The phone rings loudly, insistently. Derek sighs, rubs his eyes and sits upright. When he looks at the caller ID, he isn't surprised.
"Hello?" he answers, voice muffled around a yawn. "President Stilinski?"
"Derek? This is John - I need - Stiles has gone missing. He's been kidnapped, and I -"
Derek sits up straighter, all drowsiness fading in a matter of miliseconds. "What? He's missing? When did this happen?"
"Nobody's seen him since Friday - his room's a mess, and there's blood stains on the carpet. I know someone has him. We need your help. Please." His voice is high and cracking with thinly vieled panic. He must truly be desperate if he's calling Derek, of all people.
Derek inhales and asks sharply, "Where was his protection? His new bodyguard?"
A shaky breath comes in from the other line, "Danny was found in critical condition; they don't know if he's going to make it. The police think someone took out Danny first and then came for Stiles. But there's - it's been two days, and we haven't got a ransom call."
"You don't think one's coming," Derek realizes. It would certainly explain the unfiltered panic and guilt in President Stilinski's voice.
"No," John chokes out.
"Okay. Okay, I'm on my way. We'll find him, President Stilinski."
He ends the call without waiting for a response, because the muffled noises coming from across the room are growing too loud.
Derek smiles, crossing the room and crouching down to his eye level. The man's eyelashes are clumped together with tears, wetting his cheeks and the duct tape over his mouth. His brows are furrowed in anger, twisting his face into an angry sneer. Long fingers tremble under thick rope that binds them to chair arms.
"Oh, Stiles," Derek mutters, stroking a loving hand down his cheekbone. "Your dad's so worried. He wants me to help find you," Derek smiles wryly. "Me. Isn't that funny, after he's the one that had me fired."
Stiles recoils, then starts to angrily yell, but it's all gibberish underneath the duct tape. Derek takes pity (Stiles was never good at shutting up, especially not for hours at a time) and peels it off gently.
"Bastard," Stiles spits, voice hoarse and croaky. "they'll find you. You won't get away with this!"
"Really, Stiles? Because it seems to me, I already have. I'll be right under your dad's nose the whole time, and he won't even think twice about it."
"So that's why you're doing this? Because of my dad - 'cause you hate him? Because you think he hates what you are? He doesn't, I swear to God, he doesn't, Derek. He doesn't."
Derek bares his teeth in a predatory smile. "No, Stiles, you already know why I'm doing this. Your dad has nothing to do with it. Well. Mostly."
After all, if John was never elected, Derek would've never gotten to meet Stiles, serve as his bodyguard for two years, four months and three days. Stiles wasn't being taken as a pawn, not to use against the President, against the United States or anything as equally ridiculous. For God's sake, he wasn't a terrorist. After being fired for horseshit reasons, he knew he wouldn't ever be allowed back in the White House, wouldn't be able to see those beautiful whiskey eyes every day. This was the only option, really. Stiles would struggle and be angry at first, as expected, but he'd grow to love it here, in the preserve, with nothing but trees for miles in every direction. They wouldn't have to be in the spotlight, wouldn't have to do interviews and constantly look so posh all the time. Stiles would be able to live out his dream of wear sweatpants to the grocery store, just like he'd always muttered when he had to be groomed for doing simple things, like running errands.
It was going to be perfect. They could live out their days in peace, with nothing and no one to come between them.
"Derek, you can still let me go. I can convince them not to press charges, I'll - anything you want. You can have it. You want money? My dad's the President, with the ransom money you could buy a frickin' yacht - or ten! - for all I care. Just - name it. Whatever you want."
"And what if I want you, Stiles?"
Stiles falters for a second. "I'll get my dad to hire you as my bodyguard again. No one will even have to know this happened, really. And since you killed Danny," his voice cracks a little on those words, "a new spot just opened up. Convienent."
Derek feels his grip on Stiles' wrist tighten automatically. Bones creak threateningly, and Stiles bucks, a pained hiss drawn out of him.
"Don't," he growls, "say his name."
"Okay, okay! You got it! Won't say Da- his name. Definitely will not mention the name of my ex-bodyguard. That you murdered."
Derek rolls his eyes, loosening his grasp on Stiles' wrist - so fragile, that boy. Derek didn't kill Danny... just maimed him a little. Debates saying as much, but... perhaps it's better if Stiles thinks he did. He'll be less hopeful there's some knight in shining armor to come rescue him. The sooner he gets over him, the better. Danny was useless anyways - if he can't even defend himself against a single, unarmed man, how could he be expected to protect Stiles? Incompetent is what he was.
"Which you didn't have to do, by the way," Stiles continues, eyes shuttered with guilt and sadness. It only makes Derek angrier, the way his voice sounds so brittle, so upset. "D - he didn't do anything wrong. He was just doing his job."
"Yeah? And doing his job required whoring himself out to the first son?"
Stiles' eyes widen. "What? Wait, that's what this is about? You're jealous?" Derek's eyes flash with anger, but Stiles barrels forward, sneering. "Well, you want to know something mind-blowing, Derek? Danny and I never had sex."
Yeah, right. The lust was always palpable when Stiles was in the same room as Danny. Danny could make Stiles flush the same way Derek did, and he hated it. Hated that Stiles pestered Danny the same way he did Derek, wanting attention from anyone willing to focus on him. Maybe it's partially Derek's fault - if he hadn't gotten fired, he could've nipped that little crush in the bud. After all, Derek took an oath to protect him, and by leaving, his claim was up for grabs.
Stiles can obviously read how dubious Derek is, because he scoffs, settling back, positioned like he's the one with the power in this situation; like he isn't strapped down to a chair. That fight in him, is what he loves about his fiesty little fire-cracker. "Of course you don't believe me. Your feelings about me always did cloud your judgement; my dad was right. But you know what? I wish me and him did sleep together. I bet he would've fucked me much better than you ever could. Did you know I pictured him in my mind when we fucked? It was the only way I could get off. Almost called his name instead of yours a few times."
The words hit home, like they were designed to. Derek's jaw clenches, teeth biting into his own tongue. He knows what Stiles is trying to do, but it won't work. The boy has a pretty impressive track record of pissing off dangerous, powerful people. But Derek isn't dangerous, not to Stiles. Right now, there's fear in Stiles' eyes, causing tension in his muscles and shaky hands. Derek could throw a fit of rage, could throw things across the room and go on a diatribe, but what good would that do? He's trying to show his lover that he's reasonable, that he doesn't have to be afraid.
Derek raises his hand sharply, and Stiles visibly braces himself, fingers curled around the chair arms and head turned away like he thinks Derek's about to hit him. The thought is enough to make him falter a little. How could anyone, much less Stiles, who knows him better than anyone else, think Derek would hurt him? There's been times where his patience has definitely been tried, but - but you don't buy fine china just to smash it. Derek carries on a little slower, gently puts the duct tape back on Stiles' mouth to shut him up. Knowing Stiles, while he's gone he'll scream at the top of his lungs for hours, until his throat is hoarse and dry, but there's no one else out here, in their little palace. It's just them and fifty acres of woodland.
Stiles' shoulders hunch, breathing a little more regularly. It's saddening, but Derek will fix him. Will treat him right, never lay a hand on him when he's angry. Stiles will know his worth here, will be cherished and loved for who he is. Here, he won't have to censor himself and put on a fake personality for anyone. Derek will show him how perfect it is here.
Whiskey eyes dart up every few seconds, warily, but Derek only smiles, kisses his forehead, and heads towards the door. After all, he does have a search party to join.
It's just too bad they won't be finding anyone.