Stiles is fucking around on his phone--as usual--trading texts with Scott during hair and make-up, when Isaac casually pushes the collar of Stiles' favorite plaid shirt down a little more in the back so he can tidy up his hairline with the clippers and then hisses, "Jesus Christ."
Lydia freezes with the powder puff halfway to Stiles' nose, red-painted mouth twisting in annoyance at the interruption, but Stiles isn't quite so graceful about being startled. He jumps, fumbles his phone, and barely saves it from bouncing off his lap and onto the floor. Luckily for him, Isaac flicks the clippers off in time to avoid shaving a bald stripe up the side of Stiles' head.
"What?" Stiles asks, strained, because Isaac is yanking his shirt down so far in the back it's practically strangling him in the front.
"You've got a hickey on the back of your neck!" Isaac says accusingly.
"No, I don't!" Stiles protests, trying to twist himself into enough of a pretzel that he can see the back of his neck in the mirror, which turns out to be impossible. Go figure.
"You do," Isaac insists, poking at Stiles' neck with his finger, while Lydia says, "Oh, you idiot," under her breath and tosses the powder puff back on the table. They're both looking at Stiles with a mixture of sympathy and disbelief, which was how Scott used to look at him every time he got sent to the principal's office.
And that's what happens next, in a manner of speaking. Isaac lets go of Stiles' shirt and whips open the dressing room door and yells for someone to get Laura and oh shit, Stiles is really in trouble.
Laura comes bustling in almost immediately, a pair of sunglasses shoved up on the top of her head, clutching an iPad, a Blackberry, and an iPhone. "What?" she asks, sounding harried. Isaac and Lydia both point at Stiles, faces grim.
Laura comes closer as Isaac obligingly tugs Stiles' collar down again. "Jesus Christ," she says, sounding exasperated enough for ten women. She looks at Lydia. "Please tell me that just this once the call sheet is completely wrong and he's not shooting with—"
"Derek," Lydia and Isaac say in unison.
Laura closes her eyes and bangs the fist holding the phones against her forehead. "Jesus Christ."
Stiles and Derek are far and away the two most popular Neckz 'n Throats models, and Laura is fucking brilliant, so they each only appear in the magazine four times a year, and only two of those appearances are together. Stiles won't do full-frontal, and Derek refuses to do full nudity at all, so the spreads are always sexy yet coy, and leave everyone clamoring for more. Laura's got the collective neck-porn-buying public by the short hairs, and she enjoys it. Stiles enjoys the money she pays him to pose for her magazine.
Modeling for a werewolf stroke book has done well for Stiles, who never has to worry about the balance in his checking account, and only has to work a few days each year, plus convention appearances, which are not mandatory, but bring in extra cash. He also gets a cut of the memberships people buy in order to access his special section of the Neckz 'n Throats website, where anyone who can't get enough of Stiles can see exclusive pictures, and a few behind-the-scenes videos Danny records during the photo shoots. The most watched of these videos is the one where Stiles and Derek shoot the shit about baseball and share an orange during a break from shooting, Derek carefully pulling the orange apart as they talk, handing every other segment to Stiles. Stiles finds its popularity inexplicable.
Now that he's built such a devoted following, he gets all kinds of crazy offers from other magazines, from other websites, from an alpha in Dubai who wanted Stiles to come and visit him for a week. Stiles turns them all down. He's just trying to pay for school with as little effort as possible, and anyway last year he had a steady boyfriend who probably wouldn't have appreciated him going to Dubai to fuck a werewolf. He hadn't even known what Stiles did for a living; he'd assumed he was a trust fund baby.
Scott knows what Stiles does for a living, of course, and not just because Scott's a werewolf and Stiles' best friend for life. He and Allison were both there the day Laura Hale came up to Stiles in the parking lot of In-N-Out and offered him a job. She'd been beautiful and friendly and a little intimidating, and a guy Stiles later learned was Derek had hovered several feet behind her as Laura talked to him, eyes unreadable behind his sunglasses, but giving off an air of being interested in Stiles' answer. Before Laura got to the point, Stiles had been convinced they were going to invite him to be in a threesome.
"Stiles, that's a porn magazine," Allison had said, after Laura and Derek went inside. "For werewolves."
Scott and Stiles had both gaped at her.
"How do you know that and I don't know that?" Scott had asked, perplexed.
"How do you know that and I don't know that?" Stiles had asked, outraged. And then, "That's why she kept looking at my neck!"
Allison had given Scott an apologetic look. "Um. Remember when I said my dad was in the photography business? That's…kind of a nice way of saying he runs an adult magazine that caters to werewolves. Neckz 'n Throats is his biggest competitor."
"Reeeeeeally," Stiles had said slowly, dragging the word out about three times longer than necessary. He might have even tapped his chin with his finger like a cartoon villain.
Chris Argent was a total dick who hated Scott for no good reason, and had gone out of his way to make it as difficult as possible for him to see Allison. It was easier now that they were all eighteen and away at school most of the year, but the animosity remained. And that was just bullshit, because Scott was a great guy and he adored Allison, and Stiles was bitter on Scott's behalf. That alone was almost motivation enough to call Laura, and the promise of a lot of money in return for very little effort had only sweetened the deal.
Stiles had been working for her ever since. It was a dream job, with no complaints on either side. Until today.
"You can't come here with a hickey on your neck!" Laura is fuming, as Stiles sits meekly in the uncomfortable chair in front of her desk. Her phones keep ringing, and she keeps ignoring them.
"I didn't know it was there!" Stiles protests, which is the absolute truth. He can't see the back of his own neck, even with a mirror. He knows, because he just tried.
And he honestly hadn't known about it before Isaac discovered it, hadn't even thought—remembered—to check for marks. It was just a quick hook-up in the back of a club the night before, a little groping while the music thudded around them. The guy had been really cute, but a smoker, and his mouth had tasted like an ashtray, which was why Stiles had been happy to turn around and press his hot face against the damp wall, let the guy stick his hand down Stiles' pants while he kissed the back of his neck. He'd obviously done more than kiss, but Stiles had been...distracted.
"Can't we just work it into the shoot?" he suggests, hoping to keep his job. Werewolves love marking, he knows that. He's never actually had sex with one--and isn't that just hilarious?--but he knows enough about how they like to fuck. He gets a lot of very detailed fan email.
Laura drops her head back over the top of her chair and closes her eyes. "Jesus Christ." Everyone keeps saying that today. "You can't tell me you don't know. Are you really that clueless?"
Not clueless, maybe, but Stiles does feel a little embarrassed. He's had a random bruise or scrape on his body in the past—one time his entire knee was a mangled mess after a little too much lacrosse—and they usually just work around it, or it gets airbrushed out later. He's never had a mark on his neck before, though, and that clearly makes all the difference. He knows his neck is the main draw, his moneymaker, but it still feels like everyone is over-reacting, like he showed up for work carrying a live rattlesnake instead of a suck mark.
Stiles is saved from groveling further when Derek walks in without knocking, probably the only person in the building who would dare to do such a thing. He's barefoot, in old jeans and a faded blue button down that's been reduced over time to just two buttons, but his hair is perfectly spiked and the scruff on his face looks neatly trimmed. He was obviously in the process of getting the hair and make-up treatment, too, though the hair part is usually pointless because Stiles always runs his hands through it whether the shoot calls for it or not. It's shiny and thick and, when it gets long enough, just a little wavy. Stiles can't be blamed.
Derek's strangely-colored eyes linger on Stiles for a moment as he comes in and shuts the door behind him, the corner of his mouth drifting up into a half-smile. Stile feels the familiar flutter in his belly he always gets the first time he sees Derek, who is so beautiful to look at it almost hurts. Stiles really enjoys their shoots, and often enjoys himself multiple times later at home. Derek is just…amazing.
Before Stiles can smile back, or appeal to Derek to intercede with Laura on his behalf—he's always told himself he's Derek's favorite--Derek's eyes zero in on Laura and his mouth slides into a frown. It's fairly obvious she's not happy.
"What's wrong?" he asks. He crosses the room in just a few quick strides, silent on bare feet, and lowers himself gracefully into the empty chair next to Stiles. Derek does everything gracefully, and that isn't just Stiles' little crush talking.
"Stiles has a hickey on his neck," Laura says, not bothering to look at either of them. She sighs and bangs her fist on her forehead again while Stiles stares nervously at Derek, wondering how he'll take the news.
Derek doesn't ask to see the hickey; he doesn't even look over at Stiles at all. His face is completely immobile, like a mask carved from wood. He blinks once, slowly, and says, "That's fine."
Laura lifts her head and looks at Derek for the first time. Her expression says she thinks he's lying. "Fine? Are you serious?"
"Yes," Derek says, with a short nod. Stiles starts to hope he hasn't completely torpedoed the entire shoot.
Despite Derek's assurances, Laura sits up and grabs her iPad. "We can post-pone a little without missing the print deadline," she says, swiping her finger across the screen. "Peter will probably skin us all alive, but maybe we can wait two--"
"I said it's fine," Derek says again, and his tone is completely even and he doesn't seem nearly as freaked out as everyone else is, but Stiles feels, inexplicably, like he's disappointed him. It takes all his willpower not to squirm in his seat or starting gnawing on his thumbnail. This feels more like a trip to the principal's office than any of the--many!--actual trips Stiles took to the principal's office when he was in school.
Laura still doesn't look like she believes Derek, but after they stare at each other for what is, to Stiles, an uncomfortably long time, she sits back in her chair and says, with obvious skepticism, "If you say so." Then she shoots Stiles a death glare and snarls, "You're lucky."
"Is that all you needed?" Derek asks her, still cool as a cucumber, and when she nods, he gets up and leaves.
He hasn't looked at Stiles once since Laura told him about the hickey.
Derek and Stiles have sort of kissed before, no tongues, mostly just pressing their mouths together and holding still for the camera. Derek's bit him--without leaving marks--and carefully pressed his open mouth to Stiles' neck plenty of times, made him shiver with the tips of his fangs set just so against his collarbone, Matt's camera crowding in for the perfect close-up. Stiles, in contrast, has had his tongue all over Derek's body. He's licked Derek's stomach, sucked on his nipples, deep-throated his fingers. They're naturals with each other, everyone says, and it feels natural. They both get a little hard sometimes—once in a while more than a little—but nothing ever comes of it once the cameras are gone.
There's one picture of Stiles and Derek that's by far the most popular one they've ever posed for, separately or together. It's all over the Internet, and is usually the photo they sign for the autograph line at conventions, where they sit next to each other at a folding table, getting a little high off the Sharpie fumes, posing for cellphone pictures with their arms around each other. Once, in Iowa, they signed and posed for four hours and still had to turn people away. Middle America has a really big werewolf population.
They get asked constantly, during public appearances, if they're an actual couple. Derek always answers with a simple head shake. Stiles usually grins and says, "He wishes he were that lucky," because Stiles might have niche market appeal, but Derek is one of the most beautiful living beings on the planet. Then he winks at Derek, and Derek rolls his eyes at Stiles, and Stiles signs his name below Derek's, always below, because everyone wants to believe what they see in the magazine anyway.
The famous picture is over a year old. They're both standing, Stiles facing the camera with his legs spread, Derek behind him, one hand splayed wide over Stiles' throat, thumb slotted against the hinge of his jaw, as he closes his teeth on the top of Stiles' ear. Stiles' eyes are half closed and his mouth is falling open, a soft expression of pure pleasure that's a sharp contrast to how deeply he's digging the fingers of both hands into his own thighs.
Derek is mostly hidden behind Stiles' body, so even though he isn't naked he looks naked, all the parts of him in view—arms and shoulders and legs—nothing but bare, golden skin, slightly fuzzed with the body hair Derek refuses to wax. Stiles is wearing only a tight, tight pair of white boxer briefs, and they show everything. He's fully hard, cock pointing up and slightly to the left, eager. Derek's other hand is resting on his belly, just the tips of his fingers slipped under the waistband of Stiles' underwear, an inch away from the head of Stiles' cock.
Every time Stiles sees that picture, is asked to sign it, he remembers how turned on he was right then, how he was between boyfriends and enjoying the feel of hands on his body again, how he wished they were alone, how he wished it were real and not just for a magazine, how he wished Derek would kiss him, close his fist around his cock and jerk him off, steady and slow, until Stiles whined into his mouth. He remembers Derek was hard, too, pushing insistently against the crack of Stiles' ass, like he wanted in.
Hale Media is headquartered in a refurbished factory building that used to be a commercial cookie bakery; when they turn the heat on, it smells like ginger snaps. It's a beautiful place built from gray bricks and huge steel support beams, and most of the new walls that divide it up into work spaces are painted a deep, warm red. The former boiler--a massive, iron-walled room--is now the employee lounge, though it gives Stiles the creeps to go in there, like any second the door will slam shut and the boiler will fire up and they'll all be cooked alive. There's a mural set in the lobby floor of a rabbit in a conductor's hat, atop a train made of cookies. It's only slightly less sinister than the boiler.
Laura's office is in the south corner of the ground floor, overlooking the river. The rest of the first floor, and all of the second, is divided into offices and studios and dressing rooms and prop storage and all the other stuff it takes to run a good-sized softcore porn business. The third floor is apartments. Stiles has never been on the third floor.
Once Laura lets him go, he takes the elevator up to the second floor and then, heart pounding ridiculously in his chest, walks right past his own dressing room, labeled with a laminated sign with his name and picture that they stick on the door when he's there. The hallway is all doors on one side, and the opposite wall is decorated with a section of a giant antique sign they found in the building when they remodeled it. It says, "They don't just look good, they taste good!" Stiles and Laura are the only two who never get tired of the joke.
Stiles makes his way to the end of the hallway to Derek's dressing room, which has a little permanently affixed plastic plaque on the door that says "Derek Hale." He isn't a full-time model, but he owns half the business and also runs the magazine's website, so he rates a private dressing room. Stiles has been in it a few times, but never without being invited first.
When he knocks, Derek gives him the verbal okay to come in, even though he has to know it's Stiles. Stiles decides to take that as a good sign.
Derek is alone in the room, which is actually smaller than the one Stiles uses, but has better furniture. He's already dressed for the shoot, in a sleek black tuxedo that fits him perfectly. Jackson, the wardrobe stylist, can probably afford to splurge on Derek's clothes because he saves so much on Stiles'. Case in point: Stiles' wardrobe for the day is just a pair of underwear—again—which he already has on under his own shirt and sweatpants. They're due on set in just a few minutes.
Even though Derek can be a little short-tempered sometimes, and looks really intimidating, and abuses sarcasm with a frequency even Stiles finds impressive, he's usually pretty easy to talk to, and has always been nice to Stiles. Right now Stiles is realizing just how nice Derek was being to him, because all the friendliness has vanished under a veneer of distant politeness.
"What can I do for you, Stiles?" Derek asks, in the same mild tone he used when they were in Laura's office. He's sitting on the couch that takes up most of the opposite wall, putting on the shiny dress shoes that go with the tux.
"I just wanted to say I'm sorry," Stiles says without any preamble. They don't have much time, and there's no point in not being blunt. "I didn't know it was there."
"You don't have anything to be sorry for," Derek says easily. Shoes on, he sits up and slouches back into the couch, spreading one arm along the top, like he hasn't a care in the world.
Something is really off, because to someone who didn't know better, Derek would seem completely relaxed, but Stiles has seen Derek relaxed. Relaxed and laughing even while he held Stiles up with his hands hooked under Stiles' thighs, because the fake fireplace fell over when Derek pushed Stiles up against the wall. Relaxed and tired during a shoot that went long due to one technical problem after another, the two of them lounging in the bed on set, drinking bottles of water and kicking each other under the sheet. Stiles has seen Derek relaxed, and this isn't it. This is Derek pretending to be relaxed.
"I was celebrating," Stiles blurts. "It was my birthday." The big two-one, which was why he was drunk in a club and open to advances by smokers who like to bite necks. For some reason, he wants Derek to know the story behind the hickey.
Derek stares at him for a second, then tilts his head and asks, "Did you have a good time?" It's the last thing Stiles expects him to say, but he takes it for the friendly overture he assumes it is.
"Um, yes. A little," he says, smiling tentatively.
Derek doesn't smile back.
Stiles makes it to the set before Derek, which is unusual. The place is practically swarming with people, everyone but Derek already on set and working. The art director, Boyd, is going over his notes with Matt, who is cradling one of the cameras to his chest like it's a baby. Danny's getting ready to film the shoot for the website, while Greenberg is in the corner helping himself to the craft table. Stiles has never figured out exactly what Greenberg does around here besides hang around and talk and eat.
Derek is still acting weird when he finally shows up on set. In fact, as soon as he arrives, everyone else gets weird, too. They all go quiet and stiff, like the tension is seeping into all of them, and most of them suddenly find things to do that are as far away from Derek as possible. The strange mood makes Stiles hesitant to strip down, so he stalls for a bit by his chair, making sure the ringer on his phone is off, taking another sip of water.
They're in the big studio today, the only one on the first floor, where there's a fake living room set up, with a black leather couch that isn't real leather, and a really ugly over-sized glass table holding two half-empty martini glasses. The wall behind the couch looks like it's all windows, with a bird's-eye view of a generic skyline; that's all fake, too. There's a huge white fuzzy rug on the floor, the kind people have sex on in photo shoots. It's supposed to be a rich guy's apartment. Derek is the rich guy.
Derek and Stiles normally hang out a little bit before they start, talking about nothing, slowly easing into each other's space, getting comfortable. This time, Derek is closed off and silent, and stands on the opposite side of the set while Stiles finally strips, feeling self-conscious in a way he hasn't since the first time he did this. Once he's down to his underwear—red ones, and he swears this time Jackson went with two sizes too small instead of one--he walks over to the couch and stands stiffly, waiting. Derek doesn't seem to be in any hurry to join him. Stiles touches the back of his neck nervously, then stops when he realizes what he's doing.
"Okay!" Boyd says, a little too forcefully. "Derek, you sit on the couch. Stiles, you sit on Derek." He's acting like it isn't weird that he has to tell them what to do. Normally, they'd already be in position, touching each other a little, talking about what they're supposed to do, and what they want to do. They improvise a lot, and they're good at it.
Derek flicks an eyebrow at Boyd but does as he's told, slowly making his way to the couch, not looking at Stiles at all. When Derek gets settled, Stiles steels his nerves and straddles Derek's lap, feeling awkward at even touching him. Out of the corner of his eye, he sees Danny pointing the video camera at them, and even though this isn't the first time he's taken video of them working, Stiles hates that this is being filmed.
Stiles is used to being mostly naked around Derek. It's a power thing that alphas and betas alike enjoy, seeing the dominant half of the pair fully dressed and the other one not, looking all the more vulnerable by comparison. Stiles has always been really good at looking vulnerable, and Derek has always been really good at looking dominant, even though he's only a beta. But this is the first time Stiles has ever actually felt vulnerable with Derek. Not even just vulnerable--he feels exposed and fragile and alone. His skin pebbles up into goose bumps despite the heat from lights.
They did an outdoor shoot last year where Derek was a ski instructor and Stiles was his student, and after they rolled around in the snow together for half an hour, Stiles had started shivering on the way back to the hotel. Derek had put his arm around him and let him huddle close; if he's noticed Stiles is chilled now, he doesn't care.
"All right, ready when you guys are," Boyd says, clapping his hands together as everyone takes their places. He's apparently chosen to proceed as if nothing is wrong.
Stiles reviewed the notes for the shoot, so he knows what they're supposed to do—mostly just look like they're on their way to fucking like bunnies. Make out on the couch a little, get some of Derek's clothes off, end up on the rug. Derek just sits there, though, and he hasn't even put his hands on Stiles yet or nuzzled his throat or anything. Stiles feels lost, like he has no idea how to proceed when Derek isn't meeting him halfway. He reaches for Derek's bow tie, which he's supposed to untie, but his hands are shaking and it takes him an embarrassingly long time to get it undone. Derek looks somewhere over Stiles' shoulder the entire time.
"Derek, can you look at Stiles?" Boyd asks, as Matt's camera clicks and then clicks again. Matt moves a little closer, and Danny moves out of his shot, video camera still aimed at them. Everyone's acting like it's not completely unheard of that Boyd had to ask Derek to look at Stiles.
Stiles is bizarrely afraid Derek will say no, so he leans in, hands clutching the loose ends of Derek's tie, and rests his forehead against Derek's. He sees Derek's eyes flutter closed right before his own do the same, and they're doing this in front of a dozen or more people, and there are two cameras officially documenting every second, but with his eyes closed and the familiar feel of Derek under him, it feels safe and private.
"I’m sorry," Stiles says quietly, even though he already apologized. Derek makes a soft little sound in his throat, and Stiles feels his hands come to rest lightly on his hips, finally touching him back. It makes him feel a little better, like he can fix this. "Don't be mad at me. I didn't mean to."
"I’m not mad at you," Derek whispers back, but when Stiles opens his eyes and pulls back enough to look at him, Derek's face is scrunched up like he's in pain, and Stiles heard his voice crack a little when he said "mad." Stiles has never seen him this off-kilter.
"I'm sorry," he says again, and leans down to kiss the tip of Derek's nose, making him wrinkle it and finally open his eyes. "I’m sorry." He starts peppering Derek's face with little kisses, hands sliding up to rest lightly against his jaw. "I’m sorry."
Off to the side, Greenberg says, "Wow, this is different," before Boyd shushes him.
"Stop apologizing," Derek huffs under his breath. "It's annoying."
"Sorry," Stiles says, automatically, and then says, "Crap! I can't stop!" when Derek scowls at him. "But I'll make sure there are no more hickeys," he promises, and seals it with a kiss to Derek's forehead. He'll never, ever show up with a hickey again. If he gets to come back, anyway. Right now he's not sure he will, but his chances are looking better.
"Just tell your boyfriend to take it easy when you know you've got a job coming up," Derek says gruffly, as Stiles sits back and starts to unbutton Derek's shirt. They're supposed to be working.
"I don't have a boyfriend anymore," Stiles says, distracted, as he slips his hands into the open shirt and runs them up Derek's very nice chest. "It was just a guy I met on my birthday." He thinks he might slide to his knees at Derek's feet and lick his stomach a little, in a minute. They're kind of getting into a groove now; Stiles can feel the first stirrings of interest in his groin, and Derek just shifted his hips a little, which is what he does when he starts getting turned on. Good signs.
"I thought--" Derek says, and then he breaks off with a sucked in breath when Stiles shoves the shirt open, bunching it up with the jacket around his shoulders, and rubs himself against Derek's bare chest like a cat. Derek's pretty hairy, and Stiles not quite so much, and it feels amazing. He angles his head like he's going to kiss Derek, and hears the camera start clicking furiously.
"Stiles, arch your back more," Matt says, and Stiles obliges, humming a little at the way it changes the pressure between his legs. He goes for a kiss, licking at Derek's mouth but not dipping in, no matter how much he wants to, because that's a line they don't cross.
"No," Stiles murmurs against Derek's open mouth as he teases Derek's nipples with his thumbs. "No boyfriend. Not anymore." He'd been single and drunk on his birthday, and a little lonely. That was the root of the problem. "You were the last person to touch me, before him." That was six months ago. Derek lets out a soft groan, and his hands flex on Stiles' hips, a quick hard spasm, like it happened before he could stop it. It makes Stiles feel brave. He sucks softly on Derek's lower lip and says, so only Derek can hear, "I want you to touch me now."
"This is great guys, can you--" Matt starts to say, but Stiles doesn't hear the rest of it, because Derek suddenly moves, grabbing Stiles under his thighs and heaving him off his lap and onto the couch, belly down.
Stiles lets out an undignified grunt as Derek comes down on top of him, covering him, knee spreading Stiles' thighs wider, making a place for himself as he sinks his fingers into Stiles' hair and puts his hot, hot mouth on the back of Stiles' neck. Stiles feels Derek's tongue--he's never had Derek's tongue on him and it sends a slick jolt of pleasure straight to his dick--and then Derek's teeth. Oh, holy God, those are Derek's teeth, and Stiles panics for a moment, hands scrabbling against the fake leather, but Derek doesn't actually bite him, and his teeth feel blunt and even, not like fangs. He licks him, though, long drags of his tongue, before he starts to suck on the back of Stiles' neck, probably right where he already has a hickey, and all at once Stiles understands everything that's happened so far today.
Laura was right: he hadn't known what everyone else clearly does.
The problem isn't that a model showed up for a shoot with a hickey. The problem is that Stiles showed up for a shoot with Derek marked by someone else.
Derek isn't mad. He's territorial.
Derek wants Stiles for himself.
Stiles has wanted Derek so long—pretty much from the second he laid on eyes on him—that it takes him a moment to adjust to this new status quo, but only a moment, because Derek wants him. Stiles makes a noise completely out of his control, a plaintive little moan, and lifts his ass up to grind against Derek's crotch and says, " Okay, I get it. Yes, okay." His voice is so deep and raspy even he barely recognizes it.
The answering sound Derek makes in his throat is low and rumbling and should be scary, but Stiles isn't scared. Derek is hard, he's really, really hard, and he holds Stiles down with fingers clenched hard on his hip so he can grind down against his ass and make them both breathless before he slides his hand up under Stiles' shoulder until it closes around Stiles' throat. Just like in the picture everyone goes nuts over, Stiles' favorite picture. And just like in the picture Stiles is achingly hard and he wants Derek to fuck him so badly he has to close his teeth on his bottom lip so he doesn't accidentally tell him that.
"I think we should take a break," Stiles hears Boyd say, and there's a vague flurry of activity, of the lights being shut down and everyone hustling out.
Stiles elbows Derek in the…somewhere that makes him make an annoyed sound, and says, "Let me up, you possessive asshole. I want to touch you." Derek gives one last hard suck and lets him go, grumbling a little, but Stiles doesn’t care. He pushes himself up on his arms and turns over when Derek obligingly lifts up and gives him room. He barely gets his back on the couch before Derek bears down on him again, this time going after his mouth.
They've kissed a hundred times, but never like this, and never just because they wanted to, and never this crazily. Stiles shoves his tongue into Derek's hungry mouth, his fingers into Derek's wonderful hair, as Derek hooks a hand under one of Stiles' knees and pull his leg up and then rolls his hips just right to make Stiles moan.
It's fast and messy, and they're both making a lot of noise now. Stiles' skin is hot and damp, tingling everywhere Derek touches him, but he wants more. "You're wearing too many clothes," Stiles whines, as Derek nips at his upper lip before licking it sloppily. "Derek, come on."
Derek suddenly pushes up and off of Stiles, kneeling up between his bent legs, which is wrong and bad, and Stiles grabs two fistfuls of his jacket and hangs on, because he is not letting him get away. Derek looks crazed, his hair a mess, his face flushed, chest heaving. Stiles can see the jut of Derek's cock, hard in his pants, and he wants it so bad. He wants to do things to it, to have Derek do things to him with it.
"You really want to do this?" Derek asks, the first words he's spoken since Stiles told him he didn't have a boyfriend anymore. Stiles boggles at him for a second before he can formulate an answer that isn't, Are you blind or just stupid?
"Don't you?" Stiles says back, looking pointedly at Derek's crotch. He half-expects Derek's standard sarcastic eyeroll, but instead he turns hesitant.
"Yes, but…" He visibly casts around for a way to way finish that sentence, but suddenly gives up and lurches to his feet instead, grabbing Stiles by the hand and wresting him up off the couch. Stiles' knees don't really feel like they want to hold him up right now, but Derek is already on the move, and he's got Stiles by the hand, so Stiles and his wobbly knees have to follow.
"Hey, wait," Stiles protests, because Derek is headed out into the hallway, which is where--predictably--everyone from the shoot is standing and waiting.
"Done already?' Danny asks, smirking, when Derek opens the door, but then everyone takes one look at them and scatters. Derek leads Stiles down the hall and out into the lobby, apparently oblivious to the fact that Stiles is in his underwear and has a boner that could pound nails. When Stiles balks, Derek just tightens his grip and says, "Hurry up," and the urgency in his voice makes Stiles keep going.
Thank fucking Christ the only person in the lobby is Erica, whose official title is "receptionist" even though she's actually a security guard, workplace therapist, and sex bomb all rolled into one. She glances up when Derek and Stiles come sailing through the lobby, raises her perfectly groomed eyebrows at them, and then goes back to whatever she's working on, looking bored by the whole thing.
Stiles has a moment where he's terrified Derek is going to take him outside, and is relieved when instead he heads for the elevators. The doors open immediately when he presses the up button, and he herds Stiles inside and then taps a code into the keypad on the wall before pushing the button for the third floor, and now Stiles knows exactly where they're going. Derek's apartment is on the third floor.
He expects Derek to maul him a little in the elevator, but he doesn't. He stands stock still, hand still clutching Stiles', and stares straight ahead at the door, nostrils flaring every couple seconds. The stupid tuxedo jacket and shirt are still hanging partway off his shoulders, and his cheeks are flushed red. His eyes dart over towards Stiles when he realizes Stiles is openly staring at him, then close for a second as he squeezes Stiles' hand. The message is pretty clear: hang on, we're almost there.
Stiles has to practically jog to keep up with Derek once the elevator door opens, which is not exactly comfortable in his current condition, but Stiles isn't going to complain. Derek's apartment is all the way at the end of the hallway, and Stiles has only a few seconds to take in the outer rooms—cluttered and comfortable and messy—before he's ushered into Derek's bedroom. The bed is unmade, plain white sheets, and the mattress is bouncy when Stiles lands on it on his back. He lifts his hips and shimmies out of his underwear--a display Derek's face says he really appreciates--while Derek practically flings himself out of his own clothes.
And suddenly, they're both naked. Completely naked. Together.
It feels exciting and new, even after everything they've done together, and Stiles can't stop looking. He's never seen Derek's dick before, and....wow, okay, he definitely likes what he sees. It's just as nice to look at as the rest of him, dark red and straight as an arrow, a thick vein running up the side. It takes a lot of willpower to not make gimme hands at it.
But when Derek puts a knee up on the bed between Stiles' spread legs, suddenly looking more like a predator than Stiles has ever seen him, eyes locked on Stiles', his body straining and eager, Stiles stops him short with a foot planted on his stomach.
"Yes but what?" Stiles asks, because he can never leave anything alone, and he hates loose ends. It's in his nature to not let up until he has answers.
"What?" Derek asks, going from "predator" to "confused dude who thought he was about to get laid and now isn't so sure" in a split second. He wraps his fingers lightly around Stiles' ankle, but doesn't try to move his foot. Stiles flexes his toes against the line of hair that bisects Derek's chiseled stomach, and then reminds himself he can't be distracted now. They have serious business to settle so they can get to the fucking.
"When I asked if you wanted to do this, you said 'yes, but' and you never finished it," Stiles recaps for him. "So I want to know: yes, but what?" He needs to know if the "but" is good or bad, if it was just, "Yes, but not here," or if it was, "Yes, but only this one time." He's more than okay with the first one, obviously. Not as okay with the second.
Derek stares at him for a second, then looks down at where his fingers are still wrapped around Stiles' ankle. He runs his hand lightly up Stiles' leg, cupping his calf, and then bends to kiss the tender skin on the inside of Stiles' knee. There's no teeth this time, no sucking, just a little kiss. Stiles lets his leg drop back to the bed, and Derek's hand slides up his thigh, mouth trailing after, moving on to the jut of his hip bone, the splay of his ribs, the hollow at the base of his throat, until he reaches Stiles' mouth.
He lowers himself down on to Stiles, heavy and perfect, and takes Stiles' face in his hands and whoa. Stiles wanted to get some things sorted out before they got to the main event, but all of a sudden this is taking a turn for the serious. Derek lowers his head and slowly eases Stiles' mouth open with his own, and Stiles' heart feels suddenly full, too full, painfully full. He touches Derek's tongue with his own, curls his arms around his shoulders, brings his knees up to squeeze his sides, wanting to touch him everywhere, to just have him. They're both still hard, grinding against each other as they kiss, but the desperation from earlier has subsided a little.
The kissing goes on until Derek's mouth starts wandering, and Stiles has resigned himself to not getting an answer to his question when Derek suddenly starts talking. "I've wanted you for so long, but you were always with someone else," he says against Stiles' jaw. When he moves down to nip at his shoulder he says, "It was so hard to keep working with you, but I didn't want to stop. It was all I had."
It's not really an answer, but it is. And it isn't really a question, but it is. Stiles thinks he understands what Derek can't bring himself to ask.
And Stiles…Stiles recalls all those times they've been asked if they're a couple, and all the times he said Derek wished he were that lucky, and he feels like an asshole. He'd had no idea Derek had been wishing exactly that.
"You should have said something," Stiles says, between biting kisses into Derek's biceps, because they're so close and so bulging. Derek had to know how much Stiles enjoyed their shoots; everyone knew how turned on he got. And he'd been single two other times when they'd worked together, very early on, and Derek had never made a pass at him. "I wanted—"
"You make me crazy," Derek hisses, before Stiles can even finish that thought. He buries his face in the side of Stiles' neck and his hips rut down, almost frantic. "I'd touch you and kiss you, and you'd bare your throat for me, and it was all fake, it was for everyone else, all those people who buy the fucking magazine, not for me."
"It wasn't fake," Stiles gasps, clinging to him even harder as he feels Derek's mouth clamp down beneath his ear. "Not with you." That's why they were so popular together--it wasn't all pretend. He grabs the hair on the back of Derek's head and makes Derek look at him. "And if I don't get to suck you soon I'm going to die."
Derek blinks at him like he's not parsing, then seems to catch up and whips out a smirk a millisecond later. "I'm not going to say no to that."
It only takes a little nudging to get Derek where Stiles wants him, and when they're on their sides facing each other Stiles gives Derek one last kiss before sliding down the bed until he's got Derek's fantastic dick right in his face. He's heavy in Stiles' hand, already dripping onto the bed. Stiles rubs his open mouth across the tip, licking away the wetness he finds there, and Derek groans and his hips jerk, begging wordlessly for more. Stiles gives him more.
He closes his mouth around the head and sucks, teasing at the underside a little with his tongue, then works his way slowly down, taking Derek inch by perfect inch until his mouth meets his hand where it's gripping the base. He holds himself there for a few long seconds, listening to Derek breathe in and out, feeling the little tremors in his stomach where it's pressing against Stiles' forehead. Then he pulls back just as slowly, and as his mouth drags back up Derek's cock it pulls a throaty groan from Derek's body, and Stiles is pretty fucking pleased with himself. He starts a slow, steady rhythm, not enough to make Derek come, but enough that they both can enjoy it for a while.
"God, your mouth," Derek chokes out. One of his hands gently cups the back of Stiles' head and he leaves it there while Stiles sucks his cock for him, curled on his side, legs tangled together. He tastes so good, and the noises he makes are the kind Stiles has only dreamed of hearing from him. He wants to do this as long as Derek will let him, and someday he intends to do it until Derek falls completely apart. Neither of them have the patience for that now.
"You better stop," Derek says, after a few minutes, sounding like that's the last thing he wants, and it's not exactly what Stiles wants, either, but he eases off anyway. Eases off Derek's dick at least--he takes a few minutes to suck on his balls instead, bite his thighs a little, which Derek really seems to like, even more than the ball sucking. But now all this is doing is delaying what Stiles is hoping will happen next, so he finally squirms back up, and Derek's waiting to kiss him and rub his wet cock all over Stiles' stomach while he palms Stiles' dick and strokes him just enough to tease.
"Can I fuck you?" Derek asks, when Stiles finally takes his tongue out of Derek's mouth long enough to let him talk.
"I'll be really pissed if you don't," Stiles tells him, pulling back enough to watch himself push greedily into Derek's hand, something he's thought about a million times, always on his mind because of that goddamn picture where he came so close. "So pissed at you."
Derek gives a little laugh that warms Stiles right down to his bare toes and gives him one last perfectly tight stroke before he sits up. "Come here," he says, shoving the pillows out of the way and propping himself up against the headboard. "I want you to ride me."
It takes Stiles a second to get over his surprise at that. He'd always figured sex with a werewolf--with Derek, he'll be honest, because he's fantasized about it enough--would be about being covered, dominated, fucked into the mattress. He's imagined Derek putting him on his back, holding him up by the hips and going at him until Stiles has no voice left from shouting. He's imagined getting on his hands and knees for him, jerking off while Derek fucks into him like a machine.
But reality is Derek helping Stiles get himself loose and wet, kissing him while their fingers slide against each other inside Stiles' body. Reality is Derek lubing up his dick and settling his slippery hands on Stiles' hips to help steady him as Stiles sinks slowly down, opening for the solid heat of him. Reality is Derek watching his face, looking into his eyes, and leaning in to catch Stiles' mouth when Stiles settles in his lap. Reality is the way Derek groans, eyes slipping shut, when Stiles slowly clenches tighter and tighter around Derek's cock, squeezing him as hard as he can, before relaxing and taking the final inch.
Reality is better.
There's no point in trying to go slow, they're both too worked up for that, so Stiles just gives in to what he wants. He lifts himself up and sinks down, bracing himself on Derek's shoulders, as Derek digs his thumbs into Stiles' hipbones and says, "Yeah, yeah, like that. Fucking ride me." His voice is rough and guttural, like sandpaper on Stiles' nerve endings, and his face is so open and gorgeous, and Stiles is doing this to him.
"Jesus Christ," Stiles says, because everyone else has been saying it all day and now he finally has a reason to. "You look so good. You feel so good."
"No, you're the one—" Derek starts to say, like he's going to actually argue with Stiles while they're fucking, so Stiles cuts him off by speeding up, which makes whatever Derek was going to stay turn into a strangled moan.
Derek is hot and hard inside him, and Stiles bears down, tilting his hips until he finds the right spot and then he's already panting, moaning a little, and Derek is rocking his own hips up now in time with Stiles', and it's so fucking good. Stiles never lasts long with a dick in his ass, and this definitely isn't going to be an exception.
"Are you close?" Derek asks, like he's reading Stiles' mind. His voice is tight and his shoulders are tense, and Stiles worked him over pretty good with his mouth, so odds are Derek is close, too.
"Yeah, I just need--" Stiles says, and tries to reach for himself, but Derek beats him to it, takes him in hand and starts squeezing him roughly, giving him something to fuck into as his hips rise and fall. "Yeah. Just like that, oh God."
"Tip your head back," Derek says hoarsely, and now Stiles understands why they're doing it like this. He obliges, tilting his head back as far as he comfortably can to expose the column of his throat. He knows what it looks like; he's seen a hundred pictures of himself like this, on shiny paper, on his computer screen. He knows what it does to wolves, the long expanse of pale and fragile skin that stretches over his collarbones, his Adam's apple, the frantic beat of his pulse.
Derek makes a broken sound and the hand on Stiles' hip tightens, pulling him down more roughly, and the fist around Stiles' cock starts to move in a jagged rhythm. "Do it," Stiles chokes out, past the sharp angle of his bared throat, because he knows what Derek wants. He's always known what wolves want when they look at him like this, but he's never wanted anyone to actually do it until now. Never anyone but Derek.
Derek's mouth closes on the thin skin of his throat, right over the tendon, and he bites down hard enough to make Stiles cry out and clutch at his shoulders, shocked at the pain even as it sends sparks through his entire body, catching on his nipples, his dick, the hollow of his belly, the skin that's stretched tight around Derek's cock. He slides down one last time and stills, crying out again, louder, as he comes in hot pulses over Derek's fist, the hard bar of Derek's cock in his ass making the contractions almost unbearable. Derek doesn't let go, teeth inescapable as he grabs Stiles' ass with both hands and drags him up and down his cock—fast, once, twice, three times—a noise that's almost like a whimper vibrating against Stiles' throbbing neck as Derek strains up into him and comes.
When Derek opens his mouth it's a shock all over again, the sudden absence of pressure, and it stings when he licks at the bite. Stiles might be bleeding for all he knows. He sways a little, dazed, and Derek's hands come up behind him and spread across this back to steady him. The combination of hot breath, rasping tongue, and soft stubble is intense on Stiles' sensitive skin, and it makes him shiver.
"Too much?" Derek asks hesitantly. His face is still buried in Stiles' neck, soothing him with his mouth.
"Am I bleeding?" Stiles needs to know, the full ramifications of such a thing suddenly dawning on him now that he's not about to come.
"No," Derek says, pulling back to look at him. His hands tighten on Stiles' shoulders. "Stiles, I would never—"
"Okay. Then it's not too much," Stiles says, offering him a smile, because Derek looks like he might start regretting this any second now, and that would be total bullshit.
And Derek, for the first time since he walked into Laura's office and found about the hickey, smiles back at him. Derek has a great smile, wide and full of white teeth, and it crinkles his whole face up in a way that makes Stiles want to squirm around like a happy puppy. Stiles manages to only squirm a little, and instead he kisses Derek a lot, slow and lazy, hands carefully holding his pretty face, until he's sure Derek isn't going to freak out.
Then they both slump, Derek against the headboard, Stiles against Derek. Stiles isn't going to be able to stay like this very long--both his thighs and his ass are already protesting--but he can't make himself move at the moment. Derek's hands are all over him, running up and down his back, rubbing over his hair, petting his hips. He's kissing the side of Stiles' face, his ear. Derek is super affectionate after sex, apparently. Stiles burrows in a little closer and enjoys it.
He can't sit like this forever, though, and when he starts complaining about cramps and stiffness, they untangle, both making unhappy noises at the various sensations, and then re-tangle in a more comfortable horizontal position. Derek immediately turns into a big spoon with wandering hands, still touching him all over, so Stiles snugs back into him as far as he can, tipping his head down to let Derek make frequent passes over the back of his neck with his mouth. He could really get used to this much attention.
He lets himself drift a little, content, until Derek seems to finally settle and stops moving except for one thumb rubbing little circles into Stiles' hip, a languid wall of warmth at Stiles' back. Right about the time someone would be expected to leave if this were a casual hook-up, Stiles asks, "Did you mean what you said? About--"
"Yes," Derek cuts him off.
Stiles glares at the pillow, because he'd have to turn over in order to glare at Derek directly and he's too comfortable. "You don't even know which part I was asking about."
"Yes to all of it," Derek says, with just a touch of exasperation that Stiles feels is unwarranted but also completely like Derek. Stiles can practically hear his eyes rolling.
"Hmm. Okay. So, about me not having a boyfriend…" Stiles starts, and he feels Derek stiffen, his thumb stopping mid-circle. "Is that still true?"
Derek goes boneless again, and gathers Stiles a little closer, glides his fingers gently over the back of Stiles' neck, where Stiles knows without looking he's overlaid a new mark on the one from last night. "No."
The October issue of Neckz 'n Throats sells out in less than 24 hours, a second print run sells out in less than three days, and an unprecedented third run outsells everything else that week, even though everyone who cares should already have a copy by now. The rush of traffic to the website kills the server four times in two days, and puts Derek in a very bad mood, but not bad enough to stop him from screwing Stiles silly every chance he gets.
Derek and Stiles are on the cover that month, with a headline that blares, Derek Hale and Stiles Stilinski: Love Runs Wild At Last. Inside, there's a twelve page spread, and a joint interview in which they both confess they had a thing for each other for years before finally getting together. Stiles lets slip that things actually came to a head in the middle of the very photo shoot featured in the magazine, and Laura is quoted as saying they had to shut down the shoot for three hours and it was probably the most expensive first fuck in history.
The photo on the cover bears a strong similarity to the famous one from a year ago, but this time Derek's hand is in Stiles' tight red underwear, visible outline of his knuckles gripping Stiles' hard cock. Stiles has one hand fisted in Derek's hair, smiling as he nuzzles the side of Derek's face; his cheeks are flushed and his thighs look like someone just rubbed their stubble all over them. Derek is looking directly at the camera with his amazing eyes, smirking a little, like a man who has something he knows everyone else wants. There's a fresh bite mark over the tendon in Stiles' neck.