“Mom, I don’t want to watch Derek anymore.” Peter heard the whine of his niece’s voice through the crack of his door. When closed, his room was completely soundproofed, but he liked being able to hear what went on throughout the rest of the house even when he was studying.
“Give him to your Uncle Peter,” Talia’s voice was bored, a hint of annoyance bleeding through her tone.
Peter rolled his eyes. His sister never should have become a mother, as he so often told her, and the way she dealt with her children only drove his point home. He could hear the soft thumps that Laura’s steps made she walked up the stairs, and he stepped out of his bedroom to meet her at his door. Last time she had to knock, she’d almost dropped the baby she was currently holding—most likely because her own arms were hardly big enough to properly cradle a child in them.
Peter smiled down at her, flashing his eyes to make her giggle.
“He won’t stop fussing,” Laura explained as she passed her baby brother off. “I don’t want him if he’s going to start crying.”
Peter didn’t fault her; Derek could wail unlike any creature Peter had ever heard before. His cries were ear-splitting and headache-inducing, and if he wasn’t so adorable Peter might be less willing to take care of him. As it was, he balanced his nephew on his arm as he sat back at his desk, homework spread out in front of him.
He did his best to focus on his work despite the child he was now charge of. Derek was still so small, and he fit in the cradle of Peter’s arms like he was made to be there. He looked down at his nephew, a warmth unfurling in his chest that he hadn’t felt since he was a boy and he was innocent to the cruelties of life.
“Unca,” Derek said, spittle flying from his lips even as he formed the word again and again.
Peter stared down at him, blinking stupidly as he focused his hearing so intently Derek’s heartbeat sounded like gunshots in his ears. When the baby spoke again, it was so loud and clear that there was no mistaking what the boy had said.
With a breath that shook through his chest and left him feeling weightless, he raised Derek in front of his face so he could look the cub in his eyes. Derek said it again, and Peter’s heart cracked open, growing to make room for the baby in his hands until his love for Derek was all he knew, all he could feel.
Something snapped to life between them, a bond that Peter had only heard of and long since stopped dreaming of ever being gifted. His eyes shone so brightly that the blue shone against Derek’s skin, and the club clapped his hands together and giggled. He reached out, and Peter was helpless but to pull him forward so Derek’s small hands could pat his face and pet his cheeks.
“That’s right, sweetheart,” Peter said softly, softer than he had ever spoken before. “I’m Uncle Peter.”
And from that moment, Peter was gone.
Peter didn’t look down when Derek tugged at his pant leg. He knew the boy was standing behind him—he’d known as soon as Derek left the kitchen, his hearing always trained onto Derek’s heartbeat as long as the little one was in the house—but he didn’t give him any indication that he was aware of his presence.
Derek didn’t like to talk much, and while Talia paid it no mind, Peter was beginning to get worried. Derek could speak, and when he chose to, he spoke just fine. However, the times he deigned to speak were getting fewer and farther between and Peter wasn’t quite sure the cause.
Which was why Peter was ignoring his mate. The smell of his frustration was only growing, as was the force with which he was pulling on Peter’s pant leg—no doubt creasing the pressed fabric—and he continued to wait until Derek asked him for something, just like he knew he needed to.
“ Uncle Peter !” Derek finally whined, his little foot stomping the ground in frustration. Peter was sure the boy would have growled if he was able to.
Peter turned his torso so he could peer down at his nephew, and he smiled at the pout pulling the boy’s lips down. “Oh, hello, darling. How are you?”
Derek crossed his arms, his pudgy cheeks going ruddy. “That was mean!”
Peter crouched down, turning so he was facing the boy. “Derek,” he said softly, raising a hand for Derek to hold onto, his smaller fingers wrapping around Peter’s to hold his hand, “you know that you need to ask when you want something.”
Derek‘s pout deepened, but he grumbled out an annoyed sounding “I know.” Peter pulled him closer so that he could lay a kiss to his forehead, taking a greedy breath of his scent as he did so.
“Now, what can I do for you, sweetheart?”
“Mama said I couldn’t have’ny juice,” Derek told him, his voice barely above a whisper. Peter doubted that Talia would be listening anyway, but his discretion was probably for the best.
“Up,” Peter said, heart lifting when Derek immediately broke out into a blinding smile as he threw his arms straight into the air. Peter leaned down to grab him under the shoulders, lifting him up and balancing him on his hip. Peter knew he should stop carrying Derek places soon, but he figured it was okay as long as he didn’t make it a habit.
“Your room?” Derek asked, and Peter hummed a confirmation as he bussed a kiss to Derek’s forehead. Derek darted forward to kiss his cheek in turn, and Peter’s easy smile only grew as he walked them towards the locked door to his den.
Even since Talia banned them from the house, Peter had made sure to always have a supply of juice pouches locked inside his den. When he turned eighteen and was gifted the basement as his own space, he outfitted it to fit both his and Derek’s needs. If it ensured that Derek had another reason to come to him and fill his space with his scent, well, that only meant that it was a win-win for them both.
Peter was already snarling when Derek pushed into his den, his footsteps light as he climbed down the stairs into Peter’s basement apartment. The stench of salt was making Peter’s wolf pace around his consciousness, growling and snapping as he heard his mate sniffle even as he descended into Peter’s room.
He stayed where he was sitting, though he had to press his fingers into his thighs hard enough to bruise. All he wanted was to rush to Derek, but he knew it would be better if the boy came to him. Derek hopped off the last steps, like he did every single time, and it made some of Peter’s agitation fade away. His boy could only be so upset if he hopped down the last two steps.
It was only a few more steps before Peter could see him, and the anger that rushed through him had his eyes flashing electric blue when he took in the sight of his young mate.
“What is wrong, my heart?” Peter asked, unable to withhold the endearment when Derek was so upset, eyes shining with tears and cheeks blotchy red. His lower lip was quivering and he was sucking in gulps of air through his mouth as he tried to calm down.
Derek didn’t say anything, though Peter hadn’t expected him to. Rather, the boy shuffled forward and crawled into Peter’s lap, the sharp jut of his elbow digging into Peter’s gut and pulling a grunt from him before he managed to curl up over Peter’s thighs. Derek fit into his arms just like he had when he was baby, like he was made to fit in Peter’s arms, and Peter let the tense lines of his body relax under Derek’s little weight.
“L-Laura said I couldn't marry you,” Derek told him, the words muffled into the skin of Peter’s neck.
“Oh, cub,” Peter said quietly, wrapping Derek up in his arms. He had no idea what he was supposed to say to that. Encouraging him was most definitely not the right choice, but...it was all Peter wanted to do. His wolf was howling at the implication that his mate wanted him, and despite being in his mid-twenties his heart was making a valiant effort to beat out of his chest as though he was naught but a teenager.
“But it’s not fair , Uncle Peter! I want you!” The words were spoken with such conviction that it was impossible to believe they were anything but true. Derek’s scent was growing sour with frustration but his heart rate had remained perfectly steady and Peter...was a very weak man.
He cupped Derek’s face in his hands, pressing into the softness of his cheeks as he forced his nephew to make eye contact. “I love you,” Peter told him, unable to say anything else, and he pressed a kiss to Derek’s forehead that lingered for far too long. Derek shifted, made himself more comfortable, and before Peter could pull back Derek was grabbing his cheeks in turn and kissing him full on the lips.
He let his nephew smack noisy kisses to his lips, sitting as still as he could. His wolf wanted more, wanted to claim , but he only allowed himself the pleasure of wrapping his arms around Derek’s waist and holding him until he finally pulled back, sniffling a bit more before he curled forward and rested himself against Peter’s chest.
“I love you, Uncle Peter. Forever and ever, and I want to marry you.” Derek’s voice was small, though Peter said nothing. Rather, he ran his hand up and down Derek’s back, keeping him held tightly in the circle of his arms, locked away in his den.
Peter was still awake when Derek crashed through his bedroom door. It was half-past one, and Peter shot to his feet, fear crawling up his spine as his shift took over. The entire house was asleep, this late; his eyes glowed blue as his claws and fangs descended—ready to fight whatever it was that had Derek’s heart rate pumping so loudly.
He’d only just gotten to the bottom of the staircase when Derek fell off the last two steps and into his arms. It was instinct to catch him and pull him close. Derek was still small, and he fit so well in Peter’s arms, but the usual calm that came with having Derek cradled close was pushed aside by the distress Derek reeked of. His heart was still racing and his forehead with slick with sweat when he pushed his face into Peter’s neck. Peter breathed in deeper and—
His entire body went rigid. Derek’s scent was sharp, the spicy musk of rut bled through his natural smell, and despite being months away from thirty, his cock was hard by the time he’d exhaled. Derek was in rut. Jesus Christ, Peter had no idea what the fuck he was going to do.
“ Uncle Peter ,” Derek whined, sounding needy and helpless and so, so sweet. “Uncle Peter, please, I need you.”
“Derek—” he began, his voice failing when Derek rolled his hips, his own hardness dragging against the meat of Peter’s thigh in an enticing roll that let Peter feel everything . Derek’s groan was echoed by his own, and without thought, he slid his hands lower to rest over the slight curve of Derek’s ass. “ Fuck ,” Peter growled, slurred by his fangs. “Derek, you shouldn't be down here right now.”
Derek cried, his fingers tightening their hold on Peter’s shirt, claws slicing through the fabric and Peter’s skin. “No, no Uncle Peter, please . It hurts, and I can’t make it stop. I tried, I promise I tried but I need you, I need you !”
For a long moment, all Peter could hear was the roaring of his own heart and the wet gasping of Derek’s breath. Peter had always been a weak man where his nephew had been concerned, and from the very first moment the boy had said his name, he’d been wrapped around his little finger. Now was no different. Despite knowing that it was wrong, that it was so, so wrong, he felt his resolve crumbling.
Derek was still panting, rolling his hips. A pained whine left his throat, and that was all it took for Peter to snap. He bent enough that he could get his hands under Derek’s bare thighs and he pulled him up, carrying the boy to the armchair that sat in his living room. He had never been more glad for his apartment’s soundproofing than he was now. Middle of the night or not, he didn’t need to risk anyone hearing them.
He sat in the chair, Derek still in his lap. The boy was pliant as Peter turned him around, getting his thighs spread over his own and nestled into the crook of his legs. Pressing a hand to Derek’s chest, he reclined easily, melting into Peter’s body and tipping his head back onto Peter’s shoulder—exposing his throat deliciously.
Derek’s hands were tipped with claws, and Peter watched as they flexed against his thighs, fingers curling and uncurling as his entire body began to shake. He could remember his first rut, just barely, and he knew how hard going through puberty was. However, he hadn’t had a mate, and he could only imagine what it must be for like for Derek if his own wolf recognized the bond.
The boy quieted as Peter touched his bare thighs. He was only wearing a soiled pair of briefs, soaked through with precome, and one of Peter’s t-shirts. The little minx smelt intoxicating, wrapped up in Peter’s scent the way he was. His thighs were smooth as Peter dragged his fingers up them, pulling a delighted shiver from the boy as he did.
Peter knew that he couldn’t get anything out of this. While he had been fantasizing about Derek since the moment his wolf recognized him as his mate, it had never been like this. He imagined Derek older, well into adulthood, and built like his father. Peter remembered exactly how handsome Talia’s husband had been before he left, and in his thoughts he layered Derek’s scent with his father’s body to bring himself off.
Even though Derek was still so young, Peter’s wolf recognized him as his mate, and his own cock was straining inside of his sweatpants, pushing against the small of Derek’s back and leaking precome just from the way Derek smelt. He pushed his own arousal aside, ignoring it as well as he could, and he focused on the boy squirming in his lap.
“Uncle Peter, c’mon ,” Derek whined, and the petulant tone of impatience caused Peter to chuckle despite the situation.
“Be patient, darling,” Peter crooned, leaning down so he could rest his face in Derek’s neck and breathe him in, committing this scent to memory.
His hands trailed higher, slowly, the tips of his fingers barely doing anything more than tickling his skin. When he reached the band of his briefs, he only paused for a moment before he popped his claws to cut through them. The fabric fell away and Derek’s cock slapped up against his belly, so flushed that it was nearly purple. It had to have hurt.
Slowly, he trailed his hands inward, knowing that they would never be able to go back from this, knowing that should Talia ever find out, she’d have his head. There was a reason Peter had been so careful for so many years, but this would ruin that all. Derek whined, however, and Peter found that he didn’t care about anything other than easing his little mate’s suffering.
Derek’s dick was the length of his hand, and when Peter wrapped his fingers around it, only the slit was visible from the circle of his fist. While it should have turned him off, seeing Derek so small in his hand did nothing but make him harder, knowing that he was the first—and would be the last—person who would ever get to touch his mate in such a way.
Derek was his. Derek had always been his , and he always would be.
“Uncle Peter,” Derek moaned, his voice absolutely wrecked as he bucked up into Peter’s hand so strongly that he almost lost his hold. Peter felt sick for how hard he was.
He pushed his own feelings aside as he began to strip Derek’s cock. Peter was sure it would take multiple orgasms before the heat of his rut broke, and Peter knew they needed to get on with it. He was sure that it was going to take long, and he used his free hand to slide up the boy’s belly and touch his chest, gently touching and squeezing his nipples in a way that had the boy sobbing.
Derek’s release was bitter in the air, the scent so strong that Peter came apart, spilling into his pants as he planted his face into his nephew’s neck. They were both shaking, and Derek had both of his hands wrapped around Peter’s forearm where he was still working over the boy’s cock. Derek whined, and Peter was helpless but to answer the noise with a growl of his own.
They breathed together, quietly, though Derek was still hard in his hand even if Peter was beginning to go soft. It would take him a little while to get it back up again, but if Derek kept squirming in his lap and smelling sweeter and sweeter, it wouldn’t be long.
“Uncle Peter, p-please, it hurts ,” Derek moaned, and Peter let out a sharp breath through his nose even as he began stroking, reaching for the lube he knew was in the table beside him.
It was going to be a long night.
Peter was roused by the clank of glass followed by a thud. When he breathed in, the bitter scent of coffee was layering over the scent of his bed, a heady mix of him and Derek. He listened closely, picking up Derek’s heartbeat with practiced ease, and a smile rose to his lips at the tune Derek was humming under his breath.
He blinked his eyes open, pushing away the sleep that was clinging to his consciousness. Derek was in his kitchen, swaying a little as the coffee maker ran. Peter watched his ass, enjoying the way it bounced as his nephew danced. His smile grew wider.
“What are you doing up?” Peter asked, rolling onto his back but not taking his eyes off Derek’s naked back.
Derek turned to smile back at him, his face so, so soft. “I was making you coffee.”
Peter’s heart swelled, and he knew he must look foolishly love-struck as he watched Derek prepare a cup of coffee for him. Peter still wouldn't let Derek drink the stuff, but he stole a few sips from the mug as he brought it back to the bedroom. He was sure that Derek was only pretending to like the taste, seeing as it had taken Peter nearly two years to train himself into drinking it black.
Derek climbed onto the bed carefully, knee-walking until he was straddling Peter’s stomach. Peter ran his hands up Derek’s bare thighs, the light dusting of hair tickling the palms of his hands. Derek reached to put down the coffee, and it brought Peter’s attention to where his mate was beginning to grow hard.
“This is a lovely way to wake up, sweetheart,” Peter told him, smiling when Derek flushed softly.
They didn’t have sleepovers often. It was too much a risk, in Peter’s opinion, but Talia had gone away on business, and he hadn’t argued much when Derek had first asked. Waking up like this made the risk more than worth it.
Talia had been...observant during the last year. While she still didn’t pay much attention to her children, she had begun watching Peter closer than she had since their parents passed away and the Alpha power was passed down to her. It was making him nervous having so much of her attention focused on him in a way it hadn’t been in years.
It caused him to be extra careful in his endeavours. He had...allies, one could call them, around the globe. Allies that Talia did not know more nor would have ever access to. There were favours he traded with characters even he would never want to go near, and there were dealings he was a part of that would cause quite the scandal should they get out.
They were all just precautions, of course, but lately, it was as though Talia was breathing down his throat. Peter wasn’t sloppy, but he had been distracted during the last two years. After Derek’s rut, their relationship had changed and slowly Peter had stopped holding himself back. Derek could feel the bond just as well as Peter could, and they both wanted the same things.
It felt silly to deny his instincts when fate had gifted them with one another.
“What are you thinking about?” Derek asked, his fingers idly playing with Peter’s chest hair. It was something he often did, twisting his fingers around the strands, tugging on them gently, before smoothing them back down.
“You.” Derek’s face split into the sweetest smile, and Peter’s heart swelled until it felt like it was going to burst open with how in love he was. “I am always thinking of you.”
“ Uncle Peter ,” Derek whined, just like he did every time Peter said something sweet. His ears flushed pink, and Peter was just beginning to lean up so he could feel their heat against his lips when something in his gut caused him to pause.
Suddenly, Peter’s entire body went tight and his hold on Derek’s thighs went so tight that the boy whimpered. His eyes closed as he felt the wards protecting his bedroom groan before caving in, crumbling away as they were blasted apart by a force Peter would know the feel of anywhere.
Peter reacted in an instant, flipping their positions so Derek was laid out behind him, protected by Peter’s body. He paid no mind to his own nudity as he crouched on the mattress, his beta form slipping over his skin as he slowly crawled to the end of the bed, stepping off and rising to his full height.
He had been growling since his door first blew open, and it only grew in strength when he picked up Talia’s scent. Her steps thundered through the silence, the only other noise in the room Derek’s pounding heartbeat. He could smell the stench of Deaton’s magic and he knew the druid had been the one to break through his carefully laid runes.
When Talia stepped off the last step, Peter snarled at her. She did nothing, and her face was neutral as she took in the scene before her. Derek had not moved from where Peter had flipped him on the bed, and for that Peter was glad. He did not need to worry about Derek moving about when all of his attention was focused on the threat in front of them.
“I would say that this is a surprise, but it is exactly what I was expecting,” Talia shook her head, as though she was disappointed , and Peter had to choke down the urge to rake his claws across her throat.
“What are you doing here, sister?” Peter’s voice rolled off his tongue sharply. He knew how to make his voice cut, and he used his most scathing tone.
“Think of it as an eviction notice. You are no longer needed under this roof, and I expect you packed before the sun sets. I do not care where you go as long as you leave the state.”
“Who the hell do you think you are?” Peter snarled, his hands shaking at his sides.
Talia paid his ire no mind. She didn’t waste any time before she said, “I am the Alpha, in case you have forgotten while you were fucking your nephew. You have become sloppy and Derek has lost focus. I will not have any member of this pack as distracted as the both of you have become. And I will not allow this...inbreeding to continue under my own roof.” Peter snarled, his growl vibrating around the room as his eyes glowed brighter with his anger. “Calm down, brother. Be thankful that I have chosen to grant you your life, but do not test my patience,” Talia said, the perfect picture of poised calm aside from her red eyes.
Peter did nothing, said nothing, as Talia took her leave. He knew exactly how skilled he was, but he knew he was not her match in physical strength. The Hale pack was large and Talia drew power from every member. Peter would not force Derek to watch him die, so he did nothing. Rather, he stood still and silent as Talia ascended the stairs and did not dare move until the door closed and silence returned.
“Uncle Peter,” Derek whispered, his voice wrecked, and Peter turned to find him sitting up on his knees. “Uncle Peter, what’s, I don’t understand—are you going to leave ?” Derek’s voice broke on the last word, and Peter watched, completely helpless, as a tear slipped down his cheek.
“It’s okay,” Peter said, reaching out and pulling him against his chest, tucking Derek there just like he had so many times in the past. “It’s going to be okay, my love.”
Thankfully, Derek didn’t mention the way his heart skipped, though he knew that his mate had heard it by the way his arms tightened around Peter’s waist.
“I love you,” Derek whispered, his voice thick. He had not stopped crying since Talia left his room so many hours ago.
The boy had done nothing but sit on Peter’s bed, in Peter’s shirt, and watch as Peter packed away as many of his belongings as he could. He had stuck to the essentials, knowing he could easily replace anything mundane should he need it. A plane ticket had been purchased on his phone, and then a call had been made.
The airport was bustling around them, a menace on their enhanced senses, but Peter felt numb to it. Christopher Argent was waiting outside to drive Derek home, repaying a favour that Peter had held on to for years. Peter was annoyed having to cash it in, but he was more annoyed that he had to rely on a hunter to watch over his mate.
Derek’s face was tucked neatly against his neck, his breath coming in uneven bursts as he sniffled. Peter’s skin was damp from Derek’s sadness, and his chest ached. He held Derek as tightly as he could, ignoring those around him, and ran a hand in slow circles over Derek’s back—a motion that had always calmed Derek when he was younger.
“Uncle Peter,” Derek’s voice broke and Peter’s heart shattered with it. There was a hole growing in his chest, a pain unlike any he had felt before. If this was heartbreak, it was worse than any physical pain he had ever endured.
“I love you,” Peter told him, an empty promise that was nothing but words. “I will never stop loving you, my heart.”
Derek began to cry harder, and Peter squeezed him so tightly it felt as though he were trying to pull Derek into his chest and hold him within his skin. There was an announcement that Peter only listened to because it was for his flight. It hurt, God did it hurt, when he slid his arms from Derek’s back to his hips so he could push him away.
His mate’s entire face was red, his cheeks flushed and his nose and eyes puffy from his tears. Peter wanted nothing more in the entire world than to pull him back, but he couldn't. Talia was strong, and while Peter had allies, so did his sister. He would not go against her, not if he wasn’t certain that he would win.
He could not stomach the thought of leaving Derek.
So he stepped back, and his heart broke when Derek called out to him, but his gorgeous mate didn’t make a move to follow.
“Goodbye, my love,” he said, and then he turned, tearing his own heart from his chest.
“ I miss you. ” Derek’s voice was distorted by the phone line. It never sounded right, but after a year, Peter wasn’t sure what right even was. He began each phone call with the same three words, and each time Peter’s heart ached even more than it usually did.
“I miss you too, Derek.” There. His name. Peter had been meaning to cut out the endearments for weeks now, and he was finally able to do it.
There was silence over the line, before Derek asked, “ How are you doing? Has your week been okay? ”
At first, they talked every day. It hurt so much, but it hurt so much more to not hear from one another. But, as days turned to weeks turned to months, phone calls began happening with less frequency and less urgency. A few texts seemed to do the trick now, while before Derek would have never settled for anything less than a video call.
“I’m alright,” Peter lied. Derek wouldn’t be able to hear the tick of his heart over the phone, thankfully. “Been busy with work.”
He had found a firm that fit his needs just fine, and his name had quickly spread around the city as the defence lawyer you needed , if you were in trouble. Peter was good at his job, he always had been, but he loved it now for the distraction it provided. When he was working on a case, there was nothing but the crime and his client and years of studied law. He had no time to think of Derek when he was being paid to keep criminals out from behind bars.
His entire family thought him a monster anyway, why not prove their point.
“ Oh. That’s. Well, that’s good? I’m glad you have stuff going on. And that you’re doing alright. I’m glad you’re doing alright. ” Derek’s voice was off. It was more than just the way the phone distorted it. There was something in his tone that Peter couldn’t recognize from his end of the line. “ Are you...seeing anyone? Interested in anyone? Or anything? ”
Peter’s heart stopped beating even as his brain processed the question. Was Derek...yes, he was really asking if Peter was single. Well. Peter pushed aside the heartbreak, as familiar as it was now, and realized he was getting good at locking away his emotions.
“You could tell me, if there was anyone you were interested in,” Peter said, keeping his tone as flippant as possible. Derek was still so young, and the last thing Peter wanted to be was a hindrance. Knowing that Derek was with someone else would tear him apart, but there was no part of himself Peter wouldn’t give away so that Derek could be happy.
“ What? ” The sharpness to Derek’s tone had not been what Peter had expected. He frowned, digging his toes into the cushion of his couch as he tried to figure out what was happening.
“Derek,” his name again, not an endearment, “if you were interested in other...kids, I would be fine with you seeing someone.”
The line was quiet so long that Peter thought it may have gone dead, before Derek spit, with more anger than Peter had ever heard, “ Fuck you, Uncle Peter, ” and the line went dead.
“ Uncle Peter ,” Derek groaned, his voice noticeably deeper even with his laptop’s shitty speaker quality—which was only Peter’s fault, seeing as he hadn’t checked the microphones specs when ordering the computer.
Peter watched, entranced, as Derek fucked up into his fist. His cock was bigger, hairier, and Peter found himself obsessed with the differences his body had taken on since the last time they had been together. In the two years since Peter had seen him, Derek had bulked up. His chest was filling out, his thighs getting thicker, and there was a thin line of hair that ran from his bush of pubes up to his chest. Peter was sure it would fill out and spread, and he was excited.
He had the video feed blown out on his flat screen, sound directly in his ears through a pair of Bluetooth headphones. Peter had a fairly nice webcam for himself, since it was easier to buy himself something than it was to send something to Derek. He knew that his boy appreciated it—the first time Peter had used it, Derek had come faster than he had since Peter had last touched him.
Despite the quality of sound and video, seeing Derek like this, head thrown back and cock achingly hard, was enough to make Peter’s blood boil. He was getting more attracted to Derek every day, and he wondered if he would ever stop being surprised by his mate’s growing beauty.
Derek raised his arm, fisting his own fingers into his hair, and it exposed the damp, hairy skin of his underarm. Peter’s fangs itched with the urge to sink his teeth there, to lick up the taste of Derek’s musk and drown himself in the scent of his arousal. Derek mailed him soiled shirts, but by the time they made it through the postal service they hardly smelt like anything more than the paper they were wrapped in.
“Fuck, baby,” Peter grunted, twisting his wrist on his next upstroke. He was stripping himself quickly, conscious of the fact that Derek didn’t have much time tonight and wanting to get them both off. “You look so gorgeous, darling. You’re so beautiful, and you’re mine , isn’t that right? You’re my beautiful boy.” Derek whined, the sound going straight to Peter’s cock and making it spurt out a bead of precome. “You like that, don’t you? You like being mine. Belonging to me. And you do, isn’t that right sweetheart? You're mine, my mate .”
“ Uncle Peter ,” Derek sobbed, coming and coming, shaking through his orgasm as he milked his cock and shot his release up to his chin , covering his chest with his spend.
Peter was quick to follow, always quick to come when Derek called him that. He came hard, soaking his shirt with his semen with the purpose of sending it to Derek as soon as possible. He knew his little mate would appreciate the gift.
“Fuck, darling,” Peter panted, slowly coming down from his high, his eyes tracking over Derek’s figure on the screen. “That was wonderful, my love.”
Despite the horrible quality, Peter was just able to make out Derek’s sweet flush. “ I like that. I like being yours. ”
“You’ve always been mine,” Peter said simply. “I know that it is hard, but this is not forever. I love you more than life itself, my darling.”
“ I know. I just miss you. ”
“I miss you too. Now, get yourself cleaned up for bed, alright, pup?” Peter asked, laughing when it earned him the expected protest. He smiled fondly, having no problem watching the blank screen as Derek cleaned himself up somewhere off camera, chattering away. It wasn’t enough, it wasn’t nearly enough, but it was all they had, for now. Only for now.
Peter used his hip to push into his apartment building, the key card in his back pocket unlocking the door. His hands were full with take out and take-home work. He had cases that were piling up without any answers, and there were a few that—loathe as he was to admit it—were beginning to worry him.
They should have been easy. Would have been, if the circumstances had been different. But Peter had been distracted, and he knew why. Derek was turning eighteen in only a few days, graduating in less than two weeks and it was...distracting. It was distracting. He juggled the mail, his briefcase and the bag of take out in one hand while he hit the elevators button.
The trip up was long enough that Peter’s eyelids got heavier. He was thankful when the doors dinged and he was able to wrestle his way into his den. He tossed his briefcase to the couch for later, walking further through the apartment to the kitchen. Tossing the main down in a messy pile, his attention caught on a hand-addressed later even as he placed the food to the side.
Before he opened the envelope he brought it to his face and breathed in deeply. His wolf came to life under his skin, rumbling loudly at the rare scent of his mate. It smelt enough like Derek that he knew it must have been a rushed delivery, and he closed his eyes as he let the scent settle over his entire body.
He opened the envelope carefully, treating it like the treasure that it was. Derek had sent him clothing before, but never before had he sent him a letter.
Derek’s scrawl was messy, hardly more than chicken scratch, but Peter traced the words with his finger. They were so vivid , stark against the white page and staring up at Peter loudly. He could hear the rougher tone of Derek’s voice as he read over the words, losing himself in the cadence of love spread out on the page before him.
It wasn’t until he had reached the end, his vision too blurred by his tears to properly make out Derek’s name, that he realized Derek had written him a love letter addressed to his Dearest Uncle Peter . Peter suddenly knew why wolfs killed themselves over the loss of their mate. If being away from Derek made his chest ache like this, he couldn't even imagine the pain that losing him would bring.
Peter growled lowly, rolling over to shove his face into his pillow. The knock on his door sounded again, and Peter growled louder. His fangs itched, spurred on by his irritation. When he cracked an eye open, his alarm clock read four thirty-seven in bright red lights.
What in the ever-loving hell?
Peter pushed himself from his bed, not bothering with clothing as he stomped to his front door. Whichever one of his neighbourhoods dared to bother him at such an ungodly hour on a Sunday could deal with his nudity. He wracked his brain trying to figure out who the hell could possibly be at his door, but came up with nothing.
He wasn’t expecting anyone, and if it was Mrs. Albert from below coming to once again complain that his ivy was hanging in her window, he was going to rip her throat out. With his teeth. Sure, he was cranky, but he was also old. At thirty-five and at the current height of his career, time to sleep in was sparse and fleeting. There was no reason he should be up this early on the one day he took off.
The doorknob groaned under the pressure of his hand, and he took a deep breath to try to calm himself down. He pulled his fangs back, not realizing that they’d dropped until he pricked his tongue on one. There were several locks he had to undo and a ward that took a moment of concentration before he could open the door.
When he did, his heart completely stopped beating, and he could hear nothing over the roaring in his ears as his eyes dragged over the figure before him. “Derek,” Peter breathed out, completely breathless as his eyes tracked up—and up—his nephew’s body.
He was taller. He was wide shouldered and he was taller . He was gorgeous, the most beautiful fucking thing that Peter had ever seen. The hall lights were dull, casting Derek in a warm light that did nothing to diminish his beauty. His cheeks were dusted with the faintest of stubble, and Peter had the sudden urge to lick over his chin and feel the short hairs along his tongue.
“Hi, Uncle Peter. Got room for me?” Derek asked, and despite the lightness of his words, his voice shook. The skin around his eyes was dark, and he looked just as tired as Peter felt after waking up at four in the morning.
“Derek,” he said again, choked, and he reached out with a hand that shook until Derek grabbed it.
Despite his newfound height and width, he fit into Peter’s arms as well as he always had. It was so strange not being able to tuck him under his chin, and Peter’s eyes burned with tears that quickly fell when he realized how much he’d missed. How much he would never get back.
There were years of Derek’s life that Peter had only got to witness through phone calls and computer screens.
He had been as present as he could possibly be—there had only been one time that Peter had tried to offer Derek an out, and after that fight he had never done so again—but now, holding Derek in his arms and pressing his forehead against his boy’s cheek, the years that he had missed out on seemed to hit him with the weight of a truck.
“I love you,” he said, and the next thing he knew he was crying, his hands twisting tightly into Derek’s shirt to keep him close.
Derek was hugging him back just as tightly, his face pressed into Peter’s hair. It felt so strange, to be shorter, if only by a couple of inches. Derek still fit in his arms, though, and Peter let himself be weak after so long of doing his best to stay strong. His nephew held him as he broke apart, letting himself feel everything that he had pushed aside for the last four years in a desperate attempt to stay sane.
His wolf was going wild under his skin, snapping and snarling and yipping with feverish excitement. It wanted Derek closer, after so long, and Peter slipped his hands under Derek’s shirt to rub his scent into his skin for the first time in what felt like an entire lifetime. He pulled back, breathless with how gorgeous Derek was as he stared, taking in the changes he could see so clearly now.
And kissed him.
It felt so good, finally being able to cup his mate’s face in his hands and feel the stubble against his palms. Derek tasted just as sweet as he had before, and his heart broke even further. He had missed this so much, and the way Derek was holding him was putting his heart back together with each swipe of their tongues.
He tugged, pulling Derek inside so he could back him against the door. He turned the kiss into something filthy, claiming, licking into Derek’s mouth like he owned him, like he was his. And he was , finally, finally his again and here and in his den and in his arms. He had to pull back to breathe, and they were both out of breath as they rested for a moment.
“I love you,” Derek said, his voice just as wrecked as Peter felt. “Uncle Peter, I love you so much.”
The words were so clear, spoken perfectly in Derek’s voice right in his ear, and he let out a breath that he had been holding for four years as his entire body relaxed in the steady circle of Derek’s arms.
He was here , and it was all going to be okay.
Peter sucked harder, letting his tongue flatten out and drag over the pebbled nub beneath his lips. Derek was whining under him, bucking up into the hand that Peter had around his cock and back onto the fingers that Peter had up his ass. He was so warm, so tight, and Peter let his fingers drag across his inside as he rubbed his thumb over the head of Derek’s cock.
His boy was so responding so beautifully that he couldn’t bring himself to stop. Peter was addicted to the noises he was making, and he did his best to draw as many out as he could. Hearing Derek moan and pant and whine was so different like this, when he could hear every inhalation of breath and the beating of his heart. It was so much better than through a pair of headphones, the only way he’d been able to hear Derek for far too long.
He moved across Derek’s chest, licking over the patch of hair that was dusted along his pecs and down his abs. Derek was gorgeous, wide-shouldered and thick chested and hairy. He was everything that Peter had ever imagined him being, not quite twenty, and he was so excited that he could finally watch Derek without a screen and an endless amount of distance between them.
“Uncle Peter, please , please fuck me,” Derek gasped, and he sounded wrecked. Peter groaned, a growl rumbling out of his throat as he bit a mark into Derek’s skin that was already healing when he sat back on his heels.
His mate was laid out before him, arms thrown out, fists twisted into the sheets under him. Derek’s legs were spread, his cock red and leaking precome onto his belly, matting in the thick bush of hair around it. Peter twisted his hand, watching the pink, puffy rim of Derek’s ass and the way it flexed around the fingers inside it.
Peter pulled out, earning him a delicious whine, but then he was shuffling closer, grabbing Derek’s ankles to spread him open. He was so hard that it hurt, but until now his own arousal had been little more than an afterthought. Now it was all that he knew, the heat in his stomach and the pressure in his cock.
He shuffled forward, having to let go of Derek’s calf to line himself up. He was harder than he had ever been. Peter couldn't believe that he had waited so long before he finally took Derek this way, but every moment of the time they spent apart finally felt worth it, having Derek spread out below him looking like the most beautiful thing Peter would ever see.
When Peter sunk in, it felt like coming home. Derek fit around him perfectly, hugging his cock as though he were made for him. “ Mate ,” Peter growled, his entire body shuddering as he fell forward, sinking deeper and deeper and deeper.
“ Uncle Peter ,” Derek groaned, and Peter rubbed his palm against Derek’s cock, giving him something to rut up into as he fucked himself back onto Peter’s cock. Derek shuddered through his release, painting his stomach and Peter’s hand with his come, and Peter came inside Derek when his boy brought his soiled hand up to his mouth to lick it clean.
“I love you,” Peter said, breathless, and he leaned down to capture Derek’s lips in a filthy kiss.
Peter looked up from his casework, gaze crossing the apartment to where Derek was when his heart rate changed. He was so accustomed to the sound that it was easy to notice when it changed, and he cast his eyes over to where his nephew was on the couch. His boy was currently slumped over, his head pillowed in his hands as his breathing began to grow heavier.
He was falling asleep, textbooks scattered across the couch and the coffee table in front of him.
That wouldn’t do.
Peter got up quietly, taking easy steps through the kitchen. His own work could wait. His steps were nearly silent as he approached the couch, making sure he wasn’t loud enough to accidentally wake Derek. He slipped an arm under his knees, lifting his legs and catching Derek with his other arm when he began to fall backwards. Peter lifted him easily, barely a chore with his enhanced strength.
“Easy, pup,” Peter soothed, the endearment slipping out for the first time since Derek was a boy.
“Love you, Uncle Peter,” Derek mumbled, his heartbeat slowing as his head rolled onto Peter’s shoulder. Peter smiled fondly, unable to look away from the sleeping face of the man in his arms even as he laid him out on their bed.
Derek was beautiful, had always been beautiful, but there was nothing like him like this. Relaxed with sleep, no signs of the stress he’s been under for so long. No matter how happy Peter was at seeing Derek succeed in his education, he would never like the pressure the boy was putting on himself. He was pulling later and later nights, and Peter was beginning to worry about his mate’s well-being.
Carefully, he undressed him, pulling off his socks and working him out of the jeans. He followed suit, unable to push himself back to his work when he had his mate spread out on their bed. He stripped before he climbed onto the bed, pulling Derek close to him before pulling up the covers. Derek curled against his chest naturally, still completely asleep as he cuddled closer.
“I love you too, darling,” Peter whispered, returning the earlier declaration before he let his eyes fall closed, holding Derek close even after sleep took him.
Peter was sweating. The afternoon sun was warm where it beat down on the back of his neck. He had worn one of his nicer suits, jacket and all, and now he was regretting the choice. The sports stadium was filled with people, and Peter couldn’t even breathe without knocking into someone. His wolf hated it, but he ground his teeth together as another person bumped into him.
He was about to turn forty, he had more than enough control over his instincts to make it through a Graduation ceremony.
Derek’s name was called, and Peter was up from his seat in an instant. He shouted, clapping his hands wildly. He was the only there, after all, and he did his best to make up for the lack of family that had come to see Derek receive his degree. Peter mirrored Derek’s movement as he walked off the stage, excusing himself as he made his way through the crowd of people standing around the rows of seats.
He ran forward, putting in a burst of speed that, under normal circumstances, he would never use in front of humans. This was different, though, and he managed to get to the built up stage as Derek was stepping down. His boy jumped from the last two steps, an echo of the life they had lived before, and Peter was there to catch him.
“I love you,” Derek said, his legs wrapped firmly around Peter’s waist. It didn’t matter that Peter had outgrown him in the last couple of years, he still enjoyed being lifted and carried around by Peter. “Uncle Peter, I love you.”
Derek’s eyes were wet, and Peter leaned up to kiss him gently. He wished he could cup Derek’s face but his hands were busy holding him up. It didn't matter, not when Derek’s hand slid into his hair to angle his head back, licking into his mouth. The kiss was ruined with Derek’s laugh, the happiest noise Peter had heard him make in years .
“You did it,” Peter said, rubbing their foreheads together, heedless of the sweat beading both of their brows. “I’m so proud of you, sweetheart.”
Derek kissed him again, and Peter’s heart soared.
The door closed behind him with a quiet click, and Peter let his weight fall against it. His briefcase fell to the floor with a clatter, but Peter paid it no mind. He was exhausted. He was in his forties and he was so tired . Often, he wondered when he would be able to retire, as he no longer found anything in his work other than misery.
He took a deep breath, doing his very best to decompress. He slid off his suit jacket and tie, slipping out of his dress shoes. Even that was enough to help the horrible mindset that settled over him at work slip away. With his next deep breath, he felt more like himself, breathing in the familiar scent of his den.
Work was horrible, but he had spent enough years in his field to know he would be fine in a few weeks. Some cases were more draining than others, some clients harder to keep from throttling. He just needed this wave of losses to pass and things would be better. His head thunked back against the door as he undid his cuffs and pulled his shirt out of his slacks.
He could hear Derek puttering about the kitchen, and he made his way through their apartment to the dining room. The table was decorated prettily. A cloth was laid out, covered with tableware and adorned with a gorgeous bouquet of wildflowers. Peter felt a smile pull up his lips as Derek walked out of the kitchen with a steaming bowl of food, and Peter breathed in the comforting smell of creamy pasta.
“Hi, baby,” Derek said softly, and he lifted a hand that Peter was quick to take.
The kiss that his nephew pulled him into was achingly gentle. He tilted his face up for more, letting one kiss become two, become three. Derek looped a heavy arm around Peter’s waist and he leaned back against it, allowing his nephew to hold him up as his body went lax in his mate’s arms. Derek rumbled happily, the noise vibrating through Peter’s body as he nipped at the boy’s bottom lip.
“What a welcome,” Peter teased as he finally pulled back. He pet Derek’s chest, enjoying the way the Henley he had on was stretching over the width of him. Derek had only gotten larger in the last few years, finding a love of working out that Peter had never held but certainly appreciated. “What is this for?”
Derek ducked his head to avoid eye contact, a show of nerves that wasn’t particularly useful now that Peter was the shorter one. He stepped closer, pressing their bodies together as he looked up at his nephew with a soft smile. It was another moment before Derek spoke, saying, “You’ve been having a rough time at work. I wanted to do something nice for you.”
“Darling,” Peter said softly, unable to stop himself as he pressed up for another kiss, letting his hand tangle in the hairs along Derek’s nape. “Thank you so much.”
Derek flushed softly, and Peter kissed him again before moving to sit. The dinner that Derek prepared was nice. While Peter had always been the one who cooked, he made sure Derek could make a few meals himself. The sauce was creamy and the chicken cooked perfectly. Peter moaned around a bite, if only to watch how Derek’s eyes flashed in response.
During dinner, Derek asked him about work. While he didn’t normally tell Derek about the cases he took on, his nephew seemed enthusiastic, following along and asking questions if he needed clarification. Peter knew that what he did wasn’t very interesting unless you were in the field, and he often used terms that wouldn’t have made sense to his nephew, but the boy listened attentively.
Peter found that it helped ease some of the tension in his body. Talking it out with someone who wasn’t working against him was refreshing. In his years, Peter had found it hard to work with others when there was always someone gunning for his case in a ploy to steal his clients. It was exhausting, the way he had to watch his back, but it was what he loved to do—even if it hadn’t felt like it lately.
They shared a bottle of wine that did nothing to either of them, but Peter savoured the taste. It was when they were sharing dessert—cupcakes from Peter’s favourite bakery—that Derek’s heart rate began to rise. Peter looked over at him curiously, only to find the boy avoiding his eyes and staring down at his empty plate.
As Peter opened his mouth to ask what was bothering him, Derek knelt. He slid off his chair and knelt on one knee. Before Peter could even think of reacting, Derek was reaching forward and grabbing Peter’s left hand with both of his own, looking up at Peter with eyes that shone in the candlelight.
“Uncle Peter,” Derek’s voice was barely a whisper, though it seemed to echo in the silence of the apartment. Peter raised a hand to cover his mouth, feeling ridiculous when his eyes began to burn. “I have loved you my entire life, and I am never going to stop. You are my past, and my present and I hope that you will be my future. Will—will you marry me?”
Peter laughed. He slid to his knees in front of his nephew and laughed even as tears fell from his eyes and dampened his cheeks. He leaned forward, resting their foreheads together as he breathed through the overwhelming tightness in his chest. It felt as though his heart had swelled so big that there was nothing left, and he pressed forward for a kiss that Derek eagerly met him for.
“Yes,” Peter finally said, his voice choked. “Yes, yes, Derek yes.”
Derek laughed, a happier noise than Peter had ever heard, and he pulled a little ring box from his pocket, looking sheepishly at Peter when he realized he had forgotten to get it out during the moment. Peter just kissed him again, smiling as Derek slid a gorgeous band onto his finger, his heart in his throat and so very big he could barely breathe.
From the moment he and Derek stepped into the Realtor’s office two weeks ago, Peter knew he would hate her. However, she was the best money could buy and Peter would spare no expense when it came to his nephew—and if Derek wanted to buy a house, Peter would find the best Realtor there was.
Thus had begun what Peter to be considered the biggest test of patience he had ever been put through. To start, the lady reminded him so much of Talia that his fangs itched just being around her. Secondly, was her not-so-subtle homophobia. Peter had been able to smell her disgust the first time Derek had taken his hand, and she had not stopped reeking like it since.
No matter. They had already seen three houses, but Peter rather thought that the one they were at would be it. The outside had been gorgeous, an adorable wrapping porch that Peter was sure Derek would fill with plants. The inside was just as nice—not as modern or shiny as Peter’s apartment had been, but homier . That was something they had both wanted, and Peter could see them growing old here.
“Whaddya think, Uncle Peter?” Derek asked cheekily, using the arm that was around Peter’s neck to tug him closer and kiss his temple. Peter rested a hand against Derek’s chest, though he didn’t push the boy away.
“Stop it,” Peter scolded, but he smiled all the same. He raised their joined hands to kiss the ring he had given Derek, the one that had been sitting in his sock drawer before Derek beat him to the proposal. “But I think the backyard is nice,” Peter added, mind already racing.
The backyard was transformed. Peter walked along the path made by folding chairs, each covered in a white cloth and decorated with silver string and littered with white rose petals. Cora’s daughter had already skipped down the aisle, scattering flowers as she went—the most adorable flower girl Peter had ever seen.
It was only in the last few years that his youngest Niece had reached out to them, but she had become very important to them both. She had been too young to remember Peter from before Talia had forced him away, and she hadn’t understood why Derek had left the family until she braved her mother’s wrath and sent him a Facebook message.
From then, they had spoken regularly. Despite the found family they had amassed over the years, Peter knew just how much it meant to Derek to have one of his sisters back in his life. She had been a great help with getting all this together, and Peter smiled at her from her stand at the front, two steps behind the empty space waiting to be filled by Derek.
Chris Argent was standing for him—which was a friendship that no one had expected but one Peter cherished. The man gave him a kind smile as he stepped up, reaching out a hand to grasp Peter’s shoulder before he turned to watch the entrance. In front of them were faces of people Peter would gladly call pack, intermingled with friends from work and some who had been close to Derek during college.
It wasn’t a large ceremony, but they didn’t have family to invite, and they filled those empty spaces with friends. It wasn’t a wedding. It couldn't be a wedding, but everyone in the yard was gathered for one. A sharing of vows, a promise to love each other till death do they part. A mating ceremony, for those in the know.
The most important day of his life, for Peter.
He looked to the centre when the music began to play a touch louder, and he watched, absolutely entranced, as Derek stepped forward. Both of their tuxedos were all black, though Derek’s had a satin finish that shined in the moonlight. He was gorgeous, more beautiful than Peter had ever seen him, and the smile that stretched his face had Peter’s heart pattering like a love-struck teenager.
There was no officiant, and the ceremony began when Derek stepped up onto the little ledge Peter was on. Chris said a few words about love, Cora said a few words about life, and then was time for their vows. Derek’s eyes were shining, though Peter was sure his own were as well. He had not cried much in his life, but he knew he’d be crying for this.
Derek took a deep breath that expanded his chest, and he stood taller. Peter looked up at him and loved him so, so much.
“I have wanted to marry you since I was eight. Not a day has gone by since then that I have wanted anything else. Uncle Peter—” Derek’s voice broke, and Peter’s heart shattered with it, his chest splitting open and filling with so much love that he couldn't breathe. “Uncle Peter, I have loved you my entire life. You are all that I have ever wanted. You are my mate , my moon, my entire heart. I vow to continue to love you, just like I have every day of my life so far, and I promise to cherish your love in turn.”
“You are the only thing that I have ever loved,” Peter began, his voice thick. “You taught me what it was to love something other than myself, and every day since you fit into the palms of my hands I have loved you impossibly more. There are no words for what you are to me, and I will not waste my breath trying. Instead, I will spend the rest of our lives showing you how much you mean to me and how much I care for you. I love you, my dearest nephew, and I will love you until the end of time.”
And with that, they kissed.