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The Beacon Hills Firefighters Fund

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“Would you like to donate to the Beacon Hills Firefighters Fund?”

Stiles gapes at the specimen of a man standing beside his car, holding out a giant rubber boot with a cheerful “DONATE” sign taped to it. The man is tall, dark, bearded, and frowning, though Stiles can’t tell if the latter is because he’s genuinely unhappy or just protecting his eyes from the sun’s glare.

“Uh,” Stiles says, because it’s too early for him to think when he’s looking at a firefighter who might as well have walked out of his wet dreams.

The guy raises his eyebrows and gestures with the boot. The way his T-shirt stretches over his shoulders and biceps should be illegal. “Do you want to donate?” he asks again.

“I, uh, sure!” Stiles says, scrambling for his wallet. Anything to keep Sexy Firefighter at his window just a bit longer. “What did you say it was for?”

“The Beacon Hills Firefighters Fund. We raise money to provide aid to the families of firefighters who are injured on the job,” the guy says. “We also donate a percentage to the community food bank.”

“Wow, so you guys are really up on the whole saving lives thing,” Stiles joked.

Sexy Firefighter’s eyebrows dip down. “Uh. Yes?”

Well, that fell flatter than a pancake. Stiles drops his money in the boot and ducks his head, hoping the guy can’t see the way his cheeks are burning. “Ah, well. That’s very good to hear. My dad’s the sheriff–which, I mean, that’s not quite the same thing, but it’s in the whole public service thing–so I’m a hundred percent on board with that. Hope you guys get a lot more money. Wave those boots!”

Thankfully, the light turns green right then, and Stiles shouts a quick “bye” and drives off before his mouth can embarrass him any further.

Sexy Firefighter’s bewildered look haunts him for the rest of the day.

***

He’s in the coffee shop after work, having mostly put the incident out of his mind, although he is planning on getting drunk with Scott and lamenting his awkwardness later. Stiles has just finished ordering his usual post-work smoothie when a soft voice behind him says, “I’ll pay for that.”

Stiles damn near jumps out of his skin. Sexy Firefighter is standing right there, and he gives Stiles a small smile before paying the barista.

Stiles gapes at him. “Um. Hi. Why are you paying for my smoothie?”

Sexy Firefighter hooks his thumbs in his belt loops and gives Stiles a frankly devastating smile. “Most people throw in five or ten bucks at most. I remember the people who throw in fifties.”

Fifty doll–” Stiles smacks his hand over his eyes. He didn’t even look at the cash he threw into the boot. “Oh my God.”

Sexy Firefighter laughs. “The Beacon Hills Fire Department thanks you for your generosity and would like to show that gratitude by buying you a drink.”

“Just the smoothie?” Stiles asks, his heart beating faster. “Or could I interest you in buying a harder drink?”

Sexy Firefighter’s eyebrows go up. “Very smooth.”

Stiles feels his face heat. “Yeah, well, that’s about as smooth as it gets from me. Fair warning.”

Sexy Firefighter holds out his hand. “I’m Derek Hale, and I’m free on Friday.”

Stiles shakes his hand. Derek has a very nice grip. “I’m Stiles Stilinski, and I’ll pick you up at six?”

Derek grins. “Six sounds great. I’ve got to head out, but I’m looking forward to that drink.” He pulls a business card out of his pocket and hands it over. “Call me, okay?”

Stiles grips the card like a lifeline. “Definitely.”

Derek walks out of the coffee shop, and Stiles has to shake himself out of watching him go.

Looks like he’ll be doing a lot less drunken lamenting tonight.