Stiles fell in love with a married man twice his age. He didn’t have daddy issues. He didn’t have a kink, but it still happened.
The first time he met him, he was sitting outside of his dad’s office, picking at the buttons of his own uniform. The cotton was still stiff and smelled of cellophane from the wrapper it came in.
He looked up when Derek Hale started talking in the nearly empty bullpen in front of him. The guy was tall with dark hair and carrying a black case. They said a few mumbled things, then the guy patted Derek's shoulder and walked back towards Stiles. He nodded to him then sat a chair down from him.
“Is he in a meeting?” he asked.
Stiles looked up from staring at the dark ring on the man’s ring finger. “Yeah.”
The man looked at Stiles’s chest, where his name was stitched in the tan fabric. “You’re the sheriff’s son.”
“The one and only."
“Do you know how long he’ll be?”
“No telling. Someone just went in ranting. A robbery and a bakery, I don’t really know. There was flour involved.”
Raised voices came from inside the office then his dad’s, calmer, more reasonable.
The man held out his hand towards Stiles. “Chris Argent.”
“Stiles,” he said, shaking his hand. “You’re the contractor?”
“I am, so my business is with you,” Chris said. “We could step out to the gun range.”
“After you,” Chris said.
Stiles walked down the hallway, rolling the cuff of his shirt up then pushing it down and up again before they reached the door to the gun range at the back of the building. Chris laid his case on the long table by the door and flipped the latches.
Stiles whistled low.
“This is the Glock 22,” Chris said, taking out the first of three handguns and ejecting the clip, racking the slide, and handing it to him.
Stiles tested the unloaded weight of it, pointing at the targets down range.
“Have you used a Glock before?”
“Yeah. We used 19’s in training,” Stiles said.
“I would've brought one, but your dad didn’t want you to carry anything less than a .40.”
“I know. He’s an old man.”
The metallic snick of ammunition being loaded into a clip mixed with an awkward silence that made Stiles shift. He watched Chris’s large thumb press down the gold tipped casings, down and back, down and back, smooth and quick. Then he held it out to Stiles, who smacked it in, then grabbed the eyewear and ear protection.
At the police academy Stiles went to, there was an instructor who hated him, because he was a sheriff's or because he was mouthy, Stiles didn't know, but he made his life hell from day one. The gun range had been the worst of it. He would get beneath Stiles skin until he was so nervous and angry he was shaking. Standing by an arms dealer that was this comfortable with his weapons was almost as intimidating. Stiles took a deep breath through his nose. Then he felt a nudge on the inside of his right foot.
Stiles adjusted his feet, feeling the awkward stance. He pointed his toe towards the target and shook his head.
“Rookie mistake,” he said loudly around the cushioning over his ears, without looking away from the human-shaped target.
“You’re fine,” he heard muffled.
Recoil went down his arms as he pulled the trigger. It was like the shot took his nerves with it down range. He’d been doing it since he was ten at this range with his dad at his shoulder.
He readjusted and squeezed the trigger again in quick succession until it was empty and the sharp smell of gunpowder was hazy in the harsh lighting. He pulled off his ear protection as Chris hit the return and the wires whirled above the range, bringing the target towards them.
“Good job,” Chris said, taking the paper from the clip.
“Thanks,” Stiles said, looking at the tight grouping in the chest area.
“How do you like it?”
“It’s nice. It recoils more than the 19.”
Then Chris took out an ACP .45 and they did the same.
Last, Chris took out the one that Stiles had been looking forward to, the smooth simple black lines of the Beretta 96.
“I think we have a winner,” Chris said, laughing slightly.
“I love these. My dad used to carry one.”
“They're great guns. I used to carry one too.”
Chris let him put three clips through it before Stiles took off his ear protection, feeling the stupid smile on his face.
“Yeah, this one.”
“It's a good choice,” Chris said, standing near his shoulder.
Stiles pulled off the plastic glasses and almost bumped into Chris before handing the gun back to him. They were almost the same height. It caught him off guard. Maybe it was the gray in his beard, he seemed taller, broader.
“Thanks for letting me waste your ammo.”
“That’s what I’m here for,” Chris said.
His dad still wasn’t there, so he leaned back against one of the stalls when Chris leaned against the tables.
“You don’t have to wait around.”
“I’d rather get the paperwork done today,” Chris said. “You don’t have to keep me company.”
“I’m the new guy. You’re just keeping me from having to fetch coffee and donuts.”
Chris laughed quietly. “You’re a cop now, you can’t make donut jokes.”
“I don't think I can turn it off."
Chris laughed quietly as he folded the lips closed on his ammo boxes. When he smiled his eyes crinkled slightly. Stiles stared for a second then shook himself.
They talked about guns, about their favorite manufactures. Stiles tried not to sound out of his depth. He liked guns, he was a good shot, but the way Chris talked about them was beyond his level entirely.
“When I get settled, I want to get an H&K45,” Stiles said.
“Have you fired one?”
“I wish. There's a gun show in the spring at a firing range. I'm hoping I can test one there."
Chris stood up straight and reached beneath his jacket. He held out a large semi-automatic by its barrel.
“It's the tactical, but they're generally the same," Chris said, "It's loaded. Be my guest."
Stiles took the pistol and tried not to smile like an idiot. He probably shouldn’t get such a kick out of holding the gun he had wanted for at least six years, sue him. The trigger weight and pull were smooth. It felt so good in his hands. He was smiling again as he handed it back.
“Thank you. It was an anniversary present.”
“She’s a keeper.”
“He. My husband,” Chris said as he loaded another clip.
“Does he have a brother?"
Chris laughed, looking down at the gun as he finished loading it and put it beneath his jacket as the sheriff came in the door.
“I’m sorry to keep you waiting, Chris,” John said.
“The crazies can’t be helped,” Stiles said.
“Those crazies are part of your protect and serve oath,” John said, but he looked tired. “Which one did you pick?”
Stiles showed him. They filled out and signed some paperwork and Chris handed the Beretta over.
“It’ll take good care of you,” Chris said.
His eyes were weird, so light, blue, green. Stiles was mortified when he felt the heat flush up his cheeks, up into his ears from nothing. .
“Thanks,” he said.
“Give Peter my best,” John said.
“I will. It was nice to meet you, Stiles.”
“Same,” Stiles said.
“Give me a call when you want that HK. I’ll give you a deal.”
“Yep, I will,” he said.
Stiles watched him walk out then turned to his dad. "Could've warned me the dude was a wet dream. Little heads up would've been nice."
John laughed, a short bark noise. "I can't say I've notice."
"You'd have to be blind and dead."
"Blind and dead," John said, with a hand on the back of his neck pushing him towards the door, back to the office. "I'm glad you're first day has been so exciting."
"I think there's a wet spot in my underwear."
"I knew I was going to regret hiring you," John said under his breath as they walked back into the offices.