When he offered Stiles the bite, Peter had entertained a fantasy of how their little pack might live. The McCall boy would be difficult, had been difficult. Perhaps having his best friend at Peter’s side would bring him to heel. He would be a powerful beta, driven by passion and impulse where Derek would always be wary and noncommittal. Offense and defense, a nice balance.
And Stiles? Well, aside from his wonderfully strategic mind, Stiles would mostly be…
If pressed on the matter, Peter might have claimed a pang of guilt for lusting after a sixteen-year-old, but it would have been a lie. After all, he was a man in the middle of a murder spree. Straying south of the age of majority in his affections was hardly a heinous offense in comparison.
To say Stiles’s youth had nothing to do with his appeal wouldn’t be entirely true either. It had as much to do with his infatuation as did the flush of red on his pale cheeks, the long and vulnerable column of his neck, the way his soft pink mouth always seemed to hang open. His dangerously astute thinking, when not flowing freely in a babble, took on physical form in the restless fidgeting of his dextrous fingers, the catch of teeth and tongue on his lower lip, his constantly assessing gaze.
So, yes, Peter developed an infatuation. Yes, he allowed himself an idle fantasy or two about life with this strange, beautiful creature by his side, as his beta.
And if that fantasy involved the two of them lounging about a penthouse apartment in silk robes, drinking wine and making love on expensive furniture, that was between Peter and his grave.
Peter had always had refined tastes. Before the fire, his family teased him for being a snob, too particular. Who cares if we use ricotta instead of fromage blanc, Peter? No, you can’t spend two hundred dollars on cologne. Why bother with expensive whiskey when you can’t even get drunk? He had never been able to convey to them the deep satisfaction he derived from an experience that was, in a word, elevated.
He certainly hadn’t learned his tendencies from his family. Though commanding of respect within the wider community, they tended to be laid-back, rough around the edges. Wild. His father preferred normatively masculine pursuits like fishing and football. He became visibly uneasy in the face of Peter’s more whimsical tendencies.
Then again, his father had been in his fifties by the time Peter came along, his mother in her forties. Talia had as large a hand in his upbringing as either of them, and Peter sometimes wondered if he had simply brought himself up, all considered. In a home where his mother swore foil wallpaper would come back in style any day now, Peter learned taste. In the shadow of a father whose idea of “dressing up” was a polyester blazer and khakis, Peter learned sophistication. Somehow, surrounded by gaggles of dirt-streaked and ruffian cousins, Peter learned elegance.
All his youth, he had fantasized about the day he would go off on his own with no one and nothing to answer to except his own whims. He came so close to that reality he could almost taste it, only to see it consumed by flame.
Stiles, though. He felt sure a life with Stiles, as an alpha, would realize his dreams in full. Stiles was the sort of beautiful young man that great artists had torrid affairs with, back when such dalliances could have a man sent to an asylum. A divine creature one might call a muse or a lover or a paramour.
Yes, he thought as his fangs sunk into the tender, soft flesh of the boy’s wrist, Stiles would give him the life of grace that he so richly deserved.
It came as a surprise to Peter and absolutely no one else that life with Stiles didn’t quite measure up to the fantasy.
“Stiles,” Peter growled from behind the freezer door. “What in the hell are these?” He emerged with a bright yellow bag clutched in his hand, the garish red logo on full display.
Of course, Stiles, who had been sitting at the kitchen table mere seconds before, was suddenly nowhere to be seen. He had learned to sniff out Peter’s foul moods in a truly impressive time span, and his go-to defense was to try to disappear entirely. If allowed to get far enough, Peter suspected the endgame of this strategy was a fake ID and a fishing village in Mexico.
“Stiles!” he snapped.
With a sigh, Stiles’s head poked around the doorway of the kitchen. “Pizza rolls?”
“Do we not have real food in this household?” Peter demanded.
“But pizza rolls,” Stiles insisted.
Peter strode over to the trash bin and dumped the offending package inside. He expected outrage or disappointment on Stiles’s face. Instead, Stiles’s eyes flicked from Peter down to the trash can then back up to Peter.
“No,” Peter said, horror and denial in equal measures. “You wouldn’t.”
Stiles glanced at the trash can again, then away, trying to play it cool.
“I can’t be around you right now,” Peter declared.
The second he walked out of the kitchen, he heard the unmistakable sound of Stiles rummaging through the trash bin. Unbelievable.
As he made his way through the living room, Peter observed with dismay the chaos his young beta had brought into his beautiful home. Shoes left in a clumsy heap on the marble tile of the entryway. A backpack lying open on the purple heartwood coffee table. Books and school supplies lie strewn haphazard across the white leather sofa. The bottom cabinet of the entertainment center gaped open to reveal the disorganized nightmare of Stiles and Scott’s video game collection. Beside it, an abstract portrait painting seemed to gaze at the mess in disdain.
For over a year now, he had told himself it would get better. Stiles’s boorish behavior was a result of his youth and upbringing, but surely he would outgrow it given the right environment, the right guidance. The only thing that had changed was that, where shaving had been nothing but a prideful charade when he first moved in, Stiles now left little hair trimmings all over his bathroom sink.
Peter steepled his fingers over the bridge of his nose and prayed for serenity.
When no serenity came, he stalked off to his bedroom to languish.
His bedroom, at least, was relatively unmarred by their cohabitation. Stiles spent a decent amount of nights in Peter’s bed, but he had his own room to store his things in and not clean. Peter, when he could, avoided so much as glancing in Stiles’s room. As a werewolf, he should be immune from ailments such as high blood pressure, but he was sure the sight of Stiles’s floor carpeted with dirty clothes would put that to the test.
Peter put his favorite cello concerto on the stereo and sank onto his bed to read for a while, determined to put a dent in the non-fiction selection that had been warming his nightstand for over a month. Peter got through another chapter before he heard a soft knock on the door, the music having drowned out the rest of the sounds.
“Yes, fine,” Peter sighed, reaching blindly for his bookmark.
Stiles poked his head in first, surveying the room. “Cello, huh? We’re cello-upset?”
“If you just came here to be a smartass, you can close the door on your way out.”
The door opened the rest of the way, revealing a tray of tea in Stiles’s hands. “No, no! I come in peace. See? Peace offering.” He held the tray aloft in demonstration.
Setting his book aside, Peter sat up and let the corner of his lips drift toward a smile. “Alright, then. Peace offering,” he conceded. “What did you pick?”
“The fancy stuff you got in from Paris. The green tea with rose.” Stiles placed the tray on the lid of the trunk at the end of the bed, then climbed up to sit cross-legged in front of it.
Peter watched as long, nimble fingers arranged the tea cups, then used the silver sugar tongs to deposit a lump into each. The boy had never had anything but store brand Earl Gray, bagged, before coming to live with Peter. Now, he prepared tea just to Peter’s liking, mindful of temperature and steep time. It settled Peter, reminding himself of that fact. It brought him a little closer to that early fantasy.
“Take your shirt off,” Peter said as Stiles made to pick up the teapot.
“Huh?” Stiles glanced back at him. “Why?”
Peter lifted a shoulder in a shrug. “For one, it has a picture of a raccoon on it and deodorant stains in the armpits. Mostly, you just look better without it.”
Stiles flushed and ducked his head, looking like he wanted to argue for his shirt’s virtue, but had been successfully distracted by flattery. He tugged his shirt off over his head, and Peter didn’t even mind when he flung it in only the general vicinity of the hamper.
Peter made a pleased rumbling sound, watching the muscles in Stiles’s back flex as he poured the tea. His gangly shape had filled out with muscle after he took the bite, but he still looked lean, skin still pale and delicate in appearance. That he was still prone to dramatic flailing and clumsiness confirmed for Peter that it was mostly for show, comedic, because he could be damn graceful now, too.
“Is this what does it for you?” Stiles asked, lifting one of the cups by the saucer and carefully passing it over. “Being served by your half-naked boy toy?”
Peter laughed and took a sip of his tea. “Well, it half does it for me, but I suppose it’ll do for now.”
Taking his own cup in hand, Stiles turned to face Peter. “You’re not mad about some stupid pizza rolls.” It wasn’t a question.
While Stiles’s acute mind had been a large part of his appeal, it was also terribly vexatious when turned on his alpha. Peter considered playing dumb, but knew Stiles wouldn’t buy it. Instead, he said, “There’s an uncapped pen sitting on my white couch.”
Stiles sighed and sipped his tea. “You’re not mad about the couch.”
Peter lifted an eyebrow at him and flashed his eyes from over the rim of his teacup.
“Okay, okay!” Stiles said, holding a hand up, placating. “So you’re mad about the couch, yes. I’m sorry I left my shit lying all over again. But even you aren’t drama queen enough to go sulk to cello music over just a pen.”
Part of him wanted to ask Stiles what he thought the real reason was, then, but that might give away the truth: that Peter didn’t even really know what he was mad about. Was it really just the shattering of his too-high expectations? Or perhaps it was that, while Peter didn’t feel guilty about Stiles’s age, having to nag him like a parent did sit wrong.
Stiles didn’t push further, just sat there, sipping his tea and watching Peter while Peter watched him right back. Every sip, his tongue darted out over his lower lip. He could never keep his damn mouth closed, lips always gaping open like an invitation.
Once he’d drained it, Peter set the cup and saucer on the nightstand. He beckoned Stiles closer. Without hesitation, the boy set his own cup back on the tray and crawled up the bed on his hands and knees. He went for a kiss first. He let Peter take the lead in a lot of things, deferring to his alpha, but he liked to initiate kisses. Peter liked to let him.
After chasing the flavor of the tea on Stiles’s tongue for a lingering moment, Peter nudged him backward and murmured, “Kneel up.”
Once his beta had done as he was told, Peter let his gaze slide languidly down Stiles’s body, over the artful dip of his clavicle, the taut, lithe lines of muscle in his chest and stomach, the soft scrub of hair trailing from his navel to the top of his jeans. Still reclined back on the bed, Peter traced his knuckles down Stiles’s torso lightly, then popped the button of his fly one-handed.
Stiles sucked in a breath, his stomach muscles twitching involuntarily under Peter’s touch. The unmistakable scent of arousal wafted from him like a perfume. As two fingers hooked into the front of his pants, Stiles started to rock forward toward Peter, likely after another kiss.
“Uh-uh,” Peter murmured, pushing back just slightly with his grip. “Stay where you are. I’m enjoying the view.”
Stiles licked his lips and nodded. He blushed beautifully, little splotches of pink on porcelain-pale cheeks. Peter tugged the zipper down, then tugged his pants out of the way so he could see Stiles hard in his underwear. His hand curled over the bulge, stroking just enough to hear the catch of breath. Stiles’s fingers twitched where they hung at his sides.
Peter had to reach down to adjust himself in his own pants. “Stay where you are,” he instructed, “but take everything off.”
For once, Stiles didn’t scramble or flail. He leaned backward to tug his socks off, still kneeling, then pushed his pants and underwear down his thighs before resorting to a slightly awkward shuffle from knee to knee as he pulled them the rest of the way off. His cock was most of the way hard, and the flush in his cheeks had started to migrate down his chest.
“Touch yourself,” Peter said, then before Stiles could get an over-eager hand around himself added, “Slowly.”
This was it, Peter thought as he watched those long fingers curl around Stiles’s cock, the tremble of his lower lip as he bit back a whine. This was the art, the sophistication he had imagined. In the midst of the little things, the minor annoyances, it was easy to forget that he had gotten the most important part of his fantasy after all. His muse. His lover. His paramour. Stiles’s body was a finer work of art than any painting or expensive piece of furniture.
Stiles bit down on his lower lip, eyes going half-lidded as he stared at Peter. He looked like he wanted to beg, but he wouldn’t. Too proud but also too trusting. Or perhaps just trusting enough. At the end of the day, Peter was too smitten to deny Stiles what he wanted in moments like these.
Peter sat up finally, reaching for Stiles’s hips to guide him closer. “You’re so beautiful, sweetheart,” he praised, leaning up to finally give Stiles the kiss he’d been craving.
Stiles seemed to crumble at the first touch of lips, falling into it and catching himself with a hand on Peter’s shoulder. Wrapping his own hand over Stiles’s, Peter sped up the movements just slightly, catching the moan from the boy’s lips.
“What do you want, darling?” Peter asked. “You want me to suck you off?”
His first response was to simply whimper against Peter’s lips. “Like this,” Stiles decided. “I want you to talk to me.”
Praise him – that was what he meant, and Peter knew it. Stiles melted like warm honey under kind words. “Listen to you, so good for me, telling me what you need.” He wrapped an arm around Stiles’s middle, anticipating the wobble in his legs a moment before it occurred. “Is this what you want, sweetheart?” Stiles whined and canted his hips forward as Peter brushed his thumb over the head of his cock. “You want to hear what a good boy you are?”
“Peter,” Stiles mumbled, a hand gripping his shoulder for balance.
“I love seeing you like this,” Peter told him. “You’re the most magnificent thing I’ve ever seen, you know that?” He could feel the tell-tale tremble in Stiles’s muscles. “Are you close, sweetheart? Are you going to come for your alpha?”
Stiles whined and bobbed his head. With one last twist of their joined hands, he came, jaw dropping open soundlessly. Peter stroked him through it until he felt Stiles starting to go limp against him, then lowered him onto the bed.
“Beautiful,” Peter breathed, hastily opening his own fly, just enough to pull his cock free. He leaned over Stiles, a hand braced on the bed beside him. It had never occurred to Peter to jerk off on a priceless work of art before he and Stiles had started sleeping together, but that’s what it felt like in a way. Not simply laying a claim – though that was definitely part of it – but also the thrill of taking something pristine, transcendent and desecrating it.
Below him, Stiles’s eyes glowed a soft gold, his mouth hanging open as always. “I love you, Peter,” he said. “Alpha.”
Peter curled forward as he spent himself over Stiles’s stomach. A soft hand covered his where it was still working his cock through the last of his orgasm. Gently, it peeled his fingers away, another hand coming to take its place and finish stroking him through. When he looked down, Peter saw that his claws had slipped on his own hand, which Stiles was now carefully keeping out of the way.
“You needed that,” Stiles observed with a smile.
Slumping off to the side, Peter looked up at the spot his other hand had been braced on the bed, five little holes apparent in his linen sheets. He found he didn’t mind. “I guess I did,” he agreed.
With his now-human fingers tracing lines over a pale hipbone, Peter resolved not to let himself give in to the minor irritations so easily, and to focus on the positive things Stiles made him feel instead.
His resolution lasted approximately a day and a half.
Stiles had his homework strewn – and did he know any way to arrange it other than to strew? - across the kitchen table. His phone beside him blared some unbearable upbeat electronic pop with falsetto vocals and predictable chord progressions. Stiles had his gaze fixed on the math problems in front of him, though his whole upper body moved restlessly with the music, a pencil alternately drumming on the surface of the table, scribbling answers, and slipping between his lips.
Peter had retreated to his office, but he had gotten a good enough look at the scene that every noise conjured the image to mind. Stiles was wearing a ratty blue flannel, which his father had probably bought for him at some horrid discount department store at the mall. He kept clicking his tongue while he thought. His leg jiggled restlessly under the table, vibrating the chair next to him.
Really, a resolution should not be there and gone so quickly, he thought.
Right, he had to focus on the positive feelings. Peter thought back to the other day, when Stiles had calmed and appeased him, trying to recreate the moment in his mind.
The song changed, this one with a heavy baseline and spoken-word vocals.
Peter stood from his desk and headed into the living area. “Stiles,” he called. “Let me know when you’re at a good stopping point.”
Stiles looked up, though his pencil was still sketching numbers onto the sheet in scarcely-legible chicken scratch. “What’s up?”
“I want a blow job,” Peter told him simply. There, that would surely bring back those positive associations. After all, wasn’t sex what had truly settled him the other day?
“Oh,” Stiles said.
“When you’re at a good stopping point,” Peter reiterated. He wasn’t about to interrupt Stiles’s studies for such a request.
Looking faintly affronted, Stiles straightened up in his chair. “I just didn’t know we were, you know, ordering it off the menu like that. I mean, can I just say, ‘hey, Peter, I want to sit on your face when you get a minute’?”
Peter shrugged. “Sure.”
“Really?” Stiles let out a breath, shoulders lowering as he sat back in his chair with a pleased little smile. “Cool.” He set his pencil down on top of his math book. “Yeah, alright. Let’s do it. I can take a break.” Stiles pushed back from the table, revealing a truly atrocious pair of sweatpants, which had probably come in a multi-pack, which were too short and he had probably been hoarding from two growth spurts prior.
“Remind me to buy you some respectable lounge wear,” Peter noted, lip curling.
Stiles looked down at his clothes. “Why the hell does lounge wear have to be respectable?”
They really needed to get to the blowjob soon before Peter blew a gasket. Without answering, he headed for the living room and sank onto the couch. He set a throw pillow on the floor in front of him.
Stiles followed him in and stopped a couple feet short of the couch. His eyes were fixed on the pillow for a moment, then moved up to Peter. “How courteous,” he said, the bite of sass unmistakable. “Would you like me to get you a glass of wine first before I get to work servicing you?”
“Keep mouthing off, see how that whole face sitting situation goes,” Peter shot back.
With a scowl, Stiles lowered himself to his knees between Peter’s legs. “I know you’re my alpha,” he said as he undid the fly of Peter’s pants, “but I don’t think it’s actually a rule that you have to be this bossy all the time.”
Peter sniffed. “And just because you’re still a teenager doesn’t mean you have to be this sarcastic all the time, yet here we are.” He lifted his hips to allow Stiles to tug his pants and underwear down. Peter wasn’t actually hard yet, the decision to initiate more of an emotional strategy than actual lust, and Stiles glanced up at him with a curious expression before giving him a few strokes.
It didn’t take very long for him to get hard once Stiles got started. When they had first started sleeping together, Stiles had been a virgin and a disaster with the gag reflex of a sea cucumber. However, Peter, in all his benevolence, had been very patient and given his beta plenty of opportunities to practice. Nowadays, Stiles was a regular expert at sucking him off.
Relaxing back against the couch, Peter gazed down at Stiles, tracing a thumb over his wet lips to the hollow of his cheek, down to the restless spasm of his throat as he tried to take him deeper. “There you are,” Peter praised. “Just like that.”
He felt a moment of deep satisfaction and felt sure he had figured this whole situation out. Then, dropping his arm to the side, his eyes fell on the ratty sleeve of Stiles’s flannel where he was gripping Peter’s thigh. There was a coffee stain, visible only in the lighter colors of the pattern, which extended over most of the forearm of his left sleeve.
Dear god, the sight of it must have actually softened his cock, because Stiles pulled back, frowning up at him. “Alpha?” he asked in a soft, placating tone he usually reserved for trying to butter Peter up to agree to something. He dragged his lower lip along the underside of Peter’s cock.
Well, it certainly wouldn’t do to have his beautiful boy thinking he didn’t enjoy this. Peter leaned forward abruptly, cupping Stiles’s jaw in one hand to guide their lips together in a heated kiss. He slid the other hand under the flannel, sliding it back and off Stiles’s shoulders. “I love to taste myself on your tongue,” Peter breathed against his mouth. “I love how -” He nipped at Stiles’s lower lip. “- swollen your lips get.”
Stiles tipped his head back as he shrugged the flannel off. The second the praise took hold, his whole body settled from the height of his shoulders to the arch of his back. His hand kept stroking Peter, thumb sliding over the slit to gather precome, then slick it down over the shaft. “You want me to do anything else?” he offered, hesitant, perhaps worried that Peter would be sensitive about a lack of virility or something of the sort.
“Mm, no, this is perfect,” Peter insisted, sitting back and guiding Stiles’s head back down. “You’re perfect, darling.”
And it was from there. Stiles seemed determined to prove himself, ducking his head down until Peter could feel the flutter of his throat around the head of his cock, then coming up for air and dragging his mouth over his length in overeager and spit-slick kisses. He hollowed his cheeks and moaned, getting so into it that his whole body seemed to writhe with his motions.
“Oh, fuck. Sweetheart, yes. Yes, just like that,” Peter gasped, doing his best to keep up the litany of praise he knew fueled Stiles in a way he would never admit. “I’m going to come soon. You’re going to swallow it all down for me, aren’t you, sweet thing?”
Stiles made a high whining noise, and from the movement of his arm, Peter could tell that he was rubbing himself through his sweatpants.
Ugh, those terrible sweatpants.
Thankfully, he was too far gone at this point to be off-put by regrettable fashion choices. With his fingers twisted in Stiles’s hair, Peter let his hips lift as he came, holding Stiles’s head in place. He heard him choke a little, nothing too violent. When he opened his eyes, Peter saw come dribbling out of the corners of Stiles’s mouth, wetness at the corners of his eyes.
“God, you’re beautiful,” he sighed.
Stiles’s cheeks flushed as he wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. As he stood up, Peter finally got a good look at the t-shirt Stiles had been wearing under the horrid flannel. It was a grayish white with ‘BEACON HILLS LACROSSE’ emblazoned across the front in maroon lettering. It also had faint but visible stains in the armpits.
Peter felt a stab of irritation and thought, as he tucked himself back into his pants, perhaps he hadn’t quite figured this whole thing out.
Stiles hooked his thumbs into the waistband of his sweatpants and shoved them unceremoniously out of the way.
“What are you doing?” Peter asked.
Suddenly hesitant, Stiles moved a hand toward his erection, as if to cover it, then moved it away again. “Um, I was gonna – remember you said I could...” he said, gesturing toward Peter’s face.
“And you’re planning to leave your shirt on?” Peter asked, giving what he hoped was a thoroughly judgmental once over. “You can sit on my face, but not dressed like Winnie the Pooh.”
A second later, he had a shirt flung at his face, Stiles muttering, “You’re such a jerk.”
Peter shoved the shirt away and pulled Stiles in between the V of his legs, kissing his abdomen just above the navel. “I just want to look my fill,” he insisted. He slid his hands over Stiles’s ribs up to his nipples, brushing his thumbs over them. “I can’t have you keeping all of this hidden away from me.”
“Aren’t you supposed to be lying down?” Stiles asked, clearly trying for more snark and falling short in his breathlessness. His long fingers curled around Peter’s biceps, squeezing a little too hard.
“Is that what you want?” Peter asked, hands slipping down to grip Stiles’s ass. “Or do you want me to bend you over the coffee table?” He dipped a finger into the cleft, just barely brushing over his hole.
Making a petulant little noise, Stiles shoved at Peter’s shoulder. “I want what I said I want,” he insisted, stubborn. “Now lie down, would you?”
With a conciliatory laugh, Peter patted Stiles on the butt, then lie down on the couch with his head flat on the cushions, feet propped up on the arm at the other end.
Stiles hovered over him, miles of pale, creamy skin. His self-consciousness, omnipresent despite how often Peter had seen him naked, was clearly at war with his desires and losing. “How should I…?” he ventured, making an abortive move to raise his knee onto the couch.
“Face my feet,” Peter advised. “It’ll be easier.” They had done this before, though not terribly often, but it had always been in the heat of the moment, Peter puppeting Stiles about however he wanted him.
Climbing onto the couch, Stiles arranged himself so his knees were at Peter’s shoulders, calves bracketing his head. Peter slid his hands up the backs of Stiles’s thighs, then wrapped them around his hips and slowly drew them back down toward him.
Stiles made this little noise at the first touch of tongue – he did it every damn time. Somewhere between a hum of satisfaction and a ‘huh!’ of surprise, it erupted from his lips of its own accord. Peter, one of these days, wanted to record it, though he worried it wouldn’t adequately capture the music of the noise in context. It couldn’t, for instance, capture the quiver of Stiles’s thigh muscles that came with it or the way he pulled away for just a second, then immediately pushed back for more, unable to control the impulse.
Peter started with slow, lazy licks as Stiles carefully kept himself poised above, not putting any weight onto him. As he started to point his tongue, pressing in harder, Stiles groaned loudly, control starting to give way. He rocked his hips back against the pressure. Peter reached around to get a hand on Stiles’s dick only to find a hand already there, tugging in long, uncoordinated strokes. Stiles had never been good at dividing his attention like this: focusing on the feeling of Peter’s tongue sliding into him, on holding his own weight up and keeping his balance and on jerking himself off.
Knocking Stiles’s hand away, Peter took over with one hand and used the other to tug Stiles’s hip farther down, just enough that Stiles could start really grinding back on his tongue in earnest. “Peter,” he gasped. He had been on the quiet side so far, but suddenly his words came in a jumble. “Oh, fuck, Peter, you feel so good. Feel so – oh fuck. Fuck, please, faster. I wanna come. Wanna come, Peter. Alpha. Fuck.”
His hand sped up, going for speed and firm strokes without much finesse otherwise. He speared the tip of his tongue into Stiles in sharp little jabs. It wasn’t much longer before he heard Stiles’s babbling fall into a broken-off gasp. Hot wetness dribbled onto Peter’s chest as Stiles came.
Stiles fell forward at first, head pillowed on Peter’s thigh. Then, sluggishly, he got himself turned around and settled into the crevice between Peter and the back of the couch. He nuzzled at Peter’s shoulder. Peter closed his eyes, relaxing, and stroked Stiles’s hair.
After a long moment, Stiles yawned and said, “Sorry, should I not be sweating on the leather?”
Peter cracked an eye open toward the couch cushion. It was Italian leather, and Stiles did look rather sweaty. “It’s fine,” he said, and it really did feel fine.
The key, Peter decided the next day, was nudity. Specifically, Stiles’s nudity. Clearly, he had still been peevish following his blowjob yesterday, but the second he had Stiles bare and beautiful for his admiration, his nerves had settled entirely.
Of course, that meant he had Stiles’s pesky modesty to contend with. When they weren’t pre-, mid-, or post-coitus, he inevitably saw fit to bundle himself in whatever crudely-patterned monstrosity had been birthed from the Lovecraftian depths of his wardrobe. Something had to be done about the wardrobe.
Peter played the adoring alpha and lover all morning, sending Stiles off to school with a healthy breakfast and a chaste but lingering kiss. The second he heard the elevator doors close, he made a beeline for Stiles’s room.
The first victims of his culling were the clothes Stiles had worn the day before, plucked from the hamper and transferred into a trash bag. He scoured the hamper, dresser, and closet for anything else which was stained, which didn’t fit anymore, or which was so deeply hideous a stain might actually have improved it. Then, to be safe, Peter took the bag directly to the trash chute in the hallway. After all, Stiles was not above digging through the trash.
That took care of a good half of Stiles’s wardrobe. The rest he piled into the hamper and lugged to the washing machine.
“Dude, Peter, where are all of my clothes?” Stiles stepped out of his bedroom, bare except for a towel knotted around his waist. His hair, still wet from the shower, stuck up in the back and clung to his forehead in front. From his seat on the armchair in the living room, Peter could smell the coconut and argan oil from his conditioner, the eucalyptus from his body wash. His skin still held a flush from the hot water, and probably felt butter-soft from soaking.
“It’s laundry day,” Peter told him, making a show of looking back down at his laptop. He had a rather frustrating email chain going with his stock broker.
“We just did laundry a few days ago,” Stiles muttered, stalking through the living room. The washing machine and dryer were tucked into a shallow linen closet on the opposite end of the apartment from the bedrooms. The wash cycle had finished just before Stiles got home from school, but the dryer was still running the previous load.
Peter peeked over the top of his laptop as Stiles pulled the closet door open. He frowned at the empty hamper, sitting on top of the dryer, then lifted the lid of the washer to peer down into it. The afternoon sun streamed eagerly through the loft windows, washing over Stiles’s back. He had moles on his back, like everywhere else. Peter’s current favorite (it was always changing) was the one just above the left dimple in his lower back.
As Stiles bent over the washing machine to fish around in it, the towel loosened, revealing the curve of the top of his ass. “What the hell?” he said, voice muffled and oddly echoed in the barrel of the washing machine. “I didn’t even wear this! Peter, did you take stuff out of my dresser to wash?”
Licking his lips, Peter repeated, “Laundry day.”
Stiles spun on his heel and glared at Peter. The towel dangled precariously, and he wondered if he could compel it to fall through force of will alone. “What are you up to?” Stiles demanded.
Peter didn’t look up from the short-cropped thatch of hair at the top of the towel. “Chores, I believe they’re called. You should try it sometime.”
“Wait,” Stiles said, crossing his arms over his chest, “You fit all of my clothes into two loads of laundry? Including jeans? And sweatshirts?”
“If you need more clothes, I’m happy to buy some for you,” Peter assured him magnanimously. “You know, I was just thinking you might need a couple of new jackets, maybe some pants...”
“What did you do with my clothes?”
And, okay, the rage on Stiles’s face wasn’t quite the angelic muse aesthetic Peter was hoping for. He looked back down at his laptop. “They didn’t spark joy.”
“I could kill you!” Stiles screeched. He turned back for the washing machine, rifling through its contents like a madman. “What did you – how much? How fucking much did you get rid of!” He stood back up and kicked the washing machine. “Peter, what the fuck! Where is it!”
“Don’t be a drama queen, Stiles,” Peter sighed, “and quit shouting.”
Stiles stomped over to stand in front of him, fists on his hips. The towel really was hanging on by providence alone, but Peter got the sense that this argument had a ways to go before they got to the making-up bit. “Did you donate them? Do I have to go buy my own clothes back from the Good Will?” he demanded.
Peter made a thoughtful noise. “Hm, oh, maybe I should have. More charitable. Though inflicting stained flannel on anyone hardly sounds charitable to me.” He glanced up and saw Stiles’s jaw hanging open. His hands reached forward slowly in a mimic of strangulation before he pulled them back again.
Spinning on his heel, Stiles stalked bare-footed to the door.
“Where are you going?” Peter called after him. He hadn’t expected quite this level of outrage.
“To Scott’s!” Stiles yelled back, snagging his keys off the hook by the door.
“Stiles, you’re naked,” Peter reasoned. Scott’s apartment was just a floor down, but it really did seem unneighborly to put this sort of show on.
Just as he reached the door, the towel finally gave up the ghost and dropped to the floor. Stiles bent and snatched it up, holding it in front of his groin as he spun around to glower at Peter. “And who’s fault is that?” he hissed.
Stiles wrapped the towel around himself again, yanked the door open, and left.
Maybe, Peter conceded, this strategy hadn’t quite hit its mark.
“Peter, you threw away his clothes,” Scott sighed over the phone.
“You’ve seen them,” Peter insisted. “Scott, your style may be a bit relaxed for my tastes, but at least you know to do away with an outfit after you’ve dumped the majority of a meal on it.”
His beta huffed, and Peter could hear a tea kettle go off over the line. If he listened carefully, he could hear it through the building, too. “Whether or not his clothes were nice or not isn’t really the issue at this point,” Scott explained. He seemed to think Peter was completely incapable of understanding human emotion, which served him just fine. It gave him a lot of leeway on his behavior. If it meant putting up with these empathy-for-toddlers level explanations, he thought it a fair trade-off.
“I know, I know,” he grumbled. “It’s something about me doing it without asking or not respecting his things or some other very complicated, very dramatic brand of tantrum. Am I in the right ballpark?”
“Peter he can hear you,” Scott whined. “He looks like he’s gonna kill someone, and I’m the only person around for him to kill!”
Slouching back against his pillows, Peter sighed, “Yes, yes, you’ll be missed. Now how long is he going to keep throwing this stupid fit before he comes home? I already ordered him some new things to replace the unfortunate losses from yesterday.”
He could hear Stiles in the background, muttering, “Let me guess: he got stuff he likes.”
Peter scowled. “I got you nice things that don’t have sweat stains and haven’t been fished out of a bargain bin at K-Mart. You’re welcome.”
“Oh, yes!” Stiles shouted. “Thank you so much, you’re so thoughtful. Fucking Mother Theresa up in here, ladies and gentlemen -”
“Guys, do I really have to be on the phone for this?” Scott asked. “I could just give the phone to Stiles, and -”
“No, I’m not talking to him!” Stiles snapped.
“Okay, but you literally are talking to him.”
“Who’s side are you on anyway?”
“My side! The not putting Scott in the middle side! Stiles, I love you, bro, but we cannot live together. You snore like you’re angry to be asleep and you take too long getting ready in the morning and I think maybe you should see Deaton about how often you go to the bathroom, ‘cause -”
“Scott, stop picking on him,” Peter interjected. “Just because you’re so dehydrated you can go all day doesn’t mean the rest of us have a problem. And it’s not like his snoring is loud, he just makes weird little wheezing noises. It’s cute once you get used to it.”
There was a pause on the other end of the line, then Stiles asked in a small voice, almost difficult to hear, “You think my snoring is cute?”
Peter grinned, imagining the self-conscious but faintly petulant look on Stiles’s face. “I think it’s adorable, sweetheart. I can hardly sleep without it.”
“Are you two serious right now?” Scott complained.
“Stiles, will you just come upstairs?” Peter asked in the most saccharine tone he could conjure. “Please? For me?”
Scott groaned. “Oh my God, I don’t know what I want less: you two to keep fighting like this or you two to have noisy, obnoxious makeup sex the whole building can hear.”
“I’m still mad at you,” Stiles said hesitantly, though with very little heat.
“I know, sweetheart. Are you coming home now?”
A pause. “Yeah. Yeah, alright.”
Peter heard movement on the other end of the line, a door opening and closing. Then Scott said, “For the record, you owe me new clothes after this. And, like, some video games. Reparations.”
With a laugh, Peter assured him, “You can come get my credit card once you hear the noisy, obnoxious make-up sex stop.”
Later that night, he had Stiles pinned underneath him on the bed, one swollen lip caught between his teeth to muffle a groan.
They had done the vigorous, rough, still-half-angry makeup sex earlier. Then there had been homemade Gruyere and arugula pizza, then online shopping for some clothes comfortable enough to satisfy Stiles but high-end enough to satisfy Peter. Scott, as promised, had stopped by to snag Peter’s credit card.
Now, though, they moved together unhurried. Stiles’s legs wrapped tightly around Peter’s middle as Peter rocked into him in long, purposeful strokes. Where he had pinned Stiles’s wrists to the bed beside his head, he slipped his hands up to lace their fingers together. Stiles’s hair clung to the sheen of sweat on his forehead. His eyes rolled back when Peter hit a particularly good angle. In the warm, dim orange light of the bedside lamp, he looked positively angelic, like something a great painter would conjure out of oil and long hours of study.
“God, I love you,” Peter whispered, helpless but to voice the sentiment.
Stiles’s hands gripped his tighter. His mouth fell open silently as he trembled and came.
Peter extricated one of his hands, slipping it between them to stroke Stiles through the aftershocks, then leaned down to catch his lips for one deep, lingering kiss. When he pulled back, he braced his hand back on the bed and began to thrust in earnest, chasing his release. One of Stiles’s hands found the side of his face, stroking down his neck to his shoulder. “Peter,” Stiles gasped, and that was all it took.
They settled together side-by-side afterward, Stiles’s head pillowed on Peter’s shoulder.
“Peter?” Stiles said softly without lifting his head.
“Mm, what’s that, darling?” he asked, stroking a hand through Stiles’s hair.
“Do you like me?”
His hand froze mid-movement. Peter was so taken off-balance by the question it took him a moment to even conceptualize how to respond. “Stiles, why would you even ask that? Of course I do.”
Stiles finally looked up. Peter had expected to see insecurity or maybe fear. Instead, Stiles looked patient as he explained, “I know you love me. And I know you care about me, like, as my alpha. As my… you know, romantically.” He made a gesture between them. Peter preferred the term ‘lovers’ over something so pedestrian as ‘boyfriend,’ but Stiles thought it sounded hokey. “But I know we’re really different, and I get on your nerves a lot, so sometimes I worry that maybe you don’t, you know, just like me.”
Peter cupped Stiles’s face in his hand to make sure he couldn’t duck away from the eye contact. This felt important, critical. It seemed to break apart all of the little irritations Peter had been laboring to avoid over the past few days. Who cared if they got in disagreements? Who cared if he got annoyed that things weren’t just so?
“Stiles,” he said, firm, “darling. I like you. I like so many things about you. Most things about you, I like so much that I have to call it love.” He leaned down and pressed his lips to the tip of Stiles’s nose. “The things that get on my nerves? I like those, too. I even like arguing with you. I like that you don’t back down so easily. I like that you try the things that I like, but you’re still your own person. You still take the time to enjoy the things I can’t stand.”
Stiles smiled, tugging Peter’s hand over so he could kiss the pad of his thumb. “Okay,” he agreed softly. He seemed to consider his words a moment, then added, “You know… you could maybe try some of the things I like, too.”
“Alright,” Peter conceded. “Like what?”
The smile spread into a grin as Stiles sat up. “Stay right there. I’ll be right back,” he said, sliding off the bed. He headed for the door.
Peter’s brow creased as he tried to figure out what Stiles could possibly -
“Absolutely not!” he called after Stiles, sitting up in bed.
“You said you’d try!” Stiles yelled back.
“Stiles!” Peter shouted. “Stiles, I am not trying your pizza rolls!”