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Classic - A Book Which People Praise And Don't Read

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It’s 8.30 in the morning, the bookshop has been open for exactly 30 minutes and Peter is already arguing with a customer.

 

“Three dollars is too expensive for this,” The customer says, handing a slightly battered copy of John Irving’s Until I Find You to Peter, who’s reclining in his desk chair (which happens to be a very comfortable wingback). The customer is male, eggshell white, balding and looks like his idea of good read is the back pages of a gardening magazine. 

 

“And what would you suggest?” Peter asks scornfully, slamming his coffee mug onto his desk with more force than intended, causing the pencil pot to rattle.

 

“Well I was thinking two dollars,” The customer says cheerily. He’s sweating which Peter finds disgusting.

 

Because three dollars is just naked profiteering for a book of a mere.” Peter checks the back of the book. “822 pages long. What'll I do with that extra dollar? I'll add another acre to the grounds. I'll chuck a few more koi carp into my piano shaped pond. No, I’ve got it; I'll build a lavish wing on the Beacon Hills Memorial Hospital with my name on it.”

 

“Two fifty?” The customer inquires; ignoring Peter’s biting sarcasm and trying to school his expression into something friendly and approachable. Peter is unimpressed.

 

“Fine,” Peter says exasperatedly, snatching the book back as the customer hands over the money. “Two fifty gets you this much.”  Peter rips out the last quarter of the book viciously, shoves it into a drawer and hands the rest back to the bewildered customer. “You can come back and collect the rest when you have the other 50 cents.”

 

“H-h-hold on a s-s-second,” The customer stammers. Peter hits the bell on his desk, it’s shrill ring cutting off the customer’s complaints.

 

“Thank you and goodbye,” Peter snaps, his tone final. The customer splutters but sensing Peter’s wrath chooses to wander away out of the shop, faintly bemused and mildly angry.

 

Peter takes a sip of bitter coffee, quietly seething and not for the first time, regretting his coerced decision to open a bookshop. He should have just hoarded them like he was planning to and not listened to his stupid nephew. Peter lounges back in his chair, puts his feet up on the desk and pulls his red leather accounts book towards him. It’s not something he wants to do, he detests doing the accounts but Derek will be breathing down his neck like a particularly vicious dog. Peter will always lament the fact that Derek has taken it upon himself to act as Peter’s moral compass. Laura left Beacon Hills to be a lawyer in L.A, Cora became an Olympic Champion for the decathlon, but Derek stayed in Beacon Hills, an aspiring writer and Peter’s irritating roommate slash conscience.

 

Derek clatters down the spiral staircase in the corner of the shop floor. It leads up to the apartment that Peter tastefully decorated and Derek ruined with homey touches like scatter cushions and Netflix. Derek is in sweatpants and a t-shirt declaring himself alumni of Harvard. He meanders over to the desk, yawning widely and carrying a chipped mug of tea.

 

“Morning,” Derek says sleepily.

 

“So you’ve decided to grace me with your presence,” Peter retorts dryly, “And your latest strumpet, will she be joining us?”

 

“Leave Braeden alone,” Derek replies, leaning over Peter’s shoulder to read the accounts book.  “She’s nice.”

 

“Oh she’s nice is she?” Peter says, “Does she play the violin? Does she do needlepoint? Is she kind to the servants?”

 

Derek elects to ignore him, sipping his tea and running a finger along the page, noting the recent takings, which are next to nothing.

 

“You need to actually sell books you know,” Derek says pointedly.

 

“You need to actually finish writing one,” Peter replies. Derek glares but says nothing. Peter counts that as a win. The staircase rattles as Braeden comes down it, her high-heeled boots clicking against the metal. She’s pretty, Peter supposes, eyes raking across her. Not his type but certainly aesthetically pleasing. The sunlight streaming through the window bounces off the Beacon Hills Deputy badge that is pinned to her shirt.

 

“I’ll see you later Derek,” Braeden says cheerfully, “Work calls.” She waves her phone in way of an explanation. Derek places his mug on Peter’s desk. Peter promptly removes it and places a coaster on the desk before replacing it. Only he is allowed to place unwarranted items on his desk that might leave a mark.

 

“No worries, we’ll talk later after your shift,” Derek says, “This is my Uncle Peter by the way.”

 

Braeden smiles brightly. Peter nods his head in a way that could be interpreted as cold. Derek looks at Peter with an exasperated expression. Peter isn’t going to be friendly to any of the women Derek brings back to the apartment. He remembers Kate. In vivid detail. Peter elects to watch with narrowed eyes as Derek walks Braeden to the shop door. They kiss in the doorway, sweet and slow. Peter pretends to be violently sick onto the floor. Neither Braeden nor Derek notices.

 

Once Braeden has gone, Derek returns to the apartment but not before he’s berated Peter for not selling enough books. Peter ignores him and instructs him to return with coffee. Derek refuses. Such is life.

 

 

2.30 pm sees the return of Peter’s regulars, Erica Reyes, who delivers baked goods from her bakery down the street in return for a shop discount, and Boyd, her tax accountant boyfriend.

 

“I come bearing gifts of brownies,” Erica sings as she enters the shop, the bell ringing above her.

 

“Deposit them on the desk, pick a book and leave,” Peter replies, licking his finger and flicking the page of his book. Erica gives a long-suffering sigh but looks at Peter affectionately. Boyd just stands there, omnipresent and laconic. Peter always feels like Boyd is silently judging him. It sets his teeth on edge. Erica pulls a chair up to Peter’s desk, scraping it along the hard wood floor. Peter grits his teeth. The box of brownies lands on the desk with a soft flump. Peter observes the box suspiciously, carefully opening it and peering inside. Satisfied, Peter allows Erica to remain in the shop; even going so far as to let Erica sit on Boyd’s lap.

 

“I believe,” Erica, says, filing her nails, which Peter very much didn’t allow, “I’ve found your perfect partner.”

 

“Excuse me,” Peter says, reaching under the desk to retrieve the red wine bottle and glass he’s been sipping from before the door opened and he’s hurriedly hidden it to avoid looking like an alcoholic. He should have moved to France instead of opening a bookshop so he could have gotten away with drinking at 2.30 in the afternoon. He pours himself a glass while Erica continues.

 

“His name is Stiles, we went to high school together,” Erica says matter-of-factly, “Now he’s a new professor at Beacon Hills Uni; he teaches mythology. Figured you’d have something in common.”

 

“How could we possibly have something in common?” Peter inquires, “He’s young like yourselves, and your youth offends me. Furthermore stop filing your nails.”

 

Boyd snorts. Erica raises her eyebrows but does put the nail file in her pretentious but fake Prada bag, although she’s finished filing her nails so the instruction is pointless.

 

“Anyway I gave him the shop address,” Erica says, examining her nails carefully, “So maybe he’ll stop by. Brown hair, skinny, amber doe eyes and probably dressed in ironic t-shirts and skinny jeans.”

 

Peter pours himself more red wine; the scarlet liquid cascades into the glass looking a lot like blood. There is something satisfying about watching a large wine glass fill up. Peter sips his drink thoughtfully, pretending to listen to Erica while she recounts various facts about Stiles and attempts to convince Peter that Stiles is an ideal significant other for him.

 

“Oh stop would you,” Peter eventually says. Erica doesn’t listen. She never does. Erica Reyes is a law unto herself.

 

“You should meet him,” Erica insists, “A blind date. Or maybe we lead Stiles in here and leave you guys alone. What do you think?”

 

“Oh, I don’t know,” Peter, says loftily, “Blind date, thrown together alone, it’s an impossible decision. I’ll just have to pray that when I flip a coin it magically explodes and kills me.”

 

Boyd cracks up with laughter, much to Erica’s displeasure. She frowns angrily at the two men although Peter remains nonplussed. He has developed an immunity to Erica’s rage filled glares; he no longer feels the need to please her in order to avoid her wrath. He leans back in his chair, puts his feet on the desk and smirks smugly at Erica over the rim of his wine glass.

 

“You’ll see,” Erica says, her voice taking a strange almost wise tone, “You’ll like him and you won’t be able to help it. Stiles has that affect.” Boyd nods sagely at this statement.

 

“Unlikely,” Peter replies, pouring the last of the red wine into his glass as Derek patters down the stairs, newspaper in his left hand and neon pink highlighter in his right. He stops to lean on the banister, circles something in the newspaper then continues down the stairs. Derek has elected to stay in his sweatpants and the Harvard t-shirt. Peter hopes Derek has at least showered. They have a nice shower that Peter designed himself. Derek could have the decency to at least use it.

 

“Erica, Boyd,” Derek says, nodding to both of them. His orange flip-flops clack obnoxiously on the hardwood floors as he wanders over. Derek frowns at Peter’s feet on the desk then proceeds to push them off. Peter sighs dramatically. Derek slaps the paper on the desk and points to a job advert, circled in highlighter.

 

“Yes nephew,” Peter says, feigning ignorance.

 

“I can see where this is going,” Erica says excitedly, leaning forward in anticipation.

 

“We’re leaving,” Boyd says decisively. Erica whines but Boyd practically carries her to the threshold of the shop. Erica waves over Boyd’s shoulder as they leave.

 

“Remember, if Stiles comes in,” Erica calls, “Introduce yourself and don’t be an asshole. Or at least, less of an asshole.”

 

The door clicks shut behind them. All that’s left is a befuddled Derek still pointing at the neon pink job advert and Peter, who is hunting around in a desk draw for the box of licquorice torpedoes he has hidden there.

 

“Stiles?” Derek enquires.

 

“Not important,” Peter replies, head essentially in the desk draw now. “So you’re getting a proper job?”

 

“Writing is a proper job,” Derek snaps, “Your business relies on it.”

 

“You’re not a writer Derek, you have failed to write anything of note,” Peter says, head popping up, and expression full of suspicion. “Did you move my torpedoes?”

 

“Not important,” Derek retorts, rather childishly in Peter’s opinion, “It’s part time in a vet clinic, couple of hours of week. Receptionist stuff mostly.”

 

Peter stands up abruptly, eyes narrowed. He walks round the desk and hunts around the shop, searching behind shelves and under the display tables. Derek is still speaking but Peter has long stopped listening. He abhors it when Derek hides his sweets because he’s quote ‘eating too many’ and ‘they’re bad for your teeth’ unquote. Peter drops to his knees beneath the bookcase under the window, feeling around the back to where he used to hide Erica’s baked goods before Derek complained to Erica that he never got any and she unleashed her wrath upon him.

 

“So should I take it?” Derek’s voice cuts back into Peter’s train of thought. Peter flicks his head round. Derek is shuffling from foot to foot, biting his bottom lip and looking at Peter expectantly. Peter considers the pros of Derek actually working instead of pretending to write on his laptop and bugging him. Peter gets to his feet, dusting off his jeans before walking back to where Derek is standing.

 

“Take it,” Peter says, placing a hand on Derek’s shoulder and smiling brightly, “Now mind the shop, I’m going out.”

 

Peter taps Derek on the cheek affectionately, spins on his heel and grabs his coat on the way out deliberately ignoring Derek’s warning about the side effects of sugar on his teeth.

 

 

When Erika’s high-school-buddy-turned-professor-friend Stiles stumbles into the shop for the first time, Peter is restocking shelves, teetering on a ladder, muttering to himself about Austen and her bloody Mr. Darcy and therefore doesn’t notice.  He barely registers the fact the shop bell rings, too absorbed in slamming copies of Pride and Prejudice onto the shelves next to the spiral staircase.

 

“Err, Hello,” a voice enquires. Peter’s head snaps round, the ladder shakes dangerously but Peter remains upon it, still shoving Pride and Prejudice books into the only available space. The guy standing at the foot of the ladder has his eyebrows raised quizzically.

 

“Does Austen require that much abuse?” the guy asks. He’s looking up from underneath long lashes, eyes liquid gold; which is some feat considering he’s wearing square, black glasses.

 

“The classics are classics because they changed the style of literature for the next generation,” Peter retorts smoothly, “Not because they’re particularly good.” Another copy is shoved into the last remaining gap.

 

“Touché,” the guy says, shrugging, “Wasn’t it Mark Twain who said that Classics were books that people praise and don’t read.”

 

Peter tilts his head, staring at this person, who can’t be more than twenty-seven, with eyes like a baby deer and pale skin scattered with moles, and considers him curiously. It’s been a while since he’s had a proper conversation about the merits of classical literature; Derek lacks the knowledge, too buried in failing to write his debut novel; Erica and Boyd only come into the shop to steal his wine and dispense baked goods.

 

“So um…” the guys says, scratching the back of his head, tousling his chestnut hair, “Do you have a specific mythology section or?”

 

It all clicks into place then, as Peter takes in the red plaid shirt, black t-shirt with the words ‘kick ass, go to space, represent the human race’ scrawled across it with a picture of the Starship Enterprise underneath that; the tight grey skinny jeans and as Erica so eloquently said ‘amber doe eyes’. Peter sighs internally.

 

“Third shelf on the right of the front door,” Peter replies, flicking his wrist as a gesture. He climbs down the ladder, unnerved by the fact that the guy (who he assumes is Stiles) hasn’t moved. Apparently because Stiles was checking out Peter’s ass; his head snaps up when Peter turns to face him. Stiles skin does color beautifully.

 

“Can I help you?” Peter asks pointedly. Stiles mouth drops open, he gulps for air like a particularly dense fish. He stumbles away, almost knocking over a table display of historical literature in his haste. Grace is clearly not Stiles forte. He’s certainly attractive Peter thinks objectively, returning to his desk so he can lounge in his desk chair suggestively.

 

Stiles is buried in a large tome but Peter notices that amber eyes keep flickering up to look at him. Peter sips a glass of wine, reading Frankenstein but observing Stiles surreptitiously. He supposes he can see the aesthetic value of Stiles; he is delicious. Remove a few layers and well, Stiles is downright gorgeous. There’s muscle definition hidden beneath the sea of plaid. Peter runs a finger around the rim of the empty wine glass, gazing at Stiles with fascination, being completely blunt about it. Stiles sadly disappears behind the shelf which means Peter has to actually do his job instead of staring at Stiles indecently.

 

Peter goes back to restocking the shelves, quoting the blurbs of certain ones in a mocking voice under his breath. He hates Austen, why is she so irritatingly popular? Mr. Darcy isn’t the broody anti-hero everybody thinks he is. He’s Derek. If women want to date Mr. Darcy they should talk to Derek for five minutes. That would get rid of their illusions of grandeur.

 

“Who’s Derek?” Stiles asks; cutting into Peter’s angry monologue that Peter assumed was internal. Peter turns his head to face him; Stiles is holding a few textbooks in his hands, leaning against a display table and has clearly been staring at Peter’s ass. Peter relishes in the fact that he decided to wear criminally tight jeans today and a particularly low V-neck.

 

“My conscious,” Peter deadpans.

 

“So your metaphorical Jiminy Cricket is called Derek? And he resembles Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice?” Stiles expression is disbelieving.

 

“He’s Mr. Darcy if Mr. Darcy had a beard and was a failed writer,” Peter replies, wandering over to the desk and the cash register. Stiles trails after him, tone still quizzical.

 

“You’ve personified your conscious?” Stiles sounds doubtful but also pleasantly amused.

 

“No,” Peter replies, taking the books from Stiles hands and scanning the barcodes. They’re various mythologies, ranging from Norse to Japanese to Mexican. Clearly the mythology professor likes to do his research.

 

“So you haven’t personified your conscious yet he appears to be a failed writer with a beard and acts like Mr. Darcy?” Stiles says. His arms are crossed across his chest and he’s smiling cheekily. “Sounds pretty personified to me.”

 

“He’s my nephew,” Peter responds, putting the books into a brown paper bag, “$35.00 please.”

 

“Your nephew?” Stiles asks, tone still skeptical, as he reached into his back pocket to retrieve his wallet. It’s covered in Marvel Superheroes; the color is faded from use.

 

“My nephew, the bearded failed writer who has a personality like Mr. Darcy and lives with me,” Peter says, accepting the money and exchanging it for the books. The brown paper crackles when Stiles takes it like stepping on crisp autumn leaves. “He acts like my moral compass.”

 

Derek chooses this moment to clatter down the spiral staircases, pulling a shoe on with one hand and trying to shove toast in his mouth with the other.

 

“Speak of the devil,” Peter mutters. Derek’s skin is flushed and he appears to be having an internal breakdown. He keeps adjusting the cuffs of his shirt and checking his hair in the mirror hanging on the wall beside the staircase. Stiles glances at Peter before goggling at Derek in mild awe.

 

“Nephew,” Peter says, saccharine sweet, “What are you doing?”

 

“Job Interview,” Derek answers through a mouthful of toast. He swallows before continuing. “Vet clinic, I told you.” Peter shrugs nonchalantly. To be fair to Derek, he probably did tell Peter. Peter usually just tunes him out until Derek becomes white noise.

 

“The Vet Clinic owned by Scott McCall?” Stiles enquires.

 

“Yes,” Derek responds slowly, unsure of what to do with this information.

 

“Don’t worry about it man,” Stiles says, “Literally nobody has applied and he’s swamped. He’ll totally hire you.”

 

This statement instantly cheers Derek. He smiles and his eyes crinkle in a way that most people would swoon for. Peter has seen it in action. It appears to charm Stiles, who winks at Derek and says:

 

“Hey, if Scott doesn’t hire you then I’ll use my powers of persuasion to make him.”

 

“That’s really nice of you.” My god, Peter might actually be sick. So much for Stiles intelligence if he’s charmed by Derek of all people. Derek who is, genetically, a cul-de-sac. He realizes the irony of this statement, given the fact that they share genetics but Peter has always felt that he’s more of a mansion, beautifully decorated and extremely well maintained. Returning to the present, Peter is not past ignoring the both of them as they chatter irritatingly. He stalks off to restock the military history section and ignores the niggling idea that he saw potential in Stiles.

 

 

 

“It went awfully,” Stiles moans, head pressed against his desk in an attempt to shield it from Erica’s glare. His glasses are pressing into his face painfully but he doesn’t care.

 

“I know it did,” Erica retorts, lifting Stiles head up so he has to face her indignation. “You flirted with Derek and I had to deal with Peter’s smug smirk when he confirmed that I was wrong about you being perfect for him.”

 

“In my defense,” Stiles declares, batting Erica’s hands away, “Derek looked like he was about to have a heart attack at the prospect of meeting Scott. I was trying to be nice.”

 

Erica seethes, her rage curling around the tiny office making her seem huge and terror inducing. Stiles cowers in his crappy desk chair which is in danger of giving way and begins to pray to every deity known to man that Erica doesn’t smite him on the spot.

 

“Stilinski you are so, so…” Erica is at a loss for words she’s so furious. She paces the miniscule office, clearly thinking hard. “When I come up with a suitable derogatory adjective, you’ll know the extent of my fury.”

 

“Erica, perhaps setting me up is not a good idea,” Stiles suggests gingerly.

 

“We are not quitting,” Erica threatens, waving a finger at him as she paces. Her nails are sharp like knives and blood red, which right now is definitely ominous.

 

“I’m a quitter,” Stiles whines, “I come from a long line of quitters. It’s amazing I’m here at all.”

 

Erica ignores him. Stiles slumps in his desk chair, it creeks sinisterly so Stiles sits bolt upright again. He hates having this tiny office, with its dangerous desk chair and slanted shelves. Seriously how did they get away with putting up shelves that aren’t even straight? His books are in small mountains all over the floor, which is fatal to someone like him who is an expert in flailing. It’s probably also treacherous for any visiting students but Stiles isn’t going to be wholly responsible for them. They choose to visit him in this hovel.  Whilst he’s complained to the faculty numerous times there has been no progress. He’s stuck in this poor excuse for a office until one of the older member of the faculty dies. Not that he’d wish death upon a fellow professor but Professor Hawthorn is getting on in years and should have retired by now.

 

“You’re going to seduce Peter.” Erica’s voice cuts through Stiles self-pity, as does the sound of her hands hitting the desk. Stiles later denies the fact that he jumped at the noise and slid off the chair onto the scratchy carpet.

 

“Erica it’s a lost cause,” Stiles grumbles. “You know I can’t seduce anyone.” Erica smirks from her position on high.

 

“Relax,” Erica coos soothingly. It is in no way soothing to Stiles already fraught nerves. “I’ve got a plan. But we may need you to Skype Lydia.”

 

Stiles pales at the thought.

 

 

 

Derek snatches the Australian White Wine Bottle off of the kitchen table and puts it back in the fridge much to Peter’s displeasure.

 

“It’s Friday night,” Derek states, leaning against the black marble counter, one ankle crossed over the other. He’s folded his arms and knitted those particularly thick eyebrows, suggesting that he’s about to lecture Peter.

 

“Well done Derek,” Peter gripes sarcastically, “It was Friday night last week, it'll be Friday night next week and every week until we're dead and even then the whole rotten business will go on and on and on.”

 

“Come out with us,” Derek says. His arms remain folded over his chest but at least the eyebrows have stopped being co-dependent on his forehead.

 

“Us?” Peter enquires, seeking clarification.

 

“Braeden and myself,” Derek says, “It’s to celebrate my new job.”

 

“Your part time job?” Peter clarifies, leaning back in his chair. It’s not the wingback downstairs but he can still lounge somewhat successfully. Derek’s eyebrows reunite but only to convey his mild annoyance.

 

“Would you please come out with us?” It feels more like an order than a request.

 

“And if I refuse,” Peter replies, folding his fingers together so that he can lean on them and look up at Derek with a playful expression.

 

“Erica will withdraw all baked goods. Permanently,” Derek retorts, uncrossing his ankles so that he’s standing properly. Peter weighs the pros and cons of the statement. He certainly doesn’t need Erica’s vast array of fattening treats; they’re not essential to his life. However Erica can be vindictive when she doesn’t get her way.

 

“Where are we going?” Peter asks, pushing back his chair to stand.

 

“Jungle.”

 

Peter’s lip curls.

 

 

Stiles hates the women in his life. He abhors each and every one of them. He will never understand how they have so much influence over his life. It’s despicable. He cannot escape them; they’ve invaded his studio apartment like parasites.

 

“Do you have anything that isn’t plaid?” Erica berates from deep inside Stiles wardrobe.

 

“No,” Stiles responds sourly. He glares moodily at Boyd who is sitting at the tiny desk and has been silent throughout this whole ordeal.

 

“Find those red jeans I bought him,” Lydia barks from the laptop, a fancy hotel in France as her backdrop. Jackson occasionally wanders into view. It will always make Stiles cackle with glee that Jackson became the trophy husband in the Lydia/Jackson relationship. He’s such a good trophy husband. Stiles has told him so.

 

“These ones?” Erica asks, showing a pair of ridiculously tight scarlet jeans to Lydia. Stiles doesn’t even remember owning those jeans, much less that Lydia bought them. How the hell did Erica even find them? Stiles doesn’t remember bringing them with him when he moved into this apartment. Whilst deep in contemplation (a word which here means confusion) he misses the entire conversation between Erica and Lydia. The jeans get thrown at his head with orders that they be put upon his body. He begrudgingly does.

 

“Twirl for us,” Erica sings gleefully.

 

“I’m not a doll,” Stiles snaps. Boyd snorts. Stiles glowers in Boyd’s direction in the attempt to convey his contempt for this entire debacle. Stiles begins to panic that he’ll lose all circulation in legs.

 

“Turn around Stiles so I can asses the fit,” Lydia orders, emphasizing the word fit somewhat viciously. Jackson saunters about in the background, dressed only in boxers that look to be made of silk.

 

“Tell Jackson to go away,” Stiles retorts, “No one else needs to be subject to this brutal humiliation at my expense.”

 

Jackson smirks in the jackass way of his but does leave. Stiles twirls like a five year old showing off their new clothes to an array of family members and feels utterly objectified. What did he do in his past life to deserve this?

 

“Keep the jeans, ditch the shirt,” Lydia concludes, “Make him wear something tight to show off what little muscle he has developed.”

 

“I resent that,” Stiles mutters. Once this is over and they actually make it to Jungle, he’s going to obliterate the part of the brain that retains memory with alcohol.

 

“The shirt on the left,” Lydia barks, “The left! And make sure he wears contact lenses.”

 

Stiles is going to order the largest, most alcoholic drink they have and drown himself in it.

 

 

Peter stands at the bar, surveying the crowd critically.  Braeden and Derek are dancing together quite happily to some trashy pop song. Peter point blank refuses to admit that his foot is tapping along to the pounding beat. That would be more flesh and blood than he could stand.

 

Jungle is exceptionally alive tonight. Bodies grinding, sweat dripping, voices gasping. Peter casts his eyes over every potential partner, from the buxom blonde in the corner who’s sipping from an elaborate pink cocktail to the muscular man grinding a few feat away from him. The man looks like he’s ready to fuck but he’s a bit too photo-shopped for Peter’s tastes. Peter likes lithe boys with pretty pink lips and big innocent eyes.

 

Speaking of lithe boys, Peter spots one, in the middle of the crowd. Tight white t-shirt and even tighter red jeans. The boy throws his head back, showing over his neck. A neck that should be marked up preferably by Peter. Peter stalks the boy like a predator, slinking through the crowd until he’s behind him. Hands grip the boys’ waist; Peter pulls the boy flush against his chest and they’re hips begin moving in time.

 

“What’s a beautiful boy like you, doing in a place like this?” Peter asks, running his lip against the shell of the boy’s ear. The boy gasps, evidently feeling Peter’s arousal. Peter is not above grinding harder to get his point across.

 

“Supposed to be seducing someone,” The boy says, hand reaching up to grip the back of Peter’s neck.  “Got a feeling that it’s you.”

 

Peter growls at that, pressing gentle kisses to the boy’s neck. He wants to mark that delicate skin, Peter bets it bruises so prettily. Peter runs a hand along the skin beneath the boy’s tight t-shirt. It’s soft beneath his fingers, soft and sensitive. Peter’s kisses become more insistent, more demanding. Teeth rake across delectable skin. Peter tastes sweat and the spicy scent of cinnamon curls around him.

 

 

Stiles grinds the straw of his drink between his teeth. He finished it moments ago but the straw is providing stress relief at this current time. Erica and Boyd have wandered off to make out in some dark corner, leaving Stiles alone at the bar watching Peter Hale grind against some twenty-something in tight jeans that must be cutting off circulation to his groin. It’s not like he’s desperate to do anything with Peter Hale; the guy is clearly an asshole. Stiles slumps against the bar, regretting his life choices. It’s not like he wanted to come clubbing in the first place, it’s hardly an establishment of good decisions, nor the place to build foundations for a strong healthy relationship.

 

Erica collapses into the bar stool next to him, giggling incessantly. Her blonde hair is damp with sweat; it’s starting to stick to her face while her silver body glitter is starting to flake away.

 

“Boyd’s gone to the restroom. Are you having fun?” She yells over the pounding beat. Its not even music, it’s just an endless thump that rattles Stiles bones and makes his head ache. Also who approved the strobe lighting?

 

“No,” Stiles replies grumpily, gesturing to Peter who has moved onto attacking the twenty-something’s neck. Erica rolls her eyes and then shrugs as if to say what-can-you-do. It’s not comforting.

 

“We’ll find you someone better,” Erica shouts, scanning the bar. She points to a tall Spanish girl with short dark hair and full lips, ordering drinks a few seats down. “What about her?”

 

“I don’t know,” Stiles says, tapping the damaged straw against the alcohol-stained bar.

 

“Want me to introduce you?” Erica asks, “Want me to tell her you have six nipples?”

 

“No,” Stiles replies, smirking at Erica briefly, “It’ll be better coming from me.”

 

He wanders up to the girl, Erica’s witch cackle of a laugh ringing in his ears as well as the unrelenting force of the music. The girl was leaning on the bar, so when she stands, she’s much taller than Stiles imagined. He decides to just go for it, leaning against the bar and smiling.

 

“Hi.” The girl turns to face him, eyes surveying him slightly suspiciously.

 

“Hello,” She replies.

 

“Wow nice teeth,” Stiles blurts. He mentally slaps himself before continuing, “Can I buy you this drink?”

 

“Thank-you,” The girl says, accepting the drink from the bartender and walking away. Stiles splutters, feeling the money being snatched from his hand by a smug bartender. Erica comes up behind Stiles, placing a supportive hand on his shoulder.

 

“Do you want to go?” She yells. Boyd is fighting his way over to them through the crowd of alcohol-inhibited dancers. They’d have to be drunk to dance like that Stiles thinks bitterly.

 

“Yeah, please,” Stiles, shouts back.  He’s going to bed and he’s never getting up ever again.

 

 

 

Stiles wakes up to the smell of fresh coffee, bacon, and the sound of Allison and Scott bickering affectionately in the kitchen. He groans, rolls over and promptly falls out of the bed onto the floor. His face is smushed into the scratchy carpet that will more than likely rip his skin off if he tries to rub his face against it. His eyes are closed. He knows if he opens them he will feel the full pain of leaving his contact lenses in. They already feel like they’ve been glued to his eyeballs.

 

“I don’t think they are right or left handed.” Scott’s voice drifts into the room through the crack round the doorframe, “They’re just dogs.”

 

Stiles flails slightly, managing to smack his head against the bedside cabinet before actually standing. He wraps his duvet around him like a blanket then wanders into the kitchen, the natural light blinding him. Opening his eyes was the worst decision ever, he can barely see. He notes that Allison dressed in tight gym clothes, is dishing up plates of bacon to Scott and Boyd, the sound of the shower indicating where Erica is.

 

“Morning,” Scott says brightly. It sounds like jackhammer shattering Stiles skull but he manages a smile. It feels more like a grimace.

 

“How did I even get here?” Stiles asks, his voice incredulous but grating. He sags into the kitchen table chair, duvet pooling around him like a cloak. He proceeds to remove the contact lenses from his eyes with some difficulty, ignoring the disgusted groans of his friends.

 

“We went to that bar on 23rd Street,” Boyd says, glass of orange juice in his left hand, almost raised to his lips, “After Jungle of course. You protested but Erica made us. You had four vodka and red bulls, three rum and cokes, threw up twice, almost got in a bar fight and you were in no fit state to make it back to your own apartment so we brought you to ours.”

 

“Who’d I get in a bar fight with?” Stiles asks as Allison places a plate of bacon and a tall glass of orange juice in front of him. Boyd shrugs, taking a long sip from his glass. Stiles begins to nibble on his bacon mournfully.

 

“Well I’m off to my yoga class,” Allison says, kissing the top of Scott’s head, “I’ll see you later.”

 

Stiles waves half-heartedly, concentrating on chewing his bacon in a way that doesn’t make his jaw ache. The soft click of the front door follows Allison’s departure. The pattering noise of the shower stops.

 

“Remind me to never consume alcohol again,” Stiles laments, finishing his bacon. He pushes the plate away before using the table as a makeshift pillow. It is hard, cold and uncomfortable but Stiles is dying therefore doesn’t care. The contact lenses seem to have liquidized upon the table.

 

“Jeez woman up Stilinski,” Erica says, sitting gracefully in the empty chair besides Stiles. She has a towel on her head in that strange wrap pattern that all women seem to know how to do.  Amazingly she doesn’t look half dead but that’s because Erica is a lucky bitch who never gets a hangover. Stiles groans into the table. His headache pounds viciously.

 

“Leave me here to die,” Stiles whines, closing his eyes to block out the light. “Or just kill me. Kill me and scatter my ashes over Jungle as a warning to all those who enter.”

 

“Sorry buddy,” Scott says, slapping a hand on Stiles shoulder as he passes. Stiles wasn’t aware Scott stood up. “There’s a Rottweiler who’s scheduled for minor surgery today and there’s no way that Isaac wants to do that alone.”

 

“Isaac is a whiny man child,” Stiles grips.

 

“What does that make you?” Boyd asks. Stiles gives Boyd the finger.

 

“I have to open the bakery soon,” Erica says, bustling away to the room she and Boyd share. “When you’ve finished being a pity party, remember you have Japanese Mythology papers to grade.”

 

Stiles mimes shooting himself in the head.

 

 

Peter leans back in his desk chair, perusing the complete works of Freud he’s just been given. They’re in good condition certainly, leather bound and not a page out of place. They’re also complete tripe but if this customer wants them then they must be sold. Peter sighs internally because now his inner voice is starting to sound suspiciously like Derek.

 

“Are they real leather?” The customer asks. He oozes money and influence like a particularly nasty odor.

 

“They’re real Freud,” Peter replies smoothly.

 

“I have to know if they’re real leather because they have to go with the sofa,” the customer replies haughtily. Peter isn’t even going to pretend to understand that sentence. 

 

“Everything else in my house is real,” The customer, continues, ignoring Peter’s confusion, “I’ll give you two hundred for them.”

 

“Fine,” Peter retorts, bagging the Freud and accepting the money. The customer looks very pleased and Peter is $200 richer so he’s not going to point out that the books are faux leather. He wouldn’t want to burst that bubble. He goes back to his glass of white wine and his copy of Lolita.

 

The shop bell tinkles. Peter looks up and smirks to himself. Stiles, haggard looking, has walked in, bags under his eyes and his glasses slightly askew. The boy looks incredibly wired, as if he’s just woken up and consumed six cups of coffee before venturing outside. His brown leather satchel is fit to burst with papers; Peter notes the few that are spilling out, scribbled over in bright red pen. Stiles meanders over to the mythology section, muttering to himself. It is most odd although given Stiles disheveled appearance it seems fitting. Stiles has mismatching socks and his shirt is inside out for goodness sake.

 

After half an hour, Peter goes to check on Stiles. Stiles has made a nest of books in the mythology section, frantically flicking through several at a time, a pen in his mouth and his hand. He’s muttering around the pen like the mad homeless man who shouts at people by the community pool.

 

“Stiles,” Peter says gingerly. Stiles eyes snap up to Peter. One is twitching. Stiles removes the pen from his mouth, brandishing it like a makeshift sword.

 

“Yes,” Stiles says waspishly.

 

“Are you alright?” Peter asks, “Only I just don’t want to have to remove your body from the shop when you eventually crash and burn.”

 

“I’m fine,” Stiles retorts, “Perfectly fine. Fantastic. Wonderful. Great.”

 

“I don’t need you to act like a thesaurus,” Peter cuts in, “Just promise me you won’t die here.”

 

Stiles makes a noncommittal noise before returning to his frantic perusal.

 

“You’re aware this isn’t a library,” Peter yells over his shoulder as he returns to his desk. Shelves muffle Stiles response but Peter’s sure the words were less than complimentary.

 

It’s several hours later before Peter returns to Stiles nest. He finds Stiles slumped over a Babylonian mythology index, fast asleep with an essay stuck to his face and red pen on his left cheek. Luckily his glasses are balanced on his head. Peter smiles gently, the sight is awfully endearing. However it is also impractical. Peter nudges Stiles gingerly with his foot. Stiles mumbles something incoherent but doesn’t move. Peter nudges a bit harder. No response. Peter is on the verge of full on kicking Stiles when his phone rings. Somehow the loud, blaring ringtone has no effect on Stiles.

 

“What?” Peter snaps into his phone.

 

“Rude,” Erica replies, “No way to greet your friend.”

 

“At this point friend is perhaps an inappropriate term,” Peter replies, voice buzzing with irritation, “Your friend Stiles is asleep in my shop, please come and remove him.”

 

“Asleep?” Erica queries.

 

“Would you like me to draw you a picture?” Peter retorts, “Kindly come and remove him, he’s going to become a hazard.”

 

“This is perfect,” Erica, trills, evidently unaware of the danger an unconscious person on the floor of Peter’s shop poses.  “You can take him up to our apartment, let him sleep off his sugar induced crash and then you can show him your fancy, special book collection. And by fancy, special book collection I mean your dick.”

 

“That’s hardly appropriate,” Peter replies, stepping over Stiles limp body. Stiles snuffles into the pages slightly, blowing a couple across the floor. One threatens to slip beneath a bookcase. Peter is tempted to let it.

 

“Get on that ass,” Erica chants, “Get on that ass. Get on that ass.”

 

Peter can only imagine the strange dance she’s doing to accompany those words. He hangs up to avoid further pointless discourse with Erica. Tucking his phone into his pocket, he leans down so that he’s balancing on the balls of his feet. He grips Stiles shoulder tightly and shakes. Hard.

 

Stiles splutters into consciousness, shooting into an upright position, paper still stuck to his face. His eyes are a little bloodshot; the bags underneath could hold a small family’s groceries for a week. Red pen is smeared across Stiles cheek like a brand.

 

“You fell asleep on my shop floor,” Peter points out, hand still gripping Stiles shoulder, “When was the last time you slept?”

 

“Err... like a full night?” Stiles asks, rubbing his eyes before putting his glasses on properly, “Probably Thursday, no. Hold on. Wednesday, definitely Wednesday.”

 

“So you haven’t slept properly for three days?” Peter clarifies. Stiles nods sheepishly. “I see, and when was the last time you consumed something that wasn’t laced with caffeine?”

 

“Saturday morning, so err… two days ago,” Stiles mumbles, looking at his hands. Peter closes his eyes, grasps the bridge of his nose and sighs deeply. How Stiles has survived this long is beyond him.

 

“Gather your things and come upstairs,” Peter orders, “I’m getting some actual food into you.” Stiles blinks owlishly at him, almost as if he’s not processed what Peter’s said.

 

“I’m providing you with free food Stiles,” Peter says slowly and clearly, noting the way Stiles’ eyes widen in comprehension.  “Honestly, they told me you were intelligent.”

 

Peter stands, watching Stiles scrabble around on the floor to collect his papers. Stiles looks good on his knees. Once Stiles has retrieved all his wayward essays, he stands, shoving them into his briefcase and follows Peter to the metal spiral staircase that leads to the apartment. Stiles sneakers make a dull clang as he climbs after Peter, unashamedly looking at Peter’s ass. Even in his near death state he can appreciate a good ass.

 

The apartment is open plan, kitchen and living room combined with large bay windows looking out onto the street below. Three doors lead off the main layout, presumably to the bathroom and the bedrooms. More bookcases line the walls, groaning with ancient texts. If Stiles wasn’t so sleep deprived he’d be running his hands all over them, desperate for their knowledge. Peter gestures for him to sit on the black leather sofa so Stiles does, sinking into its softness. He kicks off his sneakers, pulling his feet up onto the sofa and lying, stretched out on his side.  The soft hiss of oil frying in a pan drifts over the back of the sofa, accompanied by what Stiles assumes is the radio. Stiles fumbles with his glasses, depositing them on the table beside the sofa. He closes his eyes, lulled to sleep by Peter’s voice, singing along to Frank Sinatra.

 

Peter chops up a leek into equal slices, smirking when he notes that Stiles breathing has evened out. The leek is diced further before being added to the oil in the pan, along with the bacon that’s already cooking. The water in the saucepan has started to boil so Peter adds the pasta. The pans hisses, the water bubbles, the radio crackles with static and Stiles snores. It’s all endearingly domestic. Peter adjusts the radio setting, fiddling until the music returns. Some of the tension drains from his shoulders, rolling off of him. Whilst he may not be a fan of Taylor Swift, he’ll admit that Shake It Off does have its merits.

 

Once the pasta is done, Peter drains away the water into sink, catching the pasta in a strainer. He then mixes the pasta in the pan with bacon and chopped leeks, stirring it all together. Humming along to the tune dancing from the radio, Peter scoops some pasta into a bowl, garnishes with Parmesan and a sprig of rocket before sticking a fork into it.

 

Stiles is snuffling into the pillow, strangely contorted on the sofa in a way that cannot possibly be confortable. Peter taps Stiles’ shoulder, perhaps harder than necessary. Stiles opens one bronze eye, glancing at the steaming bowl before deciding to sit up properly, cramming his glasses onto his head. He gratefully accepts the bowl, breathing in the warm, comforting smell.

 

“Thank-you,” Stiles murmurs. Peter smirks, walking away to retrieve his own bowl. Once he has done so, Peter joins Stiles on the sofa. Stiles is sitting cross-legged, eating slowly; savoring the taste. Stiles moans happily which Peter interprets as satisfaction.

 

“So glad you’re enjoying yourself,” Peter comments, twirling pasta on his fork. Stiles nods, too busy devouring the meal before him to answer properly. Peter leans back into the sofa, absorbed into its softness. It’s one of the few furniture purchases that Peter had allowed Derek to choose and whilst he’d never admit it out loud, it was an excellent choice.  Stiles’ bowl clatters gently onto the side table. Peter notes the blissed expression, relishes in it.

 

“So,” Stiles says, gesturing to the bookshelves, “Those look extremely old and valuable. Your own private collection?”

 

“Yes,” Peter replies, setting down his bowl on the coffee table in front of the sofa, “A rather expansive collection for my own perusal.”

 

Peter watches Stiles face carefully but Stiles remains nonplussed, gazing at the books instead of Peter. But Peter sees straight through the passive face. Stiles eyes give him away.

 

“Though I could be persuaded should you ever want to browse,” Peter says, putting one arm across the back of the sofa. If he was so inclined, he could run his fingers through Stiles hair, teasing touches.

 

“I’m a first year professor,” Stiles replies, leaning back into the sofa and into Peter’s hand, “I can’t pay you.”

 

“Hmm,” Peter muses, stroking Stiles head gently, a touch that is barely there. “Erica thinks we’d make a good match, and she’s determined that we go on at least one date.”

 

“So?” Stiles says, turning his head to face Peter properly and in doing so leans into Peter’s touch.

 

“So, I’m certainly interested,” Peter, says, increasing the strength of his strokes marginally so that Stiles will register them, “One date. One date and I’ll let you have a browse.”

 

Stiles raises his eyebrows. He tilts his head like a puppy. It’s sweet but the tilt takes Stiles head away from Peter’s touch.

 

“One date?” Stiles enquires, readjusting his glasses.

 

“One date,” Peter replies, “And if it goes well, maybe many more.”

 

Peter enjoys the glint of lust in Stiles eye at that statement.

 

 

 

Peter is taking Stiles to a fancy restaurant. A fancy restaurant that requires him to wear a suit. The last time Stiles wore a suit was at his high school prom where he took Lydia because Jackson was being an a colossal ass. Some things never change.

 

“Have you tried to contact Lydia?” Erica asks. She’s lying on her back across several plastic chairs, her head dangling off the end so that everything is upside down. Thankfully Boyd is not present to witness Stiles’ panic as he searches through endless racks of cheap suits. Peter’s apartment is testament to the fact that he has money, probably a vast, incalculable amount and Stiles wants to at least look acceptable. Especially since the restaurant is so classy that there are private dining rooms, one of which Peter has booked. Bless Erica for informing him because otherwise Stiles would have worn jeans and made the worst impression possible.

 

“Lydia is too busy saving the world or whatever it is that she does,” Stiles snaps back, pulling a black suit off the rack and examining it closely. Erica shrugs because nobody really knows what Lydia does. She’s probably a spy. Stiles always jokes that Jackson became a trophy husband but since Lydia’s job is a grey area, he might actually be a Bond girl.

 

“I’m bored,” Erica, whines, her arms dangling off the chair limply, her fingers just grazing the atrocious carpet.

 

“You could help,” Stiles, retorts, holding a navy pinstripe against his chest, smoothing it with his left hand. Erica makes whining, exasperated noises as if engaging in choosing Stiles suit is a painful task for her. Stiles wishes he’d brought Allison. Hell, Scott would have been more helpful and Scott has worn double denim more than once. Stiles is almost at his wits end. He peers over the rack to where Erica is lounging, noting that she is now playing around on her phone.

 

“Are you planning to help in any way or are you just going to play candy crush whilst I fry my brain trying to find a semi-decent suit at an affordable price? Because in case you didn’t notice, my salary is on the small side and I really can’t afford to buy anything half decent because I’m a teacher and teachers get paid fuck all, which is totally unfair because we do such a difficult job. I mean seriously have you met some of my students? Whoever said teaching was reward can fuck off and die because so far I’m not seeing any rewards.”

 

“Breathe, Stiles,” Erica interjects, cutting off Stiles mini tirade, “Allison just updated her Snapchat story, so I’ll send her some Snapchats of your outfit choices.”

 

Stiles deflates slightly but at least Allison’s input will be of some use. Thus begins what Erica dubs as the montage scene in Stiles romantic comedy of a life. Erica plays ridiculous upbeat music from her phone so that Stiles has something to strut to, snapping pictures of each suit and sending them to Allison via Snapchat. Erica elects to write silly captions on each picture, some of which comment on how Stiles is hiding a body under all the plaid but most make lewd comments about how the clothes will end up on the floor. Allison sends back Snapchats of Scott’s traumatized face and her smiling one.

 

After what feels like days of searching, Stiles finally buys black double button suit jacket and trousers, along with a crisp white shirt. Erica and Allison then convince him to go back and buy a black bow tie, which he has no idea how to wear. Erica promises to help him though Stiles is doubtful. She has been next to useless all day.

 

“I didn’t come to be helpful,” Erica, says when they go to get milkshakes, “I came to revel in your state of Frazzledness.”

 

“Frazzledness?” Stiles questions, whilst grasping for the straw with his tongue.

 

“Frazzledness,” Erica confirms, swirling a finger in her whipped cream to collect a wayward marshmallow.  Stiles takes a long sip of strawberry cheesecake and Oreo milkshake, eyeing the bag with his suit in, like it’s a bomb about to go off.  It’s not that he’s dreading a date with Peter, he’s just dreading a date with Peter in a fancy restaurant that is impossible to get into without a reservation and even then the reservations are backdated months in advance. How Peter managed to even get a reservation is beyond Stiles?

 

Erica throws a marshmallow at Stiles to get his attention. It sticks to Stiles glasses, sliding down and leaving a large amount of whipped cream in its wake. The click of Erica’s phone signals that the whole world will be privy to Stiles annoyance. When Erica looks away, some time later, Stiles puts salt in her milkshake. Eye for an eye and all that.

 

 

Peter straightens his shirt cuffs under his suit jacket, checking that the cufflinks haven’t caught on the lining. He’s picking Stiles up in less than an hour, planning to whisk him and away and possibly charm him into bed. After reading a few of Stiles published papers, Peter’s flexible in regards to him, he likes his mind as well as his body. He just prays that Stiles has had the sense not to wear plaid tonight.

 

The shop bell rings loudly and the heavy stomp of boots signals the arrival of an irate customer. Peter looks up to see the man from a few weeks ago, the tight fisted, balding idiot who tried to haggle over price. The idiot is flushed, perhaps from fury; Peter doesn’t really care.

 

“You have to give me the rest of the book,” The customer demands, waving the remaining 50 cents around in front of Peter’s face. Reluctantly Peter reaches down into the draw to return the last section of the book, snatching the money from the sweaty paw of the customer. The customer leaves hurriedly, almost walking into the doorframe due to holding the book up to his eyes. Peter slams the cash register and returns to thinking about what Stiles may be wearing. And whether it’ll look better on his bedroom floor.

 

 

Stiles has to admit, he is eternally grateful to Allison and Erica for picking his suit. He looks good, older almost. After fiddling with the bowtie for almost two hours, he’d finally done it correctly, no thanks to YouTube and Wikihow. He’s elected to wear his glasses on the basis of the fact that he doesn’t want a repeat of the club incident. He’d like not to have them surgically removed the next day. That’s presuming he’s invited to spend the night, not that he can, he has an early morning class but still it’s the offer that counts. It’s been a year since he’d last had a proper date, dinner and all.

 

A knock at the door results in a frantic attempt on Stiles part to straighten his clothes, doing the all over body pat to check he’s got his phone and wallet. His runs a quick hand through his hair, winks at himself for confidence then goes to answer the knock.  Stiles gasps, a soft sound of awe. Peter is dressed in a suit that probably cost all of Stiles college education. Black suit, crimson shirt with three buttons undone. And Stiles will be damned if he doesn’t admit that Peter looks fantastic.

 

Peter smirks, eyes raking over Stiles appreciatively. Stiles blushes, pushing his glasses up his nose.

 

“Shall we?” Peter says, offering his arm. Stiles rolls his eyes, pushing the arm away. He grabs his keys off the hook by the door before joining Peter in the hallway.

 

“I’m not some fancy lady,” Stiles grumbles, but his tone is playful.

 

“Then I’ll try not to treat you as such,” Peter replies. They reach the end of the hallway. Stiles jabs the button for the elevator forcefully, disgruntled as it slowly whirrs to life.

 

“So where are we going?” Stiles asks. He knows but is feigning ignorance. Peter smirks smugly, which appears to be his permanent expression but says nothing. Stiles tries not to see that as slightly foreboding.

 

 

 

“Are you picky about wine?” Peter asks, perusing the wine list. Stiles shakes his head, concentrating hard on translating the menu, which is in French. He thinks. His language skills are limited to classic Latin, archaic Latin, ancient Greek and very sketchy Spanish.  The first three, he’s fluent in. The fourth he barely scraped a B in high school.

 

They are in a private room, classical music playing from the speakers next to the open fireplace. The décor is all soft, autumn colors; the light from the fire and candles on the table allow a warm glow to wash over the room. A waiter enters; the opening of the door allows the clinking sound of cutlery and voices of patrons to sneak into the room briefly. 

Peter orders the wine, something complicated with a lot of syllables. Stiles deciphers something that possibly means chicken whilst the waiter leaves.

 

“Struggling?” Peter asks somewhat smugly, looking completely at ease in this environment. He has shrugged off his suit jacket; it’s draped carefully over the back of his chair.

 

“I think you might have to order for me,” Stiles confesses, placing the menu down gently. He pulls off his glasses to wipe them on his napkin. Stiles wishes he had a ring or something so that his hands were occupied, he can’t keep wiping his glasses forever. When he returns them to his face, Peter’s smile comes into view. Peter smiles like man who always get what he wants, regardless of whatever obstacles he encounters.

 

“Do you enjoy teaching?” Peter asks. Stiles nods, trying not to appear too eager.

 

“Yeah,” Stiles replies, his hand under the table, rubbing the soft fabric of tablecloth between his forefinger and thumb. It’s comforting; it allows his mind to settle. Now that his hands are busy, he knows he won’t gesticulate wildly resulting in broken glass.

 

“I’ve always been passionate about mythology, it’s fascinating,” Stiles continues, “I don’t even care where the story originates, I just love the legends. Most of my students are taking my class simultaneously with history degrees but a few are archeology pupils. Personally I favor the archeology students, they seem more invested in the legends, probably because they explain the artifacts that they’ll be digging up in the future. I mean mythology usually ends up with professor job or museum curator but if the kids are dedicated to it then I’ll continue to teach it.”

 

Stiles is aware that he’s blurring the line between explaining and rambling. Peter looks intrigued though, sharp eyes watching Stiles mouth in an appreciate way and not in a way which implies that Peter would like Stiles to shut up.

 

“Favorite myth?” Peter enquires. Stiles bites his lip, thinking hard. Luckily the waiter enters with the wine so Peter is distracted briefly, giving Stiles time to decide. The wine is blood red; it’s scent thick and heady. Peter samples it, savoring the taste before signaling for the waiter to pour it fully. Once the wine has been poured, food ordered and the waiter has left, Peter’s attention returns to Stiles, expectant for an answer.

 

“I’m going to be honest, I actually can’t pick,” Stiles says, scratching the back of his head and smiling crookedly. “I mean I love the myth of the kelpie, the demon water horse but also the Perkele, the god of thunder in Finland that became the devil with the introduction of Christianity. Or from Estonia, Külmking, a spirit of unholy dead that eats children who bother forest spirits. But then there’s also Kumiho from Korea, a nine-tailed fox that manipulates the world creating illusions and curses. Each country has such a wide expansive set of myths, I just can’t pick one.”

 

“I appreciate your honesty,” Peter says. He handles his wine glass with careless elegance. “Cheers.” Peter tilts his glass towards Stiles. Stiles grins. The glasses clink.

 

 

 

“Thanks for dinner,” Stiles says. They’re outside the restaurant, the cool night air wrapping around them. The streetlamp is stark compared to the star strewn night sky. Stiles tucks his hands into his pockets then turns to face Peter.

 

“Shall we take a walk?” Peter offers, “It would be rude to waste such a lovely night.”

 

Stiles nods eagerly. They fall into step beside each other but it appears that Peter is leading. Stiles is happy to follow him, chattering merrily about the time that he and Scott stole a trolley and used it a go-kart. The wine has loosened him up somewhat; Stiles gestures have become wild and strangely flamboyant.

 

“I mean we only crashed it twice and didn’t do any serious damage,” Stiles continues, shrugging his shoulders. “I mean yes, we went too fast round a corner and I tumbled out, smacking my head on a lamppost but apart from that, it was rather mild.”

 

Peter chuckles. Stiles likes the sound and the way Peter softens around the edges when he does it.  They’ve entered the Beacon Hills Memorial Park. It’s quiet, save for the gentle rush of wind through the trees. The wind carries the fresh scent of grass and blossoms. Peter leads Stiles towards the bandstand, which is lit up with glowing fairy lights. It’s a charming sight, almost like something from a movie. Stiles smiles, trailing his fingertips along the twisted bottle green metal.

 

Peter observes Stiles in the warm light. It highlights his cheekbones and the bronze tones in his hair. It’s the eyes that draw Peter in. Golden, ochre, honey, amber, whatever color they are, they are bewitching. And Peter is bewitched. Stiles is sharp angles. Sarcasm, smarts and enthusiasm thrown together to create a handsome boy with plush pink lips. Stiles mind is fascinating, it’s constantly turning and it’s evident that Stiles relishes in knowledge in the same way that Peter does. It’s easy for Peter to imagine a relationship with Stiles. Loathe, as he is to admit it, Erica was right. Stiles is perfect for him.

 

Stiles turns on his heel, smirking and holding a hand out to Peter.

 

“Care to dance?” He asks.

 

“There’s no music,” Peter observes dryly. Stiles shrugs, hand still held out. His fingers are long. Peter runs his tongue along his teeth at the thought of those fingers wrapped around his cock. All in due time of course. Peter takes Stiles hand, pulling him close. Peter’s other hand goes to the small of Stiles back. They are similar height, which allows Peter to stare into Stiles captivating eyes. Peter guides Stiles in a smooth waltz. Neither break eye contact.

 

“You have beautiful eyes Stiles,” Peter murmurs, twirling Stiles around with ease. Stiles blushes, a pale tinge to his cheeks.

 

“Thank you,” Stiles mumbles, looking down at his feet. Peter guides them to a stop. He lets go of Stiles hand to grasp his chin, tilting Stiles head up.

 

“There’s no need to be bashful,” Peter says, eyes focused on Stiles lips. Stiles eyes flicker from Peter’s eyes to his lips; Peter can practically hear the wheels turning. Peter leans forward, kissing Stiles with tenderness. Stiles hands gravitate to Peter’s hips although he doesn’t appear to know what to do with them. Peter cups the back of Stiles head with one hand, deepening the kiss. Stiles moans, fingers gripping Peter’s hips with a little more force. Peter revels in the taste of Stiles, sweet wine and honey.

 

Stiles grips Peter’s lapels, desperate to pull him closer.  They break apart briefly, only to resume kissing almost immediately. Peter’s tongue is wet and warm and very versatile. It traces over Stiles lips, smooth and graceful. Stiles responds in kind. Their noses bumps gently so Peter starts to kiss along Stiles cheekbones. Sweet, playful, teasing kisses. Stiles laughs, which quickly turns into a guttural, moan when Peter starts nipping and sucking marks into Stiles neck.

 

“If you keep doing t-t-hat,” Stiles stammers, fingers flexing, grasping at Peter’s suit, “We are going to get a-a-arrested for public indecency.”

 

“Is that a promise?” Peter murmurs silkily against Stiles skin. Stiles smacks Peter upside the head. Peter huffs a laugh before leaning back. He pouts and rubs the back of his head, though Stiles doesn’t look sympathetic.

 

“My dad is the sheriff,” Stiles says, “If we get arrested then he is going to know and the judgment will be severe. We are talking smarm brows and smug yet exasperated expressions.”

 

“So I’ll just have to debauch you somewhere else,” Peter says, pressing his forehead against Stiles. “Strip you of these layers. Slowly though, need to teach you patience. Not sure what I want to do with you. Perhaps I’ll finger you open, nice and slow until you’re begging me to fuck you.”

 

Stiles breath hitches.

 

“As amazing as that sounds,” Stiles replies, “I have an eight am seminar to teach.” Stiles cringes, chewing his lip and staring intensely at Peter’s crimson shirt buttons. Peter presses a tender kiss to the tip of Stiles upturned nose.

 

“Perhaps another night,” Peter says, cupping Stiles cheek and gingerly rubbing his thumb across it. Stiles is warm and his skin is smooth.

 

“Maybe you could let me buy you lunch tomorrow?” Stiles suggests, looking up from beneath his eyelashes.

 

“Let’s discuss it while I drive you home,” Peter replies. He presses another kiss to Stiles forehead before threading their fingers together, leading Stiles back across the park.

 

 

 

“How did we end up like this?” Stiles gasps, panting hot and heavy.

 

“You invited me to your office for lunch and I decided to fuck you over the desk,” Peter replies, “It’s not very hard to work out.”

 

Peter licks a stripe up Stiles neck, pressing him against the desk and flicking open Stiles jean buttons and dragging the zip down. Stiles gasps, throws his head back when Peter palms Stiles through his boxers. His glasses slide off his face, clattering onto the desk.

 

“This desk won’t hold us,” Stiles mutters as Peter nuzzles against Stiles cheek.  Peter scatters Stiles paperwork; it flies to the floor like academic confetti. He lifts Stiles up onto the desk, shoving his hand into Stiles boxers. The way Stiles moans is delicious, lips parted in a sweet O shape. Peter sucks a mark into the delectable skin on Stiles neck, relishing in the way it bruises. Stiles should always be marked up like this; his skin bruises so prettily.

 

“Should I suck you?” Peter asks, leaning his forehead against Stiles. Stiles is panting softly, skin flushing scarlet. “Maybe I should rim you until you’re sobbing, begging me to fuck you properly. Or perhaps tease you open right here on your abysmal desk chair, fuck you so hard we break it.”

 

“All of the above,” Stiles replies, “But maybe not in my office, I have students coming to drop off papers soon.”

 

“Spoilsport,” Peter teases, rubbing a thumb over the head of Stiles cock. “Maybe we should let them come in, whilst I hide under the desk and blow you. See if you can keep yourself together.”

 

Stiles pupils dilate at the statement. Peter smirks. Stiles is so responsive, it’s heavenly. Peter sinks to his knees, yanking down Stiles boxers as he does so. He looks up at Stiles from underneath his eyelashes and licks his lips. Stiles is biting his lip, eyes dark with desire. Peter flicks his wet tongue over Stiles slit. The reaction is instant. Stiles moans, head dropping back and eyes squeezed shut in pleasure. Peter takes more of Stiles into his mouth eagerly, pleased with the way Stiles hands clench and unclench by his side.

 

Stiles is breathing shallowly, trying to restrain himself so that he doesn’t fuck Peter’s mouth too viciously. He swallows inaudibly, hands coming up to grip Peter’s hair. Peter bobs his head, occasionally moaning and teasing Stiles with his tongue. Stiles’ other hand is gripping the desk, almost as if that’s the only thing grounding him right now. The hand flies to his mouth a moment later when Peter starts to deep throat him. Stiles bites down on his knuckles, pain blending with pleasure. He’s so close.

 

Peter pulls off.

 

“I want to hear you Stiles,” Peter orders, ignoring Stiles high, reedy whines that are muffled by his hand, “Take your hand out of your mouth like a good boy and let me hear you.” Stiles complies, hand dropping to his side.

 

“Good boy,” Peter breathes, enjoying how Stiles flushes at the praise. He’ll remember that for later.

 

He takes Stiles in again, reveling in the unabashed moans that stumble from Stiles lips. Stiles starts to chant his name like a sinful prayer, over and over as if stuck on repeat. He comes down Peter’s throat and Peter doesn’t spill a drop. He pulls off once Stiles is finished, holding onto Stiles hips to prevent the boy from falling. He kisses Stiles; lets Stiles taste himself in Peter’s mouth. Whilst Peter is occupied with sucking another mark, just under Stiles ear, Stiles yanks open Peter’s jeans and shoves a hand into Peter’s black briefs. Peter growls but allows Stiles to get a hand on his dick, stroking him to completion.

 

Stiles retracts his hand and licks Peter’s cum from his fingers, slowly and intimately. Peter pulls Stiles into a kiss but it’s languid, a sweet mingling of mouths rather than fierce passion. They kiss for a little while, eagerly tasting each other upon the others tongue. Eventually they stop, foreheads pressed together, breathing into each other.

 

“Still fancy a bite to eat?” Stiles asks, a little breathless.

 

There’s a rapping of knuckles on a hardwood door. It results in a scrambling to look presentable; a smoothing of hair and a tucking in of shirts. Stiles retrieves his glasses, ramming them onto his face. He opens the door to his office, Peter lounging in Stiles rickety desk chair behind him. The student, a mousey blonde girl, hands over her paper with narrowed eyes and a suspicious expression. Her eyes flick between Peter’s rumbled hair and the glaringly obvious hickey’s the litter Stiles neck.

 

Peter smirks whilst Stiles ushers the judgmental student in the hallway. When Stiles returns, door clicking shut behind him , he is frowning at Peter’s mirth, evidently displeased with having to deal with observant pupils.

 

“Can we make a rule that you bite me in places that won’t be sources of amusement for my students?” Stiles demands, crossing his arms in an attempt to look confident. Peter shrugs, standing up to prowl towards Stiles. Stiles backs up against the door, allowing himself to be manhandled. Peter leans in, hot breath ghosting along the shell of Stiles’ ear.

 

“Perhaps we can go to lunch now,” Peter murmurs, “And I promise to fuck you stupid in my apartment later.”

 

“I like the sound of this plan,” Stiles replies, pecking Peter on the lips.  “Although you promised me a look at your private collection and I’m not talking about your dick.”

 

Peter chuckles, placing a hand on the small of Stiles back.

 

“My private collection will still be there after I’ve fucked you,” Peter informs Stiles, dropping a kiss upon his forehead.

 

Peter’s not in love with Stiles, it’s far too early for that. But he thinks he could be and for now, that’s perfect.