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It’s not about sex. You’d have to be exceptionally shallow-minded to think that, considering they can afford not only whatever type they want, but also to take the type they want up and drop it whenever they want, rather than dragging it around the world after them, with the literal and other baggage that entails. But it’s also not about power, or control. That’s far too crude a reading of the dynamic.

Derek’s barely halfway down the basement steps when Stiles levels a gun at the back of his head and cocks the hammer. The space isn’t finished and it’s dusty, clouds of it kicking up from the scuff of Derek’s feet, but that’s not why Derek’s eyes haze over.

“Yeah,” Stiles says, cynical grin not quite masking the light in his eyes, either. He prods at Derek with the gun, even though Derek’s hands are already in the air. “Keep on going.”

“I cleaned up,” Derek mutters, truculent despite his obvious arousal, slouching his way down the rest of the steps. He hunches and rolls his shoulders to shrug out of his jacket, getting it halfway down his arms before Stiles snags a handful of its leather, pulls it the rest of the way off.

Pulls Derek down onto his knees, square in the middle of the plastic tarp they’d taped across part of the concrete floor. Derek grunts, putting his hands back over his head, and then again as Stiles drags his arms down and back behind him. He’s twisting slightly at the waist, pelvis canting minutely forward whenever Stiles wrenches a wrist. His breathing’s sped up, and he flicks his tongue out between his lips as Stiles runs the muzzle of the gun under his chin, forcing that up and pressing his head backwards so he’s grinding it into Stiles’ groin.

“Lyds?” Stiles says.

“You’re fifteen minutes late and don’t even try to say it was traffic, I know what the GPS says,” Lydia says, not that she thinks it’s going to mean a damn thing to Stiles. That’s the problem with him, he always likes to ride the margin.

But he’s never been wrong yet about how wide that is, and it’s saved them more than once, as well as made a good third of their money. Anyway, she needs to finish up this transaction so they won’t have to work during the Venice Biennale, and if left waiting, Stiles is just going to make an even bigger mess. She kicks him the roll of electrical tape so he’ll have that to keep his hands busy instead of the gun.

Contrary to what the movies would have you think, money laundering has nothing to do with archaic bill-counting machines and backdoor deals with greasy underworld figures who still dress as if the Pacino Scarface is the height of fashion. It’s about excellent tax lawyers and accountants, an in-depth knowledge of the global banking system, and access to the best, fastest financial-services algorithms killing for hire can get you. It takes more than just a little math to get by.

When Lydia finally sits back, wrinkling her nose at the creaking lawn chair they’d found for her behind the boiler, Derek’s stripped naked and rolling on his back, arched over bound wrists so his glazed eyes loll vaguely in her direction. He’s not seeing her—he’s far busier with the man straddling his waist, casually sinking down onto his cock. Derek’s bare feet periodically lift, picking up the plastic sheet as it sticks to their soles, and then slap back down. Slurred curses drip out of his mouth, particularly when Stiles stops halfway down, makes an impatient noise, and contorts around to reach into the shadowed space between the bottom of his ass and the trembling flat of Derek’s groin.

Stiles rolled one of those latex sheaths down Derek’s cock before he started. Lydia can see it, especially as Stiles squats up and starts to play with Derek, probably tugging at those ball piercings, and Derek exchanges the cursing for urgent moans. “Fuck, Stiles,” he finally manages to mumble. “Fuck, I’m sorry, all right, he fucking—”

“Yeah, yeah, he always fucking, and we always fuck after,” Stiles snorts. He pulls his hand back up, holds it over Derek’s face till the man blearily registers, then flicks the fingers at Derek. “Mixed messages, I know, but here’s a thought—can’t do the ‘after’ if we have to trip over to the black-market doc to get a knife out of your back, can we? I mean, sure, there’s always blowing you while you’re still coming off the Vicodin, but drooling unconsciousness isn’t actually my flavor of medical kink.”

Derek licks his lips and instead of letting him answer, Stiles reaches down and wraps a hand around his neck. Then jerks down, putting weight on it—not all, some’s going onto the hand Stiles has braced over the gun lying next to Derek’s head—at the same time their groins go flush. Gasping, Derek wrenches up against the choking hand, then shudders back, the sheeting rippling up under his tapping shoulders.

Lydia glances at the output scrolling across her screen, then at her phone. Laura’s staying with Chris in France this week; the French are contradictory, claiming sexual permissiveness while still worshipping at the altar of traditional values, and lending her to Chris gives them both a chance to run those hypocritical fools out of business. And also sometimes Lydia doesn’t want that kind of company.

She gets up and walks over to the edge of the plastic. Some of the tape holding that down is peeling off, thanks to how much Derek’s squirming, and she deliberately presses her foot down on the spot. Stiles looks up, his hand still loosely encircling Derek’s throat, hips rocking against Derek’s waist.

“Nothing happened,” he says. He’s panting a little. A fresh trail of sweat’s winding its way over the dried traces of previous trails at the side of his face. “He cleaned up. Didn’t the GPS say so?”

“The GPS and Peter did, yes,” Lydia says dryly. She folds her arms over her chest. “I ran low on coffee, so I let him out.”

Derek startles, awareness feebly stirring in his eyes, but then Stiles looks down, makes a low, amused, shushing noise at him, at the same time he picks up the gun and touches the tip of the muzzle to Derek’s upper lip. The other man mouths at it like a baby with a bottle, then lets his head sag back as Stiles runs the muzzle up along the bridge of his nose, over his brow, back through his sweat-soaked hair. When the gun comes off, Derek’s entire body sags into a begging moan.

Excellent genetics, Lydia’s not immune to that. The bone structure in the face, the flat hard planes of muscle, defined with clear but soft-looking lines into broad pectorals, bunched abdominals. She catches herself studying the twitch of Derek’s groin muscles arrowing down under Stiles’ body, the way they seize up as Stiles humps against Derek, and then looks up to see Stiles watching her.

He’s possessive, in the sense that he wants it very clear what is and isn’t his. He pushes the gun aside and cradles both hands under Derek’s skull, fisting them in the thick black hair, tilting up Derek’s lust-addled expression for her. Showing her, because he’s also easily amused when he thinks she’s showing something she’d rather not. And he likes to share, in his way. With her, anyway. He used to slip her random research papers he’d write up on his own time, not for class, just for her personal interest when she wasn’t pretending to be a socialite-in-waiting.

Now he slips one hand down Derek’s front, fingers straying here and there from the centerline to tease a nipple, pet at a rib, circle a hipbone. Derek’s head rolls to the side and when she takes a step forward, she’s close enough that the tips of his hair are sprinkling her toes with sweat. She’s wearing espadrilles, expensive, likely to hold stains.

She stands where she is and Stiles grins at her again, throwing his own head back, his hand rising from Derek to grasp his own cock. The two of them don’t often have sex together these days, except for Chris, but that doesn’t mean anything. Doesn’t mean lack of chemistry—of alchemy, more accurately, since objective science hardly explains what it means when she raises her hand and puts it to his cheek and he closes his eyes and so does she and their mouths press together once again over a writhing, pleading, utterly at their mercy body.

She shares with him, too. That gets a lot closer to it than all that outdated Freudian selfishness.

* * *

Derek’s rolled onto his side on the plastic, knees pulled up. His cockhead’s flushed a dark, engorged red above the black latex, and whenever Stiles pets it, he stirs out of the apparent stupor he’s fallen into, hissing and rubbing his face into the sheet. Stiles wrapped a piece of plastic over his eyes and then taped over it, and it seems to have the same effect as tossing a towel over a birdcage, since Derek occasionally grunts a ‘fuck’ but otherwise hasn’t said a word. He just twists and arches against his bound hands, Stiles’ half-dried come flaking off his belly.

“So it works out, actually,” Stiles is telling Lydia, sitting cross-legged next to Derek. Minimally cleaned up, half-dressed, but he has his gloves on as he taps at his tablet. “Sure, we’ll have extra clean-up tonight, but it saves us both a disposal tomorrow and pretty much all of the alibi set-up.”

“Assuming it’s actually a coincidence, and not just our client getting ahead of themselves,” Lydia says, checking her phone. Chris is texting her that he has feelers out and should know by morning his time.

Stiles shrugs. He can be infuriatingly blasé about improvisation at times, considering he’s the one who first introduced Lydia to planned campaigns. She’d known tactics before that, of course, but long-term, coherent strategy…and when the mood strikes him, he’s still fanatical about that MMORPG. But then, he tolerates her jostling for good seats at fashion shows. “Yeah, so it probably is that too, but it’s obviously just them getting antsy about covering up their tracks and as long as they’re not doing it by selling us out, do we really care that they’re doing the same thing they’re paying us for?”

“As long as we don’t end up spending our profit margin on when they panic,” Lydia mutters. Her laptop is beeping.

She returns to it to check the GPS tracking just as Peter comes down the stairs. He calls out something appropriately ingratiating as he brings over the tray of drinks, to which she reminds him that her letting him out has nothing to do with what Stiles wants to do with him. Lydia doesn’t look up at the slight, alarmed in-suck of breath, or at Stiles’ confirming laugh, or at the other noises that follow. She’s too concerned with making sure that they’ll get out of this dingy basement on time, with all the delays that she knows Stiles’ antics are going to add.

Stiles ties up Peter the same as he did Derek, then drags Derek on top of him and pushes Derek’s cock into him before fucking Derek a second time. Derek and Peter make out frantically, tearing at each other’s mouths with the displaced lust that Stiles isn’t allowing their dicks to spit out, till Lydia comes over a second time.

“Fifteen minutes,” she tells Stiles.

He flops his head up to look at her, then wipes sweat out of his eyes. Blinks, then nods and forces Derek out of Peter. He strips off the latex sheath from Derek and tosses it into the center of the sheet, then looks at Lydia again. Resettles his grip on Derek’s hips, over the streaks of red-going-purple his fingernails have already scored into them, holding the man back.

“Wanna help?” he says.

She raises a brow at him and Stiles shrugs. “I don’t know, I just feel like you’ve been dropping in on Chris a lot lately,” he says. Beneath him, Derek’s pressed his head into Peter’s shoulder and appears nearly unconscious, but Peter’s listening, albeit with wavering attention. “Trying to be fair, and I know you always want to shove something in his mouth.”

“Which is your responsibility, or so you’ve claimed,” Lydia says. “You generally do a reasonable job.”

Stiles smiles at her, sheepish, the smile of forgetting to text her homework assignments and to tell her of extra corpses. “But not perfect, is it?”

“You’re incorrigible,” Lydia says, as she hikes up her skirt and moves her feet to straddle Peter’s head.

Derek grunts and his hair brushes against Lydia’s knee as he moves. Stiles slaps his ass and he hisses, stills, but she can sense his usual simmering, confused resentment. She ignores it, settling down on Peter’s mouth.

She ignores the slight, noiseless, only palpable by touch exclamation that Peter makes, just before his lips and tongue strain up to attend to her. The man is thinking it over, trying to fit it into what he knows and what he presumes about her and Stiles’ relationship, and about his and Derek’s own arrangement with Stiles. Trying to understand whether this means he’s lost ground, gained it, or something entirely different. Deep down, under the undeniable intelligence, Peter is completely terrified of being given away.

But, Lydia thinks as she takes her first deeper breath, feels the lap of Peter’s mouth send tremors up from her clit into her belly, that’s not her problem. Stiles and she share, but they both take care of their own business. And while Lydia might appreciate, even admire, Derek and Peter are wholly Stiles’ business. Oh, she might be amused that he’s less inclined to share them than he’s been with others in the past, but she’s not remotely offended. She doesn’t really want them, and Stiles does. So it’s just something to note.

When their mark finally shows up, there’s barely room for him on the plastic sheet. Stiles drags Derek and Peter, still bound, still coming down from long-denied orgasms, out of the way as Lydia topples him onto the opposite corner. The furthest splash of blood just misses the concrete.

“Just like the old days, huh?” Stiles says. He pulls out a knife and then, chuckling, gives a startled Peter a reassuring pat before he starts to cut the other men loose. “DIY murder on the weekends.”

“I despise nostalgia. There’s nothing charming about mistakes,” Lydia says, stepping off the sheet. She pauses to clean Peter’s spit off her thighs, then pulls her skirt down and calls for a clean-up crew.