Huddled by himself at a small table in the most secluded corner of the coffee shop, Derek couldn't help but look up at every single person who walked in, tensing in anticipation each time, but so far everyone who had come through the door wasn't the right person. Derek didn't actually know what the guy he was waiting for looked like--all he knew was that he was named Stiles and he'd seemed okay on the phone. Knowledgeable, but friendly. Serious, but not humorless. It was still three minutes to four, so he wasn't technically late, but Derek had gotten here early and had a bad case of nerves, so he already felt like he'd been waiting an eternity.
He looked up when the bell above the door swung into motion, but this time it was a middle-aged blonde woman lugging an overstuffed computer bag. Probably looking for a late afternoon energy boost, if her tired face was anything to go by. Definitely not Stiles Stilinski, professional knotting surrogate.
"Safety issue," Stiles had said candidly, when Derek expressed surprise over meeting in a public place, and Derek had felt like a dick—no pun intended—for not picking up on that. Of course Stiles wouldn't want to meet a stranger in a hotel room or at their house, especially a werewolf stranger. Stiles was human, and his job entailed putting himself in a vulnerable position with supernatural beings who were much, much stronger than he was. It would be foolish not to screen them first, somewhere that offered him a little protection.
"Right, sorry," Derek had said, resisting the urge to pound his fist on his forehead. Stupid. "I didn't think--"
"There won't be any shop talk, anyway," Stiles clarified, picking up on Derek's discomfort with the setting, and that made him feel a little better. Just verbalizing his problem with Stiles was difficult enough—talking about it in public where anyone could overhear was unimaginable. "We'll just hang out and talk, get to know each other. See if we're compatible."
What were the odds they'd be compatible? Derek had no idea. He'd certainly had the urge to knot, with previous partners. Unfortunately, all but one of them had been humans who hadn't known he was a werewolf, and the only non-human one... well. The less said about her the better. So maybe he would want to do it with Stiles. Minutes away from meeting him, Derek was honestly unsure if he was hoping for compatibility or not.
The bell jangled again and Derek looked up hopefully, but it was a group of college kids, three girls, and then a step or two behind them a guy who was distractedly looking at his phone. Derek sighed and pushed his nearly empty coffee cup back and forth with his finger. Maybe he'd just leave. It was a chickenshit thing to do, stand Stiles up, but the longer Derek sat here, the worse an idea this seemed.
He was still on the fence about leaving when the back of his neck started to prickle, which meant someone was staring at him. He glanced up. One of the college kids—the guy—was hovering near the pick-up counter with the rest of the group, waiting for his drink, but his head was turned toward Derek and he was brazenly staring at him. It was a stare that was friendly, and more than a little bit interested.
The guy was pretty good-looking, Derek admitted to himself. Nice looking face, in shape, and even under his baggy khakis Derek could tell he had an ass to die for, high and round. Even so, it was ridiculous that he was checking Derek out. He probably wasn't even old enough to drink.
I’m thirty-two years old, you have got to be kidding, Derek thought. He raised his eyebrows at the kid, which probably didn't convey the part about Derek being thirty-two, but certainly the rest. Rather than looking embarrassed or put off, the guy winked at him.
"Stiles!" the barista called, and Derek watched in shock as the college guy—Stiles?!--turned back toward the counter and grabbed his coffee, and then carried it straight to Derek's tiny table.
"Hey," he said, smiling down at Derek. He had the thumb of his free hand hooked in the strap of his messenger bag where it crossed over his chest, and he wiggled his fingers in a little wave. "You Derek?"
"Is this a fucking joke?" Derek asked, low, acutely aware of all the people around them. If he'd confided in some asshole kid pulling a prank—some stupid, rosy-cheeked kid with a nice ass who got off on messing with werewolves—told him things that no one else knew--
Stiles' eyes widened in alarm and the smile melted off his face. "No! No, not at all!" he said hurriedly. "Sorry, I should have warned you what I look like."
"Yeah, you should have," Derek said bluntly, but he was relieved to hear that Stiles was telling the truth; his heart had remained steady the whole time. It was beating a little quickly, but that could probably be chalked up to this conversation. It had certainly raised Derek's blood pressure.
"Do you want me to leave?" Stiles asked, taking a sip of his coffee. It smelled like it had cinnamon syrup in it. "It's fine if you do." What he meant was it was fine if Derek was turned off by his appearance. They weren't going to get far if that was the case.
Derek wasn't turned off. Up close, Stiles didn't look quite as young as his clothes and his tennis shoes and his hipster glasses suggested. He had strong-looking hands, and nice wide shoulders, and from here Derek could see a hint of five o'clock shadow on his chin. And Stiles definitely didn't have a problem with the way Derek looked—the way he'd checked him out just a moment ago was proof of that.
"No," Derek said gruffly, still a little annoyed by the way he'd just been thrown for a loop, but already thawing under Stiles' good looks and easy-going attitude. "Just promise me you're legal."
Instead of being offended, Stiles laughed, tipped his head back until the long, pale column of his throat was bared, and Derek felt a little zing of want travel the entire length of his body.
Yeah. They were probably going to be compatible.
Stiles was really good at making people feel comfortable, or at least making Derek feel comfortable, and the longer they talked, the more attractive Derek thought Stiles was. Once you looked past the glasses and the serious case of bed head, his face was beautiful, really, all of it. His mouth, his eyes, his cheekbones. He talked with his hands, and laughed with his whole body, and Derek felt drawn to him like a moth to a flame. He even smelled good, like Derek would be perfectly happy to just bury his face in Stiles' neck and inhale him. Maybe Stiles had some kind of werewolf mojo. Maybe that was why he did what he did for a living. One of the testimonials Derek had read online had referred to Stiles as "the knot whisperer" and Derek could already see why.
Stiles was also a toucher. He nudged Derek's knee under the table as he cracked a joke, brushed his fingertips over the back of Derek's hand to encourage him to keep talking. Every time Stiles touched him, Derek's skin tingled, and he wanted to touch him back. Finally, when Stiles nudged his hand again, Derek turned his palm up and squeezed Stiles' fingers, quickly, shyly, before letting go and taking a sip of his cold coffee. Stiles bit back a smile and took a drink from his own coffee. The whole thing was kind of prim and ridiculous, but it made Derek's heart go pitter patter.
As promised, they didn't discuss the details of why they were here, just everything else, and Derek gradually noticed he was enjoying himself. Even though it was essentially a job interview, it didn't feel like one--it felt more like a first date than anything. They talked about themselves in the way people who were getting to know each other did, alternating between broad strokes—work, education, hobbies—and more personal details.
"Corn or flour?" Stiles asked, delving into the really important issues at one point.
"Corn," Derek said decisively. "Flour acceptable in the form of a burrito."
"Obviously," Stiles said, leaning back in his chair and eying Derek like they were about to have a showdown in the town square. "Batman or Superman?"
"Batman," Derek said.
Stiles' face gave nothing away. "Batman or Wonder Woman?"
"Wonder Woman." A no-brainer.
"Wonder Woman or Superman?"
"Wonder—wait a minute," Derek said, squinting at Stiles. "Are you asking me who would win in a fight or who I would sleep with?"
"Either," Stiles said immediately.
"Still Wonder Woman," Derek said, and Stiles gave him a high five.
Now that they were both relaxed and laughing, Stiles deftly steered the conversation back to more serious topics, which wasn't as fun. There wasn't much in his recent life history Derek could tell someone without being a huge downer, or awkwardly grinding the conversation to a halt, but Stiles didn't push when Derek got vague, and didn't ask about his family at all, so he'd probably Googled Derek ahead of time and already knew the rest of the Hales were all dead.
Stiles was much more open about his own life. He actually was a college student—Derek felt slightly vindicated—but definitely wasn't a kid. He was working on his doctorate in behavioral science, and his dissertation, still a work in progress, was on something called "transactional sex."
Derek had never heard of it, but the word "transactional" sounded a lot like what they were planning to do, and he spent a few minutes worrying he might be some kind of research subject, until Stiles paused mid-sentence and asked, "What'd I say that made you uncomfortable?" Once Derek confessed his fear, Stiles quickly reassured him otherwise, and explained the difference, much to Derek's relief. It would have sucked to walk away, but he wasn't going to be someone's data point.
Stiles also liked to go to video game conventions in his spare time. Derek hadn't even known there was such a thing as video game conventions, but he liked video games. They talked about that for a bit, too, though it quickly became clear Stiles was a much more hardcore gamer than Derek.
Though there wasn't supposed to be any shop talk, talking about Stiles' life inevitably led to talking about his job in general terms, and Derek was curious, even more so after seeing how enthusiastic he was about it. Stiles explained the surrogacy gig was perfect for him, because it was something he enjoyed that let him live comfortably without chaining himself to a full-time job, and was also tangentially related to his field of study. He described it as being part social worker, part sex worker, and part therapist.
"Just something I happened to discover I was good at," he said, grinning cheekily, and Derek didn't need a flowchart to figure out how Stiles had come to realize he had a talent for being knotted.
About halfway through the conversation, Derek realized Stile was subtly probing at what he would probably refer to as Derek's "intimacy issues," but Derek wasn't much interested in reliving all the shit that had led to that particular problem. He knew Stiles probably had to do it, though, as part of the screening process, and if he wanted Stiles to take him as a client—and he definitely wanted Stiles to take him as a client—he was going to have to open up at least a little.
In the end, he gave Stiles a brief, candid summary: every last one of Derek's long-term relationships had ended in betrayal or attempted murder or outright death, and he was just done. He left out the rest of the gory details. There was so much there he'd rather not even think about, much less tell someone he was trying to impress.
And he was trying to impress Stiles, he realized. He really liked him. For a moment Derek wished they hadn't met like this, where Derek was only a client and could never be anything more. He wished this were a real date, getting coffee and talking a little, trying to figure out if they wanted more, if they wanted--
No no no, Derek thought, jerking his attention away from pointless fantasy. It wasn't even in the realm of possibility. Derek was never getting attached to anyone ever again, and also Stiles had been very clear about dealing with the potential emotional minefield around knotting, and what they had to do to minimize the fallout. He'd gone over it at length when they'd talked on the phone two days ago. Derek had liked his voice.
Stiles had gone silent while Derek was wrestling with his impulses, and now he was watching him, tapping the lid of his coffee with the tip of his finger, smiling a little.
"So do you think you want to, uh, work with me?" Derek asked, mindful of the fact that they were out in public and had to be discreet. Stiles had allotted an hour for this meeting, and they'd already gone twice beyond that, which was probably a good sign. But he needed to know.
"Yeah, of course," Stiles said, looking surprised by the question. "I like you." Derek's breath caught, and he smiled, feeling thoroughly charmed, and powerless to do anything about it.
"Wow," Stiles said, staring at him appreciatively. "You have a great smile." He tipped his head to rest it on his other hand, and in the process exposed the thick tendon in his neck, the tender flesh on the underside of his jaw. There was no way, being in his line of work, that he didn't know exactly what he was doing. He was flirting with Derek, werewolf style. "I'd like to see you smile some more," he said. It should have sounded like a cheesy line, but it didn't.
Derek looked at Stiles for a moment, the upticked corners of his mouth, the visible throb of his pulse beneath the delicate skin of his neck, before he reached across the table and hooked his finger under Stiles' chin and tipped it up a little higher. Stiles' eyes fluttered closed and his pretty pink mouth parted slightly as he exposed even more of his throat.
"I'd like that," Derek said, on a sub-vocal growl that Stiles would feel more than hear. And Stiles did feel it, if the little shiver that went through him was any indication. Derek wanted to drag the tip of his finger down the side of Stiles' throat, touch the quick trip of his pulse, but it was probably too soon and they were in public. Instead, he let his hand fall to the table between them and left it there.
Stiles slowly opened his eyes, blinking a little dazedly, his long eyelashes fanning over cheeks that looked like they'd be hot to the touch. Derek could smell Stiles' interest now, thick in the air, sweet on his tongue.
"I think we're compatible," Derek guessed, curling his fingers toward his palm to stop himself from touching Stiles again. It felt like they were dancing right on the edge of getting carried away.
"I'll say," Stiles said, shaking himself out of it. "I think it's gonna work out great." He twisted around to reach into his messenger bag, hanging off the back of his chair, and Derek happily ogled the strip of skin that came into view when his shirt rode up. "Normally there'd be some counseling type stuff, meeting in a private place and talking about any issues that might be causing the problem, but your case is a little different, so we can skip right to the fun part."
"Sounds good," Derek managed, mouth going dry at the thought of the fun part.
"Great!" Stiles said with a flattering level of enthusiasm. "Let's get the technical stuff out of the way." He set a bright yellow file folder on the table, opened it, and slid Derek's contract across the table, then set a pen on top of it.
Stiles already had Derek's credit card information, had taken it over the phone when they set up this meeting, so all that was left was signing on the dotted line and setting up a time for the actual consultation session. Derek had a pretty open schedule, and said so. Stiles chewed on his lip as he thumbed his phone--checking his calendar, presumably--and Derek felt the faintest prickle of jealousy at the thought of Stiles doing this with other people, but it was a good reminder of what this was and what it couldn't ever be.
Stiles had emailed him a copy of the contract ahead of time, so Derek knew what it entailed and didn't bother to read it again now. When he flipped to the third page, the one he had to sign, there in bold text at the bottom was the number one caveat: this was a one-time deal. Due to the potential for strong emotional attachment associated with knotting—on the werewolf's side, of course. Stiles, as a human, didn't have the same reaction to it, which was how he was able to do it over and over again, always with a different werewolf—there would only be one knotting encounter, and then they would never see each other again. Full stop.
Derek signed the contract.
They set up a time for the consultation the following Thursday evening, over a week away, and the soonest Stiles was available. Derek feared the wait would be agonizing, but it wasn't nearly anything like the anxiety he'd felt leading up to meeting Stiles at the coffee shop. He liked Stiles and was attracted to him, and he'd had sex with people whose company he'd enjoyed a lot less. In the meantime he read the informational packet Stiles gave him when they parted ways, tidied up his place, and got a haircut. He was freshly showered and only a little nervous when Stiles knocked on his door on Thursday night.
"Hey. You look good," Stiles said, giving Derek's arm a little squeeze as he brushed past him into the loft. Derek wasn't wearing anything special, but had still spent a mortifying amount of time waffling in front of his closet before choosing one of his tightest T-shirts and a newer pair of jeans. He'd opted to go barefoot, since the whole point was to go to bed together.
"Thanks," Derek said, feeling slightly bashful. He hadn't expected compliments, and had always sucked at receiving them.
He thought about returning the favor, but after he slid the door closed he took a good look at Stiles and thought it might come off as a lie, even though it wasn't. Stiles was wearing a pair of faded corduroys and a T-shirt that was practically threadbare, and his hair looked like he'd been licked by a giant cat. He didn't seem to have put any effort at all into his appearance, and he still made Derek feel like there wasn't enough air in the room.
Stiles wandered further into Derek's place, looking around a little, while Derek tried to take slow, deep, calming breaths. That didn't help, because he immediately got a noseful of Stiles, happy and a little excited, a little cinnamony. Derek moved closer without thinking about it, like Stiles' scent was a hook set between his hipbones, tugging him forward.
"Anything we need to talk about before we start?" Stiles asked, turning back to face Derek. "Questions? Concerns?"
"No," Derek gulped. Then, "You smell really good." He didn't smell like anyone else, which had been a worry of Derek's, that he'd be able to tell Stiles had been with another client recently. But he only smelled like Stiles, the same smell Derek had found so appealing at the coffee shop, and no one else. Just clean, horny guy.
Stiles was already taking off his glasses and toeing off his shoes at the same time. He looked up at Derek and a smile slowly bloomed on his face, until it was almost blinding. "Do I?" he asked, sounding pleased.
"Yeah," Derek admitted. He didn't know why he was suddenly feeling self-conscious about it. Stiles had probably fucked more werewolves than anyone else in the state of California. He knew how they operated. He wouldn't think it was weird. Maybe he would, if he knew just how good Derek thought he smelled, but Derek was keeping that to himself.
"So, we can go as fast as you're comfortable with," Stiles said, as he wiggled out from under his messenger bag and dropped it on top of his shoes. "We're really compatible, so I don't think we'll have to work on bonding too much. You said you've held back before, right?"
"Yes," Derek said, wiping his nervous hands on his jeans. He'd had the urge to knot plenty of times during sex, but had never followed through, so it wasn't a performance issue. Some of Stiles' clients had trouble knotting, Derek knew from reading his website, but he'd called Stiles simply because he wanted to experience it once in his life. He'd given up on relationships forever, and knotting wasn't something you just did with a one night stand.
"This is kind of a nice change of pace," Stiles told him. "Since I won't have to talk you through it or work around any issues. I can just enjoy it." His eyelids dipped a millimeter lower on the word "enjoy" and Derek felt himself drifting closer still. He really, really wanted Stiles to enjoy it.
"Do you want me to take the lead, or you?" Stiles asked, stepping toward Derek, putting himself within touching distance, and Derek couldn't wait anymore. He moved into his space and Stiles crowded against him a little, receptive, so Derek kissed him, caught his mouth, swayed closer until they were standing flush with each other. The packet had spelled out what was allowed and what wasn't, and Derek had read it carefully—a little obsessively, even—and knew kissing was not only okay, but encouraged. If they were going to bond enough to knot, there had to be contact, and closeness.
Derek had a feeling it wasn't going to take them very long.
Stiles was a really good kisser, not too aggressive, not too wet, and he was really responsive, making little noises in his throat, threading his fingers through Derek's hair, rubbing against his chest. Derek reached down and grabbed Stiles' ass with both hands, and it felt just as nice as it looked, hard muscle that flexed under Derek's fingers. Stiles sucked in a sharp breath and catted his hips up at the touch; Derek could feel him through their pants, half-hard and getting harder.
"Oh, that feels good," Stiles breathed, tilting his head back in obvious invitation. Derek went for it, dragging his mouth down, leaving sloppy kisses in a trail all the way down to his shoulder as he kneaded Stiles' ass, grinding them together. Derek was getting hard now, too. "I've been looking forward to this all week," Stiles said, sighing happily as Derek nosed his way under his chin.
"Me, too," Derek admitted, moving on to close his teeth on the tendon in Stiles' neck that had tempted him so badly the last time, which made Stiles whimper. Derek was fiercely glad it wasn't just him. He'd worried it would feel clinical, like Stiles was performing a service, but it didn't at all. It felt real, like two people who wanted each other giving in to it. That was probably why Stiles was so good at his job.
When Derek broke the kiss Stiles tried to follow, reaching with his mouth, tugging on his hair, but Derek caught his hands, then turned and backed him toward the bed. At the last second, Stiles ducked out and spun around, and managed to shove Derek down onto the bed, where he sat down with a surprised grunt.
"That was supposed to be my move," Derek protested as Stiles climbed into his lap. He didn’t waste any time getting his hands back on Stiles' ass; he wasn't that upset.
"Mmmm. You snooze, you lose," Stiles said into his mouth. His hands ran down Derek's sides until he found the bottom of his T-shirt, and then he stopped kissing him long enough to pull it up and off. Stiles flung it over his shoulder with a triumphant little flourish and Derek actually laughed.
"There you go," Stiles said approvingly, cupping Derek's jaw in his hands, running the tip of his thumb along Derek's lower lip. "I like seeing you smile." He leaned down, dragging Derek's mouth open a little with his thumb and then slowly moving his own mouth against it. Derek couldn't remember the last time anyone had been so tender with him, and he clung to Stiles' hips as he deepened the kiss, heart thumping hard against his ribs. When Stiles pulled away, he smiled softly and bumped his nose against Derek's, a sweet, affectionate gesture that wasn't sexual, but hit Derek with a wave of longing all the same.
"Stiles," Derek said hoarsely, and barely stopped himself from saying something stupid, remembering at the last minute that they were creating a bond that was meant to temporary.
"Shhh," Stiles said, soothing, and it occurred to Derek that he probably had enough experience at this to know what was happening, and was trying to help Derek maintain at least a little dignity. That was something to be grateful for, at least. "Do you want me to take my clothes off or leave them on?" Stiles asked, hands wandering over Derek's bare chest.
"Off," Derek said immediately. He wanted to see Stiles' body. He wanted to touch him and put his mouth on him. He reached for the hem of Stiles' T-shirt and skinned it up his torso, until Stiles lifted his arms and let Derek pull it all the way off.
Derek wasn't disappointed--Stiles looked really good. He had little round biceps and a flat belly, sturdy bones held together with tight muscles, all of it covered in pale skin that looked like it would show every touch. His chest had a narrow patch of hair in the center that Derek leaned forward to nuzzle, then rubbed his scruffy chin against it, which made Stiles arch, bracing against Derek's hands where they were cupped over his shoulder blades.
While Derek was distracted with that, Stiles planted both hands on his chest and pushed him down onto his back, then came down on top of him, going after his mouth again. They kissed for a minute, hips grinding together, and then Derek tilted his head, baring his throat, and steered Stiles by the back of his head until he closed his mouth there and sucked, scraping with his teeth until Derek was moaning with it. It could have been too soon, but it felt right--they were definitely bonding, and Stiles had already let Derek do it.
When Stiles started kissing his way down Derek's chest, his stomach, Derek rolled them so he was on top, surprising a laugh out of Stiles. After pinning him down with a kiss, Derek levered himself up off the bed and opened Stiles' pants, whisking them and his underwear off and away when Stiles obediently lifted his hips. His dick was really nice, pink like his mouth and curved toward his belly, bumping against the thick line of hair there when Stiles propped himself up on his elbows and toed off his socks.
When he noticed Derek staring at his dick, Stiles flicked an eyebrow at him and reached down to touch himself, thumbing the wet head, rolling his balls between his fingers. Tease.
"You're in my way," Derek grumbled, pushing Stiles' hand aside so he could lean down and drag his tongue up the underside of his dick. Stiles let out a shuddery breath, then squawked in surprise when Derek slipped his hands under the small of his back and flipped him over so he could get to his ass.
God, his ass. Derek palmed one side and set his teeth in the other, not enough to hurt, but enough that Stiles would definitely feel it. Without moving his mouth, Derek slowly dragged his thumb over and down. Stiles jerked beneath him and then lifted up into the touch, a clear go-ahead, even though Derek already knew that, because it was in the packet.
When he lifted his head there was a nice set of teethmarks on Stiles' butt--human teeth, because that was also in the packet--and Stiles was starting to squirm against his thumb, which was slowly inching deeper and deeper into the cleft of his ass, but not close enough to touch what Stiles clearly wanted him to.
"Fuck, you're killing me," Stiles groaned, fingers flexing in the blankets, when Derek teased him a little, rubbing his thumb back and forth right where the skin shaded to a deeper pink. Derek was so hard he wanted to claw the front of his pants right open, but he could be patient long enough to appreciate this. He rubbed his nose over the bite marks he'd made, which drew a hiss out of Stiles, a hiss that turned into a whine as Derek slowly spread him open with both hands. Derek didn't do anything right away, just breathed on him, watching him twitch. Stiles made a sound that was half annoyed and half pitiful, and humped back toward his face. "Derek, if you don't--"
He never finished the sentence, because Derek nudged his face right down into the core of him and lapped with the flat of his tongue, and Stiles arched his back and his words turned into a garbled keen. Derek felt like keening, too, when the taste of him washed over his tongue, flooded his mouth, made him breathe in sharply through his nose to fill himself with more Stiles. Humming with satisfaction, Derek opened him a little wider and probed with his tongue before licking again in a slow rhythm. Stiles started rutting against the bed, making soft little broken cries that made Derek's own hips jerk, working himself against the inside of his jeans until it started to sting.
Derek screwed his tongue in as deep as he could, then did it again because he liked the sound Stiles made, and the way his body clutched at Derek's mouth. When Stiles started shaking, Derek backed off a little to let him regroup, and then started all over again, tongue-fucking him until his jaw ached and his whole face was wet. He wanted to do it forever, work his way ever deeper, get his fingers in there, too, but tonight the urge to knot--usually vague and easily tamped down--was stronger than he was used to, especially with Stiles' ass right there, open and wet.
Knowing he could do it, not hold back, not shove down his basest instinct, was making it even harder to ignore than usual. He gave Stiles' beautiful ass a final sucking, open-mouthed kiss that left him gasping, and then reluctantly lifted his head. He took one last look, circling Stiles' hole lightly with his thumb. Stiles was so relaxed and ready he just opened right up, and Derek couldn't hold back a growl as he grabbed Stiles' hips and rolled him back over.
Stiles' face was red, and his chest. He looked pleasure-drunk, happy. His stomach was wet where his cock had leaked pre-come while Derek was rimming him. He looked delicious. Derek lifted himself up onto all fours and stalked his way up Stiles' body, baring his teeth in a predatory grin. It was nice for once to not have to hide the fact that he was a werewolf. He could let his eyes flash, drag his nose up the middle of Stiles' belly and inhale him, growl in his ear. It wasn't just knowing he could knot him that made everything different tonight, it was not having to hide part of himself.
"God, the way you taste," Derek groaned, nuzzling Stiles' jaw before going for a kiss. Stiles didn't flinch; he probably wasn't squeamish about much. Instead he went for it, licking at Derek's mouth like he wanted to find himself there, while one hand trailed down Derek's chest and over his belly to thumb open his jeans. "I could eat you out for hours," he rumbled in Stiles' ear. "Can you come that way?" Maybe after Derek knotted him...God, it would be even better then, the combined taste of the two of them. Stiles would probably let him.
"Yeah, if you do it long enough," Stiles said breathlessly, like the thought affected him the same way it did Derek. Derek was sure he could do it long enough.
He got caught up in imagining it until he felt Stiles reach down into his underwear and grab his stiff cock. He hissed between his clenched teeth, shuddering as Stiles gave him a few easy strokes, working the foreskin back and forth over the head. Then Stiles' fingers slipped down and touched the base, where the knot would come, where the skin already felt hot and a little stretched, and Derek's arms nearly gave out. His whole body jerked as Stiles circled that part with his thumb and finger and squeezed, and the sound Derek made was almost embarrassing. He'd never had sex with the intention of knotting before, which meant no one had ever touched him there when he was primed to do it.
"Let me know when you're ready," Stiles told him, giving him another tight tug before letting go. He trailed his fingers along the underside of Derek's dick as he took his hand out of Derek's pants.
"I'm pretty ready," Derek said roughly. He already wanted Stiles' hand back.
"Okay," Stiles said, long fingers combing through the hair beneath Derek's bellybutton. "Oral or anal?"
"What?" Derek asked stupidly, blinking down at him, when the words sank in.
"My mouth or my ass?" Stiles said, rephrasing for Derek's dimwitted benefit.
Derek's brain sputtered, went offline, came back. He'd just assumed…he'd thought…he'd pictured it a lot in the last few days: Stiles on his back under him, that perfect little ass clenched tight around his knot. He hadn't even considered knotting his mouth. It was a thing people talked about sometimes, but it was a sort of an extreme act you only saw in porn, and Derek thought most of that was probably faked anyway. It had never occurred to him that knotting Stiles' mouth was an option.
But Stiles was offering, and he must be capable. He'd probably done it a lot of times, was used to it, could take it--the idea of Stiles taking it made Derek feel a little lightheaded. And he did have a very nice mouth. Derek's insides squirmed pleasantly just thinking about putting his dick in it.
"Mouth," Derek said, rushed. He felt his face heat up, like just admitting it was a thing he wanted was a little embarrassing, but embarrassment was pointless in this situation.
"All right," Stiles said, like it was no big deal. He prodded Derek's shoulder, urging him off, and Derek went, kneeling up when Stiles slithered out from underneath him, because he sure as hell didn't know what else to do. He'd had a vague plan that involved him covering Stiles, fucking him, knotting the hell out of him. He had no plan at all for his mouth.
"You should probably be sitting, or lying down," Stiles said, possibly picking up on Derek's uncertainty. "Since you haven't done this before. It can be a little overwhelming the first time, and if your knees give out while you're locked in my mouth…"
That mental image alone was almost enough to make Derek change his mind about it completely, but he stood up and got rid of his pants anyway, huffing out a surprised laugh when Stiles made exaggerated grabby hands at his dick as it popped free.
"Don't laugh, I've been obsessing over this for days. God, look at it," Stiles said, giving Derek's cock some enthusiastic attention while Derek was trying to get back on the bed. His words didn't ring of false flattery at all and the expression on his face as he played with Derek's dick was just short of enthralled. Stiles was definitely good for Derek's ego.
"You're gonna make me fall on my face," Derek warned, when he finally got both knees on the bed, bracing his hand on Stiles' shoulder. Even that didn't make Stiles didn't stop touching him, so Derek widened his knees a little to steady himself, then closed his hand over Stiles' and they gave his dick a few slow pulls together, Derek's fingers laced with Stiles' longer, skinnier ones. God, what a sight.
When Derek finally let go, Stiles cupped Derek's balls and rubbed his fingers lightly against the sensitive place behind them as he knelt up to kiss his mouth. "This is going to be so good, I promise," Stiles murmured, sucking on Derek's lower lip.
"I believe you," Derek said around the sudden tightness in his throat. That was one thing he'd never doubted at all.
Stiles gave him one last, quick kiss before he slapped Derek on the butt. "Showtime. Get settled."
Derek wanted a good view, so he sat down, then scooted back until his shoulders were propped against the headboard, opening his legs. Stiles seemed to think that was acceptable, because he crawled forward and settled between Derek's bent knees. It was kind of amazing watching it happen, because Stiles was narrow-hipped but long-legged--there was a lot of him to settle. Somehow he just folded himself down until he fit; the only thing that didn't quite make it was his shoulders, so Derek had to spread his legs a little more to make way.
Once he got comfortable, Stiles cupped Derek's knees and then skimmed his hands down the insides of his thighs, tickling the hairs. Derek's hips canted up in anticipation, but Stiles' fingers skirted around Derek's dick, drifting up to settle over his ribs instead. Then he stilled and looked Derek in the eye. Most of the red had gone out of Stiles' face, except for a bright pink splotch over each cheekbone. He was still hard though, still very aroused, and Derek liked that, a lot.
"What's your safeword?" Stiles asked.
Stiles already knew it--it had been written into the contract Derek had signed--so this was just confirmation. "Spaghetti."
"Spaghetti," Stiles repeated back to him. He didn't laugh at the choice. "Got it. Since I won't be able to talk, if I tap three times that's my safeword," he said, and poked Derek in the ribs with his finger, more vigorously than Derek was expecting. Derek jumped, and Stiles grinned up at him. "You ticklish?" he asked, cocking an eyebrow.
"Yes," Derek confessed, squeezing Stiles with his knees until he wheezed. Retaliation.
"Good," Stiles coughed, when he could use his lungs again. His eyes were crinkled with happiness. "Then I know you'll feel it. Ready?"
All Derek could do was nod, and remember to breathe as Stiles settled in and went to work on him.
It started slow. He just looked at Derek for a moment, mouth hanging slightly open, and then ran his fingers up and down his length, down over his balls, back up. He took his time, touching every inch of him, paying a little extra attention to the base, which felt really good. Finally, when Derek was having a hard time not squirming, he closed his fist around the middle of the shaft and his pink tongue darted out and licked the slit. Goosebumps fanned out over Derek's arms as Stiles closed his mouth around the head and sucked gently, and Derek didn't even try to keep quiet.
Stiles' mouth was soft and lush, hot inside, and he was good with it, switching off between suction and licking, scraping with his teeth a little when Derek responded well to that. He was thorough, but there was a languid, almost lazy way he used his mouth that made Derek feel like he was melting into the bed, slowly falling apart under Stiles' attention. Derek put his hand on Stiles' head, his wild hair feathery soft, and made sure to let him know how much he appreciated it all, panting out praise, swearing softly when Stiles teased him a little. After a few minutes, Derek was painfully hard, but nowhere close to coming.
Then Stiles slid his hand down and gripped him snuggly around the base, right where the knot would come, and Derek sucked in a breath as something just buckled in him, and everything changed. Whatever it was that had just given way--his patience, his composure, his sanity—it dissolved his restraint in an instant. He'd never been this close to knotting, and now he felt powerless to stop it. He no longer just wanted to do it, he needed to do it, felt driven by the impulse, and he made a desperate sound as his hips came up off the bed, fucking himself into Stiles' mouth before he could stop. As soon as he did it, Stiles' attentions switched from idle to focused, and Derek made another desperate sound, this one more of a plea.
The pleading worked. Stiles started bobbing his head in long pulls, cheeks hollowing as he sucked harder, gradually working his way lower and lower each time he came down. His grip on the base was squeezing in the same rhythm, which was almost unbearably good, and made Derek feel crazed, barely in control. The closer Stiles' mouth got to his fist, the more frantic Derek felt, and he fumbled his hand to the back of Stiles' neck, panting harshly, holding on like he was afraid Stiles would stop. Derek wasn't a big guy, a little above average, but he could already feel the back of Stiles' throat every time he dropped his head, and he wasn't sure how the hell he was going to fit it all, but God he wanted it. He wanted to be all the way in, and he wanted to feel Stiles' mouth around his knot the way he could still smell him on his face, taste him on his tongue. He wanted to be surrounded by him.
And Stiles seemed to want it, too, making hungry little noises as he sucked, flexing his hips a little as he worked his mouth down, like he was greedy for it, like he wanted Derek's knot so bad, as bad as Derek wanted to give it to him. Derek could feel his knot starting to swell up, pressing ever more urgently against the inside of Stiles' fist. "I’m close," he choked out.
When Stiles took his hand away, Derek could see how swollen the base of his dick was now, hot and aching, the skin dark red and pulled taut. Stiles backed off again until just the head was in his mouth, twirled his tongue around it as he opened his eyes and looked up at Derek, and then slowly sank back down, down and down and down, until his mouth met the thickest part, getting thicker by the second. He'd have to do it now.
Derek watched in dazed fascination as Stiles kept right on going, mouth stretching wider as he bore down, and then the knot slipped in to rest on his tongue, fill his mouth.
They stayed like that for a second, Stiles' breathing slowly through his nose, Derek trembling on the edge, and then Stiles swallowed, the soft flesh of his throat working around Derek's cock and that was it, Derek came with a sharp cry, hands clutching wildly at Stiles' shoulders as he shot down Stiles' throat. Stiles squeezed his eyes shut and swallowed it all down.
Derek had never been deep-throated before, and it was indescribable, like nothing he'd ever felt. It was already close to being too much, and then his knot started to swell in earnest.
Everything Derek had read about knotting said it felt like an extra-long orgasm, but that was wrong, that was not even close. Derek had had a lot of orgasms in his life, and none of them had ever felt remotely like this--it felt like he was coming with his whole body. Every muscle pulled tight and he groaned through clenched teeth as he filled Stiles' mouth, pulsing in that soft, small space, crowding against his tongue, pressing against the backs of his teeth.
Stiles made a sound, a plaintive little moan as his fingers dug into Derek's hips, and Derek wanted to ask him if he was okay, but he couldn't talk. All he could do was ride it out, shivery tension building in the small of his back with every new spasm. The pulses kept coming, one after the other, from deep in Derek's belly, getting longer and deeper and slower, pushing the air out of his lungs. A tear ran out of Stiles' left eye and onto Derek's stomach, and still Stiles never let up, just moaned and swallowed, moaned and swallowed, eyes watering.
Derek cracked the back of his head against the bed when the next deep jolt hit him, back arching as he pawed at the blankets. It was still building, each spasm more prolonged and more intense than the last, making the muscles in his thighs tighten in rhythm, building toward something that felt big and a little scary. He'd never felt so out of control of his own body before, never felt so helpless, but Stiles was there, and Stiles was stroking his hip bones with his thumbs as Derek whimpered and twitched, and Derek felt cared for, accepted, gutted by it.
The inescapable clench and release dug deeper into him, tightened his stomach, curled his toes, ground his teeth together in something that was fast approaching agony. He squeezed his eyes shut and choked out a cry when the last, overwhelming pulse came, hands reaching for Stiles' head as it peaked, holding Stiles in place as he rocked his hips, straining for release from the bruising pleasure of it even as he wanted to hold onto it, make it last. He couldn't get any deeper, couldn't get any more in, couldn't do anything but let the feeling push him over the edge, and Stiles caught him, kept him safe in his mouth.
This time the spasm didn't let up, kept hold of Derek's body until he sobbed with it, cradling Stiles' head with his shaking fingers, shoulders curling up and over him until their heads were almost touching. As he held Stiles' face in his hands and throbbed hotly in his mouth, knot locked tight behind his teeth, something soft and warm and terrifying bloomed up through his belly and into his chest, where it burst out of his throat in a high-pitched whine. His heart cracked open and all the affection and devotion he'd been holding back for years came roiling out, and he poured it all into Stiles, powerless to stop it, grateful he didn't have to.
That was how it ended. The two of them clinging to each other, Derek defenseless and laid bare, Stiles carrying him through it. The most intimate thing a werewolf could do.
The strength went out of Derek's body all at once and he fell backwards in a boneless, sweaty heap, sucking in huge gulps of air, every muscle shaking. When Stiles moved under his hands he realized he was probably still holding on a little too hard and gentled his grip, patting Stiles' hair in clumsy apology. His dick, agonizingly sensitive now, was already starting to soften, and Stiles relaxed his jaw, gently letting Derek go, easing him out of his mouth with care. When they were finally separated, Stiles pitched forward to rest his forehead on Derek's belly, coughing a little.
"You okay?" Derek asked, voice rusty and strained. Stiles nodded against his stomach, trying to catch his breath, then reached up to blindly feel around for Derek's hand until Derek caught it and pressed their palms together tight. The contact made Derek's heart, already exposed and vulnerable, stutter painfully.
"That was unbelievable," Derek said, a little unsteadily. His other hand shook where it still rested on the back of Stiles' head, shifting his fingers through his sweaty hair.
"Yeah," Stiles panted. His voice was hoarse. Oh, God. "Very." Derek thought it probably wasn't quite as unbelievable for Stiles, but he appreciated the sentiment, and that he didn't rub it in Derek's face that he did this regularly for money.
Derek shifted a little, feeling the need to straighten his legs, and Stiles lifted up so he could, then immediately settled back down on him. Derek could feel the wet tip of his dick poking against the inside of his knee. He moved his leg, rubbing against it, and Stiles twitched under his hands. He'd stayed hard through the whole thing, and was still hard now. He'd enjoyed it.
"Don't you wanna come?" Derek asked, when Stiles didn't make any effort to do anything about it.
"It's up to you," Stiles said, pressing a kiss to Derek's belly before he looked up, resting his chin on Derek's stomach. His mouth was swollen, his chin wet, and there were tear tracks on his face. Derek was probably an asshole for how that made him feel. "But yes, I'd like to, if you're okay with it." His hips were shifting a little just talking about it, but he didn't seem to realize that. They were still holding hands.
Derek couldn't even imagine not being okay with it. He gently urged Stiles up and off him, over onto his back on the bed. He was so hard, dick an angry red, leaking fluid that, as Derek watched, dripped down onto his tight belly. He'd wanted to rim him after the knotting, and he still wanted to, even if the knotting part had gone differently than he'd planned, but Stiles seemed a little hungry for touch, for handholding and face-to-face contact. Derek was happy to give him those things.
He shuffled up onto his knees next to Stiles' hip and bent his head so he could lap at the tip of him, dragging the flat of his tongue over the slit, and Stiles gasped as his cock twitched. "Please, please," he said tightly, as his shaking fingers slipped through the hair on the back of Derek's head. "It won't take much."
Derek was never going to be able to top the blowjob he'd just gotten, that was for sure, but he took Stiles in his mouth anyway, because he wanted to taste him, and feel him on his tongue. "Ah, so good," Stiles said softly, shifting restlessly, his knee juddering against Derek's ribs.
Derek bobbed his head a few times, swirling his tongue at the top, until Stiles was nice and wet along his whole length, then shimmied up so he could kiss him while he stroked him. Stiles' mouth was hot and salty, his lower lip slightly puffy, and he moaned when Derek tentatively licked across it, so he did it again before kissing him for real. Thinking about what Stiles had done to him with his mouth, putting his tongue where his knot had been and tasting himself there, made something fierce and greedy well up in Derek, and the way Stiles hung onto Derek's shoulders and rolled his hips like he was desperate for Derek's hand was deeply satisfying.
"Come here, come here," Derek said urgently, rolling half onto his back and taking Stiles with him. It was awkward, Stiles sprawled mostly on top of him and barely coherent, but Derek didn't stop, just adjusted his grip between their bodies and kept going. Stiles buried his face in Derek's neck, and Derek shortened his stroke and murmured back to every one of Stiles' little pleas until he came, going rigid in Derek's arms, gasping wordlessly as he spilled over Derek's fist and onto his hip, into the line of hair below Derek's bellybutton.
When Stiles finally stopped jerking in his hand, Derek let him go and gratefully slumped all the way over onto his back, head buzzing with the scent of him, fresh and hot on Derek's skin. Stiles went limp against Derek's side, and slid mostly onto the bed, like he couldn't control what his body did, and didn't really care, throwing one sinewy leg over Derek's thighs.
"Oh, man, thanks. That was great," Stiles mumbled, when he stopped breathing quite so hard. He moved his head enough to kiss Derek's nipple. "What?" he asked, when Derek laughed.
"I should be the one thanking you," Derek said, amused. He ruffled Stiles' hair—with this clean hand, though it wasn't like he could make things much worse.
"Team effort," Stiles said, raising a weakly clenched fist. "Congratulations, knotting has been achieved. We did it." He reached down and twined his fingers with Derek's again, and either didn't notice or didn't care that it was the hand he'd come all over just a minute ago.
"Yeah, we did." And Derek feared he was never going to be the same. He wasn't sure yet if it was a good thing or a bad thing. That was a thought best left for tomorrow. Or next year.
"How you feel?" Stiles asked, lifting his head. His eyes were soft and curious.
"Really good," Derek said, after a second's hesitation. He wasn't sure how to describe how he felt, elated but relaxed, content but also a little raw. "I just--I didn't know it was going to be like that," he confessed.
"I didn't either," Stiles said, surprising him. "It's not usually that..." He waved his free hand in the air before letting it flop back onto Derek's chest. "Intense."
"Really," Stiles grinned. "What you just did was some kind of crazy next level shit. I don't even know. If I didn't already have my dissertation almost done, I'd write it on you."
Derek laughed against Stiles' forehead. "That's flattering, but not likely. Plus, you promised I wasn't a guinea pig."
"Yeah, I know," Stiles said, squeezing Derek's fingers tight. "But you deserve to have, like, one hundred thousand words written about your dick. An ode to your dick. I might write it anyway. That was impressive." He wasn't lying, so it was perfectly justifiable that Derek puffed up a little with pride. Every guy wanted to believe he had an impressive dick that deserved odes.
"I'm adding that to my resume," Derek decided. Stiles snickered as he put his head back down on Derek's chest and nestled in a little closer.
Derek had been a little afraid Stiles would want to leave right away, but he didn't make any move to get up. They lounged on the bed for a bit, Stiles' come slowly drying on Derek's skin, which was exactly what Derek had wanted, and he didn’t care if it was just post-knotting attachment influencing him. Stiles didn't seem fazed by it, but there probably wasn't much about werewolf sex that fazed Stiles.
Once it was obvious Stiles wasn't going to run out on him, Derek relaxed and started seriously working on enjoying the afterglow. He shifted them around a little—earning only a small, half-hearted protest from Stiles, who claimed he was already comfortable—so he could reach as much of him as possible. He wanted to nuzzle at Stiles' face, lick at the dried tears, pet him, hold him close. That was probably the bond talking, and it was going to be a bitch to deal with later, but for now Derek just rolled with it, and Stiles let him.
"I'm thirsty," Stiles said after a bit, trying to untangle from Derek enough to sit up. Derek guiltily remembered he'd worked hard with his mouth.
"I'll get you something. What do you want?" Derek asked, urging him back down as he sat up himself. "Water?"
"That'd be great," Stiles said, flopping back down like he didn't have a single bone in his body.
Derek got up and padded over to the kitchen, still bare-ass naked, and grabbed a couple bottles of water out of the fridge. Stiles took one gratefully when Derek got back in bed and handed them over, then melted right back into Derek's arms and let himself be cuddled while he sipped his water.
They talked about pointless stuff for a bit, the same kind of getting-to-know-you topics from the meeting at the coffee shop, like favorite foods and what songs they had on their iPods. Stiles was only four years younger than Derek, not enough to make much of a difference in their pop culture touchstones, though they had a serious difference of opinion when it came to the Transformers movies. No one was perfect.
"I should go," Stiles said eventually, through a face-splitting yawn. His fingers were rubbing up and down Derek's arm, slowly lulling him to sleep.
"Take a nap if you want. I don't mind," Derek said, feeling his own eyes drift closed. "I'm not expecting anything else," he added, in case Stiles thought he was angling for something extra. "If you're tired, sleep a little."
"I shouldn't," Stiles mumbled. He sounded so sleepy. "I better not."
He did anyway.
When Derek woke up a little while later, Stiles was dressed and sitting on the edge of the bed, pulling his socks on. His clothes were even more wrinkled than they'd been when he'd taken them off, but it was doubtful he cared. It was hard to believe a guy who was so indifferent to his appearance got paid to have sex for a living, but that wasn't the key to Stiles' appeal anyway. Stiles managed to be gorgeous in ratty old clothes and dorky glasses and uncombed hair. Derek hadn't stood a chance.
Stiles' bag was next to him on the bed, flap open, and Derek could smell toothpaste. He must have brought his own stuff to clean up with afterwards. Derek had slept through it, even though he wasn't usually a sound sleeper. Knotting was like a goddamn drug.
"Hey," Stiles said softly, looking at Derek over his shoulder when he felt him move. "I gotta go." Derek didn't know what time it was, but it felt late. Even if it wasn't, Stiles still had to go.
"All right," Derek said, rolling to grope around on the floor for his underwear. He pulled them on, and then drained the last of his water while Stiles wandered over to the couch and got his shoes. Derek yawned, ran his hands through his hair, and tried to act casual, even though his entire being was protesting the idea of letting Stiles walk out the door forever.
It was happening, though. Stiles had his glasses back on, his car keys in his hand. He was leaving.
Derek wasn't sure what to say, so he didn't say anything. Stiles was the one who was used to this, he probably knew how to end the night gracefully.
Stiles didn't say anything as they crossed the loft, though, not even "goodbye" or "thanks for your business." Derek slid the door open, and Stiles was halfway through it when he suddenly turned back toward Derek and grabbed him by the back of the neck and kissed him, hard, almost furiously, and that broke Derek's resolve. He grabbed at Stiles, hands scrabbling everywhere, until one was cupping the back of his head and the other was fisted in the hem of his shirt, and kissed him back with everything he had.
He was just about to beg Stiles to come back inside when Stiles broke away, wiping the back of his hand over his mouth as he took a step back, exhaling shakily. His chest was heaving up and down as fast as Derek's.
"Bye, Derek," he said, and Derek could have sworn there was a little hitch in his voice when he said his name. "Take care."
Then he turned and left.
The contract Derek had signed stated in no uncertain terms that there could be no contact at all between them after the consultation. Left alone, with nothing to feed it, any resulting attachment from the knotting would fade in three to six months.
Derek waited three months--three hideous, painful months of missing Stiles--and it didn't fade. He waited another three months, which were even harder than the first three, and it still didn't fade. If anything, it got worse.
He thought about Stiles all the time, craved seeing him, craved talking to him, craved that feeling he'd had when he'd held Derek's knot in his mouth, like it was safe to feel things, safe to care. He had dreams, he had fantasies, and none of it was enough.
Derek tried to tell himself he was being ridiculous, and letting his dick think for him, but he knew in his gut that wasn't true. He had a bad track record--probably the worst track record of anyone on the planet--and had sworn he would never trust his own judgement again, but he couldn't convince himself he was wrong about Stiles. Stiles had a list of references on his website a mile long, and he had werewolf friends, and his dad was the sheriff, so he probably wasn't a serial killer, or a bloody-thirsty hunter. Derek knew his standards were admittedly low, but it was a refreshing change all the same.
And there had been something between them, over and above the knotting bond, over and above what Stiles was required to do as part of his job. They'd spent less than twelve hours together total, but it had been a fun twelve hours, the talking just as much as the sex. They'd talked about normal stuff, like video games and tacos, and argued over dumb things like talking robots. That hadn't been fake, and it hadn't been necessary, either. That had just been them, as people, enjoying each other.
Stiles, who let werewolves fuck him for a living, was probably the most genuine, normal person Derek had ever been attracted to, and Derek couldn't get over him.
When he got desperate, which happened once or twice a week, Derek went to Stiles' website and read every single word on it all over again. He could see Stiles' personality in the words, recognized some of the phrases he used in casual conversation, and it was like having a little interaction with him again, as pathetic as that sounded. But it also reminded him that Stiles was out there somewhere happily being knotted by other werewolves, bonding with other werewolves, getting off with other werewolves, and that made Derek want to throw himself in front of a bus. A bus that was about to blow up.
At the seven month mark, he got an email from Stiles. Derek's stomach dropped when he saw it sitting in his inbox, and a thousand futile hopes bloomed in his head before he opened it and crushed them all. The message was chatty and friendly, but it was also very much a professional email.
Hi! This is a follow-up. Just checking to see how things are going. Knotting can be a very life-changing experience, and open up a lot of new horizons. We didn't talk much about your stance on intimate relationships, as you seemed very resistant to addressing that issue, but I'll admit I was hoping maybe I helped you with that, too. Has our consultation changed anything?
A "follow-up." Just part of the service he'd paid for, that was all. Derek felt angry, and stupid for hoping.
No change, Derek wrote back. He certainly hadn't dated anyone else, much less knotted anyone, in the intervening months. He'd thought about it to a terrifying degree, thought about doing it to Stiles in every way possible, over and over again, jerked off to it so many times he'd lost count. But he hadn't, in all those months, met anyone he liked as much as he'd liked Stiles as soon as he met him, before they'd even worked on building a knotting bond. It was just Derek's shitty luck--what else was new?--that he got attached to the guy he paid to fuck him.
Thanks for everything. Take care, he added as an afterthought. It wasn't Stiles' fault he didn't feel the same. He wasn't a werewolf. What they'd done hadn't meant as much to him--it was his job.
Derek sent it, got no response.
So that was that.
Just after the tenth month—Derek was starting to wonder if he was doomed to mark the passage of the rest of his life based on how long it had been since he'd knotted Stiles—Derek walked into a coffee shop around the corner from the courthouse and ran into Stiles. Just like that. No fanfare, no warning. He was just there.
He was sitting at a corner table with another guy, leaning on his elbows, cup of coffee and a muffin at his elbow. He had his back to the door, but Derek would recognize him anywhere, even after all these months, would know his scent anywhere. Derek still thought he could smell him in his bed sometimes, in the mornings, when he was half-awake and lonely. He could smell him now, over the scent of coffee and harried barista.
Derek took a few quick steps toward him before his brain caught up to the situation. The other guy was a werewolf. Stiles was sitting at a corner table in a coffee shop with a werewolf, just like he had with Derek so many months ago. Stiles was meeting a client.
Derek felt a stab of grief-tinged possessiveness so strong his eyes flashed before he could stop it. The other werewolf zeroed in on him instantly and snarled, low enough for only Derek to hear, and flashed his eyes back red. Oh shit. Derek had just challenged an alpha. He'd challenged an alpha over a guy who wasn't even his, and wasn't even the other guy's either. There was no sense in either of them posturing over him--Stiles didn't belong to anybody.
It was too late now, though. The alpha had put his hands on the table like he was about to push himself up out of his chair. They were in public, this was nuts, but it was Derek's fault. He briefly considered turning tail and running. For a normal werewolf it would be a loss of face, but Derek didn't have much left to lose anymore.
But even as the alpha was getting to his feet, Stiles' head whipped around to see what had set him off, and his face went pale as soon as he laid eyes on Derek. Stiles didn't turn away, didn't try to pretend he didn't know Derek. Instead, he reached back, without even looking, and put his hand on the alpha's arm. The alpha immediately subsided, settling back down in his chair, but he didn't relax completely, eyes darting from Derek to Stiles and back again.
Derek took the opportunity to be conciliatory. He nodded at the alpha, a gesture of respect, and the alpha stared at him for a second and then nodded back. Stiles had just saved Derek's ass.
Feeling humiliated and shaken, and not eager to press his luck after such a close call, Derek immediately turned and walked out of the coffee shop. He'd only made it a few feet down the sidewalk when Stiles came bursting out of the door behind him. "Derek! Wait!"
Derek almost kept walking. There was no reason to turn back, no reason to even talk to Stiles for one minute, except that he'd been hungry for even the smallest glimpse of him, pining away like an idiot. He wasn't strong enough to walk away from him now.
"I'm sorry," Derek said, when he turned around and saw how upset Stiles looked. "I'm sorry I interrupted. I hope I didn't cost you a client."
Stiles swallowed twice before he spoke. "He's not a client. That's my friend Scott."
"Oh," Derek said. No wonder he'd been so quick to answer Derek's challenge. They were friends. It was a relief, but a short-lived one. It didn't matter who Stiles was having coffee with today, because he and Derek had had their one night and there couldn't be another. Even if that werewolf wasn't a client, there had been others since Derek, would be many more after Derek. It changed nothing.
Scott came out the shop and stopped short when he saw Stiles and Derek standing on the sidewalk, practically drowning in awkward tension. "Stiles, you okay?" he asked, looking uncertain.
Stiles had been standing as if frozen, but hearing his friend's voice seemed to snap him out of it. He let out a shaky breath and ran both hands through his hair, scrubbed them down his face. "Yeah," he said, turning to look at Scott. "I'm good. You taking off?"
"Yeah, I gotta get back to work," Scott said apologetically. He was wearing scrubs, Derek noticed. He was probably on his lunch break. "Call me later."
Scott and Stiles stared at each other for a few seconds. Derek couldn't see Stiles' face but he could see a series of expressions flicker across Scott's, enough to figure out they were having a silent conversation.
"I will," Stiles said finally, when they'd sorted out whatever it was. Scott smiled at him, then nodded again at Derek, who nodded in return. Stiles watched him walk away until he disappeared around the corner, then turned back toward Derek.
It was kind of a crappy day, blustery and gray, and Stiles hunched his shoulders against the wind that whipped his hair around his head. Derek remembered how Stiles had shown up at his place almost a year ago with his hair a mess, and left with it even worse.
"Do you wanna come back inside?" Stiles asked, sounding a little nervous. His hands kept fluttering in front of him, like he couldn't decide what to do with them. "Have coffee? We can talk a little. As friends," he said, but his heart stuttered on the word "friends."
"That's against the rules," Derek pointed out.
"I know," Stiles said.
"It's been ten months," Derek said, which was all he could think right now, that it'd been ten months and he was still just as gone on Stiles as he'd been after their one night together. It was supposed to go away.
"Yeah," Stiles said, nodding. "It has."
"It didn't go away," Derek said, the words clawing their way up from where he'd been keeping them locked down tight this whole time.
"I know," Stiles said again, not quite succeeding in suppressing a smile. "I knew that the second you challenged an alpha over me."
Derek snorted. "Well, don't get too full of yourself," he said. "I didn't know he was an alpha."
Stiles laughed, a bright, beautiful sound that made Derek's heart feel like warm honey. He'd really missed hearing him laugh, and wanted to be the one to make him do it all the time. All he could do was smile helplessly back in return.
"And what were you going to do if you won?" Stiles asked, a little of his usual mischief coming back into his eyes.
Keep you forever, Derek thought, but that sounded like something that would get written on a form under the words Reason For Restraining Order. "Have you ever talked with anyone else after?" he asked Stiles. "As friends?"
The question made Stiles get serious fast. "Never," he said emphatically, shaking his head. Derek knew he was telling the truth, didn't need to hear any more than that, but Stiles kept talking.
"I've never slept in anyone's bed after, I've never kissed anyone goodbye on their doorstep, I've never sent anyone a follow-up email that's really my way of trying to find out if they're interested in dating me," he said, words coming fast.
"...dating?" Derek said faintly. He had…really misunderstood that email. Really a lot.
Stiles' sneakers scuffed against the sidewalk as he closed the distance between them, until they were close enough to touch. He smelled so good Derek could barely stand not to touch him. "And," Stiles said, "I've never abandoned my best friend and a perfectly good cup of coffee to follow anyone out into the street and tell them I still think about them all the time and I'm so, so stupidly attached that I feel like a hypocrite lecturing other people about it."
"You're not a werewolf," Derek said, breathless. That was the whole point of Stiles--he could let anyone knot him and just walk away like it was nothing. He was able to keep his professional distance. He didn't get all messed up over one night together. Derek was the only one stupid enough to do that. "You're human."
"Yeah, I am," Stiles said. His fingers brushed against Derek's, caught, held on. "But humans get attached, too, Derek. It's called falling in love."
"Oh, God, I'm gonna come," Stiles moaned as he squirmed in Derek's lap. He had one hand on the headboard next to Derek's ear and was furiously jerking off with other. Derek was grinding his face into Stiles' shoulder, whimpering helplessly as Stiles shoved down harder onto his knot, shuddering through his orgasm. It was the second time he'd come with Derek inside of him, and Derek was still hard as an iron bar, swelled up wide and locked inside.
If Derek had thought knotting Stiles' mouth was a profound experience, he hadn't been prepared at all for this. It was even better when he could feel Stiles' whole body against him, when Stiles could talk to him, when Stiles could come over and over again on his knot. By the end of it, Derek was a clinging mess, hiding his face against Stiles' neck while Stiles petted his ears and rubbed his big hands up and down Derek's arms. To hell with dignity--Derek was happy.
Later, when they were under the covers, Derek plastered against Stiles as thoroughly as he could manage, he asked, "You aren't going to charge me two thousand bucks for that, are you?"
"No way," Stiles yawned, scooting down a little more until just the top of his head was sticking out of the blankets. "That's gonna run you at least five. You were all knotted up in me forever."
"I didn't hear any complaints," Derek argued.
Stiles harrumphed, but didn't deny it. He came back with a counter-offer: "I'll waive my fee if you let me write that book about your dick."
"Deal," Derek said. He rubbed his hand through Stiles' hair, and Stiles pushed into it like a cat. "You know, we could have been doing that this whole time," he pointed out. "You and your stupid six month rule."
"Hey!" Stiles said indignantly, swatting at Derek's hip under the blankets. "You were the one who was so adamant about avoiding another relationship. That's the whole reason you came to me in the first place. You were never getting involved with anyone again, for the rest of your life."
"That's right, I wasn't," Derek said, closing his eyes and holding Stiles a little tighter. "Famous last words."