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Loan Wolves

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It's a beautiful summer day in August, the kind where the birds chirp and the sun is out, when Stiles' mother dies. He's seventeen, unprepared, and thrown upside down all in the matter of a few hours.

He’d seen it coming, but he still wasn’t ready. He doesn’t know if he ever could’ve been, because there’s just no magical button that makes a death okay, or makes life without them peachy, or makes the last few days with them enough. It never would’ve been enough. Stiles’ mother was supposed to always be there.

Things happen very fast after the funeral.

Most of it is a blur. Stiles remembers it as if drugged, as if underwater. Mostly he recalls his father, his worn face peeking out from underneath the hard mask he puts up for Stiles' sake. Stiles still hasn't figured out which is worse, the crumbling facade, or the agony beneath. His father only ever lets the mask slip when he thinks Stiles isn’t looking, like he thinks Stiles is too fragile to see it, like Stiles isn’t feeling all the same things, like Stiles wouldn’t appreciate the company in his sadness.

Afterwards, and this is where the memories and the voices blend together, a lot of people tell him they're sorry. The doctors. The funeral priests. His teachers. Scott. It falls on very numb ears that don't know what they're supposed to do with apologies. All he feels he really knows how to do is crumble, panic, surrender to his grief.

But Stiles doesn't want his father to see him break down either, so he doesn't. He doesn't cry at the wake, and he doesn't let himself afterwards anywhere but the lonely safety of the shadows in his room.

--

When Stiles was little, he was irrationally afraid of being abandoned by his mother. The supermarket. The mall. The car. Even at his own house, when she'd be late coming back home. The worst of scenarios used to brew up in Stiles' mind, ones where she had plotted for years to leave him somewhere unawares to fend for himself, where she would never return and never quite loved him enough to even say goodbye, and he'd stand in the middle of a grocery store and feel his eyes get hot and his nose get bubbly and his cheeks get wet, and then his mother would appear out of nowhere with a few artichokes in her hand and everything would be all right again.

Years later, when he would actually lose her, and this time for good, Stiles would learn that those moments of paralyzing fear in a store were nothing compared to how it actually felt to have someone you love leave you without explanation.

--

Things don't get better as fall comes, or as winter does. Everybody keeps telling Stiles that eventually things will improve, and eventually he'll stop thinking his mother will be there every day after school to ask him how his day was, and eventually life will get better, but eventually seems eternities away. It's certainly more than just a couple of months.

It might all be easier if healing was the worst thing Stiles had to deal with, or the only thing to focus on. But then the overdue bills start piling up.

He finds the first stack hidden behind the cereal boxes in the kitchen cabinet, and the second hidden under a pile of books on the living room coffee table. They're just pieces of paper with a few strict words printed on them from the bank reminding his father he’s late making payments, but they make Stiles feel like he's been run over by a train.

He has a panic attack in the shower after he first finds them. He feels ridiculous afterward, like a child, sobs wracking through him with suds in his hair and the bathtub slippery under his soles. He's not used to worrying about money, but considering that most of the bills he found are dated back to months ago, he apparently should've been worrying for a while now.

Not that his father ever told him.

He had never realized how expensive such intensive hospital treatment could get, or funeral services, or even electricity bills. He used to think that his father had invested wisely and they were sitting on a comfortable cushion of savings, but the cushion is clearly not as comfortable as he has imagined since it seems to have depleted in a matter of months.

But the bills keep coming in, and none seem to be going out paid and absolved. He sees the overdue balances getting higher and higher, and he feels smaller and smaller, and all he wants is for someone older and smarter and better at navigating life than Stiles is to swoop in and make things all right again, but it's a delusional fantasy more than it is an actual hope.

"I found all the letters under the books," Stiles says to his father two weeks after finding them, hoping to be frank and honest and find a solution with him since his dad hasn't stepped up to do so. He has a new bill in one hand, already wrinkled from how many times he's read it, touched it, smoothed it out. "You should've told me about them."

"What are you talking about?" the sheriff asks.

"The letters. The bills. Fucking dozens of them, dad." There's a lump forming in Stiles' throat he can't seem to swallow down. "Why didn't you tell me?"

His father doesn't say anything for a long time; his eyes are trained on the amber liquid sitting in a glass next to him, most of it already drunken away. Stiles looks at it and feels sick, wishing he could hurl that stupid glass against the window and watch the carpet stain. This is the fourth night in a row his father's grabbed a nightcap from the liquor cabinet.

"There's nothing to tell," his father says. "I'm handling it, Stiles. It isn't an issue."

Stiles doesn't know how that many unpaid bills can't be seen as an issue, if not a complete catastrophe.

"Just let me help," Stiles begs, even as he doesn't know how he could. "I've seen them. They're—the numbers are huge."

His father isn't listening, or if he is, he doesn't seem to want to carry on the conversation. He picks up his glass and downs the rest of it in one go, his eyes tired.

“We have to talk about this,” Stiles says, feeling helpless and invisible, standing on a tightrope all by himself. “Dad.”

“Not now, Stiles,” his father says. He sounds tired, his glass pressed against his forehead and his eyes closed. “I can’t right now.”

Stiles looks down at the crumpled paper in his hand, some of the ink smudged with the sweat on his fingers. They can’t afford not now. They can’t afford anything but now, before things get worse and worse and Stiles can’t handle it anymore, too broken, too burdened by the weight of trauma pushing at his shoulders like anvils. He knows what his father needs—to be comforted, reassured—but Stiles needs the same thing, and he can’t force himself to grow up too soon so he can take care of him. He’s supposed to be nothing more than a teenage boy worried about girls and homework and prom, not money and mortgages and his father’s alcohol problem.

“Dad, please,” he says quietly. He wants his father to look at him, open his eyes and see how Stiles is hunched in on himself like a cold bird, tired where it’s wrapped in its own wings.

“Stiles, don’t worry. Stop worrying,” he says, but Stiles can’t, he can’t. He hasn’t stopped worrying since those days he slept curled up in a chair in his mother’s hospital room. “Everything’s going to be fine.”

It won’t be. Stiles can feel it. It’s the same feeling that rattled his bones when his mother started getting sick, that horrible, consuming, foreboding feeling, that harbinger for nothing but bad news. They’re going to lose the house; they’re going to lose each other.

All he can think the entire time is that he wants his mother to come home already.

--

Stiles figures out pretty quickly that his father is mixed up in something he shouldn’t be.

It starts out subtly: dark cars idling outside his house after he gets home from school that seem to sit in wait, just watching, before driving off. His father taking his phone with him into the garage when he used to talk openly in the kitchen. The fact that when Stiles persists about their financial situation, his father says he has it handled. It doesn’t feel like anything’s been handled. It feels like his father’s been digging holes out of desperation that he’s sinking into. They’re sinking into.

He listens to his father pay off bills on the phone—funeral costs, electricity bills, medical expenses—with money he knows they didn’t have a few weeks ago. Even with the extra shifts he’s been picking up at the station, Stiles isn’t stupid. The money the two of them need isn’t going to grow overnight, overtime or not, and the fact that it’s suddenly around is alarming, but Stiles doesn’t have a solution. He doesn't even have a clue as to what's going on.

It makes him realize, not for the first time, how little control he has even over his own life. He’s just a kid, and he can sit and cry and wail but it won’t help, and even if his father doesn’t want him to worry and is purposefully shutting him out because he thinks it’s for the best, Stiles can’t stand by idly and passively crumble, not when it’s his family on the line.

The problem is, he doesn’t even know how to approach this. When he suspects trouble, he turns to his father, who has always been a figure of comfort and authority and answers, even when Stiles had none, but what is he supposed to do when it’s his father who’s in trouble? It doesn’t help that his father isn’t accepting help unless it’s in the shape of a liquor bottle. Stiles wants to grab him, demand they tell each other the truth, beg for the two of them to work together, shake him until the message sinks in, but he’s not sure it ever would.

He wants his father to trust him. He wants to help. He wants to make sure that they stick together when an important part of their family has just been ripped away from them. And if he has to use underhanded ways to make it happen, he'll resign himself to that.

He thinks about that as he stops at the mailbox on the way home from school, rifling through the envelopes until one in particular sticks out to him. The bank’s logo is on the outside, and his father’s name is printed onto it.

Stiles has already ripped it open before he realizes his mistake that it’s not addressed to him, but now a sliver of a letter is sticking out and Stiles’ curiosity is grabbing him by the hair and demanding he read it. He weasels it out of the envelope, struggling to find just one side of himself to give into: the side that obeys the law and doesn’t read his father’s mail, or the side that isn’t afraid to do a little digging to get to the root of a problem.

The latter side wins out. He folds open the letter.

We regret to inform you that the bank is unable to provide you with credit. As the bank has already supplied more than three loans to your name, we no longer feel that you are a desirable candidate for a loan. We apologize for any inconvenience this brings you, and we wish you luck with your financial future.

Stiles feels a sinking pit in his stomach. Three loans already, and his father is still looking for more? Where the hell is the kind of money that his father needs going to come from if the bank is denying him?

The front door rattles with the sound of a key unlocking it and Stiles hurries to stuff the letter back into the envelope and undo the damage he’s done, but he doesn’t have enough time to actually make it look unopened and untouched. He’s still clutching it in his hands like a criminal caught red-handed when his father steps inside.

“Hey,” Stiles says, ignoring the instinct to stuff the letter behind his back and hide it under his shirt. “How was work?”

“Fine,” the sheriff says. “You got the mail?”

Stiles looks down at the letter in his hand and thinks this might as well be as good a time as any to bring it up instead of pretending he didn’t see. He lifts it half-heartedly.

“Uh, yeah.”

“Anything interesting?”

“I opened a letter,” Stiles admits. “It was your letter, but it—it was an accident. And I ended up seeing that the bank isn’t going to give us any more loans.”

His father’s face is unreadable, but his lips are thinning, which Stiles can make plenty of inferences from.

“Dad,” Stiles says sharply. “Are we out of money?”

“No,” his father answers immediately. “The bank—they just have limits on these sort of things. We have money, Stiles.”

“From where?”

His father is already slipping into the kitchen, but Stiles follows him just in time to see him pour himself a glass of what smells strongly of whiskey. Stiles almost prefers it when his father hides his drinking from him instead of doing it right in front of him.

“Dad, from where?” Stiles asks again. He doesn’t care if he’s annoying his father, he wants to get to the bottom of this, not forget about it and push it out until both of them are floating in a bubble of complete ignorance.

“A professional, Stiles,” his father says. “Everything’s fine. You don’t have to worry so much, you should be focusing on school.”

The sheriff grazes by him with a full glass of liquor in one hand and the other rubbing at his forehead, presumably to go upstairs and drink in his room where he assumes Stiles won’t know he’s drunk. Stiles watches him go, everything about his body sad and tired as he walks up the stairs.

A few pieces of the puzzle are slotting into place for him, though. There’s only one kind of professional Stiles knows of next to the bank willing to shell out so much money to someone in need, and just like that, the dark cars and the secrecy come together and Stiles knows exactly what his father’s been hiding from him. A loan shark.

--

Ever since Stiles’ mother started getting sick, Stiles has been sleeping less. By now, her gone for months and not returning, Stiles has hardly been sleeping at all. The sadness is too gripping to let it slip away long enough to sleep, and on the rare occasion when his exhaustion prevails, it’s to a slumber riddled with nightmares of his mother’s face, tortured, gaunt, ill.

Figuring out that his father is using loan sharks doesn’t exactly make it easier to fall asleep.

His suspicions are confirmed when Stiles digs a little deeper into the skeletons his father’s hiding in his closet. His father’s been sloppy, maybe a byproduct of his increasingly frequent trips to the liquor cabinet, and Stiles finds all the evidence he needs rooting through the trash and listening in on phone calls from around corners. He finds a few notes in the garbage can that don’t seem like anything but bad news, mostly crudely penned receipts and agreements as to what money he’s borrowing and what the outrageous interest percent is. The handwriting is sharp and aggressive, the kind that Stiles can draw personality traits from, and the longer he stares at the dark black letters the longer he can put together an image of the man who wrote it. He imagines someone foreboding and unsmiling, always shrouded in black coats and dark gloves with a gun concealed underneath.

He can’t imagine why his father would turn to someone like this, why he would ever agree to such a shady, unfavorable deal, especially when he’s a cop, of all things. The best he can think of is that they’re even more in debt than Stiles knew, and that this was the only option, but Stiles is still unbelievably stung that his father didn’t tell him, or at least brainstorm with him about ways to save up money and pay off the bills. They work well together, they’re a good team, a smart team, and they might’ve even found a solution if his father had trusted him earlier, but by now it’s too late and they’re too far gone and everything is already spiraled out of control.

The unfortunate bottom line is that it doesn't matter why, not when the deal is already done. Now it only matters what to do from here on out. Stiles doesn't know who these people his father's working with are, but he knows enough about loan sharks to presume that they're violent, unforgiving people who are quick to collect on their debts and torture their way back to their money. And with the amount the sheriff needed, there's definitely a lot to be repaid. At this point, not even Stiles trying to scrape together piggy bank money or find himself a job is going to help them out of the financial canyon they've been dropped into. Even winning the lottery might not.

He tries to find out as much as he can about these people without asking his father, who he knows would rather vehemently deny being involved with loan sharks rather than rope Stiles in as well, but it's not easy. Every note he finds in the trash is unsigned, and googling Beacon Hills loan sharks doesn't exactly lead him straight to a helpful website. All Stiles knows for sure is that he has to help before things get worse, since his current idea of "worse" is coming home to his father bleeding out on the carpet because persuasive tactics go a long way with reclaiming monetary debts, and then fretting over losing yet another parent when he hasn't even fully dealt with losing the first.

The longer Stiles thinks about it, the angrier he gets. At the world, at his father, at the fact that there are people out there happy to separate people down on their luck with their money and then hound them for it plus interest. He trusts his father, always has, but how can he keep doing so when his dad's been trading out one debt for another and putting himself in harm's way in the process?

His insomnia gets worse the more and more he realizes what kind of irreversible trouble they're in. Stiles can handle the little things, like broken plates or forgotten homework or a scrape after falling off a bike, but he isn't equipped to handle anything of this magnitude. He's not sure his father is either.

He keeps trying to give his father the opportunity to come clean and be honest, gently leading him into conversational directions where the truth could come out and everybody can breathe a sigh of relief and the two of them can put their heads together and work on this as an unstoppable duo, but his father never takes the bait.

"So I'm not going to be able to come home until late tonight," his father's voice drifts through the phone call. "I'll try to make it before ten, but don't wait up."

Stiles parks the Jeep in the driveway, covering up the mouthpiece while he turns it off so his father doesn't hear the pitiful groan his engine rattles out as a clear plea to be fixed. Car work is expensive, and expensive is just not in their vocabulary these days. He opens the door and hauls his backpack off the passenger seat.

"What's going on?" Stiles asks. "Big break in a case or what?"

"Uh, not really. Just going to take some extra time finishing up around here. Getting some work done."

He might be hiding the actual meaning between deceptive wording, but Stiles knows what his dad is really trying to say. He's spending another night working an extra shift because they need the money. With the looming threat of a loan shark out and about presumably starting to get impatient for his loan to be paid back, Stiles hates to admit that staying longer at the station might just be the safest place for his father to hang out.

Stiles throws out another opportunity for the sheriff to stop beating around the bush and tell Stiles the truth already. He says, "That's the only reason?"

The exhaustion has made him candid. He feels as if he hasn't slept in weeks, and all Stiles can think about is that if his mother was here she'd brew him a cup of chamomile tea and tuck him into the sofa for a long nap. He walks up the steps to the front door, readjusting the phone.

"Yes," the sheriff says. It's a shame Stiles can't see his face over the phone. "Of course it is."

It isn't. It isn't.

“Everything’s okay, isn’t it?” Stiles asks, fumbling to slip his key out of his backpack. “I mean, you’ve been working so much overtime—”

“Don’t worry, Stiles,” his father interrupts.

Stiles stills, frustrated. “The less you tell me, the more I worry, dad.”

“Well, don’t,” he replies. He sounds about as tired as Stiles is exasperated, making him feel bad he pushed in the first place. He just doesn’t know how to approach this, how to treat his father, how to fix things, and he has the suspicion he’s doing it all wrong. “I’ll be back later tonight. Are you home yet?”

“Yeah.”

“Then just—take a long shower. Relax yourself.”

Stiles pulls in a deep breath. His father doesn’t get it—there’s no way a bit of hot water can calm him at this point—but he doesn’t want to have this conversation over the phone. “Okay. Fine. Just—just tell me something. You’d tell me if we were in trouble, right?”

There’s a long silence on the other end, a silence that unfortunately speaks for itself. It’s not even that Stiles doesn’t know, he does know, which is what makes it all the worse when his father lies to him over and over no matter how many chances Stiles gives him to do otherwise. Then the sheriff says, “Just stop worrying, Stiles.”

Stiles thinks stop telling me to stop worrying and tell me if there’s something to worry about and stop trying to protect me so damn hard for a few seconds.

“Fine,” he ends up saying, jamming his key into the door. “I’ll see you later.”

He stuffs his phone into his pants before his father can reiterate his pleas for Stiles to calm down and unwind already, probably because it’s starting to feel belittling, like Stiles is a fragile child who has to be protected from the harsh truths of the world. Fine. Fine. He’ll take the stupid shower, and he’ll pretend to feel better afterwards, and then he’ll go to bed and wake up feeling just as terrible and everything will still be unresolved and his father still won’t trust him with his secrets.

He shoves the front door open and drops his backpack on the floor, scrubbing his hand over his face as he shuts the door behind him. He turns around.

And there, sitting at his dining room table, is a man in crisp all black who Stiles definitely wasn’t expecting.

It freezes Stiles, like someone's jabbed icicles into the back of his neck, and his instinct leads him to fumbling to back out the door again. His hand is twisting the knob when—

"You must be Stiles," the man says, voice smooth. "Leaving so soon?"

He looks up at Stiles. There's not much of a question of who he is, but Stiles is still stupidly hoping that maybe he's just a lost neighbor, someone in the wrong place.

"Who are you?" Stiles asks, dreading the answer.

"Call me Peter," he says. He drums his fingers on the tabletop. "I'm a... businessman, if you will, who's been working with your dad."

"I know what you are," Stiles says, staying close to the door. The knob digs into his backside, reminding him of how close the escape route is. "Businessman isn't exactly the word I'd use."

Peter ignores the second half. "Oh, you do?" A smile stretches over his face, something primal. "Then you must know why I'm here."

Stiles is pretty sure he knows, but this would be a hell of a time to make assumptions. "Are you here to kill me?"

"Kill you?" Peter sighs like he expected more of Stiles, like he thinks his deduction skills could do better. "Now... dead bodies can't really pay dues, can they?"

Stiles was afraid of this. He's heard of loan sharks—horror stories on the Internet, mostly—but he's never met one in real life. He knows what they're good at. Intimidation. Threats. Pulling fear out of someone's nostrils. Stiles slides a hand behind his back, wondering all the while why he had to come home so early today, why he had to come home at all, and tries to slip his fingers around the knob. He'll only have a few seconds to jerk it open and run, and when he does, he better pick the right direction or—

"As much as I admire your tenacity," Peter drawls, standing up from the table. "Trying to make a run for it would not bode well with me. Why, it might make a guest like me feel... unwelcome."

Stiles freezes, the hand on the door falling off the knob as if Peter can see through his backside with X-Ray vision. He watches as Peter rounds the table, stepping up to the shelf against the wall and dragging his fingers down the spines of books there. He walks around Stiles' home like he's had ample time to explore it, anything and everything from Stiles' room to his father's drawer of cold cases to the medicine cabinet in the bathroom, and has become perfectly comfortable in his surroundings. Almost like, if the sum owed to him is large enough, he could easily repossess every item he so pleases to take with him if not the entire house itself.

"I'll be honest, Stiles, I was fully expecting your father when I showed up here today," Peter says as he pulls a book out and absent-mindedly flips it open to the center.

"You mean when you broke in?" Stiles' mouth says without permission, like his voice is braver than his body.

Peter's reply is nothing more than a chuckle. "I have to say, I was expecting it to be harder, considering this is the residency of a policeman." He flicks his sleeve up his forearm to check his watch. "I was also expecting said policeman to come home on time, but I think that this," his eyes sweep over Stiles, "is even better."

"What do you want with him?" Stiles asks. His attempt to ease open the door and bolt out into the streets was already foiled; how likely is it that he can finagle his phone out of his pants to warn his father to stay at the office, no matter what? Or rather, how likely is it that his father then wouldn't do the exact opposite?

He just can't let this happen. He can't let a few of his father's poorly made decisions influenced by too much whiskey and misery ruin everything. He has to step in, he has to negotiate. He has to find a way to get Peter out of the house before his father comes home and real damage can be done.

Peter snaps the book in his hand closed to push it back into the shelf, grabbing an old framed picture next to it instead. "Him? Nothing. My mind is definitely not thinking of what your father could do for me right now, Stiles," he murmurs. "Lovely photograph. Is this your mother? She's gorgeous."

Stiles grits his teeth. The past few months, somebody even mentioning his mother's name has meant unexplainable, bubbling rage touching a part of himself usually dormant, a part that burns hot and angry and then retreats into something sad and miserable, hunkering in on itself. But now, hearing the apologies, the condolences, even the long assurances of support seem better than how Peter's nonchalantly bringing her up and plunging a steak knife into Stiles' lungs without even bothering to notice.

"Was," Stiles says on a dry mouth.

"Oh, of course," Peter says, putting the frame back. "Let me guess. Lots of funeral costs? Was she buried in a marble casket?" He tuts. "People never seem to grasp the concept that the dead have no conception of expensive investments on their behalf."

"Medical bills," Stiles says, and there comes that familiar feeling, so strong it almost smothers the fear, the overwhelming pull of the tide taking him under and churning his stomach, nothing but black, endless mourning he doesn't feel he'll ever escape from. There were funeral expenses, certainly not cheap ones, but they were nothing compared to the hospital fees, the feeling of sitting in a sterile room and listening to the monotonous beeping of a machine whittling down his mother's life to nothing but her heartbeat.

"What a shame," Peter says. "Leaving you and your father all alone..."

It sounds like a threat, like he's exploiting the fact that no one but Stiles is here and no one but his father is likely to join in on their conversation, leaving Stiles helpless. Vulnerable.

"Please," Stiles says. He doesn't know what to expect, what to prepare himself for—violence? Aggression? Threats? "Don't hurt my dad.”

"Your dad?" Peter murmurs, half his attention gathered to the half-drunken bottle of bourbon sitting in the middle of the table, the remains of Stiles' father's evening. "I'd much rather focus on you."

Himself. Stiles doesn't have anything to offer, unless, of course, he's just become ransom bait to be kidnapped and used as leverage until his father pays up. The idea makes his throat dry up. His father doesn’t need this, he doesn’t need the stress of a missing son when he’s just lost his wife, doesn’t need to feel like his family is crumbling around him. Doesn't need to come home to his son bruised and bleeding because he's been used as a warning to pay up fast.

"Just give him some more time," Stiles begs. "He'll make the money. He will."

"It's a particularly generous sum, I'm assuming you know, and I do know enough about your father's salary to know that just isn't true," Peter says. There's a very sick smile on his face that's making Stiles nauseous.

It isn't hard to figure out that Peter came with all the knowledge he needed, all the numbers to point out exactly how deep Stiles' father is in his own bad idea and how unlikely it is that he can get himself out of it. Stiles has no more cards to play or lies to tell. Peter's smarter. Or at least, prepared for Stiles' gut instinct to protect his father at all costs.

"However," Peter murmurs, taking a slow, leisurely step forward. Everything about the way he moves is languorous, fluid, oozing assurance that only comes with certain power. "I could be persuaded to... lessen the blow."

Stiles watches how he stops in front of him, Peter's eyes fixed with a captivating hunger that crawls up his spine as he looks him up and down. Stiles swallows.

"How?"

Peter smiles. "An exchange of services, if you will," he says. "I've delivered my end of the bargain. Now you pay me back."

He doesn't wait for Stiles to ask questions or connect the dots. Instead, his hand comes up to twine itself into Stiles' short hair, grabbing it as leverage as he tilts his head left. His eyes are still hungry, but now they're on Stiles' lips, drawn to the way Stiles' tongue darts out with nerves to lick them. His thumb reaches up to brush over his mouth and pull the breath out of Stiles in the process.

"You can't mean," Stiles stops himself, unwilling to say it out loud. "You want me to—?"

"Yes, Stiles. I want." The pad of his thumb swipes away from Stiles' mouth with a ragged exhale that quickly morphs into a growl, something uninhibited and unrestrained. "Daddy wouldn't want you to, but see... I know you'd do anything for him."

He grins, almost shark-like. It makes Stiles wonder if this is what Peter's best at, drawing people into debt and then finding whatever weaknesses they'll buckle under to his advantage. If he's the first to be used like this. His entire body is thrumming like it's infested with bees buzzing in his ear, fogging his head.

And the worst part is that Peter's got him all figured out. He would do anything for his father, and he'd do it with no concern over himself. It's what his mother would've done, even if she wouldn't condone Stiles doing it now. God, he just wants to feel alive again, especially after months of missing her, of feeling like a body improperly packaged, of being hollow. Maybe this is a way he can feel alive.

"You can't tell him," Stiles whispers. The minute the words leave his mouth, he feels himself go cold in anticipation.

Peter shakes his head. He's still smiling, infuriatingly so. "Of course not," he agrees, and then his thumb slips upward to graze the shell of Stiles' ear. "It'll be our secret."

Stiles is tired of keeping secrets. From his father, who thinks he doesn't know about the loans and the debt. From Scott, who thinks he's fine and sprung back to life even after everything that's happened. It makes him wonder for that split second what he hates more—the lying, or the suspension in helplessness where he can do nothing but watch everything around him crumble. In the next second, the answer feels obvious to him.

"Okay," Stiles breathes out shakily. "How much less?"

Peter moves closer still. From this distance, Stiles can see everything—the icy blue eyes, the unshaven stubble. His hand slips to Stiles’ scalp, gripping his hair. "I'll halve it," he offers, "if I get to fuck you."

Fear courses through Stiles like an avalanche. It's not like he hasn't touched himself, or hasn't let his fingers wander in the shower, or hasn’t even been touched by someone else, but this, being fucked over a table without a moment's consideration by a man whose career is to scare, that's different. Peter must notice the fright radiating off him, and the hand firm in Stiles' hair loosens, stroking his scalp.

"You're afraid," he comments, a twist to his eyebrows.

"I never, I mean—" Stiles breathes in through his nose. "I haven't."

Peter's low chuckles interrupt his broken confessions. He's amused, the bastard, probably by Stiles' anxiety, and it makes Stiles want to reel his arm back and aim his fist up Peter's chin. He clenches his hands by his side and resists the urge. It would be nothing but a momentary victory, a second’s worth of triumph before he’s down on the ground, defeated.

"You're a virgin," Peter says. He sounds heady now. "I'm having a truly wonderful day."

“I want to,” Stiles says in a rapid breath. “I just—I’ve never.”

“Shh,” Peter murmurs. “It’ll be good.”

And more than anything, Stiles wishes he could be completely disturbed—repulsed and uninterested in what's about to happen next—but he wants to know more. He wants to see what will happen, whether he'll walk away with another bad decision under his belt or satisfied. Renewed. Alive again.

"Get a move on already, for god's—oh," Stiles stops himself, because apparently the words are unnecessary. A second later there's a mouth on his neck, latching over his pulse point and laving over his skin, and then a blend of sharp teeth bite down. He sucks hard over Stiles’ jugular, sure to leave mottled marks behind. “Careful.”

“No,” Peter murmurs, tongue pressing against his pulse point, presumably to taste the rapid beats of his heart. “I don’t think I will be.”

The air pushes out of Stiles in a rush as Peter’s hand travels up his quivering stomach, slipping under his shirt and pulling it up as he goes. This is happening, this is actually happening, and Stiles isn’t sure what to do, where to touch, what’s allowed, but then Peter’s pushing his shirt up enough to duck down and lick up his sternum, flattening his tongue over Stiles’ nipple, and a groan falls out of his mouth with no coaxing necessary.

The hand in Stiles’ hair tightens again in command. “Take this off,” Peter demands, tugging at where Stiles’ shirt has been rucked up to his armpits. “Now.”

He lets go of his hair but doesn’t relent with his tongue, continuing to taste Stiles’ chest as it jolts and flutters beneath his mouth. Stiles follows instructions, noticing through the daze of being touched so fiercely that things are moving fast with Peter, clearly not a man for beating around the bush, and he fumbles to pull his shirt off. He holds the crumpled wad of it in trembling fingers, chest heaving upward every time Peter makes a hungry noise on his flesh and licks and sucks and digs his teeth over Stiles' most sensitive spots, tongue curling over his nipples until Stiles is sharply crying out and gripping the table behind himself for support. The shirt slips from his fingers, falling helplessly to the ground, forgotten.

He's getting hard. He can feel his cock straining against his jeans, and it shouldn't be this easy, it definitely shouldn't be this fast when the hands touching him belong to someone this reprehensible, and what does that say about Stiles? He sucks his lower lip into his mouth to keep the noises curtailed, stuck between giving in and letting his body feel or refusing to submit to Peter.

"Let's see you take out that gorgeous cock," Peter says on his collarbone, hands sliding up and down his shaking waist, stopping to graze his fingernails over his ribs.

Stiles can't back out now. He agreed, and he needs to help, and he wants this, and his father can't do this alone, and Peter's hot breath is fanning out over his neck as a constant reminder that he's on display, a transaction waiting to be fulfilled. He moves his hands away from where they're white-knuckled on the edge of the table, keeping himself upright, and unzips his jeans. Peter starts chuckling, like he's amused by Stiles' willingness to take orders, and Stiles is wracked with more horror and humility than he thought possible. He doesn’t even know the last time someone’s seen him completely naked.

He pushes his jeans down to his thighs and they slip down to his knees. He palms himself through his boxers, the swell of his erection pressing into his grip, but it isn't enough for Peter.

"Off," Peter says, a definite hiss to his voice this time.

He doesn't give Stiles a second chance, though, taking over and tugging, hard, on Stiles' boxers until his cock springs free. Stiles is suddenly horribly self-conscious, aware of his every curve, bone, pale inch of skin, like he's a boy changing in a locker room of strong men, and the urge to hide his head in his hands is incredibly strong. He closes his eyes but can still hear the way Peter softly breathes out, and Stiles knows instantly that he's looking, examining Stiles, judging him.

"No need to be shy, Stiles," Peter says. His voice sounds different, the control slipping, his cool mask giving way to a quiet reverence of Stiles' body. "You are gorgeous."

His mouth fastens over Stiles' neck again, hungrily sucking on his jaw, his neck, his chin. It continues for too long, until Stiles is raw and shuddering, but despite his expectation that any moment Peter will roughly jerk him off, his cock remains untouched. It becomes frustrating much too quickly, and without being able to help it, Stiles' body is canting forward, seeking out Peter's touch, his hands, and his sensitive cock nudges Peter's still frustratingly clothed stomach. He whines. He's so pathetic.

"Is there something you want, Stiles?"

Stiles hates him so much. Peter's lower lip drags up his neck and suddenly he's biting his ear, coaxing an answer out of him, and Stiles' embarrassment flies to the back burner to make room for his burning arousal. Peter's hand winds back into his air, his fist tight by his scalp, demanding him to speak.

"Yes," he admits. He's hard enough that it's starting to hurt.

"And what is that?"

Bastard, Stiles thinks, but says, "Touch me."

Peter chuckles. This is probably all funny to him, the way Stiles is biting back his need, searing up with shame, and yet still overwhelmed with the want of release. One hand trails its way down Stiles' stomach until Stiles is fluttering underneath him, suddenly ticklish when he's never been before, and slips lower still to rest over his naked hip.

"You need this?" Peter asks, one last test, and Stiles nods with nothing more than a jerk of the chin, somewhat mollified that even Peter is asking for consent. It seems to be enough, because Peter's hand curls around the base of Stiles' cock and Stiles nearly sobs at the feeling.

"Y-yes."

"I know you do," Peter says. His hand slides surely down and up his dick, picking up pre-come as he goes to slick the way, but even then it's too dry, enough that it's almost on the side of painful. "I can read you so easily, Stiles. I know you're pretending you don't want me. This." His hand tightens roughly on Stiles' length and his hair and Stiles cries out sharply. "You think you shouldn't. You're better than this. This is an obligation you have to fulfill. Am I right?"

Of course he's right. Stiles would never do this unless he had to—he'd never go out and try to pick up a man like Peter and see if he can fuck feeling back into him. He represses things and balls them up in a pit of chains in a treasure chest deep in his rib cage, and that's how he handles his problems. This is what reckless, rebellious, clueless teenagers do who want to piss off their parents and lose their virginity as quickly as possible. But now that he's here, faced with Peter and the hand cupping his dick and the mouth on his jaw, he knows, as much as he wishes he wouldn't, that Peter's right. He does want this, and he's hard as hell, and going to combust from the shame if the misery doesn't do him in.

He thought about it, what his first time would be like. Less after what happened to him last year, but he still did. Stiles let himself mold together a bit of a delusional fantasy—a pretty girl, a picnic blanket, a starry night on the soft forest floor, everybody coming at the same time. What he gets instead is this, a deal, a negotiation, a man with no finesse stroking his cock almost cruelly, with hands that have probably never been gentle ever before, and it angers Stiles to no small degree that this is still making him feel good.

"Fine," Stiles admits, his breath lost in his mouth. "You're right."

"Then tell me what you want," Peter growls. His voice is no longer soft with seduction, instead full of hissing birds and dangerous snakes and deep, demanding growls. Stiles shuts his eyes, so damn embarrassed, and yet still knowing all the while that he's going to obey. He has no idea what the hell he's doing, if any of this will still feel like a good idea when it's all over, but it's too late to twist his way out of Peter's hands and the worst part is that he doesn't want to. He wants to feel alive again, like some living, breathing, feeling thing, not just a poorly wrapped skeleton going through the motions, and if sex with a stranger isn't going to light up a spark inside of himself, he has no idea what will. If anything even could.

"I want," Stiles begins, and falters. There's so many things he wants, but somehow, right here and right now, it all boils down to this, to Peter looking at him with thirsty eyes and touching him with rough hands. "I want you to give me the best you've got."

He swallows, but doesn't take his words back, even as Peter seems momentarily stilled by his boldness. Stiles can't give into fear now, not when there are other things to prioritize, specifically: the fact that his dick is throbbing and Peter's still wearing clothes.

"Is that so?" Peter murmurs. "My. How feisty you are."

"Shut up," Stiles demands, and he grabs Peter by the jaw and reels him in for a heated kiss that he's feeling his way through on instinct alone.

Peter's mouth isn't gentle. He groans into Stiles' unexpected kiss, tongue sliding past his lips and teeth sinking into the equation, and then he squeezes Stiles' cock and twists his wrist just right on the upstroke and leaves Stiles pulling away with a gasp and a shudder.

"God, you're so young," Peter's moaning, dragging his mouth over to Stiles' jaw. "Everything must leave you begging for it. Doesn't it, Stiles?"

Stiles doesn’t want to hear him talk. He pulls Peter back in, wrapping his arms around Peter’s neck and yanking him forward until their lips are touching again, bruising each other. He’s not even sure where this thirst inside of himself is coming from, but it’s like there’s a monster under his skin desperate to get closer to Peter, urging him to wrap himself around him and rut against him and ask for more. Maybe it’s all of his suppressed emotions coming out in one rush of sexual need, no longer able to be ignored.

"You gonna fuck me?" Stiles asks on the slickness of Peter’s mouth.

Peter pulls back. His grin splits his face. "As many times as I'd like."

Stiles knows it's a threat, a leering promise that should spiral him off into repulsion, but all it does is send a shiver of anticipation down his spine. He hopes Peter is a man of his word, in more ways than one, that he’ll halve their debt when this is over and that he’ll fuck Stiles with as much vigor as he seems to do everything else. He wonders if they’ll do it right here, if he’ll spread Stiles open and fuck him right here on the table.

"Stiles," Peter breathes, fist in his hair again. "Turn around."

So he was right. He will be fucked up against a table, palms flat on the surface and chest bent over it. The pants pooled around his ankles almost make him trip as he turns, twisting around and bracing himself on the table as fingernails run down his back. He tries finding his breath, tries locating it amidst the thumping heartbeat drowning out everything else, and ends up unsuccessful when Peter's hands spread his ass cheeks and suck the oxygen from his lungs like a vacuum. Cold air touches his hole, followed shortly by a finger outlining his ass and touching his entrance, waiting for shudders to run through Stiles’ body.

They do. Stiles bites into his lower lip, trying to stay calm as Peter’s fingers tracing his hole, and then suddenly, he's withdrawing his hand, leaving Stiles to arch over his shoulder to see why.

"Don't look at me like that," Peter says. He fishes his wallet out of his pants. "I'm not going to fuck you dry. Preparation is essential in life." Peter pulls a packet of lube out of a corner of his wallet, the son of a bitch, and Stiles nearly calls him out on being so damn arrogant to find it necessary to carry travel-sized lube with him at all times. "You never know when a naked seventeen year old boy with a truly undeniable ass just waiting to be ruined drops in your lap."

Drops in your lap. Stiles has to ignore every single gut instinct in his body to beat Peter the fuck up. He's struggling with life, he’s reeling, he's hardly making it through the week with his grief and his father and the worry that's pulling him apart, and then there are people like Peter, bad people, who are convinced the world only exists to service them. He's about to point out how fucking terrible it is that there are conniving loan sharks out there sitting on piles of money and raking in the good luck with open arms when a newly slicked finger pushes at his hole, silencing all of Stiles’ incoming complaints.

“Have you done this to yourself before, Stiles?” Peter asks, the pad of his thumb rubbing over his rim, playing with the dip of his ass.

Barely. Stiles hasn’t been too ambitious when it comes to testing his body, seeing what it responds to, and he’s never gone past a fingertip or two nudging his hole. Stiles has a suspicion that it’ll thrill Peter to know that he’s in uncharted territory.

“Not really,” Stiles admits.

Peter chuckles. “You’re going to have to do better than that, Stiles.

Stiles can feel his cheeks burn red. “Never more than a finger.”

Ah. We’ll have to change that then, won’t we?” Peter suggests.

He’s clearly not waiting for an answer, instead looking to jolt a reaction out of Stiles as he eases in a lubed finger to the knuckle and pulls apart Stiles’ ass cheeks with his free hand as if he’s watching how Stiles’ entrance takes him, how his digits sink in, and Stiles groans at the feeling. He can feel some of the lube slide down his ass, the excess cool on his skin, something he’s never experienced before in his life, and here he is, about to go from zero to sixty in a matter of blinks.

But if he’s expecting Peter to hurry through the prepping, he’s wrong. Peter seems to be a fan of the slow drag, the teasing, the torturing someone to the brink before letting them claw their way to the finale, everything about his movements slow and thorough. His finger slides in deep in Stiles’ ass only to pull abruptly back out, leaving Stiles’ ass clenching on nothing for a disorienting second right before Peter comes back to work in a second finger, the stretch making Stiles hiss.

“Easy now,” Peter murmurs, and his extra hand is still spreading Stiles’ ass, making sure he has nothing short of the best view in the house. “You’re so tense, Stiles.”

“No fucking shit,” Stiles gasps out.

Peter tuts, unimpressed. “Lucky for you,” he says, his voice low and promissory, “I have a few ways to make you relax.”

Stiles doesn’t know what that means, if it’s a blatant threat or a warning to loosen up, but Peter makes it clear exactly what tricks he has at his disposal when he twists his two fingers deep inside Stiles, so deep Stiles’ back is arching, and crooks them just right to press against something that has Stiles gasping, shuddering, briefly seeing heaven.

“Now that feels good, doesn’t it?”

Fuck,” Stiles moans, and then, hating himself, he says, “Yeah.”

“Gonna feel better when it’s my cock,” Peter assures him.

“Fuck,” Stiles says again, because in the shot of pleasure wracking him, he had actually almost forgotten about the fact that he’s about to be fucked. His back is slick with sweat and his entire face is burning, especially when, with the element of surprise on his side, Peter finds his prostate again, coaxing noises Stiles is failing to keep silent out of him. This is nothing like what he imagined, intrusive and amazing and dizzying at all once, the feeling of being slowly stretched.

Peter’s clearly done this before—he knows exactly how to shift his knuckles, how to angle his fingers, how to build up a rhythm, and Stiles briefly wonders how it would’ve been if his first time was instead with someone his own age, inexperienced and unsure and wild with nerves, if it would feel as frustratingly good. Stiles bites into his lower lip and pushes his ass out without even meaning to, desperate to feel Peter’s fingers press into his prostate again.

"'S too much," Stiles pants, and before he can help it, he's clenching around Peter's fingers and Peter inhales sharply. His hand palms over Stiles' left ass cheek, squeezing.

"Is it?" Peter asks, failing to relent, sliding his fingers in and out of Stiles, almost as if he's spurred on now. "Tell me what you really want then, Stiles."

"Fuck," Stiles curses. He wants to say fuck you and fuck off but he also wants to say fuck me, and choosing between the three for the best contender isn't easy, even with the way Peter's fingering him mercilessly. "I'm not—I can't. I'm not giving you the ego boost."

It's almost surprising when Peter chuckles softly instead of demanding he obey and feed his narcissism by begging to be touched. He slips his fingers free, and the whimper that escapes Stiles' lips is completely unintentional.

"I like you, Stiles," Peter says, squeezing his ass again, and suddenly the head of his cock is nudging his entrance, coaxing another layer of sweat out of Stiles' skin. "I like you very much."

Stiles waits for the intrusion, but Peter takes his time teasing, rubbing his cockhead over Stiles' opening and up and down the line of his ass, like the son of a bitch is refusing to go ahead with fucking him until Stiles gives him the satisfaction of asking for it. It’s maddening, nothing but the drag of Peter’s cock brushing over his skin, barely touching, and Stiles whines out loud at the sensation.

“Are you waiting for me to decompose?” Stiles snaps, biting back the joke that maybe Peter’s waiting for him to be legal—then again, Peter doesn’t seem to be the type of man concerned with the legality of his actions, whether or not others are involved. “Or are you ever going to fuck me?”

Peter sighs. “Haven’t you ever heard of appreciating the view?”

Stiles feels his cheeks burn. Peter’s cockhead is still teasing his entrance, apparently looking to reduce Stiles to shameless begging, and Stiles can’t imagine what there is to look at. He just wants to be fucked, just wants to feel something again, but something is poking him in his better judgment, trying to remind him of the consequences. Stiles acts on it for one second.

"Go slow," Stiles throws over his shoulder, not quite begging. His hands are sweaty where they're flat on the table, Stiles both scared out of his wits and desperately aroused, a combination of sensations he's not all too fond of. It'd be easier if it was just one or the other, simpler to process, simpler to understand. But he's never given simple, and he's never given easy—what he's given are conflicting emotions.

Then Peter's hands are rubbing over his lower back, easing his muscles into submission, sliding lower and lower until he's palming Stiles' ass cheeks and slowly pulling them apart. Stiles hangs his head when he realizes that Peter's looking at his hole, staring at it, watching it flutter with every nervous breath Stiles takes. Stiles squares his shoulders and braces himself for the intrusion, but it doesn't come—instead Peter's thumb traces his entrance again, playing with the lube still there. The idea of his ass slowly being played with again makes Stiles' entire body heat up with impatience, especially when he realizes that his cock is throbbing and his hands are sweaty because he wants to be fucked as soon as possible. He grips the table with slippery fingers.

"Please," he gasps out.

The tip of Peter's thumb slips inside him. It hits Stiles then, he's doing this on purpose. "Please what, Stiles?" Peter murmurs.

Stiles' entire body pushes back against Peter's thumb, but Peter doesn't give in, instantly sliding it out and resuming his frustratingly soft outlining of Stiles' hole. "Please fuck me," Stiles says. "Please."

"Do you need it?"

"Yes, fuck. Please." He has the distinct feeling that Peter responds to begging, so he pushes his ass out for him and whines. He thinks he actually does need it. His body feels like one of those firecrackers at Fourth of July that someone lights and everybody watches, waiting for the fuse to run out and ignite, and there's Stiles, just waiting to detonate. He’s wound too tightly—has been ever since he stumbled out of that hospital room numb all over—and needs a release, something that’ll unravel him.

Peter doesn't seem interested in denying him anymore. His breathing's gotten heavier, less controlled, and suddenly his patience runs out and the head of his cock is pressed against Stiles' opening, slicked up and sliding in at an almost forceful pace. Stiles grips the table because Jesus Christ, it's like one smooth thrust and he's on home plate, buried deep inside Stiles and leaving him panting, scrambling at the table.

"Fuck!" Stiles cries out, his fingernails scraping over the table, desperate to find purchase somewhere, his entire body overwhelmed. "I said—I said to go slow!"

"I didn't say I was going to listen," Peter says, and Stiles at least takes comfort from the fact that it sounds like Peter is struggling to put sentences together, the sensation of Stiles around him almost too much to focus through.

He doesn’t waste time after that either, pulling out almost entirely before pushing back in, hands keeping Stiles’ hips in place, the strong hold Peter has on him probably the one reason Stiles isn’t crumpled to the table. This is new and intrusive and so, so different from just a few fingertips slipped in during a shower, rough and intense and sure to leave bruises where he’s being held by Peter’s firm fingers. He opens his mouth to tell Peter to slow down, to give him just a second, but then Peter’s cock thrusts hard inside him and hits something that steals the breath from his lungs, something good, so good that the pain of the stretch is almost forgotten.

Stiles grabs hold of the table hard enough that it groans under his shuddering weight, cock leaking and mouth open in a breathless groan, and all of it's going too fast for his brain to even pick up on the fact that he's being fucked, for real, by a virtual stranger against a table. He doesn't know if this was a good idea or a bad idea anymore, all he knows is how overwhelmingly hot it is to have Peter's dick inside him, his grip on his hips, his mouth on the back of his neck.

He wishes he was hating the feeling if only because he knows he should, because how fucked up does that make him that he's enjoying this? Everybody would judge him, Stiles knows, no matter the reason. No matter that it felt good, or that it saved his father a life's supply of headaches, or that it eased his own burden. Even with Peter driving into him, hips snapping in and out of him so hard he shouldn't even be able to remember what day of the week it is, Stiles is thinking about it, how he can't ever let anyone find out about this. About Peter, the way he's murmuring praise and filth to Stiles as he fucks him, the way Stiles is eating it up.

"That's it," Peter's saying, his hands greedy over Stiles’ sides, pulling him closer with every thrust, his every touch hot and hard.

Stiles’ mouth is starting to dry up with how relentlessly he’s crying out, his groans mingling with Peter’s breathless exhales. Peter’s cock inside him is nearly a mind-boggling experience, the thickness and the fullness and heat of it unthinkingly perfect, the way it’s ramming into Stiles and bringing with it the slick sound of flesh against flesh. Peter’s fingers find their way back to Stiles’ hipbones, unfairly steady, and Stiles stutters into the touch.

Fuck, fucking shit, oh my god,” Stiles is babbling, completely helpless, suspended somewhere where the English language doesn’t make sense anymore, doesn’t matter anymore. “That’s—a-ah—that’s so—jesus, it’s good.”

“No one’s seen you like this, have they?” Peter says, and at least his voice isn’t as composed as his sturdy hands, the sound of it raspy and dark. “Coming apart underneath them. Stiles, tell me.”

“Fuck, n-no—and you fucking know it, you bastard,” Stiles cries out. “Oh, motherfucking yes.”

He had no clue he could even be this vocal during sex—it’s never more than a few muffled moans when he’s masturbating, and that’s only when he’s sure no one’s home—and now suddenly he’s groaning filth and pleas for release, biting into the hand that’s cushioning his cheek and whining at the way Peter seems to speed up. His ears are ringing, tingling like the rest of him, but through the euphoric white noise he hears Peter moaning, saying something that almost sounds like Stiles, a heady praise that sounds positively sinful coming out of Peter’s mouth.

"You have no idea how good you look like this, Stiles," Peter pants. One of his fingers rubs the stretched rim of Stiles' hole, pulling a whine out of him. "Watching you take me. Next time," he begins, "next time I'm fucking you on your back so I can watch all those pretty noises come out of your mouth."

A hand circles around Stiles’ torso to circle his neglected cock, squeezing almost too hard, stroking almost too roughly, but it fits in with the way Peter’s touching him and fucking him, favoring a wild coarseness over gentle caution. Stiles isn’t sure he can be trusted to keep his voice at an indoor level when Peter’s thumb slides over the head of his dick, and for one blindingly white moment, he can’t breathe, he can’t think, he can’t do anything but shudder and tremble and grip the table for support as he comes in hot bursts of pleasure, hoarse groans making their way out of his throat.

The only thing keeping him from falling into a stupor is Peter still hammering into him. It almost feels like too much now that he’s come, Peter still aiming for his prostate and pushing soft, helpless ah, ah, ahs from Stiles’ dry throat with every slide of his cock. If even possible, his thrusts have gotten harder, more forceful, and Stiles feels raw and spent every time Peter snarls above him and pushes in, but still incredible, like his body is riding out some great tidal wave. Peter’s losing his precision, his every movement turning less coordinated that the last, instead driven by some primal instinct, and Stiles twists back onto him with the energy he has left.

“Fuck, Peter,” he groans, desperate and trembling.

“Say it again,” Peter growls.

“What—”

“My name,” Peter specifies, thrusting into him that much harder. “Say my name again."

Peter,” Stiles says, though it comes out as more of a breathless shudder, whispered from his throat. “Peter, shit, Peter. Come on, fuck me.”

Hearing his name whimpered out of Stiles’ mouth seems to give Peter the push he needs. He thrusts in hard once, twice more, and then he’s groaning so deeply Stiles swears he can feel the entire table rumble, sagging on Stiles’ backside with his full, warm weight. There’s heat and sweat between them, Stiles still trying to find his breath, and when he shifts his hips he realizes that Peter’s still inside him and gives out a soft, horribly embarrassing moan at the sensation.

“Stay where you are,” Peter orders right by his ear, taking a moment to suck another mark onto the back of Stiles’ neck right under his hair.

He pulls out but doesn't let Stiles recover from his sensitivity, because suddenly there are fingers slipping over his hole and easing it open, coaxing come out, and Stiles hangs his head and whines.

"A—ah," Stiles cries, hips jerking, and Peter shushes him and gently pushes a finger in to feel his slick entrance, leaving Stiles gasping and legs stuttering. "Peter."

"You have no idea," Peter says with a long-suffering sigh, "how much I'd like to keep teasing you. Exploring you." He punctuates this by dragging his finger back out, circling the rim. "But I run the risk of never leaving to ravish you as wholly as physically possible if I don't keep with my schedule."

With that he's withdrawing his touch from Stiles' ass and pulling up his pants from the sound of his clanking belt buckle. He sounds so composed, like a businessman finishing a company luncheon, and Stiles is lying wrecked and boneless on a table. He can hear the sounds of Peter zipping up his pants, and smoothing out his shirt, and taking a few satisfied breaths, and Stiles hardly even knows where he left his lungs and his grip on reality.

He clenches his thighs as come starts sliding down the back of his legs, the table the only thing keeping him from sliding to the floor in a daze of hazy, embarrassed euphoria. He’s starting to realize now why his sensible side kept trying to prod in and warn Stiles away from this—the afterglow doesn’t leave him feeling nearly as pent-up and aroused and desperate. If anything, it leaves him feeling as if he might’ve just made a thoughtless mistake.

“Stiles,” Peter murmurs, his hand warm on the back of Stiles’ neck. He tugs at the short hair on his nape, forcing Stiles to lift his head and face the world.

The shame gets worse when he looks at Peter, his cheeks flushed and his lips twisted into a satisfied curve. Stiles moves to cover his face again, pressing his forehead to the table, but Peter’s grip in his hair tightens and he forces Stiles to look at him so Peter can probably take in his hooded eyes and bitten lips. He hauls Stiles up by the back of his neck until he’s standing, sliding the hand in his hair to his jaw so he can grip his chin.

Stiles can’t even look him in the eyes, the heat crackling up his neck at the sight of Peter’s debauched appearance, made so by Stiles, and shuts his eyes just as Peter tugs him in by the jaw and kisses him messily, all teeth and tongue. He wasn’t expecting it, not when Peter seems to be someone who’s too distracted by a body writhing under his to even bother with something like a kiss after the heat of the moment’s over, and he almost unexpectedly bites down on Peter's lower lip on accident, catching himself just in time to do little more than graze his teeth over Peter's mouth. Not like a bitten lip would actually matter. Not like Stiles could actually hurt Peter.

Peter pulls back with a sated sigh, like the refreshed exhale someone lets out after sipping on something cool in the summer, and briefly tugs on Stiles' lip with his teeth.

"It was a pleasure," he drawls, mouth hot and slick against Stiles', "doing business with you."

Right, the deal. Stiles had almost forgotten. He realizes suddenly—too late, admittedly—that he has no guarantee that Peter will keep his word on actually halving what his father owes, and something about his smile doesn't exactly advertise trustworthy man to negotiate with. Now in the aftermath, Stiles feels extraordinarily stupid.

"You have to keep your half of the deal," Stiles says, grabbing Peter's elbow. He has no power here, no paperwork supporting his cause, no hope except that Peter will be enough of an upstanding man to keep his promise. "I mean it."

Peter smirks. He touches Stiles' jaw with his thumb. “You can trust me.”

“Right.”

"You can." He drags his thumb down to Stiles' chin. "Especially since I'd quite like to make this repeatedly lucrative for the both of us, if you're catching on." He leans in a fraction, and considering that he just gave Stiles an earth-shattering orgasm, it almost feels ridiculous that his reflex is to arch away. There’s just something about that smile, that leer that has Stiles on edge. "And I don't take on business partners all that often."

He says it like Stiles should be flattered—honored, perhaps—but Stiles is too busy trying to process what he's implying to work on showing gratitude. Peter kisses the corner of his mouth, and it should feel chaste and quick, but it somehow ends up feeling much dirtier, almost like a bookmark for later.

"I'll see you soon, Stiles," Peter says.

Something about that sentence troubles Stiles. It’s probably the last bit. “Soon?” he says, gut swooping.

Peter smiles at him as he’s heading for the door. “Well. Sooner rather than later.”