Stiles barely managed to wait for the bathroom door to swing shut behind him before he started running. Well, more accurately weaving, dodging, and apologizing, because the bar was packed. It looked like Scott, Kira, and Isaac were still arguing over the same game of darts and hadn’t spotted him yet, so Stiles quickly steered in the opposite direction.
Toward the bar. Toward Derek.
Stiles had never gotten a satisfactory answer as to why Derek drank cheap booze even though it wouldn’t get him drunk and he could certainly afford better, but now was not the time to start up that particular argument. No, Stiles needed to cash in a favor with Derek, and when doing so, he had found that it was more efficient to skip the buttering up and just see whether Derek was in the mood to play nice.
Stiles plopped down on the bar stool next to Derek. “I need you to flirt with me.”
Derek looked up from his drink, not even bothering to arch an eyebrow. The eyebrow was implied.
“Or pretend to flirt. Whatever.” Derek’s glare made it clear he wanted an explanation, and Stiles had no time to waste. “It’s my ex. I just ran into him in the bathroom and he would not shut up about his new boyfriend and he can sort of… smell that I’m going through an incredibly rare dry spell right now and—”
“Smell?” Derek cut him off. “Stiles, what is he?”
God, why did that have to be the first question Derek asked? “He might kind of be a succubus.”
Derek’s gaze sharpened. “You dated a succubus.”
“Yes, okay, but the sex was insane,” Stiles hissed. “I mean, it took me, like, three days to recover most of the time, but I came so hard I’m pretty sure I could taste colors.”
Stiles felt Derek’s growl as much as he heard it, a subvocal rumbling that had the people around them turning their heads, and Jeremy would be coming out of the bathroom any second now, so Stiles had to seal this deal. “I was in college. Mistakes were made. But the important thing now is that I’m just petty enough to want to make him regret dumping me on my ass and you’re the only person in northern California hot enough to make him jealous, so if you’ll just start fake-flirting with me, I’ll wash your stupid mom-car every week for a month, two months—”
Derek grabbed his hands – which Stiles hadn’t realized he’d been flailing – and set them down firmly on the bar. “Three months. And you tell Kira to stop rearranging my books whenever she comes over.”
“Deal,” Stiles said, hoping the lingering shock from seeing Jeremy would ostensibly cover whatever physical reaction he’d have to what was about to come. He’d imagined close-range Derek-flirting plenty of times; he’d just never been on the receiving end. It was entirely possible he hadn’t quite thought this plan through.
This became perfectly clear when Derek knocked back the last of his whiskey, set the glass down with a thud, and smiled brightly up at Stiles.
“What? Fuck, no,” Stiles groaned. “Not that shit you pull when you’re trying to get information or distract somebody.”
Derek had the nerve to look offended. “That’s how I flirt.”
“No wonder you never get laid,” Stiles mumbled, not realizing how bad it sounded until the words were out of his mouth. Stiles’ throat remained intact, however, so it was possible he could still talk his way out of this. Or into it. “Shit, I’m sorry. Please don’t go.”
Derek narrowed his eyes, but he didn’t get up. “You really like this guy, huh?”
“Liked. Past tense. He’s actually a total asshat who dumped me for someone much less attractive. Again: petty, but this would bring me a great deal of closure, contributing to my psychological well-being and thus the well-being of the pack as a whole.”
Derek wasn’t buying a word of it, that much was obvious, but he just sighed. “So what do you want me to do?”
“You could start by not looking at me like you want to disembowel me.”
Derek rolled his eyes, but his expression softened. Okay, good, Stiles could work with this. “Awesome. Yeah, scoot your chair a little closer and face me. You could also try not slumping.”
Immediately, Derek straightened up and squared his shoulders with military precision, and it looked so bizarre that Stiles almost panicked. Before he could say anything, however, Derek relaxed into a more natural position. “Fine, now what? Am I supposed to wink at you?”
“No. Never. Just, um…” Stiles had no idea how Derek would react to his next suggestion. “Could you kind of… lean in a little? Get a little body language going? Just pretend I don’t smell like pathetic desperation.”
“You don’t smell like desperation,” Derek said unexpectedly, leaning into Stiles’ space as if to breathe him in deeper. “You just smell like nervousness and that terrible cologne you keep buying.”
Stiles had to suppress an urge to shove at Derek’s shoulder. Not that it would’ve accomplished anything. “Hey, this cologne is not terrible. It is $200 a bottle of sexiness.”
“Not to a werewolf nose,” Derek said, dropping his voice. “You smell better without it.”
“Oh, awesome, just keep insulting my scent. That’s a real turn-on.”
“How was that an insult? I was implying that you smell better than expensive chemicals.”
If Stiles’ heart hadn’t been racing before, it sure as hell was now. He hoped Derek would chalk it up to nerves and not Stiles imagining that Derek had just paid him an actual compliment. “Okay,” Stiles said, trying to get back on track. “I can’t see him, but he’s gotta be out of the bathroom by now.”
“Don’t just sit there – buy me a drink. I’ll totally pay you back later.”
“Do you want something good, or something that you’ll actually drink?”
“Says the guy drinking bathtub gin.”
Instead of snarking back, Derek just smirked and called the bartender over, then proceeded to ask for some top shelf rum. “Oh my god, Derek, I don’t order meals that cost that much,” Stiles muttered, trying to simultaneously look flattered that Derek had bought him anything.
Derek’s grin was genuine and wicked this time, and Stiles felt it like a bolt of lightning down his spine. “Nothing but the best for you. Anything else you need me to buy you?”
“No, just…” Stiles gestured quickly. “Do something with your hands.”
“Like whatever it is you’re doing?” Derek teased. “Hyperactive shadow puppets?”
Stiles was about to sit on his unruly hands just to keep them under control when Derek reached out to take them with surprising gentleness. He chuckled like Stiles had just told a joke and let his hands linger on Stiles’ for a moment, brushing his thumb over Stiles’ knuckles like he was loath to let go at all. Stiles felt goosebumps rise up the skin of his arms and knew Jeremy had to be watching them.
“Can you see him?” Stiles asked quietly. “Tall, green shirt, totally douche-y haircut?”
“That describes about ten people in my line of sight,” Derek said, the usual tone of annoyance strangely absent from his voice. “Though one of them keeps glancing over at us. Throat tattoo?”
“Ugh, yes,” Stiles groaned. “Don’t judge – he must’ve gotten that sometime after we broke up.” He took a deep breath. “Okay, so we’ve got his attention. Time to dial it up.”
Derek leaned in, his eyes focusing on Stiles’ lips, and Stiles’ heart just went ahead and stopped in his chest. Fortunately – or possibly not – the bartender chose that moment to deliver Stiles’ drink.
Derek ducked his eyes, shy like he’d been caught doing something he shouldn’t, and Stiles’ heart stuttered back to life just so it could pound mercilessly at his ribs. “Better enjoy that drink,” Derek said, picking up his own.
His eyes stayed locked with Stiles’ over his glass as he took a slow sip. Stiles’ own drink was exceptional, sweet on his tongue and just the right amount of heat to spread through his chest and settle low in his belly.
When Derek set his glass back down, he moved casually into Stiles’ space again. Maybe it should’ve been jarring, having Derek that close, but it felt so natural that Stiles found himself mirroring the closeness, caught like a fish on a lure. Derek’s knuckles skimmed the back of Stiles’ arm, an accidental touch that wasn’t accidental at all, and a thought struck him. “Oh, fuck you,” Stiles hissed. “You totally knew how to flirt this whole time.”
Derek just ignored that, heat sparking in his eyes. “So, why get involved with a succubus?”
Stiles felt himself flush and quickly rolled his eyes, knowing Jeremy couldn’t see his face. “If you have to ask…”
“Pretty dangerous, though,” Derek said, his voice light, almost playful. “Would’ve thought you’d gotten enough of that in high school.”
Stiles snorted – definitely not a sexy move, but he was already blushing up to his ears under Derek’s hot gaze. “Well, after you’ve killed a few mythological creatures, frat bros are really pretty boring. And much less hygienic.”
Derek chuckled, low and soft, making Stiles’ stomach do backflips. “You know what I think?” Derek asked, not waiting for an answer. “I think you get off on it. I think it was so good with him because you never knew how much he was going to take, how close to the edge he could get you. God, you must’ve been a fucking feast for him, all that energy. I can’t believe he was stupid enough to let you go.”
Stiles’ pulse was triphammering by now, his hands shaking from the quiet intensity of Derek’s voice. He wasn’t sure he’d actually heard Derek right, because Derek couldn’t mean… But Derek was physically close enough that Stiles could see his individual eyelashes, the shadows they cast across his sharp cheekbones.
“He can’t hear us from there,” Derek went on, his gaze flicking briefly over Stiles’ shoulder. “But I bet he can smell you. It’s pouring off of you in waves, Stiles. You’re generating so much lust I can taste it. And maybe you’re still thinking about him, but your eyes haven’t left mine for the last five minutes.”
“Oh god,” Stiles said, his voice cracking. He didn’t even have enough presence of mind to deny it – Derek knew. It was one thing to harbor a hopeless crush for six years; it was quite another to be sitting right in front of him, aching with want because of a few fake words and a little eyelash-batting. Derek would never let Stiles live this down now, would know exactly how much power he had over him—
Before Stiles could do or say anything more, Derek leaned in close enough to whisper in Stiles’ ear, his stubble just barely grazing Stiles’ cheek as he spoke. “I’m looking at that asshole right now and his mouth is hanging open. He remembers now. Remembers why he wanted you so much in the first place, but not why he turned you away. He can stare all he wants, but he can’t have you. Never again. You’re mine.”
It took a good four seconds for Derek’s words to make their way to Stiles’ brain. “W-what?”
“Mine. Yours isn’t the only lust he can smell.”
Stiles blinked furiously, trying to process the impending paradigm shift despite having very little blood left in his upper body. “You— I— You want me?”
“I have you,” Derek growled, rubbing his cheek purposefully against Stiles’ jaw. “You want danger? You want to know what it’s like to fall apart with teeth pressed to your throat? You come to me now.”
Despite the distraction of his traitorous body, Stiles mustered up the will to object, if not quite enough to push Derek away. “Fuck that,” he whispered harshly. “You think just because I have a little crush on you that I’m going to go ahead and submit to you?”
“Never,” Derek sighed, his breath hot against the shell of Stiles’ ear. “You think I’d want somebody who just rolls over and takes it? I want you. Every snarky, stubborn, defiant ounce of you. That’s what I get off on.”
At some point, Stiles’ eyes had slipped shut, which was pretty much the only reason they hadn’t rolled right back into his head. “I swear to god, Derek, if you’re just fucking with me, I will end you.”
Derek growled, low and rumbling in his chest, and Stiles felt the barest prick of claws where Derek’s hand was resting on his hip. “Keep talking dirty to me and I’ll bend you right over this bar.”
Stiles got a flash of that image – Derek gripping his hips with clawed hands, driving into him slow and hard while everyone around them watched, Stiles shoving back greedily for more of Derek’s cock – and made the executive decision to get them both out of there before Stiles came in his pants.
He grabbed Derek by the wrist and whispered. “The Jeep. Now.”
Derek stood, pulling Stiles to his feet as well, and reached for his wallet without breaking eye contact. His face showed little of the arrogance that had been in his voice, and Stiles had to bite down hard on his lip to keep from lunging over and kissing him – once he started, he didn’t plan to stop.
Stiles’ vision had tunneled down so tightly that the rest of the bar was a blur. He vaguely recalled something about an ex-boyfriend, something that had seemed very important a few minutes ago, but when he could finally get his eyes to focus, he realized he just happened to be looking in the direction of Scott, Kira, and Isaac. Who were all staring at him, scandalized.
“That’s what you get for eavesdropping,” he mumbled under his breath.
Later, he didn’t remember stumbling out of the bar – all he knew was that Derek paid the tab and then they were standing next to his Jeep, Derek pressing him bodily into the driver’s side door as his nose brushed down the column of Stiles’ throat.
Stiles wasn’t sure he should push his luck, but even through the lust fogging his brain, one question kept popping up. “Why now?” he managed through a bone-dry throat.
Derek shrugged, a look of genuine amusement passing over his face. “Got tired of waiting for you to make the first move.”