Stiles liked to think he was a good son. He always made sure that his dad ate well, by that he didn’t mean copious amounts of food, it just meant the right amounts of the right foods. His dad didn’t always appreciate it. He came back to Beacon Hills every opportunity he could, even though those opportunities were few and far between what with finishing his Bachelor’s and starting his Master’s. Now he just had his dissertation to do and heck, it was nearly Christmas, he wasn’t going to get any more done on campus. Maybe the peace and quiet of Beacon Hills would help fuel his creative process.
Driving into Beacon Hills in the half-light was strange, it felt like back when he was in high school, very little had changed, very little ever changed in Beacon Hills. There were still the little local shops, the garage, the supermarket, the school. Sometimes it felt a little backwards but it was still home. The jeep spluttered as the engine cut out outside his dad’s house. The Sheriff was standing on the steps grinning from ear to ear. Stiles stepped out of the car, slamming the screeching door behind him and soon found himself wrapped in one of his dad’s bear hugs. He and his dad hadn’t always had an easy relationship but he loved him more than anything, they were, after all, the only family they had and Stiles was determined to keep him for as long as he could. Which was why he frowned as his dad pulled away.
“You’ve put on weight.”
The Sheriff balked, “Nice way to greet your dad, Stiles.”
Stiles raised a brow, “I gave you meal plans, you’ve got to keep your cholesterol down and you know it.”
His dad waved his concerns away and walked back towards the house, “Stop worrying, I’ve been keeping to your ridiculous meal plans, it’s just a few muffins every now and then. The Hales opened a bakery not that long ago now and once you try their stuff you’ll understand.”
Stiles snorted indignantly, dragging his hold-all out of the back seat and trudging towards the house. They would have to be particularly spectacular to make Stiles forgive his dad for his culinary misdemeanours.
His dad lobbed a muffin at him as he stepped through the door, “Just try it, that’s the last one so you’re going to have to pick up my order tomorrow, Melissa and Scott and coming over for dinner and Scott is just as crazy about these as I am.”
The muffin was raspberry and white chocolate and a few days old by the taste of it but he had to admit, it was pretty good. The raspberry was tangy and balanced perfectly with the white chocolate. Ok, it was more than pretty good, but he wasn’t going to let his dad know that.
The Hales’ Bakery was fairly small, it had a red and white striped awning and Hales’ in big swirling letters just above it. The glass window took up most of the front of the shop. It was filled with small cakes and a cupcake stand brimming with brightly frosted cakes, but the pièce de résistance was the huge wedding cake in the centre. It was truly incredible; three different cakes decreasing in size as they got taller, each smothered in a thick white chocolate ganache and adorned with surprisingly realistic sugar lilies that cascaded down the tiers, pooling at the base in an impressive bouquet. The bell tinkled gently as the opened the door. The smell Stiles was hit with was mouth-watering to say the least, and it was an amalgamation of every baking smell he could think of. The smell of baking bread was evident as the back wall was constructed of wooden shelves, laden with just about every kind of bread imaginable. He made a mental note to get his father some rye bread, at least if it was from here he couldn’t complain. He could smell the pastries in the glass case next to the register, the lattices glistening with apple and cherry and peach and encrusted with chunky sugar crystals, chocolate éclairs, drizzled with chocolate and filled to bursting with vanilla cream.
If Stiles was being honest, it was possibly the most perfect place he had ever been to. If he died, this would be his heaven. As if to complete his fantasy the woman at the counter spun around at the sound of the bell and flashed him a winning smile. She was tall, at least as tall as Stiles himself, with languid chestnut curls and striking grey-green eyes. In short she should have been on a runway, not stuck in a bakery in Beacon Hills. She blushed softly and hastily began gathering her hair up into a lazy bun.
“I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have it down in the shop, the hair net just itches sometimes. Just give me a moment!”
Stiles fumbled for words but resigned himself to a curt nod.
“Sorry about that,” the woman said, her hair now pinned back and contained within a less than flattering, blue hair net, “Now, what can I do for you.”
Stiles shook his head a little, he was bad with women, always had been, ever since Lydia Martin in seventh grade. He often wondered if that was why he started to bat for the other team. Not that he didn’t appreciate the female form, because Stiles really, really did, just that he was so abysmal with them it seemed like the better choice. That being said Stiles wasn’t great with the guys either, he had decided he was bisexual, if he was going to label it, some time in senior year, although pin pointing it was a little difficult. It was probably the time Danny Mahealani had told him that he was in fact attractive to gay guys, or that time Keanu Reeves made it into private Stiles-time, but he maintained that was because he had just watched a Matrix marathon and he was thinking about the sex scene as a whole and not just the way Keanu’s muscles rippled when he moved and the way his hips … Shit … it was times like this that Stiles wondered if the Adderall worked at all.
When he looked up from his internal gay crisis the woman was looking at him quizzically, “Sorry, I do that sometimes …” he laughed nervously, “Err … my dad wanted me to pick up some stuff, Stilinski?”
The woman’s face lit up, “You’re Sheriff Stilinski’s son! I’m Laura, he talks about you all the time, it’s so great to finally meet you!”
Stiles felt the tips of his ears heat up, trust his dad to talk about him to the beautiful woman behind the counter at the bakery. She motioned for him to wait a second and she called out into the kitchen.
“Derek, Stilinski order’s up!”
Stiles raised a brow, which was then followed by the other as an actual Greek god walked through the chains that separated the shop from the kitchen. He was tall and broad, his black t-shirt pulled a little too tight over his chest, cutting just slightly into his biceps as he carried the crate of baked good out. His hair was short and dark, moulded into lazy spikes and ruffled in a ‘just got out of bed’ kind of way that probably took him hours. Stiles rubbed his hand self-consciously over his own buzz-cut style, it wasn’t fashionable but it was easy to maintain. He looked back at Derek stupidly-perfect Hale who, as if his body wasn’t perfectly chiselled as it was, had a face that was something to marvel at. He had cheekbones you could cut yourself on and a thick set jawline dusted with stubble. His dark eyebrows were puckered in mild displeasure. The most striking thing about him though was his eyes. They were the same grey-green as Laura’s but there was something different about them that sent a shiver down Stiles’ spine.
“Stiles, this is my little brother Derek, Derek this is the Sheriff’s son.” She ruffled his hair lightly.
Derek growled, glancing from his sister to Stiles then sighed exasperatedly, placing the crate on the stool next to Laura’s feet, “Stilinski order’s on the top, the rest of the muffins are underneath.” His voice was deep and gravelly and Stiles had to try very hard not to imagine that voice saying anything else. He just had to think of something else. Dead puppies. Dead kittens. Anything but that voice.
Stiles swallowed thickly as Derek walked back into the kitchen, fixing his hair as he went. Laura had a playful look in her eyes as he looked back. “Don’t mind him, he can be a real grouch sometimes but he’s a real softy if you get to know him.”
Stiles snorted indignantly and Laura smirked, “Is there anything else we can do for you Stiles?”
Stiles motioned towards the loaves behind her, “A loaf of rye bread if you’ve got one. You guys have been spoiling my dad, he needs to watch his salt and sugar intake as well as his cholesterol. He thinks I don’t know when he’s shirking his meal plans but I’m not stupid.”
Laura’s laugh was bright as she placed a small loaf into a brown bag, she reached across to the crate and popped muffin into the bag with the loaf, “Apple bran muffins, we’re trying them out. They’re a little better for you than the raspberry white chocolate ones your dad gets.” She winked, “No charge, you can be our guinea pig.”
The Stilinski order was in fact a cake. A Robin cake to be precise, frosted in bright red, yellow and green and filled with chocolate cake and vanilla butter icing. The Sheriff had grinned and shrugged nonchalantly, “You don’t come home all that often and it gave me an excuse to get cake from the Hales.”
Scott and Melissa arrived at six, Stiles was tackled to the ground by his best friend who Stiles swore never stopped growing. He was twenty four now and a lot taller and broader than Stiles, not that that was all that difficult with Stiles being a lean hundred and seventy four pounds of nerdy history major.
Melissa had brought casserole and man had Stiles missed real cooking, he might fuss over his dad’s diet but instant noodles was just about all Stiles could afford. They talked about college, friends Stiles and Scott hadn’t seen for years and Allison, who Scott was trying to muster up the courage to propose to, much to Melissa’s delight.
The cake was something else. It was moist and rich but not overwhelming. The bran muffin was also surprisingly good, melting in his mouth in a way that something with bran in in really shouldn’t have. His dad even ate some of the rye bread and Stiles resolved to go back and make the most of his dad’s connections.
Laura was at the counter again when he next dropped by the Hales’ bakery, her hair properly tied back this time, chewing on a pencil distractedly.
“Hey Laura.” Stiles said
Laura looked up and grinned at him brightly, “Hey Stiles, got your order right here.”
Stiles grinned back, he liked Laura, she was bright and funny and very much a big sister, something Stiles never had but kind of wished he had, “Thanks, how much do I owe you?”
“One rye loaf and four apple bran … that comes to six fifty.”
When Stiles got home he emptied the paper bag of its contents and found an extra muffin and an accompanying not scrawled onto a napkin. It read:
Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip, maybe not so great for your Dad but I thought you’d like it.
Stiles frowned at the note, then peeled the case back off the muffin and took a big bite. This one really did melt in his mouth. He would have to coin a new phrase for what eating that felt like. Mouthgasm. That’s what it was. The muffin itself was soft and moist and melted ceremoniously on his tongue and it was absolutely bursting with chocolate chips, and in Stiles’ opinion you could never have too many chocolate chips.
Stiles’ dad laughed at the bran muffins but they still didn’t last much longer that Stiles’ muffin had.
It was getting colder and the smell of baking was even more comforting when Stiles opened the door to the bakery. Derek was stood behind the counter in all his brooding muscly majesty.
“Hey Derek, no Laura today?”
Derek started a little, his brow furrowing in its usual fashion, “She’s doing itinerary … I’ll be right back.”
With that he disappeared into the kitchen, the chains tinkling gently as he passed through them. He returned with a brown bag, “Your usual?”
Stiles grinned, “That’s awesome! I’ve always wanted to be able to do that, you know, go into a place and just ask for the usual.”
Derek’s expression softened a little and if Stiles wasn’t mistaken he saw his lips twitch just slightly, “Six fifty.”
Stiles fumbled in his pocket for the change, “By the way, my regards to the chef, those muffins were unbelievable.”
This time Derek’s lips definitely twitched.
When Stiles got home he found an extra muffin with another note scribbled out on a napkin:
I hope you liked the last one, this batch was Coffee Pecan, enjoy.
Stiles wasn’t much of a pecan fan but he really did enjoy it.
Stiles spent a rare afternoon with Scott, he and his best friend Skyped a lot but he missed evenings like this. They had sat in front of the TV and watched crappy B-horror movies and fought over cheesy curly fries like they used to when they were in school.
Stiles was on his way back when he felt a shudder and something cut out, his Jeep rolling silently to a stop. Stiles tried the ignition a few times, there was a stutter, then nothing.
Stiles cursed under his breath, “Come on baby, not now, not after everything we’ve been through! You can do this!”
Stiles clambered out of the car, and propped the hood up. It was too dark to see anything. Why the hell hadn’t he taken that beginners course when he started college. Yeah, because he had told himself he knew what he was doing with his baby. Real clever Stiles, good job.
“Shit!” he hissed as his hand touched something hot.
“Stiles?” a voice said from behind him.
Stiles spun round to see Derek Hale, arms full of groceries, standing on the sidewalk next to him.
“Hey Derek.” Stiles scratched the back of his neck, this was embarrassing.
“Car trouble?” Derek said, putting the bags on the ground and walking over. He peered into the open engine, ducking slightly to get under the hood, “Have you got a flashlight?”
“I should do, somewhere.” Stiles replied, walking around to the back of his car. He rummaged around in the backseat for a while before slightly cheering and holding the flashlight above his head triumphantly.
Derek chuckled and took it from him clicking it on and scowling intensely at the engine. He shook his head and bent down to rummage around in one of the bags of shopping, returning with a dish cloth.
“Hey, if that’s new don’t feel like you have to use it, I can just go to the mechanic in the morning.”
Derek snorted and leaned into the car, “Stiles, finding out if we can fix this tonight is more important than a dollar store dish cloth.”
He had a point.
“So where did you learn to do all of this?” he gestured to the hood of the car.
Derek tilted the flashlight and tweaked something with the cloth, “I majored in mechanical engineering, knowing engines kind of helps with that.”
Stiles jaw went slack, “Engineering? Dude, you went to college to do engineering and you’re working in a bakery? Why?”
“It’s complicated.” It was quite clear that that was all to be said on the matter. He wiped his hands on his jeans and stood up, “Would you mind turning the ignition again?”
Stiles nodded and opened the car door, leaning in to turn the key. The car spluttered again and fell silent.
Derek made a small concerned noise, “It’s your carburettor. The choke isn’t opening and closing like it should, you’ll need to take it to the garage, it might need replacing.”
Stiles sighed and rubbed a hand over his face, he didn’t have the money or the energy for this.
”How much is it going to set me back?”
Derek sucked some air through his teeth and sighed, “It depends, if it’s one part it could just be thirty dollars or so, if the whole thing needs replacing it could be more like three hundred.”
Stiles winced. That was money he really didn’t have.
“Look, get it looked at and then I’ll help you get it fixed as cheaply as we can, ok? Don’t let the mechanics over sell it to you, they’ll find other problems and try to convince you to get those fixed too.”
Stiles laughed nervously and looked at Derek with disbelief, if this wasn’t getting lucky he wasn’t sure what was, “Thanks Derek, seriously, you don’t need to do that.”
Derek balled the cloth up and put it into another bag, presumably one without food in it, “It’d be my pleasure.”
“I’ll call my dad, he can give us both a lift if you fancy it? Saves you walking all the way home with all of that.” He gestured to the grocery bags.
Derek’s face fell, he hesitated for a second, looking down at the shopping, “Only if you want to, I mean I'm not forcing you or anything…”
He shook his head, “No it’s fine, I’d appreciate a lift.”
His dad took one look at the Jeep and sighed, he nodded a greeting at Derek and turned to his son, “We’ll get someone to tow it in the morning, hop in the back.”
Derek’s house was huge. Stiles wasn’t entirely sure what to make of it. They had driven up a long drive into the middle of the forest and stopped outside the Hale family home. It was all white slats and windows, light streaming out of them through the darkness, warm and inviting. Derek thanked the Sheriff and smiled softly at Stiles.
“Let me know what the mechanic says and I’ll see what I can do.”
Stiles swallowed thickly, the light from the house spilling over his cheekbones and the line of his jaw, just catching the grey-green of his eyes. He was kind of breath taking.
“Sure. Thanks, Derek.”
He gave a small wave with his free hand and went inside.
So Stiles was pretty far gone. He realised this the third time he had to turn the shower to cold. Derek Hale had well and truly got under his skin, just thinking about his voice, the way he looked when he was smiling, that crease between his eyebrows when he was thinking. That wasn’t even sexual it was just there, in the back of his mind all the time.
He was, however, ashamed to say that a lot of his thoughts about Derek were pretty sexual. Stepping into the shower he thought about the stupidly tight t-shirts, the way he had looked leaning over his car that night.
Stiles ran a hand up his hardening cock. He wanted Derek there with him, wrapping his arms around him, biting his neck, whispering dirty things in his ear with his husky voice. He wanted to see those eyes dark and lust blown. He wanted to feel Derek’s tongue on his skin, kissing down his chest, running it up his aching cock. He shuddered at the thought, pumping a little faster, imagining the feel of his hot, wet mouth taking him deep and sucking him hard. He wanted to touch him, every bit of him, he wanted to trail kisses up his thighs and run his hands over his arms and back and chest. He wanted him to push him against the wall and suck dark marks into his pale skin. That was enough to push him over the edge. Stiles braced himself against the cold tiles as he came, white-hot and blinding, his legs buckling underneath him.
There was a part of him that felt dirty, guilty for thinking of Derek like that, a guy who was barely a friend but who was being genuinely selfless. A guy who’s sister kept sending him notes and free muffins.
Stiles wasn’t saying that he went to the bakery just to see Derek. Except that he was. He also wasn’t saying that he was disappointed when he wasn’t there.
The brown bag was sat on the counter waiting for him, Laura was behind the register and handed it over with a wink.
“I hope you enjoy it! Have a good week!” she called after him.
This week’s muffin was golden brown, sweet and sticky. It came with another note:
Pear and Toffee. Thought I’d branch out a bit, these are more of an experiment, hope you don’t mind.
Stiles really didn’t mind.
Stiles soon realised that he had been neglecting his dissertation and really needed to lock himself in his room for a good few days. An Analysis of the Spanish Invasion and Overthrow of the Inca Empire with specific interest in the long term social and cultural consequences was his topic, and it had seemed like a good idea when he had started but now the words were swimming and his head hurt. Even the English words looked Spanish and the blink of the cursor on the screen had begun to taunt him when his dad knocked on his door. He groaned a reply and the Sheriff walked in with a plate and a mug.
“Don’t work yourself too hard, I know you’ve got a lot to do but I’ve barely seen you for the last few days.” Stiles mumbled an apology and took the mug of hot milk from his dad, “I went to the bakery today, got they usual, Derek sends his regards.”
“Yeah, tall dark and handsome.”
Stiles blushed, he hadn’t been that obvious had he? Anyone could see Derek was attractive but way out of Stiles’ league. He was pasty and hyperactive, Derek was broody and mysterious with hidden engineering talents. He was also fairly sure Derek was straight.
He sighed and took the plate from his dad. This muffin was a pale gold colour, studded with bright pieces of fruit. There was a napkin tucked underneath the muffin. Stiles unfolded that first. It was another note.
Your Dad says you’re holed up writing your dissertation, Cranberry and Orange to keep you going.
His dad smirked, “Anything I need to know about?”
Stiles laughed, “Nah, just Laura being thoughtful.”
His father raised a brow, “Laura?”
Shrugging he peeled the casing off and took a bite before turning back to his essay. The fruit was fresh and sharp, sweetened by the silky muffin batter. It was no wonder his dad had put on weight, these were beyond any ordinary muffin. They were muffin royalty.
“It looks like the whole thing is going to have to be replaced.” Stiles groaned, that was not what he wanted to hear, “Also there’s a slight problem with the …”
“It’s ok.” Stiles cut in, “I’ll just get it sorted myself, could you give me specs for the part?”
The mechanic looked him up and down sceptically, Stiles gave him a pointed look and he shrugged, scribbling it down on a bit of paper, then tearing it from the pad.
“There, it won’t cost any less getting it from anywhere else you know.”
Stiles gave the guy a mock salute as he left, “Sure, thanks.”
The next day he popped into Hales’ with brought the slip of paper the mechanic had given him.
Derek was stood behind the counter, he smiled at Stiles as he walked in. Stiles couldn’t get enough of that smile, his face was normally so stoic but it lit up when he smiled, the gesture was warm and bright and Stiles wanted to do everything he could to make him smile more.
“Hey Stiles, your order’s just out back, I’ll just…”
“It’s ok,” Stiles said, “I actually wanted to talk to you about my baby.” Derek’s brow furrowed a little and Stiles laughed, “My Jeep, I went to the mechanic today and he told me I’d need to replace the whole thing, he gave me the details, here…” he fumbled in his pocket for the slip of paper, handing it over to Derek.
Derek considered the slip of paper for a moment before tucking it into his back pocket, “I think I can get you that, I’ll replace it for you if you like.”
Stiles grinned, “Derek Hale, a man of hidden talents.” Stiles was fairly sure his ears flushed a little pink, “Just let me know when you’re free, I’m not in any hurry, I don’t go back to college for another month.”
Derek was looking him up and down in a way that Stiles had only imagined during his shower sessions. He ran his tongue over his bottom lip and looked down to the floor, “Yeah sure, it’s History right?”
“History major, your dad mentioned it, I think.” Derek’s eye’s flitted to Stiles again and Stiles swallowed thickly.
“Oh yeah …” he shifted awkwardly from one foot to another, “I’m doing my dissertation on the Spanish Empire, but it’s pretty boring really.”
Derek raised a brow, “I doubt you really find it boring if you’re doing your dissertation about it.”
Stiles laughed and scratched the back of his neck distractedly, “No, it’s actually fascinating and kind of gruesome, which is awesome… but you’d probably find it boring, it’s no mechanical engineering.”
Derek snorted derisively, “Trust me, engineering was far from interesting at times, I’d rather hear you talk about the inquisition any day.”
Stiles felt the colour rise on his cheeks, “It’s actually about the fall of the Inca Empire to the conquistadors, no inquisitions, just genocide.” He laughed nervously.
Derek chuckled, it was a deep rumble and Stiles was ashamed to say it gave him goosebumps, not to mention it managed to redirect a startling amount of blood southwards. “Anyway I’d really better be going, I just thought I’d drop by and give you that. Thanks by the way.”
“It’s no problem, I’ll let you know when the part comes in. Oh and Stiles, wait one second, your order’s through the back.”
The chains clinked as Derek walked through into the kitchen, he smiled at Stiles as he returned, passed him the brown bag.
“See you around, Stiles.”
Stiles emptied the contents of the bag into the bread bin when he got home. There was a darker muffin in amongst the bran, glistening and with large chunks of syrup-slick fruit.
Black Forest Muffin. Something a little sweeter this time, not that you need it, you seem sweet enough.
Stiles swallowed. Ok, so he hadn’t been imagining it, Laura was flirting with him via napkin? The winks and the free muffins and oh God what was he doing? He’d just come back from a severe session of eye fucking with Derek and he was leading his sister on with muffins. Was this some higher deity punishing him for getting off to Derek in the shower? If it was it must have been a particularly cruel deity.
He didn’t go back to the bakery. He tried to convince himself that it was out of principle, no more bakery meant no more muffins, which meant no more leading anyone on. In reality Stiles was just too chicken to face either Hale right now. That didn’t mean that his dad was going to accept any of his lame excuses and when his car crunched into the driveway Stiles felt his stomach drop. The key turned in the lock and swung open and his dad walked in, his arms full with a large brown bag, the customary H swirled on the side.
The Sheriff placed the bag down on the table and frowned, “You feeling okay Stiles?” he placed a cold hand against his son’s forehead, “You’re looking a little peaky.”
Stiles laughed nervously, “Yeah, must just be over working, going a little Gollum in my dissertation cave.”
His dad frowned, shaking his head as he began emptying the bag, “You were missed at the bakery this week, yet you still get extra muffins.” He said passing him the muffin and the accompanying napkin.
Sorry if that was a little cheesy last time, here’s a cheesy muffin to make up for it. Cheese and Bacon.
As if Stiles couldn’t feel any worse. Laura was apologising, and damn if it wasn’t endearing. Why did it have to be Laura?
Stiles smiled weakly at his dad “Anyway … dissertation isn’t going to do itself.” He mumbled and ran upstairs, feeling his father’s concerned gaze on his back.
Stiles tried not to think about it, he tried to concentrate on Pizarro and Atahualpa but his mind kept straying to Derek. He had dropped by the Sheriff’s office after a week of successful avoidance on Stiles’ part. The guilt weighed heavily on his shoulders when his dad had told him that Derek had his carburettor and had towed the car from the garage to the Hale house to fix it up. He felt even worse when he dropped the car back off the next day and Stiles pretended not to be home.
He had taken to locking himself in his room to avoid further contact with anyone who may mention Derek way-out-of-his-league Hale. Unfortunately he was at home, which meant he had to at least talk to his dad who, by the sounds of it, was Derek Hale’s biggest fan.
“Derek did a good job on your Jeep, practically purring, he did more than just replace the carburettor. Have you even thanked him?” Stiles’ dad said through mouthfuls of kale. He put another forkful into his mouth and winced, “I really hate this stuff.”
Ordinarily Stiles would have made a joke, or at least a snide comment, instead he resigned himself to pushing his own food around his plate distractedly.
The Sheriff frowned, “You not so keen on it either, huh?”
Stiles glanced up, and made a noncommittal noise before resuming his sulking.
“I don’t know what’s got into you lately, if it’s girl trouble … or guy trouble, I guess …”
Stiles snorted, “Dad, please don’t try to give me a father-son chat about my guy problems, you were bad enough when it was just girls.”
His dad laughed and scratched the back of his neck, “True. Your mother was always better at this sort of thing.”
Stiles glanced up at his father, who was staring intently at his hands. Stiles felt his chest tighten, “Hey, dad, it’s nothing honestly, I’m just tired and a bit stressed.”
The Sheriff nodded, the corners of his mouth quirking up slightly, his eyes still a little watery, “Okay son, just … let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.”
Stiles smiled and nodded. He felt bad for lying to his dad but seeing his dad smile again was worth a white lie or two.
Stiles spent another few days locked in his room
His dad was downstairs humming tunelessly as he put the groceries away.
“Hey Stiles, I didn’t want to disturb you so I got the groceries myself, I got everything on that list of yours except the kale, I hope you don’t mind.”
Stiles smirked, “Nah, dad, I really don’t mind.”
His dad smiled and nodded towards the table, “Dropped by the Hales and picked up the last order before Christmas, I think they gave us double.”
A feeling of dread settled over Stiles as he opened the bag. Sure enough there were two loaves of rye, eight bran muffins and one, darker muffin wrapped in its customary napkin.
It’s nearly Christmas and I thought you might like these. Christmas pudding spiced. You haven’t been back to the bakery for a while but I was hoping that you’d come to dinner with me sometime. Maybe?
Stiles swallowed hard. This wasn’t just flirting, she had just asked him out. The sister of the guy he was falling head over heels in love with had just asked him out. It was all his own fault as well, he had kept taking the muffins, he didn’t say anything, he just took them, leading her on. He was a terrible person. Stiles ran a hand over his face.
Stiles groaned, “I’m a bad person.” He slumped onto the table, covering his head with his arms. This wasn’t fair. Life wasn’t fair.
He knew what he had to do, he had to confront Laura, tell her that he didn’t like her that way, then maybe casually mention that he had been jacking off to her brother in the shower. Ok so it wasn’t the best plan but he had to do something before the whole thing drove him insane.
The bell chimed pleasantly as he walked in, it almost made him feel worse. Derek was walking through with a tray of bear claws, he smiled warmly when he caught sight of Stiles.
“Hey Stiles, we didn’t get an order for you, did we? Just give me a second.” He slid the door of the glass cabinet open, picked up the tongs from the counter and started to place the pastries out on display.
Stiles shifted uncomfortably, “Actually I didn’t come to buy anything.”
Derek froze momentarily, then continued putting the pastries out, “Oh?”
“I was wondering if Laura was in.”
Derek looked up and frowned, “Laura? No she isn’t in today, why?”
He took a deep breath, “Could you tell her something for me? Just say I’m sorry and that it’s nothing personal, I just can’t.”
Confusion clouded Derek’s features for a moment before he looked away, “I see.”
“Sorry, anyway, thanks for fixing up my baby, she’s driving like a dream.”
Derek didn’t turn around as Stiles walked out and Stiles didn’t look back.
Stiles locked himself in his room again under the pretence of doing more of his dissertation. In reality he was wallowing. He was such a coward. Not only had he possibly screwed up his friendship with Laura but he had ruined any chance he had ever had with Derek. Stiles groaned and rested his forehead on the keyboard. This was messed up in so many ways. He was pining, genuinely pining for a guy. He hadn’t pined for anyone since Lydia and he had been a lovesick teenager then, it was excusable. This was ridiculous.
He sighed and trudged downstairs to take a swig of orange juice from the carton because yes he was feeling that sorry for himself. His dad caught him mid swig and shot him a disapproving look.
“Before you return to your lair, someone left this on the doorstep this morning.” He lifted up a small basket filled with what looked like blueberry muffins. Stiles groaned. What was his life? He needed to deal with it in person.
When Stiles pulled up outside the bakery he could see that the cake in the window had changed, instead of the magnificent white chocolate masterpiece there was a four tier monstrosity with large dark chocolate frills decorated with white chocolate icing, intricately piped into ornate lace patterns and scattered with candied orange peel.
There was no one at the counter when the bell dinged, but Stiles could hear the shuffle and clatter of baking from behind the chain curtain.
He announced himself to the clatters, “Hey, err… I love the new cake, shame about the one with the flowers though it was pretty epic. Not that the new one isn’t epic, it really is, the lace thing was a nice touch…”
He petered out when he was met with silence. He wasn’t sure what he was expecting.
There was a muffled shout and Derek appeared, flour dusting his dark hair and smudged across his cheek. He looked at Stiles for a moment.
He turned around and went straight back into the kitchen. Stiles frowned and peered through the strained his neck to look through the chains. A moment later Laura came out huffing her displeasure and placing Stiles’ brown bag on the counter.
“Hey Stiles, sorry about that, Derek is just being … Derek.” She scowled in the general direction of the kitchen, “That’s six fifty again honey. I’m glad you like the new cake.” She turned around, “Told you he’d like it!” she called into the kitchen. There was an unintelligible grumble from behind the chains but not reply. Laura rolled her eyes, “The other one had been there for a little while and it needed eating before it went off.”
“You guys have to eat that whole thing?!”
Laura laughed, “We have a big family and they have always appreciated Derek’s baking.”
“Look Laura about the extra muffins, I really appreciated them but…”
“Extra muffins? Stiles what do you …”
Stiles’ stomach dropped, “Wait, back up, did you say Derek’s baking?”
The older woman considered him for moment, “Yes, Derek is the one who does the baking, I’m the brains behind the business, I sort out all of the finances and do all the cataloguing. I can’t cook to save my life. What do you mean extra muffins?”
Stiles felt all of the colour drain from his face, he felt sick. Derek. It had been Derek the whole time. Derek, the Adonis page three underwear model of a man that was Derek Hale had been flirting with him through muffins and napkin notes and he had put two and two together and made five like the idiot he was.
“Then the notes …”
Laura raised a brow and smiled wryly, “Notes?”
Laura took one look at Stiles’ face and disappeared into the kitchen shouting her brother’s name. He heard a few muffled shouts and snatches of conversation.
“He thought it was me!”
“You were sending him love notes!”
“…and you knew”
“Don’t Laura me, get out there!”
A moment later Derek was shoved out onto the shop floor, ears tinged pink looking very much like a rabbit caught in headlights. He moved around from behind the counter, lingering next to the cabinet.
Stiles rubbed the nape of his neck sheepishly, “So …”
Derek stepped forward hesitantly, “Stiles I … I’m not good at this sort of thing and…” he glanced down at his feet, “I understand if you found it creepy or if you just don’t … swing that way but …”
Stiles gaped, “I do. Swing that way, I mean.”
Derek looked up, a gentle smile playing over his lips, “So about the last one…”
“I thought it was Laura, I thought I’d be causing a rift between siblings because she was asking me out but really … really I liked you.” Stiles thought the smile suited him, it softened his features, made his eyes sparkle.
The smile broke into a dazzling grin, “Great, that’s really great.”
“So err … if I haven’t screwed this up too much I’d kind of like to take you up on the dinner.”
Derek ran a thumb over Stiles’ cheek and leaned in, pressing a chaste kiss on his lips. When Stiles kissed back it was anything but chaste. He crushed his lips against Derek’s in a kind of fervent desperation. Derek let out a small groan that went straight to Stiles’ cock and kissed back harder, flicking his tongue over Stiles’ lips. Stiles let out an indecent noise and Derek growled, “You have no idea how long I’ve wanted to do this.” he slid one hand around the back of Stiles’ neck, carding his fingers through Stiles’ hair, the other wrapping around his waist, pulling him closer. Stiles thread his arms around Derek’s neck, running his teeth over Derek’s bottom lip playfully. Derek groaned again, “Jesus, Stiles, you’re not supposed to put out before the first date but I get the impression you’ll be making it difficult for me to resist.” His voice was low and husky with want and it made Stiles’ knees go weak. This was real, he was kissing the sex god that was Derek Hale, kissing him and turning him on, apparently.
There was a deliberate cough from behind them, “Not that it isn’t great that you’ve both finally worked this out but you’re going to scare the customers away.”
Derek huffed a laugh onto Stiles’ collar bone and straightened up, keeping one arm firmly around his waist, “Is Friday ok, I can pick you up after I’ve finished here so sometime around seven?”
Stiles flushed a little and nodded, Derek smiled again and pressed a gentle kiss to his forehead, “Friday, seven, gotcha.” He laughed weakly and watched Derek walk back into the kitchen.