter comes back, he hands Stiles a sheet of paper. Scanning it, he sees that its negative test results for an STD panel, dated a month ago. Which is convenient. “Uh, why, exactly do you have this lying around?” He gives it a little shake for emphasis.

Peter raises a disapproving eyebrow. “Given that I’ve been searching for an arrangement such as ours, and that I like sex, I make sure to get tested every year. Gives my partners some peace of mind.”

That is . . . somehow more adult than what he was expecting. He wonders if he’d have been less surprised to hear that it was faked. He folds the paperwork and sets it on the coffee table. “Right, so, now that that’s out of the way, let’s get this show on the road. Show me whatcha got, big guy.”

“Not so fast.”

Wait, what? He needs to do this before he decides fuckit and chooses sanity. “What now?”

“You’re not the only one with preferences, sweetheart.”

He swallows down his irritation. Because, unfortunately, dude’s got a point. “Okay, and yours are?”

Peter comes closer until he’s standing right in front of Stiles, the fingertips of one hand skimming up his throat to tilt his chin up until he’s looking at Peter. It doesn’t escape his notice that his throat is bared, like this. A symbol of submission, even if he didn’t choose it. “I prefer an honorific of some kind, when we’re intimate this way. ‘Sir’ will do, though hearing ‘Daddy’ or ‘Alpha’ from you would be my preference.”

He tries to swallow down the arousal that starbursts in his belly before he does something stupid. “Got it,” he whispers. He doesn’t have the ability to be louder.

Peter’s thumb brushes across his lips, and it doesn’t help with the whole unwanted-arousal situation. “I will respect your limits, Stiles, but I want you to give me control. I want you to let me guide the pace. I want to curl my fingers in your hair and praise you when you’ve pleased me. I want to teach you how to take my cock into your throat, and feel you choke on it as I come.”

“Jesus fuck.” He doesn’t know what else to say to that. Doesn’t know if there’s anything else to say. The fact that he’s getting hard in his jeans is uncomfortable in ways that have nothing to do with his clothing, and everything to do with the fact that he’s pretty sure he’s not supposed to be getting off on this.

And then Peter’s guiding him up off the couch, and he goes with it, because it seems easy, just then. Kissing Peter is even easier, because that thing about Stiles giving up control? It was a fucking understatement—Peter’s hands are stroking over his neck and shoulders, cupping his jaw and tilting him to just the right angle for a possessive tongue to sweep inside his mouth.

Stiles moans into the kiss, clinging to anything of Peter he can reach, and temporarily unashamed of the fact that his dick is unsubtly pressed against Peter’s hip. It’s even more incredible than their kiss in the car, and even easier to sink into. He’s panting when Peter pulls away to nuzzle and mouth at his jaw.

“That’s it, baby. That’s what I like.”

“Hn?” He can’t be articulate right now, but it’s not his fault.

“I want you willing or not at all, sweet boy. And you smell deliciously willing right now.”

He blushes at the implication, but well. Peter’s not wrong. Everything about getting up close and personal with the guy has so far been nothing but pleasant. Great, even. It makes his brain hurt if he thinks about it too long.

It’s why he asks, “So, you gonna get me that pillow?”

“In a minute.” It’s murmured against his neck, and it makes him shiver. Peter notices. “Sensitive?”

He shrugs. He is, but he doesn’t think it matters.

Stiles’s knees buckle when Peter suddenly sinks his teeth in hard. It’s only the arm around his waist that keeps him steady, and he whimpers a little when, instead of letting go, Peter sucks at the captured flesh. The heat there tells him he’s going to have a vicious bruise, dark enough to last for days.

“What . . . ?” He doesn’t know how to finish his question, which question to ask.

Peter manoeuvres them back to the couch. Stiles is half in his lap. “I’m possessive. And your pretty skin was just begging to be marked.”

He ignores the maybe-compliment, touching careful fingertips to the throbbing bite. “Did you have to put it somewhere impossible to hide?”

“Consider it your punishment for not answering my question.”

Peter’s tone is sharp, and Stiles stares. There’s something unforgiving in his expression, and Stiles understands suddenly that—for all it’s just a hickey—Peter is serious. It’s his way of saying that if Stiles doesn’t answer him, and truthfully at that, there’ll be consequences. He nods, ducking his head.

“I’m glad we understand each other. Now, on your knees.”

The order makes the back of his neck heat, and Stiles awkwardly gets up off the couch as Peter drops a pillow between his spread thighs. The fact that Peter’s not making him go without it isn’t lost on him, and he tries to get comfortable, but there’s no getting around the fact that he’s eye-level with Peter’s groin. He rests his hands on Peter’s thighs. “So, uh. Anything I should know about this part?”

Peter’s eyes glitter as he smirks, one hand sinking into Stiles’s hair. “Don’t worry about a thing, sweetheart. You just have to be a good boy and do what I tell you.”

He swallows, and it sticks. Nothing about what Peter just said should be reassuring, but it absolutely is. He’s rock-hard in his jeans and wishes he weren’t. This would be so much easier if he weren’t enjoying it. Rather than think about it anymore, he clears his throat. “So, what first?”

“Unzip me, sweetheart.” Stiles obeys, and pretends his fingers are clumsy, not shaking. There’s nothing but bare skin and dark hair when he gets the zipper down. “Good boy. Now I’m going to lift up, and you’re going to ease my jeans down and open. Just a bit, just enough to make sure I don’t feel zipper teeth anywhere I shouldn’t.”

He nods, and carefully gives himself enough room to work when Peter raises his hips. “What now?”

“Take me out, baby, that’s it.”

Stiles nibbles his bottom lip, eyes darting from Peter’s face to the cock in his hand. It’s uncircumcised, because werewolves, probably, and bigger than average. It’s hot in his hand, and he’s not getting cold feet, but he really hasn’t done this much and isn’t sure what Peter wants.

Something of his distress must come through in his expression, because Peter tugs at his hair, forcing him to meet blue eyes. “You tapping out?”

Peter asks like it’s an honest question, without mockery or sarcasm. It settles something behind his ribs, an anxiety he didn’t know he had. “No, I just—”

“Ah.” Peter smiles knowingly. “I thought you might like to explore a little, but there’s nothing wrong with needing direction, sweet boy. I’m more than happy to give you orders. Is that what you need?” He nods, but Peter tuts. “Words, Stiles.”

He squirms, not liking the way Peter said his name. “Yes.”

“Yes, what?”

And, oh. He should’ve remembered this part. His cheeks heat. “Yes, sir.”

Peter stares at him for a minute with a calculating expression. “That’ll do for now. But we both know that’s not what you want to call me.” Before he can do more than feel his blush creep down his throat, Peter’s gripping his hair tight enough to sting and guiding his head forward. “Open up, there you go. No, no, don’t go trying to take more yet. I want you just to focus on the tip for now. Suck, use your tongue, get familiar.”

He doesn’t think he should love this more than any of the other times he’s gone down on someone, doesn’t think Peter giving instructions on the finer points of sucking cock should make him feel warm and relaxed. He likes pleasing a partner, but this is—different. Probably wrong.

That awareness doesn’t change the fact that he’s leaking in his jeans.

“Now, I want you to take me as deep as you can. Don’t push yourself, not yet. I just want to know where your comfort zone is, sweetheart.”

He doesn’t know what to think of that. Doesn’t think he ought to trust Peter, but the honeyed tone is melting his spine and making it hard to remember why. It’s so much easier to bob his head and work as much of the shaft into his mouth as he can. He manages about half, and the fingers that card through his hair feel like a reward.

“For now, I want you to continue, just like this. Wrap those pretty fingers around what you can’t fit in your mouth.”

He hums his agreement, and thinks he should maybe be worried about the “for now”, but he’s not. Not even a little bit. If anything, he’s kind of looking forward to finding out what comes next.

He’s still leaking steadily. If he’s lucky, he won’t have a visible wet spot on his jeans when they’re done. His boxers are definitely done for.

He loses track of time. There’s nothing but the rhythm he’s set for them both: down, suck, up, suck, tongue-flutter, gentle squeeze at the base. It’s easy to get lost in. He feels almost drugged when Peter tugs at his hair to stop him. He whines a little when he’s pulled off. Peter chuckles, swiping a thumb through the saliva slicking his bottom lip. “None of that, now. You’re getting a little break because I’m ready to come, and that means I’m going to teach you how to take me down your throat.”

He nods. He wants that. Wants to make Peter come, wants to swallow the evidence of a job well-done and know he did that.

So he lets Peter cup the back of his neck and pull him forward, closing his lips over the head of Peter’s cock and feeling his mouth water when the taste of pre-come hits his tongue. He takes a deep breath when he’s told, and holds still as Peter starts to rock his hips. It’s shallow at first, lets him get a sense for when to breathe.

“I’m going to push into your throat now, baby, and you’re going to let me.” He whines his agreement, and the hand at the back of his neck squeezes. “Relax, and lift up your soft palate if you know how.”

It’s easy, somehow, to follow the order, to let himself go limp in Peter’s grasp. He gags a little, at the first touch to the back of his throat, but Peter shushes him, pulling back before pushing forward again and going a little deeper. He doesn’t gag this time, but his eyes water a little.

“You’re being such a good boy for me,” Peter breathes. It makes him feel warm, trying harder to relax when Peter guides him forward and rocks up, pushing properly into his throat for the first time.

It’s scary, and it feels like he’s choking. He’s grateful for the hand gripping the back of his neck, for the murmured, “You’re alright,” and the easy rhythm that has Peter withdrawing smoothly.

The second time Peter pushes into his throat, it’s still frightening, but less so. He knows what to expect, now. Peter guides him through when to breathe, hips rolling steadily as he slowly works his lips to the base of Peter’s cock. His hands are braced on strong thighs, and it’s the only reason he knows this affecting Peter, too—he can feel the minute trembling in the muscles.

“I’m close, baby,” Peter rasps, and the proof that he’s affecting Peter is heady. He hums in acknowledgement, and it makes Peter’s hips stutter. “I’m going to come down your throat, and you’re going to take it like a good boy.”

He’d moan again at that, because there is something seriously wrong with him, he should not find that hot, but he’s gagging as Peter slides into his throat and stays there. At first, he thinks Peter’s going to withdraw again, keep up the rhythm he’s set, but he doesn’t move. He just stays there, cock pulsing in Stiles’s throat, hips jerking minutely.

He chokes, and starts to panic. He tries to pull back, but Peter’s hand at the back of his head holds him in place. “Just hold still, baby. You’re fine.” He gives a muffled sound, as panicked and angry as he’s capable of, but Peter doesn’t let him up. “You can’t rush me, sweet boy. You’ll get my come when I’m ready.”

Just as he’s about to give into the panic, Peter rocks back, spraying come. Stiles coughs, and some dribbles down his face, but he swallows what he can. After he’s sucked in several deep breaths, he spits, “What the fuck was that?”

Peter chuckles. “I told you that you were going to give me control. That I wanted to feel your delicate throat squeezing around my cock.”

He goes to argue—because Peter may have said that, but a little warning would have been appreciated, not to mention polite—but he’s cut off. “You can either bitch at me about it, or you can climb into my lap and let me make you come. Your choice.”

It stops him cold.

He doesn’t know what he should do, here. Because yeah, he’s so hard it’s starting to hurt, but he knows that in and of itself is kinda fucked up. His supernaturally-strong sugar daddy held his head down and choked him with cock, and he stayed hard even through the panic of not being able to breathe.

Before he can decide, Peter tilts his chin up, and presses a soft kiss to his swollen lips. “You’re allowed to enjoy yourself, baby. Say it.”

He blushes. “What?”

Peter licks some of the cooling spend off his face. “I want to hear you say that you’re allowed to enjoy yourself, and I want your heartbeat to stay steady while you do it.”

He swallows, the words sticking. “Okay.”

“Okay, what, Stiles?”

He really needs to stop forgetting that he’s supposed to be calling Peter “sir”, because if he never hears Peter say his name like that again, it’ll be too soon. “Yes, sir.”

“Mm, I think not.”

His heart starts hammering as Peter grips his hair again, pulling until he’s no longer resting on his calves, but as upright as he can get while still on his knees. It puts his bare throat at Peter’s eye-level, and sure enough, he feels stubble rasping over the hickey Peter put there earlier, making it throb all over again. He tries to squirm away, but there’s nowhere he can go, caged between Peter’s thighs and the hand at the back of his head.

“We both know that’s not what you want to call me. Be a good boy for me, sweetheart. You can do it.”

He makes a dissenting noise. He doesn’t speak, because he doesn’t trust what he might say, and he doesn’t dare risk lying. Peter nuzzles aggressively until he’s whimpering from the beard-burn, and he’s starting to shake. He needs to come, his thighs are cramping, and he can’t, he wants—

“Just say it, baby. Tell me what I want to hear. It’ll be worth it, I promise.”

He shuts his eyes against the prickle of shame and whispers, “Please, Daddy?”

Peter growls “Yes,” in his ear, and the next thing he knows, he’s flat on his back on the couch and Peter’s yanking his jeans and boxers down, letting his cock spring free to smack him in the stomach. When he looks down he sees it’s a dark, angry red, and tacked to his shirt with pre-come.

Peter doesn’t hesitate to begin jacking him, the strokes quick and grip tight. Stiles is grateful—he doesn’t think he could survive being teased. He bucks his hips, but then Peter’s hand is splaying over his belly, holding him down as he thrashes. “Daddy!”

The hand working his dick twists, moving faster. “You’re gorgeous when you’re desperate, baby. But it’s okay, Daddy’s here. Come for me.”

He lets out an inhuman sound, and scrabbles for something to hold onto as he starts to tense. He ends up clutching the back of the couch and the forearm Peter’s using to keep him from flailing his way onto the floor. His breath is hitching, catching in his lungs as his muscles lock one by one, but it’s not until Peter murmurs, “Come for your Daddy,” that it happens.

It hits so hard his vision whites out. For a few seconds, he’s pure sensation. When it passes, he realizes that Peter’s still stroking him with long, firm pulls, drawing out his orgasm as long as possible. He whines when it stops feeling amazing, and turns into too much.

Peter stops, but doesn’t let go right away. “Perfect, baby. You were so perfect for me.”

Stiles really doesn’t understand why he’s being praised for coming. It’s not like he could have done anything else, as turned on as he was and with Peter working him over so mercilessly. But it feels nice, being told he’s perfect. The last person who said that to him was his mom.

Before he can follow that thought, Peter’s pressing a kiss to his forehead. “Stay here a minute, baby. When I get back, we’ll get you cleaned up.”

And, like. On the one hand, he hasn’t regained enough motor control to go anywhere yet. On the other, what the fuck? He frowns, and his skin pulls, feeling itchy. He scratches, and drying come collects under his fingernails.

So he decides that, yeah, cleaning up before he goes anywhere is probably smart. But that doesn’t mean he’s prepared for Peter to come back with a washcloth and start rubbing at his cheeks and throat. “Um? I can do this myself.”

Peter doesn’t stop. “It’s my mess.”

Stiles kind of hits a wall on that. Because technically, yes, that is true, but that doesn’t make this any less weird. “You’re not gonna budge on this, are you.”

“No.”

So he sighs, and lets Peter finish. The moist heat feels pretty nice, like Peter ran it under steaming hot water before bringing it out. But lying there with his eyes closed makes it impossible to ignore the cooling splatters on his tee-shirt. It’s gonna suck having to drive home like that, but plaid overshirt for the win, because at least no one else will be able to see it.

Won’t do jack for the fact that he’ll look and smell like sex, but it’s college. No one will judge. Hopefully.

“You need to sit up.”

His eyes fly open and hurt unfurls behind his breastbone. He doesn’t get it. Why is Peter suddenly being an asshole?

He still sits up, though. No point in pissing off the guy buying his spellbooks. But Peter’s voice is gentle, so nothing makes sense. “What?”

Peter’s eyes track over Stiles’s face, and weirdly, his expression softens. “I’m not upset with you, baby, and I’m not kicking you out. I just want to get you out of your damp, sticky shirt, and into something dry.”

He nods, his throat sticking. He has no idea what the fuck is wrong with him, why he suddenly wants to cry and beg Peter to cuddle him. So he doesn’t speak, just strips awkwardly out of his shirts, and tries not to jump at the touch of the now-cool cloth moving across his abs. He turns his head, blushing for no good goddamn reason. He wonders what he’s feeling, if it’s guilt over sucking Peter off, for enjoying it, or shame that he whored himself out for the pack. None of them quite fit, but thinking about it makes him feel worse.

Peter tsks. “You’re overthinking.” And then he’s being drawn into a kiss. It’s sweet, mostly just lips moving over his as fingers comb through his hair. When Peter draws back, he drapes a shirt over Stiles’s head. “Pull that on for me, sweetheart.”

He fits his arms through the sleeves and rolls it down over his chest, realizing that Peter was able to get it over his head so easily because it’s a V-neck. A deep one. He reaches for his plaid, but Peter whisks it out of reach. “They both wound up covered. I’ll put them in the wash, and you can come get them later this week.”

“’kay.” Because what else can he say? He doesn’t want to wear Peter’s shirt, doesn’t want to feel exposed—never mind cold—but wearing come-damp clothes isn’t his idea of comfortable. “So, uh, I guess I should get going.”

Peter tips his head to the side. “You can, if you really want to. But, given the way you smell right now, it might be better to stay a while.”

He pulls a face. “Look, if I stink, I’m pretty sure that’s your fault, buddy.”

Peter leans forward from where he’s sitting on the coffee table to lean both hands on Stiles’s knees. “I was referring to your emotional distress. I don’t find the scent of our activities bothersome in the least.”

He doesn’t respond to that. He doesn’t know how, and doesn’t want to besides. Peter, however, doesn’t seem interested in letting him get up and head for the door. “I’m fine.”

“Then indulge me.”

He opens his mouth to ask what that means, exactly, when Peter’s suddenly pulling him to his feet, only to resettle them both on the couch with Stiles sprawled across his chest. “How exactly is this indulging you?”

Peter gives a dramatic sigh, but nudges until Stiles is arranged to his liking. “Werewolves are pack creatures. We’re tactile. Do you always try this hard to ruin the afterglow? Because, if so, that explains so much.”

He pinches Peter’s side, and receives a sharp tug on his hair for it. So he lets himself melt against Peter, and soak in the comforting warmth. He’ll leave in a few minutes. But it won’t hurt to stay, just for a little while. If it’s something that’ll keep him in Peter’s good books.

 

***

 

He wakes up the next day well-rested and confused. He showers and eats breakfast on autopilot, trying to understand what the fuck happened yesterday and why. He doesn’t come up with any answers, but after a couple incredibly distracted hours, he knows three things for certain:

One: that this shit with Peter is way more complicated than what he signed up for. This was supposed to be simple; provide a service, get paid. Instead, he has Peter being weird and dragging up history that’s better off buried in Beacon Hills.

Two: he needs to stop forgetting that Peter is dangerous. He is the king of secret agendas, and the last thing Stiles needs is to hand him ammunition. Like that “Daddy” shit.

Three: he has no idea why he let his guard drop, let Peter bring him off, but it can’t happen again. No matter how good it felt.

He wishes that his determination to keep his guard up, to keep things simple moving forward, made him feel better. Instead, he feels kinda sick to his stomach. Before he can figure out to do with that, his phone buzzes.

It’s a text from Peter. It reads I have something for you. There’s a picture attached, and when he opens it, he sees a cardboard box with a shipping label. It takes him a minute and some heavy-duty squinting, but he realizes it’s the grimoire.

Before he replies, another message comes through. If you want it, you should come get it.

 

Chapter Text

 

He doesn’t waste any time heading over to Peter’s apartment. He tells himself he’s just eager to get his hands on the grimoire, that it has nothing at all to do with Peter, or what they did last night. But he can’t quite convince himself, and hates that he can’t.

It’s why he nods politely when Peter answers the door, and says nothing as he toes off his shoes before heading toward the package on the dining room table. He’s a little startled when he feels Peter’s hand at his elbow, stopping him before he gets there. “First things first, Stiles. How are you feeling?”

He blinks, staring blankly, because what is this shit? Why would Peter care how he’s feeling? And since when does Peter engage in social convention? But Peter is looking at him expectantly, so he eventually goes with, “Fine?”

Peter doesn’t seem convinced. “You’re a packmate, sweetheart. Even if we weren’t doing what we are, being intimate with a fellow packmate can cause some,” he pauses for a moment. “Emotional rawness,” he finishes delicately.

And that, holy shit does that ever explain some things. “So this,” Stiles makes a vague flaily gesture, “this weirdness is normal?”

Peter rolls his eyes. “Of course it is. You were in an altered state last night, the emotional equivalent to being drunk. Feeling unsteady the next day is common.”

Huh. Well, okay then, that’s somewhat reassuring as long as he doesn’t think about the implications. “So this’ll just go away on its’ own, then?”

Peter is looking at him oddly. It makes him want to hide behind something. “Not exactly. If it were just a pack-bond being developed in a new direction, then yes, it would likely settle on its own over time. But that’s not all that was at play last night.”

“Of fucking course it wasn’t,” he mutters. Stiles scrubs at his face with both hands, wondering how he wound up in this situation. “Well, whatever it was, I’m not up to dealing with it right now. So either fix it, or let me get my grimoire and be on my way.”

Peter smirks, and that’s not a good sign. “As you wish.”

And then Stiles is squawking as he’s reeled into a hug. He fights it for a moment before remembering, right, werewolf, resistance is futile. Just as he figures non-responsiveness is probably his best bet, Peter’s hand cups the back of his head, and his spine sort of melts as he lets Peter take most of his weight.

It’s nice. Way nicer than any hug with Peter Hale has any right to be, but Stiles doesn’t have the fucks to give to make himself pull away. Not when Peter feels safe and solid wrapped around him and holding him up, when he feels more settled with every passing second. He hums, tucking his face into Peter’s neck when the hand at the back of his head moves down to cover his nape, thumb brushing back and forth rhythmically.

Peter is the one who eases him back, and he feels almost groggy, like he’s only been awake a couple minutes and his brain isn’t up and running just yet. “In future, Stiles, you should get in touch with me if you’re feeling off like that. I can help, and it’s my responsibility to do so besides. Understood?”

“Yeah,” he nods, not looking at Peter. He’s a little less dazed, but can’t quite put together the sarcastic refusal he feels like he should. Peter asks how he slept (blissfully), and if he ate breakfast (of course he did) before letting him grab his package and leave without any more bullshit questions or touchy-feely moments.

He feels like himself again when he gets back to his dorm room, and he finds it a little disturbing that the contact from Peter made such a difference. The fact that this might happen again—because there might be something else he wants, that he has to bargain for and might result in sex and this shitty unsettled feeling—eats at him.

He decides a distraction is in order, and opens the package. Inside, he finds not only the grimoire he ordered—and he doesn’t even want to think about how much it might’ve cost to have the thing overnighted from Europe—but also a pair of royal blue lace panties. He stares at them for a long moment before getting his phone to text Peter. He doesn’t touch them.

Peter, why are there underwear in this box? WOMEN’S underwear???

The reply comes suspiciously fast. They’re actually made for men. If you look, you’ll notice the extra room in the front.

That doesn’t explain why they’re in here, tho?

This time, Peter’s reply comes much slower—slow enough to make him start worrying. 

I want you to wear them under your slacks at the office party I’m taking you to next week. Before he can type back HELL NO, another message appears.

If you’re a good boy and behave at the party, I’ll take them off you later. With my teeth.

He doesn’t know how to respond to that, so he doesn’t reply.

 

***

 

When Stiles finally remembers he still has a profile on the sugar matching site, he logs in to shut it down. It was a bad idea. But when he gets to his home screen, he sees that his inbox is overflowing with messages. He clicks through, scanning the subject headings and senders, and while some of them are from potential sugar daddies, most of them are from other babies.

Honey, in particular, has messaged him about twelve separate times, and he feels kind of guilty about making her worry, which is how she gets him to agree to meet her for coffee after she gets off work. He drives to the coffee shop she chose wondering if she’s mad at him. He didn’t read all of the messages she sent, but some of the subject headings had been in all-caps and at least one had included the word “fuck”.

It’s why he’s surprised that she bear-hugs the hell out of him when he walks into the coffee shop. “Uh?”

“Hug me back, fuckface. It’s the least you owe me after going off the grid like that.”

He does. It’s not like it’s a hardship, even with the death grip she has around his waist. When she finally lets go, they sit, and he figures an apology is the best place to start. “I’m sorry I made you worry. I got banned from the meet-up after the scene with Peter, and when I tried to work out something with . . . the others, it didn’t go well.”

She blows out a breath slowly. “I mean, I get that things can go sideways, I do, but I told you that one the first rules of safety for us is to tell someone when we’re meeting suppliers, and check in with that person afterwards. You just disappeared. Worse than that, you dropped off the face of the Earth after making this huge scene with one of the best suppliers out there.”

He needs a moment to process that. Before he can, she’s barrelling on. “So here I am, hearing about you but not from you, and nothing I’m hearing is making any sense. So, I want you to start by telling me how you know Peter, and why you treated him so horribly at the meet up.”

He stares at Honey, trying to think how to answer that question. He can’t tell her that Peter terrorized his hometown as a murderous beast before being killed, and he definitely can’t mention the whole debacle with Lydia and dude resurrecting himself. He looks down. “What do you know about Peter?”

She gives him an odd look, eyes narrowed. ”I know that he’s some bigshot lawyer, and that everyone was really surprised he showed back up again. Apparently he dropped off the map for a few years. Why?”

He takes a deep breath, and braces his forearms on the table between them. He’s gonna skirt as close to the truth here as he dares, which isn’t actually all that close. “Okay, so, the thing is, Peter and his family are from my hometown. And some really awful stuff happened to them, and Peter kinda lost his shit for a while.”

“Lost his shit how?”  

Stiles licks his lips, and ducks his head. Hanging out with werewolves has made him a good liar, but he knows how important it is to sell this. “A lot of it isn’t my place to say, and a lot of it I didn’t learn until later, but.” He looks up, and sees her hanging on his every word. “I have family in law enforcement, and Peter, well. He did some really awful things”—an understatement if ever there was one—“but because of the circumstances, it wasn’t held against him.” Legally, at any rate. “He’s a lot better now than he was, but first impressions carry a lot of weight, and he terrified me when I met him.”

“I can see how he could be scary,” she admits.

That would be an exceedingly mild way of putting it. “Like, he’s done a lot to try and make things right, but. Well, I was really surprised to see him there, and not in a good way.”

Honey nods slowly. “Yeah, I can understand that. Still hard for me to believe, given how I know Peter and the way he was with me.”

That catches his attention. “Wait. Were you one of Peter’s, uh, consumers?”

Honey smirks at him, nodding. He feels kinda dumb for not cluing in to the fact that codenames are useful when talking about this in public. “I was, yeah. We didn’t click, unfortunately, because I would’ve loved for him to keep me on.”

“Why?” He can’t help the scandalized tone. Luckily, she doesn’t hold it against him.

“I know you’ve been negotiating with him, that you’ve been with him to a few functions, so I know he’s already gone over ground rules with you. Which are what make him such a catch, honestly. He’s fair and upfront about what he wants, and he doesn’t push boundaries later on the way a lot of them do.” Stiles nods, thinking that none of that sounds like the Peter he knows—although she’s right, it’s the way Peter’s been with this, oddly enough. “The other thing, though? The reason we didn’t click was because he has a . . . particular preference, and it’s not my thing. I tried to fake it for him, but.” She shrugs one shoulder.

“He knew.”

“Yeah, he did. I don’t know how he did, but he wasn’t interested unless the other person was too.” She looks at him, and he stares at the table. He knows exactly what preference she’s referring to, and he can feel his face heating with shame.

The silence drags, and he swallows. “So, now that you know I’m alive, I should probably,” he gestures towards the door instead of saying, take what’s left of my dignity and run for it.

He’s still not looking at her, so he’s surprised when her fingers loop around his wrist. “Are you actually okay with what Peter likes? It’s not for everyone, and that’s okay. The daddy thing on its own is enough to send some people packing, but the Dom thing is also pretty niche.”

He stares blankly, not understanding. He replays her words in his head. “Dom thing?”

Her eyes scan his face, looking for something. He doesn’t know what they find. “Okay, while I want to ask you a lot of questions, I get that this kind of thing is personal. So I’m gonna stick to the one that matters: have you and Peter been intimate?”

The memory of Peter’s cock on his tongue and hand in his hair flashes through his mind, and he swallows. Honey nods like he’s answered her question. “Okay. You’re going to go home and read the articles I’m going to send you. And then, if you have more questions, you’re going to research, or ask me, okay?”

“Uh?” He doesn’t know what’s going on here.

She rolls her eyes, but it’s mostly for show. “Call it making amends for dropping off the face of the planet like an idiot and not having any backup.”

He nods, because he can get on-board with that. And besides—more information is always a good thing.

 

***

 

The information she sends him is not a good thing.

Yes, okay, it might explain some of Peter’s weird unPeterness, and it definitely explains why dude is so into being a sugar daddy (“I like the power dynamics inherent in this sort of arrangement”), but it does not explain why Stiles reacted the way he did. He’s had sex before, and it’s never been like that. He’s never felt emotionally fragile afterwards, and he definitely never wanted to call his partner “daddy”.

He only gets halfway through the list of articles Honey sent before he’s texting Peter. R u trying to dom me?

Of course not. Relief and disappointment sour his stomach, and before he can figure out which is stronger, another text rolls in. I don’t have to—you fall into it beautifully, sweetheart.

Why didn’t u tell me?

It takes a few minutes before Peter responds to that, and the wait drags, feeling longer. Honestly, I expected you to be somewhat aware of BDSM, curious little thing that you are. And, if you remember, I was upfront from the start: what the rules would be, what you could expect, what I wanted and got out of it. Are you actually upset about what we’re doing, or just by what you’re learning about yourself?

And that is a question he doesn’t want to think about, because he wants to be angry at Peter for being the manipulative jerk Stiles expected him to be all along. It’s why he types, this isn’t who I am, even as he’s grateful Peter isn’t here to smell the emotion bubbling under his skin.

Of course, even over text message, the asshole can’t leave well enough alone. Isn’t it? After everything you’ve been through, you want me to believe that you don’t want someone to make you feel safe, to take care of you for a change? To make you feel good?

His hands shake, because he does. He does, and he hates Peter, just a little, for seeing it. Doesn’t everyone, tho?

To an extent, yes. Not the way you do.

He doesn’t know how to refute that, and desperately wants to prove Peter wrong. It’s just sex.

It’s really not, but I told you right from the beginning, baby: I want you willing or not at all. So you take some time to think about it, do some research, and if you want to be Daddy’s boy—with all the rules and rewards that entails—wear the panties under your slacks for me on Friday.

He stares at his phone screen, unseeing. He has four days to figure this out, and his heart is beating a frantic rhythm against his ribs, because there’s no possible universe where that’s enough time.

 

***

 

He spends three days alternatively panicking and researching, swinging wildly back and forth between what to do. He pulls up Lydia’s number without tapping the call button about fourteen times, because he can’t tell her his sugar daddy is Peter, he can’t, one crisis at a fucking time, thank you very much, which means she’s just going to tell him what she already has. She’ll tell him he’s allowed to enjoy himself, to say no if there’s something he’s not comfortable with, and that there’s no reason not to have sex because he’s already told her there wasn’t.

He can’t talk to Honey, because she doesn’t know the truth about Peter. He can’t ask anyone else, either—he’s on his own this time, and it terrifies him, because he feels like this is a trap. Like no matter what he chooses, it will cost him something he can’t afford to lose. Either he gives Peter a frightening amount of power over him—financially, and he doesn’t even want to think about mentally—or he steps back, and tries to figure out how to survive without the financial support of a sugar daddy, because as much as he hates to admit it, the only options on that front are “Peter” or “no one”.

In a weird way, knowing that he’s screwed either way makes it a little easier. He wakes up on Friday calmer than he’s been since Peter issued the deadline. What’s one more bad idea?

 

Chapter Text

 

He makes it through the office party, and it feels like he doesn’t breathe the whole time they’re there. He knows as soon as they leave, Peter’s going to ask, going to find out what his answer is. Stiles is a little surprised he wasn’t quizzed when Peter picked him up, but they had somewhere to be, and everything he knows about Peter says the guy’s patient when it suits him.

It’s why he’s taken off-guard when Peter backs him up against the car less than a minute after they walk out. He goes willingly, even as his heart starts rabbiting in his chest, made all the faster by the fact that he knows Peter can hear it. His breath hitches when Peter’s hands pluck at his shirt, untucking it as Peter nuzzles at his throat.

“Tell me, Stiles,” he murmurs, hands hot and electrifying as they touch bare skin, “are you ready to be my sweet boy?”

Stiles swallows, exhilarated and terrified as Peter’s hand skates down his lower back to tease at the waistband of his slacks. “You sound pretty sure of yourself. I could say no.” His voice wavers, but he’s proud he manages actual words.

Peter hums against his throat, and he fights not to arch it, bare it to the predator in front of him. “I am. You want to know why?” Before he can answer, the hand at his lower back slips inside his slacks as Peter slots closer, pressing a hip against where he’s half-hard. Peter cups his ass, thumb sweeping over lace. “Because I knew you couldn’t resist, baby. You want to be good, want to be rewarded for everything you do, how hard you work. And you won’t feel selfish letting me give you that, because you know I don’t do anything I don’t want to.”

It’s taking a supreme effort not to rut against Peter’s hip, especially given the A+ groping that’s going on, but they’re in a public parking lot, and anyone who looks too closely will get an eyeful right now, and then there will be cops. And just because he’s not in Beacon Hills anymore and the cop in question won’t be his dad or any of the deputies who helped raise him doesn’t mean he’s eager to deal with awkward questions from a uniform. “Peter,” he whines. “We can’t—not here.”

Peter squeezes one more time before slowing pulling his hand out of the back of Stiles’s pants. His eyes are wolf-bright when he steps away. “In the car, baby. I promised you something if you wore those for me.”

He swallows and obeys, wondering if he’s making the right call. Peter’s quiet the entire drive back his apartment, and Stiles would be freaking out if it weren’t for the hand Peter keeps on his thigh most of the drive. Knowing that Peter want to touch him helps, holds the doubt at bay.

(Well, mostly. He’s not entirely sure what it’ll mean, giving Peter this. He knows it’s gonna come back to bite him in the ass, he just doesn’t know how yet. He thinks he should be more worried about that, more afraid, but he isn’t. He’ll deal with the fallout when it goes nuclear. For now, he’ll enjoy it while he can.)

The quiet continues as he follows Peter out of the car, up the stairs, and inside. He doesn’t know what he expects, but for Peter to draw him into a kiss the second the door clicks shut behind them isn’t it. He’s definitely not complaining though.

He lets Peter lick into his mouth and steer them through the apartment. Stiles assumes they’re heading toward the bedroom, but doesn’t break the kiss to check. It’s heady, having Peter eating at his mouth and sliding supernaturally-warm hands under his clothes, like he just can’t help wanting to touch every inch of Stiles now that he has permission.

And that’s what this is. Permission. Because if it’s damned if you do, damned if you don’t, Stiles figures he may as well enjoy all the carnal delights Peter has to offer on the way to hell.

That’s not to say he doesn’t feel awkward and exposed when Peter breaks the kiss to stare at him. He swallows, knowing what he must look like, with his slacks tented and purple dress shirt untucked, his hair mussed and lips swollen. Never mind what he must smell like to a werewolf’s nose.

Peter’s eyes flicker briefly, the only sign that he’s affected. Stiles will take it. “Strip, baby.”

He blushes, but gets to it, aware of Peter’s gaze on him. He crouches to untie his shoes before toeing them and his socks off. He looks at Peter, sees the missing tie and belt, the rolled up sleeves, and nearly forgets what he was going to ask. The ensuing smirk reminds him. “How, uh. How much am I taking off?” The battle not to blush is one he’s lost, so he’s trying not pay attention to how hot his face feels.

Peter licks his lips, nodding approvingly. “Everything but the panties. Those are for me to take off.”

He doesn’t make a show of it, too jittery to risk fucking it up by falling over. He doesn’t have words for how it feels, standing in nothing but dark blue lace that does nothing to hide his erection in front of Peter, who’s still fully dressed. Business casual, maybe, but dressed.

Peter doesn’t help when he prowls closer, circling and trailing fingertips along Stiles’s skin. “You look exquisite in these, baby. I’m very pleased you wore them.”

Stiles ducks his head, knowing Peter’s referring to more than just the way he looks right now. “You’re, uh, welcome.”

Peter’s hand cracks across his ass, more sound than force, but it still startles a yelp out of him. “You’re welcome, what, Stiles?”

He feels his blush creep down his throat and spread across his chest. “You’re welcome, Daddy.”

Peter’s hand smooths over the flesh he just smacked. “There’s my good boy. Now, I want you to stand still for me while I take care of these.” His fingertips brush over the lace, and the barely-there touch over tingling skin makes Stiles shiver. “You can rest your hands on my shoulders for balance if you need, but otherwise, I’m the one doing the touching right now, understood?”

“Understood, Daddy,” he murmurs, his heart pounding.

“Excellent,” Peter purrs, and then he’s sliding smoothly to his knees and nibbling at Stiles’s hipbone.

He jerks, and he has to brace a hand on Peter’s shoulder so he doesn’t stumble. Peter hums against his skin, and it’s amused, so he lets out a breath and decides to stop worrying. Reminds himself that Peter hasn’t been subtle so far whenever he’s done something Peter wasn’t happy about.

He rolls his bottom lip into his mouth, biting it as he fights not to whimper when Peter sucks up a monstrous hickey through the lace covering his lower belly. It’s so close to his dick that he can feel Peter’s breath making the lace over it moist, and it’s torture. When Peter smirks before running the flat of his tongue up Stiles’s cock, he loses it. “Please,” he whines. “Daddy, please don’t tease me.”

Peter breathes hotly over the damp lace. “The thing is, baby,” he pauses to cup both of Stiles’s cheeks through the lace, “that you’re mine now, and that means I can do whatever I want.”

Stiles chokes on a moan as Peter sucks briefly at the base of his cock through the panties. “If I decide to tease you, keep you on-edge all night long, I can. If I decide I want to milk your pretty cock until you’re coming dry and begging me to stop, I can do that, too.”

Peter moves away from his dick, and he can’t stop the way his hips hitch forward at the loss. He feels tightly-wound, but also like he’s being shaken in a snow globe and might break. “Daddy.”

“Shh, baby. You’re alright. Daddy’s got you.”

And then Peter’s teeth are scraping against his hip as the panties are inched down his left side. He pants at the way the damp silk drags against his dick, but tries to be good. He grips with his other hand when Peter moves, shuffling to the right to peel the lace down. His knees shake as Peter traces one finger down the cleft of his ass to finish pulling the panties off. They puddle on the floor, and he’s about three seconds away from joining them when Peter stands, gripping his hips and walking him backwards.

Peter gives him a little shove when they reach the bed. “On your back, baby.”

He scrambles to obey, and the way Peter’s eyes go hooded makes his cock throb. He starts leaking when Peter climbs on after him, hands pushing his thighs open until they start to burn with the stretch. Peter’s voice is low, on the edge of a growl when he says, “You can fight my hold all you like, even pull my hair if you need to, but I’m going to make you come. It won’t be quick.”

“Okay,” he whispers, because what else can he do?

The forearm across his torso is the only reason he doesn’t immediately thrust into Peter’s mouth, because after the building anticipation at the office party, and the drive here, and the teasing, he doesn’t have much self-control. He’d be ashamed, except Peter seems to expect it—he’s held down, legs held open by a hand on his inner thigh as Peter bobs slowly. He’s desperate to come, but he can’t. The tropical heat of Peter’s mouth is heavenly, but it’s not enough—there’s no suction, no tongue, just Peter methodically taking more and more of Stiles’s cock into his mouth with every downward bob.

He twists his hands in the sheets, needing something to hold onto. He needs to come. Preferably before he goes insane.

And then Peter starts sucking, and he thinks he yells. He definitely sees stars. His thighs tense, trying to squeeze, but can’t close with Peter holding them open. He starts to babble—plead—because this is too much sensation, but it’s not enough, and he can’t, he can’t

“Shh, baby. You can do this for me. I know you can,” Peter murmurs between open-mouthed kisses against his hips, stubble grazing his cock and making him hiss. “Give me your hand.”

He doesn’t think, just unclenches his fist from the bedding, and holds it out. Peter guides it to his hair. “This’ll be easier for you if you hold onto me.”

Surprisingly, he’s right. When he’s holding Peter, blunt nails scraping against the werewolf’s scalp and twisting in the thick hair, it is easier. He’s still desperate, still whining as Peter starts working him over with tongue, and he needs to come more than ever, but he loses the brittle feeling.

Luckily, Peter seems to be in a benevolent mood, because he isn’t left on-edge much longer. He feels the breath punch out of him as Peter suckles the head of his cock, tongue flittering over sensitive flesh and kick-starting his orgasm, before swallowing him all the way down to the base. He holds Stiles there, throat working to swallow as Stiles comes hard enough to see stars. Peter slides up slowly, drawing out his orgasm until his whines take on a distressed edge.

His bones have almost definitely turned to rubber by the time Peter lets him go, legs falling open on the bed. He lies there panting, trying to enjoy the warm satiation pooling in his limbs. He’s surprised to feel Peter stroking his hair. “How’re you feeling, baby?”

He looks up at Peter with hazy eyes. “Everythin’s s’awesome,” he slurs.

“Good. You tell me if that changes, alright?”

He hums, agreeing. He’s glad Peter’s keeping close, likes the way he’s being petted and coddled. But then the bed dips, and he realizes that Peter’s hard. From this, from sucking him off. He peels his eyes open. “What about you?”

Peter gives him an odd little smile and moves so that his clothed erection isn’t poking Stiles in the hip. “My focus is on you right now.”

And that, that’s great, makes him feel warm in a way he thinks he might be embarrassed about later, but it’s not perfect. This, this thing is supposed to be about Peter. Him too, but not . . . not one-sided. He read things. The more he thinks about it, the more he loses the warm feeling. “You—you too.”

Peter presses close, breathing hotly against his neck, scenting him. “Oh, sweet boy. You’re the sort that’s eager to please, aren’t you?”

He whines, arching against Peter. “Wanna make you feel good.”

Peter tugs at his hair, tipping his head back and baring his throat. He moans when Peter nips at the exposed curve. “That something you need, baby? You need to know you’ve pleased your Daddy, made me feel good?”

His brain is fogged, and he knows it, but he still knows himself. Knows how important it’s always been for him to make sure his partners are satisfied. “Yeah.”

A pleased rumble rolls through Peter’s chest. “You’re so sweet for me, baby. I’m going to take such good care of you.” He mewls, the warm feeling back, but also sharp, somehow. “Alright, baby. I’m going to come, going to use your lax little body for my pleasure, and you’re going to let me.”

He feels a flash of arousal, and wonders if he’ll get hard again. “Please, Daddy. Whatever you want.”

Peter’s eyes flash, there and gone in an instant. “Be careful what you offer me, sweetheart. I’m a selfish man.”

He whines. “Lemme make you come?”

Peter’s eyes search his face before he smirks. “Oh, you will.” And then Peter’s getting up, moving him around so he’s sprawled on his back with his head hanging over the edge of the bed. Peter lets out a shaky breath, hand splaying over Stiles’s belly.

And then he’s unzipping his suit pants to pull his cock out and feed it between Stiles’s lips.

He moans as the taste of pre-come bursts across his tongue, but it’s cut off when Peter pushes into his throat. He doesn’t know if it’s the position or the fact that he’s still come-drunk, but he’s grateful he doesn’t gag. He can’t see Peter with his face buried in the soft material of the suit pants, but it’s okay. It feels safe, like he’s hiding.

“So perfect for me, baby,” Peter pants. He can’t help the noise he makes, at that. “Showing your belly and letting your Daddy use you.” Peter’s claws drag across his stomach, and it would tickle if it didn’t send a thrill up his spine. He feels the claws retract as Peter’s hand moves up to cup his throat. “Can’t wait to work your pretty ass open, make you come on my cock.”

He whines at the thought of what Peter would feel like splitting him open. It’s a little scary. He wants it anyway.

“I’d make it good for you, sweetheart. I’ll make you feel so good, now that you let me.” Peter’s hips are rocking faster, and he tries to suck harder, wanting Peter to come, and he gets a rattling groan for his effort. “Your mouth was made for this, baby. Made for Daddy’s cock, fuck.”

He can feel Peter’s thighs shake, and he grips the backs of them, humming, knowing Peter’s close. It’s less than a minute later when Peter gasps, shooting down his throat before pulling back slightly, and he swallows as best he can upside-down.

He doesn’t know what he expects, but Peter kneeling to kiss him breathless isn’t it. Still, he’s happy to share come-flavoured kisses, especially when Peter’s running gentle hands over every inch of him within reach. He sinks into it, basks in the attention, and wonders if the heaviness in his limbs, the sensation that his muscles are cooked noodles, is the result of his spectacular orgasm, or what he suspects might have been subspace.

He decides to mull on that later, content to let Peter manhandle him some more until they’re spooning, Peter plastered to his back. It’s nice, and he feels good, if a little tired, and he thinks he dozes for a while. It’s not real sleep, not with Peter’s fingertips trailing lightly across his skin, but it’s peaceful and he whines when Peter says it’s time to move.

“Come on, sweet boy. You won’t thank me tomorrow if I let you sleep without getting cleaned up first.”

Stiles grumbles a little, even though he knows Peter’s right. “Don’t wanna, though.”

Peter hums, dropping kisses on his cheek, shoulder, knuckles. “Not even if I get in with you?”

He cracks an eye open, flopping over on his back. He’s still not sold, but he’s curious. “’m listening.”

Peter chuckles. “Think about it. We could soak in the tub for a little bit, nice and warm and still cuddled together as we get ready for bed.”

He doesn’t want to admit how much how likes the sound of that. “Yeah, okay.”

“Excellent.” Peter kisses his forehead, and then heads to the bathroom. Stiles doesn’t move as he hears the water rushing through the pipes. He’s still riding his relaxed high, though he feels less dazed now. He’s aware enough to appreciate the sight of Peter stripping unselfconsciously, and doesn’t respond to the smirk he gets.

Dude can be as smug as he wants. He’s got every right to be.

He takes the offered hand, lets Peter pull him up and herd him into the bathroom. It’s not until he’s settled between Peter’s legs, leaning back against the broad chest as gentle hands run a wet washcloth over his skin that it hits him—he’s happy.

He’s honestly happy, in that deep, content-with-life kind of way. And it’s because of Peter. Because a former killer is paying him to be arm candy.

He swallows, but doesn’t say anything. This—his brain is still swimming in endorphins. In a day or two, he’ll be able to look at it clearly, realize that developing feelings for Peter Hale, of all people, is laughable. For now, he’ll just ride out the post-coital high and get a good night’s sleep in Peter’s outrageously comfortable bed, and trust that everything will make sense in the morning.

 

Chapter Text

 

Things don’t make sense in the morning. He still gets that warm feeling whenever Peter looks at him, and he has to remind himself not to panic. If he hit subspace, then a couple days of heightened emotions are normal, and this is just the massive dump of endorphins talking.

But, three days, later, he can’t deny it anymore—he’s happy, and it all goes back to Peter. To the fact that he’s able to sleep and eat and study without constantly stressing about his finances and how he’s gonna pay for his next meal. To the way he gets to dress up to go trolling with Peter, which is more fun than it has any right to be. To the fact that Peter is acting like he genuinely cares about Stiles’s well-being, and isn’t just a convenient source of kinky sex. Peter even gave him pointers on his last essay, which helped him scrape an A. All because Stiles was freaking out over it being worth a third of his final grade.

He takes a deep breath, and decides that he’s giving himself permission to be happy with the state of his life. Lydia and Peter have both told him that he’s allowed to enjoy this, that it’s his health and happiness that matter, so fuck it, he’ll be happy. As long as he keeps a tight grip on reality and doesn’t develop any inappropriate feelings, he’ll be fine.

He just has to remember what this isn’t.

 

***

 

He’s relieved and grateful when he’s able to quit the last of his side-jobs. He’s still at the student bookstore, but his hours have been scaled back because the demand has slowed now that they’re firmly in the middle of the semester. It means he can focus on his own classes, and sleeping, and spending time with Peter.

He tells himself that he’s allowed to be grateful that things are calmer, that he has less to worry about. That things are better because Peter’s in his life. Gratitude is normal, it’s an appropriate response.

Everything’s fine.

 

***

 

When his dad asks, he says he’s mostly staying at college for spring break. “I’m still gonna come down and visit for a few days, but I want to take the chance to get ahead on my reading. The second half of the semester is scarier than a full moon, and this might be my only chance to get ahead.”

His dad chuckles. “As long as I still get to see you, son. It’s been almost quiet around here without you, and we can’t have that.”

He huffs. “I don’t like what you’re implying, officer.”

“That’s ‘Dad’ or ‘Sheriff’ to you, you little delinquent.”

 

***

 

Peter doesn’t ask. Not really. He just wants to know if Stiles is available over spring break to be arm candy. He seems to expect the answer to be “no”.

“Nah, I’m staying here. Campus will be a ghost town, which means I can try to get ahead in my classes, catch up on sleep, all that jazz.” He’s fiddling with the drawstring of his sweats, glad Peter called and can’t see or smell his nervousness.

“Of course. But does it also mean I get you to myself? Sharing you with the unworthy masses has grown old rather quickly.”

He laughs. “Is that any way to talk about your colleagues and clients?”

“In earshot? Absolutely not. But that doesn’t answer my question, does it, sweet boy?”

His heart skips a beat, then starts sprinting. “No, it doesn’t, Daddy.” There’s silence, and he knows it’s because Peter wants an answer. He swallows. “You can have me to yourself, if you want.”

“Oh, I want, baby.” Peter sounds pleased. “The real question is if you do. Do you like the sound of that? Of getting you all to myself, here in my apartment where you can be as loud as you want while I take my time with you?”

He’s too eager to worry about being judged for how quickly the, “Yes,” tumbles out of his mouth.

Luckily, Peter’s responding chuckle is fond rather than mocking. “Well, you know you’re always welcome here, so come over whenever you’re ready to have Daddy spoil you.”

He stops for a minute, determined not to let his dick do his thinking for him. But, really, there’s no point in playing hard to get. “Tomorrow? Please?”

“Of course, sweetheart. What time?”

 

***

 

The first time Peter works him open and pushes inside, everything stops for a moment and Stiles almost believes in God. He thinks he cries. He knows he begs. He lets Peter do whatever he wants, and doesn’t think he’s ever come so hard.

(But the best part is after—when Peter’s holding him and cleaning him up, and later feeding him before holding him some more. He tells himself that it’s just instincts, pack, Peter being a responsible Dom, but that doesn’t dim the bright, fragile feeling in his chest.)

 

***

 

When they sit down to go over the first credit card statement, he’s jittery with nerves. He knows it’s ridiculous, Peter’s rules are practical and easy to follow, but he is. Peter smiles and scans the statement.

“This, here, the twenty-three dollars at 157th Grange—”

Stiles looks at where Peter’s pointing. “Had dinner out that night, at the Polish place. Dunno why the address is listed instead of the name, but that’s what it was.”

Peter nods.  “Everything else here looks good, and you spent less than your allowance.”

He ducks his head. “I mean, I wanted to have the cushion if something happened again. Learned that one the hard way.”

“Look at me, baby.”

He does, and Peter’s hand cups the back of his neck. “While I’m proud of your ability to budget and think ahead, you have me. I’m here to take care of you. Understand?”

Heat bursts in his chest and colours his cheeks. “Yes, Daddy.”

Peter gives him something between the usual smirk and a genuine smile. “That’s my good boy.”

The amount of pride and affection in Peter’s voice makes his breath catch, and he realizes that he’s in Very Serious Trouble.

 

***

 

His first thought is to call Lydia. She’ll help him figure out how to fix this, no question. But then he realizes that there’s no way to get her help without telling her the problem, and he’s not able to face the judgement she’ll unleash. For withholding important information, for agreeing to let Peter be his sugar daddy, for doing the stupidest thing imaginable and developing feelings for Peter goddamn Hale.

He stops and breathes, wrestling with the panic trying to cloud his brain. He can handle this. He can. He just needs to remember that this is a business arrangement for Peter—that dude’s getting sex and companionship and pack in exchange for money.

(He doesn’t let himself think about what he’s getting from Peter. That’s how he wound up in this mess in the first place.)

 

***

 

Stiles realizes he’s bad at feelings. Specifically, at not having them. He thought he’d grown out of his tendency to obsess when he stopped pining after Lydia, but apparently not.

Which is a problem, in that there’s no good way to deal with them. He can’t watch the power of Peter’s love bring someone back from the dead, he can't talk about it with Scott or his dad or even Lydia, and he's pretty sure that if he tries to use his college's counselling services, he’ll wind up having the deal with the police, because this whole situation sounds shady as hell even if it is mostly legal.

(He's pretty sure it's on the right side of the law, but it's likely a grey zone. He's not completely sure Peter wouldn't get charged with something, even if it didn't stick. Although, given that dude’s a lawyer, it might just be him facing disciplinary action.)

Which leaves him scrambling to deal with his inappropriate feelings while also having to regularly interact with the object of said feelings. Of course. Because nothing in his life can ever be easy.

He tells himself that he just needs time. Once he’s not dependent on Peter anymore, he can get some space, and things will be different. The semester is almost over. Peter obviously won’t expect him to be available over summer break, and that gives him a whole three months of reality check while he works his ass off to make sure he doesn’t end up right back in this situation next year. It’ll be fine, he’s got it under control.

 

***

 

He hisses as he lifts his arm, twisting so he can see his reflection better. There’s nothing there, really, except for the beginnings of what will be spectacular bruising. He’s the kind of all-over sore that comes from tangling with the supernatural randomly appearing where it shouldn’t, at the worst possible time.

Like the middle of campus at three o’clock in the afternoon, so there are maximum witnesses to the weirdness.

But whatever—he dealt with it, his classmates aren’t traumatized, he’s not significantly worse for wear, and he made it back in time to get ready for the work dinner he’s supposed to accompany Peter to. Which is gonna suck, but his face is fine, and everything else will be covered up by the clothes he’s been told to wear. He hits the shower first, and then shuffles back to his room to get dressed. He’s moving as slow as he dares, being as gentle with himself as he can now, because he won’t have the luxury later. He’ll be busy playing Besotted Boyfriend

It’s why he’s still not ready when Peter texts, saying he’s in the car. Waiting.

He curses, and finishes buttoning his waistcoat. He texts Peter that he’s still a few minutes off from being ready to leave. He expects his phone to blow up with increasingly-snarky texts about his timing, so he ignores it when it buzzes, focussing on trying to style his hair.

All his focus is on getting ready without moving his arm too much, which is why he flinches at the unexpected knock on his door, swearing when the movement causes pain to flare in his side. He opens his door, ready to be a surly asshole and send whoever it is packing, but he doesn’t know what to say when he sees Peter. “Uh. Hi? I would’ve been down in like, two minutes.”

Peter gives him a look, but says nothing, sliding past him and into his room. Once the door is closed, he immediately pins Stiles with a pointed look. “What’s wrong?”

He huffs. “Dude, I lose track of time on a regular basis, running a few minutes behind isn’t indicative of something wrong. Lemme get my shoes and we can go, Jesus.”

Peter’s hand wraps around his wrist, fingers overlapping with the ring of bruising hiding beneath the sleeve of his dress shirt. He manages to control his face, and doesn’t swear, but it doesn’t matter. The burst of pain in his scent gives him away. Peter lets go to unbutton his cuff, rolling it up, and stills when he sees the blue finger-marks on Stiles’s forearm.

When he speaks, Peter’s voice is dangerously soft. “Who put those there?”

He’s quiet for a long moment. Probably too long. His incident is likely to wind up internet-famous, and he doesn’t want to be mocked for it. He also doesn’t want Peter to think he’s cheating, because Stilinskis are too faithful for that, but he really doesn’t want to admit to Peter that he’s been faithful, is faithful. It would give away too much.

He settles on, “There, uh. May have been a bit of an incident today.”

A muscle ticks in Peter’s jaw. “What happened?”

“It’s not really—”

“What happened, Stiles?”

He swallows. That’s the tone he gets when Peter’s “Daddy” and is about to unleash unpleasant consequences on his disobedient ass. He stares at his feet. “Apparently, the whole possession thing had some unforeseen consequences, one of which caught up to me today. In the form of a Valkyrie trying to carry me off to Valhalla?”

Peter’s voice is tight, his tone even. “Valhalla is the afterlife for warriors.”

His guts feel like they’re twisting. “Yeah, which is pretty ridiculous, I’m obviously not a—”

“I’m a little more concerned with the fact that you were confused for dead, sweetheart.”

He feels a little better with Peter’s hand cupping the back of his neck. “Well, y’know. Nogitsune was a copy of me, so. Clerical error?”

Peter’s grip tightens as he lets out a slow breath. In a weird way, knowing he’s upset over it makes Stiles feel better about the whole debacle.

But then Peter looks him in the eye and asks, “Are you injured?” and fuck his life, because he cannot handle the concern being directed at him. He shrugs. “Stiles.”

“Not really?”

Peter takes a step back and pinches the bridge of his nose. When he looks up, his eyes are flinty. “Let’s try that again. Are you injured?”

He gnaws on his lip, wondering if there’s a way to avoid answering. Peter waits him out. Eventually he admits, “I don’t think there’s anything serious, but my left side is killing me.”

Peter takes his hand, veins briefly turning black as his expression sours. “As lovely as you look all dressed up, you should probably get into something comfortable.”

“What?” 

Peter rolls his eyes before unbuttoning Stiles’s waistcoat. “That level of pain is indicative of something more serious than just bruises.” His tone is soothing as he works on stripping Stiles out of his dress shirt next. “We’re heading to Urgent Care, and sweats will do just fine for that.”

Stiles wonders when, exactly, he fell down a rabbit hole. “Your dinner?”

Peter’s lips purse when he gets Stiles shirtless. “I can reschedule with a client. You can’t be replaced if you throw a clot because you’re bleeding internally.”

He doesn’t know what to say to that, so he stays quiet as Peter helps him into a comfortable pair of sweats and zip-up hoodie. The walk down to the car and drive to Urgent Care is also silent, because Stiles is frantically double-checking his health insurance coverage on his phone, hoping that he won’t actually have to pay for this.

(No such luck. Fucking deductibles.)

At least he has the info handy for filling out forms. Joy. They park, and check-in quickly. Stiles sits down with Peter and the clipboard, but can’t make himself focus long enough to fill out the paperwork.

Peter wraps an arm around him, dropping a kiss on his temple. “Give that here, sweetheart. I’ll take care of it.”

Which is sweet, but—“I need to give my info, even if this isn’t actually covered.”

Peter huffs, carding a hand through his hair. “What part of ‘I’ll take care of it’ did you not understand?”

The implication takes a moment to process, because he’s tired and in pain and that cannot mean what he thinks it does. “Are you saying that you’re going to pay for this?”

Peter leans his forehead against Stiles’s hair. “Of course, baby. You’re mine.”

He hands over his phone and the clipboard, dazed. Peter said it like it’s a simple truth, and not a world-rocking statement. Like Stiles is important to him. Beyond their arrangement, beyond even being packmates.

It’s the only thing on his mind as they wait, as he answers the nurse’s questions, as they wait some more for an x-ray. Now that he’s thought it, it keeps echoing in his brain, a possibility that—no matter how wildly unlikely—demands consideration. He tries to figure out how to ask while he’s being irradiated, but he can’t come up with anything that doesn’t sound stupid or insecure.

Because this is Peter, and if he’s wrong, if he shows his hand and Peter’s doesn’t match, well. He can only imagine the ways in which his life will get uncomfortable.

It’s why he stays quiet, letting Peter wrap an arm around him and pet him absently as they wait for the doctor to come in and deliver the verdict. He barely hears what’s said, lost in thought, but he’s paying enough attention to understand his injuries are nothing serious. He gets a prescription for painkillers, and Peter asks some more questions, but Stiles’s brain is elsewhere and he doesn’t think there’s enough Adderall in the world to make him focus on anything else right now.

After the doctor leaves, Peter takes his hand and pulls him to his feet. “You didn’t take in a word of that.”

His lip twitches, and he almost smiles. Trust Peter to know when he’s distracted. “Nope.”

Peter tuts, but his expression is fond. “It’s a good thing you have me, then. Come on. We’re stopping by the pharmacy, and then we’re going home—you need rest, and I know better than to think you’ll get it if I’m not keeping an eye on you.”

He’s so caught up in the possibility that Peter cares about him, about when Peter’s apartment became their home, about feelings he really shouldn’t have, that he blurts, “You really do care about me?”

Peter’s brows pinch, his hand coming up to cradle Stiles’s cheek. “Of course I do, sweetheart. Why would you think otherwise?”

 

Chapter Text

 

He’s so stunned that he opens and closes his mouth twice before managing to get actual words out. “Because you’ve been paying me?”

Peter’s jaw ticks as he clenches his teeth, but he takes a slow breath before speaking. When he does, his voice is carefully even. “We’re going to have a long talk tomorrow, sort out whatever backwards assumptions you may have made about me and what this is between us, but for right now, you’re going to let me take care of you. Understood?”

Stiles ducks his head, nodding. When there’s no response, he realizes Peter wants his words. “Yes, Daddy,” he whispers.

“Good boy.” Peter’s hand clasps the back of his neck, squeezing once before letting go. “Now, let’s get out of here.”

The hand Peter holds out for him to take shouldn’t make relief—light and sweet like soda—bubble up inside him, but it does. He slips his fingers into Peter’s, and lets himself be led out of the clinic.

 

***

 

He wakes up the next morning, and for a moment, he doesn’t remember where he is. Then he catches the smell of Peter on the sheets, and he remembers.

He gets out of bed carefully, because moving is painful, and when he sees what time it is, he starts to panic. It’s Friday, his class starts in fifteen—

“Calm down, sweetheart.”

He turns to see Peter in the doorway. “I have class, I’m going to be late—”

Peter shakes his head. “You’re taking today to rest, because you need it and your health is more important. But before you work yourself into a panic, first things first: breakfast and meds.”

He’s nodding and following Peter before he’s consciously decided to. He’s uneasy in a way he can’t quite name, so he uses the excuse of coffee, toast, and eggs to keep quiet. It’s not until Peter’s handing him his Adderall and painkillers that he remembers what happened last night. What he said.

His heart skips a beat before beginning to pound erratically. Peter gives him a sharp look, so he takes as deep a breath as he can manage and starts rambling. “So, I’ll need to get in touch with my prof about missing class—and I really, really wish I’d gotten a doctor’s note while we were there last night—and email Jenn about getting notes from today. Although, the upside is that at least I only have one class today, so it could be worse, I guess.”

Peter’s expression is amused. “Mm. I did get a doctor’s note for you from the clinic, which should make things easier going forward, and there’s no rush to contact your friend about notes—she won’t have taken them yet.”

“True. And, uh, thanks for getting the doctor’s note.” Another thought occurs to him. “Shit, I need to call my dad. He’ll need to know about this, but oh my god, I do not want a lecture.” He drops his head onto Peter’s breakfast bar. “Fuck, fuck, fuck.”

A hand cards through his hair. “I’ve already called him, so he knows. He wants to talk to you, but you should be able to sidestep at least some unpleasantness.”

He sits up so fast he nearly gives himself whiplash, dislodging Peter’s hand on the process. “Wait. You talked to my dad? Why? That might have been the worst idea you ever had, and yes, I’m including biting Scott.”

Peter quirks an eyebrow. “I don’t know. Perhaps I contacted him because his son, whom I happen to care about, was injured and unable to call himself? Or perhaps I was hoping to shock him into a cardiac event, deposing the Sheriff in step one of my diabolical plot to take over Beacon Hills.” He gives Stiles a dry look.

Stiles ducks his head, flushing, hoping to avoid the topic of Peter and feelings. “Hey, weirder things have happened. You don’t wanna be taken for a Disney villain, maybe you shouldn’t act like one.”

“Stiles, we need to talk.”

He shakes his head, and leans away from the counter. “Nope, no we don’t. Nothing good ever follows those words.”

Before he can make his escape, however, Peter’s cupping his jaw, and turning him to meet those blue, blue eyes. “Stiles.”

He closes his eyes, deflating. “Fine. Let’s get this over with.”

Peter’s thumb strokes his cheek. “Sweet boy, tell me what’s going on in that head of yours.”

“Do I have to?” It’s a token protest, and he doesn’t open his eyes to see whatever look Peter gives him for it. “I just—I grew feelings, okay? And I know it’s stupid, that this is—okay, it’s not just a business arrangement for you, because I’m pack, and this whole,” he flaps a hand at Peter, “sugar daddy thing is about sating pack instincts, but I know I somehow ended up in inappropriate territory, alright? I know. I’ve been trying to deal with it.” He drags a hand over his face, before opening his eyes. “I don’t exactly know how it happened, but I’m sorry.”

Peter’s expression is soft, and that—he doesn’t know how to deal with that. He doesn’t want to hurt Peter, doesn’t want this to be any more painful than it has to be, but he’s more than a little scared about what’s gonna happen, because there’s a reason he got tangled up with Peter in the first place and that reason hasn’t disappeared. Before he can get too lost in his building anxiety spiral, Peter tuts.

“I thought I was clear with you. I’m not sure whether I overestimated your intelligence, or underestimated your self-esteem.” Stiles squawks, but Peter goes on. “So let me be clear now,” he pauses, and Stiles holds his breath. “You are mine. My packmate, my companion, my boy. Of course I care for you.”

Stiles hears what isn't said, and the relief has him listing sideways until he’s slumped against Peter, resting his head on a broad shoulder. “Really?”

“I told you, I’ve always liked you, Stiles.”

And well, yeah, he did, but. “Okay, I just. Those feelings I mentioned? They, uh. Might be deep?”

Stiles refuses to put a name to them. This is insane enough already.

Peter cups the back of his head. “It’s natural, baby. The bond between a Dom and their sub is intense. It’s a very intimate relationship.”

He hadn’t thought of it that way. “So it’s—it’s just the sex?” For some reason, that thought makes him feel cold and hollow.

“No, sweetheart. It’s not just sex—sex is intimate, yes, but what we’ve been doing is more than that. And, even if you weren’t my sweet boy, we’re still pack. All of that makes this . . . visceral.”

It’s a lot to take in. “So, what does that mean? What now?”

Peter turns to kiss his forehead. “That’s up to you, sweetheart.”

 

***

 

He spends the rest of the day and another night with Peter, but they don’t talk. Not about anything important. Instead, they’re mostly quiet, sharing food and the couch as they watch TV. He hates how much he loves it, how comfortable and warm it is and probably shouldn’t be.

Saturday, he reluctantly convinces Peter to take him back to his dorm. He has class, and things he has to get done before Monday. Peter’s not happy about it, but drops him off anyway.

Of course, once alone, Stiles thinks about all the things he didn’t want a werewolf sniffer picking up on, because privacy is a wonderful thing, thank you very much. He tries to distract himself for about half an hour with some course reading, but it doesn’t work. He’s not retaining the words on the page. He needs to work this out, and the only person he trusts to help him with that is also the person with the most reason to punish him right now.

Lydia.

So, yeah. He’s about three seconds away from full-blown panic when he taps the icon to call her, but he does, in fact, tap it, which is what counts. She picks up on the third ring. “Stiles? What in the actual hell is going on that you’re calling me on a Saturday this close to finals?”

Whoops. “So sorry, Lyds, I’ll be sure to schedule my next breakdown at a more convenient time.”

If he’d hoped the snark would put her at ease, he was wrong. Her voice turns sharp. “Tell me exactly what’s going on right now, or so help me, I will make you suffer.”

He winces, because her threats aren’t idle. “It’s the sugar daddy,” he blurts.

She pauses. “Okay. What’s happened that you’re calling me about it? You said you had it handled.”

He swallows, cheeks heating with embarrassment. “So, uh. It turns out that I got stupid, and developed feelings.”

“Oh, honey.”

He pretends not to hear the sympathy. “And, like, I know that that’s stupid and inappropriate and not what he signed up for, but like. Apparently he has feelings too?”

There’s a long moment where neither of them speak. “You’re telling me that you both have feelings for each other, correct?” He grunts an affirmative. “You’ve both verbally acknowledged that you have feelings for each other?” He grunts again, tamping down annoyance. “Okay, and? What’s the problem here?”

He takes a deep breath and is unspeakably grateful she’s several hours away. “Um. My sugar daddy might be Peter. As in Hale. From Beacon Hills.”

There’s a long pause, and his lungs squeeze in panic as the silence drags. Before he can beg her to say something, anything, she finally speaks. “I don’t even know what to say to you right now. I can’t believe you didn’t tell me.”

He shuts his eyes. “I’m sorry, it’s just—”

“Did you not trust me enough to tell me? Or were you stupid enough to think I’m too delicate to talk about Peter? You do realize I’ve had actual interactions with him since he rose from the grave, right?”

And fuck, fuck, that isn’t what he thought at all. “It wasn’t that I don’t trust you or thought you needed protection, I just—”

“You just what?”

“I was scared, okay?”

That stops her cold, and when she speaks again, her voice is quieter, deliberately soft. “What were you afraid of, Stiles?”

He sighs. “Of what you’d think of me, alright?”

“Oh,” she breathes. “You were ashamed.”

This time, he’s the one who’s silent. Finally, he unsticks his tongue and mumbles, “Maybe.”

She sighs, sounding tired. “Have you been otherwise honest with me about the state of things between the two of you?”

“Yes?” He draws it out, making it a question he doesn’t have words for.

“You weren’t worried about his control? He wasn’t pressuring you for more than you wanted to give sexually? He didn’t intimidate or manipulate you?”

“What? No!” He’s so shocked—by the questions, the very idea of Peter trying to do that to him now, of lying to her—that he half-yells. “Sorry.”

She huffs an almost-laugh. “Then, from what you’ve told me? There isn’t really a reason not to give a relationship with him a shot.”

“What? Lydia, are you high right now? You promised me after the thing with the mushrooms you weren’t gonna try new drugs if I wasn’t there to keep an eye on you.”

“No, you moron.” He smiles a little, almost able to hear her rolling her eyes. “But, just. Think about it. I know that Peter has a bad history, one that makes all of us wary of him. But, from everything you’ve told me, he’s been good to you, and you’ve enjoyed spending time with him. The fact that he’s someone you’ve known a number of years, that he knows about the supernatural and what you’ve been through—and vice versa—actually,” she pauses, snorting. “I hate to say it, but it actually makes the two of you a good match.”

“I do not believe what I’m hearing right now. Who are you, and what have you done with Lydia Martin?”

“Just shut up and listen for a second.”

He nods, then remembers she can’t see it. She seems to take his silence as obedience anyhow, and he has a moment to think that he’s been very well trained before she goes on. “I will never like Peter. I don’t know if I can ever forgive him for what he did to me, but that doesn’t mean I don’t understand why he did it. He’s kind of fucked up, and the world has fucked him over, but the thing about having survived Beacon Hills is that that’s going to be true for all of us. We’ve all done things that would make your average civilian run screaming. We’ve all been affected by what’s happened to us, and made questionable choices as a result.”

“Questionable choices? Really?”

“Granted, some Peter’s choices were more questionable than others.”

He rubs his eyebrow. “That seems like an understatement.” She hums, but doesn’t speak. “So you really—you think I should go for it?”

“Stiles, you were in a really bad place when you called me in February. You needed help, and he gave it to you. Not for free, but he was decent about it. He gave you what you needed, and you’ve been happier lately.”

He decides to shelve that for now. “I don’t know what I’m gonna tell people.”

“Isn’t it a little early for that?”

He huffs because, technically, yes, but also: werewolves. If he goes home for the summer smelling like Peter, the jig will be up. “You honestly think this is something that I can keep a secret?”

After a long moment, she says, “Probably not.” He very politely doesn’t say I told you so. “Look, I understand why you’re hesitant, so if you want, I’ll tell the pack. You’ll still have to explain it, because they will definitely have questions, but if pass on the news, they’ll have time to get a handle on themselves before you have to deal with the Inquisition.”

“You’d really do that for me?” He’s not going to cry. He’s not.

“Mhm. But you’re telling your dad.”

And, well. That’s fair. “I don’t deserve you.”

“We’ll have to agree to disagree on that.” He can hear her smile in her voice. “Oh, and Stiles?”

“Yeah?”

“Let Peter know that if something happens to you on his watch, he’d better hope Scott or Derek get to him before I do.”

He laughs wetly. “Will do.”

 

***

 

He figures that, before he calls his dad and risks giving his old man a heart attack, he should probably make sure that he and Peter are doing this. Lydia agreed, so here he is, trying to will his heart to calm the fuck down as he rides the elevator up to Peter’s apartment.

He’s let in and waved through immediately, and he doesn’t stop to think about what that means. Instead he sits at the dining table, needing some space between them. If Peter touches him right now, he doesn’t know what he’ll do, but they need to talk. So—of course—he freezes.

After an unbearable amount of time, Peter breaks the silence. “Say what you came here to say, baby.”

Hearing the pet name makes the tension bleed out of his shoulders. “Okay, so you know how you said that what happens now is up to me?”

Peter nods slowly. “Yes.”

“I, um. I want to try? A relationship, I mean. I just—I don’t know what that would mean, with you, because of,” he stops, gesturing between them.

Understanding lights Peter’s face. “You’re worried about what it means for our arrangement.”

Stiles shifts uncomfortably. “Yeah, I mean. I don’t want you to think that I’m just with you for the money, because I’m not, but—” he has to take a deep breath, because he can feel his cheeks heating. “But if you suddenly decided to stop giving me a monthly allowance, I’d be in trouble.”

He’s looking down, picking at his cuticles, so he starts when Peter touches his forearm. “I’m not going to stop providing for you, sweetheart. I like doing it, remember?”

He licks his lips. “I remember. I just don’t know if it’s because you like the power it gives you over me, or because I’m pack.”

Peter tilts his head. “It can’t be both?”

“You realize how scary that sounds, right? Like, that is fear-for-your-safety levels of scary.”

Peter dips his chin, humming. “What about it is frightening, darling?”

“Uh, how dependent that makes me on you?” His hands ball up on the table, and he has to work to unclench them.

Peter leans back in his chair, studying Stiles for a long moment. “Being independent matters to you that much?”

“Yeah, well, when you say it like that, of course it sounds dumb.” He rolls his bottom lip into his mouth, nibbling on it as he tries to figure out how to put it into words. “I mean, I’m used to being independent. The idea of not being independent feels weird, and not in a good way. But mostly it’s—I need to know that I have the option to walk away, if I need to. I don’t wanna feel like I have to choose between staying with you or being able to eat.”

“I can understand that.” He gives Peter a look, because he really doesn’t think rich lawyer dude does, but Peter goes on before he can comment. “However, if that’s a major concern for you, I can offer you a severance package, of sorts.”

His eyebrows are climbing his forehead, but—“I’m listening.”

“I would write you a cheque for, say, three thousand dollars. You would keep it, and cash it after you and I . . . ended,” he finishes delicately.

Stiles swallows, his mouth suddenly dry. “That’s—that’s a lot of money, Peter.”

“It is, but if we split, you would need new living arrangements, and that money would ensure you could find somewhere decent. It would also ensure you weren’t financially distressed immediately upon leaving me.”

He can feel his pulse in his fingertips. What he’s hearing is hard to believe. “Okay, uh, leaving aside how incredibly generous that is, what do you mean by ‘living arrangements’?”

“I mean you would be living with me.”

His mouth falls open, and his brain shuts down. “What? I just. What?”

Peter sighs, and gives a little smirk. Like what he said was obvious. “Stiles, if I’m financially supporting you as your romantic partner rather than within our current arrangement, the best way to do so is to have you move in with me.”

“You want me to move in?” This is surreal. This is officially weirder than werewolves.

Peter tilts his head, considering. “Not right away, of course. It would probably be best for you to finish out the semester in your dorm, and spend a few nights a week here with me over the summer before moving in at the start of your sophomore year.”

“That sounds bizarrely reasonable.”

Peter huffs. “I do that from time to time. If you’re concerned about specifics, we can do what we did at the beginning of our arrangement and sit down to hash it all out, get it on paper. But is there anything else that you need to know, or need to tell me, that’s a determining factor?”

And, now that Peter mentions it, yeah. There is. “So, the whole—the daddy thing, does it—”

Peter cups his cheek, lips tilted into the smallest of smiles. “Yes, sweetheart. I’ll still be your Daddy, and you’ll be my baby. That was never down to our arrangement. It’s just what I like, and what you happen to like, too.”

He can feel the skin under Peter’s hand go hot. “I never said that.”

Peter quirks an eyebrow. “You didn’t have to.” Peter pulls away with a sigh. “Of course, if you’re going to be living with me, then that will change things.”

“How? I’ll call you ‘Daddy’ when we bang, and you’re gonna call me ‘baby’. What changes?”

Peter shakes his head. “I know you’ve done more research than that by now, and if you haven’t, that’s a separate conversation. But this isn’t something I can simply turn off. Our arrangement let me provide for you, and part of that is pack instinct. But part of it is caring for you because you’re mine, and you need it. Neither of those things will change once you’re living with me, but the fact that we have a pre-established power dynamic creates the potential for,” Peter pauses, searching for the right word, but Stiles is nodding, his mind filling in the blanks.

If it’s hard to say “no” to Peter when he feels all fuzzy around the edges, and he can’t go to his dorm for some time alone to sort out his thoughts, then yeah, they might run into problems. Weirdly enough, having it pointed out now makes him feel better about what Peter’s proposing. “Okay, yeah. I see what you mean. So, how’re we gonna do this?”

Peter smiles, and Stiles doesn’t think he’s imagining the pride in it.

 

***

 

The end of the semester—and his freshman year, Jesus—flies by in a frenzy of papers, studying, finals, and spending time with Peter. He's still arm-candy, but mostly they figure their shit out. He keeps Lydia updated, as per her demands, and she doesn't say anything to anyone yet, as per his. He wants to feel good about him and Peter before having to deal with invasive questions and judgement and attempts to break them up.

(And okay, granted, that last one isn't super-likely, but he wouldn't put it past Scott to try. So he's playing it safe.)

But while they've figured out as much as they can for now—Stiles will pay ridiculously low rent to Peter once he moves in, because it’ll give him the same protections as any other tenant, and he’ll keep his job at the bookstore so he has money of his own, and they’ve worked out a tentative set of rules for how the kinky shit will work that they'll test-drive during his visits over the summer—there’s no good way to explain how they got together. Telling the truth is pretty much out of the question. Scott will inadvertently call him a prostitute, Derek will probably try to kill Peter again, and his dad . . .

Yeah, what the hell he's gonna tell his dad is probably the biggest problem. And he’s so frustrated with himself for waiting so long, because now it’s 2am on the Thursday before he’s supposed to go back for the summer, and he’s crying on Peter’s couch. He’s not even trying to think about what to tell his dad anymore, he just feels bad that it’s so hard. It shouldn’t be this hard.

Peter pads down the hall a few minutes later. He doesn’t say anything, doesn’t reprimand Stiles for waking him or crying or not coming to him. He just sits, pulling Stiles against his bare chest.

“S-sorry.”

Peter’s hand rubs soothingly up and down his back, as he mumbles, “You’re alright. I’m here, baby. Daddy’s got you.”

And that, that makes him cry harder, because it’s exactly what he wants to hear but not from the person he desperately wants to hear it from.

 

***

 

The next day, he decides to get it over with and calls his dad. It goes as expected. The Sheriff swears, Stiles isn’t allowed to, they argue, his dad hangs up angry. Stiles knows that the next time they talk, it’ll be calmer, more reasonable. But right now he’s still shaking from all the things he didn’t say, so he puts his phone on silent, and finds Peter.

“Daddy? I—I think I need to go down. Just for a little while.”

Peter nods, setting his book aside and pulling Stiles into his lap. “Whatever you need. Did you have something specific in mind?”

He shakes his head, nuzzling Peter’s shoulder. “I don’t—I just wanna feel good for a while.”

“I can give you that.”

He ends up over Peter’s knee, a silicone plug nudging his prostate every time Peter’s palm connects with his backside. They haven’t done this before, but it’s exactly what he needs right now. It’s just him and Peter and the way everything feels soft and warm. Peter spanks him again, and he moans a little, melting into the bed.

“That’s it, sweet boy. You’re taking it so well for me.”

He whines, arching, and lets himself drift away in a haze of sensation.