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Sign the Dotted Line

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Stiles stripped off his clothes and pulled on the horrible gown that left him feeling horrendously exposed. It felt like he could fidget a tear into this thing and leave himself naked. He’d spent far more time with doctors than any person ever should have to, although admittedly that had largely been the fault of his own stupidity, and he could never get used to these gowns. But he got it on and sat on the padded examination table that had been rigged up in the small office. The medical table looked very out of place next to the teacher’s desk, but at least this way Stiles didn’t have to trek out to the hospital for this bizarre examination. Other equipment had been wheeled in for the day, a huge chunk of the school transformed to allow the male students to be assessed, though no one had given a particularly satisfactory explanation as to why. The doctor came back into the room and smiled pleasantly at him. He was holding a clipboard in one hand, which he checked now.

“What name do you prefer to be called?” he asked, which was undoubtedly his way of asking how the hell to pronounce Stiles’ name.

“Stiles,” he said. “Just Stiles.”

“OK, Stiles, I’m going to do a brief physical examination now. Nothing to worry about.”

Of course, someone telling him there was nothing to worry about instantly made him worry. He tapped his fingers nervously against the edge of the table as the doctor took standard readings of pulse and blood pressure, both a little higher than average but probably due to the stress of having to be examined. Eye responses and reflexes were normal. The doctor measured height and weight. He listened to Stiles’ heart and breathing with a stethoscope. Stiles did a fitness test involving stepping up and down on blocks for a couple of minutes and then having his pulse taken afterwards. Everything seemed perfectly normal, though there was nothing to explain why every boy in school was being put through this.

The doctor remained calmly cheerful throughout, and then he sat Stiles back onto the table and started asking standard questions about his health. Any recent illness, was he up to date on his immunisations, any allergies, any chronic conditions. The doctor had access to Stiles’ medical records, but he was getting Stiles to confirm the relevant points. Stiles felt that the whole thing was a colossal waste of time, but he was supposed to be in chemistry right now with Mr Harris, so he wasn’t too upset about it all.

Then the questions got personal.

“Are you sexually active?” the doctor asked, in the same calm tone he’d used to check Stiles’ history of broken bones.

Stiles tapped his fingers nervously on the edge of the table.

“Erm,” he said, “it depends on how you define active.”

“Are you engaged in any sexual behaviour with another person or people?” the doctor asked. “I’m not including kissing here, but anything, shall we say, that involves going below the waist.”

“Well,” Stiles said, “when you put it that way...” meaning that another person had to be involved, “no.”

“Have you ever been sexually active?”

“No. Why? Is that was this is about? Has there been a rash of STIs or something?”

The doctor ignored Stiles’ question and continued.

“You’ve never given or received oral sex? You’ve never had penetrative sex with another person? Been given a hand job by another person?”

“Can we just assume the answer is no and move on?” Stiles asked. “I’ll happily detail my grandfather’s heart attack history and my dad’s high blood pressure for you if we can move on from this subject.”

“I’m sorry, Stiles. I know this must be embarrassing, particularly for a sixteen year old, but I must be absolutely certain that you’ve never been involved in any sexual activity with another person.”

“Why?”

“It’s part of the assessment,” the doctor said.

“Yeah, but why? What’s the point of these assessments?”

Once again, the question was ignored. The doctor just told Stiles to lie back on the bed for the final part of the assessment. Thankfully this didn’t seem to involve any needles. Unfortunately, it did involve the doctor’s hands going for Stiles’ genitals. There was nothing sexual about it, but still Stiles didn’t like the idea of those hands pressing against his balls. Stiles wondered if the guy was feeling for cancer lumps or something. Stiles looked away and tried to think only about the fact that this was now almost over.

Something cold slid over Stiles’ penis. He tried not to think about it, assuming this was just some medical instrument for measuring something. Then he felt something tight wrapping around the base of his penis and his ballsack. There was an ominous click. Stiles pushed himself up on his elbows to try and see what was going on, but the paper of the gown was in the way.

“What’s going on?” Stiles asked.

“Stand up please,” the doctor said.

“What did you just do?”

Stiles got to his feet, not to obey the doctor but so he could pull the gown aside and see what was happening. There was a metal cage around his penis, held on by a ring that ran around his shaft and balls. Stiles might not have any sexual experience, but he had an internet connection and an active curiosity. He knew a chastity device when he saw one. With this thing on, he wouldn’t be able to get hard.

“What the hell are you doing?” Stiles demanded.

But while Stiles was standing there, trying to figure out what had just happened, the doctor had kept working. A curved piece of metal attached to the back of the cock ring and the doctor raised this up now to lie tightly up the line of Stiles’ ass. A metal band around Stiles’ waist held it in place. As the doctor stepped back, Stiles tugged at it, trying to find a catch or some way to get the thing off him, but it seemed to be locked in place. It seemed obvious, given all the questions about sex earlier and the cage around his cock, that this metal rod against his ass was intended to ensure he wasn’t penetrated. His lower half was entirely off limits for anything sexual.

“What the hell?” Stiles asked again. “Take this thing off me!”

“I’m sorry, Stiles. It’s only a temporary measure. This letter will explain.”

The doctor opened up a box on the teacher’s desk. It contained a large number of sealed envelopes. He took one out and held it out to Stiles, who took it automatically. He needed something that would afford an explanation. The doctor also got out a packet of antibacterial wipes.

“These will be helpful for cleaning up after you defecate,” the doctor explained, handing them over. Stiles hadn’t even thought of that. Crapping with that metal bar in the way wouldn’t be pleasant. He stared at the wipes.

“No,” Stiles said. “No, you’re taking this thing off right now. I don’t know what kind of games you’re playing but you can’t do this sort of thing to me. I don’t care if this is some crazy new medical treatment but you can’t do this sort of thing without my consent.”

“Without the consent of your legal guardian,” the doctor corrected. “You’re a minor. Your father signed the forms consenting to this assessment.”

“My dad wouldn’t agree to you sticking some kind of mediaeval torture device on me!”

“It’s hardly a torture device. And, as I said, the device is temporary. The letter will explain. I will leave you to put your clothes on. Please be prompt. The next student will be expected in five minutes.”

“I don’t give a damn about the next student!” Stiles snapped. But the doctor had already left the room.

Stiles wanted to throw something. He wanted to kick something. He reached down beneath his legs and tried to tug at the device, trying to get the thing to come off, but all he succeeded in doing was yanking at his genitals.

Which left his other choice, which was to get his clothes on, go to his dad, and get his dad to arrest that doctor for sexual harassment because there was no way in hell this could be legal.

Stiles grabbed his clothes and pulled them on. His jeans felt a little too tight now, his caged cock sitting uncomfortably in them. He tried to adjust his clothes and thought he’d got them feeling alright, but the second he started walking, he felt aware of the weight down there, of the metal squeezing his balls and pressing into his ass. Someone was going to pay for this.

He shoved the wipes into his backpack, which he slung on his back, grabbed the letter, and left the office which had been turned over to the doctors for these assessments today. He got into the corridor and saw Scott a little way down the hall.

“You waited for me?” Stiles asked.

“It was this or go back to chemistry,” Scott said. He glanced at his watch. “If we walk slowly, we’ll get back to class right when the bell rings.”

He seemed surprisingly cheerful, particularly given the chastity thing would surely put a major dent in his relationship with Allison. Then Scott looked down at the white envelope still clutched unopened in Stiles’ hand.

“What’s that?” Scott asked. Stiles only noticed then that Scott wasn’t holding an envelope. It was possible he’d put it in a pocket or his bag, but he was looking at the one Stiles held with curiosity.

Just then, one of the other doors opened. Jared came out in a rush. He hurried over to the nearest trashcan, bent over it, and vomited. Despite the smell, Stiles and Scott rushed over to make sure he was alright.

“Hey, Jared, you OK?” Scott asked. Stiles just stared at the letter Jared was holding. He’d opened up the envelope and now held it and its contents clutched so tightly in one hand that the paper was tearing.

Stiles shoved a finger under the flap of his envelope and ripped it open, pulling out the paper inside. It took a couple of minutes to read the letter, longer for his brain to process it. It was an invitation from the alpha of the Hale werewolf pack to a party held in honour of his nephew. His nephew wished to choose a consort from those physically suitable. The device Stiles was fitted with was to ensure he remained physically suitable. The chastity device would be removed at the end of the party. The wording made the implication very clear: if Stiles didn’t go, he might never get this thing off. Stiles crumpled the letter in his fist.

“Fucking werewolves,” Stiles muttered.

Jared stopped vomiting in the trashcan.

“They can’t make me go,” he said.

“I think they can,” Stiles said. “I need to talk to my dad. There’s got to be a way out of this.”

“Out of what?” Scott asked. “What’s going on?”

He pried the letter out of Stiles’ grip and smoothed it out so he could read it.

“The werewolf pack wants someone to be a sex toy,” Stiles said, “and they have invited all the virgin boys to a party so they can pick who it’s going to be. I don’t suppose your girlfriend has got some wolfsbane I could use? Or maybe a shotgun?”

***

“I can’t believe you signed a consent form for this!” Stiles yelled across the kitchen. His dad was backed up against the counter. On any other day, he’d be berating Stiles for yelling. The fact that he wasn’t suggested he knew he’d messed up.

“All you have to do is make small talk with werewolves for an evening,” his dad said, “while eating their free food. I don’t see what the big deal is.”

“The big deal? A werewolf wants to take his pick of all the innocent virgins in Beacon Hills to deflower me or something, and you don’t think it’s a big deal?”

“You can always refuse. Even if they pick you, you’re entitled to say no.”

Stiles scoffed at that, “Somehow I don’t think the alpha likes taking no for an answer.”

“Then don’t go to the party. You’ve been given an invitation, but they can’t force you to go. Simply don’t attend and then there’s no chance of them picking you.”

“Don’t attend?” Stiles asked. “There’s a cage around my dick that they’ll only take off if I go to that party!”

His dad froze for an instant, then his expression changed to one of confusion and concern. It was clear from this reaction that he hadn’t known about the chastity device that was currently locked around Stiles’ most private anatomy. He’d had it on for a few hours now and it was already feeling frustrating. The knowledge that he wouldn’t be able to even jerk off for three days was making him think about jerking off, which was making the cage incredibly uncomfortable.

“Was this in the consent form?” Stiles asked. “Because if it wasn’t, we can go up to their mansion and demand they take this off and then sue them for sexual harassment while we’re at it.”

His dad looked away.

“There may have been a clause in the consent form about ensuring that those who received an invitation remained eligible.”

“Dad!”

“I didn’t know the alpha would pull something like this! Usually packs just hire a famous band to play at the party in order to encourage attendance.”

“I can’t believe you signed a form consenting to this without even asking me,” Stiles complained.

“I didn’t realise it would be such a big deal,” his dad said. “As an alpha, Peter’s style is... very different for Talia’s. But I can talk to him. I can officially withdraw you from consideration and he should remove any...” He gestured vaguely towards Stiles’ pants.

“Should?” Stiles asked. He wished his dad had used a more definite word.

“I can retract my consent. You’ll be stricken from the invitation list and then there will be no reason for the pack to have any... precautions in place.”

His dad still didn’t seem completely confident. Stiles wanted to go along with his dad’s plan. He wanted to argue with Alpha Hale for ever implementing this plan. But there was a possibility that the alpha might take Stiles off the invitation list but never remove the chastity cage. Then Stiles could be stuck with this thing on forever. Besides, his dad actively opposing the local alpha was probably a lethal move for his career. His dad was elected to the post of sheriff and the packs held a lot of sway.

Stiles sighed, “I’ll go to the damn party.”

“Just remember, you’re allowed to tell them no,” his dad said. “And you can always just go and hang out with Scott all evening.”

That wasn’t a possibility, since Scott hadn’t received an invitation. Not that Stiles could tell his dad that, because that would mean admitting that underage sex was going on. So Stiles just nodded. Friday night was going to be hell.

Chapter Text

Stiles hadn’t realised how much he jerked off until he was physically incapable of doing so. And every time he shifted in his seat, he felt the cage around his cock, the metal bar along his ass, and he thought about the reason they were there. Which meant he thought about sex. Which made the cage worse.

He was known for being fidgety at school but this took things to a whole new level. By Friday, he was constantly shifting in his seat, tapping a pen against his books in an attempt at distraction, all the while his hormones begged him for a release he couldn’t give them. He wondered if this was part of the alpha’s plan, to get them all so juiced up on hormones that they’d agree to anything when faced with the possibility of sex.

He wasn’t the only one suffering. It was interesting to look around the classrooms and make a mental catalogue of those who were shifting awkwardly. There were some who were obvious candidates for receiving an invitation, the people who, like Stiles, had never had a relationship. There were some from religious families who’d chosen abstinence. But there were some people he wouldn’t have expected. There was Trevor Alman, who always seemed to have a girlfriend. Stiles would have picked him as the sort to have had sex the minute he figured out what his junk was for. But there he was, in the front seat in English class, adjusting his position in the seat every five minutes.

Stiles ended up walking out of the class right behind him as the bell rang, and couldn’t resist asking, “You?”

“Me what?” Trevor responded. They walked into the crowded hall, weaving their way through other students on the way to class.

“You’re invited, aren’t you?”

Trevor flashed a smile, “That’s right, Bilinski.”

“But you always have a girlfriend.”

“The right person is worth waiting for.”

“Meaning a werewolf?” Stiles asked.

Trevor smiled again.

“You wanted this invite,” Stiles said.

“No one in the Hale pack had picked a consort. It was bound to happen eventually and it might as well be me. See you later, Bilinski.” Trevor walked away with a little wave. Stiles just stared after him, bewildered that someone would want this. Trevor could probably have had sex a hundred times but he’d held off in the hope that an alpha werewolf would kick off this ridiculous ritual. He actually wanted to become a werewolf’s consort. Well, Stiles wasn’t going to fight him for it.

***

Stiles picked his outfit carefully for the party. This was a big night. This was the night where the werewolves would be choosing someone to have ridiculous amounts of sex with, which would be potentially awesome except that the Hale alpha clearly had issues with boundaries and the whole concept of consent. Stiles knew he could technically refuse an offer to be a consort, but he could also technically refuse to go to the party, and he’d seen how the Hale alpha had handled that. Which meant his best option was to make sure no one picked him.

He decided against the stud muffin t-shirt because it might be mistaken for enthusiasm. He went instead for the one with the picture of a stripper and the joke about supporting single moms. It was tacky and tasteless. He pulled on a pair of scruffy jeans and dug around in the bottom of his closet for the old pair of sneakers with the stains and the hole in the toe. He topped the whole outfit off with a hoodie that wasn’t so much worn in as worn out. It was beautifully comfortable but also faded and with a mysterious stain on the right elbow that had survived about a hundred washings. He looked at his reflection and decided that no one in their right mind would possibly see him as a sex object. It was perfect.

He went downstairs and his dad looked out from the den. Stiles had been giving his dad the cold shoulder treatment because he was still angry about the damn consent form. His dad swore that he hadn’t realised what Peter would do. He’d assumed it would be a few simple fitness tests and then Stiles would get an invitation that he could accept or not as he chose. He’d had no idea that Peter would treat this as consent to take control of Stiles’ body and strong-arm him into going to the party. Stiles could understand where his dad was coming from, because what person would assume Peter would be such an asshole? But he was still pissed.

“That what you’re wearing?” his dad asked.

“Yep,” Stiles replied, daring him to argue. He was probably expected to go dressed in his finest in order to woo the werewolf pack with his awesomeness, but to hell with the lot of them. His dad presumably got that because he didn’t tell Stiles to change his outfit.

Instead, he said, “Try not to punch the alpha.”

“Does that mean I can punch the other werewolves?” Stiles asked.

His dad didn’t dignify that with an answer. Stiles decided that would count as permission if the situation should arise later. He let himself out and went to his jeep.

The Hale pack had gone all out for the party. The house and grounds in the woods were decorated with enough lights to serve as an entire town’s Christmas decorations, with the trees on either side of the long drive sparkling in white and silver. There was valet parking, with a line of young men in red waistcoats waiting to take the keys of arriving guests. Stiles handed over his keys along with a list of advice on how to handle his jeep’s eccentricities.

“I’m driving it about a hundred yards,” the valet cut him off. “I promise I won’t destroy your baby.”

Stiles gave up and let the guy take the jeep. In the space behind it, Trevor was handing over his keys much more willingly. Trevor had dressed for the party in full black tie, bowtie and everything. He eyed Stiles’ outfit.

“You’re wearing that?”

“At least I won’t be mistaken for a waiter,” Stiles said.

Trevor swept past him and up the steps. Stiles followed, his guts twisting in a mass of nerves and disgust. Inside were the werewolves. Inside were the people who thought it was OK to hold his body hostage. Stiles stepped into a glittering entrance hall and froze under a crystal chandelier. He really didn’t want to be here.

“The party is this way, sir,” said an older guy in white tie who was holding a tray of glasses that almost certainly didn’t contain real champagne. He gestured to a pair of double doors that were open, offering a view of the large ballroom beyond.

“Congratulations on keeping a straight face when calling me sir,” Stiles said. He took a glass and drank. Sparkling apple juice apparently. It was a shame there wasn’t any alcohol in it. He needed something to help him prepare. He looked through the doors towards the party, taking in the view, hearing the music and chatter. He could see people moving around, even dancing, but it felt like another world. A world Stiles wanted no part of.

“Is there a bathroom around here?” Stiles asked. He downed his juice.

The waiter pointed to a side door off the entrance hall.

“Down that corridor and first door on your left,” his eyes sparkled with humour as he added, “sir.”

Stiles grinned at him and handed his empty glass back. He headed through the door and found the bathroom easily enough, marked with a carefully placed sign so that it couldn’t be missed. He relieved himself and took a minute to splash water on his face and try to prepare. Sooner or later, he’d have to go through those doors and pretend to be polite to the werewolves who’d violated his autonomy.

Or did he?

Stiles opened the bathroom door and looked down the deserted corridor. He could just find somewhere to hide out until the werewolves had made their choice and then sneak back to the party to get the chastity cage taken off. He headed down the corridor away from the entrance hall and paused at the first door that stood ajar.

Stiles peered through the crack and saw darkness on the other side. He eased the door open further and slipped inside. In the faint light, Stiles saw a room that was either a small library or a seriously over-compensating study. It seemed the perfect place to hide because no one would have a reason to come in here tonight.

“What are you doing in here?” a voice asked behind him.

Stiles yelped and spun round, nearly tripping over his own feet in his surprise. There was an armchair in the corner, hidden behind the door, and it was occupied. It was hard to make out much about the occupant in this light, but the voice had been male.

“Why the hell are you sitting here in the dark?” Stiles asked.

“I asked first.” He sounded calm about this, which meant he presumably had a right to be here. Unlike Stiles, whose heart was trying to beat itself out of his chest.

“I took a wrong turn coming out of the bathroom,” Stiles lied.

“Try again.”

“Alright! I’m hiding from the party.”

“Hiding? Why?”

“It seemed the best way to ensure I don’t get picked as consort. I didn’t expect to get caught quite so quickly but it’s OK. I’ve got a plan B.”

“Which is?”

“Being utterly obnoxious to every werewolf I meet so no one would want me as a consort,” Stiles said. The he added, “Jerk,” because there was a good chance this guy was a werewolf. At the very least, he was sitting in a werewolf’s study like he had a right to.

The guy stood up. Stiles took a nervous step back, concerned that he was about to get pummelled for that insult. But the guy just went to a switch by the door and turned on the light. Stiles blinked for a moment and then took in the view of the guy. He had to be a werewolf because only werewolves seemed to achieve that aura of power combined with supernaturally good looks. He had dark hair, a sculpted jaw with just a hint of stubble, and a t-shirt that clung to his chest and exposed biceps that ought to be illegal.

Stiles caught himself before he started drooling and he realised the werewolf was studying him back with more amusement than admiration. Stiles almost regretted his choice of wardrobe since having vast quantities of sex with this guy might not be such a bad idea after all.

“If you really don’t want to be chosen,” the werewolf asked, “why did you come?”

“Because I want control of my genitals back.”

“What?” The werewolf looked genuinely confused.

“Your alpha’s insurance to keep us ‘eligible’,” Stiles made air quotes around the last word. The werewolf still looked confused.

“I’ve got a cage around my cock!” Stiles snapped. “Your alpha said he’d take if off if I came to the party.”

“He did this to everyone?”

“Why the hell do you think I’m so pissed? I mean, what sort of person does that? It’s like rape. I mean, technically it’s kind of the opposite of rape but it’s still taking away my autonomy and that’s a violation. It’s just unacceptable!”

“I’m sorry,” said the werewolf. “I didn’t know he’d done that. Peter said he had a plan to get good attendance but he didn’t say what it was and I didn’t ask.”

“I just... who does this?” Stiles asked.

Hot werewolf guy looked away, “I might have expressed concern to Peter that this stupid party ritual would only get a bunch of guys who were virgins for good reason so desperate for sex that they’d agree to anything. He then announced that he was going to ensure a high attendance so we’d get a higher calibre pool of candidates. I’m sorry.”

“Did you tell him to stick a cage on my cock?”

“No.”

“Then he’s the one who should be apologising, not you. God! This whole ritual is so insane.”

“Why do you think I was hiding in the study with the lights off?” the werewolf asked.

“I mean, what’s even the point of this? The health assessments? The party? The fuss of it all? Bringing all eligible candidates together?” Stiles made a face. “It’s not like you need to force a bunch of guys in and assess them for their potential as sexual partners. I mean, every single werewolf I’ve seen seems to get supernatural good looks to go with the heightened senses and the super-strength. You could have just walked into school and gone, ‘Hey, who wants to have sex with me?’ and had your pick without needing to deplete the world’s fairy light supplies to decorate your driveway.”

“So if I’d walked up to you in your school and asked to have sex, you’d have said yes?”

“I’d probably have asked you if you were kidding or asking me on a dare,” Stiles said.

“But would you want to have sex with me?”

“You have to ask?” Stiles asked. Because this guy was so smoking hot he could catch fire.

“Yes, I have to ask, because this ritual doesn’t take into account sexualities. You could be completely straight, you could be asexual, you could be a member of a religion that makes you think we’re going to hell for even having this conversation. Would you want to have sex with me?”

“Yes,” Stiles said. “But it would have to be on my terms. I’m not having someone else dictate how or when I’m having sex. Especially not some creepy alpha werewolf I’ve never even met.”

“So name your terms,” the werewolf said.

Stiles sort of froze, his mind catching up with the rest of the conversation. Had this guy really implied what Stiles thought he’d implied? No, he couldn’t have done, because that would mean he was actually asking Stiles to have sex with him instead of just talking about theoretical scenarios.

“What?” Stiles asked.

“There’s a contract involved in being a consort and you have as much right as me to say what clauses you want in it.”

Stiles blinked some more. This guy was seriously offering to make Stiles the consort. Of all the ways Stiles had pictured this conversation going, this wasn’t one of them.

“But we haven’t even been introduced,” Stiles said.

“Right,” the werewolf said. He extended a hand. “Derek Hale.”

“Stiles Stilinski.” Stiles shook, still rather dazed.

“Stiles?”

“Don’t ask. So you’re seriously asking me to be your... erm... sexual partner?”

“If you want. And the technical term is consort.”

“So you’re really asking me to agree to have lots and lots of sex with you?”

“Why is this such a difficult concept?” Derek asked.

“Have you looked in a mirror lately?” Stiles responded. Derek was way out of his league. Derek could trip and fall in an open sewer and still come out looking way out of Stiles’ league. This didn’t make sense as a serious offer. A part of Stiles was still waiting for Derek to declare this a joke and laugh at him. Except that Derek was hiding out from his own mating ritual party. He was in here instead of sniffing around all the guys he could have sex with. Maybe Stiles was an easy escape from having to deal with this bullshit.

“So,” Stiles said, “I can really just lay down the rules about how we’d handle this and that’s OK?”

“That’s right,” Derek said. He went over to the big desk that dominated the middle of the room. He sat down and pulled out a pad and pen from one of the drawers. “Shoot.”

“OK,” said Stiles, trying to think. “Well, first thing is that no one but me controls my dick. No one’s allowed to stick a chastity device on me again.”

“OK,” Derek said. He wrote rapidly while Stiles tried to think of the next thing to put.

“And no kinky stuff without prior discussion and express consent.”

“OK,” and Derek wrote again.

“And I’m allowed to say no. If I’ve got a headache or I’m tired or I just don’t feel like it, I shouldn’t be compelled to have sex. Not that the not feeling like it thing is likely to come up because, hey, sixteen year old boy here, but I should have the option.”

Derek nodded. He was still writing.

“And I want the option to have a room of my own when I’m here. In case I want some privacy. This place has a spare room, right?”

“About five,” Derek said. He wrote this down too.

“And I’ve still got school. This... whatever the hell it is shouldn’t interfere with school.”

“OK,” Derek said again. Stiles started to wonder if Derek would agree to everything he said. What if this was a trick? What if Derek was saying all this stuff to get Stiles to agree to this but then he’d throw out all the rules and just take advantage of him?

“I can’t abandon my dad,” Stiles said. “I should be home with him sometimes. Not necessarily every night, since he does work some nights, but you can’t force me to be away from him.”

“How about we put in a clause saying you have the right to stay away from the pack on, let’s say up to six nights a week? You could stay here more if you want, but you won’t be forced to.”

Now it was Stiles’ turn to nod. But he felt like this was too easy. Derek was just agreeing to everything. There had to be a catch. He decided to push further.

“I want breakfast in bed on Sundays,” Stiles said.

“Even if you stay the night at your dad’s place?” Derek asked.

“OK, point. But when I’m here.”

“That shouldn’t be a problem.”

Stiles was actually getting annoyed now that Derek wasn’t even really trying to argue. That last demand had been fairly ridiculous and Derek hadn’t batted an eyelid. This had to be too good to be true. Stiles needed to ask for something ridiculous to see what Derek’s reaction was.

“I want a pet dragon,” Stiles said.

Derek slammed his pen down on the desk so hard that the noise made Stiles jump. Derek glowered at Stiles, who took an instinctive step back.

“If you don’t want to do this, you could have just said no,” Derek said.

“I didn’t say no.”

“You’re asking for a dragon!”

“You can’t get hold of a pet dragon?”

“Of course I can’t get hold of a dragon,” Derek said. “No one could get hold of a dragon. Dragons are myths. If they ever were real, they either died out hundreds of years ago or they’re really, really good at hiding, and even if I were to somehow find one, there’s no way they’d make good pets.”

“You’re just saying that because you’d want to keep the dragon for yourself,” said Stiles.

“Is this a joke to you?”

“A little bit. Fine. We’ll have joint custody of any hypothetical pet dragons.”

Derek glared at him.

“Come on, you can put that in,” Stiles said. “If they’re only hypothetical dragons then the contract’s still valid even if I never get one.”

Derek glared some more.

“You said I could define the terms in the contract,” Stiles pointed out. “Are you taking that back?”

“I should,” Derek replied. But he picked up the pen and wrote down the clause.

Stiles considered for a bit while Derek wrote, then asked, “What sort of things normally go in these contracts?”

Now you ask what’s normal,” Derek muttered, before answering, “There are standard clauses that are always in there about how the alpha isn’t obligated to make you a werewolf, or how you’re not obligated to accept if the alpha offers. Stuff about how we’ll feed you while you’re here and take care of any medical bills if you get sick, that sort of thing. Those will be in the contract regardless. And usually there’s a clause that says you’re not allowed to have sex with anyone except me without my permission.”

“OK, that can go in, but it should go both ways. You shouldn’t get to have sex with other people without my permission.”

“Seems fair,” Derek said, writing it down.

“What else is normal?”

“Some people put in rules about dress and behaviour,” he shot Stiles a critical look, “but clearly we’re not going to have a problem with you dressing inappropriately.”

“I’m wearing pants, aren’t I?”

“Was not wearing pants an option?”

“I thought about it, but given that I was here to audition as a sex toy, I figured clothes was a better choice. Of course if I’d known you were turned on by old hoodies and falling apart trainers, I might have reconsidered.”

“Well, we’ll have plenty of opportunity to see how pantsless compares,” said Derek. Stiles wondered if he was blushing. He hoped he wasn’t blushing, but Derek was talking about having sex with him. This wasn’t just an exercise to get out of the party, he was actually planning on having sex with him. And this was freaking Stiles out a little.

“How long do these contracts last?” Stiles asked.

“It depends. Some packs put a time limit on it – a month, six months, a year – but most leave it open ended so that either party can call and end to it when they think it’s run its course. I was assuming we’d do that, if you’re OK with it.”

“Sounds good,” said Stiles. He thought a bit while Derek wrote that down on his list, and then said, “So does this mean I could accept being your consort, sign the contract, and then thirty seconds later declare that I’ve decided to end the arrangement? Then you’d have picked someone and it would all be nice and legal, so you wouldn’t be able to pick someone else.”

“You would be legally within your right to do so, but it would be a huge embarrassment to the pack and Peter would be furious. He’d probably make it his mission in life to destroy you and everything you love. It wouldn’t be worth it. If you don’t want to go through with this, say no before you sign anything. You can walk out of this room right now if you want and Peter never even needs to know I asked you.”

Stiles actually thought it over. Here he was faced with the possibility of vast quantities of sex with a ridiculously hot werewolf, and he thought about leaving. He wasn’t sure if that was a sign of sense or insanity. But Derek was here offering him choices and making promises that would be legally binding in a contract, and Stiles would have the right to walk away at any time. Derek wasn’t like the alpha. And he’d even apologised for the chastity cage thing, even though it was the alpha who’d been behind that idea and so he should be the one who was apologising.

“Derek,” he said, “how about another clause in the contract that states that your alpha has to publicly apologise to us all for putting chastity devices on us?”

“Peter will hate you,” Derek said.

“Enough to destroy everything I love?”

“No, just his usual levels of hate.” Derek was grinning as he said it, and he wrote down the clause at the bottom of his list. The thought sparked off another in Stiles’ mind.

“What if there’s a penalty clause for if he tries anything like this again?” Stiles asked. “Like, if he tries to control my genitals, he has to pay me, I dunno, a hundred thousand bucks?”

“Make it a million. A nice round figure. Plus, he’d have to cash in his investments or sell of a bunch of antiques to get that amount of money, so it would really hurt him.”

“OK then, a million, but half of the money to come to me, and half to go to a charity for supporting rape victims.”

Derek smiled wickedly at that, writing hurriedly.

“He is going to hate you,” he said.

It was strangely comforting to know that that was the reason Derek was doing this. Because astonishingly hot guys didn’t just jump into bed with Stiles. If they did, he wouldn’t be here. Derek had picked Stiles because he hadn’t wanted this party and picking Stiles would make his alpha mad. Derek would get to annoy his alpha, Stiles would get some hot sex, and then he’d never have to worry about being eligible for one of these parties ever again. At least this way, Stiles didn’t have to look for the catch.

“Any other clauses to include in the contract?” Derek asked. “Should I be putting in something about a unicorn?”

“No, unicorns are generally only friendly with virgins and that won’t be much help once we sign the contract,” Stiles said with a wink. Derek just rolled his eyes. He wasn’t sure if Derek was amused, annoyed, or both at the same time. Either way, he stood up from the desk, taking the piece of paper with him.

“So what happens now?” Stiles asked. “Do we sign?”

“No, this needs to be written up with the right wording. Then I have to offer in front of the alpha and you have to accept and we all sign, including Peter. It’s got to be official.”

Stiles made a face at that. Official probably meant formal and in front of everyone, which wasn’t his thing. He wasn’t sure he needed everyone at school to know that he was going to be fucked by Derek. Although it might do wonders for his reputation.

The study door was pushed open fully and Stiles spun towards the movement. He recognised the man standing there of course, but it was still disconcerting to find himself right in front of the alpha of the Hale pack. Peter looked younger than Stiles expected. He’d assumed that all the photos of Peter were old ones, since werewolves didn’t generally photograph well, but this guy didn’t look that much older than Derek. His eyes flicked towards Stiles for a moment then he turned his entire attention towards Derek, apparently forgetting that Stiles existed even as he stood there.

“Derek,” he said, “you should be at the party talking with eligible candidates.”

“I’ve already made my decision,” Derek said. “Peter, this is Stiles. He and I were just discussing the terms of the contract.”

Peter looked back at Stiles. His eyes started at the floor and took in the length of Stiles’ body all the way to his face, then he turned back to Derek with a look that managed to combine distain, dismissal and annoyance all in one efficient expression.

“Really?” Peter asked.

“Yes, really. I was just on my way to find you to get you to put these clauses in the official contract.” Derek held the piece of paper over to Peter. Peter took it. Stiles stood there, twitching nervously, wondering if he ought to be taking cover. Or maybe trying to escape while he still had the chance.

“Dragons?” Peter asked.

“They’re hypothetical dragons,” Derek said. “The contract will still be valid even if no dragons ever materialise.”

“That’s the most ridiculous clause I’ve ever heard being incl-,” Peter stopped. He’d apparently found a more ridiculous clause. He turned back to Stiles, who fidgeted his fingers at his sides and wondered if werewolves could smell fear. Stiles fought the urge to hide behind a bookcase.

“I take it these clauses are your idea?” Peter asked.

“No, I love the idea of having a complete stranger take my dick hostage so he can get attendance for his party.”

Peter turned back to Derek. Stiles was immensely grateful for being dismissed from his attention.

“Is this a joke?” Peter asked.

“No. Stiles is my choice and he’s agreed.”

“You haven’t even met any of the other candidates.”

“You told me I had to pick a consort. I picked a consort. Are you going to sort out the contract or not?”

Derek stared at Peter. Peter stared at Derek. Stiles wondered if they were going to sprout claws and fangs and just rip each other to shreds. Then Peter smiled.

“I will get to work on the contract,” he said, “but it will take a little time to finalise the wording of these unusual clauses. In the meantime, you should go to the party. It would not be sensible to settle on a final choice without talking to every single one of the other potential choices.”

“Every single one?” Derek said.

“Yes. And more than three words to each one, Derek. I expect you to exchange whole sentences with every boy at this party.”

“Just get the contract ready.”

Derek walked around Peter and hooked a hand around Stiles’ elbow. As he was being led out of the room, Stiles realised that this was the first physical between them aside from a handshake. It was a little disconcerting to realise that they could be having sex in a few hours and this was the only touch they’d shared.

Out in the corridor, a little way from the door, Derek stopped and asked quietly, “Are you OK?”

Stiles nodded. He was nervous but it was more excitement now. Peter had seemed angry, but it had been directed at Derek and not at him.

“We shouldn’t go back in together,” Derek said. “You go through the front way and I’ll come in through another door. I probably won’t talk to you for a bit if I have to talk to everyone else at the party.”

“That’s fine,” Stiles said.

Derek’s hand was still on Stiles’ arm, warm and strong. Stiles couldn’t help but think where else those hands might go later.

“If you change your mind,” Derek said, “tell me so I can actually pay attention to the people I’m talking to.”

“I don’t think that’s going to happen.”

Derek lent forward and his lips brushed against Stiles’, just for a moment. There was a fleeting instant of contact, soft as a butterfly’s wings against his mouth. Then Derek turned and walked away.

Chapter Text

Stiles went back past the bathroom and into the entrance hall. The waiter was still there holding his tray of sparkling apple juice. He met Stiles’ eye and held out a glass towards him. There was no one else in sight and the guy’s arm was probably getting tired from holding up the tray, so Stiles went to help lighten his load.

“There’s a door in the corner behind the buffet table,” the guy said in a whisper. “It leads down to the kitchens, but there are a couple of storage rooms on the way. No one should be going in there tonight.”

Stiles was confused for a moment, then realised that this guy had seen him head off to the bathroom ages ago. He probably figured Stiles had social anxiety or just really didn’t want to be here, so he was offering advice on places to hide out.

“Thanks, man,” Stiles said, “but I’ll be OK now.”

“Alright. You just remember it if you need it.” Then he said a little louder, “Have a nice night, sir.”

“You too,” Stiles said, and headed into the ballroom with his glass of juice.

There was a band in the corner working their way through the greatest hits of inoffensive pop. The music wasn’t bad, but it could easily be ignored, which was probably part of the point. No one was bothering with dancing now, and the room was filled with awkward and uncomfortable guys standing in little clusters making awkward and uncomfortable conversation. Or flocking around the buffet table.

Stiles decided that was his best option. Peter was a jerk so Stiles might as well attempt to eat him out of house and home. Stiles grabbed a plate and started loading it up with fingers sandwiches and miscellaneous nibbles. There were several things on the table that Stiles couldn’t identify but he was willing to bet they were probably posh, expensive things he’d never get the chance to eat again, so he loaded up his plate with them anyway.

“Bilinski, where the hell did you disappear to?” Trevor asked, appearing at Stiles’ side and making him jump. A pastry ball thing rolled off Stiles’ plate onto the floor. Stiles quickly kicked it under the buffet table.

“Bathroom,” Stiles said. Trevor gave him an odd look.

“You need to see a doctor,” he said. Stiles shrugged and stuck a mini pie into his mouth whole and then tried to figure out how to chew it.

“Derek Hale hasn’t arrived yet,” Trevor went on. “My guess is that the rest of the pack is filtering out the no-hopers,” Trevor glanced at Stiles’ outfit as he spoke, “so that Derek knows who to target when he does arrive. The others have been in an out.”

“What are they like?” Stiles asked, around his mouthful of pie, since he figured he’d be spending time with them soon. He hoped they weren’t all like Peter.

“Good thinking,” Trevor said. “You know you don’t have a shot with Derek so you aim for one of the others. After all, they still might want a consort.” He looked at Stiles’ clothes again. “You might have a shot with Malia. She doesn’t seem particularly formal.” He leaned in closer and added in a whisper, “Plus she’s Peter’s kid, even if Derek is the official heir.”

He said all this like he was passing on secret conspiracies.

“I wasn’t actually thinking any of that,” Stiles said.

“Oh. Right. Of course not. Ah, there he is.”

Trevor left Stiles’ side instantly. Derek had walked in through a small door near the band. Trevor cut across the hall like he had a homing device, pausing only to grab a couple of glasses from a passing waiter on his way. Stiles shoved his mouth with a star shaped cracker cover in little black blobs he guessed were caviar. He’d never tried caviar before.

A moment later, he decided he’d never try caviar again. He put a hand over his mouth and looked around for somewhere to discretely spit it out when a beautiful, dark-haired girl walked up to him. She was staring at Derek, who was currently being smoozed by Trevor. Trevor had a hand on Derek’s arm and was smiling and laughing in a way that was obviously flirting even from the other side of the ballroom.

“Do you think he has to buy special slime to ooze like that or is it natural?” the girl asked. There were almost no females in the room except for the waiting staff. She had to be a werewolf, one of Derek’s pack.

Stiles swallowed down the caviar.

“I think it’s a god-given talent,” Stiles said.

“Core Hale,” she said, offering her hand. Stiles wiped disgusting caviar off his fingers. He shook.

“Stiles Stilinski.”

“So how did you get your claws into my brother so fast?” There was something hard in her tone, not quite an accusation but not far off. Suspicion lurked behind her eyes.

“I picked the same hiding place as him,” Stiles said.

She nodded, a little of her harshness melting away. “You’re in a building full of werewolves,” she said. “If you want to hide, the only place you can really do it is down near the kitchens because the food masks your scent. Unfortunately, Derek figured out that was my hiding place when I was five.”

“Do you have to hide from him often?”

“No. These days it’s usually him hiding. Speaking of, I should probably go rescue him.”

She slipped away, heading across to Derek. Trevor was firmly latched onto one arm, smiling broadly as he talked. Derek was giving only nods in response, his face locked into one of sullenness. It was hard to believe that Derek was the predator in this room.

Stiles was getting a little warm in the room, so he pulled off his hoody, hanging it over one arm until a passing waitress offered to take it to the cloakroom. Stiles let her take it and turned his attention back to the buffet table, inspecting the selection more carefully this time to avoid any traces of caviar.

“I like these things,” said a voice beside him. Stiles turned and saw Isaac Lahey there. He wasn’t the quiet, shy kid Stiles was used to though. The werewolf bite had clearly agreed with him. He hadn’t lost the adorable curls, but he had a confidence now that turned his look into something new. Stiles hadn’t really spoken to him since he had taken the bite, but now Isaac was cheerfully reaching across the buffet and grabbing a handful of the little pastry balls.

“I’ve no idea what’s in them. I think it might be crab. But they’re delicious.”

Stiles grabbed one.

“So how’ve you been?” he asked.

“Good. You?”

“Aside from your alpha blackmailing me into being here, I’m good.”

He tried the pastry ball thing. It was filled with a creamy, fishy paste thing that could well be crab. Maybe. Stiles wasn’t sure so he grabbed another one to try. It was nice, but he couldn’t quite define the flavour. He frowned at the thing.

“Hmm?” he said.

“I know, right!” said Isaac.

“Don’t you guys have super sensitive senses? Can’t you just take what sniff and decide what’s in these things?”

“I’ve tried. Maybe they’re some incredibly rare shellfish which I’ve never tried before than just happens to taste a bit like crab.”

He grabbed another one, tasting it carefully as he ate. At this rate, they were going to go through the entire plate and still not know what was in them.

Stiles looked across the room to where Derek was chatting with a cluster of three guys. Stiles recognised one of them from Beacon Hills High School, but the other two presumably went to another school. Derek didn’t look quite as uncomfortable as when he’d been flirted at by Trevor but he still looked like he’d rather be hiding in the study.

Stiles wondered if he would find someone he’d rather be with. It wouldn’t be the end of the world if he did. After all, Stiles had come here not wanting to be picked, so he could hardly complain if he ended up not being picked. And it wasn’t like he could be offended or jealous since he knew Derek was only picking him to make his alpha angry. If Derek found someone he actually wanted to be with as a consort that would probably be a good thing.

But Stiles was wondering what Derek’s ridiculously hot werewolf body looked like under that tight t-shirt. If Derek picked someone else, Stiles would spend the rest of his life wondering what it would have been like to have sex with him. Right now though, he was wondering when the hell he could get this damn cage off because it was starting to feel snug again.

“Down boy,” Isaac muttered.

“Damn it,” Stiles muttered. “Stupid, werewolf sense of smell.” Isaac grinned. Stiles grabbed a possibly crab thing and shoved it in Isaac’s mouth.

Across the hall, Derek turned to look at them. It was only for a moment, but Stiles had a suspicion Derek knew what was going on anyway. But he was all the way across the room. How the hell could he know what was going on in Stiles’ pants?

***

Stiles was pounced on by the entire pack at various points while Derek made his rounds. Erica was the most interesting point of the evening. She spent about five minutes explaining to Stiles that she’d had a huge crush on him for a while but been too nervous to tell him about it. She said all this while leaning in close and wearing a tight, leather outfit that left nothing to the imagination. Stiles kept his eyes locked on hers for the entire conversation while she talked about how it was such a shame he was going to be Derek’s but maybe she could persuade him to share. Apparently that sort of thing was pretty common.

Stiles was seriously considering the waiter’s suggestion of finding a hiding place when Derek came over on the pretence of grabbing some food from the buffet table. He growled at Erica to leave Stiles alone. Literally growled.

Stiles wasn’t sure if it was Derek being jealous or just him trying to protect him from Erica’s evil seductions. Either way, he appreciated it, but Derek could only nod at him and then he had to get back to talking to every guy in the room. His progress kept being impeded by Trevor, who seemed determined to find every possible opening to get a conversation going with Derek.

The easiest conversation Stiles had all evening was with Boyd. Boyd walked up to him, nodded, and said, “Hey.”

“Hey,” Stiles said back. They stood side by side for about half a minute and then Boyd wandered off again.

After a while, Trevor returned, having been separated from Derek once again.

“I think it’s going well,” he announced. “I’m pretty sure I’ve made an impression with Derek.”

“I really think you have,” Stiles agreed. Trevor smiled and took that as a compliment.

“Plus, his sister keeps talking to me. I think she’s really into me. I know, she’s not the heir and I should keep my focus, but she’s a lot more my type.”

“Your type?”

“You know. Female. Definitely easier to get it up for her than for Derek.”

Stiles stared at Trevor. “You’ve been trying to get hired as Derek’s sex partner all evening and you’re not even into guys?”

“Hey, he’s the heir of the Hale pack. That transcends preferences.”

Stiles didn’t have words to express what he thought about Trevor right then. The guy was willing to do anything to get an in with the pack. Cora had described him as slimy and Stiles could see the point. He was half tempted to tell Trevor that Cora’s only interest in him had been acting as interference to give Derek a chance to escape.

Stiles hadn’t been noticing the band’s music but he noticed the sudden silence. He turned in that direction, as did just about everyone else, and saw Peter Hale moving to stand behind the singer’s microphone. He smiled pleasantly at the assembled teens, but Stiles was more focused on the sheets of paper and pen held in his left hand.

“I’d like to thank you all for attending,” he said, “and I hope you are enjoying the party. As you are all aware, there is a purpose to this party. I know my nephew has been talking to you and I’m sure he’s met a great many wonderful people tonight but he can only make a single choice. Derek, please join me.”

Derek walked across the room. All eyes were on him, but Stiles was aware of Trevor twitching with nervous anticipation beside him.

“Have you made a choice?” Peter asked. Derek nodded and so Peter stepped aside, yielding the microphone up to him. Derek stood in front of it.

“I’ve chosen,” he said, “Stiles Stilinski.”

Stiles was aware of murmurs of surprise and relief from around the room, and Trevor’s confused mutter of, “Stiles?” beside him. The party guests looked around, searching him out, and then finally turned to stare at him. Stiles began to wonder if this was such a good idea. His mouth went dry with nerves, but he forced his feet to start moving. He walked across the room towards Derek and the people parted to let him through, still staring. He could almost read their thoughts in their faces: what the hell would Derek see in him?

It seemed to take forever but eventually Stiles was standing in front of Derek and Peter. They could probably smell him sweating through his t-shirt. His fingers twitched at his side despite his best efforts to keep them still.

“Do you accept the position as Derek’s consort?” Peter asked. There was not the slightest trace of distain in Peter’s voice; he must be one hell of an actor.

“I do,” Stiles said, then realised that sounded way too much like a marriage vow and he instantly wished he could go back and reword it. But Peter just nodded.

“We must make this official with the signing of the contract,” he said. He held out the sheets of paper.

Stiles looked at them carefully. The language was more formal, starting with a basic description about how this was a contract between a human and werewolf, explaining that a consort was expected to be a sexual companion. Then it got down to the rules of the relationship, which contained all the clauses Derek and Stiles had discussed in the library, including the one about being able to call this off at any time. And the one about dragons.

Stiles took the pen. He used a music stand that one of the band had been using, and he signed his name in the section for consort. Then he handed the pen to Derek, who signed. Finally, Peter signed as the alpha and witness to the contract.

Stiles realised his hands were shaking. He was now officially the consort of a werewolf. What the hell had he been thinking?

Peter stepped back in front of the microphone, “Thank you, everyone, for attending. I apologise that my method of ensuring continued viability of all candidates may have seemed intrusive to some of you. I felt it was necessary to uphold the fine traditions of this practice and to ensure as wide a group of candidates as possible, but I understand that some of you might have felt imposed on, and I apologise for that. Now, you are welcome to stay and enjoy the party, but if you wish to leave, there are a number of medical staff waiting out in the entrance hall who can remove the chastity devices. Thank you and goodnight.”

He stepped away from the microphone. Stiles’ nerves had been replaced with anger.

“That was the weakest apology I’ve ever heard,” he muttered. He hadn’t intended to say it out loud but when Peter turned to him, he decided he might as well continue. “You were apologising that they felt bad, not actually apologising for what you did.”

“Your clause stated I had to make a public apology,” Peter said. “Nowhere did you specify that you had to be satisfied with my apology.” He smiled.

Stiles hated him more then than when he’d read the stupid letter about this party. Before he could say or do anything stupid, a hand closed around his shoulder. Derek’s hand. Stiles wasn’t sure if it was meant as a gentle reminder that he wasn’t alone, or to physically restrain him if he decided to launch himself at Peter. Either way, he stopped.

“I need to file this,” Peter said. He turned away with the contract. Stiles just stood and glared after him, so he saw when Trevor slimed his way up to Peter’s side.

“Good evening, Mr Hale,” Trevor said. “I just wanted to thank you for this wonderful party and for the opportunity you offered us. I’m just disappointed that I won’t be able to serve the pack myself.”

Stiles made a gagging noise in his throat and turned to Derek, who rolled his eyes a little. His hand was still on Stiles’ shoulder. It seemed like a promise.

“I’ve got a couple of things to sort out,” Derek said. “Will you be OK down here for a minute or so?”

“Sure. No problem.”

“OK. I’ll get one of the pack to show you upstairs.”

Stiles nodded, his mouth dry again. Upstairs. To Derek’s room. Where they were going to have sex. Derek smiled and walked away.

Stiles stood there awkwardly and realised that Trevor was still talking with Peter. Peter was actually smiling at Trevor and Stiles wondered if Peter would have preferred him as the choice of consort.

“It would be impossible for me to take a consort,” Peter was saying, “but there are other options open to us. However, it would be indelicate for me to make such arrangements tonight. This is Derek’s big night.”

“Of course, sir. I quite understand.”

Peter walked away and Trevor turned to Stiles, his grin so wide it looked like it might split his face in two.

“I have no idea how you got Derek to pick you,” Trevor said, “but it looks like I’ve landed the alpha.”

“This isn’t a fishing competition,” Stiles said.

“Says you. And how come he called you Stilinski?”

“It’s my name.”

“Then why didn’t you ever correct me when I called you Bilinski?”

“I thought you were just being a jerk.”

Cora chose that moment to appear, arriving at Stiles’ side so suddenly and silently that Stiles nearly jumped out of his skin.

“Hey,” she said. “I’m going to show you upstairs.”

“Right. Thanks.”

Stiles was glad to leave Trevor behind and the horde of staring people who were looking at him like they were trying to get the punchline of the joke. On the other hand, his feelings were decidedly mixed about the concept of going to the room where he was going to be deflowered by a werewolf. In the pro column, he was about to have sex. In the con column, he was going to have contractually obligated sex because of some archaic ritual perpetrated by the alpha of the pack who Stiles loathed with every fibre of his being. But having sex with Derek would annoy Peter and that was definitely another point in the pro column.

Cora led Stiles out through a side door and into a corridor that was hung with portraits of various former alphas. Stiles tried to keep track of the route, but this place was a maze, with doorways hidden in panelling and mirrors designed to look like doorways and other tricks that he was sure existed to keep new consorts from attempting to make an escape. He could be trapped in here for weeks.

Cora must have noticed his rising panic, because she turned to him with a smile and said, “It’s OK. Derek’s nice. You’ve got nothing to worry about.”

“Thanks,” Stiles said.

She reached a door and opened it up for him. She gestured him inside but didn’t cross the threshold herself.

“The bathroom’s through there,” she pointed at a door on the far wall. “There’s towels and stuff if you want to get cleaned up. Derek will be up in a minute.”

“Thanks,” Stiles said again. He walked into the room and heard the click of the door closing behind him.

The bedroom was huge. It was furnished almost like a whole apartment, with chairs and coffee table, drawers, desk and table, bookshelves, but the main feature was the bed, which was a ridiculously massive four-poster made of iron and covered in red bedclothes. There were towels folded neatly on the end of the bed, along with a plush bathrobe and a little plastic pouch containing a bunch of toiletries and even a disposable razor.

Out of curiosity, Stiles went to the bathroom door and looked inside. He wasn’t at all surprised to find it equally ridiculous. There were two sinks. Who the hell needed two sinks? And the bath was a hot tub Jacuzzi thing that could easily fit four people. He considered the shower, wondering if that was the polite thing to do. He wondered about Cora’s comment on cleaning up. Were the toiletries a hint? Was that their way of saying that he stank to werewolf senses? Or were they just being polite and giving him this stuff because he’d be expected to stay the night?

A new spark of panic rushed through Stiles. He reached into his pocket and pulled out his phone. He called his dad.

“Stiles, is the party over?” his dad asked.

“Pretty much, yeah.”

“OK. I’ll see you at home in a bit.”

“Erm... actually... I’ll be staying the night here.”

“Staying the night?”

“Yeah,” Stiles said. “I’ve... I’ve agreed to be Derek’s consort.”

There was a moment of silence, then his dad spoke, voice frantic and worried, “Are you OK? Have you signed the contract yet?”

“Yeah. It’s all official.”

“Look, you’re allowed to say no. If they pressured you into this, if they coerced you or refused to take that chastity thing off or something then they’re in breach of the rules and we can get the contract declared void. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. They have no right to make you do this.”

“Dad, I’m fine, honestly,” Stiles said. He could understand why his dad was freaking out. After all, his dad had seen him setting out for this party furious with the whole pack and determined not to get chosen. This was a big change and given Peter’s sneaky manipulations, he was obvious worried that Stiles was being coerced again.

“Stiles, I’m coming to get you. Don’t do anything. I’ll figure this out. They can’t pressure you into anything.”

“Dad, it’s fine. I’m fine. I agreed to this. My own free will. Plus I got to put my own clauses in the contract about what is and isn’t acceptable and I can say no at any time if Derek wants to do something I don’t want to do and I can end the contract and walk away if he turns out to be a jerk. I didn’t just sign my life away. I’m good. I just didn’t want you to worry about me. I’ll be home tomorrow and we can talk about what happened.”

“Are you sure?”

“Dad, how many times do I need to tell you I’m fine?”

“You’re really fine?”

“Yes!”

Stiles was pacing around the big bedroom and his meandering path turned him to face the door. Derek was standing watching him.

“I’ve got to go, Dad. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Be careful.”

“I will. Love you.”

“Love you too.”

Stiles hung up and pocketed the phone. Derek just stood there in the doorway.

“Sorry about that,” Stiles said. “My dad’s freaking out a little bit. He knew I didn’t want to be here and now here I am agreeing to be your consort. He’s worried that your alpha might be up to his tricks again.”

“Do you want to go talk to him?” Derek asked. “You’re allowed to go home; you put in the contract and everything. We don’t have to rush this tonight. You can sort things out with your dad and we can...” he paused, “tomorrow. Or later. Whenever you feel right.”

“The word you were missing there was sex,” Stiles said. “You’re willing to steal my precious virginity but you won’t even say the word?”

Stiles didn’t bother to hide his amusement at that. Derek looked away, clearly a little embarrassed, and deflected the subject back.

“Your dad?” he asked.

“I’ve told my dad I won’t be home tonight. I’m staying. I’m ready to do this.”

“OK. Good thing I got this then,” Derek said. He reached into a pocket and came out with a tiny key. Stiles had no doubt what that thing unlocked.

Chapter Text

They stood staring at each other for at least a minute. Neither moved. Derek had the key in his hand.

“Should I,” Stiles started, then said, “How do you want to do this? Should I just get the key and unlock it myself.”

“It’ll be easier if I do it,” Derek said. “Easier to... um... see.”

“OK then.” He stood there a moment more until Derek raised an eyebrow. “Oh. Right. I need to lose the pants then, don’t I?”

“It would make it easier.” Derek’s tone was perfectly dead-pan. Stiles wasn’t sure whether it was sarcasm or serious.

Stiles kicked off his shoes and undid his pants, pushing them and his briefs down and stepping out of them. He felt self-conscious, but Derek would be seeing him naked soon enough. Derek acted as though this was perfectly normal and crouched down in front of Stiles, fitting the key into some hidden hole beneath the cage. It took Derek a few moments, his fingers brushing against Stiles’ balls as he worked, then something clicked and Derek unfastened the cage. He unlocked the waistband and the whole hideous contraption fell away.

Stiles wasn’t sure if it was Derek’s fingers, or just the fact he’d spent the last few days locked up thinking about sex but unable to get release, but he was half-hard in an instant. Derek looked up at him with a quirk of a smile and Stiles waited for him to make a blow job joke. Stiles couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like to feel that mouth. That thought sent more blood rushing southwards, half-hard rapidly becoming fully erect. His mind filled with imagined outcomes of tonight.

“Somebody’s eager,” Derek commented. He ran a finger up Stiles’ erection.

Stiles shuddered and gave a cry that was more distress than anything else, and he shot his load in Derek’s face.

Stiles couldn’t move. He just stood there, sure his face was turning scarlet, while Derek blinked through streams of cum with a surprised expression on his face. Stiles wondered if Derek would be upset. If he’d send Stiles away and request a new consort, someone who didn’t shoot his load before they’d even started, before he was even fully undressed. This was probably the most humiliating moment of Stiles’ life.

Derek just stood, peeled off a cum-splattered t-shirt and used it to wipe his face. He didn’t seem angry. He seemed amused. In Stiles’ mind, that was probably worse. Derek would start laughing at him for this and decide he didn’t want to share his bed with someone who had so little self-control. Stiles saw Derek’s bared chest and decided that if Derek had taken his shirt off earlier, he’d probably had come the second Derek took the cage off.

“How long were you in that thing?” Derek asked, prodding the chastity cage with his foot.

“Three days,” Stiles said.

“Three days of chastity put you on a hair trigger?”

“I think the fact that I’m sixteen probably put me on a hair trigger already. Plus you’re very hot. Really, you should take this as a complement.”

“I prefer my complements a little less sticky.”

“I’m sorry.”

“At least now we can take things slowly without worrying you’ll explode.”

Derek seemed quite calm about the whole thing. He stripped off his pants efficiently, revealing strong, muscled legs that matched his chiselled abs and sculpted arms. He peeled off boxers and Stiles saw he was already half-hard though he didn’t seem to be heading for the same embarrassment as Stiles.

Derek reached out across the void of mortification and caught the bottom of Stiles’ t-shirt. He hesitated a moment, perhaps waiting for Stiles to protest, and then lifted it up. Stiles raised his arms to let Derek pull the shirt off. Stiles then bent down and pulled his socks off because otherwise he felt even more ridiculous. Then they stood there, naked and studying each other.

Stiles wondered if this was supposed to be romantic or arousing. The most overwhelming emotion right now was a sense of awkwardness and it seemed to be mirrored in Derek. Neither of them knew what to say or do. Derek at least took the initiative. He reached out again and put his hands on Stiles’ arms, stroking up and down slightly. In a weird way, it felt more intimate than the fingers on his cock had earlier. Derek let those fingers trace up and down gently, while Stiles stood there and wondered what he should be doing with his own hands.

“Let’s move to the bed,” Derek suggested. And it was a suggestion. Stiles almost wished Derek would just tell him what to do. He knew Derek was probably trying to be gentle and make sure he was alright, but Stiles had no idea what he was doing here and he was reminded of that fact by Derek phrasing things in such a way as to give Stiles a choice.

Still, Stiles went along with the suggestion. He moved to the bed and sat down on its edge next to Derek. Derek kept a hand on him, moving in soft circles on Stiles’ back. It was strange that someone so powerful could give such a gentle caress.

“May I kiss you?” Derek asked.

Stiles didn’t trust his mouth to make the right words, so he just nodded a little and leaned in. Derek leaned the rest of the way and their lips met in a kiss that was soft and yielding. There was the same gentleness. This wasn’t some predatory act of sex, but a delicate sharing of feelings. Stiles reached out a hand and cupped Derek’s hip, urging them closer together.

Each moment of the kiss was drawn out, taking their time to get to where they were going. That destination now appeared in the corners of Stiles’ mind as whispered possibilities, bringing with it a sense of anticipation. He twisted round a little further so he could bring his other hand into play, his fingers tracing the contours of Derek’s stomach, the lines of his arms, then down to stroke the strong muscles of his thigh.

Derek moaned a little into Stiles’ mouth and brought his own hand down to mirror the gestures, stroking Stiles’ thigh gently. He brought his fingers towards the rising heat at Stiles’ groin, and then away again, each time teasing him with closeness only to take it away again.

Derek pulled away from the kiss and shift further onto the bed, urging Stiles around and after him. Stiles let himself be led. He soon lay on his back in the middle of the huge bed, with Derek half beside him, and half on top, his hands either side of Stiles’ shoulders. Derek leaned down, but the kiss this time was to Stiles’ neck. He kissed and nuzzled underneath Stiles’ ear and a shiver ran straight to Stiles’ groin, where his penis was endeavouring to make up for earlier.

Stiles hadn’t guessed his neck was so sensitive, but now the actions of Derek’s mouth there seemed directly connected to Stiles’ arousal. Stiles gave a little groan, wrapping an arm around Derek’s back as though to hold him there forever.

Derek shifted sideways a little, legs astride Stiles’, his body lying almost on top of Stiles’. He kept up those kisses to the neck, but moved a hand lower, leaving some of his weight resting on Stiles’ chest. His hand wrapped around two erections at once and Stiles’ gave a strangled cry at the touch.

That hand moved slowly, too slowly. Stiles writhed on the bed, trying to get into rhythm with it, trying to move faster.

He urged Derek faster, but he wasn’t sure if the words ever left his mouth or if he just thought them loudly. He wove fingers into Derek’s hair and breathed in frantic gasps as Derek finally gave in to Stiles’ urging and pumped them both over the edge.

Stiles came for a second time that night and then collapsed boneless onto the bed. Derek rolled onto his back beside Stiles.

When Stiles’ higher mental faculties came back online, he wondered how to voice his thought without it sounding incredibly rude.

“That’s not what I was expecting,” he said. “I figured you’d want to, you know, pin me to the bed and fuck me.”

“Plenty of time for that,” Derek said. “Unless you’re planning on ending the contract tomorrow, in which case, give me half an hour and we’ll go for round two. Even werewolves need time to keep up with sixteen year old boys with hair triggers.”

“No, I’m not planning on calling it off. Unless you’re a jerk to me.”

“Then we can build up to that. Not being a jerk. That other thing...”

“Yeah, I got it,” Stiles said. Derek really did have difficulty saying the words.

The mattress shifted and Derek stood up. Stiles wondered if he'd done something wrong. Maybe he had offended Derek with that question, or implying he was a jerk. Stiles just didn’t have the energy to move.

Derek returned a moment later with a damp washcloth and started wiping up the sticky white trails that decorated Stiles’ chest. Stiles tried to take the cloth, but Derek gently battered his hand away and continued cleaning Stiles, a soft and dreamy look on his face. He went back to the bathroom. Stiles lay there on the bed, listening to water run and then the flush of the toilet. When Derek returned this time, he presented Stiles with the pouch of toiletries.

“Brush your teeth,” Derek instructed.

Stiles obeyed, climbing from the bed and heading for the big bathroom. He didn’t dare ask whether this was just Derek being a stickler for dental hygiene or if it was a criticism of Stiles’ kisses. Either way, Stiles cleaned his teeth, relieved himself, and then gave himself another quick wash. He headed back to the bedroom to find Derek standing awkwardly next to the big bed. The covers were pulled down in obvious invitation.

“You said you wanted your own room,” Derek said. “If you want to sleep somewhere private, I can show you somewhere.”

Stiles was feeling tired. Besides, given what he and Derek had just done, a private room seemed unnecessary. He crossed over to the bed and climbed in, tucking the covers up around him.

He felt the mattress shift as Derek got in, but the bed was big enough that they didn’t touch. Stiles lay on his side with his back to Derek, and waited for sleep to wash this confusion away.

***

Stiles was woken by a hand gently shaking him.

“Hey,” he complained. Then he opened his eyes and saw Derek standing beside the bed wearing nothing but a towel, his hair standing up in damp spikes.

“Hey,” Stiles said again, in an entirely different tone.

“Your dad’s downstairs,” Derek said. That threw a bucket of cold water over Stiles’ early morning thoughts. He sat up.

“What?”

“Cora just told me. I don’t know about you, but I plan on wearing clothes when I go down and talk to him.”

“Right. Clothes. Clothes are good.”

Stiles hurried into the bathroom for what might qualify as the fastest shower of his life. That was something of a shame, since the water pressure in Derek’s shower was amazing and the toiletry pack he’d been provided included some posh, lemon-scented shampoo. Stiles then went and ruined his fruit-basket scent by pulling on the same clothes he’d worn yesterday. Derek was fully dressed and waiting by the bedroom door. He looked nervous, like an animal that was preparing to bolt.

“Maybe I should just let you talk to him first,” Derek said.

“You’re going to have to take me to him,” Stiles said, “because I will get lost in this labyrinth you call a house.”

Derek led Stiles downstairs, all the while Stiles was thinking about how much his dad must be freaking out. He’d told his dad he’d be home today and they’d talk, but his dad had come here anyway. That meant either he didn’t believe Stiles would be allowed to leave, or he was just too worried to wait the extra hour or two for Stiles to go to him. Stiles wished he’d taken Derek up on his offer to leave last night. He should have sorted things out with his dad before anything else happened.

Cora was waiting for them at the bottom of the stairs. She told them that Stiles’ dad was in the study and then she made herself scarce. Derek took Stiles back to that same study they’d met in the evening before, only now Stiles’ dad was sitting in an arm chair by the window, reading through a document. He stood instantly as the two walked in and Stiles went over to him, letting himself be hugged.

“I told you I was coming home today and we’d talk,” Stiles said. “You didn’t need to come here.”

“I needed to make sure.”

“I told you about five times that I’m fine.”

“I needed to see.”

Stiles resisted the urge to roll his eyes, because it was kind of sweet that his dad would react like this. It was also good to know that if he ever were in danger of being raped by a pack of werewolves, his dad would come to his rescue. But Stiles wasn’t sure how else to convince his dad he was fine, particularly not standing in front of Derek, who was the whole reason his dad had probably spent last night in sleepless worry.

Stiles turned to Derek and said, “I don’t suppose you’ve got coffee around here?”

Derek took the hint, “I’ll go get some. You want some food as well?”

Stiles was somewhat hungry, which was almost a surprise after how many of those possibly-crab things he’d eaten last night.

“A little bit of something,” he said. “But don’t go overboard. I expect I’ll be going home very soon.”

“OK. I’ll be right back.”

Derek left them alone in the study. He might still be listening in, werewolf hearing being what it was, but Stiles didn’t think he’d do that.

“Interesting contract,” Stiles’ dad said once they were alone. That was the document he’d been reading.

“Well, when else am I going to have a chance to demand dragons?”

“I was thinking more of the last couple of clauses. Did you get Peter to apologise?”

“Yeah, I did. I mean, it was a really lame apology but it was a public apology, so he lived up to his end.”

“And you’re really OK about this?”

“Yeah. I’m still mad as hell with Peter, but Derek’s not Peter. And if he turns out to be a jerk, I can always just call the whole thing off.”

“So you’re really OK?”

Stiles groaned, “I’m going to buy a parrot and train it to say, ‘I’m fine,’ over and over again to save me the trouble.”

His dad cracked a smile. “Alright, I take the hint. But if things stop being OK for any reason, I want you to tell me.”

“Sure, Dad.”

His dad hugged him again. Twice in less than five minutes. That had to be proof of how worried he’d been last night. Stiles really should have taken Derek up on his offer to go and talk to his dad before they moved forward with their arrangement. He wondered if it was guilt as well as worry, since his dad had signed a consent form that had allowed that doctor to stick the cage on, even if his dad had only thought he’d been signing a consent form for a brief physical and an invitation for a party. His dad had probably spent the night terrified that Stiles was being raped by werewolves and holding himself responsible for it.

Although Stiles had to admit he was still fairly pissed off about the fact his dad had signed the form without at least talking to him about it. The fact that no one could have predicted Peter’s level of utter creepiness didn’t undermine the principles of the thing.

Derek returned then with a tray of coffee and pastries. He set it down on the desk.

“I wasn’t sure what you liked,” Derek said. “We have cereal, if you want that. Or I could make something. I could scramble some eggs or... I dunno, whatever you like.”

“You don’t have a full catering staff on site?” Stiles asked, grabbing a coffee mug in one hand and an almond pastry with the other.

“No, that was just for last night. But I can still cook something. Something basic anyway. Don’t ask for anything that’s in a foreign language.”

It was almost endearing how nervous he was. Stiles wasn’t sure if this was because of Stiles or his dad. Maybe Derek wanted to prove that he could tend to Stiles’ needs.

“This is fine,” Stiles said.

There were more mugs of coffee on the tray, so Stiles’ dad took one, though he drank it in huge swallows like there was a race to get to the bottom of the cup.

“So,” Stiles said, around mouthfuls of pastry, “I guess I should go home with Dad. If nothing else, I should get some clean clothes. Should I come back here later?”

“You can join us for dinner and then stay over,” Derek said. “Or join us for dinner and then go back home, either way is good. Unless you’ve got stuff to do for school. I don’t want to interfere.”

“How about you give me your phone number. Then I can go home and get started on my homework and I can make my decision based on how much I get through. I can text you later.”

“Perfect.”

Derek took Stiles’ phone and entered his number in it while Stiles finished off his pastry. He texted himself so that they’d both have each other’s numbers. Then Derek offered to show them out and there was an awkward moment on the doorstep where Stiles wasn’t sure if he should kiss Derek and he thought Derek was wondering the same thing. They parted with a handshake and Stiles went to retrieve his jeep from where the valet had parked it round the side of the house.

Chapter Text

His dad got home first, but he was waiting in the hallway when Stiles walked in.

“So, when you left here, you were pretty adamant you didn’t want to be a consort.”

“Yeah, I know. I get why this might have freaked you out a bit.”

“How did he get you to change your mind?”

So Stiles told him the story. He explained about running away from the party and meeting Derek also hiding from the party, and how he’d ranted about what Peter had done.

“Derek had no idea about the whole chastity cage thing,” Stiles said.

“So he claims.”

“I believe him. He was very apologetic about the whole concept.”

“He might have just been saying that to lure you in.”

“There was no luring. He asked me if I’d want to have sex with him and then, when I said yes, let me set the terms of the contract and gave me multiple chances to back out before I signed.”

“He could still be using you.”

“Yeah,” Stiles said. “He’s using me for sex and to get back at his uncle for forcing him into this situation. He’s been perfectly clear about that.”

“And you’re really OK about it?”

“If I wasn’t, I’d have told Derek last night.”

His dad nodded. He knew Stiles well enough that it seemed he had no trouble believing that. Stiles suspected he would have to deal with his dad asking if he was alright about a dozen times a day until Derek got bored with this arrangement. Stiles didn’t think Derek would be a problem though. There were a million little things about Derek’s attitude, his words, the way he’d checked Stiles was OK about things, the way he’d talked about Stiles maybe wanting to back out the next day like he wouldn’t have been at all upset if Stiles had done just that. It all added up to a guy Stiles didn’t mind being with for however long this took.

“Just remember,” his dad said, “you’re Derek’s consort. You signed the contract to be with him. If any of the rest of the pack so much as touch you without your permission, I can arrest them for sexual assault of a minor.”

“Awesome,” said Stiles. “And if it’s Peter, we get to collect half a million dollars.”

His dad smirked, “I really liked that clause.”

“What can I say, I’m inventive when I’m pissed off.”

***

“So is it true?” Scott asked, the instant Stiles answered his ringing phone. Stiles was up in his room, showered and in clean clothes and working his way through a stack of homework. The homework might have been going better if he his thoughts hadn’t kept drifting into thoughts of Derek naked and the promise of going all the way. Did Stiles need to clean himself out or something? He should probably do some research on this.

“Stiles?” Scott prompted.

“Yeah.”

“Well? Is it true?”

Scott sounded so intensely curious that Stiles couldn’t resist calmly enquiring, “Is what true?”

“Are you Derek Hale’s consort?”

Stiles did his best to exude nonchalance down the phone and said, “Oh that. Yeah, it’s true.” He aimed for a tone of voice that made it sound like being picked as someone’s sexual partner was an everyday occurrence, even though the fact he’d been eligible already proved that false.

“How the hell did this happen?” Scott asked.

“What I can say? Derek took one look at me and fell for my irresistible charms.”

“What really happened?”

“I’m hurt,” Stiles protested. “If you imply that I don’t have irresistible charms, you’re going to have to tear up your best friend card.”

“Can’t tear it up; it’s laminated. So what really happened? You didn’t go with the plan to turn up naked, did you?”

So Stiles recounted the story again, sparing no detail. He talked about the obnoxiousness of his clothing choices, the conversation with Derek, Peter’s reaction, the way the pack had sought him out, even Trevor’s slimy attempts to get chosen. Stiles stopped the story when he got to being in Derek’s bedroom, and Scott seemed appropriately grateful for his tact.

“Oh crap,” Stiles muttered.

“What?” Scott sounded genuinely worried.

“I just realised I left my hoody at the Hale house. I guess it doesn’t matter.” It was an old hoody anyway, rarely worn these days because of how tired it was. Besides, he could pick it up some other time that he was over at that house, which he guessed would be quite often.

“So what now?” Scott asked.

“Now, I finish up my homework so I can go back to Derek’s place for dinner and steaming hot sex.”

“I regret asking.”

“What happens now is I act as Derek’s consort until he gets bored with the arrangement and calls it off. Or until he acts like a jerk and I call it off. Or until his uncle tries it on, in which case I collect half a million bucks and then call it off.” Stiles considered. “I wonder if I could lure Peter into sexually harassing me; it would be a serious boost to my college fund.”

“Are you sure you know what you’re doing?” Scott asked.

“As much as I ever do.”

“Yeah, that’s what I’m worried about.”

“I should go. I’ve still got two pages of history left and I’ve not even looked at physics.”

“Just be careful around the werewolves.”

“No problem. See you.”

“See you.”

Stiles put the phone down and returned to his homework.

***

Stiles’ dad tried to argue Stiles into staying home for dinner and spending the night in his own bed, but Stiles argued that the more time he spent with Derek, the sooner Derek would get bored of him and call an end to the contract. It was almost depressing that his dad didn’t even argue that point. He just assumed that Derek would toss him aside sooner or later. Of course, that was the whole point of the consort contract, that a werewolf could use a human for as long as suited them. Still, it would be nice if his friends and family could at least pretend that people might be drawn to Stiles’ numerous charms and fall in love with him and sweep him off his feet.

Stiles sent Derek a text saying that he’d be visiting for dinner. This time, he packed an overnight bag. He didn’t really need much, especially since Derek had provided the posh toiletries, but clean underwear would probably be appreciated tomorrow by everyone concerned, and his Adderall would be welcome in the morning. He got into his jeep and then hesitated even more than he had done the day before. What if Derek took one look at him and realised he’d made a stupid decision? What if he sent Stiles straight back home again?

That was the thought running round in Stiles’ mind all the drive back to that ridiculously big house in the woods: what if Derek had come to his senses?

There was no valet parking this time so Stiles just parked up in front of the main entrance. Derek was already opening the front door by the time Stiles turned the engine off. It was possible his werewolf hearing had let him know Stiles was coming from miles away, but Stiles had a strong suspicion Derek had been waiting for him. Given the size of the house, it could take ten minutes to get to the front door. And yet there Derek was, waiting.

Stiles wondered if this was a bad sign. Was Derek waiting to great him out here so Stiles didn’t have to go inside before Derek sent him away?

But Derek just held the door open for him, and then gave him a funny look as Stiles walked inside.

“You seem more nervous than you were last night,” Derek said.

Stiles didn’t want to admit he’d been scared Derek would decide to get rid of him, especially since admitting it might put the idea in Derek’s head.

“Dinner with the family,” he said instead, “what could go wrong?”

He expected Derek to say something reassuring, to offer him some meaningless platitudes about how his pack would love Stiles. Stiles was strangely relieved when Derek instead said, “Their opinions don’t matter.”

It was reassuring that Derek wasn’t trying to lie to him, wasn’t trying to say things Stiles knew he couldn’t mean.

“Not even your uncle’s?” Stiles asked.

Derek gave a little shrug, “I made my choice and he’ll have to live with it.”

“Does that mean he’s not plotting my grisly demise?”

“I’ll let you know if I smell poison in your food,” Derek said. “Come on, I’ll get you a drink and then give you the tour.”

Minutes later, Stiles had a can of soda in his hands and was following Derek through the house, which was simply ridiculous. He’d thought it was big before, but Derek showed him through rooms that were used for parties and public meetings, along with a host of rooms that supported them. There was an events kitchen about the size of Stiles’ whole house filled with shining appliances and nothing else. This was apparently where the catering crew had worked for the party the night before, but now everything was sparkling clean and deserted. This whole huge part of the house was only used when the pack were hosting big functions. Now Stiles felt like he was trespassing in a ghost town.

Other parts of the house were much more lived in. There was a large living room and a smaller den, both nicely furnished and equipped with TVs Stiles wanted to drool over. Stiles had seen the study so they skipped that. Upstairs, Derek pointed out doors to various bedrooms but didn’t take him in until he reached the room he said was now Stiles’. Inside, the room was bright and cheery, decorated in blues and greens. The room had a large bed, closet, drawers, even a desk, and an open door showed a sparkling shower room just for him. Stiles wondered if it was well-furnished because the guest rooms happened to be well-furnished, or if Derek was deliberately giving him the equivalent to an apartment here. Was this Derek’s way of saying he wanted Stiles to hang out here a lot?

“This is your room,” Derek said. “Meaning you have the right to tell anyone to get out if you don’t want them in here. If you need a break from me... or anyone else, you can just come in here.”

It was probably unnecessary, given that Stiles could just leave and go home, but it was nice to know anyway. His own little bit of territory in the middle of the pack’s home.

So far in the tour, Stiles hadn’t seen a trace of the rest of the pack. Given that they’d walked through most of the house, that had to be deliberate. It was only as Derek took Stiles down to the family kitchen, a much more modest-sized affair compared to the events one, that Stiles saw other people. Cora and Isaac were in the kitchen preparing dinner. Both greeted Stiles with warm smiles. Stiles gave them a hello and then stared at the chopped vegetables on the counter top.

“Huh,” he said.

“What?” Cora asked.

“Nothing. I just never pictured werewolves cooking. I figured you’d have an army of staff on hand to serve your every whim.”

“Only when Peter throws a party,” Derek said.

“We do have a cleaning service,” Cora put in. “They come in a couple of times a week and clean the shared rooms. They don’t come into the bedrooms though.”

It’s stupid that Stiles had never considered werewolves doing day-to-day things. Not that he’d ever thought about werewolves much until this week. But he never would have pictured them making a tuna pasta bake for a visitor. Stiles tried to imagine Peter at that oven, baking something, and his mind rebelled at the image.

Derek carried plates through to the dining room and insisted that Stiles shouldn’t help because he was a guest. Stiles grabbed cutlery anyway and went to help set the table. Stiles worked his way up the table, laying out cutlery for every place that Derek had put a plate down at. He was nearly up to the head of the table when Peter walked in. He scowled at Stiles.

Stiles waited for Peter’s reaction, knowing that it wouldn’t be anything favourable for him. He expected something snide about his choice of clothes today, but what he got was Peter disapprovingly saying, “It’s not a consort’s place to wait tables for the pack.”

Stiles considered pointing out that laying out cutlery was hardly a great chore, or pointing out that he was just chipping in. If anyone else had made that comment, he probably would have dismissed it with a grin and insisted on it, since they were feeding him. Instead, Stiles held out the last handful of cutlery towards Peter.

“Fine,” he said. “You can set your own place then.”

The only place he hadn’t set was the one at the head of the table. There could be no doubt it was the alpha’s place. Derek frowned from the other end of the table, where he’d been setting out glasses, but Stiles just stood there, staring defiantly at Peter, holding out the little bundle of knife, fork and spoon. He was challenging the alpha while simultaneously obeying him. Stiles felt a little rush of fear and wondered if Peter would demand satisfaction for his harsh tone, but instead he gave a cold smile and took the cutlery from him.

Peter said nothing as he arranged the cutlery precisely around his place. He sat down at the head of the table while Derek finished with the glasses and fetched bottles of water. Stiles could taste the tension in the room, even though Derek hadn’t said a single word. Stiles just stood there, waiting for someone to tell him what to do. Sitting down seemed weird while Isaac and Cora were carrying food in from the kitchen, but Stiles couldn’t offer to help after what Peter had said, so he just stood there.

Peter seemed to notice his dilemma. He gestured to the seat immediately to his right.

“Please, Stiles, have a seat,” Peter said. His tone was as icy as his smile, polite words sounding almost like a threat.

“There?” Stiles hesitated, wondering if this was a trap. “Wouldn’t that be Derek’s seat? Or Malia’s?”

“We don’t stand on ceremony at a family dinner. Besides, you’re our guest.”

Stiles looked over towards Derek, who nodded. Only then did Stiles pull out the chair and take his seat at the table.

Almost as if it were a cue, the rest of the pack started piling in through various doors and taking seats. Derek sat to Stiles’ right and Stiles found himself facing Malia across the table. The others found spaces with no apparent significance to positioning. Stiles didn’t know enough about werewolves to know if this was normal. All he knew was from public events where pack structure was apparently important enough that Stiles’ dad had once spent a week in meetings with the mayor and several other officials planning a seating chart for a formal dinner that had involved some of the local werewolf packs.

Cora served out portions of tuna-pasta bake, starting with Peter and then moving on to Stiles. Once that was served out, everyone was encouraged to just dive in to other dishes of vegetables, passing them around the table to ensure that no one was left out.

“The food looks great,” Stiles said to Cora.

“It’s nothing fancy,” she said, but there was a smile that suggested she was pleased with the complement.

“We try to eat all together as a pack at least twice a week,” Peter said.

“That’s really nice. I try to have the same rule about dinner with my dad. Sometimes I take lunch to him at the station to eat together because otherwise with his work and my school, it’s easy not to see him.”

“Is school important to you?” Peter asked.

“Yeah, I guess.”

“You guess? You specifically put a clause in the contract that your schoolwork shouldn’t be interfered with.”

“I mean, I want to do well and go to college and all that.”

“What will you study?”

“I’m not sure yet,” Stiles said. “Maybe forensics.”

“You wish to follow your father into law enforcement?” Peter asked.

“I’ve not made my decision for sure, but turning out like my dad would be no bad thing.”

“Do you have the science grades for a subject like forensics?”

Stiles glanced round at the table, seeing everyone silently eating. No one was meeting his eyes.

“Has anyone else noticed that this conversation is turning into an interrogation?” Stiles said.

“My apologies,” Peter said.

“I just don’t want to intrude on your pack bonding time. Feel free to pretend I’m not here.”

Stiles shoved a large forkful of pasta bake into his mouth in a hope to stall any further questions. Peter gave him another of those cold smiles and then turned to Malia, grilling her about her math grade. Malia glared at Stiles in between responses to her father. Stiles guessed she would have rather the attention stayed on him.

It seemed Peter’s idea of pack bonding was an extended interrogation because once he was done with Malia, he started moving round the table. He asked Isaac about his chemistry grades and then grilled Cora about some situation with a girl at school; Stiles was missing way too much context to figure out what that conversation was about. Then Peter asked Boyd some pointed questions about his lack of a romantic relationship, even hinting that it would be possible to throw a consort-selection party for him once enough time had passed from Derek’s party.

“That won’t be necessary,” Boyd said.

“Ah, so you’ve already chosen someone?” Peter asked.

“I just don’t want a consort.”

Stiles glanced at Derek and guessed that argument wouldn’t hold Peter back from anything for long. The interrogation moved round the table again and by then they’d all finished with the first course. Malia and Erica cleared the plates. Stiles wondered what Peter would do if he tried to help, but decided it was safer just to sit there and wait while Erica brought out desert: a large apple pie.

“Is this homemade?” Stiles asked as Erica served him a slice.

“I made it,” Cora said.

“Nice. I may have to start having meals here more often.”

“You’re entitled to share meals with the pack whenever you are here,” Peter said. Stiles noticed that he’d said entitled and not welcome. There was a big difference between the two, but he pretended not to have spotted it.

“Thanks,” he told Peter. “Good to know.”

“You don’t have allergies,” Peter said, “but are there any foods you have a particular aversion to that we should avoid?”

“I’m not too keen on olives,” Stiles said, “and how do you know I don’t have allergies?”

“It is part of the information provided in the physical assessment.”

“That is incredibly creepy and invasive,” Stiles said, before he could think about whether saying it out loud was a good idea. He’d thought all the stuff about his sexual history had been creepy, but now he knew that Peter must have access to a large chunk of his private medical records. The fact he hadn’t known about it until now just made it worse, and Peter was just sitting there calmly like this was perfectly normal.

“It’s important to know that a potential consort is physically capable of withstanding the rigors of being with a werewolf,” Peter said.

“And that translates into you getting confidential medical information on everyone in town?”

“Just the eligible candidates.”

“Ugh!” Stiles said. “You self-entitled bastard!” It was only then that he noticed the way everyone else around the table was staring at him, a nervous tension in their expressions. They were looking between him and Peter like they expected Peter to explode at any moment. Was this the moment where Peter sprouted claws and tore him to pieces?

Should he apologise? Should he try to take that insult back?

“My parents were married,” Peter said. He sounded surprisingly calm.

“What?” Stiles asked.

“Going by the traditional definition of bastard, it doesn’t apply to me.”

“Words change their meanings over time,” Stiles said. Even as he said it, he wasn’t sure if it was a good idea, since he was just continuing the insult. But Peter just gave him another of those cold smiles.

“I think I’ve had enough food for now,” Peter said. “Cora, Isaac, thank you for cooking. Boyd, I believe it’s your turn with the dishes.”

He pushed back his chair and stood, walking out of the room without another word. Everyone else around the table seemed to let out a breath of relief at his leaving. They ate in silence, swallowing down the last mouthfuls of pie, then Boyd stood to grab the empty dishes, Erica hurrying to help him.

“Should I do anything?” Stiles asked.

“Peter’s made it clear you shouldn’t,” Derek said.

Stiles considered that, then said, “Can I do anything?”

That earned a faint twitch at the corner of Derek’s mouth. It was almost a smile.

“Come on,” Derek said. “I can think of something to keep you occupied.”

Stiles followed Derek out of the room and along the route back towards his huge bedroom. They started up a wide staircase. Stiles was here for one purpose and it seemed Derek was going to make use of him.

“Is this the point where you chain me to the bed and screw me into the mattress?” Stiles asked.

“Not without prior discussion and explicit consent,” Derek said. Stiles stumbled on a step and Derek caught his elbow to stop him face-planting.

Stiles recovered his footing and thought about the implications of what Derek had just said. Stiles had put that clause in the contract about kinky stuff. Now Derek was making a deliberate and obvious reference to that. Joke or not, he was implying that he’d be open to chaining Stiles to the bed, so long as Stiles consented. Now Stiles just had to think how he’d feel about it.

Chapter Text

Stiles hesitated just inside Derek’s room, while Derek closed the door with a quiet thump behind them. Stiles stared at the big bed, which was neatly made, as though last night had never happened. A warm hand rested gently in the middle of Stiles’ back.

“I’d like to have sex with you,” Derek said. “If you’re OK with that.”

“And by that you mean...” Stiles gestured towards his ass.

“If you want to. If you’re not ready, we can wait. I don’t want to rush you into all this.”

Stiles’ imagination furnished him with a picture of Derek having sex with him in this gentle and caring way, checking at every point that he was alright. The mental image was so sweet as to risk causing diabetes, but enough to make Stiles half-hard already.

“Yeah,” Stiles said. “I’m ready.”

“OK. Well, I want you to be relaxed. The more relaxed you are, the better.” Derek didn’t sound particularly relaxed, but Stiles decided it would be rude to point that out.

“Should we take this to the bed?” Stiles asked.

“Yeah. But maybe we should lose the clothes first.”

“Good plan.”

Stiles stripped off his clothes. Only when he was partway through did he realise that maybe he was going about this the wrong way. He was undressing as he would to go to bed at home, without anything sexual in his movements. He looked across at Derek, who was undressing with the same efficiency, and decided it didn’t matter. But maybe in future he’d make more of the act of stripping.

Once they were both naked, Derek took charge. He told Stiles to get on the bed on his front.

“There are lots of different positions,” Derek said, “but I think this will be easier for a first time. You just relax.”

Stiles did as he was told while Derek rummaged in a bedside drawer. Stiles lay there on his front, turning his head a little so he could watch Derek climb onto the bed beside him. Derek was entirely naked and utterly unselfconscious about it. What did he have to be self-conscious about? His body was all sculpted muscle and smooth skin, all in perfect proportion. Stiles could just lie here and study him like a work of art.

Derek’s hands rested gently in the small of Stiles’ back, slick with some kind of oil. He started moving them in smooth, soothing circles.

“Not what I imagined sex would be like,” Stiles said.

“Ssh, we’ve got loads of time. I want to do this right. And that means get you nice and relaxed.”

Derek’s hands roved Stiles’ back, running gently over his muscles, sweeping up in long strokes and then shifting into small circles that eased at knots of tension before sweeping down again. Stiles closed his eyes and just let himself enjoy the sensations, warm fingers working up and down his back. Up and down. Up and down. And then down some more.

And then Derek’s hands were running over Stiles’ ass. He shifted a little on the bed, anticipation simmering inside him. But the hands moved further down, running over his thighs, continuing the massage.

Stiles could feel those fingers working, tentatively close but achingly far away from where he wanted them to be. Stiles shifted again, feeling his cock brushing against the bedcovers, without enough attention to actually be hard yet.

Derek’s hands roved upwards again, kneading the curves of Stiles ass, but he still seemed determined to keep this to a relaxing massage and Stiles’ slowly simmering arousal was becoming less relaxed by the moment.

“Come on,” Stiles muttered, “get to the good stuff already.”

Derek chuckled.

There was a dribble of oil in the crack of Stiles’ ass and he sucked in a surprised breath. The fingers were back at work again, running down the crack, pressing into the ring of muscle. Stiles let out a tiny moan as the finger eased inside.

“You OK?” Derek asked. Those fingers had stilled their work.

“Yeah. Yeah, I’m more than OK. Get moving again.”

The bed shifted as Derek leant down and Stiles felt a kiss pressed between his shoulder blades. Then Derek started working his finger gently in and out. Stiles had experimented down there of course, he was a horny teenager, but he’d never had anyone else slide an oiled up finger into his ass. Stiles tried to move his hips, to get more speed, more something, but Derek’s free hand rested on his ass and held him softly still.

“Ready for another?” Derek asked.

“More than ready.”

“OK then.” Derek chuckled again. He slid another finger inside. Stiles felt the shifting pressure, those fingers easing against his tightness, preparing the way.

Stiles felt Derek brush against something inside him. He gave a strangled moan, his semi-erection rapidly progressing towards full. Derek found that spot again, a gentle touch against something that seemed directly wired into Stiles’ cock.

“Oh god,” Stiles said.

“Like that, huh?”

“Don’t you dare stop.”

Derek’s fingers were pulling away and Stiles tried to flail round a hand to grab Derek’s wrist and get him to go do that again.

“Don’t worry,” Derek said. He slid a third finger inside.

Stiles bit down on the pillow. The pressure was a little too much, but in a way that still seemed wonderful and if three fingers let him reach that spot with more leverage then...

Stiles’ ability for rational thought appeared to shut down.

He was completely hard now, both because of what Derek had been doing and with the anticipation of what it meant he was about to do. Stiles squirmed beneath those fingers, trying to get some friction on his erection, trying to get Derek’s stretching fingers to reach that point inside him again.

Derek willingly obliged.

Then Derek slid his fingers out. For a few moments, Stiles felt achingly empty, then he felt the tip of Derek’s cock at his opening. He slid slowly inside, easing gently through the ring of muscle and making Stiles bite down on the pillow once again, a moan catching in his throat.

“Oh god,” Stiles moaned around the mouthful of pillow.

He felt Derek’s weight over him just a little, chest resting over his back. He felt Derek’s breath in his ear.

“You good?” Derek asked.

“Yeah. Oh god, yeah.”

There was a little huff of breath against his ear that might have been an amused laugh. Then Derek started moving and Stiles stopped trying to analyse meaning in every breath because they were soon both breathing hard. Stiles drove his hips in rhythm to Derek’s thrusts, a little out of sync at first but quickly finding a point that worked, that drove Derek deeper inside him. Each shift of his body also drove his erection against the bed, but that wasn’t enough and somehow Derek knew that. Derek reached am arm around Stiles, clutching their bodies together, and taking the shaft of Stiles’ cock in his hand.

He stroked firmly in time to the thrusting of their bodies. The combined stimulation, inside and out, sent Stiles over the edge. He gave a yell and came hard, body shaking with the erection. A moment later, perhaps in reaction, Derek cried out too. He clutched Stiles tighter and they shudder together in mutual climax.

Stiles collapsed down and lay there while Derek eased out of him. He started to roll over, but Derek stilled him with a hand on his shoulder.

“No, don’t move,” Derek said, voice a low murmur. The bed shifted as Derek climbed off. He returned a minute later with a damp cloth, sponging down Stiles’ ass. He did so slowly and carefully, and then gave a little, relieved sigh.

“What?” Stiles asked.

“No tearing.”

Stiles twisted himself round so he could look up at Derek, “That was a possibility?”

“This was why I was going slowly. You are just impatient. I should introduce you to the concept of edging. You’ll probably be plotting my murder before I’m halfway through.”

Derek gave Stiles ass a final wipe and then beckoned him to turn over so Derek could wipe cum from his front as well. Stiles was happy to comply, just lying there while Derek got him clean, or at least cleanish.

“Edging’s where you tease the other person for ages without letting them come, right?” Stiles asked.

“That’s the one.”

Stiles gave a grin, “Well, if you want me to do that to you, I’m willing to give it a shot.”

Derek returned the grin. Then he walked over to the bathroom to get rid of the cloth. Stiles just lay there, watching Derek’s ass move as he walked. He wondered if Derek would give him the opportunity to do what Derek had just done to him.

Derek came back to the bed, lying on one edge of it to they could avoid the wet patch that was right in the middle. He wrapped his arms around Stiles, pulling Stiles to lie pressed against Derek’s chest, and then tucked the covers over them. Stiles went along with it, closing his eyes and feeling Derek’s heart beating against him. Stiles probably could have drifted off right then, but Derek clearly wasn’t ready for sleep yet.

“In the contract,” Derek said, “you mentioned kinky stuff, that it had to be discussed and agreed to. Did you have anything particular in mind?”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, is there anything kinky you want to try? Do you want me to tie you up? Do you want me to spank you? Do you want to dress up in silk underwear and high heels?” It was hard to believe this was the same guy who’d been too nervous to use the word sex the day before. Maybe he’d been hesitant about it because he’d worried Stiles would be hesitant. Now though, he was talking about sex and more. There was no judgement in Derek’s tone, just genuine interest as he listed off possible kinks, “Do you want to wear nappies and pacifiers and pretend to be a baby? Or how about role play? Should I dress up as a sexy nurse so we can play hospital?”

Stiles had a sudden mental image of Derek in Mrs McCall’s hospital scrubs and he gave a little burst of laughter.

“I take it that’s a no to the sexy nurse idea,” Derek said.

“My best friend’s mom is a nurse. Nurses are not particularly sexual to me.”

“Got it. But what is sexy to you?”

Stiles considered the question. He didn’t exactly have experience in this area, aside from what he’d downloaded onto his computer.

“There are things that seem interesting,” he said, “when I’ve read about them or, you know, seen porn. But I don’t know if I’d actually like them if I really tried them, or if the idea is better than the reality.”

“That’s OK,” Derek said. “We can try something and if it turns out not to work for either of us, we stop and try something else. What sort of thing seems interesting?”

His fingers were tracing idly up and down Stiles’ arm in a gentle brushing motion. It wasn’t the precursor to anything sexual. Stiles wasn’t even sure Derek noticed he was doing. It was just such an intimate gesture, somehow more intimate than the sex they’d just had, that Stiles didn’t want Derek to ever stop.

“Bondage,” Stiles said. “I don’t know about serious restraints and hard-core stuff, but I just like the idea of being tied up while someone does sexual stuff to my body.”

“OK,” Derek said.

“I don’t know about spanking or paddles or anything like that. I don’t generally like pain. At all. So I think that might be one of those things better in concept than reality.”

“OK,” Derek said again. “We can stay away from pain play.”

“I don’t know. I guess more of what we’ve been doing would be good. I haven’t really got a list of kinks worked out. What do you like?”

Derek didn’t answer at once. Stiles just lay there in his arms, waiting, feeling the gentle brush of Derek’s fingertips against his skin.

“I want you to wear my scent,” Derek said.

“You’d better not be talking about pissing on me. That’s a definite no.”

“No,” Derek said quickly. “Just... wearing my jacket, something which smells like me. I want every werewolf to be able to smell you and know that you’re...”

“Owned?”

“Taken,” Derek said. “At least for now.”

“Wearing your jacket I can definitely do,” Stiles said. “What else?”

There was another pause, but there was more of a nervous note to this one. Derek’s fingers went still against Stiles’ arm.

“You can say no,” Derek said. “These are just ideas. If you don’t like them, no one’s going to make you do them.”

“You’re going to have to actually tell me if I’m to say anything?”

“Butt plugs. I like the idea of you wearing a butt plug, ready for me, or doing ordinary things and knowing it’s there and thinking about me. Or,” he hesitated again, “or wearing a plug after sex so that my cum is trapped inside you.”

Stiles considered. Derek’s fantasies weren’t about the immediate pleasure, but something deeper. He wanted Stiles thinking about him, and that was nice in its own weird way. Stiles would like to think that Derek would be thinking about him too. Maybe Derek would be thinking about Stiles thinking about Derek. Besides, he’d enjoyed the way it had felt when Derek had been inside him.

“I could do that,” Stiles said, “the first bit anyway, wearing a plug. I’m not sure about the other bit. Wouldn’t your family be able to smell it?”

“They already know we’re having sex.”

“Yeah, but there’s a difference between knowing something and smelling it.”

“OK. No problem. But you’re OK with wearing a plug?”

“I’ll give it a try. Maybe not right now though because that would involve moving.”

Derek chuckled. Stiles felt his chest shake with it. It was a pleasant sensation.

“No need to move now,” Derek said. “We don’t have to do any of this right away. I just thought we should talk about it so we’d have some ideas of things we could try at some point. There’s no rush.”

So Stiles just lay there with his eyes closed and let himself relax against Derek’s chest.

Chapter Text

Stiles woke to lips against his, a slow kiss urging him to waking. Stiles reached a hand out before he was even awake, snaking it around Derek’s back and pulling him in closer. Only then did he open his eyes and meet Derek’s, which shone greenish-gold in the early morning light. Derek straightened up, smiling, and for a moment Stiles just lay there, mind still slightly asleep, the rest of him happy and slightly dazed.

Then reality hit him.

“I never brushed my teeth last night,” he said. “God, my breath must stink. Why did you kiss me? Morning breath must suck for a werewolf.”

He started to get up, scrambling out from under the covers. Derek stilled him with hands on his shoulders.

“Hey, where are you going?” he asked.

“To brush my teeth.”

“After breakfast,” Derek insisted. He lifted a tray from the floor and flicked out little legs so he could set it over Stiles’ lap. A plate of scrambled eggs on toast, a mug of coffee, and a bowl of chopped fruit were arrayed before him.

Stiles started smiling at this sweet gesture, but the smile froze an instant later when he remembered the contract. He’d asked for breakfast in bed on Sundays. Derek wasn’t doing this because he wanted to, but because he was obligated to. That sucked the joy out of the moment.

“Is everything OK?” Derek asked.

“Yeah. It looks good.”

Stiles picked up the fork and began to dig into the eggs. A moment later he realised he was probably being rude.

“You want some?” he asked, nearly spitting eggs out over the bed.

Derek’s lips quirked in a little hint of a smile, “No, I’m good.”

He sat down on the edge of the bed. He was fully dressed, wearing jeans and a sinfully tight t-shirt. Presumably he’d dressed to go and cook this. It was weird for Stiles to realise he was still completely naked under the covers. Being naked when they’d both been naked hadn’t been that weird, but it was a whole new level when Derek was clothed and watching him eat. Stiles gobbled down the eggs because racing through this breakfast seemed the quickest way to get this situation back to a mildly less weird level.

“How do you not choke?” Derek asked, eyebrows dropping into a puzzled frown.

“Practice,” Stiles said, around an eggy mouthful of toast.

“Just don’t choke to death in my bedroom. I think your dad would skin me alive and then sew my skin back on with wolfsbane inside it.”

“Nah, he’d probably just shoot you in the head. He goes for the direct approach.”

“Comforting.”

“I thought so,” Stiles grinned. He attacked his breakfast again, finishing up the egg and toast and drowning the lot with a long gulp of coffee.

While Stiles drank the coffee, Derek picked up a bit of melon between his thumb and forefinger. Stiles was about to argue about Derek stealing his breakfast, but Derek held it out towards Stiles’ mouth. Stiles took the piece of fruit between his lips and ate it, watching Derek pick up a bit of mango.

“Are you going to feed me the whole bowl?” Stiles asked.

“Yep,” Derek held out the mango. Stiles took it, and he noticed a dribble of juice on Derek’s thumb, so he extended his tongue to catch it.

Stiles swallowed down the rest of the coffee and set the mug down on the tray. Derek quickly set the whole tray aside, returning with just the bowl of fruit in one hand, using the other to pick out pieces and offer them to Stiles. Stiles watched the reaction on Derek’s face as he sucked juice off those fingers as well as taking the fruit.

“With you feeding me,” Stiles teased, “I’ve got nothing to do with my hands. Whatever shall I find to do with them?”

He reached out, placing his hands on Derek’s thighs, stroking gently while he took the next bit of fruit with another slow working of his tongue around Derek’s fingers.

Stiles worked his hands slowly up Derek’s denim-covered thighs. His fingers reached the crotch while he took another bit of fruit and basically gave a blow job to Derek’s fingers. Derek gave a little moan and Stiles felt the hard lump trapped inside the crotch of Derek’s jeans. He ran a finger over the outline of the erection and saw Derek shudder.

“We’ve still got half a bowl of fruit to go,” Stiles said, licking his lips with a smile.

“God, your mouth should be illegal.”

“If you want me to stop...”

“Don’t you dare.” Derek basically shoved a bit of melon into Stiles’ mouth.

And so they continued, with Stiles sucking and licking at Derek’s fingers, all the while feeling him up through his jeans. He stroked, he sucked, and Derek kept closing his eyes and giving faint moans, which Stiles took to be a good sign.

When they’d got through the last of the fruit, Derek almost threw the bowl onto the tray, before scrabbling at his flies.

“I need your mouth,” Derek said. He got his zipper undone but Stiles caught his wrist before he could undo the button.

“Leave them on,” Stiles said, and reached in to ease Derek’s erection out, careful of the teeth of the zipper. There was something deliciously wicked about doing things this way, with Stiles completely naked and Derek fully dressed.

Stiles repositioned himself on his knees and bent down to take the head of Derek’s cock into his mouth. He’d never done this before but he figured what worked on the fingers would work here, so he sucked, and ran his tongue around Derek’s tip. Derek closed his eyes and moaned again.

Stiles tried to move his head, bringing his mouth up and down over the shaft, but he quickly realised that down could be a problem because he kept gagging. After the third time, he stuck to just sucking at the top of Derek’ erection, but his used his hands on the rest, fondling the balls and stroking up and down the base of the shaft.

“Oh god, I’m gonna,” Derek groaned.

Stiles sat up as Derek came, cum splattering over Stiles’ chest, and the bed, and leaving white streaks on Derek’s jeans. Derek looked down at the mess with a grin.

“You seem determined to give me laundry to do,” Derek said, but he tucked his erection away, still grinning, and reached out to feel through the bed covers for Stiles’ groin. Stiles’ morning erection hadn’t diminished any through all this sucking.

Derek pushed the covers aside and lowered himself over Stiles’ cock. Unexpected warmth and wetness enveloped him and Stiles was left wondering why he hadn’t found someone to do this for him sooner. He arched his body backwards as Derek swallowed down an impressive portion of his dick, the suction providing pressure that was incredible.

Stiles wanted to say something clever but all ability to form a rational thought had evaporated and all the world condensed down to those lips around his dick, that wet mouth, that sucking. Derek moved his head, bobbing up and down, slowly at first but then faster, increasing the pace as he led Stiles to the edge and over it.

Derek kept his mouth there, swallowing down the spurts of cum.

“Oh god!” Stiles said. He flopped back against the pillow.

A moment later, he added, “Every day should start like this.”

“Couldn’t agree more,” Derek said, and leaned over to kiss him. Stiles quivered at the knowledge of what he was tasting on Derek’s tongue.

“Go get cleaned up,” Derek said. “Take a shower, do whatever you need to do to your teeth.”

“Maybe you could join me,” Stiles said. He fingered the sticky spots on Derek’s jeans.

Derek grinned and looked like he was considering it, but he shook his head.

“Not this time,” he said. “I’ve got something else in mind, something that will get up both sticky again.”

“Good to know,” Stiles said.

Stiles started to get up, but Derek called out before he could get to the bathroom door.

“You don’t have to rush home, do you?” Derek asked.

“Nope. I should go back sometime this afternoon and make dinner for Dad, but we’ve got plenty of time.”

“Good.”

Something about the way Derek said that one word made Stiles hurry into the bathroom and rush through the processes of relieving himself, showering, brushing teeth and generally getting ready for whatever it was that Derek might have in mind.

When he emerged, Derek was waiting for him, stripped down to his boxers and holding a length of black rope in his hands. Stiles looked at that rope and swallowed. Where the hell had Derek got rope from? Though, thinking back to yesterday’s kink discussion, it probably wasn’t that surprising Derek had a supply of stuff ready for kinky sex.

“We need a safe word,” Derek said. “Something you can say if you want me to stop at any point. Something that you’re not going to say by accident and that you’re not going to forget.”

“I know what a safe word is,” Stiles said.

Stiles’ eyes hadn’t left that stretch of rope, long trailing ends dangling down from Derek’s hands. He considered the question for a minute and said, “Scott.”

“Scott?”

“He’s my best friend. If I’m thinking of him when I’m with you, something’s gone horribly wrong.”

Derek smiled, “OK. Scott is your safe word. We can also use colours: red, yellow, green. Red if you want to stop completely, yellow if you want to clarify something or pause for any reason, green if you’re good.”

Stiles nodded.

“Are you OK with this?” Derek asked.

Stiles kept staring at the rope. His mouth was trying and his heart racing from nerves, but he didn’t think he’d be able to leave this room without at least learning what that rope would feel like against his skin.

“I want to try,” Stiles said.

“OK. And remember, you can use a safe word at any time. This is supposed to be good for both of us. If it’s not, if you don’t like it or you’re just not into it, we can stop.”

“Got it.”

“Good. Now hold out your wrists.”

Stiles held his hands out in front of him, wrists pressed together. Derek doubled up the rope and held the loop this made against Stiles’ wrists before feeding the trailing ends of the rope through. He proceeded to loop the rope round and round Stiles’ wrists, stopping frequently to stick his little finger under the loops to make sure they weren’t too tight. Stiles’ heart was beating faster with every loop, but not from fear, though he wondered if he should be afraid.

At last, Derek tucked the rope under one of the loops to hold it all in place, but there was still a couple of feet of rope dangling from Stiles’ bound wrists.

“How does that feel? Not too tight?” Derek asked.

Stiles tested, tugging and shifting his arms. His wrists were trapped together, but it wasn’t too tight and the rope was silky and smooth, soft against his skin.

“It’s good,” Stiles said.

“If it starts to hurt or you get pins and needles or anything, tell me.”

“Got it.”

Derek went over to the bed, where a pile of black was pooled on top of the sheets. Stiles had been so distracted by Derek and the rope that he hadn’t noticed it until this moment, but now he saw more rope there, along with a strip of black cloth that looked like silk. This was what Derek picked up now. Stiles had a suspicion was this was for and, sure enough, Derek came back to him and wound the silk around Stiles’ head, covering his eyes.

“Can you see anything?” Derek asked.

“A tiny slither of light if I look down,” Stiles answered. Derek adjusted the blindfold.

“Now?”

“No.” Stiles was sure Derek must be able to hear his heart. It was pounding its way out of his chest. Derek knotted the blindfold behind his head and Stiles was left in darkness, hands bound in front of him, completely naked and at Derek’s mercy. If he had any common sense, he would be scared right now but he guessed he didn’t have any common sense. Instead, what he had was a rekindling erection Derek was steadfastly ignoring.

Stiles felt a tug at the ropes on his wrist, and Derek’s hand rested on his shoulder, guiding him slowly in the direction of the bed. Stiles let himself be led. He let Derek get him positioned in the middle of the bed. He let Derek lift his arms up and tie his bound wrists to the headboard. Stiles felt exposed, vulnerable, but that just stirred up excitement deep inside him that sent fresh blood pouring to his growing erection.

“You still good?” Derek asked.

“If my hands were free, I’d be making a tally of how many times you’ve asked me that. I think you’re on about three, maybe fou-.”

Derek cut him off with a quick kiss. Stiles took that as a hint that he was ruining the mood.

A hand trailed down Stiles body, fingers leaving traces of their presence down his chest, across his side, over his thigh, and then down to his ankle. Derek took Stiles’ ankle in a firm grip and quickly had it wrapped in an embrace of rope. He stretched Stiles’ leg off to the side, presumably tying it to the bed post. He quickly did the same to the other ankle.

Stiles took that moment to test the restraints, tugging against the ropes experimentally. He was trapped. He had a little bit of wriggle room but not enough to get free. He was held firm, utterly at Derek’s mercy. That little hint of fear shouldn’t be such an aphrodisiac but it was. Derek left him there, writhing on the bed, for some long moments while Stiles’ heart raced and he pulled ineffectually at the ropes. But then Derek’s hand was back on Stiles’ chest again.

“Hey, it’s OK,” Derek said. “You’re OK. You’re safe.” His voice was soft and soothing. Stiles let himself listen to it. He let himself trust. Derek hadn’t done anything to hurt him.

“You want to carry on?” Derek asked.

“Yeah. Green. Yeah.”

Stiles couldn’t see anything with the silk around his eyes and it was driving him crazy. He had to try and guess what Derek was doing from the faint sounds and then the shifting of the mattress as Derek climbed into the gap between Stiles’ spread legs. Then something trailed up the length of Stiles’ penis, a feather-light touch. It wasn’t a finger. What the hell was it? Cloth? Or...

Stiles got the answer when Derek looped it around the base of Stiles’ erection. It was more rope, twisting around his cock and balls. Derek was tying his dick up.

“This,” Derek said, and Stiles felt Derek’s fingers running around the edge of the rope, “is to keep you from coming too soon. We’re going to play a little game. When you ask me to, I will undo this and let you come. You decide when it happens. But I don’t want you to ask too soon. The longer you take, the better your reward will be.”

“My reward?”

“Your reward.” Derek ran his tongue up the shaft and Stiles squirmed in his restraints.

“Was that a clue as to what the reward is?” Stiles asked.

“No.” Derek did the tongue thing again and Stiles nearly asked Derek to take the rope off right there and then.

But no. He was going to be strong. He had already come once this morning, so he could hold out. He’d gone three days without an orgasm when he’d had the chastity cage on. He could last now. Even with Derek working his tongue around the underside of Stiles balls.

Stiles squirmed. He wasn’t sure if he was trying to get away from Derek’s tongue or get more of it.

Derek worked mercilessly, teasing with tongue and fingers. Sometimes he worked on the cock itself, other times, he stroked Stiles’ thighs or sucked on his nipples. All the while, Stiles writhed on the bed, feeling the ropes holding him helpless as his resolve rapidly crumbled. Whenever Derek stroked his dick, Stiles tried to thrust his hips, tried to get enough friction, but Derek just moved his hands away again.

“Now!” Stiles yelled. “Do it now. God, Derek, just stop with the evil teasing already and let me...”

But Derek had already loosened the rope and he wrapped his fingers around Stiles’ erection. Stiles’ words dissolved into a cry as he came hard, his stomach splattered with cum.

Stiles lay there panting, but Derek’s voice was almost mocking when he said, “That wasn’t even fifteen minutes.”

“You must have miscounted, it was way longer than that.”

“No, I’ve been watching the clock. Just over fourteen.”

Stiles felt a tug at the ropes around his right ankle and then a moment later he could bend his leg again. Derek must have done some quick release knot or something, because Stiles’ left leg was free just as speedily.

“Does this mean I don’t get a reward?” Stiles asked.

“You can get a little reward. A tiny one.”

The mattress shifted as Derek moved around the bed and then Stiles could lower his arms from the headboard. His wrists were still bound together, but he could sit up on the bed now. He reached for the blindfold.

“No,” Derek said. “No peeking. Just wait there.”

So Stiles sat there in the middle of Derek’s bed, naked and cum-spattered, with ropes trailing from his wrists and ankles. He heard a door open and then a rustling, then he door shut again. Derek hadn’t gone far, so presumably that had either been the closet or the bathroom. Stiles guessed Derek had hidden his reward in the closet.

Derek was back on the bed then, pressing something into Stiles’ hands. Stiles tried to guess what it was by feel. There was a little ring of cold metal then a short chain, then a plastic shape. It was definitely a keychain, but Stiles couldn’t identify what the plastic shape was except that it had lumpy bits and a pointy bit. While Stiles tried to figure it out, Derek unfastened the knot of the blindfold. Stiles blinked for a moment in the light and then looked down at the little, plastic dragon in his hands. Derek had given him a dragon keychain.

“My pet dragon,” Stiles said.

“You asked for one.”

Stiles laughed. He kissed Derek, still laughing.

Chapter Text

Stiles walked into school on Monday wearing Derek’s leather jacket and a huge grin on his face. The jacket was a little big around the shoulders in a way that made it obvious that it was borrowed. He was pretty sure anyone could glance at him and instantly know that he’d spent the weekend having kinky bondage sex with a ridiculously hot werewolf. And the fact that they knew made him grin more broadly, because they didn’t need to know that Derek had picked Stiles to annoy his uncle. As far as everyone else knew, Derek had picked Stiles because Stiles was an awesome sex god.

Scott caught up with him at the locker and said, “Well, no need to ask if you had a good weekend.”

“It was awesome!” Stiles said, raising his voice in pitch and volume on the awesome. “If you’d told me sex was so good, I’d have been doing this ages ago.”

“I did try to tell you,” Scott said. He had. When he’d first had sex with Allison, he’d tried to tell Stiles about the experience, only for Stiles to declare it too much information and tell him to shut up. And now Stiles was grinning at his books because of all the ways he’d done things with Derek over the weekend and he didn’t think Scott would let him give him details either.

He wondered if he should tell Scott about being his safe word. Would Scott think that was sweet? Or would he just be creeped out by it?

Probably the latter, Stiles decided. He’d probably also worry about the fact Stiles was doing stuff that required a safe word.

“Did you steal his jacket?” Scott asked.

“He wanted me to borrow it. Some werewolf thing about wanting me to carry his scent.”

Scott gave him a frown, “Please don’t tell me he wanted to piss on you too.”

“Ew! No. Not going to happen.”

Stiles decided not to mention that he’d explicitly ruled that out. Scott probably didn’t want to know that they’d had a discussion about kinks they did and didn’t want to try.

Stiles got out his books and made his way to the first class. Isaac was already there, unloading books onto a desk. He nodded a greeting at Stiles. He didn’t comment on the jacket, or on anything else.

Stiles wore that jacket all day, even though he got too warm in it. He was aware of everyone staring at him, looking at him with curiosity or confusion for the most part, though a handful gave him looks of anger. He noticed Trevor a couple of times, glaring at him. Stiles suspected there were a few guys here who didn’t think Stiles deserved to be with Derek.

Between classes, Trevor actually cornered Stiles.

“You think you’ve won here, don’t you?” he asked.

“I wasn’t aware it was a competition,” Stiles replied.

“Well you may have bagged Derek, but I’ve got a meeting tonight with Peter. So enjoy being a beta’s fuck toy. I’ll be the one with an in with the alpha.” Then Trevor stalked away.

As the day wore on, Stiles kept thinking about what might happen the next time he saw Derek, but with each class a damper fell on his enthusiasm. Every teacher seemed to think this was a great time to pile of the homework, with Harris giving a particularly cruel set of questions to be answered in detail. Plus he had lacrosse practice after school. Stiles gave up and sent Derek a text saying he wouldn’t be able to come over tonight.

Derek quickly texted back, saying it was OK and asking about tomorrow. Stiles said he’d let him know. Then Stiles had to put the phone away or risk it being confiscated by the teacher.

Getting ready for lacrosse practice, Stiles was aware of the guys looking at him. He’d never got changed under such scrutiny before. Maybe they were trying to figure out what Derek saw in him. Jackson was rather less discrete about what he was looking for.

“So he didn’t lock up your junk again?” Jackson asked.

“No,” Stiles said, pulling on his uniform. “It would have got really inconvenient if he had to keep unlocking it every time we had sex so we just got rid of the thing.”

“I don’t know how he can do it. Does he have to wear a blindfold so he doesn’t have to look at your ugly face?”

Stiles gave Jackson a smile, in too much of a good mood to be brought down by insults today.

“No,” he said, “but I did wear a blindfold one of the times. Real silk and everything. You know Derek, he likes the best.” He broadened his grin, even as Jackson gave a snort of derision, clearly expressing with a flick of his eyes down Stiles’ body that he didn’t think Stiles counted as the best.

“Can we all stop discussing Bilinski’s sex life?!” Coach yelled across the locker room. A few lockers away, Isaac smirked in quiet amusement.

“Yes!” said Stiles. “Thanks, Coach.”

“And, Bilinski, tell your werewolf that he’d better not do anything to you that will hurt your ability to run.”

“I’ll tell him, Coach.”

“Right! Now get out there on the pitch and start warming up!”

***

Stiles spent Monday evening trying to get ahead on his homework. On Tuesday, he had a free period that he used to get started on that day’s homework. At lunch time, he sent Derek a text saying he could come over but he would have some work to do before they could have fun. He then texted his dad not to expect him home. He’d packed some changes of clothes in the back of his jeep just in case, so he could make these decisions without having to stop home after school.

As soon as the bell rang, he got into his jeep and drove out to that big house in the woods. He squirmed in his seat as he drove, jeans feeling too tight already. He tried not to crash the car as he wondered what exciting things Derek might have planned for them.

Derek was waiting at the front door when Stiles parked. They headed upstairs together, Derek carrying Stiles’ bag of heavy books, while Stiles only had to carry his clean clothes.

“I really do have some homework to get done,” Stiles said, “but there’s not too much that I really need to do tonight. Most can wait until another day.”

“I don’t want you to get behind,” Derek said.

“It’s fine. I’ll just work for an hour or so and then we can have fun.”

Derek held the door to his bedroom open and then carried Stiles’ bag over to the desk.

“You can work here,” Derek offered, “but before you do.”

He picked up a small box that had been sitting on the top of the desk, waiting for them. He held it out now and Stiles took it. It was rectangular, about as long as his palm and perhaps half as wide and deep. Not too heavy, made of black cardboard and tied with a red ribbon.

“A present for me?” Stiles asked.

“More of a present for me really,” Derek answered.

Stiles undid the ribbon. He lifted the lid off. Sitting in the middle of the box was a small butt plug made of a pinkish rubber that was presumably meant to be flesh coloured. Stiles remembered the conversation at the weekend and how Derek had talked about getting Stiles to wear a plug while doing other things.

“You want me to wear this while I do my homework?” Stiles asked.

“If that’s OK with you,” Derek said. “If you think it will be too distracting, you don’t have to.”

Stiles had never imagined that doing his homework could be turned into a kinky game, but here it was. He lifted the plug out from its box, considering. If it got too distracting, he could always change his mind later and there was always tomorrow for doing homework.

“Sure,” Stiles said.

“Really?” Derek asked. He was probably going to double check every decision Stiles made, which was sweet but likely to get annoying as hell pretty quickly.

“Really. How should I do this?”

“Drop your pants and lean over the desk. Spread your legs a bit.”

Stiles undid his flies, pushing down his pants and briefs until they were gathered around his thighs. He followed Derek’s instructions, putting his hands on the surface of the desk and leaning forward, spreading his legs to give Derek access. He felt the buzz of anticipation that was beginning to be familiar.

Derek started off slowly. As with the weekend, he eased a single finger into Stiles’ ass, working it in and out to gradually stretch him out. Stiles was half hard from the stimulation and thinking he might go insane if this took so long.

After what felt like an age, Derek removed his finger and then he placed the tip of the plug at the hole. It wasn’t a large plug. Stiles guessed it had been the smallest available, but still he felt it as Derek eased it in a little. Then Derek stopped, pulling the plug out again, and Stiles frowned in puzzlement. It made more sense when Derek pushed it in again, going slightly further this time. It became a pattern of slow movements, in and out, in and out, with each inward thrust stretching his ass just a little further.

Then, on one inward movement, Stiles felt the stretch, the plug pushing through his tight opening. And then it slipped inside, his ass clenching instinctively around the narrow base. And then it was inside him fully. It wasn’t big, but it was still noticeable. Stiles shifted his ass, feeling the mild pressure of it.

“You should get on with your homework,” Derek said. He went into the bathroom to wash lube from his hands while Stiles pulled up his pants and settled at the desk.

He felt the base of the plug pressed in by the chair, the plug shifting inside him. It wasn’t painful. It wasn’t even uncomfortable. It was just there, an intruder, reminding him of what might be, of what would come later. As he felt it inside him, he felt his pants too tight around his part erection.

But no, he had work to do. He pulled out his math text book and tried to focus, even though every shift in the seat reminded him what he’d agreed to. While Stiles worked, Derek took up a position in an armchair nearby, reading a book. Stiles was sure Derek could smell his arousal. He was certain Derek looked up at him every time he moved and felt the plug resettle inside him. Stiles forced his eyes on his work, and wondered how the hell he’d ended up in a position where doing math was a sex game.

***

It took Stiles longer than normal to finish his homework but Derek only had himself to blame for delaying their sex. Stiles threw down his pen, thoroughly horny and needing to do something about it. He swivelled the desk chair round and looked across at Derek, who raised an eyebrow at him over his book.

“Homework is done,” Stiles declared. “Now are you going to deal with the frustration you’ve caused me?”

He gestured to his crotch. Derek gave a grin and set aside his book. He stalked across the room like a predator. Stiles expected Derek to grab him and throw him on the bed, or to hold him over the desk and fuck him standing up. But Derek just reached out and undid Stiles’ flies, easing out the stiffening cock. Derek ran his fingers up and down it. Stiles squirmed a little under the touch and once more was reminded of the rubber embedded in his ass.

Derek bent forward and lowered his mouth over Stiles’ erection, his lips embracing his cock. Stiles closed his eyes and groaned at the sensations as Derek sucked and bobbed his head, urging Stiles to completion with tongue and lips.

Stiles lasted an embarrassingly short length of time, but Derek didn’t seem to mind. He kept his lips wrapped around the head of Stiles’ cock, swallowing down the spurts of cum. Stiles gasped, clinging to the arms of the chair, until Derek stood up and kissed him, with lips that tasted of Stiles’ cum.

As Stiles came down from the aftermath, he realised Derek was still fully dressed. He hadn’t had the relief he’d offered Stiles, so Stiles reached out and undid Derek’s jeans. Derek let it happen. He put his hands on the desk, leaning back against it, as Stiles dropped to his knees and returned the blow job, sucking Derek off on the floor where he’d so recently been working. Derek was already large and hard; no doubt he’d been as turned on as Stiles had been. He didn’t take long either, but Stiles wasn’t ready to try swallowing yet. He pulled back at the last moment, and ended up with sticky streams of white decorating his t-shirt.

Thankfully, he’d bought multiple changes of clothes.

They washed up quickly in the bathroom and then Stiles pulled on a fresh t-shirt. It was as he bent down to grab it from his bag that he felt the plug shifting inside him again. Derek had only just come. Even werewolves needed recovery time so he wouldn’t want to take the plug out and fuck him right away.

“What now?” Stiles asked.

“Now it’s dinner time,” Derek answered.

Stiles was sure he turned scarlet at the implications of Derek’s words. The butt plug was still inside him and Derek wanted to go downstairs, where his family almost certainly were, and have dinner with them. Stiles reached a hand behind him, feeling the firm base of the plug through the seat of his jeans.

“Will they be able to tell?” Stiles asked. Derek shrugged.

“It depends on how obvious you are. But they know we’re having sex. They might assume any stiffness in the way you’re sitting is because of that.” Derek took a step towards Stiles and placed a hand on his arm. “I don’t mind if you want to take it out. I only want to do this if you want to do it.”

But this was the thing Derek had talked about when Stiles had asked about his kinks. There was no doubt that Derek would be turned on by the thought of Stiles sitting through family dinner with a plug up his ass. There was something warped about it, but Stiles couldn’t deny that thought was arousing for him as well. It wasn’t exhibitionism, but he wasn’t sure what it was. Maybe it was the thought that he and Derek would have this secret. Everything would seem normal, but they would know the truth. The knowledge was a precious thing between them.

“Let’s do this,” Stiles said. The words rushed out quickly, like he was afraid they wouldn’t come if he waited too long.

There was no denying Derek’s smile, but he still insisted on asking once more if Stiles was sure. Stiles rolled his eyes and walked out of the bedroom.

His heart was racing before he even made it to the stairs and that nearly set him into a loop of panic because they were werewolves. They would hear. They would know something was up and then they’d work out about the plug. Stiles almost ran back into the bedroom to shut himself away.

Then Derek reached him and wrapped him into a tight embrace.

“You have nothing to worry about,” Derek whispered in his ear.

Stiles relaxed into the hug for a moment and then straightened, a new resolve filling him. If his heart was pounding now, it was from excitement, not panic.

Derek jerked his eyes back towards the bedroom door, raising his eyebrows in a question. He was asking Stiles if he wanted to go back in there. He was still checking Stiles was OK, giving him the chance to back out.

Stiles pressed a quick kiss to Derek’s lips.

“Let’s get dinner,” Stiles said.

When they walked into the dining room, everything seemed normal. Boyd was carrying a steaming dish to the table, while Erica carried out bowls of vegetables. The table was already set, with plates and cutlery arranged for them all. Cora and Malia were sitting next to each other, chatting quietly. Isaac was fetching a water jug from the kitchen. Eyes glanced over at Stiles and Derek as they walked in, but if anyone noticed something weird going on, no one showed it. That helped Stiles relax a little.

He sat down, not wanting to risk someone seeing the plug’s base outlined against his pants. The act of sitting pushed the plug deeper inside him, but if anyone noticed his intake of breath and the increase of his heartrate, they didn’t show that either.

Boyd served out the food, which turned out to be chicken in some kind of herb sauce, and everyone helped themselves to the vegetables, but no one started eating. Stiles sat there, staring at the food in front of him, and at the empty seat at the head of the table. The pack were waiting for their alpha.

Peter didn’t force them to wait long. Soon he walked into the room, but he wasn’t alone. Stiles stared in confusion at Trevor, who stood next to Peter. He was dressed in the clothes he’d worn at school, only now there was the addition of a leather collar around his neck.

“This looks good,” Peter commented, looking at the spread on the table. “Let’s all get started.”

He walked to his seat. Trevor started towards an empty seat further down the table.

“Trevor,” Peter called out, “your place is not sitting at the table with the pack.”

“Stiles is sitting at the table,” Trevor pointed out.

“Of course. He’s a consort.” Peter sat, and then he pointed downwards, at the floor under the table right in front of him. Trevor hesitated.

Stiles wasn’t the only one staring at Trevor. Stiles wasn’t sure what was going on, but the implications were enough to make him deeply uncomfortable, especially since Trevor looked absolutely furious at what Peter was expecting him to do. Trevor glared at Stiles as he walked back to the head of the table and dropped down. Stiles couldn’t see him now, but it seemed Trevor was expected to spend the meal sitting at Peter’s feet.

Peter adjusted the position of his chair, picked up his knife and fork, and started eating.

Around the table, the tense silence was broken as everyone else reached for their cutlery. All appetite had left Stiles but he managed to pick up his fork and start eating. He couldn’t even think about his and Derek’s sexy games, because Trevor was sitting a few feet away from him at Peter’s feet and Peter was proceeding with his dinner as if this were perfectly normal. Peter complemented Boyd on his cooking, getting a quiet thanks back from Boyd. Then Peter started asking Isaac about lacrosse and whether he thought the Beacon Hills team would do well this year.

Stiles ate in silence, moving his knife and fork mechanically. Every once in a while, Peter would take a tiny bit of his food between two fingers and hold them beneath the table. Stiles thought about what he and Derek had done at the weekend but this had a completely different feel to it. At the weekend, the fruit-feeding had been a game they’d both been participating in and enjoying. Now, Peter was handing over little titbits in an almost absent-minded way, like he was sparing Trevor just the occasional passing thought but otherwise didn’t care about what was happening under the table.

Stiles also noticed how little food Peter was passing down. He hoped Trevor had eaten something earlier because otherwise he must be famished if this was all the dinner he was getting.

Peter seemed to notice Stiles staring because he turned his attention with a smile.

“Are you enjoying the food, Stiles?” Peter asked.

“It’s delicious,” Stiles answered, though he’d barely tasted anything of what he’d eaten.

“I’m glad you think so,” Peter said. “It’s important that you feel well taken care of while you’re with us.”

Stiles thought of Trevor under the table and wondered if Peter was doing this deliberately, talking about how Stiles was eating what he wanted while Trevor got tiny scraps. It was cruel in a way that made Stiles want to vomit up all the food he’d just eaten.

Stiles was glad to escape as soon as the meal was over. He hurried back up to Derek’s bedroom. Only when the door was firmly shut behind them did he dare voice the question that had been going through his mind all meal.

“What the hell is going on with Peter and Trevor?”

“It looks like Peter’s taken him as a pet,” Derek answered.

“A pet? What the hell does that mean?”

Derek avoided eye contact. “If Peter likes him, it means they’ll spend the next month or so having sex in every conceivable position and then Peter will send him packing with a new Porsche or a diamond-studded watch or something else equally pointless and expensive.”

“And if Peter doesn’t like him?” Stiles asked, because forcing someone to sit under the table wasn’t usually done when a person liked someone.

Derek continued to avoid Stiles eyes, “Then Peter will try every kink under the sun and push the kid’s boundaries until he can’t take it anymore and leaves.”

“He can leave?”

“Absolutely. They’ll have signed a contract and Trevor will be free to walk away any time he likes, but doing that will mean giving up on whatever it is he thinks he’s going to gain here.”

Stiles thought about the way Trevor had behaved at the party, about his comments at school when he said he had a meeting with Peter. He thought he had something to gain by getting close to Peter. Maybe he wanted the bite, maybe it was the political power the pack represented, but Trevor was out to get something. And it was something he wanted a lot.

“Trevor’s not going to walk away, is he?” Stiles said.

“He will,” Derek answered quietly. “Sooner or later, he’ll reach a breaking point. But this is a game to Peter. He’ll see how far he can push before Trevor gives in.”

“This isn’t right. I should... call my dad or something... get him to arrest Peter.”

“That won’t work. Trevor will have signed a contract to serve Peter. He will have consented to this. Right or wrong, a decent lawyer will be able to keep any charges from sticking and Peter can afford to pay some really good lawyers.”

Derek’s hand rested lightly on Stiles’ arm. It was probably meant as a comforting gesture but Stiles couldn’t keep his thoughts away from Trevor and Peter, and how furious Trevor had looked at being made to go under the table. He’d been humiliated and Peter had enjoyed that.

“I should warn Trevor,” Stiles said.

“You could try,” Derek said, without any confidence in his tone.

Stiles thought of all the plans he and Derek had had for this evening, but he couldn’t face any of them now. Peter’s display at dinner had destroyed any arousal he might have had.

“I can’t stay here tonight,” Stiles said.

Derek stepped back from him, a pained look quickly falling into place on his face.

“I understand,” he said.

Chapter Text

There was a look of terror on his dad’s face when Stiles came home after saying he’d spend the night at Derek’s. He came to him at the door, putting a hand on Stiles’ arm and not at all surreptitiously checking for signs of injury.

“What happened? What did he do?”

“Derek didn’t do anything,” Stiles said quickly. Apparently that wasn’t enough to comfort his dad.

“What did Peter do?”

“Nothing to me. Look, give me two minutes to put my stuff away and then I’ll explain. I’ve got a bunch of questions.”

He headed for the stairs before his dad could protest. He wasn’t going to have this conversation with a plug up his butt. He had left the Hale house in a hurry and hadn’t realised the plug was still inside until he’d sat down in the driver’s seat of his jeep. Now he hurried into the bathroom and dropped his pants, reaching round for the plug’s base and easing it out.

There was a little pressure as he tried to squeeze the widest part out, but then it slid free. He washed it thoroughly in the sink, wondering if he needed some special disinfectant or something. All he had was soap. That would do for now. He would talk to Derek about hygiene before using this thing again. For now, he just cleaned it off and tucked it in one of his drawers where he hoped his dad would never see it. Then he headed back downstairs to have a conversation where he wouldn’t be constantly conscious of the state of his ass.

His dad was waiting for him, anxiety still written on his face. They sat down at the table in the dining room.

“Look, this isn’t about me,” Stiles said. “Everyone’s been great to me. But there was this other guy at the party who clearly wanted the consort position. I mean, seriously wanted it. He spent half the night trying to convince Derek he was the greatest person in the universe. And when I got the position instead, he started smoozing up to Peter, saying he could serve the Peter instead. And today... Peter brought him into the dining room with a collar around his neck and made him sit under the table. Derek called him Peter’s pet.”

Stiles spat that last word out with a note of disgust. His saw the set of his dad’s jaw, a trace of anger in the way those muscles tensed, but still his dad looked calmer now than when Stiles had first come home.

“I think the technical term is companion,” his dad said.

“So you’ve heard of this?”

“It happens. I don’t know how often because it doesn’t get the big song and dance that consorts get. Basically a companion is someone a werewolf has signed a contract with to have casual sex.”

“That sounds exactly the same as being a consort,” Stiles said.

“No it’s... I wish I knew more about werewolf law to explain this. You’ve signed a contract with Derek, but it’s not just about the sex, it’s about the pack taking care of you, providing you with food, getting you medicine if you’re sick, all of that. While you’re Derek’s consort, you’re basically an honorary member of the pack. A companion doesn’t get that. Most of the differences aren’t really relevant here. Stuff like, if you were a girl and you got pregnant, the kid would automatically be accepted into the pack unless you said otherwise.”

“So I’m part of the pack but Trevor isn’t? I guess that’s what Peter was getting at with the table thing.”

His dad frowned, putting his elbows on the table and linking his hands between them. Stiles twitched in his seat, waiting for the answer.

“Remember when the mayor was hosting that dinner,” his dad said, “with the Hale pack and Satomi’s pack and a couple of others?”

“Yeah, I remember,” Stiles said. He remembered because his dad had looked more stressed about arrangements for that dinner than he usually did in the middle of solving a major crime.

“The table arrangements for that dinner were a nightmare because there are all these rules about werewolf ranks. They have different levels: alpha, beta, omega. If there was to be a big dinner tomorrow, you would be invited along with the Hale pack. As consort to a beta, you would be placed between the betas and the omegas. In fact, if Derek’s officially the second in command, you might be placed at the same level as the other betas.”

“And as a companion, Trevor would be below the omegas?”

“Trevor wouldn’t get a seat at the table.”

Stiles thought about that, remembering Peter’s comment at the table. Stiles had a seat next to Derek because he was Derek’s consort. Trevor didn’t get a seat. So Peter’s actions could be construed as him just following werewolf rank protocols, but the first time Stiles had eaten at that house, Peter had insisted that they didn’t follow ceremonies with family dinners. Peter could have made an exception and let Trevor take a seat. Or he could have given Trevor dinner separately, or he could have just let Trevor eat standing up. There were numerous ways he could have handled things that would have been less humiliating for Trevor which meant that the humiliation was the point.

“Can we do something about this?” Stiles asked.

His dad hesitated, then asked, “Did Trevor sign a contract?”

“I think so. Derek assumed he had.”

“Then no. If Trevor entered into a companion contract of his own free will, then this is between the two of them. If there isn’t a contract, then I could get Peter for statutory rape, but I doubt Peter’s that stupid. If Peter coerced Trevor into signing a contract by making promises he had no intention of keeping, then I could get him on rape by deception, but I doubt Peter would say anything concrete. He’s too smart for that.”

Stiles remembered his brief conversation with Derek after the dinner. Derek hadn’t denied that what Peter was doing was wrong, just implied that Peter would never be convicted of anything.

“Stiles,” his dad said, “I agree that this is messed up for any number of reasons. The age difference alone would give me pause even without the humiliation treatment. But I can’t do anything unless this Trevor kid comes to the police with a case against Peter. Just because I think something’s wrong doesn’t mean I get to arrest everyone involved.”

Stiles looked across the table at his dad, reading something else in his face.

“You want to arrest Derek for making me his consort, don’t you?”

“If I could, I’d lock him up and throw away the key.”

***

Stiles cornered Trevor before first period the next day. Trevor seemed entirely recovered from the humiliation at dinner and whatever else Peter might have done to him.

“You should get out of your contract with Peter,” Stiles said. Trevor just scoffed at him.

“You want to be the only one getting in bed with a werewolf?” he asked.

“It’s not like that. Peter’s just using you.”

“And Derek isn’t using you? You think because he lets you wear his jacket you’re his boyfriend or something?”

The words were taunting, but Stiles couldn’t deny them. He was still wearing Derek’s jacket, the oversized leather feeling comfortable and warm around his shoulders. Maybe it had been a mistake to wear it to talk to Trevor. It probably looked like Stiles was trying to rub his face into it about the consort position.

“Peter will hurt you,” Stiles said. “What he did at dinner was just the start.”

“He’s a little kinky,” Trevor said with a shrug. “He’s an alpha werewolf. Don’t tell me Derek doesn’t have his kinks. I heard you bragging to Jackson about wearing a blindfold.”

“There’s a difference between having kinks and hurting someone.”

Trevor scoffed again.

“You’re just jealous,” he insisted, “because I’ve got the alpha and you’re stuck with a beta. Enjoy your jacket.”

Trevor walked away, leaving Stiles standing in the school hallway with a leather jacket and a massive load of frustration that someone could be so stupid.

***

Stiles sat through his first three classes mentally composing texts in his head. What he eventually sent was actually very simple: Can we meet somewhere away from your house?

Derek replied almost at once: I could meet you at school when you finish.

Stiles agreed and he spent the rest of the school day wondering how to have this conversation with Derek without offending Derek’s family and/or entire race. He needed to make it pretty clear that it was only Peter he felt unconditional loathing for.

At the end of the day, Stiles headed out of the school and saw a sleek, black car waiting in front of the school steps. He didn’t have to look to know who owned that car. It had werewolf written all over it. Sure enough, as Stiles hurried down the steps, waving a goodbye to Scott, he saw Derek sitting in the driving seat, a weirdly blank look on his face. Stiles slid into the passenger seat and reached for his seatbelt, waving Derek to start driving.

“Do you want to go anywhere in particular?” Derek asked.

“Just somewhere there’s no chance of your uncle over hearing us.”

Derek nodded, driving away from the school building. Stiles had his backpack between his feet and he fidgeted with the strap, trying to think up a way to bring up the subject.

“You’re still wearing my jacket,” Derek said.

“Yeah. That’s OK, right? You said you wanted me to wear something that smelled of you. Unless it now just smells of a load of stressed out teenagers. You can have it back if you want.”

Derek’s hands tightened around the steering wheel. He was staring straight ahead at the road in front of them, which was probably a good thing, but Stiles couldn’t help feeling like he’d just said something wrong.

Since Derek didn't seem about to answer the question of the jacket, Stiles pushed on with what he really wanted to talk about.

“I tried to talk to Trevor today,” he said.

“And?” Derek asked.

“He accused me of being jealous because he landed an alpha and I’m stuck with a measly beta.” Stiles hoped his tone effectively conveyed just how ridiculous he thought that notion. “I tried to warn him that Peter was going to hurt him and he said that Peter was ‘just a bit kinky’.”

There was a drawn out silence. Derek turned the car at a junction. Stiles realised he hadn’t the faintest idea where they were, but that didn’t matter much right now.

“Is Trevor a friend of yours?” Derek asked.

“God no. He can’t even get my name right.”

“Then why do you care so much what Peter does to him?”

“Because it’s not right that he can just control people like this. He can just wave his hand and command that all virgin boys can be stuck in chastity cages and then he can sign a contract with a guy and insist that the guy has to eat his meals under a table now. He gets off on dominating someone half his age and he acts like he can get away with all of this.”

“He can get away with all of it,” Derek said. His voice was quiet.

“He shouldn’t be able to.”

Derek pulled the car over to the side of the road and put it into neutral. He didn’t turn to look at Stiles though. He put his hands on the wheel again, clenching his fingers around it and then unclenching them slowly.

“Do you want out?” Derek asked.

“What?”

“Of the contract. Do you want out?”

“No. Why would I want that?”

“Yesterday, you were so disgusted you couldn’t stay in the house and now...”

“I’m disgusted with Peter. I’m disgusted by what he’s doing to Trevor. But that doesn’t mean you and I...”

Was that why Derek had looked so tense when Stiles had got in the car? Had he been worrying that Stiles was about to back out of the contract? If that was the case, Stiles was almost flattered that Derek had cared that much.

“Is there anything we can do about Trevor?” Stiles asked.

Derek shook his head, “This is between him and Peter.”

“So what will happen now?”

“It usually goes one of two ways. Sometimes, the person decides very quickly they don’t like Peter’s idea of fun and they end the contract. But there’s a tipping point around the first week, when the person has gone through too much. They don’t want to walk away because that means they went through all that for nothing, so they stick around, waiting for a payoff that they hope will make it all worthwhile.”

“But the payoff never comes?”

“Peter will just make things worse and worse until he reaches a breaking point.”

“This can’t be legal.”

“Technically, they consent. Trevor’s signed a contract.”

“Technically?” Stiles spat the word with such venom that Derek actually flinched.

“I don’t like what Peter does,” Derek said, “but Trevor’s the one who can call this off. Not either of us. You’ve warned him. Now it’s up to him to listen.”

“So you’re saying we should just do nothing while Peter coerces him into doing god knows what?”

“I’m saying that’s all we can do.”

“Ugh!” Stiles hated doing nothing. He hated even more that Derek was probably right. Stiles had talked to Trevor and tried to get him to see sense, but he couldn’t live the guy’s life for him. If he was going to insist on being an idiot then Stiles couldn’t prevent that.

Stiles glared out of the car window while Derek put the thing into drive again and started them moving. Stiles watched the streets pass by without really seeing them, still wondering if he could somehow find the right words to convince Trevor to see Peter for the manipulative monster he really was. He wasn’t paying attention to where they were going until he recognised familiar houses. He sat up a little.

“You’re taking me home?” Stiles asked.

“I thought... unless you want me to take you back to the school so you can get your jeep?”

“No. I can deal with the jeep in the morning.”

Derek parked the car in front of Stiles’ house. Stiles decided not to ask how Derek knew where he lived. He was pretty certain that he wouldn’t like the answer.

“Stiles,” Derek said quietly, “I don’t want to be like Peter. I don’t want to pressure you into anything or push boundaries you’d rather not be pushed. Yesterday with the plug, I know you weren’t really comfortable with that and I’m sorry.”

“Derek,” Stiles cut him off, “you are nothing like Peter. You haven’t pushed. You’ve been extremely sweet.”

Derek made a face and demanded, “Sweet?!”

Stiles couldn’t help a burst of laughter. After all the tension of discussing Trevor, he needed this, this look of absolute horror on Derek’s face at being considered sweet.

“You are, man,” Stiles said.

“Never call me that anywhere that Peter could overhear.”

Stiles laughed again and leaned across to kiss Derek quickly, “It’ll be our little secret.”

He grabbed the handle of his backpack and then reached out to open the door. He hesitated for a moment in that position, then turned to look at Derek, who had clearly spent the last day fretting over whether or not Stiles thought creepiness ran in the family.

“Do you want to come in?” Stiles asked.

Chapter Text

“Come on you stupid – damn it!” Derek was nearly yelling. Stiles was trying to keep from laughing. He was really trying, but it was hard. Derek was getting so invested in the game, which wouldn’t have been nearly so funny except that he was truly terrible at it.

“Why do they keep killing me?” Derek demanded while he waited for his character to spawn.

“Because you keep standing in the open,” Stiles said. Derek’s character popped into life again the middle of the battlefield. “Look. There’s a wall to your right. Go over to that.” He tried not to laugh while Derek ran into the wall and apparently tried to run through it.

Red warnings flashed onto the screen.

“You’ve been targeted by someone behind you,” Stiles warned. “Go round to the other side of the wall.”

Derek’s character was still trying to run through the wall, but he was moving sideways along it at least. Not fast enough though. The character’s head exploded. Stiles had to be impressed with how much effort had been put into the graphics for the blood in this game. Derek just looked like he wanted to throw the controller through the TV.

“We could play something else,” Stiles suggested, for about the third time.

“No,” Derek growled. “I’m going to kill someone in this thing if it kills me.”

“Right now I’m more concerned about you killing my TV.”

Derek spawned again.

“Look,” said Stiles. “On your left. There’s a soldier. Shoot him before he shoots you.”

Derek got his character looking in the right direction and then looked down to inspect the game controller to find the button to shoot. By the time he looked up again, his character had collapsed under a hail of bullets.

“This thing should come with an easy mode,” Derek complained. Stiles made a vague noise that might be interpreted as agreement. He didn’t point out that Derek hadn’t got past the training level intended to teach new players the controls. This was as easy as it came.

“I thought werewolves were supposed to have great reflexes,” Stiles said, as Derek yet again failed to shoot an enemy before getting shot.

“In real life we do,” Derek said, “but this stupid computer guy doesn’t know that.”

He spawned. This time, Derek jammed his finger down on the fire button while spinning round randomly. His hit register in the corner of the screen actually ticked up one but then Derek ran out of ammunition. Normally Derek died too quickly for that to happen.

“OK,” said Stiles, “you need to reload your weapon. You have to point the gun at the ground – never mind.” He finished up as Derek died again.

“Stupid game,” Derek muttered. He looked ready to transform into a werewolf and slash things to pieces with claws.

“I should have started you off with Dance Central or something,” Stiles said.

“I can see why people think video games cause violence.”

Stiles wondered how long this could last for. Surely Derek should be able to kill someone just by pure fluke. It had to happen eventually.

Derek spawned and ran to the nearest building, standing against the wall. At least he’d stopped trying to run through things. Stiles crossed his fingers for luck as Derek turned round, looking for something to shoot. The red warnings flashed up for a moment and then Derek’s character exploded.

“What the hell was that?”

“Grenade,” Stiles said.

“Grenade? That is just cheating.”

“You’ve got grenades too. You just have to change weapons.”

Derek glared at the screen, muttering under his breath about cheating computer sprites with grenades.

“OK,” said Stiles. “That’s enough.”

He reached over to try and take the controller away from Derek. Derek pulled his hands out of reach. Stiles struggled to reach over, scrambling almost across Derek’s lap.

“No, I’m going to get this,” Derek said.

“Derek, it’s supposed to be fun. You’re not having fun.”

“I’m not going to be beaten by a stupid game.”

While Stiles and Derek were scuffling over the controller, Derek’s character had spawned and died again in a burst of well-rendered simulated blood.

“Now look what you’ve done,” Derek complained. He elbowed Stiles in the ribs to drive him back to the other end of the couch. Then he adjusted his hands on the controller and tried to glare the TV into submission again.

“I’m going to get us a snack,” Stiles said, because it looked like Derek might be here all week getting shot and blown up and generally slaughtered. He just would not accept that maybe shoot ‘em up video games weren’t his forte. Maybe Derek was just not used to being bad at something.

He went into the kitchen, grabbing a couple of sodas and pulling a bag of chips out of one of the cupboards. He hesitated a moment and then pulled out a bowl to empty the chips into, because it seemed slightly more hospitable. He had no idea what he was doing here, what had possessed him to invite Derek in for video games like they were friends. Like they were boyfriends.

Stiles went back into the den in time to see Derek’s character die yet again and Derek swear at the screen. Stiles put the chips down on the coffee table in front of him. He took a small handful and sat back on the couch, watching Derek successfully move his character across the virtual landscape only to get shot in the back.

He was just starting to wonder if he should rig a power outage to put Derek out of his misery, when Derek finally managed to not only shoot one of the game characters but kill it.

“Yes! Take that, you stupid computer. I finally win.”

“Congratulations,” Stiles said. “I knew you’d get there eventually.”

He took the controls from Derek and turned the game off before Derek could realise that he was actually supposed to make ten kills in order to pass the training level.

“People play these things for fun?” Derek asked.

“Yeah, well, some people run marathons for fun or throw themselves off bridges with elasticated rope around their ankles. It takes all sorts to make a world.”

“I guess.”

They sat in awkward silence for a minute. Derek reached out and took a handful of chips from the bowl. Stiles crunched his way through his handful. Beside him, Derek crunched.

“So,” said Stiles, “what do you want to do?” He realised that might be interpreted in certain ways given that they were in a sexual relationship so he pressed on quickly, “Bearing in mind that this is my dad’s house and I’m not sure when he’ll be back from work and so we shouldn’t do anything that will result in you getting shot, even though he did technically agree to this.”

“Your dad’s not happy about you being my consort?”

“No.”

“But didn’t he have to agree? I know in states where the age of consent is sixteen they don’t have to get parental agreement, but I thought here they did.”

“Dad signed a form saying I could get my physical health checked and, if eligible, get an invite to the party. He knew what the party was about but I don’t think it ever occurred to him that I’d get picked.” Stiles considered. “I probably should be offended by that.”

“Definitely,” Derek said. He leaned across the couch and pecked a kiss to Stiles’ cheek. It was such an unexpected thing, utterly devoid of sexual undertones, that Stiles was left just sitting there in surprise.

“What does your mom think of all this?” Derek asked.

Stiles went cold, the way he always did when a question about his mom caught him out of nowhere.

“She’s dead,” he said.

“Oh. I’m sorry,” Derek said. It was said quickly, with guilt in his tone. Stiles wasn’t sure if he was apologising for bringing the subject up, or just expressing condolences. Probably both.

Stiles shrugged, “I’m surprised it wasn’t in the files you got on me.”

“It probably is. I didn’t read the files. You’ve had enough invasions of your privacy lately.” Derek added in a small voice, “I didn’t want to be like Peter.”

This shouldn’t be a big deal, Stiles knew that. The fact that someone hadn’t grossly invaded his privacy should be the bare minimum of respect between two people. It shouldn’t be something he found sweet. But even though he knew all that, the thought of Derek trying hard not to treat him the way Peter had treated him gave Stiles a little flutter inside. Now it was Stiles’ turn to lean over on the couch and press a kiss to Derek’s cheek.

“You are nothing like Peter,” Stiles insisted.

“Well, I wouldn’t mind sharing his ability with sarcasm,” Derek said.

“Perfectly understandable. Feel free to inherit the family sarcasm trait.”

“I’m glad I have your permission to be sarcastic,” Derek said, more than a little sarcasm in his tone.

“Are you being sarcastic about being sarcastic? That’s a dangerous road to go down. Before you know it, you’ll be trapped in a huge void of sarcasm where you don’t know what’s real and what’s not.”

“A sarchasm,” Derek said. It took Stiles a few moments to get the pun, but in his defence he’d heard the word spoken aloud. If Derek had written it down, he would have got it much more quickly. He groaned, and Derek just grinned like he’d won a point.

“Just for that, I should put the game back on and let you get shot again. How the hell is it you can be that bad at video games?”

“Apparently werewolves have better things to do than to play games with silly computer sprites,” Derek said. Something in the way he said it made Stiles think he was quoting someone, and there was more than a little bitterness hidden in the tone.

“Peter?” Stiles asked.

“Actually my mother. She thought we should spend our time expanding our intellects and bettering ourselves. She didn’t approve of video games. She barely let us watch TV.”

“That’s rough.”

Derek shrugged, saying, “I speak three languages, I have a degree in literature, and I’m most of the way to a degree in politics and economics.”

“Wait, you’re in college?” Stiles asked.

“It’s a remote learning course. I watch videos of lectures over the internet, submit papers by email, stuff like that. The only time I actually have to go to college is to take exams.”

“Are you enjoying it?”

“Peter thought it would be more useful as a subject than literature.”

“So no,” Stiles said. Derek just shrugged again.

“It’s alright,” Derek said. “Parts of it are interesting. I just don’t really enjoy all the statistics that’s important for the economics side. But Peter’s right, I can’t just read books all day if I’m going to be the alpha.”

Derek sounded less enthusiastic about being the alpha than he did about doing statistics. Stiles hadn’t really thought about being an alpha as an obligation, but it was clear Derek was seeing it as a job he would eventually inherit rather than a privileged position. Stiles wondered if Trevor would be less enthusiastic about sliming his way into the pack if he heard Derek talking like this. Probably not.

“We still haven’t decided what to do,” Stiles said.

“This is your house.”

“Yeah, but you’re the guest. You should express preference.”

“But I don’t know what you have to do in your house.”

“You know, the usual.”

“Which means what exactly?”

Stiles didn’t know whether to glare at Derek or just laugh. At this rate, they’d be stuck on this couch forever, unable to decide what to do. Stiles got up and went over to the TV stand, opening the cupboards beneath it to reveal rows of DVD cases.

“Pick something to watch,” Stiles said. Derek left the couch and joined him, crouching down to read the rows of titles.

“What’s good?” Derek asked.

“They’re all good. That’s why we paid money to get the disks,” Stiles said. Derek reached for a case and Stiles corrected, “Except that one. That’s boring. It’s one of my dad’s.”

“I have no idea what to pick. I know nothing about any of these movies.”

A part of Stiles wanted to despair at Derek’s inability to make a decision, but the rest of him was filled with pity. Sure, Derek had privileges and status and superhuman senses and the ability to pick virginal boys as sex partners, but he’d been deprived of the simple joys of lying on the couch watching mindless movies. So Stiles grabbed a case of the shelves and turned to Derek saying, “Your true education is about to begin.”

“With Star Wars?”

“You ever seen it?”

Derek shook his head.

“Then it’s time you found out what you’ve been missing,” Stiles said.

Stiles started the movie playing and the two of them settled back onto the couch, the bowl of chips between them. Stiles wondered if he’d made a strategic error with the placement of the chips. With the bowl between them, they couldn’t cuddle up or make out. But if he moved the chips now, it would be obvious what he was thinking about, and he didn’t want Derek thinking he definitely wanted to make out if Derek was actually enjoying the movie. Stiles looked sideways at Derek. It looked like he was enjoying the movie.

Without taking his eyes off the screen, Derek reached out and took hold of Stiles’ chin, turning Stiles’ face back around so he was looking towards the TV screen again. Stiles might have complained about being moved like that but he was actually impressed that Derek managed to do that without even looking.

Han Solo had just been introduced for the first time when Stiles heard the front door open. His dad followed the sound of the TV through into the den. Stiles looked across and watched his dad’s cheerful expression harden when he saw Derek. Stiles quickly hit the pause button.

“Hey, Dad.”

“Stiles. Derek.”

“Hello again, Mr Stilinski,” Derek said. He didn’t move from the couch.

Stiles’ dad looked between them and the TV, “Star Wars?”

“Derek’s never seen it,” Stiles said.

“I don’t remember seeing this in the contract.”

“There aren’t any rules against it,” Derek said.

“Are you staying for dinner?”

Derek looked nervously between Stiles and his dad and then said, “No, I should go. We can finish the movie another time.”

Derek hesitated and then gave Stiles the briefest peck on the cheek that was physically possible, before edging past Stiles’ dad and out the door. Stiles just sat there on the couch, his dad watching him. His dad was looking at him like he had something important to say, but he just stood there silent. Stiles realised why when he heard the car engine start outside. His dad was waiting for Derek to drive away so he couldn’t overhear.

“So,” he said at last, “you were watching Star Wars?”

“Yep.”

“Why?”

“Because he sucks at video games.”

His dad just stared at him. Apparently that wasn’t a good enough answer.

“We were just hanging out,” Stiles said, “and Derek hadn’t seen Star Wars.”

“Hanging out? With the man you have a contract to perform sexual services for?”

“What are you upset about?” Stiles asked. “Surely it’s better that he thinks of me as a person he can hang out with, rather than someone to use just for sex.”

“I just don’t want you getting in over your head,” he dad said. “I don’t want you getting emotionally involved when...” he trailed off.

Stiles finished the thought, “When this is just a temporary sex thing for him. I know. I am aware of what this is to Derek, and what that means.”

Chapter Text

Stiles had to call Scott to get a lift to school, since his jeep was still parked there. Scott borrowed his mom’s car to drive them both. Of course, that meant Stiles had to spend the ride to school explaining what had happened with Derek. Scott seemed more than a little disappointed when Stiles told him.

“Video games and Star Wars?” Scott asked.

“He’s been seriously deprived of such things,” Stiles replied, “and, by the way, this means he’s automatically more awesome than you because he’s at least seen some of Star Wars which means he’ll get my ‘you’re my only hope’ reference while you are still hopeless.”

“I get your references.”

“Having heard my jokes enough times to know when I make a Star Wars reference is not the same as getting my Star Wars references. Seriously, dude, you need to watch the movies.”

“How did this get onto me?” Scott asked. “We were talking about Derek. I thought you two were supposed to just fuck like bunnies.”

“I know. But I think he wants to prove to himself that he’s not like Alpha Creeper. I didn’t want to have sex at my house where my dad might walk in and he just went with that. Then he got kind of obsessed with not admitting defeat about the game.”

“You can talk. You were the same about that dead princess game for a while.”

“That’s different,” Stiles started, then he stopped, because he could see Scott’s point. He’d started playing a game a while back that involved trying to get a princess to survive to her coronation, which proved exceedingly difficult as there were about a billion ways for her to die and some of them became unavoidable if he’d made certain decisions earlier in the game. He’d kept playing over and over, despite his infuriation at the game, because he was determined he was going to find a way to win even if it killed him. He hadn’t wanted to be beaten by a game. He supposed yesterday had been the same, with Derek hating to be shown to be unable to outsmart a bunch of code.

Stiles slumped back in his seat. Scott looked victorious.

“Does this mean you’re going to start just hanging out with Derek?” Scott asked.

“I don’t know. Yesterday might have just been a weird thing because he knew I was freaking out about Peter. He signed up for one thing and one thing only.”

The question Stiles didn’t want to think about was whether he wanted to hang out with Derek again. It had been weird and awkward, but there had been moments of fun, and not just laughing at Derek being so utterly awful at the game. Maybe his atrociousness was because he was a werewolf? Werewolves were used to super senses, and probably reacted in daily life based on cues from smell and sound that a human just didn’t even know were there. A werewolf would instinctively rely on them, but videos games were generally marketed to a human audience and would be designed to work for human senses. The subtle clues only a werewolf would notice wouldn’t even be there.

“You OK?” Scott asked.

“Yeah, sorry, got side-tracked with my thoughts.”

Scott made an amused noise. Really he should have been used to this by now.

“Are you going back to his place tonight?” Scott asked.

“I’m not sure.” Stiles wondered if he should wait and see what Derek wanted, but Derek would probably try and not appear pushy and let Stiles decide. Right now, Stiles’ only decision was to see how much homework he got and make the decision from that.

***

In the end, Stiles waited until Friday and then texted Derek suggesting he go back to the Hale house. Derek replied at once saying he’d be welcome. The speed of it made Stiles think that Derek had been eagerly awaiting the text.

Stiles was prepared for this visit with his overnight bag left in his jeep through school. There were a couple of extra items tucked into the bag. The first was the half-watched Star Wars DVD. The second was the butt plug. Stiles knew it was illogical to think that anyone at school would break into his jeep, go through his overnight bag, find the thing, and then taunt him for all eternity, but still that whisper of a fear was in the back of his mind all day. What if they found out? He found himself looking around at the other students, wondering what they would think if they knew he had a butt plug in his bag.

His mind was filled with imaginary insults and he nearly panicked every time anyone called his name. He made it through school and into lacrosse practice without any incident. He tried to be rational and accept that people were giving him weird looks because he was being jumpy, not because they knew that he was having kinky sex. Though really he couldn’t blame them for thinking that because he was having kinky sex. Telling himself that they probably already assumed he was doing all this and more didn’t really help.

He left school and drove straight over to the Hale house, Derek opening the door to greet him as before. He took Stiles’ overnight bag from him and led the way upstairs. They went straight to Derek’s room. Once there, Stiles fished out the two items he’d brought.

“I wasn’t sure if you were actually interested in watching the rest,” Stiles said, holding aloft the DVD. Derek actually smiled.

“Absolutely,” he said. Stiles wasn’t sure if that was because he was really into Star Wars or because he’d just been seriously deprived of movies in his youth and this was his way of compensating. Either way, Stiles would be happy to oblige. But maybe not right now.

Stiles pulled the plug out and confessed his ignorance on how to clean it. Derek went to the closet and opened up a large chest that stood on the floor beneath racks of clothes. Stiles was burning with curiosity, particularly when Derek lifted something leather with straps out of the way so he could rummage inside. There was a clank of metal inside the chest. Then Derek stood up holding a small bottle. He tossed it to Stiles.

“Toy cleaner,” Stiles read off the label.

“To be honest, I’m not sure how it differs from other disinfectants, but it keeps everything clean. You can keep that bottle in case you end up taking other toys home.”

“Thanks.” Stiles tucked the bottle into his overnight bag.

“I take it you’re not in any way prepped?”

“No. Should I be?”

Stiles wondered if he was messing up here. He was supposed to be Derek’s sex toy after all, as much as any of the stuff in that chest. Maybe he should have prepared himself so Derek could be free to use him in any way as soon as he arrived.

But Derek just shook his head and said, “No, I just wanted to check before we got started.”

“Sounds like you’ve got something planned?”

Derek returned to the closet, but this time he picked up some items that had been left sitting next to the chest. Presumably he’d got them out earlier. He walked back into the bedroom and laid them out on the bed for Stiles to see. There were four lengths of rope and the silk blindfold.

“I thought we’d play with your sense of touch,” Derek said.

“You want to tie me up and touch me?”

“With a variety of different objects. Nothing that would hurt you in any way. I could show you them if you want but that would spoil the surprise.”

Stiles looked at the blindfold, which was presumably also to preserve the sense of mystery. Derek clearly had ideas about how he wanted this to go, but he was complying with Stiles’ rule about prior discussion and consent. Stiles just had to decide how much he trusted Derek in this. He could insist on knowing every little detail of what he was agreeing to, or he could just accept that he was probably going to enjoy it as much as the last time he’d been here in Derek’s power.

“Surprise me,” Stiles said. Derek rewarded him with a smile.

In the next moment, Derek’s smile disappeared. His demeanour shifted and he seemed to become more serious. He stood in front of Stiles and Stiles was once again reminded how much power Derek had. His strength seemed to radiate off him.

“Remove your clothes,” Derek ordered. It was an order, there could be no doubt about that, but it was spoken in a low, soft tone.

Stiles obeyed, trying to be a little more graceful about it than on previous occasions. He wanted to make this part of the event, rather than a chore to get out of the way so they could get to the good stuff. He lifted his shirt slowly, exposing skin as a gradual process, instead of just ripping everything off. Shirt off, he turned his back on Derek and bent down to undo his shoes, shifting his ass from side to side as he moved from one shoe to the other. He peered between his legs to check that Derek was watching him. He was.

Stiles straightened and turned back to face Derek, unfastening his fly with deliberately slowness. He met Derek’s eye and offered a smile, before easing jeans and underwear down over his hips. Derek’s eyes tracked downwards, watching the exposing of Stiles’ legs. Then Stiles stepped out of the puddle of his jeans, and stood naked in front of Derek.

Being naked while Derek was fully clothed was turning out to be a major kink for him. The heat of his arousal filled him and he was already getting hard without either of them laying a finger on him. Stiles wasn’t sure what it was about the situation that was turning him on and he decided that this wasn’t the time to do an in-depth analysis of his psyche. For now, he would just enjoy the experience.

“On the bed,” Derek ordered.

And Stiles, usually the most argumentative guy around, obeyed without question. Under Derek’s direction, he lay down in the middle of the bed, on top of the covers. Derek picked up one of the lengths of rope and walked round to the side of the bed. He lifted Stiles’ arm gently by the wrist, but he didn’t start working with the rope just yet.

“Do you remember your safe words?” Derek asked.

Stiles decided this was not the time to roll his eyes and say something sarcastic, so he simply said, “Yes.”

“Tell me.”

“Scott or red.”

“OK,” Derek said. He started looping the rope around Stiles’ wrist. He worked efficiently, but still managed to check repeatedly to make sure that there would be no problems with circulation. In minutes, Derek had Stiles’ wrist bound to the corner of the bed. He then walked round the bed and dealt with the other wrist in the same way. Stiles shifted a little, testing his freedom and checking that he wasn’t going to get too uncomfortable.

Derek moved to another corner and picked up another length of rope. Stiles knew what was coming, and he watched as Derek quickly bound his ankle to the bed post. Pretty soon, all four of Stiles’ limbs were secured, gently but firmly. Stiles tugged a little at the bonds, testing them, before lying still to await what was coming.

Derek sat down on the edge of the bed and held up the piece of silk. He trailed the end of it up Stiles chest, the smooth fabric brushing lightly over his skin, bringing up goosebumps in its wake.

“You ready for this?” Derek asked.

“Yes,” Stiles breathed.

Derek placed the band of silk over Stiles’ eyes and Stiles lifted his head from the pillows to allow him to tie it off. Stiles’ heart was racing now as he lay in darkness, helpless, waiting for whatever Derek had planned. He was already achingly hard and Derek had barely touched him.

There was a long moment when Stiles could feel nothing but the ropes around his limbs and the silk of the blindfold. He could hear Derek moving about, but only air touched Stiles’ skin. Then Derek returned with a shifting over the mattress and something soft ran up Stiles’ side. Some sort of cloth, he thought, running over his skin. Something mirrored it on the other side, smooth and light rather than soft. For a minute, Stiles tried to identify the somethings, but then he just let himself be lost in sensations.

Up and down his torso, dancing across his nipples, trailing across his neck, those sensations flowed, sometimes in sync, sometimes separate. Just as Stiles was starting to fall into a pattern, one item would leave and then a different texture would begin its journey across his skin, painting him in sensations. The feelings swam across the skin of his torso only occasionally drifting lower, becoming a teasing play on his cock to keep his erection from diminishing.

Stiles squirmed whenever the touches reached his cock, hoping for something more, something harder, something else, but Derek just began his play of light touches once again.

Stiles squealed when something tickled across his armpit. He tugged involuntarily at his restraints, trying to pull his arm down. Derek quickly moved to other areas, keeping up the light play on less ticklish spots.

Something sharp ran across his stomach. It wasn’t painful. It didn’t cut him at all. It just ran over his skin in a pleasurable way, like the scratching of an itch he hadn’t known he had. He let out a little huff of surprised breath. A thought crept into his mind as the sharp thing trailed up to his nipples. Was Derek using his claws?

That thought should have been terrifying. Stiles knew how hopelessly vulnerable he was right now. Derek was a werewolf. Those claws could eviscerate him in a heartbeat. And yet, when faint scratches trailed down his sides, he nearly came right then.

When Derek shifted to his tongue, Stiles didn’t have to guess what it was. He licked and kissed his way across Stiles’ body, nuzzling Stiles’ neck, sucking on his nipples, licking out his navel, and then down to play across his balls and up the length of his achingly hard cock. Stiles moaned. It was possible he even said things, but his brain wasn’t coherent enough for his language functions to be working properly. Then Derek engulfed his erection in a hot mouth and Stiles was undone instantly.

As he came down from the orgasm, he was aware of a new sensation, of something sticky and wet hitting his skin. He knew it wasn’t his own cum. Derek must have climaxed making Stiles do the same.

Stiles seemed to be in a floaty haze as Derek unfastened the ropes. The silk of the blindfold slid away but Stiles’ eyes remained closed as Derek pressed a quick kiss to each eyelid. Stiles smiled at that sensation.

“Wait here,” Derek whispered. Stiles didn’t think he could do anything else. He lay there on the bed, tucking his limbs in to his body, and listened to the sounds of Derek moving around and the sudden rush of running water.

A minute later, Derek was back with him, arms slipping under his body and lifting him from the bed. Stiles snuggled into Derek’s chest. He ought to make some sarcastic comment about being carried around like a baby, but he couldn’t think of one right now, so he let Derek carry him into the bathroom and lower him into that enormous tub. Stiles lay in the warm water as Derek climbed in beside him, Derek’s strong hands wiping them both clean. Then they lay back against the edge of the tub, Derek’s arms wrapping around Stiles from behind, holding him close.

“How was that?” Derek asked.

Stiles couldn’t think of the words, the way to express how awesome that had been, how Derek had undone him completely and left him this new being. The fact that he couldn’t think of how to say it proved he wasn’t the same person he’d been before. So Stiles took hold of one of Derek’s hands and lifted it from the water. Stiles pressed a kiss to the palm of the strong hand that had made him feel all those things. He kissed the tips of the fingers, staring down at Derek’s hand, wondering how he’d never seen what a miracle this hand could be.

“Stiles,” Derek said, a trace of concern in his voice now, “I need to know if that was OK for you.”

“Wasn’t OK,” Stiles said. OK was such a weak word. Too small a word for what they’d just shared.

“Oh,” Derek said, sadly. “OK then. I’m sorry. We won’t do that again. Next time, please say, if it’s not OK.”

There was pain in his voice and that was enough to break through the floaty haze that Stiles was feeling. His brain started up again and he realised how badly Derek had misunderstood his statement. Stiles twisted round so he could look Derek in the eye.

“Derek, stop. It wasn’t OK because it was amazing. OK is getting a B in a class you’re averaging an A in. The prawn toast from the cheap Chinese place is OK. OK is acceptable. That was so much more.”

He kissed Derek quickly, and that kiss transformed Derek’s worried mouth into a smile.

“You liked it then?” Derek asked.

“It was incredible.”

Stiles shifted round again, narrowly avoiding elbowing Derek in the chest, so that he could settle back into Derek’s arms. He thought about what had just happened.

“It felt... intense,” Stiles said. “Like I just turned my brain off somehow. I wasn’t thinking, I was just feeling.”

Derek kissed Stiles’ hair.

It was sweet that Derek was so concerned about Stiles. Stiles would have said as much, but he’d promised never to call him sweet where Peter might overhear and they were in Peter’s house right now. So Stiles just lay there, feeling the warm water around him and Derek’s body pressed against his back. He felt light still, like he could just rise up and float on the surface of the bath.

“We need to have sex in this bath,” Stiles said.

“Not right now,” Derek said, with a huff of amusement.

“No, not right now. Right now would involve moving.”

“We are going to have to move eventually. The water will get cold and we’re both going to need dinner.”

Stiles didn’t answer. If he didn’t answer he could ignore the probability of having to get out of this bath in the near future and having to go eat dinner with Peter. It was easier if he just pretended that the world outside didn’t exist. There was just him and Derek, the bathtub and the big bed in the other room. And the chest in the closet, his thoughts reminded him.

“Am I going to get to see the other stuff in your box of tricks?” Stiles asked.

“Huh?”

“The chest in the closet. Do I get to see what else is in there?”

“If you like,” Derek said, “but some of it I’m not going to use with you.”

“Why not?”

“Because you’ve already said there are things you don’t want to try.”

Stiles tried to remember the details of that conversation. He’d told Derek he wasn’t interested in anything that hurt. It made him wonder what things Derek might have in that chest. And who he might have used them with. Stiles decided that the unspoken rule of not asking about exes wasn’t really relevant in this situation because it wasn’t like he and Derek were actually in a relationship. Besides, his curiosity was now roused.

“Who did you do all this with before I came along?” Stiles asked.

Derek didn’t answer at once. Stiles wondered if he’d overstepped his mark. Maybe he should have stayed clear of the subject. Positioned as they were, Stiles couldn’t even see Derek’s face to see if he was upset or angry or what.

“Clubs,” Derek said at last. “I met people in clubs.”

“You just went into clubs with ropes and blindfolds? You can do that?”

“If you know the right clubs.” There might have been amusement in Derek’s tone at that. “I’d go into the club and see who was interested in casual sex. We’d rent a room, have a lot of fun, and then never see each other again.”

“Was that...” Stiles tried to find the right words to ask the question. It seemed easier when he wasn’t looking Derek in the eye. “As a werewolf, are you allowed to have one night stands?”

There was another hesitation.

“I had a stack of companion contracts,” Derek said, “each for no more than twenty four hours, all pre-signed, agreeing to a casual encounter with no strings attached. From a legal standpoint, it was all fine, and there are plenty of people who frequent those sort of clubs who get off on the idea of sex with a werewolf.”

“So what changed?”

“I ran out of contracts and Peter wouldn’t sign new ones. He said I gave people the wrong impression of werewolves.” Derek made an angry noise, like a faint growl deep in his chest. Stiles felt it through his back. “With all he does, he thought I was the one making us look bad by having perfectly safe and consensual encounters in a controlled environment. He said if I wanted to let off steam, I had to do it his way.”

“And so you’re stuck with me.”

“That’s not... Stiles, you’re... I like what we do together.”

“Yeah, me too,” Stiles said. It was the truth. But Stiles was glad he wasn’t looking Derek in the eye because everything Derek had said just confirmed what Stiles already knew. This was about sex for him. This was one long casual encounter because he wasn’t allowed to have his one night stands anymore. Stiles couldn’t let himself forget that, not ever. He had to remember that all of this was just a temporary arrangement.

Chapter Text

They were a little late getting to the dinner table. From the amused expressions around the table, the rest of the pack knew exactly why they were late. Most of the pack were sitting around the table, though Erica and Boyd were nowhere in sight tonight. There was someone else there. As Stiles walked into the room, he saw Trevor. Trevor wasn’t sitting at Peter’s feet, he was kneeling, the collar around his neck again. He glared out at Stiles, as though his position were somehow Stiles’ fault. Stiles just stared at him for a few moments, until Derek’s hand at his elbow guided him towards an empty seat.

The others were already eating their meals, but Malia quickly served out portions of... something. There were blackened bits and chunks of recognisable vegetables, but beyond that, Stiles couldn’t guess. He forced a smile.

“Looks good,” he said.

“I can tell you’re lying, you know,” Malia said. She slammed Derek’s portion down on his place and then resumed her own meal.

“Sorry,” Stiles muttered.

No one was eating with any enthusiasm. Stiles put a forkful in his mouth, hoping that it would taste better than it looked. It didn’t.

At the head of the table, Peter picked out a blackened piece from his food. He held it below the table, presumably for Trevor. Peter caught Stiles watching and smiled.

“Malia has many talents,” he said. “Unfortunately cooking is not one of them, though she is improving.”

Stiles couldn’t imagine what food must have been like before the improvements. He nodded and made a vague noise that he hoped would substitute an answer. He couldn’t think of anything to say that wouldn’t be considered a major insult.

“Do you often cook?” Stiles asked Malia.

“When it’s my turn,” she answered.

“A pack shares responsibility,” Peter said. “We share common chores. Each member takes their turn supporting the whole.”

“Everyone takes their turn even if they have different skills and could support the pack in other ways?” Stiles asked.

“You make a good point that people should use the skills they’re best at, but I do believe everyone ought to be able to scramble eggs without setting the kitchen on fire,” Peter said. Malia looked down at the table. From the expression on her face, Stiles guessed Peter wasn’t talking metaphorically.

Peter picked out another piece of blackened charcoal and held it under the table for Trevor. It seemed Trevor would be getting only the worst parts of the meal. At least Stiles could pick around the charred parts.

“Do you cook for the pack?” Stiles asked Peter.

“When the occasion calls for it.”

Stiles wondered if he should offer to cook for the pack. After all, he was supposedly an honorary member. But Peter had already kicked up a fuss about him setting the table. But if Peter was vehemently against it, maybe that was all the more reason to offer.

“Should I help with the dinner preparations some nights?” Stiles asked.

“Of course not,” said Peter. “It’s not your place to serve the pack; you’re a guest.” He stressed that last word like it was an insult.

Stiles wondered what Trevor was thinking in his place below the table, where he waited on his knees. Stiles was a guest. So what the hell was Trevor? Stiles wasn’t sure which of them that word was aimed at. He couldn’t understand Peter’s actions here at all. He couldn’t understand what point Peter possibly thought he was making. He decided not to try, and went back to attempting to eat the awful meal.

Peter turned his attention to Derek, interrogating him on his studies and suggesting some economics journals he ought to subscribe to for background reading. Derek answered the questions calmly and nodded along to all of the suggestions, but he showed as much enthusiasm as a corpse.

Dessert turned out to be shop bought cupcakes, for which Stiles was immensely grateful. He nearly shoved the whole thing in his mouth at once to try and drown out the taste of the main course with sugar and frosting.

They escaped soon after that, Stiles following Derek back up to the bedroom. He was learning the route now, though he was sure he would still get lost if he tried to find anywhere else in the house. On the walk up, he considered the conversation he’d just had with Peter. Stiles waited until the door was firmly shut behind him.

“I have an idea I think Peter will really hate,” he said.

Derek smiled and asked, “What?”

“I want to cook breakfast.” Derek looked puzzled, so Stiles continued, “He’s said I shouldn’t be making dinner, but he hasn’t forbidden any other meals. If I cook breakfast for the pack, I’m not challenging his authority because technically he hasn’t told me not to, but I’m definitely going against the spirit of what he’s said.”

“You want to cook breakfast for the whole pack?”

“Unless you think he’s going to destroy everything I love for insulting his hospitality.”

Derek was looking thoughtful, a distant look on his face as though he were frowning at some far off point that Stiles couldn’t see.

“It’s perfect,” Derek said.

“I’m not sure ‘perfect’ is quite the right-“

Derek cut him off, “No, don’t you see, you’d be supporting the pack. This is how we do things, everyone helping out, supporting each other, doing tasks together. Peter is trying to keep you at a distance, calling you a guest, but this would be you inserting yourself into the pack.”

“When you put it like that, I’m not sure it’s such a good idea. I don’t want anyone else to think I’m intruding. It’s only Peter I want to annoy.”

“Everyone else will appreciate a cooked breakfast,” Derek said, “but some of them might be suspicious that you’re trying to win favour.”

“Favour?”

“Some people want to be a consort to get the bite, or to get the status of being part of a pack. Cooking breakfast might be interpreted as...”

“As buttering you up,” Stiles said. A horrible thought occurred, “Do you think that I’m...”

“No,” Derek cut him off before he could even finish the question. “You didn’t come into this trying to get something out of it.”

“I’m getting awesome sex out of it. And dragon keyrings.”

Derek laughed. He stepped closer to Stiles, placing his hands on Stiles’ arms.

“Awesome, huh?” he asked.

“Definitely.” Stiles pressed a kiss to Derek’s lips. “And I’m sure you promised something about showing me the rest of your toys.”

Derek’s smile vanished instantly. He looked almost scared, his hands still resting gently on Stiles’ arms. He made no move to go to the closet. He looked as nervous as he had been on their first night together, as though he were afraid the wrong move might send Stiles running for the hills.

“You don’t have to use any of them,” Derek insisted. “You mustn’t feel pressured. Just because I have them doesn’t mean you have to try.”

“Derek, I know you haven’t known me long, but I assure you I’m perfectly capable of saying no, loudly and often, if you ask me to do something I don’t want to do. Just ask my dad.”

There was the faintest hint of a smile returning as Derek said, “I really don’t think I want to have this conversation with your dad.”

Derek left Stiles standing there and went into the closet. He lifted the huge chest with no apparent effort and carried it out into the middle of the room, setting it down near to Stiles. As he crouched down in front of it, Stiles did the same, peering inside as Derek lifted the lid. This felt like he was getting a peek into the inner workings of Derek’s mind, seeing what fired his interest in the most intimate of ways.

The inside of the chest was chaos. Stiles suspected stuff just got thrown in here whenever it wasn’t in use and Derek had made no attempt to organise it. Derek just started lifting items out slowly so Stiles could have a look at them.

First came the rope. Different lengths were looped up in bundles. Most of the bundles were of black rope, soft and smooth to the touch, like the ones Derek had used on him earlier, but there were some red ropes of the same type, as well as a long bundle of a coarse rope.

“I wouldn’t use that on you,” Derek said, while Stiles ran his fingers over the rough surface, already imagining how uncomfortable it would be on his skin for any length of time.

“Must be painful,” Stiles said.

“I wouldn’t use that one directly against skin,” Derek said. “Definitely not on a human and probably not on a werewolf either.”

Derek took the bundle from Stiles’ hands and put it aside with the rest of the rope. Stiles tried not to think of the implications of what Derek had just said. It wasn’t like he should be surprised that Derek had presumably had sex with werewolves as well as humans. Stiles watched Derek lift the next item from the chest.

There were leather restraints, cuffs for wrists and ankles, as well as more than one collar of different widths. Stiles took one of the cuffs to look more closely at it, seeing the red fabric lining, soft beneath his fingertips, and the sturdy metal ring that could be clipped to another cuff or to a bed or something. It was about two inches wide. He wrapped the cuff around his wrist to feel what it was like, aware that Derek was watching his every movement.

He held his wrist out to Derek rather than attempt to fiddle the buckle on one-handed. Derek swallowed visibly, but quickly slid the buckle closed. Stiles tugged at the ring, feeling the way the leather embraced his wrist. The cuff was about two inches wide, and felt strong. It seemed to hold a million whispered possibilities as it wrapped around his wrist. Stiles took off his watch so he could take the matching cuff and wrap it around the other wrist. While Stiles was running his fingers over the smooth leather, Derek dug in the chest and emerged with a quick release clip. Each end could clip onto the rings of the cuff but be undone with a simple press of a finger. Derek held it as a silent question, offering but not pushing.

Stiles took the clip, slipping it into place on first one wrist then the other. He still had a reasonable range of movement. The clip was a couple of inches long and Stiles could still twist his hands around each other to reach the buckles. He’d be able to let himself out if he needed to, but the leather was a constant reminder of all that might happen.

Stiles left the cuffs buckled in place and looked once more into the chest. Derek pulled out lengths of chain, with cuffs and collars of solid metal. Derek put these all aside without letting Stiles look too closely at them.

“They’re strong enough to hold a beta werewolf,” Derek said. “We’ve used them sometimes with the newly bitten on their first full moons while they learn control. I wouldn’t use them on you.”

Stiles nodded. There was something exciting about the thought of being chained up by Derek, but he had a suspicion that it would be another of those cases where internet porn was better than reality. The edges of those cuffs looked like they could cut into his skin if he started tugging on them.

Derek pulled out something that was obviously some kind of whip, made of multiple strands of leather coming out of a handle. Derek started to set it aside when Stiles held his hands out, wanting a closer look. Derek handed it over, and Stiles closed a hand around the cool leather of the handle, running his other hand through the trailing strands.

“You said you weren’t interested in pain play,” Derek said.

“I’m interested in a lot of things,” Stiles said. “I’m just not sure I want anyone doing them to me.”

He wondered what it would be like to feel those strands against bare skin. He knew he didn’t like pain. He didn’t like it when he whacked himself on doorframes or got hit with the ball in lacrosse. In no other part of his life was he interested in pain, yet somehow holding this object in his hands made him burn with a mixture of curiosity and arousal.

He handed the flogger to Derek to set aside.

“Have you ever had anyone use this stuff on you?” Stiles asked.

“No,” Derek said. “I need to stay in control.”

That was an interesting way of phrasing. Derek could have said he liked to be the one on top, or that he wasn’t turned on by being controlled, but he’d used the word need. Derek didn’t just like to be the dominant one in a sexual encounter, he needed it. That sparked off a whole different type of curiosity.

But Derek was already digging into the chest again and Stiles decided this wasn’t the time to ask. If he ever asked. There were other questions he could ask.

“How were you so nervous on the first night when you had an entire sex box in here?” Stiles asked.

“I was nervous because of you. In the clubs, people had clear ideas of want they wanted. You had no idea what you were doing and I was worried that you... would be scared. I wanted you to be comfortable.”

There was something in the way he admitted it that made Stiles think the words didn’t go deep enough. It wasn’t just about Stiles being scared off by the thought of some of the kinky play he knew he wasn’t ready for. Derek didn’t want Stiles to be scared by him. He didn’t want Stiles to think he was some kind of freak for enjoying using these things on people. Derek had needed to be slow and gentle because he’d been afraid of being seen like Peter.

Derek brought out a few more implements for hitting: there were a couple of paddles of different substances and a riding crop. He put them aside after giving Stiles only a cursory glance. The he pulled out a pair of leather gloves and Stiles’ mouth went dry.

“Put them on,” Stiles said. He barely recognised his own voice. He had no idea why he was reacting like this. He’d never have imagined before this moment that leather gloves were such a turn-on for him, but now he watched Derek pull tight leather over those strong fingers. The sight seemed to bypass all higher brain functions and communicate directly with his crotch. Stiles thought he might come in his pants when Derek reached out and ran a leather-clad finger over Stiles’ cheek.

“I guess we’ll be getting some use out of these,” Derek said. Stiles wasn’t sure if he was amused or excited. Maybe both.

He left the gloves on and went back into the chest. There were cock rings of different materials and sizes, some with strange textures or attached vibrators. There were metal bars that could clip to the restraints, and various clips to hold things together. There was a long series of toys, vibrators and plugs of different shapes and sizes, all carefully sealed in plastic bags to keep them clean. Stiles winced at the mere sight of some of them, realising just how small the one he’d worn actually was. One of the toys resembled a traffic cone in shape and wasn’t much different in size.

“How the hell to people get those inside them?” Stiles asked.

“A lot of practice and preparation,” Derek said. He picked up one in particular for Stiles to get a closer look at. “This one would be fun to use.”

The plug was a little larger than the one Stiles had already worn, but this one came with a radio control unit. It was a remote, with on/off buttons and speed settings. It had to be a vibrator. A vibrator Derek could control remotely. The thought was exciting and terrifying in the same instant.

“Maybe,” Stiles said, but he couldn’t keep himself from grinning at the idea.

They were most of the way through Derek’s collection now, but there were a few more items still to explore. There were more maybes, some more doubtful than others, like the nipple clamps, which seemed exciting but looked hideously painful. There were gags and masks, which Stiles wanted to try but was still worried about, because he didn’t want to lose the ability to back out if things went too far.

Derek started packing his toys away, putting them back in the chest in a more orderly manner than they’d been stored in. Stiles looked down at the cuffs he still wore, the little piece of metal holding them together.

“You don’t have to put everything away right now,” Stiles said.

“Anything particular in mind?” Derek asked.

Up until this point, Derek had been very much in charge of their bedroom activities. Stiles had the ability to say no, but it had always been Derek deciding what they would try. Now Stiles looked at the array of options and was almost overwhelmed. But he made a choice. He reached out and took one of the sealed bags.

“OK,” Derek said.

***

Derek put most of his collection back into the chest and then carried that back into the closet. Stiles sat on the edge of the bed and waited, watching him do it. Derek was still wearing the leather gloves. Stiles’ wrists were still cuffed together in front of him.

Derek came to stand in front of him. His face had the serious look Stiles was starting to think of as his in-charge expression. He gestured for Stiles to stand and then took hold of Stiles’ wrists, unclipping the cuffs from each other. Stiles didn’t feel at all disappointed, because Derek quickly made it clear he’d only done this so he could remove Stiles’ t-shirt. Derek seemed determined to do the undressing, undoing Stiles’ flies and then pulling down his pants. Stiles’ only actions were in response to Derek’s instructions to lift his feet, so Derek could pull the garment off completely.

Once again, Stiles stood naked in Derek’s bedroom, while Derek was fully clothed in front of him. This time, Derek ran leather-gloved fingers over Stiles’ skin, reaching up to the growing erection. He slipped a ring around the base of Stiles’ cock. Stiles hadn’t asked for that, but he supposed it made sense. Derek knew from experience he could have a hair-trigger and neither of them wanted this to end before it had even begun.

Derek got Stiles to kneel on the bed and then bent him forward over his knees with gentle touches. Derek took Stiles’ wrists and manoeuvred them to the bedframe, feeding the clip behind a bar and attaching it to the rings in the cuff. Stiles could still get his fingers to the clip if he needed to, he could get out of these restraints more easily than the rope, but there was something forbidding about the bands of leather that felt more serious, more intense.

“Hold the frame,” Derek ordered. Stiles repositioned his arms so he could take hold of the bars of the bedframe. His fingers wrapped around the cold metal.

Derek started adjusting Stiles’ legs, urging his feet further apart. A sense of vulnerability filled Stiles. Positioned as he was, his body bent down over his kneeling legs, he felt enormously exposed. Spreading his legs, even a little, made it worse.

Then there was leather wrapping around his ankles. Another pair of the cuffs, the soft lining pressing against his skin while Derek buckled them in place. Stiles couldn’t see what was going on, but he heard the click of more of the quick-release clips and when he tried to move his legs, he found he couldn’t do much. One of the spreader bars from the chest must be clipped to the cuffs, holding his legs apart.

A hand touched the small of his back, the leather already warming but still somehow different from all the times Derek had touched him skin to skin.

“Are you alright?” Derek asked. Stiles tried to nod. His head was pressed against his arms, resting on them like they were a pillow.

“Stiles?” Derek asked again.

“Yes,” Stiles managed. “Yes, I’m good.”

“Good,” Derek echoed. Then his mouth was on Stiles’ ass. Stiles hadn’t known what to expect, but he hadn’t expected Derek’s tongue to go there. He made an incoherent noise as Derek’s tongue slid inside the rim of his asshole. The clip at his wrists rattled against the bar of the bedstead as he lost his grip.

“You like that, huh?” Derek asked.

“That better not be all you were planning on doing of that.”

Derek dove in again, working his tongue around Stiles’ opening, then pushing it in, licking him out, working him loose with nothing but his mouth. His hands were on Stiles’ ass, the leather holding him still. He wanted to writhe, held on the brink of ecstasy by that tongue attacking his hole.

When Derek pulled away, Stiles whined a little, aware enough in his mind to hope Derek didn’t notice. Certain that he had.

“I thought you wanted to play with my toys,” Derek said. Then there was something else pressing at Stiles’ opening. It was the plug, cool rubber slick with lube. Derek eased the tip inside, then slid it out again. He set up a slow rhythm, working the toy in and out of the hole he’d only just begun to loosen. Stiles clenched his hands around the bedframe as Derek carefully worked his muscles, getting his ass to accept more and more of the toy.

Stiles tried to relax into it, tried to just feel. He was hard as a rock now and he wanted more from that rubber toy in his ass. He wanted the pleasure he knew it would be able to give him. Derek pushed the toy a little deeper and Stiles bit down on a moan. It was stretching him, but in a way that was more pleasure than pain.

Derek’s free hand rubbed soothing circles on Stiles’ lower back, the leather smooth against his skin.

“Nearly there,” Derek said.

Stiles nodded, eyes screwed shut. Then there was one more push and suddenly the widest point was inside. His ass closed around the tapered end, pulling the plug in deep. It filled him up. And then Derek flipped the switch.

“Gah!” Stiles probably would have come right then if it weren’t for the ring on his cock. The plug buzzed against his prostrate. Stiles writhed in his restraints, trying to rub his cock against the bed or something, trying to get the plug to touch him in the right way.

Derek twisted the plug inside him. It was like a living thing, writhing deep inside Stiles, pushing him to new pleasure. Derek shifted the ankle, pressing the vibrations against his prostate. Stiles gave another wordless cry. He clutched the bed so tightly he half-expected the metal to snap.

“I could undo you,” Derek said, voice soft, barely audible over the pounding of Stiles’ own heart.

“I could take you to pieces and rebuild you,” Derek went on. “I could make you mine.”

“Yes,” Stiles breathed out.

Derek slid the plug out, still buzzing as it passed through the rim of muscle. A moment later, something else filled the void. Something warm and alive thrust into the opening.

Stiles could feel Derek’s legs against his, his chest against his back. He felt the fabric, aware that Derek was still fully clothed as he pounded their bodies together. Leather-clad hands gripped his wrists, holding over the restraints.

Derek’s breaths were hard pants.

Then there was a hand working its way under his body, finding its way to Stiles’ desperate cock. The cock ring came free and then leather fingers were pumping him in time to the pounding against his prostate.

Stiles screamed as he came. A few moments later, Derek shuddered against his back. Stiles felt the wet heat inside him.

As Derek pulled free, all Stiles could do was lie there, breathless. He felt the slick rubber sliding back into the hole Derek had just pulled out of.

Chapter Text

Stiles was woken by a morning erection so hard it almost hurt. He was used to morning wood but this was ridiculous. He shifted a little and remembered why he was so hard. The plug was still inside him. And Derek’s arms were wrapped around him from behind.

Stiles managed to turn over and the act clearly woke Derek up. His blinked bleary eyes at Stiles and smiled. He looked different in the morning, calmer, without the tension that seemed to fill him during the day.

“Got something you need to deal with over here,” Stiles said. Derek raised an eyebrow. Stiles decided that demonstration was the easiest option. He edged closer to Derek, pressing his erection between them.

“I see,” Derek said. “So how do you want me to deal with it?”

He wasn’t joking. It was a serious question and so Stiles decided to give it serious thought. He wanted to fuck Derek, to see what it was like to be the one pounding inside him. But he remembered Derek’s words the night before, about how Derek needed to be in control. Derek probably wouldn’t like a skinny human being on top.

“Your mouth,” Stiles said. For a moment, Derek frowned. He looked like he was going to say something. Then he dove down beneath the covers to deal with Stiles’ erection. Derek worked with lips and tongue and Stiles came almost at once.

But he didn’t have long to bathe in the afterglow if he wanted to go through with his plan about breakfast. He did however need to get cleaned up, and he was fairly sure Derek had something of his own that needed dealing with.

Stiles put his hand around Derek’s wrist and led him into the bathroom. Derek followed along easily behind him, and then had Stiles lean against the counter so he could ease the plug out of his ass. Stiles felt empty as it was taken away.

“I’m sorry,” Derek said. He looked at the plug in his hand. Stiles turned to face him.

“Huh?”

“I didn’t actually ask about having you sleep with it in. I mentioned wearing it after sex but you never really agreed and I still...”

Stiles silenced Derek with a quick kiss.

“I enjoyed it,” Stiles said.

“But I shouldn’t have just assumed you’d be OK with it.”

“I was OK with it.”

“But what if next time I do something you’re not OK with and you’re too out of it to tell me?”

“All the sex in the world couldn’t stop me from expressing my opinion,” Stiles said. “Now come on. Time to get messy and clean at the same time.”

Derek looked confused for a moment, until Stiles dragged him into the shower. He turned on the water, letting the spray pound down around them, and then he dropped to his knees. He was still figuring out what worked, but he tried to remember anything he did that make Derek groan or grab the shower fixtures. Stiles worked his tongue around the tip of Derek’s cock, then fondled his balls while taking as much of the shaft into his mouth as he could without gagging. He sucked and Derek gave another moan.

Stiles kept it up, working with mouth and fingers until Derek clutched at Stiles’ head with one hand and shuddered into orgasm.

Stiles got the first bitter taste of cum in his mouth and backed off quickly, letting the rest splatter across the both of them.

While Derek gasped and recovered under the spray, Stiles reached for a washcloth and started cleaning Derek up. Then Derek took his turn, wiping Stiles down, cleaning the crack of his ass to get rid of last night’s play. They stood like that for some time, naked beneath the flow of water, kissing gently and washing each other with gentle care.

But Stiles knew they’d have to get out of the shower eventually.

***

Down in the kitchen, Stiles busied himself while Derek sat next door at the dining table reading through the morning newspaper. Derek had offered to help but Stiles insisted that he needed to do this himself. Derek doing something for the pack was normal; this had to be Stiles’ work. He got Derek to point out where things were, then he set to work making smoothies while Derek read. The Hale kitchen was ridiculously well-stocked, so Stiles had everything he might need and then some.

He’d picked smoothies because he wasn’t sure when the others would come downstairs. If he cooked something, then it might have gone cold by the time the pack arrived to eat. Smoothies could be made and waiting for whoever turned up, whenever they turned up. Plus, there were bags of berries and frozen fruit in the freezer, and a high-powered blender, so clearly someone in this house loved smoothies. Stiles worked in an imprecise way, tipping in handfuls of fruit and spoons of yoghurt, sometimes throwing in a bit of honey for extra sweetness. He made up his first batch and carried a glass through to Derek, sipping another one himself while he rinsed out the blender and decided what to put in the next load.

Cora came downstairs as Stiles was mixing the second batch. She took one of the prepared glasses, a look of amusement on her face.

“Is my brother being lazy and making you do all the work?” she asked.

“He wouldn’t let me help,” Derek called from the dining room.

“I wanted to do something nice for the pack,” Stiles said. There was suspicion in her eyes, but she drank her smoothie and went to steal bits of the paper from Derek.

Erica and Boyd were the next ones up, coming into the kitchen together. Stiles had finished his second batch then and there was only one glass left of the first, so they took different flavours, agreeing to swap halfway through to compare.

“Not bad,” Erica said. “I guess Derek’s peach isn’t the only one you enjoy squeezing.”

“Shut up, Erica,” Derek called from the dining room. She just laughed. Stiles avoided her eyes and went back to chopping up a fresh banana to add to the third batch of smoothies.

He was pouring the mixture into glasses when he heard an angry voice from behind him.

“What do you think you’re doing?” Peter demanded.

Stiles jumped, splashing smoothie all over his hand and the kitchen counter. He put the blender jug down and tried to get his heart to stop trying to escape his chest. He reminded himself that annoying Peter had been the whole point of this exercise but it had seemed a much better idea before he saw Peter’s eyes glowering into him like he’d committed some terrible crime. And Stiles had been caught red-handed, with the strawberry and raspberry mix staining his fingers from the spill.

“I’m making smoothies,” Stiles said.

“Why?” Peter stalked across the kitchen to him, moving into his personal space. Peter didn’t lay a finger on him, but still Stiles found himself pressed right against the kitchen counter, Peter far too close for comfort.

“You told me I couldn’t help with dinner. You never said anything about breakfast.”

Peter put his hands on the counter on either side of Stiles, not touching him but still holding him trapped just as effectively as if he had. When Peter spoke, his voice was low and calm, but there could be no denying the anger in it, the fury written on his face.

“You think you can buy your way into this pack with smoothies?” Peter asked.

“I’m not buying anything.” Stiles considered putting his hands on Peter’s chest and shoving him away, but he didn’t have the strength to make a werewolf do anything, and Peter would definitely interpret that as a direct challenge.

Stiles looked past Peter, looking for some form of help, and he saw the rest of the pack watching. Derek was standing in his doorway, his hand gripping the doorframe, knuckles white with the tension.

“Peter,” Derek said quietly, “Stiles just wanted to do something nice. There’s no rule against that.”

Peter looked slowly towards Derek, then back to Stiles. He took a step backwards. Stiles still clung to the edge of the counter, fighting down an urge to panic. He almost wanted to run across the room and hide behind Derek, but he was not going to act like a frightened child. He stood up straight in front of Peter, hoping that werewolves couldn’t smell his fear.

“I think it’s time Stiles and I had a proper talk,” Peter said, “in private.”

He gestured to a side door that led directly out from the kitchen into the garden. He stood there, arm out, waiting for Stiles to move. Stiles sent a pleading look towards Derek, was still frozen in the doorway, clutching the doorframe like a drowning man clinging to a piece of driftwood. Derek jerked his head towards the door, a clear message telling Stiles to go.

So Stiles walked over to the door, opened it, and stepped out into the chill air of morning. Peter came out behind him and shut the door firmly. Then Peter started walking out through the garden, towards the trees that formed the majority of the Hale property. Presumably he wanted to get away from the house so that the other werewolves couldn’t eavesdrop. Stiles followed, telling himself every step of the way that Peter couldn’t hurt him. Well, Peter could hurt him but then he’d get in huge legal trouble. Peter hadn’t even touched him because of a contract saying Stiles could get a fortune off him for any sexual harassment. Stiles remembered Derek talking about Peter being too clever to get in legal trouble over Trevor, so he was unlikely to do anything like murder Stiles and leave his body in the wood, because that really would cause legal trouble. Still, logic wasn’t much help when Peter looked very much like he wanted to skin Stiles alive and turn his intestines into a belt.

They reached the trees at the edge of the formal garden and kept walking, moving in a path between the sturdy trunks, heading in as straight a line as was possible given the undergrowth. It already felt like the house was miles away.

After what seemed like a year, Peter started talking.

“Some people,” he said, “are obvious. They think they’re being smooth and subtle, but their motives are written all over them, clear as day. Your friend Trevor, for example, comes in with smiles and complements and remains completely unmistakable in the fact that he desires to use us.”

Stiles decided this wasn’t the time to argue about Trevor being his friend. Instead, he said, “I’m not like Trevor.”

“No, you’re not. You’re a lot cleverer.”

“Thanks?” Stiles said, though Peter’s tone had made it sound more like an insult than a complement.

“Every other guest at that party was where they were supposed to be, but you were sneaking around the rest of the house and found Derek alone.”

“It wasn’t like that.”

Peter stopped walking and turned to Stiles with a glare.

“Perhaps,” he said. “Perhaps you’re telling the truth. Perhaps it’s all a wonderful coincidence that you happened to stumble upon my nephew by accident. Perhaps Derek was so winning that you abandoned your supposed determination not to be a consort within minutes of meeting him. Perhaps everything you say is true.” Peter stepped closer to Stiles, who found himself stepping back automatically.

“It is true,” Stiles said, surprised at how weak and nervous his voice was.

“Perhaps,” Peter said again. “But Derek doesn’t have a good track record of recognising when people are out to use him. Just remember that I don’t take kindly to people trying to take advantage of my pack.” He smiled at Stiles and said pleasantly, “I should probably let Trevor out now.”

He turned and walked calmly back towards the house, leaving Stiles standing under the trees. The first thought that came into Stiles’ head was a question. What the hell was Peter letting Trevor out of? The other thoughts came in a jumbled rush after them. Peter’s mention of Trevor had to be deliberate. It had been a threat. Peter thought Stiles was manipulating Derek, that the meeting in the study had been a ploy rather than an accident. Peter couldn’t hurt Stiles because he was protected by the legalities of the consort contract, but he could demonstrate what he would like to do to Stiles. Everything he was doing to Trevor was to prove a point to Stiles that he would punish those trying to manipulate his family.

The problem was Stiles didn’t know how to even start proving to Peter that he wasn’t some evil manipulative asshole.

Chapter Text

Back in the house, Stiles headed straight for Derek’s bedroom. He grabbed his scattered things and shoved them into his overnight bag. Derek came in while he was still packing.

“Are you alright?” Derek asked. “What did he say to you?”

“Short version, he thinks I’m evil and manipulative and trying to take advantage of the pack and/or you. He thinks meeting you the night of the party was something I planned. He thinks I’m trying to use you.”

“Are you?” He asked the question seriously. Stiles tried not to feel hurt that Derek felt the need to check.

“Of course not,” Stiles said. Derek nodded. “Derek, I’ve very much enjoyed everything we’ve done so far, and I look forward to trying out so more of your box of tricks, but that’s the limit of my ulterior motives.”

Derek nodded again. It seemed like he believed him. Stiles hated that he had to say this at all.

“Look,” Stiles said. “I’m going to go home for a bit. I have homework to do and I promised to meet up with some guys to do some work for a chemistry project, but maybe we could meet later. You could come to my place and we could watch the rest of Star Wars.”

He’d put the disk back into his overnight bag. He saw Derek’s eyes fall on it now.

“You really don’t want to be near Peter, do you?” Derek said.

“Peter freaks the hell out of me,” Stiles answered. “And I think he’s hurting Trevor because he can’t hurt me, so staying away from him is better for everyone. I’d like to avoid being in the same room as Peter if at all possible.”

“OK.”

***

Stiles hadn’t been kidding about the work that he needed to do. Danny was his lab partner and he’d been complaining that Stiles had been too busy, “screwing around with hot werewolves,” to do any work, which was a problem because they were supposed to perform their chosen experiment on Monday. So now Danny was coming over to work on their project. At the same time, Scott was struggling with his chemistry grades and so they’d arranged for it to be a double-project-work-thing. He and Allison were also coming over to work on their project on the grounds that they might actually get some project work done this way and not spend the entire time making out.

Stiles really hoped they wouldn’t spend the entire time making out.

He got snacks out and gathered his notes. When the others arrived, they sat in the dining room to make use of the table, discussing experiment methodologies, expected results, and who would handle which parts of the write-up. Scott spent the entire time making puppy eyes at Allison, but at least there was no actual making out.

When they were done with the work part, it was Danny who looked at Stiles and said, “I have to ask, what’s it like being with Derek Hale?”

“Awesome,” Stiles said.

“That’s all you’re going to say?”

Scott jumped in, saying, “I’m quite happy if he doesn’t want to go into detail.”

“But you’ve got to say more than just ‘awesome’,” Danny said.

“It’s personal,” Stiles said. “All I will say is that I’ve enjoyed everything Derek and I have done together so far, and there’s a whole bunch of stuff we haven’t tried yet, but everything else is between me and him.”

Stiles knew he was grinning, thinking of those leather gloves, and of Derek feeding him by hand, that morning in bed. He thought of the toys in Derek’s box, all the things they hadn’t tried but might try sometime. Maybe. But without Derek ever pushing him to try something he found uncomfortable.

“Your face looks ridiculous right now,” Danny said, but he was smiling without a trace of meanness to it. “Maybe I should have held out for a werewolf lover.”

“The whole ritual is degrading,” Allison said. “Sorry, Stiles. I know you’re enjoying this, but the whole concept is archaic and steeped in debasement, treating people like objects.”

“Hey, I’m not arguing with you,” Stiles said. He’d said exactly the same when he’d first gotten that letter. No matter how well it had turned out for him, he wasn’t ready to let go of his anger at what Peter felt entitled to do.

“Just think about it,” Allison went on, “if a human gathered together a group of teenagers and announced he was going to pick one of them to sign a contract obligating them to have unlimited sex, but only if they’re a virgin, then everyone would be calling the police. But because it’s done by a werewolf and wrapped up in tradition, it’s all treated as OK.”

“Still not arguing with you.”

“But you’re going along with it.”

“Derek didn’t ask for the party and all this. That was all Peter’s doing.”

“But Derek’s still benefiting from it,” Allison said. “There’s a culture of entitlement that werewolves are surrounded by, privileges that they gain from. Werewolves get away with things that no human ever would.”

Scott was staring at Allison, that dreamy in-love look on his face again but with an added layer of fascination.

“I had no idea you felt so strongly about werewolf politics,” Scott said.

“Sorry,” Allison said. “It’s kind of a family obsession, but this thing with Stiles is the epitome of what’s wrong with the current situation. It’s like there’s one set of rules for humans and one for werewolves.”

“But that’s not all the werewolves’ fault,” Stiles said. He’d been doing a lot of reading since he’d become Derek’s consort. “The consort and companion contracts came about because people were afraid that werewolves might not be able to control themselves and humans worried about werewolves going out just raping people and stuff, so a bunch of human legislators wrote laws saying that werewolves are only allowed to have sex with humans when there’s a contract of some sort in place.”

“But it was werewolves who created the rituals about choosing virgins to be consorts.”

“OK, true,” Stiles admitted, “but the werewolves twisted round something that was forced on them by humans. I’m not saying it’s right, I’m just saying you can’t put all the blame on one side.”

“I didn’t know I was going to kick off world war three by bringing up the subject,” Danny said, almost apologetically.

“It’s not like that,” Stiles said. “Allison’s right. The situation is appalling. Peter could grab a bunch of us, stick chastity devices on us, all so his nephew could pick someone to sign a sex contract with. That’s screwed up on about ten different levels. But what I’m saying is that people like Derek are just living in the society that’s been built up around them. Derek has to put up with pack hierarchy and rituals that were put in place years ago, and all the rest of it.”

“He doesn’t have to put up with it,” Allison argued. “He could be trying to do something about it. He could be standing up to his alpha. He could be arguing against rituals that let him objectify humans. But he’s going along with it.”

Stiles wasn’t enjoying this debate in the slightest, but he suspected that was because he knew Allison was making a lot of good points. Werewolf culture was such that certain behaviours were just accepted when they came from werewolves, certain rituals were not only legal but almost expected. These things were treated as just the way things were, but that didn’t make them right. Stiles himself had argued with Peter about this, but he’d ignored the more passive role Derek had played because he liked Derek.

But the conversation with Peter that morning was just another reminder of the sort of behaviour werewolves could get away with. Peter could be torturing Trevor in a myriad of ways, but he’d never be convicted of a crime because he’d convinced Trevor to sign a bit of paper.

“Look,” said Danny, grabbing his bag, “I think maybe I should get out of the way before things get violent.”

“No, Danny,” said Stiles. “It’s not... Look, thanks for coming over. I’ll see you Monday.”

Danny nodded and headed out. Stiles looked back to Allison.

“I’m sorry,” she said. “I don’t mean to give you a hard time. None of what’s happening is your fault.”

“You’re right about a lot of this though,” Stiles said. “The rituals are messed up but Derek... Derek’s a good guy. I like him.”

He might have been talking to Allison, but it was Scott he was really aware of then, looking at him with a serious expression on his face. And Stiles was aware of the feelings behind his own words. He really did like Derek. He was sweet and gentle, concerned about Stiles’ pleasure more than his own, as well as being willing to be sarcastic when necessary.

***

Derek came over that evening. Stiles’ dad was in the house, but he gave them space as they settled in the den to watch the rest of Star Wars. Stiles was ready with popcorn and soda and they sat together on the couch, Derek putting his arm around Stiles’ shoulder and pulling him close. As Stiles was trying to find the point they’d got to last time, Derek suddenly went all serious on him.

“The conversation you had with Peter,” he said, “you said he said something about Trevor and why he was hurting him.”

“He didn’t say really,” said Stiles. “Not in any explicit way. It was all just hints. He talked about how Trevor was trying to use the pack and that I was being more subtle about it. He actually complemented me about how cleverly I’d manipulated things into meeting you outside of the main party. And then he said some stuff about not liking people trying to use his pack. And then he said he had to let Trevor out. Out of what? Did he make Trevor sleep in a cage all night or something? But it was the way he said it, right after the bit about how he thought I was trying to use you and how he didn’t like it. It made it sound like Trevor’s an example. Like he’s showing that he can do all this stuff to him to threaten me.”

The movie was at the right point now, but Stiles just hit pause. This felt more important. So he waited, Derek’s arm around his shoulder, his eyes on the frozen image on the screen, waiting for Derek to say something.

“Peter can’t hurt you,” Derek said, “not directly. You’re protected by the contract.”

“Can you say that in a way that sounds more confident, please?”

There was silence. They stared at the TV screen. Stiles wondered if he should just hit play. After all, he’d invited Derek over to watch a movie not to get depressed that Peter could torture an innocent guy because he was angry at Stiles and there wasn’t a damn thing Stiles could do to stop it.

“Maybe there’s a way to show him you’re not out to use the pack,” Derek said.

“Yeah, but how do I do that? Peter seemed pretty convinced and he said some stuff about you having a track record of not seeing when you’re being used.”

Derek tensed up. His arm tightened around Stiles’ shoulder, fingers clenching against his arm.

“I’m going to kill him,” Derek muttered.

“Before you do that, could you let go of my arm before it bruises.”

The fingers loosened their grip.

“Sorry,” Derek said.

“Look, I don’t know what Peter was on about with that bit but if you want to talk about it, I’m here. And if you don’t want to talk about it, I’ll still be here, but pretending I’m not burning up with curiosity about it.”

“I appreciate that.”

“The here part or the pretending part?”

“Both.”

“Right,” said Stiles. So that presumably meant he wasn’t going to get any answers, but that was only to be expected. After all, the contract had been for him to have sex with Derek, not to be a shoulder to cry on about whatever past events Peter had been hinting at.

“Let’s just watch the movie,” said Derek.

“Right.” So Stiles hit play. They were no closer to knowing how to deal with Peter, but for now he could lose himself in the familiar tale of good versus evil where no one had to worry about manipulative werewolves torturing people to get back at him. There’d be plenty of time to worry about Peter later.

Chapter Text

When Trevor showed up to school on Monday morning, he was wearing the collar he’d worn at the Hale house. He tried to grin about it with the other guys, joking about how hot werewolf sex was, but Stiles caught Trevor glaring in his direction once the jokes had ended. Stiles wondered if Peter had told Trevor that Stiles was the reason for whatever messed up stuff Peter was doing.

Stiles tried to talk to Trevor. He tried to ask what Peter had done and to advise again that Trevor should just walk away.

“Just because you got a nice one,” Trevor responded, “don’t think that means you’re one of the pack yet. You can’t tell me what to do.”

“It’s not about telling you what to do,” said Stiles. “It’s about trying to keep you from getting hurt worse. Peter talked about how you’re trying to use the pack and how he doesn’t like that. He’s going to just keep torturing you until you give up and walk away.”

“I wouldn’t say it’s... torture.” He sounded really doubtful, like he was trying to convince himself.

“Where did you spend Friday night?”

Stiles still didn’t know what had happened on Friday night, where it was that Peter had needed to let him out of, but clearly the words meant something to Trevor. He didn’t suddenly decide Stiles was right and declare his intention to leave Peter. He just got angrier, glowering at Stiles darkly.

“Screw you, Stilinski. This is all your fault. If you hadn’t blocked me with Derek, I’d be the one getting leather jackets and breakfast in bed right now. So screw you. And keep your advice to yourself.”

Trevor walked away. Stiles wanted to call after him that he was wrong, that Derek would never have picked him in a million years even if Stiles hadn’t been there, but that seemed somewhat mean.

At least Trevor could remember his name now.

***

He got through chemistry and his experiment with Danny, and things went according to their plan. It was good that something did. They had their plans for doing the write up so it was possible Stiles would actually get a decent grade in this class for once, despite Harris’ hatred of him.

Leaving the classroom to go to lunch, Erica and Isaac positioned themselves by the door to wait and then flanked him as he headed out into the corridor. It was like having an honour guard. Or possibly two powerful werewolves within arm’s reach who could do unspeakably painful things to him.

“Hey?” Stiles said cautiously.

Erica slipped her hand around his elbow, walking pressed right up against his side. Stiles wondered if he could safely pull away without something getting clawed. They walked down the hallway towards lunch like that, Erica’s hand threaded around his arm.

“So,” she said, “rumour is that you’re terrified of Peter.”

“I’m not sure I’d use the word ‘terrified’ but... yeah, I’m terrified. He basically implied he wants to torture me.”

“So you probably won’t want to be having pack dinner with him?” asked Isaac. Stiles nodded his agreement.

“Which brings us to the plan,” said Erica. “After school, we accompany you back to your place and do homework or whatever for a bit. Then Derek picks you up from there and you two go eat somewhere while we go back to the house for dinner with Peter. Later on, Derek takes you home or brings you back to our place to stay the night without you ever having to be in the same room as Peter. Sound good?”

They reached the lunch queue, Erica still attached to Stiles’ arm. It did sound good. Stiles was in favour of any plan that involved him not having to be in the same room as Peter. But maybe fretting about Peter was making him paranoid, because he couldn’t help wondering why Derek would have sent this message via the two of them. When they’d made plans before, they’d done it through texting. So why hadn’t Derek just texted that he’d pick him up from home for dinner?

“Can I get my arm back?” Stiles asked. Erica let go. She reached past him and grabbed a couple of the plastic trays, putting them both on in front of the food counters as the line moved forward. Stiles pulled his phone out of his pocket, sending Derek a quick text to ask if he’d said he would pick Stiles up for dinner at his place.

Derek’s response arrived by the time they’d collected their food: Does 7 work for u?

Stiles tried to pick up his tray, but Erica snatched it one-handed and carried it over to a table. Stiles had no choice but to follow after her if he wanted to eat lunch today.

“I’m perfectly capable of carrying a tray,” Stiles said. “I might not have super strength but I’m not that weak.”

He sat down at the lunch table in the place Erica had put the tray. He wasn’t at all sure he liked the way she was controlling the situation. It was such a minor thing, just deciding where he would sit, but it made him think about the conversation with Allison about werewolf privilege, and the way Peter had been able to control him much more thoroughly.

“Does this mean you two have appointed yourselves my bodyguards now?” Stiles asked. “Do I get any say in the matter?”

“Part of being in a pack is having some decisions made by the pack instead of the individual,” Isaac said.

“Except I’m not part of the pack. Not really. I’m not a werewolf and I don’t think I ever will be, not just because being part of the pack would mean I’d be obligated to spend time with Peter. Besides, to even become a werewolf, I’d have to convince Peter to give me the bite and I think that’s about as likely as me becoming BFFs with Harris.”

“If you don’t want to be part of the pack,” said Erica, “what was that breakfast thing about?”

“At least fifty percent of it was about pissing Peter off.”

Isaac gave a grin at that.

“As good a cause as any,” he said.

Boyd came over to join them, sitting down next to Erica. He nodded a greeting to Stiles. Stiles looked across the room to where Scott was eating lunch was Allison. He wasn’t entirely sure Scott had even noticed he was missing, he was too busy being all puppy-eyed about her.

***

Stiles went along with the plan. Erica and Isaac followed him home and they spent some time doing their homework. Stiles also packed up his overnight bag. According to his contract, he should be spending at least one night a week at the Hale house. Stiles didn’t want to accidentally break the contract by staying away too much and at least with this plan there should be the minimal possible contact with Peter.

Derek showed up as promised at seven but his eyes narrowed in suspicion as he saw Erica and Isaac.

“What the hell are you doing here?” he demanded.

“Just keeping Stiles company,” Erica said. Isaac looked guilty. Derek glared.

Stiles felt like an idiot for not being more specific in his wording on his text. He’d been trying to figure out if this was Derek’s plan but Stiles hadn’t mentioned the other two werewolves. Maybe Derek’s plan had just been the dinner thing and the bodyguards weren’t part of it. And if they weren’t part of Derek’s plan, then that meant it must have been Peter’s plan instead. But why the hell would Peter tell these two to hang out with him?

“Sorry, Derek,” Isaac said.

“What’s Peter playing at?” Derek asked.

“He told us to find a way to hang out with Stiles when he’d be more relaxed,” Isaac said. “He wants to find out what Stiles’ schemes are. His words,” he added to Stiles.

“I don’t have any schemes,” Stiles said. “I wasn’t trying to become consort. I don’t know why Peter finds that so hard to believe.”

“Because he’s Peter,” Derek said. He glared a little more at Isaac and Erica, then told them to go home. They slunk away, apparently relieved. Stiles just stood there in the doorway to his house, his overnight bag ready, unsure of what to say.

“I’m sorry,” Derek said.

“What the hell are you apologising for?” Stiles asked.

“Someone should apologise. And it’s not going to be Peter.”

“But you shouldn’t have to apologise for him. You didn’t tell those two to spy on me.”

“Let’s just eat,” Derek said.

They headed out towards the diner, going to one on the east side of town that did the best curly fries in all of Beacon Hills. Apparently Derek had never been there before so Stiles ordered for them.

“You weren’t allowed curly fries?” Stiles asked.

“It’s not that we weren’t allowed them,” Derek said. “It’s just... when we eat out it’s usually as a pack and we generally book somewhere at a nice restaurant. Not that I’m implying this isn’t nice.”

The waitress came over with their food and Stiles thanked her. Derek stared at the plastic basket in front of him with his burger and fries, then he looked around, first at their booth and then around at the rest of the diner.

“What are you after?” Stiles asked.

“She didn’t bring our cutlery.”

Stiles just stared at him for a moment, trying to decide if Derek was serious. Then he started laughing. He knew it was mean to laugh at someone’s ignorance, but he Derek looked so out of place and confused that he couldn’t help it.

“What?” Derek asked. Stiles fought to get his laughter under control. It wasn’t Derek’s fault. Derek had never eaten in places like this and he’d been deprived of watching the television shows that would teach him what was normal in places like this. The more he thought about it, the less funny it became and the more sad.

“Just follow my lead,” Stiles said. He picked up his burger by its paper wrapping and bit into it. Derek watched him. Then he looked round at the other occupants of the diner, seeing them eat with their hands. Only then did Derek pick up his burger and start eating it without cutlery.

“Isn’t this,” Derek said a few bites later, “really bad etiquette?”

“Seriously, dude, most people in a place like this can’t even spell the word etiquette.”

“I’m just picturing how my mom would react if she saw this. I can practically hear her: ‘I brought you up to have better table manners than to stuff your face like an animal’.” He said it with a fond smile and then took another bite. A bit of melted cheese was dribbling out of his burger, getting on his fingers. Derek shifted the burger into his other hand and started to reach for the napkins, but Stiles caught Derek’s wrist and drew his hand across the table.

“Eating like this has some advantages,” Stiles said. He brought Derek’s fingers up to his mouth and into his mouth, licking the cheese off them. Derek made a low moan.

“I might give up cutlery forever,” Derek said.

Stiles grinned across the table at him. Derek grinned back. They ate their way through their burgers and curly fries. Unfortunately though, they had things more important than diner etiquette to discuss.

“So Peter’s sending the pack to spy on me,” Stiles said.

“Apparently.”

“Maybe I should try and talk to him again. Maybe there’s some way I can convince him that I’m not out to do anything evil or whatever it is he suspects me of.”

“If he thinks you’re trying to deceive us, he’s not going to believe you if you say you’re not,” Derek pointed out.

“I told you that and you believed me. You do believe me, right?”

“I saw how surprised you were when you realised I was in the study. I believe you weren’t looking for me the night of the party.”

It was nice to hear that Derek believed him. Stiles didn’t like people thinking he was a liar. OK so he sometimes bent the truth with his dad, but that wasn’t the same thing at all. But Peter was convinced this was all just an act.

“I don’t follow Peter’s logic,” Stiles said. “Let’s say I was some conniving whatever out for my own gain. What does he think I’m trying to get? If I were trying to get the bite and all the superpowers that go with it, I would be trying to make nice with him not deliberately annoying him. So what does he think I’m after?”

“He might think you’re a gold digger,” Derek said. “Consorts often get gifts. He might think you’re trying to get presents out of me.”

“Yeah, well I’m not giving Errol back.”

“Errol?”

Stiles pulled out his keys, with the little plastic dragon hanging from them on its chain. Derek shook his head, but he looked like he was trying not to laugh.

“You called it Errol?” Derek asked.

“All pets need a name.”

Now Derek was definitely trying not to laugh.

“I suppose it could be worse,” he said. “You could have called it Glaurung or something.”

“You do not get to mock my dragon naming skills,” Stiles said. He tucked the keys away again. For a few seconds, the air of enjoyment lay over their table, but then things went serious again. That little quirk of a smile faded from Derek’s lips.

“There are other things Peter might be afraid of,” Derek said.

“Afraid? Him?”

“Not everyone likes werewolves,” Derek said. “Some people actively hate us. They think we shouldn’t have the rights we do. They think we’re animals, that we can’t control how we act and that we’ll go out of control and hurt people.”

“Like the people who wrote the laws saying you need to have a signed contract every time you have sex?”

“Exactly. Some of them want to restrict what we’re legally allowed to do because they think we’re dangerous. Others would rather just kill us.”

“Kill you?”

“If Peter thinks you’re connected with one of those groups,” Derek said, “he will stop at nothing to destroy you.”

There was something about the way he said it that suggested he wasn’t being metaphorical about this. He sounded almost like he was talking from experience. Stiles wondered if he ought to find out more about Derek’s history. There were so many things he didn’t know, like what had happened to Derek’s mom or dad or anything else. He didn’t know what Peter had meant when talked about Derek having a history of not knowing when he was being used. He didn’t know why Peter was so convinced Stiles was lying. He didn’t know much of anything.

The waitress came over with the bill and Derek insisted on paying.

“Surely I should pay,” Stiles said, “to prove to Peter that I’m not a gold digger.”

“Peter’s not here right now.”

“Yeah, but if I pay you can tell him I paid so he stops thinking I’m trying to use you.”

“But if we do that, you’re just using the situation to your advantage after all, aren’t you? You’re paying the bill just to prove a point and then it wouldn’t be genuine generosity.”

Stiles glared.

“When did buying burgers become so complicated?” he asked.

Derek just handed over his card to the waitress while Stiles was still trying to deal with the paradox of using a situation to prove he wasn’t trying to use the situation. Once again he found himself wishing Peter wasn’t in the picture. If it were just him and Derek, they could spend their days in bed exploring the rest of Derek’s toys, at least until Derek got bored of him.

They headed out to the parking lot and Stiles was soon climbing into the passenger seat of Derek’s Camaro. Derek sat behind the wheel but he didn’t turn the key in the ignition quite yet.

“So,” Derek asked. “Am I taking you home or back to my place?”

“I brought my overnight bag,” Stiles said.

“My place it is. But first, there’s something I’d like you to do. If you’re up for it.”

“What?”

“Check the glove compartment.”

Curious, Stiles opened it up. Inside was a familiar toy, the vibrating butt plug Derek had used on him before, cleaned up again and sealed inside a ziplock bag. There was also a tube of lube.

“I thought we might find a quiet spot,” Derek said, “where I could put that in you and then we could drive around a bit before going back to the house. If you want.”

Stiles was going to need to invest in looser pants if he were going to keep having these conversations with Derek. He shifted a little in the seat, already thinking about that plug inside him.

“Well?” Derek asked.

“Let’s do it.”

Chapter Text

The alarm on Stiles’ phone bleeped. Derek groaned. Stiles rolled over and grabbed the phone off the bedside table. Derek rolled over the other way and buried his head under the pillow. Stiles turned the alarm off. Derek groaned into the pillow.

Stiles climbed out of the bed and walked across to the bathroom. He grabbed his overnight bag and carried it into the bathroom so he didn’t need to turn on the light and wake Derek up any more than he already was. Only one of them had to go to school, so only one of them needed to actually get out of bed at this ridiculously early hour.

Stiles showered away the disgustingly crusted remains of last night’s pleasure from his skin and got dressed quickly. He slipped out of the room with his overnight bag and book bag, heading down to the kitchen to grab some food for breakfast. Maybe he could get a lift to school one of the teenagers in the pack. They had cars and Stiles’ jeep was still at school. Isaac and Erica owed him for lying to him the day before.

He walked into the kitchen, empty aside from some bowls in the sink with the remnants of milk and cereal inside. He hoped that didn’t mean they’d all gone already. He went over to the cupboards, hunting for the cereal he knew must exist. He found it and then went on a hunt for bowls. Once he’d grabbed one, he turned away from the cupboards and then gave a yelp of surprise, fumbling to keep from dropping everything.

Peter stood in the kitchen doorway. Beside him was Trevor. On his hands and knees. Naked except for the collar around his neck. A ring on the collar was attached to a leash, the end of which Peter clutched tightly. Trevor glared up at Stiles.

“Good morning, Stiles,” Peter said. “Getting ready for school? Feel free to take the cereal. I was just getting some breakfast for Trevor here.”

He walked across the room, Trevor crawling beside him, and took another bowl and a different packet of cereal. Stiles tried to keep his hands from shaking as he poured his own breakfast, adding the milk to his cereal and then putting the carton down on the counter so Peter could get to it.

“Let’s go through to the dining room,” Peter said. “It’s not civilised to have breakfast standing around the kitchen.”

Stiles had little choice but to follow. He sat down at the dining table, but Peter set Trevor’s bowl down on the floor next to his place. Trevor knelt there, bending his face down to eat without a spoon. Stiles’ mouth felt dry seeing this but he forced spoonfuls of cereal into his mouth anyway. Stiles watched Trevor eating, milk dripping over his chin. Peter watched Stiles watching Trevor. He smiled coldly.

“How are you enjoying being a consort, Stiles?” Peter asked.

“I’m enjoying the times I spend with Derek,” Stiles answered. “The passive aggressive threats from his alpha, I could do without.” He looked significantly at Trevor. Trevor’s glare darkened. Stiles wondered if he should have held his tongue. What if there was a direct relationship between Stiles’ rudeness to Peter and the humiliations and discomforts Trevor suffered? What if Stiles had just signed Trevor on for more pain?

“Being a consort is about more than just one person,” Peter said.

“Not according to the contract I signed. Yes, I’m attached to your pack, but the contract was between me and Derek. What we do is up to us.”

“Up to Derek, you mean.”

“Us,” Stiles repeated. “Full and explicit consent prior to every act. It’s a concept you should look into instead of sitting here so full of your privilege, so used to getting your own way, that you’ll torture someone who has nothing to do with this just to make a point.”

Peter smiled. Stiles was utterly furious but Peter’s only reaction to his anger was to look pleased, which meant Stiles angrier still. Peter reached out a hand and stroked Trevor’s head like he was a pet.

“Nothing to do with this?” Peter said. “But you’re attached to the pack so any friend of yours is a friend of mine.”

His fingers tightened in Trevor’s hair and yanked his head back. Stiles heard the hiss of pain. Trevor gritted his teeth, his eyes still looking in Stiles’ direction, still glaring, as though Stiles was the one causing him pain right now. Stiles resisted the urge to glare back, because this was more Trevor’s fault than Stiles’. Trevor had signed up for this. He could walk away any time he wanted. All he had to do was declare the contract void and he could leave Peter behind forever.

“Trevor isn’t my friend,” Stiles told Peter. “He’s a jerk. In all the time we’ve known each other, I think he’s only managed to get my name right once. But being a jerk doesn’t mean he deserves what you’re doing to him. No one deserves to be used.”

Stiles wasn’t sure if that word would have the right effect. Peter had talked about not liking people who used his pack. Derek had said much the same, using the same word. Peter was so opposed to being used, so Stiles hoped it would do something if he realised he was the one doing the using. It didn’t seem to.

Peter smiled again and loosened his hold on Trevor’s hair before pushing his head down again, forcing him to bend forward over his knees, down towards his cereal bowl again.

Stiles was feeling sick. His cereal sat in the bowl in front of him, floating in the sea of milk, but he couldn’t face it. He dropped his spoon in and started to stand.

“Stiles,” Peter said, “you might want to think about who has the power here before you start throwing your weight around.”

“Having power doesn’t give you free reign to do whatever you like. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean it’s right.”

Someone cleared their throat. It was a tiny sound, as though the person interrupting would dearly love for their interruption to go unnoticed. Stiles looked past Peter to the door that led deeper into the house. Isaac stood there, a bag slung over one shoulder.

“Peter,” Isaac said, “we should leave if we want to get to school on time.”

“Very well. Trevor, that’s enough for now. Go get dressed and go to school. I’ll see you later.”

Trevor stood up. He moved towards the door where Isaac waited. It was only then that Stiles realised Trevor wasn’t quite as naked as he’d originally thought. There was the black base of a butt plug showing in the crack of his ass. And that ass was decorated with red welts criss-crossing the pale skin. Stiles hadn’t seen them before because of their relative positions, but now he had no choice but the notice as he grabbed his bags and followed Trevor out of the dining room.

“I take it you want a lift to school?” Isaac asked him. Stiles nodded, unable to take his eyes off the marks Peter had left on Trevor.

Out in the hall, the other teenagers of the pack were waiting. Trevor’s belongings were piled by the door and he reached them now, pulling on shirt and pants, not bothering with underwear and without taking out the plug. He refused to meet anyone’s gaze as he got dressed. It didn’t take him long, but soon he had his bag in his hands and was ready to leave.

They headed out of the house, to where the pack’s cars were parked. Erica and Boyd took one car. Isaac and Malia took another. Trevor headed towards Isaac’s car, letting himself into the back and wincing slightly as he sat down. Stiles had a free choice of which he would take, so he joined Trevor, hoping for a chance to talk some sense into the guy. Trevor just glared some more as they fastened their seatbelts.

Stiles hesitated a little as the car pulled away. Malia was Peter’s daughter after all and Isaac, though he’d apologised for it afterwards, had acted as Peter’s spy before. Any conversation they had might be reported back. But Stiles decided he didn’t care. It might do Peter good to hear what someone really thought about him.

“Why do you let him use you like that?” Stiles asked Trevor.

Trevor looked to the front seats of the car, where Isaac and Malia weren’t even pretending not to be listening. Malia actually looked over her shoulder towards Trevor, waiting for the answer as much as Stiles was.

“I’m showing Peter I have the strength and determination to be worthy of the pack,” Trevor said.

“Peter never asked me to kneel at his feet to prove my commitment,” Isaac commented. Trevor’s jaw clenched tightly.

“Did Peter tell you that he’d let you in pack if you did this?” Stiles asked.

“It’s not so much what he said as the way he said it,” Trevor said. “He said the pack’s grown too quickly recently for him to take on two new members and that an official consort gets priority. I can read between the lines. If I can stick it out longer than you, I’ll get my invite.”

Which at least partly explained Trevor’s anger at Stiles. He thought he wouldn’t be in this mess if Stiles just backed out of his contract. But Stiles was willing to bet that Peter had implied a lot but not actually said anything that could be construed as an agreement to make Trevor part of the pack. There would be nothing in writing and nothing that a lawyer would be able to claim as legally binding. Peter could hint at making Trevor part of the pack without ever saying anything that would tie him to that. But Trevor would probably never believe that.

Instead he took another angle.

“Derek never told me I’d be made part of the pack,” Stiles said. “In fact, the contract specifically has a clause saying that it’s not a promise. Given that Peter hates me, it’s safe to say that I’m never going to be part of the pack.”

“Then why are you doing all this?”

“Because Derek’s amazing in bed.”

From the front seat, Malia gave a snort of laughter.

“I didn’t need to hear that,” Isaac complained.

Trevor was still giving Stiles a disbelieving look.

“Look,” Stiles told him, “Derek asked me if I wanted to have lots of sex with him. I signed a contract agreeing to have lots of sex with him. No more, no less. Derek never told me I might become a member of the pack and I’m not expecting to get invited to join so maybe you should tell Peter that. Tell him that I’m perfectly happy for him to make you part of the pack and forgo whatever priority of packification I supposedly have. But I don’t intend to let him scare me away from Derek.”

Trevor continued to stare at him. Malia had snorted amusement again at the word ‘packification’ so it was impossible to pretend that this was a private conversation. Trevor was probably worrying how Peter would react when word of this got back to him.

“Why wouldn’t you want to be part of a pack?” Trevor asked. He sounded like the idea was inconceivable to him.

“Aside from the fact I wouldn’t relish being under Peter’s authority,” Stiles answered, “I like being me. I don’t have any strong desire to become a werewolf. I don’t have anything against werewolves and if I come down with some life-threatening illness, I might change my mind, but I don’t see that there’s any need to risk bite rejection when I’m fine as I am.”

Trevor continued to stare at Stiles like he was spouting lunatic utterances.

“Plus there are the legal restrictions,” Isaac put in from the front seat. “I didn’t really pay much attention to them before I got the bite, but I can’t leave the Hale territories without getting signed approval from Peter and the alpha of whatever territory I’m going to. It will make touring colleges a nightmare.”

“That sucks,” Stiles said.

“It’s supposed to prevent any accidental bloodshed between packs over territory issues,” Malia said.

“So there’s only deliberate bloodshed?” Stiles asked. Malia shrugged.

“You really don’t want to be in the pack?” Trevor asked Stiles, bringing the conversation back to its initial topic.

“No. I don’t get why Peter finds it so hard to believe that what I want out of this arrangement is exactly what I’m getting right now: having a good time with Derek several times in a row in many different positions.”

The car ran over a pothole. Trevor winced as he was jolted in his seat.

“You really like it?” he asked.

“If I didn’t, I’d tell Derek and he’d do something else. Peter might not grasp the finer points of the concept of consent, but Derek does. He makes sure we only do stuff we both enjoy. Seriously, dude, it’s not worth it. Peter is stringing you along. The sooner you back out of the contract, the happier you’ll be.”

Trevor’s confusion darkened to anger again.

“Just because you don’t want to be in the pack,” he said, “don’t think you can stop me being in it. I’ll show Peter how strong I can be and he’ll give me the invitation while you’re still ‘having a good time’ with Derek.”

Isaac pulled the car into the school parking lot. Stiles guessed that meant the conversation was over.

***

It was a few days before Stiles went back to the Hale house. His dad had been making pointed comments how he hardly saw Stiles anymore. Plus there was homework to do, including writing up the chemistry project for Harris. It was also possible that Stiles was deliberately trying to avoid Peter. He didn’t know how Peter had reacted to Stiles’ comments at breakfast or the conversation the betas had no doubt reported to him. He wasn’t sure he wanted to find out.

All the while, Trevor walked around school with a scowl on his face and that collar around his neck. He glared at Stiles whenever they passed in the halls. When he sat down, it was cautiously. The only time they spoke after that conversation in the car was towards the end of the week when he told Stiles, “I know you don’t want to be a werewolf but I do. Why don’t you just back out of your contract?”

“Because I like being with Derek,” was Stiles’ answer, though there was a fair amount of sheer stubbornness. He didn’t like anyone pushing him around. He didn’t like that Peter was trying to force him out and that just made him want to dig his heels in more.

He told himself that what was happening to Trevor wasn't his fault. He reminded himself every time they passed in the halls that Trevor had chosen this. If it was really so bad, Trevor had the option of walking away. Stiles tried to tell himself that he shouldn’t let it weigh on him.

But it also meant he couldn’t enjoy being with Derek knowing what Peter was making Trevor do. So he stayed away, accepting the excuses of homework and home responsibilities without trying to fight them.

He texted Derek throughout the week. He kept remembering how tense Derek had seemed when he’d thought Stiles was backing out of the contract. He didn’t want Derek worrying now that there was any reluctance on his part. So Stiles sent texts complaining about homework, talking about his dad, describing what had happened at lacrosse practice. Other times, he sent little messages just saying he’d been thinking about him, or thinking about that box of toys.

He’d decided to go back to the Hale house after school on Friday. If he just kept staying away from Derek, he was doing what Peter wanted, so he made up his mind to return. He was taking the DVD of The Empire Strikes Back as well as his changes of clothes and medication and stuff. But he didn’t plan on spending the entire time watching sci-fi classics. He couldn’t let his life be ruled by Peter’s actions, especially when they were aimed at someone else. He told himself yet again that he wasn’t responsible for Trevor’s choices and tried to put him out of his mind and focus on more interesting things.

Been thinking about your box. Stiles texted during lunch on Friday.

Anything in particular? Derek texted back.

Maybe. How would you feel if we tried something and I said to stop 3 seconds in?

There was a long pause. Stiles stared at his phone screen, even as Scott and Allison came to join him at the lunch table. Scott looked at Stiles and the phone and quickly declared that he didn’t want to know what Stiles was sending texts about.

Stiles’ phone buzzed.

I think I know what you want. We’ll talk later.

Stiles grinned at his phone, imagining what might come.

“I definitely don’t want to know what you’re texting about,” Scott announced, seeing the grin.

Chapter Text

Derek was waiting to open the door for him as soon as Stiles parked the jeep. Peter was nowhere in sight, for which Stiles was grateful. It was easier to pretend Peter didn’t exist when he couldn’t see him. Derek looked nervous as he led the way up to the bedroom.

“I think I know what you’re curious about,” Derek said, once the door was shut behind them, “and if I’m right, I understand why you’d be nervous about trying it out.”

He left Stiles standing in the middle of the bedroom while he went into the closet and opened up his big chest. He lifted out the flogger, with its sturdy handle and the long strands of soft leather. He held the handle lightly and ran the strands over the skin of the opposite arm.

“I saw the way you looked at this when we went through the chest,” Derek said. It was probably the way Stiles was looking at it now, with curiosity and desire mingled into something consuming. Stiles’ curiosity was always getting him into trouble.

“I don’t know if I’ll like it,” Stiles said, “but I want to know. If I don’t find out, I’ll always be wondering.”

Derek nodded. He seemed to understand.

“I wouldn’t start with this,” Derek said. “Not your first time doing anything like this.”

“What would you start with?”

Derek shifted the handle of the flogger into his left hand, lowering it down to hang at his side. Instead, he raised his right hand, holding it up, palm facing towards Stiles.

“This,” Derek said.

“You’d just hit me with your hand?”

“It’s easier to control the power,” Derek said, “the pain of the impact. And it would let me bring you in closer. I could hold you over my knee. It’s more intimate. I would start with my bare hand to give you a feel for this kind of play. If you like it, I’d move on to something else you seemed particularly fascinated by.”

“What?” Stiles asked.

“The gloves. I’d hit you wearing the gloves. Only then would we move on to something else, something like the flogger, and probably not in your first session.”

“And if I decide I don’t like it?”

“That’s why you have safe words. I wouldn’t want to push you further than you want to go. If you want to explore your curiosity, I will be delighted to help you. If you change your mind, there are plenty of other ways we can enjoy ourselves. If you try and decide this isn’t for you, we can stop and we never need to do anything like this again.”

Derek had never done anything to make Stiles doubt him. He’d never pushed. He’d always made sure things were good for Stiles. There was no reason to think this would be any different. And he could back out. That remained as a comfort in his mind, as reassuring as Derek’s calm and kind expression.

“OK,” Stiles said.

“You don’t have to do this right now. You could think about it some more.”

“No. I’m ready. Let’s do this thing.”

Derek smiled and nodded. He went into his closet and put away the flogger, coming instead with the leather gloves. There was something else held in one hand, but Derek positioned himself so that the other object was obscured by his body. Maybe that should have frightened Stiles, but it didn’t. He felt the little rush of arousal already, just thinking about what was going to happen. Derek sat down on the edge of the bed, setting the gloves down on the covers beside him. The other object was still hidden from Stiles; Derek held it against his leg on the other side.

“I want you across my legs,” Derek said. “Lower your pants and position yourself across me. Take as long as you need to find the right position and remember that you can back out at any time.”

Stiles nodded. His mouth was a little dry but it was from excitement rather than concern. He undid his flies, noting that Derek had said lower not remove, so he let his pants bunch around his knees. Slightly hobbled by the fabric, he shuffled over to Derek.

He bent forward, Derek’s strong arms holding him around the waist gently to help him keep his balance. Derek’s knees were a little high for Stiles to kneel, so he had to rest most of his weight on Derek’s legs, using his hands and feet mostly to keep from sliding off. Derek shifted his arms, one of them resting across Stiles’ back, holding him in place. Stiles shifted again, trying to get comfortable, ending up with his groin pressed against Derek’s thigh and his bare ass sticking up in the air.

He wriggled a little more and then froze, realising he was basically rubbing his cock against Derek’s leg. He could feel the fabric of Derek’s jeans against his sensitive skin. He felt exposed and vulnerable, but that just stirred his growing excitement. Derek must be able to tell the effect this was having on him.

“Are you ready?” Derek asked. Stiles nodded. “I need to hear it, Stiles.”

“Yeah. I’m ready.”

Derek’s left arm was still across Stiles’ back, holding him in place, but his right hand started moving, rubbing slow circles over the curves of Stiles’ ass. He felt those fingers, warm and sure, the gentle brush of them over his skin.

“I’m going to start off slowly and lightly. If you’re OK with that, I’ll start to speed things up and increase the strength a little, but I’ll still be making sure it’s not going to seriously hurt you. Remember, you can stop at any time you want to. If you want me to slow down or change something, you can say ‘yellow’. Do you understand?”

“Yes,” Stiles said.

“OK.”

Derek raised his hand from Stiles ass and Stiles braced himself, heart pounding as fear resumed. But when the hand felt, there was only the faintest sensation of impact, a tiny sting that was gone almost as soon as it began.

Derek went back to stroking, running his fingers slowly over Stiles’ ass, up and down the cheeks or small circles over the curves. He raised his hand again, bringing it down with the same faint strike. Stiles shifted a little in his position. This wasn’t what he’d imagined. He hadn’t wanted Derek treating him like glass, like something he might break if he dared touch too hard.

“Are you OK?” Derek asked.

“Yes. More.”

There was a little huff of amusement from above him.

“Patience,” Derek said. His hand resumed its stroking. Then it rose and fell again, a little more force behind it now. It still couldn’t really be considered pain. There was a little sting to it now, the slaps coming more frequently, but still interspersed by soothing strokes. Stiles felt it like warmth flowing out through his ass.

Derek got into a rhythm. Stroke, slap, stroke. Stroke, slap, stroke. Stiles found his body rocking to that rhythm. Each slap pushed him forward just a little then he eased back. The movements were slight, just a faint back and forth, but his cock was pressed against Derek’s leg. Each strike made Stiles’ body rub forward until he was basically humping Derek’s leg. His face was probably red from embarrassment, probably the same shade as he imagined his ass to be now, decorated by Derek’s steady strikes.

Stiles couldn’t have stopped himself from the humping, however embarrassing. His erection was stirring now with strong desire. He went with the rhythm, rubbing himself with every blow and hoping for the climax.

When Derek broke the rhythm, when he kept stroking softly instead of resuming the slaps, Stiles made a low noise of complaint.

“I’m going to put the gloves on now,” Derek said. “I’m going to give you ten more, a little harder than I’ve been doing so far. I’d like you to count them out. OK?”

“OK,” Stiles managed, surprised he was able to find a voice. A part of him just wanted to squirm against Derek’s leg until the friction of it made him come.

Derek’s hand vanished from his ass. After a moment, there was a shifting of position in the arm holding him. When Derek resumed his original position, the hand that rested on Stiles’ ass was wrapped in cool leather. Stiles felt the texture of it, the separation between them. The gloved fingers seemed to leach the heat out of Stiles’ warmed ass, but the heat was not diminishing in other areas. He was as hard as ever, braced for what was to come.

The hand moved quickly, rising and falling with a sting of pain that made Stiles gasp.

“Ow. One.”

There was a pause. Derek must be waiting to see if he’d use a safe word. A rosy glow in the pit of Stiles’ stomach joined the warmth in other places.

The hand rose and fell again, Stiles counting out the blows. There was pain now, there could be no denying that, but it seemed directly connected to the need in his groin. Each blow made his body rock forward over Derek’s thigh, pumping harder than before, driving him closer and closer.

As the tenth blow fell, Stiles didn’t manage to get out the count. Instead, his words dissolved into a cry as he came, streams of cum shooting out over Derek’s pants.

Stiles hung over Derek’s knees, catching his breath and sure his face must be redder than his ass. He couldn’t believe he’d just come like that.

“Stiles?” Derek asked.

Derek’s arm loosened. Stiles slithered off his legs, ending up kneeling at Derek’s feet, head bowing. His limbs felt shaky and he didn’t want the effort of standing, energy sapped the orgasm, or perhaps by pure humiliation. Stiles had come humping on Derek’s legs like a dog. What must Derek think of him?

Derek moved at once, crouching down in front of Stiles, reaching out. Leather fingers caught Stiles’ chin, tilting his head up. Their eyes met, concern written all over Derek’s features.

“Stiles?” Derek asked again. “Was it too much? Are you OK?”

“I humped your leg. I can’t believe I did that.”

A little smile burst onto Derek’s face. He leaned forward, urging Stiles closer with those gloved fingers so he could press a quick kiss to Stiles’ lips.

“I can believe it,” Derek said.

“You don’t mind?”

“Stiles, this was about you enjoying it. This was good. I wanted you to be turned on by the experience.”

“I came on your pants.”

“I have other pants.”

Derek put his arms around Stiles and helped lift him up, guiding him onto the bed. Derek lay Stiles down on his stomach, still with his pants bunched up around his knees. He lay there, head buried in the pillows, while Derek opened a drawer. The mattress shifted and then Derek was beside him, hands on his ass again. This time, the leather was gone and he rubbed something cool into Stiles’ skin.

“It seems at least part of you enjoyed that,” Derek said, hands rubbing gently.

“It was... yeah.”

“That wasn’t a full sentence,” Derek said. Stiles tried to find words to explain how that experience had been. He’d liked it. Yes, there had been pain but it hadn’t been bad. The closest thing he could compare it to was the main of a deep massage. It was something that hurt, but it seemed to release something deep inside.

“Yes,” Stiles said.

“Have I completely broken your brain?” Derek asked.

“My dad would say it was broken already.”

Derek finished with the soothing something. Stiles’ ass felt surprisingly alright. There was a little warmth there but he doubted he’d even end up with a bruise.

Stiles sat up on the bed while Derek put the jar of soothing cream away again. He tested that he could sit without discomfort, and then started pulling his pants up, because sitting around like this was weirder than sitting around completely naked. Only then did he notice the object lying on the bed. It was the other thing Derek had brought out of the closet: a simple ring of rubber attached to leather straps.

“This is a gag,” Stiles said.

“It appears your brain function is resuming,” Derek said. He sat down next to Stiles on the bed.

Stiles picked up the gag, running his fingers over the rubber of the ring, firm but with just a tiny bit of give in it. He’d looked at the gags when they’d gone through the chest and he’d wondered what it would be like to have his ability to speak removed. As someone who talked constantly, the idea was exciting and terrifying all at once.

“I didn’t want to put it on during the spanking,” Derek said. “I needed you to be able to say no. But I’d like to try it on you. I won’t use any other restraints, so you can stop if you want, and take the gag out if you don’t like it.”

Stiles ran his fingers around the inside of the ring. It was large enough to fit Derek’s cock through the middle. He strongly suspected that was the point of having a gag with an opening in the middle.

He raised it to his mouth, opening as wide as he was able in order to get the thing behind his teeth. He settled it in position and then took hold of the straps, pulling them round behind his head and feeding the end through the buckle. Derek sat beside him, not moving to help, simply letting Stiles work the gag into place on his own. Presumably, Derek didn’t want to force this on him; he was determined that this would be Stiles’ choice.

Stiles got the thing in position, testing out the ring with his tongue. Already his mouth was beginning to feel strange from being held open so wide. He couldn’t imagine wearing the gag for long would be at all comfortable, so he decided to hurry up with his plan.

He slid off the bed and onto his knees, nudging Derek’s legs apart and kneeling between them. Derek was smiling as Stiles reached out to undo his flies and ease out an erection that hadn’t had the same release Stiles’ had.

He positioned the cock with his hands and then lowered his gagged mouth over the end. It felt strange. He couldn’t really wrap his mouth around it like he had the other times he’d done something like this. But he could still work his tongue around the tip and get Derek to moan obscenely.

Stiles set to work, using his fingers around the base of the shaft while he used his tongue near the top. He bent forward, trying to swallow down as much as possible. He thought he was getting better at this, getting in deeper before he started to gag.

Derek sat on the bed, hands gripping the covers. He just let Stiles work, tilting his head back and moaning again. Stiles tried to fit more of the cock into his mouth as he pumped with his fingers.

Derek gave a cry. This time, Stiles didn’t pull away. He tried to swallow down the spurts of warm, bitter liquid that shot into his mouth. Some trickled out over the gag and he had no way to stop it.

When Stiles pulled back, Derek finally reached out to touch him. He stroked his finger along Stiles’ bottom lip, capturing the stray trail of cum. He held the sticky finger out and Stiles used his tongue to lick up the errant trace.

As Derek tucked himself away again, Stiles reached up and unfastened the buckle of the gag.

“Well?” Derek asked.

“I don’t think I’d want to wear a gag for long periods,” Stiles said.

“You’d probably get withdrawal symptoms from talking if you tried.”

“Mean.” Stiles whacked his hand gently against Derek’s leg and stood. Derek stood too, looking down at the state of his clothes.

“I need to change my clothes before dinner,” Derek said. He headed towards the closet. “And I’ve got something for you.”

“More toys?”

“No. Just a present.”

Stiles decided not to remind him that a previous present had been a toy. Derek emerged from the closet holding something small and black.

“Don’t think I didn’t notice your thing for leather,” Derek said. He held it out. Stiles took it.

It was a band of leather about two inches wide, but a bracelet rather than a cuff. It would fasten around his wrist by means of leather cords threaded through small holes at either end of the band. There were two layers to it. As well as the main band, there was a narrow braid of leather cords that ran around the middle of the bracelet, attached at either end near the holes. The only part of it that wasn’t made of leather was a little metal tag hanging from the braid, with the triple spiral of the Hale pack etched into it.

It was a beautiful piece of work. Stiles wasn’t at all surprised to find that it was sized to fit perfectly around his wrist. He fingered that metal tag.

“Is this like the collar Trevor wears?” Stiles asked. “Is this meant to show people I belong to you or something?”

“No,” Derek answered. “Nothing like that. I just wanted you to have something you could wear to make you think of me. Something that wouldn’t distract you during school.”

“You’d be surprised to know how easily distracted I can be during school.”

Stiles lay the bracelet over his right wrist and tried to use his left hand to feed the cord through the holes. After a few moments, Derek, now in clean pants again, took gentle hold of his wrist.

“Here,” he said. “Let me.”

Derek’s fingers working the cord through the bracelet were as intimate as anything they’d done in the bed.

Chapter Text

Dinner had involved more uncomfortable exchanges with Peter. Peter had brought Trevor to the meal again. He wasn’t naked this time, but what he was wearing was hardly an improvement. Leather straps around his upper arms and wrists held his arms tightly behind his back. The chastity cage was back on his cock. Cuffs around his knees held a metal bar that forced his legs wide as he knelt at Peter’s feet. Metal clamps were tight around his swollen nipples and throughout the meal Peter would reach down and flick them, causing hisses of pain from Trevor.

Trevor said nothing through the meal. He just knelt there, making noises of pain in response to Peter’s actions and eating from Peter’s fingers the few scraps that were offered.

Peter had insisted that Stiles took the seat next to him, and positioned Trevor between them so that Stiles had no choice but to see. Once more, Peter politely asked Stiles if he were enjoying his time as consort.

“Yes, I am,” Stiles said. “Unlike some people at this table, Derek isn’t a jerk.”

“A jerk?” Peter asked, perfectly calmly.

“I could come up with some other terms if you prefer, but you objected when I called you a bastard.”

Under the table, Derek’s hand squeezed Stiles’ knee gently. Stiles wasn’t sure if the gesture was intended as support or as a warning to back off.

“I see my nephew has been presenting you with gifts.”

Stiles looked down at the bracelet. He tried to think about what to say about it. He didn’t want to dismiss Derek’s gesture because Stiles was immensely touched by it, but he didn’t want to think Stiles was only interested in Derek for the potential presents.

“Derek knows that I don’t need anything like this,” Stiles said, “but I’m very touched that he was thinking about me enough to get me something.”

“I’m glad you think you’re being remunerated appropriately for your services.” Peter smiled again. He was probably trying to get a rise out of Stiles by implying he was a prostitute, having sex for monetary gain. Stiles forced himself to smile back.

“To be honest, the smoking hot sex is enough remuneration,” Stiles said. “I have no need for anything else. But I’m not sure this is appropriate conversation for the dinner table.”

“Really, really not,” Cora said from the other end of the table.

Stiles took the opportunity to ask Isaac how his chemistry project was going along. Isaac quickly jumped in to complain about Harris and his ridiculously harsh marking standards. Erica joined in with the complaints. Stiles hoped that would be the end of the uncomfortable sex talk, but Peter had other ideas. He spoke up in defence of Harris.

“Sometimes a person must be harsh,” Peter said. “Only through discipline can true worth shine through. It’s said that the strongest sword is forged in the hottest fire.”

While he spoke, he reached out a hand and stroked Trevor’s hair in an almost absent-minded way, as though he didn’t even notice he was doing it. That effect was proved a lie when, on his last word, he tightened his grip in Trevor’s hair and yanked his head back. Trevor gave another quiet noise of pain but said nothing about this treatment.

“People aren’t swords,” Stiles pointed out. “If you stick a person in a hot flame, you’ll kill them.”

His eyes were on Peter, but he still noticed the reaction of the others. Cora and Derek both tensed up. The rest of the pack seemed nervous, eyes shifting between Peter and Stiles. Peter gave another yank, pulling Trevor backwards before letting go. Trevor resumed his position. His eyes were filled with hate when they looked towards Stiles.

Peter returned to his meal as though nothing had happened. Stiles forced himself to eat.

They got through the meal with no further violence and Stiles was glad to escape. Out of the room, away from Peter, Stiles let out some of what he was feeling in a stream of words, not quite able to care that Peter might be eavesdropping from elsewhere in the house.

“What the hell is wrong with him?” he asked. “How can anyone get so much pleasure from hurting someone else? So Trevor wants to get into the pack. So what? So did Isaac, Erica and Boyd. Did they have to get tortured for weeks to prove their worth? If not, why is Trevor so different?”

After a minute, Stiles had to slow down to gather breath. Derek had been watching him throughout.

“Am I expected to answer any of these questions?” he asked.

Stiles sighed, “Not really. I just... I don’t understand Peter.”

“If he thinks someone’s trying to use the pack, he... gets intense. Trevor didn’t approach him openly and request the bite. That’s why Peter’s treating him differently to the others.”

“I still don’t get how he can get away with this. There will be no legal ramifications, no social outcry, not even scowls of distaste. It’s the embodiment of all the stuff Allison says about werewolf privilege.”

“Allison?” Derek asked.

“Scott’s girlfriend. She has strong opinions on the subject.”

“You say that like you don’t.”

Stiles shrugged. He couldn’t deny his own opinions.

“Is there any way we could force Peter to back out of the contract? Could we get it declared void somehow?” Stiles asked.

Derek shook his head. “If it were a beta involved, we could appeal to the alpha, but with Peter the contract is between him and Trevor. Only one of them can call it off.”

“Maybe we could read the contract and check the exact wording, see if there’s something a lawyer could pick apart.”

Derek shook his head again.

“I’m sorry, Stiles,” he said. “I know Peter is doing this to get to you but you have to remember that it’s not your fault. None of what he’s doing is your fault.”

“I know. It’s just... I wish I knew a way to make things better.”

Derek kissed him lightly.

“What was that for?” Stiles asked.

“For caring so much. Now I’m sure you said something earlier about bringing a DVD. Do you want to just watch the movie, or should we make it a little more interesting?”

***

Stiles shifted a little on the couch, trying to find a comfortable position with the plug buried deep in his ass. He was sitting with his legs tucked up beside him, leaning against Derek’s side, Derek’s arm around his shoulders. Stiles might have made some comment about the plug, but Cora was sitting in a chair a couple of metres away from them, her eyes fixed on the TV screen as the movie played.

It seemed Cora had never seen any of the Star Wars movies either. Once she’d realised what they were doing, she’d asked to join them, after checking that they didn’t want alone time. They’d agreed, so now Stiles was trying to concentrate on his third favourite movie, constantly aware of the plug in his rear. He was in a state of low arousal and he was sure Cora must know. She could probably smell it on him.

Stiles tried to keep his focus on the movie, a little amused when both of the werewolves reacted with genuine surprise at the big Darth Vader reveal at the end. Had they been so shielded from pop culture that they’d missed the millions of parodies and references that had sprung up in the years since the movie’s first release? Apparently so.

The movie was in its last few minutes when Peter came into the den, leading Trevor behind him. No one said anything. Derek and Cora pretended to still be fully intent on the TV screen, but Stiles openly watched Trevor. Peter had changed his restraints, and now each limb was folded double and bound with leather straps, calf bound to thigh, forearm to upper arm. Trevor was forced to crawl forwards on elbows and knees, balanced precariously. He had a large gag stuffed in his mouth and a plug stuffed in his rear.

Peter sat down in one of the armchairs and Trevor knelt in front of him, bending forward over his knees, arms trapped under him. Peter casually raised his feet and rested them on Trevor’s back.

“What are we watching?” Peter asked.

“Star Wars,” Derek growled.

On the screen, a droid was testing the reactions of Luke’s new artificial hand.

“And it’s nearly over,” Stiles announced cheerfully.

“That’s a shame,” Peter said. “Perhaps we could watch something else as a family.”

On the TV, the music dramatically built and then the movie cut to credits.

“Nope,” Stiles said. He pulled himself out of Derek’s hold to get the player to spit out the disk. Derek tossed the remote to his uncle and stood.

They left the room in a hurry, Cora leaving right after them, though she turned the other way once in the hallway. Derek put his hand in the small of Stiles’ back and guided him away from the den.

“Maybe I should try talking to Peter again,” Stiles said.

“Forget it. I can give you something more interesting to think about than Peter.”

In the bedroom, Stiles stood and waited while Derek made preparations. His first acts seemed bizarre. He went to the closet and fetched a couple of scarves. He then took them to the bed, wrapping them around the metal bars that made up the frame at the foot of the bed. When he was done, two adjacent bars were so wrapped up the scarf wrappings were nearly touching. They were about groin height, but Stiles wasn’t sure exactly what they were for.

Derek, apparently satisfied with his handiwork, when back to the closet and dug in the chest. He came out with the leather cuffs and a load of rope. He set this collection on the bed and ordered Stiles to take his clothes off.

Stiles undressed slowly under Derek’s intense gaze. His every move was watched and he tried to make his stripping more of a show. His slowly shed his clothes, exposing skin a little at a time. The last item to go was the bracelet. Only when everything else was gone and he stood naked in front of Derek did he undo the cord and loosen it enough that he could slide the leather over his hand. He set the bracelet down carefully on top of his pile of clothes. Then he straightened and stood exposed in front of Derek, waiting for whatever was to come next.

Derek picked up the cuffs and one by one fastened them in place. Each move was infinitely careful. As he buckled the leather in place, he tested the tightness, checked that they wouldn’t rub, tested tugging on the ring to make sure they were comfortable.

Soon Stiles was naked except for the restraints and Derek led him over to stand at the end of the bed. Derek teased Stiles’ cock, coaxing a little more hardness, and then he positioned Stiles to face the bed, his legs spread, his body pressed right against the frame, his cock sliding between the scarf wrappings. Fabric pressed against his sensitive erection on either side and Stiles suspected he would soon be humping the bedframe and he was grateful his cock wasn’t pressed against cold metal.

Derek worked quickly with the ropes, tying them through the rings in the cuffs and then round the posts of the bed. He stood on the mattress so he could Stiles’ arms to the upper corners of the four-poster. Stiles was held open and vulnerable, limbs outstretched, ready for whatever Stiles had in mind.

When Stiles was thoroughly trapped, Derek made one last trip to the closet. He returned with the leather gloves, dragging them over Stiles’ skin for a minute before putting them on.

“You have no idea what you do to me like this,” Derek said. Gloved fingers trailed down Stiles’ spine. “Open. Vulnerable. Trusting.” Derek’s face buried into his neck. “Smelling of want.” Those hands stroked Stiles’ shoulders and up his outstretched arms. “You are incredible. Beautiful. Mine.”

Stiles made a strangled moaning sound. The hands trailed down his back to his ass, cupping the cheeks for a moment. Then one moved to the base of the plug. It twisted.

Stiles moaned against, thrusting as well as he was able between the scarves.

“I could leave you like this,” Derek said. He stood right behind Stiles, breathing the words into his ear. “I could leave you to decorate my bedroom, waiting for me, ready for me.” He twisted the plug again. He pressed on the base, driving it a little deeper.

“But you know what,” Derek breathed, “you’re not the only one who’s impatient.”

He pulled the plug out in one quick, smooth motion. Stiles gave a startled cry as it broke free and he was left empty, but Derek didn’t leave him that way for long. Soon Derek’s erection was filling the void.

Derek moved with fast, powerful thrusts, driving into Stiles from behind. His arms wrapped around Stiles’ chest, holding them together, pulling them into one being. Derek was still fully dressed, his clothes rubbing against Stiles’ bare skin as he pounded into him.

Stiles moved with the rhythm, helpless to do anything else, his own erection driving back and forth over the soft scarves while Derek’s thrusts hit his prostate again and again. Cries of need burst out of Stiles’ mouth, without words or thoughts to them, just the desire for the sensations that were filling him.

It was over quickly, Stiles shooting his load onto the bed as Derek came inside him. Stiles clutched at the ropes holding up his arms, knowing he’d never stay upright if it weren’t for the restraints, while Derek hung off him, heavy and breathless in the wake of his own climax.

Derek pulled out after a few moments, but he didn’t leave Stiles empty for long. He slid the plug back into place.

He unfastened the cuffs at Stiles’ ankles first and Stiles managed to get his feet under him supporting his weight again. Derek was careful to check Stiles not going to fall before he undid the cuffs at his wrists. The cuffs dangled down from the bedframe by the ropes, hanging there like promises of what was to come. Neither of them wanted to deal with tidying up at a time like this. Derek just half-carried Stiles into the bed. Stiles lay down beneath the covers while Derek stripped off his clothes and turned off the light. Stiles was almost asleep already when he felt Derek’s arms wrapping around him. Stiles leaned back into him.

“I could get used to this,” Stiles murmured.

“Good,” Derek whispered. “I don’t plan on letting you go.”

Chapter Text

Stiles managed to get out of bed without waking Derek, which was quite an achievement. He pulled on yesterday’s clothes because he didn’t stand a chance of finding something in his bag while keeping Derek asleep. He also kept the plug in, enjoying the feeling of fullness as he walked, knowing Derek would like the idea of Stiles cooking him breakfast in bed, still plugged up with yesterday’s cum.

Stiles got to the kitchen and started rummaging around for supplies for French toast. He wanted to do something nice for Derek, the words from last night still echoing in his ears. Derek didn’t plan on letting him go. Derek wanted this to last. For the first time, Stiles let himself dare hope that this might be turning into something real.

“Making yourself at home?” a voice asked.

Stiles jumped and an egg splattered on the floor by his feet. He muttered a swear word and quickly set his supplies on the counter before turning to Peter.

“I’m making breakfast for Derek and me,” Stiles said.

“It must be a pleasant change for him,” Peter said. “His usual sexual partners didn’t often stick around until breakfast.”

That was probably meant as a taunt, telling Stiles that he wasn’t the first, reminding him that this was supposed to be all about sex. Peter couldn’t know that Derek had already talked about his previous habit of picking up one night stands at BDSM clubs. Stiles wasn’t going to let it get to him.

“Why did you change the arrangement?” Stiles asked. “It seems surprising that you’re so opposed to Derek having a consort given that you’re the one who insisted he stop having one night stands and do this instead. Me being here is your idea, not his.”

“I thought this way would be safer,” Peter said. “Derek left himself vulnerable, inviting strangers to share a bed with him, bringing them in close. I thought it would be safer for him to pair up with a boy, someone inexperienced, someone too young to have been recruited by an enemy. You’re not who I had in mind.”

“Then maybe you shouldn’t have put a cage on my dick and blackmailed me into attending your party. If you hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t have been trying to hide from creepers who think my cock is their property.”

Stiles folded his arms and glared at Peter.

“So you’re still going with that story about how you were hiding when you met Derek?”

“Did it never occur to you that maybe it’s the truth?” Stiles said. “I assumed the whole chastity cage thing was Derek’s idea and I ranted to him about it and then he apologised, a much more genuine apology than yours, I should add. He didn’t want some sycophant like Trevor so we came to an agreement. There’s no mystery. There’s no secret plot. That’s all that happened. I don’t get why you have such a hard time believing it.”

“Do you think I’m a fool?” Peter asked.

“Do you really want an honest answer to that question?”

“I have watched you, Stiles. I was suspicious about your fortuitous encounter with Derek, so I decided to make sure. I’ve seen you, talking with an Argent.”

Stiles frowned, puzzled, wondering what the hell Allison had to do with any of this. She hadn’t been invited to participate, and wouldn’t have been eligible even if Peter had chosen to include girls in his party. Why would Peter care in the slightest about his friend’s girlfriend?

“Did you really think no one would notice you debating werewolf privilege with an Argent?” Peter asked. Again, he spat that name like it was a swearword. Stiles was still confused.

“Allison’s my best friend’s girlfriend. We hang out sometimes. What’s that got to do with anything?”

“Everything. Play innocent all you like, but you’ve made your views clear. Whether you have been fully recruited to the Argents’ cause or not, you’ve been vocal enough about werewolves and pack status that it’s clear you’ll be one of theirs soon enough. I won’t let an Argent spy have free access to my nephew.”

“Seriously,” Stiles said, “there’s no spying going on here. Allison is Scott’s girlfriend. I see her at school and sometimes when I hang out with Scott. That’s the limit of things. I don’t know why you hate her so much but there’s no spying. There’s just me and Derek and the stuff we do in his bedroom.”

“Stuff,” Peter almost laughed. “That tame play you think is so extreme. Do you think that will be enough to satisfy Derek for long? You argue too much. You don’t ever stop thinking about your choices, your desires. Derek likes his sexual partners to yield up to him completely, to do the things you wouldn’t even dream of. You hesitate and hold back. You play at being submissive but your heart’s not in it.”

Stiles said nothing. He knew this was just another angle for Peter, another way of driving him from Derek, but a part of him was afraid it was the truth. There were things in Derek’s chest that Derek had said he wouldn’t use on Stiles, like the chains, and the riding crop. There were things Stiles had absolutely no desire to try, like the nipples clamps. Even the gag, he knew he wouldn’t want to wear for long and he’d be quite happy to never wear again. He wasn’t as into all this as Derek so obviously was.

“You’re so keen to fight me,” Peter said. “You won’t back down but you’re only buying yourself a little time. Sooner or later, Derek will push you further than you want to go.”

“He wouldn’t push me,” Stiles said quickly.

“Then he’ll get bored. The little you give him won’t be enough to satisfy his needs. He’ll let you go. He’s only stuck with you this long because I’ve denied him the companion contracts. But you know as well as I do, he never wanted a consort. He never wanted you. He wants his clubs, his true submissives, the ones who know what they’re doing in a scene.”

Stiles didn’t want to listen. He didn’t want to hear all this, but Peter’s words didn’t stop coming and they fanned the embers of his insecurities into flames of fear. It was true that Derek hadn’t asked for a consort. Stiles had been a consolation prize because he’d been refused what he actually wanted.

“I can show you the sort of things Derek enjoys,” Peter said. “You can come upstairs with me and watch while I demonstrate all of them and more on Trevor. I will push pins through the skin of his ballsack. I will whip him with a cane until he bleeds. I will force him to drink my piss. I will pierce the end of his dick and put a ring in it so I can lead him about with a leash on his cock. I might even brand him. I can sear my mark into his flesh with burning iron. If I tell him it’s a sign of belonging, you know he’ll consent because he’ll see it as a step closer to the pack. I will let you watch while I make him bleed, and cry, and scream. And you’ll know that this is what Derek would do with those willing partners in the clubs he used to frequent.”

Stiles wasn’t afraid of Derek. He didn’t believe Derek would ever do anything like that to him. But Derek did have other toys in his chest. He had talked about his need for control. Was that a werewolf thing? An alpha thing? Stiles couldn’t forget that Derek was destined to be alpha of a pack. If Peter was telling the truth and this was the sort of thing Derek really enjoyed, then he wasn’t going to stay satisfied with Stiles forever, whatever he might say in the post-sex haze.

Stiles had known from the moment that this was a contract to have sex until one of them got bored and decided to end it. Derek could end the contract at any moment.

“Once I have eaten my breakfast,” Peter said, “I will go back and take care of Trevor. Think about that while you and Derek and pretending to be satisfied with each other.”

“Why do this to Trevor?” Stiles asked. “I know you hate me. I’m the one you think is a spy. Why hurt him?”

“Because it hurts you. I will end my contract with Trevor the second you end your contract with Derek. He doesn’t have to receive a single bruise more. You can release him. Break off your contract with Derek. If there really is no hidden agenda, it should be easy. It would happen eventually anyway and we both know it.”

Stiles did know that. He’d been telling himself that since the beginning, telling himself not to let himself get emotionally involved. He didn’t want to leave. He didn’t want to end things with Derek, but maybe it would be for the best. He could walk away before he ended up caring too much about Derek. He could walk away before walking away was too painful to consider.

And the thought of Trevor lingered. He might be able to push the thoughts aside from time to time but if he let Peter go through with his plans, he would never forgive himself. He would know for the rest of his life that he was partly complicit.

He nodded faintly.

***

Once again, Stiles found himself in the study, looking at the terms of a contract. He didn’t like these terms and Peter was not as willing as Derek to compromise.

“At least let me say goodbye to Derek before we do this,” Stiles said.

“If you walk out of this study without signing,” Peter said, “I will do to Trevor everything I described earlier, and I will also whip his ass so much he will be incapable of sitting at school next week. Everyone will know what was done to him. What you agreed to.”

“I never agreed to you torturing him.”

“If you back out now, it’s as good as agreement.” Peter nudged the paper a little closer to Stiles.

There were clauses in here about Peter, about how he would release Trevor from the companion contract with no further injury. There were also clauses stating that Peter wouldn’t involve in any activities opposed to Stiles, his family, or his friends. The contract meant protection from Peter for Stiles, Trevor, and everyone Stiles cared about. All he had to do was sign.

All he had to do was agree to never see Derek again.

He didn’t want to do this. If nothing else, it wasn’t fair on Derek to leave without a proper goodbye, without an explanation of why Stiles felt he had to do this. But Trevor’s fate was now in his hands. Stiles picked up the pen and signed.

Peter signed too, fixing his agreement to the contract.

“Go out to your car,” Peter said. “I will bring your belongings out to you.”

Stiles walked out to his jeep. He felt cold, like something inside him had been yanked out. He looked up at the house, trying to memorise the shape of it, the layout of the windows, the way the morning sun hit it through the trees. He wanted to remember this forever because he knew he’d never get to see it again. He’d never get to see Derek again.

He wanted to break down in tears. There was so much they’d never get to try. Some of it was bedroom stuff. Stiles would never get to feel that flogger against his skin. They’d never have sex in that ridiculously big bathtub. But more than that, he’d never get to share Return of the Jedi with Derek, or take him out to more cheap eateries that he’d not been to before. Stiles would never get to make Derek smile again.

He was still thinking these thoughts when Peter walked out of the house, holding Stiles’ book bag and overnight stuff. He handed both bags over. There was no sign of the leather jacket Stiles had been wearing for the last couple of weeks.

“Goodbye, Stiles. This really is best for everyone. I’m sure it won’t take Derek long to get over you.”

“You’re enjoying this far too much,” Stiles said. Peter just smiled.

Stiles opened up his bags, checking everything he needed was still inside. He wouldn’t be able to come back here if anything was left behind. Plus, this let Stiles stall. This let him put off the final moment of departure for just a few more moments. But everything was there. Stiles had no excuses left. He tossed his bags into the back seat of the jeep and went to the driver’s side.

As he sat down, he felt the plug shifting inside him, the last trace of Derek captured inside. Stiles started up the car and began driving, feeling the fullness inside, remembering that he’d never have this again.

He was about halfway home when his phone buzzed with an incoming text. At the next set of traffic lights, he fished it out and checked the message. It was from Derek. Where did you go?

Stiles tossed the phone down on the seat next to him as the light turned green. He started driving again.

A little further down the road, the phone buzzed again. Peter says you ended the contract. Why?

Stiles tightened his grip on the steering wheel and tried to hold himself together. Had Peter not told Derek about their discussions, about how he’d forced Stiles into this? Of course he hadn’t. He no doubt wanted Derek to hate Stiles, so he’d left Derek believing that Stiles had just got out of bed and left him without a word of goodbye. Derek must think Stiles was heartless.

Stiles was just parking the jeep outside his house when the next text arrived.

Did Peter do something?

This must be why Peter had insisted that Stiles not contact Derek. He didn’t want Stiles to explain himself. So all he could do was watch these texts come in. He wasn’t allowed to reply.

He grabbed his bags and let himself into the house as quietly as possible. There was a chance his dad was still in bed. He really didn’t feel like explaining this right now. He crept up the stairs and into his bedroom. He’d just shut the door behind him when his phone buzzed again.

Did I do something?

Something snapped inside Stiles. Tears broke free in a great rush. He sank down onto the floor, unable to hold himself up anymore. The thought of Derek hating him was bad enough, but this was so much worse. Derek was feeling guilty, thinking he’d done something wrong and driven Stiles away. And Stiles wasn’t allowed to ease his feelings, to tell him that he’d always been absolutely perfect.

All he could do was cry.

Chapter Text

“Do you want to talk about it?” Stiles’ dad asked. Stiles was lying in bed, staring at the wall. His dad stood over him, looking at him with concern. Stiles wasn’t sure how long he’d been standing there.

“No,” Stiles said.

“Do you want me to rough someone up?”

“No,” Stiles said. He’d love for someone to beat up Peter, but Peter was an alpha werewolf with a load of money and an army of expensive lawyers. If he didn’t rip Stiles’ dad to pieces, he’d get him arrested. Neither of which would help in any way.

“Do you want to watch Disney movies while eating ice cream?” his dad asked.

The automatic denial started to form but Stiles considered.

“Yeah,” he said. “That sounds good.”

“OK. How about you take a shower and I’ll go sort out the ice cream.”

He left the room. A moment later, Stiles stood up. He went across the hall into the bathroom and stripped off yesterday’s clothes. He also knew that the time had come for one more thing to go too. He eased the plug out of his ass. It was marked with Derek’s cum from last night and that nearly made Stiles start crying all over again.

He felt empty with the plug gone, but he couldn’t wear it to watch Disney movies with his dad. He could clean it up, use the toy cleaner Derek had given him, and put it away. He could use it again in future, when he felt ready to remember his times with Derek.

He showered, cleaning himself thoroughly. He probably stank of sex even to a human’s senses. Once he was completely clean, he got dried off and dressed, pulling on old sweats and a loose t-shirt. Comfort mattered more than appearance right now. He picked up the bracelet, the wide band of leather that Derek had given him, with that little disk inscribed with the Hale symbol. Stiles held it to his face and breathed in the scent of leather, then he slid it over his hand and started tightening up the cord that laced it on.

His phone buzzed again. He didn’t look at it this time. He didn’t want to know whether Derek was hating him or hurting.

Down in the living room, he curled up on the couch. His dad handed him a bowl of chocolate ice cream and started The Little Mermaid playing. He wasn’t sure why his dad had picked that one. He just went with it.

“I’m here,” his dad said, “if you do want to talk.”

Stiles shook his head. He spooned chocolate ice cream into his mouth.

“Should I call Scott?”

Stiles shrugged. It wasn’t like Scott could make this better.

“I’ll call Scott,” his dad said.

***

Scott turned up with more tubs of ice cream, but Stiles wasn’t in the mood for eating anymore. He was feeling a little sick. Ice cream when he hadn’t had breakfast might not have been a sensible choice. Stiles lay on the couch, staring at the screen, which was now showing Aladdin. He wasn’t sure his brain had taken in a moment of the movie.

Scott sat in the chair next to him. His dad had gone elsewhere; Stiles wasn’t even sure if he wasn’t still in the house. He couldn’t bring himself to care.

“Did he break it off?” Scott asked after a few minutes.

Stiles shook his head.

“You called it off?”

Stiles nodded.

“Did he do something?”

“No!” Stiles said the word sharply, angrily. He didn’t want people thinking that. He didn’t want anyone believing any of this was Derek’s fault. “Derek was wonderful and sweet and amazing in bed and sarcastic and... amazing.”

“Then why did you end it?” Scott asked.

“Peter,” Stiles said.

“Oh.”

They sat and watched the movie some more.

After a little while, there came a knocking on the front door.

“I’ll go see who that is,” Scott said. He returned an instant later saying, “It’s Derek. Should I let him in?”

“No,” Stiles said. He kept his voice quiet. He wasn’t supposed to talk to Derek. Talking loudly so that Derek could overhear was probably a breach of the new contract with Peter.

“Should I tell him to go?” Scott asked.

Stiles shook his head. He wasn’t supposed to pass messages to Derek. Scott telling Derek to leave on his behalf was probably also a breach. Everything was a breach.

Derek knocked on the door again, louder this time.

“Stiles!” he called out. “I just want to talk to you.”

Stiles tucked himself into a tighter ball on the couch. The tears were threatening again. He didn’t dare open his mouth because he might say something he wasn’t allowed to say. He wanted to run out there and hug Derek and tell him how sorry he was. Instead, he grabbed a cushion and hugged that to his chest.

“Stiles,” Derek called again, “just tell me what I did wrong. Give me a chance to fix this.”

Tears slid from Stiles’ eyes. He pressed his arm to his face, the leather of the bracelet against his skin. Had he screwed up? He’d let Peter push him into this. He should have held out. He should have argued. He should have fought more. But now it was done. And Derek was hurting. And Stiles was the one to blame.

“Stiles, please,” Derek called again.

“Hey!” A new voice joined the yelling outside the house. A car door slammed. Stiles’ dad was back.

Stiles heard his dad’s voice from the other side of the door, telling Derek to get the hell off their property. He’d rarely heard such anger from his dad. He didn’t hear what Derek said next, but he heard his dad’s reply.

“I don’t care!” his dad snapped. “Just get the hell out of here before I arrest you for trespassing.”

A moment later, the front door opened and then shut. His dad came into the den. He walked over to Stiles and put a hand on his shoulder.

“Don’t hate him,” Stiles said quietly. “He hasn’t done anything wrong.”

“Then why?” his dad asked, gesturing to indicate Stiles’ prone form.

“Peter,” Stiles said quietly. “Peter made me break off the contract and he hasn’t even told Derek he’s the reason for it. Derek thinks I just walked out on him without saying goodbye.”

“I could go after him,” Stiles’ dad said. “I could bring him back here and let you say goodbye.”

“I’m not allowed to. I’m not allowed to talk to him or see him or send him a text or a letter or a semaphore message or anything. I’m not allowed to communicate with him in any way.” Stiles started crying again. “I can’t tell him I’m sorry.”

***

Sunday passed in a haze of homework and trying not to think. There was nothing else from Derek. No more visits. No more texts. Maybe Derek had given up on him. Maybe Derek now hated him.

Time seemed to drag. He tried to distract himself by throwing him into his schoolwork. What was supposed to be a three page essay for economics on wealth distribution ended up being seventeen pages of commentary on the structure of privilege and how it applied to different classes and groups, human and werewolf. He did answer Coach’s question somewhere in those pages though so he decided he’d hand it in anyway. His chemistry write-up was a polished gem complete with diagrams and references to research papers from four universities and an analysis of how the results of their experiment were applicable in the real world.

It was easier than thinking about Derek.

When Monday came, he dragged himself out of bed and pulled clothes on, including the bracelet. He couldn’t bear to leave it at home. It felt like leaving the bracelet would be leaving Derek behind forever. He wasn’t ready to do that.

School looked the same as ever, but it felt different. There were the same people talking about their weekends or the coming classes, panicking about forgotten homework, discussing lacrosse, all the usual things. Stiles walked through the halls like he was a ghost, passing invisible people ranks of people who didn’t know how empty he was feeling. He didn’t exist to them.

Or maybe he did. As he was drifting along, someone shoved into him from behind. He might have thought it an accident, but there was enough force behind it to nearly send him face-first into the lockers. When he looked to see who’d shoved him, Malia gave him a glance over her shoulder before she headed off to her own locker.

Stiles said nothing. He went to his locker and started sorting out his books, grabbing what he needed for the first few classes.

“So you’ll abandon Derek but you’ll keep his gifts,” an angry voice said. Stiles looked across at Boyd, who was glaring at the bracelet on Stiles’ wrist. Stiles ran a finger over the leather. He caught the metal tag and ran his thumb across the etched mark.

“Derek wanted me to wear it and think about him,” Stiles said. He knew it sounded pathetic, but he didn’t want Boyd or anyone thinking he’d just been using Derek to get stuff.

“Now you’re thinking about Derek?” Boyd asked. “Maybe you could have thought about him when he was panicking that you’d disappeared.”

“Peter knew where I’d gone,” Stiles said, “and why.”

“And you thought that was enough? You didn’t think Derek deserved an apology or an explanation or anything?” Boyd was so angry that Stiles could see his nails starting to extend into claws. Stiles was about to be eviscerated by an angry werewolf, but he couldn’t find the energy to care about that. If Boyd killed him, so be it.

“He deserves all of that,” Stiles said.

“Then why won’t you give it to him?”

“Ask Peter.”

Stiles slammed his locker shut and grabbed his bag, but he couldn’t even feel really angry with Peter. Anger took too much energy. He just slung his bag over his shoulder and started towards his first class.

When Danny looked at Stiles’ contribution for the chemistry project, he asked if Stiles was overcompensating for something. Stiles shrugged and they handed it their work.

“You OK?” Danny asked.

Stiles shrugged again.

“When you stop talking it’s time to worry,” Danny said. “What happened?”

“Nothing.”

Harris walked into the room to call the class to order and Danny lowered his volume.

“Can I do anything?” he asked. Stiles shook his head.

“Quiet, everyone,” Harris ordered. “Lahey, put phone away unless you’re trying to get it confiscated.”

Stiles glanced round. Near the back of the classroom, Isaac had been tapping away at something on his phone. He slipped it under the desk now, out of sight. For an instant, Isaac met Stiles’ eye. Stiles turned away.

***

Stiles somehow made it through the day. Coach commented on his silence during economics, asking if Stiles was ill because he wasn’t, “Talking so much my ears start bleeding.” Stiles just shrugged away the concern. At the end of the day, Coach called Stiles back to his office for a talk. Stiles went along reluctantly, not at all looking forward to what was bound to be a horribly uncomfortable conversation.

“Coach, this really isn’t necessary,” Stiles said, “I’m fine.”

“Oh, you’re not here for your health, Stilinski,” Coach said. “I wanted to talk to you about your paper.”

Stiles waited for the inevitable tirade about his lack of focus and inability to stick to the subject of a paper.

“Have you thought about getting it published?” Coach asked.

“What?”

“It needs some tidying up. And by that I mean a lot of tidying up. Your train of thought goes all over the place at times, but there are some great insights in here, particularly around how werewolf status impacts economic privilege.”

“Published?” Stiles said.

“You need to focus it a lot first. Get the word count down, trim out the fluff and the random detours and stuff like that. I’ve made some notes.”

He handed over the paper, which had been scrawled over with red pen. Coach had marked the first three paragraphs and scrawled Tidy the F Up!!!! in the margin.

“Published?” Stiles said again.

“I may be a high school teacher but I know a few people in the economics journals. It’s worth a shot. Get me a second draft by the end of the week and I’ll help you put a submission together. Now get the hell out of my office, Stilinski. I’ve got to mark the papers of people who actually stick to the assigned subject.”

“Right,” Stiles said, then he added, “Thanks.”

He tucked his red-covered paper into his bag and headed out of the office. The halls were quieter now, most of the students out of the school the second they could escape. He started towards the door.

He stepped round a corner and into the swinging stroke of a lacrosse stick.

Pain flared up his arm and stumbled back a step, nearly dropping his bag in shock. Trevor stood in front of him, fury on his face.

“What the hell?” Stiles demanded.

“It’s your fault,” Trevor snarled. “I’ll never be in the pack now and it’s your fault!”

He swung the stick again. This time, Stiles managed to bring his bag up to shield the blow, but his arm jolted from the impact. Then Trevor dropped the stick and just launched at Stiles, raining down punches.

Stiles hurried back, trying to get out of reach, but his foot caught the fallen stick and his leg went out from under him. As he hit the ground hard, Trevor was already there with kicks to his ribs and stomach. When he spoke again, every word was punctuated with a kick that sent waves of pain through his torso.

“It’s! All! Your! Fault!”

Stiles tried to curl in on himself, to create a small target, but the kicks kept coming, with furious rage powering each one.

“Hey!” a voice yelled. “Get off him!”

Chapter Text

Stiles sat in the little room in the hospital, waiting for the results of the x-rays. He had an icepack clutched to his arm while he tried to hold another one against his chest with his elbow. His dad had been called and was apparently on his way. Isaac sat in the visitor’s chair.

“I knew he didn’t like you,” Isaac was saying, “but I didn’t expect him to flip out like that.”

“He hates me because Peter dropped his companion contract,” Stiles said, “and now he’s not going to be invited to join the pack.”

“Peter was never going to invite him to join anyway.”

“You know that and I know that, but Trevor doesn’t seem to.”

His stomach and chest throbbed. This was going to cause him serious problems because talking seemed to make it worse. The doctors were waiting until the results of the x-rays to decide what painkillers to give him.

“He’s the reason you backed out of the contract, isn’t he?” Isaac said.

Stiles nodded. He wasn’t allowed to talk to Derek, but Peter hadn’t made him promise not to talk to any of the others. He just wasn’t allowed to give them messages to pass on to Derek.

“We thought you’d just got bored or something,” Isaac said, “but today you’ve looked as miserable as Derek. I figured there had to be more to it than you just deciding you’d had enough. Plus, you’re still wearing his bracelet. You wouldn’t do that if you’d just decided to dump him.”

“Peter told me what he planned to do to Trevor,” Stiles said. “He said the only way he’d stop was if I left Derek forever.”

“So you save Trevor and he kicks the crap out of you for it? That’s gotta smart.”

Stiles looked pointedly at his ice pack.

“I don’t get him,” Isaac said. “I mean, I wanted to join the pack but I wouldn’t have let Peter treat me like that. I wouldn’t let anyone do that. Why the hell does it matter so much to him?”

Stiles shrugged. He regretted the action, his arm throbbing at the movement. Everything hurt right now. He wished he could go back in time and tell Peter where to stick his deal. He’d done this to help Trevor and Trevor’s reaction had been to whack him with a lacrosse stick and kick him hard enough that the doctors were checking for broken ribs and arm.

The door burst open. Stiles’ dad rushed into the room, hurrying over and reaching out like he intended to hug him, but pulling back at the last instant.

“Stiles, what happened?” he asked. Then he seemed to notice Isaac and rounded on him, “What did you do?”

Isaac held up his hands in surrender. It was hardly surprising, as Stiles’ dad was in full uniform looked a heartbeat way from pulling his weapon.

“Dad,” Stiles said quickly, “Isaac helped me. He’s the reason I’m not a bloody puddle on the school floor right now.”

“What happened?” his dad asked.

“Trevor,” Stiles said.

“Peter’s companion?”

“Not anymore. Peter broke off his contract with Trevor and now Trevor is mad at me because he won’t get the werewolf bite.”

His dad still looked puzzled, “I don’t get why he’d think that’s your fault.”

Stiles just shrugged the shoulder of his unhurt arm.

“Tell me from the beginning,” his dad said. So Stiles did. He told his dad about the way Peter mistrusted him and was hurting Trevor to send him a message, and about Peter’s threats and the proposed new contract, about how Peter would leave Trevor alone only if Stiles promised never to see Derek ever again, and about how Trevor hated Stiles and held him to blame for the fact he wasn’t going to become a werewolf. He explained about how Trevor had attacked him out of nowhere and how Isaac and stepped in and got him to the hospital.

His dad listened to it all, lips pressed tightly together. He didn’t say anything right away, but his posture screamed his anger. At last, he dragged a hand through his hair and addressed Stiles.

“Do you want to press assault charges against Trevor?” he asked.

Stiles considered. He was mad as hell with Trevor, furious that he’d done this when all Stiles had done was protect him. But it somewhat defeated the point of protecting him to go after him now. On the other hand, if Trevor just got away with this attack, what was to stop him trying again?

“No,” Stiles said, “but don’t let him know that right away. Make him sweat a bit.”

His dad nodded, understanding. “I’ll bring him into the station and use lots of terms like ‘aggravated assault’ and give him an official warning. If he touches you again though, I will throw the book at him.”

It was nice that his dad was leaving this decision with Stiles. Stiles had expected his dad to try and squeeze every bit of retribution out of the legal system, but Trevor had been hurt enough lately.

The doctor returned, announcing that there were no breaks, though there was some bruising around Stiles’ ribs and he should be careful for a while. She gave him some painkillers and told him to switch to over the counter pain medication when they ran out.

The little group of them headed out to the reception area for Stiles’ dad to finish dealing with the paperwork. Isaac lingered. Stiles wasn’t sure if he was still acting as bodyguard. But near the reception area, Isaac hesitated. He sniffed the air.

“What is it, Lassie?” Stiles asked.

“Trevor was here.”

“What?”

“His scent. Trevor’s been through here. Probably recently, or it would have been overwhelmed by the disinfectant smell.”

“Weird,” Stiles said. “Do you think he was here to see how badly I was hurt?”

If that was the case, he felt less conflicted about the decision not to press charges. Maybe Trevor felt bad about what he’d done.

“I don’t know,” Isaac said. “All I know is that he was here.”

***

Stiles walked into school, a small bruise on his cheek and a horrendous purple-black swollen mess on his arm. His ribs still ached whenever he did anything strenuous. Like breathing. He carried his bag over his good shoulder, but he didn’t carry it far. As soon as he stepped into the school, Boyd insisted on carrying it for him. Stiles wondered if this was his way of apologising for confronting him the day before. It was clear that the attitude of the werewolf pack had changed. He wasn’t sure that the pity in their eyes was any better than anger.

When lunch came, Erica and Malia cornered him and insisted that he eat with them. Malia carried his tray for him. Stiles wanted to argue that he could carry his own tray, but his bruised arm was throbbing so he just went with it. He sat down at their table, while Isaac and Boyd came to join them.

“You know I’m not the consort anymore,” he said. “I’m not an honorary pack member or anything so you don’t have to be nice to me.”

The werewolves eyed each other, something significant passing in their looks.

“Derek’s miserable,” Isaac said, “and he’s angry. He wants to do something about it, if you’re up for it.”

“I can’t,” Stiles said. “I can’t see him. I can’t even send him a message.”

There was another significant look. Erica looked downright evil.

“You don’t have to do either,” Erica said. She reached into her backpack, pulling out a small brown paper bag. She passed it to him under the table, handling it so carefully it was like she thought it might explode.

Stiles held the bag under the level of the table and opened it a crack, peeking inside. He started laughing.

That turned out to be a mistake because it made his ribs scream in pain, but he couldn’t help it. Even when his eyes filled with tears, he was still halfway to laughter.

“Are you in?” Erica asked.

Stiles wanted to say yes, but it wasn’t as simple as that. For one thing, he was extremely suspicious of these guys bringing messages from Derek, because the last time they’d said they were doing that, they were acting as spies for Peter. Besides, if this really was from Derek, Peter would be absolutely furious. Stiles felt his bruises throb and wondered what Peter might do to him for this challenge.

But one thought washed aside all fears. Derek wanted to take this risk for him. For him. This wasn’t about casual sex. This was about Derek being miserable without him and wanting to stand up to his alpha to get him back. This bag and its contents were a sign of how serious Derek was taking this.

Stiles couldn’t say no to that.

“I’m in,” Stiles said.

***

Stiles sat in the passenger seat of Isaac’s car. The rest of the werewolves were car sharing in the other car so it was just the two of them. He had his book bag at his feet and the paper bag with Derek’s gifts on his lap.

“You know you don’t have to go through with this,” Isaac said. “Derek wanted us to tell you that you can back out any time you like.”

Normally Stiles would have made some sarcastic comment about being treated like a baby, but he was actually grateful. If nothing else, it was exactly the sort of thing Derek would insist on saying, which made him feel happier that this was really Derek’s plan and not Peter luring him into a horrible torture trap.

Isaac pulled over to the side of the road on the outskirts of the Hale lands. Stiles fiddled with the bag.

“So,” said Isaac, “should I text him?”

“Yeah.”

“You’d better get ready then.”

Stiles pulled the first of Derek’s gifts out of the bag. It was a gag. A small, slightly squishy, rubber ball was attached to leather straps. Stiles put the ball into his mouth and fastened it in place. The gag was smaller than the one he’d worn in Derek’s room, which he hoped meant it would be less likely to make his jaw ache. He could still move his mouth around a bit even with the straps done up tightly, but any attempts at speech would be mangled and unintelligible.

He pulled out the second item: an airline sleep mask. He positioned it over his eyes as a blindfold. So now he couldn’t see Derek and he couldn’t communicate with Derek. He was obeying the terms of the agreement with Peter.

And Peter was not going to be happy about it.

Stiles fidgeted with the now-empty paper bag. He crumpled it and uncrumpled it, and twisted it around between his hands until there was a tearing noise. It seemed being blindfolded was a lot less fun when he was sitting in a car with Isaac imagining Peter ripping him to tiny pieces with his bare claws.

“He’s here,” Isaac said. Stiles had been thinking about Peter right then and Isaac’s words nearly triggered a panic attack.

But the car door opened. A few moments later, it shut again, and then Derek was there saying, “Hi, Stiles.”

Stiles couldn’t say anything back with the gag in his mouth, but he relaxed a little against the seat. Derek was here. This wasn’t Peter getting the wolves to lie to him. This was Derek fighting for him.

“I know you can’t talk to me,” Derek said. “You probably shouldn’t even nod or shake your head or anything. So I’m just going to sit here for a minute. If you don’t want to go through with this, you can get out of the car and then I’ll leave and let Isaac take you home. But if you stay in the car then I’m going to assume you want to fight Peter about this situation. I’ll drive us to the house and we’ll go inside. I’ll make sure you don’t bump into any doorways or anything. And I’ll tell Peter that I’m going to find a way to see you whether he likes it or not. He will be angry so if you don’t want to do this, I don’t blame you. You can leave.”

There was silence.

Stiles wished he’d unbuckled his seatbelt so that he could buckle it up again now to show Derek he was serious, but if started fiddling with it now, Derek might interpret it as him having second thoughts. He couldn’t think of a way to imply that he was ready other than sitting here and waiting, and he really hated waiting. Stiles couldn’t even see his watch to see how long he’d been waiting. It could be three minutes or three seconds.

“OK,” Derek said. “I’m going to start the car now. If you want out, you’ve still got a chance to get out.”

The car engine started. By this point, Stiles had torn the paper bag to shreds, but he hadn’t otherwise move.

After another long silence, the car started moving.

“This is really awkward,” Derek said.

Stiles wanted to roll his eyes or say, “No shit.” He couldn’t do either. He prodded at the gag with his tongue, shifting it around in his mouth. Hopefully the movement would keep the ache from setting in.

“I guess that was a stupid thing to say,” Derek said.

Stiles wondered if there was a sign language gesture to indicate that he was rolling his eyes behind the blindfold. Except that would definitely count as communication and be therefore banned under the terms of his contract with Peter.

“Usually you’re the one doing all the talking,” Derek went on. “I’m not sure what to do in this situation. It must be worse for you. Are you going into withdrawal from having to stay quiet?”

The faint noise of laughter didn’t count as communication, particularly because it was caught by the gag and cut short because of the aching in his ribs.

The car came to a halt.

“We’re here,” Derek said. “If you’ve changed your mind, just stay in the car and I’ll know to take you home.”

Stiles undid his seatbelt and then fumbled for the door handle. He got out of the car by himself, which hopefully gave the intended message that he was going to see this through. He was scared out of his mind, but he’d come this far and he wasn’t going to walk away now.

He wasn’t going to walk anywhere at the moment because he risked falling flat on his face. Derek seemed to understand that. He was at Stiles’ side in moments, hand on Stiles’ arm, guiding him towards the house.

“We’re at the steps,” he warned a few seconds later, and Stiles lifted his feet, walking slowly up the front steps of the house, feeling carefully with each foot before setting it down. Derek didn’t hurry him in any way but his strong hands were there to catch him if he should fall.

At the top of the steps, Derek guided him forward again, opening the door for him. Stiles tried to walk more confidently, trusting in Derek to not let him crash into anything. He tried to work out where they were by the steps they’d taken and the feel of the surface beneath his feet. Hard stone of the entrance hall, plush carpeting of the hallway, then something hard again, probably the smooth wood of the dining room.

Derek let go of Stiles’ arm and Stiles froze. There was a scraping noise and then Derek was back, guiding him to a chair. Definitely the dining room. Stiles sat down and pulled the chair automatically in to the table, even though he wouldn’t be able to eat with this gag in.

He shifted the gag around in his mouth again, adjusting his jaw around it. It was more comfortable than the ring gag had been, but he still wanted this thing out. It felt like an intruder, forcing its way into him. He would be glad to rip it out and never wear a gag again, but he had a point to make here. So he settled for just moving his mouth around it and trying to keep the muscles of his jaw from aching.

“Are you OK?” Derek asked. Stiles didn’t nod. Nodding was communication. Instead, he reached out until he found Derek’s leg. He was seated at the chair beside him. Stiles had been hoping for Derek’s hand, but he’d take what he could find. He squeezed Derek’s thigh gently.

“I’ll take that as a yes,” Derek said. Stiles smile around the gag.

“Hey,” another voice said, Cora giving a cheerful greeting. “I’m about to start the dinner prep. You guys want a drink or anything?”

“What do you think?” Derek snapped, angry.

“I think you’re not the only ones who can be inventive,” she replied.

Stiles tried to figure out what was going on by sound alone. He could hear faint noises of Cora moving around in the kitchen next door, but nothing he could easily identify. Then her footsteps returned and there was the soft, metallic sound that could have been a can being set on wood. He heard Derek’s faint huff of amusement.

“There’s a straw,” Derek said. He took one of Stiles’ hands, guiding it towards the cold soda can. Stiles felt for it with the other hand, finding the straw. He fed the straw into his mouth around the gag and sipped a little of the drink, tilting his head back slightly to make it easier to swallow.

“I’m going to make soup for dinner,” Cora said. Stiles would no doubt make a ridiculous picture drinking soup through a straw, but he’d assumed he wouldn’t get to eat at all, so this was appreciated. It would also be a clear message to Peter that Derek wasn’t alone in this. It might all be for nothing, of course. It was highly likely that Peter would throw him out the second he realised Stiles was here.

The younger members of the pack joined them soon, with Isaac and Boyd doing their homework at the dining table. No one said it, but Stiles guessed they all wanted to be here when the fireworks started going off. He wasn’t sure if they wanted to support Derek, or if they just wanted front row seats for the show. Stiles just sat there and listened to them talk, unable to contribute, sipping his drink through the straw.

Derek touched him constantly. It wasn’t intrusive, just a touch of a hand on his leg, or squeezing his shoulder, or brushing gently over his neck. Every second, there was that faint reminder that Stiles wasn’t alone.

There was a slamming noise that killed all the quiet conversation and making Stiles jump. Soda splashed down his front from the can he’d been holding. In the utter silence that lay over the dining room, Peter’s voice demanded, loud and angry, “What the hell is he doing here?”

Chapter Text

“Hello, Peter,” Derek said. His voice sounded astonishingly calm. Stiles set his soda can down and tried to hide his nerves. He fidgeted with the tag on the bracelet.

“What is he doing here?” Peter asked again.

“He’s joining us for dinner as my guest,” Derek said.

“Clearly you didn’t think our agreement was worth keeping, Stiles.”

“Stiles can’t answer right now,” Derek said. He put his fingers against Stiles’ cheek and gently turned Stiles’ head, presumably so Peter would get a clear view of the gag in Stiles’ mouth. “He’s not seeing me. He’s not communicating with me. He is following the terms of your agreement, but I never agreed to not see him.”

There was a pause. Then Peter said coldly, “You should have left matters alone, Stiles. Do you really think you’re the only one who can work around contract wording?”

“This wasn’t Stiles’ idea,” Derek said. “He was following your rules and staying away from me. He wasn’t even replying to my texts. I went to talk to him and he wouldn’t let me into his house or even acknowledge that he heard me knocking. He was doing everything you wanted, but you didn’t consider that none of this was what I wanted.”

“I only have your best interests in mind,” Peter said. Derek scoffed.

“You think you’re better placed than me to decide who I should be with?” Derek asked.

“Frankly, yes. Look at your track record.”

“Yes, I made a mistake,” Derek said. “Yes, it was a terrible mistake and yes it cost us everything. But I was sixteen years old! Did it never occur to you that maybe I’ve learned since then?”

“Clearly you haven’t,” said Peter, “since you’ve let yourself be manipulated by someone who’ll invite an Argent into his house as a friend to discuss the problems of werewolf privilege.”

Allison again? What was Peter’s problem with her? There was also the worrying fact that Stiles’ conversation with Allison had taken place in his own home. Had Peter been stalking him? Spying on him?

There were a million questions running through his mind but he couldn’t ask any of them. The gag in his mouth prevented Stiles for demanding explanations. Thankfully, the others had no such restrictions.

“Are you talking about Allison?” Isaac asked.

“You know her?” Derek asked. There was something Stiles couldn’t recognise in his voice. Stiles really wished he could see Derek’s face right now, because that strain in his tone was painful to hear.

“Yeah, I share three classes with her,” Isaac answered. “She seems nice.”

“She’s pretty bad ass too,” Erica added. “We did this self-defence course in gym once and one of the guys took the opportunity to cop a feel. She flipped him over her back, put her foot over his groin, and asked him how he liked to be touched without permission. It was pretty awesome.”

Stiles remembered that class. It would be hard not to. Allison had made her point about touching and then spent most of the rest of the class teaching Scott how to throw a punch, including a lot more stroking of arms than was strictly necessary.

Now, he heard confusion in the voices of most of the pack. Whatever problem Peter had with the Argents, it was clear that the more recent members of the pack didn’t share it.

“What’s she got to do with anything?” Boyd asked. “So she and Stiles hang out sometimes. So what? She’s dating his friend, isn’t she? Next you’ll be telling me I can’t be around Derek because Allison and I worked on a history presentation together.”

When Peter answered, his voice was hard and cold. “Derek understands the dangers of bringing an Argent into our circle of trust.”

“Stiles isn’t Kate,” Derek said.

“He’s an Argent’s ally. If you insist on believing that he found you by accident on the night of the party, then you’re more foolish than I thought.”

Stiles was feeling completely lost. He’d heard Peter’s remarks before about Derek and people using him, but there was so much context he was missing. He hated not being able to say anything, not being able to ask the questions that were burning in his mind. Who was Kate? What did Derek mean about his mistakes? What the hell was Peter on about? Why was Peter so convinced that just talking to Allison made him a threat to Derek?

“Stiles isn’t trying to use me,” Derek said.

“Your naivety astounds me sometimes, nephew.”

“What do you think he’s trying to gain?”

“Perhaps we shouldn’t have this discussion in front of him.”

“No,” Derek snapped. “We’re having this conversation. Stiles deserves to hear what exactly you’re accusing him of.”

“I don’t like tipping my hand to an enemy about how much I may or may not know.”

“If you keep your paranoia to yourself, how can anybody convince you of anything? No, if you want to convince me that Stiles is out to get me, you can do it in front of him.”

“Very well. There are several things he might be seeking. If he is an Argent spy, he could be seeking entry into our home in order to gain information.”

“What kind of information?” Derek asked.

“Information to weaken our political or economic standing, or to sway public opinion against the pack.”

Stiles wasn’t sure what Peter’s secrets were, but he couldn’t imagine anything would sway public opinion worse than the knowledge of how Peter enjoyed torturing innocent teenagers.

“Stiles hasn’t been in your study since he got here,” Derek said. That wasn’t quite true, but Derek didn’t know that was where Stiles had signed his new agreement with Peter. “He hasn’t tried to access your files or computer or anything. Not once. I don’t think he’s going to gain insight into our economic standing by knowing my favourite sexual positions.”

“Then he might have been sent to weaken the pack. He has certainly succeeded in dividing us.”

It was Cora who snorted and said, “Like we needed any outside help for that.”

“Then what if he is here to scope out our property to help the Argents plan another attack?” Peter asked.

Stiles noted one particular word in that sentence: another. The Argents had already attacked them once. The pieces were starting to fit together, a jigsaw with too many holes but the hint of a picture forming. Derek had been tricked by one of the Argents, this Kate that he’d named earlier. She’d gotten close to him and then attacked the pack. Stiles remembered Derek’s comments about losing everything.

He might not know much about the history here, but he’d lived in Beacon Hills long enough to know about the fire that had wiped out more than half the pack. What if it hadn’t been the accident everyone said it was? If it had been an attack, if Allison’s family was behind it, then maybe that would explain somewhat why Peter was so worried about someone who hung out occasionally with an Argent.

“I don’t believe Stiles would attack us,” Derek said.

Once again, Stiles wished he could take the gag out. He would love to argue vehemently that he wouldn’t do anything to hurt Derek.

“You expect me to risk the safety of the entire pack based on what you believe?” Peter asked.

“One day, you’ll have to. I’m supposed to take over the position of alpha one day. You can’t decide my judgements are worthless until the end of time because of one screw up.”

Stiles felt very small sitting in that dining room, this argument raging around him. He was such a small piece of the disagreement. Derek and Peter were arguing about their history, about enemies, about a lack of trust that had taken root long before he’d come on the scene. He was a catalyst to this argument but there were so many factors he couldn’t do anything about. He couldn’t change Derek’s history. He couldn’t erase old mistakes. He couldn’t change the way Peter discounted Derek’s choices now.

The silence lingered in the wake of Derek’s statement. Stiles fidgeted with the metal tag on his bracelet, running his fingers over the curves of the spiral. He hated the blindfold. He couldn’t read anyone’s faces. He had no idea what Peter might be thinking or doing.

It was Boyd who broke the silence.

“I don’t think Stiles is capable of being as sneaky as you seem to think he is,” Boyd said. Stiles wasn’t sure if he was being insulted or complemented.

“He’s got a point,” Erica added. “He can’t even come up with a good excuse when he forgets his homework.”

Stiles would have liked to say that he came up with some amazing excuses. One English teacher had actually given him points for an excuse once, since the assignment he’d forgotten was a creative writing assignment and he’d been particularly creative with his reason for not having it.

“He managed to find Derek alone on the night of the party,” Peter said. “That shows some ingenuity.”

“Sorry, Peter,” said Isaac. “I’m with Boyd and Erica on this one. I don’t think Stiles is some evil spy. Besides, if he was, why would he have signed your agreement to leave Derek alone forever?”

“Whatever his reasons, he has signed it. He is not allowed to see Derek or communicate with him. He is no longer Derek’s consort so a physical relationship between them would be illegal. This show is a pointless exercise. I will never agree to a new companion contract for Stiles.”

“I’m more concerned about the fact that I can’t have a conversation with him,” Derek said. Stiles smiled around his gag at that. If he needed proof that this was about more than sex to Derek, that was it.

“He signed the agreement,” Peter said. “He knew what it meant.”

“He signed it under duress,” Derek snapped. “Coerced consent is not consent at all. In fact, I’m not sure your contract is legally valid, given that Stiles only signed up because you were threatening to torture someone else. In fact, screw it.”

Stiles felt fingers at the side of his face and then he was blinking in the sudden light as the blindfold was ripped away. Derek was next to him, glaring at Peter. Stiles had broken his agreement with Peter. Technically speaking, Derek had broken it for him. He wasn’t sure Peter would care much about that technicality, given how he was glaring back at Derek.

“You could take him to court for breaking the contract,” Derek said, “but I really don’t think any of this would reflect well on you. Do you? Come on, Stiles, let’s go out to eat.”

Derek stood and waited for Stiles to stand too before storming out past Peter. Peter glowered after them.

“I still won’t agree to a companion contract,” Peter called after them.

Derek didn’t reply. Stiles still couldn’t.

They left the house together and hurried down the steps to the Camaro. Only when they were both inside the car, with Derek driving them away from the house, did Stiles reach up for the straps of the gag. He undid the buckle as quickly as possible and spit the ball out.

“Thank god,” he muttered.

“Are you OK?” Derek asked.

“I hate gags,” Stiles said. “I hope you don’t mind if with never, ever use gags in the bedroom because that was seriously not fun.”

“Right now, I think we’ll be lucky if we get to do anything in the bedroom ever again. At least until Peter’s dead.”

“You should probably be careful of your tone when saying things like that because that almost sounded like you were plotting his murder.”

“Only almost?”

“Murdering your uncle is not a valid solution to our situation.”

“Shame.”

***

They ended up at a Mexican restaurant, where Derek floored Stiles by ordering their food in perfect Spanish. At least, Stiles assumed it was perfect. He hadn’t the faintest idea what was actually said. The waitress seemed to understand and they had a brief conversation.

“You spend a lot of time in Mexico?” Stiles asked, once the waitress had taken their order.

“I’ve only been once. Travelling is difficult as a werewolf. We have to request permission from the alpha of every territory we pass through, and we have to provide itineraries and even a slight deviation could be seen as an incursion into someone else’s territory. It’s all very formal and complicated and annoying.”

“But what if you flew? Surely then you’d only need permission at the end point.”

“The rules were put in place before flight was common. Technically, we’re supposed to ask permission for all the territories below the flight path, which is a nightmare to calculate. Plus, flight is restricted since 9/11 as werewolves are considered a potential threat to security. We can only fly if we can prove we couldn’t reasonably make non-flight travel plans.”

“I had no idea,” Stiles said.

Derek shrugged, “Werewolves don’t try to travel often enough for it to come up much, so it’s not common knowledge.”

Stiles wondered what else he didn't know.

“Do you want to talk about what happened with your family and the Argents?” Stiles asked.

“Not really.”

“OK, but if Peter’s going to hate me for being in the same room as Allison, I should at least know something

Derek didn’t meet his eye.

“The Argents don’t like werewolves,” he said. “They’ve turned hating werewolves into a family business. They campaign against werewolf privilege, say we have too many rights, say that we should wear identification in public because we’re a danger, all sorts. Some of it has a point, but other things would designate werewolves a subspecies and strip us of our rights. Some of them weren’t happy that their anti-werewolf campaigns weren’t getting much traction and decided to take action. When I met Kate, I was young and stupid, and she was attractive and... no, that’s about it.”

“She used you,” Stiles said. It wasn’t a question. After everything Derek and Peter had said, there could be no other conclusion.

“She made me think she loved me,” Derek said. “I invited her back to our house. She burned it down.”

“Holy crap.” Stiles had guessed some of this, but it didn’t prepare him for hearing Derek say it.

“She used me to murder my family. It’s no wonder Peter doesn’t trust my decisions.”

“In your defence, who the hell would expect someone to be plotting murder against their entire family? No one would see that one coming.”

Derek was staring at the table. Stiles reached out and took his hand, squeezing gently.

“I’m not another Kate,” Stiles said.

“I know. I just don’t know how to get Peter to believe it.”

“Do you think he’s going to be plotting horrible things to do to me now that I’ve broken his stupid contract?”

“Now I’ve broken it,” Derek corrected. “And probably, but there are limits to what he can do. He’s still got to obey the law and if he tries to take you to court over breaking the contract, you can argue duress and he risks the whole situation with Trevor becoming far too public. Werewolf privilege protects him so far, but even he doesn’t want too much bad publicity.”

“How come you can talk about werewolf privilege,” Stiles asked, “but when I talk about it, he decides I’m an enemy.”

“Werewolf privilege,” Derek answered, deadpan. Stiles gave a laugh. For the first time since the blindfold came off, Derek gave a hint of a smile.

Chapter Text

Stiles sat at the dinner table with his dad, prodding at the food in front of him while he tried to work out how to bring up the subject of Derek. His dad was watching him suspiciously. He hadn’t said anything yet, but Stiles still felt like he was sitting at an interrogation table while the detective was waiting for him to confess to a crime.

“So,” Stiles said. He stopped.

“So?” his dad prompted after a minute of silence.

“Hypothetically speaking,” Stiles started.

His dad put his cutlery down, linked his fingers in front of him, and muttered, “This is going to be good.”

Stiles ignored him and continued, “How far could I go with Derek before it became technically illegal?”

“Are we discussing the fact that he’s a werewolf or the fact that your sixteen?”

“Yes.”

“As a werewolf, any penetrative sexual act would be illegal for him. As a sixteen-year-old, you are not to so much as take your clothes off in front of him or I will arrest him and you will be grounded until you graduate college.”

“But he’s already seen everything.”

“Stiles, are you trying to give me an aneurism?”

“I’m just trying to work out where things stand between me and Derek now that the contract’s void,” Stiles said.

His dad sighed, “I think you know where you stand, Stiles. You can’t legally continue a sexual relationship with him. Even if you wait until you turn eighteen, you can’t do anything that involves penetration without his alpha’s consent, which it sounds like you’ll never get.”

It was Stiles’ turn to sigh. He guessed this was when he’d find out how important the sex part of the relationship was to Derek.

***

Stiles and Derek sat across from each other at a cheap restaurant Stiles had eaten at from time to time. Derek looked around with suspicion at their setting, seeing the sticky tables, the dirt in the corners of the room, and the gruff man at the counter who had no concept of customer service and had barely gasped the basic of personal hygiene. Every other table was empty and the guy at the counter seemed offended that customers were interrupting his night.

“Are you sure about this place?” Derek asked. That was the second time he’d asked. He’d asked when they were outside and Stiles had announced that this was the place he’d picked for their date.

“Just don’t order anything with chicken,” Stiles said. Derek raised an eyebrow.

“We can go somewhere else,” he said. “I’ll pay.”

“This isn’t about the money. You haven’t eaten until you’ve tried to food here.”

“You just told me to avoid it.”

“You might actually be fine. Do werewolves get food poisoning?”

“I don’t want to find out,” Derek said.

The gruff guy came over and glared down at their table.

“You two ordering anything?” he asked. He looked put out by the fact he had customers.

“I’ll take the honey pork special,” Stiles said. “He’ll have something with beef. Surprise him.”

Derek’s glare matched the counter guy’s. Derek looked up at him.

“If your food makes him sick,” Derek warned him, “I will make you eat his vomit.”

Counter guy scribbled down the order and walked away. Stiles just sat there, smiling at Derek, wondering how someone could be enormously sweet and scary as hell at the same time.

“Why are we here?” Derek asked.

“Because I don’t want to have date night with your uncle,” Stiles said. Derek stared at him, unhappy with the answer. “Because you, with all your privilege, have missed out on so much of life, including restaurants that have nearly been shut down by health inspectors more times than I can count but still keep going because their food tastes divine. I intend to educate you.”

“You consider this educational?”

“You’ll see.”

Stiles smiled at him and sipped his drink. They were skirting around the real reason they were here tonight, avoiding the issues that they needed to discuss. Stiles knew they would have to talk about them eventually. But when the words rose in his throat, they died on his lips. It was easier to smile and joke.

“Are you OK?” Derek asked. So much for jokes. It surprised Stiles how well Derek could read what was going on inside his head.

Stiles fidgeted with the tag on his bracelet.

“What’s going to happen to us?” he asked.

“What do you mean? Peter can’t publicly come after us without opening himself up to publicity he doesn’t want.”

“I meant... our relationship.” Stiles didn’t think he’d used that word before, at least not with Derek. It seemed to have weight to it, lying heavy on the table between them.

“Ah,” Derek said.

“We can’t have a penetrative relationship without a contract signed by Peter. And we can’t even do non-penetrative stuff until I turn eighteen or my dad will probably arrest you.” He wasn’t certain how serious his dad was about arresting Derek, but he’d sounded serious enough that Stiles didn’t want to put it to the test.

“Peter’s been telling me he’ll let me go back to one night stands,” Derek said. “I think he’s hoping I’ll forget about you. I wondered about using those contracts with you, but Peter will probably word them so that you’re explicitly excluded.”

“You mean by name?” Stiles asked, an idea forming. “You mean, he’ll write contracts that say, ‘Derek Hale can’t take Stiles Stilinski as a consort’?”

“Yeah.”

Stiles reached into his back pocket and pulled out his wallet. He saw the stricken look on Derek’s face and realised a moment too late what this might look like. It might look like he just wanted to pay the bill for the food and walk away. He quickly hurried to get out his driver’s license to make it clear what this was really about. Derek’s expression changed to confusion as Stiles held his license out across the table to Derek. Derek took it, and Stiles saw the usual look of bewilderment that came when someone saw his name spelled out in full.

“What the hell?” Derek asked.

“That’s my name. My real name. If Peter just uses the name Stiles Stilinski, we can still use a companion contract.”

Derek smiled a little.

“We’ll probably only be able to pull it off once,” he said. “Peter will smell you on me afterwards and he’ll close the loophole.”

“So we’ll be able to have twenty four hours of wild and wanton sex perfectly legally, but then we’ll never be able to have sex again.”

“Yeah.”

“Then we’ll have to plan the twenty four hours extremely carefully. And in the meantime, there’s still one more Star Wars movie to watch.”

“I thought there were six of them,” Derek said.

“The prequels do not count. But don’t worry, there’s plenty of other stuff to educate you on. There’s Serenity, The Matrix, The Lord of the Rings trilogy...”

“I’ve read those books,” Derek cut him off.

“So clearly you need to witness the majesty of Middle Earth in visual form.”

Derek was still smiling, apparently content with the idea of them just eating in cheap diners and watching movies together. It wasn’t the same as what they had been doing, but it was better than nothing. And they could think about some way to get back at Peter while they did it.

The gruff waiter turned up with their food, dumping the plates down on the table in front of them. Derek stared in suspicion and the mass of meat and vegetables on his plate, smothered in an unidentifiable sauce. Stiles, who’d eaten here before, just grabbed his fork and dove straight in. Derek was a lot more hesitant, but he gathered a forkful up, sniffed at it suspiciously, and then put it in his mouth.

His expression changed instantly so one of astonished pleasure.

“Told you so,” Stiles said around his mouthful of dinner.

***

Stiles took his second draft to Coach before school on Friday morning. He’d trimmed the paper down by a lot but it still covered a lot of ground. The more he’d worked on it, the more it had become focused on privilege. He’d kept the context on the economic privileges, such as ability to get high paying jobs, and cut about half a page of statistical analysis of prejudicial crime, but he’d still allowed himself to digress a little when he got onto werewolf privilege. Even though most of the paper applied to everyone, he included the section about werewolf privilege and a minor digression about how they might be privileged in some ways but restricted in others. Strictly speaking, the rules about travel weren’t about economics, but he managed to tie it in with the points he’d been making earlier about how the ability to go college was a privilege.

Stiles handed the paper over to Coach, who promised to look at it and then told Stiles to, “Get the hell out of my hair because I’m busy enough without over-achievers with no sense of focus giving me more stuff to do.”

Stiles decided now wasn’t the best time to point out that Coach had been the one who’d given him this extra project. He just headed out of the office and back towards his locker. Then he rounded a corner and saw Trevor there.

Thankfully, this time, Trevor wasn’t holding a lacrosse stick, but he still glared at Stiles like he’d been the one sent to hospital for x-rays.

“What the hell is your problem?” Stiles demanded.

“You got Peter to kick me out,” Trevor answered. “Now I’ll never be in the pack.”

“Peter made it pretty damn clear he had no intention of ever letting you in. He was just playing with you.”

“You don’t that. He said I had to show I was strong.”

“But did he ever explicitly say he’d let you into the pack? Did he ever say, ‘Hey, if you let me torture you for long enough, I’ll make you a werewolf’ or was it all hints?”

“He made it clear what he wanted.”

Stiles wanted to whack Trevor round the head for being so stupid.

“You do know he never did any of this to the people he actually invited into his pack, don’t you?” said Stiles. “Erica, Boyd and the rest, he never did to them any of the stuff he did to you.”

“That doesn’t matter. I could show him I was strong and he would have to let me in.”

“Do you even know what he wanted to do to you?” Stiles asked. “Because he told me. Piercings and whippings and sticking pins into parts of the body that should never have pins stuck in them. And a brand. He was going to brand you as his property. He had no plans to give you the bite. He just wanted to hurt you. A lot.”

“I could cope with it.”

That was the point Stiles snapped.

“What the hell is wrong with you? Do you not get it? Why the hell would you put yourself through that for a bite you were never going to get?”

“I had to try,” Trevor said.

“Why? Why is being a werewolf so important you’d let Peter mutilate you?”

Trevor was silent. His face was drawn, tense, as though he was holding himself together by only the slenderest of threads that might snap at any moment.

“Screw you, Stilinski. You ruined everything. Screw you.”

Chapter Text

Legally, there were strict limits on what the two of them could do together, but that didn’t stop Stiles thinking about all the things they had done. It also didn’t stop him thinking up something he could do which wouldn’t break the werewolf restrictions on sex, and that couldn’t really count as anything his dad would get in an arresty mood over. When he and Derek were curled up on the couch on Saturday afternoon to watch Return of the Jedi, Stiles leaned in to Derek’s ear and whispered, “Guess what I’ve got in.”

Derek’s arm tightened around him.

“You’re a tease,” Derek said. Stiles wasn’t sure if he was annoyed or excited. Possibly both.

“Yep,” Stiles said. He shifted slightly, positioning himself to lean against Derek, watching the screen as though nothing had happened, as though all he was interested in was the start of the movie.

They couldn't have sex, but Stiles knew enough now about what turned Derek on that he could make Derek think about it and he would think about it too. Even if all they could do was go home afterwards and masturbate to those thoughts, it was better than nothing. It was nowhere near on the level of what they had been doing, but it was better than nothing.

Derek ran a hand up and down Stiles’ arm, fingers gently brushing against his skin. Stiles might have thought it an unconscious gesture except, after a few minutes, Derek murmured, “Maybe I should wear my gloves next time we do this.”

Stiles wondered how far they could push this. He could wear toys under his clothes that he put on or in himself, without Derek ever touching him or telling him to do it. That wouldn’t be a crime. Derek could wear gloves and touch his arms and face and chest and that wouldn’t be a crime. They could make a game of pushing the boundaries, of getting close to what wasn’t allowed but never quite crossing the line.

Except once. They’d be allowed to cross the line once, when Derek managed to get a companion contract from Peter before he figured out the loophole of the name.

Stiles wondered if they could be satisfied with that.

If Peter would let them get away with even that. In the original contract, Stiles had initialled the relevant places and then signed his name as S Stilinski. He hadn’t actually had to spell out his name in full anywhere. If Peter included wording barring Derek from having sex with any S Stilinski, their plan would fail utterly. If Peter was specific about banning Derek from taking a previous consort as a companion, then this plan would fail. They had to hope Peter wrote his wording to exclude Stiles Stilinski, but Derek couldn’t even ask him if that was the case without making him suspicious.

“Are you OK?” Derek asked.

“Just wondering how long we can keep this up,” Stiles said. “How long Peter will let us.”

On the screen, the familiar scenes of the movie were playing out. Stiles didn’t want to talk through this. He wanted Derek to enjoy the movie, Stiles’ favourite of the trilogy. He didn’t want to spoil this day with talk of Peter. But Peter loomed over everything. He was like a foul sickness infecting everything their happiness touched.

“I don’t have a plan,” Derek said. “I don’t know if Peter has a plan. If he still thinks you’re an enemy, he will come at you. Even if he accepts you’re not out to hurt us, he’s not going to want to back down. He doesn’t like admitting to being wrong.”

They watched the movie. Stiles stared at events he’d seen a hundred times before, at Leia strangling Jabba with the chains he’d used to enslave her. Peter was trying to control them just as thoroughly, twisting the laws to his purpose.

“I know he’s your uncle,” Stiles said, “but can’t you just leave him? Have you always got to be answerable to him?”

“He’s my alpha. If I left the pack, I’d become an omega. Even if I could leave my sister and my cousin and the others, I wouldn’t have the protection of the law. I’d be the target for any werewolf pack whose territory I wandered too close to. And people like the Argents could shoot me with wolfsbane bullets and claim I was violent and no one would even bother to question whether it was true.”

Derek sounded angry at that, as angry as he’d even been when talking about Peter. Stiles realised that he was once again witnessing the double-edged sword of the werewolf laws. People talked about werewolf privilege, about how betas who committed violent acts were released into the custody of their alphas without a day’s prison sentence served, but no one ever talked about this. People talked about the consort laws that allowed a werewolf to take a teenager as a sexual partner, but they never talked about the fact grown adults had to have their sexual partners approved of by another person. The more Stiles found out about it, the less privilege there seemed to be.

Perhaps humans only wanted to see the disadvantages they suffered, not the many advantages they experienced.

Stiles shifted position again, settling once more in Derek’s arms, feeling the warmth of his embrace. This moment ought to be so simple. It ought to be a quiet peace for them, a shared time. It shouldn’t be weighed down with thoughts of whatever revenge Peter had planned and the injustices of the world that Stiles couldn’t do anything about.

He tried to pay attention to the movie. Things were simpler in the movies. Maybe he’d be able to take on even Peter if he had a lightsaber.

***

When Derek went home, Stiles spent some time lying on his bed, fucking himself with the plug while beating off with the other hand. It was nothing like as satisfying as actually being with Derek.

When he was done, he got cleaned up and went to his computer. He started digging into some of the rules Derek and the others had talked about, the restrictions on travel, the way the alpha had supreme authority over the betas in their pack, as well as the sex rules. Some of it was about trying to find a loophole in the rules that would let him and Derek actually get together for real, but the rest of it was about filling in the alarming gaps in his knowledge.

This sort of thing wasn’t commonly known. When people talked about werewolves, they talked about the wealth and power of the pack, but the more Stiles drilled into it the more hollow the concept of werewolf privilege became. Yes, the big packs had power and influence, but it was the same power and influence that rich families had. There were connections and relationships with other people of influence, and the money to get their way when it mattered. But actually being a werewolf didn’t give that much legal privilege.

Stiles started making lists. On one list, he documented the things that could be seen as privilege, on the other, he listed all the restrictions. The first list only had three items on it. There were the obvious physical advantages of being a werewolf, which he included for the sake of completeness. There was the right of an alpha to get medical information about potential candidates for being a consort. Then there was the thing about how a beta werewolf who committed a violent act could be handed over to their alpha instead of getting tried for the crime and sent to prison.

On the other list, were the rules stating that a werewolf couldn’t have sex without a signed contract. There were the restrictions against travel. A werewolf in the wrong territory could be murdered by another pack without any justice. Stiles actually hesitated about whether that counted as a privilege for the pack who committed the murder, to get away without justice.

There was a lot about pack hierarchy. Betas had to yield to their alpha on legal or monetary matters. An alpha technically had rights over everything their betas owned, including all their savings. But a beta couldn’t leave without being an omega which meant basically zero protection. No alpha to speak for them. With no territory, an omega was at risk constantly.

That was the scariest thing Stiles found. After over an hour of digging, he found some reports of werewolf deaths. A little bit more digging turned up more reports. Humans could kill werewolves and declare it self-defence. All a human had to say was that the werewolf looked dangerous and the human feared for their life. If the werewolf was a beta of a pack, the alpha would often fight a legal battle to get the human charged with murder, but the odds of a charge sticking seemed miniscule. But, bad as that was, it was worse for omegas. There were enough stereotypes that omegas were wild and violent without packs, that everyone seemed to buy the self-defence argument. Stiles couldn’t find a single incident where a human killed an omega and the human was even arrested.

As he gathered his notes into a logical order, Stiles started writing. He had no idea what he was going to do with this when it was done. It wasn’t like he could take it to Coach because it had nothing to do with economics, but still he wanted to get his thoughts written out. He needed to talk about this, and putting his rant down on paper seemed the best way to go about it.

But even as he wrote about the restrictions and injustices werewolves suffered, there was another thought niggling at the back of his mind. The laws allowed Peter to gain intrusive medical information on potential candidates. It even allowed for an alpha to arrange their own medical assessments if they had reason to believe that standard tests would be lacking. But there was absolutely nothing about werewolves having the right to put chastity devices on teenagers.

Stiles couldn’t believe that Peter would be stupid enough to do something like that without covering his bases, but still, the thought nagged at him.

***

Stiles made it three steps into school on Monday before Trevor confronted him. No lacrosse stick this time. No angry words. He looked pale, more pained than when Peter had been hurting him. He stood in front of Stiles, opening his mouth as if to speak, but not saying anything.

“Well?” Stiles asked.

“I went to see Peter,” Trevor said. “I officially petitioned him to get the bite.”

“And?”

“He laughed in my face. You were right. He was never going to let me into the pack.”

Stiles had a strong urge to say, ‘I told you so,’ but he held off, seeing how broken Trevor looked right now. He’d known that Trevor wanted to be in the pack badly, but he seemed utterly devastated by the loss of the chance.

“Why does it matter so much to you?” Stiles asked. “I know that being a werewolf gets you strength and super senses and stuff, but there’s a whole lot of suck involved too.”

“It doesn’t matter now. It was never going to happen anyway. I just wanted to say you were right and... you know.”

“I believe the words you’re looking for are ‘Sorry for kicking the crap out of you and thanks for saving me from being tortured and mutilated by Peter’.”

“Yeah,” Trevor said. “That.”

“Are you actually going to say it?” Stiles felt a little bit of a jerk for pushing Trevor like this while he looked so awful, but he was mad as hell and parts of his body were still aching like crazy, sore from bruises that seemed to go all the way through him. He wasn’t going to be satisfied with anything less than a genuine and, not to mention vocal, apology.

“I’m sorry,” Trevor said quietly.

“Once more with feeling?” Stiles suggested. Trevor just glared. Stiles guessed that was all the apology he was going to get any time soon.

“On the plus side,” Stiles continued, “you don’t have to file a dozen forms to go on a road trip and you don’t get Peter vetoing who you choose to date. Because seriously, being a werewolf may have some good points but there’s bad too and you’re acting like being a werewolf is a matter of life and...” Stiles stopped talking. “Isaac said you were at the hospital.”

“That’s none of your business,” Trevor said.

“But the fitness assessments. You wouldn’t have been a candidate unless you were healthy so how?”

“It’s not about me.” Trevor looked away. “Just leave it the hell alone, Stilinski.”

This wasn’t about Trevor. Stiles thought about the reading he’d done over the weekend, all the information he’d found about werewolf laws. Anyone over the age of sixteen could petition an alpha for the bite, but there was a loophole for those who were younger. Someone younger than sixteen could make a petition if they had a family member who was already a werewolf in the pack.

“Who is it?” Stiles asked. “A sibling or...”

Trevor looked away, glaring down at the floor for a minute. For a long while, he didn’t say anything and that was almost answer enough, but then he finally looked up and met Stiles’ gaze, that broken look still in his eyes.

“My little brother,” Trevor said. “He needs the bite. He won’t live to sixteen to make the request himself.”

“Holy crap,” Stiles breathed. All this time, he’d thought Trevor was stupid for putting up with Peter, going through all that pain for some stupid dream of inclusion into a privileged group. But all the while, he’d been thinking of someone else. He would have endured absolutely anything Peter did for him, on the slim chance that his brother could ask for the bite.

Stiles watched Trevor slump away down the hallway of the school, looking like his entire universe had shattered.

Stiles pulled out his phone and composed a quick text. Who’s the least douchy alpha you know?

Chapter Text

This pack didn’t have one huge mansion like the Hales did, but a little cluster of houses, all built close to each other in the middle of a private meadow. Stiles parked outside the gate and walked up the drive, giving the pack plenty of time to know he was there. He was in full view of the houses, with no cover at all, just expanses of tall grass and bright flowers on either side of him. A man was waiting for him by the time Stiles reached the houses. He sniffed, being completely obvious about doing so.

“Are you here representing another pack?” he asked.

“No,” Stiles answered. “I have no official connections with a pack and I would like to speak to your alpha regarding another human. Two humans, technically.”

“Official?” the man echoed. “Technically?”

Stiles hoped phrasing things in an intriguing way would make it easier to get in the door.

“I request a meeting with your alpha. I will explain everything to her.”

“And if she doesn’t want to see you?”

“Then I go back to my jeep and drive away,” Stiles said. “Then I try to find another alpha who is willing to talk to me.”

“So any alpha will do and we’re just interchangeable?” The man sounded offended. Stiles wondered if he’d misjudged his efforts to be non-confrontational. He tried to look casual.

“I’m trying to speak to an alpha who’s less of a douchbag than Peter Hale,” Stiles said, “and yours came recommended.”

“Recommended by whom?” asked another voice. An older Japanese woman stood a little way from them, watching them carefully. Stiles guessed this was Satomi, leader of this pack.

“Derek Hale,” Stiles said. There was no point in lying. They would probably be able to tell if he did.

She walked up to him until she stood about a metre away, then she too sniffed the air. The man, her beta presumably, stepped backwards to take a position beside her and a little behind.

“What is your connection to the Hales?” Satomi asked.

“Until recently I was Derek Hale’s consort. But that’s not the main reason I’m here to talk to you.”

“Well?”

“This might take a while.”

Satomi considered. Then she nodded, gesturing to the door of one of the houses in clear invitation. Stiles smiled and thanked her politely.

***

A long conversation later, Stiles was sitting in the alpha’s study, a much smaller affair than Peter’s, drinking the last of his tea. Satomi sat behind her desk. She’d listened to everything, with only a few clarifying questions, while Stiles had explained about his situation with Derek, about Peter tormenting Trevor to try and break the contract, and about Trevor’s reasons for wanting to join a pack.

“I’m not sure what you expect me to do to help you,” Satomi said. “I may be an alpha, but I have no authority over the betas in another pack. I can’t grant you a companion contract.”

“No, I don’t expect you to. I’m here about Trevor. I mean, the guy’s a jerk but his brother’s sick and he’d do anything to get him a bite. Peter said no, but Peter’s not the only alpha.”

“You expect me to issue an invitation to this boy you have just described as a jerk?” She seemed amused.

“Well, I could make a case about how wonderful he is, but you werewolves are good at telling when people are lying, so that probably wouldn’t work too well. So I might as well admit he’s a jerk. But he’s a jerk who will literally let himself be tortured and mutilated to protect his brother. If you get him that loyal to your pack, that’s got to be a good thing.”

Satomi considered, studying Stiles’ face carefully. She sipped at her tea. Stiles had finished his already, so he just turned the cup round and round in his hands, waiting for her to say something.

“I make no promises,” she said, “but I’ll meet this boy. Extend my invitation.”

“Actually, it might be better if he doesn’t know I did this. He hates me.”

“You will go to such lengths for a boy who hates you and who you hate back?”

Stiles shrugged, “Yeah, I know. I’m not sure I understand myself. But I feel kinda responsible for what Peter put him through.” And Stiles kept thinking of the way Trevor had looked the last time they’d spoken. He’d looked like a lost puppy. Nothing in the world would make them friends after all this, but it didn’t hurt Stiles to ask Satomi on his behalf, and there was the brother to think about. The brother hadn’t done anything to hurt Stiles, so why shouldn’t Stiles try to help?

“I was also wondering,” Stiles said, “if you might have some advice, on how to deal with Peter?”

“Generally, a werewolf doesn’t give advice on how to deal with another pack’s alpha.”

“But there’s not a rule against it, right?”

“Rules are one thing,” Satomi said. “Traditions are another. Traditions are often a way of clawing back power that has been stolen. People take a tool that was used to oppress them and turn it into a weapon. The laws restricting werewolf sex were put in place by men like the Argents to control us, to try and let our kind die out. There were some who advocated that all werewolves should be sterilised. Those less severe thought that werewolves were dangerous slaves to our instincts and that we should be forced to wear chastity devices to prevent us losing control and raping poor, innocent humans. Some still believe these things.”

Stiles had done a lot of internet reading and he’d come across some people saying really stupid things about werewolves. Some of them were people in worryingly high positions of authority, spouting ignorant stereotypes about werewolves. Some of those were people responsible for voting on laws.

“I don’t get how that helps me,” Stiles said.

“Sometimes, you fight a battle to win. Other times, you fight a battle knowing that victory is impossible, but in the hope that your efforts will allow another to win at some point in the future. Sometimes, you lose in one battle, in order to win another.”

“Is any of that meant to make sense?” Stiles asked.

Satomi smiled a little.

“I have been arguing against the injustices of werewolf restrictions for most of my life,” she said, “and I’ve had a long life. I don’t expect to achieve perfect equality between werewolves and humans in my lifetime, but still I fight, for the sake of my pack. In your case, fighting one battle might win you another.”

Stiles puzzled through her words, “Meaning that if I start fighting against the restrictions, Peter will see that I’m on his side. Even if I don’t do any good around changing the laws, it might change Peter’s mind about me?”

She smiled again.

“I have actually written a piece about werewolf restrictions,” Stiles said. “I haven’t the faintest idea what to do with it.”

“Now that,” she said, “I can help you with.”

***

Back in his room, Stiles typed in the URL Satomi had written down for him. The website loaded up and Stiles wondered how he’d not found it during his internet hunts earlier. He looked at lists of resources and information, and it started to make sense. Most of the useful information was in downloadable files: papers, verbatim texts of the werewolf laws, transcripts of legal cases involving werewolves, and spreadsheets of statistics. None of it was stored on pages that could be indexed by search engines. There wouldn’t be enough links back to this site to raise it in search engine ranking algorithms and whoever had created the pages clearly had no idea about search engine optimisation.

But the more he read, the more Stiles wondered if that was the point. The descriptions were sometimes vague or worded without including any of the keywords people would use to search for the contents held within the downloadable files. Whole lists of document summaries managed not to include the word ‘werewolf’ anywhere. Where keywords were unavoidable, they were often misspelled, or with random spaces between letters to break the words up. Sometimes, instead of blocks of text, there were image files showing the words, which wouldn’t be indexed in the same way by search engines. The effect was so complete it couldn’t have been achieved by accident. Whoever had designed this site had done so in such a way as to make it very difficult to find unless someone was specifically looking for this.

Only someone who knew exactly what they were looking for would find it. The point wasn’t to bring the general population to the resources here, but for a few people to use these resources to take the message elsewhere. The goal of the group Satomi worked for was to change the minds of those who’d never come looking for information about werewolf laws. They had to reach out, into other media, into newspapers and magazines and other websites, dripping information into the daily lives of ordinary people, hoping to change perceptions of how werewolves were treated and raise awareness of restrictions.

There were enough anti-werewolf groups out there that they wanted to stay below the radar. The phrase ‘werewolf privilege’ was used enough that if werewolves started claiming they were hard done by, they would probably be met by derision rather than sympathy.

The group that produced the website didn’t even have a name. They weren’t an organisation that could be targeted by the anti-werewolf groups. They were just a collection of people trying to make people see that werewolves weren’t as privileged as the majority believed. People with connections to print and online media, so they could distribute their message as widely as possible.

Stiles found his rant about werewolf privilege and sent it off in an email. He had no idea where something like this would be printed, but he hoped the people on the other end of the website would know. He also mentioned the paper he was working on with Coach, which was now on its third draft. Admittedly, the werewolf connection in that one was only a couple of paragraphs near the end, but that was probably what these guys were after: a little drip feed of information on werewolves mixed in with an article on another subject. Something that could be read by people not really looking for information on werewolf laws.

Stiles looked through the lists of resources on the website, and wondered if there were other things he could write about.

***

Stiles was jotting down possible article ideas on a bit of scrap paper, when the werewolves appeared at his lunch table, arriving suddenly around him and making him jump. Stiles was sure they did that on purpose.

“What’s up?” Stiles asked. “Peter announced his plans for how to murder me?”

“He wouldn’t announce those,” Isaac pointed out.

“Well does he look like he’s come up with super secret plans to murder me?”

Isaac shrugged, “Really hard to tell with him.”

Stiles wasn’t sure if Isaac was joking or being serious. It was a worrying state to be in.

“So what is this about?” he asked.

Erica slammed a bit of card down on Stiles’ lunch tray. It was covered in calligraphy and gilt edging and probably way too expensive to be sitting in a puddle of spilled gravy. He picked it up and read it.

“Cora’s birthday?”

“Yeah, Peter’s insisting on a party,” Erica said, “but most of the people there will be boring old guys for Peter to smooze with. Cora insisted she had to have some invitations for her friends since this is supposed to be her party.”

“I didn’t realise Cora counted me as a friend.” Stiles knew that she was probably only extending this invitation to him because of Derek, but still it felt nice. Stiles had never really had many friends. There were people he talked to at school, but mostly it had been Scott. That had never felt like a shortage until Scott started dating Allison. Being invited to a birthday party like this was nice. He could get used to this.

And Peter was unlikely to violently throw him out of the house if the place was full of rich and influential people Peter wanted to make a good impression with.

“Tell Cora I’ll be there,” Stiles said.

Isaac pulled Stiles’ scrap of paper out from under his elbow.

“What’s this?” he asked.

“I’m planning on writing some articles and stuff about werewolf restrictions. Maybe if I get something published, Peter will see that I’m trying to speak out in favour of equal rights and decide I’m not an evil monster out to slaughter him and his family.”

“Or he’ll think you’re being sneaky and manipulative and hate you even more,” said Malia.

Stiles resisted the urge to smack his face down on the table in front of him, mostly because the remains of his lunch were still in the way. He suspected she was probably right. Peter was so determined to hate him that absolutely nothing Stiles did would be seen as good. It could all be interpreted as him trying to be sneaky and evil.

“Why is it so hard for him to understand that I like Derek?” Stiles asked. “And that’s it.”

“Peter’s made a study of paranoia since the fire,” Malia said. “He sees everyone as a potential enemy. I don’t think that’s going to change any time soon, no matter what you might write.”

Stiles stared at his list of article ideas. She was probably right. He hated that she was probably right. But he had to try anyway, because doing anything else would be letting Peter win.

Chapter Text

Stiles had invited Derek round to watch movies and hang out. Derek had asked whether his dad would be there and then turned up with a large bag when the answer turned out to be no. Stiles looked at the bag with curiosity.

“Are the contents of that thing going to get my dad arresting you?” Stiles asked.

“This bag?” Derek said. “I just happen to have some stuff I don’t want to leave in the car. If you happen to get curious and sneak a look inside, or decide to try some stuff on while I’m fixing us both a snack, I can’t be held responsible.”

“I really don’t think my dad’s going to buy that.”

“That’s why I asked if he’d be home. Now I’m going to make some sandwiches.”

Derek set the bag down at Stiles’ feet and walked away. Grinning, Stiles snatched the bag up and hurried upstairs to his room. Technically, Derek wasn’t doing anything to him right now. Besides, his dad was working a late shift so they had the house to themselves for at least the next few hours. Stiles put the bag down on his bed and unfastened the zipper eagerly, looking at what lay within.

A few minutes later, as he heard Derek’s footsteps up the stairs, he was still struggling to get the pants on.

“Need a hand in there?” Derek called from the other side of the door.

“Nope,” Stiles said. He lay on his bed, feet flat on the mattress, and arched his hips up, tugging on the pants to try and get them up over his hips. The action caused teasing shifts of plug inside him, which made it even harder to get the flies done up.

“Are you sure?” Derek asked.

“I think you got the wrong size.” Stiles had got the pants up and managed to fasten the buttons of the fly but that didn’t mean his difficulties were over. When he stood, the leather was stiff and tight around his legs, unyielding. He could barely move in these things.

Stiles quickly swapped his shirt for the one Derek had provided and then kicked the clothes he had been wearing under the bed because bending down to pick them up would be impossible in these pants.

“OK,” Stiles called. “Ready.”

Derek opened the door. He stood there, the plate of sandwiches in one hand, and just gaped at Stiles. For a moment, Stiles wondered if it was because he looked ridiculous, here in these leather pants a size too small and a white t-shirt of a fabric so thin it was almost see through. But Derek’s expression was one of hunger. He was looking at Stiles like a predator looking at prey, like he wanted to pounce on Stiles and devour him there in his bedroom.

“I think I got the perfect size,” Derek said.

“I can’t move,” Stiles complained.

“Why would you need to go anywhere?”

Derek did have a good point with that one. They sat together on the bed, Stiles lying against Derek’s chest. Derek fed Stiles bits of food with his fingers while they used Stiles’ laptop to watch tonight’s movie, choosing that over the TV in the living room because Stiles didn’t want to risk wearing this outfit downstairs, just in case a neighbour stopped by and mentioned something to his dad. Technically, Stiles was following his dad’s rules as he was fully dressed, but he still didn’t fancy explaining this situation.

They probably crossed the line of legality when Derek picked up a remote, made a comment about adjusting the volume, and turned on the vibrator in Stiles’ ass. He grinned.

“Oops,” Derek said. “Wrong remote.”

Stiles felt the buzzing inside him and squirmed a little, Derek’s arms wrapping around behind him. Stiles couldn’t forget for an instant where they were, what they were doing, with the buzzing inside his ass and the pants so tight around his legs and over his crotch that they might have been another bondage toy.

Stiles was a constant mess of distraction and arousal, especially when Derek started playing with Stiles’ nipples through his shirt.

“I’m going to ruin your present,” Stiles said, shifting again. The pants were feeling tighter by the moment.

“I’m not sure I’d call it ruin,” Derek said. He kissed and nuzzled at Stiles’ neck. Those fingers rubbed over his nipples. One of his legs wrapped over Stiles’ leg, foot rubbing up and down over the leather. And all the while, the plug buzzed away inside him.

Stiles had long since stopped paying attention to the movie playing. He spun round on his bed so he could face Derek instead, pressing their lips together in a fierce kiss. The movie played on in the background, but they didn’t notice. They just kissed and groped, feeling each other through the flesh of their clothes. The thrill of their illicit arrangement made Stiles’ more excited, and the constant buzz inside him never let up. The pressure on his crotch was at once uncomfortable and stimulating, a constant reminder of the restrictions that reminded him once again that this was forbidden.

Derek’s hands cupped his ass over the tight leather. Each movement of those fingers stirred the base of the plug through the pants, causing shifts inside Stiles that brushed against his prostate. Stiles groaned into a kiss.

Derek broke off kissing to nuzzle at Stiles’ neck again, whispering between kisses.

“Can you do it?” he asked. “Can you come without me touching you? Without you even taking your pants off? Are you still on enough of a hair trigger that we can still do this, with all the barriers in between us?”

The answer turned out to be yes. Stiles gave a soft cry as his body shook and he came, the pants still fastened tightly around him. He swore he could feel Derek’s smile in the kisses at his neck.

Afterwards, when Stiles had washed up and changed, Derek offered to take the pants to deal with cleaning them, so that Stiles’ dad never needed to find them.

“Won’t Peter be able to smell what happened?” Stiles asked.

“We haven’t broken any laws,” Derek said. Stiles was less sure about that but decided not to argue. “And it will drive Peter crazy.”

“Aren’t we supposed to be trying to win Peter over so he’ll let us be together properly?”

“Driving him crazy’s easier.”

Stiles grinned at an idea, “What if you took some stuff from my laundry bin and hid it around the house so that Peter smells me everywhere?”

Derek laughed and pulled Stiles into an embrace.

“You are an evil genius,” Derek said. “I love you.”

Stiles froze in the circle of Derek’s arms. For an instant, he wondered if he’d imagined those words. But Derek had frozen too, as if he were as shocked by the utterance as Stiles was. Stiles knew Derek liked him. He knew they had fun together. He knew Derek was willing to fight his uncle so they could spend time together. But love? Love was a whole other thing altogether.

He liked Derek. Derek was sarcastic and strong and ridiculously hot and willing to stand up for what he believed in and smart and incredible in bed and a thousand other things, but was it love? Stiles had never been in love. His crush on Lydia Martin didn’t count because they’d never had an actual conversation. What he had with Derek was built on a foundation that his interactions with Lydia had never had, but was that foundation love? How was he supposed to know? Was there a checklist of feelings he could look at to decide if this was love?

Maybe he could look that up on the internet later but right now he needed to say something because he was just standing there, frozen like a computer on bluescreen, without a single word that he could say.

And he’d waited too long. He couldn’t even repeat the words back to Derek without it sounding awkward and false because he’d pause for far, far too long. He needed to say something. He needed to do something.

Derek stepped away from Stiles, arms falling to his sides. Stiles felt suddenly cold now that Derek’s arms weren’t around him anymore.

“I should go,” Derek said. He shoved the clothes and plug and everything into his bag and hefted it onto a shoulder.

Stiles didn’t want that. He didn’t want Derek to leave. They’d been having fun. But he didn’t know how to ask Derek to stay after that catastrophe of his silence. He still didn’t know what to say. He always knew what to say. Even if he didn’t know what to say, he said something anyway.

“Derek,” Stiles said. He stopped. He didn’t have anything to follow up with, but at least he’d managed to say something.

Derek stood there, frozen. He held the bag over his shoulder with the ruins of their joy inside. He looked absolutely terrified. Stiles was terrified too. He was terrified Derek would never forgive him for this and he’d walk out of here and Stiles would never see him again.

Stiles still didn’t know what to say. He quickly closed the distance between them and pressed a kiss to Derek’s lips. It wasn’t words. It wasn’t whatever he needed to say to make this right between them. But it was something. It was better than silence and frozen stillness.

“I,” Stiles started. The words caught in his throat. What if he didn’t mean them? What if this was liking but not loving? What if he said the words and Derek heard them as a lie? What if he was just hoping for something real? What if he said the words now and it hurt Derek later if it turned out Stiles wasn’t really feeling them?

“I’ll see you soon?” Stiles asked, the words almost trembling, almost pleading.

Derek nodded.

“Yeah,” Derek said weakly. He walked away.

Stiles watched him leave. He sat down on the edge of the bed and flopped backwards onto the mattress. Never in his life had he felt so utterly useless.

***

Stiles actually did a google search for how to tell if he was in love. He found a surprising number of results, including an article on wikihow. He sat there, thinking about Derek, worrying about what Derek was thinking right now, wondering how the hell he could possibly talk to Derek after this.

The fact that he couldn’t stop thinking about Derek was a good sign according to several of the pages he read, but fretting about social mistakes was also a sign of anxiety and freaking out right now might be more about the fact he’d been so utterly terrible at handling the situation than about Derek.

He wished someone could open his skull up, peer into his brain, and see if the love centres were flashing with activity. He wished the brain did have love centres. Did the brain have love centres?

He got side tracked in some internet research into hormones and emotions, and how certain hormones in the body stimulated feelings that were generally associated with love and happiness but which were often short-lived. What if he was just a stew of short-lived hormones that would wear off?

He got his phone out and stared at it. He needed to say something to Derek. He didn’t know what to say to Derek. But if he didn’t say anything, that would only make things worse. Not saying anything was the reason he was freaking out right now. What if Derek hated him? What if Derek decided it was easier just to forget about him and find someone else.

Stiles needed to say something before he lost Derek forever.

He typed out a text.

He deleted it.

He typed out another text.

He deleted that too.

He stared at the screen of his phone until it turned itself black from lack of activity. He stared at the blackness instead.

Finally he typed out a contender for the world’s most pathetic test message.

Hey.

It took Derek all of five seconds to respond with another simple Hey.

Stiles didn’t have any sort of follow up prepared, but at least there was still communication. That was something. Right? He stared at the screen and then typed out another message.

I’ve never done relationships and stuff before.

I know, Derek typed back. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have pushed.

Stiles wished they were face to face instead of doing this over texts because he wanted to pull Derek into his arms and hug him for that. Stiles was the one who’d screwed up here. Derek was the last person on earth who should be apologising.

Don’t apologise. You didn’t push. I’m an idiot for just freezing.

Stiles didn’t say he loves Derek. Derek didn’t ask. Stiles stared at his phone while he waited for the reply, wondering if he should tell Derek that he’d just read far too many pages trying to figure out if he was in love or not. He decided against it. Admitting to using internet research to analyse his feelings would probably convince Derek that there weren’t any feelings at all.

Stiles typed out another text. You’re awesome. Then another. Your sarcasm is great. He continued on, tapping out words and hitting send.

You have the body of a Greek god.

You’re smart.

When you smile, it’s like the sun after a storm.

He considered, then followed that text up with, You make me write stupidly corny text messages.

He could picture Derek’s quirk of a smile when he read that one. Stiles still wasn’t saying that word. But he wanted to Derek to know that this, whatever it was, was important to him too.

Derek finally sent a text back. Your mouth should be illegal.

Stiles managed a smile, a little relieved to see the words, responding to his stream of compliments. Maybe they could be OK after wall.

He flopped down onto his bed, phone in hand, and typed out a response. What about your arms? Those biceps belong in a museum.

And somehow they moved on to sexting. Stiles lay on his bed, sending Derek comments about his body and what he wanted to do to him, getting comments back in response. Stiles undid his pants and started a slow stroke, reading messages from Derek describing kissing every bump of his spine, or holding him down and making him beg for mercy.

With words on a screen, and a dose of imagination, Stiles brought himself to the second climax of the night.

Chapter Text

Stiles had a strange sense of déjà vu on a Friday evening when he was heading to a party at the Hale mansion in the woods. This time, he was actually dressed for the party, in a clean shirt and his best jeans, with the bracelet around his wrist. This time, he would be walking in there knowing Peter detested him, instead of detesting Peter. Or maybe as well as.

He had the invitation in case Peter tried to throw him out. There was still of splodge of gravy staining the posh card, but there was nothing he could do about that. He drove up to the front of the house, past the trees decorated with fairy lights, and handed over his keys to the valet. He didn’t protest this time around.

He was still nervous, but for entirely different reasons. He hadn’t spoken to Derek face to face since the debacle of Derek’s confession. They’d texted, so he was reasonably sure Derek didn’t hate him, but he still wasn’t sure how to speak to Derek. How did they move past a declaration of love that Stiles hadn’t reciprocated? Butterflies danced in Stiles’ stomach as he climbed the steps and walked in through the front door.

Peter must have used the same catering company, because Stiles recognised one of the guys on welcome drink duty. There were two of them tonight, one holding a tray of actual champagne, the other with glasses of a different shape with what was presumably the same sparkling juice as last time for those not of drinking age yet. The guy with the juice was the same waiter who’d been here to greet the guests for the consort party. The guy clearly recognised Stiles too, going by the surprise in his eyes.

“Good evening, sir,” he said the last word with an amused smile. “Can I offer you a drink or a hiding place?”

“Just the drink tonight,” Stiles said. “Though I might take you up on the hiding place if Peter’s in a bad mood.”

“I’ll look out some nice, quiet spots for you,” the waiter smiled. “Enjoy the party, sir.”

Again there was that note of amusement over the last word.

“At least I look more of a sir tonight,” Stiles commented. He took his glass of juice and turned to face the double doors into the main hall and the party. He pulled up short, seeing Peter standing in the doorway, staring at him.

For a moment, his nerves threatened to overtake him. The idea of running and finding a hiding place seemed better by the second. But he swallowed and walked towards the doors, hoping that he didn’t look as worried as he felt.

“Stiles,” Peter said coldly.

“Peter,” Stiles replied, with equal ice in his tone. Peter’s eyes darted past Stiles to the waiter, who now looked about as nervous as Stiles, having been caught joking with the guests by the alpha who’d hired him.

“A friend of yours?” Peter asked.

“He was on the staff for the last party,” Stiles said. “I guess I must have made an impression with more than just Derek.”

“So it would seem.”

Stiles wondered if Peter would try and bar him from the party, but he stepped aside, allowing Stiles to pass through the doors. There was no welcome in his words or gesture, but Stiles guessed this was as good as he could hope for. Peter was still looking at the waiter with his tray of drinks. Stiles really hoped he hadn’t got the guy in trouble by laughing with him. He was willing to believe Peter would fire a guy as unprofessional just because he’d smiled at Stiles.

In the main hall, there was music playing and clusters of people were talking. Erica had been right about the party guests. Most of them were guys at least twice Cora’s age. There were some women, but they were mostly there to look beautiful in dresses, hanging off their husbands’ arms as much accessories as the expensive cufflinks or fancy tie pins. There were very few people that Stiles could imagine Cora inviting, but there were a few. Most of the younger werewolves and their guests were hanging out in a corner near the buffet table.

Stiles wished Cora a happy birthday and she introduced him to a few friends from the posh private school she attended. She introduced Stiles as, “My brother’s boyfriend,” which made Stiles smile. There might not be any paperwork to make it official, but Cora was making sure that people knew where Stiles fit in the picture.

Derek approached before long, greeting Stiles with a kiss and wrapping an arm around his back, holding Stiles pressed against his side. If he was still hurt by what had happened in Stiles’ bedroom, he didn’t show it. His face held a pleasant smile as he exchanged small talk with Cora’s friends. It didn’t take Stiles long to see his heart wasn’t in it. The smile was too fixed, the polite nods just a mask he wore. Stiles wasn’t sure if Derek was bored or annoyed, or if he was uncomfortable about having to stand here next to Stiles and act like everything was alright between them.

A couple of older men came over to wish Cora a happy birthday, breaking up the little cluster of youth. One of the men’s wives came over to greet Derek, who smiled and asked her how she was. They exchanged a few pleasantries, but then the woman commented, “Aren’t you going to introduce me to your young friend?”

For a fraction of a second, Stiles witnessed a flicker of terror on Derek’s face. It was one Stiles recognised, from going to functions with his father and talking to people he knew he must have met at similar functions in the past but without the faintest idea who they were. He’d gone through many parties trying to perfect the art of saying nothing while trying not to give away that he had no memory of the names of the people he was talking to.

Stiles smiled and held out a hand, before Derek was forced to say something, “I’m Stiles Stilinski.”

He had to hope his attempt wasn’t too clumsily obvious. The woman gave her name and shook her hand.

“I assume you’re here with your husband?” Stiles asked, looking towards the men who were still talking with Cora. It turned out the woman’s husband was CEO of an IT company in Beacon Hills, a business associate of Peter’s. Stiles asked a few more polite questions, about how they knew the Hales and things like that, with Derek standing silent beside him, contributing a few nods to the conversation but nothing else.

When Stiles politely extracted them, he guided Derek over to the buffet table.

“There’s a trick,” Stiles muttered quietly. “If you can’t remember someone’s name and you think you’re about to be asked to do introductions, you just shove something in your mouth.”

“There’s something I’d love to shove my mouth, but not in polite company,” Derek murmured the words in Stiles’ ear. Stiles was sure he was blushing at the suggestion. It was a pointless notion anyway, given where they stood with the legalities of their situation.

Stiles took a plate and started filling it with little nibbles.

“The code,” Stiles said, “is that if we’re talking to someone whose name you can’t remember, you take something off the plate and start eating it. I’ll introduce myself while your mouth’s full, so you won’t be expected to say anything.”

Derek looked at the plate in Stiles’ hand and said, “We’re going to need more food than that.”

Stiles added some more nibbles. They moved back into the room together, standing close enough to be clearly a couple but not as entwined as they’d been earlier. Almost instantly, an older man approached them, greeting Derek with a broad smile and seizing his hand to shake.

“Derek, my boy, you’re looking well,” the man said, cheerily.

“And you,” Derek replied. “It’s been a while.”

The smile was fixed to his face but the instant the man released his hand, Derek reached for the plate.

***

Peter had invited a whole host of influential people to this party. There were business owners, board members of major organisations, a judge, even two senators, all mingling and making small talk. When Stiles eavesdropped on nearby conversations, it was clear that most of the people were talking business and politics rather than Cora’s birthday.

Stiles wove through the crowds at Derek’s side, exhausted from the fake smiles, and from trying to keep down yawns at the more boring of the guests. This party was utterly tedious. Derek was clearly finding it as draining as he did and they’d had to replenish the plate three times. Everyone here seemed to know Derek, but Derek had remembered only a handful of names.

Stiles was about to suggest he and Derek sneak away somewhere, when a voice cut through the noise.

“Ah, Stiles, it’s good to see you again.”

Stiles turned and saw Satomi standing there, next to a surprised Peter. Stiles gave a more genuine smile than he’d managed for most of the evening.

“Alpha Satomi, a pleasure,” Stiles said. She and Peter had been in conversation with a couple of men, including one of the senators Stiles had introduced himself to earlier.

“I wasn’t aware you were friends,” Peter said, his tone unreadable.

“I wouldn’t presume to say friends,” Stiles said. “We’ve only met the once.”

“Stiles came to me to ask my advice regarding another young man. An unfortunate boy with sickness in his family. He would have done almost anything to join a pack so that the invitation for the bite could be offered to a younger sibling. Stiles asked my opinion as an alpha on this matter.” Satomi’s tone was absolutely pleasant, talking about this subject as though it was as much news to Peter as to the other two men. “Stiles is such a caring young man,” she continued, “to go to such lengths for the sake of a boy that, by his own admission, he doesn’t even like. You must be proud of your nephew for choosing such a consort, Peter.”

Peter didn’t reply. His face was a mask, his emotions unreadable. He must know that Satomi knew the truth. Stiles wasn’t sure what game she was playing. He just kept what he hoped was a polite smile on his face.

“Actually,” Derek corrected her, “Stiles is no longer my consort.”

“A partnership contract already?” Satomi asked. “But you’re so young. Well, I suppose congratulations are in order.”

“No,” Derek corrected her. “There’s no partnership contract either. Our consort contract... came to an end and Peter has not yet drafted up a companion contract to replace it.”

“This is exactly the sort of thing I was talking about, Senator,” Satomi addressed the human who’d been listening. “These consort contracts are drawn up with time limits and escape clauses to keep young people from being trapped into commitments, but what happens when a relationship proves more successful than the length of the contract? They’re trapped by bureaucracy and can’t continue the relationship without more contracts and paperwork.”

“The paperwork’s not arduous though, is it?” the senator said. “It’s not like you need to get these things ratified by outside parties. I mean, Alpha Hale here could write up a contract here and now, couldn’t he?”

Stiles wondered if this was Satomi’s point, if she was trying to force Peter’s hand into giving them a contract at the party. Stiles could have hugged her right then.

Peter gave a cold smile and said, “As Satomi says, things aren’t that simple.”

“It seems ridiculous,” Satomi said to the senator, “in this day and age, that consenting parties must wait for someone else’s approval before they can be together.”

“Consent’s a tricky thing,” the senator said. Then he asked Stiles, “How old are you?”

“Sixteen,” Stiles said.

The man waved a hand as if to say, ‘exactly.’ He turned back to Satomi as though Stiles was no longer there.

“A sixteen year old boy,” the senator said. “If your proposal were to be pushed through as law, we’d be signing approval for kids to be in sexual relationships with people who could physically overpower them.”

“If you got rid of the contracts,” Stiles said, “we’d be bound by the same laws of consent that apply to human relationships. I wouldn’t be able to have sex with Derek until my eighteenth birthday. In California and places where the standard age of consent is eighteen, you’d be pushing back the age at which humans can have sex with werewolves.”

“Stiles has a valid point,” Satomi said. “Then there is the fact that it is possible for a strong human to force someone weaker into sex. It’s called rape and it’s already a crime. There’s no reason why the same laws against rape shouldn’t apply to werewolves. There shouldn’t be a requirement to sign a contract and get it approved by an alpha if both parties are consenting. And if there isn’t consent, that’s already a crime.”

They debated for a little while, with Satomi and Stiles doing most of the talking, explaining how pointless and frustrating the werewolf sex laws were. The senator made some weak arguments and then simply said that he couldn’t push through a change in law all by himself even if he were convinced. He tried to argue that there were processes that must be adhered to. One man didn’t make the laws.

“Of course not,” Satomi said. “But when the time comes to it, I trust you will place the right vote.”

She smiled and then excused herself to go and get another drink. The senator quickly left, no doubt pleased to escape from the debate. The other man had disappeared some time ago and Stiles hadn’t even noticed him leaving. That left Stiles and Derek standing with Peter.

“You went to Satomi,” Peter said.

“I wanted advice from an alpha who was less of a douche,” Stiles said. “It sounds like there’s already a proposition to change the law about the contracts. Maybe Derek and I will get to be together again without having to convince you to sign anything.”

“The law will never get enough votes,” Peter said.

They spoke quietly, all aware of the crowds around them, the polite conversations of others standing nearby and all the others who might be listening. If Peter had other werewolf guests, every word they said might be carefully studied. Even so, Peter’s words sounded almost like a threat. He was warning them that they still had to rely on Peter’s good wishes before they could have a physical relationship again.

Stiles was sick of false smiles and fake politeness. He was sick of Peter. He looked around the room, at the faces of the people he’d met tonight. All influential people Peter did business with.

“I wonder what the good senator would say,” Stiles said, “if I told him about the reason I came to the consort party. He seems to care so much about the consent of teenagers. I wonder what he’d say if I told him that the current laws allow for a man twice my age to sexually harass me by proxy by getting a doctor to fit a sex toy around my junk without my permission.”

His words were barely a whisper, but he knew Peter heard them by the dark glare in Peter’s eyes. Derek caught hold of Stiles’ hand, and squeezed it, almost painfully tight.

“Are you threatening me?” Peter asked, his voice as quiet as Stiles’. Around them, the pleasant buzz of party conversation continued. No one had noticed the argument in their midst, or the look of murder in Peter’s eyes. Stiles half expected claws to slash his throat at any second.

“I don’t want to have to fight you about this,” Stiles said. Not just because fighting Peter could end up with him literally clawed to ribbons. “Derek and I just want to be together. Why do you have to turn everything into a battle?”

“You went to the alpha of another pack.”

After you were a world class douche,” Stiles said. His words were still nearly a whisper, no matter how he wanted to yell them.

“It seems like you have her on your side. Why don’t you simply join her pack?”

“Because this was never about joining a pack. This is about Derek. It’s always been about Derek.”

Peter started to say something, but then an elderly couple approached, apologising for interrupting their conversation but apparently they had to leave and wanted a quick word with Peter before they left. Peter nodded his agreement and then gave Stiles an empty smile.

“Perhaps we can discuss this later,” he said, “after the party is finished. Or tomorrow. Your guest room is available if you wish to spend the night.”

He walked away, smiling rather more pleasantly to the departing guests. Stiles and Derek were left standing there amid the crowd of party guests.

“Discuss it later?” Stiles said. “Does that mean he’s going to say something other than ‘no’?”

“I have no idea,” Derek said.

Chapter Text

Stiles had never actually spent the night in the room he’d been given in the Hale mansion. It was strange that this room had been set aside for him as Derek’s consort and he’d never used it. Now he was using it as a guest.

Derek had come with him. They sat side by side on the bed. Downstairs, the party continued, but it seemed like a world away, with so many walls and doors between them and it. There were just the two of them now and that made Stiles’ insides twist in knots, because the conversation he’d been putting out of his mind all evening was here and he would have to say something.

“I’m sorry,” Stiles said. Derek gave him a puzzled look. “Last time, at my house, I froze. You caught me off guard and I... This is all new to me and I’ve never been in a situation where I’m thinking about saying those words. Look, I do things without thinking all the time but this can’t be that. I can’t just say it because it’s expected. I have to be sure. This is important. I can’t say it when I think I feel it. I have to be sure. When I say the words, I have to know without a doubt that I really mean them.”

Derek leaned in and silenced him with a soft kiss. When he pulled back, he smiled.

“I can wait,” Derek said.

Stiles put his arms around Derek and just hugged him, because he was so grateful at Derek for understanding that he couldn’t put it into words. Derek’s warm arms held him close and this felt like nothing to do with sex. This was about safety and closeness and support. And that was almost enough to scatter Stiles’ doubts right then and let him say the words he was scared of.

“So,” Stiles filled the silence when the hug was over, “what do we do while we wait for the party to finish?”

“I could get some toys from my room,” Derek said. “We once talked about edging. I wouldn’t be able to do it properly, but we could still do something. And your dad could hardly complain about me not making you come.”

“I think we’d still have a hard time convincing him it was legal.”

Derek leaned in and pressed a kiss to Stiles’ neck, right where it curved out into his shoulder.

“He’s not here now,” Derek pointed out.

“True.” There was a short silence. Derek kissed his neck a few times more, slowly, as though just killing time. Stiles realised he probably was. He was waiting for Stiles to agree or disagree to his proposition.

“OK,” Stiles said. “How are we going to do this?”

“I’ll go and get some things from my room,” Derek said. “And some pyjamas you can borrow if you’re staying the night. While I’m doing that, you can get started. But don’t come.”

He kissed Stiles lightly on the lips and let himself out of the room.

Stiles flopped back onto the mattress and opened his flies, easing out his cock. He started slowly, running his fingers up him length, cradling his balls, using his other hand to stroke his thighs through the fabric of his pants or to reach under his shirt and toy with his nipples. He playing with himself gently, feeling the sensations of his hands, knowing that Derek’s hands would soon replace them. He let his mind wander, imagining what Derek would do on his return, the thoughts stirring up his erection as much as his hands.

After a few minutes, there was a knock on the door.

“It’s me,” Derek said. But he didn’t come in. Stiles realised he was waiting for an invitation, and Stiles also remembered what his dad had said about not taking his clothes off in front of Derek. He tucked himself back into his pants with some difficulty before he invited Derek back into the bedroom carrying a large bag.

Derek had changed his clothes. Now he was wearing tight black jeans, and a shirt that clung to his chest, short sleeves revealing the curves of his arms that Stiles had praised so enthusiastically in texts. He was also wearing the leather gloves.

Derek set the bag down on the bed and pulled out some items, starting with a pile of scarlet silk. Derek soon handed Stiles a little bundle and sent him into the shower room to get changed while Derek set things up out here. Stiles did as he was told. Inside the room, he stripped off his clothes. The last to go was the bracelet with the Hale symbol on the tag. He set that down gently and started with the toys Derek had given him.

First was the vibrating plug. Stiles wasn’t at all surprised to see that one. He leaned against the sink and stretched himself out with fingers and lube until he was ready to try with the plug, easing the tip inside and thrusting it slowly in and out a few times before he slid the widest point through the ring of muscle at his opening. He was already breathing hard from that alone, from fucking himself with the rubber toy.

He was washed the lube from his hands and reached for the next item, a contraption of rings that would fit around the base of his erection, with more rings to squeeze around each ball. It took him a minute to figure out how to get it on, finally closing them with a clip under his balls, but then he knew these would keep him from coming before his time.

He pulled on the silk pyjamas, the material soft against his skin, brushing cool against the heat of his excitement. They fit him perfectly, so Stiles knew that Derek must have bought them for him to wear, to see him wearing them. They tented out obscenely in front of his crotch, but that was part of the fun. They’d be able to see the effect of whatever it was Derek had planned, while Stiles was still staying fully dressed.

He walked back out into the bedroom, silk gliding against his limbs as he walk. It rubbed against his erection like a caress.

Derek stood by the bed, arranging ropes and leather straps. He turned now to look at Stiles, hunger in his eyes. He lifted two wrist cuffs and walked across to Stiles, kissing him before he did anything else.

“I’m not allowed to touch you,” Derek said. He took one of Stiles’ arms, wrapping the wrist in leather and sliding the buckle closed. “That means you’re not allowed to touch yourself either.” He took the other wrist, buckling the cuff on with equal efficiency. “We will both be frustrated.”

Stiles stood there, silent and strangely calm, as Derek went back to the bed and picked up another leather strap, longer than the cuffs but with the same soft lining and secure buckle. His breathing increased in speed when he realised what it was. It was a collar. Derek walked back to him, slow and careful steps, eyes on Stiles’ face, while all Stiles could see was that band of leather.

Derek stood behind Stiles, pressing whisper-soft kiss to the back of Stiles’ neck, even as he raised the collar and pressed the leather against the front of the neck. Stiles had an instant of panic as the leather pressed against the front of his throat, instincts warning him about strangulation, primal fears telling him this was a danger.

But Derek had frozen. The collar rested against the front of Stiles’ neck, but Derek made no move to fasten it on. Not until Stiles got his racing heart back under control and nodded. As Derek closed the loop of leather around his throat, it was excitement that made Stiles’ heart race. This collar felt like such an intimate thing, such a surrendering of control, that it seemed directly linked to his desire. As the buckle slid closed, the collar was there, a constant sensation around his neck, not uncomfortable but impossible to ignore.

Derek’s hand rested gently on his shoulder, fingers brushing against the skin of his neck just above the leather. The leather of his gloves sent tingles through Stiles’ skin.

“Is it alright? Not too tight?”

“It’s perfect,” Stiles said. He ran his fingers against the soft and supple leather, feeling the way it embraced his neck, the cold metal of a ring at the front of it.

Derek placed a kiss on the leather. All Stiles felt was the slight increase in pressure of the collar against his neck. Stiles shivered a little at the gesture.

Derek walked away again to the bed. They could have done this much more quickly if Stiles followed him and stood closer, but speed wasn’t the point. The point was this slow rising of anticipation. Each gesture was careful and calm. Each action was done with deliberate peace. Derek picked up a length of soft rope and returned to Stiles. He held the bundle tucked between his elbow and his side while he fed an end through the ring at the front of the collar. When he had a little more than a foot available to him, he tied it in a quick knot, and then threaded the dangling end through the ring in Stiles’ wrist cuff, tying that as well.

It took about a minute, and then Stiles was standing with his arm bent, his wrist fastened to the collar by that short length. He had a little freedom of movement, but not enough to reach down. Not enough to touch the aching at his groin.

Derek took the other end of the rope, feeding it through the cuff on the other wrist, tying that with about as much freedom. Then he doubled back and tied off on the collar ring again. There was still a good portion of the rope left over, dangling down from the collar like a leash. Derek let it hand, but he touched it gently and swung the rope a little, letting the dangling end brush against the tent of the pyjamas. Stiles shuddered as the rope brushed against his need. He bit his lip against the sensation and Derek leaned in to kiss that lip, leather fingers reaching up to brush his cheek.

Stiles gave himself to the kiss, yielding, letting Derek do as he wished.

When Derek stepped back, he held the rope leash lightly in one hand. He tugged gently and Stiles followed, letting himself be led over to the bed. He lay down in the middle of it, while Derek tied off the end of the rope to one of the wooden posts. Stiles shifted, resting his elbows on the mattress and trying to find a comfortable position for his hands, tied as they were.

There were more straps and ropes waiting for them. Derek picked a strap up, trailing it over Stiles’ body. He felt goose pimples rising beneath the silk as the strap danced across his body. Derek took a moment to play with the tent of his erection, then he fastened the strap around Stiles’ thigh. The same movements, the same gestures, and then a second strap mirrored on the other thigh. Twice more Derek did this, attaching the straps to his ankles this time. Then he took hold of Stiles’ legs and lifted upwards, bending them, until he could clip each thigh strap to the matching ankle cuff.

But Derek wasn’t done. He played lengths of ropes of the restrained legs, across Stiles’ chest, and the aching cock. Then he tied the rope to the ankle cuffs and to the posts at the head of the bed, until Stiles was bent, legs over his torso and out. His ass was lifted off the mattress and his cock was exposed, framed by his limbs.

Derek ran a hand over the silk pants.

“Are you comfortable?” he asked.

“Not quite the word I’d use,” Stiles muttered. But he wasn’t uncomfortable. The ropes held him secure so there was no strain on his muscles except for the unaccustomed stretch of the position.

“Do you want me to change the position?”

Stiles shook his head. “No. I’m good. Maybe later.”

“OK. Just tell me if it gets uncomfortable.”

Stiles nodded, smiling at Derek between his legs.

“In the meantime,” Derek smiled, “I’ll give you something to distract you.”

His hands ran over the silk of Stiles’ legs, cupping his ass. They felt for the base of the plug through the silk. A moment later, the buzzing came alive inside Stiles.

“Oh god,” Stiles moaned, squirming a little in his restraints.

“No,” Derek said. “Just me.”

He ran his hands over Stiles’ bare feet, leather against skin. At times the touch was almost ticklish, and Stiles writhed, twisting against the ropes and straps, his own movements making him more aware of the plug inside him. At other times, the fingers pressed deeper, massaging the muscles, easing away tension Stiles hadn’t even know was there.

The hands moved on, fingers running along the ankle cuffs, tweaking at the ropes and forcing Stiles’ legs to twitch. They ran up his shins to his knees and then followed the curve of his thighs back down. Slow, gentle strokes, soft through the silk. The strokes curved round to his ass again and then flowed away, ignoring the erection that pushed the pyjamas up so obviously.

When Derek reached between his legs, it was to stroke hands up Stiles’ sides and chest, to seek his nipples out through the silk and play with them, teasing them into little lumps that showed through the cloth.

Derek leaned forwards, between Stiles’ raised legs, hands resting on the mattress on either side of him to take his weight. Derek’s stomach brushed against Stiles’ erection as he leaned down, but his mouth found those nipples. The silk became damp puddles as Derek kissed and nipped at the nipples in turn.

Stiles’ hands clenched empty air as he squirmed under the touch, as his ass clenched around the plug buzzing inside him. Nothing was quite enough. The vibrations of the plug weren’t strong enough. They weren’t pressed against quite the right place. Derek’s touches were too soft. His mouth worked the wrong part of his body. Stiles felt like he’d been hard for an eternity.

“God, I need to come,” he moaned quietly.

His hands were clenching again, involuntarily, as though some part of him was trying to take hold of his cock and stroke it, even when his hands were held by ropes, too far away to reach.

“If I let you come, then it’s over,” Derek said. He’d sat up straight again, hands stroking softly on Stiles’ bound thighs as he looked down on him. “I want to play with you some more.”

He had that predatory gleam in his eye again but Stiles knew he would untie him if he asked. He would untie the ropes that bound Stiles’ hands and let him stroke himself, let him have to climax he craved. But Derek couldn’t be here for that part. Even they couldn’t pretend that was legal. If Stiles wanted to come, it would mean an end to his play session with Derek. Much as Stiles’ aching cock wanted release, he didn’t want this night to be over.

“Play,” Stiles whispered.

So Derek did. Soft strokes of hands on skin and silk. He kissed Stiles deeply, and pressed other kisses to the points where skin met collar. He played with Stiles’ nipples through the pyjamas and ran hands through Stiles’ hair.

After a time, the discomfort of the position became a welcome distraction from the aching need in his groin. Derek played with every other part of him but never went near there.

After a time, the position went from being a distraction to just uncomfortable, and Derek undid the ropes that held Stiles’ legs up, unclipping the thighs from ankles. Stiles let his legs flop out on the bed, Derek still sitting between them. The tent of Stiles’ erection seemed more obvious now.

Derek left the bed, and Stiles moaned at his loss, his complaint wordless but clear. Derek returned a minute later with a glass of water, helping raise Stiles head up from the mattress to tip the water into his mouth and let him sip at it. Stiles was grateful, but Derek had been gone longer than it took to pour a glass of water. Stiles was fairly certain Derek had just masturbated in the bathroom, and Stiles was still here, writhing with need on the bed, unable to touch himself where he need to be touched.

The words hovered in Stiles’ throat as Derek resumed his slow game. Stiles wanted to say them. He wanted to come. He would beg to come. But coming would mean Derek would leave. So the words hung on his tongue and never passed his lips.

Not until Derek’s hands reached between his ass and the mattress to turn up the power of the vibrations. Only then did Stiles gasp out the word, “Please.”

“You want to come?” Derek asked.

Stiles was a gibbering puddle of need, all the world condensed down to his sense of touch and those hands that were still running teasing fingers up his thighs.

Stiles nodded.

Derek moved up the bed, placing a slow kiss on Stiles’ lips as his hands worked the knot that held Stiles’ right hand to his collar.

As Stiles dropped his hand down and under the waist of the pyjamas, Derek walked away. Stiles found the rings and pulled them undone with his one free hand. The door opened and shut. A moment later, Stiles’ hands were around his cock, pumping. He came in an instant, white splatters decorating the red silk.

He lay there, panting hard. The bed feeling strangely lonely. He reached out and found a spot of warmth that Derek had left on the mattress. Tears slipped silently from his eyes.

There was a quiet tap on the door. Derek walked back in. He spotted the glittering water on Stiles’ cheeks and was across the room in an instant, kissing them away.

“Hey,” he said softly, “what’s wrong?”

“I don’t want you to have to leave,” Stiles whispered.

“I’m here,” Derek said. He kissed Stiles’ cheek again, then started to work loose the knot that held the rope to the bed post, so he could free Stiles’ other hand.

He knew why Derek had left the room. He understood. This way, Stiles would be able to say that he’d not come in front of Derek and it would be true. He’d be able to say that Derek hadn’t touched his cock and it would be true. He’d be able to say that he’d been fully dressed at all times, and it would be true. It wasn’t completely honest, but it was technically true. If his dad decided to arrest Derek, Stiles would be able to argue against it. He still didn’t have to like it.

It seemed to take Derek an eternity, but he finally undid the last knot and tossed the rope aside. He lay down on the bed, still fully dressed, and pulled Stiles into his arms. Stiles felt his warmth, the rising and falling of his chest. He thought he could hear the steady pounding of Derek’s heart, so close to him.

“You should go,” Stiles said. “You should go back to your own room.”

“I don’t want to.” Derek’s fingers brushed Stiles’ hair.

Stiles didn’t want to move. He didn’t want Derek to move. He wanted to lie like this forever, safe and warm, and drifting on the post-orgasm sensations.

“We can’t sleep together,” Stiles said.

He needed deniability. He needed to be able to tell his dad that he slept in the guest room and Derek slept in his own bed. He needed those few fragments of truth because he knew how dangerous what they were doing was. He knew the risks to Derek if this became known.

Derek slipped off the bed and out of the room. Stiles slid under the covers, the cuffs still around his wrists and legs. He curled himself into a ball and tried to pretend Derek’s arms were still holding him as he drifted into sleep.

Chapter Text

“Good morning, Stiles.”

Stiles opened his eyes, yelped, and scrambled at the covers to make sure he was completely covered. He was, thankfully. But the pyjamas under the covers were crusty with dried cum and Peter could definitely smell that. Plus, Stiles was still wearing the cuffs on his wrists; they’d never taken them off after last night’s play. Peter stood next to the bed, looking down at Stiles.

“I thought this room was my private space,” Stiles said, “and you couldn’t come in here?”

“While the contract still applied, yes,” Peter said. “But the contract no longer applies and this is my house. We should talk.”

“How about we talk after I’ve showered and put clothes on.”

“Go right ahead.” Peter gestured towards the bathroom. He remained standing next to the bed. Stiles pulled the covers up to his neck. He wasn’t getting out from under these covers while Peter was looking at him. He wondered if he should yell for Derek. Even with all the walls between them, werewolf hearing should pick it up.

“What’s this about?” Stiles asked.

“You want to be with Derek,” Peter said.

“Yes. I’d have thought even you would have grasped that point by now.”

Peter ignored the not-exactly-subtle insult to his intelligence.

“You seem to want this very badly,” Peter continued.

“Duh.”

“I think it’s time to decide how badly.”

Peter’s tone had been perfectly calm throughout but still he managed to make that last part sound like a threat. It couldn’t be a coincidence that Peter was having this conversation with him now, with Derek not here. Derek was probably asleep in his bed, completely oblivious. Once again, the urge to yell for him arose. But that would mean admitting that Peter scared the crap out of him. He didn’t want to give Peter that satisfaction.

“What do you mean?” Stiles asked.

“I will give you the companion contract,” Peter said. “No end date. You and Derek can be together for as long as you decide you want to be.”

“Great. You go down to your study and draft that out while I take a shower and Derek and I can be back together before breakfast.” Stiles forced a smile onto his face, even though the cold smile that rose on Peter’s lips sent chills through him.

“There is a condition,” Peter said.

“Naturally.”

“You’ve seen what Trevor was willing to do to achieve his goals. I’m interested to see what you are willing to do. How badly do you want to be with my nephew?”

Stiles swallowed nervously. He didn’t answer the question. He wanted to be with Derek. But there was no mistaking the menace in Peter’s tone. There was no doubting that Peter wanted to hurt Stiles.

“What’s your condition?” Stiles asked.

“Twenty four hours. I will give you the contract to be with Derek for as long as you wish, but only after you spend twenty four hours as my companion, letting me do whatever I wish to you. If you want, I can include a condition in the contract that I won’t cause you any permanent injury,” he said that like it was some huge concession, “and you will be free to walk away at any time. But if you walk away before the time limit is up, you will forfeit all right to the contract with Derek.”

Stiles thought of Peter’s hands on him. He thought of the pain on Trevor’s face. He thought of all the torments Peter was probably devising right this moment. There were a lot of ways Peter could hurt him that wouldn’t technically be permanent.

“Go to hell,” Stiles snarled.

“A shame,” said Peter. “And I thought you really wanted to be with Derek.”

“I’m not going to put myself in your hands.”

“Ah well. I’m sure he enjoyed being with you while it lasted.”

“You’re acting like these are my only options,” Stiles snapped. “Be your slave for twenty four hours or never be with Derek again. But those aren’t the only options. We’ll find another way. Maybe Satomi’s proposition will get voted through and the laws will change and Derek and I won’t need a contract anymore. Maybe you’ll piss off the wrong person and get killed by another pack and Derek will be the alpha. Maybe you’ll have a personality transplant and turn into a person with a soul. It might take longer, but we can find a way. Now will you please leave the room before I call my dad about the sexual harassment charges I’ve been thinking about since you first stuck a cage on my cock.”

Stiles tried for a cold, calculating smile to match the one Peter wore. He probably just looked absurd. It was very difficult to be forthright when covering in a bed.

“I would think carefully about any such discussions,” Peter said. “I’m sure your father would be interested to know why your bed smells so much of semen.”

“My dad knows I masturbate.” Stiles hoped he sounded confident. He didn’t feel confident. He and Derek might not have had sex since the contract ended, but Stiles had no doubts about how his dad would react to what they had got up to.

“Masturbate?” Peter asked. “Yet Derek spent some time in here with you yesterday evening.”

“We talked.” Technically, not a lie.

“If your father starts asking me questions regarding sex, I will tell him the truth. I will tell him that Derek returned from seeing you smelling of you and sex.”

“Are you seriously trying to intimidate me by threatening to get your own nephew arrested?” Stiles asked.

“I have enough friends that I’m confident I can get Derek released into my custody, with restrictions on his behaviour no doubt. The authorities may choose to enforce restraining orders preventing him from approaching you or your house or school, but I’m sure Derek will survive. What I’m not sure about though is how your father will react with you.” Peter smiled again.

“I can’t believe you’d do that to your nephew just because you don’t like me.”

“He is defying me.”

“And that gives you the right to destroy his life? To get him arrested and branded as a-?” Stiles couldn’t even say the word. Derek would be marked as a paedophile if Peter went through with this.

“I am his alpha and he is choosing to defy me.”

“Ugh!” Stiles threw a hand up in a gesture of disgust. “Does it not occur to you that the point of being an alpha is to protect and care for your pack? Not enforce your will on them regardless of their wishes?”

“You think you can tell me how to be an alpha, human,” Peter spat the last word like it was the worst insult he could possibly imagine.

“Yeah, well even this human can see you’re not doing a very good job at it. Even Cora, your own niece, said you didn’t need any help from the outside to divide your pack.”

“You are the one trying to divide my pack.” Peter took a step towards the bed. Stiles wished he had a weapon. Once again, the thought rose in him to call for Derek, but he hated Peter seeing that he was afraid. He wanted to be strong. He wanted to argue Peter down. He didn’t want to be the one needing rescuing when all Peter was doing was talking.

“I’m not trying to do anything,” Stiles said. “Except be with Derek. You’re the one failing to pay any attention to what your pack actually wants. I mean, Cora’s party.” Stiles let go of the covers long enough to make air quotes around Cora’s name. “You filled the place with people she thinks are boring. Derek’s party, he didn’t want at all, to the extent that he was hiding from his own guests. You belittled Derek’s degree and you’re making him get a new one in a subject he’s not interested in. You’re so busy making them do what you want them to do, you don’t even notice that they don’t want it.”

“I’m doing what’s best for my pack.”

Stiles gave a derisive snort. It was probably the least respectful noise he could have made right then short of farting in Peter’s face, but he couldn’t help it. Peter was so self-righteous.

“You do not get to tell me how to lead my pack.”

“Then stop being such a dick to them.”

Casually insulting Peter was probably not the best idea when he was terrified of him, but somehow Stiles couldn’t stop himself. Peter’s eyes narrowed. Stiles’ instinct was to say sorry, but he didn’t want to apologise to Peter for anything. He’d start apologising to Peter when Peter started apologising to him, which, going by their track record, was probably going to be a couple of centuries after the apocalypse.

“You’re threatening to get your own nephew arrested,” Stiles said. “How can you not see you’re in the wrong here?”

“I will protect my own,” Peter said. “This is your last chance to take me up on my offer.”

“Your offer to let you torture me? How ‘bout no.”

“Your choice. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a phone call to make.”

Peter turned and walked out of the bedroom.

***

Stiles’ shower was fast and his goodbye to Derek was faster, but by the time Stiles got home, his dad was waiting for him. He had that calm look on his face which told Stiles he’d gone through the level of blustering anger to the point where he was truly furious. He sat down at the dining table and gestured for Stiles to sit across from him.

“How old are you, Stiles?”

“You know, I find it really hurtful that my dad doesn’t know how-“

“Stiles!”

“I’m sixteen.”

“And what’s the age of consent in California?”

“Dad, come on, I’ve not had sex with Derek since the contract ended.”

“Then why did I get a call from Peter Hale telling me that the room you slept in last night smelled of sex?”

Stiles could have tried arguing that technically it wasn’t sex, and that technically he’d even stuck to his dad’s rule about being fully dressed when with Derek, but he didn’t think that would count for much. Not with his dad this angry and already used to Stiles trying to find loopholes in rules. Instead, Stiles decided to go for the other option: honesty.

“You got that call because I told Peter I wouldn’t have sex with him,” Stiles said.

“What?”

“He told me he’d let me be with Derek if I signed a twenty four hour contract with Peter and let him do anything he wanted to me as long as it didn’t cause permanent injury. I said no, so he threatened to get Derek arrested.”

His dad sat there for a long moment, just staring at him in shock. Then he shook his head sadly.

“Oh, Stiles, what have you got yourself into?”

“Has Peter officially reported Derek?”

“No. I don’t think so. He called here directly.”

“Look, Dad, we haven’t had sex since the contract ended. We’ve messed around a bit, but clothes stayed on. He’s not touched me, you know.” Stiles gestured down at his crotch. He really didn’t want to have this conversation with his dad, especially since he knew they had probably stepped over the line of legality more than once, but he wanted his dad to know they weren’t completely reckless.

“I don’t think it matters,” his dad said.

“Of course it matters. Derek hasn’t done anything wrong.”

“If an alpha werewolf reports his own beta, people will believe him. It will be your word against his, and evidence won’t matter because Peter will make sure this will never go to trial. He’ll cut a deal, and get Derek released to him on conditions that will make it impossible for Derek to ever see you again.”

“And everyone will believe Derek’s a... a rapist, because they’ll see his alpha not even trying to fight the claim that he took advantage of a poor, innocent boy. Derek will be branded with this forever and it doesn’t matter that he would never do a thing to hurt me.”

Stiles wanted to smash something. He wanted to storm back to that house in the woods and punch Peter in the groin. But he sat there at the table, fingering the tag on his bracelet.

“Stiles,” his dad said softly, “you know I don’t like that you’re with someone so much older than you, so please don’t interpret this as me trying to keep you apart. Peter plays dirty.”

“Yeah, I noticed that.”

“I think you should stay away from Derek, at least for a while. Maybe when you’re older, if you still like him, you could try...”

“I can’t just give up,” Stiles said. “I can’t just accept that Peter’s stronger than me and stop seeing Derek. I love him.” The words left his lips before he even knew he was going to say them. “Oh.”

“Oh?” his dad asked, seeing the surprised look on Stiles’ face.

“I’d not actually said that before. Derek told me he loved me and I kind of froze. I didn’t say it back but...” he thought over all that had happened in the past few weeks, “I love him.”

His dad dragged a hand over his face and through his hair.

“God help me,” he muttered. “You’re in love. I never thought I’d long for the days when all I had to worry about was you breaking your arms or setting fire to classrooms.”

“It was only the one classroom.”

His dad glowered, unamused.

“Dad, I love him,” Stiles said. “I have to fight for him.”

“Meet him in public places,” his dad said. “Go to dinner with him. Walk in the park. Always go somewhere you’ll have witnesses. Don’t even go to the movies. Peter can’t claim you’re having sex if you’re never alone together.” He paused and then added, “And I hope I don’t need to mention that you really, really can’t have sex with him.”

Stiles guessed this was as close as his father was going to get to approval.

“Thanks,” he said quietly.

“Why couldn’t you have stayed in love with that Martin girl?” his dad asked, not really expecting an answer. He didn’t get one.

Chapter Text

Stiles spent more time writing articles than he probably should have done, particularly since his homework was backing up. But he’d received an email saying that his article on privilege or lack thereof had been placed with a small magazine in a region that had a higher than average werewolf population. The email had apologised for the fact that the magazine was small and the pay rate so low, but even at three cents a word, he should be earning enough for that article to take Derek out for dinner somewhere.

Most of his writing time was spent on a long article that was more of a rant about the power of alphas over their own. He wrote it assuming a human reader. He also assumed his readers would know little about werewolf politics, but be familiar with phrases like ‘werewolf privilege’ and probably believe the stereotypes about werewolves all being rich, powerful, and able to get away with whatever they liked.

Stiles didn't deny those stereotypes. He played up to them, but emphasised that the power was all in the hands of the alphas. He talked about how the alphas could control their betas, how they had absolute authority over who they dated, even things like what degree they could take. He didn’t mention Peter by name, he simply talked about the things alphas could get away with, including mentioning how an alpha could essentially frame their beta for a crime when they got out of line. He also talked about money. For all the supposed wealth of the packs, he wrote, the money all rested in the hands of the alphas. The betas couldn’t spend money without the alpha’s permission.

He talked about how that often left betas with no choice but to stay with alphas, even if they were being abused, because leaving would mean becoming a penniless omega. Technically, an alpha could report former betas for theft just for the clothes on their back and the money in their wallets, because even that belonged to the alpha. A werewolf leaving a pack would have absolutely no way to fend for themselves.

He talked about omegas and the dangers they faced, throwing in a few of the statistics about the how many were killed by other packs, and by hunters, about how there was no one to speak for them so some who were prejudiced against werewolves would feel free to hurt them.

Over the course of a couple of thousand words, Stiles painted a bleak picture about the lives of beta werewolves. He stressed repeatedly that this was not true of all packs. There were some alphas, he wrote, who cared deeply for their betas and would never take advantage of the system. However, he concluded, there were some alphas all too eager to take advantage and act cruelly because they could get away with it. He finished up by saying that werewolf privilege really only rested in the hands of a small minority, and that the ones who suffered most from the abuse of that privilege were the betas compelled to remain in their packs.

Stiles felt nervous as he read through what he’d written and sent it off. He had no idea if there was a market that would take an article like that. He had just needed to get his emotions down on paper. He wanted to scream about what Peter had threatened to do to Derek and this seemed the most productive way to do that.

Then he and Derek went out for dinner on Sunday evening. They were continuing their tour of cheap eateries, partly in the name of continuing Derek’s education, but partly because three cents a word really wasn’t all that much.

They sat in a booth in a pizza place that did an all-you-can-eat deal. Stiles reached across the table and took Derek’s hand.

“Before we do anything,” he said, “there’s something I need to say.”

“OK,” Derek said. He looked apprehensive. No, he looked terrified.

“I love you.”

“Oh.” Derek’s eyes went wide with surprise. “That’s... oh.”

“I’m glad I’m not the only one whose brain stalls in the face of unexpected pronouncements,” Stiles said, fighting down laughter, because Derek’s surprised eyebrows looked like they were trying to migrate up off his face.

“You... love me?” Derek said.

“Yep,” said Stiles, the p popping in his mouth. “I figured it out while my dad was telling me I really should stay away from you and the thing that made me most mad about Peter’s threats was the fact that they’d hurt you. I love you.”

Derek didn’t say it back right away but he didn’t need to. His smile said it all. Then he reached out, grabbed Stiles’ shirt and pulled him over the table so they could kiss. Stiles had the edge of the table digging uncomfortably into his stomach, but it was worth it.

“I love you,” Stiles whispered, while they were still leaning awkwardly over the table.

“I love you,” Derek whispered back. They slid back down into their seats and Stiles righted the pepper pot which had been knocked over during their display. Something felt lighter in the atmosphere, now that the words were out there, spoken by both of them. But it didn’t solve the immediate problem.

They had their dinner, sitting in view of the staff, and the other customers, and anyone wandering by outside. They stayed in public view, talking calmly and sharing an occasional kiss, but not doing anything that could be remotely considered illegal. How long could they keep this up? How long before Peter found something else to threaten them with?

They talked. Stiles moaned about school. Derek moaned about his degree. Stiles shared a couple of stories about his exploits with Scott. Derek gave a story about Cora. Stiles talked about his writing plans, even though it seemed like that wouldn’t be enough to get Peter on his side, given the way he’d reacted to Satomi at the party.

“It would be good to go on a road trip with you,” Stiles said. “I could do a piece for a travel magazine but include details about the difficulty of travelling with a werewolf. But sharing a hotel room right now would probably be a one way ticket to doom.”

“You’d want to go on a road trip with me?”

“Yeah, and not just because it would make a good article,” said Stiles. “It’s also because you have an awesome car.”

Derek gave a little smile at that.

“Peter would have to sign the travel request forms though,” Derek said. “He’d never agree to it.”

“So that’s basically the story of our lives now.”

“Yeah.”

***

Coach dropped a letter on Stiles’ desk at the start of econ and told him, “Don’t take it personally. There are still plenty of places I can send it to, I just started with the biggest. They were always as likely to print it as I am to regrow my missing testicle.”

“Really don’t need to know about your testicles, Coach,” Stiles said, opening the letter. It was from an economics journal, rejecting his piece. The letter was polite and utterly impersonal, simply stating that the piece wasn’t suited to their needs at this time. The last sentence did suggest he try again in the future with other pieces, so maybe his work wasn’t that bad. Of course, they could put that in every letter. This thing did read like someone had just inserted his name into a standard template. There was no indication that they’d even read his article.

Stiles tried to tell himself that it should just make it easier not to take it personally. But still it stung. He’d put time and effort, heart and soul into that article and someone had dismissed it so casually, with a letter so bland and uncaring. He wondered if they’d even read it. Maybe they’d realised he was still in high school and dismissed the piece out of hand.

He tried to focus on the lesson, particularly when Coach yelled at him that lack of focus was only acceptable when he got a college-level paper out of it. Stiles almost took that as a challenge to start writing another one in the middle of class, but his recent ideas were more politics and sociology than economics.

Stiles got through his morning classes and then sat with Scott and Allison at lunch. He wasn’t sure if sitting with Allison was a good idea, but it was obvious that nothing he could ever do would make Peter accept him, so he damned well wasn’t going to avoid his best friend.

“What’s going on with you at FInstock?” Allison asked Stiles.

“I wrote an economics paper he thinks is good enough to get published. He’s sending it out to some places for me.”

“What’s it about?”

“Economic privilege, particularly how it impacts different races, classes and stuff like that. There’s a bit in there about werewolf privilege.”

“Is your boyfriend OK with you writing about werewolf privilege?”

Stiles shrugged, “Derek’s fine with it. His uncle still wants to torture me, but I’ve just about given up on him ever feeling any other way. Plus, the werewolf thing’s just a tiny bit of that article.”

That article?” Allison asked, catching the word and Stiles’ inflection. Stiles decided it didn’t matter what she knew. After all, it wasn’t a big secret that he was writing this stuff. Satomi knew, and Derek, and his name would be on anything that got published.

“I’ve written some other pieces about werewolves and the restrictions they face and stuff like that.”

“Restrictions?” she said. “Like being restricted from going to court if they commit a crime.”

“Or from getting found not guilty by a jury when they’re being framed,” Stiles said. That particular example of werewolf privilege was one he’d been thinking about a lot since his last conversation with Peter.

“What?”

Scott was looking at him curiously. Stiles hadn’t told him yet about Peter’s threats to frame Derek.

“Let’s say an alpha and a beta are arguing,” Stiles said. “The alpha decides that the beta needs to be reminded of his place. So he goes to the police and reports that the beta has committed some crime. People will basically take his word for it because the alpha is reporting his own beta and why would he lie? Then the alpha pulls some strings to avoid the trial, and everyone takes that as proof, because why would the alpha do that unless the beta was guilty? Then the law puts restrictions on the beta, maybe even confining him to the alpha’s property with no time frame given for when the restrictions will end. So the beta is basically imprisoned, with the alpha as jailor, with everyone just accepting that he’s guilty, and he doesn’t get a trial to prove he’s innocent.”

Allison looked at Stiles for a long moment after his increasingly angry rant. For a minute, he thought she was actually listening to him.

Then she said, “That scenario’s never going to happen though.”

“It’s what’s happening right now. It’s what Peter is planning to do to Derek.”

Scott and Allison both looked at him in confusion. Stiles stabbed at his lunch, picturing each piece of food as Peter’s face. He explained briefly about Peter’s plan to get Derek arrested and subsequently banned from seeing Stiles.

“He does have a point that you having sex with Derek is illegal,” Scott pointed out. Stiles hit him round the head.

“Are you even listening?” Stiles said. “Derek and I haven’t had sex since Peter forced us to end the contract. But Peter can say Derek smelled like sex and people will take that as an eye witness report. Or nose witness, I guess. Peter can twist the restrictions round to his advantage.”

“Which just proves the point about werewolf privilege,” Allison said. Stiles wanted to dump his lunch over her head.

“Alpha privilege,” Stiles said. “Alphas have all the power and the privilege. Everyone else is just screwed over, by the alphas and the humans.”

***

Stiles didn’t think much about his conversation with Allison until a couple of days later when an older guy cornered him as he was carrying groceries out to his jeep in front of the store. He gave Stiles a smile and Stiles assumed the guy wanted help carrying something heavy and couldn’t find an employee. Stiles smiled back, waiting to see what he wanted.

“Stiles Stilinski, isn’t it?” the man said. And now Stiles was slightly creeped out by the fact the guy knew his name.

“And you would be?”

“Gerard Argent. You go to school with my granddaughter.”

“Nice to meet you. Excuse me, I’ve got some perishables that should really be in the fridge and my dad’s expecting me back home soon.” In fact, his dad was working this weekend which was why Stiles was getting the groceries, but creepy grandpa didn’t need to know that.

“Allison talked to me about you. She thinks you have some interesting ideas about werewolf privilege and the restriction laws. I would be keen to hear them.”

Stiles remembered everything Derek had said about the Argents, about how they made hating werewolves a family business. Even without factoring Kate in, Derek had talked about protests and stuff. Stiles suspected this guy was probably like one of those radical religious types who thought it their duty to try and convert atheists at every opportunity. He expected Gerard wanted to teach him the error of his ways and why werewolves deserved every restriction placed on them and more.

“I’m busy right now,” Stiles said. “You know, homework and stuff waiting for me back at home.”

He started to walk away.

“I may be able to help you with your problem,” Gerard said.

Stiles paused long enough to throw his arms wide and smile, saying, “Problems? I don’t have any problems.”

“The entire town knows that you want to be with the wolf and his alpha won’t let you. I can help you. All I’m asking is a conversation. Surely you’re not afraid to talk to an old man?”

It was baiting at its crudest. Gerard wanted Stiles to go with him to prove that he wasn’t afraid. Stiles was not going to fall for it.

Except that Gerard said he could help. Right now, Stiles needed all the help he could get. It couldn’t hurt to hear what he had to say. After all, Peter already hated him for talking to Allison so talking to Gerard couldn’t make things any worse. All he had to do was listen. If Gerard started spouting some anti-werewolf nonsense, Stiles could always walk away.

“We need to keep it short,” Stiles said. “I really do have to get home.” As an afterthought, he pulled out his phone. “I should just let my dad know I’ll be a few minutes late.”

It wasn’t his dad he texted. He typed out a quick message to Derek.

Meeting Gerard Argent. Says he can help us. I’m gonna hear him out just in case. Try to keep Peter from killing me when he finds out I’ve breathed the same air as this guy.

He wanted Derek to know he wasn’t siding with his enemies or having secret meetings, because Peter was bound to find out something like this and probably try to use it to break the two of them up.

Stiles tucked his phone away.

“OK,” Stiles said. “Talk.”

“This might take more than a minute. There’s a coffee shop around the corner. Let’s go there. I’ll buy you a drink.”

Stiles knew the coffee shop the guy meant. He hesitated, but only for a moment. The coffee shop was a public place. This guy couldn’t be planning to do anything more evil than having a conversation. Besides, he had to be at least sixty. If he tried anything, Stiles reckoned even he could take the man in a fight. He shrugged.

“Sure,” he said. “But I meant it about keeping it quick.”

They started to walk across the parking lot. They’d only made it a few metres when Stiles’ phone buzzed in his pocket, signalling an incoming text. Stiles pulled it out and saw Derek’s name on the screen.

DO NOT GO ANYWHERE WITH HIM!!!

Stiles heard the click of a safety coming off a gun.

“I hope you’re not going to make this difficult,” Gerard said.

Chapter Text

“You have a strange definition of the word ‘talk’,” Stiles complained, as he stumbled down the last few steps into basement and nearly fell flat on his face. He turned and glared, adding, “And didn’t your mom ever tell you it’s mean to shove people?”

“Didn’t your mom ever tell you children should be seen and not heard?” asked the guy. The Argents had presumably hired him for his muscles, not his charming personality. He’d been waiting in the van Argent had used to bring him here after they snatched him at gunpoint from the middle of the store parking lot.

They were now in the basement of an abandoned house. It seemed the Argents were dumb enough to kidnap the sheriff’s son, but unfortunately they weren’t dumb enough to take him back to their own property. At least Derek knew who’d taken him. Hopefully he was right now talking to the sheriff and rounding up the rescue party. Hopefully.

Stiles looked round at the basement, which was damp and empty, just bare walls and the steps up to the house. Nothing he could use as a weapon. No windows he could escape out of.

“Love what you’ve done with the place,” Stiles commented.

Argent’s muscle man pulled out a knife. He smiled at Stiles.

“I think it needs a bit of colour,” he said. “A bit of red on the walls would brighten it up nicely.”

Stiles blinked and tried not to show he was afraid. He tried to tell himself that this guy was unlikely to go to all this trouble just to kill him. He hoped.

“Gotta give you points for creativity on that threat,” Stiles said.

“I got your point right here.” The guy gestured with the knife.

“Yeah, that one’s a bit of a cliché.”

The guy looked increasingly angry as Stiles failed to show the appropriate level of fear. Maybe Stiles should do that. Maybe he should make a show of cowering and being scared, to buy himself time for Derek or his dad to find him. Mouthing off to the heavily armed guys who’d kidnapped him probably wasn’t the smartest thing he’d ever done.

“Now, now,” said Gerard’s soft voice from the top of the stairs, “we don’t need to hurt the boy.”

He walked slowly down the steps into the basement. Muscle guy stepped aside to let Gerard pass. Stiles stood in front of him and folded his arms in front of his chest, trying to give a glare that Derek would be proud of.

“Maybe you should have thought about that before you kidnapped me.”

“This isn’t a kidnapping. I just thought we should talk somewhere more private. After all, there are some subjects that shouldn’t be spoken of in a public place.”

“Subjects like what?” Stiles asked.

“How to kill an alpha werewolf, of course.”

Stiles couldn’t process that for a minute. He stood there, blinking and confused, certain he must have misheard because what Gerard was suggesting was utter lunacy.

“Are you crazy?” Stiles asked. “No, scratch that. I don’t need to ask. You’re definitely crazy because it sounds like you’re suggesting we conspire to kill Peter.”

“I’m not suggesting we conspire about it,” Gerard said. “I’m suggesting we do it. I can provide you with the tools and the means, and then you will be free to do whatever you like with the other wolf.”

“You can’t seriously expect me to murder Peter? Aside from the fact that he’s bigger, stronger and faster than me, with the super healing and the ability to sprout claws and fangs, there’s the small fact that you’re asking me to commit murder.”

“Don’t think of it as murder,” said Gerard. “Think of it as putting down a rabid dog. Think about much safer the world will be without that animal in it.”

“First, off, he’s not an animal. He’s an evil, sadistic bastard, but that’s because he’s an evil, sadistic bastard, not because he’s a werewolf. Being a werewolf doesn’t make it any less murder.”

“But that doesn’t change the fact that the world will be a much safer place with Peter Hale dead. And out of it, you get to put your boyfriend in charge and be with him the way you want to be. You win on both counts.”

“Aside from the high likelihood of Peter murdering me in the slowest and most painful way he can manage using nothing but his bare claws.”

“Only if you fail.”

“Yeah, because I’m clearly auditioning for the role of greatest assassin ever over here. How do you expect me to kill an alpha?”

“I told you, I can provide you with the tools. Weapons laced in wolfsbane. All you have to do is break the skin, and he will die.”

“Of course, in the immediate aftermath of me breaking his skin with a poisoned weapon, I’m sure he’d still be able to claw me into a dozen pieces.”

“Some varieties of wolfsbane act more quickly than others. He would be weakened almost at once. How fast can you run?”

“Not fast enough to try this, even if I was considering it. I mean, just because I’ve had idle thoughts about how nice it would be if Peter dropped dead, it doesn’t mean I’d kill him. You need to find yourself another assassin. Better yet, try it yourself. Hopefully you’ll finish each other off.”

“I would never get close enough. You can.”

“Peter would never let me get close,” Stiles said. But his words nearly faltered. Because Peter had given him the perfect way to get close. Stiles could agree to be his companion for a day, and then, when Peter came up to him to take advantage, he could scratch him with something laced with wolfsbane.

Except Peter might not let him get close. It was entirely possible that Peter would do something like throw handcuffs at him from a distance and force Stiles to restrain himself before Peter ever came close enough to be in range. Peter knew how much Stiles hated him and had decided he was an enemy before any of this even happened. Peter might be suspicious enough to never give Stiles a chance, even if Stiles decided to try this. He wasn’t going to try it.

“There are other options,” Gerard said. “A challenge fight within the pack. Derek has never made a move against Peter, but he could be persuaded. We just need to give him the right incentive.”

“So you’ll blackmail Derek into killing his uncle by threatening me? I mean, it’s got better odds of success than sending me after Peter, but you’re forgetting the fact that Peter is a hell of a lot more powerful than Derek. Chances are Peter will kill Derek.”

“It’s still worth the attempt. I’ve got nothing to lose.”

Stiles supposed that was true. Gerard was hardly going to mourn if Derek ended up dead, any more than he’d mourn for Peter.

“Why to do you hate Peter so much? I mean, I get that you’re an anti-werewolf bigot, but why focus all this on him?”

“He killed my daughter,” Gerard said.

“Would that be Kate? The same person who murdered a whole bunch of his family? It’s a little hypocritical for you to go all revengy over him going all revengy, given that she was the one who started all this. If anyone’s the real monster here, she was.”

Gerard moved fast for an old guy. The back of his fist caught Stiles on the cheek with enough force to make him stumble sideways. Pain blossomed in the side of his face.

Before Stiles could think of a good retort, preferably one that wouldn’t end in another punch, the sound of a gunshot tore through the air.

Somewhere up above, gunfire sounded again and again. Stiles didn’t know if it was his dad or Derek or someone else, but it was pretty clear that this was the cavalry. Gerard turned to his hired muscle and sent him up the stairs to help out whoever was up there fighting. Stiles was left along with the old guy, but he wasn’t going to try and escape right now. He’d rather stay down here, away from the bullets.

Naturally, as soon as Stiles had that thought, Gerard pulled out his gun from somewhere in his jacket and aimed it at Stiles.

“Really?” said Stiles. “This again?”

“You never know when you might need a hostage.”

Overhead, something crashed and someone yelled in pain. There was an animal snarling noise and then some truly horrible screams that turned to blubbering noises at the end. Stiles’ eyes were drawn up towards the ceiling and the source of the sounds. In that instant, Gerard was round behind him. He looped an arm around Stiles’ neck and put the gun to his head.

If Stiles survived this, he was going to start going to the gym or taking self-defence classes or something because it was utterly humiliating to be taken hostage by a pensioner.

There was another crashing noise and suddenly Stiles was being showered with bits of wood as the basement door shattered inward, taking chunks of doorframe and bits of wall with it. Stiles got a glimpse of something huge and hairy and angry leaping down the stairs.

Gerard emptied his clip into the creature’s chest but the thing didn’t even slow. It shoved Stiles aside with a sweep of a huge arm that sent him sprawling, and then it had Gerard pinned to the wall, claws at his throat, holding him off the ground.

It had to be Peter. It was an alpha werewolf and Stiles couldn’t imagine how it could be anyone else. Peter had come to rescue him. What the hell?

Gerard spoke, his voice choking and weak as it broke through the grip on his throat.

“You can’t kill me,” he said. “The police will kill you if you do.”

Peter shifted. The fur melted away. His huge alpha form shrank down without losing a shred of his strength or menacing. His eyes still burned red and his claws remained extended, pricking through Gerard’s throat.

“You hurt my nephew’s consort,” Peter said. “A consort is part of the pack and everyone knows that an alpha has no control when someone threatens his pack.” Peter smiled, mouth full of razor fangs. “No one would ever convict me.”

His claws slashed through Gerard’s throat. Before the old man could even fall, Peter’s claws were in him again, tearing through his torso, cutting through skin and muscle into the organs beneath. Blood sprayed everywhere and Stiles scrambled back along the floor, feeling the need to vomit but unable to look away from the sight of Peter literally tearing Gerard into chunks.

When Peter stopped, he slowly turned towards Stiles. Stiles was still on the floor, crouched in a corner of the basement, trying not to breathe too much because the room stank of blood and death. Peter was splashed with crimson, naked after his transformation. Most of the blood was probably Gerard’s, and no doubt some was from the others upstairs, but Stiles could see the bullet wounds in his chest, and other injuries. He must have taken several direct hits bursting in here and it hadn’t even slowed him down.

Stiles swallowed nervously. Because Peter had just protected him. After everything, Peter had just saved him from Gerard, and Stiles needed to know what that was about because right now it didn’t make the slightest bit of sense.

“You said I was Derek’s consort,” Stiles said. “Does that mean you’ve changed your mind about me?”

Peter smiled. There wasn’t a shred of kindness in his expression.

“An alpha can’t just kill people,” he said, “but defending a member of a pack is seen as an uncontrollable instinct. If it came to a choice between keeping you out of the pack, and killing that man, even I am willing to be flexible.”

So Peter’s desire to commit murder was stronger than Peter’s hatred of Stiles. That wasn’t all that comforting. Particularly when Peter bent down over Gerard’s body and pulled out a long knife. He smiled at Stiles again.

“It’s such a shame I wasn’t here quickly enough to stop them giving you a mortal wound. I’m sure my nephew will be very upset that I wasn’t able to save you.”

Peter, knife in hand, stepped towards Stiles.

Chapter Text

Stiles scrambled to his feet, but he wasn’t sure what good it did him. Peter was between him and his way out, still holding the knife. Stiles didn’t have anything he could use as a weapon. Even with Peter bleeding from multiple gunshot wounds, Stiles knew there wasn’t a chance in hell of him fighting an alpha werewolf. So Stiles did the only thing he could do: he talked.

“You don’t have to do this,” Stiles said. “You know I’m not an enemy. You know I wasn’t working with the Argents. You talked to the waiter at Cora’s birthday, you know I was telling the truth about hiding during the party. Why do you need to kill me?”

“You are a catalyst of disruption within the pack. Your presence is interfering with the smooth running of the pack.”

“You don’t think murdering me might disrupt things? You know Derek will never forgive you for this.”

“When Derek gets here, he will find me trying to save your life, trying to stop the bleeding from the injury the hunters dealt you. I will express my sincere regrets for how I misjudged you, and offer Derek my deep apologies. He will be hurting, and I will offer him sympathy. He will see how it hurts me that I couldn’t save you, and he will forgive me for my part in it. Over time, your loss might bring the pack closer together.”

“You really are a monster, aren’t you?” Stiles said.

Peter smiled. He raised the knife.

There was a blur of movement as someone shot through the broken door and leapt into the room, not even bothering with the stairs. Stiles barely had time process what was happening, and then Derek was there, driving his claws into Peter’s back, snarling as his eyes burned blue.

Peter spun, slashing out with the knife he still held, but Derek didn’t even seem to notice the wound. He brought his claws up into the movement of Peter’s turn, slashing claws up through Peter’s chest. Peter started to shift back into his alpha form, but Derek was quicker, sinking his teeth into Peter’s throat sending out a spray of blood.

Stiles slid along the wall, eyes locked on the grisly battle. Peter struggled for a minute, claws tearing at Derek’s flesh, but then he fell still. For a moment, Derek just stood there, holding Peter up with claws and fangs. Then he opened his mouth and let Peter fall. He stepped backwards, face covered in blood, more of it dripping down from his fangs. His eyes met Stiles as they burned blood red.

Stiles dropped to his knees, stomach finally giving in. He vomited over the floor, sick splashing against his legs as he knelt. The stench of it didn’t overcome the smell of the blood. He’d just seen Derek, his Derek, the kind, gentle man who held him in bed, tearing out someone’s throat with his teeth. Stiles couldn’t even looked up, he just stared at the puddle of vomit in front of him, because he didn’t want to see Derek like this. It hurt too much to see what Peter had forced his caring Derek to do.

“Stiles?” Derek’s voice was soft and gentle. It was the Derek Stiles loved, the one he wanted to be there. Stiles could close his eyes and hear that voice and Derek would be as he should be, not covered in blood.

“Stiles, it’s OK. Your dad’s coming. I called him. He’ll be here soon.”

Stiles was shaking. He wanted Derek to put his arms round him. He wanted Derek to hug him close and tell him everything was going to be alright. But Derek had blood all over him. If Derek touched him now, the blood would be all over both of them. Stiles already had enough of Argent’s blood on him. He didn’t need Peter’s too.

“Stiles, can you hear me?”

Stiles nodded.

“Are you hurt?”

There was a faint throb of pain in his cheek from where Gerard had hit him, but that was nothing next to all this blood. Derek had come before Peter could do anything. Stiles shook his head.

There were sirens somewhere up above. There were footsteps on the stairs.

“Stiles?” his dad’s voice this time.

“I think he’s in shock,” Derek said. “I don’t know...”

He sounded worried. He sounded scared. Stiles wanted to tell him it was OK, that there was nothing to be scared of now. But Stiles couldn’t find the voice to say it. He couldn’t even look up, because if he looked up, he’d see that blood. Derek shouldn’t be covered in blood. Derek was soft and kind and sweet. It wasn’t right that he was drenched in blood.

Something warm draped around Stiles’ shoulders. A jacket. His dad’s jacket.

“Is he... dead?” Stiles’ dad asked. For a moment, Stiles thought that was a stupid question, that his dad was asking about him. Of course he wasn’t dead. But then even his sluggish thoughts got into gear and he realised his dad was asking about Peter.

“Not quite,” Derek answered. “I took him to the point of death, enough to take his power, but there’s a chance he might heal.”

He said it like he didn’t even care either way. Derek didn’t care if he’d killed Peter. That wasn’t right either. Derek wasn’t a killer. He wasn’t a monster like Peter. It wasn’t right that Peter had made him into a killer.

Derek might not care if Peter was dead, but Stiles did. He wanted Peter to live. He wanted Peter to live so Stiles could kill him himself. After all he’d said to Gerard about not being a murderer, Stiles knew he’d be happy to make an exception now. He would gladly kill Peter for turning Derek into someone who could kill.

“Stiles, time to get out of here,” his dad said softly. “Can you stand?”

His dad’s hands were on him, helping him up. Stiles stumbled upwards, noting absently that he stood in the vomit puddle. Not that it mattered. There was already blood on his shoes. He wasn’t sure if it was Gerard’s or Peter’s. It probably didn’t matter.

“Let’s get you some fresh air,” his dad said, guiding him to the stairs. “Then we’ll get you home and get you cleaned up. OK?”

Stiles managed to nod.

***

A while later, after an all clear from an EMT, clean and dressed in warm clothes and full of hot soup, Stiles gave his statement, sitting at the table in his dining room. His dad wrote everything down like a sheriff should, asking questions and taking careful note of his answers. Stiles explained about Gerard approaching him, about being forced into the van at gunpoint, about Gerard’s plans, and his death. He explained what Peter had planned, and how Derek must have heard it as he got close, because Derek just tore into Peter and left him, if not dead then pretty damn close.

“Is Peter dead?” Stiles asked, when he’d finished.

“No. Derek didn’t quite kill him and now Peter’s healing has kicked in. He’ll live, but he won’t be an alpha anymore.”

“So what will happen to him?”

“That depends on Derek. Peter is now Derek’s beta. If Derek chooses, he can get Peter released to his custody and then it’s up to Derek what his punishment would be. Or Derek can choose to let Peter be prosecuted by human law. Peter will be tried for murder.”

If this went to trial, Stiles would probably have to testify. He would have to stand up in front of a jury and explain what had happened and why Peter had wanted to kill him. He really didn’t want to have to do that. But he didn’t want the alternative either. If Derek took custody of Peter, Derek would punish him. Stiles had seen the hate burning Derek’s eyes when he’d fought Peter. Derek would put that hate to use and make Peter pay for everything he’d ever done, and maybe there was justice in that. But that look of hate wasn’t what Stiles wanted to see on Derek’s face. That wasn’t the Derek he loved. Punishing Peter, no matter how justified, would make Derek less and less of the gentle man Stiles had fallen in love with.

“I should go see Derek,” Stiles said.

“You’re in no condition to drive,” his dad said. “Besides, your jeep’s still at the store. If you want to see Derek, he has to come here.”

Stiles wondered if there was more to it than that. Maybe his dad didn’t want Stiles leaving the house after what had almost happened. Maybe his dad didn’t trust Derek even now, and he was worried about letting Stiles walk into his house now that Derek was an alpha with all the authority that meant. Maybe it was all of that and more.

Stiles nodded and reached for his phone.

The phone he didn’t have anymore because Gerard and his hunters had taken it from him.

He didn’t actually know Derek’s number because he’d always used it from the phone’s memory. That meant he couldn’t even borrow his dad’s phone to call him.

“Stiles?” his dad said, voice still soft and gentle, like even a harsh word might shatter him. “What’s wrong?”

“They took my phone.”

“It’s probably in evidence,” his dad said. “I’ve got to go into the station and see how Peter’s interrogation is going. I’ll see if we can get the phone released. It shouldn’t be important to the case considering everything else.”

Stiles probably should have just nodded agreement to that, but the thought of Peter sitting in an interrogation room in the station stirred something in him. It felt like his emotions were waking up. They’d shut down sometime during Derek’s fight with Peter but now they rose inside him. Anger and hate and disgust, all the things he felt for Peter, but fear too. Not fear of what Peter would do to him, but fear of how Peter might change Derek.

“I want to go with you,” Stiles said. His dad started to agree, but then Stiles added, “I want to see Peter.”

“What? No.”

“I need to see him,” Stiles said. “In chains. I need to see him locked in a cell.”

“Stiles...”

“I need this.”

“OK.”

So Stiles rode with his dad back to the sheriff’s station. He tugged his hoody around him, trying to feel warm, trying to feel the softness of the fabric instead of the memory of the blood sticky on his skin. He’d washed it all off but he still felt it there. He barely spoke a word through the drive, just felt his dad’s eyes flick over to him, filled with concern.

“You can always change your mind,” his dad said.

“I need to do this.”

“I’ll come with you.”

“No. I need to do this. Just me.”

“You don’t have to be in the same room as him. He’s in one of the interrogation rooms. You can look in from the observation room.”

Stiles nodded. That was all he needed.

Inside, his dad showed him through and let him into the room that stood next to the brightly lit interrogation room, separated only by a large window of heavily reflective glass. In the darkened observation room, Stiles could see through easily. Peter sat at a metal table, heavy cuffs around his wrists locked to the table. There were more chains underneath the table, around his wrists. A metal collar was fixed to the wall by a sturdy chain. Stiles remembered the chains in Derek’s chest, how he’d said they were strong enough to hold an adult werewolf. Peter was secure.

“You know I’m here,” Stiles said quietly. “I know you know. I know you can hear me. Derek took your power but he didn’t take your senses.”

Peter looked up towards the glass. Even with the reflections between them, his eyes met Stiles’. Stiles smiled at him.

“I don’t know what Derek plans to do,” Stiles said. “Whether he’ll leave you for the courts to try for murder and attempted murder. Or if he’ll get them to hand you over to him. All I know is that if you ever get out of here, you’ll leave. You’ll leave the pack and become an omega. You’ll leave Beacon Hills and never come back.”

Peter’s smile grew on his lips.

“Why would I do that?” he asked.

Not long ago, that expression would have filled Stiles with terror, but he didn’t feel it now. It wasn’t the chains around Peter’s wrists that kept it away. Maybe the terror had been washed away by the blood, down in that basement room. All Stiles knew was that he’d seen how far Derek was willing to go. He’d seen Derek willing to kill, and he knew Peter would push him to that again.

When Stiles spoke, it was with absolute sincerity.

“If you don’t, I will kill you,” Stiles said. “I will find a knife, like the one you planned to use on me, and I will slice you open. I will get the wolfsbane and mountain ash that the Argents wanted me to use, and I will put it in your guts. And then I will stitch the wounds closed, with all that poison inside you.”

“You really think you could kill me?” Peter seemed amused.

“I really do.”

“I heard you with Argent. You told him you weren’t a killer.”

Stiles had to wonder how long Peter had been listening. Had Peter been following him? Had he seen Stiles taken and followed to hear what might happen next? Stiles couldn’t believe that Derek would have called Peter for help, so this was the only explanation. The sick fear he should have felt about Peter stalking him just wasn’t there anymore. Stiles wondered if something had snapped inside him when he’d witnessed the fight. Maybe he was broken, to be able to not feel like this.

“I wasn’t willing to kill to be with Derek,” Stiles said. “But there is something I am willing to kill for. I will kill you to keep Derek from having to do it. I know you’ll want revenge or want your alpha power back or something and you’ll push and Derek and he’ll be forced to do this again. I don’t want that. I will kill to keep him from being a killer.”

There was something in Peter’s expression then, something Stiles had never witnessed there before. He looked at him, almost impressed.

“Perhaps I was wrong about you,” Peter said.

Now you say that?”

After all the effort Stiles had put into trying to change Peter’s mind about him, he wanted to leap through the glass and punch him for changing his mind only now.

But the door to the observation room opened and then his dad was there. Stiles turned away from Peter and walked out.

“Did you get what you needed?” Stiles’ dad asked.

“Yeah. I think so.”

“I’ve not got your phone back yet, but I’ve got something else.”

He ushered Stiles into his office. Derek stood there in front of the desk. He’d cleaned the blood off him and changed his clothes and he looked the same as ever, except for the look of fear in his eyes. Stiles wondered for a moment why Derek was still afraid; Stiles was safe now, the hunters were dead, and Peter was locked up. Then Stiles realised: Derek was scared of him. Scared of his reaction. Back in the basement, Stiles had pulled away from Derek and refused to look at him. Derek was scared of how Stiles would react to him now.

Stiles hurried across the room. He put his arms around Derek and pressed a kiss to his lips.

“I love you,” Stiles said.

Derek’s arms pulled him into a tight hug.

“I love you,” Derek said. “I thought I’d lost you. I love you.”

Chapter Text

Stiles drove his jeep out towards the big house in the woods, telling himself that everything would be great now. Everything would be better. Peter was gone and now they could actually do what they wanted together. He could be with Derek and be happy.

Except, his insecurities whispered away in his mind. Derek could have absolutely anyone on the planet now, as long as they were willing to sign a form. He could go back to his BDSM clubs and pick up experienced subs. He could write his own contracts and not have to get them approved by anyone else. He didn’t have to settle for Stiles. His rational mind tried to dismiss those fears, tried to remember all the things Derek had done or said over the past few weeks, but the fears refused to leave.

When he parked up in front of the big house, he expected Derek to come and meet him at the door, like he had almost every other time Stiles had visited. But he didn’t. Stiles hopped out of the jeep and walked up to the door, still waiting for Derek to arrive. What if Derek wasn’t interested anymore? What if he wanted more than Stiles now that he was an alpha with all the privilege that implied?

Stiles hesitated at the door, knocking lightly. He couldn’t just walk in there uninvited. It didn’t matter that he’d been here so many times before, he needed someone to let him in. So he waited, fidgeting with his bracelet, afraid that whoever opened the door would send him packing again.

When the door opened, it was Malia on the other side. She let Stiles in without a word. There was a sulky expression on her face but Stiles really shouldn’t have been surprised about that. Her father was locked up, waiting to be tried for murder, and the guy who’d nearly killed him was now in charge of her. A little sulking was probably justified. Whatever else Peter might have been, he was still her dad. And now he was out of the pack. Derek had officially stated he wouldn’t be supporting Peter in any way, not claiming pack protection for him, and not even helping to pay for a lawyer.

“Are you OK?” Stiles asked.

She gave him a withering look.

“Sorry,” Stiles said. “Dumb question.”

“Come on. Maybe Derek will stop torturing us with paperwork now you’re here.”

She led him to the study. Peter’s study. Now Derek’s study, like everything here was no Derek’s. The whole pack were there and it seemed Malia hadn’t been kidding about the paperwork. Everyone was filling out forms, with Derek checking them over and signing in the right places. There was a woman in a smart suit watching over the whole procedure, adding official stamps or witnessing some of the more crucial signatures.

Derek looked up from his forms and flashed Stiles a smile, but he didn’t move to greet him. He just kept going through the stack of papers in front of him.

“I had no idea becoming an alpha involved so much paperwork,” Stiles commented.

“Everything Peter owned is now mine,” Derek said, “and he owned a lot of stuff. All the deeds and papers and everything need to be changed to be in my name. All the services need to be changed to bill me instead of him.”

“And everyone needs to be in on this?”

“No,” Cora said. “Derek’s just trying to get rid of us.”

“For the last time, I’m not trying to get rid of you. I just want you all to have options.”

Cora rolled her eyes and got on with filling out a form. There wasn’t enough space at the desk, so she was leaning again a bit of shelf she’d cleared some books from. Erica was currently using Boyd’s back as her table.

“I’m confused,” Stiles said.

The woman in the suit gave a professional smile and said, “Mr Hale is reallocating some of his assets to create trusts for each member of his pack. Should they wish to leave his pack, those funds in those trusts would become theirs.”

Stiles knew how big a deal this was. He’d spent so much time researching werewolves lately that he knew how utterly screwed omegas were. When they left a pack, they had literally nothing. Derek was giving them a safety net. If they walked away from him, they would have enough money to survive for a little while until they figured something out. It probably said a lot about how Derek had felt as Peter’s beta that his first act as alpha was to make sure his betas never felt trapped with him.

But there was probably more to it than that. Stiles suspected Derek wanted reassurance. He wanted to know that the members of his pack stayed with him because they wanted to, because they felt this was their home, rather than because they felt they had no choice. Derek wanted to give them that choice so that they’d choose him. It was just the same as in the bedroom. Derek would happily take charge and take care of his betas, but he only wanted those who wanted him.

“I should write about this,” Stiles said. “It would highlight the fact that this is unusual and how betas usually don’t get anything of their own. Maybe it will convince some of the other alphas to do the same. I’m sure we could get Satomi to do something like this for her betas.”

“I’m surprised you still like her,” Cora commented. “It was announced yesterday she’s taking Trevor into her pack.”

“That’s good news,” Stiles said. “He gets what he needs and he’s in a different pack so I never have to deal with him. I’ve no problem with that.”

Some of the others looked at him with confusion or doubt, so Stiles changed the subject back to what a good article subject this would all be. It was economic in nature too, so he could probably get another paper to Coach to help publish.

“Are you planning on writing about every aspect of our lives?” Isaac asked.

“Pretty much. I might keep some of the stuff Derek and I do in the bedroom to myself, though I’m sure there are some websites that would be interested.”

Derek gave a low growl. Stiles took that as a sign that exhibitionism wasn’t his kink. Stiles bit down a laugh.

“So,” said Stiles, “is there any paperwork for me to do?”

Derek shifted in his seat. Almost like his pants were too tight or something.

“When we’re done with the finances,” Derek said.

It didn’t take too long for them to finish. Stiles grabbed a random book off the shelves and sat in an armchair to wait, reading about the history of lacemaking and wondering if Peter had a reason for owning this book or if he just bought it because it was an old hardback that looked impressive on his shelves. Stiles knew more about tatting and bobbins than he ever needed to by the time the suit lady had collected all the financial paperwork and Cora was showing her out. Stiles slid the book back into its place as the pack dispersed into the house.

Then there was just him and Derek. Derek stood up from behind the desk, crossed the room, and kissed Stiles like he never wanted to stop. His hands were in Stiles’ hair, running up his back, cupping his ass, pulling him in close, as though this kiss could melt them together into one.

When they finished, Stiles’ lips felt like they were tingling, like he would spend the rest of his life feeling the echoes of that kiss.

“Wow,” Stiles muttered.

“We need to talk,” Derek said.

“Seriously? You’re going to follow up a kiss like that with ‘we need to talk’. And that’s a terrible phrase. Do you not know all the connotations of that phrase? It’s basically code for ‘I’m going to dump you now’ which I really hope isn’t going to happen because otherwise that kiss was seriously mixed signals and we-“

Derek kissed him again. This one was much shorter, clearly intended to shut Stiles up more than anything else.

“We need to sort out what we are,” Derek said.

“Boyfriends,” Stiles said. “And I’m hoping you’ve got another contract somewhere in your mass of paperwork that means we’ll be boyfriends who can legally have sex as soon as we’ve signed them.”

“Yes, but which contract? Technically a werewolf can only take a consort once and it must be with a virgin, but I’ve talked to a couple of people and we can probably get away with renewing the consort contract since you were my consort and you’ve not had sex with anyone but me. That would make you an honorary member of the pack. Or you could be more casual and go for a companion contract. We’d still get to do everything we want to do, but I wouldn’t have any authority over you as far as pack law is concerned. I’d be your boyfriend but not your alpha. You wouldn’t be in the pack. We could always make you part of the pack later if you wanted with a partnership contract so it’s not like it would be the end of the world if you chose not to be pack now, because you could become pack later.”

“Partnership contract?” Stiles asked, cutting off Derek’s flow of words. “Satomi mentioned that but I’ve never heard of it.”

“It’s rare,” Derek said. “Usually, when a human and a werewolf get serious, the human eventually takes the bite and joins the pack that way. A partnership contract is basically as close as a human and a werewolf can get to being married. The human is officially part of the pack with all the rights of a full beta, but they stay human. It’s way too early to be thinking about something like that for us; we’ve only been together a few weeks.”

Stiles swallowed nervously at the implications of what Derek was saying. A partnership contract was way too big and way too soon. But it hung there as a possibility. Derek had said it was too early, not that it was something that could never happen. It was too soon to think about forever, but it was clear that Derek had thought about it nonetheless. And that was good enough for Stiles.

“If we renew the consort thing,” Stiles said, “is that going to cause any legal problems? We’re not going to have someone claim it’s invalid and come and arrest you?”

“It shouldn’t happen.”

“Then let’s do that. I guess we need to draft up the contract then.”

“I... um... already... I may have drafted up both contracts, just in case.”

He pulled out some paperwork from his desk drawer and held it out for Stiles to look over. A lot of it was the same as the first contract. The standard clauses at the start were identical. There were clauses about not being allowed to have sex with anyone else without both of them agreeing to it. There was the consent clause, even though Stiles wasn’t sure that was entirely necessary. He couldn’t believe Derek would ever do anything he didn’t consent to, contract or not.

The clauses involving Peter were gone, but Derek had left in his silly joke clauses. He’d also already signed it, so all it took was for Stiles to place in his signature in the right places. He set the pen down on the desk and only then noticed the problem. His eyes fell on one clause in particular, and on the word that was missing.

“No,” Stiles said.

“No?”

“Oh no, no, no.”

“Stiles, what’s wrong?”

“It’s missing. The hypothetical. It’s missing.”

Derek put his hands on Stiles’ shoulders to hold him still while Stiles started to panic.

“Stiles, take a breath and tell me what’s wrong.”

“The contract isn’t valid. The hypothetical is missing from the dragon clause. Now you have to give me a dragon or the contract isn’t valid because it’s talking about literal dragons instead of hypothetical ones.”

“Stiles, it’s OK.”

“No, it’s not. Because the contract isn’t valid unless you give me a dragon and you’ve already said that’s impossible.”

“Not quite impossible,” Derek said. He was smiling. There was something teasing about his expression and he didn’t seem at all concerned about the fact that he’d just signed a contract that couldn’t possibly count.

“You got me a dragon?” Stiles asked. Derek smiled again. He caught Stiles by the hand and led him from the study.

In a small sitting room, a large glass tank had been set up. Lying on a bit of broken log under a basking light in the middle of the tank was a lizard about as long as Stiles’ forearm. It looked calmly out at them as they approached.

“This is a bearded dragon,” Derek said. “His name’s Balerion.”

“Oh please, he does not look like a black dread,” Stiles said. The lizard was too placid to name after the fiercest dragon in Westeros. “He’s more of a Mushu.”

Derek wrapped his arms around Stiles’ waist from behind, smiling down at the tank and the lizard within.

“We can argue baby names later,” Derek said. “Right now, since I’ve convinced you the contract is valid, I’d have thought you might have other things on your mind.”

Stiles grinned.

“I guess we could,” he deadpanned. “If you’re so keen.”

Derek kissed the side of Stiles’ neck until he shuddered.

“What do you want to do?” Derek asked. “Anything you want.”

“Anything?” Stiles asked, suddenly nervous.

“I’m sure I can handle anything you might want,” Derek said, “but if not, that’s why safewords were invented. What do you want to try?”

“I want to fuck you,” Stiles said, the words leaving his mouth in a rush because if he hesitated he might rethink this idea. Derek was an alpha now, and he’d always been the one dominating in the bedroom. He’d said it himself that he need to be in control. He probably didn’t want Stiles to be the one on top.

But Derek just kissed Stiles’ neck again and said, “OK.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. You’ll need to start slow though. It’s been a long while since I had anything inside me.”

“But you’re OK with me doing that?” Stiles asked.

“Yes,” said Derek. “I trust you.”

And those three words seemed to mean more than all the declarations of love in the world.

Chapter Text

Back in Derek’s bedroom, Stiles felt more nervous than he had done for a long while. He couldn’t doubt what a significant moment this was for Derek. Derek was the one who liked to be in control, who needed control, but he was letting Stiles call the shots right now. The fact that Derek was physically so much stronger than Stiles didn’t diminish the importance of what Derek was offering.

“Do you need a safeword?” Stiles asked, as they stood fully clothed beside Derek’s bed. He wasn’t sure what he expected. Maybe for Derek to say it wasn’t necessary or to point out that Derek now had alpha strength so Stiles couldn’t exactly force him to do anything.

Instead, Derek simply said, “Passport.”

“Passport?”

Derek nodded. “Passport.”

“Makes as much sense as my safeword,” Stiles said. “You want to get out of something, so you use your passport.”

Derek rolled his eyes, but he leaned in to give Stiles a quick kiss.

“I love you,” Derek said. “Just... take things slow.”

Stiles suspected Derek was as nervous as he was. It wasn’t like they were planning on using restraints or whips or any of the stuff in Derek’s chest, but still Stiles felt like Derek was putting him in control and he couldn’t ever doubt how big of a deal that was for Derek after all he’d been through.

“Usually rules apply,” Stiles said. “You can tell me to stop or slow down or whatever at any time. And if you change your mind and decide you want to be on top after all, I have no complaints about that.”

Derek’s lips quirked up in a smile, “Is this what it’s like for you when I keep checking you’re alright?”

“I’d have to check about ten more times for it to be equivalent.”

Derek kissed Stiles lightly, just a soft brushing of their lips while he reached up to cup the back of Stiles’ neck. It was gentle and tender, more reassurance than building to whatever might follow.

“I trust you,” Derek said.

They started slow. Stiles decorated Derek’s face and neck with light kisses. They held each other, soft touches brushing over skin. When they undressed, it was a slow stripping between caresses, shedding clothes as they kissed.

It was Stiles who guided Derek to the bed. It was Derek who lay back on the mattress, Stiles kneeling astride him, continuing the kisses, stroking his hands up the muscles of Derek’s stomach and chest. Derek’s hands were in Stiles’ hair and on his neck, but it was Stiles who was choreographing this dance.

It was Stiles who told Derek to roll over. Stiles who opened up the tube of lube from the bedside table and slicked up a finger. He ran that finger over Derek’s asshole for a moment, circling the ring of muscle, waiting in case Derek changed his mind. Then he eased it slowly inside. Derek gave a faint grunt as Stiles worked the finger in up to the knuckle, muscle tight and tense around his intruding digit. He remembered the times Derek had done this for him and attempted to imitate, slowly stretching the hole, opening Derek up in preparation.

He took his time, as promised, working with one finger to open Derek up before he even considered sliding a second in to join it. He took his time, remembering being on the receiving end, exploring inside Derek with those fingers until his found that golden point.

Derek grunted when Stiles found his prostate, rutting slightly against the mattress. Stiles knew how good that could feel and so he made a point of finding Derek’s prostate again and again.

“You keep that up,” Derek said, “I’m gonna come before you’re even inside me.”

“Then I’ll have to fuck you so long that you’ll recover and come all over again,” Stiles said. But he eased up a bit on the prostate anyway, focusing on stretching Derek, preparing him. He wanted to be inside Derek when he came.

While he was working his third finger inside, Stiles wondered who else had had Derek like this, open and vulnerable beneath them. Derek had said he hadn’t had someone inside him for a long while, but he hadn’t given details. Had it been someone at the clubs? Derek was stretched out naked beneath Stiles but Stiles couldn’t keep his mind on the present. He had to wonder if someone in Derek’s past had had Derek like this, and used him in such a way that Derek felt he needed to be the one on top most of the time. Stiles knew he had to make this good for Derek. He had to make sure that Derek was happy.

While he stretched Derek, using generous amounts of lube, Stiles used his other hand to rub gentle circles in the small of Derek’s back, murmuring words of love.

Stiles slid his fingers out and Derek shifted beneath him, twisting. Stiles had been sitting astride Derek’s legs and now he raised himself up so Derek wasn’t pinned. Derek turned onto his back, pulling his legs out from under Stiles.

Stiles wondered if he’d done something wrong, if Derek had changed his mind.

“I need to see your face,” Derek said. He lifted his legs up, hooking his hands under his knees as he bent himself to give Stiles access to his ass.

Stiles’ erection had softened a little while all his attention had been on Derek but now, seeing Derek just present his ass like that was enough to get him hard again. Derek wanted to see his face while Stiles took him for the first time, and that was beautiful.

Stiles stroked himself to hardness as he applied lube and then positioned himself so he could slide inside Derek’s waiting hole.

Despite his earlier efforts, it was tight and hot around him. He gave a little moan as he eased himself in, remembering all of Derek’s warnings to take things slow. He thrust as slowly as he could bare, feeling that beautiful pressure around his cock and wanted to just thrust hard and fast until he came. He got into a slow rhythm, watching Derek’s face, watching the way his mouth fell open a little at the movements, watching the way his lips twitched into a little smile at the corners.

Derek’s eyes locked onto Stiles’. They watched each other as Stiles found his rhythm and kept it, as Stiles slowly increased the tempo. The sensations around his cock were drawing him closer and close to the edge, but Stiles’ attention was on the expression on Derek’s face, and the way Derek was looking right back at him.

It was Derek who came first, body shuddering with the orgasm, cum splattering up his stomach and chest. His reaction, the way his body moved, the way his eyes fell shut and his mouth opened in a moan, was enough to send Stiles following.

Stiles slid out and figured it was his turn to get the washcloth from the bathroom and clean the sticky mess from their skin, but Derek caught his hand and pulled him down onto the mattress beside him.

“I want to smell like us,” Derek said.

“OK,” Stiles said. He shifted and moved to lie beside Derek, feeling the ache in his legs from what had just happened.

“Not the most comfortable position,” Stiles said, “but worth it. Definitely worth it.”

Derek reached out, brushing fingers against Stiles’ cheek.

“I love you,” he said.

“I love you,” Stiles murmured back.

It was soft and sweet and beautiful and for once it wasn’t Stiles who spoiled the tone.

Derek said, “And we can’t name our dragon after a Disney character.”