“Oh my god, I am so sorry!”
Derek pulled a sharp breath through his teeth and tried to reign in his anger and ignore the pain of the probably second degree burns.
“It’s okay, I wasn’t looking where I was going either.” He dropped his now empty cup into a trash can near him. The guy who had smashed into him when he was trying to leave the coffee shop had a splatter on his unfortunately white shirt but wasn’t drenched like Derek was.
“Dude, no, that was totally my fault. Any way I could make it up to you?” The guy blinked up at him and Derek belatedly realized he was kind of fucking gorgeous, “Um, I would offer to like get your suit dry cleaned but I can barely afford gas…”
“How about you buy me a new coffee?” He offered.
The guy looked relieved, “I can so do that.”
When they walked up Pam, the girl behind the counter, was covering her laughed with her hand, “Are you sure you want to risk it again, Derek?”
“Can’t get too much worse.” Derek indicated his stained clothes. He liked Pam, she had worked in the coffee shop down the street from Derek’s work for three years now and she was used to Hale shenanigans.
Pam checked her watch while quickly whipping up his usual order, “Isn’t your break over in like five minutes?”
The guy paled a bit.
“It’s fine,” Derek shrugged, “It’s not like I can work like this.”
“And what would you like, cuite?” Pam slid Derek’s drink to him.
“Um, an Americano, please.”
“Name?” Pam paused with the cup in her hand.
“Stiles. S-T-I-L-E-S.” He elaborated when she looked confused.
“So, Stiles, huh?” Derek asked when they were settled with their drinks.
“Trust me, my real name wouldn’t even fit on the cup.” Stiles smirked over the edge of his coffee. “So is your boss not going to be mad if you’re late back?”
“Probably, but I’m not going to get in trouble for it. Nepotism at its finest.”
“So you work for your family?” Stiles leaned forward, obviously interested.
“Mmhmm,” Derek took a sip to give him time to turn the conversation away from himself, “What do you do?”
“I’m just started grad school, so I’m working part time to pay for that.” Stiles squirmed a bit, Derek was noticing that he never really sat still.
“Wow, that’s impressive. College is getting really expensive. And you’re probably really busy anyway.” Derek could feel his eyebrows going up. Damn them.
“Yeah, well, my hours are really, um, flexible. And my job isn’t that, uh, hard,” Stiles was starting to blush, it was thoroughly adorable.
Derek placed a hand over Stiles’ to stop the fidgeting, “What are you majoring in?”
His shoulders immediately dropped in relief and launched into a detailed description of the forensic science history folklore mash up he was doing. Derek found himself laughing and smiling along.
Eventually their drinks were empty and Derek really had to get to work.
“I had a really great time Stiles, I would like to do this again some time.”
“Yeah, totally!” Stiles was pulling a pen out of his bag and scribbling on a napkin, “Preferably with less me spilling coffee on you.”
“That would be good, I only have so many suits.”
> Didn’t get in trouble, apparently Pam was live texting and giving picture updates to my entire family. I don’t think the pros outweigh the cons here.
<< Dude are u ashamed to b seen w/ me?
> More scared of my family hunting you down and interrogating you on ‘your intentions towards our son’
<< OMFG WOULD THEY ACTUALLY DO THAT?
<< And if any1 got interrogated it would b u, my dads a sheriff back home
> Maybe, I don’t exactly have the best dating history…
“Oh look, Derek actually came to work today.” Laura teased when he walked into his office.
“Laura, my office, my space.” Derek sighed and put his bag down.
“I can’t believe you got your own office.” Laura kicked her feet up on his desk.
“It was one of my stipulations when I re-contracted, you know that.”
“If I had a big dick, I would have my own office. Damn gender inequalities.” Laura huffed.
Derek felt a headache on the edges of his temple, “Go away Laura, we are not discussing any sort of genitalia.” He picked her feet up and dropped them on the ground.
“How are you part of this family and still prudish?” Laura grumpily got out of his chair, “And I did come here for a reason. Argent Studios released a new half-length video. Midnight Summer’s Cream. It’s like a fairy orgy thing, lots of gossamer and whimsy, views exploded.”
“Even with that name?” Derek raised a judgemental eyebrow, “And since when has Argent done whimsy?”
“Since Chris’ daughter took over. Apparently he wasn’t too thrilled, but it’s gaining popularity. We need to do something new to keep on top.”
Derek pinched the bridge of his nose, “Laura, this is really not in my job description, take it up with Peter.”
“But Derekkk,” Her bottom lip pouted out, “You always have the best ideas.”
“Erica’s been wanting to do a Little Red Riding Hood thing—“
“Way over done!” Laura protested.
“Which is why you use Isaac instead.”
Laura paused and tilted her head, imagining it. “Wow that could totally work.”
Derek groaned, “I can’t believe I have a degree.”
“And look how helpful your college smarts were!” Laura kissed his forehead and dashed out the door without as much as a thank you.
Derek pulled out his phone.
> Do you have any siblings? Do they also drive you crazy?
Stiles’ response came after a few minutes.
<< Haha no only child.
<< But my buddy Scott is practically my brother. We always get along but that’s because we’re like platonic life partners or something
<< Soooo… you gonna make good on that promise of a date?
> Sorry, I don’t date people who use emoticons.
<< u better b kidding
> How does dinner sound?
Stiles looked delectable when Derek met him at the restaurant a few days later, dressed in slim grey jeans and red button down. Derek’s cheeks warmed a bit as Stiles’ eyes ran up and down.
“If you keep looking at me like that I’m going to start charging.” Derek joked.
“Sorry,” Stiles blushed but didn’t look away, “Just those biceps, damn, how are you real? I thought people who look like you are photoshopped or porn stars.”
Derek tried to smile along but his laugh came out wooden, “Come on, let’s get dinner.”
They were midway through their entrees when Stiles’ phone rang.
“Damn, it’s work. Sorry, I really have to answer this, I did some new material this afternoon but if they didn’t like it when they reviewed it I have to do a rush job to redo anything.” Stiles pulled his phone out of his pocket as he rambled.
Derek couldn’t help but see the name flashing on the screen, and the second he did his blood ran cold.
“I’m going to take care of this, be right back.” Stiles grinned and stood up, flashing a smile. Derek couldn’t react for a long second, watching Stiles’ frame as he walked to the back of the restaurant with the phone at his ear. Then Derek was pulling out his own phone and calling the only person he could think of.
“Hey bro, shouldn’t you be like tongue-deep in that cute boy of yours? I know you only kiss on the first date, what a—“
“He works for Argent.” Derek’s voice was devoid of any inflection.
Laura quieted for a second, then was back decisively, “Got out, get out of there right now. Do you need a ride? I can be there in ten minutes.”
“No, no, I have the Camaro.” Derek was already standing, throwing two twenties on the table and exiting the front, careful to avoid Stiles’ line of sight. He could only hope the other man was too absorbed in his own phone call.
“Come over, I’m at my apartment. I have ice cream and dumb movies with talking animals.”
“Derek, hang up the phone, we’ll talk about everything when you get here.”
“I love you bro, hurry the fuck up.”
“Love you too.”
Laura was passed out on the couch and Homeward Bound was finishing up on the screen when Derek dared to retrieve his phone from the corner of the room where Laura had thrown it. It was well past one am.
> 4 New Text Messages <
<< wtf derek where are you?
<<the hostess said you booked it out of there like someone had died
<< is everything ok? Is ur family okay?
<<fuck, txt me back derek!!
The last text had come half an hour ago. Derek gritted his teeth and sent the text before he could change his mind.
> I don’t think I can see you anymore.
Stiles’ reply was near instantaneous.
<<what the hell, why not?
> I think you know.
<< Because I work for Argent Studios? Because if that’s it, I can explain!
> I don’t want an explanation. I’m deleting and blocking your number. Don’t talk to me again.
Derek sent the text and then did exactly what he said he would.
“Der? You okay?” Laura wiped sleep out of her eyes.
“Sorry, didn’t mean to wake you up.” He threw the phone back in the corner.
Laura hesitated, “What are the chances that Argent didn’t tell him to find you?”
“Laura, I can’t think about that. Chris’ daughter may run it now, but Kate and Gerard still own it.
“But he’s not Kate, Der.” Laura said softly, “Pam said you guys really clicked.”
“They found someone who was exactly my type who knew how to act. They have the resources for it.”
“Drop it, Laura. I don’t want to talk about it anymore. It’s over.”
“I don’t want to go.” Derek grabbed onto his bedposts.
“You have to go, family function.” Cora demanded, tugging unlessly on his leg.
“Mom’s said everyone needs to go, you’re part of everyone.” Laura pulled on the other leg.
“I’m not going.” Derek threw a pillow but Cora dodged it narrowly.
“Is it because the Argents will be there? It’s been four months, come on, get over it.” Cora narrowed her eyes.
Derek mumbled indistinctly.
“You run in the same circles, you’re going to bump into him eventually.” Laura said.
Derek sighed, because while he didn’t like it, he knew that was true. As it was, he had barely stopped himself from going on the Argent website and looking for videos of Stiles. After one too many late nights and a few too many drinks where he had almost caved, he had blocked the site on his computer and phone.
“We’re going to start collaborating with Argent Studios at some point, their new stuff is really good. You need to suck it up.” Laura shook his leg one more time, “Now take a fucking shower, let us dress you up super hot, and show that boy everything he’s missing.”
The annual Martin Inc, party was one of the few times the various companies actually got together. It helped that Martin Inc. had a firm position in the market that didn’t threaten either Argent or Hale content. Martin Inc. videos were professional, polished, tasteful, and all around high quality. It made them a middle ground.
The parties were always weird the first time, knowing that a lot of the people in the room had seen the other naked either in person or when scoping out the competition. But Derek had gotten over it a long time ago.
Lydia greeted the Hale siblings at the door, her boyfriend holding a possessive arm around her waist. Derek kissed Lydia’s cheek gently and smirked up at her boyfriend who looked furious.
“Careful,” Cora grabbed his arm and steered him into the party, “Jackson might jump you in a dark alley or something.”
“It’s hard to be intimidated by someone when you know what their face looks when they get fucked by a hot Hawaiian guy.” Derek said idly. Cora snickered.
“Oh, there’s Allison. We should go say hi.” Laura pointed.
“Laura, Cora, nice to see you!” Allison gave a radiant smile as they neared, “I’ve never met you before, but judging by the resemblance I would guess you’re Derek?”
“Pleasure to meet you.” Derek shook her hand. He would have never guessed this peppy girl was Kate’s niece.
“Oh my god, Allison is that a ring?” Laura grabbed her hand and Allison blushed lightly.
“Yeah, my fiancé is somewhere, he ran after his best friend who tried to make a break for it.”
Cora laughed, “First timer? Couldn’t handle it?”
“No,” Allison frowned lightly, “He’s pretty calm about… everything. Who knows why he bolted, Stiles had always been an odd one.”
Derek froze, “Stiles, you said?”
Laura’s fingernails were like claws on his arm.
“Yeah, Scott’s best friend from high school, oh, there they are.”
Derek turned to see a dark-haired guy with an uneven jaw line dragging an unhappy looking Stiles behind him. Stiles was protesting and digging in his heels.
“Scott, Stiles, come on.” Allison said impatiently. Stiles gave up and allowed himself to be pulled forward, eyes firmly latched on the ground.
“Boys, meet Laura, Cora, and Derek Hale.”
Scott made some vague greetings, but Derek wasn’t paying attention to anything but the way the colour dropped from Stiles’ face and his mouth flopped open.
“Derek HALE?” Stiles practically yelled, interrupting Scott.
“Like you didn’t already know.” Laura scoffed.
“Of course I didn’t fucking know! I ran into him, literally, and we didn’t even go on a whole date, I didn’t know his last name. What the hell are you saying, that I planned all this?”
None of them said anything, Derek shuffled uncomfortably under Stiles’ enraged stare.
Slowly Stiles calmed down, “Holy shit, you thought I was like, spying on you? I thought you broke up with me because you thought I was a porn star.”
“Wait, what?” Scott yelped.
“I… it wouldn’t exactly be the first time it happened.” Derek said to the ground.
Allison looked sad when he glanced up, understanding on her face.
“Kate.” She said softly.
“Allison’s aunt? What does she have to do with anything?” Stiles frowned.
“Kate used me to get access to our studio and burnt it to the ground. Luckily no one was hurt, but it almost put us out of business. Which was her goal.”
“She never got in trouble for it because they couldn’t find any proof it was her.” Allison said sadly, “That was the point that my father insisted they turn the company over to him and then eventually to me.”
“Holy shit.” Stiles said again, looking shell shocked.
“I think Stiles and I need to talk.” Derek quickly grabbed his arm and pulled him out to the balcony where he glared at a couple until they went inside.
“Derek, I am so, so sorry that happened but I swear, I didn’t know who you were.” Stiles pleaded.
Derek took a deep breath, “I believe you. But how do you work for Argent and not know? Everyone knows everyone in this business.”
“God, I was so disappointed when you blocked my number, I texted like a million times trying to explain everything.” Stiles rested his head in his hands, “I work for Argent but I don’t actually work for Argent.”
Derek raised an eyebrow, “Want to try that one more time and actually make sense?”
“Are you going to make me actually say it? Ughh, I don’t… you know.”
“I don’t think I know.” Derek tried to keep a straight face.
“I don’t actually…” Stiles made a series of complex and confusing hand gestures, “do the porn.”
“So what exactly do you do?” Derek leaned on the railing too, bumping Stiles’ shoulder with his own.
“I just write the names, dude. They send me the videos and a synopsis and I come up with a title.” Stiles was blushing now.
Derek couldn’t help himself, he broke out laughing, “Oh my god, all those horrible names are your fault?”
“Excuse you, ‘Missonary: Impossible’ is a classic. And no one will ever forget the improbable but amazing ‘The 69th Sense’.” Stiles was grinning again and Derek found that he much preferred that Stiles.
“And lets no forget Argent’s largest flop, ‘Arma-get-it-on’.” Derek teased.
Stiles slapped a hand over his eyes and groaned, “Oh god, I can’t believe you know that one, it was like my second month of working there. I was hoping that video would die a horrible death and never resurface.”
“Nothing dies on the internet.”
Stiles tensed suddenly and looked away from Derek, smile slipping off his face.
“Stiles, what’s wrong?”
“I just…” Stiles wrung his hands. “I was so mad when you broke up with me, I couldn’t believe you would just sever all contact because you found out I was a porn star. I mean, I’m not, but I was mad about the principle of the fact. Because a lot of my friends, hell Scott’s basically my brother, do porn and I was mad you were judging them so harshly. But here I am in the same situation and I don’t think I can do it.”
“Stiles, what are you talking about?” Derek put a hand on his shoulder but Stiles shook it off.
“I totally respect the business, like totally respect it. And I think what Allison and Scott have is great, and I’ve met Erica and Boyd and they’re great, but I could never do it. I think it’s awesome if your relationship is strong enough to survive one or both of you regularly fucking other people, I just… personally I would never be okay with it. And you’re awesome, nice and funny and hot like burning, but—“ Stiles’ voice was wavering and everything clicked in Derek’s head.
He started laughing.
“Derek, what the hell is funny about this? I’m trying to let you down easy!” Stiles bottom lip stuck out.
“Stiles, I’m not a porn star.”
“What?” Stiles’ mouth dropped open, Derek really needed to stop staring at it, “But you’re a Hale, I know both of your sisters do videos and you said you were part of the family business.”
“Stiles, I’m a lawyer. I handle copy rights and contracts and permits.” Derek grabbed Stiles’ shoulder and raised his face so their eyes met, “I sort out all the legal issues, which is why I was wearing a suit when I first met you.”
“You’re serious?” Stiles asked, “You’ve never done porn?”
“Well…” Derek hesitated, “There was a couple times in college.”
“Oh my god,” Stiles’ eyes went wide, “I know how I’m spending my evening.”
“Don’t stay up too late.” Derek slipped an arm around him and led him back to the party.
“Because we’re going on a date tomorrow.”