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He doesn’t get into it until Boyd, Isaac, Scott, and Stiles have started college.

 

He doesn’t need the money—the Beacon Hills arson investigation unit settled out of court and provided more than enough to send Derek’s three puppies to school, and between his academic and lacrosse scholarships, Stiles has tuition covered. Derek still has twelve family members’ worth of life insurance policies for living expenses. But to be honest, he’s bored with the pack gone, even though it seems like someone’s home every other weekend. Staying in with Peter drives him stir-crazy, but he doesn’t really have an excuse to go anywhere except the grocery store, and if he buys any more eggs, he’s going to have to start making quiche.

 

Derek hates quiche.

 

For the past two years he’s been full-time alpha and supernatural beast hunter, with occasional stints as ersatz parental unit and/or homework helper. But the pack is gone, even if they’ve all assured him they’re coming back. Even if they call once a week—twice in Stiles’s case. And Peter doesn’t need a whole lot of alphaing, though he does need to be watched like a hawk.

 

Except then Peter gets a job doing print layout for a magazine and leaves Derek even more bored and without the excuse of Peter-sitting.

 

“Do you have any hobbies?” Stiles asks him over the phone on Thursday evening, after Derek has spent maybe five minutes grumbling that life is more interesting when there are dragons to slay. “I mean other than growling and snarling ‘I’m the alpha’ and the life-saving gig.”

 

Derek growls a little, mostly because the irony will make Stiles laugh.

 

“Seriously, you need to get out of the house, okay? I’ve worked too hard to socialize you to let you regress now.”

 

“I’ll take that under advisement,” Derek says dryly, and Peter eyes him from across the living room.

 

And then—well. It shouldn’t surprise him when, the next day, Peter comes home from work and passes Derek a business card. “Do us all a favor and just call them.”

 

The card is plain, with embossed font reading Alpha Studios. Derek waits until business hours Monday morning to call and sets an interview for Tuesday.

 

Monday is Isaac’s phone day. Derek calls at seven like he does every Monday night and realizes right away he’s missing a pack gathering. “Hey, Derek!” Isaac says cheerfully. In the background, Boyd and Stiles are arguing about something. Hockey teams, Derek thinks. “I see Peter hasn’t killed you yet.”

 

“I could say the same about you and Boyd,” Derek says, because Isaac and Boyd are the worst-matched roommate duo in the history of the world. It’s actually a miracle they haven’t clawed each other to death. Yet somehow they always have each other’s back. “And apparently no one’s killed the squishy human either.”

 

“The squishy human got Isaac an A in Calculus,” Stiles informs him.

 

“You’re on speakerphone,” Isaac explains unnecessarily.

 

“Hi, Derek!” Stiles says brightly. “Did you get a hobby yet?”

 

“Hi, Stiles. Boyd. Scott.” He doesn’t bother pointing out that this is Isaac’s night. He and Isaac always run out of things to talk about after ten minutes anyway. Maybe Stiles can keep them going longer. “Good job on the test, Isaac.” He could thank Stiles for the help, but he’ll do that tomorrow, when it’s just the two of them. Instead, he says, “I have an interview tomorrow,” and then he has to admit that he doesn’t really know what for and that Peter set it up.

 

Awkward.

 

“I bet it’s porn,” Scott says immediately.

 

“Shut up, it’s not porn,” Boyd snaps. “Whose uncle would hook them up with a gig doing porn?”

 

There’s a horrified silence as they all digest the question. Then Isaac says, “Oh my God, it’s porn” and Stiles dissolves into laughter.

 

“I cannot wait to ask you about this tomorrow,” he says gleefully when he’s gotten control of himself.

 

Derek changes the subject to the programming quiz Isaac was supposed to have today.

 

Only once he’s hung up does he allow himself to boot up Stiles’s hand-me-down laptop to google Alpha Studios. It’s not porn.

 

Not exactly.

 

What it definitely is is an image-oriented magazine appealing to very specific tastes. Those tastes being, well, power. Several samples on the web site feature red eyes. More than a few have two models, one in an obviously dominant position, the other blatantly submitting. It’s not obscene, or it wouldn’t be to most human eyes, but it does something to Derek, that expression of blissful submission. It reminds him how long it’s been since he took anyone to bed. Not since before Laura died. It reminds him he has a new set of drives now, ones he’d like to try out. And maybe this will be a safe way to get his feet wet.

 

Or maybe it’ll be a ridiculous failure and he’ll have to endure Stiles’s mocking laughter tomorrow. He’ll survive.

 

*

 

Derek still isn’t sure what he’s interviewing for, but he had his suit cleaned when he realized his future probably involved job interviews, so he showers, decides against shaving, and dresses. Then he squints at his reflection, thinks about the photos, and loses the tie.

 

Then he undoes the top three buttons. Better.

 

Alpha Studios is in nearby Sunnydale—coincidentally the town where Stiles, Scott, Boyd, and Isaac are attending college—in an unprepossessing office-type building. Derek pulls into the parking lot with five minutes to spare, runs a hand through his hair, and heads inside.

 

“Yes, I’m sure he’s gorgeous,” the twentysomething woman behind the desk says into her phone as Derek walks in, “but—oh, he’s here. Oh my God, Peter, I owe you lunch. I owe you twelve lunches.”

 

Derek winces internally.

 

The woman—her nametag says Darcy—hangs up on his uncle and stands to offer him her hand. “Derek Hale, I presume? Darcy McClellan. I’m a talent agent for Alpha Studios. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

 

She’s unapologetically undressing him with her eyes, but in a weirdly businesslike way. Derek shakes her hand. “Yeah, I’m Derek.”

 

Her eyes flash blue when he squeezes gently, and he lets his go red in return.

 

“Oh my God, you’re so hired. Let’s get you in front of a camera.”

 

Darcy doesn’t screw around with an interview. Derek appreciates that about her. Instead, she sets about filling out his paperwork, asking him about a pseudonym, and giving him a brief rundown of the magazine.

 

“Target audience is pretty obvious, of course,” she says as she jots down Derek’s social security number. “So we’ll do a couple shoots with you and see how they go over with a focus group, but I’m not worried.”

 

Derek suppresses a bittersweet smile. He’s going to be paraded around in print as the representation of an ideal alpha. Stiles would laugh his ass off. Hell, even Derek thinks it’s funny. But he knows there aren’t many single young alphas to do this kind of work—usually the power comes with age, and young alphas tend not to stay unattached for long. That leaves limited options.

 

Darcy introduces Jean, the photographer, and a pretty blonde human woman named Toni. “She’s a total pro and a sweetheart,” Darcy tells him as a kid she called Justin dabs some kind of antireflective powder on Derek’s face. “We’ve been looking for someone new to shoot her with to keep things fresh.”

 

But first they want to shoot Derek by himself.

 

Awesome.

 

“I’ll be over here if you need anything,” Darcy tells him with a lecherous smile.

 

Jean and Toni, at least, maintain a semblance of professionalism.

 

At first Derek doesn’t have to do anything, just stand there while Jean snaps a few quick shots to check lighting levels. Once he’s satisfied, Darcy comes over with a green silk tie.

 

“I think we can work with Model’s Own Wardrobe today for the most part,” she says cheerfully. Then she drapes the tie loosely around his neck, undone.

 

Jean makes a happy noise and gets started putting Derek through his paces.

 

Modeling isn’t so difficult, Derek discovers over the course of the next twenty minutes. At least for this shoot, when all he has to do is move his body as directed and look confident doing it. Derek accidentally became alpha after killing his uncle, then made a mess of a pack and struggled not to get everyone else killed—if there’s anything he’s good at, it’s faking confidence.

 

Then Toni comes back in from makeup and wardrobe wearing something blue and soft and gauzy that accentuates her generous curves, and Derek steels himself. This, he doesn’t know how to deal with.

 

“Take five, Jean?” Toni says. “Derek and I should probably have a chat first.”

 

Derek gives her a tight smile in gratitude as she leads him to a small patio set in the corner.

 

“So, Darcy didn’t do a great job with introductions,” Toni says with a wry look. “I’m Toni. Nice to meet you.”

 

Derek shakes her hand. “Derek. So.” She’s human, he can smell that much, and attached—married or living with a human man since their scents have mingled. Presumably she’s not here hunting for an alpha boyfriend. “How’d you find out about….” He waves his hand. It could mean anything—werewolves, this magazine, this job.

 

Toni leans back in her patio chair. “My sister married into a pack—though she didn’t know it when she started dating Brian. When she found out, she called me to freak. Since our dad died, we’re pretty much the last of our family, so. Anyway, my brother-in-law’s friends with Darcy, so when I was looking for work, they set something up. You?”

 

“My uncle pimped me out,” Derek admits sheepishly. “He’s the only family I have left too, but our relationship is….”

 

“Weird?” Toni guesses.

 

Derek snorts. “Understatement.”

 

She leans forward, obviously intrigued. “So what made you say yes?”

 

“Honestly?” he says. “I was bored. My pack—they’re all pretty young, all off to college. Empty nest. My uncle has a job. I don’t need one, but I do need something to do.”

 

She nods. “Fair enough.” Then she claps her hands on her knees and sits up straight. “So here’s the deal. You probably already know I’m in a committed relationship with a human guy. He knows about my work and he’s not possessive about my body, because I’d strangle him, but he doesn’t share either.”

 

Derek blinks. “Uh.” After Stiles, he thought he was immune to other people’s bluntness. Wrong again. “That won’t be a problem. No offense, but you’re not my type.”

 

She grins. “Honey, you have no idea. I’m not really submissive. I can and do fake it for the camera, but it does nothing for me.”

 

He clears his throat, feeling the back of his neck heat. “Understood.”

 

“That said, if I were single? I would totally make an exception. Because, well.” She gestures at him.

 

Derek snorts. That, he’s comfortable with—he’s always been aware that other people find him attractive. “Anything else I need to know?”

 

With a shrug, she relaxes again. “Not really. When we’re working you can touch me pretty much however you want. You’re an alpha, so you know what looks and feels natural in that context. I don’t take it personally, and we don’t do full nudity, so sexual touching won’t really be an issue. The only rule is don’t kiss me on the lips.”

 

The frank discussion puts Derek at ease, and he finds that he likes her already. She reminds him of Erica, a little, only older and with a few extra pounds around the middle. She’s not build like most human models, which makes sense in the context of the magazine: she has to look like her alpha provides for her. “Okay, that’s fair.”

 

He only hesitates a minute before making his own request. “Don’t, uh, don’t lick my stomach.”

 

She looks like she wants to ask, but she doesn’t. “Deal.”

 

They shake on it, and then Jean returns and sets the stage for them: hardworking alpha just home from a long day at the office, blah blah blah. It’s cliché, but it’s cliché for a reason. Derk noses into Toni’s neck and cleavage more or less on cue, and lets his eyes flash red as directed—apparently Jean has a special lens to combat the flare. Half an hour in he loses his shirt and Toni says, “Shame,” and Derek glowers a little.

 

Jean snaps a picture.

 

All told it’s not a bad way to waste an afternoon. The only problem is that once it’s over he has to talk to Stiles.

 

“So is it porn?” Stiles says instead of hello. “It is, right? Holy crap, my alpha is a porn star.”

 

“It’s not porn,” Derek says, trying for a growl, but it just comes off as fondly exasperated because his brain is stuck back on my alpha.

 

Stiles sighs. “Man, way to shatter the dream. So what is it, then? Murder for hire? Security? Personal trainer? I bet you’d make a killing as a personal trainer, all those desperate housewives knifing each other to get on your client list—”

 

“It’s modeling,” Derek interrupts and then wishes he hadn’t.

 

To his astonishment, this shocks Stiles into shutting up for a whole two seconds. He comes back with: “Like, sexy naked modeling? Or, like, Sears catalog modeling? Do they still print Sears catalogs, even?”

 

“There’s no nudity,” Derek says evasively, because that much is true. So far, anyway.

 

“I notice you didn’t say anything about the sexy,” Stiles prompts when Derek doesn’t elaborate. “So are they?”

 

“Stiles.”

 

“Can I see them?”

 

Oh Jesus. “No.”

 

“Oh my God! They’re sexy!”

 

“Everything I do is sexy,” Derek protests feebly, hoping the attempt at a joke will distract Stiles enough to let him change the subject.

 

“Ugh, that is depressingly true. When’s someone going to pay me to stand around and be attractive, that’s what I’d like to know.”

 

Derek almost opens his mouth to make an offer, but then he thinks about it. Thinks about crowding Stiles up against a wall like he’s done a hundred times before but then scenting him instead of threatening him into silence, instead of glowering at him to keep still for his own protection. Thinks of doing all that while someone else watches and takes photos, because it’s not real.

 

Turns out Derek doesn’t hate himself that much. “You wouldn’t be able to hold still long enough for anyone to take your picture anyway,” he says.

 

And that’s apparently all he needs, because Stiles hums and then changes the subject. “True. Hey, remember that bogus assignment I was working on for Modern Mythology?”

 

Derek listens to him ramble on about Stephenie Meyer for ten minutes and counts himself lucky for getting off so easily.

 

*

 

Alpha Studios signs Derek to an exclusive contract with one shoot per issue, which doesn’t take up as much of his time as he hoped, but it does give him an excuse to be in Sunnydale. He finds himself driving up even when he’s not working and taking the boys out for dinner, to the latest action flick, to play paintball or race go-karts.

 

“Aren’t they working you pretty hard?” Stiles asks suspiciously one night when it’s just the two of them, because the other three have a biology midterm the next day and are locked in the library to study.

 

Derek’s never actually told them he came up after work, just that the studio is in town. He lets them assume the rest. “It’s not like I have to do much besides stand there,” he says. Then he eyes the concession stand. “Popcorn or Reese’s?”

 

“Both, obviously.” Stiles rolls his eyes. “You get the food, I’ll get the tickets.”

 

Derek sighs inwardly but does as he’s told.

 

*

 

And that’s how it goes for months on end. Derek does three more shoots with Toni—the November, December, and January issues—and each one is easier than the last, fun, almost relaxing. He even lets her bite teasingly at the muscle of his stomach during the last shoot, because he’s come to trust her so much.

 

In January Toni gets the flu. To fill in, Darcy calls in a model named Juanita. She tells Derek on the phone that they’re trying something experimental, to be ready to go outside his comfort zone. Derek is prepared for a request to take off his shorts, maybe—he told Darcy he’d be okay showing his ass, and maybe this is her way of calling that in. But when he arrives on set, he understands.

 

Juanita is an alpha.

 

“What,” Derek says.

 

Darcy blathers something about power play and dominance games and sex appeal. Derek and Juanita stare at each other until—

 

Derek sniffs. So does Juanita.

 

Darcy flushes, which Derek hasn’t seen happen in four months of working with her. “See!” she says. “Sexy. You can take turns being in control. You’re professionals. Deal with it.”

 

Finally Juanita shrugs. Her stare is a lot less red and a lot more assessing. “I’m game if you are.”

 

Derek shrugs too. If she tries to kill him on Darcy’s pack’s turf, she’ll basically be ensuring her own pack’s destruction, so she’s probably not going to do that. “Why not.”

 

To be honest, it’s mostly not bad. Derek’s been in enough real fights that he doesn’t mind the faux manhandling, and wrestling a submission, even a pretend one, from another alpha definitely gets his blood up.

 

He doesn’t like having an alpha he doesn’t know so close to his neck, but he can deal with it for one day, and when he sees the intensity Jean has captured in the photographs—well. He understands the appeal.

 

“Thanks for not making that suck,” Derek tells Juanita when the shoot wraps.

 

She smiles and shakes his hand. “Thanks for not being a macho dick about submitting to a girl.”

 

Derek’s face does something weird—it almost feels like he’s smiling back. But he can’t be smiling, because what he says is “My mother was alpha, my sister after that. They were a lot better at it than I am.” Which isn’t something Derek says, even if he thinks it, because talking about his family hurts and he knows damn well he shouldn’t show weakness to another alpha.

 

And yet somehow it works out. Juanita’s a freelancer, no contract, but they exchange numbers and make noises about keeping in touch. It feels like the beginning of an alliance, and Derek can only feel good about it.

 

That issue of Alpha sells out in a week.

 

In February, Toni’s back, looking healthier than ever. Derek sweeps her up in a hug to say hello before they get their makeup done—but then he stops and puts his face close to her neck before sniffing and putting her down.

 

It’s just the two of them standing in wardrobe and makeup, so Derek doesn’t have to worry about being discreet. He itches to touch her there, but they’re not on camera now; he’s not allowed. So instead he takes a step backward and stares down at his hand as it hovers a few inches above the skin of her stomach. “How long?”

 

“How long what?” she says with a frown, and Derek realizes she doesn’t know.

 

Then she tracks his gaze and the placement of his hand and her eyes get big. “Holy shit, Derek, am I pregnant?”

 

She didn’t know—God. He nods wordlessly, readying himself in case she faints or swoons or something.

 

Instead, she laughs, pure unfiltered joy. “Okay, that’s—I was not expecting that.” She shakes her head and touches one reverent hand to her belly. “We tried for a couple years and nothing. We didn’t have the money for in vitro—that’s why I started working here.” Her cheeks dimple. “I guess we can put that money into a college fund.”

 

“Congratulations,” Derek tells her. She’ll make a great mother.

 

Toni hardly seems to hear him—she’s still touching her stomach, looking down at herself in wonder. “How can you tell?”

 

It’s hard to articulate, but—“Smell, mostly. It’s too early to hear a heartbeat.”

 

“Will Darcy be able to tell? Or is it, like, an alpha thing?”

 

Derek shrugs. “I don’t know for sure. My senses are probably sharper than hers, but she has a sex advantage. I’d get checked out by a doctor or take a pregnancy test to be 100 percent before you tell Steve, but….”

 

“I’ll grab one on my way home.” She grins again, then hugs him impulsively, squeezing tight. “Should make for an interesting shoot, huh?”

 

That it does.

 

They get through hair and makeup and wardrobe and wave hello to Jean, and then Derek basically ignores his directions for the duration. The tenor of their shoot is completely different from their last ones, more tender, less intense. When he’s on his knees in front of her, tracing worshipful kisses across her abdomen, Toni looks down at him fondly. “Holy crap, this is totally an alpha thing, huh?”

 

Derek leans his forehead against her belly button. Click. “It’s probably different for everyone.” Then he pulls back a little and admits, “This is a me thing.”

 

“Fatherhood would be a good look on you,” she tells him, carding her fingers through his hair.

 

Derek doesn’t know what to say to that, so he nuzzles his face into her palm.

 

Click.

 

The proofs, when he sees them later, are hard to look at. Derek’s favorite photo is Tori standing in front of him, leaning her head back on his shoulder, their hands stacked over her bare stomach. He recognizes the expression on his own face, but he’s sure he hasn’t seen it in the mirror in ages.

 

*

 

The next few months are hectic. The boys have midterms, then finals. Darcy scrambles to find new partners for Derek so they can save Toni’s pregnancy reveal for a special issue when she’s really showing. Peter gets a girlfriend who’s seemingly normal yet knows what a creeper he is.

 

Stiles falls in and out of lust with his mythology TA. Allison calls Scott for the first time in eight months and Scott’s so over the moon it’s obnoxious even through the phone. “She says she wants to try again,” he tells Derek on Wednesday. “She thinks she’s ready.”

 

Derek’s always been inherently distrustful of Allison, first through no fault of her own and then because she went kind of nuts and tried to kill him. But Scott’s a big boy and he can take care of his own heart. If nothing else, Allison isn’t her aunt. “That’s great,” he offers. “I hope it works out.” It’s even the truth.

 

“Me too,” Scott says seriously. “Thanks, Derek. I have to go get Stiles to teach me physics now, but I’ll see you Saturday?”

 

“Bring your A game,” Derek tells him. “I get Stiles on my team.”

 

“Ugh, no fair,” Scott whines, because even though Stiles’s reflexes are only human, he is the laser tag master. His strategic thinking means his team almost always wins. “Whatever, I get Boyd, then. You’re going down.”

 

In April Derek does shoots with two men. Alpha has printed same-sex photos on the regular since its inception, so he’s kind of surprised it took so long, to be honest. He supposes his shoots with Toni were meant to create the illusion of monogamy.

 

The guys are both betas—Tim and Nathan—and they bring greetings from Juanita. It’s all very normal, almost formal even, when they’re in makeup and wardrobe.

 

And then it gets weird. Jean wants to shoot with the three of them at once. To make matters even more awkward, Nathan enjoys Derek’s touch a little more than he or Tim is comfortable with. He gets a little too close when Jean instructs him to kneel at Derek’s feet and bare his neck, leaning into Derek’s thigh with his nose more or less, well….

 

Derek gets a hand in Nathan’s hair and pulls him back sharply, and the camera clicks. He’s sure it’ll be a beautiful shot.

 

Unfortunately Nathan doesn’t seem to get the hint, because he continues to leak arousal all over the place, and when Derek gets too close, Nathan gets up on his tiptoes and presses a kiss to his mouth.

 

Derek has him flat on his face on the floor before he’s even aware of reacting. “Would you give us a minute, Jean?” he says pleasantly as Nathan squirms in mortification.

 

“Whatever you need,” Jean says.

 

Ordinarily Derek would expect Tim to back his packmate up, but this behavior is so out of line, he’s probably embarrassed.

 

“We need to talk,” Derek says evenly.

 

“Let me up,” Nathan snarls.

 

Derek holds him down easily. He’s pissed. “Not until we get a few things straight. First of all, what you did constitutes a bad touch. I said no kissing, remember?”

 

Nathan says nothing.

 

“Good. I know I don’t have to call your alpha and have her explain the meaning of consensual.”

 

That’s probably the least idle threat Derek’s ever made. Juanita would castrate him before he could embarrass her further. Honestly, everyone should know better, but particularly betas with a tough female alpha. Obviously Nathan’s an idiot.

 

Finally he lets Nathan up enough to roll over, which he does, baring his neck in humiliation.

 

“Get up,” Derek says. “You’re done here. Tim and I will finish without you.”

 

Nathan slinks out.

 

Tim looks at Derek, expression rueful, and rubs a hand over the back of his neck. “Is it wrong if I’m a little turned on right now?”

 

Jean comes back in then, saving Derek from having to answer and raising his eyebrows in question. “Looks like it’s just the two of you,” he says with false cheer. “Take it from the top?”

 

When Derek tells Stiles about it later that night, he gets an uncharacteristic silence. “Stiles?”

 

Stiles inhales sharply. “Yeah. Sorry. Are you okay?”

 

Derek doesn’t know why he wasn’t expecting that. The shock makes him think about what happened, how lucky he is he didn’t react worse. If Nathan had tried to get his mouth near Derek’s abs—

 

He could laugh off the question, but it’s too important; he won’t. “Fine,” he says. “Promise.”

 

“Ugh, tell me they at least fired him.”

 

At that Derek allows himself a small smile. “I made him eat concrete and kicked him out. But I think Darcy called his alpha, which is worse.”

 

“I hope she puts him on toilet duty,” Stiles says wistfully. Then: “Oh, hey, did I tell you about our latest Law and Society assignment?”

 

He hasn’t yet, so Derek leans back into the couch to listen.

 

*

 

In April Darcy breaks the news that they’re branching out into expanded web content, which means some punk kid is probably going to be tweeting about Derek.

 

Ugh.

 

But there’s nothing he can do about it, and even with the expanded stuff he still won’t be working more than a few days a month. He can handle the exposure.

 

“Don’t let them post a picture of you naked,” Stiles advises over the phone. “The Internet is forever, man.”

 

Considering Derek’s life, being ogled on the Internet doesn’t rank very highly on his list of concerns. “Thank you for that sage advice,” he says, imagining Stiles’s grin at his wry delivery. “Unfortunately, I’m not in the market for a publicist at the moment.”

 

Stiles snorts. “Please, if I was your publicist your ass would be plastered all over Tumblr.” Then he sighs. “And are you sure? ’Cause it would be really awesome if I didn’t have to update my résumé, you know I hate that.”

 

“What’s a Tumblr?” Derek asks, and successfully distracts Stiles from his halfhearted attempts to weasel his way out of begging for a summer job like a respectable college student.

 

He finds out later that his ass is all over Tumblr anyway, albeit clothed and not attached to his real name. He wants to ask Stiles what the numbers in the corner mean, but he’s afraid of the answer, and if he lets on that he’s been searching the website Stiles will probably weasel his pseudonym out of him.

 

Derek is not equipped to handle Stiles and his work intersecting on any level.

 

Anyway, Stiles mentions a job fair taking place at the college between finals, and Derek figures that’s that. He’s a little disappointed—in all likelihood it means Stiles will be in Sunnydale rather than Beacon Hills this summer—but it’s not like Derek doesn’t drive up once a week to see the pack anyway. He can still do it when it’s just Stiles.

 

He already still does it when it’s just Stiles, but acknowledging that means letting his brain go to bad places.

 

The day after Stiles’s finals are over, he sends Derek a quick text: got a job. Good thing my lease starts nxt wk. Want 2 help me move?

 

Moving sucks, but Derek ends up helping anyway.

 

And then it’s May, time for the first of Derek and Toni’s pregnancy photoshoots. Derek was up until three on the phone with Scott, because he was freaking out about his date with Allison, so Derek’s not his freshest when he pulls into the parking lot. He stumbles through the building mostly on autopilot, grunting at Darcy when he passes her at the desk, and doesn’t really wake up until Justin in makeup finishes with him. He can smell lingering traces of Toni and knows she was in here first, and now she’s probably in the studio with Jean, making sure the lighting’s set up properly. Most of it doesn’t register because Derek is tired, okay?

 

That’s the only excuse he can think of when he walks into the studio and surprise, there’s Stiles.

 

Derek stops.

 

Nobody else does, because everyone else in the studio—Toni, Jean, Stiles—is human, and they didn’t notice him come in.

 

Until they do. “Hey, Derek,” Toni says cheerfully from where she’s lounging on a set bed, her flowy maternity top pushed up around her belly a little. “Look, Darcy hired a minion! Isn’t he adorable?”

 

Fuck.

 

“Holy shit,” Stiles says.

 

Toni smirks. “I told you my scene partner was hot.”

 

Christ. “Hi, Stiles,” Derek says, suddenly even more exhausted. “Congratulations on that summer job.”

 

And then Toni gets it. “Wait, you know each other? That means—hey, is this your human?” She makes a face like she knows exactly how that sounds. “I mean, you know what I mean.”

 

Because they talk, is the thing, between set rearrangements and lighting changes and in makeup. Derek keeps details vague on purpose because it’s awkward talking about the kid you’re more than half in love with when you can’t just own up and admit it.

 

Seriously, Derek’s life.

 

“Is this going to be awkward?” Jean asks as he fidgets with the settings on his camera.

 

“No,” Stiles says at the same time Derek says “Yes,” because it’s Stiles and everything Stiles does is awkward.

 

Jean doesn’t miss a beat. “Okay, then. Stiles, I’ve got a folder full of clippings of Derek’s earlier shoots you should look at before you start.” Derek basically chokes on his tongue, but Jean doesn’t seem to notice. “Derek, you join Toni on the set for now. I’ll be ready to start soon.”

 

 Derek doesn’t look at Stiles. If he has to be in the same room as Stiles while he pores over oversexualized pictures of Derek faking intimacy with strangers (and Toni), he’s damn well not going to look at him while he does it.

 

Sadly he can’t do anything about smelling him.

 

“Are you okay?” Toni asks him quietly about five minutes into the shoot. He has his hand on her stomach and his face pressed to the side of her head, partly for the look of it and partly to try to block out the scent of Stiles’s nervous arousal.

 

He also has his body closer than usual to hers, and—

 

His entire life, Derek’s had to practice self-control. But he mastered it when he was still a beta, when he didn’t feel things as intensely, when he had a different set of drives—hell, when his body was different. The past two years, Derek has come up with a pretty good idea of why there are so very few single young alphas. Because ever since the night he killed Peter, Derek’s been walking around with a semi. He deals with it (a train of thought he shuts down because Stiles is in the room with him), but he knows enough to realize it’ll be like this until he finds a steady partner. He’s always had enough control, even in shoots with Toni, to keep barely decent from sliding right into not safe for work.

 

Until now.

 

“This is mortifying,” Derek mutters just loud enough for Toni’s ears.

 

Toni turns her head and grins at him a little. “I’d be flattered, but”—she glances meaningfully at Stiles—“I don’t think it has anything to do with me.”

 

God. “Sorry,” Derek mumbles.

 

Toni pats his hand. “Hey, it’s not like you didn’t tell me I wasn’t your type.”

 

He laughs into her hair. At least she’s cool about it.

 

A few minutes later, Stiles’s heart rate kicks up a notch—Juanita, Derek figures, but he’s distracted because Toni’s scent has gone sour. He pauses with his fingers on her wrist, sensing her discomfort. “You okay?”

 

She takes a deep breath through her nose, then lets it out slowly. “Yeah, just—”

 

Her stomach growls.

 

“Does it hurt?” He could take the pain, if that’s the case, but he won’t do it without her permission.

 

She shakes her head. “No, it’s—”

 

Derek takes a small step back as her scent goes sort of… mustard-colored. “Take five, Jean!” he says quickly. Toni’s about to lose her lunch.

 

“It’s not even the morning,” Toni moans miserably. “Fuck. Derek, I’m so sorry, I’ll be back as soon as I can.”

 

“Don’t worry about it.” There’s nothing she can do about pregnancy-related nausea. He’s not going to make her feel bad about it.

 

Unfortunately this sort of leaves him at loose ends with Stiles in the room reviewing Derek’s portfolio.

 

He winces. He can hear Toni retching in the bathroom. Sometimes alpha senses aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. The sound makes him want to be sick, so he takes the only distraction available to him: he drops down into the chair next to Stiles.

 

“This the guy who made a pass?” Stiles asks, shoving the book toward him.

 

Derek glances down. None of the pictures of Nathan made the final print run because Darcy was pissed, but they’re here in the portfolio. Stiles just tapped the one where he has his face pressed against the front of Derek’s jeans. “Yeah. Why?” he asks dryly. “You gonna beat him up for me?”

 

Stiles looks up at him through his eyelashes. “I do know a couple good itching spells. Or I could curse him with limp dick. Just saying, the offer’s on the table.”

 

Derek is so fucked. “I’ll keep that in mind,” he promises, and tries not to watch when Stiles turns the page, because those are the pictures from the shoot where they found out Toni was pregnant.

 

He can’t watch Stiles discover that part of him, though he doesn’t know why.

 

Luckily that’s when the door swings open and Darcy storms in, smelling frantic orange and kind of like recycled oatmeal. Derek makes a face.

 

Darcy says, “We have a problem,” and that’s when Derek realizes Toni’s too sick to continue the shoot.

 

“We can just reschedule for tomorrow,” Derek points out. “It’s not like I have a real job.”

 

“I need to get the pictures to editing tonight or we can’t make print deadline.” She runs a hand through her hair. “We pushed this shoot as late as we could for maximum baby bump. I hate to ask, but do you think we could use the shots with you and Nathan? I’ll probably have to pay him extra since we kicked him out, but—”

 

Derek isn’t sure what Darcy sees on his face—he definitely doesn’t want the shots with Nathan going public, because like hell he wants to be associated with that asshole—but she stops talking.

 

Then he realizes she isn’t looking at him at all.

 

Oh fuck.

 

Because beside him, Stiles has his hands linked behind his back in a stretch, and his T-shirt is riding up, and then he unlinks his stupid pornographic fingers and cracks his neck and—

 

Derek bites the inside of his lip with actual fang, but it doesn’t help. He can see the wheels in Darcy’s head spinning. Hell, he can smell himself, smell Stiles, and that’s so much worse. He knows she can smell them too.

 

“You, new kid.” She snaps her fingers until Stiles looks at her. “What’s your name again?”

 

“Uh, Stiles.”

 

“Nice to meet you again, Stiles,” she says briskly. “I’m Darcy. You ever do any modeling?”

 

Derek does not whimper. Even though he really wants to.

 

Stiles gapes a little. Derek dares to hope that this expression will put her off this terrible idea, but no such luck. “No?”

 

“Well!” She claps her hands. “First time for everything. Derek was a novice when he started with us too, weren’t you, Derek?”

 

Fuck this job. Fuck his life. Just fuck everything.

 

“Yeah,” Derek says.

 

“So, minor delay!” Darcy spins back toward the door. “Congratulations, kid, you just got promoted. I’m ordering a sandwich tray since it looks like we’ll be here late. Get Stiles into makeup!”

 

In uncomfortable silence, they watch her leave. Then Stiles clears his throat. “Uh, is this going to be weird? Because I could say no.”

 

Derek swallows and tries not to give too much away. “It’s fine. You did say you wanted someone to pay you to stand around and be attractive.” He pauses. “Unless you’ve changed your mind. Then you should tell Darcy where to stick it.”

 

“Only if I can hide behind you when I tell her.” Stiles exhales shakily. “Okay. I can do this. Right?”

 

Derek raises his eyebrows.

 

“Right.” He gets up. “I guess I’ll just….”

 

“Stiles.”

 

Stiles pauses, looking back.

 

“Makeup is that way.” Derek points.

 

Before he can panic too much, Toni returns from the bathroom, sweaty and pale, and plunks down next to him. “So I saw your boy in makeup. Looks like I’m trading places with him for the rest of the day.”

 

“You could just go home,” Derek says. What he means is Please go home, I don’t need any more witnesses. “And he’s not my boy.”

 

She snorts. “As if. Don’t make me present the evidence against you.”

 

Why has Derek not learned his lesson about making friends with sassy humans? He sighs and turns to Jean. “I know Toni and I usually just read the notes and then do our own thing, but….”

 

Jean doesn’t look up from changing his lens. “If you’re asking me to explicitly tell you how to manhandle your boyfriend for the camera, I can do that.”

 

“You’re a wonderful human being,” Derek tells him, because Stiles has lectured him about Star Wars one too many times and now he quotes the Special Edition to be irritating.

 

“I’m going to ask you for three set changes,” Jean says. Derek hates set changes. He never feels like he can get back into the same groove once he’s been interrupted. “Now go help them dress the scene. We can’t put you and Stiles in the one we use for you and Toni.”

 

Derek’s just glad to have something to do, even if setting up a fake bedroom makes his brain try to go to bad places again. At least it’s not a real bed, just some boards set up on concrete blocks and dressed in pillows and blankets. It’ll hold their weight, but it’s in no way sexy. Not like a real bed would be, a bed where their scents have seeped into the mattress—

 

Derek needs to get a grip.

 

Probably two kinds of grip, but he is not going there with Stiles in the next room.

 

Except Stiles isn’t in the next room anymore.

 

Derek smells him before he sees him, and that’s bad enough: soap, and old books, orange and vanilla, overlaid with makeup powder underscored with arousal and wrapped up in Derek. Which Derek wonders about until he turns around and oh.

 

Stiles is wearing Derek’s shirt—the one he wore in this morning and left hanging up in wardrobe. The soft purple cotton stretches tight across Stiles’s shoulders and biceps, but it’s loose around his chest and midsection and just barely kisses the top of the ridiculously low-slung thin pajama bottoms he’s wearing. They’re too long for him, pooling a bit on the floor, and his feet are bare. Stiles has long, bony, sexy feet, and his toes look like he could use them to hang upside down from trees.

 

Derek can’t even. He’s going to kill Darcy. At least if this shoot doesn’t kill him first.

 

He doesn’t realize he’s staring until Stiles catches his gaze and flushes. “How do I look?” he asks with his arms held out to his sides, which makes the shirt ride up. His posture says he doesn’t care, but the crack in his voice gives him away.

 

After disregarding the first six things he wants to say, Derek clears his throat. “Your uh. Your stomach—” Fuck, okay. Get it together, Hale. “Here, let me.”

 

Stiles freezes like he’s afraid to move, and Derek pulls at the fabric a little, trying not to get distracted by the warmth under his hands. He can practically see Stiles’s nipples through the shirt, which is not a good epiphany to have when he’s standing this close. The deep vee of the collar leaves way too much chest exposed for Derek’s comfort level as it is.

 

Before he can talk himself out of it, he reaches for the waist of the pajama pants. “These are sort of….” Indecent. Panic-inducing. Falling down.

 

Stiles makes a dismissive noise and swats Derek’s hands away. “Dude, they’re supposed to be like that. Leave them. Darcy will kill me.”

 

Not if Derek kills her first. But he nods, swallows, and takes a step back.

 

Stiles smiles weakly. “So?”

 

Derek clears his throat again and says roughly, “You’ll do.”

 

“Ready?” Jean asks without looking at them. He doesn’t wait for an answer either. “Stiles, on the bed, please. We won’t do anything too complicated today since it’s your first shoot, so we’ll just stick to a simple narrative: it’s late, you’ve been in bed, Derek just got home. Derek, I want you standing with one hand on the doorknob like you just came in.”

 

Derek nods silently and does as he’s told, but when he turns his head to look at Stiles, he feels it like a punch to the gut. He’s seen Stiles like this countless times—in Stiles’s bedroom, at Scott’s, sprawled on the couch at Derek’s loft—and those were moments of real vulnerability. There’s no reason this parody should affect him like it does, except maybe that at home, at Scott’s, Stiles doesn’t look over to Derek like he is now, chewing on his lip, seeking reassurance.

 

For the second time in his limited modeling career, Derek doesn’t have to fake the expression on his face.

 

He’s in so much trouble.

 

Stiles positions himself on his back and splays his legs a little, bends the right one at the knee so his foot almost touches his left leg. He has one arm above his head, making Derek’s shirt ride up so Derek can see the hair on his belly. Everything about him is soft and warm and welcoming, an impression only made more powerful by the fact that Derek knows how competent Stiles really is.

 

“That’s perfect,” Jean praises as he clicks away. “Stiles, stretch a little like you just woke up. Derek, Stiles is drawing you in. You can’t stay away.”

 

That’s a little on point, Derek thinks with a flash of irritation, but he takes a step forward anyway and bites back a whimper as Stiles writhes in the sheets like Derek’s just disturbed him from a vey satisfying nap.

 

Somehow Derek finds himself sitting on the end of the “bed” with one of Stiles’s feet in his lap and his hand on Stiles’s ankle. Only the hard wood beneath him and the click of Jean’s camera remind him this isn’t as intimate as it feels.

 

When Jean says, “Good idea, Derek, how about a foot massage” and Stiles follows with a cheeky raised brow and “Yeah, Derek, how about—oh my God,” Derek doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Touching Stiles like this will never be a hardship. He just doesn’t know if he’ll ever be able to stop.

 

Derek is an accomplished foot massager. When he and Laura first moved away from Beacon Hills, they were on the run a lot, literally as well as figuratively. Sometimes Laura worked long hours at crappy jobs just for something to keep her busy. She never complained about the hours, but she made Derek rub her feet. Maybe she knew he needed something to do for penance.

 

Rubbing Laura’s feet was never like this.

 

Derek runs his thumbs up the center of Stiles’s foot with steady pressure, then branches out to draw circles on the ball of his foot. It would be better with some lotion, but Derek’s half hard already. If he brings any kind of slick into the equation, it’s over.

 

“Is this a secret werewolf superpower?” Stiles asks with a happy rumble as Derek smooths his hands down the sides of his feet. “Is this how Scott always gets Allison to forgive him?”

 

Derek concentrates on circling his fingers around Stiles’s ankle, because if he looks up at him writhing on the set bed in a way that’ll leave his scent all over the sheets, he won’t be able to stop thinking about him doing it in Derek’s bed.

 

Too late.

 

“Pretty sure Scott just uses the puppy face.”

 

Stiles snorts, and Derek looks up and meets his gaze almost by accident. “The McCall puppy eyes are lady killers,” he acknowledges, pulling his foot back and offering the other in a gesture of pure entitlement. “Thank God he’s never taught you, you’d be unstoppable with those things. Oh my God, do that again.”

 

Derek shoves the pad of his thumb into Stiles’s heel. Suddenly he can’t break eye contact. “Here?”

 

Stiles gurgles. Any lingering tension oozes out of him. His legs fall farther open and—

 

Stiles licks his lips and flushes when Derek rubs over that spot again, and Derek becomes even more aware of how little those pajama pants are hiding when he takes a deep breath and gets a nose full of sex smells.

 

Derek deserves a goddamn medal for not looking at Stiles’s crotch. Or for doing anything but what he wants to do—what he’s wanted to do ever since, oh, who is he kidding?—which is stalk up Stiles’s body on his hands and knees and rub his face all over him.

 

Okay, maybe not just his face.

 

Knowing Stiles is hard does nothing for Derek’s self-control.

 

“Okay, enough foreplay,” Jean says, and Stiles chokes out a noise of protest.

 

And suddenly Derek doesn’t have a reason not to stalk up and rub his face all over Stiles’s body. Other than self-preservation, but Derek’s never really gotten the hang of that. He lowers Stiles’s foot to the mattress, twists his body around, and throws a leg over both of Stiles’s so he has Stiles caged beneath him. Jean catches the whole thing from two feet away, but Derek never looks at him. Instead he lowers his head and bites at the fabric of Stiles’s—Derek’s—shirt.

 

Stiles’s heartbeat skips.

 

“You let Darcy talk you into this?” Derek growls.

 

Stiles swallows. “Into what?”

 

(“Stiles, play with his hair,” Jean interjects, and Derek would be annoyed except it feels awesome.)

 

“Wearing my shirt.”

 

“Uh.” Unacceptably, Stiles stills his fingers. “I didn’t know. That’s kind of, like, werewolf manipulation, huh?”

 

“Just a little.”

 

Jean makes a dissatisfied sound. “Closer, please. Your viewers are dying of blue balls.”

 

Stiles tips his head back to look at him—“That’s not an actual thing”—and Derek stares at the lean stretch of Stiles’s throat against the sheets. His teeth itch.

 

To distract himself, he pinches the skin of Stiles’s exposed hip. “Look at me, not at the camera,” Derek tells him as he crawls up a little farther.

 

Which leaves him in a fairly obvious position of power over Stiles’s barely clad body. It’s not the best time to realize he forgot to ask Stiles about his boundaries.

 

“But you’re so hard to look at,” Stiles whines, an obvious lie. He scratches at the back of Derek’s neck with his fingernails, and Derek shudders. It’s blatantly sexual in a way he has been trying really hard not to anticipate from Stiles.

 

“Yeah, your job is so tough.” Derek shoves himself upright so he can unbutton his shirt, starting with the cuffs. The change in position means he’s almost sitting in Stiles’s lap. He doesn’t have room for delusions about how much Stiles is enjoying himself.

 

“Oh God, are you going to take that off while sitting on top of me? Did I drown kittens in a previous life?”

 

Just for that, Derek wiggles his ass unnecessarily.

 

Stiles lets go of his hair and fists the sheets instead. “You’re mean.”

 

Derek pauses with three buttons undone. “Do you need to stop?” He doesn’t actually want to make Stiles uncomfortable. It’s just—well, he’s been trying to subtly acknowledge Stiles’s attraction to him for months, and subtlety isn’t working.

 

“No. I’m fine.” Stiles huffs and turns his face away from the camera. “I’m not used to you rubbing my face in it, is all.”

 

What?

 

Derek stops, because the only face rubbing he wants to do is his own, all over Stiles’s everything. “What?”

 

Stiles swallows and clenches his jaw but doesn’t look at him. “I can’t believe you’re going to make me say it.” He sounds almost angry. “I thought we were friends, but now you’re making me actually confess to my epic crush on you. In front of witnesses.”

 

There are so many things Derek wants to say to that that he can’t say anything. Fortunately Jean cuts in with, “You should help him take his shirt off.”

 

Stiles flushes and reaches for the next button down, but Derek catches his hands. “He meant me.”

 

Stiles gapes like a fish but sits up as much as he can so Derek can pull his shirt off, even though he practically reeks of discomfort. Derek helps him back down again and then says, “We forgot to talk about your limits,” because he’s about to get very distracted and if he’s not careful touching will happen.

 

“Are you serious right now?” Stiles exclaims. “Because if you can’t tell by now that there is actually nothing I wouldn’t let you do to me, I—”

 

Derek pins his wrists and kisses him.

 

Over the past year, Derek has spent a lot of time thinking about Stiles’s mouth. It’s wide and expressive and his lips are an utter distraction, and when he parts them under Derek’s mouth it’s the best thing ever. He slides his tongue into Stiles’s mouth and swallows the sound of approval that vibrates against his chest.

 

Then Stiles tenses and tries to pull away and Derek figures he should explain so Stiles doesn’t think he’s an actual asshole.

 

The problem with that is now he has to look at half-naked, kiss-flustered Stiles while he does it. Derek really didn’t think that one through. He presses one finger to Stiles’s (wet, full) lips and keeps him pinned one-handed. “Just—let me talk for a second.”

 

A heartbeat, a click of the camera, then Stiles nods.

 

“Physical attraction is not the same as wanting to be with someone,” Derek says awkwardly. “Or being ready to have a relationship.” Stiles continues to glare. Derek sighs. “Stiles, I’ve been trying to date you for eight months. We talk twice a week. I drive up to Sunnydale to see you three times a month when you know I’m only in town for work one day. But you won’t even let me pay to take you out to a movie, and then that thing with your TA—I thought you were trying to tell me you wanted to take it slow.”

 

“Oh my God, you two deserve each other,” Jean mutters as Stiles stares at Derek like he’s just grown another head.

 

Derek wants to tell Jean to get lost, but if he does they’ll never finish this shoot and Darcy will kill him.

 

Stiles finally finds his voice. “Can I talk now?”

 

Derek moves his hands away in agreement.

 

“There’s slow and then there’s glacial,” Stiles says, taking advantage of his freedom to settle his hands on Derek’s hips. Then he goes the extra mile and starts untucking Derek’s shirt from his dress pants. “The TA thing was me trying to make you jealous so you’d make a move, PS. I would like to get laid sometime this century. Also, don’t think this communication problem is one-sided.”

 

(“Are you getting this?” Jean says over his shoulder, and Derek spares a second to be mortified because he just remembered Toni is live tweeting this whole ordeal.)

 

Jean makes a familiar gesture and Derek holds his arms out to the sides so Stiles can finish unbuttoning his shirt and push it off his shoulders. “We are really not doing those set changes,” he says darkly. They are getting this shoot over with and going somewhere private, like the wardrobe room with the door locked. Jean can kiss his ass.

 

“Yes, fine, whatever.” Click. “You’ll pay for it with an outdoor shoot next time.”

 

Ugh. Derek opens his mouth to voice his protest…

 

…but then he notices the way Stiles’s eyes have glazed over, and gets distracted. “Are you objectifying me?” He can’t keep the smile from his face.

 

Stiles nods dazedly. “Yeah. Yes. Absolutely.” He runs his fingernails up Derek’s bare back.

 

Derek shivers. “Okay. Carry on.”

 

Apparently this much skin-on-skin contact makes him stupid and slow. It’s the only explanation he can think of for why he suddenly finds himself on his back with Stiles more or less sitting on his erection, leaned forward on his hands with his mouth an inch from Derek’s.

 

Screw that. Derek surges up and meets him halfway, drags him into a kiss that’s all teeth and tongue and years of pent-up sexual tension. Stiles kisses like he’s starving, like he’ll die if he doesn’t get enough of Derek’s mouth.

 

This photoshoot needs to be over.

 

“You should take my pants off,” Derek decides when the kiss breaks.

 

Stiles drops his head down to Derek’s shoulder, his hair tickling at Derek’s chin. “You should stop saying shit like that when I’m not wearing any underwear.” But he inches backward—and isn’t that fun for Derek—until he can get his hands on Derek’s belt, and several awkward seconds later Derek’s lying on a fake bed in a pair of boxer-briefs even he thinks are indecent.

 

Stiles says, “Oh my God, this is the best job ever,” and proceeds to bite Derek’s nipple.

 

Jesus. “You have five minutes to get any remaining pictures,” Derek tells Jean.

 

“You are seriously overestimating my self-control if you think I can keep this R-rated for five minutes,” Stiles says faintly into the skin between Derek’s pectorals.

 

Derek does a bad job suppressing a shudder and sits up, arranging Stiles’s legs on either side of his. “This is the part where we pretend to have sex.” He extends the claws on both hands—to get the shot, they need Stiles’s legs bare. Two quick rips later, the pajama legs lie in tatters. Stiles never flinches, just bunches the blankets around his ass so the pictures won’t show that he’s still nominally dressed.

 

When he speaks, though, his voice is thick, rough, and Derek can hear the furious rhythm of his heartbeat. “So I’m going to need you to repeat the clothes-shredding thing at a later date.”

 

With the way Stiles makes him lose control, that’s probably inevitable. “Noted,” Derek says, and then reaches up far enough to get his hands in Stiles’s silk-soft hair so he can pull him into another kiss.

 

This one stays softer than the others, almost gentle, even though Stiles is pumping out enough sex hormones to render Viagra obsolete. Derek puts his left hand on the small of his back, swallows the hitch in Stiles’s breath, drags his right hand down until it spans Stiles’s neck, until he can feel Stiles’s pulse thundering under his thumb, feel him swallow.

 

Derek’s cock jerks in appreciation and Stiles shudders and bites his lip.

 

“So on a scale of one to ten,” Stiles says, leaning his forehead against Derek’s. The words vibrate against his skin, electrifying everything. “How much of a thing do you have for my neck.”

 

Well, it’s not like Derek thought he was being subtle. He laughs and squeezes, just a little, practically an accident.

 

Stiles’s breath hitches.

 

Derek flips him onto his back, shoves up between his legs, and presses his fangs to Stiles’s Adam’s apple. “Maybe a six.”

 

So he oversold that a little.

 

“That’s—” Stiles cuts himself off when Derek sucks a hickey low on the right side. “That’s such a lie, oh my God. You are a lying liar who—you are actually lying through your teeth.”

 

Derek pinches the skin at his waist, makes him arch for the camera. He’s never telling Stiles the real number.

 

For a minute he makes Stiles hold that position, rubs his stubble against Stiles’s neck, knowing just what this looks like through the camera lens: like Stiles is coming his brains out and Derek’s following after him. Then he throws himself off to one side and stares at the ceiling and tries to think unsexy thoughts.

 

“What, no, why are you stopping?”

 

Derek snorts and turns onto his side. It’s uncomfortable as hell on the fake bed, but he deals with it. “One, because you were about to cream your pants.”

 

Stiles opens his mouth to protest, then glances down at his body and shrugs. “Okay, fair.”

 

When Derek laughs, Stiles tries to smother him with the pillow. “And two?”

 

“And two,” Derek continues after wrestling the pillow back and shoving it under his head, “we needed to shoot some after scenes so we can be done.”

 

Stiles blinks, then presses his body closer for a few more camera clicks. “I withdraw my objection.”

 

Apparently that’s the last straw for Jean, because he puts the camera down with a sigh and says, “Good enough. Now get out.”

 

Derek doesn’t actually need any encouragement, but Stiles drags him into the wardrobe room anyway, half tripping over his shredded pajama pants. Derek barely has the door closed before he shoves Stiles up against it and claws through the remaining fabric.

 

“Wow, just like old times, huh?” Stiles says, but his voice is strangled because Derek just wrapped his hand around his dick and started stroking. He’s so wet he’s practically dripping, and sometime soon Derek’s going to explore that in depth, whether he always leaks like that or if this is just because they’ve been hard for an hour, but right now—

 

Derek kisses him and rubs his wrist against the head of Stiles’s cock on the downstroke, and Stiles keens into his mouth as he comes hot and sticky over Derek’s hand.

 

A minute of breathless kisses later, Stiles whimpers again and Derek pulls his hand away to lick it clean. Stiles watches with dark eyes, wets his lips. “Okay,” he says hoarsely. “Maybe not quite like old times.”

 

And then suddenly he kneels at Derek’s feet, shoves his boxer-briefs down to his knees, and shuts himself up really effectively.

 

Except for the part where he makes the kind of noise that says he can’t get enough of Derek’s dick in his mouth.

 

Derek threads his hands into Stiles’s hair and tries not to choke him too much. Stiles doesn’t cooperate—every time Derek holds him back he fucking moans. After barely a minute Derek gives up trying to be polite and fucks into his mouth, moving one hand down to his throat so he can feel everything from both sides.

 

Twelve seconds after that, the scent hits him, fresh and heady. “Are you—” God, looking down at Stiles when he has a mouthful of dick is dangerous. “Are you getting hard again?”

 

Stiles blinks guilelessly and rolls Derek’s balls with his fingers and it’s all over. “Stiles—” He makes a half-assed attempt to pull away, but Stiles literally has him by the balls, and he doesn’t let go. Derek comes in his mouth, to the steady massage of Stiles’s tongue on his slit. His head spins and his knees go to water and there’s come dripping out of the corner of Stiles’s mouth. Somehow Derek finds the strength to yank him to his feet and kiss him against the door again.

 

“Well,” Stiles says when Derek finishes licking his taste of his mouth. “That wasn’t exactly going slow. Which, you know, I’m not complaining about, because that was awesome, but uh, we didn’t just get, like, werewolf married or something, did we?”

 

Derek does not have enough brain cells to devote to this right now. His body feels loose, warm, and his brain is more of the same. “What?”


Stiles says, “The Internet is very conflicted on the issue.”

 

Seriously, Derek doesn’t want to know. “If you love me, you won’t ever elaborate on that.”

 

“Please.” Stiles snorts derisively and butts his head against Derek’s. “We both know my love for you and my inability to shut up are not mutually exclusive.”

 

All Derek’s breath leaves him in a rush. He wraps Stiles up in his arms as tight as he dares, because what else can he do? He’ll never be able to say anything past the lump in his throat.

 

Stiles takes his reaction for panic and pulls back, smelling sour-nervous. “Too much? I know it’s soon, you don’t have to say it back yet, just—”

 

Fuck. Derek kisses him, hard and decisive, and makes himself say the words. “It’s not. Just.” He needs Stiles to understand without having to say everything out loud. “The last time I said that to someone I spent ten years regretting it.”

 

Stiles’s eyes widen in horror and he pales, but he obviously knows Derek too well to say anything. Instead he just nods, which makes their noses slide together.

 

Finally Derek says, “When I marry you, you’ll know it” and drags a sputtering Stiles into the shower.