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- i -

 

June

 

The first time Peter Hale falls in love, he’s five. It lasts for two whole hours, from the beginning of the kindergarten day all the way through until the first snack break. It ends when she leaves him for someone with a Smurfs lunchbox.

Peter cries.

 

***

 

- ii -

 

Chris

 

Chris Argent is older, already a high school boy when Peter is still in elementary school. It doesn’t stop Peter from looking though, from seeing. The Argents are the closest thing the Hale pack has to an enemy, and Peter thinks that makes Chris seem more exciting somehow. Like this is Verona, not Beacon Hills, and if they really are star cross’d, if the universe is really set against them, then Peter is more important than he ever knew. Although, if he’s honest with himself, he totally suspected he was more special than everyone else. It seems right that he deserves something Shakespearean in its breadth and majesty. Okay, so it might end in tragedy, but at least it’d be beautiful, right?

Peter doesn’t actually have the courage to approach Chris Argent, not then, but that’s okay. He doesn’t need Chris, not when the idea of him, the ideal of him, is enough. Chris is tall and lean and has gray-blue eyes. He doesn’t smile a lot, which Peter puts down, poetically, to the fact that he’s thoughtful and soulful. Practically, it’s probably because Chris’s dad is Gerard Argent, and he’s an asshole. Peter wouldn’t smile much either if his dad was Gerard Argent.

Peter can’t approach Chris Argent, but he also can’t stay away from him. Every day after school he goes to the diner where Chris and his friends meet up. Peter orders a chocolate milkshake every time, and sits as close to them as he dares. He does his homework on the scratched formica table of the booth, casting furtive glances in Chris’s direction.

Sometimes, Chris catches him looking.

It makes his heart stop, every time.

 

***

 

Maybe he would have outgrown his crush in time.

If it wasn’t the sort of thing he loved to nurture in secret.

Chris goes away to college.

Peter still dreams of him, asleep or awake. He likes having this secret that sets him apart from others.

Peter moves on to junior high, and then high school.

He hates high school. Oh, he’s good looking enough to be effortlessly popular, but he still hates it. His classes don’t challenge him at all, and if there’s one thing Peter Hale needs in his life, it’s a challenge. His grades slip because he stops handing in assignments, and then he stops attending the classes that don’t hold his interest. Which is most of them. His parents are called up to the school and have to sit there, bemused, while the principal explains that Peter isn’t failing because he’s not smart, he’s failing because he’s too smart. Peter can only imagine that “too smart” at Beacon Hills High School, translates as “able to tie his own shoes.”

The principal also mentions that Peter’s biggest problem is his attitude.

It’s a fair point.

Peter’s father is disappointed in him. This isn’t new. Peter has always somehow managed to fall short of his father’s expectations. He’s too wilful. He’s too smart-mouthed. He’s a brat. He’s too clever by half. Peter doesn’t even really know what that last one means, or how it’s supposed to be a bad thing. He only knows that when his father says it, at first he feels a hot burst of anger inside his chest, and then it floods away leaving him cold and feeling smaller than a chastised pup.

Still, he reapplies himself to his schoolwork, because college is the only way out of Beacon Hills.

And because, even though he doesn’t believe it’s possible, he wants to make his dad proud of him.

 

***

 

Peter’s older sister Talia is an alpha. One day she’ll be the Pack Alpha.

The summer of Peter's junior year, Talia crashes their dad’s new car into a tree in the Preserve.

Peter is almost gleeful. Talia never gets into trouble, not like he does. He sneaks downstairs when their dad gets home, and lingers outside the library door where he can hear everything.

He expects to hear shouting.

What he doesn’t expect is to hear his dad sigh. “Really, Talia? I’d expect this sort of thing from Peter, not you.”

It hits Peter in the guts like a punch.

“Dad, I—”

“You’re not covering for him, are you?” their dad asks.

“No!”

Peter would laugh, almost, if he had the breath. Talia just wrapped a brand new BMW around a fucking tree, and somehow it’s still his fault. It's absurd.

He’d laugh, if he wasn’t trying so hard not to cry.

 

***

 

Peter loves art. He’s not an artist himself—not through lack of trying—but he loves looking at art, experiencing it, and trying to comprehend its message. Art is like a window to a whole other world, one bigger than Beacon Hills, and one that Peter aches to explore. Until then, art is something that Peter can lose himself in.

The school library doesn’t have anything decent on art history. The town library isn’t much better, but Peter stalks the stacks until he’s devoured everything they have. It’s there, his nostrils filled with the scent of old books, and dust, and carpet cleaner, that Peter discovers his love of the Pre-Raphaelites. The richness of the colors, the ethereal magic of the subjects, and the beauty of slowly unfolding tragedy.

It’s in the town library that he sees Christopher Argent again, for the first time in years.

Peter’s returning a load of books to the trolley to be reshelved, and Chris is standing by the counter getting a book checked out.

He looks good. Good enough that the sudden knot in Peter’s stomach is accompanied by a rush of arousal. Peter flushes and sets his books down on the trolley. Then he slings his backpack over his shoulder and heads for the front doors.

Outside, it’s raining. Cold, bleak December rain. It’s not quite cold enough for sleet—winter has been unseasonably warm so far—but cold enough for Peter to stop on the steps of the library and dig through his backpack for his scarf.

Behind him, the heavy library doors roll open.

“Hey.”

Peter straightens up and turns. “Hey.”

His heart beats a little faster when he sees it’s Chris. He has to force himself not to lean closer to try and catch his scent.

“Peter, right? Peter Hale?”

“Yeah.” Peter shoves his hands in the pockets of his jeans.

“You used to come to the diner, back when I was in school.”

“Yeah.” Peter blinks. “I used to do my homework there.”

The conversation, whatever the hell it is, dies then, and Peter wonders why Chris even started it. Chris knows who he is, but that’s not surprising. Their packs hate one another, and have since forever. Peter doesn’t know why. He doesn’t really care why. But it does make him wonder why Chris spoke to him.

The rain gets heavier.

It’s late afternoon, but feels like night.

Chris digs into the pocket of his jeans and pulls out his car keys. “You waiting for someone?”

Peter shrugs. “Nah. Waiting for the rain to stop.”

“You’re walking?”

Peter nods.

Chris walks halfway down the steps toward the street. Then, shoulders squared, he turns around again. “Do you want a ride?”

Peter tightens his grip on the straps of his backpack. “Okay, sure.”

 

***

 

That’s how it starts.

It ends twenty minutes later in Chris’s car, pulled over into a side street, the rain still pelting down, and Chris’s fingers twisting in Peter’s hair as Peter sucks his dick. Peter’s spine is bent awkwardly, but he doesn’t care. He’s got one hand around Chris’s throbbing dick, and his other hand shoved down his own jeans. The air in the car is hot and thick with the scent of the both of them. Peter’s wolf is close to the surface of his skin. Chris’s is too. Peter feels the scrape of claws on his scalp, and it sends a thrill through him.

Peter’s never done anything like this before, and he feels reckless and new.

“Peter. Peter. Peter.”

When Chris arches in the driver’s seat, hips jerking as he comes down Peter’s throat, Peter shudders and moans and comes too.

It’s fucking incredible.

 

***

 

Peter’s checking the stacks the next day when someone pulls a few books out of the shelf behind the one he’s looking at. Peter sees blue-gray eyes, the edges crinkled with a smile.

“Hey,” Chris says.

“Hey,” Peter replies.

It keeps going from there.

 

***

 

Chris goes back to college after the Christmas break. They email each other every day. Peter is happier than he’s been since...since ever. He has a boyfriend. A boyfriend whose scent he had to be careful to mask after they’d been fooling around, because the Hales and the Argents hate one another, but so what? So what if his father throws him out of the pack for this? So what?

It’s easy to ignore the guilt and fear in his belly when he thinks of Chris.

It’s easy to tell himself it’s worth it.

Peter’s been disappointing his father without reason for years. It almost feels right that now he’s justified it.

 

***

 

Chris comes home again at the end of the semester.

“I missed you,” he tells Peter between kisses. “I love you.”

There’s a hidden place in a corner of the Preserve. It’s Hale pack territory, but nobody ever really goes there. It’s just a rocky overhang at the bottom of a gully. Peter found it when he was a kid. It was his fortress once, his castle, his pirate ship, his kingdom. And now, when he’s seventeen years old, it’s the place where he loses his virginity.

It hurts, at first.

It hurts because Peter is nervous and tight, and Chris is kind of big. But Chris is also patient and slow, and he looks so worried when he brushes away Peter’s tears that Peter somehow falls even more in love with him.

He closes his eyes and imagines feeling Chris’s teeth at the juncture of his neck and shoulder, fangs piercing flesh in a mating bite. His wolf whines. It wants, so badly, so completely, to be claimed by Chris. Not just here, not just now, but for always, and for the whole world to know.

“I love you,” he whispers, and in that moment he feels as small and uncertain as a child again.

“Love you,” Chris whispers back, rocking gently into him.

Nobody has ever seen Peter this vulnerable. Peter has never felt this vulnerable before in his life. He’s always guarded himself. Always held himself a little apart from everyone. Always looked down on others from a safe perch of sarcasm and snark. He’s always been smarter, and that’s become his armor. But for Chris he risks looking vulnerable, uncertain. For Chris he opens himself to the chance of ridicule, because he trusts Chris not to laugh at him for not knowing what he’s doing here. For hooking his legs around Chris’s ass, and holding him tight while he shivers and shakes though every one of Chris’s gentle thrusts. While each small push forward makes his eyes widen and his breath punch out of him.

Pain very slowly gives way to pleasure, and Peter finds himself pushing back to meet Chris’s thrusts. He curls the fingers of one hand around Chris’s upper arm, around his biceps. He gets his free hand into the hot, damp space between their bodies, and jerks himself off as Chris fucks him.

Above them, the wind makes the canopy of branches shift like the surface of the ocean. A crow dives through the air. Insects chirp and buzz.

Peter is aware of all of it, and at the same time none of it. It’s as though the universe has constricted until it’s no bigger than them; two heartbeats, shared breath, and desperate kisses.

It’s beautiful.

Peter comes with Chris still inside him, squeezing his eyes shut and calling out his name in a voice as broken as the crow's.

 

***

 

They meet most days in the library, or in the Preserve. If they see one another in town, they don’t speak. Once, Peter is with Talia in the store buying groceries, and he sees Chris and his father at the checkout. Gerard Argent is talking to a woman with a baby in a stroller while Chris loads their bags back into the trolley.

Gerard Argent is on the town council. He has a politician’s smile.

Chris looks up and sees Peter. His expression doesn’t change, but maybe his scent does, because Gerard breaks off his conversation and turns to look at Peter and Talia curiously. His expression narrows.

Talia grabs Peter by the shoulder and steers him down the next aisle.

Peter feels unsettled for the rest of the day. That afternoon when he sneaks away to the gully, he half expects that he won’t find Chris there at all.

But Chris is waiting, like always, his serious expression transformed by a smile when he sees Peter approaching.

They sit and talk for a while, hands clasped, leaning into one another.

“What would happen,” Peter asks at last, his heart pounding loudly, “if our packs found out about us?”

Chris’s expression shutters.

Peter feels a stab of anxiety. He tries to smile. “I mean, I’m not going to tell anyone or anything, but what would happen, do you think?”

“I think my dad would throw me out of the pack,” Chris says quietly. His scent sours.

“Oh,” Peter says. “Would that be so bad?”

Chris raises his eyebrows.

Maybe it was a dumb thing to say. Peter isn’t even sure if it was a joke or not. Packless wolves are omegas. They go mad, feral. Peter has always been terrified of the idea of becoming an omega, of dying crazy and alone.

“I mean, we could start our own pack,” he says with a grin he doesn’t feel.

“We’re betas,” Chris says.

Peter huffs out a breath. Doesn’t Chris know that this place is his kingdom? He’s battled space aliens here. He’s fought off armies of the undead. In this place, Peter is the unconquered conqueror.

“I bet we could,” he insists. “You and me, I bet we could make our own rules!”

It’s not true. Peter knows it’s not true, but this is the place for fantasies.

“Don’t say that,” Chris says, and tugs his hand away from Peter’s. “Don’t be stupid.”

Peter feels suddenly cold. He schools his expression and then arches his brows at Chris. “So what then? What else? We keep doing this?”

Chris doesn’t say anything.

Peter rolls his eyes. “Yeah, that’s what I thought.”

He stands up and stalks away.

 

***

 

It drags on for another two weeks.

“I’ll tell my pack if you tell yours,” Peter says. He’s so full of love for Chris that he feels like he’s somehow going to burst. And he knows that whatever this dumb thing is between their packs, it’s meaningless in the face of love like theirs. It recoils from it, and shrinks into nothing. And fuck whatever their packs say. Their love has to mean something, because it’s all Peter’s fucking got, okay? It’s all he’s got.

Chris looks away.

“But you love me, right?” Peter asks. “You said you love me.”

Chris doesn’t lift his gaze.

“Chris?”

Chris’s scent turns sour and unhappy.

It ends right there, when Peter snarls and calls Chris a selfish fucking gutless piece of shit coward.

Chris doesn’t say anything. Just stands there and takes it. Even when Peter lashes out and slashes his claws across his forearm, leaving sharp lines of blood behind, Chris doesn’t say anything.

And what could he say, really?

It’s all fucking true.

 

***

 

- iii -

 

Malia

 

Peter is in his sophomore year at Stanford when his father decides to negotiate an alliance with the Tate pack, and uses Peter as a bargaining chip. Peter’s not sure how much of a selling point he really is, but there’s a part of him that still aches for his father’s approval.

Besides, if you don’t get someone you love, a voice whispers in the back of his head, you might as well do your duty.

Peter hates the Tate pack. Patricia thinks it’s amusing to remind him of how easily his father signed him over to them, all for the sake of a treaty. She says it with a cynical curl to her lip that Peter warms to at first, before he realizes that he isn’t invited to share the joke. He is the joke.

Still, there are worse things.

Patricia doesn’t care if he spends most of of his time studying, and she doesn’t care if he smokes in bed so long as he does his part and fucks her when she wants.

There are worse marriages.

Peter doesn’t care.

He’s not going to be vulnerable ever again.

 

***

 

When she’s three, Malia invites Peter to a tea party. He accepts with all due solemnity. They sit in the back garden, surrounded by teddy bears and glass-eyed dolls, sipping water from tiny plastic tea cups.

Malia is wearing a pink princess dress.

Peter is wearing a tutu over his jeans, and a tiara.

“More tea, Princess Malia?” Peter asks her, holding up the teapot.

“Yes please, Princess Daddy,” she answers primly.

Peter loves her more than anything in the world.

He thinks that maybe Malia is the only good thing he’s ever done in his life.

 

***

 

Eight years after they were officially mated, Patricia breaks the bond.

“It’s not working,” she says, and Peter almost laughs.

Of course it’s not working. It hasn’t ever fucking worked.

Peter doesn’t care about that. He would have stayed. He wants to stay.

When he leaves the Tate house, Malia screams at him to come back.

“Daddy! Daddy! Where are you going, Daddy? Come back!

Peter will never forgive Patricia for that.

He’ll also never forgive himself.

 

***

 

- iv -

 

The Pack

 

Peter spends most of his time at Stanford, where his colleagues jealously detest him for his brilliance, and his students either fear him or lust after him. And very often both at the same time. He drinks too much and fucks around with a lot of people. He avoids going back to Beacon Hills.

When his father dies, Peter mourns him, he supposes. Mourns him, but at the same time is quietly relieved. His mother dies shortly afterward.

“It was their mating bond,” Talia says after her funeral. “They say it sometimes happens.”

“Guess I’ll never know,” Peter says archly, and takes a swig of whisky.

“There’s always a place for you here, Peter,” Talia tells him.

Peter can’t help it. He starts laughing.

The children are scandalized.

 

***

 

It’s because of Peter, indirectly, that the Argents leave Beacon Hills for Phoenix. When his nephew Derek asks for advice about dating Kate Argent, Peter gives the worst advice he possibly can.

Yes, Derek. Go for it, Derek. Fuck an Argent, Derek, and I hope Gerard finds out, and I hope Chris does and remembers he's a total fucking coward.

Of course, he doesn’t exactly frame it like that.

In any case, if Derek had been seeking good advice, he could have gone to his parents. So he was obviously seeking bad advice when he came to Peter. Because that’s what Peter’s for, isn’t he? At worst he’s cruel and cynical. At best he’s a cautionary tale about drinking too much and fucking your entire life up.

So, Derek goes out with Kate. It ends when she sets his car on fire, with him inside. It turns out the Argent/Hale feud is not as dead as the Hales assumed. When Talia insists on pressing charges against Kate, Gerard Argent is furious. And obviously fucking insane. He loses his shit. He then quickly loses what support he had in town, and the Argents pack up and move to Phoenix. Chris, of course, goes with him like a good little foot soldier. 

Peter goes to the cemetery and sits on his father’s grave while he drinks an entire bottle of whiskey. Although he spills some of it in a toast.

“To fathers,” he slurs, “and they way they fuck us over.”

He stays there, hearing Malia’s screams in his head, until Talia’s husband James comes and drags him home.

 

***

 

“I’m an asshole,” Peter whispers to Talia, and laughs. “Why am I whispering? It’s not a secret!”

“Peter,” Talia says. Between her and James, they’re trying to get him undressed and into a cold shower. “You’re not. Not really.”

“S’my fault,” Peter tells them. “Derek almos’ got incin-incinerated jus’ because, yeah fuck you, Argents.”

“It’s not your fault,” Talia tells him firmly.

“I love you guys,” Peter says. He slings an arm around James’s neck. “I love you guys. Please don’t fuck your kids up the way I fucked mine up, ‘kay?”

Talia squeezes her eyes shut for a moment. “Peter.”

“Promise,” Peter insists. “Promise!”

“I promise.”

They manage to get him into the shower cubicle.

“You remember, you ’member what Dad used to say?”

“What?” Talia asks gently.

Why can’t you ever do anything right, Peter?” Peter’s upper lip trembles with a growl. “Sometimes I think you want to end up an omega! Don’t say that to your kids, promise?”

“We promise, Peter,” Talia says. “We promise.”

 

***

 

When Malia is fifteen she comes to live with the Hales. Peter doesn’t know why she’s made the decision, but he doesn’t fool himself by thinking it’s because she missed him. Too many years have passed for that. She’s probably chosen him because she’s at the age where she’s butting heads with her mother, and Peter wins purely by default.

The first time he calls her princess, she thinks he’s being sarcastic.

That’s fine.

Peter can work with that.

Sometimes his heart breaks a little when he sees plastic tea sets for sale in store windows, but that’s fine too.

 

*** 

- v -

 

Lydia

 

The last place Peter expected to find a soulmate was living in a filthy makeshift camp in the middle of the wilderness. Still, beggars can’t be choosers. From the moment he speaks to her, Peter is a little bit in love with Lydia Martin, the impossible human. She reminds him of Patricia at first. She has a sharp wit and she takes no prisoners, but it’s because she’s fiercely protective of her people, and of her freedom, and that’s something Peter can respect.

She’s way too young for him, probably.

She’s way too smart for him, absolutely.

Peter is ridiculously smitten.

Maybe, at first, because it’s safe. There’s no way that Lydia would want a wolf. So Peter flirts with her and she flirts right back, and nobody is more surprised than Peter when they fall into bed together one night.

“No claws, Peter,” Lydia says, and straddles him.

Jesus fucking Christ.

There are claws, definitely, but they’re all Lydia’s. She digs her nails into his chest as she rides him, and Peter gasps and arches underneath her. She leans over him and grips his wrists. Holds them down against the mattress even though they both know Peter could throw her off him in a heartbeat. She’s hot and tight around his dick, her muscles clenching down on him. She’s slick as well. She releases one of Peter’s wrists so she can rub her clit, and she looks so incredible with her head thrown back, her breasts gleaming with sweat, that Peter can’t hold back a growl.

“No growling, Peter,” Lydia says. Her tone is cool, but her eyes are alight with mischief as she moves her hand away from her clit, trails her glistening fingers up his chest, pinches a nipple and then fucking twists.

Peter bites back a moan. “Lydia, Jesus!”

“And Peter...” She leans down over him again, her breath hot against his face.

Peter lifts his chin to try and kiss her.

She presses a finger against his lips. “Are you listening to me?”

“You have my undivided attention.”

“Good.” Lydia leans down and licks a stripe up his cheek. “You’d better not come before me.”

Peter wouldn’t fucking dare.

 

***

 

Lydia is a study in contradictions, and Peter finds that he wants to study her for years, if not longer. Around the pack she’s cool and collected. Around Stiles and Scott she shows occasional flashes of immaturity as all three of them regress to giggling children. And with Peter, well, with Peter she’s everything. Sometimes she sets all the rules in the bedroom. Sometimes he does. Sometimes they wreck one another, and sometimes they cuddle afterward on the couch and eat popcorn and watch terrible movies. In their first few months together Lydia is studying for her GED. It’s a frustrating process for both of them. She’s one of the most intelligent people Peter has ever met, but that doesn’t immediately translate in a standardized test. But Lydia is also determined. The moment she gets her GED she starts applying for online college courses. By the end of their first year together Lydia is working part time as Laura’s personal assistant at the law firm in Beacon Hills, and visiting Peter at Stanford as often as she can.

It’s somehow all very easy.

Peter tells himself he doesn’t need anything else. Anyone else. 

He even believes it, for a while.

  

***

 

Seeing Chris again is no harder that Peter thought it would be.

Peter’s not the boy he was.

He won’t expose his soft underbelly to Chris Argent ever again.

Peter does what he has to do to protect his pack. He plants the idea of peace in Chris’s head, something they both know will never happen as long as Gerard is in charge, and then provides Gerard Argent with just enough provocation to go absolutely apeshit on a pair of innocent lovesick kids. Peter forces Chris to take a fucking stand. Something that only comes, what? Twenty years too late?

Congratulations on growing a spine, Christopher.

After Chris kills Gerard Argent in a very public setting in front of very many witnesses who can in no way put the blame on Peter for inciting the entire thing, thanks very much, Peter considers that an end to it. Chris is alive, and he’s the Argent Pack Alpha, and hoo-fucking-ray for him. Peter’s done.

Peter’s happy.

He heads straight back to San Francisco, to the ludicrously overpriced Fairmont Hotel, and to the red-headed pre-Raphaelite goddess awaiting him.

“You were in love with him, though,” Lydia says, as Peter fastens the necklace at the back of her throat.

“I was seventeen,” Peter tells her, leaning down to plant a kiss on her bare shoulder. “I would have been in love with anyone who touched my dick.”

Lydia laughs, but Peter knows they both recognize the lie.

 

***

 

Lydia is all he needs.

Peter sits with her on the porch steps, his gaze on Chris.

Chris is ill at ease surrounded by Hales, on their territory, but this is a new world. Gerard is dead, Chris is in charge of the Argents and, if Peter is any judge at all, pretty soon Chris’s daughter Allison will be mated with Scott McCall anyway, and Scott’s a member of the Hale pack.

It seems like things are coming full circle.

It should feel satisfying.

Instead, it feels a little hollow.

 

*** 

- v + i -

 

 

Chris and Lydia

 

Peter’s nose twitches as he unlocks his apartment door. Incense? Is Lydia actually burning incense? It’s time they had another talk about sensitive werewolf noses. Peter dumps his messenger bag on the floor—he’s too cool of a professor to carry a briefcase, okay?—and hangs his jacket on the hook by the door.

“Lydia? Didn’t we agree not to burn that shit without a window open?” he asks as he rounds the corner into the living room.

And stops.

Dead stops.

Chris Argent is sitting on the couch, looking fucking inscrutable.

“Actually,” Lydia says with a smile, “we only agreed that it really fucks up your sense of smell.”

Peter growls. “Well, can you put it out now? I’m surprised. Congratulations!”

Lydia rises from her seat and crosses the floor to him. She smiles demurely and pecks him on the cheek—oh, how very 1950s housewife—and then moves over to the sideboard and stubs the stick of incense out.

“So,” Peter says. “Who wants to tell me what’s going on?”

Lydia comes to stand behind him, and puts her arms around his waist. “Chris and I have been having a little talk, and we’ve come to an agreement.”

“An agreement?” Peter arches a brow. “Really?”

“And we think it’s an agreement you’ll be very happy with.” Lydia slips a hand to the fly of his jeans and pops the button.

“Lydia!” Peter pulls away from her. “What the fuck?”

Lydia fixes him with her no-bullshit stare. “What, Peter? Are you going to pretend you don’t still want him?”

Peter opens his mouth to reply, and discovers too late that he has no words. None at all. He clamps his mouth shut again.

Chris stands up from the couch.

The years have been good to him. His hair is mostly gray these days and he looks a little rough around the edges, but he wears it fucking well.

“Peter,” he says, stepping into Peter’s space. “I should have stood up for you, for us, all those years ago. I’m sorry.”

“And that’s supposed to make it better, is it?” Peter asks him.

Chris leans forward and captures his mouth in a brief, heady kiss. He drags a hand through Peter’s hair, and a moan from his throat. “No,” he groans when he breaks the kiss, his mouth still pressed against Peter’s, his breath hot. “But I still want to fuck you.”

Peter shivers.

From behind him, Lydia says, “Ladies first.”

 

***

 

Twenty minutes later Peter’s on his hands and knees on his bed, naked, with Chris kneeling in front of him. Chris is petting his hair, rubbing his lips with his thumb, staring down at him with so much blatant want in his expression that Peter can hardly catch his breath.

Peter wants to lean forward and suck his dick, but Chris grips his shoulders and keeps him still.

Lydia is moving around behind him. Peter flinches when he feels the first cold glob of lube on his ass. It’s been a long time since he was penetrated. Years, probably.

He twists his head around to look at Lydia, and his eyes almost bug out of his head. She’s wearing a strap-on, and it’s fucking huge. Peter’s going to kill whoever taught her how to shop online. Unless it was him. Hell, it was probably him. But, to be fair, he thought she’d just be buying shoes. Not lurid blue ten-inch dildos. Because who would see that coming?

“Ready, Peter?” she asks with a deceptively demure smile.

“Go your hardest, sweetheart,” he tells her.

Lydia does love a challenge.

Peter groans as she begins to press inside him.

He fights the urge to close his eyes, because he wants to see what seeing this is doing to Chris. Wants to see if his expression still goes tight with lust when he watches Peter get off. Wants to see if his eyes flash as his wolf comes out to play.

In the end, he doesn’t see anything at all.

Instead he succumbs to the gentle pressure of Chris’s hand on the back of his head, pushing him down onto his dick.

Peter opens his mouth willingly, and lets them both fuck him.

 

***

 

Lydia’s a blissed-out mess by the time Chris finally gets his dick inside Peter. She’s sprawled on the bed, one hand tangled in her glorious hair, the other tangled in Peter’s as he eats her out. His tongue and lips are numb, but Lydia’s moans of encouragement are all he needs to keep going.

Behind him, Chris is thrusting into him at a steady pace, and Peter’s about ready to come for the second—no, third—time.

He’s surrounded by their scents. Chris and Lydia. Lydia and Chris. His wolf can barely distinguish them. It feels no need to. Peter’s always been greedy, hasn’t he? Why the fuck shouldn’t he have them both? Why the fuck shouldn’t he have whatever the hell he wants?

Lydia thrashes on the bed as she comes, and Peter licks up her juices. Then he lifts his head to look up at her. She’s wearing a smile like the cat that got the cream. A lazy, satisfied cat.

Chris grips Peter’s hips tightly, claws digging in, and picks up his pace. Peter arches back into his thrusts, his balls drawing up tight against his body. Chris reaches underneath him and grabs his dick, and Peter comes with a shout. Chris is only seconds behind him.

They both collapse onto the bed beside Lydia.

The room stinks of sex.

Peter crawls up the mattress so that he can rest his head against Lydia’s breasts. She pets his hair gently as he closes his eyes. He’s aware of Chris lying behind him, and putting an arm over his hip.

Would be nice, maybe, to wake up with him still here.

 

***

 

A few hours later, Peter is smoking a cigarette on the balcony. Typical. Lydia can burn that horrible incense inside, but if Peter wants a smoke he’s banished to the balcony. Still, it’s hard to feel aggrieved when his ass is still aching from being expertly fucked by both his girlfriend and his...and Chris.

Peter leans against the balcony and looks back into the bedroom.

Lydia is still asleep, a smile on her face.

She’s fucking glorious. His clever, terrifying, filthy pre-Raphaelite goddess. Peter would follow her into hell and back.

Chris is awake. He sees Peter watching and gets up. He stretches, and Peter’s dick attempts to rally at the sight of all that muscle and flesh.

Chris pulls on a pair of boxers—shame—and steps outside to join Peter in the cool night air.

“Regrets?” Peter asks him.

Chris surprises him by reaching for his cigarette, plucking it from his fingers and taking a drag. “Life’s full of fucking regrets.”

“How incredibly pessimistic of you,” Peter says. “You used to be much happier after you came.”

Chris almost smiles at that. “No regrets about tonight though.”

“No?” Peter takes back his cigarette. “Good. How about tomorrow night?”

“Pretty sure I won’t regret that either.”

Peter smirks.

He’s pretty sure none of them will.