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  1. Public Bookmark *

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    Derek is on the cusp of his second season with the LA Dodgers, and as the reigning runner-up Rookie of the Year, the pressure’s on him to become the team’s star pitcher and lead them to the playoffs for the first time in five years. He’s trying to deal with the burden of expectations and really has zero desire to spend any extra time or energy on anything that isn’t baseball.

    But then he meets Stiles.

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    28 May 2017

    Bookmarker's Notes

    Since I was five years old, my entire life has revolved around baseball. Through middle school, high school, and college, every aspect of my life was tailored to fit the game. And as it turns out, I tailored some other things, too, things that shouldn't have to be changed. I came to the realization recently that being honest about who I am and who I love is more important than hiding those parts of myself to better fit the image of what people believe a baseball player to be. Because the only things you need to be a baseball player are a love of hard work, a commitment to the power of the team, and a passion for the game. No matter who you love, there's a place for you in MLB.

  2. Public Bookmark *

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    It’s only later, when Stiles is lying in bed and staring at his ceiling, that he thinks: of course. Of course Derek Hale is pure of heart.

    or-

    A unicorn thinks Derek deserves nice things.

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    28 May 2017

    Bookmarker's Notes

    It takes Stiles a week, embarrassingly, to realize Derek is trying to date him.

    “I’m not a nice thing, Derek!” Stiles shouts at him over pizza. Derek bought his favorite soda and let him pick the movie and don’t think Stiles missed the gallon of moose tracks in the freezer: it’s common knowledge that you can woo Stiles with food and deference. Ice cream is one of his few weaknesses, like old books and baseball bats.

    Derek just looks at him calmly and says, “You are to me.”

  3. Public Bookmark *

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    “Oh,” Stiles said, his voice coming out low and breathy, “fuck me.”

    “I don’t think that’s on the syllabus, but we can check to see if there’s a spot open in any of his classes,” Scott said, grinning.

    “This isn’t an actual professor, though,” Stiles insisted, unable to resist brushing his thumb over the sharp line of the man’s bearded jaw. He was laughing at something off-camera, the shot taken in three-quarters view, his coat collar casually rumpled and opened to reveal a sliver of a simple grey t-shirt. The whole thing was deliberately calculated to lend him a more accessible feel, and god help him, Stiles was falling for it.

    *

    When Stiles signed up for Dr. Hale’s intro to history class, he had two goals: knock out the credits his advisor was bugging him to complete before he graduated, and spend a few hours a week daydreaming about his sexy professor’s salt and pepper beard.

    Derek, a few months away from turning forty and not sure when his life had started feeling so damn lonely, had never encountered someone like Stiles before. Bright-eyed, sharp-tongued, determined to throw Derek’s carefully cultivated world into disarray…and absolutely the last person Derek should be falling in love with.

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    27 May 2017

    Bookmarker's Notes

    “And you haven’t figured out how to fix us.”

    “I’ve been thinking about it a lot. And you’re right, we’re good now. We’re fine. We’re friends again.” Stiles set the jacket down and pushed his palms against his thighs. He was feeling shaky and full of regret, but hell, he’d come this far. “I think that this might be good enough for you. Like—this feels like it might be your stopping point? And suddenly I was thinking about what we were like over Thanksgiving, and before that, and I still...fuck, Derek, I still miss you. You’re right here, and I still fucking miss you.”

    He didn’t look up until he felt the mattress bow and settle under Derek’s weight. “I’m trying, too,” Derek said quietly, his knee nudging against Stiles’s. “Obviously not hard enough. I set a lot of guidelines, and you’ve been amazing about respecting them. I haven’t expressed that, and I should’ve. And I’m realizing now that I didn’t really let you do the same. So what can I do? What do you need?”

    “I’m pissed at you,” Stiles admitted. “I understand why you reacted the way you did. Everything you said when we talked about this before—I get it. I reminded you of some really shitty stuff, and I get that sometimes you need to pull up your defenses to deal with that. But that doesn’t change the fact that you knew me. At least, I thought you did. The way we were—that wasn’t some casual thing I do with everyone. With anyone. I thought you got that.”

    “I did. I still do.”

    Stiles turned to him, the long-withheld anger vibrating through his entire body. “But when it came down to it, you tossed aside everything you knew about me, everything we...” His breath hissed in through his teeth, sharp and painful. “Everything we were to each other. And you didn’t trust me enough to talk to me.”

    Derek didn’t flinch away from the eye contact. “I wasn’t fair to you.”

    “You’re goddamn right you weren’t,” Stiles snapped, fueled by one last flare of anger.

    He was already beginning to deflate. It was difficult to maintain any substantial righteous indignation with Derek that close to him, his face filled with empathetic concern.

  4. Public Bookmark *

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    The key isn’t actually being confident, he repeats in his head in Lydia’s breathy voice. It’s faking the hell out of it and looking as sexy as possible while you do it. For omegas, it’s easy. There’s a natural charm to all of us that only takes seconds to engage, and barely takes practice.

    Walk into the room, he chants in his head. Own it, and look people in the eyes. Find the best looking alpha, have them buy you a drink, and the rest is easy.

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    26 May 2017

    Bookmarker's Notes

    He scans for a moment, spots a tall alpha leaning against the wall that’s a pretty good candidate, another in a slip of a dress and high heels that’s just as decent, and then – sitting there at the bar.

    Dark hair. Finely molded jaw. A profile out of something in a romance novel. Broad shoulders and a half finished beer – and a name tag. Stiles zeros in on him and wipes his sweaty hands on his pants, moving forward and pretending like he’s not flipping out inside of his head.

    He chants what Scott had said to him weeks ago now in his head, again and again. That he is good looking. That he does smell nice. That he’s just never put himself out there, and as soon as he does, he’ll get what he wants. And what he wants, at this exact moment, is to have this alpha hold him down and screw the living daylights out of him. This is an attainable goal. This could happen.

    The alpha’s left side is wide open, two empty bar stools sitting next to him, and Stiles acts like he doesn’t even see him as he approaches. It’s a game, it’s all a game, there’s nothing serious happening here.

    He leans over the bar, resting his elbows on top of it and not sitting on the stool at all. Just spreads his body out nice and long and cocks his head to the side, waiting to get the bartender’s attention. He waits, waits, and finally, out of the corner of his eye, he catches the alpha looking at him.

    And, if he’s seeing this correctly, it’s a real fucking look. One of those slow and calculated up and downs, hovering briefly on the back of his jeans and then quickly flitting away like he thinks he’s been gross or weird, resting finally on the side of his face. Stiles has to bite his lip to keep from screaming or something, and then the bartender is in his face.

    “What’ll it be…” he squints at the name tag on Stiles’ chest, and then looks up to meet his eyes. “Sam.”

    Stiles ignores that for the time being, focusing all his attention on the bartender like the alpha next to him doesn’t exist. “Green tea shot,” he says, and the bartender moves to fulfill his wishes.

    Then, straight out of Stiles’ wildest fucking dreams, the alpha speaks. “Make that two,” he says, voice low and smooth, and Stiles finally deigns to look directly at him. Nearly wets himself then and there.

    This, he thinks, while trying to keep his face perfectly impassive, is the alpha of his fucking porn fantasies. This is it, right here. He’s got that look about him, where he’s so fucking sexy but can also actually carry a conversation, the contours of his face just-so, just-so, like God honestly took about forty-five extra minutes just so sculpt it with his bare fucking hands. This is the one.

    This is it. Stiles will accept nothing less.

    He puts his game face on. Smiles just the way Lydia does in her videos, slow and precise and sultry, and nods his head.

    “I’ll buy,” the alpha goes on, and Stiles has to catch himself before screaming behind his teeth.

  5. Public Bookmark *

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    If there’s one thing Derek’s learned in life, it’s that crushing on someone who lives on an entire other fucking continent is probably a bad idea.

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    24 May 2017

    Bookmarker's Notes

    Derek’s huddled against a column and poking at his phone, trying to muddle through the Polish instructions to connect to the airport’s free wifi so he can email Stiles instead, when someone punches him lightly in the bicep.

    He looks up.

    “Hey, you,” Stiles says, and oh. He’s here.

    He’s standing close enough to touch. He’s got his hands shoved in the back pockets of his jeans in a way that stretches the cotton of his t-shirt tight over his chest, and his messy hair is sticking out in all directions, and—it’s cliche as fuck, but Derek’s breath literally catches in his throat. He’s spent years looking at Stiles through a grainy webcam and studying his face in low-res phone selfies, and now Stiles is so close that he can see a scattering of tiny, golden freckles across the bridge of his nose and the peach fuzz on his cheeks and the subtle flecks of gold in his dark eyes. Fuck, Derek can even smell him a little, some kind of spicy cologne that makes him want to bury his nose in Stiles’ neck.

    For a long moment they just stare at each other, silent. Then Stiles smiles at him, a little shyly, and all Derek’s nerves evaporate.

    "You’re real," Derek says, stupidly, and Stiles throws his arms around him in a hug so enthusiastic they almost topple over. It's amazing. Derek lets his eyes close and just basks in it.