I don't know whether to be grossed out, proud, or turned on.
I think I'm some combination of all three.
Chris gets the texts from Stiles with a link attachment. Immediately, he knows what it is, and he snorts at Stiles' crass commentary.
“Of course he would get the info before anyone else,” Chris mumbles, thumbing over the link which takes him to the Mated website. The sudden butterflies that swirl into life in his stomach make him feel a little foolish. He knows what he said; he knows how he looked.
It's different, seeing all of it laid out for just anyone to see, however.
Peter joins him in the study once again, having left to get some water. He hands Chris a glass, anticipating his need, and asks, “Stiles?”
Nodding, Chris starts reading the interview first. It hits some of the more notorious bits of Argent history within the supernatural community before shifting towards Chris specifically. His ears feel a little warm at the obvious intrigue the interviewer had. He feels Peter sit down next to him on the arm of the chair before Peter reaches out to tilt the phone so he can see as well.
“I read it three hours ago,” Peter says, clearly a little smug about it. “Stiles may have a Google alert set up on us, but I've got connections.”
Chris looks up in time to catch the wink Peter gives him. He hooks his arm over his husband's thigh, chuckling. “And some people think I'm the dangerous one.”
When Peter leans down to run his mouth against Chris’ hair, he teases, “You're as tame as a tabby cat.” Peter threads his fingers through the hair at the back of Chris’ head. “You're most definitely not the only one with claws though.”
Peter laughs when Chris ducks down to take a fake bite out of his leg. “Stop distracting me. I'm trying to read this very informative article about this very attractive man.”
“He is quite delectable, isn't he?” Peter moans lightly, grabbing the phone out of Chris’ hand and scrolling up until he gets to the first photo. “Damn, darling.”
He shows the phone to Chris, all amusement gone from his voice and expression. In their place is appreciation, the want that always makes Chris wonder how the fuck he got so lucky to inspire that reaction in someone like Peter.
He drags his eyes from Peter's intense blue ones to the phone.
The photo is an upper body shot of Chris in an open buttoned dress shirt. He's looking to the side, as if pondering something, with his arm casually braced on the doorway he's standing in. Because of his position, the side of his neck facing the camera is elongated, and his head is tilted back just slightly. Chris likes the way the photographer played with the exposure and lighting, making the photo a little more raw than the usual fair for Mated . It doesn't look like any of his wrinkles or grey hair have been Photoshopped out— something he remembers Peter demanding be part of his contract. Personally, Chris doesn't see why Peter was so protective of that. It's sweet though.
The interview progresses towards Chris’ marriage— to who and what he married fifteen years ago. He skims his own summary of how he and Peter met, how much they hated each other at first and then how hard they fell soon after. Of course, his parents hadn't known about their relationship when it started, but keeping secrets from his family was practically impossible.
The fallout had resulted in being stricken from the Argent family tree and blacklisted by everyone who had dealings with them.
Not that Chris could say he was very upset about that last bit. While he has been booted from his family and everything he had known, it gave him a certain kind of freedom he had never known before.
And the Hales hadn't left him out in the cold for very long after that.
Chris scrolls passed the rest of that portion of the interview, trying to avoid this bittersweet memories talking about the past had brought up. It's a relief to see Peter's face looking at him from the screen while Peter's presence is warm against his side.
The photo is of the two of them together.
They're both shirtless, but Chris is the focus of the shot. Front and center and on his knees. Peter is lounging, cocky as the born model he is, on a leather seat. His legs are splayed where Chris is nestled, leaning back against him.
He can still remember the gentle pressure of Peter's hand where it was wrapped around his throat. The claws, which Peter doesn't actually use much outside of full moon hunts, had been lightly pressing into his skin. Just enough pressure to play up the shadows and entice the viewer. Looking at it, Chris feels hot all over. He knows they make an attractive couple, and he knows their star-crossed love story is something of a legend. But when the photographer had been clicking away on her camera, Peter had been talking to Chris quietly. He'd been joking about something or other and making crass suggestions about what they could have been doing for the camera. The shot that has been chosen for the article is from when Chris was laughing, head tipped back in amusement while Peter looked at him with obvious adoration in his features, eyes crinkling at the sides.
“I think I want a copy of this one for our bedroom wall,” Peter murmurs. His silky smooth voice winds in Chris’ ear. “You look so good like that.”
Chris wants to read the rest of the article, if only to be sure of what his friends, family, and enemies will be reading about the two of them. But he's got something else, he wants to do first.
He stands up and turns to face Peter where he is met with an anticipatory smile. Letting his phone drop to the seat he had just been using, Chris crowds between Peter's thighs once again.
“Thank you for talking me into doing it,” he says, hands drifting up to smooth along the wide set of Peter's shoulders before cupping his husband's neck between his palms. The rhythm of Peter's pulse is steady.
Peter preens, smirking. “Are you going to say it?”
Chris chuckles, and plays along. “ You were right ,” he says, “It does feel good to put it all out there.”
When Chris kisses him, Peter sucks on his bottom lip and is reluctant to let him get very far when he pulls back. He hugs Chris around the waist. “Darling, when are you going to realize I am always right, especially when it comes to making you feel better?”
Chris wants to disagree. They are both very strong willed, with strong personalities. However, Peter hasn't really ever been wrong, not when it comes to figuring out what will help Chris. The wounds his family left almost two decades have scabbed and scarred over, but they still ache at odd moments. It felt good to clear the air. And, he hoped no matter how unlikely the prospect be, his niece and nephew might wander upon the issue and read his side of things, take heed of the unspoken warning to get away from the poisoned well.
Chris drops his forehead to Peter's shoulder and sighs, thankful for his mate. “I love you.”
“I'll take that as an agreement,” Peter says, smiling around the words, time soft and fond. He squeezes Chris tightly in his arms. “I love you too.”