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you know what this road is paved with

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Peter's grip is bruise-tight around Stiles' wrist, reeling him in when he tries to jerk away. "I don't want it," Stiles reiterates, and he's more relieved than he should be when Peter's fangs retract, the red in his eyes fading.

It's not like he's free, or safe. But at least the bite is off the table.

"What do you want?" Peter asks.

Stiles gives an experimental tug, but Peter just pulls him closer. "A little personal space would be nice, for a start," Stiles gripes, and Peter's smile is too sharp and too close. Stiles tries to twist away, but the car is behind him, cold metal against his back.

"Do you want the girl? What was her name?" Peter asks, and Stiles glares at him.


Peter leans in close, sniffs the side of Stiles' neck. "Will you tell her about this, about what you risked for her? Will she be grateful?"

Stiles flinches back, tries not to think about the way Peter's voice coils in his ear. "No," he says. "I don't want her to know about any of this." He doesn't want anyone to know, he wishes he and Scott had never gone into the woods, never crossed Peter's path. Maybe they'd all be safe, still.

"So you'll just go back to school, back to being sidekick Stiles, second string, never quite good enough, never quite...strong enough?"

It's like Peter's in his head, and Stiles tries to breathe through the rising panic, the tightness in his chest. "I'm strong enough," he spits out, but he's not, and he can't stop himself from pushing futilely against Peter's grip. Peter chuckles, warm and knowing.

"You could be so good, Stiles," Peter murmurs, and he's so close that Stiles can feel the vibration of Peter's vocal cords against his own neck. He holds himself as still as possible. Peter's fingers, seemingly human, for the moment, drag over his skin: one hand still clutching his wrist, one slipping under his shirt, just over his hip.

"I don't want it," Stiles says, and he closes his eyes, feels his heart thudding with the lie.

Peter's teeth are sharp against his throat. "No?" The word is a puff of air on Stiles' skin, and he shivers. Peter pulls back only to loom in again, and Stiles opens his eyes to red, Peter's hungry stare.

Stiles forces his voice steady. "Can I go now?"

Peter's smile widens, still too sharp, too close. "What will you give me?"

This isn't a game Stiles knows how to play. "Dude, you already took my keys," he says, and Peter shakes his head. "Tell me what you want, then," Stiles demands, and he knows it's the wrong thing to say even before he finishes, Peter's smile victory-bright in the dimly-lit garage.

"A kiss," Peter tells him. "And you can run off, warn all your little friends. Check on the girl who will never want you." He leans in, stops just short of Stiles' mouth. "The other offer still stands, if you prefer. Either way."

Stiles barks out a nervous laugh. Peter's smile doesn't shift, but his fingers dig into Stiles' hip, claws slipping out to prick the delicate skin. "Okay!" Stiles yelps, and Peter relaxes his grip, just enough for the claws to graze instead of pierce.

He's never kissed anyone before. Stiles takes a breath, then another, tongue darting out reflexively before he cranes his neck to press a quick, close-mouthed peck to the edge of Peter's smirking mouth. He doesn't realize he's closed his eyes until he jerks back, blinking against Peter's disdainful snort.

"Come now, you can do better than that."

Peter sounds amused more than angry, but Stiles glares back, chin raised in defiance. "No, I really can't," he snaps, and Peter's gaze turns thoughtful.

"No one's ever kissed you before?" Peter asks, but it's clearly rhetorical, and Stiles turns his face away, knowing he can't stop the blush rising on his cheeks.

Peter's fingers are gentle and unclawed, tilting Stiles' face back toward him. "Sweet boy," Peter murmurs, and Stiles opens his mouth to object, he most certainly is not, thank you, when Peter takes advantage of the opportunity and swallows the words.

The kiss is softer than Stiles is expecting, not that he really expected this, ever, but Peter's mouth is soft and coaxing, firm lips keeping his mouth open for Peter's tongue to explore. Stiles chokes back a moan, trying not to give up anything more than he has to, but Peter makes a pleased sound in the back of his throat and deepens the kiss, tilting Stiles' head back until his neck aches.

He doesn't realize that Peter has stopped holding him in place until Peter steps away, and Stiles shivers at the loss. He draws a shaky breath, and forces himself to meet Peter's eyes. Peter is staring at him.

"Thank you," Peter says, sounding oddly sincere, and Stiles raises a trembling hand to his lips, which feel more bruised than his wrist.

Then he's alone. It's a long run, without his car, but the air feels good against his face. He lets himself think about it: Peter's mouth, Peter's hands, for as long as his pulse is pounding in his ears, his shoes slamming into the ground. Later, he will push these thoughts from his mind. There's no time for this.

He doesn't want to know what he wants.